SPECIAL MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31, 1996 AT 7:30 P.M.

COUNCIL CHAMBER - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD

(810) 347-0475

 

Meeting called to order at 7:32 p.m. by Chairperson Lorenzo.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo welcomed the newest Planning Commissioner, Gwen Markham. Gwen is a one-year Novi resident and a current member of the Aquatics Committee. In addition, Gwen has twenty-years experience in engineering and manufacturing.

 

 

PRESENT: Members Bonaventura, Bononi, Capello, Hodges, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington, Chairperson Lorenzo

 

 

ABSENT: Member Hoadley (absent/excused)

 

 

ALSO PRESENT: Planning Consultant Brandon M. Rogers, Traffic/Planning Consultant Rod Arroyo, Engineering Consultant David Bluhm, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson, Director of Planning & Community Development Jim Wahl, Staff Planner Greg Capote, and Planning Aide Steven Cohen

 

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

 

PM-96-01-017 APPROVAL OF AGENDA AS AMENDED

Moved by Bonaventura, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Agenda adding "Futuring" (between Proposed Planning Studies and Proposed Planning Commission Budget) under MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION, 1. Proposed FY 1996-97 Planning Commission Work Program and Budget and add under MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION as Item 4. JOINT MEETING SCHEDULING.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-01-017 - MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Bonaventura, Bononi, Capello, Hodges, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington

No: None

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

None

 

 

Chairperson Lorenzo closed Audience Participation and stated there will be another after midpoint break and before adjournment.

 

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

None received

 

 

 

CONSENT AGENDA - REMOVALS AND APPROVALS

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION

 

1. PROPOSED FY 1996-97 PLANNING COMMISSION WORK PROGRAM AND BUDGET: RECOMMENDATIONS TO CITY ADMINISTRATION/FINANCE DEPARTMENT

Report from the Planning Studies & Budget Committee, Environmental Committee, Planning & Community Development Department, and consultants regarding:

 

  • Proposed Planning & Traffic Consultant Services/Retainers
  • Proposed Planning Studies - FY 1996-97
  • Proposed Planning Commission Budget - FY 1996-97

 

Jim Wahl reported that the Planning Studies and Budget Committee (Commissioners Weddington, Hoadley, and Hodges) had a number of meetings to review the proposed Planning Commission Work Program and Budget. The Committee considered the services of the planning and traffic consultants as provided through the retainer provisions as well as the proposed planning studies.

 

The Committee provided the following recommendations to Department staff with respect to proposals that were presented, suggested amendments, and recommendations (by consensus) of the Committee:

 

1. Reviewed and endorsed proposed changes to consultant services provided through the retainer provision.

2. Recommended that time for "special studies" or requests of the Commission for research or other similar assignments be reflected as a separate line item and not be included in the description of retainer services.

3. Reworked and revised the work elements within the "Communications and Community Liaison" line item, added proposed Planning Seminars or Workshops to this planning study.

 

 

4. Recommended a planning, traffic, and design study element to reflect "build out" of the Master Plan as a resource to evaluate the final conclusion of the Master Plan and be able to better understand the possible need for any alternatives.

5. Endorsed the recommendations of the Environmental Planning Committee regarding the need for updating Woodlands and Wetland Maps, endorsed the recommendations of staff to defer any study of storm water related matters pending a review and action by the City Council of any Planning Commission concerns.

6. Endorsed the overall revised Planning Commission Work Program and Budget Proposal for FY 1996-97 ($246,636).

 

 

Proposed Planning and Traffic Consultant Services/Retainers

 

In terms of services provided, the "retainer" arrangement or Budget provision encompasses: planning and traffic advice to City decision makers/officials and citizens provided at City Hall, telephone inquiries from City staff, developers and citizens, special planning and traffic reports on request, ZBA case opinion reports and presentations to the Board, special planning research as requested by the Planning Commission, pre-application (site plan) conferences at City Hall, assistance to City Council and Planning Commission official committees, coordinating/advisory services to Planning and Community Development Department staff re: agenda matters, problem site plans, consultant coordination meetings, ordinance interpretations, and telephone inquiry calls at City offices and at consultantsí offices, advice to other City departments, and general coordinating and advisory services to City staff.

 

Member Hodges asked when the consultants (Brandon Rogers and Rod Arroyo) attend meetings other than Planning Commission (City Council Meetings), does the cost come out of the Planning Commission budget. Mr. Wahl replied "yes," but also noted that when Dennis Watson, Assistant City Attorney and Dave Bluhm, JCK & Associates attend Planning Commission Meetings and provide consulting assistance that those costs are not provided in the Planning Commission Budget.

 

Member Bonaventura asked if City Council is aware of the average fees each consultant receives in a year from the site plan process. Mr. Wahl stated that in the Consultant Review Committee process, the Committee receives a package reflecting consultant fees, including the City Attorney.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo voiced her support for the consultantsí retainers and believed the fees are reasonable. The only concern that she has about the proposal is the removal of staff support from committees. She reasons that in terms of the structure of the subcommittee on the Planning Commission, it is very important to have staff support to facilitate the meeting, to record minutes of the meeting, and to keep all concerned "on track." Chairperson Lorenzo does not think that the relationship with the consultants is such that we should expect the consultants to act in that capacity.

Mr. Wahl reported that the Planning and Community Development Department would continue to attend meetings to help facilitate them. The vast majority of the report preparation, presentations to Council, rewriting or drafting ordinances, would be done by the consultants. Mr. Wahl reported that in the restructuring process, Planning Aide Steve Cohen will be removed from the committee process as he needs to concentrate his efforts on the site plan process.

 

 

Proposed Planning Studies for FY 1996-97 are:

 

1. 2020 Focus on the Future - Goal is to conduct a futuring process that explores the Cityís

history, evaluates current trends, analyzes alternative futures, and develops goals, objectives, and philosophies to guide future actions. Mr. Arroyo gave a brief summary of the goal and Mr. Wahl stated that this issue will be brought before the joint meeting of the Planning Commission and City Council.

 

2. Design Build-Out Year 2020 - Goal is to use an overlay process, design a complete design for build-out of all vacant areas in the City as predicted in 25 years. Ms. Lemke summarized the overlay process and the goalsí objectives, adding that this visual resource can be used as a point of reference. Mr. Capote added that DPS is currently working on a GIS System for the City and the Committee will be able to see kinds of capabilities in the Council Chambers on the video screen that an overlay process is unable to produce. According to Mr. Bluhm, JCK currently has a map of the City on CAD. Member Bonaventura stated that this may be another option for this goal as it provides more flexibility for any changes that may occur and therefor provide a greater long term cost savings.

 

3. Special Planning/Zoning Research on Emerging Issues - Goal is to provide access to timely, professional advice and reporting on special planning and zoning issues deemed necessary for study by the Planning Commission and the Master Plan and Zoning Committee. Chairperson Lorenzo summarized this unbudgeted issue by stating that it is difficult to anticipate the type of planning and zoning issues that will require extensive research that goes beyond the scope of the consultantís retainers. Chairperson Lorenzo further stated that in order to accomplish tasks in a timely manner, it is essential that a contingency fund be created with a line item for special zoning and research issues. Mr. Wahl added that much of the work would be done by the consultantís at City Hall involving consultation with Commissioners.

 

4. Demographic Study and Projection - Goal is to continue to update the Cityís Master Plan for Land Use by evaluating and projecting demographic data. Mr. Wahl reported that City Council will consider doing a mid-decade census and that a demographic update and analysis are a standard component of updating the Master Plan. Mr. Rogers went on to state that this process is one of the basic tools used for master planning.

5. Industrial Land Inventory and Analysis - Goal is to continue to update the Cityís Master Plan for Land Use regarding Industrial Land Use. Mr. Wahl stated that the intent of this goal is to address industrial use and how it pertains to Novi and its implications for the City in general. Mr. Rogers added that Novi has extensive I-1 and I-2 areas and one third of it is vacant. Mr. Rogers went on to state that this study will encourage and keep industry in the City and will thus enhance the economic base.

 

6. Economic Base Study, Phase II - Goal is to assist in the Cityís economic development program by evaluating economic indices as related to local and regional development trends and potentials.

 

7. Town Center Planning - Has three goals, they are: (1) To review and refine the Town Center District Ordinance provisions to accomplish the Cityís planning goals for the Town Center; (2) To continue Planning Commission support for the follow-up efforts of the Town Center Steering Committee with respect to the Town Center Planning Study; and (3) To support and participate in planning for the extension of Main Street into the Southwest Quadrant of Town Center.

 

8. Communications and Community Liaison Program and Services - The goal is to carry out a program of communications and information services, and community liaison activities with City residents and organizations regarding planning, zoning, and general public information such as demographics, property data, environment questions, public improvements, development activity, and approval procedures. Mr. Wahl stated that this issue has been a standard element in the Planning Commission Work Program but has recently been updated by the Committee in an effort to communicate more effectively with the community.

 

9. Wetland Map Update Proposal - Goal is to update the official Wetlands and Watercourses Map to provide a more accurate and useful depiction of wetland boundaries at additional scales. Member Weddington added that updated information on regulated wetlands would be available with associated field maps and will include new developments and reflect the remaining wetland boundaries after construction. These maps would be computerized and digitized along with the other efforts at JCK to computerize the maps. Member Weddington further stated that it is necessary to tie the wetland and woodland maps together since many of the natural resources are integrated.

 

10. Woodlands Map Update Proposal - The goal is to keep an up-to-date record of what is regulated by the Woodlands Ordinance, Chapter 37, by updating the official Map for the City.

 

 

PM-96-01-018 TO RECOMMEND APPROVAL OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION WORK PROGRAM AND BUDGET PROPOSAL FOR FY 1996-97 IN THE AMOUNT OF $246,636 TO CITY COUNCIL

 

Moved by Hodges, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To recommend approval of the Planning Commission Work Program and Budget Proposal for FY 1996-97 in the amount of $246,636 to City Council.

 

 

Futuring

 

Member Bonaventura addressed the futuring process in the 1995-2000 study period for the Year 2000 Master Plan. Member Bonaventura further stated that his experience in approving a Master Plan was in 1993 and at that time it was the opinion that futuring would be a useful process for the Master Plan. However, due to time constraints, it was not possible. Member Bonaventura suggested that the focus of the Planning Commission from now until 1999 should be to accumulate the information needed through a futuring process for Noviís Master Plan. Member Bonaventura would like to see a committee working on a futuring plan for land use for the next Master Plan update. The committee would work for the Planning Commission and be known as the "Master Plan 2000 Task Force" and would consist of current and former Planning Commission members and former Planning Board Members. Three major assignments are: (1) To work with the Community Development Department to establish an organizational structure for a futuring program directly relating to the update of the Master Plan to be completed before July of 1996; (2) To participate, assist, and observe the futuring process consisting of five to fifteen meetings through 1996-1999; and (3) At the completion of the program, the Task Force will draft goals and objectives for the Planning Commission regarding updating the Master Plan for land use.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo agrees that this issue is worthy of consideration, but stated that it should be coordinated with the overall futuring process that the City is undertaking as it may duplicate something the Commission is already trying to do.

 

 

Proposed Planning Commission Budget - FY 1996-97

 

The Planning Commission Budget Proposal for FY 1996-97 totals $246,937 within the following principal categories: (1) Planning and Traffic Consultant Services (retainers) $108,202; (2) Planning Commission Administrative Functions and Services $11,000; and (3) Proposed Planning Studies $127,737.

 

 

 

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-01-018 - MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Bonaventura, Bononi, Capello, Hodges, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas Weddington

No: None

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

 

Andrew Mutch, 24541 Hampton Ct., supports the woodlands/wetlands update as they are an important factor in the development process and site plan review. In addition, he would like to voice his support for the 2020 Build-Out Map and the potential impact of the long term Master Plan. Mr. Mutch stated that from his research he discovered that Novi was the fastest growing city with a 65% increase for cities with populations of more than 25,000 between 1980 and 1990. Mr. Mutch then addressed the Commerce Township rezoning issue. After visiting the Commerce Township Planning Department, the proposed rezoning at the northwest corner of 14 Mile and Haggerty Road for forty acres to B-2, Community Business which will support a movie complex and three additional big retail sites, he looked closely at the size of the retail development that could qualify for the rezoning. Because of the large size of the retail development, Mr. Mutch is concerned about traffic impacts, land use impacts, and Master Plan implications for Novi.

 

 

PM-96-01-019 TO ADD THE COMMERCE TOWNSHIP REZONING ISSUE ON THE NEXT PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA (02/07/96)

 

Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Capello, CARRIED (7-1): To add the Commerce Township rezoning issue on the next Planning Commission agenda (02/07/96).

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-01-019 - MOTION CARRIED

 

Yes: Bononi, Capello, Hodges, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas Weddington

No: Bonaventura

 

 

 

MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION

 

1. Road and Traffic Planning Report - January 1996

 

Mr. Wahl stated that because of the importance of this report, he would ask the Commissionerís to read the report included in the packet rather than making a presentation. Mr. Wahl added that the Department was mandated by City Council goals to make this issue a priority in terms of working with boards and commissions in general to bring information and guidelines to your attention. Rod Arroyo and Greg Capote are the principal persons assigned to this responsibility.

Mr. Capote stated that he will provide a monthly report received from DPS to keep the Planning Commission up-to-date on past road grant applications and give the status of each application. Mr. Capote will be meeting with the County on Friday, February 2 to discuss current funding issues. Governor Engler has moved funds around that effect some projects that are underway for 1996.

 

 

2. PROJECTS REPORT - JANUARY 1996

 

Mr. Wahl stated that this briefing brings the Commissionís attention to a number of development, project, and site plan related reports. He further stated that it is an annual report on planning and development information for the Commission and City Council. Mr. Wahl again requested that all the Commissioners take a close look at this report, especially at the new site plans and activity. It is a project specific report and can bring them up to date on what is happening in the Community.

 

 

3. COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

Mr. Wahl stated that the report is self-explanatory in that the Department attempted to give the Commission some administrative information regarding the purpose of the committees and how they work.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo stated that there is one vacancy on the Planning Studies and Budget Committee

and a vacancy on the Communication and Community Liaison Committee. Member Markham has indicated that she is interested in the Communication and Community Liaison Committee position. Chairperson Lorenzo then welcomed Member Markham to the Committee. There were no volunteers for the Planning Studies and Budget Committee.

 

 

PM-96-01-020 TO TENTATIVELY SCHEDULE A JOINT MEETING WITH CITY COUNCIL FOR FEBRUARY 28, 1996 AT 7:30 P.M.

 

Moved by Capello, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To tentatively schedule a Joint Meeting with City Council for February 28, 1996 at 7:30 p.m.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-01-020 - MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Bonaventura, Bononi, Capello, Hodges, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas Weddington

No: None

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

None

 

 

PM-96-01-021 TO ADJOURN SPECIAL MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION AT 11:00 P.M.

 

Moved by Bonaventura, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Special Planning Commission Meeting at 11:00 p.m.

 

 

VOTE ON 96-01-021 - MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Bonaventura, Bononi, Capello, Hodges, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas Weddington

No: None

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steven Cohen, Planning Aide

Transcribed by Barbara Holmes

February 7, 1996

Date Approved: March 20, 1996