REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, APRIL 19, 1999 AT 7:30 PM
COUNCIL CHAMBERS-45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mike Baker from Cub Scout Pack # 54 led the Pledge of Allegiance.
ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor ProTem Crawford, Council Members DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor ProTem Crawford requested that item E be removed from the agenda.
Mr. Kriewall requested an Executive Session to discuss Property Acquisition and Pending Litigation be scheduled immediately following the meeting.
CM-99-04-093: Moved by Schmid Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Agenda as amended.
Vote on CM-99-04-093: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
Garfield Road Homeowners Association regarding Garfield Road Mitigation of Wetlands/City Park – Cindy Gronachan
Mayor McLallen introduced Ms. Cindy Gronachan of the Garfield Road Homeowners Association. The Mayor said the issue is regarding the Garfield Road mitigation wetlands area which is a MDOT property that may potentially come into City ownership. The property is located north of Eight Mile Road and east of Garfield Road which was the mitigation site for the M-5 Highway construction on the east side of the City. The project began approximately four years ago and is coming to a close. The Mayor commented there was an indication the property could pass to the City. Mayor McLallen stated that has not occurred but the citizens have asked Council to hear some of their concerns.
Ms. Gronachan stated she lives at 21668 Garfield Road. Ms. Gronachan mentioned her house and the acreage was once part of the farm owned by Mabel Ash. She stated the thirty-seven acres of that farm was used in the MDOT mitigation program. She stated she is before Council on behalf of herself and the residents of Garfield Road after seeing a newspaper article printed in the Novi News in March. The article stated the City is about to acquire the property from the State and possibly turn it into a passive park. Ms. Gronachan felt it was necessary to come before Council to share information, ask questions and request a formal meeting with all interested parties.
Ms. Gronachan mentioned she was an original committee member representing the residents of Garfield Road. She believes there are important items that developed prior to the start of the project that need to be highlighted. She stated the Council packet contains minutes from the 1995 Council Meetings and a letter dated July 31, 1992 from the Department of Natural Resources addressed to MDOT, indicating the requirements of the permit prior to the start of the project. She highlighted two points in the letter. She read; "Once mitigation wetlands have been successfully established the entire JIMCO Ash site is to be placed under a conservation easement and or deed restriction protecting it from development and from degradation through use of an active storm water collection entreatment basin."
Ms. Gronachan commented another item in the packet is a copy of a mining permit granted to MDOT by the City of Novi. It specifically states that any activity regarding this project that the Department of Public Services, being the City of Novi, is required to notify the Garfield Homeowners Association of any activity. Ms. Gronachan commented they have not received any notification in regards to this request to change it over to the City.
Mayor McLallen stated for the record, on this point, it has not occurred. She said it is her understanding that there are some legal issues that have not been brought forward to Council. Mayor McLallen restated the issue has not been brought to Council
Ms. Gronachan stated that is the point she is bringing out regarding the reclamation. She said no one seems to know what she is talking about. She thought that they would bring this to Council tonight so the City would have knowledge of the reclamation and the notifications even if the City wishes to file the formal permits to change it over once ownership.
Ms. Gronachan said when she spoke to Mr. Davis and he had no knowledge of the situation. She mentioned she spoke to the city attorney’s office and they did not even have a copy of the conservation easement. She stated this is her concern. She mentioned she was called on Friday morning and asked to present copies.
Mayor McLallen stated what has occurred is a story in the paper that perhaps may have been preliminary. She mentioned there were some conversations brought to the Councils attention that this property might be getting close to where it could be transferred to the City. Mayor McLallen said at no time did the Council get a full briefing on the legal situation. She commented whether the legal situation has matured enough to come before Council to be apprised is unknown. Mayor McLallen stated at this point the property is still held by the State of Michigan.
Ms. Gronachan stated that Parks and Recreation did not even know of the situation. She commented Mr. Davis was asked what he wanted included in the park. Ms. Gonachan commented no one understands why this was presented to Parks & Recreation Department before other procedures were followed? This is where all of the confusion has come in for the residents. Ms. Gronachan asked if Council was aware of the procedures that need to be followed?
Mayor McLallen stated that she does not think the Council is at a level where they can answer that question. She stated the property at this point, belongs to someone else. Mayor McLallen said originally when the property was created, there was an indication it could transfer to the city. She stated at that time there were specific conversations with the homeowners who indicated the property would never be developed but potentially could be used for passive bird watching and walking paths. Mayor McLallen mentioned even that level of activity did raise some concerns from the citizens. Since that time, the Council has not addressed the issue.
Ms. Gronachan stated again, because the statement was made in the paper, she felt it was necessary to clarify. She stated the homeowners feel they have all the information and are willing to work with the city again and with MDOT. Ms. Gronachan mentioned that when they worked with the city it was a very successful project. Ms. Gronachan said the procedures were followed.
Ms. Gronachan said speaking on her behalf only, when this comes to an end, maybe they want the wetlands. She said the reclamation states they are eligible to receive the property. She continued any municipality or private citizen, or environmental group can make the purchase. She again felt it was important to share this information.
Mayor McLallen thanked Ms. Gronachan for bringing up issues that Council needs to address. She asked Ms. Gronachan to take the information to the City Manager and become part of that process. Mayor McLallen said it would be a productive use of everyone’s time if the information came from administration. Mayor McLallen’s understanding is that it has not been brought to Council in a formal setting where the issues can be addressed. She said when this is done, the Council would be more capable of a discussion.
Ms. Gronachan explained this is the procedure she took prior to coming to see the Council. She stated when she contacted the city attorney’s office, and Mr. Davis and no one had any information or answers. She stated MDOT has had conversations with the city but no one seems to know who had these conversations. Is it Mr. Nowicki’s office? Mr. Kriewall stated yes.
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Kriewall to address the issue because Council is unaware of the situation. Mr. Kriewall stated that Mr. Nowicki has been investigating the potential for the city taking over this land. Mr. Kriewall commented that was at least someone’s intent at one time or another and all of the discussion has been at the department level.
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Kriewall if it would be appropriate to encourage the homeowners to come and meet with himself and Mr. Nowicki? It would be to discuss the issues before the city is approached by the State in a formal setting. Mr. Kriewall agreed this would be the way to handle the situation.
Ms. Gronachan believes this would be appropriate and thanked the Council.
1. Request for approval of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.148 – Amendment to Section 1301 and to add subpart 1302.3 to Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, to include as a principal use permitted instructional centers and to include as a principal use permitted subject to special conditions sit-down restaurants with a maximum seating capacity of 50 persons and carry out restaurants that do not vent odors to the outside
Mayor McLallen stated this ordinance would affect all B-1 zoning areas in the city. She said currently these are the areas located at the southwest and southeast corners of Meadowbrook Road and Ten Mile, the northeast corner of Beck Road and Ten Mile, and south of Pontiac Trail and Beck Road.
Mayor McLallen commented the primary sub-hearing affects the permission to have instructional centers. She said these would include dancing studios, karate studios, computer learning centers and art studios. She further stated that carry out restaurants cannot vent odors outside and have a seating capacity but cannot have a major kitchen on premises.
Mayor McLallen commented Council received sixteen written responses from the community. The letters are from homeowners primarily located in the Ten Mile Road and Meadowbrook Road area with fourteen in opposition and two in support.
Mayor McLallen said this a Public Hearing and invited citizens to come before Council to express their comments and concerns.
Mr. John Sherwood, 23980 Meadowbrook Road, lives adjacent to the properties and he finds it interesting that all the previous attempts to change things within the established plaza have failed.
Mr. Sherwood commented he and his neighbors have been there to change the vote in the past to make sure that it stayed the way that it was when different things have been applied for in the past. Mr. Sherwood commented, months later under the guise of a change in the law, all of sudden the homeowners are supposed to change the law so that the plaza can have their restaurants even though the homeowners have voted it down in the past.
Mr. Sherwood stated he is against the change in the law. He stated in his personal estimation there has to be something wrong with the management company that they cannot fill these units. He mentioned Novi Drugs across the street has built their beautiful building and they are full. He said the manager could not seem to get enough patrons without applying for this restaurant, whether it has a full kitchen or convection oven.
Mr. Sherwood stated the homeowners did allow the pizza place however; the homeowners do not want to establish a basis and have a cornucopia of smells coming across the way along with the rubbish. They are just trying to avoid having it grow to more than it already has grown. Mr. Sherwood thinks the homeowners have been generous and lenient as neighbors to this plaza but at the same time, the homeowners would like Council to vote this down. He thanked the Council.
Mr. Brateman stated he operates a commercial real estate firm, called Jonathon Brateman Properties, 42075 Grand River Avenue in Novi. He would like to address some of points that were previously mentioned. There are twenty units in the shopping center, with eight vacancies, which would be about forty percent. In terms of leasing activity, this center is a very tough center because of its visibility and it does not have an anchor. He stated the anchor across the street is Novi Drugs. He explained an anchor brings a lot of traffic. Mr. Brateman explained instructional centers bring in traffic and people all the time.
Mr. Brateman commented depending on the type of center, they are three to six dollars a square foot less than any center in the immediate area. He said they are competitive on rent and would love to do more leases. Mr. Brateman explained people who go into this type of center are people who say they need traffic to be able to go into this type of location. He commented last fall the ownership of the center tried to do a rezoning of the center. He said it was felt that was not the route to go by the city so the city came up with a new rewriting of the B-1 Ordinance.
Mr. Brateman commented it is the tightest rewriting of any ordinance he has ever seen. He said trying to find a restaurant that does not vent to the outside is difficult. He continued almost every restaurant that he has ever heard of has to vent to the outside. He commented this would be the type of restaurant where it would be basically the assembly of something that does not require any cooking on the premises. He said what the owners can do is give the shopping center a chance to be viable. He does not think it is in any ones best interest to have empty buildings. He said the owners are trying to work with people. He commented the ordinance is very tight but the owners want to work with the neighborhood.
Mr. Terry Jolly is recognized to speak on behalf of himself as a citizen and on behalf of his client, Peach Tree Plaza. He commented approximately twelve letters of support that did not make the packet on Thursday for the Council. He commented when he stopped in the Clerk’s Office on Monday morning there were ten letters from different businesses that where all within the center from the Chiropractor, Dentist, Tot’s Place Galore, Linda’s Place and the antique.
Mr. Jolly said he is not aware of any adjacent property owners right behind the center, which are six houses on Tamara, who filed any sort of protest. He mentioned that says something for the beauty of that center and for how beautiful that center has been for the many years that it has existed in Novi. It is a number one class operation, and he keeps it perfectly clean. Mr. Jolly commented the dumpster is the farthest possible distance away from Orchard Hills Subdivision. He stated it is way up in the northwest corner by Ah Wok Restaurant. Mr. Jolly explained this is where every tenant has to take his or her debris. He said this includes Cottage Inn Pizza. He said the Inn has been there at least five years and nobody has ever complained to Council, Planning Commission or to any one else about odors or papers coming out of this establishment.
Mr. Jolly reminded Council that the twelve tenants pay $27,000.00 in taxes to the community every single year as their portion of their triple net rent. The Landlord pays another $12,000 on his thirty or thirty-five percent of vacant rental units. Mr. Jolly said he is talking about a $40,000.00 tax bill every year in the community and they would really like to see this continued.
Mr. Jolly feels the analogy to the Novi Drug Store chain, which he also represents, is an office zoning. He stated Mr. George McCollum is an institution in the city and moved across the street from Peach Tree with immediate success. Mr. Jolly commented the other units that have been rented out are all small offices for drug supply people, a lawyer and a couple of manufacturer representatives. He said it is not a retail establishment. Mr. Jolly stated at Haggerty Road and Ten Mile Road where the Dunkin Donuts are located may be a B-1. They would also be effected by this area. He thanked the Council for their time and consideration.
Mayor McLallen states that this is a public hearing on the issue of changes to the B-1 Ordinance. She asked if anyone else wanted to address the Council on this issue? She announced Council would close the hearing. She stated the B-1Ordinance for the public information had been before the Council for a first reading. Mayor McLallen mentioned the Council felt it is an important issue as Mr. Jolly pointed out. The Mayor commented the ordinance actually extends from Haggerty Road to Beck Road in multiple different B-1 sights. The Council needed to have a public hearing to permit a larger segment of the public to let Council know what they thought. The Mayor stated it has been somewhat unusual to have a hearing in between readings. She stated this second reading would come forward to the Council at an unknown date at this time; but at such time adoption or non-adoption or changes to the proposal would be made.
Mayor McLallen mentioned any further comments or questions from the public either present or watching could be put in writing and should be sent to the Clerk.
Mayor McLallen thanked Mr. Pargoff for planting two trees in honor of the Novi’s 30th Birthday on Wild Cat Drive in celebration of Arbor Day.
Mr. Pargoff thanked everyone for participating in Arbor Day and invited the community, who would like to participate in the Rouge River clean up, to an organizational meeting on April 20th at the Water Department. Mr. Pargoff stated any volunteers that are interested in participating in the clean up on June 5 to attend the meeting to get an idea how many people would be at the site.
Mr. Pargoff commented if any one is interested in doing work prior to or after the actual Rouge River clean-up, he would like them to also participate on June 20, 1999. Mr.Pargoff mentioned the piece that is being focused on is the Audubon property which the city has possession of from the Audubon Society Mr. Pargoff said the location is directly adjacent to the east side of Rotary Park.
Mr. Brad Bock of 46120 West Road commented on an article that appeared in the Novi News stating the city wants to put in a DPW Yard in residential zoning right next to the parkland which is across from existing homes. Mr. Bock stated he went over and looked at the current DPW Yard. He said he saw open storage, junk cars, old police cars that had been retired, junk tractors, stock piles of dirt, stock piles of salt and underground fuel tanks.
Mr. Bock stated there are large trucks that are coming and going and would be at all hours of day and night. Mr. Bock feels that the area should be zoned for heavy industrial use. A DPW Yard is the epitome of heavy industrial use with all the open storage and trucks coming and going. He also states that it would not be a pleasant amenity to the parkland it would be bordering. Mr. Bock again would like to stress that he does not want a DPW Yard across the street from his home. He believes there are other alternatives with the new Taft Road extension. He mentioned a more appropriate location might be near the sewage treatment plant, certainly not in the residential zoning.
Mr. Bock asked Council to take this consideration off the table and asked for communications to be sent to the homeowners fronting on West Road so they can be apprised of Council findings. Mr. Bock feels that this is not an appropriate location.
Mr. Brooks Decker of 46130 West Road has the same situation as Mr. Bock with the potential DPW Yard being across the road from his home. He has the highest elevation in this area and the clearest view of the future DPW Yard location. He requests that other locations be considered. He suggested along Twelve Mile Road near the railroad tracks on Taft where it has the correct zoning. He commented the Wetlands mitigation across the street has enhanced their view.
Mr. Decker stated the sewage treatment plant has expanded three times since he has moved in but is a relatively quiet operation. He said the relocation of the communication towers is also a major concern. He does not believe any developer would want to come in and maintain the communications tower as part of the purchase of the acreage. He would like to know how they would be dealt with if there were no other alternatives to the relocation of the DPW Yard? Mr. Decker said his experience in the real estate is that the longer a property is held, and the fewer pieces that are left, the more valuable it becomes. He is sure that in the last fifteen years the DPW Yard has been there it has increased in value. Mr. Decker restated he and his neighbors would like to know of the plans.
Mr. Mike Kahm stated Council has a letter regarding a piece of property that Singh owns which fronts on Eight Mile Road. It is commonly known as the Meyer Berry Farm immediately south of the proposed Bellagio Site Condominium.
Mr. Kahm commented Singh has the highest respect and admiration for Cambridge Homes and the quality of work they produce. He stated they are an outstanding developer and builder and would be an asset to Novi. Mr. Kahm said he has two concerns that relate to the proposed plan that Council has been presented.
The first concern pertains to the stub street to the south which would be for consideration. Mr. Kahm said stub streets are required by city ordinance to connect one property to the other for the connection of neighborhoods. He mentioned in this particular case because of the concept that is being presented and proposed it involves a gated community which would preclude a stub street. Mr. Kahm explained because of the nature of the property and Singh property without providing a stub street, Singh would not have secondary ingress or egress for their parcel once they came in for site plan approval or subdivision plat approval next year or the year after.
Mr. Kahm said if Council decides to take action and waive the stub street requirement, it would preclude Singh to have secondary ingress and egress. Mr. Kahm said Singh does not want to be stuck with a piece of property that is not approvable because they do not meet one of the requirements of city ordinances because of actions that may be taken relative to the non-requirement of a stub street. Mr. Kahm said Singh strongly encourages and requests Council to require a stub street to be connected to the south so the parcels can be interconnected and Section 32 are developed as a neighborhood which he believes the ordinances intended.
Mr. Kahm stated the second concern regards the sanitary sewer. Singh has had several discussions with JCK and city staff members about connecting to a sanitary sewer through Bellagios’ to the south and ultimately to service the balance of Section 32 out to Garfield. Singh studies have been done and indicate that is the most practical process. Mr. Kahm wanted to bring to the Council’s attention that the Master Plan calls for sanitary sewer to service Section 32 to come at a point somewhat south of the entry to Bellagio where the grade is lower.
Mr. Kahm stated Singh’s point is there is a great deal of difficulty in bringing the sanitary sewer from that location because there are several single family homes, deep lots that run along the west side of Beck Road, north of Eight Mile all the way up to the entry of Bellagio. Mr. Kahm commented there really is no practical location to bring a sanitary sewer through that area. He stated the Bellagio development provides a very practical and feasible route for sanitary sewer to come through the Bellagio development to connect to the south, connect to their property and ultimately all the way out to Garfield Road.
Mr. Kahm explained Singh has demonstrated to JCK and has agreed that a gravity sewer is possible through that route all the way out to Garfield and west of Garfield. Mr. Kahm encourages Council to please require that the sanitary sewer connection be made through a very logical and practical location in the Bellagio Subdivision so service can be provided to the balance of Section 32.
Mr. Chuck Tindall stated he lives on Shawood Drive. Mr. Tindall commented he is before Council on behalf of the citizens group known as PARKS – People About Reserving Kids Spaces. Mr. Tindall stated they are opposed to the golf course.
Mr. Tindall commented the group is trying to be reasonable about this issue and have asked for public input and discussion. Mr. Tindall mentioned the group feels there has been no open public discussion. He said the group has asked that the issue go to the voters. Mr. Tindall said the PARKS group is proposing an amendment to the City Charter. Mr. Tindall mentioned they have been advised that this can be done through a petition and let the voters decide if they want a golf course. He thinks it is only fair to give the group until the next Council meeting to take some sort of action. Mr. Tindall commented if not, the PARKS Group would be out on the streets going door to door, looking for the signatures to take this to the voters.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
E. Approval of The Detroit Edison Company Overhead Easement (Right-of-Way) No. R-167399-2 Agreement.
CM-99-04-094: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Consent Agenda as Amended
A. Approve Minutes of:
April 5, 1999 Regular Meeting
April 8, 1999 Regular Meeting – Budget
B. Approval of telecommunications permit agreement assignment from Ovation Communications to McLeod USA, Inc.
C. Approval of storm sewer oversizing credit for Stonewood-Novi, Inc. (Addington Park Subdivision No. 4) in the amount of $22,890.00.
D. Acceptance of streets and utilities in Addington Park Subdivision No. 4.
F. Approval to purchase a KEA 4.2 Terminal Emulation in the amount of $7,574 from D. M. Data, a sole source supplier (Police Department).
G. Award bid for Roof Replacement at Fire Station #3 to Wright Brown Roofing Company, the low bidder, in the amount of $18,650.
H. Award bid for Weapons Cleaning System to Keisler Police Supply, Inc., the low bidder, in the amount of $4,050 (Police Department).
I. Award bid for Protective Body Armor to Sieloff Enterprises, the low bidder meeting the specifications, based on unit pricing (Police Department).
J. Approval to extend the Weed Cutting Contract to Maged Contracting.
K. Award RFP for Internet Access to MICA NET in the amount of $13,075/Hardware/Software (Information Technology).
L. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No 542
Vote on CM-99-04-094: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Request for Preservation Option Application and stub street and cul-de-sac waivers – Bellagio Site Condominium, SP 98-49A & 98-49B, located west of Beck and south of Nine Mile Road, Section 32.
Mayor McLallen stated this is a seventy-one acre project and the developer is asking for the Preservation Option. Mayor McLallen stated this project has been before the Planning Commission and the ZBA. The Preservation Option has been approved by the Planning Commission, all Wetlands and Woodlands Permits have been approved. The issues that remain before the Council are the granting of the requested Preservation Option, the issue of stub streets and variance for the cul-de-sac length.
Mr. Mark Guidobono stated he lives at 1014 Elmsmere in Northville and is a partner in Cambridge Home and Development with his brother, Eric. Mr. Guidobono stated they are asking for Preservation Option approval for the community called Bellagio, which means a beautiful place of leisure. Mr. Guidobono stated the location of the property is on Beck Road between Eight and Nine Mile Roads which includes seventy-two acres with sewer and water located in front on Beck Road which is currently zoned R-A one acre zoning.
Mr. Guidobono said their goal when they started this project was to create an award winning neighborhood. He mentioned they are proposing a site condo project, with private streets, a gated, brick wall entrance across Beck Road with columns and landscaping. He continued to explain there would be a gazebo with a metal domed roof flanking the entrance lion’s head fountain in the boulevard.
Mr. Guidobono stated there are two plans being shown to Council. He commented the plan that Cambridge Group favors is the plan that has the central park that is approximately four acres. He said one acre is wooded which will have walking paths throughout the park, benches, another proposed gazebo, formal gardens and possibly some wild flowers. Mr. Guidobono said the nice thing about this open space, and we could not count it under the Preservation Option actually only one acre of the four acres, the nice thing about this is that people can use the park. He stated the people who live there can benefit by walking through the park, by throwing a ball to the children or just enjoying the beauty of this compared to the rest of the open space that is wooded. Mr. Guidobono stated the wooded areas would only benefit the people that back up to them. He commented everyone who comes into the community is going to benefit by the visual viewing of the central park.
Mr. Guidobono stated again there are two plans; the preservation factors in terms of what they are saving on trees and is in the low seventies for both plans. He believes there is a 2% difference between Plan A and Plan B. He mentioned Mr. Joe Galvin would be presenting the two plans to the Council.
Mr. Joe Galvin stated Plan A meets the intent and purpose of the Preservation Option. He commented this is the plan that Mr. Guidobono spoke about that will included the central park. Mr. Galvin said this is the plan that has a physical and immediate connection to the area that is outlined which are regulated Woodlands and all will be preserved under this plan. Mr. Galvin stated this plan is the plan that best meets the intention of the preservation option. He stated it is the plan which required action by the Zoning Board of Appeals in granting them a variance in order to allow them to include within the calculation of the preserved areas, areas which are within the unit designations of the condominium units.
Mr. Galvin commented the reason that it is important for Council to approve Plan A is that it best does all of the things, which the City has been trying to do with the Preservation Option. He said there has been a discussion throughout the proceedings at the Planning Commission level when the Planning Commission recommended approval to Council of this plan with a comparison of this plan to two other plans.
Mr. Galvin explained Plan B meets the Preservation Option without the variance. He commented Plan B is a very good plan. It functions to preserve a similar area of the regulated woodlands, it functions to produce for the City, which has an entryway but it does not have the central park. Mr. Galvin stated it does not have the principal amenity that Mr. Guidobono spoke of like human space, human environment, human corp preservation area and also maximize the physical preservation for plants and animals
Mr. Galvin stated the third plan is the bonafide plan for comparison. He explained this plan shows the use of conventional condominium and site condominium techniques. A plan which under the ordinance, could be approved. He stated the plan could be approved because it meets the requirements of the ordinances. Mr. Galvin stated that he is aware that a number of consultants to the City disagree that it is not a bonafide plan. He stated the purpose of the bonafide plan within the Preservation Option is to provide a bench mark to help Council, to help the Planning Commission and help Council to determine the benefits of what is proposed by bringing down the lot sizes in order to preserve more amenities.
Mr. Galvin asked Council to do three things. He said the first is to confirm the decision of the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals by approving Plan A with the central park which best meets the intention of the Preservation Option. He stated It provides the most flexibility with intention as articulated in the ordinance that states the option is there to create flexibility in the design of a subdivision.
Mr. Galvin believes there is not a person in the room who would say the subdivision that would be created through the approval of Plan A is anything but a gorgeous subdivision that will be a credit to the City of Novi. He stated the development would do the things the Council has said it has wished to do for the City for a number of years.
Mr. Galvin asked Council to approve the plan. He also asked Council to provide a waiver on the cul-de-sac link which he feels is fully consistent in order to approve Plan A, not Plan B or the bonafide plan. He commented Plan A requires the cul-de-sac waiver and they have an eight hundred foot guide at this time and the plan is at a thousand feet. He explained if they do it at fifteen hundred they are done. He said there is not a true issue in the waiver. He commented that there are persons who argue for stub streets. He said this particular community would have a specific identity. Mr. Galvin explained this specific community does not require stub streets, nor do the developers submit, nor does the surrounding areas. Mr. Galvin mentioned there have been other circumstances within the City where other persons have had subdivisions that have been approved and properly which have functioned very well without stub street connections. He commented they understand that the staff and consultants are recommending some of these stub street waivers.
Mr. Galvin commented Plan A with the central park is the best plan. He said if Plan A is the plan that will do what Council wants to do for the city, than Plan A is the plan that will allow the creation of this subdivision. He stated for these reasons, Cambridge respectfully requests that Council follows the recommendation of the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals. He said each group has articulated they prefer Plan A over the other alternatives for developing this parcel also to follow the intention of the Preservation Option and to preserve more than seventy percent of the regulated woodlands in this area.
Mr. Galvin would like Council to ask themselves with respect to each of these criteria, is this a better plan? Does it injure any of the surrounding property owners? Is it a preferable development for the City of Novi? He said each of these questions has the same answer. He said that answer is to approve the Preservation Option.
Mayor McLallen asked if Council had any questions for the petitioner.
Member Kramer asked with regards to the issue of sewer engineering, what point of the process is that resolved? Is it number of lots? Which lot will be removed? Mr. Galvin responded that the sewer engineering is done at final engineering which is a staff function. He stated there are fifty-five lots. He commented they want to wait until they get to the final stage to find out which one is best. Mr. Galvin stated they prefer lot one if they have a choice.
Member Kramer asked than that is open to be resolved that is potentially tied to the stub street connection or not? He commented in the absence of a stub street the recommended lot for removal would be Lot 32 in the southwest corner? Is this the one? Member Kramer asked is this the one that takes out the specific wetland that would be most beneficial? Mr. Galvin stated that it is not. It is Lot 29.
Member Kramer asked if this is the prime one that absent redistribution for a stub street that would be the one removed? Mr. Galvin stated that is one that they would not like to remove. He said they would certainly listen closely to suggestions or conditions placed upon it by the Council.
Member Lorenzo commented Mr. Galvin or his applicant has articulated that they will be placing the Woodlands that are located on the lots in a strict preservation easement? Mr. Galvin answered that is correct. He explained through the condominium documents they would basically divide it into two structures. He commented the structure number one will create all of this into a general condominium element that will be devoted exclusively as unbuildable with rights created in those to go over the unit boundary lines and preserve on particular lots areas. He said that they would do that through a device under the condominium statute that will give rights to the general area. It will be permanently preserved which meets both the letter and the spirit of the book.
Member Lorenzo asked if those would be all the lots within the regulated woodland areas that are located within sites? Mr. Galvin responded yes. He said they have mentioned it to the Zoning Board of Appeals and Council what they are going to do.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked about the stub streets. He commented both of these plans show a stub to the south. Is that the intention or would they rather not provide what is shown? Mr. Galvin states that it is an easement for a watermain.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked where would a stub street go if required? Mr. Galvin stated there is a recommendation that would require them to deal with it on Lot 38 or Lot 39. He said the staff recommendation, as he understands it, is that they are recommending a stub to each of two properties. Mr. Galvin said Mr. Kahm’s is one at the Meyer Berry Farm and to the property to the south.
Mayor ProTem Crawford mentioned taking into consideration the integrity that the developer would like a gated community. Is it possible to put in a stub that would be an emergency exit stub to provide the development and whatever went to the south in the future? Mr. Galvin answered yes for an emergency basis it is possible.
Mayor ProTem Crawford stated that it would not be a travel through connection but address the concerns of the property owner to the south where they would need secondary access, perhaps at some time. Would that destroy the integrity of one of the two lots? Mr. Galvin commented depending on the location and width of it whether it could be done physically and still maintains both Lot 38 and 39.
Mayor ProTem Crawford directed his question to Mr. Pat Keast. Mr. Keast answered yes they could bring the emergency connection between the lots, and through an easement and still maintain the integrity of the two lots.
Member Crawford asked if the stub was in place, would it negate the requirement for a waiver on the cul-de-sac length in the southern cul-de-sac? Mr. Keast answered yes.
Member Schmid directed his question to Mr. Rod Arroyo. Member Schmid commented paramount to the whole discussion in his opinion, in order to move into a Preservation Option, the developer has to present a standard subdivision or a bonafide plan.
Member Schmid said after reviewing minutes and comments, these indicate that they have not met the standard subdivision or bonafide plan and have not taken into consideration the Woodlands and Wetlands Ordinance. Member Schmid mentioned if the developer has put up a bonafide plan and that plan says keeping out of the regulated woodlands and wetlands, that this parcel of land could only support forty houses or lots, seventy, whatever number, that is the benchmark to go into the Preservation. Is this accurate?
Mr. Arroyo stated that it does not establish the maximum number of lots. He explained what established is the maximum number of lots in the City definition of density in the Master Plan density and the Zoning Ordinance density specifies, that is fifty-five lots in this case. Mr. Arroyo mentioned they are showing Council a plan with fifty-six lots which is the maximum density allowed.
Member Schmid questioned Mr. Arroyo as to how this number came into being. Why is there not a connection between a bonafide plan and density? Mr. Arroyo responded there is a connection between the bonafide plan and Council action tonight. He said per the ordinance there are specified findings in the Preservation Option. He commented these findings involve comparing the modified plan with the Preservation Option plan and making certain findings. Mr. Arroyo stated this is the role of the modified plan. He commented the issue of density comes in by the City’s definition of density. He said that is taking the area of the site and subtracting out regulated wetlands that are over the two acre minimum, end with a net area and from there apply the density and the R-A district which is 0.8 dwelling units per acre. The result is the maximum density allowed.
Member Schmid asked if there was a bonafide plan presented? Does it meet the Ordinances? Mr. Arroyo answered they have submitted one and based upon the input from the consultants, and the impact from the woodlands and wetlands perspective, it is not suggested that it is a modified plan that would be approved under the Ordinances.
Member Schmid asked Mr. Arroyo as to why the city, himself and the Planning Department accepted a plan that did not meet the ordinance to be presented because that is in part the bench mark to determine whether or not Council wants to authorize the Preservation Option? Mr. Arroyo interjects that the plan was not accepted. They are not recommending approval. However the applicant has the right to come forward with an application.
Member Schmid again asked if Mr. Arroyo could point out where it does not meet the Ordinance? Mr. Arroyo stated there are a couple items mentioned in his firm’s letter, one of which deals with emergency access which is probably a key issue. Mr. Arroyo said the modified plan does not show an emergency access route to Beck Road. He considers this to be a significant issue. He said the other issues that relate to the modified plan, other than the minor ones stated in his letter, relate to the impact on wetlands and woodlands. He suggests Council obtain input from the city’s woodlands and wetlands consultants on those issues.
Member Schmid questioned Mr. Arroyo if he gets involved in any of these recommendations? Mr. Arroyo stated his involvement is in reading their letters and using as part of his recommendation, in terms of the technical applicability of the Woodlands and Wetlands Ordinance. He suggests Council seek the consultants input.
Member Schmid says his other issue is on the Plan A that Cambridge is presenting as the best plan. Does it meet the Preservation Option Ordinance as it relates to number of acres preserved and the fifty-five lots?
Mr. Arroyo stated that Option A as seen before Council, does not meet the minimum standards in terms of lot sizes, in fact that is why the applicant had to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals. He said by looking at the option as presented, there is approximately 11.1% of the site that qualifies for preservation credit area. He said this would give them an allowed minimum lot size of 38,701 square feet. The Preservation Option allows the applicant to potentially reduce their lot sizes up to 20%. He mentioned the applicant has to have enough area to qualify for the 20% reduction. Mr. Arroyo stated the applicant on the surface, according to the ordinance only has 11.15%reduction. He said the applicant is asking to reduce the lot sizes below what the 11% will allow them to do therefore; they went to the Zoning Board of Appeals and received a variance.
Member Schmid asked what the 11% does and what is it apart of? Mr. Arroyo explained it gets them to the 38,701 square feet. He said the 11% of the total area in preservation credit would be woodlands and wetlands. Mr. Arroyo explained they have preserved 11% on their site to have the lots they have, they actually need 20%. Mr. Arroyo commented they are short and what they are proposing is to preserve woodlands within the actual lots themselves. This is why they went to the Zoning Board of Appeals. He said normally when reviewing a preservation option the woodlands are located outside of the lots, whether they are condominium lots or platted lots. In this case, they have asked for credit for use of the woodlands on the lots.
Member Schmid asked if this is a common practice? What percentage do they have then? Mr. Arroyo responded that they have the full 20% that way by adding the two woodlands together.
Member Schmid understands that Mr. Galvin is suggesting that preservation would be preserved on the lots themselves, or in a combination? Would the condominium association by-laws address this? Mr. Arroyo agrees that there would be a combination, some would be on the lots and some would be outside the lots. He said one of the issues is what is the mechanism to preserve those woodlands on the lots. He feels that is something that if this plan were to be approved would certainly have to be a condition of approval and specifically addressing it. Mr. Arroyo mentioned a legal mechanism to make sure they are preserved.
Member Schmid understands that they are using part of the lots themselves for preservation. Why would they not come forward with a plan, if they only have 11%, and adjust the lots accordingly, instead of reducing the size of the lots as they have and adjust them to the 11%? Mr. Arroyo replied that they wanted more lots than what they would have been allowed.
Member Schmid asked how many less lots they would have had if they went according to the Preservation Options without the Zoning Board of Appeals? Mr. Arroyo responds that he does not have the exact number.
Member Schmid asked if he has any idea of how many lots? He asked would this be a factor? Mr. Arroyo said this would not be a factor for him. Mr. Arroyo explained to figure out how many lots there would have to be a lay out of a subdivision plan according to that minimum lot size that they qualify for and then look at what can fit on the site.
Member Schmid asked Mr. Arroyo if he has an educated guess if they went strictly by the Preservation Ordinance? Mr. Arroyo said his very rough estimate would be forty-eight or fifty units. This would be without variances according to the letter of the ordinances.
Mayor McLallen stated for the record that other bodies have granted all the variances. Mayor McLallen said the question is whether Council accepts the plan with the variances that are already there?
The City Attorney, Mr. David Fried, stated that Council has the right to review to see whether it meets the criteria within the ordinance. Mr. Fried commented Council does not have to accept the variances that have been granted if they feel it does not meet the criteria within the ordinance. He said Council could not refuse the granting of the variance because it has already been granted but Council can take it into consideration whether it meets the plan within the criteria in the ordinance.
Member Schmid wanted clarification. He asked if one wanted to stop the whole project, he is not suggesting that, would be not to allow the Preservation Option, which than would negate any other approvals that have been had? Mr. Fried answered that is correct. He said this is the only issue before Council. Does Council approve this plan?
Member DeRoche also wanted clarification. What is Council talking about here? What has already been granted a variance, would allow them, if Council approves of this option to go up to fifty-five lots by Mr. Arroyo’s calculations? Mr. Arroyo responds, if taking into account the variance on Option A is correct. He said with Option B they were already okay with the number of lots because that one would not require a specific variance because they have larger preservation credit area.
Member DeRoche asked with what they currently have for Option A, approved by the other Boards, Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, is okay for fifty-five lots if Council grants the Preservation Option with the other variances. Mr. Arroyo responds correct, assuming that Council grants the Plan A option.
Member DeRoche stated that the bonafind plan, he belives this is the first time it has been discussed since he has been on Council. He asked if the deductions are just for wetlands and not for woodlands?
Mr. Arroyo explains that those are two different things. He explained to determine the number of units that can be put on a piece of property is based on the Ordinance definition of density. He read the following from the Ordinance: Density shall mean the total number of dwelling units that can be placed on an acre of land, excluding identified wetlands or water courses, not excluding those that are less than two acres.
Mr. Arroyo explained what this means is by taking the area of the property, subtract all the wetlands that are over two acres that are regulated, and that leaves the area that qualifies for density. Then apply whatever the density is in the zoning district, in this case 0.8 dwelling units per acre, which gives you fifty-five units.
Mr. Arroyo said the second component is how many units can be put on a plan under the Preservation Option? He said that theoretically could be up to fifty-five units. However; it may be less depending upon how the sites designed. Under the Preservation Option A they have a central park area, that does not qualify technically for preservation credit, it could qualify under a RUD, or under subdivision open space for credit if they went under one of those options. Mr. Arroyo commented under the Preservation Option, it does not apply. He explained by laying the site out and keeping the central park, they are going to end up with fewer units than those fifty-five units. If Council goes with Option B, where they put the lots in the central park, than they get up to the fifty-five lots potentially, assuming they can get approval from the Council for the Preservation Option Plan.
Member DeRoche stated in regards to the bonafide plan, it is the Wetlands that get subtracted out of their consideration for acreage? Mr. Arroyo states for all development.
Member DeRoche reiterates all development not just woodlands? That is not a factor in a bonafide plan?
Mr. Arroyo responded that it is a factor in terms if the plan meets the city’s Woodlands Ordinance? That can have an impact on the number of units that can be built, it does not come into the formula under density, but the city has a specific ordinance needs to be meet, which is the Woodlands Ordinance. He said that could have an impact on how many lots that there will be, it may keep Council from reaching the theoretical maximum that might be permitted.
Member DeRoche asked Mr. Arroyo if a bonafide plan would be anything less than building right into the woodlands, if all that is subtracted are the wetlands, and from there they are supposed to maximize the acreage and comply without the density ordinance, that is the purpose, as expressed, was consideration for density. Member DeRoche said the enticement is for them to get out of the woodlands. He said that is the express purpose of having this option for them to use, to have them voluntarily withdraw from the area and the city would give them an incentive. Is that the purpose of the Preservation Option?
Mr. Arroyo responded the purpose of the Preservation Option is to preserve Woodlands and Wildlife habitats. He said the city ordinance says to provide flexibility in development to encourage and facilitate the substantial preservation of locally regulated woodlands as a functioning ecosystem with minimal intrusion and to provide an incentive to preserve locally important plant and/or animal habitats as part of an ecosystem of the development area.
Member DeRoche stated are could not be built in there any way. He asked under what circumstances would someone be in there to begin with, to be able to employ the Preservation Option?
Mr. Arroyo states that under the conventional subdivision plan, the city is not saying no one cannot go into the woodland, but the woodlands are looked at individually. Look at the quality associated with woodland and there it is a determination as to how much intrusion meets the intent of the Woodlands Ordinance.
Mr. Arroyo said in terms of comparing the Preservation Option Plan to a Bonafide Plan, the Bonafide Plan should be realistic. It should indicate some intrusion into the woodlands that may be permitted per the Woodlands Ordinance. The intent of the Preservation Option is to minimize that intrusion, in fact encourage more preservation of these habitat areas and woodland areas that will normally be found under the conventional platting techniques. That is something the applicant has the onus to show Council that they are actually presenting a plan that will meet the option.
Member DeRoche understands that is what Cambridge is trying to express with Option A. He asked Mr. Arroyo when he viewed their bonafide plan, it sees that they have not accepted it as a bonafide plan for the reason that it did not have an emergency access?
Mr. Arroyo says that there are reasons stated in the firms letter which includes input from the other consultants in terms of the impact that this plan would have in relation to the City’s Woodlands and Wetlands Ordinances.
Member DeRoche would like clarification. He asked Is it a fact that if there were an emergency exit/stub, between lots 38 and 39, if that would alleviate the need for a variance for the cul-de-sac?
Mr. Arroyo states that Birchler/Arroyo’s recommendation would be that there be a stub provided to the Bellagio Subdivision, and to the Meyer Berry Farm.
Member DeRoche queries why two stub streets would be necessary; what benefit does the Bellagio site gain from having this?
Mr. Arroyo responded one reason is that there be a potential access into the site whether it be emergency access or full access, depending on what the Council chooses to approve, it could be a full stub street, or it could just be an emergency access. Therefore; if something were ever to happen on Beck Road, a disaster, or closed, and emergency vehicle needed to get in, potential one could get in from Eight Mile Road, through the Meyer property when it is developed or through the property to the south once that is developed. It provides for a public safety benefit. Also in terms of benefiting the properties that are adjacent, it enables them to develop without potentially coming forward to the Council for a cul-de-sac length variance. The consultants are trying to eliminate the potential for variances down the road.
Member DeRoche asked if by putting in two of the stubs, would it be to the detriment of this development from a financial standpoint, and to the benefit of the surrounding developments, as opposed to putting in one? Mr. Arroyo responded he does not see where it would be a detriment to this particular subdivision, one reason is that they have one more lot on the plan than is allowed, one of the lots in the corner can be removed and potentially provide two emergency accesses.
Member DeRoche interjects, what he is saying is that two stubs as opposed to one stub, what additional benefit does this facility gain. It seems to him that it is negligible if someone drives fifty feet around the corner to gain access. Mr. Arroyo states there is a benefit for both connections. Eventually the one shown on the plan going out to Beck Road could be removed. It needs to be put in "up front" until the other connections are made, what this one does for them is to provide secondary access. Potentially the Beck Road stub could be removed once the connections are made, assuming that you require some type of stub connection.
Member DeRoche asked if the Beck Road stub stayed in place, would it be unnecessary; would Mr. Arroyo’s recommendation change from having the two access points from a traffic stand point?
Mr. Arroyo thinks that the stub street connections, once made through the development provide for more flexibility for emergency vehicles to access the Bellagio project, which allows the emergency vehicles to get in from other roadways. If there is a disaster on Beck Road, if there is a stub connection through the Meyer Property, there is access through Eight Mile Road.
Member DeRoche asked for clarification on why this site would be required to have two stubs that lead to no where? Mr. Arroyo responds that if Beck Road is impassable, if a stub connection is provided to the south, emergency vehicles can come up from Eight Mile Road and gain access to provide emergency services needed with one connection. But if this development does not occur for twenty or thirty years and this one does occur, at least have a secondary point access. They do not have any control over the timing of development that has not been submitted or approved by the city. Therefore; that is why the flexibility is provided by the two stub connections.
Member DeRoche says that the city would require this site to have two stubs that lead to no where? Mr. Arroyo states that per the ordinance they are required to have five stubs, one every thirteen hundred feet. They are recommending that stub connections to the north and west not be provided and only the two to the south be provided. Birchler/Arroyo is recommending that they waive three of the stub streets and provide two of the stub streets.
Member Mutch commented the reason that Mr. Arroyo is recommending the ones to the north and the west be waived is because there is not going to be development. Member Mutch asked Mr. Arroyo if he is going to have fire trucks driving over wetlands?
Mr. Arroyo stated that to the north the parcels have been split over time and there are several homes off the roadway. It does not appear likely that there would be development that would stub into that; whereas to the south there appears to be development. In the event the Council chooses to approve this with the emergency access connections, it would be Mr. Arroyo’s recommendation that they be paved, eighteen feet wide, with a gate in front of them to keep out other vehicles. If it is paved, it is much more likely to be plowed by snow removal companies, grass pavers or some other form of material, it will have less chance of being cleared during a snow emergency. He said it also provides better support for emergency vehicles.
Member Mutch asked if the reason he is suggesting there should be two stub streets to the properties to the south because of the separate ownership of those parcels? Mr. Arroyo responds that it is not the ownership, but the fact that both would benefit from them.
Member Mutch queries that if one or the other property owner acquired the other property, why would you have two? Mr. Arroyo says that they may not be interconnected themselves, however until they see the plans, the city does not know if those two properties would have an interconnection.
Member Mutch agrees with Member DeRoche in terms of, she cannot see the necessity of putting the burden of two access points on this development. She supports the interconnection of public streets, however that does not exist in this case. There are private roads in a condominium development. They could only be connected if the adjoining properties are also site condominiums with private roads. There will be public streets leading into private streets that have other problems. The narrow lot just immediately to the south is narrow and if there was an emergency, there may not be access if the area to the south were to develop, it seems more likely that there would be a stub, or Council would like to see a stub to somewhere in the middle of the narrow piece. There would be closure secondary access for the people on that particular piece. Instead of have the Y-shape it seems to make more sense to have single access if one is necessary. This could eventually bring the two pieces together.
Mr. Arroyo said the only way these pieces could be connected is if additional property to the south comes into play because there is a property line. There is not much room for a connection. He explained the secondary access. Member Mutch said she does have a problem with connecting where there is already a secondary access plan connecting the private roads to public roads.
Member Mutch commented on Mr. Kahms’ comments that it creates a problem. She said she does not know what can be done at this point. has been reminded The Council action on another development he was involved with, where he had stub streets planned, the development ended with cul-de-sacs. Member Mutch said it came out of the city’s insistence. Keeping the history in mind, when Mr. Kahm’s development comes forward, the Council is the one who said grant a waiver on the stub street.
Member Kramer commented on the preservation elements. He mentioned the development is a condominium and as dedicated will give the city an agreement that states all the surrounding properties will be preserved. Member Kramer wanted clarification if a small portion of the park is included and does this meet the 20%? Mr. Arroyo stated yes with Plan B. Member Kramer commented the condominium with all the green portion representing dedicated and preserved, and whatever is accredited out of the park. Mr. Arroyo said this meets the criteria for the preservation. Member Kramer said as a site condominium it meets the requirements and provides park space in the middle of the development that is usable for everyone.
Member Kramer commented Plan B uses the central park as part of the surrounding lots and provides preservation in the back. Mr. Arroyo said that essentially is correct. Member Kramer commented both have the same number lots; both have the same density per site which is permitted. Mr. Arroyo said they have the same total number of units as presented. Member Kramer said the same density? Mr. Arroyo answered yes.
Member Kramer commented one of the options of developing a bonefide plan is to run a standard plat and divides all the resources into lots. He commented they are larger lots but the natural resources are parts of the lots. He said that is not a condominium unit then essentially not much of this is preserved. He believes this supports the benefits by Plan A or Plan B. Member Kramer commented Plan A is much more desirable as a community for people who live there.
Member Kramer commented on the stub street connections which he is in favor of a grass block connection. He asked what is the benefit to Bellagio for the connection to the east when there are already two connections from the east. The development has the main road and a secondary access to Beck Road. Why do they need a third exit to the east? Mr. Arroyo said potentially they could eliminate secondary access from their property. Member Kramer said the city is requiring them to put that in. Mr. Arroyo said yes because there is no connection to the other property currently available. Mr. Arroyo said it would also provided greater separation between a driveway and emergency access. Member Kramer said the plan shows two? He continued, the recommendation is to add another? Mr. Arroyo said the stub connections that he is specifying are not from the city’s emergency access standards, but are from the stub street standards. He said they are provided emergency access to provide connections to the community.
Member Kramer commented this is a gated community, site condominium private streets. He supports the idea that in this community that the active through connected is not needed, although he strongly supports the health, safety and welfare connectors. He believes the grass block has the capability to handle fire truck equipment and the fire department has in the past supported this type of construction. Is this correct? Mr. Arroyo commented he does not believe they have supported the grass block.
Mayor McLallen commented the fire department does not support grass blocks and there was a recent ordinance revision addressing this issue along with paved road with a gate.
Member Kramer said his option is to support the grass blocks. He said errors have happened in the past by configuring cul-de-sacs that did not make subdivision to subdivision connection. He said his preference is for an invisible connection. The ZBA has recognized in their decisions the practical difficulties with this arrangement and have supported Plan A because it meets the intent. Member Kramer said it goes beyond it and actually preserves space if it includes the non-wooded land that is in the park as a substantial benefit to the homeowners. He said with the connected sub street be it is a grass block or something else, he believes it gets rid of requirement for a cul-de-sac waiver. Member Kramer said he would like the Woodlands or Wetlands Consultant to hear recommendations for which lot or area the applicant is directed to consider for lot removal? Ms. Lemke and Ms. Amy Kay said the recommendation is Lot 35 or Lot 14 with Lot 35 having the most environmental impact.
Member Lorenzo asked what is the actual definition of bonafide in the ordinance? She commented that the consultants are in agreement. Member Lorenzo commented that neither the bonafide Plan A or B meets the city ordinance and neither of the preservation option plans meet not only the intent but all the specific criteria that must be meet to approve either plan. Is that correct? Ms. Lemke answered that is correct. Member Lorenzo asked if the city was considering removing three additional lots for a total of four, would the Woodlands and Wetlands Consultants be agreeable and would there be a benefit to removing Lots 14, 20 and 29 in addition to Lot 35? Member Lorenzo said these are the smaller wetlands within the larger woodland area. Member Lorenzo asked would the removal of these lots better meet the criteria found within the preservation option ordinance? Member Lorenzo commented the applicant attorney has expressed that the backs of these lots with the wooded areas will be maintained in some form of preservation easement. She commented if Lot 14 was removed it would not only have the wetland area and surrounding woodland but also it would connect through the woodlands on Lot 15, 16, 17, 18 and so forth in this manner. Member Lorenzo said if Lot 20 was removed, not only would the woods around the lot but also would be contiguous with the southern area of the woodlands. She said Lot 29 is the same issue.
Ms. Lemke said from woodlands perspective Lots 31 and Lot 32 would be preferable, based on letters received in the past, because this is the highest quality woodland. When looking at this system as a total eco system and preservation as a joint eco system which is what Lot 14, 20, 29 and 35 would be preferable. Ms. Lemke said they would provide some wildlife connection so she would support the plan.
Member Lorenzo asked Ms. Kay from her perspective would this better serve and meet all the criteria that needs to be meet within the preservation option ordinance? Ms. Kay restated that the recommendation is to preserve the preferable higher quality wetlands in Lot 14, 20 and 29. Member Lorenzo commented if these lots were removed, does Ms. Kay feel she could make a positive recommendation towards preservation option A at this time? Ms. Kay answered yes. Member Lorenzo asked Ms. Lemke also. Ms. Lemke answered said based on everything else that has happened she says yes.
Member Lorenzo commented that this point in time as Plan A exists now, neither of the consultants are able to give Council a positive recommendation on this plan. Member Lorenzo mentioned with the removal of Lot 14,20, 29 and 35 that is already out of the picture, they are willing to give a positive recommendation.
Member Lorenzo said she would appreciate the definition of bonafide plan. Ms. Lemke recited; "a bonafide plan is a plan depicting development of the total growth site as a conventional plat or conventional site condominium; the substance of which could be approved if a full submittal was made or which could be approved with minor changes so the bonafide plan provides the Planning Commission and City Council with a fare comparison for evaluating the differences between the conventional development and the development under an option." Member Lorenzo wanted clarification if Ms. Lemke approves the bonafide plan? Ms. Lemke said she would not approve the bonafide plan based on the amount of intrusion to all the areas. She said from a total perspective she would not recommend approval.
Member Lorenzo commented it is important to note that in terms of Plan A, as it stands now, is a desirable plan, however the point is whether or not it meets the particular specific criteria for a preservation option. She said this is a land use decision. She mentioned the required findings mean that City Council may grant approval of an application only after finding all criteria are meet. The question is will the preservation option be met?
Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Guidobono how many lots he thinks realistically could be deleted? She commented if he could not lose any additional lots, than her proposal would be to utilize preservation option A but relocate these three lots within the park area? Member Lorenzo said she believes the applicant’s attorney mentioned the park is four acres and Mr. Arroyo was asked to take a look at the area. She said she thinks it would be possible to locate three lots within the park area if lots are the priority. If having 55 lots is the priority, then these lots could be relocated to this area.
Mayor McLallen said he asked for the approval of Plan A. Member Lorenzo commented as it is presented? Mayor McLallen said that is what he has presented to Council.
Member Lorenzo commented on the material included in the packet as to why the wetlands on the western half of the site are so important and essential to the preservation of the natural resources. She said the wetland areas are part of the Huron River watershed and this entire area is part of Rogue and Huron. Member Lorenzo mentioned that impervious surfaces get 10% or above water quality of the watershed declines. She continued by saying the Huron River and Davis Creek shed is already at 12% within the City of Novi. This indicates that it is already an impacted stream. Member Lorenzo said the area around the Rogue is probably at 16% currently and thought to go up to 26% in the future. Member Lorenzo said that is why these areas are very critical if the city is going to reduce the impervious but actually reduce the impact to the city water and watersheds. She commented what she is proposing is a way for the lots to be given and preserve the wetlands for the benefit for the wildlife issues and the watershed. She believes both could happen and that would then meet the criteria needed for the preservation option. The wetlands and woodlands are not being kept as a contiguous whole. She again stated she is presenting an alternative. Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Guidobono to come before Council and give input as what is more important to him, the number of lots or having the park?
Mr. Guidobono said if it came down to choosing between lots and the park he would choose Plan B. He continued by saying not eliminating lots of Plan B as compared to eliminating lots with Plan A if that choice had to be made. Member Lorenzo wanted clarification on eliminating lots on Plan B? Mr. Guidobono said they would probably eliminate the park and go lots in the central park if it meant lots. Member Lorenzo commented the lots are even between the lots? Mr. Guidobono replied yes. Mayor McLallen stated both plans meet the criteria. She stated if Plan A is not granted as presented, he would take Plan B. Member Lorenzo made a motion to approve Plan A with the removal of lots 14,20,29 and 35 to relocate three of these lots into the central park area so there are still 55 sites. She continued so that lots 24,25,26,27 and 28 be shifted over to Florence Drive in order to eliminate the impact to wetland on lot 29 to shift lots 21, 22 and 23 over Florence Drive to eliminate impact on the side of lot 20. Member Lorenzo continued to request that wildlife coverts between park and the central woodland area. She said the same between lots 14 and 20; and between lots 29 and 35. She stated this is proposed in order to meet all the following criteria under the preservation option that must be meet.
Mayor McLallen said there is a motion on the floor and asked for support for the motion as stated.
Member Schmid stated the lot sizes have been reduced. He stated the lots on Plan B all the lots of 3,800 square feet or more. Member Schmid said the plans are not meeting the criteria for lot size. Mayor McLallen asked if Member Schmid is in support or not to the motion? Mayor McLallen again stated to Council if there is support for the motion? Mayor McLallen stated seeing no support for the motion; the motion dies for lack of support.
CM-99-04-095: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED: To Approve preservation option A as presented waiving the length of the cul-de-sacs and stub streets and condition on of proper legal mechanism for containing the preservation of woodlands at the 20% level granted to be determined by legal counsel and the elimination of one lot so there are only 55 lots in the plan
Member Mutch asked if the cul-de-sac by lots 38 and 39 are moved further southeast? She continued if it becomes imperative for a connection that it would be easier to do? Mayor McLallen stated what is being approved is the concept of Plan A, and asked if Council could get input on the engineering aspects. Member Mutch said she needs clarification to know whether to support the motion.
Mr. Arroyo asked if on Venice Court is it possible to shift it more towards the property line? Member Mutch said that is her question. Mr. Arroyo said potentially it could be done if the one lot eliminated comes from this area because to get it closer will impact the lot sizes. Mr. Arroyo said if the one lot that may be eliminated comes from this area it might be possible. He cannot comment on the impact it would have on the lot sizes.
Member Schmid referred to a comment made by Ms. Lemke about the bonafide plan that they intrude into the regulated wetlands. He asked if that is correct? Ms. Lemke commented they also intrude into the center DNR regulated area. Member Schmid asked if that was appropriate? How can there be a bonafide plan if they intrude on land that cannot be built upon? Ms. Lemke said that is why the consultants did not recommend approval.
Member Schmid commented that a bonafide plan is a plan that meets the regulations on wetlands and woodlands as mandated by the federal or state government. There can not be intrusion on these lands and have a bonafide plan? Ms. Lemke stated that is her opinion. Member Schmid stated that she said it was. Ms. Lemke commented the consultants did not support that they were bonafide plans.
Member Schmid said it is an excellent development, but the difficulty he has is with the rush of Council to approve a plan that reduces to one-acre lots. He said they are not reduced to one-half acre lots. Under Plan A the majority of the lots are 3,400 square feet and Plan B the majority are 3,800 square feet plus. He commented there is a dramatic reduction in lot size and he does not support. Member Schmid mentioned he appreciated the comments made by Member Lorenzo regarding the woodlands and wetlands and the report given to Council.
Member Schmid mentioned the problem is that many regional studies negate what people want. He said people want large lots. Member Schmid said he is somewhat disappointed. He likes the plan but is not terrible upset with the reduction in lot sizes under this plan. Member Schmid said he is concerned that Council quickly allowed the process to happen when the zoning in the area is in fact acre lots. He continued it also does not meet the preservation option requirements. The lots might be reduced if a portion of woodlands and wetlands are saved. Member Schmid said that has not been done in this case. He mentioned the development would reserve it in the back of the lots. He believes it will be hard to enforce. His problem is the reduction of lot size is greater than what the ordinance states. He stated Council is not following the ordinance.
Member DeRoche asked Ms. Kay which one of the wetlands is dry? Member DeRoche wanted clarification on the wetland that may be removed to make sure it is not the one that is dry. Ms. Kay said all the wetlands on the west portion of the site are quite wet except Lot 7. She continued to say it should have been wet with thick brush. Member DeRoche wanted to be certain on the lot removal. Ms. Kay explained the conditions on various lots.
Member Kramer said he would like to propose an amendment to the motion to clarify an element in the motion. He stated the amendment is to require the grass block connection to the south from the cul-de-sac. No Council member seconded the amendment. His second point of clarification from the consultants is regarding that Plan A did not meet the criteria. He stated he believes they did not take into consideration the site-condominium preservation agreement in the assessment. Mr. Arroyo said it was based upon the ordinance as it stands. Member Kramer commented the ordinance does not cover this situation. Mr. Arroyo mentioned it does not allow the city to provide credit for woodlands within lots. Member Kramer said this is a site-condominium and there is a preservation agreement. He said given this preservation, does this meet the requirements? Mr. Arroyo commented given the ZBA variance it meets the lot size requirements. Member Kramer repressed his opinion on the wetlands. He stated he appreciates Member Lorenzo’s concerns on the wetlands. He did point out that the reference study was dated in 1996 and questions if it included the 30 plus acres of wetlands that were added nearly adjacent to this site which are contiguous to large wetland area. Member Kramer commented the wetlands being taken out with the development are small in nature and minor to the major area being put into the plan. The wetlands permit was granted after assessment with the Planning Commission so he will support the motion.
Member Lorenzo commented the wetlands that are actually drier now are the wetlands that are going to be more important when the city has storm events. She commented this site is going to produce volumes of water that even though it is going to be released at an agricultural rate, these volumes of water will be going into the Randolph Drain Creek and into the middle Rogue River. Member Lorenzo said Council has the means to reduce the impact to these watersheds and refuse to do it.
Vote on CM-99-04-095: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch
Nays: Lorenzo, Schmid
Executive Session to discuss Property Acquisition and Pending Litigation
Mayor McLallen commented the Council has before them the issue of scheduling an executive session for the purpose of property acquisition.
CM-99-04-096: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by DeRoche, UNANIMOUSLY CARRIED: To schedule an executive session to immediately follow the meeing for the purpose of property acquisition and pending litigation
Vote on CM-99-04-096: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
BREAK AT 10:05 p.m. to 10:20 p.m.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II-None
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION
Mayor McLallen said item E was removed by Mayor ProTem Crawford which involves Detroit Overhead Easement right-of-way agreement.
Mayor ProTem Crawford commented he spoke briefly with Mr. Nowicki. Mayor ProTem Crawford stated his concern is that in the past the city has to pay Detroit Edison for the use of their property. He asked what does Edison give to the city where the city does not have to pay? Mr. Nowicki explained the city has tried to get underground utilities and have not gotten very far in the decision.
Mr. Nowicki explained this easement is about 350 feet in length and Edison has requested an overhead easement to provide electric power across the school property and provide electricity to the schools and other developments in the area. Mr. Nowicki said Edison requested this easement and the city is recommending that the easement be provided at no cost to Detroit Edison. Mr. Nowicki mentioned Edison has provided a number of easements in the past with no cost. He said the city is currently iniating discussions with Edison regarding future easements along the Haggerty Road Corridor where the city has to cross their high-tension wires. Mr. Nowicki said the city has been working with Edison since 1993 or 1994 as a means of exchanging properties. He said this arrangement started with the Taft Road power lines.
Mayor ProTem Crawford commented he is satisfied with the explanation.
Member Schmid said it does not make sense to have power lines over school property. Mr. Nowicki said his understanding is that the school has already provided that easement. Member Schmid asked if the city talked to Edison about underground lines? Mr. Nowicki said that discussion happens all the time. Member Schmid asked if they were responsive? Mr. Nowicki answered no.
Mr. Kriewall commented Detroit Edison’s policy for the entire region is if underground is wanted, then it has to be paid for by city and/or the developers. Member Schmid asked Mr. Kriewall what would Edison do if the city said no to the easement? Mr. Kriewall said the city probably would be paying when the city needs one in the future.
Member Schmid asked what does the city need easements for on Haggerty? Mr. Nowicki said the easements are for sewer and water. He commented the Council should address underground for future projects. Mr. Kriewall said the problem is that all cities think the same way and it can get very expensive to bury lines.
Mr. Nowicki said in regards to Novi Road, several meetings were held and Edison provided the city with a detailed explanation as to why underground facilities would not work in the area of Main Street and Novi Road. Mr. Nowicki said this was an area that the city wanted to clean up.
Mayor McLallen commented she agrees with Member Schmid and believes Council would like underground facilities. As a lay person, she finds the economics very difficult to buy when they say having them above ground is not cost effective with all the maintenance that is needed with the weather and pruning. Mayor McLallen stated on behalf of the City of Novi and look of the city, the city encourages Detroit Edison to continue to reevaluate their position. Mr. Nowicki mentioned this position would be restated as much as necessary. He commented some have been done in intersections.
CM-99-04-097: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To Approve of item E; Detroit Edison Overhead Easement
Vote on CM-99-04-097: Yeas:McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES-None
Mr. Kriewall commented that the Fountain Committee met and had a very good production with three Council Members, several consultants, and the architect for Aetna Company. He said the discussion came to a conclusion that there was general agreement that the city was going to pursue a semi-circle fountain on the northeast corner of Novi Road and Grand River with a backdrop of a pedestal that could provide for the display of different forms of artwork for various events and holidays. The architect made a few sketches and would need a few weeks for refinements. The committee was in general agreement with the concept of the fountain and the pedestal.
Mr. Kriewall referred to the letter included in the Council packet regarding the access road for Quanderangle. He said he does not have any problems come forward then the letter will be sent out.
Member Mutch had two questions for Mr. Kriewall. The first regarded the school board voted on the Ameritech Tower. She asked if Mr. Kriewall had any updates? Mr. Kriewall said they did not communicate with the city. Member Mutch said she heard it was 180-foot tower. She has been asked does the city have any say in the situation? It is not an educational use? Mr. Kriewall said they are going to hang the football light towers on them so he does not know.
Member Mutch said the other question is one of the audience members talked about the DPW site on West Road. How long has the discussion been going on about putting something on this road? Mr. Kriewall said there have been public discussions over the past years. He commented it probably was talked about publicly after the property was purchased from Donovan Associates.He said it was pointed out to Council at that time that not only would it provide for the extension of Taft Road but there would be a potential site for the DPW. Mr. Kriewall said it is about one-quarter of a mile away from the nearest residence.
Mr. David Fried commented he had nothing to report.
Letter from Sarah Gray to Cindy Uglow, Re: Idlemere Park Subdivision
Letter from Henrietta Korte to Dan Davis, Re: Block Grant Funds
Letter from James Korte to Craig Smith, Re: Lemay Street at Maudlin
Letter from James Korte to Kerreen Conley, Re: Invasion of Privacy
RCOC letter to A. W. Nowicki dated 3/23/99 regarding left turn signal phasing at various intersections
Letter from JCK to A. Nowicki, Re: Taft Road Extension-Road Closure
Letter from Kelly Schuler to City Council, Re: Master Plan Update
There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 10:34 p.m.
Kathleen S. McLallen Tonni L. Bartholomew
Melissa H. Place
Date Approved: May 24, 1999