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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, JULY 16, 2001 AT 7:30 PM
NOVI CIVIC CENTER – COUNCIL CHAMBERS – 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:36 PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Council Members Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo added under Mayor and Council Issues, 1. Request for Attorney Fisher to address SAD 155 Bond Issues with regard to the progress payments being temporarily suspended.
Member Cassis added under Mayor and Council Issues, 2. IATA Lebanon Week.
Mayor Clark added under Presentations, Item 2, Presentation by State Representative Nancy Cassis.
CM-01-07-180 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Lorenzo: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as amended.
Vote on CM-01-07-180 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche,
SPECIAL REPORTS - None
1. Recommendation of Communications Committee – Re: Re-broadcast of Council meetings.
Member Kramer noted two items to be addressed are if re-broadcasting started before January it could be done by using a VCR, with City staff effort, and a date would be needed. The handout provided was in regard to a VCR taping. SWOCC would have the digital playback equipment in January 2002 and revised words would be needed to go with that system. If approved, part of the approval should be a request to amend our Council Rules and Regulations to match.
Member Csordas noted by using existing equipment money would be saved and the new equipment would be used after January 2002 as SWOCC brought it on. Council rules must be updated so that each tape would be taped over by the next meeting and Council rules should be updated to include taping interviews etc. Language will have to be changed to reflect that the audiotapes would be retained until the approval of the minutes. This could be started quickly without expending any money. Mayor Clark asked for a recommendation to begin the process with existing equipment in September so Mr. Fisher would have enough time to do the proposed changes to the rules.
CM-01-07-181 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve proposed policy and request the
update to the Council rules and to re-broadcast the Novi City
Council meetings on Sunday at 7:00 PM and tapes would be
kept for 90 days.
Member Bononi was concerned why tapes couldn’t be stored for 1 year. She felt Wednesday morning at 10:00 AM for the public to view would work out very well but Saturday evening airing at 7:00 PM would not work. She felt another evening during the week would be better. Member Bononi felt, as far as re-taping over a single tape, that a new tape should be used. She suggested the tapes could be sent to the Library and they could store them for interested citizens for a limited period of time after which they could be retained by City Council. She wanted these items added to the motion. If it would be possible to rebroadcast by SWOCC on Thursday evenings or any other evenings she would support the motion. Member Kramer noted taping over the meeting tapes eliminated the FOIA liability. The formal record of the meeting is the minutes. The recommendation for Saturday or Sunday evening was done so that there was less chance that something else would pre-empt the viewing.
Member Bononi asked Mr. Fisher if there was any concern about retaining the tapes? Mr. Fisher said as far as FOIA it was not a legal issue. What might be a legal issue and Council might want to modify the language was "tape copies will be delivered within two weeks" and Mr. Fisher would add "or sooner if required by law" because FOIA does require information be available sooner. Member Bononi asked that Mr. Fisher’s comments that there is no legal concern be noted.
Member DeRoche would like the tapes kept longer than two weeks. He felt residents should be allowed to research what had occurred for a month or two. He felt the tape would have to be re-recorded on a VHS tape as they are taped on a professional quality tape, which is a different size.
Member Csordas noted he and Member Kramer thought 7 p.m. on Saturday was the best time slot to have a regular viewing. It is hard to find a regularly scheduled time slot in the evening because the meetings are four and five hours long. Mayor Clark agreed with saving the tapes longer and asked if there were any amendments to the motion before proceeding
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo amended the motion to include preserving the tapes for three weeks and if Council was agreeable she suggested Sunday at 7:00 PM.
Member Cassis said they didn’t know what the residents would prefer but stated it was not cast in stone and could be changed. He suggested trying it to see how it goes. Residents could also tape the Council meetings to watch at a later date.
Mayor Clark liked the Library option because some residents do not have cable.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo suggested the tapes be saved for 90 days. Council agreed to air on Sunday at 7:00 PM.
Roll call vote on CM-01-07-181 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas,
1. Presentation of Appreciation Plaque: Road Bond Committee – Dan Tarrant
Mayor Clark presented Mr. Tarrant with an Appreciation Plaque for his commitment to and work on the Road Bond Committee.
2. Presentation by State Representative Nancy Cassis.
State Representative Nancy Cassis honored Novi City Clerk Maryanne Cornelius as Clerk of the Year with a State tribute signed by Governor Engler, Senator Bullard, and herself. She had known Ms. Cornelius for a number of years and noted that her vim, vigor, and vitality captured anyone who met her. Not only is she charming, caring and compassionate but also very convincing. She is a person with the highest professional credentials, competency, integrity, and commitment to serve just to name a few. Our State Clerks serve a vital function to ensure that elections fulfill the letter of the law, are run fairly and honestly, insuring the integrity of the process.
While most clerks are intent to do their local duties, which are many, some go beyond and become active members in the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks. Even a smaller few distinguish themselves as leaders in the organization.
Tonight we honor a singular individual who has gone above and beyond involvement, accomplishment, and leadership to become chosen by her peers as the outstanding Clerk of the Year. As we all know, to be chosen by a group of your peers for an honor has significant meaning.
State Representative Cassis said the State Legislature, along with the Governor praised Ms. Cornelius’s achievements. Novi is very proud of her recognition knowing that we are the home City where she serves all of the citizens. On a personal note, she would always remember Ms. Cornelius for inspiring the drafting of a bill to allow first time voters in our State to vote by absentee ballot if they have their signature notarized. Ms. Cornelius testified on behalf of the bill and it currently awaits further action by the full house. She congratulated Clerk Cornelius and the City of Novi.
3. South Lake Drive Task Force Report - City Manager Helwig
Mr. Helwig noted Council had deliberated short and long-term goals for this community, which were adopted on December 18, 2001. A short-term goal was stated as South Lake Drive Traffic Reduction Improved Quality of Life. The Task Force had an open membership for meetings and the voices initially were primarily focused among the residents along South Lake Drive and yet the impact of any considerations for traffic calming, increased safety and some
measures under consideration would impact a broader community. He facilitated the meetings and would convey the work of the Task Force. There were representatives from various staff operations and residents from South Lake Drive and surrounding areas that attended the meetings and he asked them to stand for recognition.
The Task Force discussed and reached consensus on the following goals: To increase the safety of residents, pedestrians, and motorists improving the quality of life in the community. To reduce the speed of 85% of the traffic travelling through this area at or below the posted speed limit of 25 MPH. To reduce cut through traffic going from West Park Dr. to 13 Mile Road without stopping. They would try to reduce that to 20% of the total traffic volume. Finally, to continue to reduce the traffic volume to close to 3,000 vehicles per day and this would be measured each October when the summer Lake Shore Park and beach activities were not at their highest. They realized that the Twelve Mile Road improvements would affect the traffic, as would the Interchange work.
Task Force members were asked to discuss some work principles and expectations. They basically talked about the primary issues of safety and traffic calming, etc. They established ground rules by consensus and they adhered to them. These were tough meetings especially when deciding what recommendations would be brought forward to Council and the broader community. There are deeply held views about closing the road and it was something at the outset they said would not happen and the City attorney was brought in to amplify that. There were also views that the speed limit should be raised to make it easier to get through. It is such a unique setting having waterfront property and people crossing the road and seeking to do that safely.
Mr. Helwig said 1,700 postcards were mailed to residents that the group was meeting and there was a web site where agendas and minutes were posted and that resident participation was welcome.
A basic operating function of the task force was this road should maintain full access for all City services. The safety forces Chiefs and Public Works were represented and looking at a vital connector roadway it was agreed this was a basic operating assumption. They further agreed this group would recommend to Council that the City should continue with plans to install a five-foot bike path on the south side of South Lake Drive separated by a curb for the entire length of South Lake Drive. The reconditioning, rehabilitation of the street has been on the book for a while and there is $1.2 million in the approved appropriated balance in the budget for this work. Last year during a large meeting at Lake Shore Park when it was suggested by our traffic planning experts and planners to put the pedestrian path on the north side there was resounding disapproval by the residents. The residents strongly recommended getting on with the design as described. The recently opened pedestrian walkway on both sides of East Lake Drive is having a traffic calming effect. The design work should be implemented this year and the construction project being completed in 2002.
The historical traffic volume counts have returned to what the earlier counts were and he hoped that everyone would appreciate the decisions made and the work accomplished. He said they were back down to just under 3,800 vehicles per day, which is a significant reduction
from a high of just over 8,600 vehicles per day. The goal of the group is to get to 3,000.
Discussion and votes were taken at the Task Force meeting of May 8th, the recommendations were revised at the final Task Force meeting of June 5th and a majority voted to recommend the following seven short term items for this year.
1. To adjust the light at West Park Drive and Twelve Mile Road to facilitate turning, left hand turn, and provide incentive to use West Park Drive.
2. To standardize the speed limit on West Park Drive at 40 MPH. At West Road proceeding north the speed limit is reduced from 40 MPH to 35 MPH to the City limits to the north. The recommendation is to have the entire corridor from Twelve Mile Road 40 PMH. It would make that corridor easier and more flowing so that people would use it as the major thoroughfare that it is as opposed to the connector.
3. To narrow South Lake Drive and add the separated walkway mentioned previously. By narrowing they are talking approximately 10 foot wide lanes, which is what is now on East Lake Drive. This should have a significant traffic calming effect.
4. Where feasible install experimental roundabouts and chicanes on South Lake Drive. These were not included in the report and there is more research needed as to where there is land in the public right-of-way that the City could use to force the driver to not continue on a straightaway. Chicane means "adding some meandering" as opposed to just a straight procession down the road such as moving curbs in or out. Other neighborhoods could look at this to see if it would be beneficial also.
5. Install marked pedestrian walkway or crosswalks proceeding across South Lake Drive where appropriate and warranted. We have to be conscious of State law and where these traffic warrant changes can be made - principally at intersections where the traveling public would expect a pedestrian crossing.
6. Traffic enforcement at peak hours, which is happening now. A lot of tickets have been issued.
7. Traffic signal timing – To maintain the minimum timing for left hand turns from West Park Drive onto South Lake Drive. Also, reduce the timing to something similar for right hand turns from Thirteen Mile Road onto South Lake Drive. Mr. Helwig showed a photo of a landscaped traffic circle that could be placed, experimentally, with curbing. Often, the traffic calming can be gateway entrance features that help define the residential area even better than something else you could do along the roadway.
Mr. Helwig said the two long term recommendations for 2002 and beyond if these goals are not being met are to install a median in the intersection of West Park Drive and South Lake to prohibit any turning movements and to produce a Michigan left south of that intersection on West Park Drive. Also, possible would be to design a no left turn at that intersection at peak AM.
The design details of all the recommendations would include public input and they would continue to work with the network of individuals who have committed their time and energy to this process. Mr. Helwig was not asking for any action tonight.
1. Proposed use of funds – Local Law Enforcement Block Grant 2001
Chief Shaeffer noted the Police Department was eligible to receive funds from this grant. The purpose of the grant was to fund units of government to underwrite projects to improve public safety. The grant amount this year is $22,690 and it had been designated to be used for bike and motorcycle patrol overtime. He was present because part of the grant was to request input from the public at a public meeting of the Council.
There was no audience participation.
2. Reprogramming of Community Development Block Grant Funds
Mr. Klaver noted Housing and Community Development submitted this recommendation and funds had been set aside for emergency repairs. If the funds were not used they would come back and recommend re-programming. On the agenda tonight is an item for Council consideration and it reflected the commitment to the Old Novi Road sidewalk. The senior van program is also being recommended for reprogramming of funds.
Jim Korte stated that because the rehabilitation funds had not been used we shouldn’t assume the need isn’t there. He hoped that in the next year the City would get to those who desperately needed the funds. He advised senior residents there is a new administration that would listen to their problems and advised them to call because there was money to replace their windows, doors, etc. There are three properties in Shawood Lake Heights that fit the bill and desperately need things. He asked how to bring these people in touch with those who could assist them and in a way that would maintain their dignity and pride while making the situation better. He asked for Council’s help.
Mayor Clark stated Council shared Mr. Korte’s concern and Member Kramer expressed those concerns in a memo. Mayor Clark assured Mr. Korte that Council would be listening and looking for a way to directly deal with some of these problems.
Mr. Helwig updated Council on personnel matters in the new fiscal year. A designated traffic enforcement officer has been implemented. There is still one Police Officer vacancy to fill as one officer has left Novi. On July 30th Aimee Golke will join the staff with a masters in Urban and Regional Planning from MSU. Loren McGuire, Landscape Architect, from the City of Southfield, would join the staff on September 4, 2001. Bill
Bertleman, GIS Technician, joined our staff today and will work with David Maurice. A Plan Review Center, where they would co-locate the various disciplines of the engineering staff, Building Plan examining staff, planning staff, landscape architect and the economic development coordinator would be assembled on the first floor in the Building Department by August 27th. On August 27th the number of sets of plans to be
submitted to the City would go from 21 to 10. Two of those sets would go to the road commission if the project was close to a county road. So we are really getting to 8 sets of plans. In the Plan Review Center there would also be a floater desk that someone from the Fire Department, Police Department etc., would be able to sit and view the plans. Tia Gronlund-Fox, Human Resource Director, has had a path of high energy and success since a year ago. This work is exciting and he thanked Council for their support.
Mr. Helwig reported on the water pressure situation. The City of Detroit pumped a record volume of water on Sunday, which was usually done during the week when industry, commercial enterprise, and residential uses were going full tilt. Mr. Nowicki said in an effort to avoid water distribution problems DWSD had extended the odd/even outdoor water use restriction to all Counties receiving water from them. The odd/even restrictions would commence immediately. Peak consumption is from 6 to 9 a.m. and from 3 to 6 p.m. Mr. Nowicki asked for cooperation to reduce the consumption during those hours. He requested that new homeowners follow this as well. Member Csordas asked about enforcement. Mr. Nowicki said they would knock on doors with water and sewer department personnel, code enforcement, etc. to remind the residents of the restrictions. He asked that the newspapers report information regarding the water consumption and restrictions. Residents would receive a warning and then would be reminded that a fine could be issued. Any calls regarding non-compliance would be answered and responded to and the caller would remain anonymous.
Mayor Clark thanked and congratulated Mr. Nowicki for all his good efforts with the Road Bond Improvement Program and noted that Village Oaks was started today. Mayor Clark also thanked him for his efforts along Twelve Mile Road and said these things would not be happening without Mr. Nowicki’s efforts.
Mr. Fisher reported on Twelve Mile Road Gap project which is the widening project east of Novi Road on 12 Mile Road being financed primarily by a State grant and a local match that was privately provided. He and Mr. Nowicki attended the Road Commission meeting Thursday morning when they were acting upon the award of bids and authorizing a contract. It was Mr. Helwig’s goal to get this project done this year and the consequence of an expedited project was right of way acquisition had to be expedited. The property owners have significantly cooperated but there are 3 parcels outstanding. Normally the RCOC would not move forward with the award of a contract but the RCOC is very cooperative and have acted favorably if we obtain the additional rights of entry. The RCOC received an excellent bid.
Margaret Beller, 1235 South Lake Dr., expressed concern that she and her neighbors had not received notification of the committee. She and her husband did not want the road closed and were frustrated that this had been held up for three years because someone is dragging their feet. They need their road paved and it needs shoulders. She was against roundabouts.
Jerry Ross, 1911 West Lake Dr., Darlene Fink-Bennett, 1691 Harbor Cove, stated they were opposed to the restricted use of South Lake Dr. It is a major road as classified by the City and the State of Michigan and received more tax dollars per mile from the State for paving and improvement. All residents should be able to use South Lake Drive without restrictions. Also, there should be easy, unrestricted access to the school. If safety was an issue, emergency vehicle response time was already at a maximum and any further restrictions, such as the round abouts, would cause further delays. The new manipulation of traffic lights and no turn on red signs has reduced traffic by over half at the expense of other Novi residents and this is not enough for South Lake Dr. residents. Traffic and traffic accidents are a concern and the loss of tranquility driving to and from home. When residents bought their property they knew that public road was there but now they don’t want any traffic. There was concern that the goals of the South Lake Drive Task Force for "enhanced quality of life and safety" would literally be limited to the individuals living on South Lake Drive at the neighbor’s expense. In the next few years there will be an additional 100-200 new homes between Pontiac Trail and South Lake Drive on West Park. Imagine what the congestion will be with the restrictions on South Lake Dr. He had a petition with over 100 signatures of other Novi residents who have the same concerns. There was vehement opposition to the long-term recommendations that would potentially come into play for traffic calming if the short-term recommendations were not deemed acceptable. Linda Rourke, South Lake Drive, Dean Waldrup noted they had almost been struck by a car. The problem was with those who used the road as a major thoroughfare, become airborne at either end of the bridge, and asked for help on this issue.
Arnold Serlin, developer of Bristol Corners at West Park Dr. and South Lake Drive, said he was not notified of the Task Force meetings either. He did not want this to impact Bristol Corners in a negative way by using any part of Bristol Corners as a cut through to avoid the left turns. He also spoke about the Beck North Corporate Park landscape easement. He wanted to be reassured that Council would not approve something they had not seen before or had not agreed to in principle between them and the developers of Beck North.
Jim Bolz, 1689 Harbor Cove, felt narrowing the roads would be dangerous especially for cyclists. He thought a 5-MPH increase in speed on West Park Drive would increase safety concerns for those who walk, ride, or run across that street. If living on South Lake
Drive people would have to accept the fact there would be significant traffic. He resented the No Turn on Red sign from South Lake to West Park Drive because it irritated drivers and encouraged disobedience. He felt the sign should be removed and that the resources that went into this road were unnecessary. Pat Harvey, 1195 W. Lake Drive, agreed the no turn on red was an annoyance and stated South Lake Dr. was not a private street and was not special. John Pisha, 351 South Lake Drive said convenience could not outweigh safety and asked Council to correct safety issues on South Lake. Allen Bennett, 1691 Harbor Cove, said, regarding accidents, no one had been hurt. The people who bought there knew what they were buying and thought there were other ways to address the problems such as cameras, tickets, etc.
Jim Korte, Shawood Lake, felt too much City staff time was spent on this issue. He stated there was no consensus not to close the road. He asked for an opinion from Mr. Fisher
regarding the road being within 25 meters of a waterway. He was also concerned about the weight limit on the bridge and whether it was safe for school buses. He said the City did its best to appease people that would never be appeased unless it was made a private drive.
Lori Anderson, Bristol Circle, expressed her concerns regarding terminology of cut-through and felt the proposal to increase the speed limit on W. Park Drive would endanger those crossing from Bristol Corners to S. Lake Drive. She was opposed to additional traffic lights and noted citizens were cutting through Bristol Corners now to get to S. Lake Dr. Even the bus drivers had changed their schedules so children are picked up earlier to allow for the long wait to turn.
Andrew Mutch, 24541 Hampton Ct., addressed the consent judgment with the Landon Company. He was concerned about the process as this settlement would effectively rezone property and approve a conceptual site plan and Wetland Permit without a public hearing or notice to residents. His second concern was impact and asked why 375,000 sq. feet of development was coming to Novi and asked if it was really needed in Novi. All this development is within a quarter mile of an elementary school, middle school, and City Park and did not make sense. This is standard operating procedure by the Landon Company and Mr. Mutch had found a half dozen Michigan communities that have been threatened or are in litigation with this company over land use. If we accept the proposal, the settlement judgement, we are conceding that the City acted wrongly and it did not. The City is involved in litigation with Paragon Properties over a
proposed mobile home development. This City had engaged in litigation with the company over the last ten years and had twice prevailed at the Michigan Court of Appeals and once at the Michigan Supreme Court in a precedent setting case defeating their proposals to have a mobile home development on many of the same proposals. He felt the City should stand up for what was right and for the vote they took a year and a half ago.
Anne Bolz, Harbor Cove resident, agreed with most recommendations of the Task Force. The no left-hand turn would close down the route to the school. They would have their access denied and it would cause her to go 5-10 miles out of her way if long term resolutions are adopted. If this happens those who live north of South Lake Drive would cut through Bristol Corners to gain access to S. Lake Dr. She asked Council to adopt many of the short term non restrictive resolutions. The parental responsibility is to be outside every minute to guide children crossing the road. The city has done an admirable job reducing traffic counts but felt the counts were inflated. She thought Council should eliminate the long-term resolutions and concentrate on the short term ones.
Mark Kemper, 357 S. Lake Dr., said they are speaking about inconvenience versus safety. Sometimes people forget that South Lake Drive was a dirt road that went from 1,000 to almost 9,000 cars per day. He asked Council to consider safety.
Paul Sherbeck, Simmons Orchard, spoke about the Novi Expo Center. He felt the owners agreed to pay for road developments outlined in the Industrial Facilities Exemption Agreement. Two weeks ago, Council approved the deletion of this portion of
the agreement because of Mr. Bowman’s promises. It may now appear that the City and Expo owners are covering their selves due to a favorable vote in exchange for promises of a developer. Also noted that month after month, there were Executive Sessions Re: pending litigation and asked what that was about? .
Gary Zack, 359 S. Lake Drive, agreed they would like to enjoy what other subdivisions enjoyed. It has become a thoroughfare and he asked how to reduce commuter traffic going to M-5? This would include those coming from Wixom, Commerce, and so on. He suggested Council work toward a compromise in this situation.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
CM-01-07-182 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the consent agenda as presented.
Roll call vote on CM-01-07-182 Yeas: Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas,
DeRoche, Kramer, Clark
Approve Minutes of:
1. July 2, 2001.
Approval of bid award for soccer uniforms to Soccer Post based on unit pricing.
Approval of bid award for the traffic signal priority control system to Carrier & Gable, the low qualified bidder, in the amount of $29,998.
D. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 601.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
Acknowledgment and Support of the Agreement between the National Association for Community Mediation and Oakland Mediation Center for the Novi Community Mediation Program.
CM-01-07-183 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To acknowledge and support the agreement
between the National Association for Community Mediation
and Oakland Mediation Center for the Novi Community
Roll call vote on CM-01-07-183 Yeas: Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche,
Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo
Nanci Klein, Oakland Mediation Center, hoped that the City of Novi would be a model for the State and perhaps nationally on having a mediation program that encompassed the whole City. When there are disputes and problems that affect the police, schools, the housing development, Mayor’s office, etc. they are now in the court system and could help with problem resolution. They would also train people in the City to be experts in mediation and problem resolution.
Member Bononi referred to Page 3 of the "facts handout" regarding "Many of the center mediators have 5 to 10 years of experience followed by another objective to training 12 to 16 additional mediators who live in Novi or its wider district court jurisdiction." She asked if having dispute mediators living in the same City they are presiding over caused problems with bias? Ms. Cline said people are trained to be neutral and would excuse themselves if there was a perception of bias from either party.
Approve/Deny appeal of decision by Woodland Review Board –Lot 134, Autumn Park.
Craig Klaver noted there were challenges they were dealing with and they have had discussions on what could be done to improve the process of notification and better graphics. Members of the Review Board, staff and Mayor Clark visited the site.
Ron Chomiuk, owner of the lot east of the woodlands on Lot 134 in Autumn Park, stated there was additional information he would like to pass out to Council. He advised Council would hear a lot about a diseased tree and a dead tree and they were not the intent of their concern. Their concern was of the woodlands and removal and/or mitigation into the entire woodland area. The two trees are a piece of the situation and with the proposal on the adjustments made on the house there are other trees that would potentially be destroyed. Mr. Chomiuk asked that Council prevent Mark Sturing of the Building Authority from speaking on behalf of the Scholtens. If the Scholtens were given permission to build on the lot the value would decrease if the Review Board allowed the trees to be removed. When he purchased his lot Mr. Pargoff, Novi’s past forester assured him that the woodlands would not be removed. He spent a lot of money to build on this lot with protected woodlands and wetlands and was denied a variance by ZBA and given the option of building a smaller home or moving to a different lot. He bought a higher premium lot and was assured by Mr. Pargoff that the woodlands would be protected. The Papp’s were in the same situation and changed the size of their home in order to have the lot accommodate their home. The situation doesn’t seem to change with the Scholten request and their lot has regulated woodlands to the east, southeast, and southwest of the property. The Scholtens have made very few changes and the house would not fit into the foot plan unless the woodlands come out. His contention was that without the removal of the woodlands the house is too big for the property. On June 5th the ZBA denied a variance for the Scholtens because they couldn’t prove a hardship. There was a separate meeting to try to resolve this issue and they proposed to move the house on this property to protect the woodlands and it was really no different than the plans that were denied by the ZBA. The two-car garage is now called a one-car garage but contains the exact same amount of footage and the Scholtens are contending that part of the garage would be living space. Mr. Chomiuk felt if it looked like and was built like a garage it would probably become a garage. He said if the Scholtens removed the one car garage from where it is now they could create a four-car garage in the front of their home that would not need a variance and would allow the house to be moved to the left. Also, there are other lots in the subdivision, Lots 105, 106, 127, 135, and 136, where the Scholtens house would fit without any removal or destruction of woodlands or wetlands. Mr. Chomiuk read from the woodland code, Subsection 37.29, which stated "therefore the preservation of woodlands, trees," etc. "shall have priority over development when there are no location alternatives." The Scholtens have other alternatives.
Sheryl Chomiuk referred to the plan where only the large trees were represented. However, there were many other trees including apple trees that would be affected by digging the basement or the proposed swale that would go right through the woodlands. She displayed a photo with all the trees and stated the value of the property and protection of wooded areas was at risk. Everyone has had to come into compliance and she felt there had to be consistency. When their request was denied by the ZBA, it was because the house would be too close to the 25-ft buffer and wouldn’t have disrupted any trees. Ms. Kocan had strongly appealed to the board to uphold the regulations of the ordinance. The house was moved back 2 feet and it changed the orientation of the house and they felt like it was not a compromise because they still had to take out the woodlands. She felt it was the obligation of the Woodland Committee to maintain and preserve the woodlands. It was unfair for the proposal in front of Council to be changed. She had a petition signed by the members of the subdivision supporting their argument.
Larry Papp, 46000 White Pines Drive, read from a letter dated April 13th from Linda Lemke stating there was too much intrusion into the woodlands. At the 6-21-01 Woodlands Committee meeting the Scholtens produced a house plan that moved the house back a tad with no guarantees that any of the woodlands would be saved. The aggregate square footage remained the same whether a one or two car garage. The Woodlands Committee granted permission to build despite the lack of change in the house plan and the lack of clarity of how much woodland would be destroyed in construction efforts. Mr. Papp displayed a photo of a proposed home with and without the trees. He noted that Ms. Papp attempted to get the Master Plan for Autumn Park and couldn’t get it so they don’t know if the house fits within the envelope of the lot. He asked what the envelope of the lot was. He noted there were other lots far larger that could accommodate this home.
Kim Taylor Papp presented some of the environmental aspects related to this issue. They had endured two members of the Woodlands Committee making decisions about the area without having seen it. They had endured a member of the Woodlands Committee refer to the regulated woodlands on the east side of Lot 134 as containing undesirable trees. Also, the Scholtens attorney, Mark Sturing, referred to the regulated woodlands on Lot 134 as low quality. These people do not live near this area yet they are making decisions that greatly affect them. She quoted Chapter 37 Article 1 of the Woodland Protection Ordinance and said this is where it applied. "The ecosystem of concern has significance. It purifies air and water, mitigates droughts and floods, generates and preserves soils and plays a role in their fertility. It detoxifies and decomposes waste. It pollinates natural vegetation, it disperses seeds, it cycles and re-cycles nutrients, it maintains bio-diversity. It provides protection from the suns’ ultra violet radiation and provides aesthetic beauty and intellectual stimulation" etc. Ms. Papp also read from Master Plan for Land Use Novi 2020. She asked that Council consider their thoughts, ideas, and sentiments.
Mark Sturing, attorney representing Mr. Scholten, noted he is a volunteer member of Building Authority and there was nothing that occurred on this committee that would affect decisions made with regard to Woodland Review Board issues. It is not a conflict of interest.
Member DeRoche asked Mr. Fisher to comment on the conflict of interest statement. Mr. Fisher asked if Council felt there would be any bias. He had not heard any indication that would create a direct conflict.
Mr. Sturing noted the Scholtens own Lot 134 in Autumn Park Subdivision so discussion about another lot does not take into consideration that they already own Lot 134. They wish to build a home within the building envelope on Lot 134. Beginning in February or March this year, they were advised they needed a permit from Woodland Review Board.
Mr. Sturing felt no Woodland permit was required. In any case, the Woodland Review Board met and granted the unanimous approval. Two days after the deadline for the appeal lapsed the decision was appealed. That appeal is technically defective because it was late and it was addressed to the Woodland Review Board and not the City Council as required by ordinance. On June 13, the Board met again and asked the Scholtens to change the plan, which they did. They proposed to move the house five feet further back. They preferred to have their home the same distance from the road as all the others but in an attempt to accommodate and appease the appellants they compromised. On June 21 the Woodland Review Board, again, unanimously approved a Woodland permit for the Scholtens. They were given permission to remove poison ivy, one dead tree, one diseased tree, bush, grass, and brush 8 ft within the building envelope. This is considerably less than the 15 feet approved for the developer when the developer received their woodland permit several years ago. It is their position that to remove one dead and another diseased tree, poison ivy even in a woodland area did not require a permit. It was also their understanding that pursuant to Section 37-26 that no woodland permit was required to build within the building area of an approved single family subdivision. That building area is, by definition of the Woodland Ordinance 15, feet outside the proposed residence. Mr. Sturing quoted from Section 37-27 "notwithstanding the prohibition of Section 37.26 the activities permitted without a use permit regarding the removal or trimming of dead and diseased trees where the damage resulted from non-human cause." He felt this was not a protected woodland area. The Planning Commission granted a permit to the developer to remove 15 feet of vegetation and trees on the east side of his client’s house and the westerly side of the appellant’s lot. His clients were proposing less than what the developer was authorized to do in the woodland permit they received. The only preserved or protected woodlands are in the rear of the lot. He thought the Planning Commission in 1997 recognized this was a low density woodlands and based on various priorities of which trees should be saved and which did not have to be saved, the dead and diseased trees could be removed. Any reliance argument by the appellants is totally nullified by the more detailed analysis of the woodland plan approved by the Planning Commission for the developer of that entire subdivision. His client relied on the woodland permit granted to the developer when they purchased the lot. He also confirmed, with the woodland consultants for Trinity Bosco, the developers, that there are no protected woodlands to the east of his clients proposed house and to the west of the appellant’s lot. It appeared the official woodlands map is amended once every 10 years and not each time the woodland ordinance changed. He felt it was more critical to rely on the survey of that area in 1997 when an approval was given to the developer Trinity Bosco.
Mr. Sturing asked if Council could deny a permit that is considerably less than what was allowed and would they overrule the two previous unanimous decisions of the Woodland Review Board and the Planning Commission of 1997 whose decision was never appealed. He stated to overrule these decisions, based on his client’s reliance of his client when they purchased their lot, they would do so at great peril.
He asked Council to deny the appeal and stated that even though they felt no permit was required, his client had behaved patiently in this matter. He replied to appellants that Builders or developers put up the fence, not Pargoff, and this is not a garage issue.
Mayor Clark clarified there were a number of hearings because of a defect in the hearing notice, so it was correct to go back to the Review Board. He asked if it wasn’t protected woodlands, why did the developer need a permit and why did the owner of the lot apply for a permit. Mayor Clark asked if it was a house with a 2-3 car garage or with a space that would ultimately allow 5 cars? Mr. Sturing replied it had 1,000 square feet of garage space and 4 cars could be accommodated. Mayor Clark said assuming Mr. Scholten built the house with a two-car garage and moved it to the west, could they build it and stay out of the woodlands completely? Mr. Sturing asked why, if the developer received permission to build here, does his client not need to get another permit. He read from Section 37-26 of the Woodland Ordinance, which said "the developer shall designate building areas. Once the building areas had been approved and made a part of the use permit no additional woodland use permits shall be required for the erection of the structures within the building area, which includes sufficient area plus 15 ft around the area". According to the Woodland and Zoning Ordinance the Scholtens technically have 15 feet around the building envelope for purposes of construction. They have offered to use smaller equipment, to only intrude 6 to 8 feet, and they will preserve the other 7 or 8 feet so they would be entitled to do what the ordinance allowed them to do in terms of providing the necessary swale and drainage. The ordinance does not require them to get a Woodland Permit. To respond to the question about Mr. Fisher’s memo it didn’t address if it was a fair process for the applicants.
Mayor Clark stated he hoped the attorney’s memo was written not for the appellants or the petitioner but on behalf of the City as to whether or not the procedure was fair and appropriate. Mr. Fisher’s concern was that if the hearing or re-hearing by the Woodland Board had not been granted and it was appealed to the Circuit Court, because the parties had received no notice the Circuit Court would have sent it back and it would have been a lot of activity for naught.
Mr. Sturing said if the proceeding was improper because of notice it might have been a valid reason to appeal that hearing and they should have appealed directly to Council. Mr. Fisher’s underlined in his memo the part about the written notice to the neighbors and that was why he believed that the Woodland Review Board conducted its business as usual. Mr. Sturing said if the house was moved to the west, it would violate the setback requirements from the neighbor to the west and would exceed the 15 foot setback requirements.
Member Bononi asked Mr. Nowicki what it would take to construct that swale in a regulated woodland area with regard to soil disturbance? He said it would take a piece of equipment but in some cases he had seen developers and contractors use a hand shovel to make sure there was a minimum amount of disruption around a tree. She asked if the swale could be moved from side to side to effect positive storm drainage flow? Mr. Nowicki said yes. She asked if, even hand digging, would destroy everything in the swale path, and asked how wide an area would be disturbed? Mr. Nowicki said it would depend on the technique they used in order to provide the positive drainage back and forth. Some of the contractors are becoming quite creative in order to uphold the criteria of the community. She asked what he would guess the range of the width of the swale would be on a relatively flat topographical site? Mr. Nowicki said about 15 feet at the most.
Member Bononi asked Mr. Klaver about the problem with regard to scale of Woodland map? Mr. Klaver said the scale made it difficult to assess how much of the vegetation would be intruded upon. She said considering this narrow finger of woodlands she didn’t feel that was the case and asked Mr. Klaver for the criteria used in making the decision to approve this woodland application. Mr. Klaver had dealt with whether or not they went through all reasonable efforts to avoid intrusion into the woodlands and whether it was only necessary to accommodate that intrusion to allow the house to be sited on the lot, so it was a question of the hardship. She asked if he or anyone else on the Woodlands Review Board consider this house to be a big foot application? He relied on the 25% lot coverage. Member Bononi stated the letter of approval did not go into why the decision was made. Member Bononi referred to a 4-13-01 letter from Linda Lemke, which said there was too much intrusion into the regulated woodlands building area. She said the plan needed to be modified to eliminate the intrusion into the woodlands along the east side of this site. Member Bononi said as far as she was concerned it is regulated and that Ms. Lemke made her decision. She heard no rational criteria regarding why the decision was made at the Woodlands Review Board.
Member Bononi said we have an officially adopted Woodlands map and when residents buy lots in Novi they have a reasonable expectation that the City would uphold woodlands regulations. She had a great deal of difficulty in seeing a selective enforcement unless there is a really good reason to do so. She would not approve the results that the Woodland Review Board came to. In regard to the language on Matters for Council Action, she would look to approve the appeal of the decision by the Woodland Review Board Lot 134, Autumn Park, for the above reasons.
CM-01-07-184 Moved by Bononi, seconded Lorenzo;
To approve the appeal and reverse the decision of the Woodlands Review Board of Lot #134, Autumn Park III Subdivision.
Mr. Papp referred to the City of Novi Woodlands Map and it did show Lot 134 with 3.148 acres of woodlands just east of Lot 134. He thought five cars could fit into a 1,000 sq. ft. garage.
Member Csordas asked if the original developer was granted a woodland plan approval and if applied to this lot? Mr. Fisher had not investigated that. Member Csordas felt that Council needed to follow the approved plan by the Planning Commission as the project developed. He agreed the woodlands map could not be accurate because it was too broad of a picture. He appreciated the fact that Council should follow the approved plans. He asked if the house met all of the setbacks? He did not see how they could go against what had been approved for the original developer. He could not support the motion.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked questions of Eric Olsen from Linda Lemke’s office. She asked if the home approved to be built on the lot was 3,000 square feet? Mr. Olson said yes. She said the current home was now 4,057 square feet and in 1997 the Planning Commission approved a 3,000 square foot home on that lot. The plans show a much smaller home on that lot, which might not have intruded into the woodlands at all. Mr. Olsen said earlier there was a quote in the ordinance about the developer setting a building footprint with 15 feet around it and that referred to a typical footprint that the developer showed on the final site plan. Fifteen feet was allowed and if someone came in beyond that it would require additional Woodland approval. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said she would support the motion. It appeared to her that this house could be put on this lot with a 2, 3 or even 4 car garage.
Member Kramer asked what the building envelope was? He felt the two drawings conflict. What size house could be built? He was also looking for information that it is regulated woodland and that it met the set backs requirements. He said there was no building envelope shown with the site plan. He supported the discussion regarding the importance of woodlands but had trouble relating that to taking one tree down on a 15 foot strip of land. He said this project was not clear and felt the facts didn’t come together.
CM-01-07-185 Moved by Kramer, seconded by Cassis; MOTION CARRIED:
To table this project.
Roll call vote on CM-01-07-185 Yeas: Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer
Nays: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi
Approval of Firefighters contract July 1, 2001-June 30, 2005, and retirement benefit F50 Resolution.
CM-01-07-186 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche: CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Firefighters contract July 1, 2001-
June 30, 2005, and retirement benefit F50 Resolution.
Roll call vote on CM-01-07-186 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark,
Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis
Zoning text amendment 01-18.168 – An Ordinance to amend Section 24, Section 2401 and 2402, of the City of Novi Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, relating to open space preservation, in order to clarify the intent of the open space preservation option and to provide greater incentive for use of the option - 1st Reading
CM-01-07-187 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas: CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To accept Zoning text amendment 01-18.168
An Ordinance to amend Section 24, Section 2401 and 2402, of the City of Novi Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, relating to open space preservation, in order to clarify the intent of the open space preservation option and to provide greater incentive for use of the option - 1st Reading
Member Kramer requested when the ordinance came back for the 2nd Reading that the original words be inserted and lined out and the new words be bolded or italicized so changes were clearly specified.
Roll call vote on CM-01-07-187 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark,
Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis
Approval of Consent Judgment Settlement with Landon Companies for Wixom Road/Grand River.
Mayor Clark said this has been discussed on numerous occasions in executive session. He thought this was a substantial improvement and would preserve 40% of the woodlands. He commended Mr. Fisher for his work on the Consent Judgement and thought this was an appropriate resolution of this matter and reminded everyone this was scheduled for trial in a few days if not resolved.
CM-01-07-188 Moved by Csordas, seconded by DeRoche; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve Consent Judgment Settlement with Landon Companies for Wixom/Grand River. Also, add "that the developer would not use the preservation area" and delete the words "detention basin from the preservation area".
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo would not support the motion and disagreed that the resolution was satisfactory. This is a monumental decision, which represented an extremely intense use near very expensive single family homes and schools. She did not see what the City was getting out of the proposal and thought compromise was towards the developer and not the citizens of Novi. Also, much of the permanently preserved 40 acres was landscaping required with site plan review. She was also concerned that the 15.53 acres, which is supposed to be permanently preserved, could be used for storm water detention. She remarked about 700 trees underwater and compared it to Briarwood. This was not a legitimate Master Plan change. It was changed as a result of a lawyer on behalf of the developer before the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission tabled the Master Plan amendments only to return two weeks later and change the Master Plan in accordance with a single request. She questioned the validity of the Master Plan document and felt this was totally changing the character of the area. With the outlots it would reach 400,000 square feet; it is 375,000 square feet just with the main retail buildings. Novi Town Center is 444,000 sq. ft. and West Oaks II is 384,000 sq. ft. The decision of this Council tonight would place a West Oaks II or Town Center less than a half a mile from Island Lake of Novi, subdivisions on Delmont and Dinser, the new middle school and possibly the Catholic School that wants to locate in that area. This is incompatible for that area and totally inappropriate for the City. She thought because of concern for other litigation this Council would become paralyzed from making sound land use decisions because of the threat of lawsuits.
Mayor Clark disagreed with the Mayor Pro Tem. A substantial area of woodlands would be preserved. One nice thing about a Consent Judgement was the court retained control and it was an agreement between the parties that the court would enforce. If the woodlands are used as storm water drainage the City would be back in court. Therefore, he would proceed on the basis that both parties acted on good faith and would continue to act in good faith. As far as out lots, the Town Center still has out lots and they probably would never be developed. He felt once opened the surrounding residents would frequent those businesses. The Planning Commission has the authority, by Charter, to change the Master Plan and Council has a legal obligation to follow that plan. This is legal and appropriate and he would support the motion.
Member Kramer said the consent judgement was probably the most favorable use of this type for the land, although, he would have chosen a different use. However, we must protect the integrity of the City and the Master Plan and he would support the consent judgement.
Member Cassis thought they had reached a consensus on this issue. He did not want to be told he was surrendering to a developer or selling his soul. He stated he did not do that. They had reached a prudent, logical and legal decision that they could defend and honorably adopt. He thought it was time to stop reckless decisions that were not based on the Master Plan but based on emotions and liking or disliking something. They needed to be defenders of the City interests over all and not how they feel about woodlands or wetlands. We all want to defend the woodlands and wetlands. However, he now has to take cognizance of that Master Plan and of the legality and consequences of it.
Member Bononi stated one person’s prudence was another person’s folly. She stated the Master Plan is a policy document and not a legal zoning document. She asked who the principles of Novi Equities Limited Partnership were as she did not believe they were Novi residents and would not have to live with the effects of this development. She pointed out the disingenuousness of the original zoning request. Council was assured of a small retail boutique specialty use plan and lurking in the back of our minds was big box and guess what? Here it is. This said something about how they approach up front development application meetings. We are slowly encroaching into many areas of Novi that were never intended to be encroached upon with regard to residential areas in particular. She submitted that this plan was an ugly and greedy example of urban sprawl. It is architecturally bankrupt and the fact that this body was forced into a corner by a consent decree was a reality we had to face.
When looking at what the developer got and weighing it against what the citizens of Novi got she was very disturbed. We are talking about Retail A being 149,600 sq. ft., Retail B being 100,000 sq. ft and Retail C 125,400 sq. ft. and the right of the applicant to be granted additional space for outdoor use. What is that? On page 7 it talks about the applicant receiving wall sign approvals by way of this consent decree. Everybody else had to go to the ZBA or the Building Department for a sign permit and these people are no different from anyone else. Also, page 8, as a result of this agreement this group also got "an expedited basis of approval for Phase I". What is that? It is first in first out for everyone. If the applicant has time problems it is their problem. Page 13, there is talk about the proposed on-site detention basin. It would seem there is a question as to whether or not the applicant could utilize the regional detention basin so on site detention basin will be provided in accordance with the standards. "In such event the on site basin, on Exhibit B, may be expanded not more than 30 feet west." Member Bononi said it was encroaching into the preservation area. Also, it said, "such areas used for storm water storage shall be included in the calculation of the minimum green open space plan on the property". She asked what was really being preserved that was not mainly benefiting this developer. She was happy that a portion of the site was being preserved but believed that the area shown was incorrect. Item D, page 13, referred to a sanitary sewer service being provided to connect to the existing sanitary sewer line and that the Plaintiff could request an alternate sanitary sewer connection. Member Bononi hoped it would be at his expense.
On Page 14 there is talk about "the plaintiff, at his expense, shall cause the installation of traffic signals at the main boulevard on Wixom Road" but it did not describe what kind of traffic signal and whether there would be left turn phasing. She didn’t know what the citizens of Novi gained by that. Also, in the interest of traffic safety," the City without expense shall cooperate in pursuing approval of a relocated Grand River Avenue entrance design to align with the new Grand River Avenue/Twelve Mile Road traffic signal". Member Bononi said if our employees are working on this project on behalf of this developer it is at the citizen’s expense and she took issue with that.
On Page 16 there is talk about the wetlands but they were obviously not important enough to this applicant to even indicate them on the attached maps. They refer, under Item 2, "that wetlands B and G shall be fully mitigated consistent with the provisions of the City permit issued." However, they are going to mitigate the wetlands in the preservation area. Page 17, talks about 2.87 acres of mitigated wetlands.
These are all of the concerns she had with how this agreement was negotiated and what the strategy was with regard to what the City would get back. If the detention was not sufficient they could just move into the preservation area. She believed the citizens of Novi would not be served by this and would only gain traffic, air pollution, and a basically incompatible placement of a use in the community. She did not think Council folded by doing this but with regard to negotiating this agreement she thought it was a planning failure. The City wouldn’t get anything back. It was not a quality application, it was not deserving of this City in any way, shape or form. She would not support the motion.
Member DeRoche said what he thought was monumental about this was that for the last 2 ½ years the citizens of Novi have been obsessed with one issue and that was what was being done about the lawsuit? There has been a massive change over in Council, administration, and our legal staff in the way we do things. It has culminated on another substantive exposure that this City had and it was handled a different way. He was present when decisions were made that cost this City hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars because they were not handled the way our citizens wanted them handled. We, Council, are the Board of Directors, we are here specifically because 50,000 residents want us to make informed sound judgments as to how this city operates. It is important to discuss likes and dislikes but the issue here is that the majority of this Council, the administration, legal representation has changed. Some have not changed the way they want to operate this City and would continue to expose us to tens of millions of dollars if it continued. After nearly two years of negotiations and with the trial date coming up in a couple days this City had made a monumental shift in the way things were done. Citizens are concerned about the couple of hundred of dollars a year they might have to pay for the next 20 years and they are not happy about it. We can, as a Council, administration and City attorneys avoid exposing them to that much more. That is the issue. He will support the motion.
Mr. Fisher commented regarding the storm water and preservation area it was brought up by members before the meeting and he discussed it with legal Counsel for the plaintiff in this case. Every intent was that this property would be served for storm water purposes by a regional detention area. Engineers can’t give that assurance until they have all the calculations in their hand but we fully expect that would be the case. He had permission to indicate that we can clarify this in here that if storm water must be stored on site it would be stored in the area that consists of that retention basin with the prospect of potentially moving 30 feet to the west which is not into the preservation area but into the landscape area between the preservation area and the building. There would not be destruction of the preservation area even in the unlikely event that storm water must be stored on the site. As far as the expedited process for Phase I, that process spelled out in the judgment is taken from Building Department policy. There is one area where the developer would get some expeditious treatment but for the most part it is almost word for word with the City’s policy.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said based on what Mr. Fisher said that the developer has committed that he would not need to use the preservation area she urged that the Council put that in their motion and remove the words "detention basin from the preservation area."
Member Csordas asked Mr. Fisher if that was necessary. Mr. Fisher did not think it was necessary but they could clarify all of that in the text of the language and he would discuss removing that designation on the map as well. Member Csordas said as long as by doing that we don’t take the City and the citizens in the path of another lawsuit. He was proud to be part of a Council that was standing up and not being arrogant and saying let’s take them to court. Let’s do something sensible, apply that language, and keep out of trouble. He had no objection to that and he called the vote.
Member Kramer asked if there was wiggle room in the framework of the consent judgment? It is written with incomplete engineering knowledge at this point, he wanted to soften some of that with intent, and have some of the details brought back for amendment to the consent judgment to work out the specifics of the detail. He was uncomfortable signing up for an assumed end resolution and didn’t know if it could be addressed in that framework or not. Mr. Fisher said they have to go through site plan review. He asked that it be in the language that this would be amended further by the results of the site plan work. Mr. Fisher said it was already in there and referred that any amendment would have to have the joint approval of the Council and the property owner.
Roll call vote on CM-01-07-188 Yeas: DeRoche, Kramer, Clark, Cassis, Csordas
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi
Beck north corporate site condominium landscape easement. This corporate park site condominium project is located in Section 4, east of Beck and north of West Roads. This forty-seven acre site is zoned Light Industrial District (I-1). The applicant is seeking approval of the Landscape Easement.
CM-01-07-189 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Beck North Corporate Site Condominium Landscape easement.
Roll call vote on CM-01-07-189 Yeas: Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi,
Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
Approval of Mission Statement: Stormwater Management and Watershed Stewardship Committee.
CM-01-07-190 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Mission Statement for the Stormwater Management And Watershed Stewardship Committee.
Roll call vote on CM-01-07-190 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas,
Designation of Voting Delegate and Alternate Voting Delegate –Michigan Municipal League.
Mayor Clark said this is MML’s convention September 12 through 14 in Battle Creek. There are no attendees at this point.
Approval of appointment of the firm of Keller, Thoma, Schwarze, Schwarze, DuBay and Katz to serve as Labor Attorneys for the City of Novi.
CM-01-07-191 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the appointment of the firm of Keller, Thoma, Schwarze,
Schwarze, DuBay and Katz to serve as Labor Attorneys for the City
Roll call vote on CM-01-07-191 Yeas: Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas,
DeRoche, Kramer, Clark
Approval of Resolution authorizing the Reprogramming of Community Development Block Grant funds.
Member Kramer asked if we were to the point of reprogramming or lose?
Mr. Klaver replied for the first year, yes. It would also be true for the second year as well because they changed the number of years it could be carried over. 1997 and 1998 would need to be reprogrammed as well. Member Kramer asked if 1999 and 2000 needed to be reprogrammed as well? Mr. Klaver said that was the recommendation of the committee but it could be held off. Member Kramer would support only the reprogramming of what needed to be done. He was disappointed that the recommendation was for a use that was not in the targeted area, which is what Council had requested. He urged that the 1999-2000 funds be hung onto and that the committee be charged to get out there and find projects the funds could be used on in the target area. He would not support the motion.
Mayor Clark stated they were allocating those funds for the years that would otherwise be lost.
Member Kramer said no, they were going to do all four years.
Mr. Klaver said the second page illustrated that it went 1997,1998,1999 and 2000. Member Kramer asked if they all had to be reprogrammed or lost at this point. Mr. Klaver said 2000 would not have to be but from a practical perspective we have the applications, we are processing about six projects so we are reserving enough to cover any anticipated projects at this time. It would not have to be reprogrammed but the committee felt that this time of the year it was appropriate to reallocate that and they felt the program provided through the van service was a very important one.
Member Bononi echoed the comments of Member Kramer. She was not satisfied with regard to this grant funding administration. She realized Mr. Klaver inherited this however, with regard to placing these funds where they are needed some of the things she could think of were street signs in the north end, the pavement of the parking area and roadway at North Shore Park, planting at North Shore Park, and paving a portion of a street. Other considerations with regard to how these funds might be used with regard to ameliorating existing many storm water runoff situations. She wanted to know the date the 1997 and 1998 funds must be allocated or lost. Mr. Klaver said December 31, 2001. She suggested targeting the area that the funds are received as a result, look for more comment from the committee with regard to that, and designate a plan to this regard. Perhaps a written quarterly report to help keep us on track with regard to meeting these dates. Although, senior transportation is very important that is not where this money should be going. We have the obligation to provide senior transportation and van expenses but she wanted to see the money go where it was supposed to go. She also wanted to see an outreach program in regard to minor home repair. She asked how to get the word out to people that they quality for home repairs and that the money is there so next year we are not going through this same thing again? There is enough time to come up with proposals to use this money before December 31st. She would move to postpone.
CM-01-07-192 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone and come back to Council by the first meeting in October or sooner and to only include the reprogramming of CDBG funds going to Old Novi Road sidewalk improvements with additional planning coming forward for the expenditure and reprogramming of the other funds.
Mayor Clark thought some of the money was committed for a second van. Member Bononi said if it was not approved for reprogramming it can’t be allocated for a new van unless the City was going to absorb it. Mr. Klaver said that is correct. He thought the biggest concern was to get the Old Novi Road sidewalk done this year. Member Bononi said that’s fine.
Mr. Helwig said the primary concern was to cover Old Novi Road, which fit the very strong sense we are augmenting because we didn’t get the transportation enhancement program with funds from our Capital Improvement Program. This would help us design for that and get it out to bid. The other senior van program funds are coming from the General Fund. There is the option of coming up with other more intense, directed, long lasting improvements in the target area with those other funds. If that is your policy direction then adopt a motion to that effect and they would go to work on the difference between the total amount and the amount needed for the Old Novi Road pedestrian way. Member Bononi thought it would be a good idea.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo amended the motion to only include the reprogramming of funds that were going to Old Novi Road sidewalk improvements with additional planning coming forward for the expenditure and reprogramming of the other funds by the first meeting in October or sooner.
Member Cassis said these funds were allocated for a certain purpose and he would like to see them directed towards that purpose. Now that we have enough people in administration to investigate needs that were indicated in audience participation we need to start directing these funds in that area.
Mayor Clark commented perhaps Cindy Uglow working with Mr. Korte could work with the residents in the north end. Mr. Korte is correct that being in need does not mean you don’t have a certain level of pride and it is hard sometimes to come forward and admit help is needed. Perhaps, with Ms. Uglow and Mr. Korte we can open up lines of communication.
Member Cassis said the Rotary Club participated in Christmas in April and they are willing as a volunteer organization to participate, advise or be of help in any kind of project.
Mr. Klaver said they tried to tap some of these resources, featured an article in the community newsletter, and would add information to the web site. They also met with the Code Compliance Officers so they are aware of the program.
Roll call vote on CM-01-07-192 Yeas: Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche,
Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo
Re-schedule special Council meeting Re: Gateway Ordinance from July 17, 2001 to July 30, 2001.
CM-01-07-193 Moved by Kramer, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To re-schedule special Council meeting Re: Gateway Ordinance from
July 17, 2001 to July 30, 2001
Roll call vote on CM-01-07-193 Yeas: Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark,
Acceptance of Sidewalk Easement from property owner, PICO Investment Company LLC, for the Twelve Mile and Other Roadway Improvements Project – Special Assessment District #155.
CM-01-07-194 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas; MOTION CARRIED:
To accept Sidewalk Easement from property owner, PICO Investment Company LLC, for the Twelve Mile and Other Roadway Improvements Project – Special Assessment District #155.
Member Kramer requested that a thank you letter be sent to PICO for their contribution.
Roll call vote on CM-01-07-194 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark,
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi
Authorization for a staff and consultant review of a request to vacate a storm sewer easement by the Singh Development Company to accommodate the proposed Main Street Village-Phase 2.
CM-01-07-195 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Kramer; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To authorize a staff and consultant review of a request to vacate a Storm sewer easement by the Singh Development Company to Accommodate the proposed Main Street Village-Phase 2.
Roll call vote on CM-01-07-195 Yeas: DeRoche, Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi,
Approval of resolution authorizing the filing of a petition to vacate and re-locate cemetery burial sites regarding 12 Mile Road "Gap" project.
Member Csordas asked how many grave sites there were? Mr. Fisher said, in terms of humans, there is a mass site for cremains from Wayne State University. It appears to be two individual graves within the grading area. Our intent is to work with the road commission to see if they would agree to avoid grading in those areas in lieu of moving the graves. At this point it was the road commission that desired to do this. It is their road right-of-way and they will be maintaining it in the long term but we would like to work with them to work around these two sites. Member Csordas said there is a procedure through the State to do this appropriately and notify next of kin, etc. Mr. Fisher said the road commission would be shepherding that along with his office and the Oakland County Circuit Court if Council approves it. Member Csordas said the utmost respect would be given to the gravesites and the families and the City would be clean as far as liability. Mr. Fisher said absolutely. Member Csordas asked if the building where the cremains are would be affected? Mr. Fisher said it would be affected, it was in the ground and it would be moved to another location in the cemetery.
CM-01-07-196 Moved by Csordas, seconded by DeRoche; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve resolution authorizing the filing of a petition to vacate and re-locate cemetery burial sites regarding 12 Mile Road "Gap" Project.
Member DeRoche commented this is not a laughing matter. When handled appropriately by the City, County and State he thought the families would prefer and appreciate having the remains of their family members and loved ones moved away from this boulevard. He would support the motion.
Member Kramer said this is a request to fill out the necessary steps for filing in Circuit Court to have these graves removed. That is different from saying we are having discussions with the Oakland County Road Commission to revise the grading plan. How do we resolve those two?
Mr. Fisher said they are really not separate. At this point in time Oakland County has indicated that they believe they need authority to move these two individual grave sites as part of the overall project. So we are asking for the authority to proceed in that regard. In the meantime we would like to work with the design engineer and the County to see if we can work around these two gravesites and not disturb them.
Member Bononi commented she would not be a party to such a disrespectful act. If there were no other alternative or this was some sort of project that health, welfare and safety depended on it that would be another matter. We are talking about widening a roadway in order to accommodate a mall and from the standpoint of disturbing eternal rest of anyone to do that it was not something she would do. She would even go so far as to say that the road commission should find some other way up to and including looking to the property owner on the southerly side of the road to donate some property in realignment. If this situation were explained to that property owner there might be some leeway there with regard to the roadway width required. But to even seek permission of next of kin with regard to this was something she would not support.
Mayor Clark said this was always a concern and was not something that had never happened before. What Mr. Fisher brought before Council was what the law required. You cannot move or disinter the remains of a deceased person without prior lawful approval and that is what this process would do. There are two sites that the County may decide not to disturb and the other two sites are where anatomical gifts to the Wayne State University School of Medicine are buried. He did not see this as disturbing gravesites for the benefit of the developer. We have portions of 12 Mile Road that are boulevarded now and it had always been the intent to widen 12 Mile to a boulevard, even if there wasn’t a development west of Novi Road, for public safety. We are very respectful of the fact that there is a cemetery in the area and would handle it in an appropriate and delicate manner.
Roll call vote on CM-01-07-196 Yeas: Kramer, Clark, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi
Approve resolution of support for maintaining single County Commissioner district.
CM-01-07-197 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve resolution of support for maintaining a single County Commissioner District.
Member DeRoche asked how Commissioner Crawford felt about this? Mayor Clark said he was very concerned about this and that it did not make sense that a small portion of our City would be represented by another Commissioner as opposed to our community being treated as one political entity. He would like this resolution passed.
Roll call vote on CM-01-07-197 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas,
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Request of Attorney Fisher to address SAD 155 Bond Issues with regard to the progress payments being temporarily suspended – Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked what Bond Issues were being referred to. Mr. Fisher said in connection with a public project the law required a contractor to post two kinds of bonds. One is a performance bond and one is a payment bond. As the contract was initially set up the unusual nature of this arrangement was that the property owner in this situation was not just one person paying a special assessment but a property owner paying all the special assessments. In that regard, the property owner negotiated so that they were the contractor on the project and controlled the project, which was PLC. PLC not being a road builder hired IaFrate as a contractor. When we got involved in this we wanted to protect the City because we didn’t want a situation where PLC didn’t enforce a contract with IaFratieletting IaFrate go and then we would have less recourse under the circumstances. So, we basically, took the position that we wanted PLC to post an additional bond. He had not seen it but he had been informed that Iafrati and PLC both posted their bonds and we are now in a position to bring before Council the next payment. Mr. Fisher would have the document prior to that time.
8. IATA Lebanon Week – Member Cassis
Member Cassis said there was a village in Lebanon that produced hundreds of immigrants and he was one of them. They went to the United States of America and settled in Massachusetts, W. Virginia, Ohio, California and a lot of them settled in the area of Detroit Michigan. These people continued to correspond, marry, and become one happy family. They decided, in the last few years, to get together in a certain City of designation and renew, talk, discuss, see each other and visit with each other. For the last three years this had been held in Charleston W. Virginia and Member Cassis had been able to go down there and sing and dance, talk and discuss with other people from this little village. We persuaded them to come to Detroit this year and they chose Novi as the place we would gather and break bread and sing and dance and be a family. This would be held at the Hilton Hotel in Novi, August 31st through September 2nd and he asked his colleagues and the Mayor to designate that week as IATA Week and take the appropriate actions to welcome those people. There would be, proudly, 400 to 500 people.
Mayor Clark responded they would be happy to do that and they would prepare and have ready at the next meeting an appropriate resolution to designate that week as such.
Member Cassis noted they would like every Council Member to come and join them in the festivities and that everybody is welcome. This would take place Labor Day weekend.
Mayor Clark asked that this be added to the next agenda for an appropriate resolution.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
Letter from Gordon Farris Re: Recognition of Veterans.
Letter from Larry VanZandt Re: 2410 Shawood.
E-mail from Deanna Johnson Re: S. Lake Dr.
Letter from Betty Marianetti Re: Gate VI gallery.
Letter from James C. Bolz Re: S. Lake Dr.
Letter from Ron & Sheryl Chomiuk and Larry and Kim Papp Re: Woodlands Review Board appeal-Lot 134,Autumn Park Subdivision
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 12:42 AM.
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by: ___________________
Date approved: August 13, 2001