REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL FOR THE CITY OF NOVI

MONDAY, JULY 1, 1996 - 7:30 P.M.

COUNCIL CHAMBERS - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD

 

Mayor Pro Tem Crawford called the meeting to order at 7:32 P.M..

 

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor Pro Tem Crawford, Council Members Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch (Absent/Excused), Schmid

 

 

ALSO PRESENT: City Manager Edward Kriewall, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson, Director of Public Services Tony Nowicki, City Clerk Tonni Bartholomew

 

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

Mayor McLallen advised Warrant No. 467 will be added to the Consent Agenda. Mr. Kriewall asked to remove Item 1 under Presentations adding that Mr. Bullard would like to reschedule his presentation for the July 15, 1996 meeting.

 

 

CM-96-07-228: Moved by Mayor Pro Tem Crawford, Seconded by Schmid, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve agenda as amended.

 

Vote on CM-96-07-228: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Schmid

Nay: None

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

 

Charles Young - SWAN, would like to offer a formal invitation to address their concerns and they would especially like to discuss the REC zoning.

 

 

James Korte - Shawood Lake area, advised that he raised some complaints at the last meeting about the intersection at Novi and Thirteen Mile Roads. Mr. Korte stated he has not received a copy of Item 12 under Communications which was a memorandum from the Building Department to the Mayor and Council about his complaint. Mr. Korte said Mr. Morrone reported that the clinic had to begin using their parking lot and as of 6:00 Saturday they were not in compliance. Mr. Korte advised there are also problems with the perimeter of the fence because they are still walking dogs in the retention area and dog waste is being found in Shawood Lake.

 

Mr. Korte reported nothing has been done about the storm water system to unearth the two retention basins that are grassed over. Mr. Korte reminded Council that he has complained for the last four years about Iva Street not receiving the calcium chloride treatment. Mr. Korte added although the street is now vacant, they can’t treat it and because of the inadequate drainage, the chemical will drain to Shawood Lake.

 

 

James Krystoff - 47631 Greenich Drive, would like to address Item 3 on the Agenda regarding the one year extension of the tentative preliminary plat approval for Greenwood Oaks, Phase 4. Mr. Krystoff asked what number extension this is in terms of years? Mayor McLallen directed the question to staff members so he can get the answer before he leaves. Mr. Krystoff asked if this extension would mean that the developer would not have to necessarily build according to the plans and could they come back after one year extension with revised plans? Mayor McLallen again referred Mr. Krystoff’s question to staff members. Mr. Krystoff asked if a change could also include something as radical as a rezoning? Lastly, Mr. Krystoff said they have been very patient with the group and he knows they recently got a permit for a mobile home office to begin Phase 3. Mr. Krystoff hopes that the City will give them an extension on their permit so they can include Phase 4 and finish the project because it is very unsightly and unsafe. Mr. Krystoff suggested that Council should deny any further extension. Mr. Krystoff asked if they deny the extension, what is the time table for final approval? Mayor McLallen replied they typically have one year and again deferred his questions to Brandon Rogers.

 

Mayor McLallen reminded the audience that this is not a Public Hearing and the rules governing Audience Participation allows Council to hear what the public has to say, but does not allow Council to respond.

 

 

Carol Crawford - advised she is speaking for her family and her neighbors, the McQuaid family. Ms. Crawford said they are the two families on Twelve Mile Road that they were not notified about the meeting that passed a proposal for putting Taft Road through or next to their yards. Ms. Crawford said they want other Novi citizens to know that they do not notify people about these things. Secondly, Ms. Crawford believes this is not the appropriate place for Taft Road and they are still unsure about what their purpose of Taft Road is anyway. Ms. Crawford does not believe it is for the citizens of Novi because the majority live south of Twelve Mile Road, although they will be paying the bulk of the $4.6M

to build it. Ms. Crawford said it also isn’t for decreasing South Lake Drive traffic since Lilley Pond Subdivision is going to be built. Ms. Crawford believes the road is to allow Steelcrete to develop its 80-100 industrial acres and therefore, they protest the vote and the road there.

 

 

Diane Osgood - 40693 Ten Mile Road, asked how long will the improved level of service last if they widen the two mile segment of Ten Mile Road to five lanes? Ms. Osgood said with the proposed expenditure of $6-7M in a gas tax hike to Michigan taxpayers, they must prove this level of service to the City over a period of several years to be considered. In addition, with current traffic volumes counted at approximately 18,000 vehicles per day along this two mile stretch, this volume shows a 1.8% reduction in traffic compared to the last road count in 1992. Ms. Osgood said in order for traffic volumes to increase to the level estimated by the Master Plan in the year 2010, volumes must increase 5.5% annually. They have never experienced this traffic growth rate in this area of Novi even during its rapid growth period from 1977-1990. Ms. Osgood explained the disparity of data that various experts are producing worries her. Essentially, the engineering assessment report issued by JCK is an outcome of an assignment which was to take a two mile segment of Ten Mile Road, unplug it from the City road system, place it on the JCK work bench and assemble a five lane roadway based upon instructions provided by Novi’s DPW. After widening the two mile roadway to five lanes they would put it back into the road system and see what happens. Ms. Osgood does not want her tax dollars spent on speculation. This approach never identifies project needs, cause and effect, or impact on surrounding roadways. In closing, Ms. Osgood would like to see road improvements for Ten Mile and all the City roads, but widening this two mile segment to five lanes is not the answer. In November, Ms. Osgood did not vote for many of the current Council Members because she was apprehensive about how they would vote on this very important issue and she asked Council to prove her wrong.

 

 

Ann Marie Jocz - 40755 Ten Mile Road, is opposed to the widening of Ten Mile Road. She addressed the issues of widening Ten Mile prior to widening Grand River by referring to a memo in the packet dated June 21, 1996 from Rod Arroyo which states, "Grand River is not an alternative to widening Ten Mile Road because these two roads serve different functions and geographic areas particularly to the west." Ms. Jocz stated although some residents may choose Grand River over Ten Mile Road when traveling east, it is unlikely that a five lane Grand River would be attractive to a Novi resident destined for Novi High School or the Civic Center. It also would not be attractive to residents in South Lyon who currently use Ten Mile. Ms. Jocz does not think Novi would plan a new downtown area to be completed in the next few years with the retail shopping and restaurants on an undesirable road such as Grand River. It also seems logical that traffic volumes will rise significantly on Grand River with the new development. In addition, Ms. Jocz reported Mr. Arroyo’s memo states, "more trips per day will be generated with the retail square footage as compared to single family residential." Ms. Jocz advised the Master Plan chose Grand River as the designated major east/west thoroughfare since 1966. Ms. Jocz said Mr. Arroyo also reported that the Ten Mile Road corridor has been the location of most of the recent residential development activity and particularly the single family residential west of Novi Road. Ms. Jocz said Ten Mile Road has always been a residential corridor and the residents who have lived along Ten Mile for thirty years are witnesses to that. Therefore, Ms. Jocz believes they should treat Ten Mile Road as a unique residential area and direct the through traffic to the other road. In addition, Ms. Jocz believes the residents of the new subdivisions west of Taft and destined for the Civic Center or the High School would not even travel the Ten Mile segment that they are considering expanding to five lanes. If the Civic Center and the High School are the citywide focal point, she asked why isn’t the Ten Mile segment west of Novi Road being addressed? Ms. Jocz said Mr. Arroyo also believes that South Lyon and Lyon Township residents would not use Grand River to travel east. However, Ms. Jocz believes if they widened or improved the road, it could easily become the path of least resistance making the quickest eastward route.

Ms. Jocz reported Anthony Downes supports this theory in his book, Stuck in Traffic; Coping with Peak Hour Congestion. The book says nearly every vehicle driver normally searches for the quickest route. She further stated the direct routes are usually limited access roads that are faster than local streets if they’re not congested. In conclusion, she believes they can debate Mr. Arroyo’s theories related to traffic patterns on Ten Mile Road and Grand River because Novi’s new downtown is a reality that will bring traffic to Grand River. Ms. Jocz believes they should prioritize Grand River and its commercial needs, and then assess the needs of the residential sections of Ten Mile Road because the five lane proposal is inappropriate for a residential area in a growing community.

 

 

Sigrid Wren - 24423 Olde Orchard, asked what the resulting effect will be on traffic volumes for intercepting, neighboring, and/or the Novi network when they widen the two mile segment of road? Ms. Wren asked if the widening would have a negative impact on interacting roads like Meadowbrook? Ms. Wren said they cannot answer these questions because neither Novi’s DPW nor JCK have done any computer modeling on the cause and effect on relationships associated with the widening of Ten Mile Road. Ms. Wren added as per her discussion with JCK, computer modeling and predictions on volume surrounding roads was not part of the Ten Mile Road improvement project and therefore, they did not conduct it. Though JCK cannot assess a traffic volume impact on alternate routes, Ms. Wren advised they completed the Category C Funding Work Sheet by taking the full two point allotment to relieve traffic from other routes. Ms. Wren asked what effect would the widening of Grand River to five lanes have on the existing two lane Ten Mile traffic volumes? Ms. Wren said neither DPW nor JCK can answer this question. Ms. Wren asked what effect would the widening of Novi Road to five lanes have on the existing two lane Ten Mile traffic volumes? Again, Ms. Wren advised neither DPW nor JCK can answer this question. Ms. Wren asked what combined effect would the widening of both Grand River and Novi Road have on traffic volumes if they do not include the four mile segment on Ten Mile west of Novi Road in the project?

 

 

Richard Bass - 24584 Olde Orchard, has been a Novi resident for approximately eighteen years and he is opposed to the proposed widening of Ten Mile Road to five lanes. Mr. Bass explained Novi’s 1993 Master Plan includes specific goals and objectives and one is to promote the maintenance of residential areas and the rehabilitation of older residential neighborhoods. Another objective is to provide for a roadway design to eliminate or prevent hazardous conditions. Mr. Bass added it also states they should avoid the routing of commercial traffic through residential areas and to plan local street systems to minimize or eliminate non-residential through traffic and to design such local streets for residential speeds. Mr. Bass believes if they pass the proposal it will conflict with the Master Plan’s goals.

 

 

Clarence Wilson - 42028 Loganberry Ridge, has been a Novi resident for twenty five years and is concerned about a sound barrier wall being constructed along the southern edge of his subdivision if they widen Ten Mile Road to five lanes. Mr. Wilson canvassed the neighborhood with a petition and found 90% of the people he spoke with are opposed to a five lane Ten Mile Road. Secondly, Mr. Wilson observed Ten Mile traffic for three nights and he noticed that traffic backed up from Novi Road to Hampton Hill from 5:45 until 6:15 p.m.. At that same time, Mr. Wilson could see that the intersection at Meadowbrook and Ten Mile was clear. Mr. Wilson wondered why they need five lanes if the traffic can get as far as the railroad tracks, but is unable to pass through Novi Road. Mr. Wilson asked why are they going to build a five lane highway through a residential area and destroy the aesthetics of the neighborhood to compensate for an inadequate intersection at Novi Road? Mr. Wilson asked if the engineering firm who is recommending five lanes is the same engineering firm that designed the current Ten Mile Novi intersection?

 

 

Philip Dondero - wanted to make certain that they would hear him tonight. Mayor McLallen assured him that they would get through the agenda.

 

 

Karen Leppanen - 24482 Bashian Drive, said 1,125 signatures have been collected on a petition which reads, "We the undersigned are opposed to the widening of Ten Mile Road between Haggerty and Novi Roads to five lanes. We encourage the Novi City Council and the Michigan Department of Transportation to reject this five lane recommendation and to consider all alternative proposals. We also encourage the City of Novi to redefine the objective of this MDOT contract and use this opportunity to study the entire Novi road system rather than just the two mile segment of Ten Mile Road." Ms. Leppanen presented the signatures to Council.

 

 

Frances Moran - 40440 Ten Mile Road, said she represented some twenty two homes on Ten Mile Road and said if they widen this road it will eliminate their turn-a-round and force her to back out onto Ten Mile Road into 55 MPH traffic. Ms. Moran is not certain if she can continue to live on Ten Mile under these conditions.

 

 

Margaret Jankowski - 40649 Rock Hill Lane, also gathered some of the signatures for the petition against the Ten Mile Road expansion. Ms. Jankowski asked what effect would the widening of Grand River Avenue to five lanes have on Ten Mile’s traffic volumes? Ms. Jankowski said the three lanes on Ten Mile Road between Novi Road to Beck seemed sufficient and asked why it wouldn’t be sufficient between Novi Road and Haggerty? Ms. Jankowski asked how efficient and less costly three lanes might be and wondered if it would also provide safer conditions for the children to cross?

 

 

Isabelle Collins - 24614 Olde Orchard, asked if the City contracted JCK before they gave the widening enough thought? It seems to Ms. Collins that the residents have done the homework and tonight Council will be given logical statistics against the wisdom of this plan. Ms. Collins believes they should update the Master Plan because this is almost a historical part of Novi. Ms. Collins thinks if they send the plan to MDOT, that the well organized rebellion against the plan will vote against Novi’s 20% portion. Ms. Collins would like to see an upgraded Ten Mile, a 35 MPH speed limit to divert traffic to a better route, and a traffic light mid-mile for better timing and she would like Council to decide tonight.

 

Rachelle Shafer - 22687 Heatherbrae Way, stated she is a member of the Board of Directors for Village Oaks and in a recent newsletter polling, 578 voted against widening Ten Mile Road. Ms. Shafer asked Council to seek other alternatives and she distributed copies of her letter to the Editor for the Novi News to Council Members.

 

 

Carolyn Clark - 40636 Village Wood Road, is opposed to the widening of Ten Mile Road. Ms. Clark advised Council they have received a copy of a memo from Rod Arroyo to Anthony Nowicki. In the June 21, 1996 memo, Mr. Arroyo said, "as shown in the Daily Traffic Volumes, 1995 Map, volumes on Ten Mile Road have increased since 1991 at a rate of approximately 4% per year." Ms. Clark displayed an enlarged copy of Mr. Arroyo’s map with several of her own notations added. Ms. Clark is concerned that Mr. Arroyo’s statement is contrary to Oakland County’s data and she used the revised map to highlight her concern. Ms. Clark said as a part of JCK’s Ten Mile Road report, the Oakland County Road Commission performed a traffic count on Ten Mile Road on April 17, 1995. Ms. Clark said they conducted the study by placing recording equipment at the midpoint of each mile long segment and the results of the study can be found in Appendix 1 of JCK’s report. Ms. Clark has added the traffic counts to the map for comparison purposes. Ms. Clark said based upon Oakland County’s 1995 and 1991 data, traffic volumes have decreased since 1991. It has decreased 1.8% from Haggerty to Meadowbrook and approximately 4% from Meadowbrook to Novi Road. The data found in Mr. Arroyo’s map was obtained from Wayne State University as part of the Global Information Systems Project which was based upon road intersection traffic studies during July and August of 1995, just three months after Oakland County’s volume count. As noted on Mr. Arroyo’s map, link counts were derived by combining intersection approach counts. Based on Wayne State University data, traffic volume on Ten Mile Road increased between 18% and 39% in just three months.

 

Ms. Clark suggested the reason the counts are so different is because of the method used for determining traffic counts. Ms. Clark asked Council to remember that all major Ten Mile Road intersections have commercial businesses on all four corners. When cars traveling north or south turn onto Ten Mile Road to access the businesses, they only travel a few hundred feet before turning into the parking lots. They counted these vehicles as Ten Mile through traffic although they did not travel even half the length of Ten Mile and may have even been counted twice. Ms. Clark said they should take care when basing road improvement projects on traffic counts, especially when sources differ. As Oakland County is the comparison model used in 1991, Ms. Clark believes they should also be the data source in 1995 as their traffic volume recording method remains the same. Wayne State obviously performed their study for an entirely different project and they should not confuse the issue. Furthermore, Ms. Clark believes traffic volumes have declined in the past three years according to the Oakland County data and therefore, it does not support a road widening project. Ms. Clark asked Council to make sure they resolve these discrepancies.

 

 

Mary Drafta - 24599 Bashian Drive, said it is almost impossible for pedestrians to cross Ten Mile Road. Ms. Drafta said they were not successful with their traffic light proposal that they worked on for over a year. Ms. Drafta believes they need three lanes from Haggerty to Napier and asked Council not to let the federal dollars decide what is right or wrong.

 

 

James Kowalczyk - 23219 W. LeBost Drive, is opposed to a five lane road and displayed a chart showing a car parked in a driveway across the proposed eight foot safety path that will only allow sixteen feet from the front of the home to the edge of the safety path because of the proposed improvements. Mr. Kowalczyk said his chart illustrates that there is less than enough room to park another vehicle behind a parked car. Mr. Kowalczyk said the safety path will not be usable because cars will park across it and although it may eliminate some congestion, it will create more accidents. Mr. Kowalczyk believes everyone believes the main problem with Ten Mile Road is at the intersection of Ten Mile and Novi Road and if they widen that intersection, it would solve many of the problems.

 

 

Mary Sugrue - 24462 Bashian Drive, said she is feeling locked into her neighborhood because it takes her five to ten minutes to pull out onto Ten Mile with just two lanes. If they increase Ten Mile to five lanes, Ms. Sugrue can’t imagine how long it is going to take her to pull out. Ms. Sugrue said a lot of Grand River and Ten Mile Road traffic cuts through Bashian Drive at excessive speeds. Ms. Sugrue favors decreasing traffic in the Ten Mile area and urged Council to consider the citizen’s concerns.

 

 

Michael Hurwitch - 24120 Cranbrook, has been a Novi resident for nine years and he is opposed to making Ten Mile Road a five lane highway. Mr. Hurwitch is concerned about the following safety issues: (1) Why is there no actual severe accident data used in the accident analysis section of JCK’s report?, (2) Why wasn’t an intersection accident analysis performed?, (3) Why wasn’t an accident frequency study performed?, (4) Where is the safety improvement discussion in JCK’s report?, and (5) Why does JCK’s report only provide two year accident averages?

 

 

Robert Cutler - 24641 Olde Orchard, is also concerned about safety. Mr. Cutler said from his personal experience a five lane road is too much of a safety hazard.

 

 

Christopher Hill - 24139 Cranbrook Drive, said he just purchased a home and may not have purchased it had Ten Mile Road been a five lane road. Although he does not border Ten Mile Road, Mr. Hill believes the expansion will affect him. Mr. Hill said the proposal of the five lane highway which cuts through more than sixty residences, is not the logical solution no matter whose money is spent. Mr. Hill added Nine Mile, Ten Mile, and Meadowbrook Roads are important residential routes and similarly, Eight Mile, Twelve Mile, Haggerty, and Novi Roads, as well as Grand River are important high volume commercial routes. Mr. Hill said the environmental assessment recommends the plan because, "it would increase the capacity of the roadway." Mr. Hill said encouraging more volume is not the remedy, yet transforming the entire complexion of Ten Mile Road from a two lane road to a five lane artery would do just that. Mr. Hill said this does not mean that they should discourage motorists from traveling on Ten Mile, but it should not be encouraged either. Mr. Hill said tonight’s proposal will hamper the sixty residents who border Ten Mile Road and the hundreds that surround it for the sake of convenience for those traveling to points west.

 

 

James Utley - 25614 Gina Court, stated although he doesn’t live in the area, he has some opinions he would like to share. Mr. Utley thinks it is another instance of where they are trying to catch up with development by improving the infrastructure. Mr. Utley thinks they should consider the character of the neighborhood when Council is making their evaluation. Mr. Utley also thinks the tax dollars would be better spent on other road systems where there is more impact.

 

 

Ruth Ann Jirasek - 23624 Willowbrook, reported she is representing Willowbrook Community Association and advised they held a special meeting on October 13, 1994 for discussing the widening of Ten Mile Road between Haggerty and Meadowbrook. Ms. Jirasek said there were 200-300 residents present and their motion to support the resistance of widening Ten Mile was overwhelmingly supported with only two residents dissenting. Further, they passed a motion that the WCA will monetarily support the newly formed Ten Mile Task Force and added, the Willowbrook Community Association does not support the widening of Ten Mile to five lanes.

 

 

Peggy Latimer and Nancy Damron - 24525 Olde Orchard, Ms. Damron stated she is an audiologist at Henry Ford Hospital and would like to discuss some of the noise issues from the expansion. Ms. Damron explained per the housing and urban development charts, current traffic noise levels on Ten Mile Road are marginally acceptable. Ms. Damron stated if they widen Ten Mile to five lanes, noise levels will fall into the normally unacceptable range. However, JCK’s report states the traffic noise levels at current traffic volumes at the front door of a home, 82 feet from the center line of a five lane Ten Mile measures 69.9 dB. Ms. Damron said if residents were to open their front doors, this noise level would produce an interior noise criteria level equivalent to factory and shop areas that do not require speech and communication, but where there must still be no risk of hearing damage. Ms. Damron added this noise level will exceed 34 feet into the typical home. Ms. Damron said normal conversational level is approximately 45 dB and then gave an audio demonstration of what the average 69.9 dB traffic would sound like.

 

 

An unidentified speaker - stated he lives on Ten Mile and what Council has heard tonight is serious testimony about a community at risk. The speaker stated the community near Ten Mile Road includes nearly 1,000 residents who are at risk of dramatically reducing their property values and losing their quality of life. The speaker said his biggest issue is about the statement that the homeowners who live there knew thirty to forty years ago that someday Ten Mile would be widened into a five lane highway. The speaker then asked Council to vote no for any widening.

 

Lynn Kocan - 23088 Ennishore Drive, said she has been working with the City for two years to try to amend ordinances that will continue to protect the quality of life for residents in conjunction with proposed developments. Ms. Kocan’s major concern is reducing the allowable decibel levels within the City. Ms. Kocan reported the Meadowbrook dB levels accepted in Novi are not consistent with accepted national levels. Ms. Kocan said the Planning Department has a video tape from the Michigan Department of Transportation regarding road construction and dB levels. Ms. Kocan reported MDOT’s maximum allowable LAQ (equivalent noise level over a constant period of time) cannot approach or exceed 67 dB. Ms. Kocan said if it exceeds this level, MDOT requires barriers to block the line of sight of the offending road. Ms. Kocan believed a five lane road on top of residents will exceed 67 dB and recalled that she heard tonight that it would reach 69.9 dB. Ms. Kocan said this is not acceptable and reported that even an air conditioning unit on top of a 100,000 square foot building 300 feet away from residents in Meadowbrook Lake was approaching 67 dB. Ms. Kocan said they cannot contain the noise because there is no room for barriers and therefore, she believes there is no room for the road.

 

Ms. Kocan said westbound traffic does not back up east of Meadowbrook or west of Taft, and the problem is only at the Ten Mile and Novi Road intersection. Although they have addressed the lack of proper turning lanes in the reports, Ms. Kocan has not seen anything which addresses the lights’ timing. Ms. Kocan does not drive on Novi Road near Twelve Oaks because the light timing for north and southbound Novi Road is considerably longer than it is for east and westbound Ten Mile which creates the back up. Ms. Kocan asked the City to change the timing of the lights and see what the impact is. She further stated when they widen Novi Road, more cars can go through that intersection in a shorter period of time. She believes this is a very simplistic approach, it saves $6M, and they would also get a truer picture of traffic flow. Ms. Kocan does not personally believe five lanes on Ten Mile is acceptable and she will not support any road bond issue which includes this proposal.

 

 

 

Kevin Brady - 24166 Cranbrook, said one major concern about the five lane expansion relates to safety issues and TIA (Traffic Improvement Association) provides the best source for safety issues. The City’s consultants used the source for the Category C Grant Proposal and again as a reference for 1989 and 1991 data. Mr. Brady also thought that looking at the 1992 and 1994 data for the Ten Mile proposal would be beneficial. Mr. Brady presented a graphic illustration in a bar chart form that gave the frequency, the level, and the location of accidents occurring in 1989, 1991, 1992, and 1994. Mr. Brady said between these numbers is the pictorial representation of the two mile section. Mr. Brady said they discovered there were approximately 196 accidents in the 1989-91 period and it dropped to 165 in the 1992-94 period. Mr. Brady added these statistics also included intersection accidents. Mr. Brady said if the intersection accidents were not considered, they found there were 184 accidents in the 1989-91 period and it dropped to 122 on this two mile segment. Mr. Brady said there were three specific areas that comprised 40% of the accidents along the one mile segment from Novi Road to Meadowbrook Road. They were: Catherine Industrial, C&O Railroad, and 200 to 500 feet near the Meadowbrook intersection. Mr. Brady reported on the portion from Meadowbrook to Haggerty they found they reduced accidents from 108 to 45 accidents. Mr. Brady added there was a 40 accident drop at the Haggerty intersection from 1989-91 data to the 1992-94 data. Mr. Brady explained this data shows what type of information they need to make a decision. By reviewing this information, Mr. Brady found they should look at simpler, less expensive alternatives to address blind spots for acceleration or deceleration areas, left hand turn problems, or the rise and falls in the road which could also be causes for the high frequencies in accidents. In conclusion, Mr. Brady believes this analysis needs to be done city wide because Novi is changing dramatically.

 

 

Virginia Swinkonis - lives on Ten Mile Road and agrees with everything that was said this evening. On a personal note, Ms. Swinkonis said the widening of Ten Mile Road would put the sidewalk further back on her side of Ten Mile Road. Ms. Swinkonis said she believes there must be regulations for parking near the sidewalk and from what she sees, there is not much room to do that which might force people to move. Ms. Swinkonis hopes that Council, as community leaders, will not let something like this happen to a resident before they have looked at other options.

 

 

Katherine Wall - 24099 Heathergreene, said she has spent a lot of time putting in a hedge which borders her yard with Cranbrooke because cars currently turn onto Cranbrooke from Ten Mile at 45 MPH instead of the posted 25 MPH. Ms. Wall also reported two elementary schools will border the five lane road and the expansion will create problems for the school bus drivers. Ms. Wall cannot understand why a five lane highway would be considered for a residential area. When Ms. Wall posed this question to other residents, they said Council instructed JCK to report monthly about this issue to consider all of their options. Ms. Wall would like to see the other options and asked why they only proposed five lanes for Ten Mile Road and not Grand River Avenue.

 

Warren Jocz - 40755 Ten Mile Road, said the entire Ten Mile project is predicated on level of service assessment provided by the two mile segment of roadway. Mr. Jocz said they must show that the current level of service is substandard and that by widening it to five lanes, they will increase the level of service to at least a minimum Level of Service C to qualify for the federal funding. Mr. Jocz reported the following level of service data compiled in May 1995 is taken directly from the JCK report, Appendix 3 and he put the data in graph form for an easier understanding. Mr. Jocz reported they have assessed the existing two lane configuration at having intersections at Haggerty, Meadowbrook, and Novi Road with a Level of Service F. Mr. Jocz added adjoining segments of roadway all have Level of Service E. Mr. Jocz asked what will happen when JCK proposes to widen it to five lanes? Mr. Jocz pointed to his chart and asked Council to notice that the intersections at Haggerty and Meadowbrook remain Level of Service F and the residential segment remains E. Mr. Jocz said the only significant improvement from widening Ten Mile occurs at the Novi Road and Ten Mile intersection which moves from a Level F to Level B. When the new intersection data is put back into the road segment data, that road segment becomes a Level A. JCK and the City of Novi then says that a segment Level Service A plus E, divided by two miles is Level of Service C. Mr. Jocz said two months after JCK made the assessment of F at the Novi Road intersection, Mr. Arroyo published the "Ten Year Traffic Plan." In that report, Mr. Jocz reported the Novi Road intersection assessment was a Level C, which was much higher than the F rating. Mr. Jocz repeated that the major congestion occurs only at Novi Road which does not provide for sufficient right-hand and left-hand turns. Mr. Jocz believes the solution, which would provide the same level of service, is to locally lengthen the turn lanes at the Novi Road intersection. Mr. Jocz urged Council to reject the five lane recommendation and instead recommend the improvement of the Novi Road and Ten Mile intersection.

 

 

Dan Douglas - 40611 W. Ten Mile Road, has been a resident since the early 1960's and he has seen a lot of changes since he was nine years old, but the idea of a five lane highway in his front yard is not appealing to him. Mr. Douglas is concerned that the resulting increases in traffic and speed will endanger his family. Mr. Douglas realized that at some time the easement would possibly be used for something like sidewalks or sewers, but he never expected a five lane highway. Mr. Douglas added he has owned a business in Novi on Grand River for ten years. Over the last ten years, all Mr. Douglas has heard about is how the downtown district needs to be developed. Mr. Douglas assumed that meant the City wanted more traffic traveling to the business district and believes the best pathway into town would be Grand River Avenue or Novi Road. Mr. Douglas asked Council to reject the proposal and look for other alternatives to improve traffic flow.

 

 

Dave Gilliam - 21809 Shadybrook, said he has been a Novi resident for 11 ˝ years and is currently the Vice President of the Whispering Meadows Homeowners Association. Mr. Gilliam came before Council sixteen months ago to speak against the preliminary engineering contract for the Ten Mile Road expansion which they awarded to JCK. Mr. Gilliam said Council assured them if it became clear to them that the widening of Ten Mile Road was not in the best interest of the citizens, they would end the project. Now, a year later, Mr. Gilliam believes they are faced with the same questions and the same problems. Mr. Gilliam believes the only gain is to improve the Novi Road and Ten Mile Road intersection. Mr. Gilliam asked Council to understand that MDOT is only going to be looking at technical compliance with the federal guidelines and will not consider if this project is right for the City of Novi. Mr. Gilliam said he has not heard one person say this is a good idea and he encouraged Council to do their job by rejecting this proposal.

 

 

Rick Mammel - 40550 W. Ten Mile Road, said he has lived at his address for seven years and plans to stay in Novi. Mr. Mammel said the road widening will encroach upon a sidewalk at a substantial cost and when they install another one it will encroach on the easements into several yards. Mr. Mammel said he understands there is going to be a bike path on the other side of the road and although he believes sidewalks and bike paths are very important, he does not believe this is the segment to begin this project because it only leads to a very busy intersection.

 

Mayor McLallen closed Audience Participation.

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

Mayor McLallen advised Items 8, 10, and 11 have been removed for further discussion.

 

 

CM-96-07-229: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Cassis, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Consent Agenda as follows:

 

 

1. Approval of Claims and Accounts - Warrant Number 466.

2. Approval of Claims and Accounts - Warrant Number 467.

3. Approval of Minutes of Regular City Council Meeting of March 4, 1996, Special Meeting of March 18, Regular Meeting of March 18, 1996 and Special Meeting of April 1, 1996.

4. Approval of Revision of Administrative Personnel Policy.

5. Approval of Arbor Drugs Warehouse Expansion - Conservation Easement

6. Approval of Resolutions 1, 2 & 3 SAD 141 - and a proposed Special Assessment Agreement - Beck Road and Pontiac Trail Sanitary Sewer

7. Approval of Resolution - Michigan Fifties Festival - Waiving formal licenses and permits.

9. Approval of Agreement between the City and Oakland County Road Commission, Re: Traffic signal controller upgrades at Ten Mile & Taft Roads.

12. Award Bid to Michigan Elevator Co. in the amount of $2,118.00 (3 year contract) for elevator maintenance.

 

 

Vote on CM-96-07-229: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Schmid

Nay: None

 

MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - PART I

 

 

1. Approval of Resolution authorizing the submittal of the Ten Mile Road Environmental Assessment to the Michigan Department of Transportation

 

Mayor McLallen said the state funding mechanisms for road improvements are not adequate to maintain the roads and Novi has the fortune and misfortune of being in a growing area. Mayor McLallen reported the infrastructure demands are extremely high and there is a resistance to any further taxation. As community leaders, Council is obligated to look at other ways to acquire funding to help keep the streets safe and passable. One process is to look at the opportunities presented by joint funding with other governmental bodies. Mayor McLallen advised Ten Mile Road is one of the roads that is not "technically Novi’s road" because it is a county road. To improve it, Mayor McLallen said they have to participate in the funding process at a lower level and that process for this road is Category C Funding which are sought to relieve congestion. Mayor McLallen said Ten Mile Road has appeared on the annual Program of the City as one of the roads that has a congestion problem since the 1988 Strategic Planning Sessions. Mayor McLallen said Council’s task is to find a source that brings a solution and she believes the majority agree that something needs to be done with the road, but most are emphatic that the solution should not be a five lane road.

 

Mayor McLallen said the concerns of the citizens are with current and future safety, speed limits, noise volumes, and the overall impact on citizens’ homes in a particular neighborhood which also happens to be one of the older intact neighborhoods in the community. Mayor McLallen said the principal question is how to incorporate the neighborhood into the progress without harm. Mayor McLallen advised some alternatives could be signalization on the road as it exists, safety path improvements or the current safety path design and how they will impact it with the proposal. Mayor McLallen asked if there are there other options available besides the five mile option that would not jeopardize their funding assistance opportunities?

 

Tony Nowicki, Department of Public Services Director, said the request before Council is a request forwarded to the Michigan Department of Transportation for the Ten Mile Road Environmental Assessment. Mr. Nowicki said they are requesting that Council forward it to MDOT so they can review the project on its own merits. As he understands the process, if Council were to approve it tonight and forward it to MDOT for review and if MDOT found the application acceptable, Mr. Nowicki believes MDOT would return the document to the City with the authorization to schedule a Public Hearing. Mr. Nowicki said a court reporter present at the Public Hearing would take down all of the testimony given that night. As part of that, the Federal Highway Administration and MDOT make certain that they respond to all the comments in an adequate and appropriate fashion. Mr. Nowicki said if they did not provide the answers in an adequate manner, MDOT would return it and have the City reinitiate contact with the complainant or the person making the comments and provide some kind of resolution.

 

Mr. Nowicki said they have spoken about the "big picture" in this process and right now the project for Twelve Mile Road between Meadowbrook and Dixon is in the preliminary design stage. In addition, Mr. Nowicki advised Novi Road from Grand River Avenue to Ten Mile Road is in the preliminary design stage by the Oakland County Road Commission. Haggerty Road throughout the City’s limits is currently in the process of being resignalized by the Road Commission and they have improved Eight Mile Road between Novi and Haggerty Roads. Mr. Nowicki added Novi Road from Grand River to Twelve Mile is being resignalized and Novi Road from Twelve ˝ to Twelve Mile Road is currently under construction. Mr. Nowicki advised Council previously authorized the drafting of the agreement between the City and the consultant for the Grand River Corridor improvements which will study Grand River throughout the length of the community.

 

Rod Arroyo, Birchler Arroyo Associates, Inc. - said they have asked that he address three specific issues. The first issue is to provide an overview of the facts, the plans, and the policies that were in place in 1993 at the time the City decided to apply for funding to widen Ten Mile Road to five lanes. The second issue is to describe current conditions and how they impact that decision to widen Ten Mile. The third issue is to address whether or not improvements to Grand River are an alternative to widening Ten Mile Road.

 

In response to the first issue, Mr. Arroyo reported he has displayed a regional highway map showing the connection of Novi Road to the regional roadway system. Mr. Arroyo said Ten Mile Road is the only paved east-west road traversing the City of Novi with regional linkages to M-5 and access to US-23 through South Lyon. The other east-west roads are as follows: Eight Mile Road becomes gravel west of Pontiac Trail; Nine Mile Road becomes gravel at Beck Road into Lyon Township; Grand River is not an east-west road and because it runs on a diagonal it serves a different corridor as it moves toward the west; Eleven Mile Road is not continuous through the City and Twelve Mile Road is not continuous due to the break at I-96 and it also becomes gravel outside of the City; and Thirteen and Fourteen Mile Roads are not continuous. Therefore, Mr. Arroyo said Ten Mile Road provides the only regional linkage and although many are not pleased with the idea that traffic from other communities travels through this community, the fact is, it will continue to come and has to be dealt with somehow.

 

Mr. Arroyo said the "General Road Funding Process for Successful Applications" begins with the Road Commission Strategic Planning Process. Mr. Arroyo reported the City or the County then applies for funding, it’s sent to the Oakland County Surface Transportation Funding Committee, then sent to SEMCOG for approval as part as the transportation improvements plan. They then apply with MDOT for a programming request, they approve preliminary engineering, and the right of way acquisition goes back up and through this process and construction dollars goes back up and through the process. Mr. Arroyo said the Strategic Planning Process is key to the identification of roadway needs throughout the County and his illustration shows the strategic planning process outcome from 1992. Mr. Arroyo added it is an Oakland County Road Commission report. The report shows the top ten priorities as identified by the City of Novi and it indicates they’re the same priorities as they were in 1989. Mr. Arroyo reported there are five road widenings identified and they are: Twelve Mile Road, Novi Road, Ten Mile Road, Haggerty Road, and Eight Mile Road. Mr. Arroyo said these roads have either one segment or more that have been widened since then or there are applications that they have approved for preliminary design for the widening of some of those segments.

 

Mr. Arroyo said they identified Ten Mile as a road that was in need of widening because of volumes. Mr. Arroyo reported the average daily traffic volumes on Ten Mile west of Haggerty were just over 19,000 and west of Meadowbrook they were over 21,000 in 1991 according to the "Thoroughfare Plan." Mr. Arroyo said they are higher than Grand River’s volumes which were at 15,700 and 18,101 and higher than Novi Road south of Ten Mile Road. Mr. Arroyo said the segment of Novi Road between Grand River and Ten Mile is currently under design for widening to five lanes and is also the segment before Council.

 

Mr. Arroyo reported the displayed map is an excerpt of the project’s map which Brandon Rogers originally prepared and serves as a window for the future. The map shows what type of development is projected, where the approved developments are, and how they might impact traffic. Mr. Arroyo stated there have been more than 1,600 residential dwelling units approved within five square miles since 1990. In addition, South Lyon advised there have been more than 1,600 residential dwelling units approved in their city since 1990 and Lyon Township reported there have been 500 dwelling units approved in their community. All these dwellings are just within the Ten Mile Road corridor and are not city wide in Novi and are not township wide in Lyon Township. Mr. Arroyo said that would amount to over 3,700 residential dwelling units approved since 1990 that are in the process of being developed and will add traffic to the roadway system. Mr. Arroyo said that is equivalent to over 30,000 trips per day being added to the road network.

 

Mr. Arroyo said as part of the "Thoroughfare Plan" update in 1993, they prepared an origin destination study to follow traffic entering the City on Ten Mile Road during the morning peak hour. This study was also done to assist the City with their traffic model development and to answer how much traffic entering on Ten Mile Road actually traverses the entire city limits and exits on Haggerty.

 

 

Mr. Arroyo said they also looked at how it exits on Novi Road. Mr. Arroyo said they found during the morning peak hours, traffic enters in an eastbound fashion on Ten Mile Road and approximately 14% of the traffic exits onto the eastbound on ramp to I-96, 8% exits to the south on Novi Road, and 20% travels the entire distance of Novi along Ten Mile Road. Mr. Arroyo said this provides evidence that this road does provide a regional function and will continue to provide a regional function, but they must address the traffic as well as the traffic that they are generating within the City of Novi.

 

Mr. Arroyo reported the Master Plan is another indicator of the need for improvements to the road system. Based on the forecasted volume results of the traffic model that the Community Development Department prepared, they were able to identify future lane needs on local and regional roads indicating that most of the major mile roads in this area are planned for five lanes. The five lane roads include Haggerty Road, Ten Mile Road, Novi Road, Grand River Avenue, and Meadowbrook Road north of Ten Mile Road. Mr. Arroyo said they identified that Ten Mile Road would have 120 foot right of way as far back as 1967 in the City’s "Thoroughfare Plan." Mr. Arroyo said they also identified that they could accommodate six lanes within that right of way. Mr. Arroyo said the 120 foot right of way has continued forward as part of the thoroughfare plan process and was refined to a five lane recommendation in the "1993 Thoroughfare Plan." He noted this was based upon a build out analysis that assumes all of the improvements will be needed once the City builds out according to the densities and development uses specified in the Master Plan but it is not date certain.

 

Mr. Arroyo displayed a graphic that depicts 1995 daily traffic volumes based upon counts done by Wayne State University. Mr. Arroyo added the DPW Department also took some of the counts and the volumes on Ten Mile Road between Novi and Meadowbrook were 24,773 and 22,336 between Meadowbrook and Haggerty Roads. These numbers reflect a growth rate of approximately 4% per year for one of the segments since 1991 and he believes the rate is approximately 3.7% for another segment.

 

Mr. Arroyo reported the reference about a decline in traffic volumes may be attributed to the fact that the data was collected on April 17, which was a Monday. Mr. Arroyo advised that traffic counts are not taken on Mondays because commuting patterns can impact them. Furthermore, that particular date was also a holiday week and holiday periods substantially impact traffic. Mr. Arroyo said this would explain some discrepancies and why traffic decreased during that time. The counts before Council represent a period of approximately July to August of 1995 and that information shows a growth rate that was more in line with what they’ve seen historically along Ten Mile Road. Mr. Arroyo added with traffic volumes growing at 4% per year, this road segment will reach 30,000 vehicles per day within five or six years. These are the type of volume levels that are seen on Haggerty Road before M-5 was opened.

 

Mr. Arroyo said the "Ten Year Transportation Improvements Plan" has been an important document for identifying road priorities. Mr. Arroyo explained this is a midrange plan for road improvements and includes a number of widenings that ranks them according to priority. In terms of major county improvements, Ten Mile Road was ranked two behind Novi Road, three was Haggerty Road, and four was Grand River Avenue. Mr. Arroyo believes this indicates that the City is following the plans, policies, and priorities it has identified.

 

Accidents are another issue and Mr. Arroyo believes Chief Schaeffer prepared a memo that describes how both of the segments on Ten Mile Road are in the top ten accident segments based on total number of accidents. Mr. Arroyo said the three critical intersections within the two mile segment are also within the top ten intersection list for accidents.

 

Mr. Arroyo said looking at the 1991 and the 1995 volumes on Ten Mile Road have been and continue to be higher than they are on Grand River. Mr. Arroyo reiterated that the two roadways serve different corridors and the development location within the corridor is such that Ten Mile Road is carrying a significant amount of traffic due to development.

 

Mr. Arroyo summarized by stating Ten Mile Road provides the only paved east-west regional connection in Novi and the existing level of service is poor as identified in the environmental assessment. Mr. Arroyo added that Novi’s "Master Plan," the "Ten Year Transportation Improvements Plan," and the "Strategic Planning Process of the Road Commission" support the five lane improvement. More than 3,700 new residential units are planned in the corridor which represents over 30,000 trips. Further, the predominant flow of traffic in this area is to and from the east, growth to the west will impact volumes to the east, and Ten Mile Road also ranks high in total accidents. Ten Mile volumes are higher than Grand River volumes and support its ranking over Grand River.

Mr. Arroyo said if Ten Mile Road remains as it is with two lanes, volumes will increase to a saturation point at a 4% annual growth rate, congestion will resemble the levels on Haggerty Road before they put M-5 into place, and traffic back ups at intersections will increase in length and duration. Mr. Arroyo said one of the benefits of a roadway widening is that it allows traffic to platoon through the roadway and increases the amount of available gaps to make turns from side streets. Mr. Arroyo explained when there is severe congestion and traffic is flowing steadily, there are not a lot of gaps available for turning. Mr. Arroyo advised exiting onto Ten Mile Road will be more difficult if it remains two lanes wide, accident levels will likely increase as identified in the JCK analysis, and there will be fewer gaps for turners from side streets. Mr. Arroyo said volumes on north-south streets will also rise and more critically, residential cut through traffic will increase. Mr. Arroyo reported once the road reaches saturation, there will continue to be a demand for traffic traveling in an east-west fashion as more development comes on line. Mr. Arroyo said if the traffic has no where to go, it will seek out alternate routes. One of the most likely alternatives would be Nine Mile Road and not Grand River because it serves the same general corridor. The traffic will likely shift from Ten Mile Road and travel south on roadways such as Beck, Taft, Novi, and Meadowbrook to Nine Mile or possibly Eight Mile Road. They will also likely see an increase in cut through traffic in subdivision streets as motorists attempt to find alternate routes to Ten Mile Road because of the congestion level. Mr. Arroyo noted there is little capacity on the north-south roads and by forcing east-west traffic to travel on north-south roads puts traffic on those roads unnecessarily leaving little available capacity for other traffic that really wants to travel in a north-south direction. In addition, Mr. Arroyo said they will hinder emergency access.

 

Mr. Arroyo said road networks function as a system and when one part of the system breaks down, it will impact other parts of the system. Mr. Arroyo said they conclude that the facts in the report before Council are sufficient to support the widening and find it is consistent with past plans and policies of the City of Novi. Therefore, Mr. Arroyo recommends that Council forward the Environmental Assessment to the Michigan Department of Transportation.

 

Joe Kapelczak, JCK & Associates gave a slide presentation from photos taken on June 3, 1996. Mr. Kapelczak reported the first slides are of Ten Mile Road and illustrate the back up that occurs at the various intersections. Mr. Kapelczak also showed a slide of Merriman Road to give Council an idea of what a five lane road would look like with a 120 foot right of way and 30 foot setbacks.

 

Mayor McLallen said the procedure is to either forward or not forward the resolution on to MDOT. She said many people who spoke oppose the five lane widening and there is some potential for possibly a three lane situation or less. Mayor McLallen asked if they send the resolution forward, can any of those options gain precedence or if it moves forward can only five lanes be considered? Mr. Arroyo replied they can send different alternatives forward, however the likelihood of anything else being approved as part of the funding process is low. Mr. Arroyo explained a three lane alternative does not address the overall capacity problems and as he understands the analysis, it would not improve the level of service to acceptable levels. Mr. Arroyo further explained when there is an expenditure of state or federal dollars, they must indicate that they are providing an improvement to an acceptable level. Mr. Arroyo stated because three lanes provides a center turn lane, there are some capacity improvements because some left turners can get out of the through traffic stream. However, it really only provides one lane in each direction, which is what is there now. Mr. Arroyo said there are some safety benefits from the three lane section and there are some limited capacity benefits, but it is not sufficient to handle the current and anticipated volumes. Therefore, Mr. Arroyo would venture to say that funding would not be likely for a three lane section.

 

Mayor McLallen asked what is the actual time line from today to construction? She also asked if they should send it forward and it receives approval, will they go back through all of the issues that they showed on the process chart?

 

Mr. Nowicki replied funding is not available for construction for another two to five years.

 

Therefore, Mayor McLallen advised Council that the issue before them is whether to send the Environmental Assessment forward to MDOT for consideration and Public Hearing.

 

Councilman Schmid stated Council has an extremely difficult decision before them and he commended Mr. Arroyo and Mr. Kapelczak for their well done presentations. He added that the audience also did an excellent job in presenting their position.

 

Councilman Schmid asked what effect would shifting the five lanes back from the intersections approximately one quarter of a mile have on the movement of traffic? Mr. Arroyo replied near term it would improve the flow of traffic through the area because it would enable more traffic to flow into the lanes that they desire to be in. In terms of actually addressing the overall problem of the capacity of the road, he would consider it to be like a Band-Aid rather than a cure.

 

Although he doesn’t disagree with Mr. Arroyo’s statement, Councilman Schmid asked if that would improve the capacity of the roads substantially? Mr. Arroyo said it would depend upon the length of the ques that are there and how far back they would extend it. Mr. Arroyo said it would provide some additional capacity improvement because they would be able to potentially move more cars through. However, a lot of it depends on which lane they are desiring to go into. Mr. Arroyo explained it doesn’t really help with the upstream capacity problems, the two lanes that are carrying traffic in each direction, the fact that they will still have the long back ups or still have a steady stream of vehicles, and it will still be difficult to turn out of adjacent intersections. Mr. Arroyo also pointed out that most of the intersections that are affected in the two mile segment have what might be considered a five lane section at the intersections. Mr. Arroyo explained most have a center turn lane, a through lane, and a right turn lane so there is an ability to get a lot more traffic through than if there were just one lane at the intersection approach. Mr. Arroyo advised that can only improve the situation to a certain level and then the full improvement to the road segment has to be looked at.

 

Councilman Schmid said perhaps the worst intersection from that standpoint is Novi Road and Ten Mile Road because it has limited capacity for right turns. Mr. Arroyo said there is a need for additional lengthening and storage lanes if that’s to be an interim improvement.

 

 

Councilman Schmid asked why they did not consider alternatives in terms of Grand River, Eight Mile Road, and so on? He understands why they discount Grand River, but if they improved it to five lanes all the way to South Lyon, he wondered how would it affect the ultimate capacity for Ten Mile Road. Mr. Arroyo does not believe it would affect the capacity because he believes there are some east side residents and businesses who could benefit from the widening of Grand River where access to Grand River is close to Ten Mile Road access. However, in the west side of town, especially outside of town, there is a separation of approximately four miles between Grand River and the development occurring along the Ten Mile corridor. Mr. Arroyo said the likelihood of a motorist traveling four miles out of their way on the Ten Mile route is low. Mr. Arroyo believes Nine Mile Road would be a more attractive alternative because it is parallel to Ten Mile, is only one mile off, and there is access to other north/south roads to gain access to other roadways with more of a regional connection. Mr. Arroyo believes Grand River has to be widened to five lanes, but for now, Ten Mile has a higher priority from a traffic flow standpoint.

 

Councilman Schmid agrees with Mr. Arroyo. He added there has been a lot of discussion about the degree of noise created by the proposed improvements and he believes the 69 dB MDOT maximum is less than what actual freeway noise is.

 

Councilman Schmid asked the worse case scenario would be in forty years if Ten Mile were left as it is, if the intersections up to Novi Road were improved and Grand River was improved to five lanes? Mr. Arroyo replied worse case would be that Ten Mile Road would carry roughly 33,000, Nine Mile Road would carry approximately 25,000-26,000 with heavy congestion, and some traffic would divert to Eight Mile and Grand River because of the congestion. However, Mr. Arroyo stated by that time, a lot of the capacity that is currently there will be consumed by other development.

 

Councilman Schmid asked if a case could be made from a road expert standpoint that by opening up Ten Mile Road to a five lane road that Novi is being bypassed? Mr. Arroyo replied the demand to widen Ten Mile Road is a result of residential traffic which means they’re following commuting patterns, but the improvements to Grand River for the Main Street development is a destination type of development. Therefore, Mr. Arroyo explained that the pattern along Ten Mile is different from traveling to a retail development.

 

Councilman Schmid said he does not want to be a regional road in Novi and asked if travelers would then have to use the expressway and the other roads? Mr. Arroyo replied the other roads would start seeing the additional traffic, but he thinks there will still be people who live in the Ten Mile corridor that will continue to want to travel that corridor and will find it inconvenient to take another route. Mr. Arroyo said there will be a point if the congestion becomes so bad on Ten and Nine Mile Roads that they may see improved travel times by going out of their way.

 

Councilman Clark commended the residents and consultants for the democratic way in which they presented their positions. Councilman Clark said the proposal to widen Ten Mile to five lanes is presented on the basis that it will relieve traffic congestion. He does not really believe it will relieve the congestion, but instead believes it will bring more congestion and traffic traveling at a higher speed. Councilman Clark contends that they should be concentrating their efforts on Grand River because it would give them the perfect vehicle to support the business community and Novi’s downtown. Councilman Clark gives the motorists a large degree of credit for their good common sense because they will take the path of least resistance. Councilman Clark asked why would motorists want to traverse Ten Mile Road if they widened Grand River to five lanes?

 

Councilman Clark said they made the argument that there will continue to be congestion and there is a benefit by widening the road. Councilman Clark said they predicted that they will have the same congestion that they had on Haggerty Road before the M-5 connector went in. Councilman Clark travels the M-5 on a regular basis and the only time it is congested is if there is an accident. He has been on Haggerty Road from Eight Mile to Fifteen Mile Road since M-5 opened and advised it is still bumper to bumper. Councilman Clark suggested that they should instead reduce speeds and rigidly enforce it on Ten Mile Road. Councilman Clark does not believe a five lane Ten Mile Road is the solution because of the negative impact it will have on the residents quality of life. To Councilman Clark, Grand River may be a logical alternative because it has all of the width, all of the right of ways in place, property does not have to be condemned, they don’t have to attempt to purchase rights of way, and they don’t have to find themselves in a situation where if they widen Ten Mile it gobbles up so much of a resident’s property that they end up in court. Councilman Clark also has concerns about safety and noise factors and asked Council to think about whom they are serving by taking a closer look at Grand River and Novi Road before considering the widening of Ten Mile Road.

 

Mayor Pro Tem Crawford is concerned about the process after tonight and thinks tonight’s issue is not whether they favor widening Ten Mile to five lanes, but that they do not want to exclude other options. Mayor Pro Tem Crawford wants to be assured they can stop the process anytime and he still believes Council has the authority to stop the process. He asked if the proposal went to MDOT and is aired at a Public Hearing, could other alternatives still receive funding?

 

Joe Kapelczak believes it would come back before Council prior to the preliminary design after a MDOT Public Hearing and will not automatically go into a five lane design without additional input, so there would still be an option to reject the funding. Mr. Kapelczak is not able to answer the question about whether a three lane improvement would be adequate and would MDOT fund it. Mr. Kapelczak added he does not know what the maximum decibel levels would be. Mr. Kapelczak advised that sometimes MDOT funds further designs or studies, but he would not know for certain until they get to that point.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if Council has the option of asking for the statement to be revised to reflect an alternative other than the five lane road and then submit to MDOT at that point? Councilman Mitzel said he thought he heard Mr. Nowicki say it is possible if level of service could be demonstrated by a different alternative. Mr. Kapelczak said Councilman Mitzel is asking them to write a report that shows alternatives other than five lanes and he believes Mr. Arroyo has already answered that. Mr. Kapelczak said he can write a report with other alternatives, but he and Mr. Arroyo believe they cannot get funded.

Councilman Mitzel asked if he meant if that is the part that would not get funding from a federal and state standpoint? Mr. Kapelczak said he was correct. Councilman Mitzel asked if a local match is still necessary even if they got that grant? Mr. Kapelczak said he was correct.

 

Councilman Mitzel said it sounds like a political reality of the local matching being able to be funded if it were five lanes and would seriously jeopardize any potential success of a bond issue this Fall because of the opposition for a five lane Ten Mile. Councilman Mitzel feels they need some improvement on Ten Mile and some alternatives would be to improve the Novi Road intersection, construct a railroad overpass, or add center turn lanes. At this point, he feels the choice is to either pursue the options totally at a local level because the consultants state there is little chance that those options would qualify for state or federal funds or they could still proceed and submit for a five lane road. If the second option is chosen, Councilman Mitzel believes it will fail for the local match because he does not see that passing in the Fall vote or in a bond issue and it could also jeopardize the other projects.

 

Councilman Mitzel suggested that they pursue the other alternatives and asked Mr. Kriewall if that is going to be part of the road bond issue? Mr. Kriewall replied that he had not planned on making this project as part of the upcoming November bond issue. He added they have identified approximately $28M in community road improvements and that the Ten Mile Road improvements were a part of the package. However, it became clear to them administratively that it is too much right now and from experience roads cannot be built that fast because they are very complicated in terms of right of way acquisition and environmental assessments. Mr. Kriewall said they were going to split the bond issue and deal only with the locally funded road improvements in November. Since federal projects take longer to formulate, Mr. Kriewall said the subsequent road bonding program in two to three years for the Ten Mile funding would be a separate election. In summary, Mr. Kriewall reported the Ten Mile Road project would not be a part of the Road Bonding Issue.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if the plan would be the same even if they opted to go for the local improvements? Mr. Kriewall replied it would not, because they would have to redo the environmental process, start over, resubmit, and the timing would be about the same. Councilman Mitzel asked if they go to any other option other than five lanes will they still get the federal funds? Mr. Kriewall replied he thinks they would attempt to receive some federal funding because even if they might not fund the three lane cross section, they might fund the improvements to the Ten Mile/Novi Road intersection or perhaps the railroad bridge. Councilman Mitzel said they are then back to his first question which was, is it worthwhile to pursue modifying this report to reflect that those other alternatives are preferable to the citizens and Council and then submit that for the federal funds? Mr. Kriewall replied yes, adding that they could modify the process to this point and then come back again with a modified design.

 

 

CM-96-07-230: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Cassis, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To modify the report to reflect the desirability of alternatives other than the five lane improvement such as three lane intersection improvements at Novi Road and the overpass and return the modified report to Council upon completion for consideration for forwarding to MDOT.

 

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Councilwoman Cassis has learned a lot tonight from the consultants and the audience. She said there is no question that the roads are not in the condition they need to be for a growing community and they have to find ways of improving them. Councilwoman Cassis said she agrees they should make Grand River a priority because of all of the reasons which were stated earlier. She added she attended an MDOT and Oakland County Road Commission forum and learned that in any cloverleaf configuration to improve Wixom and Beck Road, they must first widen Grand River to five lanes. In fact, the communities that come up with a plan to look at the interstate and the improvements needed and plan for the secondary roads like Grand River, will be in a much better situation to gain federal and state funds to make these improvements. Therefore, Councilwoman Cassis asked why isn’t Grand River a part of the whole Novi road system and elevated to a priority?

 

Mr. Kapelczak said when the Planning Department looked at Grand River and at Ten Mile in the overall scoring of points, Ten Mile scored more points and that is why the grant went to Ten Mile. Councilwoman Cassis said she gives credit to all the people who have given input, but after attending the forum she wondered why Grand River was in a position lower than Ten Mile Road given the impact of what they are trying to accomplish with the interstate.

 

Councilwoman Cassis said she realizes Councilman Mitzel did not attend the June 17 meeting when they looked at the proposal for road bonding. She advised Council decided unanimously at that time to place the matter in a study session so Council could ask questions and look more closely at some questions that they have brought forth tonight, including a systems approach to the whole road system problem.

 

In conclusion, Councilwoman Cassis believes in local control and she believes they have gotten a lot of public input tonight before they make a decision. In addition, she cannot see the need to spend any more additional dollars on an environmental report that is a proponent of five lanes. Councilwoman Cassis is not in favor of turning two miles of Ten Mile Road into five lanes and then turn it into something that looks like Orchard Lake Road.

 

Mr. Kapelczak reminded Council that the road belongs to the Oakland County Road Commission. Mr. Kapelczak stated even though they may want to send a study on for widening the intersections and perhaps widening to it to three lanes, he suggested that they first discuss this matter with Oakland County. Mr. Kapelczak added that Oakland County approves all of the construction and if they do not want to permit a three lane road there, they don’t have to. Mr. Kapelczak believes a cursory review of a conceptual design must first be done by the Road Commission before they spend any more money in studies.

 

Mayor McLallen asked if that impacts Councilman Mitzel’s motion? Councilman MItzel replied it does not.

 

Councilman Schmid said he will not agree to spend more money for an additional study until someone comes back with an estimate of what it would cost. It is clear to Councilman Schmid that they are not going to send this to MDOT and he concurs with that. However, it is also clear to him that they have spent a lot of money to find out they are not going to send it to MDOT which means they should have had this discussion a long time ago. Councilman Schmid explained Council is quick to ask for studies before they understand what the issues are and he believes he supported the original motion after much reservation. He said he has learned a lesson and it will be the last study that he will vote for until they are sure where they are headed. Councilman Schmid asked Councilman Mitzel if he would want an estimate on the study before he agrees to do it? Mr. Kriewall stated they will get an estimate before they proceed.

 

Mayor McLallen said there is a motion to modify the environmental assessment for Ten Mile Road improvements, to review the three lane option intersection improvement to the critical intersections and review the railroad overpass east of Novi Road.

 

Councilman Clark commented that he cannot support the proposed motion for the same reasons Councilman Schmid stated. He thinks it makes sense to contact Oakland County to determine what they think about this proposal before any more taxpayer money is spent.

Mayor Pro Tem Crawford thinks the motion has some merit and he would amend the motion to include contacting the Road Commission to determine what the feasibility is and that the City’s Administration should come back before Council with a cost estimate of revising that report.

 

Mayor McLallen advised that Mayor Pro Tem Crawford is placing an amendment to the main motion that cost estimates and the actual feasibility and acceptance potential by Oakland County Road Commission will be considered before they extend any further monies.

 

 

CM-96-07-231: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Mitzel, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY : To amend main motion as stated.

 

 

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Councilwoman Cassis asked if this matter would come back before Council prior to forwarding anything on? Mayor McLallen replied that it would.

 

 

Vote on CM-96-07-231: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Schmid

Nay: None

 

Mayor McLallen reminded Council the main motion is to seek a revision of the environmental assessment to review the three lane option, the intersection improvements, and the railroad overpass.

 

 

Vote on CM-96-07-230: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Schmid

Nay: None

 

 

CM-96-07-232: Moved by Clark, Seconded by Cassis, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To withhold the forwarding of the Resolution of Authorization to MDOT for the Ten Mile Road improvement assessment.

 

 

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if Council were to take this action, does it bring closure to that grant application that this work is being conducted under? Mr. Nowicki replied there is a time period, but it is his understanding that Council is going to look at the potential alternatives with the eventuality of submitting an environmental assessment again to continue to secure grant funds under an approved alternate by Council which could include intersection improvements, three lanes, or whatever. Mr. Nowicki would not recommend sending anything to MDOT indicating that Council does not want the money.

 

Mayor McLallen clarified Councilman Mitzel’s question by stating that if Council supports Councilman Clark’s motion which is to not send this particular document forward, does that end the entire process that is now open? Mr. Nowicki believes they still have a window to continue based on the options that Council may approve.

 

David Fried, City Attorney asked if they could include the word "original" in Councilman Clark’s motion. Councilman Clark asked if it was the approval of the original resolution? Mr. Fried replied it would be the original report. Mayor Pro Tem Crawford advised there is also a date on it.

 

Mayor McLallen said if Councilman Clark is agreeable, the motion is to not send the resolution regarding the Environmental Assessment for Ten Mile Road Improvements dated June 24, 1996.

 

 

Vote on CM-96-07-232: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Schmid

Nay: None

 

 

2. Approval of Zoning Map Amendment 18.552 - Property located north of Thirteen Mile Road, west of proposed M-5 alignment from RA to R-2 or any other appropriate district.

 

Mayor McLallen stated that this project had been before the Planning Commission and the request for rezoning was denied. She advised Council of letters in their packets from the Community Development Department supporting consultants’ findings which do not recommend this rezoning.

 

 

CM-96-07-233: Moved by Cassis, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To deny the rezoning request of property located north of Thirteen Mile Road from RA to R-2 based on the Planning Commissions recommendations and the letters, recommendations and comments of the staff.

 

Harold J. Robinson, Court Appointed Conservator of Josephine Kovacs - Mr. Robinson said Josephine and George Kovacs bought the property in 1941, they had been consistently paying taxes on it and had farmed it for a long time. George Kovacs is deceased and Josephine Kovacs is a resident of the Lourdes Nursing Home.

 

 

Mr. Robinson said until a short time ago, the property was zoned Rural or Agricultural and the taxes were quite reasonable. Not too long ago the City Council decided to rezone the property to its present zoning and the taxes have gone from about $13,000 a year to $40,000 a year. He added under the present zoning there aren’t any buyers. He said over the last seven years they had received a number of offers to buy that were all predicated on rezoning by City Council or by court action. He stated they convinced him that the property would be rezoned either by City Council or by a Judge. He thought that if it were going to be rezoned, the people who had owned it for over 50 years are the ones who should benefit because they had the hardship of the taxes and the hardship of getting a fair offer for the property unless they permit somebody else to rezone it.

 

Mr. Robinson said they had come up with a plan formulated by their consultant, the former Director of Oakland County and their designer, Robert Layton. Mr. Robinson reported that these experts suggested that an R-2 rezoning would be a fair zoning for the City and for the Trust.

 

Mr. Robinson said if Council didn’t see their reasoning and were not willing to listen to the basis for their reasoning, then what Council was really saying is that a property owner, to get the kind of relief that they felt was fair, had to be prepared to stand the expense of going to court. He didn’t think it was fair to the property owners of Novi.

 

Mr. Robinson introduced Philip Dondero.

 

Mr. Dondero pointed out the location of the site and the Haggerty Road Connector at the corner of Thirteen Mile. He then pointed out the Commercial, Industrial and Office Plan, and Multiple Family zoning and that the site was about a mile from Twelve Mile and Novi Roads.

 

Mr. Dondero said a number of changes occurred in the City, perhaps by the City and not on behalf of the property owner. They rezoned the property immediately adjacent to this property on the north to R-2 and that was what they were asking for tonight. Mr. Dondero reported the proposed major highway widening is adjacent to the property on the eastern border. He also said some property has already been taken by the State for an interchange at Thirteen Mile Road. A large densely populated trailer park is less then 2,000 feet to the west of the property and the Town Center was just a mile to the south.

 

Mr. Dondero said the property was 104 acres with wetlands and woodlands on it. He said the requested zoning would accommodate 116 units and nearly one acre lots. Mr. Dondero explained they were requesting RA to R-2 zoning in order to achieve single family residential and because of the current zoning they are unable do it. Mr. Dondero reported they would have to take out 20 to 25% for the roads, wetlands and woodlands.

 

Councilman Schmid asked why can’t they develop this under the present zoning of RA one acre lots? Mr. Dondero replied the cost to bring utilities to the site was unreasonable.

 

Councilman Schmid asked how many lots were proposed? Mr. Dondero said there would be 116 lots which included the wetlands and woodlands.

 

Councilwoman Cassis said a rezoning of property is never a site plan and explained zoning is related to overall land use and how the land use is impacted by everything that’s around it. She said her concern was that they did have some options even with the RA Zoning by utilizing the Preservation Option. She said she believed anyone can use the Preservation Option in RA, R-1, R-2, R-3 but it is prohibited in R-4.

 

Councilwoman Cassis said going from RA to R-2 was a quantum leap downsizing and knowing that the applicant would still have the right to come in and petition the Preservation Option on top of that would allow even further downsizing. Member Cassis was of the mind that in order to stay consistent with the Master Plan and follow the guidelines brought forward by the Planning Consultants and the Planning Commission, she thought that on behalf of the people that they represented that they might want to come in and not make such a quantum leap and deviation from the Master Plan. She stated that was why she could not support a rezoning to an R-2 District.

 

 

Vote on CM-96-07-233: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Schmid

Nay: None

 

 

3. Approval of Request for one-year extension of Tentative Preliminary Plat Approval - Greenwood Oaks Subdivision No. 4, SP 92-31B.

 

Mayor McLallen advised this subdivision is in the northwest corner of Beck and Ten Mile Road and has been before Council a number of times. In addition, the City recently put it into a different detention area, but they still have problems with the water moratorium and they are requesting another year’s extension. Mayor McLallen said the applicant’s notes indicate that perhaps this project will begin construction sooner than one year, but they are asking for the full year.

 

Pat Keast reported Council approved their request to transfer sanitary sewer taps from the Simmons District six weeks ago. Mr. Keast said they have submitted their preliminary plat for review for eighteen of the forty five lots for which they are requesting an extension. Mr. Keast anticipates that to be on Council’s next agenda subject to the consultants’ review. Mr. Keast anticipates the remaining portion will come forward when the moratorium is hopefully lifted by the end of this year.

 

 

CM-96-07-234: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded Schmid, MOTION CARRIED: To grant a one year extension until June 1997 of the Tentative Preliminary Plat approval for Greenwood Oaks Subdivision No. 4, SP 92-31B subject to the consultants’ letters and the conditions of the previous extension granted in June 1995.

 

 

 

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Councilman Mitzel said they extended the preliminary plan last year until June 6, 1996 which was three weeks ago and asked if an official waiver has to be made because they are taking the action after the expiration date? Mr. Fried replied it is not necessary as long as Council is aware they are taking action after the expiration date.

 

Councilwoman Cassis said Mr. Krystoff raised a number of questions which she could not answer and she would like to ask them of Mr. Rogers. Councilwoman Cassis said the project has tentative preliminary plat approval and asked what would the next stage of the approval process be? Mr. Rogers replied a final preliminary plat approval would come directly before Council. Mr. Rogers said the next stage would be the final plat which, as the final preliminary plat, may be a segment of the original approved tentative preliminary plat. Mr. Rogers reported the applicant filed today for a final preliminary plat for those lots that abut Beck Road and added that they will call it Greenwood Oaks Plat No. 4. They will renumber the residual lots of Greenwood Oaks No. 4 which are adjacent to the Bosco property as Greenwood Oaks Subdivision No. 5.

 

Councilwoman Cassis said this is a revision then. Mr. Rogers said it is not and the only revision was the relocation of a detention area out of some wetlands into the platted area. Mr. Rogers believes they may indicate it in Mr. Keast’s letter. Councilwoman Cassis said Mr. Rogers is then talking about phasing. Mr. Rogers replied he is and the revision he talked about is that the next stage is the final preliminary which will be before Council shortly for a part of the Greenwood Oaks No. 4 in its entirety. Mr. Rogers added it is the same that was approved a year ago.

 

Councilwoman Cassis does not understand why they are taking this action in part and asked why don’t they approve the whole thing if the petitioner is going to develop these lots as was originally set forth? Mr. Rogers replied that developing it is now possible because they have found a solution for disposal of the sanitary waste. However, Mr. Rogers explained they are fearful that final preliminary plat approval won’t take place before this preliminary tentative plat expires. Mr. Rogers explained they are covering their options by requesting an extension of the overall Greenwood No. 4 and they will then come before Council with a Beck Road portion as final preliminary plat. Mr. Rogers continued by stating they will possibly finish Greenwood Oaks No. 4 with another final preliminary plat along the north edge of the property.

 

For the benefit of Mr. Krystoff, Mr. Rogers reported that this request has nothing to do with rezoning the horse farm on the corner. Mr. Rogers added the rezoning action for the horse farm would have to be acted on after the Planning Commission held a Public Hearing.

 

Councilwoman Cassis is concerned about the parceling and wondered if other Council Members are concerned in terms of just bringing back final preliminary plat apart of this plan?

 

Councilman Mitzel asked the City Attorney whether phasing can be done at the final preliminary plat stages as opposed to a tentative preliminary plat? Mr. Fried replied he cannot answer that because he would have to review it, but he recalls that it has to be done at the tentative stage. Councilman Mitzel said if so and if the applicant wants to phase, he may have to bring both tentative plats back before Council. Councilman Mitzel added it would allow him to develop it all as one phase in the mean time.

 

Councilman Schmid asked Mr. Keast if there are any plans to change any zoning? Mr. Keast replied they do not plan to change any zoning and the intent is to follow the plan.

 

Councilwoman Cassis said if the intent is to follow the plan, she asked why doesn’t the applicant come back and have a final preliminary plat of the whole project? Mr. Keast replied they would like to do that, however they have been given approval by the State Health Department for only eighteen of the forty five taps for domestic water supply.

 

Councilwoman Cassis said that would not preclude the applicant from asking for all forty five lots even though they might not have the water available because they have sewer and asked if they could develop on well? Mr. Keast said they could, but the developer prefers that the remaining lots be developed on city water when they lift the moratorium. Mr. Keast added that the developer believes it will happen by the end of the year and he would come before Council for final preliminary plat approval on the remaining twenty seven lots at that time.

 

Councilwoman Cassis does not see the rationale in not approving all the lots and asked if it gives the developer the same rights even if there is no water availability on all of them? Mr. Fried does not understand the rationale either because the applicant is coming in with a plat and can have the plat approved, although he suggested there may be some expenses involved that the developer does not want to pay at this time. Mr. Keast replied there is expense in doing test wells and in order to get final preliminary plat approval, the developer would have to receive all of the outside agency approvals after Council’s approval. Mr. Keast reported some of those agencies are the State and County Health Departments. Mr. Keast further reported there are test wells that they can utilize if they develop the lots with wells and it is not an expense because it is something they have to pay for later. However, he added if they anticipate city water, then they don’t want to spend the money on the wells.

 

Councilwoman Cassis asked if there was some way that they could indicate that this would come back before Council within six months instead of one year to see that the developer has brought back one set of a final preliminary plat? Councilwoman Cassis said they could then come back with the full package within the next few months. Therefore, Councilwoman Cassis would amend the motion to a six month time table to bring forth the entire final preliminary plat that covers all forty five lots. Councilwoman Cassis advised there have been two other extensions in three years and she thinks that they now have some roadblocks cleared up and water is no longer a problem, so she does not see a hardship.

 

 

CM-96-07-235: Moved by Cassis, Seconded by Clark, MOTION FAILED: To amend the main motion to extend the tentative preliminary plat for six months from this date.

 

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Councilman Schmid understands Councilwoman Cassis’ concern, but the developer has to do this within a year and reminded Council that the petitioner has said he will not try to change any zoning or part of the plan. Therefore, Councilman Schmid cannot support this motion because he does not want to put additional hardship on this motion.

 

 

Vote on CM-96-07-235: Yeas: Cassis, Clark

Nay: McLallen, Crawford, Mitzel, Schmid

 

Mayor McLallen advised the main motion is to grant a tentative preliminary plat for one year until June 1997 bringing forward all the conditions of the previous 1995 renewal and all of the consultants’ letters.

 

 

Vote on CM-96-07-234: Yeas: McLallen, Clark, Crawford, Mitzel, Schmid

Nay: Cassis

 

Mayor McLallen noted Mr. Keast should advise the landowner that there is concern about the appearance of the land and asked if he could make it more agreeable to the local homeowners.

 

 

4. Appointment of Board and Commission Members

 

Mayor McLallen advised Council that her recommendation for Planning Commission is Mr. Churella and the reappointment of Members Hodges and Weddington. In addition, she is recommending Mr. Meyer for the Zoning Board of Appeals and accepting Mr. Bowdell for Construction Board of Appeals. Mayor McLallen said because there is some confusion as to the necessity of the two full Boards of Review they will not address the Board of Review situation tonight. Mayor McLallen said they will come back to it when they have a clarification of it if they need to.

 

Councilman Mitzel said if the Construction Board and the ZBA are Council appointments, they can use the ballot mechanism. He then said the Planning Commission is the Mayor’s appointment subject to Council confirmation.

 

 

CM-96-07-236: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED: To appoint Mr. Churella and reappoint Members Hodges and Weddington to a three year term expiring on June 30, 1999 on the Planning Commission.

Vote on CM-96-07-236: Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Schmid

Nay: Crawford

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

James Utley - 25614 Gina Court, said he applauds Council’s decision about the Ten Mile road issue, but he agrees with Councilman Schmid and is dismayed that the money was spent without a little more soul searching. Mr. Utley is hopeful in the future that they can make less studies and do more rational thinking before entering into a study.

 

Mr. Arroyo’s statements about the traffic bother Mr. Utley because he said the exact opposite a year ago when McDonald’s requested a rezoning on Ten Mile and Novi Roads. Again, Mr. Utley would like to restate that the City should start evaluating their consultants and he hasn’t seen any thorough investigation done by the City as far as the consultants are concerned. Mr. Utley said his concerns involve the quality of work, answering questions when they’re asked and having thorough knowledge about issues from Lansing. Mr. Utley expects better information from the City’s consultants and believes a review is necessary.

 

Mayor McLallen advised there is an annual review process for consultants which evaluates many of Mr. Utley’s points.

 

 

Chuck Young - 50910 Nine Mile Road, commended Isabelle Collins and although she is 76 years old and not as feisty as she once was, she still is an active proponent of Novi residents.

 

Mr. Young said he has tried to attend every meeting that has affected the SWAN area over the last couple of years and he believes the planners got blind sided at the meeting he attended the other night. Mr. Young believes they put the planners and Mr. Robert Shaw in a bad position. Mr. Young said an important issue came up that evening that Andrew Mutch mentioned several months ago when he asked what happens when one community affects another? Mr. Young said they did not notify the Northville residents about the potential recreational ordinance and the only information they received was from the SWAN organization’s flyer.

 

Mayor McLallen closed the Audience Participation and advised Council will break.

 

 

MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - PART II

 

 

5. Schedule an Executive Session for July 15, 1996 at 6:30 P.M. - Negotiations

 

 

CM-96-07-237: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To Schedule an Executive Session for July 15, 1996 at 6:30 P.M. - Negotiations.

 

Vote on CM-96-07-237: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel Nay: None

Mayor McLallen noted Councilman Schmid was absent from the room during the vote.

 

 

6. Schedule an Executive Session to immediately follow Regular Meeting of July 1, 1996 - Pending Litigation & Property Acquisition

 

 

CM-96-07-238: Moved by Clark, Seconded by Crawford, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule an Executive Session to immediately follow Regular Meeting of July 1, 1996 - Pending Litigation & Property Acquisition.

 

Vote on CM-96-07-238: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel

Nay: None

 

Councilman Schmid was absent from the room during the vote.

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

 

Chuck Young - 50910 Nine Mile Road, said it is possible that Council will lose one if its members very soon and because she has been very helpful in helping the residents of Novi, Mr. Young asked Council to consider someone who is concerned with the residents during their interviews. He also said the Planning Commission recently suffered a loss when Mr. Bonaventura’s term expired.

 

Mayor McLallen closed Audience Participation.

 

 

 

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

Mayor Pro Tem Crawford advised that the Community Clubs have met and they have spoken with bonding attorneys and the City’s assistant attorney. Mayor Pro Tem Crawford reported the revisions they made will be back before Council on July 15, 1996.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if they are still on track for opening a year from now? Mayor Pro Tem Crawford replied it depends upon recreation zoning ordinances, on districts and a site. He added if they don’t soon acquire a site they will not be on track for September 1997.

 

 

MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES

Councilman Mitzel asked what the outcome was for the Boards? Tonni Bartholomew, City Clerk replied the results for Construction Board of Appeals, Jeffrey Bowdell (6 votes) and for Zoning Board of Appeals, Michael Meyer (6 votes).

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if the joint meeting for the tenth was still scheduled because it is not on the agenda? Tonni Bartholomew stated they overlooked it, but it is not canceled.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if Council had taken any action on asking Administration to look into a cost estimate for the one segment of safety path which the students ranked as the number one priority at the last Council meeting? Councilman Mitzel said there is monies in this year’s budget for a sidewalk safety path and he wondered if that would be a feasible project with the budgeted money? Mayor McLallen thought they pursued Councilman Mitzel’s memo and there was a dollar figure put on it, but Council has not taken any action yet because there was a discrepancy between how much money was available and what the preliminary projection costs were.

 

Councilman Schmid thinks there should be further Council discussion on safety paths because he is opposed to black topped eight foot wide paths.

 

Councilman Mitzel stated several items were cleared from the Ordinance Review Committee’s agenda. One item was having eight foot safety paths on both sides of the road and they were all supposed to be brought before Council.

 

Mayor McLallen asked if there is a consensus to schedule the entire subject of safety paths at the next meeting under Matters for Council Issues? Councilman Mitzel said an amendment from the Ordinance Review Committee should also be on the table then.

 

Mayor McLallen said at this time, the entire safety path program, whatever funding is available, and other options would be an item for Council under Matters for Discussion. In addition to the safety path ordinance, Mayor McLallen asked the Administration to track what is still in the pipeline and has been passed by the Ordinance Review Committee, but has not yet been before Council.

 

Councilwoman Cassis asked if they will have a preliminary report back on the concerns raised by Mr. and Mrs. Adams about the drainage problems along Taft Road for the next meeting? Mayor McLallen and Mr. Kriewall replied it is in the packet.

 

Councilwoman Cassis asked if they would send a letter to Mr. Korte regarding the feedback that they received in the packet? Mr. Kriewall said they would provide a copy.

 

Councilman Clark said there was also concern expressed by two homeowners affected by the Taft Road extension and he is concerned why they had not received notice of the meeting where they discussed the routing. In addition, Councilman Clark would like more information in terms of exactly how much residents would be impacted by a route. Mr. Kriewall said the residents should have been notified.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if Council could have the status on the South Lake and East Lake bike paths that were from the Housing and Community Development funds for the next meeting? Mayor McLallen replied they will provide anything that semi resembles a safety path.

 

 

MANAGER’S REPORTS

 

Mr. Kriewall reported Maisano’s Restaurant suffered a fire this morning when paper products stored near a cooler fan on top of the freezer ignited because the fan shorted out. Mr. Kriewall added the party store next door also had to close and they estimated that the repairs may take thirty days.

 

 

ATTORNEY’S REPORTS - None

 

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

Mayor McLallen advised Items 8, 10, and 11 were removed.

 

 

8. Approval of proposed Agreement between the City and Technology Applications Group, Inc. for the Novi Geographic Public Information Kiosk System.

 

Councilman Clark reported he had indicated earlier that he will support the Geographic Information System, but he will not support the Kiosk portion because he believes it is an extravagance that taxpayer funds should not be spent on.

 

Councilman Schmid agrees with Councilman Clark and hopes Council will control the expenditure on the system.

 

 

CM-96-07-239: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Mitzel, MOTION CARRIED: To approve the proposed Agreement between the City and Technology Applications Group, Inc. For the Novi Geographic Public Information Kiosk System.

 

Vote on CM-96-07-239: Yea: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Mitzel Nay: Clark, Schmid

10. Approval of proposed Agreement between City and Microcad Solutions for computer hardware for Novi Geographic Information System.

 

 

11. Approval of proposed Agreement between City and Environmental Systems Research Institute for computer software for the Novi Geographic Information System.

 

Councilman Schmid stated this item will cost an additional $104,924 that Council already approved. Councilman Schmid believes one of the projects calls for a renewal of $4,000 and asked Mr. Nowicki to clarify this.

 

Mr. Nowicki said the $4,000 is for the software agreement and the one currently before Council is for hardware. Mr. Nowicki said the amount for approximately $4,895 is an annual software maintenance fee and is consistent in the industry which provides updates, technical support, and some other things annually.

 

Councilman Schmid said he read in the material that they are leasing the equipment and the software has to be renewed annually for $4,895. Mr. Nowicki reiterated that cost is for the annual software maintenance fee. Councilman Schmid said if they pull the software out or if the City decided they no longer wanted that software, the City would have to go somewhere else to get the software.

 

Councilman Schmid is under the impression that this company is the only company that provides this software and asked if this software doesn’t function the way the City expected, what are the alternatives? Mr. Nowicki said the City cannot change and ESRI provides the software for all the mapping, all the graphics, and all the data manipulation. Mr. Nowicki further stated the Oracle Data Base is included in the package and is common to many other geographic information system software programs. Mr. Nowicki said therefore, they can change software vendors, providing the software is compatible with the Oracle Data Base. Mr. Nowicki added that the software package the Police Department is looking at should also be compatible with the Oracle Data Base. Instead of buying a piece of software and putting together a system that can solely be isolated with only one software package, there is a certain level of flexibility with the Oracle Data Base.

 

Councilman Schmid asked Mr. Fried if he read the agreements? Mr. Fried replied Mr. Watson read them.

 

Councilman Schmid asked what the approximate cost has been to date? Mr. Nowicki replied Phase I approved the GIS Study with Wayne State University for $45,000. Phase II was approximately $200,000 and tonight’s request is for $210,000. Councilman Schmid said they are spending $450,000 on a system that may not work.

 

Councilman Schmid asked what is the expected expenditure? Mr. Nowicki said the original estimate which Council approved in July was for $750,000 and they are capped at that amount.

 

 

CM-96-07-240: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Crawford, MOTION CARRIED: To Approve Items 10 and 11 on the Consent Agenda.

 

Vote on CM-96-07-240: Yea: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel Nay: Schmid

COMMUNICATIONS

 

1. Memorandum to City Council from Craig Klaver, Re: Frank Gilbert Visitation.

2. Letter to City Council from Carolyn Pohlman, Re: Ten Mile Improvement Program.

3. Letter to Mayor McLallen from Barbara and David Lucas, Re: Proposed Recreational Facilities.

4. Letter to Historical Commission from Fried, Watson & Bugbee, Re: Removal of Member.

5. Letter to City Council from Jerry Martin, Re: Proposed Ten Mile Road Improvements.

6. Letter to City Council from Karen Brown, Re: Proposed Ten Mile Road Improvements.

7. Letter to Mayor and Council from Donald & Ruth Waldenmayer, Re: Proposed Ten Mile Road Improvements.

8. Letter to City Council from John & Joyce Stowell, Re: Ice Arena & Sports Club planned for 8 Mile Road.

9. Letter to Mayor and City Council from Ruth Hamilton, Re: Run-off of sledge and debris from Sandstone/Vistas into the Shawood Canal.

10. Letter to Mayor and City Council from Marilyn Kellman, Re: Proposed Ten Mile Road Improvements.

11. Letter to City Council from Warren and Ann-Marie Jocz, Re: Ten Mile Road Improvement Project.

12. Memorandum to Mayor and City Council from Donald Saven, Re: James Korte complaint regarding soil erosion and parking problems - West Oak Veterinary.

13. Memorandum from Greg Capote to the Novi City Council, Re: Gun sales and retail sales from the home.

14. Memorandum from Greg Capote to the Novi City Council, Re: Cellular Tower draft ordinance update.

15. Memorandum from Jim Wahl to the Novi City Council, Re: Novi 2020 - Futuring process selection on consultant services.

16. Memorandum from Jim Wahl to City Council, Re: FY 1996-97 Planning Commission Budget.

18. Memorandum from Bruce Jerome, Re: Drainage complaint - Adams - 24630 Taft Road.

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 11:45 P.M..

 

 

 

 

Mayor City Clerk

 

Transcribed by Barbara Holmes

Date Approved: September 9, 1996