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REGULAR MEETING OF
THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Csordas called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Csordas, Mayor Pro Tem Landry, Council Members Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy (arrived at 8:44 p.m.), and Paul
ALSO PRESENT: Rick Helwig – City Manager
Gerald Fisher – City Attorney
Clay Pearson – Assistant City Manager
Kathy Smith-Roy – Finance Director
Benny McCusker – Director of Public Works
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Lorenzo noted that Member Nagy had asked that two items be added to Mayor and Council Issues on her behalf: Item #2, South Lake Drive; and Item #3, Walled Lake drainage complaint.
Mayor Csordas added a presentation, 1a, from State Senator Cassis and State Representative DeRoche regarding Kathy Crawford.
CM-04-03-099 Moved by Landry, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.
Voice Vote on CM-04-03-099 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
1. Proclamation for Richard J. Clark for Dedicated Service to the City of Novi – Senator Cassis and State Representative DeRoche
Senator Cassis noted that she, Representative DeRoche, and former Mayor Clark all had the honor of sitting on the City Council. In many ways they were blessed by the community to have the honor and receive the trust that the community has given to all current Council members. In the early 1980’s, the City had a new master plan and was experiencing a time of growth and change. There was one young man raising two beautiful girls and a lovely wife who lived over in Turtle Creek that saw a need for good planning in this community. He, and a few other individuals, joined together as P.L.A.N. – People Looking After Novi. In that capacity, Richard Clark served diligently. His prudence was very welcome by everyone. He had the ability to articulate issues very clearly and soundly, and moved Planning boards and commissions. This young man went on to serve the community on the Planning Commission, then came to the City Council, and was finally elected Mayor. When people look back at the history of Novi, they will catalogue much of the good that has happened here along with this man’s name. Therefore, she and the State House and Senate presented a tribute in recognition of service, contributions, good will, and dedication that Richard Clark will surely be remembered for.
Representative DeRoche remarked that Mayor Clark served an extraordinary role in this community. He was elected with Council Member Lorenzo in 1997 at a very calm time during that election cycle. What proceeded after that election was one of the biggest whirlwinds that the City will hopefully ever see. This was a time of extraordinary confusion and anger by constituents and residents of the City. In 1999, Richard Clark, at the time a former Council member who had already served the public well, decided to "put his hat back into the ring." What faced him was an incredible test of a human being. Five years later, this is a city that has been healed largely because of the work that Richard Clark did as Mayor. The City came of age under Mayor Clark’s watch. Mayor Csordas will also have his fingerprint on a time of extraordinary change in Novi.
Representative DeRoche said he was honored to serve with Mayor Clark on the Council, and was honored to be in attendance as State Representative to acknowledge the service that Mayor Clark gave to this city.
Mayor Clark thanked Senator Cassis, Representative DeRoche, his fellow members of Council, the City administration, and the citizens of the community.
Mayor Csordas noted that Council was able to present Mayor Clark with the keys to the City at the State of the City speech this year. He thanked Mayor Clark for everything that he did for everyone on City Council. It was a true pleasure to serve with Mayor Clark for 4 years and watch him behind the scenes. Mayor Clark’s leadership took the City out of some very troubled times.
1a. Proclamation for Kathy Crawford
Senator Cassis said that while Mayor Clark perhaps best epitomized new people coming to the community with vision and a desire to serve to see Novi become the finest city in the state of Michigan, other individuals should be reflected on who were perhaps the pioneers – the people whose roots started in Novi. Kathy Crawford was born and raised in Novi. Ms. Crawford and her husband have been actively involved in the community for a very, very long time. Kathy Crawford is someone who made people laugh, was really never down, and could always cheer you up with a wonderful joke. Senator Cassis commented that she believed it was because of Kathy’s persistence and absolutely unwillingness to see it stop that Novi now has a senior center and senior complex that is a wonderful model for other communities. Along the way, every trip she ever took with the seniors, every game she played with them, every little positive note she could give to someone passing by, she did not miss the opportunity. Kathy’s shoes cannot be filled, but she has promised to stay close to the City. She has already promised that she will counsel other senior directors and give them creative ideas to help them whenever she is asked. Kathy, her husband Hugh, and her family, will always be remembered as founders-in-part of this community. Their legacy will go on forever. She presented Ms. Crawford with a State of Michigan tribute signed by Representative DeRoche, herself as State Senator, and Governor Jennifer Granholm.
Representative DeRoche said he was proud to be in attendance to present the award to Ms. Crawford. He could remember being a kid that when home sick from school had to go over to the senior center on Novi Road with his grandmother because his mother was working. The programs that Kathy has been involved with, and the values and benefits that she instills into the seniors lives that live in Novi, are beyond cost. It is amazing how many lives Kathy Crawford has touched.
Senator Cassis remarked that she hoped the tribute would remind Kathy of the caring and the love that the community has for her.
Mayor Csordas read a proclamation of appreciation from the City Council and City staff for Ms. Crawford:
"Whereas the City of Novi is fortunate to have quality skilled and dedicated staff members such as Kathy Crawford that are committed to the community and civic service;
Whereas she has been an advocate and leader for senior members of the community for more than 22 years, Kathy is retiring from her position as special recreation coordinator for seniors;
Whereas Kathy championed her position as the first administrator of senior programs and services, becoming one of Michigan’s first certified senior center directors;
Whereas through her creativity and vision, Kathy has significantly impacted the quality of senior programming offered to the Novi community;
Whereas she has enhanced the quality of life for many community members by leading the first committee to study senior housing and initiating a recommendation to City Council demonstrating the need for a building authority for senior housing;
Whereas Kathy was instrumental in the development and design of Meadowbrook Commons;
Whereas Kathy has been recognized with numerous honors and distinctions for her commitment to the community, including the Novi distinguished service award, the Michigan minute man award, the Michigan Governor’s award, the Michigan Recreation and Parks leadership award, and the senior director certification award;
Whereas she has shared her energy and vision with a variety of service organizations in Novi, including the Novi Library Strategic Planning Committee, the Providence Hospital Citizen Advisory Committee, the Michigan Recreation and Parks Senior Citizens Committee, the Novi Optimists’ Club, the Novi Choraliers, the Novi Jaycees Women;
Whereas Kathy has continued to entertain and delight audiences of all ages with the organization of the senior variety show;
Whereas her outstanding commitment to and passion for the seniors earned Kathy an appointment by the Governor on the State Advisory Council on Aging;
Whereas Kathy’s greatest accomplishment can be measured by the strength of the relationship she has built with her fellow employees, the seniors of the community, and the amount that everyone will miss her;
Now therefore, be it resolved that I, Lou Csordas, Mayor of the City of Novi, on behalf of the Novi City Council and the Novi community, present this document in recognition and appreciation of Kathy Crawford’s dedication and commitment to the citizens of Novi."
Ms. Crawford thanked the City of Novi. 62 years ago to that evening, she was born in the City of Novi. She expressed a great appreciation to the thousands of volunteers throughout the community and throughout her life. Volunteers actually built the first gymnasium in Novi. She had great mentors in how to make things happen. She thanked staff, administration, and the volunteers of the community for their efforts. She will not be leaving the community or leaving Novi. Rather, she will just be changing directions.
2. Michigan Concrete Paving Association's Michigan Award of Excellence for the City of Novi in recognition of the Grand River Avenue Reconstruction Project – Mike Frederick and Bob Risser from the Michigan Concrete Paving Association.
Mr. Frederick said one of the most visible aspects of what Council approves is infrastructure improvements. Each year, the Michigan Concrete Paving Association, which represents concrete pavers and specifiers all over the state of Michigan, takes time to award projects which have exceeded and demonstrated particular excellence. That Association honored the Grand River Avenue reconstruction from Beck Road to Lanny’s Road that took place in 2003. In addition to the excellent work that was done on this project, it was also performed by a longtime corporate citizen of the City of Novi, Tony Angelo Construction. This work incorporated state of the art technologies to shorten the time of impact to businesses along that section of Grand River.
Mike Evangelista of Tony Angelo Construction said the company was very proud to have performed the project in the community which it operates in. He thanked the community for its cooperation and patience during construction. The cooperation of everyone involved helped the project go well and helped the company implement the new technology that in the long run will save communities money.
1. Vacation of Sixth Gate Road (aka Paul Bunyan)
Mr. Helwig said administration had no presentation. It was requested by City Council that the City initiate this public hearing to receive public comment before proceeding with any disposition at a future meeting.
Mayor Csordas opened the public hearing for comment.
Tom Marcus, 40976 Hollydale, noted that he has lived in Novi for 40 years. In 1972, he started a company in a barn where a tire store is now located near Sixth Gate. He could not even afford the down payment on that back piece, and his friend Dick Bingham offered to pay the down payment for him. Sixth Gate was the road that went through to the old fire hall. He was always promised that Sixth Gate would be a road. That property is his only retirement other than social security. He was one of the first people to serve on the Town Center Committee. Mr. Marcus said he was promised that the road would always go through. If it does not go straight through, but rather makes a right turn to go to Main Street, this will decrease his property value. He felt that the City should wait and see what type of development will go in the area before giving up the road.
There being no further comment, Mayor Csordas closed the public hearing for the vacation of Sixth Gate Road (a.k.a. Paul Bunyan.)
Mr. Helwig noted that this matter would appear on a future agenda for Council in the form of a resolution.
2. Grant application to the Land and Water Conservation Fund for accessibility improvement and a trail head at Community Sports Park.
Mr. Helwig recalled that at a recent City Council meeting, City Council authorized applying for such a grant. As part of that step, there is a required public hearing for community input. The application would match $40,000 of local funds with $40,000 in land and water conservation funds. Council has outlined the general nature of the improvement. This has been very much in the news in terms of the genesis of what is being known as the "Singh Trail" from Fire Station 4 at Ten Mile and Wixom Road to Nine Mile just east of Napier Road, then trying to make the remaining linkages to Community Sports Park. Improvements were envisioned by staff as a major priority. Council has authorized applying for the grant; this is a step in the process.
Mayor Csordas opened the public hearing for comment.
Andrew Mutch, 24740 Taft Road, said he was speaking on behalf of the Friends of Novi Parks to endorse the grant proposal whole-heartedly. The Friends has been pushing the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission to seek out these State grants, and it is nice to see that this is finally happening. The City will have an opportunity to leverage federal funding to benefit a local park project. The Singh Trail proposal is one that will benefit a lot of residents in the City, tying in people who live north of Ten Mile to the development coming in between Eight Mile and Ten Mile roads. This is a project with a lot of benefit, and the Friends looks forward to Council’s support on it.
Wayne Hogan, 20973 Woodland Glen Dr., said that the trail would be connected to a non-accessible park. He wanted to make sure that the City was looking at making the park and the trail fully accessible. The City has several trails that are not fully accessible, and also needs to make sure that the new signs that will be posted on the trails have the international sign of access logo. He made this statement at the prior Council meeting, but he was not sure if the change had actually been made on the signs. It would be more costly to have to retrofit the logo onto the signs later than to place it on the signs initially.
There being no further comment, Mayor Csordas closed the public hearing for Grant application to the Land and Water Conservation Fund for accessibility improvement and a trail head at Community Sports Park.
1. SPECIAL/COMMITTEE - None
2. CITY MANAGER - None
3. DEPARTMENTAL - None
4. ATTORNEY - None
John Garabelli, 47495 Cheltenham Drive, asked to read a portion of a letter that he had sent to Council regarding a lack of dedicated roads at Cheltenham.
"As a Cheltenham resident, I am very concerned over the lack of our dedicated roads. I have not been satisfied with Mr. Nanda’s maintenance of our roads. I am very upset to be paying taxes and not have City of Novi snow and salting. Our home purchase agreement calls for City of Novi public roads and maintenance, not a private road and a contractor. As I have learned the issues and circumstances leading to the current dilemma, it became apparent that previous Novi Board decisions have also been a contributor. I am aware that Novi offered to release the secondary access on lot 3, but Mr. Nanda will still not dedicate our roads without additional compensation. After 5 months of meetings, I expect the City of Novi to take action since it appears that good faith negotiations are at an impasse. Please consider these proposed actions: One, in good faith, release secondary access on Mr. Nanda’s lot 3; Two, keep Mr. Lokey’s easement as a permanent or temporary access, or vote waiver allow an emergency access only to the Inverness stub in Edinborough subdivision; Three, the City has the power to waive ordinance for dedicated roads. Accept the Cheltenham roads with a bond security for future road issues, unlikely based on recent City engineers’ assessments and reinforced by Mirage’s bond; Four, do not waste our tax dollars in a lawsuit unless Mr. Nanda files for additional compensation. Further, Novi does not need another mini-Sandstone lawsuit. Let Mirage proceed with their construction. This will not be a win-win for all. Decisions must be made for the benefit of Novi and the majority of its residents. In closing, thank you for your ongoing attention to this matter, but please get on with it. I am again requesting that a letter be sent to all Cheltenham residents to this effect."
Dick Faulkner, representative of the Novi Retiree’s Association, wished to introduce to Council the Board of Directors for 2004-2005. The secretary is Gerry Stipp, the trustee is Evelyn Natzel, the treasurer is Jack Grubb, the president is Phil Schoen, and other trustees are Esther McGinnis and Herb Harbin. They wish to thank the members of Council and the City administration for their support of the Novi Retiree’s Association over the past 4 years. The Association wishes the City a happy Saint Patrick’s Day.
Mr. Faulkner said that as a resident of Novi and a longtime friend of Mr. Marcus, he wished Council to seriously consider allowing Sixth Gate, a.k.a. Paul Bunyan, to remain open to through traffic.
Tim Gilberg, current president of the Cheltenham Estates subdivision, 47599 Aberdeen Drive, noted that he has been a resident of Novi for 25 years, and actually sat on the Planning Commission for 5 years. He also asked to read a letter into the record:
"I thank you for allowing me to address this Council this evening. I promise to be short. The purpose of my comments is to address the Cheltenham Estates Road dedication concern. Like many others I am very aware of the situation and concerned. As the President of our Association, I and the board of Directors have chosen to work with the City as a Team to drive resolution on this matter. I do not believe that progress can be made by making demands, innuendos or threats. These tactics only alienate and misdirect proper intentions. I want to make it clear to the Council that all the homeowners are concerned, but do not agree with the process that has been chosen by some. As I see this matter, the Council has acted appropriately by referring the matter to counsel for legal direction and action as necessary. Many of my neighbors and I do not agree with the current ramblings that are being led by one of our neighbors. This is not the way to act professionally or as a team. Many of us totally support the Council and are not here tonight to make any demands, but rather ask if we may be of assistance in helping to resolve this matter. I do not believe that the City has had anything to do with the fiasco nor do I think that the City is at risk. From my perspective, we are dealing with one man who needs to fulfill his contractual obligations. It is that simple.
I for one totally appreciate what the City is trying to do to get this resolved in a steadfast manner. The history in this matter is long and nasty. It does not have anything to do with us as homeowners except the completion of Mr. Nanda’s obligations to the City and the homeowners. My purpose here tonight is not to debate the matter, but rather thank the Council for their leadership in this matter and ask if there is anything that we can do to facilitate the resolution of this matter professionally.
For the Council’s information, there will be an election for a new board for our subdivision on March 31 here at City Hall. I may not be re-elected but that is a matter that will be determined later."
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
CM-04-03-100 Moved by Paul, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the consent agenda as presented.
Voice Vote on CM-04-03-100 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
CONSENT AGENDA: (Background information for Consent Agenda items is available for review at the City Clerk’s Office)
A. Approve Minutes of:
B. Approval to schedule an Executive Session immediately following the regular meeting of Monday, March 15, 2004 for the purpose of discussing pending litigation (Cheltenham)
C. Approval of renewal of Massage Business License requested by Salon Agape’, 43144 Main Street, Suite 310.
D. Approval of renewal of Arcade Business License requested by The Putting Edge, 44125 Twelve Mile, Space G-125, with up to six (6) machines.
E. Approval of renewal of Arcade Business License requested by Soccer Zone, 41550 Grand River, with up to nine (9) machines.
F. Acceptance of Conservation Easement for the Maybury Park Estates Residential Unit Development – Phase I.
G. Acceptance of Conservation Easement for the Abbey Hills Condominiums complex.
H. Approval to purchase upgraded equipment for the community automatic notification system from Dialogic Communications Corporation, a sole source provider, in the amount of $7,500.
I. Approval of Detroit Edison Line Extension Agreement to service the I-96/Sheridan Drive Sanitary Pump Station and authorization to issue a check to Detroit Edison in the mount of $12,560.38 for the cost of this work.
J. Approval to rent an asphalt paver for one (1) month from Michigan Cat, the low quotation, in the amount of $10,800.
K. Approval of Storm Drainage Maintenance Agreement executed by JRJV-Novi, LLC located at the northwest corner of the Beck North Corporate Park complex adjacent to Hudson Drive.
L. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 669
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Consideration of request from Lucky Strike Novi, Inc., to transfer ownership of 2001 Class C liquor license with Dance-Entertainment Permit located in escrow at 19701 W. Twelve Mile, Southfield from S. K. Brewer’s of Southfield, Inc. to 44325 Twelve Mile, Novi, MI and request for new Outdoor Service Permit.
Scott Edwards noted that Bill Scheidenhower, the operations director for Lucky Strike, was with him that evening. This is the fourth time that they have appeared before Council, in various guises, for Lucky Strike. Most of the proceedings have been related to the amendment of the arcade ordinance so that there would be rules in place that would work. In December, there was a second reading of the amendment to the arcade ordinance, which was adopted. He said they were present that evening for the formal liquor license application. Lucky Strike would stand in the Fountain Walk development as a 70,000 square foot, two-story development. Downstairs will be an entertainment venue that consists of interactive games and a restaurant. Upstairs will be a 16-lane bowling alley. This is not a traditional league type of alley, but rather is one that will provide games for people at the restaurant or who are just looking for an evening out. There are two Lucky Strikes already in place, one in Hollywood, one in Orange County, and another is very close to opening in Denver. Lucky Strike is similar to a Dave and Buster’s type of concept where there are interactive games.
Mr. Edwards said Lucky Strike is exactly the type of item being sought for the Fountain Walk development. It goes well with the Emagine Theatre concept. There are retail centers and different restaurants. Now there will be an entertainment venue with bowling. This will also have a responsible owner who is familiar with the operations. Steven Foster has developed the Gillian’s concept nationally, and is now on his own with his wife developing the Lucky Strike concept. The economic impact to the landlord and to the community is also very important. The landlord has had a 70,000 square foot building vacant for a long time, but will now have a tenant that will benefit the City with tax dollars and will benefit other tenants by sharing common costs. This will also benefit the community by providing an entertainment venue that was not previously available. The Lucky Strike concept is committed to responsible alcohol management. They have 3 different training programs that they participate in, including the TIPS program, by which all managers on staff will be certified by. They will conduct sweeps of the venue to comply with the age requirements of the ordinance.
Member Capello noted that Lucky Strike had been before Council several times in the past. He was familiar with the concept, as all the Council members were. He welcomed Lucky Strike to the community, especially at Fountain Walk.
CM-04-03-101 Moved by Capello, seconded by Landry; MOTION CARRIED: To approve request from Lucky Strike Novi, Inc., to transfer ownership of 2001 Class C liquor license with Dance-Entertainment Permit located in escrow at 19701 W. Twelve Mile, Southfield from S. K. Brewer’s of Southfield, Inc. to 44325 Twelve Mile, Novi, MI.and request for new Outdoor Service Permit under the condition that a separate agreement is entered into relative to bar #2 not opening for the sale of alcoholic beverages only until after 7:00 p.m.
Member Lorenzo said there seemed to be some discrepancies in information. From the Novi police department, Council had a letter that stated that as part of the request there were seven additional bar permits. A letter from someone in Lucky Strike on November 14, 2003, stated 13 additional bar permits. When she counted on the actual site plans, she saw 5 bars. She asked how many bar permits were actually being requested that evening.
Mr. Edwards replied that there will be 7 bars. The two not seen in the site plans are for the outdoor service area in the upstairs patio. The 13 came in connection with the earlier project, the old Margarita Mama’s, where there were "tons" of bars. That number was added to the mix in error. The actual number is the 5 seen on the site plan plus the 2 for the outdoor patio.
Member Lorenzo clarified that there are 7 bars, 3 on the floor with the electronic games.
Mr. Edwards replied that this was correct.
Member Lorenzo asked if one of the bars was located right in the middle of the electronic games.
Mr. Edwards responded that this was also correct.
Member Lorenzo said she was concerned with this bar. Her concern related to something previously mentioned when Mr. Edwards was before Council with a request to change the ordinance with regard to the games, the length of time and the times of the day that adolescents and/or minors could be in the facility. This was her concern, with regard to what she considered the predominant environment of alcohol. She felt that this would be an undue influence to minors for alcohol. When she looked over the questions on part of the application, number nine was what effect the issuance of a license would have on the health, welfare and safety of the general public. She believed that the bars would have such an effect. The way that the ordinance was changed is that persons within the ages of 13 and 16 may be permitted on the premises without a parent or legal guardian on Fridays between 2:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., on Saturdays between 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., during summer vacation between 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., and on Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The undue influence of alcohol around minors was her concern. She believes there is a public safety and welfare issue. Additionally, in terms of question number 17, what effect the proposed facility would have upon the surrounding neighborhood and/or business establishments, including impacts upon residential areas, church, and school districts. The whole area just west of the gasoline station on Novi Road to Sandstone is existing or future residential property. Catholic Central High School, an all-boy’s high school, will be located within about 2 miles of this facility. She expressed "serious concern" about the predominant environment of alcohol in the Lucky Strike building, as well as the close proximity to children. Because of these reasons, she could not support the motion.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked Mr. Scheidenhower to explain what, if any, measures Lucky Strike plans on taking in its operations to prevent minors from having access to alcohol.
Mr. Scheidenhower said that Lucky Strike is very stringent in designing the operational plan for each facility. Most of their facilities are 21 and over after 9:00, where no one under that age is allowed in. Those facilities are more geared toward adults playing games and allowing the opportunity to enjoy a beverage at that time. For making sure that minors are not given access to alcohol, several things come into play. One is Lucky Strike’s alcohol training program. He teaches the program for all staff members prior to a facility’s opening. They also conduct a different program every four months that is recognized around the country. The TIPS program is one, as well as the LEAD program and the STAR program. Those are rotated to ensure that responsibly serving alcohol is at the forefront for all employees. For the actual day-to-day operations, a number of systems are in place to prevent infractions with minors. One such operation is that Lucky Strike does not allow minors to sit at a bar or around the bar area. Secondly, when it comes to areas where minors might be, they have additional security or employees stationed for monitoring. The company makes sure it has a set program in place for doing sweeps. If the changeover is at 7:00, at 6:00 employees at the entrance would remind people that at 7:00 the age restrictions change. At 6:30, a sweep would be done of the facility to inform minors that they have ½ hour to finish their games. The final sweep is done at 6:45, and the entire facility is cleared of that age group at that time.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he could not recall ever being in a bowling alley that did not have a bar in it. Bumper bowling has come to be popular in the last 10 years. There is now glow bowling with black lights that specifically attracts a younger crowd. The notion of alcohol in a bowling alley is nothing new, and creates no particularly unusual risk. Already in Fountain Walk is the Emagine Theatre, which certainly welcomes under-age patrons, and serves alcohol. Council was convinced when it approved that theatre that Emagine had a program in place to prevent access to minors. He sees Lucky Strike as a wonderful addition to Fountain Walk. Lucky Strike is certainly capable of making sure that minors don’t have access to alcohol. He does not feel that alcohol in a bowling alley is anything new, and said he would be supporting the project.
Member Gatt asked if Lucky Strike had considered, or would consider, not having the bars open around the electronic games until after 7:00 at night.
Mr. Scheidenhower said they would certainly consider this. They try to give as much latitude as possible to make educated decisions for their business.
Member Gatt said that to get his support that evening, this amendment would have to be included in the motion. He agreed with Mayor Pro Tem Landry that a bar is part of a bowling alley. However, a bar around electronic games that invite 13 to 16-year-olds to play without their parents causes concern. He said that to gather his support, the motion would have to contain something mandating that the bar would stay closed until after 7:00 p.m.
Mr. Scheidenhower asked if it would be possible to have some way to segregate that bar. That bar is very critical to Lucky Strike operationally to make sure that it can provide quick service to customers that are in the facility. Because of the size of the facility, it would be a very long run from one of the other bar locations.
Member Gatt commented that he had a problem with the bar being located so close to the electronic games when kids are invited to play them without their parents. For his support, the motion needed to contain something that would close the bar area off until 7:00.
Mayor Csordas asked Member Gatt if he was requesting a friendly amendment.
Member Gatt replied that he was.
Member Capello and Mayor Pro Tem Landry agreed to the friendly amendment, that the bar nearest the electronic games will not open until 7:00 p.m.
Mr. Edwards said that from a technical point of view, this type of amendment could not be sent into the Liquor Control Commission, which does not accept these types of amendments. The City could certainly pass a second resolution that qualifies this, but it could not be contained in the Michigan Liquor Control Commission resolution. Otherwise, the amendment will be rejected and just sent back to the City.
Mr. Fisher agreed that the City could not send an additional resolution to the LCC, but said Council could provide an agreement that the City would execute that would be enforceable by the City but not the LCC. That agreement would be executed prior to the Clerk’s office sending the approval to the LCC.
Member Capello asked if the amendment would be to transfer the license under the condition that a separate agreement is entered into relative to bar #2 not opening for the sale of alcoholic beverages only until after 7:00 p.m.
Mr. Fisher replied that this was correct, with the understanding that the actual resolution sent to the LCC would be unconditional.
Member Capello and Mayor Pro Tem Landry agreed to the friendly amendment.
Member Gatt said that he was ok with this amendment. Member Gatt asked who would enforce this agreement.
Mr. Fisher replied that in the first instance, the police department would enforce the agreement. If the problem went beyond this, Council would make a legal decision as to how to deal with it.
Member Paul said she had a large concern with bar #2 being present at all. She does not feel that children, games, and alcohol mix at all. She did not support the project before, and said she would not be supporting it at this time. Seven bars is a lot. A bowling alley usually has one bar, which she can understand since a bowling alley is a large facility. She does not feel that 7 bars is a good idea no matter how big the complex is. The game area is surrounded by bars. Even after 7:00 p.m., children will be present. Her problem was not just serving alcohol until after 7:00, but the whole premise of serving alcohol at all with children present. She commented that Lucky Strike seems like a good project, but she feels that there are too many bars being placed in the establishment.
Mayor Csordas noted that in Council’s packet the reviewing departments had no objection to a liquor license transfer. Council also received a memo from Chief Shaeffer at the police department that there was no reason to deny the transfer, which was why he would support the motion.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-03-101 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Csordas
Nays: Lorenzo, Paul
2. Consideration of request to transfer ownership of 2003 12 months Resort Class C liquor license located at 26817 Beck (Westbrooke Golf Course) from Fifeshire, Ltd. To Advent, Inc. at the same location.
Scott Edwards stated that he was also in attendance to represent this item as well for Advent, Inc. In essence, Advent has been running the golf course under a management contract with the owner. Advent will now be acquiring all of the personal property and the liquor license, which is a transfer for Liquor Control Commission purposes. Nothing will change in the operations. Advent will continue to be at the same location, which was a very important consideration of the Planning Commission. The City will not see any difference in the operations of the Westbrooke Golf Course as a result of this transfer.
Member Paul asked what would happen to this part of the facility when Providence builds its hospital.
Mr. Edwards replied that the golf course will go away, and the liquor license will go away with it as well.
Member Paul asked where the liquor license will go.
Mr. Edwards replied that this was a transferable liquor license. Presumably, Advent would sell the license to someone else in Oakland County.
Member Paul asked if the license would go to anywhere else in Oakland County at that point.
Mr. Edwards replied that this was correct.
Member Paul asked how much money a liquor license will typically be sold for.
Mr. Fisher replied that he had no idea what the license would sell for.
Mr. Edwards stated that $55,000 to $60,000 is about the going rate now.
Member Paul asked if Advent was only seeking a one-year extension to this liquor license.
Mr. Edwards said that should the hospital be expanded and the golf course be taken away after a year, then yes.
CM-04-03-102 Moved by Capello, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve request to transfer ownership of 2003 12 months Resort Class C liquor license located at 26817 Beck (Westbrooke Golf Course) from Fifeshire, Ltd. To Advent, Inc. at the same location.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-03-102 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Paul, Csordas, Landry
3. Approval of Resolution adopting the Water Distribution Study and Master Plan.
CM-04-03-103 Moved by Landry, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Resolution adopting the Water Distribution Study and Master Plan.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-03-103 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello
4. Approval of amendment to Agreement for Entry of Consent Judgment and Consent Judgment to allow single family residential development on all or a portion of the Sandstone property, and confirm regulations applicable to such development.
CM-04-03-104 Moved by Landry, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve amendment to Agreement for Entry of Consent Judgment and Consent Judgment to allow single family residential development on all or a portion of the Sandstone property, and confirm regulations applicable to such development.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-03-104 Yeas: Lorenzo, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
5. Approval of conceptual site plan for development of a portion of the Sandstone property, subject to submission and approval of the final site plan.
CM-04-03-105 Moved by Landry, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve conceptual site plan for development of a portion of the Sandstone property, subject to submission and approval of the final site plan.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-03-105 Yeas: Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo
6. Approval of one year extension for construction period and corresponding extension of existing tax abatement for one year period – Novi Expo Center, and approval of change in ownership name.
Mayor Csordas offered a clarification. The word extension was used regarding expanding the existing tax abatement. This was not truly an extension, but was rather taking the period of the abatement and moving it back one year in its entirety.
Blair Bowman, representing BoCo Enterprises and T-BON, LLC., 43700 Expo Center Dr., said the Mayor’s summation was an accurate representation of the extension. He had actually made 3 requests originally with regards to the tax abatement issue. After clarification with the State, BoCo is limited in its ability to come back, and must wait until the last year of the abatement to ask for additional years. He wanted to place on the record that he would be back in 7 ½ years for the request. The company is excited and is looking forward to working with the permitting activity and getting things started as early as next month.
Member Lorenzo asked for clarification as to what, exactly, the request to Council was that evening. She asked Mr. Bowman what the year, beginning to end, was in number 9 on the original application.
Mr. Bowman replied that there is typically a 3-year period for completing construction from the time that the community acts on the abatement. When the commission approves an abatement, everything is forwarded to a December 31st date as far as an effective day. His time frame for completion of construction is currently December 31st of this year.
Member Lorenzo asked when the start day was.
Mr. Bowman replied that this would have been anytime after Council’s taking action. His company’s estimation at the time was sometime within a year or so after the approval. However, with the infrastructure delays, they were not in a position to move forward with the matter. This is exactly the reason for that 3-year parameter. In the case of BoCo’s approval there was apparently no specific indication given that it was a 3-year time frame. In that case, only a 2-year time frame is assumed, and the company has to go back and ask for the 1-year extension that is allowed under the statute. If Council was inclined to grant the request, the construction period would move to December 31st, 2005 for completion.
Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Bowman if he was at the point of the assumed 2 years, and now he had to ask for an extension.
Mr. Bowman replied that this was correct. There is a provision in the statute that allows for a 1-year extension at the community’s behest. If Council is inclined to do so, the matter is a processing action, not an approval action, at the State. The statute calls for up to a 3-year period. If the amount of time is silent, the State assumes a 2-year period and he would have to come back for the 1-year extension.
Member Lorenzo asked how it would affect the tax abatement if Council did not grant the extension that evening.
Mr. Bowman said BoCo would be forced to somehow attempt to guarantee with their contractor, which given the time frame and the conditions that exist in Michigan with regard to construction time frames, and somehow try to guarantee that construction would be done by December 31st. If not, then the abatement would be void as it relates to any improvements past December 31st.
Member Lorenzo asked what would happen if the project was only half-completed.
Mr. Bowman replied that only half of the real property improvements would be abated.
Member Lorenzo asked if this meant that instead of $6 million, Mr. Bowman would only receive $3 million.
Mr. Bowman responded that he did not know that this would be the exact dollar figure. It would depend on how much of the project was done, what the value of the completed work was valued at, and other factors.
Member Lorenzo asked if Council was, in essence, re-approving the tax abatement that evening.
Mr. Bowman replied that this was not correct. This is exactly what is contemplated under the statute. He would like to obtain what is normal and allowable under the statute in typical construction situations. In their case, this was a complicated project with a number of things that had to be accomplished to take place over a reasonable period of time, which is a 3-year period. BoCo is asking just to obtain the 1-year extension.
*Member Nagy arrived at 8:44 p.m.
Member Lorenzo said that in essence, if the City did not grant the extension, there would be much less of an abatement unless BoCo could somehow meet the construction deadlines by December 31st.
Mr. Bowman said he wished to characterize the situation differently. He liked to think that the company is cooperating with the community and looking towards some reasonable requests in action in order to help a complicated and difficult project to proceed forward. These types of projects are typically fully government subsidized, completely at the taxpayers’ expense, and subsidized at a loss every year. BoCo is merely asking for minor assistance from the community as it relates to a single significant act that the community can do to help the project maintain feasibility and viability going forward. If BoCo is only able to expect a half-abatement on a portion of the project, this would have a complete detriment on the project, and it would have to be completely reevaluated.
Member Lorenzo commented that the request was more complicated than what she had thought when she first heard the request. She said she would remain consistent and would not support the extension. She did not support the original abatement because, though it was no reflection on Mr. Bowman or his project per se since he took something that was nothing and made the Expo Center special, but she had to look at the matter from a revenue-generating and land use perspective. The City does not give tax abatements to residential property. In her opinion, tax abatements should only be considered for very high-tech companies that will bring in very high tax revenues to the City with very low demand on City services, and will bring in high paying jobs. It is no reflection upon Mr. Bowman and his business, but the types of jobs that will be available at the new Expo Center will not be high paying jobs as in a high-tech industry. She wished Mr. Bowman well in moving forward, but said she would remain consistent in her philosophy from the previous time when she did not approve the tax abatement.
Member Nagy asked Mr. Bowman when the Expo Center project was originally supposed to be started.
Mr. Bowman replied that the abatement is actually tied to a completion date, which was supposed to be December 31st of 2004. With the delays that occurred from major infrastructure issues and the "political football" that that became from a time frame perspective, BoCo was not willing to move forward with its project with the very real specter of the Beck Road interchange possibly not being completed.
Member Nagy asked when the new completion date would be.
Mr. Bowman replied that with the 1-year extension, the completion date would be December 31st, 2005. He would expect to be done well ahead of that if BoCo is able to get underway in the early part of the spring, which they expect to do.
Member Nagy asked Mr. Bowman if he meant that the project would begin this spring of 2004.
Mr. Bowman replied that this was correct.
Member Nagy asked Mr. Bowman to explain what the Beck interchange had to do with his project.
Mr. Bowman said that the traffic impact study that BoCo was required to do considered that the Beck Road interchange would be a background improvement that would be in place within a relatively reasonable and short time in transportation terms from when the Expo Center is completed. At the time, they were looking at a 6-month to 1-year window of the Expo Center potentially opening and the interchange being completed. The Beck Road interchange will act as one of three interchanges that they hope to service the Expo Center. However, Beck Road is clearly the one that will be utilized the most. If they can avoid it, they do not want a repeat of any long term problems with traffic.
Member Nagy asked if with the new location, whether or not the Beck interchange went in would not have impacted the traffic study that was brought forward to the Planning Commission.
Mr. Bowman replied that this absolutely would have impacted that study. In the study, Beck Road itself is improved at the intersection of Grand River; the Grand River project was a part of servicing the facility; and the Road Commission made sure that the detour route from Wixom to Beck Road was done. All of that entire infrastructure package was very important, and they expressed concerns as to what would have been impacted if that interchange was not reinstated.
Member Nagy asked if BoCo was ready to move forward if Council granted him the extension.
Mr. Bowman replied that this was correct, as they are anxious to move forward. The company still has some other final details with regards to the permitting process and things like that, but they are hoping to take care of those issues soon.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry commented that he did not see the item as any more than an administrative cleanup matter. Of the 3 items, the name change does not really make any difference; the 1-year extension for the construction period and the tax abatement remain. The City is not really extending the tax abatement. This is an 8-year tax abatement and it will remain an 8-year tax abatement. The effect of Beck Road should not be a surprise to anybody because it threw everyone for a loop. The City borrowed millions of dollars and had already put its millions up for the Beck Road interchange. When the State nixed the deal, the City did not know what it was going to do. He was not surprised that the nix placed this large project in a similar position. He asked the audience to not forget that one of the benefits seen to moving the Expo Center was to lighten traffic on Novi Road and I-96. It does not make sense to rebuild the Center and then still funnel all of the traffic to Novi Road and I-96. He was not surprised that the project was stalled a little bit. To him, this was really just an administrative matter to clean up.
CM-04-03-106 Moved by Landry, seconded by Gatt; MOTION CARRIED: To approve the request to execute an amended application for the industrial facility exemption, to provide endorsement of the name change for ownership of the project, and a one year extension for construction period and corresponding extension of existing tax abatement for one year period – Novi Expo Center.
Member Paul asked Mr. Bowman when he had the easement in front of his property that the water main needed to go across, what the dollar amount was that he sought for that easement.
Mr. Bowman replied that he thought that work was actually done prior to his owning the property.
Member Paul noted that there is a new water main coming under I-96. She recalled that there was a $200,000 ticket on that, and that Mr. Bowman now has a $50,000 amount that the City is giving him for the easement for the water main.
Mr. Bowman replied that he was not certain what the exact amount was. Because of the location of the particular water main in question that comes down the west side of the property, there was a substantial amount of property that was impacted. This was all done per appraisals and the typical acquisition process. BoCo is certainly willing to cooperate with this.
Member Paul said she was not part of the Council when the tax abatement was approved. She had looked through the abatement, and this is something that would apply to an assembly, manufacturing or research plant, which does not fit his project. Item G of the abatement discusses employment opportunities. She asked what the employment opportunities will be at the facility.
Mr. Bowman responded that BoCo was looking at a relatively conservative approach. He would like to think that there will be a range of employment opportunities. BoCo will be pursuing a new form of business. They are in the convention and exposition business, but are taking this to a new level, which is why the new Center is being built. In that improvement, one of the key pieces is the new conference and banquet center. This will be the second-largest such center in the state and it will hopefully hold major functions as well as the existing show base. Ultimately this tax abatement is a tool that was allowed for a local community to assist a private developer of exposition centers to qualify as an industrial facility under the definition. This is a unique situation. These things are normally entirely government subsidized to the full extent and operated at a loss every year to the taxpayers’ total cost. The community will actually gain additional tax revenues than what is being produced from the current very-underutilized property. The City will do better on the tax side of things, the employment opportunities will be vast, and as part of the Expo Overlay District, additional opportunities will occur like a hotel and service orientated out-lot developments. All of those, as well as the hundreds of construction jobs that the project itself will create, the over $200 million worth of direct economic spin off directly related to the project every single year to this community will occur, and he would argue that this project, unlike a typical manufacturer, has a greater direct economic impact. These types of projects are so sought after that in Grand Rapids, Lansing and Troy, communities give land, build parking structures, and seek $65 million from the State of Michigan. He is not seeking any of this, but is rather just asking Novi to help him with a modest tool available to help a private entrepreneur to do this.
Mayor Csordas commented that the abatement was not truly the issue that evening. Rather the consideration was the name change and the transfer of the time period to one year back.
Member Paul said she understood, but said she just wanted to understand the employment opportunities. She said she would support the motion.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-03-106 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Nagy, Paul
Wayne Hogan, 20973 Woodland Glen Dr., referred to the public hearing brochure that was distributed that evening. The access lanes next to the handicap parking spaces will be going straight on to the sidewalk, which removes a safety concern. He was happy to see the persons in wheelchairs that were included in a depiction inside the brochure. The accessibility also helps for strollers and other types of wheeled vehicles.
Andrew Mutch, 24740 Taft Road, noted that Council was familiar with the Sandstone items on the agenda, as these are discussed early in executive sessions. However, it is "a bit jarring" to have these items come onto the agenda and approved with no public discussion. If the Sandstone items were straight forward, akin to a consent agenda item, he could see this happening. It would have been helpful to discuss some of the policy issues in regards to the fact that Sandstone is being allowed to deviate from the ordinance language that they agreed to with RM-2 ordinance, applying R-4 residential district standards tot their development. To see 45-foot lots with 5-foot setbacks and 45% lot coverage will create an ugly development. He could not see how it would be attractive in any way, and it backs up to Twelve Mile Road, which is contradictory to the rationale used for giving the land away in the first place. He also had concerns because he felt that there were issues that were not addressed. Sandstone thrives on ambiguity in language. The City essentially approved a 305-home development with a couple of setback provisions and no real language that discusses where storm water runoff will go and whether there will be street trees. Absent these things, this could be a very unattractive development. Those are things that could have had some discussion to show how Council came to its position to approve the matter. He questioned what the benefit was to the City to allow Sandstone not to build according to the ordinance standards. Most people view single-family housing as preferable to multiple-family, but there is a difference between an R-4 lot and what was contemplated here. He hoped that at some point, the City will say "no" to Sandstone and ask them to abide by the language of the agreement.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
7. Consideration of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.182 to amend Ordinance Subsections 303.2, 303.2.a(1)(b), 303.2.a(1)(c) and 303.2.a(1)(d) of Ordinance 97-18, as amended, and to add Subsections 303.2.a(1)(e) and 303.2.a(1)(f) to said Ordinance, to modify the standards for Single-Family Detached Appearance Variations to also include the rear building elevations of single-family homes. - Second Reading
Member Capello said this item was sent by Council to the Planning Commission about a year and a half ago to address the rear facades of residential structures that abutted major thoroughfares. The draft that came back to Council went beyond what it was sent to the Planning Commission for, encompassed all rear building elevations of all subdivision homes, whether they abutted a major thoroughfare or just a backyard. In theory, he saw no sense in incurring the additional cost to the upcoming homeowners in Novi to require the similar/dissimilar ordinance to apply to rear building elevations within subdivisions, and would like the ordinance to remain as Council had directed the Planning Commission to examine it. This would be applied only to rear elevations of buildings that abutted major thoroughfares.
CM-04-03-107 Moved by Capello, seconded by Lorenzo; MOTION CARRIED: To approve of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.182, remaining in the form sent to the Planning Commission for examination, to apply only to the rear elevations of buildings which abut major thoroughfares, with the following revisions: Part I (2) shall read, "There shall be a variation in appearance in the development of front building elevations and rear building elevations of those residential lots that fall within the purview of section 303.2a(1)(d) hereof." This language shall be inserted Part 1 (2), Part 2 (a), Part 3 (a)(ii). In addition, subsection 303.2.A (1)(d), as referenced in the amendment language, should read "dwellings with a rear yard property line where 50% or more of the rear property line abuts the right-of-way line of a major thoroughfare or abuts an easement or open space that abuts a major thoroughfare, where 50% or more of the rear property line is within 30 degrees of being parallel to the right-of-way line of the major thoroughfare and is within 50 feet of the right-of-way line of the major thoroughfare. Dwelling structural form shall be considered to be with a common rear property line. Diagrams d.1 and d.2 shall be stricken, and Part VII (e) and diagram e.1 shall be stricken. (These relate to the rear elevations within subdivisions.) The review fee for rear facades shall be $33.00 to the builder.
Member Capello said that the City should not be concerned if the subdivision property line actually does not run parallel to a major thoroughfare. Therefore, the back of the house really does not back up to the major thoroughfare. He referred to Beck Road as an example; there are the obvious houses which Council has referenced before. The last house there is on a parallel going off of the major thoroughfare, and one does not realize that that rear elevation is similar to the others because of the different angle. This is where the "within 30 degrees of being parallel" comes into play. If the property line is more than 50 feet off and there is an easement or open area, a person will not see the rear elevation anyways because it is far enough away from the major thoroughfare.
Mayor Csordas noted that Member Paul had asked Mr. Guidobono to come to the podium for discussion.
Mr. Guidobono said that the builders are willing to cooperate with the City on this ordinance and make a compromise position similar to Member Capello’s stated motion regarding homes backing up to major thoroughfares. This was the original intent of the City in creating this ordinance. He wished to let Council know that the builders were taking the compromising position.
Member Lorenzo said that since Member Capello’s motion included the component regarding major thoroughfares, she would support the motion.
Member Nagy noted that one of the reasons which the ordinance came revised out of the Planning Commission Implementation Committee was that Member Capello had talked about beautifying thoroughfares. She could understand the desire for changes in the cost that would be applied towards making changes that Council would like to see in the ordinance. She said she would be supporting the motion.
Member Paul asked Mr. Albertson to come forward for discussion. She noted that she had the privilege of working on this ordinance while she was a member of the Implementation Committee. One of the items discussed at length by that committee was open space areas that have common backyards. There are $500,000 homes that have the same rear yards. She said she was looking to not have this happen again. In several of the subdivisions that she is aware of there are sometimes 6, 7, up to 10 houses that are exactly the same from the rear façade. Sometimes the brick coloration might be different, but the exact home is rebuilt. The Implementation Committee did not want the ordinance to be very complicated, and only wanted 3 variations that could be interchanged every third house. Mr. Albertson was very diligent with her and they worked on this project. She noted his comment, as the City Architect, that the flat fee for review of the rear façade of the house would be $33 per house.
Mr. Albertson replied that this was correct. He had looked at this review fee from the standpoint of staff that would be involved, and the management review. This was the most reasonable cost that they could come up with. There will be an initial investment for the ordinance, but his firm reviews 200 to 350 houses a year. After they go through the initial training process, bring staff online, and work with contractors who do work in the City, this $33 fee should be the approximate cost incurred to perform the rear façade reviews.
Member Paul asked Mr. Guidobono if he realized that $33 was the cost that builders would incur for this review fee.
Mr. Guidobono replied that the cost would be more than $33. The cost does not only encompass the review fees that builders will be paying, but will also include fees paid to architects. In addition, the rear designs of homes will have to be changed. Typically homes are designed in a very efficient manner. To change this design to get the 25% discrepancy will typically add costs, such as switching from square windows to round windows or switching from hips to gables. The ordinance will increase construction costs and architectural costs. The actual review fee at the City level is probably the least expensive part of the ordinance from a sheer cost standpoint. Figuring in the time that a builder will need to deal with the ordinance in working with the homeowner, this will also cost time and money. This is how the Builders’ Association had come up with the figure of $2,000 to $25,000 as the impact cost, depending on the situation.
Member Paul said she felt that the $33 was a very nominal fee for a rear façade review.
Mr. Guidobono agreed and said he still felt this figure sounded "low." A home might have to go through 2, 3, or even 4 reviews. However, this was just one small cost from an ordinance that will cause other larger costs.
Member Paul asked Mr. Albertson what his idea was for the $33 fee if the review was denied the first time.
Mr. Albertson replied that his firm would expect the façade to come in and be designed in accordance with the ordinance. If the façade is not in accordance with the ordinance, he would expect to have to review it again, and would ask to be repaid to view it again.
Member Paul asked if the $33 would be a separate fee if the first review were denied.
Mr. Albertson replied that this was correct.
Member Paul asked Mr. Albertson how long it takes for a façade to be reviewed as it comes in to his company.
Mr. Albertson answered there is a specific review time allowed by the City. His company does not start that review time until they get other things in line with other reviewing agencies that might approve wetlands, woodlands or site plans. Normally, if they received the plan, they would receive feedback within one to two weeks from the other reviewing entities, would begin the review process, and would attempt to finish this within another two weeks of receiving the other information. This time varies from builder to builder with the information and how complete the plans are submitted. Builders have been making significant progress in getting the correct information to him on the first try.
Member Paul asked if the typical review process was between 2 and 4 weeks.
Mr. Albertson said he believed his company was allowed 20 working days, though he did not want to make a commitment that may not be accurate.
Member Paul thanked Mr. Albertson. She said her main objective was to never repeat Broadmoor Park again. She would have liked to have seen more of the ordinance go through. The major thoroughfare was her number one objective. She thanked Mr. Guidobono for looking into the ordinance and supporting that portion of the ordinance. She appreciated working with Mr. Albertson very diligently on the process, as they worked very hard to make the ordinance a "win-win" for everybody. $33 is a very fair fee for a rear façade review, but she did not realize the additional costs that would be incurred to builders.
Member Gatt said he appreciated Mr. Guidobono’s compromise on the matter. After Member Paul brought the issue up at the last meeting, he drove up and down Beck Road a number of times and agreed that the homes in question are strikingly similar. This compromise will prohibit the Beck Road problem from happening again. He said he would support the motion.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that it was "not that big of a deal" to build houses with different backs. Builders are going to come up with two or three different models and will pay the architectural fees one time. This will likely add cost to the process, but this will not be onerous. He did not have a problem applying a rear façade ordinance to the rear of all new houses, and said he would not support the motion.
Mayor Csordas commented that he very much appreciated the effort put forth by all the committees that came up with this complicated ordinance. He appreciated the compromise of the motion, and the cooperation between the building community and the City. This is a new future for the City. Everyone who has cooperated on the item has done a great service to the community. He said he could support the motion as it was presented. He expressed concern that the City might be over-regulating and over-legislating additional costs into homes for the future residents of Novi.
Mr. Pearson suggested that Council consider, as part of the motion, adopting the fee structure that Mr. Albertson had presented. This would enable the City to charge the $33 for the rear façade rather than the $100, and would prevent administration from needing to approach Council on the matter at a later date.
Member Capello asked if this part of the ordinance was where the fee structure belonged, or if it should be included in a different section of the ordinance that Council would need to amend.
Mr. Fisher replied that the fee structure would be supplemental to the ordinance, and would be similar to a fee resolution.
Member Capello asked Mr. Fisher if he would recommend including the fee structure in this particular ordinance amendment.
Mr. Fisher replied that Council could do so if it wanted, or it could make a separate motion.
Member Capello accepted the suggested friendly amendment, to amend the fee structure for rear façade reviews to $33. He asked if Council had to hold a public hearing or provide any public notice that it was amending the fee structure.
Mr. Fisher replied that to amend the fee structure required no public notice or hearing, but suggested that it be published.
Member Capello agreed to the friendly amendment, that the review fee for rear facades will be $33 to the builder.
Member Lorenzo also agreed to the friendly amendment.
Mr. Albertson noted that there is sometimes an administrative fee added to such reviews by the City. He did not know if there was a specific percentage involved, but suggested that the $33 fee may not be the final cost experienced by the contractor.
Mr. Pearson said the administrative fee is based upon the final rates, so the rear façade review did not have to deal with it.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-03-107 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo
8. Approval of Resolution authorizing establishment of escrow for retirement of 1998 Water & Sewer Revenue Bonds.
CM-04-03-108 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of Resolution authorizing establishment of escrow for retirement of 1998 Water & Sewer Revenue Bonds.
Mayor Csordas asked if the City has the money available to retire this debt.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that the City does have this money available, as the money is left over from the construction fund. This would be moved into an escrow account from the construction fund.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-03-108 Yeas: Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy
9. Approval of Resolution authorizing establishment of escrow for payment of debt on 1999 General Obligation Police Building Debt.
CM-04-03-109 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of Resolution authorizing establishment of escrow for payment of debt on 1999 General Obligation Police Building Debt.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-03-109 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
10. Approval to award bid for landscaping, weed cutting and mowing to Lazoen Hay & Feed with estimated annual amount of $133,027; and to B & B Lawn for the ice arena alternate in an estimated annual amount of $5,390.
Member Nagy asked what happened to Gerich Landscaping. She thought that the owner of that company lived in Novi.
Mr. McCusker replied that the City had 3 such contractors working for it last year, but it was not fully satisfied with the service of one of the contractors, so the whole package was sent out to bid. Those bids came back approximately 2 weeks ago. Administration went through the formal process of reviewing those bids and calling the references for the contractors. Gerish’s bid was about $5,000 higher than the recommended contractor. The City made extensive calls for references on Lazoen, and all provided quality references.
Member Nagy commented that she did not like to give contracts to a company that she was not familiar with, and she prefers to give contracts to Novi companies. She asked if the $5,000 difference ensured that the City could not instead opt for Gerich.
Mr. McCusker replied that the City felt that the $5,000 difference between the bids was too much to go with Gerich.
Member Nagy asked if the recommended action, awarding the bid to Lazoen, was Mr. McCusker’s recommendation.
Mr. McCusker replied that this was correct.
Member Lorenzo expressed concern that the bid award was for an "estimated annual amount."
Mr. McCusker said that when these bid requests are sent out, the City estimates a maximum of up to 27 cuts. Depending on when spring and winter start, there could be a gap of up to 29 weeks. This bid was set up for 27 cuts; the actual number could be a little bit less or a little more.
Member Lorenzo asked how many more cuts might be needed than 27.
Mr. McCusker replied that there have been some winters where the City has cut until December. There have been others when there was snow on the ground before Halloween.
CM-04-03-110 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve to award bid for landscaping, weed cutting and mowing to Lazoen Hay & Feed with estimated annual amount of $133,027; and to B & B Lawn for the ice arena alternate in an estimated annual amount of $5,390.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-03-110 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - None
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Woodland Review Board – Member Paul
Member Paul inquired what was being done with the Woodlands Review Board.
Mr. Helwig replied that it was his understanding that there are still several openings available on the Woodlands Review Board. Advertisements have been made for these. In the meantime, Council decided that the Planning Commission shall perform the Board’s function until the Woodlands Review Board is appropriately constituted by the City Council. He suggested that an update could be provided to Council in the next Thursday packet.
Member Paul replied that this would be fine.
2. South Lake Drive – Member Nagy
Member Nagy recalled that at a meeting in February she had brought forward the vortechnics issue, and had also brought forward what Dr. Tilton had said to her verbatim. She said she would like a response from administration regarding whether or not a stormceptor has been put in, and if not, why a vortechnics was not being substituted for a stormceptor. She also requested an answer as to how the road at South Pointe would be fixed where it is flooded. She wants to make sure that the road will be cut versus being ground down.
Mr. Helwig said there were other issues that Member Nagy had raised at the February meeting. Administration had perhaps misinterpreted her comment not to rush to mean this spring when restoration work is underway. He said a report of the first two issues could be provided to her in the Thursday packet. The other issues could be answered at a later time.
Member Nagy said the other issues could be deferred. She had a strong concern about vortechnics, and said that many independent studies have shown that they work better. She would appreciate a report on vortechnics by the end of the month if possible.
3. Walled Lake Drainage Complaint – Member Nagy
Member Nagy said that Council should consider what it desires and anticipates the Storm Water Committee to do. It seems like the major function of the ordinance has been accomplished. She wondered if at some point Council would want to sunset this committee or not. A resident, as well as a member of the Committee, brought forward a concern about a part of Walled Lake near Bristol Corners. There is a stream being formed in a riverbed, and residents had cut down a berm and vegetation, which has caused problems. There was an issue regarding who owned the property and whose responsibility it was.
Mr. McCusker stated that the City has apprised Oakland County of the situation, and they have told the City that it is not their jurisdiction. Oakland County said they did not feel the drainage would affect the lake levels at all because the stream is on higher ground than the lake. The County said it would provide a letter through the lakes’ area engineer, Steve Korth. The City also contacted the DEQ to inquire about jurisdiction and who can actually do work on the shoreline, as well as Arnie Serlin, who owns the land that is draining into the wetlands, to see what he might do to relieve some of the concerns of residents in the area. Mr. Serlin has not called the City back yet. Oakland County is responding, and the DEQ has not yet called the City back.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION – None
CM-04-03-111 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn to executive session.
Voice Vote on CM-04-03-111 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Council adjourned to executive session at 9:37 p.m.
Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by Steve King
Date approved: April 5, 2004