REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 1999 AT 7:30 PM
COUNCIL CHAMBERS-NOVI CIVIC CENTER-45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor ProTem Crawford, Council Members DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
CM-99-02-028: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Agenda as amended
Vote on CM-99-02-028: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
1. Presentation of a State Tribute to Dan Tyrell – Representative Nancy Cassis
State Representative Cassis stated it was a pleasure to be addressing the Mayor, Council and City Officals with the task of honoring Dan Tyrell of Novi. Representative Cassis said she had a special tribute from the House of Representatives signed by Governor John Engler, Senator Bill Bullard and herself to present to Mr. Tyrell.
Representative Cassis said Mr. Tyrell has been involved with the community for many years. She continued to say he became involved with Parks and Recreation and other community activities in which he made a tremendous difference in countless ways. She said he has touched many lives with his honor, dignity and caring. Representative Cassis read the tribute listing his many accomplishments with organizations within the city and surrounding areas. She spoke of his caring dedication to his family and community. Representative Cassis said Dan Tyrell was Novi’s official Santa Claus for over 15 years.
Representative Cassis presented the Special Tribute to Dan Tyrell. Mr. Tyrell said it was a great honor to receive the Tribute and he was proud to accept.
2. Fire Station Number 1 – Craig Klaver
Mr. Klaver started by saying this was an opportunity to be updated on the progress of the project. He said there is a site plan and a conceptual plan along with illustrations to share with the Council.
Mr. Klaver introduced three members of the design team who are Frank Ray, Michael Sullivan and Fire Chief Art Lenahan.
Mr. Ray, President of Nordstrum, Stanstrum & Associates, started by saying they were commissioned to design a new Fire Station #1 and training facility. He said in terms of the planning phase they had just completed the design development and were just entering into the construction document phase. This is where all the construction documentation is gathered, including bids. Mr. Ray continued to say they are in the process of finalizing all the documentation for the site plan approval process.
Mr. Ray said the site is on Eleven Mile between Meadowbrook and Novi Roads. He said currently they are on a site that will be divided by the proposed Crescent Drive extension. He did say they are interfacing with JCK and are putting in all the necessary provision to accommodate the road if it becomes necessary. The site itself is surrounded by a ravine and there is a severe grade drop across the site but Mr. Ray said they have managed to work the building in nicely considering all the constraints.
Mr. Ray indicated the building has a frontage on Eleven Mile. He said this is where the firetrucks would leave and travel either direction and the location of the main entrance for vehicular parking would be off Eleven Mile Road. He continued to say once Crescent Road is activated it might be another option which is the preferred method for the trucks returning from a run. He continued to say that has been accommodated in the current plan shown to Council.
Mr. Ray explained the building itself is a little under fifteen thousand square feet. He continued to say there is a fourteen hundred square foot training facility at the rear of the site. He said training is a stressed feature with the site and that is why the facility can accommodate a number of different training activities.
Mr. Ray said the plan includes parking, water run-off and they will be complying with all the necessary landscaping. He said concerning woodlands there is a minimal amount of trees that will have to be displaced with the site plan.
Mr. Ray indicated the building has three basic components. The first is the area where Mr. Ray indicated the full time and the on-call personnel would be accommodated. He said there is a small exercise area along with mechanical spaces, restrooms with lockers and shower areas. There will also be a small office and kitchen along with a dining and waiting area. Mr. Ray said there also is an apparatus room with four bays with adjoining support and equipment and maintenance and storage rooms. He continued to say adjoining the apparatus space is an administrative office that will replace Fire Station #1 along with developing a major training facility. Mr. Ray explained the floor plan is functional with certain relationships that have to occur but he feels all those have been addressed. He said the on-call fire personnel are accommodated with specific parking and entrance that will make it very functional.
Mr. Ray said the building is very functional so they wanted the functional aspect to dictate the shape of the building. He explained the building would be made predominately with brick including a decorative block base and some symmantasous boards along the top face. Mr. Ray continued to say they are proposing a flat roof on the building with a predominate feature of a hose tower. Mr. Ray continued to say the training tower will be brick with decorative block material. He said the tower would have some wall openings for ladders and similar functions. Mr. Ray said it will have a simple shape and will have the same materials as the firestation which will blend with the site.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked if the interior of the building would accommodate both female and male personnel concerning restrooms, lockers and similar accommodations. Mr. Ray answered there are two restroom facilities. One is for the company quarters and one for the administrative area with both areas having the same number of restrooms and being ADA compliant. Councilwoman Lorenzo was pleased with the accommodations planned.
Councilman Schmid commented the city has had trouble with flat roofs and wanted to know why that was planned and how long will it last? Mr. Ray answered the technology has improved and it will have a twenty year warranty. Councilman Schmid said that was said about a couple of other buildings in the city. He wanted to express his concern with using a flat roof and hopes technology has improved. But he wants Administration to look at the use of a flat roof carefully.
Councilman Schmid asked what sort of budget has been planned? Mr. Klaver answered there is a budget for the project and they are right on track. He continued to say it is being funded out of the bond sale that was approved by the public about two and one-half years ago. The funding is all included and that will be discussed with the presentation of the project when it is brought before Council.
Mayor McLallen asked what the time schedule is for the project? Mr. Ray said their plan indicates the ground breaking would happen in late spring or early summer.
Mayor McLallen asked if the project would be completed in this calendar year? Mr. Ray answered it would take nine to twelve months of construction. He explained it is a tough bidding climate at this time and they are proceeding with caution concerning bids. They do not want to bid at the wrong time to put undue constraints on the contractors that would raise the cost of the facility.
1. S.A.D. Public Hearing Number 3 to Confirm the Special Assessment Roll for S.A.D. 151 – Water Main in Section 10
Mayor McLallen introduced two letters received regarding the SAD (Special Assessment Roll) with one of opposition from Allie Adams and one of support from Wayne Meister. The Mayor continued to explain the SAD is for one thousand nine hundred and fifty feet of eight-inch water main in Section 10. She explained there are forty-five parcels of land involved and repeated this is the final public hearing on the status of the roll. The Mayor asked if there was anyone who wanted to address the public hearing.
Mr. James Korte stated he had three points to make regarding the SAD. Mr. Korte brought up point 5, which he feels the 30 years assessment was not brought to the attention of the Council. He is asking for 30 years with this project just like the Maudlin group asked and was given. His second point concerns 170 Erma, which is a multiple dwelling. He said it does not make sense to charge one person with three units only for one use. He went on to say the city told him that unit could be sold and it could become only one dwelling. He asked if his homes where sold and one house was built that person would be charged for one use? He wants to know why he is being charged for two? His third point involves Allie Adams. Mr. Korte said in his meeting with the city on Tuesday, Allie Adams was off the roll but on Wednesday she was back on. It appears to him the City Manager put her back on and he does not understand. Mr. Korte wants the 30 years and wants Victor Muscat to be dealt with legally and get rid of Allie Adams.
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Watson for the record, the matter before the Council and what the Council wishes to hear is whether the individual parcel owners are in support or non-support. Mr. Watson answered that is correct.
Mayor McLallen asked if there was anyone else who wanted to address the issue?
Mark Robbins asked that Allie Adams be taken off the list. He asked when this is approved when would it happen and what would be the payment? Mayor McLallen answered April 1999 with the amount of $330.00 being the initial payment.
Mr. Robbins asked if there is a 30 year assessment, can the tap-in fees be included with the 30 year or is it separate? Mr. Jerome answered the connection fee is $1,100 per residential unit. He also said part of the actual service has been put into the fifth proposal to save some money. The total cost with the meter set is about $1,200.00 per residential unit which is not included in the SAD. Mr. Robbins said he is in full support of the assessment.
Carol Eberhart said she was under the impression it was going to be a 30-year payback. She would like the Council to take that into consideration.
Mary MacDermaid indicated her support for the project and asked for consideration also with the 30-year payback.
James Korte – Shawood Lake, stated in regard to SAD #151 he does not believe it is too much to ask to do things correctly the first time to create uniformity and he would like the SAD process to be correct in the future.
Gordon Trowbridge – Detroit News, advised that he will be covering the Novi area from this point forward and he can be contacted through the Detroit News.
Mayor McLallen requested that he leave that information with the City Clerk.
Deborah Bundoff – Twelve Mile Road, advised the residents are unable to reach their homes because of the recent road closure along Twelve Mile Road. She suggested that the city replace the "Closed" sign with a "Closed to Thru Traffic" sign to accommodate the residents in the area.
Mr. Kriewall advised the road closure is a temporary situation and the road should reopen within 48 hours. However, he added he will look at the signage tomorrow.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Councilwoman Lorenzo requested that Council remove Items E, G, and J.
Councilman Schmid requested that Council remove Item M.
CM-99-02-029: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Consent Agenda as amended:
Monday, February 22, 1999 at 6:00 PM for the purpose of Attorney’s Opinion.
Vote on CM-99-02-029: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Request for award of Bonds for the $3,500,000 City of Novi General Obligation Unlimited Tax Bonds, Series 1999
Robert Bendzinski advised they received a bid from A.G. Edwards & Sons and Group in a net amount of $2,199,533.33 at a 4.88% rate. At the city’s request, he added the bond had been rated AA by Standard & Poors and recommends that Council accept the bid. Although the city did not request it, Mr. Bendzinski noted Moody’s rated the bonds as A1.
Mr. Neiman added the current index is at 4.96% and also recommends that Council award this bond.
CM-99-02-030: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To award Bonds for the $3,500,000 City of Novi General Obligation Unlimited Tax Bonds, Series 1999
Vote on CM-99-02-030: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
2. Request to adopt the Resolution, Re: Notice of Intent to Issue Bonds in the amount of $19,000,000 for the Senior Citizen Center
Denny Neiman reported this action is only the first step in the process and it is not irrevocable. He noted the adoption of this resolution would permit the City Clerk’s office to publish the city’s intent to enter into a contract with the Building Authority in a not to exceed amount of $19.0M. He noted the Building Authority is still working on a design to reduce the cost.
Councilman Kramer requested that they clarify how the bonds will be paid off. Mr. Neiman replied the bonds are structured in a manner that the rental profit from the project will be used to pay the debt. He continued by stating that although the General Fund is pledged so they may market the bonds, they do not anticipate using General Fund monies.
Councilman Kramer understands this is the first step in the process and there are still many legal and financial details that need to be worked out; Mr. Neiman agreed.
CM-99-02-031: Moved by Kramer, Seconded by Crawford, CARRIED: To adopt the Resolution, Re: Notice of Intent to Issue Bonds not to exceed the amount of $19,000,000 for the Senior Citizen Center
Councilman DeRoche understands the bonds are set at $19.0M with the recommendation that they do not exceed that amount. He then asked how long would it take before they will come back with construction bids? Mr. Neiman replied the earliest they will be back is 120-days. He explained they must still advertise the bonds and the plan must first receive final site plan approval before they can solicit bids for the project.
Councilman DeRoche is concerned about how the market will affect the bond rate. Mr. Neiman advised they must consider two aspects. He explained the Building Authority is working diligently to design a facility that can be built within what the rental amounts can support. In regard to financing costs, Mr. Neiman reported that they are subject to the market and they do not know what the market will be like in 120 days. However, he added there is no indication that the market will be substantially higher than it is today in terms of capital.
Councilman DeRoche asked whether the ratings considered the city’s priorities and the potential litigation impact? Mr. Bendzinski replied the city is required to publish an official statement that included the recent Circuit Court ruling and the bidders are obligated to review that statement.
With that in mind, Councilman DeRoche understands that the city still received a positive rating. Mr. Neiman agreed and added they have been in constant contact with the bonding agency because the city is obligated by both federal and state law to report these kinds of things. He added that the bonding agency also considers demographics that make up a community when they determine their ratings. However, he noted they have had long discussions about the recent litigation.
Mr. Bendzinski added that Moody’s rating stated: "Future borrowing needs remain sizable at approximately $30M within the next two years."
Councilwoman Lorenzo will not support the motion because she believes this action is premature. She explained there are many unresolved financial issues and she is concerned that the rental amounts will not target the intended market.
Councilman Schmid shares Councilwoman Lorenzo’s concerns because he also understood it was their intent to target low-income seniors ($18,000-$25,000). Although he will support the motion at this point, Councilman Schmid will look very closely at what market they are targeting before he will support moving forward with the construction of this facility.
Vote on CM-99-02-031: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid
3. Request for Adoption of Resolution Number 7, for the Austin Drive/ Section 10 Water Main, SAD #151
Bruce Jerome addressed the first issue with the 30-year verses 20-year payback. He said the ordinance does allow for up to 30 annual installments on a special assessment contract. Mr. Jerome continued to say 20 years has been in the previous resolutions that have come in front of the Council. Mr. Jerome continued to say the residents have not come to the Council and asked for the 30 years. He explained they came before the City Council proposing the 20 years and it was accepted. He went on to say if the Council decides on the 30 years, the assessor would need a few days to re-calculate the payments.
Mayor McLallen commented this is such a long process and somewhere in the process the Maudlin group did ask for the 30 years, did the citizens that were in involved in the separate citizen meetings discuss this issue? She commented there was an indication at tonight’s meeting there was a presumption that it would be 30 years.
Mr. Jerome said the citizens were given a copy of the ordinance, a summary of the procedures that covers the provisions of the ordinance as it deals with special assessment. He said it was discussed but no one came formally to City Council asking for the 30 years even though 20 years was in all the resolutions. Mayor McLallen said that is her point. Obviously everyone would like the opportunity to have it for 30 years to make their payments smaller. Mayor McLallen asked if there is any jeopardy to the project or the city’s sewer fund at this date to change the assessment payback schedule? Mr. Kriewall said there would be no problem.
Mayor McLallen said this point has to be made clear from the beginning to concerned groups in the future. She also commented the Council will have to make a decision as to whether they are going to change what has been a policy of advertising them over 20 years because if one group has 30 years obviously other groups will ask for the same. She said there needs to be a clarification.
Councilwoman Mutch wanted it clarified if it goes to 30 years they would actually be paying more? Mayor McLallen and Councilman Schmid answered yes.
Councilwoman Mutch continued to comment some groups may choose to pay more monthly and end up paying less in the long run. Mayor McLallen said her concern is that they might be driven by a minority. She said this involves forty-five parcels and only four speakers came this night with two of them supporting the 30 years. She wonders how indicative is it of the group in light of what Councilwoman Mutch’s comment that it is actually cheaper to pay it back in 20 years.
Mr. Jerome said one of the problems that they have had is the lack of participation. He said they get support for the project but as far as a group they have not made themselves known. Mr. Jerome said information on the project has been made available but has not been utilized. Mr. Jerome thinks if the spread is rolled over 30 years those who want to pay it in 20 years could pay it off early without penalty. Mayor McLallen said the Council would have to research the situation.
Mr. Jerome continued with issue two, which involves the unit being used for multi-family purposes. The question was raised why is it being assessed for one unit to benefit and not three? He explained the benefit derived from a parcel or building to a utility, like a water line, the cost is spread equally between the benefiting parcels. However, Mr. Jerome explained the tap and connection fees are based on building use. He explained where a single-family home would pay one tap unit, a multi-family unit will pay three connection fees and other buildings within the area will be based on square footage or building usage. Mr. Jerome said this concept has been explained but not accepted.
Mr. Jerome went on to explain the last issue raised involved the property at Shawood and Austin. He said the reason this property was proposed to be included in the district is because the water main goes in front of the property. A portion of the property actually fronts the water main, therefore in their opinion, that parcel derives a benefit. Mr. Jerome said if it is taken out then they are asking the other residents in the district to pick up that one unit of benefit. He does not know if there is a consensus of the remaining 45 units if they want to pull one unit of benefit out. He said he has driven out to the location and meet with Mr. Korte several times and spoken to Mrs. Adams. His feeling is because the water main does front the property, if she or future user wanted to request a connection to the water main, they could do it.
Councilwoman Mutch referred back to whether the remaining residents would want to pull that unit to benefit. She wanted clarification regarding if the benefit would still be there but they would be paying the bill. Mr. Jerome said the excess of $6,000.00 would be divided.
Councilman Schmid wanted an explanation about why this is or is not in the district? Mr. Jerome said he is recommending putting it into the district because the water main touches the property.
Councilman Schmid asked if this property is on another street? Mr. Jerome said it is on a corner, which includes two lots and a piece of another lot. He said the property physically could be connected to the water main, therefore his recommendation is it receives a benefit.
Mr. Kriewall interjected, what might happen if it is taken out theoretically, after the Roll is confirmed and the water main is built, a resident could go to the water department with the desire to be connected to the main from that property, they could. If they would not have contributed to the cost of that district, so it really needs to be left in. Councilman Schmid said he understands.
Mayor McLallen continued to say the issue that has been brought up by an individual based on street address because Shawood is not part of the street addresses. She continued to say because it is a corner lot a side yard runs along this street which is opening a house that is not in the street addresses for a potential use of this utility line. Mr. Jerome said that on all the exhibits prepared the outline is defined for the district.
Councilwoman Lorenzo wanted clarification that the benefit is based on the parcel not on the building use. Mr. Jerome said it is based on the number of parcels. She continued to say the building use comes into play when talking about tap-in fees and connections. Mr. Jerome answered yes.
Councilwoman Lorenzo commented that is how the equity or inequity will be resolved. Mr. Jerome said yes.
Councilwoman Lorenzo said another question regarding the potential savings of 150 linear feet, the three additional benefiting properties are not on Austin? Councilwoman Lorenzo referred to a memo from Mr. Jerome regarding these properties and asked if these are in the district? Mr. Jerome said they are within the limits of the district as it has been proposed to the Council.
Councilwoman Lorenzo wanted to know whom it was proposed by? Mr. Jerome said by himself and all the exhibits.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether the residents who came forward wanted to contribute to this SAD proposed it. Mr. Jerome answered no and pointed out one of the individuals signed a petition in support of the project. Mr. Jerome explained what is being challenged or proposed is to remove a part of the water main, which would remove the party store property who is in support of the project, and a residential property that fronts Old Novi Road along with one other property. Mr. Jerome continued to say this would be the removal of three shareholders of the district that had been in the district.
Councilwoman Lorenzo commented these are in the district because they were placed there not because the residents came forward. Mr. Jerome restated how the district was configured.
Councilwoman Lorenzo commented could the argument be made by including those three benefiting properties that is really a part of the continuing subdivision close by and be its own SAD? She wanted to know if that was a plausible argument? Mr. Jerome asked if the question could be repeated. Councilwoman Lorenzo again asked if the three properties should be a district in itself with continuing properties in that area?
Mayor McLallen commented the more properties within a district the more advantageous the economy of the district is. She continued to say if there has been a request supported in this neighborhood by majority property owners, the more the property owners that are together the better economic position they can all have. Councilwoman Lorenzo said that is her point. Does it make economic sense? Mr. Jerome restated the fewer people sharing the cost the more the cost per individual benefiting property would be. He said if three are removed and they add one, the increased cost is by two shares and that has to be split by the balance that district itself.
Councilwoman Lorenzo wanted to know if there was any difference in regards to engineering? Mr. Jerome said it does not apply to this project and it is sound.
Mayor ProTem Crawford is willing to leave the Adams parcel and believes the multiple uses are satisfactory. He asked whether a portion of the district has 30 year and the other half have the 20-year payback? Mr. Jerome said that is not correct. Mayor ProTem Crawford stated he wished the Council could have heard from the citizens from the district. He can not imagine them not wanting to do in 30 years if they have a chance to pay it off in 20 years instead.
Glenn Lemmon wanted to mention he believes there is another SAD petition for the south portion of this subdivision. He stressed whatever action is to be taken it is important to be consistent.
Mayor ProTem Crawford commented that in this area in the city has offered to one SAD group and he feels it would be hard not to offer to others in this area. He wanted to clarify that does not mean the Council will do that throughout the rest of the city. But he feels because it has been done before in this section maybe the offer should be made for the residents to have the 30 year but be able to pay it off in 20 years. Mr. Lemmon said the annual payment would be reduced from $330.00 to $220.00.
Mayor ProTem Crawford stated most people might like that schedule with the option to pay the balance off early. He asked that it be accepted as a 30-year proposal for this entire district as a friendly amendment.
CM-99-02-032: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Schmid, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt Resolution Number 7, for the Austin Drive/ Section 10 Water Main, SAD #151 with a 30-year payback term
Councilman Kramer raised a question about the motion in regard to the multi-use tap verses the benefiting unit. He wanted some definition on the unit with the three units compared to a building with 150 units. He inquired if that would not be assigned one benefit? Mr. Jerome replied the tap unit fee was adopted by resolution by Council and basically states every residential unit regardless of the number of bedrooms and every mobile home or apartment is treated as a residential unit. Therefore; they would pay the current tap fee times one. If there were three living units in the structure they would pay that number times three.
Councilman Kramer said for the tap fee? Mr. Jerome said it is for the tap fee.
Councilman Kramer said when looking at a SAD, is there a multiple size where a different tap would have to be taken? Mr. Jerome asked if he was inquiring if a parcel would be charged that required a four-inch water main verses a one-inch service a different fee? Councilman Kramer answered yes.
Mayor McLallan commented this is a matter for discussion at another time.
Councilman Kramer said he would support the motion as is, but he believes the Adams property is getting a benefit. He added that he understands there is some availability for Block Grant funds through Parks and Recreation if the residents in this area apply for it. Mr. Jerome said the ordinance does allow for a hardship provision if the individuals petition the city assessor and provide financial documentation. The ordinance allows for deferred assessment. Councilman Kramer commented beyond that there is also a potential for this area that there might be some block grant funding available.
Councilman DeRoche said Councilman Kramer was referring to the Community Development Block Grant. Councilman Kramer said he wanted to stress the point to the people of the SAD that if there are people that feel they qualify for those grants to contact Dan Davis of the Parks and Recreation Department.
Councilwoman Mutch directed a request to Mr. Lemmon to provide to the Council with a clarification on a single-family residence, which is illegally using a multiple unit in a single-family zone.
Vote on CM-99-02-032: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
4. Request for approval of Zoning Map Amendment 18.582 - Proposed rezoning of 18.65 acre property located in Section 23, at the southwest corner of Meadowbrook Road and Cherry Hill, from Single-Family Residential District (R-4) to Low-Density Low-Rise Multiple-Family (RM-1), or any other appropriate district.
Mayor McLallen said the project has been before the Planning Commission on January 20, 1999 and received a positive recommendation for the zoning map amendment. A public hearing was held and informed the project will have 199 units.
CM-99-02-033: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED: For request for Approval of Zoning Map Amendment 18.582-Proposed rezoning of 18/65 acre property located in Section 23, at the southwest corner of Meadowbrook Road and Cherry Hill, from Single-Family Residential District (R-4) to Low-Density Low-Rise Multiple-Family (RM-1), or any other appropriate district.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if the city does not move forward with the project for whatever reason could the zoning be reversed to a single-family district if the city decides to divest the property? Mr. Watson said a couple of possibilities exist. He continued to say if the city decides to divest the property it could be rezoned before proceeding or a restriction could be placed on the use of the property in addition to how it is zoned. Mr. Watson said this can be done with property that is owned or property that is sold.
Councilwoman Mutch wanted some assurance for the community that if the city did not proceed with the project it would not be back on the market as a multiple zoned site. Mr. Watson said there are multiple mechanisms to accomplish that.
In reference to RM-1 versus RM-2, Councilwoman Lorenzo asked Rod Arroyo if the city were to rezone the property to RM-2, would that reduce the number of variances that are apparently being requested under the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA)? Mr. Arroyo answered it would, primarily as it relates to the number of rooms and number of units if it went to RM-2. He added there are some other provisions that would still hold the building length (i.e., percent of one bedroom units) that would still have to go forward.
Councilwoman Lorenzo said the density would be removed. Mr. Arroyo said it would be removed if it were rezoned to RM-2.
Councilwomen Lorenzo asked other Council members to consider rezoning this to RM-2. She said she could not support this under RM-1 knowing the city is sponsoring the project and a density variance. Councilwoman Lorenzo feels it is important to lead by example and if the city expects the private sector to abide by ordinances and reduce the number of variances that they request, then she thinks the city has the obligation and duty to do the same. She asked for an amendment on the motion to rezone the property from R-4 to RM-2.
CM-99-02-034: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED: To amend the main motion to rezone from R-4 to RM-2
Mayor McLallen asked whether a motion for a rezoning can be amended within the motion or does it require a second motion? Mr. Watson said it is a motion to amend the result of zoning from R-4 to RM-2 instead of RM-1. He said the amendment would have to approved before Council can take action on the original motion.
Councilwoman Lorenzo stressed the point she feels the city would be in a better position and the building in a better position not having to seek a density variance.
Councilman DeRoche asked if there is anything undesirable under RM-2 zoning? Mr. Arroyo said if the property stayed RM-2 and went on the market there should not be a problem. Mr. Arroyo has no interest in creating a RM-2 development should the property ever change hands.
Councilman Kramer supports the amendment.
Mayor ProTem Crawford would like to know what RM-1 and RM-2 allows along with any restrictions. He stated this has been in the process for several months, it has been through the Building Authority, the consultants and the Planning Commission and at no time did anyone request RM-2. He is assuming there is a reason and he would like to have clarification.
Mr. Arroyo gave a brief comparison. He explained the density for RM-1 permits a maximum number of 515 rooms. He commented the ordinance is based on rooms so a one-bedroom unit is actually two rooms. He continued to explain RM-2 permits more than 1,100 rooms. He confirmed all that is proposed is 515 rooms. Mr. Arroyo converted these numbers to units. He calculated using one and two bedrooms units that there would be 157 units allowed under RM-1 zoning. He said the RM-2 is based on the land use mix.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if it allows 199 or more? Mr. Arroyo answered it allows much, much more.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said that settles that requirement as far as the variance is required. He then inquired about the height of the building, setbacks or other differences between the two ordinances? Mr. Arroyo said the maximum density in a RM-1 for all one-bedroom units is potentially 10.9 dwelling units per acre. He said with site there would be 203 dwelling units. Mr. Arroyo said there would be 31.1 units per acre with 580 dwelling units for RM-2. He continued to say there is enough area to develop what the Building Authority has proposed.
Mayor ProTem Crawford restated what requirements are there for setbacks and height restrictions. Mr. Arroyo said the maximum height is 35 feet with a setback of 50/75 for a RM-1 district and 65 feet with a setback of 75/75 for a RM-2 district. Mayor ProTem Crawford commented that probably during residential meetings the comfort level expressed that the project was not going to go above certain heights and densities. He said if this is changed, it might be going against previous conversations.
Mr. Arroyo commented the site plan was presented with elevations that showed scaling of the density and the building heights with the one-floor units closer to the single-family residents with the higher levels farther away. He said if the plan is maintained along the vein of the plans that were presented to the neighborhood and the Planning Commission, there should be consistency.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said as far as ordinances the only difference in variances to be requested is the density variance would be eliminated but the remaining variances would still have to be requested? Mr. Arroyo said the remaining variances would not be necessary if an ordinance proposal that is going before the Planning Commission is passed by Council. He continued to say there are some deficencies with the zoning ordinance as they pertain to senior housing. There is a recommendation that is going to go to a public hearing later this month in front of the Planning Commission to amend zoning ordinance provisions that deal with the percentages of one bedroom units and the building length as it relates to senior housing.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if that would allow for RM-1 zoning without variances? Mr. Arroyo said if the amendments were to pass.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said it would allow a RM-1 not a RM-2? Mr. Arroyo said except for the density issue. He continued to say for this proposal Council would not want the RM-2 to go before the ZBA for variances. He said the other issues potentially would not have to go forward if the amendments passed. Mayor ProTem Crawford stated if it was made RM-2 and Council passes the other ordinances, then there would be no variances required. Mr. Arroyo said that is correct.
Councilman Schmid asked Mr. Watson how this project could be controlled if it is terminated? Mr. Watson said there are two ways it could be handled. The first is the area could always be rezoned and the other is when the land is sold, restrictions could be placed before selling.
Councilman Schmid commented the restrictions could be dangerous but he again wanted confirmation it could be rezoned? Mr. Watson said yes.
Councilman Schmid said he sees no need to change from RM-1 to RM-2. He sees nothing wrong about going to the ZBA and getting variances on this site because no on else will do it.
Vote on CM-99-02-034: Yeas: DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch
Nays: McLallen, Crawford, Schmid
Vote on CM-99-02-033: Yeas: Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo,
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - NONE
BREAK from 9:26 until 9:36 p.m.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
5. Request for approval of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.146 - Amendment to Section 2520 of Ordinance 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance to provide more extensive façade standards and criteria – II Reading & Adoption
Khanh Pham said no changes have been made for the second reading. But a grandfather clause was added so when it is approved it would not apply to projects that received preliminary or final site plan approval.
CM-99-02-035: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Schmid, CARRIED: To Approve Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.146-Amendment to Section 2520 of Ordinance 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance to provide more extensive facade standards and criteria- II Reading & Adoption
Councilman Kramer commented the grandfather clause extends to those with preliminary site plan approval. Is the facade one of the last steps? Mr. Pham said it is a preliminary step. Councilman Kramer confirmed whether the facade is approved at preliminary? Mr. Pham said yes.
Councilwoman Lorenzo commented there are favorable and unfavorable aspects with the ordinance. But she said she is going to support the motion.
Councilman DeRoche said he has reservations concerning the definition of an unattractive building. He commented that there probably would always be individuals who will challenge the definition in the ordinance. He said by going in the direction of the facade ordinance and what it does to the existing facade ordinance is that it moves the decision making process further away from the individuals who should be responsible. He commented the staff forwards it to a consultant who charges a substantial amount of money for a facade review and approval recommendations. He commented it seems to be reflective of the amount of work the consultants prepare. Councilman DeRoche commented he would like to see a simpler, more objective process with a staff member responsible for facade review. He further stated the city has a competent staff but believes in the future, it would benefit the city to hire a person with architectural background. He believes it is not the direction to take.
Councilman Schmid said he supports the ordinance with one minor exception. He asked why a clause was put in that affects only one building in this city that will not have to comply with the ordinance within its region. He said that one building is the Expo Center and he wants to know why? Mr. Pham said when the ordinance was brought to the public hearing the exception was not there. He explained at the hearing is when the Planning Commission included it in the motion. He said with the review, it was understood that the Expo District would be the only one of its kind. When looking at the construction of the building it was realized that both Regions 1 and 2, with that type of building would be a Section 9 waiver. But with section 2 it seems there is less of a waiver so it reduces the uncertainty of the request. That is why the ordinance was supported and nothing was mentioned concerning the amendments.
Councilman Schmid commented the Expo Center is in Region 1 and will be grandfathered. He asked why the Expo Center would not be affected? Mr. Pham said that is correct.
Councilman Schmid said if there was a new building then they would not have to comply with Section 1 of the facade ordinance. He said they are the only building in the city getting this granted. He wanted to know what guidelines are involved to make the Expo Center exempt? He continued to stress his point. Will not some businesses have to get the Section 9 waiver? And why not leave the ordinance intact and have everybody go to the same waiver? Mr. Pham said that is at the Council’s discretion for removal but the ordinance will still not having any weakness for this. He said the Council might remove it.
Councilman Schmid made an amendment to the motion that there be no exception to the section waiver for any building. He continued to say if this in not followed, he believes there will be other buildings in that area that will challenge the ordinance.
CM-99-02-036: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED: To amend main motion by removing "except the primary building in the Expo District" as it appears on Page 9 under Region 1 in the Schedule of Regulating Materials
Councilman Schmid restated he does not agree that one building should be excluded from the ordinance.
Mayor ProTem Crawford commented that the Expo Center is excluded but nothing else will be excluded? Mr. Pham said nothing would change as long as the location of the business does not move.
Mayor McLallen said this ordinance does not have any affect on the existing Expo Center? Mr. Pham said that is correct. Mayor McLallen asked if it includes exterior redesign would the ordinance come into effect? Mr. Pham said an alteration on the existing building would fall under the section in the ordinance pertaining to alterations.
Councilman Kramer said he supports the amendment.
Vote on CM-99-02-036: Yeas: McLallen, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch,Schmid
Nays: Crawford, DeRoche
Councilwoman Lorenzo said she agreed with Councilman DeRoche’s comments along with the possibility of hiring an architect and thought this option should be considered during budget session.
Roll Call Vote on CM-99-02-035: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
6. Resolution Authorizing a Change Order for 11 Mile and Beck Road Project
CM-99-02-037: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt Resolution Authorizing a Change Order for 11 Mile and Beck Road Project
Vote on CM-99-02-037: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo,
7. Norms for Effective Council Action
CM-99-02-038: Moved by Kramer, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED: To Adopt the Norms for Effective Council Action
Councilman Kramer commented this should be adopted for the Council Organizations and Rules of Business.
Councilman DeRoche said he is supportive of the concept and commented if situations do not work out they might be changed.
Councilman Schmid also commented he had no problem. However, he does feel it is in conflict or redundant with the rules or policies that already exist. He believes they should be made part of the rules; not a separate document.
Mayor McLallen stated it is a simpler list. Councilman Schmid said that may be true but it still is repetitive.
Councilwoman Mutch stated it was fine to be redundant.
Vote on CM-99-02-038: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo,
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
E. Approval of Telecommunications Permit Agreement with NextLink Michigan
CM-99-02-039: Motion by Lorenzo, Seconded by Crawford, CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Telecommunications Permit Agreement with NextLink Michigan
Councilwoman Lorenzo wanted clarification on why these terms are being negotiated for a revision? She asked if the documents reflect if the items are revised? Mr. Watson said if an ordinance revision has not been done on the rates, then it is done by contract.
Councilwoman Lorenzo stated the document states it has not been done? Mr. Watson said yes. Councilwoman Lorenzo confirmed that if the city adopts the ordinance, and increases the fees, then it is going to apply? She continued if an ordinance is not adopted that will leave room for negotiations? Mr. Watson said that is correct.
Councilman Schmid asked what other telecommunications companies do we have contracts with? Mr. Watson replied Ameritech and Phone Michigan.
Vote on CM-99-02-039: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo,
G. Approval of the January 1999 Revision to the City of Novi, Department of Public Service, Engineering Policy
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked how does the city determine whom the real estate broker will be? Mr. Nowicki said JCK & Associates employ the real estate broker.
CM-99-02-040: Motion by Lorenzo, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the January 1999 Revision to the City of Novi, Department of Public Service, Engineering Policy
Vote on CM-99-02-040: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo,
J. Approval to purchase seven (7) Ford Crown Victoria Patrol Vehicles from Signature Ford through the Macomb County Joint Purchasing Program in the amount of $140,957.25.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked for an explanation why the city has been asked to purchase three additional vehicles? She continued to say she has gotten justification for two. However, she commented is it necessary to purchase vehicles that are not going to
be retired until April and May of the year 2000? Mr. Kriewall answered yes because patrol vehicles can only be ordered once a year. He continued to say by the time next year’s vehicles are received, everything on the list that has been inventoried will be at maximum mileage. Mr. Kriewall stated seven cars will have to be added to the fleet by June 2000.
Councilwoman Lorenzo questioned the expenditure at this time. Mr. Kriewall stated it is best to assess the fleet needs annually and order using this criterion.
CM-99-02-041: Motion by Lorenzo, Seconded by Crawford, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the purchase of seven (7) Ford Crown Victoria Patrol Vehicles from Signature Ford through the Macomb County Joint Purchasing Program in the amount of $140,957.25.
Vote on CM-99-02-041: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo,
M. Direct the City Attorney to prepare a proposed amendment to the Consent Judgement – Reduction in Separation Distance between Home Sites for Home Site #1312 – Old Dutch Farms
Councilman Schmid pulled the item through frustration. He commented he is concerned that this situation got so involved when a simple solution could have solved the problem.
CM-99-02-042: Motion by Schmid, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To direct the City Attorney to prepare a proposed amendment to the Consent Judgement-Reduction in Separation Distance between Home Sites for Home Site - #1312 Old Dutch Farms
Vote on CM-99-02-042: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo,
COMMITTEE REPORTS - None
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Snow Removal – Sidewalks Outside of Subdivisions – Lorenzo
Councilwoman Lorenzo commended Mr. Nowicki on the letter sent to the Homeowner Associations, however she questions the city’s policy. She asked by what authority the city can assign maintenance for adjoining property that is not within the plat or out of the jurisdiction of the property owner? Mr. Watson said there is a Charter provision that permits that and an ordinance provision that was adopted that states whoever owns the adjoining property has the responsibility of clearing.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands there is a provision but she wants to know by what state statue or authority? Mr. Watson said the Home Rule Act allows the adoption of a charter that contains such provisions.
Councilwoman Lorenzo questions how an adjoining property owner has the responsibility to clear an area outside the property as described within the subdivision plat? Mr. Watson said the justification is if the property is adjacent to the owner's property. He continued to say it has been customary for citizens to shovel the sidewalks forever where it has not been customary for citizens to plow the road.
Councilwoman Lorenzo understands but still questions how a resident can be responsible for clearing a sidewalk other than the sidewalk in front of their home? Mr. Watson stressed again it is only for the property adjacent to the owner’s property.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked what about liability? Mr. Watson said the city would not be liable for an injury occurred while removing snow from the property.
Councilwoman Lorenzo made reference to an article in the Oakland Press regarding underground storage tanks, which mentioned several Novi locations including city owned property. She said the Novi News cleared up some of the matter by stating the city sites were listed in error. Councilwoman Lorenzo said a document from MDEQ that confirmed that the city was off the list. She requested a copy for Council.
Mr. Nowicki said they are working on getting confirmation from MDEQ on the fire and police station tanks. He went on to explain both of the tanks where removed together in the spring of 1998. Mr. Nowicki said for whatever reason the State did not have any record of receiving the papers from the consultants so the procedure is in progress again.
Mr. Nowicki said he reviewed the specs for the DPW small field tank used for motor oil. He stated the tank is planned for removal within the immediate future. He continued by saying the tank is part of the recycling program and is used for city maintenance needs. Mr. Nowicki stated they do not want to discontinue the recycling program so another tank has to be secured and another facility will have to be built in order to keep the program in place. There are funds budgeted to remove the tank and the State is aware of that and they have indicated there is no problems. However, the State does want to be informed when the tank is removed.
Councilwoman Lorenzo stated she was disappointed that the extension date was not met by the December date. She said she encourages the property owners on the list that are in error to come into compliance as soon as possible because being on the list puts a negative light on the City of Novi.
3. Providence Management Team Dinner Invitation – Kriewall
Mr. Kriewall referred to the letter from Frank Brock in regards to the annual dinner between the City Council, several city staff personnel and the Providence Management team. Mr. Kriewall stated February 18, 1999 and March 3, 1999 are indicated in the correspondence as possible dates. The Council agreed on March 3, 1999 but Councilman Schmid indicated he would not be available.
Mr. Kriewall referred to a letter received from Novi Township indicating they believe they have purchased some capacity in the Oakland County Inspector Sewer some time ago. Mr. Kriewall commented the city attorneys have been asked to look into the matter and research prior contracts that go back to 1962.
Mr. Kriewall said the Rouge River Walkway design for the Expo Center, Crescent Drive Extension was been received. He questioned the design whether there is room for a future riverwalk under the roadway and it was indicated there was not and the cost would be substantial to add one. Mr. Kriewall said it involves a significant amount of funding that would be hard to come up with at this point in time.
Mr. Kriewall announced the Oakland City Road Commission would be holding a meeting February 2, 1999 at 10:00am.
ATTORNEY’S REPORTS – None
There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
Kathleen S. McLallen Tonni L. Bartholomew
Date Approved: February 22, 1999