View Agenda for this meeting

REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI  
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2002 AT 7:30 PM
NOVI CIVIC CENTER Ė COUNCIL CHAMBERS Ė 45175 W. TEN MILE RD.

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

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor Pro Tem Bononi, Council Members Capello, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry, Lorenzo

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Member Landry removed Items #2 and #3 from Matters for Council Action Part !, SADís 159 and 160, and asked that it be postponed until a ballot could be sent out and a vote of the homeowners was received.

CM-02-09-282 Moved by Landry, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: That agenda Items #2 and #3 from Matters for Council Action Part I, SADís #159 and #160, be adjourned.

DISCUSSION

Mayor Clark agreed and asked that the ballot clearly indicate what the water and the

streets would cost per household. He said everyone involved would have an

opportunity to speak to Council.

Mayor Pro Tem Bononi noted she supported the motion but wanted to go one step

further and trust to the administrationís executive decision ability to determine whether

or not the status of the SADís are complete. She asked that the City Manager and his

staff make that call and advise Council of it to avoid where we are tonight.

Member Lorenzo agreed with Mayor Pro tem Bononi and asked that administration

make it clear that the residents knew that it was this proposal or no proposal as there

would only be one proposal going out.

Mr. Helwig noted after talking with residents their recommendation was that Lot 9

not be included and he wanted to be sure that they and Council were of the same mind

and that Council realized leaving Lot 9 out would increase the cost some $45,000.

Member DeRoche abstained from voting on these issues.

Roll call vote on CM-02-09-282 Yeas: Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Landry,

Lorenzo, Clark

Nays: None

Abstain: DeRoche

Member Landry added Item 11, Matters for Council Action, Consideration of the addition

of two woodlands employees.

Member Lorenzo, added Item 2, Mayor and Council Issues, West Novi Park Acquisition

Proposal.

 

 

Mayor Pro Tem Bononi added #3 to Mayor and Council Issues, requesting a report from

Mr. Helwig, tonight or by the next meeting, concerning the budget costs regarding SAD

#155, original budgeted costs and any cost extensions or overruns.

Mayor Clark added Item #4, Metro Public Act 48 2002 regarding right of way permits for

Telecom Industries for municipalities.

CM-02-09-283 Moved by Landry, seconded by Bononi, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.

Vote on CM-02-09-283 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, DeRoche,

Landry, Lorenzo

Nays: None

SPECIAL REPORTS - None

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Member Capello asked a client of his what it would cost to have the tennis courts taken

out at the park next to Village Oaks and he said $9,000 or $10,000. He reported that

the DPW and the Parks and Recreation Departments are taking up those tennis courts

saving the City a substantial amount of money.

PRESENTATIONS

1. Veteranís Celebration Committees Recognition

Mayor Clark and Council recognized the level of citizen involvement, commitment and participation that benefit the community. For the last three years the City of Novi has had the opportunity to honor and thank our veterans. In each of those recognition days that started with WW II, then Korea and this year Viet Nam citizens stepped forward. Some were veterans, spouses of veterans and some were dedicated and committed citizens who gave of their talent and time. He presented certificates of appreciation to those citizens who insured that each recognition day was a success and a proper tribute to those veterans.

2. Novi High School Expansion Plans - Dr. Emmett Lippe & James Koster

Dr. Emmett Lippe said the Novi School District and City administrators had worked with their respective attorneys to prepare a long-term lease agreement to use City property for the placement of softball diamond practice fields for athletic teams, which is a necessity if the high school is to be expanded within the next few months. The School Board approved the lease September 19th and it is before Council for future discussion. The School District has enjoyed a long-term relationship with the Parks and Recreation Department sharing indoor facilities and outdoor athletic facilities. They would like to expand on this cooperation by constructing athletic fields to be used by high school teams for practice and competition and also for City activities.

 

 

 

In the Fall of 2000, they began planning for future needs as a they realized there would be an increase in student population of over 50% in the next 10 years. Mr. Steve Schram is the head of a 60-member blue ribbon task force to assess the needs of the school district and to make recommendations to the Board of Education. Special deliberations were given as to whether a second high school was needed to accommodate the additional students. The Civic Center Task Force was formed to determine the future use of the 160-acre site and recommendations were given to the Board of Education, City Council, Library Board and to the School Districts Blue Ribbon Task Force Committee. The recommendation of the Civic Center Task force dated November 27, 2000 included the suggestion that an expansion of the high school could be accommodated on the current high school site and that the softball diamond and practice areas be relocated. This information was very helpful as it allowed the option of one or two high schools to allow for future student growth. The School District Task Force met during the fall of 2000 and the Spring of 2001 and considered many different options. They conducted a poll to consider many options with estimated costs included. The survey revealed that the majority of residents of the school district wanted one high school. After considering all the data including the recommendation of the Civic Center Complex Committee the recommendation of the Committee was to have one high school for the Novi Community School District. This was based on the assumption that land could be leased from the City and the Board of Education placed this high school option on the ballot with other requests and all proposals were approved on June 11, 2001. Planning for the high school addition had taken a year and groundbreaking will be in the Spring of April 2003. Dr. Lippe said before proceeding any further they needed to know they could lease fields on City owned property and therefore they were requesting the approval of property south of the current high school baseball diamond for placement of a softball diamond and two athletic fields.

Jim Koster, Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance updated Council on all their current projects. He said Novi Woods Elementary School on Taft Road is under complete renovation and all students are at the Tech center. They will add a gym, media center and classrooms to be completed by September 2003. Village Oaks is getting a new media center and is to be completed by Christmas 2002. Orchard Hills is extending the media center and adding a multi-use building. He spoke about the proposed temporary road near this elementary school.

At 11 and Taft there would be an addition to the building and the current bus garage is under renovation. This summer at the11 Mile and Wixom Middle school tennis courts, basketball courts and additional parking was all added and they will put a path in to the picnic area. A concession stand for the football field was also built. The high school renovations will begin in February 2003 and the site will be altered substantially. There will be a classroom addition to the west and they need to replace parking, which would eliminate the softball field. They plan to lease property from the City for a future softball field. They will bring parking closer in front and plan to separate the bus drop off from the parent drop off. The cafeteria and the building proper will be linked to create more eating area for the students. The pool does not meet any of the standards of 2002 and will be removed and made to required depths. A performing arts area would be added north of the auditorium and the career tech area would be increased. All of this to is be completed in 2005. It must be done in phases for the safety of students.

 

 

3. Employee Health Insurance Agent Paul Kahler; Re: Retention Cost

Tia Gronlund Fox introduced Mr. Kahler, J.S. Clark Agency, who is our independent insurance agent and was present to answer Councilís questions regarding retention costs for employeeís health insurance.

Mr. Kahler stated he would have the 2003 renewal costs from Blue Cross/Blue Shield in about 2 weeks and approximately 120 days after January 1st he would get a summary of the year in review of what happened in 2002. Mr. Kahler said 4 items make up the retention costs for groups in excess of 100 employees under contract, which is called an experience rated contract. If there are under 100 employees insured you are in the pool with BCBS and the renewal procedure is completely different.

The first component is called conversion. In the 1980ís COBRA came into effect. This allowed employees and their dependents to continue benefits for specific periods of time upon their termination, provided the employer has 20 or more employees. Prior to COBRA there were conversion policies and those policies are still in existence and many people use them. Employees who exhaust their COBRA sometimes opt for conversion policies. The Insurance Bureau has mandated that Ĺ of 1% of retention costs are attributed to conversion policies.

2) OTG, other than group policies, makes up about 1% of retention costs. It is similar to conversion in that they are individual policies. BCBS of Michigan, created in the late 30ís to be a carrier of last resort, has never denied anybody insurance. Theyíve never had an access problem to health care in Michigan. Individual coverage could be bought by anyone and the1% is part of the retention cost. It is a State mandate requiring that all experience rated contracts help subsidize those. They subsidize because when BCBS evaluates claims vs. premiums on a monthly basis for both those types of policies, claims far outweigh the premiums and if they were to charge the conversion policyholders the premium they believe should cover the risk no one would be able to afford it. As a result the Insurance Bureau has asked all experience rated contracts to help subsidize people in those policies.

3) Risk is the operating margin to cover economic loss. BCBS is required by the State to hold X amount in reserve to cover claims in the event of catastrophic losses and the 3% is part of retention costs. BCBS keeps track of this account annually whether our account is in a surplus or deficit mode and that is changing on a year-to-year basis. If an employer were to have a negative $200,000 balance and the employer decided to terminate the contract BCBS would be left holding a $200,000 deficit.

4) Fixed and variable overhead expenses is the number that fluctuates on an annual basis. The conversion at Ĺ%, the OTG at 1% and the risk at 3% are consistent on a year-to-year basis. It is the administration that BCBS reserves the right to modify. Assuming the 12.5% holds true for this policy year, 8% would be in the administration. Examples of some of their fixed expenses are BCBS employee salaries, car stipends, bonus incentives, and electric bills, fixed components in terms of what it takes to run BCBS. Examples of variable expenses would be computer upgrades, new phone systems and things that donít occur on a monthly basis but are variable components and are part of the administrative costs.

 

Member Csordas asked how much administration fee the City paid per employee per month? Mr. Kahler said about $90 per year, which is low. Member Csordas thought it was extremely high. Mr. Kahler stated he worked with other organizations and third party administrators, who also conduct self-funded programs, have a monthly fee from $10 to $18 per employee per month strictly for administration charge. Member Csordas asked who paid the claims for BCBS? Mr. Kahler said Blue Cross processes them. Member Csordas asked if the processing fee would be included in the per member administrators fee? He said yes, it was all part of the retention costs.

Member Csordas asked when the City renewed, how many other insurance quotes would be brought to the City? Mr. Kahler said he had a wide variety of quotes depending on the needs. He and Ms. Gronlund-Fox would look at variations. First, they would look inside BCBS as they have a wide variety of menus that could be looked at to reduce the cost and if he had permission he would look outside. He had been told though that based on some of the union negotiations his hands are tied. Member Csordas asked Ms. Gronlund-Fox if it was just benefit levels or carrier? Ms. Gronlund-Fox said in some contracts it specifically stated BCBS and in others it says BCBS or comparable benefits through another carrier. Member Csordas asked how may contracts say "or comparable"? She commented she would have to look but believed it was at least two. Member Csordas said they wanted quotes on other companies. He asked what Mr. Kahlerís commission was and he said it was1% of the total premium, which was established with an agent prior to him and had not changed. Member Csordas asked what the total premium was? Mr. Kahler said this year it would be close to $950,000 and a million dollars so his firm would be compensated $9,500 to $10,000. Member Csordas asked how many times a year he met with the City. He said in the past year probably five or six times but they would get involved daily if necessary. They help clear up billing mistakes, claim problems and interfaced with COBRA.

Member Csordas asked what other plans he represented for the City? He said Blue Care Network, HMO, M-Care Point of Service, Health Alliance Plan, life and long-term disability contracts. He also works with the City on behalf of Delta Dental, for which he is not compensated. Member Csordas asked what his total compensation was from the City during the year on all of those plans? He said it would be around $20,000 for all health plans.

Member Csordas asked why the City wasnít self-funded and what he thought of it for a group of this size? Mr. Kahler stated that with 150 insured people in the BCBS contract, 30 are retirees, 120 are active employees and given the fact of the 30 retirees he would be concerned about the prescription drug costs inside the contract. Member Csordas asked what his plan was to maintain and protect the level of benefit for the retirees in the future and what recommendations had he made to the City. He said many companies are making drastic cuts and eliminating retiree benefits. Member Csordas said he wanted a plan, within three months, from Mr. Kahler on his recommendations on what the City could do to make sure the retirees of this City maintain these benefits. He never wanted to tell retirees that they didnít have benefits but understood that costs were going up. He asked if the City sought quarterly settlements? Mr. Kahler said they occur on a self-funded BCBS policy but BCBS doesnít give quarterly reports to experience rated clients. Member Csordas asked Mr. Kahler to pursue quarterly reports and Mr. Kahler said he would. Member Csordas said that would give us an idea of where the plan stands during the course of the year. At renewal there is no opportunity

to review it, no other insurance plans are proposed and we are stuck. Council would like the opportunity to look at other plans. The $91.00 per employee per month is extraordinarily high, even for an insured group. Member Csordas did not want to ever have to tell retirees that we could not give benefits anymore.

Member Csordas asked for a report in the next 30 days on what could be done to avoid this. He requested this with no fluff, if benefits have to be altered as far as co-payments, etc. we need to know the facts. We need the truth and numbers as to what the City can do to keep the benefit level without the City having to raise taxes. Ms. Gronlund-Fox felt there might be additional things that could be done besides employee contributions. Member Csordas wanted to hear what the projections were for potential retirees in the next 5 to10 years and felt that Council needed to be very proactive regarding this. Member Csordas stated he looked forward to seeing Mr. Kahler within 90 days. He thought the longer this was put off the worse this situation would get and we donít want to surprise our retirees or current employees. Member Csordas said he expected him as a trusted advisor to bring Council other options so current benefit levels could be maintained at a lower cost.

Mr. Kahler said based on the way a BCBS experienced rated contract worked contributions could be adjusted and deductibles and prescription co-payments could be changed. However, if the claims donít turn around the price would not go down. Member Csordas said the price wasnít going to go down, we know it would be double digit increases from here on but he still wanted recommendations and he requested quotes from other insurers. Member Csordas asked what his commission level was on the other 50% plans. Mr. Kahler said his retention fluctuates from 3-5%.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

Local Law Enforcement Block Grant 2002 Proposed Use of Funds

Chief Shaeffer reported that the Federal Government annually allocated funds to be

passed through the States to law enforcement and there must be a public hearing for

the proposed uses of those funds. The stated purpose for the money is to improve

public safety and we have the opportunity to receive $16,650 this year. The money

available is based on population. The funds would be used for the bicycle and

motorcycle programs. It would pay the overtime for officers to increase patrols in

neighborhoods, special events and around schools and businesses. To be eligible to

receive the funding, we must provide a matching amount of $1,850 which would be

taken from forfeiture funds. There was no audience participation and the public hearing

was closed.

REPORTS

1. CITY MANAGER

Mr. Helwig reported on the intersection closing of Twelve Mile and Novi Roads. This project included the addition of turn lanes, there would now be five lanes moving in all directions and all utilities would be buried. If all proceeds according to plan the majority of the concrete should be poured this Thursday. Utility work is still going on through

 

Wednesday, and storm sewer work, burying the lines and activating a new gas line is being done at the intersection. Updates are being provided on cable. He said they were most appreciative of how the businesses and residents were cooperating with this situation.

There are many Midas and Amoco signs in the vicinity of this intersection as they are most impacted by limited access. Mr. Pearson went to the extra extent of renting the four mobile electronic signs in each of the cul-de-sacs to be able to program custom messages to help people find the business and to give updates on the construction work.

Mr. Helwig reported on the Fall for Novi event. He said the hazardous waste recycling event received a participation of 1,150 vehicles and received 64,000 lbs. of hazardous waste.

2. DEPARTMENT REPORTS - None

3. ATTORNEY - None

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

Tom Harvey thanked the engineers for removing the storm water drain from Lot 9. He referred to the letter in Council packets not to vote on SAD 159 or SAD 160 but instead to distribute a questionnaire to the residents and he supported this request. Mr. Harvey asked about water testing of his well water. Although his water might be safe, with all the residential and commercial development, he didnít think the groundwater would continue to remain safe. He would support SAD 159 as they go through the questionnaire phase of the program. He didnít feel the need to make an argument for hydrants since anyone living on a lake has watched homes burn to the ground. All things affect the lake but these two projects give them the opportunity to solve only one of them. If we pave the roads and seal them up then the dirt and sediment would no longer wash into the lake. West Lake Drive, Ludlow and North Haven would eventually be paved. The question is whether we are going to improve the neighborhood together or not. He requested Council send out the questionnaires, have a vote and let them come to a decision.

Paul Weindorf, 1641 West Lake Drive, spoke about the tree on his property that might be lost if the roads are paved. Mr. Weindorf had an arborist come out to his property and he said this tree should get an historical plaque for a specimen tree and should be put into the Michigan Big Tree book. The arborist said the tree would be killed if the project went forward. He displayed a map showing where the water line and road would go and that it would kill the tree. He also displayed a photo of himself standing by the tree. He felt the water line could go through the condos and come around and service the properties on the other side of his property so it would not have to cut out the tree line trunk. He asked Council to reconsider the plans and spare the tree. Also, he asked how Council would establish the will of the people in terms of how they would vote for this project? He understood that the way this would be distributed was every lot would be assessed an equal value. So, if assessed value was used to establish the will of the people, then there would be taxation without representation. Rich properties would get more of the vote and yet only being assessed an equal value of the total assessment.

 

He asked Council to work with the City Manager on how they would establish the will of the people. Would it be based on assessed value or would it be done on total lot count? In terms of safety, he thought paving the roads would jeopardize the safety of their children as the traffic speeds faster on paved roads. Unless something is done, the speed would increase through the whole neighborhood and he asked Council to plan how they would keep the speeds to the level they are now on the dirt roads.

Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked what kind of tree? Mr. Weindorf said it was an Oak tree. She asked how close the tree was to the proposed construction limit? Mr. Weindorf said it was hard to gauge? She thought the information could be gotten from the engineers. The arborist he hired said the project would kill the tree. Mr. Printz had been working with him to get the tree preserved and Mr. Helwig would pursue an opinion from him. She asked that they look for every possible way to save that tree and Mr. Helwig said he would visit the site tomorrow. Member Capello asked that they find out the life span of the tree and if it had any diseases?

Victor Cassis, Daleview Drive, thanked Mayor Clark for recognition of the members of the veteranís celebration committee. However, this was the brainchild of the Mayor and without his initiative, persistence and wisdom it wouldnít have attained the accolades it deserved. If there were any two people who deserved the highest recognition for this project it would be Mayor Clark and his wife Diane. He said this City was well served with Mayor Clarkís public service.

Joe Atto mentioned that he had dropped off a revised version of the proposed Downtown Gateway Ordinance for each Council member and for City administration. The revised version was prepared by Rich Atto, his brother, and was a summary of extensive review of the last version that came before Council on January 3rd. It was based on review and discussion with two separate planning firms and all of the property owners on the south side of Grand River in the proposed district except for one that was unavailable. He asked that Council take time to review it carefully and thoughtfully and donít hesitate to call if there are questions. They purposely used the existing draft from January 3rd so that when changes were seen it would be easier to compare. He felt the changes were reasonable and practical to lend itself to that development to occur. They tried to incorporate the changes Council requested. Mayor Clark recalled seeing their version and requested that when it came up for formal consideration that the information be placed in their packets again for perusal prior to the meeting.

CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)

CM-02-09-284 Moved by Landry, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED

UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Consent Agenda as

presented.

Roll call vote on CM-02-09-284 Yeas: Bononi, Capello, Csordas, DeRoche,

Landry, Lorenzo, Clark

Nays: None

A. Approval Minutes of:

1. September 9, 2002, Special City Council meeting Ė 6:00 p.m.

2. September 9, 2002, Special City Council meeting Ė 7:15 p.m.

3. September 9, 2002, Regular City Council meeting

B. Approval of Ordinance No. 02-37.27, an Ordinance to amend the City of Novi Code of Ordinances, as amended, Division 4, Subdivision XIV to establish the Brightmoor Water Main Extension and Service District and to provide for User Connection Fees for service for the reimbursement of construction costs. 2nd Reading and Adoption

C. Approval to seek bids for the Fall 2002 Street Tree Planting.

D. Approval of Final Payment for the Old Novi Road Non-Motorized Pathway to Peter A. Basile Sons, Inc., in the amount of $3,000.00.

E. Approval of Resolution for the Novi High School Homecoming Parade on October 19, 2002.

F. Approval of Traffic Control Order 02-12 for the permanent installation of four-way stop signs at the intersection of Eleven Mile and Taft Road.

G. Approval of claims and accounts on Warrant No. 632.

MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė PART I

1. Approval of Traffic Control Order No. 02-13 (Ashbury and Riverbridge) and Traffic Control Order No. 02-14 (Ashbury and Windmill) authorizing installation of stop signs in these locations within the Riverbridge Subdivision.

CM-02-09-285 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED

UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Traffic Control Order No. 02-13

(Ashbury and Riverbridge) and Traffic Control Order No. 02-

14 Ashbury and Windmill) authorizing installation of stop

signs in these locations within the Riverbridge Subdivision.

Roll call vote on CM-02-09-285 Yeas: Capello, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry,

Landry, Lorenzo, Clark

Nays: None

Items #2 and #3 were removed at the beginning of the meeting.

2. Consideration of Resolution No. 7 for Special Assessment District No. 159 Ė Lake Wall, John Hawthornís Subdivision 1 & 2, and Supervisorís Plat Number 2 Ė Water Main Improvements.

3. Consideration of Resolution No. 7 for Special Assessment District No. 160 Ė Lake Wall, John Hawthornís Subdivision 1 & 2, and Supervisorís Plat Number 2 Ė Road Paving.

4. Referral and recommendation to Planning Commission for an amendment to the Master Plan for Land Use from public to parkland for property located at the junction of Thirteen Mile Road, East Lake Drive, South Lake Drive and Old Novi Road.

 

Mr. Helwig noted this was first broached in the budget document in the Spring and they have proceeded to get input from the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission. They have positively recommended this and before going further wanted Councilís blessing for it to go formally to the Planning Commission and their Master Plan review.

Member Csordas thought this was premature. This had to be the most expensive property in the City based on the open market. He thought there was no rush to judgment on this and considering all that had happened over the last couple of years, this should be tabled at this time and revisit it in the future. Member DeRoche concurred.

Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Fisher what the legal implications would be for the City to do this? Mr. Fisher said legal ramifications would relate to the Michigan Statute that authorizes Charters in cities. One of the mandatory provisions in the act is that parkland that is on the Master Plan as parkland may not be sold or utilized without a vote of the people unless it is removed from the Master Plan. By classifying it as park, we are imposing some limitation on its ultimate use.

Member Lorenzo asked if there were any park benches or other amenities on this property to encourage the public to utilize this as a park? Mr. Helwig said there was an active bike path that runs from South Lake Dr. to East Lake Dr. He didnít think there were any benches but it was used as open space. It is passive green space. She asked if that type of use was permissible on public land? Mr. Fisher said merely by virtue of it being public did not mean it was open to the public for all types of use. It was up to the Council to establish any parameters it wished to for the land. Member Lorenzo said if we have placed bike paths there we have anticipated walking or biking there so the City has said, in that sense, this is a permissible use. Mr. Fisher said in that part of the property with the bike paths, yes. She asked if it was permissible for someone to just stand there on other parts of the public property? Mr. Fisher said if Council determines that they shouldnít then it would not be permissible. Member Lorenzo concurred with Members Csordas and DeRoche and would not support it at this time.

Mayor Pro Tem Bononi commented she would not be in opposition to go along with this point of view. However, with regard to the information thus far she would be more interested in seeing a prospectus with regard to the characteristics of these properties. Not only underlying zone, but actual values, potential uses and all of those pieces of information before she would make such a decision. It is not to say she wouldnít support this but she would want to know all of those particulars up front before making that decision. So, if that is intended in the future, that is what she would like to see first.

Member Landry concurred with his colleagues. This might be some very valuable land and if it is parkland that we are trying to achieve here, we might be able to sell this property and buy a lot more parkland, which could be used for active recreational uses somewhere else in the City or near here. He would like to see what the property is worth.

Mayor Clark asked Mr. Klaver if this was once subject to a sale and it was going to be a resort hotel and at that time it was valued at over a million dollars? Mr. Klaver said yes.

 

 

Member Capello said he would like to see something done with this parkland and not waste money on additional studies. He thought a motion to refer this to the Planning Commission for a study on the best and highest use of this land would be in order.

CM-02-09- Moved by Capello

To refer this item to the Planning Commission for a study

on the highest and best use of this particular land.

Motion died for lack of support.

5. Referral and recommendation to Planning Commission for an amendment to the Master Plan for Land Use from public to parkland for property located at the junction of West Road, east of West Park Drive.

CM-02-09-286 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Clark; MOTION FAILED:

To refer and recommend to the Planning Commission an

amendment to the Master Plan for Land Use from Public to

parkland for property located at the junction of West Road,

east of West Park Drive.

DISCUSSION

Member Lorenzo noted she would not support this at this time, as she needed more information about the land and what it might be worth.

Member Capello opposed the motion because he felt where the current DPW is located has out served its purpose there and we are sitting on a very valuable piece of land and perhaps this property would be a good location to relocate the DPW.

Mayor Clark thought there was a study done on the costs to move the DPW to this site and it was exorbitant in the extreme and that is why that idea was dropped.

Roll call vote on CM-02-09-286 Yeas: DeRoche, Clark,

Nays: Csordas, Lorenzo, Bononi, Capello

Absent: Landry

6. Consideration of request from Bob Porteous of the Novi Investment Company regarding the Tuscany Reserve Residential Unit Development (RUD) Plan, (Site Plan No. 02-30). The subject property is located on 77 acres on the north side of Eight Mile Road, and east of Garfield Road in the RA (Residential Acreage) District.

Mr. Joe Galvin was present with petitioner Mark Guidobono. Mr. Galvin noted Mr. Guidobono and his company developed the Bellagio site in the City and were present to request treatment as an RUD. Mr. Guidobonoís project would be of the same kind and quality as what he has done. He asked that Councilís motion include a waiver of the 80-acre parcel requirement under the ordinance and that they be permitted to develop a gated community and not have to connect to school property or to preservation area. Mr. Galvin felt the primary driving force for the treatment of this property, as an RUD parcel was the core of woodlands and habitat area. The RUD parcel gives to the City

and to the developer the best opportunity to preserve the maximum of open space while at the same time providing a very high quality development. The Planning Commission suggested 75-foot setbacks for all of the lots. Under the RUD ordinance the 75-foot setback is intended only where attached dwellings are concerned and that the ordinance setbacks applicable to the lots under the ordinance are sufficient. He pointed out that the Maybury setbacks are under the ordinance and not with the 75 feet. They believed the screening along the west line is sufficient and asked that there be no requirement as in the Planning Commission conditions that there be any additional screening. He asked that the lots on the plan be fixed as to their number and configuration. The Planning Commission has suggested reduction of the number of lots on the plan by three. RUD treatment of this property is clearly in the best interest of the City and the property owner. Using the bonus computation for the 37% of land that they are leaving as is they would be permitted 16 additional lots. The cap under the ordinance means they can only take three, which takes the 58 to 61. The Planning Commission recommended that the amount be reduced to 58 and they were requesting that the Council plan, as adopted, allow them the 61. The three-lot bonus was the only bonus to them to follow the RUD. Mr. Guidobono described the plan and its location.

Member Lorenzo said Mr. Galvin was claiming they would only get 3 additional lots, however with conventional development they would still get 58 lots; with RUD they would have 61 lots. Mr. Galvin said the bonus, if there were no other limitation on the use of the bonus, by virtue of the bonus provision if they had a larger parcel overall and were not limited by the cap on the total development of this quantity of land, they would have been able to get the 16 lots as a bonus by using the RUD by virtue of preserving that amount of land. Since their parcel wasnít big enough to avail themselves of the 16, they only have three available to them. He was only asking to retain the 3 bonus lots because the Planning Commission recommendation says make it 58. Member Lorenzo referred to Rod Arroyoís report, which indicated that there were 11 lots of one-acre size and 50 lots of a half-acre size. Mr. Galvin said if you look on the plan, it is not precise and there are variations in the lot size as is required by the ordinance. Member Lorenzo asked if this was developed as a conventional site by virtue of our ordinances under the RA plan, how many lots could there be? Mr. Galvin said 58.

Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Evancoe how many acres were upland woodland of the 28 acres of open space? Mr. Evancoe didnít have a calculation on that. She asked how many were wetlands? Mr. Evancoe said the Wetland Review showed 5.08 acres. Mr. Evancoe said wetlands C, H and I are primary wetlands with approximately 4-1/2 acres included in the preservation calculations. She asked how many acres were internal parks and what do they consist of?

Mr. Evancoe explained that that this parcel was the primary park that they are referring to as active recreation. There was some discussion of whether the programmed activities were valid as active recreation and the developer is open to amending that. There are trails systems through the woodlands and other smaller park areas set aside. Member Lorenzo asked whatís there? Mr. Evancoe said itís mostly open and to the north there are existing woodlands. She said then the area they are proposing the centralized park for active recreation is basically an open area? He said it was. She asked what the physical characteristics were? He said it was mostly open but a little to the north

 

 

there were some woodlands. She said then the area where they are proposing the centralized park for active recreation is basically an open area. She asked if there were other internal parks that were being considered for preservation areas. He said the area around wetland C, H and I would be part of it. He pointed out the woodland replacement area where they would plant trees. She asked how much preservation credit was given to this area? Mr. Evancoe would find out. Member Lorenzo did not consider landscaping to be preservation areas for credits. He agreed. She said if this is tree replacement, then it is necessary because they are proposing to cut a lot of the existing trees down. He agreed and said there were 703 regulated trees to be removed out of 2,181 existing and 68% are to be saved. She said other than woodlands/wetlands permissible under the RUD agreement, active open space and any other locally important plant or animal habitats were the only areas that she would consider preservation credit. Mr. Evancoe agreed.

Mayor Pro Tem Bononi stated there are many nice things going on here. She said the applicant should be commended for preserving 60% of the sites woodlands. However, on page 7, the Birchler and Arroyo percentage is 31% of the site has been preserved as open space and we are talking about including a lot of things that are not included in open space. They have taken the best of RUD but this site doesnít meet the minimum size requirement for an RUD. We also have to recognize that with regard to the intent and purpose of the RUD, that the bonus is in the RUD. We are not talking about additional bonuses and we are certainly not talking about additional bonuses in sites that do not meet the minimum site size. She thought she was getting closer and closer to the Planning Commissionís determination about lot number. Also, if we are talking about a RUD we are not talking about establishing a gated enclave, as that is not the purpose of RUD. She suggested that if that was what the applicant was looking for, they couldnít have it all and she wasnít looking to approve a gated enclave under an RUD application. The RUD is supposed to promote the natural, rural, wooded, screened from view, look of a subdivision that is subdued and relegated to what a rural area would be like and it is supposed to preserve that. She would look at such things as waiving additional sidewalk requirements in order to promote that. The 75-foot setback reflects that we are not looking at traditional subdivision appearances. The applicant is looking at the multiple lot sizes and there is nothing wrong with that, however she didnít see that the view of this application fit RUD.

Mayor Pro Tem Bononi believed that the Planning Commission was right on target with regard to saying that RUD plan shall contain 58 lots maximum. They donít have the minimum overall acreage size. It should not be gated and she didnít believe that the active recreation that is shown was defined enough to be considered active recreation and didnít consider those open spaces that are isolated or along boundaries of this parcel to be open space that is usable.

She said rural vistas are supposed to be preserved wherever possible and she didnít see any rural vistas proposed with the exception of the area to the rear. She was also concerned and asked how the sanitary sewage treatment was supposed to be proposed with a non-existent sanitary sewer line. Ms. McClain noted currently there is a project with Maybury that is to continue to the east. However, they are proposing to connect to that sanitary sewer if it is brought to their property line on the east side or possibly have the option of connecting on the western side of phase I for Maybury.

Mayor Pro Tem Bononi noted she understood, but there was no such agreement. Ms. McClain said it had not occurred yet and would not be allowed to develop without the sanitary sewer being in place or that agreement for it to be built. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said then we are talking about a condition of approval until such time that sanitary sewer service would be available that we are not looking at septic systems in the interim. Ms. McClain said no, they would have to get a specialized permit from Oakland County and we are not pushing in that direction at all.

Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked what the maximum depth of the proposed detention pond? Mr. Kiest said it was 5 ft. She said she would only be looking for a 58 lot submission in order to have her vote regarding this and said when they applied for the RUD, they got the bonus.

Member Csordas was concerned about some inappropriate comments made at Planning Commission level that would cause some legal problems if they were said to him. Someone said that this is a developer that is building an exclusionary development and referring to these homes as exclusive and exclusionary. Every builder comes to the City to build for a niche market and to make comments like that is an interjection of a Planning Commissionerís personal opinion of something, which is not their charge. Their charge is to follow the ordinances and to make sure everyone follows the rules. He apologized to Mr. Guidobono and whoever else was there because he didnít feel that was shared by people on this Council.

Someone on the Planning Commission also stated that they were concerned with the image that would be created in a community having $700,000 homes adjacent to the schools. He felt that was ludicrous and it made no sense. These comments were inappropriate and he asked Mr. Fisher to point that out to the Planning Commission when these things are said. A gated community doesnít benefit the city was also noted and he disagrees with that.

Also, in the Planning Commission minutes, it said a gated community did not benefit the whole City and he took exception to that. Mr. Guidobono has built a gated community and a gated community is an enormous cash cow for the residents of this City and for the administration. There are homes in Bellagio that are paying $90,000 in taxes for the City and Schools. He thought the schools would love to have the development built around them.

Member Csordas asked if there would be more trees removed under conventional development? Mr. Guidobono said there would. Member Csordas didnít think he would be opposed to 61 lots because a 4% variance was not that much. He said he didnít know why we would want to connect to Maybury Estates. He felt that a gated community being in conflict with rural surroundings was ludicrous. Member Csordas referred to the construction of an additional pathway to the school property at the north end of the development and asked to what school? He didnít know why the City was requiring all this additional burden to Mr. Guidobono if there is no school there and didnít think he would support that. Member Csordas said the development shall not be gated because it was in conflict with the rural nature of the surrounding areas, and he thought that was ludicrous. The Bellagio community and others are gated communities and he asked what has that got to do with anything? A gated community would be fine.

He asked if they were willing to have the width and length of 8 Mile entrance to Garfield meet City ordinances? Mr. Guidobono said they were. Member Csordas asked if he was saying if they had 80 acres rather than the 77 acres they would be able to put 16 more lots on that property? Mr. Galvin said no. Member Csordas asked if there was any opposition to meeting the ordinance as required regarding opposite side driveway spacing? Mr. Guidobono said no they would make that adjustment.

Member Csordas said Mr. Guidobono developed the Bellagio community and it is a diamond in the City. He asked if the wetland was wet year round? Mr. Guidobono said it was only wet in the spring and fall with primarily canary grass and is a low-grade wetland. It doesnít have diverse species of plants. Member Csordas said he wouldnít want to see anybody make it wetter than it is and asked if in the designing of it would it be wet all year? Mr. Guidobono said they had not addressed that yet. However, if they wanted to enhance the wetland, they could put a little more water into it and that would create a more divergent wetland if that was the Councilís wishes. There had been some talk with JCK and the consultants about that but no decisions had been made. Member Csordas asked if they have been asked to enhance it and he replied they had. Member Csordas wanted it left as it is to keep the bugs down.

Member Capello spoke about preserving the west end of Bellagio property because it was the natural habitat corridor. He remembered discussions about trees preserved and connections. It was intended that Bellagio has no connections and they donít. Member Capello said they knew something was going to happen in the south but were concerned that if a connection was put there, that would force the developer to the south or to the west to connect their streets and take out additional woodlands giving them the cause to build lots on each side of the connection streets. It was the same for Maybury Estates. The only connection that is possible in that section is between Maybury and Tuscany. There is a school to the east of Maybury and one to the west of Tuscany. He doesnít see the need to have a road connection. In the Maybury plan, there is an area dedicated for a street but he didnít think that the agreement required that street to be paved unless we require this project to be paved. What we will end up with is a pedestrian corridor through there that would allow children to go between subdivisions and would allow them to go from Maybury Park to Tuscany to the school or from Tuscany to Maybury Park. He felt we were accomplishing our purpose by requiring the easements for pedestrian and bicycle traffic to connect the subdivisions for the children and adults to walk. He didnít see a need to have automobile traffic go through one to the other. He didnít think that if Tuscany connected to the east they would lose a lot there. He thought people were more apt to be happier living on cul-de-sacs because they wouldnít have the traffic coming through and it would be safer for the children.

Member Capello said if he understood Mr. Galvins point on the 16 lots, they are preserving enough open space area that would entitle them to 16 lots. However, because of the cap at .08 acres they are only allowed three and he thought that was where they were coming with their 16. Part of the formula was to multiply the open space by a number and you get 16 lots. They are only taking 3 out of that based on the open space. He thought the intent of the RUD was to keep some open space and green space and they have gone over what they need to keep to get the density of the lots and he commended them for that. He didnít know if it was his lesson through Bellagio, he didnít think we had the RUD Ordinance at the time, but theyíve reserved the

high quality woodlands, which in the past Council had asked them to reserve by Bellagio because it is the natural corridor. If we donít put that road through between Tuscany and Maybury, that corridor would continue south of the woodlands, down through the wetlands and make it a much larger corridor to continue and probably the people that would abut the temporary wetlands on the eastern section of the project would have deer in their backyard.

He had no problem with 61 lots over 58 lots as he felt it was a small concession considering the open space and woodlands they are keeping. He thought the sanitary sewer issue was resolved, as they couldnít build until the sewer was in. There was discussion about the regional basin, which is gone but they are holding sufficient water themselves rather than having to construct a new regional basin. If there is an overflow it would go into Maybury and then on a very slow discharge into Northville. Mr. Guidobono said that was correct.

Member Capello commented gated or not he didnít care but he would personally like to see a gated community as it made Novi look nicer and it is an upscale entranceway. He said Member Csordas had a question on the boulevard entrance at 8 Mile and Garfield and he thought they were talking about the length of the boulevard. Member Capello felt there were enough brakes in the area where the driveways would come into the street that they had broken up the boulevard. So even though the boulevard has been extended, the brakes are there for the safety issues that Mr. Arroyo always had. Mr. Guidobono agreed and said any fine tuning would be done in accordance with the

ordinance and it would be the same type of boulevard that is in Bellagio but it would not be as long. Member Capello asked about landscaping along 8 Mile Road. Mr. Guidobono said landscaping was planned for that but he didnít know if they were able to preserve any of the existing trees or not but would make an effort to preserve trees that front on 8 Mile.

Member Capello said he had been doing some work in Lyon Township and they are very aggressively building new schools. Every plan he had seen of theirs they liked to control the internal movement of cars and buses. They are doing exactly what Dr. Lippe said the buses are in one section and the cars in the other and they want to keep all of that traffic there. He could see why they wrote a letter saying they didnít want a road connection into the school property and he was sure they would never connect to it.

When we created the RUD Ordinance we specifically put in the ability of City Council to grant the waiver if it was under 80 acres so if a project of this magnitude came to us we still had the ability to grant them RUD approval even though it was a bit shy of the 80 acres.

CM-02-10- Moved by Capello, seconded by Csordas;

To approve Tuscany Reserve Residential Unit Development

Agreement as draft proposed in the packet including

incorporation of the plan with a waiver for the minimum 80

acre requirement, waiver for the street stubs, waiver for the

length of the boulevards and waiver of the access for the

control gates, which he would entertain a friendly amendment

to.

 

DISCUSSION

Member Landry supported the waiver from the 80-acre requirement. He asked if they had an access through Costello Drive would a lot be lost? Mr. Guidobono said they would not; if that is the connection to Maybury Estates they would not. Member Landry was not in favor of granting a waiver on the access, as the ordinance requires the access. He agreed with the Planning Commissionís recommendation that this should not be a gated community because it would conflict with the rural nature of the surrounding areas. He was also disappointed in active recreation area and that was why he would not support the 61 lots and felt that 58 lots would afford extra space to develop a more active recreation area. He also agreed with the Planning Commission that the woodlands should be preserved until Lots 19, 24 through 31 and 34 until the lots are purchased and the homes are designed. He would not support the motion as stated.

Member DeRoche didnít see what purpose it served the City to chip away lots. He agreed with Member Csordas that we do need to consider the tax base of these homes.

He asked Mr. Guidobono if these are gated streets would they be public streets or would they be privately maintained? He said if gated, they would be private streets. Member DeRoche asked if they would at some point become public streets? He said they would be private forever. Member DeRoche asked who would be responsible for snow removal, street upgrades and maintenance and was told the homeowners association and that would never be the responsibility of the City. Member DeRoche asked what City services would be expected to be provided on the private streets and Mr. Guidobono said police and fire. Member DeRoche said this subdivision would

provide the City with much more in tax dollars than services that would be provided and felt they should take the opportunity to advocate for three more lots. Member DeRoche said, for the record, his newfound concern of wetland areas in residential subdivisions he asked about the small wetland between lots 25 and 26 and said he would not want a tenth of an acre of wetland in his backyard producing more mosquitoes that increased the amount of hazard to his family. He didnít see a net benefit to the homeowners in the area and felt that instead of adding some water, dirt could be added to cut down

substantially the number of mosquitoes it generates. He supported the motion.

Mr. Evancoe said Member Lorenzo asked what type of acreage was included as the basis for the density bonus. He showed a graph with a total of 24.19 acres and the 10.52 figure included the areas set aside for active and passive recreation by the developer. He looked in the RUD ordinance and it is allowable acreage that could be used for this calculation. It is a combination of both existing preserved areas and proposed open space. Member Lorenzo said in the woodlands report, it indicated that green space and buffer areas were being included and asked what they were? Mr. Evancoe said basically all of the open space, excluding the wetlands, would be the buffer areas along the frontage on 8 Mile Road and would be included in this acreage. She asked if it had been enhanced by the tree replacement? He said some of them had been. She said that was her point. She was not looking to deny Mr. Guidobono any lots that he rightfully deserved under this ordinance but there are certain things that apply, under this option, for bonus density credits and there are things that are not listed and they donít and those include landscaped areas. The ordinance is very specific in terms of what is to be included and whatís not. Mr. Evancoe directed her attention to page 32-70 of the ordinance, Item C, "land set aside for active or passive recreational

uses." Those obviously would be landscaped areas such as the park. She said that was a matter of interpretation because when she heard land set aside for active or passive recreation areas she didnít think of someone going into an area and landscaping it and receiving a bonus for that. She looked at that as if it was an active recreation, it would have some form of active use on it and they would put some form of recreation on it to make it active. That is very appropriate and legitimate but if there are areas being counted for bonus densities that are tree replacement areas it was not passive recreation it was tree replacement. If other natural areas are set aside and they would be used for bird watching, etc. that would be a different situation. She was trying to ascertain how much of that area had been utilized for density credits. If that is the case, then he might not legitimately have 61 lots.

Mr. Guidobono said on the density bonus to get those free lots we are talking about 3.75 acres so based on her interpretation if they had 3.75 acres of naturally, undisturbed land, he believed they would have that around the wetlands areas. The objective was to keep those areas pretty natural which would allow them, under her interpretation, the three additional lots. She wanted City staff to clarify that. Mr.

Evancoe said you donít hold against the developer the fact that they are placing landscaping onto the land. He thought you looked at the underlying land itself and it would really come down to how you would define passive recreation. Mr. Evancoe said some would regard passive recreation as an area that you could go into with or without a trail and it could be simply a green area that existed previously or was created and landscaped.

Member Lorenzo wasnít in favor of a stub street connection. She was more concerned about Maybury than she was Tuscany in terms of traffic and speeders going through the subdivision. Regarding gated versus non-gated entry she didnít have a strong opinion either way. She would be in favor of granting the relief with regard to the 80-acre minimum. She felt they had been creative working with this site and felt it would be a much better development than a conventional site would be. She would be agreeable to the Planning Commissionís condition of the woodlands being preserved on designated lots. Also, she thought it was imperative that we do include that the

applicant realizes and agrees that construction would not take place until the sewer issues are resolved and it should be part of the motion. Mr. Guidobono said they would agree. She said the connection to Maybury should be a bike path rather than a sidewalk. Mr. Guidobono said that would be no problem. Member Lorenzo expected those stipulations to be in the motion.

Member Capello said he would entertain an amendment to the waiver of the control gates.

Mayor Pro Tem Bononi commented that waivers are granted to break laws. Some of those waivers are justified but on the other hand when we take our oaths as Councilpersons we promise to uphold our laws. She would promise not to get involved in any kind of arguments about capitalism and would equally agree not to waste her opinion about the fact that she believes the U.S. Constitution is an economic document and doesnít have anything to do with anything. She said anytime we decide to dismember in any way an existing ordinance that the justifications for doing so should be complete and every comment should be made on the record and every time we do that without justification we weaken an ordinance. There are other ordinance vehicles,

perhaps not the very best ones that could have been used here in order to accomplish the applicantís goal. She would amend the main motion but would withhold her comments if someone else wished to speak for the second time.

Member Lorenzo stated itís the applicantís attorney that drafts the RUD agreement and our attorney reviews it to make sure it is what the Council required and it is not up to the City attorney to draft the agreement for them.

Mr. Evancoe stated Council wasnít being asked to approve the RUD agreement, as it was information only. Member Capello said Mr. Evancoe was wrong because it was included in the packet and he incorporated the RUD agreement as part of his motion. It seemed that it identified a lot of the issues that needed to be identified and rather than having to go back and negotiate what the document says, it seems that the RUD agreement addressed a lot of those issues and what he felt it didnít address, he attached as waivers. Mr. Evancoe said as a Council they were certainly free to do that, he just wanted to state that there wasnít any pressure from the Planning Commission to approve the RUD.

Member Capello said he was going back to the open space issue again. Mr. Galvin said there were 16 lots available based on the 24 acres of open space. Mr. Evancoe

said there were 19 lots available based on the formula so somewhere between 16 and 19 lots. To ask them to give up 3 lots would not serve the purpose of the ordinance because they have already preserved almost a third of the property in open space and even so, he didnít think it would specifically say that they needed to use those three lots that they give up to create more open space, they could just reconfigure the lots. He didnít think the plan accurately portrayed the open space theyíre keeping because they took the replacement trees and put it in the open space. He couldnít consider replacement trees as landscaping. The ordinance has tried to get the developer to replace the trees back on the site he took them off of and he didnít think they could now

turn around and punish him because he is taking the replacement trees and putting them in open areas on the site. He said if they could give the 61 lots he would be comfortable letting the Planning Commission work out what they would want to see between the active and passive recreation.

CM-02-09-288 Moved by Capello, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED AMENDMENT UNANIMOUSLY: To delete the gated, to allow access through

Costello Drive, to give the Planning Commission the

opportunity through their plan approval to work out

the active and passive areas and to preserve the woodlands on

Lots 19, 24, 31 and 34 until homes are built and then that woodland approval can go through the Woodlands Board of Appeals.

DISCUSSION

Member Csordas asked about the amendments and the connection to another drive, is that the pathway? Member Capello said he heard some Council members that wanted to have the connection, not to have the connection to waiver. So he amended the motion to have Costello Drive connected to Maybury so the waiver is not there, amended it so it would not be a gated community which would result in the streets becoming public streets, he amended it to put in the recommendation of the Planning Commission that woods are preserved on Lots 19, 24, 31 and 34 until houses are built and then they go to the woodland review board and give the Planning Commission the ability to work out the difference between the passive and active recreations.

Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked the applicant if they would vary the construction standards if they were private streets? Mr. Guidobono said no. She asked if he would be in agreement for the streets to be public and eliminate the gated entrance? He said if that was what the Council desired they would do that, but their first intent was to go gated.

CM-02-09-289 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo; MOTION CARRIED:

AMENDMENT That the RUD plan shall contain 58 lots maximum, Costello

Drive shall be continued and connected through Maybury

Park Estates, the developer shall provide the definition as to how water and sewer issues will be resolved, development shall not be gated, width and length of 8 Mile entrance shall meet ordinance requirements, active recreation area shall be modified to better meet the intent of active recreation, woodlands shall be preserved on Lot 19, Lot 24 through Lot 31

and Lot 34 until the lots are purchased and the homes are designed and the lots would be reviewed on a lot by lot basis,

additional screening shall be provided along the west property line for the school, City Council relief for the required 80 acre minimum site area shall be granted, 8 Mile Road shall meet ordinance requirements for opposite side driveway spacing,

construction access shall only be via 8 Mile Road entrance and City Council waivers only for the length of the boulevard section.

DISCUSSION

Member DeRoche asked if Member Capello successfully amended his original motion? Mayor Clark said he moved to amend that there was a second, thatís all thatís happened. Now we are dealing with an amendment to that proposed motion. Member DeRoche said he had four or five overlaps here and he didnít know what was primary, whatís secondary or what has already happened. Mayor Clark said first they had to see if they had a second on the amendment.

Ms. McClain said a City Council waiver would be necessary to not require a stub through the woodland and to not require a stub into the school property because those areas are more than 1,300 feet. There would be a stub required through the woodlands and through the school property area unless a waiver is given.

Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said it was not on the list but that was fine. She added that the RUD draft agreement was not part of her amended motion.

Roll call vote on CM-02-09-289 Yeas: Landry, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi, Csordas

AMENDMENT Nays: Capello, DeRoche

 

 

Mr. Fisher said before voting on the main motion he wanted to clarify that there had been an indication that the RUD agreement has been included in the motion that there is no intent to . . . Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said the RUD Agreement has been excluded.

Mayor Clark called the vote on the main motion with the amendments that were approved. Member DeRoche asked if Member Capelloís amendments had to be voted because they were included in the main motion?

Member Capello believed that he had friendly amendments which were approved and Mayor Pro Tem Bononiís motion amended his motion. So, we are voting on his motion as friendly amended.

Member DeRoche said we are missing two things if voting on the main motion. The two that were just brought up that the motion be amended, he didnít hear anyone accept that, that Council waive their requirement for a stub street through the woodland and a stub street to the school.

Member Capello said that was his motion and Mayor Clark said they were included.

Roll call vote on CM-02-09-288 Yeas: Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas,

MAIN MOTION AS AMENDED DeRoche, Landry

Nays: None

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

Andrew Mutch stated he had thought that Items #4 and 5 would have been easy approvals and he was surprised to see that the Council didnít support these recommendations to protect more open space in Novi. He was concerned because he heard Council members talking about some of the lessons they learned from Sandstone and he would have thought some of those lessons would have included trying to find creative ways to protect the Cityís natural resources and open spaces. Instead he heard members talking about turning City property into profit generating resources and looking at selling off these City properties to the highest bidder. He wondered if that was what the Novi residents wanted. He wanted to address specifically tem #5 which was the proposed DPW site. That property is right in the middle of the land that is left in North Novi Park and much of the area around it is wetland mitigation area so itís developed into a nice natural area. He couldnít think of one reason why weíd want to give any thought to selling off that property. Why would we want to further intrude into an area that is already limited in open space and that we have already carved out 75 acres? It doesnít make sense. As far as the lake front property it is already being used for park purposes. There are bike paths on the property and people sit there and enjoy the beautiful view of the lake, which you donít have anywhere else on the lake. Designating the land as parkland would allow the Parks Commission to pursue grant opportunities but not designated as parkland they would not be able to do that and they wouldnít be able to make any plans for its use. As Member Capello noted it would just sit there for who knows how much longer.

A couple of Council members talked about using the proceeds from selling some of this property to buy property elsewhere. If there was more vacant land in this City that was available he would like to know about it. In north Novi there wasnít enough neighborhood parkland as it is. The parkland that Sandstone proposed giving us at

Vistas is just wetland retention areas. What neighborhood parks are going to serve the thousands of residents that are living and going to live in the Vistas development? If we sell out this lakefront property that is one less area we have to serve them with nothing to replace it with. The land isnít going to get any cheaper and he didnít want to get into a pattern where we take parkland from one portion of the City and sell it off to supply parkland in another part of the City. That didnít make sense either and he didnít think residents would support that. Obviously, those of us who care about parks, who have

been advocating and working for City administration need to do more education to you to show you there isnít vacant land left out there and there are park needs in all areas of the City but particularly North Novi. We need to do a better job of working with City administration and bringing forth the information that you need.

Mayor Clark said, for the record, no one is suggesting that these two parcels be sold. Regarding Item #5 Council asked for additional information with reference to #4 the property had been potentially sold in the past by the City for over a million dollars. That would have more than paid for the additional land that, according to Mr. Shaw, is available for purchase if we had the money.

MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė PART II

7. Approval of Resolution to authorize the First Quarter Budget Amendment

#2003-1

CM-02-09- Moved by Capello, seconded by DeRoche;

To approve resolution authorize the First Quarter

Budget Amendment #2003-1

DISCUSSION

Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said there were a lot of lump sum amounts that need a breakdown. She didnít think there was enough information particularly with regard to Personal Services amounts. She had a question regarding the Police Department item with regard to the Weighmaster position being converted to a Police Department expenditure.

Mr. Helwig commented that they wanted the Weighmaster to receive full supervision. This is a position that had an extraordinary amount of overtime and they had reduced it to zero with the transfer to the Police Department. So this is strictly reaffirming that transfer and getting it in the right budget. Now, the shift supervisor can supervise that individual. This individual really was not being supervised at all and the overtime was extraordinary. This does not have to be approved this evening and could wait until more information was provided. Regarding Personal Services, it was basically aligning what was allocated with the July 1 raises that was afforded to the administrative personnel in the various departments.

CM-02-09-290 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED

UNANIMOUSLY: That this be brought back to the next

Council meeting with all the background information.

Roll call vote on CM-02-09-290 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, DeRoche,

Landry, Lorenzo

Nays: None

8. Approval to purchase a Genesis Hydraulic Rescue Tool System from Howell

Rescue Systems, a sole source vendor, in the amount of $20,775.

 

 

Mayor Clark explained this was to replace the present Jaws of Life, which is 14 or 15 years old.

Mr. Helwig said our team of colleagues who participated in the competition utilized this state of the art equipment, which is superior to what we have. They came back and reported just how much quicker and effective this piece of equipment operated. This was not in the budget, which was why this was following the budget amendment, which authorized it. He thought the motion should include authorizing this appropriation.

Chief Lenaghan commented that they had two sets of equipment and the older set was 14 years old. He said they found this equipment to be better. They had the opportunity to use it for two days as well as other equipment and the power of it is twice what they have now. It took the side of a car off in about four minutes. It is a much better system as it is more efficient, safer and he asked for Council consideration so it could be purchased.

CM-02-09-291 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED

UNANIMOUSLY: To authorize the appropriation of $20,775 and

to approve the purchase of a Genesis Hydraulic Rescue Tool

System from Howell Rescue Systems, a sole source vendor, in

the amount of $20,775.

DISCUSSION

Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if the price of this system was still in effect because the

deadline said August 30, 2002? Chief Lenaghan said they received an extension.

Roll call vote on CM-02-09-291 Yeas: Bononi, Capello, Csordas, DeRoche,

Landry, Lorenzo, Clark

Nays: None

9. Review of progress in achieving City Council Short-Term and Long -Term Goals.

Mr. Helwig said they had updated what appeared in the budget document this Spring

and looked for direction and guidance when Council discussed this. He emphasized

that if City Council, in addition to reviewing these goals and status in a lengthy

discussion, would wish to have a goal setting session to revise goals, look at new goals,

etc. they would welcome that opportunity.

Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said in reviewing this document she was struck by the things

that were already completed and congratulated everyone all around and particularly the administration for spearheading some of these actions. She also noticed that there were a lot of explanations regarding the uncompleted items that she didnít think the administration should be taking all the heat for. These goals are committed to by Council and that was the reason she thought they needed to have a session to address these things.

 

 

 

CM-02-09-292 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED

UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone discussing long term and short term goals until the next Council meeting and bring back proposed dates for a session to discuss progress in achieving City Council goals.

Roll call vote on CM-02-09-292 Yeas: Capello, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry,

Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi

Nays: None

10. Consideration of right-of-way acquisition, for Grand River Avenue: Beck to CSX Bridge Project, from Diversified Development Company, a Michigan Co-Partnership, in the amount of $8,100.00 and a grading permit, in the amount of $460.00.

CM-02-09-193 Moved by Landry, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED

UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the right-of-way acquisition,

for Grand River Avenue: Beck to CSX Bridge Project, from

Diversified Development Company, a Michigan Co-

Partnership, and grading permit in the amount of $8,560.

Member Capello said the recommended action is for $8,560 for both the acquisition and

the grading permit and asked if the motion makers would accept a friendly amendment

to that affect? Members Landry and DeRoche said they would.

Roll call vote on CM-02-09-292 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Landry, Lorenzo,

Clark, Bononi, Capello

Nays: None

11. Consideration of the addition of two woodlands employees.

Member Landry said there was much discussion over this at budget time. Administration recommended that two woodland technicians be hired and he was satisfied that it could be done without spending any more money. It would pay for itself and this is something that the administration said they needed and if this is what they say they need for their business plan, he wanted to approve it and then hold them to it.

CM-02-09-293 Moved by Landry, seconded by Capello; MOTION FAILED:

To approve the addition of two woodland employees as per

the proposed budget that was submitted last Spring.

DISCUSSION

Member Capello thought they approved one woodland in house person in the last budget and what was left open was a consultant woodland person. He thought Council had given two woodlands people in the last budget and the issue was whether the third person would be a consultant or in house.

Mr. Helwig said the recommendation was for two persons to fill the void of the Lemke firm that closed last year. No woodland personnel were authorized in the budget.

Member Capello said so the issue discussed at budget time between in house and consultant was a landscape person and not the woodland person? Mr. Helwig said the woodland reviews are principally done by people who have landscape architect certifications and suggested that might be where Member Capello was getting that thinking. Our in house landscape architect, does landscape reviews but does not do the woodland reviews that the Lemke firm was doing, was authorized a year ago along with one engineer and two planners.

Member Capello said then we would have three people doing landscaping and woodlands plus Mr. Printz. Mr. Helwig agreed and said then Mr. Printz would go back to doing forestry duties.

Member DeRoche thought this should be put on an agenda and Mr. Landry could explain why he wanted to raise the issue and then address it at the next available meeting with the supplemental information. It is late in the evening to sort this out, so he requested that this discussion shift to the fact that it is now time to decide whether to rely on the consultant or was it time to hire two employees and then evaluate it in two weeks at a regularly scheduled meeting.

Member Lorenzo said she pulled some of the numbers together and asked Mr. Helwig if he had straightened out the costs for these two additional employees. She said when she went to the budget she had the appendix that told her it was $112,000 and the text that said it was over $134,000.

Mr. Helwig said he checked with the Finance Director who said the appendix amount of $112,000 was correct.

Member Lorenzo was concerned and wondering if this would cost more money than what is being placed on the table. She said they needed to look at the big picture here and bring in the plan review center problems into this focus because it all revolved around the same function. If looking at the cost analysis ending June 30, 2002 the budget amount for the fees coming into the City that would help offset the costs of hiring employees was half of what was anticipated. The budget amount was $180,000 and the actual amount of fees taken in was $60,656. If this happens in this proposal where would the shortfall come from? Secondly, she was concerned about the number of employees it would take to duplicate what Ms. Lemkeís firm was doing for us and doing the work so that we are not behind in plan reviews. She said Ms. Lemkeís firm provided two registered landscape architects, seasonal field assistants and an office support person. We have hired one landscape architect and are looking to hire two more, which is actually 3 people to do what Ms. Lemke had two doing. Add to that the field person and, eventually, what is it going to cost to duplicate these services?

Member Lorenzo said she had been extremely open and supportive of this from the time that Mr. Helwig had proposed these new changes. However, the facts, information and numbers have changed her mind. The numbers of what we thought we would get to the numbers we would actually get, the numbers on the plan review chart where we are months behind on a lot of these plans, which she thought were very disturbing. In terms of hiring in house versus outside consultants the other situation becomes turnover. We are having turnover now and could expect more turnover and she was concerned that a consultancy is not going to turn over as quickly as in house employees

could and that is very normal. She felt consultants offered more stability and there was more stability in the rates they charge and the Council negotiating those rates. There is also the level of service aspect and she was not satisfied that the Plan Review Center has not given anywhere near the level of service that we had with the previous arrangement; in fact we are getting further and further behind and she was concerned. She didnít feel that throwing two more in house positions and the resources of the taxpayers at this problem is going to resolve it and thought that it might be a bigger problem down the road. She asked how many people was it going to take to run this in an efficient manner that at least provides the level of service required by Site Plan Review Standards. Are we going to hire as many as Ms. Lemke had? Then what happens during the down times as we wonít always have the woodland reviews and landscape reviews month to month that require full time permanent employees. For all of those reasons she could not support this at this time.

Roll call vote on CM-02-09-293 Yeas: Landry, Clark, Capello

Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche

MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES

1. Gateway Ordinance Ė Set date for review and decision Ė Mayor Clark

Mayor Clark requested that Council set a date for review to come to a final decision what they would do with this. He would like to see it on the agenda no later than the last meeting in October. He asked if the administration could be ready for the second meeting in October.

Mr. Helwig said there are Council members working on this and he didnít know what more to do until he heard from them. Member Landry suggested the first meeting in November and Mayor Clark agreed.

2. West Novi Park Acquisition Proposal Ė Member Lorenzo

Member Lorenzo commented that at the last Council meeting they were given a

handout of information and she wanted to address some of the proposed ways to

fund the acquisition of this parkland. She didnít want the public to get any

misinformation from this proposal. In terms of Sandstone settlement proceeds, she

thought she was correct in saying there were no Sandstone settlement proceeds. As a matter of fact the City had to contribute a couple hundred thousand dollars from our funds to meet the agreement amount of $7.75 million. She asked if that was correct.

Mr. Helwig said in order to close off the insurance discussion we put in $105,000 and the notion of settlement proceeds is completely off the table. That was going to kick in if insurance proceeds came in above $9.5 million. That issue is over and done with.

Member Lorenzo said she didnít want any misperceptions out in the public that we are sitting on settlement proceeds because there are none.

Member Lorenzo said the storm water fund is not a slush fund. It is an extremely important fund and she gave credit to previous Councilís that had the foresight to establish this fund to maintain our storm drains, detention systems, etc. In this past

 

budget we didnít have enough funds available to dredge Meadowbrook and Village Oak Lakes to provide better water quality.

Regarding bond issues, it was in the Novi News Thursday, and apparently the survey is back from the library. People arenít even going to support a new Library for bond funds so why would anyone think they would want to raise their taxes to purchase parkland. We are at a critical economic time and she didnít think it was the time to be asking people to open their pocketbooks to us.

She said private fundraising was an interesting proposition and had questions for the Friends of Novi Parks with regard to whether they have had any fundraisers and if funds had been raised or if they had gathered any corporate sponsors. She would look upon this organization in a much better light if they would come forward and say what they have been doing to gather finances to purchase parkland.

Member Lorenzo said as far as she knows there are no other monies in the budget to purchase parkland. This Council debated each other and the administration to find $391,000 to place in contingency so that there would be a rainy day fund for emergencies. There are no excess funds.

3. Report concerning budget costs regarding SAD #155, original budgeted costs

and any cost extensions or overruns - Mayor Pro Tem Bononi

Mayor Pro Tem Bononi was looking for a chronological listing of the initial approval of

SAD 155 in the amount approved by Council and all the additional incremental costs

added to that SAD and where we are to date. She asked for it by the next Council

meeting.

4. Metro Public Act 48 2002 regarding right of way permits for Telecom Industries

for municipalities - Mayor Clark

Mayor Clark said there was a letter in their packets from Varnum, Rittering, Schmidt, Howelett, attorneys at law in Grand Rapids. They are one of the lead Counsel around the Country who are working with the interests of municipalities in terms of telecommunications industry, which is costing us a lot of money. Michigan has passed an act that would allow us to start recapturing some of this. There is a move on in the FCC to once again to preclude us from being able to collect reasonable permit fees. They are asking for a letter of support to be sent to our two Senators and we should also send it to our Representative in Washington saying that we support this act.

CM-02-09-294 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Landry; CARRIED

UNANIMOUSLY: To write a letter to our Senators and

Representative in Washington in support of Metro Act

Public Act 48 2002.

Roll call vote on CM-02-09-284 Yeas: Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi, Capello,

Csordas, DeRoche, Landry

Nays: None

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION Ė None

COMMUNICATIONS

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at

11:57 PM.

 

 

______________________________ ____________________________

Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk

 

 

 

Transcribed by: ________________________

Charlene Mc Lean

 

Date approved: October 21, 2002