REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL FOR THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 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, City Attorney David Fried, Director of Public Services Tony Nowicki, Deputy City Clerk Nancy Reutter
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor McLallen added as Item 2 under Special Reports, Presentation on Business Retention and Expansion Program, Economic Development Corporation - Greg Capote.
CM-96-09-323: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve agenda as amended.
Vote on CM-96-09-323: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
1. Resolution of Appreciation to the following members of the Aquatic Committee: Donna Bavarskas, Gwen Markham, Rick Ragsdale, David Sheeran, James Utley, Elaine Yocum (absent), J.R. Atiyeh, and Charles Staab.
Mayor McLallen read the sentiment on the resolution and presented them to the members of the Aquatic Committee.
1. City Property Master Plan
Craig Klaver presented the City Property Master Plan and Council consensus was to bring it back in 30-60 days as a Council action item for adoption.
2. Economic Development - Business Retention and Expansion Program
Greg Capote stated his report is pursuant to the requests of the Economic Development Corporation and City Council that he contact other community development organizations. His task was to ask about their activities and involvements with respect to economic development initiatives and then make some recommendations based upon his findings.
Secondly, Mr. Capote said he has been attending the Economic Development Committee of the Chamber of Commerce for about two years and he helped to provide information about Novi at the Crossroads report which was presented to Council approximately a year ago. He continues to work with that committee and he would like to involve them with the City’s EDC.
Thirdly, he would like to involve utility companies like Detroit Edison, communication companies, and Consumer Power who are currently all engaged in economic development activities. Mr. Capote has been attending some of their workshops and asking for advice from them. One of their biggest recommendations was the Business Retention Expansion Survey.
Mr. Capote reported he has always been aware of the wealth of information that the Oakland County Economic Development could provide but he has not had the time to use that resource. He advised he has recently been working with Oakland County on a variety of things and he has found them to be quite helpful.
Mr. Capote reported there are other economic development societies and community development societies in the state of Michigan which were also becoming involved. He added another big influence in this area is the Michigan Jobs Commission. He said they are a wealth of resource for the Business Retention Expansion Survey, writing ordinances, making suggestions for adoptions of master plans, and things that should be incorporated in the master plan.
In working with these entities, Mr. Capote reported it is really building information, getting a listing of phone numbers and resources to share with Council, the Community, and with Novi’s EDC. Currently, Mr. Capote said their file has been small and by statute they have been meeting once every twelve months. He added he believes that will change, but it will take time.
He further advised that Jon Dostel, Chair of the EDC suggested that they meet on a bimonthly basis. One reason for that is Mr. Capote currently has some suggestions that he has not had the opportunity to share with the EDC.
Mr. Capote also noticed that Novi’s economic development brochure is very old and it needs to be updated. He has been working with Novi’s Public Information Director and displayed Dearborn’s brochure as an example. He said Dearborn’s brochure gives a sampling of what the community is like from a business standpoint, from a school standpoint, and where they stand as far as attracting businesses to their area. To remake the color glossy brochure requires funding because it is expensive, but it is a very powerful tool that describes transportation, utilities, housing, city services, tourism, shopping, etc. Mr. Capote said in terms of tourism, Novi has the Expo Center and unique business and industries. Mr. Capote would like to recommend such a brochure to the EDC who will then define what it will specifically contain as they work with the Council.
Mr. Capote stated his next recommendation is to become involved with Plant Site Locators, Inc. Mr. Capote said for $1,000 this company would add Novi to its data base of communities with profiles relative to populations, socioeconomic status, school information, tax base, availability of land, and infrastructure. Mr. Capote reported when a company is looking at doing business in this area, they could match their criteria with the information from this organization. He would like to research this further adding that they do not have to contract with them to perform the research. He believes something like this may be helpful in attracting specific industries to Novi even before they talk with a broker.
In addition, Mr. Capote believes an Economic Prepareded Index would provide a strategic plan in economic development and reported that the City of Canton did one. The index answers many interesting questions with specific goals and objectives. Mr. Capote believes the EDC could also become active in this process.
Mr. Capote also reported Detroit Edison has provided aerial photos for them which he would like to use as a sales tool to attract those businesses unfamiliar with Novi.
Mr. Capote reported he has a book which is specific to economic development activities. He reported there are many things in the book that they have not explored and he will make the book available to the EDC and Council. He added he will work under the guidance of Mr. Neiman.
Mr. Capote said he is asking for Council support for a starting point which he believes should be the Business Retention Expansion Survey. He added this has been the recommendation of people that work in Novi who have been involved with Novi’s economic development for more than thirty years. Mr. Capote said the more he studies this, the more he agrees. He has supplied Council with a sample survey from Plymouth. Mr. Capote added that the Utilities Consortium provides a program manager’s manual and he would like to serve as Novi’s program manager. Further, a consultant, provided by the Utilities Consortium would assist his efforts. Mr. Capote said that consultant is Michael J. Montgomery of Michael J. Montgomery Consulting. In conclusion, Mr. Capote hopes Council will support this effort from the information he has just provided.
Mayor McLallen said the City is getting a lot of input from this new position and Council will discuss it on the agenda.
Councilman Schmid asked what is Mr. Montgomery’s relationship with the Business Retention Expansion Survey? Mr. Capote said Mr. Montgomery is hired by Utilities Consortium who sponsors the survey and it is a process to foster economic development in the community. Mr. Capote explained Mr. Montgomery is hired to provide services to help cities to conduct the study and to work with the EDC who will also assist with the study. Mr. Capote said there will be a need for volunteers because he cannot do it alone. Mr. Montgomery will provide services and the kinds of questions that they should ask based on feedback from Council, from himself, and from the EDC. Finally, Mr. Montgomery will help provide a summary report at the conclusion of the survey.
Diane Risko - is present this evening on behalf of Novi’s Chamber of Commerce.
Jacque Hodges - 47197 Scarlet Drive South, asked Council to consider the streets dedication favorably on behalf of the citizens and their requests. Secondly, the developer has met with some residents about a proposed zone change at the northwest corner of Ten Mile and Beck. She reported he has made it clear that he would not accept anything but a positive situation for his development. Although Ms. Hodges is leaving the area, she said when someone works for General Motors, all roads lead back to the metro Detroit area. She added she and her family love Novi and there would be no reason why they would not want to return. She remembers when she interviewed for the Planning Commission they asked her about how she felt about commercial development in west Novi. She thinks it is wonderful in areas that are zoned commercial development, but they should keep the residential areas in tact. Ms. Hodges said Novi has a wonderful master plan and she thinks the courts recently supported that fact in the Bosco decision. Ms. Hodges asked Council to keep that in mind when the formal presentation comes before them. She explained a lot of residents bought homes they could afford for because the City was master planned the way it was and they expect it to be supported by Council Members.
Vince DiSessa - reported he submitted a letter to Council on August 22 regarding stop signs on East Lake Drive and New Court. He asked if Council had the opportunity to read his letter and discuss it? Mayor McLallen said they have all read the letter and the discussion will take place tonight. Mr. DiSessa does not know if he can add anything to his letter, but advised his letter expresses the problem he is experiencing at that intersection. In his opinion, it is not an intersection because New Court is a driveway to homes and there is no traffic volume through there. The stop signs were placed there because a lot of East Lake Drive residents wanted to reduce the traffic volumes and speeds. In Mr. DiSessa’s opinion, the traffic signs do not do that. Vehicles that are speeding will only slow down at the sign and then take off. He believes the stop signs are a flawed solution and don’t do what they are supposed to do. Mr. DiSessa said he is experiencing excessive pollution, constant noise, and safety hazards.
J.R. Atiyeh - 47756 Rochester, took this opportunity to commend the Building Department for their assistance in constructing his home. He complimented Don Saven, Terry Morrone, Chris Weber, Ken Elphinstone, Hal Hultman, Whitey Tower, and the clerical staff.
Mr. Atiyeh believes Novi is a quality city because of its strict construction requirements.
Debbie Koder - 1129 East Lake Drive, said she has spoken with her neighbors to the south of her and although they are unable to attend tonight, they agree with her. Ms. Koder said East Lake would turn into a dragstrip if they remove the stop sign. Ms. Koder believes the stop sign does slow traffic and she would be afraid to cross the street without it. Ms. Koder agrees that there is a problem with speeders and she believes the only thing slowing them down is the stop sign. However, the solution isn’t to remove the sign, but to have better enforcement instead. She also thinks removing the sign goes against what they are trying to accomplish with the proposed bike safety path.
James Korte - Shawood Lake, is asking the City to accept the Arnold Fisher property gift which abuts the City park. He also asked Council if they think spending $2,000 for an environmental assessment for a city park is really necessary? He said the longest lot line is 400-500 feet and is adjacent to the back area of the city park. If evaluating city property is not necessary, then Mr. Korte said there is no difference on the city side. If $2,000 is to be spent, Mr. Korte said it should be spent on cleaning the mess up.
In regard to the proposed vacation of Erma, Mr. Korte asked if Council will set it for Public Hearing and he will comment then.
Mr. Korte said the traffic on East Lake is awful and the only reason to remove a stop sign should be that someone almost got hit. He asked everyone to think of the possible repercussions of dodging all of the cars with no stop sign. He suggested that the police take a zero tolerance stance and hopefully, when Novi reopens the police can demand and ticket as the signs say, "No Through Traffic."
Mr. Korte reported that the only subdivision with street lights in the West Road area is a SAD. He said if they remove the SAD from one property, then that property has street lights free of charge. If that property is getting lighting free of charge, then the Shawood area should have lighting free of charge. Mr. Korte said he provides the lights at the corner of Erma and Austin and he would like the benefit a SAD in his area.
Mike Condon - 1321 S. Lake Drive, is in a unique situation because he is currently living on South Lake Drive and is moving to East Lake Drive in a couple of months. He is also acting President of L.A.R.A. and because they have not been able to formally speak on L.A.R.A’s position, he will speak on behalf of himself and a couple of his neighbors. Although, Mr. Condon sympathizes with Mr. DiSessa, he feels all the residents are experiencing the same things that he is. He said when someone lives next to a lake with a road, the road becomes a desirable road to travel. He believes they will always have a traffic problem, but also thinks the installation of the two stops have worked. He added although he understands Mr. DiSessa problem with the sign, there are two hundred other residents that must also be considered. Mr. Condon asked Council to leave the stop sign adding there may be a relief in traffic once Decker and Novi Roads reopen.
Jim Utley - 25614 Gina Court, submitted a letter to the Novi News for the Aquatic Committee’s first public hearing which outlined his position on the aquatic study. Although, Mr. Utley appreciates the award, he is disappointed because he feels as though they have not accomplished much. He did not agree with the committee and believes they should have looked more closely at an indoor facility suggesting that it should be near the middle school site proposed for Wixom Road. He believes they could have gotten economies of scale there and a better cost on the facility. He advised they could have built a year round indoor facility for ten million dollars instead of paying five million dollars for an outdoor facility that would be used for only one hundred days and added that the entire community could also use it. Mr. Utley said he only went along with the committee because he wants a pool and since the committee has disbanded, he would like to express his personal opinion. Mr. Utley reported the schools are currently overwhelmed with the amount of swimming classes. Further, according to the last school board meeting, the schools have thirty classes that they are unable to accommodate this year. Mr. Utley stressed there is a tremendous demand for pool facilities and asked Council to look at an indoor facility as well as an outdoor facility.
Ruth Hamilton - On behalf of the SES, Ms. Hamilton asked Council to postpone Item #9. Ms. Hamilton only discovered this agenda item Saturday when she received it in the mail. She stated although they have recently posted the agenda on Cable Channel 13, they posted this item as stating, "possible removal of a stop sign" and never identified the sign’s location. Ms. Hamilton requested the postponement so SES members can discuss it at their October 8 meeting. Further, if Council decides to address this issue tonight, she advised they should reject the request. It is Ms. Hamilton’s opinion that if the sign allows one resident to enter or exit their driveways in a safer manner than it did four years ago, then the sign is doing its job.
Debbie Meyers-Fagan - East Lake Drive, resides a few homes away from the stop sign. She advised that she was one of the original people who complained about traffic and speeds on East Lake Drive. She reminded Council about the seriousness and number of accidents that occurred there which were caused by passing. Ms. Meyers-Fagan said it was their goal to eliminate these kinds of accidents and also eliminate passing on the left. Ms. Meyers-Fagan believes the writer’s concerns in his letters are not stop sign issues, but rather they are mostly issues that go along with living on a lake. Ms. Meyers-Fagan referred to the footnote commenting on the consultant’s recommendations that they should not construct the signs. She said while the stop signs may not have met all of the criteria that go into determining where they should be placed according to the state and county, it seems to her that there are children in every community who are being hit by cars. She feels there has to be guidelines, but local governments should have the authority to do what is in the best interest of the residents.
Sarah Gray - 133 Maudlin, agrees with Ms. Meyers-Fagan’s comments. Ms. Gray advised she would personally like to address Item 7 on the agenda and advised she is the original complainant on this property approximately twelve years ago. Ms. Gray said twelve years is too long to wait to have privately owned property cleaned up of large chunks of metal, appliances, debris, etc. Ms. Gray complained to Mr. Fisher last summer and she suggested that he donate the property to the City. She would like to know what an environmental assessment is and what it will tell them about the property. She added that she forced the City to clean up their portion of the property approximately nine years ago. Ms. Gray said the time to clean this up is now because she has never seen the wetland so dry. She added she is willing to give the City access through her property.
As president of SES, Ms. Gray asked Council to begin the process on Item 8, the Erma Street vacation and postpone Item 9 because they need more information.
In regard to Item 1, the City Property Master Plan, Ms. Gray thinks that seeing how they control the City property would be interesting.
Tom Fagan - 1275 East Lake Drive, said he has letters from his neighbors, Mike and Sue Monpetit about Item 9. In their letters they state that the stop sign has been beneficial even for those that want it removed. Mr. Fagan also gave a letter to the City Clerk from Sue Sobrowski who also expressed her opposition for the removal of the stop sign. Mr. Fagan advised although he has been a resident for only nine months, he doesn’t believe now is the time to remove the sign because of the Novi Road closing. He would like to wait and see how traffic is affected once it is redirected down Decker Road.
Asa Smith - 1294 East Lake Drive, advised that most of his friends and neighbors have already spoken about Item 9 and he agrees with some of their comments. Mr. Smith suggested they should take turns with putting the sign at the end of the driveways of those that oppose the sign so that they can experience what happens. Mr. Smith said they installed the signs in 1991 as a temporary means to control the traffic on East Lake Drive. He believes they have served their purpose and it is now time for them to go. He advised he has lived with this inconvenience for five years and has suffered enough aggravation as a result. He advised that he cannot get in or out of his driveway safely and that his mail and paper delivery disrupts the traffic. He further advised that it totally obstructs and hinders turning in and out of his driveway. After five years, Mr. Smith is tired of hearing the loud noises of the starting and stopping of vehicles. He said the most offending situations are the name calling and being accused of installing the sign. Mr. Smith said motorists are still trying to make up for lost time between the stop signs and those that don’t live near the signs do not see that the signs are not doing the job that they were supposed to. Mr. Smith said the stop signs are still being ignored and there are numerous rear enders and near crashes. Mr. Smith asked Council to remove the temporary signs or do something different. Mr. Smith advised one group of signs was removed from the Lashbrook Street because of similar problems and asked to have the same removed from New Court. He suggested more law enforcement would be more effective.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approvals/Removals)
Councilwoman Mutch asked if she could remove Item 4, Renewal of Taxi Cab License - ABC Cab Co. - For 13 Taxi Cabs, Subject to the City Attorney’s review.
Councilman Mitzel asked to remove Items 6, Ord. No. 96-123.06 - Approval to Amend Section 31-51.5 of the Novi Code of Ordinances to Revise the Standards for the Approval of Development Names - I Reading and 13, Approval of Traffic Signal No. Co. 979 Maintenance Agreement between the City and Oakland County Road Commission for the Novi Road/Main Street Intersection.
Councilwoman Cassis asked to remove Item 7, Approval of Resolution - Futuring Process - Charge and Composition of the Steering Committee.
CM-96-09-324: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Consent Agenda except for Items 4, 6, 7, and 13.
1. Approval of Claims and Accounts - Warrant No. 473
2. Approval of Minutes of Regular Meetings of August 26 and September 9, 1996
3. Adoption of Notice of Last Day of Registration for the November 5, 1996 Election with the Correction of the City Clerk’s Office Hours
5. Ord. No. 96-158 - Approval to Add Division 3 to Article IX of Chapter 22 of the Novi Code of Ordinances, to Regulate the Sale to and Use by Minors of Tobacco Products - I Reading
8. Approval of Amended Promissory Note - Gasior Property
9. Approval of Pay Estimate No. 10 - Final and Balancing Change Order No. 3 - Final - Wixom Road Improvements - 10 Mile to 11 Mile Road
10. Adoption of Resolutions:
Main Street Village - N-4094 Executed by Compensation
Storm Sewer Easement Frances Costella Gift
11. Approval of Utility Easement from the City of Novi to Detroit Edison to Service Market Street/Main Street Corridor.
12. Approval of Budget Amendment 97-04 - Police Dept. - In the amount of $57,300
14. Authorization to prepare an Agreement between the City and JCK & Associates for Right-of-Way Services Associated with the Crescent Boulevard Extension Project
15. Approval of 1995-96 Bituminous Paving Program Change Order No. 1 for the Munn Landfill Ditch Enclosure/Embankment Stabilization Project
16. Authorization for Attorneys to draft an Agreement between the City and Mark B. Churella regarding a Water Main Pay Back District.
17. Approval of Maintenance Agreement with the Road Commission for Oakland County for Eight Mile Road Traffic Signal at Meijer Driveway/Orchard Hill Place
18. Approval of extension of paving marking contract with Continental Contracting, Inc.
19. Approval of Resolution to conduct a Business Retention and Expansion Survey
VOTE ON CM-96-09-324: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
Mayor McLallen reported all items on the Consent Agenda except for Items 4, 6, 7, and 13 were approved.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - PART I
1. Award Contract to National Bank of Detroit at an interest rate of 4.76% - Police Computers
Mayor McLallen reported this item is back before Council to award the police computer contract to the National Bank of Detroit at an interest rate of 4.76% for a specific period.
CM-96-09-325: Moved by Clark, Seconded by Mitzel, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To award the contract for police computers to the National Bank of Detroit at an interest rate of 4.76%.
Councilman Schmid assumes the amount is for $400,000. Mr. Gibson said they estimated the total program at $680,000. Councilman Schmid asked if Council approved this amount? Mr. Gibson said they did. Mr. Gibson explained $200,000 will be provided by a federal grant for the communications equipment in the vehicle. Further, when they established the budget for the current year, they procured $106,000 in the police budget as the first year’s installment on the financing for this program. Mr. Gibson said they originally discussed financing for five years, but because they were talking about $100,000 from the grant and $400,000 for the loan, they will use whatever is necessary from the $106,000 to complete the financing of this program. Therefore, Mr. Gibson explained the program is really three parts. He added the main part of the system is tied to the D.M. Data contract which they originally estimated at $416,000.
Councilman Schmid asked how is the loan paid back? Mr. Gibson replied they will pay it from the General Fund in future years.
Councilman Mitzel asked if the installment purchase agreement that was on the table tonight is the one that Mr. Gibson would like to have approved and if the document is only approving the NBD loan, will the final D.M. Data document then come forward? Mr. Gibson said he was correct.
Vote on CM-96-09-325: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
2. Request for Special Assessment District - Extend sanitary sewer service to Lots 1 through 5, Salow’s Walnut Hill Subdivision - Adoption of Resolution No. 1
Mayor McLallen advised this request is to extend a sanitary sewer from Lots 1 through 5 in Salow’s Walnut Hill Subdivision and this is the first resolution in the process. She added this is in Section 22, north of Ten Mile and is slightly east of Taft Road. Further, there is a petition provided by the five homeowners.
CM-96-09-326: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Crawford, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To support the first Resolution for the Special Assessment District Covering Lots 1 through 5 in Salow’s Walnut Hill Subdivision.
Vote on CM-96-09-326: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
Mayor McLallen said this item will proceed and will come back at the next Resolution.
3. Discussion of Petition requesting City acceptance of Briarwood Village North and South streets.
Mayor McLallen said this item is a result of a petition presented to the City concerning the acceptance of Briarwood Village’s streets into the City’s system. The staff’s recommendation is not to accept them because they do not meet Novi’s Design and Construction Standards and therefore, should remain private.
Councilman Schmid asked if anyone is speaking on behalf of this? Mayor McLallen said they have a petition signed by the homeowners and asked if there was a representative from the homeowner’s association? She added they have a letter dated August 26 from the Briarwood Homeowner’s Association President and from Mr. Thomas who is a resident.
Ed Thomas said they would like to have the City take over the streets because they are paying the same kinds of taxes that other Novi residents are paying. He added they are not asking for anything special and if they inspected the streets they will realize that the developer has repaired all of the bad sections. As it currently stands, they are only a one entrance subdivision and as a result, they have had a speeding problem. The Novi police advised that they can only do something about reckless or careless driving, but they cannot do anything about speed enforcement.
Councilman Schmid asked if the residents were aware of the covenant restrictions when they purchased their homes? Mr. Thomas said he was aware of that, but he also knew that everything met City standards.
Councilman Schmid asked if they knew the history of this development as to the fact that these roads did not meet City specifications? Mr. Thomas said he has read the material. Councilman Schmid also asked if Mr. Thomas realizes that the City’s Administration recommends that they do not accept these roads as city roads? Mr. Thomas replied that he has not seen that material. Councilman Schmid explained the developer built the homes a little closer to the road and it was controversial at the time. He added that the ordinance did allow for that on private streets, so Council had to ultimately approve it and he is not certain that they can do something about it at this time.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the City Attorney would comment on the City’s potential for liability if there are city streets that do not meet specifications? Mr. Fried believes they are talking about maintenance standards. He said there is a legal problem as to how the condominium association would allow the City to take the streets over. Part of the streets may be a part of the open area and therefore, the City cannot just take them over at the request of the residents. Mr. Fried said there is liability for the maintenance.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said he is concerned about the potential of accidents on those streets that do not meet standards in terms of width, etc. Mr. Fried said there is a liability there.
Mayor ProTem Crawford does not believe there is room to bring those streets to City standards. Mr. Nowicki advised that they have sent all of their correspondence to Mr. Thomas, but he has not yet received it. Mr. Nowicki does not think there is enough room available for the City to remove cul-de-sacs’ to increase the turning radii. In addition, the homes are so close to the roads, that they would be cutting further into that and he does not believe that would be the wise choice.
Mr. Kriewall said the larger problem relates to how they would treat other developments of this nature. Mr. Kriewall said there are several projects that have been built with private streets that are either attached or detached condominiums. Mr. Kriewall would guess that they would want the City to accept their streets if this request is considered. Mr. Kriewall said the financial exposure is tremendous due to the Don Young Charter Amendments of several years ago. He explained the City cannot specially assess for the resurfacing or repair of subdivision streets and he found this is typical in most communities. Further, if this development and several other developments of either attached or detached condominiums were accepted, the financial exposure would be millions of dollars in the long run. Mr. Kriewall believes Council should weigh this as part of their deliberations. Mr. Kriewall recalled that they originally planned this project as an apartment or a detached condominium. In addition, the developer petitioned the City to reconfigure it as a detached project so that he could provide a more marketable and acceptable product. Mr. Kriewall believes that they gave considerations to the developer to provide for higher densities and other kinds of considerations, in exchange for a condominium approach. In this case, the exchange would dictate that the developer provided privately constructed streets. Mr. Kriewall thinks the real problem is that there are a lot of other developments in the same situation and by accepting this, they might have to accept many other projects which would prove to be costly.
Councilman Mitzel thought that Council had approved an agreement with Maples of Novi that would allow the police to enforce traffic laws within the private streets. Mr. Fried replied there is a bridge for that within the ordinance. Councilman Mitzel said that could then be worked out. Mr. Fried replied that it could. Councilman Mitzel asked if he could make a motion? Mayor McLallen advised that it could be a part of the motion.
Councilwoman Mutch said the roads had to be built to acceptable standards, but they were standards for private roads and asked if the standards that they do not meet are those standards for public roads? Mayor McLallen said that was correct. Councilwoman Mutch said if they met the normal setbacks, they would not only be on property, they would be going through buildings.
Mr. Nowicki said there is a letter dated September 4 from Rod Arroyo and it briefly discusses the setback, "because of the reduced front building setback in this development requiring standard rights-of-way of sixty feet from most internal roads and eighty six for the boulevard would require the condominium association to deed over most of the front yard areas in the subdivision. If the sidewalks were placed on both sides of the road as currently required, many would have sidewalks within ten feet of their door."
Councilwoman Mutch asked if the City were to acquire the responsibility for the streets and if money were no object, is that the sort of thing the City would look to do and are they acceptable as they are now? Mr. Nowicki explained Mr. Arroyo is commenting about what the standard practice is for road rights-of-way and road widths. Mr. Nowicki said he agrees with Mr. Kriewall that by approving this, they would be setting a precedent. Mr. Nowicki said because the development criteria does not meet the City’s current standards, nor did it meet the current subdivision standards at the time, they cannot recommend acceptance of this request.
Councilwoman Mutch asked what is the difference between private and public roads? Mr. Nowicki said it has been allowed to be built differently in the past, but in the current Design and Construction Standards draft, private development streets would have to now meet the same requirements of public streets. Mr. Nowicki believes the Ordinance Review Committee has recently reviewed that. Further, he would be hesitant to comment on the criteria because he was not part of the review process for this project. Councilwoman Mutch said Mr. Nowicki has answered her question in that there is no reason for private roads unless it is a private lane with a half dozen homes where there is no traffic. She said a private road is something people move onto with the expectation that the access through that residential area will be the same that it is through subdivisions. Further, residents expect that the emergency vehicle access will be similar and that the police patrol and enforcement will also be similar.
Councilwoman Mutch added there are some benefits lost and gained from living in a condominium. Further, if they had built this development with public roads, those homes might be more expensive than they are now. Mr. Nowicki agreed and stated that the initial cost of ownership does include the paving of the streets and the utility system which supports that particular community.
Councilman Clark is sympathetic to the residents, but he shares the same concerns that other Council Members have mentioned. He is concerned about the liability if they accept the streets and the road system in this area when it does not meet the presently existing City standards. In addition, he does not think residents would not appreciate having sidewalks within ten feet of their front door and such a move would be detrimental to their property values. Councilman Clark asked the City to move as soon as possible to put into place the appropriate mechanism that would allow the police to enforce all of the traffic rules, regulations, and ordinance on those streets so that they can address the safety aspect.
Councilman Schmid agrees with the comments made about the police enforcement issue. Councilman Schmid recalled that nothing was overlooked when they built this subdivision and that they met the requirements for private roads. Councilman Schmid thinks the roads are safe in terms of fire and police protection and residents should understand that they may have private roads. He advised he will support a motion rejecting the acceptance of Briarwood Streets as City streets.
CM-96-09-327: Moved by Clark, Seconded by Schmid, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To deny the petition requesting the City acceptance of Briarwood Village North and South Streets.
Vote on CM-96-09-327: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
CM-96-09-328: Moved by Clark, Seconded by Schmid, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To direct the City’s Administration in conjunction with Mr. Fried to take whatever steps are necessary and have this matter return to Council as quickly as possible and put in place the appropriate legal mechanisms that would provide and allow the City of Novi Police Department enforce all rules, regulations, and ordinances of the City of Novi as they pertain to public safety in the streets in Briarwood Village North and South.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said it seems important that the City should provide this mechanism on all private streets and not just Briarwood and asked if that was Councilman Clark’s intent? Councilman Clark said if there are other areas in the City that experience the same problem, covering the whole thing at once would seem practical.
Mr. Fried’s recollection of the ordinance and the statute is that it must be a request by the private property owner to allow the City to do that on a case by case basis.
Mayor ProTem Crawford can appreciate a case by case basis, but after they make the request he asked if there is a mechanism in place to implement it? Mr. Fried replied the ordinance provides its own mechanism, but it would have to come back before Council to advise what action they took. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the stated motion is in order? Mr. Fried believes it is in order because the motion just requires that they make a report about the action taken in regard to the request.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if they have made an official request? Mr. Fried recalled that the ordinance will require that they ask the condominium association to make a request to the City to enforce the traffic ordinances on their private roads. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if they will then need a letter from the association requesting that? Mr. Fried said that would be a part of the whole procedure.
Councilwoman Mutch thinks that recognizing that the City cannot patrol private roads without the consent of its residents is important.
Councilman Mitzel asked Mr. Fried to check Section 33-204 in Chapter 33 of the Traffic and Motor Vehicles Ordinance, which states, "enforcing violation on private road not withstanding any other provision of law, a police officer may enter upon a private road to enforce violations of this article." Councilman Mitzel said Mr. Fried may want to start from this point and a lot of the questions may be mute.
Mayor McLallen said her understanding of the motion is to start the process and part of the process requires a distinct response from the affected homeowner’s association. She added this will not happen without the participation of the association so Council is asking the association if this is their desire.
Vote on CM-96-09-328: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
4. Greenwood Oaks Subdivision No. 3, SP 91-28C - One year final preliminary plat extension
George Norberg of Seiber Keast and Associates said they have submitted the plans and they anticipate the start of construction in six weeks. Because they must have a current approval on the final preliminary plat, Mr. Norberg said they need an additional year to be certain that they get the plat through. With the construction beginning in six weeks, they can expect the final plat to come back before Council within twelve to fifteen weeks.
CM-96-09-329: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Crawford, MOTION CARRIED: To approve the one year extension of the final preliminary plat for SP 91-28C subject to all the conditions of approval and the consultants’ letters.
Councilman Schmid said he did not support this a year ago and he will not support it now. He added the last time this was before Council, they got a year extension and from that day forward they could have done everything that was necessary to move forward. He asked if they started then to get this project through? Mr. Norbeg said they have worked on this for a long time. He reminded Council that there is a sanitary sewer issue. Councilman Schmid said that was the last time and this is a 91-site plan approval. Mr. Norberg believes they discussed the issue in May or June. He added, with that aside and with those options available, it looks as though it will proceed. He said there were obviously engineering issues. Mr. Norberg said they have submitted the plans and they intend to begin construction in six weeks. Councilman Schmid asked if construction would begin in November? Mr. Norberg said if Council will recall that most of the improvements have been completed except for a sanitary sewer. Councilman Schmid asked if Mr. Norberg is aware of any rezoning of the corner which this subdivision will be surrounding? Mr. Norberg said he knows the parcel, but he is not aware of any rezoning.
Councilman Schmid said this is ridiculous, although he understands the petitioner’s dilemma. Further, this should have been done five years ago and he will not support it, although he suspects Council will.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said to reaffirm what the past minutes of September 25, 1995 say, "any reviews (of the preliminary plat) are conducted under present ordinances." Mayor ProTem Crawford said there have been about three extensions and asked if all changes are under current ordinances? Mr. Fried replied that was correct.
Vote on CM-96-09-329: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch
5. Chili’s Grill & Bar - Liquor License Transfer of Stock
Mayor McLallen advised Council had several of these transfers recently and the Ordinance Review Committee approved the change in the ordinance that will allow this to happen last Thursday. However, the change does not cover this one. The Mayor advised this is simply a paper change of ownership and the physical structure will remain the same. She added this process requires a waiver by Council of certain ordinance requirements.
CM-96-09-330: Moved by Clark, Seconded by Mutch, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the liquor license transfer of stock for the Chili’s Grill & Bar.
Vote on CM-96-09-330: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
6. Edward Lesniak - Request for removal of property from SAD
Mayor McLallen advised this item was before Council at the last meeting and Mr. Lesniak is requesting a release from Special Assessment District 81-2 which is for lighting in the Walled Lake area. The Mayor understands since the last meeting that Mr. Lesniak met with members of the City’s Administration at the site. Mr. Lesniak said he is requesting that they remove only one property on Lebenta from the SAD. He reported Lebenta does not have any lights and the remaining properties on Lebenta do not pay city street lighting. Mr. Lesniak reported that Mr. Lemmon and Mr. Kriewall met and he would like them to comment on their meeting.
Mr. Kriewall reported that he and Mr. Lemmon met two or three times last week. He added that he also inspected the site and based on the creation of the original Special Assessment District by the assessor, the only change is that Mr. Lesniak has built a duplex on the same parcel that they assessed initially. Mr. Kriewall reported when viewing the exact installation location of the street light, he could see that there still is a benefit from that light as it is aimed on a diagonal toward his entire property. Mr. Kriewall said although Mr. Lesniak has split the lot and there might be a diminished benefit, he has created the change in the approach taken by the assessor. Mr. Kriewall reported that he supports the assessor’s original recommendation to deny any alteration of the SAD.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if action must be taken by Council to approve or deny this request, or if Council chooses not to grant the request do they do nothing? Mr. Fried replied that no action is necessary. Councilwoman Mutch asked how do they move to the next item on the agenda? Mr. Fried said the Mayor will pass on to the next item and reiterated no action is necessary.
Mayor McLallen said essentially that is an action, because it does not address the petitioner’s request.
Councilwoman Mutch said it seems to her that they have to do something or it is a request that they did not respond to. She added they should do whatever it takes to move on to the next item, because she is not in favor of granting the request.
CM-96-09-331: Moved by Mutch, Seconded by Crawford, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To deny the request for relief from the SAD 81-2 for 1512 Lebenta.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said as a matter of procedure, he realizes if they did not act on it, then he assumes the property would remain in the SAD. However, he believes they did need to take the action that they did.
Vote on CM-96-09-331: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
John Serkaian - 24816 Taft Road, lives on Lot 5 of Salow’s Walnut Hill Subdivision in Item 2. He said the petition for their request for sewers happened quickly. Mr. Serkaian realizes this is the first step and asked what is the actual procedure from this point?
Mayor McLallen said the City will authorize its engineers to perform preliminary engineering studies so that they can determine a cost estimate and they will give those numbers to the homeowner’s within the Special Assessment District. The homeowner’s will then vote about whether they want to continue or not.
Mr. Serkaian asked if he could formally request an amendment or change to the petition at this point? Mayor McLallen asked if that meant that he did not want to be included? He replied that he is interested, but if they are going to pursue connecting a sanitary sewer at the Yorkshire entrance, he would also like to include a provision for a sidewalk. Mayor McLallen replied that would be addressed as a separate situation.
Mr. Kriewall concurred that a sidewalk would require a separate resolution. Mr. Serkaian asked if there are separate guidelines or are sidewalks required? Mr. Kriewall said they can only put in sanitary sewers. Mayor McLallen explained a new petition would have to be initiated for another Special Assessment District. Mr. Serkaian asked if the option is there to be excluded from the sewer SAD? Mr. Kriewall said he could voice his concerns at the first public hearing when all of the information comes back. Mr. Serkaian asked how much advanced notice will they get before the next step. Mayor McLallen said all of them will get personal letters so that they will have ample time to respond and participate.
Jim Utley - would like to expand on what he spoke about earlier in regard to the Aquatic Center. He mentioned that the middle school would be an excellent location and he truly believes it would be for an indoor park. He strongly urged Council to meet with the School Board to build an indoor and/or outdoor aquatic center. He said they got some resistance of placing it at the Power Park site when they were in committee through public hearings. Mr. Utley suggested that perhaps the City and schools could realistically get into a joint venture and the taxpayers would appreciate it.
Mr. Utley also advised that he lives in Walden Woods. He reported that someone marked sections of concrete, which tells him they are getting ready to make the necessary street repairs. Mr. Utley said this has happened twice and nothing has happened yet. He advised the subdivision is finished except for one model that the builder now resides in. Walden Woods II is currently under construction and he thinks it would be fair to the residents of Walden Woods I to dedicate the streets. However, before the City does that, he is having a drainage problem in front of his house. They did not put in the elevation properly to drain the water to the sewer. He reported it ices over in the winter and huge amounts of water pool there when people water their lawns. Mr. Utley advised that the developer has to make a lot of improvements and he suggests that the City look at the streets. Mr. Utley asked the City not to dedicate the streets too hastily and reminded Council that this subdivision generates a lot of taxes. He said they share a similar problem with Briarwood only on a smaller scale at the entrance of the subdivision where trees are beginning to decay.
Mayor McLallen said they will have the City’s Administration review this matter and they will come back with a report to Council.
Mr. Utley said the builder is Tri-Mount construction.
Mayor McLallen advised they will adjourn for a ten minute break.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - PART II
7. Acceptance of Property - Gift from Arnold Fisher
Mr. Fried reported that he did not review this, but the question is whether they should perform an environmental impact study and he does not know where that came from.
Mr. Kriewall said this parcel is entirely wetland and is attached to City parkland. Mr. Kriewall said he believes they should accept it because it is a parcel that Mr. Fisher has owned but maintaining it has been difficult for him because of its topography and location. Mr. Kriewall advised that the residents are concerned about the dumping that has occurred on this property for years. Mr. Kriewall believes that accepting it would be more appropriate for the City because they could attach it to the existing parkland area and retrieve the assorted debris. He believes the gift will end up being a dollar consideration, but he recommends that they perform an environmental assessment. He believes $2,000 would be on the high side of what it may cost, but they’ve had some recent incidents where they have authorized some detention basin construction in wetland areas and have discovered environmental problems such as barrels of toxic chemicals. Mr. Kriewall does not believe this is the case in this instance, but he thinks their practice now is that on all properties the City acquires, that an environmental assessment is performed. He also believes they should expend the additional funds to perform an assessment and based on a positive result it would come back before Council with the proper paperwork drafted by the City’s Attorney to accept the gift from Mr. Fisher.
CM-96-09-332: Moved by Cassis, Seconded by Clark, MOTION REMOVED: For the City Attorney to prepare the appropriate Quit Claim Deeds to the parcel of land for signing and that they proceed with the environmental assessment with the cost not to be in excess of $2,000 and come from the Storm Water Management Funds and that the necessary papers come back before Council to proceed with a time table for the clean up.
Councilman Schmid supports the motion but questions the need for a $2,000 environmental assessment. He asked what the assessment entails? Mr. Kriewall replied they will look at the history of the area. Councilman Schmid asked if there was a gas station there previously? Mr. Kriewall said there might have been an old gas station behind Dukes by the Sea or there might have been a buried oil tank. Mr. Kriewall added there were many things that could have occurred in that general vicinity, especially because this property is behind an old business that used to exist there years ago. Mr. Kriewall said if it were just open field it may be a different situation, but he believes there is potential for environmental problems.
Councilman Schmid asked what relationship does this have to storm water or is this one of the storm water retention basins? Mr. Kriewall said this property collects the runoff from the area, but he is not certain where it goes after it accumulates. He said when walking through the nearby yards to look at the property, he noticed that the neighborhood drains to this area. He added it is a repository for storm water runoff and it dries out this time of the year. Mr. Kriewall said they could make an argument that this is a retention basin of sorts.
Councilman Schmid said his concern is that the fund happens to have a lot of money, but he doesn’t think they should use it just because it happens to be there. He added if it can be justified that this property is a part of the storm water retention basin, then he would agree that they should use the funds. He said a homeowner suggested that the money should come out of the storm water fund instead of the parkland. He said he could make a better case that it should come out of the parkland fund.
Mr. Kapelczak said this wetland is part of the tributary North Novi Regional Retention Basin System that will be put on line within the next two years.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked which portion of the whole piece is being gifted to the City? Mr. Kriewall said Mr. Fisher wants to retain 39-004 near South Lake Drive. Mayor ProTem Crawford pointed out the City property on the map and said he assumes another area is all swamp. Mr. Kriewall said 457 is Lakeshore Park and the back corner of it is low. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the entire parcel is going to be a part of the retention basin? Mr. Kriewall said it is part of the basin area. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if there are homes on the lots? Mr. Kriewall said those are existing homes. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the retention basin is going all the way up to that area? Mr. Kriewall said it is a part of the basin.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said he would like to have a good reason as to why the City would want this property. If it is a swamp full of debris, he asked why would they want it? Mr. Kriewall replied it is not full of debris. Further, he believes it is in the City’s best interest to take the property. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked how many acres make up this area? Mr. Kriewall said it looks to be approximately two acres.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said the motion is to authorize an environmental study and to draw up the Quit Claim Deed. He then asked why are they taking the step to draw up the Quit Claim before they have the results of the environmental study? Mr. Fried said the City will not take the property until they complete the environmental study.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the City is going to be responsible for the clean up? Mr. Kriewall said the residents advised him that they will keep it clean if it is City owned property. Mayor ProTem Crawford said it already has debris on it. Mr. Kriewall said they feel Mr. Fisher should clean it out. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked why would the City buy a wetland full of debris, spend money to see if it is environmentally acceptable, and then spend an undetermined amount of money to clean it up. Mr. Kriewall said the City has purchased wetland all over that area and this is attached to that. Further, Mr. Kriewall said the City has been paying $2,500-$3,000 an acre. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if they are going to need all of this property? Mr. Kriewall said it is all a part of the drainage basin. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if there is a map available that depicts the retention basin? Mayor ProTem Crawford said he is suspicious of this and they should not spend this kind of money unless they are serious about making the purchase. He is afraid they are accepting a gift that they really don’t need which may cost an undeterminable amount of money to clean up. Mr. Kriewall believes the City should own all the wetland areas that are not usable to somebody else to add to the City’s basin ownership.
Councilman Mitzel shares some of Mayor ProTem Crawford’s concerns. Councilman Mitzel said if the City should own all the wetland basins, then they should also start accepting all the open spaces in all the subdivisions that are wetlands. In the past, the City has typically declined receiving privately owned retention areas or preservations for the sake that the City did not want to be in the ownership position.
Councilman Mitzel said if there is debris on the property that is violating the ordinance, he asked if the City has the right to enter that property and clean it up? Mr. Fried replied that they could get an ordinance enforcement officer to issue a violation. Councilman Mitzel asked if ownership would then be an issue? Mr. Fried does not believe ownership is the issue. Councilman Mitzel said this item came before the Storm Water Committee in 1995. At that point, he explained they asked whether the City should accept this as part of the storm water basin and decided that it didn’t fit in the regional detention plans. Therefore, the Storm Water Committee recommended that the City should not accept it for storm water purposes. He added the North Novi Regional Basin is on the west side of all of the homes past Buffington.
Councilman Mitzel said if the issue is cleaning up the area, he doesn’t see why the City doesn’t clean it up. Councilman Mitzel cannot support this motion at this point, but thinks an environmental assessment would be prudent if they were to accept this property because of its past dumping history. He added that this is a routine check in all real estate transactions.
Councilwoman Mutch also agrees that an environmental assessment is in the City’s best interest because it is attached to a City wetland. She asked why this property can’t be cleaned up and why the City hasn’t done this already?
Mr. Kriewall thinks the owner is giving the property to the community as a gesture and that the City should send their DPW to clean it up. He added that if Mr. Fisher has to clean it up, the City may have to pay $5,000 for it. Councilwoman Mutch said then maybe the City shouldn’t purchase it, but understands what Mr. Kriewall is saying. Mr. Kriewall reiterated that there is not much debris out there.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said based upon what Councilman Mitzel said, this property may not be part of a retention basin and therefore, the City has no real need for it other than to just add to its properties. It still bothers him that they are getting into something that they don’t know how much property they may accept. In addition, they don’t know the extent of the debris that is there and if there are ordinances that require that it be cleaned up. Further, he asked why aren’t they enforcing them? Based on what Councilman Mitzel has said about there being no need for this, Mayor ProTem Crawford would move that they postpone this item until Council can get more specifics about the extent of the debris, exactly what the property is that they are talking about getting as a gift, how much an environmental assessment would cost, why this property has not been cleaned up, and whether it is a part of the retention basin plan.
Mayor McLallen asked if there is support for the motion? Seeing none, the motion died of lack of support.
Mr. Kriewall firmly believes they should perform an environmental assessment whether they accept the gift or not because it will determine whether there is problem or nonproblem debris.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked why would the City spend money on an environmental assessment for a piece of property that they may not want and may not need? Mr. Kriewall said he could not imagine that the City would not want the property. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked why would they want to add a debris filled swamp to the City property if they don’t really need it? Mr. Kriewall reminded Mayor ProTem Crawford that the City has purchased wetland all over that area for $3,000 an acre and he did not hear any argument at that time.
Councilman Schmid said although it is a business practice to do an environmental assessment, he does not think it should be done just because it happens to be a practice. He said he does not think there is any danger of any environmental problems there. Despite that, if the City wants to spend another $2,000, that is fine with him to determine that nothing is there. Councilman Schmid thinks the City’s pattern seems to be to spend money for things that have no basis for doing it.
Councilman Schmid said the only reason the City bought a lot of wetlands is that the owners would not sell the highlands without the wetlands and suggested that maybe there is a good reason why the City should buy this wetland. Mr. Kriewall reminded Councilman Schmid that it is free. Councilman Schmid said it is also a tax base for the City of Novi, although the taxes may be low. He then argued, so what if it is free, maybe the City does not want it. Mr. Kriewall reiterated it would be beneficial to attach to the park, it is wetland, and it is part of the basin property. Councilman Schmid reminded Mr. Kriewall that Councilman Mitzel suggested that it isn’t that portion of the wetlands basin.
Mr. Kapelczak reiterated that this property is a tributary to the North Novi Basin. Although it is not a part of that basin, if he is not mistaken, it will receive some floodwaters that go to 931. Mr. Kapelczak said he would have to review that if Council really wants an accurate answer. Councilman Schmid asked if he would suggest that they purchase the land when they get to the point of developing the retention? Mr. Kapelczak reiterated that although he has not reviewed the property, he and Mr. Nowicki had a conversation this evening that this did not go before the Storm Water Committee and it was not a part of that North Novi Basin. However, he restated it is a tributary to the North Novi Basin. Councilman Schmid said as are many wetlands are to basins. Councilman Schmid said this is not a big issue if they are going to give the property away, but asked why should the City clean up somebody else’s garbage.
Councilman Clark said he will support the motion, although he is not one to spend taxpayers’ dollars unnecessarily. Similarly, he thinks they should spend the money to do the environmental assessment because they can get a definitive answer as to how much obvious debris is there. He doesn’t know why the City would want visible debris backing up to a city park and it would not say much for the City if they take that view. He agrees there should have been enforcement in the past, but it doesn’t make sense to tell a property owner now who is an absentee owner that we will clean it up, send a bill, and thank him for the gift. From what Mr. Kriewall has said, Councilman Clark said there is not a lot of debris that would have to be removed. Once they remove the debris and when the environmental assessment comes back and there are no problems with this, the City now has control of the land and can manage it with the nearby residents’ cooperation.
Councilman Schmid said perhaps they should accept Councilman Clark’s premise that the City would be foolish not to accept all wetlands that want to be given away. Councilman Schmid asked Councilman Clark why should they accept wetlands that they don’t need? Councilman Clark said since this piece abuts the back part of City wetlands so it seems to be a practical approach and would eliminate an eyesore at the same time.
Councilman Mitzel said he will not support the motion because they have not convinced him there is a need or practical use for this property for the City. He said there are problems with debris and he does not understand why the City does not clean it up and enforce the ordinance like they are supposed to. Secondly, he thinks it is inconsistent that previously on this agenda they were talking about not accepting private roads because everyone would then want to donate their private roads which would be burdensome to the City. He does not think they should accept wetlands for the same reason. If he were on a homeowner’s association board, he would be the first one to start asking the City to start taking over the common areas, wetlands, and woodlands so that the association would no longer have to worry about it any longer. Councilman Mitzel reiterated there has been no documented need, purpose, or use for the City to accept this property especially if it is going to require City action to clean it up.
Mayor ProTem Crawford advised he will not accept the motion either and that is why he made the motion to postpone it until they resolved some of the unanswered questions.
Mayor McLallen said the motion is to direct Administration to perform an environmental assessment with the cost not to exceed $2,000 and the funding is to come from the Storm Water Management Funds. Based on the results of the assessment, the City Attorney will prepare a Quit Claim Deed and will bring it back before Council for a final decision.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if it is possible that they could answer some of the questions at that time, including whether or not there the City can enforce a clean up by the present owner? Mr. Kriewall believes there is, but he thinks the neighborhood has wanted the City to pursue the gift of this property. He also believes the Building Department has been citing Mr. Fisher and his response to the City is to take the property. Mr. Kriewall added if the City wants the property at no cost, then they should perform an environment assessment and take the property. Otherwise, the City won’t take the property, but will enforce cleaning it up. He reiterated that the neighborhood would like the City to take the property.
Councilman Schmid interjected that the neighborhood would also like the City to take over the roads and reminded Mr. Kriewall that he spoke quite eloquently about not doing that.
Councilwoman Cassis said given tonight’s discussion, she would like to remove the original motion and support Mr. Crawford’s motion to postpone this matter until more specifics come back before Council. She would especially like more information about what the City’s recourse is regarding clean up.
Mayor McLallen said Councilwoman Cassis is removing her motion that was seconded. Mr. Fried said they cannot remove the motion and they must move forward for a vote.
As a point in question, Councilwoman Mutch said she would be ready to vote on this either way tonight. The only reason that she would be willing to vote for a postponement is because there are some other things that did not come up that need to be addressed in general. She said if the City going to take public property and remove it from the tax rolls she believes it would be helpful to have some indication about what the gains and losses are to the City.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said based on Councilwomen Cassis and Mutch’s comments and his previous reasons, he would move again to postpone action. Mr. Fried asked if his motion is to table? Mayor ProTem Crawford said it is a motion to postpone so that they are allowed to still discuss the motion to postpone. Mr. Fried does not believe a motion to postpone can overtake a motion that is already on the floor. Mayor ProTem Crawford said that it can. Mr. Fried said a motion to table can. Mayor ProTem Crawford said his understanding of Parliamentary procedure is that a motion to postpone allows them to continue discussion and a motion to table limits discussion.
Councilman Mitzel said a motion to table has to be acted on at that meeting. In that case, Mayor ProTem Crawford said they will not get answers tonight, so a motion to postpone would be in order.
Mr. Fried said a motion to postpone is a legitimate order and asked if it is going to be postponed indefinitely? Mayor ProTem asked if it passes, how long will it take for Administration to gather the information? Mr. Kriewall said it would take two weeks. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the second meeting in October would be appropriate?
CM-96-09-333: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Cassis, MOTION CARRIED: To postpone action until the second meeting in October so that all items can be addressed.
Mayor McLallen said they have moved and supported to postpone a decision on this issue until the second meeting in October so that all the items that they brought up tonight can be addressed.
Vote on CM-09-333: Yeas: Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mutch
Nay: McLallen, Mitzel, Schmid
8. Proposed vacation of Erma Street
Mayor McLallen advised this is actually a request to schedule a public hearing.
CM-96-09-334: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Cassis, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: For the City Attorney to prepare a resolution for the possible vacation of Erma Street such that the resolution could be introduced and a public hearing scheduled at that time.
Mayor McLallen asked the Clerk to choose the appropriate date. Mr. Kriewall said they will not schedule a public hearing at this time, but they will just prepare the resolution. Mr. Fried said they will prepare the resolution and then they can set the hearing.
Mayor McLallen asked if the maker and supporter of the motion are still in support of their motion. They replied they were.
Vote on CM-96-09-334: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
9. Request from Vincent DiSessa - Removal of Stop Signs at East Lake Drive and New Court
Mayor McLallen advised the request from Mr. DiSessa is to remove the stop signs at East Lake and New Court. She added he stated his position earlier and that approximately ten citizens spoke in favor of retaining the signs.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said based on all the discussion during the previous Audience Participation, the fact that he believes the signs have been beneficial to relieving the traffic situation and that Council should act on this, he moved to deny the request.
CM-96-09-335: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To deny the request to remove the stop signs at East Lake Drive and New Court.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if they originally installed the stop sign because it was approximately a midpoint and because New Court is there also, or does it just break the flow of traffic? Mr. Kriewall recalled it was a midpoint along the way and there are not that many intersections to choose from on East Lake Drive. Councilwoman Mutch said it was then chosen because it was a midpoint and not because it is an intersection.
Councilwoman Mutch reminded Council that they had discussions about stop signs in other areas of the City. She thinks they have to be careful about where they put them. Further, where they do exist, she would be hesitant to remove them. It may seem inconsistent on her part, but she is not going to support removing the sign because she would like to see more evidence that they have made a positive difference in terms of a police perspective.
Councilman Schmid said this is not an easy decision. The problem he has with the stop sign is that it is at a street that has no traffic. He believes any traffic engineer would agree that stop signs are erected where there is a need to control intersection traffic. He asked Mr. DiSessa if he was involved when they installed the sign in 1991? Mr. DiSessa replied he was. Councilman Schmid said they installed the sign to slow East Lake Drive traffic and not to control the intersection. He wishes there was another solution because he has great empathy for Mr. DiSessa.
Mr. DiSessa said they are trying to enforce the signs and last night alone, they ticketed three cars for running the stop signs. Mr. DiSessa asked why don’t they exercise the effort to maintain the speed limit, instead of exercising the effort to maintain the stop signs? In addition, East Lake Drive is a mile long and the stops are located one half mile in between and they do not slow traffic. He said as soon as the motorist passes through the stop sign, they pick up speed. In addition, speeders and motorcyclists actually go through the stop signs.
Councilman Schmid asked if an electronic speed sign would work? Unfortunately, Councilman Schmid thinks most people will believe the stop sign is the only solution to control speed. He thinks once Novi and Decker Roads are completed in one year, that perhaps they can come back and reevaluate the sign. He would also like to move the sign in front of everyone’s house so that they can experience what it is like to have a stop sign in front of their home.
Mr. DiSessa does not think he should be penalized just to give the other residents a flawed sense of security. Councilman Schmid agrees, however he will support the motion. He then asked Mr. DiSessa to come back before Council about this issue after Novi and Decker Roads re-open.
Councilman Mitzel said he believes this was originally erected as a temporary means to control traffic, but asked if Council later approved it on a permanent basis? Further, he agrees with Councilman Schmid’s comments and if they objectively look at what is going on at this intersection, there is no cross traffic there. He also believes they should reevaluate this stop sign once Novi and Decker Roads are completed.
Councilwoman Mutch suggested asked if designated pedestrian crossings might justify a stop sign or another sort of traffic control device? She feels this might make motorists more aware of the pedestrians. She added that Ruth Hamilton pointed out to her earlier that although there are faster routes, people will continue to travel this road because of the view and that people traveling through for those reasons will not speed.
Vote on CM-96-09-335: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
10. Schedule a Joint Meeting with the Parks & Recreation Commission on Monday, October 7, 1996 from 6:30 to 7:30 PM to discuss Parks
Mayor McLallen reported that the Parks Commission would like to update Council on the status of the proposed master plan and various issues.
CM-96-09-336: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Schmid, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule a joint meeting with the Parks & Recreation Commission on Monday October 7, 1996 from 6:30 to 7:30 PM to discuss parks.
Vote on CM-96-09-336: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
11. Schedule a Joint Meeting with the Planning Commission on Saturday, October 12 from 8:00 to 10:00 A.M..
Mayor McLallen reported the format of the meeting is to be a combined bus tour of sites around the City with a follow-up meeting for another date.
CM-96-09-337: Moved by Cassis, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule a joint meeting with the Planning Commission on Saturday, October 12 from 8:00 to 10:00 A.M..
Councilman Schmid reported he may have a conflict with the date.
Vote on CM-96-09-337: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
12. Schedule an Executive Session to follow the meeting, Re: City Attorney Opinion, Pending Litigation and Property Acquisition
CM-96-09-338: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule an Executive Session to follow the meeting, Re: City Attorney Opinion, Pending Litigation and Property Acquisition
Vote on CM-96-09-338 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
13. Schedule an Executive Session for 6:30 PM, October 21, 1996, Re: Union Negotiations
CM-96-09-339: Moved by Schmid, Seconded Cassis, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule an Executive Session for 6:30 PM, October 21, 1996, Re: Union Negotiations
Vote on CM-96-09-339: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
Mayor McLallen advised that the Ordinance Review Committee met and they are working down a list, one of which is the liquor ordinance.
Councilwoman Mutch reported after members were selected for the Fuerst Committee, they have already expanded the committee to include Jim Koster, who will be acting as the School District’s liaison. She added that those members who did not have a copy of the building assessment report will tour the inside of the home at 2:00 PM next Sunday. She also invited the City’s writer for the Novi News to attend.
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Council Policy, Re: Meeting Adjournment Time
Mayor McLallen explained this issue was brought forward by Councilman Crawford and advised they have supplied a copy of the approved Council policy for adjourning the meeting. The current policy is Council will attempt to adjourn by 11:30 P.M.. However, if there are members and petitioners remaining whom they have not addressed or issues that the Administration needs prompt direction on, Council may move to continue the meeting. Further, Council may not move to have more than two extensions.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said originally he was not in favor of extending the meetings and thought it was appropriate for Council to have a goal to conclude meetings by 11:30 P.M. He said they have started their meetings earlier and everyone is aware of the time frame. In actual practice and over the past few months, it has come to that point when they have reached 11:30 to extend the meeting. Further, he asked if any Council action taken after that time valid? He doesn’t think the current practice works well and believes if there is further business, Council Members know they have to take care of it. He said to have to make a motion to extend a meeting only disrupts the meeting. He added before they make a motion, he would like to hear what other Council Members have to say. However, he would like to simply eliminate the second paragraph and leave that it is Council’s goal to conclude meetings by 11:30 PM and if it has to go further, then it has to go further.
Councilwoman Mutch recalled that Council had decided something different from the current policy verbiage. She asked if the copy of the policy currently before them is the actual policy or is it a draft? She appreciates the fact that the current policy provides Council with a specific course to decide if they should move on or not.
Councilman Clark suggested if they are going to keep paragraph two which states, "no more than two such extensions shall be made during a given meeting" perhaps they should add that no extension shall be for more than fifteen minutes. That would mean that under no circumstance would the meeting continue beyond midnight. Councilman Clark believes that is practical and residents attending a Council meeting should be able to expect that the meeting will end on the same day and not the next day.
Councilman Mitzel said it is nice to have a goal in the rules, but it doesn’t focus Council. He said the goal has been a policy for years, but the second paragraph that permits a motion to be made to extend the meeting doesn’t have to take a long time. He believes what Councilman Clark has suggested is reasonable and moved to amend their rules by striking the first paragraph concerning the goal, strike the word OR, and add that the extension shall be no more than fifteen minutes.
CM-96-09-340: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED: To amend Council’s adjournment rules by striking the first paragraph concerning the goal, strike the word OR, and add that each extension shall be no more than fifteen minutes.
Councilman Schmid cannot believe that this Council would want to sit here for three or four hours with half the agenda left because of a long public hearing and then suggest to petitioners’ with their representatives that they will not hear them. He said he works hard and he will sit here until two or three o’clock in the morning if they have to. He agrees with Councilman Crawford statement that "Council has a goal to conclude the meeting at 11:30 PM," but if they have business to finish, they should do it. He added Council is a part-time job and they only meet twice a month. Further, he believes if they have a fifteen minute limit, there could be times when half the agenda is left. He suggested if there are members who don’t want to work, they shouldn’t be on Council.
Mayor ProTem Crawford wanted to provide a format that would provide a more productive meeting for those people left on the agenda when there has been a particularly long item before them. He said to limit the meetings to midnight when there may be residents and paid consultants is not a way for the City to conduct business and therefore, he will not support making the adjournment rule more restrictive. However, he still believes they should eliminate the second paragraph.
Councilman Mitzel does not want to spend a lot of time debating this matter, but if they read the paragraph which states they will conclude the meeting, "unless: (a) there are petitioners remaining on the agenda; (b) the administration needs direction in a matter that cannot wait until the next meeting; (c) the Council votes to continue the meeting." In essence, they are saying they are going to take care of the business that people are waiting here for. Those things that would get postponed are Mayor and Council Issues or items on the Consent Agenda for which there is no petitioner or urgent need for action. He thinks four and one half hours is more than enough time to accomplish an agenda if they keep their efficiency through the entire meeting. He said if they look at the way that they do business, they discuss the things before the first break in length and everything after the break is discussed quickly. Further, he understands that more controversial items can also be first on the agenda and would require more discussion. Nevertheless, his point is they have enough time to get their business done and the proposed language will allow them to address any other critical business or allow them to postpone those items that are not critical.
Mayor McLallen said the motion is to strike the first paragraph stating that Council shall have as a goal to conclude the meetings by 11:30. Instead it should read that the Council shall conclude meetings by 11:30 p.m., unless the following three things are happening. It would be at that time Council shall vote in fifteen minute increments to complete the meeting by midnight.
Councilman Mitzel said items (a) or (b) do not require a Council vote. Mayor McLallen agreed that if petitioners are waiting, the meeting will continue. However, if it is just matters that Council is continuing that do not require critical attention, the meeting will conclude no later than midnight.
Councilwoman Mutch said where it says, "such motion shall specify a time of adjournment" she asked if a motion is necessary only when Council votes to continue the meeting or is the motion necessary regardless of the reason for continuing?
Councilman Mitzel said the last two sentences after (c) only apply to (c). Councilwoman Mitzel thinks that section needs to be stated more clearly. Mayor McLallen said perhaps the motion can clarify that. Councilman Mitzel said all the language concerning voting applies to (c).
Councilman Clark said they have tried different arrangements in the past and they can just try this arrangement to see how it works also. If it doesn’t work, they can change it. He thinks it is an inducement to move Council along and he doesn’t want people coming back when they don’t have to. He has learned from experience on the Planning Commission that by the time they get to midnight, they start getting to a point of diminishing returns. When it comes to deciding important City business, he doesn’t think they can make the best decisions at one and two o’clock in the morning. He said it may be in the best interest of the petitioner and the citizens to come back before Council in the long run.
Councilman Schmid said he does not care what the Planning Commission does, but this body meets repeatedly after twelve o’clock particularly when they have long audience participation. He anticipates they will have an additional meeting to cover the items that they did not cover. He repeats if one is not able to work beyond midnight, maybe one should not be on Council. He argued it is not asking too much to sit on Council and finish their business. He favors leaving at eleven o’clock, but to make rule after rule is ridiculous when there is still work to be done. He disagrees with Councilman Clark and believes many logical well-thought out things can be done after midnight. He is disappointed in Council in that they do not want to work until the work is done.
Mayor ProTem Crawford pointed out that there may be Consent Agenda items that are important even if there is no petitioner. He added, in order for Council determine Item (b) it would require additional discussion to identify matters that cannot wait until the next meeting. He does not agree with the proposed motion and a simpler way to state it might be that the meeting shall conclude by midnight, unless there are petitioners waiting or Administration needs direction. He feels the motion is over complicated as stated because it still limits each extension for fifteen minutes. He asked why don’t they simply state the meeting shall conclude by midnight, unless there are petitioners remaining or Administration needs further direction.
Councilwoman Mutch thinks part of the problem for any meeting is the audience participation. Councilwoman Mutch said audience participation participants should speak at the beginning of the meeting and then they can stay if they wish to. She reminded Council the problem they often have is there have been meetings when it has been at least ten o’clock before they have even gotten past the first audience participation. One other problem she has seen is that nobody wants to limit audience participation because they may perceive that they are impinging on the public’s right to speak before Council. The fact is, the public has the opportunity to bring their concerns to Council or Administration in many other ways. What she thinks is a challenge to the Mayor is to look at the way they are currently handling audience participation and if there might be other alternatives that might efficiently streamline that process that does not affect the public’s ability to bring their concerns before Council. Further, Councilwoman Mutch advised other communities ask residents who wish to speak before Council during audience participation to provide a card with their name on it. She said this helps make things efficient and gives the Mayor an indication of how many people there are who want to address the body. The Mayor is then able to look at the number of people, realize how much of the meeting has to be set aside for the business of audience participation, and how it impacts the agenda. She added many other communities do not have multiple audience participation like Novi and she also feels Council needs to be more assertive and limit discussion.
Mayor McLallen restated the motion.
Vote on CM-96-09-340: Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch Nay: Crawford, Schmid
2. Outstanding items from previous Council Meetings:
a. Prioritizing and assigning report dates to items referred to Planning Commission
b. Future agenda items to prioritize and assign due dates to remaining outstanding items
Councilman Mitzel reported Council has been referring a lot of items to Administration and the Planning Commission recently. He believes they can help them address these items by giving them a listing of their priorities. Further, he believes the most important items are the ordinance updates and some of the master plan concerns. Councilman Mitzel said some of these items will affect proposals that Council has been working on to try to bring to the Community. Councilman Mitzel advised that in response to the preliminary draft list that he put together from the Hanging Fire, the Planning Department supplied background on ones that were referred to them. Councilman Mitzel took the Planning Department’s response and prepared a listing which summarizes the information the Planning Department gave them. Councilman Mitzel said there are two items which they should finish on their October docket and he thinks it is appropriate for them to see them through first. After that, they had two additional ordinance issues which Council referred to them. One was concerning recreational uses and the other was concerning preservation options in multiple zoning. Councilman Mitzel thinks it would be more appropriate if Council let them know that the recreational issue is more urgent at this point. Those are basically the only things they have to prioritize for the Planning Commission because the other ones have public hearings or ordinance reports back to Council. He added the other information which Administration provided concerning the other issues were also updated on the table and he thought the other Council Members may have some ideas about which are more important. He also proposed some dates for the Planning Commission to report back to Council because they will need input about some items before the end of the year.
CM-96-09-341: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To forward the table which lists Planning Commission priorities and ask that they report back to Council within the appropriate time lines.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if the Planning Department will have any problem meeting the dates? Mayor McLallen replied they have not yet seen the updated timeline. Councilwoman Mutch said she would like to know now rather than later if they will have a problem with the timeline.
Councilman Mitzel felt Councilwoman Mutch had a good point. He stated he was trying to get the message across that there are some issues which are more important than others that Council would like to have them work on first. He said that would be accomplished through giving them a listing of priorities and then ask them if the proposed report-back dates are possible.
Mayor McLallen asked if he wished to have this issue sent to the Planning Commission and have them respond back to Council. Councilman Mitzel felt that would be appropriate.
Mayor McLallen restated motion to send this list to the Planning Commission and to expect a response back from them by Council’s next meeting.
Vote on CM-96-09-341: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
Mayor McLallen had one other item to discuss under Mayor and Council Issues, which involved interviews. She said the Council had agreed at its June 3 meeting to hold very contained interview sessions quarterly starting this November. As Council knows, there is a vacancy on the Planning Commission and there is an applicant pool from which they can choose. The Mayor asked if Council would like to choose from the pool instead of holding new interviews? She reported there are approximately five new names that have come in since they advertised, so they need to think about this.
Councilwoman Mutch said they also advertised for other boards and commissions, so it wasn’t just the Planning Commission.
Mayor McLallen stated the question is whether Council should begin quarterly Interviews in November or go ahead and start pulling applications from what they already have and fill the vacancies. Their other alternative is to call an interview session and begin interviewing within the next three weeks.
Councilman Mitzel felt when they passed that they realized that between June and November they should have a catch up interview session because there are some applicants they were supposed to interview in June, but they had already passed that date and there would be an interim. He said then in November, they could begin the new schedule. He felt Parks & Recreation expired and they will probably have to do those before November, so there would be a need to have one interview session between now and November and then begin the adopted schedule in November.
Mayor McLallen asked Council Members to check their calendars because they are booked prior to the Council meetings for the entire month of October. She advised they would then have to schedule a Thursday meeting and asked the Clerk to let them know.
Mr. Kriewall reported the water main replacement and repair is underway on Novi Road.
He noted there were a few delays concerning getting a successful bacteria test and pressure test before the new parallel 24" main could be in service. He reported that occurred last Friday afternoon and the 24" water main is now operational.
Mr. Kriewall added they discovered some potential leaks in the old segment of the 36" water main and they are trying to find these leaks. He reported they are excavating along a side of the old water main today to determine if there was a leak in that area. He indicated they will continue that search for a couple more days, but beyond that, they are prepared and have pipe in stock to replace the segment of the 36" water main that needs to be replaced. Further, they will be ready to go in a moment’s notice regarding that major project.
Mr. Kriewall said according to Mr. Nowicki, they had a progress meeting today on site with the contractor. The contractor still believes he is going to meet the six-week time frame which puts the reopening of Novi Road to the middle of October. He added that it looks like they are still on schedule, but there is always some potential for unforeseen occurrences for which they have no control.
Mr. Kriewall reported they have done a couple of things regarding publicity on this detour and asked for communities to the north to bear with them while they try to accomplish the Novi Road widening. Further, they did a video that they distributed to cable districts in Commerce Township, Walled Lake, Wolverine Lake, and Wixom to explain what is actually going on. Mr. Kriewall explained this is Novi’s largest public works project for this year. Further, it is a very complex project which involves the replacement of a large transmission water main that is the life blood for their water supply and they have no other alternatives than to proceed with the project.
Mr. Kriewall said if everyone bears with them for the few next weeks, when it is all complete, traffic will be flowing freely and they will be getting back to normal. He felt this project has proven there is a lack of north/south corridors that are available to not only Novi but to other nearby communities. Further, with the continuing growth in communities north of Novi, it is very important that they pursue these kinds of projects like M-5 and the Taft Road extension. Mr. Kriewall feels they were on the right track in terms of future road planning for Novi, but would reiterate by asking that everyone bear with them and have patience with the situation. He added that apparently the traffic has been redirected quite favorably and once they survived the first couple of days of shock, everyone seemed to manage to get around better. He further advised that he and the Mayor discussed the potential closing of the CSX bridge next year for which they may have to do an even greater publicity job because of its impact. He added that they may even have to expand cable advisories about the closing of Grand River as far as Brighton because motorists expect to use it as an alternate if the expressway is closed.
Councilwoman Mutch asked how much responsibility does the County take for notifying affected communities? Mr. Kriewall replied their routine is to use the newspaper to notify motorists. However, he would like to expand the notification with the Road Commission for the bridge because it could cause real problems when the expressway closes down as it does quite often. Because people rely on traffic reports for transmitting this type of information, Councilwoman Mutch believes the radio would serve as a good communication resource.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if the River Oaks Apartments on Novi Road are on a well system? Mr. Kriewall replied they have city water. Councilwoman Mutch reported not only were their sprinklers on, but there were broken ones dumping water onto the road. Mr. Kriewall said the sprinklers may be on a separate well system.
Councilwoman Mutch advised that the current issue of the Atlantic Monthly has excerpts from a new book called "Home From Nowhere" which was written by James Howard Kunsler who also wrote the "Geography From Nowhere." The subtitle is "How to Make Our Cities and Towns Livable" and deals with the most recent buzz words like neo-traditional. She said this work approaches it from a slightly different perspective and she found it very interesting.
Councilwoman Mutch said Mr. Nowicki asked her to ask Council for direction for him to follow up on the proliferation of public pay phones at key intersections. She said there are now twelve phones at the Ten Mile and Novi Road intersection and the Erwin property alone now has five phones. She reported someone called the Planning Department because it affects traffic circulation.
Mayor McLallen asked if there is a Council consensus to explore this issue to determine if there are industry standards or safety concerns through the police department. Councilman Mitzel asked if this should first go to the Ordinance Review Committee. Mayor McLallen believes they must first discover what the problem is. Mayor McLallen said there is a consensus and the City’s Administration should report back to Council on the issue.
Mayor McLallen asked if Mr. Fried reviewed the Troy case in court concerning public rights-of-way? Mr. Fried replied they were involved in it peripherally.
4. Renewal of Taxi Cab License - ABC Cab Co. - For 13 Taxi Cabs, Subject to the City Attorney’s Review
Councilwoman Mutch asked if someone would quickly advise what is necessary to operate a taxi service in Novi. Mr. Fried replied there is an ordinance which explains exactly what has to be done to get a license. He added they would have to have a certain amount of insurance and Council would have to approve the license because the amount of licenses are limited in Novi. Councilwoman Mutch asked if the number of cabs are limited? Mr. Fried replied they are limited. Councilwoman Mutch asked if they have turned applicants away? Mr. Fried replied they have not. Councilwoman Mutch said she has advised citizens that the taxi service in Novi is limited. Mr. Fried advised taxi service is only limited because there is a lack of people who want to operate cabs within the City.
Mayor McLallen advised it is 11:30 and there is one person from Administration still present for Item 7 on the Consent Agenda.
CM-96-09-342: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Mutch, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the renewal of Taxi Cab License - ABC Cab Co. - For 13 taxi cabs, subject to the City Attorney’s review.
Vote on CM-96-09-342: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
6. Ord. No. 96-123.06 - Approval to amend Section 31-51.5 of the Novi Code of Ordinances
Councilman Mitzel removed this item because he will not support the ordinance. He then asked if the Mayor would like to discuss Item 6 or Item 7?
Mayor McLallen said based upon the Council’s earlier ruling, it is 11:30 and there is a member of City Administration still in the audience. Further, they will hold those items that do not require City Administration over.
CM-96-09-343: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED: To extend the meeting until 11:45 PM.
Vote on CM-96-09-343: Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
Mayor ProTem Crawford advised that he will never vote for an extension.
Councilman Mitzel continued by stating that he removed this item because he will not support the ordinance change because he feels it is counter productive to the entire purpose of the street naming and development naming code. Further, he believes the intent was that they should not have similar names because of safety issues. Now there is a proposed exception if the "applicant can demonstrate that the requested name is utilized for similar developments established by the applicant in other communities and is therefore essential to the maintenance of the applicants’ public identification." He interprets that as meaning if they use that name elsewhere and it maintains their identity, they are not going to worry about public safety any longer.
CM-96-09-344: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Clark, NO VOTE TAKEN, ITEM POSTPONED: To deny the first reading of Code of Ordinance No. 96-123.06 for Standards for the Approval of Development.
Councilman Schmid thinks this is the ordinance they discussed during Ordinance Review Committee and asked if this is Walton Woods? He said before everyone says no, he thinks everyone should better understand what this is about. He explained Walton Woods, a Singh Development, is a trade name that they have used in other communities. He added it is their total advertisement and a name they adopted even before they thought of Walton Woods. He doesn’t remember the particulars, but believes the minutes will reflect them. He advised there was an exceptional case made for a project that is going up which would not hurt anyone from a safety standpoint and made good sense in terms of a business standpoint. He said it is nice to have ordinances and restrictions, but people still have to make a living in this community and thinks that maintaining the name for this development is very pertinent for the applicant. He remembers there was not a safety issue in question and there was ample justification on a situation such as this.
Councilman Mitzel advised that he was not at the Ordinance Review Committee meeting, but asked how do they balance a trade name with the fact that it might still sound similar? Councilman Schmid understands the concern, but there are exceptions based upon the report they got back from a safety standpoint. Councilman Mitzel asked if there was a report from the Police or Fire Department? Councilman Schmid said he believes they testified that it would not be a major problem, but he is not certain.
CM-96-09-345: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Cassis, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone Item 6 until the information Councilman Schmid referred to can be provided.
Councilwoman Mutch believes that they gave direction to send it onto Council. What they may be struggling to remember is that it came directly before Council instead and they gave no feedback.
Councilman Mitzel said the information they need is whether or not this will cause a safety problem.
Vote on CM-96-09-345: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
7. Approval of Resolution - Futuring Process - Charge and Composition of the Steering Committee
Councilwoman Cassis reported she removed this because she wanted to congratulate Mr. Frey for coming back with more delineation as was asked for at Council’s previous meeting by Councilman Mitzel. However, the original concept of the Futuring Process was that there would be representatives of the city, business, school communities, and residents. She said to a large extent Mr. Frey has given the Steering Committee that charge but they have omitted the school district. She added he had asked for up to six members of the city, a council member, a chamber member, residents for residents. She would respectfully submit that they add school districts.
Larry Frey reported he has asked Rita Traynor, the Assistant Director of Curriculum and she advised that she would like to be involved in the process.
Councilwoman Cassis said there are at least three or four school districts within the confines of the geographical boundary of the City of Novi. She thought some members of those school districts decide among themselves about who would be members of the Steering Committee and just as there are six members of the City, she is not certain each one will attend each meeting. Mr. Frey replied he will bring that up at their October 1 meeting.
Councilman Mitzel asked if Councilwoman Cassis would be amenable to add to the composition in representatives of the school districts in Novi as they wish to participate. Councilwoman Cassis said she would agree to that.
CM-96-09-346: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Cassis, MOTION CARRIED: To approve the Resolution with the addition of representation of the school districts within Novi as they wish to participate.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if there is a reason why there are only two residents on the committee? She said she knows it says four, but two will serve as alternates. She added except for the Chamber of Commerce representative, it will basically be a staff committee.
Mr. Frey replied that he believes it is more important for the citizen’s to get involved in the actual futuring process rather than the Steering Committee. He continued by stating that one of the guidelines of the whole process is that members of the Steering Committee will not participate in the actual futuring process and he makes that known to those who wish to join the committee. He thinks it is more important for people to get involved with the process on the futuring panel and task forces, rather than the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is less important, in his opinion.
Councilwoman Mutch thought that the Steering Committee members will have individual responsibilities and they will facilitate what the broader citizen group does. She thinks to have only two active members does not allow them to tap into the various community residents’ networks. She believes the committee will need all the networking potential it can tap into.
Mr. Kriewall thinks the real input is expected at the futuring level and the function of this committee is to set up committees. Councilwoman Mutch understands and that is why she thinks four active residents instead of two will open doors and persuade people that this is something valuable.
Mayor ProTem Crawford concurs with Councilwoman Mutch’s comments. He said adding the school district is important, but a representative from each school district weights the committee. He asked if there is another way to include only one representative of the K-12 education community and not include any of the colleges.
As a point of order, Mayor ProTem Crawford said it is now 11:45 PM and any action taken after this time would not be valid.
CM-96-09-347: Moved by Clark, Seconded by Mutch, MOTION CARRIED: To extend Council meeting until midnight.
Vote on CM-96-09-347: Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch,
Nay: Crawford, Schmid
Mayor McLallen said there is a motion of the floor to approve the Resolution for the futuring process and they amended it to include school representatives.
Councilwoman Mutch understands that Rita Traynor has been contacted and has said yes. However, she also believes the others should be involved and she does not have a problem with them being represented later. Further, she believes they should attempt to be certain that they represent them on the Citizens Committee. She believes Councilman Crawford raised a good point and she thinks instead of looking at Rita Traynor specifically, they should find someone with an educational background who is not linked to a school district. She suggested this may require that they look for someone at a higher level and is perhaps associated with Walsh College or Michigan State University. This person should be willing to work with all four school districts and would not make one school district more equal than another. That way it would not weight the committee too heavily with four educators.
Councilwoman Cassis senses that they will be able to iron that out and perhaps Mr. Frey may come back with how this will evolve. This is something that as they look at it on paper, they may not know how it will work out until they all get together. She would like to give Mr. Frey the leeway to move ahead and coordinate the people who will then decide how they want to pursue this process.
Mayor McLallen advised there is a motion on the floor to approve the Resolution of the futuring process.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the alternates will remain at two? He would move that they amend the motion to add four Novi residents and eliminate the alternates.
Mayor McLallen advised there is an amendment offered to the main motion that the citizen component is four full members and not two alternates.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said if that passes, they will need to amend the verbiage about the number in alternates in Paragraph 2.
CM-96-09-348: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Mutch, MOTION CARRIED: To amend main motion to add four Novi residents as full members of the Steering Committee and eliminate the two citizen alternates.
Vote on CM-96-09-348: Yeas: Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Nay: McLallen, Schmid
Vote on CM-96-09-346: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Nay: Schmid
13. Approval of Traffic Signal No. CO. 979 Maintenance Agreement between the City and Oakland County Road Commission for the Novi Road/Main Street Intersection
Councilman Mitzel asked whether they would include the maintenance of the signal in the Main Street Special Assessment District? Secondly, he asked if the signal would actually operate until there was enough traffic to really warrant one? He added that Mr. Nowicki advised that his department would be looking into this.
Mr. Kriewall advised that they will bring this back before Council because there is a question about who pays for the typical maintenance of the signal. Further, they want to review their original agreement with the developer.
CM-96-09-349: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone Item 13 until the next report.
Mayor McLallen restated the motion is to postpone Item 13, the maintenance agreement between the City and Oakland County Road Commission for the Novi Road/Main Street intersection until the October 7 meeting.
Vote on CM-96-09-349: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
1. Two letters from Timothy Kosinski, Re: Condition of SSeet - Chase Drive.
Councilwoman Cassis said she can see by the photographs provided that there is a real problem with the streets on Chase Drive. She hopes that the City Manager and the Public Works Director will report back to Council about this matter.
2. Letter from Courtland Township, Re: Mid-decade Census Resolution
3. Letter from City Attorney to James Wahl, Re: Sign Ordinance Amendments - Town Center
4. Memo from Councilman Mitzel, Re: Information from Detroit Edison Regarding Overhead and Underground Utility Lines
5. Memo from Councilman Mitzel, Re: List of Council Goals for 1996
6. Letter from James Korte, Re: Austin Street - Regrading/Contouring and Response from Bruce Jerome
7. Letter from City Attorney to Center Ice Management, Inc., Re: Novi Ice Arena Agreements
8. Memo from Councilman Mitzel, Re: Civic Center Parking
9. Memo from Councilman Mitzel, Re: Down or Missing Traffic Signs
There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 11:55 P.M..
Mayor Deputy City Clerk
Transcribed by Barbara Holmes
Date Approved: October 7, 1996