View Agenda for this meeting

SPECIAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI  
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2002, AT 7:15 PM
NOVI CIVIC CENTER Ė COUNCIL CHAMBERS Ė 45175 W. TEN MILE RD.

Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:34 PM.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor Pro Tem Bononi, Council Members Capello, Csordas, DeRoche Ė absent/excused, Landry, Lorenzo - Member Lorenzo arrived at 7:40 PM.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

CM-02-09-263 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve the agenda as presented.

Roll call vote on CM-02-09-263 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas,

Landry

Nays: None

Absent: DeRoche, Lorenzo

PURPOSE OF SPECIAL MEETING

1. Interview Robert Wolf for Storm Water Management & Water Shed Stewardship

Committee.

Mr. Wolf thanked Council for the interview opportunity and was excited to serve on the Storm Water Committee and thanked Mayor Pro Tem Bononi for her support. He stated he was excited about the challenges to be faced, especially the Phase II regulations that would be effective in March 2003. He felt that every member of the team added insight from professional experiences and personal observations to help Novi maintain its beauty while allowing progress to take place and manage our growth.

Members Capello and Csordas had no questions.

Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked what he brought to the table regarding the contribution he thought he could make to this committee.

Mr. Wolf said he had experience in the safety market and his background is in sales and involves working with distribution and working with the end users. He goes out to construction sites and talks with contractors and maintenance and safety directors. He hears a wide scope of different issues, a lot of them starting to come down now relating to storm water with the upcoming NDPES regulations that would be in effect as of March. It allowed him to take his experiences, relay them on a common sense level at the committee meetings and add input that is valuable to the team as a whole. Also, throughout the time he has been involved with storm water and related issues he has taken this as a passion for his cause because he is a citizen of this community. He thought the input he could bring to the committee could be viewed as from a constructive level and not so much as a critical element.

Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said from the standpoint of participation in the Storm Water Committee

 

this applicant came forward of his own volition, on his own time and was not a member of the committee but expressed his interest and willingness to participate in any capacity. There are a lot of folks who donít understand or know that storm water committees that are put together specifically to help our community move forward into Phase II are about public participation and involvement. The idea is to encourage citizens to be the eyes and ears and observe water issues to help keep our community at least at the point where we are now. This applicant has certainly been a model for that.

Member Landry asked Mr. Wolf what he would want people thank the Storm Water Management Water Shed Stewardship Committee for twenty years from now. Mr. Wolf said developing a strategic plan that expands ten, fifteen, twenty years that allowed growth in the City but not infringing on the natural beauty such as wetlands. Building around them, maintain adequate area for parks and recreation so families can enjoy their weekends. If we look back then and donít build a city that is solely buildings and concrete that would be where the thanks would come into play.

Member Lorenzo asked if he was an engineer and Mr. Wolf said he was not, he was in sales. She asked if he thought storm water should be dumped indiscriminately into the wetlands as we preserve them. Mr. Wolf said no. If you look at the available evidence based on what sedimentation or storm water can carry into a wetland he believed there was an issue. Bearing in mind that is going to occur, the element of using a best management practice, which is used on a nationwide basis, if used correctly, there is a better chance of at least eliminating the percentage of contaminants that enter into a wetland system.

Member Lorenzo asked if he thought it was the Cityís or the developerís responsibility to maintain the storm water system? Mr. Wolf thought, as in Grand Rapids, the developers are responsible up to a certain level of the project, which is the completion point. At that point the City has to take control because they are there on the day-to-day tasks. The issue now is being able to maintain storm water controls or measures and at the same time manage budgetary cutbacks these days. It is a very difficult balance to work with. It is the same element as enforcements where you can have all of the greatest ordinances protecting storm water and wetlands but if dealing with a minimal amount of enforcement agents, it is a moot point. In the long term the City has to take responsibility and control over those issues.

She asked if there should be a long-term strategic maintenance plan. Mr. Wolf said that would all be a part of the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), which says a maintenance plan, had to be in place. Modifications can be made because ten years from now there could be other issues concerning the City, related or unrelated. There had to be flexibility to be able to change any of those issues or ordinances.

Mayor Clark joined in the positive comments made by Mayor Pro Tem Bononi and Mr. Wolf had answered any questions he had.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

James Korte, Shawood Lake, talked about the old Erma Street walkway drainage easement area. He said his neighbor tore out all of the drainage in the drainage easement on his property and property he didnít own. It now drains onto Mr. Korteís property. He stated the next time it rains he said he would complain and sue. On May 8th that drainage was to be redone by the City and nothing was done. This City just spent $13,000 in the cement syndrome because they changed the drainage on Austin in his area. Also, the Lakeview Market did not plan to do anything about their dumpster. Mr. Korte has looked at it for three months and he asked why the City couldnít get them to follow any kind of ordinance. They didnít show up in court and he didnít think there was a warrant for their arrest but if he didnít show up in court for health reasons, there are warrants for his arrest. Mr. Korte read Mr. Schultzís opinion regarding legalities and in essence they could put the dumpster wherever they wanted and put a corral around it with no fences. He asked why anyone would be allowed to bring that dumpster even an inch closer to his residential property without six foot screening. He didnít understand why they had been grandfathered but he had not been after 2 Ĺ years in court on a house that should have been grandfathered 100 feet from the site. It is unacceptable procedure that this doesnít have to go to Site Plan Review; it only had to be turned down by the Director of Planning and he didnít have a clue about whatís going on out there. He wanted to know why this issue could not be brought into compliance. He said his property had been tied up by the City since May and asked if it would ever be over. Lakeview Market has to be brought in compliance with this City or he said he would do what he wanted because nobody cared.

Mayor Clark asked Mr. Helwig to have an Ordinance Officer report on the Erma Street walkway problem at the next meeting. If a violation has been committed he asked that the appropriate citations be issued. Mr. Helwig said he would. Mayor Clark also asked for a report on the Lakeview Market situation and Mr. Helwig said he would.

Steve Blazo, 24013 Westmont Dr., reminded Council of the Plat approved five years ago of Westmont II in Westmont Village that predicated that the remaining acreage that was not used for homes be deeded over to the City and a conservation easement be placed on it. To the best of his knowledge this had not been done. He asked when the last action was taken on this and by whom? Also, who owns the next step? Mr. Blazo said the condition of their roads might have already been brought to Councilís attention. They have not yet been turned over to the City but he believed that was in the process. They are seven years old and in pathetic condition and they are really a safety issue that could bring litigation. He asked what the process was.

Mr. Helwig said they had been out to see the condition of the streets. Ms. McClain, City Engineer, is responsible for investigating the extent of the work that must be done in order for them to be in acceptable condition to be dedicated to the City. Mr. Helwig said they would notify Mr. Blazo when that report was available and they would be working with the neighborhood on that matter. In the meantime, there are contacts being made with the developer that have not been productive so far and could result in a recommendation of legal action being brought before the Council. He said they were looking to a matter of weeks to try to get a course decided. Mr. Blazo said the developer has further business planned in the City and he wanted to see old issues taken care of before new issues are taken on.

Mr. Helwig stated he needed to get more information regarding the deeding of the property and the conservation easement issue and offered to meet with him in the atrium. Mr. Blazo agreed.

Bob Shaw, 40612 Village Oaks, read the following letter into the record:

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen of the City Council.

I come before you tonight to ask you to seriously consider acquiring a 111-acre parcel on this City's west side that would serve us all as a wonderful piece of parkland. A year ago, this parcel was tied up with developer options, but recently became available again. However, I have heard that, once again, a developer is approaching the owner with a proposal, and this wonderful opportunity may slip by us forever unless we

act expeditiously and with the foresight the citizens demand.

In early August, a meeting was held with the owner's representative, city administration, and myself. It is well over a month later, and it appears that no action will be taken to even investigate this potential parkland. So I come before you tonight, asking that you, the Council, direct the Administration to aggressively pursue all options available to the City to acquire this property.

You may say that there is no money in the budget. Get creative. There are many potential sources to make this happen - land conservancy help, Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and other grants, private fundraising, land contracts, a bond issue, using a portion of the storm water funds, or a combination of these. The owner has stated directly that he was willing to work creatively with the City to make this happen.

I also wish to read you a quote from the minutes of a prior City Council meeting:

"He commented he was as passionate as anyone about parkland, fought for it all his life and is absolutely committed to find every nook and cranny to find additional parkland, if this goes through, and to develop that that we do have. He would turn the budget upside down to make it happen."

(Regarding remarks by Mayor Richard Clark, October 1, 2001)

I ask you to make this happen, and quickly before it is gone forever. I will give you a few reasons why:

The property is an integral part of the Southwestern Core Reserve. The property has substantial open space that is level and suitable for development for future active recreation needs such as additional ball fields and soccer fields.

The property, toward the north, also has significant elevation changes, a variety of topography, several scenic vistas, and existing trails.

The property is contiguous with the City's storm water retention basin to the east, providing the potential for more passive recreation and the preservation of wildlife habitat.

With the addition of a relatively inexpensive 20-acre wetlands parcel, these properties can be connected to the City's existing property at 10-Mile Road that holds the new fire station.

We can achieve a significant critical mass of land to provide citywide recreational facilities, and make that available in the rapidly developing west side of Novi.

I have provided you a copy the city's wetland and woodland maps, wildlife habitat map, topography, existing land use map, flood plain map, zoning map, an aerial photograph, and information from Oakland County. You can easily see that this land has great potential to benefit the existing 50,000 Novi residents, and all 75,000 plus residents when we reach build out.Please act quickly and decisively to pursue this treasure before this, too, is gone. We lost parkland of approximately this size not too long ago, and this is one of the few, if any, places, we can begin to get it back. And I might add, the price is very reasonable and is achievable. Thank you for your consideration.

Mayor Clark asked if he had discussed this with Parks and Recreation. Mr. Shaw said he discussed it with the Parks and Recreation Director. Mayor Clark said they would look at this and he encouraged Mr. Shaw to work with Mr. Auler to see if they could get any money from the avenues he mentioned. Mr. Helwig said at the upcoming Parks, Recreation and Forestry meeting next week Mr. Auler would be taking two of the four parcels contained in the budget recommendation to Council, which are the landing parcel at Old Novi Road, South Lake Drive and 13 Mile Road as well as the parcel next to the Wastewater Treatment Plant to the commission to make a formal recommendation to Council to bring those into our parkland system. Staff is continuing to review, along with the Commission, the two Sandstone related parcels straddling Novi Road south of 13 Mile in which we have a six months option to bring those into the system. A proposal such as this is very appropriate for that same body and staff to be reviewing and to bring comments to Council before it went forward in a master planning system. He said they are processing these types of interests.

Christine Michael, 25925 Sierra Dr., was present regarding SADís 162 and 163 for Pioneer Meadows. She turned in the petition to begin this process April 24, 2001. We are on Step 3 of the process with the possibility of Step 4 being on the Council agenda of October 7th. She felt this process had been stalled for an exorbitant amount of time. She hoped that all who were in favor of these utilities then would still felt the same today. If they donít, what options are

available? She agreed this process was democratic in nature but felt it was hardly fair and equitable. She found it ridiculous that, her home, the single largest investment she would make in her lifetime could be held hostage by the needs and feelings of her neighbors. She advised Mr. Helwig that she left comments on this issue with his administrative assistant at the Fall for Novi event and was waiting for his response. She did receive a response from Mayor Clark regarding a timetable for the proposed SAD. However, the questions she asked at the Council meeting of February 25, 2002 during the Public Hearing had still not been addressed and she was looking forward to their response. She asked Mayor Pro Tem Bononi if she was aware that Oakland County tested the standing water and the storm drain water in the fall of 2001 and the spring of 2002 in Pioneer Meadows and found positive findings of bacteria. She felt no one was following up on this and reporting back to the residents and asked what kind of environmental problem was being created. To Member Lorenzo she said the current

estimates for the proposed SAD charge the residents for road restoration even though the roads in Pioneer Meadows are slated for repairs in 2004 as part of the road bond. Why should the residents be forced to pay this? She said Member Lorenzo followed the expenditures of the City very closely and hoped that her concern about needless expenses got her involved in this issue. Ms. Lazell said Member Capello campaigned on a platform of family values, sense of community and bringing a voice to the average citizens. She said she was looking for support and for a voice that would be taken seriously. The SAD process is faulty and needed to be fixed and she asked what he could do to help? She said Member Landry appeared to be an open minded and fair person and someone who would be determined to make a problem right. The current SAD process is a problem and creates a hostile environment. In 1999 Mr. Jerome stated to Mr. Kriewall that it was time for a new approach as the current one wasnít working. When will someone listen? She said she has been harassed, verbally abused, accused of lying, forcing an issue through and tricking her neighbors for taking part in an SAD process. There are residents who want the utilities but were unwilling to take such abuse. She said Member DeRoche had been an avid supporter of issues of the north end and had dealt with issues that had been long ignored. She challenged him to put some of that support toward the other older subdivisions in the City. Pioneer Meadows is not the only subdivision on septic tanks and wells struggling to get the utilities brought to them. Does anyone on Council care when an SAD fails and where do the residents turn? She said she and Mayor Clark agree that the longer the residents wait the more expensive it would be to install the utilities. She found it interesting when Mayor Clark told her that he believed that residents would be forced to tie into sewer and water by County or State governments. If this is a possibility, shouldnít Council be proactive and not reactive. She asked that residents be given a financial incentive to tie into the utilities right away as they would all be better off in the long run. She looked forward to hearing from Council.

Debbie Bundoff, Novi/Twelve Mile Road, said on Thursday afternoon she received a phone call from her attorneyís office giving her the times and dates that would be convenient for them. She came to the City and requested to find out if Issue 5 would be addressed on tonightís agenda. She asked that it not be on tonightís agenda because her appointment with her attorney would not be until Tuesday or Thursday and she was informed that it would be on tonightís agenda anyway. She asked that Item #5 be removed.

Kandy Lazell, 904 Sycamore, advised Council that she and her husband were building a new home in Churchill Crossings and they signed a contract with the builder. In the contract it states that the purchaser was required to pay the County and State transfer taxes. She said these taxes have to be paid when a home is sold. She had given Council a handout of the contract and advised them that on the second page was the Transfer Tax Act of 1993, which said the seller or the grantor of the land was responsible for paying the transfer tax. The next page was a letter she had sent to the Attorney Generalís office and it explained their situation with the builder. She was not asking Council to do anything but wanted it on the record that Multi Building Company was not a good company to work with. She wanted Council to know how they were treating their residents and their future residents. They are unable to negotiate at all and it was their way or the highway. She also provided an article from the Oakland Press regarding the whole story.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 8:14 PM.

 

_________________________________ _______________________________

Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk

 

Transcribed by: ____________________________

Charlene Mc Lean

Date approved: September 23, 2002