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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
ROLL CALL: Mayor Csordas, Mayor Pro Tem Landry, Council Members Capello – absent/excused, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy and Paul
ALSO PRESENT: Rick Helwig – City Manager
Craig Klaver – Chief Operating Officer
Clay Pearson – Assistant City Manager
Tom Schultz – Assistant City Attorney
Barb McBeth – City Planner
Lance Shipman – Landscape Architect
Nancy McClain – City Engineer
Doug Shaeffer – Police Chief
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Nagy asked to add two items to Mayor and Council Issues: number one, South Lake Drive; and number two, Bedro Email.
Member Paul asked to add two items to Mayor and Council Issues: number three, Old Dutch Farms; and number four, Neighborhood Services Department.
CM-04-06-238 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-06-238 Yeas: Landry, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas
PRESENTATIONS - None
PUBLIC HEARING - None
Mayor Csordas noted that Mr. Helwig had provided him with a video of the last Council meeting of June 14th, and recalled that Council had considered the June 28th date for additional interviews for board and commissions. He asked if there were any urgent vacancies that needed to be filled, or if this date could be moved another week or so back.
CM-04-06-239 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To set an additional meeting for board and commission interviews on July 8th, 2004 at 7:00 p.m., instead of on June 28th.
Voice Vote on CM-04-06-239 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
2. CITY MANAGER
Mr. Helwig recalled that he had covered the items two weeks earlier, but that day the CSX railroad crossing on Ten Mile Road in the City was begun for removal and replacement. The following week, the week of June 28th, the same circumstance would occur on the Nine Mile Road railroad track. Citizens on both roads have clamored for these improvements for a long time, but the City has no control over the scheduling of this work. CSX did back off on the Novi Road crossing changes because so much activity is occurring on the two intersections that straddle those railroad tracks, so this work will not be done this year to administration’s knowledge. He said the City understands the community’s frustrations and hopes that by the July 4th weekend everyone will appreciate those railroad track improvements.
Member Paul noted that she and Member Capello are working on an ad hoc committee meeting for roads and acceptance of roads. They have met for these meetings every two weeks or so. She wished to comment that Mr. Pearson, Mr. Schultz, and Marina Neumaier in the Finance Department have done an unbelievable job of getting information forwarded to them. The ad hoc committee is working on concrete roads and what the standards may be if the City continues this work; also, asphalt roads and what those standards might be. The main objective is to have developers turn over roads faster and have those roads completed to the City’s standards. It seems to be a real interest from the developer’s standpoint to also turn over the roads a bit faster. From speaking with developers, it seems that both parties are on the same side, which is usually not the case. She wished a "Hats off!" to everyone for their work, and said the committee is close to being finished. There will be a big ordinance and policy change for the City, which will be a win-win for everyone.
Mayor Csordas asked if the city would be moving to asphalt roads and cement driveways.
Member Paul replied that the committee was not to this point yet, but said the roads would be turned over faster and to the City’s standards.
3. DEPARTMENTAL - None
4. ATTORNEY - None
David Wenner, president of the Westmont Village Homeowner’s Association, said he had come to speak about the neighborhood roads concrete replacement issues for this year. He thanked Council for what it had approved the previous fall, the first 850 feet of road replacement. On the Council agenda for approval that evening was approval for three other roads in their subdivision with a PASER rating of three or less. Two of those roads, Remington Avenue and Jaslyn, have PASER ratings of two; the remainder of Westmont Drive, through phase one of the development, has a PASER rating of three. It is important and critical that Council focus on the worst roads in the City. The City would not be replacing all roads in their subdivision, though there are other roads with PASER ratings of fours and fives in the neighborhood that need replacement. He said he was ok with waiting until the rest of the City can be caught up with this work, as this is the right thing to do for everyone in Novi. Addington Park, which is next to Westmont Village, is also scheduled for some road replacement this summer. For the best use of the money that Council was allocating to the replacement, he asked that the projects be started earlier in the summer. Westmont was sort of an add-on last year and was done in October and November. He said he was willing to work with the homeowner’s association in Addington Park, as they have done on many different issues, to be able to do the subdivisions all at once. If the work could be done in the summertime and not be carried into the fall and winter, the construction would not be like last year, when straw and blankets were laid over the concrete and the DPW had to run special trucks with no salt because of the concrete work. It would be appreciated if the work could be done earlier in the year, and this would be the best use of tax dollars in order to get more concrete replacement work done in the City.
Kathleen Neville, 24081 Westmont, said she had sent a letter to Council in March of this year, which she left with the City Clerk to distribute to Council in order to provide a fresh copy. She thanked Council for what it has done with the partial rebuilding of Westmont Drive. Council had also addressed some drainage problems for residents. Her home has a particular drainage problem that they have faced since the day they moved in, nine years ago in October. She was hoping that when the City replaces the roads in Westmont this summer, that it could also address the drainage problems along the north and south sides of her property. They have tried to install a drainage pipe on the south side of their property, a small fix for a very large problem on her property. She noted that she is the lowest spot of all of her neighbors. There is a City sewer to the back of her property but nothing drains into it, as the property is not properly graded for anything to drain there. Her property suffers the brunt of the drainage for all of her surrounding neighbors. She said she is working on her third sump pump in the past nine years, as the others have burnt out. Her basement has had two major floods. She cannot finish the basement because she is constantly in a crack-fix state in her basement. She hoped that the City could run some serious drainage on the sides of property, as this would mean a lot to her property value and to her family personally. In the letter, she had listed the problems she has had.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Member Nagy asked to remove item A(1), the May 25th, 2004 special meeting minutes, for discussion.
Member Gatt asked to remove item B for discussion.
CM-04-06-240 Moved by Paul, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the consent agenda as amended.
Voice Vote on CM-04-06-240 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
CONSENT AGENDA: (Background information for Consent Agenda items is available for review at the City Clerk’s Office)
A. Approval of minutes:
C. Approval of Revised Resolution Number 3 for the Woodham Drive Water Main Extension – Special Assessment District Number 171 directing the City Assessor to recreate the roll for the Special Assessment District based on the revised estimated project cost of $149,280.00 (lowered by 17%).
D. Approval of Revised Resolution Number 5 for Woodham Drive Water Main Extension – Special Assessment District Number 171, setting the revised roll creating the project (lowered by 17%).
E. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 675
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Approval of Agreement between City of Novi and Police Officers Association of Michigan (POAM).
CM-04-06-241 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To ratify Agreement between City of Novi and Police Officers Association of Michigan (POAM).
Member Gatt noted that Tia Gronlund-Fox had done a wonderful job of representing the City. He also thanked the police officers for their hard work and dedication, and everything that they do every day. This is a good agreement for the City and for the union.
Member Lorenzo said, "Ditto."
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-06-241 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry
2. Consideration of the request of Scott A. Riddle for Hummer of Novi for a proposed Special Development Option Contract, and a Preliminary Site Plan. The subject property is located in Section 24, north of Grand River Avenue and east of Meadowbrook Road in the GE (Gateway East) District. The subject property is approximately 6.72 acres. The applicant is proposing an automobile dealership.
Matt Quinn noted that he and Scott Riddle were in attendance on behalf of Hummer, in addition to the supporting consultants, to assist Council on two things, the first being the Special Development Option agreement under the Gateway East Zoning Ordinance. He and Mr. Schultz have passed the document back and forth, and as far as they are concerned, the latest draft is satisfactory to Hummer. There are a number of exhibits that are very important to both Hummer and the City, which are part of the staff’s signing off on those exhibits. Ultimately, the second thing for consideration that evening was Council’s approval of the preliminary site plan. Under the Gateway East District, once the written agreement, the SDO, is approved, the site plan is approved by Council and does not go first to the Planning Commission. Since this was the first Gateway District SDO to be in front of Council, he was not sure what procedure Council wished to follow.
Mayor Csordas said the matter would be turned over to Council unless Mr. Quinn wished to add something.
Scott Riddle said that Hummer of Novi had received the same comments and review letters that Council had in its packets, and had been working in the past four or five days to address each of those items. Hummer was prepared to handle, and hopefully resolve, any of those open items, and he said they would be happy to answer Council’s questions.
Mr. Helwig asked Barb McBeth to provide a brief overview of the situation, since this is the City’s first Special Development Option agreement under the Gateway East zoning plan. This is a culmination of much hard work by City Council.
Ms. McBeth agreed that this was a culmination of many months of hard work on the project. Just a few months earlier, the concept plan came forward with a number of comments from City Council that were taken into consideration in City staff’s letters, and were included in the reports before Council that evening. Some of the items will be ongoing and continuing items that staff would like to work with the applicant on. At this point, the applicant is seeking two things, the first being the approval of the agreement, and secondly, approval of the preliminary site plan.
Member Lorenzo said the only outstanding item that she had was follow up from the last discussion, which was the screening, particularly along Grand River, in terms of the vehicles and whether or not the three-foot wall would completely screen the view of the vehicles or not.
Mr. Riddle replied that the group had revised the landscape plan. The landscape architect and himself had a brief meeting with Lance Shipman, the City’s landscape architect, to review and discuss the new landscape plan for the site. The new plan addresses the items that were listed, included Member Lorenzo’s question, which gets to the screening from Grand River to the parking area. He said that Hummer was clearly in the right direction and was very close to resolving the problem. The level of traffic on Grand River will be dominated with the focal point of the building and the exterior display area. They have sufficient wall and landscaping to screen the back part of the building where the parking for display, employees, and customers is located.
Member Lorenzo asked if the issue was still ongoing in terms of meeting that end.
Mr. Riddle replied that this was correct, but said the group was very close to being able to resolve the concern.
Member Lorenzo said that in approvals that evening, and also in item number five in the agreement where it speaks to the three-foot wall, there should be some language that says "three-foot" or whatever was needed in order to actually screen the vehicles from view. She recommended this change to ensure that the issue is addressed, one way or another. She said she had spoken with the City’s Engineering Department that day, as well as Dr. Tilton’s office, as the only other concerns that she had were storm water management and the ecology of Bishop Creek, which is an online storm water basin. Downstream of the Hummer site there had been some severe soil erosion issues off of Ten Mile and Meadowbrook. She wanted to make sure that the project would not exacerbate any of those issues; she was assured by both the Engineering Department and Dr. Tilton that the site development would not do so, so she was satisfied.
Mr. Riddle noted that if Member Lorenzo wanted additional explanation, he had the civil engineer, Dan LeClaire, in attendance, as well as Jeff King from King and McGregor.
Member Lorenzo noted that she had spoken with both Mr. Croy from the City, as well as Mr. Friedman from Dr. Tilton’s office, who both assured her that the issues would be met. There was only perhaps one issue that was outstanding, which was to be addressed that evening, with regard to making sure that the downstream conditions would not be exacerbated with soil erosion issues.
Mr. Quinn asked Member Lorenzo if she was familiar with the Jaguar dealership and the screening which that facility has from Ten Mile Road.
Member Lorenzo replied that this was correct.
Mr. Quinn asked Member Lorenzo if she was not talking about screening the entire vehicle, but rather the lower level of the vehicle, basically the hood.
Member Lorenzo said this was also correct.
Mr. Quinn commented that he wanted to make sure that the dealership did not have to build a ten-foot hedge.
Member Lorenzo said she was not looking for a ten-foot wall, but if three feet does not do the job, it might need to be three-and-a-half or four feet. She does not want to "nickel and dime" the group on the wall, but wants to make sure that the wall accomplishes its goal of screening.
Mr. Quinn said the other aspect about screening is that the walls should not be made too high, as this could conceal activity that goes on behind them. The walls will provide a mixed-use screening purpose, but will be done similarly to the Jaguar dealership standard.
Member Lorenzo noted that Jaguars do not sit quite as high as a Hummer.
Member Nagy commented that she was a bit confused when she read through the plan. Two concept plans had previously been shown to Council, and Council had decided that it preferred the first plan. She asked which concept would actually be built on the site.
Mr. Riddle showed the architectural drawings of the elevations, which would be more representative to the second rendering that Council had viewed.
Mr. Schultz said the SDO agreement did have the original exhibit attached. Based on the comments in the minutes from the last meeting, this was the exhibit that was attached. Whichever way Council decided to go, he felt that the City would need to specify the acceptance, which he said his office would do if desired by Council.
Member Nagy said this was why she had been confused. The site plan provided to Council and the one in the exhibit were two different things. She had thought that the majority of Council, including comments from the Planning Commission, was more in favor of the more architecturally interesting plan, concept number one. She asked if it was Hummer’s intention to build the second rendering, not the first one.
Mr. Riddle replied that the first version, which Council seemed partial to, was the early conceptual plan of the façade of the facility. The second rendering was more representative of the actual execution of that building. They have simplified some of the detail that Council noticed in the original rendering in order to reduce costs and make the construction more financially feasible in order to build on that particular site. The building finishes that were submitted as part of the preliminary site plan package are more representative of the proposed design and materiality than the first conceptual rendering of the facility.
Member Nagy said it was her understanding that Council had agreed to concept plan number one. While her comments in the minutes were that both plans were nice, the second rendering reminded her of a schoolhouse. She said that when reading the agreement, the exhibit was concept plan number one, and the site plan was concept number two. She asked how much control Council had over this.
Mr. Schultz replied that the concept development plan was attached to the development agreement. All the development agreement says is that when it gets to be time for site plan approval, Council will determine whether what is proposed meets the minimum standard approved as a concept. The question before Council was whether the presented plan was representative of what it expected to see when it approved the development agreement.
Member Nagy commented that she appreciated Mr. Schultz bringing this up. She said that, with all due respect, the proposed plan did not meet her expectations. She recalled that when Hummer brought the matter to the Planning Commission, during which she was the Chair of the Commission, she did not vote in support of the matter. She had even said into the record that she hoped that the site plan would look more like the concept plan, and the assurances were that it would. She had voted in support of the original concept plan when she became a member of Council, and that was the idea that she had in her head for the site. She would have liked to have continued with the first concept plan, as that was what she had believed would be built.
Mr. Riddle said the early concept plan was based on an architectural theme of matching up to the Gateway Ordinance requirements. The proposed site plan accomplished this as well, but does two things. This design was also driven by General Motors. To a certain extent, the group’s have been tied, but they are trying to keep with the intent of the original rendering that Member Nagy had spoken to. At the same time, the proposed site plan was more architecturally in scale with the actual drawings. The first conceptual rendering may have been somewhat misleading in that it gave the building much more mass to the front, and gave the appearance that it was much taller than intended. The proposed site plan was representative of the actual drawings that had been submitted for Council’s review, both for the conceptual site plan and the preliminary site plan before Council.
Member Nagy said that from the Planning Commission to perhaps the second meeting of Council involving the Hummer item, this was what had been submitted, but not the first time around. She understood that General Motors would like to save on costs. She said she did not feel that the proposed site plan was what Council would end up with. The front entranceway of the first concept plan was more interesting, and it included some changes in elevation around the building. In looking at what is built across the street, the condominiums with the storefront, that looks like it would fit in much better with the District. She said she was disappointed with the proposed plan, as she thought that Council had some decision making capability with regard to the concept plans. Concept plans seem to change once Council approves them. She asked with regard to the landscape wall, how close Mr. Shipman was to working this situation out.
Mr. Shipman replied that as Mr. Riddle had pointed out, he had met with both Mr. Riddle and his landscape architect the previous Friday. There is a plan that they are in the process of developing that he said was quite dramatically different than what was in front of Council that evening. It appeared that the group was making great strides to do two things: eliminate the need for the waivers indicated in the review letters, and come closer to accomplishing the specific goals that either Council represented or what the SDO option of the Gateway District specifies, which calls for something above and beyond traditional landscape treatment. There are still some details that need to be worked out, but they have expressed an interest and have shown on paper a representation that they are headed in that direction.
Member Nagy asked what exactly was being suggested by Hummer.
Mr. Shipman asked if she meant in particular to the screening.
Member Nagy said this was correct.
Mr. Shipman replied that at the meeting, he had a discussion with the group about the size of the vehicles being an issue, and that although a three-foot wall might screen a traditional vehicle, this might not screen an H-2 vehicle. Hummer is taking another look at the landscaping and the wall by possibly doing some supplemental plantings, either in front or more likely behind the wall in order to make up for the difference in grill and headlight height. This has not officially been seen as a submittal, but was part of their discussions the previous Friday.
Member Nagy asked Mr. Shipman if he believed that other outstanding issues would be worked out. She felt that Member Lorenzo had made a very good suggestion, that Council put something in the agreement. She asked Mr. Shipman if he would be comfortable with this.
Mr. Shipman replied that in terms of his experiences with the landscape architect that Hummer is currently using, he was confident that the group was headed in the right direction. He could not say anything concrete, as the City has not seen anything official submitted yet. The projects that this particular landscape architect has put forward in the City of recent times have been somewhat above and beyond what is seen on the traditional level.
Member Nagy asked for examples of other projects that the landscape architect has worked on.
Mr. Shipman replied that the person has most recently worked on Ridgeview Center off of Thirteen Mile Road; the development has large boulder walls in front that house water detaining facilities. The landscape architect was also involved with Lewis Medical, which has not been built yet but is coming up, and is a much nicer approach than what has been seen in the light industrial district.
Mayor Csordas asked if this was the Incat building.
Mr. Shipman replied that the facility was actually KIP Automotive.
Mayor Csordas agreed that the design is very dramatic.
Member Nagy asked if it would be feasible to put something in the agreement with some sort of language about this landscaping screening.
Mr. Schultz replied that he believed this would be appropriate. It is not unusual for the landscape architect to review somewhat different plans at the time of final site plan. If that person does not feel that the final site plan does not meet, it might sometimes have to go back to the Planning Commission. This is typical at the Planning Commission stage. He said the question was crafting the language. If Council were to indicate along the lines of Member Lorenzo, that the landscape architect shall work with Hummer’s landscape architect to make sure that the combination of wall and landscaping together meet the screening intention and that in the event of a problem the matter would return to Council, this would be sufficient.
Member Nagy asked if the matter would come back to Council again.
Mr. Schultz replied that the matter would be completed at final site plan.
Member Nagy reiterated that she was disappointed with the proposed plan, as she liked the earlier concept much more.
CM-04-06-242 Moved by Landry, seconded by Paul; MOTION WITHDRAWN: To approve the request of Scott A. Riddle for Hummer of Novi for a proposed Special Development Option Contract with the change on page five, section V, Landscaping and Screening, second paragraph: to read, "Not withstanding anything depicted in exhibit B, a three-foot wall and/or screening equivalent landscaping shall be continued behind the vehicle display pod adjacent to Grand River", and a Preliminary Site Plan. The subject property is located in Section 24, north of Grand River Avenue and east of Meadowbrook Road in the GE (Gateway East) District. The subject property is approximately 6.72 acres. The applicant is proposing an automobile dealership.
Member Paul commented that she was happy with the project in general. She felt that what Member Nagy had spoken to was that once Council approves a rezoning and has a concept in mind, but this concept is then altered even just slightly, it feels as if the petitioner has not met their end of the deal. Although Hummer is doing a very nice job with the project, the problem was the perception. She said she understood that the Hummer site has difficult topography to deal with. She would support the motion, and wished the group luck with their project.
Mr. Schultz noted that it would probably be best to approve the items with two separate motions, one for the agreement and the second for the site plan.
CM-04-06-243 Moved by Landry, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Special Development Option contract for Hummer of Novi with the exception previously stated to section five dealing with landscape.
Mayor Csordas commented that he had previously stated it did not make any difference to him which concept Hummer decided to use, as he had felt both were good building designs. He had walked away from that meeting believing that Hummer would use option number two. He said he would support the motion, but felt that someone should have stated the group’s intent. He asked what had happened to the "H" on the outside of the building.
Mr. Riddle replied that the "H" will go on the other side of the building facing the wetland area.
Member Nagy asked for a friendly amendment to the motion to change the façade to concept plan number one.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he would respectfully not accept the amendment.
CM-04-06-244 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Lorenzo; MOTION FAILED: To require that the façade for the preliminary site plan for Hummer of Novi, LLC, follow the design of concept plan number one.
Member Gatt commented that he also liked the first concept plan better; however, General Motors is also driving the design with the partners for Hummer of Novi, and he did not feel that Council should get involved that deeply in requiring what type of façade must be built. He preferred the other façade, but said he would accept the one being proposed.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-06-244 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
Nays: Csordas, Landry, Gatt
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-06-243 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Gatt, Lorenzo
CM-04-06-245 Moved by Landry, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the preliminary site plan for Hummer of Novi with the comments of administration, to be dealt with at final site plan approval.
Member Lorenzo asked if "administration" referred to administration and consultants.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry replied that this was correct.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-06-245 Yeas: Paul, Csordas, Landry, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy
3. Consideration of request from Fox Run Village, 41100 West Thirteen Mile Road, for a City-quota Class C Liquor License.
Mike McCormick, executive director at Fox Run, thanked Mayor Csordas and Council for allowing Fox Run to present its case for a Class C liquor license. He also thanked the City for bringing Fox Run to Novi. Everyone sitting at the Council table had an instrumental role in bringing the Fox Run community into the Novi area. They have opened their doors on June 30, 2003, and he was proud to say that there are 300 people living in Fox Run enjoying a wonderful lifestyle and all that Fox Run has to provide. Within the next five to six years, Fox Run will have 2300 residents, 1300 employees, and will have an operational budget of about $75 million a year being infused into the local economy. They are very pleased to be affiliated with Novi. One of the pleasures of his job is to be able to see people move into Fox Run and have their lives transformed. Whenever people around the same age who like to do the same things can be put into an environment together, it is wonderful to see the socialization opportunities that occur as a result of this; this is what is happening at Fox Run. The community is active, and about a month ago had about 500 people come together and celebrate with a party at Fox Run. They had a Pistons pep rally to cheer the team on to victory in the NBA finals. They also had a walk with Ernie Harwell, one of Fox Run’s distinguished members, and walked down Meadowbrook Lane. That event also involved the Franklin Rowe Christian Academy and Meadowbrook School. They do much with the community, which is an active and fun environment for its residents. Fox Run is a full-service community; they have their own bank, store, beauty salon, medical center, auditorium, and will have a conference center. What they want to do at Fox Run is provide socialization opportunities for the people that live in their community. They also want to provide a full service environment, part of which is providing the opportunity to the Fox Run community of enjoying a drink together at their restaurant. Fox Run is always looking for opportunities to show off the community to the community-at-large. One of the big questions from the request was whether Fox Run would be open to the public. Fox Run is always looking for opportunities to show off to the area.
Mayor Csordas said he had visited Fox Run, which had a benevolent fund raiser to support the people that live in their community. He commented that Fox Run really is a remarkable facility; then-Mayor Clark, he, and a couple of other people had gone to see another Erickson property, and Fox Run turned out nicer than that property. Fox Run is a very interesting community. It was hard to visualize a Class C liquor license for what might be perceived as a closed community, but the dining room is extraordinary, and the facility is very interesting.
Member Lorenzo noted that Fox Run has done a lot for the greater community in Novi and elsewhere, which she commended it for. She said her concern regarding that evening’s request was that she did not feel that Fox Run or the business it is in is alcohol dependent. The City quotas are few, and this is the last available license for right now, making it a very valuable commodity. She tended to think of granting liquor licenses to businesses coming into the community that might not come in otherwise, using the licenses as an incentive to come to the area. For that reason, she could not support that evening’s request. If the request was for a liquor license transfer, she would have absolutely no problem with the request. However, the request was for the only quota license that the City has, the license is a very valuable commodity, and Fox Run is not dependent on alcohol, whereas other businesses are for their revenue and ability to come into the City and be successful.
Mr. McCormick said that ultimately, Fox Run will have 2300 people living in it. One of the things that they would like to provide for those individuals is the opportunity to be able to enjoy socializing together, enjoy having a drink together without having to serve it themselves in a social setting. He understood the economics that might be involved, but when the socialization opportunities that could be provided to the community were considered, these far outweighed the concerns.
Member Lorenzo said that she respectfully disagreed with Mr. McCormick. It is great that people can socialize and want to partake in a drink, but Fox Run is not dependent on alcohol, whereas some other businesses that come into the community are dependent on alcohol. She did not think that people would not move into Fox Run because the restaurant does not serve alcohol. If the request was for a liquor license transfer, she would have absolutely no problem with it. However, the request was for the sole quota license from the City of Novi, which she could not support giving to a business not dependent on alcohol.
Member Nagy asked if Henry Ford Village in Dearborn has a Class C liquor license.
Mr. McCormick replied that at this time, that community does not have such a license.
Member Nagy said she assumed that Fox Run’s residents are able to have alcohol within their living areas.
Mr. McCormick replied that this was correct.
Member Nagy asked if during the summer in outside areas, residents are allowed to have picnics or bring something like a glass of wine outside.
Mr. McCormick said this was correct.
Member Gatt said he agreed with Member Lorenzo. When he is contemplating whether to go out and enjoy a meal or drink in Novi, Fox Run does not come to mind. Fox Run is a private restaurant. There are notes saying that the establishment will be open to the public, but it is not on the same scale as a normal restaurant as seen on Crescent Drive or some of the shopping centers. He said he totally agreed with Member Lorenzo. If the request was for a liquor license transfer, he did not feel that any Council member would have an objection. However, to claim the last Class C liquor license was something that he could not support.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he respected the previous speakers’ opinions, though he disagreed with them. Quota liquor licenses are something that are unique; they are the City’s to give, it has a certain amount of them, and this license just happens to be the last license that the City has for now. As the population increases, the City will get other licenses. His view on quota liquor licenses is that the City should look for a unique project. Certainly, the criterion quoted by the previous two speakers was valid, whether or not the establishment needs the license. He would rather use the license to take care of the City’s own businesses, to grant the license to make an establishment that is already established in the community a better one. That, to him, is the best use of a quota liquor license – somebody who is not only talking the game, but is actually doing it in the City. Fox Run will employ 1300 people. The City gave a liquor license to Leon’s, which has been in the City for twenty-some years and has made a commitment to the City. To him, that is the criterion that outshines the others. He was on the Planning Commission when the Fox Run proposal first came before the City, and Erickson had promised that it would do a lot of things; so far, they have done them all. So far, Fox Run has made good on every single promise that it has made to the City, including providing a fire ladder, which is to be rewarded. This is one way that the City can reward Fox Run for fulfilling its promises to the residents.
CM-04-06-246 Moved by Landry, seconded by Csordas; MOTION FAILED: To approve request from Fox Run Village, 41100 West Thirteen Mile Road, for a City-quota Class C Liquor License.
Member Paul said that Fox Run is a very unique establishment, and what it is trying to do is a very noble thing to serve its residents. However, the City has many restaurants that do just that. It was also commendable that Fox Run purchased the ladder that would support its establishment; the City’s Fire Department did not have a ladder to support Fox Run’s residents if there was an emergency. Fox Run also needed a rezoning, and the City’s citizens rezoned the property to allow the development to come into the community. There has been give and take on both ends, and Fox Run has been very supportive in the community. She welcomed all of the residents of Fox Run to Novi. Liquor licenses are very difficult to come by right now, and at this time she would not be able to support giving the liquor license to an establishment that is not solely dependent upon having a liquor license. There are other restaurants and bars that will be coming into the City, and the license is something that they will have to live on. She said she would not be supporting the motion or the liquor license request at this time. She wished Fox Run luck, and said all of the projects that have been completed are lovely. She also welcomed all of the community’s residents to the City.
Member Gatt asked Mr. Helwig for a description of the procedure for getting more liquor licenses for the City.
Mr. Helwig replied that he did not want to misspeak, but said he was fairly certain that Council could authorize a mid-decade census.
Member Gatt asked if without the mid-decade census, if the quota licenses are adjusted every census.
Mr. Helwig replied that every ten years, the census is completed, the population is recalculated, and the State adjusts the number of available liquor licenses.
Member Gatt commented that if he understood Mr. Helwig correctly, this would be the last liquor license available for the City before 2010, unless Council authorized a mid-decade census, which the City did do 20 or 30 years earlier.
Mr. Helwig said that the mid-decade censuses used to be a fairly regular occurrence for growing communities because of federal funds being tied to population.
Member Gatt asked how much it costs to perform a mid-decade census.
Ms. Cornelius noted that in 1995, the cost of the City’s mid-decade census was around $40,000.
Mayor Csordas said there was a lot of validity to all of the comments that had come forward that evening. He has had the opportunity to see Fox Run function and meet and talk with many of the people who live there. A special event permit must be obtained to serve wine or alcohol there. He noted that it appeared that if the petitioners wanted to try and transfer a liquor license to its establishment in the community, it would have Council’s support. Fox Run would have his support, one way or the other. Fox Run brings huge value to the Novi community. He has had the chance to see the establishment’s dining room, and felt that it would have a chance to do well once it became known to the public. He did not believe that Fox Run would receive enough votes to approve the liquor license from Council, but said he hoped the petitioners would not be discouraged. He believed Erickson would be successful if it attempted to transfer a liquor license to the City. Fox Run and Erickson are to be commended, as they run a fine organization.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-06-246 Yeas: Csordas, Landry
Nays: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
Mr. Schultz referred to section 314(H).11, which talks about the petitioner having to demonstrate a public need and convenience. He also referred to section 20, which comments about other general reasonable considerations, and suggested that these be considered by Council in its decision.
CM-04-06-247 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Paul; MOTION CARRIED: To deny request from Fox Run Village, 41100 West Thirteen Mile Road, for a City-quota Class C Liquor License, based upon section 314(H).11 and section 20, as well as the comments on the record.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-06-247 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
Nays: Landry, Csordas
4. Approval to award the Taft Road Construction contract to South Hill Construction, the low bidder, in the amount of $918,686.60.
CM-04-06-248 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve to award the Taft Road Construction contract to South Hill Construction, the low bidder, in the amount of $918,686.60.
Member Paul asked if there would be a construction foreman on site at all times for this project.
Ms. McClain replied that the next item for Council’s consideration, the proposal for JCK, was for construction engineering, which included full-time inspection.
Member Paul asked when Taft Road would be closed to work on this project.
Ms. McClain replied that Taft will be partially closed; this is not a full closure. The work would be started the next morning.
Member Paul commented that many thoroughfares are being closed in the City, and she said she was concerned about another road being closed. Southbound traffic on Beck Road is closed between Five Mile and Six Mile; part of Twelve Mile is closed; Novi Road and Grand River will be closed for a section of time; the railroad tracks are being worked on. She asked when Meadowbrook Road would be worked on.
Mr. Helwig noted that it is very important that the City get Taft Road substantially completed before the start of the next school year. He had met with Dr. Lippe that day, and the school district is very eager for Taft to be completed, as the road is crumbling. There is a plan to the extent that the City can control its streets; the plan is to stagger by working on Taft before Meadowbrook gets underway. He asked when Meadowbrook might be coming forward for an award of contract.
Ms. McClain replied that Meadowbrook would likely come forward in August.
Mr. Helwig noted that the City is looking to have Taft substantially completed before working on Meadowbrook.
Member Paul said that several different governments are working on roads. Many people have complained about the subject of not being able to get around the area. The federal government is working on the railroad tracks; the State government is working on the Beck Road/I-96 intersection; the City is working on some roads, and there are also County projects going on. Governor Granholm had put the Beck Road project on hold, which delayed that work for one year; otherwise, that intersection would be open. She wanted the public to understand that much of the work being done is not under the City’s control. She was happy to hear that Meadowbrook would be delayed to get Taft Road completed. She asked if there would be a right-hand turn lane for southbound Taft Road at Ten Mile.
Ms. McClain replied that the construction on Taft Road begins about 200 feet north of the Ten Mile intersection. There will be no changes at the Ten Mile and Taft intersection itself.
Member Paul asked if any base would be replaced in that area.
Ms. McClain said that a lot of base will be replaced in that area. There will be replacements of culverts, base replacement, additions to base, regradings, and drainage additions, all to get the road to work. One of the reasons that the road really must be worked on this summer is the overall state of the road, and the fact that so much work needs to be done to the road.
Member Paul said she appreciated Meadowbrook Road being delayed, and asked to wait until the last minute to work on Meadowbrook.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-06-248 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Gatt
5. Approval to award the construction engineering services contract for the Taft Road Reconstruction Project from Ten Mile Road to Grand River Avenue to JCK & Associates for their quoted, not to exceed fee 6.88% of the estimated construction cost.
CM-04-06-249 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve to award the construction engineering services contract for the Taft Road Reconstruction Project from Ten Mile Road to Grand River Avenue to JCK & Associates for their quoted, not to exceed fee 6.88% of the estimated construction cost.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-06-249 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Gatt, Lorenzo
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
6. Approval to award change order for the 2004 Neighborhood Road Repaving Contract (concrete) to John Carlo Construction, in the amount of $1,336,600, and to authorize award of change order, in the amount of $89,552, to JCK & Associates for construction engineering services.
CM-04-06-250 Moved by Paul, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve to award change order for the 2004 Neighborhood Road Repaving Contract (concrete) to John Carlo Construction, in the amount of $1,336,600, and to authorize award of change order, in the amount of $89,552, to JCK & Associates for construction engineering services.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-06-250 Yeas: Paul, Csordas, Landry, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy
7. Approval of Dispatch Contract Renewals with South Lyon and Lyon Township.
CM-04-06-251 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of Dispatch Contract Renewals with South Lyon and Lyon Township.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-06-251 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
8. Consideration of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.164 to amend Subsection 2503.1 of Ordinance No. 97-18 as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, to revise the standards for accessory buildings within the City. 2nd Reading.
CM-04-06-252 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.164 to amend Subsection 2503.1 of Ordinance No. 97-18 as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, to revise the standards for accessory buildings within the City. 2nd Reading.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-06-252 Yeas: Landry, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas
9. Approval of Resolution to authorize the fourth quarter Budget Amendment #2004-9.
CM-04-06-253 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of Resolution to authorize the fourth quarter Budget Amendment #2004-9.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-06-253 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
A. Approval of Minutes:
May 25, 2004, Special meeting – Member Nagy
Member Nagy said she had pulled the minutes because on page 13, the last paragraph read, "Mayor Csordas said that Member Nagy had mentioned "robbing Peter to pay Paul." She felt that Member Paul had made the comment, not herself.
CM-04-06-254 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the minutes of the May 25, 2004, Special meeting of Council, with the correction on record by Member Nagy.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-06-254 Yeas: Paul, Csordas, Landry, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy
B. Approve the solicitation of bids from vendors for the purchase of 30 rifles and
associated equipment in the approximate amount of $66,610.00 from the Police Department current drug forfeiture account. – Member Gatt
Member Gatt noted that the proposal was to spend more than $66,000 on 30 rifles. He asked why the City’s police needed 30 rifles.
Chief Shaeffer replied that 30 rifles were needed in order to equip his department’s patrol officers who would normally be assigned to the field, up to 18 officers at any given time, plus investigators, and some spares and some for training.
Member Gatt asked if it was the Department’s intent to issue a rifle to every road patrol officer, plus investigators.
Chief Shaeffer said this was not the case. In fact, the Department would have to purchase fifty-some rifles to equip every patrol officer and the investigators. Modern sighting systems have actually precluded the time to where each individual officer had sights that were very unique to them; modern sighting systems take this in to consideration and make the gun very aim-able, even with individual characteristics.
Member Gatt commented that the Police Department was going to replace shotguns in its cars with rifles. He asked what the thinking was behind this. He grew up with shotguns being the number one weapon. When somebody heard a shotgun rack, they gave up. He wondered if people would hear a rifle as well.
Chief Shaeffer replied that people can actually hear the rifles well; there are automatic rifles that are action-operated, much like a shotgun. A shotgun has many liabilities today, and they are being replaced across the United States. For each pull of the trigger, a shotgun projects about 12 pellets down range. The pellets disperse themselves in a very wide manner; within 18 yards, that pattern is wider than a human torso, meaning that no matter how good an aim an officer has, some of the pellets will miss the target and strike something else. The pellets could strike other objects, cars, houses, and perhaps even other people. Those weapons are very problematic in an urban environment. Likewise, the weight, recoil mechanism, and aiming and loading techniques for a shotgun are much more problematic for a shotgun than for a semiautomatic rifle today. In fact, semiautomatic rifles are very easily utilized by officers. The reloading on those rifles is very similar to reloading automatic pistols, with a magazine-style system of replacing rounds, and they have a much better range. Shotguns are very limited in range; 40 yards is about the maximum that a person should even attempt to shoot with a shotgun. Beyond that range, a shooter will probably miss their intended mark. There have been instances, such as the Ford Wixom plant shooting, where two deputies were shot. One of the City’s police officers was pinned down behind his police car, and the offender was out of range, so the police could not even return fire. In fact, the police could not even get the deputies help, so they had to lie bleeding in the street until the offender was driven off by officers approaching from another tactical position; the shooter was using a rifle. There is also liability created by the momentum of a shotgun slug, which will go clear through a car or most other objects. A rifle, with the rounds selected, do not have that kind of penetration. When a rifle’s slugs hit, they mushroom, expand, and dissipate their energy quite rapidly, most often not continuing to penetrate. There are also tactical considerations that make rifles advantageous over shotguns now.
CM-04-06-255 Moved Gatt, seconded by Nay: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the solicitation of bids from vendors for the purchase of 30 rifles and associated equipment in the approximate amount of $66,610.00 from the Police Department current drug forfeiture account.
Member Paul asked Chief Shaeffer if he would try to obtain rifles for every single officer in the future.
Chief Shaeffer replied that he would probably not do so.
Voice Vote on CM-04-06-255 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
Member Nagy asked to add two items to Mayor and Council Issues: number one, South Lake Drive; and number two, Bedro Email.
Member Paul asked to add two items to Mayor and Council Issues: number three, Old Dutch Farms; and number four, Neighborhood Services Department
1. South Lake Drive – Member Nagy
Member Nagy asked why the curbs on the boulevard at South Lake and West Park Drive were being cut.
Ms. McClain replied that some areas had been damaged by additional construction, and needed replacement.
Member Nagy asked if the curbs had rerods in them.
Ms. McClain replied that this was correct.
Member Nagy said she was asking because the City is spending a lot of money on the construction. She asked how that section would be taken out, ensuring that the rerod would be correct.
Ms. McClain said the section is cut through the rerod with a large saw. Then, a hole is drilled into the good section of concrete. An epoxy rod is basically glued into the hole, and the concrete section is re-poured.
Member Nagy noted that electrical for residents had been discussed, and she wished to offer a suggestion at the discretion of Ms. McClain. She suggested marking the pavement area where the rerods are with paint, so that the conduit can be found.
2. Bedro Email – Member Nagy
Member Nagy noted that Mr. Chuck Bedro had written Council an email regarding some of the problems he felt he was having at Pioneer Meadows. One problem was the cleanup; another was that during construction, traffic may have gone over his septic field. She felt that it should be incumbent upon the contractor to call Oakland County to inspect the field to make sure there is no damage. She said she would also like to see the site cleaned up better. With all due respect, Mr. Bedro has been in contact with the City for a number of months according to his email. She asked that matters for residents be resolved faster.
3. Old Dutch Farms – Member Paul
Member Paul said that in the Oakland County section of a recent Detroit News article, Old Dutch Farms residents were mentioned. In regards to the park sewer problems, she asked what the City was doing to help.
Mr. Helwig replied that Council had authorized the City to file suit to have the park connect, similarly to what was done with Hometown/Chateau, which is forthcoming for public water supply. The park sewer problems are now in the legal arena; the park has said verbally that it agreed to connect, but the final settlement has not been concluded. The City is proceeding aggressively on the matter.
Member Paul asked for a periodic update of what is happening with that project.
Mr. Helwig said this information would be included for the executive session update on legal matters on July 12th.
4. Neighborhood Services Department – Member Paul
Member Paul recalled that several restaurants that had been inspected did not have information saying that the grease trap receptor ordinance had changed. She asked that a certified letter be sent to restaurants to ensure that the ordinance was received. That way, if there is a code compliance issue, the City could know that the restaurant was informed and it can go forward with the process. In previous years, there have been grease traps emptied into the City’s water supply, and there have been problems with bacteria. She felt that a record showing the City has informed business owners with grease traps about the ordinance would be helpful.
Mr. Helwig asked to gather more information and report back to Council that Thursday about the matter, such as what notifications had been made and what health inspections had shown.
Member Paul asked if the Neighborhood Services Department has anything to do with a commercial area with dead landscaped trees. She referred to Briar Ridge at Ten Mile and Beck Road, where every single landscape tree is dead.
Mr. Helwig said that this was something that anyone should observe and report to the City. The matter is not dealt with solely by Neighborhood Services. He said the City would follow up on the matter.
Member Nagy said the City should also look at Haggerty Corporate Park. She said that projects that had been approved and built, but were not even two years old, had dying evergreens. There are many dead trees on the site, which need to be replaced before their two-year warranty expires.
Wayne Hogan asked to speak about permits to put in new parking lots at businesses. Many parking lots have been constructed recently without accessible handicap parking spaces. A restaurant went in at Novi Town Center, Baja Grill, that just put down paint for two handicap parking spaces; however, the nearest curb cut is 22 parking spaces away to get onto the sidewalk. Town Center has replaced 30 sections of cement in the last two weeks. These were chopped out and replaced, but the curb cut was never done. Corners on several different sidewalks were also replaced, but curb cuts were not installed. The City has another restaurant, the Post Bar, that has ripped down its handicap parking sign and put a dumpster in the parking space. Another restaurant has redone its parking lot with zero handicap parking spaces. He said that when permits are pulled to do the work, a mandate should be given for handicap accessibility. This is supposed to happen anytime that alterations are done to a building.
There being no further business to come before Council, Mayor Csordas adjourned the meeting at 8:52 p.m.
Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by Steve King
Date approved: July 12, 2004