WORK STUDY SESSION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, JUNE 23, 1997 AT 7:30 P.M.
NOVI CIVIC CENTER -ACTIVITIES ROOM - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
CALL TO ORDER Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:40 P.M.
ROLL CALL Mayor McLallen, Mayor ProTem Crawford (absent/excused), Council Members Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
ALSO PRESENT City Manager Ed Kriewall, City Attorney David Fried, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson
Edgar Hagopian - 3755 W. Pemberton Rd., Bloomfield Hills, is currently developing property on the Twelve Oaks Mall perimeter. Mr. Hagopian advised they met with Mr. Rogers in January 1997 requesting a waiver for additional square footage. Unfortunately, they have not addressed the issue and they are now scheduled for an August agenda. Mr. Hagopian advised they are ready to begin their building, but they do not meet the original ordinance requirement and they cannot wait until August for a decision. Mr. Hagopian advised this is creating considerable hardship on their project and they would have requested a variance in January had they known.
McLallen asked how does this matter pertain to tonight’s meeting. Mr. Hagopian replied they cannot accommodate the parking on this unusual site.
McLallen asked what specific portion of the ordinance is Mr. Hagopian requesting they consider. Mr. Hagopian asked Council to look at parking. Mayor McLallen believes this is a ZBA issue. Mr. Hagopian clarified by advising they are on the ZBA’s August agenda.
Mayor McLallen asked if there is something specifically in the ordinance that considers these special circumstances. Mr. Watson believes Mr. Hagopian is looking for a particular change in the rewrite of the ordinance and that they adopt the changes if the ordinance rewrite will not be finished in a timely fashion. Mr. Watson explained the process would be similar to how Council addressed the RUD portion of the ordinance.
Mr. Kriewall added he discussed this matter with the ZBA’s clerical staff and was advised that the ZBA has a general back up of issues before them. He advised if Council does not choose to address this directly, they have the authority to direct the ZBA by motion to hold special meetings in order to clear up the cases before them because of the hardship caused to the developers.
Councilman Clark asked if the sole concern about parking is because the relocation of their corporate headquarters will impact parking numbers. Mr. Hagopian agreed. John Sarkesian added although they are 17 spaces short, they will be well within the ordinance requirements.
Mr. Rogers said they approved the final site plan without variances. However, Mr. Rogers noted when they wanted to add another floor within the envelope of the building it increased the deficiency and caused the need for a parking variance.
Councilman Clark asked if Council would like to move this matter forward in light of what Mr. Kriewall and Mr. Hagopian have said. Councilman Clark understands because this is a work study session they would have to consider a motion at their next meeting to move this forward through the ZBA process as soon as possible.
Mr. Kriewall believes he can directly convey Council’s consensus to the ZBA. Councilman Clark asked Mr. Kriewall to advise if they need a motion at the next Council meeting. Mr. Kriewall agreed.
Jon Sarkesian - 104 W. Fourth, Suite 207, Royal Oak, architect for the Hagopian project. Mr. Sarkesian advised that he does not have much to add, but wanted to express his vote of support for the parking revision and believes it will help the ordinance function better.
Jonathan Brateman - 24230 Karim Blvd., Suite 125, Chairman for the Legislative Affairs Committee of the Novi Chamber of Commerce and a commercial real estate broker. Mr. Brateman believes real estate brokers serve as ambassadors to communities as they attempt to attract quality businesses. Mr. Brateman believes the current sign ordinance is restrictive when compared with other communities and asked if Council would consider increasing signs for multiple tenants to 40 square feet. Mr. Brateman discussed the importance of appropriate permanent ground signs for shopping centers and compared Novi’s Pheasant Run Center to Farmington Hills’ Pepper Square at Grand River and Haggerty as an example. He further believes smaller signs are hazardous in terms of traffic because motorists have a difficult time reading them. Mr. Brateman also believes they should increase store fascia signs when stores increase their square footage and cited Linens n’ Things in the Town Center as an example. Mr. Brateman understands and empathizes with the intent of the ordinance to avoid extremes, but he believes signs should be user friendly to shoppers.
Councilman Schmid has seen stricter sign ordinances than Novi’s and asked how Mr. Brateman came to his conclusions when Novi has developed as one of the fastest growing communities. Further, Councilman Schmid is not certain that signage is the issue.
Mr. Brateman replied he would have to look at specific instances and noted he is only offering the concerns of their membership. However, he would say that the Town Center linen store deserves larger signage. He is not certain what is good or bad, but he can say that they want to have a spirit of cooperation and he is prepared to participate in the dialogue to explore signage issues.
Councilman Schmid stated from his perspective he would have to first be convinced that signage is the issue and not something else.
Councilman Kramer suggested that Council solicit ZBA input when they get to the signage initiative in the ordinance.
David Ware - Twelve Oaks Mall, is present to support the Hagopian project that began with him in November 1995. Mr. Ware believes it is a beneficial situation for everybody in that Mr. Hagopian has enough confidence in Novi to move his corporate offices here. Secondly, he thinks Council is moving in the right direction with the rewrite of the zoning ordinance and further understands that it is a major undertaking. Mr. Ware advised as a corporate citizen he would be glad to assist Council with this task. Although it may sound self-serving, Mr. Ware believes it is not and further believes they are all interested in quality development for Novi.
Mayor McLallen asked if Mr. Ware has any specific issues in terms of the ordinance. Mr. Ware replied he is encouraged that Council is reviewing B-2 for the area surrounding Twelve Oaks Mall. He explained they had a consistent problem with surrounding parcels because they cannot adhere to the 100 foot setback and asked if he is correct in understanding that the B-2 standards in the new ordinance would apply.
Mr. Rogers agrees the language for setback standards for B-2 in the proposed ordinance are more relaxed. However, he added there is no change in the 100 foot setback in the RC District surrounding Twelve Oaks unless they apply the PD-3 Option. Mr. Rogers reported that Hagopian and Cellular One came in under the exception rule of not being able to build 50,000 square feet in the RC, PD-3 District.
Mayor McLallen noted what Mr. Rogers just said did not support Mr. Ware’s optimism. Mr. Ware stated he believes the RC standards puts an extra burden on the public process on sites where he does think Council would want to see 50,000 square foot buildings. Mr. Ware said they should recognize that there is only a limited amount of RC remaining around the center at this point and that the PD Option adds an unnecessary step. He would hope Council would prefer to move forward with a site plan and eliminate extra waivers.
Mayor McLallen asked if there are exceptions. She asked if they must follow a full blown PD Option or do they not develop these pieces of property. Mr. Rogers explained they currently have a proposal to simplify and streamline the PD Options and reminded Council they referred this matter to the Planning Commission. Mr. Rogers does not think it will be as onerous because under the current PD Option the preliminary and final site plans currently go before the Planning Commission and Council, and they are proposing that final be approved administratively. He also noted that they have improved the language.
Councilman Schmid asked if another major store has approached Twelve Oaks. Mr. Ware replied that he is not involved in that area and he does not feel comfortable about speaking to that. However, he will say there is a diligent effort going on and when they propose a new anchor store at Twelve Oaks they will keep Novi’s housing values in mind.
Councilman Schmid noted the east entrance needs some work in terms of landscaping and so forth. Mr. Ware replied that he will check that.
In conclusion, Mr. Ware believes the new parking lot changes could speed up the process in terms of improvements to Twelve Oaks. He explained they are currently working with the Marriot Residence Inn as a possible user and noted it is a low traffic generator. He further explained Penney’s would like to move their home furnishings department into a separate store outside the mall. In addition, Ethan Allen has outgrown their space inside the mall and has also approached mall owners to move outside. However, Mr. Ware noted all of that is on hold because of the ordinance rewrite.
PURPOSE OF WORK STUDY SESSION
Proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendment - Zoning Ordinance Re-write
1. Proposed Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment No. 97-126, Zoning Ordinance Re-Write
Mayor McLallen began with the TC and TC-1 Town Center Districts on Pages 81- 93.
The Town Center Committee Members (Members Clark, Mutch and Schmid) believe there are currently no overriding issues.
Mr. Arroyo advised while preparing a comparison of TC versus TC-1 he noticed under Street and Roadway Rights-of-Way in Paragraph 16 on Page 94 of the comparison draft that when the TC District was first established, cross sections were noted in the ordinance. Since then, Mr. Arroyo reported the city adopted these standards into the Design and Construction Standards and he recommends they remove that section from the zoning ordinance. He suggested the following change: "nonresidential collector and local streets within the TC and TC-1 Districts shall provide rights-of-way and road cross sections consistent with the city’s Design and Construction Standards." Mr. Arroyo added they should strike all those various standards through the sentence that says "parallel parking shall be eliminated at intersections" and keep "utilities may be provided within such rights-of-way." They should further remove "Additional rights-of-way." and keep the last sentence intact which states, "Additional rights-of-way area shall be provided where boulevards, squares or traffic circles are created."
Article 17, RC Regional Center District
Councilman Schmid believes the only zoning issue outstanding is parking under Regional Center District because most of the RC District is developed.
Councilman Mitzel reminded Council about the possibility of extending RC to the west of West Oaks.
Councilman Mitzel asked that counsel develop standard language for parks that is consistent with light industrial. Mr. Watson confirmed he will make the language consistent with the rest.
Councilman Schmid noted Item 4 on Page 95 that listed various recreational facilities.
Councilman Mitzel stated that is what he was just mentioning. He explained they inserted that language in most of their commercial and office zoning when they recently adopted it for light industrial to facilitate the ice arena. He advised that Mr. Watson came up with slightly different revised language and applied it consistently throughout. Councilman Mitzel reminded Council that when they discussed making a special zoning district for recreation they decided if it is commercial type recreation, they should allow it in commercial and so forth throughout the ordinance.
Councilman Schmid is wondering why they would want recreational uses in RC. Councilman Mitzel reiterated that Mr. Watson just followed Council’s direction and included it throughout commercial.
Councilman Kramer added just because they permit it does not mean that someone would take valuable RC property to do that.
Mayor McLallen noted it allows for the opportunity, but they do not require it.
Councilman Schmid hypothesized if someone came forward with a roller skating facility, he would not think it would be a proper use for RC.
Councilman Kramer reminded Council there is a health club in the Town Center and asked whether Councilman Schmid would oppose one for the Regional Center.
Councilman Schmid reiterated he would not consider some of the uses listed as good uses as they proposed them in the language of the ordinance.
Councilwoman Mutch believes it is not likely people would invest the kind of money required for those uses for a high rent district. However, she noted there are kinds of recreations that bridge the traditional business uses in ways that are unknown to people unless they are in that business.
Councilman Schmid believes they should write ordinances as though someone will use them.
Councilman Mitzel believes Councilman Schmid is saying he would not like to see a Soccer Zone built in the mall area. Councilman Kramer and Mayor McLallen agreed.
Councilman Mitzel asked if they slightly changed this language under the current special land use provision. Mr. Watson replied he made additional provisions and they would still list them under special land use.
Councilman Kramer believes they are saying to address this in the same way they did for the I-1 District. He also recalled they discussed privately versus publicly owned and further recalled one was under principal uses and this one is under special land use. However, he does not recall what conclusion they came to.
Mr. Watson understood that private versus public was no longer being considered.
Councilman Mitzel suggested that the issue is that they do not want stand alone separate buildings in the RC District.
Councilman Schmid hypothesized that if the mall were on hard times and permitted an archery business to save the mall, that he has never seen a good archery business.
Councilman Kramer agrees with Councilman Schmid and believes rather than have the text here, that the focus needs to be some limited integrated use. He suggested that they ought to make an exception because RC is the most intensive zoning.
Councilwoman Mutch suggested if they are concerned about certain things that they should focus on that. She asked what is it about these uses that they do not like. She added there are some uses they do not seem to have a problem with (i.e., movie theaters).
Councilman Mitzel referred to Page 95 and asked if those types of uses are currently permitted in RC. Mr. Rogers noted that particular language has been added.
Councilman Mitzel asked if they would permit a health club. Mr. Watson believes they would and the reason they would is that they define Regional Center elsewhere in the ordinance. He read the definition of Regional Center from Page 25 of the comparison draft. Councilman Mitzel therefore believes they would not need the section because they cover recreational uses somewhere else in the ordinance. Councilman Mitzel asked if there is Council consensus to remove Item 4 on Page 95 and keep Item 6 on Page 94 for passive parks.
Mayor McLallen believes they agree that the recreational uses permitted under Item 4 are too broad. However, she is concerned about limiting recreation. She believes the current trend is that recreation be part of the experience in terms of shopping and dining. Consequently, she sees a change in traditional retail development. Mayor McLallen wants to be certain they are not limiting themselves.
Councilman Kramer suggested that Mr. Watson meet with Mr. Ware to discuss this further.
Mayor McLallen believes Mr. Watson has the general gist.
Article 18. FS Freeway Service Districts
Councilman Mitzel does not know where the ordinance addresses gasoline service and believes they may want to consider where they place the underground gas tanks. He then noted the location of the tanks at the renovated Speedway Station on Ten Mile Road.
Mayor McLallen noted that item is found in Section 1402.3 and asked if there are some encouraging design standards for gas stations.
Councilman Schmid does not see that they have done anything with this section of the ordinance. Mr. Rogers replied they are reviewing it. He advised the city can require a brick building for a gas station, but the developer can add color and so forth. He reported they are thinking about setting up Urban Design Review Board and added that it would not be another layer of government. He reported it would be made up of architects and other professional groups, and would be separate from the actual site plan process.
Councilman Kramer believes architectural requirements need to go well beyond the actual building to address tanks, canopies, lighting, etc. He further believes gas stations need to be integrated and cited the gas station at 12 Mile and Novi Road as an example.
Mr. Rogers added that the gas station at Farmington and Drake is also attractive because its owner insisted on that. Mr. Rogers advised he has met with the owners of the Mobil Novi Road and 13 Mile Road, and the Grand River and Haggerty stations. Mr. Rogers reported that he advised Mobil that the city is looking for something better than what is currently there as they rebuild these stations. Further, Mr. Rogers would agree that the ordinance needs work.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if the FS District is going to be an issue any longer because there are no more sites in the city or is it something they would have more input about so they can be proactive in case someone comes in with an application.
Mayor McLallen noted there are no more master plan sites.
Council Mitzel suggested they leave it as is and if there is a future initiative, they can address it then rather than spend time on it now.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if they should be proactive now and look ahead.
Mayor McLallen noted they do potentially have a major cloverleaf coming forward.
Article 19. I-1 Light Industrial District
Mayor McLallen advised the first change tightens up the residential housing adjacency language.
Councilman Mitzel believes that was already adopted and is already in effect. Mr. Watson agreed.
Councilman Mitzel also believes they already adopted recreation. Mayor McLallen agreed.
Councilman Mitzel referred to Item 7 on Page 106. Mayor McLallen advised they changed the floor space for the retail from 500 to 2000 square feet.
Councilman Mitzel asked if they have put that into effect. Mr. Watson does not believe it has.
Councilman Schmid is somewhat troubled about Item 6 on Page 106 because policing that would have to be put in place to allow it. He is not sure why these specific uses are in there and believes they are already abusing retail in Novi. Councilman Schmid asked how can they control the extensive uses for drive by retail sales. Mr. Watson said it had been controlled mainly by the types of products that they have sold. He supposes they could conduct an observation of business and see what kinds of customers they would attract, and then they could issue tickets for catering to a trade that is not predominantly contractor oriented.
Councilman Schmid believes 2000 square feet is a fairly good size retail store that only contractors would use. He believes that is okay, but further believes they are creating an image that they will use it as a commercial building.
Mr. Rogers believes the 2000 square feet was a result of Ray Electric making a case to the ZBA. Mr. Rogers agrees with Councilman Schmid because he believes they should be very careful about their industrial warehousing and wholesaling. He added 2000 square feet is only permitted when it is not adjacent to residential, but admitted that the current 500 feet may not be quite enough space.
Mr. Watson believes the issue is complicated because even those who cater strictly to contractors will still have retail buyers sent there by the contractors to look at merchandise.
Councilwoman Mutch thinks it also depends upon what they are selling. She explained if they are selling nuts and bolts, 2000 square feet is a lot of space. However, it would not be a lot of space for industrial equipment. She also asked how can they police something like that?
Councilman Schmid believes what they have under this zoning are construction type things. However, his concern is that they are encouraging retail sales by increasing the square footage to 2000 square feet. He asked what impact does this have in terms of things like parking; he believes it would be significant. Mr. Rogers advised parking requirements more stringent than in industrial.
Mr. Arroyo believes they have to make a distinction about when is the additional use just an ancillary use or when it is a split use of the building. He advised if it is a split, they must have provisions for that.
Mr. Rogers added they would not have to send this through the ZBA and could address it in the site plan process.
Mayor McLallen believes Councilman Schmid’s concern is about whether this will have any greater impact on the community. She noted it quadruples the available space and asked what is their current track record for those types of business trade issues. Mr. Rogers replied he has no history on this.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if there are separate parking regulations stipulated if somebody proposes to use a certain amount of square footage as retail. Mr. Rogers replied there is nothing in the present ordinance. However, in the proposed draft under Parking there is language that gives the city the right to determine that.
Mr. Arroyo clarified that in this case the question is whether there really is a split building and are they going to break that out for parking calculations. He believes Mr. Rogers is advising that they have not in the past.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if they look at traffic issues differently. Mr. Arroyo replied they would view it as a warehouse and the fact that it has 5% or 10% associated with retail sales would be difficult to quantify.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if they would evaluate what someone is proposing to do on the site in terms of warehousing. She asked if they would review how truck’s ingress and egress, and so forth. Mr. Arroyo replied they would look at that for all site plans.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if they look at what the traffic volume is likely to be for a building that was originally an industrial building with no retail and now someone is proposing to use the building differently. Mr. Arroyo advised there will be a trip generation analysis. Further, if there is a retail area within a warehouse, they would make certain there is parking within a reasonable proximity to where the entry is for that location.
Councilwoman Mutch is not talking about numbers as much as she is talking about safety.
Mr. Rogers advised they only need 10 parking spaces for 2000 square feet.
Councilwoman Mutch stated 10 in the front would make a difference if they had 500 parking spaces located to the rear of the warehouse.
Councilman Schmid agreed with Councilwoman Mutch.
Councilman Clark does not see this as a big issue. He explained he drives by Michigan Chandelier daily and has yet to see any traffic there because they are never that busy.
Councilman Schmid asked if outside storage is permitted in light industrial. Mr. Rogers replied outside storage is not allowed.
Councilman Kramer asked if they decided to do anything with the retail. Mayor McLallen believes they decided to sensitize the staff who will then look into it.
Councilman Kramer noted there were some issues regarding the berming, Paragraph 3 on Page 109.
Mayor McLallen stated the intent of the berming is to protect the residential districts from any detrimental effects from adjacent nonresidential uses. Mayor McLallen asked if the language on 109-110 has been adopted.
Mr. Rogers replied it was extensively studied by staff and the Planning Commission. He believes the original height of the berm was 15 feet and now it is 10 feet. Mr. Rogers added this language provides an improvement in standards. He explained opacity was 60% - 80% and is now 80%-90% in the summer. The berm height would increase from 6-10 feet to 10-15 feet. Further, the setback from residential parking would be 100 feet instead of 60 feet. He reiterated it is more stringent where light industrial abuts residential. He added this was the recommendation that the Planning Commission forwarded to Council.
Council Kramer believes it could be more clearly presented. Mr. Rogers suggested that they itemize the text to read more clearly. Councilman Kramer agreed.
Mayor McLallen asked if the final berm language accomplished the protection that the neighbors wanted without rendering industrial space useless because it takes up a lot of space. Mr. Rogers advised they had some participation of subdivision residents in public meetings and he recalled that they were satisfied.
Mayor McLallen restated her question was whether there is a balance between the residents and the person that owns the land. She asked how much of the industrial land will remain usable with this type of berm restriction. Mr. Rogers advised there was input from developers and he cannot recall any of them saying it was going to reduce the size of their development parcel. He added if they have a shallow depth property and have a physical hardship, they can present their case to the ZBA.
Councilman Schmid stated it seems that they make provisions in the ordinance and then take it away in the next paragraph. Councilman Schmid does not disagree that there may be a hardship, but asked if the relief that they provide in the language is really more of a ZBA type of relief.
Mr. Watson believes it is, but he thinks the idea was that they did not want to require a trip to an extra body. He advised the Planning Commission believed this was a sufficient condition that would permit the Planning Commission to grant that waiver. Mr. Watson noted there is a handful of situations in the ordinance where they give Council or the Planning Commission waiver ability.
Mr. Wahl advised besides looking at what berms provided for in terms of affecting the developer’s property, they also looked at the practical matter of construction, design, and maintenance of them as they get higher. If he is not mistaken, Mr. Wahl reported there are some practical difficulties in maintaining the berm and keeping it at a quality level that is pleasant. Mr. Wahl wants to make certain that they address the practicality in that going up does not necessarily mean better.
Mr. Rogers replied they have construction standards and if the vegetation begins to die because of lack of irrigation, it is their responsibility. He added that condition is included on the plan in that they shall maintain the berm as they would at home.
Councilman Schmid asked if there are definitions for terms such as "undo hardship." Mr. Watson replied there is a whole body of law that has grown from ZBA cases for terms like that. He added it provides criteria, standards and what they would look at when the Planning Commission is considering things like "practical difficulty."
Mr. Rogers suggested instead of saying 10-15 feet that they should instead state "at least 10 feet." Mr. Rogers explained that a 15 foot high berm with a 10 foot crest would require a 100 foot base.
Mayor McLallen’s concern is that Novi will look like "mound" city. Mr. Rogers believes Harada went to ten feet and the berming will be ten feet next to River Oaks West for the ice arena. Mr. Rogers reiterated that he believes it should be no less than 10 feet.
Councilman Kramer believes the most important item is the opacity requirements, because noise and so forth are addressed in the back.
Mayor McLallen believes the concern is that they would be overbuilding and over confiscating the property to no true diminishment of the adjacency. Mayor McLallen believes the real issue for the homeowner’s is whether light and noise are staying on the industrial property.
Mr. Rogers reiterated that he believes the berm should not be less than 10 feet if they are going to have 5 or 6 foot evergreens.
Councilwoman Mutch is concerned about what will happen in terms of berming on Grand River where they have long narrow residential lots. She believes the berming would have to be constructed on someone’s front or rear yard.
Mayor McLallen believes the consensus is that 15 feet is too much and that 10 feet is more reasonable. She added the attorney will rework "e" on Pages 109 and 110.
Article 20. I-2 General Industrial Districts
Mayor McLallen noted there were no proposed changes.
Article 21. P-1 Vehicular Parking Districts
Mayor McLallen noted there were no proposed changes.
Article 22. C Conference District
Mayor McLallen believes there was discussion about possibly eliminating this district.
Mr. Watson recalls the issue has been raised several times and reminded Council there is still property that is actually zoned for Conference District use. Mr. Watson suggested that determine what that property is going to be rezoned to and accomplish that rezoning before they delete Conference District from the ordinance.
Councilman Schmid asked what zoning would replace the Conference District. Mr. Rogers said RC and OSC zoning could take its place. He explained a hotel could have a conference center if it is zoned RC and advised the Novi Hilton has somewhat of a conference center under its OSC zoning.
Mayor McLallen stated it appears the intent of accommodating further conference use in the community can be met within the RC and OSC Districts. She asked if Council would like to move forward and recommend the rescinding of the Conference zoning while at the same time remove the conference language from the ordinance.
Mr. Wahl suggested that Council could direct staff to research this matter and provide a recommendation to them before removing this district from the ordinance. Mr. Wahl would endorse doing something to change what is an obsolete situation.
Mayor McLallen noted there is a consensus to direct staff to come back with a recommendation in 60 days.
Councilwoman Mutch believes Mr. Arroyo provided an excellent presentation explaining the difference between TC and TC-1 for the Town Center Committee. She would like to see something similar done for the Conference District so they have a clear understanding about what they are removing. Councilwoman Mutch agrees there is a niche for conference type facilities.
Article 23. OS-2 Planned Office Service Districts
Councilman Kramer noted the consistent language has been inserted for recreation facilities.
Article 23A. OST Planned Office Service Technology District
Mayor McLallen noted Article 23 was recently adopted; Mr. Watson concurred.
Mr. Rogers noted all the subheadings under OST 23A are A and asked if the Schedule of Regulations will remain as Section 2400 when the ordinance is codified. Mr. Watson replied the Schedule of Regulations will remain as Section 2400.
Councilman Mitzel stated they will have a spot for OST when they delete Conference Center.
Article 24. Schedule of Regulations
Mr. Rogers noted the change in the front yard under B-2. Councilman Mitzel believes all of those were pulled from the text and advised Council already discussed that.
Mr. Rogers added the majority of Council already agreed to the new B-2.
Mayor McLallen noted there were several changes proposed in Section 2400.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if Council approval is still required under the Preservation Option.
Councilman Mitzel noted the March 1, 1997 minutes reflect that the review process will remain status quo.
Councilman Mitzel noted a typographical error on Page 148 and advised under definitions for net site area it should read Part 303 "or" Part 301.
Mr. Rogers stated those definitions will be inserted in the definition section.
Councilman Mitzel does not know if would be necessary for Council to grant an extension for site condos. Mr. Watson will make the language consistent.
Section 2402. Subdivision Open Space Plan
Councilman Mitzel referred to Page 154 and would advocate that it should say "net site area" instead of "overall" to be consistent with the Preservation Option and RUD language for computing density.
Councilman Mitzel recommended they remove Paragraph 6 on 156 or they will be calling that a density bonus.
Councilman Schmid believes the preservation option deals with net site.
Councilman Mitzel believes the net should be used as a base. However, if the language remains as it is, it should be labeled as a density credit to clarify what they are actually referring to.
Councilmen Schmid and Clark agreed with Councilman Mitzel.
Councilman Kramer favors retaining the language.
Councilman Mitzel advised all they can do is reduce the lot area by 10%. Therefore, even if they left the language as it is, he is not certain how many extra homes they would get. He would prefer to see the language read the same way as the other options.
Councilman Kramer referred to D, Item 7 and stated many times park land is found in a flood plain.
Councilman Mitzel believes that issue is addressed under Item 6.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if they remove that language, does it mean none of it can be considered. Mr. Watson said it conceivably could be considered except to the extent they are otherwise limited by item 6.
Councilman Kramer stated if it is not there, it does not mean it is prohibited.
Councilman Mitzel would like to insert the same language as outlined in the RUD in terms of D, 4 in which they state those facilities shall be constructed. Further, he would like to include language about how land will be set aside with a preservation mechanism.
There was a Council consensus to commonize that language.
Section 2403. One Family Clustering Option
Councilman Mitzel would like the density calculated on net size area under the cluster option when they qualify. He explained they currently qualify if 50% of the area is wetland and he is suggesting that based upon consistence, they should begin with net area for determining the number of houses. He further suggested that allowing them to qualify for a cluster would be 50% of the net area.
Mayor McLallen understands the intent, but she has a concern because they do not base tax and land value upon how much is usable. Mayor McLallen believes they often try to have it both ways in terms of minimum density and maximum taxability. She believes it is somewhat punitive to the land owner the way they are currently regulating it because all of the benefits are on the side of the community.
Councilman Kramer believes the intent of this ordinance was to give some reasonable way to work with property that has greater than 50% sensitive land. He suggested that they should study this further. He believes doing what Councilman Mitzel suggested would negate the intent of this section and that perhaps they can look at whether it is more intensive than what they desire. He further believes it would be a 50% change.
Councilman Mitzel believes if conventional is calculated by net area, then preservation should also be calculated by net area. He advised if they have upland woods they can shift the houses up to the next level. He further advised open space is somewhat similar with its 10% cap. Councilman Mitzel believes if they have 50% sensitive land in the cluster option, this could provide another tool. However if it is left as written and the majority is woodlands or wetlands, it is basically saying not to build conventionally. He added they could still shift all those houses onto the buildable and squeeze in some cluster housing between two R-1 subdivisions. Councilman Mitzel explained that is why he is advocating using the same base units. He added that he would not advocate giving credit for a wetland area.
Councilman Schmid believes this option deserves further discussion. He disagrees with the Mayor’s point about how taxes are derived and believes they should do what is best for the city.
Councilman Kramer is not averse to further discussion, but he believes they need to study the rest of the language if they make a change that may have a wide range of implications. He noted the language gives many requirements that a site must have. He explained if they are supporting the use of clustering under some of these circumstances, he does not see that the wetlands are addressed as they are in the rest of the ordinance. He might not have an issue if they are only applying that to the wetlands, but he does not see wetland verbiage in here.
Councilman Mitzel is not saying they should just insert that, he is saying they should consider that philosophy.
Councilman Kramer would support studying that philosophy.
Councilman Mitzel asked if the consultants and staff could review the cluster option, and rewrite it in the same spirit of the Preservation Option.
Mayor McLallen noted there is a Council consensus to direct city staff and consultant’s to further review the cluster option.
Section 2405. Reserved.
Section 2406. Planned Development Options
Councilman Mitzel advised this section was just sent to the Planning Commission.
Councilman Mitzel suggested they move forward to the section that Mr. Necci would like to address.
Section. 2520 Exterior Building Facade Materials
Doug Necci of JCK, stated most of the revisions are simply tweaking glitches that they discovered throughout the review process. However, Mr. Necci believes these revisions still do not raise the ordinance to a level in terms of seeking quality architecture and that it simply sets a threshold for low end architecture. He further believes this section controls materials, but it does not control aesthetics.
Mr. Necci said since they wrote what is before them there has been an increase in sensitivity to architectural development. Although he believes a review board is a good step forward, he is not certain that every application needs this review. Mr. Necci is especially concerned about high visibility areas (i.e., Grand River Avenue).
Mayor McLallen noted the frustration surrounding this section of the ordinance and presumes that adopting this immediately is not detrimental. Mayor McLallen would like to know if they can move this forward quickly because the investment cycle is now and she believes they do not want to study this issue for 16 months. Furthermore, Mayor McLallen does not want to lose any more of the urban aesthetics on their major corridors.
Mr. Wahl thinks this is a point where they sense there is a need to do something more than use the ordinance’s facade table as their basic tool when dealing with design. Further, as a follow up to a seminar, the Planning Commission directed the staff at their last meeting to review alternatives for this type of process in a broad sense. Mr. Wahl advised they had until the end of the fiscal year to work on this and will have a report by July 1, 1997. Having said that, Mr. Wahl thinks the goal will be two things. First, he believes they want to develop a more creative process and become more interactive with developer as early in process as possible. Secondly, they want to be certain that it not be more bureaucratic. Mr. Wahl believes they have had some experience, particularly in the Town Center area, where they have been able to talk about ideas and goals, and develop some design without over regulating. However, the question is how do they take that experience and look at it in the wider spectrum of the whole community without creating a bureaucratic nightmare. Mr. Wahl believes Council is requesting the same thing and he would like to come back before Council in less than 30 days with some conclusion.
Mayor McLallen believes Mr. Wahl’s request is appropriate. Further, she believes Council would like to have this information in preparation for next year’s construction season.
Mr. Wahl reported he can have a proposal for the next packet. Further, Mr. Wahl advised they included what they thought were worthwhile technical changes to make the process work more smoothly. He noted they upgraded items like field checking of construction projects and the actual review of the facade. He then added until last year, they did not even have a professional architect reviewing the facade.
Seeing the progress they have made tonight, Mayor McLallen believes final adoption will be in August and that they need only one more meeting to finish their review. Mr. Wahl stated they can be back with that information by then.
Councilman Schmid asked if the proposed Review Board would replace the Planning Commission. Mr. Rogers replied no, and added Planning Commission’s and City Council’s in other communities act as a design board. Mr. Rogers believes the question is do they want to establish another citizen based professionally staffed board.
Councilman Schmid believes the concept has merit. He is envisioning something that would be another governmental function so that certain phases would not have to come before Council or the Planning Commission.
Mr. Wahl believes there are different ways of dealing with the process. He advised that they did discuss with the Planning Commission the possibility of relinquishing parts of the design and review process to this body. Their response was they would not be concerned about who is in charge if they could show how it would improve the quality of design.
Councilman Clark asked that they pay particular attention to color as they review this process.
Councilman Kramer noted there were two construction mistakes that occurred in Novi this past year that they do not want to repeat. He also believes there is another community in the area that suggested they would enact some architectural review and that perhaps Novi could learn something from what they did.
Councilwoman Mutch believes it was Sterling Heights.
Mr. Rogers advised he and Mr. Arroyo are currently reviewing examples in other communities.
Mayor McLallen noted there is a consensus to move forward with changes in Section 2520.
Councilman Mitzel believes parking, landscaping, sound limits and cell towers are remaining for their review.
Mayor McLallen noted these areas have already been heavily worked.
Mayor McLallen advised there are no more meetings in June and the next meetings are scheduled for July 7 and 21. The Mayor asked Council to consider a special meeting before one of the next meetings; she would prefer not to schedule another evening meeting.
Councilman Schmid stated he cannot guarantee he will be back in town early enough on July 7 to attend an earlier meeting.
Mayor McLallen noted they will not schedule a meeting for July 7, but asked if Council would agree to call a 6:30 or 7:00 meeting on July 21.
Councilman Mitzel stated for the record that they will pick up their review on Pages 201- 282 and Pages 287 through the end of comparison draft.
There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 10:06 P.M.
Mayor City Clerk
Transcribed by Barbara Holmes
Date Approved: July 7, 1997