REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, MAY 3, 1999 AT 7:30 PM
COUNCIL CHAMBERS-NOVI CIVIC CENTER-45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:36 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
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
Member DeRoche requested that under Mayor and Council Issues there be a discussion added regarding North Novi Park.
Mayor McLallen advised the words ‘and pending litigation’ be added to item B under Consent Agenda.
CM-99-05-101: Moved by Crawford, seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To Approve Agenda as Amended
Vote on CM-99-05-101 : Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer,
Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
Presentation of Service Plaques
Mayor McLallen commented the plaques are being presented to members of the community who have served on the Beautification Commission or Economic Development Corporation. Mayor McLallen said the City is fortunate to be the recipient of the generosity they have shown through their spirit and time.
Pamela Superfisky – Beautification Commission
Mayor McLallen mentioned Ms. Superfisky is a long time volunteer within the City and is being thanked for her service on the Beautification Commission. The Commission has worked very hard in raising money and it shows throughout the City. She read the resolution and presented it to Ms. Superfisky.
Anamaria Kazanis – Beautification Commission
Mayor McLallen commented Ms. Kazanis has served on both the Beautification Commission and Economic Development Corporation. She thanked Ms. Kazanis for the time she has donated to the City. Mayor McLallen read the resolution and presented the plaque to Ms. Kazanis.
William Wenzel – Economic Development Corporation
Mayor McLallen mentioned Mr. Wenzel has been very instrumental with the Corporation. She wanted to thank Mr. Wenzel for his time and knowledge he has given to the community. She read the resolution and presented the plaque to Mr. Wenzel.
1. Proposed 1999-2000 City of Novi Budget
Mayor McLallen said the purpose of the public hearing is to propose the 1999-2000 budget for the City of Novi. She explained the process starts in February with administration and staff collecting numerical data. The Finance department checks the accounts then the budgets are presented to Council in April. Once the budget has been finalized, the next step is to present the figures to the public.
Mr. Kriewall said it is his pleasure to present the proposed fiscal budget for 1999-2000 for the benefit of the public and City Council. He utilized a slide presentation to help explain the budget.
Mr. Kriewall said there is a cluster of funds that finance the City. He commented the key element in the budget is the General Fund. The General Fund is where the property tax dollars are at work and this particular fund is shown with a 7.97% increase for the fiscal year, which brings the total to $20,167,000.
Mr. Kriewall mentioned the City also tracks the gas and weight receipts that are received from the State of Michigan and these funds are directed through road improvements. Mr. Kriewall said the Major Street Fund is reflected with a balance of 4 million dollars and the Local Street Fund has increased to 18% at $1,614,000. He continued by stating the Municipal Street Fund is continuing with 1 mill levy for streets, which is at $3,881,000 for an increase of 13%.
Mr. Kriewall commented the Police and Fire Fund is a special voted millage that is directed towards police and fire supplementation. The community voted for this a few years ago and the fund is currently at $3,096,000 for an increase of 4.31%.
Mr. Kriewall stated Parks and Recreation has their own millage that drives most of the programs and operational costs. This fund is showing a reduction this year with the total being $1,821,000 for a reduction of 11.24%.
Mr. Kriewall stated that the drain revenue is at a slight increase with 16%, which reaches $2,240,000.
Mr. Kriewall continued with the library operation, which has an increase of 9.09% and brings the fund to $1,828,000.
Mr. Kriewall said the Special Revenue Fund has increased to 17%, which brings the fund to $18,483,000.
Mr. Kriewall mentioned the total Debt Service Fund represent funds the community has approved bond issues to be retired by millage which has increased by 4% and brings the total to $5,238,000.
Mr. Kriewall commented Capital Improvement is a new category that came into being from Council’s Goals and Objectives session. The Council has decreed that they want to establish a Capital Improvement Fund.
Mr. Kriewall said that in the next fiscal year the Police Building Fund is $3,580,000, which was voted by the taxpayers.
Mr. Kriewall explained the Street Construction Fund shows a balance of $8,300,000. This will be totally expended in the coming year with projects that are underway.
Mr. Kriewall commented the Capital Project Funds totals $14,405,000. He said the Ice Arena fund is $2,160,000.
Mr. Kriewall said the Sewer and Water Fund is $9,395,000 for an increase of 5%.
Mr. Kriewall stated the total of Enterprise Fund is $11,556,000, which is an increase of 11.5%.
Mr. Kriewall commented the total of all funds through the City has increased by 17% and most of this is in construction and utility related costs.
Mr. Kriewall mentioned the Capital Improvement Fund is the new fund City Council directed the City create for the next fiscal year. Most of the revenues for this fund are really transferred over from the General Fund and that has been identified as a transfer balance of $2,290,000. All other revenues balance at $83,000. He said the total revenues identified for the Capital Improvement Fund is $2,773,000. Every capital has been identified and captured in a fund at $2,525,000. Technically all this money should have been spent in the 1998-1999 budget and this is why it does not show up in this year’s budget.
Mr. Kriewall continued with the appropriations for the upcoming fiscal year include parking lot replacement, fire vehicles which is heavily funded by specially voted police and fire millage. The City is going to purchase a major vehicle at $487,000. He said the City is able to identify some significant improvements for park development. The City has heard from the community that the City needs to develop more capital towards the existing parks and fortunately that capital has been able to provide funding in those categories. Mr. Kriewall commented the Community Sports Park at Napier and Eight-Mile has been budgeted at $100,000 for various improvements and the Eleven-Mile and Wixom Park has received a budget of $100,000 for improvements. The Community Development Fund for various park improvements has a balance of $74,413.
Mr. Kriewall said there is a balance of $190,000 for the Department of Public Works vehicles. He said this is mainly for forestry equipment, dump trucks, and heavy equipment. The balance for the forestry vehicles and equipment is $133,000.
Mr. Kriewall stated the City is replacing six police vehicles. This amount of replacement is typical for the department for one year. He commented a backup processor for the police computer is needed because of the heavy reliance on computer operations within the Police Department and Council has provided for a backup processor for the department.
Mr. Kriewall commented on a city wide phone system. He said the current system in the Civic Center is the original that is about 12 years old and needs to be replaced. Replacement is planned to be over 5 years according to the budget and the cost for the first installment is $70,000.
Mr. Kriewall said all the other capital items are scattered throughout the budget. He said these represent computer replacements and other minor replacements that total $660,675. The total appropriation for the proposed budget is $2,525,000. He said what is available and set aside for future capital needs in the capital improvement fund is $248,000.
Mr. Kriewall stated the appropriation by fund type is showing special revenue. He explained by taking 26% of the total budget, which makes the General Fund at 29% of the budget. Mr. Kriewall said the enterprise funds, water & sewer and others are 17%. He said the capital projects are 21% and debt service to retire bond indebtedness is 7%.
Mr. Kriewall commented the Critical Fund that is monitored most closely is the General Fund. He said this is an analysis of the General Fund Revenue and how it breaks down for the upcoming budget year. The proceeds of long term debt, which is in the prior fiscal year, is at $205,000 and this represents the $205,000 the city borrowed to purchase the expansion to Lakeshore Park in the Fall of 1998.
Mr. Kriewall mentioned the general property tax as a percentage of the budget is at 40% for $8,132,000. He said this is an increase from $7,558,000.
Mr. Kriewall said non-business licenses, which are preliminary Building Department permit revenue, are being estimated at a level number at 7% of the total budget. The reason for this is because the City does not expect to necessarily expand building activity in the upcoming year and it seems to be leveling off in the residential sector. The lot inventory is starting to decrease in some areas of the community. He said there are additional areas of the community that will be adding significant amount of lots over the next year or so but for the upcoming year this is believed to be an accurate number to have in the budget to keep it level.
Mr. Kriewall commented grants have a balance of $245,000, which is 1% of the total budget.
Mr. Kriewall said state revenue sharing is 19% of the budget and shows a balance of $3,787,000.
Mr. Kriewall stated other services and charges are $667,000 at 3%. He said fines and forfeitures are $280,000 or 1% of the budget.
Mr. Kriewall mentioned interests on investments are $725,000 for 4% of the budget. The City is very aggressive on investing idle funds and the City has done well in these categories for the past two or three years.
Mr. Kriewall continued to say the miscellaneous revenue is $200,000 or 1% of the budget.
Mr. Kriewall commented the transfer of other funds, which is the police and fire millage, is coming back to support additional police and fire personnel that was voted in several years ago. He said this represents 14% of the budget at $2,864,000.
Mr. Kriewall mentioned the appropriation of fund balance is $1,871,000 and this represents 9% of the total revenue summary.
Mr. Kriewall stated the General Fund Revenue shows the major inputs are from property taxes and state revenue sharing is a substantial percentage of the total budget operation. He said the Police and Fire Fund transfer to the special voter millage will increase the amount of police officers and fire fighters that are currently employed with the City.
Mr. Kriewall said the General Fund appropriations for the Finance Department shows a balance of $465,000 or 2% of the budget.
Mr. Kriewall said the Assessing Department has a balance of $594,000 or 3%. The City does the assessing for all of the other taxing jurisdictions so this is a substantial cost.
Mr. Kriewall mentioned the Building and Grounds represents the maintenance and support of all the City buildings, which has a balance of $523,000 or 3% of the budget.
Mr. Kriewall said General Administration is $1,380,000 or 7% of the budget. The Police department is $6,870,000 or 34% of the budget. The Fire department is $2,418,000 or 12% of the budget. The Building Department is 6% of the budget, which is 100% self-funding.
Mr. Kriewall mentioned the Department of Public Works is $690,000 or 3% of the budget. The reason this is so low is because the majority of the cost of operating the DPW in terms of summer and winter maintenance and snow removal is actually chargeable to the gas and weight tax funds. This is the portion that would actually space through to the General Fund and this money represents expenditures that cannot be charged to the Road Fund.
Mr. Kriewall stated Planning and Community Development is $568,000, which is 3% of the budget. All other expenditures are at 27% or $5,500,000 and this represents the total General Fund appropriation, which is $20,167,000. The appropriations are mostly spent on public safety, police and fire. He said this is typical of most cities.
Mr. Kriewall commented the Personnel Budget is monitored closely, which tracks the existing and growth in personnel annually. He said this is where changes are noticed and is the cost control center for most of the City operations for tracking personnel.
Mr. Kriewall mentioned the Finance Department is adding one employee, which also captures Information Technology staff. The City has a tremendous investment with the computers and needs to add personnel to make sure every aspect is operating properly and that the City is getting full potential out of the operation. He said it is proposed to add another Information Technology employee to support the entire operation.
Mr. Kriewall said the next increase is in General Administration. The department is adding one clerical position and one Grant Coordinator. The coordinator position also stems from Council’s establishment of goals and objectives. It is felt the City needs to continue being aggressive with grant acquisition and the entire process can be centralized.
Mr. Kriewall said the proposal with the Fire Department is to add three full-time fire protection officers and one Assistant or Deputy Chief. He said it is proposed that a Deputy Chief be added to this budget.
Mr. Kriewall said the one position is being added to the Department of Public Works and would translate to the forestry operation. He said that for the first time the City would have a two-man crew working with the Forester to maintain the City’s tree growth.
Mr. Kriewall said the only other position being proposed for addition to the budget is for a Building Coordinator. He explained the City Hall and Community Center facility is used for many programs and services throughout the entire week. He said additional full-time staff needs to be added to support these activities and give more support for security.
In conclusion, the figures represent total projected and proposed new employees for the fiscal 1999-2000 year. There are no changes in Parks and Recreation, Library Fund or Water & Sewer Fund and the total increase in personnel is 9 for the proposed budget.
Mr. Kriewall said the General Fund full-time personnel shows police and fire operations have been staffed significantly. There are 86 full-time positions in the Police Department and 25 full-time personnel in the Fire Department.
Mr. Kriewall commented the millage history for the community is broken down in two categories. He said they are the operating millages and the debt millages. The operating millages have been consistent for the last three years at 4.1215 and the municipal street is the Charter amended municipal street millage that is down slightly for fiscal year 1999-2000 at .6815.
Mr. Kriewall stated the police and fire specially voted millage is down to 1.4780. He commented it is down slightly for the upcoming year.
Mr. Kriewall commented the Parks and Recreation is down slightly to .3995.
Mr. Kriewall said drain revenue is down about .800 of a mill. This represents a change that was made in the proposed budget within the past week while the budget was being developed and presented to Council. It was discovered that an earlier error within some of the millage calculations had the total budget millage actually bringing in a slight increase in the total budget for the average taxpayer.
Mr. Kriewall stated an adjustment was done with the Drain Revenue Fund. The fund was reduced from .6945 to .6005 and has no material impact on the maintenance or programs that are continued with the department and the fund is secure.
Mr. Kriewall commented the Library millage is down slightly to .7989. The total operating millage is down to 8.0799 from 8.2325.
Mr. Kriewall commented the required debt millage must be levied to retire all of the outstanding bonded indebtedness. The level of levy for these millages is what the City must levy each year to retire the principal and interest on the bonds that are due in the upcoming fiscal year.
Mr. Kriewall stated the 1991 street debt is down considerably and the 1997 street debt is up slightly. He continued by saying the park and fire debts are up slightly. Mr. Kriewall mentioned the new bond coming on is the police bond issue that was approved by the voters in November of 1998 to construct and redo the police station. He said for the first time this debt retirement millage will be showing as .0979.
Mr. Kriewall said the Civic Center debt is down to .0209. He said the refunding bonds are down from .5681 to .53.3511. The 1993 refunding bonds are up slightly from .3172 to .4811.
Mr. Kriewall commented the total millage change proposed for the upcoming fiscal year is down from 10.7576 to 10.5477.
Mr. Kriewall mentioned the evaluation history for the community. He said the millage is set off against the entire community’s assessed evaluation. This is tracked annually to give the residents an idea how the state equalized value is changing and the value is always going upward. The state equalized value for 1999-2000 has gone from $1,920,000,000 to $2,274,000,000. The change from the previous year is 18.44%. However, the taxable value because of Proposition A really affects the value that the City can levy against. He said that is rolled back from $2,274,000,000 to $1, 928,000,000. The true percent change from last fiscal year to this year is 6.64% for an increase, which includes new construction and adjustment to the existing tax base.
Mayor McLallen thanked the staff for their continued hard work on the budget. She asked any members of the public with any comments about the proposed 1999-2000 budget to approach Council. Mayor McLallen recognized no members coming forward for comments so the public hearing was closed. The Council would take action on the Resolution for the 1999-2000 budget under Matter for Council Action-Part 1.
Mr. Jonathon Brateman came before Council on behalf of the Novi Chamber of Commerce. He said over the last two years the Chamber has had economic summits that have done a lot to bring information and cooperation between members of the Chamber in terms of being able to ask questions of the City. He said action has been taken by the City to help the Chamber communicate to the Chamber members, as well as the business community.
Mr. Brateman commented he is appearing before Council specifically to thank Mr. Don Saven for the help he gave to the Chamber and the entire business community in terms of facilitating and coordinating a number of programs. Mr. Brateman said Mr. Saven’s programs resulted in materials being available to people whom, for example, are going to seek a Zoning Board of Appeal variance because many people do not know what constitutes a variance or procedures that need to be followed. Mr. Brateman commented materials are now available at the Civic Center and at the Chamber office.
Mr. Brateman mentioned the Chamber also covered a number of other fields. He said these were alterations to residential and commercial buildings along with addressing other ordinances. The staff of the Chamber owes Mr. Saven a debt for all of his work in preparing the materials. The next step in the process is to prepare videotapes on various topics so the applicant is better prepared to approach the Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals or City Council. He again thanked Mr. Saven for all of his help and cooperation between the Building Department and the Chamber.
Mr. James Korte of Shawood Lake Subdivision approached Council. He commented on the Maudlin, LeMay & Eubank watermain, which is basically in and Austin is almost complete. Mr. Korte mentioned an incident occurred which made the situation come to a property line survey. He is upset that an officer had to tell him to get out of the City road right-of-way and he has had enough with these types of situations. He should have the right to stand in the City road right-of-way. Mr. Korte commented the City will be surveying for the property lines and he does not want to be threatened with another ticket when he is standing on a public street opposite his property. Mr. Korte said the watermain is not done but it is wonderful. He thanked the Council.
Mr. Terry Jolly came before Council in support of item #4 regarding Zoning Ordinance Text amendment. He wants to support the liveliness of the City. Mr. Jolly mentioned the Detroit News said that Novi is leveling off and the City needs to take care of the businesses and level out the tax base. He mentioned the Planning Commission approved and recommended to Council that the City should improve the language change. He said the consultants have recommended the amendment and no homeowners have ever complained to the pizza establishment. He also said there have not been complaints on the location of the dumpster. He encourages the Council to support the fourteen businesses in the center, which ten of them have written to Council requesting assistants in obtaining more foot traffic in the center. Mr. Jolly said only one person came before Council with objections. He mentioned Council has received letters that oppose the change but again encourages Council to support the text amendment.
Mr. Glenn McDonald, representing Toll Brothers, approached Council regarding item #5 which is Wilshire Abbey tentative preliminary plat. He said Toll Brothers has no problem with the plan but he would like to mention that the company has sent correspondence to Mr. Luettke’s attorney about Hall Road which is adjacent to the property and needs to be put in or made an emergency access. The company would like to see normal considerations in regards to landscaping adjacent to their property and this would apply to the southern southeastern border and one of the north/south boundary lines. Mr. McDonald thanked the Council for their time.
Mr. Steve Grant of the Novi Jaycees addressed Council in support of the Novi Memorial Day Parade scheduled for May 31, 1999 with the support of Marty Feldman Chevrolet. He said the parade starts at Border’s BookStore and invited citizens to join the parade. He commented the Jaycees has an Euchre Tournament scheduled for May 22, 1999 and invites the surrounding communities to attend. He is the Vice President of the Junior Chamber of Commerce in Novi and explained it is a management training organization. He thanked the members of Council for their time.
Mr. Chuck Tindall stated he is before Council again on the proposed golf course issue and is speaking for a group of citizens. He is not opposed to golf courses and he is not opposed to Novi having a municipal golf course preferable with voter approval. He is opposed to asking the voters to raise their taxes to buy property for park lands and then being left out of the decision making process on how this property is to be developed. There has not been any open discussion on the subject, he said at each meeting concerning the proposed golf course in the North Novi Park, Council has held audience participation as required by State Law. At each of these times citizens have spoken in opposition, yet the Council appears to be ignoring and have moved forward to the point of having a golf course on the rough draft of the new Park and Recreation Master Plan. Mr. Tindall commented there still has not been a public hearing and without voter consent.
Mr. Tindall said he presented to Council two weeks a Charter amendment proposal, which would remedy this situation and allow the residents to decide this issue. The Council of Farmington Hills placed a similar amendment to protect parklands before their voters. He mentioned Member Schmid was quoted in the Novi News of January 16, 1999 edition saying it was his belief that the majority of citizens would vote for a golf course. The January 30, 1999 edition of the Novi News asked Mayor McLallen if it necessarily has to go to a ballot to approve a golf course? Mr. Tindall said the reply of Mayor McLallen was yes.
Mr. Tindall commented the Charter amendment that the group is proposing would assure that this issue goes to the voters. He asked for audience members to stand if they agreed with the Charter amendment and asked Council if this issue can be placed on the ballot or does the group have to go through with petitions?
Mayor McLallen stated the Council by custom does not reply at this time. She said persons can come before Council to express their opinions but there is no discussion.
Dr. Sanghvi commented he is before Council on the behalf of Kosavo Relief Fund. He asked all Council members and residents to join in this humanitarian cause. It cost over one million dollars a day to feed the refugees and he would like to target $5.00 for each person in the City. Dr. Sanghvi said the Memorial Day weekend volunteers will be collecting funds and checks can be written out to the Rotary Club of Novi Foundation, Inc. and could be sent in care of the Novi News.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
CM-99-05-102: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Schmid, CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To Approve Consent Agenda as Amended
Member Mutch requested that the April 12, 1999 budget minutes be removed until the next regular Council meeting.
Member Lorenzo requested that item O be removed.
B. Schedule an Executive Session to immediately follow Regular Meeting of May 3, 1999 for the purpose of Property Acquisition.
C. Award bid for Self Contained Breathing Apparatus to Apollo Fire Equipment, the sole source supplier, in the amount of $15,650 (Fire)
D. Award bid for One (1) Thermal Imaging Scanner to I.S.G. Thermal Systems, Ltd., in the amount of $16,500 (Fire)
E. Award bid for Mower to W.F. Miller in the amount of $9,145 (D.P.W.)
F. Award bid for Pavement Striping to R. S. Contracting, 212 (D.P.W.) in the amount of $149
G. Award proposal for Landscape Trailer to Foote Tractor, Inc., in the amount of $3,290 (Municipal Garage)
H. Approval of MDNR Urban & Community Forestry Grant and authorization for the Mayor to sign the required Agreement.
I. Approval of Change Order No. 4 - Meadowbrook Road Improvements Project contingent upon receipt of required easements.
J. Approval of Final Pay Estimate No. 12 and Final Balancing Change Order No. 4 for the Leavenworth Regional Storm Water Basin Project.
K. Award for the Taft Road Reconstruction Project, including Alternate 1, to the low bidder, Summit Transport, Inc. in the amount of $510,124.50.
L. Approval of Cheltenham Estates - Entranceway License Agreement and authorization for the Mayor and Clerk to sign said Agreement.
M. Approval of Agreement with Singh Development and approval of Meadowbrook Road Paving Project Change Order No. 5 for the construction of Burroughs Avenue approach to Meadowbrook Road, contingent upon receipt of required easements.
N. Acceptance of Sanitary Sewer Easement and Temporary Construction Easement from Herbert and Hattie Fisher for the Beck Road Sanitary Sewer Project in the total amount of $15,001.00.
P. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No 543
Vote on CM-99-05-102: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
2. Adoption of Proposed 1999-2000 City of Novi Budget
Mayor McLallen commented what direction Council wanted to take concerning the budget.
CM-99-05-103: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED: To Adopt the proposed 1999-2000 City of Novi Budget
Member Schmid commented he would not be supporting the motion reluctantly. He mentioned a great deal of work went into the budget and he normally supports the budget. However, he is not in support because the initial budget was proposed to reduce the City taxes for each individual at approximately $4.12. He commented Mr. Kriewall mentioned there was an error in the budget so the Finance Department reduced the Drain Revenue Fund by sufficient millage to make up the $4.12.
Member Schmid said the budget is raising taxes for the City at $4.12 and to make up for this, the Drain Fund was reduced by this amount for each citizen. This is a plus budget year not a steady year as the charts indicate. He thinks this was an honest mistake by the Finance Department several weeks ago when it was added. Member Schmid said the error was discovered a few days ago and the error was adjusted but it takes away from the Drain Fund $150 or $160 million dollars that would normally go to this fund. Member Schmid commented the taxes did increase.
Member Schmid said the other reason he cannot support the budget, even though he supports the majority of the items, is because since the 1997-1998 Budget, the City has raised more than 4 million dollars. The City has also increased the budget over 4 million dollars and the City Administration and Council has decided to spend. He said it is over 2 million dollars, almost 3 millions for the 1999-2000 budget for increases.
Member Schmid commented there are increases in almost every department and several of the items on the budget could have been delayed. The City has the money and needs to figure out a way to spend it so it does not go back to the residents. The City could have either reduced the taxes to the citizens of Novi or increase the amount of money that is put into the Capital General Fund and have the interest generate dollars then the City could have had capital improvements throughout the next several years without touching additional revenues. Novi has been extremely fortunate in the growth projections over the past 15 or 20 years. He believes the City is spending a tremendous amount of money and he prefers that more money be put in the Capital Improvement Fund and/or return money to the citizens because of the huge increase in dollars that the City has enjoyed over the last couple of years. He said because of these and a few others he would not support the motion.
Member Schmid gave credit to Council for their hard work along with Administration. He said it is a matter of philosophy and he has another philosophy at this time.
Member Lorenzo said there were certain items within the budget that she did not agree with but she would support the budget. Some of the items she is concerned about are the drainage maintenance. The Department of Public Works did not add any more personnel to better maintain the drainage systems. She would have liked to see staff added to maintain the catch basins and detention basins on a yearly basis and to be inspected on a yearly basis to reduce flooding problems and other pollution problems.
Member Lorenzo mentioned she is concerned about the ice arena operating at a deficient and it is expected to operate on a deficient for the next fiscal year. She hopes the Community Clubs and the Ice Management can gain control of the situation so the money is not coming out of the General Fund to subsidize the arena. She said the arena was to be self-supporting and to date it is not and she is very concerned.
Member Lorenzo commented there were other items that could have been cut within the budget particularly with the conferences and seminars and other similar items.
Member Lorenzo stated she is concerned that the City of Wixom is not paying their total share towards dispatching and prisoner services that the City of Novi provides. She said last year it was recommended that the City of Wixom pay $80,000 towards these services and Wixom agreed to $60,000 last year. She hopes the City of Novi aggressively pursues the $80,000 figure.
Member Kramer commented the budget is equitable and a responsible budget. He is pleased the City has established a Capital Fund and he also would like it to be larger. He believes the budget addresses legitimate needs of the City and the citizens. The budget addressed some items that have been postponed for some time and some that have been long needed particularly in the fire area. He believes the budget looks out for the health and safety and welfare. He is happy that all of these items can be done while maintaining the tax bill simultaneously and is pleased to support the budget and believes the City has a fine total package.
Member DeRoche commented he supports the budget. He agrees that one of the frustrating situations about this budget is that the governmental body and administration continues to show the desire to spend all of the increase tax revenues that the City gets and continues to get. So long as the City continues to grow and develop at the rate that it does presently. Every year the Council will be faced with a budget that will have a significant increase in revenues that are coming into the City. It is a very good problem for a City to have to address many needs. Member DeRoche said where he differs from the previous speaker is that he believes the problem lies not in doing what the City needs to do but the fact that Council steps outside of the core of services of City government. He said as City government exists, it provides core services like roads, police, fire and things as residents want to have done well and be fully funded. When Council steps outside of these situations it becomes more complicated and it will create a financial problem that is only going to escalate with each budget year.
Member DeRoche agreed with a previous speaker concerning the ice arena as a perfect example. The arena project was supposed to make the City $70,000 in the first year and $170,000 the second year. It was his understanding that this was one of the main reasons why this project was supported with bonds that will be eventually guaranteed.
Member DeRoche commented with the 1999-2000 budget, the City is facing a $269,000 deficient in addition to a $63,000 loan that was given to the ice arena as working capital. He said that was not paid back along with $30,000 from the bonding that is included in the budget at some location that will be paid back which brings this year’s total to $362,000 in the negative on a project that was supposed to be $70,000 positive. Next year what is being approved with the 1999-2000 budget there will be a $169,000 deficient. This prediction came after Council predicted a 40% increase in revenues, which will bring the total negative to $531,000 over the first two years of operation. Member DeRoche commented to add this number with the $240,000 that the arena was supposed to make brings the amount to $771,000. This amount is above what the City paid to have a public road built outside of the funding for this entire project.
Member DeRoche stated a positive situation for the City is the Capital Improvement Funds, which every Council member wanted to have happen. He finds it incredibly frustrating to see the growth in Council spending outside of the core issues. He was glad to see the increase in spending for the fire department with the four new positions and believes this is an issue the Council needs to support. He does not like to see the money spent on ice arenas and he does not want to see it done in the future because it will create these problems on a larger scale for future Councils.
Member Mutch commented she would support the budget. She did not want to comment on what she may or may not have wanted to see within the budget. Member Mutch commented with her almost four years on the Council, this Council budget meeting was the most productive and harmonious. She said it is a process of review, discussion and compromise. The budget might contain issues she is not so supportive of but there are others that she would be a great advocate. There might be issues that are not included in the budget, which probably could be said for other Council members. She thinks the budget delivers to the residents and that Novi taxpayers will be getting a fair return for their investment in the coming year.
Member Mutch said that in each community she agrees that core services is where a City starts with in terms of their responsibility. She said it is to provide for the health, safety and well being of the community. In each community the people of the community let it be known, either by electing officials or by coming to Council, sending letters or other means, they let the elective representatives know what it is they would like to see local government accomplish. She said they indicate their willingness to support that in a number of ways. It is possible for a community to be correctly involved in issues that go beyond the core services. The people of every community do determine what it is they are willing to support and let their officials know. If the officials are not willing to provide that then the officials ultimately get replaced. She does not think the community of Novi is telling Council to limit to a minimum number of emergency workers whether they are police or fire and keeping the roads in reasonable condition. She believes the citizens expect more from Council.
Mayor ProTem Crawford commented he would be supporting the budget. He said there are issues in the budget that he feels strongly about and some things are not in the budget. Overall it is a very responsible budget that serves the community and the internal organization. There has been a significant increase in revenues this year but also there has also been a significant increase in demands on these revenues. Some of them have been neglected for a number of years and the City is fortunate to address many of them.
Mayor ProTem Crawford commented the City probably has added more personnel this year than the last five years totaled but these positions are very needed. The budget is very responsible and he is looking forward to implementing some of these issues that have not been able to address the last several years.
Mayor McLallen complemented the staff on their hard work on the budget. The Council members do collectively represent the City so that every angle of an issue was reviewed and the fact that a consensus could be built out of the views is a testament to everyone’s efforts to deliver a good managing budget for next year. Mayor McLallen asked the City Clerk to call the roll.
VOTE ONE CM-99-05-103: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch
2. Request for adoption of a Resolution, Re: Waiver of Novi EDC Jurisdiction for Johnson Group Services, Inc. in favor of the Oakland County Economic Development Corporation
Mayor McLallen said the purpose of this is to enable a local business to expand locally. The reason the county is doing this rather than the City is a matter of time.
Mr. Greg Capote mentioned that Mr. Dan Hunter is the Manager of the Economic Development and Planning Services for Oakland County. The resolution before Council is to waive jurisdiction to the Oakland County Economic Development Corporation as the current EDC, because the City of Novi does not have an allocation for funding. This waiver of jurisdiction would allow Johnson Press to seek financing through Oakland County. Should the Council not approve the resolution, Johnson Press would have to seek financing through the state.
Ms. Langhauser appeared before Council representing Oakland County Economic Development Corporation. Whenever the corporation has an active EDC in a local municipality, they have to come to the municipality and request a waiver of jurisdiction. Basically they have jurisdiction for the Oakland County as long as there is not an active EDC. She is before Council to ask for a waiver of jurisdiction for Johnson Press project at Grand River and Taft Road to allow the company to take advantage of tax exempt industrial revenue bonds at a favorable interest rate so they can go through an expansion within Novi. Ms. Langhauser said there are some advantages for the business and Novi.
Ms. Langhauser mentioned if Council does waive jurisdiction to Oakland County’s EDC, they will be back before Council with the project plan for this particular company. The plan will outline numerous aspects of the actual project and it is about half way through the process when they come back to the local municipality. In addition to the EDC of Oakland County, the Oakland County of Board of Commissioners has to approve the project plan and a public hearing is held. There is quite a bit of local participation throughout the process.
Member Kramer stated the jurisdiction that is being asked to waiver has to do with financing? Ms. Langhauser said it is financing. Member Kramer commented it is not for site or site plan approval? Ms. Langhauser said it is merely for the financing of the project. Member Kramer commented the normal City processes are still in process and they just have the opportunity to seek financing through the CD. Ms. Langhauser said that is correct.
Mayor McLallen suggested it may be beneficial to Council members, since the City does have an EDC in the community, why the Council was not able to proceed and that the funding is actual federal funding which is allocated through the state and then is filtered. There is a specific time frame and projects need to be identified during this period.
Ms. Langhauser said the State Treasurer has the authority to allocate. Last year Oakland County was one of the few local EDC’s to receive allocation. The total allocation was around 30 million and this year there is almost 57 million in location allocations that is available to all local EDC’s throughout the state of Michigan basically on a first come, first served bases. She said the time frame is very short. The corporation received the allocation in March and the allocation deadline was for May 31, 1999. It usually takes 90 days to do a revenue bond. What has been done with the state treasures, they have written and requested through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation a request to extend beyond the May 31, 1999 date.
Mr. Capote said allocation for local issuers have not been available in past years. The last year there were no allocations for a local issuer so that puts the Novi Economic Development Corporation at a disadvantage in offering financing for an industrial projects.
Ms. Langhauser commented in 1998 there was allocation for local issuers but there were only a few of local issuers that received allocation. Other local communities that have industrial property and these are only available to manufacturing concerns and A501-C 3. Ms. Langhauser commented if the city does not have a lot of these types of projects it makes more sense for the county to do the financing. Mayor McLallen clarified this is not local money the Council is just being part of the mechanism that allows a business within the Novi to take advantage of this loan structure.
Member Schmid commented he supports the process but he asked for explanation of the advantages of EDC for community and/or the county? Ms. Langhauser said the biggest advantage is for the business because they can get 100% financing at a favorable rate. The big advantage for the municipality or to a county would be because it allows the community to grow and to be very competitive. When Congress narrowed their focus and went to industrial projects only, the reasoning was because they wanted projects that created jobs and taxbase; strip malls and office buildings were taken out of the arena. The manufactures have to compete in the world market and their equipment and buildings cost a lot of money so Congress narrowed it to only industrial. Ms. Langhauser commented the advantage for Novi is having nice businesses that support the budget through taxes along with good paying jobs for the citizens. These are the two economic development markers.
CM-99-05-104: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To request adoption of a Resolution,
Re: Waiver of Novi EDC Jurisdiction for Johnson Group Services, Inc. in favor of the Oakland County Economic Development
Member Mutch asked how does a local business begin the process? How do they get in line for this financing? Ms. Langhauser said because of allocation problems, they have not advertised that much and most businesses learn through networking. Johnson Press came directly to EDC from the financial institution. They were going to use another program available at the county but found their way to revenue bond financing.
Member Mutch said she understands that manufacturing and industrial is the focus but 501-C3 has been mentioned. What does that include? Ms. Langhauer said 501-C3 as an example would be assisted living facility, medical facility and an expansion done at Cranbrooke in Bloomfield Hills. She suggested that Mr. Capote gather all the information available on 501-C3 funding because it involves cultural or community and education institutions than the City could benefit from this information.
Ms. Langhauser commented she would work closely with Mr. Capote to make sure he is aware of everything that might be available.
Vote on CM-99-05-104: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo,
Mayor McLallen commented perhaps Novi’s EDC could do some of the proactive targeting of these companies within the City that potentially are smaller manufactures because they need to be identified before January of 2000 so that perhaps Novi’s EDC could be the issuant. Mr. Capote said that is a possibility. He believes it would be appropriate for Council to review the presentation of Mr. Dennis Neiman to get an overview to the Council as the difficulties of receiving allocations from the state as far as industrial revenue financing is concerned. Mayor McLallen commented there is some opportunity and since the EDC is currently active, the City would like them to continue to pursue the process. Mr. Capote agrees and within the next thirty days, the EDC probably will request a joint meeting with Council to discuss the issues they would like to be more active.
3. Request for Design and Construction Waiver for an 8-foot Bike Path – DIBO Building, SP 98-63, Project is located on west side of Meadowbrook north of Grand River.
Mayor McLallen said the issue involves putting a bike path through the property and it would have to go into the Bishop Creek area and the request is to set aside the money that would cost for a typical bike path in this area. This money would be set aside to be partnered with the City money so that an alternate bike path or boardwalk in this area could possibly be constructed.
Mr. Lee Mamola commented that this is an industrial area and this bike path does not have any direct linkage to any residence in the area. It would serve only the employees and the people within the buildings closely located.
Mayor McLallen clarified that Mr. Mamola is saying the applicant wants a complete waiver. The City Consultants made a recommendation to set aside the money. Mr. Mamola commented this is the first time he heard about the setting aside of money. He understood that JCK recommended a waiver of the bike path in their site plan review letter. Mayor McLallen wanted clarification what the applicant is requesting.
Member Mutch said she disagrees with Mr. Mamola’s statement that the bike path does not link to residential because that stretch of Meadowbrook Road between Grand River and Twelve Mile does get an unusual amount of foot traffic. There are people who actually do walk to the Towne Center and Meadowbrook across to Eleven Mile, which is probably safer than Grand River. She mentioned Toll Gate is an attraction at Twelve Mile and Meadowbrook. The City no longer has the state bike path however; it is just north of the area in question. There might be an argument in terms of the waiver because of Bishop Creek but if the City has an alternative that makes sense, then she would not have a problem. She believes the City needs to establish connections. She is not in favor of setting aside the cost if the cost is figured on the bases of what the ordinary construction cost would be for a sidewalk, when the property would not have an ordinary sidewalk because it would require a boardwalk because of the creek. When an applicant has property to develop, the natural features have to be taken into consideration to comply with the ordinances. She is not too opposed to the waiver as long as only a section is taken out of the system.
Member DeRoche stated it makes sense to grant the waiver so long as the City is funded for what the City would want to do with the property. It is an unfair burden to put on this particular project when the City does not know what direction to take with this area. What is the cost? Mr. Dave Potter said this case it is a potential bike path. If it was to be constructed as a boardwalk it would cost $150-$200 per foot depending on how much grading is in the area because of the drain. Member DeRoche asked $200 a linear foot? Mr. Potter said yes and it is very expensive. What he sees ultimately happening on this road if it was widened, would be that the portion of the drain would have to be enclosed. It would be graded to drain and the City would end up with a normal bike path construction. It is difficult to know how the developers engineers would propose to try in fit a bike path in the location. There are retaining wall alternatives that could be done but it is very expensive. If the community was investigating the construction of a bike path from Grand River to Eleven Mile a lot of environmental impacts are involved and it can become very expensive to compensate.
Member DeRoche asked how long is this project? Mr. Mamola said it is about 150 feet. Member DeRoche asked how much would have to be boardwalk? Mr. Mamola answered there is a 30 foot drive so it would be about 120 feet. Member Mutch said that would be about $24,000. Mr. Potter said what would be appropriate for trying to develop an escrow amount, if that is Council wishes, is to ask the developer to put in a proposal on how they could try to fit a boardwalk in the area.
Member DeRoche said hypothetically the City is going to authorize the waiver and the City administrators and consultants to work out the escrow amount not to exceed to $24,000. What would that accomplish? Mr. Mamola commented it is the completion of a three phase project that began more than 12 years ago. Back 12 years ago sidewalks and their requirements where not in place so if a boardwalk or bike path is constructed it will be there for a long time. The budget dollar is a reasonable to construct an asphalt sidewalk that is located in other areas in town and does not see it as a problem.
Member DeRoche commented on the sidewalk ordinance. He has gotten the impression that administration is not going to be able to come forward tonight any clearer than with the letters to Council other than recommending that the Council not give away this waiver without some adequate funding in the future. He would not want to support this waiver unless he knows the exact amount of money or unless Council authorizes administration the maximum amount and workout to a less amount with the petitioner.
Member Schmid referred to a letter from JCK, which stated due to the location of the creek and it’s steep slopes it would not be feasible or safe to construct a bike path in the area and the construction would likely require retaining walls and safety fencing which would be permenate construction in the right-of-way which would be considered a hazard; therefore JCK does not recommend a bike path in the area. What is the hazard? Mr. Potter said the position has been not to encourage construction of fences or these types of obstructions within the right-of-way for safety reasons. He said if a person stands on the edge of Meadowbrook Road in front of the property, the ditch which is called Bishop Creek or Basset Drain is wide and steep. In order to construct it adjacent to the road, this portion would have to be fenced because it drops straight down.
Member Schmid asked Mayor McLallen if there are plans to widen Meadowbrook Road? Mr. Potter said he does not believe it was within this section but the long range there is for five lanes. Member Lorenzo asked how long is long? Member Schmid said assuming it is five lanes, would that creek have to be covered? Mr. Potter said it probably would have to be enclosed. Member Schmid commented it seems to be a reasonable compromise if the City gets the 120 feet at the cost of the concrete walkway because he believes the City would never build the fence in the walkway.
CM-99-05-105: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED: To
Approve a waiver for the Design and Construction standards for an 8 foot concrete bike path and put money in an escrow
Mayor ProTem Crawford commented that Mr. Potter said that Meadowbrook Road probably would be widened. Mr. Potter said that is correct. Mayor ProTem Crawford mentioned when a road is widened it seems a bike path is constructed adjacent to the road like an extra wide shoulder. Maybe this is the solution for this area based on what has been said on this particular parcel but on the entire stretch from Grand River to Eleven Mile area. It is a very difficult area to construct a separate bike path? Mr. Potter commented if a typical five lane improvement was done there it would be a curb and gutter to collect the drainage. There are other instances instead of having a curb and gutter like an 8 foot shoulder and sometimes these shoulders have an extra 3 feet. Instead of having a 8 foot gravel shoulder, 3 of the feet would be paved for maintenance purposes and it extends the life of the pavement. This portion can be paved and it can be called a bike lane but it is more expensive because of the asphalt. Mayor ProTem Crawford commented it is not more expensive than constructing a separate 8 foot bike path? Mr. Potter said concrete will run about $3 or $3.50 a square foot so it cost about $25.00 a running foot in ideal conditions. To answer the question on cost, it depends on how wide the road is widened and what environmental requirements have to be complied with from DEQ because of the stream.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said there are a lot of "if’s" in the project and he does not support the motion. He would vote for the waiver but still he does not think it is going to serve any purpose now or in the future to put a bike path in there until the road is widened it maybe feasible. He mentioned to put money into escrow now it could be a very long time before anything is done on the stretch of road. He would be in favor of the waiver but not the escrow portion of the motion.
Member Lorenzo thanked Mr. Potter for calling it a stream and not a drain. She supports the waiver but another alternative would be some type of legal agreement, whereby if the City at some point in time would extend a bike path in the area, the applicant would be willing to pay for construction if needed. This way there is no money in escrow but the applicant is agreeing that should a bike path be planned in the area, the money would be available to do whatever needs to be done. No funds would be tied up from the applicant but the applicant is agreeing to pay in the future. She asked Mr. Watson if there is a mechanism to do this? Mr. Dennis Watson said a mechanism could be done. The only way it would do the City a lot of good is if it was something that in-effect, was like a lien on the property. It would be recorded and run with the land; therefore it would be security but probably would be less palatable to the property owner than posting an escrow.
Member Kramer said he believes either funding is satisfactory and the motion can contain either. Mayor McLallen wanted clarification that Member Kramer wants a funding mechanism included in the motion. Member Kramer commented yes and he believes the bike path is part of the City Master Plan and believes while there is not an immediate adjacent residential there, it is certainly within a reasonable distance from Meadowbrook Glens and he thinks this is a desirable route. There are joggers on the road and it would be desirable to continue to expand the non-motorized traffic routes.
Mr. Ed Kriewall commented the motion that has been stated is fair. The City is trying to build a transportation system in terms of pedestrian walkways and bike trails. There are certain properties in the City that gives tremendous challenges in construction and the City requires developers to pay for watermains and sewers in front of their property but if there happens to be a pumping station, meter pit or a pressure reducer valve, extremely large costs happen to fall in the property are assisted. He thinks there is a situation that would require a very extensive bridge or woodland or stream crossing. He feels it is unfair to impose this extra cost on the property and the motion is fair and equitable.
Member Mutch mentioned she does not have any problem with the waiver as long as there is an escrow amount and that the escrow amount is determined on a reasonable bases not just on a minimal bases. She does not want to see anyone have to set aside more money or pay more money then what is actually needed. If the bike path is not built for some time and the City is able to invest the money and earn interest then that is fine. The money needs to be in place because of the difficulty of tracking someone at a later time.
Member Mutch commented on the extension of the roadway. In some areas this has been discussed as an option particularly around the lake; however the desired speed limit around the lake is residential speed and the particular stretch along Meadowbrook Road is 40mph. People that use the road are sometimes lead to use the road because of the ground conditions but generally people try to stay away from the road because of the safety factor. The City does not have to rush and do a boardwalk if there is a possibility to do something equally functional and less expensive. She is willing to support the waiver as long as it is not some undetermined amount. It could yet to be determined and come back to Council with a specific figure but it needs to be based on something reasonable.
Member Mutch mentioned since the ordinance has been under discussion, if the ordinance changes, is the property owner held to the ordinance that is in place or what is in place later in terms of the construction? Mr. Watson said what the Council is acting on now is based on the current ordinance. The motion is for an equalilant 8 foot wide concrete path for the length of property. That is what is being voted upon but if the ordinance were changed in the future this motion would not change. Member Mutch said that when it is constructed it is according to what is in place now or what is in place at that time? Mr. Watson said in the future when it is constructed, it is constructed under whatever the ordinance provides for at that time.
Vote on CM-99-05-105: Yeas: McLallen, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch,
Mayor McLallen commented that at least one other property in town has money in escrow. If this money is put into a fund, can it be an interest-baring fund? Mr. Watson answered yes.
BREAK from 9:35 p.m. until 9:50 p.m.
Member Kramer proposed some questions to the Planning Consultant. He surveyed the results of the public hearing and he thinks that the areas of concern fell into a couple of categories. Some of these are the intensity of use, traffic and parking. The ordinance indicates 50% of a planned commercial center could be used for these purposes. What half of a center would do? Is there enough parking in a center to support half of a center with 50 seat establishment? Mr. Arroyo explained as an example if a center was developed with half restaurants most likely it would need to be calculated with the restaurant components separately and apply the restaurant parking standard to that item and the retail standard to the balance. If a small percentage is restaurants within a shopping center, it does not have to be calculated separately. Typically, the process followed is up to 20% if it is considered a restaurant within a shopping center, the parking demands do not have to be calculated separately. Since restaurants require more parking, this would have to be calculated separately. Member Kramer stated the 20% figure would put this into a more conservative range that would take the concern about over crowding of the parking off the concern list. Mr. Arroyo said yes, if it was limited to 20%.
Member Kramer commented on the traffic flow. How would the restaurant traffic effect the center and the area? Mr. Arroyo said because of the smaller center, there is not much of a difference between restaurant traffic generation and shopping center generation over a typical 24 hour period. That is because smaller shopping centers tend to generate more trips per square foot than larger shopping centers. A comparison of daily trips between a 20,000 square foot shopping center, which generates about 2,400 trips per day, is split in half and calculating a 10,000 square feet restaurant that range on the restaurant plus the 10,000 is roughly 2,450 to 2,850 depending on the type of the restaurant. It could be around 300 or 400 trips per day more if a restaurant were consuming half of the property. The constraints that have been put on the restaurant use will tend to create more turn over. If the City wanted to level out the traffic concern, the City would want to reduce by 50%. Mr. Arroyo said that is correct.
Member Kramer commented on the waste issue. The amendment states that the dumpster will be located as far away as possible from adjacent residential uses and districts. He supports this wording in the ordinance but is concerned about the amount of square footage that is being supported. The 50% square footage is too high and he is more comfortable with the suggested 20% range. Two of the B-1 centers have more intensive restaurants in their location and he would count that in the percentage already because of the square foot with regards to the ordinance. He is not sure of the stores at the third location. The restaurants are the most intensive and most use concerning what this ordinance would potentially support. Member Kramer summarizes if the traffic percentage is down and not an issue, then parking can be an issue. If the percentage is kept at a reasonable level then the parking can be controlled so it does not become an issue. He restated the waste would be kept as far away as possible from the residential area. He cannot support the issue as it is written but he could support it with these changes.
Member Lorenzo commented she will not be supporting this issue and believes it goes against the local business district, which is supposed to meet the day to day needs of the local residents. Since these particular restaurants are high turnover, the instructional centers are going to draw people from outside the local neighborhood and business district. She is concern about the high traffic volumes and concerned about the wastes that are generated being close to neighborhoods. It is high intensity of uses and the applicants that might want to locate in Novi still have the right to go the ZBA as they have done with previous cases and that is the way it alt to remain. If they want to try to get into one of these shopping centers then that is the route that is available to them. She is not in favor of changing the designation just to suit certain types of businesses.
Member Lorenzo commented the B-1 allows for a diverse variety of businesses and she is not sure of the reasoning. Is it just that restaurants want to locate in the particular center or what the big push for restaurants in this area might be? There are lots of uses under B-1 that could be utilized. She heard that the reason the druggist moved from the location was because of the leases were ever increasing. No one knows what the economics is for that center. Are the leasing rates on the high side and not competitive or why the owners cannot attract variety and diversity of uses available to them under the existing B-1? It is not fair to the local neighborhoods to try to increase volumes of traffic, waste and putting something that is not compatible with the local business district that the B-1 is supposed to in so she is not going to support the motion if there is one.
Member Mutch commented that at one time there was a tutorial business called the Sylvan Learning Center at the location. How is that different than what is being added in terms of instructional center? Mr. Arroyo said it would be included in what is being added. She asked why was it allowed before? Mr. Arroyo said he does not know under what circumstances it was permitted. It may have been an interpretation because it not clearly called out as a permitted use in the district. It may have been there was a determination made that it was similar to other uses. Member Mutch referred to the type of operation of that business, how might this be different or is it infact the same as what Council is asking to add? Mr. Arroyo explained it is instructional centers of all types; including music, dance, art, crafts, martial arts and examine preparations and similar instructions. Member Mutch stated that there did not appear to be any particular problem with the instructional operation but she was surprised when instructional centers was mentioned because she thought it might already be allowed since that was there at one time.
Member Mutch had a concern about the negative side of having restaurant type businesses or high traffic businesses at the location. Any of those types of activities, parking would have to be provided at a different standard than the other businesses that are there. Mr. Arroyo explained it depends upon the square footage allocated. Typically, a parking lot could handle about 20% of space for restaurants. Member Mutch asked if this is something that can be enforced? Mr. Arroyo stated the zoning ordinance amendment to specify that as part of the shopping center parking calculations that if the establishment exceeds 20% that it has to calculated out restaurants separately. Member Mutch asked where does this leave the issue and existing shopping centers? Mr. Arroyo said he believes it has not been an issue up to this point and is not aware of any centers that have exceeded this amount. Member Mutch said when there is turnover and a new high traffic business comes in, if the center is already there, she believes they are not going to change their parking, so how is the requirement going to be handled? Mr. Arroyo said through the Building department, business licensing and building permit process. Member Mutch said for an example, if a smaller business center and a business is proposed to come in that would require more parking that exists at the time, they would not be allowed to enter the center? Mr. Arroyo answered that is correct and if it exceeds the parking demand for the center and based upon those standards.
Member Mutch asked if there is any kind of limitations besides parking calculations that might prevent a business from coming into the center? Mr. Arroyo said other than the performance standards if the business had an unusual odor, noise problem or air pollution problem. Member Mutch commented as long as they could conform? Mr. Arroyo stated the only issue that he sees that could impact is parking and the Town Center 1 regulations, which specifies maximum retail. Member Mutch commented any existing or proposed center would have to have parking adequate to the maximum square footage use? Mr. Arroyo said talking about a speculative shopping center, the shopping center parking standards would apply and the center could proceed and have restaurants up to 20% of the floor area without having any impact. It is only if the business exceeds the 20% that there would be a potential problem. Member Mutch said if the business exceeds the percentage, another business would have to move out or somehow go through the process of getting additional parking approved for the site. Mr. Arroyo said that is correct and the Building department enforces it. Member Mutch mentioned the reason she is asking these questions is because there has been a lot of concern about traffic particularly with a center that is not fully occupied and this ordinance has been promoted as something that would increase occupancy; therefore giving a healthy business climate. It seems the traffic and parking situation is already taken care of with the ordinance? Mr. Arroyo said the parking situation is handled with the ordinance but the traffic situation is no different than any other use.
Member Mutch said as long as the center is built to the standards that have been established for parking, a business that does not have enough parking for it’s customers will be self limited. The ordinance already contains things that protect the City like the parking standard and trip generation that is calculated with the roadway improvements if they are required when the centers are built. If there is a situation where the center has not been fully occupied, the area gets used to a certain level of traffic or parking but just because it increases with occupation does not mean the City is exceeding the standards. There is some merit to the chances that are proposed and the concerns that have been expressed have been adequately addressed.
Member Schmid commented historically, he has had difficulty with this shopping center because he was present when the zoning changed from office to commercial. The owner/petitioner who wanted the change was encouraged not to change it and was told that the B-1 was not the most desirable zoning. But he insisted on having it changed from office and eventually it happened. Member Schmid said he may have voted for it but it could have been a bad vote on his part because it has been nothing but a problem since then for the owner more than the City. For some reason the center has not taken off and a comment made earlier about the high rents for the area along with the demanding owner could be factors.
Member Schmid asked Mr. Arroyo where the other B-1 zoning in operation today? Mr. Arroyo commented they are at Ten Mile and Beck Road, Ten Mile and Meadowbrook and Ten Mile and Haggerty. Member Schmid asked about the development on Nine Mile and Novi Road? Mr. Arroyo commented that property is zoned I-1 and it was a consent judgement. It was never zoned for commercial.
Member Schmid commented under the new zoning, he believes there could be a pizzeria with 50 seats, an ice cream parlor with 50 seats, a deli with 50 seats and a coffee shop with 50 seats. It would make 200 seats in the shopping center for restaurants. He believes this is what is going to happen eventually. His concern is the traffic because it is a terrible area to try to get in and out of most of the day. Would it be a disaster if the center ended up with 3 or 4 small take-out restaurants? Mr. Arroyo said one of the things the analysis did show with the example of a 20,000 center is if there was up to 50% in high turnover restaurants that the traffic generation would not be much different than a typical shopping center. There may be in particular instance differences if there is a shopping center that is suffering with a low occupancy rate. If the uses are changed and suddenly the center has a high occupancy rate, yes it is going to generate a lot more traffic than one that does not occupy all the stores. But if there was a center with 100% occupancy, looking at the traffic generated, and the center was 20,000 square feet and half of that was made into restaurants, than that difference in traffic would not be more than probably 300 or 400 trips per day according to the analysis that has been provided to Council. The analysis is based on the Institute of Transportation Engineers Trip Generation Rates. Member Schmid asked it would not be over 300 or 400 trips a day? Mr. Arroyo said it would be more if the center had 50% in restaurants.
Member Schmid said 300 trips coming out of that shopping center is quite a bit and it is a very difficult area to get in and out of because it is so close to Ten Mile Road. Mr. Arroyo said it could be difficult. Member Schmid said it is difficult even to make a left turn into the lot. His concern is the center will end up with too many ice cream, pizza and deli establishments. He thinks there is a need for a B-1 zoning in the City but it disturbs him because what is being recommended is that an exception be made for a businessman. Mr. Arroyo commented when the Implementation and Planning Commission discussed this issue it was very clear from the beginning, that the groups needed to look at the ordinance amendment as it applies to all B-1 districts and not just for a particular center. Even though it may have been one centers request that brought the issue to the forefront, and that is the reason why it was sent to the Implementation Committee, throughout the discussions there were several references made whenever someone mentioned one center that all the B-1 districts were involved. The desire was that there could be the potential to have some limited restaurant uses and these are very restrictive in terms of what is in the ordinance in terms of the type of restaurants that could go in. There are many other communities in southeast Michigan that allows restaurants in B-1 or C-1 districts and they do not have the type of limitations that this ordinance provides. Member Schmid said if he is going to vote for a change in zoning, then it has to be limited to 50% for restaurants. He agrees with Member Kramer that this figure of 50% should be reduced so the center can have the restaurants but it does not turn into a fast food/deli type area.
Member DeRoche agrees that the amount does not need to be jumped to 50% when it is clear that all the ordinances and the intent as a Council is to keep it significantly lower than 50%. It should be started a lower percentage and find out if that is working, and if it is not working, if the other ordinances are catching and eliminating and potentially reconsider it in the future. He does not have a problem with the instructional centers and believes it would be a welcome addition to this zoning. The last thing Novi needs is more strip malls and generally are not in favor to anyone that lives in the area would be vacant strip malls that are already built. A motion is made but dies with lack of support.
Member Mutch commented Council talked about notification and wanted public input. Considering how little input was received she wanted reassurance on the process taken. Mayor McLallen said another Public Hearing was held. Member Mutch said the Council had a Public Hearing and asked what type of notice was given? Mr. Arroyo said it was for everyone within 500 feet within a B-1 district and all subdivisions. Member Mutch mentioned it should be noted that Council and support staff made the effort to notify all concerned parties and there was less response this time then previously.
Mayor ProTem Crawford commented he has no problem with the item #8, which is for the instructional centers and believes it would be welcome for this type of center. He does have a problem with the set down restaurant, particularly at the 50%. Even if it was reduced to 20% what kind of parking would that require? The center at Ten Mile and Meadowbrook has very restrictive parking and he knows the City may have ordinances that may take that, but the rules seems to be changing in the middle. To allow additional uses as such as a restaurant in what was fine as a B-1 development years ago will probably create parking problems now. He could not see the City saying a certain company cannot move in because they would not have adequate parking. Mayor McLallen mentioned that was Mr. Arroyo’s response if the business does not have the parking than they cannot come into the center.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked what would 20% development include, if it was all restaurants? How many seats would that be and what would the parking be with it? Mr. Arroyo said he cannot address the number of seats but from his perspective if the center has up to 20% then the business would be able to park under the normal shopping center parking requirement that is built in already. Mayor ProTem Crawford said if the center had 20% of the development how many 50 seat restaurants could be housed? Could it be 3 or 4 in the existing center or if some of the units were combined to have enough space to put in 50 seats? Mr. Arroyo said maybe 3 or 4 if he had to make a quess. Mayor ProTem Crawford commented that would stay at 20% and have 3 or 4 restaurants that would hold 50 people and still below 20%. Mr. Arroyo said no and he would guess at 20% it would be in the 2 or 3 range.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked what kind of parking is needed for a 150 seat restaurant? How many parking spaces would be needed? Mr. Arroyo commented if it is within a shopping center and it does not take up more than 20% of the shopping, no more parking is needed than a normal shopping center. Mayor ProTem Crawford wanted a more specific answer. Mr. Arroyo mentioned it is one space for every two customers and one for every two employees. That would make it about 30 to 35 parking spaces for one 50 seat establishment. Mayor ProTem Crawford commented if there were 2 or 3 restaurants than 50 to 100 parking spaces would be needed. How many spaces are there for that development because he does not think there are 50 at the site? He commented there are not 50 to 100 free spaces over what is needed for the existing businesses and by changing this ordinance, particularly with this development, the City is going to run into a problem with parking and how many uses can be made at this location.
Mayor ProTem Crawford commented the dumpster is located as far away as possible from the adjacent residential uses and districts, which sounds appropriate but how is it going to implemented? It could be right next to a residence’s window and that would be considered as far away as possible. He is not clear and he would like some specific examples of 3-D. Mr. Arroyo said the businesses could not vent to the outside so that would likely eliminate the pizza parlor and probably the donut shops. One of the concerns was odor because if the business vents to the outside then there is a potential that the residents would smell the odors. Mayor ProTem Crawford commented there is an existing donut shop in B-1? Mr. Arroyo said that is a pre-existing, non-conforming situation and that would not be permitted today. The type of uses that are being talked about are in fact a potential deli and a deli with pre-baked goods.
Member Kramer made a motion to attempt to move what might be a positive section for this revision. He stated to adopt the revision to this ordinance and add paragraph 8 to Section 1301 only and do not adopt Part 2 as written, including Section 3 A, B,C,D items. He restated add the instructional centers for music, art, dance, crafts, martial arts, exam preparation and similar instructional and do not add the whole section that deals with seat down restaurants.
CM-99-05-106: Moved by Kramer, Seconded by Crawford: CARRIED: To Adopt the Proposed Ordinance Text Amendment, Part 1 Section 1301 for to items #1 through #10; and not to adopt Part 2 as it was presented
Member Mutch said based on the comments that have been made it appears the timing for the inclusion for Part 2 is not now. There are not enough people willing to support that change so with that in mind despite her earlier comments, she will support the motion as presented.
Mayor McLallen asked the City Clerk to do a roll call.
Vote on CM-99-05-106: Yeas: Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid
Nays: McLallen, Lorenzo
Mr. Will Hosler appeared before Council representing the petitioners. He stated Council was approached before and one of the issues was the secondary access. The secondary access issue was discussed with staff, the Planning Commission and also with the Homeowners Association for Hummingbird Estates. Extensive efforts have been made to create this access between the project and Hummingbird Estates with no success.
Mr. Hosler continued to say they met with the homeowners and tried to offer them a hook-up to water & sewer, offered brick pavers, a breakaway gate, landscaping and Hummingbird Estates wanted nothing to do with these options. Hummingbird residences were present at the Planning Commission meeting and were appreciative of the efforts but not interested. The developer of the subdivision owns the property involved and he retains the ownership and does not want to convey it to anyone else to develop. This connection does not appear to be available to the petitioners. The secondary access which is part of the proposed tentative preliminary plan, goes around the three lots owned by the neighbor to the south and curls around the front of the petitioners lot and that is been approved by traffic, engineering and all other consultants have recommended this proposed plan.
Member Kramer asked Mr. Hosler to put up the display board. Mr.Holser said it is an old version. Member Kramer commented the lots immediately to the south of the construction road belongs to the subdivision to the south. The drawing shows a construction access road, which will remain as an emergency access road when the development is complete. Mr. Hosler answered yes. Member Kramer commented it is showing very close to the lot line and he wants to protect the integrity of the residential homes that are in those lots. Is the alinment of the road any different than what was presented to Council the last time? Mr. Holser commented there has been some accommodations for the turning radius. Member Kramer commented it involves the west end and by doing that the road was moved. Mr. Holser said it was moved 33 feet from the lot lines. Member Kramer said he would like to see the entire road all the way to Beck Road, be displaced in an appropriate amount from the rear lot lines to provide buffering whether it would be in the form of a berm or landscaping. A drainage structure is shown but his concern is that the whole design be engineered to serve both requirements. Is that possible? Mr. Holser commented he hopes so.
Mr. David Potter commented on the plan before Council. One of the issues mentioned earlier is a concern of the residents which is how close the road will be as a construction road than a permanent access point. The reason that it is located as planned is because of the permanent sediment basin. Because of the amount of fall with the proposed road down to the existing wetland and the buffer, an attempt has been made to construct a basin and stay out of the 25 foot setback. One of the options asked was whether the road could be relocated. He thinks it is feasible by constructing a berm or planting between the permanent access road and the north line of the property. The trade off probably would be the loss of the sediment basin and additional trees because of the fall slope. Also, if a sediment basin is tightened, he believes the back slope would start encroaching into the 25 foot setback, which might mean another variance.
Mr. Potter mentioned Wilshire Abbey is proposing to discharge storm water into Thornton Creek. Thornton Creek is a regional basin and he believes this is acceptable. The main issue is going to be whether or not this option is pursued for proposal and obtain an option for a buffer between the road and the property owners. The trade off will be whether or not to have a permanent sediment basin.
Member Kramer commented it is undesirable to encroach into the wetland setback but what is being put in there is wetlands of stormwater drainage nature. He does not know if that is incompatible with that area where engineered. If the total was brought back or as an alternative is it possible within the entire site to relocate the sediment basin further up stream so the road can be setback from the existing residential lots to the south? Mr. Potter commented he just acquired this issue but there are some things that can be done on temporary bases. He would ask for input from the developer and the developer’s engineer. In regards to a temporary bases, during construction, which is when the sediment bases are most important, there is a location at the back of these lots that would not have too much of an impact on the existing trees or the buffers. He does not think it would serve as permanent because the size of the lots needed. Member Kramer commented there may be a potential that the issue could be worked out after there is a discussion. Mr. Potter stated the next step for the developers is to submit the engineering plans. Member Kramer said he would like to have some indication whatever setback is provided would be sufficient to support an adequate buffering construction.
Mr. Hosler commented the developers are willing to put landscaping along the road. Member Kramer commented there is no setback and in order to provide adequate buffering between the road and the homes, he believes the road needs to be set further to the north at an appropriate amount to be determined. He would be like to protect the integrity of the homes and would propose the road be relocated. Mr. Hosler commented the owners of the southern property have been spoken with and do not disagree about planting trees to conseal the project. The developers believe there is enough room without moving the road. Member Kramer commented he is not comfortable without a professional looking at the location. When trees are put into these small islands, they tend to die and he would like to know there is an appropriate amount of space provided and the interest of the homeowners in the area are protected.
Member Lorenzo commented on the sedimentation basin, which will eventually be a water quality basin. Is that correct? Mr. Potter answered yes. Member Lorenzo asked if there has to be an encroachment in the wetlands setback, is not there someway to integrate that where it would not only be restored but enhanced? Mr. Potter said yes and the developers have received comments from the representative of these lots. If the road were moved over another 5 feet, it would give a 10 foot planting zone, which is what is used in the City as a minimum. The sediment basin could be extended a little and that would work. Member Lorenzo asked if it would or would not impact the setback? Mr. Potter said it would not be impacting the setback but a few more trees may have to be removed. There would be a little longer sediment basin and the addition of a planting zone.
Member Lorenzo commented on the drainage. The western portion of the site will be routed to a detention ditch, which is going to be located between lots #14 and #15 and then it goes into the wetlands to the west. Is that correct? Mr. Potter said that is correct. Member Lorenzo said in terms of the storage capacity, is this for a 10 year storm ditch on how it is being sized? Mr. Potter said it would generally be sized for a 10 year. Member Lorenzo said her question is what would happen with increase storm events? What would happen with the water? Would it overflow onto lots #14 and #15? Mr. Potter explained the location of the discharges using the map plan. He commented it is discharging the way it would normally drain to an existing wetland area. A construction of a ditch is proposed with several check dams, which would slow some water. Member Lorenzo again asked if it would overflow between lots #14 and #15? Mr. Potter commented not the way the developers have it construction. The overflows are within the ditch. Mr. Potter commented it appeared the developers were trying to conserve the trees.
Member Lorenzo mentioned Ms. Thor, the City Wetlands Consultant, had suggested that the ditch that is going to be constructed be vegetated. She agrees with Ms. Thor. Mr. Potter commented he believes the intent is to vegetate the area. Member Lorenzo said it would be vegetated with species that will absorb water and filter pollutants. Mr. Potter said it is not apparent now but during the engineering plans, specifications will be asked whether or not the developers will be using straw blankets or sodding. Member Lorenzo commented that typical sod does not absorb water like native grasses. This way it would absorb more water and it would also filter pollutants out before it gets to the wetland buffer and eventually the wetland. She is suggesting that the treatment train approach to BMP’s be used and take advantage of the ditch in terms of vegetation that is going to actually do tremendous good in that area. Mr. Potter agrees and during the engineering review phase it will be have to be addressed.
Member Lorenzo asked if the check dams or any of the areas have crushed limestone to further filter the water? Mr. Potter said what is proposed is basically to use stones to create the check dams. He believes they will be 6" to 8" stones and this is a final design detail. Member Lorenzo asked if limestone in particular, help to filter the water? Mr. Potter said no. Limestone is basically used because it crushes and locks better instead of round boulders that roll away in the water. She said her concerns have been addressed and thanked the participants.
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Dennis Watson if Council had to waive the connections to the sub street situation to Hummingbird? Mr. Watson said the emergency access was provided at the ultimate location. Mayor McLallen clarified it can be waived.
CM-99-05-107: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED: To Approve Tentative Preliminary Plat and Wetlands permit applications for Wilshire Abbey Site Plan 97-48C, subject to Planning Commission recommendations and all staff and consultants recommendations and Council discussions regarding environmental issues are subject to the applicant demonstrating to the assessor that the Beck Road frontage not included in the plat constitutes a buildable lot without variances and that the subsequent plat shows sufficient landscape buffering area along the emergency access road where it abuts the Cheltenham Subdivision; and a waiver for the substreet section 404.1
Member Schmid commented that there was an indication that a lot was removed from Beck Road. It that still applicable? Member Schmid read that the applicant has removed Beck Road frontage from the plat and it is proposed to create a separate lot outside the plat approval process. Mr. Holser said that is correct. Member Schmid further stated that approval should be contingent upon the applicant demonstrating that the remaining parcel is buildable. Where is that parcel? Mr. Holser explained the parcel is buildable. Member Mutch asked where is it located? Mr. Holser pointed to the parcel on the displayed plan. Mr. Arroyo commented he could not speak to the buildable issue because there has not been a separate analysis. There is no problem but if there is a problem with it being buildable and being able to meet ordinance standards than that is an issue because a lot should not be created that is going require variances later. If the lot can be built upon without variances, then he would not have an objection. If it does require any variances because it is the creation of this subdivision and this lot is causing the problem and it is a self created problem then it should not be allowed to go forward. Member Schmid asked Mr. Arroyo if he is comfortable that it is buildable and that it can be made as a contingency to the site plan? Mr. Arroyo said he could not say that it is but he is comfortable about it being a contingency and that it be evaluated. Member Lorenzo said as the maker of the motion, she adds this particular outlaw contingent upon being buildable without any variances.
Member Mutch said when Council talked about where the road was to going to go, it was said it could not go further north because of the increase of water. A road cannot be built on water so she is questioning the buildability. She asked why is there no sidewalk along Beck Road to connect to the one that is going to be built to the south of the entrance? If the lot was pulled out it would not be required. At what point is buildability demonstrated? Mr. Arroyo said the next step is the final preliminary plat and then engineering usually starts about this time. He suggested that before the final preliminary plat comes back to Council that this question be answered. It can be answered so Council knows at that time to take action to resolve the issue. Member Mutch commented she supports that addition to the motion as long as it means something. Mr. Watson said when this comes back to Council for final preliminary plat the Council will have a report from the consultants confirming this point.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked why the lot is being pulled? If that lot is pulled out, what Beck Road frontage is there for the development? Mr. Holser said there is none. He explained there are connections through the Cheltenham Drive and the secondary access. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked again why the lot is being pulled out? Mr. Holser said it was a decision the owner made to reduce the size of the project and accommodate the reconfiguration of the sedimentation basin and other configurations. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked how big is the parcel? Mr. Holser said that parcel will allow approximately the same build area as the half acre lots inside the subdivision. Mayor ProTem Crawford mentioned it will be one parcel and a driveway would be to Beck Road? Mr. Holser said the secondary access road would actually serve as the driveway entrance for that lot. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked how would anyone get through the woodlands and wetlands that are to the north of the secondary access road? Mr. Holser pointed to the map and showed a small area that is a buildable area. Mayor ProTem Crawford questioned that the lot is buildable? Mr. Holser demonstrated with the use of the map that the lot is buildable.
Member Kramer said he was disturbed with the discussion on using the emergency access road for a driveway. He said it should be supported as a gravel road, in which case people would travel and it might encourage other people to use the emergency access road as a road. He is not comfortable that this is an appropriate access for that lot. Mayor McLallen clarified that was covered in the no variance and that this lot can only be developed without variances. Member Kramer commented if it is not buildable, it becomes a subdivision parkland or common area? Mayor McLallen said staff would make the recommendation before coming to Council. Mayor ProTem Crawford commented it is an important issue and Council should know if that is buildable or not? Mayor McLallen commented this has only been approved tentatively because there are serious engineering issues that have to be answered and if they cannot be answered and if they cannot be answered, it will not be approved. Mayor ProTem Crawford believes problems will arise with this issue. Mr. Holser said it is buildable lot and the build area is comparable in size to the half-acre lots that are part of the subdivision.
Member Mutch asked Mr. Watson if there is no Beck Road frontage, even though this is a large area, it is not a single lot, how is this different from flag lots? Mr. Watson said the reason it is not a flag lot is because it is subdivided. Member Mutch said it is subdivided once it is approved. Mr. Watson said that is correct. The original parcel that is before Council may be subdivided. Member Kramer said it is outlotted. Mr. Watson said it would not be outlotted without Beck Road frontage if this were not approved. Member Mutch said the only frontage it has is the emergency access route. Mayor McLallen said the public road frontage is Cheltenham Drive in Sarnia within the Cheltenham Subdivision. Member Mutch commented Cheltenham Drive would have to be used? Mr. Watson said in terms of access, it is Cheltenham through Sarnia. But in terms of whether it has access to Beck Road otherwise, that outlot is only going to be cut off if this is approved. If this is not approved in this process, and is not demonstrated, then the entire parcel will remain the same. Member Mutch commented there is nothing that would require that the lot remain included if they do not need Beck Road frontage. Mr. Watson said what allows Council to do that, is the fact that there are division land standards and lot split standards that preclude the creation of an unbuildable parcel. Member Mutch said if it is buildable then there is nothing that Council could do to keep it included. Mr. Watson said probably not.
Vote on Cm-99-05-107: Yeas: DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
Nays: McLallen, Crawford
Mayor McLallen stated the project comes before Council by recommendation from the Planning Consultants. Tentative preliminary plat approval was given a year ago and this is for final approval. The only issues remaining was the request to shorten on the plan the entrance island off of Napier Road by 8 feet and defining the details for the emergency access road through Deer Run.
Mr. George Norberg commented the plat that is before Council took about a year to get all the wells approved through the Oakland County Health Department.
Mr. George Norberg commented that a stubstreet was added to the east as requested and a waiver was received for the substreet to south along with sidewalks within the subdivision. The preliminary plat also shows the brick pravers for the connection to Deer Run Subdivision. The plat conforms exactly to previous one and would be glad to address any questions or comments.
CM-99-05-108: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To Approve the Final Preliminary Plat for Park Place Subdivision site plan 97-44D subject to all consultants recommendations and with the amendment that the secondary access conform to the forthcoming emergency road ordinance
Mayor ProTem Crawford wanted clarification on what is going to happen to the street going into Deer Run. Is this going to be gravel, paved or gated? Mr. Norberg commented he believes Council asked that it not be gated so it will be grass pavers, with paving blocks and then filled with stone and then some topsoil to allow grass to come through. This makes it look more like a lawn. This has been done for other developments and it can be used for an emergency access. Mayor ProTem Crawford mentioned he does not recall a final discussion on not gating. Is there a reason for it not being gated? Mayor McLallen stated it was a very protractible issue between Council Members and the minutes from the previous meeting would have to be referenced. Mayor ProTem Crawford mentioned this is a concern of residents of Deer Run and he believes they are in favor of gating because they are concerned people will travel over the grass pavers. Mr. Norberg said that is his recollection but he could not recall exactly whether that was waived. Mr. Arroyo commented that the minutes indicate that when the tentative preliminary plat was before Council, it was approved subject to grass paver being introduced at the end of the drive and some other conditions on Nine Mile. The issue of the gate was not included but it could be if Council thinks it is a concern to add a gate at this time because that has not been designed at this point. Council’s specific motion was to approve it with a grass paver connection to Deer Run.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if that was any problem to the petitioner if it was gated or not gated? Does it create a problem he may not be aware of? The property owner said it is not a problem. The people who are buying the lots in the back of the subdivision did not want the road to go through but now they are concerned that the road be accessible for fire protection. He commented sprinklers systems were installed. Mayor ProTem Crawford said in back of which subdivision? Mr. Norberg explained in the back of Deer Run because it is required to put sprinkler systems in each home. The owner commented the future residents do not want a road but they want a fire access but the gate is no problem. Mr. Norberg mentioned it can be gated or pavers. The only thing that the petitioner would want if it were gated would be a road because grass pavers are expensive. Mayor ProTem Crawford commented if it were gated then grass pavers would not be installed? Mr. Norberg said is can go in with grass paver and a gate or a gate and road or just grass pavers. He said if they had their choice and a gate had to be installed, then he thinks a road would be less expensive than grass pavers. Mayor ProTem Crawford mentioned the fire department would prefer a road over grass pavers. Mayor McLallen said the issue working through ordinance review is actually a road with a specific type of gate that they are trying to figure out but they definity do not want grass pavers. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked how close is that in ordinance review? Mayor McLallen commented 1 or 2 more meetings but then it has to come before Council at least one time.
Mayor McLallen asked that the motion be amended with a friendly amendment to include the applicant will conform to the forthcoming ordinance review revisions regarding secondary access road design.
Mr. Norberg commented they hope to get started within two to six weeks. All the construction plans have been submitted and hope to receive approval soon. Mayor McLallen said this issue is before ordinance review now and they meet the third Thursday of May so it may get out of this meeting and be on a concurrent timetable.
Member DeRoche commented if it would be more efficient if the motion read it was for a road and a breakaway gate. Mayor McLallen commented the road that is being proposed in the ordinance is one that conforms to City standards. Mr. Watson said it is for 18 feet away. Member DeRoche asked that the motion be voted as previously stated.
Vote on CM-99-05-108: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo,
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
Mayor McLallen commented this issue has come through ordinance review and the request is for it to be adopted so it is in place for the current construction season.
CM-99-05-109: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: Approval of I & II Reading and final adoption
Vote on 99-05-109: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch,
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
A. Approve Minutes of:
Approval of minutes has been moved to the next regular Council meeting.
O. Approval of water main easement variance for the Novi Research Park Development.
Member Lorenzo mentioned she would move for approval but she wanted to make the point, while the developer is requesting a variance from the City that she encourages the developer of this project to consider mitigating the wetland lose that will occur with this property.
CM-99-05-110: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by Crawford, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of water main easement variance for the Novi Research Park Development
Vote on 99-05-110: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
Mayor ProTem Crawford mentioned the Negotiating Committee of SWOCC, which includes Mr. Brock, Manager of City of Farmington Hills, Mr. Hartstock, Council Member of Farmington and himself are scheduled to attend a preliminary meeting with Time Warner Cable. The purpose of the meeting is to start some preliminary negotiations for directions. Each group as received the others proposals and hopefully this will start in the right direction to bring the matter to a conclusion. This meeting is scheduled for May 10, 1999.
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
Mayor McLallen mentioned the review of administrative officers and compensation. It is always a difficult and unstructured process. She is asking Council to get some outside help for this process, particularly for assessing. A true merit system for the officials and a salary range is needed to get a more structured format and mutually beneficial performance appraisal process.
Mayor McLallen commented the appraisal process the last couple of years have been unsatisfactory and it does not serve the City of Novi well and it does not recognized the accomplishments of the individuals. She does not know how much this would cost but she recommends going to the private sector or MML. Council is responsible for this process and Council does not interact with these people very much and Council is responsible for reviewing their performance. The City has been fortunate with the people that hold these positions because they are self-motivated and do a good job but it needs to be made more professional.
Member Kramer commented if the City of Novi is going to go through the effort of getting an independent firm to assist the City to establish a performance review process, would it be possible to see if something is proposed that can be used for the whole administrative staff? Mayor McLallen said that could happen and Council is always looking for good ideas. She commented Council could ask administration if they could find some areas of information and inform Council of the findings.
2. Discussion on North Novi Park
Member DeRoche said the purpose for putting this issue on Mayor and Council Issues was because he believes Council should make a discussion whether or not the golf course issue will continue to be debated through Council or if this is something that should have citizen input.
CM-99-05-111: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Lorenzo, FAILED: Motion to direct the City Attorney and City Clerk to develop ballot language for the November 1999 ballot for a referendum either in support or opposition to a golf course on the North Novi Park
Member DeRoche said the motion he made was not to debate whether or not a golf course will be built in North Novi Park. The purpose of the motion is if this issue is going to be decided by Council or citizen input with a ballot.
Member DeRoche commented Council will give an up or down on this issue of whether it is going to remain with Council or go to the citizens. He stated that he got the response from Parks and Recreation Commissioners that Council will be directing the issue. He wanted clarification if Council is going to handle the issue or is Council going to get additional input from the citizens? He supports going to the citizens because the property was required by vote of the people for park use. This property was obtained almost six years ago and believes it is too soon to change direction from a park to a golf course. He also stated that all considerations to date have not included the price of requiring the land in a feasibility study. He does not think it is showing respect for people who supported the park and now it is land that the City can use in any way that is chosen. Whatever is built on this land has to include in the feasibility study the value of the land and a project of this magnitude financially wise is significant enough for this to warrant the input.
Mayor ProTem Crawford commented that at one time he would not have supported any type of ballot proposal because he believes Council is elected to make some of those decisions and he does not think the land was bought under false pretences. He does not believe it was ever intended or promoted to be a passive, inactive type of park. It has become such an issue that it probably should be on the ballot. It would be beneficial for Council to hear the pros and cons on the issue. He has been 100% behind the project and does not think there is going to be anything to change his mind as far as it is an excellent location to open up the area to provide some income and for possible bike trails, golf course and cross-country skiing.
Mayor ProTem Crawford commented he would not be in favor of putting on the ballot as a Charter Amendment. He does not think this is the type of issue that ought to go into the Charter. A referendum he would accept and look forward to a pleasant battle because he will promote.
Member Kramer thinks whatever steps Council takes, the wording is highly critical. This is not an either or item. It is not a park or a golf course. He has been waiting to see an exciting use plan that takes a portion of the property to be used as a golf course. He is not a golfer but believes a course is a legitimate low intensity recreation use for parkland. He restated if Council goes forward and offers a referendum, the Council needs to be very careful with the wording. He feels the difficulty is because there is not a good Master Plan executed for a multi-use park and how the park would be used.
Members Kramer mentioned various individuals have focused on the golf course. He said only a portion of the park was to be used for the course. Some of the elements in the parkland were passive, nature studies and trails and he thinks before asking someone to make a judgement that they need something to review. If there is a significant public sentiment that says that a referendum needs to be offered, again great care needs to be used in the wording. He would support voter approval of the North Novi Park development plan, one that is presented with or without a golf course. He does not think a Charter Amendment is the correct approach but the citizens have a right to express their desires.
Member Schmid commented he is surprised that two Council Members who have backed the development of a golf course are now going for a referendum. He agrees with Member Kramer that the park was always planned to have various uses.
Member Schmid commented the City of Novi will acquire another additional 100 acres for passive recreational activity in the near future. He disagrees with Member DeRoche about suggesting that when this was a ballot issue, it was for a park acquisition. He said there were discussions that mentioned all kinds of uses for the park. There was no talk that this would be a passive park or not a passive park. It was strictly to require parkland for the City of Novi to develop recreational activities. One of these activities happens to be a golf course along with the bike paths, walking trails and more. Member Schmid said the City did not do anything illegal or unethical with this issue.
Mayor McLallen asked Member Schmid if he wants language developed or not for the ballot? Member Schmid said the issue is whether the citizens of Novi want to put on a ballot for a golf course in the north end. He supports a golf course and believes there are sufficient amount of citizens that would suggest a golf course on the site. It is parkland that is to be developed just like any other parkland. He is not in favor of putting the issue on a ballot.
Member Lorenzo said she fully supports placing the issue on the ballot and it is appropriate. She commented when people are asked if they want parkland they are not necessarily thinking of a golf course as part of a use. They think of picnic area, bike trails and walking paths. Mayor McLallen asked Member Lorenzo for her position. Member Lorenzo said she is in favor of the language and agrees with Member DeRoche’s comments.
Member Mutch wanted clarification as to what is being placed on the ballot? Is there a golf course or not a golf course? Mayor McLallen said the motion is to direct the City Attorney and City Clerk to develop ballot language for the November 1999 ballot for either a referendum in support or opposition, or a Charter Amendment in support or opposition to include a golf course. Member Schmid commented that the referendum was referring to a golf course.
Member Mutch said her question is specifically to what Council is directing the attorney to put in the wording. Her question is whether or not the City should have a golf course tied to this piece of property. Is that correct? Mayor McLallen commented the maker of the motion wants to know whether Council would like to have the issue of the golf course on the November ballot or not? Member Mutch said the issue of the golf course does not tell her enough. Members of Council explained the issue of the golf course as there either is a golf course or not and it does not matter what kind of plan is developed. If this is on the ballot, maybe questions should address a specific plan that happens to include a golf course. She is not sure if this is clear enough for her to vote on one or the other.
Member Mutch said she does not support putting the issue on the ballot as a Charter Amendment. She does not think this is the type of issue the Council would want to see included on a ballot. She would not be able to support the motion as it reads because it includes Charter Amendment and does not think it is clear enough as to what it is the Council is asking City Attorney and City Clerk to do. Member Mutch said she still has the opinion that when the property was put on the ballot it was granted as parkland. She again stated she would not support the motion as written.
Mayor McLallen said she is not going to support the motion because she does not think the Council is ready. The Council does not know what it is asking the citizens to talk about at this point. She believes Council has not filled their responsibility to detail what is being addressed so she does not support the motion.
Member DeRoche said he is willing to remove the Charter Amendment. The Charter Amendment does not have the support but the referendum probably would be clear enough because he has confidence with those involved.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said he is glad the Charter Amendment was removed from the motion. He understands the City Attorney and City Clerk are to come to Council with the language for approval or recommendations. But he does not know if the direction for them is to develop language that says should it be included or not be included? The main point is do the citizens want a golf course developed on that piece of property? Is this the direction of the ballot language? The outcome will be either yes or no to have a golf course built on that property. Council does not know what it is going to entail and by putting this on the ballot and bringing out all the pros and cons, he thinks this will answer the questions.
Member Mutch said she still does not support the motion. She wanted to point out that she does not think it is wise to say the citizens want a golf course, unless the basic concern is do the citizens think the City of Novi should be in the business of golf courses? What if it comes back the citizens want a golf course and it is discovered because the City has not done all the studies and have not proposed something that is feasible, the City could not do it anyway. She is neither for the golf course at this site or any other site, nor is she opposed to it. She is open to a proposed project with a golf course included because she thinks it is within a reasonable range of possibilities for parkland development.
Vote on CM-99-05-111: Yeas: Crawford, DeRoche, Lorenzo
Nays: McLallen, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid
Member Kramer commented the entire discussion is premature. He thinks there is not enough information available to make an intelligent discussion.
Mr. Wilkenson interjected from the audience. He commented the citizens have not had a discussion with Council in 8 months. He said citizen input is needed before ballot language can be developed. Public discussion has to be done before any action should be taken. Mayor McLallen said the interruption is out of order but she would be willing to talk to him privately.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said there have been discussions besides the three minutes of audience participation. There have been Parks and Recreation meetings and other opportunities for input and there is some information available. He believes it should be on the ballot to bring out more discussion. He said it may be made into a Charter Amendment but if Council had said put it on the ballot as a referendum it would have been a better process for all the parties.
Mr. Kriewall said a Road Program Study Meeting needs to be scheduled. He mentioned May 27, 1999 at 7:30 p.m. in the Activities Room in the Civic Center.
CM-99-05-112: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule a meeting to discuss the road bond packaging for the ballot
Vote on CM-99-05-112: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo,
1. Public Hearing Notice from Michigan Public Service Commission, Re: Detroit Edison Co. -Case No. U-11528-R
2. Notice: Cancellation of Application – Transfer Ownership 0f 1995 Class C licensed Business from Arkin L.L.C.
There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 11:50 p.m.
Kathleen S. McLallen Tonni L. Bartholomew
Melissa H. Place
Date Approved: June 7, 1999