Mayor Clark, Mayor ProTem
Lorenzo, Council Members Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche – absent/excused, and
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
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
- 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
- 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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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