REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL FOR THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, MAY 12, 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 Pro Tem Crawford, Council Members Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
ALSO PRESENT: City Manager Ed Kriewall, City Attorney David Fried, Assistant City Attorney, Dennis Watson, City Clerk Tonni Bartholomew
Police Chief Shaeffer presented the Bike Patrol program that funded by the federal government under a block grant from the Department of Justice. He advised the funding purchased four bicycles, uniforms and other specific equipment. Further, the grant will pay for additional training for four more officers. They plan to use the bicycle patrol in a variety of settings and at special events throughout the community. Chief Shaeffer believes they are scheduled for a public hearing on Thursday’s May 15, 1997 agenda.
Mayor McLallen read the sentiment on the proclamation in honor of National History Preservation Week. She then proclaimed May 11-17 as National History Preservation Week and presented the proclamation to Councilwoman Mutch who represents Preservation Novi and the Novi Historical Commission.
Mayor McLallen noted the State Historic Preservation Department will hear Novi’s application for the historic status of the Fuerst site on June 6, 1997 in Lansing.
Lynn Kocan - 23088 Ennishore Drive, stated Council decided to move the RUD discussion to the Wednesday, May 7, 1997 meeting. She believes it was unfortunate that all the Council members could not be there and that Councilman Mitzel had to miss the first half of the meeting. She stated she missed the first and last portion of the meeting, and was unable to videotape the meeting because they did not hold it in the Council Chamber. Ms. Kocan stated the discussion centered on philosophies and a number of other things that they should have televised. Ms. Kocan requested that the city provide a verbatim transcript of the meeting so that everyone concerned can read it. Further, she is unclear about what direction Thursday’s meeting will take. Ms. Kocan stated Council talked about having the philosophy discussion at Wednesday’s meeting and the first reading on Thursday. Ms. Kocan thought they were supposed to pick up where they left off with the other ordinances at Thursday’s meeting and she expects that is where that will continue. Further, she believes Council should never hold a first reading in a back room and would hope they will hold that in Council Chambers. She also hopes they will discuss the philosophies they discussed Wednesday for participation from the residents. She asked what can they expect to hear Thursday and asked if it is a continuation of the RUD discussion.
Mayor McLallen stated it will be a continuation of the last session because it was incomplete.
Chuck Young - 50910 West Nine Mile Road, stated Council advised in March that discussion would be more open about the RUD issue. He believes when Council discusses any master plan changes or zoning ordinance changes should be made public. He said there has to be public discussion about anything that is a public matter. Mr. Young cares about Novi residents and he wants to see their integrity maintained.
Jerold Lax - 110 Miller - Suite 300, Ann Arbor, stated he is an attorney for William Lokey who owns a parcel of property on Beck Road directly north of a parcel of property that Mr. Nanda proposes to develop as Cheltenham Estates. Mr. Lax reported this matter is before Council tonight for purposes of considering approval of a revised tentative preliminary plat. Mr. Lax has distributed a letter to Council members, and further advised Mr. Lokey and John Aydoulos are present. He noted Mr. Aydoulos is an architect who is working with Mr. Lokey on his proposed development. As Mr. Lax indicated in his letter, this was a matter considered by the Planning Commission at its most recent meeting. He stated the Planning Commission gave a negative recommendation for the proposed preliminary plat. Further, Mr. Lax stated the two property owners have been discussing methods of cooperating so that they can each develop the two developments as a viable development so that the exit onto Beck Road will be as safe and convenient as possible. Mr. Lax advised in Mr. Lokey’s judgement, Mr. Nanda’s plan does not provide for the viability of each development. He further noted they have considered other plans that would make it possible for each of them to develop their property in a viable way and preserve the appropriate number of lots for each of their parcels. Mr. Lax stated he attached a letter from Mr. Lokey’s architect that lists the various aspects of the developments and of the kind of agreement that Mr. Lokey is willing to enter regarding cost sharing for the access road to each development. Further, there is a letter from Mr. Nanda’s attorney that commented on the Lokey proposal, as well as a further response from Mr. Lokey’s architect. Mr. Lax advised from the standpoint of appropriate Council action, he urged them also to give a negative recommendation for the Cheltenham Estates tentative preliminary plat so that efforts can continue to produce a coordinated development that would benefit both parties and the city.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Councilman Kramer believes they need to include an amendment to the wording for the proposed RUD Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment - I Reading under Item 5, Matters for Council Action - Part II, May 15, 1997. He stated because Council did not complete their study session last Wednesday, he understood it was their intent to make this a study session. He stated whether they include a possible first reading could be a matter for consideration. He proposes to amend it to a study session and therefore, they need to extend the postponed motion from their previous meeting to June 2, 1997.
Councilman Mitzel stated the agenda item was basically setting the agenda for Thursday night’s special meeting. Councilman Kramer agreed and reiterated the agenda item says first reading. He would like to amend that to be a study session.
Councilman Mitzel said Councilman Kramer is talking about the actual agenda, he is talking about the agenda item on tonight’s agenda. Councilman Mitzel suggested the amendment state, set agenda for Thursday night’s meeting.
CM-97-05-155: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Clark: MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve agenda amending Matters for Council Action Item 5 to state A Reworking of May 15, 1997 Agenda to include the RUD review and the Public Hearing for the Police Department Bike Patrol Federal Grant
Vote on CM-97-05-155: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
Councilman Mitzel removed Item 2.
CM-97-05-156: Moved by Clark, Seconded by Schmid, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Consent Agenda except Item 2, Approval of Ordinance 97-92.07 - Commercial Vehicles - II Reading
1. Approval of Minutes of Regular City Council Meeting of May 5, 1997
3. Approval of Ordinance 97-37.18 - Delinquent Charges and Discontinuance of Water and Sewer Service - II Reading
4. Approval of Ordinance 97-123.07 - Multiple Family Buildings - II Reading
5. Approval of Consent Judgement - Leonabella Hogue
6. Approval to Solicit Construction Bids for the 1996-97 Bituminous Paving Improvements Program and East Lake/south Lake Drives Pathway Project
7. Approval of Renewal Option for Street Sweeping Contract with Metro Sewer Cleaners, Inc. Based on 1996 Pricing
8. Award Bid for Clearing of Property to North American Dismantling in the Amount of $1.00
9. Approval to Purchase an Aerator from Spartan Distributors in the Amount of $6,374.50
10. Award Bid for T-shirt Contract to Quality Graphics Based on Unit Pricing
11. Approval of Claims and Accounts - Warrant No. 489
Vote on CM-97-05-156: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - PART I
1. Approval of Revised Final Plat - Greenwood Oaks No. 3, SP 91-28O - Located north of Ten Mile Road, west of Beck Road
Mayor McLallen noted the process for this project was slowed because of the change in sanitary districts and the last time it came before Council there was still some outstanding issues with Detroit Edison easements.
Paul Hotvedt, stated he is a representative from The Selective Group for Greenwood Oaks.
Councilwoman Mutch stated according to their packet information, it appears everything is in order, and staff and consultants are recommending approval subject to the conditions stated in their letters.
CM-97-05-157: Moved by Mutch, Seconded by Kramer, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant Revised Final Plat approval for Greenwood Oaks Subdivision No. 3, SP 91-28O subject to staff and consultants’ recommendations
Councilman Clark asked for further explanation about the reference to a stipulation with the Select Group regarding a Street, Tree and Landscape Plan. Mr. Pargoff replied there is no landscape plan for the islands. However, they did receive bonding on that and as part of their condition, the landscaper has to meet with him before he can begin work on the island to be certain they meet the city ordinance requirements.
Councilman Schmid asked if this is the last phase of the project. Mr. Hotvedt replied they are currently in the third phase of four. He added the last phase is north of phase three.
Councilman Schmid asked if they own the corner of Ten Mile and Beck Roads. Mr. Hotvedt replied they do not.
Vote on CM-97-05-157: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
2. Approval of Revised Tentative Preliminary Plat - Cheltenham Estates, SP 96-40B - Located west of Beck Road between Nine Mile and Ten Mile Roads
Mayor McLallen noted the planning consultant, traffic consultant and fire marshall do not support this project because the length of the cul-de-sac exceeds the city standard of 800 feet. She added that the engineering consultant recommends approval because they found that the plan demonstrates engineering feasibility. Further, the Planning Commission sent forward a negative recommendation from their April 16, 1997 meeting with a six to three vote. The Mayor added the Planning Commission postponed action on the woodland’s permit. The project does not require a wetland’s permit because they can approve it administratively due to the minor amount of wetlands on the property. Mayor McLallen stated the recommended Council action for tonight is to postpone the matter to a date uncertain to allow the petitioner time to submit proposed amendments for proper review prior to a City Council action. Mayor McLallen added that the applicant has requested to be on this agenda to present his case.
Leroy Asher stated he is representing Ken and Jenny Nanda. Mr. Asher advised there were two outstanding issues that did not meet with the ordinance at the Planning Commission level when this proposal was first submitted in January. The first was the length of the cul-de-sac; at that time there was more than 2,200 feet with only one access from Beck Road. The second issue was the lack of a secondary access; the Beckenham development did not provide any access north into their property. Mr. Asher reported Mr. Lokey’s property north of them is not developed and therefore, it does not provide an access. However, Mr. Asher indicated there is an access further north at Inverness Court and added Mr. Nanda has taken an option to purchase a lot on Beck Road and as a temporary measure, it will go through what is Lot 3 on their plan until they develop the property to the north. Consequently, he believes they have met the ordinance requirement for two access points.
Mr. Asher noted the acquisition of this lot also provided two access points and therefore, reduced the cul-de-sac length. He noted the new dimension of 1,370 feet still exceeds the ordinance by 570 feet and therefore, they are requesting a waiver of that requirement.
Mr. Asher reported this matter has been before the Planning Commission on three occasions and advised there are still two issues to address. One is the cul-de-sac and the second is whether there is an ability to reach some cooperation with Mr. Lokey who owns the property to the north. Mr. Asher pointed out that while it comes before Council with a negative recommendation, he believes their letters indicate that their only issue is the length of the cul-de-sac. He recalled Mr. Arroyo’s letter recommended approval if they waived the length requirement and Mr. Rogers has a similar recommendation.
Mr. Asher reported they have attempted to work with Mr. Lokey on a number of different designs. He added Mr. Lokey has countered with a proposal that was not acceptable to Mr. Nanda. He explained Mr. Lokey’s proposal required the gifting of certain land. He added Mr. Nanda has this property on a mortgage and having the bank release a parcel when there is nothing for sale is difficult. Further, there were a number of other conditions attached to Mr. Lokey’s proposal. Mr. Asher explained Mr. Lokey wanted joint approval of the landscaping, the lighting, the irrigation, the entrance walls, the signage and the naming of the roads. Mr. Asher stated these are not joint proposals, but are these are all within Mr. Nanda’s proposal for his property. Further, Mr. Lokey asked for aesthetic and architectural control for the houses located south of the boulevard along Mr. Nanda’s property. Mr. Asher believes there is a point where cooperation broke down and they found Mr. Lokey’s request unacceptable. Mr. Asher noted this is the only proposal that has come forth from Mr. Lokey to date.
Mr. Asher reported at the end of the Planning Commission’s meeting, he believed there was still hope that the parties could resolve this matter. Since then, Mr. Asher stated they have prepared three possibilities. They first suggested if Mr. Lokey did not like the design where they showed it, they proposed to remove the boulevard to the north along the common property line; they rejected that proposal. A second proposal was to locate the boulevard entirely on Mr. Lokey’s property since he was concerned about the design, the aesthetics, and the architectural control. He noted they requested that Mr. Lokey provide Mr. Nanda with a stub; they rejected that proposal. Their third proposal involved Mr. Nanda locating the boulevard further north and near his northern property line. This would provide Mr. Nanda with the access to do the design and pay for all the costs; Mr. Lokey has also rejected this proposal.
Mr. Asher stated because they do not control the ability to agree with Mr. Lokey fifty-fifty or put the boulevard on his land, the only other alternative would be to locate the boulevard to the north and provide Mr. Lokey with the ability to develop some of his lots on the north side.
Mr. Asher noted they have prepared at least eight sets of fully engineered plans and they have placed this driveway in at least five locations. He said their preference to move this forward would be to request Council’s approval of the last plan. He would further request a waiver of the cul-de-sac requirement and tentative preliminary plat approval. Mr. Asher noted they are mindful of the fact that city staff has recommended that this be postponed to consider an item that would allow the driveway to move to the north to assure that only one driveway would be located along Beck Road. Mr. Asher reported for that reason they have prepared Tab C. Mr. Asher explained if this matter were to be postponed, they would ask for Council’s direction to address these items so they can bring it back before them.
Mr. Asher stated the plan shows a cattle pond, which in technical terms is a wetland although it is truly a cattle pond. Mr. Asher reported because of the curvature of the road and because of the necessity of having lots on that end, he asked if it would be acceptable to Council to place the road through the cattle pond as depicted in the Tab C plan. The other issue is about the 90° orientation requirement for roads that "t" into each other. Mr. Asher believes that bringing it in at 90° is possible, but it would mean that the other road may not comply with the ordinance. It also does not impact Mr. Lokey’s ability to develop in the nearby location. Mr. Asher again asked for Council’s direction. He stated if they ask them to bring this back, he wants them to be aware of the design problems with presenting a road that is going to meet the 90° requirement. He said another possibility would be to come straight in, but there would be some loss of lots to Mr. Lokey. Mr. Asher repeated they are asking for Council’s direction about what proposal they should bring back.
Councilman Schmid asked if there were any other plans submitted. Mr. Asher replied the
plans they presented tonight were the most recent, but he noted there were other variations.
Councilman Schmid recalled that Mr. Asher inferred they were close to an agreement. Mr. Asher apologized for his misstatement and reiterated Mr. Lokey rejected all three. He added they are currently at a standstill.
Councilman Schmid asked if they will come back with the top plan. Mr. Asher replied if Council directs them to move the driveway to the north, they could do it. The issue would be whether Council would be willing to permit the road construction through the cattle pond and understanding that the orientation may not be 90°. He wanted Council to be aware of the design problem with the Tab C plan.
Councilman Schmid agrees the pond is a cattle pond and he does not see any wetland problems. However, he would have to talk with the engineer about the 90° angle. Councilman Schmid is ready to adopt the bottom plan because other than the cul-de-sac, he believes it meets all of the ordinances. He would prefer to see this plan come in as a combined plan with one entrance, but after reading the back up material, it appears that is not going to happen. In regard to the cul-de-sac, Councilman Schmid suggested that they limit it to the first 800 feet so that the developer can begin building homes. Councilman Schmid asked if there is any possibility to come to an agreement with a much more acceptable plan for the two parcels. If not, he is ready to recommend action that they proceed.
Mr. Asher believes there is no possibility for an agreement between these property owners.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if they considered accessing the northern properties through their entrance where they would continue into the potential development in the bottom plan. Mr. Asher noted their plan only shows their property. Mr. Asher presented another board with a plan for their property drawn by their engineer showing the connection and the development of Mr. Lokey’s property. Mayor ProTem Crawford said in that way there would only be one entrance on Beck Road. Mr. Asher noted they submitted this to the Planning Commission. He explained it shows the connection to the subdivision to the north and provides a connection that takes the cul-de-sac far less than 800 feet. He noted that Councilman Schmid is correct that they are only seeking a temporary waiver, but they do not know how long Mr. Lokey will wait to develop. At the Planning Commission level, Mr. Lokey said that before he will see this happen, he will build another road and build them side by side.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if they build a road in the northern parcel, is there any developable property on that until they get to the west. Mr. Asher replied there is not and noted they do not have access. He added the 135 feet is shown as Lot 32 and the western dimension is only 90 feet. He said if they put a road through there, there is nothing to develop until they get to the west.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if they considered some type of phasing that would alleviate the cul-de-sac problem. He suggested that they do not develop the western portion of the property until something happens to the north through the stub street. Mr. Asher replied anything is possible. However, their preference would be to develop this. Mr. Asher presented Beckenham’s plat and he reminded Council that they received a similar waiver with the idea that when the property connects, it will get connection through. He reiterated if they had their preference, it would be the same waiver Council granted Beckenham. However, if it is Council’s direction that it is only 800 feet, they would be forced to live with that. He noted it is not a big enough development to want to come back and build the second phase if they had to do all the engineering over because it significantly increases the cost. Mr. Asher stated if were Council’s direction to construct the entire roadway and all the utilities, they would prefer to sell them all immediately. He added they could live with a time limitation if they had to. However, Mr. Asher noted they would have a problem if Mr. Lokey sits on his land for ten years.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether anybody would gain or lose any significant lots with the top plan. Mr. Asher replied the proposal has 32 lots on Mr. Lokey’s land and 30 on theirs. Under Mr. Lokey’s design, Mr. Asher advised Mr. Nanda would pay for all the costs for the boulevard that his architect estimated to be $100,000. Further, Mr. Asher stated under Mr. Lokey’s proposal there are 33 lots, but the issue is the sharing of the $100,000 costs . However, if the lot is worth $100,000, it would be a wash.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if they approved the bottom design hoping that they would connect the stub someday and alleviate the cul-de-sac problem, do they have any assurances that would happen or can they make that a part of a future approval of the northern property. Mr. Watson replied they cannot do that now, but there is a provision in the subdivision ordinance that calls upon the utilization of stubs. In other words, if they are there and using them from the property to the north is feasible, the consultants can request them to do that.
Mayor ProTem Crawford stated the fact that there could be a stub in the southern development at the time the northern property develops would be logical if they could require that they connect with them. Mr. Watson agreed and added they would impose that at the time the plan came in.
Mr. Asher said they indicated a willingness to relocate the lot configurations depending upon what best matches up. He then gave an example from one of his designs.
Councilwoman Mutch asked who came up with Mr. Nanda’s designs in terms of lot configurations. Mr. Asher replied they were created by their own engineer without Mr. Lokey’s input. He added during a thirty-day tabling period at the Planning Commission level in March, Mr. Nanda’s engineers prepared a plan for Mr. Lokey’s property while Mr. Lokey’s engineers did another plan for both properties. He explained when they compared the two plans, they were met with some problems in the cul-de-sac area.
Councilwoman Mutch asked apart of the road, if Mr. Nanda’s plan that only consists of Mr. Lokey’s property is similar to what they planned. Mr. Asher replied they are very close.
It appears to Councilwoman Mutch that not only have the Nanda’s attempted to find alternatives, but they have proposed an alternative that shows something that is viable and similar to what the northern neighboring property owner has come up with on their own. Councilwoman Mutch said she was concerned about the location of the northwest stub so it would appear it is within a lot or so of what the northern property owner would propose anyway. Consequently, she does not have a problem with the location of it because it seems to offer a viable stub when it is not going to cause some serious problems in terms of their overall design when the property develops.
Councilman Schmid asked what is the problem if the bottom plan when compared with the top plan is very similar. Mr. Asher replied the difference between the two is the location of the road. On Mr. Nanda’s plan, it is showing near the south edge of Mr. Nanda’s property with lots north of the boulevard. Mr. Asher stated Mr. Lokey’s plan moves the roadway somewhat to the north with the lots to the south. He explained the problem for Mr. Nanda is how the design affected the cul-de-sac.
Councilman Schmid asked if Mr. Lokey’s plan was unacceptable because of the land they were giving Mr. Lokey. Mr. Asher said that was correct.
Councilman Schmid asked if Mr. Lokey was willing to pay for the land. Mr. Asher replied he was not.
Councilman Schmid asked if that would have allowed Mr. Lokey to build lots north of the street. Mr. Asher said it would.
Councilman Schmid believes that would be the best plan. Mr. Asher noted the problem is that releasing the land would be difficult if Mr. Lokey did not purchase it.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if the road is entirely on Mr. Nanda’s property, is it possible for Mr. Lokey to stub in as the property develops. Mr. Asher replied that is possible under Plans A or C.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if Plan A is approved as is, is the road on Mr. Nanda’s property. Mr. Asher agreed and added it would be the same for Plan C.
Councilwoman Mutch stated if Mr. Lokey develops his property and wants access, it seems likely that the city would direct that property owner to connect to that road by a stub opportunity and not allow a second road. She thinks the possibility of having two adjacent roadways is a shortsighted assumption by someone who would assume they could have a second roadway.
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Arroyo to address the entrance issue.
Mr. Arroyo replied the plan before Council does provide for the access points. He stated there are two stub streets, as well as one coming from the north. Mr. Arroyo added the layout is generally acceptable except for the cul-de-sac issue. However, the impact that it has upon Mr. Lokey’s property has always been the number of lots and trying to get the two owners to work together. Mr. Arroyo believes if Council approve the bottom plan as proposed and then Mr. Lokey’s project came forward with an access point to Beck Road, it is difficult to say whether they would approve that or not. He said they have not delineated the wetland area to the north, they do not know how far it dips down, and they do not know how much room there is to move a roadway to the north as far away as possible from the drive that Mr. Nanda has proposed. Mr. Arroyo said that having another access point to Beck Road would not be desirable and he believes that is what everyone is trying to avoid. However, without the details, Mr. Arroyo repeated that saying they would not recommend that access point is difficult. However, he will say it is not desirable.
Mr. Arroyo said the alternate top plan was a way of trying to address that while trying to provide access in a manner that he has heard Mr. Lokey’s representative say they would prefer. He also heard from Mr. Nanda’s representatives that they had gotten positive reaction from Mr. Lokey’s architect, but now he understands they have not accepted the plan. Mr. Arroyo has heard different stories throughout the process.
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Watson if Council has to consider what they actually submit. Mr. Watson replied one of the alternatives they can consider is to postpone it for a period of time to explore that particular plan.
Councilman Kramer asked if they configure the plan as Tab C, would that preclude the acceptable design of a second entrance for the other subdivision. Mr. Arroyo said it would because in his opinion, they would not approve another access point if the entrance to Cheltenham was in the location of the Tab C plan.
Councilman Kramer asked if another entrance would not be within acceptable design criteria if they favored Tab C. Mr. Arroyo said that does not appear to be the case based upon the information that was presented today.
Councilman Clark asked if they approved the bottom plan, what would Mr. Arroyo’s comments be about the possibility of a second road to the north. Mr. Arroyo replied he would consider that to be undesirable. He explained they cannot tell whether they could shift the road far enough to the north to provide for some reasonable separation until they know exactly where the wetlands are. He believes that is something they are trying to avoid at all costs.
Councilman Clark asked if Mr. Arroyo knows the length of Beckenham’s variance. Mr. Arroyo does not recall exactly, but he believes it was similar circumstances to what is currently before Council.
Councilman Clark asked if Turnberry Estates is a similar situation in terms of cul-de-sac length. Mr. Arroyo agreed, except there was no stub street involved.
Councilman Clark noted there is also only one entrance into that development. Mr. Arroyo agreed.
Councilman Clark believes they should approve the plan and grant the variance based upon Council action for Beckenham and Turnberry.
Councilwoman Mutch noted it was by Council action that they granted a wavier for Beckenham so that what is now a cul-de-sac was not a stub and it would have connected with Mr. Nanda’s property. By Council action they created a cul-de-sac that needed a waiver, but now they have a situation where this petitioner does not have that opportunity to connect. She added that she thinks it is wonderful when a property owner goes to the expense that must be involved in developing as many alternatives as the Nanda’s to accommodate the potential future development. Further, it seems that the plan offers the kinds of connections they would be looking for if that property were to develop later and it would not impose further hardship. She thinks it is interesting that someone would suggest that Mr. Nanda ought to build a road on someone else’s property to gain access to his own development. She believes a shared road would be ideal, except all the parties involved are not interested in doing that. Nevertheless, Mr. Nanda has a plan that appears approvable.
Councilman Mitzel asked if there is a way for the road to meet the 90° alignment by moving it east or west on the Tab C plan. Mr. Arroyo believes it is possible. He explained it would probably have to be shifted to the southwest to shift over the 230 foot radius. However, the question that poses is what impact would that have on Lot 30 and noted Lot 30 is currently oversized. Mr. Arroyo reported he asked Mr. Nanda’s engineer to take it down to the bare minimum to see what would happen as they get as close as possible to 90°.
Councilman Mitzel asked if Mr. Arroyo has seen the results of that request. Mr. Arroyo is not certain whether that work has been completed.
Councilman Mitzel asked if the parcels to the southwest end of the site and west of Beckenham were ever developed, would they be in a similar situation. He explained where Beckenham would have a cul-de-sac to the east, this subdivision would be landlocking them to the north and Vasilo’s Court would be landlocking them to the west. He asked if there would be any merit in considering that the end of this project be a stub as opposed to a cul-de-sac. He noted he understands there are woodland and wetland issues in that area to be considered.
Mr. Arroyo understands the woodland and wetland issues are significant at the western end of the parcel. The parcels to the west of Beckenham are mostly flag lots and he could see the potential if they were to be developed that there could be a coordinated effort to bring a public road through that area and have cul-de-sacs coming off that. He added they could potentially need a waiver for that.
Councilman Mitzel asked if the tie-in at Halifax Lane and possible tie-ins along Nine Mile Road, either before or after the bend could be accessed through there and developed in a coordinated effort.
Mr. Arroyo replied based on what he has seen, there is a possibility for that. He also believes if there was a serious commitment on behalf of the property owners to develop those areas, it would happen. It is his understanding that a substantial amount of those properties is in a flood plain and wetland area.
Councilman Mitzel does not want to create another situation like Beckenham by not providing possible future connections. Councilman Mitzel believes the top plan makes the most sense for a coordinated development in the sense of one entrance off Beck Road.
Based upon Council’s discussion and the information provided, Mayor ProTem Crawford believes there is a consensus that the bottom development is approvable with a waiver of the cul-de-sac.
CM-97-05-158: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED: To approve revised Tentative Preliminary Plat for Cheltenham Estates Subdivision, SP 96-40B and grant the waiver for the cul-de-sac length variance subject to woodland’s permit approval
Councilwoman Mutch asked for a clarification about which plan they are accepting.
Mayor McLallen replied it is Plan A and is the one that the consultants have reviewed.
Councilman Kramer is prepared to support the Tab A plan, but he believes the Tab C plan is a better mutual design. He thought he heard there may be hope for agreement between the two developers. He noted the packet indicates that they should take action by June 2 to comply with action within 90 days of submittal. Councilman Kramer said he will vote against the motion with the hope they can postpone this item until June 2 when he would be prepared to support Tab A if there is not an agreement on the process version of Plan C or something close to C.
Councilman Clark noted that the petitioner has gone more than the extra mile and he is the one who is before them with a completed plan. Consequently, Councilman Clark cannot think of any reason to subject the petitioner to any more delays.
Mayor ProTem Crawford concurred with Councilman Clark and believes Plan A is the better plan in terms of potential mutual development.
Councilwoman Mutch stated if they were at the beginning of this process and the Nanda’s had not made the effort they clearly have made she might agree with Councilman Kramer. However, she agrees with Councilman Clark’s comments and asked Councilman Kramer to reconsider his position.
Councilman Schmid reminded Council they have recently had an irate group of citizens before them about a similar proposal. He believes when the next plan comes in, although they will be faced with a different set of circumstances, Council will have to address the same kind of concerns from the residents in terms of identity.
Mr. Arroyo said there may be two potentials and noted where each development could position the signs. However, he agreed they are presenting a situation where motorists would have to travel through one subdivision to get to another.
Councilman Schmid asked if the bottom plan would be similar. Mr. Arroyo said the difference was that they would be passing one lot in Cheltenham.
Councilman Schmid asked if the bottom plan is acceptable to Mr. Nanda or is it as equally acceptable as the top plan if the other party would be willing to work with him. Mr. Nanda stated he would work with the other landowner.
Councilman Schmid believes in fairness to the city and Mr. Nanda, he would ask Mr. Lokey to come forward to see if the plan is acceptable to solve future difficulties.
Mayor McLallen believes there are other comments that need to be brought forward and then they will summarize.
Councilwoman Mutch noted they do not seem to have an access problem with Andover, Edinborough, or Echo Valley and added that they developed under the same circumstances. Therefore, she asked why should they anticipate problems with this subdivision. She believes this is somewhat unfair when time is money in situations like this. She reminded Council that expecting Mr. Nanda to keep spending money on drawing up new plans is also unfair.
Councilman Mitzel looks at the bottom plan as a mechanism that would provide a better access to both sites, but according to some of the conversation, it sounds as though the opinion may be split that the top one equally provides sufficient access. From a traffic standpoint, he asked which plan would generally provide a better vehicle flow in serving both sites.
Mr. Arroyo replied when they look at the road layout, it appears that these two subdivisions would have approximately the same number of lots. The access for one plan will be a straight shot into Mr. Lokey’s property and motorists would have to turn to enter Mr. Nanda’s property. The other plan is more of a straight shot into Mr. Nanda’s property and the motorist would have to make a turn to enter Mr. Lokey’s subdivision. Mr. Arroyo stated since they are of similar size, there is something of a balance there.
Councilman Mitzel believes that would mean there would be equal volumes either going straight and turning south or in the other case, it would be more of a "y" intersection. Given that, which would be a better design from an overall traffic flow standpoint.
Mr. Arroyo replied in terms of internal flow, one advantage to the bottom plan is its curved linear movements in terms of the 230 foot center line radius. That would mean motorists can flow through that subdivision without having to stop, turn and accelerate. When they have the other type of configuration, the people that live in the area may find it is somewhat of a nuisance to have all the cars come to a stop, make a turn and then accelerate. In terms of complaints, they usually hear aboutI the sound of acceleration. Another point is that the traffic traveling through impacts the residents in that portion of the subdivision. He added it there would be a particular concern if Mr. Lokey’s property develops several years from now after Mr. Nanda’s. He believes the number of complaints that will come forward will be greater than they would be if they went into as one development.
Councilman Mitzel asked if Council chose the lower plan, what review steps would be taken before they could actually approve it. Mr. Arroyo replied it would require a revised tentative preliminary plat that the consultants would review internally.
Mr. Watson advised they could direct the petitioner to bring back a revised version of the current plan.
Councilman Mitzel thinks that going with the bottom plan would be more prudent if they give clear direction that is what Council wishes to have done. He noted they could address the specific concerns and get the same amount of lots. He also believes it would prevent motorists from driving straight onto Chelton Drive to the west and then having to do all the turning motions.
Councilman Clark agrees they are all concerned about what may occur if someone develops the property to the north. However, he noted it is this property that they plan to develop, period. In addition, there would be nothing to stop Mr. Lokey from buying some additional property and frontage adjoining his if he wanted to. Consequently, this would give him enough distance between the entrance that they propose on the plan to put his own entrance into his development anyway.
Mayor McLallen restated the motion is to grant the revised tentative preliminary plat for SP 96-40B and to grant a cul-de-sac variance for the top plan.
Councilman Schmid reiterated he believes they are facing a potential problem in the future. He reminded Council about the trauma of the residents that recently appeared before them. His point is it would be wiser to get a better project at this point in time. Councilman Schmid asked if there is any interest for the Lokey people to come forward in support of the bottom plan where they could put this aside for a definite period.
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Nanda if he is willing to explore the possibility one final time to a date certain. Mr. Nanda understands he only has 90 days and if they accepted this plan, he would have another four to six weeks for this to be platted. Consequently, it would still be in a preliminary plan stage and he would miss a season. If Council directed him to do this, he would. However, he is asking that Council not extend it to June 9 and noted the Lokey’s have seen this plan many times. Mr. Nanda would like an approval so he can plat it and bring it back.
It is Mayor McLallen’s understanding that Council is asking if there is any opportunity for agreement between the two landowners. She said their next meeting is June 2 and the attorney’s have indicated that the reviews can take place by then. Her question is, would Mr. Nanda be willing to wait until June 2 at which point it would be one plan or the other. She added there would be no more alternates and June 2 would be the final date.
Mr. Nanda agreed, but he suggested that they ask the Lokey’s to decide within the week so he can instruct his engineers to do the platting, get the letters and come back before Council by June 2.
Mayor McLallen asked the attorney’s to provide a statement based upon tonight’s discussion.
Mayor ProTem Crawford stated one of the main intents of his motion was to move the project forward in fairness to the petitioner. He thought everyone preferred the top plan, but he is more than willing to go with the bottom plan if it will facilitate moving this forward. Therefore, he would ask the applicant which plan he would prefer. If the applicant prefers the other plan, he would ask that Council not accept his motion. He asked if they can accept the bottom plan as a tentative preliminary plat.
Mr. Arroyo reiterated they have not reviewed the bottom plan.
Mayor ProTem Crawford believes it would only require minor changes. Mr. Arroyo agreed.
Mr. Lax advised Mr. Lokey is prepared to accept the bottom plan.
Mayor McLallen said the question before Mr. Lax was, would Mr. Lokey during the two week term, work with due diligence to come to an agreeable tentative plan based on the lower design.
Mr. Lax reiterated, yes. Further, they understand the substance of the debate and from what they have heard, if they are unable to arrive at an agreement using that as the basic
concept, it is not a mystery to them what Council is likely to do on June 2.
Councilman Clark stated it is his understanding that Mr. Nanda had previously proposed this plan. Therefore, why can’t Mr. Lokey indicate whether they accept it tonight so Council can grant an approval. Mr. Lax replied the problem is there are some details of the plan that are incomplete. Therefore, the only thing they can agree on is that they will in due diligence consider that approach. He added Mr. Lokey did not reject this after it had been on the table for months; the bottom plan was only presented last week.
Councilman Schmid is satisfied and believes the adjacent landowner is sincere.
Mr. Asher would prefer an answer in less than two weeks so they do not have to go through the engineering costs.
Councilman Schmid understands they accept Plan C, but they need to work out some finite details.
Mr. Asher believes Mr. Lax stated they would consider that approach.
Mr. Lax noted C is the concept they will diligently direct their attention to as promptly as possible. If it turns out to be unacceptable, they will know before June 2.
Mayor McLallen noted if there is no progress, Plan A as submitted is approved.
CM-97-05-159: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Kramer, MOTION FAILED: To postpone the main motion to ask the applicant to come back with Alternative C in an approval format on June 2, 1997
Councilman Mitzel does not look at this as a postponement for three weeks to discuss whether there can be an agreement on C. If this motion passes, then Council is saying they wish to approve road layout C as opposed to A and then C will be the one that they will approve once the engineering is presented in an approval format which according to the consultants, can be done before June 2. He believes the tie-in to that street and radius are going to be dictated by city standards on where the street can probably tie-in and where the curbs are going to be and therefore, where the stub is going to end up fitting the northern property line. He is trying to give a more definitive answer to the petitioner that the bottom plan is what they are interested in approving and they should bring it back in an approval format so Council can take action on it on June 2.
Councilwoman Mutch stated they will only be approving the yellow road layout on Plan C. Further, because the engineering has not been completed, they have no way of knowing whether the pink road is feasible beyond concept. She suspects they will postpone and give Mr. Nanda the indication that this is a preferred layout of the roads and he will have invested his money into two alternatives way beyond what will benefit him personally. Further, his neighbors are the ones who will really benefit. Councilwoman Mutch believes they have somehow gotten into a situation where other property owners have invested nothing into the development of a plan and that future homeowners have some sort of veto power over what has been presented. She believes they should only look at the merits of the plan as proposed. If they were to reject that plan and suggest that the petitioner might find favor with Council if he were to develop the other plan, she could support that.
Mayor ProTem Crawford believes the motion to postpone is appropriate. If the two landowners cannot come up with an approval plan by next week, he is assuming Council will support the top plan.
Mr. Asher understands the motion is to direct them to come back with Plan C if that is the indication from Mr. Lax within the next day or so. He would not like to be in a situation that would direct them to come back with Plan C and only have Mr. Lokey say A is better. He stated if they want to incur the engineering costs, that is one issue. However, if they were going to ask them to incur the engineering costs, they deserve an answer right now because he believes they already know enough about the concept. He suggested that they come back with an answer in 24 to 48 hours.
Mr. Lax reiterated that they will address Plan C as promptly as possible and if they do not come back by June 2 with an agreed upon version of Plan C, Plan A is likely to be approved.
As a point of clarification, Councilman Mitzel advised his motion did not include an agreement between the two parties. His motion directed the applicant to come back with an approvable set of plans for Alternate C based upon Council’s preference for Plan C.
Councilman Clark will not support postponement. As a rhetorical question, he asked which one of them would like to pick up the financial interest obligation that Mr. and Mrs. Nanda have on this piece of property during the next two weeks. He further asked why should they put the additional financial burden on them. He believes the applicant is entitled to a decision tonight with no more delays.
Councilman Kramer will support the postponement because he believes it still leaves the base motion on the table which was approval of Plan A.
Councilman Schmid hopes that Councilman Clark will recognize that Plan C is a better long term plan for the city. He appreciates the costs and agrees if this were not feasible, he would vote for the other plan tonight. He also pointed out that the cul-de-sac does not meet ordinance requirements in Plan A. He is confident Plan C will come back as an acceptable plan. However, if it does not, he is prepared to approve Plan A.
Councilwoman Mutch believes both plans allow for that connection in two places. Mr. Arroyo concurred.
Councilwoman Mutch realizes there is a difference of opinion between Council. She is hearing members say Plan C is preferable for the long range interest of Novi, from a traffic standpoint and so forth. However, she is also hearing that if it is not agreeable with the other property owner, they will revert to the other plan although Mr. Nanda would have been directed to provide an approvable plan; this contradiction confuses her.
Vote on CM-97-05-159: Yeas: Kramer, Mitzel, Schmid
Nay: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Mutch
Mayor McLallen advised there is a motion of the floor to approve revised tentative preliminary plat for SP 96-40B and to grant the cul-de-sac waiver.
Mr. Watson noted that the Planning Commission tabled the woodland’s permit, so that would also be subject to getting the woodlands approval.
Councilman Schmid asked if this is a temporary or permanent cul-de-sac waiver. Mayor ProTem Crawford does not know if they can enforce a temporary waiver and that is just a cul-de-sac waiver. He added either plan would be predicated on the parcel to the north developing to alleviate the cul-de-sac.
Councilman Schmid stated Councilman Crawford is then suggesting that the stubstreets remain there. Mayor ProTem Crawford replied that is correct. He added the motion is to approve that street layout with that stub to the north.
Councilman Schmid will not support the motion. He supports concept over no concept and would vote on that tonight if they thought they could not make a better plan. He is disappointed that Council is putting itself in a position where in a year from now neighbors will come in and suggest this is not what they bought into. He believes the bottom plan is clearly a better plan and he is at a loss about why they are not accepting the other plan for both parcels which would make a better development for the city in the future. Councilman Schmid believes good planning and quality development sometimes takes time.
Mayor McLallen advised she has met with both parties and planning people concerning this issue. She stated there has been a very valiant attempt by this petitioner and other parties to try to come up with what is a better plan for the city. Unfortunately, that has not happened although both parties have indicated they would be willing to discuss it. The Mayor was not in favor of the site plan based on the cul-de-sac length and the secondary access. She finds that to be a very difficult issue and historically, she has opposed all these types of cul-de-sac variances. Mayor McLallen stated it is a self created hardship that they have not found their way out of and they are going to have to find their way out. The Mayor added that this development is actually an infill development in that it is basically between other developed parcels. However, her overriding concern for the whole project is the access to and from Beck Road.
Vote on CM-97-05-158: Yeas: Crawford, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch
Nay: McLallen, Kramer, Schmid
3. Approval of Lot Split - Lot 3, Munro Subdivision, Massimo & Mary Pasucci
Mary Pasucci stated she and her husband have been residents of Novi for twenty years this year. Ms. Pasucci presented a drawing of her property and she explained they live in the Munro subdivision that was platted during the Civil War. She stated she and her husband are requesting a variance to split their property because they think they have unique circumstances. She advised she understands the concept of flag lots and noted their property is 135 feet by 1275 feet. She then described the surrounding property. She explained they would like to split their property so they can build a home for her parents. Ms. Pasucci noted it is not for profit and they hope to pass the home down through the family. Ms. Pasucci advised both of her neighbors agree to this plan. Ms. Pasucci reported she has four acres on her parcel; one will be less than two acres and one will be more than two acres. She added the elevation will also be different and has discussed how they can provide an appropriate access with their architect so that it is not between trees.
Mayor McLallen complimented Ms. Pasucci for her clear and complete presentation.
Councilman Kramer asked Ms. Pasucci to point out the abutment of the wetlands and characterize the northern property line.
Mayor McLallen noted the ordinance prohibits flag lots and asked what are Council’s alternatives. Mr. Fried replied if they granted approval it would be contrary to what they have done in the past. He explained the applicant would have to go before the Zoning Board of appeals because if they build a home, they have to build it on a public street and this home would not be on a public street. He added it would also not have the required width. Mr. Fried added they could also deny their request and the applicant could still go before the Zoning Board of Appeals. If they do that, the ZBA can condition a grant of any variance on the fact that the lot would not be split and that the home could only be used for family members. Mr. Fried said that condition would be binding on the owners and goes with the land. This would put them into a position where they would be unable to sell the other home.
Mayor McLallen asked if Council has the right to grant a variance to the ordinance. Mr. Fried replied they can grant a lot split if it meets certain criteria. He noted they included the criterion in their letter to Council. However, even if Council elects to do that, the petitioner would still have to appear before the ZBA before they can build a house.
Councilman Mitzel noted that the lot where they propose to build the house fronts Taft Road and the width of 135 feet will meet the R-4 zoning. Councilman Mitzel explained the new home would front Taft Road and the existing house would become landlocked. Consequently, he believes they would not need ZBA approval to build on the new parcel, but they would be creating a land lock.
Mr. Fried agreed. He further added it would make the existing house nonconforming and consequently, violate of the zoning ordinance.
Councilman Mitzel believes the lot split would actually make it nonconforming.
Mr. Fried said they could split it, but he agrees with Councilman Mitzel’s comments.
Councilman Mitzel said if they grant the split tonight, the existing house becomes landlocked. He said they are not proposing a flag lot; they are proposing a split on the eastern half and the western half. Councilman Mitzel believes there would be a way to provide the minimum frontage through a flag lot configuration. Councilman Mitzel reminded Council that they denied a similar situation last November in a six to one vote.
Councilman Clark asked if the existing house is going to be sold and the parents no longer live in the other house, would both homes have to be sold to one buyer. Mr. Fried said that is correct and he believes the ZBA could include a condition that a family member could only occupy the second house.
Councilman Schmid reminded Council they have an ordinance that does not permit flag lots and Council has historically denied similar proposals. Consequently, he thinks it is a matter of what the city plans to build in the future and although it is a difficult situation, he will support the ordinance. Therefore, he moved for denial of the request.
Mayor McLallen reported the motion died from lack of support.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked for further explanation about those conditions which they can grant a variance.
Mr. Fried explained if they applied all those conditions, they would find that it is a self created hardship and not a hardship found in the property itself.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said any lot split would be a self created hardship and asked if the ordinance is appropriate. Mr. Fried replied the ordinance is appropriate if they find a situation that there is normally some merit to. He reminded Council they historically have not wanted to create flag lots.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked how could they determine if a request for a lot split is anything but a self created hardship. Mr. Fried replied it is self created, but sometimes they allow it. He asked if Mayor ProTem Crawford is saying that under any situation he would grant a lot split. Mayor ProTem Crawford is not saying that. He thought Mr. Fried was saying any lot split request was a self created hardship and Council should not approve it. He added that is not what the conditions of a variance say in Mr. Fried’s letter; it says where the strict application would result in practical difficulties or undue hardship upon the owner. He added it further says a variance is only appropriate without substantial detriment to the public good. Mr. Fried noted it also states "without substantially impairing and for the lot split provision."
It seems to Mayor ProTem Crawford there is a means to grant the lot split if they concur with those three requirements. Mr. Fried said Council obviously has the power to do that.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if there is something that addresses the proportional size of the lot in terms of width size relative to its depth. Mr. Arroyo replied there was an amendment made a few years ago to the Schedule of Regulations. He advised a footnote specifies that, ‘within the residential districts where a main building is placed behind the front setback line the distance between the side lot lines shall not be reduced below 90% of the required minimum lot width at any point." He noted that is part of the flag lot provision so they could not create a flag lot. Further, Mr. Arroyo stated there is a width depth ratio of 3-1 which shall normally be considered to be a maximum. Mr. Arroyo believes this applicant is proposing a ratio of approximately 9-1.
Councilwoman Mutch said in more modern enterprises, they have realized the kinds of problems that can occur. Consequently, when they are planning a subdivision, they have to address these proportions. Mr. Arroyo agreed and added before depth width ratios, they would get long bowling alley lots and they could not do much with them.
Councilwoman Mutch added that the flag lot ordinance is also relatively new. Mr. Arroyo agreed, but the width to depth ratio has been in effect a number of years and much longer than the flag lot.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if it has been in effect since the 1860's. Mr. Arroyo did not believe it has been in effect that long.
Councilwoman Mutch advised they will find subdivisions that were platted long before they established the more modern planning standards. She believes in situations like this, the planning staff should assess it to find a better way of dealing with it. She noted these tend to be family situations. She added Council has approved situations like this in the past and believes they can vote either way. It appears to her that they are looking at a situation where the petitioner should go to the ZBA to get a variance.
Mayor McLallen believes the land needs to be split to accommodate a trust agreement and asked if there is a way for the house to be built without the land being split.
Ms. Pasucci replied that would be the better way in terms of legalities. However, she explained it would make a hardship for her in the future if both have to be sold. She does not believe someone would spend $1M for two homes.
Mayor McLallen said there was a precedent on her street where an existing home was on the back of the lot. She advised they did not split the lot and the existing home is allowed to stay as long as it is only used by the family.
Ms. Pasucci said the uniqueness of their lot is that the property is 135 feet. She believes the city’s ordinance was 80 feet for the frontage. She explained the 80 feet would be taken by her parents home and would only short her by 25 feet from conformance. She understands what a flag lot is and why the city addresses them. She believes she is unique in the sense that they put the property to the front of their home so they could widen the driveway so they will not have a twisting road where vehicles are unable to turn. She noted she could have done this twenty years ago, but she did not think about her parents aging at that time. She added she currently travels two hundred miles per week to visit and care for them.
Councilman Kramer asked if the status of the division ability of the property would change if it was possible to service the front house with a driveway access from the property to the north which they have portrayed as developable down the road. In other words, would the divisibility change if they could move forward with a ZBA variance and at some future point, obtain either an easement or an access by a road into the small area to the north. Mr. Fried replied it would depend on whether the road went through their property.
Councilman Kramer’s scenario is potentially consistent with the ordinance to deny the lot split, but recommend approval to the ZBA because of the lot’s elevation and wetlands uniqueness. They could approve the building of the second house and encourage the Pascucci’s to continue their good working relationships with their northern neighbor. Then, if that northern property achieved a design that would present a stub, they could connect to the stub by rearranging the design of the garage.
Mr. Fried believes the scenario might work depending upon what happens in the future.
Ms. Pascucci noted the neighbor proposed a cul-de-sac with four homes and asked how that would be more attractive than the one home she proposes.
Mayor ProTem Crawford believes the conditions are there for a reason. He believes it is an important ordinance and that it’s intent is so a developer does not create several flag lots. Further, it also allows Council to consider this type of situation as long as they meet some of these requirements. Consequently, he believes a hardship is placed on this property owner and he does not believe it will have a detrimental affect on the public. He also does not believe that it impairs the intent and purpose of the lot split provisions. Consequently, he believes Council should grant the request.
CM-97-05-160: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Mutch, MOTION FAILED: To grant request for division of parcel #50-22-22-100-013
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether there is Council consensus to have the planning staff review this situation to see if it merits any further attention.
Mayor ProTem Crawford would concur with Councilwoman Mutch’s request because there are several of these ribbon parcels owned by families who want to do exactly what the Pascucci’s want to do.
Councilman Clark asked if the motion was subject to the petitioner receiving the necessary variances from the ZBA.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said the petitioner would have to seek ZBA approval whether he would impose that on them or not.
Councilman Clark wants the petitioner to clearly understand that they would have to go before the ZBA even if Council were to grant an approval.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if Council approved this, why would they have to go before the ZBA. Mr. Fried replied the back lot would become a nonconforming lot.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the approval of the lot split would condone that. Mr. Fried said they may be condoning it, but that does not give the Building Department the authority to issue a building permit.
Councilman Mitzel interjected, they are not building on the back lot.
Mr. Fried understands they are building on the front lot and he believes they would not issue a building permit if the back lot becomes a nonconforming lot.
Councilwoman Mutch believes it has nothing to do with what the petitioner would or would not do in terms of building that would make that a landlocked piece of property. She believes it is the action of Council to allow a split that would create the landlocked situation whether they ever build on it or not. As long as they still own it, they can access their property. However, in terms of a legal situation, it would be landlocked. Consequently, she agrees with Councilman Mitzel’s position and adds that she does not understand why they would have to go before the ZBA because the front parcel has Taft Road frontage. However, if it were the reverse, they would then require ZBA approval.
Mayor ProTem Crawford would include ZBA approval in his motion if it is necessary.
Councilman Mitzel stated because this is a complicated issue, he believes the proper way to proceed would be not to grant the lot split, but allow the petitioner to proceed to the ZBA and ask for a separate home on the same parcel. In response to Councilwoman Mutch’s request for the planning staff to research this further, he believes they should investigate whether they wish to allow a second home on a very large lot to be built as a guest house or family home instead of determining if lot splits are appropriate. They could then by pass the entire issue of lot splits.
Councilman Schmid is opposed to the motion and reiterated he will support the lot split ordinance. He said the lot split ordinance is approximately twenty years old and believes the city should be consistent as they develop this city as it should be.
Councilman Kramer will vote against the motion in the hope that he can encourage the Pascucci’s to come up with a second step that will make their property more marketable in the future and still support good design criteria for the city. He further has hope that there is a reasonable connection to the north property. He noted he would support a favorable recommendation to the ZBA because the environment around the property supports the location for the two homes.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if building a second home on the same property is generally permitted. Mr. Fried recalled the petitioner received a variance from the ZBA in the circumstance the Mayor referred to earlier.
Councilwoman Mutch assumes the argument was that the piece of property was large enough to support a second home and was still within a family situation. Consequently, she will support the motion for the lot split because if having a second home is allowable, the legal ramifications might be more resolvable than Council dealing with the lot split. She suggested if the lot split request should fail, that the Pascucci’s go before the ZBA. Further, she believes the city should continue to look at other alternatives for situations similar to this.
Vote on CM-97-05-160: Yeas: Crawford, Mutch
Nay: McLallen, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Schmid
4. Approval of Resolution, Re: Adoption of 1997-98 Budget
Mayor McLallen believes this is a positive step for the community and noted they held a public hearing at Council’s last meeting. She noted no member of the public chose to speak either for or against the budget.
Mayor McLallen read the resolution. She noted the individual millages authorized to be spread are listed individually and amount to 10.9282 millages.
CM-97-05-161: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED: To approve the resolution that adopts the 1997-1998 Budget for the City of Novi
Vote on CM-97-05-161: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid
Charles Young - 50910 West 9 Mile Road, stated when he became involved in the city a number of years ago it was to form an organization called SWAN. Since that time, Parks & Recreation tried to construct a joint venture for an ice arena in the SWAN area. However, it is now located where it should be and that is in an I-1 District. Mr. Young is concerned about another situation similar to the situation Mr. Shaw was in with the ice arena. He explained they may have a similar situation with the school board and Harvest Lake. He believes they have a good deal with land in swapping R-2 and R-3 which is non-conforming. They also have another problem if they grant any developer a right in that they must offer the same right to all other developers. That is why he believes these things should come before the public. Further, he believes the only faction the City should represent are the people of Novi. Mr. Young also discourages Executive Sessions and promotes more public meetings.
John Aydoulos - is the architect for Mr. Lokey’s development and he expressed his disappointment over tonight’s proceedings. He explained they originally brought Mr. Lokey into this project with the intent to work with Mr. Nanda to develop a plan that would benefit both parties. He added his client has recently spent money researching several possibilities that would benefit both parties. The plan they submitted provided equal amounts of lots at the entrance boulevard for both developments. He said every proposal presented to them by Mr. Nanda did not have the benefits to Mr. Lokey in mind. He explained a token lot up front does not constitute a fifty-fifty split of providing each development its own identity. He stated Mr. Lokey was willing to split the costs of the entry road, landscaping, and lighting to allow Mr. Nanda to have an uninhibited easement to develop his property. However, tonight Council was leaning toward an alternative concept presented to Mr. Lokey only six days ago. Council asked Mr. Nanda and Mr. Lokey if they would be willing to work together to come to an agreement about this concept and they agreed to look at it. In turn, Council approved the original plan which as Councilman Schmid pointed out, does not give Mr. Lokey’s development an identity and will cause problems to those residents that will live on the entrance boulevard. He added it also does not provide a buffer to Beck Road. He believes Council has just created another future problem without allowing Mr. Lokey the opportunity to consider the option that Council presented to them this evening. He hopes Council members will reconsider their actions and allow Mr. Lokey the opportunity to review the alternative concept with Mr. Nanda.
George Hartman - stated he is also an architect representing Mr. Lokey and tonight’s vote disappoints him. He believes that it seemed that Council members were more concerned about Mr. Nanda’s financial position with no consideration given to how much money he and Mr. Lokey have spent on an acceptable plan for both parties. Mr. Hartman believes the approved plan is one sided and does not consider how Mr. Lokey’s property is affected by what Mr. Nanda does. He added Mr. Nanda tossed a concept to Mr. Lokey earlier tonight in an effort to get Mr. Lokey to agree to pay him $200,000 to come up with a plan that Mr. Nanda was happy with. Mr. Hartman said this has not been a situation of everyone beating up on Mr. Nanda. He said Mr. Lokey has put a diligent effort forth to try to arrive at a plan that would be good for Mr. Nanda, Mr. Lokey and the City of Novi. Further, the comments made by Mr. Nanda’s attorney concerning Mr. Lokey wanting total control over the entrance are untrue. Mr. Hartman reported he asked Mr. Asher to correct his statements; Mr. Asher failed to do so here and he failed to do so at the Planning Commission meeting. Mr. Hartman reiterated everything on Mr. Lokey’s plan was a fifty fifty split with common agreement between Mr. Nanda and Mr. Lokey.
BREAK - 10:20 P.M. until 10:45 P.M.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - Part II
5. To Set Up Agenda for Thursday, May 15, 1997
Mayor McLallen noted there are two issues that need to be addressed on May 15, 1997. She explained one is the scheduling of a Public Hearing for the Federal Grant for the Police Department Bike Patrol.
CM-97-05-162: Moved by Clark, Seconded by Schmid, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule a Public Hearing for the Federal Grant as Item 1 on the Thursday, May 15, 1997 agenda
Vote on CM-97-05-162: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
Mayor McLallen advised the next issue was the RUD Text Amendment Study Session.
Councilman Kramer believes the agenda is written for the first reading and suggested that they amend it to be a study session because he knows they did not yet complete their study session. He added they also postponed a motion about the density issue until May 15 still on the table. Consequently, if they hold a study session, they also need to extend that motion to the next meeting which would be June 2, 1997. He noted that would also be their first reading if they set it up that way.
CM-97-05-163: Moved by Kramer, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To establish a continuation of the study session on the RUD Text Amendment for Thursday, May 15, 1997 and to extend the postponement of the first and potential second reading when ready
For the benefit of the public, Councilwoman Mutch asked what is the significance of the terms first and second reading.
Mr. Fried said a reading is way to advise the public that the City is considering adopting an ordinance and this is what the ordinance contains. He believes the title of the ordinance is sufficient on the first reading because the title sets out the purpose of adoption of the ordinance. It also gives Council the opportunity to consider it after the first reading.
Councilwoman Mutch said in effect, when they say for possible first reading or for first reading, what they are doing is alerting the public to the fact that they have completed or anticipate completing work on an ordinance. Further, a written version will be available for the public’s review by that date.
Mr. Fried added there is a written copy available at the first reading of what Council is conceding. However, Mr. Fried noted they can change that.
Councilwoman Mutch said ordinarily, if they were having a study session and they would be completing that work or anticipate completing that work, they would not normally have a first reading because they would not have the completed document. Instead, she believes they would have a modified version, but they would not have an official version. Consequently, it would be unlikely that they would have a first reading just when they are completing the work session. Mr. Fried replied it would depend upon what they did with the draft that counsel wrote for that study session. He would agree that ordinarily they would not.
Councilman Clark suggested that Council meet in the Council Chambers on the fifteenth and that it be televised so that the residents have the opportunity to view it at home.
Councilwoman Mutch does not disagree and believes anything that makes it easier for people to participate in the process is fine. However, she believes when they sit face to face around a table like they have in the activities room, there is more focus on what people are saying and consequently, they are more productive. She also noted television is not the only way for the public to follow what Council is doing.
Councilman Clark would also like to hold the next meeting in the Chamber because the last meeting was somewhat congested and uncomfortable for everyone who attended. He reiterated that he would also like to take advantage of the cable access.
Mayor McLallen noted she is uncertain whether they can be televised because it is a budgeted item and they have to make arrangements to have the appropriate parties here.
Councilman Kramer asked that they check that.
Councilwoman Mutch believes there might be a better way to address board presentations. She noted that was the reason the activities room was congested at their last meeting and added the only way the audience could view the boards was by sitting behind Council members.
Councilman Mitzel noted the motion on the floor is to add an agenda item, and that the time and location of the meeting is already set. He believes they would need another motion to change time or location.
Mayor McLallen understands the motion is for the continuation of a study session this Thursday, and postpone the possible first and second reading issues until the first regular meeting in June. However, she stated there is another postponement.
Councilman Kramer explained they tabled the motion until this Thursday and if they are not going to have a first reading, the motion needs to be postponed until they do the formal actions on June 2.
Councilman Mitzel advised motion CM-97-05-149 addresses that density would be the underlying density. However, they moved to postpone the item to a future date and he noted they scheduled a work session on May 7, but the motion actually said to postpone to a future date. Consequently, he believes they are okay. He said there was a motion to formally amend the first reading to address that and once this comes back for first reading, that motion is on the floor.
Mayor McLallen asked if that means they cannot discuss the issue that they brought up at this meeting.
Councilman Mitzel believes they can still discuss it in terms of a work study session, but when it is on the agenda for a first reading, the motion becomes active. He understands Councilman Kramer’s motion is not to have a first reading Thursday, but only hold a work study session with a first reading later.
Mayor McLallen understands the issue is that within the study session, there will be no action upon the motion. However, she noted information and issues related to the motion can be discussed. Councilman Mitzel agreed.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if they anticipate completing the study of the proposed ordinance at the May 15 meeting. Mayor McLallen replied that is their goal.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if they complete the study on May 15, then the ordinance would be prepared for a first reading on June 2. If not, she assumes they would move it to a future meeting.
Mrs. Bartholomew noted on Page 34 Councilman Mitzel agreed to postpone until the May 15 meeting. She believes the motion should be to postpone the action scheduled for May 15 to June 2.
Mayor McLallen stated there is a motion to schedule the continuation of the RUD Text Amendment Study Session, postpone the first reading and possible second reading, and postpone the motion regarding density caps until June 2, 1997.
Councilman Schmid believes they should postpone the readings and motion until the ordinance is ready. However, assumes it will be June 2.
Mayor McLallen believes it should be, "until ready."
Mayor McLallen stated the motion reads, the RUD Text Amendment will be the subject of the study session of the City Council Thursday, May 15, 1997, the first and second reading, and they will take the motion concerning the density cap up when the issues are ready.
Vote on CM-97-05-163: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
CM-97-05-164: Moved by Clark, Seconded by Schmid, MOTION CARRIED: To hold Thursday, May 15, 1997 Work Study Session in Council Chambers and provide cable television coverage if possible
Councilman Kramer believes he can support the motion because he believes it will better facilitate the public hearing scheduled for the same evening.
Mayor McLallen will support the motion, but she has a concern that there is an implication that legally convened meetings of Council are somehow not legitimate if they do not televise them. Mayor McLallen adamantly stated Council can meet as long as they publicly state where they meet and that all the business is open to the public. She added to have the implication that because Council’s business does not take place in the Chamber that Council is somehow not living up to all of its obligations as a public body is entirely erroneous. She stated when Council is meeting in a quorum, they are legally convened. Further, all of their meetings are public and their actions are subject to public scrutiny except those that are closed by statute for property acquisition, union negotiations and personnel discussions. She believes they should continue with their obligation as a Council to announce that their meetings are taking place in all legal forums.
Vote on CM-97-05-164: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid
Councilman Schmid agrees 100% with the Mayor’s comments and believes Council has never done anything that could in any way be scrutinized as illegal or not in the best interest of the public.
Councilman Mitzel stated there is still another issue outstanding. He reminded Council when they originally scheduled that meeting, the issue of the zoning ordinance study session was an agenda item and he does not believe they formally removed that from the agenda. He asked if they should leave it on the agenda in case they get through the other items. He has advocated that both need to go hand in hand because there are many things in the zoning ordinance that have been unfortunately placed on the back burner for the RUD. He suggested that they leave it on in case an item that is parallel to the RUD comes up for discussion that they can discuss that part of the zoning ordinance and how it relates to the RUD. However, it should not be their intent to finish the zoning ordinance update because he believes they all know they will need another date to accomplish that. He does not believe it needs a motion and just wanted to reminded Council it is still on the agenda.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if they have a June date set aside for the continuation of the zoning ordinance. Mayor McLallen replied they do not.
Councilman Mitzel noted he will be late Thursday.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION
2. Approval of Ordinance 97-92.07 - Commercial Vehicles - II Reading
Councilman Mitzel removed this item so he could vote against it.
CM-97-05-165: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED: To approve Ordinance 97-92.07 - Commercial Vehicles - II Reading
Mayor McLallen noted according to the Charter, votes for all ordinances must be made by roll call unless the vote is unanimous.
Roll Call Vote on CM-97-05-165: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Mutch, Schmid
Nay: Kramer, Mitzel
The Mayor reported Ordinance Review will meet Thursday, May 15 at 4:30 p.m.
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
Mayor McLallen stated in response to those citizens who appeared before Council last week from the Whispering Meadows Homeowner’s Association that the matter is a private matter at this point. She advised that they have given the city’s attorney all of the documents including the complaint filed by one landowner against another. She advised the city is monitoring the situation, but they are not a party to the dispute at this time.
Mayor McLallen stated individual letters explaining the entire process have been sent to the West Road residents who appeared before Council last week with concerns about the vacation of the street by the city attorney and city manager last Friday.
Councilwoman Mutch thinks it is important that they periodically remind the public that Council is very restricted in what they discuss within Executive Sessions. She stated if Council is dealing with something that is broader in scope than the three areas in which can have discussion, Council is still restricted to only that specific thing for which they have called the meeting.
Councilman Kramer noted there was some correspondence from the Planning Commission about some consternation regarding the Imperviousness Study. He believes they left it open that they needed to meet with the Storm Water Management Committee to see if there was additional support for that study. He reminded Council he believed if the Planning Commission had a case, there would be a willingness for Council to hear from them again about this issue.
Mayor McLallen recalled when Council reviewed the Planning Commission budget, there were certain overlaps from other groups. She believes the door is always open if they can make a case. However, the burden is on them at this time.
MANAGER’S REPORTS - None
ATTORNEY’S REPORTS - None
1. Letter from Kelle R. Vela to Mayor McLallen and Bob Shaw, Re: Resignation from Community Clubs
2. Resolution from City of Ferndale, Re: Support of PA 29, 911 Service
3. Memorandum from Nancy Reutter to City Council, Re: Vacancies/Term Expirations on Boards & Commissions
4. Letter from Briarpointe Veterinary Clinic to City Council, Re: Thank You for Approval of Overnight Stays in Their Clinic
5. Letter from James R. Wahl on Behalf of the Planning Commission, to City Council, Re: FY 1997-98 Budget
Charles Young - 50910 W. Nine Mile Road, believes the public has to be involved in the process in terms of the decisions made for the city. If they are not involved and there is a legal problem, the city will have a mess. He noted Harvest Land Company and the school system are trapped, and he believes there will have to be some give and take for this project.
There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 11:15 P.M.
Mayor City Clerk
Transcribed by Barbara Holmes
Date Approved: June 2, 1997