View Agenda for this meeting

MONDAY, JANUARY 4, 2010 AT 7:00 P.M.

Mayor Landry called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.


ROLL CALL: Mayor Landry, Mayor Pro Tem Gatt, Council Members Crawford, Fischer, Margolis, Mutch, Staudt

ALSO PRESENT: Clay Pearson, City Manager

Pamela Antil, Assistant City Manager

Tom Schultz, City Attorney

Ara Topouzian, Economic Development Director

Charles Boulard, Community Development Director


CM-10-01-001 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Fischer; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve the Agenda as presented.

Roll call vote on CM-10-01-001 Yeas: Gatt, Crawford, Fischer, Margolis, Mutch, Staudt, Landry

Nays: None



1. Proclamation to Support the 2010 Census

Mayor Landry read the proclamation of support and encouraged those in Novi to participate in the upcoming 2010 Census.

2. Recognition of Boards and Commissions Past Members

Mayor Landry recognized Gerald Bauer and presented him with a Certificate of Appreciation for his service to the community from 1976 to 2009 on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Mr. Bauer said it had been a joy to be on the Zoning Board for so long and he would do it all over again.

Mayor Landry recognized Kathleen Mutch and presented a Certificate of Appreciation for her service on the Historical Commission from 1989 to 2009. He said no one had done as much for the historical preservation of the City of Novi than she had. Ms. Mutch thanked the Council and preceding Councils for reappointing her each time her term came up and said she appreciated the confidence that had been shown.

Mayor Landry recognized Elizabeth Nick and presented a Certificate of Appreciation for her service on the Historical Commission from 2004 to 2009. He said she had done a great deal of work for the City, was still working with the Historical Commission and he was sure she would continue her efforts. Ms. Nick thanked the Council and Mayor for the opportunity to serve and participate in her community and she intended to keep an active hand in the future.



2. ATTORNEY - None



CM-10-01-002 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Margolis, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve the Consent Agenda as presented.

Roll call vote on CM-10-01-002 Yeas: Crawford, Fischer, Margolis, Mutch, Staudt, Landry, Gatt

Nays: None

A. Approve Minutes of:

December 21, 2009 – Regular meeting

B. Enter Executive Session immediately following the regular meeting of January 4, 2010 in the Council Annex for the purpose of discussing pending litigation and privileged correspondence from legal counsel.

C. Approval of the request from CH Novi LLC (Emagine Theater) for a New Official Permit (Entertainment) for Weekdays, 2:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. and Sundays, 2:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to be held in conjunction with 2009 Class C Licensed Business with Entertainment

Permit, located at 44425 W. Twelve Mile, Novi, MI  48377, Oakland and provide ample notice to the Police Department prior to hosting an event with extended hours of operation.

D. Approval to award a contract for design engineering services for the 2010 Regional Detention Basin Improvements to the C&O and Cedar Springs Regional Detention Basins to URS Corporation (URS) for a not-to-exceed design fee of $30,791.

E. Approval to award a contract for design engineering services for the Drakes Bay and Park Place Sanitary Sewer Pump Station Upgrades to Spalding DeDecker Associates, Inc. (SDA) for a not-to-exceed design fee of $13,553.

F. Approval of the request from sole owner Peter Kim of Shiro, Inc., to transfer ownership of 2009 Class C Licensed business with dance-entertainment permit, from Roastors Inc. located at 43180 Nine Mile, Novi, Mi  48375.

G. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 810


1. Approval of Resolution for Adoption of the 2010 City of Novi Economic Development Strategies/Goals.

Ara Topouzian, Economic Development Director, said the key to the Economic Development Plan was retention, which would aid in the assistance of sustainability of existing businesses. He noted that approximately 70% of new business came from existing businesses. He said attracting businesses would be slow in the current economy and setting up the infrastructure for future attraction still needed to continue to help pave the way for future development. He said what hadn’t changed for Novi was the great location of freeways, airports and the education community. When the economy rebounded, he felt they would be better prepared.

Mayor Pro Tem Gatt believed that as they moved forward to the 2010 budget year, economic development might be the most important thing on the agenda. He said with tax revenues declining, they had to do something to enhance revenues other than going to the residents. Mayor Pro Tem Gatt said he read the report and it said there were 1,100 visits a month to He asked who was hitting on that website and what it meant for Novi. Mr. Topouzian said they didn’t know who exactly was hitting on the site but they did know they were coming from around the country and around the world. When the website was put together, the intent was to look at it both as a business attraction and a resource for the local business community. He said every couple of years it made sense to re-evaluate the website to see what was good, what wasn’t working and what needed to be enhanced. He said they were looking to do a redesign of the website for 2010 that would be geared more toward business attraction. Mr. Topouzian said a couple things that were important for the website was available properties, for sale or lease. He said the audience for the website needed to be more global and the foreign business community, who never heard of Novi or Michigan, needed to see what the strengths were of the community. He said the new site would be geared toward business attraction and the international component. The challenge was always promoting that and getting it out there as much as possible. Mr. Topouzian said he would be going to Germany in April for Hannover Messe, which was one of the world’s largest trade shows, and he would get out to a community that had never heard of Novi or Michigan and promote the website. He said they were also looking at the potential of marketing within the airport or airline magazines, which would be another international component. The appeal was to the international audience as opposed to local and State wide. Mayor Pro Tem Gatt asked what they were offering the international business people on a website that would make them want to come to Novi instead of Detroit. Mr. Topouzian said items they looked for were communities with great education and location and Novi was not the only community with those attributes. However, he thought Novi was unique in how the City was situated within the State. He said they would look at the other businesses that were here and what they were near, the infrastructure, the tax structure and that Novi was a younger community as opposed to Detroit. Mayor Pro Tem Gatt asked if that would all be detailed on the website and Mr. Topouzian said it would and some of it was there now and some was not so it would be enhanced. Mayor Pro Tem Gatt asked if he was in charge of the website, and Mr. Topouzian stated he was. Mayor Pro Tem Gatt asked what a Business Assistance Team (BAT) was. Mr. Topouzian said it was started in Oakland County and had been a small business outreach. He said teams of clinical professionals and community leaders got together and visited businesses in the area to try to help them with their problems. They started it a few years ago and it was for businesses that had been around more than a couple of years and noted that in these times everyone had those kinds of issues. He said the types of people that went out would be local banks, SBA people, Novi Chamber, etc. He said what they would do with the reconfiguration was identify these businesses a little better, know ahead of time exactly what their issues were and how they could be helped. He said another enhancement was there might be issues that involved City Administration, and after finding out what their issues were, the City Administration could be used to tackle their problems, as well. Mayor Pro Tem Gatt said they were developing a community outreach and Mr. Topouzian agreed.

Mayor Pro Tem Gatt said a film office was mentioned in Novi and asked how many films had been shot in Novi and what had it done for the community. Mr. Topouzian replied they just had a filming at Twelve Oaks Mall and the last big film was a year ago and there had been about five still photography shoots geared toward the automotive industry. He said it would be difficult to go out and bring movies to Novi but they were ready and there was a system in place for very quick turn around for permitting. He said they hoped they would shop here, use the hotels, restaurants, etc. Mayor Pro Tem Gatt asked what the film a year ago brought to the community, did anyone get a job that worked in the City with the film. Mr. Topouzian said he wasn’t sure. He said that information would come from the State Film Office and they had tried to get some of those reports but they were difficult to get. He thought it would be hard to track the impact unless it was happening on a more frequent basis. Mayor Pro Tem Gatt asked what a retention visit was and Mr. Topouzian replied it was visiting local existing business and finding out how they were doing. It was more of a one on one where he would go out and might be accompanied by someone from Oakland County or the EDC. He said they would find out how they were doing, what they’re seeing in trends, learning more about their businesses and whether they would be expanding. Also, they would determine whether they had suppliers outside of Michigan they could target and go after. Mayor Pro Tem Gatt asked if that was the team, he just talked about. Mr. Topouzian said the BAT Team was a bigger team and was geared for a small business and the retention visit was more one on one with the CEO or a VP of that company. He said they would be major employers in town like ITC, Ryder, Providence, etc. Mayor Pro Tem Gatt said the companies he mentioned were not going anywhere, so what would visiting them do for economic development. Mr. Topouzian said it was always important to go out and visit these people; just because they’re in Novi and not going anywhere, they still had to be in touch with what was going on with them. They might be working on different components of their business; they might be diversifying into different sectors of industry and needed to have a point of contact. Mr. Topouzian wanted them to know that when they were ready to expand, he was there to help them with that. Mayor Pro Tem Gatt asked how they would help them. Mr. Topouzian said if they were expanding a facility and bringing employees over from another facility, they would work with them to set that up, maybe there would be work training involved, working with the Building Department to get the right permits and walking them through the process. He said their suppliers had an interest in dealing with whatever the company was dealing with and they were prospects for moving to Novi. Mayor Pro Tem Gatt asked what Novi had done with the mega credits out of Lansing. Mr. Topouzian said mega credit was basically an attached credit that the business could get on their Michigan business tax, and small component of that was a local contribution. He said it was really open ended and what they had done was pay their initial application fee, which was $5,000, and assist them with the permitting process, etc. He said it was not a lose-lose situation. However, if a company received a mega, it didn’t necessarily mean they were going to do what they said they would do with it. He said they usually got a mega for expansion or coming into the community. Mayor Pro Tem Gatt asked how many businesses had used the mega credit and Mr. Topouzian said seven. Mayor Pro Tem Gatt said he was all for what Mr. Topouzian was doing and for economic development but thought they needed to concentrate on bringing more economic development in rather than concentrate on the businesses that were already in Novi. He said there were other departments that could tend to their needs and problems.

CM-10-01-003 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve Resolution for Adoption of the 2010 City of Novi Economic Development Strategies/Goals.


Member Staudt said he did web and email blasts and asked why they continued to carry their bounces forward. He said, at some point, they should be purged because Mr. Topouzian was doing a really good job with his opens. However, it was funny to look at the bounces on the emails because they were just going up and were the same over and over. He thought if they removed those, it would show a much greater success rate with the readership.

Member Margolis said, regarding BAT, in the 2010 goals he had talked about realigning that in some way but it wasn’t specific. She asked what he was seeing that was working and what was not working and what his views were in the future. Mr. Topouzian said what had not worked in the past was just reaching out with letters, emails and basically asking businesses if they would like a BAT visit. In working with people in Oakland County, one of the things they tried that had been successful and they suggested was to do it in a town hall format. He said they suggested inviting businesses to come to City Hall or Walsh College for some presentations by key individuals, have one on one discussions on whether they were truly a business that would benefit from a BAT visit. He said they were trying a different approach; the other was costing a lot of money and time with mailings and postage. He said this would be an effort to bring them all into one room and determine what their needs might be. Member Margolis said the Aerotropolis was missing from 2010 and asked if there was a way to get it in the 2010 goals. Mr. Topouzian stated it was an oversight and it would be added in. Member Margolis thought a global supply chain was a huge potential for this market and one of the few majors at Wayne State that all of the students were still getting paid internships, which was unusual. Member Margolis asked what the major goal of the CEO round table was. Mr. Topouzian said the goal came from a conversation with the Novi Chamber about getting the larger employers really involved within the City. He said if they went to a Novi Chamber event, they would see small businesses networking. They would not see the CEO of a larger corporation but small businesses were very important to the community and it was another way to try to engage them in the community. He said one way of trying that was to bring different CEO’s or high level executives in for a lunch on a monthly or quarterly basis and get them involved. Member Margolis said she liked his way of exploring a variety of opportunities and asked what his thoughts were on measuring success on those. Mr. Topouzian said the airport advertising was something they had to look at and figure how they would measure that. He said the continued networking was their way of staying in front of people’s faces and at the top of their minds. He said it was hard to measure whether that would pay off in a year, two years or five years, as the marketing end of things needed to be weighed and that wasn’t cheap. They needed to be able to look at them and have something measurable. Member Margolis said as they moved forward she would like to see those, especially the things that were expensive. She said she was glad to support the motion.

Member Crawford asked if he would be continuing the cable TV shows about businesses because she believed that was a good way to retain businesses. She thought it was particularly important for the small businesses and had heard comments from people that they didn’t know anything about the business, for example the Art Institute. She asked if his plan was to just hit new businesses, or to do a lot of the other businesses as well. Mr. Topouzian said they had two different shows, which were Corporate Review and Business Avenue. He said Business Avenue was a small business show and was a little bit easier to do because a lot of them wanted to be on it. The Corporate Review was with the larger corporations and certainly, at some point, those would run out but they produced them so they would be timeless and could be re-aired. He said they would continue those shows and had plans in the works to find more of them. Member Crawford thought they were great public information.

Member Mutch said one of the points Mr. Topouzian made in his goals was that 65% to 80% of new jobs would be created by existing businesses. He asked what percentage of those resources were going towards the retention and expansion efforts versus going out with the attraction kind of activities that tended to have more visibility. Mr. Topouzian said the business attraction component was something that cost more overall. The Hannover Messe trip was an item approved by the EDC and they had some funding sources that he would like to tap into. He thought some of it would come from that and he was very conscious of the resources available. He said they needed to look at all of those for what they could and could not do. The airport magazine advertising was not an expensive proposition and might be something they could go to the EDC for. The retention end was time well spent and was not something that had a major financial component to it. He said it would be more heavily on the attraction end and they had looked at the international component. The cost came in going to trade shows, conventions, etc. but they were lucky to have a Rock Financial Showplace in Novi that helped eliminate a lot of the travel because a lot of good shows came to Novi. Member Mutch asked what other staff were involved in these activities and what roles were they playing. Mr. Topouzian said starting tomorrow, twice a week; they would utilize a staff member from the Community Development Department to assist the economic development effort. He said the Neighborhood and Community Relations group help as far as the marketing materials went. The BAT teams discussed were not only Administration but community leaders as well and he thought there was a wealth of different people they utilize depending on what they needed to do. Member Mutch said when his position was created one of the important aspects and one of the reasons he supported the position were some of the points Mr. Topouzian discussed tonight, such as the single point of contact. He said it was also important to him that it was a single point of accountability, but as an individual he could only do so much. Obviously, in terms of the structure and strategy they had developed, a lot of his work was focused on going out and touching base with those larger corporate entities and doing the outreach and attraction work. He thought they still needed to continue focusing on working with the existing business base in Novi to identify where there was potential for growth and expansion. He said Michigan’s business climate was pretty rough overall and it would be challenging no matter who they worked with. So, a lot of times, there was a lot of focus on getting that outside company to come in and if they could, that would be great. He thought there were companies based in Novi that were looking for expansion and there would be opportunities. Another area he didn’t see touched on was people who lived in Novi and whose base of operations was Novi for either a home based business or online business and who were not going to show up in the typical store front nameplate identity. He said those were businesses where he saw potential, if they were in a growth sector, where the City could work with them and make them aware that the City was there to help them. He said then if the business moved beyond a home operation, it would be an area of potential growth they should look at. He said they would want to have a specific strategy and additional resources to work with them to capture that. He felt the biggest need in the community was to get people to work wherever they could, at least in the short term and bring people into the community to fill those roles. Member Mutch said he would like to see, in the future, a willingness on Mr. Topouzian’s part to put some more numbers behind these in terms of targets and goals. He said it would give Council an idea on how the strategies were working and whether it made sense to continue an investment in those areas. He thought the mega question was the perfect one; was mega an area they wanted to continue putting resources in and was it paying off or could the resources be allocated in another way and have the same or greater effect. He said he would support the motion.

Member Fischer asked for a little background on the I-96 corridor study and the funding for that. Mr. Topouzian said that was established as part of the Venture Team a couple of years ago. The funding was from MDOT and was an ongoing study that hopefully by the end of 2010 they would have a better idea of it. It would identify the strength’s and weaknesses of the area, what would need to be done to enhance that corridor and how it applied to economic development. Member Fischer asked if there was any matching on the City’s part for funding. Mr. Topouzian said it was a match of $100,000. Member Fischer said he was surprised that there was no reference to what he considered the core of some of the commercial aspect of Novi and Grand River. Member Fischer said the road was not Mr. Topouzian’s issue but when there were developments like Main Street or Town Center and they were trying to do what they could to reinvent themselves, didn’t he see those areas in particular as something they would want to put in the goals at this time. Mr. Topouzian thought it was a tough thing to adhere a goal to and say what they would do to help and enhance those different shopping centers. He said it was attributed to the economy of the present, if looking at Town Center and the types of businesses that had come and gone, they had been bigger box and not necessarily local economy but headquarters had really pulled that out. He thought they had started to identify that in one of the goals of the international shopping center component by building those relationships, outside of finding money for these centers, it was limited in what they could do. He said could they grow and build connections, and potential businesses that might want to locate into those facilities, absolutely, but to adhere to a specific goal they were limited in resources. The difficulty was they needed stores to go in there and they needed funding to do that and with the banks in the situation they’re in kind of tied their hands a bit.

Mayor Landry commended Mr. Topouzian and his group on the economic strategies. He thought in this economy they had to always be thinking and not be afraid to try new and different things. He said the idea of advertising at the airport was something he would have never thought of. Mayor Landry said clearly, they had to look at the bang for the buck sort of analysis. Mayor Landry said that would sure give Novi some exposure and he would like to see some numbers on that. He said business retention visits were important because of the secondary affect they had. He said they could pitch Novi to a German company and tell them to talk to Eberspacher from the UK, Alcan from Canada or Tata from India in Novi and the businesses would tell them the last time they talked with the City they didn’t give them a citation, didn’t shut them down but just came to ask how they could help them. Mayor Landry thought that was awesome and very powerful; so he was really big on the business retention for the secondary gain and for the information the City received about how the City was doing in treating businesses big and small and what else could be done to help them whether it was this ordinance or that ordinance. He encouraged a continuation of that effort and thought they were doing a fine job.

Roll call vote on CM-10-01-003 Yeas: Fischer, Margolis, Mutch, Staudt, Landry, Gatt, Crawford

Nays: None

2. Approval to award the Police Department Roof Replacement Contract to DIII, Inc., the low qualified bidder, in the amount of $126,470 subject to final approval of form of contract.

Mr. Pearson stated the source of funding would be the Federal Drug Asset Forfeiture monies.

CM-10-01-004 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve award of Police Department Roof Replacement Contract to DIII, Inc., the low qualified bidder, in the amount of $126,470 subject to final approval of form of contract.

Roll call vote on CM-10-01-004 Yeas: Margolis, Mutch, Staudt, Landry, Gatt, Crawford, Fischer

Nays: None

3. Consideration of signage requests of Alaa Sharrak for Sunshine Market located at the southeast corner of 13 Mile and Novi Road, as part of the Sandstone Agreement.

Mayor Landry asked if the issue that caused this to be tabled had been resolved. Mr. Pearson said it had. He said this was a request of the firm at Thirteen Mile and Novi Road for additional signage. He said they had made their proposal and the City suggested an alternate that was more in keeping with what Council had adopted for something very similar across the street. He said it was a discretionary thing with the consent judgment.

Member Margolis asked if they would outline the recommendation of the staff for the signage being recommended, and the differences between that and what the applicant had requested. Charles Boulard, Community Development Director, said the applicant, in addition to the 35 sq. ft. gasoline station sign, had also requested two large arched Sunshine Market signs along with quite a few smaller signs that were mounted on the columns. The recommendation was just for two of the arched Sunshine Market signs and then to allow the owners to use up to 25% of the inside of the glass area similar to other businesses in the City, but it was not referenced in the Consent Agreement. Member Margolis said typically the ordinance would allow either the monument sign or the signage on the building, correct. Mr. Boulard said she was correct. Member Margolis said this was an increase and thought it made a great deal of sense to follow the recommended action.

CM-10-01-005 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Crawford; CARRIED

UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the recommended alternative package for additional signage to include two Sunshine Market wall signs with non-illuminated 12 inch aluminum letters on the north building elevation and either the south or west building elevations and approximately 48 sq. ft. each and the interior window signage up to 25% limit allowed in the current ordinance for similar businesses for the north elevation only.


Member Fischer asked for background on why the recommendation for the 25% had been included in the staff recommendation. Mr. Boulard said the ordinance allowed any business to use up to 25% of their glass area for signage. He said from discussions with the City Attorney that was something that was not allowed specifically under the Consent Agreement; so this was kind of an incremental increase that would allow them to do what everybody else would do. Although, the proposal for that was only on the north or front elevation and the suggested proposal was for the arched aluminum signs on the north and one other elevation, which ever one they preferred.

Member Margolis asked for clarification because the motion was for the market signs on the north and south and the interior window signage on the north only. Mr. Boulard said the original request was for the north and south. However, in view of the suggested alternate package, not including all the other signs on the columns, they thought it might be in everybody’s best interest to allow them to put that second sign either on the west or the south wherever they saw fit and where it would do the most good. Member Margolis asked if that was the second window signage, and Mr. Boulard said it was the second arched Sunshine Market sign. Member Margolis said the motion was for the north and south but Mr. Boulard was suggesting that it be changed to either or. Mr. Boulard said they were just trying to make sure it was clear but if she preferred north and south, that would be fine. She said she was reading it differently and Mr. Boulard apologized. She asked him to explain again and Mr. Boulard said the motion was fine.

Member Fischer said his concern with the 25% was that the size of the building lent itself to allow quite a bit and asked if they knew the square footage of what they were allowed to put in their windows. He said with the temporary nature of signage like that, he would be hesitant to approve that type of recommendation. Mr. Boulard said he didn’t have the total of the existing glass area or which parts was vision glass. Member Fisher said he could see the need for the arched signs but was not sure he could support the 25%.

Mayor Landry asked Mr. Boulard if the normal ordinance allowed any business to use up to 25% of their glass space, and Mr. Boulard said yes. Mayor Landry said if the Planning Commission approved a site plan and a building with this much glass, they had to do that knowing there was always the potential that they could use 25% of the glass for signage. Mr. Boulard said yes, if it wasn’t under a Consent Judgment. Mayor Landry said the only reason they were suggesting this was because this was a special Consent Judgment and they were trying to bring them into compliance with the ordinance. Mr. Schultz agreed with Mayor Landry.

Member Mutch said he understood there was some confusion over what was in the motion sheet and what Mr. Boulard had recommended. He said he thought it made more sense to have the flexibility of going with the north side and potentially the west side, which faced Novi Road. He said he didn’t think he would want it on the east side because it would face a residential area. Member Mutch said the south side didn’t face anything. To a degree it would face Novi Road, but Novi Road turned away from the building and he wasn’t sure how much visibility it would have. He said he could see them coming back in a year or two saying no one could see their sign and they wanted to remove it and Council would have to revisit it. He said it would just leave that open, if the motion maker was open to that. Member Mutch said the language in the motion quoted Sunshine Market and they were limited to those words and letters. Mr. Schultz replied that under the motion that was the intention. He asked the motion maker to consider the suggestion from staff to allow them two faces or maybe specifically say the north, south or west elevation, and keeping in mind the east elevation faced the residential area. He thought it made more sense not to have the sign on the south side. Member Margolis agreed. She said her concern had been she thought they were saying either the north or south but he was just saying any two elevations rather than specifying the north and the south. Mr. Boulard said the east would not be very useful and he wasn’t sure what development would take place on the south side of the building. He said the idea was that if there was future development, they wouldn’t have to come back before Council again to move it around the corner. Member Margolis said then basically they were amending the motion to say they could chose any two Sunshine Market wall signs could be on two of any of those elevations.

Mr. Schultz said it would be the north and either the south or the west. Member Margolis agreed to the motion amendment as did the seconder of the motion.

Mayor Landry said when he first looked at this he had a lot of the concerns that Member Fischer had, because there was a lot of glass there. However, that was what the ordinance said so he would agree with allowing them be in line with the rest of the ordinance.

Roll call vote on CM-10-01-005 Yeas: Mutch, Landry, Gatt, Crawford, Margolis

Nays: Staudt, Fischer









There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 7:57 P.M.

_______________________________ _______________________________

David Landry, Mayor                                    Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk

_______________________________ Date approved: January 25, 2010

Transcribed by Charlene McLean