REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL FOR THE CITY OF NOVI

MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 1997 - 7:30 P.M.

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

 

Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:32 P.M.

 

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor ProTem Crawford, Council Members Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid

 

 

ALSO PRESENT: Assistant City Manager Craig Klaver, City Attorney David Fried, Parks & Recreation Director Dan Davis, City Clerk Tonni Bartholomew

 

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

Mayor McLallen advised that the Assistant City Manager asked to add Budget Amendment #97-11 as Item 11 under Matters for Council Action - Part II. They would also like to add, under Matters for Council Action - Part II, Union Negotiations to Item 8.

 

 

CM-97-01-009: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve agenda as amended

 

 

Vote on CM-97-01-009: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid

Nay: None

 

INTRODUCTION OF POLICE OFFICERS: James Brandon and Paul Leslie

 

Police Chief Shaeffer reported Officer Brandon completed his engineering degree from the University of Michigan and has returned to school for a criminal justice degree. During that time, Chief Shaeffer advised Officer Brandon joined the Detroit Police Department, where he completed his basic police requirements.

 

Police Chief Shaeffer reported Officer Leslie completed his economic and criminal justice degree at University of Michigan and during that time he also enlisted in the army and progressed into the officer training school.

 

Mrs. Bartholomew advised she has already sworn the officers in.

 

 

PRESENTATION: Novi 20/20 - Craig DeRoche

 

Postponed until Mr. DeRoche arrives.

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

Frank Stevens - Stevens Industries, Trans-X Drive, stated he is not opposed to Zoning Map Amendment 18.563. He believes one of Noviís problems is that they continually refuse to address adjacent zoning. Further, he believes they are now going to eventually create another problem with TC-1 adjacent to I-2 property because they are not compatible uses. He stated there are five businesses on Trans-X that must be considered for relocation. He also stated there is an I-2 parcel available on Twelve Mile Road that is going to be developed and will be further developed when Taft Road is completed. At that time, Council and the Planning Commission have an ideal opportunity to address the problem and relocate these businesses or other businesses into an industrial park. Mr. Stevens said Council should realize that I-2 zoning creates more net taxes to the City than any other zoning and will require the least amount of services.

 

 

Joanna Mehall - White Pines Drive, stated she is before Council about the White Pines Drive widening and is representing the homeowners who oppose this action. Ms. Mehall stated their concern is that the extension to connect Taft Road to Beck Road will turn White Pines into a collector street. The residents are concerned about safety issues and hazards to a subdivision that has a large population of young children. She advised there is no busing in the subdivision and the students must cross White Pines. The residents would like White Pines to terminate at the end of Royal Crown Estates and not connect to the next subdivision. She also discussed what the design intent was for White Pines and reported that Novi officials told the residents the intent was to reduce mile road loading for the residents of that square mile area. She added they were told they can assume that there will be as much as a 15% increase of nonresidents using the street. Further, Ms. Mehall said they are aware that stop signs are not an alternative to control traffic flow in a residential area. However, Ms. Mehall asked what can Council do to address these other safety issues?

 

Mayor McLallen replied Council will review and respond to Ms. Mehallís correspondence and typically, dialogue does not occur during Audience Participation.

 

 

Deborah Bundoff - Novi/Twelve Mile Road, stated in regard to Zoning Map Amendment 18.557, the Planning Commission said they would look at removing high use in the southeast quarter of Section 10 located across the street from this zoning amendment. One issue is massive amounts of development in the area and the impact that development will have on the infrastructure of Section 10 by changing the OS-1 and RA to RC. Ms. Bundoff hopes what is good or bad on one side of the street is good or bad on the other and she would like to know what that impact will be.

 

 

 

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

 

CM-97-01-010: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Schmid, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Consent Agenda Items 1-10 as presented

 

 

Vote on CM-97-01-010: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid

Nay: None

 

MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - Part 1

 

1. Approval of variance to place a permanent structure (deck) within an easement - 21772 Chase Drive, Henry G. Shultz

 

Mr. Shultz reported he recently built a home in Chase Farms. He further advised there is a swale in the back end of the property that begins at the lot next door and provides natural drainage. Mr. Shultz advised his proposed deck will encroach into and across this swale.

 

The Mayor reported the consultantsí and staff letters concur with a downsized deck and request that the petitioner hold the City harmless in a letter that the Cityís attorney will review. She further reported that extreme care be taken with any underground sewer lines.

 

CM-97-01-011: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the variance to place a permanent structure (deck) within an easement at 21772 Chase Drive subject to the provisions stated in the engineerís report

 

 

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Councilman Kramer said although it is not clear if there is any underground structure, he believes they will cover that in their request for taking care when sinking the foundations.

 

 

Vote on CM-97-01-011: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid

Nay: None

 

 

2. Approval of Resolution No. 2 - Salowís Walnut Hill - Sanitary Sewer Extension Special Assessment District 148

 

Mayor McLallen reported this resolution is the second of seven resolutions.

 

Dave Potter, JCK & Associates described the configuration of the sanitary sewer extension. He explained they are asking Council to approve the extension of the existing sanitary sewer for the existing subdivision to provide sanitary sewer service for lots one through five. Mr. Potter reported as part of their investigation, they found that providing service to lots six through ten was also possible. However, at this time they are only asking to service lots one through five.

 

Councilman Schmid asked if the tap will be low enough in the event the other six through ten lots come back before Council? Mr. Potter replied it would be constructed low enough at the initial time.

 

Councilman Kramer asked if there is a time within the entire process for the residents on lots six through ten and possibly eleven to join or are they prohibited from joining this potential SAD? Mr. Fried said the other residents may join until they pass Resolution 7.

 

 

CM-97-01-012: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Resolution No. 2 - Salowís Walnut Hill - Sanitary Sewer Extension Special Assessment District 148

 

 

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Councilman Mitzel said it appears that Council is supposed to set a date for the first public hearing and he asked if it is in conjunction with the approval of Resolution No. 3? Mr. Fried replied he believes it is.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if there is a recommendation from Administration about when that date should be set? Mrs. Bartholomew replied she would need fifteen days publication time and stated the hearing could be set for the second meeting in February. Councilman Mitzel asked to amend the motion to include this date.

 

Councilmen Schmid Clark agreed.

 

 

Vote on CM-97-01-012: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid

Nay: None

 

 

3. Approval of one year extension of Final Preliminary Plat - Broadmoor Park Subdivision 3 & 4

 

Mayor McLallen reported this subdivision is under construction in Section 28.

 

 

Mark Sturing - 22631 Foxmoor, stated he is the general counsel for Beztak. Mr. Sturing reported Phases I and II of Broadmoor park have been completed and platted. The time period for the final preliminary plat is coming up in the next couple of months and based on a series of circumstances, they are asking for a one year extension on Phases III and IV. Mr. Sturing said they do not think that extending the green belt easement on Phase III from fifteen feet to twenty feet is legally necessary because they came in under the prior ordinance. However more fundamentally, there will be a fifteen-foot green belt easement on the Ten Mile border and on the Beck side for Phases I and II. To make the twenty-foot easement on Phase III on Beck Road is not consistent. Further, the Autumn Park subdivision that is located to their south, also has a fifteen-foot easement. He does not believe they are required to change the plat at this time and he recommends that they be permitted to maintain the fifteen-foot easement.

 

Councilman Schmid asked for Mr. Pargoff to comment on his letter. Mr. Pargoff replied the current ordinances attempt to avoid trimming practices that Edison performs on the trees in the green belt easements. Mr. Pargoff also proposed that they extend the twenty-foot easement into Autumn Park III. However, he said the key to the situation would be to move the shade trees to the rear of the easement to avoid Edison trimming and a more natural shape will result as they grow.

 

Councilman Schmid agrees because it has been an eyesore. However, he asked if they would create an island because of the differences in easement footage? Mr. Pargoff replied an area of about one half mile is affected if Autumn Park would agree to a twenty-foot easement and added that the areas at Nine and Ten Mile Roads are still fifteen-feet. Mr. Pargoff stated it is possible to work with the fifteen-foot easement if they are aware of the fact that their landscaper must plant the shade trees at the edge of the easement.

 

Councilman Schmid asked if Mr. Pargoff is involved with that? Mr. Pargoff replied he withholds the bond until they plant the trees appropriately.

 

Mr. Sturing agrees with this arrangement to the extent that they can work within the fifteen easement.

 

Councilman Mitzel is confused because it sounds as though a fifteen-foot easement is acceptable. Mr. Pargoff said it is not acceptable according to the ordinance that is currently in place and it is a question of when going ahead with the change in the ordinance is acceptable. For instance, he asked if it is appropriate to change at final preliminary plat, as in this instance, or at final plat.

 

Councilman Mitzel thought he heard that fifteen-feet would still work, but twenty is better. Mr. Pargoff agreed.

 

Councilman Kramer asked what was the cause of the ordinance change? Mr. Pargoff said the change was based on the fact that they planted the trees at the crest of the berms rather than at the back side. Consequently, they were interfering with the power lines. Mr. Pargoff added that they can see the adverse results of the trimming along Ten Mile Road.

 

Councilman Clark said according to Mr. Pargoff, the present plan would not comply with the subdivision ordinance that calls for a twenty-foot easement where power lines exist. Councilman Clark asked if the current provisions are applicable to this petitioner because of the fact that he had not received all improvement plan approvals from the building department? Mr. Fried disagreed; if Council grants this extension, it would come under the prior ordinance and if they do not, it would come under the current ordinance.

 

Councilwoman Mutch believes the trees trimmed by Edison were not trees that were planted and were there before they created Mr. Pargoffís department. However, she understands that the fifteen-foot easement can work if the developer is willing to work with the Forestry Department. Mr. Pargoff said they would like to see a confirmation of the current ordinance. However, if Council believes it would create a hardship on the applicant, he would work with them. Mr. Pargoff added the developer could plant the trees on the petitionerís lots instead of the green belt area and that would conform with the ordinance and protect them from Edisonís trimming.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked what is the intent of the easement? Mr. Pargoff said its intent is to preserve a green belt. Councilman Mitzel said if the trees were placed outside the easement, then they would no longer have that legal protection. Councilman Mitzel noted that Mr. Fried agreed with his statement.

 

Councilman Mitzel thought the functions of review for extension was that it was a chance for the subdivision to be compared to any ordinance changes. After that, the developer would bring it into compliance with any changes or the change would be added as a condition to grant the extension. Mr. Fried replied Council can add any condition it wants to for the extension and that an extension is just a request for additional time by the developer.

 

Councilman Mitzel said Mr. Friedís previous answer was not that they do not permit Council to require the subdivision to come up to current standards, but that they may also waive them. Mr. Fried replied Council does not have to comment on it.

 

Councilman Mitzel moved to grant the one year final preliminary plat extension for Broadmoor Park Subdivisionís No. 3 and 4 subject to the consultantsí conditions.

 

Councilwoman Mutch seconded the motion.

As a point of clarification, Mayor McLallen said the motion will include the twenty-foot easement. Councilman Mitzel concurred and stated it will also include the removal of the eyebrows and islands.

 

Councilwoman Mutch withdrew her second.

 

 

CM-97-01-013: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Crawford, MOTION CARRIED: To grant the one year final preliminary plat extension for Broadmoor Park Subdivisionís No. 3 and 4 subject to the consultantsí conditions

 

 

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Councilman Mitzel explained he made his motion because he believes the intent of the twenty-foot easement is to minimize the problem with the trees and utility lines. Further, he believes a twenty-foot easement for this subdivision and the one adjacent to it would result in a third to half mile less of an area that they will have less problems with in the future.

 

Councilman Schmid said the petitioner suggested that and according to the ordinance, he would not be under obligation to change the easement from fifteen to twenty feet if he is coming in for an extension. Mr. Fried replied that is true if they granted the extension.

 

Councilman Schmid stated he understands Mr. Fried to mean that Council has the authority to require any updates in the ordinance. Mr. Fried replied that conditions may be added to the extension.

 

Mayor McLallen does not support the motion as it is presented. She concurs with the island situation, but not the trees because they are only talking about five feet. Further, Mr. Pargoff has also said they can recommend plantings that will address some trimming problems. The Mayor does not believe five feet will make much of a difference in the appearance of the trees. She does concur that the ownership of the trees and planting them on the easement is more significant than hoping to get them planted outside the easement.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked if they plant the trees before they sell the lots, if there is a way to insure that they do not remove those trees? Mr. Sturing replied they usually plant the trees first. Mr. Sturing agrees that if they plant the trees outside the green belt easement, they no longer provide the easement safeguards. Mr. Sturing also believes they can plant a type of tree within the fifteen-foot easement that fulfills the green belt desire without interfering with the lines.

 

Councilwoman Mutch said Mr. Pargoff indicated that if they centered the trees in a fifteen-foot easement and then, if they centered the trees in a twenty-foot easement, they would move back. Yet if they keep it fifteen, they could still get it closer to where it would be if it were twenty. Mr. Sturing said Councilwoman Mutch is correct. Councilwoman Mutch added it is still within the easement, it is still under control, and it is not subject to the possibility of a homeowner removing it.

 

Mr. Sturing said it amounts to five feet less than what the homeowner can do with their yard.

 

Mayor McLallen stated the motion is to support an extension of the Broadmoor preliminary plat for one year subject to the consultantís recommendations as presented, including the twenty-foot easement.

 

Councilman Clark supports the motion because he believes it is a step in the right direction and is what the ordinance requires. Councilman Clark does not agree with Edisonís tree trimming policy and he believes it is time for them to bury their lines.

 

Councilman Kramer supports the motion because he believes it is in the homeownerís best interest.

 

 

Vote on CM-97-01-013: Yeas: Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Schmid

Nay: McLallen, Mutch

 

4. Approve Resolution, Re: MML Pro-Tec

 

Mayor McLallen stated the resolution supports the Michigan Municipal Leagueís position on Pro-Tec. The Mayor advised Pro-Tec is the initiative to protect local communitiesí abilities to govern their rights of way. She further advised this stems from current national legislation in the telecommunications industry. The Mayor added they are attempting to make a strong statement about the right for local communities to govern the use of local rights of way.

 

 

CM-97-01-014: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve MML Pro-Tec Resolution

 

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Councilman Kramer recommended that they insert "its" before "unrestricted" in the last paragraph on page one under, "BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED."

 

 

Mayor McLallen stated all those in favor of passing the Resolution with the insertion of the word "its" in front of "unrestricted fund balance" to signify by a saying aye.

 

 

Vote on CM-97-01-014: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid

Nay: None

 

5. Approval of Zoning Map Amendment 18.577 from OS-1 & RA Districts to RC District or any other appropriate district - west of Donelson Drive and south of Twelve Mile Road (DEKA Novi Site)

 

Matthew Quinn stated he represents DEKA Associates and Emerald Oaks Associates who are requesting to rezone approximately 20 acres on the corner of Donelson Drive and Twelve Mile Road to RC.

 

Mr. Quinn stated they have gone before the Planning Commission to request a rezoning to RC, PD-3 and an underlying Master Plan amendment to the RC, PD-3. At the meeting they received a four to three majority vote to change the Master Plan. Unfortunately, there was still a vacancy on the Planning Commission and one member was absent. However, they did get a favorable majority vote from those members present that evening. Mr. Quinn reported the rezoning and PD-3 Option was four to three negative vote. Mr. Quinn believes the reason for that was that they did not change the underlying Master Plan by a sufficient vote.

 

Mr. Quinn stated they are asking Council to rezone the matter to RC and if Council granted the rezoning, they ask that it be sent back to the Planning Commission for further consideration of the PD-3 Option and the Master Plan amendment. Mr. Quinn added that they passed a special motion at the Master Plan Meeting and they scheduled a meeting for January 23 for the Master Plan Sub-Committee to look at the area and discuss the underlying Master Plan changes.

 

Mr. Quinn identified the current zoning for the subject area and said if they remove the PD-3, the underlying zoning is all RC. He asked Council what they think would make more sense. Mr. Quinn reported the zoning to the east of the property is RC, PD-3 zoning that also extends farther to the west near Dixon Road if they extended Dixon Road all the way south on the visual. Mr. Quinn stated their request fits in with the zoning around them. If they receive the RC zoning, they could later construct approximately 177,000 square feet of retail space with the PD-3. The drawing submitted for conceptual purposes to the Planning Commission for PD-3 showed Twelve Mile Road and Donelson Roads with an approximately 6,000 square foot restaurant on the corner. Mr. Quinn reported under the current Office Zone and the Office Master Plan zoning, they could put in approximately 225,000 square feet of office.

Mr. Quinn said DEKA Associates has owned the first ten acres since 1969. Emerald Oaks Associates has owned the western ten acres for ten years in its current RA situation. One important historical event was the Special Assessment District that created West Oaks Mall. It created the roadways, water mains and the sewer improvements that built Donelson Drive. Everything that came off Novi Road and the expressway came up to Twelve Mile Road to benefit West Oaks Drive and the property located to the west of Donelson Drive. Mr. Quinn said they were to benefit by the Special Assessment District created for commercial development. Mr. Quinn reported his clients sat on the property and did not ask that it be rezoned for commercial development. He advised that they came before Council in approximately 1987 in an attempt to sell the ten acres by subdividing it into four separate two-plus acre lots to make it more sellable for OS-1 purposes. Mr. Quinn advised they were never able to sell the property for office.

 

Mr. Quinn reported that John Liadis, a Realtor for this property for the last ten years, has been unsuccessful in his efforts when he contacted more than 200 perspective office users to build an office at this location. Mr. Quinn then quoted Bill Bowmanís letter who has also been involved in this effort since 1987 while they were looking to rezone it for office. He said they could not grant the rezoning because the property backs up to the rear end of Builders Square and the other West Oaks II properties as well as to a wall, loading docks, dumpsters and truck traffic. Further, comments had been that the office area was a white elephant and they could not obtain financing for a Class A Office Use on property abutting the rear end of a commercial development. Mr. Quinn believes over the past ten years, they have established that they cannot develop the property as office.

 

Mr. Quinn said the taxes and Special Assessment costs that the owners have paid on the ten acres have totaled more than $800,000 which equates to more than $80,000 per acre. Mr. Quinn reported the only zoning that allows the owners to turn a profit is commercial zoning. Further, there is no office zone in Novi that would allow them to recoup the cost of the Special Assessment District and taxes they have in this property.

 

Mr. Quinn believes if the property was zoned RC, there would be an immediate impact whether they had the PD-3 or not. Mr. Quinn stated they are looking for large users and not a strip mall type of use. The users would have 25,000 square feet or more for retailers such as a Dunham Sports Store. Mr. Quinn advised that there is not one sports store of any size located in Novi other than the small clothing store in the mall. Mr. Quinn believes it would be an ideal use compatibility situation with the development of the park on Dixon and a restaurant on the corner. Mr. Quinn advised they have other users such as a pet supply and an office supply. Mr. Quinn believes people will come once they have rezoned it.

 

Mr. Quinn believes the rezoning would allow Council to set a new boundary in the area south of Twelve Mile Road in the future. He further reported there is another 20-acre parcel to Dixon Road at the west end of their acreage. Mr. Quinn believes if all of the acreage to the Dixon Road extension was zoned RC, PD-3, there would be a natural boundary and they could extend Dixon Road down to a new road. Mr. Quinn stated there might be area for an OST District in the west that would extend all the way to the railroad tracks. Mr. Quinn believes the Ordinance requires some natural boundaries or there would be berm requirements. Mr. Quinn stated that a rezoning to RC and hopefully later to PD-3 for the first time in 20 years, would result in development west of Donelson Drive south of Twelve Mile. The reason this area remained stagnant is that no one wanted to take the time and effort to follow through with the true option with DEKA and Emerald Oaks by coming before City Council. Mr. Quinn explained that the small property owners who have owned the property and have paid taxes and special assessments, now want to come forward and request the RC zoning and move on.

 

Mr. Quinn said if they grant the RC zoning, they would go back to the Planning Commission for the PD-3 Option. Mr. Quinn repeated that the PD-3 Option is nothing more than what is around the property on their two sides. Mr. Quinn believes this should have been done ten years ago when they put in the Special Assessment District.

 

Councilman Schmid asked what is the future for what is master planned office at this time for this piece of property and the 20 acres.

 

Brandon Rogers said the present Master Plan shows office with a PD-2 overlay and allows up to five stories. The office designation in the Master Plan of Land Use can be satisfied by any one of the office zoning classifications. Mr. Rogers believes they adopted the OST District, but it might not be effective yet. Mr. Rogers added they could also have OSC, OS-2, OS-1 or any of the office configurations, but with the PD-2 overlay, they could clearly have the highest standard office, up to five stories. Mr. Rogers believes it is a matter of process before Council and on January 23, the Master Plan and Zoning Committee would be considering a possible recommendation to the Planning Commission on revising the Master Plan. However, Mr. Rogers believes instead of only considering a 20-acre parcel, they should consider the whole Donelson Road corridor. Mr. Rogers advised that he and Rod Arroyo have agreed on that and have prepared a zoning plan. Mr. Rogers said it might be Dixon, but if they also look at the Master Plan, the loop road that comes off West Oaks Drive and back to Twelve Mile is further to the west. Mr. Rogers said what they do will set similar rezoning in motion further west. He reported that he, JCK and Linda Lemke had trouble with the site plan because it has a rear elevation exposure that might show truck loading docks and dumpsters much as purportedly is the case at West Oaks II. Mr. Rogers advised that there is interest by other property owners to develop this property west of the subject site, but they have not come forward yet.

 

Mr. Rogers added that he is concerned about the traffic handling capability of Donelson Road and the fact that sections of the slip road past the hotel is one way. He is also concerned about the feed in traffic on West Oaks Drive to Novi Road, the need to improve traffic circulation and control at Novi Road, and the fact that Twelve Mile Road is not currently improved.

 

Mr. Rogers stated Council has three things before them tonight and as Fried, Watson and Bugbee said in their letter, they cannot approve the PD-3 because it is not designated on the Master Plan. Mr. Rogers explained the PD-3 has to be acted on by the Planning Commission with a six-vote majority. Mr. Rogers believes it was premature to start calling this PD-3 and he recommends that they take a larger look, perhaps over to Dixon Road, for another classification than what it is today. Mr. Rogers stated although the zoning has been OS-1 and RA for 20 years, everyone will recognize that residential was not the best planning.

 

Councilman Schmid said when he first saw this, he thought maybe it was time to change the zoning for this property from office because it has not moved for 20 years. Councilman Schmid asked what Mr. Rogers zoning recommendation would be if the Planning Commission was looking at changing it? He is convinced that office is not appropriate for the area. Secondly, Councilman Schmid has the feeling that the rezoning will only push the problem further west if they develop something like this. Further, the back of those buildings would probably have the same loading docks and so forth that Mr. Quinn was concerned about for office. He asked how would they propose to eventually stop the back end of a building where they could eventually build office buildings with RC, PD-3?

 

Mr. Rogers replied if they were merely going to rezone it as RC without a PD-3 Option, the setbacks would be 100 feet and 200,000 square feet of development would not fit. They need the PD-3 to come down to 35 foot setbacks and 75 foot front yard setbacks. Mr. Rogers is concerned about spot planning and zoning and if they are going to take these two parcels, they should look at the property to the south. Mr. Rogers suggested that they may have to revisit West Oaks I for a total renovation because he believes a total renovation of that development similar to Circuit City would be magnificent. Mr. Rogers does not want to do it in isolation and if they were to delay the action on the rezoning, they could then act on the entire issue at the first meeting in February.

 

Councilman Schmid asked Mr. Rogers what his recommendation will be to the Planning Commission to rezone this property?

 

Mr. Rogers replied he believes the Office and Hi-tech Districts menu is usable, but asked if Novi really needs another 200,000 square foot commercial development? He said until further investigation with Rod Arroyo and the Master Plan and Zoning Committee, he will not change his recommendation.

 

Councilman Schmid does not know what zoning is best for that area, but he knows that nothing has happened there for the last 20 years and he holds to his philosophy of having centralized commercial. Councilman Schmid believes this is an area that they could develop as commercial. However, he would like to see the whole parcel zoned as RC then PD-3 up to Dixon Road where they could construct and design a major development of a substantial size that would not expose it to the rear.

 

Mr. Rogers reported that the Office District planning and zoning are together. Mr. Rogers advised they plan to have Office for the north side of Twelve Mile Road and Dixon Road, which is a residential road. However, he believes they have to look a little broader, but added that he might change his opinion.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if Mr. Rogers said he might consider rezoning the property to the south which is RC PD-3 already? Mr. Rogers replied that he would use that as part of his analysis of the Donelson Road corridor.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked what Mr. Rogers meant when he said he would look at that property for potential? Mr. Rogers replied that he did not need it and believes the lower part is zoned Conference District because at one time they thought the Sheraton Hotel would have a conference. Further, the Wisne family is proposing a catering facility and he did not see a problem because about half that site was wetland and not usable.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford said although Mr. Rogers admitted that the property has not moved in 20 years zoned as office, he believes it is usable for office and asked what the marketing potential is for office? Mayor ProTem Crawford said it may be usable for anything, but if the marketplace has not developed, maybe they should look at something else and suggested that they made a mistake. Mayor ProTem Crawford said it occurred to him that if they extended Dixon Road that it could be a very natural dividing line. Mayor ProTem Crawford hopes that the Planning Commission is looking at this as the first step in getting that piece and the property west of it moving after sitting for 20 years. Further, rezoning this to something that is marketable makes sense to him since it is surrounded by the same type of zoning.

 

Mr. Rogers said it is a possibility. However, Mr. Rogers explained that the office market has been slack in the last five years, but there have been many major medical office type users that have come into the City. He said Sinai Park, the DMC Outpatient Medical Center, and Providence Medical Center are all on office zoning.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if there was no zoning on that piece of property, would he say it should be office instead of RC? Mr. Rogers replied they tied it together with Office to the west and north. He supposes it is like the Novi Town Center which has Commercial on one side of Town Center Drive and Office on the other and added it is worthy of reconsideration.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked what zoning would Mr. Rogers recommend to the Planning Commission for that parcel and for the parcels to the west? Mr. Rogers repeated he will do further research, a small area study and would listen and participate in the committee meeting.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if Mr. Rogers has a recommendation? Mr. Rogers replied he has no recommendation tonight because he thought the request was premature.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked why is it premature and when would it be ready? Mr. Rogers hopes it could be resolved by the Committee on January 23 and brought to the first Commission meeting in February.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if Mr. Rogers was suggesting that if Council thought it was an appropriate rezoning tonight, they are actually premature because it would destroy that area or be spot zoning? Mr. Rogers replied that Council has a right to rezone it and added that Council has his lengthy opinion in his report. Mr. Rogers explained that he would not depart from that until he has further time to work with the committee to study the case further and listen to Council tonight.

 

It appears to Mayor ProTem Crawford that this would be a step in the right direction based not only the marketing history of this parcel, but on the whole history of the parcel and what transpired around it several years ago in regard to the infrastructure and everything else. Mayor ProTem Crawford added that when they extend Donelson Drive, it would be a natural boundary line and the small piece not asking for rezoning should also be zoned RC. Mayor ProTem Crawford stated they could then look at what might be west of the extension of Dixon Road. Mayor ProTem Crawford believes he favors rezoning the property to RC as a first step in the right direction.

 

Councilman Kramer said zoning is a land use decision and not an economic profit or a history decision. Councilman Kramer thought that part of the history of the parcel during the existence of West Oaks II is pertinent because the property abuts the back side of West Oaks II. Councilman Kramer believes they did a good job of making the back side of West Oaks II as desirable as a back side of a commercial establishment can be. Further, he believes the literature they have suggests that the back side is somewhat of an impediment to a Class A Office because it is one of the site views from the windows and should be taken into account. To make a good solid decision, Councilman Kramer believes it should be made in the context of the surrounding area and he supports the earlier discussion. He further believes it is important to establish that boundary between whatever this is and what the next adjoining use is. Potentially, though the Master Plan did not show it, perhaps they should consider showing a Dixon Road extension to the south to provide that boundary so they do not keep getting backs of buildings to backs of buildings which would just march themselves down the road. Likewise, the site plan is not binding nor is it subject for the rezoning. However, it did raise the concern that if they have this type of building, they have an issue with moving the back side of the next building down the road. Councilman Kramer believes this has to be taken into account with an area plan and the area plan should take into account that a park coming on the north side and they should resolve the issues as they discussed them at the table. Councilman Kramer will look to support a motion on postponement to allow the Planning Commission to work on the Master Plan and come back with a consistent recommendation.

 

Councilman Clark stated that Mr. Rogers will stand on his report, but he would also like to study it in the context of the whole area and property to the west. He would then like to bring it back before the committee and before the Planning Commission at their first meeting in February. Councilman Clark stated If nothing has happened in ten years, he does not see any problem in another two to three weeks or thirty days at most to allow Mr. Rogers that consideration and bring it back by the second Council meeting in February.

 

 

CM-97-01-015: Moved by Clark, Seconded by Schmid, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone consideration of this item to the second meeting of Council in February March (friendly amendment)

 

Mayor McLallen stated the motion is to postpone this item to the second meeting in February to allow for further study.

 

 

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked if they make a motion to postpone, does the discussion have to be on the motion to postpone? Mr. Fried said they could discuss the underlying motion because that is what the foundation of the motion to postpone is and they can continue to ask questions.

Councilwoman Mutch said she respects Mr. Rogers position for not offering an opinion separate from his report. Councilwoman Mutch stated Mr. Rogers wrote that there was "lack of adequate information showing property cannot be developed under regulations consistent with the Master Plan, etc., etc." and asked what kind of additional information would he look for that would have resulted in saying there is adequate information, but he either agrees or disagrees?

 

Mr. Rogers replied the City has newly adopted an OST District zoning less than a month ago. Mr. Rogers displayed a document prepared by a Realtor that shows the potential for OST areas that begin at Dixon Road and travels west. Mr. Rogers does not know whether Mr. Quinn or the owners have sought to promote it, but he has already met with one developer on Haggerty south of Twelve Mile Road who would like OST zoning and Council should see a petition shortly. Mr. Rogers said there is a doubt in his mind whether they had marketed it. Mr. Rogers also advised that he has met with the owners and although he knows they have owned it for some time and they have paid special assessments, they are not the developers. Mr. Rogers stated he is sure that they want to sell the land when it is zoned and planned properly. Although Mr. Rogers heard briefly about the possibility of Dunhams, he has not heard about the others. Mr. Rogers reminded Council that it is still a spec building and they cannot expect them to show leases. In addition, Mr. Rogers should not be privy to those tenants. Mr. Rogers also wants economic development and agrees with Councilman Schmid about the philosophy of having all the commercial in one grand center and sees that as a plus for the issue.

 

Councilwoman Mutch reiterated her concern about the statement that there is a "lack of adequate showing that the property cannot be developed under the regulations consistent with the master plan, etc." She is asking what other documentation would Mr. Rogers normally expect to see that would prove their case in a way that he would either find acceptable or say that he sees their argument, but disagree with it.

 

Mr. Rogers said if they could provide documentation that would show that office development could not survive in this area because it looks into the berm and brick facade of West Oaks II or provide testimony that they have tried to get buyers. Mr. Rogers advised when he prepared his report he was not satisfied with how hard and at what price they tried to sell the property. Mr. Rogers reminded Council about the Gotleib offer five years ago. He reported Council had rezoned the property to OS-1 and the offer did go forward because they were in a soft market period.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked what kind of documentation makes a case or fails to make a case when an applicant, developer or property owner comes in saying they spent years trying to market his property. She would like to know what is looked at to help support that case or what fails to support that case?

 

Mayor McLallen stated that apparently the ordinances do not require a specific number of documents that are black and white. Consequently, a debate could occur between the petitioner and the consultant about the details of the petitionerís attempt to sell the property, which could ultimately end in the consultant asking the petitioner to hang in. For the moment the Mayorís response to Councilwoman Mutch is subjective and she does not think the ordinances are specific.

 

Councilwoman Mutch said that is her underlying concern in that it may be very subjective. Therefore, from the owners and developers point of view, and from the consultantís point of view they may or may not find agreement. Councilwoman Mutch is hoping to find some guidelines to refer to every time this comes up. In this situation, the owners could say they have owned stagnant property for twenty years and request a rezoning. However, then Mr. Rogers could reply that he does not believe they have made enough effort to sell it. Councilwoman Mutch believes this does not leave Council in a good position. She further added that she respects the need to look at this matter in a broader context.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked if there a possibility for the property to the west to be developed in a way that would in effect be back to back and eliminate the problem of the continual westward movement of the backs of buildings?

 

Mr. Rogers replied this is a long narrow parcel, but if they had the other 20 acres to Dixon, there could be a much better plan, a more exciting configuration than a strip and it would be much better site planning. Mr. Rogers explained they could construct a campus plan with an internal road system on the 40 acres similar to what they propose for Sinai Park.

 

Councilwoman Mutch said her point is there is no road on the west edge of the property. Therefore, if they built something on that property and the back of that building was to the west, they may or may not be backing up to a road. She explained they may be backing up to the back of whatever they build on the western side.

 

Mr. Rogers said they could have and do have a loading service area, etc.

 

Councilwoman Mutch stated the problem of looking into dumpters, etc. along Donelson and moving it westward is not necessarily the case if this area is rezoned.

 

Mr. Rogers explained this brings up his point that they have to look at a larger area. He reminded Council that the Commission is only looking at this petition for 20 acres and the PD-3. Mr. Rogers is suggesting that they look beyond Dixon and not do it in isolation.

Councilwoman Mutch said no matter what they built there and no matter what the zoning is to the west, it could be the back of whatever they built there.

 

Mr. Rogers disagreed because they will improve the roads, they would build Twelve Mile, utilities brought in, handling storm water will be taken care of and they will issue the woodlandís permit. Mr. Rogers does not want to get into the site plan criteria.

 

Councilman Mitzel stated Mr. Rogersí review letter is based on the petition for RC zoning and if so, then the uses that they would allow on the property would be those that they allow within RC zoning. Councilman Mitzel said he looked at the RC zoning and it seems that it would require either a regional shopping center greater than 400,000 square feet, a community shopping center greater than 300,000 square feet or uses allowed in the OSC District. Councilman Mitzel explained the OSC District allows the same uses that they allow in the OS-1 and OS-2 District like hotels, office and medical. Councilman Mitzel said by looking at the site map, he would have to say that there is no way to put 300,000 square feet of commercial on there.

 

Mr. Rogers agreed and if there were three or four tenants, it would fall into the Planned Commercial Center category.

 

Councilman Mitzel said if Council were to rezone it to RC, the only thing that they would be allowing is the currently permitted office and medical type uses because the site could not meet the commercial aspects of the RC ordinance. Councilman Mitzel asked Mr. Rogers to outline what uses they would allow if Council chose to rezone it to RC if the Planning Commissionsí position was the same when it came back to Council. Councilman Mitzel believes it would help because apparently the site cannot meet the commercial requirements and they would be left with only the office uses.

 

Mr. Rogers said with a 100 foot set back, they could only build them in the center piece.

 

Councilman Mitzel agreed and believes the requirements for the size also prohibit them. Councilman Mitzel stated if the Planning Commission does not want to act on the Master Plan, then the only uses they can allow with RC zoning would be office type uses and reiterated that he would like Mr. Rogers to bring that information forward so Council will have a clearer idea about what they are dealing with.

 

Councilman Schmid stated he thought it was time to make a change in this area. He also believes an RC, PD-3 Option is proper and understands the Planning Commission will have a study on that. Councilman Schmid also concurs that they should postpone the rezoning request until the Planning Commission has time to look at this again. His concern is about hodge podge development. Councilman Schmid believes if the total land is zoned RC with a PD-3 Option, then they could possibly bring in a major developer and a more attractive commercial area will result. Councilman Schmid will support the motion with the hope that the Planning Commission sees it from his perspective. Further, he believes this motion will benefit the City and the petitioners in the long run. Councilman Schmid also assumes if this were Master Planned RC with a PD-3, the City could come forward with the zoning changes.

 

Mr. Rogers concurred.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked when will the Planning Commissionís recommendation be ready?

 

Mr. Rogers replied the Planning Commission will meet on January 22. However, the Master Plan and Zoning Committee will not meet until January 23 at which time they will formulate a recommendation for the Planning Commissionís first meeting in February.

 

Based on what they told them, Mayor ProTem Crawford believes Council can act on this tonight. Further, Mayor ProTem Crawford is not in favor of the postponement to the second Council meeting in February, because he will be absent. Mayor ProTem Crawford understands that Council needs to know what the Planning Commission is going to do with that area of the City. He asked when will Council have the Planning Commission and Mr. Rogersí recommendation and opinions?

 

Mr. Rogers said the Planning Commission would make their recommendations at the Planning Commission meeting on January 22 and they could be forwarded to Council by the Council meeting scheduled for February 10, 1997.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford requested that the Planning Commission and consultant recommendation be given to Council by Councilís first regular meeting scheduled in February.

 

Mayor McLallen said for clarification, the Community Development Department is recommending the first meeting in March and asked for the rationale behind this recommendation.

 

Steve Cohen, Staff Planner replied the date was chosen because of the logistics of getting things done. Further, they require a fifteen-day notice if Council is asking the Planning Commission to reconsider the Master Plan amendment and consequently, they could not get an answer back until March. However, if Council is only looking for an opinion, an answer could be back by Councilís first meeting in February, but that is if the Planning Commission can come to a conclusion.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether the Planning Commission or Council would have to hold a public hearing if Council were to decide tonight? Mr. Rogers replied they would not require a public hearing because they have already held a hearing on the rezoning, the PD-3 and the Master Plan.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked why canít they proceed to the first meeting in February.

 

Mr. Cohen replied they cannot proceed with the Master Plan Amendment, because they have denied it.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford is talking about Council proceeding with the rezoning and he would hope if they rezoned it, then the Commission would amend the Master Plan and consider the PD-3 Option. He also hopes they can do it some other time than Councilís second meeting in February.

 

Councilman Schmid believes this issue should be allowed to go back to the Planning Commission for a decision about whether they should zone the area as PD-3 or RC with a PD-3. Further, Councilman Schmid believes they should allow the Planning Commission whatever time is necessary, with due haste, to have the public hearing and get the Master Plan changed. Then, the City can come back and recommend a rezoning of the total parcel which would clean up the zoning for the whole area with one action and it would not require each petitioner to come in with a request for rezoning.

 

Mr. Rogers advised if the City were to initiate that, they would have to have a 15-day legal notice.

 

Councilman Clark amended his motion to state that this item must come back before Council at their first meeting in March. Councilman Clark explained it will provide the Planning Commission the necessary time to study and review, to form an opinion and take whatever action they deem appropriate. Then when it comes back to Council, it would be in the appropriate posture for Council action.

 

Councilman Schmid agreed to the amendment.

 

Mayor McLallen stated the amendment is to bring the item back for first meeting in March.

 

Although Mayor McLallen is in support of this property going to PD-3 zoning, it will not solve the area problem and she would like to take the opportunity to solve the whole problem. Mayor McLallen stated her concern is with West Oaks Drive, which at this point is nothing more than a line on a piece of paper. Further, it does not exist, there is no ROW purchased for it and when the Master Plan was completed ten years ago, that looked like where the road was going to go. In the mean time, the City has acquired all the property west of Dixon Road and major development is taking place north of Twelve Mile Road. Rather than extending West Oaks Road to this position on the map, the Mayor asked Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant, to discuss the impact of the Dixon Road extension. The Mayor stated if they actually extend Dixon down to the imaginary West Oaks Road, it would have a clear definition and complete line up of existing PD-3 zoning.

 

Mr. Arroyo replied if they extended Dixon Road south and zoned RC, PD-3, there would then be a public road along the western boundary to Dixon Road. The future extension would then present the possibility of having commercial property fronting on Twelve Mile and Dixon Roads. Mr. Arroyo stated an issue that would have to be addressed in looking at whether they should extend Dixon Road to the south and is one of the reasons why they have not shown it on the Master Plan previously, is that the uses proposed along Dixon Road are primarily residential except for the frontage at Twelve Mile. As to the north they are residential. There was concern in the past about lining up a road on the south side of Twelve Mile that would be primarily of non-residential nature with a road that is primarily a residential nature on the north side. He said things had changed to some extent, although there would continue to be residential uses along Dixon. The City has acquired property in that area and he believes it is right for reevaluation and the potential for an extension of Dixon south is a possibility that he would like to look at. Mr. Arroyo added that he is not ready to make a recommendation on it, but things are changing in this area and there are some advantages particularly from a land use planning standpoint of extending that road.

 

Mayor McLallen said that is her point because there would be no residential on Twelve Mile. Further, that particular section of Twelve Mile is also the next boulevard section of Twelve Mile and would radically change the appearance of the area. The Mayor reported the City does own all the property on the north side to the west of Dixon, but it is a completely different opportunity now than it was when they actually did this plan. Mayor McLallen is in support of the motion to postpone, but her largest concern is about the traffic. She believes the dysfunction of the Donelson/Dixon/West Oaks system or lack of system is one of the underlying reasons that development has been prohibited in this area. She believes Council must be sensitive to the road, because the road can make a difference to what happens.

 

 

Mr. Arroyo agreed. He further added that the road network is in a position and the traffic study suggests that something will eventually have to be done to improve the traffic situation on a more regional scale to address the growth. He stated they also cannot expect the current road situation to handle the traffic and there are improvements being made. Mr. Arroyo reported some of those improvements are: The Beck Road interchange and Twelve Mile Boulevard improvements. Mr. Arroyo added that there is potential for other improvements too. Mr. Arroyo believes they must improve the flow of traffic because of everything going on in that area and not because of one development.

 

Mayor McLallen asked if Council could have a ten-year projection about what the funding cycles are for major roads, what the potential developments are and how leaving it zoned as it is, how leaving it zoned as Office or rezoning it as RC would be enhanced or harmed by that road network.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if Mr. Arroyo could make a recommendation or presentation to the Planning Commission about the extension of Dixon Road before the first part of March so they can consider that.

 

Mr. Arroyo stated he would fold it in with the land use study, because they need to be considered at together.

 

Mayor McLallen said the motion on the floor is to postpone this to allow for further regional inspection and planning and this issue will come back to the Council the first meeting in March.

 

 

Vote on CM-97-01-015: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch,

Schmid

Nay: None

 

 

6. Approval of Zoning Map Amendment 18.563 from I-1 & I-2 Districts to TC-1 District or any other appropriate district - northeast corner of Novi Road and Trans-X Drive

 

Mayor McLallen advised the 7.31 acre area abuts what is now known as Main Street. She further advised that there is a positive recommendation from the Town Center Steering Committee and a motion to send a positive recommendation to Council for this initiative from Planning Commission.

 

Jim Chen advised this request is for the Main Street parking and directed Councilís attention to the area on the map. Mr. Chen advised they will need 3.5 to 4 acres for parking use and they plan to develop the remainder into what they call Main Street Court. Mr. Chen explained this amendment will provide exposure for the project on Novi Road. Mr. Chen then described what their future plans are for the temporary parking area. Mr. Chen further reported that they need to have the KMH property rezoned for the parking calculation so they can begin constructing Buildings 200 and 300 in the spring and summer.

 

 

CM-9701-016: Moved by Clark, Seconded by Mutch, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Zoning Map Amendment 18.563 from I-1 and I-2 Districts to TC-1 District at the northeast corner of Novi Road and Trans-X Drive

 

 

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if Town Center is considered residential in any of the industrial ordinances with tiers if there is a residential component built within the Town Center? Mr. Fried replied in his opinion, it would not be residential and deferred the question to Mr. Rogers.

 

Councilman Mitzel stated his specific question is, if there is any residential component within the TC area and it abutted I-2, would it be considered residential abutting industrial? Mr. Rogers replied the use would be residential and the zoning would be primarily non-residential. If it were residential next to industrial, there are stringent screening requirements.

 

Mr. Fried reiterated, in his opinion, it would not be considered residential because the total district is not a residential district.

 

Councilman Mitzel stated from a zoning standpoint, would they trigger any of the restrictions and requirements? Mr. Fried does not believe it would, but he would have to take a closer look at it.

 

Councilman Schmid believes there is at least a possibility that some major buildings could have loft apartments above them. Mr. Rogers agreed and advised the TC-1 ordinance permits residential on floors above commercial up to five stories.

 

Councilman Schmid asked how would that impact abutting I-1 or I-2 zoning? Mr. Fried believes the intent behind the restrictions on residential adjoining industrial did not view this kind of zoning. However, they have not looked that closely at this issue.

 

Mr. Rogers said the two story Main Street buildings to his knowledge, are not designed to add additional floors. They are currently reviewing the site plan and all of the parking spaces are needed to satisfy the shared parking of the commercial.

 

Councilman Schmid does not want to get into this now, but wants to note that this could be a possibility.

 

Councilwoman Mutch said she believes they have it backwards because the restrictions are usually on the industrial abutting the residential. She explained when they might propose any residential within the Town Center, she is sure there are enough stops along the way to discourage what might be an ill-advised placement of residential. Councilwoman Mutch believes the greater concern as Mr. Stevens stated, is that people being in the Town Center and having an aesthetic objection to overlooking industrially used property in general. Councilwoman Mutch believes they need to keep in mind that they have grandfathered the industrial users that are already there in and the underlying concern, as Mr. Stevens stated, might be an unwanted objection to what he is already allowed to do. Secondly, Councilwoman Mutch stated they need to consider the potential economic impact of that property to industrial users in the future. If the zoning stays the same for the industrial property and sells to someone else for another purpose, whose site plans are reviewed in the context Councilman Mitzel pointed out. Councilwoman Mutch believes that is a question that is further down the road.

 

Mr. Fried advised he was correct and the intent does not include the Town Center kind of zoning.

 

Councilwoman Mutch stated her point is that she thinks the emphasis should be directed more on the restrictions placed on industrial when it is next to residential as opposed to the other way around.

 

Mayor McLallen stated the motion is to support the request for Zoning Map Amendment 18.563 from I-1 and I-2 for 7.31 acres to the TC District.

 

 

Vote on CM-97-01-016: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch,

Schmid

Nay: None

 

Councilman Kramer complimented the Planning Department for the excellent job they did on the flow chart for the DEKA project; he found it very helpful.

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None

 

BREAK - 9:35 p.m. - 9:55 p.m.

 

 

MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - Part II

 

 

7. Schedule a Special Meeting - Financial Review with Plante & Moran, City Auditors

 

Mayor McLallen advised every year before budget, the Cityís auditors meet with Council to prepare them for understanding the budget process.

 

 

CM-97-01-017: Moved by Clark, Seconded by Crawford, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule a Special Meeting for the purpose of receiving a Financial Report from Plante & Moran, on Thursday, March 6, 1997 at 7:30 p.m. in the Activities Room

 

 

Vote on CM-97-01-017: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch,

Schmid

Nay: None

 

 

8. Schedule an Executive Session to immediate follow Regular Meeting - Property Acquisition and Union Negotiation

 

 

CM-97-01-018: Moved by Mutch, Seconded by Kramer, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule an Executive Session to immediately follow Regular Meeting to discuss Property Acquisition and Union Negotiation

 

 

Vote on CM-97-01-018: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch,

Schmid

Nay: None

 

 

9. Approval of Resolution authorizing the Department of Public Services to proceed with design and right of way acquisition documents for the 1996 Roadway Bond Program

 

CM-97-01-019: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Resolution authorizing the Roadway Bond Program to begin with the condition that where traffic signals are required the plans are prepared to include costs for mast arms and an option for span wire

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Councilman Mitzel thanked Administration for their thorough and informative report.

 

Councilman Kramer added that Council had requested Administration to investigate the benefits of multiple sourcing, and he believes Council received an adequate response.

 

Mayor McLallen stated the motion is to approve the resolution authorizing the Department of Public Services to proceed with the design and right of way acquisition documents for the 1996 Road Bond Program. Further, where they require signalization within those projects, that they also include the cost and design of mast arms and span wires.

 

 

Vote on CM-97-01-019: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch,

Schmid

Nay: None

 

10. Approval of Filing of Building Authority Articles of Incorporation

 

Dan Davis explained the Parks and Recreation Department through the Community Clubs of Novi has been working to complete the arrangements for the ice arena project. Further, Council recently authorized the purchase agreement for the property. Mr. Davis noted that with the ice arena project and as Council is aware of, they were looking at unique and alternative funding mechanisms that would allow the City to enter into an ice arena development project that would alleviate the need for taxpayer support. Originally they were looking at utilizing the Strategic Fund, a funding mechanism for nonprofit corporations at the State level and the Community Clubs of Novi was formed. Upon their funding research, Mr. Davis explained they solicited the recommendations and expertise of Denny Neiman, the Cityís bonding counsel. Mr. Neiman pointed another option the City could consider is the utilization of the Novi Building Authority, which currently is in existence for senior housing, but could act as a funding mechanism for the ice arena. Mr. Davis reported Mr. Neiman has provided the necessary paperwork that would walk Council through the process and how the funding through the Building Authority would be a $200,000 per year cost savings.

 

Dennis Neiman, Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone reported when he appeared before Council a year and a half ago and they discussed the Building Authority Articles. He reminded Council that they directed him to revise the articles so they were solely for senior housing and now, the Novi Building Authority is incorporated as such. Mr. Neiman reported they have been meeting with City staff and the Community Clubs over the last year with respect to the proposed ice arena. Mr. Neiman raised questions about the financability of the ice arena through the Strategic Fund or the EDC, which would be similar financing. Mr. Neiman reminded Council that the EDC is a pass through issuer of bonds. Further, it does not have any other finance ability and finances solely for the benefit of others. Mr. Neiman stated the EDC is not going to pledge any assets or any ability to back up any type of financing. Therefore, to the extent that they finance through the EDC, the purchaser looks solely at the financability of the project or the entity who is financing the project. In this case, it would be Community Clubs. Mr. Neiman reported they discovered that the ice arena might be difficult to finance without City involvement in terms of backing it up. Mr. Neiman said to finance the ice arena as they originally contemplated would have produced revenues. However, because they did not build or lease the project, there were risks involved in purchasing the bonds. Some of those risks are: can the project be built on time and within budget and can it be leased, maintained and managed in a fiscally appropriate way to produce enough net revenue.

 

Mr. Neiman reported for comparison purposes and with no recommendation, he gave the City in November an EDC Bond Issue and a Building Authority Issue where the revenues would be sufficient to cover the debt, but the City would back it up for marketing purposes. Mr. Neiman explained this is the same way they back up Special Assessment Bonds and

Michigan Transportation Fund Bonds. It is also the same with senior housing. He explained the revenue must be sufficient and they make that certain with a feasibility study to cover the debt and operations to build reserves. For purposes of financing, the City would back it through the Building Authority and it would be a "general obligation" and would dramatically reduce the interest cost. Mr. Neiman added that they can expect approximately $240,000 per year in the debt service differential.

 

Mr. Neiman explained this is the way they see it and if the City would like to proceed the other way, it will cost a lot more money for the City to operate the facility and will have to produce about $800,000 to $900,000 in revenue per year. Mr. Neiman believes that is a lot of money for an ice arena.

 

Based on discussions with Ed Kriewall and Les Gibson, Mr. Neiman stated they were directed to prepare revised Articles of Incorporation for the Building Authority that basically elongates the power of the Building Authority which would include this kind of project. Mr. Neiman reminded Council that the Building Authority cannot do anything that the City does not wish it to do. The Resolution in front of Council tonight approves the amendments to the Building Authorityís Articles of Incorporation. The most salient is Article 3, which states the purposes for which the Building Authority could act and now includes more than senior housing.

 

 

Councilman Schmid asked if they are using the Cityís credit under the Building Authority? Mr. Neiman said they are and that it provides additional security.

 

Councilman Schmid asked if would be the same under the EDC? Mr. Neiman cited Frank W. Kerr Company, an industrial company as an analogy. Mr. Neiman explained the purchaser buys the credit of Kerr Company or the real property, if there is a real property pledge. The Community Clubs does not have enough assets to justify a $8.5M bond issue. Mr. Neiman said what the purchaser is buying is a revenue stream in the future and before they get to the revenue stream, there are three basic risks. Mr. Neiman reiterated the risks. They are: can the project be built within the budget, can it be built within the time frame, and can the project be leased up in a way that will produce income from the very beginning and so that they can pay the debt, operate and maintain the facility, run it in an appropriate fashion, and create some reserves. Mr. Neiman advised when someone analyzes that in the EDC area and because the company itself has no assets, they are buying a promise that they will remove the risks. Mr. Neiman stated he would not like to be involved in a project where there was at least a possibility of problems because of the amount of debt load. Further, all things being equal, building the facility through the Building Authority with the realization that the Cityís support is just back up is more economically prudent and is not intended to be the primary security for the issue. Mr. Neiman said before Council moves forward, he would recommend that they all should feel fairly comfortable that the numbers would be sufficient to cover the debt.

 

Councilman Schmid said if the arena failed under the Building Authority, the taxpayers would have to pay off the debt. Councilman Schmid said they are starting with the land being owned by the City, so the only other asset would be the building.

 

Councilman Schmid asked if Mr. Seylerís group are investors? Mr. Neiman believes they will design it, supervise construction and run it. Mr. Fried stated they will build it and operate it with the bond money.

 

Councilman Schmid understands that they will operate the arena for "x" amount of years and then they will no longer be involved. In the Building Authority scenario, Mr. Neiman understands that they would anticipate operating the arena for a period of time which the City would have the right to withdraw anytime in terms of operation. Further, when they pay off the bonds, the Building Authority would convey it to the City.

 

Mr. Davis added the operation agreement is a three-year minimum with the City making the decision to renew the agreement.

 

 

Councilman Schmid asked what is Center Ice getting for running the operation? Mr. Davis replied their income will come from the revenues generated from the facility for the management and the staff. However, some of the revenues will have to come back to the facility for the general operations. Councilman Schmid is relieved to know that the City is not responsible for its success.

 

Mr. Neiman said he did not know how they could finance it through the EDC because there are no assets and believes it is equivalent to a junk bond. Further, Mr. Neiman has his doubts about whether $800,000 in revenue could be earned by an ice arena and added he believes that Plante & Moran is currently preparing a feasibility analysis as to how comfortable they are with these numbers.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked what will the time line be if they pass this tonight? Mr. Neiman said he believes the feasibility has confirmed that the numbers work and then Administration would come back with financing documents to set it in motion. Mr. Neiman reminded Council that under the Building Authority Act, there is a 45-day referendum right.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if the 45-day referendum period would delay work from being done? Mr. Neiman said it would not slow the process.

 

Councilman Mitzel said when the 45-day period is up, he asked if Mr. Neiman would be ready for Council to sign the next set of documents. Mr. Neiman replied that is possible and they could be back by March or April with a package for Councilís consideration.

 

Councilman Schmid asked if the studies are negative, can the City withdraw? Mr. Neiman replied they are not obligated and all they are doing is giving themselves the ability to do it if the numbers are positive.

 

 

CM-97-01-020: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Mutch, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Resolution amending the Articles of Incorporation for the Novi Building Authority

 

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Councilman Mitzel asked Administration to provide a time line of the project with a goal of a fall completion date. Councilman Mitzel wants to be certain that Council, the Planning Commission and the other bodies that have to grant approval to this project are aware of the timing needs so Council can reserve agenda space for critical issues. Mr. Davis replied staff and consultants are currently working on that time line based upon last weekís action for approving the land acquisition.

Councilman Schmid is concerned about the City incurring this debt. Mr. Neiman advised there is ample room in the Cityís debt limit for this debt and as the SEV rises, so will the debt limit.

 

 

Vote on CM-97-01-020: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch,

Schmid

Nay: None

 

PRESENTATION: Novi 20/20 - Craig DeRoche

 

Mr. DeRoche, is the Chair of the 20/20 Visioning Committee for Novi. Mr. DeRoche would like to take this opportunity to explain to Council where they are at in the process and answer any questions. Mr. DeRoche said the Thursday, January 30 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, February 1 at 9:00 a.m. meetings are to take the first step into the visioning process and craft a vision statement. Their goal is to have a minimum of sixty residents and possibly as many as 100 residents volunteering their time. Upon completion, Mr. DeRoche said the volunteers can either elect or decline the opportunity to continue working as a group. Mr. DeRoche said the groups will go into sessions to lay out the goals for the actual vision that they are putting forth and to put closure on the process, they will move into a stage where they will make recommendations for implementation. Mr. DeRoche reminded Council that the visioning process is a long range process and it will be more than twenty-five years for the City of Novi. Mr. DeRoche does not believe Council will not hopefully receive any recommendations for implementation right away, but he believes it will go a long way to providing a development blueprint the citizens can feel good about.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked if volunteers have to attend both sessions? Mr. DeRoche replied they would like the volunteers to attend both, but it is not a necessity.

 

Craig Klaver advised they will provide child care for both sessions.

 

Councilman Schmid said Mr. DeRoche suggested that the total scope of the study will be the Master Plan. It is Councilman Schmidís impression that a 20/20 Vision Committee looks at many areas and issues that a city would like to see in its community.

 

Mr. DeRoche did not mean to imply that and understands that they will be looking more at the quality of life issues.

 

Mr. DeRoche reported they secured Senator Dick Posthumus, Senate Majority Leader for Michigan, as a guest speaker for Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Senator Posthumus is expected to speak to the process of visioning and city development.

 

11. Budget Amendment #97-11

 

Mr. Klaver reported this item was first addressed in a presentation made by Greg Capote last fall in regard to professional development training for Economic Development and just recently became available in terms of publishing the schedule. Mr. Klaver thought because economic development is new to the City, he wanted to be certain that they informed Council about this expenditure. Mr. Klaver reported Council approval of this request would add $1,000 from contingencies and provide funds for a week long training session on economic development basics. Mr. Klaver added that Council could get more information later and at their leisure, decide where other training might appropriate.

 

 

CM-97-01-021: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Budget Amendment #97-11 for $1,000

 

 

Vote on CM-97-01-021: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch,

Schmid

Nay: None

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None

 

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

Mayor McLallen reported there is a vacancy on the Ordinance Review Committee. The Mayor advised Councilman Schmid was acting as the alternate and the other member was Councilwoman Cassis. Councilman Schmid said he will serve.

 

Mayor McLallen asked if someone would like to be the alternate. Mrs. Bartholomew reported the committee meets at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. Councilman Crawford volunteered to serve as the alternate.

 

 

MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES

 

Mayor McLallen stated she spoke with Mr. Arroyo in regard to the letter received from Ms. Mehall in regard to White Pines Drive and he stated there was a staff meeting with representatives from Royal Crown. Mayor McLallen stated Mr. Arroyo was able to address everything except the safety issue in terms of speeding, speed limit and securing places for the students to travel to Thornton Creek. Mayor McLallen asked if Council is in agreement to send a letter to the Police Department to review these issues.

 

 

Councilman Clark stated as a resident, he agrees there is a safety issue. Since he has moved into the neighborhood, there has been a great increase in children less than five years. Councilman Clark described White Pines as a boulevard type street and can see potential problems if they cut it all the way through. He also pointed out that Moorgate now has access to Nine Mile Road.

 

Councilwoman Mutch reminded Council that they have addressed issues like this before. Councilwoman Mutch supports the suggestion to have the Police Department review the situation concerning safety because they have raised the question of safety overall and not because she believes the road should not continue. She added that it is not the only road in the City designed this way. Councilwoman Mutch thinks they will ultimately find that when there are enforcement issues within subdivisions, more often than not, it is the people who live there and not outsiders.

 

Councilman Clark would at least like to have the police look at this situation.

 

Mayor McLallen stated the Clerk will send that letter and a response to the Mehall family.

 

Mayor McLallen directed Councilís attention to the letter received from Brinker International. The Mayor said Brinker brought forward another set of designs for the Border Mexican Cafe facade. She reminded Council they postponed the liquor license because they were not in favor of the original design that they presented. Mayor McLallen stated she would like Councilís comments and advised they will be back on January 27. Mayor McLallen asked Council members to contact the Planning Department with their comments.

 

 

MANAGERíS REPORTS

 

Mayor McLallen reported that Mr. Kriewall is presently in California and anticipates returning next Thursday.

 

Mr. Klaver reminded Council that they will hold the first meeting of the Consultant Review Committee Tuesday, January 14 and asked Council members to contact Councilmen Crawford, Clark or Schmid if they have any issues.

 

 

ATTORNEYíS REPORTS - None

 

Councilwoman Mutch thanked DPS, the Building Department and the City attorney for their hard work on preparing the pay phone stations material; she found it to be very informative.

 

 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

1. Letter from Robert Hinbern, Pere Marquette Employeesí Credit Union, to City Council, Re: Thank you for Proclamation of Support

2. Letter from Fried, Watson & Bugbee to City Council, Re: Appointment of Edward Kramer

3. Letter from Douglas Cobb, Brinker International, to Mayor McLallen, Re: On the Border Mexican Cafe

4. Letter from Albert Chicorel to Planning Department, Re: Rezoning 18.598

5. Letter from Dick Stopinski to Novi Cable Commission, Re: Opposition to the Time Warner Franchise

6. Letter from State Rep. Nancy Cassis to City Manager Kriewall, Re: Special Census Revenue Sharing Payments

7. Letter from Mark & Joanna Mehall to City Council, Re: White Pines Drive

8. Letter from Chris Andrews to Planning Commission, Zoning Board and City Council, Re: Ten Mile and Beck Road Development

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 10:50 P.M.

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor City Clerk

 

 

Transcribed by Barbara Holmes

 

Date Approved: January 27, 1997