|View Agenda for this meeting
REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:32 PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Brownie Troop #664 Ė Leader: Kim Lau
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor Pro Tem Bononi, Council Members Capello-absent/excused, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi
ALSO PRESENT: Richard Helwig, City Manager
Craig Klaver, Chief of Operations
Clay Pearson, Assistant City Manager
Gerald Fisher, City Attorney
Kathy Smith-Roy, Finance Director
Chief Shaeffer, Police Department
Bill Stimpson, Birchler/Arroyo
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor Pro tem Bononi removed Mayor & Council issues 2 and 3 and requested they be placed on the next regular Council agenda. Also, minutes of March 3, 2003 of the Regular City Council meeting were removed from the Consent Agenda in order to complete Mayor Pro Tem Bononiís comments on Catholic Central.
CM-03-03-070 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as amended.
Vote on CM-03-03-070 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi
SPECIAL REPORTS - None
COMMITTEE REPORTS - None
1. Community Sports Park Ė Randy Auler, Parks, Recreation & Forestry Director
Terry Croad, McKenna Associates, Inc.
Mr. Auler spoke about the proposed improvements to Community Sports Park and about how they could create a vision involving the residents in the planning process that would benefit the entire community. Mr. Croad, Principle Planner with McKenna Associates, placed maps on display of the park. The department worked cooperatively to identify user groups and citizens to be involved in that planning process to create the vision of what the park could be.
Mr. Croad said they tried to create a design palette for the parks so it would be an image and linkage to the past and it would become an identifier to the community so visitors could identify with our community character in the park. The entrance is hidden and they tried to incorporate into the design signage to identify the park.
Since the park department identified the need for maintenance buildings and other facilities, they designed it with a palette that reflected our rural character. One of the focal points possibly at the entrance would be a water windmill tower or some other type of barn structure to help identify the gateway entrance into the park. They looked at incorporating the horse fencing and the rural character into the signage to act as a buffer to separate vehicular and pedestrian traffic as well as gateway entrances into the park off of Eight Mile Road and Napier.
They tried to develop the park not just for familiesí sports activities but activities for all citizens of the community, younger children through mature adults. During public discussion, it was suggested that a circular pathway be accessible to everyone that would link all areas of the park. There are significant wetland areas that could be used for interpretative centers and boardwalks. Other upgrades would include increased parking, overflow parking for tournaments, upgrades to the facilities, field quality, drainage, etc. and to have first-rate facilities for tournaments including seating and sports lighting. He noted the lack of restroom facilities and proposed to remedy that with additional restroom/concession facilities throughout the park. Also discussed was providing additional pavilions for shade and additional landscaping throughout the park.
Upgrades to the ball fields themselves include upgraded infield mix and grass, drainage irrigation, sports lighting, scoreboards and improved dugouts. The soccer league was looking at soccer huts to provide shade and maintenance buildings throughout the park. Finally, there is need for court play, increased basketball, volleyball, roller rink, expanded tennis and a practice field for sports. This is a 5-10 year master improvement plan for the park and they are working on private/public partnerships. Mr. Croad introduced Marie Enright, Parks and Recreation Commissioner.
Ms. Enright noted the entire Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission shared this vision for the Community Sports Park. However, this project would cost approximately $5 million to complete. The Commission will present all funding options to City Council for approval prior to any fund raising activities this spring. She said funding options included establishing a park foundation, grants, naming rights, public and private partnerships, bonds and fundraising. Ms. Enright said on the agenda this evening, Item 15, the Parks and Recreation and Forestry Commission has approved and would seek permission from Council to reprogram $49,345 for accessibility and ball field improvements at Community Sports Park. This money is already in the 2003 Capitol Improvement Budget. She gave the City Clerk a memo to City Council showing support from the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission.
Member Sanghvi commended the entire Commission for presenting a great plan. He asked what type of accessibility the park would have for handicapped individuals. He asked if the walkways would be paved or dirt? Mr. Croad responded all facilities would be accessible to persons with disability and the walking path is a paved path. They would adhere to the Federal guidelines and would use CPTED, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design to make sure that it is an inclusive and safe park for everyone. Member Sanghvi asked how often he thought the lots would be full of cars. Mr. Croad noted every weekend the lots are almost at capacity during the prime summer season. Member Sanghvi asked if he had a number of spots that would be required for parking. Mr. Croad said the Institute of Traffic Engineers and other planning standards have developed numbers for each facilities usage and they went by those standards. Member Sanghvi said his concern was creating large parking areas and covering land with asphalt and only using it once or twice per year. Mr. Croad said they would use grass pavers for the overflow parking along Napier Road. Member Sanghvi said they would always have his support.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi thanked everyone for their presentation and suggested a few more congregating areas and designating the wetland area as a demonstration project observation area that could tie in with the educational theme. She asked that they pay sensitive attention to any proposed lighting and break up parking areas with some trees for shade. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi thought it was a great job and was excited about the proposed partnerships and felt that it would go a long way toward building community spirit.
Member Csordas asked Mr. Croad how much his firm charged to design this? Mr. Croad said the concept plan had already been designed. The City would have to go out to bid based on a dollar amount and professionals usually charge between 6-8% for design services to prepare the construction documents. He said they recommended 10% be allocated for design services to cover cost overruns and additional meetings. Member Csordas said $500,000? Mr. Croad said that would be to complete the entire project but if done in stages it would be a percentage of that amount. Member Csordas asked how much had been spent so far. Mr. Auler said pending Council action this evening they would have $125,000 roughly budgeted that could be used for Phase I development. They anticipate sending out an RFP later this week requesting proposals from design firms to prepare the construction documents, specifications and assist with construction management observation. They hoped the work would be under construction by August, which would follow this season and enable them to have everything in place with the field up and operational next year. Mr. Auler said they are cramped with space in parking and facility usage and with the high school expansion project, it is placing a heavier burden on the system. Member Csordas asked with the money requested this evening what would that entail, other than design, and what else shows up on the ground. Mr. Auler said they wanted to do one to two improvements to the ball fields, one completely and then the second one depending on how the bids come in. Also, improvements identified in their transition plan need to be compliant with the ADA, which would be parking, pathway and access improvements. Member Csordas asked what "built out entirely" mean. Mr. Auler responded it would be re-grading the fields, irrigation, seeding and installing dugouts on one field and getting as much work done as possible on the second field. They were not proposing lighting at this time until they were able to maximize total capacity of the baseball and softball program. He said they would play on Saturdays so they wouldnít have to push for lighting, which would accommodate everyone and would be almost double the amount of games. The average costs for lighting one field is between $90-$100,000 and since all the infrastructure must be installed first, it makes sense to do three or four fields at once and get a cost savings plus there is a possibility to share poles and save a considerable amount of money. Member Csordas said there is nothing proposed that would be done half way. All of this money would be used to design the first phase and then bring to completion at least one of the baseball fields. Mr. Croad said yes.
Member Lorenzo asked if the safety path would be 8 feet. Mr. Croad stated he proposed 10 feet so it could be used for bikes and pedestrians. She encouraged them to minimize the paving of parking; any of those areas that they could get away without actually paving it would be beneficial. She asked if the Parks and Recreation Commission held any public hearings on this plan. Mr. Auler stated not at this time but it has been presented at the Commission meeting with opportunities for the residents to attend. She encouraged them to have a public hearing so they could get public input.
Member Landry commended them on an outstanding job and noted this was a wonderful project and if it could be pulled off would be a signature for the City. He noted the toughest work lied ahead with the raising of the $5 million. He was impressed that they were looking at foundations, grants, naming rights, etc. and if they could get a corporation to name a ball field, etc. they would really be on the right track. The most impressive aspect of this is that they are looking for private partners.
Mayor Clark commended the Parks and Recreation for their dedication and a job well done.
PUBLIC HEARINGS - None
CITY MANAGER - Selection of dates for 2003-2004 Budget Work Sessions.
Mr. Helwig said Council would receive the proposed budget document on Monday, March 31st and by Charte,r the budget must be adopted not later than the third Monday in May.
Mayor Clark and Council agreed to schedule budget work sessions on Saturday, April 12th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 26th, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Wednesday, May 7th from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
DEPARTMENT REPORTS - None
ATTORNEY - None
Mr. Helwig summarized the Clark Street and Lannys road proposal. He said a background brochure was prepared and hand delivered to 450 homes and businesses and Bill Stimpson, traffic engineer, compiled two reports that were distributed to all homes and businesses and would be available tonight as a resource. Also on Friday, from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. staff was available at the police department training center to answer questions from residents. The RCOC needs to know this month if there will be changes to the plans for Grand River.
Mayor Clark asked Mr. Stimpson, Birchler/Arroyo, to give a brief summary. Mr. Stimpson displayed an overview of the area. Mr. Stimpson said Lannys is the only intermediate road between Clark and Taft Roads. He was contacted to evaluate what the potential traffic effects would be of closing the north end of Clark Street permanently and if that were done, what would they recommend for improvements elsewhere such as on Lannys Road. Mr. Stimpson said the bridge would be higher to clear the railroad and for various structural reasons and extend further in either direction and would exasperate any of the operational problems with driveways and intersections close to the toe of the bridge on either side. He said keeping Clark open would provide adequate sight distance for emergency situations. There might be some problem with traffic turning left in and left out of of Clark as a result of the higher bridge and perhaps higher speeds; offsetting that would be the center lane that we didnít have before the bridge came out. He studied the traffic counts in the area and looked at the number of homes that would generate traffic. He estimated that a complete closure of Clark at Grand River could divert as many as 1800 vehicles per day to other streets connecting to Grand River such as Lannys and Taft. Mr. Stimpson said he was quoting from a memo dated February 26th.
He said with that amount of diverted traffic he recommended improvements to Lannys to at least widen the north end of the street to allow two approach lanes to separate left turns from right turns. This would better serve the traffic and to provide, in the future, a signal, which would require separate approach lanes. He recommended consideration be given to designating Lannys as a collector street. Currently Eleven Mile is a City collector down to Clark Street and there are no collector or higher-level streets connecting Eleven Mile to Grand River.
Mr. Stimpson said he prepared a memo March 11th that listed potential alternatives. The first would be to proceed with the current design making improvements to Clark St. for approximately 350 feet south of Grand River. Widening it to a local street standard, improving the drainage and riding quality of the street and narrowing the opening at Grand River a little should help traffic safety. However, the current plan shows a 92-foot wide curb cut for the commercial business across the street, so potential traffic conflicts will continue. Second alternative was to build the street as designed but add a traffic signal, but that would not be practical. Third alternative would be a small triangular island that would allow right in and right out only. Fourth alternative would be a smaller island that would allow left turns in but not out. It wouldnít be as safe but it would be less restrictive and less of a radical change. Fifth alternative would be to close Clark St. and make Lannys one-way southbound only. This would improve safety substantially at Clark. About half of the amount of traffic would be diverted as everybody wanting to go up to Grand River would have to take another route but those coming down could use Lannys. It would reduce the improvements costs for Lannys and Clark. The distance is an additional one mile to go down 11 Mile up Taft and east bound on Grand River and estimated diverted traffic would be about 700 vehicle miles of travel everyday that would be in excess of other alternatives. Truck traffic would have to travel over weight-restricted roadways. Sixth alternative would be to close Clark to general traffic and approve Lannys as a collector. This would reduce conflicts in the vicinity of Clark and Grand River. Having a volume of 2,000 to 3,000 vehicles per day would justify safety and operational improvements to Lannys including the two way left turn lane, possible signal in the future and sidewalks all the way down one side and most of the other. He thought Lannys was the more appropriate location for a future signal, level approach grades and better visibility and easier to widen Lannys to provide a signal than it would be to do Clark. Cons would be that five homes on Lannys would be affected by any increased traffic. If a signal were installed at Lannys and Grand River, other traffic could divert to Lannys. If it was to be modified, the south side of Grand River should be done now with the schedule from the RCOC. He also displayed the type of widening he proposed if the end of Lannys were widened at Grand River and the road ending of Clark Street if it were closed.
Mr. Stimpson said improving Lannys and designating it, as a collector would be a reasonable addition to the Cityís thoroughfare plan. Proposing a two way left turn lane, sidewalks and future traffic signal should result in a net safety improvement for the impact of residences and businesses along Lannys. He also came up with a design for the north end of Clark in the event Clark was closed for general traffic that would allow emergency vehicles and pedestrian and vehicle access. He went over the figures attached to the memo.
At the north end of Lannys, it is the kind of widening he would recommend and it would tend to provide something closer to a right angle intersection, which is desirable. It would reduce the amount of pavement in this area, provide mountable curbs on each side and about an 8% grade and would drop about 3 feet. He would do it on either side of the curve so you arenít disturbing Clark any further south than the first driveway and similar distance to the east on Old Grand River if it were kept open. Rather than have a gate, he was proposing some plastic candlesticks that general traffic would not drive over but emergency equipment could drive over. There would be signage to indicate authorized vehicles only.
Member Csordas asked about the traffic count across the street from the frame shop? Mr. Stimpson stated they didnít count that. Member Csordas asked for that information and Mr. Stimpson said he would try to estimate it. Member Csordas asked what his recommendation would be. Mr. Stimpson stated he hasnít done a comprehensive study regarding previous counts and had not spoken to the residents, etc. He said if it was the overwhelming sentiment of ĺ or more of the people that would be impacted in the area, he would go with closing to general traffic and making improvements to Lannys. Lannys is a better signal location. Member Csordas asked what his recommendation would be. He said to go with alternative one or two and the other one would be to put an island for right in/right out and make improvements to Lannys and he would also make improvements to the north end of Lannys to provide flexibility. Member Csordas said he was saying close Clark with the candlesticks and improve Lannys. Mr. Stimpson said making more comprehensive improvements to Lannys would be his number one choice. Mr. Stimpson stated he would prefer more time to review the overall situation. If he were a taxpayer, he would look at it as if it were an opportunity to make an improvement to the roads in the area. Lannys is a better connection to Grand River and a more logical place to put your investment.
Member Landry said the way he understood the risk at Clark Street is right now a vehicle exiting Clark Street has a sight distance to the east of 700 feet. When the bridge is raised, the sight distance would lower to 612 feet. The speed limit on Grand River is 40 so a car coming westbound over the bridge at a time when a car exits Clark Street left to go west on Grand River is going to have to slow down to 35 miles per hour. Mr. Stimpson said whatís proposed is reasonably safe by Road Commission standards and it meets their intersection sight distance requirement for 45 MPH speed limit. The Road Commissionís design situation is that you would be able to turn left onto Grand River before an oncoming vehicle from the west gets to you. National standards provide a little more of a safety factor and have an intersection sight distance that is defined along lines that we have been talking about. Ms. McClain clarified the speed limit on the bridge is 40 mph currently. The speed limit is higher to the west and it stays at 40 as it goes through the area of Novi Road and past the Town Center. Westbound from Novi Road the speed limit is currently 40 MPH and it will stay at that speed.
Member Sanghvi asked what they were trying to fix and why the road couldnít stay open. Mr. Stimpson responded there was concern of the residents for safety and he looked at the situation and agreed there were concerns and if there was an interest on the part of the City to make some incremental improvements to the situation, then letís have a discussion. Member Sanghvi asked if the statistics being quoted were about Old Grand River prior to improvements. He asked if he could extrapolate those findings onto a 5-lane highway with a left turn lane and 40-mile speed limit without any change. Mr. Stimpson stated it is difficult but he has specialized in that for 33 years and his expertise is how the driver relates to the vehicle in the roadway. It is a judgmental thing. The proper engineering evaluation is to look at the
situation where drivers would legally turn northbound left directly into the higher speed inner through lane of Grand River. Drivers will drive what they perceive to be the safe and reasonable speed for the road.
Mr. Stimpson said he headed up the first geometric design lab for the Federal Highway Administration where they were in the process of spending several million dollars national research money on anticipating the safety of a roadway section or new structure before it was built. Visualizing it using computer graphics, inputting all the human factors they could assemble, nationally and internationally, and he did focus on that particular endeavor. It is very difficult and while difficult to quantify, they try to anticipate what might happen with traffic. Member Sanghvi asked if the road caused the accidents. Mr. Stimpson said not entirely; nor is it caused totally by the driver.
Member Lorenzo focused on the two alternatives Mr. Stimpson provided. The first was if Council was going to close Clark, to keep it open for emergency vehicles and to improve Lannys. The second was to keep both Clark and Lannys open but to channelize Clark with some "pork chop" islands. She said he had concern regarding size that would fit this scenario and asked him to expand on that scenario. Mr. Stimpson said to make these kinds of islands work reliably, it has been found that a radius of 75 feet was needed. It involves several factors. It has to be a relatively large island and a bit intimidating, a narrow turning roadway so people arenít as likely to defeat the island. He wouldnít recommend it for Clark as the area was too small and emergency vehicles would have to drive over the island so there could be no signage. It would be of limited effectiveness. If people donít see good alternatives, they might make this turn and drive over the island if they have a high profile vehicle such as an SUV. It might work with signage and occasionally enforcement and it would at least decrease the undesirable movements. He displayed the possibility of a small triangle island at the end of Clark that would allow right turns out, right turns in and left turns in from Grand River but no left turns out from Clark to Grand River. Member Lorenzo asked if there was space to do this. He said he had not tried to design that in there to see if it would fit. It would impose more on the front yard of the home on the corner and one way to soften the impact might be to take out that section of Old Grand River if it could be justified. He would consider that as a minimal treatment or go to the second alternative and just have right in/right out but the island would have to be a lot smaller and would be violated from time to time. He felt an island was doable but the impacts on the first home would be greater. The grade of Grand River is going up, the ground is falling off and you have to think in three dimensions. He had not tried to design it and didnít know if there was enough spot elevations to do that, but they could look at it if Council thought there was time. Member Lorenzo said that is the question because we are under the gun.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi stated she was confused about what Mr. Stimpsonís function was and in all fairness to Mr. Stimpson, he was confused also. She asked what he was asked to do. Mr. Stimpson said initially Mr. Pearson asked him to evaluate the potentially diverted traffic from a complete closure and make recommendations that might better accommodate that diverted traffic. After the last Council meeting, he was asked to take a more comprehensive
look, list alternatives and pros and cons. There was time, resources and data available but unfortunately with the bridge removed it is hard to take any baseline data.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked Mr. Helwig if he was looking for a recommendation for the best traffic representation from our traffic consultant. Mr. Helwig stated yes. She said if there is any
misunderstanding here letís forget that misunderstanding. Mr. Stimpson said he was waiting for Council to give direction on that. She responded that Mr. Stimpsonís firm gives us recommendations on site plans all the time. This situation is no different. We have all of these people here tonight waiting for your recommendation. Whatever our areas of expertise are we are not traffic engineers and thatís what we pay you for so without delay she asked for his best recommendation on the best case scenario. It is a tough call but we are looking for your best judgment. We canít waste time doing this any further.
Michael Church, Petros resident, asked what Council action had been taken. Mayor Clark stated Council has voted to close Clark and have Lannys southbound one way. A meeting was held because of interest of citizens in the area. Another meeting was held, not for Clark Street, but spent that time listening to residents concerns indicating that further traffic analysis would be done and further discussion would take place this evening. Mr. Church was concerned about the lack of input and warning about the Council action and he was surprised that we were at this point and out of time and thought there should have been earlier meetings. Mayor Clark stated there were meetings conducted by the Road Commission concerning this whole project to discuss the bridge and the impact on streets in the immediate area and what the RCOC was recommending. There were notices in the Detroit News, Free Press and the Novi News, they were on cable and over 450 notices were hand delivered to homes regarding this meeting tonight. Mr. Church said if nothing is done, Clark remains closed and Lannys remains one-way southbound. Mayor Clark said that was the prior decision and Council was looking at it again tonight.
David Ruyle, Planning Commissioner and resident, 40474 Mill Rd. Ct. E., spoke about item #2 and how he was upset that this item was not brought to the Planning Commission prior to coming to Council when it should have been on the tree ordinances, etc. He said that Father Elmer, Principal at Catholic Central, initiated a conversation with him today stating that he had no problem living with the ordinances as written. Father Elmer stated he knew nothing about this incident until it was brought up last week at Council. Mr. Ruyle said something is rotten in the woodwork someplace. If their lawyer can address Council and say this was on their agenda or in their minds last September, they had to have talked to somebody either administration or elected officials. He couldnít believe it wasnít discussed prior to this and that he kept that to himself before bringing it before Council. He said Father Elmer asked him if he felt it was his responsibility to bring it up at the Planning Commission level and Mr. Ruyle said he told him no that unless asked a specific question he was not obligated to reveal or say something that would be a deterrent to his project. However, he believed if Council or someone knew about it, it should have been brought to the Planning Commission. He suggested letting Father Elmer live by the ordinances as he stated he would and let the ordinance remain as is. He felt it would open a can of worms with lawsuits by developers by other non-profit organizations, etc. by giving one person something and telling someone else
they canít do it. I took an oath to abide by the U.S. Constitution, the ordinances and the Charter for the City of Novi and our ordinances say tear down a tree, put two in its place.
Rashmi and Umesh Rohatgi, noted they are making a village in India of 114 houses and they spend 6 months here and 6 months there. Mr. Rohatgi asked for permission to display photos of the finished community hall and village in the lobby area. Mayor Clark said he didnít see a problem with that. Mr. Rohatgi said they live near Haggerty and 10 Mile and were proud to be
Novi residents and U.S. citizens and proud to be doing social work for the homeless in India and in this area. They have helped almost 800 people who would have been homeless.
Darnel Krause, 44057 Marlson, stated it wasnít part of Oakland Countyís plan to close Clark. He said closing Clark wouldnít satisfy the citizens of Novi Heights nor the two other subdivisions that use Eleven Mile. He said Mr. Stimpson had some good points. Mr. Krause didnít think many people would be adverse to no left turns at Clark. There is nothing between Taft Road and Clark in the way of shopping. Primarily citizens in those subdivisions turn right in the morning to reach the expressway. He said roads and cars can be as safe as possible and there will be accidents because they are caused by people not paying attention to what they are doing. There is no problem with Clark as it is now. Regarding Haroldís Frame Shop, if there are 50 cars a day go in and out of that driveway, thatís a lot. We need to have access to Grand River for these subdivisions. Funneling 1,800 cars down Taft Rd. seemed ludicrous to him. We donít need to compound our traffic problem by funneling more cars into a smaller area. We need to give them access to Grand River. Mr. Krause felt no one in his subdivision would be opposed to a "No Left Turn" sign at Clark. The added center turn lane would be an additional safety factor.
Teddy Lee, 26075 Lannys, said this whole thing was sprung on them as they received a letter February 27th, four days before the March 3rd decision was made. He felt this was a fast decision and those impacted the most were not asked for input. He felt the best way was to not close Clark Street. He felt the subdivision they were talking about was much bigger and ran from Grand River down to Novi Road to Ten Mile and then to Taft and contained 585 homes. The whole subdivision should be looked at and not just a small area. He said this area is growing and good neighboring means sharing roads and access. He said it was selfish to not have the access roads join. He thought the present plan would turn their residential roads into a collector boulevard and that would devalue their homes at the homeownerís expense and he objected to that. If Clark and Lannys were kept as residential, then Eleven Mile would have less traffic rather then making collector boulevards out of it. Mr. Lee asked if Council knew that natural gas pipelines and water lines cross over Eleven Mile just before Clark and if they needed work on Eleven Mile, there would be no way out. Mr. Lee felt drainage was no longer a problem and safety was also better. He agreed no left turns should be allowed from Clark onto Grand River. He cited safety concerns from his residents. He presented Council with over 200 signatures to rescind the closure of Clark and most agreed to the no left turn and many of the people of the 89 original signatures have asked that their signatures be removed. He felt the change to the re-design would cost more as well. He spoke to all the alternatives as presented by the traffic engineer but said alternative number 4 was the choice of the 200 hundred signatures and only 10 or 12 wanted no restrictions. The only cost would be a $69 "no left turn" traffic sign. Leave it the way it is.
Marty Kotowicz, appreciated the four way stops at Clark and Eleven Mile and at Taft and Eleven Mile. The only problem is that people arenít stopping. His main concern with closing Clark was that by diverting traffic to 11 Mile and Taft there is an elementary school there and
people do not stop at the four way stop now and it would not get better with 1,800 cars going down there all the time. He asked for safety to be primary in the decision making process and thought a primary outlet for all the subs was not a wise decision.
James Morgan, resides at Clark and Marlson, said with all of his family driving in and out of the subdivision since 1972 they never had an accident going south or north with four lanes
going west. It was now widening to five lanes and he thought cars should be able to go left or right at Clark Street. He was opposed to closing Clark.
Joe Nozzle, Clark Street, liked it because it was like a gated community as all the streets were dead ends. He also liked being able to come into his subdivision from Clark off of Grand River or he could come in off of 11 Mile Road. He was very opposed to closing Clark Street. He thought most of the people that signed the petition wanted to take their name off of it. Mr. Nozzle said the house on the corner always floods and has for years. Those closer to Grand River started the petition. By closing Clark Street, more traffic would be generated with longer trips and he thought more cars driving more miles would equal more accidents. He was also very surprised with the few people that were able to push this through. He was disappointed that there werenít signs placed notifying people of this action. He thought people would obey "no left turn" signs. He also referred to the proposed traffic signal at Lannys and thought if it was ever put up at Lannys people wouldnít want to turn left out of Clark Street. If they know there is a light at Lannys to turn left, then thatís all the more reason Clark shouldnít be closed. At most a "no left turn" sign and that would be adequate and if Lannys is developed, it would alleviate everything perfectly.
Mike Tuck, resident of Novi Heights for 45 years, said he had not had a problem making a left or right turn out of Clark Street. He would not be opposed to a "no left turn" there even though he has to make a left there every morning. He felt there was no reason to close Clark Street.
Chip George, Novi Heights resident, noted there had been 50 accidents at Taft and Grand River over five years. He said he turned right every day and the days he needed to turn left he went down to the light and it is no turn on red. He said if he was going to have to turn right every morning then his risk is 50% higher than it is turning right out of Clark. He asked why they would make a no turn on red on Taft and Grand River. He said with the addition of 1,800 cars the accident rate would be higher. He said the whole audience was present tonight because they wanted to turn right out of their subdivision.
Mayor Clark noted that with the road improvements coming on Grand River, if you are on Taft now at Grand Rive,r you canít make a right on a red because there is a visibility problem. With improvements in the road, there would be new signalization with an arrow for turns and the sight obstruction to the left would be eliminated. Once that is eliminated, a right turn on red could be made safely.
Mr. George noted there were 16 accidents at 11 Mile and Taft and it takes him 45 minutes to drop his child off at school and go to work and he works on Grand River in Novi.
Gwen Markham, 45540 Violet Lane, spoke about item #2, amendment to the Woodland Ordinance. She asked what the objective was of changing the ordinance, as she didnít feel changing the ordinance was the right way to go. If it was to help Catholic Central avoid replacing trees, she objected to that. She felt Catholic Central should be held to the same standards as everybody else. She would assume that Council was looking for a way to help them comply with the ordinance but recognize that it is a large number of trees. Itís a big number if they are going to pay cash for that or itís a large number of trees to get planted all at once. She said maybe there is a creative way to make that happen and she was assuming that was what Council was trying to do. Ordinances are written for the City in total and are written with the Cityís philosophy in mind and this ordinance is written with the intent to keep the City a tree City and to keep the beautification at the level we want it to be. This would set a bad precedent, which she never thought was a good idea. It said to the small developers that the ordinance requirements are only for the little guys and that the big guys can get amendments if they need them. She suggested considering a development agreement or some other vehicle that would not change the ordinance. Ms. Markham expressed her disappointment in the way that this was brought forward without the awareness of the Planning Commission. She said they had worked with Catholic Central in good faith and assumed they had all the relevant information brought forward to them. She asked them directly if they intended to comply and how they intended to handle the trees and they responded they would comply with the ordinance. Then in two weeks, there was a modified ordinance amendment in front of Council that the Planning Commission knew nothing about. When she asked about that no one from the City staff or the attorneyís office claimed to know that was happening before it came to the City Council and yet it was on the Council agenda. Mr. Ryan, attorney for Catholic Central, said at the last Council meeting that this had been in the works since last fall. She wanted to know what the truth was. She felt this created an atmosphere of distrust and the Planning Commission needed to know that all relevant information would be brought forward at preliminary site plan otherwise we canít do our jobs. She asked them to consider something else, as the ordinance should be neutral and apply to all developments equally.
Larry Papp, Planning Commissioner, 46000 White Pines Drive, spoke about the proposed tree ordinance and the fact that it had been in place since 1986 and was there for a reason. He thought amendments would cause problems with future developments. Catholic Central agreed with the 3,000 trees that night. It was a surprise to him when he heard there was an ordinance after they looked at the preliminary site plan. If he had known this ordinance was coming forward they would have worked with Catholic Central in coming up with an alternative for them. He asked Council to be careful with this ordinance change and take into consideration for the City, the residents and the tree replacement.
Russ Button, Grand River, said Grand River would be safer when it is five lanes and suggested seeing how it works and change it later if there is a problem.
Bruce Jerome, 26040 Lannys Road, stated he and his wife were opposed to the permanent closing of Clark Street at Grand River and they were in favor of leaving Clark Street open at Grand River and asked Council to reconsider their action of the March 3rd meeting.
Clinton Price, 26070 Lannys Road, felt Lannys Road was sacrificed over the years. They were assessed a special tax assessment to pay for the paving and four years ago they were asked by Planning Commission to made concessions to builders who could build Trimount Construction, which now has an 8,000 sq. ft. office next to their homes. Clark Street got a 50 ft. setback from Program Products with a lot of berms, landscaping and trees and he got a concrete driveway, service drive and semiís backed up against his backyard. The south end of
Clark was closed in 2001. That forced hundreds of cars in the Churchill Crossing Subdivision to drive through Christina Lane and up Lannys and that is unfair. He thought that was unfair and noted they had started two years ago to eliminate access out of a square mile area of subdivisions. Now the only roads to go north are Lannys, Clark and Taft. He asked why his property values should suffer and someone elseís go up and why should he have to put up with 1,800 more cars driving down his street so that a few others could have less cars? He strongly urged Council to keep Clark open. He thanked Mayor Clark and staff for the time they spent on these quality of life issues.
Carol Price, 26070 Lannys Road, felt the traffic consultation idea was good but not firm regarding the suggestions. When she received the packet, she thought these were 6 choices and that they could not be changed. When they brought the petition around, she showed everyone Alternate # 4, allowing all movements in and out of Clark except northbound left turns. Lannys is not mentioned at all and therefore it is implied that nothing would happen. The petition is their petition on Lannys and says "we petition to keep Clark St. open with the exception of no left bound turns and keep Lannys open as is with no change. She said the petition had 216 signatures.
Craig Miller, Cedar Spring Estates, stated he was opposed to the closing of Clark and especially making Lannys one way so that there is no way out except Taft. He asked what the next step was for Council, what more needed to be done to get the Council to change their minds and what is the due process to make that happen.
Ed Slowinski, Cedar Spring Estates, asked when they would answer Mr. Millerís question? Mayor Clark suggested he stay for Item #1 on the agenda. Mr. Slowinski thought Council should re-vote this and not make the change, as he saw nothing tonight that would justify a change.
Mr. Price asked if Item #9 referring to Churchill Crossing final plat approval, if that was the same plat approval that blocks off the south end of Clark Street from further use by the citizens of the subdivisions?
Mayor Clark noted that when Churchill Crossings was first proposed they wanted access to Clark Street and Council told them absolutely not and he had seen nothing to indicate otherwise. If they are doing another phase of their development they would still not get access to Clark Street. There would be no cut through.
Andrew Mutch, spoke to Item #2, the Woodland Ordinance, saying he felt the Cityís Woodland Ordinance helped distinguished Novi from neighboring communities. It not only contributed to the quality of life in Novi but also maintained and increased the property values. He was concerned because the initial proposal was for exception and to help Catholic Central and he thought it would create a loophole for other developers. He was also concerned about the speed at which this was being adopted. It appeared on the last Council agenda with no more notice than what is provided for any other agenda item and now is up for Second Reading this evening with the potential that a change could be adopted tonight and thatís the extent of public input. He felt it was more important to get public input and Planning Commission input. The Planning Commission has had no review of this ordinance change and while not directly under the purview of the Commission, they will be mostly involved in implementing. They see ordinance issues every meeting. He asked that Council consider that before talking about changing this very critical ordinance.
Jorge Linke, 25896 Clark, supported the initial closing of Clark Street while not expecting the one way on Lannys Road. He looked for Councilís decision based on the big picture and hoped they would focus on the safest decision.
Mary Ann Malarkey, new resident on Clark Street, stated she was concerned about the people that live on the corner of Clark Street because of the drainage. When she built her home, she had JCK out four times to make sure she didnít flood her neighbors yard. She said she hasnít seen the plans for swales and drainage or what the side of the inclines would look like. So if Council chooses to leave Clark Street open, she asked them to look at the incline, water flow and the safety ramifications of walkers, bike riders and cars not only for pedestrians but the home owners there. Make Oakland County accountable for that the same way the City made her accountable when she built her home.
Ching Duan thought the design of the new bridge was safer than the old bridge and spoke to the issues of drainage and safety and didnít think they were problems. She asked that Clark Street be kept open.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
CM-03-03-071 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Consent Agenda Items A1, A3 and Items B through H.
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-071 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi
A. Approve Minutes of:
B. Approve renewal of Pawnbroker License and Precious Items Dealer License for Weinstein Jewelry, 41990 Grand River Ave.
C. Approval to purchase one (1) cable and pipe locator from Gregware Equipment Company, the low quotation, in the amount of $4,028.
D. Approval to apply for and accept, if applicable, the Bullet Proof Vest Partnership Grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance for the 2003 Grant period.
E. Approval to award bid for softballs to Burkeís Sports Haven, the low bidder, in the amount of $4,010.60.
G. Approval to vacate a portion of the Cityís storm sewer easement along Trans-X Drive Main Street Village - Phase 2.
H. Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No 645.
Council recessed at 10:10 p.m.
Council reconvened at 10:30 p.m.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I
1. Further discussion of request to the Road Commission for Oakland County to
close Clark Street at Grand River and related Traffic Control alternatives for
Member Csordas stated he had an issue with the process. The first time Council heard about the petition was three meetings ago and he had assumed the petition was from a majority of those affected. He said he had received calls in support of it and felt if a majority of the people wanted to close Clark Street. That was fine. Then other people started calling and the word got out on this issue and he asked Mr. Helwig to assemble a spreadsheet of the number of people affected. The spreadsheet included the streets in
the subdivisions that go south on Clark Street and into the nearest subdivision that went to the east. The streets are Settlers Creek, Marlson, Durson, etc. There are 136 homes that are affected by this. Jamestown Green and Cedar Springs Estates are not impacted as those 136 residences. On Lannys there are five houses and three businesses. He said he would go under the assumption that there are two petition signers in each of those households. He said there are 272 people in the subdivisions off of Clark Street
and 16 people; he left out the three businesses on Lannyís that would be a petition signer, which takes the number to 288 petitioner signers. He left out the eight houses and one church on Eleven Mile and the 17 houses on the north side of Eleven Mile and five vacant lots. He said his assumption that the highly impacted residents back there were in support of closing Clark was an incorrect assumption. Another issue that he had was there was no recommendation from the traffic consultant to support Councilís decision. He didnít understand that and didnít think this Council was supported this evening as far as that goes. Member Csordas said clearly the majority of the impacted people, those on Clark Street and Lannys, wanted to keep everything open. Member Csordas said he was changing his mind due to incorrect assumptions. He didnít want to jeopardize the Grand River Ave bridge project and wanted to keep it going and if it was designed to keep Clark Street open that was fine but he did want the consultantís recommendation as soon as possible. Member Csordas said Clark Street needed to be left open whether there is a no left turn or an island or whatever he wanted the consultantís report. He asked Mr. Helwig when the deadline was to make a decision? Mr. Helwig stated the decision needed to be made this month so we have this week and next week for any changes that have been under consideration. Member Csordas did not support the closing of Clark Street.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi spoke about process. She said even if all of these alternatives were considered, she needed someone to answer the following questions. She said she saw in writing and had heard verbally that the Road Commission of Oakland County was a proponent of closing Clark and she asked for verification. Mr. Pearson said their design engineer, Bill Conklin is open and supportive of closure because they are interested in bleeding points of conflict, wherever they might be, to their main five lane roads but would accept whatever the City decided. She asked what their reasoning for doing that was? Mr. Pearson said eliminating a point of conflict to a five-lane road. She asked what he meant by conflict? He said an intersection. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if we knew that the RCOC would approve a signal at Lannys? Mr. Pearson said they didnít know that. She asked how much it would cost? He said the signal would cost between $150,000 to $175,000. She asked if Council was to look at providing, through one of the alternatives, the cost of all the Lannys Road improvements including road widths, radius, sidewalk, etc. how much would that cost? Mr. Pearson said absent the signal about $100,000. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said in the event that we chose one of these improvements it would require all of these infrastructure improvements to be done how fast could we get them done and what would happen while they were being done? Mr. Pearson said the infrastructure improvements on Lannys are a part of our neighborhood repaving for 2004. Some of them could be done as part of the Grand River widening closer to the intersection of Lannys and Grand River this year. She asked where the money would come from and Mr. Pearson said it would be the Cityís responsibility. The Road Commission would not participate in that nor would the Federal Highway Funds. She asked what fund that would come from? Mr. Helwig said (Items 13 & 14) related to tidying up our finances with the Road Commission of Oakland County:
Based on what we have already committed as of April 2001 is $719,000 from the 1998 Road Bonds. Mr. Helwig stated so the $718,000 they thought would need to be committed to the bridge project would come back to us after Council dealt with these two items tonight and is available for reprogramming however Council wished. She asked if it would be reprogrammed into the Road Bond Funding? Mr. Helwig said to whatever projects Council wished. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked what projects remained in that Road Bond to be completed? Mr. Helwig said it is done, so these are flexible dollars.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked for Mr. Pearsonís or Mr. Helwigís opinion on why there was no traffic engineerís recommendation? Mr. Helwig said he read the memo the same way Member Csordas read it. When you went through the six options and the discussion focus, it summarized, in his opinion, what was weaving through the memo and that was what he said tonight as his first choice, which was the closure of Clark Street and Lannys being upgraded to a collector with an eventual traffic signal. He did not spend time with him prior to this evening and he wanted that to be totally "unfiltered" because he thought that was what Council had requested from their consultant. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said, as far as she was concerned, Council requested from their consultant professional recommendations. She asked how much time they had to get a professional recommendation? Mr. Helwig said until the middle of next week if changes are to be made at Clark Street. She said we donít have the luxury of having another Council meeting or getting all of these folks out here or getting the information to them so that they know what this professional recommendation is. Mr. Helwig said thatís correct.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi commented on how petitions are brought to Council. We donít designate or design the petition process. There are relevant and accurate ways to circulate petitions and there are also well meaning people who seek to bring a certain issue forward and maybe they havenít thought of all the ancillary issues that might crop up as a result of that. That doesnít make a citizen a bad citizen and she didnít think it necessarily implied that something untoward was afoot. Petitions are addressed as they come to us. The fact that we now have other petitions that are looking for other points of view is just a very healthy way of meeting an issue. The problem is the timing. To be able to, look at all of these alternatives and then one by one eliminate these alternatives plus consider every single point of view that was brought forward tonight, that is what she considered her job to be. The one thing that disturbed her in the conversation and has from the beginning is not on the part of everyone but on the part of quite a few persons she had talked with or received emails from is a seeming, at least on her interpretation, to rationalize accidents, decide how, why, how often or deny that they happen and that is a reality she would not take off her decision making process. Thatís number one; convenience is there but it is not number one. She asked how was Council going to get this information so that they can make this decision because she canít make her decision with no information from a traffic engineer. Mr. Helwig noted the staff has some thoughts on this and our office and our City engineer is willing to weigh in on this. He said none of our roadways are truly static in terms of being locked into something forever, it can be revisited. It certainly is more efficient to do things when there is a major undertaking going on, but by no means are you limited if some set of circumstances turns out to be far worse then anyone envisioned. He said Mr. Stimpson knows Novi very well and the engineer and staff would be prepared to come forward with their thoughts. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said she was interested in hearing everyoneís point of view but wanted to make it very plain that, as an urban planner, an engineer that is not a traffic engineer is not someoneís bottom line opinion that she wants to hear right now. She would consider any and all input but that would not make her decision for her. She said she had worked with too many traffic engineers and knew thereís a big difference and she appreciated the difference but she would like to hear what any and all had to say.
Ms. McClain stated she had spent quite a while over the last couple of weeks looking at this intersection both at Clark and Grand River and Lannys and Grand River and looking at the accident data she received Thursday afternoon she felt the accidents at Grand River were primarily those left turns into Clark or left turn into Haroldís Frame Shop. There is one accident that is a left turn out of Haroldís and one that is a left turn out of Clark. She said knowing that widening Grand River to five lanes will help solve that problem as it moves the left turn out of the main traffic lane and into its own lane, that situation should help resolve itself. Out of the 17 accidents over five years at the intersection, that is approximately 3 a year and she would not consider it to be a high accident location. If we closed this intersection for the traffic considerations on the houses in front of Clark, they would still need to provide some sort of emergency access. In doing that we are not going to realize a cost savings in this project because we still need to do a lot of the grading to be able to safely get our emergency vehicles over it. We would also be moving the traffic down to either Taft Road and Grand River, which would have signal improvements with a new left turn signal heads there and would be able to make a right turn on red or we would be moving it to Lannys. Most people would take the first maneuver they could make which would be Lannys, so improvements would be needed on Lannys. Her recommendation would not be to close Clark because of the effects to the other streets but based on wishing to limit some of the traffic the idea of a right in/right out or even being able to make both maneuvers in and the right out would help lower the traffic in front of Clark because there would no longer be the lefts. Ms. McClain recommended not doing anything to Clark Street other than possibly the right in/right out. If in the future we wanted to explore closing it, that would still be there and we would have those future expenses of improving Lannys and improving a signal possibility on Grand River.
Member Lorenzo thought when the Council made this decision, it was made with the best of intentions and made it in response to the neighborhoods petition. She said there is no doubt about it, we are making a decision in haste because this road and
bridge is under construction today and the Road Commission needed the answers yesterday. We are trying to beat the clock and also respond to citizens concerns and requests. She was ready to rescind the decision Council made two weeks ago with regard to the closure of Clark and the way southbound of Lannys and perhaps trying out a no left turn sign at Clark and explore the islands at Clark. She thought a decision beyond that could not be made without the traffic consultantís report on whether there
was room to put an island, what type of an island or the cost of the island and how that would impact the current plans for the design for the bridge and the street. She thought they were very limited in the decision making that they could do based on the very limited information available to them.
CM-03-03-072 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To rescind the previous decision to close Clark at Grand River and to make Lannys a southbound.
Mayor Clark said given the fact that this matter was originally up on March 3rd we are still within the confines since it is the next meeting to reconsider the decision. Mr. Fisher said the motion was to rescind, which is a motion that could be made anytime.
Member Sanghvi thought both Clark and Lannys should remain open. One option he didnít think was brought into question is that part of Old Grand River could be closed and used for the island. By so doing the traffic would be broken up coming in and out of Clark Street and we could have a left turn as well. He felt proud democracy has won and this was a win-win situation for the residents who wanted the street open and for democracy. His suggestion was to leave everything open as it is and come back in three years time with a traffic study with the accidents, etc. with the newly built highway to see if anything else is warranted.
Member Landry stated this came to him in a Council packet with a petition signed by 89 people saying close Clark and a report saying it was an unsafe intersection. It seemed easy, people wanted to close it and the engineers said it was unsafe. The issue came up at Council and that was the way the majority of Council thought the situation was and we voted on it. After that, his phone started ringing and residents didnít want that and Council listened to the residents. He came here tonight expecting to hear a traffic engineer saying that safety-wise, we should close Clark Street, as the report seemed to say. Member Landry said he didnít hear that tonight and then the City engineer said donít close Clark Street. He now said donít close Clark Street and he would support the motion. However, he asked the Council to consider his thought on the manner, which was to rescind the prior decision, but he believed if anything was going to happen to that intersection, it should probably happen construction wise while they are building Grand River. Therefore, he offered as a "friendly amendment" that we now ask the traffic engineer to do a comprehensive study, look at the grades, see if a "pork chop" island would fit in there or not. Then we will know what would work and what would not and Council will consider what to do with the idea that Clark Street will be left open and then move on from there. Member Lorenzo agreed but thought Member Landryís should be another motion.
Mayor Clark said assuming that would be the case and there would be a recommendation after and we find that there would be room to put this right in/right out traffic improvement, in does that create a problem with the contract with the county? Mr. Helwig thought we could be granted more time since that is a much less intrusive change in terms of the eliminating the access all together. They would bring it back to Council as soon as possible. Mayor Clark concurred with the comments of Member Landry and the amendment he proposed and he would support it.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi felt it was critical that Council give specific direction to the administration with regard to what we want this traffic engineerís report to say and reveal and conclude, specifically. If we are looking at Traffic Analysis of Potential Clark Street
Closure page 2, Item 4, then that is what we are literally directing the traffic engineer to come back with a recommendation whether or not this is feasible and whether or not it can feasibly be accomplished.
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-072 Yeas: Bononi, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo,
CM-03-03-073 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Csordas; MOTION CARRIED:
To request that City Manager address the request to the Traffic
Engineer to specifically provide professional traffic engineering
response to Item #4, allow all movements in and out of Clark
except northbound left turns which addresses the pro points and
the con points and specifically adds how the left turns to Clark
are to be prohibited how the left turn onto Grand River is to
be prohibited, to include what the specific controls are and
what the likelihood of their effectiveness, and what the
compliance probability is. The report is to also provide any
additional information about the grade change of how Clark
Street ramps southbound to Grand River and to answer Item #4in
Member Lorenzo said that includes looking at the various islands that might or might not
fit that location and the cost of such. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi agreed because one of the
points is that there might be insufficient throat widts to fit one in there, so that would
have to be addressed.
Member Sanghvi said he could not support the motion without having any experience of
the new five-lane Grand River. He didnít think anything would be lost waiting for that to
open and then study the real thing and make an intelligent decision down the road.
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-073 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi
2. Approval of Ordinance No. 03-125.14 Ė an Ordinance to amend Chapter 37, Section 37-8 of the City of Novi Ordinance Code, for the purpose of authorizing an alternate compliance plan relating to tree replacement. 2nd Reading
Tom Ryan, Attorney for Catholic Central High School, stated two weeks ago there was a version of an ordinance before Council that has been reworked by Mr. Fisher. He commented that the one aspect of what they offered wasnít in either draft, which was the educational component relative to the woodland/wetland aspect and the natural features of the site, which they are trying to assiduously protect. They had offered to utilize the natural features of their
site and it was not in this and he felt it was an important component also in the public interest for the City.
Member Sanghvi advised Mr. Ryan that a Planning Commissioner reported earlier that
there was no problem at all for Catholic Central to abide by the City Ordinance. He asked Mr.
Ryan what he thought?
Father Elmer stated he had been misquoted. He said at the last Planning Commission meeting, the final vote depended upon their agreeing to abide by the ordinances of the City as far as the woodlands were concerned. He stated they didnít object to that because that is their intention, if they can make this work. Father Elmer said he has been kind of bewildered over the last day or so over whatís happened. He said he read the minutes of the last Planning Commission meeting and one of the Planning Commissioners accused him of lying at the meeting where they were doing the preliminary site plan to get it approved. Then tonight, another member of the Planning Commission misquoted him by saying that they would go along with the ordinance as it is. Father Elmer said they couldnít go along with the ordinance as it is. Right from the start, upon finding out it would be approximately a million dollars that they would have to put into the tree fund or plant trees all over the City of Novi, which he didnít think was a possibility, they decided that was not possible and would not work. That was why he had hopes of some alleviation from that ordinance and in return, give the things that they would be able to give to the City as kind of a pay in for that.
Member Sanghvi stated then we were misinformed. He reviewed the sequence of events from the beginning of talks about this project until now and he thought it was interesting that there was no record anywhere to suggest that the tree ordinance was not going to be abided by the development. Mr. Ryan said they had determined early on that the tree ordinance didnít provide any relief from its provisions. That is a little unusual in lieu of the fact that there are usually ways that you can provide alternative mechanisms of complying with City Ordinances. The Council makes the laws; the Planning Commission deals with the zoning ordinance and the site plan review process. It would have been untoward for them to go to the Planning Commission first before going to Council. Council members are the people who can change the ordinance or not change the ordinance. It didnít make any sense to talk about it at the Planning Commission because if the ordinance is on the books, they have to abide by it and Council could change the ordinance if they saw fit. Mr. Ryan said they thought they were a unique opportunity for the City because they are the gift that keeps on giving. We are going to have 10,000 hours of community service done, if we come here, every year from 2005 onward and not many other developments can give that kind of service and they believed it was an important service. He said there was a 7-0 vote from this body the last time they were here that thought it was worthwhile looking into. They meant no disrespect to the Planning Commission.
After the Planning Commission met with City people and didnít know what they were going to do yet, they made a proposal. It is not even a zoning ordinance, it is a police power ordinance, which they have no jurisdiction over. He apologized that the Planning Commission was dissatisfied with him, Father Elmer and Mr. Fisher, as they didnít mean any disrespect to
them. Mr. Ryan said they came to Council for relief because it was the only place they could go for relief. He said for every hour that we spend at a meeting like this there are 10, 15 20 hours work behind the scenes between their consultants, the City staff and consultants to work this out. The point is there is no relief mechanism and it is something that we would like Council to consider and Council is the only ones that can do that. We identified this problem early on and are asking for help. This is just democracy in action.
Mr. Helwig interjected that he didnít want Mr. Ryan speaking for this administration. He said the first time he talked with Mr. Ryan about trees was on February 14th two days after the Planning Commission had approved their preliminary site plan. He didnít want anyone to leave with the impression tonight that he and Mr. Ryan had been talking about trees for months. He said Father Elmer and he had been talking about trees ever since they hiked the site on
March 21, 2001 and he said that on March 3 2003rd he came away from that hike knowing that something had to give on the site. Mr. Helwig said they implored them to get additional acreage to the north, which they did go back and get so that they had some uplands to help the cause where a school building could go. Long after Catholic Central comes here and hopefully is hosted by this outstanding community the Planning Commission, City Council and the staff are going to have to work together. Mr. Helwig wanted to be clear that on February 14th our office was still encouraging Catholic Central to follow some way to comply with the ordinance and specifically Commissioner Markhamís suggestion, which Mr. Helwig saw on TV two night before, and he quoted to Father Elmer what we paid for trees so that he had some ideas of how that million dollars could come down to $300,000 or $250,000. He was going to reflect on that and then the ordinance comes in the following week. He discussed it with the Mayor and sent it right out to Council.
Member Sanghvi asked if he understood correctly that the issue of a million dollars has come down to an issue of $250,000 for the need to make an amendment in the ordinance? Mr. Helwig stated what Commissioner Markham suggested during that Planning Commission meeting was that Catholic Central, using out of pocket cash, pay to buy the trees and we still havenít seen a firm estimate of what that is. The number of 2,500 trees was being talked about that week and he doesnít know where it is now. If you took that number and multiplied it by the number that we pay for the tree, that would cost about a third if you take away the two thirds of labor. Then they would have their students and the City would be willing to provide the supervision, because we are hungry for trees, and the coordination and the liaison may be over a number of years to plant those trees. That was the concept that this office was pursuing based on a Planning Commissionerís suggestion. Member Sanghvi said it still remains an issue of $250,000 and an amendment to the ordinance. Mr. Ryan said that is true; if you want to give relief the ordinance would have to be amended, as there is no other mechanism right now.
Mr. Helwig said unless he was missing something the only change would be if you would give them a period of time different from what the ordinance called for now. The ordinance doesnít say who has to buy or plant the trees, it just says replace the trees and if it canít be done on site then replace them somewhere else in the community. Member Sanghvi asked why
couldnít an understanding be reached that over a period of five or ten years all these trees would be replaced and then an amendment in the ordinance wouldnít be needed?
Mayor Clark said the ordinance would have to be amended to provide that since there is no other relief form right now.
Mr. Fisher stated if we want to enforce the ordinance in terms of the immediacy, etc. as to any other property owner, we need to amend the ordinance to provide some rational standards for granting an exception to the immediacy.
Member Sanghvi said he was puzzled as to why that new element has come up at this point in time in reference to this particular development about the immediacy and what has been on the books for this length of time.
Mr. Fisher thought the point to this discussion was that the magnitude of the amount that was perceived to be involved, along with an institution, that is not a profit making institution that did not have the financial ability to comply. Member Sanghvi reminded that the City of Novi was
not a profit making organization and asked what made him think that the City could afford this but Catholic Central couldnít? Why should the taxpayers pay for this instead of putting it out over ten years time? Why canít it be absorbed in the cost of the development? Mr. Fisher said that is the issue and what Council is debating tonight. Itís a policy question for the Council.
Mr. Ryan noted they were offering other public service benefits for the citizens of Novi, which Council might or might not accept but thatís what the genesis of the ordinance is. Member Sanghvi said he was not happy about the whole situation yet.
Member Lorenzo felt compelled to revisit her expectations. She said she thought Mr. Fisher missed the point of the concern regarding her comments at the last meeting and particularly the comments the Planning Commission made at their meeting last week. She said Mr. Fisher told them there was nothing to report but he also told the Commission that Council had discussions of alternatives that they might be able to explore. She said her expectation would be and she thought the Planning Commissionís expectation would have been that the discussion of those alternatives would have been brought forward. The opportune time for that would have been when Planning Commissioners Markham and Paul specifically asked when making the motion, how they would deal with the replacement trees. Twice Mr. Fisher responded, "just say they have to comply with the ordinance." She felt Mr. Fisher should have made them aware, at that time, that there had been discussions of alternatives that Catholic Central might explore in meeting their tree replacement obligation. Then if the Commission had additional questions he could not answer, he could have just said he didnít have the information. Member Lorenzo said that in the future, that would be the type of response she would expect and if her expectation wasnít fulfilled she would consider it insubordination.
Point of order called for by Mayor Clark. Mayor Clark said Mr. Fisher doesnít have a crystal ball and has no ability to read the mind of Mr. Ryan in terms of what he might or might not propose. Mayor Clark said Member Lorenzo was out of order when she attacked Mr. Fisherís character.
Member Lorenzo said she did not attack his character.
Mayor Clark said that was the clear implication and he took exception to it and Mr. Fisher said he took great exception to that. Mr. Fisher said she was opposing a hypothetical in the future that he was going to violate something and then calling it insubordination. Mr. Fisher said he thought that was unkind and he was calling for an apology. Mayor Clark thought Mr. Fisher was entitled to an apology.
Member Lorenzo said she did not call Mr. Fisher insubordinate. Mr. Fisher said the innuendo was there. Member Lorenzo said she was telling him her expectations. Mr. Fisher said the innuendo was there and she used "that" word and he asked again for an apology.
Member Lorenzo said let there be no misunderstanding that is not my innuendo. Mr. Fisher said he would take that as an apology and thanked her. Member Lorenzo said make no mistake she was not saying that Mr. Fisher was insubordinate and was not making any innuendo that he has been. She said she was just trying to explain to him her expectations. Mr. Fisher thought they had a discussion about that the last time. She noted Mr. Fisher went to the Planning Commission and said there was nothing to support.
Mr. Fisher said he went to the Planning Commission and as she knew, several members ambushed him at the meeting and the statement of the Planning Commissioners was that a deal had been made in the back room between Catholic Central and the administration and that when Catholic Central left the room, they knew that they were going to, in the very near future, present an ordinance to amend what you have in front of you or some such ordinance. Mr. Fisher tried to clarify to the Planning Commission on two occasions, and that was the major thrust of what he said to them, That night, that there was no back room deal, there was no understanding when they left the room and that Mr. Helwigís statement earlier this evening that there was still discussion about attempting to comply with the ordinance was being advanced after the Planning Commission meeting. There was really nothing else that the Planning Commission could have done at their meeting to provide any other relief. Mr. Fisher said that was his point.
Member Lorenzo said at the Planning Commission meeting of February 12th there had been discussions, although alternatives, that Catholic Central might explore with regard to meeting their obligations of replacement.
Mr. Fisher said exactly and we did explore them. Member Lorenzo said that was her point and asked why he didnít advise the Planning Commission that that was happening. She said that is her expectation and that is all she meant.
Mr. Fisher said he used his judgment. It was very late and the ordinance had not been presented and there was no understanding that the ordinance would have been presented and he used his judgment. He said he told her at the last meeting that he would try to move in the spirit of what she was saying. She said she appreciated that but why didnít he mention that to the Planning Commission when they expressed your concerns last week? Mr. Fisher responded because nobody likes to be ambushed like that at a meeting by the people you are working for including people that read statements at that meeting criticizing what he had done in a manner that wasnít accurate. That was what he was responding to.
Member Lorenzo said perhaps you made a judgment call at that meeting to not bring that information forward and she would have just expected him to say, last week to the Planning
Commission that he would try in the future to bring that information forward. She said she didnít expect him to give information he didnít have, just bring forward the fact that there was discussion of alternatives that had taken place. That was all she would have expected and she was saying it again because she wants her expectations to be known so that the next time and she got very frustrated about it, that it would be no surprise. She didnít like ambushes either and in fact she tries to communicate to avoid those things. Mr. Fisher said he knew she did and appreciated it. She said that was the spirit she made the comments in this evening.
Member Lorenzo commented she failed to understand why an amendment was needed to accomplish what Mr. Helwig had stated. If this is an issue about money and when the trees
get planted, why not have a development agreement that would allow them to have a period of time to accomplish what they need to do because of their non-profit status. Her concern was that the community gets the trees. She did not like opening the ordinance up and setting it aside from other people that have to apply the same standards. She was really concerned about designed ordinances meant for a specific petitioner. She asked if they would be considering this amendment if it wasnít for Catholic Centralís inability to meet the strict application of the ordinance? The answer is no; it wouldnít be here if it wasnít for this request.
Since 1986 this ordinance has only had two requests for an appeal. To change this ordinance is not good legislation, as it shouldnít be based on a particular circumstance. What kind of a message are we sending to the young people who attend Catholic Central if what we are saying is if you canít meet your obligations simply use the democratic process and go to you legislators and try to get it changed even if it is not for the good of the whole community.
Mr. Ryan stated they were not trying to avoid the whole obligation to the City but that they were trying to meet them in a different way and they could do that by different means. He said 60% of the space is open space and is a valuable commodity to the City of Novi. We also have the fact that we have preserved and maintained and are opening to the students of the City valuable wetlands and woodlands. They are also offering recreational facilities, outdoor and indoor, to the City where he understood there was a need and they are offering a community service component and the ordinance as proposed would provide payment into the tree fund. No one is trying to get around anything, we are just offering to do what we have to do in a different way, which they felt they were uniquely qualified to do. Mr. Ryan said Council would say it was possible or it was not and they would not argue with it. We have offered, we put out there what we can do and we are not even to the development agreement stage yet. But as Mr. Fisher said under the current ordinance, there is no flexibility to do this for anyone. Member Lorenzo said that is because Council never intended not to have anyone meet the ordinance. Mr. Ryan said then that is a policy decision and for Council to decide.
Member Lorenzo said she had a problem with changing the ordinance. If they are talking about a development agreement between applicant and the City, of coming up with an alternative means over a period of time, but was reluctant to change the ordinance. Member Lorenzo felt there was a good use for the trees that would be replaced referring to the Community Sports Park presentation. She didnít feel this ordinance was good legislation for the community.
Member Landry felt two things were happening. One deals with the hurt feelings or anger over the manner in which this came here and the other is the situation itself and what if any relief it called for. He thought these should be separated. We have a Planning Commission that is
madder than a hornet because they have the impression whether founded or not that somehow they were not told the whole story. They feel either something was kept from them or there was silence in the face of an obvious understanding on their part that something was going to happen. There have been accusations regarding who knew what at what time, etc. We can debate that but it would not solve anything. He wanted to separate the way it got here to really address the problem. He didnít think the participants could be convinced one way or another but here is the more important reason. The very people who are angry still say letís give some relief to Catholic Central. The Planning Commission wants a chance and would love to give some relief to Catholic Central. He suggested moving on to the real problem, which is trying to grant relief to this unique situation. Member Landry said what he heard tonight is that they want some relief from the ordinance and that they deserve some and they might. One method of relief is you donít have to pay the money or you pay less money, you donít have to put as many trees in or another type of relief is give them more time. Member Landry asked Mr. Fisher if we chose to give them more time we canít do it unless we amend the ordinance? Mr. Fisher said that he was correct. He asked if it could be done by a development agreement? Mr. Fisher said this is an administrative decision rather than a legislative decision in which we have utilized development agreements in the past. He felt using a development agreement in this situation would be a very risky situation in terms of future ramifications. He knew concerns had been expressed about opening the ordinance for future ramifications. He thought not amending the ordinance in some fashion would open the ordinance for future situations. Member Landry said no one liked to amend an ordinance and certainly the thought of amending the ordinance for one particular applicant is generally not a good idea. However, he said he believed that unique circumstances require unique responses and he thought this was unique and thought the Planning Commission saw it as unique also. He said he would be interested in looking at amending the ordinance to allow a development agreement. To amend the ordinance to allow us to come up with some way to perhaps get the same amount of trees over a length of time and that is what he thought they were doing here. He asked Mr. Fisher if that was his intent? Mr. Fisher said yes, thatís what this is. It is not called a development agreement, itís an alternative compliance plan. Member Landry said this isnít this is just a doorway to get to a development agreement. If we allow this, it should go to the Planning Commission for recommendation first for their comments because they are the stewards of the Woodlands Ordinance and then come back to Council for final decision. So, with respect to this particular ordinance, he would want to see that in there. As he looked at this suggested ordinance amendment, this subsection G 237-8, it simply says we would allow developers under certain circumstances to meet with the City and come up with an alternate way. He thought there is an alternative, which would allow this applicant or any applicant to meet the ultimate benefits of the Woodland Ordinance with a little more time to do it. He would be in favor of this ordinance with the change that it went to the Planning Commission first for their suggestion.
Member Csordas referred to page 2 of the ordinance, under section 37-8, Item #2 where it says "the provision of community services provided by students" etc. understanding that Catholic Central as a private entity does have the discretion to require that. He noted Member Capello had a concern as well that if an ordinance is adopted like this it had to fit for our public and private schools. He understood where Catholic Central could require students to do public service but in the public arena, he didnít think that would happen. How do we address that?
Mr. Fisher stated the way this is drafted, there are four means of complying and the ultimate agreement need only include one or more. So this isnít a necessary element in an agreement.
So if there was a public school this wouldnít have to be a necessary element. This was carefully prepared in a sense that the community service is something that is voluntarily proposed by the applicant and a public school couldnít do that.
Member Csordas was under the impression that when this came back, it was not one or more but would be these four things. Mr. Fisher said if there was an intent to make a contribution to the tree fund over a ten year period of strictly cash, he assumed that would be adequate for the Council and there wouldnít be a necessity of having the other. Member Csordas had some real concerns that we have members of the Planning Commission ambushing the City Attorney referring to prepared statements and that is disturbing to hear. Member Csordas is also concerned that Father Elmer stated that a member of the Planning Commissioner accused him of lying and that member of the Planning Commission attended this meeting tonight with misrepresentation and that greatly concerned him. Member Csordas had no reason to doubt him or anyone else that comes before this body and he assumed that they were telling the truth or wouldnít even want to deal with them. He asked what is wrong with the Planning Commission and what agenda is going on down there? All but one Council Member served on the Planning Commission and he didnít remember any prior Planning Commission coming up with an attitude like this, especially coming up here and advocating to Council. He felt it was disrespectful and inappropriate of the Planning Commission.
Member Csordas said he and Mr. Fisher discussed that it was a possibility that this requirement of the developer to contribute a million dollars to the tree fund might be so onerous that legal action could be taken because it imposed too much of a burden and the Woodland Ordinance is challenged. He felt Catholic Central would bring a lot to the City that would be very unique and would be a very welcome addition to the City. He appreciated everything said by Member Landry but did not agree with sending it back to Planning Commission as he was concerned about the status of that Commission. He felt it should stay at the Council table level.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi thought there were many more things going on here than two things, at least five or six. She said this sounded like special interest. It is a part of the real world and we see it all the time. She saw it in her planning profession and we see it in government, but thatís not to say that people are seeking advantage to their application and whatever they might be proposing arenít doing it in good faith. This one is going across the line a little bit and she thought that when Member Landry mentioned that we are talking about looking at something according to our own process when we are looking at an amendment to an ordinance; we have a process. This process went out the window for this particular situation. We had a situation where we had the ordinance First Reading come directly to Council. She would be interested to know how it got here, it wasnít introduced, it didnít come by any proposal from administration, from Counsel, a community member or from the development community. It didnít go to Ordinance Review, Implementation or Committee, Planning Commission; it just appeared here. People start to get their feelings hurt and people forget what you say but they have a real hard time forgetting about how you make them feel and thatís where she thought this was. How do we change this? First we learn from the experience and that when we deviate from the process that the City has established over many years, unless thereís an emergency situation that has to be dealt with, we stick with it. So letís do that and do what Member Landry suggested and use our process. Secondly, this matter could have gone to the Woodlands Review Board for relief. If we are talking about using all the steps that are available to us when seeking relief, we didnít do that. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said she was not among the people who feel that fussing around with ordinances is a bad deal. People in the planning profession know that ordinances are supposed to be living tools. When they work they work very well and when they donít, either we donít use them or they make things worse. We look at the ordinance before us and frankly she would have real reservations about looking at a development agreement with regard to woodlands protection. She didnít think it would work for reasons that have already been stated. However, when she looked at this ordinance it is probably one of the more egregious examples of a designer ordinance that she had seen in her time. She would propose a lot of changes. She said they could go either point-by-point in all the changes she was looking for and then she would move to send this to, if Member Landry hasnít already, the Planning Commission for review.
Member Landry said he was not suggesting that the ordinance be sent to the Planning Commission but was suggesting that Council pass an ordinance but add to the ordinance that whatever development agreement or compliance agreement is ever to made under this ordinance, that first it should go to the Planning Commission to work out the particulars and then send it back to Council.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said the Planning Commission should be commenting on this ordinance as a whole according to the process that we have in place and they have not had the opportunity to do that. She would say to do what Member Landry would be doing but go one step further and do this the way it should be done. She would go through all of the points that she had, which were considerable, if that is the Councilís desire because she would not support the ordinance in the condition itís in. She didnít feel it benefited the City particularly with regard to the language referring to, as far as she was concerned comparing apples and oranges, with the five abilities that she put on the record that were not contained in the minutes with regard to if you want relief from the ordinance plant the trees on site, plant the trees off site, provide service, provide cash or estimate what the value added is of the recreational facilities that they would provide. She said how they want to do it should be a little more specific than referring to "if you meet one of these requirements". For example, depending on what the circumstances are, you might be talking about a cash payment extended out over 15 years and youíre talking about cost value of recreational facilities that might take 20. So we are talking apples and oranges here as far as value is concerned so she had a problem with it.
We are also talking about under the third bullet, under 37-8G where we talk about "if relief under the subsection is granted the applicant is prepared to execute and record a conservation easement in a form approved by City attorney to assure preservation of not less than 60% of the land." She asked is it of the total and of what land? What are we talking about here? "As an open space (a portion of which may include recreational facilities); she said to her way of thinking then you would have to exclude a stadium here because the other recreational facilities we are talking about are largely turf. We are also excluding storm water storage here as including it in the open space does not work. It doesnít work in any other ordinance and it shouldnít work here.
On the top of page 2, we refer to "facilities planted with native vegetation but not including areas with impervious surface" and she presumed it was talking about parking lots. The third line of the paragraph that follows refers to "alternate compliance plan" and she asked if they were talking about which of the options they were going to choose here? Mr. Fisher said in part those items would be included. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said in Item one in parentheses, it says "tree planting in quantities and locations within the City" and she was saying there needed to be a demonstrated plan of all trees to be planted on the site designated by size, type and number.
Number 2 refers to the "provision of community service" and she thought that needed to be specifically related to number of hours at a specific rate and number of trees and secondarily she wanted to say that not only is the person providing the service doing this so voluntarily, but she hoped that the persons doing the work was doing so voluntarily. Because perhaps their idea of public service is not planting trees for the City but maybe itís doing an internship for someone else or providing health care assistance or whatever. She would also be concerned about if, as City Manager previously said, these students would be working under the guidance of the City as to who would be indemnifying the students. Mr. Fisher said it would be their project and we would be providing some assistance or supervision. She asked whose responsibility would it be if someone were hurt. Mr. Fisher said he assumed it would be the schools as it is a school project. She said she would not want to assume that. She would want to know it if we, the City, are giving them direction on how to do it. She understood Mr. Helwig to say that. Mr. Fisher thought it would be the school and if it were the City, then the Cityís insurance would have to cover that.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said in this particular instance she would want it made clear that the applicant has to make clear what amount of dollars we are talking about and how they are going to be paid, whether that is one or more, but she thought it had to be more than one. As a matter of fact in the motion she made, Council agreed that this ordinance was going to reflect all of those things, not one or more.
On page three, "determination by the applicant and City that each of the undertakings in the alternate compliance plan represents a necessary and reasonable measure". She said it is not a necessary and reasonable measure, it is a necessary and reasonable value.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said she understood that the applicant had the land donated. Mr. Ryan said thatís correct. She said we are talking about a $34 or $35 million dollar project? Mr. Ryan said thatís correct. So, how only the trees come up to be a hardship is a little bit difficult to understand because if a million dollars worth of trees that need to be replaced, replanted or using one of the other alternatives in this proposed ordinance, there is something that you can do later. Something that could be put off in phasing and take care of this and add whatever it is to the tune of a million extra dollars in another phase. Applicants and contractors do that all the time. To suggest that the only relief and safety valve is in regard to trees, she wouldnít accept. She would look to support an ordinance to enable them to get relief but not this ordinance as she had too many concerns with not only how it reads but also how another applicant might decide to use it. It needs to be tightened up critically.
Mayor Clark agreed with comments by Council Members Landry and Csordas. He did not think this should go back to the Planning Commission. He thought Mr. Ryan hit the nail on the head, as we are the ones that make ordinances, amend ordinances and the buck stops here. It doesnít get passed to someone else. Member Csordas made a good point about putting ourselves in a position where we might open ourselves up to have our entire woodlands ordinance challenged as being excessive in terms of demands for compliance. He said he didnít know of any developer who was ever asked to spend a million dollars for trees and he didnít know of any developer who put up a project and ended up with 60% open space. Thereís also been discussion that Council gave them relief, someone else could say they received special treatment. Mayor Clark said Mr. Fisher commented on that because there was a case in the State Supreme Court that was argued on March 12th out of Northville that had to do with lighting at the new school. He said should the Supreme Court uphold the Superintendent of Public Instruction, to give you an analogy, had Novi elected to build a second high school, and assuming they elected to build it on this site and we have to assume that the law is the as it is now unless the Supreme Court should change it, the high school could have gone in and cut down every tree on that site and we would have nothing to say about it. Here we have a development, which everyone agrees is a positive to this community and we are trying to come up with something that is workable but we also have to be practical. We are talking about a school for 1,000 or 1,100 young men and they need the facilities now. If they provide service, whether community service over so many years that might include a combination of tree planting as well, so be it. He would hate to be put into a position where if a public school came in they could cut down every tree on the site and yet a private institution comes in and wants to give us one of the finest private educational institutions in the country, with 60% open space, and $35 million dollar investment in our community, which enhances the value of our community. We would have one of the finest private educational institutions in our City, but we have one of the finest public educational systems in the State of Michigan and not too many communities can boast that. Member Landry might be correct and there might have been some hurt feelings, but he thought they had to look beyond that at what is best for this entire community, not just tomorrow, but over the next fifty years. Mayor Clark said as far as he was concerned, having Catholic Central here is in this communityís best interest. Numerous other developers looked at that site and walked away from it. We could have ended up with a commercial building or perhaps a request to rezone it to light industrial. Mayor Clark said that on site Catholic Central was going to replace as many trees as possible and the number of trees that couldnít be replaced on site was approximately 2,500.
Mr. Ryan said there were some hurt feelings and he apologized for any part he had in that. He said he hated to see anyone attack Father Elmer. He is a wonderful man and he hasnít even built a house in his life much less a high school. Mr. Ryan said whatever is imputed to Father Elmer should be imputed to him because he is his lawyer and they have been trying to deal with this in good faith and if they got off the track he apologized to the Planning Commission and to Council. He would like to move forward and said it would be nice if Mr. Fisher could be given consensus of Council at this Second Reading if you would like the ordinance reworked. If that is not a possibility, he requested it be tabled until April and try to work together and move forward.
Member Landry said everybody who had spoken on this subject has said relief should be given; it is just a matter of how we get there. He agreed with a lot of the details that Mayor Pro Tem Bononi suggested. However, where he disagreed was he thought those details belong in the actual compliance agreement itself, for example indemnity. For this applicant those should all be part of their compliance agreement itself, as he didnít think it belonged in the ordinance. He felt the ordinance should be as broad as possible to allow Council, after review and recommendation of the Planning Commission, to look at the unique circumstances of whatever applicant might fulfill this.
CM-03-03-074 Moved by Landry, seconded by Csordas; MOTION FAILED:
To approve Ordinance No. 03-125.14 to amend Chapter 37-8
of the City of Novi Ordinance Code with the exception that on
page 2 first full paragraph that we insert between the first and
second sentence language to the effect that "the proposed
Alternative Compliance Plan shall first be sent to the Planning
Commission for review and recommendation to the City Council."
Member Lorenzo noted she would not support the motion. She thought they had gone from relief to an extreme. It is too verbose and complex. If this is about allowing tree replacement
over a longer period of time, possibly with students doing their community service work in planting the trees, thatís fine; end of discussion. She didnít see anything in the Woodlands Ordinance stating a period of time when they had to be replaced or by whom. It just says you need to replace the trees. Mr. Ryan said he thought Mr. Fisher said Council didnít have the authority to do that under the current ordinance. Member Lorenzo stated she didnít see anything that said anything differently.
Mr. Helwig said that is exactly what he was looking for and he couldnít find that requirement of immediacy. She said if it is there letís deal with it and thatís where the relief should come for a burden of hardship for a not-for-profit. Why are we getting into this longwinded, verbose and complex thing if we donít need to?
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi commented that normally when any applicant is seeking relief that hardship is defined. She has a hard time finding a hardship from an applicant who is building a $35 million dollar complex. She suggested if hardship is going to be allowed, and it should be, then the hardship has to be defined. Also, from the standpoint of the comment about if we are looking at what this document refers to as a compliance plan, when she reads compliance plan she looks at a document that might show location size, type and number of plantings and not necessarily agreement details and that should also be defined.
Mr. Fisher said there are some provisions and basically it contemplates the site plan showing areas of replacement and if that replacement isnít provided for on site then the plan for planting off site or payment into the tree fund must be made, which would contemplate payment at that point in time. He thought it would have to be funded.
Mr. Fisher said there is a provision later in the ordinance that specifies, "whenever a use permit is granted, the reviewing authority shall fix a reasonable time in which any woodlands operations must be completed. He thought the main point is that if you make administrative decisions that are significantly different for one applicant, you are then against the ropes the next time another applicant comes in and wants the same treatment. There is no provision in this ordinance for authorizing hardship.
Member Lorenzo said her point was if you were going to add anything to this ordinance to allow this type of relief, it would be the most narrow and least wordy. Maybe a little paragraph that allows, in this instance, the alternate plan off site to be done over a period of time if the applicant could show some hardship if they had to do it all at one time.
Mr. Fisher thought there was no question that the intent was to make this narrow
in terms of who it would apply to and if you merely put a narrow provision for hardship, that would apply to everyone and he didnít know if Council wanted to open the ordinance in that way. Member Lorenzo asked if for "non-profits" would be narrow enough? Mr. Fisher said thatís a pretty big universe. Mr. Fisher said that concept would work.
Member Landry asked if the Planning Commission would make the call? Mr. Fisher said for the relief yes. Member Landry said in addition to the narrow exception that Member Lorenzo
suggested, they would also have to put in there who was going to make the call. Mr. Fisher said you donít want to leave that ambiguous. Member Lorenzo said recommendation from Planning. Member Landry said it is getting more complicated as we go. Member Lorenzo thought it was getting less complicated and that is the alternate compliance plan off site.
Thatís what we are dealing with. Mr. Fisher said we know what hardship means in the context of a zoning variance. The question is what would a hardship mean here? Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said it is not financial. Member Landry said in your opinion. Mr. Fisher said Council would have to make the decision whether it was financial.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said, for example, the existence of limiting zoned natural features makes it impossible to plant all the trees that would be required to be replaced, in standing water, in a buffer area, within a conservation easement, swale and extra culvert. Those are hardships. She said having the physical space left in your open space where you can plant these things and expect them to thrive. If you donít have the space to do that, itís a hardship because it is determined by the configuration and site circumstances.
Mr. Fisher asked what about the nature of the relief? Are you contemplating strictly installments? Member Lorenzo said it is replacement over time.
Member Landry said if this ordinance that has been proposed grants numerous ways or allows numerous combination of ways to grant relief, not simply letting them do it over time, maybe we want the option to have a combination of money and over time.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said that is what the original proposal was. Member Landry said thatís correct, which is what this provides for. Mayor Clark said with the students providing the labor, as Mr. Helwig pointed out, two-thirds of the cost of these trees is labor.
Mayor Clark said the proposed motion is to approve the Second Reading and from all the comments he had heard at the table tonight that it has to come back with adjustments pursuant to the comments made tonight in addition to the direction given to Mr. Fisher.
Member Landry said his motion was to approve the Second Reading with the one change not all the changes that Member Lorenzo was making. He said his suggestion was to approve it with the one change in it that the alternate compliance plan would first go to the Planning Commission for review and recommendation.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said it would not make it any speedier, it still has to come back again and she would feel much more comfortable with seeing the document. Letís do it right, have it back here and address it. She stated she would not support the motion.
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-074 Yeas: Landry, Clark, Csordas
Nays: Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Bononi
Tie vote motion failed.
CM-03-03-075 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To bring back,Ordinance 03-125.14including the concept that Mayor
Pro Tem Bononi and Member Lorenzo contemplated with regard to a
much more narrow scope that is less wordy, including all the
provisions they directed to Mr. Fisher.
Mr. Fisher said in terms of relief, the substance of it is to allow relief over time and the method of compliance could contemplate using City supervision and things of that nature. Member Lorenzo said with community service work. Mr. Fisher asked if a value for that would be counted as well? Member Lorenzo said right.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said she would support the motion but asked that they look carefully at the definition of hardship.
Roll call vote on 03-03-075 Yeas: Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi, Csordas,
CM-03-03- Moved by Bononi, seconded by Sanghvi
That the remaining agendas items be carried over to the next Council
Mayor Clark asked if there was any consideration for Items 3 and 4? Mr. Helwig said he was looking at 13 and 14. Mr. Fisher said there was a time limitation on Items 6, 7 and 9.
CM-03-03-076 Moved by Landry, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To move Items 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 12, 15 and 16 to the next
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-076 Yeas: Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi, Csordas, Landry,
Mayor Clark asked Mr. Fisher if they needed to address 6, 7 and 9? Mr. Fisher said yes, and 8 goes with 6 and 7.
3. Consideration of Revised SAD Resolution Number 1, Authorizing the preparation of preliminary plans and preliminary estimates of the construction costs; Consideration of Revised SAD Resolution Number 2, setting Public Hearing Number 1 for Monday April 7, 2003; Revised Pioneer Meadows Subdivision SAD 162 Sanitary Sewer. - Postponed until the next meeting of City Council.
4. Consideration of Revised SAD Resolution Number 1, Authorizing the preparation of preliminary plans and preliminary estimates of the construction costs; Consideration of Revised SAD Resolution Number 2, setting Public Hearing
Number 1 for Monday April 7, 2003; Revised Pioneer Meadows Subdivision SAD 163 Water Main. - Postponed until the next meeting of City Council
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part II
5. Consideration of request from Post Six, Inc. to transfer ownership of 2002 Class C licensed business with Dance Permit located in escrow at 42875 Grand River, Unit 1, Novi MI 48375, Oakland County from Novi Mideastern Cuisine, L.L.C. and request a new Entertainment Permit.
This item was postponed until the next meeting of City Council, however Council
decided to address it during the last Audience Participation.
6. Consideration of the request from Arnold Serlin for Final Plat Approval for Bristol Corners North, SP 01-29.
CM-03-03-077 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the request from Arnold Serlin
for Final Plat Approval for Bristol Corners North, SP 01-29 subject to the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, legal description and traffic comments coming back to Council.
Also with concurrence from the City Attorney when thereís
confirmation these items have been concluded.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi stated she would support the motion but would add to the motion, if agreeable, the legal description and traffic comments as they remain outstanding for Final Plat. Member Lorenzo agreed. Mr. Fisher asked if they needed to come back to Council or just to the satisfaction of Council. Member Lorenzo requested them to come back before Council.
Member Lorenzo said a letter was received from Mr. Schultz indicating that the Declaration of Restrictions language needed to be reworked. Mr. Serlin said he didnít think so. Member Lorenzo said Council didnít have it. Mr. Serlin said the Declaration of Restrictions was created with the first subdivision and these are just amendments to the subdivision restrictions that add each subdivision. So the existing subdivision restrictions are the same with the exception that we amend each subdivision as it is added to the restrictions. Member Lorenzo asked is that all it was? Mr. Fisher said Mr.
Schultz just wanted to make sure that they conformed. Mr. Serlin said he had sent the draft of the amendment to the restrictions to Ms. Kudla so she could review them.
Member Lorenzo said there was also an amendment to the open space conservation easement to add a small woodland area and that required a legal description. Mr. Serlin said that has been in process for months and he just got a letter back suggesting that it was approved. There was a small change in the legal description that was corrected. He said, with all due respect to what the City has been going through over these last few months with the transition, they have been caught in the squeeze. We have had four or five people reviewing the same thing without a decision made and ultimately the decisions are being made with the help of Mr. Pearson and Mr. Helwig. We have been whipped lashed between engineers, forestry consultants and landscape consultants. We have been through three subdivisions in this community and this has taken us longer than the other three put together. He thought everything was in order and the preservation agreement was added months ago.
Member Lorenzo amended the original motion to include "with concurrence from the City Attorney when thereís confirmation these items are concluded.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said and also Mr. Fisher, to be certain that according to Rodney S. Arroyo that the Sheet #5 refers to compliance to the Cityís Design and Construction Standards, the easement accommodating the 18-foot wide paved emergency drive must be 25 feet wide. That is on Mr. Arroyoís letter dated February 28, 2003. Mr. Serlin was not familiar with that and was told that it is in.
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-077 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo,
7. Consideration of the request from Arnold Serlin for Final Plat Approval for Bristol Corners South, SP 01-30.
CM-03-03-078 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the request from Arnold Serlin for Final Plat Approval for Bristol Corners South, SP 01-30.
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-078 Yeas: Bononi, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo,
8. Approval of License Agreement with Novi Group for the placement of an entryway sign in the median island of Bristol Corner.
Mr. Serlin said it is really the development. It is Bristol Corners North Subdivision and it would not become the associationís responsibility until it they turned it over to them. It should be them as the developer and the agreement is with the Novi Group.
CM-03-03-079 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Landry; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve License Agreement with Novi
Group for the placement of an entryway sign in the median
island of Bristol Corner and that it go before the Zoning
Board of Appeals.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if they had been to the ZBA already? Mr. Serlin said no, apparently that step has been removed from the process because so many of these were coming before the ZBA that it was more expeditious to bring it to the City Council. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said a letter from Mr. Croy, copied to Don Saven said it was supposed to go to the ZBA. She asked that it be a condition of approval.
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-079 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sangvhi, Clark,
Mr. Serlin asked if that meant he had to go to the ZBA because he was told they didnít have to. Member Lorenzo said they would figure it out for them.
9. Consideration of the request of Singh of Churchill Crossing for Final Plat approval for Churchill Crossing #2, SP 00-14.
CM-03-03-079 Moved by Landry, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the request of Singh of Churchill
Crossing for Final Plat approval for Churchill Crossing #2, SP
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked Mr. Helwig if the frequent flooding of Ten Mile was coming from Churchill Crossing? Mr. Helwig asked Mr. McCusker if that was the case because it appeared to the layperson that it was. Mr. McCusker commented that the City and the County would take a look at the engineering to make sure that the drainage is acceptable. Frozen culverts underneath the road caused the flooding and thereís an extra culvert in that they use to transport material along the backside of the subdivision that was a shallow culvert. We think those were the primary causes and thawed the one going underneath Ten Mile over the weekend so it is not running out of the road right now. He said they would take another look at it to make sure it is acceptable for both sets of wetlands.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if that was the Cityís installation or the applicantís installation? Mr. McCusker said it was the applicantís installation with the County and the City. We have some involvement in it but will make sure it works. She asked if the City was holding a performance bond? Mr. McCusker said yes.
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-079 Yeas: Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi,
13. Approval of Resolution requesting participation in the RCOC 2003 Tri-Party Program; Grand River Avenue Bridge Project.
CM-03-03-080 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Resolution requesting participation in the RCOC 2003
Tri-Party Program; Grand River Avenue Bridge Project.
Member Lorenzo said she recalled the City having to pay the $1.475 million because she voted against it because it is a county road. She asked where the extra several hundred thousand dollars come from to bring it to $1,806,236? Mr. Helwig said there are two components to that $1,806,236.00. $755,278.00 comes from the $1.475 million that she referred to. The other $1, 050,960.00 has been set aside as our share of tri-party funds over the years. Member Lorenzo asked why the total was $1.8, as she thought the Cityís total was $1.475. Mr. Helwig said no, all along there were tri-party funds being set aside for the bridge project. We always owed $1.8 minus the $755. The $755,778 came into play in April 2001 when our critical bridge funding was declared, prior to 1994, and was not eligible to have State funds pay for this lengthy approach to the camel back bridge. So the $1.8 minus the $755, just about $1,050,000 was always going to be our share until the $1.475 came along.
Member Lorenzo noted then we are always owed a little over a million dollars towards this project? Mr. Helwig said thatís correct. She said then on top of that we are supposed to pay that $1.475 and that is being reduced because of the participation in the tri-party agreement. Mr. Helwig said it was being reduced because of the good contract bid. Thatís why we are getting $719,000 back. The two are really in tandem.
Member Lorenzo said this is the one with the whole agreement. She said some of this concerned her because there was language that talked about if the project went over, we are going to be responsible for it. The agreement reads "a portion of the Cityís share of the local match shall be funded in accordance with the following: a. Tri-party program funds in the amount of $1,576,438. b. In the event that the actual total project cost exceeds the estimated project cost, the Cityís share of the increased local match shall be funded initially with available tri-party program funds and thereafter entirely by the City." Mr. Fisher said it was very standard language. Member Lorenzo said like Detroit Edisonís easements? Mr. Helwig commented that all he could say was that weíve been making this work. They wait until the contracts has been awarded to have these agreements come to us. She asked why are we doing this now? Mr. Helwig said we could never get it before the contractís been awarded and Ms. Smith-Roy could attest to this. Ms. Smith-Roy said part of the reason they do that is because of her first question. Local communities were concerned about whether they would have a huge liability afterwards, so thatís why they wait. Member Lorenzo said but we still have that problem because it says estimated project costs. Ms. Smith-Roy said but once the contract is awarded the likelihood of change orders being significant are lessened. Member Lorenzo said this Council unfortunately has a history of that on other projects so she was concerned with the language and what the City might owe at the end of the project.
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-080 Yeas: Lorenzo, Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi, Csordas,
14. Approval of Cost Participation Agreements with the Road Commission for Oakland County for Grand River Avenue Bridge over CSX Railroad tracks.
CM-03-03-080 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Sanghvi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Resolution requesting participation in the RCOC 2003
Tri-Party Program; Grand River Avenue Bridge Project.
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-080 Yeas: Sanghvi, Clark, Bononi, Csordas, Landry,
Mayor Clark asked Mr. Helwig if #15 and #16 had to be approved tonight? Mr. Helwig said if Council wished they could sure use the approval.
15. Approval of the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commissionís request to re-program $49,345 for improvements at Community Sports Park.
CM-03-03-081 Moved by Landry, seconded by Sanghvi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commissionís
request to re-program $49,345 for improvements at Community
Sports Park, consisting of improvements to one ball field, grading
installation of irrigation systems, athletic field mix, sod and dugouts
and installation of pathways and improved parking areas for
physically challenged individuals.
Member Lorenzo requested the improvements be specified for the public.
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-081 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo,
16. Approval of Resolution to authorize the third quarter Budget Amendment
CM-03-03-082 Moved by Landry, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Resolution to authorize the third quarter Budget
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-082 Yeas: Bononi, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Sanghvi,
10. Consideration of Agreement to implement Council action to amend the Island Lake Residential Unit Development (RUD) Agreement, Site Plan Number 02-48, for a Second Amendment to the original Agreement to add a 5-acre parcel and revise the street layout for Phases 4 and 5 of the original RUD. Postponed until the next meeting of City Council Ė April 7, 2003
11. Consideration of request from Toll Brothers to amend the Island Lake Residential
Unit Development (RUD) Agreement, Site Plan Number 99-58. The applicant is
proposing to amend the Phasing Plan from the previously approved RUD.
Postponed until the next meeting of City Council Ė April 7, 2003
12. Consideration of Zoning Text Amendment 18.174 to amend Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, Appendix A of the City of Novi Code of Ordinances, to create Section 2514, "Additional road design, building setback, and parking setback requirements for One-Family Clustering Option, Two-Family uses, Multiple-Family uses, and certain non-residential uses and developments," and to amend Section 2403, "One-Family Clustering Option," and to amend Section 2400 Schedule of Regulations, for related purposes. 1st Reading - Postponed until the next meeting of City Council Ė April 7, 2003
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
2. March 3, 2003 Ė Regular meeting Ė Mayor Pro Tem Bononi
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi stated some of her comments were left out of these minutes and she requested that they be added.
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES Ė ALL ITEMS WERE POSTPONED
1. Schedule joint meeting of City Council and Planning Commission Ė Member Landry.
2. Westmont Village Subdivision Pavement and Storm Water Issues resolution plan Ė Mayor Pro Tem Bononi.
3. Walton Woods #1 drainage/wetlands issues ĖMayor Pro Tem Bononi.
Resident suggested a sign and police enforcement rather than a pork chop island being placed at Clark Street.
Charles Towner, 37211 Harper, said he was present for the Post Six approval for Liquor License Transfer with the 6 members. He had no objection to the tabling as it has already been done. His asked Council to be sure they have a complete package. He said they have their building permits now and the landlord now has a rent commencement start time so they are incurring some expenses. He wanted to be sure Council had everything they needed so he wouldnít have to come back in two weeks and find out Council was missing something. He asked Council to make that direction. He asked to be considered tonight but whatever Council decided would be fine.
Mayor Clark said Mr. Towner was Item #5 and asked Council if they were willing to consider this item, which is Consideration of request from Post Six, Inc. to transfer ownership of 2002 Class C licensed business with Dance Permit located in escrow at 42875 Grand River, Unit 1, Novi MI 48375, Oakland County from Novi Mideastern Cuisine, L.L.C. and request a new Entertainment Permit.
CM-03-03-083 Moved by Landry, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the request from Post Six, Inc. to transfer ownership of
2002 Class C licensed business with Dance Permit located in escrow
at 42875 Grand River, Unit 1, Novi MI 48375, Oakland County from
Novi Mideastern Cuisine, L.L.C. and request a new Entertainment
Permit with the conditions that the establishment would be put on
notice that it would be monitored and Council would consider these
things, discussed at this meeting, to be violations in the future and
have the right to bring them in for review.
Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Fisher if Council was granting this transfer or is this a recommendation to the State Liquor Control License Board? Mr. Fisher thought Council was approving or denying. Member Lorenzo noted her concerns regarding the information that came back through the Liquor License Review investigation, which were the licensing
violations with regard to pending sales to minors and a violation of a sale to a minor in the other locations. Also, the violation allowing an intoxicated person to drive. She asked how they addressed these situations when obviously someone did not follow the training they received? Mr. Towner said they had to get better at what they were doing. In these particular situations where there were actual violations, one was where an intoxicated person got into the bar and was allowed to loiter but they were not served. He said they had to have door people that wouldnít allow that situation to occur. The sale to minor was corrected by double carding their patrons once at the door and again while being waited upon if they appear underage. He thought the liquor control establishment would tell Council that they were a good establishment on how they handle those things. He explained, if there were a problem, they would work closely with the Chief of Police. Liquor Control now has Tips Training and thereís a new employee manual and they are working on those issues. Unfortunately sometimes there is a bad employee and in the two situations that involved someone getting by, that employee had been terminated. As a matter of fact, Mr. Wheeler terminated the person on the spot. Member Lorenzo said Council cared what happened in this community particularly when involving minors and intoxicated persons driving. Mr. Towner said these things would be addressed daily internally and anything that the City would like to discuss, they would certainly be willing. They have their building permits and felt they could be done by April 1st.
Member Csordas asked Chief Shaeffer why he didnít give a recommendation. Chief Shaeffer
said he wasnít not recommending them but wanted to provide Council with the information necessary to make a decision if they wanted that establishment in our community.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked Chief Shaeffer about the "not not recommendation". The City of Novi Michigan Liquor Application thatís attached is blank and asked why they didnít answer questions on the Cityís liquor license application. Clerk Cornelius said the applicant attached the application but they did answer the questions they reformatted. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi
said that was not suitable, number one. Number two, referring to Chief Shaefferís memorandum of March 5th , it referred to the managerís name being Mr. Wheeler and it "stated in the memo that Mr. Wheeler was found guilty of assault and battery in 1994 in the City of Detroit". Mr. Towner said that was correct. Also, Mr. Wheeler had four charges of excessive force violations against him. She asked how many Police calls they anticipated would come from this establishment in a month based on past practice of like circumstance. Chief Shaeffer thought, based on similar establishments in the community there would be two or three calls
related to the business. She had concerns that there wasnít an outright approval from the Police Chief and great concern about items in the Chiefís report that she mentioned and the fact that the food service provided was of the snack, quick serve type and her concern was how food would be consumed and in what quantities relative to how much alcohol will be consumed. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said any time she has such a report from the Chief, whoís opinion she respected, she would not be supporting this.
Mayor Clark stated there had been a number of complaints that led to excessive force and that wasnít surprising because after alcohol consumption, sometimes patrons later will claim use of excessive force. He personally had been to their establishment with members of his family and thought they were a very well run establishment and didnít witness any unusual activity.
Mayor Clark felt that support from the police in other communities was a good sign. He thought, rightly so, Chief Shaeffer erred on the side of caution in this case given the fact that
there had been problems with another establishment in the past. He said he would support the request.
Member Lorenzo asked Chief Shaeffer if he felt he was being overly cautious. Chief Shaeffer thought they were being cautious and that it was their responsibility to provide Council with as much information as possible before representing Council and making those kinds of recommendations. Rather than doing that, he felt it was appropriate to just provide all the possible information they could. In a case where there is information to provide Council, as this case has, he felt it was appropriate to leave these kinds of policy decisions to Council. She asked if it was the cumulative information that is of concern to him or are there specific instances. Chief Shaeffer said the information he provided was spread out over five facilities and he saw nothing in there that would cause the police department to wave their arms with concern. There was no pattern of abuse in any of their locations and he was very encouraged to hear their responses to Councilís questions regarding what they do to insure that they do not have violations. He thought the most convincing thing he heard was that they hold their personnel accountable and terminating people when they make those kinds of grievous errors. She asked Mr. Fisher if there was a way to put conditions on their permit or putting an establishment on something like probation.
Mr. Fisher stated they could be put on notice that they would be monitored and Council would consider these things to be violations in the future and have the right to bring them in for review.
Member Lorenzo asked for a friendly amendment to that effect. Member Landry accepted the friendly amendment.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said she was not aware that Council had the ability to condition that and she would, with reservations, support the motion.
Roll call vote on CM-03-03-083 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo,
Wayne Hogan said he was concerned that complying with the ADA was literally the least you could get away with. He said having a 5 to 10 year plan and talking forward thinking and only complying with the ADA is ridiculous not to have some kind of improvement or enhancement in a City like this to make it much better. He stated the apparatus being put in at the childrenís playground facility was not accessible and he said it could not be done if Council just read the rules. Even by the minimum standards, the ADA would not let them do it.
Letter from Greg and Denise Bator Re: Closure of Clark Street.
Letter from Kathleen Nicholson Re: Permanent Closure of Clark Street.
Letter from Scott and Kellie Hallaron Re: Violation of Woodland and Wetland Ordinances.
There being no further business to come before the Council, the meeting was adjourned at 1:14 a.m.
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by: Charlene Mc Lean
Date approved: April 7, 2003