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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2001, AT 7:30 PM
NOVI CIVIC CENTER – COUNCIL CHAMBERS – 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: JR. GIRL SCOUT TROOP #2311 Novi Meadows
Leaders: Frances Longe, Cheri Crist
Members: Jacqui Longe, Julie Crist, Stephanie D’Cruz,
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor ProTem Lorenzo, Council Members Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche and Kramer
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mr. Helwig removed Item I from the Consent Agenda.
Member Kramer added #5 to Mayor and Council Issues, Coordinated Planning Act invitation by Northville Township.
Member Bononi added #6 to Mayor and Council Issues, Appointment of a Representative from Council to Storm Water Management and Watershed Stewardship Committee.
CM-01-02-046 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as amended.
Vote on CM-01-02-046 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche,
SPECIAL REPORTS - None
Caren Collens was present to review the S.W.O.C.C. building purchase and the franchise fee audit. She advised a bid had been placed on a new facility and the seller accepted. The building is in the City of Farmington and because of the new franchise agreement Time/Warner would no longer be providing its facility, staff and equipment for public access. It would now be under the auspices of S.W.O.C.C. Time/Warner would instead provide a grant of 1% of the gross revenue to cover those expenses and part of the expense was needed for additional room. S.W.O.C.C. studied options to provide additional space to meet production needs. A 15-year revenue expenditure analysis was done and the figures showed that the best option financially was to purchase the building in Farmington. Another benefit was it would give them more square feet at a lower cost than the other two options considered.
Ms. Collens said franchise fee audits were conducted by S.W.O.C.C. on a regular basis through their consultants, CTIC Associates. They audit to insure that Time/Warner was paying to S.W.O.C.C. and the cities the proper franchise fee, which is 5% of gross revenue. This would be the third time in the past six years that we have conducted the audit and in each case they found Time/Warner in arrears of the monies due to S.W.O.C.C. and the cities.
There was also an item called "Franchise Fee on the Franchise Fee". There was a decision in Baltimore that enabled cable operators to say they would not pay the Franchise Fee on the Franchise Fee. It went to Court and a Dallas decision overturned it so cities requested from the cable operators that back payment. However, the FCC order was unclear and the cable operators argued that it allowed them to pass this through to the subscribers. This meant if a city collected money the cable operator would add it to subscriber bills telling them their city had demanded the payment therefore it would be added to their bills. As a result, S.W.O.C.C. passed a motion on November 28th and the portion they could not pass on to subscribers was indicated that Time/Warner pay. The remaining collection of $202,358 was postponed until the FCC memorandum and order of March 1998 was amended to assure that the cost was not passed through to subscribers.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo had concerns about the purchase of the building. It appeared that a commitment was being made on behalf of the three municipalities regarding the way the money dedicated to S.W.O.C.C. was spent for the next 15 years. The money paid to S.W.O.C.C. was actually franchise fee money belonging to the City of Novi for use of the right-of-way and a franchise arrangement and should go into the General Fund. She felt the City Council should have had input into the decision to purchase the building and a commitment was being made assuming, for the next 15 years, the City would continue their arrangement with S.W.O.C.C.
She asked if the Cable Access Commission was able to provide input on the options prior to the purchase bid being offered?
Ms. Collens replied the Cable Access Commission did not have that kind of jurisdiction because it is an advisory board. She said they had done a lot of background work in terms of setting up the need for additional space. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if these options were available to the Cable Access Commission to make recommendations on those options?
Ms. Collens said they were not and that it was not appropriate to do so as it fell under S.W.O.C.C.’s jurisdiction. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo disagreed and believed that according to the agreement and the C.A.C. duties it would have been appropriate for them to give an opinion on what the best alternative was. Another concern was the decision was made with the fees owed to the three communities by Time/Warner and felt the City Councils of each community should have had input and not necessarily S.W.O.C.C. She read a portion of the ordinance adopted by Council in November, 2000. "S.W.O.C.C. shall have the right to audit and re-compute any amounts determined to be payable under this ordinance provided, however, that such audit shall take place within 36 months following the close of the grantee’s fiscal years. Any additional amount due to the city as a result of the audit shall be paid within 30 days following written notice to the grantee by S.W.O.C.C. and said notice shall include a copy of the audit report." She said according to our ordinance that money was supposed to come back to us and if there was a question as to whether we wanted to demand or defer payment of that money it was Council’s decision according to this ordinance. She felt S.W.O.C.C. was acting independent and autonomously and it was important to remember that the $138,588 that was dedicated to S.W.O.C.C. in 1999 was actually the City of Novi’s money.
She asked Mr. Fisher, to report back, if in offering or accepting this purchase price for property was S.W.O.C.C. making a commitment on behalf of the municipalities for that length of time? Also, if the City of Novi decided to terminate their agreement with S.W.O.C.C. would the City still be responsible for the payments on that property? She also asked that Mr. Fisher look into the portion of the ordinance she read and comment on "any amount due should come to the City" and whether that should have been done instead of S.W.O.C.C. making the decision to not have Time/Warner pay that money to the City.
Member Kramer asked what the Charter of S.W.O.C.C. was. Ms. Collens said it was to handle all regulatory matters in dealings between the City and the cable operator. This would include renewal, transfers, reinforcing contract provisions and any rate regulations given the committee under the FCC. He believed S.W.O.C.C. was commissioned to do a job on behalf of the three cities and they should be permitted to do it. He requested that Mr. Fisher bring back a balanced story in terms of what their function was with regard to Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo’s concerns.
Member Bononi asked if the property transfer had been accomplished? Ms. Collens said no.
Mayor Clark said Council Members had received information on the proposed transaction, what the alternatives were and why they were being proposed. The reason the presented option was the most plausible was because it was the most financially feasible and sound for all three communities. Regarding holding back on fees there had not been a final legal determination and this matter involved the FCC and individual communities had learned it was an area they had to tread rather lightly. Finally, he did not think any of the three communities had enough room on their plate to start running a cable company for their individual communities. He thought they were headed in the right direction and appreciated Ms. Collens attendance this evening.
Member Kramer stated the Consultant Review Committee had begun their work for the year and should have a draft of the evaluation form to Council shortly. He said their intent was to solicit Council’s input as to the form and the performance of the consultants. They would all be reviewed this year with a deep dive due on the engineers.
1. Presentation of medals earned from military service in the U. S Army during WWII -
Mayor Clark said Mr. Lawrence Meier served his country honorably and well during WWII and because of his efforts we are here tonight exercising the freedoms we hold so dear. Mr. Meier spent 20 months overseas, received training in Augusta, GA in the U.S. Army Infantry. He served time in the occupation forces in Japan at the conclusion of the war and served in the Quarter Master Division of the U.S. Army. Mayor Clark said on behalf of our community, on behalf of Congressman Knollenberg and on behalf of our Country we thank you for your service. Mr. Meier received the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, Marksman’s Badge with rifle bar and the Honorable Service lapel button.
PUBLIC HEARING - None
A. Discuss sunset of Stormwater Finance Committee and Town Center Steering
Mr. Helwig felt that with the advent of a very comprehensive Storm Water Management Watershed Stewardship Committee the Storm Water Finance Committee was no longer appropriate and asked that it be sunsetted.
CM-01-02-047 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
That the Storm Water Finance Committee be sunsetted effective
March 1, 2001.
Roll Call vote on CM-01-02-047 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas,
B. Formation of Main Street Committee
Mr. Helwig said this was a proposal to shift our strategic focus to more of an implementation focus. These initiatives of the Town Center Steering Committee are 15 years old. This would zero in on the Main Street area. Progress had not been in keeping with the timetable as originally set out. They had been meeting with Mr. Chin for five months dealing with expediting plan review, coordinating issues as they come up and there are several issues at our doorstep.
Mr. Helwig stated a new building was projected to start this year, there is talk about pursuing tax increment financing for an above ground parking deck and certainly the mix of a viable downtown area was always being discussed. He noted preparations have been ongoing with regard to implementing plans over the next couple years to accomplish quality of development on Main Street. He asked that a new Main Street Committee be formed.
Mayor Clark asked if the members of the Town Center Steering Committee would be carried over to the Main Street Committee until a formal meeting was held to provide structure? Mr. Helwig said yes. Member Bononi noted that as a member of the Town Center Steering Committee she would support Mr. Helwig’s plan.
CM-01-02-048 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To establish a Main Street Committee and that said committee be reviewed in two years for renewal and to sunset the Town Center Steering Committee as of March 1, 2001
Member Kramer asked that it stipulates that the committee is reviewed in two years for renewal.
Member Csordas asked that this committee not become another bureaucratic level of approval for anything that came through the City. Mayor Clark supported the motion and stated if members were carried over they could decide if they wanted to stay on the new committee. He asked that they add to the motion to sunset the Town Center Steering Committee as of March 1, 2001.
Member Kramer requested that upon formation the committee meet and establish a clear Charter Mission and goals and report back to Council. Mayor Clark suggested this be a part of the discussion at the next meeting.
Roll call vote on CM-01-02-048 Yeas: Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche,
Mr. Helwig asked that Council establish a timetable for budget work sessions. There was Council consensus to hold budget work sessions on April 7 from 9 AM until 3 PM, April 18 from 7 PM until 10 PM and April 21 from 9 AM until 12 noon.
D. Update on 12 Mile Road "gap" improvements
Mr. Helwig noted they were trying to zero in on convenience for the public where they do not have to have a disrupted 12 Mile Road two construction seasons back to back.
Mr. Nowicki reported this consisted of widening 12 Mile Road east of Novi Road and close to Meadowbrook where the existing boulevard section stopped. They are trying to coordinate the project undertaken by private development from Novi Road west with the existing project we have that is in the Transportation Improvement Program for funding this year. The design work is next and the road commission is assisting in the review of the design. The engineers are Finkbeiner Pettis and Strout and coordination for this project will be later this week. The Attorneys are working on right-of-way issues on how to acquire the right-of-way in advance of going through the agreements with MDOT and others. There is a certain set of procedures with MDOT but if we follow a mechanism by using our local match to acquire the local right-of-way we might be able to move the project forward quickly. Mr. Helwig and Mr. Nowicki would be meeting with MDOT Director, Greg Rozine and they hoped they could find a way to free the federal dollars up that MDOT administers and allow that money to come to us this year. They have to look at the bidding process and procedures, right-of-way certification and find a way to work with MDOT to free that money up. The road commission was helping them review the environmental aspects of the project, working with MDOT and all the other agencies to discuss the impacts of the project on the environment. They were looking for clearances by the end of the month and hoped to have a public informational meeting with all the property owners.
Mr. Nowicki said it is a very exciting time with a lot of work to do in a very short time. The people assembled to pull this project together are very dynamic people and every one is pulling together to make this a reality this year.
Craig Klaver reported there were four customer reply cards regarding the fire department plan review for Fire Suppression Systems and one was a negative response that Chief Lenaghan would respond to. The other three were complimentary. Two were for the Fire Departments emergency response and one for Ken Elphinstone who was recently promoted to plan examiner.
2. DEPARTMENT REPORTS - None
3. ATTORNEY - None
Kathy Mutch thanked Council for recognizing the members of the Fuerst Property Task Force and passed out a letter to Council regarding the Fuerst Farmstead Report that was sent to City Council June 5, 2000. Ms. Mutch read from her letter and asked Council to act on the recommendations made by the Fuerst Property Task Force.
Robert Stone, 47312 Cider Mill Dr, spoke to Council about a safety, health and welfare item on the Council agenda as Item #4 of Mayor and Council Issues. This was regarding Cider Mill traffic problems. Mr. Stone distributed a map of the area to Council Members to review and wished to speak when the issue came up. The Clerk did not receive a map.
Dan Miron, 45450 W. Park Dr., stated his home has flooded repeatedly since last June 2000. A week ago last Friday they had four inches of ice water in the ground floor of his home. Mr. Miron was present asking for help. He has been dealing with Mr. Nowicki and JCK. He noted this was an ongoing problem and the previous owners of the property did not disclose to them that the property flooded so they were not aware of it. At the time the previous owners were not required to disclose this but there is a disclosure law now. He showed pictures of before and after of the water damage when they incurred $18,000 worth of damage. His wife’s art gallery and work was destroyed. He stated the City and City Attorney Mr. Schultz had been trying to get him to sign an easement agreement allowing them to install a 42-inch diameter drainpipe to replace the existing 10-inch. He claimed that in exchange for the City putting in the drain pipe in they want him to sign away his legal rights and rights to recover the $18,000 incurred last June. They had incurred more damage in three other floods since that time. They were desperate and felt they had no recourse left but to file a major lawsuit. He felt they were being extorted by the City Attorney and asked for Council’s help before taking this final action. They did not want to sue but would if necessary.
Mayor Clark said he would hear from Council.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
CM-01-02-049 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Items A through H and Items J and K.
Roll Call Vote on CM-01-02-049 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas,
Purchasing Program in the amount of $10,574.67.
Masterz Sound and Lighting, the low quotation, in the amount of $4,932.50.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Approval of Mid-year Budget Amendment 2001-6. (5 votes necessary)
CM-01-02-050 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Kramer; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Mid-year Budget Amendment 2001.6.
Roll call vote on CM-01-02-050 Yeas: Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark,
gated entry and wider roadway, project located east side of Beck Road, north of
Blair Bowman, 43700 Expo Center Dr., was present representing Timber Meadows LOC. Mr. Bowman was requesting a variance from the Construction Standards as it related to the entrance of their project on Beck Road. The variances are twofold. They intend to construct a
gated entryway, which required a variance per Fire Chief Lenaghan. They intend to comply with his request in order to provide that waiver. They also intend to construct a slightly wider roadway for the southern portion of the entrance to the project in order to accommodate a card system for access for the residents. The inclusion of a small island for the card system requires that they have a slightly larger entranceway.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if he had met the conditions of the Fire Marshall’s letter of February 2, 2001? Mr. Bowman said he had and they had indicated they had no objection if it was high enough for access for any emergency vehicles. The clearance would exceed any height of any vehicles the Fire Department has.
CM-01-02-051 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To grant the Design and Construction Variance for Timber Meadows, to
construct a gated entry and wider roadway, project located east side of Beck Road, north of Eleven Mile.
Member Bononi asked if there was any risk exposure for any sort of delay that would be incurred by emergency equipment approaching this site under any circumstances? Mr. Fisher asked if she meant a risk to the homeowner or to the City? Member Bononi said to the City as a result of making this decision to grant the waiver. Mr. Fisher said he did not believe so. There obviously would be potential for 30 second delay to open the gate and in that period of time it was unknown what could transpire. He did not believe that would translate into liability for the City particularly based upon the request for this being made by a person that would be transferring to all of these property owners.
Roll call vote on CM-01-02-051 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo,
safety path, west side of Meadowbrook Road between Grand River and Eleven Mile
Road– William McKeever, Marque Corporate Center.
Bill McKeever, representing Marque Corporate Center at 41200 Ridge St., spoke to the issue stating the reason for the variance request there was because was a regulated wetland and woodland across the front of the property. It is bordered south with another property that was just completed with the same wetland, which is the Bishop Creek Drainage System. A variance had been issued to that property. The property to the north is an existing development with no safety path there. Therefore, they are bordered on each end with no bike path so they would have a bike path that just crossed their property. He distributed photos of the wetland near the property development.
Rod Arroyo thought the property to the south was granted a payment of equivalent value or placed in escrow so that if other properties developed, the funds would be escrowed for one project. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said it was waived for this moment in time but the money was placed in escrow so that in the future if properties developed it could be constructed the length of Meadowbrook Road in that area. Mr. Arroyo said yes and that was the discussion with difficult pieces like this that it would be more feasible to construct the sidewalks and paths at times when doing a larger project. Mayor Pro Tem noted then it had not been totally waived and that we have money aside for the future. Mr. Arroyo said that had been the standard practice.
Dave Potter, JCK, stated regarding the boardwalk options they reviewed the plans from a basic engineering feasibility perspective. The easiest way would be to enclose the existing creek and fill to create a bench in order to construct a sidewalk. The alternatives would be, once the environmental impact was considered, a boardwalk, retaining wall or situations like that. In their opinion there was engineering feasibility to do this so they did not recommend waiving it. They did recommend if a waiver was considered an escrow be determined. So depending on which alternative their engineers might look at would set the dollar figure for this. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo noted that in the future, she would like to see these alternatives and their impacts discussed. She would not want a sidewalk because of its impact but thought a boardwalk might be appropriate. Mr. Potter noted they would look at the alternatives at the next step if Council wished. The next step would be to evaluate what cost would be appropriate on the City’s behalf in order to be escrowed so that in the future when a bike path program is looked at the whole system would be looked at and committed for that cost estimate.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo felt that if Council knew which was the best alternative they would know the amount to escrow for an environmentally sensitive project. Therefore, since she did not know the best alternative she felt she didn’t have the information she needed to make a decision.
Mayor Clark asked Mr. McKeever if these alternatives were presented by our next meeting, would they be able to make a decision in terms of escrowing funds? Mr. McKeever asked if there would be a time limit on the escrow or would it be open ended? Mayor Clark asked Mr. Arroyo if he knew what the parameters were on the escrow of the property to the south? Mr. Arroyo did not know the specifics but it could be researched and brought back to Council.
Member Cassis asked why would we want to postpone building a boardwalk or sidewalk now? Mr. Arroyo thought it was because of the difficulty of Bishop Creek, which runs along the west side of Meadowbrook Road. The thought was if a path system were put in it would make more sense to do it across all the properties at one time. Mr. Cassis said they have all the properties now and asked what they were waiting for? Mr. Arroyo said the money was not there because they were approved at a time when sidewalks were not required. Mr. Arroyo said a feasibility study for the boardwalk could be presented to Council and if found to be feasible then maybe Council would not have to postpone it. However, if it was found that it would be better to do as a larger project then Council might postpone it. Member Cassis asked who would follow the process of this regarding finding a solution, cost and when it would be done? Member Cassis was concerned that the delay sometimes goes on forever. Mr. Arroyo stated that would not be desirable and thought City staff and consultants should work together on and come back to Council with a plan. He believed this was ready to be done except for the cost and design and he would be hesitant to vote for this.
Mayor Clark said they were talking about Mr. Arroyo and Mr. Potter coming back by the next meeting with the information as to alternatives, including cost for the various alternatives, and then Council could make a decision at that time.
Member Bononi noted that the first week in May the Rouge Program office would release information concerning the sensitivity of Bishop Creek and its necessity to be protected. She thought this report should be considered for all the impacts. She said there was an engineering solution to almost anything but would we want to do those things, would the cost benefit be worth it to everyone, would the impact on the environment be that negative? She thought a waiver should be granted.
CM-01-02- Moved by Bononi, seconded by Csordas; MOTION WITHDRAWN:
To grant the request for approval of a variance from the Design and
Construction Standards to eliminate an eight-foot wide safety path
for Marque Corporate Center, located on the west side of Meadowbrook Road, between Grand River and Eleven Mile Road.
Member Csordas felt there was no need for the petitioner to leave money deposited forever with no idea when he would get his money back. He agreed with Member Bononi and did not think the City needed to put in a sidewalk/boardwalk just because it was our policy. We have the flexibility to waive that and he saw no purpose for a sidewalk there at this time or in the future.
Member DeRoche asked if they were voting on this tonight would it be the end of this or would they receive the information asked for in the future? Mayor Clark said if the motion was approved, it would be granted and would not come back before Council.
Member Kramer felt it was worth getting additional information. He wanted to know if it was feasible to put the sidewalk on the east side. Also, he didn’t want to give up providing non-motorized transportation routes for the citizens. He would support a motion to have more information brought back and to act on the request later.
Mayor Clark commented the maker of the motion was willing to withdraw her motion.
Member Cassis felt a lot of residents would be living in the area and there would be a lot of office buildings on Eleven Mile Road and he still had not heard why a sidewalk or boardwalk could not be constructed. He concurred with Member Kramer.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo commented she was interested in the boardwalk alternative and the environmental impacts expected and it would be helpful to know how much money is in escrow for the other properties to actually build the entire stretch.
CM-01-02-052 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To postpone this item until the next Regular Meeting of Council on March 5, 2001.
Roll call vote on CM-01-02-052 Yeas: DeRoche, Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi,
Zoning Board of Appeals.
CM-01-02-053 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve legal assignments to the Planning Commission and the
Zoning Board of Appeals.
Roll call vote on CM-01-02-053 Yeas: Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis,
City Clerk Cornelius advised Council that, today, the Historical Commission notified her that they would like to have a joint meeting scheduled with City Council and suggested a possible date of March 15th. Ms. Cornelius suggested the meeting follow the Ordinance Review Committee meeting. It was the only board or commission she had heard from.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo would not be available. Mayor Clark asked if March 15th from 7:00 PM until 8:30 PM was good for everyone else? Council concurred.
Member DeRoche felt it would be difficult to have a full Council at all of these meetings and thought they should proceed even if less than a full Council was available. Member Kramer said April was full with budget meetings and suggested having one meeting a month after April.
Ms. Cornelius asked if Council would like to meet with more than one board on the same evening as had been done in the past? Mayor Clark it would depend on their agenda.
CM-01-02-054 Moved by Kramer, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To schedule a joint meeting of Council and the Historical Commission
on March 15th from 7 PM until 8:30 PM.
Vote on CM-01-02-054 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche,
31 of the Novi Code of Ordinances, to revise the standards for the establishment
and use of natural beauty roads within the City of Novi – 1st Reading
Mr. Fisher said this was an amendment to accomplish two principle objectives. There were some minor housekeeping items recommended from the Ordinance Review Committee. The two principle points would be:
1. Under Section 31-70 Purpose and Intent, there are subsections 2 and 3 that have been
added. They essentially clarify the purpose for establishing natural beauty roads and the
essence of this would be to preserve the character of areas, trees and native vegetation.
decision making on the part of the Council after a public hearing when the question of
whether to establish the natural beauty road comes forward.
Mr. Fisher said what they had for Council consideration was the criteria considered by the County Road Commission when it established natural beauty roads. The direction of the Ordinance Review Committee in this regard was to maintain some uniformity in how this subject is treated at the county level and the city level.
CM-01-02-051 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Ordinance No. 2000-150.03 to amend Article V of Chapter 31 of the Novi Code of Ordinances, to revise the standards for the establishment and use of natural beauty roads within the City of Novi – FIRST READING
Roll call vote on CM-01-02-051 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche,
Member Kramer requested that when reviewing ordinances that Mr. Fisher provide Council with copies that have changes highlighted. Mr. Fisher agreed.
CM-01-02-052 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To sunset the committee effective March 1, 2001.
Member Kramer requested a statement from administration indicating how we would work with the operations of the ice arena and whether it would fall back under Parks and Recreation Commission. He thought from a programming perspective community input was needed so the interests of the community were considered.
Mr. Helwig noted they were open for suggestions and reminded Council they were looking for a new director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry and that person might have some ideas to enhance that input. He felt there was a number of ways to get the information to Council and get the community involved without a formal committee.
Member Kramer recommended they consider seriously that the Parks and Recreation Commission have an oversight function and perhaps the Parks and Recreation Department might have administrative oversight responsibilities. Mr. Helwig said that was certainly a natural to have that advisory relationship.
Roll call vote on CM-01-02-052 Yeas: Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche,
8. Appointments to Boards and Commissions.
Mayor Clark stated Council would vote on his nomination to the Library Board. The remaining appointments, the EDC, Beautification Commission, Cable Access Committee, Building Authority and the ZBA were subject to the vote of the Council. He asked that Council mark their ballots and the City Clerk would tally them.
Mayor Clark nominated Linda Krieger for appointment to the Library Board.
CM-01-02-053 Moved by Clark, seconded by Cassis; MOTION CARRIED:
To appoint Linda Krieger to the Library Board.
Roll call vote on CM-01-02-053 Yeas: Lorenzo, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer
Member Kramer requested that Nipa Shah is kept at the top of the list for future consideration as she interviewed very strongly and had a very focused background.
George Krieger spoke about the taxes that are coming before the residents over a short period of time. He mentioned the assessment increase, the approval of the roads and in the past a 6% sales tax to reduce the burden of the property tax. Now, Novi would be paying more taxes for schools and fire protection would also be hot on the list because of the new business coming to Novi. Then there is the lawsuit and the library. Mr. Krieger said these all had to be prioritized to determine which ones were acceptable. Some of these could be postponed such as the library. He thought a new roof would fix it temporarily. He thought a lot of the things proposed to go into the library are redundant and those programs being carried out now were available elsewhere. Today high tech pushes the definition of library through the ceiling. DVD’s, videos and CD’s available at the library have competition with stores such as Blockbusters.
There needed to be people on the Library Board who are extremely conscientious and business oriented to make the right selections to be cost effective in this area. You can’t cut corners for fire protection and it is a much more serious issue to be faced. He felt if 2 mills were approved it would be operating millage by the time it should be retired.
Mr. Krieger said the types of people he had seen nominated so far did not seem to have completed a conscientious application for the board. He felt there were two people nominated on January 22, 2001 that did not effectively meet the provisions of being cost effective or having the good business background and the prudent fiscal policies needed at the Library. He said Kathy Mutch was not qualified for this library business. So far he had seen no ballot language and nothing serious about what it would cost the residents. Council had to be sure they had the right people in the right key positions to manage the library as it expanded into the future. He felt plush chairs and fireplaces should not be contemplated because the library was not a place for this. Liability and security had to be looked at very carefully in the new library. Mr. Krieger hoped that with the nomination of his daughter to the Board of Trustees he could feed some of his ideas into the system.
Mayor Clark called for the results of the voted ballots.
City Clerk Cornelius read the results:
Candidate Board or Commission Votes Received
Nipa Shah EDC 7
Barbara Smith EDC 5
Both candidates were appointed.
Patricia Barney Beautification Commission 7
Barbara Greenberg Beautification Commission 7
Both candidates were re-appointed.
Art Cervi Cable Access Committee 6
Mark Adler Cable Access Committee 1
Art Cervi was re-appointed.
Larry Czekaj Building Authority 6
Larry Czekaj was re-appointed.
Sarah Gray Zoning Board of Appeals 4
Sarah Gray was appointed as an Alternate Member
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
Development LLC for the Twelve Mile and Other Roadway Improvements Project
(Special Assessment District 155).
Mr. Fisher proposed, with regard to these items, handling them in 5 packages if Council concurred and they did. This is basically a donation from PLC of the necessary right-of-way that the City needed and the Warranty Deed. Mr. Fisher recommended approval.
CM-01-02-054 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas; MOTION CARRIED: To approve resolution and acceptance of Warranty
Deed from the PLC Novi West Development LLC for the Twelve Mile
And other Roadway Improvements Project (SAD-155)
Roll call vote on CM-01-02-054 Yeas: Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark
Nays: Bononi, Lorenzo
10. Approval of Resolution and acceptance of various deeds, easements, and grading
permits from Ramco/Gershenson for the Twelve Mile and other Roadway Improvements Project (SAD 155)
Mr. Fisher said this package represented 8 Items of conveyances from Ramco to the City, which included various deeds, easements and grading permits. These matters are somewhat unique and come to the City for the Twelve Mile Road project without expense to the City or the project. They have been carefully drafted and prepared by legal counsel for Ramco and they have certain insurance requirements in them that Council needed to be sure we could cover. Therefore, he recommended approval of Item 10 subject to determination by the administration of the adequacy of insurance. Mr. Fisher said these matters were just received on Friday and asked that they also be subject to his final legal review. Finally, with regard to the West Oaks Dr. easement this is a situation in which Ramco is providing an easement on the south side of the Midas Muffler in order to allow an accommodation of the driveway to be moved around to make this work. Ramco wanted assurance that if they did this they would not be creating problems for themselves on their own property. Therefore an analysis needed to be done to make sure they did not need a variance from the ZBA. The statute specifically contemplates the opportunity to grant variances in connection with condemnation cases so that property owners in this situation would not be injured. Mr. Fisher recommended approval subject to a determination of adequacy of insurance coverage, subject to final legal review and subject to any ZBA variance that might be needed.
CM-01-02-055 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Cassis; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve Resolution and acceptance of various deeds, easements, and grading permits from Ramco/Gershenson for the Twelve Mile and other Roadway Improvements Project (SAD 155) subject to a determination of adequacy of insurance coverage, subject to final legal review and subject to any ZBA variance that might be needed.
Member Kramer asked if there was any problem with the conditions would it come back to Council? Mr. Fisher said it would.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo requested confirmation of insurance coverage from the insurance company and wanted to see a statement from them. She also wanted input from our Risk Manager. Mr. Fisher agreed.
Roll call vote on CM-01-02-055 Yeas: Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi
authorization to exercise the Option Agreement ($78,775), close on the property in
accordance with the terms of the Agreement for Option price, and pay usual
closing costs. (SAD 155)
Mr. Fisher said Items 11 through 17 are all option agreements in which satisfactory negotiations have occurred. Item 17 is an arrangement made based upon the fair market value determined by our appraisers. Items 11 through 16 are basically the product of negotiations where some compromise was required but they believed the compromises are in good faith. The compromise range in numbers between $4,250 to $13,300 and they do not represent significant disparities from the original fair market value determination on our part. They are certainly well below any additional money that would be expended in connection with any condemnation proceedings by far. Mr. Fisher recommended approval of the option agreements of Items 11 through 17.
CM-01-02-056 Moved by Cassis, seconded by Csordas; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve Items 11 through 17 option agreements with reference
to the Twelve Mile Road Improvement Projects.
Roll call vote on CM-01-02-056 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark, Cassis
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi
10-400-031), authorization to exercise the Option Agreement ($107,583) and close
on the property in accordance with the terms of the Agreement and pay usual
closing costs. (SAD 155) APPROVED WITH ITEM 11
authorization to exercise the Option Agreement ($120,000) and close on the
property in accordance with the terms of the Agreement for Option price, and pay
usual closing costs. (SAD 155) APPROVED WITH ITEM 11
authorization to exercise the Option Agreement ($41,500) and close on the
property in accordance with the terms of the Agreement for Option price, and pay
usual closing costs. (SAD 155) APPROVED WITH ITEM 11
authorization to exercise the Option Agreement ($70,794) and close on the
property in accordance with the terms of the Agreement for Option price, and pay
usual closing costs. (SAD 155) APPROVED WITH ITEM 11
exercise the Option Agreement ($23,253) and close on the property in accordance
with the terms of the Agreement for Option price, and pay usual closing costs.
(SAD 155 APPROVED WITH ITEM 11
(22-15-125-010), authorization to exercise the Option Agreement ($78,775) and close
on the property in accordance with the terms of the Agreement for Option price,
and pay usual closing costs. (SAD 155) APPROVED WITH ITEM 11
parcel 22-10-400-033 (SAD 155)
Mr. Fisher said they had been negotiating with the same party on Items 18 and 19. Their properties are in immediate proximity of one another and negotiations have broken down. He said hopefully he would be back to Council with some prospect of a resolution. Mr. Fisher felt they needed to move forward at this time to keep the project on schedule.
CM-01-02-057 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas; MOTION CARRIED:
To adopt the Resolution of a Declaration of Taking for
Items 18 and 19.
Member Cassis asked if there was a definite amount of SAD money that is allocated for all of these projects? Mr. Fisher said there is an allocated amount and an understanding in the agreement that if the amount exceeded the allocated amount there could be a supplemental SAD.
Roll call vote on CM-01-02-057 Yeas: DeRoche, Kramer, Clark, Cassis, Csordas
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi
Condominiums, parcel 22-10-400-037 (SAD 155). APPROVED WITH ITEM 18
for Twelve Mile Road and Other roadway Improvements Project (SAD 155):
Standard Federal Bank (50-22-15-200-170) for $31,690 and approve Declaration of
Mr. Fisher said Items 20 and 21 went back to the early stages of this procedure and received full appraisals. They are asking for the authority to make the offers to purchase as indicated.
CM-01-02-058 Moved by Kramer, seconded by Cassis; MOTION CARRIED:
That the administration be authorized to make the offers to
Purchase real estate as set forth in Items 20 and 21.
Roll call vote on CM-01-02-058 Yeas: Kramer, Clark, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche
Nays: Bononi, Lorenzo
Estate for Twelve Mile Road and Other roadway Improvements Project (SAD 155):
Art Van Furniture (50-22-15-200-095) for $31,065 and approve Declaration of
Taking. APPROVED WITH ITEM 20
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION
Mayor Clark commented Item I had been deferred to a later meeting to allow additional opportunity for resident input.
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Future of Memorial Day Parade – Member Cassis.
Member Cassis addressed the Memorial Day Parade. He suggested bringing in volunteers from organization such as Rotary or the Chamber of Commerce to organize this and to possibly have such groups organize the parade in the future. Mayor Clark noted he would support the idea and would be glad to serve on it with Member Cassis and perhaps a representative from administration and such groups as Veteran’s organizations or whatever volunteer groups wish to serve. Council consensus was to move forward with this idea.
2. Council Rules: Re-establishing time limits on audience participation - Mayor Pro Tem
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo noted that since the rules were amended and any time limit for audience participation was eliminated, given human nature, all track of time is lost. It is important to achieve a reasonable balance between public participation and the obligation of Council to complete their business at a reasonable time. She proposed re-establishing the 3 minute and 5 minute time limitation for audience participation with the provision that the Chair could grant additional time with the consensus of Council.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo made a motion, which failed for lack of second.
Member Kramer noted the motion deserved some discussion amongst the Council and perhaps individually with the Mayor. It was Council’s intent to encourage the Mayor to exercise some control over audience participation to keep it to a reasonable level. He commented that anyone who wished to approach and discuss any issue was more than welcome to do that. However, it would be in everyone’s best interest if a resident has a problem that they should at least have attempted to work it out with City administration. He recognized that the administration was working very hard to help residents solve their problems. Member Kramer agreed this should be re-examined and the procedure fine-tuned.
Mayor Clark noted for the record that Council sits to serve the citizens who elected them and not the other way around. On occasion, some citizens have taken longer to express their thoughts and concerns and sometimes the manner of speech or volume of discourse or the choice of words are not what Council would employ but are spoken out of a sense of concern, frustration and anger. Mayor Clark read his thoughts into the record.
"No one every said that democracy was guaranteed to be precise, orderly and succinct. I am reminded of a saying that hangs in a local courtroom. "Judge me not for the manner of my speech but by the justice of my cause." Further, at times we all without exception and I include myself, for some cause or issue we feel of paramount concern are given to taking more than a few moments to express our views and our fellow citizens are compelled to listen to us as we as a deliberative body owe them no less. A couple of final points, one of our best presidents in my view was Harry Truman who probably said it best and put it in the vernacular "if you can’t stand the heat you don’t belong in the kitchen". Finally, the cornerstone of our democracy is embodied in these words "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or abridging the free exercise thereof or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press or of the right of the people to peacefully assemble to petition the government for redress of grievances". The minute we seek to limit free speech from that moment marks the beginning of the end of our democracy. Obviously, you all know that I would have no part of that.
Council (items listed on Council agenda vs. items read into the record at Council
meetings) – Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo.
A few meetings ago, a letter was placed at Council desks and the writer requested it be read into the record by the City Clerk and it was done. She felt a consistent policy needed to be established to insure fairness to all residents who correspond with Council through the written word. There are communications listed on the agenda and she felt that either all letters should be read into the record or all should not. When City Clerk Cornelius received a letter too late to add to the agenda she could advise Council as to who the letter was from, the subject matter and the fact that it was available on the Council table and at the clerk’s office.
Member DeRoche agreed with Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo that a policy was needed and felt letters should not be read into the record. He said it was frustrating when a large portion of the evening was spent rehashing information and reading it into the record when Council had already read it and were prepared to act.
Mayor Clark agreed and there had been only one occasion when a letter was read into the record and that was because they had intended to be present to speak during audience participation but could not.
Member Kramer said if the concern was public notification of availability of information, it could be discussed. When Council received the agenda, communications are listed and are available through the Clerk’s office. He said communications received at the table are never referenced anywhere that he was aware of.
Mayor Clark suggested amending the agenda at the meeting to add items of communications.
Ms. Cornelius said it would then be added to the minutes.
4. Cider Mill Traffic Problems – Mayor Clark.
Mayor Clark suggested he meet with Mr. Stone, Mr. Helwig, Mr. Nowicki and Chief Shaeffer to discuss the concerns relative to Cider Mill traffic problems.
Mr. Stone noted there are 827 residential lots at 10 Mile, Cider Mill at the south and north, Beck on the west, and Taft on the east and it was saturated with the highest density of residential homes in the City. To get ingress and egress from Cider Mill unto Beck to Ten Mile Road and to Taft there was only one way to go west and that was for all these streets to go north and then turn left and go west. There is no traffic enforcement, stop signs or anything to slow the traffic down. Mr. Stone said there were 68 mailboxes in the collective mailbox in Briarwood Condominiums and it was the gathering place for all the residents to pick up their mail. If Council had not driven on Cider Mill they should to see what the situation was. There are snowplows and cars and they do not slow up and are probably driving 45 to 55 miles an hour on Beck. The make the turn onto Cider Mill going east and there is a slight curve and they take off. The far east end starting at Riverview it is natural for them to continue their speed. Mr. Stone said the police put out the SMART trailer and it had no effect on traffic. An unmarked police car had parked there but was identified by drivers and of course they slowed down. There had been a lot of tickets issued. He brought information from Virginia where the City bought handheld radar guns and volunteers operate these so that information could be turned into the Police Department. A warning letter would be sent to the speeder stating if the person was caught speeding in that area, the fines would be doubled. He had talked with Mr. Nowicki and he said he was going to ask the City to buy radar guns and create a program like the one in Virginia.
He asked Council to come up with a program to reduce speeding in the residential areas in Novi.
Mayor Clark said they would get back with him by the end of the week.
Member Kramer encouraged Mayor Clark to include Clay Pearson and/or Rod Arroyo to assist with traffic calming measures. He felt Cider Mill was a prime model for passive traffic calming road designs. If able to implement some of that stuff would be better than active enforcement and punitive measures and then traffic would more naturally be controlled. He felt there were some good designs that could be applied to this prime section. If successful it could be used as a model for other roads like White Pines. It is important to have some of this connector road function. He knew residents did not like that but it did give some internal transportation and took some load off the connector roads. If done right and naturally so the speed is controlled then he thought it could be a win win situation. The techniques are there they have just not been embraced in this City and he thought they should be.
Member Cassis agreed as he had participated with Rod Arroyo in discussion about innovative ways of doing streets and connectors and it might be beneficial to hear from Mr. Arroyo at a future date. It is the design of the street that created these problems so instead of coming after the fact we should work on prevention.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo was anti collector because she lived on one and they caused difficulty. She felt that the only thing that got to people was hitting them in their pocketbook.
Member Bononi thought the radar gun should be trained on the stub street requirement because it was the origination of a lot of the problems we have. These are planning issues that are culminating in this situation. The fact that we have allowed development proposals to order our planning lunch for us gives us this situation. There are planning mechanisms that could be put into place to prevent these problems and the first thing she would look at would be the stub street ordinance requirement. The second, for this particular street, she would look for traffic that calming devices could be an educational force. Traffic calming devices are very effective and more effective than police patrol.
Member Cassis agreed education was important and wondered if there was a liaison that attended the homeowner’s association meetings to give them an educational reference to this situation? He thought Mr. Helwig might want to pursue this. Mr. Helwig said they were linking more and more each month with the homeowner’s associations. He said they would not have to look very far to find ways to halt this problem and thought it needed to be a priority and Mr. Stone elevated it to a priority tonight.
Member DeRoche thought one of the most effective educational things he had seen was when residents put signs in their own yards. Mr. Stone stated it didn’t work and not many people attended association meetings. He suggested portable stantions be put in these problem areas that drivers would see for a couple of weeks and then send a letter that they had been warned, they would be ticketed and the fines would be increased.
5. Coordinated Planning Act invitation by Northville Township - Member Kramer
Member Kramer stated Council was invited to attend a workshop at the Northville Township Hall, Thursday March 29th at 7 PM on the Coordinated Planning Act. He thought Mr. Arroyo and Mr. Pearson should address it under Special Reports. Mayor Clark asked if Mr. Arroyo could report on this on March 5th under Special Reports. Mr. Arroyo agreed. Member Cassis noted he had attended a seminar on this act and it was very complex with a lot of ramifications and he thought it would be very useful for all of Council to be educated on it.
Watershed Stewardship Committee – Member Bononi
Member Bononi noted she had worked with Mr. Nowicki about concerns and interests she had regarding storm water and watershed protection issues in Novi. The Storm Water Management and Watershed Stewardship Committee has been set up and members have been appointed. They had talked about studying the existing Storm Water Master Management Plan and the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Initiative, which would be required to be adopted by Council this summer as part of the Storm Water General Permit. Also, concerns about maintaining the existing storm water system and requirements for infrastructure with regard to water quality and quantity. This committee could have a proactive role in getting information out to the community and protecting and reserving the systems we now have such as Bishop Creek. She said a Council Member needed to be appointed to serve. She would be happy to volunteer but it is a Council issue with regard to who should represent them.
CM-01-02-058 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Cassis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To nominate Michelle Bononi to the Storm Water Management and
Watershed Stewardship Committee.
Vote on CM-01-02-058 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche,
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
1. Letter from Oakland County Emergency Management: Re: Severe Weather
Awareness Week, April 1-7, 2001.
2. Letter from Rep. Nancy Cassis Re: requesting resolution supporting the designation of
March as "Parenting Awareness Month."
There being no further business before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 11:00 PM.
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by: ________________________
Charlene Mc Lean
Date Approved: March 5, 2001