View Agenda for this meeting

 

REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI

MONDAY, JULY 12, 1999, AT 7:30 PM

COUNCIL CHAMBERS-NOVI CIVIC CENTER-45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD

248-347-0460

 

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 stated Mr. DeRoche asked that an Item 3 be added under Mayor and Council Issues to discuss the Ring Road Grant. Mayor McLallen asked Council if theyíd like to, under the request for a meeting of the Whole Council tentatively recommended for August 30, add to that agenda the inclusion of a joint meeting with the Community Clubs and the Building Authority.

 

Mr. Kriewall asked that an Item 8 be added to Matters for Council Action to schedule an executive session after the meeting to discuss pending litigation.

 

Mr. Klaver requested employee introduction be added under presentations.

 

Member Lorenzo requested, under Mayor and Council Issues, that Item 4 be added to request the City Manager to contact the Michigan Municipal League regarding scheduling Better Service to Citizens Seminar. Also add Item 5 for discussion of re-cable casting City Council meetings on the Novi News channel similar to Farmington Hills. Also an Item 6 to refer screening requirements and woodland replacement exceptions to the Ordinance Review Committee.

 

Member Lorenzo stated that under Matters for Council Action Part II, Item 6, should read Wetlands and Watercourses not Woodlands. Mayor McLallen stated this item was also for a Second Reading and Adoption. The First Reading was held January 11.

 

CM-99-07-161 Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Kramer: UNANIMOUSLY

CARRIED: To Approve the Agenda as Amended

 

Vote on CM-99-07-161 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch

Schmid

Nays: None

 

PRESENTATIONS

 

  1. Proclamation in Recognition of Mary Andres Hordishinskyís 90th Birthday on July 15, 1999.
  2.  

    Mayor McLallen introduced Mary Andres Hordishinsky and in honor of her 90th birthday presented Ms. Hordishinsky with a Proclamation of Honor.

     

  3. Introduction of new employee

 

Craig Klaver, Assistant City Manager, introduced Sheryl Warrenchuk the newest team member of Computer Information Systems.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

Jonathan Brateman of Jonathan Brateman Properties, 42705 Grand River said there was a wonderful clock dedication at the end of Market Street and felt there would be a lot of great moments as the Main Street Project developed. He advised that the Chamber of Commerce would be participating in several events this summer. They will be involved July 15th through the 18th for the Bluesfest, the 21st to the 25th for the Michigan Fifties Festival and they participated in the band shell dedication ceremony. On the 17th of August is the Chamber luncheon featuring Joe Knollenberg and August 19th is the Chamber golf outing and he encouraged everyone to participate.

 

CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)

 

Member Lorenzo removed items F, H and O.

 

CM-99-07-162 Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Schmid, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To Approve Consent Agenda with the removal of F, H and O.

 

  1. Approve Minutes of:
  1. May 27, 1999 Special Meeting
  2. June 24, 1999 Special Meeting
  3. June 29, 1999 Special Meeting
  1. Approval to pay the "Finders Fee" fee for the employee being hired for the position of Technical Analyst to TEK Systems in the amount of $4,800.
  2. Appointment of Mayor McLallen as MML Voting Delegate and Mayor ProTem Crawford as MML Alternate for the Annual MML Conference in Grand Rapids, October 6-8, 1999.
  3. Approval of June Mullinex Settlement.
  4. Approval of Final Pay Estimate No. 10 and Final Balancing Change Order No. 2 for the Meadowbrook Road Water Main and Sanitary Sewer Extension.
  5. Approval of Agreement with JCK & Associates, Inc. for the Streambank Stabilization Project and authorization for the Mayor and Clerk to sign said Agreement.
  6. Approval of Agreement with ERIM International, Inc. for the GIS/Public Awareness Program and authorization for the Mayor and Clerk to sign said Agreement.
  7. Approval of letter to Mr. John McCulloch, Chairman of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, regarding septic system inspections and evaluations and authorization for the Mayor to sign on behalf of the City of Novi.
  8. Adoption of Resolution authorizing the Director of Public Services to apply for a Road Commission for Oakland County permit for the July 25, 1999 "1999 Michigan 50ís Festival Car Cruise."
  9. Adoption of Resolution authorizing the Director of Public Services to apply for a Road Commission for Oakland County permit for the October 2, 1999 Novi High School Homecoming Parade.
  10. Acceptance of Magellan Drive and Magellan Drive East as public streets contingent upon FG 40 Corporation providing a separate Bill of Sale for the road pavement.
  11. Approval of Resolution accepting two Drainage Easements from Anthony and Lisa Deptula for the West Road Reconstruction Project
  12. Approval of Driveway Grading Permit necessary for the West Road Reconstruction Project from Michigan National Bank.
  13. Approval of Driveway Grading Permit for the West Road Reconstruction Project from Westgate IV Apartments.
  14. Award bid for Novi Community Sports Park Restroom/Concession Building to Cates Carpentry, the low bidder, in the amount of $273,000.
  15. Approval of revised Final Plat Language Ė Lilley Pond Subdivision
  16. Approval of Resolution adopting Budget Amendment 2000-1.
  17. Approval of Claims and Accounts
  1. Warrant No 549

 

REMOVALS

 

  1. Approval of Agreement with JCK & Associates, Inc. for the Streambank Stabilization Project and authorization for the Mayor and Clerk to sign said Agreement.

 

H. Approval of letter to Mr. John McCulloch, Chairman of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, regarding septic system inspections and evaluations and authorization for the Mayor to sign on behalf of the City of Novi.

 

O. Award bid for Novi Community Sports Park Restroom/Concession Building to Cates Carpentry, the low bidder, in the amount of $273,000.

 

Vote on CM-99-07-162 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, and Schmid

Nays: None

 

MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė PART I

 

  1. Request for approval of Resolution to Vacate Big Bend Road, Cenaqua Shores Subdivision.
  2.  

    Mayor McLallen advised this is a request brought to Council by citizens for the vacation of Big Bend Rd. There is concern whether this would create any landlocked parcels. However, based on the staff reports the vacation of Big Bend Road in the Cenaqua Shores Subdivision would not cause individual parcel landlocking. Staff is recommending approval of the resolution in favor of vacating Big Bend Road with the caveat that the city retain an easement for drainage and utilities at the rear of the properties.

     

    Member DeRoche asked Mr. Nowicki how long this vacation had been in the process?

     

    Mr. Nowicki believed it started in October or November of 1998. Member DeRoche asked how many were in process now? Mr. Nowicki stated there are two others.

     

    Member DeRoche asked if these were all citizen initiated? Mr. Nowicki said that is correct.

     

    Member Kramer has concerns over parcels 103, 104, 105, 108 and 114, which together make an L shape piece. He stated if Big Bend Road were vacated it isolates parcel 105, 108 and 114 as individual lots. He asked for an opinion as to whether that configuration is legal, buildable and supportable without the access of Big Bend Road.

     

    Mr. Nowicki believed it would not be denying them access. However, whether it is an exact buildable lot he wouldnít know. He stated they had frontage on Parklow and Paramount but to indicate that 108 and 104 would be landlocked would be no different than perhaps 79 or 84 a little further to the south. He said access is provided through common ownership.

     

    Member Kramer stated through common ownership, parcels 83 and 84 connected could be sold together and 82 and 79 likewise. He thought that 103, 104, 105, 108 and 114 all need to be used together or the other viable thing would be to sell off 114, 108 and 105. He stated if Big Bend Road is vacated there would not be independent access under the existing ownership except through 103 and 104.

     

    Mr. Watson stated he didnít see a problem with it. First, they can always be used with 103 and 104. Also, with the additional property that those parcels are going to acquire with the vacation of Big Bend they will have more room to work with. He thought the real concern would be whether it would destroy the value of those lots. He didnít think this was the case for a couple of reasons. They could be used with 103, 104 and the vacated portion of Big Bend and they have value from a sales standpoint to the owners of 106 through 109. Mr. Watson stated the owner is aware of this and no objection has been raised so that would indicate that they are probably using it combined already.

     

    Mr. Watson said there apparently has never been an actual physical road developed there. He felt it was not being deprived of value or being rendered useless.

     

    Member Kramer commented given Mr. Watsonís opinion plus the fact that he ascertained that the owner is aware of this and does not object he would be prepared to move forward.

     

    CM-99-07-163 Moved by Kramer, Seconded by Schmid, CARRIED

    UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the resolution to vacate

    Big Bend Road, Cenaqua Shores Subdivision.

     

    Vote on CM-99-07-163 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid

    Nays: None

     

  3. Request for adoption of Resolution for 1999 Roadway Bond Program (Alternate A) for the November 1999 Citywide vote.
  4.  

    Mayor McLallen said the issue is the approval of language to be put on the ballot this November regarding the 1999 Roadway Bond. There are two alternatives requested by Council. The first is very standard verbiage, which indicates that the City will ask its citizens to vote for a not to exceed number.

     

    Alternate B was a specification of what the projects were, having them actually approved on the ballot and with the caveat that there was a not to exceed number.

     

    Mayor McLallen stated that staff is recommending the approval of Alternate A. This approval will trigger the wording on the ballot, the notice of the election and the notice to the electors.

     

    Member Lorenzo stated she thought Council had rectified this during the last meeting. She thought the Economic Development portion was to be specified that it was to be Grand River improvements. She is very concerned that this is listed as various street and highway improvements and basically cutting a blank check for two million dollars. At the preliminary meeting it was indicated that there was some talk of utilizing it for Grand River improvements. She felt that might be a benefit to the community given that Grand River is and could be more of an alternate to using Ten Mile Road.

     

    Mr. Kriewall commented there is a problem with Council being to restrictive with itself. If another opportunity comes along Council might want to take advantage of that. Maybe we would get a grant to pave Napier Rd. and if we are restricted and not able to move some of those grant funding matched dollars around it would do the community a disservice by not having some flexibility. He would advocate total flexibility of these road programs. We have always built what we said we were going to build unless there was not enough money and that was the only limiting factor in prior bond issues. He thought it was foolish for Council to restrict itself within the ballot language. If Council wants to pass a separate resolution outlining what is to be done and any extra funds could be used to retire debt or make other road improvements it would benefit the community and have greater potential for flexibility. He felt this would be the preferred language for the bond issue because other grant opportunities will come along.

     

    Mr. Kriewall asked that Council keep in mind that when they approve this road bonding program it is probably a five to six year vision of what we are going to do. He felt it was foolish to restrict the community to optimizing the potential for grants.

     

    Member Lorenzo disagreed and is concerned after talking to people in the community and hearing things that there may be a very negative feeling to any road bond at this point in time. Member Lorenzo came prepared to move toward breaking it down to local road improvement vs. commercial road improvement.

     

    Member Lorenzo commented she would hate for the local road improvements such as the paving of Dinser, Delmont , intersection improvements and other local road improvements that residents are going to feel, see and touch on a daily basis go down the tubes. She is concerned that the local improvements will be lost if they are entangled with so many commercial road improvements such as the seven million dollar Crescent Road, the two million dollars for various street and highway improvements for economic development, 12 Mile Road, etc.

     

    Mayor McLallen commented that the recommendation of the Council was to bring this forward as it exists tonight.

     

    Mayor Pro Tem Crawford stated these are all local road improvements and he trusted Council to do what they said they would do and felt it was a mistake to imply that Council would do something different. He commented he did not want to be restricted and agreed with Mr. Kriewall that if an opportunity came along with a grant or something else it needs to be taken advantage of. There may be physical reasons why one of these projects couldnít be done and if that money could be used for other local road improvements it would be to our benefit.

     

    Mr. Kriewall said it would be hard to argue that local residents wouldnít benefit from the widening of Novi Road from Ten Mile to Grand River. It is probably a greater community wide benefit than the Dinser and Delmont Drives paving. He commented that none of us would drive down Dinser and Delmont Dr. except the residents that live there. So from a community standpoint most of the roads on this program service the City of Novi and all of our residents. The Crescent Blvd. Extension services the entire Village Oak, Willowbrook, Orchard Hills and that entire area of the community allowing those residents to gain quick access to the expressway through this particular route. To segment this program is not the proper thing to do.

     

    Member Kramer commented he supported the approach in Alternative B from the perspective of credibility, education and information. He didnít think that all voters are as informed and educated as we would like and hope them to be. A portion of the voters make a decision on the spot and he thought this defined the intent of the road bond program. He hoped that it could be incorporated into the language that the bond issue is for the program as defined but that any prudent deviation from this plan would be subject to Council approval after appropriate public notice.

     

    Member DeRoche commented it was frustrating that once the money is put into place it became $28.5 million dollars for the City to spend as it sees necessary at that time. That gets very frustrating to a resident that may or may not approve of that. They might have felt very strongly about something that the City has moved to a lower priority. They might feel it was pivotal to them and to a lot of people as to what actually got the bond issue passed.

     

    Member DeRoche felt it is important that this bond issue, whether the wording is in it or by Council resolution, to have a restraint on a future Council that it will take a Council action or another bonding or vote of the people to change it. These people are voting on the projects and not just giving us $28 Million dollars. If we donít commit to those projects it shows a lack of respect and will lead to greater frustration in the future and may lead to a lack of trust for future projects. Member DeRoche has no problem including this wording in the ballot language or by Council resolution.

     

    Member DeRoche asked Mr. Neiman what dollar increments are the bonds sold in. Mr. Neiman replied the purchasers purchase them in multiples of $5,000. Preferably, you like to sell them in maturities of multiples of $100,000. Mr. Neiman explained that an issue is put out to bid for underwriters. Underwriters will come before you with results of bids and the underwriter will buy that and then sell pieces of it to the retail public and individuals like us for $5,000. The larger the bulk the easier it is to sell and presumably it has a lower interest cost. The bonds would be issued in two, three and four series depending on need and it is a not to exceed the number. There is no requirement to issue the full amount of the authorization.

     

    Member DeRoche asked when the last date was that Council could act to put this on the November ballot?

     

    Deputy Clerk Reutter said the ballot language needs to be approved 90 days prior to the election.

     

    Member DeRoche asked if Mr. Kriewall or Mr. Neiman remembered other bond issues like this one? Mr. Neiman said a couple of the road bond issues had a separate resolution that delineated the projects and the priority of those projects but it was never a part of the ballot language.

     

    Mr. Neiman agreed with Mr. Kriewall. He stated that this has been done in the past with resolutions and he would recommend this approach again. Mr. Neiman said Alternative B is legal but it tied Councils hands and in a few years Council may not want them tied as tight. This plan totally eliminates any flexibility. Mr. Neiman stated he would go with Alternate A.

     

    Member DeRoche asked if we pass, by resolution, something that says we are committed to these ten by priority what is the vote to overrule that?

     

    Mr. Watson said it would be a 4 to 3 vote just like any other resolution.

     

    Member Schmid felt that the $2 Million dollars could have been saved out of the budget. He assumed that this was for streets and highways to supplement grant money. Mr. Kriewall said that is correct. Member Schmid said he didnít read that when it says various street and highway improvements throughout the city in connection with economic development. He commented that economic development confused him as to what the real meaning of this money is. Secondly, it seemed to read that we could put in a highway or a street for the improvement of an economic development project. He asked if this is what this verbiage said. Mr. Kriewall said that most of the potential for grant funding using Federal or State funds is channeled through the Economic Development Fund. All of the other projects that we receive grant funding for such as Ten Mile Rd. and Novi Road is a different channel of funding. Our biggest potential is for the Economic Development Funding through the State and one of the heaviest criteria they use is that the communities participate in the funding of these projects. Mr. Kriewall stated that the secret to moving the I-96/Beck and Wixom Roads interchanges up on the governors priority list is the heavy participation of right-of-way gifts by Providence Hospital and the developers in Wixom. All of those factors moved that project up five years. It has to show some economic benefit to the city.

     

    Member Schmid stated the verbiage should be changed because it suggested something different than what the money is for. Mr. Kriewall suggested it say Economic Development Fund Grant Match. Member Schmid said he would support Alternate A with resolutions

     

    CM-99-07-164 Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Crawford, CARRIED: To

    Approve the adoption of Resolution for 1999 Roadway Bond

    Program, Alternate A for the November 1999 Citywide vote. To formulate and adopt a resolution delineated the road projects that are being bonded for and returned to Council for approval.

     

    COUNCIL DISCUSSION

     

    Member Kramer commented he was in favor of Alternate B because of the delineation and from an education credibility perspective. He asked Mr. Neiman if the flexibility that the resolution would give us could be baked into the alternative. He assumes if there is a resolution it would be changeable in the future by action of the Council as well. This is the purpose of the bonding and looking into the future if there was any reason for prudent deviation from the plan that it would be subject to Council approval. Member Kramer asked if a measure of defined flexibility should be written into the resolution or in the bonding language.

     

    Mr. Neiman thought a mechanism could not be created based on this language whereby you could start changing things around. Alternate A gives that flexibility even though you donít intend to use it. Alternate B basically says we are going to do A through L and if there is money left at the end of L there could be an M, N and an O.

     

    Member Kramer stated he would support the motion.

     

    Member Lorenzo said she would reluctantly support the motion and the only reason she would support this was it would go to the voters and the voters and the taxpayers would ultimately decide whether or not they could accept the $28,500 or whatever the figure was. However, she was very disappointed that Council was not going with Alternate B at a minimum and quite frankly, this legislator would like her hands tied. More being not the will of the Council but the will of the people and the preference of the people to know exactly what they are voting for and to tie our hands. She did not see anything wrong with tying Councils hands. That is this individual Council Members take on things but she will reluctantly support it only because it is going to the voters and the voters would say yea or nay.

     

    Member Mutch commented that at the last discussion she expressed her views for flexibility and for resolution. She thought the resolution did cover this in terms of educating the public as to what the intent of the bond is and also what our priorities are. In effect, this is a commitment from the Council to the community.

     

    Member Mutch reminded Council that when a Road Bond Program is put together what Council is attempting to do is improve traffic throughout the city. The list that we have is not the list of everything that we agree needs to be done. She felt the flexibility was needed but also needed is the commitment and the educational opportunity that the resolution provides.

     

    Vote on CM 99-07-164 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch,

    Schmid

    Nays: DeRoche

     

  5. Request for consideration of front yard utilities waiver for Lots 1-11, 23, 24,
  6. and Lots 42-46 and 48-55 of the Bellagio Estates.

     

    Mayor McLallen explained that the developer has requested all 55 lots per our Ordinance but only approximately 26 of the lots are covered under Administrative Review. The rest require a waiver from this Council. The issue is that in order to preserve wetlands, woodlands and future residents landscaping the development would request that all of the utilities be placed in the front yards.

     

    Mr. Robert Porteous representing Cambridge Homes was present.

     

    Mayor McLallen stated that Mr. Porteous has concurred with the information that is presented in Council packets.

     

    CM-99-07-165 Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED: To grant the request for consideration for front yard utilities waiver for Lots 1-11, 23, 24, and 42-46, 48-55 of Bellagio Estates.

     

    COUNCIL DISCUSSION

     

    Mayor Pro Tem Crawford commented it made sense to grant the waiver for all the lots. Mr. Porteous stated the waiver was asking for all the lots that were not administratively approved.

     

    Mayor McLallen said 23 of the lots could be done administratively because they met the criteria in the Ordinance and these are the lots that didnít meet the criteria of the Ordinance.

     

    Member DeRoche said this request made sense because all the lots should be done the same way. This is a beautiful development with very high priced homes and this developer would rather do something that costs more that clients would desire rather than do something that costs less to cut corners. This is what the people in the subdivision would prefer.

     

    Member Schmid said he opposed relinquishing the Ordinance that was written after being well thought out. He said putting the utilities in the front was unsightly and the Ordinance requires all utilities to be in the back yard. All other developers had to put them in the back unless there were wetland provisions that would not allow them to be put in the back yard. Member Schmid felt that the Ordinance should be adhered to. He will not support the motion.

    Mr. Porteous said the goal they were trying to attain is that the perimeter of the project is treed and there is a heavy brush line. If there were rear yard utilities this would have to be eliminated. At an earlier meeting they were requested to remove the tree fencing to protect the rear corridor behind these lots. In order to do it the utilities must be put in the front. There will be 17 transformer boxes and since this is a condominium project we will have the right to make sure they are screened. If it was a single family platted subdivision that protection may be lost but when itís a condominium it will be taken care of.

     

    Member Lorenzo stated she would support the request because it sounded reasonable given the circumstances. She commented she would support the request even if it werenít a pricey subdivision if they had similar appropriate reasons to do so. The exception she is making is based on the merits of the request and not on the price of the subdivision.

     

    Member Mutch agreed with Member Lorenzo and also supported the motion.

     

    Member Kramer stated he also supported the motion.

     

    Member Schmid feels that mixed messages are being giving to the Administration. He stated that perhaps the Ordinance should be changed.

     

    Mayor McLallen commented that every ordinance has the right of appeal and Council is the Court of Appeals. Council is following due process; the Administration did what they were supposed to do and the petitioner has the right to request what the motion is asking.

     

    Vote on cm-99-07-165 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo,

    Mutch

    Nays: Schmid

     

  7. Request for approval of the amendment to the Residential Unit Development (RUD) agreement Ė Harvest Lake of Novi SP 97-06C, project

Located west of Wixom Road and north of Ten Mile Road.

 

Steven Robinson, of Silverman Toll Brothers, was present representing Harvest Lake, regarding the amendment that was approved in March by Council.

 

Mr. Watson said on March 1st the City Council approved an amendment to the Harvest Lake RUD making changes to the area plan. As a part of that there is to be an amendment to the original RUD agreement. This is the amendment that will incorporate the March 1st area plan revision. The agreement and the area plan change will be recorded in the Register of Deeds so in the future anybody that might buy the land will be aware that in addition to the original area plan there is also an amendment that is in effect.

 

Mr. Watson said there is an additional issue that has come up. When the Planning Commission had the first Site Plan before them for the first phase of this development one issue they raised was the bicycle path along Wixom Road. They were aware that the Council has approved the First Reading and the Second Reading pending some changes to design and construction standards that call for concrete bike path. The Planning Commission has requested that the bike path on Wixom Road be made of concrete and not asphalt. Mr. Watson said they never sought an amendment to the area plan and the bike path would have been constructed according to the Ordinances that were in effect back when the original area plan was approved. However, because of the fact that this amendment to the agreement needs to be approved by the City Council the issue is before you. This is one of the things that Council should consider and indicate one way or the other as a part of your decision and then it will be a part of the approval.

 

Mayor McLallen asked why it has taken until July to get this recorded when Council approved the original amendment to the RUD in March.

 

Mr. Watson explained that the Ordinance calls for the applicant to prepare an agreement and forward it to the City for approval by the City Council. He assumed it was an oversight and no one from the City noticed it had not been prepared and forwarded. When this issue came up it was then that we went back and looked for the amended agreement and discovered that was the case.

 

Member Schmid said he understood that the first site plan that was passed in March required five foot concrete sidewalks. In June the Planning Commission decided they wanted a concrete bike path there instead of a sidewalk but the original plan passed was for a five foot concrete sidewalk.

 

Mr. Watson stated bike path verses sidewalk occurred because of Master Plan revisions adopted in the interim that now call for bike paths on both side of the street as opposed to only on one side.

 

Rod Arroyo said there was an amendment to what is referred to now as Safe Bicycle and Safety Path Plan. It went through two parallel processes. The Design and Construction Standards which has come before Council for First Reading and as part of that there was a need to update the Bicycle and Safety Path Plan because it is part of that Ordinance. Also, it is included in the Master Plan so we worked together with

City Staff to come forward with a new Bicycle and Safety Path Master Plan. At that time the change was made to provide for the path on the west side of Wixom Road. The previous plan did not have the eight foot path it only had a five foot path.

 

Member Schmid commented he would not be in favor of an asphalt bike path because the rest of the City will have concrete bike paths. He was not aware that the Master Plan had been changed in the interim. He would prefer that the developer would be able to develop as he was originally supposed to with a five foot sidewalk. Perhaps a better alternative is to put the bike path on the other side of the road and use concrete.

 

Member Mutch said in March there was a five foot concrete safety path and in the interim the City now requires an eight foot safety path throughout the City.

 

Mr. Arroyo said the Master Plan has been amended to include the eight foot path but does not specify a material yet. Design and Construction Standards is currently addressing that issue. They have come before Council, with the First Reading, identifying it as concrete under the proposed Design and Construction Standards. Under the current Ordinance the eight foot paths are asphalt.

 

Member Mutch said as of today eight foot asphalt is what is required. Mr. Arroyo said that is correct. If what is required is eight foot asphalt and they are asking to change the agreement so that it conforms to todayís requirements she didnít see what the problem was.

 

CM-99-07-166 Moved by Mutch, Seconded by Kramer: CARRIED:

To approve the Harvest Lake SP 97-06C revised

Residential Unit Agreement to reflect the March 1,1999 revisions to the Area Plans except that the proposed sidewalk on the west side of Wixom and east side of Napier shall be revised to show an eight foot wide safety path.

 

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Member Schmid thinks this is a huge mistake. The concrete ordinance should have been brought forward before because it has been out of consultant review for several weeks. It is an unfortunate delay, but we shouldnít discount the cityís quality because there was a delay in receiving the material from the Planning Department. He hopes the Council doesnít vote to deviate from what was going to be a quality issue in the city.

 

Member Mutch said Councilís choices are to force them to stick with the original agreement and have five foot concrete safety paths or have the eight foot asphalt paths required under the current ordinance. She couldnít find a way to justify requiring something that is not required by ordinance as of today. She did see how waivers could be granted from ordinances that are in affect. To force someone to conform to an ordinance that has not yet been written presuming it is going to be supported by a majority of Council is presumptuous at least. She would not support it.

 

Member Kramer agreed with Member Mutch. He said he would support the eight foot because he felt it was a safer path.

 

Member DeRoche said the petitioner summed it up when they said "this is a simple issue and I thought we had a deal." He said Council should approve this with a five foot concrete sidewalk and push this thing through. He stated he knew changes would be made and if this current ordinance coming out of Ordinance Review Committee doesnít pass something else will because this sidewalk issue canít be debated indefinitely. Member DeRoche thought Council should vote on what was there originally.

 

Vote on CM-99-07-166 Yeas: McLallan, Crawford, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch

Nays: DeRoche. Schmid

 

Member Schmid requested a memo from Administration as to why the sidewalk issue has not been brought back to Council.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

Jonathan Brateman spoke regarding the Site Plan and Development Manual, Item 7. He stated that the Chamber has been giving input to Kerreen Conley and to the entire staff. Basically, their comments have been, when a developer comes to get the Site Plan Manual donít hand them the equivalent of the yellow pages. It is very intimidating and people feel it would be impossible to build in Novi. He stated that the city has been very receptive and there have been some changes and the clarity factor has been enhanced.

 

Mr. Brateman said regarding Item 6, the Wetland Ordinance, they cherish woodlands and wetlands and look at the world in the same pro environment way. He asked Council not to pass the Lawyer Employment Act of 1999/2000/2001 adinfinitem. He stated he had great personal concern regarding this item and felt that it was too low of a standard.

 

Michelle Bononi, spoke regarding Wetlands and Watercourses regulations, Item 6. She asked what the regulation proposed to do. Ms. Bononi stated that the City has had a tradition of wetland mitigation of less than two acres. She asked how much city wide and felt that should be kept track of. This regulation proposes to relegate the decision making process to the city staff and consultants and not to City Council. Ms. Bononi stated she would not support that. She felt the question should be who benefits from this regulation? She felt the developers would benefit from this and perhaps the residents but did not think the taxpayers would benefit. She thought this regulation would be an example of hypocrisy as far as our commitment to the Rouge Watershed. Ms. Bononi believes that what the regulation says is an affront to the kinds of things that we are trying to do in the Rouge Watershed.

 

Ms. Bononi said particularly the mitigation section is not so much about wetland mitigation as it is about unmitigated growth. She thought Council has to look beyond the simple language of what this regulation says to see what potentially could happen as a result of its implementation. She felt it all came down to questions of being realistic and balanced.

 

Ms. Bononi stated it was the responsibility of the Council to see that wetland regulations protect the public interest and the publicís trust. She thinks the proposed regulation does little to address either one of those things. The state of our landscape is reflected in our ordinances and regulations so letís improve them and use them. Letís not make a mockery of wetlands protection.

 

Ms. Bononi said itís a sorry example of a regulation that can have a great impact on this Councilís accountability. Our cityís landscape has enough examples already of degraded and ill coordinated development. This is a quality of life issue and it goes beyond what the document says. There are many loud special interest voices that will gladly shoo away any objection to the publicís trust and public interest as far as wetlands are concerned.

This regulation reflects how we do business. Ms. Bononi has real concerns about the lack of inclusion of the public, the lack of public notice and the fact that so many of these activities are relegated to administrative approvals. She asked how the public knows what is going on to all of this.

 

She stated she would have more comments about the process, the review competency of the planning department with regard to administrative approval, the publicís right to know and the accumulative effect of these activities. She asked Council to look to other communities and what they are doing. They are not going in this direction and we are going down hill here.

 

BREAK AT 9:30 PM

 

MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part II

 

  1. Request for adoption of Ordinance Amendment 99-44.09 Ė An Ordinance to Amend Article IV of Chapter 7, to include definition of dangerous buildings, to appoint a Hearing Officer to determine whether a dangerous building should be demolished or otherwise made safe, to develop a hearing process and to declare any violation of this article to be a nuisance per se Ė I Reading.
  2.  

    Member Mutch asked what effect this has on buildings that are not considered abandoned but are unoccupied rental properties that deteriorate over time. Does this help or not?

     

    Mr. Watson said this would probably help because it lists a variety of circumstances under which something can be a dangerous building and it goes beyond just being unboarded or open. If a building is considered dangerous because windows and doors are open and itís an attractive nuisance currently it can be boarded up. Once it is inaccessible to the inside it is no longer a dangerous building. This would put a limit on how long it could just be boarded up without taking the boards down and repairing the window that was knocked out.

     

    Member Mutch asked what happens when there is a home in an established neighborhood that is owned as a rental property and definitely going down hill.

     

    Mr. Watson said this would not deal with that because beginning to get run down wouldnít make it a dangerous building. There is a separate ordinance, Property Maintenance Code, that does have provisions for run down residences.

     

    Mayor McLallen stated when this was in Ordinance Review the Building Department did indicate that there were approximately 23 buildings currently in the City that would fall under this ordinance. The goal was to either get these buildings down or get them rehabilitated to the extent that they are usable.

     

    CM-99-07-167 Moved by Mutch, Seconded by Lorenzo: UNANIMOUSLY

    CARRIED: To approve Ordinance 99-44-. 09 - An Ordinance to amend Article IV of Chapter 7 to include definition of dangerous buildings, to appoint a Hearing Officer to determine whether a dangerous building should be demolished or otherwise made safe, to develop a hearing process and to declare any violation of this article to be a nuisance per se Ė I Reading.

     

    Vote on CM-99-07- 167 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo,

    Mutch, Schmid

    Nays: None

     

  3. Request for adoption of Ordinance Amendment 99-119.08 Ė Amendments and additions to definitions, revisions to standards for the regulation of Wetlands and Watercourses (Wetlands Ordinance) II Reading and adoption.
  4.  

    Mayor McLallen commented that earlier it was noted that perhaps this was not truly the Second Reading and adoption. The staff did bring the minutes of the January meeting and the vote was 5-2 to pass the First Reading. Those on the yeas were Crawford, DeRoche, Lorenzo and Schmid and the nays were Kramer and McLallen. It did pass the First Reading.

     

    Mayor McLallen said to highlight how incredibly difficult this issue was she went on the Internet to see what she could find. She said there were seven or eight wetlands national sights on the Internet. She pulled down the White House policy, the 1994 version of the Corp of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Guide and also pulled some State sites and private sites regarding wetlands. The City of Novi is only experiencing what is being experienced nationally regarding this issue. There does not seem to have been consensus. There seems to be a highly divisive issue and apparently all policy making groups are attempting to come forward to some rational, reasonable solution to this issue. This issue is very challenging to everyone and the goal seems to be agreed upon that as a national policy there should be no net loss of wetlands. How that will be accomplished for all parties has yet to be determined.

     

    Member Lorenzo reminded Council members that we have had a Wetlands Ordinance since August 19, 1985. For fourteen years weíve been regulating and mitigating wetlands regardless of their size and until this past year that was something that this community should and could be proud of. She was concerned that Council would take a step backward to possibly the 1950ís. This Wetlands Ordinance came to this Council two years ago from the Planning Commission. It was to amend the Ordinance to reflect policy and practice that had been taking place for at least the five years she was on the Planning Commission and she assumed previous to that in terms of mitigation. Basically, the Ordinance was to reflect that practice in writing in the ordinance of mitigation and to do some other minor editorial changes along the way. She didnít think it was ever imagined that this ordinance would be scrutinized and that there would be proposed amendments to water it down as has happened in the past 6 or 8 months.

     

    Member Lorenzo stated she is prepared to support the ordinance as it stands with two revisions. One is in the area of determination of essentiality, which is a whole new procedure separate from normal operating procedure. This is a section of the ordinance that is new and is not required. Council is voluntarily placing it in this ordinance to be accommodating to the property owners and the City of Novi. Member Lorenzo commented that her concern in this most recent draft is that we have now deleted from this draft any notice to the public. In other words, a property owner could request determination of essentiality and our wetland consultant would make that determination and members of the public would be totally unaware that this was taking place. Member Lorenzo said someone might have additional information that would be of benefit to the wetland consultant or disagree with the consultant. They could then ask the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to do a separate independent assessment of this small wetland. It is imperative that a notice is sent to the public for each determination of essentiality that is requested. It is appropriate, responsible and necessary that we include the public in this process.

     

    Her second concern is regarding appeals under the termination of essentiality. To entrust this appeal process to the Planning Commission would be inconsistent with how we treat the appeals procedure at this time. Wetlands and Woodlands appeals come to the City Council. As the Mayor said earlier "we are the Court of Appeals". The City Council adopts legislation that protects the public interest and the public trust and are ultimately accountable to the public. Entrusting an appeal decision to another body that is not accountable to the public is passing the buck.

     

    Member Lorenzo said two amendments should be made to this current draft. One, to include under the determination of essentiality, a notice published in the newspaper, and a copy mailed to persons within 500 feet of the wetland. Secondly, that the appeals process be changed to the City Council. Member Lorenzo made a motion with no support.

     

    Member Mutch stated this amendment was vague and she thought the question of essentiality needed to be defined more adequately. She could not support it.

     

    Member Schmid said all Member Lorenzoís comments were referring to wetlands of two acres or less. All other wetlands are controlled by the State, etc. Member Lorenzo agreed. Member Lorenzo said when you are talking about essentiality of a wetland you have to understand that the State Legislature is where we receive the criteria of whether or not a wetland is essential. Basically, it is determined essential if it meets one or more of the ten criteria. It must be understood that collectively, cumulatively small wetlands provide benefits to us.

     

    Member Schmid said this ordinance would allow our wetland consultants to make that determination. Member Lorenzo stated she is in favor of this. Member Schmid felt that notices were not necessary since we had consultants to make that determination. He felt the cost had to be considered and that there are times when Council had to make these decisions with the input of experts and have faith in the system. He believed we could forego the notices because we are using professionals in the process.

     

    CM-99-07-168 Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Lorenzo: CARRIED: To adopt Ordinance 99-119-08 Ė Amendments and additions to definitions, revisions to standards for the regulation of Woodlands and Watercourses II Reading

     

    COUNCIL DISCUSSION

     

    Member Kramer said this is an improvement from our original submission and thought it read quite well. He asked if there was a public process involved in the basic woodlands and wetlands permits? He was told that if there is a woodlands or wetlands impact of a site plan there is a public hearing. Member Kramer said he would support the motion.

     

    Member DeRoche commented that he did not think there was an ordinance that is an answer to what our problems are. If thatís the case it does no good to put it on the books to create future problems. The last thing we need is to enact something that is half baked. He will not support this until there is agreement and he has confidence in it. He believes the ordinance still needs work. Therefore, he would not support the motion

     

    Member Schmid said much input has been received on this ordinance from the Chamber of Commerce although they donít agree with the total ordinance. He felt they generally agreed and the ordinance would serve a purpose to keep things moving and allow for some relief where practical.

     

    ROLL CALL VOTE: Crawford Ė yes, DeRoche Ė No, Kramer Ė Yes,

    Lorenzo Ė Yes,

    Mutch Ė No, Schmid Ė Yes, McLallen - No

     

    Vote on CM 99-07-168 Yeas: Crawford, Kramer, Lorenzo, Schmid

    Nays: DeRoche, Mutch, McLallen

     

  5. Request for Zoning Text Amendment 18.151 Ė Site Plan and Development Manual Ė II Reading and Final Adoption
  6.  

    Member DeRoche stated this was a very worthwhile effort and realized it would continue to be updated but felt it would serve the developers and the Planning Department well.

     

     

     

    CM-99-07-169 Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Schmid: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt Zoning Text Amendment 18.151 Ė Site Plan and Development Manual for the II Reading and final adoption.

     

    Mayor McLallen said there was no mention of electronic display boards in this document and asked if it could be added. She was told she could add it to page 6. She also asked for time frames from submission of their plans to responses and was advised it was in the document. The other question was regarding rezoning on page 4. Signs are to be taken down 7 days after the project and that is not followed through on. The City needs to improve their performance in that area. Mayor McLallen stated she was in favor of this and thought it was an excellent work.

     

    ROLL CALL VOTE: McLallen-Yes, Crawford-Yes, DeRoche-Yes, Kramer-Yes,

    Lorenzo-Yes, Mutch-Yes, Schmid-Yes

     

    Vote on CM-99-07-169 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid

    Nays: None

     

  7. Schedule an Executive Session to follow the meeting to discuss pending litigation.

 

CM-99-07-170 Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Kramer: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: Schedule an Executive Session to immediately follow the meeting to discuss pending litigation.

 

Vote on CM-99-07-170 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo,

Mutch, Schmid

Nays: None

 

CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action)

 

Mayor McLallen commented Member Lorenzo removed the following items.

 

  1. Approval of Agreement with JCK & Associates, Inc. for the Streambank Stabilization Project and authorization for the Mayor and Clerk to sign said agreement.

 

Member Lorenzo stated she had questions regarding the selection process and some of the costs in terms of the City match. She asked who did the selecting?

 

Mr. Nowicki said it varied and depended on the nature of the project. In this particular case there was an individual from the Ordinance Enforcement Department, Mr. Nowickiís construction coordinator and himself. At that time, there were three individual projects that were out for bid, the GIS Public Awareness Program, the Soil Erosion Control Blanket and the Streambank Stabilization Project. JCK was one of the qualified consulting firms and they were the low bidders on this particular project. Whereas, other consulting firms were deemed qualified and were also low bidders on the other two projects.

 

Member Lorenzo asked if there was anything in our process that prevented JCK from bidding on a project since they are the City Consultants? Mr. Nowicki said no. Member Lorenzo said even though they would be reviewing this project? Mr. Nowicki said the project was scheduled for review by the Rouge Program Office. They are the ultimate reviewing authority and will approve all the funding and will receive the final reports from the City.

 

Member Lorenzo said in terms of the grant, the City cost is $6,600 and the Storm Water Fund $9,000 so that is better than a 50% grant. Mr. Nowicki said it is a 90% grant. Member Lorenzo said we budgeted $9,000 and it was $6,600 which is coming out of the Storm Water Fund. Mr. Nowicki said that is correct.

 

Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Watson if he saw a problem with the City Engineers bidding on this project? Mr. Watson said absolutely none at all. This is not a case where they are doing a project or development that is going through a review process. They are doing work for the City just as they do other work for the City.

 

CM-99-07-171 Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by Crawford: CARRIED

UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agreement for JCK and Associates for the Streambank Stabilization Project and authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to sign said agreement. The cost to the City is $6,600 to be budgeted out of the Storm Water Fund.

 

Vote on CM-99-07-171 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo,

Mutch, Schmid

Nays: None

 

H. Approval of letter to Mr. John McCulloch, Chairman of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, regarding septic system inspections and evaluations and authorization for the Mayor to sign on behalf of the City of Novi.

 

Member Lorenzo commented she read the letters and it almost appears that the City of Novi is being held hostage by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners regarding this issue. Mr. Nowicki replied he thought it was the opposite. He thought the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is holding us hostage for our permit. They are telling us we must, as a condition of receiving our permit, put pressure upon the Oakland County Board of Commissioners to implement a septic tank evaluation program.

 

Member Lorenzo thinks they are putting pressure on because they expect this review/inspection of septic systems at point of sale by somebody. Whether that somebody is going to be Oakland County or each municipality is the question.

 

Mayor McLallen commented that septic systems are not inspected unless somebody asks that they are inspected and then they are done privately. This is going to mean that every time the property changes hands it will be inspected.

 

Member Lorenzo said the M.D.E.Q. expects that the inspection will be done. They are telling us is they will not give us a certificate of coverage unless Oakland County is going to do it or the City is going to do it. Is that correct? Mr. Nowicki said they are saying they will not issue our certificate of coverage unless we lobby the Oakland County Board of Commissioners on that basis. Member Lorenzo commented if they donít issue a Certificate of Coverage then we lose the Rouge Funding. Mr. Nowicki said that is correct. Member Lorenzo asked how much that is? Mr. Nowicki said it could be millions. Member Lorenzo said it obviously behooves us to get a Point of Sale Ordinance whether itís through Oakland County or whether we do it ourselves. She is concerned that if Oakland County does not respond to this by adopting an ordinance, by the deadline, we could lose millions of Rouge Program Grant dollars. We need to send a letter to Oakland County telling them this is the position weíre in and are they going to do something and if so please let us know within 30 days. If they donít do it then we have to adopt an ordinance. Member Lorenzo stated that Wayne County is offering training for these types of inspections and wanted to know if we had sent anyone for the training. Mr. Nowicki said he wasnít aware of anyone being sent for septic system inspections. However, they have had training provided by Oakland County for illicit discharge inspections. Member Lorenzo asked if they had the training that would satisfy the M.D.E.Q. because we need to put forth a plan to them that we have trained people. Mr. Nowicki said they did not inspect septic systems and he hoped Oakland County would move in that direction. He said his people would be ill equipped to do point of sale inspections on septic systems and they would have to be done by a third party.

 

Member Schmid said the issue here is unfunded mandates again. The State mandated that these inspections be made and they have provided no funding to Oakland County or the City of Novi. He thought the County was lobbying the State to fund these items.

 

Member Mutch asked what the costs were to the buyer or seller of a home to have a septic inspection. Mr. Nowicki said he didnít know. Member Mutch said couldnít this be as simple as the City, in the interest of public safety and health, require that any property with a septic field has to have an inspection at the time of sale.

 

Mayor McLallen stated the fee ranges around $200-$300 dollars and there are independent firms that are certified to do it.

 

Member Mutch asked if this would be an alternative that would satisfy the State?

 

Mr. Nowicki thought it would satisfy some of the States concerns and the basic letter would also satisfy the State. He has not seen legislation from the State level that mandates these inspections. He thought the State was concerned with illicit discharges and has found a way for the local communities to put pressure on a governmental agency that would regulate septic systems.

 

Mr. Nowicki was concerned that the State would hold our permit and the funds that we have available hostage until we exert pressure on Oakland County.

 

Mayor McLallen said to take Member Lorenzoís initiative and amend the letter to include a response time frame.

 

Member Mutch commented that we have a County Commissioner and a State Representative who are Novi residents why not ask them to come in and give us their ideas on how to deal with this to benefit the community.

 

CM-99-07-172 Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by Mutch: CARRIED

UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the letter to Mr. John

McCulloch, Chairman of the Oakland County Board of

Commissioners, regarding septic system inspections and

evaluations and authorization for the Mayor to sign on behalf

of the City of Novi with the amended language that we impress

upon the Oakland County Board of Commissioners the dire

situation the City of Novi will be in if there is not some satisfactory response to the State on this issue in terms of losing our dollars in terms of grant money. Also that we will need a response from them within 30 days of the letter.

 

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Mayor McLallen said Member Lorenzoís next request, with support of Council, was to request that our State Representative and County Commissioner be brought in to bring us up to date on the status of both the State and Countyís position on this. She said staff could follow up by finding any of the ordinances that were mentioned so that a potential Plan B can be put into place.

 

Member Kramer commented he would like to have feedback on why they feel it is appropriate that a State level administrative agency should use their power to try and force local communities to leverage their will upon the County.

 

Vote on CM-99-07-172 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo,

Mutch, Schmid

Nays: None

 

  1. Award bid for Novi Community Sports Park Restroom/Concession Building to Cates Carpentry, the low bidder, in the amount of $273,000.

 

Member Lorenzo asked if the previous bidders were allowed to rebid the project based upon the items that were reduced? Mr. Davis said they were. Secondly, she commented that Mr. Davis indicated, in his information to Council, what his priorities were if they didnít have the total funds to do all of the various projects. She wanted to impress upon Mr. Davis that all of the improvements were made to that facility as expeditiously as possible. If he finds that he needs additional dollars that he would come back to Council and we would look upon that favorably in order to complete that park.

 

CM-99-07-173 Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by Mutch: CARRIED UNINANMOUSLY: To approve the award bid for Novi Community Sports Park Restroom/Concession Building to Cates Carpentry, the low bidder, in the amount of $273,000.

 

Vote on CM-99-07-173 Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo,

Mutch

Nays: None

Absent: Schmid

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS: None

 

MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES

 

1. Mayorís Exchange Day 1999 with the City of Troy Ė Councilman Kramer

 

Member Kramer summarized the exchange day at the City of Troy. He said there were two items he felt should be considered for an action plan this year. The City of Troy has included students as ex-officio members on their boards and committees. Ex-officio means that the students would be able to participate but would not be able to cast a vote. He suggested Council look into this and see if it should be adopted in Novi.

 

Member Kramer said they also have a system called Opticom which is an emergency traffic signal control device and is not very expensive. These are installed at intersections and emergency vehicles get an activation unit that turns the light green in their favor when they have to pass through. He said it was a modest amount per intersection.

 

Member Mutch asked if all the vehicles coming and going from the fire hall would be activating these intersections. Member Kramer stated these were installed at the intersection and then we determine who gets the activator. He felt this should be looked into for adoption if it is cost effective and valuable.

 

Member Kramer requested that Administration look into the two items.

 

Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Kriewall, as there was consensus of Council, to follow up on these two items and bring something back to Council by September 1.

 

Member Kramer said there were three areas of City operation that he found merited a deeper look by our respective areas. One, they have a new very pro-active City Manager who is very heavily oriented to community involvement and has a lot of new ideas. Member Kramer recommended that Mr. Kriewall spend a little time with the Troy City Manager and benchmark some of their ideas and programs.

 

Also, the Police and Fire Department had some very significant items. Member Kramer felt that it would be advantageous if a Police and Fire Department representative could spend a little time with the Troy departments. In numbers they seem to have a much higher percentage in command and control. Member Kramer would like to find out if that is beneficial or not and would like to have the difference analyzed. Additionally, they are very strongly oriented for community involvement as well and would like to benchmark them for some of their good ideas.

 

Member Kramer said they have a totally volunteer Fire Department and did have a lot of items in their program with regards to recruiting, activities and the like to work with their volunteers. As we are always trying to attract volunteers they might have some very good ideas there as well. He recommended that over the next six months that Novi establishes liaisons and spends some time with the City of Troy and look for some ideas that we can incorporate.

 

Member Kramer said Troy had a $37 Million dollar bond issue within the last year or so and it was very successful with the voters. They did have the ability to promote that bond issue which he thought we should understand. They had some maps on their tables they used as placemats that were good references. They have a historical district thatís been built up over many years and they moved other buildings into the district. The Troy library has library cards that say Michicard and it allows books to be taken out of any library. Member Kramer recommended that our Library Board look into the expense of doing that and if we could provide this valuable service to our residents or not.

 

Member Kramer said they had worked out a very beneficial arrangement between the school district and the City whereby the Police Department has an on site police officer in the high schools and they work in conjunction with the guidance counselors.

 

Mayor McLallen commented that it was a very interesting exchange in that our cities are facing many similar challenges.

 

Member Mutch asked what Member Kramer meant by involvement. Member Kramer said more volume of people interacting with City functions in the way of committee support, volunteer efforts, etc.

 

Mayor McLallen stated this was a very positive mutual exchange of ideas. There were also many things that we do that they do not do.

 

2. Request to schedule a Meeting of the Whole Council for the purpose of discussing Customer Service Initiative and Boards and Commissions Application, Interview and Appointment Process

 

Mayor McLallen stated this item came up because we have had a number of issues come up that do not fit into our typical meeting time frame. Therefore, she asked the City Clerk to recommend a potential meeting date for the Council to convene as the committee of the whole which means we have no other agenda except the one thatís there. It was suggested that August 30th was the best date. The proposed items would be Boards and Commission Appointment Application process which we need to get a better handle on. Also, perhaps, Mr. Kramerís discussion of adding students to Boards and Commissions could be part of that discussion. Mayor McLallen said she found an interesting article from Bria, California discussing customer service initiatives. Basically, they offer a customer satisfaction guarantee to their citizens. If an inspector doesnít turn up on time they get a discount on their inspection permit fee, etc. It creates a greater sense of responsiveness from the community. Tonight, the issue came up that we would like to meet with the Community Clubs and the Building Authority.

 

Member Mutch said she is interested in having a youth advisory board where they are determining which issues are of interest to them. She thought that advisory boards might be an alternative to explore.

 

Mayor McLallen asked if Council wanted a meeting of the whole to discuss some of these issues, is August 30th an appropriate date and what issues did Council want on the agenda because the agenda could not be amended.

 

Member DeRoche asked if the meeting with the Community Clubs was for the purpose of going over the Ice Arena contract issues. He felt this was a priority and would like to see it on the agenda sooner than August 30th.

 

Mayor McLallen said because of the seriousness of this and because we are also interviewing replacement people it is consensus of Council to call a meeting Monday, July 19th at 6 p.m.

 

The meeting was set with the Community Clubs and the Building Authority. She asked if Council still wanted a committee meeting on the 30th for boards and commissions and youth involvement.

 

Member Schmid said a meeting on the 30th was fine and thought we should have some packet or something regarding the youth involvement, customer service etc. He said there should be a definite agenda and back up material.

 

Member Mutch stated it should be sufficient time for Mr. Kriewall to research alternatives and provide packet information.

 

Mr. Kriewall asked why we were meeting with the Building Authority. He said they are really not involved and the meeting should be with just the Community Clubs and Dan Davis.

 

Mayor McLallen said the Committee of the Whole is scheduled for August 30th at 7 p.m. to discuss the process of boards and commissions, the issue of youth, customer satisfaction and citizen involvement. There will be a complete packet.

 

Member Schmid asked if the attorneys would be at the 19th meeting? Mayor McLallen said they would be there.

 

3. Discussion of the Ring Road Grant, 4, 5 & 6

 

Member DeRoche asked Mr. Kriewall if the trial was beginning on the Ring Road tomorrow, July 13th? Mr. Kriewall said there is a hearing on the right-of-way taking on July 19th for the Adell property. Member DeRoche said the issue itself, the public issue, of what the City is trying to do and the manner in which weíre doing it is extremely frustrating. He wanted to discuss this at greater length.

 

Member DeRoche asked when the grant was acquired for the Ring Road? Mr. Kriewall said it was four or five years ago. Member DeRoche asked when the City actively started to build the road? Mr. Kriewall said it was a long process. Part of the problem with some of the State grants, if they run smoothly, is there is still a lot of red tape involved. Getting from point A to point B, hiring the engineers, getting approval to go out and hire right-of-way consultants, and going through the bidding process or selection process takes significant amounts of time. That probably chewed up a year and a half. When the engineering got to a point where there was a design determined for the project the General Filters property owners didnít like our design. That side tracked us for nine months to a year trying to make their project compatible with what we were trying to do so they werenít displaced or put out of business. Then the County came to us regarding the failing of the Grand River bridge over the CSX tracks. They said there were phasing issues, design issues that impact the Ring Road project and we had to almost redesign the Grand River portion of this project to facilitate the new County design of the bridge which was delayed by their own design. A year or two was used up working with the Oakland County Road Commission to affect a redesign of our project that worked with our bridge project.

 

Mr. Kriewall said all along we were, in writing, given assurances by the Adells that they would cooperate and donate right-of-way to this project. Obviously, we did not start a taking action with them because they were always friendly to the project understanding that it benefited the Expo Center and their properties tremendously. When we were assembling the property, we started condemnations on the General Filters and Thompson Glass parcels and we started running into difficulties with the Adells. They initially sued Blair Bowman over some other issues and when we proceeded to start acquiring their right-of-way they started to balk. They came back with all kinds of demands for compensation that were unrealistic. They wanted us to give them fast track approvals for a hotel and disregard the Zoning Ordinance and provide wetland mitigation, donít charge them for any of the plan reviews or permits, etc. Mr. Kriewall said we told them we could talk about all that but letís deal with the issue of necessity. We all believe this project needs to move ahead so why not set all that aside. The condemnation is a two step process. He said they could not contest necessity and weíd get possession of the property, build the road and everybody is happy.

 

Mr. Kriewall said they chose to contest necessity and thatís the final wheel that fell off the wagon. Nobody dragged their feet on this project, we moved as fast as possible; we dealt with all the redesign issues as they came. We got off the track with General Filters.

 

Member DeRoche said because we offered them zero dollars for their property. Mr. Kriewall said that is still being worked on and they are challenging that. The value issues are not the issues that slowed the project down. It was the question of taking that the Adells raised that really slowed this up.

 

Member DeRoche asked when we funded our share of the road? Mr. Kriewall said we probably had some funding to front for the engineering. Another point is we already have billables against MDOT in this particular grant. We have acquired the Thompson Glass building and they owe us for a share of that particular right-of-way taking. He thought they would have to fund a lot of the engineering weíve done, the right-of-way acquisition and the taking of the Thompson Glass Company. We are not really talking the large number of over a million dollars but probably more in the order of $300,000.

 

Mr. Nowicki stated we have signed agreements with MDOT to fund right-of-way acquisition as well as preliminary engineering. He thought right-of-way acquisition was $645,000 and we do have a commitment with the MDOT for those dollars. When we read in the paper that $1.1 million dollars has been taken away from the City that is not entirely correct.

 

Member DeRoche asked when were our matching funds in place to proceed with the road? Mr. Nowicki thought it was 1995. Member DeRoche said we had this grant in 1994 from MDOT, call it $600,000 or $1.1 million and we had our matching money in 1995. We had a good relationship between the Adells and Blair Bowman with a written letter saying that they would give us the property. This could have and should have been done. What Member DeRoche doesnít appreciate is that it still seems so blurry when in fact it is clear. It should have been done back then. We should have capitalized on the money we had and the money they offered and built this road. He found it frustrating that no one was saying we didnít take advantage of something that we should have taken advantage of or we should have done this differently and we could have done it better.

 

Mr. Kriewall said it could not have been done. There were challenges regarding design two or three times. We cannot move on the right-of-way acquisition until the project is designed.

 

Member DeRoche asked who was contesting necessity? Mr. Kriewall said it was the Adells. Member DeRoche asked if they would have contested in 1998? Mr. Kriewall said he didnít know and that the relationship between the Adells, Blair Bowman and the Expo Center all of a sudden changed over the last year or so and it is a whole different dynamic now.

 

Member DeRoche said there is something to be said for following through with them because we can only deal with what we know. We canít allow small snags to turn into large snags and hold things up. This is two years later and 25% more with the construction costs the way they are. What would it have cost in 1995 if we had paid off General Filters and designed it the way they wanted to and built it as opposed to 1999 dollars?

 

Mr. Kriewall said they are going to recommend, in the next road bond issue, that condemnation is started on all right-of-ways right off the bat and not try to negotiate with people. Some communities just condemn everything and tell people if you want to settle we will get our attorneys involved and we will talk. At least the process would be accelerated a little bit.

 

Mr. Nowicki said they have already moved in that direction.

 

Mr. Kriewall stated that City Councils, now and in the past, have had a reluctance to even get involved in condemnation but sometimes you have to do that to save time down the road. From a processing standpoint, we may need to be a little more aggressive on the condemnation front on the next road bonding program. Mr. Kriewall said he didnít understand the rational for the delays because this project does benefit the Expo Center and the property dramatically.

 

Mr. Nowicki commented that about eight months ago Council authorized them to modify our engineering policy. Our engineers are right-of-way agents and after initial contact with the property owners if we donít get a response within 45 days then we come back to Council with a recommendation that we begin securing appraisals. We did tighten that up significantly and that is based primarily on the Crescent Blvd. Issue. We worked with MDOT 100% on putting the bridge together, the Road Bond Project and the Category A Project together. It was kind of a shock that MDOT would do this specifically when they delayed us probably six months by mandating that we redesign the entire roadway and include metric. We did incur additional cost and time delays because of that.

 

Mr. Kriewall said they are going to go after the reinstitution of this particular grant and thought they would be successful. They wonít do this until they get the right-of-ways so as not to trouble MDOT with holding onto funds until all the right-of-ways are clear. There is a hearing on Monday, July 19. Mr. Kriewall said we are going to build this project because it is vital to the community.

 

Member Schmid was also frustrated with this project. He said he never recalled Council making any overtures that they were opposed to condemnations. In 1994-95 we should have started to either buy the land or condemn it because the project was on going. He thought in future projects we should make a good honest offer and if they donít accept then condemn the property if itís a project in process. If we had a letter from Adells that said they were going to give us the property it should have been a legal document. If it was a legal document we might have been able to make them follow through on it. He believed that the Expo law suit and their arguments throughout this process got involved in this. We should have continued to move on and not get involved in the Adell/Bowman problems.

 

Final comment from Mr. Schmid regarded the indication in the Novi News that the City did something wrong in the condemnation in not offering a dollar value. When, legally, a dollar value is not offered when the property is improved due to a road or utility being put in. In fact, they benefit from that road or utility far in excess of what the property was worth. That is the approach the City took and it was legal and it was the proper thing to do to protect the City tax base and the citizens tax dollars. To infer in that paper that it was the wrong thing to do and that we were being less then proper was not accurate. He hoped any further interviews with newspapers are properly reported to the citizens.

 

4. MML Seminar Ė Better Service to the Citizens

 

Member Lorenzo reminded Council that during the budget sessions she brought forward and requested a consensus that Council would schedule a seminar presented by Michigan Municipal League entitled Better Service to the Citizens. She requested that Mr. Kriewall get in touch with MML and get some future dates before the end of the year so this can be implemented. Mr. Kriewall will bring information regarding this by our next meeting.

 

5. Rebroadcasting Council Meetings

 

Member Lorenzo stated that Farmington Hills re-broadcasts their Council meetings once a week on their news channel. She felt to better serve the citizens we could do the same on our Novi News Channel for people who are not available to watch live broadcasts. Mr. Kramer will look into this.

 

6. Screening Requirements

 

Member Lorenzo said at the last meeting there were problems with screening requirements and Mr. Kramer had suggested that the ordinance needs to be looked at regarding this. She requested the screening requirements be returned to the Ordinance Review Committee. In addition, there have also been issues regarding woodland replacement which occurred with the Harvest Lake remediation project. They came forward and successfully, from the Woodland Review Board, got an exception to woodland replacement. This was done by using the language in the current ordinance that stated if there is an accident, they do not have to replace them. She feels that the language in this ordinance should be changed to something similar to Acts of God like insurance companiesí use. This would mean flood, hurricane, tornado, etc. as accidents. There was consensus to send this to Ordinance Review.

 

MANAGERíS REPORTS:

 

  1. Preparation of paper work to modify the membership of the Building Authority.

 

Mr. Kriewall said Les Gibson is retiring and leaving the Building Authority. The project management of the Senior Citizen Housing Project has been turned over to Kerreen Conley.

The Building Authority felt the most logical person to replace Les Gibson is Craig Klaver.

The new Finance Director would not be familiar with the projects nor would they have a lot of time to devote to projects. Also, we could always have the Finance Director at the Building Authority Meeting.

 

Member Lorenzo said she is not supportive of anyone other than a Finance Director being on the Building Authority. She thinks it is imperative to have a finance person on that board to scrutinize the financial aspects of these projects given what happened with the Ice Arena and other projects. She felt it would be beneficial to have someone who has not been associated with any of these projects to come in and give us a fresh and objective approach to the financial aspects.

 

Member Schmid said he was sure there would be times when a finance person would be needed but felt it could be on an as needed basis.

 

Member Mutch thought a finance person would be an asset and it would allow him to come up to speed but felt it would take a while for a new Finance Director to be able to do that. For the continuity of the project we are in the middle of she felt Mr. Klaver was a good choice because he has been very involved in this project and very well informed.

 

Mr. Kriewall said Council had a memo from MDOT where the City received a Transportation Enhancement Project Non-motorized Grant for Nine Mile Road from Novi to Haggerty Road. The grant amount received or requested is $256,000. There were some questions regarding the Ten Mile Road and the Grand River bike paths, which are both in design and should be bid jointly this fall. He said they were going ahead with an Economic Development Grant for Nine Mile Road for the replacement of pavement and the widening of Nine Mile Road from Industrial Park to Novi Road. This grant was applied for a year and a half ago and we were advised to cut the project in two because we were asking for to much money. They did fund the reconstruction of Nine Mile and Novi Roads. We are going back for the second half now which would be the reconstruction of Nine Mile from the Industrial Park just east of the CSX tracks back to Novi Road. It would be a three lane project and we are going to apply for that grant immediately. There were discussions today on how to coordinate the side walk and Nine mile construction.

 

Mr. Kriewall said on Meadowbrook Road between Twelve and Thirteen Mile Roads the base coat is down. They are doing the landscaping, sidewalk placement and they are building the boulder retaining walls along some of the property. They anticipate it will take about two weeks and the final course of asphalt should be down and that will be open for traffic. We are trying to arrange for a ribbon cutting for that.

 

Member DeRoche asked why the road has been shut down when they are working on sidewalks and boulders? Mr. Kriewall said because of heavy equipment and danger of boulders rolling out into traffic.

 

Mr. Kriewall said that the renaming of the Taft Road Extension will be coming back to Council on July 26th and the 17 property owners will be notified. They are building the final embankments to the bridge now. The bridge is done except for the pouring of the concrete deck. They donít want to pour the deck until they get the approaches up to the bridge so they can back the concrete trucks up to the bridge. They are looking at a completion date around the end of August or first of September. The name will be West Park Drive.

 

Member Mutch asked the status of the Grand River bridge. Mr. Kriewall said it was being held up by the Adell condemnation.

 

Mr. Watson said the hearing was before Judge Jessica Cooper July 19th. The Judge will take testimony, conduct a hearing on the issue and then make a decision.

 

Mr. Klaver announced that Stacey Hunter has successfully completed Level 2 Assessor Certification.

 

ATTORNEYíS REPORTS:

 

Mr. Watson said under the condemnation statute there is a time limit for when necessity issues are supposed to be heard, when a hearing is going to be conducted and then when a hearing is going to be made. This was a little unusual because we have gone through four judges.

 

ADJOURNMENT:

 

There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 11:30 PM

 

 

 

 

___________________________________ _______________________________

Kathleen S. McLallen Tonni L. Bartholomew

 

___________________________________

Charlene D. McLean

Date Approved: August 9, 1999