SPECIAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
THURSDAY, MARCH 2, 1995 - AT 7:30 PM EST
COUNCIL CHAMBERS - NOVI CIVIC CENTER
45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM with Mayor McLallen presiding.
ROLL CALL: Council Members: Crawford (present), Mason present), Mitzel (present), Pope (present), Schmid (present), Toth (present), and Mayor McLallen (present)
Present (7) Absent (0)
Council pledged allegiance to the flag.
ALSO PRESENT: Joe Kapelczak - JCK & Associates
David Fried - City Attorney
Dennis Watson - Assistant City Attorney
Brandon Rogers - Planning Consultant
James Wahl - Director of Community Development
Greg Capote - Community Development
Rod Arroyo - Birchler, Arroyo and Associates
Chris Pargoff - City Forester
Linda Lemke - Landscape Architect
Geraldine Stipp - City Clerk
Mayor McLallen stated the purpose of the Special Meeting was for Council to address the outstanding issues involved with the Vistas of Novi project; particularly the reconsideration of the approval of the area plan and the actual legal PUD agreement.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor McLallen said there was one addition to the agenda, after Item #5 an Item #6 was inserted and the following issues were renumbered. She said Item #6 would now become the issue surround-ing the no load road. Brandon Rogers addressed the initial discussion.
Councilman Pope requested that an Audience Participation be added to the beginning of the agenda.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope
Seconded by Councilwoman Mason
That the Agenda be approved as amended, that an Audience Participation be added to the beginning of the agenda, adding Item #6 - No load road and renumbering the remaining issues.
Yes (7) No (0) Motion carried
Laura Lorenzo addressed Council as an individual Planning Commissioner. She wanted to focus on the actual proposed total commercial component of the Vistas of Novi. She said the June, 1994 Vistas of Novi Area Plan Book stated that the total combined commercial area plan represented a 20,000 sq. ft. increase over the presently approved Sandstone. She said she took that statement and other similar representations at face value. She said she was willing to concede to and support a 20,000 sq. ft. increase. Ms. Lemke said accordingly her motion stated to limit the commercial component of the PUD to 100,000 sq. ft. She said the intent of her motion was not to exceed that 100,000 sq. ft. limitation; including the live/work town homes.
Ms. Lorenzo said, according to Brandon Rogers, if all 165 live/work town homes were developed with commercial uses there would be between 132,000 and 247,000 sq. ft. of commercial space. She said this was in addition to the 100,000 sq. ft. in the Village Center. She said this would bring the actual total combined commercial up to between 232,000 sq. ft. and 347,000 sq. ft. She said when compared to the approved Sandstone this figure is a number of times greater than the 80,000 sq. ft. approved.
Ms. Lorenzo said, in her opinion, these clarifications change the scope, character and impact of the Vistas dramatically. She said she had three major concerns:
1. She believed what was now being proposed was a major retail center outside of the city's established philosophy and Master Plan of a centralized commercial district.
2. The increase in traffic generated by this combined total amount of commercial is likely to be substantial over the approved plan. She said she didn't believe that the city expected or planned for such a massive increase.
3. The Vistas project, as proposed, could be in direct competition with Main Street and could jeopardize the
viability of that project.
Ms. Lorenzo said if the City Council decided to allow the additional commercial beyond the 100,000 sq. ft. she respectfully requested that they consider:
1. Establishing a truly limited amount, such as possibly 50,000 sq. ft. of commercial and 50,000 sq. ft. of office
for a total of 100,000 sq. ft.
2. That the Council would limit the locations of these live/work town homes to appropriate areas within the development.
Mayor McLallen said that the format for the meeting was to discuss the 13 issues and hoped to come to consensus or resolution on the issues so that the staff and the petitioner could move forward to a finalized document.
1. Consent Overview - Vistas of Novi presentation by Bob Gibbs, Gibbs Planning Group and Ron Hughes, Hughlan Development.
Ron Hughes, Hughlan Development, said in August, 1993 Hughlan Development commissioned Gibbs Planning to analyze the Sandstone approval and see whether or not a newer urbanism plan was available on the Sandstone site. He said in January, 1994 they brought forth their concept for a new urbanism plan with a joint meeting of the Planning Commission and the City Council. He said with the Council's and the Planning Commission's joint support they then went forward and did all the engineering and prerequisite for submission to the Planning Commission and then later to the City Council. Mr. Hughes said in June, 1994 they received favorable approval from the Planning Commission and in July, 1994 they also received approval from the City Council subject to the finalization of the PUD contract.
Mr. Hughes said in December, 1994 they were placed on a regular agenda and everyone recognized, with the magnitude of the development, that unfortunately they ran out of time. He said it was suggested at that meeting that a Special Meeting be arranged and that was the purpose of this meeting. He said they were in attendance to discuss the remaining issues of the Vistas of Novi.
Mr. Hughes said within the last two months there had been a significant amount of meetings with the staff, City Council, the city's legal counsel and all of the city consultants to review, analyze, respond and amend all of the comments. He said, unfortunately, for a project this size it had been narrowed down to just seven issues for Council's consideration. He said all of these issues start with Item #4 and he would offer their perspective and view point of each one of those issues.
Robert Gibbs, Gibbs Planning, was introduced by Mr. Hughes to give a short presentation of the Vistas of Novi and its concept and then they would address each issue individually.
Robert Gibbs said they felt this project returned to the early Michigan and early American principles of town planning which haven't been developed for some time in the United States. He said the community would be made up a number of small neighborhoods offering a great variety of home residential lifestyles. Mr. Gibbs said it would also offer working and living opportunities that are not available in this immediate area and for which they felt there was a great demand. He said they have been combining the best of the original small town planning principles with the new lifestyle demands of todays market place and families as well as the practical requirements of town planning and land planning today.
Mr. Gibbs said this project had four basic principles they set out to accomplish and which they are very pleased had stayed very consistent throughout this process. He said those four principles were:
1. Based on the neighborhood which allowed for families to move up and move down in home sizes as their incomes and families did.
2. The design details of the homes and the landscaping,
parks, commercial, etc. He said they would be an ark being designed in strict details to reflect
accurate historical Michigan midwestern models and
3. Each neighborhood would have a park which would be located in the front of the homes instead of an open space in the rear of the homes. He said this was a new principle that had not been done, since Jeffersonian planning, for 150 years. He said they thought it would be a hallmark for the community and a trend setter for this region for town planning.
4. They wanted to have mixed uses. He said they wanted people to be able to walk conveniently to commercial,
to office, to church, to school and to residential. He
said they had been very careful to do that and felt that it would offer a very, very unique lifestyle.
Mr. Gibbs said they had brought two additional boards that had not been shown before. He said these showed architectural studies that Walt Kopenin and Associates of Northville had been working on. He said boards were to illustrate the amount of thought and detail for which they were working. He said they have been very excited to see they could build houses that were historically in the Michigan tradition that would fit in with todays lifestyle demands. Mr. Gibbs said while working at this level of planning they were getting much more detailed than the general PUD plan for which they were asking approval. He said they had learned a great about the project by working at this scale. He said they can maintain the four principles that they had originally; it helped them to see how the alleys worked, how important it was to have sidewalks, how important it was to have the lot sizes they are requesting, etc.
Mr. Gibbs wanted to emphasize they would be back in front of the Planning Commission and probably the City Council for a number of years as the project was being planned. He said there were many, many more layers of design and development, reviews and approvals that were required before Hughlan would start constructing. He said he thought that sometimes during the review process many of us were anxious to go to the next level. He said it was a natural reaction to want to zero right in on the contours of the sidewalk width or whatever; that we are right now at the general PUD approval and requesting that. He said there would be plenty of time to look into the details.
Mr. Hughes said they would present to the City Council Hughlan's position on the remaining issues for Council's consideration.
Councilman Pope, point of clarification. He asked if Mayor McLallen said Council would not consider the reconsideration at this time. Mayor McLallen said they would put everything on the table and then it would come to Council to move forward.
Councilman Pope said he had requested a motion to reconsider. He asked Mayor McLallen, to be proper, at what point would she consider that motion.
Mayor McLallen said once everything had been put on the table and it comes to the Council.
Mr. Hughes said what they would attempt to do would be to explain to the Council the importance of the issues in Items #4 through 10. He said they would start out with the live/work town houses which was Item #4 on the agenda.
He said their approval in July, 1994 and even before then going back to the original joint session of the Planning Commission and the Council the live/work concept was always an intricate part of their plan. He said it was very clear with the Planning Commission and with Council and all the minutes reflect, at the Council level, that the 100,000 sq. ft. of commercial excludes the commercial that was allocated to the live/work units. He said what had been clarified since July, 1994, with the staff's input and Council's input and comments was that they had tried to limit the amount of the square footage, limit the location of the live/work, lower the amount of the units that would be available as follows:
He said in July, 1994 the City Council approved 250 live/work town houses with no limitation whatsoever on the amount of square footage that could be placed in the town houses with the understanding that it would be owner occupied. He said this virtually meant the third floor could be occupied and the daylight basement and the first floor and the second floor, if you really wanted to be technical, could be commercial. He said if you take 3,000 sq. ft. on the average, what that represented, times 250 town houses that could equate to 750,000 sq. ft. of commercial. He said unfortunately that would probably absorb about 80 acres of their land and in order to comply with all the ordinances of the city for parking, setbacks and etc., that couldn't be done. He said what they had done was address each issue of concern from the respective comments, consultants, staff and Council and have made the following proposal that the live/work town houses be limited to 165 out of the total of 250, no more than 165 could be utilized as a live/work component.
Mr. Hughes said, in addition, they had eliminated the day light basement as a commercial possibility. He said they had also eliminated the second floor. He said that brought them down to approximately 600 sq. ft. to a 1,000 sq. ft. for each town house that would also have to have the prerequisite parking which is done on a site plan specific level. He said, if you want to take the worst case scenario, they had reduced the commercial that was approved by Council in July, 1994 from 750,000 sq. ft. by approximately 78%.
Mr. Hughes said they had reduced the number, the size and are also restricting the areas of where the live/work could be placed. He said in July, 1994 the live/work was basically within the whole region. He said what they have done, in the new proposal to the Council, the live/work units could only be placed in the Village Center and if it is on the easterly side it must be on a main artery.
Mr. Hughes said they had also reduced thirty types of categories that were permissible in July versus what was proposed in their new text. He said they had restricted so that the town houses could not be combined, 2, 3 or 4 units so effectively you could get 4,000 or 5,000 sq. ft. of commercial. He said that was not the intent; it was an owner occupied intent and that had not changed. He said the elimination and the restriction of combining units is also incorporated in the text.
Mr. Hughes said this issue had come up in several meetings with consultants and Council that the calculation for density in the approved area plan included our commercial core. He said what they are pointing out is that there are several responses to why we feel the density should remain the same and for the reason the village center or the commercial core should be included in the density calculations.
1. In the commercial core it is not a segregated commercial center as they had in the Sandstone plan where they had 80,000 sq. ft. of pure commercial. He said the commercial was integrated along with the residential which had been a very intricate part of their plan from day one. He said multi family, apartments, live/work dwellings were incorporated within the commercial core in part of their town plan. He said because residential was an intricate part of the commercial they felt strongly that they should not be penalized on the density. He said for all practical purposes the Village Center could very well have more density of residential then commercial.
2. Mr. Hughes said this also reduced the walking distances that are expected as far as the vehicle traffic because they are integrating the residential into the commercial core. He said if Council were to take a hypothetical example on what was truly the amount of land, and land that would be allocated to commercial pursuant to the concerns of the density calculation, they have 100,000 sq. ft. approved floor space that would require approximately 2.3 acres of land. He said in addition to that floor area they would need 2.7 acres of surface parking for a total of 5 acres. He said if they took 5 acres as a true commercial component and excluded all the residential and multi family integration to their plan it had a very minimal impact on their density. He said it was their position that the City Council pulled with their density calculations for those reasons. He said it was always part of the original Sandstone plan going back into the 80's. Mr. Hughes said this was part of their revised area plan for Sandstone and it was part of Council's approval in July of 1994.
STREET TREE ORDINANCE
Mr. Hughes said the Planning Commission and the City Council recommended that the tree replacements be on a 1 to 1 ratio. He said it became an issue on the definition of the 1 to 1 because the 1 to 1 classification specifically refers to a previous ordinance. He said with the assistance of Mr. Pargoff they had agreed that they would go on a 1 to 1 basis provided that the replacement of trees are a minimum of a 2 1/2 inch caliber.
Mayor McLallen said the agenda had been amended to insert between the density calculations and the street tree ordinance an issue of the no load road. She asked if he was prepared to discuss that.
Mr. Hughes said his no load was last because it wasn't on the agenda. Mayor McLallen said that was fine.
Mr. Hughes said the bicycle paths were not incorporated in the plan with the recommendation of the consultants. He said there are sidewalks on each side of the street in all of the subsequent phases and the integration of the bicycle path is also eliminating the possibility of having pathways behind residential homes. He said there would be a bicycle path constructed along 13 Mile Road with each appropriate phase as they get approved.
Mr. Hughes said the issue of the traffic signal at Decker Road and Market Street; the issue was who was going to pay for the cost of the signal. He said, as Council is fully aware, they are currently paying for Decker Road, $2.6 Million and its carrying costs, which included interest on a 15 year basis. He said not only are they paying for the entire road they are also donating to the city 10 acres of their land. He said there was an opportunity in which the signal could have been a consideration within this cost but it was decided not to put that in. He said that they felt it was an unfair burden to burden the development with a traffic signal in a private right-of-way.
SETBACKS ALONG THIRTEEN MILE ROAD
Mr. Hughes said it was the developers position that a lane or an alley could be placed within a setback. He said the permission of putting the alley in within the setback was also consistent with the overall plan where they have alley's throughout the entire development. He said the homes would have garages in the rear instead of allowing curb cuts on the street. He said they felt that was aesthetically very important to the plan and it preserved all the open space in front versus having a driveway cut every 50 some feet. He said by permitting an alley to go along the setback, not being a structure, but basically a drive way to service all the garages from the rear, in their opinion, was very consistent with every phase that would be developed in the Vistas.
Mr. Hughes also pointed out that the 30 foot buffer setback would still be maintained along 13 Mile Road maintaining an effective landscaping area. He said they would maintain the 30 foot area as a landscape area along 13 Mile Road through the entire plan.
NO LOAD ROAD
Mr. Hughes said it was the recommendation of the Planning Commission and also in the minutes of the Council that the consideration that a stretch of land from their Phase I going into their Phase to the east which is approximately 750 feet. He said for traffic and safety purposes it had been determined that this road was a necessity and there appeared to be no question about that. He said the issue was should all of this road be restricted from building and they felt that was not reasonable to request that type of a buffer between Phases I and the next Phase. He said it was their intent to have Phase, I which was already constructed and sold prior to their changing their concept, further segregating these Phases was certainly not going in the right direction by having this completely cutting off Phase I. He said, in addition, if they did a no load road for that distance it would be the only phase in their development that would not be connected with one another. Mr. Hughes said single family homes that are placed in this area can be monitored very carefully as far as what trees can or cannot be removed on a site plan basis. He said they had suggested, knowing that this is a very temperamental aspect as far as the consultant and for them as the developer, as a compromise they have offered first a 70 foot setback or restricted area is going to be contiguous to their Phase I. He said with the recommendation of the City Forester they are suggesting that if there was a compromise by the City Council that 150 foot corridor be established which they would further reiterate with the help of Michael West. He said he would like to show Council their position and what they would do to, hopefully, to resolve this issue.
Mr. West said it was suggested that they blowup the area, and highlight the areas of development in Phase I and in Phase 10 and the connection between the two and the limitations of the woodland area that was in question. He said what was shown is at a 50 scale the area of the woodland boundary, as they had determined it from county aerial photographs; and then layout according to the current area plan of the connection road and the area of lots within that, the wetland area to the north and the brush in between. Mr. West pointed out the 70 foot corridor that was shown on the current plan which was the developers understanding of what was agreed to or proposed at the City Council meeting last July. He said, as Mr. Hughes had described, the opposite extreme of that was no road at all. He said in talking with Linda Lemke about what is necessary or what they would be trying to accomplish in providing an open space connection a 150 foot minimum continual width was described as adequate for an open space connection and wild life corridor which was roughly three lots wide. He said the best location for that, if it were that wide, would be in the low topographic area. Mr. West said there was a swale at the bend in the road that connected this wetland and brush area to the open space in the south. He said this would be the general location of the 150 foot width. He said the total distance of the woodlands from the end of Phase I to the tree limits, as shown on the aerial photographs, was about 600 feet. He said it would be the difference of approximately 450 feet of residential roadway on either side and 150 foot continuous open space corridor in between.
Mr. Hughes concluded the presentation on behalf of Hughlan, Vistas of Novi. He said he and his partner, David Lancialt, thanked City Council for the Special Meeting and Council's consideration. He said their project team was present to respond to any questions that came up.
2. PLANNING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT REPORT
Mr. Wahl said he would like to review briefly the work that his department and the City Consultants had been involved in for approximately 1 year. He said it was February, 1994 that City Council was first presented with the neo-traditional planning concept for the Sandstone PUD, now Vistas of Novi. He said the project as designed was certainly unique in the State of Michigan; perhaps in the entire midwest. He said the time and effort of everyone working on this project, including Council, the staff and consultants, reflects both the unusual character and the scale of this project within the community. Mr. Wahl said once the decision making authorities including the Planning Commission, City Council and ZBA took initial actions on Vistas of Novi the department was assigned and had been working to carry out those policy directives.
He said the department had been on record as supporting the neo-traditional planning concept brought forth for this project as a positive benefit for our community. Mr. Wahl said the staff had the assignment and obligation to insure that the many technical planning issues are fully explored, clarified, reviewed and dealt with according to the directions of City Council.
Mr. Wahl said since City Council acted in July the planning and implementation process had moved forward to eventual Council review and action on a formal agreement involving the City of Novi and Hughlan Development. He said discussions on that agreement and action took place in the fall of last year and all those meetings were included in Council's documentation so he thought Council had a clear picture of what the process had been to bring this information before Council this evening.
Mr. Wahl said from the most recent meetings which took place during the last 30 to 45 days and which involved numerous representatives of Hughlan Development as well as a number of Administrative staff, City Attorney and consultants it had become clear that further work on this project and the public responsibilities assigned to your support staff and consultants could best be accomplished through City Council determination and direction on a number of outstanding policy matters.
Mr. Wahl said it was their hope that we could move forward this evening and we have placed these items before Council in the order in which they are presented because these are the items that most clearly called for Council's direction and action. He said there were a number of other technical matters. He thought they had worked very diligently to deal with all the outstanding issues; both the ones brought up by the consultant and questions that Council addressed to them at previous meetings and even directed towards the most recent packet materials. Mr. Wahl said it was his understanding that that part of the review process would be continuing. He said even when City Council would act on an agreement, revised area plan, formal review and action the process would go on for years as already described to Council by the private developer if and when we get to the site plan stage.
Mr. Wahl said he hoped Council was satisfied with the technical information that was provided in their packets, the way that it had been laid out, organized and the chronological order that had been presented to Council in terms of what had been accomplished. Mr. Wahl introduced Greg Capote, Staff Planner for Community Development. He said Mr. Capote had been assigned and had been working over the past 30 days to insure that all of the consultant reports were integrated and checked and double checked and that the information to Council had been brought forward in the most accurate fashion possible recognizing this was perhaps the most complex project that the City has had to deal with.
Greg Capote stated he thought that the Council should know what the Planning Departments position was on this whole project. He said the project had been in the works for some time and it was their sincere belief that the Vistas plan was quite an improvement over the old Sandstone plan. He said they supported the neo-traditional type planning practices the plan tried to achieve. Mr. Capote said it was not designed for the automobile it was designed for humans so they could walk to school, shopping, walk to their homes and possibly work in their own homes. He thought it was important that Council know that they support the concept, the idea and there are still some remaining which Mr. Hughes outlined earlier in his presentation and hopefully we can get Council's decision on those and a favorable decision on the project as a whole. He said maybe Council could leave some of the more detailed housekeeping items, misspellings, small things that can be cleaned up administratively.
Mr. Capote said he and Mr. Rogers had been acting as ringmaster to get the meeting tonight. He said through the month of February there were two large meetings between all the staff and the building department, consultants and the applicants entire team was there in order to cover all the details. He mentioned that in Council's packet there was a memo dated February 24th and there was a cover memo by Mr. Wahl and inside there was a list of all the consultants letters. He said the memo outlined a lot of the issues that were covered during the second workshop on February 21st. He said if Council would put all of the consultants review letters to one side and on the other the memo it would help Council follow along on some of the issues and might help facilitate the process of the meeting.
Mayor McLallen said the staff had put forward the responses to the questions. She said the petitioner had put forward his positions and compromises and requests on the issues. She said it was up to the Council to clarify any questions they have on these or to go ahead and take a position.
Councilman Schmid said the developers spent considerable time indicating what they felt about the changes and so forth. He asked if Council wanted the city consultant to present their side of the story. He said he appreciated that the Planning Department was 150% in favor of this project but that was not necessarily the feeling of the Council. He said he would like Mr. Rogers to present some of the things that he disagreed with.
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Rogers if he was comfortable taking the lead position and stating basically the city's stance adjacent
to the stances that had been offered. She asked which would be more productive at this point.
Mr. Rogers said in those areas that he had something to offer he would. He felt there was other expertise present to answer the other questions of open space and traffic. He said he did have a number of reports; some of which Council received tonight.
Mayor McLallen said to start with the live/work issue and to leave the public space down for a moment. The live/work was a significant issue.
Councilman Pope asked if it wouldn't be easier to follow along the agenda.
Mayor McLallen said we needed to find a comfortable ground for every one so that information was presented.
Councilman Pope said Councilman Schmid was looking for general comments, was that correct.
Councilman Schmid said he was looking for general comments. He said the developer gave a list of their answers to the concerns of the seven items and Councilman Schmid thought that the city consultants would do the same.
Councilman Pope asked why we added this into nine or ten items and why don't they speak on each of those items as they come up.
Mayor McLallen said that was the proposal that Council would hear on each of the items from the staff and then, at that point, as Council Members we would have seen both sides. She said at that point they would address each and every issue. She said it was such an enormous amount of information that Council needed a frame work.
Councilman Pope said Mayor McLallen just asked them to speak on live/work town houses and he didn't think they were there yet.
Mayor McLallen said public space was the first one. She said the petitioner had no position on that. She said it was part of the issue but it was an issue that a letter from the attorney presented.
Mayor McLallen said to start at the top and follow the agenda as approved.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope
Seconded by Councilman Mitzel
That Council reconsider the vote by which the amended area plan was adopted on July 18, 1994.
Yes (6-Pope, Mitzel No (1-Toth) Motion carried
Councilman Pope said we are on the area plan.
Mayor McLallen said the area plan as questioned by these nine items.
Councilman Pope said the purpose of his motion to reconsider the vote by which the area plan was approved was because he believed there were issues such as the density calculation that could not be addressed because it was not part of the original contingencies. He said that was his purpose and that it was not a hostile purpose, not a purpose to try to stop the plan it was to give it a better focus on the vast amendments that they have offered since Council approved it.
Mayor McLallen said at some point Council would have to address reopening the area plan.
Councilman Pope said he would think that the agenda tonight would be perfectly focused to where we are going.
Mayor McLallen asked if everyone was clear that they would now proceed and this would enable them to conclude on amending on the area plan.
3. A proposal for resolution of the public space.
Councilman Schmid asked if it was Item #1 or #3.
Mayor McLallen said it was Item #3 and that Items 1 & 2 dealt with presenting it and Item #3 was at the heart of the matter.
Mayor McLallen said that there was a letter received by Mr. Watson and Mr. Fried.
Mr. Watson said that in mid February they sent out a letter dealing with the public space issue because it was apparent from the outcome of the December meeting that what had been proposed really was not what Council had in mind. He said the developer came back with another proposal and that didn't seem to fit either. Mr. Watson said they then sent out a letter in mid February, after going over the minutes of the July 18 meeting and the area plan that had proceeded that meeting. He said based upon that letter they received a proposal for language for that section from the developer that seemed to correspond with what Council discussed in July. He said the developer intended to donate an area of land sufficient to build a 3,000 sq. ft. building but would leave it to the city to actually construct that building. He said the specific area was not yet designated on the plan but would be designated on a future site plan submitted by the developer. He said there were some language changes, mostly for clarification purposes, if this concept is approved by Council that will make the language kind of the main issue. He said the main issue they would point out was the question of whether the Council desired to specify a particular phase or site plan that was going to come in to do this. He said it only specified it would be in the Village Center and that encompasses several phases. He said it was an issue for Council to consider whether it should be narrowed down to a particular phase. He said they had suggested in their letter that Phase 11 was the last phase in the Village Center area and it maybe of some use to specify that phase because that would give Council the most time to consider what the needs are in the area and just what the Council wanted to do there with a specific use.
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Gibbs to point on the visual aids the potential areas that would come under the -------stage. (beg. tape 2) She said by public use the possibilities are police station, fire station, sub stations, library annex, etc.
Mr. Watson said the language in the current provision they had provided said it had to be limited to a civic use. He said he would modify that language slightly to indicate that it had to be a use involving a governmental function which he thought was a broader way of terming about anything the city was involved in.
Mayor McLallen asked if everyone was clear on the use of the land. Mr. Gibbs highlighted the potential areas that a 3,000 sq. ft. deeded parcel. She said the building or unit itself would probably be somewhat larger than 3,000 sq. ft.
Mr. Watson said it would have to be an area sufficient in size to build out for 3,000 sq. ft. of building. He said setbacks, parking, landscaping and anything else that might be involved with the development of that site would have to be taken into consideration. He said when they actually propose a specific area on the plan it would be somewhat larger than that.
Mayor McLallen asked if Council had any questions on the issue of public space for the attorney's. She asked if the concept met with the Council's goals.
Councilman Schmid said he was still not clear as to why the City Council wants to have public space in the PUD operation which the commercial is designed to be relatively small. He said to service just the people within that subdivision that he could think of a lot of better places to have a police station or library then in a PUD in the northern end. He said he had never seen anything in writing or verbally that addressed the issue to any degree. He asked what their purpose was.
Mr. Watson said he would back up and get to the Genesis of this and how it got to this point. He said in the last June/July Area Plan Book there were a couple of references in there to possible civic uses. He said he thought the developer put it in there because it maybe of value to that area as it developed as a community to have some civic uses. He said at the July meeting Councilman Pope discussed that and said to the developer that it may be a good idea and asked what they were proposing or something to the effect that Council may be willing to accept that. The developer then said he may give a site of land but he would not build a building. Mr. Watson said that the one thing that Council had to remember about even the language that is proposed now is that it is not mandatory that the city develop it as a public use. He said it gives the option and if the city, when it comes to that point that they designate the use, the city would have a year to decide whether they want to do that or not.
Councilman Schmid asked if they were giving the land to the city and if the city had to pay anything for it.
Mr. Watson said it was just a gift.
Councilman Schmid said he thought he had read in the minutes that this land would be in what was proposed to be the commercial area of the development and that land that is set aside for a city building of some nature would be counted as commercial land. He said it would be counted in the density calculation and it would not be eliminated from that calculation. He asked if that was accurate.
Mr. Watson said he thought it would be treated as commercial land. He said, at one point, the developer in one of the prior proposals had suggested that it be excluded from the 100,000 sq. ft. commercial and that it be exempt from the parking calculations.
He said this was not in the last proposal.
Councilwoman Mason said where it said that "if construction is not commenced and completed within 18 months of the date of conveyance"; her concern was if the city did get a piece of land and then decide to build a library for the north end of town did that seem like a short amount of time from conveyance to completion. She thought that if the city went for a library or something of that nature that would have to go for bonds, bids and so forth. She said if it said "if construction was not commenced within 18 months", she could accept but to be completed within 18 months she felt was not possible.
Mr. Watson said whether the time was sufficient was a legitimate concern. He said in terms of measuring the time one thing that should be pointed out is that when they submit the site plan they would designate it. He said the 18 months would start to run when they pull their first building permit for the first building that they are building within that phase.
Councilwoman Mason said she still wanted to see it written that it had to commence within 18 months and not that it be completed within 18 months. She said the city had to get the money someplace and had to depend on the people to provide that money. She said she would be comfortable if it said "if construction is not commenced within 18 months of the date of conveyance" and have completed taken out of any contract.
Mayor McLallen asked for comments pertinent to the resolution for use of public space at 3,000 sq. ft. in the central area of the project. She said Councilwoman Mason had raised a very significant point had been brought up regarding the time frame by which the government obtains funding and goes through a bid process and finds the 18 months to be a constraint and had offered the alternative as commencement.
Councilman Crawford said if Council was going to accept that offer he did not see any reason for any time constraint on it. He said if the land was going to be donated in some type a public building, at a future date, why put an 18 month time constraint on it. He said it maybe two or three years before there is an actual need for a branch library or a mini police station.
Mr. Watson said that the developer should respond on why they want any type of limit at all. He said he suspected it had something to do with the fact that they are building out the rest of that phase.
Councilman Crawford said it would serve as a very nice open space, aesthetically pleasing park in the time frame before something was built.
Mr. Hughes said it was their consensus that the public building be located in a strategic area within their master plan
in the village center. He said that was why they basically stated that when they get to the site plan specifics they would allocate the area sufficient to construct a 3,000 sq. ft. facility in the village center. He said they have also compromised in reference to the limitation of the 3,000 sq. ft. which now is being proposed as a deduction from their 100,000 sq. ft. He said it would not be the intent to donate the land and let the land set fallow; that would not benefit their development. He said they are willing to give the city one year from the date they submit a site plan to tell them whether the city wants it or doesn't want it. He said it is completely voluntary; if the city wants it the land would be deeded to them and then when the land is received the city would have a specified period of time to construct a facility on it. He said the intent is for a governmental type facility to be constructed there within a reasonable time when they are constructing the balance of their development in that Phase.
Councilman Toth said he thought that in fairness to the developer these are reasonable restrictions. He said he wants the project to be completed within a certain period of time so the one year before the city acts and then 18 months in which to start the construction seemed to be a very reasonable request. He said when the project gets to the point that the property is available for the donation to the city we really don't want anybody sitting on that property. He said they want a completed development. He thought 18 months was reasonable to pull a building permit and one year was reasonable for Council to decide whether or not they want that. Councilman Toth said it was a gift and if the city wants it he thought that they should act. He said that gave the city actually a total of 30 months which is 2 1/2 years. He felt that was a reasonable period of time in which to start the project, make the decision that the city wants to put something there and build it. He said he didn't have any problem with it and that he felt it was a fair request.
Councilman Crawford asked if Mr. Rogers would comment on the land that would be required to put a 3,000 sq. ft. building with parking, etc.
Mr. Rogers said that if the zoning ordinance standards was used for an office building, 3,000 sq. ft. usable 80% , 2,400 sq. ft. divided by 200. He said 12 off street parking spaces would be needed plus one handicapped space. He said that would occupy at 300 sq. ft. per space about 4,000 sq. ft. , plus or minus, for parking. He said add in some perimeter green space, some parking lot aisleway and space and we are looking at around 8,000 sq. ft. for that associated parking and greenbelt setbacks and the building foot print. He said this was assuming it was a one story building. He said if it was a two story building with a 1,500 sq. ft. first floor it would be about 1,500 sq. ft. less.
Councilman Crawford asked what that would be in acreage.
Mr. Rogers said an acre is 43,560 sq. ft. so it would be about a fifth of an acre.
Councilwoman Mason asked if a building was developed that was 3,000 sq. ft. and had four services; a mini police station, mini city hall, mini library and a mini whatever would that involve more parking spaces.
Mr. Rogers said that would be hard to say. He said a mini police station like the one up on Walled Lake had one person on duty, a branch librarian could probably run the show with one person and he didn't think it would require more parking.
Councilwoman Mason said what if a quarter of it was a post office.
Mr. Rogers said people might park elsewhere and walk to the post office. He said if it was a large postal branch and not just a little UPS pick up station it could generate more parking. He said there were a lot of shared parking opportunities in the village center and we can't just out 13 parking spaces. He said it would be a fifth of an acre for a 3,000 sq. ft. gross office building and a post office or a police station are office buildings.
Councilman Mitzel said he believed that this was a very reasonable proposal that would offer a possibility that would be evaluated in the future. He said the only change he saw was the one Councilwoman Mason mentioned which was the clarification on commenced and completed to just commenced. He thought there was only one other issue which the City Attorney asked Council to deal with which would be whether or not Council wished to have it specified in a Phase. He said Mr. Gibbs had outlined the village center area and looking at the drawing it looked like they were Phases 5,7,8 or 11 basically and he didn't know if there was any possibility of specifying a phase or if that area should just be left. He said, as Mr. Fried and Mr. Watson mentioned, if Council specified Phase 11 that would give the most time for the city to evaluate the proposals. He said he didn't know if that would fit in with the developers or not. He asked the developers to comment if they felt that Council should specify a phase.
Councilman Pope said that there had been some concern that this may be a community upon itself since it had everything within it that it maybe more of an elite community. He said by having a city use in that location it would bring the rest of the community into this part of our community. He said if you think of the north end above I-96 with the exact planning of how the city is going to go if we were ever going to have a public use that would be centered in a commercial or residential area you would have this location or something up closer to 14 Mile and Decker and the Maples area. He said the way the road patterns are being built now this is probably the location that would be appropriate. The only other location would be within city parkland and while that may be a real possibility this would be a center of activity. He said that was why he proposed taking their entire concept, that this was going to be a community, that the City of Novi could be a part of this; that it could be a regional library, police station. He said Mr. Watson pointed out appropriately that this was a future Council's decision, this is not mandated. He said he would agree with Councilman Mitzel that the phase should be identified and he thought it should be Phase 11. He said government moves slow, there would have to be bonding, the Library Board would have to be convinced that that may be a use. He said he would like to see it in Phase 11 and he would support the language as drafted.
Councilman Schmid said the good news was that this would be decided by a future Council. He said the bad news was that he thought we were having conflicts in the concept itself. He said the PUD, he thought, was designed to have a community within a community. He said, in other words, a small commercial center to handle the commercial within the subdivision itself. He said it is not meant to be another downtown Novi or another area where you are drawing people into it. He said part of the problem he had with the town houses in the 200 or 300 sq. ft. of commercial now presented is that it is going to draw people into the area. He saw that as a fault of the idea. He said the PUD should be designed for the general area so the people could walk to the store and if you put a government building in there then you are going to be driving to it and their concept was that everybody would be walking. He said that was the problem he had with it. He said it wasn't the fact that somewhere down in that area we would need a public building but not in a confined, so called subdivision, that was supposed to be self contained. He said we are creating another area where it would be drawing traffic and you don't need more traffic where there will be over 3,000 or 4,000 people living.
Mr. Hughes said the suggestion of limiting the city's option to place the governmental facility in Phase 11 he thought was restricting to the city. He said as they develop the first phases of the commercial he thought it would be wise if the city would be given the option to let it be integrated appropriately within the village center versus specifying a specific Phase such as Phase 11. He said they would permit the city's space to go anywhere within the village center.
Mayor McLallen said the decision would have to be made each time the developer pulled a Phase permit.
Mr. Hughes said that was correct.
Mr. Watson said what Mr. Hughes was suggesting, it was not specified in this language but would be easy enough to modify, was that they would make that proposal each time they submitted a Phase Plan and the city could accept it or reject it. He said if the city rejected it would be included within the next one. He said this would be limited to the village center phases.
Mr. Hughes said that suggestion would be fine. He said the problematic situation with that was that there are areas that are in the commercial center that may not be available for the governmental building. He said, so we would not be expected let's say for Phase 5 or 6 or the station location on the corner, we couldn't offer the city a specific governmental pad with that phase. He said they wouldn't have the land for that Phase.
Councilman Toth said he thought they understood each other. He said if they didn't have it in that Phase they would have to offer it in the next phase.
Mr. Hughes said that would be fine.
Councilman Toth said he could support the changes suggested by Councilmember Mason and also the changes suggested by the petitioner and the city attorney's with appropriate language to be changed that the offer would be coming forth and then the Council could make the decision on whether to accept or to not accept it within a phase. He said he thought it was reasonable and something he could support as a Council Member.
Councilman Crawford said he wanted to be sure he was clear on the size of the parcel from Mr. Rogers description. He said Mr. Rogers said the parcel size would be approximately 8,300 sq. ft. which is approximately 83 x 100. He asked if a parcel was that size, 83 x 100 sufficient to put a 3,000 sq. ft. building, setbacks, parking, berming and all that. He said it seemed like a rather small parcel.
Mr. Rogers said it was and it wouldn't be sitting in isolation it would be adjacent to other buildings and other parking lots but 3,000 sq. ft. is a relatively small office. He said when unusable area is taken out, the mechanicals, lavatories, hallways, it would be about 2,400 sq. ft. of usable space. He said the parking is one space for every 200 sq. ft. of usable for an office so that is 12 spaces plus a handicapped space. He said he would call it a very small office development. He said there are about 5 new office projects coming into the city now that are 10 times that size.
Councilman Crawford asked if the project could stand on its own. He said it wouldn't require off site parking.
Mr. Rogers said if all that was required was 13 parking spaces it could be done on 8,000 sq. feet plus the curb space in front.
Councilman Toth asked if the office building across from the church on Meadowbrook Road between 10 Mile and Grand River was approximately 3,000 sq. ft. He said it had parking on the side and he thought it had around 13 or 14 parking spaces.
Councilwoman Mason indicated that the building that she was in on Ten Mile was 3,000 sq. ft.
Councilman Toth said for a free standing building that that building had about 15 to 20 parking spaces.
Mayor McLallen, point of order for Mr. Fried. She said that the Council appeared to have come to consensus on the issue of public space. She said the action tonight is just coming to consensus on each issue and then making a recommendation for the resolution of the area plan. She asked how best could this be handled. She said consensus to accept the gift of the 3,000 sq. ft. for a public building, the time frame could be changed to the commencement and the language brought back pertinent to the discussion . . .
Mr. Fried said that he did not want to get an area plan approved by the Council until an area plan is received. He said what they are looking now for is the resolution to the problems we are facing and if these problems are resolved then we can sit down and get and area plan and bring it to Council in one document so Council would have it and be able to agree to it.
Mayor McLallen asked if Council had to take no motion action.
Mr. Fried said that was correct and there is already a past motion to reconsider and now Council is acting on the motion to reconsider. He said Council might make a motion to adopt an area plan when it is submitted to Council but he felt it wasn't necessary to do at this time.
Mayor McLallen said it appears that the entire Council had reached consensus on this issue.
Mr. Fried said that can be done by passing motions on each of the phases and then you would be bound on those phases and each of the issues.
Councilman Pope asked if Council should move to provide the attorney general direction that we agree with the language that had been presented to Council and that that language when ironed out with the developer should be placed within the PUD agreement on this issue.
Mr. Fried said that was right but he thought the Mayor was saying that she was afraid that the people will not hold together on each of these issues and so she wants some binding . . . .
Mayor McLallen said is our comfort level as a Council that the consensus on this is to do exactly what was said to get back direction to the attorney's and the staff to bring back language that reflects what was just said or are we going to reopen the issue one more time. She said that was the hope of this meeting was that once consensus was agreed to it was an agreement. She said do we need to go to a more formal step and have motions involved or is it a verbal agreement.
Councilman Toth said he thought Council should take the recommendation of the attorney and go for a motion on each one of these. He said that gave the staff and everyone else an ideal where each member of the Council stands and they can discuss their position on the motion.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Toth
Seconded by Councilwoman Mason
That the City Council agrees in principle on the letter dated March 2nd from Fried, Watson and Bugbee that in the matter of the construction is not commenced to drop the words "and completed" and furthermore that the attorney's will change the language to reflect the developers comments with regards to a submittal on each of certain phases for consideration by Council.
Yes (6-McLallen, Toth, No (1-Schmid) Motion carried
4. Live/Work Town Homes
Mayor McLallen said this was an area that the developer had stated that their position from the July approval at that time was 250 town homes with no limit on the number being used. She said that the current proposal, he felt, was a 78% reduction and that it was 165 homes to be solely located within the village center. She said there would be restrictions on no basement use, no second floor use and they would only be located on the main artery and the categories of actual occupancy uses had been reduced by 30 and no building may be combined; each unit would function as a sole unit.
Councilman Mitzel said the developer had pointed out that every since he had been proposing he had been proposing a live/work town home. He aid he didn't think it was until the last meeting that Council's concept of what live/work meant and the reality of what the developers concept meant. He said he appreciated the work that was done to clarify this. He said there was still one point he was not settled on yet. Councilman Mitzel said every since he heard live/work town home, to him, it had always meant that the person working there was the owner. He said Mr. Hughes during his presentation actually used the term owner occupied twice while describing this. He said yet when we look at the Vistas book it states "that one of the professions employees must be the home profession owner or a tenant." He said he was confused over why it said a tenant as opposed to just the owner. He asked the developer to explain the intent on that.
Mr. Hughes said there are some cases where they anticipate that somebody may have a business that they are operating that they may not be the owner of. He said it may be some sort of franchise agreement; he said there are a number of businesses that could be operated, run and managed without being 100% owner of it. He said it had always been their intent that the employee of the business or the owner living in the building. He said what they don't want to happen is for it to become a two tier building where the owner may rent out and have nothing to do with the business at all. He said it is possible to have a business that you run and manage and not be the 100% stock holder.
Councilman Mitzel said he understood why someone living there might not be the owner of the business but why wouldn't we want the person living there to be the owner of the town home. In other words, in order to have the business there they would have to own the town home not, for instance some businesses are owned by franchise, so maybe a franchise owns the town home and rents the upstairs to one of their employees and it becomes a tenant.
Mr. Hughes said it was very possible that if they have an antique or flower shop or whatever that the person that is managing the business they may want that person to live on top of the business to keep a closer eye on it. He said there are a number of businesses where it makes sense to have the manager or the primary employee living about that. He said historically that was the way these types of businesses have been.
Councilman Mitzel said his concern then is that it becomes an absentee owner. He said the person who owns the home and business lives elsewhere and renting it out. He said his understanding was that the owner of the dwelling was the one living there.
Mr. Hughes said if you are working there and don't happen to be living above it he thought they would be there for long periods of time.
Mr. Fried asked who would own the structure.
Mr. Hughes said the business owner would own the structure.
Mr. Fried said then they would be an absentee owner and that was exactly what the developer had been saying they didn't want to do.
Mr. Hughes said there would be an absentee owner in part of it but the owner of the business would be working in the business. He said it was not as if both of them would be absentee owners.
Councilman Mitzel said he raised the question because Mr. Hughes said the concept was owner occupied live/work town homes. He said he was confused why in the presentation it said "or a tenant" which would allow an absentee concept to come in. He asked if there would be a problem with restricting it to owner occupied by crossing out "or a tenant". In other words, the person owning the dwelling may not own the business but he has a franchise and he owns the structure and lives there and works there. He asked if that would be in keeping with the owner occupied as presented.
Mr. Gibbs said he didn't think so and Mr. Hughes may have said that earlier this evening but he said they had been consistently representing that language since July. He said it was not as if it was something that they were just now introducing. He said he believed that they had been consistent since the first draft of this report and this is something that they thought was very practical and would be very restrictive given the way that businesses are owned and there are different share holders in the business. He said even if there were a case where the manager of the business or an employee was living above the business the business operator would be in that business presumably a great deal of the time. He said it wouldn't be where there is some sort of dwelling with an absentee landlord that never shows up. He said that person would be there everyday, managing and making sure it was being cared for. He said it had always been their intent to do that.
Councilman Mitzel said that in July when this was before Council there were no guidelines for live/work town homes; that was not included and that was one of the directions to develop. He said the first time the guidelines for live/work town homes came in was in the last book and the one Council has tonight. He said, in listening to the presentation, the concept of owner occupied live/work town homes the concept that when he first heard about it
in July when they said live/work he pictured owner working in his home. He said he was asking these questions because it wasn't until this was finalized after July came back and had the language "or a tenant" in there. He said he felt this was not in keeping with the spirit of owner occupied and he understood Mr. Gibbs point that even if it was a tenant they would still keep a good eye one it and keep it up and in good appearance and repair. However, based on the presentations and Councilman Mitzel's understanding in July was that it would be owner occupied live/work town homes. He said he felt the other changes made, restricting to the first floor, restricting some of the uses and such are good changes to address Council's concerns from the last meeting. He said the city attorney's also, in some of the review letters, mentioned some other changes in making sure similar uses or suggestions that that had been changed in the fourth edition of the book as opposed to the third one which you had last week.
Mayor McLallen said she shared Councilman Mitzel's perception of the live/work. She said we are talking 165 town homes and even the verbiage on page 9 indicates that these are entrepreneurial families or individuals. She said everyone was comprehending the kind of staff living over the store or the apartments over the commercial units. She asked if we were mixing the two together here or are we in two different areas.
Mr. Hughes said he thought they were all talking about the same thing. He said this was a new old concept that was zoned out of existence in this country after World War II. He said it was new and he thought with the new technologies and the information highway would be very, very popular. He said there are a great number of advantages of doing this. He said the business itself, the property, building, structure and the operation is much more closely managed and the same with the residential area then if there is just a stand alone commercial or apartment or condominium.
Mayor McLallen said the concern here seemed to be the absentee landlord investor versus the family homeowner who happens to do business in his home.
Councilman Lancialt said he thought the word tenant was the misleading term. He said if the owner of the enterprise happened to be some sort of recognized legal entity, whether it is a limited liability company or a corporation that the person living there, and if for tax purposes, the person living there was either a share holder or an employee of that company they would live above and operate that business. He said we would not allow an absentee owner but he thought that the word tenant in the text was misleading. He said it had to be an owner or operator of the company that lives there and that person may be an employee of the corporation the either owns the enterprise or owns the unit entirely.
Mr. Fried said he understood what was said until he inserted the word operator and then he began to have some concern. He said we could take care of the language where the building could be owned by the corporation and a share holder could be occupying it. He said when the concept is changed to an operator that would be different then the owner occupied.
Councilman Pope asked if there was a florist and the florist was owned by a couple and they hire a manager who has no ownership equity in the company, he is simply a manager or it could be an hourly employee who works 20 hours a week in the flower shop; will that 20 hour a week employee be someone who is eligible to live above that unit or is it the owner or is it the couple who owns the florist shop.
Mr. Fried said, as he understood Mr. Lancialt, it would have to be the couple that owns the florist shop that lives there.
Councilman Pope said if for some reason they dedicate 1% ownership to or 1/4% ownership to that employee....
Mr. Fried said he didn't think Mr. Lancialt meant a single share holder; he meant the majority share holder.
Councilman Pope said then we are talking about the couple.
Mr. Lancialt said we are talking about somebody who is going to operate the place. He said he was just saying that there is the possibility, and we get into all these technicalities, that somebody is going to form a company for whatever tax reasons and have other investors. He said that the guy that is really behind it is going to live there. He said they didn't want some kid that was going to operate a florist shop renting and having a party upstairs. Mr. Lancialt said that wouldn't make sense for their development and it wouldn't make sense for the community.
Councilman Pope asked Mr. Lancialt if the City Attorney worked the language out with him then there wouldn't be a problem. Mr. Lancialt and Mr. Fried said they thought they understood what was being talked about.
Councilwoman Mason said she had two issues the first was on the first page where it said "Live/work home use code" and the second said "if the live/work town home includes a commercial use the residential use area of the town home is restricted to the second and third floor occupied by the home commercial owner or rented to an employee of the commercial use."
Mr. Fried said that would be changed.
Councilwoman Mason said on the third page, under B, it says "one of the business employees must be the home/professional business owner or a tenant." She said this didn't make sense with page 1.
Mayor McLallen said that both the petitioner and the city attorney both agree that the language will flow meaning owner completely through the document.
Councilwoman Mason said she wanted to be sure that they saw the two instances that were in parallel to each other. She said she wondered why E at the top of the third page, which seemed to put it all in perspective, "the owner of a live/work town home may not rent or lease the town homes commercial space to another individual or corporate entity for professional or semi-professional use unless the owner is a principle in that professional or semi-professional use." She said that clause, she felt was positive, and took care of all the discussion of the last 15 minutes. She said that was taken out but she would like to see it left in.
Councilwoman Mason said on page 1 again under Limited Lodging, such as Bed and Breakfast, how does that fit in and doesn't the Bed and Breakfast Ordinance say that it had to be on a main street and there are a lot of things that don't seem to fit from that ordinance into this situation for Bed and Breakfast.
Councilman Schmid said he had several mini things he wanted to talk about regarding the live/work town houses. He said two of the areas that had been discussed were very pertinent and he was not sure even yet, although Mr. Fried is sure, Mr. Hughes was not saying what Mr. Fried was saying. He said this is how these things get mixed up down the road.
Councilman Schmid said Mr. Fried, for everybody here including Mr. Hughes, you were saying that the live/work town houses the owner of the building must live there and operate the business.
Mr. Fried and Mr. Hughes agreed.
Councilman Schmid said the other question that Councilwoman Mason brought up he thought we had ordinances in the City and when there's talk about Bed and Breakfast he assumed that the Bed and Breakfast Ordinance would prevail in this development.
Mr. Rogers said it would.
Councilman Schmid said then anything that it said in this document didn't mean much unless it goes through the ordinance. He said on that same subject, all through this number 4 which talked about live/work town houses it says under D for example "Vistas Live/Work Town House Association may be added at anytime." He said he thought was on the planners or consultants comments. He asked what a Vistas Live/Work Town House Association and are they going to be telling the city what is going into these buildings or is the city going to be telling them.
Mr. Rogers said the list of uses is not a suggested list it is a specific list in each of the three categories; retail, trades and craft and professional. Mr. Rogers said if a new use came up that wasn't listed here the decision would be the building department to see if it was similar to one of these listed uses. He said let's say that Mr. Savens office agrees that, a new use that is not on the list, is similar and comparable. He said Mr. Savens approval of it could be vetoed by this Association that might feel otherwise because they are sort of having a set of their own covenants and restrictions.
Mr. Rogers said that their covenants could not conflict with the city's. He said the city is a baseline and they would have to take out a business registration certificate and get a certificate of occupancy.
Councilman Schmid said that he didn't think the developers or anyone on this Council had any misunderstanding of what he thought of this concept. He said it didn't like it, it was a bad concept, it was track homes. He said he understood that the city did have a PUD. He said for the rest of the evening his intent was to do the best he thought he could for what this project should be a PUD and what is best for the city. He said he accepted the project and would be talking about the densities and some of the things that he saw as going to cause major problems in this particular PUD down the road. He said it seemed to him that Council was asking the developer if he would accept this or that. Councilman Schmid said this was a PUD and the developer was not here to tell Council what he would accept the Council's here to tell the developer what they would accept keeping in the spirit of the PUD ordinance.
Councilman Schmid said one of the areas he was talking about, Use in Review on Page 2, C; these are professional and semi-professional uses. He said when he first heard Councilman Pope talk about live/work town houses he believed this to be somebody who was maybe an attorney and maybe wanted to have a small office in his house or maybe a seamstress who wanted to have a small seamstress place in her house. He addressed Mr. Gibbs saying like in the old days when they liked to do this; have a small in house little project going on. He said then we get the list, and this is nothing more Ladies and Gentlemen, then an attempt to expand the commercial in this subdivision by double. He said the uses here are not live in work concepts; these are businesses out and out. Councilman Schmid said that some of them have been eliminated. He said the ones that have lines drawn through them Mr. Rogers had indicated and the developer had agreed that they would not be used.
Mr. Rogers said that was correct and he had other listed items that they did not accept.
Councilman Schmid said many of these, Chiropractors for example, he said he would have a tough time understanding how that would be a live in work use. He said he had a problem with that where you could have 5 or 6, and he said he was going to get to the parking for these businesses and this would be the major issue for the whole concept. He asked where they were going to park and how parking was computed to allow six or eight cars to pull up to this Chiropractors office or these other offices. He said he thought that there were two parking spots for town house and then there's the road. He asked if they could imagine 5 years from now when this is built and this road is chuck full of cars with all these businesses and people coming to the city and complaining that everybody's in front of their house and so on.
Councilman Schmid said to go on, the dentist for example, day care with 8 children, elderly care and how many people can they put in there.
Mr. Rogers said they would have to conform to any standards that the city has on day care. He said that there wasn't an ordinance on elderly care although the Planning Department had studied that fact because there is a need for it. He said they would have to meet the parking, open space, interior space that the State Health Department requires. He said they would not be given any discount.
Councilman Schmid asked what the square foot of one of these was.
Mr. Fried said it was 1,000 sq. ft. per floor.
Councilman Schmid said if there were a doctors office of in downtown Novi built on a piece of land how much parking would they have to have and how big a space.
Mr. Rogers said they would need one parking space for every 35 sq. ft. of doctors lobby area plus 1 parking space for every examining room, plus handicapped.
Councilman Schmid said if we were to compute what a doctors office in a 1,000 sq. ft. would be how many parking spots would they have to have. He said he was at the doctor the other day and there had to be 15 or 20 cars there.
Mr. Rogers said it might very well be 15 or 20 cars; it depends on how many examining rooms and how big the lobby is. He said if they need, let's say 12 parking spaces including the handicapped, multiply that by 300 sq. ft. and they are going to have to find 3,600 sq. ft. some place, some on the curb, some on the site in the back or some within reasonable walking distance.
Councilman Schmid said he knew and Mr. Rogers knew that that would be virtually impossible to find that many sites in a subdivision of homes with work areas in the bottom. He said when they say you can walk up to 600 feet, that is two football fields, he doubted many people are going to walk 600 feet in bad weather to a doctors office or any other one of these facilities. He said his point is that many of these uses are designed for office buildings and commercial centers. He said they are not designed for in subdivisions where they would have to park in other peoples front yards or in front of their houses. He said this would be a major parking problem and asked if they had to meet the ordinance.
Mr. Rogers said yes and in their earlier draft, draft 3, they had suggested generally a more lenient parking requirement of one space for every 1,000 sq. ft. He said that is what they took out.
Councilman Schmid said he didn't care what they took out or what they suggested. He said what Council wants to do is get to the ordinance.
Mr. Rogers said the PUD Ordinance allows waivers of off street parking by this City Council after the recommendation of the Planning Commission. He said they would make an argument that this is more of a pedestrian oriented development that the owner operators won't need to have a car other then the one that they have in their residential garage in back. He agreed with Councilman Schmid that the site planning of it would be difficult, he is not totally in agreement with the 600 foot allowance for walking and he thought 400 feet was probably a maximum. He said if they don't have the parking and they can't meet the standards two things are going to happen; they aren't going to have any business and they aren't going to get an occupancy permit. He said it was, maybe, unlikely they were going to use the entire first floor of the business.
Councilman Schmid said he agreed with that. He said if he lived in a town house next to a town house and one had a business and the other didn't and he happened to have 3 cars in my household and he thought there was room for 2 spots on the driveway that is room for 2 cars. He said the point is he would be parking in front of his house and it happens all the time in the track homes that are in downtown Detroit now. He said if you go into Southfield there are track homes after track homes where the parking is right next to the curb and they are having all kinds of problems with parking. He said this would create a problem here every day of the week. Councilman Schmid said he wanted it perfectly clear to the planners who backed this up 150% that parking is a very serious issue. He said it would be before this Council for years to come if something isn't done about it now. He said someone is going to have to show someone how they are going to park the cars.
Mr. Rogers said it was a matter of site planning and that it might be difficult to have more than one or two live/works in any given block. He said he thought it would be self regulating; if they don't have the parking people are not going to come there.
Councilman Schmid said as long as the parking is understood and he was astounded at some of the uses that are being allowed.
Mr. Rogers said tonight is the night to discuss the uses and if Council wanted to strike a few they could.
Councilman Schmid said he marked off half of these and we could sit here all night and argue these. He said the problem is that we are creating a monster. He said there would probably be a lot of homes for sale and probably a lot of people making a lot of money but we are creating a monster in the City of Novi and if it is not addressed now it would be big, big trouble down the road. He said he was not going to argue about the uses and if Council could live with those types of uses with no parking then so be it; as long as the parking is taken care of and that is the issue.
Mr. Rogers said if there were any waivers they would have to come back to Council.
Councilman Schmid said now we are on retail and it even gets worse; antique stores, clothing store in a live/work area. He said this gives some kind of an idea what the developer was trying to put into an area that was supposed to be residential and trying to make it commercial. He said drug stores, dry cleaners, pharmacies had all been taken out and it had been brought down to what looks to be somewhat reasonable. He said again all these are going to be controlled by our ordinances in the city; is that correct.
Mr. Rogers said yes.
Councilman Schmid went to trades and crafts. He mentioned the carpet/rug repair and Mr. Rogers said he recommended against that.
He also recommended against the wood workers because he felt that would not be a quiet use.
Councilman Schmid asked about foods so we are not confused and someone doesn't slip in a food store like they did in one of our developments in downtown Novi. He asked Mr. Rogers if there was absolutely no food allowed.
Mr. Rogers said he needed to refresh his memory.
Mayor McLallen said all food related businesses are prohibited uses.
Councilman Schmid said that is prepared, packaged and fresh and he assumed that meant everything; candy bars, soup cans and if the developers have any different ideas about that they should speak up.
Mr. Hughes said there is one exception to the food service. He said in the Bed and Breakfast they were allowing for the breakfast part of that up until 11:00 a.m.
Councilman Schmid said that we all agree, although the developer doesn't agree, that for density purposes for the residential that the commercial is taken out or not included in.
Mr. Rogers said as Mr. Fried and Mr. Watson said it was difficult to distinguish . . .
Councilman Schmid said it wasn't tough for him to distinguish what they are going to be calling commercial. He said they might have an apartment or two on top, which they don't have to have, they can have that all commercial. He said if they have, the first floor is commercial and they are downtown, that's commercial. He said because they happen to have something above it that doesn't really remove it from commercial.
Mr. Rogers said they could have two floor of apartments, residential or condo's upstairs.
Councilman Schmid asked if they weren't really talking about acreage.
Mr. Rogers said there was a report that was provided by Mr. Gibbs, dated February 28th, and he took the pure commercial, the 100,000, and computed a share of parking and came up with around 5 acres of pure commercial. He said the other commercial like the live/work and the apartments and condo's above or beside the other commercial were treated as being part of the residential complex; the mixed use.
Councilman Schmid said that was 132,000 sq. ft. of commercial and it should be added to the 100,000 if Council is going to allow 132,000 which he hoped the Council wouldn't. He said that was 342,000 sq. ft. of commercial and 132,000 more then the other.
Mr. Rogers said that a live/work town home that had 3 floors and a basement the commercial would occupy no more than 25%; the primary use is residential.
Councilman Schmid said that is the 132,000.
Mr. Rogers said that was correct.
Councilman Schmid said that is only commercial.
Mr. Rogers said if all 165 units were developed.
Councilman Schmid said, his point was if we would keep the 132,000 sq. ft. of commercial how then are you going to compute what is commercial for the purpose of computing density. He said he thought the attorney had made it clear that that had to be done and that it had not been done so far. He said they made the point it wasn't done a few years ago and they are right. He said the Council had been wrong for 4 or 5 years but that did not make it right today.
Mr. Rogers said that this was a new concept of mixing a lot of residential with the commercial in a traditional downtown. He said it did not exactly fit the definition of commercial here and residential there. He said if you were to take all the live/work town homes, the ultimate, and all the apartments over any other commercial out it would be a very immense area and would certainly affect the density.
Councilman Schmid asked how many acres that would be.
Mr. Rogers said he didn't have that number.
Councilman Schmid said he didn't think it would be over 15 acres. He said whatever it would be that is what we should be computing. He thought that was the intent of the ordinance or the intent of opinion of the attorney.
Mr. Rogers said it is one opinion and one way to look at the ordinance.
Councilman Mitzel asked if Council was still on live/work town homes and not density.
Mayor McLallen said it was kind of dovetailed in because Councilman Schmid is attempting to come to a relationship between density and live/work.
Councilman Mitzel said he and Mr. Fried looked up Bed and Breakfast and it limits them to historical buildings and also on collector or main roads and not outside of a platted subdivision. He said it did not look like Bed and Breakfast would be allowed.
Councilman Schmid said did not feel any of these issues could be voted on until agreement could be reached on how to figure density. He said he did know that he was not satisfied figuring density without using any commercial. He felt that we should be working to be fair to the City and fair to the developer.
Councilman Schmid said the other issue was how many square feet of commercial would be allowed. He asked if Council would allow 132,000 sq. ft. of commercial plus the 100,000 sq. ft. and the parking was another major issue when we talk about the live/work town houses.
Mayor McLallen said Councilman Schmid's main issues are the parking, ownership of units and the retail density which is going to flow over into another category.
Councilman Toth said, related to live/work town houses, this was a process that is going on today and technically would be legitimized by this action of having someone declare that they are working in their homes in a certain designated area. He asked if this would be restricted to the 165 units or could someone purchase a house and operate a business in one of the other phases.
Mr. Rogers said it would be in a live/work town house it could not be, other than a home occupation as defined in the ordinance, a single family homeowner who opens up his living room as a barber shop or something.
Councilman Toth said in the discussions now are the covenants and restrictions going to insure that a CPA doesn't set up a business in one of the other phases.
Mr. Rogers said the CPA might be able to under the definition of home occupation; if there is not sign on the building and it is strictly no outside employment coming in. He said he said them being entitled to it as are all the other subdivisions in the City are. He said but not a live/work town house because these won't be town houses these would be single family detached homes in a site condominium arrangement.
Councilman Toth said in a live/work town house arrangement right now it is the possibility that they can use one floor, 1,000 sq. ft. maximum.
Mr. Rogers said it could be 800 to 1,500 if their numbers are used.
Councilman Toth said it does not necessarily say they have to use that facility.
Mr. Rogers said no they might not be one of the 165; that is two thirds of the 250. He said that he had discussed another number then 165 but they have come back wanting 165.
Councilman Schmid asked what the other number was.
Mr. Rogers said it was 125.
Councilman Toth said that he felt there were an awful lot of businesses that could fit this concept and he happened to be in one of those types of businesses that could use this concept and he knew of a lot of others. He said we are not in a dirty business, like furniture stripping, and that he thought it was a good concept. Councilman Toth said he knew a lot of people in the city using their homes for business purposes and this type of idea would be sound.
Councilman Toth said he did share some of Councilman Schmid's concerns about the parking considerations. He thought that just had to be monitored by the city that they have adequate parking available for the type of business.
Mr. Rogers said they would have to have parking for their own good.
Councilman Mitzel said he would like to finalize some of the comments he heard. He asked the Mr. Fried with the reference to the Bed and Breakfast based on what is in the ordinance in order for that to be allowable they would have to get a ZBA approval; is that correct.
Mr. Watson said that they would because as indicated that the language in the Bed and Breakfast restrictions limits it to historic buildings and limits it with regard to collector roads and in other respects.
Councilman Mitzel said with that in mind should that language be struck from this agreement or should clarification language be placed.
Mr. Watson said it would boil down to what Council wanted.
Councilman Pope said that Council had left in the Granny Flex option in case the ordinance is changed to allow that and if the ordinance would change it would be a permitted use.
Councilman Mitzel said the second issue was parking. He said there was references in the live/work town home section and reference in another part. He said he would speak to the live/work town home now. He said they had mentioned that all on street parking within 600 feet shall count towards a fill in. He said he believed that the City Attorney's had mentioned that that would take a Planning Commission recommendation prior to the City Council adopting that. He said in order for the City Council to accept that portion of the PUD plan it would have to go to the Planning Commission prior to it coming back to Council; is that the procedure.
Mr. Watson said there is a provision in the PUD regulations that allows Council to make a modification to parking requirements. He said there is a provision in the PUD agreement amendment to allow that to be done on a site plan basis because that is when you really have the details as to what is going to be there and what is needed. He said that the way he suggests that it be done is on a site plan basis. He said when the Planning Commission approves a site plan if it necessitates that type of parking consideration it be referred onto Council.
Councilman Mitzel asked if clarifying language where references within this agreement mention on street parking that there is that approval process and if it were not to be approved it would not be allowed.
Mr. Watson said he believed so.
Councilman Mitzel said when Mr. Rogers was answering Mr. Schmid's questions he said that he had recommended other uses which he felt should not be allowed. He was wondering what those other uses were.
Mr. Rogers said on page 1 of his February 21st letter, Item 1A, "some of the listed uses appear unsuitable in the same building or in proximity to residential uses. For example, furniture stores, used merchandise stores, appliance service repair, cabinet makers, wood workers, radio/television stores and large day care centers and that was changed. He said it was a little bit subjective on which ones are left in and left out but we are specific now; we are not suggesting these.
Councilman Mitzel said furniture repair/stripping, used merchandise stores was eliminated.
Mr. Rogers said cabinet makers and wood workers was not taken out; that is under trades and crafts page 4.
Councilman Mitzel said radio/television, appliance repair and cabinet makers are the three that are still left in.
Mr. Rogers said radio/television and appliance you could get electrical disturbances just from the testing of electronics and that is why he felt they were not suitable.
Councilman Mitzel said then the cabinet makers, wood workers
you felt were to noisy.
Mr. Rogers said that could be a very noisy operation with sawing and hammering.
Councilman Mitzel said he felt that Council should seriously consider following the City Planning Consultants recommendation on especially the cabinet makers and wood workers. He said based on the discussion he felt that progress had been made in clarifying the owner issue, parking issue, Bed and Breakfast issue and some of the uses.
Councilman Pope asked why the day care was reduced to 8 children maximum when under the state law it was 12 and under every other subdivision in the City it is 12.
Mr. Rogers said he didn't know but he thought they had a reason for 8 or under and maybe Mr. Gibbs could explain it. He said he had no objection to 12.
Councilman Pope asked if he was saying that his position of Urban and Town Planner is less noisy then electronic repair shop. He said I see you left that in.
Mr. Rogers said that they are a registered profession. He said being past Chairman of the State Board he wanted to make that point and he thought it was a quiet activity.
Councilman Pope asked Mr. Gibbs if he had an answer to the 8 children maximum.
Mr. Gibbs said obviously 188 was an error and they meant to eliminate one of the 8's. He said he didn't have a specific reason why it was 8 and that they thought the maximum state was 8.
Councilman Pope said family day care is 6 and the group day care is 12. He said he thought it should be 12 because that was what many of the subdivisions had now.
Councilman Pope said regardless of Councilman Schmid's objections he felt 12 was the state, there are 12 in many subdivisions in this community, this would qualify for 12 and there are no parking requirements for day care in Novi other than the kind of use that Mr. Rogers would rule it as. He said he would respectfully request that the day care be increased to 12 children.
Councilwoman Mason said she wanted to point out on all this that these are ideas of the builders, developer and the planner. She said once they get into this you will have Vistas Live/work Town Homes Association who may decide that they don't want day care in there, they may decide they don't want a building contractor. She said it would be up to them. She said these are merely suggestions and her suggestion would be that instead of naming professions it should be based on our noise ordinance, parking ordinance, use ordinance and on the fact that we are not going to have tanning of leather goods because that is toxic. She said we really should be looking at that instead of say these are the professions you can have. She said if you visit other communities, Saugatuck and Plymouth, for example, you are going to see various things that aren't even listed here. She said this is really dry compared to what you see in those communities. She said she was thinking that instead of going from A to Z with trades and professions she thought it should be based on is it toxic, noisy, is parking going to take it, etc. Councilwoman Mason said this is live/work and she said that truly, in the very end, the Vistas Live/Work Town Home Association would ultimately decide who lives, works and what type of profession. She said these are not going to be deeded; she said it would not say that 1234 Pleasant St. can only have the abstract person in there is that correct. She felt these issues should be based on the ordinances of health, safety and welfare.
Councilman Schmid asked where those places were in Plymouth.
Councilwoman Mason said to go into Plymouth and look on the small streets on the side and look at the apartments upstairs. She said if you go to City Hall you would find that a lot of the people that own the shops live in the apartments upstairs. She said the very best example in this state is Saugatuck, MI. She said almost every single thing on that main street is owned by the person upstairs. She said it was absolutely beautiful and peaceful and those people who own those buildings and businesses they decide what is going in next to them. She said when some wants to put a business there they have to go in front of the association and they look at the parking, etc. before the business is allowed in there.
Councilman Crawford asked if, referring to visual aid, that was an example of what the town houses would look like or is that a different unit.
Mr. Gibbs said no that it was an example of one of the free standing, single family homes.
Councilman Crawford said the town houses are 0 lot lines and just a common wall between them.
Mr. Gibbs said yes.
Councilman Crawford asked if someone could purchase 3 or 4 town houses adjacent to each other and have a 6,000 or 7,000 sq. ft. retail area on the first floor.
Mr. Gibbs said they were not allowing them to be connected together. He said this was their intent and that he thought it was in the code.
Councilman Crawford asked about the 2 and 3 story units and if they were the live/work arrangement would be proprietor live on one floor and could they rent the other residential floor out to someone else or is that not allowed.
Mr. Gibbs said they could not that there could only be one family in each unit.
Councilman Crawford said some of the uses in the document he had to believe perhaps even half of what is still left are going to be severely restricted by our overriding ordinances. He said he just could not imagine some of these things happening because of parking, etc. He asked what the reason was for eliminating some of these and leaving some in. He said he saw some of the labs, for instance, and assumes that would be because of some of the chemicals or waste.
Mr. Gibbs said that there is an underlying condition in the code that says "you can have nothing that makes offensive noises, smells, odors, etc."
Councilman Crawford said he saw that a photography lab was left in and a camera store was taken out. He said he was familiar with that area . . .
Mr. Gibbs said it was subjective and it was their attempt to remove things that had a higher MH of commercialism and less of a home occupation. He said it was not their intent for this to be a real commercial and that this was a transition between the commercial and residential.
Councilman Crawford said that he thought it was an interesting concept and that there were still some details to be worked out. He said it had been pared down considerably and he personally had no problem with the concept of an owner above their retail store and had no problem with an employee of that living there. He said he felt that it was conducive to the concept. He said if we went the other way and restricted it only to owners then they would have to get into a set of restriction as to what constitutes an owner; is it 51% or 1/10 of 1%, etc. He said we would have to get into all those things which he felt would probably be best avoided. He felt the concept as presented was a very good one.
Mr. Gibbs said Mr. Saven's office would also have to approve these on an annual basis. He said there are a number of checks and balances.
Councilman Crawford asked if that was why the line "certificates of use and occupancy shall be reviewed annually" was taken out because it would happen anyway. He said that he would like to make sure that that is done just to be sure that the person that is living above the retail is an employee or the owner and that things don't change.
Mr. Rogers said at a workshop Mr. Saven was there and he has control. He said they all have to have an annual license.
Councilman Crawford asked if the city had the staff to implement and enforce that. He said that he would guess that we don't visit every single store front in this city now and this would add several more to it.
Mr. Gibbs said for every business there is a business registration permit and that is review by the Building Department and if there are any questions about the use they do go on site to check it out.
Councilman Crawford said but they don't go on site of every one they pretty much take the word of the applicant that circumstances haven't changed.
Mr. Gibbs said that was correct.
Mr. Rogers said or upon complaint by a neighbor who thinks something is happening that is not.
Mr. Gibbs said if people call attention to the location then we do go out and check it out.
Councilman Crawford said perhaps with the uniqueness of this development that might be something that we would want to consider to put in there that this particular development does get an on site check and is not handled in the typical way.
Councilwoman Mason said the thing is that originally when they sell them they would say "I'm going to live here and this is going to be my business", but if a year from now someone changes over and Mr. Brown owns the business and his mother is going to live upstairs, then it would be back to the homeowners association. She said if there are three teenagers living there and Mr. Brown owns that business on the first floor they are going to say what happened here and file their own complaints with the city to bring our ordinance people out there.
Mr. Gibbs said that these are extremely self regulating. He said if you have ever been to an old neighborhood where families or people have lived for a number of years they are extremely or tightly regulated because you know your neighbors very intimately.
Councilman Crawford said the fact that we have run across situations in the past where we have left it up to homeowners groups to enforce their own regulations and then the burden is really theirs to hire attorney's and to actually force the issue. He said if we had ordinances in place to help them to regulate and enforce their concerns; he said he didn't know how Council might work that in but he thought it was something that Council should look at so the burden is not on the association.
Mr. Gibbs said that was allowable and that there was a public/private enforcement here.
Councilman Toth said it was very simple to handle it through the association. He said all that had to be done was to make sure the developer had written as part of the responsibilities to the association that they certify that each of the businesses is operating according to the requirements and notify the building department before that annual building permit is issues. He said then the building department would say all these qualify and these don't. He said then the burden is on the association to say yes and then the building department is not involved in it and the association can do the check annually. He said essentially they are going to look at their own backyard.
Mayor McLallen said she thought we had broadly discussed live/work and that progress had been made. She said the issues that have been directed for refinement to the plant staff and attorneys have been the issue of assuring that parking is adequate for the 165 units, the clearer statement of the definition of ownership of the units, a look at bringing the day care possibilities into conformance with the state day care statutes and how to make sure that the uses are covered by the city ordinances and overviewed by the associations and how that would interface. She said that both staff, attorney's and developers can work towards a solution there. She said the density issue on floor space, is that still open or are we comfortable on this component moving forward to the density of the entire project.
Councilman Mitzel said he thought it would be a separate agenda item.
Mayor McLallen said that is correct but it came significantly here and she would like to move the discussion on to the next issue.
Councilman Mitzel said she wished to clarify one point. He said she said something about conformance with zoning ordinance for uses so that would have included the Bed and Breakfast concern.
Mayor McLallen said that was correct. She said the uses would ultimately be governed by our ordinances and the enforcement issue would run with the actual owners association.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman by Mitzel
Seconded by Councilwoman Mason
That the City Attorney is directed to work with the developer to revise live/work use code as summarized by the Mayor and based on the discussion of the Council table.
Yes (6-Pope, Mitzel No (1-Schmid) Motion carried
Councilman Schmid said there were a couple of other things he wanted to talk about. He said he would like a little indication of what the town houses would look like. He said it was confusing to some people as they look at the pictures and think it is a nice looking town house. He said what we are really going to have is a strip center with a roof. He asked Mr. Rogers what we were talking about.
Mr. Rogers said it would be more than the sketch showing a gable roof, three story building with stores on the first floor. He said the ones he is familiar with may have a flat roof. He said they are generally three stories, 0 lot line, you would have to come in off an alley or a lane to get in back where there may be some parking or common parking. He said architecturally there could probably be a basement.
Councilman Schmid asked how long a typical one would be; Mr. Rogers said he would envision 20 to 30 feet per unit. Mr. Schmid said the units would be attached so how long would the length of one row of townhouses be; Mr. Gibbs said in Tab 3 of the booklet, they were illustrating that the townhouses would vary in width from 20 feet to a little more or less and they were estimating that the length of each unit would vary from 30 to 40 feet. He said they were estimating that 8 to 12 units could be linked together. Councilman Schmid said that would be about 240 feet if they connected 12 units of 20' each; he asked if that would be the max.
Mr. Gibbs said they could be as long as 480'; Mr. Schmid commented that a football field was only 300'.
Councilman Schmid asked if the units would have different facades or would it just be one straight wall, and Mr. Gibbs said they hadn't been designed yet. He added that the 300' length was what all original Michigan towns were platted at; he said it was considered a very short, common city-type block length.
David Fried said he and Brandon Rogers talked about this during the break and they had some concern about that. They were going to ask them to submit some of their concepts in regard to the townhouses so that could be made a part of the PUD.
Councilman Schmid asked Mr. Gibbs to show him on the map where the live/work townhouses would be; Mr. Gibbs said they would be located somewhere within the village center. He said that was a site plan issue and they have not designed the village center exactly but it would be designed pursuant to the codes they have outlined in their book. He said the exact architectural designs and features would be site dependent upon what the blocks looked like and how the streets were shaped and looked like which they felt had to be done during a site planning level.
Councilman Schmid asked what the dark spots were on their map, and Mr. Gibbs said they were illustrating how they could be developed just to show it was a practical thing that could be done. He said they were representing in their booklet roughly the area in which they would be located but they were not representing a specific site plan. Councilman Schmid asked what areas they would be located in - was it 6, 7, 8, 3, and 11?
Mr. Lanciault said in page 7 of their book, they outline the definition of the village center; he said the village center could be in any of those phases and the live/work town houses could be within that district the same as the public use building could be in any one of those districts - by definition that was the village center.
Councilman Schmid said so the Mayor informs him they are not going to be concentrated and that may be good or bad; he said Councilwoman Mason made the point several meetings ago that maybe little kids and live/work townhouses would be a problem so he thought maybe they were going to concentrate these near the commercial area. He said they were saying, for example, they could have two townhouses in phase 11 and the rest would be surrounded by residential. Mr. Lanciault said what he was saying was that the village center was defined on page 7 and it listed the phases the village center could be built in and it also said what could be built in those areas and they have concentrated the live/work areas near the other commercial activities and not interspersed those within the single family development.
Councilwoman Mason said it showed all of the live/work townhouses in phase 6; Mr. Lanciault said no. He said the village center was shown within phases 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 11 on page 7; he said the activities of commercial enterprise at 100,000 sq. ft plus live/work townhouses would be within that district. He said they have done that partially at council's suggestion to concentrate those activities in that region and not spread them out across the development.
Councilwoman Mason referred to the map and said it looked like the village center was phase 6 and phase 9 showed live/work and the townhouses will be separate and not have any live/work - it will just strictly be townhouses and Mr. Lanciault agreed.
5. Density Calculation
Mayor McLallen said the item to be addressed by council at this time was the issue of the density calculation and they would start the discussion with a review of the city attorney's report.
She noted this was a very intense issue and asked how they were going to figure the density for this and could Mr. Fried and Mr. Watson give the history of this situation.
Mr. Watson said this project has been before council on three separate occasions - the original Garon real estate proposal, the first Hughlan Sandstone proposal and the current one. He said the issue involved was whether in calculating density, you include that land used for commercial property; the position they have indicated is that the ordinance stated pretty clearly that it spoke to residential land and, therefore, the commercial areas should be excluded. He said it appears that was not done when the original REI proposal was brought in because that had a master plan that indicated density of five units per acre, and if you looked at that plan, excluding commercial, it would raise it above the five units per acre.
Mr. Watson said when the first Hughlan-Sandstone proposal came in, it was on the same number of units as shown on the current plan - 1193, and again it did not exclude the commercial acreage. He said the present plan was based on 1193 units and did not exclude the commercial. He said it was their position it should be excluded. Mr. Watson said in Mr. Gibbs letter, it was the developer's position that since there were mixed commercial and residential uses within the village center, it should be treated as a residential area. Mr. Watson said in the last letter to council, his office indicated that although there was a mixing of uses the only reasonable way to do it was to pro-rate the acreage based upon those uses and that is what they are suggesting be done. He said Mr. Rogers has indicated he has some difficulty in doing that from what he has been shown so far.
Mr. Watson said in Mr. Gibbs latest letter he suggests that the prorated commercial area be five acres which is based upon the 100,000 sq. ft. of commercial area; the only problem with that was it didn't consider the mix within the live/work town homes and some proration of that land still had to be made. He said Mr. Rogers hasn't come up with a method of doing that; he has indicated he needed to see more detailed plans to do that.
Mayor McLallen asked him to clarify what including and excluding the commercial did to the density calculation.
Mr. Watson said if you took the example of 100 acres of land and 400 residential units, that divided out to 4 residential units per acre. If, as the ordinance indicated, you excluded commercial, that changed that calculation if 95% of the 100 acres was residential and 5% was used for commercial. That would divide 400 residential units into 95 acres and that density calculation would be over 4 residential units per acre and that was what this problem has boiled down to. He said once the commercial land was excluded, it raised the density.
Mayor McLallen said but as the plan was presented and they have spent all this time discussing and other than this being a 4 unit PUD per acre, it may be as much as a 6 unit per acre PUD, what were the implications - where could this potentially be going.
Dennis Watson said the potential was that: 1-a calculation has to be done prorating the commercial area, including the commercial in the live/work town homes. He said based upon that calculation of acreage, they would come up with a total amount of permitted units; that left the developer with a couple of choices. He could either reduce the units in the development, go to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance on that density issue, or seek an amendment to the master plan to modify that unit per acre limit.
Mayor McLallen said that was the heart of the matter; on the master plan, this area is shown as a 4 unit per acre area. She asked if this was everything the council needed to be considering, and Dennis Watson said Mr. Fried has pointed out one other alternative - if the city council were to accept the developer's interpretation of the ordinance on this issue.
Mayor McLallen noted council had three options, one of them was if they accepted the developer's situation, that would require an amendment to the master plan.
Councilman Mitzel clarified that meant accepting the developer's prorating of 5 acres.
Mayor McLallen said another option was to continue onward and seek a ZBA variance or to continue onward and seek a reduction of units.
Councilman Mitzel pointed out that if they were to accept the developer's prorating which was five acres of commercial at four units per acre, that would be a reduction of 20 housing units within the development. He said he believed in the no-load road area which they were talking about were 70 foot lots and 20 units would be 1400 lineal feet which would almost take care of that entire no-load road area so that may be a possibility. He said he agreed with Mr. Watson and Mr. Fried that the density should be prorated for the commercial; he was not sure if Mr. Rogers had any comfort with the five acres that was proposed for this commercial but he thought that was the approach to go with. He said his suggestion to reduce the units in the no-load road area would resolve another issue with council.
Councilman Mitzel asked Brandon Rogers if he had any comments on the five acre proposal at this point, and Mr. Rogers said he didn't. He said the revised area plan has deleted building locations for commercial as was in the July report which showed some schematic building locations and he has not made the measurement. He said in the areas that had commercial uses there were close to 460 residential units and about 40% of them were in this area. He said he couldn't tell them what the primary use was; he could say that residential was a dominant use in parts of the central area and there may be apartments on two or three floors above the retail, forgetting live/work town homes for the minute. He said there were some pure town homes and stacked flats that were within the are; he said he didn't have a handle on it but he did ask Mr. Gibbs to generate the February 28th letter because he was asked. He said he couldn't say whether five acres was correct or not.
Councilman Mitzel said Mr. Rogers made a good point that the map in front of them for the area plan tonight was not the one shown on the board - that one was from July and some roads and parks have changed so really they shouldn't even be looking at it. Mr. Rogers commented that it did show the open space pretty well.
Councilman Mitzel said the appropriate number would have to be worked out by the planning consultant, planning department, and city attorney.
Councilman Schmid said he assumed Mr. Rogers was capable of prorating this, and Brandon Rogers said yes, with certain parameters. Councilman Schmid said when Mr. Rogers suggested that 40% of their "downtown" may be residential, in fact 100% could be commercial if they went up all three floors.
Councilman Schmid asked if Mr. Fried had read the book - it did not say they had to have residential on top of commercial. Mr. Fried said this was a complaint made at the last meeting and they addressed that particular complaint. He asked Mr. Rogers if there could be commercial on all three floors of the town homes, and Mr. Rogers said no. There could be commercial only on the first floor of live/work town homes within the village center; Mr. Schmid said he wasn't talking about the town homes but about the multiples downtown. Mr. Rogers said there was a limitation on commercial square footage to 100,000 sq. ft. so a three story building with a 1,000 sq. ft. footprint could be 3,000 sq. ft. commercial.
Councilman Schmid said he agreed with Councilman Mitzel's idea - that they go strictly by the ordinance and computed it out taking full recognition that 40% of downtown - not counting live/work town homes - was commercial probably with some residential in it. He said he always thought 100,000 sq. ft. of commercial would be about ten acres but he has heard five; Mr. Rogers said each of the phases downtown all call out a certain number of intended residential units. He said in adding those up, it came to about 450 in the commercial core. He noted that it was a denser area and the density in that commercial core for residential was probably 12 to 15 units per acre.
Councilman Schmid said he felt Mr. Rogers understood it would be the intent of the council to stick with the ordinance whatever that acreage was; he said he suspected that the density wouldn't be reduced by more than 40 or 50 homes at the outside and maybe 20 at the inside. He said although the no-load road may be a factor, it was a separate factor as far as where they took the houses out.
Mayor McLallen asked if any other members had questions or comments or directions to staff on this issue. She said so far it has been stated to bring to council clear calculations of density per the existing ordinances and figure out what that means in terms of number of units.
Mr. Lanciault said when they first came into this project they reduced the density from five units to four on the same calculation of 300 acres that had been done historically; he commented nobody read the ordinance carefully for whatever reason and everybody made a mistake. He said the fact remained that it was pretty much an arbitrary number; the number had been five on a certain kind of calculation and they changed it to four and based on that, it was inserted in the master plan. He said they could have divided by 295 acres rather than 300 acres and originally had 5.2 or 5.4 units per acre and with the revised plan have something in excess of 4 and if the differential was 20 units over 1200, they were not talking about big percentages of changes. He said maybe the density became 4.2 or 4.3, but he thought that whoever divided this when they changed their plan, divided it in the same fashion that occurred before and he didn't see where the number 4 per acre was cast in stone other than the fact it was based on their approved plan. He said to change it now, did not seem equitable.
Mayor McLallen asked if Dennis Watson had any further comment for council, and he said other than where that number 4 is now cast was in the master plan. The Mayor said the question for this council was what did it mean to them to change that number to meet what the reality of what this plan was or did they take this development plan backwards to a new number.
Dennis Watson said he thought the direction they had given to Mr. Rogers and his office was to work out that calculation.
Councilman Mitzel said Mr. Watson and Mr. Fried have clearly laid out three options - the developer could go to the ZBA, or try to get the master plan amended, or the one council can deal with to reduce the density based on the proration. He said he would be willing to go along with that option based on Mr. Rogers' and the city attorneys' confirming that the proration is proper and within the parameters and come forward with the reduced density based on that. He said if the developer wished not to follow that option, then that was his choice to pursue one of the other two routes.
Mayor McLallen said she was disturbed by this - by the issue of fairness and knowing the history of the project and there were very strong feelings pro and con about the project. She said as this project went through 11 phases, units would probably be lost; they were looking at a maximum number they couldn't exceed but historically as things moved forward, the numbers have changed. She said her concern was that they were quite a long way into a project and even if at this stage, council required them to delete 20 units that didn't seem to be a big number in an 1100 unit project but in a project of this magnitude, the economics were staggering. She said those 20 units could have a fair market value of $6 million and that was quite a slice to take off because of a calculation they made in error and encouraged someone to go forward in. She felt they needed to reach a compromise, but she couldn't personally say that somewhere in the past, they made an error and that's the number and it's over. She said they have been talking for years about excess 1000 units, and she felt it was a little late in the game to change it. The Mayor said she would support the motion because she would like to see the true figure from our staff and the analysis on both sides.
Brandon Rogers said he just ran some numbers with Rod Arroyo and within the five phases that have commercial uses forgetting live/work town homes, there were 36 total acres within which that 100,000 sq. ft. of commercial will be located. He said in those five phases, there were 486 dwelling units; if they were to assume each one of them was 1,000 sq. ft. living space X 486, that was 486,000 sq. ft. on the low side for residential and 100,000 sq. ft. for commercial - 20%. Mr. Rogers said 20% of 36 acres was 7 acres; he said this was one initial cut. He said they could do this with a little more refinement, and he would like to talk to Mr. Gibbs on that, but it came out that the dominant land use on floor space was certainly residential in these five phases.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Mitzel,
Seconded by Councilwoman Mason,
That city administration, city attorney and planning consultant are directed to explore this issue, to clarify and finalize the prorated acreage and therefore the reduced number of units to match the density as master planned.
Councilman Pope asked for clarification of the motion.
Councilman Mitzel said the city attorney and the planning consultant will clarify and finalize the prorated acreage of commercial and therefore the amount of units which would need to be reduced to meet the master plan density.
Councilman Pope said that number then would be imposed on the contract and the area plan, and Mr. Mitzel said yes.
Councilman Mitzel added to his motion, "and that the area plan should be revised to reflect that."
Councilman Toth said this project has already started with phase 1; now in mid stream they wanted to change density figures on the project. He said he didn't feel they should start recalculating density figures now and talk about changing them. He said these people have invested some money into this project and lived with what was initially proposed and modified the plan to suit the city's needs and he would not support this kind of a change mid-stream.
Councilman Schmid said they didn't change the plan to suit the city's needs but rather because they couldn't sell their other project. He said he agreed with the motion.
Councilman Schmid asked for clarification that Mr. Rogers said 100,000 sq. ft. of commercial, and Mr. Rogers said that was in the plan. Councilman Schmid said he wanted to remind him that it was 232,000 sq. ft. of commercial. Mr. Rogers said if that was part of the motion, they would consider that; Councilman Schmid said that was part of the ordinance - not part of the motion. He said, "that's commercial" and Brandon Rogers asked if he meant the live/work and Mr. Schmid reiterated, "commercial."
Councilman Crawford said if the preliminary thought here was this was only going to affect 20 or 30 units, he concurred with the Mayor's statement. He said for a project of this magnitude for everyone to go through this whole exercise to perhaps reduce it 20 or 30 units was not significant to him. He said if they were talking about a gross miscalculation of 200 or 300 units, then it might be something to consider. Mr. Crawford said to impose additional time and expense on consultants and staff to go through this exercise, he was not going to support. He said he did not think it was of that big a consequence in this project.
Councilman Mitzel restated the motion: That the city attorney and the planning consultant shall clarify and finalize the prorated commercial acreage and use that number to determine the amount of units that would need to be deleted from the area plan to meet the density as master planned and that the area plan would be therefor revised.
Councilwoman Mason said when they say commercial, the live/work are not commercial; if they were going to consider anything, they could only consider that first floor of live/work. Mr. Watson said yes. He said the way they interpret it, if you had a live/work townhome that was three floors one floor of which was commercial use, then it would be prorated that way. Councilwoman Mason said then all they would use would be one third, and Mr. Watson said that was right.
Mayor McLallen said she would not support the motion because she wanted to see the figures before it was directed to become part of the plan.
Councilman Pope said he would support the motion but he found some of the discussion the most alarming they have had on this project. He said he supported the project and supported the concept; one of the things they haven't discussed was how bad the other project was that was designed in this area. He said Mr. Schmid was absolutely right; these folks have changed this to reflect market conditions because they couldn't market that. He said for a council member to say that they were concerned about the dollars that would be impacted on this decision to make the developer follow the ordinance was alarming.
Mr. Pope said certainly there was a mistake made; the consultant made an error consistently and had this council ratify those errors. He said this group like any group should follow the ordinances and to make a decision based on the economic impact on the developer and not the letter of the ordinances....
Mayor McLallen interrupted to say there was a motion on the floor and he was not addressing the motion. Councilman Pope said he was addressing exactly the motion and exactly the discussion that she brought to this table. He said as Mayor she said she was not supporting this because of those issues that he was just discussing. Mayor McLallen said she was not supporting the motion because the motion was directed to put this in the area plan and she didn't want to see it in the area plan.
Councilman Pope asked if she was saying that he was not addressing the issue and she was going to remove him from discussing this. Mayor McLallen said she thought he was making a large statement, yes, but he could continue.
Councilman Pope said one of the issues in this city is how we handle issues and he thought he had addressed the very issue that was being debated at this table. He said it was very unfortunate the way leadership was handled here at the table.
There was no further discussion on the motion.
Yes (4) No (3-McLallen, Crawford, Toth) Motion carried
6. No Load Road
Brandon Rogers explained that "no load" meant there would be no homes fronting on either side of this road; he said the road was originally called out as 750 feet and he heard some measurements tonight that it might be 650 or 660 feet. He said the plans have consistently shown a greenway, culvert area 70 feet wide on either side of the road - 70 feet out of the 650 feet. He said the fallback was discussed informally that maybe 150 feet on either side of the road could be another solution.
Mr. Rogers said all the lots would be 50, 60 or 70 feet wide and he felt what they construed to be premium lots in this area would be 70 feet wide. In talking with Mr. Pargoff, he said that homes built on 70 foot wide lots would leave little chance of saving any woodlands; it would be a clear cut back to the depth of the lot which might be 80 to 125 feet deep on either side of the public right of way.
Mr. Rogers said if they went to a 70 foot width or a 150 foot width on either side of the "no load road" the balance of the 650 foot no load road area that ran through very good regulated woodlands would be removed back at least to the depth beyond the construction limits of the house. He said there may be a 10 or 20 ft. construction area around the house.
He said they might consider moving the houses nearer the no load road and not penetrating as deep into the woodland. Mr. Rogers said the final resolution in July by Council was to not disturb this no load road area; he said there was considerable discussion on a 70 foot or something less on the no load road by the applicant at that time. He said it was a discretionary issue of council; Chris Pargoff and Linda Lemke would rather that they not touch the no load road. In the early days of Sandstone, it was not even to be penetrated; it was supposed to be culdesaced.
Mr. Rogers said he could see the merit of a road going through just for integrating these neighborhoods and better traffic circulation and maybe the road wouldn't have to be fully developed with drainage ditches. He said it would have to have 28 ft. wide but it might come through without as much disturbance.
He said they really had three options before them: 1-to accept the plan by applicant of 70 ft. with a culvert underneath; 2-to accept a 150 ft. swath further over to the east at the bend in the road; or 3-hold the line and say through the regulated woodlands, there shall be no homes fronting upon this no load road. He said this really had to be decided now on the area plan; he said when they got into site planning on individual lots, they might be able to save a tree here or there and move a building around, but it was the opinion of Chris Pargoff that very little would be saved.
Councilwoman Mason asked that the three places where this could be done be pointed out, and the applicant did that off mike. Mr. Rogers displayed the original Sandstone plan; he said on the plan, this road had homes continuously and took out every tree in the red area. He pointed out what could be the 150 ft. swath that would be protected and said the rest would go for homes.
Linda Lemke said the question remained why this was so important and why have she and Mr. Pargoff consistently recommended no intrusion in this area and then now going to a no load road. She said the swath of four or five acres was important because it connected with little pockets of wetlands all the way from Decker Road to Meadowbrook and into mature woodlands near Tollgate; she said this functioned as a separate community made up of trees and understory, with a very mature wildlife habitat. Ms. Lemke said this area was important because it functioned as an eco system and connected to the large water source for this section and that was where the animals went and would continue to go through whether there were homes or not. She said it connected to the large woodlands area that went across the whole section and the whole area was a mature woodlands with no scrub; she said it was an even stand with trees of pretty much the same diameter with a lot of topography that dropped off into little wetlands so it was very sensitive for any kind of intrusion, whether that was a road or a house.
Ms. Lemke said anything done in this area would have more effect on the ecosystem than other areas on this site just because of the soil types and the species types of the woodlands so that was why this was a crucial area because it was an existing separate community. She said Vistas could look to incorporate this into
their development or isolate it and that was why she has always been strongly opposed to any development in this area.
Chris Pargoff said in his letter, he has indicated his agreement with Linda Lemke; he said because of the size of the lots, they feel there will be no trees left from ten to fifteen feet in back of the houses all the way to the other side of the street. He said basically they would be wiping out the entire woodlands area along that narrow strip at the southern end of the project; in his opinion, it would not be a woodlands any longer at the southern end of the lake.
Councilman Schmid asked if this area was mature trees and Mr. Pargoff indicated it was a beech-maple forest with substantial trees, some of which would be removed to build the road. He said they would prefer there be no road at all but because of the safety and the desire of the developer to tie the project together, those were some of the issues that the planning commission took into account in allowing the road to be built at all.
Councilman Toth said he has heard 70 ft., 150 ft., 600 ft. and 750 ft. tonight; Chris Pargoff said the 600 and 750 ft. were estimates from where the culdesac was right now to where the connecting road would be and he pointed that out on the plan. Councilman Toth asked what he was favoring right now, and Mr. Pargoff said that there be no housing units there. Councilman Toth
asked his opinion on the 150 ft. proposed by the developer, and Mr. Pargoff said it has yet to be determined where that would be. He said what was asked of the developer was if council should chose to allow housing in there, that the 150 ft. be determined at a later date. Mr. Pargoff said that was the green strip the developer was proposing rather than the 600 ft. or 750 ft. that the consultants were asking council to confirm from July.
Councilman Toth asked what Ms. Lemke was proposing. She said there seems to be some confusion on this all along; she said her position consistently has been no intrusion into this area. With the realization that the two areas needed to be connected, she then recommended no intrusion with housing units but a no load road and that was still her position. She said the 150 ft. came up when she was having a discussion with Mr. Gibbs on if the council decided no to go with a no load road, what would be a minimum wild life corridor. She said 150 ft. was a very bare minimum but it was a minimum allowable by standards from different wildlife studies to have a corridor; that was not what she was recommending. Ms. Lemke said she was recommending the no load road; if the council wanted to go with an intermediate which again she was not recommending, it could be anywhere from 150 feet up and the wider the better as far as having a corridor for wildlife habitat. She said for woodlands preservation, the best thing was to put the no load road through with no housing units.
Councilman Toth said he could support the condition that the 150 ft. wide area be allocated and determination of the location be settled at a later date by the city forester. He said he liked woods and animals but animals didn't seem to pay much attention to designated paths and areas but went where they felt like it. He said he also realized that trees were important and this developer was planting a sufficient number of trees to replace those trees; he said he felt the 150 ft. wide area would be sufficient.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Mitzel,
Seconded by Councilman Pope,
That council's intent with the "no load road" is that there be no housing units from the culdesac to the connecting road and that the developer is strongly encouraged to utilize the density adjustments in the previous motion in this area.
Councilwoman Mason asked if they only had a wildlife corridor and no road, then there would be two phases that couldn't reach each other and Mr. Gibbs said that was true and also against one of the fundamental principles of their neighborhood. He said they did not want them to be isolated clusters; he said another principle of this revised area plan was to save more woodlands and natural features than was approved by the previous Sandstone plan. He said one of the first things they set out to do was to save more of these woodland areas than was approved under Sandstone and they did do that. He said one of the ways they were able to save a greater amount was by maintaining this connection; he said with this plan they were saving more woodlands than under the old plan and when the 150 ft. wildlife corridor was added on top of that, they were saving even more. He said it would be very detrimental to the people living in phase 1 who already may feel somewhat isolated from the rest of The Vistas by the fact that they only have one real connection to the rest of it, and it is planned in a different manner with longer blocks and different codes. He said he also felt this would be extremely unsafe to have a 600 ft. corridor with a sidewalk through the woods, in essence, with no homes and no built in security or eyes looking upon the children walking through that wooded area. They have tried to have all of their parks and pedestrian areas where homes were facing with people who would be looking out for the safety of the children.
Mayor McLallen clarified that the motion was to support the no load road meaning no housing along the entire 600 to 750 ft. between the easterly end of phase 1 and to further recommend that the housing units removed here be used in the amended density calculation in the previous issue.
Yes (4) No (3-Crawford, Toth, McLallen) Motion carried
7. Street Tree Ordinance
Mayor McLallen said as she understood it, the petitioner has discussed agreeing with Mr. Pargoff but wanted a 2.5 caliper tree; Mr. Pargoff said no, that had to do with the replacement ratio. He said in reviewing the July 18th council meeting minutes and the planning commission minutes there was a discussion of replacements; Mr. Watson has determined that the planning commissioners felt the new ordinance should be in effect. This ordinance called for additional replacements on a 2 to 1 and 3 to 1 basis depending on the size of the tree; in discussing the issue with the applicant, they felt that if the 1 to 1 ratio was used, then they would be satisfied that would be adequate replacement for the trees that were going to be removed. Mr. Pargoff said this has also occurred in Arrowhead Forest; that development claimed they had not had sufficient time to make determinations on replacements because of a death in the development group.
Mr. Pargoff said the applicant has asked for permission to go on a 1 to 1 basis rather than the current ordinance, and he felt it was a workable request.
Councilwoman Mason asked if that was where the ordinance was when they began the project, and Mr. Pargoff said no. He said at that point in time, they only had to replace half as many trees as were removed if they planted 3" trees.
Councilwoman Mason asked Mr. Watson when a project was started and then the ordinances changed, did they have to keep going with that or should there be a grandfather clause for projects started but not yet agreed to by the city.
Mr. Watson said in this case, the change in the ordinance was based upon a provision in the old PUD regulations that said once an area plan was approved, it was locked into the zoning regulations but it did not lock into other regulations. He said that was why when they came in with a revised plan, the city indicated they would be subject to the new ratio, but the phase 1 to 1 ratio was used by the planning commission and in talking with the developer, he was not opposed to that ratio but it really didn't match up to either the old ordinance or the current ordinance but was in between.
Councilwoman Mason asked how this ratio came about, and Mr. Pargoff said at that point in time, he thought the planning commissioners were not aware of the current ordinance requirements so they were asking for 1 to 1 replacements so they didn't have one-half replacement for each tree. Councilwoman Mason said then 1 to 1 was the basic replacement before they came in with the new one and had nothing to do with PUD, and Mr. Pargoff said no, before it was one-half to one if they planted 3" trees.
Councilwoman Mason asked what they were calling for, and Mr. Pargoff said 1 to 1 using 2.5" trees or larger for each one taken out.
Councilman Mitzel said they were not talking about street trees right not but woodland replacement, and Mr. Pargoff said that was correct. Mr. Mitzel said he recalled the 1 to 1 issue; the old ordinance allowed less trees per replacement if they replace with bigger trees. He said the ordinance was revised at the planning commission level in late 1993 or early 1994 and the commission was asking the petitioner as a condition of woodlands approval to plant at a 1 to 1 ratio. He said he believed that was how this came up and that council affirmed that in July with motions to approve. He said he would make a motion for the woodland part of this issue.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Mitzel,
Seconded by Councilman Crawford,
That City Council affirms the 1 to 1 replacement as described by Mr. Pargoff.
Mr. Gibbs said he would like to clarify one thing about the 1 to 1 ratio; a replacement tree would be required when an existing tree was removed that was 8" or larger in caliper. It was not for every tree removed.
Yes (7) No (0) Motion carried unanimously
Councilman Mitzel asked Mr. Pargoff to review the issue on street trees; he said there seemed to be some discrepancies between what was in the agreement, what Mr. Pargoff's letter said, and what the new street tree ordinance said about spacing by species size, etc.
Mr. Pargoff noted that the January 2nd date on his memo was obviously incorrect since it referred to the ordinance passed on January 23rd. He said the current street tree ordinance called for large growing trees to be planted at a minimum of 35'; that minimum could be increased to accommodate utility placements. For small growing trees, the current ordinance called for 25' minimum spacing; he said The Vistas plan on page 3.2 and 3.3 had lists of very large trees and smaller trees that would fit very well with the current ordinance. He said his recommendation was that the current ordinance be applied and that a waiver of spacing to 20' for the smaller trees be accepted.
Mr. Pargoff said the space waiver to 20' was the figure The Vistas people were requesting; he said initially they were requesting 45' because he believed that was the ordinance in July. He said he believed that was why the 45'spacing was in the agreement as it was formulated in July. He said 20' spacing was a workable solution and acceptable for smaller trees.
Councilman Mitzel said according to the street tree ordinance that would have to be planted along all the public and private streets. He said there was also some discussion about the size of the street trees being up to 6" in caliper or larger; Mr. Pargoff said according to the ordinance, they could be 2.5" or larger so they could go as large as they wanted and he had no problem with that. Councilman Mitzel commented so that was not an issue and Mr. Pargoff agreed.
Councilman Mitzel asked Mr. Gibbs if he had any problem following the ordinance as Mr. Pargoff described it, and Mr. Gibbs said they did. He said they have discussed this for many months and they agree with 35' spacing as a generality but there were many cases where that would not be appropriate, probably along Market Street and other areas. Mr. Gibbs said that was why they were requesting the flexibility of spacing them from 20' to 45' apart. He noted that the street trees outside city hall were 20' apart because the city and its planner at that time felt that those large trees needed to be that distance to have an urban character. He said they would like to have that flexibility and would be happy to discuss it at site plan level; he said they were talking about a very large scale plan right now so they were requesting the flexibility to plant these trees between 20' and 45' apart. He said he felt it was inappropriate to tie their hands right now.
Councilman Mitzel clarified that the spacing of trees in the ordinance was unacceptable, and Mr. Gibbs said they felt it was very premature when they were designing at 1" equals 200' scale where the width of his pencil was 30' to tell them how far apart trees should be planted. He said it was really a site planning issue and they would like to be able to address that; he said they were creating a small town and there were certain places they anticipated on Market Street that to have a true Michigan urban small town character might need trees at different spacing. He said it may sound like a small trite detail now but it was extremely important and he saw no reason and no advantage to discuss it at this level of planning.
Councilman Mitzel said he brought it up because it was within the agreement and even though it was a small town, it was still within Novi and they had street tree ordinances. He said he was trying to find out how that ordinance would be applied to this development.
Mr. Pargoff said if council chose to give the developer the flexibility they were asking for, he would at least ask that the maximum figure be moved to 35' rather than 45' which would be greater than the current ordinance. He added that he would prefer to follow the ordinance.
Councilwoman Mason said they have argued about this for many hours previously and the last time she went out and measured the trees on Belle Isle and could tell them that some of those trees were over 100 years old and didn't have 20 feet between them. She said it was the first time a developer wanted to spend more of his own money than what the city requested and she felt the developer should have that kind of flexibility. She said when she discussed it before with Mr. Pargoff, he said these trees could die in 50 years but they didn't die on Belle Isle or in other urban areas around Detroit and she felt they looked wonderful. She commented that when a developer wanted to spend more money on trees, she said let him and let him have flexibility.
Councilwoman Mason said if they were asking to put one tree every 100 feet, that would be different but here they had it going the other way. She said the city was trying to develop like a suburb and the developer was trying to develop like an urban area.
Councilman Pope said if they agree to plant the exact number of trees required under the ordinance, regardless of spacing, what would the concern be; Mr. Pargoff said it would be the health and safety of the trees and the individuals that may be affected by them in the streets. He said the other situation would be that if all the streets remained private, then it would be something the city would not have to address; if they became public streets, then the city would be required to assume the responsibility for the care and any liability those trees may cause.
Councilman Pope said so he was saying even if they plant exactly the number of trees, if council made it contingent on planting at least the number of trees they are required to plant with spacing at the developer's discretion and approved at a site plan level, Mr. Pargoff was worried about the health and safety of the tree because they will potentially be planted too close together.
Mr. Pargoff said partly that and also the health and safety of the individuals that may be impacted by dead and dying branches.
Councilman Pope asked if he has proposed to remove any of the trees on the city hall lawn that were planted 20' apart for the health and safety of the residents. Mr. Pargoff said the issue has been discussed with members of the DPW.
Councilwoman Mason asked if these were healthy trees, and Mr. Pargoff said they were just going to be moved not destroyed.
Councilman Pope asked if this was an item before council tonight for direction, and the Mayor said yes.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope,
Seconded by Councilwoman Mason,
That the developer be allowed to have the discretion to plant street trees between 20' and 45' apart contingent upon each phase being approved and that the number of trees planted be equal or greater than the number required under the present ordinance.
Councilman Toth said there seemed to be two different issues. The ordinance requires them to plant certain trees on a street and also when trees are removed, there would be a 1 for 1 replacement. He said when they planted street trees, they wanted some flexibility which the motion addressed but when they were planting replacement trees, those could also go on a street or go into open areas.
Chris Pargoff said they allowed them to do that in phase 1; he said he did not think he would be quite as flexible in the rest of the phases. He added that he felt they were going to be planted much too close together.
Councilman Toth said his problem right now was the required number of street trees was one factor; he asked if the number of replacement trees because they were taking out some woodlands would also be going on the streets or into other areas. Mr. Pargoff said they would mostly be going onto the backs of the lots - they would be private plantings by the developer. He said he did not feel they should allow them to put them on the streets.
Councilman Toth asked roughly how many trees they were talking about, and Mr. Pargoff said they didn't know yet but that issue has already been voted on.
Councilman Pope said they were shown pictures last time of the cemetery on Novi Road; he asked how close those trees were. Mr. Pargoff said the trees growing in an adequate situation were 45'; it was noted that none of them were touching. These trees are over 100 years old.
Councilman Mitzel said he would not support the motion because he felt they had a street tree ordinance that applied to every other development in town and it was adopted for due cause based on the forester's recommendations. He said in all truth, it may not matter if these are private roads because the trees would be maintained by the private development.
Yes (6) No (1-Mitzel) Motion carried
Mr. Gibbs asked to comment on two issues. He said Mr. Mitzel said the road may be private, and they were saying in the report, they may be dedicated as public roads and streets. He said the other issue was whether or not woodlands replacement trees ought to be placed in someone's backyard or in other quasi-public type area. He said they felt quite strongly that was the principle of this plan.
8. Bicycle Paths
Mayor McLallen said Mr. Rogers in his initial report indicated that that was no longer an issue; she asked him to clarify what he said in the beginning of his report and then proceed to what the issues were with bicycle paths.
Brandon Rogers said in his Feb. 21st letter, item 5. he stated as did Mr. Fried and Mr. Watson that there was no bicycle path system designated on the revised area plan although tonight he hears and agrees that there would be one put along 13 Mile. He said there was discussion with the Planning Department that because of council's position on the Natural Resources Lineal Trail System, it would be inappropriate to develop a trail system in The Vistas project. The applicant has come back and said there will be sidewalks on both sides of all the roads; he said he wouldn't agree that a 5 foot concrete path was big enough for bicycles so if there was bicycling, they would most likely bicycle on the street.
Mr. Rogers said it has been deleted from the most recent area plan, and it's a council discretion. The ordinance requires a bicycle path.
Mayor McLallen asked where in the project, and Mr. Rogers said it could be schematically shown just running through the area and being precise at the time of site plan review as each phase came in. He said right now there was no designation or legend on any of the plans.
Councilman Mitzel said he raised this issue in July but he had no vision of it being in the woods. He did not envision this as being like the lineal greenway trail system at all but as being a bicycle path along the road. He said the ordinance said, "A bicycle path system shall also be provided in the PUD which may be part of a non-motorized safety path system." He said the current Parks & Rec bicycle path system shows it going north and south through The Vistas along the old Decker Road alignment; the developer is showing sidewalks along both sides of Decker Road so the bike path on Decker Road from 14 Mile to 13 Mile ended at The Vistas when it turned into a sidewalk.
Mr. Mitzel said if there is going to be a designated bicycle route within The Vistas as required by ordinance, was a 5 foot sidewalk sufficient. Mr. Rogers said no, it should be 8 ft. of asphalt. Councilman Mitzel said he didn't know if that could be incorporated on selected roads that are going to lead from certain high destinations in this plan or if they were to just designate certain low traffic roads.
Brandon Rogers noted it didn't say how many or at what interval, but they could show a couple if they wished to react to it. Councilman Mitzel said in an area pedestrian oriented with 3,000 people, bicycles and roller blades will be out there and 5 ft. sidewalks may not be adequate to handle some of that and the ordinance did require a bicycle path system.
Councilman Toth said he felt with this kind of development, they should have depressed curbing and use a 5 ft. bicycle path instead of 8 ft. He said there would probably be a lot of children riding bikes to and from school and around the area, and he felt they should take the position that the bicycle paths would be the actual 5 ft. sidewalks and insist that the curbing be depressed so they can make use of these sidewalks or bike paths. He commented this was commonly done in a lot of cities instead of using 8 ft. asphalt which was fine for the people riding from town to town or across country, but for use within the complex by using depressed curbing at the corners they could use the regular sidewalks as bike paths.
Mr. Gibbs said they concurred completely. He said an 8 ft. bicycle path was ideal when it was the only pedestrian or bike path for a large subdivision or a large PUD and you funnel a lot of people onto that system. He said their plan has been designed to have a complete network of short blocks and many street intersecting so that the pedestrian and bicycle system as with the vehicular system is pretty much decentralized. He said the traffic consultant, for example, could find no collector street within the community because it was a loose grid system. By the same merits, there is no per se collector system for bicycles; they would be decentralized and evenly spread out just like in any small town. Mr. Gibbs said it would be completely inappropriate and out of scale to build an 8 ft. asphalt or concrete sidewalk and completely unnecessary because it is not any one particular block on one particular side that would carry more traffic than the other.
Mayor McLallen asked if she was to understand that they did have the intention of a bikeway system within the project - they just haven't seen it yet. Mr. Gibbs said the sidewalks were their pedestrian/bike system network; there are double loaded sidewalks on both sides of every street and that was not the case when the PUD ordinance was originally drafted. He said it wasn't required and having a pedestrian system was a unique concept at that time. Mayor McLallen said so they would permit bicycle riding in the stream with pedestrians, and Mr. Gibbs said on the sidewalk, yes. He said that was the way it was in every small midwest town except in Birmingham, Northville and most other small towns, the sidewalks were four feet wide. Mr. Gibbs said they would be hard pressed to pick out one particular street where you could predict a higher traffic flow than another.
Mayor McLallen asked if Market Street going to the school would fill that bill, and Mr. Gibbs said he didn't think so because there were many north-south streets that connected into Market Street.
Councilman Mitzel asked Dennis Watson if the council could make a finding that the sidewalk system would serve as the bike path system. Mr. Watson said he believed they could; he said what the ordinance required was a bicycle path system provided in the PUD. Mr. Mitzel added, "as part of the non-motorized safety path system," and Mr. Watson agreed. Mr. Mitzel asked if council could also condition that upon a type of curb as Mr. Toth suggested, and Mr. Watson said yes. Councilman Mitzel said he didn't know the technical term but instead of the standard rounded curbs, they would be flush with the road system and like a small ramp up and down. Mr. Gibbs noted they would actually meet the handicap ADA type standard of 1 on 12 slope at the actual curb cut for the sidewalk. He added that in the village center, they have been showing some sidewalks 10' to 12' wide where they were expecting the commercial traffic.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Mitzel,
Seconded by Councilman Toth,
That council accepts that the sidewalk system on both sides of the street throughout the project will serve as the bike path system as required in the ordinance, provided that all the curbs where the sidewalk meets the road are the type described in this meeting.
Yes (7) No (0) Motion carried unanimously
9. Traffic Signal
Mayor McLallen said this issue is the cost of the traffic signal at Market Street and Decker Road.
Rod Arroyo said there would be a need for a traffic signal at this intersection, however, the signal would not be necessary when the project gets under way and Market Street is first constructed. He said it took a while to meet the warrants and for the traffic level to get to a point where it would warrant putting in a traffic signal, consequently, a signal is something that goes in later on in the process. He said since it is later on in the process, it was not typically put in with an upfront cost like putting in Decker Road. He said you wouldn't put the traffic signal in when Decker Road goes in so the question that was raised by council was who would pay for the cost of the signal.
Mr. Arroyo said there were a number of options; the applicant has indicated they feel it should be paid for with public funds. He said when the city deals with this issue in other instances, a typical way of handling it on a cost basis when it involves an existing public road and a private developer is putting in an intersection to make a three way intersection, the private developer is asked to pay for 33% of the cost of the signal because their approach represents one-third of the three approaches to the intersection.
He said if they looked at Decker as being a public road, they could ask the developer to pay for 33% of the cost of the three way intersection; if they looked at the entire road as being within this development, they might say the developer would pay 100%, or because it's later on down the road, the city would pick up 100% of the cost. Mr. Arroyo said this was more of a policy decision of council.
Councilman Toth asked why the complete configuration wasn't included in the SAD, and Mr. Arroyo said he wasn't involved with the determination of the costing of the SAD. Councilman Toth said it would take some kind of structure to hold the light and he wondered why that wasn't included and billed and maybe not hook up the light or turn it on until they were ready. He said he would like to know why it wasn't included because he felt it should have been included under the SAD and have a complete project. He said they knew that they wanted a traffic light at 13 Mile and they wanted a traffic light at Market Street and one at Novi Road.
Joe Kapelczak said he didn't know why they weren't in the SAD. Mayor McLallen asked if they were typically in SADs for road projects, and Mr. Kapelczak said typically the intersections that are built in the special assessment district that have traffic signals are included. Market Street obviously isn't in there and one of reasons are you can't keep the special assessment district open past a period of time because you then get into arbitrage laws. He said the finance director liked to complete a project within three years of the starting date when the bonds are issued - you can't keep bond money for something that didn't have a specific date to finish and nobody knew when Market Street was going to be there and/or where Market Street was going to be so they could place the poles and controllers.
Mr. Kapelczak said the traffic signal for 14 and Decker, because it was put there as part of the project, was put in that SAD.
Councilman Schmid asked how much a traffic signal cost, and Mr. Kapelczak said the one at 14 & Decker was an extensive traffic signal and went about $70,000. He said that was a higher priced intersection because there were four fixtures there; Market Street would probably be just two. Mr. Kapelczak said they could get into $30,000 or $40,000 very easily.
Councilman Toth asked if the signal at 13 Mile & Decker was included in the SAD and Mr. Kapelczak said it was. Councilman Toth asked if any of the structure for Market Street at Decker was included in the SAD, and Mr. Kapelczak said no but the geometrics for the intersection were not set either; nobody was saying that Market Street would be right at this point. Councilman Toth asked if they would have to tear up the road to install the light and Mr. Kapelczak said no - there would be span wire. Councilman Toth said the corner section of Novi Road, Decker and 12-1/2 Mile was engineered so it was a full stop when coming southbound on old Novi Road so you could turn left or right. He said that was configured for a traffic light and asked if that was installed; Joe Kapelczak said that was in Finkbeiner's contract and not under anything JCK did so he couldn't answer that question. He added that he hadn't seen the final design plans yet.
Mayor McLallen said so within this project, the remaining light is the one at Market and Decker and the possible cost is in the $30,000 to $70,000 range. Mr. Kapelczak said if it was a two fixture, two post with a span wire, it would probably be somewhere around $40,000.
The Mayor clarified that the alternatives presented to council were the city absorb the whole cost, the developer absorb the whole cost, or they both share the cost.
Councilman Toth said if this road was in the development and served primarily this development, he would say stick it to the development, but this road was engineered to service the entire north end and he thought it was an obligation for everybody and the city should pay for it. He said if they didn't included it in the SAD at the time, and he felt they should have, he felt the traffic light would service a lot of traffic coming through there that was coming from outside this development and, therefore, he felt it was a city responsibility.
Councilman Schmid asked if the city didn't historically fund lights at intersections, and Ed Kriewall said Rod Arroyo portrayed it pretty accurately and Councilman Toth. He said if there was an existing mile road and a developer cut a roadway into it, the city or county would normally pay 2/3 and the developer would pay 1/3. Mr. Kriewall said in this case, that might be a fair compromise between the city paying 100% and the developer paying 100% to have the city pay 2/3 and the developer pay 1/3.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope,
Seconded by Councilman Schmid,
That the City will pay 2/3 of the cost of the installation of a traffic signal at Decker Road and Market Street, and the developer of The Vistas will pay 1/3 of the cost.
Yes (6) No (1-Toth) Motion carried
10. Setbacks Along Thirteen Mile Road
Brandon Rogers pointed out a lane or alley on the area plan which would be behind proposed homes on the south side of 13 Mile westerly of Decker extending over towards the subdivision. He said this lane traversed a portion of the 50 ft. setback required by the PUD ordinance to be left as a buffer zone; he said that ran for about 1,000 ft. The applicant preferred to leave it there to provide access to garages and parking in the back of the homes rather than shifting the whole development to the south. Mr. Rogers said it was his feeling this reduced the chances for landscaping - they say they will still have 30 feet left for green space - and they also will say they are showing a proposed right of way of 120 ft. and that it was not likely that 13 Mile will be a five lane road so there would be extra green space beyond that and sufficient buffering.
Mr. Rogers said they have added the 50 ft. buffer along Novi Road on the plan, they have shown the proposed right of way of Novi Road as 120 ft., and his position was move the lane to the south. He said that was the only area where they encroach into a setback or into a buffer zone.
Mr. Gibbs said he wanted to get two clear definitions defined- the difference between a setback and a buffer. He said the setback was the distance which structures had to be away from the right of way line and the buffer referred to a landscaped greenbelt per se, which is used to screen. He said the buffer, as they understood it, could be on someone's backyard as long as it was a buffered landscaped buffer.
Mr. Gibbs said the ordinance required a setback between the houses and the proposed 120 ft. right of way for 13 Mile behind what they were calling phase 3; they were proposing no structures within that 50 ft. setback as required and they were saying there would be a 30 ft. landscaped buffer behind the back of these homes and 13 Mile Road. He said in their opinion, that was more than adequate because the 120 ft. right of way was a proposed right of way which is designed for a road that's going to be widened someday to five lanes or greater. He said they have been told by Mr. Arroyo and it was their belief also that that section of 13 Mile will probably always stay a two lane road since most of the traffic has been funneled north and south on Decker Road and this would become more like a local type street.
Mr. Gibbs said they feel they are meeting the ordinance; they are providing a 50 ft. setback and there would be no houses or structures closer than 50 ft. to the right of way. He said they would have a 30 ft. landscaped buffer there already plus the additional footage gained from the proposed right of way and the existing right of way. He said it was important to their concept that whenever possible, houses back up to lanes or alleys so the garages can face the back; he provided illustrations showing this type of design. He said the homes would only be about 25 ft. wide and they were beautiful because the garage was in the rear which was only accomplished by having a lane or alley. He said if they had to remove the alley, then each of these homes would have to have a garage facing the front and almost an entire elevation would be a garage door which they felt was very detrimental to the neighborhood and very much against their concept.
Mr. Gibbs said in addition, they were taking that additional frontage which they were gaining in the back and using it along Decker Road where the proposed cemetery was so they were putting it out where most of the traffic would be to give them a wider cemetery or park along Decker Road and giving them an A-type street because the street would have the living part of the home facing it instead of the garage. He said they were still meeting the setback requirement of 50 ft. - there would be no garages or houses closer to that - and they were still having a 30 ft. landscaped buffer so they would like council to consider that as part of their request and waive that requirement.
Mayor McLallen said so this is an actual request for a waiver from the city standards and Mr. Gibbs said yes.
Councilman Schmid asked if the 30 ft. greenbelt was south of the lane or north; Mr. Gibbs said it was north of the lane and south of the right of way. Mr. Schmid said it would be hiding the lane and the houses. He said it looked like they had corrected the problem they had facing the residential, and Mr. Gibbs said yes, they were maintaining a 40 ft. landscaped buffer as was required with no deviations. Councilman Schmid said they had some homeowners in who were concerned about the buffer between that subdivision and The Vistas. Mr. Gibbs said it was Howell Lake Subdivision and they were maintaining the same 40 ft. buffer which was required.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Schmid,
Seconded by Councilman Pope,
That the request for waiver for the placement of alleys - be approved.
Councilman Mitzel said they have said their intent was to have the garages on the alleys but there were many areas that didn't seem to indicate alleys; he said the only areas where alleys were proposed were marked "lane" and Mr. Gibbs said that was true. Mr. Mitzel said he noticed especially the one that ran north and south in phase 3; there was no lane proposed behind it so those would have front garages. Mr. Gibbs said there were some cases were they couldn't have a lane; he said they wanted a lane there but were asked to remove it because of the buffer. He said they were trying to design the houses to either minimize the garage or to some way tuck it in the back but it was extremely difficult. Councilman Mitzel said he noticed they reconfigured all the roads in phase 3 since July; the north south stubs have been eliminated since the plan they saw in July and Mr. Gibbs said yes. He said they did that because they were able to get an east-west lane by doing that and they were able to add some space to the cemetery park area.
Yes (7) No (0) Motion carried unanimously
11. Consultant Reports: Remaining Technical Items
Mayor McLallen asked if there were any other significant issues that council should be made aware of at this time.
Mr. Capote said there was a variance required for the Market Street cross section - they needed a waiver by council of the design and construction standards.
Mayor McLallen asked if this was an issue council needed to address at this time; it has been stated several times tonight that the actual design of Market Street was not before them.
Rod Arroyo said the cross section of Market Street has been set in the booklet and it matched the cross section of Main Street in TC1 but it required a specific waiver from the Design & Construction standards which the council is empowered to give.
Mayor McLallen asked if he was in support of that issue, and Mr. Arroyo said yes, because it was consistent with the Main Street cross section. She asked if this was an appropriate time to grant that waiver, and Mr. Arroyo said it was.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope,
Seconded by Councilman Crawford,
That a waiver of Design & Construction standards be granted for Market Street from Decker Road to Meadowbrook Road.
Rod Arroyo explained that Market Street would have a cross section of 45 ft. back to back of curb; it would have two lanes of parking and two moving lanes. He said where there was a need for a center turn lane, the on street parking would be dropped; that was the same type of cross section proposed for Main Street. Mr. Arroyo said the typical local street cross section is 28 ft. back to back so it was a significant difference between what would be called for for a local street. Another difference was within the commercial portion of Market Street there would be a 12-1/2 ft. wide sidewalk adjacent to the 45 ft. cross section which was the total of 70 ft. right of way. He said when they got out of the commercial section and into the residential section, the sidewalk would narrow to 5 ft. but there would be green space in between. Mr. Arroyo said the cross section changed in terms of how wide the sidewalk was depending upon the adjacent land use, but the road cross section was the same throughout - 45 ft. back to back all the way across Market Street.
Mayor McLallen asked if he was offering a positive position on that, and Mr. Arroyo said yes, because it was consistent with the cross section for Main Street.
Councilman Mitzel said he discussed this at the last meeting as it was related to the collector road issue; at the time he stated it would look like a collector road because it would be wide and with the only difference being the right of way, wouldn't it be a collector road. He commented that wasn't this actually a collector road and they went through some debate and he wanted to clarify that his questioning on that was because he wasn't so much after the 70 ft. right of way and no houses along this road. His point was that from the February presentation of Market Street it was straight and then split when it got into the residential area so it was not a straight shot to Meadowbrook Road. He said what was now proposed was a wide road that would look like a collector road such as Sunrise, Cider Mill and Christina Lane except it would have on street parking in some areas.
Mr. Arroyo said that was a big difference; the traveled portion of the road would still just be two lanes, not 36 ft. wide like up Christina.
Mr. Mitzel said his point was there was on street parking on Christina quite often; it was a wide road and people went faster on wide roads even if there were parked cars along the side. His concern was even though they were not calling it a collector road, what they were building was a straight shot from Decker Road to Meadowbrook Road where a lot of people would go because there would be a school at one end and commercial village center at the other end. He was concerned that in the long run that would be a traffic problem because it would be higher speed that what would be desirable and a residential new urban-type style. He said he had no problem with changing the cross section for it, but he did not think it should be a straight shot and as long as it stayed that way, he would not support the waiver.
Mr. Arroyo said the fact that this would have on street parking on both sides and it would be delineated on street parking and it would also be adjacent to the live/work town homes and have on street parking much of the day, one of the things they find when they increase the amount of friction next to a roadway whether it be driveways or on street parking spaces, traffic tends to slow down. He said in downtown areas like Northville or Plymouth, quite often people do drive slower because they have increased pedestrians to look for, on street parking maneuvers and people getting in and out of cars. He said he thought in this particular instance they would find that even though it was a straight shot, there would be many reasons why people will tend to drive slower than they would if they were driving on a Christina Lane which didn't have that same type of roadside friction.
He said regarding Mr. Mitzel's comment about a collector road, because of the uniqueness of this project, a lot of things didn't fall into categories that they typically put them in. This would have something of a collector function and something of a local function; he agreed there would be some collector function to this but it didn't fall neatly into either category and that was one reason why a waiver is being requested and one reason why the cross section was unusual. He said he thought it was an unusual situation and they were trying to address it in some creative ways.
Councilman Mitzel said he understood the issues with the cross section and appreciated his answers but he was also trying to let him understand his concern that in appearance he believed it would be a straight shot and the problem may be when the residents started calling they could have them contact Mr. Arroyo to explain the friction theory.
Councilwoman Mason said she would not vote for this waiver because on page 13 it said within the village center commercial area, the final alignment and location of Market Street is variable and may change as a result of detailed design at the site planning stage. She said they were giving a waiver for something they didn't know 100% that was where it would be.
Mr. Arroyo said the thing that was uncertain was exactly at what point Market Street would intersect with Decker and the reason for that is further analysis of site distance issues needs to be done and also further site planning needed to be done to see where the buildings were going to be to see how that might impact but the cross section would remain the same. He said the cross section of the road was not anticipated to change at this time but the intersection location may move depending on site conditions.
Councilwoman Mason said they would be giving a waiver on something that wasn't 100%, and Mr. Arroyo said the waiver portion was. He said what they were granting a waiver on was a given which was the cross section; what was not a given was exactly where the road would come.
Mayor McLallen clarified that the motion was to grant a waiver on the cross section of Market Street.
Yes (5) No (2-Mason, Mitzel) Motion carried
12. City Council Questions and Comments
13. PUD Contract Agreement
Mayor McLallen asked if the city attorneys had any comments on the PUD contract or did they have enough information to go forward.
Dennis Watson said he thought they did with one additional point and that was today they received a fax from Member Mitzel with a number of questions. He said they have provided a written response which indicates a number of minor, but he didn't think controversial, language changes to the PUD agreement. He said in addition to doing the other things Council has directed them to do, they would be inserting those things as well.
Councilman Mitzel said in looking at the map before them tonight and comparing it with the map they approved in July, he noticed that there were some parks which have been dropped from the specifications. Two parks were dropped in phase 3, one in the west village area and the park along phase 10/11 looked a little smaller; he mentioned it to the consultants to address as to why.
He said his other question he wanted to raise to they city attorney was on page 13 of the book; there is mention that the roads within The Vistas will be construction on 60 ft. public right of ways and would be dedicated to the city. He said in the past the attorney had mentioned that the city accepting them was totally voluntary so he wanted to make sure that language did not indicate it city will accept them and to make sure the attorneys feel that language is acceptable.
Mr. Lanciault said the moved some parks around because they included some more land in the church area and they expanded the park by the lake where they included the island area in there so there was actually more park area on this plan than there was on the last.
He said before they closed, he would like to know where they were and where they were going. He said in July there was a series of motions made and they tried to meet each of those motions and thought they got pretty close. Mr. Lanciault said he wasn't sure what Mr. Pope's motion at the beginning of the meeting meant; he asked if they were at the point where the city attorney was able to included these motions made tonight into the PUD document so it could be executed in the very near future.
David Fried said absolutely; he said that was the sense of this meeting.
Councilman Pope asked how long before he was able to bring back the PUD contract and area plan for council's approval; Dennis Watson said they may be able to make the changes by the March 20th meeting but in addition, there would also be some changes in the live/work parameters and things in the booklet as well and those would have to be coordinated.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope,
Seconded by Councilwoman Mason,
That this item be placed on the March 20th agenda.
Yes (7) No (0) Motion carried unanimously
Mayor McLallen said she really appreciated the staff time on this and the format that was worked out enabled council to deal with the vast amount of information. She added that she appreciated the developer's patience and most of all, appreciated council moving forward tonight.
There being no further business to come before council, the meeting adjourned at 12:35 AM.