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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:38 PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor Pro Tem Bononi, Council Members Capello, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry, Lorenzo
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mr. Pearson asked that Island Lake Development Items 10 through 21 be deferred for no more than 45 days to revisit the idea of paybacks with the Ordinance Review Committee as Council had asked for.
Member Lorenzo added under Mayor and Council Issues Item #1, Schedule the City Manager and City Clerk evaluations and Item #2, To request the Consultant Review Committee to commence bids for the revised engineering consultancy.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi added under Mayor and Council Issues Item #3, Reductions of Subdivision Performance Bonds and subsequent financial impacts on the City and Item #4, Status of Special Land Use Day Center usages in Single Family zones.
CM-02-06-136 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as amended.
Vote on CM-02-06-136 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry,
SPECIAL REPORTS - None
COMMITTEE REPORTS - None
Arbor Day Volunteer Recognitions
Mayor Clark thanked those members of the community who unselfishly volunteered time and services to make Novi the community that it is. If this community had to pay for the services that the volunteers provided, we would run a deficit budget every year. Their service is priceless and appreciated. Participating volunteers were Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, community businesses and citizen volunteers who made it an outstanding day with over 300 trees planted at the Community Sports Park. Mayor Clark recognized Janice VanDusen, Lynn, Megan and Natalie Paul, Sue Flanagan and Bobby Blazo.
PUBLIC HEARINGS - None
CITY MANAGER Ė None
Report on Fire Department employment testing procedures: T. Gronlund-Fox and
Member Csordas noted he requested this report, it was excellent but more than he had expected. His only concern had been the psychological testing of paid on call firefighter candidates and was not regarding physical agility testing. He directed Council to page 2 of their memo dated May 27th where it should be noted that only one of the departments in their survey of 12 cities required psychological evaluation for paid on call employees. Member Csordas thought it might be an obstacle to recruitment and he had talked with Chief Lenaghan and he agreed.
Chief Lenaghan said the Task Force looked at this and departments surveyed did agility testing. Novi Fire Department policy has been changed and implemented. A psychiatric evaluation is done for full time firefighters but not for paid on call firefighters.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi noted she was interested in this also as a member of the Fire/EMS Task Force. This question with regard to psychological as opposed to psychiatric testing was brought up as a result of the Fire Marshall bringing it to the attention of Ms. Gronlund-Fox and requesting it. Those who served on the Fire/EMS Task Force are very interested in maintaining the highest possible standard. However, to institute a standard that was not necessarily required would bring one more issue to the table.
ATTORNEY - None
James Korte, Shawood Lake resident, referred to the water main in 1999 and HCD funding to put water in at 2026 Austin. When the water went in, the City damaged the retaining wall. Agreements were reached that it would be shared 50-50 using HCD funding. The HCD funding was appropriated and set aside and the City wasnít able to obtain suitable construction people in the Spring of 2000. In the Spring of 2001 the City Manager saw the property and understood that it had to be done. Mr. Korte found a contractor; contracts were done and reasonably approved by the City in letter form. He felt the City didnít like the $6,500 of HCD funding, of which he would pay half. Mr. Schlick could not find anyone to bid the job so the person Mr. Korte found was who they went with. No one showed up so he did his half of the retaining wall because of the possibility of the parking space falling in from deterioration of the road. Now the DPW is going to finish the retaining wall and charge back. He asked if they were licensed. The City lost the plans to the retaining wall and he finished it. He had been told he would not be paid for doing the second half of the wall. Mr. Korte said it was not his business to facilitate HCD funding. He was told there was no HCD funding for his wall but when he questioned the issue, he found there was $50,000 there. He wants half of the original contract set two years ago as he did the whole thing.
He said the retaining wall was in and a staircase was needed. The City chose not to put the staircase, which is the entry to the property, into HCD funding. He finally agreed that the DPW would do a staircase and was assured they knew what they were doing. They removed it, took pictures and 40 man-hours later he had a deck but no stairs and the deck was unacceptable. They took out the original posts and didnít put the new posts in the original holes, which caused a 16-inch gap. This is dangerous and his mother could fall through. He had no staircase and social services needed to be in regularly to see his mother who was in deteriorating health and there was no way to get them on the property. If an ambulance was needed for his mother, as it had been 4 times in the last two years, there was no way to get her in or out. Then he found out the City spent $7,000 of HCD funds to put a wheelchair ramp on a mobile home but the money isnít available for Mrs. Korteís staircase or for the work he did.
Also, the water main was installed for 2030 Austin and he was assured the flooding would stop. Two and a half years ago JCK was out, unearthed everything and decided in order to stop the flooding the road would have to be taken down two feet and it was decided that the 20 by 24 slab had to come up. The City realized they had to do the slab and it was supposed to be done around the 8th. He tore the fences down so they could get in and nothing happened and he was accused of slowing the City down. He was told they were pulling the cement out and they would put in a temporary gravel driveway. This had been a six-year fight and he asked how long the gravel would be temporary? Two and a half loads of gravel were dumped in and then a load and a quarter of gravel was pulled out. Is this fiscal responsibility? He said nothing had been done, the driveway was cut into little hunks, the fences are gone and when they cut into the fence they cut into the deck on that property as well. The City told him they could repair that and just bleach out the rest of everything to make sense. The City is going to end up replacing the deck at 2030 Austin also. He suggested hiring legitimate contractors because City workers are not carpenters. He wants this completed so he could rent the house. He asked that someone get in touch with him regarding the staircase. He thought if something happened to Henrietta Korte because the City removed the staircase and didnít put it back in and refused HCD funds, that she deserves, the City would be responsible.
Mayor Clark commented Mr. Korte would have an answer before the next meeting.
Brian Kocian, 1523 West Lake Drive, tore down a house and built a new one. In 1998, he attended the first meeting on the SAD for water and paving. Since that time he has attended three more meetings. He asked that his subdivision be included in the Road Bond prior to it going in front of the citizens of Novi. At that time he felt that the SAD they were involved in was the quickest and best way to get the roads paved and City water to their homes. He drives a potholed road and the chemical used to control the dust on the roads has permanently stained his cars. He is disappointed with the City for not moving on this project, as it has been four years since he attended the first meeting and two years since he signed a petition asking to pay for their roads and City water. In the same amount of time he has seen a large parcel of land on West Park Drive go through a purchase, design, approval, land clearing, grading and almost all the underground utilities are in right now. He heard good points by Council that caused delays such as one-way streets, emergency vehicles and busses, which are all valid points. He asked Council to keep in mind that they only wanted to take their existing gravel roads and put asphalt on them and a water main under them. He knew Council would rather their roads met the building standards of todayís road but that is not practical in that area. He didnít feel there was any more liability paving the existing road then there is that has been there the past 40 years on the current gravel roads. Finally, he said one might assume that a fast growing community like Novi would provide basic infrastructure such as City water and paved roads. He made that appeal and was unsuccessful at doing so. He asked Council to let the citizens who voted and would pay for this project to move ahead to a better, cleaner and safer lifestyle.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
CM-02-06-137 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Consent Agenda as presented.
Member Lorenzo stated she was unaware that Council would continue with an Executive Session this evening. Mr. Fisher recommended an Executive Session to make a brief report.
Member Capello asked if there was anything further they would have to do regarding Don-Ter Seafood Class C liquor license? Mr. Fisher said approving it under the Consent Agenda was appropriate and that it was a re-approval.
Roll call vote on CM-02-06-137 Yeas: Bononi, Capello, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry,
Approve Minutes of:
Schedule Executive Session immediately following regular meeting of June 3, 2002 in the Council Annex for the purpose of discussing pending litigation.
Approval of Water Service Agreement for Temporary Service Line Connection, Donah Cashin, 26020 Whipple Street.
Reapproval of Class C liquor license in the name of Don-Ter Seafood, LLC, to be located at Jakeís Fish House, 47690 Grand River.
Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 623
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I
1. Adoption of Resolution No. 4 SAD 159 Lake Wall, John Hawthornís Sub 1 & 2
and Supervisorís Plat No. 2- water main, setting public hearing for July 1, 2002.
CM-02-06-138 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Capello; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt Resolution No. 4 SAD 159 Lake Wall,
John Hawthornís Sub 1 & 2 and Supervisorís Plat No. 2- water
main, setting public hearing for July 1, 2002. Also, that a
statement be requested from traffic consultant, Mr. Arroyo that
the traffic engineering and the street paving design of SAD
#160 demonstrate sufficiency and design and public safety
concerns to the degree that they can be accomplished
under this proposed plan or to propose alternatives to bring
the improvement plan to sufficiency or to near sufficiency.
Member DeRoche asked to be allowed to abstain from Item #1 and #2 because he is a member of this SAD and has taken a position on it.
CM-02-06-139 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To allow Member DeRoche to abstain from
Items 1 and 2 of the agenda.
Roll call vote on CM-02-06-139 Yeas: Capello, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Clark,
Member Lorenzo stated some of her concerns had not been addressed and Mr. Kocian, who just spoke, reaffirmed some of them along with the attorneyís opinion Council received. She was concerned with liability as this was not an ideal situation, as it exists. Her concern was that in designing and allowing the construction to take place without meeting the City standards and in some cases not meeting them when they could be met could be seen as not only condoning but legitimizing this already dangerous situation. An example of that would be the West Lake Drive northern point where as proposed by JCK in their February 25th letter only a ten-foot wide gravel portion would be paved as a "driveway". She learned from the Fire Department a fire lane is 18 feet so we should be trying to achieve an 18-foot roadway in those areas. She asked that further investigation and consideration be done between now and the public hearing of those issues. What accommodations have been made for school busses, garbage trucks, ambulances, fire apparatus, etc. There have been no reports since the meeting in February addressing these issues and she wanted these items addressed between now and July 1st. The report should be given to all homeowners in the area along with the February 25th letter so they could absorb the information and comment on it.
Mr. Fisher stated when the motion was made to put this back on the agenda, it included a request for an additional traffic report from Mr. Arroyo or the Traffic Improvement Association or a report that clarified the action taken by the City either improved the current situation or at lease didnít make it any worse. The primary aspect of it is paving an existing situation. As far as the northern point area, they visited the area last week and a letter would be written to Mr. & Mrs. Curtis who live across from the Harvey home asking them if they would be willing to remove the fence because if the fence were removed, the hedge would maintain their privacy and emergency vehicles, etc. would be able to access the area.
Member Lorenzo said in terms of Mr. Arroyoís report back to Council, just by saying they didnít think there was a problem with it didnít address her concerns. Her concern with paving that area was that Council might be seen as legitimizing or condoning that situation. She was asking for at least an extra four feet and wanted to see an effort made to address these issues.
Mr. Helwig said the area was very unique to Novi and was almost like an historic district in the community. Along with that comes a whole different setting that doesnít meet
the current standards and yet adds a tremendous amount of charm and positives to our community. He was involved in the approval process for Mr. Harvey to improve his driveway, which was flooding his garage. That width of ten feet cannot be altered and the Fire Department was aware of that and had alternate ways to reach anything on that point. Mr. McCusker has been working with sanitation crews as well. Itís a very different setting and historic districts are used to having one way streets and hopefully we can enhance widths and overall settings. If the people want it and are going to pay for it and the maintenance can be accomplished, those are pluses.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi offered an amendment to the motion that a statement be requested from Mr. Arroyo that the traffic engineering and the street paving design of SAD #160 demonstrate sufficiency and design and public safety concerns to the degree that they can be accomplished under this proposed plan or to propose alternatives to bring the improvement plan to sufficiency or to near sufficiency.
Member Lorenzo supported the amendment.
Member Landry said he understood that these roads are public roads either platted or by operation of law per the Highway By User Statute and as public roads we have to be concerned about liability. Paving them makes them safer, widening the roads becomes difficult because of adjacent structures but what he was concerned about was there was governmental immunity, but an exception is the public highway exception. His understanding was that the public highway exception applied only to hazards or designs on that portion of the roadway designed for vehicular travel. If we are only going to pave a 14 foot strip he didnít want to put the City in a position where someone who might be injured adjacent to that 14 foot strip comes, in points to our Design and Construction Standards and says 24 feet is designed for vehicular travel. He asked if there was anything Council could do in the SAD or somewhere to put it in writing that only the part we are paving is that part which is designed for vehicle travel to afford the City protection? Mr. Fisher said the official place for that would be on the design plans and he thought some prominent specification of that affect would be in order.
Roll call vote on CM-02-06-138 Yeas: Capello, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Clark,
2. Adoption of Resolution No. 4 SAD 160 Lake Wall, John Hawthornís Sub 1 & 2
and Supervisorís Plat No. 2-road paving, setting public hearing for July 1,
CM-02-06-140 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Landry; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt Resolution No. 4 SAD 160 Lake
Wall, John Hawthornís Sub 1 & 2 and Supervisorís Plat No. 2-
road paving, setting public hearing for July 1, 2002. Also, that
a statement be requested from traffic consultant, Mr. Arroyo
that the traffic engineering and the street paving design of SAD
#160 demonstrate sufficiency and design and public safety
concerns to the degree that they can be accomplished
under this proposed plan or to propose alternatives to bring the
improvement plan to sufficiency or to near sufficiency.
Member Capello said the caveats in the Item #1 motion should be in this motion also. Council concurred.
Roll call vote on CM-02-06-140 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi,
3. Approval of request from Martin Leavitt for waivers from the Design and
Construction Standard, Sanitary Sewer Discharge outside of the Master Plan
District, for sidewalk on one side of the road, and from the requirement to
place a 12" water main across the Eight Mile Road frontage and Approval of
the Storm Drainage Facility Maintenance Agreement.
Member Landry said the third aspect of this is for the applicant to not have to put a 12-inch water main along Eight Mile Road. Ms. McClain agreed. Member Landry asked if they donít do that, how would the people to the east of this property get water? Ms. McClain said at the time that water would be extended to them, that water main would have to be placed either by the City, if a City project, or included in an SAD if it was an SAD. He said basically what the applicant was asking was instead of making us put the water along Eight Mile, let us just connect in the rear of our property. Ms. McClain agreed. He said that would leave a gap to those people in the east who might want to hook up to water in the future? Ms. McClain said they might be able to hook up from the east depending on where they are in that section but it would not complete the loop. He asked if it would be in the Cityís best interest to have a completed loop? Ms. McClain said it was the Cityís policy to look for completed loops. Member Landry said he would not support that aspect of this to give them a waiver to the Design and Construction Standards for the 12-inch water main across Eight Mile Road. He asked what her feeling was on the sidewalk issue? Ms. McClain said putting the sidewalk on one side of the cul-de-sacs would serve the houses in this area. To the east of the property was additional property that could be served by a sidewalk. However, this sidewalk would not be on that side of the road and there would be a strip of land between the road right of way and the other property since they donít have frontage on the road. This was not an area that would have a high level of traffic so having a sidewalk on one side of the road should suffice. Member Landry asked if it was consistent with the intent of the City in requiring sidewalks. Ms. McClain said yes, and Mr. Levitt and Mr. Bennett are also present.
Mr. Pearson noted there are significant trees on the east side to be preserved.
CM-02-06-141 Moved by Landry, seconded by DeRoche; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve the waiver for Design and Construction Standards
Section 11, 164B1 for the Sanitary Sewer Discharge, outside of
the Master Plan District. The Section 11, 276A for the sidewalk
on one side of the road without approval for the Section 11,
68A1 waiver from placing the 12-inch water main across Eight
Member Csordas noted regarding the water main across the front, there is a much bigger issue there, which is the fiber optic line across the road and prior to this being placed, they were going to install the water main. When the fiber optic line was installed the challenge was there are multi million dollar fines if service is interrupted so there is some significant risk there; that is why they have been looking for an alternative solution. He didnít think it was unreasonable for them to hook into that court. The street is Llewellyn and there is an easement and the extension of the water and sewer could be hooked there. It wouldnít be taxing on the current system, water or sewage, with just
two homes and would allow them to avoid that huge liability because the City would have that also if they decided to continue through there to continue the loop. The applicant has spent a great deal of time trying to comply with the issues for the two home sites. The other two waivers are kind of logical as far as the sidewalks. The property to the east has a setback issue and they arenít in compliance either. They have worked very diligently to get this project moving. They have taken the proper steps to insure the maintenance of the facility and would convey to their successors that they shall, at their own expense, perpetuate, preserve and maintain the storm water drainage issue. He also noted there is a big stand of trees in the area and they worked with engineers to re-design the property so that the trees stayed.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi agreed with Member Landry on the extension along Eight Mile Road; it is our policy and not something she would look to waive. She asked Ms. McClain whether or not they were also talking about matching up the sidewalk on Eight Mile? Ms. McClain said yes and right at the lot line with Eight Mile there was a hatched area and they would be replacing the existing sidewalk and matching it up at that point. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi had no problem with the sidewalk on only one side of the street because in many forward thinking communities, this is routinely allowed because of the reduction in impervious surface. She assumed this was going to be accomplished as a result of a land division and Ms. McClain agreed. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi believed that the new Storm Water Ordinance required a Storm Water Management Plan for land divisions. Mr. Fisher said it does and was trying to remember whether it would require the creation of two lots. She said it did require a much more complete explanation about what was intended and what would happen within the easement. Ms. McClain hadnít looked at this plan and neither had Mr. Pakkala. This plan was reviewed and the Storm Water Agreement was written based on the existing ordinance at the time. It could be reviewed and she believed it would work under the new ordinance. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi wanted the plan to meet the requirements of the Storm Water Ordinance, she thought it could and agreed with Ms. McClain but there was nothing in the application to say those things had been addressed. She would look for an engineering plan showing how the lots would drain. She thought a condition of approval of this should be that the applicant provides a plan and any statement that would go along with it and meet the qualifications of the reviewing engineer, Victoria Weber. Ms. McClain agreed. Mr. Fisher stated with regard to the water line, we could take the position that the property
owner would sign a covenant that would be recorded to the effect that if connected in the future they would be special assessed for their share of it at that time.
Member DeRoche stated they were asking for a lien on the property. Mr. Fisher agreed, itís an encumbrance on the property. Member DeRoche noted it would transfer with them or future owners. Member Lorenzo asked if their "fair share" would require them to do exactly what they are required to do today? Also, she understood the liability issue on the part of the applicants but why would the City want to take on that liability sometime in the future? Regarding lot splits, she asked if a wetland permit would be required for any affected wetlands on or off the property? Ms. McClain didnít think there were any wetlands on the property and said it was standard language that the City used in its Storm Water Agreement. Member Lorenzo asked if they knew what surrounded it and what was downstream? Ms. McClain said they knew what was downstream and had a tentative design of the storm water plan for this site and could predict some of the impact downstream from this detention area. Member Lorenzo said this was not reviewed in connection with the new storm water regulations. Ms. McClain agreed and said it also covered if wetlands were found on the property whether or not they were identified at this time. Ms. McClain said if wetlands are impacted where a non-minor use permit is required, it would then be required. At this point there are no wetlands identified that would require a permit. Mr. Fisher said the liability issue would only come up if that part of the system was going to be constructed in the future. Member Lorenzo said that would be the only time the lien would come up too. Mr. Fisher said the question is: would the City on its own ever construct that segment or would another developer desiring the service to the east construct it? Member Lorenzo said right now this applicant is required to do it so it would never become a City issue. She would not get into a position of City liability now or in the future. Mr. Fisher didnít know anything about the liability issue or the telecommunications issue so he could not comment.
Member Csordas stated they are asking to take the water and sewer and connect to Llewellyn Court, which was not a big deal and would totally avoid any liability for the City. An easement came off Llewellyn Court anyway. It would be a minimum of 2 homes and a maximum of 4 that could be built on that property and that would not tax the sewer and water system. It was a simple solution to extend the water and sewer from Llewellyn to help this project and have it be in compliance and avoid any liability. These are not unreasonable requests. He wouldnít support the motion as is and thought all the waivers should be approved.
Member Capello said his conflict was he thought somehow the water main from Cambridge Drive should be connected to Llewellyn. However, this is just two residents coming in to build two houses and maybe sell off two additional lots. He thought it was unfair to force the property owners to put in a 12" water main across the entire part of their property as part of a City improvement and have them pay for it. He said 1,000 feet of 12-inch water main is costly and it was not a question of how to get water to their house. He asked what the water main would cost to install regardless of the Ameritech lines that are there? Mr. Pakkala stated up to $60,000. He suggested getting an additional easement from them so when the City wants to put the water main in they would have the easement to the north of the existing easement to avoid the fiber optic? Whenever it came to fruition, then look at creating an SAD for those few properties that front Eight Mile Road to install the 12-inch main. We need the loop but forcing them
to pay for the entire thing doesnít seem like the fair thing to do. He had not decided how he would vote.
Mayor Clark supported the motion as made. He appreciated the position the petitioners might be in but they have owned the property for some time. Itís after the fact of the Ameritech line and if they have engineers come in to do it, the engineer should have insurance if there is any damage to the Ameritech line. This situation is no different than other petitioners that come in wanting to develop a piece of property and are required to put in a water line. They knew they faced this requirement. He felt others might request the same thing to hook up from the back to avoid a main road artery. He would support the motion, which included approving parts 1 and 2 but would not approve the request to not have to put in the 12-inch water main.
Member DeRoche said he seconded the motion but was also somewhat persuaded by Member Capello to attain the easement to serve our own purpose and to be able to get water to a certain point. The applicant had demonstrated the ability to get the water without running the line in front of their property. He would be interested in a motion from Member Capello. He would support the main motion as it stood because it served the greater good of the community. It is to be noted that the major issue and why we have the policy is that the most difficult part is acquiring easements not the cost of running the lines. If it was assured the City could show up on the property and run the lines, that would be the main priority and the cost of running the line is secondary.
Regarding other commentary, he was concerned that when the Storm Water Ordinance was passed at the last meeting no one could answer his questions about how good the storm water quality and management was. When asked about goals for improvement, they didnít know and when asked how much was invested in the projects they didnít know.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi called for a point of order that this was not the subject Council was discussing. Mayor Clark asked Member DeRoche to confine his remarks to the subject at hand.
Member DeRoche said concerns about litigation and compliance with their standards resonates to other projects that we approve. We are talking about a very well constructed presentation to this Council from very well intentioned people who are planning on building very nice houses. They are being subjected to a standard or at least questioned by other members who think that they are out of order talking about storm water discharge and the legality of it with an ordinance that has very huge and gaping holes as to the legality of it and liabilities that it exposes this City to. As Ms. McClain said there are very big questions that we have no answers to. He was concerned that when other members, preceding his comments, bring up questions about storm water and the liability it created and have a full discussion about the issues that are raised by the members that have concerns based on that, he knew enough to know that the other Council members were not basing their vote on the memberís discussion about storm water. We are focusing our attention to the issues in the packet and the maker of the motionís request to approve some and deny one. It is a great concern of his going forward. He would be interested in a motion to secure the easement but if not he would still support the original motion.
Roll call vote on CM-02-06-141 Yeas: DeRoche, Landry, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi,
4. Approval of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.170 Ė from Singh
Development to amend Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi
Zoning Ordinance, Footnote (u), of the schedule of regulations contained
within Section 2400 of said ordinance, relating to height requirements in an
OST District; and to amend Subpart 2509.6(g), relating to berms, in order to
clarify the Planning Commissionís authority to waive required berms when
adjacent to residential districts under certain circumstances.
CM-02-06-142 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Zoning Ordinance Text
Amendment 18.170 Ė from Singh Development to amend
Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi
Zoning Ordinance, Footnote (u), of the schedule of regulations
contained within Section 2400 of said ordinance, relating to
height requirements in an OST District; and to amend Subpart
2509.6(g), relating to berms, in order to clarify the Planning
Commissionís authority to waive required berms when
adjacent to residential districts under certain circumstances -
Mr. Fisher said this is actually a motion for a First Reading. It had a First Reading but was sent back to the Planning Commission for further review and another hearing.
Member Capello questioned whether this was a First Reading?
Mr. Evancoe stated Council sent this back to the Planning Commission to address two items. 1) should properties along Thirteen Mile Road with frontage be included and 2) there was a question regarding the maintenance responsibilities for the woodlands that would be preserved on adjacent residential property. It was the determination of the Corporation Counsel that the ordinance that was developed by the Planning Commission was substantially different and merited a public hearing. Since that occurred, this now needed a First Reading by Council.
Roll call vote on CM-02-06-142 Yeas: Landry, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi, Capello,
5. Approval of Zoning Map Amendment 18.619, from Josephine Jackson to
rezone 2.48 acres in Section 10, located south of Pleasant Cove Road and
west of Old Novi Road from R-A (Residential Acreage) to R-4 (One Family
Residential) or any other appropriate zoning.
CM-02-06-143 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve to R-1 in accordance with
the Planning Commissions recommendation.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if they were saying that utilization of this rezoning would require a direct tap into a 36-inch transmission water line? Ms. McClain said yes, if they wanted a water connection, but she didnít think they were asking for that. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if sanitary sewers served the site? Ms. McClain said yes, it was along Pleasant Cove Drive. She asked if they would have a storm water collection plan or a system of some sort? Ms. McClain said they would but they had not submitted a plan and this predated the Storm Water Ordinance.
Roll call vote on CM-02-06-143 Yeas: Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas,
6. Approve/deny request from Shao Hua Chang for a City quota Tavern license to
be located at Happy Sushi Japanese Restaurant, 41766 Ten Mile Road.
CM-02-06-144 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To deny request from Shao Hua Chang for a
City quota Tavern license to be located at Happy Sushi Japanese Restaurant, 41766 Ten Mile Road since the applicant
does not meet the ordinance requirements - specifically any of the four criteria in Subsection F
Mr. Fisher commented he would strongly recommend additional statements regarding why this doesnít conform to the ordinance rather than the conclusion that it doesnít conform.
Member Capello said the establishment is new to Novi, is in an existing shopping center, no exterior renovations, and very little interior renovations and there isnít a strong Japanese theme other than the menu and the employees. This brings nothing new to the City and doesnít meet any of the four criteria of Subsection F and that is the basis for denial. Member Capello asked that someone from Administration contact the applicant and explain how the ordinance wasnít met and that it was not something Council was doing personally against the restaurant.
Roll call vote on CM-02-06-144 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, DeRoche,
7. Approve/deny request from Gjeto Vushaj for Massage Business License to be
located at Gjetoís Salon, 44125 Twelve Mile Road.
CM-02-06-145 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the request from Gjeto Vushaj for
Massage Business License to be located at Gjetoís Salon,
44125 Twelve Mile Road subject to final inspection and all the
conditions of consultants and staff.
Member Landry said looking at the schematic it says "Facial/Massage" and asked if that was limited to facial massages or was it full body massages? Mr. Vushaj said it was full body massage and would only be used for massage.
Mayor Clark asked if the people providing the massages were licensed by State of Michigan? Mr. Vushaj responded they would be licensed by both the City and the State. Mayor Clark asked if the massages would be confined to persons of the same sex? Mr. Vushaj stated not in all cases. Mr. Fisher stated he wasnít aware of a State license. Mr. Vushaj said there isnít a State License but there is an AAIMT, which is a national massage license association.
Roll call vote on CM-02-06-145 Yeas: Bononi, Capello, Csordas, DeRoche,
Landry, Lorenzo, Clark
8. Request for Design and Construction Standard waiver requested by Zach Hartt
for gated entrance to CVS warehouse.
CM-02-06-146 Moved by Landry, seconded by Capello; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the request for Design and
Construction Standard waiver for gated entrance to CVS
warehouse contingent on the Knox Box being installed.
Member Lorenzo said apparently they have a gated house and asked if they had a Knox Box now? Ms. McClain stated they have installed it now and it is waiting to be activated. Member Lorenzo said they had a gated entry and asked how police and fire got in? Ms. McClain said they were not closing the gate most of the time.
Roll call vote on CM-02-06-146 Yeas: Capello, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry,
Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi
9. Approval of resolution to authorize the fourth quarter Budget Amendment.
Member Lorenzo said she requested information from Mr. Helwig and had received a call from Ms. Smith-Roy regarding the City attorney increases. The question she had was whether the $275,000 was a part of the $600,000 estimate in the 2001-2002 budget. Ms. Smith-Roy informed her it was not. It is in addition to the $600,000 bringing the total City attorneyís bill from $600,000 to $878,000. Ms. Smith-Roy also advised her that in looking at the 2002-2003 budget, she estimated that at a minimum, Council would have to allocate another $200,000 towards attorneyís fees for the coming fiscal year.
This was a surprise to her and she assumed to Council. She asked for an explanation from Mr. Helwig on why this information wasnít available to Council two weeks ago. This is a big, big dip into the $400,000 contingency that was allocated through very stringent budget cuts and it didnít include any settlements or other things that money would be needed for.
Mr. Helwig said first of all the $875,000 was not all for Mr. Fisherís firm as we do have other special counsel. He said he had asked that at the end of this fiscal year, which is the first full fiscal year with Mr. Fisherís firm, that we do an exhaustive detailed accounting of what was spent and what it was spent on. There are one-time projects and litigations that were included in here and that needed to be rooted out. The last amendment there was $200,000 totally related to Sandstone. He was not in a position to even guess how much or if there would be more money needed in the next fiscal year. We have got to control legal expenses and it is always an issue. It is a creeping expense because there are a lot of legal ramifications to the work that we do. We have to control those requests including who requests legal services, how they do it and what it is for. A form has been developed for that purpose. We have to tighten it up and live within our means. He was not saying it had to go up $200,000, as he didnít know that now and thought Ms. Smith-Roy was sensing that could be a possibility based on what had been spent this year. This had been an extraordinary year based on a lot of clean up from the past.
Member Lorenzo noted her main question was why wasnít Council informed of this during the budget cycle. She mentioned it at every budget meeting she attended and forewarned the Council and the administration that this could be a possibility. Now two weeks since the budget, Council was hearing that we might have to dip into the $400,000 that was just set aside and she was very concerned that either the administration or staff never discussed this possibility. She had said from the beginning that the budget as presented was not fiscally prudent and had this Council, of its own inclination and will, cut back to the $400,000 degree, she didnít know what they would have been doing and thought they would have already been going in the Fund Balance minimum 10%.
Mr. Helwig felt the proposed budget was fiscally responsible and there are no rainy day funds. He said he had inherited a situation where our Fund Balance was less than 8%. The budget that was provided to Council was 10% with a million dollars on top of that which made it almost 15% set aside. He inherited a situation where there was no Judgment Trust Fund. We now have one and for the third year we have rainy day funds in there. They are largely dedicated to Sandstone in this budget but it is right off the top before we even start taking care of public safety and the like. As far as this $200,000, he was not busting the budget two weeks later. He didnít buy the $200,000 estimate yet. We have to control our costs. Council had asked that costs be controlled every other way and we have to control them our legal way also. We have to make some choices about when we run for legal services. He was not buying that and couldnít inform Council of something if he was not buying into it or even thinking it. We
have to control those costs. There are some extraordinary costs that added up to this yearís legal services expenditures and everyone knows what those are.
Member Lorenzo said the point she had been making since the first budget meeting she attended was that if you looked at the past years budget and the previous year we also spent $600,000. That was her point that they were going into this budget looking at spending $400,000 when for the last two years $600,000 had been spent each year. Now we are not only spending $600,000, we are spending $875,000 so that is $275,000 additional on top of the $600,000. It would have been prudent as a Council to have a budget that would have set aside $600,000 as we have spent that during the last two budget sequences. We are still going with that $400,000 figure in the 2002-2003 budget when it could very well be $600,000 or $800,000.
Mayor Clark disagreed with Member Lorenzo for all the reasons Mr. Helwig stated. He commented he had been an attorney for 35 years and the legislature had tightened up the areas where litigation could occur. When that happens creative people would look for other avenues and the two biggest targets for lawsuits, justified or not, are corporations and municipalities because they are seen as nice, fat cash cows. He suggested giving credit where credit was due. The work that Mr. Fisher had done regarding Sandstone has been prodigious and he wouldnít expect him to work for free. We are going to make a conscious effort to save this City money but we canít control someone filing a complaint in court and we have to defend ourselves. We are very ably represented and it is unfortunate that so much has had to be spent but these have been some unusual times. Also, the majority of the pending lawsuits that existed when this Council took office have been put to rest. Council would do all they could to control those costs in the future.
Member DeRoche agreed with much of what Mayor Clark said. He was surprised to learn that a Council member did not recognize the requests to the City attorney that are included in the Council packets. Such things as research for Councilpersons or the Council as a whole, information provided, reviews of ordinances, direction given to the attorney on any number of things passed by Council to review and approve, direction given to the City Attorney to review things that are sent back or received from the Planning Commission. It is amazing that anyone wouldnít recognize their direct action to these increased costs and that all seven Councilpersons could not recognize their direction to Mr. Fisher to get back to them on something. Mr. Fisher bills on an hourly basis and they should be able to equate in their heads that his bill would be more at the end of the month for such direction. Member DeRoche felt frustrated by, as he had pointed out in reviews of the City attorney and the manager, the number of requests that are honored by Mr. Fisher for individual Council members that look like $1,000 bills to him. At every single meeting there is a stack of stuff from Mr. Fisher requested by individual members of this Council. It is amazing that members of Council who request that, seemingly, at every single meeting would not equate their actions with the $275,000 bill that they berate at this Council bench. Member DeRoche agreed with Mayor Clark that they get what they pay for and that there has been a dramatic improvement in how this City was represented and how the City attorney represented Council. The City Attorney reports directly to this Council and the Council members who ask for something from the City attorney need to understand the expense they are pushing on to the taxpayers.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said she was puzzled about how they get from discussing a budget item to the personal recriminations that we seem to be devolving into. What we are talking about here is a resolution budget amendment and what she was looking for was a clear understanding of why they were amending the budget. She asked Mr. Helwig to give a brief statement as to why this line item was being amended.
Mr. Helwig said a sizable portion of this, as he understood it from Ms. Smith-Roy, related to general ordinance support from Mr. Fisherís firm. Part of this is Sandstone but the lionís share of this is additional work. It does not relate to property because all property acquisition goes through SAD accounts and other funds. It related to general support for ordinance revisions, legal opinions, reviewing citizen complaints, going out into the field and looking at Mr. Harveyís driveway last week, and those types of matters.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked why that was not estimated correctly in the first place. How is this an extraordinary amount that you have to justify, that you didnít think about in the yearly budget?
Mr. Helwig said Mr. Fisher puts in 80-hour weeks on behalf of this City and he thought that was pretty self evident, along with Tom Schultz and Ms. Simon. They have an office in this building. If there were a threshold that she would like him to report to her on he would certainly do that.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said what she was looking for was that in each of our areas of budgetary need those needs are stated and we make sure they are covered and everything else comes under something extraordinary. If she were hearing from Mr. Helwig what that extraordinary expense was, other than those total items that make up our legal requirement, she would feel a lot more comfortable with this overage. It is a lot of money and she hoped it was not a situation that because the money was there it was used. She was not in favor of budget management that way and she leads by example in that regard. She would also be concerned about how they talk about the comparisons between in house and consulting out when we are talking about nearly a million dollars and whether or not we could have two in house attorneys at $500,000 each. She thought they could. She had grave reservations about this particularly because she was not hearing about an overriding extraordinary thing that was bringing that forward other then general legal costs. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said she had a lot of reservations about the legal budget with regard to the service that we do provide. Legal advice and service we provide, as part of the applicantís applications, seemed to be costs that should be borne by the applicants. She didnít know of any other community that did this. She wanted to pay for needed legal services but also to have other folks who need legal services go to their own attorneys. She would be looking for a better explanation of any kind of budget amendment in regard to items of this size in the future.
Member Capello thought Mr. Fisher was earning all of his fees but felt they were spending a substantial amount of money on tax appeals. He didnít think they were getting a good bang for the dollar there. He assumed that some of these dollars were going toward prosecuting some of the tax appeals that are in progress. A lot of the money won on the tax appeals, he felt, would go to a lot of different entities instead of back to the City. He suggested trying to cut some of the tax appeal losses.
Member Landry asked if the legal services were involved in the rewriting of the most recent gateway ordinance proposal included in these legal expenses? Mr. Helwig said some of those billings would be in there.
CM-02-06-147 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve resolution to authorize the
fourth quarter Budget Amendment.
Roll call vote on CM-02-06-147 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Landry, Lorenzo, Clark,
Sam Bailo, 22845 Balcombe, President of Meadowbrook Lake Homeowners Association, asked for an update on the status of the dredging of Meadowbrook Lake? Mr. Helwig stated they werenít there yet in terms of budgeting the full amount necessary to do the dredging but were working toward that goal. He couldnít give him a total time frame because he didnít know when they could get future allocations or how quickly. Mr. Bailo asked if he knew how long it would take to actually pay for it? Mr. Helwig said if they got half of what the two allocations had been so far he thought they should have the approximate $1.2 million next year with a third year allocation. However, we have a way to go before that is decided.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi stated she could give him a little information that came out of the Storm Water Committee and through the Environmental Director, David Maurice. Two other areas of possibility had been approached. The first one for funding is with the Army Corp of Engineers and Mr. Maurice had spoken to them about a program they have underway now to consider applications. They had set aside $250,000 just to provide studies for communities who have proposals and projects to bring forward. In addition to that the Storm Water Committee was also interested in looking at an enhanced application to the Rouge Program office that would include such structurals as to try to make the project able to receive funding under the Rouge Program office criteria, which as it is, just for maintenance, they do not allow a grant award for a 50% grant/50% match. So looking at those two possibilities, the Army Corp of Engineers funding if we would get approved under their study proposal awards and then secondly enhancing the improvements at the program at the lake to include a for bay and riser pipe and also an education program. They were hoping that adding that to the maintenance program might make the application better received.
Mr. Bailo said his concern with those options was that realizing over the last few years there had been possible grants and opportunities to resolve the dredging with a minimal impact to the City financially but it doesnít seem like itís been successful. He said with money set aside sometime this would get done whether the Army Corp of engineers could match funds or
whatever. It just seemed that no real course of action had taken place. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked Mr. Helwig what was set-aside in escrow?
Mr. Helwig said it was over a half million now. She said it was a question of having the matching funds to do the job and if they could get the matching funds to do that it could be done much more economically because Meadowbrook Lake was not the only regional basin that required attention. There is a plan and itís being followed. Mr. Bailo asked what time frame she would update on the status of that. She said the latest RPO grant funding round had passed but the Army Corp of Engineers funding wouldnít be available until the beginning of next year. Mr. Bailo asked about how long it would take to implement? He was referred to Engineer McClain.
Ginger Barrons, 24777 Glenda, updated Council on Lot 68 of Sallows Walnut Hill. The good news was her property was draining but in order to get it to drain the contractor had ripped out the edge drain that was required and approved by JCK and approved by the City and paid for by the Barrons. In the process of ripping that out there was a break in the hose that comes from the sump pump that the contractor didnít realize broke into the house and was dumping seven gallons at a pop into her basement with no one home. They also broke the edge drain that was on the driveway side and that would have to be replaced. Today, there was a lack of policy in the City that caused her extra expense and she was concerned about the stigma that was left on her property. On May 21, 2002, she received a letter from Mr. McCusker stating there was a septic failure on her property and it would be reported to the Oakland County Health Department and samples were taken and a second round of samples would be taken. It indicated the samples were taken because of a distinct odor of raw sewage found when on her property on the 17th but those samples were taken May 8 so she found that kind of hard to justify. This again was a complaint from a neighbor who wanted to see her house torn down. In regard to a letter from the contractor to the DPW on May 20th it said "the Barrons had come into agreement with Mr. Ponchovinoís nursery to change the grade, sod the property, etc." and that it would be complete with the deadline. Regarding this, Mr. Ponchovino was told he could not go forward with the grading because the property was contaminated. She spoke to Council on the 20th and on the 21st the City again stopped work on their property. They called the engineers and the County who installed their field and were provided a second round of test results on May 23rd from the DRP that again indicated what they felt, with pages from books, was contamination. As it turned out, Boss Engineering, who designed this very sophisticated septic field with pumping stations, filters, alarms, etc. came out on the 25th and she insisted the County be present. The County didnít feel that the results of either test sample warranted them being there and they refused to come out since they were dealing with pond water not lake water. We were dealing with an area that was five foot wide by 25 foot long and in their estimation it was not a large enough body of water for the numbers that they were getting to be considered human contamination. She called DPW and insisted someone from the City be present because someone needed to witness that the test was done and the field was fine. The engineer spent a great deal of time with a representative from the DPW explaining the system to him, showing him the dye testing, showing him why this particular system did not have to wait for dye to come from the ground and could be tested right then but they were not used to this system and they wanted to wait several days for it to take place. That happened on May 25th and when she came home on Saturday there were six different neighbors there because the City shared the test results with them and they were told that her property was contaminated. If it was not her property, it was someone elseís and they would go through and find out whose septic it is. This is not going to take place because the County
didnít consider the numbers enough to warrant that. However, she has a $225 bill from the engineers stating her system is in excellent working condition and that the numbers donít warrant any concerns. She has nothing from the County because it didnít warrant County attention. Again work was stopped on the property. They got the all clear on the 25th and her neighbors were in the yard, which told her they all think her septic is contaminating the field. On 27th when no dye came from the property, the contractor was called to begin the work again but he canít fit them in his schedule now. They returned to the original contractor they hired to do this work and he told them that they had so many problems with the City he would not work on their property. They got that response from three contractors. They contacted Mr. McCusker and he was able get them back on the list and the work is being completed.
Ms. Barrons said throughout this process when there was any concern about contamination on the property she asked why it was not City policy to immediately forward that complaint to the Oakland County Health Department. If her problem had been forwarded initially to them she would not have spent any dollars and work on her property would not have stopped. Also, why does the City take water samples on peopleís property when that is the Countyís responsibility? She learned that part of their drainage problem, since the grades and final grades were approved, was that a neighborís culvert was 7 inches higher than it was supposed to be so the edge drain that she installed could not drain properly and that canít be changed. So they took care of ripping it out, it is now draining and everyone agreed it was good. They have moved 3 of 5 trees that were put in. To this date they have received tons of letters from the City that has stigmatized their property. However, they had not yet seen a letter going out to the neighbors saying "Letís review this situation. The Barrons had final grade and approval and they did everything correctly. They are now voluntarily spending thousands of dollars to bring the grading to a situation that their neighbors will be happier with." She felt they deserved a letter that said they have been more than cooperative and responsive to their concerns with no legal responsibility to do so. The Barrons property is not contaminated. She wants this done quickly. She wants this to end. Sheís never received the SEV on her property and she was told it was because there was no address on this property but she had been receiving tax bills on that property for two full years. They told her it was the building departmentís responsibility to give the assessing department an address. They never had a chance to appeal the SEV on this property. Ms. Barrons said it is time to stop the neighbors from using the City to harass them because they didnít want their home built there. She hoped Council would direct someone to send a letter to the neighbors. She said Craig Klaver and Benny McCusker have been great but getting to this point had been a really long and stressful time and it needed to be corrected and a policy had to be developed to have Oakland County do testing and not the City.
Mayor Clark asked Mr. Helwig if a letter could go out to the neighbors letting them know what the status of this? Mr. Helwig thought it was an excellent suggestion.
Carol Crawford, Beck Road, said government and politics have disagreements and questions. She felt they were all getting thin-skinned and were taking things the wrong way. Tonight for instance, the issue wasnít that the attorney should give an account of every single penny that was spent or that he shouldnít get paid. It was not intended toward the City Manager to cause
an argument. Itís ok to question the City Manager and it should not be taken as a personal affront. Everyone knows Mr. Helwig was faced with many issues and things were a mess when he arrived. We, as citizens, look around and wonder why the fire hall is unfinished, why isnít the lawsuit settled, roads to be completed with additional costs, the lady who spoke tonight, the gentleman who lives near the Target being built on Wixom Road and we want answers. It isnít a personal affront to anyone doing the job and until we get by this issue, there will be problems. She encouraged Council to question each other regardless of what the topic is. The people want Council to pick it apart, go after it and not look at it as being something personal.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part II
ITEMS 10 THROUGH 21 WERE DEFERRED FOR 45 DAYS.
10. Approval of Ordinance No. 02-37.25, an Ordinance to amend the City of Novi Code
of Ordinances, as amended, Chapter 34, "Utilities" to add a subdivision regarding
the Island Lake of Novi Water Main Booster Pump System and for the
reimbursement of construction charges.
11. Approval of Island Lake of Novi Middle Arm Sanitary Sewer Extension, Pump
Station and Oversizing Agreement.
12. Approval of Ordinance No. 02-28.42, an Ordinance to amend the City of Novi Code
of Ordinances, as amended, Chapter 34, "Utilities", to add a subdivision regarding
the Island Lake of Novi Middle Arm Sanitary Sewer Extension and for the
reimbursement of construction charges.
13. Approval of Island Lake of Novi Northern Arm Sanitary Sewer Extension and
14. Approval of Ordinance No. 02- 28.43, an Ordinance to amend the City of Novi Code
of Ordinances, as amended, Chapter 34, "Utilities", to add a subdivision regarding
the Island Lake of Novi Northern Arm Sanitary Sewer Extension and for the
reimbursement of construction charges.
15. Approval of Island Lake of Novi Southern Arm Sanitary Sewer Extension and
16. Approval of Ordinance No. 02-28.44, an Ordinance to Amend the City of Novi
Code of Ordinances, as amended, Chapter 34, "Utilities", to add a subdivision
regarding the Island Lake of Novi Southern Arm Sanitary Sewer Extension and for
the reimbursement of construction charges.
17. Approval of Island Lake of Novi Western Arm Sanitary Sewer Extension and
18. Approval of Ordinance No. 02-28.45, an Ordinance to amend the City of Novi
Code of Ordinances, as amended, Chapter 34, "Utilities", to add a subdivision
regarding the Island Lake of Novi Western Arm Sanitary Sewer Extension and for
the reimbursement of construction charges.
19. Approval of Island Lake of Novi Wixom Road Water Main Extension Agreement.
20. Approval of Ordinance No. 02-37.26, an Ordinance to amend the City of Novi
Code of Ordinances, as amended, Chapter 34, "Utilities", to add a subdivision
regarding the Island Lake of Novi Wixom Road Water Main Extension and for the
reimbursement of construction charges.
21. Approval of Island Lake of Novi Booster Pump Station Payback Agreement.
*Councilman Landry exited the room.
22. Approval of proposed sewer rate resolution for 2002-03 for Walled Lake-Novi
CM-02-06-148 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; MOTION
CARRIED: To approve proposed sewer rate resolution for
2002-2003 for Walled Lake/Novi Sewage Disposal.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said in reading the letter from Drain Commissioner McCullochís office signed by Douglas Buchholz, P.E., she thought it was interesting and wanted it on public record that according to the letter "the Walled Lake-Novi UV and Metering Improvement Reserve was $515,217.88." Then the following sentence says, "As of May 6, 2002, projected costs for the UV Project total $1,031,928". She said it sounded like we are paying a greater bill because the project was underestimated.
Roll call vote on CM-02-06-148 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi,
23. Approval of right-of-way acquisitions and grading easements for road and
utility improvements - Grand River: Beck Road to CSX Bridge
Grading Permits Ė Totals $2,300 Acquisitions Ė Totals $15,900
Freeway Drive Investment, LLC Mansfield (Option Agreement)
Dennis and Robin Cregar Clare Investments/OíShea
Thomas and Mary Ellen Creech (right-of-entry)
CM-02-06-149 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Csordas; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve right-of-way acquisitions and grading easements
for road and utility improvements Ė Grand River: Beck Road to CSX Bridge.
Roll call vote on CM-02-06-149 Yeas: DeRoche, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi, Capello,
*Councilman Landry returned.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - None
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Schedule the City Manager and City Clerk evaluations Ė Member Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo suggested June 20th after Ordinance Review beginning at 7 PM and Council concurred.
2. To request the Consultant Review Committee to commence bids for the revised
engineering consultancy Ė Member Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo said Council agreed last year that one of the first items assigned to the Consultant Review Committee would be to bid out engineering reviews for the next year. Now that the issue of in-house engineers had been resolved, she would expect that the City Manager would have the revised scope of engineering services that would still be bid out. She asked that he send that information to Consultant Review and if they could make it a priority it would be appreciated.
Mr. Klaver said the committee had discussed this and they have been directed to start preparing some of the evaluations. There have been detailed discussions and it would come back to the committee shortly.
3. Reductions of Subdivision Performance Bonds and subsequent financial impacts on
the City Ė Mayor Pro Tem Bononi
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi noted she had brought this up some time ago as had Mayor Clark on several occasions. A new incident occurred in the City that brought this up front. She, Mr. McCusker and Mr. Pearson were called out to the Westmont Subdivision to witness drainage problems and concrete spalling and break up in that subdivision. This brought about a realization that, using this subdivision as an example; the performance bond was reduced to $23,000. In Mr. McCuskerís estimation perhaps two additional catch basins might be needed to resolve the drainage problems. She looked up what those might cost and it could be in the range of $3,000 or more and did not include any of the pipes that go along with it or anything else that might have to be replaced and we have $23,000. As per a letter from Mr. Helwig, because this developer was not responding to correct any of these problems that are left as a result of the punch list done by JCK, the $23,000 had been placed back into the General Fund. It is doubtful that all of the improvements that need to be made to close out that construction project can be done with $23,000. This brought her to a question about the policy about the maximum percentage total that a project performance bond can be reduced and why we donít have such a policy that we continue reducing these performance bonds so that it is easy for a developer to walk away from the job and leave it to us. That is what is going to happen here; we will do the work. She was looking for a policy to be set by City Manager and Ms. McClainís input about how we might look to improve that situation.
The second thing in that regard and she already passed a sample on to Ms. McClain through Mr. Maurice and Mr. Pearson, is an engineers certification that the developerís engineer would be required to sign that testifies that the improvements were built according to an approved plan. That would take a lot of the drainage plans that we have and lay them to rest and a lot of other standards that have to be met and certified with somebodyís P.E. seal. She directed that matter to Mr. Helwig to establish a policy so we donít find ourselves in this position ever again.
Mayor Clark asked Mr. Fisher if there would be a problem with holding the performance bond in an interest bearing account to be determined later how it would be disposed of or paid out?
Mr. Fisher said he isnít aware of a policy in place but the standard practice was to reduce it as the work was done. However, if the City is left with an insufficient amount of money to cover our obligations, some action needed to be taken. Mayor Clark commented this wasnít the first time this had happened.
Member Capello agreed with Mr. Fisher and said the problem with the process is it is too wishy washy and we talked about this seven months ago. He felt it had to be incorporated into our ordinance because when we are taking someoneís money, we need more than policy to rely on. He thought the process should be sped up and incorporated into an ordinance. The performance bond or letter of credit is fine but at some point it needed to be reduced to a cash bond so it is more accessible. He offered to work on that committee. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi had seen it done both ways and asked for guidance from Mr. Fisher regarding policy versus ordinance. Mr. Fisher said the City would be in a stronger position if it were in the form of an ordinance.
CM-02-06-150 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To refer this matter to Ordinance Review for the purpose of drafting
a specific ordinance as part of the Cityís Code of Ordinances.
Member Capello thought it would take more then just drafting an ordinance. Input would be needed from our engineers, City administration, Mr. McCusker and from some developers before understanding the problems.
Mayor Clark said this would take a while and mentioned there was opportunity for audience participation during Ordinance Review meetings.
Member Capello wanted to be sure the ordinance wasnít modeled after another City but made with the input that is practical for the City of Novi so that it is functional before it is adopted.
Roll call vote on CM-02-06-150 Yeas: DeRoche, Landry, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi,
4. Status of Special Land Use Day Center usages in Single Family zones.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked what the status was regarding special land use of day care in single family residential. This had been sent to the Planning Commission a long time ago and nothing had ever come back to Ordinance Review or Council on this issue. Mr. Evancoe responded that the Implementation Committee addressed this over a year ago. Other ordinance related issues they regarded as higher priorities came up so this was placed to the side. He would raise this to the Implementation Committee again. Mayor Clark asked for an update at the next Council meeting. Member Capello thought it was revised by the Planning Commission and sent up to Council and urged Mr. Evancoe to check on the status of it. Mr. Evancoe thought the issues were the number of children and location.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
1. Letter from George Krieger Re: Novi Public Library needs
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by: ________________________
Date approved: June 17, 2002