REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, JUNE 21, 1999, AT 7:30 PM
COUNCIL CHAMBERS – NOVI CIVIC CENTER – 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:
ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor ProTem Crawford, Council Members DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor McLallen added the following under Matters for Council Action-Part II; 10-Schedule an Executive session to immediately follow the meeting for the purpose of Union negotiations and property acquisition,11-City of Novi vs. Doice and Joanne Ward Settlement, 11 Mile and Beck Road Condemnation,12-Renewal of Michigan Municipal Liability and Property Insurance.
Member Lorenzo added, under Mayor and Council Issues, Munro Creek By-pass Channel construction.
CM-99-06-133: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Lorenzo: UNANIMOUSLY CARRIED: To Approve the Agenda as Amended
Vote on 99-06-133: YEAS: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
1. Vacation of Big Bend Road, Cenaqua Shores Subdivision
Mayor McLallen stated Big Bend Road is north of Thirteen Mile Road, between Paramount and the Woods of Novi Subdivision. Big Bend Road is an old abandoned Oakland County right-of-way that has caused difficulties in this area. The homeowners would like this to be vacated, at which time the ownership would revert to the adjacent property owners. The City will retain utility and drainage easements in the area.
Rudolph Johnson, 1830 W. Thirteen Mile Road, Madison Heights, asked how the road will be split up and annexed. He also asked if adjacent means within Cenaqua Shores? Dennis Watson, City Attorney, responded Big Bend lies entirely within the Cenaqua Shores Subdivision. It would go to each of the adjacent parcels.
Member Mutch asked Mr. Watson if he meant that it goes to the property owners within Cenaqua Shores only? Mr. Watson responded that was correct.
Mr. Johnson commented about a unique situation on Parklow, between Paramount and Big Bend. There can only be one owner on either side of the road as it is only seventy-eight feet long, fifty feet wide. Council may also want to vacate this road, it serves no purpose to the public. Mayor McLallen responded that there is a legal process that needs to be followed before vacating a public road.
Jim Korte, Walled Lake Sector Study Implementation, felt there was no reason for Big Bend to be there. The road has never been used or a desired commodity. Before vacation, he felt that someone should find out if the composite group is owned as an entirety. If one of the little pieces on the backside is owned independently, the City may not vacate the road, as the parcels cannot be isolated.
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Watson if all of the ownership and boundaries were checked before doing the vacation? Mr. Watson responded he does not know if any City department checked whether the parcels are in common ownership and will not be isolated. Mayor McLallen asked that the common ownership be checked.
Mayor McLallen asked if anyone else wished to address the Council. Seeing none, the Public Hearing was closed.
Warren Jocz, 40755 Ten Mile Road, stated he would like to suggest Council list the roads on the ballot for the 1999 Road Bond program. He feels that it will eliminate confusion and the look of a "blank check" where monies could be diverted to other programs. He also recommends that throughout the bond program, should there be any excess money after the completion of the twelve projects, the remaining funds come back before Council prior to being distributed to another project. An example would be if Twelve Mile cannot be completed, the $1.2 Million, which is the City’s Bonded portion, has to come back before Council prior to being redistributed to another project. His concern and reason for bringing it up are from personal history over the last five years working on the Ten Mile Road project. There has been confusion, where Council has given specific direction on several occasions in 1996, 1997 and recently where they have not gotten what they thought they were asking for in return in terms of responses. He is trying to make it clearer to the voters what they are bonding for and what they will get in return. In addition he feels there is a need for budgeting to reinstate the traffic model and staff to support it like the City had in 1991.
Kevin Bradey, 21466 Cranbrooke, said if the road projects are not on the ballot, he asked there be a Council resolution stating what projects are being constructed. In addition, if there are future modifications to the road projects, need to go before Council for consideration and approval.
Jim Korte, Shawood Lake, commented on Item F, approval of the Austin watermain. He found it interesting a year after he raised a fuss and demanded that Council do something to make sure the watermain went in the proper direction and was the cheapest route, there is now a situation that the City and JCK are asking the route to change. This is a savings of $1800.00. When 250 feet of the watermain that is not going on Iva, is already on Iva, how do they get more footage and cheaper? Who is paying the bill for the discrepancy? He hopes the taxpayers are not going to pay for this faux pas.
Mr. Korte stated when Council contacted JCK regarding the watermain not going straight through to South Lake Drive, there were two reasons given. One being, no one was going to use it south of the Victoria White/Thompson leg, that is Charlotte. The next one is they did not have right-of-way to the property, we are in a situation where the right-of-way has never been discussed.
Jim Reines, Kent Court, from the Pebble Ridge Estates Homeowners Association, said he and his neighbors asked for Council to continue support for paving Dinser and Delmont Drives. Paving these roads will offer savings in the operating budget.
Pam Sass, 24570 Dinser, moved to Novi four years ago. She was not aware that the Pebble Ridge Subdivision’s only entrance is off of the dirt road in front of her home. The traffic and dust is unbelievable. She also supports the paving of Dinser Road and Delmont.
She also voiced concern that Novi does not have bike routes or anything similar to it. Children do not have any place to ride their bikes to friend’s homes and play. She feels that the City could afford small paths.
Mayor McLallen stated that when the Sidewalk/Bikepath Committee meets again, they would let Ms. Sass know so she may attend the meeting and give her input.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Member Lorenzo removed items B-Approval of Resolution adopting 1998-999 Clean-up Budget Amendment #99-7, F-Austin Drive Water Main Extension – SAD 151- Change Order Number 1, N-Approval of Wodowski offer to sell real estate and option agreement and R1- Warrant No. 546.
CM-99-06-134: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Crawford, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To Approve Consent Agenda with the removal of B,F,N,R,I
CONSENT AGENDA: (Background information for Consent Agenda items is available for review at the City Clerk’s Office)
A. Approve Minutes of:
C. Adoption of a Resolution Recognizing the Novi Educational Foundation as a Nonprofit Organization in the Community.
D. Request for transfer of ownership of Class C Liquor License with Dance Permit and Entertainment Permit without dressing rooms from Red Robin of Michigan, Inc. to Novi Robin Inc., 43250 Crescent Boulevard, property located north of Crescent and east of Novi Road.
E. Approval of a Driveway Grading Permit being granted by Nicholas & Christina Gavriles for the Meadowbrook Road Paving Project.
G. Approval of Sidewalk Easements being granted by Edgar & Sharon Seith for the Meadowbrook Road Paving Project with Special Conditions as noted on Exhibit B.
H. Acceptance of Permanent Easement for Ingress, Egress and Parking being granted by the Novi Community Schools for the Eleven Mile/Wixom Road park site.
I. Approval of Section 32 Trunkline Sewer Extension with authorization to prepare preliminary design plans, right-of-way/easement documents and pursue public/private partnering for the sewer construction with the Singh Development Company.
J. Introduction of Resolution regarding the proposed vacating of Chapman Drive and authorization to schedule a Public Hearing for July 26, 1999.
K. Request for approval of Resolution Approving Project Plan for Johnson’s Group Services, Inc.
L. Approval to solicit construction bids for West Road Reconstruction and Civic Center Parking Lot Improvements.
M. Approval of Agreement to Dedicate Street - High Pointe Boulevard and authorization for Mayor and Clerk to sign.
O. Award bid for the purchase of Dump Truck/Snow Plow to Wolverine Truck Sales, the low bidder, in the amount of $115,270.00 (D.P.W.)
P. Award bid for the purchase of body transmitting equipment from Pro-Tec, the low bidder, in the amount of $5,735 through a joint purchase with the City of Farmington Hills (Police Department)
Q. Request to reject all bids for the construction of two restroom/concession buildings at Community Sports Park.
R. Approval of Claims and Accounts
2. Warrant No 547
3. Warrant No 548
B. Approval of Resolution adopting 1998-1999 clean-up budget Amendment #99-7
F. Approval of Austin Drive Water Main Extension - SAD 151 Change Order No. 1 for a cost savings of $1,857.50.
N. Approval of the Wodowski OFFER TO SELL REAL ESTATE and OPTION AGREEMENT in the amount of $230,000 and $20,000, respectively, and authorization for Mayor and Clerk to sign.
R. Approval of Claims and Accounts
1. Warrant No 546
Vote on 99-06-134: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Request for approval of Resolution to Vacate Big Bend Road, Cenaqua Shores Subdivision
Mayor McLallen commented that a letter of support was received from Rob Mitzel, of Paramount Drive. She also noted several people spoke during the Public Hearing in support of the vacation.
Member DeRoche asked Mr. Nowicki about common ownership? He stated all the Departments have reviewed the request and no one has raised that issue. He does not know. if there is a common ownership on all of those lots that do not have frontage on a specific road.
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Watson if it is more appropriate to deal with this as "subject to" or have it brought back to the next Council Meeting. Mr. Watson felt it was more appropriate to have the question answered and brought back to Council.
CM-99-06-135: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone the approval of Resolution to Vacate Big Bend Road, Cenaqua Shore Subdivision until further information and resolution of whether this will create landlocked parcels.
Member Kramer has checked off nine lots on Big Bend that are not open through to the facing road.
Vote on CM-99-06-135: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch and Schmid
2. Request for Quota Class C Liquor License Approval from Conor O’Neills Irish Pub, 43155 Main Street, Suite 208, property located north of Main Street and west of Market Street.
Mayor McLallen stated Council has a complete packet of information in front of them, including a note from Miss Hannan, Community Development, regarding the fact that it needs to be contingent upon the building being occupied. All of the requirements of the Ordinance have been met in the submittal.
Tom Murray, co-owner of the Conor O’Neills Traditional Irish Pub and Restaurant, introduced co-owner Colm O’Neill. He stated they have been in operation in Ann Arbor since April of 1998 and feel they have a very unique restaurant/pub. All facets of the Pub/Restaurant are from Ireland. The restaurant/pub in Ann Arbor was completely designed in Ireland by Irish architects, built in Ireland, dismantled and shipped to the United States. Then it is reassembled with Irish craftsman at the United States location. There is a traditional menu, with items such as Shepherd’s Pie, Corn Beef and Cabbage, Boxty, an Irish Potato Pancake, with several different fillings. There will also be Irish entertainment and Irish dancers from the Irish Dance Schools and Clubs. Most people feel like they are walking into an establishment in Ireland when they enter the Ann Arbor location. They feel they have something very unique to offer the City of Novi and are very excited to come to Main Street.
Member Schmid stated he was impressed with the presentation and asked to see the Police background checks. Mr. Pham responded that it was not included because he felt it is private information. During the discussion about the Mongolian Barbecue and Red, Hot and Blue Restaurants, it was decided the information provided was going to be reduced but was available in their Department. Member Schmid stated he always found the background check information very useful.
Member Mutch commented this is a very exciting concept, hopefully it will be as nice as the one in Ann Arbor.
Mr. Colm O’Neill added, he is the Irish part of the business and is from Cork. He came to the United States six years ago and met Tommy playing Irish Football. The idea came to them when driving around the Detroit area and could not find a "true" Irish Pub.
Member Lorenzo stated she agrees with Member Schmid about receiving background information. She feels this is a unique approach and appreciates the diversity of ethnic restaurants.
CM: 99-06-136: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by Crawford, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Quota Class C Liquor License for Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub, 43155 Main Street, Suite 208 contingent on the applicant occupying the building.
Member DeRoche congratulated the gentlemen on something very unique to Novi. This is the type of thing that Novi is looking for in the character of Main Street.
Vote on CM: 99-06-136: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch and Schmid
3. Request for a Design and Construction Waiver for construction of a 5 foot sidewalk along 12 ½ Mile Road – Society Hill SP 95-45F
Mayor McLallen commented this request is along the northern boundary of Society Hill. This is a challenging situation as Society Hill is a multiple unit development, located north of Twelve Mile, west of Novi Road. The request for the waiver of the five-foot sidewalk is because of the existing grade and potential woodland impact. The staff has given mixed recommendations. There is a definite grade and woodlands issue. When 12 ½ Mile Road is paved, the sidewalks can also be done.
Mr. Joe Galvin spoke on behalf of the applicant, Society Hill. They are asking for a five-foot waiver of the sidewalk requirement along the 12 ½ Mile Road frontage from the entry point into Society Hill over to Novi Road. The request was initiated from a discussion with Linda Lemke. The plans and site inspections show extensive wooded areas that would be preserved if the sidewalk and road were never built. The other practical difficulty or hardship in this case, is the contour and natural features of the land. The grade change is substantial. There is an actual pit. To do the fill necessary to build the sidewalk is both expensive and inappropriate. There are two things he asked Council, first that the waiver be granted, and second that a bond is not required. The reason being he does not think it is appropriate for this sidewalk to be built even if the road is paved. Under the Ordinance he thinks the case for the waiver or variance is clear, the staff reports from the Woodlands Consultant and from the Engineering Consultant each indicate the waiver should be granted. Mr. Arroyo has voiced a contrary opinion based upon the possibility of 12 ½ Mile being paved. Mr. Galvin would like to point out Mr. Sassoon is picking up some additional infrastructure costs that ought to be a factor that weighs in Council’s consideration for bonding.
Member Kramer asked Mr. Galvin if the developers find this a matter of practical difficulty? Mr. Galvin answered yes, practical difficulty and unnecessary hardship. Mr. Kramer stated he did not think the terrain is steep. Mr. Galvin respectfully disagreed. Mr. Kramer stated he agreed with the basic argument of practical difficulty, but they could discuss the practicality. Mr. Galvin stated he wished to argue to facts and not the standard, and he did not want the pristine wooded area overlooked.
Member Lorenzo appreciated hearing Mr. Galvin support the woodlands in the City of Novi.
Mr. Kriewall commented the stretch of roadway is probably the most scenic stretch in the City of Novi. He believes any sidewalk construction would be a detriment to the appearance.
Member Schmid asked Mr. Kriewall if the road was rebuilt, would it be more to the north, where it is fairly flat and not very steep? If it was moved to the north there could be room for a sidewalk. He thinks there should be an escrow. Mr. Kriewall responded there is a tree canopy on both sides of the road. The looping watermain was installed down the center of the road so as not to disturb feeling for the area. Again this is one area where sidewalk should not be built.
Member Kramer commented the City has shown a commitment to build bike paths and sidewalks. The City installed a bridge over the wetlands on Novi Road; this may also be the solution to the ups and downs of the terrain along the road. He can understand how the sidewalk would be in jeopardy when the road is paved. This property is zoned RM-1 and to the west is RM-1; there will be a lot of people inhabiting the area. There are sidewalks to the south, with to the north. His opinion is it is totally appropriate to provide a connection along 12 ½ Mile. He believes people will eventually demand the road be paved. He understands the current practical difficulty but does support escrow for the future sidewalk. Council needs to look at the landscape when the sidewalk is installed; it can meander around trees.
CM-99-06-137: Moved by Kramer, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To grant the request for a Waiver to the Design and Construction Standards for Society Hill, Site Plan #95-45F for a sidewalk on 12 ½ Mile Road and bond for a sidewalk at a later date.
Member Mutch wanted an explanation from Mr. Arroyo on his differing opinion. Mr. Arroyo responded the basis for their recommendation was it would be an important link to the City Park site to the west and an eight-foot bike path along the west side of Novi Road. It is important to have a connection from Novi Road to the west. There will be a high-density population in this general vicinity with potential high usage of the connection. They also agree this may not be the right time to put in a sidewalk but after the road is reconstructed and improvements are made.
Member Mutch stated she agrees with most of Member Kramer’s comments. However, if the City is not improving 12 ½ Mile for some time, we are still dealing with a dirt road. To encourage pedestrian and bicycle traffic on Novi Road, the most likely destination will be the Park area. What is in place encourages people to use the dirt road and be in conflict with vehicular traffic, which creates a potentially dangerous situation. She will accept the argument that it may be too early to install sidewalks when they may have to be undone. She agrees with allowing them to temporarily postpone installation of the sidewalk. If they do not have to build the sidewalk now, then the City needs the money to build it. She also hopes all of the right-of-ways will be included as well.
Mr. Potter commented that in the past the language has been escrow versus the bond. Member DeRoche stated he specifically stated bond. Mayor McLallen stated a bond is probably less expensive up front, than escrowing an entire amount of money. Mr. Potter stated most communities create an escrow account for that purpose, the money is collected up front, based on the reasonable and typical construction costs. Mayor McLallen asked if it is an interest bearing escrow account? Mr. Potter answered it is deposited in the City account for the City’s use at a future date. Member Kramer commented the recommendation given to Council read bond. Mr. Watson responded he suspects the recommendation of bond is used as a generic term that they post a financial guarantee. Typically, in the past, the City has received either a certified check or cash that has been escrowed.
Member DeRoche stated he believes there are acceptable financial instruments done in the business world and with municipalities, they are bonding and irrevocable letters of credit. He is frustrated because the City continually ask people to place cash money in escrow accounts and than the auditors criticize the City because the money is in one account, not separated. Mixing the money is punitive to the people when there are less expensive financial mechanisms to do business. He wanted to know why the City does not use either an insurance company or bank, which would post the bond or an irrevocable letter of credit. Mr. Watson responded the reason the City sought escrows is simply so the City does not have to keep track when the bank letter of credit or bond is going to expire and having to worry about renewal on a project that already has a certificate of occupancy.
Member Schmid added the City has traditionally used an escrow account. It serves two purposes; first, they do not have to keep it on a calendar, secondly, it generates interest that off sets increased costs.
Mayor Pro Tem Crawford stated he agrees with Member DeRoche. He does not see any reason to penalize a petitioner with upfront money when a bond will do the same thing.
Member Lorenzo supports the motion. She does believe there are legitimate grounds for a waiver. If the City does choose to put in the sidewalk, they do want the money available so they do not have to take money out of the General Fund. If as many say it is a Natural Beauty Road, perhaps Council should take action to designate it as such and at that time would release the bond.
Member Schmid commented on the statement made by Member Crawford regarding "just a matter of keeping track of another bond", that is not the only reason. If they have an escrow account, dollars put in a bank, generating interest which takes care of inflation down the road when the sidewalk is built. It is not asking the developer for more money. If this is not done the taxpayers will have to pay the difference.
Member DeRoche said there are two ways financial recommendations can be made to Council, one is by bond, which can be a performance bond that is guaranteeing their performance and finishing the project at a future date regardless of what the cost is. Second, the irrevocable letter of credit, a two party instrument between the City and the bank where a specific dollar amount is set. If the developer defaults, the City can collect the money. He believes the City should use these common things available.
Member Kramer stated he would like to recommend the Motion state, an appropriate financial instrument be posted. He requested that the Council request the Finance or Treasurers Department look at the City policy and see if it is up to date. He is inclined to support Member Schmid’s argument. If appropriate, he would like all of the suggestions studied and brought back at the next meeting.
Member Mutch commented about the remarks of 12 ½ Mile being a Natural Beauty road. The last thing the City wants to do is to exclude or discourage pedestrian traffic and encourage vehicular traffic. By providing some form of pedestrian/bicycle pathway, the City is more likely to keep the road beautiful. If she understands the motion correctly, to have the necessary amount of money available at the time of construction, she supports the Motion.
Mr. Watson explained the motion is granting a waiver with a financial guarantee. Council will be receiving a recommendation on which form the guarantee should take from the Administration and Finance Department at the next Council Meeting.
Member Mutch stated she will be able to support the motion if all it is doing is putting off the construction of the pathway to a future date. She stated the City needs to have the connections between where people live and where they want to go, this would be a very important piece.
Mayor Pro-Tem Crawford asked if the City asks for a Bond, would it not guarantee sufficient funds in the future? Mr. Watson responded a Bond usually guarantees performance. In this case what Council may want to do is grant the waiver, delay the sidewalk, and when the City decides what exactly it is going to do with the road, we will construct the sidewalk as part of the road project.
Mayor McLallen commented the way the motion is currently stated, the Administration has until the next Council Meeting to bring back substantiation of one or the other positions on the financial guarantee.
Mayor Pro-Tem Crawford commented if that is what Administration is going to do; he would like to see them bring back all of those alternatives so Council can make their own decision.
Member DeRoche also added he would like a legal opinion as to the pitfalls of someone putting up cash in escrow and court rulings of whether their creditors can come back and get the money away from the person who has that escrow, and leave them with nothing.
Mayor McLallen stated the motion before Council is to grant the request for construction and design waiver for Society Hill site plan 95-45F for a sidewalk on 12 ½ Mile Road and to have the Administration bring back the instrument that will create funding for this in the future.
Vote on 99-06-137: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch and Schmid
4. Request for Zoning Map Amendments 18.575 and 18.579, proposed zoning change from I-2 to B-3, R-A to I-1, I-2 to I-1, R-A and R-1 to I-1, and R-1 to OST or any other appropriate district, property located west of Wixom Road and south of Grand River and Twelve Mile Road.
Mayor McLallen stated this is a request for a Zoning Map Amendment 18.575 and 18.579. The Amendment is a proposed Zoning change from I-2 to B-3, R-A to I-1, I-2 to I-1, R-A and R-1 to I-1, and R-1 to OST or any other appropriate zoning district. The property is located in Section 18 on the West Side of the City, the northwest corner of Twelve-Mile and Wixom Road, south of Grand River. The property is approximately 112.29 acres; the proposed zoning is consistent with the recently approved Master Plan. The Planning Commission’s recommendation on May 19, 1999 was to agree with all of the rezoning requests except the B-3, Planning Commission recommended the level of B-2, the applicant has now concurred that would be acceptable.
Mr. Lee Mammola, explained the property is about 112 acres, bordering on Wixom Road on the east, Grand River on the north and Twelve Mile Road on the north. A portion of Mr. Pellerito’s property is in the City of Wixom with a B-3 Zoning. The area initially requested to be rezoned to B-3 was based on an analysis of existing land use patterns in Novi along Grand River. Looking at the characteristics of land use patterns north of Grand River in Wixom there are several restaurants, and a Meijers Shopping Center. It is felt that the small area in the corner that is not part of the rezoning, but is part of Mr. Pellerito’s property, will likely be developed as a cluster option in the future. During the course of the proceedings with the Planning Commission and with the Planning Department, it was initially proposed that the area now going to OST be proposed as I-1. The rationale was any development in this area would have to be flexible in the characteristics of its physical form because of woodlands to the west and wetlands to the east. An office building, for example, gives one more flexibility in the arrangement of its footprint than a large industrial facility. With Harvest Lake to the south, the only practical use of I-1 property to this area would be an office building. The OST, Hi-Tech Office District zoning, goes a little farther to ensure that whatever development occurs on this property has a greater likelihood to be developed in a manner sensitive to the environment. Primarily much of the wetland area is proposed as a buffer to the Harvest Lake people, the proposed cluster arrangement, and several homes that exist along Wixom Road. He asked that it be rezoned to other than residential district so the I-1 area would not be affected being adjacent to residential zoning. At the Planning Commission meeting it was discussed that the request for B-3 be set back to a B-2 district. Mr. Pellerito is not concerned with the change from B-3 to B-2. He feels that the Planning Commission felt the kind of uses avoided in B-3, such as car wash, or quick oil/lube change facility, would not be able to afford the property on the market. B-2 would be the most affordable. One effect to this would be currently if a nursery wanted to come in and construct a building on this property with outdoor sales, they would not be allowed to do outdoor sales in a B-2 district. The Ordinance also allows a greenhouse to be in an I-1 district. There are certain uses, certain retailers that would be looking to have outdoor sales/plant life. Their building plans could be amended to include skylights to include the look of a greenhouse. This could cause considerable debate in the future.
Member Schmid stated he was not pleased with the rezoning of the proposed B-3/B-2. He feels that it is on Wixom Road not Grand River Avenue. If he lived near there he would be very concerned about a major shopping center being built. He asked how many acres will it be? Mr. Arroyo answered the B-3 piece is approximately 25 acres with an additional 12 acres along Grand River. Member Schmid stated it puts about 35 acres of major shopping center not too far from an elementary school and very close to homes. The Master Plan is merely a Master Plan and has nothing to do with zoning. It is only a recommendation or land use proposal. He asked Mr. Arroyo to again point out what the zoning was prior to the last Master Plan? Mr. Arroyo stated the previous Master Plan designation was PD4, eventually to be zoned OST with a PD4 overlay, a general designation, primarily Office and Hi-Tech. Member Schmid asked what prompted him to change from office, which was originally planned for this area, to extensive use of B-3/B-2 than I-1, which is much greater than office use and the OST. Mr. Arroyo answered the change was prompted by an economic analysis contained within the Master Plan that identified shortages of some uses within the City to serve the residents. The uses are gas stations and grocery stores; it was found those dollars are flowing out of the City by residents that live within the community. There is a need identified for additional commercial development that serves the community. The other issue that came into play was the citizen’s survey that was conducted by the Planning Commission, included in the Master Plan, used for guidance in what commercial development should occur. The citizen survey was very strong in its response about future commercial development not being adjacent to residential; there was support for additional commercial development along the Grand River corridor. Looking at the survey and the community as a whole, the Planning Commission made a recommendation that this would be an appropriate location for additional commercial development and the citizens needs served by additional development, such as a grocery store, potentially a gas station or other uses that are lacking in the community and are needed to serve the future population. This property is not directly adjacent to single family residential development, it has an I-1 and OST buffer around it. The majority of this property going all the way to the west is still designated for an OST type user. They are taking advantage of the corner close to Grand River and Wixom there is a have potential for retail development and recommending that it be designated as such.
Member Schmid asked Mr. Arroyo if he could conceive that the City has more commercial districts than most cities of any size? Mr. Arroyo agreed, more than most. Member Schmid does not feel the statement that more commercial is needed is accurate. Mr. Arroyo stated certain types of commercial are still needed, such as gas stations. Member Schmid did not think that was allowed and Mr. Arroyo responded gas stations are allowed in B-2. Member Schmid wanted to know what was not allowed in B-2. Mr. Arroyo stated that fast food drive through restaurants are not, gas stations can be done as a special land use in B-2, and grocery stores are allowed in both B-2 and B-3.
Member Schmid stated he was disappointed in the change of B-3 to B-2 by the Planning Commission. He will not support this change because he does not want to see additional commercial in this particular strip. It will put additional traffic on Wixom Road, which is basically residential, another traffic generator in addition to the current traffic for Meijers, the new school, and homes.
Member Schmid questioned the commercial designated I-1 and not office OST or some other designation. Mr. Arroyo responded the Planning Commission reviewed the property and felt there is potential for I-1 users in the industrial area to the east and along the Grand River corridor. In the larger area, they wanted to allow flexibility in the type of users, thinking a mix of OST with Light Industrial would be beneficial. The Planning Commission was very strong in their recommendation that I-1 not abut residential to the south and Mobile Home Park to the southwest. There is a small piece that Mr. Pellerito has reserved under the R-1 designation. Member Schmid asked if this made sense? Mr. Arroyo stated it makes sense the way it is proposed, it helps to define a good buffer. The property is currently zoned R-1 with woodland and wetland buffers from the I-1 and OST users. Member Schmid asked that in effect this would be OST, I-1 or some similar zoning all the way to the west? Mr. Arroyo answered OST would be the plan, the Master Plan calls for office designation with the idea that this would possibly be OST.
Member Schmid asked why Mr. Arroyo believed the City needs the OST/I-1 originally master planned? Mr. Arroyo responded it is still valid in the area in general but felt there was a need for additional commercial. It came down to where does it go? He agrees with putting it along the Grand River corridor, and not in the heart of the residential area.
Member Schmid mentioned that one of the Planning Commissioners suggested that a grocery store could go at Grand River and Beck Road and asked if two major grocery stores are anticipated in that mile? Mr. Arroyo answered that it is possible. There is a site plan submitted for one at the Grand River and Beck Road corner.
Member Schmid stated he was concerned with the commercial and moving the residential to the south and creating a tremendous traffic jam for Wixom Road.
Member Lorenzo stated her biggest concern with any of the rezoning is the adjacency issue and making sure residential is protected from screening, noise, and all of the other negatives that go with anything other than residential. She would support the B-2. When she served on the Planning Commission, she initiated looking at this area as an appropriate location for a supermarket. This would eliminate the need to be located in the heart of residential areas. The OST also appears to be appropriate to her. Mr. Arroyo had previously assured her about height restrictions of the buildings, that they would not exceed the sixty-five feet/five stories. Her main concern now is buffering the residential district with screening and a natural buffer. She hopes through a conditional rezoning this can be tied together and a substantial amount of the woodlands/wetlands would be preserved in order to ameliorate harm to the adjacent residential property. She has a legal opinion from Fried, Watson and Bugbee given in 1994 that Council can give conditions on rezoning for these particular purposes. What she is suggesting, if the woodlands do not have sufficient opacity to buffer this area, that Council increase the berm or wall requirement to the minimum of six foot versus the four foot six inches. Mr. Arroyo answered that the ordinance does speak to this, if there are sufficient woodlands in place that can screen commercial buildings. Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Watson his opinion regarding the conditional rezoning opinion received October 12, 1994, that Council can place conditions with a rezoning for particular circumstances just as this. Mr. Watson responded there was a case decided by the Michigan Supreme Court a number of years ago that allowed conditional rezoning. Circumstances of the case were the rezoning of the property for commercial use adjacent to residential. One of the conditions imposed was there be some sort of landscaping or buffering on that property adjacent to the residentially zoned property. The Supreme Court said that it was lawful to impose such a condition. The City’s Ordinance already has certain screening requirements between residential districts and other more intensive zoning districts. Member Lorenzo stated it would go from four feet six inches to six feet. She stated again that she supports the rezoning as long as there is sufficient screening for the current and future residents to the south.
Mr. Watson was asked to recap about the condition being imposed. That the screening and buffers separating the residential and commercial area would be at least six feet as opposed to four feet six inches. Member Lorenzo stated that was correct.
CM-99-06-138: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by DeRoche, FAILED: To approve Zoning Map Amendment 18.575 and 18.579 proposed zoning change from I-2 to B-2 (not B-3), R-A to I-1, I-2 to I-1, R-A and R-1 to I-1, and R-1 to OST with the condition that the screening adjacent to existing and future residential be at the height of six feet.
Member Kramer said he believed if Novi’s Ordinances are insufficient with OST adjacent to residential, the Ordinance should be changed. The Ordinance would be applicable in time for the site plan. He further explained rezoning sets the land use and does not think this site has any uniqueness to indicate we should go beyond the current Ordinance. He will not support the motion as stated. He would support the motion without the condition, and entertain the discussion whether the Ordinance should be looked at.
Member Mutch was not sure if the concern was about screening between each of these different zoned areas or only that which is adjacent to residential? Mayor McLallen answered the motion states only adjacent to existing and future residential. Member Mutch agrees with Member Kramer, if this is serious enough to single out a piece of property with a rezoning request for conditions like this, then we must have a problem that needs to be addressed across the board and should look at changing the Ordinance. She does not see any reason to single this out particularly when we do not know what will be there. She was glad that there was not any particular business listed; it keeps Council focused on the fact that it is a rezoning and not a site plan.
Vote on CM-99-06-138: Yeas: DeRoche, and Lorenzo
Nays: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, Mutch, and Schmid
CM-99-06-139: Member Kramer, Seconded by Crawford, CARRIED: To approve Zoning Map Amendment 18.575 and 18.579 proposed zoning change from I-2 to B-2, R-A to I-1, I-2 to I-1, R-A and R-1 to I-1, and R-1 to OST.
Vote on CM-99-06-139: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, and Mutch
5. Request for Zoning Map Amendments 18.584, proposed zoning change, located at the northwest corner of Haggerty Road and Nine Mile Road, from R-3 (Single Family Residential) to RM-1 (Low Density Multiple Family) and R-3 to OS-1 (Office Service) or any other appropriate district.
Mayor McLallen stated that before Council is Zoning Map Amendment 18.584, a proposed zoning change located at the northwest corner of Haggerty Road and Nine Mile Road. The request is for 4.11 acres from R-3, Single Family Residential to RM-1, Low Density Multiple Family and 1.25 acres from R-3 to OS-1, Office Service or any other appropriate zoning district. Thirteen letters have been received in opposition to the rezoning, and two in support. The Planning Consultant recommends the rezoning. The Planning Commission voted to send a positive recommendation and the other consultants are in support of the rezoning.
Mr. Lee Mammola explained he is representing the landowners in this project. They are considering the sale of about four acres to the EdenCare Center. This would be a residential development for senior assisted living units. He felt much of the opposition voiced by the neighboring residents was a misunderstanding of the request that came before the Planning Commission. This is to be an assisted care facility, thereby not having a lot of traffic associated with residents going in/out of the property, just visitors and employees. Once the residents understood this, the same opposition was no longer present. The residents did not think the four foot six inch screening was high enough, and preferred a six-foot high wall or equivalent. The property owners, who are going to develop the corner for office, and EdenCare Center agreed to provide a six-foot wall or some sort of landscape feature subject to residents acceptance.
Mr. Mammola’s firm will do the development of the office building, EdenCare Center will have their own separate developers for the residential portion. The site engineering efforts will be coordinated and there is one civil engineering firm that will do both site plans. It is their intent to be on the same Agenda at the Planning Commission Meeting for site plan approval.
Mr. Mammola explained the rezoning represents a request that is now consistent with the Master Plan. The Master Plan talked about the one-acre sites at Nine-Mile and Haggerty as being office area. There are a number of restrictions placed on the land use. The petitioners have no difficulty accepting the Master Plan limitations. One of which is, office will not creep west where there is existing residents, the other is, that the development would have a shared driveway between the office and residential property by way of an easement. This would alleviate some of the traffic congestion close to the Nine Mile and the Haggerty Road intersection.
Mr. Mammola said if this rezoning does not pass, this one-acre parcel, would most likely be single family residents, or a day-care center. He suggested that a day care center, especially with the children’s parents traveling in and out, would present more traffic congestion. Also of concern would be the acoustic factors of a day-care center compared to a private/professional use office arrangement.
There are some other concerns that may be potential site plan issues. This is in regard to how the driveway comes out of the office property onto Nine Mile Road; this will be restricted to left turns.
Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Arroyo about the possible use of the property being proposed as OS-1, as a Day-care Center, and what the traffic comparisons would be between an OS-1 and a Day-care Center? Mr. Arroyo answered that a Day-care Center can be in both residential zoning and OS classification. There is potential for a Day-care Center regardless of what zoning decision is made for the corner piece. A Day-care Facility does on average generate more traffic, based upon estimates, than an office development. It is estimated that a 10,000 square foot office building, generates two hundred twenty five trips per day with thirty-five trips in the afternoon peek hour, and thirty in the morning peek hour. As a comparison they looked at other Day-care Centers that have been before Council on a similar parcel size. He estimates, in an approximate sixty-student center, generating two hundred fifty trips on a twenty four-hour basis, there would be fifty trips in the morning and just over fifty trips in the afternoon during peak hours. His opinion is the Day-care Center will generate more traffic than a standard general office building.
CM-99-06-140: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED: To approve Zoning Map Amendment 18.584, zoning change, located at the northwest corner of Haggerty Road and Nine Mile Road,R-3 (Single Family Residential) to RM-1 (Low Density Multiple Family) and R-3 to OS-1 Office Service or any other appropriate district, with conditions of Master Plan.
Member Kramer asked Mr. Arroyo if the property selected for rezoning to OS-1 is of less depth than the residential property to the west? Given the trip generation capability of the OS-1 portion, is there sufficient set back from the corner for a driveway to carry the traffic? He has concerns with the two properties being zoned differently and their entitlement to their individual driveways. Mr. Arroyo responded there is a specific recommendation in the Master Plan regarding driveways which the applicants agreed to, which would be the driveway on Haggerty being shared between the larger R-1 piece to the north and the OS-1. Mr. Kramer restated his question, from a land use perspective is the City better off to have one zoning there to force the driveway further north, away from the intersection, or is there a way within the rezoning to condition the use to OS-1? He stated his concern is the proximity to the intersection. Mr. Arroyo answered if these properties developed separately; the OS-1 business property would have left turn restrictions on Haggerty Road. Member Kramer asked about the ability to get out of the property onto busy Haggerty Road one hundred and sixty-two feet from the intersection? Mr. Arroyo answered it is not ideal spacing, but for a ride in ride out situation it would probably be considered acceptable although not desirable. His opinion for the appropriate land use is office on this piece of property. Member Kramer asked if they could insure the driveway is more than the one hundred sixty two feet from the intersection? Mr. Arroyo stated they could not necessarily do that, unless there is some way of making a condition to that effect. However, Council does have the ability to restrict turns on Haggerty Road as part of the site plan process if there is a safety consideration. This would be his recommendation if the property is developed separately.
Member Kramer asked if the line seen on the plan is the existing property line or an artificial line for development on a single piece of property? Mr. Arroyo answered it is a proposed line. Mr. Mammola responded the property is a single L-shaped piece of property and the surveyors and attorneys for the property owner have ordered the land split. They have hired people to begin the process and do the work. Member Kramer stated he is not comfortable creating a small lot on the corner and generating heavy traffic near the intersection. Mr. Mammola stated the land owner is in the audience, and does not believe he would have objections if Council put the condition on the rezoning that was consistent with the conditions setforth and described in the Master Plan. Member Kramer asked if it was something that can be done in this particular rezoning, given its’ uniqueness. Mr. Watson interjected that it can. Mr. Arroyo quoted the Master Plan regarding the unique characteristics and location of the parcel. He stated access for the office parcel and the multiple family parcel to the north should be combined to provide a driveway on Haggerty with appropriate separation from the Haggerty and Nine-Mile intersection.
Member Kramer said he would support an amendment to the motion that would adopt the Master Plan language as a contingency to the approval.
Mayor Pro-Tem Crawford stated he made the motion and did not include as per Master Plan, he thought it was a given. If adding as per the Master Plan solves the problem, than that is his motion.
Member Schmid asked for Mr. Arroyo to reiterate about the land being zoned R-3, is this true? Mr. Arroyo answered yes the current zoning is R-3. Member Schmid asked what prompted the change from R-3, which would generate significantly less car trips than the proposed rezoning of Office and Daycare? Mr. Arroyo stated that the previous Master Plan indicated the entire parcel be designated for RM-1, Multiple family density. This was the basis from the previously adopted Master Plan. The Planning Commission originally looked at the Master Plan update. They were considering keeping that recommendation. The applicant did come forward and request that the corner be office. He thinks The Planning Commission took into consideration that this is a corner piece and there are very few corner pieces at the intersections of major roadways that are zoned residential, particularly entry corners into the City. The Planning Commission felt there was a strong likelihood they would see a special land use application for a Day-care Center at this corner. The applicant had already indicated they felt they could live with a zoning of RM-1 at this corner and the assisted living facility to the north is looking at the other piece of this property and also felt it was not an unreasonable use for this property. The Planning Commission started weighing the benefits of having an office versus a day-care facility. Even though there is no guarantee with rezoning, a number of different uses can come forward. They felt a conventional office would fit better within this particular area and have less impact. Member Schmid asked if there was any discussion of putting it back to single family? Mr. Arroyo said there was not any discussion. Member Schmid asked if a single family district built on that corner the homes would not front the corner; the homes would be back from the corner with screening. Mr. Arroyo answered it would depend on how the property was subdivided. They could have lots fronting directly onto Nine Mile Road or Haggerty Road. Member Schmid stated he is concerned about how the City continually change the zoning after the petitioner comes in.
Member Lorenzo stated she would support the rezoning with the condition that was placed on it. She will hold the petitioners to their statement that they will build a six-foot berm/fence.
Member Schmid asked Mr. Mammola if there was proposed Senior Housing, as well as an Office? Mr. Mammola answered yes, Senior Assisted Living and an office.
Mayor McLallen called for a vote to grant the request for Zoning Amendment 18.584, as requested with the understanding that the language of the current Master Plan will prevail.
Vote for CM-99-06-140: Yeas: Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch and Schmid
6. Request for approval of 1999 Roadway Bond Program and authorization to prepare all necessary documents for a November 1999 City-wide vote.
Mr. Kriewall stated after considerable discussion with City Council, this represents the line up of proposed projects that were generally agreed upon at the last study meeting. All of the project costs have been refined; this includes engineering, construction, and soft costs. What is being proposed at this time are Beck Road/I-96 Interchange improvements, local share of a state project, Novi Road improvements from Grand River to Ten Mile Road, local share of $940,000,this is in the grant cue through the Oakland County Road Commission. Twelve Mile Road improvements, west of Dixon to east of Novi Road, city share; the City has been working with Ramco-Gershwinson and the Taubman Company to fund this segment of roadway. That cost share would represent what the City would normally expend if the City waits for grant funding for that particular improvement. Citywide pavement rehabilitation projects are included, Delmont and Dinser paving, Meadowbrook Road improvements Eleven Mile to Twelve Mile Roads, Nine Mile improvements, Novi Road to Venture Drive, local share. The City is anticipating receiving a grant for this segment of roadway. Economic Development fund is a misnomer; that is the $2,000,000 as a potential grant match for the widening of Grand River Avenue between Beck Road and the CSX Railroad bridge. Crescent Road east is the pavement from approximately the Wyndham Hotel down to Grand River Avenue; the city already owns the right-of-way for that project. Main Street west is the southwest quadrant of the Main Street development area; this would be a roadway roughly in the vicinity of the Fendt Transit Mix facility. Various intersection improvements that Council wanted addressed as part of this package have been included. The total construction costs including engineering are $26,801,000.00, plus 5% Bonding and Legal costs that would be $1,340,000.00. For the financial advisor, the Administration are recommending that a bonding program be proposed, in the amount of $28,5000,000.00.
Mayor McLallen asked the City Clerk and Attorney to answer the questions raised earlier by the public because it involved ballot language.
Mr. Kriewall stated the Bonding Attorney historically would recommend that it be a very brief question on the ballot; they really do not believe in being specific in regard to certain projects. All of the bonding issues historically have not had the kind of specificity that members of the audience have requested. In deference to the second gentlemen that spoke this evening, it would be sufficient to have a Council resolution that just firmly implants the particular projects. There has not been enough funding to fund all the projects the City has attempted to build. He believes Council will want to keep it at their level and have a general question posed to the voters as a bonding question.
Mayor McLallen said the second part of the question brought up by the public dealt with excess money after completion of the projects and how the dollars are reprogrammed. Mr. Kriewall answered the expenditure would come back to City Council. If Council wanted to do a separate resolution to support their intentions, and require that particular projects or list of projects or change in projects come back to City Council, that would be acceptable.
Member Lorenzo stated there are a few projects on the list that she supports but will support going forward with the ballot language, then the voters get to make the choice themselves. Projects that she does not support are the Twelve Mile Road Improvements, west of Dixon to east of Novi Road. The Meadowbrook Road improvements, Eleven Mile Road to Twelve Mile Road, is the subsidization of the new development being proposed in this area, she does not believe in subsidizing development. Crescent Road east, she believes it was Mr. Wahl, in the Planning Department, who indicated the projects that are currently being considered in this area could move forward without the Crescent Road east project. At this time, Member Lorenzo is looking to keep the total cost of the bond down, to have projects with necessity, and local road improvement impact that residents in the community will notice on a daily basis. She will be making a motion amendment to add the Ten Mile Road issue between Meadowbrook and Haggerty to three lanes, curb and gutter, sidewalks or bike paths, fast tracked signalization and acceleration/deceleration lanes as required by Oakland Road Commission.
Member DeRoche asked if the action Council is taking is to bring back the necessary resolutions for them vote on? Mayor McLallen responded yes. He hopes Council can be given legal advice about placing specifics on the ballot. He is supportive of a Council Resolution stating this money will be budgeted in the amounts presented. He understands that present Council cannot bind future Councils to actions, but voters should know what they are buying into. Member DeRoche asked why there is a $28,500,000.00 bond issue when the recommended cost is $28,141,050.00. Mr. Kriewall answered the costs for road improvements are so unspecific that it is very difficult to nail the bond to the nearest couple of thousand dollars. The unknowns have to do with right-of-way acquisition, bad ground; anything associated with building projects of this nature. Novi has experienced just about everything that you can experience over the last thirty years. Member DeRoche stated when there is a difference in what money projections are proposed and what is actually asked for implies to him that we are taking in money and doing whatever with it. He would like to see the City ask for what they need and that is the amount asked for, or if the Bond Attorney states they only sell bonds in specific amount increments, the need to round up for a sale would be acceptable. He finds it frustrating that the City is asking for more than they are saying they need. He does not support the difference in amounts. Asking for what is actually needed will build trust. In looking over the numbers again, he cannot get over this being an extraordinary bond issue, being as much as it is. This is why he has reservations of pushing it any further than it has to be. Mr. Kriewall responded that $28,200,000 might work.
Member Mutch said it has been suggested the appropriate recommendation will come back on how specific the ballot language should be and regardless of what comes back, Council can pass a resolution indicating priorities.
Member Kramer said he supports the idea of putting projects on the ballot, it would be helpful in promoting the bond issues. He feels that it is a good proposal, it shows a lot of work and effort have gone into it. A paragraph is needed at the bottom stating something to the effect of being Council’s discretion, or decision, a good caveat. He knows there is not a history of doing this or intention of doing it, but for all the reasons indicated there is the potential we may have to consider doing project descriptions. He does not have a problem with the $28,500,000.00 being asked for, and agrees with rounding the numbers up slightly. He would like to rename the Economic Development Funds to something else and Intersection Improvements to Intersection and Local Traffic Improvements and show them higher on the list.
Member Schmid spoke to Mr. Kriewall regarding Beck Road and I-96 Interchange, Local Share is $6,000,000.00. Mr. Kriewall has stated that it is a very flex figure, how flex is this figure? Is it up or down? Mr. Kriewall answered the figure may come down, this is a number given by Mr. Rod Arroyo. He asked about the City Wide pavement rehabilitation projects listed as $3,500,000.00. There is a letter included that states a couple of subdivisions will be paved. How was this figure arrived at, as there is no back-up material? Mr. Kriewall stated the figure came from engineering estimates. Dave Potter of JCK responded that every year the Engineers prepare a subdivision improvement program. When the weather breaks they attempt to collect data so they can bid the following summer. They always have a series of subdivisions that they have a good feel for what they are going to cost. Member Schmid asked Mr. Kriewall what does the dedicated fund generate a year? Mr. Kriewall responded it generates about $1,800,000 a year. Member Schmid asked if that has been spent too? Mr. Potter responded the $3,500,000 is the estimate for the program. Mr. Kriewall also answered that during the annual adoption of the Six-Year Local Improvement Program, the amount is in there and programmed out for six years, all that money is spent. Member Schmid stated he is asking these questions because he was not aware the Bond would cost a homeowner, with a $150,000 assessed value, over $200 per year. Over a twenty-year period that is a substantial amount of money. He is very concerned about the dollar amount and wondered if there is any way this can be reduced. The Citywide pavement rehabilitation project, the amount suggested is $3,500,000, is there any way to reduce it? Mr. Potter responded the programs within subdivisions can be expanded, the dollars listed are for preventative maintenance. Member Schmid asked if there is a grant for the Nine-Mile improvements, Local Share? Mr. Kriewall answered the City is anticipating receiving a grant. We applied for a grant a couple of years ago for the stretch from Venture Drive to Novi Road. The State advised the City to cut the grant back and apply for it in two segments, which we did. The work being done at Novi Road and Nine-Mile is the result of a substantial grant from the State. They have had very good feed back that they will receive a grant to repave Nine Mile Road from the intersection east to Venture Drive. This stretch of roadway was originally paved in 1973, and has outlived its projected life span. Member Schmid stated the one he is confused with is the Economic Development Fund of $2,000,000 to be used to meet grants as they come along. His concern with this is at Budget time $2,000,000 could have been put in a capital fund. The City is going back to the taxpayers and asking for another $2,000,000, which he feels could have been saved in other places in the City. At the same time, he realizes the City does need funds for bonds.
Mr. Kriewall stated the information he has heard indicates chances are very good for receiving a grant with what is taking place on the Grand River Corridor. He believes if the local taxpayers can realize any grant on a County road, by paying maybe one-fourth to one third of the cost and leveraging a grant, it is a good investment for the community. If the City waits for the County and/or the State to fund roads in the City of Novi, chances are slim to none. Member Schmid stated what he is saying is the City should have looked forward and got the $2,000,000 out of the 1999 Budget. Mr. Kriewall does not believe that this Council would have appropriated $2,000,000 out of the General Fund Budget in the coming year.
Mayor Pro-Tem Crawford asked if any figures were shown for Bike trails and sidewalks? There are a couple of the roads that should have them, particularly Delmont and Dinser, Novi Road from Grand River to Ten Mile, Nine Mile, Novi Road to Venture and perhaps Crescent and Main Street, depending on how they evolve. Mr. Nowicki stated there are bike paths and sidewalks planned for Delmont, Dinser, Meadowbrook Road, near the new developments, Crescent Boulevard/Drive should be done via the Site Plan process by private development. Putting them in now would be premature and subject them to destruction through the construction process. Novi Road is included. Council passed a resolution a couple of years ago requesting the Road Commission for Oakland County to include bike paths and sidewalks.
Member Mutch asked if City Wide Pavement Projects are strictly the road surface? Mr. Nowicki answered that would be consistent with the subdivision rehabilitation program including the sidewalk ramp at various intersections. The residents, who choose to participate in the program, pay for sidewalk repairs? Mr. Nowicki answered that is correct. Where does the City get the money to improve the half that is in front of the Civic Center? Mr. Nowicki responded Council approved $10,000.00 in the annual Budget for inspections and rehabilitation. Member Mutch commented the sooner the work can be done the better, it is unsafe and an eyesore. She also asked about repairs to pathways that are currently in place, where the roads may not be resurfaced soon? Mr. Nowicki stated it is done annually. Council appropriates approximately $10,000 a year. The Department of Public Works does the repairs on an as needed basis. A contractor through the bid process is doing the bituminous pathway in front.
Mayor McLallen explained this is one of the more difficult things Council has to do because it is one of the most expensive things. As a City, it is very important that they do the preventative maintenance and invest in the community. The primary portion of this bond is Council’s commitment to the citizens, such as the Delmont and Dinser paving. These people have been paying for road bonds in the City for years. It is their turn to get their local streets paved. The intersection improvements are things that are significant to the citizens, and should be at the top of the list. The next are the problematic ones Twelve Mile, Crescent Drive and Main Street West, particularly on the Crescent Drive which is programmed to be in construction in 2001. He asked if the City has right-of-way for the whole road and preliminary engineering. Mr. Nowicki answered that the City has all of the right-of-way except for one tiny parcel, but a commitment has been received from Singh. Mayor McLallen asked if he thought they could be out for bids, design and construction, in 2001. Mr. Nowicki stated it is very much like the 1996 Road Bond Program where they actually received the money in 1997 and have two projects left, one is West Road the other is Crescent Boulevard. He thinks they can do it. Mayor McLallen said the concern is asking the citizens for the entire amount of money. She has no problem asking the citizens for fifty percent of the bond, it is pure investment in the quality of the city. The other is an investment in the quality of the City. Mayor McLallen is in support of putting this language on the ballot, so people are familiar specifically, with which roads. She also wondered if it is possible to split the ballot with A, the whole package, B, the local shares, critical issues and C, the essential economic development expansion. Mayor McLallen wants to make sure that Council is very comfortable with what is presented to the voters as Council has been presented with a very ambitious package. The Bond reflects the hard work of the staff and Council. Mr. Nowicki agreed that it is very ambitious, looking at the history of Novi’s Road Bond Program, starting in the 1970’s or 1980’s, the City of Novi has delivered irrespective of public perceptions. It is a very impressive track record. Mayor McLallen stated that in an emerging City the overall system is truly in good shape. Mr. Kriewall believed the Bonding Attorneys are recommending a twenty-year bond issue for this road program to spread the cost out. If it is a twenty-year bond issue, people that come into the city over the next twenty years will help pay for the bond. He does not feel that it is a good idea to defer any portion of the program, most of Novi’s population will be here within the next ten years. It is also more cost effective to do the improvements now, to be somewhat visionary at this point in time to make these improvements. The School Board will also pass a resolution of support, if it is needed.
CM-99-06-141: Moved by Kramer, Seconded by Crawford, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the proposed 1999 Roadway Bond Program and authorize the Administration to prepare the necessary documents, and bring it back to the first meeting in July for approval to put on the ballot.
Mayor Pro-Tem Crawford asked if it will include a recommendation for language as to whether these items should to be included and how detailed? Mr. Kriewall answered yes the issue will be explored.
Member DeRoche feels most people know what they are voting for, but none of their discussion or publicity binds any future Council.
Mr. Kriewall stated the issue will be brought back both ways and the Bonding Attorney will be in attendance.
Member Mutch stated it was said earlier in the discussion, this has been a balancing act, and she is very proud of the effort of the whole Council. All Council members bring different perspectives to the table. The challenge to Council is to find those projects that need to be done now and affordably. She feels they must look at all of the resources available, not just what they can get out of the voters on a Bond issue. They must also look at County, State or Federal funding to share the costs. If it means that a very needed project can be done today entirely funded by the Novi taxpayers versus waiting, and Novi taxpayers only funding a portion of bill and the County, State, or Federal government paying the rest, it is a tough decision. Council does a balancing act with each proposed project with the mix of projects and funding, and probabilities. Council does the best they can and she hopes that taxpayers will recognize the team effort by Council to get the most and the best they can for the people of Novi. She would also like to point out some of the projects at first glance appear to be of regional benefit, such as interchanges, but still have an effect on the local residents. In her opinion there are no projects listed on the Bond issue that are strictly local or regional, or economic investment in nature, some are more one category or the another, but all feel the impact of the others.
Member Lorenzo moved to amend the main motion to include the widening of Ten Mile Road between Meadowbrook and Haggerty to three lanes, curb and gutter, sidewalks and bikepaths, fast track signalization, and Oakland County Road Commission design criteria for acceleration/deceleration lanes. No second.
Vote on CM-99-141: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, and Schmid
Member Kramer requested when the Bond issue comes back to Council for final discussion, that the Administration provide Council with a financial graphic depiction of Bond Millage over time showing the current millage declining and the effect of the new millage over the next ten or fifteen years.
Council concurs with Member Kramer’s request.
Jean Jaques, 48806 Thornbury, Pebble Ridge Subdivision, thanked Council and the Administration for their support of paving Delmont and Dinser. The residents would also like them to consider the necessary stop signs, sidewalks, and reduce the speed limit. If there is anything that Novi needs it is roads and road improvements.
Kevin Brady, 24166 Cranbrooke, stated he appreciated the considerations about matters brought up at the beginning of the meeting. Another consideration, if there is excessive monies from the Bonds as far as construction project, he would like them to at least consider using those funds for paying on the interest and principal.
BREAK AT 10:22 PM
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
7. Request for adoption of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.151 – Amendment to Site Plan and Development Manual – I Reading.
Mayor McLallen stated this is a combination of a lot of hard work predominantly by the Planning Department Staff. Their goal was to make this document more comprehensive, easy to follow, and readable; to help the development process go more smoothly. The Site Plan and Development Manual came to Council with a full recommendation from the Consultants, the Planning Commission and the Planning Department. They are still working on the fee schedules, but the balance is an excellent and very complete job.
Member Schmid asked Mr. Arroyo if the booklet is designed to speed things up? Mr. Arroyo stated that is not the sole goal. They looked at ways in which they could speed the process up while maintaining the quality of the development. Member Schmid thought he saw time limits listed when it goes to certain departments. He suggested that they put an introduction and an easy to read key about the report.
CM-99-06-142: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.151-Amendment to Site Plan and Development Manual for first reading with the comments made taken in and brought back.
Vote on CM-99-06-142: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, and Schmid
Absent, at time of vote: Mutch
8. Request for adoption of Ordinance No. 99-124.11 – Amendment to Design & Construction Standards – I Reading.
Mayor McLallen stated this is a whole compilation received from the Ordinance Review Committee. These are mainly due to do changes in keeping the City’s Ordinances in compliance with State and National Ordinances.
CM-99-06-143: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Schmid, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt Ordinance Number 99-124.11 Amendment to Design and Construction Standards for first reading with changes received from the Ordinance Review Committee.
Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Bluhm if the underdrains along the edges of streets are included? Mr. Bluhm responded the ordinance reads that "full length underdrains along all streets are required." She asked if this is different from what the City currently has in their ordinances? Mr. Bluhm answered yes.
Vote on CM-99-06-143: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch and Schmid
9. Appointments to Boards and Commissions
Mayor McLallen stated that several Council members have contacted her stating they are not pleased with the interviewing and appointing process. The current process was set up one or two Councils ago in trying to get quarterly interviews, and not once a month. One problem is people being interviewed and not appointed for several months. What she would like is to have a very short-term committee, only a meeting or two, to come up with alternatives to the current process.
Member Crawford stated they all had that concern. He asked the City Clerk to compile a list when all Boards and Commissions had to be appointed; there are Charter and State Statute requirements. This compilation may be a good starting point to have some consistent means of appointment. His recommendation is to do interviews and appointments once a year and try to appoint everyone at the same time. This would allow a potentially new Council seated in November, interview in December or January and appoint in February.
Mayor McLallen commented there is a definite consensus to do a better job in getting the information out to the people interviewing and the appointment process.
Member Mutch asked if there is going to be a committee to look at this process? Mayor McLallen answered that it would be a Committee of the whole. Mayor Pro-Tem Crawford stated he thought the Mayor suggested that perhaps in the near future they should have a study session.
Mayor McLallen stated several of people are concerned because of the way the interviews are conducted. Those who are seeking reappointment have previously been interviewed, and interviewed again but their new term is not for months in advance. We could reappoint them if everyone is comfortable with rolling the committee member over when their term has expired.
Mayor McLallen stated the Beautification Committee, has one applicant and four vacancies. Member Mutch asked if someone in the Clerk’s office could check in Saturday’s Detroit Free Press , there was an article about the English Gardens Garden Awards, with a woman from Novi quoted that she just loved gardening, etc. Member Mutch would like her contacted to see if she would be interested in the Beautification Commission. Mayor McLallen stated Council Members need to make the motions to appoint the people.
CM-99-06-144: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To appoint Barbara Kientz to the Beautification Commission, with a term expiring in 2/27/2002.
Vote on CM-99-06-144: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch and Schmid
Mayor McLallen stated number two is Community Clubs Board of Trustees. There are three terms expiring in November of 1999. Only one gentleman was previously interviewed. Mayor Pro-Tem Crawford asked if they want to make this appointment now, as it is four months ahead of time, or defer the appointment until later. Member Schmid stated they have to be careful not to set a precedent on how they appoint. Member DeRoche stated the appointment would be before the next Election, so it will be this Council that makes the appointment. Member Schmid feels that such advance appointment is not a good idea; what if they do something in the month or so of their serving and Council does not want to reappoint them? Member Schmid also wants to know if the other two members are interested in reappointment.
Mayor McLallen stated there is consensus on two items, one is to support Mr. Ward, and the other is that the actual appointment will not occur until October 30th, after checking with the other two possible candidates.
Mayor McLallen stated next is the Historical Commission; there are two and three-year terms available.
Member Mutch stated there was some effort made to find out what the intentions are of the two individuals whose terms are ending. It is known that one of the two will not be seeking reappointment because of new job responsibilities. What is not clear is if he is serving until October. The other individual did not interview and it is uncertain if he will be seeking reappointment. She would like to know if Kathleen Givens can be nominated to fill the next available vacancy. If it is immediately, then she serves until October, then, if Council chooses, appoint her to the three year term? Mr. Watson stated that before an appointment to fill a vacancy can be made, a member serving needs to resign.
Mayor McLallen stated again there was a vote of confidence for Kathleen Givens and to appoint her when there is a vacancy.
Mayor McLallen moved on the Parks and Recreation Commission. There are two, three-year terms, expiring September 1999, and one vacant term, due to the official resignation of Member Mitzel, expiring September 2001. Council is looking for a motion to put one person in the vacant seat.
CM-99-06-145: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To appoint Melissa Place, to the Parks and Recreation Commission, for the vacant term, expiring September 1, 2001.
Vote on CM-99-06-145: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch and Schmid
CM-99-06-146: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To reappoint Harold Wingfield, to the Parks and Recreations Commission, to one of the two expiring three year terms, expiring in 2002.
Vote on CM-99-06-146: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch and Schmid
Mayor McLallen stated the Zoning Board of Appeals, has one vacant term, expiring January 31, 2000. This vacancy was created by Mr. Antosiak.
CM-99-06-147: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED: To appoint Brian Fannon to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a term, expiring January 31, 2000.
Member Schmid has concerns with the appointment of Mr. Fannon. He has been appointed by the Governor to the Mobile Home Commission. He also has two mobile home businesses in the City of Novi, but more importantly, he represents the entire mobile home industry. Member Schmid finds it difficult to believe that he would not face a conflict of interest as mobile home individuals come before the Zoning Board of Appeals for variances on hardship cases. He feels Mr. Fannon would treat the position professionally, but as a committee member of the State Association, he is almost obligated to represent the homeowners association and would have a very difficult time voting against the Association. In his opinion, there are far too many special interest groups on the committees. Even if he abstained, there is a vote taken away, positive or negative. He has a great deal of respect for Mr. Fannon, but does not think he should serve on the Zoning Board of Appeals when he represents the State of Michigan Mobile Home Association.
Member Mutch asked Mr. Kriewall if Mr. Fannon served on the Zoning Board of Appeals in the past and was there any instance of conflict of interest? Mr. Kriewall responded that Mr. Fannon had served on the Zoning Board of Appeals, but cannot recall if there had been any conflict of interest.
Mayor Pro-Tem Crawford commented this particular board does have an alternate for this type of situation.
Member Lorenzo stated she would not be supporting this candidate for all of the reasons Member Schmid has given.
Vote on CM-99-06-147: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, and Mutch
Nays: Lorenzo and Schmid
Mayor McLallen stated the Economic Development Corporation needs three people. She is happy to reappoint Jon Dostal, Richard Bailey, for the long term appointment, and Pete Hoadley for the short-term appointment.
CM-99-06-148: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To accept the Mayor’s recommendation for the Economic Development Commission and appoint Jon Dostal and Richard Bailey for the long term Pete Hoadley for the short-term appointment.
Vote on CM-99-06-148: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch and Schmid
Mayor McLallen stated the last Commission appointments are for the Planning Commission. It was a very difficult decision, but she would like to nominate Robert Churella and Louis Csordas. They have put in an effort to learn the process and have shown a lot of growth towards giving the citizens good service, understanding the ordinances, and abiding by them. She stated the other three candidates are excellent, but at this time she will not be making the third appointment.
CM-99-06-149: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED: To accept the Mayor’s recommendation for appointment of Louis Csordas and Robert Churella to the Planning Commission.
Member Lorenzo stated these two individuals have always been extreme gentlemen and wishes them the best. At the Planning Commission level she cannot support their reappointment. She has been disappointed and displeased with their performance this past year; particularly regarding their individual decisions on Woodland and Wetland issues. She felt they have been a part of the problem rather than the solution.
Member Kramer supported the Mayor’s nominations. He feels they have contributed to a well working commission.
Member Schmid reluctantly supported both nominations. He has spoken with both privately and they are aware of his concerns. He would also like David Ruyle appointed. He has been a long time citizen and can give an objective opinion.
Vote on CM-99-06-149: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch, and Schmid
10. Schedule an Executive Session to immediately follow the meeting for the purpose of Union Negotiations and property acquisition.
CM-99-06-150: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule an executive session to immediately follow the meeting for the purpose of Union Negotiations and property acquisition.
Vote on CM-99-06-150: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch and Schmid
11. City of Novi vs. Doice and Joanne Water Settlement for the 11 mile and Beck Road Condemnation.
Mayor McLallen stated this is payment to the Ward’s for the sewer easement on Beck Road.
CM-99-06-151: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Ward settlement as presented.
Vote on CM-99-06-151: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch and Schmid
12. Renewal of the Michigan Municipal Liability Property Insurance
Mayor McLallen stated the Risk Insurance Pool was a request from the Administration to approve the insurance.
Craig Klaver stated this is the renewal of the Michigan Municipal Liability and Property Pool. A letter has been distributed with an explanation for the (approximate) $32,000.00 increase. There is also included a five year history of incurred losses and a column of ratios comparing the actual losses compared to the premium. There are two years where they significantly exceeded the premium. A part of the renewal calculation each year is a questionnaire completed by the City Administration. With the growth in Novi the City has more cars, employees, and exposure. Generally speaking the City’s rates are expected to increase. The recommendation at this time is to accept the proposal and renew with the pool. The Budgeted amount is $400,000.00. In addition to the premium, the City will have $100,000.00 set aside for incurred losses.
Member DeRoche stated the Consultants Review committee worked with Mr. Klaver on the insurance issues. He believes the Committee is going to come forward with a recommendation to review this over the next year, possibly be set up for a bid process, and Council entertain proposals for Risk Management services for some of the insured/non-insured risks.
Member Lorenzo asked about the $600,000.00 quoted and was that for a $10,000.00 deductible? Mr. Klaver stated it was based on a $100,000.00. Member Lorenzo asked if the difference between Michigan Municipal Risk Management and Michigan Municipal League was about $300,000.00? Mr. Klaver answered yes. She asked what the quote was for the $10,000.00 deductible this past year from Michigan Municipal League. Mr. Klaver responded a quote was not offered. Initially only a $100,000.00 was offered. They agreed to quote on $75,000.00, the second quote included. He does not recommend that option, because the City is better off accepting the lower premium where they have some control over managing risk as opposed to a lower deductible and spending the $50,000.00. If the City has a very good year, with only one or no major cases, they could recoup some of the difference. Member Lorenzo stated she was not leased with the information. Mr. Klaver stated he did not receive the report until late May, which did not leave much time to look for other sources.
CM-99-06-152: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To renew the Michigan Municipal Liability and Property Pool insurance proposal as stated.
Vote on 99-06-152: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch and Schmid
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
B. Approval of Resolution adopting 1998-1999 clean-up budget Amendment #99-7
Member Lorenzo wanted more clarification on why they are being asked to approve these items, and some of them went over budget. Has the money already been spent and Council is being asked to approve them or are they for the coming fiscal year? Mr. Gibson responded these are items that have gone over budget or may go over budget. Member Lorenzo gave an example of the Coalition that Cares transfer and asked if this is to realign salaries and to increase supplies for the children? Mr. Gibson stated it is for a change in the program already implemented. She asked if this money is a part of a grant and , not part of the General Fund? Mr. Gibson answered that is correct.
CM-99-06-153: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by Schmid, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Resolution adopting 1998-1999 clean-up Budget Amendment 99-7.
Vote on CM-99-06-153: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch and Schmid
Absent at time of vote: DeRoche
F. Approval of Austin Drive Water Main Extension - SAD 151 Change Order No. 1 for a cost savings of $1,857.50
Member Lorenzo stated she would like answers to Mr. Korte’s questions. Is the City going with the alignment he suggested several months ago and what discrepancy in terms of dollars that expended those were not needed? Mr. Potter answered yes they are taking the alignment he initially suggested and it will be a savings to the Special Assessment District. She asked how is it a savings? Mr. Potter stated what was previously proposed was to connect the watermain within the Special Assessment District to the thirty-six inch main in Novi Road. It was a $5,000.00 tapping expense. By going to the north there would be a savings and a better connection based on the field conditions encountered. Member Lorenzo asked why Mr. Korte’s suggestions were not taken seriously several months ago? Mr. Potter explained that at the beginning of the Special Assessment District process they were trying to keep the connections and work within the district. Iva was the next logical connection to the thirty-six inch watermain and it was in the district. Member Lorenzo asked if what Mr. Korte told them was considered then what has changed between then and now? Mr. Potter commented the field conditions have changed, very wet conditions were found, just before the Auburn Hills incident. They decided not to risk the thirty-six inch line.
CM-99-06-154: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by Schmid, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Austin Drive Water Main Extension – SAD 151 – Change Order No.1 for a cost savings of $1,857.50.
Member Schmid commented that Mr. Korte inferred the City had installed pipe and asked if the pipe has to be removed? Mr. Potter answered there is an eight inch water main that will be extended from Austin Drive to Novi Road. There has not been any pipe installed that will not be used.
Member Mutch asked if the City is saving $1,857.50 now, would the savings have been any different if Mr. Korte’s suggestions had been taken in the beginning. Mr. Potter did not think the cost savings would be different. Member Mutch asked if the City’s savings is not any more or any less than it would have been if JCK had done exactly what they are doing now in the beginning? Mr. Potter answered if they had pushed on with Novi Road, the costs would have increased by another $5,000.00. Member Mutch said Mr. Korte does know the area and keeps Council abreast of current issues and she agrees with the approach JCK has taken.
Vote on CM-99-06-154: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch and Schmid
N. Approval of the Wodowski Offer To Sell Real Estate and Option Agreement in the amount of $230,000 and $20,000, respectively, and authorization for Mayor and Clerk to sign.
Member Lorenzo asked in the future, when the City is purchasing property, that it will be included as an item under General Matters for Council Action. She will not support this transaction. One of her concerns is the City acquiring the property to be used as a Regional Storm Water Detention Basin and indiscriminately discharge storm water into wetlands. If the City is purchasing this property with the thought to preserve natural resources, she may be able to approve this agreement. Secondly, the fact the Oil Company still has mineral rights and the option to request another well, which will be on City owned property. She questions if the City would have any potential conflict or appearance of a conflict of voting no on the particular issue, and if the Oil Company would have a legal remedy because of this. She also questions the wetland mitigation, if most of the property is already wetlands where will the City mitigate additional wetlands? She was under the impression that the Upland property was being proposed for the Fire Station and in connection with the Fire Station, how much money has been spent in acquiring the Dinser parcel? Now the City is purchasing the Wodowski property which may be mostly wetlands and unbuildable and preserved. For all of these reasons she will not support this offer to purchase.
Mayor Pro-Tem Crawford asked the City Clerk if this should have been on the Consent Agenda. To purchase property does require a vote of five members. Does this also require a role call vote? Mrs. Bartholomew explained why property acquisition could be placed on the Consent Agenda.
Member Kramer stated the City is using the surface of the land. There is zero support or commitment for any particular action of any kind with the Oil Company that is using the five acre site, except when they are through with it the City has the option to purchase the site.
CM-99-06-155: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED: To approve the Wodowski Offer To Sell Real Estate and Option Agreement in the amount of $230,000 and $20,000, respectively, and authorization for Mayor and Clerk to sign.
Vote on CM-99-06-155: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch, and Schmid
R. Approval of Claims and Accounts
Member Lorenzo brought up number 296, the Ice Arena Signage Member Lorenzo stated she will reluctantly approve the expenditure, but she is very disappointed in the aesthetics of the sign considering it cost $9,000.00. She feels in the future when Council delegates these types of things, they need to make their expectations clear.
Member Mutch asked if the dollars spent were strictly for the sign and nothing else was included? Member Lorenzo responded the sign itself cost $8,898.00. There were other costs, such as $4,0000.00 for Detroit Edison and another $3,000.00 for another electric contractor. The grand total was $15,926.00.
CM-99-06-156: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve payment of Warrant #546.
Vote of CM-99-06-156: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch and Schmid
Member Schmid stated he and others were on a committee to look into the ethics. He has spoken to the attorney and they disagree to agree that a report has been submitted. He is pursuing it once again trying to get the attorneys to bring something forward.
Member Lorenzo stated she has a couple of questions she would like answered through the committee. One would be to have an officer disclose a potential conflict and than request the opinion of their Board or Commission to decide whether they should or should not vote on a matter. Does the current policy allow this type of interpretation: and does the policy need to be amended? Secondly, is this consistent with the State’s ethics policy?
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
Munro Creek By-pass Channel Construction
Member Lorenzo distributed a package of information about Munro Creek By-pass Channel.
She started the discussion with her concerns. She visited the property and would like to know how a ten-foot wide by-pass channel was allowed? Mr. Potter responded the channel is constructed to provide relief during one hundred-year flood storms, to convey water from the upstream area at the school down to Cedar Springs. The bottom of the channel is ten feet wide, the side slopes are about one in four and the deepest part of the channel is six feet. There can be twenty-five feet of a channel on both sides plus ten feet, for a total of sixty feet wide from top of bank to top of bank at its widest point. Most of the others are about forty feet wide. Member Lorenzo asked the width of the clearing? Mr. Potter responded the width is the width of the lot, approximately one hundred fifty to two hundred feet. She asked how they get from sixty feet to two hundred feet? Mr. Potter stated the material being excavated out of the channel is going to be stockpiled and bermed on the property. There is limited access to the site, and they tried to acquire easements from the adjacent property owners, but they refused to give it.
She asked Mr. Potter if there is a haul road to use during the construction? He responded it is just an access road to the site for the construction equipment, not for pick-ups, dump trucks, and things like that. Member Lorenzo asked if they tried to get such an easement on this property to do this removal? He answered the current access to the construction site could not be used for equipment, to move it in and out. They would be crossing the creek there, which had a temporary culvert and the grade is very steep. They did try to acquire access to the south, through Glenda, they did not have an interest in granting an easement.
Member Lorenzo stated she is not completely satisfied with the answer about not getting dump trucks in and out on the haul road. Her philosophy is if there is a will there is a way. Her understanding of the language in the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Permit strongly recommended the removal of the extra soils on the property, correct? Mr. Potter does not recall that portion of the permit. Member Lorenzo wanted to know who made the decision to not haul, acquire an easement or accommodation to use the current road to remove the extra soil and to cut a clearing in the Woodland. The City of Novi is supposed to be environmentally sensitive with or without the Woodland Ordinance, and have cut a two hundred foot swath through this area to stock pile extra soil. She has a real problem with destroying the resources in this area for no good reason.
Mr. Potter responded that the project has quite a history in trying to get the storm water conveyed from the upstream to the downstream. Member Lorenzo repeated her concerns about the size of the by-pass channel and the trees. Mr. Potter assumed, the Woodlands issue was addressed early on, and they were informed that it was not a regulated woodland area. They consulted the Woodlands map and Mr. Pargoff, the Forester. There are photographs available for review. The engineers did not find any large trees, eight inches or more in diameter. The trees on the property were small diameter brush and "buggy whips". Member Lorenzo disagreed with Mr. Potter. When walking the property she noticed big stumps on the property, larger than "buggy whips". The point she tried to make is even if this was not regulated woodland; it was some type of wooded area. Nothing can be done about the trees lost. Mr. Potter stated the seedbed has not been removed. It has been his experience that in three to five years it will look the same as it did before, wetland areas brush up quickly. Member Lorenzo asked what would happen in the mean time? Her opinion is the City owes it to the citizens and their commitment to the natural resources in this City to replant trees and vegetation, possibly native species that would thrive in the wet environment. The City needs to consult with the experts and mitigate this area in an environmentally sound fashion.
Moved by Lorenzo that the City direct the Administration to meet with the Woodland and Wetland Consultants and revegetate this area with trees, shrubs, cover and native species that will make this more environmentally sound. No second.
Member Schmid said he has never seen or walked on this property and if he is to make a commitment, he needs to see it first.
Member Kramer asked if the engineers can come back with a summary report and recommendations on how to handle the concerns.
Mayor McLallen stated what is being done is at the direction of the City, and is an environmental issue, the movement of storm water through this area. The rest of the Council Members do not have enough information to have this brought up and discussed.
Mr. Nowicki stated the engineers tried to weigh the intrusions into the wetlands, their choice was to further intrude into the east or west, or construct their spoils area within property solely owned by the City of Novi that is not any regulated lists. He also discussed the issue with Mr. Pargoff and with Ms. Lemke. The property being discussed tonight is not on the current Woodlands Map. We found what could be sensitive wetlands to the east and west of the by-pass area and minimized the intrusions into those areas.
Mayor McLallen asked if there was a consensus to have the staff follow up on this? No report was requested.
Member Kramer asked that Mayor’s Exchange day with the City of Troy be placed on the next Agenda as a discussion item.
Mr. Kriewall commented on the Walled Lake Beach closing because of high E-Coli counts. The beach has since been given an all clear by the County and re-opened. Through the Department of Public Works, and Water and Sewer Departments, the general area is being reviewed for sewer connections to make sure there are no problems. It is believed animal droppings and heat of the water caused the problem. Historically Walled Lake has been extremely clean, one of the cleanest lakes in Oakland County. We are currently working with the Oakland County Health Department and making sure all lake front properties are connected to the City sewer system.
Member Mutch asked if we test the beach water every day? Mr. Kriewall responded the County is testing it about twice a week. Mr. Davis interjected we test the water ourselves on a daily basis.
Member Mutch commented that some very good information came from the County on E-Coli and its problems. She mentioned the County has an excellent web site with information on lakes and contamination levels.
Member Schmid commented on the extensive tree plantings on Twelve Mile that were done last year. There are several trees and bushes that have died and it is an eyesore. Also the Midas Muffler trees are under great stress, they probably only need water.
Member DeRoche asked when the Taft Road extension would be complete. Mr. Kriewall responded the committee has recommended West Park Drive and forwarded it to the Street Naming Committee for approval. An August opening is expected. Member DeRoche asked when old West Road would be open. Mr. Kriewall answered it is open now and has been since last Saturday.
Member Mutch asked about Meadowbrook, between Twelve and Thirteen Mile Road, even though barricades are still in place and signs indicated the road is only open to Tollgate Farm, it looks finished, are people turning around and coming back or going through. Mr. Nowicki answered they are letting people go through, the leveling course is down, and the contractor is working on sidewalks and bike paths. They hope it will be open in about three weeks.
Mayor Pro-Tem Crawford asked Mr. Nowicki about the M-5 extension. Mr. Nowicki responded the official line from the state is opening in August.
Mr. Kramer asked if this was realistic with the turn around to I-275 in place? Mr. Nowicki responded it will not be opened until the turn around is taken out.
Mr. Nowicki stated that things are going very well at Novi Road and Nine-Mile. Member Mutch asked about the street lights at this corner? Mr. Nowicki answered they are the nostalgic style mast arm traffic signals. They are going to be bid by the Road Commission for Oakland County, they do all of the installation and electrical work. There will be temporary signals in place until the bid is in situated. The bid package also includes Eleven-Mile and Beck Road signals.
ATTORNEY’S REPORTS: None
There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m.
Kathleen S. McLallen Tonni L. Bartholomew
Susan E. Blumer
Date Approved: August 9, 1999