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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY
Mayor Pro Tem Capello called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Landry (Absent-excused), Mayor Pro Tem Capello, Council Members Gatt, Margolis, Mutch (Absent – Excused), Nagy, Paul
Also Present: Helwig, Rick, City Manager
Pearson, Clay, Assistant City Manager
Molloy, David – Police Chief
McBeth, Barb – Planning Director
Lewis, Jack – Parks and Recreation Deputy Director
Lenaghan, Art – Fire Chief
Uglow, Cindy – Neighborhood Services Director
Gronlund-Fox, Tia - Human Resources Director
McCusker, Benny – Public Works Director
Hayes, Rob – City Engineer
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
CM-05-12-373 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.
1. Walker Fund Donation – Friends of the Library
Patrick Burnett, President of the Friends of the Library, presented a check (one of three) to the Library Board President for $25,000 to the Walker Fund totaling $56,000 with the match. The gift is not just from a few members of the board but the entire community, the largest portion from books that were donated by the public and then sold (14,000 books each year were donated to the Library). Other sources of fundraising include countless hours of volunteer time by members of Friends who wrapped gifts at Border’s Book store whereby they got tips and donated them. Another proud contribution was the collection of 400,000 pennies by individuals walking into the library.
These small donations have contributed greatly toward the building of a new library. Another amazing figure, the Board of the Friends mailed out a ballot to their membership and 50% of the households responded that they wanted the $25,000 to be given to the Walker Fund. He also presented this for the opportunity to stimulate funding to the Walker Fund which can be matched but only by the end of this year and finally, to point out the important role that Council has played in getting Novi a new library. The amount raised, however, at this time isn’t enough. There will be a need for a millage or bond proposal in order to get the match. They hope to gain Council’s support for a proposed millage or bond issue. He urged Council to answer any questions about the future of the library to get this Library built.
Rick Smith, President of the Library Board, presented the Friends a new desk as a gift in appreciation of all their hard work and countless volunteer hours trying to raise funds for this great project. The campaign was in excess of $180,000.
2. Recognition of Sponsors and Volunteers for "Addicted to Movies, Not Drugs" held at Emagine Theater
Chief Molloy noted Detective Kevin Rhea came up with the idea of "Addicted to Movies, Not Drugs" as part of a new initiative to further encourage the youth in our community to remain drug free. This was a partnership between Emagine Entertainment and Novi Community School District in cooperation with Novi Youth Assistance, the Community that Care’s Coalition, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Student Government Association at Novi High School. The quick-to-sell-out event took place on November 10 and 11, 2005, involving over 500 Novi High School students. As a result, the Novi Student Government Association matched the money from ticket sales and donated $1,000 to Novi Youth Assistance.
Chief Molloy recognized, Kevin Rhea, Novi Police Officer; Ruth Daniels, Emagine Theater; Moe Leon, Moe’s on Ten; Pat Holt; Fazzei Tomei, Jimmy John’s; Ruth Ann Jirasek; Gerylann Garris, Novi Police Department; Martha and Michael Moison; John O’Brien; Kathy Rhea; Robin Rhea; Steven Rhea; Ruth Elrod; Kathy Hart; Lori Hildreth; Mario Laudicina; Tom Lindberg; Lon Lowen; Tim Masserant; Tim and Cheryl McNamara; Cathy Rich; Carol Spries; Judy Thomas; Kim Ziegler; Beth Belter; Tom Marcus and Mayor Pro Tem Kim and Jodi Capello.
3. Recognition of Don Saven, recipient of the 2005 Building Industry Association’s Thomas Ricketts Award to the Region’s Outstanding Building Official.
Adorno Piccinni presented on the behalf of the Builders Association at the City of Novi, since he is a resident and a builder in Novi he presented the award to Mr. Don Saven. When they were making their decision, they looked across the State for the person with the best credentials. They overwhelmingly thought of Mr. Don Saven who was recognized for this award. He noted Mr. Saven was the first building official he ever worked under and felt he really took him under his wings (so to speak). Mr. Saven showed him what he wanted and expected which was good and quality for this city. Mr. Saven is part of the solution, not a part of the problem. He is very proactive in meeting with builders, for example; he holds task force meetings to discuss building issues of the past, present and future.
Mr. Saven was thankful for the opportunity to work here (for the past 20 years). He noted there are many variables to construction in this City, which adds to the difficultly and challenge, nevertheless he is honored to work for the City of Novi.
1. SPECIAL/COMMITTEE - None
2. CITY MANAGER - None
3. DEPARTMENTAL - None
4. ATTORNEY - None
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
CM-05-12-374 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Consent Agenda as amended.
Item A was removed and will be placed on the December 19, 2005 agenda.
A. Enter Executive Session immediately following the regular meeting of December 5, 2005 in the Council Annex for the purpose of discussing pending labor negotiations, pending litigation and written legal opinion from legal counsel.
B. Authorization to Participate in the Traffic Improvement Grant 2005-2006, "Drive Michigan Safely Task Force". APPROVED
C. Approval to award bid for court ordered demolition of residential structures located at 48345 Nine Mile Road (former Medley property) per City of Novi specifications in request dated November 14, 2005 to Anglin Civil Constructors, Ltd., the low qualified bidder in the amount of $12,750. APPROVED
D. Approval of resolution to authorize Budget Amendment #2006-07. APPROVED
E. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 710. APPROVED
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Consideration of request from Novi Fondue d/b/a The Melting Pot to transfer ownership of 2005 Class C licensed business with dance permit, located in escrow at 1076 S. Lapeer, Oxford, MI 48371, Oxford Township, Oakland County from Revere’s Inc. and transfer location to 26425 Novi Road, Novi, MI 48377.
CM-05-12-375 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve request from Novi Fondue d/b/a The Melting Pot to transfer ownership of 2005 Class C licensed business with dance permit, located in escrow at 1076 S. Lapeer, Oxford, MI 48371, Oxford Township, Oakland County from Revere’s Inc. and transfer location to 26425 Novi Road, Novi, MI 48377.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-12-375 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Nagy, Paul,
2. Consideration of the request from Steve Schafer of Schafer Development for Zoning Map Amendment 18.647 and Planned Rezoning Overlay 05-53, for property located in Section 17, south of Grand River Avenue and east of Wixom Road, from I-2 General Industrial, I-1 Light Industrial and R-1 One-family Residential to R-T Two-family Residential. The subject property is 37.750 acres and the applicant is proposing 146 dwelling units.
Steve Schafer represented Schafer Development. He appeared several months ago for rezoning and chose to proceed with the PRO process. The most recent plan incorporated most of the comments from the Planning Commission. The tree survey and natural features map was displayed along with the site plan containing 146 units. They were actually allowed 172 units. First, they would like to have flexibility on the final density number. Second, they would like to take a look at the elevation requirements, currently in place, for Single Family homes and carryover to RT because the number of elevations required by the City for a high density development is usually minimal. Third, to have the amount of sidewalks required minimized, possibly just to have them around the perimeter streets instead of both sides of the street.
Mr. Schafer felt his Company would bring several public benefits for instance some additional landscaping on the Wizinsky-Boynton property (an 85 year old historic farm) on the north side of their property and some new fencing to help with them being too close to the Target store.
Schafer Development has also proposed (after discussions with Park’s and Recreation) to provide irrigation and an additional pathway that would connect the development to Wildlife Woods Park (ball fields) which would be a good use of this property.
Barbara McBeth stated the Planning Commission reviewed this item first in March 2005 and recommended approval to City Council. City Council, however, denied the request for rezoning on June 20, 2005, but then it was brought back for reconsideration in July and the Applicant was advised to resubmit the rezoning request with a planned rezoning overlay within 90 days.
The applicant then made formal application on September 12, 2005. The Planning Department held a pre-application meeting in September and sent it to the Planning Commission for the required public hearing at the end of October. This area is zoned I-2 and I-1, Master Planned Residential for 4.0 dwelling units to the acre, which is consistent with the RT zoning.
Across Wixom Road is the Island Lake Development which is zoned R1 and that, of course, is developed under an RUD Master Plan Single Family Residential. To the North is "The Promenade" development and the Target store (zoned light industrial and Master Planned for Community Commercial) and allowed to exist under consent judgment. Fronted on Grand River are both vacant and industrial properties.
To the east are the International Transmission Company power lines and Providence Park Hospital. To the south are Wildlife Woods Park, Community Schools property including Deerfield Elementary and Novi Middle School (zoned R-1 an R-A). There are some wetlands, partly regulated, that will be addressed at the preliminary site plan review. The existing single-family home, the Wizinsky-Boynton residence, is considered an exception, and is therefore eliminated from the plan and would not be subject for review.
The applicant proposed 146 dwelling units in this duplex development. At the time the Planning Commission reviewed the request 162 units were proposed. Then, at the City Council meeting in July 2005, the Council limited the development to a maximum of 172 duplex homes.
The plan presented to the Planning Commission is different from the plan originally presented for City Council’s consideration; however, it is consistent with the Master Plan. The applicant met with staff to make changes to the concept plan to provide a positive transition between commercial developments and less intense residential.
The Traffic Review and Engineering Review of the rezoning request both found no major concerns. Following the Planning Commissions review in October, along with a favorable recommendation of the proposed zoning request and PRO concept plan, the applicant took recommendations from the Planning Commission and met again with staff to make some changes.
Several modifications to the plan:
Realigned roadways within the development to reduce the long straightway. However, in making these road modifications, the teardrop shaped wetland to the south has been affected.
The plans now meet the requirements for rear yard setback which is 35 feet for each lot (70 feet between units).
The plan eliminated the stub street originally proposed to the north, into the existing wooded and wetland areas. Secondary access is proposed to the east, to connect with Providence Hospital’s Ring Road.
There was a boulevard entrance to Wixom Road which was reviewed by the Traffic Engineer and he found it to be more acceptable than the plan that was previously submitted.
The applicant offered to make improvements to the Wildlife Woods Park, including; park signage, pathway connections, benches and irrigation for the two existing sports fields.
If Council were to approve this matter it would be a recommendation that the attorney’s work to come up with a PRO agreement and then the final preliminary site plan would return for further action.
Member Paul addressed Mr. Schafer and the Planning Department because she appreciated the changes made to the plan, especially the roads being softened and the sidewalk plan so the children can use them to walk to school. She questioned him regarding the sidewalks going all the way to the school. Mr. Schafer stated the sidewalks would abut the school property. Member Paul stated there will be a small gap by the school because of the wetland or drainage there. Mr. Schafer agreed to continue the sidewalk to the school property.
Member Paul also asked regarding the pathway going to Providence Park Hospital and to Wildwoods Park. Mr. Schafer thought most of these units will be purchased by empty nesters. A sidewalk system was proposed and a possibility of a sidewalk only on one side of the street that would connect Providence Park Hospital and Wildlife Woods Park. He concluded that in most condominium developments most residents don’t use sidewalks or paths but the streets instead. A pathway also will need maintenance in the future which will add to the maintenance cost.
Member Paul has no problem with the sidewalk only being on one side of the road especially if a pathway will be connected to Providence Park because they are proposing a pathway through their entire site to the southern border of the schools and Wildlife Woods Park. Mr. Schafer said they would continue a sidewalk to the ball fields, however, there is a temporary oil facility operating in that area for the next six to nine years where it will be returned back to the park.
Member Paul wanted to share with Mr. Schafer the fact that there are many children in the condos across Wixom Road in the Island Lake subdivision. The builder thought those condos would be for empty nesters but actually a lot of families moved in so the empty nester scenario didn’t happen. It is Member Paul’s belief that people with children in this area do want to have condominiums which may be a surprise for this development.
Member Paul expressed concern about the Wildlife Woods Park specifically the irrigation to the four ball fields. Mr. Schafer said they agreed to make improvements (with the Parks Department) to the irrigation at the Park. However, they would need an irrigation contractor to see what the off-site park improvements would entail, then come back with the PRO contract to the Planning Commission for final site plan. Also, they will do the path but they need to present an exhibit so those improvements will be clear to everyone.
Mr. Jack Lewis, Parks and Recreation, stated there are two baseball fields toward the northeast of the park, three regulation size soccer fields and one regulation size soccer field east of the shelter.
Member Paul asked Mr. Lewis the condition of the ball fields are currently. Mr. Lewis answered that the fields do receive a lot of use during most seasons, being in poor condition right now. Member Paul asked if the irrigation will help get more use out of the fields because Parks, in the past, has asked for more fields or more usable fields. Mr. Lewis stated the irrigation would enhance the park and increase usage.
Member Paul asked if Mr. Schafer would also do a final grade. She felt if improvements were being made to the surrounding area, possibly the grade of the sports fields could be enhanced as well as a final grade. Mr. Schafer stated he would like to meet with the commission prior to the contractor’s visit to understand what is required. Member Paul felt it was important to take care of this while the soil is being moved and irrigation improvements could be made. This would be beneficial for everyone, especially because it would be a cost reduction for the City.
Member Paul was in favor of the project especially with the reduced density and sidewalks even if they are only on one side of the road, except on the one side street at the very southern border. She appreciates all he is doing for the safety of our community and the improvements that are being made.
Member Margolis asked about exceeding the landscaping on Wixom Road. Mr. Schafer stated because of the nice setback from the road in this particular area they plan to plant substantially and put in new fencing. There is also a small woodland area that has some nice existing trees that they want to enhance.
Member Gatt believed this project was nice looking but he would not support it due the number of additional units because of increased traffic. Also, it is zoned I2 and I1 which is a good zoning for the City especially for the tax base.
Member Nagy thought Mr. Schafer did an excellent job of reducing the number of units from 172 to 146 and the enhancements will benefit the city and residents especially with the improvements to the park. She asked about the elevation requirements that the Planning Commission wanted him to do? Mr. Schafer answered it’s the elevation on the exterior, but there has to be a variation of each unit. Like single family houses you have similar/dissimilar elevations. In a condominium situation there will be some regularly conventionally pitched roofs, French roofs or hip roofs, etc. Also, in a condominium situation, there will also be a lot of brick, stone and nice elevation details that they will bring forward to the Planning Commission.
Member Nagy thought the ordinance might need to be adjusted to allow for more variety in elevations, most condos are designed to be similar. Barb McBeth explained the RT section of the ordinance has not traditionally been applied the similar/dissimilar ordinance. We have applied the ordinance comparable to the multi-family building so they would be obligated to have a certain percentage of brick and other materials. But it’s usually the pitch of the roof that might be too steep (too much of an area dedicated to shingles).
Member Nagy liked this project and thought there will be a nice transition between commercial, school and residential properties. She thought Mr. Schafer has gone beyond her expectations especially because the density concern was addressed. The historic home will remain with additional landscaping and improved fencing. And woods in the front and landscaping to the road will be enhanced. The residents will benefit a lot from the off-site improvements as well.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello stated he cannot support this project because we are taking an Industrial Commercial tax base and completely rezoning it to residential which will create a burden to the taxpayers. There was another project before Council just two weeks ago, which proposed just 50 units and preserved 50% of the natural features and offered to enhance the natural features. Some Council members who were in favor of this project were dead against last week’s project. This project preserves no natural features. This project has 50% more density than the other project, (50 units for 16 acres, this project is 146 units for 38 acres). Road improvements are not a public benefit because they have to do that anyway. Exceeding the landscaping along Wixom Road is not sufficient. The pathway to and from Providence Park Hospital and Wildlife Woods Park is nice but only two extra access areas isn’t much of a benefit.
Preserving the historic home on Wixom Road isn’t that much of a benefit because they are asking for rezone to RT, so in later years it could be made into a high density development. The removal of industrial use isn’t a benefit either because they are tax payers and don’t add to the tax burden or on the city for city services. Construction of sidewalk connections and small improvements to the park (not defined yet) are not sufficient for rezoning.
Mr. Wizinsky, the historic home owner, came to Council for the past two years stating it was unbearable to live next to Target. However, now that he has an opportunity to make some money off his property, it is no longer unbearable for him to live there even with 146 to 172 people back behind his property. Unless density was cut in half Mayor Pro Tem Capello would not support this motion.
Member Paul stated that the improvements of the Wizinsky property would help and they do plan to live there. In July, when this project first came to Council, Mayor Landry, Mayor Csordas, Member Nagy and herself they approved 172 dwelling units. So this has been decided since July. With that information, if we were to pull that at this time, she felt it would not be the best situation for our city, legally. Second, coming 30 units less and adding the amenities that have been proposed would be helpful. If we decide to go forward, we can make very specific requirements that must be met when it comes back before Council.
Member Paul added that Council could add specifications on the final PRO that’s provided to us and have the increased landscaping and formal sidewalk plan. Also, the irrigation of the four ball fields and final grade offering would be helpful.
CM-05-12-376 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Nagy; MOTION CARRIED: To approve the request from Steve Schafer of Schafer Development for Zoning Map Amendment 18.647 and Planned Rezoning Overlay 05-53, for property located in Section 17, south of Grand River Avenue and east of Wixom Road, from I-2 General Industrial, I-1 Light Industrial and R-1 One-family Residential to R-T Two-family Residential. The subject property is 37.750 acres and the applicant is proposing 146 dwelling units. To have the sidewalks on one side of the street except for the small street that is going towards Wildlife Park. And, to have the sidewalks continue to Wildlife Park and Providence Park Hospital. For the PRO Agreement, when it comes back to Council, have the landscaping in the site plan and the sidewalks are to be to the Southwest border of the school.
Member Margolis approved but with no wiggle room on the density. She felt this was consistent with the Master Plan and she would support it. She understood the concern about the industrial property; unfortunately, things have changed since that Company was built there. This development, especially being consistent with the Master Plan, deserved our support.
Member Nagy agreed with Member Margolis, she felt this would enhance this area. Most condos have private roads and sidewalks, no plowing or salting will be needed. There would be little impact on City services. And, they do pay taxes.
Mr. Schultz added that the direction is to prepare the agreement with the approval to come back at the next meeting.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked for clarification regarding the understanding that this development will not get rezoned tonight until the document comes back to Council after being changed. Mr. Schultz answered that the rezoning occurs with the approval of the agreement.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-11-376 Yeas: Paul, Margolis, Nagy
Nays: Gatt, Capello
3. Approval of request from Providence Hospital for a variance from Section
11-123(c)(1) of the Design and Construction Standards to allow the construction of a permanent storm water pump station to service a limited amount of drainage in the immediate area of the truck dock/service area of Providence Park Hospital.
CM-05-12-377 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of request from Providence Hospital for a variance from Section 11-123(c)(1) of the Design and Construction Standards to allow the construction of a permanent storm water pump station to service a limited amount of drainage in the immediate area of the truck dock/service area of Providence Park Hospital.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-12-377 Yeas: Margolis, Nagy, Paul, Capello, Gatt
4. Approve the request by Oakland Baptist Church for a variance from Section
11-68(f)(1)h of the Design and Construction Standards requiring new buildings to be within 175 feet of a hydrant (existing distance of 228 feet is proposed with respect to the existing hydrant).
Member Paul asked Fire Chief Lenaghan if there would be a conflict with the other utilities on the West side of the road from Beck. Chief Lenaghan answered that the problem was the water main on the other side of the street. In order to make the connection, they would have had to burrow under the street for an extension of 45 ft. to meet the standard. They felt the sewer wasn’t excessive in terms of the footage and it did not disrupt the roadway or the other utilities. Approving this would far outweigh disrupting the other utilities, so it was approved.
Member Paul asked for clarification whether we approved having the fire hydrant on the East or West side of the road. Chief Lenaghan replied that they only asked for a variance.
CM-05-12-378 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the request by Oakland Baptist Church for a variance from Section 11-68(f)(1)h of the Design and Construction Standards requiring new buildings to be within 175 feet of a hydrant (existing distance of 228 feet is proposed with respect to the existing hydrant).
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-12-378 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Capello, Gatt, Margolis
5. Acceptance of Bristol Corners North and South streets, water main and sanitary sewer and adoption of Act 51 New Street Resolution accepting Bristol Circle, Pennington Lane and Pennington Court as public, adding 3,578 linear feet or 0.68 miles of roadway to the City’s street system.
CM-05-12-379 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To accept Bristol Corners North and South streets, water main and sanitary sewer and adoption of Act 51 New Street Resolution accepting Bristol Circle, Pennington Lane and Pennington Court as public, adding 3,578 linear feet or 0.68 miles of roadway to the City’s street system.
Member Paul said information from the Homeowner’s Association President from this subdivision was received and the conditions of putting in the roads in have been met (and approved). Sufficient funds are available to cover any improvements or problems.
Mr. Helwig stated that the report indicated the punch list of maintenance items will be done in the spring. Mr. McCusker, Public Works Garage and Mr. Hayes, Engineering, recommend acceptance. There is a maintenance bond to cover everything.
Member Pro Tem Capello asked if a guaranteed bond was being maintained to complete the punch list items on top of the maintenance bond or will the maintenance bond replace the balance of the financial guarantee bond to cover punch list items.
Mr. Hayes responded that we have $61,000 in retainage that is being held in addition to a Maintenance and Guarantee Bond in the amount of $198,000.
Member Pro Tem Capello questioned the term retainage whether or not we have that in perhaps a type of bond or cash. Mr. Hayes answered that upon the project being accepted, the Maintenance and Guarantee Bond will be included. The repairs will be made in the spring either by the developer directly. Or, if the bond needs to be pulled, that can be done. It is a letter of credit that the developer has posted with the City of Novi for incomplete site work items.
The City has retained some of the site work performance guarantee and if the condition of Council is accepted, the particular outstanding punch list item is addressed, we will retain the money. A date (in the spring) will be set where the punch list items will need to be resolved. If they are, then the developer will get the money back. The Maintenance Bond will also be in effect from the date the retainage was accepted. However, the $38,000 can be retained. Our normal procedure, however, is to release the retainage. It would be the prerogative of Council to hold on to the retainage until the developer has completed the punch list.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello suggested we do the latter because he thought the Maintenance Bond did not cover punch list items. The retainage should be kept until the Developer completes the listed items.
CM-05-12-379 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To accept Bristol Corners North and South streets, water main and sanitary sewer and adoption of Act 51 New Street Resolution accepting Bristol Circle, Pennington Lane and Pennington Court as public, adding 3,578 linear feet or 0.68 miles of roadway to the City’s street system. The retainage money will not be released until the developer completes the punch list items.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-12-379 Yeas: Paul, Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Nagy
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION – None
BREAK - None
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
6. Selection of City Manager professional recruitment firm and approval of related proposal.
CM-05-12-380 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To select Slavin Management professional recruitment firm for selection of City Manager candidates and approval of related proposal.
Member Paul asked Ms. Gronlund-Fox, Human Resources, what the timeline was to hire the new City Manager. Ms. Gronlund-Fox answered that she would contact them in the morning and the Company chosen would schedule a time to come in to meet with everyone on City Council. After that, they would prepare a profile and it would be about 90 days to have the position filled.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-12-380 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Nagy, Paul
7. Approval to purchase nine (9) 2006 Ford Crown Victoria patrol vehicles through the Macomb County Joint Purchasing Program from Signature Ford, the low bidder, in the amount of $20,584 per unit for a total cost of $185,256. APPROVED
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked Mr. Helwig if this $185, 256 is the forfeiture money that was allocated several months ago when we put some money towards paying down the bond and the shooting range. Mr. Helwig stated this has been all programmed and budgeted in the forfeiture fund that we had established which included eight replacement vehicles (and one additional) and two additional officers, for a year, out of that same fund.
CM-05-12-381 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the purchase nine (9) 2006 Ford Crown Victoria patrol vehicles through the Macomb County Joint Purchasing Program from Signature Ford, the low bidder, in the amount of $20,584 per unit for a total cost of $185,256.
Police Chief, David Molloy, added the reason it seems less is because the changeover of the equipment was not included. This is regarding the equipment taken out of the eight current police vehicles and changed over into the eight new ones. Included will be the $14,000 of new equipment that will be put in every new car. It amounted to $41,000 less because of the change over to the new equipment.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-12-381 Yeas: Gatt, Margolis, Nagy, Paul, Capello,
8. Consideration of Sign Ordinance Text Amendment 18.201 to amend Chapter 28, "Signs", of the City of Novi code in order to add a provision in Section 28-8, "Permitted in all districts", relating to temporary signs on commercial structures with limited building glass area on the front façade, subject to certain regulations.
Member Nagy noted she was concerned with the comments from Neighborhood Services, the Planning Department and the Planning Commission. There were some valid points but she’s not sure why the change is being proposed in the first place. When other Cities were surveyed it was found that no other Cities have an ordinance like this one.
Member Margolis was concerned, based on information from Neighborhood services, due to regulating 12.5% glass in the building and determining who has 12.5% glass. She wondered if there was anything that can be done to make enforcement easier. Businesses that do have glass frontages will be allowed more short- term advertising. She thought the confusion about the 30 day limit was not valid because that is the timeframe for regular signs.
Member Paul agreed with member Margolis but couldn’t support the motion in the long term. Since Planning and Neighborhood Services both expressed concerns and other larger communities do not have an ordinance of this nature. She thought additional staff may be needed for enforcement because this ordinance will be more difficult to interpret. With other events that required short-term signage, such as the 50’s festival, this holiday season and during times of road construction quite a bit of flexibility was offered to businesses. She asked if this could be forwarded for a second reading and be fine tuned.
Mr. Helwig commented that because this was initiated by City Council we are obligated to report back. There are no easy answers. While we are in the best financial circumstances of any community in Michigan, economic times are dire including all of the businesses in Novi. City Council needs to decide the impact of signage ordinances and regulations to get the balance sought. This is a tool for economic vitality. It can be abused and overdone. This is where the policy comes into effect. You asked the Planning Commission to review it, which they have done, there is an obligation for a vote on this policy matter.
Member Paul felt that 25% of the glass was very fair. She decided that she would not support this because she doesn’t want to take up any more of the staff time. She would like to look at the sign ordinance as a whole and not this portion.
Member Gatt echoed Mr. Helwig’s comments as there are difficult economic times. His confidence in the staff can and will handle this without any additional staff. He feels we need to do whatever we can to help businesses. He supports the first reading.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello noted there might be some confusion in regard to the draft of the ordinance itself, in particularly some misunderstanding of what is believed in the Neighborhood Services letter.
Ms. Uglow, from Neighborhood Services, was present to respond. Mayor Pro Tem Capello questioned her regarding her understanding of the location, size and timing of the signs. She responded that her understanding was that a business can only have 25% window coverage for 30 days for temporary signs. They can move it or have it changed as along as it only covers 25% of the window.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked what system is in place and how is it regulated where the sign is located and in what place. Ms. Uglow responded that it is monitored five days a week and some Saturdays by the officers. They are very familiar with each business in their area and if it’s been more than 30 days or that they have more than 25% window coverage they will notice it and keep track that way.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello explained the sign ordinance with an example of two businesses directly next door to each other; one has an entire glass façade and the other business has an entire brick facade. Many businesses in Novi have brick facades on the major thoroughfares because it is required. Glass windows can have signs that fill 25% of the window and can continually change them. The businesses with a brick façade have no place to put signs on them because they have brick instead of glass. This ordinance will regulate the business with a brick façade to have a specific place designated area on their building 2X3 or 3X4 to locate a temporary sign. Neighborhood Services won’t have to guess if it’s 25% because they will have a specific location designated to put sign in and staff won’t have to guess if it’s 25% or not.
Perhaps if something were chosen so a business could come to the Building Department, with their façade plan and dimensions showing height and width of the walls and windows. The Building Department would make a one-time inspection. Once that one-time inspection is done, they would get an approval to put up their permanent 2X3 or 4X3, mounted on the wall, where their sign will go. All of the concerns expressed by Neighborhood Services do not exist. The idea is to make the sign look permanent and traditional. Then leave it up to the Building Department to review them. This would be a much easier enforcement than what is currently in place.
Member Paul asked Mr. Schultz about the letter from Ms. Cindy Uglow to Ms. Barb McBeth whereby the Zoning Board of Appeals has the ability and proven professionalism to grant variances that encompass the above types of amendments. She wondered if it was common for the ZBA to get these temporary signs for 30 days? Mr. Schultz stated he couldn’t give a number of variances that were requested and will look into it before the second reading to see if there is something similar.
Ms. Paul also noted in the letter it wasn’t explained that the Building Department would be in charge of reviewing requests. Mr. Schultz stated if it was reviewed by the Building Department they would then issue the permits. He will add that wording to the second reading. There would, however, be a fee involved from the standard building permit application fee. Member Paul asked Mr. Helwig if he was aware of a fee that would be applied. Mr. Helwig stated they would report back on this fee since it is a permanent fixture.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello stated that they would apply a one-time fee to indicate where a permanent fixture could be placed where the temporary sign would go in the fixture replaceable every 30 days. Mr. Helwig added this will afford another opportunity for businesses to advertise with a sign no greater than 4 x 3.
Member Nagy gave the example of Moe’s on Ten. How would this business owner utilize this ordinance? Mayor Pro Tem Capello replied that Moe’s on Ten has a very small window in the front and there could be a permanent mounted fixture on the brick part of the building with a frame consistent with his architecture where they can place that temporary sign.
CM-05-12-382 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Margolis; MOTION CARRIED: To approve the first reading of the consideration of Sign Ordinance Text Amendment 18.201 to amend Chapter 28, "Signs", of the City of Novi code in order to add a provision in Section 28-8, "Permitted in all districts", relating to temporary signs on commercial structures with limited building glass area on the front façade, subject to certain regulations. With the understanding that Mr. Schultz will take into account the comments and come back to Council with the changes to the ordinance during the second reading.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-12-382 Yeas: Margolis, Nagy, Capello, Gatt
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES - None
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION – None
There being no further business to come before Council the meeting was adjourned at 8:34 P.M.
David Landry, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by Kristine Niemi
Approved: December 19, 2005