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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2000, AT 8:30 PM
NOVI CIVIC CENTER Ė COUNCIL CHAMBERS Ė 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 8:30 PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: GIRL SCOUT TROOP #3341
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor ProTem Lorenzo, Council Members Bononi, Crawford-absent/excused, Csordas, DeRoche and Kramer
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Csordas requested that an update on Fire Station #4 be added to Mayor and Council Issues.
Member Kramer asked that the Public Hearing on the vacation of Erma be moved to #1.
Mr. Fisher, City Attorney, asked that Public Hearing #2 be removed from the agenda and scheduled for January 8, 2001.
CM-00-12-394 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as amended.
Vote on CM-00-12-394 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer
SPECIAL REPORTS - NONE
COMMITTEE REPORTS - NONE
PRESENTATIONS - NONE
Mr. Helwig reported that at the November 27th meeting, a significant portion of CDBG funds were allocated to the walkway path and the Transportation Fund Grant application was approved to construct a walkway in the spring.
Mayor Clark reported letters of opposition from the Steelmans and the Kotrychs on Crown.
James Sutton, 2270 Crown, said he owned the other half and it was there before he bought the property. He asked Council to make a decision and get it over with because it was such a small thing to always be an issue with Council. He stated he would make the best of whatever Council decided.
Mary Kotrych, 2245 Crown, noted a street had been lost when Erma was vacated and the walkway was a very nice appeasement and she would hate to lose it. She asked that Council get back the sidewalk portion and keep it as it was now.
Jim Korte, as the petitioner, stated there was no sidewalk on private property in the City and he had asked the City not to do it this way but had asked that the City retain their portion and vacate the rest but that was not done. He noted 60 people signed a petition that they did not want the sidewalk removed but wondered if they would want this nuisance next to them. He felt it made sense when it went from Austin, City roadway, to Erma, a City owned street. Council chose to vacate the 150 foot space on the other side and there was now a pathway from a City street, over 55 feet, to private property. Where were all the people when this was being planned? He asked Council if a back pathway would be allowed through a residential area to a commercial establishment? Mr. Korte asked that his area become more like the rest of the city. He said the property floods, the engineering was not correct and the liability created by bringing someone over the property was absurd. George Jacob and Roger Jacob the owners of the 200 feet to the southeast had built a 4-foot fence on his private property so the 8-foot walkway was now 4 feet legally. This situation did not exist anywhere else in Novi and he did not see why it existed here.
Pete Hoadley, 31084 Arlington Circle, felt it was a health and safety issue and if necessary, the Council should buy back the property. He noted Mr. Korte was in error because there was a walkway at the Maples of Novi that led to commercial property. He suggested Council condemn the 3 or 4 feet of property to keep the pathway there, if necessary.
Sarah Gray, 133 Maudlin, noted the City had vacated walkways that went from public streets to nowhere in three instances. They are Lilac Ct., Willow Way or Willow Walk was vacated sometime during 1982-88 and earlier this year, Ivy Leaf walk was also vacated. She felt the City should get rid of a liability they could not win.
Mark Robbins, 2295 Austin Dr., stated the sidewalk was a promised sidewalk to the subdivision when Council decided to take out Erma Street. He did not care if it was taken out now or later as long as they had a sidewalk as promised. He noted Mr. Korte built the fence that was placed on Mr. Jacobís property. He asked Council not to vacate the sidewalk until a new sidewalk was built.
1. Establishment of Industrial Development District (Novi Expo Center Application)
Mayor Clark advised Council they would only be dealing with the proposed application and no action would be taken this evening. Anyone who would not be able to attend later meetings on this application could speak during the first audience participation.
Blair Bowman, representing the Novi Expo Center, Inc., 43700 Expo Center Dr., commented he had worked with the community for over nine years. This began as an idea taken on by a number of components in this community and through common efforts and partnership spirit they were able to bring about a very unique opportunity. They turned an empty warehouse into an extremely positive program and it was now their hope and goal to cooperate and work with this community and Council to take the Novi Expo Center Program to the next level. Through strategic analysis, they examined things that didnít allow them to pursue specific business opportunities and specific things that were impeding their business. They felt a new location would best benefit the Expo Center and the community. As part of the relocation enhancement a critical component was abatement. When they launched their program to relocate they indicated they would seek abatement, if available. There was a policy established in this community to provide for abatement in unique circumstances. As a result of that a thorough package of information was provided with their application to be dealt with at a future Public Hearing.
Mr. Bowman presented five basic considerations as to why this was of positive importance and impact to the City. The economic impact of the Expo Center, to the community and surrounding areas, was in the realm of $185 million dollars in the past year. They projected it would grow to $250 million in the first year of relocation. This is the type of economic impact that communities sought and actually constructed facilities at taxpayer expense and full subsidization and operated them at a loss in order to provide an edifice for people to come to the community and spend their money on hotels, restaurants, etc. He said they have this impact and are a private operation.
They intended to make improvements with regard to traffic and the new location would have a planned program for proper traffic management and parking would be added. The building would have higher ceilings, 30,000 square feet of state of the art banquet and conference facilities that would be an attraction and support base for the OST projects the community was looking to put into place. If successful, this would be the largest single function operation in Michigan and all would work and cooperate with the exhibition functions. He felt it would be a major benefit to the City.
Their project was a catalyst for State funding programs that Governor Engler announced through his Build Michigan program and Category A funding application. It would provide $5 million to Grand River that when coupled with the other projects and funding sources, would be an improvement critical to the community as well as the Center. The area proposed for the relocation was a 50 acre site west of Taft Road and north of Grand River, which had stagnated and been under utilized for the last 20-30 years. An investment needed to be made and risks taken to spur the type of development the community would like to have.
Mr. Bowman said regarding the economics of the abatement itself the property taxes currently produced are $12,875 annually and even as abated, the project they propose would produce over $44,000 in taxes in the first year. The project would produce, without abatement, $76,000 for a difference of about $31,000 a year. He contended the second set of numbers should not be considered because it was only if the project moved forward. Mr. Bowman felt abatement was a critical component of the relocation enhancement program, which was a requirement of the application process. He suggested they not look at the "what ifs" or that it was really not a quest but that there would be a positive net gain to the City coffers the first year. Abatement was for a certain period of time and would be a net positive.
It was Mr. Bowmanís understanding, when concerned about the school funding that it was a neutral position now with the advent of Proposal A. Tax abatement would not negatively affect the operating income from the standpoint of the schools.
In summary, from a true economic perspective this was a positive. If considering the affect on the area they were relocating to and the improvements he believed they would be considered improvements for the community. If considering the funding and cooperation that could be performed on the infrastructure and the road improvements, he thought they had planned properly as opposed to forcing something in where infrastructure was not there. They had taken the time to work together to insure that proper infrastructure was in place. He hoped they would consider them a reasonable and decent business component and a community partner. He asked Council to look favorably on them with the establishment of the district and ultimately the abatement.
Jake Miklojcik , Michigan Consultants, presented the Economic Impact Analysis of the Novi Expo Center and said it was important to understand that the Expo Center was a privately owned facility. He reviewed the activities including a survey of event promoters, review of event information, analysis of tourism spending data, review of impact studies performed at other venues and discussions with various commercial outlets. The total visitor estimate for a 12-month period, two years ago, included visitor days of 769,854 and if multiple entries were counted it would probably be well over a million.
The Economic Impact Analysis included four different categories. They are off-site spending by individuals $34,533,190, local business spending by promoters and exhibitors $6,025,100, local exhibitor retained revenues (product purchase dollars captured locally) $47,353,075, Novi Expo Center expenditures of $7,000,000 for a total Direct Impact of $94,911,365 or almost $95 million per year. The annual economic impact of the Expo Center was calculated to be $189,800,000 annually.
Annual Economic Impacts for the New Novi Center would be $259,968,715. The figures calculate to an estimated1,582 full-time equivalent jobs and with the new facility it would probably be almost 2,000 jobs. Construction impacts would be about $12,000,000 for a new facility and the competitive environment showed that only one other facility was privately operated. Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing centers had received large public subsidies. For instance, Grand Rapids recently received a direct state appropriation of $65,000,000 and a county appropriation of $15,000,000 to aid with their new facility.
Jim Koster, Assistant Superintendent of Novi Community schools, showed that since 1995, tax abatements have had a "neutral" effect upon the operating funds of local school districts. He showed that without the tax abatement a piece of business property would pay 6 mils to the State of Michigan and from the facility and land of that property 18 mils would come to the school district and then the debt mils would come to the school district. Through the tax abatement the State of Michigan would still receive their 6 mils and from the land portion of the business property the district would still receive their 18 mils. It would still receive its debt mils but from the facility standpoint of the business property 9 mils would not come from the school district but would go to the State Education Fund and half the debt mils would come to the school district. From the State of Michigan the effect of the full 18 mils would come back to the school district in State aid. So from an operational standpoint the school district had an absolute neutral effect from its operating standpoint. He said half the debt millage comes to the school district but the argument was if the facility was not there the school would receive nothing. If tax abatement was granted, they would get half of whatever it was and the school district would probably gain. In a tax abatement situation, the effect to the school district remained the same.
PUBLIC HEARING AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION
Pete Hoadley, 31084 Arlington Circle, stated he was not normally in favor of tax abatements but this was a unique situation. It would provide a tremendous impact to the City, County and State and would produce not only more property tax but more sales tax and more gasoline tax. This would be a tremendous attraction to the development of the OST property. Convention centers are an asset to the type of businesses we would like to attract. He was in favor of tax abatement for this particular business because of its unique properties to the City. In addition, there would be conventioneers staying several days and families and outside entertainment needed to be encouraged to come in. He also encouraged Council to consider overlay zoning, such as a nice performing arts theater, aquarium, entertainment for children. This would be a tremendous value socially to the residents and would provide increased taxes as well. Mr. Hoadley recommended Council give this favorable consideration. He said Mr. Bowman and his family were outstanding members of the community and had contributed tremendous value to the City over the years. He felt there was no negative side to this.
Also, Mr. Hoadley had observed in the Novi News there was a problem with people being beat up and injured in our pool halls/ liquor establishments. He encouraged a proactive stance on this and suggested the Chief of Police visit these establishments and if it continued they should know their liquor license would be in jeopardy.
Mr. Hoadley felt the cable contract should have an escape clause in case of a better price with another competitor. He encouraged Council to look into the idea of having their own franchise and talking with other Time Warner communities to see if a program could be put together where Council was the franchisee and provided its own cable service.
Arie Lieberwicz noted he had some experience in establishing a district in the City of Troy. A tax abatement, if used properly, would allow the community to redevelop certain areas. Many communities had used tax abatement to steal jobs from each other by promoting them and getting businesses to relocate. He felt it was a unique opportunity for Novi to demonstrate that by creating this district they really spoke to the spirit of what this act was intended to accomplish when it was set by the legislature. He felt there was no downside for the community and encouraged Councils support.
Bud Scott, Chairman of Economic Development for Chamber of Commerce, was directed by the Chamber Board of Directors to be present to express the Boardís support for the Novi Expo Center and read a letter from the Board. He felt the Novi Expo Center was a very good corporate citizen of Novi and an asset to the community. Economic benefits were good, from the Chamberís point of view. A lot of dollars came to the business community from the Novi Expo Center. If they were not here it would adversely affect hotels, restaurants, retail, etc. in Novi and surrounding communities. Also, a lot of service people were needed to put on the shows and many local people benefited by the jobs produced with the Expo Centerís exhibits. They thought that moving the Expo Center to Grand River would allow it to be more competitive and would attract high quality events to the community. It would help alleviate the traffic congestion on Novi Road, would improve safety and have a positive effect on the development of that area. Therefore, the Board strongly encouraged the Council to keep the Novi Expo within the City of Novi.
Brooks Decker, resident of W. Park Drive, felt this would be an absolute win-win situation. Novi is a model community and with the relocation to the Grand River corridor, this truly raised the bar on corporate development. It would begin the completion of a grand plan of commercial and retail development that was shared more here than anywhere in this area. He felt the city was not being asked to give up much; it was asking them to extract less from private enterprise than what the tax situation would otherwise require from them.
Andrew Mutch, commended Mr. Bowman for his significant contributions to this community; this wasnít a question of Mr. Bowmanís stature in the community but a policy issue. It would be a public policy issue with far reaching implications that needed to be understood before moving forward with tax abatement in this area. The Expo Center had always enjoyed support from the City. No other business in the City had a zoning article written specifically for it. The City spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on road improvements to Novi Road and the entrance to the Expo Center. If they relocate to Grand River the City would support it with at least $5 million in additional road improvements from the taxpayers of this City. He felt establishing a district at this time was premature. There was no Expo Center zoning in place and the Master Plan did not speak of the Expo Center at this location and he wondered what the potential impacts would be. Mr. Mutch said there was potential for positive land use, additional restaurants and businesses that we had not planned. There would be improvements to the Grand River corridor but what kind of traffic would this generate on Eleven-Mile, Taft Road and residential roads and what about noise and lights. It is necessary to understand the full benefits and drawbacks of this proposal.
Mr. Mutch felt an economic analysis should be done to see what types of jobs would develop not just from vacant land but from the entire development. He felt it was important to have a full and accurate analysis that looked at comparable developments. He urged Council to take control while the district was being established because it was the only step they would have any control over. Once the district was established they would lose control of the process because the applicant would have full opportunity to apply and even if denied, the State Tax Commission had the capability to issue the certificate if it met the standards that the State laid down.
Paul Sherbeck, Simmons Orchard Subdivision, voiced opposition to the Industrial Development District. He felt that citizenís liberty was being eroded in the name of economic development. He urged citizens to view the Detroit News data bank from Sunday, July 4, 2000 to see who had donated to the Council and Mayor. Also, visit the Secretary of State web site under elections and look at the campaign finance statements and see the individuals that support government interference in the economy. He noted that the list of communications on the Council agenda was actually a partial whoís who of those who stand to profit politically and economically from the development along the Grand River and Beck Road corridor. He strongly urged Council to vote no on the establishment of this district because targeted tax breaks were morally unjust and there was a mountain of evidence they did not work. He urged citizens to read the proposal including the economic impact analysis prepared in part by a "so called" independent consultant. If the economic impact was as stated then those who would stand to profit from this activity should enter into a voluntary agreement to make up for what was being asked in the tax abatement.
Mr. Sherbeck addressed Mayor Clark and said in the Novi Expo Centerís proposal there were drawings that showed Phase I and II of the Expo Center. Phase II showed a hotel and the proposed hotel showed no added adjacent parking. He asked if Mayor Clark or the Economic Development Director was aware of plans to abandon the rest area?
Mayor Clark stated he would comment later.
Sarah Gray, 133 Maudlin, urged Council to use caution. She noted there would be more traffic issues to deal with and asked why the plans to use the current site had not been discussed. She felt it was important to find those things out before making a decision and setting a precedent. She knew that MDOT was moving the rest area.
Jim Korte was not in favor of giving special abatements or privileges to anyone. He didnít want to subsidize the Expo Center and said all the malls and changes in the last 30 years had not done anything for John Q. Public like they were told it would. When would the residents get a break? When the Expo Center left and Ramco-Gerschenson went in, there would be the same traffic snarl at Twelve and Novi Road and when the Expo Center went in there would be a snarl around the Beck Road Interchange. He said for tying up another intersection they want tax abatement. He wanted something for the public and tax abatement was not it.
Bob Fedorisian concurred with the last few residents that nothing had been forwarded to the taxpayers, and it was all big business money being made. He believed the traffic issue would be significant and felt the City was moving traffic problems from one area to another and he was opposed to the district.
Jane Thomas representing Hilton Hotels Corporation, Novi Music and Motorfest group felt the new location would be a jewel and Troy and Romulus were looking to have the same type of facility. The Novi Expo Center was a no-brainer to give a small tax break to get back 3 times as much. She strongly urged support for this application.
Lou Martin, representing Providence Hospital and Medical Centers, noted they felt it would have a good effect and the Board was in favor of having Council support the Expo Center. Economic impact of this magnitude was of great interest because they have a large retail development there. Also, the improvements to Grand River would be a positive impact to Providence Park and it would affect the entire centers network and they urged support of this unique situation.
Mary Muller, 45460 Addington Lane, felt Mr. Bowman was making the decision to move the Expo Center. She felt the Center was a benefit to the community and the people preoccupied with the bottom line in their own pocket books needed to realize there would be indirect benefits to them. She felt, looking at the big picture, it was in the best interest of the City to keep the Expo Center in Novi.
Pat Webb, 24902 Portsmouth Ave., felt the Expo Center had many positive impacts on the community and she liked, as a resident, the fact that it was a privately owned facility. Mr. Bowman took on the risks of making this facility successful. He updated the building, improved parking and worked diligently to keep the traffic flowing smoothly. She had seen him personally directing traffic and planting shrubs and flowers. She was happy to see Mr. Bowman was concerned about the infrastructure before proceeding with the project and thought it would be a much improved, better-located, first class project that would greatly enhance our City. She commented that Mr. Bowman was a dedicated member of the business community, had given his time to the Chamber, the Festival, partnered with our schools and provided a home for the Chamber and the Motor Sports Hall of Fame. He and his project deserved our encouragement and our endorsement.
Ron Mays, IP Floor Covering in Livonia, said he had been in the trade show business for 28 years and in business for himself for 13 years. He noted over the years he had opened several offices to service the trade show industry. In 1993 a conglomerate bought out his largest customer and he was on the verge of bankruptcy. He started working with Mr. Bowman servicing the Expo Center and had been able to add an addition to his building and would soon add another and doubled his labor force. Mr. Bowman was a great asset and the history of Mr. Mays company would exemplify the trickle down effect to the area and other businesses.
Peter Paisley, Local Color Brewing Company, firmly believed that an expanded Novi Expo Center had the inherent ability to attract higher profile exhibitions and convention business, which would greatly enhance the local business climate and would have a direct positive impact on all local business. He strongly urged Councilís support.
Brian Stars, 25179 Birchwoods, lived near the proposed site. He supported the proposed site for the Novi Expo Center. Mr. Stars took a gamble ten years ago with a stranger named Blair Bowman. He had been amazed regularly at the vision, dedication and loyalty he had seen over the years. He would not have believed it if he had not seen it first hand. He mentioned sacrifices by employees, families and friends over the last 10 years with the unique re-use of the building. This helped bring himself, John Q. Public, and his family to the City of Novi. This coupled with parks, schools and homes had brought him to the community. He supported the establishment of the district.
Mayor Clark called Mr. Bowman to respond to the MDOT rest area. Mr. Bowman said the State planned to abandon the rest area when the Beck Road interchange was complete. He was in negotiations with the State to purchase the property if the project went forward and would be included in the assemblage of property. Mayor Clark asked if the Expo Center moved to a new site what were the plans for the present facility? Mr. Bowman stated there were no plans because they were just starting the step by step process that would hopefully end in the relocation but assured Council that question would be included in the step by step process should they move. It might revert to the Industrial/Office type zoning and assured Council it would not go vacant. Once a re-use was determined, the landlord had the option to buy out the lease if they did not like the intended re-use. The current property would be restricted from being used as an exhibition center in the event that they relocate to a new site. Re-use would be a subject that the landlord would deal with.
Paul Sherbeck, asked with regard to the rest area, how would Mr. Bowman take possession of this area, what type of financing would he use and would he get a government low interest loan, mega grant or would he pay the going rate per square foot? What other government programs would he ask for in this district because whether the money came from Novi or Lansing it was all our money?
The Public Hearing was closed at 10:32 p.m.
Center Application) - Removed from the agenda by Mr. Fisher, City Attorney
1. CITY MANAGER - NONE
2. DEPARTMENT REPORTS - NONE
3. ATTORNEY - NONE
Asa Smith, spoke regarding the public hearings and urged Council to move forward expeditiously to start the Phase I program to establish the Industrial Development District. The high priority issue should be to talk about bringing the Expo Center to where it needed to be. He felt it was an outstanding project worthy of our City. He also spoke about the approval of the Tentative Preliminary Plat for North Haven Woods Subdivision. He felt there were major concerns about storm water runoff and how it would be handled, what would happen in the lowlands, etc. People in the area were concerned about the roads, water, and sewer that would be brought down to that facility. He thought it would be best to get some assistance from the developers to bring storm water control to the project.
Jim Korte, Shawood Lake, regarding Matters for Council Action #3, felt this would devastate the old area and suggested Council have the developers start over. He asked Council to move #8 forward as soon as possible and asked Council to pass the removal of the Stop Sign on East Lake Second Reading on the Consent Agenda.
Sarah Gray, 133 Maudlin, brought some items up at the Planning Commission regarding North Haven Woods Subdivision. This included on-site detention-retention and in this particular proposal, the storm water would have a detention basis routed to the south and she was concerned about over land flow to the lake. It was not a regional detention basin and Council had to demand that they tell them how they would do this without impacting the neighbors. She also addressed final plat for Bristol Corners and said it was really looking great but she could not figure out where the proposed bike safety path was supposed to go. Mr. Serlin agreed to move the bike path to whatever side of the street would work for the City. She suggested taking that one aspect out since the bike safety path would not be on both sides. This is a quality development at Bristol Corners and they have been good neighbors.
Andrew Mutch, spoke about item #8 on the agenda and knew the deadline was December 12, 2000 and felt the City should be pursuing any grant money any time it was available. He encouraged Council to pursue State and Federal level grants. Another was the Natural Resources Trust Fund, which had an April 2001 deadline. The other issue was the 10 Mile Road improvements and he wondered if a 4-lane residential boulevard cross section was explored. He said in the last four years the City has had about $34 million in road bond improvements and most of those funds had been spent in the north and west ends of the City. He felt it was not right to walk away from 10 Mile Road and felt a local step should be taken to not forget this road and to make the residents safe in that area.
Caren Collins, SWOCC, provided a video regarding changes to the cable franchise ordinance.
The ordinance would be applicable to any cable provider wishing to enter Farmington, Farmington Hills and Novi. The length of the contract would be 15 years and would not preclude other cable operators from providing service in our communities.
John Foley, 24930 Delmont Dr., stated Island Lake was in their second phase of building and was currently running sewer and water down Wixom Road. They have 28 wells pumping from a depth of 45 feet and his well was at 37 feet and he was concerned about who would pay if the local wells went dry.
Mr. Nowicki noted Cindy Uglow had brought this to his attention last week. Some of his staff and JCK met with some of the property owners and Ms. Uglow was scheduling a residents meeting for December 13, 2000. No one was experiencing a water shortage. Some of the residents do have shallow wells and an ordinance did address this and all residents would be brought together for an update. Mr. Nowicki said there would be letters going out regarding the meeting.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Member Bononi removed Item E.
CM-00-12-395 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Items A through D and Item F.
Roll call vote on CM-00-12-395 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer
A. Approve Minutes of:
B. Adoption of Ordinance No. 2000-81.19, an ordinance to delete the traffic stop sign order
set forth in Section 33.774 of the Novi Code of Ordinances, East Lake Drive at New
Court 2nd Reading
C. Adoption of Resolution in support of Wixom Bike Path Construction
D. Approval of revising start time for Council Interviews meeting to 6:30 p.m. on
December 11, 2000
F. Approval of claims and accounts: Warrant No. 586
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I
1. Approval of Request to approve Ordinance No. 2000-101.06 establishing a procedure
for the franchising of cable television systems, setting forth rules and regulations
governing the operation of such systems - 2nd Reading and Adoption.
CM-00-12-396 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Kramer; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the 2nd Reading and Adoption of Ordinance No. 2000-101.06 establishing a procedure for the franchising of cable television
systems, setting forth rules and regulations governing the operation
of such systems.
Roll call vote on CM-00-12-396 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche,
2. Request to approve Ordinance No. 2000-101.07 granting a franchise for use of city
rights-of-way for the operations of a cable television system to Time Warner - 2nd
Reading and Adoption.
CM-00-12-397 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Kramer; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve the 2nd Reading and adoption of Ordinance No. 2000.101.07 granting a franchise for use of city rights-of-way for the operations of a cable television system to Time Warner.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo would not support this because of the P.E.G. support of 1% that might pass through to subscribers and because the 40% of the 5% franchise fees that go to S.W.O.C.C. should go to the City. Also, she would not support a 15-year contract with no firm commitment for cable modem service in the contract.
Member Bononi did not believe that the length of the contract motivated S.W.O.C.C. or the cities that are involved to encourage competition. She did not think the franchise terms being wide open would benefit the citizens and the fact that we are getting essentially the same service as before was discouraging. She suggested employing a professional negotiator the next time Council negotiated the contract. She would not support this as it gained nothing for the citizens.
Member Kramer said this was a non-exclusive contract and still open to competition.
Roll call vote on CM-00-12-397 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi
Permit Approval for North Haven Woods Subdivision SP 00-43, located in Section 3,
southeast of West Road and south of Pontiac Trail, 18.73-acre site zoned Single-
Family Residential (R-4)
Claudio Rossi, Mirage Development, was present to ask for approval of woodlands and wetland permits and Tentative Preliminary Plat approval for the proposed North Haven Subdivision.
Mr. Rossi presented Council with a brief history of how the design of the plan was developed. There are two roads that run through the property, which are North Haven and Ludlow and they had limited the flexibility of the design. They are being improved for the subdivision and for the existing residents. Mirage Development worked hand in hand for over a year with City consultants and developed a feasible plan acceptable to all. They addressed the concerns of Ms. Lemkeís office and preserved the high quality woodlands at the northeast corner of the property as well as around Lot #44. The remaining woodlands, per Ms. Lemke, were poor quality and were better suited for replacement trees, which are shown on the proposed plat. There would be approximately 250 trees replanted and another 400 trees would go into the Novi Tree Fund.
The wetlands were addressed per the City consultants. They run along the entire eastern border of the subdivision and Wetlands 1 and 2 had been preserved. Wetlands 3 and 4 around Lot #35 and Lagoon Dr. were deemed non-essential and were proposed to be mitigated in an area behind Lot #20, which then became contiguous to Wetland #2.
Although the property was zoned R-4, which provided for 80 foot wide lots they chose not to maximize density but to offer lot sizes that range from 80 to 95 foot wide. Mirage Development had obtained all of the recommended approvals from the Cityís consultants and had equitably met design and ordinance criteria.
There had been no opposition from the surrounding residents. The earlier concern regarding storm water drainage was being handled by J.C.K. through engineering.
They felt the plan was the best possible plan for the site.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked Mr. Potter of JCK if the ordinance required on site detention?
Mr. Potter said it did except where there was a regional storm water basin, which in this case was Walled Lake. Also, there was conveyance to Walled Lake. Mr. Potter said during the next phase Mirage Development had been asked to show what the current condition of Walled Lake was as the water currently flowed. It flowed at an agricultural rate and it was incumbent upon them to show they were not causing a harmful interference in that respect and if they were they would be required to provide on site detention.
At this stage in the process the plans did show engineering feasibility in that there was a 48-inch drain they would be discharging into Walled Lake. At this time, they were only required to show how they were getting the water to Walled Lake and the next phase would show the more detailed calculations.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked, in terms of unrestricted flow, they would only go up to a 10 year storm and asked that he describe the 100 year overland flow route he was looking for?
Mr. Potter said they looked at existing conditions and the way the water flowed down hill and what that path was now and based on their grading plan then how would that change. If there was a problem they would have to address it. She asked who would determine if there was a problem? Mr. Potter said they would be looking at their detailed calculations in the next phase.
She said if we know that the property in the developed areas where there are homes was already bearing the brunt of the undeveloped flows coming off that property doesnít that indicate they would not be able to bear the burden of the developed property unrestricted through that area?
Mr. Potter said the ordinance required them to show feasibility that the water could get to Walled Lake and it could. How it got there was the next step in the process. Council tonight might decide otherwise but that was how the ordinance process operated in the City of Novi.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo was not comfortable with allowing them to proceed without having that information available. She did not consider any lake or wetland a detention basin. She would not support this.
CM-00-12-398 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche;
To deny Tentative Preliminary Plat, Appeal of the Woodland Permit
and Wetland Permit until the issues were adequately addressed.
Member Kramer asked Mr. Fisher, City Attorney, what got fixed at the Tentative Preliminary Plat state? Mr. Fisher said the lot layout and road layout. Member Kramer said if the Tentative Preliminary Plat was passed were they were locked in. Mr. Fisher said yes. Member Kramer was also uncomfortable with this as well because it was not clear their solution would work with the road and lot layout they have.
Member DeRoche liked the idea of a new subdivision. However, he was concerned about the variances they were asking for and felt they were taking the southeasterly border and thinning it down and he was not sure it would not have a detrimental impact on the surrounding areas.
Member Bononi was dissatisfied with the lack of attention to water quality rather than just looking at quantity. She directed Councils attention to Lots 18-24. The wetland setback was not shown for Lot 18 or Lots 23-24. Also, Lot 21 resulted in a 45 foot depth and she felt that the number of lots in the area could be cut down to accommodate for the fact that they were giving the people who would live there an untenable situation with regard to their backyards.
Mayor Clark shared the same concerns regarding water problems and water table. Water runs downhill and it doesnít take a 10-year rain to cause damage from runoff. He was not comfortable approving this in the form it was in and he could not support it.
Mr. Rossi responded with regard to storm water, it was being designed to have a storm water sedimentation quality basin with a shared water quality basin. It would empty into the 48-inch line and then into the lake.
Bryan Amann, attorney for the petitioner, noted water quality and discharge had been noted as very important to Council. He requested that this matter be postponed rather than denied so they could bring back a more detailed engineering study particularly on the issue of lots.
Member Csordas wondered why this got by the developer and wouldnít they have been advised about storm water retention?
Mr. Helwig stated this was convoluted and no one involved from the consultant, applicant, staff, and Council was singing off the same page. Itís unfair to the applicant and the community to have gone this far with surprises coming up. He felt this process was convoluted and there was a lot of work to do and they were not doing a proper service to anyone with this discussion. Mr. Helwig encouraged the applicant and our resources to communicate as much as possible in advance so there was an understanding of what the communityís expectations were and their expectations were going higher not lower. Member Csordas noted that Mr. Arroyo had developed a very good book that would address these problems.
Member Kramer would be in favor of a process that would send this back to the Planning Commission and was not in favor of tabling unless someone explained the process.
Mr. Bryan Amann, stated there was no basis for denial and he would like to deal with it with Council. Member Kramer suggested it be sent back to the Planning Commission and asked if this had to be denied to send it back?
Mr. Fisher said it could be remanded back for further consideration but there was a clock running and the 90 days would be up sometime this month. If the time expired it would have to be approved or denied. Mr. Fisher said it could be postponed with concurrence of the property owner and as far as the time limit stay here and work it out.
Mayor Clark asked if it were postponed with concurrence to keep it at the Council level could they come back to Council when they felt it was at the level Council could make an informed decision?
Mr. Amman thought there were some policy issues that would be better addressed at the Council level and they would concur to keeping it here and coming back to Council but would not concur to take it back to the Planning Commission.
CM-00-12-399 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; MOTION CARRIED:
To postpone the decision on this matter.
Member DeRoche would vote against the motion unless the site plan was redone and the Planning Commission were the people who look at the site plans.
Rick Hirsh, engineer, wanted to make a minor correction to the terminology they were using. He noted it was not a site plan it was a plat and operated under the Subdivision Control Ordinance. He noted they were very closely following the letter and intent of the ordinance. He said they would agree to the additional information requested but to agree to a revision to the plat . . .
Member DeRoche said the proposed plat did concur with some of the ordinances but did not concur with others. Mr. Hirsh said that remained to be seen and Member DeRoche asked seen by who? Mr. Hirsh noted the ordinance said that detention had to be provided unless there was a regional detention facility that was available to the site. Member DeRoche asked if they were in compliance with the Wetland/Woodland Ordinances? Mr. Hirsh said they were following them. Member DeRoche asked if Council could vote without giving them a variance from the Woodlands/Wetland Ordinance waivers tonight for this plat? Mr. Hirsh responded he didnít know why Council would do that without approving the preliminary plat.
Mayor Clark felt they were straying and said the motion to postpone was all that was before Council.
Mr. Hirsh responded to the City Managerís point it would be helpful to communicate Councilís concerns with the consultants because they had tried to comply, and based on the recommendations from the consultants, thought they had.
Member DeRoche said as much as he would like to be involved in negotiating this process we are supposed to be a volunteer over sight board and so he wanted it to be done by other people.
Mayor Clark understood and thought the administration had a sense of where Council was. All remarks would be a part of the public record so the consultants could review it. By postponing this it would allow the petitioner to come back within a reasonable time frame and they indicated they were willing to do that.
Member Csordas asked if the two new Planning Commissioners were ever brought in front of our general counsel to have a legal session and a briefing on how the Planning Commission worked because there were positive recommendations from every consultant yet they said no. He wondered if they understood there could be legal ramifications for that.
Mayor Clark said that was their function as Planning Commissioners and we did not always have to agree with each other. He did not think it was one of the two new commissioners that started the path that led here. Member Csordas commented if they had not had a briefing he would like to make sure they have one.
Mr. Rossi asked for a list from Council on exactly what they were looking for beside the storm water engineering detention basin. What other things do we need because in dealing with the consultants they thought they had everything covered and obviously they didnít.
Mayor Clark suggested requesting an excerpt of the minutes that contained all these remarks and after talking with their consultants they might want to have further discussions with the administration. He asked them to contact the City when they were ready to proceed.
Roll call vote on CM-00-11-399 Yeas: Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche, Clark, Lorenzo,
Section 4, on West Park Drive and South Lake Drive.
CM-00-12-400 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Final Plat for Bristol Corner Subdivision No. 3, SP 95-17,
Located in Section 4, on West Park Drive and South Lake Drive.
Member Kramer could not find an indication of a sidewalk and suggested a stipulation in the approval that the sidewalk match up.
Arnold Serlin, Novi Group, said the sidewalk Ms. Gray was speaking of was in a future subdivision on the east side of West Road on either side of South Lake Road. He had agreed to put it o whatever side of South Lake Drive the Planning Commission or the Council preferred. The approval tonight was not involved with the sidewalk Ms. Gray was speaking of.
Roll call vote on CM-00-12-400 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer Clark, Lorenzo,
Corners W #3.
CM-00-12- Moved by Lorenzo
To deny request for variance from Woodland Protection
Ordinance Bristol Corners West #3.
MOTION DIED FOR LACK OF SECOND
Arnold Serlin commented he was before Council in January 2000 asking for relief for the screening of West Park Drive from Bristol Corners south subdivision, which was approved tonight. At the time, it was to eliminate the bike path to increase the size of the berm to grant greater visual and audio protection from West Park Drive, which had changed dramatically in character since the plans were approved several years ago. The advent of the Taft Road extension, the bridge, the straight through path from West Road to Twelve Mile Road and the traffic signal at South Lake and West Park Drives had significantly changed the character of the road. They were looking to methodologies for better screening than they would achieve otherwise by putting in smaller trees.
Mr. Serlin wanted to plant a series of large evergreens as a screening element between the homes and West Park Drive. There was a berm built to its maximum height and the ordinance called for landscaping which they would provide. However, the trees they wanted to use are evergreens but the ordinance required limiting the number of evergreens to 15% of the total replacement trees on site, which was roughly 150 trees when completed. It also gave a half of a credit for an evergreen as a replacement tree. He understood Ms. Lemkeís letter and the purpose and intent of the ordinance. So he was before Council because they needed more effective trees from West Park Drive because it had changed character. They wanted to plant evergreens close together to provide a significant screen at significant cost. Smaller trees or the landscaping the city required would not give the screening needed.
Member DeRoche noted traffic had changed greatly and increased in volume and speeds. He thought what they wanted to do would be a good thing for the residents and he knew they had played fair with Council and he appreciated that. He asked Ms. Lemke if it was a good trade off with what he was proposing to do? Ms. Lemke said from an economic perspective the trade off for evergreens would be comparable. Member DeRoche did not think the developer would do anything to jeopardize a successful subdivision.
CM-00-12-401 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve the variance subject to Ms. Lemkeís recommendations and being afforded the flexibility to administer the deviation of the number of evergreens permitted.
Member Kramer questioned the intent of Member DeRocheís motion. Member DeRoche explained the motion meant it was subject to consultant recommendations. Member Kramer said he could support that.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo thought Mr. Serlinís intentions were good and it was wonderful that he wanted to beef up the screening/ landscaping but it was not the purpose of the ordinance, which was a Woodland Ordinance. Tree replacement was a last resort to replace the woodland loss; therefore, she would not support the motion.
Mayor Clark noted Council was dealing with a practical and difficult situation and he believed there were certain areas of the City where this had to be done and this situation was one of them. He said 18-foot evergreens were costly and would provide the screening required so because of the unique circumstances of this area he would support the motion.
Member Bononi said it was a classic hardship and she would support it.
Roll call vote on CM-00-12-401 Yeas: DeRoche, Kramer, Clark, Bononi, Csordas
Mr. Helwig met with representatives of Tower Automotive on December 5th and was pleasantly surprised to find they were not requesting tax abatement and at the timetable this was on. They had been contacted by their landlord, Talon Development, with a mysterious request to look at eliminating about 4 acres of the woodlands/wetlands to the west of the building. We said no to that. Now, all of a sudden, Tower Automotive was faced with a timetable to go before the States MEGA Board on December 12th and the Tower Automotive Board on December 13th. We need to be creative very fast. Farmington Hills had already offered 3 years of tax abatement valued at $193,000 to lure this company to a site in their community. Mr. Helwig said at stake was 400 jobs and the southern portion of our Office/Service Technology corridor along Haggerty Road. This for all intents and purposes was not only a tech center but also their North American headquarters for engineering and design. What was at stake was the relocation of approximately 100 jobs from Milwaukee to either Novi or Farmington Hills. The State was involved because there was an outside chance they could remain in Wisconsin but the company had already stated a preference for the consolidation and had been very forthright in stating a preference to remain and grow in Novi. This could be done at their present site with their existing building configuration and in the future they could fill in the interior and also suggested was a second story. Mr. Helwig said they had come up with an incentive package, which was a high-speed computer connector that would not exceed $150,000. He was requesting a letter of support for the business retention and expansion proposal. A draft letter had been prepared.
Member DeRoche wanted to work with the MEGA Board and he preferred a local participation over tax abatement and he thought it was helpful. However, he saw this as difficult and a big stretch. We have Talon, a good company, leasing to Tower Automotive. It was not a situation where they were making a capital investment or commitment to this community. He asked how long the lease was for?
Richard Gall, resident of Novi and representing Tower Automotive, informed Member DeRoche the lease was for five more years with Talon. Member DeRoche asked if there was anything to tie them to the current facility longer than that? Mr. Gall responded the MEGA was a ten-year program and his understanding was that it was site specific so it would be a ten-year obligation. Member DeRoche felt they were at a negotiating disadvantage with the Talon lease because of their ten-year obligation to MEGA. He asked which was more important to them the MEGA grants, tax abatement or the Cityís local participation? Mr. Gall said clearly the MEGA was the bulk of what was driving their decision to do the project. The local participation was a statutory requirement. Member DeRoche said the amount was not a statutory requirement it was just that the City participates. He knew Mr. Gall would understand and respect Council would want to do the least possible because this was not driving the decision to stay in Novi or commit to a 10-year presence here. It was working with the MEGA Board that was driving their decision to stay in Novi. Mr. Gall said he was correct but they had talked with Farmington Hills and they had been very willing to work with them. As of the early part of this year they were located in Farmington Hills and relocated into Novi in February. It would be difficult to stay in Novi without support from this program. Member DeRoche said it was a different balance that they were striking between the two communities. Mr. Gall said that the MEDC would require a certain level of commitment.
Greg Burkhardt had worked at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and had participated in the leadership of the MEDC and made the types of decisions Council was making today. The big link between the local contribution and the MEGA was not necessarily the amount but how much of the commitment from the local communities would be there to protect the State investment and also the investment by the company. They are making a commitment to bring immense technology here to Michigan and that entire infrastructure required a huge amount of bandwidth. It would be hard to imagine how much data would be pumped through this building. They are the only company in the auto industry that did the noise, vibration, hardness and simulation testing without doing prototyping. They are currently using 80% of their bandwidth going into that corridor and that was the support they were asking for from the City to work with the company to increase that bandwidth. Member DeRoche did not have the feeling that this had been fully negotiated.
Mr. Helwig thought this was a very reasonable request but he did tell them that $150,000 was a lot of money for this City. This in its truest sense was business retention and expansion. He noted he had been involved with telecommunications incentive in two other communities. It was a very common incentive to avoid some of the higher stakes incentives by tax abatement. It was site specific but also benefited in helping a whole corridor become high tech. He didnít know what the cost would be. It could be well under $100,000 in the final analysis, and he did not feel this was one we wanted to lose.
Member DeRoche said the leap was up to $150,000 budgeted for next year. If we were saying we would pay 20% up to $100,000 for anybody in this corridor in the next fiscal year who proposes bringing in T1 lines it would make a lot of sense because it was infrastructure. We would have a public interest in doing that but this does not do that.
Mr. Helwig said outside of retail, this had to be the largest stakeholder in the community in terms of jobs and that was why it had been brought to Council. He thought it was an important policy decision and they felt this company fit the profile of what we are projecting to become. In the long term this could be viewed as a very small amount in the scheme of what this presence could become for our community.
Mr. Gall said seven years ago Tower Automotive was a $60 million company and today they are a $2.3 billion company. The growth occurred mainly through acquisitions and their motto was "Going Forward" and to continue to grow through acquisitions. For all intents and purposes this is their world headquarters in terms of the intellectual activities that take place. There are currently 400 jobs at this facility and they would be adding 100 more high tech jobs that pay well and require advanced degrees and education. The president of the company would also soon be living in Novi. They would also be relocating about 60 people from Milwaukee. These jobs range anywhere from $50,000 to $115,000.
Mr. Burkhardt said the value they were seeking on behalf of Tower Automotive was the equivalent of what a tax abatement would have been in Farmington Hills. They did speak with Mr. Helwig and Mr. Pearson and they did express the conservative nature of Novi and the state of its finances. However, with this project there is a need in terms of the infrastructure, bandwidth and capacity to continue and to support those additional 100 jobs. They work with ABB out of Toronto, Sweden and Switzerland and get robots at their tech center that are 6 to 7 years in advance of anything that was released in industry. These are on consignment to work and would be the type of jobs people would be working on. They work on fuel efficiency, simulated crash testing, light material development and air quality. The data and the capacity to handle the data are absolutely critical.
Member Csordas asked what their personal property and capital equipment taxes were to the City annually?
Dan Medicucci said the tax determined when it was presented to Farmington Hills was in excess of $50,000 per year based on the capital equipment that would come along with these jobs. He did not know what the current total tax bill annually was.
Member Csordas asked if, as the infrastructure came to the building, could it be interfaced into another building along that area or was it just specific to that site?
Mr. Helwig said it could go down the corridor and service the whole series of office buildings in that corridor. It had not yet been configured because of the time frame. Member Csordas said it potentially had the capability of starting the high tech infrastructure for the City and the entire OST area. He found it interesting that a fairly new resident to the City that generated tax revenue appeared to want to stay in the City, and we are debating why we want to do that. However, if they left he wanted to know about the Cityís financial investment? Mr. Helwig said it could be structured anyway they wanted. It could be made totally refundable if they left any time during the MEGA commitment or any part thereof.
CM-00-12-402 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Kramer; MOTION FAILED:
To approve a letter of support for Business Retention and
Expansion Ė Tower Automotive
Member Kramer said as a result of this relocation and enlargement being proposed, the City of Novi would receive$50,000 a year in taxes and he asked that Council receive a hard copy of this updated with Novi millage rates. Mr. Gall said that could be done.
Member Bononi noted she did not appreciate the timing emergency and it was not hers. She asked Council where the money would come from and this deal was so attractive many others would come and she asked where the budget line item was for this. She asked if they would just react to these, do we have a plan, do our citizens support it and how much of our resources could we expect to devote. She said $2.5 billion as far as she was concerned owned in Novi and did not rent. She was not looking for an escape clause for them or for the City but was looking for commitment to the community and even if they owned here she would have reservations. She asked where the amounts were coming from? What else could Council have offered? She would love for them to stay but on the basis of their being renters she was not convinced.
Mr. Gall just received the increase in property taxes and in the first year Novi could expect to receive from the property installed $89,000 to $90,000 the first year, $75,000 the second and $62,000 the third year.
Mayor Clark asked if the $193,000 abatement from Farmington Hills was for three years? Mr. Medicucci said it was for the three-year period.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if that was personal property tax? Mr. Medicucci said yes. She did not think the City was in the position to pay for them to be here and so she could not support this.
Mayor Clark said the property tax would total $226,000 and if the proposed high speed line was put in at a cost not to exceed $150,000 there would still be a net gain for the City of $76,000. If there was a hold harmless payback provision that during the term life as designated by the State of Michigan they pulled out, they were guaranteed to get that money back. This could be done with a letter of credit. No community can live its life on "what ifs"; you either take advantage of opportunities or you lose them. We saw that with Textron. This City would now be receiving an additional $700,000 a year toward its obligations and spreading the risk. Itís gone. This is a company that has global operations. We have to say what we mean and mean what we say. If we keep passing opportunity up eventually the word would be out there that we say one thing but mean another. This company has a proven track record worldwide. This is not tax abatement and if it is structured properly with financial guarantees with a letter of credit, there is no way we can lose. We have to be creative and competitive because we are not the only game in town. We must plan prudently for the future.
Member DeRoche said he had an obligation to the employees of Active Tool, which is a subsidiary of Tower Automotive and asked Mr. Fisher if there was a conflict of interest? Mr. Fisher said it was not because approval or denial would have no bearing on Member DeRocheís situation.
Mr. Fisher said because the payment would be made in the next budget year and the budget had not been approved, technically, the action would be subject to and in accordance with appropriate budget procedures. Mr. Fisher said this was an appropriation of money so it would need five votes to pass.
Mr. Helwig said they are seeking approval of a letter of support. They are not asking for an appropriation tonight.
Roll call vote on CM-00-12-402 Yeas: Kramer, Clark, Csordas
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi, DeRoche
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė PART II
for Preliminary Engineering associated with Grand River Avenue Improvements City
Limits to Beck Road.
CM-00-12-403 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve cost participation Agreement with Road Commission for
Oakland County for Preliminary Engineering associated with Grand
River Avenue Improvements City Limits to Beck Road.
Roll call vote on CM-00-12-403 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche,
Project and authorization to submit a Michigan Transportation Enhancement Program
CM-00-12-404 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To adopt a Resolution of Support for the Old Novi Road Non-motorized
Pathway Project and authorization to submit a Michigan
Transportation Enhancement Program Grant Application.
Roll call vote on CM-00-12-404 Yeas: Lorenzo, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche,
and authorization to submit a grant application. (Miron Property)
CM-00-12-405 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To adopt a Resolution of Support for the Federal Hazard Mitigation
Grant Program and authorization to submit a grant application.
Member Bononi asked why downstream capacity was not considered at the time of approval?
Mr. Nowicki said the initial plans submitted by the developer did not contain the downstream conveyance system as far towards Walled Lake as we wanted to see at that time. Consequently, it was not on the plan so it was not reviewed through the planning process.
Member Bononi said then we donít take it on ourselves in a professional way to see that we are satisfied in that regard. Mr. Nowicki thought we should but in this particular case the downstream conveyance was not shown by the developer as submitted through the planning process and it was not caught. Member Bononi asked that something be done with the review standards so this didnít happen again. Mr. Nowicki said it was in the standards.
Roll call vote on CM-00-12-405 Yeas: Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark,
10. Adoption of Resolution Vacating Erma Street (west) Walkway Easement.
Member Csordas asked what amount we would charge the property owners for this property because he felt it was important to remain consistent. He asked if the City was open for legal action because we are demonstrating absolute inconsistency.
Mr. Fisher said in a very broad sense that would be true and he thought it would have to be analyzed in some detail to see if they were distinguishable. The eastern half of the road had already been vacated so what was left was the western portion.
Mr. Nowicki said the western part was vacated but easements were maintained for the walkway and utilities. Mr. Fisher asked if the road had already been vacated? Mr. Nowicki said yes, the east part of the road was total except for maintaining utilities.
Member Csordas asked what the value of the easement was? Mr. Nowicki said it would be very small it was 8 feet wide by 50 feet and it was not usable. Member Csordas said it was his opinion that we are inconsistent in our policy regarding vacating property in this City all of a sudden. This only happened within the last couple of weeks and we are going to run into this issue and his concern was risk management and exposure to the City in the future because of our inconsistent policy in vacating property. It was never an issue in this City until now and it was a major concern to him.
Member Csordas supported the walkway on Novi Road and thought we were exposing people in that area to some real risk and danger by forcing them to walk on Novi Road. He didnít think it was appropriate to vacate without having an alternate route for the health, safety and welfare of the people of the area.
CM-00-12-406 Moved by Csordas, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To postpone the vacation until the sidewalk issue is resolved.
Mayor Clark felt there were things in the works relative to that. Member Csordas said that was true and they were moving in the right direction but until the sidewalk finances were determined it was a bad issue.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if there was a walkway on private property as Mr. Korte said? Do we still have an easement? If we have an easement then it is not private property.
Mr. Fisher said there was no question the City has an easement. The underlying property is private because it had been vacated. There is still an easement but the actual ownership of the property had been transferred to the adjoining property.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said if there was an easement then it was not private property.
Mr. Fisher responded it is a public easement on private property. The legal ramifications are that the private property owners are subjected to potential liability.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo commented then Mr. Korte was right and we are opening him up to liability by having it there. Mr. Fisher said yes. She agreed with Member Csordas that if the property was being vacated and donated then we should get money for it and it is a policy that should be made across the board. Mr. Fisher replied he was researching this situation.
Mayor Clark said the eastern portion had been vacated and no one was charged for that. As Mr. Korte said if the City thought they were going to get it back for free now itís not going to happen. Mr. Korte had made himself clear and correctly so.
Member DeRoche said there are valid issues that need to be solved. He said West Lake Road was an easement on his plotted property and the liability would certainly be significantly greater with a road than with a walkway. He would support the motion to postpone.
Member Kramer believed the postponement should be that the sidewalk should be in before it is decided. The Old Novi Road sidewalk needed to be in place before moving for vacation. He asked Mr. Fisher who had the primary responsibility of public use in an easement. Mr. Fisher said there was no question the City was responsible. The likely outcome would be that Mr. Korte and the adjoining property owner could be sued but they would counter sue the City and the City would ultimately have the liability. They would have to pay attorneyís fees.
Roll call vote on CM-00-12-406 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo,
Haggerty Roads, and a request to the Oakland County Federal Aid Funding
Committee for funding reallocation of remaining Category C Grant funds to other
Novi qualifying projects.
CM-00-12-407 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To adopt Resolution of Withdrawal of the Ten Mile Improvements
Project-Novi to Haggerty Roads, and a request to the Oakland County
Federal Aid Funding Committee for funding reallocation of remaining
Category C Grant funds to other Novi qualifying projects.
Member Kramer believed this was appropriate because of the Beck Road Interchanges and more importantly the road bond just passed and he would support it.
Roll call vote on CM-00-12-407 Yeas: DeRoche, Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Csordas
Code of Ordinances to regulate the operation of amplified sound systems within
motor vehicles Ė 2nd Reading and Adoption.
CM-00-12-408 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve of Ordinance No. 2000-23.18-An ordinance to add Section
22-99 to the Novi Code of Ordinances to regulate the operation of
amplified sound systems within motor vehicles Ė 2nd Reading and
Roll call vote on CM-00-12-408 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche
Member Kramer felt 50 feet was too constrictive and there should be a DV level instead.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - NONE
CONSENT AGENDA - Removals
Building cases Ė Removed by Member Bononi
Member Bononi asked what his qualifications were.
Mr. Pearson thought he was a building official in another community and he had served on boards in the past. She asked if he was a resident. Mr. Pearson didnít know. She asked about risk liability for his decisions. Mr. Pearson said that would be covered under the Cityís insurance unless he did something intentionally wrong or it was gross negligence. She asked what the avenues of appeal were to his decisions? Mr. Pearson said an appeal could be made to a full building commission.
CM-00-12-409 Moved by Bononi, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the appointment of David Bywra as the Cityís Hearing
Officer on dangerous building cases.
Roll call vote on CM-00-12-409 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Status of Fire Station #4
Member Csordas asked Mr. Helwig to generate a report, in January, to update Council on the status of Fire Station #4. Mr. Helwig said he would and thought the design would be ready also.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
There being no further business before the Council, the meeting was adjourned at 1:27 AM.
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by: _____________________
Charlene Mc Lean
Date approved: December 18, 2000