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MEETING OF THE NOVI CITY COUNCIL
Mayor Csordas called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Csordas, Mayor Pro Tem Landry, Council Members Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy* and Paul*
ALSO PRESENT: Rick Helwig Ė City Manager
Clay Pearson Ė Assistant City Manager
Tom Schultz Ė City Attorney
Benny McCusker Ė Public Works Director
Kathy Smith-Roy Ė Finance Director
Barb McBeth Ė Planning Director
Rob Hayes Ė City Engineer
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Lorenzo added under Mayor and Council Issues Item No. 4, Status of DPW Renovations, and No. 5, Old Dutch Farms Status Reports to Residents.
CM-05-04-098 Moved by Capello, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.
Voice Vote on CM-05-04-098 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Member Paul arrived at 7:02 p.m.
Member Nagy arrived at 7:03 p.m.
INTERVIEW FOR HISTORICAL COMMISSION Ė Roy A. Prentice
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Prentice to give a brief background and an overview of why he wanted to apply for the Historical Commission; each Council Member would then ask a question.
Mr. Prentice stated that he worked for Michigan State University and ran the Tollgate Education Center; he was the farm manager there on Twelve Mile and Meadowbrook Roads. He stated that they tried to maintain the place as the University received it, as an old farm field; they had done a lot of renovations on the inside but on the outside they tried to maintain the look as it had been for many years. He stated that was one of his chief interests; that was how he got to thinking of being part of the Novi Historical Commission. He had been involved with the Fuerst Farm activities. He had always had a strong interest in history, so it was a natural inclination. He worked with a lot of volunteer organizations; at Tollgate there were a large number of gardens where about 150 volunteers worked, so he was very familiar with working with volunteer groups, He stated that he understood that part of Noviís interest was to maintain and improve the Fuerst property, and he had a feel for how that could be done with a volunteer organization, especially the grounds part of that, so he would hope to bring some of that to the Historical Commission.
Member Nagy thanked Mr. Prentice for coming forward; she stated that she had a particular interest in Fuerst Farm and would like to do a farmersí market there and wanted his thoughts on that. She asked if that was something that would be feasible to generate income.
Mr. Prentice answered that he was not very familiar with how farm markets worked; they had had some workshops on the site at Tollgate, so he knew some of the people who had been involved in that. He certainly did not see how that would be a problem and thought it would be a super benefit to Novi to do something along those lines. He stated that he would certainly be willing to work on that project.
Member Lorenzo thanked Mr. Prentice for coming forward and asked for ideas on how volunteers could help maintain the Fuerst Farm property.
Mr. Prentice answered that by way of background, he explained how MSU handled Tollgate Farm. He stated that MSU basically supplied him with a budget that paid for the light, heating and his salary; that was about it. Any work that he wanted to do on the grounds had to come from external sources. He stated that he worked very closely with the Master Gardener Program, which was an MSU program which was in each one of the counties. The people involved in that program spent 40 hours in class and were required to spend 40 hours volunteering somewhere for a public institution; he got a lot of folks from that program to volunteer at Tollgate, and there was certainly no reason why those people couldnít be involved in Novi, also. He had developed a very strong relationship with a core of people who had been with him for a number of years, and those people helped him administer the garden volunteers on site. He stated that by utilizing that tiered approach, it became fairly manageable. He stated that it was doable, especially if you could hook in with an organization like the Master Gardeners group that was already looking for places to volunteer their time.
Member Lorenzo stated that it appeared that he would be very good at networking, and it looked like he would be an asset to the Commission.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry thanked Mr. Prentice for stepping forward; he asked if there was any particular task that he would like to see the Historical Society undertake or any particular project that he felt could be enhanced.
Mr. Prentice answered that he didnít have a real strong feel for all of the projects; that had been involved in the Fuerst Farm project and a couple of others, the Barn Again piece that came to town. He thought that it was important for people in Novi to have a feeling that there was something there before the shopping centers and recent developments were built; if there were some way to push that forward, he thought that would really be a valuable experience to have. He knew that the main point of the Novi Historical Commission was to gather that information and to disseminate that to the populace of Novi.
Member Capello asked if there 150 volunteers approximately at Tollgate.
Mr. Prentice answered yes.
Member Capello asked if that was enough to run that farm or did he need additional volunteers
Mr. Prentice answered that, given the current administrative structure, that was a reasonable amount, given a pool of 150 volunteers to work with.
Member Capello asked if Mr. Prentice saw any overlap between Fuerst Farm and Tollgate.
Mr. Prentice answered that he did; as a place for people to enjoy the grounds. He stated that what he really tried to push at Tollgate was an educational experience rather than strictly a recreational experience; he saw that as being a similar thrust at the Fuerst Farm also.
Member Gatt thanked Mr. Prentice for coming out. He agreed with Mr. Prentice totally that education was the key for our young people to know where weíve been and to determine where we were going to go. He asked what one or two significant past events in Noviís history that helped Novi become what it was today.
Mr. Prentice answered that strictly from where the world was today, when the Twelve Oaks Mall was opened, it got Novi as a destination for a place for people to be. Novi, prior to that point, was pretty rural and just a crossroads.
Member Gatt stated he said it all; stop right there.
Member Paul thanked Mr. Prentice for coming forward; she was impressed with Tollgate and was thrilled he came forward. She asked what would be the single, biggest challenge for the Commission.
Mr. Prentice answered that in a way, it was the same thing that he dealt with at Tollgate; letting people know that the Historical Commission was there as a resource and then taking the information gathered and getting it to the community. He said it was packaging it in such a way that people were interested in hearing that message.
Member Paul asked how he would share it with people.
Mr. Prentice stated that activities like the Fuerst Farm activity day was a good way to get people out to the site; then as displays were developed, it would be a good way to educate folks.
Mayor Csordas asked about the train station.
Mr. Prentice answered that he didnít know that much about the train station.
Mayor Csordas stated that maybe they could consider that; he stated that there were a lot of things in the City that were getting no attention. He thought the train station would make a nice microbrewery or something. Mayor Csordas thanked Mr. Prentice for coming forward. He asked Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk, what the schedule was for appointments.
Ms. Cornelius stated that the next set of interviews was scheduled for June; at any time, if Council wished to make additional appointments, she could supply a ballot to them or a motion could be made.
CM-05-04-099 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To appoint Mr. Prentice to the Novi Historical Commission.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-04-099 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
1. Proclamation for Paralyzed Veterans of America Awareness Week, April 10-16, 2005.
Mayor Csordas read the proclamation dedicating the week of April 10, 2005, as Paralyzed Veterans of America Awareness Week in the City of Novi. He encouraged the citizens of Novi to honor our paralyzed veterans because they personified the highest ideals of service to country, sacrifice of self, and perseverance of overcoming adversity.
Michael Harris, PVA Deputy Executive Director, accepted the proclamation and stated that it was the third year that they had received the proclamation from the City of Novi and thanked the Mayorís Office, City Council and the citizens from the City for the proclamation. He stated that they were very honored to have their State headquarters in Novi; they were located on Grand River between Haggerty and Meadowbrook Road. He stated that they would have an Open House on April 14th from noon until 4:00 p.m. He asked the citizens not to forget the soldiers who were currently fighting over in Iraq and Afghanistan.
2. Proclamation for National Library Week, April 10-16, 2005.
Mayor Csordas read the proclamation for National Library Week and proclaimed it to be April 10-16, 2005. He encouraged all residents to take advantage of all the library services available at the Novi Public Library. He presented the proclamation to President of the Library Board, Terry Margolis.
President Margolis thanked the Mayor, the Council and the community for the proclamation; she encouraged citizens to use the Library. As part of National Library Week, there will be this Saturday, the Battle of the Books at the Civic Center; that was the youth of the area competing on their knowledge of books and encouraged people to attend.
President Margolis also invited Novi citizens to the Libraryís Capital Campaign Momentum Event on April 30th at 5:30 p.m. at the Library. She stated that there would be a couple of surprise announcements that they had coming that night, and looked forward to seeing people there.
PUBLIC HEARING: None
1. SPECIAL/COMMITTEE Ė None
2. CITY MANAGER
a) Discussion of how City Council can best provide input to Triangle Development regarding its preliminary concept plan for the development of approximately 20 acres in the Main Street area.
Mr. Helwig stated that Council had received the preliminary concept plan information for the approximately 20 acres in the Main Street Area that Triangle Development had under its domain now; they had asked specifically for input from the City and would like to seek Council direction on how best to provide that. Mr. David Nona was here this evening to hear this firsthand; Administration would like to accommodate that request in any manner the City Council would like to have them do so.
Mayor Csordas stated that he would turn it over to Council to express their opinions on what they would like to do, if anything.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that the next item on the City Managerís Report was the Main Street Committee; the Administration gave Council a summary of the Main Street Committee timeline and the Committee in January of 2004, Member Capello, Member Nagy and himself were appointed to the Committee; it was a sitting Committee and his suggestion would be let the Committee meet with the developer, like any other committee, and do a report.
CM-05-04-100 Moved by Landry, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To have the Main Street Committee meet with Triangle Development regarding its preliminary concept plan for the development of approximately 20 acres in the Main Street area.
Voice Vote on CM-05-04-100 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Mayor Paul stated that she didnít have a problem with the Committee meeting with the developer; she wanted to give some direction of what she would be looking for. She wanted information about who the tenants might be, because it sounded like some serious commitments; there were several different ideas that they had, hotel versus office space; they also had medical office space versus office. She also wanted to know more about Triangle; she knew nothing about them except that they built Gateway and had some residential homes that they had built. There were lots of questions she had that she would save for specifics, but before she had any intention of supporting a DDA, she would like to know a lot more about who might be using that money. She would also like to know more about the medical office building and what they were planning.
Member Lorenzo stated that her questions would focus around the financial aspects of the proposal. The first question she had was who prepared the financial analysis that they included in the booklet. She wanted to know the one column that spoke to when taxes would be available; it said Phases 1-7. To meet those projections each year, how many buildings would have to be built each year; with regard to the proposed parking decks, it appeared that even with the monies that were potentially available each of those years, they would still fall short of the debt service needed to pay for the parking structures and where they expected the additional monies to come from. Would they be looking for an advance from the City or would they have other means of paying the full debt service, given that the taxes projected would not meet that debt each year.
Mayor Csordas stated that those were good questions.
Member Nagy stated that they had made a motion for the Committee to meet and asked if Mayor Pro Tem Landry wanted to do it during or after the budget meetings. She thought maybe the Committee should hold off meeting until after the budget, because of the financial questions asked by the previous speaker.
Mayor Csordas stated that as a member of the Committee, all three of them could sit down and work that out to their convenience.
Mr. Helwig stated that Administration appreciated the commitment to meet and to confer on that important proposal; Council had covered Item b as part of the deliberations.
b) Main Street Committee and how to proceed with future meetings.
Mr. Helwig next wanted to call forward City Engineer Rob Hayes to cover two items that Administration had been communicating with Council in packets; more information was given to Council this evening. The first would be an update on how Administration was approaching the evaluation of the condition of the Meadowbrook Road bridge between Nine Mile and Ten Mile; secondly, some findings that have occurred as the construction had proceeded in the northern-most basin for the Haggerty Detention Basin Project.
Mr. Hayes stated that the multiple freeze/thaw cycles this winter had taken their toll on the Meadowbrook bridge that crossed Ingersol Creek. As Mr. McCusker had reported in at least one memo, there had been some rather large potholes and most recently on March 24th, he reported a very large pothole and damage to the substructure of the bridge, warranting further inspection by a State certified structural engineer. That engineering report received this afternoon concluded that the bridge structure was unsafe.
Mr. Hayes stated that Administration had issued an emergency request for proposals to the seven firms that were prequalified last fall, not knowing whether they had the proper MDOT-qualified bridge consultants on staff. They received proposals last Friday and ordered an emergency purchase order today to Anderson Eckstein, who had a solid structural team to include MDOT-certified bridge inspectors. They began their work today; they would do a full inspection, evaluate and come up with a series of recommendations to see if there were any additional repairs that needed to be made, and issue a report by the end of the week. That addressed the short-term fix.
Mr. Hayes stated that for the long-term fix, since Administration did not have a list of qualified bridge consultants, they had sent out a request for qualifications to come in by the end of the this week to evaluate and determine a short list of qualified bridge consultants; it was a very specialized field. Administration wanted to give Council a short list of recommended firms at the next Council meeting for Council to approve; by that time, the problem would be defined enough to issue a request for proposals for engineers to come up with a long-term fix for the bridge.
Mayor Csordas stated that Council appreciated the prompt action Administration had taken on that. He didnít remember seeing that bridge on any PASER report until this year; there was no question it had been a disgusting winter. He was curious, in looking at some of the photos where you could see right down into the water, it seemed like that would take a number of years to get to that level of deterioration; he wondered how that happened so quickly and wasnít on the radar before.
Mr. Hayes answered that he was not a bridge expert, but there was a combination of factors: the multiple freeze/thaw cycles; heavy truck loadings would pound the pavement and cause damage; he was sure there were other factors, too.
Mayor Csordas stated that it would be hard to enforce the weight load there, but he would have to think that it had been one of the issues.
Member Paul stated that she thought she saw it on a previous CIP budget; if she remembered correctly, it had been on for more than one year. When she was on Planning Commission, she saw it; hopefully the City could do something that would be beneficial. Her whole concern was the safety of people getting back and forth in the community with Ten Mile and Novi Roads being under construction and then the City was going straight from that project to Nine Mile Road. There was a fire station on Nine Mile that had to be able to get northbound, so she was concerned about how it would limit safety; hopefully, there would be more police coverage in that area for the loads that the bridge was bearing. She asked if that had been cooperated through the Police Department.
Mr. Hayes answered that Administration had coordinated with police and fire; Mr. McCusker was going to talk to the schools today to inform them, because it looked like it wasnít even safe enough for a school bus to go over it. They were just playing it real safe. As far as her first issue regarding the timing, that was why Administration was doing the short-term fix to ensure that the repairs made were the right ones on a temporary basis. He said the long-term solution, the engineering in itself, was going to be a very long process; it would definitely involve MDOT and their bridge people getting bridge permits though them. He said it might also include MDEQ if they had to do a major hydraulic analysis of Ingersol Creek beneath the bridge. He didnít know if the long-term solution would be built this year; it was possible but they hadnít programmed it out yet to see how it would be phased.
Member Paul stated that it was a major thoroughfare and she wanted to do it the right way for the safety of the residents because so many people traveled Meadowbrook Road. She was glad Administration was looking at the timing and she appreciated the expedience of what DPW did to put the steel plates in place.
Member Gatt stated that what Mr. Hayes had said concerned him, and asked if he thought it was safe for a school bus to go across that bridge.
Mr. Hayes answered that the initial report from Anderson, Ecksteinís structural engineer today was that he would rather play it safe and ensure that there was no school bus traffic over the bridge.
Member Gatt asked if Administration was prepared to tell the public that it was okay for vehicles of any other sort to go over that bridge.
Mr. Hayes answered that he would like to defer to Mr. McCusker; he was out this afternoon with the inspector and might have better information as far as what would be a safe axle load.
Mr. McCusker stated that they actually had signage on the roads on both sides, Nine and Ten Mile and on Meadowbrook Road, stating that there was a five-ton limit; he said that loaded school buses were probably a little bit above that. He said they had contacted the schools and told them to find alternate routes; they had contacted the Fire Department about alternate routes; they had the police kind of enforcing it. He stated that regular vehicular traffic was probably safe, the way they had the steel plating on. He stated that Administrationís fear was a garbage truck or somebody sneaking over it and then a bus or something following it, so they were relying on the police to help them out at this point and for people to pay attention to the signage. In talking to the structural engineer today, he just wanted to be safe than sorry; the five-ton limit had been backed down enough that they believed it was probably enough, but they didnít want to make the call until he got a little further into the beam or the deterioration of the beams that were down below.
Member Gatt asked how long it would take before it could be made safe for a school bus.
Mr. McCusker stated that they thought they would have a good feel for it by the end of the week with the preliminary report.
Member Gatt asked if it would be prudent, Mr. Helwig, to have a police officer stationed there until the end of the week to prohibit a garbage truck or something from trying to sneak by.
Mr. Helwig stated that he didnít think they had reached that point; it was well signed and they had communicated for many days. He was concerned about detracting from other security services in the process, but they had that option and would use it if it was necessary.
Member Paul stated that Mr. Hayes mentioned that there were seven engineering firms that the City had looking at the bridge, correct?
Mr. Hayes answered yes; Administration sent the RFQ to the seven firms that were prequalified for roadway work, with the assumption that at least a fraction of those would have qualified bridge people. They also sent the temporary request for proposal to the seven firms; they had received five responses.
Member Paul asked if they were going to be talking with all five engineering firms.
Mr. Hayes answered that was correct.
Member Nagy commended Mr. McCusker for being out there with his staff and for taking the better-safe-than-sorry stance with school buses; she commended Mr. Hayes, in his short tenure here, for the way he answered questions and explained to the layperson who was not an engineer; and she also commended the police and Administration for putting the concerns and the safety of the residents first and foremost. She agreed with Member Paul that it had been on the CIP for a long time, so she didnít think it just happened; that bridge probably was due.
Mr. Helwig asked Mr. Hayes to briefly cover the Haggerty Detention Basin construction and the contamination.
Mr. Hayes stated that the contractor had started work to the north end and his plan was to work south. In the process of mass excavating the first pond, the contractor, Anglin, got about 10 feet below grade and noticed some strange looking soils. He had the foresight to contact JCK, the construction engineer on site; they ceased work. The contractor and JCK both collected samples; the main chemical of concern was arsenic. He stated that the samples that they had showed approximately 10 times greater than the Stateís applicable cleanup criteria for arsenic. Administration met with both the contractor and JCK to try to get their hands around the scope of the project; JCK was putting together a cost estimate, and they were asked to take a look at other options. JCK was also working with the Rouge Project office; it was a 50 percent share project through RPO and they seeing if there were other funding mechanisms to handle contingencies like this. He said that was where they stood right now; the contractor was actually nearing the end of the work that he could accomplish at this point. He stated that they were anticipating a report from JCKís environmental consultant, and Administration would bring Council up to speed on the current status.
Mayor Csordas asked if it was too early to tell where the cause of the arsenic deposit came from.
Mr. Hayes answered that they really could only guess.
Mayor Csordas stated that arsenic was bad enough; he asked if Administration had any idea what the other colors were.
Mr. Hayes answered that there were detectable levels of barium, as well as mercury; those two were above the cleanup criteria, but just barely above. In the whole scheme of things, the real concern was arsenic.
Mayor Csordas asked specifically where the site of that pond was located.
Mr. Hayes answered that it was just north of the Regency site off Haggerty, south of the 275 off ramp from 96.
Mr. Helwig stated that it was just where 275 started to curve to go out of town at Haggerty, on the west side, almost across the street from the Honda dealership, maybe a little northwest.
Mr. Hayes stated that the pond itself was directly east of Country Cousins Mobile Home Park.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if the City obtained the property from the State of Michigan.
Mr. Hayes answered yes, from MDOT.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if the City bought it.
Mr. Hayes answered that he did not know.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked Mr. Schultz that as far as environmental cleanup of this nature, werenít there causes of action against people in the chain of title.
Mr. Schultz answered that they just saw the same thing; his inquiry today to JCK he was still trying to figure out how the City got the property, when they got it, was it an acquisition, a gift. He stated that it looked like it dated back into the 1970ís; he was sure it was something they would look into, along with the rest of it.
Member Lorenzo stated that her concern would be if the City used it for water; she said they certainly needed to get a handle on it and look at alternatives possibly to utilizing that at all.
Member Capello asked Mr. Helwig what the process would be once they found out what the cost of cleanup would be; the reason he asked, they were going to have budget meetings, but if they were not back for two weeks, he assumed the City would want to take action so Anglin wasnít waiting for Council to make some decisions to move forward.
Mr. Helwig stated that he didnít think it would proceed that quickly. With the Twelve Mile cleanup experience, there was a lot of testing that needed to be done and analysis of other alternatives. He stated that he would keep Council apprised before any further work was done. He stated that the Cityís 50 percent was coming from the Drain Fund; at least there were some dollars there to do what was proper without impacting other services.
Member Capello asked if the City was going to give Anglin some type of a stop work order.
Mr. Helwig stated that Administration would formalize that; they had been very cooperative and helped spot this, along with the onseeing inspector.
Member Capello stated that he assumed they had been cooperative; he just wanted to help reduce their losses.
Member Paul asked what the normal level was to detect arsenic and barium; she stated that the results in sample three were higher than in samples one and two.
Mr. Hayes answered that those werenít levels, they were detection limits; that was what was scientifically available to detect in the lab. The cleanup criteria for arsenic in soil, there were a lot of different exposure pathways, and the one that was at most risk was the groundwater surface water interface because it was going to be a storm water drain; that number if it was 710 would be one-tenth of that, 71 parts per million. He stated that it was way over.
Member Paul asked if the City was not using this currently as a detention basin; it had been shut off so that no water could drain south of the City and contaminate any other soils.
Mr. Hayes answered that was correct; it was not in operation at this time.
Member Paul thanked Anglin for not continuing any work, because it could have been a worse catastrophe; she really appreciated their astuteness in making everyone aware.
Mr. Helwig stated that on a more positive note, Member Lorenzo reminded Administration today that there were several regional hazardous waste drop-off locations, dates and times; they had included a flier and asked Mr. McCusker for some free advertising that our residents were not limited to using their own collection day in September. There were others coming up as early as this weekend.
Mr. McCusker stated that Member Lorenzo spotted in the newspaper that Novi was left out, but as it was a member of the recycling authority for this part of Oakland County, Novi enjoyed five full days at other locations. There was a flier available in the Clerkís Office; Cindy Uglow also usually put it in an update in her newsletter to the homeowners associations.
A list of the recycling centers and times was put on the overhead for everyone to see:
Wixom April 9 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Southfield April 16 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Farmington/ May 7 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Lyon Twp June 14 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Novi September 17 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Southfield October 15 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Mr. Helwig thanked Mr. McCusker and stated that as they just heard in the item prior to this, the more Novi could prevent from being improperly disposed, the less cost and harm.
Member Capello stated that he thought he saw on the top of the list that residency had to be shown and asked if they were talking about County residence.
Mr. Helwig answered that Novi residents were all right; Novi was a member of the recycling authority.
3. DEPARTMENTAL Ė Referral to the Planning Commission for Public Hearing and recommendation of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.197 to amend footnote (u) of the Section 2400, Schedule of Regulations of Ordinance No. 97.18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, to revise the height standards in the OST Planned Office Service Technology District Ė Barb McBeth.
Mr. Helwig stated that another departmental matter that had been very high on the list of City Council, Member Capello first broached this, was how could Novi eke out greater tax base on their office service technology development areas; Director of Planning Barbara McBeth came back to Council with a report a little while ago and, under advice from Mr. Schultz, rather than proceeding with first reading of that recommendation wanted to get Council direction. He stated that the recommendation was to proceed to the Planning Commission for public hearing to increase the number of stories from three to four in the office service technology corridor. He asked Ms. McBeth to comment further on the background for that recommendation.
Ms. McBeth stated that the Planning Department staff researched other communities within the Detroit metropolitan area and reviewed their ordinances for height limitations in the high tech research and development districts as well as the light industrial districts. They reported their findings in a memo dated March 2 which included a comparison of the communities of Troy, Wixom, Farmington Hills and Southfield to the City of Novi standards for building height in those two districts. The chart included in the memo showed that Novi generally allowed comparable or taller building heights in the high tech and research and development districts when compared with other communities. Novi allowed 46 feet of building height in the OST district and sometimes up to 65 feet as long as the property was within the boundary of Grand River and Twelve Mile Road and as long as the property did not abut residential and with additional building setbacks. The height limitations in the OST district were adjusted one other time after the ordinance was written because the Husky Development on Twelve Mile Road needed an additional high bay area, so the height was adjusted upward at that time as well.
Ms. McBeth stated that the current ordinance did limit the height in the OST district to three stories; most of the other communities surveyed did not have that height limitation in their comparable districts, so if City Council would agree, the Planning Department would recommend increasing the height in the OST district to four stories.
Ms. McBeth stated that the other possible ordinance amendment would be to eliminate the area restrictions basically to include the entire City and all of the property zoned OST and the entire community to allow the additional height as long as the property did not abut residential and if additional setbacks were provided. So that area that would be included was primarily in the northeast part of town, north of Twelve Mile between M-5 and Haggerty Road, and south of Fourteen Mile Road. She stated that was the Planning Departmentís recommendation; if City Council would like additional information or would like to forward that on to Planning Commission for further consideration, they would be happy to do that.
Mayor Csordas thanked Ms. McBeth for that report.
Member Capello stated that he was looking for more; he threw that out as just one small example of ways to increase Noviís tax base. He suggested in that area to go up one story to see what else would happen. He didnít now if there was a market in Novi for five or six story buildings, nor for the expressway. He didnít know if there were other uses that perhaps other communities had. He said Auburn Hills might see some additional uses because they were more automotive-related than Novi. He said some high tech stuff that they could attract some additional businesses, and any other means to try to increase the tax base without going back to the residents. He was looking for a lot more ideas than the small facet that Administration came back with. He stated that in that report, it looked like developers were talked to; he asked if any questions were asked to see if there was a market for office market to get stronger if the City could offer to the office users the higher buildings; he knew in leasing, a lot of times, they wanted that presence; they wanted to be on the sixth floor, the seventh floor; many times that was the larger tenants, not necessarily the OST or the light industrial, but just the typical larger office tenants; in Troy and Sterling Heights you saw a lot of that. Those were things he was looking for.
Ms. McBeth answered that she contacted five developers who had developed in Novi and other communities in both the OST types of development and light industrial; they all generally agreed that additional height in the OST district would be good for a number of reasons: the OST district allowed for hotel uses and they felt that the additional height up to four stories would encourage some high-end, high service hotel-type uses in that district. Another developer mentioned that the height was typically requested for certain tenants or certain property owners might prefer to have the additional height on their signature buildings, so in order to encourage those types of developers to come in and those types of owners, that was something that was mentioned as well. Ms. McBeth stated that with the five developers that she talked with, they all agreed that if City Council would like, they would have a roundtable discussion to bring more ideas to the table. She asked five or six questions and then left it open-ended and asked if they had any additional information from other communities that they felt Novi was lacking, and they didnít come up with anything really more than was presented in that memo. They did mention specifically that additional height, the additional one-story, in the OST district would be beneficial for those reasons.
Member Capello stated that hopefully in the budget this year, Council would get a consensus to provide additional funding; that was the kind of stuff that the City might be able to acquire by going to national seminars to realize what other cities were doing to increase their tax base. He said the City was at a loss because Council did not fund Administration to do that; it was their fault. Those were the type of things he was looking for, so before it went to Planning Commission, he thought he would rather have a meeting with a group of developers, sit down with Administration a little bit to ask what tools they needed to get the assistance to give Council the information that they needed. Before sending it to Planning Commission, he would wait until after the budget to see if Council could give them funding to help them out a little bit.
Member Lorenzo stated that she disagreed with the previous speakerís comment that the City needed to go to seminars or conferences to acquire that information; any telephone call to Troy or Sterling Heights or the developers that did business there would be beneficial to find out exactly what they were doing that Novi was not. She stated that two developments were mentioned, Beach Forest Office, west of Meadowbrook and south of Twelve Mile, and Columbus Corporate Office Center, Twelve Mile and Haggerty. She also asked with regard to what types of developments would be looking for four stories; to be perfectly honest, she assumed that as the previous speaker mentioned, R & D research was what Council was really trying to bring to Novi more than hotel uses. Hotel uses were secondary uses, as she saw them, in the OST district to help out the R & D buildings there, but she didnít want to see hotel row in those areas; that was not the purpose of the OST ordinance. With regard to adjacency issues, if Council opened it up to all areas of where OST was currently allowed, she would first like to see in the future a GIS map as to exactly where the City had OST and exactly how many adjacency issues the City might potentially be looking at. She would not be satisfied to say "not be adjacent to the site." She thought there would need to be more if the City was going up to 65 feet or four stories to minimize an impact to the residential district that might be adjacent to or within so many hundreds of feet. She agreed about the flexibility in parking; she had always agreed with land banking; she also agreed that there needed to be a minimum but not a maximum in the parking standards because the City needed to be able to require more parking if it was necessary for that particular use. She also shared the previous speakerís desire to attract more tax base to the City and would be interested in learning more about what the other cities were doing; she would look to the Administration to contact Troy, Sterling Heights, and maybe some of the developers who had built those types of buildings there to find out what was preventing them from looking at that type of development in Novi.
Member Nagy stated that she agreed with the comments of the previous speaker, but she thought that Beach Forest Office was given an additional floor; she thought they had four floors. She had a concern that it had never been built and neither had the Columbus Corporate Office Center been built. She thought that it was difficult at this time economically to really look at how to attract more and more; she used Southfield as an example, having lived there and had an office there. She had concerns about how close the buildings would be to residential; there were a lot of buildings around residential or close to them that were beautiful years ago; now those buildings were empty. There was a lot of empty space. She thought the real crux was what the need was; how much office space or OST office service technology and research and development could Novi really afford. Novi was not a Troy; we didnít have Sixteen Mile where it was Saks, Somerset and office buildings; even in those office buildings that were there, they were losing tenants. She would like to see what the need was in terms of who was going to build them; rather, could they attract tenants. She would like to keep the economic forecast in mind.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that Ms. McBeth and the Administration did a nice report; he could certainly support the recommendation of increasing up to four stories for OST throughout the City, but what he was hearing was that the spirit in which the subject came up was to go out there to see if there were any other accommodations for changes or tweaks the City might make in our ordinance. He heard that Ms. McBeth indicated that one possibility was to set up such a roundtable discussion with some developers. He stated that if the Administration could spare Ms. McBethís time, perhaps she could meet with a few developers with a Planning Commission subcommittee, have a roundtable discussion, put a target on it of June, bring back a report to Council, and Council could act on it.
CM-05-04-101 Moved by Landry, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To have a roundtable discussion with Planning Director McBeth and five developers with a Planning Commission subcommittee and bring a report to Council in June.
Member Paul supported that motion; she stated that it sounded like Ms. McBeth did a lot of the roundtable discussion with five developers, which was commendable. She liked the idea of being more specific on not just being adjacent to. She wanted to point out some of the height of the buildings in Southfield; it was like a mini Downtown Detroit. She wanted to keep the flavor of a residential community. She stated that Farmington Hills, on the Twelve Mile Corridor, was probably one of the best cities in regard to OST; they were extremely successful because they were along the highway and they were keeping the flavor of their community. Novi was trying to replicate that, and she didnít want to just throw another story up there just to serve helping development come into the community; she wanted it to be smart development.
Member Gatt stated that he concurred with all his colleagues here; he thought Member Capelloís idea was wonderful and Mayor Pro Tem Landryís idea of a roundtable was a motion he would support. He thought it behooved Council to at least study the possibility of bringing more tax dollars into the City, but he agreed that Council didnít want to turn it into a City that they didnít want. He thought they could accomplish a compromise that they would all work with.
Mayor Csordas stated that it was one of Member Capelloís goals and wanted to make sure that everybody bore in mind that the spirit of that was to attract private sector industries and private sector revenue to shift the balance of taxes from the residents over to nonresidential development; going up a story or two made a lot of sense. He thought it would help the City start in the process of shifting that tax base just a little bit.
Voice Vote on CM-05-04-101 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Mr. Helwig stated that concluded their reports. He thanked Council for some very worthwhile policy discussion.
4. ATTORNEY Ė Referral to the Planning Commission for Public Hearing and recommendation of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendments 18.198 to amend RUD and PD Provisions to Allow for City Council Modifications or Deviations from Zoning Ordinance Standards.
Mr. Schultz stated that it was an item that they were looking for direction from City Council with regard to referring the matter to the Planning Commission for a review. Earlier in the year in connection with the Singh Development, the Quail Hollow matter that came up with regard to the clubhouse, there was a referral to the Zoning Board of Appeals to grant some discretionary variance relief. Council, during that discussion, talked about how it might make more sense for the Council in an RUD to keep that kind of discretionary relief to itself rather than refer it either to the Planning Commission or the ZBA.
Mr. Schultz stated that Council had directed that there be an ordinance prepared that gave that authority, waiver and discretionary authority, to the Council; that was in their packets tonight. In addition, because the planned development option was very similar to the RUD, there was a similar ordinance that would give variance or waiver relief to City Council. In the RUD ordinance, they took the opportunity to do a couple of other things that had been hanging out there. One was to clearly identify the ability of Council to grant conditions or require conditions along with an RUD approval, and then they also clarified some of the language about what had to be in RUD agreement; specifically stated, what typically we had put in an RUD agreement, now was actually part of the ordinance. He stated that the ordinance actually did a little bit more than Council requested, but in line with what Council had previously done. He stated that they were just looking to see if it was ready to go to Planning Commission for their discussion.
CM-05-04-102 Moved by Landry, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To refer the matter to the Planning Commission for public hearing and recommendation of zoning ordinance text amendments in comportment with Mr. Schultzí report.
Member Lorenzo stated that with regard to page one, section 2404, where it described the purpose, where he had struck out "which allows," he would like that to say, "may allow." She wanted it to be shown as much more of a discretionary option than as a given on the part of the City Council. Also, on page five and also on other pages, under number six, number one, where it talked about that each zoning ordinance provision from which a deviation is sought would, if the deviation were not granted, prohibit an enhancement of the development that would be in the greater public interest or a greater benefit to the public than the deviation, than the actual ordinance requirement. She thought there should be a showing of a greater benefit. She thought it was also somewhere else in the ordinance as well.
Mr. Schultz stated that it was in the PD ordinance.
Voice Vote on CM-05-04-102 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Charmaine Jones, Old Dutch Farms, stated that Member Paul called to let her know that she was interested in the ideas that she had in regard to bringing PA 96 and its entirety into City Ordinance. She asked Member Paul if the adoption of PA 96 could be addressed at Council Meeting on April 18th. She stated that they were also addressing today the Park conditions to this point; they still had the same issues. She thought the key issue was that they needed to have some of the inspectors walk the grounds to see what had actually been going on in that community; it had never been done. She knew that it had been done at Chateau. There were very serious issues that they were still dealing with on a day-to-day basis. In fact, they had approached Building Director Saven two years ago. They found a transformer that leaked black oil for about 10 years.
George Phillips, Old Dutch Farms, stated that he called Detroit Edison to try to find history on that transformer; he was unsuccessful in getting that history. He did know that the property was developed in the early 1970ís; in 1976, Congress had stopped the production of transformers and other electrical devices that had the properties of PCBís. He stated that when the transformer was changed to one of the newer more environmentally safe transformers, there was no testing done on the soils. He stated that within 10 feet of where the transformer was, there was a main water line that ran underneath there. He had printed up pamphlets for Council to explain about PCBís and the potential health threats. He talked to MDEQ and asked if that was part of the standard water test that they did on the community; the answer was no, that it was a specific test that had to be done and it had to be requested. He stated that they did not have the funds to have a test like that done.
Charmaine Jones stated that if the park owners had been fined under PA 96, both Old Dutch Farms and Chateau, a lot of the funding could have gone back to the City.
Mr. Phillips stated that he had been without a phone for four or five days; he had talked to the technician who was working the phone line about the pedestals, the phone boxes, Edisonís transformers, which had actually been bought by the property owners when they developed the property. They were responsible for the uptake and the keeping of those transformers; it was another example of their neglect and failure to do their jobs. The technician also informed him that a majority of the pedestals had been hit by some type of lawnmower or agricultural equipment. He wanted to know if Council could help Old Dutch Farms get testing for the PCBís in the water.
Mayor Csordas stated that at Audience Participation, City Council did not respond; however, he asked Mr. Schultz, in his opinion, was that an issue that was between the homeowners and the private developers of that property, other than public safety, health and welfare, which the City would get involved with, or an issue that the City would get involved with.
Mr. Schultz stated that the mobile home park regulation statutory and ordinance issues was really kind of a morass here in Michigan. He stated that in PA 96, the Mobile Home Park Commission Act, which was, as a general proposition, a preemptive act that it reserved to the State the right to regulate most aspects of how the mobile home park manufactured community worked. He stated that if the City was to adopt an ordinance, it actually had to be approved under the current statute through the Mobile Home Park Commission, which was very difficult in terms of getting it through. They did a report when the issue came up with Chateau, but generally what the statute reserved to the cities was the right to force the MDEQ or the property owner to comply with the rules and regulations, but it was not a very welcoming process; it was basically a lawsuit, which was essentially what the City filed it the Ch‚teau matter. He stated they would have to sit down as they did initially with Old Dutch and with Chateau and go through each of the allegations and find out which ones fell within that narrow area that the State had left the City, which did include the Building Codes to some degree. He didnít know whether Mr. Savenís office had done that, but there were some toeholds; he didnít know where the City stood on those, but it was a largely preemptive act and if Ypsilanti Township had adopted it, they were on the leading edge and maybe the bleeding edge of that. He would be happy to look into it, but because they were not authorized to do that, they did not; he did it more out of curiosity than anything else.
Mayor Csordas thanked Mr. Schultz; he stated that they were not going to open that up for discussion.
Anne Marie Dahlen, Maples of Novi, spoke on behalf of an Oakland University project where she as a student was asked to go into the community to find a community problem. The students were asked to go to a third place, which was not home or work, and to socialize with other people in the community to get a really good feel for what was going on. In doing so, she met a deaf couple at a local coffee house. Through the university, she had some knowledge of sign language and was able to communicate with them. She asked what concerns they might have with regard to the community. She stated that their concerns were being able communicate with local businesses, medical buildings and banks when they needed assistance. They were frustrated when they went to those places, where interpreters where said to be on hand, but when they went there the interpreters were either very limited or not there at all to be able to help them. She stated that implementing sign language in other forms within the community would not only help the deaf but also the autistic. She asked what they would recommend. They stated that it started with education within the local schools; by implementing sign language amongst the young elementary school kids, it would give them a greater understanding of being able to communicate with other people. They also recommended that in the high schools it be taught as a second language, like Spanish or French. They recommended that perhaps a community project could be done with local businesses and banks to bring awareness to the fact that sign language could be utilized and very helpful within the community. Her hope was that in the future that the issue be addressed within the Council to bring some kind of community event together for greater knowledge for learning sign language for not just the deaf but for all of the community.
Mayor Csordas recommended that Ms.Dahlen speak as eloquently before the school board; that would be a great place to go.
Roy Szalony, 24164 Brentwood Court, wanted to thank Mayor Pro Tem Landry, City Manager Helwig, and the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department for assisting with rehabilitation efforts of the easement located behind his and his neighborís houses. He stated that last Tuesday, the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department ran the majority of downed trees and branch debris through the chipper, leaving only mulch ground cover behind. He had two requests: 1) To have Parks, Recreation and Forestry finish the job by bringing in some fill to eliminate the water and breeding area for mosquitoes and 2) asked if there should be a strategy in place to minimize site disruption when utilities or other entities were required to work on easements. He firmly believed that residents should not have to endure situations as he described, especially not knowing if or when earnest restoration efforts would be made.
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. McCusker, Public Works Director, to meet with Mr. Szalony to follow up.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Member Lorenzo removed Item H, Approval to award bid for Heating and Cooling Preventive Maintenance contract; Member Paul removed Item D, Approval of Resolution No. 2 for the Connemara/Galway Water Main Extension, and Item I, Approval of Authorizing Resolution reconstruction of the Westbound I-96 Exit Ramp to Novi Road.
CM-05-04-103 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Consent Agenda as amended.
Voice Vote on CM-05-04-103 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
CONSENT AGENDA: Background information for Consent Agenda items is available for review at the City Clerkís Office.
A. Approve Minutes of:
B. Schedule Executive Session immediately following the regular meeting of April 4, 2005, in the Council Annex, for the purpose of discussing pending litigation.
C. Approval to renew Massage Business License for Saloneí Nadwa and Day Spa, 43236 Eleven Mile Road.
E. Acceptance of water main as a public utility with corresponding 20-foot permanent easements for each utility from Superior Diversified Services Corporation for the City Center Plaza Addition.
F. Approval of request for an Outdoor Gathering Permit from Wade Shows, Inc., to hold a carnival at Fountain Walk Mall, sponsored by Novi Lions Club, and Friends of the Library, on April 28 Ė May 8, 2005.
G. Approval to purchase Mosquito Control Products from Clarke Mosquito Control in the amount of $18,084.
J. Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 694
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I
1. Adoption of Resolution regarding formation of City of Novi Youth Council.
CM-05-04-104 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt the Resolution regarding formation of City of Novi Youth Council.
Member Paul stated that on the Resolution, it had "whereas the City of Novi will consist 13 members"; she thought Council discussed seven. There were three high schools. They could do 13; she just wanted to add for clarification. She supported the motion.
Mayor Csordas asked someone to explain to him the 3-2-1 rule, which had no teeth in it.
Mr. Helwig stated that Administration had borrowed that; if you had one unexcused absence, you were not able to renew your term; or if you had two consecutive absences . . .
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Helwig to go no farther; he saw the word "or" in front of it. It had teeth.
Member Capello stated that in the "whereas", rather than advise City Council, he thought the language would be more consistent in the body of the resolution that they made recommendations to City Council relative to issues to Novi Youth. He thought Item B should be to serve as youth ambassadors to the City of Novi, not for the City of Novi; he understood that youth ambassadors were coming to us and not from us out to other communities. He thought it was fine other than that.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-04-104 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt,
Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul,
2. Approval to amend Novi Code of Ordinances No. 05-100.34 to amend Chapter 28, "Signs", relating to non-commercial message signs (Election and Political Signs). Second Reading and Emergency Adoption
CM-05-04-105 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Lorenzo; MOTION CARRIED: To amend Novi Code of Ordinances No. 05-100.34 to amend Chapter 28, "Signs", relating to non-commercial message signs (Election and Political Signs), to become effective after the May 3rd election. Second Reading
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if he was correct that it did not change the timing of the existing ordinance, which said that you couldnít put an election sign up earlier than 30 days before the election.
Mr. Schultz answered that it did change that; it got rid of that and imposed a backend timing to remove it once the event was over.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that once it went through, he understood where it came from and the whole history and all of the litigation, theoretically anybody could put up an election sign anytime.
Mr. Schultz answered that was correct.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he did not agree with that; however, he was aware of the law and was aware of what was going on, so he would support it.
Member Capello asked why 30 days were picked to take the signs down; he thought the old ordinance was three days or 48 hours. He asked why extend to 30 days; the signs will never be down.
Mr. Schultz answered that 30 days was picked because the City had a 30-day removal for sale and rent signs; they were just again trying to be the same. If Council wanted to, it could amend the ordinance to limit both of those, but where communities had tended to get in trouble lately was the distinctions that were based on the fact that they were noncommercial.
Member Capello asked that, once a unit was rented or sold, the signs could still sit for 30 days.
Mr. Schultz answered yes.
Member Capello stated that Council should amend that to bring that down to something more reasonable; the only reason the brokers left the signs up were so they continued to market and advertise. It had nothing to do with the sale or lease of the building, so he would bring everything down to 10 days. So his suggestion was to change that to 10 days and then work on the other one and bring it into compliance with this ordinance.
Member Nagy agreed.
Member Lorenzo agreed also.
Member Capello asked what other type of a noncommercial sign would there be, other than a political sign.
Mr. Schultz answered very limited; the reality was that it was intended to pick up anything not related to a specific event, so the definition was very broad. Anything not on premise advertising or relating to a business transaction or commerce . . .
Member Capello stated that if he wanted to put 50ís Festival signs out, it was related to an event, he could start doing that 90 days before the 50ís Festival.
Mr. Schultz stated that if it was related to that endeavor, he thought that was more of a commercial sign.
Member Capello stated the sign that went up at Beck and Grand River, would that be a noncommercial sign because it was charitable; the big dance sign with the neon lights.
Mr. Helwig stated that sign should never have been authorized.
Member Capello stated he knew that, but was using that for an example; that type of sign could be categorized as a noncommercial sign, correct.
Mr. Schultz answered that it would be subject to that size limitation that was in the ordinance of the six square feet unless it was on a major thoroughfare; but, it really did apply to anything not related to business commerce or related kinds of events.
Member Capello stated that in Mr. Schultzí opinion, a charitable event sign would be a noncommercial sign.
Mr. Schultz answered that he wished he knew the context of that question.
Member Capello stated that they were going to raise money for Providence; they were going to raise money for the Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Schultz answered that he thought that was regulated as a temporary sign, just like any other temporary sign for an event that was really kind of a commercial event; it was intended to raise money. He stated those were intended to be election signs and mostly sort of opinion signs.
Member Capello stated that the noncommercial event would be an event that didnít raise money.
Mr. Schultz answered that was right; those were sort of the war or pro-war; support the troops, those kinds of things.
Member Capello stated that on Part 3, Item 15d, "shall not be placed in the public right-of-way unless there is no area available on the private property of the place to sign." All public right-of-way abuts private property; he was confused in the distinction.
Mr. Schultz stated that currently the ordinance permitted signs in the right-of-way anywhere, and really on public property wherever.
Member Capello stated 10 feet back.
Mr. Schultz answered right; so they had kept some elements of that and said that if you happened to have a property where there was no private property but you were immediately abutting right up against the right-of-way (like the Fidelity Building) and there was nothing private where you could put that sign, it was intended to be a very limited kind of situation where the Building Department would look at it and say it met the four or five criteria, so they could express an opinion or have an election sign, even if they could not put it anywhere on their own property.
Member Capello asked how that interacted with just putting the signs in the right-of-way where the right-of-way did not abut property that you own, such as at the intersections where we had always stuck our signs or across from subdivision entrances.
Mr. Schultz answered that to the extent that in those situations there was private property where you could put that sign well out of the right-of-way, if you had permission, that would not qualify under those limitations.
Member Capello asked if he was saying that with the ordinance, they were not allowed to put any signs in the right-of-way unless we own the property adjacent to the right-of-way and there was no room in that property to put the sign.
Mr. Schultz answered or you had permission and could put it on the private property, but Novi was the exception to allow that on those right-of-way areas.
Member Capello stated that Novi would not allow any more signs in the right-of-way; that was what the ordinance said.
Mr. Schultz answered unless there was no place on that private property where the private property owner wanted to allow a sign to be placed or to place a sign; that was correct.
Member Capello stated that we would not see any signs along any of the intersections anymore; was that the intent.
Mr. Schultz answered, outside the right-of-way with the ownership or permission of the owner.
Member Capello stated that he just wanted to get that clear.
Mr. Helwig stated that it really was an exception to have been placing election signs where Novi had authorized them to be placed. He said if you were familiar at all with other communities, other states, this was really quite unusual. In that regard, he thought it was a real plus, be it for safety, be it for aesthetics, be it for genuine endorsement, if someone on private property put up a sign, he was genuinely commenting rather than just plastering the community and you didnít necessarily know who was for whom. Secondly, the reason about the emergency adoption, this was a policy decision for Council and he wanted to make certain that Council understood the choices that you had. As presented, it would go into effect this Friday, after it was published by the City Clerk, on Thursday. He said already there were signs in the public right-of-way under current rules, very properly, and Ms. Cornelius had communicated, as you saw, with the seven candidates for the School Board election to let them know Council was having this debate tonight. The question before Council was, did Council feel it was warranted to shift the rules after the 30-day gun had gone off for the May 3rd election; after signs had started to appear in the community, did Council wish to make the change effective May 4th after the election had run its course. It was purely a policy determination.
Mayor Csordas stated do it now.
Member Paul stated that unfortunately it was 30 days prior to the May 3rd School Board election; they had already put out their signs. She said there were at least three people that were running who had put their signs out. She thought it was very unfair for Council to change the rules midstream; she thought it should be in effect May 4th. She thought it was very difficult to have people go out to move their signs; she didnít want just anyone to move the signs, either. Her second comment was, on Part 3, Item 15(1)(a), it said, "unless adjacent to major thoroughfares." She asked if Council should spell out "major thoroughfares." She asked if it should be Ten Mile, Twelve Mile, Grand River, Meadowbrook and Haggerty, and not in residential quarters. She didnít want to see unattractive 16 square foot signs in Nine Mile where it was all residential. She said maybe it should be looked at by zoning, but she didnít want to just say every single major thoroughfare; she would like to spell that out and would like to hear some of the people on Councilís discussion and maybe a legal opinion of what they might be.
Mr. Schultz answered that they thought briefly about whether or not there were particular thoroughfares, but it got hard to define and difficult for the City to enforce and it might be hard to explain why it was permitted in one area, so they picked the term from zoning ordinance that was definable.
Member Paul asked Mr. Schultz to define those major thoroughfares defined as zoning.
Mr. Helwig stated that he would suggest that in terms of the notification to candidates that it be part of the information packet that they received; it was conceivable as the community would change that the list of major thoroughfares would change, so in terms of legislation you might not want to enumerate all those here but could make it available through the City Clerkís Office so that there would be no misunderstanding.
Mr. Schultz stated that it was a defined thing; part of the Master Plan physically depicted where the major thoroughfares were, which could be part of the public packet.
Member Paul stated that she understood now from the legal perspective, but if it started for this Friday, she would not be in support of it. She would like to make a motion to have it be in effect act of May 4th and the signs would be then in effect with this ordinance.
Member Nagy as maker of the motion agreed with the amendment.
Member Lorenzo as seconder agreed with the amendment.
Member Gatt stated that he was confused about the right-of-way versus the private property. If he wanted to put a sign at Novi and Ten Mile Roads, the northwest corner, a vacant gas station, and the owner of the property would not let him put a sign on his private property, was he then able to put it on the right-of-way 10 feet off.
Mr. Schultz answered no.
Member Gatt stated the only signs that would be permitted then were on the private property with the ownerís permission.
Mr. Schultz stated that was correct. That was more the typical kind of provision and one of the reasons why it became more important was because the other thing the ordinance did was it got rid of the limit on the number of signs, consistent with the federal cases that had come down and the state cases. Once you eliminate the number, if you then still permit them in the right-of-way, you run the risk of sort of an added public safety issue.
Member Gatt stated that it said in D "it should not be placed in a public right-of-way unless there was no area available on the private property." He said that meant no area that the private owner allowed you to place it on; it was not so much available as allowable.
Mr. Schultz stated that the intention of the ordinance was "physically able to be placed on private property"; if there literally was no area, if you didnít have an issue with regard to permission and things like that; if the owner of that property wanted a sign on that property but could not locate it or could not let a candidate locate it, it may come out onto the right-of-way under circumstances.
Member Gatt stated that just so he and everyone else understood, at the next election if this ordinance was passed, there would be no signs on Novi Road, no signs on Ten Mile.
Mr. Schultz stated in the right-of-way.
Member Gatt stated where the signs normally appeared, there would be no signs.
Mr. Schultz stated they would be on the private property.
Member Nagy stated that the reason she supported the amendment was because it was a little late for those candidates for School Board who had followed the ordinance the City had in place and they had put out their signs. She stated that it would be totally unfair for Council to impose the rule now when they had gone to that effort.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked City Clerk Cornelius if there had been any notification to any of the School Board candidates that the sign ordinance might be amended.
Ms. Cornelius answered yes; she sent a letter out to all the candidates, not just the Novi School District but because we also had Northville Public Schools, Walled Lake Schools and Schoolcraft Community College. Thirteen candidates were notified of the proposed change and that the ordinance that was being proposed to be adopted would become effective and published on April 7th.
Member Capello asked in Part III, Section (15)b1(2) "Except as permitted under Section 28-10, there shall be only one noncommercial message sign not pertaining to a specific event" if that meant that each parcel of private property could only endorse one candidate.
Mr. Schultz stated that it was intended to fit those signs that were not related to an election or that kind of event; those were more the opinion signs. The idea was only one of those per parcel, "Support the Troops" was a good example, and you would, as you were permitted to now, have the window sign also to a total of six square feet. He said that was a little grayer area; the opinion sign issues were not the ones that tended to get litigated because if you allowed the one or two that tended to solve most peopleís problems. The ones that got litigated in the last year or two were the election signs, and there was no limit on those.
Member Capello stated he could have 35 signs for one candidate in his front yard.
Mr. Schultz stated they were clear expression of opinion and, as he said in the letter, by judges of all persuasion that if someone wanted to tell the public they supported that candidate that much, that was their right.
Mayor Csordas asked Cindy Uglow, Director of Neighborhood Services, how enforceable was all of that rhetoric.
Ms. Uglow answered that it would be a task, but it could be done. She had two calls from two candidates today; she was going to suggest tomorrow, through Mr. Pearsonís office, that we get the candidates in here before Friday for a casual meeting for questions and answers so that everyone was very specific as far as where the placement of the signs. She also had the officers going to take the signs, because they were going to do it as of Monday, bring the signs here as they did for some of the other candidates during election time and post it here so they didnít have to go through the sign bin which was located at the DPW garage. They were going to have them in the Building Department by the back entrance. She said the other thing was that when you started giving a little leeway, you had to keep in mind the other For Sale signs by residents, residents who were trying to sell their homes. Think of the history, not only of Mr. Schultz bringing up the litigation part of it, but you have For Sale by Owners that were only allowed at the entrance of their subs. So there was the different clash that during election time, they get to put their signs up. She said they got those types of calls that Mr. Schultzí office was really kind enough to tweak the sign ordinance; it was a start. She said it would be a task Monday, but it could be done; she had four officers.
Mayor Csordas stated that to make an ordinance like that and then not be able to enforce it was kind of silly. He stated that it was a great idea to bring all those people to one place so they wonít have to run around. For clarification on the motion, the motion excluded the recommended Planning Commission language, was that correct.
Mr. Schultz answered that was correct; the version that was in front of Council did not have that distinction.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-04-105 Yeas: Capello, Lorenzo, Nagy,
Nays: Gatt, Csordas, Landry
3. Approval to amend Novi Code of Ordinance No. 05-100.35 to amend Chapter 28, "Signs", in order to incorporate regulations relating to window signs, portable signs and non-conforming signs. First Reading
CM-05-04-106 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Landry; MOTION WITHDRAWN: To amend Novi Code of Ordinance No. 05-100.35 to amend Chapter 28, "Signs", in order to incorporate regulations relating to window signs, portable signs and non-conforming signs. First Reading
Member Capello stated that he was totally against the majority of the changes in this ordinance; he had been against all of the window signs that the City had for years; the prime example was the rug store at the corner of Grand River and Novi Road; he had a sign in every single window of that building, and it kept growing like a virus. As he read the ordinance, it took away all restrictions except the 25 percent restriction; they didnít have to be temporary signs; they donít have to be temporary sale signs. Now they could fully permanently put 25 percent of their window space as permanent signs; he thought that was getting ridiculous. He would not support anything that expanded that; in fact, he would choose to reduce it to 15 percent, take out the word "current" of the old ordinance and say that it was only a temporary sign; it was only a temporary promotional sign; it was only for a sale and keep the sign in the window five days and it had to be out of the window for 30 days before you could put it back in. Letís clean up all those messy windows that we have; he said Novi had such a strong sign ordinance and then ignore the whole thing by allowing all of the garbage in the windows.
Member Capello stated that the second part he didnít like about this was it didnít matter because if his first like didnít get approved by everybody, was that Novi had grandfathering in; there was no time period where they must comply. He stated that they could change the message on the sign, and as long as they donítí change the sign itself, they never had to comply with the new ordinance. He wanted to see a period of time that they had, in particular regarding the window signs, they had 45 days and had to clean it up and comply. When it came back, it was hard to read the connections where the unchanged portion had the word unchanged.
Member Nagy agreed with Member Capelloís comments; at Novi and Grand River, it was not just signs in the window, but every weekend it was signs on the sidewalk. What really also was disconcerting to her was when they talked about percentages of a window; she asked how you measured 15 percent, 18 percent, etc. She would not be supporting the motion. She wanted to shrink this down and make it more strict.
Member Lorenzo stated that she was under the impression that it was just part of the cleanup because of the legal potential. She asked Mr. Schultz if that was the case.
Mr. Schultz answered that the changes came through Code Enforcement; it was not part of the noncommercial sign, political cleanup; they ran them together to take advantage of the Planning Commission being in the process of reviewing the sign ordinance.
Member Lorenzo stated that it was something he recommended from a legal aspect.
Mr. Schultz answered that was correct; he understood that the Code enforcement has had issues primarily with Parts I and II, which were the Towne Center district issues, which seemed to be typos and things like that. Council Members had identified Part III, which dealt with the window signage, and Part IV, which dealt with nonconforming size, those were substantive changes.
Member Lorenzo stated that she was under the impression that he recommended them from a legal perspective similar to what they just previously did. If that was not the case, then in putting together the ordinance on Part IV, nonconforming signs, frankly his intent was to codify what courts were likely to do and had experienced them doing; if Council wanted to talk about that, absolutely.
Member Lorenzo stated that the only thing she would be in favor of doing at this point was doing anything that Mr. Schultz thought that the City would be out of compliance with in terms of from a legal aspect.
Mr. Schultz stated that there was really nothing there that had to be done; Parts I and II were kind of pro forma, Parts III and IV were substantive changes.
Member Lorenzo stated that she would be looking for, in that case since she was the maker of the motion and she was withdrawing the motion, she would make a motion to postpone. She stated that she would like to see was information as to why exactly this was being proposed, a detailed explanation as to why it was being proposed.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if the seconder had to approve the withdrawal.
Mr. Schultz stated that the seconder would have to agree with the withdrawal of the motion.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that if she felt that strongly about it, he would agree to it.
Member Capello moved to approve the First Reading with the change under Part III, Section 28-8(14) to read "covers not more than fifteen (15) percent of the glass area of the frontage of the building premises displaying the sign," and (jumping down to (c)) a message referring to temporary merchandising or temporary promotional activities, such as a sale (d) and is removed from the glass area and not more than five days after its first display date and the same sign not to be reintroduced or redisplayed in the window for 30 days following its removal." Also, Part IV (b)(4), as it read in the draft with the exception to eliminate the language in the parentheses "except for the message or sign face," the intent being that there had to be compliance with the new ordinance and then to have language in there within 60 days from the date of its adoption. He was not sure if there was a definition of "sign" in the ordinance when they saw the draft back, but he wanted included in the definition of sign any attraction that identified or advertised a business; the example was the giant walking rug that was at Grand River and Novi Road every weekend, including any balloons, flags, banners and other appendages, all to be included in the signage.
Member Lorenzo stated that she would second the motion. She said she would like to see when it came back for a second reading a very detailed explanation as to where it came from.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked Ms. Uglow what she thought of all this; what he was really concerned about was the 25 percent versus the 15 percent. He tended to agree with Member Nagy, how do you measure 15 percent; it was easy to measure one-fourth, but he was interested from an enforcement standpoint what she thought.
Ms. Uglow answered that it was pretty visual; they would do whatever Council wanted them to do. There were certain businesses in the Novi area that you could visually look and see one-quarter of the window signage. The one officer had been doing this for 22 years, so it was pretty straightforward on some of their parts.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if they could do 15 percent or was that more difficult.
Ms. Uglow answered that it was a little more difficult; a quarter of a window was a little easier.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked about the other changes here.
Ms. Uglow answered that the Towne Center Steering Committee; those items were mostly brought to Councilís attention for housekeeping items, but she would, through Mr. Pearsonís office, do a detailed why and how.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that it was only First Reading, so he would support it, but he ultimately would be in favor of the 25 percent.
Member Paul concurred that it would be a little more difficult, but it was not impossible. She really would like to see 15 percent instead of 25 percent. She was more concerned about the 30 days following the removal; she asked how the City would know what sign came up and when it came down and when it went back in. She understood the intent and thought it was a good intent, but she thought that was the part that would be more difficult. She stated that she was in support of measurement completely; she wanted to hear Ms. Uglowís comments. She asked her how she thought the 30 days following removal could be enforced.
Ms. Uglow answered that there were four officers; they kept pretty tight track of what was going up, what had been up and the 30 days.
Member Paul stated that she thought of Jackís Meat Market and thought how difficult.
Ms. Uglow stated that was 50 percent; she noticed that the other day.
Member Paul stated that she really appreciated this improvement; it was something that had been bothering her for quite a while. She stated that there were some specific businesses that just teetered that line of 25 percent.
Ms. Uglow answered whatever Council decided, they would do.
Member Gatt stated that they had been talking about it from an aesthetics viewpoint, but he would come at it from a different point of view and concurred with Member Paul; he thought 15 percent or even less was doable, and it was a safety issue. Any policeman would tell you that when there were too many signs in the window and they couldnít see in, it was not safe; police should be able to drive by and see in the building. He would support anything lower; the lower, the better.
Mr. Schultz wanted to restate for drafting purposes what Council was looking for on the nonconforming sign, Part IV (b)(4).
Member Capello stated that he was trying to get at a narrative to say that all nonconforming signs could remain, even if they changed the message or the sign face, but he wanted to get at in regard to the window signs was that they had to be removed and be in compliance with the ordinance in 60 days.
Mr. Schultz stated for "window" signs.
Member Capello answered for window signs, and for the other signs, when they changed the sign, they ought to bring it into compliance. He wanted to get some period of time when they were going to bring it into compliance; the Farmer Jack sign was a prime example.
Mr. Schultz answered that it gave some direction; he would probably provide some correspondence along with the ordinance to address the issue.
CM-05-04-107 Moved by Capello, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To amend Novi Code of Ordinance No. 05-100.35 to amend Chapter 28, "Signs", in order to incorporate regulations relating to window signs, portable signs and non-conforming signs, with the change under Part III, Section 28-8(14) to read "covers not more than fifteen (15) percent of the glass area of the frontage of the building premises displaying the sign," (c) a message referring to temporary merchandising or temporary promotional activities, such as a sale (d) and is removed from the glass area and not more than five days after its first display date and the same sign not to be reintroduced or redisplayed in the window for 30 days following its removal." Also, in Part IV (b)(4), as it read in the draft with the exception to eliminate the language in the parentheses "(except for the message or sign face)," the intent being that there had to be compliance with the new ordinance within 60 days from the date of its adoption. To include in the definition of "sign" any attraction that identified or advertised a business. First Reading
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-04-107 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy,
Paul, Csordas, Landry,
4. Approval to amend Novi Code of Ordinances No. 05-120.08 to amend Chapter 20, "Massage," Article II, "Business License," Section 20-27, "Application," to provide for the collection and forwarding of applicant fingerprinting processing fees by the City of Novi Police Department to the Michigan State Police Department; to amend Chapter 20, "Massage," Article II, "Business License," Section 20-28, "Facilities Required," to delete that part of subsection (7) requiring that all doors and doorway coverings within a massage establishment to have an unobstructed window; and to amend Chapter 20, "Massage," Article III, "Massagist Permit," Section 20-52, "Application," to provide for the collection and forwarding of applicant fingerprinting processing fees by the City of Novi Police Department to the Michigan State Police Department. First Reading
CM-05-04-108 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To amend Novi Code of Ordinances No. 05-120.08 to amend Chapter 20, "Massage," Article II, "Business License," Section 20-27, "Application," to provide for the collection and forwarding of applicant fingerprinting processing fees by the City of Novi Police Department to the Michigan State Police Department; to amend Chapter 20, "Massage," Article II, "Business License," Section 20-28, "Facilities Required," to delete that part of subsection (7) requiring that all doors and doorway coverings within a massage establishment to have an unobstructed window; and to amend Chapter 20, "Massage," Article III, "Massagist Permit," Section 20-52, "Application," to provide for the collection and forwarding of applicant fingerprinting processing fees by the City of Novi Police Department to the Michigan State Police Department. First Reading
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-04-108 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul,
Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION Ė None
Mayor Csordas recessed the meeting at 9:25 p.m.
Mayor Csordas called the meeting back to order at 9:38 p.m.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part II
5. Consideration of Ordinance No. 05-173.01, an amendment to the Novi Code of Ordinances, Chapter 26.5, relating to requirements for the posting of financial guarantees for site improvements, including guarantees to be posted at the time of acceptance of certain improvements within a project while construction is incomplete. First Reading
Member Capello stated that he had two comments and then he would make a motion to approve the first reading. On page 13, on the right-hand column, the fifth box down where it said inserted, then paragraph sign (d). Instead of "the engineering may require", he didnít know what the "may" went to. He wasnít sure, when he first introduced this, he threw $5,000 out there; he would rather have Mr. McCusker give an idea of what it would cost to repair a lineal foot of road so that maybe they could tie the bond into a linear foot of road, so it was pretty consistent. He stated that as it went down there, it stated "condition to the public, street or road directly," he thought it should also include curb and other utilities, such as fire hydrants, catch basins, anything else they could damage." With that, he moved to approve the First Reading.
CM-05-04-109 Moved by Capello, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Consideration of Ordinance No. 05-173.01, an amendment to the Novi Code of Ordinances, Chapter 26.5, relating to requirements for the posting of financial guarantees for site improvements, including guarantees to be posted at the time of acceptance of certain improvements within a project while construction is incomplete. First Reading
Member Lorenzo stated that she totally agreed with the previous speaker; also, at the top of page 13, "(c) also had city engineer "may require" also needed to be a "shall". She also had a question: In one section, it was City Council and in another section, it was the City Engineer; she asked why we were differentiating between some of those approvals. On page 11, in the right margin, it talked about where a development had been approved in phases, the City Council "may", it should be "shall," require a site restoration guarantee. She asked why we were saying "City Council" there and "City Engineer" on the other section.
Mr. Schultz stated that was in the section where City Council was accepting the documents.
Member Lorenzo stated that the was the normal City Council jurisdiction; she just wanted to make sure. Also on page 11 at the bottom, we were saying the "City Council may also require such site restoration guarantee in the event it determines at its sole discretion accept any public streets before the standards for acceptance described in the immediate preceding paragraph. It says 90 percent of the building permit or four years after the paving has occurred." She asked why we would allow that; wouldnít it be defeating the whole purpose of that section.
Mr. Schultz stated that Council has had, in fact one of the things that happened just before the ordinance was amended or proposed to be amended, a property owner come in and request acceptance of the streets before the 90 percent or four years was met; so one of the concerns that Council had and one of the driving reasons for this ordinance was if Council wanted to accept those streets or some other request down the road, what was in place in the ordinance to make sure that the City was made whole. The answer was "really nothing" and that is what this was for. If Council, in the exercise of its discretion determined to accept streets early, this would give the Council the ability to require the bond that really was kind of missing; so it was essentially one of the major components of the change. Council didnít have clear authority to require that site restoration bond; we could guarantee the improvements were reasonably made but not damage after the acceptance.
Member Lorenzo stated that she thought that was a unique situation or anomaly because it was after the four years and was less than 90 percent. She would like some anomaly situation like that to be addressed, but not in this way. She wouldnít see any circumstance that the Council would do this unless it was some kind of an anomaly that appeared before Council. That was what she was looking to do was to have a section in there how to deal with the anomaly, but not to say well now City Council was going to start entertaining those requests to do it outside of the paragraph that they just finished amending some months ago. She would like to see that changed; she would like to see only that type of a paragraph in there only for those anomalies where that had occurred previously to Councilís adopting the current ordinance. In other words, that particular development was more than four years but less than 90 percent, so how did Council address that in there. That was Mr. Schultzí charge to tell how Council did that; she didnít like the way it read now.
Mr. Schultz stated that the intent was not to limit the Councilís discretion to take streets when it determined to take streets; the Council always had the ability under this ordinance to vary any of its terms. It was written in there a hardship or Council waiver.
Member Lorenzo stated that she understood there was a hardship, but this was outside of that.
Mr. Schultz asked if she was asking, in terms of drafting some language, for a limitation on the Councilís discretion.
Member Lorenzo stated no; what she read in that paragraph was "the Council may out of its discretion not comply with this section of the ordinance." She thought if the Council was going to do that, there were other sections in there that allowed for that, just as he just mentioned, for hardship circumstances. But this was not that section; if she understood correctly, this was to address the anomaly situation that appeared before Council recently. The way this read, it allowed anyone to come in now, and it might be less than four years and less than 90 percent, and say we would like Council to accept our streets. That was not what she looked to accomplish by this set of revisions; she looked to accomplish dealing with the anomaly situation, the on that had occurred prior to Councilís adopting that ordinance.
Mr. Helwig stated that he remembered Member Capelloís comments which directed Administration to prepare this. By the way, last week acceptance of the Park Place storm sewer and the sanitary sewer was finally signed. He had been talking with Mr. Schultz every week because they had to get those done before we could move onto the roads. He didnít think the Administration knew, other than what Member Capello said, which asked Administration to prepare something that would give Council the ability to not be bound by four years and 90 percent, realizing that was the anomaly; that was very irregular. He didnít know that Administration had another answer to provide, unless Council tells Administration how you wanted to deal with those circumstances. Right now, Administration didnít know how to deal with Park Place roads.
Member Lorenzo stated that they were an anomaly, though.
Mr. Helwig stated that the developer was saying that all the individual builders were out here and they were washing their hands.
Member Lorenzo stated maybe it was something that occurred prior to the ordinance because that was a particular circumstance. She looked for legal counsel to give Council the language that would do what she was asking be done.
Mr. Schultz stated this was First Reading, and he would be happy to propose language that described that request as more of an anomaly, if that was the Councilís wish. Right now it said it was at Council discretion, so you exercise that discretion or not.
Member Lorenzo stated exactly; that was the exception not the rule. That was what she was looking for; she just wasnít looking for floodgates to be opened for someone to come in and ask Council to do them sooner than later, and this opened the door other than those circumstances that they already had in there for difficulties and all that. Those were basically her comments; the "shalls," just determining Council v City Engineer, and this particular section.
Member Paul stated that on page 11(2)a, "At the time ninety (90) percent of the building permits have been issued," that was one line. Her understanding was that you could have a building permit issued to start the building, but it might not be complete. When Council initially looked at this financial guarantee, it was at the 90 percent completion of the buildings, not 90 percent of the building permits issued. There was a difference. When a building permit was issued, there was still construction traffic and still a lot of activities going, so she thought it should be more of C of O, 90 percent of certificate of occupancy had been warranted, or 90 percent completion of the building permits. She stated this was not the completion; it was just a permit had been issued for the building. She stated that the City could have 20 percent being built at a portion of time and only 70 percent completed, and they had defeated their purpose. The purpose was to protect our roads, our infrastructure, our sewers, our catch basins, and if we had construction traffic going back and forth over that 20 percent that she gave as an example, there would be a lot more deterioration. She didnít want the taxpayers to assume that responsibility.
Member Paul stated that in the second portion of what Member Lorenzo spoke of was one of those situations. "Ninety percent of building permits" was the same scenario again. Her understanding when Park Place came forward was they had the option to look at a special circumstance. Park Place was issued prior to this ordinance, so they really didnít fall in this category, and they were not 90 percent built out yet. They had 90 percent of the lots sold, but they were not even close to 90 percent built out. So she wanted there to be an exception only for weather or some horrible problem that occurred that Council couldnít foresee. Council was looking at that from a weather perspective to say maybe they couldnít put in the street trees or they couldnít put in the landscaping or they couldnít put in driveways in those percentages and they would wait and allow maybe another six months until another weather condition would permit them to pour the concrete or pour the asphalt, so that was her understanding when they were in their initial meetings almost a year ago. She still felt that that was her intent as a Council Member was to make sure 90 percent of the buildings were completed before Council accepted anything so that the taxpayers werenít burdened when developers deserted their roads. They had so many circumstances in the City where that occurred, and the City had been stuck with a lot of bills to repair streets. She said they were dealing with that in the budget this Saturday; there were a lot of issues, so she didnít want to accept this until 90 percent completion. For the Second Reading, she would really like that spelled out a little more clearly; she completely concurred with both Members, but the exception to the rule was what she was looking at for City Council waiver.
Member Capello wanted to remind Council from the Committee meetings where this language came in the new ordinance in regard to requiring, it was a requirement now which they didnít have before, to put the final layer of asphalt at 90 percent completion of four years was because Administration had been cleaning up messes of subdivisions not getting completed. So what they did to fix that was to require the developer to get the subdivisions done; that was where the language started from, not because of Park Place. The discretionary language did come in because of Park Place, thinking the City had some examples and had to take care of its residents. They were paying taxes the same as everyone else; weíre not going to plow their roads or maintain anything until Council accepted their roads, so there might be circumstances where we want to serve the residents justice. That was why the exception came in.
Mr. Schultz stated that he had two things with regard to the acceptance of building permit versus C of O. At least with regard to the acceptance documents, he thought the idea was that the City was requiring any documents to be submitted once those permits had been pulled; they might not necessarily be complete because the process of approving those documents took a certain amount of time. It didnít mean that Council had to accept them with those building permits still outstanding; that was really the trigger for when those documents had to come in for Councilís consideration. If the consensus of the Council was to change that to C of O, that was a policy decision; they would be happy to make that change for next reading.
Mr. Schultz stated that with the other issue raised, he would propose adding some language before it talked about exercising Council discretion that introduced that concept, but it would be unusual for Council to limit its own discretion. That was a difficult provision to write even if Council had a waiver provision down the road. It seemed like it would be better to start with maybe a description of when Council intended to exercise that discretion, as opposed to a limit on it.
Member Lorenzo asked if they had a section in there on when Council would use discretion, some criteria built into the ordinance that Mr. Schultz just mentioned.
Mr. Schultz stated there was a general hardship variance provision that really applied to the entire section of the ordinance.
Member Lorenzo stated that she didnít know how to make it more clear; she was looking for the possibility of doing that as an exception.
Mr. Schultz stated that if that was the general consensus of Council, he could put together some language that attempted to address that for consideration next time around.
Mayor Csordas stated that he was not clear on that; he would be anxious to see what the rewritten language was.
Member Capello stated that what this did, if they had accepted Park Place streets, all that they could require was the maintenance bond, which had a very limited scope. With this, Council could require an additional guarantee beyond the maintenance bond; it gave the City additional protection for the roads. If their four years were up, they might only be 20 percent complete; the City was stuck. With the exception, Council could say weíll take it now and give the City an additional guarantee beyond just the maintenance bond and would be better protected. It would be in the Cityís best interest to have it apply to Park Place.
Member Lorenzo agreed.
Member Capello stated that was where Mr. Schultz was going with that; to make it broader and give Council the discretion. Council could do the right thing when it came in front of them.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that it appeared to him that Council wanted to encourage the builders to put the final lift of asphalt down, that they want to encourage them to finish the streets, so he would not be in favor of changing that language from building permits to certificate of occupancy. It appeared to him that the evil Council was trying to address here was that if the City was somehow through its own ordinances forced to accept it, that the City had some protection that it could get a requirement of a higher bond so that if construction was going to continue, be it in phases or some anomaly, he agreed with Member Capello. He would leave on page 11(2)a that as "building permits," but he would be in favor of what was drafted that they could require a larger bond if they were forced to somehow accept the streets because of the passage of the four years.
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Schultz if he had heard enough input to at least throw some sort of language out for Council to review in the next reading.
Mr. Schultz answered yes; what he probably would bring back to Council was pretty much everything in the location that it was in now, with maybe some additional language saying that it was not something that Council was going to exercise regularly, with some limitations, some introduction to that ability to exercise Council discretion.
Member Paul stated that her whole thought was that she understood Council was to have the ability to take in more money to protect the Cityís roads, but she would like an idea from the Building Department and maybe the Finance Department. When there was a subdivision that had building permits out and they were saying 90 percent of building permits were issued but the houses were not complete, she asked approximately how many there were. Because what she had seen now with several subdivisions and also with street repair, there were both concrete and asphalt streets in the ordinance, if 90 percent of the permits were issued and were not complete and the big trucks rolled over the roads, the roads cracked right under those trucks. Center Street was one example; Arcadia Drive that was just before Council; it was consistent. She wanted to prevent as much of that weight on the top lift of the asphalt until they could see what was underneath the base of that asphalt road and those concrete roads until the very last moment, so Council could protect the tax dollars for as long as possible. There was a big discrepancy between 90 percent completed and 90 percent building permits. She would like some examples so Council could evaluate how much would be outstanding; how much weight would be on the roads if 70 percent were completed and they still had 30 percent left to go, there was a lot more weight that would be on those roads. She wanted to protect the roads as much as possible; the City didnít have a lot of tax dollars to just throw around.
Member Nagy agreed with the previous speaker; the weather was also an important consideration. She stated that if they didnít have 90 percent certificate of occupancy, maybe Council could say temporary certificate of occupancy.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-04-109 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas,
Landry, Capello, Gatt,
6. Consideration of Ordinance No. 05-157.02, an amendment to the Novi Code of Ordinances, Chapter 31, relating to work within City rights-of-way and the posting of appropriate financial guarantees during construction. First Reading
CM-05-04-110 Moved by Landry, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve consideration of Ordinance No. 05-157.02, an amendment to the Novi Code of Ordinances, Chapter 31, relating to work within City rights-of-way and the posting of appropriate financial guarantees during construction. First Reading
Member Capello had two comments. In (a), he knew the language of the agenda talked about right-of-way, but maybe Council should put right-of-way in there, any street, right-of-way, highway, alley, parkway. He asked if it applied to utility companies, Consumers and Detroit Edison, because they seemed to be some of the biggest violators.
Mr. Schultz answered that it was intended to apply to them. Mr. Hayes could correct him if he was wrong, but they were supposed to get their permit to work in our right-of-way.
Mayor Csordas asked what rebuttable presumption was.
Mr. Schultz answered that a rebuttable presumption was a legal term that applied where, if the City was able to establish that the damage occurred and occurred in a particular place over which the person that the ordinance was directed at had control, the ordinance would presume that person had responsibility; but if he presented evidence to the City that it was not him or it was somebody else, they he rebutted the presumption and the City didnít have the ability to go against that bond.
Member Nagy asked under 31-1c, it was crossed out and inserted "the City Engineer versus the Director of Public Services is authorized and directed to establish and promulgate reasonable rules and regulations for construction and/or maintenance within or over or below any street." She asked why Council didnít have both the City Engineer and the Public Director working in unison because, with all due respect, she would not have wanted to give the authority to a past engineer that the City had. She would rather see them working in unison with each other. She wanted to make sure that there were two people looking at the situation; the City Engineer and the DPW seemed to work in unison now regarding roads and now regarding the bridge. It worried her to give one person that much authority.
Mr. Helwig stated that in listening to Member Nagy that she was bringing in the Director of Public Works. He stated that was just cleaning up the language; there was no longer a Director of Public Services. Now he understood her point that she wanted two of our top managers to work in tandem; he said the City was trying to build a team and they had seen an example of that tonight. That was appreciated.
Member Paul wanted to make a similar comment. On Nine Mile Road, on the northeast corner, there was a house built on the northwest corner of that intersection and the sewer was on the northeast corner, so the DPW had to go down very far and remove a sidewalk. So, you were saying "sidewalk" here and "alleyway and parkway", there were some times where one had jurisdiction over the other. She didnít know if Council should, in fact, put DPW and the City Engineer in as in unison here because of that fact.
Mr. Helwig answered that it was very common practice to have two executives co-sign something when you were disseminating it to make certain that there was clarity and no misunderstanding. Whatever Council would like to do in this matter, they would do.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-04-110 Yeas: Paul, Csordas, Landry,
Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
7. Approval to award bid for a Triple Combination Pumper Truck to Brighton Diesel Diagnostics, Inc., the second lowest qualified bidder meeting the Fire Department specifications and providing a superior delivery date, in the amount of $437,982.
CM-05-04-111 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To award bid for a Triple Combination Pumper Truck to Brighton Diesel Diagnostics, Inc., the second lowest qualified bidder meeting the Fire Department specifications and providing a superior delivery date, in the amount of $437,982.
Member Lorenzo stated that in speaking to Ms. Smith-Roy, she indicated that even though Council was required to appropriate this money now, the money that actually was coming out of the Police and Fire Fund would not be appropriated until next year. It showed up in the current budget Ď04-Ď05 as actually having expenditures over revenues, and she had a concern about the way that looked.
Mr. Helwig stated that he would be glad to follow up with her on that; she had been tracking very carefully the fire apparatus replacement program. He stated that it came in over estimate, but he thought that it had all been resolved.
Member Lorenzo stated that the money was in the Police and Fire Fund; she was just looking for it to be transferred over to this allocation now rather than later, because it was showing up in this budget.
Mr. Helwig asked Ms. Smith-Roy if a budget amendment was necessary.
Ms. Smith-Roy answered yes; their recommendation would be to include that in the yearend cleanup budget amendments, such that Council was appropriating the money now, so the budget amendment had to be shown on the books. The reason it was shown in the estimated column of í04-í05 and showing the transfer from the Police and Fire Fund in í05-í05 because that was actually when the cash had to be there to pay for it.
Member Lorenzo stated that it was showing up almost as expenditures over revenues.
Mayor Csordas asked if that wasnít just an accounting function.
Ms. Smith-Roy answered that it was.
Member Lorenzo stated that it was, but her concern was when someone looked at that, it didnít look good to look at the budget and see that there was so much expenditures over revenues. She didnít see why the money wasnít transferred this year so it wouldnít look like that.
Mayor Csordas asked Ms. Smith-Roy what she thought of that.
Ms. Smith-Roy answered that she personally didnít think that there was any need to do the transfer now, since the City did not need the cash, so she was leaving the cash in the Police and Fire Fund so it would continue to accumulate interest because they had assumed that when they made the assumptions for the equipment coming on line; the City had since changed their policy in this budget to do flat transfers from the Police and Fire from the General Fund, so she didnít have a preference. If that was Councilís direction, the budget amendment could show the transfer from the Police and Fire and the expenditure.
Member Lorenzo asked if the City received more money in the Police and Fire Fund than they did for Fund Balance.
Ms. Smith-Roy stated that she did not understand the question.
Member Lorenzo stated that Ms. Smith-Roy had said she didnít want to lose the interest for the Police and Fire.
Ms. Smith-Roy answered that she didnít say she didnít want to lose the interest; she wanted the interest to be retained in that fund because that was used in the computation; when they scheduled out the equipment over 20 years, they anticipated certain amount of interest earnings over that period.
Mayor Csordas stated that was a significant accounting function.
Ms. Smith-Roy stated that when they did that amortization schedule, that was how they handled that.
Member Lorenzo stated if that was the case, she just wanted on record that when they did the budget she wanted it known that particular item was accounted for and that it really was not that they expended more money than revenue coming in.
Member Paul stated that she was very much in support of the Fire Department getting its equipment because it definitely was needed. She asked when the City would be able to purchase the pumper truck.
Ms. Smith-Roy answered that the order would be placed tomorrow if it was approved tonight.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-04-111 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
8. Approval to award bid for Lakeshore Park fence (black vinyl chain link) to The Fence Spot Inc., the low bidder, in the amount of $21,297.54.
CM-05-04-112 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Lorenzo; MOTION CARRIED: To award bid for Lakeshore Park fence (black vinyl chain link) to The Fence Spot Inc., the low bidder, in the amount of $21,297.54.
Member Capello stated that he was still against the chain link fence; he thought the decorative fence was much more important. He stated that it was the only beachfront park in the City, the speed limits along that road were very slow, and he thought additional money needed to be put into the fence so that it was aesthetically pleasing. They needed to make Novi something that the residents were proud of. He thought at the entranceways to the City and at the entranceway to City Hall, Council had not budgeted enough to give Administration the funds needed to make Novi a nice place to look at. The municipal buildings in other cities, such as Sterling Heights and Troy, were more upscale than in Novi, and it was a little embarrassing. He stated that there was Alternate #1 from Michigan Fence for $37.116; that was within budget. He said they could even save some of that money; a chain link fence would make sense along the sides of the park and put the decorative aluminum fence along South Lake Drive on the park side and the beach side, and take the chain link fence along the sides of the park where the City could put landscaping along the fence so that you couldnít really identify it as a chain link fence. He agreed that the black cyclone plastic-coated was less visible; however when you drove by at 30 p.m.h., it was still a chain link fence. He would like to see one more alternate come back with the aluminum along the two roads, the chain link fence going down from the road to the beach that was not visible from the street where they had the area to landscape, and come back with something between $21,000 and $37,000.
Member Paul stated that Alternate #3 with Nationwide Fence had the decorative fencing on the beach side only, and asked what was on the park side. The cost differential was very minimal; it would be $24,000 instead of $21,000 at the Fence Spot.
Jack Lewis, Assistant Parks, Recreation & Forestry Director, answered that the direction was to get the base bid on the beach side and the park side for the black vinyl coating and also for the decorative fencing on both sides. The Alternate #2 was just to get the black vinyl on the beach side only; Alternate #3 was the decorative on the beach side only. The biggest concern that they had was that fence was in the worst condition, and they felt that was the one that needed to be replaced.
Member Paul stated that, according to Mr. Lewis, the City would only do the decorative fencing in the quote for Alternate #3 on the beach side.
Mr. Lewis stated that was correct.
Member Paul stated that Alternate #1 would be beach and park sides, which was $21,000. She was not quite sure how it would analyze out.
Mr. Lewis stated that he believed the City would have to rebid it.
Member Paul stated that she thought when Council discussed it, there was a clear direction that the City would look at combinations.
Mr. Helwig stated that was what Council had. In Alternate #3, the decorative fencing was only on side three; everything else was black vinyl chain link.
Member Paul stated that the total for Alternate #3 would be the decorative fencing only on the beach side and the black vinyl fencing everywhere else, and the total of that would be $24,000; that was a very minute difference.
Mr. Helwig stated that he had a lot of experience with historic districts, parks, and so forth where there was usually though a grant an opportunity to put in something upscale, which was always desirable to do things first-class, but where those costs pale compared to the long-term challenge of maintaining it. In this instance, it was an extremely narrow corridor. First of all, the fencing along South Lake Drive would get creamed by a vehicle, and has; it would be over time be affected by snow. That was what he was concerned about. This Council wanted to control long-term costs, and there were so many needs; the black vinyl was a very presentable look. He shared Member Capelloís desire to do something first class; he thought the black chain link vinyl would be a dramatic upgrade for the cost, and it would enable the City to do other improvements. The park was not in first-class condition, even given all the things that Council had authorized to be done. He was concerned the long-term cost to maintain that look, when a section or a whole area of ornamental got creamed and had to come out, would be very draining long-term. That was why he was really adamant in recommending the black vinyl chain link.
Member Paul appreciated that and understood what Member Capello was saying, because Council did want the City to be beautiful; she was just trying to understand the Nationwide Fence Alternate. She was interested in looking at the cost comparison when it was under $3,000, but she would support the motion.
Member Nagy stated that she would support the motion, because she thought the appearance of the black vinyl chain link fence was nice and could also be seen through better. She agreed with everything that Mr. Helwig had stated. From personal experience, the chain link fence around the pool area at her condominiums received a lot of abuse. She stated that it was cost effective, and the Parks and Recreation & Forestry Department needed other things, too; letís save money and give the residents a new fence.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated the concern that had been expressed to him was that, because the fence was so close to the road that when snow was plowed, it would be pushed up against the fence, and that a chain link fence would deform but the decorative fence would allow the snow to go through. He asked Mr. Helwig if he was concerned about that.
Mr. Helwig answered that it could happen; it was the Cityís operators, so they had some control over that. He was more concerned about the complete destruction of it and the replacement costs.
Member Capello stated that as he read Alternates #2 and #3, they were only for the beach side and not both sides; they could do an extrapolation by doing a unit price to determine what it would cost for the decorative fencing along the front of both the beach and the park side. He said there was not one subdivision that he had reviewed that had come into the City in the last 15 years that allowed chain link fences; he didnít think there was any neighbor who would like a chain link fence put up next to their house. Given that, he still wanted to see a decorative fence along South Lake Drive; he thought Mr. McCusker could handle the maintenance of it with the snow plows, and he thought it would look 100 percent better.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-04-112 Yeas: Landry, Lorenzo, Nagy,
Nays: Capello, Gatt
9. Discussion of Storm Water Master Plan Update report prepared by Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber.
Mr. Hayes stated that the City retained Fishbeck Thompson last year to update the Storm Water Master Plan; he had Mr. Fred Cowles from Fishbeck who was the storm water expert and spearheaded the preparation of the report which was circulated to Council last month. To highlight some of the more important issues out of the report, Fishbeck was trying to bring the Storm Water Master Plan up to date in accordance with current storm water management regulations and to bring the City into compliance with those regulations, and also to match the new storm water ordinance. They came up with a very comprehensive list of recommendations. Some of the more important environmental concerns included: highly fluctuating flows throughout water courses in the City, sedimentation, phosphorous loading in the water courses, and in some of the watersheds a relatively low habitat score.
Mr. Hayes stated that some of the major conclusions that they came up with were that the lakes and streams of the City needed to be protected as natural resources and not used for conveyance or for treatment. They emphasized that the continued pursuit of a regional strategy was not really feasible and that instead the City should pursue an onsite detention policy. Another was to come up with the means to attenuate those storm flows, so they didnít fluctuate as violently in the water courses. Finally, to find a way to mitigate the amount of sedimentation that was introduced into the water courses.
Mr. Hayes stated that the next step as a result of the study was to put forward a resolution that would accept the update and adopt it as part of the way that they operated in the City.
Mr. Cowles stated that the only addition he would like to make from Mr. Hayesí comments was with regard to the existing Storm Water Master Plan that called for the regional detention concept. When it was adopted, it was a very foresighted Master Plan but it called for using the lakes, streams and wetlands in the City as part of the drainage system. He stated that many of the existing regional detention basins were former streambeds and wetlands; further implementation of the regional concept became difficult as DEQ became more concerned about the loss of the wetlands and the streams. The City had already adopted an onsite detention ordinance; the existing problem was that the ordinance was in conflict with the existing Master Plan, so they were trying to remedy that and make other recommendations so that the City would have a more efficient and effective storm water drainage system.
Mayor Csordas thanked Mr. Cowles; he said it was an extremely comprehensive and well done report.
Member Capello asked Mr. Cowles, in his opinion, what was a better way to handle storm water; to have engineered constructed regional storm water detention basins or individual onsite basins.
Mr. Cowles answered that was a matter of some preference; his preference would be for a regional plan. The problem with that was that it was very difficult to implement, and it was better to have an implementable onsite approach than an unimplementable regional approach.
Member Capello asked why having regional basins were better than onsite basins.
Mr. Cowles answered that you ended up with fewer detention basins, and those basins were generally under the control of the City, maintained and operated by the City staff. The onsite basins tended to be smaller, more numerous and operated by private entities throughout the City.
Member Capello asked if it was because the regional basins were harder to construct.
Mr. Cowles answered that it was more difficult to find sites for construction of regional detention basins that would be approvable by DEQ. They attempted to find a way of retaining a recommendation for the regional detention basins, but it required purchasing a significant amount of land away from the streams and the wetlands for that construction, and the City had found it difficult to find and purchase those properties.
Member Capello stated that he assumed Mr. Cowles had seen the previous Master Plan where it identified where the regional basins were to go.
Mr. Cowles answered yes.
Member Capello asked if any of the nonconstructed proposed regional basins within the streams or wetlands would give the City trouble with MDEQ.
Mr. Cowles answered yes; some of the structures that were called regional detention basins in the previous Master Plan were things like Meadowbrook Lake, which he thought the residents of the Lake would rather have that called a lake rather than a than a regional storm water detention basin. Imagine trying to find another site to build something like Meadowbrook Lake for the purpose of storm water detention; it would be fairly land-intensive and difficult to assemble properties that could be used for that purpose.
Member Capello asked if he was going to address both issues in the report or go in the direction of the onsite detention basins.
Mr. Cowles answered that in the details of the report, they had a significant exception to the recommendation for onsite detention. It said something like go with onsite detention but have staff look for opportunities where a regional alternative would provide benefits. For instance, if there was a large development that had already assembled a significant property, there might be negotiations between staff, that developer, and nearby developers to put in a single regional basin for all of those properties, which are more efficient and effective than each of the properties putting in their separate onsite detention. So where opportunities like that presented themselves, then that should be pursued.
Member Paul stated there were several areas that currently had wetlands that the City had used as detention basins, and there were lots of trees that had died off and lots of problems with residents that abutted that beautiful area that was now not so beautiful: Briarwood, Mystic Forest; there were several. She asked what could be done so they didnít repeat those mistakes, and what could be done to rectify some of those problems.
Mr. Cowles answered that Council wasnít likely to make that mistake any more, because of the increased regulation by DEQ. In terms of remediating the existing damage, one of their recommendations was to do a site-by-site evaluation. It was far beyond their scope to do that as part of the study. He said between looking at the existing regional detention basins as detention basins, what could be done to them to make them function closer to the criteria outlined in the ordinance and what could be done to improve the habitat value of the wetlands themselves, an engineering firm in conjunction with the Cityís wetlands consultant could look at both of those issues together to find the most effective compromise.
Member Paul stated that recently they had Meadowbrook Lake, that they were dredging, they were now looking at Haggertyís Detention Basin that had some contamination, and they also had several creeks that fed into the Middle Rouge and into the detention basins, and there had been a lot of deterioration of those. She asked it they were looking at that in the study.
Mr. Cowles answered that they started to look at the stream bank erosion problems and quickly found that it was much bigger than their scope could handle. One of the recommendations was to look at the Middle Branch of the Rouge; the City had a commitment as part of the Water Shed Management Plan to attenuate the flows leaving Novi going into Northville, and it had a criterion that would be very difficult to meet. It would take some significant planning to be able to attenuate flows to meet that goal. He said it would not be achievable simply by controlling new development. In order to attenuate flows to that extent, it would mean either building additional regional detention or requiring further detention on existing development. Both of those alternatives would be difficult to implement; it would take some detailed study to come up with a plan that would be implementable to achieve the attenuation goal.
Member Paul asked if he was studying that component.
Mr. Cowles answered that one of their recommendations was to do that study.
Member Paul stated that she was specifically looking at Meadowbrook Lake and the Bishop Creek area, because there were several residents who had contacted the City about the erosion in their yards. She thought that was a goal that she would like to see Council address.
Mr. Cowles stated that although Meadowbrook Lake was identified as a regional detention basin, the modeling showed that it had virtually no impact to attenuate flows; so essentially, what entered, left almost immediately, because it had such a broad crested weir at the dam that it did not provide much storage in response to rainstorms.
Member Paul stated that was interesting; since Council just looked at the dam area and weíre doing some evaluation of that, she asked Mr. Hayes if that issue was being addressed by Anderson Eckstein.
Mr. Hayes answered that they were looking at ways to mitigate the erosion that had occurred downstream of the dam, as well as sites upstream along the Middle Rouge Branch.
Member Paul stated that it seemed like the City might be doing that without really understanding that it was not holding the water; it looked like the City might have to address another component of that. She asked if Anderson Eckstein was studying that.
Mr. Hayes answered that they were studying that; it was a real localized problem because it was adjacent to Meadowbrook Lake.
Member Paul asked if the two studies were overlapping.
Mr. Hayes answered no; Anderson Eckstein was giving the City a solution specific to those two locations to slow down or try to stop further bank erosions in those two locations.
Member Paul stated that it sounded like the City had to incorporate the Fishbeck study quite a bit so that the City could detain some of that water so it didnít rush as quickly so it didnít reappear.
Mr. Hayes answered if the City chose to implement one of Fishbeckís recommendations as more holistic, then that would address the larger issue by giving the City greater storage capacity.
Member Lorenzo appreciated the work; it was a well written comprehensive study, and she looked forward to adopting the Master Plan and the recommendations at the next meeting.
Mayor Csordas asked if the intent was to adopt this evening.
Mr. Helwig stated that tonightís intent was to discuss; Council could always proceed to the next step and adopt with a motion if it wished.
CM-05-04-113 Moved by Lorenzo seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt the Storm Water Master Plan Update report prepared by Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-04-113 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
Nagy, Paul, Csordas,
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION
D. Approval of Resolution No. 2 for the Connemara/Galway Water Main Extension Ė Special Assessment District Number 173 and setting the Public Hearing for May 9, 2005 Ė Member Paul
Member Paul stated that she was looking at the water main extension and knew that in the proposed budget Administration had some work that it was proposing in the area.
Mr. Helwig stated that Center Street from Galway to the City limits south.
Member Paul asked if there was going to be any overlap at all with the road construction and this project.
Mr. Helwig stated that he did not believe so.
Member Paul wanted to make sure that the City was not overlapping the work.
CM-05-04-114 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Resolution No. 2 for the Connemara/Galway Water Main Extension Ė Special Assessment District Number 173 and setting the Public Hearing for May 9, 2005
Voice Vote on CM-05-04-114 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
H. Approval to award bid for Heating and Cooling Preventive Maintenance contract for all municipal facilities and Alternate #1, the Novi Public Library, to Detroit Temperature Engineers, the low qualified bidder, in the amount of $27,680 Ė Member Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo stated that the only reason she pulled this was to ask and conform whether or not the Novi Public Library facility was a municipally-owned facility.
Mr. Helwig stated that it might fit with the earlier discussion today; there were more thoughts about the Library than he could comprehend in terms of who owned the land, who owned the building, who had authority to swap land, why did the City enter into a long-term lease for the Township Hall to be there, the lease with the Library Board. He asked Mr. Schultz, and informed the Mayor today and was happy to inform everyone else, for a legal opinion to bring clarity to all those issues; there was so much at stake in terms of decisions that volunteers and others were researching right now, that they hoped to have that as early as this Thursdayís packet.
Member Lorenzo asked if the item should be postponed.
Mr. Helwig stated that they needed the maintenance service; it had gone like that for years.
Member Lorenzo stated that she was curious as to whether City Council or the Library Board should be doing the heating and cooling for the Library.
Ms. Smith-Roy answered that it was for the City Hall services and the City buildings; the Library was bid as an alternate only. She said it was the Library Boardís option to use the bid when they conveyed that to them; they had indicated that they would be using the service.
Member Lorenzo stated very well; Council would await further confirmation on Thursday.
CM-05-04-115 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To award bid for Heating and Cooling Preventive Maintenance contract for all municipal facilities and Alternate #1, the Novi Public Library, to Detroit Temperature Engineers, the low qualified bidder, in the amount of $27,680.
Mayor Csordas stated that Mr. Helwig called him after his discussion with Member Lorenzo; he thought it was a very interesting discussion, which was why he authorized him to talk to Mr. Schultz about that.
Member Lorenzo appreciated that; Council needed confirmation one way or another.
Voice Vote on CM-05-04-115 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
I. Approval of Authorizing Resolution for Michigan Department of Transportation Contract No. 04-5503 for reconstruction of the Westbound I-96 Exit Ramp to Novi Road with a local cost share amount of $10,200 Ė Member Paul
Member Paul stated that she was very concerned about doing Novi Road interchange when Beck Road was closed, Wixom Road interchange was less than desirable, and the City had very little alternatives. She said if they closed the Meadowbrook Bridge down and they coincided, safety of the residents was really at stake. She thought it should be postponed until next year when the Beck Road interchange was opened and just do some patch jobs. Residents were overwhelmed and very upset over the road construction done last year; the ability to travel in the community was less than desirable. She did not want to put any more stress on the Wixom Road interchange, where there were a lot of bad alternatives to getting around in that area, and also putting undue stress on 275 and Eight Mile.
Mayor Csordas stated that M-5 was open and the Beck Road interchange was open westbound to flip back to Twelve Oaks Mall. He stated that there was some concern from the past where the Department of Transportation put some funds out there and former Councils buckled under the pressure from residents who concerned about things, and that money went away and never came back. He would hate to see that happen.
Mr. Helwig stated that very important points had been raised. He thought the City had very little say whether it was going to be done or not. He stated that it came out of nowhere; it was not the way the City liked to plan; it wasnít on the transportation improvement program. He thought the deterioration was so drastic and you went from one lane to five; this would add a second lane to go to the five. He said what they were just learning, they hadnít received it officially which was why they hadnít disseminated, there were two windows to do the project. They were going to do it in the more favorable window, 25 days between Memorial Day and July 4th, which precedes the 50ís Festival and the All Star Game, which was July 12th, he believed. The Novi community was very much involved in hosting that in the region in terms of beds and people staying here. The likelihood of closing down Meadowbrook Road bridge was very slim; he didnít want the City to get to the point where they thought it was imminent. By getting that done in that window, basically the month of June, it would not bump up against the work on Eleven Mile, the culvert, and Meadowbrook going up toward Grand River. He said the Novi/Grand River intersection was functioning; you could get off at Beck and that would continue to function to feed back Twelve Mile if going to the north; if you were going to the south, it would be a hardship. But it was a hardship now with Beck Road closed until November. He thought someone was going to get hurt; it was not just the condition of the road but the fact that it went from one lane to five lanes. He stated that they actually tried not to have that come to Council because $10,000 seemed pretty tiny to be coming to the City, but it was part of the State regulations that it had to be authorized. He thought if the City fought it, it would lose; Administration was working with the Mall and some of the other entities north of the freeway to know, and while they were not in love with that happening at all any time, they experienced that with the Twelve Mile work, it was a preferential time to getting it done in terms of any other time of the year.
Member Nagy agreed with Mr. Helwigís comments, as well as the Mayorís, because she didnít think the City had much control over that.
CM-05-04-116 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNINIMOUSLY: To approve the Authorizing Resolution for Michigan Department of Transportation Contract No. 04-5503 for reconstruction of the Westbound I-96 Exit Ramp to Novi Road with a local cost share amount of $10,200.
Voice Vote on CM-05-04-116 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Streets of concern: Walden Woods-Arcadia, Center Street, Chase Drive in Chase Farms, Autumn Park-Sunnybrooke, Wintergreen Circle, Windridge Drive, Addington Park-Ten Mile entrance and Elizabeth Lane Ė Member Paul
Member Paul stated that many of the roads would be discussed during budget, but those were just a handful of the roads that were deteriorating. She saw on the budget that the City was looking at doing Center Street, which was well deserved and well needed, and also Arcadia Drive and Venetian Court, but there were so many streets that were of concern; there were several conflicting documents and she would like some clarification before Saturday of which PASER scale they were using. At last yearís budget in April, there was a document that had PASER numbers and several residents had contacted her about those PASER numbers used to evaluate the roads and the actual PASER numbers that came out when the study concluded in August, 2004.
Mr. Helwig stated that anything that the City had in April, it was not using now because subsequent to that Council authorized a new PASER evaluation which came three years after the first one. He stated that it was only the second time the City had done it, where they had a pavement management system; it was fair to say the City was learning as it went, but the later document was the one the City was using. The real kernel was that there were more of the roads in need of work than the City had money for. The City had eked out some significant funds last year, over $1.2-million augmented over and above what the road bond provided; this year the City had come back with nearly $800,000 more over the road bond. He said why he finally came down on the recommendation for the patchmobile was that the City needed the ability in-house to apply the equivalent of a year-round asphalt emulsion and concrete streets that didnít do what was happening on Arcadia that made it look like a war zone, trying to pound asphalt, hot or cold patch in there, rather than what the patchmobile could do, and instead of paying contractors exorbitant sums, have City people have the tools to do that.
Member Paul stated that she would support the patchmobile. She wanted an explanation for the public about that new PASER evaluation document. She would like another idea from possibly Mr. McCusker and Mr. Hayes together looking at the PASER evaluation criteria for future policy. She wanted to mention about Chase Drive was that when the City did Nine Mile between Meadowbrook and Nine Mile Road, the worst part of Chase Drive was that entrance approximately 300 yards in. If the City could somehow look at that whole entirety of that beginning of the entrance of Chase Drive, since that was not proposed in the budget, and embrace the worst part of Chase Drive in the road repair.
2. Novi Pioneer Appreciation Day Ė Member Paul
Member Paul stated that she received a letter from a resident, Rolland Heaton, with a good suggestion that she would like to see Council embrace. He suggested that the pioneers who created the City be recognized at a function. She didnít know if Memorial Day parade was too soon to look at some of those people and contact them, but maybe Fall For Novi. She said there were so many people who had donated time, efforts and money to the City long before it was a true City.
CM-05-04-117 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt Pioneer Day during Fall For Novi to recognize people who started the City of Novi.
Voice Vote on CM-05-04-117 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
3. Novi Road Interchange Ė Member Paul
Member Paul stated that it could be removed; it was placed on the consent agenda.
4. DPW Renovations Ė Member Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo asked for a status in Thursdayís packet of the DPW renovations as to where we were in the construction, how much money had been spent to date, and how much we anticipated spending to complete the project.
5. Old Dutch Farms Ė Member Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo stated that she wanted to confirm that that had been receiving the reports that the City had received.
Mr. Helwig stated that he shared the reports with Charmaine Jones, many of which had been verbal.
Member Lorenzo stated that Council had been receiving information nearly every 30 days in their packets; she just wanted to make sure that she received copies as well.
Mr. Helwig answered absolutely.
Member Paul stated that she had interest in looking at Act 96; she didnít have any information of what that was and wanted to make it clear that she was interested in reading Act 96. She would like some information in a packet in the near future.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION Ė None
There being no further business to come before Council, Mayor Csordas adjourned the meeting to Executive Session at 11:06 p.m.
Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by Sue Troutman
Date approved: April 18, 2005