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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
 MONDAY, JANUARY 23, 2006 AT 8:00 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS Ė NOVI CIVIC CENTER Ė 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD

Mayor Landry called the meeting to order at 8:12 P.M.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

ROLL CALL: Mayor Landry, Mayor Pro Tem Capello, Council Members Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul

ALSO PRESENT: Richard Helwig, City Manager

Clay Pearson, Assistant City Manager

Tom Schultz, City Attorney

Barbara Mc Beth, Director of Planning

Rob Hayes, City Engineer

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Member Paul added, under Mayor and Council Issues, Village Oaks Dredging as Item #2, and Joint Meeting with the School Board as Item #3.

Member Margolis added, under Mayor and Council Issues, Item #4 City Manager Search Process.

Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked if the Village Oaks Dredging was something Member Paul could discuss with the administration rather than at a meeting. Member Paul said no, it was something she would like to discuss at the table.

CM-06-01-014 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve the agenda as amended.

PRESENTATIONS - None

REPORTS

1. SPECIAL/COMMITTEE - None

2. CITY MANAGER

Mr. Helwig thanked Council for the very nice reception this evening, and said this would be his final Council meeting in Novi. He went on to say it had been a privilege to be the City Manager for this wonderful community, to work along side Council and so many other dedicated elected officials, citizens and staff. He wished Council the very best always.

3. DEPARTMENTAL

Chief Molloy was present to introduce Tom Lindberg to the City in his new role to the community as Deputy Chief. Chief Molloy said Tom Lindberg has been with the department for over 20 years. He has served in a variety of diverse capacities, not only as a detective, but also as a uniformed sergeant, a lieutenant in charge of the General Services Division, and now as Deputy Chief of Police. Chief Molloy noted he was very proud to have Deputy

Chief Lindberg as part of the executive team. He has fostered and developed a lot of the leadership and management traits that we desire in this community. Chief Molloy said it is with a great deal of pride that he introduces Tom Lindberg as the Deputy Chief.

Deputy Chief Lindberg said it is an honor, and something he has worked for with Chief Molloyís help, and a lot of peopleís help throughout the years. He commented that he looked forward to the challenges of this position.

4. ATTORNEY - None

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None

CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)

CM-06-01-015 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve the Consent Agenda as presented.

Roll call vote on CM-06-01-015 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch,

Nagy, Paul

Nays: None

A. Approve Minutes of:

1. January 9, 2006 Ė Regular Meeting

B. Enter Executive Session immediately following the regular meeting of January 23, 2006 in the Council Annex for the purpose of discussing current collective bargaining negotiations.

C. Approval of maintenance agreement with the Road Commission for Oakland County for the new traffic signal at the intersection of Meadowbrook Road and Cherry Hill Road.

D. Approval of maintenance agreement with the Road Commission for Oakland County for the existing traffic signal at the intersection of Meadowbrook Road and Nine Mile Road.

E. Approval of Massage Business License renewal for Tres Jolie Salon and Spa, located at 39915 Grand River.

F. Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 713

MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I

1. Approval of memorandum of understanding between the City of Novi and Interim City Manager Clay J. Pearson.

CM-06-01-016 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve memorandum of understanding between the City of Novi

and Interim City Manager Clay J. Pearson.

DISCUSSION

Member Gatt said in the memorandum under Section I, Duties, there is a typographical error.

It says "the City agrees that the employer" and it should be "employee". Council agreed.

Roll call vote on CM-06-01-016 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul,

Landry

Nays: None

 

2. Consideration of request from WPS Corporation, doing business as Whirly Ball Sports Bar and Grill, to transfer the location of 2005 Class C licensed business (in escrow) with dance-entertainment permit from 5700 Drake Road, West Bloomfield, Michigan 48322 to 41550 Grand River Avenue, Novi.

Charles Busse, representing the WPS Corporation, commented all the appropriate documents had been submitted, reviewed by the various departments, and are prepared and ready for Councilís consideration. He said their application has also been submitted to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and they are waiting for Councilís consideration to move the process forward for transfer. Also present was the owner of WPS Corporation, Whirly Ball, Mr. Richard Porhola, and Carrie Grosser the General Manager. Mr. Busse said Tom Benavedis, General Manager of their new home at Soccer Zone, was present as well. He commented that they looked forward to the opportunity to offer recreational diversity to the Community, and would appreciate the Councilís consideration.

DISCUSSION

Member Mutch said he had raised a question with City administration regarding the expansion of the facility labeled Phase II, and whether the expansion contemplates not only a bar but a restaurant style use and range of use. Member Mutch said it was not clear to him if itís allowed either in the I-1 District or under the Consent Judgment, but also whether that would be a use that expands beyond the scope of an accessory use. He said Mr. Schultz provided Council with a memo regarding this, and asked that he discuss it at this time.

Mr. Schultz said his memo regarded the use issue. He thought, based on the last minute submission of materials to get on the agenda, it wasnít immediately obvious that the use for Phase II was pretty substantial. Then when they had the opportunity to review the proposed menu, he thought it was a little beyond what the Planning Department contemplated when they wrote their approval letter. At this point, it is a question that has been raised. The Planning Department memo says "under the Consent Judgment this is zoned I-1, recreational use is the permitted principle use and the food, drink and bar-restaurant type use is  appropriate in their opinion as an accessory use based upon what they reviewed," Mr. Schultz said sandwiches and drinks, and when looking at Phase II, this was a little more than that. He said the question that falls to Council tonight is as part of the liquor license review and part of a general question of what the intended use of that property is under the Consent Judgment, as an initial inquiry as part of the approval process, is the use thatís proposed shown on the plans, a permitted use of this property, in that district and under this Consent Judgment.

Mr. Schultz said, depending on how Council answered that question, a number of other options fall into place. Obviously if as a Council, they determine that the use is permitted, then they are just reviewing a liquor license transfer in a normal course. If Council doesnít have enough information they can ask for more information from the applicant, even if it means tabling. Council could also ask the applicant if they only wanted action on the first phase, which is the phase that the Planning Department said yes, this appears to be an appropriate accessory use.

Member Mutch said the concern he had was this involved a liquor license, and it appears they are contemplating a much larger use in Phase II. He didnít want to approve Phase I and create an expectation with the applicant that Phase II would just follow along with it. He said with a liquor license involved, obviously the stakes are much higher for everyone involved. Member Mutch didnít want to get anyone going down the wrong path. He said he hadnít thought through the use enough to decide whether he would have a problem with a Phase II,  but the question then would be if it is of the scope that they are contemplating, is it allowable.

Also, would an additional review process be required if this isnít an accessory and becomes a principle use of this building or another use beyond the Soccer Zone use.

Ms. McBeth said the Planning Department did review the proposal as a Phase I proposal. They looked at the Consent Judgment, which indicated that uses permitted in the Light Industrial District would be permitted; the Light Industrial District allows indoor recreational types of uses. The Planning Department, in discussing it with the applicant and looking at the ordinance, came to a determination that the accessory use is the food service and would be acceptable as long as it was considered an accessory to the main permitted use of indoor recreation. She said once they looked at the larger size kitchen and extensive menu, that does become the question, and she thought the Planning Department would want to take a closer look at the details of that. Ms. McBeth thought it would take a Council determination about thatuse that they would look for as well.

Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked how many seats there were in Phase I. Mr. Porhola, owner and applicant, said he believed there were 60 in Phase I and about 150 in Phase II. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said he was glad they were coming to Novi and that he had been to his facility. He said his concern was not so much whether it was an ancillary use or not, and he usually didnít get into the economics of a persons business, but he asked what kind of crowd he intended to bring in with 150 seats.

Mr. Porhola said first of all, their business is all groups and reservation based. They donít do a walk in business. They do a lot of corporate parties, bar mitzvahs, etc. He said the facility they are moving into would provide a lot more square footage, and all they want to do is expand the food service they already provide. They already make their own pizzas, subs, salads and some pasta dishes. He said they are just trying to expand that having the space they have in the Soccer Zone facility.

Mayor Pro Tem Capello said he had been to the one on Ford Road, understood how they work and how some people wait, thereís an overlap, and if you have better food they are going to hang out. He said he was just trying to make the numbers work.

Mr. Porhola said now in their small facility, when a group is done playing they are forced to leave the facility because they donít have enough room for them. This would allow them to go into the lounge/restaurant area to continue their party or their meetings.

Mayor Pro Tem Capello said then your Whirly Ball business goes beyond just the hour that the court is rented. Mr. Porhola said in some cases, but it depends on the size of the group He said a lot of the groups would like to stay longer but they donít have the facilities to keep them there because the next party is coming in. He said they donít anticipate any outside traffic because it is all reservations and the average party is two to three hours.

Mayor Pro Tem Capello said then they would not be looking to provide the drink and alcohol to the other users of the Soccer Zone. Mr. Porhola said just to their own group. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said that made more sense, but he echoed the concerns of others. So far they have only looked at it as a Phase I. He asked If Council gave them the Phase I tonight but they couldnít get the Phase II, would it bust their business. Mr. Porhola said yes, definitely. He said Phase II is their kitchen area and without it they would not be able to provide service.

Mayor Pro Tem Capello said he was 100% for Mr. Porhola but thought it was best to postpone this to look at the whole package. He asked Mr. Porhola to give Council the information he had just given him, give them some detail on what corporate clients he was planning on bringing in, and the type of service, beyond Whirly Ball, as part of his business to make it an ancillary to the Whirly Ball.

CM-06-01-017 Moved by Capello, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To postpone the request from WPS Corporation, doing business as

Whirly Ball Sports Bar and Grill, to transfer the location of 2005 Class

C licensed business (in escrow) with dance-entertainment permit

from 5700 Drake Road, West Bloomfield, Michigan 48322 to 41550

Grand River Avenue, Novi.

DISCUSSION

Member Paul appreciated the motion to postpone and said she would support it. She was concerned with putting another restaurant in this area, as there others that are really struggling. There is also a violation with the Liquor Control Commission that they served a minor, and this whole facility is going to be mostly minors. During the day, all day Saturday and Sunday they are in and out of there, and she didnít want any opportunity to have a conflict there. Member Paul said legally, she would like to hear how Phase I and II will affect the Consent Judgment, since they are intending to have both phases committed to this business, because it didnít seem like an accessory, it seemed like the main focus to this business. She wanted to hear more of a legal description with the Consent Judgment and a little bit of the history of what happened in the Consent Judgment. She didnít know enough of the history butdid know that there was one in 1990 against the City. So, she would support the postponement and would like her concerns addressed.

Member Mutch asked Ms. McBeth what they needed to present to the Planning Department if  they are going to present Phase I and II together. He asked what needed to be presented, and how complete of a review would they do based on that.

Ms. McBeth said they have the plan, at this point, that shows the area that will be taken up by the food service area, and the area that will be taken up with the recreation area. She thought they could come back with a report based on the plans provided here in terms of the proposed use, and possibly the number of required parking spaces based on the information provided by the applicant if it does draw additional traffic other than the people using the Whirly Ball  facility.

Member Mutch asked if it would be administratively reviewed and wouldnít be something that would require a site plan review. Ms. McBeth said their expectation is it could be reviewed administratively. Member Mutch asked Mr. Schultz, in terms of the liquor license review by  Council, if that amount of information was going to be sufficient for them to make a decision,  and if there was any additional information needed for Council to make a determination when  it came back.

Mr. Schultz said with the requested additional information, he thought Council would have everything the administration could give them to make them able to answer the question of whether the use is permitted. He said that would really fall to the Council in this case. In the normal course it might have been the Planning Commission, but with the liquor license it does come to Council and under the Consent Judgment, Council has determined what the uses here would be.

Member Mutch said, as far as the Consent Judgment, as long as an accessory use, there is no need to amend that. Mr. Schultz said that is correct and is their position. Member Mutch said if it was determined that it was not an accessory use, that would have to be opened up. Mr. Schultz said if the Council was to determine that as described, this is not an accessory use because of the intensity or itís a destination point, then there would be a couple of different options, whether itís to go to the ZBA for a use variance or to the Council for an amendment to the Consent Judgment. He said they would address that in the legal element next time around. Member Mutch said he wanted a good idea of what Council will be addressing when it comes back.

Mayor Landry said the applicant should be aware of this when they come back. Regarding the liquor license, he said he had no problem with the game of Whirly Ball, the applicant or the applicantís ability to handle a liquor license. He strongly disapproved of the extent of alcohol next to this amount of kids. He said he has coached and played soccer in this building, and it is a wonderful facility. Soccer is a contact sport and occasionally people get contacted in areas they donít mean to be contacted in. Tempers flare and he has seen adult tempers flare, parents yell and scream at coaches and players, and the idea of alcohol mixed in with all of that he could not support. Mayor Landry said with these plans you could be inside playing soccer, walk next to the snack bar and right into Whirly ball. There are pool tables and in Phase II there are two bars, and that and a bunch of 6 and 7 year olds do not mix. So, if the applicant wanted his vote they would have to close off the access so that the only access to Whirly Ball is from the outside; otherwise, he would not support the liquor license. Mayor Landry said they indicated, tonight, that their target market was groups not walk-ins. So, as he understood it, they were not targeting soccer patrons to come in for a drink; they were targeting corporate groups. To get his vote they would need to close the door off from the inside.

Roll call vote on CM-06-01-017 Yeas: Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul,

Landry, Capello

Nays: None

 

3. Approval of Resolution authorizing: 1) participation in the Road Commission for

Oakland Countyís 2006 Tri-Party Program for Road Improvements for the Twelve

Mile Road/Cabot Drive Signalization project and the Novi Road Link project

(between Ten Mile Road and Grand River Avenue); 2) designation of the balance

of 2004 Tri-Party funds to the Novi Road Link project; and 3) entry into an

appropriate contract with the Road Commission for Oakland County for the

installation and maintenance of the Twelve Mile Road/Cabot Drive traffic signal.

Mr. Helwig said the resulting cost by applying this portion of Tri-Party Funds to this project actually reduced the Cityís cost of this signalization. The $31,376 is down from the $71,000 that had been projected previously when Council authorized the signal agreement with Northern Equities.

CM-06-01-018 Moved by Paul, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve Resolution authorizing: 1) participation in the Road

Commission for Oakland Countyís 2006 Tri-Party Program for Road

Improvements for the Twelve Mile Road/Cabot Drive Signalization

project and the Novi Road Link project (between Ten Mile Road and

Grand River Avenue); 2) designation of the balance of 2004 Tri-Party

funds to the Novi Road Link project; and 3) entry into an

appropriate contract with the Road Commission for Oakland County

for the installation and maintenance of the Twelve Mile Road/Cabot

Drive traffic signal.

DISCUSSION

Member Mutch asked administration about the allocations of the funds to the Novi Road Link Project. The explanation he received was that the expectation was that the current budgets from the Road Commission of Oakland County might be a little low on right of way acquisition.  Therefore, they expect and need the entire amount for the project. However, if we donít, it will come back to Council and they will designate where the unexpended Tri-Party Funds could be used in the future. He asked if that was correct. Mr. Helwig said it was, this is the residual project from the Road Bond Funds and a road bond from 1998. Once the Novi Link project is done from Ten Mile to Grand River Avenue, any balance would come back to Council to be reprogrammed.

Roll call vote on CM-06-01-018 Yeas: Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry,

Capello, Gatt

Nays: None

4. Consideration of Zoning Text Amendment 18.202 to amend the Subdivision Ordinance of the City of Novi to comply with recent state-mandated changes and clarify inconsistencies throughout the ordinance. First Reading

Mr. Helwig said Ms. McBeth prepared the motion sheet. We use a pre-application procedure and we are trying to intensify that to make the actual review process shorter and more efficient. This is now State law and we need to codify it.

Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked where this came from at the State level. Mr. Schultz said for a lot of years a lot of developers ignored the whole subdivision plat process because it was too lengthy and cumbersome. He said by the time developers got through the City process, they had to go to the County, DNR etc., and everyone waits their turn to do it. He said the main changes in this statute are the pre-application conferences, which the City already did, and other changes are to tighten up the time frames that a City has to process the application. It is clearly 90 days now for the Council to act on the tentative preliminary approval once all the application materials are in. It is a little clearer in the statute, but more importantly it changes the process for all of the other approvals to limit the amount of time it will take a developer to go through everyone elseís process. By the time it is all added up, the legislatures are hoping that instead of having all of these site condominium approvals, which are a little less formal and mostly a site plan process with Master Deeds, they are hoping that more developers will take advantage of the subdivision process again if it has been made easier.

Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked if subdivisions would still come to Council, and condominiums would still go to the Planning Commission. Mr. Schultz said, yes and they might see more subdivision plats coming before Council. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said subdivision plats have to come to Council by State law. He asked if there was any requirement or direction by State law where condominium approval is. Mr. Schultz said there is no State law requirement, and under our ordinance, to the extent they are site plans as opposed to plats, they are done by the Planning Commission. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said that is strictly by our ordinance. Mr. Schultz said there is no requirement for them to come before Council.

CM-06-01-019 Moved by Capello, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve Zoning Text Amendment 18.202 to amend the

Subdivision Ordinance of the City of Novi to comply with recent

state-mandated changes and clarify inconsistencies throughout

the ordinance. First Reading

Roll call vote on CM-06-01-019 Yeas: Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello,

Gatt, Margolis

Nays: None

5. Consideration of Zoning Text Amendment 18.200 to amend the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance to modify Section 2505 to expand opportunities for the landbanking of parking spaces throughout the City. First Reading

CM-06-01-020 Moved by Capello, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve Zoning Text Amendment 18.200 to amend the City of

Novi Zoning Ordinance to modify Section 2505 to expand

opportunities for the landbanking of parking spaces throughout the

City. First Reading

Roll call vote on CM-06-01-020 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt,

Margolis, Mutch

Nays: None

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION Ė None

 

 

MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES

1. Art Van Proposal to Vacate Karevich Drive Ė Member Mutch

Member Mutch said a letter came from Art Van to Council requesting the City consider vacating Karevich Drive. He thought the administration was waiting for policy direction from the Council. He asked that direction be given as to whether Council wanted to proceed with this proposal or not.

Mr. Helwig said an evaluation of this had not been made. It is a service road that parallels Novi Road. He said it is a policy matter, the density of development in that area, and whether Council wants to permit another building as conceptually displayed by Art Van. If Council gives direction to conduct an evaluation of the pros and cons they would be happy to do that.

Mayor Landry thought it would be prudent to have the administration weigh in on the subject. He asked them to make the evaluation, and send it to Council in an off week packet. He asked that Member Mutch follow up on this at another Mayor and Council Issues and then Council would direct the administration accordingly. Mr. Helwig responded they would report back.

2. Village Oaks Dredging as Item Ė Member Paul

Member Paul said in the off week packet there was a January 19th letter stating that the final bid documents for the dredging of Village Oaks had been prepared. She asked if those bids would include the storm water run off that has deteriorated the arteries to get into the Village Oaks corridor. Also, are they including the steam banks stabilization in the areas that Council has already discussed.

Mr. Hayes said what has been included was stabilizing the eastern shore line of Village Oak Lake. There are areas of erosion where there has been some significant gulley washing caused by sheet flow coming down to the eastern end of the lake. He said they have described making those repairs as an alternate bid item as part of those bid documents. One of the main constraints they face is the budget so we want to make sure there is enough money to do that work. Stream bank stabilization for other areas is not addressed as part of this project.

Member Paul thought it was Anderson Eckstein who came before Council as the engineering firm that did the recommendations. Mr. Hayes agreed. Member Paul asked if they reported on arteries that feed into this area that were eroded.

Mr. Hayes said the scope of work for Anderson Eckstein is directly related to Meadowbrook Lake. So, we are looking at stretches of Ingersol Creek, which is the arm to the north east of the lake, and stretches of the middle branch, the Rouge, which extends to the north west of the lake and immediately downstream of Meadowbrook Lake. He said that design is being completed and should be going out for bid rather soon.

Member Paul said the Stream Bank Stabilization Study for Meadowbrook Lake had been done, and they were looking at not having to dredge that area again, but try to stabilize the area so they could prevent more dredging, a lot of time, money and effort . She said she was thinking of the same thing on this project.

Mr. Hayes said there is no stream that feeds Village Oak Lake as it is primarily fed by the storm sewer system that surrounds Village Oak.

3. Joint Meeting with the School Board Ė Member Paul

Member Paul asked the administration whether a date had been set up for a joint meeting with the school board. Mr. Helwig said Mr. Pearson had made contacts with the school officials, and they have not responded with possible dates yet. He said they would follow up on this and get back to Council.

4. City Manager Search Process Ė Member Margolis

Member Margolis said this was just a direction to the administration from the Council in terms of getting reports from the consultant on the process. She would like to see a report from the consultant, in their Council packets, each time regarding where they are in the process.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION Ė None

Mayor Landry announced that this was the last official meeting of the City Manager, Mr. Helwig. He said, on behalf of the City Council and the 53,000 residents of the City, thank you very much for your service. He thought the City Manager personifies any City, and Mr. Helwigís conduct had been professional, efficient and fair to everybody while he was at the helm. As a result of Mr. Helwigís direction, we have indeed rid ourselves of much of the baggage, we are more efficient, and we are moving in the right direction. Mayor Landry believed that the City of Novi would have Mr. Helwigís stamp on it for a long time.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at

8:50 P.M.

_________________________________ _______________________________

David Landry, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk

_________________________________ Date approved: February 6, 2006

Transcribed by Charlene Mc Lean