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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
Pamela Antil, Assistant City Manager
Tom Schultz, City Attorney
Randy Auler, Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor Pro Tem Capello added, under Mayor and Council Issues, item 1, The Health Care Benefit Consultant for a discussion on how RFPís went out and how the selection was made.
CM-07-03-043 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as amended.
Roll call vote on CM-07-03-043 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul,
1. Briefing on request by Singh Development for offer to incorporate vacant City property at southwest corner of Ten Mile Road and Wixom Road into a new development agreement for Links of Novi a.k.a. Legacy Parc.
Mr. Pearson said the Links of Novi Golf Course on the south side of Ten Mile just west of Wixom Road had an approved development plan, which Singh Development secured about two years ago. He said that project had not proceeded along the designs of that residential development. Mr. Pearson commented that Council had received a report from Singh Development with an idea they would like to pursue for an alternative development. He said the type of community would remain residential, but they had suggested an older adult community after doing quite a bit of market research. Mr. Pearson thought it would be beneficial to have Singh Development present their concept to the Council because they had approved the previous project. He said they would then go from this point to the Planning Commission for review, public hearing, recommendation and back to Council. Secondly, he felt Council should be included at this point because the new project called for a request for land that the City of Novi currently owned at the corner south of Ten Mile and west of Novi Road across from the Fire Station. Mr. Pearson said the property was acquired as part of a larger 2 Ĺ acres needed for Fire Station #4 and access road for that property. He said the property had been intended for a parking trail head associated with the eventual Singh Trail construction. However, the fact that this was a substantial change from the original residential development, and involved City property was why it was before Council. Mr. Pearson said it was a presentation and Council would have the opportunity to ask questions and give Singh
Development their initial thoughts. Mr. Pearson noted they were not asking for any decisions tonight. Mr. Pearson said the report was received last week and had not gone through any reviews so they would not be prepared to answer detailed questions like utility capacity, price, etc. He said that would be for Council to set some parameters or questions they would like the Administration to pursue.
Mike Kahm of Singh Development said in 2004 they had gone through a lot of discussion and consideration about the reuse of the Links of Novi Golf Course and the adjoining east and west properties with Council. After a great deal of discussion and work with staff and Council they had come up with an RUD plan for what they called Quail Hollow at that time. He showed Council the plan that was approved on the overhead and had been incorporated as part of the current RUD agreement, and it included 439 single family homes. Mr. Kahm said the amendment they entered into in January 2005 included incorporating the club house, which was shown on that plan. Mr. Kahm said they were probably wondering why it was still a golf course. He said over that last few years, things in Michigan had gotten a little dicey so they wanted to put a framework around where they were and where they are today in the current market conditions. He said they were before Council to get their feedback.
Mr. Kahm said there was very little demand for single family homes in south east Michigan, and they had been trying to figure out what they could do with the property that made sense outside of what it was approved for. On top of the little demand problem there was also an over supply of single family lots because of the market, area and many of them belong to Singh. Mr. Kahm said there had been a tremendous downturn in the economy and they needed to figure out something to do that made sense and addressed a need in the community and the area. He said the population in the City of Novi and the surrounding area in south east Michigan was getting older, and they wanted to explain where they saw the demographics of Michigan going. In 2006 there were 69 million people in the United States who were 55 or older, and in 2014 itís projected that 25% of the entire population of the country would be 55 or older.
Mr. Kahm said Hanly Wood was a well respected housing research company that they used often in looking at Michigan and other markets in the country. One of the things they looked at was the phenomena of the baby boomer generation, and what they might be looking for that would be different than they traditionally understood all those years in the single family subdivision development. Mr. Kahm said they were looking for active lifestyles and traditional neighborhoods that would integrate a lot of different services in that neighborhood. It would be a walkable, usable and functional neighborhood, which would have all the things that generation would want to see in a traditional neighborhood. Mr. Kahm said the thing that addressed all those things was the active adult community. He said there were two of these communities that were a little different than what he would present this evening that had been developed in Metropolitan Detroit by a subsidiary of Pulte in Brownstown Township and Grand Blanc.
Mr. Kahm said they were proposing something similar but thought it would integrate things a little better, and they would call it Legacy Parc. It would be an active adult community with the center point of the community being a very large recreation center club house. When they had analyzed what components were really important to an active adult community, they found five. He said the recreation center was crucial because it would be the hub of the activity for the entire community for residents. The residential component would be comprised of detached homes, attached duplex/triplex type units, a service/retail component called Village Commons, which would be available to the residents of the community, and senior living. Mr. Kahm said they saw these communities as an integration of all these things and people who come to active adult communities would age in place. He said at some point they would need to move to another facility that would fill their needs better like their Waltonwood community at Twelve Oaks Mall. They were proposing integration of these five critical elements as part of the active adult community. He said when they looked at the golf course and layout before, they felt it would be important for an active adult community to have a very strong circulation room. Therefore, when they started looking at the project they looked at how they would link all the different components, and Mr. Kahm pointed out the various components for Council.
Mr. Kahm said all the different components of the development were linked by the road that would come in off of Ten Mile Road and would go from the entry throughout the entire development and would end up at Village Commons. The hub of the active adult community would be the recreation center, and the proposed club house had 23,000 square feet with indoor and outdoor swimming pools and bocce ball courts. The architecture would all be integrated so that it would all match, and it would be very much like the club houses they do in some of their high end apartment developments. Mr. Kahm said there would be a club room, dining room, commercial kitchen, library, computer center and everything needed for recreational services would be in the club house.
Mr. Kahm noted the detached homes would be designed as cape cods with first floor master bedrooms, and ranches. He said every home in the community would be geared for active adults and the stairs would be minimized.
Mr. Kahm said the Village Commons, the service element, would be designed to be a village center and have the essential service components that one would want in any kind of little village. He said one of the things they saw as important for the residents was grocery shopping so they designed a boutique grocery that would be similar to a Buschís or Hillers. There would also be a restaurant, bank, and in line retail such as a coffee shop, flower shop, card shop, medical clinic, etc. At the corner they were proposing a drug store to anchor the overall development, and it would be on the parcel that was currently owned by the City of Novi. Mr. Kahm said they were proposing to integrate that with compensation for the property. He said the reason they gravitated to the purchase was because they wanted to extend Wixom Road south and make it a full City road. It would provide access not only into the Village Commons but also into the entire development from an entry other than Ten Mile Road, and it would create a true hard corner that would be essential to the Village Commons and the development in general. Lastly, the senior living was patterned after their Waltonwood development at Twelve Oaks Mall. It would contain independent living apartments, assisted living and memory care. He said this would probably be developed toward the end of the community as the population aged in place because it would be the last necessary component.
Mr. Kahm thought one of the first things Council would ask was what the impact on the infrastructure would be as compared to what was previously proposed. He said they studied water and sewer current capacities and demands for their development and proposed the upgrades to water and sewer infrastructure to accommodate the demands they would place. The demands would not be that much greater than what the subdivision would have placed on it anyway. He said Quail Hollow had, in its approval, upgraded and even added sanitary sewer booster pumps at the booster station on Wixom Road, and water booster pumps on Wixom Road across from Island Lake. He said they were proposing to do something similar in order to make sure the infrastructure of the City could accommodate what was being proposed.
Mr. Kahm said next and probably most important to Council was traffic because of the impact it might have on the City and the infrastructure. They looked at the Parsons Brinkerhoff Study that Council was given and the AM and peak hour traffic for this proposed development was comparable to Quail Hollow. He said that was because the number of AM and PM trips generated by active adults was substantially less than what it would be in a single family home with children. Those statistics would be shown to Council and he said they were a fairly common accepted fact in the industry.
Mr. Kahm said the other issue was lane and signalization improvements along Ten Mile and Wixom Roads. He said they would do a center turn lane along Ten Mile from their main entry to Wixom Road, and were proposing, in addition to the signal they offered when they did Quail Hollow at the main entry, a signal in front of the Village Commons area.
Mr. Kahm said there was a schedule in the booklet to show Council that the tax base generated by the development was comparable to what Quail Hollow would have provided. He said the value of the homes could fluctuate depending on the marketplace, so that would be more of a guess than anything else. He said it was there to show comparability between one development and the other. Mr. Kahm said tax base would not be sacrificed.
Mr. Kahm said lastly was the schools, and obviously in an active adult community there would be very little impact on the school system because there would be very few children living in the development.
Mr. Kahm noted the benefits the City would derive from considering such a concept. He said some were the same ones discussed when they were doing Quail Hollow. One would be the dedication of parkland along the east side of the property. He said the reason the acreage was more than they offered the first time was because the acreage at the corner and owned by the City was on the Master Plan as parkland. They were proposing to change that and give a compensatory amount of parkland in the overall park that would be dedicated to the City of Novi. Another benefit would be the construction of the 1.5 mile Singh Trail and the construction of Ten Mile Road traffic improvements with a center turn lane and multiple signalizations. He said those improvements would help their project but would also have a regional benefit for the area and for the City of Novi. Mr. Kahm said another benefit would be upgrading the sanitary water and sewer system infrastructure, and privatized interior roadways. He said the roads in Quail Hollow were public. He said because this would be an active adult community with the integration of a lot of different uses they were proposing the roads be private so there would be no cost to the City for maintenance.
Mr. Kahm showed where the different improvements would be for the pump station, sewer, the Ten Mile Road improvements, and a pump station in Park Place because some of the sewer would be going south to Nine Mile Road.
Mr. Kahm said the other element of this concept if we decide to go to the next step, was how the entitlements would be done because it was somewhat of a complicated project. He said Novi didnít have a PUD ordinance and this was a classic PUD, but there was a way to do it within the confines of the current ordinances. They would like to utilize the Cityís existing ordinances by, on the detached home section, they would propose that the current RUD agreement be amended because that allowed for single family, and for the attached homes they would do a PRO, for RM-1 for the Village Commons they would do a B2 with a PRO. He said they would do a RM-1 with a PRO for the senior living. He said the vast majority of the property, which was the detached single family, would just be an amendment to the existing RUD agreement.
Mr. Kahm said they were present to ask for Councilís feedback and whether Council thought it was a good idea. They wanted to know what Council liked and disliked about the plan and whether they should go on to the next step of making a formal application.
Member Gatt commented that whenever Singh came before Council they always brought a first class project and he marveled at their concept and their foresight. Member Gatt said every 8 seconds someone turned 60 in this country and that was a population that had to be dealt with. He asked if there would be an age restriction to purchase or live in Legacy Parc. Mr. Kahm said they were not proposing an age restriction. He said by the nature of the design of the development, certain people would gravitate to it but in their research they also found that people over 55 like to be in communities where there was a variety of different people. Therefore, even though in this particular community there would probably be a preponderance of active adults, they wouldnít exclude a young couple that wanted to live in the community. However, this would be age targeted because of the design and would appeal to a certain segment of the population.
Member Gatt said the roads were to be privatized but it had been his experience in the last year or so that a lot of communities that started off with private roads ended up coming to Council. He said their argument was that they paid the same taxes as their neighbors and would request the City plow and take care of the roads. He asked how that could be prevented.
Mr. Kahm said they would be willing to incorporate it as a deed restriction to the property, which would be a restriction that would run with the land.
Member Gatt asked Mr. Schultz if the project was approved was there something that could be written into the deed to prevent these private roads from becoming public.
Mr. Schultz said more recently in this kind of development the approval process was a lot more detailed, and a lot of the documents he would end up preparing would have a lot of detail, recitations and history in them. Then when people buy they could see that the issue had been debated. He said they had language prepared put in master deeds and hoped 20 years from now it would be sufficient to explain to the residents who moved in. He said a lot of the developments that come in now have no history, thereís nothing on the record, and just a note on the site plan that the streets would be private. He said it was done a lot more formally and hopefully that would help allay the issue, but they would have to wait and see how those more recent things were working out.
Member Nagy thought the concept of the mixed use was very interesting but she had read a lot of articles on what was happening in real estate nation wide including the top markets in this country. She realized things were not going well and understood they would want to change their concept. She said there were communities in Michigan that had done something like this. She said Pinckney had a mixed use of their homes where it was senior incorporated with the general population and she thought the idea was a good one. However, after talking with some of the seniors within her neighborhood, she didnít think people of a certain age wanted to be isolated from the rest of the population. She thought for those that wanted to be a part of the community this would be a great idea. She had a couple of concerns, which were expressed by people who lived in Island Lake. One of the things they were concerned about was the traffic and their other concern, and hers, was Village Commons. She said she looked at the Fire Station and remembered when they came before Council with the original proposal; they had not included the acreage that the City owned. She commented she was looking at the safety and the maneuverability of the people and of firemen. She thought it was pretty close the way the road way came into the east side of Village Commons and was concerned about that. Member Nagy said oftentimes people donít move for fire trucks and she was concerned about the Fire Station and a commercial center next to it.
Member Nagy was also concerned that while the drawing was attractive, they were working with Triangle to make Main Street successful and some of the uses proposed for the Village Commons would be some of the uses that Main Street and the Town Center had. She was worried because there were empty spaces in these areas and Main Street wanted to put in a medical facility and various things Mr. Kahm mentioned. Then there was the Town Center and strip malls around the City that had empty places. She asked if Waltonwoods on Twelve Mile was filled to capacity. Mr. Kahm said almost, and they were still in the final stages of the assisted living because that came on board about a year ago, but the independent living was filled.
Member Nagy commented the privatizing of roads was interesting because they would be built to City standards. She thought the club house was very attractive and asked if the association would have dues. Mr. Kahm said yes. She commented it would be a great expense to keep those buildings up and she wondered if there was anything they were considering in terms of green buildings or something to keep some of the cost as low as possible. She said her big concern was how it would impact the Fire Station. Member Nagy said she heard from residents that people thought about getting older, where they would live and whether it would be user friendly for them. They also talked about the cost, not knowing where the economy would be and how they would be impacted. She wondered how a person 75 years old would be able to afford to live in Legacy Parc. Member Nagy asked if they were looking for seniors or adults in the 250 attached units. Mr. Kahm said the only part of this that would be age restricted would be the senior housing; the rest of them would appeal to active adults that were aging and didnít like stairs anymore. He said these homes would be smaller than the traditional single family homes and would top out around the 2,500 sq. ft. range. He said because they were active the club house was part of the center of the community, and they didnít need a lot of space because it would usually be a husband and wife, and occasionally visiting grandchildren. He said these people would want to scale back their living area from what they had when raising their families. She commented that people wanted the master bedroom on the first floor and if they couldnít have that, they would want a one floor unit. Mr. Kahm said they had both. She asked Mr. Kahm to take her comments into consideration because she wasnít sure what benefit it would be to the City to have the commons building there, and it would have been the entrance to the parkway for Quail Ridge. Member Nagy thought it looked like a very small entryway, and she had a major concern about the traffic and the Fire Station being so close.
Member Margolis stated it was a beautiful development, and they had done a great job in presenting it to Council. She said this would go through staff reviews, Council would get a lot of expert opinions on density issues, but a lot of information had been given to Council for their consideration. She noted she was impressed with their approach, the fact that they called them active adults rather than seniors was excellent, and liked the idea of having some demographic diversity in this community. She thought the City had been pushed toward building large single family homes, and the idea that Novi would have something to appeal to a different demographic group was a great idea.
Member Margolis asked if the concept was to market this as an active adult community or was it that the design would appeal to that group. Mr. Kahm replied that because of the statistical data he showed Council, obviously, the biggest market out there would be 55 and up, and would be the center point of their marketing effort. It didnít mean they would exclude others but just by statistical numbers they would get most of the people from that age bracket. This was because of the size of the community and the product they offered was probably more appealing to 55 and up than it would be to younger people. Member Margolis said regarding the market comments, her concept of that was the restaurant, boutique market, etc. was meant primarily for the Legacy Parc community, and would be services people could walk to. She said other people could access it from Ten Mile and Wixom Roads but that was the concept of the Village Commons. Mr. Kahm agreed, and said in the practical perspective the Village Commons probably couldnít exist without the development. He said that was why he showed the loop road and the connectivity of all these elements, anyone living in the community could go to Village Commons without ever going out onto Ten Mile or Wixom Roads. He said everything was accessible internally and that was their intent.
Member Margolis said talking about the trail head for Singh Trail the idea was that the piece of property that the City had as dedicated parkland would be the trail head and parking, and the City would be giving that piece up. Mr. Pearson said that was what the intended use was, and that particular part was not designated parkland on the master plan even though it was going to be used as that. He said the property Mr. Kahm referenced was a little further to the west. Member Margolis commented that she would like to make sure that need was addressed so there would be access to the trail head other than through the development. Mr. Kahm said there was a main entry proposed off of Wixom Road that would come in on the south side of the commercial. She said her point was that when this went through the review there would be a way for the public in general to access that trail head park if necessary.
Member Margolis noted she was intrigued by the idea of Waltonwoods with the residential and asked if he or other developers had experience with that concept. Mr. Kahm said the key to that was for it to be there but not be there. He said there would be a substantial amount of screening around it and would be the last element developed in the community as the entire development would be built out before they would consider doing that. At some point people living there would age and need more help than they thought they would need when they came to the community. So, it would be there but it would not be in their face. It would have its own entrance off of Ten Mile Road, and would have an internal connectivity because after living there for a long time people would have friends. He commented they wanted to keep a sense of community there but not beat them over the head that they might need a facility like Waltonwoods. Member Margolis said it occurred to her that this generation also had aging parents who were a part of that.
Member Margolis thought it was an excellent plan, a quality development, liked the diversity and the idea of services being in place for the residents. She said the more services available in the neighborhood the less people relied on City services, which helped in terms of services the City would have to provide. She thought the recreational facility was excellent and she was looking forward to looking at this as it went forward.
Member Mutch thought they had given a lot of thought to the layout, design, and the various elements of the development in making the case of why the change from what was previously proposed was appropriate for this new concept. He was concerned that the density issue was significant. Member Mutch said if they looked at the west side of the City, and at Mr. Kahmís development in particular, they had gone from an RA level density of 250 to 260 units to an R-1 density with 439 units, and now they are talking about 688 units and about 100,000 sq. ft. of commercial development. Member Mutch said from the Cityís expectations of what would be there to what was requested today was quite a significant jump. He said all the factors they had talked about in terms of the market conditions and demographics were true for every property owner on the west side of City. He said they were all facing challenges in terms of developing single family homes, and were all facing a changing demographic in our community and in our Country. So the concern he had was if they accepted this change in direction for this development, there was 45 acres across the street at the Dinser property, 18 acres east of that, and 40 acres at the north east corner of Napier and Ten Mile Road. Member Mutch expected to see a lot of active adult communities coming forward with all of them making the same argument that the City had given Singh increased density and commercial development so why couldnít they have the same. He said obviously that was something they had to work through in the planning process, and the developer had to make a case through master plan review why a planning concept in place for 20 years suddenly should change. He thought they had some challenges there.
Member Mutch said there were elements of the plan he liked such as the diversity of uses within the development, and he thought the layout was superior to what they had before. He was concerned about the commercial as a general principal because Council had not allowed commercial development along Ten Mile Road, and whether they thought it was for the better or worse that had been the planning concept. He commented he was concerned that if commercial was allowed at that location, it would become the springboard for other commercial along the Ten Mile corridor; and he thought that would be a significant concern. Member Mutch said the other problem he had with the commercial element was that while the
discussion talked about how it serviced the community, it seemed very oriented towards Ten Mile Road in the initial plans he had seen. He said the comment had been made that the development by itself couldnít support the commercial element, but he didnít feel like it was integrated into the community. In fact, looking at it, he wondered how many seniors or active adults would even walk to it and maneuver through the parking lots. He wondered if they would drive or drive golf carts. He said that would be a concern as well as did it really integrate itself into this community, and obviously also looking at the commercial impact on the surrounding residential, particularly Island Lake to the north. People moved into that community with the direction from the City that there would be no commercial adjacent to their development and here it is. He said in terms of the commercial, at Wixom Road and Grand River there was significant major commercial development that was not built out yet, and adding another 100,000 sq. ft. to the area would need justification.
Member Mutch said in terms of the City property, he would be looking for an exchange that was value comparable, not acreage comparable. He thought 2 Ĺ acres with a drug store on it at the corner of Ten Mile and Wixom Roads had a value that was much greater than the 2 Ĺ acres of the parkland integrated into the development. He thought they really had to work on that because it really fell short. Member Mutch thought from community benefit overall they would really have to spell out where they had gone above and beyond the previous plan. Member Mutch said just using the numbers they provided if they approved the zoning changes, the City was looking at an additional value to their development of $20 million plus. He said they would need to show where $20 million in additional value in development was reflected in a community benefit because thatís how the PRO worked. As far as the Waltonwood senior housing element, again having the multi story, multi family directly across from the Island Lake development would raise some significant challenges. Member Mutch thought they needed to talk about why that proposed development needed to be located there.
Member Mutch said in terms of environmental factors, he thought there were some elements of the layout that did respect what was there environmentally. However, having done some of the study into some of the adjacent areas, particularly in the south west portion of the site, he thought they needed to look at pulling that back a bit. He thought they were really pushing the envelope in terms of the environmental resources that were there. In his mind, at that point, they would be looking at reducing units or lots. He felt they were asking for quite a bit and in that regard there would be room for discussion. Member Mutch thought there would be a lot of big challenges for the City with this project because it opened up a lot of potential concerns beyond their project alone. He said overall the project was well designed and there were elements he liked but they also needed to recognize that for them, as a City, this was a fairly significant change for the west side of Novi. He stated his biggest concern was the impact beyond their development onto the surrounding properties that have yet to be developed and were still facing the same concerns they had.
Mayor Landry commented he was here when they brought Quail Hollow, and density was the biggest issue, and they really got down to it over about the last 10 or 15 units. He said they were talking about moving parking lots, tennis courts, etc., and after all of that good faith discussion they landed on 439 dwelling units. He said as he looked at the new proposal, he liked the senior aspect of it and understood the marketing concept. He liked the concept of a community where one could age in place, and he was not bothered by the commercial aspect of it. However, the rationale for going roughly another 250 units was donít worry because they would be seniors so there wouldnít be a lot of traffic. He said now they were saying they were not going to deed restrict it to ages so how would Council know it would be seniors. He felt they would sell to anyone who wanted to buy one of their condominiums, and he didnít blame them. Mayor Landry said without his assurance that this would really be a senior community, they had just gained 250 dwelling units, all those people on the roads and all that comes with that density. He said if he knew it was truly going to be a senior community populated by the people they were marketing to, he would be a lot less concerned about it. Mayor Landry said without that deed restriction he was very concerned about going from 439 units to 688 units. He said he wasnít concerned about the commercial, and liked the idea of extending Wixom Road. Mayor Landry said if theyíre going to do it letís make it a success, integrate it and make it so it really worked. He said he like the way they had done that but they had basically just taken Quail Hollow and added a lot of condominiums to it. He would be looking for a little more assurance that this would be a Dellweb kind of senior community. Mayor Landry thought it was well put together. In this market, he liked where they were going and the way they were developing the property and getting more tax base on the rolls. Mayor Landry applauded them for that, and encouraged them to do whatever they could to make sure it was truly an active senior community.
Member Paul asked if Hillerís was approved on Johns Road across from South Lyon High School off Ten Mile Road. Mr. Pearson said he knew there was a suit that was resolved and South Lyon Township won but he didnít know if it was at that corner or not. She said her understanding was there was a Hillers going in at Johns and Ten Mile Roads, and that was a concern. She said two miles north of that was Meijers, and two and a half miles away was Kroger, and Samís Club was not even two miles away, and she thought another grocery store would be a mistake. Also, Kroger wanted to go in on the north west corner of Beck and Ten Mile and there was an uproar in the community over another grocery store. Member Paul noted on the south west side of Ten Mile there were a lot of people upset about another strip mall when she was on the Planning Commission because it was zoned RA.
Member Paul thought there had been approval for the senior development at Beck and Eleven Mile south of Central Park Estates but nothing had come forward yet. She said Novi had Waltonwoods, Fox Run, Meadowbrook Commons and Central Park Estates Senior Housing approved and now a fifth senior development. Member Paul wasnít sure Novi could manage that kind of a market. She thought it was senior housing and she was all for more but that wasnít what she was hearing. There would be 688 buildings and it was questionable whether it would be senior housing or not. She said if they were going to get a commercial site on the front of this, which was originally parkland, she would like to see some green buildings, and asked them to be a leader as she knew they had done green buildings in other communities. She said if they were looking at getting a very large increase in density that might be something they could consider.
Member Paul said a trail way was promised to the City when they were doing Quail Hollow and that had not been done. She asked if it would really happen. Mr. Kahm said they had already cleared it and their intention was to build it all along, unbeknownst to them that the market would do what it had done. Obviously, when they entered into the RUD agreement the City was giving them a unique development and they were providing parkland and a trail way. Unfortunately, and not the fault of the City, they didnít get the development because there was no market for what they had approved. Therefore, the problem was they had something to offer but because of the market what they thought they would get they didnít. Mr. Kahm said the market changed, the demographics of the Country were changing, and they had done a lot of research and had to react to the changes and do the things the marketplace was telling them to do. Mr. Kahm said they were trying to react to where they clearly saw the marketplace going today so that single family development for all practical purposes was a golf course. He said the $20 million difference was a hypothetical change, thatís picking a number out of a hat about what the homes might have been worth. He said it was looking at what was the best use for the property today based on todayís conditions. He said they would build the trail and they were offering it again because they thought this was a viable alternative and a viable product. He said this was not in the City of Novi or in south east Michigan except for the two Dellweb communities. He said Dellweb was a great company and did a great job but this was much more comprehensive because it added additional tiers of integration of uses, and so itís a true community. He said they would build the trail way.
Member Paul said she appreciated all the concerns they had with the Quail Hollow development and understood single family homes were not selling, and could appreciate what Mr. Kahm was saying. However, she wanted to look out for this community right now. She said 688 units was a lot to an already saturated open market and she was concerned about that. She said their encroachment to the uplands (woodlands), was a substantial impact. Member Paul said some of the concerns she had was, as with other communities, the runoff from the roof tops and roadways had gone into the uplands for storage of water and there was a lot of die off. She knew they had some basis but they were really close on those; all the water would not runoff into those basins. She would like to visit pulling their envelope back from the woodlands and trying to understand their drainage pattern a little better. Member Paul said she could name ten subdivisions that had major problems with woodlands and the drainage.
Member Paul said in their concept plan 6B, she was looking at the roadways but didnít see street trees lining the roadways and asked if they were planning on doing trees. Mr. Kahm said what she saw was more of a landscape architects artist rendering, and they were going to have street trees on all the streets.
Member Paul said Beck Road was designated that everything to the west would be RA. She said he came in and asked for R-1 as did Island Lake and Island Lake received their R-1, and that was Mr. Kahmís argument that they could double their density going to R-1. She said now they were going to 688 units plus the strip mall, and she thought that was a huge increase and those numbers had to come down.
Member Paul was also concerned about three litigation points. She said on Beck Road they looked at two commercial sites that they declined at Beck and Ten Mile Roads on the north and the south west corners. Also, on Napier Road another site was before Council on the north east corner asking for a strip mall and more residential. She said now Council was looking at this site plan with commercial and the commercial component was what concerned her the most. She thought that would open the City up for a question in the litigation, and one in the future on the corner of Napier. The second component that concerned her was Island Lake wanted more condominiums on their Ten Mile Road corridor, and several times it came before Council and Council said no. Now, we have a lot more density and a commercial site, and she thought if they set precedence they were really asking for problems.
Mr. Schultz thought as the process unfolded all those issues would have to be the subject of discussion with the Planning Commission and Council.
Member Paul said thereís a Fire Station and all the different shopping on Grand River, and people struggle figuring out where to make their right hand turn when looking at the Fire Station. She said the Fire Station on Ten Mile and Wixom Roads was set back even further and it looked like their drive would be close to that entering from Wixom Road south. She asked if they would, while looking at this and picking apart the site, really look to depict the difference so there would be no confusion with people turning into the Fire Station. Mr. Kahm said yes, and they planned to meet with the Fire Marshall if they go to the next step to be sure they design in consideration of all his concerns relative to the use of that Fire Station. She asked if the sidewalk would go all the way to Napier and the Fire Station. Mr. Kahm said yes.
Member Nagy asked if they had any vision of purchasing the house and property on Ten Mile Road that they would be building around. Mr. Kahm said they tried several times, particularly the property to the east, and the owners were not even interested in discussing it. Member Nagy agreed with Member Paul regarding the increase in density. She said she assumed the increase in density was an increase in profit. Mr. Kahm said it was comparable, and the reason they picked this concept was not necessarily for how much more they could drag out of the City of Novi; itís what made sense in the marketplace. He said the success of active adult communities was really based on massing and the integration of uses. So, in order to accomplish something like they were proposing, they would need a large piece of property and they have the unique benefit of having 325 acres. He said the other property in the area would not be able to do what they were proposing to do because they didnít have enough land. Member Nagy thought that was a good point, but she had to consider the City at large. She thought what had happened through the years in Island Lake was amazing, as well as the fact that they would be getting a request for a private girlís school and more condominiums were going in off Wixom Road. She understood that a lot of people had withheld from building sites, but there would still be people coming in, and even if they donít have the amount of property that Mr. Kahm had they would want to increase the density. She said regarding Village Commons, she was concerned about Main Street, strip malls, and the Novi Town Center with empty spaces, and the competition this area would give those other properties that Council wanted to see succeed. She said she would rather have people in their community drive to something Council wanted to see succeed; because with the time and effort that had been put into Main Street she wanted to see it succeed. She said when Village Commons was built would someone buy it from them. Mr. Kahm said the owner could be someone else or it could be them and that they would have fairly tough restrictions on it because that in and of itself was a fairly small component of the overall development. He said all the pieces had to be integrated together and function as one. Therefore, the design and operating standards would have to be in one master agreement, and they would control by agreement and whoever owned it would have to adhere to those standards. She asked them to consider reducing the size of Village Commons, and to consider some of the environmental and density concerns express tonight. She liked the concept of the mixture.
Member Mutch exited the meeting at 8:04 P.M.
Mayor Landry said Mayor Pro Tem Capello pointed out to him that one of Noviís residents, Mr. Nicholas Lindstrom, had just scored his 200th career NFL goal in Chicago on Friday night.
1. SPECIAL/COMMITTEE - None
2. CITY MANAGER
Mr. Pearson said he wanted to highlight one event that staff had initiated and that was a demonstration of the Cityís online mapping capability. He said there was a tremendous system in place that was online and available for anyone to find out a lot of information about the community from utilities to land use. The demonstration would be geared toward developers and real estate brokers but would be open for anyone Wednesday, March 14th at 9 AM in the Police Training Center.
Mr. Pearson said the Council had received reports on the Youth Council accomplishments of last year, and they were a very impressive group of young people. He said they had a lot of great events such as a bowl-athon, sticker program with the liquor stores in prevention of alcohol abuse and selling to minors, the Senior to Senior Prom, and involvement in the Memorial Day Parade. Mr. Pearson said he had lunch with the Youth Council last week along with Sheryl Walsh and one thing they brain stormed about was that it would really help a lot in terms of next year to know who would be on the Youth Council to provide some continuity. Mr. Pearson asked for a meeting on Wednesday April 4th before the holiday break.
Member Paul asked when the budget meetings started and Mr. Pearson said the budget would be delivered April 10th and the first meeting would be the 19th and the Council meetings in April would be on the 2nd and the 16th. She said the budget meetings would be on the 19th, 21st and the 26th and Mr. Pearson agreed.
Mayor Landry said he would not be here on April 4th. Member Paul suggested doing as they had in the past which was to have the interview prior to the Council meetings with five minutes per interview. She suggested doing that on April 2nd and 16th. Mayor Landry asked how long they allowed for Youth Council interviews in the past. Clerk Cornelius responded 5 minutes for each interview. She said they were suggesting that students be asked to appear at 7 P.M. rather than setting specific appointment times.
Mayor Landry asked Ms. Walsh how she felt about putting these interviews at the beginning of a Council meeting. She agreed with Clerk Cornelius as she thought it was a great opportunity for everyone to come to the meetings for an hour and suggested April 2nd and the 16th.
Member Gatt asked how this would be done and if they would just give their speech and Council would take notes.
Member Paul said it had been done two different ways. The first time Council was going to ask a question each but didnít because there were 60 plus applicants. So they came forward and answered two questions, which were what talents they were going to offer the community and what they thought Youth Council would do for them, and Council didnít ask any question because of the number of applicants. They were sent the two questions and with the date of their interview and came forward and shared their answers with Council. She thought they had done the same thing the second time.
Member Nagy asked why they had to do this in April. Ms. Walsh said last year Council decided to extend the Youth Council members to two years which did not open many vacancies this year on Youth Council. She said they had 13 of the 19 members that fulfilled the two year term who were seniors appointed last year so 13 of the 19 members of the Youth Council alone would be leaving by the end of May. Member Nagy asked why they didnít wait until May. Ms. Walsh said the Youth Council had started so many projects when looking at all the activities the students were involved in not just for the community, but in their high school activities, they are in athletics, student council boards, etc., and the amount of commitment they give to Youth Council and other organizations to maintain the momentum and the projects they had undertaken, the thought was there would be a smoother transition.
Member Nagy asked if the seniors would be fulfilling their whole term and then graduate from high school. Ms. Walsh said yes. Member Nagy said if the interviews were done in May then the new 13 would start when they returned to school in August. Ms. Walsh said correct, and what was done in the past was Council would interview them in late May or June and make the appointments. The Youth Council would then meet once a month during the summer. She said the problem they thought they would have was the six sitting members were Juniors and had not been as active as a lot of the seniors. If they could get some new involvement for their last two months to see how the meetings were run, etc. it would create a cohesive transition into the next year, and it would give them the opportunity to appoint their chair people.
Mayor Landry asked for consensus to do this at the April 2nd meeting. There was consensus of Council.
4. ATTORNEY - None
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS AND APPROVALS (See items A-H)
CM-07-03-044 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Consent Agenda as presented.
Roll call vote on CM-07-03-044 Yeas: Gatt, Margolis, Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello
A. Approve Minutes of:
B. Enter Executive Session immediately following the regular meeting of March 5, 2007 in the Council Annex for the purpose of discussing pending litigation, privileged correspondence from legal counsel and labor negotiations.
C. Award Shared Services Inventory and Opportunities Project to Plante & Moran, PLLC in an amount not to exceed $4,750.
D. Approval to prepare a grant application to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant program for land acquisition of 16.2 acres (Heritage Shoppes, L.L.C. property) located adjacent to the Singh Trail property.
E. Approval to Schedule Public Hearing to be held March 19, 2007 for Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) Grant Application for land acquisition of 16 acres located adjacent to the Singh Trail property.
F. Approval of resolution to amend the Building Department fee schedule to require a flat fee for digital imaging, effective April 1, 2007.
G. Approval to authorize the Mayor to enter into Regional Dispatch Agreements with the City of South Lyon and Lyon Township.
H. Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 740
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I
1. Approval of the 2007-2010 Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department Strategic Plan.
Mr. Pearson said the Parks Commission and staff had been doing research and planning ahead and were able to produce a document that Mr. Auler was present to give an overview on. Mr. Pearson asked Council for their feedback and consideration of their acceptance of this so they could use it as their planning document.
Mr. Auler said the purpose of the Strategic Plan was really a business and operations plan. It was an internal document that would guide the organization toward the desired future based upon a number of things out in the community such as regional trends, opportunities they might be able to fill with gaps in service delivery, and looking at critical issues that the community and the department might face in terms of service.
Mr. Auler said the Strategic Planning Committee consisting of himself and three of the Park Commissioners began this process in February 2006 and they went through a three stage approach. In stage one, they considered whether they were really doing the right things and were they doing things the right way. He said as part of that component they studied regional trends, changing economy, and the growing ethnic diversity of Novi, which brought a lot of opportunities for programming and facilities, and the age wave. Mr. Auler commented that SEMCOG estimated that Noviís senior population would grow over 269% over the next 10 to 14 years. He said that required planning in terms of programs and facilities in order to meet the needs of the population. Mr. Auler said they also conducted an organizational analysis and looked at where they were within each division currently, what the current practice was, how they were doing and what was their desired state in terms of being able to provide better services. Also, how would the community benefit if they were able to accomplish them. He said they evaluated one of the critical issues, which was what were the things that would stop them from accomplishing their desired outcome to serve the community better. Some of those things were funding and how to overcome the challenges there, and deferred Capital Improvements which they had seen the impact of and it all tied back to funding. Another was the lack of effective partnerships, and he said one of the key things the department should focus on in the coming years, which was outlined in the plan, was developing partnerships that were win win relationships that enhanced service and facilities, and reduced operating costs. Mr. Auler said they also looked at their organization structure and internally was the structure working well, was there a better way to do it, and also their mind set in terms of how they provided services and how they approached the delivery of services.
Mr. Auler said the second stage, after gathering and studying all that information, was to look at where they wanted to be in the future, where the community wanted them to be, and they used that information to develop their Vision Statement. He said the Vision Statement was to provide excellent Park, Recreation and Forestry services for the community. He said the Mission Statement described the business they were in, and the impact that they have that was enriching lives and building community. He said on a daily basis they offered services from pre-school all the way to senior services, and did it through a variety of ways that were outlined in the plan as well. Mr. Auler said they talked about what they valued in their organization and how they went about delivering their service. He said some of those core values were teamwork, integrity, excellence, results oriented, creative thinking, collaboration, courage and professionalism. He said their department strived to do those things on a daily basis whether it was a full time team member or a summer team member working their college break.
Mr. Auler said they utilized all this information to go to stage 3, which was what the priorities were and what strategies they wanted to use that would enable them to achieve the desired outcome. He said they came up with nine priorities and performance measures for those priorities, which were outlined in the plan on page 4.
Member Auler commented that the next step was for staff to begin stage 3 in determining how they would get there. He said that was where each division within the department was preparing a detailed business plan that would identify a specific outcome and specific performance measures, and that would be carried forward in their performance agreements and their goal setting. He said they were tied to the City Council goals as well.
Mr. Auler said they had already implemented some changes since they drafted the plan. The departments had a realignment of the organizational structure and were becoming closer as a team. He said the language they were using, such as thinking about being a business owner in their area and how could they help each other within their department and within the City, in terms of economic development, reducing health care costs, reaching out and involving the community more with their services, etc.
Mr. Auler said the Parks and Recreation Commission had already approved this plan and recommended it to Council for approval tonight and they would keep Council apprised of their progress.
Member Margolis commended Mr. Auler for doing this plan. She commented she was very impressed and that they had done all the steps that needed to be done when looking at strategy for a department. She noted he also looked at how the organization was structured to fit that and the tactic needed to go forward. She thanked them all for their hard work. Member Margolis said one of the things that she believed about strategies was it was as much about what they said no to as what they said yes to. She charged them as a department and commission to make sure that they, as a City Council, support the direction they had set. She said when Council looked at their priorities she asked that Mr. Auler remind them that this was the direction of Parks and Recreation to make sure they werenít shifting back and forth all the time in where they were going.
CM-07-03-046 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the 2007-2010 Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department
Member Paul noted she appreciated their hard work. She said on page 13 there was a picture of Lakeshore Park, and a lot of people donít use that park because there was not as many active sports people going there. She said she went on a tour with Portage when they came and they went to the park and walked the grounds, and in the back where the bike trail was Tim Zilka was there silently in the background working so hard. She said he was very creative and was responsible for the results of the picture on page 13 of the report right before Portage came. She said some of the activities Mr. Auler had done were tremendous, and thought a lot of people appreciated the ethnicity and background he brought into the International Festival. She asked when the next International Festival was as several people had asked. Mr. Auler said it was in September or October and the date would come out in the next recreation guide. He said they were beginning to organize the committee for the planning process of that. Member Paul thought how Mr. Auler rearranged things was well done. She commented that there were only 4 people taking care of all the acreage for the parks, and Mr. Auler agreed but said they relied heavily on their seasonal staff that worked through the summer. Member Paul believed putting Matt Wiktorowski with some administrative responsibilities was a good idea. He was also very hard working and did well with people in the community as well as with Council members and Administration. She felt he had a good way of working and thought he would do well in his capacity as well as the others Mr. Auler had moved around.
Mayor Landry thought what was happening in the Parks Department was outstanding and that it was a model for the rest of the City. He also thought the way that the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department had approached building partnerships, approached trying to partner with the business community and trying to come up with funds to get things done both capital and operational was an example for the entire area. He said they had gotten press with the naming rights, there had been emails from other municipalities asking about it and saying it was a great idea. He commended him for the internal restructuring he had done and was looking forward for the cost accounting analysis that they were working on, the pay for play kind of thing. Mayor Landry thought they were on the cutting edge and he wholeheartedly supported this.
Roll call vote on CM-07-03-046 Yeas: Margolis, Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt
2. Approval to award a contract for Architectural Analysis and Needs Assessment for Fire Stations 1, 2, and 3 to CDPA Architects, Inc. for a fee not to exceed $29,900.
CM-07-03-047 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve award of contract for Architectural Analysis and Needs Assessment for Fire Stations 1, 2, and 3 to CDPA Architects, Inc. for a fee not to exceed $29,900.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked for an explanation of the difference in the bids in the evaluations between CDPA at $29,900 and CHMP at $18,000. He said there seemed to be enough dollar difference between those two bids and the evaluator scores were not that far apart for an $11,000 difference in the cost.
Mr. Pearson said CHMP was the third rated firm; they had a much more limited experience base, particularly in Oakland County. Mr. Pearson then pointed to the strength of CDPAís experience, they had done substantial work for Oakland County at their large training center and they had some specific rehabilitation experience that stood out. He said this was a unanimous recommendation of the committee. Mr. Pearson said he understood what Mayor Pro Tem Capello was saying about the cost difference but particularly with this evaluation he suggested spending money on the front end to get a good product analysis. He said they had been through too many of these where they tried to go less expensive on the front end work and paid the price a little later. He said looking at three stations and given the experience of the firms that was how it came up. Chief Smith would be available if they would like to talk with him. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said Mr. Pearsonís answer was adequate.
Roll call vote on CM-07-03-047 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis
3. Consideration of approval of consent judgment in Eldridge, et al v City of Novi, relating to the zoning of approximately 9.7-acre parcel which is a part of 50-22-11-300-006 located on the north side of Twelve Mile Road east of Novi Road, currently zoned OS-1 and RA.
Mr. Pearson said this had been in litigation for some years and Council had seen a couple of different alternatives. However, this basically kept intact what the Cityís long term plan had been and that was to provide office north of Twelve Mile for this particular property. He said it came with their positive recommendation for their consideration.
CM-07-03-048 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve consent judgment in Eldridge, et al v City of Novi, relating to the zoning of approximately 9.7-acre parcel which is a part of 50-22-11-300-006 located on the north side of Twelve Mile Road east of Novi Road, currently zoned OS-1 and RA subject to final approval of Counsel.
Mr. Schultz commented that this was one of the cases in which the City was represented by insurance counsel and there had been any number of drafts of this back and forth. He wanted to be certain that Council approved of them taking one last pass at the language of this so that it would be approved tonight. Mayor Landry said so the motion should be subject to final approval of Counsel and Member Nagy and Mayor Pro Tem Capello agreed.
Roll call vote on CM-07-03-048 Yeas: Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Nagy
4. Approval of Ordinance 07-37.33 for the water and sewer system development charges (connection fees) Ė Second Reading; and the related water and sewer connection fee resolutions.
CM-07-03-049 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Ordinance 07-37.33 for the water and sewer system development charges (connection fees) Ė Second Reading; and the related water and sewer connection fee resolutions.
Roll call vote on CM-07-03-049 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Nagy, Paul
5. Approval of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.213 to amend Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, Section 1902, l-1, Light Industrial District, to expand permitted locations for Veterinary Clinics. First Reading
CM-07-03-050 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Ordinance 07-37.33 for the water and sewer system development charges (connection fees) Ė Second Reading; and the related water and sewer connection fee resolutions.
Roll call vote on CM-07-03-050 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Nagy, Paul, Landry
6. Consideration of Ordinance No. 07-124.16, an amendment to the Novi Code of Ordinances Chapter 11, to allow the use of turf pavers for secondary access drives. First Reading
CM-07-03-051 Moved by Capello, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Ordinance No. 07-124.16, an amendment to the Novi Code of Ordinances Chapter 11, to allow the use of turf pavers for secondary access drives. First Reading
Roll call vote on CM-07-03-051 Yeas: Gatt, Margolis, Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION Ė None
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part II - None
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - None
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. The Health Care Benefit Consultant for a discussion on how RFPís went out and how the selection was made Ė Mayor Pro Tem Capello
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said RFPís had been sent out for the Health Care Benefit Consultant and he didnít know what had been done with this but knew with all other consultants for the City, normally the RFPís went out, Administration reviewed them, made recommendations and sent them to Consultant Review where they made the determination on who would be interviewed. They then conducted interviews and sent recommendations to City Council. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said given the situation the City was in with their attempt to reduce health care costs, he asked that the same process be followed by Administration and Council with the Health Care Benefit Consultant under review at this time.
Member Gatt said this was discussed today at the Consultant Review Committee and they came to a different conclusion. However, after discussing this with Mayor Pro Tem Capello he didnít have any difficulty with this. He said Member Paul wanted to do that all along and in retrospect it was probably a better idea, so thatís what they would do.
Mr. Pearson commented Member Gatt said they had talked about that and still planned on review, ranking and providing recommendations to the review committee just like they would any other time, and then go from there and get their recommendations.
Member Paul said they were asking who the Administrative people would be looking into that and she said they would like someone from Finance, Human Resources, Administration and possibly an off department. She said they werenít just going to have a few people look at it. They were going to have a considerable amount of people weigh in on how they would evaluate it and bring it to the Consultant Review and Council.
Mayor Landry said they would go with that procedure.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION Ė None
There being no further business to come before the Council, the meeting was adjourned at 8:47 P.M.
David Landry, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
________________________________ Date approved: March 19, 2007
Transcribed by Charlene McLean