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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY
Mayor Csordas called the meeting to order at 7:36 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Csordas, Mayor Pro Tem Landry, Council Members Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
ALSO PRESENT: Craig Klaver – Chief Operating Officer
Clay Pearson – Assistant City Manager
Gerald Fisher – City Attorney
Jeff Johnson – Assistant Fire Chief
Glenn Lemmon – City Assessor
Doug Shaeffer – Police Chief
Kathy Smith-Roy – Finance Director
Benny McCusker – Public Works Director
Brian Coburn – City Engineer
Sheryl Walsh – Community Relations Director
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Gatt added to add under Mayor and Council Issues; number one, "Welcome to Novi signage"; number two "Council Meeting Starting Times". Mayor Pro Tem Landry added as number three under Mayor and Council Issues "Request of Vista Hills Regarding their Private Streets Being Considered as Public Streets". Member Capello added Item No. 4 "Qualification of Bidders and Review of that Process". Member Lorenzo added Item No. 5 "Request for Additional Information Regarding Flooding over Beck Road from SAD 170 Maybury Park Estates". Member Paul added Item No. 6 "Novi Road and Grand River Intersection".
CM-04-10-366 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY; To Approve the agenda as amended.
Voice Vote on CM-04-10-366 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
1. Police Department’s 50th Anniversary Celebration – recognition of committee members, volunteers, Carrabba’s Restaurant and Providence Hospital for their efforts and contributions
Mayor Csordas congratulated Chief Shaeffer and his department for 50 years of outstanding service. He said there were plaques for everyone; a platinum plaque for Providence Hospital; a platinum plaque for Carrabba’s Restaurant as they provided a wonderful luncheon for thousands of people.
Mayor Csordas read the names of volunteers: Terry Denole, Abbey Forester, Linda Krieger, Diane MacGregor, Tom Marcus, Ashley McNamara, Joseph McNamara, Lynn Paul, Megan Paul, Natalie Paul, Michael Pesmar, Linda Carpenter, Ted Clay, Jared Hart, Tracy McDonough, Tim McNamara, Michael Prohl, Kevin Ray, Evie Watt, Mike Wilson.
Chief Shaeffer wanted to recognize Sheryl Walsh, Community Relations Director, who worked exceptionally hard from the very beginning to the very end. She put in a lot of very long hours and she sacrificed a lot of personal time in order to help make this a terrific success.
Mayor Csordas stated that there was no better cheerleader for the City of Novi than Sheryl Walsh. He said she did it all; she did it in a professional manner and she was always cheerful. He said the City greatly appreciated her efforts.
REPORTS – None
2. CITY MANAGER
1. Reopening of Meadowbrook Road
Mr. Klaver stated that last Thursday he was able to announce the reopening of Meadowbrook Road. It was reconstructed, including the addition of three lanes all the way from I-96 to Twelve Mile. All the pavement was done three weeks prior to the original deadline, which itself was a tight schedule, so the City was very pleased. Mr. Pearson led the charge and, as Member Lorenzo stated, the City was very pleased with the performance of the contractor, Ajax Paving was the general contractor and the consulting engineers was Fishbeck Thompson.
Member Lorenzo congratulated Ajax and Fishbeck Thompson; she was very impressed; kudos to the engineers and to the administration.
Member Paul stated that there was quite a drop going toward Twelve Mile north of Eleven Mile on the east side of Meadowbrook and wanted to know if there would be any more roadwork done.
Mr. Pearson said that shoulder work would be continued this week and a leveling course throughout. He knew there were barrels and there was quite a drop off there but they would be building that up; the City would keep a special eye on that.
Member Paul asked if the roads were normally painted before the shoulder work was done.
Mr. Pearson answered that on Taft Road they did not, but on this project they did. He said they were responsible and the City wouldn’t accept it if the marking was scuffed or marked up, but it shouldn’t be.
2. Homecoming Parade for Novi High School
Mr. Klaver announced, with the closure to through traffic of Grand River, it became apparent that the traditional route from Ten Mile and Meadowbrook would not be available, so the City began working with the High School, notably Principal John Lawrence and his staff. From the City’s end it was largely the work of Lt. Tim McNamara and Mike Wilson, our high school liaison officer.
The route was as follows: Staging at Park View Elementary, proceeding east to new Taft Road, cross Ten Mile and into the Novi High School parking lot and the stadium. He said that the police department would be monitoring Ten Mile Road; if there was a large backup, it would temporarily block the parade at that point, let traffic through and then resume, if that became necessary.
Mr. Klaver said the parade would be next Saturday, October 9 and would begin at 11:00 a.m. Letters were sent today to all the area residents, notifying them so they could make their travel plans accordingly. There would also be signage out to alert people driving through the neighborhood. Mr. Klaver said that the school indicated that after it did its review this year, it might become a permanent route, even when Ten Mile became available because it might be easier.
3. DEPARTMENTAL – None
4. ATTORNEY – None
Jim Korte, Shawood Lake, regarding Agenda, point 3, cemetery. He stated that six or eight years ago he helped fight to not put a McDonald’s in at that corner. He didn’t know if the people had finally gained possession of the property via Sidwell, they hadn’t paid taxes. They had said on numerous occasions that it was inappropriate for the cemetery entrance at that corner. He asked who "they" were. He talked with numerous of the police hierarchy; it wasn’t "they". Therefore, who deemed the change appropriate. It appeared to him that it was the petitioner; it was the petitioner to make another $1-million on the situation. Many thought he was antidevelopment; he said he never had been. He wanted the proper development. He said if the fact could be substantiated that the entrance as it existed was inappropriate to the zoning, which had only been there since the 40’s and functioned since the 40’s, then we had a right to change it.
He said if you bought a piece of property in 1940, in 1950, in 1960 to have your remains or your loved one’s remains and you drove in through that entry, those lovely brick edifices, wouldn’t you have presumed that was part of you. How could anyone for the sake of money decide to tear it down and put up a parking lot. So, he said if it could be proved that the usage was inappropriate and find legitimacy with regards to the rezoning that it was inconsistent and had presented a problem, then we had to change it. He said it should remain as such; anything else was spot zoning.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
CM-04-10-367 Moved by Lorenzo; seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY; To approve the consent agenda as presented.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-10-367 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello,
Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy,
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Consideration of request from Brinker Michigan, Inc. to transfer 2004 Class C liquor license located at 21091 Haggerty (On the Boarder Café) and 2004 Resort liquor license located at 20901 Haggerty (Chili’s Grill & Bar) from Brinker Restaurant Corporation. Brinker Michigan, Inc. is a subsidiary of Brinker Restaurant Corporation, the current licensee.
CM-04-10-368 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello, To approve the request from Brinker Michigan, Inc. to transfer 2004 Class C liquor license located at 21091 Haggerty (On the Border Café) and 2004 Resort liquor license located at 20901 Haggerty (Chili’s Grill & Bar) from Brinker Restaurant Corporation with applicant to post a bond
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-10-368 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt,
Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas
Mr. Klaver said that there were two items noted by the Building Department that needed to be addressed. He suggested that Council make approval subject to the items being clarified before it became effective.
Mr. Fisher stated that the Liquor Control Commission would not accept a conditional motion, but the way it was handled in many instances as a condition to the approval was to require the applicant to post a bond.
2. Consideration of the request of the Pulte Land Development Corporation for approval of the Final Site Plan for the Townes at Liberty Park, Phase 1, for multiple family residential development. The subject property is 9.87 acres out of the 87.09 total acres conveyed to Sandstone and subject to a consent judgment, located on the north side of Twelve Mile Road and west of Dixon Road. The applicant is proposing the first phase of multiple family development consisting of 130 townhouse style units.
John DePorre of Pulte Homes on Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak, Michigan. He stated that he had met with counsel and support staff and felt they had reached a good plan for the environment surrounding the parcel. He said that as Council knew, there were approximately1130 available units per the consent judgment; he said they had cut that almost by one-third to 835 for overall density to keep with the Twelve Mile corridor and do what was best for the people of the City.
Member Lorenzo said she had concerns with the sidewalks, the storm water with regard to the uncurbed alley, and the narrower roads that did not comply with the ordinance requirements. She wanted to know if the alley’s design to capture storm water in the center of the paved section was similar to what happened in parking lots when it was graded this way and there was an open grate there to catch the water.
Steve Magna from Atwell-Hicks stated that the idea for the type of cross-section with the alley was that it would collect the storm water to the middle, called an inverted cross section where everything collected to the middle; there would be storm structures that would be centered on that road and that was what would collect the water.
Member Lorenzo stated that her concern was for pedestrians in this area, particularly if physically challenged. She had never cared for that approach, even in parking lots because, what happened in the event of a large storm was that water would pool and it was difficult to traverse. She wanted to know if the City had an option of making this subject to all of the roads being private and the storm sewer system being private.
Mr. Fisher answered that he would have to review the lengthy documents to give a very firm answer but he didn’t believe in that regard that this development was different than other developments.
Member Lorenzo said she would be willing to approve this but with a proviso subject to that all of the roads, alleys, lanes were private and would remain so. Also, that the storm water collection system would be private, so that if there were issues, that it would not be a City issue.
Mr. DePorre stated that they had conceded to a private storm system in that area.
Member Lorenzo stated that she wanted all the roads to be private, so that the City didn’t assume any liability or have to snowplow the area, so it remained totally private.
Mr. DePorre wanted to clarify that they were speaking of only the multi-family sector of the project. The collector road would remain public.
Member Lorenzo stated that Council was looking at the multi-family section tonight, which would be private.
Mr. DePorre stated that that area, Phase I, would be private. He said it would consist of 130 units.
Steve Magna said that because of the fact that they had underground sanitary sewer service provided as well as water main, those they would have to have granted because those public with easements.
Member Lorenzo stated that she understood that; her main concern had been collection of water and with having problems with people traversing it.
CM-04-10-369 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Landry; To approve the request of Pulte Land Development Corporation for approval of the Final Site Plan for the Townes at Liberty Park, Phase 1, for multiple family residential development; to include a waiver for the narrower width for Ellery Lane, 22 feet as opposed to 28 feet required for the design and construction standards except in front of Buildings 17 and 18 which shall meet the design and construction standards, with a Council waiver for the uncurbed alley designed throughout the site, a Council waiver to allow the sidewalks in their current location but in compliance with ADA requirements, and a Council’s finding that the elevations were comparable to those shown in Exhibit P of the consent judgment, provided that all of the streets, alleys, lanes in this development shall remain private as well as the storm water collection system; subject to engineering lane geometric issues; subject to Fire Department requirements. Also, Council finds that the 19 foot setback from the alley was warranted under Exhibit O, section i.c3c. Subject to administrative review to conform with all of the comments and consultants’ recommendations. CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-10-369 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
Nagy, Paul, Csordas,
Member Nagy stated that she had a problem with Ellery Lane because it was too narrow in front of Buildings 17 and 18 and didn’t meet the City’s design and construction standards. She didn’t think there had been a positive recommendation for this by Fire Marshal Evans; she was concerned about that. She asked Mr. Fisher if Council could ask them to comply with the design and construction standards regarding Buildings 17 and 18 on Ellery Lane.
Mr. Fisher said he did not believe that the consent judgment would override the City’s standards in that regard and that was why the recommendation before Council indicated there was a need for a waiver.
Member Nagy stated she would not support the motion because she wanted them to follow the design and construction standards; she believed that the Fire Marshal was concerned about the health, safety and welfare of the residents and it was a deviation from the City’s standards.
Mr. Magna answered that in their design phase they felt that it being an existing structure out there that it would allow for that as well. He said that they figured an emergency access from Twelve Mile and Dixon as well. He said they had also conceded to put in an emergency lane coming off Dixon in a future phase for emergency vehicles to get in.
Member Nagy asked, even though they’ll have that extra lane there, if the fire department still believed that Ellery Lane was too narrow in front of Buildings 17 and 18.
Jeff Johnson of the Fire Department answered that even the proposal using Twelve Mile as another means of gaining access to the alleyway was a good 100 feet from Twelve Mile to those buildings. Jeff Johnson of the Fire Department said they were putting in landscaping and a berm which would pose some elevation problems.
Mr. Johnson stated as far as the lane was concerned, the 22 feet posed a problem for maneuvering if any vehicles were parked there, especially in an emergency situation. He said that once a vehicle got into position, there was no way vehicles could go around it.
Member Nagy asked if she could make a motion to request that Ellery Lane in front of Buildings 17 and 18 meet the City’s design and construction standards.
Mayor Csordas asked Member Lorenzo if she would accept the friendly amendment.
Member Lorenzo stated that she would accept the amendment, given the Assistant Fire Chief’s recommendations.
Member Capello said he couldn’t support the motion because when the representatives were here before, there was a lengthy discussion in regard to the landscaping along Twelve Mile and he was left with the impression that something special would be done. He said that this was a piece of property that arose out of litigation and a lot of people were against settling the litigation with the property; so every time someone drove by they would remember that it issued to be park land. He had asked if something could be done to beef up the landscaping around Twelve Mile and he really didn’t see that in the plans at all.
Member Capello also stated that it looked like there would be two four-plexes and two six-plexes in the multi-family along Twelve Mile Road. He said he would like to see more design to the buildings fronting Twelve Mile Road.
Mr. DePorre stated that Brian Newcomb, his landscape architect, had met with the planner and a couple members of staff and had put together a quite extensive landscape. He had upsized all the trees that were there; he added more and put in a fabulous water feature at the entrance.
Member Capello said that he talked to Kevin and Jim Bagley. He said Jim told him about a water feature; maybe he missed it.
Clay Pearson stated that the reason might be because that entrance off Twelve Mile would not be part of this particular site plan.
Mr. DePorre stated that it was not part of the multi-family.
Mr. Pearson said that while doing a drive around on Friday, the City’s landscape architect, Lance Shipman, made the comment that they had beefed up the entrance feature. It sounded like they were talking about the same things; the City would be happy to share with you the specific renderings.
Member Capello stated that on page 23 it appeared as though it had a simple monument sign made out of some type of fieldstone. He wanted to know what he was missing.
Mr. Pearson said if he wasn’t mistaken, he thought Member Capello wanted increased landscaping and enhancement of the Twelve Mile Road entrance on the collector road to the whole site, and the sheet that he was probably referring to was just for the multi-family off the collector road, which couldn’t be seen off Twelve Mile.
Member Capello asked when Council would see the entrance off Twelve Mile Road.
Mr. DePorre stated that it was in the City’s possession right now.
Member Capello asked if that would come back to Council as part of the approval.
Mr. Pearson said that had already been approved as the collector road by Council and would not come back for a separate approval.
Tim Schmitt of the Plan Review Center said that they had been working behind the scenes with Brian Newcomb, Pulte’s landscape architect. Mr. Schmitt said that they were working with hand drawn sketches to try to get an idea of where they’re going with the process. He said it focused largely on the stretch, which was actually part of the single family, responding to Member Capello’s comments from the previous approval that he wanted to see something beefed up along there. He said there were two issues. The City had a problem with the Road Commission in granting of the right-of-way permit along there because the tail of the berm did come into the right-of-way somewhat. He said the City was still continuing to work on that and in conjunction working on the landscaping at the top of the berm and at the entryway where the right-of-way kicked out a little bit. There was a water feature proposed for that area, a larger more ornate wall, and they had beefed up the type of materials. He said it was substantially better than what Council saw before.
Member Capello stated that just left one issue. He asked if Pulte could put a different façade on the two four-units and two six-units that would front Twelve Mile Road.
Mr. DePorre answered that they could probably make some architectural adjustments working with the City on something like that. Again, he wouldn’t change the internal workings of the homes and units but with the exterior he could do something. He said they looked at this as 500 units, 800 units; that was kind of how they set up. When you get to nuances of 10-14 units out of all that, they could take a deeper dive at that and make something a little more palatable.
Member Capello said he could support that.
Member Paul stated that the plans lacked an illustration of the whole plan. She stated that it should be rectified so Council could look at everything at the whole time. She asked why Council was getting a piecemeal plan.
Mr. Pearson answered that the entrance feature was part of the collector road, which Council had approved some time ago. Then the single family came in and this was the first phase of the multi-family. It wasn’t all that atypical to have the single family and then have the multi-family come in separately.
Member Paul said that she would prefer to see the whole plan together with this type of litigation that the City had just gone through. She thought it would be a much better plan if Council looked at the traffic flow of the entire site plan.
Member Paul wanted clarification on public and private roads. She wanted the sidewalks to meet City specifications so when the City had a public snow removal, the sidewalks would not be covered with snow.
Mr. Pearson stated that was already done; that it was part of the collector road that Council already approved and met that design standard. The collector road was not a part of this site plan.
Member Paul wanted to know why all roads could not meet City standards.
Mr. Pearson asked as to width?
Member Paul stated as to width, sidewalks, drainage; she wanted to know the rationale.
Mr. Pearson said there were different reasons for each one of them. The width was a function of the land that was available and the layout to meet other requirements for geometrics in the road. He suggested that if Council was to proceed with an amendment to require compliance with the lane width that there also be a provision that additional driveway width could be shortened. He stated that something would have to give. Rather than have to make them come back from the 19 foot to 17 foot drives and get that approval. They would have to do that design work but Council might want to consider authorizing that now. He asked if Council would rather have lane width or longer drives.
Member Paul stated that her concern with shortening the drives was that car length was fairly long and she believed the driveways were only 19 feet as they existed now. If that were the case, how could someone park and not be in the road.
Mr. Pearson stated the driveways were 19 feet and it was a drive in front of garage. He believed 19 feet was what the City’s standard parking lot depth was, so it was not out of the ordinary from what was seen in any parking lots but it was shorter than what the City typically required for a driveway.
Member Paul wanted to know if that included the apron into the driveway and the street as 19 feet.
Mr. Pearson believed it was just from the back of curb to the garage door.
Mr. Magna stated he had a sketch which would show a profile of that.
Member Paul said her concern was that the sidewalk could possibly be blocked with big vehicles like Hummers, SUV’s and other large vehicles if the City shortened the road at all, but she didn’t want a problem with someone’s driveway either.
Mr. Magna said that the curb length was increased to 22 feet from 20 feet with collaboration with the City Managers and the Planners. He said what they were trying to demonstrate as being the 22 foot alley, thereby leaving 19 feet for a driveway. In their opinion 19 feet was an acceptable dimension for a driveway for a single vehicle to park or if two cars, obviously side by side; it was basically a single car depth. He said that was to the edge of pavement just to clarify.
Member Paul stated that there were a lot of intersection questions in regard to the street center line for geometry and also for lane geometry in regard to widening. She wanted to add to the motion handicapped ramps at all internal intersections and also the tactile strips of the handicapped ramps for the ADA compliance.
Member Paul stated that the K value was 15 instead of 30 and wanted to know from the Fire Marshal what that would entail for the narrow value, would the City be able to turn the snowplows and fire trucks in that small an area.
Assistant Fire Chief Johnson asked what specific area that would be.
Member Paul answered they had several areas listed: the crest curve on Gwinnet was one.
Mr. Pearson said that was referring to the traffic letter; Steve Deering from Orchard Hills was here to provide the traffic engineering and might be better equipped to talk about the K values and then Jeff Johnson could support that.
Mayor Csordas interjected that Council had agreed they would have private streets except the collector road, so there wouldn’t be snowplows involved. Council already took care of that earlier.
Member Paul stated that she thought that was only for Ellery, not Gwinnet.
Member Paul agreed with Member Capello on the façade that was approaching Twelve Mile; she was glad the roads were all going to be private. She was really concerned because different subdivisions came forward at a later time saying they wanted to make them public and then the City would be responsible for them. She hoped that didn’t happen in the future.
Member Paul said with the adjustments about the ADA being part of the intersections for the sidewalks, if amenable to that, she would be able to support the motion.
Member Lorenzo said she was amenable to the requirement for ADA.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said the seconder of the motion was amenable to the ADA requirement.
Member Nagy asked if the landscape design would include any sidewalks.
Mr. DePorre answered that they were two separate issues. They would still put money in escrow for future sidewalk along Twelve Mile but the upgraded landscape that they had done was from a different account.
Member Nagy asked what was meant by the K values below 30.
Steven Deering, Manager of Traffic Engineering Services for OHM. He stated that the K value was a measure of curvature in the profile of a road, how wavy it was. It usually came into play in either a crest, going over the top of a hill or sag as you bottom out through a valley. It usually came into play when worried about things like sight distance; you want to see over a hill in enough time in case someone was pulling out of a driveway or side street, you could see them, they could see you, that sort of thing.
Mr. Derring said that this site was predominantly flat. He said the other part where K values came into play was how choppy the ride appeared. It you had no vertical curves at all because the inflections were relatively small or if these K values were very small, which meant a very short curve, then if there were a large number of them in series, it was going to feel like you’re going through a rollercoaster. He said there was no one hill, either a valley or a top, that was significantly large that there were any worries about being able to see somebody coming out of their driveway but it would still ride very poorly. Traffic calming would say this was a good thing, it kept the speeds down; it made it uncomfortable to travel quickly, but in some of these instances like Ellery Lane, it was the only access for fire and the City wouldn’t want the fire department’s progress down the road impeded because it was like going down the rollercoaster. He said that the normal City design standards were predicated on providing these so-called K values that would be adequate to make sure there weren’t site distance problems. He said they were dealing with alleys, not regular public roads; it was relatively flat; there were no site distance concerns. He was just looking at ridability issues and about what it was like to ride on fire equipment as they try to move quickly down what would otherwise be a choppy road.
Member Nagy stated, according to their response, the three issues would be reviewed and addressed to the extent possible so as not to conflict with the intent of the concept plan. She asked Mr. Deering if he was satisfied.
Mr. Deering said he thought it should be possible to modify the K values without gross distortions and what they had already designed. He thought it could be handled as an engineering matter; it could be made a condition of approval.
Member Nagy stated that if that was his requirement as an engineer, then she wanted to make an amendment to the motion that the lane geometric issues.
Mr. Deering said that he had made a recommendation on something that was less than normal City design standard for alleys and he believed that with very little effort their engineer should be able to make that modification.
Member Lorenzo stated that the maker of the motion would approve the amendment, given that the gentlemen were nodding with agreement.
Mr. DePorre stated that was in process as he spoke.
Member Nagy said she agreed with Member Capello regarding the Twelve Mile facades and she had seen other Pulte developments. One of the things that she saw in the Vistas Brownstones was that there was white vinyl siding with very dark brick. She wanted to know if that was what Pulte was going to use again.
Mr. DePorre said that they had submitted their color schematics and the answer was no.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry wanted the maker of the motion to also consider including as requirements the other items in the September 29th Fire Department letter. It was spacing of fire hydrants reduced to a maximum of 300 feet and located in the road right-of-way 10 feet but not more than 15 feet back from the curb. He stated that it said it shall be noted on the plans.
Member Lorenzo stated that the maker of the motion was agreeable.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said as the seconder, he would agree. He asked if the applicant was agreeable to it and voluntarily agreeing to do this.
Mr. DePorre answered absolutely.
Member Capello asked if Ellery was required to be a 24 foot road, would you have an issue with needing waiver on the length of the driveways.
Mr. DePorre answered that from where he was sitting today, probably yes.
Member Capello stated that Council needed to grant a waiver to make the driveway 17 feet instead of 19. He would rather have the 22 foot road and the 19 foot driveways, because overall safety on a day-to-day basis he thought was safer.
Mayor Csordas stated that these were alleyways, too, so it wasn’t the thoroughfare.
Member Capello stated that if you went 18 with the driveway, the road would be 23 feet. He asked if that was workable as a friendly amendment.
Ellery Road Council would grant a waiver to 23 feet and grant a waiver for the driveways to 18 feet.
Member Lorenzo asked if that would work for Chief Johnson. Could the fire apparatus go through there.
Chief Johnson answered that it didn’t conform to the ordinance; it would be difficult and, in his opinion, he would not recommend it. He said the department would be able to get the fire apparatus through the alleyway. The only other thing he was thinking was if there was a traffic control of some sort, and especially since it was going to be private he didn’t know how it would be enforced. Again, if someone parked their vehicle, it would cause grief to get around that vehicle, so it was hard to say how it would impact. It there were some sort of traffic control on both sides of the alleyway and somehow it was enforced, then he would go along with that.
Mayor Csordas said that Chief Johnson made a great point; again, Council has to remember this was an alleyway but he thought the point was very valid. He wanted to know if there were any parking restrictions in the alleyway.
Mr. DePorre said that signage was an easy one that they could agree to do. The second one was that they would incorporate parking into the condominium covenants and restrictions.
Mayor Csordas said that Venice, California, had a situation like that. It had homes that fronted on the canals there and then alleyways were really enforced. He knew you couldn’t park in the alley there.
Mr. DePorre stated the other thing they had done, through the help of Mr. Pearson, was to add more off-street parking so no one would have to park in the alley.
Mr. Fisher wanted to clarify. There had been a number of conditions made to the motion and, if it was approved, the understanding would be that revised plans would be submitted for administrative review to conform with all the consultants and the comments this evening.
3. Consideration of rezoning request 18.638, the request of William Eldridge for rezoning of property in Section 11, located on the northeast corner of Novi Road and Twelve Mile Road from R-4 (One Family Residential) to B-3 (General Business) District. The subject property is 1.3 acres.
Alan Green said he was the representative of the petitioner. Ken Cusick was also here tonight. He said that this matter had some interesting twists, so he was going to recap three things. First, why the rezoning, separating apart from the cemetery issues; second, recap the history, and third, specific issues that troubled the Planning Commission.
Mr. Green stated that the property was at the intersection of two busy roads in the township’s commercial quarter. There were three other corners there; one corner was zoned B-3, it had a service station and the other two corners were regional commercial. Nearby their area were two regional malls, fast food restaurants, a hotel, furniture stores, a muffler shop and a service station. He said this property was part of the Oakland Hills Cemetery; it served as its main and, at one time, only principal entrance.
Mr. Green said that separating it out from the issues regarding the cemetery, the B-3 was an appropriate zoning classification for this property. It was currently zoned single family residential. He said this 1.3 acre site would not be an appropriate site for single family residential; in fact, they could find no other situation anywhere in the City when looking at comparables where something like that occurred. It was a high traffic corridor; there was noise and congestion; it was unsafe for children and would not be a suitable or desirable single family site to put two or three homes, which was about what you could get on that property if it were to be developed under the single family classification. He said it was also not marketable as zoned; the property had been on the market for seven years with not a single inquiry with respect to a residential-type use; all the uses inquired about had all been of commercial use.
Mr. Green stated that he was really just summarizing a lot of zoning issues but they thought as a zoning matter, it was really an appropriate business and commercial site.
Mr. Green summarized the history: In 1996, this cemetery operation, along with several other cemetery operations, was sold to another entity called Sienna Group. As part of that sale, there were a couple of exclusions with respect to this particular cemetery, and one exclusion was this corner parcel. At that point in time, the cemetery ownership had already determined that a new entrance would be built along Twelve Mile Road. The same issues, both in terms of the change in the area with the commercialization of the area, the high traffic, the other development that caused the City to go about its major road improvements, including Twelve Mile, caused the cemetery ownership to decide that was really not an appropriate place right at the corner of this intersection for funerals to come in.
Mr. Green said that when the cemetery was sold, this parcel was excluded and the new owner agreed to pursue the new entrance. An easement was created which gave the cemetery, the new owner, the right to use the old entrance until such time as the new entrance was built or two years. He said that sort of got extended by verbal agreement because it took a little over two years for the new entrance. In November 1998, the Planning Commission after receiving various reports of its staff and outside consultants approved a preliminary site plan, special land use and a woodlands permit for the new cemetery entrance. He said there was no question if Council looked at the records back then, no one was trying to hide anything and it was set forth at the meeting and in the consultants’ reports that the purpose of the new entrance was to replace the old entrance at the corner, that the cemetery had been sold and the old entrance was not part of the sale and wasn’t going to be part of the cemetery later and would be redeveloped. He said that was approved and the new entrance was built. In conjunction with that where the 1.3 acres was at issue here was the old cemetery office. He said that was also going to be replaced with a cemetery office near the Twelve Mile entrance. That was about the same time that the current owner put the property on the market for sale and had been listed with the same broker for the last seven years.
Mr. Green said that the next major event that occurred was that the City started having discussions about widening and expanding Twelve Mile Road which involved taking some of the property along Twelve Mile Road. A condemnation action was filed with respect to taking part of this property; that took about a year or two years. The City ended up taking a portion of the property, as well as having to tear down some of the wall and took the cemetery office that had been on the cemetery property. Again, the City’s appraiser and the appraiser reports acknowledged that this was owned separately from the cemetery now and was likely to be redeveloped, that commercial B-3 use was the likely reasonable use for the property. When the appraiser indicated that the City would tear down the building, the appraiser indicated that there was no value to the building because it was no longer going to be used as a cemetery office and, in fact, it would be a benefit to the property because the property would be redeveloped, and the City would be tearing down the structure, thereby leaving the property suitable for development.
Mr. Green said that the condemnation action was resolved when both sides accepted a mediation award. That occurred in September 2003. He said that within two months at that point in time, they filed this rezoning request. In the meantime while the condemnation action was going on, they agreed in writing with the current owner of the cemetery that they could continue to use the cemetery entrance as a secondary entrance until the time that the property was sold or rezoned or developed. Now he understood that the cemetery was under potentially a sale to someone else. He said that agreement was in place today; he said they didn’t get consideration for that; it was more of a courtesy to the cemetery. Mr. Green said they also offered back then when the cemetery was going to rebuild its entrance that it could use any of the old material from the remaining walls there. He said the cemetery did not do that.
Mr. Green stated that at the City’s request about five months after the filed the rezoning request, they appeared at the Master Plan and Zoning Committee meeting. The Committee recommended unanimously that the rezoning to B-3 be reflected on the Master Plan. He said they had a discussion then and it continued with the Planning Commission that there were some uses that the Committee was concerned about under the B-3. They had talked about whether B-1, B-2 or B-3 would be an appropriate zoning classification. He said B-2 couldn’t be used because it required a minimum of two acres. He said B-2 and B-3 were pretty close together. At that time, they were looking at types of things people were interested in: we had banks, a wine shop, gas stations, restaurants. There could be a gas station or restaurant under B-1 use. So they indicated they would work with the City and enter into a deed restriction or development agreement, however the City wanted to do it, to restrict uses.
The issues that were raised were this: The property hadn’t been split; there was an issue whether property could be rezoned even though it hadn’t been properly split. The Planning Commission through its attorney wanted to make sure they had proper deeds and had legal title, which they provided. He said the reason for the split issue was because there was a concern about whether the mausoleum which was near this property would be properly set back from the new property line. After the public hearing, they went back, resurveyed and found they were three feet short. As a result of that, they did submit a revision to the rezoning request, cut back the land to create the 10 feet; he thought that issue didn’t exist anymore.
The other issue related to the nature of the uses allowed under B-3. There were comments that B-3 was the most intense use zoning district and the City didn’t have very much of it; it was really not appropriate. He said they tried to point out that the B-3 uses were very similar, the regional commercial uses all around on the other three corners to them and reiterated their desire to deed restrict the property.
He said at the first public hearing everyone was talking about a gas station. He said there was no question; they had three offers for a gas station; they had a contract for a gas station and had approached the City about a gas station. It wasn’t that favorably received. That’s what the City thought they were coming to do. Again, they made it very clear on the record and he would make it clear again tonight, that although a gas station was probably the easiest use for them to enter into a contract, probably the highest and best use in terms of return for the property, we said if it was a gas station issue as opposed to a general retail B-3 use they would deed restrict the property and prevent a gas station from being there. He said their objective was to come up with a reasonable use of the property that would be consistent with the City’s desires in that corridor that would be attractive to do that.
Mr. Green said the final issue, also most difficult and troubling, was the issue could they develop this corner without vacating the cemetery plat. The cemetery was a platted cemetery. The issue really was whether or not this was considered burial ground under the statute, which wasn’t really defined. He said their position had been and remained that under the terms of the statute, there were no platted cemetery lots here, this was not burial ground. There were many cemeteries that had been in similar situations throughout the state that had sold off excess land that had been part of the cemetery and would be appropriate to do so here. If they had to go vacate it, they would but hadn’t made that determination. The issue still was what an appropriate zoning classification for this land was. It was not owned by the cemetery and hadn’t been for seven years. It was really not a part of the cemetery; the only use that the cemetery had of it was by virtue of an easement agreement that they had given them that was very limited with no consideration for it, it was a courtesy. He said that whatever happened in the future, it would not be part of the cemetery again. That was a troubling issue, as you heard the gentleman here speak before with respect to certain people.
Mr. Green said that in many respects, it was not a whole lot different than what was going on in the corridor. The City had expanded Twelve Mile Road and ended up having to take cemetery property. It moved graves; it tore down the old cemetery office and took some of the walls to make that improvement because the area had changed a bit. It was a busy area. For that same reason, they made that determination. The original owner and the subsequent owner agreed that they would move the entrance for similar reasons; it just wasn’t an appropriate place to put it and they did that. It was a legitimate reason for doing it back then, and we’re trying to find a legitimate way to use the property.
Mr. Green said one last issue came up and they were sensitive it to. There was some concern that the walls that were there had historical value. He said some were very deteriorated and hadn’t been maintained in years. He said they offered it to the cemetery to be used in their new entrance; they didn’t take them up on it. He said they were prepared to do it again. He also indicated that if the property were to be developed for commercial retail use, it would be appropriate and they would be willing to do a design to incorporate the materials into a wall that would then continue around the cemetery and separate the two parcels because there would be a screen.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked Mr. Green if Mr. Eldridge was his client.
Mr. Green answered yes.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked how long Mr. Eldridge had owned the property.
Mr. Green answered that he had owned the cemetery since the 1980’s.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked for a great majority of time that this parcel on the corner which hadn’t really been split was used by Mr. Eldridge as part of the cemetery.
Mr. Green answered yes.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if Mr. Eldridge owned the property if he operated the cemetery himself or a business that he had an interest in.
Mr. Green answered that it was owned by a company; he wasn’t personally involved.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if Mr. Green had an interest in the company.
Mr. Green answered yes.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that for some period of years Mr. Eldridge was involved in a business entity that used this property as a cemetery and presumably made money by doing so.
Mr. Green answered that he couldn’t say whether he made money or not; it was a business entererprise, yes.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked during the time Mr. Eldridge used the property did he make a representation to the City of Novi that it should be tax exempt because it was part of a cemetery.
Mr. Green couldn’t say whether he made a representation or not to the City of Novi or whether that existed before he bought it or whether he just carried forward what occurred.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if it was Mr. Green’s understanding that while this was owned by Mr. Eldridge and used as part of the cemetery it was tax exempt.
Mr. Green answered that was what he’d been told.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if that tax exempt status would have to be at least as a result of a request by your client that it be part of the cemetery and, for that reason, tax exempt.
Mr. Green answered that he honestly did not know that to be the case.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if his client was now approaching the City and saying that it was not cemetery and it should not be tax exempt.
Mr. Green answered that at the moment the only thing the property was used for and had been used for continued to be people to get in and out of the cemetery; but, yes, he was asking for the property to be rezoned so it had value, other than as an entrance to the cemetery, and to be put on the tax rolls and be developed.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked is this the same property he thought was tax exempt and used it as tax exempt at one point in time.
Mr. Green answered correct.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if his client used this property as a part of a burial ground at some point.
Mr. Green answered that his client did not, as far as he knew.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if it was part of a larger cemetery parcel which was a burial ground.
Mr. Green responded that there was a burial ground in the cemetery; there were platted cemetery lots in this property.
CM-04-10-370 Moved by Landry, seconded by Capello; To deny rezoning request 18.638 to rezone the land from R-4 (One Family Residential) to B-3 (General Business) District for the following reasons: 1) The proposed district does not conform to the Master Plan, which calls for the continuation of historic and current quasi-public cemetery use. By contrast, the current district is consistent with the Master Plan; 2) The proposed district would negatively affect the City’s ability to implement and follow the Master Plan in this area and it would establish a commercial use on the north side of Twelve Mile between Novi Road and M-5 which is not in agreement with the Master Plan; 3) The proposed district would negatively affect the objectives, goals and policies of the Master Plan for the same reasons. The Master Plan for the area calls for the residential and/or office use with this parcel to remain cemetery use; 4) The proposed district would be incompatible with the existing cemetery use directly adjacent to the north and east sides; 5) The proposed district is not consistent with the existing zoning in the northeast quadrant of Novi Road and Twelve Mile; 6) The proposed district is not consistent with the current historic use of the subject property as a cemetery entrance; 7) The Applicant has indicated that he has no interest in pursuing the development under the PRO Ordinance, which has been developed to allow the review of a site plan in conjunction with a rezoning request and allows for site-specific use of the property; 8) There are currently adequate retail uses within the area, which has a significant number of properties for such uses; 9) As a result of the landscaping requirements for the commercial parcels that abut residential parcels, the usable area would be limited; 10) The Applicant has failed to demonstrate that the subject property may be lawfully used for anything other than cemetery purposes, since it appears to be platted burial ground that has not been vacated. CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Member Capello asked if the City had been collecting taxes on these 1.3 acres.
Glenn Lemmon, City Assessor, answered no. Because the property had never been requested to be split, that was a minor issue. It had been used as a cemetery entrance over the years even after Mr. Eldridge retained it. Basically what happened when Michigan Cemetery Management, which Mr. Eldridge was involved in, was sold to Sienna Group, it sold the one-quarter section with a number of exceptions. One of the exceptions was this corner.
He said several years later, while doing his research, he found that several months after this transfer Mr. Eldridge recorded another quit-claim deed but the boundaries of that quit-claim did not match what the exception was on the Sienna transfer. Mr. Lemmon said he had a little problem with that because the borders of the properties were in conflict. He was also a little concerned with the platting of the cemetery, that the use of the property was still encumbered by the platting of the cemetery; therefore, the use was still being used as a driveway, as an entrance to the cemetery. He felt it was encumbered and he didn’t know what the boundaries of the property were. He said those were the three reasons why he didn’t make an attempt to assess it; he felt that the use was still consistent with an exempt use.
Member Capello asked if they had ever applied for a partial split.
Mr. Lemmon answered no. He said he approached them in late 2000 to request that they approach him with some documentation so he knew which property boundary was correct and so they could start a lot split proceeding; they never returned his calls.
Mr. Fisher wanted to clarify one point that Mr. Green made in his presentation relating to what the appraiser for the City did in connection with the condemnation case for roadway purposes adjacent to this property. The appraiser certainly appraised his property in accordance with the requirements of Michigan law for what the property’s highest and best use was. The appraiser made no recommendation, made no determination of what a reasonable use was for this property. He only determined what the highest and best use was. He knew that for many years there had been some dispute between property owners and governmental representatives where property owners were unhappy that governmental entities didn’t consider to a great enough extent highest and best use. He said here was an appraiser that had gone the full measure of determining the highest and best use and now an attempt was being made to use that against the City in a subsequent matter. He didn’t think that was a fair situation.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-10-370 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy,
Paul, Csordas, Landry,
4. Approval to award Acella, a sole source provider, a contract in the amount of $109,160 to proceed with the implementation of software changes to Permits Plus. Expenses will be reimbursed based upon a Per Diem allowance of $148, with airfare reimbursed at actual cost.
CM-04-10-371 Moved by Paul, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY; To award Acella, a sole source provider, a contract in the amount of $109,160 to proceed with the implementation of software changes to Permits Plus. Expenses will be reimbursed based upon a Per Diem allowance of $148, with airfare reimbursed at actual cost.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-10-371 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul,
Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
5. Approval of resolution to amend the Building Department fee schedule and to include a grading permit fee as part of such schedule.
CM-04-10-372 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY; To approve the resolution to amend the Building Department fee schedule and to include a grading permit fee as part of such schedule.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-10-372 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas,
Landry, Capello, Gatt,
Jim Korte, Shawood Lake, thanked Council for Item No. three.
Tom Marcus thanked Council for Item No. three vote. His grandfather bought those lots just inside the gate in 1944 and his father had been buried there since 1990; he planned on being buried there. He was glad there would not be a dumpster next to our graves.
Diana Canup, Glamorgan Drive, thanked Council for listening to the public and for all the people who couldn’t represent themselves. Her family had been in Novi for over 60 years with several family members buried there. The idea of the entrance and the procedures that Mr. Eldridge followed had been very unkind in her opinion. She again wanted to thank Council.
Linda Krieger, Byrne Drive, thanked Council for the vote on Item No. three.
Mayor Csordas recessed the meeting at 9:13 PM
Mayor Csordas called the meeting back to order at 9:30 PM
6. Approval of Change Order #1 in the amount of $174,000 to the construction contract to South Hill Construction for Taft Road construction.
CM-04-10-372 Moved by Capello, seconded by Nagy; To approve Change Order #1 in the amount of $174,000 to the construction contract to South Hill Construction for Taft Road construction; MOTION CARRIED.
Roll Call Vote on 04-10-372 Yeas: Paul, Csordas, Landry,
Capello, Gatt, Nagy
7. Approval of Lexington Green Traffic Control Orders (Stop Signs as requested by Homeowner Association).
Member Gatt stated that it had been his experience that citizens requested signs and the City experts didn’t always go along with their requests; there usually was a reason.
Member Lorenzo stated that she had to recuse herself due to the proximity of one of the stop signs either on her property or close to it.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if a person had to recuse if there was no money involved.
Mr. Fisher answered that generally speaking, it should be an economic interest, but if there was some reason why a fair vote couldn’t be taken, then the person should recuse.
CM-04-10-372 Moved by Landry, seconded by Nagy; To recuse Member Lorenzo upon her request.
Voice Vote on CM-40-10-372 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Member Gatt said that he wanted to please the homeowners; it was their subdivision and they had to live there. He said oftentimes the request was different than what the City engineers requested. He wanted to ask the Police Chief his opinion of this motion before Council voted on it. Member Gatt said that the engineers suggested yield signs in lieu of stop signs. He wanted to know the police department’s position.
Chief Shaeffer answered that they had to listen to the advice of the City’s traffic engineers; he stated that stop signs in a subdivision could have less desirable effects than what they were intended to have on certain occasions. Additional noise concerns, accelerating cars well past the intended speed limit because of that interval and the acceleration factor that played into effect. Sometimes they had the effect as intended and desired.
Member Gatt stated for the record that he wouldn’t support this, only because the City’s traffic engineers were against it. It was his experience when traffic signs, like stop signs, were installed in a subdivision oftentimes they weren’t adhered to because the residents didn’t feel the need to stop because they were on their way to work and could see no kids around. When they get in the habit of not stopping for stop signs, accidents occurred later on.
Mayor Csordas agreed with Member Gatt because he saw it almost every day on the road that he traveled. The residents had requested stop signs and, in essence, they had turned into yield signs because nobody stopped for them. He said he was concerned about that in the very beginning and actually parked there for 5-10 minutes to observe; no one was stopping for them. He said Member Gatt made a great point that what people did was not stop for stop signs, which created a problem.
CM-04-10-373 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; MOTION CARRIED; To approve Lexington Green Traffic Control Orders (Stop Signs as requested by Homeowner Association).
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-10-373 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Nagy,
Paul Nays: Csordas, Gatt
8. Approval to award the contract for Design Engineering Services and Construction Contract Administration Services for the Lanny’s Relief Sanitary Sewer project to the low qualified bidder, Fishbeck Thompson Carr & Huber in the not-to-exceed bid amount of $115,596.00.
Mr. Pearson said the item was on the agenda two weeks ago; there were some questions and specific requests about opening up to additional prices. He said the City did that; one of the inquiries was to specifically go back to Fishbeck Thompson Carr & Huber, which was the second ranked based on qualifications using the system the City had for that and inquiring to them about what it would involve to provide the modeling that was specified in the Ayres Lewis proposal. He said Fishbeck had come back and said they had intended and would provide as a clarification they were providing that same modeling in that same not-to-exceed figure of the $115,596.00. Based upon that, since there would be higher rank based on qualifications and experience and lower price, the City would recommend or ask your consideration of Fishbeck.
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Fisher if Council had the right to make that request to take that action or would it taint the proposal process.
Mr. Fisher answered that it was his understanding that OHM had submitted an express proposal showing this item that actually was not part of the bid. Clarification was made with Fishbeck indicating that this modeling was going to be included in theirs as well; it was not a change in their bid.
Member Nagy asked Kathy Smith-Roy if the fee structure had been waived for the payback for this district for people hooking up to this. She thought the City was losing potentially a lot of money.
Ms. Smith-Roy answered that she was not sure why it happened. Basically, what had happened was there was an SAD district; it was a contract SAD No. 83 and it was set up for a specific area that didn’t extend west. As development came about during the 90’s, it ended up that the development was going more west than south; so it required use of the system that was put in for SAD No. 83. She was not sure why that district was not amended; they couldn’t find detail to that but the City could extend it or change the district once the information was available from the design, if Providence would be willing to negotiate that.
Member Nagy said it looked like the district had been set up where our attorney was doing housekeeping minor amendments.
Ms. Smith-Roy answered that the City did a number of ordinance amendments but that was relating to fees; it was not changing districts. She said they had periods that were ending for the City to be able to collect payback fees. So what the City did during that ordinance amendment change was to extend the period for collection.
Member Nagy said she was disappointed in this because the City would lose future fees.
Ms. Smith-Roy stated that there was a potential that the City might not collect 100 percent of the construction costs; however, this improvement was benefiting the system at large.
Member Nagy wanted to table this. She said she was very disappointed in the fact that she looked at these bids and her feeling was the first thing that she didn’t remember URS, Anderson, JCK, Tucker Young, Midwest Consultants being in Council packet the last time.
Mayor Csordas stated that it was requested by a member of Council to be in the packet.
Member Nagy said that she looked at the bids and saw that Fishbeck was $115,000 and looked at JCK which was $89,000, saving approximately $24,610. The reason she brought up JCK was because she believed JCK was involved before.
Mr. McCusker answered they were in the original design.
Member Nagy stated that she knew the City had had some complaints regarding JCK, but it they were in the original design and they were $24,610 less, wouldn’t it be common sense to actually use JCK?
Mr. McCusker answered that he wasn’t part of the qualifying committee.
Mr. Klaver answered that for the last eight or nine years the City had been using the qualification based selection process for professional services, including legal, engineering, architectural, traffic engineering, all of those categories of service, the idea being that the City wanted to go with the most qualified firms. The City then qualified five among the most qualified firms, at that point the fee proposals were opened and selection was made. The City didn’t consider those below that, based on the qualifications to perform the work needed for the particular project. He said that was the basis for providing originally the top five firms based on their submittal on qualifications and our recommendation of fee proposals within those five. He said that had been the City’s practice for almost a decade now.
Member Nagy said she appreciated that, but what she was looking at was a) the bid process and b) if JCK was qualified before, how come they weren’t qualified now. She also liked the fact that they were saving us money and had worked on this before, therefore must have greater knowledge than a new engineering firm coming in. As far as the modeling went, she wanted to know if it was basically a computer-generated thing.
Mr. Pearson said on the financials, the term "waiver" was used; there wasn’t a waiver of fees for the district that had been established for the original SAD 83. He thought the point that she was making was why that area expanded as the district was expanded. But there was nothing that was waived, that he was aware of, that was owed the City.
Member Nagy said that she assumed that there was a waiver of some sort when she saw this district with all these people in it; and, going back into past records, there seemed to be a lot of negotiation with one particular person.
Mr. Pearson stated that this wasn’t a commodity like fine asphalt or gravel; it was a professional service and that was why the City had our professional staff review and qualify the firms. The City had been adamant on getting competition on these; it was very happy to receive 10 firms to submit on that, which showed faith on the part of those firms that there was a good honest look at these.
Mr. Pearson stated that while he wasn’t on the committee, he had some of the same questions. The preliminary report that JCK completed was made available to all the potential firms, so they all had the same data which the City paid for and owned. So, it was not proprietary that other people didn’t have that to build off.
He stated that another point was that the City had done lots of work with JCK and Associates and believed in that firm; the City had its entire 2004 neighborhood road repaving program and expanded that. He said the fact was that it wasn’t exactly the same firm and the same principals that were involved in this project. They, too, had gone through some changes; the principal involved in this was no longer with the firm. One of the points, including some of the things in this proposal, was because the City wasn’t able to get some of the information when JCK was going through that transition. He said the City would have liked to have had some of the information the City was now seeking with this proposal completed with that preliminary report. The fact was it was a long time in coming; they had to make corrections, waiting. Again, the City had lots of good stuff with them but once again one of the root factors that went into the evaluation was the capacity of the firm to do the work. He said based upon that experience in that first phase, it had to qualify in there and thus probably was a big part why that firm fell where it did.
Mr. Klaver asked Mr. Coburn to explain to Council what the modeling does.
Mr. Coburn stated that the modeling would take the data that JCK had produced from the preliminary report and would further refine it to verify the needed sizing for the sanitary sewer in that district.
Member Nagy asked how much involvement the City engineering department had with this sort of thing.
Mr. Coburn stated that he provided the scope of services for the proposals. He would review the proposals, when the City awards it to whomever, they’ll have a startup meeting where he would provide them with as much information they needed to go forward. He said the engineering department would give them guidance on what the City was looking for as a city, and once they complete the report, engineering reviewed it to make sure it complied with what we want as a City.
Member Nagy stated that the inspection was all done by the firm the City hired.
Mr. Coburn answered yes. Once the design was completed and it went to construction, the inspection would be done by the firm that the City hired.
Member Nagy asked Mr. Coburn why there was such a discrepancy in money; what extra was the City getting for $25,000.
Mr. Coburn answered that it was hard to say; it was a factor of how much work effort they were going to put into their product; how they were going to model it; what extra things they were going to do for us. He said that was why the scope of services was very important to review; you couldn’t just look at the price, you had to look at the scope as well to see what it was they were providing you for the price they were giving you. He said it was kind of the balancing act that you have.
Member Lorenzo said from an August 20, 2004 memo, the preliminary report did not include modeling, which you indicated, and gave estimations based on land use, downstream slopes and other assumptions that may or may not provide accurate calculation of required pipe diameter. Besides just the modeling, she asked Mr. Coburn if another firm would use the same assumptions; and, if they were only using assumptions, how could the City possibly come up with an "accurate" size.
Mr. Coburn answered that you’d never come up with a 100 percent accurate pipe size because there were too many variables that would occur. The report by JCK was a preliminary report; it was very basic in nature, as it was intended to be. They provided the City with some basic cost information so the City knew what the scope of this project was going to be, and some alternatives for that scope. He said what the City wanted to do now was to look at changes to land use, eventually there would be a Master Plan for Land Use in the next couple months that would be adopted that would have some proposed changes to what was in this JCK report. The City had also had two settlements, Old Dutch Farms and Paragon, which impacted some of the assumptions that were made in the JCK reports. JCK also looked at some of the pipe slopes but it was a basic report, so they didn’t look at a lot more things that the City could throw at them. The City would take a look at those as well.
Member Lorenzo asked if that was because the City revised the scope; that it didn’t ask for that information up front. She asked what the City paid for this preliminary report.
Mr. Coburn answered that it was $13,000.
Member Lorenzo asked why the City didn’t ask for modeling, additional slopes, etc. It seemed somewhat redundant that the City had a report but it wasn’t good enough, so now the City was going to spend more money on top of that. She wanted to know why the district was not amended.
Mr. Pearson answered that it was twofold: one, the project wasn’t timely in terms of needing the capacity and you don’t set up the payback until you had the pipe in the ground or at least farther along than just wanting to plan. Secondly, the expansions, Island Lake and those things, probably came on 2000, 2001 which was probably about the same time the City was going through Public Services which was having changes. The fact was it wasn’t pushed for or asked for at that time.
Member Lorenzo stated that her concern was that the administration did not initiate this and did not see this coming. She said it put the City in a precarious position because now it will be several hundred thousand dollars out. She also wanted to know about capacity being traded.
Mr. Pearson stated that the fact was with those expansions of the service area with Island Lake and the other developments that were pre- many of us; some of that capacity at the pinch point was used for those projects rather than that original service area. He said that was a function of those site plan approvals when those occurred.
Mayor Csordas asked what "pinch point" was.
Mr. Pearson said that the improvement was going to occur from Beck Road and, as it was laid out now which looks like the most economical along I-96, but the service district was farther to the west, primarily west of Beck Road. So the pinch point where there was a future capacity problem was farther downstream from where the actual development was going to occur. He stated Council would see in the JCK report the different design points were identified; they say that there was capacity within that design point. He said his understanding from Mr. Coburn there was capacity farther west once these were built but the pinch point farther down after all of this was cumulative, that’s what this relief sewer that had been in the CIP and been talked about for almost a decade would resolve.
Member Lorenzo asked just because site plans were approved didn’t obligate that the utilities were in the ground.
Mr. Fisher answered that would depend on the circumstances. In the Paragon case, the City did represent that there was adequate capacity. He really didn’t remember what the discussion was for the Links of Novi, but he was sure there was discussion about utilities.
Member Lorenzo stated that typically the City didn’t guarantee the applicant that they were going to have utilities.
Mr. Fisher answered that the City didn’t guarantee; the only thing he could bring forword of recent to show what assumptions property owners make and how that governs their behavior was the situation the City had with Wilshire Abbey where the City didn’t guarantee road access either but they thought that somehow the City was the guarantor of road access, so they threatened litigation.
Member Lorenzo said that road access was a little different in the case where if either the taxpayers or a fund such as the water and sewer fund paying for the improvement. She said in the cases of roads, the City of Novi did not pay for the construction of those roads. She didn’t think that the City should be making promises that the taxpayers or one of our funds was going to put forth for their sewer, water or anything else in their subdivision.
Mr. Fisher stated that in the case of Wilshire the City didn’t believe that casual discussions that municipal officials could make business decisions for property owners in that regard.
Member Lorenzo said that she didn’t understand how the City traded away tax that was supposed to be paid back to this district and traded them away. She wanted an explanation and who authorized it.
Mr. Fisher answered that his conceptual understanding of this matter is that for many years in terms of Master Planning, the City both zoning and utility planning was that in the western part of the community, there would be very low density so the actual pipe sizing occurred based on that assumption. At some point in the not-so-distant past, the City changed its course, maybe with the onset of the Island Lake development, and that brought about the whole notion that maybe the western part of the community was going to be developing to a greater degree; we’ve got a development here now, this pipe was of a limited size, this development was here today and we’re going to let them develop and then we’ll have to catch up in the future. He said his understanding was that everyone was aware of it by virtue of the project that we’re talking about now being placed in the capitol improvement planning for some period of time, so that the idea of giving earlier capacity in this line to somebody that hadn’t initially been planned for was presented or traded off. It really was a matter of timing with the understanding and by putting it in the capital improvement plan this may be something that was available today but by the time all the other development caught up, we would need this line that had been planned for agricultural zoning to be upsized.
Member Lorenzo stated that, first of all, the capital improvement was just that, a plan. It could be changed just like a Master Plan. So she wouldn’t suggest to anyone from staff rely on that or have applicants rely on that as to whether or not they should move forward with a development.
Mr. Pearson answered that it was a fact when the site plan for Island Lake was approved; somebody said there was capacity in the sewer system somewhere. They used some of that capacity with the changes that were made for all these projects the City had been a part of, whether it be Quail Hollow, Paragon, Island Lake was the most obvious and the most longstanding, so this wasn’t anything new in terms of that change and it wasn’t anything hidden or nefarious or anything else; it was a fact that those site plans changed.
Member Capello stated that he had that same question in the planning stages when he was on Planning Commission; we kept asking about capacity. The response was that the City might have to run a parallel line, so the Commission knew it was going to run out of capacity in that area when Island Lake was approved. The Planning Commission addressed it and now it was coming to us years later.
Member Lorenzo asked how many developments that have been approved were part of this scenario that were taking capacity without replenishing it, especially away from SAD 83. She thought the City had an obligation under SAD 83; how was the City going to payback those sewer connections.
Mr. Pearson stated that he didn’t think the City had to pay back SAD 83.
Ms. Smith-Roy answered that the City was trying to provide the additional capacity needed when there was development coming up, Kirkway Place, other developments that were in that district, the 200 beds for the hospital, etc., the City wanted that capacity available and when those projects came on line they would be paid back under SAD 83. She said they would be paid back under the City’s contract SAD 83 with Providence because they were within that district.
Member Lorenzo are there no other developments that are outside of that district that should have paid back SAD 83 that will not at this point.
Ms. Smith-Roy answered that the City couldn’t go back and charge them.
Member Capello asked if the City was out money for that.
Ms. Smith-Roy answered that the City would be out a portion; it was her understanding, and they had run this by the City Attorney’s offices, the City would recalculate, once the design was completed, the estimated number of tap units that would be within the district that would be serviced. The City would subtract those portions that had already received benefit because the City couldn’t go backwards in time and charge them. The City would charge the remaining units as they came on board.
Member Lorenzo asked how SAD 83 got paid back. $482,000 or 327.916 additional taps yet to be reimbursed.
Ms. Smith-Roy answered that they would be reimbursed under their current payback agreement by whatever properties were within that district. Providence Hospital would be paying itself for the 200 beds. Our obligation until we amend or change the district itself was still the same boundaries. Central Park Estates was another one; all of those developments that would be coming on board. Only a portion of Central Park Estates had been paid in.
Member Lorenzo stated that completed SAD 83 but the City would be out money because of the fact that the City never amended this.
Ms. Smith-Roy answered potentially. She said that if the City went by the payback route; if the City did the other option, which still had to be run by the City Attorney’s office to evaluate, once the City got the design completed, was could the City include this in the system charges. When the City reevaluated connection charges, could the City add this to that and include it in there, she didn’t know the answer to that. It would only be the new users.
Member Lorenzo believed that the project should be broken down into different phases. Right now the most important piece of information appeared to be reviewing the preliminary report to verify the findings of the preliminary report, revising as necessary to prepare a final report, and the final report would include a revised estimation of future capacity requirements, any additional alternatives for the routing of the sewer and a recommendation of the preferred alternative. That was as far as it should go; then it should be brought back to Council. Council should be made aware of whatever alternative was recommended, what the property acquisition was going to be for right-of-way and what the estimated potential cost of that was, how many properties and so on. That’s was where Council got stuck a lot of times was on purchase of right-of-ways. Then City decided what it was, and then the City hired somebody to do the other two portions of this project.
She stated that the question then became who should do the work. The City had a Master Plan already being done by Orchard Hiltz & McCliment was awarded the CMOM.
Mr. Pearson stated that OHM was the highest ranked firm. They provided the highest cost on this particular project; the thought was and is given a not-to-exceed hourly contract for that work. The information that would be provided as any look at the Lanny’s specifically could be provided to OHM and still wouldn’t have to be duplicated.
Member Lorenzo stated that OHM was doing the sanitary sewer master plan. Council was told that a sanitary sewer master plan was being developed by then. Her point was that if they’re already doing a master plan, couldn’t Council just ask them to focus in on this area in an expedited basis, do just the review of the preliminary report and get it back to Council. She said it might cost them a couple of thousand dollars or maybe they would do it for free because they got a lot of the City’s business. She stated that there was no way she would support this recommendation at the table tonight.
Member Gatt said he was a little perplexed. He said the City used the JCK March 2004 report several times as a foundation of what Council would do, but then the City says JCK was not qualified to do it. How was that?
Mr. Coburn answered that at that time there was as transition at JCK and a member of the firm left. Around March 2004 when the report was given to the City, they had requested additional information several times and never received response to the questions. Around June of 2004, the decision was made by the engineering department that they needed to go out to bid to get an engineer to do the work for them.
Member Gatt stated that just because JCK did not answer the inquiries, they were deemed nonqualified.
Mr. Coburn stated that in Council’s packet there was a qualifications evaluation. In that, the first item was history and current resource capability to perform required services; that could have been where they scored low, based on their history with this project.
Member Gatt stated that would not be supporting the recommendation.
Member Capello stated that he had added to the agenda an item to reconsider or review the way bidders were qualified. He thought there was too much subjectivity involved. He understood in looking at the bids that there was a range from $90,000 up to almost $230,000 difference in fees; there was a difference from the lowest bid from JCK of from $90,000 to $115,000, that was $25,000. He knew that JCK had a transition period where people where people were leaving and new people were hired; he thought that project got caught up in that transition period from March until June. He thought he would still be remiss to award a contract and gave away $25,000 that the City could use elsewhere. He said he couldn’t support giving the contract to Fishbeck Thompson tonight.
Member Paul asked who were all the parties involved in SAD 83.
Ms. Smith-Roy answered that it was a contract SAD and the parties involved was the original owner of the Providence property and that payback agreement transferred to Providence, and a very small portion, less than five percent, was the City’s contribution toward that project. She said in terms of who the entities paying into it were, that was the map which was included in your packet.
Member Paul asked when you have an SAD, how did you change an SAD. She wanted to clarify that you are not allowed to change an SAD until it was brought to Council.
Mr. Fisher answered that generally speaking, you don’t change SAD’s once they were established. In a situation like SAD 83, there was some possibility of making changes because it was a contract SAD. He said there were hearings but if the party who fronted the money, if that person was willing to make a change and there was a public hearing, then a change could be made. Generally speaking, the hearing was called for under the Charter and our ordinance and confirms the assessment roll and that plays out to the end. That’s the general rule.
Member Paul was concerned because some things were waived and traded. She knew that Mr. Pearson wasn’t there at that time but it concerned her the whole SAD process was a contract that the City entered into, so when it was altered and not being brought forward, she thought public trust was taken for granted. She said Council had been accused of neglecting the public trust; in this one, she thought Council did. When an SAD was a contract and it was changed, that’s a legal document. It was not brought before any Council. She would not be able to support this contract for a lot of the reasons stated by many Council members. She did not have enough financial information to support the project.
Member Paul stated that with Quail Hollow, Council requested information about the water and the sewer and her understanding that Singh Development agreed to take care of both of those items. She wanted to go back and look at the minutes because she really believed that it was part of the agreement with the increased density. She took that agreement as part of her vote and would really appreciate more information in that regard. She wanted to know if Orchard Hills would really consider talking about this portion as part of the sanitary sewer master plan; if they could look at this and give Council suggestions of all three or if it was another bidder, that was okay, too. There were three different choices to be considered; she didn’t see a lot of information on the three choices and what would be the best scenario. She would not be supporting the motion on this subject.
Member Nagy asked how a sanitary sewer district was set up.
Mr. Coburn stated that it evolved over time. He said as it stated in the packet, the original district was designed to serve nothing further west than Beck Road, and then it was extended to Wixom and then served Island Lake, etc. JCK prepared a master plan document several years ago for the sanitary sewer, and that was where a lot of these districts were laid out.
Mr. Fisher stated that when a district was set up for purposes of SAD, a petition would come in and the petition would say "we would like to provide sewer to this particular area" and these were the people that were going to be served by it and these were the people who were responsible for paying into it. He said it was really established upon service and payment.
CM-04-10-373 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY; To postpone the contract for Design Engineering Services and Construction Contract Administration Services for the Lanny’s Relief Sanitary Sewer project to the low qualified bidder until Council receives information requested by Council members to a future date.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-10-373 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt,
Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul,
Member Lorenzo wanted to know if Member Nagy was in agreement to break this down into Phase I, being the preliminary report and give Council the final report with modeling.
Member Nagy said that made sense.
Mr. Pearson stated that he wanted to be clear about the user of "waiver". It said waived Expo fees; it was specifically brought to Council and it was agreed to by Providence Hospital. Expansion of district was a separate issue.
Mr. Pearson offered to go to Orchard Hiltz which was doing the master study; we could go to Fishbeck, which was the number two firm or we could go to JCK which was the low price firm. The City could get three proposals from them, come back to Council, then go out and do the study. He stated the City was not running out of capacity tomorrow, it was just more time and work to design all the proposals and bring them back and still get a lot of work done.
Mr. Fisher stated he wanted to keep this matter out of the legal arena and in the engineering arena; he wanted to ask Mr. Coburn if he had any idea time wise when the City would need the capacity because it needed lead time.
Mr. Coburn answered that in his discussions with JCK, it was his understanding that at build out the City would need this capacity; how that was going to occur was one of the things they wanted to find out from the final report. He couldn’t answer how soon the City needed the capacity.
Mayor Csordas wanted Council to consider that it was an eventuality. The City did need to be proactive in the development of our sewer system. There had been a lot of talk about Quail Ridge tonight; Quail Ridge agreed to install their own on their property and agreed to do a lot of other things on their property. He said this only took the flow to or away from that property. It was clear that it had to be done eventually and build out, be it 2020 or whatever it was, but there was no time like the present and the City had the opportunity to be moving forward and getting this ready rather than wait until the last minute.
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Novi Welcome Signs – Member Gatt
When traveling on Eight Mile and Haggerty there was a sign in front of one of the restaurants that says Welcome to Novi; that sign was in great disrepair, almost an embarrassment. He said the Welcome to Novi sign at Nine Mile and Haggerty had disappeared and now it was a Rotary sign. He wanted the City to look at all of their Welcome to Novi signs and be proud of Novi and put up some classy signs at the entrance to gateways to the City.
Mayor Csordas stated that he had been working with the administration for about six months now. The round, faded sign on Haggerty and Eight Mile was on private property and was a requirement of the City that, Chili’s he believed, where they had to put that, so the City had some real problems with that one. The other one that was identical, not quite so faded, on Grand River and Haggerty, a gas station there; it was the same issue. He agreed that the entrance signs were critical. He just wanted to let Council know that at least that one and the one on Grand River and Haggerty there was considerably more than met the eye on that.
Mr. Klaver stated that the City had a task force looking at that; the City had a package of recommendations. The City would take one final look at that and bring that back to Council; of course, there was no funding source been identified on that but it was a kind of master plan and had different levels of signage that the City might want to use at minor entrances, major entrances. It was a very comprehensive program; staff members had been looking at that and were hoping to bring that to Council shortly. In the meantime, administration was hoping to work with the businesses who were hosting these signs in the meantime to either get them upgraded or removed.
2. Council Meeting Starting Time – Member Gatt
Member Gatt stated that at least three members had been on Council for just about a year and prior to being elected a lot of residents brought to his attention and what he talked about quite often was the length of Council meetings. Everyone at this table had been elected and represent the citizens and they have the right to speak and be heard; that’s good. However, Member Gatt thought the citizens had a right to stay up and watch the meetings if they so desired and go to bed at a reasonable time. It might be an enigma tonight, but it was 10:30 p.m. and we’re almost done and that’s good. He thought our own rules state that Council should be done by 11:00 p.m. That was not usually the case; he would like to make a proposal that for a three-month trial basis Council start meetings one hour earlier than normal and see what happened. He said if a member couldn’t do it, start at 7:00 p.m. He thought Council should at least back it up half an hour; he would like to see it an hour but if an hour was too early then let’s compromise and start at 7:00 p.m. At the end of three months, reevaluate to see if Council was approaching the 11:00 p.m. If Council started earlier, finished earlier and not try to limit the amount of discussion that took place.
Mayor Csordas stated that where his office was located, there would be a lot of nights when he couldn’t make 6:30 p.m. But he wanted to address process, because we have City Council rules and 7:00 p.m. would be fine with him; he wanted to know if the Rules Committee needed to get together to make that recommendation or could the process be done this way where the rules were amended.
Mr. Fisher answered that he was the arbiter of the rules, so he could amend the rules any time he would like; but if you wanted to send it to committee, you could do that, too.
Mayor Csordas asked for a consensus to the request to start Council meetings at 7:00 p.m. for three months.
Member Nagy stated that she could understand what Member Gatt was suggesting. There were many times, even at the Planning Commission, where we didn’t finish at a reasonable hour because of the amount of material before them. One of the things that the City had done was to replay Council meetings on Sundays starting at 6:00 p.m., which was a reasonable time for people to start to watch and it ended earlier as well. Sometimes 7:00 p.m. would be difficult to make because construction was everywhere, not just in Novi.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry agreed with Member Gatt; he thought 7:00 p.m. would be a good compromise. One thing he suggested if Council was going to do it on a trial basis, he suggested sooner than later because calendars were printed up. He thought Council needed to do some sort of advertising, whether in the Novi News or something to let the general public know if Council were to meet at 7:00 p.m.; maybe Council would be too late for calendars next year, he didn’t know.
Member Paul stated that her biggest concern was if someone couldn’t make it on time and Council was amending the agenda that they wouldn’t possibly be able to do that at a later point. She thought they needed to discuss that as a group if Member Nagy was coming from outside the area and was in Flint at 6:30 p.m., to be here at 7:00 p.m. could be very difficult and our agenda could be set the first five minutes and then she wouldn’t be able to amend it. She thought it was a difficult trial for three months; when we signed up for these jobs, we knew that the meetings were at 7:30 p.m. She thought all Council Members had different schedules and had to be respectful of all of them. She wanted to propose what this Council would do if someone came late and wanted to amend the agenda and see what solutions would be.
Member Gatt agreed and said if anyone came in before the 7:30 p.m. time, they would be able to add something to Matters for Council; if they came in after 7:30 p.m., they would have been late anyway and would forfeit during the three month trial period.
Member Capello thought 6:30 p.m. would be a good starting time but 7:00 p.m. would be a compromise. He thought they should start earlier and finish earlier and not force the residents to watch on cable a rerun if they really wanted to watch what happened all through the night. He thought Council approved the contract to award the bid for the calendars; he wanted to know if it was still timely.
Sheryl Walsh, Community Relations Director, said Council had plenty of time; the City won’t go to print until the first Thursday in December; they needed two weeks to print it, so we’re good.
Member Capello stated that Council could try this out until December.
Ms. Walsh answered certainly, or the City could always go with the option to just put City Council dates on the calendar and run the times on cable on the website and printing them in the newspaper. That would be at your discretion.
Member Capello said he was all in favor with 7:00 p.m. and amend the agenda if here before 7:30 p.m.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if anyone could make a motion to amend the agenda at any time during the meeting.
Mr. Fisher answered that it could happen at any time during the meeting; his understanding of what Member Gatt was saying in response to Member Paul was that as a matter of policy that other Council Members would go along or accommodate the change if made by 7:30 p.m.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he couldn’t imagine anyone saying no to somebody wanting to at least do that, so he didn’t think that was a problem.
Mayor Csordas said he could never support 6:30 p.m.; he could never make it.
Member Nagy stated that she would compromise to 7:00 p.m.
Mayor Csordas asked if it was too early to start that at the next meeting.
Ms. Cornelius answered no; the notice in the newspaper could be amended, as well as notice on cable and website.
3. Request from Vista Hills – Mayor Pro Tem Landry
We all received in our packet the memorandum dated September 27th the request of Vista Hills Subdivision to have the City consider changing their streets from private to public. He said whether Council agreed or disagreed, he thought they deserved to be heard. He said this had been hanging around for them for over a year now; he suggested Mr. McCusker or the DPW to take a look at the roads, give Council a report and ask the administration to put it on the agenda as an action item and make a decision. He suggested putting it on the agenda in a month, if that gave Mr. McCusker enough time to take a look.
Member Paul also brought that to put on the agenda. She would like to hear staff’s recommendations and have it meet City standards.
4. Qualification of Bidders and Review Process – Member Capello
He spoke about this when Council was talking about the contract for the Design Engineering Services. He was not satisfied with the way the City qualified bidders; he thought it was too subjective even though it appeared that a procedure was in place. He preferred to have bidders in general come to the City and qualify a group of bidders during January and February at a certain time each year; those bidders could bid on any project. If for some reason our team believed that a bidder was not qualified for a particular job, whether they don’t have the experience or the principals they’re putting on the job weren’t qualified. They could bring those to our attention in comments when reviewing awarding of a contract. He thought that put everyone in a fair playing field.
Once the entire firm was qualified, then Council looked at the individual job but they’re still able to bid on that job and all of the bids are still opened; it gave Council more of an opportunity to look at the lowest bid, because oftentimes Council didn’t look at the lowest bid and couldn’t save the City money because Council was only looking at the top two or three bids. He didn’t know whether that should be addressed at individual meeting or if it should be addressed with our goals in November or December.
Mr. Pearson answered that the administration would welcome the opportunity as a prequalification of bidders; they had actually done that with the SAD process. It might be by type of project, whether road or utility, so administration could bring Council some suggestions on how to improve the process and do just that.
Member Capello stated that was just exactly what he meant; he didn’t mean to qualify a bidder for every job. He asked if administration would feel more comfortable just bringing something to Council rather than having to set it at a certain agenda.
Mr. Pearson stated that it would give administration and Council the most flexibility; it might be a nice off-season project we could get through in the next six weeks maybe; then administration could take a look at that and bring it to Council as quickly as possible because with new projects lining up, the City wanted to get ready for ’05.
Mayor Csordas asked if that was amenable to everyone by the first meeting in December.
5. Request for Additional Information Regarding Flooding over Eight Mile Road by Maybury – Member Lorenzo
She appreciated the administration including this in the packet; however she received her Novi News and Northville Record, opened it up and the Northville Record had a headline saying, "What the Beck". She was disappointed that the City was having problems over there; she was looking for an updated report as to exactly how and why this happened and what the City was doing to correct it. The memo from Ayres Lewis indicated that they were currently investigating the existing dam, the discharge rate of the pumps at SAD 170, the culvert crossing at Beck and the existing culverts on the private lots.
She wondered why this was allowed to occur without investigating all those things beforehand.
Mr. Pearson stated that nothing was allowed to occur. It was permitted, the discharge of the dewatering operation was permitted, and something broke. Council will get a report; they were talking about a discrepancy about whether there was a dam in Maybury Park, sounded like that was the culprit. The dam had been investigated last summer and got essentially a fair rating.
Member Lorenzo asked that they didn’t think that that amount of water would blow that out like that.
Mr. Pearson stated that the water that was being discharged was just like a rain event; the question was that apparently with this rain event with the dewatering going on for a month, something broke, most likely the dam. There was nothing that could have been anticipated.
Mr. Klaver stated that administration would be glad to follow-up in next week’s packet.
6. Novi Road and Grand River Intersection – Member Paul
She just finished going through Council information of Taft Road and Meadowbrook Roads being completed; it talked about Novi Road and Ten Mile Road and then Grand River and Novi Road, all of which were very anticipated for completion in November. Then she received the Road Commission press release which said December. She just wanted to clarify when Novi Road and Grand River would be completed.
Mr. Pearson stated that the contract said November 1; they would likely get and have earned rain dates, so put it somewhere in mid-November. He believed that the news release of December 1 was playing it safe. He told them October 1, four weeks away trying to remind them that the City wanted to get that done and working for us for all kinds of reasons. It looked like they were ready to pave the south lanes of the east leg of Grand River tomorrow, so it was on track for mid-November. He said they did run into some sort of a fuel storage on the northeast corner in the Road Commission’s right-of-way they were dealing with, things like that could happen.
Member Paul wanted to be kept abreast of the situation because the Novi/Grand River intersection and the Novi/Ten Mile intersection had basically crippled the City with the Beck interchange.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION – None.
There being no further business to come before Council, Mayor Csordas adjourned the meeting at 10:52 p.m.
Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by Sue Troutman
Date approved: October 18, 2004