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REGULAR MEETING OF
THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Csordas called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Cub Scout Pack No.54 – Den No.1
Leaders: Alan Reynolds & Tim Horan
Cubmaster: Frank Maynard
Members: James Allen, Peter Colmery, Matthew Hall, Jordan Horan, Krishnan Manivannan, Parker Maynard, Blake Reynolds
ROLL CALL: Mayor Csordas, Mayor Pro Tem Landry, Council Members Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy and Paul
ALSO PRESENT: Rick Helwig – City Manager
Craig Klaver – Chief Operating Officer
Gerald Fisher – City Attorney
Clay Pearson – Assistant City Manager
Doug Shaeffer – Police Chief
Dave Evancoe – Planning Director
Nancy McClain – City Engineer
Art Lenaghan – Fire Chief
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Nagy added two items to Mayor and Council Issues: Storm Water Stewardship Committee, and South Lake.
Member Lorenzo added item #3 to Mayor and Council Issues, Sunsetting of the Walled Lake Ad Hoc Committee.
Member Paul said she was going to place the Sunsetting of the Walled Lake Ad Hoc Committee under Special Committee Reports.
Mayor Csordas said the item would be placed under both Special Committee Reports and Mayor and Council Issues.
Member Paul added Fire Department Emergency Response Time, and Planning Commission Legal Training, under Mayor and Council Issues.
CM-04-05-154 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.
Voice Vote on CM-04-05-154 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
1. Proclamation declaring May as Mental Health Month
Mayor Csordas presented a proclamation to Jeff Brown, Deputy Executive Director, and Wayne Hogan of the Oakland Community Mental Health Authority, declaring May as Mental Health Month. Mental health is critical for peoples’ well-being and vitality, as well as that of our families, communities and businesses. The World Health Organization found that mental illnesses rank first in terms of causing disability in the United States.
Mr. Brown, on behalf of both the Oakland Community Mental Health Authority and their partner in Novi, Community Network Services, as well as the Macomb Oakland Regional Center, thanked the City for the proclamation.
2. Proclamation declaring National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive Day –
May 8, 2004
Mayor Csordas read a proclamation declaring May 8, 2004 as National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive Day. On May 8, 2004, in addition to delivering the mail, thousands of letter carriers will be picking up food donations to help feed the hungry. This drive is the largest one-day food drive in America and all food collected will stay in the community that it is collected from. To participate, people only have to put non-perishable food donations by their mailbox on Saturday, May 8, 2004.
1. Woodham Water Main Extension – Special Assessment District 171
Mr. Helwig noted that this was the final public hearing for the item before Council would be asked to take an action on the matter.
Mayor Csordas opened the hearing for public comment.
There being no public comment, Mayor Csordas closed the hearing.
2. Proposed 2004-2005 Budget
Mr. Helwig said that prior to Council’s final vote on the proposed 2004-2005 budget, which must be no later than May 17th, a public hearing is required. The budget message has been running on the internet for a month. Council has had two budget work sessions prior to the one scheduled for that Wednesday, May 5th.
Mayor Csordas opened the hearing for public comment.
There being no public comment, Mayor Csordas closed the hearing.
Member Paul said the Walled Lake Ad Hoc Committee was in existence before she sat on Council for approximately six months. The Committee was extended for another six months. The main part of the agenda for this committee was public education. After being on the Committee for several months, it was realized that there was a fair amount of duplication of services. The Committee tried to get some money from Master Green and Tru-Green, but that did not come through with enough money to cover expenses for sending educational materials to homeowners around Walled Lake. The Committee believes it can cover the educational materials through the Neighborhood Services Department and not duplicate any financial resources already allocated. It is also the recommendation of Mr. McCusker to disband this committee.
CM-04-05-155 Moved by Paul, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To disband the Walled Lake Ad Hoc Committee.
Voice Vote on CM-04-05-155 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
2. CITY MANAGER
Mr. Helwig asked Chief Shaeffer to provide an update on suspicious incidents of males purportedly tracking juveniles near schools and going to and from homes. He wanted to provide the chief with an opportunity to share with the community.
Chief Shaeffer said that approximately a week and a half ago there were two separate incidents in the community where young children were approached by strangers and asked to get into vehicles. No abductions took place, as the children fled and went to the nearest occupied areas and asked for help. An investigation has been continuing since that time. The Police Department raised the alert flag by notifying the community through the use of the media. Schools were also very quick to disseminate that information and have a very good communication system. Unfortunately, the police are still looking for two particular suspect vehicles and the people involved with those: one is a red sports-type car with a spoiler on the rear, and the other is a very old, rusty, light-colored vehicle. The police have received numerous tips that officers are following up on and investigating. There have not been any abduction attempts since the noted events. Parents should use these events as a means for educating their children to run and get help if approached by a stranger.
Member Paul commended Chief Shaeffer for getting information to the schools as quickly as possible. One day after the incidents, all children from both schools came home with a flyer describing the incidents, the vehicles, and the suspects. The cooperation between the schools and the Police Department was wonderful, and she appreciated Chief Shaeffer coming forward to inform those without children.
3. DEPARTMENTAL - None
4. ATTORNEY - None
Ginger Barrons, 24300 Meadowbrook Road, said she would be speaking on behalf of the Western Wayne Oakland Association of Realtors. In early March, Council had an issue on the agenda regarding sign ordinances. At that time, there was a comment made about concerns with the way realtors use signage in the community. She immediately had come down and asked that Council cooperate by having a meeting involving realtors regarding temporary signage. That meeting did not happen. She inquired to find out why the meeting did not occur, and was referred to Cindy Uglow, who said she could not reach the realtor association. The association has 18 staff members that work Monday through Friday from 8:00 until 5:00. The realtor community has concerns regarding the sign ordinance, and because they were singled out they would like to address their concerns. It was printed in the Novi News that the association would be included in those discussions. On April 12th, she asked Mr. Klaver to establish a meeting with the Sign Committee from Western Wayne, which has not happened yet. She asked Council to instruct City staff to please set the meeting.
Cheryl Matthews, candidate for Oakland County Circuit Court Judge, noted that there is a primary on August 3rd. She has been an Oakland County Prosecutor for the past 13 years, the last as head of the Child Sexual Assault unit. She has convicted thousands of felons, including some that the community may know of, including the crazed gunman who shot a person in the Wixom Ford plant as well as several police officers. Recently, she tried and convicted Thomas Dittrich, the son of a car dealer, who was having sex with his daughter’s 13-year-old friend. Prior to being a prosecutor, she practiced corporate law for several years. She has the strong endorsement of law enforcement, including Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard, the Police Officer’s Association of Michigan, the Michigan Association of Police, and the Fraternal Order of Police. She also has the support of numerous judges across the County. She asked for the City’s support.
Paul Bohn, attorney for the Krstovski family, said his client was not on the agenda for an action item, which he believed was a miscommunication on behalf of his client. Council had received a letter for the Krstovski family, letter #3 on the agenda, which pertained to a request for a building permit. The family came because the request that is before the Building Department on an administrative process is for a single-family home on two residential lots that will be combined and made into one lot. The conundrum that they are faced with is this: through the normal administrative channels of building permit review, a wetlands assessment was performed by Tilton & Associates. Through several iterations of the original building plan for this single-family home, the wetland impact was reduced and reduced again, consistent with the City’s ordinances and the Krstovski’s desires to maintain a very rural and natural yard. The final iteration and review process resulted in a finding that the administrative permit for the home was issued. The administrative review of this project, as it pertains to wetlands, was released finally on April 15th, the third design of this home. At that time, the design found that the fill amount was less than 300 cubic yards, significantly less than 2700 square feet of impact area. Dr. Tilton released an approval letter on April 15th. Sometime between April 15th and April 22nd, Dr. Tilton or JCK reviewed the information that they had, and opined that in earlier calculations, the same that were submitted in the original application in March and re-reviewed three more times, an error was not caught. The policy and procedure that Dr. Tilton employs in the calculation of fill resulted in an additional 100 cubic yards not being included. The permit application went from 298 cubic yards to almost 400 cubic yards. This is a non-floodplain request. All of the activity is not in a floodplain. Oftentimes the amount of fill in a floodplain is a determinative issue, but this is a non-floodplain context. On April 15th, the Krstovski’s had a final approval letter, and Mr. Krstovski made irretrievable commitments from his construction loan for a single-family home. The materials were ordered and paid for, but on April 22nd he was informed that the earlier approval of April 15th was repealed. From a timing perspective, it will be a great hardship to the Krstovski’s to go back through the Planning Commission and then to the City Council. They do not object to the rationale or Dr. Tilton’s reanalysis. The conundrum for his client is being caught in the middle and having made money commitments.
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Pearson to meet with Mr. Krstovski and his attorney the next day to work the situation out in accordance with the City’s ordinances.
Tom Horrigan, 996 Springfield, City of Northville, said he spoke at the previous meeting about the deaths of Christopher Fugate and Daniel Lutz, two wrongful death cases involving Hooters. He asked to speak about Tina Foster, Jennifer Adamsky, and Jennifer Odom. Tina Foster was an aspiring actress and worked as a Hooters waitress for less than two months. Christopher Hayes said he would pay her $200 to take modeling photographs, and she agreed; she was later found strangled. Keeping with the testimony of the psychotherapist Jeffrey Clark in the Texas Appellate Court case, this type of establishment attracts individuals of this nature more so than a typical establishment. Jennifer Adamsky was 18 years old and had been working at Hooters for less than a week when she was attacked by a customer. Renee Vargas followed her into a woman’s restroom and began choking and punching her, ramming her head into the wall and other objects. At the last Council meeting, he did not have time to discuss Jennifer Odom, whose case troubles him the most. Jennifer Odom was 13 when the school bus dropped her off 200 yards from her house, but she never made it home. That afternoon, Jennifer was wearing a Hooters jacket. There is no direct evidence, since the murderer was never found, but people must ask if that Hooters jacket was a psychological trigger to the murder of this young child. When Hooters of Novi’s patrons become too aggressive towards a waitress, Hooters will put them out on the sidewalk of the mall, an area frequented by females. He asked Council to reread the conclusions of the Texas Court. That court said that Hooters would pose a danger to the safety and welfare of the local community youth, especially females. He added that the Second City and Lucky Strike would be an asset to the community.
Wayne Hogan, 20973 Woodland Glen Drive, thanked Council for making the women’s and men’s restroom handicap restroom stalls more accessible. The work was done recently, and he wanted to thank the City and make sure the community was aware of this work.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
CM-04-05-156 Moved by Landry, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Consent Agenda as presented.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-156 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
CONSENT AGENDA: (Background information for Consent Agenda items is available for review at the City Clerk’s Office)
A. Approve minutes of:
B. Approval of Final Pay Estimate Number 37 and Final Balancing Change Order Number 17 for the Taft Road Extension, Bridge, Water Main, Sanitary Sewer & Wetland Mitigation project to Waterland Trucking Company in the amount of $5,200.00.
C. Acceptance of sanitary sewer and corresponding 20-foot sanitary sewer easement from the Springs II Apartments over parcel 50-22-04-200-013.
D. Award bid to Manage and Administer the FY 2004-2005 Community Development Block Grant Minor Home Repair Program to Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency in the amount of $9,932.00.
E. Acceptance of water main and corresponding 20-foot water main easement from Extended Stay America 680, Inc., 21555 Haggerty road, parcel #50-22-36-200-030.
F. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 672
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Approval of Resolution Number 5 for Woodham Drive Water Main Extension – Special Assessment District Number 171 setting the roll and creating the project.
CM-04-05-157 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Resolution Number 5 for Woodham Drive Water Main Extension – Special Assessment District Number 171 setting the roll and creating the project.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-157 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas
2. Reconsideration of request from Hooters of Novi, LLC to transfer ownership of 2001 Class C liquor license with Dance Permit from R.H.F. Enterprises, Inc., 2635 E. Highland to 44375 Twelve Mile, Suite G-155, Novi, MI, (Fountain Walk) and request for a new Entertainment Permit.
CM-04-05-158 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To reconsider request from Hooters of Novi, LLC to transfer ownership of 2001 Class C liquor license with Dance Permit from R.H.F. Enterprises, Inc., 2635 E. Highland to 44375 Twelve Mile, Suite G-155, Novi, MI, (Fountain Walk) and request for a new Entertainment Permit.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-158 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry
Charles Lane noted that Hooters is seeking the issuance of a liquor license. He was available in the event that Council had any questions for the applicant.
CM-04-05-159 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Gatt; MOTION CARRIED: To deny the request from Hooters of Novi, LLC to transfer ownership of 2001 Class C liquor license with Dance Permit from R.H.F. Enterprises, Inc., 2635 E. Highland to 44375 Twelve Mile, Suite G-155, Novi, MI, (Fountain Walk) and request for a new Entertainment Permit, based on the determination that the applicant’s request is not reasonable for the following findings: regarding question number nine, a finding that the issuance of a liquor license would have a negative effect on the health, welfare, and safety of the general public when measured against the evidence contained within this application and on the record; specifically, evidence that numerous MLCC violations have occurred at several corporate-owned locations in the state of Michigan, particularly a combined six sales to a minor violations, including two sales to a minor violations at one location; additionally, one sale to an intoxicated person at another location; additionally, a serving to a minor violation in the state of Florida which resulted in a wrongful death claim that was settled as part of a consent judgment; additionally, in the management of ten other alcohol/liquor businesses in Michigan, there have been nine liquor license violations, six involving service to minors as previously stated. The City has, for a number of years, been attempting to enhance its police to address important issues in the City. A disproportionate amount of police time is already being diverted to licensed establishments in the City of Novi. Particularly in view of the loss of substantial City revenue due to drastic cuts in State revenue sharing, the City is already struggling financially to ensure proper police protection in the City, which as noted is made more difficult by having valuable police time being drawn away from other matters in order to address problems at licensed establishments. Therefore, in the interest of protecting the public health, safety and welfare of the City, it would be unreasonable to approve this transfer to a licensee whose track record on violations demonstrates that the City would be likely to have more police time diverted away from other pressing matters in order to address this establishment. Regarding question number 12, a finding that the menu offered at Hooters is not unique when contrasted against other existing or proposed facilities, including Buffalo Wild Wings in close proximity. Additionally, the ordinance also focuses on whether the proposed facility is unique when contrasted against other existing facilities, as previously stated. The record in this matter shows that there are a number of very similar establishments such as sports bars in the City, many of which are in the immediate vicinity, including within the same shopping center. In the administration of a license that may be issued and transferred within the City, the ordinance reflects an intent to seek unique establishments so as to cater to the many and diverse interests of the citizens of Novi. Rather than meet this objective, the proposed license would be catering to the interests of that group of persons whose licensed establishment needs are already being well served. Therefore, the proposed license is not unique and fails to meet this standard. Also considering the proximity of similarly-situated licensed establishments, the proposal fails to conform with the standard that it would meet a public need or convenience for a license at this proposed location. Regarding question number 17, in addition to the findings with regard to question number nine, approving the license would not have a positive effect upon the surrounding neighborhood, including residential areas, churches, or schools. The record shows that there are a number of existing residences and schools in the immediate area. Moreover, the shopping center in which the establishment is situated actively attempts to market to bring children to the site. The consideration of the existing residences must be examined along with the residences and schools now located on the drawing board, including some 1,000 residential units on the Sandstone property across the street, and the new Catholic Central High School being developed. Accordingly, approving the request transfer would be contrary to the interests of the surrounding neighborhood and contrary to the public health, safety and welfare of the City of Novi, particularly the children of this City. Also regarding the latter part of question 12, a finding that the adult-oriented theme of the proposed facility as evidenced on the record is not compatible with the actual land use of the numerous family-oriented, kid-friendly establishments located at Fountain Walk and marketed to families and minor children by Fountain Walk management. The distance from Buffalo Wild Wings to Hooters is within 50 yards, and both are sports bars and licensed facilities to serve liquor.
Member Paul said the City has Emagine Theatre that is present with a liquor license. If Fountain Walk came before Council with AMC Theatre requesting a liquor license, she does not believe Council would grant the same type of business a liquor license. With Buffalo Wild Wings being present here first, the uniqueness criterion is something that is very important for the City to establish. Novi has many other areas with empty storefronts. The City should not have any areas with duplicated services, and this is one that she strongly agrees with.
Member Nagy said she would be supporting the motion. She felt that Member Lorenzo did a fine job in reiterating all of Council’s issues with regard to the transfer.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he would not be supporting the motion. At the April 19th meeting he spoke at length about the various reasons, based on the City’s ordinances, for which he believed Council did not have the right to say no to Hooters. There is one thing that bothers him about this process. The talk in the town for the last month has been Hooters. People who are opposed to Hooters are amazingly consistent: they don’t want Hooters because they feel the company is sexist, exploits women, and does not like the message the company sends. When he replies that he does not feel these reasons for opposition are a legal reason to stop the transfer, their response is amazingly consistent: the City ought to have the right to say that it does not like Hooters’ sexual message. Yet, this is not what he was hearing at the Council table. If Council truly feels that Hooters is sexist and the City does not want the restaurant in its town, it should come out and state this. Instead, people have said that Hooters is not unique. On April 19th, Council denied a liquor license to Hooters; the very next item on the agenda was the transfer of a liquor license for a Chinese restaurant. He questioned how unique a Chinese restaurant is, but Council granted the liquor license transfer to that restaurant. The police department found no reason to deny the liquor license to Hooters. What bothers him more than anything else about this is that it does not appear that the reasons Council has given for denying the transfer are the real reasons for the denial. For that reason, he will not support the motion.
Member Capello agreed with Mayor Pro Tem Landry that the only comment around town seems to be about Hooters. Many people have come to him and either complained or supported Hooters, but not one person has objected to Hooters who has actually been there. On the other hand, those who favor Hooters have been there, have been there with their families, and are not offended. He said he could not support the motion because he did not feel the City’s ordinances allow Council to deny Hooters a liquor license.
Member Gatt said that being a career law enforcement officer, he personally believes that Hooters is the type of establishment that will attract a younger crowd, and their record is terrible as far as he is concerned. Mayor Pro Tem Landry has said more than once that the Police Department approved the transfer. Member Gatt said he interpreted the Police Department’s comments to mean that they have no reason to not approve the transfer. He believes it is Council’s job to interpret what the Police Department investigated. They investigated, found nine violations in a couple of years, and based on this said they did not have a reason to deny the transfer. Council’s interpretation of those numbers may not coincide with the Police Department’s recommendation. It is his experience in law enforcement that a person is only caught doing something a miniscule part of the time. People speed and commit traffic violations, but usually are not caught. The same applies to liquor establishments. In Hooters’ case, they were caught nine times in two years, six or seven of those times were for selling to minors. This is not a good record, and the City’s Police Department cannot withstand the amount of patrol activities that would be required to make this a safe place.
Member Lorenzo remarked that serving alcohol is an awesome responsibility, as is reviewing liquor license applications at the Council table. In her opinion, Hooters has a terrible track record, both here in Michigan and out of state. To discount that track record and those violations and to minimize them does not do justice, and flies in the face of many efforts in Michigan to deter drinking and driving and youth drinking. Law enforcement steps up drunk driving arrests at certain times of the year, but this is done vigorously throughout the year. Parents and school districts sponsor parties for children at the schools to keep them away from alcohol during evenings of senior parties. Youth groups such as Novi Youth Assistance, the DARE program, and judges and courts in Michigan come up with innovative and successful programs in order to deter drinking and driving, deter youth drinking, and trying to prevent offenders from being back in the court room for the same type of offense. If Council or any council were to discount these types of violations, it flies in the face of those efforts. Anyone that would find that this is not sufficient reason to deny the application is sending a mixed message to the citizens in Michigan. People cannot have all the efforts to deter youth from drinking and drinking and driving, but then say that even with all of these violations it is ok to grant a liquor license application. If Council does not have a reason to deny the application based upon the alcohol-related violations that are very serious, then the whole process should be taken out of cities’ hands and given to the MLCC.
Member Nagy noted that much has been said about Hooters, both at the Council table and out in the community. With regard to the residents of this city, she believes that residents are allowed to have their opinion whether it is a legal opinion or not. This is their community, they have certain standards, and they are the ones who take their children to Fountain Walk. Whatever residents’ opinions are, they are entitled to those. All of the reasons stated in the motion, both at this meeting and at the last meeting, indicate that not all of the requirements in the application have been met. She feels that it is serious to have all of the liquor violations of one form or another. Council is to base its finding on the merits of the application, and in her opinion, Hooters does not meet the requirements of the application.
Member Paul said that item number 15 on the application had not been placed in the motion, "What is the proximity of the proposed business facility to other similarly-situated liquor licensed facilities?" She asked what the distance is between Buffalo Wild Wings and this facility. She asked to include this as part of the motion. The night that Council did not approve the liquor license, there was another liquor license that was granted for a Chinese restaurant. That restaurant was not in the same facility as another Chinese restaurant. This is why she looks at the uniqueness and the criteria as being very important.
Mr. Helwig noted that staff had walked the distance from Buffalo Wild Wings to Hooters, but had not paced the distance. He said Mr. Fisher had advised that the City could not leave this blank, so he suggested the distance is perhaps within 50 yards.
Member Paul noted that the distance from Buffalo Wild Wings to Hooters is within 50 yards, both being sports bars and licensed facilities to serve liquor. She asked the maker of the motion to include this as part of the motion.
Member Lorenzo said she would be agreeable to include this in the motion, as did Member Gatt.
Member Capello commented that the other license that Council granted on April 19th was for a Japanese restaurant. Directly across the street there is a Chinese restaurant. The City has two oriental restaurants in two shopping centers right across the street from each other. It is not as if there was no other oriental restaurant in the same proximity.
Mayor Csordas said that Council was once again addressing the liquor license for Hooters of America. All Council members have expressed their opinions, the papers have had their say, and the TV and radio media have had their fun at the City’s expense. As elected leaders of this community, he is pleased with the way that this Council and administration have conducted the debate. The petitioner is on record as being prepared to file legal action as a result of this Council’s previous vote regarding the liquor license request. Council is aware of the Police Department’s report, the opinion provided from the City’s Legal Department, and the opinions of the reviewing City departments. All have reported no reason to deny. The best advice that he has received in his years of public service with this City came from Don Saven eight years ago when he was trained to be a Planning Commissioner. Mr. Saven said there may be times when Mayor Csordas would disagree with an issue or a project placed before him, but if the petitioner meets all of the City’s ordinances, has complied with the underlying zoning, and received reports from the City professionals that there is no reason to deny, he must vote to approve. In this country there is a standard of property owner’s rights. Mr. Saven said that personal emotion would not serve the residents of the City well in any situation. As the elected leader of this community, he is in the precise scenario that Mr. Saven had projected. He is comforted that he has the pleasure of serving with one of the best groups of Council members ever elected to lead the City. He asked that Council set aside emotion and the opinions of people that are not responsible for the leadership of the City. If legal action is filed, the City will pay a price, regardless of the outcome. As such, he will maintain his resolve to avoid lawsuits, not raise taxes without the vote of the people, and do all that he can to maintain the budget surplus. He will not vote to deny the petitioner’s request for a liquor license.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-159 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
Nays: Csordas, Landry, Capello
3. Approval of distributing to surrounding communities, select utilities, and outside agencies, the 2004 Updated Master Plan for Land Use Draft.
CM-04-05-160 Moved by Capello, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone for one week distributing to surrounding communities, select utilities, and outside agencies, the 2004 Updated Master Plan for Land Use Draft, in order to include a GIS map to make the master plan more user-friendly.
Member Lorenzo said she would not support this item, as she believed it was premature. Council has not reviewed the actual master plan yet and weighed in on whether it agrees or disagrees with any of the changes. She was concerned about the cost of sending out this particular master plan, and then sending out additional information if Council chooses to change anything within that master plan. This would be a duplication of costs and of effort. Additionally, she does not believe that the document in its present form is very user-friendly. At the very least, the master plan needs an additional map that depicts more clearly the particular proposed changes to the master plan. As it stands now, one would have to take an existing master plan and the new master plan, and then start looking to determine where the changes are. She questioned what benefit it would be to send this document out to other communities and utility companies. Until the additional map is available and until Council actually weighs in on this plan, she suggested postponing sending the master plan out. This has been about a year or a year and a half in the process and she did not see why there was a rush to judgment on this master plan. Next to the budget, the master plan is the most important document that Council will review. She felt that the master plan was premature and would not have meaning or benefit to the people it would be sent to. It would be costly for the City to send additional information if Council chose to change anything in the plan.
CM-04-05-161 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Paul; MOTION WITHDRAWN: To postpone consideration To approve of distributing to surrounding communities, select utilities, and outside agencies, the 2004 Updated Master Plan for Land Use Draft. A GIS map should be created highlighting proposed changes to the plan.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he believed that the City would not be sending out the final plan, but just a plan for comment.
Mr. Fisher replied that this was correct.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if a plan were sent out and comments made which Council were to adopt, the City would not have to resend the master plan out for additional comments.
Mr. Fisher replied that this was correct as long as it was being done in good faith.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry felt that Member Lorenzo made a good point if the City was required to send the final plan out. If the only purpose of the State statute is that the City give notice to its neighbors, he did not feel that Council needed to wait. He would prefer to send out the master plan now, retrieve comments and consider all of them. The City does not have to wait until the last moment, as time may be an issue with the document.
Member Nagy asked Mr. Fisher if when Novi sends out its master plan to neighboring cities, if they have a prescribed period of time within which to respond.
Mr. Fisher replied that he believed they did.
Mr. Helwig said the time period for review by bordering communities, railroad companies and public utilities is 65 days. The time period for Oakland County to review is a range of 75 to 95 days.
Member Nagy asked if Council were to send out the master plan for review, approve the master plan in June, but then receive comments after the plan had been approved, what Council would do then.
Mr. Fisher said the statutory requirement would be very hollow if Council could pass the plan before receiving comments. Council would need to wait until the communities’ comments are obtained and reviewed.
Member Nagy felt that Mayor Pro Tem Landry’s comments were totally logical. She would support the motion to send out the master plan.
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Fisher if Council is obligated to make requested changes from surrounding communities.
Mr. Fisher said the City is obligated to solicit those communities’ input, but not obligated to make suggested changes.
Member Capello said he could not support the motion to postpone. The City does not have many neighbors to begin with, and wants to give those communities an opportunity to make comments before Council gets too fixed in the City’s plan because those communities might have some good ideas and suggestions, especially the County and utility companies.
Member Paul asked if when the master plan is copied, how many are being duplicated to send out. She asked if only enough are being duplicated to send out to the City’s neighboring communities, and if there are changes made, what the cost will be.
Mr. Evancoe said the City will send out one copy to each of the entities listed on the motion sheet, including the railroad company that operates within Novi, and the various public utilities including DTE and phone companies. He said there would be less than 25 entities to which the plan would be sent.
Member Paul asked if more than this number of plans would be made to have them on file.
Mr. Evancoe said the City has the master plan on file, both at the Library and with the City Clerk’s office and the Planning Department. Those are already completed and are viewable right now. At this point, with Council’s endorsement, the City is ready to send out the master plan to the identified entities.
Member Paul said Member Lorenzo had brought up an important point, to show where the actual changes to the plan have occurred. While Council knows the community, other communities might not know Novi as well. She asked if it would be difficult to insert those changes before the plan is sent out.
Mr. Evancoe replied that he did not believe this would be difficult to do.
Member Paul asked what time frame this would require.
Mr. Evancoe said the Planning Department would probably need one to two weeks to include the maps.
Member Paul asked if Council were to give the approval, if the Planning Department could make those changes and send out the draft copy to neighboring communities in about one week.
Mr. Evancoe said his department could do this. He wished to note that what neighboring communities are primarily interested in are the land uses that against their borders. He believes the majority, if not all of the changes recommended, are more internal to the geography of the community.
Member Paul said she would like to see the document sent out in a week, and she felt it would be beneficial for the plan to be user friendly. She suggested combining the two motions. Instead of postponing the matter, the distribution could be put off for one week to include the user-friendly GIS map with the changes overlay on it. She would like to make as few copies of the draft as needed because of the cost of producing it.
Member Lorenzo said she would withdraw her motion so that the original motion could be amended.
Member Paul restated that the amendment would be for a one-week postponement of the distribution to include a GIS map to make the master plan more user-friendly.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-160 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
4. Consideration of the request of PT Commerce for the second amendment to the development agreement, covering property located in Section 1, north of Thirteen Mile Road and west of M-5, for the purpose of clarifying outstanding facade and environmental preservation issues.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that he is usually not one to agree to change a requirement in a development agreement. It is his understanding from reading the request that the Building Department is saying that it is in the City’s best interest for Council to allow the façade waiver so that a better product for the City will be built.
Mr. Evancoe said that it was the City’ façade consultant, Nordstrom, Sandstrom, and Associates, that recommended this be approved in order to make for a better architectural product on the site.
CM-04-05-162 Moved by Landry, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the request of PT Commerce for the second amendment to the development agreement, covering property located in Section 1, north of Thirteen Mile Road and west of M-5, for the purpose of clarifying outstanding facade and environmental preservation issues.
Member Capello asked Mayor Pro Tem Landry if he was asking to remove the two items that set forth, "Not less than fifteen (15) acres of the wetlands on the Land and not less than half (5 ½) acres of woodlands on the Land…", and insert the two recommended language items.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said this was correct.
Member Paul said that on the back page, it said "remove", and switched to the 15 acres of wetlands and the five acres of woodlands to the view of the reverse for the insert. She asked if this was an oversight in wording.
Mr. Evancoe said this was a transposition in wording.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-162 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo
5. Consideration of ordinances to amend City of Novi Code of Ordinances to assemble regulations related to maintenance in a single ordinance - Second Readings
Ordinance No. 04-104.03 to amend Chapter 21 "Nuisances" to a single ordinance.
Ordinance No. 04-23.24 to amend Chapter 22 to add a provision relating to smoking in public places to Chapter 21 "Nuisances."
Ordinance No. 04-81.22 to amend Chapter 33 to remove Div. 5 snow emergencies; sidewalks to be cleared; and Div. 6 storage of inoperable and dismantled motor vehicles which will be relocated to Chapter 21 "Nuisances."
Ordinance No. 04-88.07 to amend Chapter 16 in order to delete sections relating to refuse hours of collection, litter and construction debris, which will be relocated to Chapter 21 "Nuisances."
Ordinance No. 04-125.17 to amend Chapter 37 to add an article relating to dead, damaged, or dangerous trees on private property, which is being moved from Chapter 21 "Nuisances."
Ordinance No. 04-162.01 to amend Chapter 7 to add portable toilets which will be relocated to Chapter 21 "Nuisances."
CM-04-05-163 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of ordinances to amend City of Novi Code of Ordinances to assemble regulations related to maintenance in a single ordinance - Second Readings
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-163 Yeas: Paul, Csordas, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy
Ginger Barrons, 24777 Glenda, said that regarding the Hooters issue, the City had been faced with a very large lawsuit in the past. She was sure that Council members gave that a great deal of weight when they made their decision. Not everybody who was not in favor of Hooters has not been in Hooters. There was a lot of discussion about the sexual connotation of Hooters, and she feels that the company brings this upon itself with the name that it has chosen for its establishment. She believes that this is not why the transfer did not pass. She knows that because the issue came before Council three times that it gave the transfer very serious consideration and looked at all of the requirements. She does not believe that Council has to agree with a police report, as it is Council’s job to look at the report and evaluate the information that is before it. She asked how it could be judged how serious an incident of serving to a minor was. When an auto accident kills a child, she wondered how it is judged that a malfunction in a car was responsible, but because it only happens so many times it is ok. In her opinion as a mother and a citizen, one violation of an ordinance of serving to minors is something that she would take very seriously if she was sitting on Council. She thanked Council for standing by its convictions and giving the matter very serious consideration. She does not feel that if a lawsuit results, that Council brought it upon the community.
Wayne Hogan, 20973 Woodland Glen, said that Council was about to look at some ordinance revisions regarding inpatient hospitals, namely Providence Park. Providence has a poor record as far as accessibility. He would like to give the hospital warning that they will be looked at very closely for the whole project. He hoped that the City would be vigilant for accessibility issues during the entire construction period.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
6. Approval to solicit legal services proposals in April, 2005.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that the current contract with the City’s Attorney, Secrest Wardle, is an open-ended contract. This Council, in December of 1999, voted for a policy of going to bid every three years with consultants. The question has come up of whether Council should go to bid. He felt that the City should wait until next spring and go to bid then. It is important to retain the current legal counsel at this time, which he is certainly not displeased with. He does not personally feel the need to seek other counsel, but he sees the value in going to bid. The City should wait until next spring to go to bid for these reasons: Council should allow Secrest Wardle to wrap up Sandstone, wrap up Paragon, wrap up Adell, and wrap up Nanda, four key cases that the City is involved in. It is also only fair to give the consultants fair notice. If Council were to simply notify legal services right now that the City will go out to bid next spring, this will be fair to them. Council did pass the policy of going to bid every three years, but he noted that Council did this in December of 1999 and then eight months later gave Secrest Wardle an open-ended contract. He questioned why Council would give the firm an open-ended contract if it intended to go to bid in three years. It would be more prudent and in the best interests of the City to wait until next spring and go to bid then.
CM-04-05-164 Moved by Landry, seconded by Capello; MOTION CARRIED: To approve to solicit legal services proposals and publish advertisements November 1, 2004.
Member Gatt wished to go on record as stating that he is impressed with Mr. Fisher’s firm. He feels that for the most part, they have answered every question succinctly. He could not support the motion only because he did not know why the City would not go out to bid right now. If Council’s rules are to go out to bid every three years, he questioned why Council would violate its own rules. He said he hoped Mr. Fisher’s firm would win the bid because he cannot think of a better law firm to represent the City of Novi. He did not know why Council would vote to violate its own rules. The City should go out to bid as soon as possible.
Member Capello said he finds no fault with Mr. Fisher’s firm and agrees with Member Gatt that Council should try to stick to its policies. Right now, having absolutely no question in his mind that the City is receiving the highest quality for the lowest price from Mr. Fisher’s firm, he sees no reason to go out to bid. He would rather take Council’s time and devote the efforts to getting ordinances passed that are in committees, as opposed to taking additional time to interview attorneys at the committee and Council levels. There are many more things that Council can do in the next year and there is no harm in waiting another year before going out to bid.
Member Paul said she is on the Consultant Review Committee and was the lone person to say that the City should go out to bid because the policy is every three years. If the policy that was made says every three years, then she believes that this is what should be followed. This was brought up by Craig DeRoche, and she would like to support his decision and go out to bid.
Member Nagy said she also supported the policy of sending out for bids. There is nothing that would stop the process of what is going on within City Hall right now or with the City Attorney’s office. If this is the City’s policy then Council should stick to it.
Member Lorenzo said she remembered the policy well. She recalled telling then-Council Member DeRoche that she would support the policy. He was then a minority member of the Consultant Review Committee who actually wanted to get this policy going, which is a good business practice. She had told Mr. DeRoche right after the election that she would bring the matter forward again, which she did and he seconded, leading to the policy’s adoption. First and foremost this is a good business practice, no different than going out to bids for insurance. Council does not look at legal services in terms of giving anyone a two-year or three-year contract based on that policy. This does not apply only to legal services but to all of the City’s consultants. The current law firm has been here for three and a half years, so the City should have actually gone out to bid last year. By last September, this issue should have been resolved, so Council is already about six months behind schedule. She has concerns with the current legal firm about the number of billable hours, hours per project, overall amount of billable hours, and overall cost to the City. In her opinion, the firm has not performed to meet her expectations on the Council, so she is looking forward to seeing what else is available, the type of quality services that can be provided, and the cost. She asked to amend the motion to go out to bids immediately, using as a basis the RFP that was sent out the last time, including on that the cost of the services.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said it did not seem as if the motion would pass, so under those circumstances, though he did not feel the City should go out to bid until next spring, he would accept the friendly amendment to go out to bid as soon as possible.
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Helwig for his opinion on the matter.
Mr. Helwig said this recommendation came to Council from the Consultant Review Committee, which staff is in attendance for but does not vote on. What should have happened three and a half years ago is that there should have been a finite contract. That was the furthest thing from his mind, coming on board then and preparing to deal with Sandstone and other matters, but that should have been done. As a good business practice, he knows what has been at stake with what the City has been dealing with, and the firm has met and exceeded his expectations because he saw what had been here previously and what the outcome has been for the community. The City owes this firm a big debt of gratitude. The firm’s leadership was determined to see something through that he did not think anyone else could have seen through. Administration and the firm met all the previous Friday on Paragon, and there are important matters that they are working on. He supposed that if he had his druthers the City would go out to bid in three months or something like that so that administration would not have to stop everything that it is doing to do that. Those bids will take a lot of time to administer and follow through on.
Member Capello noted that he was the supporter of the motion, and asked for a friendly amendment to send the matter out to bid in November.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he would accept this.
Member Lorenzo said the process itself would take several months. Council is not looking at selecting an attorney, whether this or another firm, probably before October. To submit bids in the Legal News or another publication, a person must submit on the first of the month for the next month’s cycle. In other words, if the City submits on June 1st for an ad, it will be in the July issue. The July issue goes out sometime in mid-July. Council will seek at least 30 days for responses, maybe 45. The process will take a good three months. On the basis of that, she did not see any reason to delay the process.
Member Gatt said he agreed with all the comments about the issue, but the person he looks to is Mr. Helwig, who is a full-time employee and works with Mr. Fisher on a daily basis. He suggested going out for bid in five months, not six months. This will mean that the six month is when the bid request is advertised and will provide everyone with ample notice. This would go into the publication for November 1.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he would accept this friendly amendment.
Member Lorenzo said she would not be supporting the motion and that it would be revisited during budget time.
Member Paul said that since the bid should have been October of 2003, Council is already behind. To wait another five months until October would put the City back more than a year. She wants to follow the policies and procedures that Council Member DeRoche setup in 1999. Council is already at three and a half years since the last bid and would wait another five or sixth months to even start the process. The City has hired other firms for longer periods of time. There have been countless errors in the City, such as not keeping up with ordinances, though she said this did not mean that Mr. Fisher’s firm was doing this. An engineering firm that worked for the City for a long time did not keep ordinances up to standards, and this caused millions of dollars in road repairs. This practice was put in place to prevent such issues. She believes it is very prudent for Council to follow these policies and be financial leaders in this community. She said she could not support the motion because Council would not be following its own policy and procedures. She questioned why those are in place if Council will not follow them.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-164 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
Nays: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
7. Approval of a revised fee schedule for Secrest Wardle, which includes a change from the hourly rate for Associate level Attorneys from $105 to $115 per hour and no change on rates for the other three Attorney levels (effective July 1, 2004).
Mr. Fisher noted that this required five votes from Council for approval.
Member Capello asked Mr. Fisher if he is a senior leader or an associate.
Mr. Fisher replied that this did not involve his fee or Mr. Schultz’ fee.
Member Paul said this was also brought forward in the Consultant Review Committee. One of the things that she had looked at was the associate fee, and how much would actually be billed under the developer’s repayment into the planning process. They reconfigured some numbers and they were a little higher. She asked Mr. Klaver what the figures were that they had determined.
Mr. Klaver replied that using the projection for the current year, the theoretical increase would have been $23,736.
Member Paul said that while $23,000 might not sound like a lot, Council is scrambling to come up with money for its employees. Council is also looking at irrigation to fields and employee raises. She said she could not support the raise because of the financial burden that the City is under. She wants to make sure that safety issues are addressed with parks, police and fire.
CM-04-05-165 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; MOTION FAILED: To deny a revised fee schedule for Secrest Wardle, which includes a change from the hourly rate for Associate level Attorneys from $105 to $115 per hour and no change on rates for the other three Attorney levels (effective July 1, 2004).
Member Nagy said this was exactly the reason that she wanted to go out to bid for legal services. She wanted to be able to compare fees and see what the City can negotiate. Council is trying very hard to find $50,000 or $100,000, and now this item would increase the budget automatically without knowing what other firms would charge. She said she could not support the increase. The appropriate thing to do would have been to send out for bids, look at everything that could be negotiated, look at everything that could be done, then make a decision to increase or not increase the rates.
Member Lorenzo said she would also not be supporting the rate increase. One of her major concerns with this firm is the number of billable hours, the overall amount of billable hours, and the overall cost to the City. Additionally, she has had some concerns in that some of the associates have not met her expectations. She was hoping to not have to go any further into those expectations, but she said it was obvious from that evening that in subsequent meetings she would do so.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry noted that the motion was to deny the rate increase. He would not be supporting the motion. The firm of Secrest Wardle has done a wonderful job for the City and has gotten the City out of the Sandstone ordeal. Secrest Wardle is an excellent law firm providing excellent advice at all levels of this City – the Planning Commission, the City Council, and all levels. Novi will be hard pressed to find anybody better. The City will go to bid in five months. There are four levels of pay, and the firm is simply asking that the lowest level associate go from $105 and hour to $115 an hour. That is a 3.45% increase after three and a half years of work. Not in any business in today’s climate is that unreasonable. He felt that the firm should get the raise and said he would not support the motion to deny.
Member Gatt concurred with Member Landry. This is not an issue of whether the City should have this firm or not. Based on that, he did not feel that the raise was enough where Council should, in good faith, deny the 3.45% raise. He would not support the motion.
Mayor Csordas said he was the lone dissenter on the original vote to bring on the firm Secrest Wardle, not for any reasons other than there was a process issue. He is glad that he was overruled by a major majority, and feels that the firm has done an outstanding job for this City. He especially appreciates Mr. Fisher’s efforts with Sandstone.
Member Capello asked if the motion was to deny a fee increase, or to deny a fee increase to $115.
Member Paul said the motion was to deny the fee increase from $105 per hour to $115 per hour.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-165 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
Nays: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Csordas
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if it was appropriate to make a motion to approve the fee increase.
Mr. Fisher noted that he had a stake of interest in this matter so he should not comment on the question.
Ms. Cornelius noted that under Council rules, Mr. Fisher is actually the Council Parliamentarian. She said the motion attempt was similar to that of the prior agenda item. The motion to reconsider would have to come from someone on the prevailing side, which would be Mayor Csordas, Mayor Pro Tem Landry, Member Gatt, or Member Capello.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said the motion would be not on whether to give the raise, but simply whether to reconsider the item.
Ms. Cornelius replied that this was correct. Council would first need a motion to reconsider the item. This could be done at the same meeting or at the next.
Member Capello asked if there is a distinction between whether or not a motion passes and whether or not it takes five votes. He viewed the situation in that Council did not have the five votes to approve the $115 per hour, but no action was taken and the issue was still open.
Ms. Cornelius said this was correct.
Mayor Csordas felt that this was very similar to the issue on the previous item, and he closed the issue.
8. Approval of a two-year contract for Special Planning services from Rod Arroyo, Birchler Arroyo Associates, Inc., for an hourly rate of $110.
CM-04-05-166 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of a two-year contract for Special Planning services from Rod Arroyo, Birchler Arroyo Associates, Inc., for an hourly rate of $110.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-166 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry
9. Approval to award the contract for the Pavement Management System PASER indexing of the City of Novi roadways to G.I.E Technologies in the amount of $41,160.
CM-04-05-167 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve to award the contract for the Pavement Management System PASER indexing of the City of Novi roadways to G.I.E Technologies in the amount of $41,160.
Member Nagy noted that the PASER takes five or six weeks to finish. That would put the work into the middle of June. She asked when the actual road program would be started.
Mr. Helwig said that what the City is seeking to do is to have, for Council’s discussion, are the PASER numbers on those concrete streets that Council is considering prioritizing for rehab over and above the annual neighborhood program. This will allow Council to decide if it wishes to pursue work on those this construction season.
Member Nagy asked if once Council prioritizes the streets then it has to send out for bids.
Mr. Helwig said that administration intends to setup the process so that Council will have the option to make a change order to the neighborhood concrete street repaving contract so that Council can put on top of that these other concrete streets, if so desired, at the end of June and get them done in short order this summer.
Member Nagy asked who the contractor is for this program.
Mr. Helwig said the City is out for bid right now.
Member Paul said she wanted to make sure that work does not get into the fall season as happened last year in several neighborhoods. There were three neighborhoods that had concrete streets placed in the fall last year, and had to put sodium chloride in the concrete, blankets, and all the things for a freeze thaw. She wants to make sure that the work is done in a timely manner so that by October 10th or 15th concrete is not being poured. She asked if this would be doable this year.
Mr. Helwig said that in terms of the neighborhood street program - the $1,580,000 - that will be done in advance of that timeframe. Administration is setting this up, if everyone does their part, where these additional concrete streets could be also done within that timeframe.
Mayor Csordas asked Ms. McClain if concrete can be poured year-round.
Ms. McClain replied that concrete is temperature dependent, as is asphalt. Concrete can be poured when it is 20 or 25 degrees and rising, but it is preferable to not do this work in freezing temperatures because it requires cold weather protection. The City will be aiming for this work to finish up, depending on which streets are picked, how many streets the City is able to do, and how many contractors can be fit in, by October. The City never wants to be paving into November, but sometimes with weather restraints such as last year’s, this must be done.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-167 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello
10. Consideration of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.189 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 modify the standards for the height of inpatient hospital facilities in the OSC, Office Service Commercial Zoning District: to add a definition of "Inpatient Bed Facilities" to Section 201 Definitions G-K; to amend Subsection 1101.3; to add Subsection 1201.6, Principal Uses Permitted in the OSC District; to amend Subsection 2301.3; to add a new footnote (v) to Section 2400, referencing the OSC District only; all for related purposes – First Reading
Mayor Csordas noted that Council had received a positive recommendation from the Planning Commission on this item.
CM-04-05-168 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Capello; MOTION CARRIED: To approve of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.189 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 modify the standards for the height of inpatient hospital facilities in the OSC, Office Service Commercial Zoning District: to add a definition of "Inpatient Bed Facilities" to Section 201 Definitions G-K; to amend Subsection 1101.3; to add Subsection 1201.6, Principal Uses Permitted in the OSC District; to amend Subsection 2301.3; to add a new footnote (v) to Section 2400, referencing the OSC District only; all for related purposes – First Reading
Member Lorenzo said she would not support the matter that evening. She had not been able to get to this item in her packet. There will be a second reading, and by that point she will have reviewed the literature. She does not like to support something that she has not been able to read through. That was the only reason that she would not support the item that evening.
Member Paul said she was very happy with this project. Planning Commissioner Avdoulos is an architect who designs healthcare facilities. She reviewed his comments in the Planning Commission minutes, and he had said that in all circumstances, 115 feet is the minimum needed for a hospital site. They need an extra floor for their heating and cooling systems and different electrical components. Commissioner Avdoulos had asked for a little bit of grace because if technology is changes, the standards might have to be changed by a few feet. This project will be positive for the community, and Providence has already done a great deal for the area. To give the hospital the minimum amount will bring a lot to the City with regards to healthcare and emergency services. It takes a long time during rush hour to take an emergency vehicle all the way to Beaumont or Providence in Southfield.
Member Paul said that on page 3 of the April 7th, 2004 Planning Commission minutes, Commissioner Avdoulos made comments about the acreage requirements. He made comments about the site being used as best as possible and keeping the natural features. On page 9 of the March 4, 2004 Commission minutes, Commissioner Avdoulos said the mechanical floor height could be given a cap. Some felt that 115 feet was acceptable; others liked 130 feet. That 15 feet could help the hospital in the long-term if there are problems with their equipment. The 130 feet would be something that Council could look at for the second reading. On page 3 of the February 19th, 2004 Commission minutes, Commissioner Avdoulos talks about the height as necessary because the building has to function efficiently. Because of the number of beds that will be accommodated and the equipment needed on the top, this will be a very big landmark, and all of the floors are necessary. The City is extremely privileged to have Mr. Avdoulos sitting on the Planning Commission when a hospital is coming into the neighborhood. Commissioner Kocan made good comments about requests for the feet and height. Given what each ceiling needs for the heating and cooling system, there is no way to be under the recommended amount. She would support the motion, and would like to have information from the fire marshal. Commissioners Kocan and Avdoulos made comments on the Implementation Committee with reference to 115 feet. She wondered how this would be serviced if the equipment ever caught fire. She asked for some written comment about how the fire marshal would like to address the height.
Chief Lenaghan said he would talk to the fire marshal about the matter. In buildings of this size, the Fire Department relies on sprinkler systems and built-in fire protection. This is covered during the plan review process. He said he would check with the fire marshal on the matter and get back to Council.
Member Paul said she understood Providence’s in-house sprinkler system. She wanted to make sure that the Fire Department’s timing is ok. She wanted to know how people could be retrieved if necessary because of a fire in the facility, as well as the Fire Department’s ladder capability.
Mayor Csordas remarked that he had inadvertently disallowed the petitioner to have their ten minutes for presentation, and invited the representative for Providence Hospital to address Council.
Larry Helman, for the applicant, MDBJ, with representatives from the hospital, said the group started with an overall master plan that provides a strong commitment to the delivery of healthcare done as one with nature. The site is beautiful and will be used in a very creative way. They have now pressed forward with the development and are examining concepts for how to create a pedestrian community, civic structure, and use an open space process as part of the development of the site. The group is in development stage of the planning and programming of the hospital itself, as well as all of the remaining portions of the site, tied into one very strong, clear open space concept that will service the entire development. The needs are well stated in regards to height. This is planned to be a six-story structure, and the nature of the story heights are higher than normal because of the extra space needed for all of the mechanical distribution systems on the diagnostic and treatment floors, as well as the bed floors. The plans are for two floors of diagnostic and treatment, operating rooms and imagery, with four floors of in-patient beds on top. This will allow for easy movement back and forth, a relationship required in healthcare. The group has met with the fire marshal and dealt with those concerns early on. The equipment reaches to 100 feet, so a commitment in the ordinance is that the last occupied floor must be below 100 feet, which it is. This will give the Fire Department the ability to reach those floors with the ladder truck. With regards to fire suppression, one of the most regulated types of buildings are those for healthcare.
Member Capello asked if there is anything from the City processes that the hospital wanted in the ordinance but did not make it to Council.
Mr. Helman said the applicant is very comfortable with the ordinance as it stands. The Planning Commission and its Implementation Committee were wonderful and worked with the applicant.
Member Lorenzo asked if the building would appear visually as a six-story building, or if the applicant was able to work with the topography to scale this down, visually speaking.
Mr. Helman replied that the building is placed on the center of a very large piece of ground. In the foreground will be the current facilities, which are of ambulatory nature, while this hospital will be more of an in-patient nature, though the facilities will be linked. The building will be set far back from the street edges. Likewise, there is major vegetation and open space along the site, so even view lines of the building from any distance become almost a moot issue. They are working so that the development is part of the natural way that the land is seen. There are many ways that the applicant is dealing with the issue raised by Member Lorenzo.
Member Lorenzo commended the applicant for its work. From what she was hearing, the development sounds superb.
Member Nagy said this development would be another positive component for the City. She commended the City’s planner, Barb McBeth, who serves on the Implementation Committee. She also commended the members of the Planning Commission’s Implementation Committee, who did an excellent job and were very thorough.
Member Paul said that when she read through the minutes, Commissioner Avdoulos had mentioned that he felt 130 feet would be what is needed, but the Commission voted for 115 feet. She said she would not want Providence Hospital to construct its building and find out 10 years later that modification is needed, which would be much more difficult financially.
Mr. Helman said they would not anticipate adding floors to the hospital. The only issue that they might have with 115 feet would be concerns from mechanical engineers about items like pipes extending slightly above that level. They do not anticipate Providence ever being more than a four-story bed component on top of two stories of diagnostic and treatment.
Member Paul asked if the additional "wiggle room" was not needed for mechanical structures.
Mr. Helman said the Planning Commission worked long and hard for the 115-foot height. The critical dimension was the top floor of the beds. They would definitely not object if the height was 116 or 117 feet, but this is not something the group wishes to make a mandate.
Member Paul said that for the second reading, if there is going to be a pipe or a slight change in the size of the mechanical structure that has to service the air conditioning units for six floors, Council might want to examine allowing a 120-foot height. This will not allow for another story, but would allow for "wiggle room" if the mechanical structure would actually change. Providence Hospital’s cancer center is one of the most aesthetically pleasing buildings that she has ever been in as a nurse in a healthcare facility. The hospital incorporated open space, a sense of community, and has an extraordinary staff. This facility will be a win-win for the community.
Mayor Csordas thanked Rob Casalou for not only bringing Providence to this community, but also for the charity work that he does in the community. Not many people know, but Providence just purchased the signage on the street that surrounds this building, which was nearly $5,000. Providence is consistently an excellent community leader and facility, and everyone truly appreciates that.
Mr. Evancoe wished to add something to alleviate a concern that Member Paul had raised regarding the fire marshal’s input. When the Planning Department had presented this matter to the Planning Commission on April 7th, it was mentioned that there had been a meeting in the Plan Review Center in which Fire Marshal Evans was in attendance and had endorsed this plan.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-168 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
11. Consideration of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.192 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 amend Subsection 2516.1.b to clarify site plan submittal requirements; to create subsection 2516.1.e to clarify requirements for submittal of plans that propose construction of new public and/or private roads, regardless of whether any buildings or other structures are proposed; and to amend the site plan manual, as it relates to types of development that follow the site plan review process, as permitted under Section 2516.2.a, for related purposes – First Reading
Member Paul said this ordinance was something examined on the Planning Commission. There was a site plan brought before that body that had a ‘double-edged sword.’ One moment it had sewer lines, lot lines, easements, and everything else in place, but they were only approving the roads. When this project came forward, many people in the community were opposed to it. Those residents said the Commission was not really looking at the site plan because it was not looking at the lot lines. The consultants could only review what the roads were sitting on. Many of the ordinances did not apply and the seven consultants said yes. In actuality, when the Planning Commission approved the site plan and the roads, they were approving the entire site plan with the lot lines, the water and sewer, and the easements. This was a very big issue on the Planning Commission and to residents. She asked how many times the City has used this ordinance in the past four years.
Mr. Pearson said the Beck North Phase II came to mind. He understood that a similar situation dealt with in that development was put forward with the same developers for their Haggerty Corporate Park. As he was told, that development did not have any global reviews, only administrative permits that were put forward. It so happened that Providence came along as a perfect example for another application of it.
Member Paul asked for an answer in the next off-week packet or right after budget session on how many times this ordinance has been used and questions have been raised, or how many times this ordinance has been used in the last few years with this ordinance alone. If the City continues to use these ordinances, a red flag should come up somewhere. The City got to the point of Beck Corporate Park North and it was a disaster area.
Mr. Pearson said this is a proposed ordinance.
Member Paul said this proposed ordinance is amending a previously-existing ordinance. She would like to know about that previous ordinance and how it went through in the site plan process. She cannot understand how the City can have a site plan approving the lot lines, the sewer and the water, just by looking at the roads. One of the things that the Commission tried to implement in the City’s corporate parks is driveway spacing. Every single time they had a driveway spacing variance they had to go before the ZBA. The rationale was that it was not a safe traffic flow. The Commission wanted a permanent site plan for the whole corporate park, allowing the driveways to be installed in a safe manner.
Member Capello said another related development that came to mind was Iroquois Estates off of Beck Road. The road went in and they just did a partial split. He thought that at that point the City amended the ordinance to require that even with partial splits they had to meet all the requirements of the ordinances. He thought that perhaps this was only used for residential purposes.
Member Lorenzo noted a concern on page 3 towards the bottom of the page: "Additionally, if a site condominium development is proposed… If woodlands and wetlands permits are requested at the time of Site Plan Review for the roads and utilities, the applicant shall provide information as required by appropriate sections of the ordinance." She felt this was leading similarly down the same path. She asked what would happen if there are woodlands and wetlands on the property but the developer is not seeking approval of a woodlands or wetlands permit at the time. This was one of the issues with Beck North. When the City sees the plan and it shows a layout of the property carried out in such detail, it needs to be known what the impact will be if there are woodlands or wetlands on the property.
Mr. Pearson said that one if the issues that came up with Beck North was that there was not a process to even evaluate or survey the entire site’s woodlands or wetlands. Yes, when each development and site comes through the process it will have to get its own woodlands and wetlands permits. He believed that Member Lorenzo was saying that the City wants to know at least in the beginning what the developer is doing.
Member Lorenzo said this was correct.
Mr. Pearson said the situation is a bit of a catch-22. With Beck North Phase II, there is no way that the developer will know how the sites are going to be developed. They need to put in the road and utilities so that they have something to show potential buyers that will come in over the next years until build-out. It is not unusual to want to put in the road and utilities ahead of knowing how everything will exactly come out.
Member Lorenzo commented that the roads and utilities typically, to some degree, provide the layout of lots.
Mr. Pearson replied that they certainly provide the spine of how the lot will be, and limits future developments to some degree. He thought Member Lorenzo was suggesting that the City needs to know at least what is going in at the front end, and the ordinance needs to be strengthened to require that the woodlands and wetlands surveys for the entire site are done at the front end, maybe putting in some potential building envelopes. He felt it would be too much to require that the lots are obligated to be built some way, because this is truly a different process that comes in at the time. The City does not want people to go in and clear out all of the possible woodlands and wetlands on the entire development until it knows what is going to happen, until as much as possible can be preserved on every individual site.
Mayor Csordas said he understood the concerns of Council members, but his concern is for the City to become overly restrictive and incredibly cumbersome.
Member Nagy said she concurred with Member Lorenzo. The City needs to be able to take the site and look at the woodlands and wetlands. She also believes that the City does not want a developer going in and clear-cutting. She wants to be fair to the developer, but never wants to be in a situation as the City was in with Beck North Corporate Park. She thought that was a very uncomfortable situation to be in. The utilities in some regard would be laid out a certain way too, depending on where wetlands and woodlands are. She would like to see this section strengthened.
CM-04-05-169 Moved by Capello, seconded by Landry; MOTION CARRIED: To approve of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.192 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 amend Subsection 2516.1.b to clarify site plan submittal requirements; to create subsection 2516.1.e to clarify requirements for submittal of plans that propose construction of new public and/or private roads, regardless of whether any buildings or other structures are proposed; and to amend the site plan manual, as it relates to types of development that follow the site plan review process, as permitted under Section 2516.2.a, for related purposes – First Reading.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-169 Yeas: Nagy, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
Nays: Paul, Lorenzo
12. Approval to amend Novi Code of Ordinance No. 04-149.06 to amend Chapter 3, Article III, Section 3-13 and Subsection 3-14(h)(11) regarding the definition of applicant and to add criteria for review – First Reading
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he had no problem with the first part of this proposed ordinance, which is to define the term "applicant." However, he is concerned with the second part of the ordinance with regard to expanding the definition of "need." This ordinance already has 20 listed criteria. This amendment adds seven more, so Council would increase by one-third more the number of criteria. "Need" is already included, whether or not Council believes it belongs or not. He will not be supporting the second portion of the ordinance because he believes it is over-legislative.
Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Fisher where the additional criteria came from.
Mr. Fisher said there was a meeting at the City the previous Tuesday. Based upon some of the discussions had with Mr. Klaver and Chief Shaeffer, they concluded that Council was going in the direction of considering these items but that there were not standards in the ordinance to substantiate it. The best thing for the City would be to have the standards in the ordinance if Council were to make a decision.
Mr. Helwig said that Chief Shaeffer had come forward with the request for a meeting and look at this item for his direction.
CM-04-05-170 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; MOTION CARRIED: To approve to amend Novi Code of Ordinance No. 04-149.06 to amend Chapter 3, Article III, Section 3-13 and Subsection 3-14(h)(11) regarding the definition of applicant and to add criteria for review – First Reading
Chief Shaeffer said this ordinance modification discussion was initiated by him. He did so because of some of the limitations that were found in the City’s current liquor license ordinances. Council has previously modified the request on what background material the Police Department has been providing in regards to requests for liquor licenses. The City Attorney has advised that there are only certain criteria that Council can utilize to consider granting or denying a license, some of which are not what Council wanted to use. For example, Council has asked the Police Department to look into the management of a new liquor-licensed establishment. The way he understood the discussion with the City Attorney, this is not generally something that has been for Council’s consideration. They wanted to make sure that Council could consider this type of information when it looks at an applicant’s background material. As the LCC can look at investors, the Police Department thought Council should be able to as well.
Mayor Csordas asked Chief Shaeffer if he was supporting this proposed ordinance.
Chief Shaeffer replied that this was correct.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-170 Yeas: Paul, Csordas, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy
13. Approval of Resolution to authorize Budget Amendment #2004-8.
CM-04-05-171 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of Resolution to authorize Budget Amendment #2004-8.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-05-171 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - None
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Storm Water Committee – Member Nagy
Member Nagy noted that she is a member of this committee. Last year, Council passed the new storm water ordinance. She said it was her understanding that Mr. Maurice is no longer a City employee. She does not see a necessity for the Storm Water Committee and would like to see it sunset. She does not feel that the members of the Committee find it useful.
CM-04-05-172 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; MOTION WITHDRAWN: To sunset the Storm Water Management and Watershed Stewardship Committee.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if Member Nagy was referring to the Storm Water Management and Watershed Stewardship Committee.
Member Nagy replied that this was correct.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if Member Nagy wanted to sunset that entire committee.
Member Nagy said this was correct.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked for the City Manager’s comment.
Mr. Helwig clarified that Mr. Maurice is still the City’s Environmental Services Manager and GIS Manager. He has a large portfolio that takes him well beyond this committee.
Member Nagy said she did not see what they actually do at that committee. They have an agenda, Mr. Maurice states what the projects are that have gone on around the City, and the Committee members don’t have any input because there is nothing to input upon.
Member Lorenzo felt that the Committee was perhaps lacking some clear direction as to where it should be headed. Before Council totally sunsets this committee, it would be a good idea to review the resolution to see what the charge of the Committee actually is, to see if there is usefulness left in that Committee based on that charge.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that before Council does away with this committee he would like to hear from it. He would request at least a report from the Committee on if those members feel it is useful.
Mayor Csordas said he understood that there was not much for the Committee to do, but the Committee requires and requests a lot of work from City employees. He asked for Mr. Helwig’s opinion on this.
Mr. Helwig said he felt that the major mission of the Committee has been accomplished, in terms of the rewrite of the Storm Water Ordinance to have a 100-year standard. This is what he has been looking for. Now, the Committee is moving on into the neighborhoods with dredging projects and drainage improvements. Committees always take time, effort, and expertise to support.
Member Paul said she seconded the motion for discussion, but said she would like to hear what the GIS specialist would like to do. She suggested postponing discussing this item any further until Council received a letter from the person responsible for the Committee, Dave Maurice.
Member Nagy said this would be fine with her. She is not trying to take away any rights of the Committee members, but she does not feel that Mr. Maurice has much that he can give to the Committee. They have no jurisdiction over anything.
Member Paul pointed out that Council is looking at all of the City’s resources and how they are taxed with work from additional people moving into the City. If Mr. Maurice does not have to sit at a meeting for two and a half hours, prepare and make an agenda, so be it. However, if the Committee is necessary and Mr. Maurice thinks it is necessary, then so be it. She would like to hear Mr. Maurice’s opinion.
2. South Lake Drive – Member Nagy
Member Nagy said she had brought this issue up a few months earlier regarding soil erosion controls. She was surprised to find violations from the MDEQ enclosed in Council’s packets. She has concerns about this because it was reported to Council that things were progressing well. She had a hard time understanding why City employees were doing this work. If the City did not drop the main but had a lump sum bid for excavation, she wondered where the dirt came from. She feels that the City is paying more than it should be. City employees are being used, as well as equipment. There is also not a boat launch ramp there. She hopes that when the contractor comes back in, he does everything that he is supposed to do. The contract does not seem to be the same as the actual work performed.
Mr. Pearson said that Member Nagy and others have brought up various aspects of this work. The project has been a challenge since before the contract was awarded. Once the design was awarded, the work was slow in coming, which he was not happy about. Although overall the work is getting done, he does not want to leave the impression that everything went well. There were problem that the City had to spend too much time on. He said it would not hurt his feelings if the City does not see this contractor back in town again. The spoils material that was at the landing property needed to be cleared out so that it could be used for the spring. Public Works had use of that material at several locations and was able to create a berm where there had been some illegal dumping across from their yard on Dinser. Parks and Recreation was able to fill in a low spot that had some drainage problems, and has also taken care of the ramp to the beach. Mr. McCusker had confirmed that this was good topsoil, and the City has this in stockpile so that it does not have to pay for it in the future.
Member Nagy said her concern is that this project has not gone well from the beginning. She does not know what is going on, but this is a project that she does not want to see repeated. She also hopes that the City did not go over in costs.
Member Lorenzo asked if the drainage issue near South Pointe had been resolved.
Mr. Pearson replied that several projects have been worked on, but that one had not yet been completed.
Mr. Helwig said this would be finished when the asphalt for the bike paths is down. The water was still ponding there the previous Saturday.
Member Lorenzo asked if this would be etched down.
Mr. Helwig replied that this was correct.
Member Paul said she had asked Ms. McClain for an update on where the City is financially with this contractor and where it is with regards to the project. Council had a memo dated January 14th from Ms. McClain that was very helpful on the South Lake project. She asked for an update for this quarter.
3. Sunset of the Walled Lake Ad Hoc Committee – Member Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo noted that this item had been settled earlier.
4. Fire Department – Member Paul
Member Paul noted that Council had received a communication letter from Tim Prokop, who addressed an issue where the Fire Department had a 20-minute response time. She asked for this to be examined to see if there was an ambulance that was unable to respond to the incident he noted of. This is a safety issue that Member Gatt had brought forward several months earlier.
Chief Lenaghan asked for a chance to pull a report from the incident, find the dispatch tape, and talk to officers that were on the scene. He said he would have a report for the next Council meeting.
5. Planning Commission Legal Training – Member Paul
Member Paul said she was very interested in the Planning Commission legal training session. She requested that Council have some type of videotape that it can have and share, as this is a very important seminar. A legal firm would actually go the Planning Commission and give them information on conservation easements and requested information that they have on the subject, RUD’s, PUD’s, and probably the latest ordinance and how it would be implemented. She asked that this session be recorded for Council.
Linda Krieger, 44920 Byrne Drive, noted that she is on the Storm Water Management Committee. She said she has only been to two meetings, and does not know if all of the work was done previously last year, but she would like the other members’ feelings toward where the Committee should go considered. She would also like to hear Dave Maurice’s input on where the Committee is at and the direction that it is going. At the last meeting, about 20 residents from the community of where the lake will be dredged at Meadowbrook and Nine Mile came with questions. She was not sure if those questions should come to the Committee or to Council.
There being no further business to come before Council, Mayor Csordas adjourned the meeting at 10:10 p.m.
Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by Steve King
Date approved: May 17, 2004