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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
Pam Antil, Assistant City Manager
Tom Schultz, City Attorney
Marina Neumaier, Assistant Finance Director
Jane Schimpf, Planning Department
Mark Spencer, Planner
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Nagy added naming rights and Fire Marshal Inspections regarding Fees, under Mayor and Council Issues.
CM-06-11-286 Moved by Margolis, Seconded by Mutch; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve agenda adding naming rights and Fire Marshal Inspections regarding Fees, under Mayor and Council Issues.
Roll Call Vote On CM-06-11-286 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Landry
1. Consulate General Ė Mayor Landry
Mayor Landry explained the Kokeshi Doll exhibit and read the declaration as follows.
Whereas, the wisdom of the Japan foundation in promoting the cultural treasures and good will of Japan established the base for bringing a special exhibition of Kokeshi Dolls to Michigan and the United States, and;
Whereas, the knowledge of the Cultural and Public Affairs division of the Consulate General of Japan in Detroit brought this exhibit to the city of Novi, and;
Whereas, this exhibit included many forms of Kokeshi Dolls, all with different histories and origins, and;
Whereas, one of these dolls, the Tsugaru Kokeshi Doll, originated in the location of Owani Onsen, and;
Whereas, the City of Owani is an official and recognized Sister City with the City of Novi;
Now, Therefore, be it resolved that I, David B. Landry, Mayor of the City of Novi, on behalf of the Novi City Council and the Novi community, in appreciation of the Japan Foundation, the Consulate General, and the City of Owani, hereby declare the Tsgaru Kokeshi Doll and Official Japan Mascot of the City of Novi for 2007.
The Japanese consulate thanked the Mayor and Council Members for their declaration. He expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Mayor and the people of the City of Novi, who were greatly involved in the preparation of the exhibit. He expressed his great pleasure that the exhibit was so successful. He hoped the relationship between Japan and the City of Novi would be further promoted through the exhibit. He once again thanked the Mayor and Council Members.
*Member Paul arrived at 7:04 P.M.
SWOCC Annual Report and Cable Update Ė Caren Collins, Executive Director
Ms. Collins said they all received a copy of the Plante Moran annual audit of 2004-05 which showed a clean audit. They also increased their fund balance to $396,145; she said this was a healthy fund balance. The 05-06 audit will be presented to SWOCC during their meeting this Wednesday. The budget was approved by the SWOCC board in May. There is a projected fund balance for 05-06 of over $400,000 and for 06-07 of close to $350,000 because of capital expenditures. Some highlights from the annual report, on page 14, the Novi section, include a 25% increase in production for the City of Novi, channel 13, and a 30% increase in meeting coverage. The City of Novi won many awards for their programming. For the National Awards, Novi received a second place for their Halloween promo and an honorable mention for Anatomy of the City. The Regional Awards included two first place awards one for Sheryl in the City and one for the Dog License Promo. Novi also won two second place awards for the Novi Police Department 50 years of excellence, and one for the Walker Library Pennies Promo. Another National Award, the Hometown for Alliance for Community Media, included two first place awards, one for the Santa Call-In Program and another for the Novi Police 50 Years of Excellence. Some awards for 06-07 are a second place from NATOA awards, for the Seniors Division Kicks on Route 66; which also received a first place in the Hometown Awards. She congratulated the City of Novi and Sheryl Walsh.
Ms. Collins gave a quick legislative update; she forwarded a brief synopsis on what SWOCC and the city would lose if House Bill 6456 should pass as it is currently written. As a member of NATOA and a Michigan chapter vice president, she said they are working closely with the alliance for Community Media Protect the MML and the Michigan Townships to educate our elected officials on the very negative effects this bill would have on Municipalities. Looking at the numbers SWOCC, the cities, and the schools in Farmington, Farmington Hills and Novi, could face a loss of close to a million dollars. She said there are some very severe ramifications. The Michigan Municipal League has a sample resolution. She invited the City to consider it at a future meeting.
1. 2007 Community Development Block Grant Program
Rachel Zagroli, senior services manager, thanked everyone for their past support with the community development block grant monies. The $25,000 that is set aside for the senior transportation program and the subsidized cab program helps them to continue the operation of the wonderful program that benefits the seniors in our community. Last year 11,526 rides were provided, an increase of 1,300 rides over the past year to Novi seniors and 3,700 rides through the subsidized cab program. There is an indication of even more for this year. They have a satisfaction rate of a sound 5, they strive for a 4.8. With the addition of our extended service, they are now able to offer transportation, not just for medical, but to go to shows, to dinners, and visit friends in the evening. She said they are very safe and dependable. They also received $7,000 in CDBG monies to help fund the senior center coordinator position, this job allows social services, information in referral programming, working with volunteers, food community service programs and a host of activities that make the center what it is today. Last year some sort of service was provided to over 64,000 seniors in their community. She said the population of seniors is growing by leaps and bounds. She gave thanks from herself and the seniors in our community.
Belle Kleinberg, works with HAVEN and also volunteers with them. She thanked the City of Novi for all the support they have given HAVEN in the past. HAVEN is an agency that works with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Each year HAVEN provides counseling and shelter for the survivors of abuse. Last year they worked with 244 individuals from Novi. She asked Novi for $10,000 to support HAVEN and their efforts to provide services for survivors in Novi. She thanked Council for listening to her.
Pathways and Sidewalks Prioritization Ė Council Members Mutch and Paul and Parks Commissioner Zyczynski
Mr. Spencer, on behalf of the environmental sub-committee and the Planning Commission and its liaison members, presented a review of the committeeís recommended pathway and sidewalk prioritization analysis and process. He asked for City Councils consideration to accept the greenway pathway study report and prioritization analysis and process as a tool to help prioritize the future construction of pathways and sidewalks through out the city. He thanked the citizens of Novi, Member Mutch and Member Paul, Planning Commissioners Wayne Wrobel, Michael Meyers, Brian Burke, and David Lipske, Parks and Recreationís Karen Zyczynski and the plan review center staff who have all helped. He says he often walks and bikes in the City and he thought it would be nice to have the sidewalk go further, possibly all the way to the store. The City of Novi continues to set aside resources to build new pathways and sidewalks, such as the project that was completed on 11 Mile Road. For many years the City has required new developments to install their portions of pathways and sidewalks systems. Many of the cities pathways and sidewalks are a result of this policy. Looking toward the future the city continues to plan for additional pathways and sidewalks. In 2004 the City adopted a basic long term sidewalk and pathway phasing plan that was incorporated into the master plan for land use. After the adoption of the plan the City Council authorized funds to produce a greenways pathways study to use as a city wide pathway and sidewalk plan. The greenways pathways study began by listening to the community throughout the last year and a half. The results were clear; the residents of Novi want safe sidewalks and pathways that are connected to more places. He further described the prioritization analyses and process steps under development to provide a general understanding of the report that was provided earlier. As part of the greenways pathways studies city staff inventoried and mapped the existing public pathways and sidewalks, within and adjacent to the city. With this data and public input, proposed segments along the arterial and collective road system were identified. Some missing segments of the local sidewalk system were also identified. With input from the City Parks, Recreation and Forestry department, Oakland County Parks, Oakland County Planning and the Southeast Michigan greenways initiative, several proposed regional and cross town pathways segments were also identified. All these segments were placed into a worksheet. Each proposed segment was then reviewed against a service to the community criteria. A series of maps were developed to help with an analysis of the proposed segment. Review points were assigned to each proposed segment based on the communityís view of the importance to the category for the residents. Surveys and comments from the public were used to help determine the importance of each category. Safety was viewed as the number one category. Pedestrian and bicycle accident report data from 1998 to 2006 was collected from the police department and mapped. Segments adjacent to intersections and road frontages where pedestrian and bicycle accidents were reported were assigned points. Additional points were assigned for multiple accidents. Since roads with higher traffic counts were potentially more dangerous, points were awarded to segments adjacent to high traffic count roads. The next most important category identified was access to destinations. Maps were developed for different types of destinations. Points were assigned to potential segments that would provide connectivity to these destinations. Several categories of destinations were identified including schools, parks, library and city hall, shopping areas and places of worship. As part of the larger southeast Michigan community, Novi residents also want pathway and sidewalk connections to local and regional systems and neighboring communities. Maps were developed showing the locations of pathways and sidewalks in neighboring communities and points were assigned to the proposed sidewalks that would provide these connections. Since longer segments of pathways and sidewalks tend to be used more than smaller links, points were also awarded to segments that, when constructed, were to result in longer more continuous segments of pathway and sidewalks. Next, additional points were assigned to each segment based on the population density of that section of the city. The segments which could serve more of the cities residents were assigned more points. An important part in providing service to the community is recognizing the needs of its citizens and what is expressed by the citizens. In the considerable public interest category, points were awarded to segments that had been asked for by the public. At this stage in the analysis and process, services to the community points were totaled for all potential segments. The segments were ranked based on the number of points they received. The twenty segments receiving the most points were identified for review. These twenty segments were reviewed against a set of broad financial criteria reflective of the relative cost to the city to provide the segment. The cost of constructing a pathway or sidewalk segment is directly related to the ease of constructing it. Each segment was reviewed in consultation with the city engineering department. Points were awarded based on how difficult it would be to build the segment considering such factors as steep terrain, wetlands, and woodlands. Potentially easier to build segments received less points. Another substantial cost factor is obtaining right-of-way or easements for the pathways or sidewalks. Proposed segments received points where adequate right-of way exists for all, or a partial length, of the segment. Sidewalks and pathways that could be constructed in whole or part with other funding sources were awarded points. Some of the potential sources for outside funds include road funds, enhancement grants, foundation grants, recreation grants and private donations. Segments that have a high potential of being built in conjunction with private development were awarded negative points. This reflected the committeeís desire for the City to not use its funds to build a pathway or sidewalk segment that would likely be built in the near future when private development occurred on the adjacent property. After these segments were reviewed against the financial criteria, points were totaled for all the segments and the proposed segments were again ranked. Finally the production of a top twenty proposed pathway map and sidewalk segment list was produced. In conclusion, the environmental committee and its liaison members request City Councilís consideration to accept this report and a pathway and sidewalk prioritization analysis and process as a tool to help prioritize future construction of pathways and sidewalks segments throughout the city. Through the cities continuing effort, its pathways and sidewalk systems will continue to grow and meet most peopleís expectations. In the future instead of people saying wouldnít it be nice if this sidewalk or pathway continued further, the sidewalk or pathway will go all the way to their desired destination. Someday everyone will be able to walk or bike everywhere in the city.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello wanted to know, on page 15, where it said opposite side of road pathway or sidewalk, if that meant there was a sidewalk on the north side of the road and they are planning on putting one on the south side of the same road.
Mr. Spencer responded saying that was a note for reference because that could be a factor in determining whether or not you would want to do it. In some areas there might be enough demand for it to be on both sides of the road.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello noted that 11 out of the top 20 already had sidewalks on one side of the road. Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked if the priorities are to put them on the opposite side of the road.
Mr. Spencer responded saying yes.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello gave an example of 8 Mile road, between Novi and Meadowbrook; there is a sidewalk on the north side of the road. Mayor Pro Tem Capello inquired if there would be a continuous sidewalk.
Mr. Spencer responded saying not necessarily continuous for the whole stretch, just that one was present. It was meant to be a flag to further look at that segment.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked if Mr. Spencer always made the decision on the priority if there are partial sidewalks on both side of the road to pick which side of the road would require less footage to fill the gaps or was there some other requirement that he utilized.
Mr. Spencer said that when segments were missing on both sides of the street they were put into the total list. That list includes over 120 segments. The segments that came to the top of the list were the ones they saw in the top 20. Itís theoretical as possible that one on both sides of the street could have made it to the top of the list based on all the criteria that are involved.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked to talk in further detail with Mr. Spencer outside of the meeting.
Member Margolis thanked everyone who was involved in the project. She thought it was a thoughtful approach on how to prioritize and make it easier on Council when it comes time to budget. She said she sees a lot of work went into it and that it is very helpful. A question she had was about that weighting of the factors. From what she saw on the spread sheet, it looked like there was no weighting of scores in particular areas.
Mr. Spencer explained that when the committee met they asked to take the factors and combine them together so that when it was displayed to the public and to Council there was a simple set of numbers. These numbers started out as bigger numbers and were divided down to the simplest numbers that could be made for the point system. The factors were considered in the development process of weighting the different items. All of the members in the committee were polled and all the results were totaled together to come up with the rating factors.
Member Margolis gave an example of the point system for accidents. There were 20 points given to 4 or more accidents at the intersection. That is a pure number, when you came up with a final score at the end, if there were 4 or more accidents 20 points got put in the final score at the end.
Mr. Spencer said correct.
Member Margolis went further to explain the top number of points for accidents was 20. The next was the population, which would have been the next highest weighted factor.
Mr. Spencer said correct, but would like to clarify that when you combine all the places for access it would be larger than when separated. Because there were several categories for access such as school, parks, and churches, all combined would be a higher category.
Member Margolis stated that the population served was awarded 16 points. She said since there were 3 categories for schools, each which had 9 points possible, that puts schools at a high priority for this concept because schools would then equal a total of 27 points. She just wants to make sure in her mind where the priorities came from and that she was seeing them correctly. The tier one and the tier two rating, the tier two rating had to do strictly with the financial ratings once you looked at the other factors.
Mr. Spencer agreed with it all and said correct.
Member Nagy thanked everyone on the committee that went through the effort of putting it all together. Her question was about the budget session, when they approved to put sidewalks in on Meadowbrook between 9 and 10 mile. With the rating it is tier 1 number 17 and on tier 2 it is 11. She wants to know what happens now, since they made a decision to do that, and now there is a committee coming up with recommendations. She said they approved Meadowbrook between 9 and 10 Mile because there is already a segment of sidewalk in there by the new developer. People could then walk up to 7-11, round the corner and walk up to the school. They had already mentioned that they were going to do that in 2007. She said the reason she brought this up was because at the polls on election day she ran into a number of residents who watched the meeting and asked when that was going to take place. She answered 2007. Now that it is ranked differently, she wanted to know what will happen.
Mr. Spencer said the segment they are talking about building is on the west side. That one is one the east side, so it is a different segment.
Member Nagy said she was looking at it and thinking the west side. She asked if he could answer the question of are they in fact doing that in 2007.
Mr. Spencer said what they budgeted and planned for in 06-07 they are going to do.
Member Nagy also asked if when they talked about this study was there a budget with any figures and number as to what kind of monies the City would have for these kinds of projects.
Mr. Spencer said not at this time, the full study is going to be to recap what has been spent and to project out some ideas of what you could do with that kind of money or if you increase the spending.
Member Nagy asked if they had in mind a projected number of years that this would take place over.
Mr. Spencer said that it has not yet been addressed.
Member Nagy said everythingís bottom line is money. She thinks it was a great study and can tell it was very meticulously done by the group. One comment she made, talking about sidewalks, on Taft between 10 and 11 Mile, the most interesting thing is that they have put all these sidewalks in and bike paths, and you still see people riding their bikes on the road. She would somehow like to remind the residents, without being ticketed, to use the bike path because that is what they were built for; especially because it is a two lane road with nothing but a shoulder, it is dangerous. She thanked Mr. Spencer once again.
Member Paul commented about the schools and their ranking. One of the areas of focus was the schools. Many complexes have multiple schools on them. They went in a mile radius of the area and they got higher points if there were multiple schools. For example, if you look at Taft between 10 and 11 there are many schools, Novi Meadows, Novi Woods, and Parkview. That area got a high priority in the one mile radius, because it has 3 schools. They looked at the Middle School, Novi Meadows and the High School. They have a high radius because they serve the entire area for the Novi School District. They went for a two mile radius. Those were scored appropriately. When they looked at that, one of the priorities they wanted to do is fill in the gaps where the schools are. They have done many of those areas. Thornton Creek is going in, in April. There is almost a finalization of everything on 11 Mile by Parkview. The school district is finishing their component in front of Parkview Elementary as well as the bus depot. That will complete all the way to the Middle School. That is a pretty high priority. Then they looked at the other schools in our area, not everyone remembers, but they have Catholic Central, another high school, as well as Novi Christian. They based it on population and area it served so those two things were high priority. One of the priorities in the school district, as well as the country, is to lower obesity in children. So that was a focus as well as safety. If there is a grant available they would like to pursue that, and the greenways grant is available. Now that they have the plan in place, as well as the priorities, it will give us higher points in ranking.
Member Mutch first wanted to thank the committee members and Mr. Spencer for the amount of work he did on this project. He said the amount of work that was done is truly incredible. When the Mayor appointed the Council members to the committee, they wanted a prioritization list that was based on specific criteria that everybody in the community could look at and know where they were coming from. He thinks they have accomplished that. In regards to the questions of the projects they have already funded, his understanding is they are going to look at this as a tool going forward. For those who have a chance to look at the list, there are already 4 of the 20 that are scheduled to be completed within the next 6 months, or are currently underway. When Council sits down and makes funding decisions, those 4 will already be off the list. They will be looking at that group of 16 to complete. In terms of how much this will cost and when it will be completed, itís really a factor of how much money gets put towards it in the future, what kinds of grants and other funding sources they can bring to bear, or what segments get completed by the development community. Itís a significant challenge for our City, but he thinks now they have a tool that will help us move forward in a way thatís much more methodical. As Member Paul noted, they can seek out some grants that are available and back it up with the information theyíve already collected. One other thing he thought should be noted is there are some real different segments in there that may affect what segments they choose going forward when they get to budget time. Some are very short, a couple hundred feet. There are a couple that are 400, 500, 600 feet. Unless there is a wetland segment, which is the case in a couple of them, some may be short easy projects that can be completed. Some of the other ones are quite significant. Two are a mile in length and those are much bigger projects to tackle. Although they do have them ranked 1 to 20, he thinks even as they get to budget time they are going to have some discussion about priorities. He doesnít think they want to spend all of the money on one project in one year. That was something they discussed as a committee. It is a great tool to have moving forward. They accomplished what they set forward to do and he doesnít know if it would be the time, or at a future Council meeting, to go ahead and accept this report. He thinks this is a tool they will want to use at budget time.
Mayor Landry thought it was a great idea and was very pleased to see the report. He thought at budget time last year this was one of the things they talked about as a Council. Every year they try to tackle this problem. There are certain issues that any government has to try and wrestle with where you just donít have to money to do that. So what you do is try to come up and bite off a little bit every year and the problem with that is if you sit down with one group or the other they will totally convince you, rightfully so, that their project should be done. He said you understand and canít disagree with them so the only real fair way is to rank them. He thought it was an excellent job; he applauded members of the Council and all members of the staff and other Commissions that were on this. He said now they can point to it and say this is how they are going to do it. It is the fair way to do it and so he thinks it is important the City adopt this kind of approach to these kinds of problems. He was real happy to see this.
CM-06-11-287 Moved by Paul, seconded by Margolis
To approve Pathways and Sidewalks Prioritization Plan
Member Nagy said she had a question about which department would be writing a grant or was it something that would be asked of an outside agency.
Mr. Pearson said they have the grant writer on retainer. They would have to look at what segment it was depending on or if it was cooperating with the neighboring jurisdiction engineering, as the construction managers would typically to allow those. Parks have a lot of experience and credibility so it would be collaborative. It depends on which segment they are talking about, which grant.
Member Nagy asked if he was looking at federal grants.
Mr. Pearson said he would be open to any and all. The state has several, other than the federal ISTEA; more are run through the state.
Voice Vote: Yeas: Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Landry, Capello, Paul
2. CITY MANAGER - None
a) Implementing Elements of Sikich Report Recommendations: Planning and Building Web Page Website Improvements Ė Jane Schimpf and Marina Neumaier
Mr. Pearson said one of the items, at Councilís endorsement, theyíre continuing to work on implementing, is improving our building and planning processes. A big chunk of the recommendations that came out of the Sikich Report was improving our communication mechanisms. One of the most efficient ways to do that is with the web site. He wanted to take the opportunity to brief the Council and the community of what they have done with the web site and how they are continuing to make that a tool.
Ms. Antil said that in the Sikich report, one of the recommendations was to update the planning and building sections on the web site. Not only to communicate more effectively, but to enhance our reputation to the customers. These are two of the critical process review guide points. To that end they brought together a committee of employees from different departments to identify and update forms, applications, information, manuals, fees schedules, etc. Number two, to make the information easier to find, much of it was available, but people could not find it. Third, was to enhance the look and the feel of the planning and building pages. They made a number of changes already and are planning more. One immediate change is, they took the top line navigation from 20, sometimes overlapping, categories, down to 8 distinct categories
where the planning and building information will now be organized and stored. They also added a larger forms icon to the right with an icon, which really pops out if you look at it on the web site. They also added a section for online surveys. They currently have a survey which seeks information related to the planning and building staff and consultant reviews. From time to time, when they want to gain additional information about other topics, they will be able to update that with other types of surveys. They have also updated the planning and building overview and added some updated photos and some information. They will continue to update that as they have additional and new information to pass on. She turned it over to two people who sat on the committee Jane Schimpf, from planning, and Marina Neumaier, from finance.
Ms. Schimpf shared some of the updates that were made to the web site. A Frequently Asked Questions page was developed after asking all the co workers what questions they are most often asked. The questions were put on the web site. Where applicable they put links to other web site documents, which have been provided for ease of navigation. As an example, a question that is often asked is what is the zoning on my property, right underneath it is the link that takes them right to the zoning map. Additionally, if someone needs to pick up the phone and call they will be provided a phone number to either the building or the planning department. The codes, ordinance, and master plans page have combined into one location and links have been adapted for recently adopted ordinance amendments. Currently, the updated sign ordinance is listed. The link will take people to the changes that Council recently adapted. They hope to add the other important ordinance updates, which pertain to planning and building, to the same area. Soon you will probably see the OST height amendment update. They recently made a change to the woodlands ordinance, they requested surveyor information, and that will also be on there. This information will stay there until they are actually codified into the actual code then the link will probably be removed unless it is a very important one, such as the sign ordinance. Another thing that is done is they broke out the zoning ordinance so that people can go directly to the section of ordinance they are looking to review. For instance, someone might just want to look at their set back information, so they need article 24. Now they can link right to article 24 instead of dealing through hundreds of pages of the ordinance. They are currently trying to make getting to our permits, applications and forms more user friendly and easier to find. She said they simplified how they are categorized, putting residential forms together and forms that are sought by developers together. They are putting the planning forms in the order you would fill them out for sight plan review. Additionally, they have had our forms turned into writable adobe forms so people can fill out their forms right on the computer. Another section is frequently used forms, which has proven to be successful for the web site users who visit us frequently. The forms that are really asked for the most, plumbing or electrical permits are available on top. Finally, they have taken the information sheets and located them all in one place; they are grouped together for residential or commercial. Each of the forms helps the web site user understand about the process they are about to undertake.
Ms. Neumaier said out of the 8 categories, that Ms. Antil mentioned earlier, one of them says fees. In keeping with the Sikich recommendation, to consolidate and streamline information to make it easily available, they divided Noviís site plan fees into 4 categories, accessory structures, commercial industrial and office, multiple family single family, and condo review. If you selected any one of these options, you would then see on a single page, your fees all from the one area. They tried to summarize our site plan fees; they want to continue to improve.
Member Paul is thrilled to see this come forward. Her question is that it takes people a while to get used to where to go and the changes. She asked if they are going to have any informational meeting for builders and developers. Then, you can walk them through the process so phone calls will start to diminish as more information will be available to them. They wonít have to make trips here; therefore, our staff time is less because you are not answering the phone as much, and their time is lessened because of the frequency of the computer use. Just a suggestion and maybe something to think of, meetings in the past with developers and builders have been very helpful for their suggestions.
Ms. Antil said that is a great idea and they actually have a number of items that they would like to update and will include that in the information packet.
Member Paul is very impressed between the sidewalk prioritization and now this. She can really see all the staff working hard to improve the flexibility within our city and the ease that they move around in all capacities.
Member Nagy also commended them for all their hard work. It looks like an easy way to use this web site for everyone including residents. She has looked up ordinances in the past and it was very difficult to maneuver where you wanted to go. She thought it will save everyone time. She was very glad that they did this study and everyone did a wonderful job.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello agrees that they are on the right track to communicate better; it has been a major problem. He asked what is next.
Ms. Antil said one of the things they saw through this process is that they have a great team in Novi, staff really came together, and ideas are just flowing. She said they canít get it done fast enough because people have so many great ideas. She said that next; they mentioned they will be putting more ordinances up there. They are trying to have more pieces of the web site be more interactive by converting all the forms to be filled out on line and add and change things. Every time they open it up they find new things, if there are any suggestions, she said to please send them our way.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said he is looking further down the line, besides the web site what is the next step you will take to working within the departments to make things runs smoother, quicker, and friendlier.
Ms. Antil said a couple of the things they are working on right now are part of the Sikich report; youíll recall there are some items related to customer service training. That goes beyond just answering the telephone on the third ring, or being responsive, because our staff really does those things already. What they are trying to do is get our review time to move a little faster, to be responsive in a way and that is part of the customer service training, which is one of the next biggest priorities on her plate. Some other things are trying to find time to have more meetings and communications with the development community, which Member Paul mentioned, to see how they can improve from their point of view. They have a survey up on the web site; they will continue to do those things. They are going to be sending out a survey later to bench mark some of our development processes in timing and reviews with other communities.
Mr. Pearson said that cross training is also part of the customer service that is going to pay off some big dividends. In terms of it doesnít matter who you get at the counter, you should be able to provide similar levels of service and a lot of that is just slotting through and dedicating time out of the day for people to be able to talk about it.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello had one more question for Ms. Antil about the surveys about the processes in other communities. He wondered who the surveys were going out to.
Ms. Antil responded saying you might recall the Sikich report had identified that they would send surveys to similar communities in the area, of size, within the state of Michigan, as well as, similar comparison communities across the nation. She doesnít have the list in front of her but would be happy to send it.
Member Mutch says he spends part of his day job going through this same process and he is very impressed. He sees a lot of things here that he likes and some that he will probably borrow, some that he has already done. He wondered if, based on how the processes work within city hall, if our preference was to have people call, versus using the on line forms to contact the department.
Ms. Antil said our goal is to provide the customer service in whatever way our customer wants it. There are still many people who like to come to the counter and have that face to face contact. They are trying to do more on the web site for people who want to do things after hours or prefer to do things on line.
Member Mutchís only suggestion is to also incorporate a link to the comment form in addition to a phone number. He thinks that provides an alternative for people that want to make contact with the city, whether it is during working hours our not.
Member Margolis added that she sees a cultural process improvement which no amount of money can get you other than just implementing. She doesnít know if there is any way to do this through the web site, but in Novi, we really pride ourselves on having high standards in our planning and our building. Some of the things Novi has and some of our processes are different than people are used to in other municipalities. She wondered if there is a way to flag that to people from other communities. The other comment was to encourage getting feedback from the developers. She said to give training on using the web site because one of the best web sites is one that you never need training to use. She wondered what type of time line they have because they talked about the measurements, our base line and then moving forward with those measures that are in the Sikich report.
Mr. Pearson said Ms. Antil mentioned that they want to send out the first round of requests to other communities. They plan on letting other communityís use the paper form or on line form, to try to get a high response rate which will probably involve some more call backs. Bottom line, the plan is to try to get the feedback by the end of December. So Novi can report how they are doing, and in comparisons outside. They can measure that improvement over time too.
Member Margolis said she understood about the other communities but they will also have the measurements on us.
Mr. Pearson said they will go back this fiscal year, at least 5 months, and mark those once they get a process and know what they are measuring. They can go back and measure our own records.
b) Community Emergency Response Team Ė Completion of First Class Ė David Molloy
Mr. Pearson saw the community emergency response teamís capstone drill, which was held in cooperation with Novi Community Schools. It was an impressive diverse group of Novi residents who gave a lot of their own time to go through this class. He also said hats off to not only the police department, but the fire department. John Martin got a lot of mentions when he was talking to residents; Cindy Uglow was also there hand in hand, having as much fun as she was learning things. It is a very important program for our emergency response effort.
Chief Molloy said it was an initiative that has been very high on the city administrationís list for quite a while. Particularly in light of the black out of 2003 when they were using a variety of city staff to deliver boil water alerts and canceling those, etc. The City took it upon us, with the City Managerís guidance, and looked for this type of funding. The community emergency response team actually grew out of the department of homeland security with the citizen core Council. If you recall earlier in the budget process, $18,000 was allotted for this. Shortly after the budget was implemented, they began the search process, gaining and garnering our volunteers from throughout the community. As the City Manager indicated on November 4th they completed their 24 hours of training with some mock disaster exercises. Theyíre sent into a room, the leaders came forward and they were given their drill. They had to go from there and process a variety of scenes from building collapses, to improvised explosive device. Mocks were thrown into the mix, they knew to back out and notify the appropriate authorities when this happened. Some light search and rescue with medical triaging was done. He said they are all very proud of the individuals, and the 40 plus community members that stepped forward to take part in this initiative. They also have the next session that is currently being planned for 2007. There is an informational meeting on January 14th, at which time they will update citizens. They have already received dozens of phone calls from interested community members for that. In addition to their search and rescue they did some light triage, crowd control, and fire extinguishers that they were trained on. They commentated the day with their graduation at the Novi Police training center. As the City Manager said earlier, this was a total team effort. He would like to thank his colleagues and the fire service, Chief Smith, Deputy Chief Johnson, and Lieutenant Martin, for their hard work. Also in the police department Sergeant Patrick Fanning, Sergeant Kevin Rhea, and community relations, Sheryl Walsh and Karen Amolsch, were a great resource in getting the information out. Certainly the Novi Community Schools showed their support of this event, letting us use their facility. He said they had one volunteer retiree from the Novi Police Department, Mr. Bill Charles who had been through the entire cert core training. He lent his time to assist us and certainly last but not least our neighborhood service coordinator, Cindy Uglow for all the hard work she put into bringing everyone together, organizing it. She was kind of the back bone of everything in getting this and moving this forward. They look forward to having at least a hundred volunteers trained at the end of this fiscal year; this will do nothing but add an added layer to our emergency preparedness effort. He thanked Council for their support.
4. ATTORNEY - None
Norm Young, long time resident of the city of Novi, and a qualified tax payer. He is also a senior citizen; that is the focus on which he addressed Council. He said last Tuesday, there was an election in our land and on Thursday as he read his morning news paper, there was a wonderful analysis of every race in Oakland County, every ballot proposal and everything that was possibly taken care of. It was interesting to him to note this and he was compelled to come to Council to share some of these with them. He said Council would be voting on one of these issues. There were 28 ballot issues in Oakland County which either asked for a millage increase or a bond proposal for various functions. Two of them were for libraries, both of those thankfully were approved. He said however, the one in Wixom only made it by 18 votes, so that was no slam dunk. 16 more ballot issues were for what he considered the normal functions of city government; fire protection, police, parks and recreation, sidewalks and pathways, youth program, all kinds of things. Of those 16 proposals, 15 of them were approved. The only one that didnít make it was a $200,000 request for renovations at the city hall. So far he had 17 out of 18 ballot proposals that the public said they feel generous, letís spend the money. That meant there were 10 more. Those 10 all specifically identified the money to go for a senior center, either for the construction or the operation. He though it was a little bit more than coincidental that all 10 of those proposals were defeated. This gave support to what he felt in his workings with people of his generation that he didnít see a great deal of support and grounds for this kind of expenditure. They were generous enough to pay for other things but there doesnít seem to be a demand for senior center facilities. He said when Council talked about this and deliberated on it he wondered if Council would consider that this is a priority item. He asked if this was really a top priority item for the City of Novi at this particular point and time. As a tax payer and a senior, he would vote no on it. If this was on the ballot it would go down to defeat, but he left that up to Council.
Kathy Crawford, 46275 W. 11 Mile Rd., she was sorry Mr. Young had to leave, she actually wanted to tell him that she was born in the city of Novi, so was her husband. She is proud to tell Council that they still like it here. They have lived here for a considerable amount of time. She has been following with great interest this discussion regarding the lack of programming space for senior citizen programs. She has been intensely involved in the programs for older adults of this city for over 30 years, till she got to be one. 30 years ago, when she was hired as Noviís first senior citizen coordinator, the City Council and some of the administrators at that time could not agree that they needed programs for seniors. In fact there were senior citizens, like Norm, who really thought there was no need for senior citizen programs or services, because they themselves did not seem to have a need. If that Council, 30 years ago, thought the way some do, they wouldnít have anything here for older adults. She is here 30 years later speaking to City Council members again, some who donít believe thereís a need for additional space for older adult programs. Also, some seniors who say they feel the seniors at Meadowbrook Commons and Fox Run donít really want nor need additional space or programs, but the majority of Noviís older adults do not reside in Walton Woods or Fox Run Village or Meadowbrook Commons. She said she wished they all had an opportunity to sit in the seat she sat in as the coordinator of senior programs, or in Rachelís seat for a day. You would get the phone calls that the rest of you are not aware that they get on a daily basis of people having needs. You would truly begin to understand why they need additional programs and space. She wouldnít be completely honest if she couldnít say she was very disappointed when Council Members Nagy and Mutch would not vote to approach the Novi Library about a possible collaboration. The exploration of a new idea was not even considered. She found that disappointing. She is not sure why some people were under the impression that the senior citizens of this city are well served by the facility at Meadowbrook commons, they are not well served. Yes, their senior center is wonderful, but the one room where most programs take place only seats 128 people. There are 200 residents living at Meadowbrook Commons. All of them want to come to the programs that are there and the functions, add to that the thousands of senior residents in Novi who would also benefit by the program. Council Member Nagy stated that she is in favor of seniors but feels the governmentís job is to provide services, not senior programs. Ms. Crawford agrees wholeheartedly that the government should provide services. Our senior program provides critical services every day. It saves lives just like our police and fire. Maybe some of you have only been to the senior center for an event, like a Halloween party, or a thanksgiving luncheon. You have not heard staff arranging for in home support for a person released early from the hospital, or arranging for transportation for a surgical procedure or delivered one of the homebound meals to the hundreds of frail Novi residents each year. They are so much more than parties. Recent stats indicate that every person will outlive their ability to drive by 10 years. Thatís why our Novi senior transit service has grown by leaps and bounds each year and will be in even greater demand in the near future. Time did not permit her to list all of the critical services that the Novi senior center provides. Some people have mentioned several times about non residents using the center. Yes, there are a few non residents coming to our center, people like Lida Bearing, who lived in Novi for years but could no longer afford to live in Novi and had to move out. She comes back here for exercise and for the senior theater because her friends and family are here. But, she is a non resident and she does pay non resident fees. Ms. Crawford is frequently asked to come to senior centers to present programs and seminars. A couple weeks ago she presented a program in Plymouth at the cultural center, following that another one in Walled Lake. At both of those places there were Novi residents in those audiences. She asked if their cities should have closed their borders to our senior residents. People are very mobile and they drive to the centers that offer the programs that meet their needs. Thatís why senior centers in this region collaborate and try to offer dances. Not all in the same day so that dancers can dance several times a week in a couple different locations. Non-residents really are not a problem coming to our center. They go to centers close to their own homes. They have a critical problem in this city with a lack of space for senior services and events. She wondered how they can accommodate the thousands of older adults who live here now and provide services for the tens of thousands who will be here in the next 14 years. Noviís age 65 plus population is expected to grow by 269% by the year 2030. What they do now is important. The majority of Council members were correct to seek cutting edge solutions with the library. She doesnít know if that collaboration will work but they should at least pursue the dialogue. Also, she agrees that a study would make a lot of sense, especially if study gave us critical information and provided information that would be useful in the pursuit of other collaborations if the library does not work out.
She doesnít want seniors to always have to compete with police and fire, like they had to 30 years ago. Senior services are not fluff or just nice to have, they are critical to life in general and the quality of life, she was glad to see the presentation, because on the web site, there is a picture of everyone smiling, and it says, "City of Novi Michigan where quality of life is the way of life." She applauded Mr. Pearsonís eloquent presentation to the Novi Library Board, well done. They voted unanimously to have a dialogue with the Council about collaboration. Noviís future does depend on innovative fiscally responsible strategies that result in comprehensive programs for Novi families, which now includes not only our children but our parents and our grandparents and not surprisingly our great grandparents. Even though, she doesnít always agree with each one of Council she knows that each person in the City Council works very hard to make well thought out decisions for this city. Her family including her husband, Hugh, appreciates all the time and effort that was put into this, and he knows because he has been on City Council. She knows that Council all spends a great deal of time and thought in thinking through decisions and she thanked them for all their time.
Carol Crawford, Beck Road, wanted to publicly thank Mr. Hayes and the consultant who had the meetings for the citizens regarding Beck Road. Although the first meeting was a little hot and heavy, they were willing to come back and meet again. It helped ease our minds and it answered a lot of questions. She thanked him very much for working with them.
Ron Boron, 21307 East Glen Haven Circle. He said as Chief Molloy brought to Council attention they had 40 graduates last Saturday go through the rigorous course of trying to assist the walking injured, the dead, and the severely injured over at the school. It was a very entertaining 8 weeks also a very serious 8 weeks. He thanked Council for the funding of that program, he thanked the city administration for their support he thanked fire Chief Smith for his support and Chief Molloy. He got called on to be the team leader for the group. He said to rest assured if they have another situation like they did with the black out there will be people prepared and trained. He said they need some more help up in the north end so if this gets out he would like to have people contact Sergeant Fanning or Sergeant Rhea. They have a lot in the southwest and south quadrant and to the centralized part of this city. The class will be starting some time in January or February.
Kevin Grobe, 42185 Park Ridge Road. He said he has been up there before Council several times, he knows they were waiting in anticipation on what his subject would be. He was there to talk to them about sidewalks. He knows the sidewalks committee has been established, he represented Meadowbrook Glens. He knows that they have set up a priority, he is glad to see that Member Nagyís project of completing the Meadowbrook Road section is going to happen. That is wonderful because it is an area where they definitely need sidewalks. Again, he was a little disappointed because as a 30 mph road, versus 10 Mile which is the main stream of the city right down past city hall past the high schools out to access to most of the freeways is a 45 mph road. He understands that it has a higher ranking on this report; he certainly hopes that Council will take that into consideration. He showed a picture of a car that drove right into a pond on the south side of 10 Mile Road. This was an example, the tail end of the car showing, is at the last part of sidewalk that connects between Meadowbrook Road and Novi Road on 10 Mile. That is one of the things that has happened in the last 6 months and is not included in the safety report for consideration. On one side there is clearly a wetlands, he heard some talk about a board walk being developed along there. All the neighborhoods around there enjoy that pond and enjoy looking at the deer that drink from the water so they really donít want to see a sidewalk built on that side of the street, they want to have a continuance of the sidewalk on the north side where they are only missing 369 meters of sidewalk, less than half a block of sidewalk that they need to develop in order to get this project complete. Granted they have the train tracks there so it makes it a little more costly for development. Heís sure working with the train track company that they could probably get the easement approved just like they did on 9 Mile so that probably wonít be as big of a hassle or hurdle, which most people are concerned about. Also he would like to see if the City would be willing to set up a committee to see they can get some private funding for those types of projects. This is a major safety situation. There was also an accident recently; a young man got hit because he was attempting to cross the street there. Sidewalks probably wouldnít have prevented the accident. The gentleman decided to run across the street and was hit by an off duty police officer. After all the studies and surveys were taken care of, the officer was found innocent. The truth of the matter is, in that particular section, there are no street lights so it is hard to see anybody, and no one faults what happened there. He said if somebody is as trained in safety as a police officer is and he had an accident in that particular area, then that says something. It says that it is an extremely dangerous area and when you vote on where you are going to have the sidewalk put in, he certainly hopes that Council looks at that section of road. Yes, it is a little bit longer, yes, it is a little more costly, but it connects all the east side neighborhoods with a high residential population, Meadowbrook Glens, Orchard Hills, Willowbrook, Willowbrook Farms, back to the city services back, to the federal services like the post office. They will also be connected to the shopping center, the doctorís offices, and a lot of things. This is part of the poor part of town, older neighborhoods and smaller houses, as apposed to some of the richer neighborhoods. There is not a lot of major development that is going to happen here; as a result they need you as the leaders to step up and to say ok this is an area that needs to be addressed. He really hopes Council will take that to heart. He has a 6 year old, a 5 year old, and a 2 year old. There are a lot of little kids in his neighborhood. He knows itís not going to happen today or tomorrow, you could phase in sections of the neighborhood. They can do the part from the railroad tracks up to Novi Road; it wonít be as expensive, one year. Maybe the next year they can complete the part outside of Meadowbrook Glens. Then maybe the 3rd year they can do something about getting across the railroad tracks, it doesnít have to be all at once, if they could get some progress going to make this happen, it will better the community of Novi.
Michael Meyer, 41088 Mallott, citizen of Novi for 25 years and heís watched the Council on more than a few occasions. He thanked Council for letting him be on the committee for the pathways. He really believes they are making wonderful progress in order to change this from the city with sidewalks that go no where to actually connecting these sidewalks and making it a much safer environment for all the citizens. The other thing he wanted to mention is that he think this web site will be very useful for helping the developers that come into this community have an easier time going through the process of getting the development and finding it much more user friendly. He applauded both of these and heíd also like to thank Council for the attention that they paid to each of the speakers who were there that evening. He said it is so easy to be looking at your papers at the next agenda item. He was watching and they were paying close attention to everyone who came up there. That means they were trying to listen to different individuals that come before this Council and that is something they should be applauded for. Keep up the good work.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS AND APPROVALS
Member Margolis removed B off the consent agenda
CM-06-11-288 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Consent Agenda with the exception of Item B
Roll call vote on CM-06-11-288 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis,
Mutch, Nagy, Paul
A. Approve Minutes of:
B. Approval of Traffic Control Order 06-05 for the installation of a permanent Yield Sign on northbound McLean Court and Mystic Forest Drive.
C. Approval to purchase turn-out gear (protective clothing) for the Fire Department from Apollo Fire Equipment Co. through MITN and extended by the City of Rochester Hills in the amount of $20,404.
D. Acceptance of Third Conservation Easement for Island Lake of Novi, Phase 4B-2, located on the north side of Ten Mile Road, west of Wixom Road, covering 9.01 acres of woodlands and watercourse.
E. Acceptance of West Market Square site water main and sanitary sewer (located on Parcel ID Numbers 22-17-226-004, -005, -006, -007, -008, -010, -011, -012, and -013).
F. Approval of the final payment to Commerce Construction & Landscaping, Inc. for the 2004 Pathway Gaps project in the amount of $1,500.
G. Acceptance of Premier Medical site water main and sanitary setheyr (located on Parcel ID Number 22-10-400-065).
H. Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 732
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I
1. Approval of Appropriation of $20,000 for Architectural analysis of Fire Stations 1, 2, & 3.
Mr. Pearson said this was a project that was a part of the recommended budget for 06-07. Through the budget deliberations and reprioritizations it turns out they were not able to fund it in this fiscal year, but there is a couple of extenuating circumstances that he thought it saw fit to bring this back to Council and ask their consideration. Those circumstances are Chief Smithís arrival and his fresh eyes looking at the facilities and getting familiar with our facilities and the staff. Secondly, the fact that they came in with healthy savings and a budgeted item, being the roof repair. Those two coming together it seemed to make sense to at least bring this back to Council to see if there was interest or agreement with our recommendation. They would like to have some money allocated so they could go out and hire an architectural firm that has the technical expertise, the drawing capabilities and can work with the staff in developing a plan that could evaluate the 3 older fire stations and address the needs and the circumstances that are outlined in the memo that Chief Smith helped prepare. Fire service has changed obviously in the 20 plus years since those fire stations were built, they have been added on to a bit, some of it is self help by the fire fighters, but the fact remains that these fire stations are fundamentally behind the times in several important ways. An architectural analysis can give us realistic dollars, something they can plug in to the budget. By starting this they can have numbers and a plan for budgeting for the next budget year and also future CIPís that they can get after; also to get after some of these improvements of the fire facilities so that they are all in sync and a part of moving towards a greater whole. They have a proposal from a firm, they are not suggesting this particular proposal tonight its just the outline of scope of services but it is intended to give a sense of what they could expect by doing this once, they go out for formal proposals, get that back, and then award something.
Member Gatt asked, Mr. Pearson if the money that he was asking them to appropriate would come from the savings of the roof repair.
Mr. Pearson said yes it was about $45,000 under budget once they got that done, and that is finished.
Member Gatt said they heard people tonight talk about how they have been in Novi 30 years and 20 years. He too has been here for 30 some years and he remembers when there were no fire stations other than an old building on Novi Road and when station 3 went up it was glorious and magnificent, but he hasnít seen any repairs made to that building in the last 30 years and reading the report, it seems to be that the fire department is sorely lacking in some of their facilities. They are spending a lot of money updating and upgrading the police department and they certainly can not afford to just ignore what the fire departmentís needs are and since they have this extra money he would like to make a motion that they approve the appropriation of $20,000 for architectural analysis of fire stations one, two, and three.
CM-06-11-289 Moved by Gatt seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To Approve Appropriation of $20,000 for Architectural analysis of Fire Stations 1, 2, & 3.
Member Margolis said she appreciates administration bringing this forward and she thinks it should be noted that they continually have cost savings in the budget because the administration is very frugal with our dollars and very conservative. She thinks that they need to call that to the attention of the residents. She agrees with the need for the study. She said she stated earlier, that she believes what they need to do is look in a thoughtful way at the things they need to do and prioritize and that they need to chunk off pieces of what needs to be done, like the sidewalks. The only way they can do that is through long range planning and understanding of exactly what your priorities are and what the costs are going forward. So she commends Mr. Pearson for bringing this forward. She was against taking this off the budget last year so she is glad to see it come forward with the cost savings and will absolutely support the motion.
Member Nagy said she appreciates the administration bringing this forward she was for this study all through the budget process, especially after taking the tour of all the fire departments and the great need they seem to have. She thinks the staff and the firefighters themselves have to be commended because after going through fire stations 1, 2, and 3 she was amazed at how much these people actually did themselves which was surprising. She thinks that by having this study, which looks very inclusive, including how much things would cost, she believes they can plan for the future by setting aside a certain amount of funds per year to fund the major projects. She asked if Chief Smith has had studies done like this before.
Chief Smith said he had.
Member Nagyís question was that it seemed like station 1, 2, and 3 are in really great need, especially fire station 1, which seems where she sees the most activity when she is going down Grand River. When a study like this is done and weíre going to have to rebuild this or purchase this, has some sort of a capital improvement fund been set up within the department itself?
Chief Smith said in his past he has seen exactly what she was talking about done and like any problem there is first the needs analysis, after that there are standard projections of how to solve those needs. As far as the funding of the project, he is still in the learning phase of that.
Member Nagy asked if Chief Smith has been able to do any of the assessing of the fire stations themselves.
Chief Smith said he had. What he had seen is that the firefighters themselves had provided the labor for things that needed to be done to make it more livable within the fire stations. Things like new counter tops, and installing residential dishwashers, they have done that on their own trying to bring the station up close to something like todayís standards, but it still lacks a major focus on kitchen appliances, cabinets, and hardware that is meant to last in a fire station atmosphere. They are used around the clock.
Member Nagy asked if he would be directly involved.
Chief Smith said absolutely.
Member Mutch commented on the budget process to remind Council and the residents that they did pull this from the budget this past year because they added other things that they felt were a higher priority and to insure that they had a balanced budget, something had to go, and this went. One of the reasons it had to go into discussion among Council members was the feeling that spending this money for a study they had not made a commitment to, then to fund the improvements that would be necessary didnít make sense. They hadnít made that commitment at that time. He is more than willing to support this. He went back and looked at the budget and looked at the items that they had pulled and this is one of the few remaining items that have not been funded through a budget amendment this year. In keeping in line with our priorities, obviously meeting the needs of the fire department is an important one and heís doing this with his eyes open to the fact that more likely than not, they are taking on a significant financial commitment to address the needs that are going to come forward. He had a couple questions about the proposal. First, one of the things the study says it doesnít address, on page 4 of the French Associates Proposal, is the testing of existing building structure and components and analysis of existing building structural integrity. He read that to mean things like does the roof leak, are there structural issues that they would need to address.
Mr. Pearson said typically those kinds of phrases would be an architectís structural analysis of the load bearings, itís more than the leaks. If you have a snow fall, are there any risks where the roof will fall in from the weight of that, so, its not so much that kind of a maintenance. Itís the actual structural integrity theyíre deeming themselves out with that phrase, again this is just a sample. They are not buying off on a full structural analysis, they are not willing to buy that liability that they are going to guarantee that it is good forever.
Member Mutch wanted to see language in an RFP that makes clear that they are looking for not an architectural structural analysis but at least a level of detail that will allow them to look at if the roof leaks. That needs to be something that is addressed, those kinds of structural issues. Another question he had was, regarding two of the sites they are going to look at, 2 and 3. If residents are familiar with those sites, just east of Novi Road on 13 Mile is 3 and 2 is on 9 Mile just east of the train tracks. Both of those are very small and tight. Based on what was proposed in the one proposal, heís assumed they are going to look at those sites, what happens if they look at those sites and say based on what you want to do; itís not going to fit. Are they expecting that level of analysis?
Mr. Pearson said the typical program will take a look at what needs to be done. Also, something else is how much space is needed for the current and future equipment, and current and future staffing levels. If they work with the chief and his staff and then find out they will not have enough space for that, they could give some alternatives. That very well could come out of it. He doesnít know without having done it.
Member Mutch said he should have asked this question first but what are the assumptions in terms of build out of population, man power, and equipment?
Mr. Pearson said it will be the same thing they have used with the master plan and with the police and public works facilities. A build-out population plus or minus 68,000 would be substantially obtained within the next decade. As to the staffing levels, that is something that has been given some assumptions based on prior fiscal analysis. He was not able to be at the meeting to prejudge what that will be.
Member Mutch thinks whether or not there is full time staffing at a station, really drives the kind of space needs that you have. That is something they have discussed in the long term. He just wants to make sure that having several different analysis scenarios would be helpful. The one other comment was regarding station 1 specifically. He said there has been some discussion in the past, at the City Council level, about the long term location of station 1. There had been some discussion in the past about moving that station to the DPW site. The fact that the DPW site discussion will be on the Councilís agenda next week, he thinks would be helpful. One of the things he would be looking at is for Council to have that discussion at the next meeting. He thinks long term from a service perspective, from the fire department; it makes sense to get them to a location where they donít have to fight the traffic that they are currently fighting at the Grand River and Main Street intersection. He thinks from the Cityís perspective, moving that station off of that corner and allowing that to redevelop in a similar fashion to the Main Street proposal, being considered tonight, makes sense as well. He said it is a significant financial commitment on our part to make that kind of move. He doesnít want us to make decisions in the short term that would preclude looking at that in the long term. But he thinks they can move forward at least analyzing the current site in case they are there for the short term, maybe the next 5 years, and address those short term needs. Mr. Mutch, personally will be looking at having that discussion next week. At that point they will have the results of the analysis back and looking at another location for Fire Station 1. But, he thinks that the proposal moving forward is in line with what had initially been suggested to Council at budget time. So he is going to support it at this time.
Member Paul welcomed Chief Smith to our city. She said with his experience and new look at the four facilities that they have for the fire department, she would like his analysis of what he sees in regards to staffing needs and some of his suggestions and ideas of what the building needs are. She would love to hear those from him personally. She also visited all 4 fire stations prior to the last budget and was really disappointed to see some of the lack of repair in some of the buildings, not from our fire departments lack of interest in that area, just the lack of funding over the years. One of the main things they have done as a Council has been to put in the hose that connects to the motor so that when you start up the first apparatus the exhaust does not go through the entire fire station and have a lot of contamination to the employees there. That was probably one of the most major things they could do in regards to the safety of the people. Sheíd like to hear other ideas, as well, they put new sidewalks in and new driveways at fire station 1 but she knows there are a lot of other needs. She doesnít have the eyes and experience that he does and would really like to hear that for our communityís sake. Not everybody has had the luxury of seeing every inch of the fire stations, the equipment is wonderful. Where they actually have to function and sleep overnight contains someoneís old bed from 15 or 20 years ago, someoneís old dresser from 30 years ago, a desk that was in another department, a broken chair, it is less than stellar. She has been in other fire stations and sees a great need.
Roll call vote on CM-06-11-289 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis,
Mutch, Nagy, Paul
2. Approval of appropriation of $15,000 for potential space cooperation between the Novi Public Library and Senior Services.
Member Margolis said that it probably comes as no surprise that she will be supporting the action. She does want to say a couple things, and as she watched Kathy Crawford
speak, she only hopes to be as eloquent as she is in advocating for senior services. She is interested in this study because she believes there are services, as a community, that can be provided jointly and in collaboration. The idea that they can work cooperatively with the library to provide services for a senior population that they are serving, possibly not a great deal more cost, is something they absolutely have to explore. In addition, what this will do, is give us a long range plan for how to provide senior services. They just received the Oakland County senior housing needs assessment in the packet in the off week and it talked about being abundantly clear that the aging of the baby boomers will have a dramatic impact on Oakland County. We need to get ahead of that by taking a look at what kinds of services they can provide in a cost effective way. The bottom line is, why donít we look at cooperating with the library? Or as Ms. Crawford said if that doesnít work out, to do cooperative services with others, to figure out exactly, long term, what kinds of services they are going to need. It is interesting that they postponed this last time and one of the later items on the agenda last time was to put welcome signs for the City of Novi out. It occurred to her that while they need to have signs for our city, one of those signs was going to cost $11,000. This study is no more than $15,000 and quite frankly, if our seniors arenít worth as much as a welcome sign to the City of Novi she is not sure she understands what direction they are going to go. They went to the Library Board and asked them if they were interested in looking at this. She commends them because they unanimously showed theyíre looking long range at how both of our organizations can provide services for seniors. So she would really encourage the Council to look upon this favorably and get a chance to see how they can provide services for this community at a lower cost and in collaboration with other services.
Member Gatt said his question to anybody who would vote no is why they wouldnít spend $15,000 to do a study; they just appropriated $20,000 to do a study on the fire stations, a much needed study. Why not spend $15,000 to explore the wealth of information that they will attain from a professional study to see if they can do something good for the community, something good for the more burgeoning demographic part of the city. Seniors are coming here faster than the youth are coming here. The Novi Schools are losing population and the Novi seniors are gaining population. If they donít do it now, some other Council, years down the road, will be forced to make some very tough budget decisions on how to best serve our senior citizens. He has a father who is 87 years old, he lives in Livonia, and he goes to at least 5 different senior centers a week. He goes dancing, he goes to pinnacle clubs and other clubs and without the senior centers in those areas, he would be lost. He asked his father why he doesnít ever go to Novi. He says they donít have room for him and they donít have the activities that Livonia and other big cities have. He has said it before; he thinks Novi is the greatest city in the tri-county area and if we ignore seniors we are going to have to pay the price for it somewhere down the line. He wholeheartedly supports the motion.
Member Mutch said he will not be supporting the motion for reasons that he has outlined previously. He just wanted to add a couple comments to the discussion. One of the things at the last meeting, they got the presentation at the last minute and didnít really have a chance to review it. So he has now had a chance to review the proposal and the big problems he has with the proposal, in addition to the cost is the fact that a lot of the work that is going to be done through this proposal is going to be done by City staff. A couple of the points discussed are City staff pulling together information, city staff assembling the detail needed for Plante Moran, then Plante Moran summarizing that. The other problem he has with the proposal is that it makes the assumption that the only things they would be looking at is a facility at the library and maybe that is the intent of those who are in support of the proposal. To him that is shortsighted; essentially it dictates the outcome. When they talk about looking at the alternatives and opportunities, in his mind, they already have two existing facilities in this city which serve seniors, Meadowbrook Commons, the Civic Center complex which has programming space for seniors. If he was to consider looking at additional programming space and he still hasnít heard the justification for it, those are locations that he would be interested in looking at. One of the previous speakers mentioned the cost in relation with other budget Items, and she is correct. In the grand scheme of the cityís budgets, this is not a large amount of money. As he noted on the fire station report, that was done as part of the budget process and they made decisions through that budget process to spend money on welcome signs. At no time was any proposal for senior facilities discussed during the budget process. If the need was so great, why wasnít it raised then, and that is something he kept going back to. The other thing he did with the time since the last meeting is looked at some census information to look at where the seniors in our community live, where they can expect senior residents in the next 10 or 15 years to be living in this city. The census information is pretty clear, the majority and highest percentage of seniors live east of Meadowbrook Road and north of I-96. Based on the housing types in those areas, he expects that to be true for the next 15 to 20 years, even as Novi builds out. They are not going to have huge senior populations living in the subdivisions that are west of Taft Road, the Island Lake area. Some, obviously in the condos, and some will stay as theyíve stayed in the older neighborhoods. As Ms. Crawford noted, most of them donít live in a Walton Wood or a Fox Run, but they do live close to our existing senior center at Meadowbrook Commons. It does not make sense to him to consider a proposal that would move that facility and those programs and those services further away from those people. Some seniors are fortunate to be able to drive, but many are not. Many are dependant on transportation from the City or from family or other service providers. He does not see any rationale that makes sense to make it more difficult for them to access the services that they have and so along those concerns he has expressed, he can not support the proposal.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello had been in favor of trying to find a location and construct a senior center but his goal is to do that with non tax dollars for the hard cost of actual construction. When Member Margolis was trying to get money from Mike Kahm for the library and he was trying to get money from Mike for the senior center, that is when they first thought about a combined effort. He thinks they would be remiss at this point seeing that the Library Board wants to move forward with the new facility. We are actually going to look at the programming that other facilities have, that we donít have for seniors which is exactly what Member Gatt was talking about. Given that they are going to expand and see what they are lacking for our seniors to incorporate that into the needs analysis for this facility he thinks the $15,000 is well spent and that is why he seconded the motion.
Member Nagy said it almost seems like this discussion has gotten down to, are you for seniors or are you not. She doesnít think that is the question. The majority of the Council voted to take that study out of the budget, she was not one of those. The other thing Member Nagy has concerns about is that all the comments are getting jumbled up.
They have members of the audience come forward and talk about programming at the Novi Library and at the same time talk about senior transit services. As she read this study, one of the things that she read into it is as well, is that a lot of the work will be done by our own staff. Her question is, how much more can the staff do? The other thing she was looking at in terms of the study itself is there is a repetition. She knows that being on the Planning Commission when they were going through studies, she asked Mr. Pearson to provide a list of all the studies that were done, the dates, costs, and when they were implemented. They have a lot of studies it seems, they just had the census, they are doing the fire department study, they are getting other studies done, they have studies from before. In her mind, a lot of these questions could be answered by looking at the studies they have already done. The second thing is, she doesnít see anything in here that would compare our senior programs to any other program in any other city. She read the census too and agrees with the previous speaker as to where the senior population is located. She thinks she brought that up, in the past, that those east of Meadowbrook Road who contacted her or she has run into at Farmer Jack or wherever, donít want to go any further than Meadowbrook Commons. She is not against anything to do with seniors in the sense that they are an important and integral part of our population. Since they have had this meeting, she has had members of the Library Board call and give a different perspective from their meeting. She is not against having this study done as long as it is not out of tax payer dollars. If in fact they want to do this, then the library should pay for it, not the residents. She does not think it should come out of the general fund. As to the merits of this study, sheís not going to reiterate any other comments; however her bottom line is, if they want to fund this study, then they ought to pay for it out of their own budget.
Member Paul said she has had discussions with the Library Board as well as library employees. She was in favor of having a discussion back and forth between our city, our Council members, and our library. She has been trying to keep a really strong open mind about what our priorities are and when she read this study was less than impressed. She really wants to see what our seniors need in general, not just if they need a senior center at the library. The other thing she wants to see is if Meadowbrook Commons needs a larger space, why they arenít looking at it where our current senior center is located. She had a member of our community, she is a senior, she has been active on our Library Board in the past, and she said she did not want to see the library have a separate section for the seniors. The library should have a complete section for everyone in the community, not a segregated area. Ms. Crawford mentioned the first time she spoke on the subject was what are they going to do when the baby boomers age? She suggested that many other cities and states have been using the public schools as a facility for the aging population. That is something that they are probably going to have to do as our community grows older, there are not as many young families that come in, or possibly children in the school age. So sometimes there are schools that are available, that is something else she was looking at. So when she wants to spend $15,000, itís not because she doesnít agree that they should spend money on seniors, because she believes in the parks and recreation system. Over one third of the parks and recreation budget goes to Meadowbrook Commons, over $300,000 for programming as well as subsidization for our Meadowbrook Commons. Every single one of us has put money toward the senior center, their programs, and has a very big interest in making sure our senior population is cared for. She will not be supporting the motion this evening for these reasons. She hopes they really look at the library as a separate issue because they have to have the citizenís vote on what they want to do for the library as a whole. She doesnít want it to be mixed up as a separate ingredient. Secondly, the library has already moved forward, they had asked them to wait this election, now they are going to move forward and now they are delaying it that much more. They have a steadfast plan to move forward and she hopes they can accomplish their goals.
Mayor Landry said he can support this on many levels, first of all this is not about money. They learned from the first issue on tonightís agenda that they saved $45,000 on the fire station that they had budgeted; they just spent 20 of it, which magically leaves $15,000 for this study. They donít have to deprive anything else from any other budget item to complete this. Number one, it is not about money. Number two, he doesnít think any facility in this city should be a one use facility. He doesnít think they should perpetuate exclusivity. The voters are going to be asked to approve $15,000,000 for a library. But it is a government building; it should not be for the exclusive use of any one group or any one task. It should be for use of the public, if you can share it, if it can be shared by senior services, for library services. Thereís no fiefdoms in this city, there should be no exclusive use, the Civic Center is used by many different peoples, these Council chambers are not only used by Council, the conference room back there is not only used by City Council, it is used by anybody in the city. There should not be an exclusivity or one use building. Certainly the Library Board isnít asking for that, the Library Board is 100% unanimously in favor of this. If the Library Board is unanimously in favor of this, who are they to say that they donít need it. They have more information than we do. With respect to staff in what the Cityís staff would have to do, this proposal was made to the Library Board; the person who made the proposal was the City Manager. If there was a staffing problem, the City Manager would have been the first person saying this is going to put a burden on our staff, but in fact he didnít say it, he made the recommendation to do this. To him this makes sense on many different levels, they would gain information on our seniors, their needs, even if itís decided this wonít work with the library, thatís fine, they are just studying the issue. If that is the outcome, they still would get information on how to best program for our seniors. The moneyís there, they know that from item number one, to him, it only makes sense to study the problem to gain information and when the Library Board unanimously approves this, he doesnít think it was for Council to say, no, you donít need this. So he can support this.
CM-06-11-290 Moved by Margolis, Seconded by Capello; MOTION FAILED:
To approve appropriation of $15,000 for potential space cooperation between the Novi Public Library and Senior Services.
Roll call vote on CM-06-11-290 Yeas: Margolis, Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt
Nays: Mutch, Nagy, Paul
3. Approval of Consultant Review Committeeís recommendation to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding agreement with Cooper, Shifman, Gabe, Quinn & Seymour for prosecutorial legal services.
CM-06-11-291 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Consultant Review Committeeís recommendation to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding agreement with Cooper, Shifman, Gabe, Quinn & Seymour for prosecutorial legal services.
Roll call vote on CM-06-11-291 Yeas: Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis
4. Approval of the Consultant Review Committeeís recommendation to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding agreement with Keller Thoma for labor relations and employment law legal services.
CM-06-11-292 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Consultant Review Committeeís recommendation to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding agreement with Keller Thoma for labor relations and employment law legal services.
Roll call vote on CM-06-10-292 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch
J.R. Atiyeh, Greater Novi Chamber of Commerce, said after the break Council would be discussing an amendment to consent judgment for Novi Fine Wine. Andy is here this weekend with his dad. It has to do with the faÁade and the logos on his building which is a brand new faÁade. He thinks it is very attractive, a nice improvement to a very old auto parts store. He likes it quite a bit and everybody he has talked to in the community likes it quite a bit. The logos are being considered as signage. They just feel that since those are not directly related to his business that the Red Wing logo and the Novi Wildcat logo not be considered as signage and he be allowed to increase actual signage to square footage. He came to the meeting about the new sign ordinance that was held, which was a great meeting. Looking at the sign ordinance and considering how these types of things are handled, it kind of looks like he canít even put an American flag out on his building next door. So he thinks maybe these logos and decorations need to be looked into a little bit farther. The attorney at the meeting, the city attorney, pointed out that people will put anything on a building, you have to be really careful, which heís sure makes a lot of sense. As the Greater Novi Chamber of Commerce and the owner of J.R. Enterprises, the building right next door, one of the largest developments within 500 feet of that building, they feel Council should allow him to have extra signage.
James J. Harrington, representing Novi Fine Wine, stated the owners are here along with other members of the community. If you would like to hear from them they would be more than happy to address the issues. Essentially, there is no sale of any type of the sales memorabilia inside the store. There are no t-shirts, any apparel. Itís just a feel-good type of display, there is support for the high school, Novi Wildcats, the Detroit Pistons, the Tigers, and he doesnít know if any of the members have driven by, but it is quite attractive. Understanding that this isnít any type of act of marketing for the business, they would ask that Council approve this. Upon consideration, when they meet after the break, he would be present to answer any questions that the members of Council might have to go through.
Erv Gambee, 43875 9 Mile, wanted to comment on the work Novi Fine Wine has put into fixing up their store. There is one other store on that corner that he wishes someone would do something with. That intersection has come along greatly in the last 20 years he has been there. The first thing that came to his mind when he first drove by there at night with the lighting and the insignias are that it looks really cool. He is an acquaintance with the owners and he just wanted to give his support to the fact that they have done a great job along with some of the other owners in making that intersection look really well.
Council recessed at 9:19 and reconvened at 9:35.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part II
5. Consideration of the request of Triangle Main Street, LLC. for Main Street Novi, SP06-38, for approval of Preliminary Site Plan and Wetland Permit. The subject property is located in Section 23, South of Grand River Avenue and east of Novi Road in the TC-1, Town Center District. The subject property is approximately 20 acres and the applicant is proposing a mixed-use development.
Mr. Pearson said if it pleases the Council, the applicant has set up a presentation, they have their experts and staff would like to make a presentation as well after that.
Dave Nona, with Triangle Development, the developers for Novi Main Street mixed-use development states they have their team of consultants with them and hope to make a good presentation. It is the same presentation that was made to the Planning Commission and was well received by them. They will start with Alicia Heideman, of McKenna Associates, they are the planners to make the over all presentation and then she will present the other members of the team.
Alicia Heideman said that they are all honored to be there tonight to present to Council their exciting proposal for Main Street Novi. They know that the city has had some questions throughout this project and they have worked diligently to try and address those with both the booklet they handed out and also with the presentation, tonight. It has been a long collaborative process with city officials, staff, and the public providing input. The plan before you really incorporates the goals of the city and the intent of the town center district. They feel that this is the time to move forward so they can hopefully all reap the benefits of a town center in our community. She wanted to quickly go through some general design principles that theyíd like to utilize to create viable urban centers. The goals are to provide a sense of community, public gathering places, and a more livable environment. They want to provide a mix of uses and three story and taller buildings to achieve pedestrian concentrations. This helps create a lively, safe and attractive environment. They want to create activity through the day and night, evening and weekend. They also want to adapt to a new emerging lifestyle with mixed-use districts. People want a wider range of goods, services, and experiences in one location. In addition, a mix of uses diversifies risk to the community while one type of use might be declining, another is able to fill the void and the compactness of the project decreases sprawl which is better for the environment. They are proud of the fact that they have utilized those design principles in their Main Street Novi proposal. They have created a compact pedestrian friendly environment with a good balance of uses that will create sustainability through time. They also have a high level of pedestrian amenities including seating and outdoor gathering areas, a public park and outdoor dining which would really create this place for people to go and visit. They really wanted to emphasize public gathering places to help make a sense of place for the community. They are proposing public open space with a park and semi-public open spaces for the residents in the form of roof top courtyards. The roof top plazas are one level above grade which would give a sense of privacy for the residents while still having them feel like they are a part of the downtown environment. In addition, they reduce impervious surface and storm water run off. They have over sized sidewalks with amenities such as benches, public art, wayfinding, and outdoor dining. Their park is going to have an amphitheater. The amphitheater is a gradually sloping one which can be utilized for seating for public events and also for active recreation. They are proposing turf pavers for fire truck accessibility along the rear of the residential units. Many communities in the have used them, Farmington Hills, Grosse Pointe, and Hamburg Township are some that the McKenna staff has worked on themselves. She has spoken with the manufacturer of these turf pavers to try and address some questions that the Fire Marshal has had. One of the questions was weight. Can these turf pavers support the weight of Noviís fire engine? The heaviest fire truck the City of Novi has is 35 tons and these can support 40 tons. Another question was, are these going to be maintained over time and do they require a high level of maintenance. They do not require any additional maintenance and to plow them all you have to do is raise the plow one inch above grade. Another question was longevity, are these going to last 20 years from now, they donít want them to crumble under the weight of a fire truck. She asked the manufacturer. She was told that conservatively 50 years at least, however, these have only been in use the past 25 years so they donít know exactly, but they are used so infrequently that they feel they have a very long lifespan. Another question was delineation, how will the fire engine know where to drive and where to rest their stabilizers. During summer and spring months, it will be easy to delineate the turf pavers from the regular vegetation. For winter when there could be snow cover, they are proposing to put bollards and signage so the trucks will know where to go. Another item in front of Council was our wetland permit application to fill the wetland and create a park within the town center district. This park is an asset to the project and will be a focal point of the whole downtown. They want to create a setting for civic events, casual recreation and special events. The park also completes the environment for the residents in the area so they donít have to drive to find a place for active and passive recreation. They have a condo association which will fund marketing and event management for the park and they are really looking forward to partnering with the city to coordinate events that the whole community will benefit from. Since they are proposing to fill a wetland to provide the park, Triangle Development is proposing offsite mitigation for the one and a quarter pond and wetland. This would be north of the 96 freeway which is in the same sub-watershed as the wetland in Main Street Novi and this can be constructed to provide a similar habitat. They will provide no less than the amount that is impacted as required by the ordinance. They also had their wetland consultant present to answer any questions. At the Planning Commission and staffís letter, there were a few discussions regarding the originally proposed traffic circles at the two new intersections along Main Street. The traffic consultant had wanted to construct urban roundabouts instead of the circles. Although roundabouts are a safe form of intersection, they are in contrast to what they are trying to achieve. They are excellent in facilitating vehicular traffic in busy intersections. However, they want to slow traffic down and roundabouts can not accommodate stop signs, they are a yield only approach. Their goal was to get vehicles to stop so they felt a more traditional intersection more appropriate for our downtown. Since safety is both theirs and the traffic consultantís number one priority, they felt that this was the best compromise. These intersections still provide traffic calming measures like before; they have the bump outs at the corners which slows traffic due to their decreased width. They are also providing what is called a speed table. This raises the pavement 4 inches and delineates it with colored pavers which provide a visual clue for vehicles to slow down because they are approaching an intersection. With the previous traffic circles, they did have a monument and a fountain in the middle. Though theyíre very nice architectural elements to the streetscape, obviously, they can no longer do that but they still are committed to providing architectural elements and she put some in the packet. They will provide different architectural public art, fountains, landscaping, all within the cityís engineering guidelines and also out of the line of site triangles. She wanted to point out that they are committed to creating an attractive and special streetscape on Main Street. There have also been questions regarding access and shared parking agreements with the Main Street Court property. Their goal is to develop the property uniformly with Main Street Court, as is the intent of the Town Center District. They are keeping the existing access point open and are more than willing to sign a reciprocal access agreement. Also at staffís request, they have provided a shared parking steady combining both properties and as shown that there will be enough parking spaces during peak hour for all uses on both sites. Either with Main Street Court or without, they can provide the parking needed for the site. They would like to do a shared parking agreement and based on conversations with their attorney they think that they are agreeable to do so. They have roughly 23 spaces on the property which they can continue to use and hopefully theyíll have a written agreement by the time they get to that phase. They have been contacting them continuously throughout this process, however, the owner is out of state and at this time they have not received the feed back that they had hoped for. She would like to reiterate that they have always been agreeable to shared parking and access and they will continue to try to work with them so they can hopefully still move forward with the preliminary site plan tonight. She introduced Mark Abanatha of Alexander Bogaerts who discussed building designs and form.
Mark Abanatha said they were very extremely excited about this project, it is a wonderful project to be involved with. They have worked on a number of key projects here at the city and this one heíd put up there at the top. They are trying to, as an architectural theme for the project; create what he would call an architecture that would be timeless. In other words, architecture that has been designed over time as cities and towns normally develops. Along with this, one of the things that Triangle brought to the table was to have several different architects involved. That not only brings a variety of architecture but a lot of different ideas as to how to approach the design. GAB and Associates is involved as well as Mike Boggio and their office Alexander Bogaerts and Associates. The styles that theyíre proposing for the project are what he would call three. One would be traditional where you have traditional styles of brick, stone, and a lot of colonnades and details that you would see in traditional architecture. To keep things interesting, along with different architects they have also varied those styles.
They have gone from a traditional style, to a contemporary style. In the contemporary style they have brought some of the traditional details of brick and stone but they also introduced elements like mill finished aluminum and they have put sun awnings in that cantilever out from the windows that are seen on some of the more contemporary buildings. There will be large panels of glass that arenít typical to colonnaded windows and traditional architecture. All of this brings variety and interest to the project. They are also proposing a variety of units for the project. One of the things that they are looking at is 400 units over a period of years that this project will develop out. One of the things you want to do in a project like this is have different units to bring to the market, different square footages, and different styles. They have what they called a ranch style product; it would be off of a corridor, they have loft styles that are very popular now and you see those in a lot of urban areas and areas similar to this in terms of mixed use or infill. They are also bringing a real interesting townhouse product that you wouldnít normally see in a mid-rise building where you stack townhouse units on top of one another in 4 or 5 stories. All of these things will keep the project fresh; will bring a lot of interest to buyers, the varying square footage and the different products that will be there will keep this project moving in a positive direction over a period of time. They are also bringing a variety of heights. One of the things as theyíve had many meetings with staff and Planning Commission and Council on preliminary studies would be to vary the heights and create interest as you move down the streetscapes so youíre not looking at all one story of 5 stories or 4 stories in height continuous. The existing Main Street buildings are roughly 3 stories in height, next to that they are attaching a one story potential restaurant, next to that youíre back up to 5 stories, the building next to that, will be back down to 3 stories, then back up to 4 so you get a nice rhythm as you move down the street you donít have all one height. Not only are they varying the styles, but they are varying the heights and the materials. Down at street level they are creating a break between some of that mass in terms of the height theyíre creating what is a human scale with trees and detailing of the store fronts with varying canopy styles, some that are sloping, some that are a hung canopy. All of these things will bring a human scale as you walk down Main Street. Finally, one of the most important things is flexibility. This project isnít going to be built over a year, it is going to be built over a series of years and it is important for the City and the Council and Planning Commission to understand flexibility as the project goes forward. They are approving our preliminary plan but as time goes forward, they want to know that they have the ability to range the types and styles of buildings and architecture within these footprints, obviously keeping the spirit and the intent to what they have in front of Council. With that he introduced Mike Boggio, one of the other architects involved.
Mike Boggio said they were responsible for one building in the project. The building that they are designing is called the 800 building which is the building that is right on the corner of Novi and Main Street. The use of this building is restaurant and retail on the first floor, to keep the downtown theme going. Three additional stories of medical offices, a total of 70,000 square feet of medical office space and 16,800 square feet of restaurant and retail space. This particular building is more traditional in style than some of the other buildings in the development. The predominant materials are a red brick and a cast stone. They have done some things with a vertical pier so they donít have ribbon type windows. They tried to keep the traditional looking architecture through those types of details. They have some arched topped windows, things like that. Theyíve also got some canopies that are about 10 feet above the side walk to create some human scale on this particular building. This building is also kind of a buffer between the very high traveled Novi Road commercial district and the slower paced down town area. Theyíve tried to design the building so there is a little bit of parking in front for the retail but it leads all the circulation and sidewalks toward the downtown area. They feel this is a very good transition between the down town area and the heavily traveled Novi Road. The building is red brick, cast stone, they have a center vertical element that will enhance the entry and has a sloping roof on top of it. There are some common elements in this building that are common with other buildings in the project, such as some sloping roofs, theyíve tried to design towers at the corners so they create some interest in this building with varying heights and types of vertical elements.
Alicia Heideman thanked Council again for giving them this opportunity and for considering their project.
Mr. Pearson introduced Barb McBeth. Again, this was a positive recommendation from the Planning Commission, Council has seen this project in concept form, also some ordinance tweaks, and they gave an overview and then focused on some of the planning departmentís findings.
Ms. McBeth said as Mr. Pearson just indicated the Planning Commission did review this request at a public hearing near the end of September. They recommended favorable consideration of the preliminary site plan and the wetland permit to City Council. City Council is also familiar with this project to a certain extent since some conceptual plans were presented at a Council meeting last June at which time a downtown development authority was also on the table for consideration. In August, following that meeting that revised plans were presented, the downtown development authority was removed as a consideration. The plans presented this evening do represent that they will be sponsored entirely by the private sector including the parking deck that is proposed. Also, as City Council knows earlier this year, text amendments came through with regards to the Town Center district and those amendments were approved as well. The plans, just as an overview, do represent about 1.2 million square feet of building area and 11 buildings including one parking structure. The proposal would bring an investment of 401 units to the city and 70,000 square feet of medical office space. 52,000 square feet of general office space, 30,000 square feet of restaurant space, 88,000 square feet of retail space, and about 400 parking spaces in the parking garage located on the north side of the property. The architectural design as the two architects have already explained is varied throughout the development but it does have a unified look and feel with materials carried over between the buildings, the design itself is reminiscent of a traditional downtown with the grid street patterns and the project does represent an important assemblage of land here in the core area of the community that presents a variety and interesting complexity of uses. The applicant did continue as Ms. Heideman indicated to work with the planning department and the consultants since the public hearing and has worked to reduce a couple of the waivers and variances and issues concerned with the preliminary site plan. Of those 17 waivers and variances initially identified in the staff and consultant letters, the Planning Commission removed 6 of those as they were issues that had to do with landscaping. The Commission also approved a storm water management plan and recommended favorable consideration of the preliminary site plan and the wetland permit. They also provided a number of recommendations that were included in the packet. Among the items the applicant and the department have worked to resolve since that public hearing were those circular intersections and they were shown on the plans that were provided to Council in the packet. The two circular intersections that are proposed along Main Street, the applicant has now indicated that they would go with more traditional 4 legged intersections. The cityís traffic engineer had recommended that the design that was presented on these plans be modified to enhance the safety of vehicles and pedestrians throughout the area. One of the suggestions was a more traditional roundabout and the other would be the traditional 4 way intersections. If this general design is acceptable as presented, they would like to work through the details of those designs at the time of final site plan review. Another issue that they have worked with the applicant on has included an attempt to resolve some of the staff and consultants concerns regarding deficiencies in the shared parking study as well as incorporation of the Main Street Court property. That property again is located on the east side of Novi Road. The issues with the connections between the property and incorporation of that property in the parking study were items of concern. As the applicant indicated, there have been a number of attempts to contact the owners of that property to come to a happy result on that. Our recommendation is, if the applicant is unable to come to a final agreement with Main Street Court regarding shared parking and drives that the final site plan would need to be modified to address those concerns. They also recommend that if City Council approves a preliminary site plan, that a condition be added to make sure the final site plan is modified to insure that the points of connection are maintained through the development as currently exist or in some way that is agreeable to staff and consultants. The motion sheet provided identifies items that the Council would need to act on if the preliminary site plan is to be approved. There are four items that Ms. McBeth highlighted. First of all, there is a requested waiver of the building set back requirements along Main Street. The applicant has actually provided quite a distance; in some cases 20 feet and then this landscape strip with the planters is another 5 feet or so. The applicant and staff has come to resolve that 15 feet of pavement would be appropriate in that location, therefore, staff would support the waver which would allow additional pedestrian amenities along the store fronts in those areas. Secondly, City Council has also asked to make a finding under section 1602.9 that the proposed faÁade treatments are acceptable the applicant is proposing a variety of facades for the buildings in the development. That includes EIFS, vinyl siding and some red sanding seam metal on one of the buildings none of which are specifically permitted in the town center districts. Staff does support a favorable finding by the City Council as the architectural design is interesting throughout the development and the use of the materials would not detract from the existing developments in the area. Number three, the applicant has submitted a shared parking study and a revised study as well that indicates, based on the uses being proposed there would be sufficient parking on these two sites as she mentioned earlier. Staff is uncomfortable with the lack of response from Main Street Court but can support the shared parking agreement. If City Council makes as a condition of approval that the applicant provides shared parking agreements and cross access agreements for their site at the time of final site plan approval for that first phase. Number four, City Council is asked to act on the wetland permit for the proposed filling of the wetland that is located at the southwest corner of Main Street and Market Street. The filling of the pond is proposed primarily in order to establish an urban park, but it would also allow for some drive ways, building areas and parking. This would require both the City of Novi wetland permit as well as an MDEQ wetland permit. Mitigation is proposed as indicated to be located on the south side of the lake that is adjacent to the twelve oaks mall just north of I-96. The specific details of the mitigation are still being formulated by the applicant. The wetland permit was reviewed by the Planning Commission. The Commission recommended approval of that subject to a mitigation plan being developed as well as an MDEQ permit being obtained. Staff recognizes that the urban park that is shown on the submitted plans is an integral part of the design that was proposed and maintains an overall positive recommendation for the plan in concert with the Planning Commissionís favorable recommendation. Of course, subject to the additional information that would be needed for approval for that wetland permit. The cities wetland consultant did not recommend approval due to the lack of the mitigation detail and a concern in whether the MDEQ would actually allow the offsite mitigation in this instance. Dr. Freeland from ECT and Dr. Tiltonís office were present Steve Deering, traffic consultant, was also present and Tim Schmitt, the project planner for this year as well. Staff does seek direction from City Council on several items which would likely come back to City Council for further action in the future. The applicant has indicated that they would like to petition the City Council on the vacation of one public road that remains on the property and that is Paul Bunyan Drive. The applicant has been working with the adjacent property owners and they would be maintaining easement and access across those drive ways in the back portion of those sites. Staff does support that request for a number of reasons and will bring forward a full report to the City Council at a later date. The applicant will be requesting a design and construction standard variance to eliminate the end islands in all of the parking structures both above and below ground at this point, the staff doesnít see a reason to grant that variance but they would like to look at it in further detail and provide a report back to City Council for that as well. Also, as the applicant indicated that they would be likely requesting the use of turf pavers in certain areas of this site and the Fire Marshal has been working with them on this as well. She thinks the areas they are talking about are primarily in the south area. That would be instead of providing full pavement through there. At this time staff cannot support the use of turf pavers, again they donít have the full information they would need a complete application and request for that. The Fire Marshal has been opposed to those in the past due to lack of maintenance for those in the winter time and the support for the fire vehicles. Finally, there were a number of ZBA variances that were still needed. Many of those relate to the interaction of this project with the Main Street Court.
Mayor Landry said it appears that the direction that was needed tonight was waivers with respect to building set back, faÁade treatment, shared parking and wetland permit, and the staff was also looking for direction on the vacation of Paul Bunyan Drive, the end islands, the turf pavers and the ZBA variance.
Member Mutch addressed Ms. Heideman. One of the items that Ms. McBeth mentioned was the request from the planning department to limit the building set backs from Main Street to 15 feet, what was the thought behind the proposal to have those building set further back from the street. Was that to provide outdoor dining opportunities or some other use in that area?
Ms. Heideman said it was because of the traffic circles. The way that the corner architectural features were on the 1000 and the 1100 buildings, they couldnít push them closer without encroaching onto that brick pavers sidewalk area, so now that those are eliminated, they can have them at 15 feet and they have planned the best area for outdoor dining to be on those corners so they still have enough width for that and even at 15 feet, you could still accommodate a few two top tables to go out there even along the regular width of the sidewalk.
Member Mutch said that a concern he had related to that was an issue that has been brought forward to Council with the existing Main Street development. When you have those kinds of uses and you also have the landscaping, within the sidewalk areas, is accessibility for people in wheelchairs or who otherwise are using some sort of assisting device to get around. He asked if they looked at that level of detail in terms of pedestrian areas to insure that they are not going to have problems with people in wheelchairs not being able to maneuver down the street.
Ms. Heideman said they have. 6 feet is needed clear to accommodate them, so the 15 feet is not including the landscape area.
Member Mutch said including these areas where they are going to have outdoor dining, they arenít going to have any issues.
Ms. Heideman said no, they would always keep it clear.
Member Mutch said his next question dealt with pedestrian connections to the surrounding properties. A couple areas that he had concern in term of pedestrian connectivity is going south from Union Street to the Main Street Court area. Heís not seeing any continuous, he knows Main Street Court hasnít done a very good job at providing their own internal sidewalk network but he doesnít see anything that gets you from your development to their development via sidewalk.
Ms. Heideman asked if he was speaking of where those cars were parked, adjacent to that property line.
Member Mutch said that is one location or coming across Union Street or the building west of that and then going toward Main Street Court. He thinks maybe that is where he would be expecting people to use the sidewalks at any 3 of those locations.
Ms. Heideman said they are hoping that by the time they get to that phase they will be working with the Main Street Court property because they actually want to somewhat redesign that whole area to realign that street so it goes out to Trans-x Drive in a straight fashion instead of the job they are proposing right now. So they are really hoping when they get to that phase theyíll be able to provide that, they want to provide sidewalks, they really want to work with the property owner to create this whole section to be more cohesive and more traditional in design. At this time, this is what they have due to space but hopefully they will be able to accommodate that by the time they get to that phase.
Member Mutch said if they were envisioning that Union Street, as you go across that Main Street Court property, would be something more like what Union Street is on your development, as long as that happens, that addresses that concern. The street that is labeled City Gate, were they planning on improving that out to Grand River? He doesnít see any sidewalks in that area either and that needs to be addressed.
Ms. Heideman said they will have them.
Member Mutch said their goal for the Paul Bunyan Drive was to have the whole side of that drive vacated, but they will be providing access to those properties that do need access.
Ms. Heideman said yes, they have already worked with that property owner and come to an agreement and turned the application into the city.
Member Mutch asked if the parking garage would be a four story garage. One of the questions was total parking on site, was there any thought of going higher to provide additional parking? Why are they stopping at four?
Ms. Heideman said there are a couple reasons they are stopping at four. As far as being deficient in parking since they did redesign the traffic circles, they were able to gain 12 spaces; now they are only short about 30 on site, which represents less than 2% of all the available parking spaces. That is also at peak demand which happens for one hour a day. Also within that shared parking, the ULI has a 10-15% cushion in addition. That was one thing they were looking at, adding another deck to the parking garage is a couple million dollars at least, it runs almost $40 a square foot and a typical space in a parking garage is 350 square feet because they have such a high level of architectural detail on the garage, it makes it more expensive. Plus, they didnít want it to be tall and such a huge presence within a downtown.
Member Mutch said he understands that and it is a valid concern. In terms of the design of the garage, one of the things that came up was the fact that they are currently proposing it will be a no cost garage.
Ms. Heideman said that they did have some discussion, she said they could add more parking if they wanted to come into it, or to utilize it for their site. But at this time as proposed it is free.
Member Mutch said he doesnít have a particular problem that people might pay; you might have monthly parking, those kinds of concepts. The concern he has in terms of design is this issue raised by the traffic engineer that if you get to the point that you need to have a parking pass system the stacking and the back up. If that were to occur in the future if you decide to go in that direction, can this design accommodate or be rearranged in terms of the structure itself to accommodate that kind of change in use?
Ms. Heideman thought that they would instead look at a payment system that would accommodate the already existing garage since they canít predict.
Member Mutch asked if the garage design was covered.
Ms. Heideman said that there was parking on the roof, about 100 spaces.
Member Mutch asked about the architectural detail on the side of the building because it wasnít clear to him if it was going to be an open or enclosed structure.
Ms. Heideman mentioned it needed to be open a certain percentage to accommodate exhaust and so they donít have to put in a fire compression system. They are at the ratio of open to close.
Member Mutch said if he looked at the architectural renderings, the ones from Rich and Associates that show the garage, pretty much everything that is the grey blank window, was that an open kind of design there?
Ms. Heideman said she takes it as the first floor has both and the upper floors are completely open.
Member Mutch asked if the ground floor was completely parking and that no retail was going on in there.
Ms. Heideman said no not in the parking garage, they wouldnít have enough parking to then accommodate more retail or office uses.
Member Mutch said that is disappointing to him because the trend in parking garages is to incorporate the ground floor spaces of some nature to try to get away from the dead zone they are going to get from that.
Ms. Heideman said they would love to do that, which is why they located the parking garage in the back so they wouldnít create a dead zone; they have to find the balance between marketing these uses and providing parking to them while still keeping the pedestrian atmosphere. They canít actually accommodate because they are at our limit as shown on the shared parking study so they canít add any extra square footage unless they come to some other option to provide parking.
Member Mutch asked what phase the parking structure was.
Ms. Heideman said that it was the first phase.
Member Mutch said then pretty much they are going to be stuck with what they put up. He isnít saying it as a negative; that is just going to be the case. He asked about Mongolian Barbeque just utilizing some of their space or actually the idea that the structure would go up another level.
Ms. Heideman said that is something Triangle Development is going to have to talk to them about in the future because they are deficient spaces at this time and that was approved when they had their site plan approval. Its not a problem for them right now because they are not at 100% occupancy, but they will be in the future. That is something the developer will have to deal with and he would like to talk about it.
Mr. Nona, the developer, addressed this issue with the existing Mongolian barbeque building. That has a deficiency of about 250 car spaces. Right now, it has not been a problem but they definitely see that once the project is completely developed, it will become a problem. They do not want to restrict any of the building users of that building to use our parking and vive versa because that would go against the intent of this project. At the same time they can not afford to have that building with such a significant shortage of parking, creating problems for our users. They have started the process of bringing this issue to their attention and discussing it with them. He thinks there are certainly ways, they can add another deck; for example to increase their parking, they can put another deck or increase the height of the existing deck to provide additional parking. They can reduce the size of their commercial space and keep the same parking to accommodate their parking needs. In all these cases there is an obligation on their part to contribute to the cost of the additional parking.
Member Mutch agrees with that because it is an issue that they are responsible for. He hoped that they work something out, but see it as a separate issue from this particular project under consideration. He doesnít have a problem with the lack of end islands in the parking garage design. One of the benefits of going to a lot of Tiger games was parking in a lot of parking garages in Detroit and he didnít recall one that had end islands. There is probably one out there that had one because the city told them they had to put them in, but he doesnít see them as necessary. A direction from Council should be to city administration to look at the design and construction standards to address parking garages because this is not going to be the one they are going to deal with due to land cost in the city and desire for applicant to maximize the amount of land they can build on so he thinks that is something that needs to be addressed and doesnít see a need for the islands in the garages. One of the concerns was the distance of some of the parking spaces to the residential being in excess of 300 feet which the idea of this town center design is not that you actually have to get out of your car and walk but he can also see that could be a concern. He asked if that was still a concern and if it is, where is that parking being provided that it is in excess of 300 feet?
Ms. Heideman said on the street of those buildings. Some locations where the building is set back due to the angle, it exceeds 300 feet of the actual residential unit.
Member Mutch asked if that was on the private streets and asked if she would work it out with the tenants.
Ms. Heideman said they would.
Member Mutch said the area adjacent to the residential where they have the existing industrial use, your kind of walling that around. What is the treatment on that wall, is that a brick wall?
Ms. Heideman said it is a 6 foot brick wall.
Member Mutch said long term they are anticipating this is going to redevelop. How is that going to work? What he doesnít want to see is 5 years down the road someone coming to develop that and they get stuck with this brick wall around the property.
Ms. Heideman said they would love to develop it uniformly. No matter who the property owner is in the future, it is their goal to develop it together, it only benefits their project. They donít see the residential units; they are the last phases of this project. Hopefully, they will have that worked out; otherwise when it does come to that time, they would love to work with that property owner. She wanted to quickly address the end islands because they have the end islands in the parking garage and below grade garages but on the street where someone driving and parking where it appears that they are on regular surface parking they are providing them, it just isnít within the enclosed structures because they felt that was a tripping hazard.
Member Mutch said they mentioned during the presentation fountains and public art and that they will be providing lots of it. He asked for an idea of what they can expect to see.
Ms. Heideman said they have the two intersections on Main Street which provides the opportunity for 8 different items, which they would love to have direction from Council on. Things have changed since the Planning Commission meeting where they hadnít worked out exactly what they were going to put in those monuments in those center islands. They would love direction at this time.
Member Mutch said heís sure that they would get 7 different ideas, Heís not sure of direction now, but thanks for letting them know the opportunity is there. It is something they should be looking at. One more question was about the lighting on the streets because no design for street lighting had been provided.
Ms. Heideman said she believes it was in the book, but they are matching the existing street lights.
Member Mutch asked if the ones they have out there now were shielded on top.
Ms. Heideman said they were. They hang down like a lantern style. The found the exact manufacturer they were purchased from, the same spacing. The only place that changes is in the residential portion on this site; they lowered them to twelve feet.
Member Mutch was concerned about that because they donít need any more light pollution even though it is a downtown. The rest of his questions were on the wetlands. When he was reading through the review letters that were provided, one of the things he didnít see was an analysis in terms of the quality of the wetland. Specifically in terms of as it speaks to our ordinance in terms of being an essential wetlands. He also didnít see any discussion on when it was regulated by MDEQ although he understands that it is regulated by MDEQ. The question of essential wetlands then turns into if the wetland is built, how much mitigation is required.
Dr. Freeland stated that the wetland is state regulated because it is connected to some other wetlands that are connected ultimately to a stream tributary. If itís state regulated, the idea of its essentiality is really a moot point. The wetland there consists of an acre of open water surrounded by a fringe of about 2/10 of an acre of a combination of emergent herbaceous wetland and scrub shrub wetland. The open water wetland they would recommend a replacement ratio of 1 to 1, just because open water wetland is generally the easiest kind to recreate. The scrub shrub wetland and emergent wetland combination, they would recommend a mitigation ration of 1 and a half to 1. That is consistent to what he had seen the MDEQ require.
Member Mutch said regarding the conservation site they identified adjacent to the 12 Oaks Lake, at what state are the mitigation plans, are those to a level of detail that he felt comfortable approving it?
Dr. Freeland said no.
Member Mutch asked what his areas of concern were.
Dr. Freeland said they have a concept at this point, an identified area. There are a lot of questions regarding ownership, difficult site access issues, thereís also a portion of regulated city woodland on that property, they donít like to see mitigation take place in regulated woodlands. The DEQ generally doesnít either according to what heís seen but they donít regulate woodlands the way the City of Novi does, therefore, they donít have a mechanism for requiring compensation for woodland impacts as Novi does.
Member Mutch said that those are very valid concerns.
Dr. Freeland said that since the September meeting with the Planning Commission, they have made some progress; they recognized the fact that they have a woodland issue on that potential mitigation site. If they do mitigate there, they will probably need a woodland permit as well as a wetland permit. Theyíve done a more thorough inventory of the wetland on site and have identified and observed a number of plants and animals there. They have also provided additional justification for filling the wetland which they didnít feel they had at the Planning Commission meeting. They are making progress. Theoretically they could get to the point where they get enough information and an acceptable mitigation plan where they could approve this, but they are not there tonight.
Member Mutch said that is fair and what he was looking to hear in terms of where they are on that process. Last question is for Ms. McBeth, the question of the open space for the park. They are required to provide a certain amount of open space for the entire development, which he believed is 15%. If MDEQ says, no you canít fill that wetland, that park has to go away. Do they still meet that 15% open space with the remaining open space on the development.
Ms. McBeth said that the project planner says no, there would not be adequate space on the site.
Member Mutch said they would be looking at a redesign of some degree, building reduction or providing additional green space somewhere within the development. The issue of the wetland mitigation proposal, that is on a portion of the same property that they had approved for the PRO on the east side of 12 Oaks Lake. If you put a wetland there, does that take away from Singhís open space requirements or any of their approvals that were part of their PRO? How does that impact their PRO because they already have a separate development proposal and approval for that property?
Ms. McBeth said there was a development agreement with the Uptown Park proposal by Singh Development for 201 units, that was underlined zoning with RM2 so they would have been allowed somewhere more in the neighborhood of 500 units as a maximum for that site, they were well under the maximum density that would be required or allowed, so even if they did create the wetland over there, they would still be fine with the 201 units.
Member Mutch asked what plan B was if MDEQ says no and how do you address the open space requirements?
Mr. Nona said they do have a plan B in case the MDEQ does not grant a permit or it becomes too difficult to accomplish the plan that they have. That plan B would require some modification of the present plan, but he believes they would be able to add more open space over and above the existing pond, but they really havenít done the calculations, they believe they can make it work.
Member Mutch said this is a huge project that they have had before them a couple times, but not with this level of detail. The applicant noted that they are going to be dealing with for the next 10 or 15 years, if they are successful, and he hopes they are successful. He wanted to start out by saying first, he has been one of those people who always thought this could be the downtown for Novi and he knows a lot of people are skeptical about that, but this is something Novi needs, they need something that helps distinguish them from every other Greenfield suburb on I-96. He thinks this is a start towards that. One of the big weaknesses of the first Main Street development was the lack of residential within the development. It really hurt them, but this is where this project succeeds. He also appreciates the applicantís attention to the urban scale and the urban streetscape and the design elements which really make areas like this work or not work. A lot of people get hung up on what the architecture looks like; they get hung up in sort of the little appearance things. Good downtowns work because the functions interrelate well and the streetscape works well and the pedestrian traffic supports the businesses and the residential supports the health of the area. The things people get hung up on are, is it Victorian, something contemporary, that stuff is just what it looks like, not how it functions, that is what will determine whether it works long term or not and he thinks what you have brought forward is something that will work well and is something that will be successful. He thinks it will set Novi apart from other communities. The concerns he has are the wetland issues, he really is not comfortable with the wetland fill. He thinks the urban park is critical and important, maybe one of the most important parts in this development, but on the other hand, he is really concerned about the precedent they are setting in terms of other developments in the city, yes this is absolutely unique compared to anything else they will likely see. He has always tried to treat applicants fairly and give everybody the same application of the rules. He has concerns. If MDEQ had already signed off on this he would feel more comfortable moving forward. Member Mutch also has concerns because their wetlands consultant has indicated that he doesnít have the level of comfort in terms of the detail of the mitigation that needs to be addressed. He has the same concerns he does in terms of mitigating in regulated woodlands, He wouldnít support that and if they do approve a wetland permit with mitigation tonight, he would be looking for a conservation easement over that mitigation to ensure the long term protection of that site. The other big concern obviously is the plan B. He knows their hope is that MDEQ is going to say yes, but if they donít and they are looking at a redesign, he wants to make sure that itís a good design going forward and he wished they could have seen a plan B. If he would have seen a plan B, he could have supported a site plan approval, even if the wetland permit is not granted because you already would have designed for it. Itís going to be a tough vote for him on those two issues. Overall, he is impressed with what they have done and the attention to detail that they have given it, in terms of what they could get out of this area, this is pretty close to his vision of what it would be so he appreciates all the work they put into it.
Mr. Nona said they talked to the planning staff and the issue of the park is not going to be implemented until stage 3. They will have plenty of time to know whether they are going to get the MDEQ permit, of course that is going to require a mitigation plan and the reason they have not gone into too much detail in the mitigation plan is because they donít know whether it is going to be acceptable. They are, in fact, considering other sites. His point is, there will be plenty of future opportunities to come back to Council or the Planning Board on the issue of the park and plan A and plan B.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said when Main Street came to them the first time, he wondered why they didnít attempt to fill the wetland at that time, and he didnít look at it as a very quality wetland. To him it was a swamp that bred mosquitoes. It didnít look very nice and didnít belong in a downtown district. He hopes as this gets approved that the city will support them in their request to MDEQ to fill that and make it something useable and useful in our downtown district and he thinks that is what they are trying to do. The thing he doesnít like on that area is that they have taken a street and ran it north and south blocking off the park area from the possible retail or restaurant uses that could be in there. If something is family orientated in there, as your kids are getting pops or ice creams or sandwiches, they are going to have to cross the street to get to the park. Together with that, he doesnít understand why the road east and west is blocked off. It makes perfect since to continue that road through into the traffic circle. He knows they have talked about this and you have gotten some different direction but he would be happier if that side road with a little bit of parking there were converted all into park area and the road continuing east and west would go into that circular area. He has driven that several times, there is very little traffic on that road going back in the Singh development and he doesnít think it would be a burden on the additional traffic to carry traffic through there.
Ms. Heideman said that was an option they looked at and they were told that staff wouldnít support it.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said that some people on Council might. You donít have any opposition if that were to change the plan. That isnít going to change anything in any major way. That also opens up some additional seating area for some outside, and where more perfect than to have seating right at the park. He thinks Member Mutch was right and he had to look at the plans a couple times, he was disappointed at first with the architecture, not to offend the architects in here. The buildings looked beautiful. It wasnít what he envisioned when Main Street started. To him, now it looks like a bunch of very beautiful individual buildings and you did that right by bringing in different architects, but at least on the retail part of it, he wanted to see more of break up for a him memory, but it seems when they put in the street trees on the street they realized a year later that they would run into problems because the trees would get too big a block the signs on the building. Maybe that wasnít the right place to plant all of those trees. The types of trees that go there might be consideration to take into account because in adopting the new sign ordinance they were considering how are you going to drive down the street safely and still try to look and see what stores are there to know where you want to park by to go in. If trees are going to cover the signs, theyíre going to create additional problems. The other faÁade issue, he would prefer the copper color roof as opposed to the red, they have had the battle with everybody in the TC and TC1 district and they have made everybody stick to it, even Fridays, even though they didnít comply with the requirements of their building, they were supposed to have done that. That is the only change with the faÁade; otherwise, he thinks theyíre fine. He is going to go through the comments page by page. The Main Street Court, he knows they have done everything they can do, he doesnít think they have to do anything more with them, they will come to them some time in the future when they are going to need additional parking because they are going to want to put in a restaurant and they wonít have
enough parking, they can talk to them about that at that point. He does agree with staff in regard to the 800 building layout that building, more so than any of the others, since it is right now Novi Road, heíd expected that to look a little more traditional downtown individual retail type of a building instead of a multi story office building. He does agree with the parking suggestions from staff. Building setbacks on Main Street not just the 1000 and 1100, heís fine with the 20 feet. He knows they want to bring the buildings close, but you go downtown Royal Oak, Ann Arbor where they didnít plan for that, and the outdoor seating, you donít want just a two top, you want a four top where four people could sit down and have dinner, so the additional space to me just means additional outside seating in the spring and summer time, when whether permits. Heís fine with the additional setback variances for the 1300 building, shared parking situation. In the plan and he remembered they had this problem with the initial Main Street building you own some of the existing parking lot behind the existing main street building, correct?
Mr. Nona said most of the existing spaces that are there belong to that building. There is a condominium association that is a general common element of the parking for the association. They have an existing condo association, they have 2 units, and we have 1 unit. But technically they are considering that as their parking so, the parking analysis doesnít not include any of their uses or their parking.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said that after all this time, if they have a parking problem there, he will be delighted. They will deal with it when it comes. The Paul Bunyan Sixth Gate, he presumes they were talking to Victor Cassis. Normally, what they do is they split the property between the two property owners. He asked if they were just assuming to take it all.
Mr. Nona said right now, he doesnít know exactly how he is going to develop his property, but they have agreed that they are going to provide him one or two access points and number two he will have the use of the parking on his side and number three they will put his building or development in a shared parking analysis with ours.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked if he would still have access onto Novi Road. Whatever they work out with him is ok, it only makes sense. He thinks on this site, they have to have the green space and the percentage, but when you are in a downtown district, it is hard to put that many trees into an area without encumbering traffic and pedestrian traffic. He doesnít know if with all the various issues they can come to a consensus, but if not heís sure that at the next meeting they will have everything resolved.
Member Nagy said that she read all the Planning Commission minutes and they did a great job. The staff did a great job. She really likes this project; she thinks for this area it is creative, innovative. She doesnít believe she has seen anything within our area that looks like this. She does have a couple questions; the first is in regards to the turf pavers. They had a particular project and she thinks it was a connection they wanted to use pavers, the fire department recommended against it, they denied it. Even though they answered some of the questions with regards to the maintenance of it, she does have a question with regard to the ADA. Is that going to provide any problems for the ADA?
Ms. Heideman said when she was reading, these make it easier and more wheelchair accessible than if it were just grass.
Member Nagy said what if she was walking through that area in high heels, would she to get her heel caught on it.
Ms. Heideman said that she canít answer that, the top soil is a little bit below the material that the fire truck will sit on, that way it doesnít compact the soil. You might, but not anymore than just regular dirt.
Member Nagy said, but in an area like that you arenít looking to be walking through dirt. People will walk through it. A concern about that is that she would like the Fire Department to be in total agreement about everything. The other thing is that she did look up on the internet the MDE application. At the present time not only have they not approved it, but according to the web site they are looking to receive more information. She would have liked to have a plan B because sheís really a visual person and was trying to visualize where you would have put the green space. She agrees with Member Capello in the sense that, as much as she likes the whole idea of the park, it does seem to be a little separated from the rest of Main Street. Sheís not expecting them to change the design by what she is commenting on but she almost thought to herself, it would have been nicer to have it closer to the center of Main Street with buildings surrounding it so that you would walk past it no matter what direction you go. With regard to the parking structure, she doesnít believe they require end islands. She can see why they donít want to spend any more money and go up another floor, but they are making 800 building the first building, then the parking garage.
Ms. Heideman said yes and also the building that is in front of the garage, 600.
Member Nagy asked which building was going to have the medical offices.
Ms. Heideman said that would be building 800.
Member Nagy said she saw that was a walkway. She wanted to know if it was covered because she goes to Beaumont hospital a lot and she likes the covered walkway. She thinks almost everywhere she goes, the hospitals have that in a lot of the buildings and she thinks it would be great for the people who go to the medical buildings. With regard to the street trees, she thinks the ones that are planted now, the branches need to be pruned up because you canít walk down the street. She doesnít like the idea of having that many pear trees, they are soft trees, and you can always do columnar or something like that that goes straight up. She doesnít want to take the green away because it adds to the aesthetics and the appeal of the area. She does have a thing about EIFS, she never really did like it that much. She doesnít particularly think she would like to see vinyl siding, vinyl siding tends to burn, it emits a chemical odor and if you ding it, it is dented. She is sure they are familiar with hardy plank, could that be a substitute? That looks just as good and it is fire retardant. That would also have an added value. It would give the same look they were trying to achieve and it would last longer, the minimum is 15 years without having to paint it. The only thing she understands they canít do it put a bunch of nail holes in it, you have to use specialized nails, but she thinks it would be much more attractive than vinyl siding and it is a newer material. With regards to the snow plowing, would that be the cityís responsibility?
Ms. Heideman said no it would be Main Streets responsibility.
Member Nagy said so they would be the ones indicating where these turf pavers are.
Mr. Pearson said that administration needs to catch up and provide some directions to allow turf pavers. They are all good reasons as to why they should be permitted, they just havenít gotten around to catching up. He thinks one case that Council dealt with was residential which was a little bit different, but this is around the park area, itís a perfect application. The point is the weight bearing, they have more than that.
Member Nagy was trying to make sure our fire department gets covered here, but she appreciated the comments and took it under advisement. The main concern that she had was the wetland mitigation, they do have woodland ordinances and she doesnít want to see woodlands becoming wetlands. She knows that they are building in different phases but really would have liked to see what they would have done if they couldnít have gotten this because this is an essential regulated wetland and as much as the park looks attractive, she definitely thinks that they have put a lot of work into it and she appreciated all the time and effort they have put into it. She also realized that somebody mentioned something about the different designs of the building. She thinks it will look nice because it wonít look like a bunch of row house effect, when you have different architectural designs. It will also appeal to people with various tastes that come into that area.
CM-06-11-293 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the request of Triangle Main Street, LLC. For Main Street Novi SP06-38
City Council waiver to modify building setbacks along Main Street, with no more than 15 feet of pavement between curb and building,
City Council finding under Section 1602.9 that proposed facades and materials being used meet the intent of TC zoning district bearing in mind hardy plank,
City Council acceptance of Shared Parking Study, incorporating Main Street Court parcel, with the applicant providing cross access and shared parking agreement over the Main Street Novi site at Final Site Plan,
City Council acceptance of applicantís proposed off-site mitigation, to be located on the south site of the Twelve Oaks Mall lake,
All Zoning Board of Appeals variances being granted or plans being modified to meet ordinance requirements,
Vacation of Paul Bunyan Street at the northwest corner of the site, adjacent to Novi Road,
Applicant redesign of intersections to remove traffic circles, or redesign to meet satisfaction of cityís traffic engineer, with details to be reviewed at the time of Final Site Plan review,
Resolution of all remaining issues listed in the staff and consultant review letters at the time of Final Site Plan review.
To take Depot Street out and continue additional park land and continue Division Street around to the Market Street.
The city wholeheartedly supports this as a community amenity.
Mayor Landry clarified with respect to the shared parking; the motion indicated that the shared parking would be required as a condition of final site plan approval.
Member Nagy said yes.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked if the requirement to work out the shared parking concept in general or with Main Street court because he thinks they have done all they can to work it out with that neighborhood. He doesnít want to impose an additional burden on them to have to do any further negotiations.
Member Nagy said the motion would include applicant providing cross access and shared parking availability to Main Street Court.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello suggested they take that Depot Street out and continue additional park land and continue Division Street around to the Market Street.
Member Nagy said if that is a friendly amendment she accepts that.
Mayor Landry asked if that was acceptable to the applicant.
Ms. Heideman said yes.
Mr. Nona said a lot of this is going to depend on the final resolution of the wetland issue, in fact, plan B includes that Depot Street going all the way down without that side suggestion.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said his next suggestion was that they make this subject to MDEQ approval because if they donít get it, Council wants the whole thing to come back.
Mayor Landry asked Mr. Schultz if shared parking is not with this group, who is it with?
Mr. Schultz said he thinks the intention of this particular item is to make sure that they keep both parties at the table on this issue with Main Street Court and what theyíd like to have in that final site plan is appropriate an actual document that at least one party has signed or indicated an agreement that they will sign. Heís not sure with the reformulation of the language, if Council intended to lessen that. They would like to keep it with this proponent giving its half of a cross access shared parking agreement in hand with us and then they deal with the other half if they are unable to do it themselves.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello told Mr. Schultz that it was his suggestion to not include that in the document, he thinks if they do that it will make it more difficult for Mr. Nona to negotiate with Main Street Court because then he is really behind the gun, and that is really unfair to him. He thinks it will work itself out as Main Street Court needs some relief in the future. He doesnít want to make that a requirement because he knows theyíve tried for months and months and months and canít get anywhere.
Mr. Schultz said they are back then to the issue that they spoke about with Council if there isnít at least the permission by this proponent to allow continued parking on their property then they run the risk of creating a non conforming situation on Main Street Court. If they allow this amendment without the agreement on the part of this proponent to have that parking, they didnít create a situation that doesnít exist now. Then, if the situation exists, whatís going to happen is they will have to come back to the negotiating table and probably carry that road through as they always anticipated that it would come through as a result of an overall resolution and thatís what he is trying to look towards the future, trying to make it easier in the future to get the thing resolved.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello clarified to Mr. Schultz that he was only suggesting that they require they do their part, their half of the shared parking. Once they agree that they would do it, they donít have to negotiate at all, they are done. Then when Main Street Court comes to us for approval of whatever they want approved, we can say contingent on you signing your half of the shared parking. The onus is off of these guys, is the way he understands it.
Mr. Schultz said they need them to maintain open access for that existing parking, give us the paperwork that they need in that regard.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked Mr. Nona if he opposed that.
Mr. Nona said not really because they have tried to work with them, in fact they have given them a couple of plans. They donít have a problem with that, he thinks they have made some sensible offers to them, they have agreed to open up the street in the area and he thinks they want to maintain a project that has open shared parking, so they are not going to prevent their people from parking. But, no they agree to work out the shared parking formula with them, even without a formal agreement.
Mayor Landry said that what was on the table now is only that they agree to do their part of the shared parking.
Mr. Nona said their project, by the way, works even if you take him out of the mix. They are short a few parking spots, but it still works. When you include that building into the mix, then it works better.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said that the language that is in the proposed motion with the addition that it can be at final site plan, accomplishes what they need to.
Member Nagy asked what they would have to add to that is at final site plan. Letter C would end with the words "at final site plan".
Member Margolis would also like to echo that she thinks it is a wonderful development. She was on Main Street shopping on Saturday and looked again at the brown fields and they need this development there and have done a great job. If people could see the mass of documents that they received and the work that they have put in with staff to come to agreements on these issues, she thinks that they need to be commended as a staff for that. She will support the motion; she doesnít have any problem with any of the problems in there. The issues that were brought up about the wetland, the reality is that will sort itself out with the MDEQ approval or not and then they will move forward from there. Just to give staff a couple of directions on the other items they talked about, she would agree with the comments earlier about the end islands. As someone who goes in and out of a parking structure multiple times a day she canít imagine there being end islands in a parking structure, so, she thinks they need to catch up in terms of the ordinances on that. The other items they had asked about and sheís glad that Mr. Pearson brought up about the turf pavers because she actually has a note that this has come up a couple times, just since she has been on the Council. She gets the feeling that they are a little bit behind in terms of how they approach that issue. She would like to see staff work on that and see if they can come up with something that preserves the safety. She understands the concern to making sure that gets plowed. She thinks that is one of the big issues, to make sure it doesnít get over grown so there isnít access. If this is the new design that is coming in, she thinks there are a lot of reasons they need to look at that and make that positive. She has no problem with the vacation of the street and thinks that works well into the plan. She did have one question in terms of the amphitheater. While it has talk about a park and an amphitheater, she thinks there are some variations in the documents. That would belong to the condo association and are they talking about the residents condo association, it wouldnít be the business owners at that point she asked what was the concept with that?
Mr. Nona said their will be several levels of condos, there will be a site condo, for each of the buildings and then when they have our residential building that has condos within it each one of those buildings could have a separate condo superimposed on the original one that would be for the residential. He would say primarily this would be for the condo association, including business owners. They are open to working out any arrangements with the city parks and recreation to listen to their concerns, ideas, cooperation, taking it over.
Member Margolis said she would like to see staff talk with them about how they think that would work best. It is something the city could use, it is very positive about the site. She would want to make sure the city and business owners were comfortable with where that was going. She doesnít want to see an issue between the residents and the business owners in terms of how that site is used. Sheíd like to see that discussed.
Member Paul reiterated that she has no problem with turf pavers, she didnít on the last project and she has even less now because the condominium complex is going to be doing the snow removal and that was the biggest concern. Also, the other thing is, there is absorption and with the pervious surface, the turf builder has some absorption. It will benefit this project. She likes the green roof tops. How many roof tops is it proposed on?
Ms. Heideman said it is proposed on the residential buildings where they have added grade parking. It is between the 1400 buildings and the 1200 building on this site.
Member Margolis said some studies have been done and it is 1% more in building construction to have a green roof top, but it pays for itself within less than 3 years, in regards to cooling and heating and absorption. Hopefully, with some of their green designs will help with their MDEQ permit. Another suggestion is there might be some areas they want to put bio retention basins in, sheís sure theyíre familiar with that. When you are getting rid of a wetland that is going into a tributary, that might be something to consider. She has no problem eliminating the trees at the edges of the parking garage. One question under planning, page 1, it talked about under the 800 building design and layout decreasing the sidewalk by 2 feet. Would that still allow the 6 feet for the ADA compliance.
Ms. Heideman said yes, the sidewalk will be 10 feet.
Member Margolis said she just wanted to check. Under traffic, in front of building 800 theyíre going to have the retail and the restaurants there, in the top portion of the building theyíre going to have your medical office. She asked if theyíre going to have signs delineating parking time in those front parking spots.
Mr. Nona said the medical building has requested a certain number of reserved parking for them. There will be some, but a small number, maybe 30 or 40. In the front and in the parking that would be reserved, they told them they will only do it between 8 and 5 so after hours it will be open to be used by the evening users.
Member Margolis said her concern was if they have lunch time restaurants, they wonít have the flexibility for people to pull up and use it on a quick basis.
Mr. Nona said again they will only have a small number. Itís less than 10% of what was available there.
Member Margolis said she thinks the wetland issue will work itself out and she finds it very important that they figure out what to do with the mitigation. They canít just fill and not have a place for the water to go. With all that being said, she thinks the project is excellent; she is looking forward to come to fruition and watch it because they have been talking about it for several years since she has been on Council.
Member Gatt said he will be consistent with what he has said for the last year and a half. He thanked them for coming to Novi and bringing such a beautiful, multimillion dollar project, Novi is the envy of southeast Michigan and they were just adding to that envy. Theyíve thought of everything, even the parking time limits in front of the medical building. They were professionals and it showed.
Mayor Landry said he was not concerned at all about filling in the wetland. He thinks the amphitheater is a very important part, a very important feature. If this plan is going to work like they all want to it, it has to attract people, if people have to go there and patronize the shops and the residential park is part of that, he just sees a concrete pad, whatís behind it.
Ms. Heideman said there is a wall behind it. It is actually in a strategic location, due to the grade situation in that area, that wall is actually a retaining wall also. If you go out to Main Street, you will see that the wetland is a lot further below grade than the street. That is why, it actually reduces fill that they have, the sloping lawn and then the concrete pad and the wall.
Mr. Nona would like to add if they have to place more than 10 thousand cubic yards of fill in a wetland area, then the issue goes out of the jurisdiction of MDEQ to the EPA, so they were trying to keep it below 10 thousand cubic yards and as a result, the grading is
not what they would like it to be. Our wetland consultant had indicated that if we get the blessing of the MDEQ, they are going to go to the EPA. If that requirement or restriction of 10 thousand cubic yards goes away, then they are going to do a nice grading plan in here. The plan for the park is not nearly final.
Mayor Landry said good, because they talk about amenities and they had plans for fountains in the circles, if theyíre not going to do that, he thinks to work, itís important how this park looks and to be a quality park. If it is, heís sure the city will be very interested in talking to them about sharing the upkeep and activities. To him, thatís a real key element. He thinks it could really make this whole project go.
Mr. Nona said if they get the approval, it will be a lot better than what they see now.
Member Mutch had one question about the intersection redesign that incorporates the table concept. Are there any design and construction standard questions about that?
Mr. Pearson said that he doesnít know if they are in our existing design and construction standards. But they are out there in the literature, the traffic manual and so forth. He is familiar with those, and will work through that too.
Member Mutch was just wondering as far as approvals if there was anything separate that needed to be done.
Mr. Pearson said if there are, they will come back because he has not heard anyone say that they have to have that.
Mr. Schultz said if they need to, after reviewing it, they can do that at final site plan.
Member Mutch had a question about the Sixth Gate Street. He wanted to know if that was going to remain a public street and it they will be upgrading it.
Mr. Nona said right now because they do not own the property, yes.
Member Mutch asked if he was counting the parking along Main Street in their overall parking total.
Mr. Nona and Ms. Heideman said yes, but not the in front of the existing building.
Member Mutch said that is fine, it was more of a question of how that is handled, but the intent is they will still be maintaining that as a public street.
Mr. Pearson said they maintain the through lanes, not the parking sides on it. The city is not responsible for maintaining the planter boxes, or any other physical improvement that are along that road.
Member Mutch asked if that included the street light that he asked about.
Mr. Pearson said yes, the property owners are responsible for that. There are a couple folks that mentioned on part of Council the importance of the urban park and how that fits in. Apart from where and how to do the mitigation if Council chooses, he thinks it would be helpful to give some clear direction, concurrence that they can help the applicant along in terms of writing any letters or anything thatís necessary with both MDEQ and EPA about the importance of this in the urban center. He thinks it would be a nice thing; they havenít talked about incentives or anything else in this project so itís maybe the least they can do to help facilitate that.
Mayor Landry said how about a friendly amendment that indicates some sort of declaration that the city wholeheartedly supports this as a community amenity.
Roll call vote on CM-06-10-293 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry
6. Consideration of Amendment to Consent Judgment with Novi Fine Wine, Inc., dated February 10, 2006, relating to faÁade and sports logos/medallions.
Mr. Schultz said in the draft that Mr. Giroux, Mr. Nofarís attorney, and he circulated back and forth, they had put in a number of the existing logos and signs of 9, and he believes it is actually 12 when you add them all up. He apologized for that, but they will change the number and what they are actually going to do, shall the Council approve this, is take a different picture and attach an appropriate exhibit.
Member Paul had just one comment saying that most of the people in the community donít mind the insignias that are tile or stone related. The more offense they take is to the yellow sign. It has a lot of words, it is very bright, and that is where they get more of the negative comments of the store. She doesnít have a problem with all of the plaques or tiles that are in the building, that is just something that has been shared in the community. If they would consider, she knows it is very expensive for signs but that is why they have not as appealing of a corner, because of that sign. Sheís glad that they improved the building.
Member Mutch said they would be remiss in not noting that there were some concerns, when this went to ZBA, from some of the adjoining businesses. He thinks not so much with the nature of the signage on the building but the concern that rules were not being followed. His comment to address those types of concerns is because this is governed by a consent judgment, because of the history of what happened with the 10 Mile and Novi Road intersection improvements that there was probably some vague language about signage. He thinks what they were approving makes the language clear for everybody going forward and he expects everyone involved to be following the signage language so they donít have that issue in the future. He thinks everyone is on the same page now and expects that to happen and heís hoping this is the last time Council will have to deal with it.
CM-06-11-294 Moved by Paul, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Amendment to Consent Judgment with Novi Fine Wine, Inc., dated February 10, 2006, relating to faÁade and sports logos/medallions.
Roll call vote on CM-06-11-294 Yeas: Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy
7. Approval to award bid for the Ella Mae Power Park outfield fencing system to Motor City Fence Company, the lowest bidder, in the amount of $175,105.
Member Nagy asked if they ever ask Novi Fence for a bid.
Mr. Pearson is not sure if they responded.
Mr. Auler said if they are on the city vendor bid list, then they are solicited for bids. He can verify tomorrow and get that out to her.
Member Nagy was just making sure that they are trying to make sure that Novi businesses bid on our projects.
Mr. Auler said that they tried to contact as many fence companies as possible.
CM-06-11-295 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve award bid for the Ella Mae Power Park outfield fencing system to Motor City Fence Company, the lowest bidder, in the amount of $175,105.
Roll call vote on CM-06-11-295 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION
B. Approval of Traffic Control Order 06-05 for the installation of a permanent Yield Sign on northbound McLean Court and Mystic Forest Drive.
Member Margolis said she removed this item because they have had longstanding, before she was on Council, of the residential associations that come forward and request a stop sign, that unless there is a traffic reason as to why they donít want that stop sign, it would be installed. She sees that they are putting a yield sign in, her question is, the association requested a stop sign and she just want to make sure they are comfortable with this. She sees no reason listed in here as to why it is not a stop sign, as they requested.
Mayor Landry asked Mr. Pearson why it was not a stop sign.
Mr. Pearson said he assumes they had the yield sign in place so this all has to do with ratifying whatís been there. It would be a change to go now to a two way stop sign. Thatís his only rationale at this point. It is a key intersection; there is a bold school of thought with the deliberation of stop signs that gets away from stop signs. Itís kind of a T where it intersects, due to an application of angles, heís indicated for a yield sign.
Member Margolis said she guessed the policy has been what the neighborhood wants, and that has been a long standing policy. After having gone through this in a neighborhood, she understands where they are coming from. She doesnít want to delay them getting something installed, but also wants to be sure that they are getting what they want. As long as it isnít a problem with traffic, she doesnít see the problem with giving them that.
Mr. Pearson said that he hasnít heard any objection to the yield sign that has been in place. He doesnít know if they have just given up, and went along with it at this point. They can find out and if it is, come back to Council for a change to the stop sign, or postpone it.
Member Margolis asked if there was anyone from the association or anyone who would like to talk.
Rob Hayes said he is not familiar with that particular sign but in general they have to make sure that it meets warrant in order for any type of sign to be installed, whether it is a stop sign or a yield sign. He would imagine that it has met warrants and that is why DPW put it forward as being a yield sign.
Mayor Landry wanted to make a comment that Mayor Pro Tem Capello and he wrote that section back in 2001. The policy was that if the residents want a stop sign, the residents get a stop sign, unless there is a good reason to not put a stop sign. From his perspective the direction should be, if they want and stop sign give them a stop sign, unless it is somehow dangerous to put a stop in. If thatís the case, they donít want to create a dangerous situation. That is the way the policy was originally written up.
Member Gatt said that many numerous studies have shown that just because a resident thinks they know best, they will want a stop sign. The city will go in and do a study and they will determine that a stop sign is not warranted. If it is put in, it would be a danger because the people are not used to that, they arenít used to seeing it, arenít used to stopping and yet someone who is new, sees the stop sign and lots of accidents happen when signs are installed at a neighborís request. He assumed on this point that someone did a study and determined that a stop sign was not warranted and therefore a yield sign was put in.
Member Mutch had a comment in the unique situation in that the subdivision association requesting the yield sign is not the subdivision association predominately being affected by the yield sign. Itís essentially a cul-de-sac that was extended off an existing sub. Theyíre making all the people in the cul-de-sac sub either yield or stop for the sign, which he understands their desire to have that, but they really have two subdivisions involved in this situation. He thinks the yield sign is a good alternative. He agrees with Member Gattís point, whether a warrant was met or not, are they going to be looking at the three way stop of only stopping on the one street. He wants to keep in mind that there are two subís involved here, even though, the one sub is the one that requested the yield sign.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said he understands exactly where the street is, but if the association is coming to us and asking us to put a stop sign there, there is obviously a problem with people going through there. He doesnít know if the yield sign is going to
work to slow them down sufficiently. Heís still of the opinion, if they want a stop sign, unless there is a safety reason not to put it up, that they should have a stop sign.
Member Paul said she doesnít know if they are making a good decision to have anything done specifically tonight; if they are having a temporary yield sign in place, and that is working, maybe they ask the two homeownerís associations involved and try to get an opinion. Her understanding is when a homeownerís association wants a stop sign; they had to do a petition of the area involved. That is what was done in her sub, as well as Addington. She would like to have two homeowners associations have some type of letter back to Council, saying what they want. A yield sign or a stop sign, and motion to postpone this for now, until they have clear direction back from administration if this is safe or not and the two homeowners association agreeing to what they want.
Mayor Landry said just to make a clarification; the policy is a petition from the subdivision or a request from the subdivision association. If the association does it, you donít need the petition.
CM-06-11-296 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To postpone approval of Traffic Control Order 06-05 for the installation of a permanent Yield Sign on northbound McLean Court and Mystic Forest Drive, until they have clear direction back from administration if this is safe or not and the two homeowners association agreeing to what they want.
Roll call vote on CM-06-11-296 Yeas: Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Format of City Council copy of Attorney and Consultant material streamlining Ė Member Margolis
Member Margolis said through some discussion with the city staff in terms of the number of pieces of correspondence that the City Council is copied on from the attorney and consultant and the question of streamlining that, she is open to whatever, one of the discussions they had is that they are looking to move towards e-packets. The idea of having that is the first phase, actually scanning and sending those documents electronically so they can look those over without a million pieces of paper. She wanted to bring that up to Council for some discussion and some consensus.
Member Paul said that she thinks having an e-packet started in this component for some of the legal letters is a good idea. Some of them she reads in detail, some she breezes over and there are many. A lot of paper, a lot of staff time for everybody involved. She is all in favor of that and looks forward to our whole packet being electronic. This is a great start
Ms. Cornelius said she would love that idea.
Mayor Landry said ok great; you are obviously not opposed to this.
Ms. Cornelius said not at all.
Member Nagy said she thinks it is a good idea because it is an awful lot for the staff to do. She knows she recycles all that white paper and is taking more and more because she is getting too much from the city. It is a very good idea and she supports it.
2. Naming rights
Member Nagy said she thinks they had a discussion about the naming rights and she hadnít heard anything about it and knows the Novi Parks Foundation actually had some fundraisers but she wondered if they had anything on naming rights and also with regard to naming rights, she wanted to know if Mr. Auler was involved because he is actually a person with experience. She hasnít heard if they have gotten any money in and is wondering if there is maybe a report that they can get in the near future.
Mr. Pearson said that they can put the request in.
3. Fire Marshal Inspections regarding Fees
Member Nagy said one of the things she noticed as our Fire Marshal goes out and inspects the building, she wanted to know if are all the fees generated by that inspection are going to the building department or is there a portion that goes to the fire department.
Mr. Pearson said the companies do building inspections throughout the course of the day. There are all kinds of reasons to do that so the officers that will be responding to an incident to get familiar with a building, if youíre talking about an existing building.
Member Nagy said no, when they get the Fire Marshal reports, who gets the money?
Mr. Pearson said the City gets the money. It goes to the general fund like anything else. There is a component of that they pay off to someone else that they have a third party reviewer that does initial review, they do review after that. Some of the money just goes to cover our costs and thatís sorted out through out general fund.
Member Nagy said she thought some of the money should go to the fire department.
Member Mutch said he thinks it is helpful from a budgeting perspective if they have an idea of the costs associated with those activities and in terms of what they have to pay the Fire Marshal and any related costs and then what money is coming in because that helps us to establish our fee structure and at least guarantee that they are recouping our costs. He would at least like to see an accounting of that if it is possible. He thinks it would be helpful seeing what that activity costs us. Obviously it is something that they have to do. The question he has is what kinds of fees is that generating.
Mr. Pearson said that for every tracking there is a cost of tracking. When they come in with the fees that are extensive, they try to allocate the wetlands and the woodlands, and the facades, our new software is going to increase the ability to do that and track it. He wouldnít be surprised if they were able to do that.
Member Mutch said he isnít clear on the difficulty. The person who does that, itís not like they send it to planning and there are three different planners who review it. The Fire Marshal does a specific review; they pay a specific fee for that is that correct?
Mr. Pearson said that for the outside services, they collect for that. They can give the whole fee structure they have for those and what they have collected with as much of the detail as they have. He doesnít think it is lumped in with the whole planning component of it.
Chief Smith said that he has had a brief discussion with the Fire Marshal about specifically this problem. They were planning to bring it up with the City Manager and address it at budget time. Contrary to public opinion, the fire department is not all costs, they do generate some money and they wanted to bring that to Council under the idea of money in and money out at a later time. He has not discussed it with the City Manager yet.
Member Nagy said she is glad he said that because that is her understanding that there is money in and money out. Maybe instead of asking for breakdowns right now they can bring this up at budget time and they can have all that prepared for Council by the time they do the budget.
Member Gattís only question would be what is the purpose of learning all this, they have to do the review. They get more money in, less money in, what is that going to do for us.
Member Nagy said maybe some of the fees should be generated back into the fire department.
Member Gatt said that in government work, all monies that come in, go into the general fund. In county, state, and municipal levels that is how it works. The only thing that is guaranteed for a department by law is the forfeiture fund that they are going to talk about one day. All the money that the police department generates, and all the money everyone else generates, except specifically those cited go into the general fund.
Member Nagy would like to wait until budget time to get that information and maybe discuss it further.
4. Permits for solicitation and the road right-of way
Member Paul said it is something that has been brought up recently. This weekend in particular the Lions Club had one corner on Novi Road and Grand River. Another permit was issued for Novi Road and 12 Mile. Many of the people that use solicitation in our right-of-way as their main fundraising, such as the Lions Club or the Good Fellows; they are very careful what intersections they are at and have to get a permit to get the solicitation, they have to be safe in the right-of-way. That makes her uncomfortable running out in front of the red lights. But they are comfortable with it. Her concern is, is the Lions Club as well as the Good Fellows, Ms. Cornelius, a 5013C corporation? They raise money to give it away. Do you know that information?
Ms. Cornelius said she is not sure if they are both listed. They are nationally recognized, both of them would be listed as nonprofit. When they apply, they have to state that they are a nonprofit group.
Member Paul said her understanding is they have two different groups soliciting money is similar areas, Novi Road is not that long. She wants to support the businesses that support our community. She would like, possibly, for Mr. Schultz to look into this because there is a discrepancy within the permits. The permits that are issued for each group is for two weeks, possibly they go through the week, but many are mainly weekends, the ordinance says 90 days. Now there is a conflict with one of the groups that are not a larger group that is recognized by different states and our city in particular. She just wants some clarification. One thing she wanted to share is, if there is a group that is known as a known entity in our city, she feels really comfortable with that group raising money. She had a resident call her this weekend and they very concerned with the group on 12 Mile and Novi Road; they didnít have any knowledge of where that money was going. They were very upset that they were allowed to solicit in our city. That is just something they shared with her, as well as they were standing on the median in the middle of 12 Mile. Just points of communication that she has received and would love to hear back on how they can solve the discrepancy because the one group wants to stay there for the 90 days.
Mr. Schultz said that they did, last week, have a very open ended discussion. They want the full 90 days application for our permit. The ordinance is very broad and a little out of date. They would be happy to look at it, make suggestions and bring it back.
Member Mutch said Waterford Township dealt what the issue a couple years ago, where outside groups were soliciting in the community. Questions of how often you could solicit, and how many intersections it was happening at. That would be one community they could look at because they did quite a revision to their solicitation permits because of that.
Mr. Schultz said there are plenty more recent amendments out there. One of the big issues Council will have to look at is do you really want to be authorizing people to be in that right-of-way.
Mayor Landry said they will look forward to Mr. Schultz report.
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 11:40 P.M.
David Landry, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
________________________________ Date approved: November 27, 2006
Transcribed by: Natalie Laitinen