REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL FOR THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, AUGUST 12, 1996 - 7:30 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M..
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor Pro Tem Crawford, Council Members Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
ALSO PRESENT: City Manager Edward Kriewall, Assistant City Manager Craig Klaver, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson, Director of Public Services Tony Nowicki, Deputy City Clerk Nancy Reutter
Mayor McLallen advised they are on baby watch because Tonni Bartholomew, City Clerk is currently in labor. In addition, Mayor McLallen congratulated Councilwoman Cassis on her successful primary election for the State seat.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor McLallen advised Item 13, Schedule an Executive Session of City Council to immediately follow Regular Meeting - Pending Litigation has been removed.
CM-96-08-266: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Clark, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as amended.
Vote on CM-96-08-266: Yeas: McLallen , Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch Schmid
1. Greetings from Senator Bullard
Mayor McLallen advised Senator Bullard has not arrived.
2. Resolution of Appreciation to James Klausmeyer, retiring City Assessor
Mr. Klaver advised Mr. Klausmeyer was not present because he was on vacation. Mayor McLallen announced that the City Assessor, James Klausmeyer is retiring after many years of fine service and they will present him with his Resolution of Appreciation at his retirement party.
3. Resolution of Appreciation to Glen Bonaventura for service as a member of the Planning Commission
Mayor McLallen presented a Resolution of Appreciation to Glen Bonaventura for services rendered to the community as a Planning Commissioner. Mayor McLallen thanked Mr. Bonaventura on behalf of the citizens of Novi and added only the people who sit on that body know the kind of time and devotion to the City that these servers have given. Mayor McLallen then read the sentiment on the plaque.
Glen Bonaventura congratulated Councilwoman Cassis and believes her win is a benefit for Novi. Mr. Bonaventura stated it has been his pleasure to be a part of the process and he plans to remain active in the community. Mr. Bonaventura advised he is there with the Tim Pope Memorial Committee.
4. Library Presentation - Summer Teen Volunteers
Mayor McLallen stated the teen volunteers contributed a lot to the community and introduced Brenda Evans, Director of the Library. Mayor McLallen advised 74 young people volunteered their time to work for free in the library this Summer to further allow the library to provide children’s programs. Mayor McLallen introduced each volunteer who was present.
Brenda Evans said the Library is proud to be associated with this group of young people. Ms. Evans advised that the library organizers decided that with the size of Novi’s community, the library needed help to organize a program which would sustain interest to bring children in week after week. Ms. Evans reported research has proven that those who stay in touch with reading over the Summer do better when they return to school in September. In addition, Ms. Evans advised 1,190 children registered for the Summer library program. Ms. Evans added the success of the program requires a great deal of parent support and a great deal of energy and enthusiasm on behalf of the people who are organizing the program. Ms. Evans said they could not have accommodated the children without the 74 volunteers. Ms. Evans said the volunteers needed to sign up for a schedule and be reliable. Ms. Evans believes they were gaining some skills that would eventually help them in the work place. Another major focus was that young children got to see young adults having some positive experiences in the library. Overall, the children in the program read 6,201 books. Ms. Evans then introduced and thanked the following members of the Library Board who are supporting programs like the children’s program: Andrew Mutch, Eric Krieger, Jim Evenhuis, and Myrtle Locke.
5. Tim Pope Memorial Project
Mayor McLallen said there is a group of citizens who are moving forward to bring more citizens into hands-on action with the City.
Mr. Charlie Staab reminded Council that they drafted a Resolution in May 1996 to select a location, to determine a type of memorial, to consider funding options and provide a time table. Mr. Staab reported their recommendation is to construct a playscape structure at the Community Sports Park at Eight Mile and Napier Roads. Mr. Staab provided pictures of an all use playscape structure at Gill Road Elementary in Farmington Hills for Council’s review and added this is the type of project they are looking at. Mr. Staab stated they are not looking for city dollars and plan to fund it through private solicitation and fund raisers. They estimate the total cost to be between $100,000-$120,000 and they are confident they can raise this amount and more. Planning will begin in September or October and they predict that construction will begin in late Spring or early Summer 1997. Mr. Staab said they feel it is a befitting memorial to Councilman Pope.
Mayor McLallen complimented the committee on coming back in a timely fashion with such clear goals.
Mayor McLallen said they just advised her that Senator Bullard is at the Republican Convention in San Diego.
Councilwoman Mutch asked what the next step is for the Pope memorial so that people can either make financial contributions or volunteer their time?
Mayor McLallen advised the City has established the trust fund within the City’s Treasurers Office for contributions and a form is available in the library or in the atrium. In addition, Dan Davis is the contact person at City Hall. Mayor McLallen reported they just received a contribution for $931.00 for the memorial.
Councilman Mitzel asked if they need approvals in terms of next steps? Dan Davis advised that they are going to continue to meet as a subcommittee and once school is closed for vacation, they will begin their subcommittee assignment work outlined on the committee’s handout. Mr. Davis added they will follow the necessary city approvals. Mr. Davis advised they have set aside part of the site for future development to address a playground equipment area. He said they chose the site because they do not have playground equipment budgeted for the Sports Park at this point.
Councilman Mitzel is concerned because the site is remote and a child would have to be drive to get there.
Mr. Staab advised that the Pope family went to a variety of locations that the Committee earmarked as potential site opportunities. Mr. Staab said because of the type of development at the Sports Center, the Committee and the Pope family feel there will be many opportunities for children and families to use the play area.
Because the children must be driven to the play site, Councilwoman Mutch believes more adult supervision will be provided for them.
PROCLAMATIONS - None
James Karlavage - 41976 Quince, advised he is there about the construction of more houses in their subdivision. Further, since the last time he was before Council, nothing has changed and the traffic situation has caused the roads to deteriorate more. Mr. Karlavage said a driver drove down school’s hill, hit three parked cars and drove through his garage. He has provided photos for Council. Mr. Karlavage said the Board of Education should look into guard rails and speed bumps. Mr. Karlavage asked if Council has an obligation to protect its citizens? Mr. Karlavage’s point is, traffic is currently out of control in this area and if forty five homes are added it will only increase. Mr. Karlavage reported that they approached the school board about a separate entrance and exit off Ten Mile for the school and for use as a construction haul road. Mr. Karlavage thinks that approving this subdivision is illogical and dangerous until they develop a plan with Ten Mile and Meadowbrook Roads. He would also like to see a galvanized guard rail around the school’s parking lot.
Mayor McLallen said Council will discuss this under Matters for Discussion, Item 2.
Pauline Berry - 41710 Tamara, is also concerned that construction traffic will only worsen the traffic situation in their subdivision.
LaReta Roder - Vice President of the Novi Heights Community Association read her August 12, 1996 letter to City Council which addressed issues that directly affected their subdivision. Those issues are: the Arbor Warehouse expansion, Creek Crossing Site Condominiums, and Program Products. Ms. Roder said site plan approval conditions which included measures to protect residents were ignored and unenforceable. Ms. Roder then capsulized some of the latest incidents and believes the City must first consider the safety and welfare of its residents.
Mary Baum - Orchard Hills Subdivision, said her major concern is about the children. Ms. Baum advised that the school district has refused the developer’s request to build a road on the back playground because it would disrupt activities and the existing facilities on the school site. In addition, it would also create ongoing dangerous conditions. Ms. Baum also thinks construction traffic through the Orchard Hills subdivision streets would create the same conditions. Ms. Baum said there are no sidewalks, so the children ride their bicycles in the street. Ms. Baum reported that the woodland consultant would not approve a haul road behind Sycamore from the southeast corner of Orchard Hills West to Meadowbrook Road because of its impact to the high quality regulated woodlands. Ms. Baum asked what about the impact the construction will have to their habitat and movement? Ms. Baum explained the quality of their life would be affected just as much as the wildlife’s. Ms. Baum is very concerned about the construction in terms of the pathway to school. She does not know if the developer considered the school’s walking traffic and asked if the developer has considered putting sidewalks on all of the streets? Ms. Baum also asked if the sewers can accommodate the addition of forty five homes?
Chuck Young - 50910 W. Nine Mile Road and SWAN member, said the SWAN Organization met and many concerns were raised. Mr. Young said some concerns were from Northville residents who said they did not include them in the recreational zoning and the only information they received was from the SWAN Organization. Mr. Young asked what happens when one area of the city affects another area of the city or a section of another city? Mr. Young said their organization is trying to establish communication with the City and they believe they should create an ombudsman position to help resolve some of the problems. Mr. Young believes the major problem is with communication. Mr. Young said they are looking for answers for all of their concerns and he believes the easiest way to get answers and keep informed is to go to one person like an ombudsman.
Michelle Texter - 22102 Chase Drive, stated as a concerned resident and parent she would like to address Item 5 under Matters for Council Action - Part I. Ms. Texter said they recently informed them about a traffic study which showed that there was no need for a stop sign. Ms. Texter realizes stop signs are not to control speed, but they do need them to control traffic. Since Nine Mile Road was opened, Chase Drive between Eight and Nine Mile Roads, has become a main thoroughfare for cars. Ms. Texter said a car passed through the intersection where she lives and hit a tree on their easement. She said if her child had been there and the tree was not there, the car would have hit her.
Larry Childerston - 41628 Borchart Street, said he is the President of the Orchard Hills Homeowners Association and advised they would like to voice their opposition about the proposed development of Orchard Hills West. Mr. Childerston reported that their objections remain as they were in March 1995. Their primary concerns are the safety of their children from additional traffic, the flooding of their homes from additional run off, and the further deterioration of their roads from heavy construction equipment. Mr. Childerston then sited examples of their concerns and asked Council to deny the petition.
Gary Zack - 359 South Lake Drive, said as a South Lake Drive resident, he has some safety issues about the bike path. Mr Zack thinks a bike path on the road’s shoulder jeopardizes pedestrian safety. In addition, the addition of a bike path may encourage more passing and higher speeds because it gives the appearance that the road is wider. Mr. Zack said garbage trucks and delivery trucks may also drive onto the bike path to reach their destination. This then raises the question whether they will build the path in a way that it can hold the weight of that type of traffic. Mr. Zack’s second issue is with the improper drainage from the road’s water run off which floods his yard and garage. He believes five more feet of asphalt will compound the existing drainage problems. According to conversations he had with the City, there are no plans to address this issue. Mr. Zack also believes the scale and material is wrong for a residential area. In addition, Mr. Zack said the original proposal did not include private land and now the current proposal includes taking easements. Further, if the City is going to widen the road’s shoulder, they should make do with what they have.
Sarah Gray - 133 Maudlin, repeated concerns about the safety path issues and asked Council to keep in mind that their area does not conform to any other areas of the City.
Ms. Gray said there are many pending legislation issues about local control and input on oil and gas. SES will be the local host for the Michigan Energy Reform Coalition next Tuesday, August 20, 1996 at the Novi Civic Center. The Michigan Energy Reform Coalition consists of citizens’ groups, local governments, townships, etc. seeking to have more control over what goes into their back yards. Ms. Gray said four of the bills would increase the power of local government to regulate oil and gas. Ms. Gray understands that Senator Bullard and Representative Munsell from Brighton will be there.
Robert Stone - Briarwood Condominiums, reminded Council and the Planning Commission that many problems that come up are due to a lack of follow up in the agreements made with the developers and the City. Mr. Stone said Briarwood is a good example because they brought all of their drainage problems before Council and after two years, they were told it is the resident’s problem.
In regard to stop signs, Mr. Stone advised he has driven through Chase Farms and asked why the developer didn’t consider traffic enforcement at that time to ensure safety? Mr. Stone said the same thing occurred in his development on Cider Mill Road. Mr. Stone asked if the residents have to come before Council after the fact? Mr. Stone would also like to have an ombudsman to look at these situations so that Council can base their decisions on realistic input.
James Korte - 2026 Austin, advised he was the last chairperson for the Walled Lake Sector Study Implementation Committee and the health, safety, and welfare of the residents are major concerns of the lakes’ area residents. During the meetings, Mr. Korte said he asked how much more money was going to be spent in addition to the cost of the asphalt. Mr. Korte said the low bidder for the base engineering prospectus was JCK at approximately $23,000. However, there are still no engineering plans for the bridge over the Shawood Canal. Mr. Korte asked how can they ask for a bid if they don’t know what they are asking for in a bridge? Mr. Korte asked who paid for the test borings on either side of the canal? Mr. Korte believes they should have payed it from the $23,000.
In an unrelated issue on South Lake near Eubank that drew concern, Mr. Korte advised a resident had several meetings with the Mayor and when they went to the drawings, Mr. Kapelczak commented that the surveys will not stand up in a court of law. Mr. Korte does not believe the City got out of the $23,000 what they should have and he personally believes it is another scam. Mr. Korte believes the bike and safety path is very important, but it is not what they sold the residents. Mr. Korte’s point is, if the surveys cannot stand up in a court of law, it is not worth the blueprints they paid for.
Martha Ferrier - 425 S. Lake Drive, does not support the sidewalk under the current building and construction plans for many of the reasons that they have stated tonight. Ms. Ferrier asked if the City if planning to maintain the asphalt with a sealer and at whose cost? Ms. Ferrier will not accept the cost. Ms. Ferrier asked who will shovel the sidewalks if the snow plows push the snow onto them? Ms. Ferrier further asked if the property would be the responsibility of the City since they would own it because of the right of ways? Ms. Ferrier asked if the current sidewalk plan is being done to cross another item off the City’s "to do" list. Ms. Ferrier does not see this as a quality project, nor is it in proportion or in synch with the property of the area. In fact, Ms. Ferrier said she has heard that other subdivisions are looking for sidewalks perhaps with the funds that they have allocated for South Lake if the money is going to be lost in 1996.
Mayor McLallen said the funding is part of a Community Development Grant that is only applicable to the South Lake area.
Ruth Hamilton - 1245 East Lake Drive, is very upset because they invited Dan Davis to a SES Homeowners Association meeting in June and that is the first time that they ever heard about two feet of gravel between the proposed bike path and the resident’s lawns. At the meeting, Ms. Hamilton informed Mr. Davis that he must keep her informed because her home is the only one on East Lake Drive that has a telephone post in front of it that must be moved. Ms. Hamilton said the front of the pole sits exactly 4 feet 9 inches and if the path is 5 feet, then it makes sense to only have to move the pole approximately 3 inches. Therefore, Ms. Hamilton wants to know why they are moving it 6 ½ feet into her front yard.
Ms. Hamilton reported that Mr. Davis assured her that the reason the gravel area was 5 feet was because they wanted 8 feet and did not think that 3 feet would suffice. Ms. Hamilton added that 3 feet is working for Walled Lake.
At the end of June or July, Mr. Davis advised that he was not certain if it was going to be gravel. He stated they may grass it if there is grass already in the front yard. Ms. Hamilton does want gravel in her front yard. Ms. Hamilton would like a Council that stands up and takes notice. Instead of giving residents a bike path that jeopardizes the safety of the residents, she would like Council to take a position which says "cut down the traffic on East Lake, on South Lake, and in Orchard Hills."
Andrew Mutch - 24541 Hampton Court, thanked the Mayor and Council for recognizing the work of the Library’s teen volunteers.
Mr. Mutch said they have proposed to pave Meadowbrook Road between Twelve and Thirteen Mile Roads for $2.5M. Mr. Mutch said this action will likely destroy the scenic nature of the road and create another through route in the north end. Mr. Mutch finds this unnecessary considering they are spending millions of tax dollars to widen both Novi Road and M-5 which will be completed in the next two to three years and will provide direct access. In addition, they will improve Haggerty in the future and there will be three major highways heading north in a three mile area.
Additionally, Meadowbrook Road is the only project on the road bond proposal that they do not identify in the City’s Capital Improvement Program. This is an important factor to note because this program identifies what the City’s infrastructure priorities are. The City’s Six Year CIP Program reports that Meadowbrook Road is not a priority, but it did identify Taft, Beck, and Nine Mile Road for repaving and one of these roads should be included in place of Meadowbrook.
Mr. Mutch agrees there is a need for sidewalks in the community. Mr. Mutch pointed out that Taft, the Taft extension, and West Roads are identified in the City’s Master Plan for bike paths so any reconstruction or new construction of those roads should include them.
In regard to the Orchard Hills West Subdivision, Mr. Mutch reported that the City’s ordinance states for subdivisions that abut a school property or a parkland need to provide direct access to those sites.
Mr. Mutch said he supports the Aquatic Facility, but there are many unfunded park development needs in the community. They are found at Eleven Mile and Wixom Roads, the north Novi Road property, and the Napier and Eight Mile Road property. Mr. Mutch believes all those should be a priority before the City spends millions of dollars to build a swimming pool that may be used five to six months out of the year.
Dr. Tim Kozinski - 21574 Chase Dr., said they have small back yards and their children play in the front yard. Therefore, Dr. Kozinski said they need the three stop signs to control traffic for the safety of their children.
Sue Soborowski - 1407 E. Lake Drive, said when the residents saw that Oakland County was providing money for bike paths seven years ago, she thought they were a good idea for their area because of the high density of motor and pedestrian traffic. At that time, City Council rejected their request and put a path on Decker Road before the construction of the nearby developments. Ms. Soborowski understands they are now required for new development, but explained they are one of the oldest areas and they do not have these amenities.
Ms. Soborowski reported that they visited Nine Mile Road between Inkster and Beech Roads in Southfield as a part of the Walled Lake Sector Study. Ms. Soborowski advised there is an adjoining paved shoulder which they painted green to specifically designate it as a bike path and make it more eye appealing. In the five years it has existed, there were no accidents. Ms. Soborowski reported that Walled Lake has bike paths from Leon into town and their Police Chief advised her that no accidents have occurred in the six years it has existed. Ms. Soborowski advised that the characteristics of the road which follows the Walled Lake path are similar to what they propose for Novi. Ms. Soborowski further advised that they had taken a resident survey and the majority are in support of the path. Ms. Soborowski agreed that the major concern is about safety, but because the funds are available now, they should work together and come up with a conclusion.
Debbie Meyers-Fagan - agrees with many of Ms. Soborowski’s comments. She further stated that they discussed a three foot bike path when she was on the original Walled Lake Sector Study Committee. Ms. Meyers-Fagan said they didn’t feel any other size would be appropriate because of the size of the front yards. However, since many are concerned about safety, she thinks a five foot bike path is much safer. In addition, she was concerned about the two feet of gravel because of the way her property is situated. Ms. Meyers-Fagan said representatives from JCK came to her home and they explained how they would construct the path. JCK advised that the five feet of asphalt would meet the road and they wanted a two foot clearance in addition to the five feet so bicycles would have enough clearance for their handlebars. Therefore, the mailboxes would have to be two feet from the bike path. Ms. Meyers-Fagan was concerned that the gravel would end up in her front yard, but JCK said they are to replace the two feet next to the asphalt with "like" material instead of gravel.
Brad Nelson - 41821 Aspen, supports the idea of safety for the children in the Orchard Hills West Subdivision expansion. Mr. Nelson reminded Council that there was a show of good faith on the contractor’s part for sidewalks on Borchart and asked them to also include Aspen.
Nancy Tituskin - 41810 Aspen, repeated her neighbor’s concerns regarding the construction traffic. Ms. Tituskin strongly urged Council to consider an alternate route.
Debbie Bundoff - Novi/Twelve Mile Road, said an issue will come before Council that was recently before the Planning Commission in regard to the southeast quarter section of Section 10. Ms. Bundoff hopes that Council will take a close look at the Society Hill Development prior to it being put in the packets so they will have ample time to research before they decide. Ms. Bundoff does not wish to see this project postponed for another ten years.
Mary Urick - 41510 Tamara, asked Council to not only consider the construction traffic, but to also take a close look at the drainage.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approvals/Removals)
Councilman Crawford asked to remove all the minutes in Item 3. Councilwoman Cassis asked to remove Item 10. Councilwoman Mutch asked to remove Item 7. Mayor McLallen requested that Item 4 be removed.
CM-96-08-267: Moved by Cassis, Seconded by Clark, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Consent Agenda as follows:
1. Approval of Claims and Accounts - Warrant Number 469
2. Approval of Claims and Accounts - Warrant Number 470
5. Approval of Mayor McLallen as Official Representative and Mayor ProTem Crawford as Alternate Official Representative at the Annual Business Meeting, of the Michigan Municipal League.
6. Receive Resignation of Robert G. Churella from the Board of Review effective July 17, 1996
8. Authorization to seek bids for Rotary Park Development.
9. Approval of Resolution appointing JCK as Municipal Engineers, Surveyor, Architect and Environmental Consultant for the City of Novi.
11. Approval of Resolution Requesting Transfer of Ownership of Parcel 50-22-35-127-014 from Oakland County to the City of Novi contingent upon completion of a Phase I Environmental Assessment and authorization to conduct such assessment.
12. Approval of Conceptual Design of the I-96 Sanitary Relief Sewer and authorization to prepare final design plans, specifications, and right-of-way/easement documents.
13. Approval of Resolution supporting supplemental funding for communities conducting mid-decade census.
14. Approval of Resolution requesting that the Main Street Project intersections be included in the Road Commission for Oakland County’s FAST-TRAC grant and approval of Main Street Roadway Change Order No. 6.
15. Award bid for sale of used radio equipment to the Charter Township of Highland Fire Department in the amount of $500.
16. Award bid for Steelcase lateral files for Forestry Department to Office Depot in the amount of $5,600.
17. Award bid for computer equipment to PC Teknar in the amount of $14,157.
18. Approval of a variance to construct a permanent sign on Public Property - Wintergreen Park Entrance Sign.
19. Approval of Budget Amendment 97-03 to allow for the hiring of 3 Fire Protection Officers.
Vote on CM-96-08-267: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - PART I
1. Sidewalks ad Safety Paths
A. Status Report - East Lake/South Lake Drive Safety Path
B. City-Wide Sidewalk Program
Mayor McLallen said citizens have expressed specific concerns relating to design, to maintenance, safety, and funding of this project. Mayor McLallen advised the purpose of this item is to get some consensus and direction from Council about how to proceed with connecting, funding, and maintaining the sidewalks.
Dan Davis gave a brief history of the East Lake/South Lake Drive Safety Path project. Mr. Davis reported that the project originated with the Walled Lake Sector Study Committee that they formed at the direction of Council and they have worked together administratively to address the safety issue of pedestrian walkways in the lake area. Mr. Davis advised they could facilitate the budgeting of CDBG funds from the Block Grant Program over a couple of years of funding to assemble the necessary funds to complete the project.
Mr. Davis advised the project limits run along East Lake Drive from Fourteen Mile to Thirteen Mile Road. They will also tie into the ends of the city owned Landing property which was completed through the paving program. It then extends to the west along South Lake Drive to Lakeshore Park. Mr. Davis said it terminates at that point, but because of utility poles and lack of easement areas along South Lake Drive, they decided not to proceed because of funding constraints and the cost of moving the necessary utility poles.
Mr. Davis said the area along East Lake and South Lake Drives are driven by many issues of concern and the primary concern is about the current road right of way. Mr. Davis said they wanted the safety path constructed like the typical safety paths in other areas of the City and like those that they require for developers to construct. Mr. Davis described the path as an eight foot wide separate pedestrian walkway safety path area. However, because of the limited right of way, they found they could not do that. Mr. Davis said they went down to the next standard which is a five foot sidewalk width. To do that, Mr. Davis advised they would have to abut the existing roadway. Mr. Davis said they were attempting to do this improvement within the existing right of way. However, they are unable to do that in some areas because of the road configuration and found it necessary to acquire approximately seven easements to complete the project. Mr. Davis reported they have acquired three easements to date.
Mr. Davis said he and Dave Potter have outlined some of the issues raised in Audience Participation. Mr. Davis added there is a possibility that they may not acquire the outstanding easements for which they are currently negotiating. Mr. Davis said if they need to move forward with the project, they may need to look at modifying the layout of the path by shrinking the width to stay away from those easement acquisitions or they might need to terminate the safety path limits away from those areas if they are unable to negotiate those easements.
Another issue they reviewed is about postal service and garbage truck weight limits. Mr. Davis said they are upgrading the actual safety path area to incorporate a standard that is currently used on the roadways to accommodate this traffic.
Mr. Davis reported DPS is currently reviewing snow removal because the path is an extension of the roadway. As a City, Mr. Davis said they have a responsibility to remove the snow. Since the trucks must remove the snow and push the snow off the walkway, they will push it onto residential property. The residents and the City are concerned from a maintenance standpoint.
Mr. Davis reported that they are working to address the traffic safety issues that they brought forward. Mr. Davis reported there is no clear action they can take in a design that will address that issue.
There are some drainage issues in some of the areas where they are attempting to negotiate for easements. Mr. Davis said JCK has looked at these, but right now there is no money budgeted within this program to address the multitude of drainage issues. Mr. Davis added there is no clear action they can take within the budget constraints.
Mr. Davis reiterated Ms. Meyers-Fagan’s comments about their attempt to match alike shoulders. Mr. Davis said if they add five feet of asphalt to the existing roadway and if gravel is still remaining, gravel would be the alike extension to the safety path sidewalk.
Mr. Davis said they are trying to resolve the many issues that they have brought before them administratively. They are meeting with the homeowner’s association and individual residents to address their individual needs. Prior to a bidding and before it comes back before Council, they are going to try to resolve the resident’s issues.
Mayor McLallen asked how many actual miles of safety path are proposed? Mr. Davis replied there are approximately 7,000 linear feet which equate to a mile and one quarter.
Mayor McLallen asked if they are only missing four easements from all of the homeowners within the 7,000 linear feet? Mr. Davis said yes and he believes they have resolved all of the East Lake Drive issues.
Mayor McLallen asked how many homeowners are involved in the entire project? Mr. Davis is not certain.
Mayor McLallen asked what is the time frame from the bid process to completion if Council directs them to move forward? Mr. Davis replied they would like to bring it into the construction season of this year and added the construction documents are almost finished except for the last few issues. Mr. Davis advised once they get it out to bid, they can move forward with construction this year.
Mayor McLallen asked if their goal is to have the project completed before the asphalt plants are closed in December? Mr. Davis said she was correct.
Dave Potter, JCK & Associates discussed the design criteria they looked at when developing plans for the road improvements. Mr. Potter reported they intended to extend the existing road so that an additional five feet total width is added. Mr. Potter advised they estimate the project at $200,000 and it does not include approximately $25,000 of estimated road repairs that they recommend for East Lake Drive. Mr. Potter reported that there are several areas where the aggregate is failed on East Lake Drive.
Mr. Potter said the safety issues are well pointed and in his correspondence to Mr. Davis he discussed what they would ideally construct for a bike safety path. The recommended distance is eight feet wide with a minimum of twelve feet from the edge. The plan proposes an extension of the existing roadway for a total of five feet. Mr. Potter said the intent as far finishing the proposed five feet is not to add two feet along the entire section of the sidewalk. As an example, Mr. Potter said if it is eight feet of existing gravel they would replace five feet with bituminous pavement and three feet of existing gravel would be restored unless they grass it, then the lawn would be restored.
Mr. Potter reported they have designed footings for the bridge and they paid special attention to sight distance and safety in that area. Basically it is a steel bridge with a bituminous pavement for decking. The intent is if they replace the culvert, the City could remove the bridge and use it somewhere else.
Mayor McLallen said Mr. Davis reported that funding for drainage issues are not part of the $225,000 project and she asked if there is a way that they can handle the funding through storm water management? Mr. Potter replied most of the drainage questions they had were about existing drainage problems that are generally on the upstream side of the road and away from the lake side. Mr. Potter said a lot of them are in depressed areas, would require extensive drainage improvements and each would have to be treated on a site by site basis.
In his professional opinion, Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Potter if he feels that the placement of the safety paths with a five foot impervious surface is going to compound the existing drainage problems? Mr. Potter replied that he looked at the condition of the existing aggregate shoulders and when they looked at the amount of run off generated by gravel versus bituminous, there may be an extra 20% run off from the widened area. Overall, Mr. Potter does not see that as significant additional run off.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if the addition of a bike path would encourage cars and trucks to travel on it or would it truly serve as a safety path to separate pedestrians from the traffic? Mr. Potter replied if the shoulders are widened and if a motorist is in a hurry, they will go around whether they pave it or whether it is gravel. The only way they can enforce it is to try to catch the offenders. Mr. Potter has observed what is currently happening on these roads and people are using the existing shoulders. Mr. Potter further stated that by widening the road they will still have the same use, but they will provide a smoother surface. Mr. Potter said they are attempting to address the safety issues regarding clearance for handle bars and postal vehicles needs. Mr. Potter reported they have provided for a cross section of the proposed road to handle the heavier vehicle loads.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if it separates pedestrians from motorized traffic in a safe fashion? Mr. Potter thinks safety is going to be a relative term. They have asked the City Attorney’s opinion and he doesn’t believe he had a chance to review it or whether safety is something that the City should address. Mr. Potter said when they designing improvements for a community, safety is one of their first concerns as design engineers. Mr. Potter reported there are recommended national standards and reiterated the ideal of a minimum of twelve feet. If they are going to use bike traffic, five feet is a minimum to account for two ways and handlebar clearance.
Councilman Clark asked if there will also be an increase in the gas and oil in the additional 20% run off from the asphalt? Mr. Potter replied yes. Councilman Clark said as a result, part of that will end up in residents’ front yards. Mr. Potter said it is going there now. He explained most of the drainage around the Walled Lake area is breaking from the top of the road and draining on both sides. However, Mr. Potter said how to get the water away from the property is a separate issue that he believes will be inherent to the Walled Lake area.
Councilman Clark asked if Mr. Potter believes there is a need for legal counsel before the project continued? Mr. Potter replied yes. Councilman Clark asked if there is also some concern for the engineering aspect of the project in terms of both safety and increased liability to the City once the project is complete? Mr. Potter replied yes and explained if this is constructed today, as with any municipal project there is some exposure to the community. They originally discussed with the residents what they can construct most efficiently and effectively within their budgets and that is what they have today. Mr. Potter believes those are questions that need to be addressed.
Councilman Clark asked how they determined the proposed distance for the utility poles to be moved? Mr. Potter said they met with Ms. Hamilton and a representative from Ameritech. Mr. Potter explained they are trying to establish a safety zone from the edge of the walk for handlebar clearance and they requested that they move the poles a minimum of two feet from the proposed edge of the walk. In addition, at Ms. Hamilton request, Ameritech agreed to move the pole along a common property line.
Councilman Schmid reiterated earlier Council Member’s questions and concerns. Councilman Schmid asked if they have investigated the liability issue based on the hundreds of paths throughout Michigan and other states? Mr. Potter replied they spoke with the Oakland County Road Commission who reported they would not favor this proposed project. Councilman Schmid reminded everyone that the Road Commission was also not in favor of constructing a curb and gutter along Nine Mile Road because there were trees there. His point is, they don’t have to stop every time they hear something is wrong. Councilman Schmid asked if they add any more liability to the City by adding the path than if they had a sidewalk ten feet away? As far as Mr. Potter knows there are no standards that govern where to place these things. He explained it is typically handled by communities on an individual project basis. Mr. Potter added that they verified the Federal guidelines for asphalt requirements. Councilman Schmid said he is talking about the legal issue. Mr. Potter replied he is not an attorney, but they have asked for the City attorney’s opinion and reminded Councilman Schmid that they have not yet received it.
Councilman Schmid asked if there is any other way to construct sidewalks other than along the road? Mr. Potter said they could move farther away from the road, but it could double or triple the cost of the project and that would be without getting additional easements.
Councilman Schmid asked how long would it be before they require maintenance? Mr. Potter said if the recommended improvements to East Lake are done in concurrence with the project, the estimated life of such a pavement cross section could be fifteen to twenty years. Mr. Potter explained improper drainage usually damages roads. Councilman Schmid said they can’t address drainage because of budget constraints. Mr. Potter agreed and added that they looked at unconventional drainage which is very expensive because it is not typical pipe and discharge to the lake. They looked at potential water quality issues if they were draining the balance of the water that is currently draining from the center line of the road away from the lake and start draining it back to the lake without going through lawn areas. Mr. Potter said water quality questions would ultimately result. Councilman Schmid said ideally they should have curb and gutter along this road with storm water drainage.
Councilman Schmid stated he thinks this project should be based on restraints of the area, it is long over due, and they should proceed.
According to Mr. Davis’ letter, Councilwoman Mutch reported they have authorized this project and after they receive the bids, they will ask Council for further action. Councilwoman Mutch asked if they require that Council take action in terms of a decision? Mayor McLallen replied they do not require that Council take action. Councilwoman Mutch asked if their questions tonight will change the program as it has been presented and she wants to know where they are headed? Mayor McLallen replied if there is a Council consensus on particular issues that need to be changed from what has been presented, then that would constitute a change. Mayor McLallen added if the Council consensus is that what is presented is acceptable, Mr. Davis will proceed with the bid process.
Because the City constructs the paths, Councilwoman Mutch said Mr. Davis said that the City would take the responsibility for snowplowing. Councilwoman Mutch does not believe this is the case and asked for a clarification because they do not do that for other City paths.
Dennis Watson recalled the ordinance provides that any non-motorized paths adjacent to premises are to be cleared of snow by the person on the premises. That is an ordinance requirement and the penalty for which they can issue a ticket. It doesn’t relieve them of any liability pertaining to the maintenance. Councilwoman Mutch said there is a practical difference between a sidewalk and a paved stretch that is an extension of the road surface. One would assume when plowing the road that they would also plow the entire surface. Councilwoman Mutch asked if the ordinance provides for this type of path system where it is actually a part of the road itself? Mr. Watson replied he does not believe there is an ordinance to distinguish that. Councilwoman Mutch asked if there should be an ordinance that provides for that kind of system? Mr. Watson believes it is something the Ordinance Review Committee would want to think about.
Councilwoman Mutch repeated earlier concerns about people already using the side of the road and thinks there is a legitimate concern that roller blading use and bicycle use would increase if there is a designated area. On the other hand, if it is a system that works in other communities, they need to make it safe and find out what makes it safe in other communities.
Councilwoman Mutch repeated earlier drainage concerns but only sees an increase if they increase vehicular traffic.
Councilman Clark asked if Mr. Watson could give Council his opinion by the next meeting? Mr. Watson replied that he would.
Mayor McLallen said there might be a Council consensus that the paths are an important part of the community. She added there is much concern about safety and there have been statements made that its design and construction can address. The City attorney has been directed to clarify the maintenance issue and asked if this issue could be added to the Ordinance Review Committee’s agenda. Mayor McLallen commended the staff and citizens for their time and input. She said it is a long process and has a lot of concerns.
Tony Nowicki, Director of Public Services addressed the City-Wide Sidewalk Program by stating that at the July 1, 1996 meeting Council posed many questions to the Administration regarding this issue. In a memorandum dated July 12, 1996, Mr. Nowicki summarized all of the answers to those questions. Briefly, Council requested information on the Status Report, on the program as it is, funding, Ordinance Review Committee action to date, and maintenance.
Mr. Nowicki reported they were allocated $50,000 for a small gap closure type program which consisted of a bike path along Thirteen Mile from East Lake to South Lake, a concrete sidewalk from Jamestown Green to the Civic Center Drive and crossing Ten Mile at the signal, Taft Road path would be adjacent to what they commonly know as the Samuel White Cemetery, and a small culvert type crossing to Village Oaks subdivision adjacent to Village Oaks Elementary School. Mr. Nowicki reported that the Thirteen Mile Road path is essentially complete with some minor site restoration issues to deal with. The Ten Mile Road sidewalk is included in this years concrete paving program. The contractor is currently repairing concrete roadways in Meadowbrook Glens and other areas. He will move on the Ten Mile sidewalk before his contract is complete. The attorneys are currently negotiating with the owner for the bike path along the Samuel White Cemetery. In addition, they have been unable to get title commitments and insurance because the title company does not want to warrant the title. It appears there are many owners that date back to the 1800's and they are having difficulty in tracking down the owners. The Willowbrook ditch crossing is complete and will allow students to cross in front of the school. MDOT funded the Grand River Avenue sidewalk project grant and they had a series of criteria. Mr. Nowicki said the first several times they bid, they had little to no interest from contractors. When they finally got an interested contractor, he bid extremely high. MDOT suggested that Novi bid the project in the future to have contractors look at it and then construct it next season. Mr. Nowicki advised he has provided a report about where the safety paths and sidewalks are in the community. Mr. Nowicki said they are moving forward with providing paths to areas that are lacking them.
Mr. Nowicki reminded Council that he sends them a proposed Capital Improvement Program which lists potential sidewalk projects. Typically, in the last four or five years they have funded them on an as they get a grant basis to maximize their dollars. Mr. Nowicki referred Council to page two of his memorandum which lists projects submitted for grants.
Mayor McLallen asked where does Council wish to go from here? The issue is what is their policy and a sub-issue is whether they want to occasionally waive sidewalks although they are a site plan requirement?
Councilwoman Cassis asked Administration if they are unable to fund sidewalks and bike paths, is there a dollar amount that they could submit to voters as a referendum? Mr. Nowicki said there is not an overall price on the complete build out of a path system. What they include in the packet is a low end cost of $110,000 per mile which could go as high as $270,000 per mile depending upon other issues involved. However, Mr. Nowicki can say that it would be a substantial investment and he would be able to provide that number to Council.
Councilwoman Cassis said they have been proceeding on a grant by grant basis and they also work with new developers about how to approach this. Councilwoman Cassis knows that South Lyon has developed a program regarding the acquisition of paths with developers and she thinks their Mayor would come before Novi’s Council to share their success. Councilwoman Cassis asked Mr. Nowicki to provide the path cost to Council.
Councilman Schmid believes there are several issues at hand. He said one issue is about what kind of material should they use to construct the paths. He believes they construct most sidewalks with concrete. He added the consensus is to construct bike paths out of asphalt. Councilman Schmid does not like the aesthetics of asphalt along green belts in the City and would prefer to see concrete. Councilman Schmid said this is not Detroit fifty years ago and it is not a small town, but it is a metropolitan area and he doubts if small children will travel one to three miles to a park on paths in today’s traffic environment in Novi. Councilman Schmid also believes the major issue is maintenance and reiterated earlier concerns. Councilman Schmid believes Council has to decide where they want the sidewalks and whether the relative minority that will use them justifies its cost.
Councilman Mitzel believes the question would be the cost difference between an eight foot and a five foot system. They brought that forward because the City and the development process have not followed the plan. He thought that perhaps it’s easier to say it is eight feet throughout and that will then provide sufficient width for all uses. Councilman Mitzel said that was what they sent to the Ordinance Review Committee and he thought there was a consensus, but the minutes do not reflect that.
Mr. Watson believes they took action, but not at that meeting. He stated in some of his notes from other meetings the Committee did wish those on both sides of roads. Since then the Committee has incorporated that change into design and construction standards and the drafted ordinance will come before Council shortly.
Councilman Mitzel added that question is important because as development is coming in, they are constructing paths. Even if the City continues to fund their gap closure as they have, the fact is, they need to decide how they are going to deal with it. He is not concerned about a bond issue to fill gaps or whether they develop the system up front, but just to have standards that will allow the best use in terms of the long term. Councilman Mitzel does not believe there is any significant difference between asphalt and concrete and thinks this may also be something that the Ordinance Review Committee can address.
In response to Councilman Mitzel, Councilman Schmid thinks a compromise can be made between the two systems where there would only be one surface. Councilman Schmid asked if eight feet is an absolute minimum or could seven feet be appropriate? Councilman Mitzel does not know if they could detect a difference if someone is using it, but the current ones which are of any significant length are frequently used. Councilman Mitzel said that passing people on the five foot paths is harder and he believes an eight foot path provides an easier flow. The whole idea is that they would connect from point to point and believes the eight foot path would be better in the end along the main roads. He also believes five foot sidewalks in subdivisions are adequate. Councilman Mitzel added if they decide to keep separate systems, the Master Plan needs to be updated for safety paths.
Councilman Clark concurs with earlier comments, but he is concerned about the cost. There are two agenda items which are coming before them for bonding proposals. Councilman Clark said they have other indebtedness and although it would be nice to have them right now, he asked how do they pay for them and who will pay for them? He does not want to get to the point that they have so much on the plate that they have a difficult time in dealing with these obligations.
Councilwoman Mutch asked where do they allow for sidewalk construction in their system and at whose expense are they constructed? Mr. Nowicki said sidewalks in a subdivision are funded by the developer or the property owners. A developer or the community at large would fund the mile roads and major linkages. Councilwoman Mutch said they require new development to provide sidewalks and asked if there is a repair program for old development that has sidewalks? Mr. Nowicki said there is no repair program. Councilwoman Mutch said they are repairing roads in Meadowbrook Glen. Mr. Nowicki said the repairs are being done at the property owner’s expense. Councilwoman Mutch said it answers part of her question because there is a repair program that does existing deteriorating sidewalks and it is at the property owner’s expense.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whose responsibility is it to initiate a repair for those sidewalks that are unsafe? Mr. Nowicki believes it is the responsibility of the homeowner’s association or the property owner which they could fund to be a special assessment. Mr. Nowicki thinks a lot of people moved into certain subdivisions knowing there are no sidewalks and wanting it that way. Councilwoman Mutch asked who residents should look to if they want sidewalks in areas where they don’t exist? Mr. Nowicki said a lot of things work as a grass root effort in this community. If residents see a need, the City’s administration and staff will work with them to develop a program. Councilwoman Mutch said sidewalks in subdivisions provide a means to get around their own immediate neighborhood. Sidewalks/bikepaths connect neighborhoods and she thinks they need them because they service the entire community. Mr. Nowicki reported sidewalk and bikepath projects are included in any of their federally funded road projects. Mr. Nowicki sited Novi Road as an example. Councilwoman Mutch agreed adding that sidewalks go hand in hand with the roadway and they should look at that as a complete package.
Mayor McLallen asked if there is still a safety path subcommittee? Mr. Nowicki does not believe it has been in existence for the last few years. He added their last major task was to assemble a series of projects that would be used to move them forward in that area. Unfortunately there have not been funds available to construct the six to eight approved projects which are listed on the CIP.
Mayor McLallen said the major issue is the funding and the consensus may be that they should not send this to the taxpayers. Mayor McLallen asked for Council consensus to ask that the Ordinance Review Committee get all issues pertinent to sidewalks out of Committee and before Council within the next sixty to ninety days. It is also Mayor McLallen’s understanding that there is a Council consensus to ask Administration to develop the cost of the maintenance program for existing sidewalks. She also asked that they provide the projected cost of the entire system.
2. Approval of Tentative Preliminary Plat - Orchard Hills West Subdivision, SP 94-09A
Mayor McLallen advised this is a proposal for forty three lots zoned R-4 on fourteen acres at the southwest corner of Meadowbrook and Ten Mile Roads surrounding the Orchard Hills Elementary School. She reported this project has been before Council since 1994-1995 and was on hold throughout this year in anticipation that this project would have received grant money from Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to transfer development rights. Mayor McLallen advised she was in Lansing in the Spring and although they met all the criteria, they lost in a political fight. The developer has now brought back his original proposal. Mayor McLallen said the project has received positive recommendations from staff and the decision is for approval of a tentative preliminary plat.
Richard Lewiston said since they last appeared before Council on March 20, 1995, they agreed to table the plat so they would have the opportunity to discuss the possible use of a portion of the Orchard Hills Elementary School site as a secondary access. He did not know if that was feasible, but they were looking to open up a line of communication with the school district. They met with the school district in June 1995. The school district was not forthcoming in terms of wanting to see if putting in a haul road would destroy the school site. The site is very small, near the face of a ridge and is fifteen feet from Ten Mile Road. The school district was unwilling to change the orientation method by which students travel to school. From an engineering standpoint, it became obvious that even had the school agreed, it would be difficult from a safety aspect to bring traffic in from Ten Mile Road up and down the hill because of the school. Mr. Lewiston realizes there will be some dislocation in the existing subdivision for several years. He also realizes they would inconvenience Borchart Drive because of construction traffic, but he does not believe there would be any significant damage. He added once the subdivision is completed, the forty three homes should not result in an unreasonable amount of traffic.
Mr. Lewiston said they never considered the use of the forty four acres which they own and is adjacent to the subdivision site for a potential access to the subdivision. They held the property intact for a year at the City’s request because of its natural habitat.
Mr. Lewiston advised the proposed homes have adequate drainage and will not add to any existing problems. He added they built Orchard Hills at different elevations than what modern engineering would require and also suggested that it lies in a flood plain. If Mr. Lewiston had his choice, he would build a beautiful road through the forty four acres to serve the subdivision, but he does not know if that is the City’s preference. Mr. Lewiston further stated they have owned this long before there was an Orchard Hills Subdivision and he doubts if Orchard Hills predates their ownership.
Mr. Lewiston said they are faced with another layer of problems because of the drainage problems. There is no area for sidewalks without incurring an enormous expense to enclose the drains and build roads with curbs and gutters. Mr. Lewiston advised they would agree to spend $100,000 to repair Borchart Drive and they will do their best to be considerate of the Orchard Hills residents.
In answer to questions raised at the March 20 meeting Mr. Lewiston reported they would construct a walk from Borchart Drive north to the existing school on the easterly portions of Lots 1, 27, and 43. He was unable to respond to a street name change in the plat because the Street Naming Committee did not give a decision until March 24, 1996.
Mayor McLallen reminded Council that they have a request for approval for a tentative preliminary plat. She reported the citizens have outlined the issues and they have positive consultants’ letters. In addition, they will address the woodland and wetland’s issues at a different time.
CM-96-08-268: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Schmid, MOTION POSTPONED (August 26, 1996): For approval of tentative preliminary plat for Orchard Hills West, SP 94-09A subject to the Consultants’ letters and to the pedestrian safety walk from the Orchard Hills subdivision to the school site as required by Section 4.06E of the Subdivision Control Ordinance.
Councilman Mitzel stated they must address the drainage issues before it can receive final preliminary plat approval as the Subdivision Control Ordinance requires. In addition, Administration will put into place a monitoring system to monitor any road damage.
Mayor ProTem Crawford is concerned with the subdivision access and asked if there have been any recent discussions with the school district? Mr. Lewiston said there is no feasible access at the far west end of the school property. Mr. Lewiston added from a physical standpoint, access across the ten acres and across the school site is impossible and unsafe.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked why Linda Lemke cannot support an access road through the property?
Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect advised she does not have the exact route of the access, but given what she knows about the property, any intrusion would be detrimental to the woodlands, the wetlands, and the wildlife habitat because if its high quality. The property is a unique ecosystem which functions along the river and it needs that particular width and variety of habitat to continue to function long term.
Mayor ProTem Crawford understands that, but he is more concerned with the subdivision’s habitat.
Councilwoman Cassis supports Councilman Crawford comments. She advised that the property has sat vacant for years and there have been difficulties in getting the project to this point. She sees this piece as landlocked and its only access is through an older subdivision which they have heard ample concerns about traffic and safety. Now that the ecosystem south of the property is no longer being considered as an acquisition, she thinks this project has to go back in conformance with what the Planning Commission has stated about looking at a secondary access through this area to insure safety of a subdivision which has been there for years. Councilwoman Cassis said the purpose of a City Council and a Planning Commission is not to just look at the ordinance detail, but to also look at health, safety, and welfare and to have public input. She added they have the opportunity to look at this project again in fairness to the developer and she thinks it needs to go back and be reconfigured with the possibility of a secondary access from Meadowbrook Road that will not impact Orchard Hills. She will not support the motion that was so quickly put forward because she believes there are still many problems.
Councilman Clark concurs with Council Members Cassis and Schmid. He added his position has not changed since he was on the Planning Commission. Although he is mindful of the ecological concerns, he does not see this any differently than the huge forest fires that occur western states which takes the forest down to the bare grass. After four or five years it comes back with its ecosystem intact.
Mr. Lewiston said he is not soliciting a prompt immediate approval, but it is to raise questions and provide information to Council which they have engendered over the years. He added they have plans as an alternate construction access road through the adjacent forty four acres. The land has never been land locked, except that they deemed the forty four acres not to be used.
Councilman Schmid agrees a path could be place through the forty four acres, but they should preserve as much of the environment as possible. He also thinks they should consider a permanent road. Ms. Lemke said it is difficult to decide without specific plans. Ms. Lemke said when they put a road through an area, the clearing can disrupt the habitat which could take fifty to one hundred years to bring it back. She added there are ways to construct roads to reduce that. One suggestion would be to put it on the edge right next to the subdivision which would then depend upon the drainage and the topography. Ms. Lemke said they supported it going to the State for the DEQ Grant and adjacent residents supported the acquisition of this area as it is in perpetuity. They also had a lot of State support to preserve the area in its entirety, but it was rejected due to a technicality.
Councilman Schmid would at least like to see a proposal for a permanent and a temporary road that includes preservation.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if a road of this length leading to a subdivision is any different from a road leading to a cul-de-sac? Mr. Arroyo replied there would be no problem with its length in terms of being access to a cul-de-sac because there is access from other roads. They generally measure the distance from where there are two points of access. Mr. Arroyo said one issue that could come up is the length of a block not exceeding 1,400 feet, but this would not be considered as a block because it lacks homes.
Councilwoman Mutch understands there may be environmental concerns if it were to become a permanent road. However, she would also like to see what the benefits are for the entire area although she can see what the benefits to the residents of the new development might be.
Councilwoman Mutch mentioned that subdivision roads are public and she is concerned
when a developer is considered as landlocked or looked at as intruding on an existing subdivision when they attempt to develop their property later. She agrees there will be impact, but as taxpayers, developers have a reasonable right to access the public roads.
Mayor McLallen said the plat meets current City ordinances so it is approvable as it is presented whether Council likes it or not. However, Mayor McLallen advised Council that they have the opportunity to seek a temporary construction easement. The reason she would be supportive of such an easement would be because the construction conflicts with the school site that is in a very difficult area and it is also difficult to safely control construction traffic during the nine months that school is in session. Therefore, Mayor McLallen believes that exploring the possibility would be beneficial and would determine what the true impact would be on the environmentally sensitive site due to the construction of a temporary access road. Mayor McLallen said until they explore this, she will not favor the motion as it stands.
CM-96-08-269: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Crawford, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone original motion to approve tentative preliminary plat for Orchard Hills West, SP 94-09A subject to the Consultants’ letters and to the pedestrian safety walk from the Orchard Hills subdivision to the school site as required by Section 4.06E of the Subdivision Control Ordinance until August 26, 1996 so that information concerning a temporary access road can be presented to City Council.
Councilman Mitzel said according to the City’s ordinance, they require that Council take action within ninety days of the Planning Commission’s action and asked if there is a legal consequence in postponing Council action? Mr. Watson replied that there is no problem because there is no provision in the statute or in the ordinance which states by failing to take action, they must approve it. The consequence isn’t such that Council has to be concerned, particularly when the developer has asked for an additional opportunity to bring more information back before Council.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if this only postpones Council’s decision or if they approve it at a later point, will it go back before the Planning Commission? Mr. Watson replied that it may depend upon what Council does. He suspects if there is a workable route, Council will probably approve it contingent upon the tentative preliminary plat being revised to reflect the change. Mr. Watson continued by stating this action can be taken without going back before the Planning Commission. Mr. Watson said the Planning Commission postponed approval of the woodland’s permit, so it must go back before them for that. Mr. Watson suggested that the Planning Commission postpone the issuance of a woodland’s permit until the issue before Council is resolved.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if the applicant could come back with a temporary and a permanent roadway proposal? Mr. Watson replied that they could.
Vote on CM-96-08-269: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
3. Approval of Liquor License (Transfer of Stock) - Ruby Tuesday, Inc.
Mayor McLallen advised the request is on behalf of Ruby Tuesday, a Delaware corporation who is transferring stock of ownership. Mayor McLallen reported there was precedence for this with the similar action Council had taken for Grady’s. There is also a request for a waiver of a portion of the City’s ordinance which requires them to submit a site plan and menu since nothing is changing except the transfer of stock.
CM-96-08-270: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the liquor license (transfer of stock) and waiver for Ruby Tuesday, Inc.
Vote on CM-96-08-270: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
4. Schedule a Public Hearing - Mining and Filling Permit - Amcorp Landfill for Monday, August 26, 1996 at 7:30 P.M..
Mayor McLallen reported this request is for a piece of property on the south side of Grand River, easterly of Taft Road across from Spartan Concrete.
CM-96-08-271: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule a Public Hearing - Mining and Filling Permit for Amcorp Landfill Monday, August 26, 1996 at 7:30 P.M..
Vote on CM-96-08-271: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
5. Discussion of petition submitted to the Department of Public Services requesting stop signs on Chase Drive at the intersections of Dundee, Trent Court, and Reindeer Drive in Chase Farms Subdivision.
Mayor McLallen reported this discussion is about a petition containing a large number of signatures that was presented to Council by members of the Chase Drive community. Mayor McLallen said the petition has gone through the appropriate administrative departments and the request is for stop signs on Chase Road at Dundee, Trent and Reindeer Drives because Chase is a through access from Eight Mile to Nine Mile. Mayor McLallen said the traffic counts have been completed and the Police Department indicates that the results do not warrant signs. Mayor McLallen reported that the only relief that the subdivision has is this Council.
CM-96-08-272: Moved by Cassis, Seconded by Clark, MOTION FAILED: To install stop signs on Chase Drive at the intersections of Dundee, Trent Court, and Reindeer Drive in Chase Farms subdivision.
Although the data does not support the signs, Mayor ProTem Crawford believes the signs may solve the traffic problems. He would also ask that another report be brought back before Council at an appropriate time to see if the installation of the signs have caused any problems.
Mayor McLallen asked if the maker of the motion would consider that as a friendly amendment? Councilwoman Cassis agreed to the amendment.
Councilman Mitzel asked if these are all way stop signs? Mayor McLallen believes they are only through stop signs. Mr. Nowicki’s August 5, 1996 request calls for the installation of multi-way stop signs. Mr. Arroyo concurred.
Councilman Mitzel said they establish a precedent if they approve this and they will install similar stop signs on Sunrise, Cider Mill, Christina, Cranbrooke, Village Wood or anywhere else in the City. Councilman Mitzel added that Council has not taken this action in the past because they told them it is not the proper way to deal with this situation.
Mayor ProTem Crawford does not see this as setting a precedent and he will judge each case on its own merits.
Councilwoman Mutch shares Councilman Mitzel’s concerns because she lives on a corner in a subdivision and the side yard is on a main entrance. She added before they completely developed her subdivision, a parent shared the same concerns that people have expressed about Chase Farms and they installed stop signs. Councilwoman Mutch said the Police Department was correct in predicting that the biggest offenders are the residents of the neighborhood. What results is a pattern of stop signs that are no guarantee that traffic will stop and instead poses a greater danger than not having them at all. Because of that, Councilwoman Mutch advised they ultimately removed the signs. She added, it is not that people go any slower now, but that they are more diligent about demanding enforcement of the speeding laws. Councilwoman Mutch will not support this motion because she does not think this is the answer and thinks that they should review the results of past requests.
Councilman Schmid agreed with the points raised by Councilwoman Mutch. Additionally, he thinks the people who live near the stop signs are going to be concerned about the noise and fumes created by the stopping and starting of cars directly in front of their homes. Councilman Schmid also believes they should follow the advice of the professionals who believe stop signs are not the answer, but that the answer is for better speed enforcement. Therefore, he will not support this motion.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said that is precisely why he asked for it to come back because they may find it causes problems with additional speeding, accidents or residents complaints.
Councilman Clark agrees with Mayor ProTem Crawford’s comments and agrees it is a good idea to try it to see what happens. He added that vigorous enforcement of the stop sign will work well in slowing motorists.
Mayor McLallen reported she will not support the motion because of the recommendation that the minimum traffic count was 200 vehicles. Mayor McLallen advised in the twenty four hours that they took the counts, only three hours counted 100 vehicles and the highest count was only 121 vehicles. She would like to ask Council to have a consensus to direct Administration to have serious enforcement in that neighborhood for the next thirty days. She reported enforcement seems to have worked well on Meadowbrook between Eight and Nine Mile Roads. Mayor McLallen believes enforcement is a more pervasive way to slow motorists and to avoid the stopping and starting problems caused by stop signs.
Vote on CM-96-08-272: Yeas: Crawford, Cassis, Clark
Nay: McLallen, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
Mayor McLallen advised the motion failed three to four and directed Administration to step up speed enforcement in this area.
Carol Crawford - Twelve Mile Road, reported she did not know what went on a few months ago because there is no cable on Twelve Mile Road so they are unable to view the Council meetings and they don’t have a homeowner’s group because they don’t live in a subdivision. She said they believed what they read in the newspaper and added that she has been attending every meeting since last June. Although Mrs. Crawford was somewhat positive when the young volunteers were honored, she is still waiting to see something in written form from Mr. Kriewall that protects citizens from what happened to the residents on Twelve Mile Road. She is also amazed about the meetings hypocrisy because she does not believe Council was concerned about Twelve Mile’s ecosystem when they passed Taft Road. She added they were not concerned about her as a citizen when they called her 002 in Council minutes. She explained she is not 002 and her name is Carol Crawford who has lived on Twelve Mile Road twenty years and lived on East Lake Drive for thirty years prior to living on Twelve Mile Road. Mrs. Crawford was offended by the minutes. Mrs. Crawford said Council is interested in the ecosystem just because there are homeowner groups who have some power. She added Council does not care about the ecosystem or taxpayers, but only care about economical and engineering developers.
Gary Zack - 359 South Lake Drive, would like to offer his side after listening to the engineers speak about the bike path’s drainage issues. Mr. Zack said the drainage from the top of the hill on South Lake Drive downstream from the residents so there is no way they can go down to the park way. Mr. Zack thinks they should reconsider the 20% estimate because there is five feet of pavement going all the way up the hill. With that, Mr. Zack said there was white water literally running down their drive from the rain last July 29. Mr. Zack also reported that approximately five feet of water extended into his garage which was two inches deep by the door. Mr. Zack is concerned because there is no place for that water to go and believes a 20% increase is a significant amount. Mr. Zack said oil is not the only concern and that salt is another concern. Mr. Zack added that he does not believe grass can grow near the road because there is so much salt and petroleum runoff. Mr. Zack wonders what the City would do if a homeowner chose to degrade the lot so that it would increase the run off onto an adjacent property? Mr. Zack asks the City to be a good neighbor as they construct the bike path. Mr. Zack’s last point is about the comment that poor drainage is what can damage roads the most and he believes that a 20% increase will damage the roads further.
Martha Ferrier - 425 South Lake Drive, said it was mentioned how they still needed easement releases. Ms. Ferrier thought that they would count every house and relate it to the three or four releases that have not yet been received. Ms. Ferrier thinks the count should only relate to the needed easements. Ms. Ferrier said the fact is, all of the residents have not been spoken with along South Lake and East Lake Drives. She knows people who had to get releases received formal letters about what had to be done. Secondly, Ms. Ferrier said they are getting more traffic from the apartments that they are building on Pontiac Trail which all feeds to West Lake down to South Lake. Ms. Ferrier said there is no signage which reroutes them to alternate route.
Mayor McLallen advised Council will take a break.
CM-96-08-273: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Schmid, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To extend Council Meeting to Midnight.
Vote on CM-96-08-273: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Use of Tree Farm Trees for Landscaping
CM-96-08-274: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Mitzel, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To bring back tree farm issue.
Vote on CM-96-08-274: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch,
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - PART II
CM-96-08-275: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Schmid, MOTION CARRIED: To approve Items 9, 10, 11 and 14 under Matters for Council Action - Part II.
Vote on CM-96-08-275: Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Schmid
Members Crawford and Mutch were not present during the vote.
6. Approval of Proposed Bond Resolutions
A. City of Novi - Police Headquarters Bond Proposal
B. City of Novi - Fire Facilities Bond Proposal
Councilwoman Cassis asked if the bids come in lower and a savings occurs, how would they pass the savings onto the taxpayers? Mr. Klaver replied they would pass automatically because the City would not be able to legally levy any more millage than necessary to cover the debt.
CM-96-08-276: Moved by Cassis, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Police and Fire Bond Proposal, to be put before the taxpayers on the November 5, 1996 ballot the language of which has been submitted to Council for a Police Headquarters bond proposal for $2,500,000 and a Fire Department facilities bond proposal for $2,225,000.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if it includes the actual ballot language? Councilwoman Cassis said yes, that was what she referenced.
Councilwoman Mutch asked where would the funding for providing information to the public about the issue come from? Mr. Kriewall said they would generate the cost administratively.
Mayor McLallen added the information will be available through other outlets and members of Council.
Councilwoman Mutch said when people ordinarily want background information about a particular project, sometimes it is available, but other times, they have to pay for it. She added this will be information that will be available to the public in a promotional way in terms of educating them and not necessarily swaying them, but giving them the same information that Council based their recommendation to place it on the ballot. Mr. Kriewall said they would distribute the information at no cost to them. Councilwoman Mutch would just like people to understand that it is not like a political campaign that the City is paying for.
Councilman Mitzel has some concerns about constructing a new fire station, but since both are together, he will vote for the motion.
Councilman Schmid has similar concerns and is surprised to see it back without additional discussion. He added there was a lot of discussion last time and there was a close vote about whether or not they needed a fire station.
Mr. Klaver said one problem when dealing with these types of proposals is it is difficult to entertain or conclude any kind of land acquisition. He added the construction may depend upon location and the size of the parcel before it can be determined if it is feasible or not to construct a joint facility.
Councilman Schmid would like to have options by which they would have an option of building a training facility and/or a fire station and training facility, or a combination. Councilman Schmid explained if they vote down the proposal, both are lost. Councilman Schmid will support the motion, but he thinks it is a mistake in the way they put it together. Mr. Kriewall said they could be split. Councilman Schmid agreed, but he doesn’t understand why they aren’t split now.
Councilman Schmid asked what rhetoric they would give to citizens about what will be done with the old station? Councilman Schmid thinks the old station is still more than adequate and thought the reason for building a new station was that they had proposed a training addition. Mr. Klaver believes the idea of having a combined training facility and station is the best alternative and would recommend that to Council if it is available. Mr. Klaver said this was based upon Council discussion to provide the flexibility in the event it didn’t prove practical that they should allow for that contingency. Mr. Klaver believes they should recognize that while the new proposed facility is not that far away from the current Station 4, it is not just replacing Station 4. Its purpose is to replace Station 4 and the Station 5. By redesigning the fire service districts, the Chief was able to eliminate a new station that would have to be built in the next five to ten years and all the equipment that went with it. He knows by having participated in the police and fire committees deliberations that the savings was very significant. One reason between the system they were looking at when they developed the original master plan in 1978 and now is that they have people in the stations. Therefore, a longer distance does not represent a problem from the system that was in effect in 1978 which was strictly a volunteer, paid-on-call type of response district. Today, with a core of employees at the station taking the equipment and the volunteers responding to the scene, it allows for a larger response district.
Councilman Schmid asked if Mr. Klaver is suggesting that he believe that a station one mile away makes a difference rather than having four or five stations? Mr. Klaver said yes. Councilman Schmid thinks it is a stretch to believe that, although he understands the concept and commends the Chief for proposing four as opposed to five.
Mr. Klaver stated as a point of clarification that the cost of the training facility doesn’t come anywhere to representing 50% of the proposed amount and that the construction of the actual station is where the major cost will be.
Councilwoman Mutch said she believes she may have been the one who asked that the training addition phrasing come back because there is a need for a training station and what they currently have has been deemed to be inadequate. Councilwoman Mutch said her concern was if they only had wording that led voters to believe that they were constructing a fire station after all the discussion about a training facility, that if they didn’t have language about something that was independent of an existing or new station, people are going to say they did not vote to approve spending money on a training facility. Councilwoman Mutch said training is a need they have to address and the language should be there so the voters are voting in an informed way.
Councilman Schmid concurs there should be a training facility, but he added they could’ve built it for $600,000 or less. He explained there is a big difference between the needed millage for that amount and $2,225,000. Councilman Schmid wished they had the voting option between building a new station and training station or just constructing a training station for less money. Councilman Schmid asked what the City proposes to do with the old station if this passes?
Councilman Mitzel moved to amend the motion by asking the Administration to split the fire station proposal into one for a training facility and one for a new fire station. Councilman Schmid said he would support the motion because there is a lot of concern with the rest of the Council.
CM-96-08-277: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Schmid, MOTION FAILED: To amend the main motion by asking Administration to split the fire station proposal into one for a training facility and one for a new fire station.
Mayor McLallen said the motion is to amend the main motion to split the fire department facilities bond proposal into two parts so that the voters can vote for either one part or the other, or the whole.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked why are they over complicating this issue? He said they have all agreed to the necessity of a training facility and most agree there is a need for a new fire facility. Mayor ProTem Crawford reminded Council that Station 4 is the only station west of Novi Road. He explained that the western portion of Novi is going to equal the eastern half in population and density in the next few years. Mayor ProTem Crawford said there is one undersized station to serve that whole area which justifies the need for a new station. He added that the present site is too small to accommodate an addition. He further explained to make it more centrally located into the western portion of the City and to the new fire districts, it needs to be moved. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked Council to let people vote on the police issue and the fire issue. He explained the fire issue is a station and a training facility. The police issue is refurbishing of the current police station.
Councilwoman Mutch said one of the local school districts was doing renovation to their high school. In the early stages, the district kept referring to the construction of a field house before it went on the ballot. The more they talked about the field house, the more feedback they got back about what a luxury it would be to have a field house. Councilwoman Mutch said there was no disagreement that the need was there for what would occur in that space they were calling a field house, but since they called it a field house, they saw it as a luxury. The district got smart and then referred to it as an auxiliary gym. They passed the proposal and they built the auxiliary gym which was indeed an auxiliary gym, but they now always call it a field house although it is still an extension of the existing building. Councilwoman Mutch’s concern is that if this is separated and they call it a training facility, they may create the impression that they are talking about a separate structure that is the equivalent of another fire station or a classroom building or something that is much more substantial than what Mr. Klaver has described a training facility to be. Councilwoman Mutch said what they are talking about is something that is more likely to be part of a fire station. The facility is more of a staging area and it is the area around the building, not the building by itself. The City has three options to provide for training in either an existing building, an additional building, or a freestanding building.
Councilman Schmid appreciates Mayor ProTem Crawford’s comments and hopes he doesn’t think he is doing this for levity. Councilman Schmid disagrees that the City needs another fire station and he does not think it as anything other than being conscientious about what the fire department needs. He added Mayor ProTem Crawford has a different opinion about those needs. Councilman Schmid is suggesting that Novi has sufficient fire departments and Mayor ProTem Crawford is incorrect when he tries to make an emotional issue out of this by suggesting that they jeopardize the safety of the citizens west of Beck Road if the station remains on Beck Road. Councilman Schmid does not believe one mile away from this particular station will make a difference. In addition, Councilman Schmid does not think that the size of the new station will not accommodate any more vehicles than the old station. He believes it will accommodate sleeping quarters and perhaps other recreational areas that they do not need. Therefore, Councilman Schmid truly believes that they have sufficient fire stations that properly located for the safety of this community. However, Councilman Schmid will agree there is a need for a training facility that will be in excess of 2,000 square feet and is not just a small out building, but it is a major training center with classrooms.
Mayor McLallen stated the motion is to amend the main motion which is to divide the main motion into three segments which would be to build a new fire station, to build a training facility, or to build both. Councilman Mitzel said there is a police issue and a fire issue and the amended motion is to split the fire issue into two. Councilman Mitzel said the motion is to amend the fire station portion of the resolution to two different proposals. One is for a training facility and one is for a fire station.
Mayor McLallen asked how would it be possible for voters to vote for both? Councilman Mitzel replied they could vote yes for each one.
Vote on CM-96-08-277: Yeas: Mitzel, Schmid
Nay: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mutch
Mayor McLallen said the main motion is to put the language as presented on the ballot.
Vote on CM-96-08-276: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
7. Approval of Resolution, Re: City of Novi - Street and Highway Improvements general Obligation Bond Proposal
Mayor McLallen said this item is the approval of the resolution for the November ballot for the street and highway improvement general obligation bond in the amount of $17M which would equal ¾ of a mil or $93.00 per homeowner. Mayor McLallen reported the bond recommends improvements to the construction of Taft Road north of Twelve Mile Road, the construction of Meadowbrook Road between Twelve and Thirteen Mile Roads, the construction of the river crossing on Crescent Drive in the northwest quadrant of the Town Center, the resurfacing of West Road and various signalization and subdivision road resurfacing.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if they typically include street lighting in any road improvement? Mr. Nowicki said it is not and the street lighting that they are talking about is the illumination of the entrances to subdivisions or major intersections. Normally, they do not include that in a roadway project and a case in point would be Wixom Road where they had to enter into a separate agreement with Detroit Edison to install an overhead light at Wixom and Ten Mile Roads.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if the lighting is considered a safety feature? Mr. Nowicki replied that he would include it in the program and thinks that it is something that would help the safety of some of the areas. He also thinks they have included a cost. Mr. Nowicki said they do have to be cautious about the maintenance cost because to date, that would be an annual appropriation that they have funded out of the general fund.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if bike path and sidewalk construction is normally considered as part of a road bonding program? Mr. Nowicki replied that the 1990 Roadway Bond Program did not include any non-motorized transportation facilities, but he added it is up to Council.
Councilwoman Cassis said they have mentioned that they should separate or split the question on these matters. She said there was also a lengthy discussion about sidewalk and bike path construction. Councilwoman Cassis is wondering if separating the sidewalk and bike path construction into one motion might not be prudent and asks for further discussion on the matter. She feels one benefit might be that they might learn how much support there is in the community for future bond proposals that will directly speak to the specifics of sidewalks and bike paths.
Councilman Mitzel thinks it should be left as one package because that is the way they have been heading with road grant programs. Councilman Mitzel reminded Council that when they widened two miles of Eight Mile Road, they constructed a sidewalk with the project and likewise for the Twelve Mile and the Novi Road projects. The Decker Road project under the road bond program also included a sidewalk that was based on the condition of getting easements.
Mr. Kriewall also believes it should stay together in this instance. Mr. Kriewall explained when they are building new roadways, there is a definite savings in terms of mass grading and doing the sidewalk at the same time.
Councilwoman Mutch added another benefit is that it clearly states what the City’s priorities are and that it is a part of the transportation system.
Councilman Schmid concurs with Mr. Kriewall and the other Council Member’s comments. He asked if they included scooter paths? Mr. Nowicki replied it would be based upon a current system of sidewalks along the road except where the Master Plan shows scooter paths. Councilman Schmid said he opposes scooter paths and he is still concerned about the safety, maintenance, and the ultimate cost for maintenance. He does not believe it makes good sense to do this without any conception about what they will face from a cost stand point.
Mayor McLallen asked if they are asking for concrete safety paths for one side and asphalt on the other in the proposal? Mr. Nowicki replied she was correct. Mayor McLallen asked if there is any interpretation of the long range maintenance cost? He said they did not include a long range maintenance cost.
Councilman Schmid asked if they included prices for both bituminous and concrete? Mr. Nowicki said they included them for all projects. Councilman Schmid said one is more expensive than the other on the initial installation, but he believes that maintaining it would probably be cheaper. Mr. Nowicki said the five foot concrete walkway on the Taft Road extension is $194,900 and the eight foot bituminous path is $125,000.
Councilman Schmid asked if there would be bonding money available for concrete sidewalks along the major roads if the proposal passed? Mr. Nowicki replied there would. Councilman Schmid asked if there would be money available for a scooter path? Mr. Nowicki replied there would be money for a bituminous path. Councilman Schmid asked if there was a proposal for a concrete path? Mr. Nowicki said there was no cost given for an eight foot concrete path.
Councilman Clark agrees with previous comments and would like to leave it as one proposal. Councilman Clark said if the proposal passes for X number of dollars and the City decides to construct roads with only a six foot sidewalk which would not utilize all of the dollars, he asked if they are then faced with a refund situation? Mr. Watson replied that they would pay off the bonds more quickly.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked why is the pedestrian boulevard included in Crescent Boulevard? Mr. Nowicki replied because it is a center section between two areas that are already in there and they don’t have the option to delete it. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if Crescent Boulevard would have pedestrian walkways? Mr. Nowicki replied yes. He further added that they designed it entering from Grand River with paths and sidewalks as well as near the Expo Center, so there will be a short section of the bridge crossing that will not have anything.
Councilwoman Cassis would request that packets be made available at the Library and the Clerk’s office regarding this proposal. She also thinks that information for the Fire and Police projects and the Road Bonding should be provided for the cable company.
CM-96-08-278: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED: To approve the language as presented for the November ballot with regard to the Street and Highway Improvements General Obligation Bond.
Councilman Schmid advised that he will not vote for the motion because of the uncertainty of the cost of the maintenance of the bike paths and sidewalks.
Vote on CM-96-08-278: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch
Mayor McLallen reported they have exceeded the midnight hour for the conclusion of the meeting. She added there is there is still discussion needed for what to do with the Aquatic Facility and four Consent Agenda items.
CM-96-08-279: Moved by Clark, Seconded by Cassis, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone Item 8, the discussion of a possible ballot proposal for the Aquatic Facility until August 26, 1996.
Councilwoman Cassis said they should prepare some proposals and any other information that might help Council deal with this matter in an expedited fashion.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if Dan Davis had a five minute presentation that would give Council something to think about until the matter comes back for discussion. Mayor McLallen said there is a motion to postpone, but Council will consider that.
Councilman Clark said he made the motion, but if Dan Davis has something to address briefly he would support it.
Dan Davis reported this item was added as a Council Matter. However in April, the Committee made their report before Council and they tabled it for future discussion. Mr. Davis would be happy to bring forward full packet information as it was presented in April with other background information to the next meeting. As far as the ballot question, it has become a moot point at this stage because he believes August 25 was the deadline for anything to be put on the November ballot. Mayor McLallen believes August 26 is the end, so if the session was on that date they could send it bullet on August 27.
Vote on CM-96-08-279: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch,
CM-96-08-280: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Crawford, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To extend the August 12, 1996 Regular City Council Meeting to 12:30 P.M. or before.
Vote on CM-96-08-280: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch,
12. Approval of Resolution supporting the declaration of Water Supply Emergency temporarily banning all outdoor uses of water and requesting voluntary reduction of indoor water consumption by all users of the Novi water supply system until the 36-inch Novi water main is returned to service.
Mayor McLallen said this item is a request for the approval of a resolution declaring a water supply emergency temporarily banning all outdoor water use and requesting voluntary reduction of indoor water consumption by users of the Novi water supply system until they return the 36-inch Novi road main to service. According to the information, Mayor McLallen said if all goes well, this temporary emergency would run from September 3, 1996 until the middle of October.
Tony Nowicki said they believe it can be completed within five to six weeks and hopes it can be done sooner than that.
Councilwoman Cassis asked what is the water emergency documentation that requires a total ban for that period instead of just the odd even sprinkling ordinance that is currently in place? Mr. Nowicki said Section 34-24, Water Supply Emergency in the Novi Code of Ordinances states, "a water supply emergency shall be deemed to exist whenever the Superintendent of Public Works finds based on drought conditions depletion of water supply or other reasons if there is a threat of loss of water supply to the community or a portion of the community."
Councilwoman Cassis asked if he thinks that those conditions exist? Mr. Nowicki replied he thinks that there is going to be a reduced amount of water to be transmitted as they use that bypass. Mr. Nowicki said the existing main is 36 inches and this one will be 24 inches.
Councilman Clark reported as a point of information, they are talking about the restrictions for all those using the Novi water system or the City of Detroit system. If a resident is on a well, this will not apply as they are not using the Novi water system. Mr. Nowicki agreed with Councilman Clark’s comments.
Councilman Schmid asked for assurances that Mr. Nowicki is right in his opinion that there will not be a sufficient supply and that facts back up his decision. He added many of Novi homeowner’s have expensive lawns and it is imperative that they water if they can. Mr. Nowicki said it is backed up in part by the water permit that was used to construct it which indicates that they have to enforce their sprinkling ordinance. Mr. Nowicki added they have asked JCK to go ahead and prepare some calculations based upon the water model. Mr. Nowicki believes there is reasonable cause for concern and that the City should maintain the integrity of the system to insure that everybody has a source of water inside their homes.
Councilman Schmid hopes that the engineers will take another look at this and to see if watering it is possible. Mr. Nowicki said he realizes this a tremendous inconvenience for many people and places a hardship on some individuals, but they have a 36 inch water main that they constructed over and right now he does not know what type of condition it is in. Mr. Nowicki thinks that a six week inconvenience to help insure the integrity of the system for future years is worth it.
Councilman Schmid is suggesting that if Mr. Nowicki’s figures are correct, could they use a certain amount of water for maintenance? Mr. Nowicki said when they go through a verification program and find it is working, they can relax the ban.
Dennis Watson said for those who have installed sod, there is a provision which allows the Superintendent of Public Works to provide an exception to prevent imminent financial loss.
Mayor McLallen asked if the ban is part of what the State required? Mr. Nowicki replied the State is requiring them to enforce the sprinkling ban. This is not something that they write in the permit, but it is something they agreed upon in numerous discussions.
Mayor McLallen asked how will the City inform its citizens because they have not broadcasted this meeting this evening and not everyone reads the Novi News? Mr. Nowicki replied they will provide a mass mailing or provide a door to door delivery similar to what the department did last year during the water emergencies. Mr. Nowicki added they have also advised Lou Martin of the situation.
CM-96-08-281: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Mutch, MOTION POSTPONED (August 26, 1996): To approve the Resolution supporting the declaration of a Water Supply Emergency temporarily banning all outdoor uses of water and requesting voluntary indoor reduction of water consumption by all users of the Novi water supply system until the 36-inc Novi Road water main is returned to service.
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Nowicki to reiterate the auspice under which this is being done. Mr. Nowicki repeated that the condition of the permit says, "it is a condition of this permit that during the time the subject bypass is in service, the City will enforce their sprinkling ordinance so that no outside water use would be allowed."
Mayor McLallen asked if the State of Michigan Health Department grants the permit? Mr. Nowicki said that is correct.
Councilman Schmid said Mr. Nowicki stated the opposite a few minutes ago. Mr. Nowicki said that it refers to the sprinkling ordinance. Councilman Schmid asked if all the rhetoric about checking it was just rhetoric. Mr. Nowicki said he indicated that they will verify the pressures and if pressures allow for things to work where the City can relax some restrictions, they will. Councilman Schmid said that the City then has the option of relaxing the restrictions. Mr. Nowicki said the State is telling them to enforce the odd/even sprinkling ordinance.
Mayor McLallen said the memorandum says, "as a condition of the Department of Health, Novi must enforce the sprinkling ordinance so that no outside water use will be allowed as well as restricting water taps until the water main extension is lifted." Mayor McLallen said this specifically says no outside water use and the ordinance says restricted to odd or even and asked for a clarification about which one is correct.
Mr. Watson said the ordinance allows a total ban, but it also has a provision that says, "the Superintendent of Public Works may provide for a more limited prohibition when he determines such a limited prohibition will be sufficient to protect the capacity of the water supply system."
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Watson to read the fourth WHEREAS in the Resolution they are voting on.
Mr. Watson said they are not dealing with an interpretation. However, one of the terms of the permit is that the Department of Public Health has stated in the permit that while the bypass is in service, they will enforce the ordinance so that no outside water use will be allowed.
Mayor McLallen said it is not saying odd or even, but it is saying none. Mr. Watson said they are saying they are going to do the total prohibition. Mr. Watson interprets the permit condition as saying not to take advantage of that more limited authority that the ordinance would otherwise allow.
Mayor McLallen said if this motion passes, the wording says there will be no outside watering from September 3 until approximately October 15 unless imminent financial ruin is found. Mr. Watson said that was correct.
Councilwoman Cassis reminded Council that there has been little precipitation this summer and asked if the City has been enforcing the odd/even sprinkling ordinance? Mr. Nowicki replied the pressures are stable.
Councilwoman Cassis believes Mr. Nowicki but she would like a little more back up by the August 26 meeting about what is going to happen during the five to six week period, what they anticipate could occur due to the pressure, and other factors. Councilwoman Cassis believes Mr. Nowicki will find support if he provides this. She then asked to postpone this matter until the August 26 meeting.
CM-96-08-282: Moved by Cassis, Seconded by Schmid, MOTION PASSED: To postpone matter until August 26, 1996 Regular City Council Meeting.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said it states in the same paragraph , "until the water main extension moratorium is lifted" and asked if they are speaking about the general moratorium or just this water main construction? If they are only talking about just this piece of water main construction, where did the moratorium enter into it? Mr. Nowicki hesitates to give his interpretation because Councilman Schmid pointed out that he was wrong in his interpretation in a specific area. He interprets it as meaning that it is the general moratorium that people would not be allowed to tap that water main until 72 is functioning.
Councilwoman Mutch asked what are the consequences if they don’t pass the Resolution? Mr. Watson replied this is a resolution of support for the action taken by the Superintendent of Public Works and he still has the authority to do what the permit asks.
Councilwoman Mutch said by postponing it or voting against it does not change a thing in terms of what actually is going to happen. Mr. Nowicki said all it does is delay them from notifying the residents. Councilwoman Mutch said there would still be a ban on the watering during that period and all Council is doing is undermining their own staff person.
Councilman Mitzel thinks it would be best to act on this tonight so that people will have an extra two weeks to consider this and plan their outdoor work.
Councilman Schmid thinks the delay is a good idea and unfortunately, he doesn’t believe that they have sufficient information about whether or not they cannot water. He thinks some are under estimating the cost of landscaping and what it could do to major landscaping in the community. Councilman Schmid said if the weather is cool and it rains occasionally, there will not be any problems, but if it happens to be hot every day there will be major problems. He will support it if Mr. Nowicki understands their dilemma, but he thinks Mr. Nowicki could have negotiated this on an emergency basis.
Based upon what he has heard this evening, Mr. Kriewall said in passing the resolution, they can always back off from their position . He added it may even involve a negotiation and a discussion with the Department of Health once the temporary main is in service. They can then monitor some pressures and make adjustments. As Mr. Kriewall has understood the discussion, the Health Department will err on the safe side right now because they want to know that this community is prepared to take the strongest position that they can.
Councilman Clark suggested that if it does come back that Mr. Nowicki check with the National Weather Service for a thirty day projection to see what they are tentatively looking at.
Councilman Schmid asked if the 36 inch main was at capacity? Mr. Nowicki said the main functioned at capacity and it couldn’t supply water to the community.
Vote on CM-96-08-282: Yeas: Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Schmid
Nay: McLallen, Mitzel, Mutch
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the quotations are taken verbatim from the permit? Mr. Nowicki replied it is verbatim.
3. Approval of Minutes of Regular Meetings of April 8, 1996, April 22, 1996, Special Meeting of June 17, 1996, Joint Council/Planning Commission meeting of July 10, 1996 and Regular meeting of July 15, 1996.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said Council does not get approvable minutes on a timely basis and tonight they are asking that they approve the April 8 minutes that are four months old. In reviewing those minutes, he made comments directing city staff to do things and the Planning Commission to consider things. If the Planning Commission reviewed the site plans a couple of months ago, they would not even have had the approved minutes. Mayor ProTem Crawford requested, with Council’s approval, that the City Attorney give a written opinion on how they stand on the Open Meetings Act in relation to when they get the minutes. He also asked for a report from the City Clerk about what it would take to get the minutes on a timely basis. Mayor ProTem knows the Clerk’s staff is working as hard as they can and realizes that they have had numerous elections. Mayor ProTem Crawford’s point is that Council is not getting minutes on a timely basis and they need them.
CM-96-08-283: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve minutes under Item 3 as amended.
Councilwoman Cassis would like to make some corrections. She referred to Pages 18 and 21 of the April 8 minutes and stated the vote on motion CM-96-04-124 did not pass unanimously but passed in a four to three vote.
Councilwoman Cassis referred to the April 22 minutes and stated that the last paragraph on Page 41 is discussion about a sanitary sewer extension agreement with Mr. Harris. The conversation is, "Councilwoman Cassis asked where this project was and Mr. Kriewall said it was on the east side of Haggerty Road just south of Nine Mile Road." Councilwoman Cassis said Haggerty Road should instead read Napier Road.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said on Page 16 there is a motion by Schmid, seconded by Clark stating, "Motion not voted on." He does not remember seeing anything in the discussion about why they did not vote on it.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said the motion by Schmid, seconded by Clark on Page 18 is a matter of transcription. He said after the motion, there is discussion and then it goes right into the next item. It seems to him that typically the person who made the motion and the results of that motion are included at the end of the discussion because that is where the vote actually takes place. Mayor ProTem Crawford said if they want to put it up there where they actually make it and what the result of that was, he guesses that is fine. However, to make it read more clearly, he suggested it should be at the end of the discussion so that the reader will know that it concludes that topic.
Vote on CM-96-08-283: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
4. Approval of Traffic Control Order 96-5, Restricting Stopping, Standing and Parking on Willowbrook Road in the vicinity of Village Oaks Elementary School
Mayor McLallen reported she had a citizen call on this item and she spent years grumbling as she drove her children to that school. She stated this is a 21 foot wide road and they’re suggesting that this be enforced only during the school drop off hours which are 8:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.. The school has posted "Do Not Stop" and "Do Not Park" signs, but parents are still handwalking their children into the school. As a result, the traffic backs up onto Willowbrook Road and causes major traffic congestion. Mayor McLallen said there are currently no parking signs and the only way they will solve this problem is through strict enforcement.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if the Mayor and the City Manager could meet with the School District to see if they could work out any solution with them because they do have people who are supposed to be watching this situation? Mayor McLallen said they do have crossing guards and it is more of a situation of getting parents to obey the posted signs.
Councilwoman Mutch said this school is only accessible through the subdivision. She thinks the time has come for the school district to take another look at the site and begin to plan for the future in terms of the impact for that neighborhood and determine how to minimize the traffic impact.
Mayor McLallen advised she would be happy to meet with the City Manager and the appropriate school officials before school starts. However, at this time she would move that they not approve this traffic control order support.
CM-96-08-284: Moved by McLallen, Seconded by Cassis, MOTION CARRIED: To reject the Traffic Control Order 96-5 which prohibits stopping standing or parking along Willowbrook Drive from 8:00 - 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 - 4:00 P.M., Monday through Friday (school days) between Village Wood Road and a point 250 feet North of Oak Tree Road.
Mayor ProTem Crawford does not disagree that perhaps this traffic control order may not be the answer to the problem, but to not have it there gives them nothing to enforce. He asked if something should be in place to be able to try to enforce this? Mayor McLallen said they could enforce the "No Parking" that is already there. Mayor ProTem Crawford would think that they would want this on the books and continue discussion with the school district.
Vote on CM-96-08-284: Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch.
Nay: Crawford, Schmid
7. Receive Resignation of Tom Smith from Novi Community Clubs effective immediately.
CM-96-08-285: Moved by Mutch, Seconded by Crawford, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To accept the resignation of Tom Smith from the Novi Community Clubs effective immediately.
Vote on CM-96-08-285: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch,
10. Approval of Revised City of Novi Department of Public Services Municipal Engineering Policy to include property notification and input during the conceptual stage of a potential infrastructure project.
Councilwoman Cassis stated in response to Mrs. Crawford’s concerns she reported that she has spoken with her and she hopes to continue their good relationship. Councilwoman Cassis encouraged the City Manager to bring back in the municipal engineering policy to include input during the conceptual stage of a potential infrastructure project, which he did. She would like to add that they not just inform impacted residents at the conceptual stage, but to continue it through preliminary and final design. She would like to ensure that adequate notification continues. Councilwoman Cassis asks that this item be brought back before Council on August 26.
CM-96-08-286: Moved by Cassis, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To bring item back before Council on August 26 with the addition.
Vote on CM-96-08-286: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch,
Carol Crawford - asked why City meetings are not kept on video tapes? Mayor McLallen replied the City has reviewed this issue and there is no space to store them. She added there are individuals in the community, particularly former Council Member Toth who has a fairly extensive library of tapes.
Mrs. Crawford asked if Mr. Nowicki meant that the five foot concrete sidewalk was on the existing Taft Road and assumes that it included a five foot concrete sidewalk to the new Taft Road. Mrs. Crawford said that it is ridiculous because the area is all heavy industrial.
1. Letter to Ordinance Enforcement Department from Wm. Jones, President of Novi Heights Community Association, Re: Noise at Arbor Warehouse
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if someone is going to follow up on this matter? Mr. Kriewall reported he was out there today and the Mayor will make another visit with him.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked Mr. Kriewall to provide a report about how the installation of the fans occurred in the first place because it does not conform with site plans. Mr. Kriewall replied the Building Department is working with the City Attorney on getting a response and it should be in the next packet.
Councilwoman Cassis asked Mr. Watson about a July 27 letter from Douglas Shaeffer, Chief of Police in which he requested an opinion about whether the police department is empowered to draft and implement a policy that prohibits employees while off duty from actively campaigning for a person seeking elective office. She said the prohibition would include components such as: a) Prohibit placing election signs in the employees own yard or another property owned by the employee; b) Helping to place election signs on publicly owned property or on private property with permission from the land owner; c) Handing out literature door to door, polling places, or other places; and d) Personally endorsing candidates. She asked him to bear in mind that they know officers and other City employees throughout the community as employees of the Police Department, though they may not be in uniform or otherwise representing themselves as an employee.
Mr. Watson replied he has responded. Councilwoman Cassis said she would like a copy sent to Council Members. Mr. Watson said he would direct the City Clerk to add it to the next packet. He added the answer to the question was that there is a State law which prohibits banning that under political rights and under the Constitution’s first amendment right.
2. Memorandum from Tonni Bartholomew to City Council, Re: Board of Review Vacancies
3. Memorandum from D. Glenn Lemmon, Deputy Assessor, to City Council, Re: Society Hill Apartment Project
4. Letter from Albert and Maxine Bidwell to City Council, Re: Status of Petition to Vacate "Ivy Leaf Walk"
5. Letter from Fried, Watson, & Bugbee to City Council, Re: Paragon Properties
-vs- City of Novi
6. Letter from Jim Korte to City Council, Re: Knight’s Auto Parts
7. Letter from Eldon Harris to City Council, Re: "Impact Weekend"
8. Memorandum from Steve Cohen to City Council, Re: PA 116 Grant Application
9. Letter from Greg Berry to City Council, Re: Bike Path
10. Letter from Fried, Watson and Bugbee to Mayor McLallen and City Council, Re: Paul A. Bosco vs. City of Novi, et al
11. Memo from Craig Klaver to Mayor and Council, Re: Furniture/Door-to-Door sales.
12. Memo from James Wahl to City Council, Re: Draft Resolutions for Municipal Consulting Services and amendments to various review fees.
13. Letter from Martha Ferrier to Mayor and Council, Re: Traffic Volume Relief for South Lake Drive
14. Letter from Frank Gilbert, National Trust for Historic Preservation to Mayor, Re: Fuerst Property
COMMITTEE REPORTS - None
There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 12:50 P.M..
Mayor Deputy City Clerk
Transcribed by Barbara Holmes
Date Approved: September 9, 1996