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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Landry called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Landry, Mayor Pro Tem Capello, Council Members Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul
ALSO PRESENT: Clay Pearson, City Manager
Tom Schultz, City Attorney
Rob Hayes, City Engineer
Barbara Mc Beth, Director of Planning
Don Saven, Building Official
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
CM-06-06-157 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as presented.
Roll call vote on CM-06-06-157 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy,
1. Appreciation plaque to Sheryl Khoury for serving on the Library Board.
Bob Cutler, Library Board President accepted a plaque for Library Board Member Sheryl Khoury. Mayor Landry offered the plaque for outstanding distinguished service to the community during 2005 and 2006.
1. SPECIAL/COMMITTEE - None
2. CITY MANAGER - None
Mr. Pearson said they had passed a significant early benchmark with the Providence Hospital construction today, and it would be noteworthy to have Mr. Saven report in to the Council and community about that, and what might be coming up.
Mr. Saven said one of the greatest senses of accomplishment for a person who worked in the community was taking something from a concept to a reality. He said he sat in on many meetings in regard to Providence Hospital, and had seen the displays, etc., but it was taking that concept and making it work. He said after taking all the information from the department, the staff at the hospital, City staff, and putting it together they are at third story steel on the hospital. He said effective this morning they issued the shell
permit for enclosure of the hospital. He commented that he was very proud of the staff and the part of the City that made this work, specifically, Barbara Mc Beth and her staff in the Planning Department. They made sure all the items were taken care of and done correctly to meet the ordinances. Mr. Saven said likewise for his staff, who put in ungodly hours in overtime for this project so they could still keep the City running, and he commended them for their work. He thought Council should be proud of them too.
Mr. Saven said based on that information plus, and this was very good for this community, they would be working on a 76,000 sq. ft. ambulatory care center that would need to be completed by the time the hospital was completed. Plus, a 200,000 sq. ft. Medical Office Building that would be constructed and completed by the time the hospital was done. He said this was very exciting for the City, and he couldnít tell them what the effects would be for the City in regards to jobs, etc. He thought they should be very proud of everyone who was working on the project.
Mayor Landry asked Mr. Saven to express Councilís pride to the members of the Building Department. He said they were proud of them, and they were working very hard to protect the health, safety and welfare of not only the citizens of Novi, but everybody that comes through the City and would use any of those buildings. He said they were aware that these are projects of a lifetime in any City. Mayor Landry said Council was proud of them.
Mr. Pearson said he appreciated the opportunity, it was a momentous occasion, and it should not be passed by unnoticed.
4. ATTORNEY - None
Joan Whittingham, 22766 Renford, was present to speak about public relations and the library. She said as a user of the library she had felt informed and her needs had always been met. She said everyone she had talked to seemed to feel that the library had been communicating to the people. She noted the staff always had answers for her, was always willing to take time to find out what she needed, and that was public relations. She didnít see their job as fundraising. She saw it as servicing her as a citizen for library services.
Kirk Nicola, 18184 Buckingham, Beverly Hills, Michigan was present regarding Item #2, Ordinance 97-18 for pet boarding facilities. He wanted to submit some information he prepared, and said the ordinance was very well written. He said he was in the process of starting a pet boarding business in Novi. He thought one item that might need reconsideration was the parking, and had prepared some information for the board to consider. He thought they were a little excessive so he would like to submit his information to Council so that the planner could consider it for an adjustment to reduce the parking. Mayor Landry asked Mr. Nicola to give the information to the City Clerk who would see that Council and the appropriate people in the City received it, and they would take into consideration his comments and information.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Member Paul removed Item J.
Member Mutch removed Item I.
CM-06-06-158 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Consent Agenda Items A through H and Item K.
Roll all vote on CM-06-06-158 Yeas: Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry,
Approve Minutes of:
1. June 1, 2006 Ė Special meeting
2. June 5, 2006 Ė Regular meeting
3. June 8, 2006 Ė Special meeting
B. Approval of Resolution seeking reimbursement of expenses associated with Mosquito Control from Oakland County in the amount of $18,282, and the related Budget Amendment 2006-13.
C. Approval to award a one (1) year contract with two (2) renewal options in one (1) year increments for subsidized taxi service (STS) to Community Cab. (This provides subsidized cab services for senior citizens age 55 and up and those with special needs).
D. Approval to extend the tree removal contract one (1) year with Owen Tree Service, the low bidder, based on their original bid of February 1, 2005 on the same terms, conditions, and pricing.
E. Approval of request for an Outdoor Gathering Permit from the Michigan 50ís Festival, to be held at the Novi Town Center July 26 through July 29, 2006, subject to final walk through inspection by the Building and Fire Departments.
F. Approval of request for a Fireworks Display Permit from the Michigan 50ís Festival, to be held at the Novi DPW, 26300 Delwal Drive on July 28, 2006, subject to final inspection by the Novi Fire Department.
G. Approval of Policy Resolution for Special city-wide business signage in conjunction with the 2006 Michigan 50ís Festival to be held July 26-29, 2006.
H. Acceptance of water main as a public utility and approval of a storm drainage facility maintenance easement agreement for the Graham Clements Industrial Buildings A & B site, located in the Novi Industrial Subdivision at the southwest corner of Roethel and
K. Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 723
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I
1. Consideration of Authorization to Proceed with Preparation for Ballot Proposal Approving Issuance of Bonds for Construction of Novi Public Library Addition.
Mr. Czekaj said at the end of the Council meeting last week they intended to come before Council today with a formal presentation to seek Councilís support for a ballot initiative for the library. He was present to say, on behalf of the Library Board, that they would not be doing that this evening. Mr. Czekaj said after considerable reflection and discussion after the events of last week primarily what was said, and what was not said by this Council, they reached two conclusions. 1) that this Council was going to be and was currently a very big supporter of the idea of a new Library facility for the citizens of Novi. 2) it was clear to them that Council was also very committed to the idea that bringing forth that ballot initiative in November of 2006 was probably not the right thing to do. On the basis of that, taking into serious consideration the advice and counsel of this Council they had decided they would not make the presentation today. He said it was their intent to be before Council before the end of the year for that initiative because it was also their intent to take the ballot initiative to the voters sometime in 2007. He said they would be back before this body to continually seek Councilís advice as they progress with that project.
Mr. Czekaj said going back to last weeks meeting, he thought it was fair to say that the meeting did not go as either group had intended. He said clearly there was a communication error, and that rested squarely on the shoulders of the Library Board. He said Council was expecting something that they were not expecting to provide to Council, and our paths did not cross. He said having said that they took a lot of positive things out of the meeting. He said while they didnít agree with everything that was said by Council, it was fair to say they understood where it was coming from, why Council said what they said, and once again they would take that as Councilís appreciation, passion, and resolve that the project itself had merit. He said Councilís interests were similar to their interests in that they want to put the project in the most favorable and positive light. He said last week was hopefully a first of many meetings with Council as they move forward with their presentation so they are properly echoing and understanding the sentiments of the community itself. He asked for Councilís continued patience and support with them. They understand that they might not be on the same page today or in the future as to how to get the project done. He asked Council to indulge them and understand that there was more than one way of going about getting this not only onto the ballot but to a successful conclusion. Mr. Czekaj said they pledged to Council that they took the charge very seriously, and took Councilís advice and counsel very seriously. He said while they wonít always agree they would ask that Council not rush to judgment, and hopefully they would earn the benefit of the doubt when and if that time comes. He said they were on the same page as Council, and would like to see a successful library built that would not only serve the community for the short term but for years to come. He said they wanted to see the project before the voters and up and running as soon as possible. He thought they could do it, and with Councilís continued support it would happen.
Member Nagy said she was not at the meeting but was a little taken aback by some of the exchanges that went on. She thought that the role of Council was not only to support the library publicly but basically their only role was to vote on whether or not this issue would be placed on the ballot. She wasnít sure, except for support, what Councilís role would be. Member Nagy said in the past, since the inception of the Walker Fund, the Board had operated without the guidance of Council. She felt, personally, that the Library Board didnít need to report to Council. She thought the Library Board was capable to do what was necessary to get the information out there, and to fundraise, etc. She said she didnít know what their intent was by reporting to Council, and assumed that the Library Board wasnít tied to Council except for the ballot issue. She asked Mr. Schultz if she was correct.
Mr. Schultz said broadly speaking yes; it was a separate entity from the City and City Council. Member Nagy said she appreciated that they would take the time to report to Council, but had every faith they would do what was necessary to fundraise and get the word out to the residents of the intent of the Library. She thought they were operating well, and she commended the Board and Mr. Czekajís comments at the end of the last meeting. She thought he conducted himself exceedingly well under the circumstances.
Mr. Czekaj felt communication was paramount to their success. They were not looking for Council to tell them what to do because they thought they were capable of doing that. He said Mayor Landry indicated that he thought the Library Board needed a celebrity, and he said they were looking at this body of Council as their "celebrity". If they could convince Council that they were up to the task, up to the challenge, and had a credible project that would help them with their grass root efforts, whether doing that overtly or intentionally in their everyday conduct. He said they believed if they had Councilís support of the project that would be their "celebrity" building block, and would go along way to promote the cause. They understood that there was independence between the Library Board and the City. However, they also believed they were part of the City, the City government and were all one family on one team. He said it was very important to them to have Council on board. He said they planned on communicating with Council, and what they did with it was their call. He said there would be times when they would ask for similar sessions where they could share ideas properly, and at the end of the day it could be a positive building block. He said a negative answer in healthy debate was fine, they were not shying away from that, and they needed that input. Mr. Czekaj said Council had a much wider cross section of the community, the pulse of the community, and there might be things the Library Board was not thinking about or emphasizing and Council could make them aware of that. He said they could chose to accept it or not, and if not he hoped that would be taken in the most positive light as well. He said they thought to have a successful project they needed Council on board as well in not only what they said but what they did as well. He said that was still important to them, and he thought that might have been lacking in the past.
Mayor Landry commented he appreciated Mr. Czekajís candor, and the spirit in which he was approaching this. He said every member of Council agreed they would like to see a new library. He thought it was just the means of achieving that
where there was disagreement. Mayor Landry said he didnít think there was any disagreement of Council and the Library Board on the end goal. He said when discussing this at last weeks meeting he made the comment that he initially supported the new library, and he still did. He said when he was discussing the marketing role of the Board he made the statement that there are those in the community that didnít believe the library was an essential City function. Mayor Landry said somehow that was interpreted that the Mayor didnít think that the library was an essential City function. Mayor Landry said he didnít say that, and thought Mr. Czekaj knew he didnít say that, and the tapes are in the library if anyone wanted to see them. He thought it was true that some people believed that, and that was why he thought it was their job to overcome that view, and make people realize that the library was an essential City function. Mayor Landry said when trying to get a bond proposal passed they have to understand where people are coming from so they can address it with the best information. He stated that was his view on marketing a library bond, and he would like to see it passed because he did think it was an important City function. He said hopefully they could huddle up and make this happen.
2. Consideration of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.203 to amend the City of
Novi Zoning Ordinance, as amended, to include provisions for animal boarding
facilities in the l-1, Light Industrial Zoning District. First Reading
Ms. Mc Beth said the Planning Department had received, over the last few years, requests to establish what they referred to as boarding facilities for household pets in various locations throughout the City. She said they had researched the ordinance and found that there was no location identified in the Zoning Ordinance that would allow this type of facility. Typically, the applicants do not like to be referred to as a kennel because the services offered are much more extensive than a kennel might offer. The Planning Department worked with the Planning Commission and the Implementation Committee and came up with some proposed language, which would be to allow these types of facilities in the Light Industrial Zoning District as a permitted use, and as a special land use in the Light Industrial District when that district abuts residential. She said there were a number of conditions of approval for that as well, especially with regard to the proximity to the Residential District, and those are included in the language. The Planning Commission held a public hearing on this, and recommended favorable consideration to Council.
CM-06-06-159 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.203 to amend the
City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, as amended, to include provisions
for animal boarding facilities in the l-1, Light Industrial Zoning District. First Reading
Member Paul asked Ms. Mc Beth to make reference to the parking. Ms. Mc Beth said the parking standards were provided on the second page of the highlighted section of the ordinance amendment. She said it was one parking space for every 350 sq. ft. of usable floor area, and staff was recommending that because it was consistent with a daycare facility. She said it was a little less than they would expect of a typical office building in the Light
Industrial District but it was equivalent to what there would be in another type of facility where people drop off animals or people. Member Paul said many other cities have these pet boarding facilities. She said Farmington Hills had one next to SWOCC, and asked what the ratio of parking for those facilities was so she could have a comparison. She thought the parking in a lot of areas was too heavy, and would like to have more green space and less parking if applicable. She asked what other cities were doing. Ms. Mc Beth said she didnít have that information but could have it for the Second Reading. Member Paul asked how many animals would be permitted per square foot. Ms. Mc Beth said this was not something that the staff considered regulating in terms of the ordinance requirements. She thought that the people who ran the facility would make that determination. Member Paul asked if it was mandated like daycare facilities. Ms. Mc Beth said it was not, and didnít seem to be licensed by the State the same way that daycare facilities were licensed. Member Paul asked what happened with the animal waste. Ms. Mc Beth said there was a provision recommended in the ordinance that all animal waste should be removed from the outdoor area and disposed of in a sanitary fashion. Member Paul asked if that was typical of other ordinances, because she thought it was vague. Ms. Mc Beth said it would be similar to what they had seen with kennels. She said there was a concern with another veterinary clinic, and they explained how their waste and various items were removed from the site.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello agreed with Member Paul, and did not want to see a vast area of parking. He thought the one for every 350 sq. ft. was probably a lot. He said there would be very few employees, maybe 5 or 6. He said Light Industrial didnít allow outside storage but there was an outside area for the dogs to go to, and perhaps it could be required to be sufficiently large enough to land bank for any additional parking that might be needed if a different Light Industrial use came in that needed additional parking.
Member Margolis asked if there were other ordinances that other municipalities had regarding the number of animals that could be in the facility. Ms. Mc Beth said when researching this they did not find any limitation on that. She said they could look again for that specific provision, and see if there are any requirements. Member Margolis said if this became an issue what could the City do about a facility that was boarding way too many dogs if it was not regulated by the State. She said that would be her question on the Second Reading.
Member Mutch thought Mayor Pro Tem Capello made a good point of what happened if the site was reused in terms of insuring that future uses could provide sufficient parking for something that was not this type of use. He said he hoped they covered that. Member Mutch also agreed with the comments regarding parking, as he didnít want to see excessive parking either. However, he was concerned about the volume of traffic, and how it would impact the adjacent users, and obviously the use. He said there was language that addressed some of those concerns but before he would vote for it on Second Reading he wanted to make sure they were not creating a situation where they would allow this use, which he thought they did need to provide for in the City, to have adjacent users negatively impacted by the operations of this facility. He said if the applicant had some familiarity with existing uses in other communities and wanted to provide information about those uses to the City, he thought it would be helpful for Council to have a level of confidence that what they were allowing would not be a nuisance to the other uses within the Industrial areas.
Roll call vote on CM-06-06-159 Yeas: Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry,
3. Consideration of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.205 to amend the City of
Novi Zoning Ordinance, as amended, to modify the requirements for outdoor
storage of recreational equipment in residential zoning districts. First Reading
Mr. Pearson said this had risen from neighborhood concerns, and was geared at giving the City more enforcement tools. He said currently with some of the storage of recreational vehicles in the front yards some thought there was a loop hole with the 72 hour provision. He said this was well intentioned to allow people loading and unloading time, but the fact was it was being used to extend that.
Ms. Mc Beth said these are two text amendments related to two different sections of the Zoning Ordinance and one to the City Code. The first recommendation was to modify Section 21-194 of the City Code in order to clarify its meaning and intent, which was building materials were permitted to be stored outside on a residential lot only if there was a valid permit for construction on that particular lot. If there was no valid permit the residents would not be allowed to store items like lumber, bricks, concrete blocks, shingles, etc. outside of the house.
Ms. Mc Beth said the second ordinance provision was reviewed by staff and the Planning Commission and that was Section 2504 of the Zoning Ordinance, which regulated commercial and recreational vehicle parking and storage. The ordinance currently allowed recreational equipment such as recreational vehicles to be stored in the side yard or the rear yard as long as the equipment was less than 6 ft. in height. The ordinance allowed recreational vehicles exceeding 6 ft. in height to be stored in the rear yard only or in a non-required interior side yard, and subject to applicable standards of an accessory building. She said these provisions were not recommended for change at this time. The change Mr. Pearson alluded to was just related to the number of hours that the recreational vehicle would be allowed to be kept in the front yard for loading and unloading. She said this was a recommendation of the Neighborhood Services Department to eliminate the 72 hour provision, and that was due to the difficulty they had in enforcing that section of the ordinance. Ms. Mc Beth said if this section was approved by City Council tonight and in the Second Reading, Neighborhood Services had indicated they would provide notice to the residents to remove the vehicle if they found that the vehicle was parked in the front yard for a certain amount of time, and would give them a day or two to remove the vehicle. She commented that Neighborhood Services did some research as well, and it had been included in the packet. It was a chart showing some of the surrounding communities, and their information related to recreational vehicles and storage in the rear yard and in the side yard. She said five of the eight communities did have temporary loading and unloading provisions anywhere on the lot, and the remaining three communities surveyed did not have a specific time limitation for load and unloading. She said the changes were reviewed by the Planning Commissionís Implementation Committee and the Planning Commission as a whole at a recent public hearing and recommended for approval.
Member Nagy said she had questions regarding Ordinance 18-205, Storage of Building Materials in residential areas. She asked if one needed a permit to re-side their house.
Mr. Saven said as long as there were no structural implications involved in re-siding the house a permit was not required, and it was considered normal repair. She asked about when someone re-roofed their home. Mr. Saven replied if they do anything structural to the roof or add a layer of shingles more than the normal two layers; it would require that engineering take a look at it. He said normally re-roofing would not require a permit. Member Nagy said she asked because she had passed homes in her neighborhood that were being re-sided, and they were not done in a day. She wondered how this ordinance would apply to that, and asked if they would now get a ticket if the siding people are there a couple of days.
Ms. Mc Beth said Neighborhood Services would address that, but she would think they would be reasonable in terms of some work was getting done. It didnít technically require a permit but building activity was taking place on the lot. Member Nagy said she wondered if this would be too restrictive for those residents that are taking the old roof and siding off and putting the new roof and siding on. She said what about someone who was getting a new driveway, and took their old concrete out and was about to have a new driveway poured. She said that wouldnít take place in a matter of hours. She said, in terms of enforcement, they would have to drive through every subdivision to see who was doing what. She asked for suggestions to be more accommodating to the residents who were doing something to their house.
Mr. Saven thought it was admirable that the owners were taking the initiative to update their homes. In most instances, if they are dealing with projects such as these they would be required to have a trash container or dumpster on the site to contain the materials. Member Nagy asked how they would contain siding. She said she had seen home repair people put canvas on it or something to cover it for the night. Member Nagy said they might have the trash container to put the old siding in, but the new siding would be sitting on the driveway or their grass, and then covered at night. Mr. Saven said he couldnít answer that question because it was a scheduling issue, and regarding taking off material, he didnít think there was any contractor that wanted to handle material twice. He said if it comes off it goes into the trash container. Member Nagy understood that, but there are do it yourselfers, and they take whatever time it took to get the job done, so she was concerned it was too restrictive for the person who didnít need a permit, and was doing the job themselves. She wanted to see more leeway for the residents. She thought there should be some limitation to time but this was too restrictive.
Member Paul said she appreciated the comments made, but she looked at recreation equipment and didnít know if siding would fit in her idea of recreation. She said that would be a serious undertaking and she thought of it in a different light. Member Nagy said they were discussing building materials. Mayor Landry said she was looking at Section 21-194 when she was discussing the storage of building materials. Member Nagy said she didnít see anything there on recreational equipment. Member Paul said they were talking about several different ordinances, and she was commenting on recreation equipment. She said she was looking for what recreation equipment they were going to categorize whether, boats, mobile home, or trailers. She thought Council had a letter regarding a jet ski that sat in someoneís side yard for
6 months out of the year, and they were concerned about that. She asked if this addressed all of those concerns, and the letter received from a Village Oaks resident.
Mr. Pearson said he didnít recall that letter. He said this was allowing them the side yards but not the front yards. He said the side yard provisions would not change in this particular round.
Member Paul said she understood that the 72 hour provision was mainly the front yard, and they were saying that so someone didnít move their vehicle five feet, and then have another 72 hours. She asked if someone had a jet ski or snowmobile on a trailer for six months out of the year would that be something that would fall under this category as permitted or not. Ms. Mc Beth said the new #2 that would be included there, was the existing ordinance provision that said "any recreational equipment less than six feet in height above the ground may be stored in any required side yard or rear yard". If it was taller than six feet in height it needed to be in the rear yard or in any non-required interior side yard. She said to get into the more specific details about what was included in recreational equipment there was a definition section of the ordinance, that wasnít included this time but they could include it next time. She said recreational equipment was any travel trailer, camp trailer, camper folding tent trailer, utility trailer, boat, boat trailer, float and raft, including transportation equipment, and off road vehicles. She commented she could go on or they could provide it next time. Member Paul said she would like to see it as it would be helpful. Member Paul said the other thing they had a comment on was tires that were stored in the side yards that were either in the blue plastic wrap or just stored in the side yard. She said she didnít believe that was something that was covered in our previous ordinance. She asked if that would now be covered in one of the other ordinances. Ms. Mc Beth said there were two this evening, one related to building and construction equipment being stored outside, and the other related to recreational equipment. She said the Planning Department staff did talk with Neighborhood Services, and she thought a complaint regarding old tires being stored in the yard could be addressed by calling Neighborhood Services, and making a complaint. She said that wouldnít be allowed, and it would have to fall under certain provisions in the ordinance. Member Paul asked if there was a specific ordinance regarding the tires. Ms. Mc Beth said they would come back to her with the specific wording on that, if there was any, but she thought it was a more general term. Member Paul said that was a complaint she received from someone off Delmont Drive, and there were two areas that had storage of tires, one was covered in the blue plastic wrap, and one was not. She said she and Mayor Landry had talked about what the ordinance would cover under the nuisance ordinance, and she was hoping that was covered here too.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said Members Nagy and Paul were discussing two different ordinances, and he would discuss ordinances in regard to construction materials first. He said it appeared that Neighborhood Services had recommended they amend the ordinance; not because it wasnít a practical ordinance but because they had difficulty enforcing it. He said in the memo they said they would use their own discretion in determining who they would or would not issue tickets to based on the type of materials that were stored, and how long they were stored. He didnít think it was reasonable to give to an employee of the City the discretion to make those determinations of who they would and would not ticket He said that should be set forth in the ordinance. He commented that just because it was difficult to enforce was not a basis to restrict a very typical practical activity within the City. The ordinance, with regard to building materials, said if they have a building permit, which would indicate it was more of a major undertaking and would require a longer time, and more materials could be stored as long as they wanted, subject to the issuance of the permit and inspections. However, if they were working evenings and weekends trying to do it themselves, they would be prohibited from storing anything on their property. He said that was ridiculous. If Neighborhood Services wanted Council to work with them to help and assist them in enforcing this type of ordinance they needed to come back with something better.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said regarding the recreational vehicles it was hard to find a place to store your vehicle. He said luckily Anglin now had Anglin Toy Storage for $360 a year and he could get in and out when needed, and it was very convenient for him as he had a 30 ft. trailer and a 20 ft. suburban. He said many of the homes have front or side entry garages, and very few of the homes being built have access to a backyard to park anything. He said limiting storage of the vehicles in the rear or the backyard restricts people from storing on their property at all. However, if they have a camper, boat, jet skiís or some type of recreational vehicle in excess of 6 ft. in height, they would return from camping and the boat had to be cleaned, unloaded, and certain things had to be done for safety and health purposes. He said he seldom parked it in the driveway because of the 50 ft. length, and his suburban had to remain hooked up or the camper would roll back down the driveway. He said he ended up parking it in the street, and it took up a lot of room, and kids could run out from behind the vehicle, so he was torn between the two. However, he could park it in the street with this ordinance. He said the preference would be to put it in the driveway so it was out of the street, and it would be safer. He said it was unreasonable to tell people they couldnít bring their recreational vehicle home, and maintain it, or repair it for a short period of time of three or four days. He thought that was totally ridiculous. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said for Neighborhood Services to say it was hard for them to enforce so letís just tell the citizens they couldnít do it, meant they couldnít clean and maintain their recreational vehicle on their property, they couldnít load or unload their camper in the driveway before and after going on vacation, and couldnít fill the water in the driveway. He said he might have been an offender of this, but is not anymore, but he had to clean his camper and he just couldnít enforce this. If Neighborhood Services wanted to come to Council to help them enforce this they would look at a way to do it, but donít say thereís a problem with enforcement so just restrict the use to our citizens.
Mayor Landry said with respect to the storage of building materials, as he read this it prevented storage of materials not staging of materials. He said if in the middle of a project and they had lumber or siding, he would consider that staging it while actively in the course of the construction project. He said storage to him meant leaving it there all winter or not actively using it, or using it for a side business. He didnít have a problem, and totally supported prohibiting the storage of building materials whether cover or not. He asked Mr. Schultz if they could define what storage and staging was, and take care of the problem or concern that Member Nagy raised. As Mayor Pro Tem Capello said, Council needed to give direction to Neighborhood Services so that it was less of a call on their part.
Mayor Landry said he had a concern about the storage of recreational vehicles in the rear yard. He said one of the problems several people had mentioned to him was that under this ordinance someone could store a big Winnebago in their backyard. He said if there are subdivisions where one backyard backs up to another and there was a circular drive around it, like Wintergreen, then someone would be staring at the big Winnebago, and they would not like that. He said he was intrigued by this list of ordinances, and it said in West Bloomfield storage was permitted but must be screened from view. He wondered how they would screen a Winnebago from view, and he would like to see the ordinance. Mayor Landry said a lot of people are probably upset with him now because they want to store their Winnebago in their backyard. He said he didnít know the answer to this but thought it needed to be looked at
more closely. He understood their point, and agreed with Mayor Pro Tem Capelloís point that they ought to be able to leave it in the yard for a certain period of time to load it, unload it,
clean it and maintain it. He didnít want anyone rushing out issuing tickets, and didnít think that Neighborhood Services would do that. However, he said he was concerned about storing
these in the back yard. Mayor Landry said he would like to see the West Bloomfield ordinance, and asked it be provided to Council in a packet. The other problem was there are rural residential, and then a subdivision went in next to them, and these people had been storing their recreational vehicles in their back yard for years and years. Now, all of a sudden there was a subdivision, and people are complaining about it. He thought it would be a real difficult call in a situation like that. Mayor Landry appreciated the Planning Commissions effort to look at this, but didnít think he would approve this as it is.
Member Mutch commented, regarding the recreational vehicle section of the ordinance, there were examples of people who were essentially popping those vehicles in and out of the driveway every 72 hours, and playing cat and mouse with Neighborhood Services. He thought that was a concern that needed to be addressed. Member Mutch also agreed with Mayor Pro Tem Capello that they didnít want them watching over his shoulder, and having to leave when a City vehicle came down the street. He asked if they could retain the 72 hours and add language that it could not be in front of a residence for more than a certain number of hours within a week. He thought something was needed that would address the people who are abusing the language of the ordinance, but wasnít sure of the best way to structure that. He said the idea was that they couldnít reset the clock by just moving the vehicle and bringing it back. If it had been sitting out there for so many hours within a certain time period they were over the line. Whereas, someone like Mayor Pro Tem Capello who was cleaning it out for 72 hours, and then it was gone would be fine.
Member Mutch commented on the storage of building materials, and commented that he had sent his thoughts to the City attorney. He would put his thoughts out to Council to think about, and didnít have a preference either way. He said there was nothing, specifically, that referenced outdoor storage, it just referenced storage generally. Member Mutch said there were people who had projects that they did themselves and would have bricks, plumbing material, shingles, etc., stacked up in the garage, and if the garage door was open and someone complained would it fall under the ordinance. He said he didnít want someone running a home construction supply operation out of their garage, but he didnít want to be overly restrictive either, and the language wasnít clear. He said if clarity limited the application to outdoor storage, he was comfortable with that. He thought it was something for Council to consider whether they wanted to limit the scope of that or not. If staff wanted to provide input on that for a Second Reading, he would appreciate it.
Member Nagy agreed with Mayor Pro Tem Capelloís comments regarding the storing of building materials, and the discretion of Neighborhood Services as to who would and would not receive fines. She believed the ordinance was way too restrictive, and what would be done with the "do it yourselfer" that didnít have a garage, and was storing materials out side to make repairs on his home. She said regarding commercial and recreational vehicles there are some subdivisions and condo associations that have a club house and parking. She said some residents had the same vehicle as Mayor Pro Tem Capello, and since in the association by-laws the vehicles couldnít be parked there, they allowed them to park in the parking lot for as long as they need. She said they couldnít screen that area; itís a parking lot in front of her
office. She said by allowing them to park in the parking lot they donít violate the by-laws, but now with the screening would they be violating the City ordinance. She agreed with Mayor Pro Tem Capello that the boat, or whatever, needed to be cleaned and maintained, and they
needed a reasonable amount of time to do it. She commented that in the subdivisions where she lived people pulled up their drive and into their garage, and would not be able to pull into the side or rear yard. Member Nagy mentioned the rural resident who had to comply with the ordinance because a subdivision had gone in next to them. She felt this restriction was bad for the residents at large. She wanted to see it made more flexible, and thought if residents had the acreage they should be able to store their recreational vehicle on it. She was concerned about the restriction of both the building materials and the commercial and recreation vehicles. She was also concerned about how fair it would be for the residents, and especially those residents who use these types of vehicles. She was also concerned about those with acreage who have always stored there campers on their own property. Member Nagy asked for ordinances from Farmington and Farmington Hills for comparison. She said that she thought the subdivisions had by-laws as well and thought it should be up to them to first try to enforce their by-laws, and then go to Neighborhood Services.
Member Margolis thought the Mayor had a great idea in defining the difference in construction material between staging and storage. She thought that would make it clearer and help Neighborhood Services enforce this. She asked if she was correct that a recreational vehicle ordinance was already on the books, and the only change was "shall be prohibited" in order to legally clarify this ordinance.
Mr. Pearson said that was the portion that dealt with the storage of construction materials. She said it was the construction materials, and Mr. Pearson said correct. Member Margolis said "shall be prohibited" was the only change in the construction materials. Mr. Pearson said it was clarifying what was already on the books. She said in terms of the recreational vehicle she had the same reaction when she saw the 72 hours. She noted she understood the reason. She said she was listening to the debate and realizing why all these things are so difficult, because no matter how many restrictions there are somebody would figure out a way to get around it. She thought sometimes they were looking for the perfect solution and it didnít exist. However, she did have concerns about the 72 hours and that there might be some selective enforcement, and perhaps there was some other way of doing that so people would be able to do what they needed to do.
Member Paul said the comment about storing a recreation vehicle in the rear yard for a long period of time did not appeal to her. She didnít think anyone would want to look at that for a long period of time. She said 72 hours was quite a bit of time. She thought if they just said 72 hours anywhere on the front lot, so that if someone was playing the cat and mouse game, and moved 3 or 5 feet, it would be still in the 72 hour window, not within 5 ft. of the last move to restart the clock. Member Paul said she didnít think they would want recreational vehicles being stored 6 months or a year with a Winnebago in the back yard. She said they could say if they had over two acres, and there was screening, maybe that would be the provision.
Mr. Schultz commented that he had watched more than one community get more than halfway through their existing ordinance trying to update it and make everybody happy, only to give up
halfway through the process. He said if someone owned an RV it made perfect sense to put it into the side or rear yard, and if you didnít own one you tended not to want it at all.
He said all of that was permitted now; what was being taken out was to remove that 72 hour provision and not to allow for selective enforcement by the City by any means, just to make that clear. He said all of the comments would be taken into consideration, and he would bring something back through Ms. Mc Beth. The idea was our standard process in code
enforcement was first a notice of a violation instead of a ticket, and that would prompt people to put it where it was supposed to be, in the rear yard or side yard, to do their loading or unloading, or move it out. He understood every one of the comments, and they would take it back and do what they could with it.
CM-06-06-160 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve the First Reading of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment
18.205 to amend the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, as amended,
to modify the requirements for outdoor storage of recreational
equipment in residential zoning districts with the comments made.
Roll call vote on CM-06-06-160 Yeas: Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry, Gatt, Margolis
4. Approval to enter into a licensing agreement with Bellefeuil, Szur, & Associates,
Inc. aka BS&A Software, for the use of their Fund Accounting Programs and the
purchase of four receipt printers, four cash drawers, computer upgrades and
approval to purchase related hardware for a total of $187,010.
CM-06-06-061 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve entering into a licensing agreement with Bellefeuil, Szur,
& Associates, Inc. aka BS&A Software, for the use of their Fund
Accounting Programs and the purchase of four receipt printers, four cash drawers, computer upgrades and approval to purchase related hardware for a total of $187,010.
Member Mutch stated he would support this but had concerns specifically with the fact that if you go through the ranking and rating of these various products that based on the software alone, the highest rated product was the Munis System, and a couple of others, and BS&A was number 4. He said what tilted the equation in favor of BS&A, based on the ranking system, was the total cost, the support cost, and the integration with the existing software, which accounted for 70% of the ranking. He recognized that those were important factors. He said having gone through this process recently with a large software system where the determining factor was the cost, and then they ended up paying for that long term with less than ideal performance, and with some beta testing. He said he knew the City had agreed to beta test some of the software, and that was a concern for him because of his background. Member Mutch said another concern was the difference in the price, and it was always wonderful to get the lowest price system if you felt it was the best system for the City, but it also tended to raise red flags with him. He said when they were talking about the other systems being two and three times the cost, the question was why there was such a huge difference between the two systems. He said he knew it had been thoroughly vetted by the Finance and IT Departments, and they were comfortable with this proposal. He said those were his concerns but they would have to live with it, and as long as they were comfortable with it he would support it.
Member Margolis said she had similar concerns regarding the low cost of the proposal and those types of things. She said she had conversations with Rob Petty and Kathy Smith-Roy
who expressed their confidence in this system, they had done the reference checking on this with other municipalities, and that the City had two software installation pieces from this company already. Mr. Petty said she was correct, and the City currently used their equalization package in the Assessing Department, and their tax package in the Treasury Department. He said he was very pleased with both of them. Member Margolis said she appreciated their confidence.
Roll call vote on CM-06-06-161 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis,
5. Consideration of proposed revisions to Chapter 11 (Design & Construction
Standards), Ordinance 06-124.15, of the Novi Code of Ordinances pertaining to
pedestrian safety paths and bicycle paths. Second Reading
Mayor Pro Tem Capello commented that they had seen some of these issues as they were working down Eleven Mile Road where they are getting into residential areas with older existing homes. He suggested a change to Section 11-258 Sub Section D, 3rd line down "or when the topography or existing landscaping warrants an alternate location". Then 5th line down "Lesser distances may be allowed along curbed streets or in front of existing houses. Mayor Pro Tem Capello suggested, in the last sentence, instead of requiring guardrails, which was an issue in Mystic Forrest where they had vehicular guardrails along the detention ponds in a residential subdivision, and it looked terrible. He suggested the last sentence read that the pathway is placed closer than five feet for back up curb for curbed roadway or 12 feet from edge of pavement of uncurbed roadway, and vehicle guardrail may be required by the City Engineer.
CM-06-06-162 Moved by Capello, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To amend Ordinance 06-124-15, of Novi Code of Ordinances, Section
11-258, Sub Section D, 3rd line down to read "or when the topography
or existing landscaping warrants an alternate location". 5th line down to read "Lesser distances may be allowed along curbed streets
or in front of existing houses. The last sentence to read "that the
pathway is placed closer than five feet for back up curb for curbed roadway or 12 feet from edge of pavement of uncurbed roadway, and
vehicle guardrail may be required by the City Engineer." Also, 11-278, Sub Section 5, third line to read "enhancement of natural resources, existing landscaping or existing houses"
Member Paul said there were a lot of major thoroughfares that they were looking to update sidewalks, and some of them already existed. She asked what they would do in the situation where the west side of Meadowbrook was to be done this fall, but a lot of that pavement for the sidewalk was already constructed. She asked what they would do in areas that needed to have this amended or added to it.
Mr. Pearson said it wouldnít affect them at all as it would just be when they were constructing something, when the City was doing it or when a developer was coming with a site plan or some other improvement, this would be the provisions that would be applied. He said it would not be retroactive, and they would not try to go back and do anything different with the existing material.
Member Paul asked if there would be a cost. Mr. Hayes said these were installed last year at the corner of Beck and 11 Mile Roads, and he thought the unit price was around $4 to $5 a square foot.
Mr. Schultz said the language on the next page regarding sidewalks was very similar in terms of the permission to the City Engineer to vary the location of the sidewalk. He asked if the intention was that that would also go for sidewalks. Mr. Hayes said yes.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said they had not gotten there yet, and he was going to add that on next.
Mayor Landry asked if the motion was just for Part I. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said it was specifically for Section 11-258. Mayor Landry said instead of 11-278, and asked why not do it all at once. Mayor Landry was told it could be done, and he asked if the previous motion to amend had to be withdrawn. Mr. Schultz said it could be a friendly amendment. Mayor Landry asked Mayor Pro Tem Capello to continue.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said 11-278, Sub Section 5, third line "enhancement of natural resources, existing landscaping or existing houses" and then the language for the approval of the City Engineer was at the end of that one. He thought that was the only change needed there. The seconder of the motion accepted the amendment.
Roll call vote on CM-06-06-162 Yeas: Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis,
6. Approval of a one (1) year lease agreement with a one (1) year renewal option for the Performing Arts Academy to lease space at the Novi Ice Arena for the amount of $18,000. (This will enable drama classes to be instructed at the Novi Ice Arena).
CM-06-06-163 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve a one (1) year lease agreement with a one (1) year
renewal option for the Performing Arts Academy to lease space at
the Novi Ice Arena for the amount of $18,000. (This will enable drama
classes to be instructed at the Novi Ice Arena).
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked Ms. Buck, owner of Performing Arts Academy, if she was still operating her dance studio in addition to this. Ms. Buck said this was where she was going to relocate the dance studio. He asked if she would have the same number of teachers and
students, and she said yes. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said he was concerned when she asked for a salary because he wondered if she was going to take a salary how would her teachers get compensated. Ms. Buck said that was why they would do the rental, so that they could pay their salaries. He said he had no problem with that.
Mayor Landry said he understood they were entering into this lease because we are considering bringing this in house in the future, but right now they just wanted a lease. He said the dance studio lessee sets the price, kept the money, and paid the rent. Mr. Auler said thatís correct. Mayor Landry said they would just see how this worked out, and maybe consider something more of a partnership in the future. Mr. Auler said that was correct. Mayor Landry commented he admired and commended Mr. Auler for entering into this in this fashion, it was the perfect way to do it, and he thought it was a great idea.
Member Margolis said, for clarification, regarding the comment about a salary that was not in place at this time, this was a demonstration to see how this went, and then that would be a changed in the future. Mr. Auler said she was correct, and Ms. Buck had been teaching the choreography component of the theatre program, and that program had been expanded dramatically. He said they had a large number of customers participating, in terms of having a vision, and they were looking to bring this operation in house if it was financially self supporting. He said they wanted to do it as a trial run, and therefore, the lease arrangement was worked out. Member Margolis replied she appreciated it as it was a great way to bring services into the City, offer a chance to someone who had been involved in the City, and who had taught one or two people on Council to dance. She suggested, as a parent of a former skater, there was a huge need for skaters to have dance too, and it would also add to the ice arena operations. She thought it was a great arrangement.
Roll call vote on CM-016-06-163 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch,
7. Approval of Renewal of Risk Management and Insurance Services with the Municipal Insurance Alliance for a premium of $428,888 and with Midwest Claims for an annual fee of $10,000 for the period of July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007.
Mayor Landry asked to be recused from this item because Municipal Insurance Alliance and
Midwest Claims Service were direct clients of his, and it would be inappropriate for him to participate in this decision.
Mayor Landry asked for a vote of Council to recuse himself from this item. Council vote was unanimous.
CM-06-06-164 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve of Renewal of Risk Management and Insurance Services
with the Municipal Insurance Alliance for a premium of $428,888 and
with Midwest Claims for an annual fee of $10,000 for the period of
July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007
Roll call vote on CM-06-06-164 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
Council recessed at 8:22 P.M.
Council reconvened at 8:36 P.M.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part II
8. Discussion of City Council options regarding joint membership to Zoning Board
of Appeals and Planning Commission pursuant to the newly revised Michigan
Zoning Enabling Act.
Mr. Pearson said this item required some policy discussion. He said he didnít know where this came from, didnít see any benefits to the provisions, it would cost the City more money, and would cost the applicants more time. However, they had to live with it until it changed. He was asking for direction on how Council wanted to deal with the appointments, and there needed to be someone who was willing to serve on both the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals. He said they outlined other issues of what they would deal with administratively in terms of the notices and so forth, and took the liberty to offer suggestions for cost recovery on the notices, which wouldnít have been a bad idea even before this. He said Farmington Hills had a provision that passed on the cost of the notices to the applicant.
Mr. Schultz said they are already engaged in discussions about changes to the Zoning Ordinance that would be required. He said they didnít know if they should start with Council on specific changes or with the Planning Commission, but either way they would eventually come to Council. He said there were a couple of things that needed to be dealt with right away, and the rest could wait until they changed the ordinance. The notification issues would be dealt with internally, but this seemed like the right time to discuss the membership on the ZBA
Member Gatt commented that Council received a memo from Mr. Schultz regarding Councilís options. He chose the fourth option of "filling the ZBA vacancy and the three Planning Commission vacancies in the normal course and wait to fill the joint Planning Commission/ZBA position with a member of the Planning Commission by means of creating a seventh ZBA member." Member Gatt thought that made more sense than anything else. He said he had been a member of the ZBA, and there were only six members and oftentimes the vote ended in a tie. He said the resident or business owner suffered because they could not make a decision. Therefore, he thought it made perfect sense to have an odd number of people on the ZBA.
CM-06-06-165 Moved by Capello, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To direct administration to come back to
Council with an amendment to the current Zoning Ordinance
to add a seventh member to the ZBA.
Member Paul said she concurred with both previous Council members. She said she would like to see creativity within the Planning Commission/ZBA that one person would alternate for a year, and would be flexible enough to share the responsibility of both boards. She said maybe in some cities this would really work if theyíre not really busy. However, with the work load on both boards it would be a tremendous work load for one individual to be present three nights out of the month. In addition, there are sub-committees that meet once or twice or month. She said someone could be here twice a week and that was a lot of responsibility for a volunteer. She understood the spirit of this and someone thought this would be very helpful to share ideas between boards but in actuality, in a city thatís growing it would be an enormous task. She commented she would support Option #4 that would add an uneven number to ZBA with the flexibility that Council would look at options for a Planning or Zoning person to fluctuate back and forth.
Member Nagy thought Council should allow the Planning Commission to make that decision as to how they would do this. She asked if it had to be one designated individual or could members alternate.
Mr. Schultz said the statute merely said that one regular member of the ZBA shall be a regular of the Planning Commission. He said there was no discussion of time limits and things like that.
Member Nagy thought this legislation was absurd. She said these people were unpaid volunteers, and it didnít seem that any of the cities were consulted about this. She felt Council should protest because whoever made up this legislation didnít seem to know how a Planning Commission and ZBA functioned. She was taken aback and offended that someone would tell the cities what to do. She wanted to protest this. She said whoever sponsored this legislation didnít have in mind how these boards and committees functioned, and that these were volunteers. She was also afraid that by adding more responsibility for the Planning Commissioners there would be less people coming forward because of time constraints.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked if he could amend his motion and require this to be a one year position, and the ZBA member must be a member of the Planning Commission. He asked if that was something that would be included in the ordinance or was that something Council would do as a policy issue. Mr. Schultz thought that was something that Council would sort out as a policy issue when the actual language came before
them. He said they would probably lay out a couple of different options for the provision dealing with the membership on the ZBA. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said he would let the motion stand, and they could discuss it when Mr. Schultz came back to Council.
Mayor Landry echoed the comments of his colleagues, and said he didnít know where the legislature was coming from when they did this. He imagined they were thinking of rural municipalities and townships but it was absolutely craziness in any place as busy as Novi to expect a volunteer to do this amount of work. He noted there was nothing they could do about it as they had to comply with the law. He stated he was in favor or the motion, and was in favor of letting the Planning Commission decide who
was going to sit on the ZBA. However, he agreed with Mayor Pro Tem Capelloís suggestion that it should be for at least a year because it wouldnít be fair to the ZBA or to the public to have a different person showing up every meeting at the ZBA. He said there was a learning curve, and he was in favor of letting the Planning Commission decide who wanted to sit on the ZBA but it should be at least a one year commitment.
Roll call vote on CM-06-06-165 Yeas: Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul,
9. Appointments to Boards and Commissions.
Mayor Landry said first was the EDC and there were two appointments to be made with terms expiring March 1, 2011. Mayor Landry recommended Cynthia Grubbs for the EDC.
CM-06-06-067 Moved by Mutch, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To appoint Cynthia Grubbs to the
Economic Development Corporation.
Roll call vote on CM-06-06-067 Yeas: Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul,
Mayor Landry said the second member of the EDC he would put forward was David Staudt.
CM-06-06-168 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To appoint David Staudt to the Economic Development
Roll call vote on CM-06-06-168 Yeas: Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry,
Mayor Landry said for the Planning Commission the first person he would put forward was Mark Pehrson.
CM-06-06-169 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Mutch; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To appoint Mark Pehrson to the Planning
Roll call vote on CM-06-06-169 Yeas: Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt,
Mayor Landry said the second person he would put forward was Michael Lynch.
CM-06-06-170 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To appoint Michael Lynch to the Planning
Roll call vote on CM-06-06-170 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt,
Mayor Landry said the third person he would put forward was Brian Burke.
CM-06-06-171 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Capello; MOTION CARRIED:
To appoint Brian Burke to the Planning Commission.
Roll call vote on CM-06-06-171 Yeas: Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis,
Mayor Landry asked City Clerk Cornelius if she had the tally ready for Boards and Commissions. She said she did and read the results beginning with appointments by City Council.
Parks, Recreation & Forestry Commission Ė Jay Dooley and Charles Staab
Public Access Promotion Committee Ė Christina Radcliffe
Zoning Board of Appeals Ė Robert A. Gatt Ė term expiring 1-1-2008
Mayor Landry asked City Clerk Cornelius to read the results of the Youth Council and Boards and Commissions.
Youth Council - Kathleen Hlavaty, Christy Duan, Adam Britten, Tina Jain,
Leah Rice, Vihdi Bamzai, Florianne Silvestri, Eric Johnson,
Beautification Commission - Christopher Kim and Jingyun Fan
Historical Commission - Michael Bello and Asra Shaik
HCD - Sudeep Rohatgi and Rebecca Vera-Burgus
Library - Linda Pak
Parks, Recreation & Forestry - Ashima Goyal
Mayor Landry thanked all applicants and congratulated the appointees, and encouraged those that were not appointed to keep involved.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello exited the meeting at 9:00 P.M.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION
I. Acceptance of Conservation Easement for Phase II of Beck North Corporate
Park, located north of West Road, west of West Park Drive Ė Member Mutch
Member Mutch removed the item so he could vote against it. He said for those who were not familiar with this item it was for conservation easements in the Beck North Corporate Park adjacent to Bristol Corners Subdivision. He commented that he didnít feel comfortable that the conservation easements proposed by the developer adequately protected the woodlands buffer adjacent to the subdivisions in Bristol Corners. Therefore, he would not support the conservation easement as it had come forward.
CM-06-06-172 Moved by Capello, seconded by Margolis; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve the acceptance of Conservation Easement for Phase II of
Beck North Corporate Park, located north of West Road, west of
West Park Drive.
Roll call vote on CM06-06-172 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis
Nays: Mutch, Nagy, Paul
J. Approval of modification to lakefront protection variance for South Pointe Condominiums to allow 130 feet of dock length, versus the previously approved
120 feet, with no additional boat slips permitted Ė Member Paul
Member Paul asked Ms. Mc Beth why it was so shallow. She asked if it was because the water level was down or was it problematic with silt that was gathering. Ms. Mc Beth said that was what the applicant had indicated. She said the applicant said later in the summer the lake levels recede and it was harder to move the boats closer to shore and there was some sedimentation closer to shore. Therefore, they were requesting the ten additional feet prior to what City Council had approved, prior to this, to allow for those late summer issues. Member Paul asked if it was both issues that were causing these people who had dock slips to hand push their boats out because they couldnít start the boat. Ms. Mc Beth said the applicant had indicated that was correct. The propeller wouldnít turn because the sedimentation was to close to shore, but farther out they didnít have a problem with that. Member Paul asked why there was more sedimentation problems, and was there some influx of drainage issues causing sediment to settle more. Ms. Mc Beth said she didnít know the answer to that.
CM-06-06-173 Moved by Paul, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve modification to lakefront protection variance for South
Pointe Condominiums to allow 130 feet of dock length, versus the
previously approved 120 feet, with no additional boat slips permitted
Roll call vote on CM-06-06-173 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul,
Margaret Laurie asked to speak to Council regarding the dock length, and Mayor Landry said this was unusual but that Council would hear her.
Margaret Laurie, Vice President of the South Point Condos that were just approved for the dock extension. She thanked Council for the extension. She said there were no dock length restrictions for any homeowner. She said they didnít want anymore than boat slips now and forever, but it was very hard. She said they were a senior citizen
complex, and it was very difficult for the seniors to push the boat out deep enough to get it started, and then try to scramble back into their boats. She asked why there was a harder restriction on them than there was on any private homeowner. There are homeowners whose docks go out 150 feet easily because of the water being shallow in areas on the eastern side of the lake. She said that was the problem, and it wasnít because of the sediment. She said by the time August came and the summers heat had evaporated, and if it stopped raining they were up a creek without a paddle. She
wanted to understand why it had to be more difficult for them. She said if they had their druthers they would like to go out 140 ft.
Mayor Landry said he would ask Mr. Pearson to contact her and either he or an appropriate person, who knew the history of the development, would get with her and give her some information on that. Mr. Pearson said he could accommodate that request.
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Establishing Firefighter Paid-On-Call Recruitment Goals Ė Member Margolis
Member Margolis said one of the issues that had been brought to her attention was the importance of the recruitment for paid-on-call firefighters. She commented that according to some of the information Council had been provided, although the City was growing the number of paid-on-call firefighters was really dropping. She said they could get into a discussion of why that was etc., but one of her management principles was that you get what you measure. She proposed, for Council support, to set some specific goals around numbers of applications that they expected for paid on call firefighters. She said Mr. Helwig said to her when she was
elected that "we tell you what and you tell us how", which she thought was very wise. She said some of the material provided talked about how historically they had been getting 10 to 15 applications a quarter. She said her proposal to Council was in order to make sure they were getting enough qualified applicants they set a performance standard for Human Resources to get 20 to 25 applications per quarter. She thought they could require a certain number of paid-on-call firefighters hired but she didnít want to set a goal that would in any way reduce the qualifications of the people being hired. She said based on the kind of percentages they were seeing come in after applications, she thought this number of applications should benefit the City, and bring up the number of hired firefighters. She suggested that they monitor each quarter that the applications were received, and that they are seeing the same kind of percentage of applicants hired, and try to get those paid-on-call numbers up. Member Margolis said she would be interested in supportive comments from Council on this.
Member Paul noted one of the things discussed in the past was what did other cities do, how do they get so many. She said Farmington Hills had a larger number, and they have a different program, and Troy and Portage were very successful. She asked what the different alternatives were that are out there that are tried and true, and have been practices that have
been implemented and brought in more. She commented that she would like to see that process evaluated to see what was applicable to our situation.
Member Mutch agreed with the direction Member Margolis was heading with this concept. He questioned just setting a number for applications, and asked how they would ensure that got to her goal of quality candidates to work in Novi. He said they could get a lot of applications in
but that wouldnít guarantee they were getting anymore good candidates. He said the underlying issue was that the low number of paid-on-call members was translating into stations not being fully staffed or being closed during the hours they were needed open because there werenít enough firefighters to cover the hours that needed to be covered. He saw that going hand in hand. Member Mutch noted he did not want to get into the situation of telling the Chief how to run his department or Human Resources how to do their hiring. However, he agreed that from his position on Council, he thought Council needed to say what they wanted to see, and he wanted to see a higher number of applications translating into more people hired. He said more importantly was getting people into the stations and having them manned, operated and covered because the hours that arenít being covered, evenings and weekends, are the times a lot of emergencies happen. He said that was the underlying goal, and as they could set goals for the departments, both fire and Human Resources, he wanted to see all that tied together. He didnít have specific ideas but would like to set a number, but he didnít want to micro manage it. He said if other Council members had ideas of how to get to that place he would be interested in hearing them.
Mayor Landry thought all the points made were valid, but wanted to see, personally, more paid-on-call firefighters, and thought everybody would. He said he didnít see any harm in setting a higher number. The recommendation to Council was 10 to 15 but, he would like to see 20 as a target for the number of applicants per quarter. He believed that whatever the target was once it was reached they would tend to stop. So, he would rather set a higher target so they never stop trying to reach it. Mayor Landry said if the target wasnít met, they might make 18. He said he didnít want to micro manage either but he thought they needed to step up whatever they were doing, and do more of it, even if they go into the high schools to get graduating seniors. He didnít see any harm in upping the target, as long as the Council was fair to the Fire Department and Human Resources, and didnít declare it a failure if 20 was
not met in the first quarter. He said they needed to understand they were in sort of a flux with this because they were experimenting and trying to do what they could. He would have no problem setting it at 20.
Member Margolis said the whole idea was to set the target and the number of applications that convert into hires. She didnít think they should set a target, and then leave it alone forever. She thought they could get a report back in a quarter and if getting the number of hires needed from those applications then itís doing its job, and if not they would need to look at it again. She thought they should at least set some direction, and said this was something really important to Council, and they really wanted to see staff concentrate on this.
Member Gatt concurred with everything that had been said. He thought the main goal was to set time limits on when Council should review this matter. He said this Council wanted to keep the focus on this matter as it was one of the most important in the City, and address it every quarter. If the results are good thatís great and it they arenít then Council would have to rethink and redo.
Member Paul said one of Chief Johnsonís staff told her that 90% of fires happen at night, and asked what the time frame was. Jeff Johnson said he wasnít familiar with that data. He said most of what he had seen was basically a 50-50 split between night and day. Member Paul said that concerned her because that was when some of the stations were closed, and she was looking for more on that. She asked about the reporting and if it would come from both the Fire Department and Human Resources. Chief Johnson said yes, they would work
together to produce that document. Member Paul thought that sounded good. She said one of the young gentlemen in high school really wanted to be a fireman, and was going to Northville to be in their junior program. She asked if that was something that would bring people in at a later time. Chief Johnson said it could, and they had stolen quite a few of their members through that program. He said it was an explorer program affiliated with the Boy Scouts, and they had applicants that were 14 or 15 years old, and they could work that program until they were about 19. They go through the training they would need to be certified as a firefighter, and then when old enough they test with the State for that certification. He said if Novi considered doing something like that in house it would require an extensive amount of hours to strictly dedicate their time. He said students that come to ask about that program, he referred to Chief Allen in Northville.
Member Nagy noted that she realized Ms. Gronlund-Fox had made every effort to recruit paid-on-call firefighters, and she thought a quarterly report would give Council the ability to be appraised. She asked what was making it so difficult. Ms. Gronlund-Fox thought it was the area. She said most people are professionals and work at their job during the day, and it didnít seem like they had the interest to do this job at night. Member Nagy thought there had to be a reason because she knew Ms. Gronlund-Fox had been consciously making an effort. Ms. Gronlund-Fox said it was an ongoing effort. Member Nagy said she tended to agree with Ms. Gronlund-Fox because it made a lot of sense to her. Member Nagy thought trying to give the Fire Department and Human Resources a specific goal would be difficult because of what she just said, but she was ready to go along and have a quarterly report bearing in mind what kind of city Novi was. She thought this would always be difficult, and appreciated her effort.
Member Mutch asked what the time period was once an application was submitted until someone was hired, and actually working. Ms. Gronlund-Fox said it depended on when the training was available. Typically, when an application came in a response letter was immediately sent asking for additional information, and to let them know a preliminary background check regarding their driving record would be done, and they would be contacted to set up an interview. At that point, it depended on when the training would be available. It could be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Member Mutch asked if that was the entire process. She said yes, until they are on board. They would be interviewed right away but if there wasnít a training class available, it could be months. Member Mutch said he wanted a realistic expectation because he thought as they were setting goals, the evaluation needed to be in the context of how soon they could see the applications starting to come in, and then in a couple of months actually see people out in the field. He said she needed to communicate that to Council because if Council was going to set goals for her department they needed to be realistic goals that they thought she could meet, and that the levels that their setting as measurements match the reality of the process. In terms of resources that Council had provided to her department and to the Fire Department in terms of money, prioritizing, and staff time, he asked if she felt she had those elements to accomplish the goals Council was discussing. Ms. Gronlund-Fox said in the letter in Council packets dated June 15th, she indicated some things that would help them in their efforts. She said one of the issues that was raised was letting them use one of the paid-on-call firefighters to come into Human Resources to help them with the recruiting efforts, because there was a limited staff, and all the other issues they dealt with on a daily basis didnít allow them to get to those issues, i.e., the paid-on-call recruiting. She said that would help a great deal, and Member Mutch asked Mr. Pearson how that would happen. Mr. Pearson said if Council set this out as a priority, gave
them a goal for recruitment counts, and it filtered down to the positions, it couldnít be filled unless they were on the payroll. So, this would be a start to filter down to actually get people in the stations. He said if they needed to make budget adjustments to follow up on recommendations for temporary assignment they would come back to Council. Mr. Pearson said he wouldnít worry about that at this point as they would do that and see how the budget panned out. He said he wasnít that concerned with the numbers, and Ms. Gronlund-Fox had given an estimate of $4,000 to $5,000 to start this for the summer. He said they could accommodate that and they were looking forward to the challenge. He said they had to have recruits first, and then the process of backgrounds to see how many stick with it, then training. He said currently there were 54 on the bank of available people, but that didnít give any indication of how many times those people were available and actually turning out. He said this was a good start to enlarge the pool, and then they would go from there. Member Mutch said he wanted to make sure that as this was set as a goal and priority for Council that they gave them the tools they needed once the goal was implemented. He said if Council gave Human Resources the tools, then it would be back on their department, the Chief, and the paid-on-calls to make this happen. Member Mutch asked about staffing levels, and how it impacted the community. Chief Johnson said they now had 49 paid-on-call firefighters. He said this was definitely a high priority for them, and one of the things that Council did last year was to make Station 2 a priority and those funds were made available so they could cover that Station, and that had helped out tremendously. He said for all the paid-on-call that were not only working at the stations at nights and on weekends at Stations 1 and 2, but all the members that come in for this program. He said these 49 people are dedicated to providing service to the community. He said this program would succeed, and that it was one of his performance objectives with the City Manager. Chief Johnson said they had 14 applicants that they would be looking at next week, and they interviewed four last week, and they were all very good high quality candidates. He said they would go out into the schools, and were also seeking candidates from Oakland County Community College and Schoolcraft College who had already been trained. He said with the training it would expedite them into the program. Member Mutch said it would be helpful if Chief Johnson could give Council a written report. He stated he was most concerned about the areas without enough staff in a particular area or a station not being open or reduced time open impacting the Chief in terms of the service they were providing. He said a report would allow Council, down the road, to target the resources Chief Johnson would need if it continued to be an ongoing issue.
Mayor Landry thought that Human Resources and the Fire Department could catch a drift that there were Council members that would like to see more than 10 to 15 applicants per quarter. He said they didnít need a formal resolution from Council to do that, and thought they understood.
CM 06-06-174 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To authorize the administration to pay a paid-on-call firefighter to do some recruiting for the Fire Department.
Motion passed by voice vote
Mayor Landry asked Mr. Pearson how he would like to report back to Council. Mr. Pearson said they could put the information in with their quarterly reports. Mayor Landry said one thing he wanted to make clear was that the City was covered for fire protection right now, correct. All stations are manned and ready to respond to any of our residents who call and need
assistance from the Fire Department. Chief Johnson said Station 2 and 1 are covered with the stand by paid-on-call crews. He said the full time supervisors are at Station 4, and Station 3 does not have a crew now. He said should an emergency come in they would be summoned, and Station 1 would go to that district to help respond to that area as part of their First Response Program. Mayor Landry asked if more paid-on-call firefighters would help him at Station 3.
Chief Johnson said right now Station 3 was almost at their maximum capacity, and he needed them at Station 2 and 4, which was where they had been targeting their recruiting efforts.
Mayor Landry said then more paid-on-call would not help the situation at Station 3, and Chief Johnson said that would be a good definition. Mayor Landry said they would look forward to his report.
Member Paul commented that Sheryl Walsh had done a great job informing people of whatís happening in the City with her cable show. She said Ms. Walsh had done shows on several topics, and thought she could do the same thing on the Fire Department, full time, and paid-on-call firefighters, and the benefits of being part of that program. She thought that would be a very valuable tool to raise awareness. She suggested that they interview some of the people who are currently on the Fire Department, and how it worked for them in their life.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at
David Landry, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
______________________________ Date approved: July 10, 2006
Transcribed by Charlene Mc Lean