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RESCHEDULED MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI

THURSDAY, JANUARY 18, 2001, AT 7:00 PM

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

Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor ProTem Lorenzo, Council Members Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche – absent/excused, and Kramer

ALSO PRESENT: Victor Cassis

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Mayor Clark noted Claudia Runyan’s 7:30 Interview had been cancelled because of new job responsibilities.

CM-01-01-014 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Kramer; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve the agenda as presented.

Vote on CM-01-01-014 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Csordas, Kramer

Nays: None

Absent: DeRoche

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None

INTERVIEW SCHEDULE

7:00 CAROL BAUER - Library Board

Ms. Bauer has lived in the City for 30 years and has served on the Cable Access Commission, Historic Commission and Fire Needs Assessment Commission over the last 15 years.

  • Successfully worked with several members of the Library Board.
  • Missed community activity and had the ability to reach out to people.
  • Met with Library Board members and had an idea of what they were facing and she supported their expansion.
  • Is a team player
  • If a lone dissenter, she would gather her facts and figures and present them again. If out voted she would support the majority.
  • Physical books are of prime importance in the library and cannot be replaced by the computer.
  • Great advocate of reading and felt the library had done a fantastic job with programs for children.
  • Would use outreach into the community and school system to promote library use.
  • Personal strengths were organizational skills and her ability to reach people. Likes contact with people.
  • It would be their job to sell the citizens on a library bond.

 

  • The Internet and computers have changed the mission of the library over the last 30 years. One of the differences was how to deal with censorship for children who go on line.

7:15 ELISE MC GOUGH – Storm Water Mgmt & Watershed Stewardship Committee

Ms. McGough has been a resident for four years and prior to Novi lived 30 years in West Bloomfield. She has a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering and therefore this committee interested her. She worked for an architectural design firm doing structural design and then at General Motors doing construction scheduling. Worked for a short time for Civil Engineers who cleaned up the Detroit Wastewater Treatment System. At Barton/Malow Company she worked on wastewater treatment plants and then went into consulting on her own doing construction scheduling. She was now retired and felt she would find enjoyment and fulfillment in this community.

  • Had not been in Novi long enough to know what the Storm Water Management priorities should be. The drainage in front of her home was bad and she lived next to wetlands and had standing water in her yard.
  • She is a life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and has access to all sorts of information regarding progressive techniques with regard to storm water management.
  • She is also a member of the Detroit Chapter of Associated General Contractors and is active on committee there. She is a quick study and willing to learn and although she might be lacking now she felt she had the sources to answer any questions she needed answered.
  • She was with the Girl Scout Council about ten years.
  • She is retired and would enjoy community involvement

7:30 Claudia Runyan-Library Board - Cancelled

7:45 WARREN JOCZ - Stormwater Mgmt & Watershed Stewardship Committee

Mr. Jocz has been a resident for 12 years and is an engineer with a Bachelors and Masters Degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan. He has been employed by the Ford Motor Company for 13 years in engineering activities. He coaches soccer, participated in the Tim Pope Play Structure Committee, past president of the Willowbrook Homeowners Association and was a member of the Ten Mile Task Force. He and his wife have participated in various activities in their church, school and community. They chose projects that they have personal passion behind, combines their expertise and doesn’t dilute from the rest of their obligations to family and other obligations. He has passion and personal interest in the Storm Water Committee. He felt his engineering background would help problem solve and look at different ways of treating things. He felt it was a natural fit for him.

  • He has been involved with the Bishop Creek issue because it runs through his property. He applied for a grant to do some creek retention projects, did some research and worked with a company that does this for business. They were proposing to do a boulder, subtle retention wall next to the creek, which would have been a 600 foot project. At that time, the

 

DEQ was implementing a new technique called bioengineering and suggested they investigate other techniques. The DEQ, when asked, did not have a lot of history regarding bioengineering. Fortunately, the City of Dearborn had been working on it and had created a test bed in the Rouge River and developed an area where they have looked at various types of bioengineering techniques. Bioengineering is basically using natural materials, willows and plantings, which would use nature to stabilize the soil. The trick was to stabilize the banks in the short duration time when the plantings have not taken full hold. They often use coconut rolls, which are biodegradable, for short term stabilization and they last five or six years and by that time the plantings have taken hold. He had been working with the City of Dearborn for 2 ˝ years and found the project and their efforts was exactly what needed to be done in Novi. The implementation of this technique does not damage the environment. The City of Dearborn had given him the engineering design guidelines and blueprints, which he had forwarded to the DEQ.

  • He thought there was probably a very good baseline approach to storm water management. However, he did see some irregularities such as when a developer has to put in an onsite detention pond, which would not be functional, until the last home was built. Unfortunately, that process is a two to three year duration. During that time the roads are not paved to gutter height so what used to be land that absorbed the water was now runoff. The runoff would not access the storm water detention basin because it was not functioning yet, as the drains would not be at the level the road is. So during that three-year period we have created a condition that caused erosion that we could not recover from. In the long term the retention basin works great but in the short term it was not implemented which left damage that we cannot recover.
  • He felt he had the time to balance this committee with his other obligations.
  • He is persistent and knows what he doesn’t know and would not be ashamed to ask people for their input. He has a personal interest in some of these things but would be able to separate the other benefits he saw and not just the ones that applied to him. He tries to understand what the best overall compromise is.

8:00 LYNN KOCAN - Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Commission

Ms. Kocan has been a resident for 13 years and worked part time as a financial administrator for a substance abuse prevention family owned organization. She has Bachelors in management from Eastern Michigan University with a minor in accounting. She worked on the 2020 Futuring Committee, is an alternate on the Zoning Board of Appeals but her term expired the end of December. It was her goal to serve as a Planning Commissioner. Her commitments had lessened and she would have time to serve. She attended the annual conference of the Michigan Society of Planning and participated in those sessions that she felt would be most beneficial in her service to the City. These sessions were basic training for ZBA, Planning Commission, a workshop to incorporate what she learned, a meeting on planning ethics and an applicant versus community litigation issue session. The most impressive presentation was Canton Township’s making of Cherry Hill Village. This was a large undertaking by the Council, Planning Commission, consultants and the residents to develop a village around an historic core of buildings. The pride felt by Canton was shared by everyone attending that session and she came away wanting that feeling in Novi and knew it could be done. She had learned from the ZBA and felt that she had brought her knowledge and perspective on ordinance issues such as compatibility issues, berm requirements, noise considerations and paying particular attention to special land uses. She felt there had been several cases before the ZBA that might have been better handled at the Planning

Commission level. As a Planning Commissioner she would work to minimize the number of variances and waivers.

  • She preferred to work on the Planning Commission.
  • One of the most important things was to be forthright and if there was a perceived conflict of interest it was very important to have that come out.
  • She had been opposed to the Children’s World project on Ten Mile even though it met the City ordinances and codes. Her main objection was that the Planning Commission allowed the placement of a dumpster to be within 25 or 30 feet of the property line of residents.
  • She felt if a project met all of the ordinance requirements it had to be approved. Special land use situations allow additional situations and requirements to be satisfied. So, the intent had to be looked at and whether there would be an adverse impact to the residents. If there was a consistent problem then possibly the ordinance needed to be changed.
  • She would work to remedy the situation of too many cases going to the ZBA. The variances coming forward are those things that are not complying with the standards. She would look to see if it was truly a hardship issue or was it a self-created hardship. The strictness of the ordinance had to be looked at and then be flexible within it to see what was being impacted and who was "paying" for that impact. She hoped to base her discussions on the facts and make recommendations and suggestions.
  • She has commitment, compassion and concern for the community.

8:15 JOHN AVDOULOS - Planning Commission

Mr. Avdoulos lived on Nine Mile west of Beck. He was involved in the issues on Napier and Nine Mile with a mobile home park, the Kroger issue at Eight Mile and Beck and a sports facility at the same corner. Meeting the people in the area and finding out their concerns and trying to keep a little bastion of the City rural had inspired him to seek out civic responsibilities. He is a registered architect with the State of Michigan and a member of the American Institute of Architects. He had dealt with residential developments, single homes and large subdivisions, commercial and Institutional development. He had dealt with Planning Commissions and zoning ordinances.

  • He was familiar with the Master Plan.
  • He thought property owners had the right to develop their property within the boundaries established by the ordinance.
  • He felt if a project met the City ordinances and did not create a hardship within the area he would express his reservations. However, if every thing was in order and everyone followed the same rules he could not be opposed to it.
  • He thought it was important to see presentations of projects at Planning Commission meetings.
  • He agreed the presentations serve to get the intent and the commitments of the applicant on the record.
  • He saw no big blunders in planning but did see a lot of potential for growth.
  • He did not have a personal opinion regarding onsite retention versus letting everything discharge downstream because he relied on civil engineers for guidance.

 

 

 

  • He has a wife and two daughters. He is involved in different organizations, his church board and if he did not have the time to commit to this he would not have applied.
  • When questioned about good/bad architecture in the City he said St. James Church on Ten Mile was excellent and he liked the Civic Center. He liked the Better Homes and Gardens home in Autumn Park and thought it was one of the best examples of good solid residential architecture. He felt all the old strip malls needed updating.
  • He always wanted to be involved in a group such as this because it had such a large impact on the present and future.
  • He had applied because of getting involved with some of these groups and with larger projects at work, dealing with other professionals at different cities and seeing the potential to contribute positively peaked his interest.

8:30 TIMOTHY SHROYER - Planning Commission, Housing & Community Dev. Committee and Parks and Recreation

Mr. Shroyer has been a resident since 1997 and he and his wife had 3 teenage boys. He had been with General Motors for 25 years and prior to that had worked for a county and a city. He had been out on building and electrical inspections, served on City Beautification Committees, personnel board of appeals and the Planning Commission for a small City called Centerville. He felt it was time to get involved in this City. He said his undergraduate degree was in recreation administration from Bowling Green State University and the jobs he held with both the County and the City were in the Parks and Recreation fields and he was very familiar with those areas. His Masters Degree was in Personnel Management from Central Michigan University. He said Centerville was very much like Novi except it was about 15 years further down the road than Novi was in terms of size.

  • He would serve the City in positions other than the above.
  • Regarding adjacency issues, he would first consider how it would impact the citizens because they come first and the City needed to come second. After that he would look at the ordinances and the laws. He would never put the City in jeopardy of a lawsuit. Adjacency depended on how it was zoned and if zoned properly and the City bought into it, there would be no problem unless the citizens speak. Then it would be our duty to listen and try to help them.
  • Regarding woodland/wetland situations the State and national laws would have to be looked at along with the ordinances of the City. He was not opposed to altering those when permissible. He was very much a parks and recreation type person but he did not want to stand in the way of development either and would strive to reach a happy medium.
  • He thought the sports complex and City parks were good land uses. He felt the new mall behind West Oaks might be a poor land use because of traffic, exit egress and the interstate.
  • His personal accomplishment during his time as Planning Commissioner was the completion of the renovation of a farm property that the City purchased. It was bought at a good price and received land and water conservation funds to assist in the purchase. It brought the whole community together and fit the City perfectly. The citizens now have a meeting place for weddings, meals, etc.
  • He is familiar with the Master Plan and zoning.

 

 

  • If the zoning was appropriate for a project and the developer met all the ordinance requirements and he did not think it was appropriate he would try to negotiate alternate options. If it would cause a potentially legal issue he would vote for it. He would ask for counsel from the City Attorney. He took credence in the City Planners recommendations because they were the experts. In his former position as Planning Commissioner, the City Planners would give a presentation to the Planning Commission to be sure they understood the project and then the developer would give a presentation shortly there after.
  • He was not opposed to requiring a developer with high quality woodland and wetland on his property to place it in a preservation easement and continue to pay taxes on it. He felt it was a good solution to a potential problem.

8:45 ALAN ROTHENBERG - Historical Commission

Mr. Rothenberg had been on the Historical Commission since 1995. He felt the commission had improved. He has been personally interested in improving the community awareness of the Old Town Hall and it was his idea to have an annual picnic on the grounds to bring awareness to that site. They have sponsored several concerts that Parks and Recreation have hosted and it had brought attention to the Historical Commission.

  • He had not served in the military so he had not been able to give back to his country or community that way, so he felt serving the City, as a volunteer would somehow pay a small part of that debt.
  • He has wanted to live in Novi since he was 17. There is something historical and yet progressive in Novi. Novi, in Latin, means new, VII on the trail to Lansing and these things motivate him as a living historian. On occasion, such as when he was first appointed to the Historical Commission he came dressed in the attire of 1860’s period attire and introduced himself as Mr. Uldridge who was one of the founding fathers of Novi. He wanted to preserve what was paramount about Novi.
  • The Fuerst Farm is now a member of the national register and they have the marker and would decide where it was to be placed. It is a treasure and they need to consider how it should be preserved and if it should be functional like the candidate before him described the Centerville Ohio farm.
  • The bridge spanning the railroad tracks needed to be documented and remembered because it is a very unusual piece of architecture.
  • Today is history also and important events should be remembered such as what happened in Novi in 1999 when we celebrated our 30th year as a City.
  • He thought if the Historical Commission were to take on a task like the Fuerst Farm it would be extremely overwhelming. However, if there were representatives from Council, Beautification Commission, Planning Commission and Historical Commission they could brainstorm and come up with a viable working solution to that farm.

9:00 FRANK BRENNAN - Zoning Board of Appeals

Mr. Brennan has been a resident for 18 years and has a Bachelors Degree in business law. He has been president of Echo Valley Homeowners Association for 10 years. He has been on the ZBA for about nine years. He is a self-evolved consultant fighting oil wells in this community and residential property as well as in other communities in Oakland and Livingston County.

  • He has empathy for the homeowner and the adjoining neighbors and encourages them to try to work things out. There is a lot of empathy for the people on the north end who are trying to rebuild their community with 30-foot lots. Their priority was with residents versus commercial or industrial development.
  • There are attorneys on the ZBA and so as a rule they did not have to request the presence of the City attorney. He commented with special land use or variance conditions that in particular deal with a clean piece of property they have a difficult problem with that. For example, Church Hill Crossing, the development on Ten Mile which was presented as a plan that Council and Planning was supportive of but was asking for 280 variances for every parcel in that development. The variances were denied because there was no hardship, it was overbuilt and the pitch from the developer was that it was good for the community. The ZBA didn’t buy it.
  • The ZBA is a very close knit group, enjoy their time and it is a good mix of history, people and personalities. Their vote is generally 6-0 whether denial or approval. On occasion he felt the communication between planning and Council was lacking. There had been only one joint meeting with Council in nine years.

9:15 DANIEL BUSH - Novi Ice Arena Committee

Mr. Bush applied for this position because he has been involved in hockey and youth sports for about seven years. He knew this facility has had some controversy along the way and he wanted to become involved to make sure the facility was available for the children.

  • He would consider another position if necessary.
  • Novi is one of the nicer arenas he had seen. It is maintained better now than it was a year ago; the locker rooms are well run and the meeting rooms are clean. Suburban has taken a very nice approach to the facility. There were not a lot of amenities missing from the Novi Arena.
  • He had the time to contribute to the community.
  • He felt it was important to have alternate uses such as figure skating and public skate to keep it a viable arena.
  • The facility needed to be fully functional during the down times.

9:30 MARY RICHARDS - Stormwater Mgmt & Watershed Stewardship Committee

Ms. Richards has been a resident for 12 years and had recently retired from a demanding position as a systems engineer. She currently maintains a leadership position in a public service organization. She now had time to become involved in the community.

  • Her youngest child went off to college and she has more time to commit. Being involved early on in public administration she understood the need for volunteers who were interested and willing to work for the community.
  • She considered this committee a challenge, as it was new to her. She is the type of person who is dedicated, becomes involved, sticks with it and is able to work with a team and large groups of people. She wanted her neighbors to see that it was not necessary to be a professional working in that area to be able to contribute.

 

 

  • She came with the interest of becoming involved in something that was a part of Novi. She wanted to protect the wetlands.
  • With any group of people you have to keep an open mind and ears and remain flexible

because by discussing, listening and sharing it makes it easier to march toward the goal.

  • It is important for people to know what made their community run and to feel that they can bring a totally different perspective to it. It is not bad to have someone who is ignorant of the committee but has a clean slate, fresh ideas and different perspectives.

9:45 CYNTHIA GRONACHAN - Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals

Ms. Gronachan has been a resident for 22 years and the dedication and enthusiasm of Mabel Ash, first City Clerk, had passed down to her. She had been involved in the Sports Center and the Garfield Road wetland mitigation project, which has been a nine-year dedicated project for her. She was appointed to the Garfield Road committee by the residents and has been assisting the Deer Run residents on various issues such as the road connecting Deer Run and Park Place. She is familiar with the process of the ZBA. Her legal background gives her the ability to understand ordinances, laws and rules and regulations. Her true interests lie with the ZBA. Her strong points are her people skills, communications skills and her commitment and enthusiasm for this City.

  • She had watched the ZBA and Planning Commission meetings for the last year and a half so she would know what the process was and what was involved.
  • Communication is very important and listening is even more important. The resident needs to understand where the ZBA is coming from and why.
  • She would try to find out why there were so many variances.
  • She thought it was important to have legal counsel and would take advantage of it.
  • She liked the fact that the ZBA was more structured with ordinances, rules and guidance.

10:00 KATHLEEN MUTCH - Library Board, Historical Commission

Ms. Mutch gave Council Members a resume of her involvement in committees that are relevant to history. She has been a member of the Historical Commission since 1989. She has been the secretary and president of the Homeowners Association, member of Rotary and other civic groups. When she gets involved in something she is generally fully involved.

  • Her first interest was the Library Board and she wanted to be a part of the new plans.
  • She would still serve the Historical Commission in whatever capacity they chose to involve her as a resident.
  • Support would be gained from her committee team members by hearing what they are saying because everyone isn’t able to articulate ideas or understand the vocabulary used on the committee. She would attempt to find areas of agreement and assess whether the differences are worth the extra effort. Sometimes the differences are not that great so choose your battles wisely.
  • In September of 1999 Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo suggested that the Fuerst Farm committee have a sunset date of June of 2000 and the Council agreed. June 5th a report was submitted and the committee was aware of that fact and was also told that was the end of its term of service. The committee waited to see how Council would respond to the report and there had been no response. The report did have recommendations that would

answered Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo’s questions. The primary recommendation was that there be an oversight committee similar to what Mr. Rothenberg described where the committee members would represent partners who want to see the property preserved and utilized. Those who were on the Fuerst Task Force Committee were committed to that and did support the recommendation. There were also recommendations made regarding use, etc.

  • In Council’s goal sessions she was pleased Member Bononi mentioned the Fuerstproperty.

In order to qualify for Federal funds for historic preservation the funds had to be applied for through the State Historic Preservation Office. The funding from the Federal government has been so restricted there was not even enough money to go to local certified units of government. Local certified units of government have priority. Their projects get considered first and there has not been enough money to fund those that they deem worthy let alone any others. Novi is not a local certified unit of government because the Council has to decide whether or not to designate any building or properties and decide whether to have a historic district. The certified local units of government have not only done the study and designated but they also have districts. If the funding levels were there and we followed through and actually had a historic district it would qualify. We already have the State and Federal designation.

  • She felt a form letter thanking the committee members for their three years of service was

appropriate.

  • In regards to the library she was not sure the site chosen was the best site but when a decision is made it is made. She thought they would have to modify what they thought was best to serve the people because of what is around it, the traffic and high school exits.
  • She could not imagine a library without books and resources should be used to purchase new books.
  • The Library’s budget had grown along with Novi because they have a dedicated 1 mil as revenue and that has increased about $100,000 each year. Circulation numbers and participation in programs have sky rocketed. This library does a wonderful job in delivering what they could.
  • Ms. Mutch is working toward and close to a degree in history.
  • She felt there were a number of wonderful candidates for the Library Board.
  • She would bring the ability to pull together the resources of the community whether money, ideas or getting people involved.

10:15 DONALD KOLIS - Zoning Board of Appeals

Mr. Kolis said his family was very happy in Novi and would like to become an integral part of it.

  • He wanted to be on the ZBA because he could utilize his educational background and his work experiences and apply them to this community.
  • He had experience in building, had been before zoning boards in other communities and in his daily work he led teams, is a team member, dealt with conflict, data and getting to the root cause of the issue.
  • The biggest challenge of the ZBA was understand why people were there and what the real issue was and doing what is right for the community.
  • He didn’t have experience with any boards or commissions.

 

 

 

  • He had been before the ZBA in other cities and thought there was a lack of attention to detail and to customer focus and sensitivity. It seemed that their answers were predetermined and canned responses.
  • He would prepare for a meeting by completely reading the information given to him and then would go out to see the site first hand. He would talk to some of the people affected by what the applicant was trying to do and try to get all the background he could. He would talk with the city to be sure he got the right issue and the right understanding.
  • He felt that adjacency issues were important.
  • He felt legal counsel should sit in ZBA meetings and offer their expertise.
  • Mr. Kolis has been an assistant coach for children’s sports. He is involved in the planning and building of a Church in Dearborn which added a new gym.
  • He felt the role of the ZBA was to be the appeal outlet and forum to present their case for residents that had been advised they were in violation of City ordinances.
  • His goal regarding the ZBA was to get on the Board, attend all the meetings and to do all the homework necessary to be a good active member.
  • His personal strengths were confidence, perseverance, ability to listen and ask questions to be sure he was hearing what they really want and the ability to be data driven and look at the facts and make good decisions.
  • His experience with team functioning had strictly been at his current job at General Motors. He leads a product development team to develop body structures for various programs. The basis mode of operation is teamwork, which is one of their core values.
  • He has the ability to resolve conflict and thought that everyone on the team had something to offer.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None

ADJOURNMENT

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

 

 

 

 

______________________________ ____________________________

Richard J. Clark, Mayor Nancy Reutter, Deputy Clerk

 

 

 

Transcribed by: _________________

Charlene Mc Lean

Date approved: February 26, 2001