MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1997 AT 7:30 P.M.



Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:36 p.m.





ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor ProTem Crawford, Council Members DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid






1. Historic District Study Committee Status Report - Luanne Kozma


Ms. Kozma advised the committee of six members were charged by ordinance with the task of conducting studies and research on the historical significance of the buildings, the structures, features, sites, objects and their surroundings within Novi. She added they were to include any recommendations regarding formation of historic districts in their report. Ms. Kozma further advised the Mayor and Council appointed them in 1990.


Ms. Kozma reported they are currently at the point of completing their preliminary written report and survey, and they expect to provide a copy early next year. Ms. Kozma gave a brief synopsis about why it took so long to conduct their work. She explained that the city hired a consultant early on who was unable to complete the survey at the sites, but noted they were able to hire a second architectural consultant who took up where the second one left off and did the job right. Ms. Kozma advised that they released the consultant’s report to Council a couple of years ago, and it contains a fairly good history of the city and its architectural and historical resources. She noted they will append this document to their report as well.


Ms. Kozma further reported that the committee’s work was still not complete with the completion of the second consultant’s (Dane Archer-Johnson) report. She explained they revamped the Michigan Local Historic District’s Act and introduced new rules by which study committees were to conduct their studies and complete their reports. Ms. Kozma advised they are now following the new guidelines and they required them to go back into the field to check the consultant’s work and make a resource count for each district they are recommending. She explained they counted each barn, garage and out-building to decide whether they were historic. Further, updating this part of the report was also important after so many years had past and many buildings were lost to demolition.


Ms. Kozma reported the committee will make its own report and recommendations based upon the consultant’s work as well as their own surveys and discussions. Although they do not require it at this point in the process, Ms. Kozma advised that the committee also drafted an historic district ordinance for consideration that would create historic districts within the city and in historic district commission.


Ms. Kozma pointed out there were two major historic preservation success stories that occurred in Novi during the course of their study. She explained they were the nomination of the Fuerst property to the National Register of Historic Places, and the move and rehabilitation of the historic Novi Methodist Church. Ms. Kozma added both these efforts and the formation of Preservation Novi which involved some of their committee member’s time were other positive reasons for their long study.


Finally, Ms. Kozma pointed out besides the normal delays that committees with large tasks tend to have, they have been conducting the study in a very comprehensive way. She explained they have been informally acknowledged by the State’s Historic Preservation Office for their commitment to looking comprehensively across the entire community’s geographic borders. She advised they are not just choosing obvious sites; they are also considering more recent properties such as those in the Walled Lake area and older suburban homes that many other cities overlook. Ms. Kozma reported they surveyed nearly 550 properties and 230 of those were surveyed at an intensive level. She reported the committee is recommending approximately 146 properties for inclusion in four historic districts.


Ms. Kozma reported their report is submitted for review by law to only one local body at this point and that is the Planning Commission. She further reported they have submitted a copy to three state agencies in Lansing. She reported they are: The Michigan Historical Center, The Michigan Historical Commission and the Michigan Historic Preservation Review Board. Ms. Kozma added they also plan to provide copies to Council at that time and as a courtesy, they would appreciate comments specifically from the Historical Commission, the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Novi Historical Society, and Preservation Novi. Ms. Kozma reported they plan to have copies for public review available at the Library and city offices.


Ms. Kozma advised once they provide a preliminary report, the committee will hold a public hearing in no less than sixty days. She added they will give written notice to all property owners whose historic properties they are recommending for the districts. After the committee receives comments and review by all these bodies, as well as from the public and the property owners, the committee will go back to their preliminary report and make changes if necessary to submit a final report. Ms. Kozma advised they must accomplish this no later than one year after the public hearing and then they will submit the final report to Council for consideration and action.


Mayor McLallen added that Ms. Kozma gave a very brief synopsis of what has been a very detailed and comprehensive review of the city. The Mayor believes this is a testament to the committee and the city itself in that before these sites are lost, they are taking a strong inventory to see what is possible for them. Mayor McLallen conveyed Council’s thanks to the committee and understands the committee will hold a public hearing sometime in late winter and anticipates that the committee will come back in early 1999.





Richard Herbel - 43600 Cottisford - Northville, advised they own property at Eleven Mile and Beck. Mr. Herbel spoke with the Planning Commission and advised he was able to secure a 1990 aerial version of that area from Oakland County. Although he favors the opportunities that the development offers, Mr. Herbel is concerned about the run off from such a heavy use.


Mayor McLallen interjected, Mr. Herbel is addressing matters 1 and 2 on the agenda which request a rezoning on the east side of Beck Road and south of Grand River.


Mr. Herbel continued by stating that he has spoken with Blair Bowman and was able to get a template of his display at the same scale as the smaller aerial photo. Mr. Herbel advised when he laid the template over the photo, he was able to make copies that demonstrate how the development would sit on the property. Mr. Herbel noted according to the engineering report, the water will drain south across Beck Road. Mr. Herbel’s problem is that it will block access to the culvert. He explained that the run off and the drainage pans out over his property so that it is now considered a wetland.


Mr. Herbel further stated there are approximately eighteen homeowners in the area and they are concerned as well. He advised a question about where the water would drain was raised at the Planning Commission meeting because there is no retention basin or right-of-way. However, Mr. Herbel advised there is a storm sewer along Eleven Mile Road and he has discussed the idea of hooking up to this storm sewer with Mr. Bowman. Mr. Herbel added he and Mr. Bowman agree this would be a logical step in the development of this property when they widen Beck to five lanes with a new clover leaf configuration. Mr. Herbel concluded by stating that he would like to see the water problem resolved.



Jim Korte - Shawood Lake, is concerned about Consent Agenda Item 2 in regard to the Sunset Grill liquor license. Mr. Korte does not know the new owner, but he knows one reason the former bar closed was because there is a group from his subdivision and Howell’s Walled Lake that shut it down regularly. Mr. Korte asked that the new owner abide by the ordinance. Mr. Korte explained Council has the right to ask the new owner to bring the property up to total code compliance. Mr. Korte believes they need a parking lot, they need fences, they need landscaping and they need more than just the refurbishing of the interior. Mr. Korte noted that the paper work does not include anything about improvement to the exterior. However, Mr. Korte reported the front door has changed, there are two small new windows and the building will be re-sided. Further, Mr. Korte understands there is a provision for dancing in the liquor license and noted it was the noise that shut them down last time. Mr. Korte believes although this site is a dump, he does not want the building removed. Mr. Korte only wants it to be a viable business in Novi so that he does not have to complain to the police regularly. Mr. Korte believes Council has the authority to hold up this license long enough to determine whether they are going to have a viable business. Further, Mr. Korte believes Council must force the issue and added that he believes the Building Department is avoiding the issue.



Sarah Gray - 133 Maudlin, has three items she would like addressed. Ms. Gray will discuss two publicly, but asked the City Clerk to forward the third to the Ordinance Review Board and noted it is in regard to garbage pick up.


Ms. Gray believes there is a major problem with parking at Sunset Grill and reported that the veterinarian across the road has four to eight vehicles parked there regularly.


Ms. Gray asked why do they have to pay any money toward a feasibility study for the golf course when the county recently conducted a study for Lyon Township. Ms. Gray believes if anything, the study would show more golf courses (public and private) within the Novi region and she thinks before they spend any more money for a golf course, that Council should look closely at the city’s long term needs and prioritize them. Ms. Gray further believes if that means yet another committee, then so be it. Ms. Gray has no faith in feasibility studies commissioned by the city. She explained if they pay for the study, the results will be skewed and what the city wants them to be. She cited the Ten Mile Road study as a prime example. Ms. Gray supports putting this issue before the voters because it is a critical issue and she does not believe the city has the authority to spend the resident’s money in this way.


In regard to the Beck and Wixom Road interchange, Ms. Gray congratulated everyone for their efforts. Ms. Gray believes the improvement will solve a regional issue on a regional basis and added that cooperation is the key. However, Ms. Gray would like to know where the $4.0M coming from that they have committed.



Chuck Tindall - 2453 Shawood, is before Council to discuss the former tree farm that is now known as the North Novi Park. It has come to Mr. Tindall’s attention that the park will not be opened this year for Christmas tree sales. Mr. Tindall had the opportunity to spend a lot of time at the tree farm last year to gather signatures for a petition. He reported that he spoke to many people and believes they will be disappointed that there will no longer be Christmas tree sales. Mr. Tindall advised he could start another petition and argue the point of profitability, but the effect of this is doubtful. Instead, Mr. Tindall suggested that the people of Novi might think they were double crossed. He explained residents voted

to raise their taxes to purchase a tree farm and now the city is making decisions for that tree farm without their input. Further, some might think that although they have made no official decision about a use for the property that in truth, they have made a decision and every little decision brings them closer to it. Mr. Tindall stated that some people might think that Novi is not considering all possible uses of this property. Further, Mr. Tindall believes that some might think this is progress that they cannot stop; still others might say that they purchased the property to save it from development. Mr. Tindall added there may be others that think they might all get together for an old fashioned golf cart ride through the park. Mr. Tindall believes when they decided to end the Christmas tree sales at the farm that the quality of life in Novi moved backward.


Mayor McLallen interjected, the reason Christmas trees are not being sold this year is because of the lack of suitable trees for cutting. The Mayor added that the park is still open for cross country skiing, for walking and for biking.





Mayor McLallen reported Mr. Klaver has requested that they add as Item 6, Schedule an Executive Session to be held Monday, December 15, 1997 at 6:30, prior to the Council meeting to discuss union negotiations. She added that the labor attorney will be present.


Further, there is an invitation for the annual Fire Department inspection for the customary Council visit to each of the fire houses during the Christmas season. The Mayor reported that the Chief advised the available dates are December 11 or 18. Mayor McLallen advised there is a Council consensus for those available to visit the fire stations Thursday, December 18 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Fire Station #1.


Mr. Watson requested that Council schedule an Executive Session after tonight’s meeting to discuss pending litigation. The Mayor suggested that they add this matter as Item 3a.



CM-97-12-369: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Schmid, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Agenda as amended



Vote on CM-97-12-369: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid

Nays: None



CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)


Councilman Schmid requested that they remove Item 2.


Councilwoman Lorenzo requested that they remove the Minutes of the Regular City Council Meeting of November 20, 1997.


CM-97-12-370: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Schmid, CARRIED: To approve Consent Agenda as amended:


1. Approval of Minutes of Special City Council Meeting of November 24, 1997

3. Approval of Ordinance No. 97-124.10 - To rescind Ordinance Amendment 97-124.09, The Sidewalk/Bicycle Safety Paths Ordinance - II Reading and Final Adoption

4. Approval of Claims and Accounts - Warrant No. 505





1. Approval of Minutes of Regular City Council Meeting of November 20, 1997

2. Approval of transfer of ownership of a 1997 Class C Liquor license with Dance Permit, property located at 43393 Thirteen Mile Road from Thirteen/Novi Associates, Inc. to B & M Investments, Inc. (Sunset Grill)



Vote on CM-97-12-370: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Schmid

Nays: Kramer, Mutch


Mayor McLallen informed Council they will hold the Executive Session between Matters for Council Action Part 1 and Part 2 because she must leave right after the session to meet a plane for the National League of Cities meeting early tomorrow morning.






1. Request for Zoning Map Amendment 18.568 - The NOBE Property Group, LLC, from RA Residential Acreage to RM-1, Low-Density Multiple-Family Residential District and RM-2, High-Density, Mid-Rise, Multiple Family Residential, or any other appropriate zoning district, property located south of Grand River Avenue and east of Beck Road property located south of Grand River Avenue and east of Beck Road


Mayor McLallen reported they have twelve letters of support, one negative letter and a letter from Mr. Herbel who stated earlier that although he supports the project, he has extreme concerns about the disposition of water in the region.


Mayor McLallen added that the Planning Commission has sent this matter forward to Council with an eight to one recommendation, the Community Development Department is recommending approval and Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant does not recommend approval.



Matthew Quinn represents the NOBE Group which consists of two separate entities that are working together on the rezoning effort for these approximately fifty one acres. Mr. Quinn advised the fifty one acres consist of two parcels; one is twenty seven acres and the other is approximately twenty three. Mr. Quinn reported the proposal is to develop the site as a whole unit. He explained the larger area is for upscale apartments in a townhouse style and similar to what is currently on Main Street. Approximately 70% of the units will have their own garages and the others will have open parking spaces through the center of the complex. Mr. Quinn said they will construct approximately 280 to 300 apartments and they will be adjacent to a senior congregate housing facility that will have approximately 120 units. It will have 100 apartments (seventy-five one bedroom and twenty-five two bedrooms) and approximately twenty medical studio apartments. Mr. Quinn explained the studio apartments are for people that have some special needs. There is a proposal that they share a community building with a swimming pool and he believes this reinforces the idea that these two projects will work together. Mr. Quinn added the entrances also work together. He explained they can share the two entrances because the group purchased the last small piece of acreage that will allow them to move the entire driveway away from the congregate facility to the northerly portion. Mr. Quinn added although there is still one area that is not under their control, the project still sits nicely around the parcel.


Mr. Quinn noted the vast majority of everyone that has looked at this project favor it and believes it will benefit the community. Mr. Quinn said the larger area in the rezoning request is RM-1 and will permit the apartments. However, the current ordinances do not allow for the congregate care facility for seniors and he reminded Council they had a senior citizen housing ordinance that they repealed. Mr. Quinn advised that is why they are requesting RM-2; RM-2 allows for the height and density requirements.


Mr. Quinn restated the site is divided into two separate areas. He explained the northerly portion is fairly open with a few trees and a meandering wetland. However, the southerly parcel has a densely populated woodland and the east end has a wetland area that does not appear on the wetland map. Mr. Quinn explained they are showing this area as a wetland because they believe that they will not build in that area and that it will be part of a natural preservation area. Mr. Quinn advised they propose that the line for the preservation easement start through the wetland, travel down through the RM-1 property and then cross through the easterly portion of the RM-2 property. Mr. Quinn noted although it actually affects both of the property areas, all the natural space will be left as it is under a preservation agreement. Mr. Quinn advised they have been working on a preservation agreement with Dennis Watson that will restrict the use of the land for the RM-2 to be used for senior citizen purposes and with no more than a three story maximum. Mr. Quinn understood there was some concern expressed about exceeding the three stories permitted under the RM-2 ordinance. However, he advised they would limit it to only three stories. Mr. Quinn further understands there are some legalities about the enforceability and advised he has drafted an agreement to voluntarily restrict the client’s right to build anything other than three story senior citizen housing on that site. Mr. Quinn explained they have placed waivers of defenses within the agreement that they and possible future owners of this property could use. Mr. Quinn complimented both partners of the NOBE Group and believes the city will find them to be very trustworthy in that they will build exactly what they say they will.


Mr. Quinn reminded Council that their own Senior Citizen Housing Committee chose this site as the preferable site in the city for a senior citizen housing project and added it is just by circumstance that they propose this site for senior citizen housing. Mr. Quinn reported they want to change the zoning from RA because OSC is zoned to the west on the Providence Hospital site, the north on the corner of Grand River and Beck Road is B-3 and although the south is zoned RA, but is a large wetland area. Further, understanding the history of the city, Mr. Quinn believes the small parcel zoned as RA will likely become zoned as B-3. In addition, the other portion of the northerly area is all light industrial and the easterly half to the south is a large extensive wetland area. Because of the surrounding zoning, Mr. Quinn believes that they should zone the parcel something other than RA. Mr. Quinn reported RA would provide for approximately thirty one single family residents with significant intrusion into the woodlands and some intrusion into the wetland area. Mr. Quinn believes their project only affects 16% of the woodlands as opposed to up to 70% of the natural features affected in a residential development. Further, R-4 also causes significant impact on the woodlands.


In addition, this area cannot be used economically for residential because the water table ranges from one to three feet on the south side and up to one to seven feet on the other end. To build basements with that high of a water table produce significant costs by the developer and causes an increase to the price of the homes. Mr. Quinn further explained the price of the homes are affected by the surrounding property in that they have to remember that they have abutting industrial property. He explained there is a significant impact on the value of the homes on the north side of this parcel in that the value would decrease because of the abutting light industrial. Mr. Quinn noted if they extend the B-3 down, that would significantly impact the value on the houses on the north end of this parcel because of its adjacency to B-3. Further, with the adjacency of the OSC and possible commercial development, the northerly portions where they would build homes are significantly affected by the surroundings. Therefore, the value of this land and the houses that would have to be built there cannot economically support the building of those houses because they will not get the price that those houses must bring to make them economical. Mr. Quinn also believes this area is not suitable for a single family residential community because of its proximity to Beck Road.


Mr. Quinn reported they also looked at RT as another zoning option. Mr. Quinn believes a RT use throughout the parcel with the congregate care facility would still cause significant intrusion into the woodlands and the cost of the units cannot be high enough to support the decrease in value based upon the abutting property.


Mr. Quinn advised if they support the current proposal they can see that they will save the natural features and they can move the congregate housing away from some of the natural features.


Mr. Quinn reported another use could be light industrial, but he reminded Council that one of the biggest battles Novi ever saw was putting light industrial next to residential. Mr. Quinn advised the surrounding homes and future homes would be the battle ground for the placement of light industrial in this facility. Mr. Quinn believes Novi has plenty of light industrial and added they currently have unoccupied light industrial land.


Mr. Quinn advised Mr. Rogers had recommended OST as a possible zoning. However, Mr. Quinn noted that Mr. Rogers had somewhat admitted in his letter that this property should not be used for RA, but should be some other use. Mr. Quinn said if they talked to developers that build OST and review the studies already conducted, they will find that this is not a place for OST. Mr. Quinn believes OST belongs on Twelve Mile Road, it belongs on the corridors along I-275 and belongs near the Haggerty connector. Mr. Quinn believes this area is too far away from the major expressway corridors found in Novi.


Mr. Quinn advised another possible use would be commercial, but he knows that Council would never approve commercial in that area because it is not a favored status.


Mr. Quinn suggested that Council might be asking themselves, why apartments? He explained more than one half to two thirds of the city of Novi is not served by any multiple housing at all. He said the purpose of this multiple housing is to serve the people that want to live and work on the northern and western portion of the city with access to the expressway. Mr. Quinn believes part of the people that will live in these apartments will be employees of the Providence Medical Center. Mr. Quinn reported currently, the employees have to go a long way to find apartments to live in. Additionally, Mr. Quinn believes they will find that those people who live west of Novi but want to live in Novi and have access to the interchange, will also live in these apartments. In addition, Mr. Quinn believes seniors will live in these before they must live in a congregate care facility because they will want to become familiar with the area. Mr. Quinn added he has not found anyone who opposes a congregate facility at this location and added he believes it is in an ideal location if a resident needs medical services. He added that Providence Hospital also favors having housing available for their employees. Mr. Quinn then reminded Council that according to the Master Plan, multiple housing serves as a buffer zone between non-residential users and light residential users. Mr. Quinn believes they are providing this buffer.


Mr. Quinn also believes they raised the question of density because of the 280 to 300 apartments and 120 senior citizen apartments. Mr. Quinn referred to the Master Plan and reminded Council that this is a part of their Study Area 7 and advised by the time they have all of the development completed in Study Area 7, by the time they add the apartments and the senior citizen housing, and by the time they fill the areas that are not yet developed, they will still have excess capacity of thirty two housing units in this area. Therefore, they would not impact the residential density at all. Mr. Quinn also understands there will be water and sewer to service this area, the drainage issues will be handled during site plan approval and noted they have planned for some on site retention.


In terms of traffic, Mr. Quinn understands they will be adding more traffic than if they had thirty one units of RA. Mr. Quinn explained although they may have 120 units in the senior citizen congregate care, the impact of traffic is slight because most do not drive and if they do, they do not drive often. Further, he advised although the trip generation from the 280 to 300 multiple family units will be significant, he noted they will be traveling to one of the major arteries and most will travel from the expressway or to the Grand River intersection to the units. Mr. Quinn believes because the motorists will make very few trips to the south, they will not be traveling through residential.


Mr. Quinn introduced Bill Mayer as the manager of the congregate care facility and noted that the Mayer family will operate the facility. Mr. Mayer reported they are a family operated organization and they have two facilities; one is found in Southfield and another is in Farmington Hills. Mr. Mayer advised his family once owned the nursing home that abutted the existing Big Boy on Novi Road thirty years ago and added they are excited about serving Novi once again. He reported the average age in their facility is eighty-five years old. Mr. Mayer reported that is the fasted growing segment of the senior population and added that it is expected to triple by the year 2005. Consequently, because there are many elderly people moving forward, each city must address their special needs.


Mr. Mayer reported they historically construct a two story facility with three stories in the center section and one hundred congregate care apartments. These apartments have meals, a house cleaner, activities, transportation and emergency call systems. They also have an additional twenty units with a separate day dining area to allow the residents to stay within the facility as they age. Mr. Mayer added the senior population is rapidly growing and if they do not build the facility now, they will not build it in time tp meet the needs of the senior population as it changes. Mr. Mayer provided a packet describing their two other facilities.


Blair Bowman has had the opportunity to work with Mr. Mayer in other communities and he believes they are the finest operators of these types of facilities. He also believes they bring an element of stability and class to this particular project. Mr. Bowman feels that restating the element of inclusion with respect to the senior project and the townhouse apartment project is important. Mr. Bowman believes they did more than what the ordinance revision process requires as far as looking at what the alternative uses might be for this particular site. Mr. Bowman agrees it is a unique site and located in a particular position that provides for this project’s location. Mr. Bowman added for the record that he plans to work with Mr. Herbel to determine if it is feasible to resolve the drainage issues he brought forward.


Councilman Schmid asked Mr. Rogers to explain his opposition to this project. Mr. Rogers reminded Council that his report has been a matter of record since it was written in August. Mr. Rogers asked Council to also keep in mind that there has been no official review of the existence of woodlands and wetlands in the proposed area. He explained that would be something they would conduct during the site plan review process. However, he would agree that the applicant has recognized the substantial woodlands and wetlands.


Mr. Rogers advised at the time he developed his conclusions in August and based upon the submitted application, he concluded that it was time to reevaluate an alternate use for this island of RA district zoning. He explained he based his conclusions on the Providence Hospital complex greatly expanding, the accelerated traffic and interchange proposed for Beck and I-96, the two to three new industrial uses proposed along Grand River Avenue and the buffer area to the south of the woodlands and wetlands. Mr. Rogers noted that there was no objection by any of the surrounding property owners for the proposal other than the drainage issue raised by Mr. Herbel.


Mr. Rogers advised that he questioned the applicant’s statement that there was no economic viability for some of the residential uses and added that they brought additional information forward after he wrote his report. Mr. Rogers stated the applicant tested their alternatives and so he concluded, not withstanding marketability, that something other than RA was suitable in the area. Mr. Rogers concluded that some kind of research park with some affinity to Providence Medical Center might be an alternate use. Mr. Rogers noted that he had no information before the hearing about the opinion of Providence Hospital.


Mr. Rogers respects the Planning Commission’s recommendation and added this is a land use decision tonight and not a site plan decision. Mr. Rogers stated that the Planning Commission has recently permitted the architect and developer to present conceptual plans. However, he asked that Council keep in mind that unless Mr. Quinn and Mr. Watson develop some kind of legal working agreement, once they have rezoned it, the applicant could present a different site plan.


Mr. Rogers believes at this point that a congregate care facility is well suited and apparently, will be well developed. Further, Mr. Rogers believes the housing to the north appears to serve the housing needs of employees at Providence Hospital. The concern Mr. Rogers had about the multiple housing was that they do have a sizeable inventory of housing already in the city and more coming forward.


Mr. Rogers reported he suggested in his report that they should recognize and justify a major area rezoning like this which seems to have some merit on the surface with the Master Plan of Land Use. Mr. Rogers restated although he agrees RA zoning is an unsuitable zoning for this, he wanted to present other possible viewpoints, and noted he also does not want to waver from his original report. Mr. Rogers added he also has no knowledge of any high tech, OST or office use interested in this parcel.


Councilman Schmid understands that Mr. Rogers’ conclusions have changed slightly from his written report. Councilman Schmid added he believes Mr. Quinn accurately points out that if they permitted this project to move forward, the density would not be topped for this particular area.


Councilman Schmid asked how do planners determine density? Mr. Rogers replied that the density is based upon the gross area without removing woodlands and wetlands. He recalled that they went through this process when the Harvest Lake application came before them. He added that there are some areas that are under large parcel ownership that he does not expect will be cut up. He agreed there is a forty acre wetland to the east and it is quite possible that they can stay within the density of this planning unit because of the other non-usable areas if the rezoning takes place.


Councilman Schmid understands they only look at gross acreage based on zoning and that they do not consider the wetlands and woodlands when making a density determination; Mr. Rogers agreed.


Councilman Schmid asked how can they know that density will not exceed the density of this planning unit at this point because they do not know how many woodlands and wetlands there are. Mr. Rogers agreed that in a general master plan without a detailed woodland and wetland survey there is no way to determine that number. However, he noted that it raises a good point that in the future they could make adjustments with their new woodland and wetland maps.


Councilman Schmid asked how do they know based on the gross acreage that this does not exceed the density for this area? Mr. Rogers replied according to the applicant’s reports that if all the other density stayed the same, the area could accommodate this particular number of units. Mr. Rogers added according to the applicant’s plans that they computed more dwelling units than will likely be approved because they did not remove regulated wetlands from the RM-1 district for density computations. Therefore, they have thirty to forty units too many. Mr. Rogers added he has already discussed this matter with Mr. Bowman.

Councilman Schmid understands that they determine density by looking at the zoning and gross acreage without considering woodlands or wetlands. Mr. Rogers replied they use the Residential Density Area Plan which largely reflected the Zoning Ordinance at the time.

Councilman Schmid assumes most of this area is zoned some kind of residential, but he cannot understand how the density would be less if they construct a four hundred unit apartment unit. Mr. Rogers noted there is a lot of large parcel development in this area and the Residential Density Plan assumed that they would cut all these parcels into 0.8 units per acre.


Councilman Schmid understands that this area could be zoned for offices, OST, or high tech and although Mr. Quinn suggested this would not be a good location, there is an expressway within less than a half mile. Therefore, Councilman Schmid believes this would be an excellent location for this type of zoning. Councilman Schmid asked if this type of zoning would be appropriate? Mr. Rogers replied that perhaps an independent, private research company might be appropriate, but he does not have a specific tenant in mind.


Councilman Schmid asked whether the 2,300 vehicle traffic count was accurate? Mr. Arroyo replied they estimated 2,300 vehicles over a twenty four hour period based upon the applicant’s proposal.


Councilman Schmid asked if the local roads can accommodate this additional traffic as they currently exist? According to existing data, Mr. Arroyo advised the Beck Road and Eleven Mile Road intersection is operating at Level of Service A and would be projected to be at Level of Service B even with some detour traffic from Grand River. Mr. Arroyo reported they do not have any current intersection analysis for level of service at the Grand River and Beck Road interchange. Mr. Arroyo advised they know that Beck Road was carrying just over 12,000 vehicles per day as of the last twenty four hour count in 1995. Mr. Arroyo reported that is typically indicative of a road that can still handle some additional traffic before they would see some major level of service problems. However, Mr. Arroyo noted they could still have isolated problems at intersections with turning movements and without having a specific analysis of the intersection, it is difficult for him to determine exactly what the level of service is for all those various movements at Grand River and Beck.


Councilman Schmid asked if that would be a normal thing to know if they were making a decision? Mr. Arroyo replied typically with a rezoning analysis, the ordinances require that there be a trip generation comparison so they can see what they would generate under existing zoning versus what they would generate under proposed zoning. Mr. Arroyo explained they sometimes get a more detailed traffic analysis and they always require that at the site plan level. Mr. Arroyo added at the rezoning level there is typically a wide variation of what could happen in terms of actual development that they could build. Further, there is a wide variation of where access points could be because they are not actually developing a site plan. Therefore, it becomes more difficult to rely upon a detailed traffic study. He explained sometimes they can get the traffic information and use it as best as they can. However, when they have a detailed traffic study at a rezoning stage, they have to keep in mind that they do not tie it to site plan and a lot of the assumptions that they could include within that traffic study could change once a site plan comes in.


Councilman Schmid stated after they change the zoning it is a little late to discover that they have too much traffic. Mr. Arroyo said in some respects that is true. However, sometimes things can happen at the site plan stage to require some improvements on a negotiated basis. He advised they sometimes see that with special land uses and he added, in Michigan, they are more limited in terms of what they can do with offsite improvements any way.


Councilwoman Lorenzo understands Eleven Mile and Beck are currently operating at Level of Service A and that Mr. Arroyo stated that the City of Novi is also proposing to add separate left and right turn lanes on both Beck Road approaches. By "proposing," Councilwoman Lorenzo asked if that means it is already funded? Mr. Arroyo replied that is part of the Road Bond Program and will include signalization. He added that it is currently under design and he believes the intent is for the construction to potentially take place next year.


Councilwoman Lorenzo understands detour traffic would reduce the Level of Service to B and asked what level would to go to with this type of project? Mr. Arroyo replied that is difficult to say. He recalled when they conducted their analysis of the detour traffic that they were conservative in trying to show it more on the high side than it likely would be. In terms of the volumes proposed by the applicant, Mr. Arroyo thinks most of the traffic will be to and from the north so there will be less of the development traffic on a percentage basis going to the south (Beck and Eleven Mile Road intersection). Mr. Arroyo does not know whether dropping it from B to C without doing a detailed analysis would be significant enough, but he does not believe it would be any worse than Level of Service C. He added that they do not have sufficient information to actually make that determination.


Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether Mr. Arroyo was able to come up with the comparisons for other land use? Mr. Arroyo said he will distribute that information to Council.


Councilwoman Lorenzo explained she had asked Mr. Arroyo earlier to provide additional trip generation comparisons for other residential zones as well as some of the other zones that Mr. Rogers had proposed as alternatives. She said because one concern was about traffic as it always is, she wanted to know if the developer would be willing voluntarily to commit off to site road improvements as necessary in order to maintain levels of service that would pertain to a higher single family zone (i.e., R-3 or R-4) in that location.


Mr. Bowman interjected, they would consider doing that within reason. He believes that would be analysis that they would conduct at site plan level. Mr. Bowman added that they envision offsite improvements and planned on cooperating with what they know the City of Novi has planned for that stretch of road. Further, he does not think the state and county have completed what they must do with respect to the transfer of traffic into that location during the bridge construction. Mr. Bowman restated they will cooperate within reason and plan to be responsible for some offsite improvements.


Councilwoman Lorenzo understands the applicant’s position because of the uncertainty of the improvements. She further understands this is a land use issue and not a site plan issue, but added they are limited about what they can require at site plan. Mr. Bowman stated they want a functional project and are as concerned about that as the city.


In regard to the detour, Mr. Kriewall reported that they sent Council a memo advising that according to the Oakland County Road Commission, the detour will now be on Twelve Mile Road


Councilwoman Lorenzo restated this is first a land use issue and not a site plan issue. She said there are obviously a lot of site plan issues yet to be determined and addressed (i.e., storm water drainage and traffic). However, Councilwoman Lorenzo believes Mr. Quinn made some very good arguments. She explained she normally supports the Master Plan. However, in this instance she thinks it is somewhat unrealistic and outdated. As a former Planning Commissioner, she stated when they look at a master plan update they are looking at the big picture and it is very difficult to zone in on a particular area where conditions may have changed and they may want to readdress the issue. Councilwoman Lorenzo believes this is clearly one of those cases because of the surrounding zoning land uses. Councilwoman Lorenzo further believes this rezoning also makes sense from a land use standpoint because of the surrounding land uses. Therefore, Councilwoman Lorenzo will support the land use change in this area.


Councilman DeRoche supports the development of senior housing this close to the hospital and the resulting functional use. Further, he believes the petitioner has done a good job in taking a piece of land and finding a use for the land that is as agreeable as it is to the surrounding residents as it is to the businesses.


Councilman DeRoche asked Mr. Rogers to describe what his current position is with the facts now before him. Mr. Rogers replied because of the lack of showing of interest with office or OST, by the demonstration of the need and necessity by the hospital group, and with the reduced number of multiple units, he believes there is merit to consider the proposed rezoning. However, he suggested that they make this a high priority in the Master Plan Update to reflect this density change. Further, he added time will stand the test whether this project gets occupied and he hopes that it does.


Councilman DeRoche asked where will the sewers come through? Mr. Kriewall advised the sanitary sewers and water main are already in place.


Councilman Kramer restated that this is a land use consideration and not a site plan. Councilman Kramer said although the site plan is of high quality, it does not affect their decision for the rezoning. He believes when they get to site plan execution, that it will likely lose some of the density due to some engineering concerns that were expressed. Councilman Kramer understands that the proposed development is not going to add to the density and added that they still must address the traffic issue at the site plan stage. Councilman Kramer believes the proposal is reasonable in terms of use in the area, and agrees it is a buffer to and compatible with the surrounding area. Councilman Kramer added that he disagrees with Mr. Quinn’s suggestion that B-3 is appropriate to the north.

Councilman Kramer would support a favorable motion on this project subject to obtaining a legal agreement of restricted use of the RM-2.


A motion was made by Councilman Kramer and seconded by Councilwoman Lorenzo to approve Zoning Map Amendment 18.568 for the property located south of Grand River and east of Beck Road from R-1, Residential Acreage to RM-1, Low-Density Multiple-Family District and RM-2, High-Density Multiple Family Residential District subject to obtaining appropriate legal agreements by January 12, 1998 for restriction on the use of RM-2 to senior citizen housing.


Dennis Watson stated when Mr. Quinn gave his presentation he alluded to their being some legal issues. Mr. Watson reported when this matter was before the Planning Commission, he had mentioned the restrictive covenants in that they are one method aside from zoning to restrict the use of property to a particular use. He said one thing required to do that is through the conveyance of some property interest. However, he noted there was a technical issue with the idea of this restriction running with the land. In other words, it would be something that would be binding on any future owner of that property. Mr. Watson reported there is a problem with that in this particular case because to make it run with the land, they must provide a dominant estate in that the owner would propose to convey a property interest to the city and that would be a basis for the city enforcing the restriction. He noted that property interest is a proposed conservation easement which is something that the city routinely gets when there are woodlands and

wetlands being preserved on the site. The problem is, in order to run with the land, there is another technical requirement and that is, a particular restriction must be a benefit to the property that they are acquiring. In other words, the restriction to a senior congregate development would have to be of some benefit for that particular property interest, Mr. Watson explained that would mean the conservation easement, when in fact it is not really related to it at all, cannot be said to be a benefit to that particular property. He noted it may be of benefit to the city generally and a benefit from a planning standpoint, but it does not really relate that. Because of that, Mr. Watson said they have serious doubts about whether that would be something that would be enforceable in the future and he could not recommend that they rely upon that as giving them an assurance that they will develop it for senior use.


Mayor ProTem Crawford concurs with Councilwoman Lorenzo’s comments. He particularly supports her observation that although they all try to adhere to the Master Plan, sometimes a different zoning is appropriate.


Mayor ProTem Crawford hopes they can refine some of those restrictions to ensure that there will be senior housing. Regardless, Mayor ProTem Crawford believes Mr. Quinn has made a good argument that other zonings are really inappropriate for that area. He added even if they did not construct the senior housing, that it is probably the proper direction to construct that type of multiple zoning to serve as a buffer. Mayor ProTem Crawford thinks making that area RM is a good zoning decision.


Councilwoman Mutch asked Mr. Watson to further explain what he meant when he stated the development has to be a benefit to the property owner? Mr. Watson believes he may have misspoken and explained he meant to say that it is not of benefit to that particular property owner, but it has to relate to that property interest they are acquiring. In this case, the property the city would be acquiring is a preservation easement and the restriction to senior housing does not relate at all to that.


Councilwoman Mutch asked if Mr. Watson could provide an example of something that might relate to that? Mr. Watson replied properties developing next to a residential area and the property is divided so that some of it will remain for single family development and some of it will be allowed for other development. Mr. Watson explained they may have some restriction on the use of the property that they have rezoned to another use that will be a direct benefit to that remaining single family residential park property.


Councilwoman Mutch asked if they perceive a preserved conservation area as a benefit to the city at large and a benefit to the adjacent property owners, but they do not see it as a benefit to the potential residents of the senior development? Mr. Watson replied the issue is whether the restriction on their remaining property to senior congregate use is a benefit to that preservation easement and it really is not related to that.


Councilwoman Mutch agrees that the petitioner made a good argument for this proposal, but she also agrees with Councilman Kramer and Councilwoman Lorenzo in that when they consider a rezoning, they are considering a land use issue.

Councilwoman Mutch slightly disagrees with the statement made that other types of zoning were not desirable; she would instead state that they would be less desirable.


Further, she advised Mr. Quinn pointed out that it his opinion the traffic from the seniors who would be driving would likely be northbound rather than southbound. She suggested that they rely on Mr. Arroyo’s report rather than general statements like that. She explained until there are alternatives in that area, there is commercial at Ten Mile and Beck Roads where people may make short trips for quick shopping that seniors living alone are more inclined to do. She then reminded Council that many activities organized for the senior population occur at the Civic Center or further east. However, she would agree that the impact is very limited and should not add significant traffic. Finally, Councilwoman Mutch believes if they looked at the proposed development and the idea that they would have senior housing in this location apart from the land use question, that this is good planning for the City of Novi. She added she believes this project would distribute housing geared for the seniors throughout the community.


Councilman Schmid believes this has been one of the more difficult projects to review. He added one problem they are facing in Novi is that developers are presenting their plans too far in advance. Although he believes there is some merit to this, he also believes it disallows for discussion at the Council table. Further, Councilman Schmid believes many Council members have committed to the project before it came to the table.


Councilman Schmid advised what he is about to say has no bearing on the petitioners and added he has the highest respect for them. However, Councilman Schmid does not believe this project is what is best for Novi. He explained they have possibly three major apartment buildings coming forward and noted they have more apartment units than houses. Councilman Schmid further believes apartments are not necessarily good for a community.


Councilman Schmid does not believes it is Council’s responsibility to make certain that a project is economically feasible for a developer to proceed. Councilman Schmid stated if this land were used for single family residential, they would price it differently than commercial, multiple or industrial zoning. Therefore, if they constructed one house, the fifty acres would be worth a lot less than if they constructed four hundred units. Councilman Schmid restated that Council should not consider whether it is economically feasible. He believes the feasibility is what the cost of the land is and that the zoning dictates cost.


Councilman Schmid does not believe there is a need for more apartments in Novi other than what is already zoned. He advised the projection for apartments was 8,772 apartment units in 1991 with 856 mobile home units for a total of 10,628 units. Councilman Schmid reported the projection for single family households was 9,247. Councilman Schmid believes they have to learn to say no to apartments before living in Novi is not affordable.


Councilman Schmid also believes Novi has enough existing and proposed senior housing and that it is an error to suggest they need more. Councilman Schmid then reminded Council there are two projects moving forward (Twelve Oaks and City of Novi). Councilman Schmid does not believe they want to become a regional senior housing community. He believes this is spot zoning and will cause an effect all the way down Beck Road.


Although Councilman Schmid believes in the Master Plan, he believes they should change it in a way that the use is proper while maintaining the integrity of the adjacent area. Councilman Schmid noted the area immediately adjacent to the south is RA zoning with R-2 and R-3.


In terms of taxes, Councilman Schmid reported taxes paid to the City of Novi are as follows: the residential-single family average is $938.00; commercial amounts to $9,273.00; Industrial amounts to $4,791.00; apartment units amount to $162.00 and mobile home units amount to $36.00. He added they are talking about per person and therefore, they have to include the cost for additional services.


Councilman Schmid advised if they were to construct forty homes on one acre lots, it would generate $37,520.00 in taxes and 460 apartments would generate $74,980.00 in taxes. Further, if they doubled the residential (eighty homes in an R-2), they would generate $75,040.00 in taxes. Councilman Schmid noted 460 apartments would generate less than eighty homes. Councilman Schmid asked Council to visualize the difference in the traffic impact and all the other elements of fire and police. Councilman Schmid does not believe there is anything wrong with apartments, but they have to be careful about how many they construct. He believes it is not fair to the industrial and commercial development, or the homeowner’s to continue to make up the difference in their taxes.


Councilman Schmid added traffic is also a major issue and believes they should have come up with something that would have been compatible with Providence Hospital.


Mayor McLallen asked for further clarification about the motion’s contingency that the R-2 portion be restricted to senior housing. From Mr. Watson’s pursuant discussion, she understands that the probability of that restriction is low and asked whether it should remain in the motion. Mr. Watson advised they may or may not leave it in the motion. However, he suggested if they leave it in the motion that they state it differently because it leaves it open ended as they currently state it. Mr. Watson further suggested that they could postpone this, give the applicant and his office a specific amount of time to come back with a response that they have an agreement that they are comfortable recommending or that they cannot provide an agreement with that restriction. Mr. Watson then suggested that they could include it as a condition in their motion, but they should place a time limit as for when that condition is going to be satisfied. For example, if it is not satisfied by the first meeting in January, then they do not grant the rezoning.


Councilman Kramer is agreeable to either suggestion, but he is not certain about what is most practical. He added that he would agree to amend the motion to include that they would bring back an agreement before Council by January 12. As the seconder of the motion, Councilwoman Lorenzo agreed as well.


Mayor McLallen will support the motion and as a point of balance, paraphrased from the Master Plan for Land Use by stating roughly 83% of the city is zoned for residential use, including those public and quasi-public uses. Further, single-family residential zoning comprises 14,000 acres within the city and as of 1991, only 18% is developed. She added multiple family zoned land is 808 acres. The Mayor noted that would amount to 14,000 acres versus 808 acres. Mayor McLallen advised this is the first time they have rezoned for multiple in that period and the rezoning would add fifty one acres to multiple family.


The Mayor believes Councilman Schmid raised many significant points in terms of whether this is a positive or a negative thing to do. However, she believes there is another perspective. She explained Novi is a growing community and in reality, it is a regional community. Therefore, she believes they need all sorts of housing and one of the most critical issues in the community is finding people to take the jobs in the regional areas. The Mayor advised the more diversified housing they can offer, the more stable their work force will be and she believes that is very significant for the long term tax base. She explained the long term service sector must have housing for its employees at a reasonable rate to sustain that capital investment.


Mayor ProTem Crawford asked what would occur if they were unable to provide an agreement by the January 12 meeting? He further asked if they would be in a position to deny the rezoning? Councilman Kramer said they could bring it back and see if they would approve it without a legal agreement.


Mayor ProTem Crawford pointed out that there may not be a reason to include that stipulation. Although he will support the motion, he does not think it is necessary because based upon Mr. Watson’s comments, it might not happen. Further, from statements made by the petitioner and from what other Council members have said that regardless of the site plan, the proper decision is to move toward multiple housing zoning.


Councilman Kramer is concerned from a land use perspective about the unrestricted use of RM-2. He explained he would have difficulty with a stand alone unqualified RM-2.



For the record, Councilman DeRoche noted he resents when another Council member comments on the decision making ability of other Council members. He explained it includes him in a group of those who make decisions without first receiving all the information. He noted he especially takes exception tonight because the information that was conveyed tonight was in a format that they all described as a well-prepared presentation and important to their decision making. Further, Councilman DeRoche resents these accusations coming from a Council member who has a prewritten speech that was likely made in advance of a meeting.


Councilman DeRoche concurs with Mayor ProTem Crawford in that his support is regardless of the site plan, but noted he would still support the motion with the condition. However, Councilman DeRoche added if that becomes a problem in the future, he would like to see it loosened up a bit.


Councilwoman Mutch appreciates the efforts of those who brought forward research on their own prior to tonight’s discussion. Further, if this matter does get postponed until January, she would not only like to have the benefit of being able to review the numbers that Councilman Schmid brought forward, but she also would like to know the source of that information so she can judge their accuracy and validity.


Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Bowman to respond to Mr. Watson’s time frame. Mr. Bowman replied he is somewhat confused about what they are going to attempt to do by January. He asked whether Mr. Watson is saying that there probably is not going to be a mechanism? He said if there is not a valid mechanism, then he does not want to give false hope with respect to that. However, he would commit that they will provide and execute a conservation easement. He agrees there is argument to be made about whether it runs with the land. However, as Mr. Quinn indicated, they are willing to remove those potential defenses from the document that would exclude a future property owner and their ability to defend themselves against that. Again, Mr. Bowman does not pretend to know all legal nuances, but he does know they will give the city an extraordinary amount of agreement to rely on. Further, Mr. Bowman understands that congregate housing is of great concern, but he noted there is no other zoning district that allows for it in Novi. Mr. Bowman restated they are willing to commit to this document and does not want to wait another month for a decision.


Mayor McLallen understands Mr. Watson’s opinion is that the preservation easement can move forward on its own, but the real issue is about the RM-2 zoning on the lower end of the property. She explained it is acceptable as a congregate facility, it is not acceptable as everything that is acceptable in R-2 because Novi does not have an ordinance that addresses congregate housing. Further, if the petitioner did not move forward with their proposal and they passed the zoning, then another party could build anything that was permissible in R-2. Mayor McLallen asked if there is a mechanism in a rezoning that their development rights vested in this zoning can be forfeited for anything except congregate housing. Mr. Watson replied there is nothing that allows for that.


Therefore, Mayor McLallen now understands that holding up the project until January will not solve any problems. Mr. Watson understood Councilman Kramer’s motion was to put a mechanism in place to provide those assurances. Mr. Watson said the petitioner proposed one form of mechanism to do that and he cannot provide Council with an assurance that would be an appropriate way of doing that. Mr. Watson added that is something that he advised the petitioner’s attorney of when it was first forwarded to him. Mr. Watson advised that he told them he was open to any other ideas and willing to brainstorm to see if they could develop some satisfactory mechanism. However, Mr. Watson restated he cannot tell Council that they will definitely produce an agreement by January 12.


Mayor McLallen understands that the zoning cannot be contingent upon the construction of the specific building. Mr. Watson agreed, but added there is a technique known as "conditional zoning" that has been used. He explained there is a Michigan Supreme Court case approving that technique, but he would not recommend it in this particular case. Mr. Watson added the particular precedent in Michigan allowing for it was not for a restriction on land use itself, it was a restriction on related issues such as buffering an adjacent property.


Mr. Bowman is now more concerned. He restated they will commit to brainstorm and will do whatever is acceptable. He added they are also willing to commit themselves voluntarily to this type of agreement and that they are willing to say that it runs with the land. Further, he reported they are willing to take out the potential defenses toward a future implication of this. Mr. Bowman reminded Council that the Mayer family has a history of investing and staying in the community for the long term. Mr. Bowman stated if there is something possible to restrict it, they would agree to it. However, extraordinary hardships in terms of their arrangements with property owners and their planning process would occur if an agreement does not occur by January 12 and the rezoning no longer exists. Mr. Bowman restated they will use their best efforts and at the direction of the city attorney, they will enter whatever agreement is practical and enforceable to restrict the use of the land.


Councilman Kramer asked if that is much different than postponing the action until January 12?


Councilwoman Lorenzo would be agreeable to that knowing full well it is a gamble in rezoning cases. She understands that the petitioner is asking Council to give them the benefit of the doubt and she will do that under this circumstance. However, she warned the petitioner she would not give them a second opportunity if they do not live up to their agreement.


Councilman Kramer is uncertain about what the problem is. Mr. Bowman explained the motion is conditional and if they are unable to develop an agreement that is enforceable, Council is saying they will not rezone the property. Mr. Bowman further explained they would then leave with nothing because if he understands Mr. Watson, he is not aware of a mechanism. However if Mr. Watson is aware of a mechanism then Mr. Bowman would prefer to hear that now. Further, he believes they have only stopped short of transferring the property to the city (which they would do if necessary) and then the city would transfer it back subject to a restriction.


Councilman Kramer would consider removing the contingency, but he is still interested in having them develop an agreement.


Mr. Watson is willing to continue to work on this matter whether they make it a condition or not.


Councilman Kramer removed the conditional portion of the motion. Councilwoman Lorenzo would rather have that, than nothing in place. However, she will reluctantly support removing the condition and will second the motion.



CM-97-12-371: Moved by Kramer, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED: To approve Zoning Map Amendment 18.568 for the property located south of Grand River and east of Beck Road from R-1, Residential Acreage to RM-1, Low-Density Multiple-Family District and RM-2, High-Density Multiple Family Residential District





Mayor McLallen asked whether Mr. Bowman’s commitment to the actual ultimate use of this site is pertinent to the rezoning.


Councilwoman Lorenzo interjected, there is no ideal mechanism from what Mr. Watson is saying.


Mr. Watson disagreed and advised that there could be a mechanism, but there is no mechanism in the zoning ordinance. He explained they could provide a specific zoning classification for that type of use within the zoning ordinance However, he added it may not fit within the time frame of this particular applicant.


Mayor ProTem Crawford stated considering the concern of some Council members and statements made, he asked whether it would be appropriate for this part of the meeting to be transcribed verbatim? He believes it could help any potential future problems. Mr. Watson disagreed because no one has questioned the sincerity of the applicants and verbatim minutes would not resolve their concerns about the enforceability. Mr. Watson restated he would not say that a better record solidifies the commitment or the enforceability of the commitment.


Councilwoman Mutch asked whether there would be any merit in separating the part they are concerned about? However, she noted she is not certain whether that is a good idea. Further, she agrees with Councilwoman Lorenzo’s comment that they approve rezonings with a certain amount of faith, based upon everything presented and past experience.


Councilman Schmid will not support the motion, but believes the motion should move forward without any restrictions because he trusts that the petitioners will proceed as they have indicated. He reminded Council they are only talking about seven acres.



Vote on CM-97-12-371: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch

Nays: Schmid



2. Request for Zoning Map Amendment 18.571 - The NOBE Property Group, LLC, from RA Residential Acreage to RM-2, High-Density, Mid-Rise, Multiple Family Residential, or any other appropriate zoning district, property located south of Grand River Avenue and east of Beck Road


Matthew Quinn advised the same arguments apply to this rezoning request.


The Mayor added they are separated because they acquired the rights for this piece of property after their original submission.


Mr. Bowman said this acquisition allowed them to rotate the congregate housing portion of the project further out of the woodlands and eliminate a curb cut. He added that it also slightly adjusted the areas of boundary of the RM-2 versus RM-1.


Mr. Quinn added that they just want to make certain that those new legal descriptions are incorporated into the ordinance.


Mayor ProTem Crawford asked wether there is any potential to acquire the missing piece. Mr. Bowman replied they have sent no less than a dozen communications to the owner and they have not responded to their proposals. He added they understand the owner’s position and think they are looking at this development as something more intense.



Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if that would also require a zoning change if they acquired that parcel? Mr. Bowman said that was correct.



CM-97-12-372: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED: To approve Zoning Map Amendment 18.571 for the property located south of Grand River and east of Beck Road from Residential Acreage (RA) to High-Density, Mid-Rise, Multiple Family Residential District (RM-2)





Councilman Schmid stated his position is the same for this request.



Vote on CM-97-12-372: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch

Nays: Schmid



3. Request for approval of transfer of ownership of 1995 Class C Liquor License in escrow from Home Sweet Home, Inc., to ARKIN, L.L.C., property located at 43180 Nine Mile Road


Irwin Arkin advised he is the manager of Arkin L.L.C. Mr. Arkin reported Arkin L.L.C. owns the property located at 43180 Nine Mile Road on 2.12 acres with 128 parking spaces. Mr. Arkin said Arkin L.L.C. leased the property to Steve Romanik of Home Sweet Home in 1987 for a five year period with four five year options. Mr. Romanik was a good operator and exercised his first five year option in 1992. However, a few years later Mr. Romanik became sick and asked to sell the restaurant which was his right under the terms of the lease. Mr. Romanik found Mr. and Mrs. Collins who wanted to buy the restaurant, but added that neither had any restaurant experience. He advised Mrs. Collins’ daughter was working for the Marriott chain out west and indicated that she had knowledge of running a restaurant. Unfortunately, Ms. Collins was overwhelmed and it was not long before she left, leaving the restaurant in inexperienced hands. The restaurant ultimately failed and went into bankruptcy . Mr. Arkin added that bigger problems resulted when the liquor license went into bankruptcy also. Mr. Arkin stated under the lease, Mr. Romanik had the right to sell the restaurant again and attempted to negotiate a lease with a new party. Trying to save time and money, Mr. Romanik attempted to make a simultaneous liquor license transfer rather than take the license back. Unfortunately, the deal fell through and as a result, the license never transferred and stayed with the bankruptcy attorney. Mr. Romanik then decided he would not search for another buyer because of his health and left the restaurant. Mr. Arkin advised he was fortunate enough to have the bankruptcy attorney request and grant an extension for the liquor license. Mr. Arkin is now before Council requesting the transfer of this license so the license is not lost. Once approved, Mr. Arkin asked that the liquor license be held in escrow pending the lease of the restaurant business.



CM-97-12-373: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant local approval for transfer of ownership of 1995 Class C liquor license to Arkin L.L.C. pursuant to Section 3-15 of the Novi Code of Ordinances




Councilwoman Mutch asked if Mr. Arkin is referring to the restaurant business and not the building when he refers to the transfer from Mr. Romanik? Mr. Arkin replied that is correct.


Councilman Kramer asked how does the action of Council influence the bankruptcy attorney holding the liquor license? Mr. Watson advised that the bankruptcy attorney has consented to the transfer.


Councilman Schmid asked if there is still any outstanding debt? Mr. Arkin replied that has been taken care of.


Councilman Schmid asked if Mr. Arkin can sell the license? Mr. Watson replied he could.


Mr. Arkin restated it is not his intent to open the restaurant, but to find a good operator to open it.


Councilman Schmid asked whether there is any way they can prevent Mr. Arkin from selling the license? Mr. Watson stated the license is associated with the establishment.



Vote on CM-97-12-373: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid

Nays: None


4. Schedule an Executive Session to immediately follow Audience Participation to discuss Pending Litigation


CM-97-12-374: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule an executive session to immediately follow Audience Participation to discuss Pending Litigation




Vote on CM-97-12-374: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid

Nays: None




Debbie Bundoff - Twelve Mile and Novi Road, wishes Council had held their decisions for Items 1 and 2 under Matters for Council Action until January. Ms. Bundoff believes a PD-1 option would have been a viable solution for the RM-2 area because it is site plan specific and the zoning does not move forward unless the site plan does. Ms. Bundoff stated had she had the information before hand, she would have brought this forward during the first audience participation.



Mayor McLallen stated Councilwoman Mutch is related to one party seeking reappointment to the HCD committee and asked whether they should excuse her from voting. Mr. Watson will review the charter.


Mayor McLallen stated for the record, although Mr. Wenzel is the applicant under Economic Development, there are three potential appointments. She added there is only one unexpired term and that is the term Mr. Wenzel would serve because the other two members are serving until February 1998.


Councilwoman Mutch stated as long as they continue to vote this way, she thinks the public should be aware of the fact that they have a ballot that includes the names of everyone who showed any interest at all. She thinks they should reconsider that policy and consider creating a ballot with only names that a Council member would be willing to nominate.



RECESS AT 10:31 P.M. for Executive Session




Mayor McLallen absent; Mayor ProTem Crawford served as chair for the remainder of the meeting.





4. Request for Approval of Ordinance No. 97-125.11 - To amend the requirements for the replacement of trees and woodlands use permits - I Reading


Chris Pargoff, City Forester reported the revisions to the woodland ordinance are primarily codification of policies that they have been pursuing for several years and a few are as recent as early spring. Further, there are some spelling corrections and language clarifications that they have put into effect. Mr. Pargoff reported the changes give them better control over numbers and types of species involved, fencing detail, and landscaping issues. It also gives them a means to enforce the placement of protective fencing through the use of DPW workers. It also speaks about the removal of undergrowth which was an issue Council members asked them to address and noted it was approved by the Ordinance Review Committee.


Councilwoman Lorenzo would like to refer this item to the Planning Commission and consultants for review and written comments particularly concerning the allowance of removal of under story vegetation, shrubs and wildflowers between the first and second readings. Further, since the Planning Commission is the review and approval body for woodland permit applications, she believes Council should include them in the process and noted they have not thus far. She added they also do not have a written report from Mr. Pargoff, Ms. Lemke or Mr. Olson regarding these particular items. Councilwoman Lorenzo believes the woodland ordinance recognizes many benefits and the paramount public concern for woodlands. Councilwoman Lorenzo advised most of their regulated woodlands are within private property. In terms of categorizing or distinguishing between one category of private property and another, she believes they need to keep in mind fairness and consistency with all those who request permit applications. It has been Councilwoman Lorenzo’s observation with evidence from public hearings while she was a Planning Commissioner, audience participation at the Planning Commission and Council levels and the Novi 20/20 document that citizens of Novi desire more protection and preservation of the woodlands. In the past five to ten years, Councilwoman Lorenzo believes that Council has received very few woodland appeals and there is already a process in place (Woodland Review Board) for individual single family permits and compromise which has worked well. Councilwoman Lorenzo does not see any compelling reason to allow wholesale removal of under story vegetation without an additional permit process. Councilwoman Lorenzo would consider that if there were overwhelming citizen support and expressions of concerns about the current process. However, she noted there is not and added there is only support for the continual protection and preservation of woodlands.


Councilwoman Lorenzo moved to refer this to the Planning Commission and consultants for review and written comments, particularly pertaining to that portion of the proposed amendment.


Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the under story removal is her major concern and added he believes the rest of it appears to be a refining the ordinance. Councilwoman Lorenzo agreed.



Mayor ProTem Crawford suggested that the Planning Commission address that specific area instead of the whole document. He then asked if this is something they need to move forward quickly and noted if it goes to the Planning Commission, it could easily take another couple months.


Mr. Pargoff would refer this to Council because this was an issue Council asked to be brought forward.


Councilman Schmid suggested that they see if there is support to send it back to the Planning Commission.


Mayor ProTem Crawford suggested that they have Councilwoman Lorenzo’s concerns further addressed by December 15 if Council does not make this recommendation.


Councilman Kramer supported the motion.



CM-97-12-375: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by Kramer, FAILED: To approve the first reading of Ordinance No. 97-125.11 - to amend the requirements for the replacement of trees and Woodlands Use Permits subject to referral to the Planning Commission and the consultants for review and provide written comments, particularly pertaining to that portion of the proposed amendment prior to the second reading and adoption of the ordinance




Councilman Kramer continued by stating that the Planning Commission is the body that uses the ordinance and therefore, he believes they should have the opportunity to review it.


Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether the motion is to review the entire ordinance? Councilwoman Lorenzo replied her motion is to review the entire ordinance, but that they should pay particular attention to the under story area.



Vote on CM-97-12-375: Yeas: Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch

Nays: Crawford, DeRoche, Schmid


Councilman Kramer suggested that they offer a more restricted referral to the Planning Commission. Councilman Kramer still believes that asking for their input about changes on an ordinance that they work with most is reasonable.


Councilman Kramer moved to refer this matter to the Planning Commission and that they review Part 5 by the end of February.



CM-97-12-376: Moved by Kramer, Seconded by Lorenzo, FAILED: To approve the first reading of Ordinance No. 97-125.11- to amend the requirements for the replacement of trees and Woodlands Use Permits subject to referral to the Planning Commission and the consultants for review and provide written comments, particularly pertaining to Part 5 prior to the second reading and adoption of the ordinance by the end of February




Mayor ProTem Crawford stated because Part 5 is the major concern and the rest of the revisions to the ordinance seem to be tightening up, he suggested that they direct Mr. Pargoff to provide a report by December 15 if they adopt the first reading tonight.



Vote on CM-97-12-376: Yeas: Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch

Nays: Crawford, DeRoche, Schmid


CM-97-12-377: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Schmid, FAILED: To approve

the first reading of Ordinance No. 97-125.11- to amend the requirements for the replacement of trees and Woodlands Use Permits and schedule second reading and adoption of the Ordinance for December 15, 1997 subject to addressing Part 5 at the second reading





Councilman DeRoche noted that the Mayor pointed out that they could consider voting against the ordinance at the second reading if there were still outstanding concerns at that point.


Mayor ProTem Crawford understands that they are expecting staff to come back with comments on that section.


Councilwoman Lorenzo will maintain the concerns that she just expressed. However, she strongly agrees with Councilman Kramer’s comments that the Planning Commission is a review and approval body that works most closely with this document and they deserve to review this document so they can report back to Council in terms of at least comments, if not a formal recommendation. Councilwoman Lorenzo noted that the consultants do not use this document in the same manner as the Planning Commission. She explained they make recommendations to the Planning Commission and it is the Planning Commission’s decision to approve or deny a woodland’s permit.


Mayor ProTem Crawford restated the motion is to approve the first reading and direct staff to address Part 5 at the second reading.


Councilman Kramer interjected, that was not a part of his motion.


Mayor ProTem Crawford believes that was the intent.


Councilman DeRoche will add that to his motion.


Mayor ProTem Crawford understands the concerns, but it appears to him that they are not doing a major rewrite of the ordinance.


Councilwoman Mutch pointed out that if it does not pass, they can bring it forward at a time when all seven members are present.



Vote on CM-97-12-377: Yeas: Crawford, DeRoche, Schmid

Nays: Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch


Mayor ProTem Crawford advised the motion failed and noted they will discuss this matter again at their December 15 meeting.



5. Appointment to Boards and Commissions


Board of Review - (1 appointment, 3 year term expiring 1/31/01)


Ernest Aruffo - Kramer, Mutch, Crawford, Lorenzo, Schmid, McLallen, DeRoche

Diane Selleck - (did not interview)



HCD Advisory Committee - (1 appointment, 3 year term expiring 1/01/01)


Andrew Mutch - Kramer, Crawford, Lorenzo, Schmid, DeRoche

William Wenzel -



Economic Development Corporation - (3 appointments, 1 unexpired term to 02/04/01 and 2 five year terms to 02/04/03)


William Wenzel - Kramer, Mutch, Crawford, Lorenzo, Schmid, McLallen, DeRoche


Zoning Board of Appeals - (3 appointments, 3 year terms expiring 01/31/01)


Frank Brennan - Kramer, Mutch, Crawford, Lorenzo, Schmid, McLallen

James Harrington - Kramer, Mutch, Crawford, Lorenzo, Schmid, McLallen, DeRoche

Ernest Aruffo - DeRoche

Siddharth Sanghvi - Kramer, Mutch, Crawford, Lorenzo, Schmid, McLallen, DeRoche


Mrs. Bartholomew reported they appointed Ernest Aruffo to Board of Review (7), they appointed Andrew Mutch to the HCD Advisory Committee (5), they appointed William Wenzel to Economic Development Corporation (7), and Frank Brennan (6), James Harrington (7) and Siddharth Sanghvi (7) were appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals.



6. Schedule an Executive Session for December 15, 1997 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss Union Negotiations



CM-97-12-378: Moved by Kramer, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule an Executive Session on December 15, 1997 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss Union Negotiations



Vote on CM-97-12-378: Yeas: Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch Schmid

Nays: None



CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Items listed on the Consent Agenda which have been removed for discussion and/or action)



1. Approval of Minutes of Regular City Council Meeting of November 20, 1997


Councilwoman Lorenzo noted her name was misspelled on the first page, second paragraph and added it should say, "Councilwoman Lorenzo asked if the changes "proposed" (not "made") to the sign ordinance (not TC-1 sign ordinance) have merit."



CM-97-12-379: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Minutes of Regular City Council Meeting of November 20, 1997 as corrected



Vote on CM-97-12-379: Yeas: Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch Schmid

Nays: None



2. Approval of transfer of ownership of a 1997 Class C Liquor license with Dance Permit, property located at 43393 Thirteen Mile Road from Thirteen/Novi Associates, Inc. to B & M Investments, Inc. (Sunset Grill)


Councilman Schmid noted there is nothing in the packet to address this issue and although he reviewed the memorandum from the Building Department set before them this evening, he is still uncertain. Councilman Schmid is concerned about parking and therefore, he would not support the transfer of this liquor license. He asked if they can stop this license because it does not meet the ordinances.


Mr. Watson advised they do have provisions for this and explained when the Frigate’s case occurred, they did not have the criterion that is now in the ordinance. Mr. Watson further explained there are some additional criteria that address the impact on the health, welfare, and safety of the general public, and Mr. Watson believes inadequate parking may be a part of that. Further, there is also criterion that deals with the effects the business facility will have on vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the area. Mr. Watson suggested that Council postpone this matter for two weeks. He did not realize this matter was going to be pulled from the agenda and he would like the opportunity to research the actual decision made in the Frigate’s case. Mr. Watson advised he will report back to Council on December 15.


Councilman Schmid believes this is a very critical decision about whether or not they permit this bar to continue. However, if it does not meet the ordinance, Councilman Schmid believes this is the time make sure that it meets the ordinance or reject it based on the fact that there is not sufficient property. Further, he agrees with Mr. Watson in that he has not had the time to review this and that they should postpone this matter. In addition, Councilman Schmid requested a report from the Planning Department and address the issue about whether it meets the ordinance, and whether there are any provisions in the ordinance that would prevent it from being opened.



CM-97-12-380: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone request to grant local approval for transfer of ownership of 1997 Class C liquor license to B&M Investment Inc. Pursuant to Section 3-15 of the Novi Code of Ordinances until the Regular Council Meeting of December 15, 1997 to receive comments from the city attorney and Planning Department





Councilman DeRoche shares Councilman Schmid’s concerns and added he would like a careful review while the transfer is taking place.

Councilman Kramer understands that this matter would come back before Council under Matters for Council Action; Mayor ProTem Crawford agreed.



Vote on CM-97-12-380: Yeas: Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch Schmid

Nays: None









1. Council Organizational Rules and Order of Business


Mayor ProTem Crawford advised Councilwoman Lorenzo has a several recommendations.


Since Councilwoman Mutch does not know how detailed her proposal is, she asked if it would be beneficial for Councilwoman Lorenzo to provide Council with a copy of her recommendations for review and discuss it at their next meeting.


Councilwoman Lorenzo is not certain and suggested that she move forward to see. She continued by proposing under Section 2., Regular Meetings that they begin their meetings at 6:30 p.m. because if they begin earlier, they end earlier with Executive Sessions to follow as opposed to sometimes holding them before the regular meeting. Councilwoman Lorenzo is concerned about the quality of decision making at these late hours, the stamina of Council members, as well as people in the audience or at home.


As far as procedure, Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether they want to make a motion and if there is a second they can discuss it. Or he asked whether they should briefly discuss the recommendations and take a consensus of Council. He continued by stating if there is a consensus, they will include it and then take a vote on the entire proposal.


Councilman Schmid disagreed because he believes Councilwoman Lorenzo is proposing major changes. He agrees with the suggestion that she give each member a copy of her proposal for review and discuss it at their next meeting. Councilman Schmid opposes her first proposal because it is not a reasonable time to begin meetings for those members who work.


Mayor ProTem Crawford agreed and noted the comments that they have already made on just that one item.


For clarification, Councilman DeRoche asked whether these would be rules that they are currently operating under? Mayor ProTem Crawford disagreed and explained these are what would be considered a consensus recommendation right now.


Councilman DeRoche would support voting on this now because it is his understanding that Council can make any changes at another meeting by a simple vote. He added it would serve them better if they scheduled this at a regular meeting and provide time for all of them to put their proposals out in advance for consideration so that can move along in a more systematic direction.


Councilwoman Lorenzo has no objection in postponing this matter.


Mayor ProTem Crawford suggested that Councilwoman Lorenzo provide her recommendations in writing to Council for consideration at the next meeting.


Mayor ProTem Crawford advised there is a Council consensus to bring this matter forth at the next meeting.


In regard to changing the time to 6:30 for regular meetings, Councilwoman Mutch added it is not just a matter of whether Council can be present. She explained if they hold their Executive Sessions at the end of the meeting, it means they may be holding staff through the whole meeting for only the Executive Session.


Councilman Kramer noted that they do not include the Communications Committee. Mayor ProTem Crawford replied that should be included at the December 15 meeting.



CM-97-12-381: Moved by Kramer, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone Council Organization Rules and Order of Business until Regula Council Meeting of December 15, 1997


Vote on CM-97-12-381: Yeas: Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid

Nays: None





Mr. Kriewall reported there was a homicide discovered on Thanksgiving morning in Novi. He advised relatives expected the victim in Chicago and when she did not arrive, they contacted the Police Department who in turn contacted the management of the apartment complex. Mr. Kriewall advised the case is still under investigation and he is not at liberty to discuss anything about the case at this time, but noted they have several leads.



Mr. Kriewall advised he monitored the traffic on the heaviest shopping days over the weekend at Twelve Oaks Mall and observed that traffic was flowing smoothly.


Councilwoman Mutch asked if Mr. Kriewall could comment about the power outage Saturday? Mr. Kriewall replied he called dispatch Saturday night because he was in that area. At the time, Mr. Kriewall advised they told him Edison was on the site and did not know what caused the outage. Councilwoman Mutch added she read in the Detroit papers that the outage was from 2:30 p.m. Saturday until 6:30 a.m. Sunday, and that it may have affected the traffic Saturday.


Councilman DeRoche advised he was blocked in at the Town Center at that time. Councilman DeRoche was concerned that the Town Center management did not feel inclined to notify the police. Consequently, he believes that the store owners and motorists were somewhat at risk. Further, he advised that the Edison crew was working on the box near where the future Steve and Rocky’s will be and added a short in one of their power lines occurred at approximately 2:30 that afternoon. He said the crew was present to detect where the problem was. However, while they were trying to correct the problem, Councilman DeRoche understands that they blew out two other systems at 6:30 p.m. and they just were waiting for authorization to correct the problem.





In regard to the Bennett versus Sobelski case involving the strip of land used for lake access, Dennis Watson asked Council to recall that approximately a half year ago the city swapped a thirty eight foot wide parcel detected on an old plat as a street by Quit Claim Deed. He reminded Council that at that time they thought their title to it was very questionable and they swapped it with the adjacent property owner for a twenty foot strip. That action then resulted as a lawsuit by other residents in that area. Mr. Watson advised it appears that the judgement is going to be entered essentially dismissing that lawsuit very shortly. Mr. Watson reported that the particular property owner that they swapped the property with filed a motion for a partial summary disposition in the case which was granted by the judge. However, he then noted it did not dispose of all the case, but now it appears that in preparing an order and trying to get agreement on the language of an order to do that, it is going to be agreed to dispose of the entire case. Mr. Watson added they will have an answer on that within a week about whether that occurred or not. Further, it appears that the case is going to be disposed without anybody having to put in any additional time and money.





1. Letter from Andrew Mutch to Mayor McLallen, Re: Willingness to serve as a member of the HCD Commission

2. Letter from Wayne County to Mayor and Council, Re: Rouge River Nation Weather Demonstration Project





Mayor ProTem Crawford reminded Council about their Saturday, December 13 joint meeting with the Planning Commission beginning at 8:00 a.m. and added that it may last until noon.





There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 12:10 a.m.





Mayor City Clerk



Transcribed by Barbara Holmes


Date Approved: December 15, 1997