REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 1996 AT 7:30 P.M.

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

(810) 347-0475

 

Meeting called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Chairperson Lorenzo

 

PRESENT: Members Bonaventura, Bononi, Hodges, Markham, Hoadley, Vrettas, Chairperson Lorenzo

 

ABSENT: Members Capello, Weddington (absent/excused)

 

 

ALSO PRESENT: City Attorney Dennis Watson, Planning Consultant Brandon Rogers, Traffic Consultant Jim Schafer, Engineering Consultant Gary Streight, Director of Planning & Community Development Jim Wahl, Staff Planner Greg Capote, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, and Planning Aide Steven Cohen

 

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

Chairperson Lorenzo stated that the applicant for Item 1 under PUBLIC HEARINGS regarding Zoning Map Amendment 18.542 / Society Hill, SP 95-44B respectfully requests a postponement until the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission on May 1, 1996 to revise their application to address City staff and consultants’ concerns.

 

 

PM-96-03-052 TO POSTPONE ITEM 1 UNDER PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone Item 1 under PUBLIC HEARINGS regarding Zoning Map Amendment 18.542 / Society Hill, SP 95-44B until the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission on May 1, 1996.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Hodges asked if it is necessary to postpone the rezoning (PD-1 Option) or can it be discussed at this time? Chairperson Lorenzo believed that the applicant is requesting that the whole item be postponed.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-03-052 - MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Bonaventura, Bononi, Hoadley, Hodges, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas

No: None

 

 

 

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

 

PM-96-03-053 APPROVAL OF AGENDA AS AMENDED

 

Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Hodges, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Agenda as amended.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-03-053 - MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Bonaventura, Bononi, Hoadley, Hodges, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas

No: None

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

Seeing no one, Chairperson Lorenzo closed Audience Participation and announced that there will be a second after the midpoint break and a third before adjournment.

 

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

Steve Cohen summarized the correspondence received in Secretary Weddington’s absence. Mr. Cohen stated that a petition was received and signed by twenty Novi residents which stated that they would like to have the Society Hill Apartments, PD-1 Option eliminated.

 

Mr. Cohen advised that four letters were received from Novi residents which stated their concerns about Dales & Graphic Supply. The first letter is from Lynn Kocan and is dated March 6, 1996 and addressed to the Novi Planning Commission asking them to address issues about the type of the operation. Ms. Kocan asked if a variance is required for the building height, and that the Commission should review the height of the proposed berm. The second letter is also from Lynn Kocan, dated March 14, 1996 and stated that there are many unanswered questions regarding the type and the intensity of the operation and whether the development would have an adverse impact on the residents. The third letter is from Robert Dreyer, resident of Meadowbrook Glens Subdivision, dated March 20, 1996, which stated his objection because of the intrusion to residential, noise levels, increased odors, and the setback requirements should be at least 150' from the residential district. A fourth letter was received from Tom Harmon, dated March 20, 1996, which stated his concerns are for the future development of the area and the resulting traffic impacts. Mr. Harmon suggests that a park be built in the proposed site area.

 

Mr. Cohen advised that a petition dated March 18, 1996 was received and signed by six property owners regarding Map Amendment 18.546, on Lanny’s Road and stating that the property owners support Mr. Soley’s request to rezone Lot 18 from light industrial to residential.

Mr. Cohen reported that a letter was received from Mark Chancey and Thomas Owens dated March 19, 1996 in regards to the Zoning Map Amendment 18.547 asking the Commission to deny the request for the rezoning because, as residents of Shawood Walled Lake Heights Subdivision, they believe that such rezoning is not suitable for the residential area and would negatively impact traffic, property values, and the environment.

 

Lastly, Mr. Cohen stated that a letter, unrelated to any Public Hearings, was received from Frank D. Brennan dated March 8, 1996 to the Planning Commission, which stated that the horse farm on the NW corner of Ten Mile and Beck has been sold by Max Sheldon to Frankel Development with plans to develop the site for a Kroger shopping complex in a residential zoned district. Mr. Brennan suggested that the Frankel group take their plan to a properly zoned district.

 

 

CONSENT AGENDA - REMOVAL AND APPROVALS

 

1. Approval of the January 31, 1996 Special Planning Commission Meeting Minutes.

2. Approval of the February 7, 1996 Regular Planning Commission Meeting Minutes.

3. Approval of the February 21, 1996 Regular Planning Commission Meeting Minutes.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked the Commission to submit any corrections to the Planning Commission Meeting minutes.

 

Member Hoadley stated he had a question regarding the motion for Novi Grand in the minutes of February 7, 1996. The motion had certain restrictions and Member Hoadley stated that the motion differs from his recollection. Member Hoadley further stated that he had spoken with Barbara Holmes in the Planning Department who reviewed the tape and stated that the motion is transcribed as it was stated and that the tapes are available for his review. Member Hoadley referred to the motion on Page 17 and stated that it is vague and he recollects that the Commission was eliminating left-hand turns into the Novi cut and left-hand turns out. He further stated that he understood that the motion to state that once the ring road was completed, the cut would be eliminated and initially right-hand turns would be permitted in and out of the cut.

 

Member Hodges believed that one no left-hand turn from Novi Road onto the site is included in Mr. Arroyo’s comments and the other no left-hand turn is the one that is stated. She further stated that under the consultants’ conditions, the left-hand from Novi Road onto the site would be eliminated and the left-hand from the site onto north bound Novi Road is what Member Hoadley is talking about and that is what she understands as she reads the motion.

 

Member Hoadley stated that he does not understand the motion to state that.

 

 

Member Hodges commented that if it is to be restated then it may need perhaps direction north/south.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo interjected that it could be easily corrected by just adding where it says, "prohibiting a left turn to Novi Road" to state "left turn onto or out of northbound Novi Road."

 

Member Hoadley clarified by stating there will be "no northbound left-hand turns out of the site and no northbound left-hand turns into the site."

 

Mr. Watson interjected that the purpose of approving the minutes is to determine whether they accurately reflect what was stated in that motion and not to rephrase, change, or try to make it a better motion. Furthermore, Mr. Watson advised that the tape should be provided and determine from the tape what was or what was not said. Mr. Watson also advised that the motion should not be reworded without the applicant present or without it being an item on the agenda.

 

Member Hoadley stated that he has not reviewed the tape yet and is not willing to approve the minutes until he is satisfied that the motion is accurate. Chairperson Lorenzo stated that the minutes could be approved subject to the review of that particular motion and if it is different it will be corrected and if it is not, it will remain as it is for the record.

 

Member Hoadley asked what can be done, because Member Hodges has clearly stated that the intent of her motion was to prohibit left turns onto Novi Road out of the cut. Chairperson Lorenzo responded that Member Hodges also stated that the left turns onto Novi Road are already prohibited per the consultants’ recommendations. Member Hoadley disagreed and stated that only northbound left-hand turns into the cut was included in the consultant’s letter. Chairperson Lorenzo advised that the motion states "left-hand turns out of." Member Hoadley’s argument is that the motion is not as specific as it should be and that the petitioner could misunderstand the intent. Chairperson Lorenzo stated that Mr. Watson has indicated that there is not a way to amend the motion at this time and suggested that Member Hoadley listen to the tapes and these minutes can be approved subject to the clarification as to whether or not this is the correct motion.

 

Member Hoadley then asked if the project was coming back for final approval. Chairperson Lorenzo responded that final approval is to make sure that everything requested by the Commission is completed.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo stated on Page 21, Paragraph 5, Line 4 of the February 21, 1996 minutes should read " . . . Summer and Fall of 1984" not, ". . . Summer and Fall of 1994" and

it was a misstatement on her part.

 

 

 

PM-96-03-054 TO APPROVE MINUTES OF JANUARY 31, 1996, FEBRUARY 7, 1996, AND FEBRUARY 21, 1996 ON THE CONSENT AGENDA AS CORRECTED AND SUBJECT TO THE REVIEW OF THE TAPE FOR THE FEBRUARY 7, 1996 MINUTES

 

Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Hodges, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve minutes of January 31, 1996, February 7, 1996, and February 21, 1996 on the Consent Agenda as corrected and subject to the review of the tape for the February 7, 1996 minutes.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-03-054 - MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Bonaventura, Bononi, Hoadley, Hodges, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas

No: None

 

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

 

2. DALES & GRAPHIC SUPPLY, SP 96-01A

Property located at the end of Trans-X Drive for possible Special Land Use, Preliminary Site Plan, Phasing Plan, and Woodland Permit approval.

 

Lee Mamola, Mamola & Associates Architects stated that Don Dale, the proprietor is also present. Mr. Mamola further stated that Dale & Graphic Supply is an existing business which represents a move from Sterling Heights and Mr. Dale is a Novi resident who is familiar with the City’s procedures and ordinances. Mr. Mamola stated that the applicant also submitted a request to rezone a portion of the property which will be on the next Planning Commission agenda. Mr. Mamola directed the Commission’s attention to an area of the property designated in pink which is existing I-2. He added that the long rectangular area on the top is also existing I-2 and at the April 2, 1996 meeting, he is requesting (pointed to an area) that the I-2 portion be eliminated and extend the I-2 a little to the south. Mr. Mamola stated that it also represents a move of the I-2 zoning some distance away from the residential located at the top of the drawing. In regards to the site plan and special land use issues tonight, Mr. Mamola has prepared the plans with the idea of intending to comply with all aspects of the ordinance. Mr. Mamola reported that this is a build-to-suit project by the Monte Costella Company and Mr. Charles Costella, who is in the audience, will be the contractor. The contractor is proposing a 18,000 square foot building on a seven plus acre piece of property, predominately zoned I-1. Part of the property is zoned I-2 and they would like to see it deleted, but they also realize that the project can receive approval without the request for rezoning. The property is located at the end of Trans-X drive and to the right of the site on the drawing is an existing development known as the Iron Workers Property, to the top is Meadowbrook Glen Subdivision, diagonally is the existing CSX railroad property, and the property south is vacant. Mr. Mamola further stated that there is a separate parcel at the end of Trans-X that is owned by Costella & Company for their contracting offices and warehousing operations.

 

Mr. Mamola reported the intent of the layout was to minimize the impact into the existing woodland area on the east that forms a natural buffer between the industrial property and Meadowbrook Glen Subdivision. Mr. Mamola further reported that the wooded triangular pocket will be left in its natural state. The building is proposed at the northern end to allow for possible utilization of the property in the future, but there are no plans to develop it at this point. The building footprint and arrangement were also laid out with the intent to minimize the impact to the neighbors. In the back of the building there is approximately 15,000 square feet for a warehouse and 3,100 square feet at the front for office. There are no openings, doors, or vents along the easterly wall facing the residential. The solid masonry wall facing the residential is a mixture of glazed brick and decorative concrete masonry units. For its basic functional needs the building requires a shipping and receiving area. The recessed receiving area requires a truck well to accommodate 40'-50' trucks two to five times a week, as required by the ordinance. The area is located on the northerly edge and does not face any residential property. There are forty odd parking spaces proposed, which exceed the ordinance requirements. Mr. Mamola further stated that it was difficult to totally comply with the ordinances with respect to the exact dimensions of berms and screening assuming there are no trees on the property. However, given the trees and the woodland character on this part of the property, the trees supersede the normal screening requirements in trying to save the trees and allow them to be there for as long as possible. Mr. Mamola went on to say that areas in which there was opportunity to provide screening and save the trees became minimal areas. There is a thin line of trees and open area near the easterly edge of the building and Meadowbrook Glens and they created as much berming with evergreens and other natural plantings as possible. Because of the necessity to provide parking, the developer opted for a masonry screen wall to provide screening further to the south of the building. For the balance of the site, construction activity cannot occur beyond the dashed lines on the site plan and therefore limit the area of construction.

 

Mr. Mamola also advised that they were unable to place the sanitary service through the easterly edge between two 32" hickory trees and leave the rest of the property open for future development because of the risk to the trees. The next location that was considered was not feasible because they would have had to go down the equivalent of a three-story building to make a connection. The last alternative was to go between them and several elms and poplar trees will have to be removed.

 

Mr. Mamola closed by stating that Dales & Graphic Supply is a wholesaler of printing supplies with approximately sixteen employees. The ordinance does not allow, subject to special land use, fabrication processing or other manufacturing arrangements and when considering other possibilities for the site, Mr. Mamola believes that Dales & Graphic Supply is a better solution. Mr. Mamola reported that Dales attempts to operate during normal business hours from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., five days a week. Mr. Mamola also indicated that most often the trucks are not on the property after business hours because they are typically driven home by the employees. If there is a truck on the property after business hours, it is brought inside the building. Mr. Mamola also distributed a report from an acoustical consultant that addressed concerns about an exhaust fan located on the roof. Mr. Mamola reported that the bottom line of the report is that the exhaust fan would result in a pure calculation of 30 decibels below what the maximum of the ordinance would allow. Mr. Mamola further stated that according to the consultant, the amount of sound would not be perceptible given the ambient sound in most residential neighborhoods.

 

Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant, stated that his February 19, 1996 report reviewed a two-phase project; the first phase is approximately 18,000 square feet and the second phase is approximately 7,000 square feet. Mr. Rogers stated that there is a special land use issue because the project abuts residential and as a result, there are three findings that the Commission must review. Mr. Rogers further stated that because the project has a warehousing function with office use, it is then a Tier 2 use, Section 1902 of the ordinance. Mr. Rogers then read project criteria from his report. In summary, Mr. Rogers recommends special land use approval subject to:

 

1. Approval of a Woodland’s Permit

2. Further documentation of expected noise levels of a warehouse roof exhaust fan.

3. Detailing of height of berm along east yard space to comply with the ordinance.

 

Mr. Rogers added that the preliminary site plans are not stamped "Preliminary."

 

Gary Streight, of JCK summarized Fred Belschner’s February 28, 1996 letter and stated that JCK recommends preliminary site plan approval subject to the reference "Firm Map" be revised to the May 3, 1993 revision #2601750009.

 

Jim Schafer, representing Birchler Arroyo Assoc., referred to Mr. Arroyo’s review letter dated February 22, 1996 and stated that the applicant was advised in a January 31, 1996 review letter to investigate the possibility of providing a shared driveway with the Monte Costella site to the west of the site. Mr. Schafer further stated that the design and construction standards encourage, but do not require, that such sharing occur whenever possible. The applicant responded that the adjacent owner is not interested in pursuing such an arrangement. In summary, Mr. Schafer reported that approval is recommended for the preliminary site plan.

 

Linda Lemke referred to her review letter dated February 27, 1996 and advised the Commission that the site is under the woodland’s ordinance. Ms. Lemke reported that the edge of the lines is an early to medium pioneer woodlands. This means that lower quality, faster growing species is colonizing the site. The most mature and higher quality area of the woodlands is to the east and along the property line adjacent to residential. The medium pioneer woodlands connect to the Iron Workers in the north and further into Main Street Village which means there is some habitat value. Ms. Lemke pointed out that the major area of quality is in screening and buffering which is immediately adjacent to the property line. Ms. Lemke added that there will be eleven replacement trees instead of fourteen and the applicant needs to make that revision. Furthermore, Ms. Lemke stated that Member Hoadley had asked that an additional 6" Maple (Tree 8470) on the northern edge of the property adjacent to the building be saved. Ms. Lemke concurs with Member Hoadley’s suggestion and recommends that this item be a condition of her letter which she will review again at final engineering. In summary, Ms. Lemke recommends approval subject to the standard conditions to be addressed at Final Engineering listed on Page 2 in her review letter.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo read for the record a letter received from Chris Pargoff, City of Novi Forester stating that he recommends approval subject to Linda Lemke’s recommendation. Mr. Pargoff added that the protective fencing around trees numbers 248 through 266 should form a continuous barrier to intrusion rather than three separate islands of protection.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo also read for the record a letter received from Daniel W. Roy, Captain of the City of Novi Fire Department recommending approval.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo opened the floor for comments from the public.

 

 

Eleanor Brandow, 42559 Park Ridge Road, addressed the Commission by stating that she speaks for herself and the residents of Meadowbrook Glens. Ms. Brandow asked that if the total piece of property owned by Monte Costella is greater than ten acres, that an environmental study be performed. Ms. Brandow reminded the Commission that there are numerous ordinances that Dales must comply with before receiving preliminary site approval. She further stated that the intent of the ordinance for I-1 sets a goal while subsequent sections provide the required conditions to accomplish these goals. In Section 1900, it states, "is intended to encourage innovations and variety in type, design, and arrangement of land uses at all times." Ms. Brandow stresses "at all times." Ms. Brandow further quoted, "to protect neighboring residential districts from any adverse impacts" and "to promote research, office, and light industrial development which is free from danger of fire, explosions, toxic, and noxious matter and other hazards and from offensive noise, vibration, smoke, odor, and objectionable influences." Ms. Brandow went on to state that the subsequent required conditions to accomplish the above goals are stipulated in Section 1905.5 and specifically subparagraphs 4 and 5. Section 1905.5 requires that, "for all uses permitted in the I-1 District there should be a finding by the Planning Commission that the use is such that current and future adjacent residential uses will be protected from any adverse impacts." Ms. Brandow reported that there has been no final planning which supports that a Dales & Graphics would not affect subdivision residents with adverse effects. Ms. Brandow further quoted, "the odor and possible impacts in compliance with standards and intent of this article are reasons for bringing out the ordinance and Sections in this matter is to set the stage for what is adverse impact." Ms Brandow stated that the residents feel that they are already inundated with adverse impacts. Ms. Brandow advised that Dales & Graphics is relocating from Sterling Heights where their existing building is only 12,000 square feet and is located in the heart of an industrialized corridor and all residential areas are located many hundreds of feet away from the industrial complex. Ms. Brandow requested that their video of Dale’s Sterling Heights location be shown after all the residents have spoken. The film shows approximately 25 pallets with 12 barrels of empty toxic chemicals indicating that there is some type of photographic processing. In the January 6, 1996 Preliminary Site Plan it states that "there is no processing of product within the facility." The concern is for the filtration system for capturing the release of fumes from these chemicals. Ms. Brandow asked how will it affect the nearby homeowners if the fumes are vented directly out. Ms. Brandow further asked for verification and documentation of the materials stored and the process of said chemicals as required under Section 2516.2c.

 

 

Douglas Brandow, 42559 Park Ridge Road, asked if the operational figures given for Dales & Graphics Supply per the Comparative Land Use Section of the Preliminary Site Plan and Special Land Use of January 1996 are based on the Sterling Heights operation or are they projected figures for the new Novi site. He then asked for statistics to support the figures. Mr. Brandow reported that there is a negative impact on regulated woodlands affecting the wildlife and the aesthetic view of the residents of the abutting residential. The documentation states that a study must be conducted for the noise levels of the warehouse, roof exhaust fans, roof air-conditioning units, and also rooftop mechanical units that service the building from above the office roof. In addition, further documentation that addresses expected truck and car noises are needed because of the echo effects caused by the close proximity of trees which reflect enhanced sound waves to a higher amplitude. There is also a concern for the protection of Lots 216 through 220, and down to where Park Ridge meets Cherry Hill Road at the north side of the building where trucks will be unloading. Sound level vibration echo effects from the trees will adversely affect these homes and this issue has not been addressed. The proposed building and site design will affect opacity to the residents who are directly behind the building. Mr. Brandow stated that cutting 4' on the west side to allow the building to be only 19' high as opposed to 23' in the front is one way to avoid a 5-1 ratio. In addition, it will be an additional 20' back which they do not have at the Sterling Heights site. Mr. Brandow questions this and would like to find out why. Mr. Brandow further states that this is the only light industrial complex that is contiguous to a subdivision in Novi and will set a precedent because it is closest in terms of abutment to a subdivision. Mr. Brandow advised that the Iron Worker’s Union is directly behind the subdivision, but the building is actually 350' away. Mr. Brandow also raised concerns about one road entering from the cul-de-sac which could open up other areas which Costella owns and will make an even greater impact than what is already proposed. Mr. Brandow discussed the drainage issues from the Iron Worker’s Union that disrupted the flow of water during hard rain in several cases. The storm runoff entered resident’s basement and because the City did nothing, some residents were forced to move. Ilene and Jerry Grossman moved because the City did nothing about their complaints after they hired an engineer who proved that drainage came into their area. Mr. Brandow then stated that they know additional building and more asphalt is going to cause problems and although he agreed that the waters will run toward the creek, it will pollute the creek because the asphalt being used is a known pollutant.

 

 

Bruce M. McLeod, 42503 Park Ridge Road, advised that he submitted a letter to the Planning Department today that the Commission did not receive. Mr. McLeod is primarily concerned about the market value of the homes. He further stated that all a potential buyer would have to say is that there is too much of an adverse impact from the industry which abuts the subdivision and the sale is lost. Mr. McLeod then advised the Commission of a concern to not only Meadowbrook Glens, but also to other Novi residents. He reported that a company known as Temperform spews out microscopic plastic material and makes it impossible to be outside without being affected by either the noxious smell, sore throats, and the dust accumulation on their porches. Temperform was established in Novi twenty-five years ago and Mr. McLeod has lived in the subdivision for twenty-three years and Mr. McLeod reports that there is no enforcement from the City as far as he knows. The grounds have barrels of toxic chemicals strewn around the area. There is a layer of dust one quarter inches thick in some places and who knows how much of these chemicals have leeched into the ground or have gone into the Rouge stream. In addition, Caterpillar has a constant beeping throughout the week and into the evening hours. There are trucks being tuned up with the engines revved extremely high so that they are heard in the early hours of the morning. There is always dust flying from the location and three years ago they hired a sand blasting contractor who does all of his work outside. Mr. McLeod believes that the noise is loud enough that it lowers the standard of life in the subdivision. There are other companies in the I-2 part of Trans-X that also add to the noise. Now the City is asking the residents to live in harmony with yet another company that will certainly bring adverse impact upon the subdivision. Mr. McLeod’s main problem is with classification. The residents have had to ask for an abating amendment in addressing the numerous shortcomings in the current ordinance. The codes and ordinances currently on the books are too general. For example, in Section 1900 of the Master Plan it states "assured that negative impacts on the residential area of non-residential uses are minimized as much as possible to protect residential districts from any adverse impacts." Mr. McLeod then referred to Section 2516.22, for Special Land Use as another example of general ordinances and asked what they mean. He further stated that the summary and recommendations of the March 20, 1996 Regular Planning Commission Meeting is too general and the term proposed is not set in concrete. For example, Mr. McLeod stated that pressures will dictate changes in delivery and production schedules as well as total truck traffic and if Dales is going from a smaller to a larger warehouse now, what will happen years from now? Mr. McLeod summarized by stating that he is only asking for a decent quality of life. Mr. McLeod hopes that the Commission will take into account that the residential area is adversely impacted now by the industry surrounding them and the addition of another building only makes the quality of life less desirable.

 

 

Carole Goebel, 42511 Park Ridge Road (Did not speak)

 

 

Ellen Witechowsky, 42527 Park Ridge Road, began by addressing the noise issues and opacity. She first stated that she is Lot 222 on the site plan and directly abuts the proposed site. Ms. Witechowsky feels that the proposed site plan does not meet the opacity requirements and as a resident she is concerned about the direct effect that it has on her property. She then sited the Iron Worker’s hall and stated that it is apparent that after ten years the 80-60% opacity requirement is still not met. Ms. Witechowsky reported the residents feel that the forester is the only person who is required to pass judgment as to whether the opacity’s are met and request that an impact study be done to address this issue. Ms. Witechowsky further stated that the proposed site plan calls for a berm height of 5' and a flat crest of 2'. The zoning ordinance requires a berming height of 6'-10' with a 4' flat crest. Ms. Witechowsky noted that Mr. Rogers also addressed this issue and requests that the requirements be met. Ms. Witechowsky then addressed the noise issue in two parts. She specifically stated that she is concerned with the noise generated by fans, heating, air conditioning, the opening and closing of truck doors, and material handling equipment. Ms. Witechowsky also noted that Mr. Rogers also addressed the exhaust fan issue. Ms. Witechowsky recommended that this equipment and other equipment be placed as far as possible from the residential area and be sufficiently sound proof. Ms. Witechowsky admitted that she has no idea what can be done to lessen the noise. Ms. Witechowsky’s second noise concern is the noise generated by traffic. Ms. Witechowsky understands that a properly maintained passenger car measures between 65-75 decibels at 50' and diesels idle well above this rate. She further stated that the zoning ordinance requires that the maximum decibel level during the day is 75 and 70 and night. Ms. Witechowsky asked what the noises will be with fifty parking spaces and three truck wells proposed for Phase I alone. The residents feel these noise impacts require further investigation to be certain the sound levels are in compliance with the ordinance and request that an impact study be performed before a decision is reached on the proposed site plan.

 

 

Al Sunshine, 42495 Park Ridge Road, stated he is 50-60% deaf and cannot hear the noise of the unloading trucks, slamming doors, or engines being revved and that this deficit may be a blessing. Mr. Sunshine further stated that his son, whose bedroom faces the industrial park, complains that he can hear load noises at all times throughout the night and especially after four in the morning. Mr. Sunshine asked that if this noise is currently disturbing to a person with normal hearing, how much more disturbing will the noise be with a large warehouse proposed closer to the homes on Park Ridge. It seems to Mr. Sunshine that he and his neighbors will suffer from excessive noise pollution. Mr. Sunshine agreed that the developer has a right to develop his property, but he does not have the right to destroy the tranquility of the neighborhood. Mr. Sunshine further believes one of the Commission’s responsibilities is to be certain that their neighborhood does not become an undesirable place to live.

 

 

Richard Phillips, 42535 Park Ridge Road, acknowledged and reiterated the noise levels and quality of life concerns of the earlier residents. Mr. Phillips believes that no one seems to care about what the neighborhood is experiencing. Mr. Phillips reiterated concerns about the overall noise and the odors from Temperform and he has called DNR many times with no response. Mr. Phillips stated that he is also concerned that the construction will displace the current desirable wildlife and conversely attract undesirable animals (moles, rats, etc.).

 

 

Thomas Harmon, 42463 Park Ridge Road, requested that the Commission deny Special Land Use, Preliminary Site Plan, Woodland’s Permit, and the Phasing Plan for the proposed Dales & Graphic Supply, SP 96-01A. Contrary to several points raised by Mamola Associates, Mr. Harmon found that several site specific issues are in violation of Section 1900 for I-1 that encourages innovative land uses. Mr. Harmon quoted by stating "at all times to protect neighboring residential districts from any adverse impacts." Mr. Harmon stated the following issues would adversely affect the Meadowbrook Glen residential district:

 

1. According to Mamola, the buildings abated by being tucked into the existing slope. The problem with this is that it allows the building to be moved even closer to the residential property.

 

2. According to the Mamola traffic study, trucks unload two to five times a week, UPS and FedEx deliver daily, and Dales & Graphic has three cargo vans. Mr. Harmon visited the existing Sterling Heights facility and would like to show pictures of a customer’s will call area indicating that customers also pick up goods at the site which may dramatically increase traffic.

 

3. According to the Mamola study there is no evidence proposed which would be a source of noise, vibration, or odor disturbance. When Mr. Harmon visited the Sterling Heights facility, there was a noxious odor of alcohol and chemicals emanating from the facility. Mr. Harmon is especially concerned about this because the wind blows from the west over the proposed site into the subdivision most of the time.

 

Mr. Harmon invited the Commission and Mr. Mamola to visit the existing facility so that they can observe the potential negative impacts. Mr. Harmon sees the impacts of Dales as obtrusive in spite of the fact that Mr. Mamola stated that Dales will "generally be a nonobtrusive neighbor." Mr. Harmon stated that other issues with the site involve the landlord; zoning changes to I-2 and advertisement by the Farbman-Stein Company stating that rail is available. Mr. Harmon went on to state that any current or future rail spur on this site is totally unacceptable given the obnoxious noises of deliveries to the Timber Lane Lumber Yard. Mr. Harmon sees the violation of zoning ordinances occurring at the Monte Costella Company as another problem. Mr. Harmon advised that a complaint has been filed with the Building Department for the outdoor storage of building materials on Mr. Costella’s site. Mr. Harmon further advised that there has been no response from the Building Department Inspector.

 

 

Kathleen Harmon, 42463 Park Ridge Road (Did not speak)

 

 

 

John Goebel, 42511 Park Ridge Road, stated one of the goals of the Master Plan is to encourage development and plan spacious sites that are compatible with adjacent with residential neighbors. Mr. Goebel believes Dales is not a compatible site. Mr. Goebel stated that the property that they are trying to develop is too large for the site and they are trying to use too little land for too big of a building. Mr. Goebel reiterated earlier residents noise concerns.

 

 

Donna Nicholson, 42543 Park Ridge Road, advised that certain points need to be considered for Dales & Graphic Supply to ensure that residents are not adversely impacted. Ms. Nicholson stated that the utility and sewer lines will have a runoff impact because of the terrain that has to be removed and replanted. This impact will cause more insects, moles, and rats. The river and wildlife will also be disrupted and asked if a topographic impact study for the drainage has been made. Ms. Nicholson reiterated earlier comments made about residents moving from the area because of runoff impacts. Ms. Nicholson also noted that some hearing notifications have not been made to all of the property owners. Ms. Nicholson advised the Commission that they have the responsibility to control the impact on residents and the enforcement of ordinances is an important area. She would like to know who is responsible, how was it enforced, and how can someone be contacted during off hours for emergencies.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Cohen if everyone within 500' been notified. Mr. Cohen responded yes, that the City Clerk’s office processes the Public Hearing Notices and they triple check their mailings. Mr. Cohen encouraged the residents to visit the City Clerk’s office if they have any questions to be certain that their home was notified.

 

 

Reginal Caskey stated everything that he was going to say has been said. Mr. Caskey then asked the Commission why a Community Impact Statement wasn’t performed because he understands that the ordinance requires it for ten acre developments. Mr. Caskey asked the Commission to request this study because of all of the open issues addressed tonight. Mr. Caskey asked that the noise issue be looked at more closely also and reiterated residents earlier noise concerns.

 

 

David Caren, 42447 Park Ridge, believes the warehouse site it is too close to residential and is especially concerned that it will ultimately become a factory. Mr. Caren stated that he abuts the property and there is various wildlife that is there. Mr. Caren believes that they will no longer be there once Dales is constructed. In addition, there are lights from another facility there and asked the Commission if they do approve Dales restrict the lighting so that it doesn’t affect the nearby residents. Mr. Caren then reiterated truck trip generation concerns and compared it to where he is employed. Mr. Caren asked the Commission if there is any way to limit the growth of Dales?

Chairperson Lorenzo responded that the Commission will find out.

 

 

Andrew Mutch, 24541 Hampton Ct., has a specific question that was not addressed in Mr. Rogers’ report regarding the front yard and side yard parking areas; specifically the requirement of Section 2400 Subsection h. requiring landscape berming and Section i. for the sideyard areas. Mr. Mutch would like to ensure that they are in place because he did not see these items in the landscaping, the site plan, or in Mr. Rogers’ report. Mr. Mutch further stated that there are some specific findings and it looks as though they meet those standards, but would like them addressed. Mr. Mutch reported that he lived in Meadowbrook Glens for 23 years and is very familiar with the area. He further stated that he would prefer to see the area as park land, but also feels it is unrealistic. Mr. Mutch added that it can be developed in the best way possible. Mr. Mutch is concerned because it sounds as though the Sterling Heights facility does not meet Novi’s standards. He is also concerned about the noise pollution and air pollution reports. Mr. Mutch asked the Commission to be certain that this plan meets the standards of the ordinance. Mr. Mutch then compared Dales plan with others in the City and believed that it is the least obtrusive and least noxious and will be a fine facility with the proper berming and landscaping.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo closed the Public Hearing and permitted the video tape to be shown.

 

Mr. Mamola asked if it would be appropriate to respond to the comments made by the audience during the Public Hearing. Chairperson Lorenzo replied that the Commission can address the comments during their Discussion.

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

Chairperson Lorenzo opened the floor for Audience Participation. Seeing no one, she closed the second Audience Participation and turned the matter over to the Commission for Discussion.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Hodges asked Mr. Mamola if there is any mixing of chemicals on site? Mr. Mamola responded, not to his knowledge but perhaps Mr. Dale could address that more specifically. Mr. Mamola would like the Commission to know that from a building code perspective that buildings are classified in different manners. There is a classification called "H", or high hazard use groups. There is a classification called "S", for storage. Mr. Mamola clearly stated that Dales is not an "H" use group, but a storage use group. The chemical hazard nature is not viewed by the B.O.C.A. Code for being a hazardous type of use. Mr. Mamola further stated that the building is fully fire suppressed, but it is not required to be fully fire suppressed. Mr. Dale responded to Member Hodges question by stating that chemicals are not mixed at the site.

 

Member Hodges restated that Dales would specifically be limited to storage and distribution. Mr. Dale responded that she was correct. Member Hodges then asked if there was a 6' tree screen or masonry screen? Mr. Mamola replied there are both and gave a description as indicated on the site plan. Member Hodges has a concern about how the runoff will affect the existing properties after listening to the resident’s concerns. Mr. Mamola responded that he was also the architect for the Iron Worker’s adjacent property. The Iron Worker’s property can be categorized as relatively flat, even before construction began. The standing water that is in the buffer area today was there before the development occurred. Mr. Mamola reported that the Dales’ property has a considerable amount of topography on it and the high point is along the residential edge until the southerly-easterly portion. The water will generally drain from the residential property line toward the railroad tracks and because of the topography, the building will sit into the side of the hill.

 

Member Hodges asked Mr. Dale if the proposed building will include a will call for customers. Mr. Dale responded that technically people can pick items up and there were local people in Sterling Heights who would pick up minimal items in a car. Mr. Dale further stated that 95-99% of their deliveries are made by their own vans and he doesn’t believe that the people from Sterling Heights will drive to Novi to pick up a hundred-dollar item. Instead, he believes that Dales will deliver it. Mr. Dale reiterated that "pick ups" are a rare occurrence. Member Hodges asked again if the business was limited to wholesale and any consumer would not be able to purchase developing fluid to develop film in a home. Mr. Dale responded that the product is only for industrial and there is no walk in retail business.

 

Member Hoadley asked the applicant if Mr. Arroyo’s delivery projection of two to five ingressing trips per week was accurate? Mr. Dale responded that at the current facility averages approximately five deliveries per week and Mr. Arroyo’s statement is correct. Member Hoadley asked if the larger space would increase deliveries? Mr. Dale responded it is possible, but did not foresee a large number. Member Hoadley asked what is the average length of time needed for a truck to unload? Dale replied that they use pallet jacks, not hi-lo’s, and that the trucks are in the well for about one to two minutes. He went on to state that it takes approximately fifteen minutes for a full truck, but most of the deliveries are one pallet at a time. Member Hoadley then asked if the average stay is no longer than one-half hour and Mr. Dale agreed. Member Hoadley then asked where the trucks would park if there is a stack-up? Mr. Dale responded that since it is a cul-de-sac, he believed the trucks would probably wait to pull in and that stack ups do not occur very often. He further added that would be up to the truck driver. Member Hoadley then asked if the deliveries were during the day or night? Mr. Dale responded that they receive day deliveries only, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Member Hoadley asked how many of his own vans were loaded each day. Mr. Dale responded that there are usually three van loads per day. He further stated that each van would load up once in the morning; one van usually returns, but the other two vans are taken home by the drivers. Member Hoadley asked how many trips are then generated. Mr. Dale responded that there are six trips per day; one in and one out.

 

Member Hoadley asked how many employees will Dales have? Mr. Dale responded there are currently sixteen employees. Member Hoadley asked how many cars will that generate? Mr. Dale replied there will be sixteen cars. Member Hoadley stated that sixteen employees will generate 32 trips per day and Mr. Dale agreed.

 

Member Hoadley asked if the 43 proposed parking spaces is required by the ordinance or is it because Dales needs it. Mr. Mamola responded that it is a simple matter of geometry of adding an additional row of parking if it is needed. Member Hoadley stated that was not his question. He again asked if the parking is needed for the business or is it required per the ordinance? Mr. Dale replied that occasionally manufacturer representatives visit the site and perhaps there are as many as 20 to 25 parking spots needed at one time. Member Hoadley asked why then are 43 spaces needed? Mr. Mamola replied that the number was based upon a projection of the City ordinance of possibly adding another 7,000 square feet in a Phase II future addition so that it would not involve any more site work other than what it would take to build the building. Member Hoadley asked if there will be a need for 48 spaces when the addition is complete? Mr. Mamola replied that based on the use, probably not, but based on the numbers per the ordinance, it has to be provided. Mr. Mamola further stated that whether it is 48 or less than that, the geometry of laying out the parking lot is to stretch it out to the end and fill out the corners. Member Hoadley asked if the applicant is testifying that there will be less than 100 trips per day at the site when the maximum is achieved? Mr. Dale replied that he was correct. Member Hoadley asked the applicant if the diesel trucks would idle for approximately 15-20 minutes per truck during weekly daylight hours only? Mr. Dale replied that he was correct.

 

Member Hoadley then asked if any manufacturing was going to be performed? The applicant responded that there would be none. Member Hoadley then asked the applicant to describe the types of chemicals that they would be selling. Mr. Dale replied that they are for printing pressrooms; for example isopropyl alcohol which can also be found in most households. Mr. Dale stated the drums that appeared in the residents’ photos of their Sterling Heights location are stored there because they are recyclable. In addition, the Sterling Heights location is zoned for heavy industrial and outside storage is permissible. Mr. Dale went on to state that when they were located in Livonia, outside storage was not allowed and all of the pallets were stored inside and they will follow the same procedure in Novi. Member Hoadley asked why Mr. Dale would be emptying the drums? Mr. Dale stated that the customers do and reiterated that Dales picks up the empty barrel because they are recyclable. Member Hoadley asked if the chemicals were for cleaning presses? Mr. Dale replied that some are, but most of the chemistry is water for processing printing plates.

 

Member Hoadley asked if Dales has ever experienced a fire and what type of fire protection is planned for the building? Mr. Dale replied no and that the building will have sprinklers. Mr. Mamola interjected by stating that there is a fully automated fire suppression system in the office and in the warehouse.

 

Member Hoadley then asked the applicant to describe the location of the air-conditioning system and what are the decibels that they will generate? Mr. Mamola replied that only the office area is proposed for air conditioning and the units are located on the roof of the office. Mr. Mamola then referred to the building cross section where the air conditioning is described. Member Hoadley asked if the units will be below the roof line of the warehouse? Mr. Mamola replied that they would be below the warehouse roof line because the office is at a lower elevation.

 

Member Hoadley then asked why the building is so close to the residential area and why can’t it be moved forward. Mr. Mamola responded that the primary factor had to do with the logistics of allowing a truck to maneuver onto the property in a manner that the truck could park and unload so that the door would not face any other direction other that how it currently appears on the plan. If the doors faced either the east or the south, the trucks would have to come onto the property which would allow the building to be further from the residential and closer to Trans-X, but then the other issues of trucks maneuvering on the property and the overhead doors facing the residential property arise.

 

Member Hoadley asked the applicant if he would be willing to construct some kind of barrier to screen the truck well as a condition of approval? Mr. Mamola replied that they would be willing to do that. Member Hoadley then asked the applicant if they would be willing to plant nondeciduous trees where a concrete wall is now proposed? Mr. Mamola replied that there is no problem with that. However it is their understanding that the wall is in response to the ordinance.

 

Member Hoadley then reported that there may be a turning problem on the bay to the right and asked how long are their trucks? Mr. Dale replied they are regular cargo vans. Member Hoadley interjected and asked if they are approximately 25' and Mr. Dale replied yes. Member Hoadley does not believe that the trucks will be able to back in because the turning radius appears to be tight. Mr. Mamola responded that there is approximately a 45' distance.

 

Member Hoadley then asked if there is any room to move the building forward? Mr. Mamola asked in which direction? Member Hoadley responded toward the cul-de-sac. Mr. Mamola replied that there is not because they would then violate other ordinance requirements.

 

Member Hoadley then asked the applicant to address the outside storage on the Monte Costella property. Chairperson Lorenzo interjected by stating that the issue was addressed earlier and the applicant responded that he would comply with zoning requirements. Member Hoadley stated that he was asking why there is debris around the property at Trans-X? Mr. Mamola replied that the Monte Costella property is zoned I-2 which goes beyond his property line. Costella owns both parcels and he is currently storing materials in the I-2 district boundary although some of it is off of his property that is used solely for his business. Member Hoadley asked if it requires some sort of buffering? Mr. Mamola responded that it did not require buffering to his knowledge and that the I-2 property and its related outdoor storage were there before the outdoor storage was removed from the light industrial districts and this part was grandfathered in.

Member Hoadley asked the applicant if he sees this as the best use for this particular piece of property in respect to the least amount of infringement on the property owners? Mr. Mamola responded yes and compared it to other uses that could also be put there and their possible negative impacts. Mr. Mamola further stated that Dales would generate less traffic than a comparably sized office building.

 

Member Hoadley asked Linda Lemke what her recommendation would be for screening the truck well? Ms. Lemke reminded Member Hoadley that she will not look at the plan until the time of Final Site Plan and she is uncertain whether it goes from a berm, then to a wall and what the variance procedure is. Ms. Lemke further stated that the wall would provide 6' of a solid impervious surface and if evergreens were added it would provide a higher area of basic sound buffering and visual screening. Ms. Lemke added that the best buffering would be provided if both were used in combination and that a more natural screen would go with the plantings. She further stated that just evergreens would function better with any wildlife habitat.

 

Member Hoadley asked the applicant if he would be willing to add nondeciduous trees to screen the wall? Mr. Mamola replied that they would, but added that the wall provides a screen to the parking area, to the transformer area, and to the dumpster. If only trees were planted, the areas could still be seen. Member Hoadley stated that walls are not pleasing to look at and he suggests that they add permanent screening to hide the wall.

 

Member Hoadley asked if a lot of quality trees would be lost? Ms. Lemke responded that is correct. Member Hoadley then asked if a compromise could be made by placing the berming where possible and save as many trees as possible or should a smaller 3' berm with additional screening be considered? Ms. Lemke replied that they have attempted to do that; there is currently a 5˝’ berm proposed behind the building with evergreen and shrub material on top of the berm. Ms. Lemke would like to see more plant material down the side of the berm and will look at that at final. Member Hoadley stated that there is a slight problem for residents on the left corner of the project because there are no nondeciduous trees and in the winter time there will be little screening and asked if additional planting should be considered. Ms. Lemke replied that when she stated that there should be more plantings down the side of the berm, she meant both sides and could include that portion. In addition, she stated that she noted Member Hoadley’s comments about screening the view of the truck well from the residents. Mr. Mamola replied that the problem with doing something in there is getting there to do it.

 

Mr. Rogers interjected that there is also Phase II which will be in that area and the screening should be anticipated for that addition. Member Hoadley stated that he is trying to address the concerns of the impacted nearby residents. Member Hoadley further stated that he does not believe that the screen will impose a great expense on the applicant. Mr. Mamola stated that they do not have a problem in adding the additional pine trees.

Member Bononi asked Mr. Mamola what building is proposed further south to the site? Mr. Mamola responded that nothing is proposed at this point other than it is vacant land and it is likely there will be a building there in the future.

 

Member Bononi asked if the 24" storm sewer that is parallel to the southerly property line exists? Mr. Mamola replied that it does not exist, but then asked if she is talking about an existing storm sewer that parallels the rail road track? Member Bononi replied that her main question is whether the concrete flared end section exists at the terminus of the storm sewer? Mr. Mamola responded that it does exist. Member Bononi then asked what the reference to "proposed storm sewer by others" means if it already exists? Mr. Mamola believes it was a reference to a part of a note that should have been erased when there was a previous line there and the reference should be deleted.

Member Bononi asked what the impact of the increased storm drainage is from the standpoint of increased percentage of storm water of the storm sewer system that already exists, in addition to its impact on the stream? Mr. Mamola replied that although he does not have the numbers, he can say that there is a roof area from about 18,000 square feet and another 20,000 square feet of paved area which equals approximately one acre over a seven acre plus parcel that is going into part of a major drainage system onto the property. Member Bononi asked if an engineer has done the calculations? Mr. Mamola replied that the calculations have been done, but at this level of preliminary site plan it’s done in a conceptual manner and the exact calculations and flows are typically a part of the final site plan procedure. Member Bononi understands Mr. Mamola to mean that he does not know what the impact to the stream would be at this point. Mr. Mamola responded that he knows to the extent that it has been evaluated by JCK and the site can drain into it. Member Bononi then stated that the concrete flared end section is draining approximately 10' from the property line and on the property abutting, which is zoned R-4. Mr. Mamola replied that it is an existing drainage area. Member Bononi asked if there is an agreement with the property owner to drain on the abutting property? Mr. Mamola responded that he was not certain about the easement arrangements. Mr. Mamola restated that they are relying on their engineering expertise and are led to believe that it is feasible.

Member Bononi is interested in what the applicant would perceive the impact of the sanitary sewer construction on the stream? Mr. Mamola does not see the impact as detrimental because they are connecting with an existing structure and are not constructing a new structure. Member Bononi asked why a DNR Permit is necessary for the sanitary sewer extension? Mr. Mamola responded that he did not know. Gary Streight, of JCK, stated that a permit is required by the state for all sanitary sewer extensions 8" and greater regardless of the type of establishment that it is connecting with. Member Bononi said that it is the size of the line that determines the necessity of the permit.

 

Member Bononi reported that in Section 2400 (m) it states that "in the I Industrial Districts where more than one principal freestanding industrial building is to be erected on one parcel of land, all

applicable requirements of the respective district will apply to each building as though each were on a separate parcel of land." Member Bononi asked Mr. Rogers if the existing and the proposed buildings will comply with this ordinance?

 

Mr. Rogers responded that the Monte Costella building complies and they have expanded at least once. Mr. Rogers went on to state that the proposed building for Dales also has a frontage on a public right of way and meets the 40' front yard setback with no parking and has the required frontage. In short, Mr. Rogers replied that they are both are on two separate parcels and therefore comply. However, Mr. Rogers further stated that if a second building were to be built south of Dales on the vacant property, it does not need a separate parcel identification if it is owned and operated . . . .Member Bononi interjected by stating that is not her question, but that she wants to know if each of the buildings complies with the ordinance? Mr. Rogers responded that they comply for a setback frontage. Member Bononi then asked when each are described as separate parcels, does that mean that they are separately described by metes and bounds? Mr. Rogers responded that yes and that there is a legal description comprising 7˝’ acres for Dales and then there is a 2-acre parcel for the Monte Costella. Mr. Cohen interjected by stating that it is 1.5 acres which combined would total 9.2 acres. Mr. Rogers stated that it is his understanding that Dales will have a separate parcel sidwell number. Mr. Mamola interjected by stating that it already does.

 

Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Mamola to further expand on his explanation about the project limits as they are identified by dashed lines on the drawings. Mr. Mamola replied that the intent of the project limit lines is to limit the area where construction can occur. Mr. Mamola further stated that by submitting those lines on the plan and once approved, they will then be enforced during the course of construction. Member Bonaventura then asked what the acreage is for the green shaded area as it appears on the site plan drawing to the left. Mr. Mamola responded that area is roughly 7˝ acres. Member Bonaventura commented that the limit for the proposed project is then 4 acres. Mr. Mamola replied that he did not do a calculation, but he suspects it would not be much smaller than 4 to 4˝ acres. Member Bonaventura stated that 4.38 acres is noted on the site plan and asked if that would describe the project limits. Mr. Mamola responded that they never requested the surveyor to specifically describe the project limit line and cannot explain the 4.38 number other than it may be a typographical error on the part of the surveyor. Mr. Mamola stated that the Monte Costella property is approximately 1˝ acres and the balance of the property is roughly 7.5 acres.

 

Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Rogers if the Site Plan Manual required that the acreage of the site be recorded on the site plan? Mr. Rogers replied that it does and it also requires a sidwell number.

Member Bonaventura asked the applicant if the project limits allow them to go all the way to the extreme south of the site to the sanitary sewer and then to the extreme west of the site where a storm sewer is going? Mr. Mamola replied that was correct and there is an aisle for that construction.

 

Member Bonaventura asked Ms. Lemke if Item 8 in the woodland’s report summary, which stated that "remaining regulated woodlands which are not platted are placed into a preservation easement" was correct? Ms. Lemke responded that it was correct. Member Bonaventura asked to view Ms. Lemke’s drawing and that she point out the area that will be placed into a preservation easement. Member Bonaventura verified that Ms. Lemke pointed all the way to the south on the drawing. Member Bonaventura commented that he is confused because Ms. Lemke pointed beyond the project limits. Mr. Mamola interjected that Ms. Lemke’s green area does not encroach into the project limits at the south end of the property as he pointed to the diagonal lines in her diagram. As Mr. Mamola pointed to the screen to the right, he stated that it is roughly the path of construction for the sanitary line. Member Bonaventura asked if the area east of the sanitary line toward the residents is part of the project? Mr. Mamola replied that the green area with the line roughed in is excluded as part of the project. Member Bonaventura then stated that Ms. Lemke is saying that the entire green area will be put into a preservation easement. Ms. Lemke stated that he was correct. Member Bonaventura then stated that part of the green area is going off the project limits.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked Member Bonaventura to make his point. Member Bonaventura responded that he is trying to educate himself about the project and he is unclear about the project limits. He further stated that if there are conditions made on the project, he is assuming that the conditions will have to stay within the project limits. Chairperson Lorenzo asked Member Bonaventura to ask that question and not make assumptions. Member Bonaventura replied that he asked the question and had to clarify it first. He further stated that the woodland’s consultant is talking about area beyond project limits and the applicant is stating that the area is within the project limits.

 

Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Rogers if the Commission is restricted to the project limits. Mr. Rogers responded that the project is an entire site on the plan. Mr. Rogers further stated that if Mr. Costella wishes to develop a third building on the 9.2 acres, he will have to submit a new site plan and all other required items. Mr. Rogers went on to state that Mr. Costella is not phasing any development in the back and that it is really just a big side lawn for this particular project. Member Bonaventura commented that the project limit lines then have no meaning to the Commission if conditions of approval were required.

 

Mr. Mamola interjected by stating that the term project limits on a drawing for construction generally means to restrict the construction activity within those limits.

 

Member Bonaventura asked if a 40' setback is required from the cul-de-sac. Mr. Rogers replied that 40' is required from the front property line which is really an edge on the cul-de-sac. Mr. Rogers further stated that there is a radius with a 40' designation. Member Bonaventura asked if that is how close the building can be to the cul-de-sac. Mr. Rogers responded yes, but the applicant wants to have their parking and truck loading on the west side of the building. If they didn’t put it there, it would have to go in the back or on the side. Mr. Rogers further stated that they could have the building setback 40' from the right of way. Member Bonaventura commented that he believed that was what Member Hoadley was driving at when he was asking if it was possible to move the building forward. Member Bonaventura went on to state that the applicant did reply that the building could be moved forward and still comply with the ordinances, but then corrected himself when he considered the actual physical movement of the trucks. Mr. Rogers agreed that there would not be room for vehicular circulation if the building was moved forward, although technically speaking the building could be moved forward.

 

Member Bonaventura asked how a 50' tractor trailer would be able to pull into this building? Mr. Schafer replied that the driver would be traveling south on Trans-X and would pull straight into the site, turn right, stop, and would back in to access the truck well. Member Bonaventura stated that the drive would have to perform a three-point turn and Mr. Schafer agreed. Member Bonaventura believes that the building can be moved closer and it is not restricted by its setback requirements. Furthermore, Member Bonaventura stated that if there is room for a truck to make a three-point turn in front of the building, then the truck would be able to pull in.

 

Member Bonaventura’s other concern is about the 95' to the rear. He then asked Mr. Rogers how the 5-1 ratio in the ordinance is determined as it speaks specifically to the elevation facing the residential district? Member Bonaventura asked if it is possible for the wall to be constructed at 16', allowing it to be closer to the residential and then in and up 5'? Mr. Rogers sited the K.D. Law Industrial Building on Nine Mile Road as an example of this issue as the building was in excess of 25' when it was first built. Mr. Rogers reported that fifteen years ago, when the one-story addition facing Meadowbrook Lakes subdivision was built, it was regulated at the time by the maximum height limitation of 5-1 and although it was well under the 25', they still had to set it back 5-1. Mr. Rogers added that he has not had that type of stepped up project recently and it is seldom done. Mr. Rogers noted that the current project’s front office is stepped down.

 

Member Bonaventura is also concerned about the distance and the regulated woodlands that fall past the front of the building. Member Bonaventura then stated that the opacity requirements are also of concern to him. After viewing the photos and visiting the site, Member Bonaventura does not think of it is a dense woodland as they stand now. Member Bonaventura added that Ms. Lemke reported that there is some value as a habitat area. Ms. Lemke replied that area is located along the eastern property line. Ms. Lemke then stated that one of the items that they do look at is whether or not the project meets the opacity of the I-1 or I-2 requirements at the time of final site plan. Ms. Lemke already knows that it does not meet that and will need additional plant materials in addition to those proposed on the plan. Furthermore, Ms. Lemke stated that the reason that they are proposing evergreens is because it would not otherwise meet the opacity requirement. Ms. Lemke is looking for a combination of evergreens and shrub material to achieve the opacity in combination with the woodlands that are left on the eastern property line. Member Bonaventura asked if the size and species of shrubs and ground cover is part of the regulated woodlands? Ms. Lemke replied that they are. Member Bonaventura asked if the trees are supposed to be documented in order to get a woodland’s permit. Ms. Lemke replied that they should be on the plan and if they are not they will be on the final plan.

 

Member Bonaventura stated that he has read the woodland’s ordinance again and although it is ten years old, he is very proud of it. Member Bonaventura read from the Review Standards of the ordinance, "the integrity of the woodlands area will be maintained irrespective of whether such woodlands cross property lines." Member Bonaventura advised that he is commenting on this excerpt because of the comment about the integrity of the woodlands. Member Bonaventura further read about what the woodland’s ordinance protects, "the preservation of woodlands, trees, similar woody vegetation, regulated natural resources will have priority over development when there are no location alternatives. The burden of demonstrating that no feasibility or prudent alternative location for structures or improvements without undo hardship shall be upon the applicant." Member Bonaventura advised that the intent of the woodland’s ordinance is to protect the natural resources in the community, to offer visual relief to residents, and also offer areas for the natural wildlife to live. It concerns Member Bonaventura to see a project, such as Dales, that impacts regulated woodlands and residents. Member Bonaventura went on to state that the berming within the regulated woodlands also concerns him. Member Bonaventura advised that the ordinance speaks of berming between the industrial and the residential. Member Bonaventura is assuming that the ordinance was written with the idea that it would be on open land. Member Bonaventura does not want the regulated woodland area disturbed which is proposed to be preserved. Furthermore, Member Bonaventura stated that there are buffer zones for wetland areas and the Commission has long stated that they do not allow any sort of disruption to the buffer areas in order to protect the wetland areas. Member Bonaventura looks at it as a buffer area and instead of protecting tadpoles, it protects residents. Member Bonaventura further stated that if the Commission does not allow any intrusion or any disruption to the wetland buffer areas, he certainly does not see how they can allow intrusion to the residential buffer areas. Member Bonaventura asked the applicant to rethink his project and move the building further west.

 

 

PM-96-03-55 TO DENY SPECIAL LAND USE FOR DALES &GRAPHIC SUPPLY,

SP 96-01A

 

Moved by Bonaventura, seconded by Vrettas, FAILED (2-5); To deny Special Land Use for Dales & Graphic Supply, SP 96-01A.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Schafer if he believed that if the building was moved forward to the west, could the trucks adequately maneuver into the site. Mr. Schafer believed that it could be accommodated. He further stated that the front setback cannot have actual parking or maneuvering lanes. Mr. Schafer added that the way the site is currently designed, if the vehicular parking and handicapped parking is in the front (west) were eliminated, there would be an additional 18-20'. However, Mr. Schafer remarked that would, in looking at the floor plan and the layout of the building, change the dynamics of how the structure itself is designed. It would also encourage people, if they were parking in the rear who were not employees, to walk across the loading area. Mr. Schafer stated it could be done if the internal floor plan could be worked out so that all of the access from a pedestrian standpoint were from the south of the building and would free up some maneuverability.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked how many maximum feet to the west could the building be moved and still accommodate the trucks? Mr. Schafer asked if the current drive configuration would remain as is and essentially eliminate the parking? Chairperson Lorenzo responded that it would remain the same. Mr. Schafer advised that those changes would add 20'-25'. Chairperson Lorenzo restated that 20'-25' would be added by eliminating the parking spaces. Mr. Schafer stated that the reason that he says 20'-25' is because some separation is needed in terms of the actual drive and the structure itself. Chairperson Lorenzo stated t would then be between 20'-25' maximum and still accommodate the trucks. Mr. Schafer stated that essentially the same drive configuration would be used.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Rogers if the ordinance in terms of the 5-1 setback specifies the elevation that is facing the residential? Mr. Rogers stated that was correct. In addition, the middle part of the building in the east elevation, because of the way the land has been formed, is somewhat less than 19', but the measurement at either end to the finished floor level is 19'. Mr. Rogers advised that this is only a minimum standard.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked the applicant if the sealed chemicals emit any type of type of odor? Mr. Dales responded that they do not. Chairperson Lorenzo asked if the air-conditioning unit on top of the office building is recessed below the roof level? Mr. Mamola replied that it is below the roof of the high bay on the warehouse. Chairperson Lorenzo asked if the applicant provided any db levels for the AC unit? Mr. Mamola replied that he did not believe that they were submitted on that particular unit.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if the additional discharge to the stream required a wetland permit from the City of Novi? Mr. Streight replied that they have a regional detention basin on the south end of the site of the property and all the discharge to this site has been calculated in the design of the basin and it was determined that the basin is capable of handling the flow for this site and any other future sites that are developed along Trans-X. Chairperson Lorenzo asked if the stream is part of the regional detention basin? Mr. Streight replied that the stream is downstream of the basin, if he is not mistaken. Chairperson Lorenzo asked if the flows will be discharged to the stream? Mr. Streight replied that the basin is designed to handle all flows as they come down into the basin and the basin has the capacity to hold all the stormwater runoff and discharges at a rate which has been determined to not have any adverse effects downstream. Chairperson Lorenzo stated that what Mr. Streight is saying is that the stream will not be affected by the flows because of the stormwater detention basin. Chairperson Lorenzo then asked if there will be any gas and oil separators or water quality treatment as the water flows to the detention basin before it gets to the stream? Mr. Streight responded that since there are parking lots, the last man hole that is collecting the stormwater before it discharges off the site will be required to have a gas and oil separator.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if the R-4 property to the far south is vacant. Mr. Rogers replied that it is vacant and is part of the detention area. Mr. Streight added that it is part of the C&O Regional Detention Basin. Chairperson Lorenzo then asked if there is water going to that area, is there an easement? Mr. Streight answered yes. Chairperson Lorenzo clarified that it is a City of Novi storm water detention area.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo stated that she is voting against the motion because she believes there is the ability to move the building forward, among other things. Furthermore, Chairperson Lorenzo does not believe that it deserves an outright denial and would like answers to some questions. She further stated that if the Commission approves the project, she would like the answers between now and final approval. She would also like to see the db levels for the air-conditioning units. Finally, Chairperson Lorenzo stated that she would only be supportive of the project if the building were moved as far to the west as possible and still have the ability to accommodate the trucks.

 

Member Hoadley will also be voting against the motion because he agrees with Chairperson Lorenzo. Member Hoadley feels this project is a good example of why he believes there should be more preliminary review. Member Hoadley sites the landscape plan by stating that there has not been enough research to be able to testify properly on it. Ms. Lemke responded by stating that there is a reason why it’s not procedurally reviewed until final. Member Hoadley stated that it could be reviewed before final. Ms. Lemke replied that it could be reviewed at more detail at preliminary if it were worked into the whole procedure process. Member Hoadley stated that he would support a motion to grant approval, but it would have to be conditioned upon everything that has been discussed by the Commission. Member Hoadley is especially concerned about the opacity issue and he would like to see more nondeciduous trees. Member Hoadley would also like to see the building moved forward with the proper berming. Mr. Mamola replied that he believed it would work with a combination of berming and vegetation. Member Hoadley asked the applicant if he was willing to work with the consultants in regards to addressing the concerns so that the public can be assured that the problem will be addressed properly. Mr. Mamola replied that they would.

 

Member Bonaventura is also concerned about the location of the sanitary sewer running directly south which travels through regulated woodlands. Ms. Lemke replied that sanitary sewer is already existing. Ms. Lemke further stated that there has been some discussion about increasing that flow when Main Street Village is built at which time the developer would have to apply for a woodland’s permit. Ms. Lemke added that there is not any construction proposed along the southern property line at this time. Member Bonaventura asked if there was a newly constructed sanitary sewer from the building to the south? Ms. Lemke replied that there is, but it has been relocated to miss the historic trees per the City’s request. Member Bonaventura stated that even though it is now missing the historic trees in a previous submittal, it has now moved west and travels through regulated woodlands. Ms. Lemke replied that it takes out one regulated tree of 8" dba to greater and travels through the edge of the regulated woodlands. Member Bonaventura commented that the "regulated tree" interests him because the woodland’s ordinance speaks of the integrity of the woodlands. He further stated that the woodland’s ordinance is not a tree ordinance, but a woodland’s ordinance. Ms. Lemke responded that it doesn’t, but she would like to address Member Bonaventura’s earlier comment. Ms. Lemke stated that she primarily looks at the clause in the ordinance that asks for alternatives to save the most amount of regulated woodlands. Ms. Lemke further stated that the guiding section on that is Section 3729 which looks at the quality of those woodlands. Ms. Lemke further stated that the quality of these woodlands where the development is occurring is of low quality based upon the type and the size of the species that occur in there. Ms. Lemke added that the areas that they are saving along the eastern property line, are higher quality areas and woodlands on the site. Member Bonaventura asked if was possible over time for low quality woodlands to become a higher quality woodland. Ms. Lemke responded that is generally true, depending upon the types of species in the area.

 

Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Streight if the sewer could travel directly west? Mr. Streight replied that would be possible, but the depth of the sewer along the CSX railroad is substantially deeper which would create a safety hazard and they do not like to see that kind of depth with the smaller sized pipes. Member Bonaventura then asked 36' as opposed to what? Mr. Streight responded that he is not sure about the exact depth. Mr. Bonaventura thought that he was talking about the depth and Mr. Streight replied that he was talking about the 36" sanitary sewer running along the west. Member Bonaventura asked if it is deeper than the one along the south side. Mr. Mamola interjected further by stating that they did look at the west as an alternative to stay totally out of the woodlands. Mr. Mamola further stated that they would have preferred to travel in that direction because it would also allow them to do something greater with the balance of the property, whatever that may be. However, Mr. Mamola stated that when they looked at the depth of the connection being at least 30', it presents a significant safety hazard to the construction workers. Mr. Mamola stated that they further considered shoring and so on, but they then realized that even if they took all the safety precautions, they were advised that the County would not issue a permit to tap into that location which left the only other alternative to the south. Mr. Mamola further stated that they looked at different ways to go to the south in a reasonable manner. Furthermore, he reported that there is one 8" tree and since the trees were essentially elms and poplars, that this was the most viable alternative. Member Bonaventura asked if the area to the west is open? Mr. Mamola responded that there is an open area to the west and south west. Member Bonaventura asked if there are any techniques that would allow the developer to go south as far as pumping, etc? Mr. Mamola replied that they were advised by their engineers that because of the sanitary sewer size, they could only go into the existing structures. Mr. Mamola added that another alternative would be to create a whole new structure, but the sewer is at least 30" below grade and he believes there is nothing else that would work.

 

Member Vrettas seconded the motion because there is a group of people who are legitimately upset, but unfortunately, they are upset with the wrong people. Member Vrettas stated that there are other people in the area who have been getting away with "murder" and the City has done nothing to answer their concerns. Member Vrettas feels that their way of trying to get their concerns addressed is by saying "no more" until the previous mistakes are cleaned up. Member Vrettas’ second concern is that he does not believe that the Commission is taking enough into consideration as to how the project can be reconfigured and he believes that the developer should look at all of the concerns that were brought up and then return with an improved plan. Although Member Vrettas believes some of the comments were petty on why it can’t be done, he firmly believes that it can be done. The third reason that Member Vrettas is supporting the motion is because he has a problem with anyone who says that some woodlands are of a lower quality than another woodland. Member Vrettas asked who has the right to determine that? Member Vrettas further stated that if the quality of woodlands were put to a vote right now, he believes that a poplar is just as important as an elm. Member Vrettas then stated that he believes that what the Commission is being asked to do is in violation of the ordinances and the Master Plan and he cannot support it.

 

Ms. Lemke responded that there is a whole section with twelve criteria that she reviews to determine the quality that is nonarbitrary and based upon the wildlife habitat, the species, the species in the under story, and the likelihood that it will regenerate into some more mature woodlands. Member Vrettas interjected that it is based upon Anglo-Saxon background, but as someone raised with American Indians, he believes that a poplar is just as important as an elm and it all depends upon your view. Ms. Lemke agreed that all viewpoints have to be considered; for example a mulberry tree provides wildlife habitat, but to a resident it may be considered a lower quality tree. Ms. Lemke further stated that when she is looking at those criteria, she is looking at them from multi-views and determining the quality of that tree according to those standards which are provided in the ordinance. Member Vrettas stated that is what should be looked at and he commended Ms. Lemke for that. Member Vrettas further stated that as a Commissioner, he has his own set of standards and his set of standards are in conflict and will vote the way his conscience feels he should vote. Member Vrettas also stated that he did not mean to criticize Ms. Lemke.

 

Member Markham is also voting against the motion because although she believes it is a good use for the property and if done properly it can be fairly unobtrusive to the residents. She added that she has lived near a piece of property that had a lot of potential development and understands the residents’ concerns. Member Markham is asking Ms. Lemke to look closely at the final site plan and be certain that the developer will do everything possible to screen and address the residents’ concerns including the issue of whether or not the wall will be screened. Member Markham also concurred with the suggestion of moving the building forward. Member Markham also suggested that the environmental impact study requirement for a ten-acre parcel should also be performed and that the Commission should do whatever they can to work with the residents concerns.

 

Member Hodges asked Mr. Mamola if the building is moved west, how many of the handicapped parking spots would be eliminated? Mr. Mamola replied that there are two handicapped spots. Member Hodges asked if they are designated to be in that area? Mr. Mamola responded that State Law requires that they be located near the front door. Member Hodges then asked where they would be relocated to? Mr. Mamola replied that it would likely require a total revisiting of the building layout. Mr. Mamola is willing to look at the building layout with the owner/developer to see what can be done. Mr. Mamola went on to state that he believed that when they combined the functional requirements of the building with the ordinances that they have done their best to minimize the height and comply with all the other setback issues and provide a safe site. Mr. Mamola added that they are willing to look at the reconfiguration of the floor plan, which might solve Member Hodges question.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Cohen to read the roll call and then restated that the motion is to deny Special Land Use for Dales & Graphic Supply.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-03-055 - MOTION FAILED

 

Yes: Vrettas, Bonaventura

No: Bononi, Hoadley, Hodges, Lorenzo, Markham

 

 

PM-96-03-056 TO ASK PETITIONER TO POSTPONE HIS APPLICATION TO A FUTURE DATE, (3-4 WEEKS) TO GIVE HIM THE OPPORTUNITY TO COME BACK TO THE COMMISSION ADDRESSING THE CONCERNS THAT HE HAS HEARD; PARTICULARLY IN REGARDS TO SCREENING AND MOVING THE BUILDING AND GIVE HIM THE OPPORTUNITY TO COME BACK WITH A PLAN THAT MIGHT BE APPROVABLE

 

Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Bonaventura, CARRIED (7-0); To ask petitioner to postpone his application to a future date, (3-4 weeks) to give him the opportunity to come back to the Commission addressing the concerns that he has heard; particularly in regards to screening and moving the building and give him the opportunity to come back with a plan that might be approvable for Dales & Graphic Supply, SP 96-01A.

 

 

Chairperson Lorenzo stated that it has been moved and seconded to postpone to a future date to allow the applicant to explore other alternatives. Chairperson Lorenzo then asked if there is any discussion on the motion.

 

Mr. Watson asked that another issue be reviewed at the same time relating to some of the findings that the Commission would have to make before it can be approved. Mr. Watson further stated that two of the findings relate to hazardous materials; storage and/or use of such materials has been identified in the application and complies with all of the city ordinances in that regard and the second one is whether there’s been compliance with a hazardous material check list. Mr. Watson added that there is an approval letter in the packet from the Fire Department that simply indicates that it has been reviewed and approval is recommended, but does not specifically indicate that . . . Mr. Mamola interjected that those were submitted and he could confirm that. Mr. Watson stated that it would be helpful. Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Mamola to get that information back to the Commission. Mr. Watson stated that it may be as simple as the staff asking the Fire Department to specifically address that.

 

Member Bonaventura asked Mr. Rogers about his comment that the plan was not stamped "Preliminary Site Plan." Mr. Rogers responded that his copy was not. Member Bonaventura stated that his was not stamped either. Member Bonaventura also stated that the Preliminary Site Plan Check List states that all check list items that are applicable must appear on the plan before the site plan will be considered by the Planning Commission and it also lists the Preliminary Site Plan stamping. Member Bonaventura realizes that this is "nit picking," but he also wants to advise that it also states that the number of employees on a maximum shift for industrial establishments, warehouses, and wholesale uses must appear on the site plan. It further states that "no site plan shall be approved when the site plan fails to contain all the applicable data set forth herein in the site plan manual." Member Bonaventura stated that technically, it should not have been before the Commission tonight. Mr. Mamola would like to correct that; in the title block it states revised preliminary site plan approval, dated February 8, 1996. It is rather small print and could be overlooked.

 

Mr. Rogers interjected that on a warehouse use, the standard is basically one space for every 700 square feet of usable floor area and only when there is a land banking option, is the employment level required or if it were a manufacturing establishment. Mr. Rogers further stated that in his report, he ran the formula on the basis of the 700 square feet. Mr. Rogers believes that Member Bonaventura is correct and that he has a record of meticulously following the check list and this is the second submittal. Mr. Rogers added that the first submittal had a number of things missing.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Cohen to call the roll and restated that the motion is to postpone to a future date to allow the applicant to explore alternatives.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-03-056 - MOTION CARRIED

 

Yes: Hoadley, Hodges, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Bonaventura, Bononi

No: None

 

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

 

3. ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.537

Property located north of Twelve Mile Road, west of Novi Road for possible recommendation to City Council for rezoning of property from Residential Acreage District (R-A) to High Density, Mid-Rise Multiple-Family Residential District (RM-2) or any other appropriate zoning district.

 

Mark Lewis, representing the Highland Companies, is the petitioner for the rezoning of approximately 20 acres. Mr. Lewis reported that the Master Plan shows approximately one-third of the frontage to be office and the rear two-thirds is planned as PD-1. The applicant is seeking to rezone the parcel to allow for the development of a luxury apartment project and the applicant has provided a sample elevation. Mr. Lewis reported that the parcel has been under discussion with the City of Novi and Mr. Rogers since December of 1991 in various formats of multi-family development. In the past several years, Mr. Lewis believes that they have had the support of Mr. Rogers as to the potential of a PD-1 Option. Mr. Lewis is well aware of the recent scrutiny of the PD-1 Option and has looked for direction as to which way the City was going as to the future of multi-family development in Novi. Mr. Lewis realizes that at this juncture, he is no more aware of where it is going than some of the Commissioners. To move their rezoning along, Mr. Lewis has attempted to rezone this parcel under the RM-2 designation for the following reasons:

 

1. The project is not economically feasible under the RM-1 and although RM-2 is a higher density, the applicant is willing to limit the density to the ten units per acre.

2. RM-1 does not permit their proposed three story cores with two story ends.

 

Mr. Lewis stated that there are no particular wetland and woodland issues and believed there is only a small portion of woodlands and wetlands on the parcel and that their plan does not encroach these areas. In addition, Mr. Lewis stated that the site does lend itself to the type of development that they are proposing. Mr. Lewis reported that they have performed a traffic study by C&W Associates and no impact issues were raised. Mr. Lewis further believes that their plan is consistent with Novi’s Master Plan for the office designation. Mr. Lewis disagrees with Mr. Rogers’ letter of March 11, 1996 about the viability of office in Novi. Mr. Lewis has supplied in the Commission packets various studies performed by First Commercial Real Estate Company and Hayman Company as to office viability in Novi. Mr. Lewis then paraphrased a negative article written by Joel Feldman from the First Commercial Study about the history of office space in Novi. Mr. Lewis believes that office is not an economically viable use and does not perceive the ten units per acre multi-family designation as a conflict with the current Master Plan, nor does he believe that it is inconsistent with the surrounding uses. Mr. Lewis reiterated that he would work very closely with the City to restrict the density issues and other issues that may come out of the process.

 

Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant, stated that his report of March 11, 1996 addresses the proposed rezoning from R-A District to RM-2 District. Mr. Rogers reported that the purpose to rezone is to permit construction of a 200 unit luxury apartment project. Mr. Rogers further advised that the Dobek property is shaped like an inverted horseshoe and the pocket that is surrounded fronts onto Twelve Mile Road and is a wetland which the applicant has been unable to assemble with their property. Mr. Rogers restated that the property is zoned RA, as is the property to the north and west; the property to the east is zoned office, OS-1; West Oaks Shopping Center is located south of Twelve Mile and is zoned RC, PD-3; and the property west of Donelson is zoned OS-1 District. The City’s Master Plan for land use recommends the subject property for office use for about 690' from center line of Twelve Mile Road; Multiple Family Use with PD-1 option for the northeast part of the property; and Single Family Residential use for the northwest part of the property. Mr. Rogers added that the property has access only to Twelve Mile Road. Mr. Rogers further reported that he has met with the applicant many times over the past several years.

 

In summary, Mr. Rogers does not recommend rezoning to RM-2 District because it would be: (1) Spot zoning and inconsistent with the Master Plan for Land Use; (2) There is no showing that the Master Plan’s office use recommendation along Twelve Mile Road cannot be so used. Mr. Rogers noted that there are three major office projects along Twelve Mile of a medical nature (Metro Rehab, DMC, and Sinai Park); and (3) Expansion of recommended Multiple Family Residential future land use beyond areas currently recommended on Master Plan seems unwise.

 

 

Andrew Mutch, 24541 Hampton Court, stated he is concerned about the RM-2 because it raises the same concerns as the PD-1. He is uncertain why there is an RM-2 because it does not fit on the Master Plan and needs to be addressed. Mr. Mutch further stated that the reports that have been provided concerning office development do raise some other concerns although it was interesting to read the report for West Bloomfield where it mentioned that ten years ago West Bloomfield was the "boonies" as far as anyone was concerned with office space and now it is an emerging market. Mr. Mutch sees the same thing happening with Novi and that is why there is a Master Plan. Mr. Mutch further stated who would have imagined what Novi is today thirty years ago and who can imagine what Novi will be like in the future. Mr. Mutch believes that the long term should be looked at and short term decisions should not be made. Mr. Mutch commented that these reports are written for speculative office builders who are looking at short term leasing and where they can make their profit more quickly. It is further obvious to Mr. Mutch that developers want to spend their dollar in markets where they can get a return and although Novi may not be that market now, as Mr. Rogers stated, there is success in attracting institutional and single user types of development. In summary, Mr. Mutch stated this rezoning provides no benefit to the community and therefore, should not be approved.

 

 

Ron Arnold, 43843 12˝ Mile Road, also suggests a negative recommendation for the rezoning of the parcel. Mr. Arnold further stated that Ms. Lemke is familiar with the area and the severe negative impact on the ponds.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo closed the Public Hearing and turned the matter over to the Commission for Discussion.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Hoadley opposes the rezoning. He then asked Mr. Rogers how many undeveloped available acres are currently zoned RM-1 or 2 in Novi? Mr. Rogers responded there may be 50 acres; one property is on Pontiac Trail, near Beck Road, a second is at Novi and 12˝ Mile Road, and there are little parcels around the City that are either developed or being developed. Member Hoadley asked what the density will be when the current master planned RM-1 is completely developed? Mr. Rogers responded that the RM-1 density averages two bedrooms at 7.3 units per acre. Member Hoadley asked how many acres does Novi potentially have? Mr. Rogers responded that there is a 50-acre potential. Member Hoadley asked how many acres does Novi have developed to date? Mr. Rogers did not have that figure, but stated it is available in the Existing Land Use Summary in the Master Plan. Chairperson Lorenzo interjected by stating that it would be approximately 10,000 units. Member Hoadley asked how many people live in each multiple family unit? Mr. Rogers responded 2.4 per unit. Member Hoadley stated that there will be approximately 20,000 people out of a population of perhaps 45,000. Mr. Rogers stated that the multiple family and mobile home park homeowners constitute about half that. Member Hoadley would like to include mobile homes also.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo interjected that according to the Master Plan, which was prepared in 1993, it used 1990 numbers. In 1990 the City was nearly 40% developed; 9,247 units were single family detached homes; 8,772 were multiple dwellings, apartments, and condominiums. Member Hoadley asked if it included trailer parks? Chairperson Lorenzo responded no, they are separate and would total 1,856. Member Hoadley stated that there is a disproportionate amount of high density population in the community and it is time to draw the line for all of the high density rezoning. Member Hoadley added that there is plenty of demand for single family homes and lower density. Member Hoadley believes Novi does not and will not have the infrastructure to support high density for the next ten to fifteen years. Member Hoadley stated that the land should be developed so that it will provide a better tax base and still provide the infrastructure. Member Hoadley concluded by stating that he will oppose this rezoning because he believes Novi has enough high density and will hold his position until it is proven that the land cannot be developed as single family home bases.

 

PM-96-03-057 TO SEND A NEGATIVE RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL FOR ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.537

 

Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a negative recommendation to City Council for Zoning Map Amendment 18.537 for rezoning of property from Residential Acreage District (R-A) to High Density, Mid-Rise Multiple-Family Residential District. (RM-2) or any other appropriate zoning district.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Bononi commented that the applicant said that the development would be primarily out of woodlands and wetlands involvement. When Member Bononi looked at the official maps, it seems to her there would be an impact on the current woodlands and wetlands and she is concerned about the cumulative effect that development after development has on these areas. Member Bononi then stated that the intent of the RM-2 in the ordinance is to provide high-density living facilities in areas adjacent to areas of intense commercial or office development. Member Bononi thinks there is such development nearby, but she would not describe the land situation as adjacent. Member Bononi does not believe that it suits the intent from the standpoint of what the ordinance says. Lastly, Member Bononi reported that although the applicant is proposing to build 200 units, if the zone change is enacted, there could be 651 one bedroom units or 437 two bedroom units if just the raw land acreage was used according to the definitions in the ordinance. Member Bononi also stated that considering the office use along the frontage of the road has been entirely eliminated, she does not believe that the zone change is appropriate and she will be voting against the recommendation.

 

Member Bonaventura referred to the semiannual survey from First Commercial Realty and Development supplied by Highland by stating that Novi could be inserted in place of West Bloomfield in the article and it could possibly be accurate within three years from now. Member Bonaventura also disagreed with the article’s statement that office is not Novi’s "nitch" because he believes these types of articles are written for the time that they are written and whether it applies at a future date is determined by the market. Member Bonaventura further stated that Novi has not been developed according to the current market and that development is based upon looking ahead to develop a quality community with diversification of different uses. Member Bonaventura stated that just because there has not yet been a flood of office, it does not mean that it is not going to happen. Member Bonaventura added that the Master Plan looks toward the future and tries to establish the population level in its build-out. Furthermore, Member Bonaventura stated that if these types of recommendations are give to City Council, it will alter what has been predicted in the Master Plan.

 

Member Hodges will support the negative recommendation and advised the residents that she recognizes their concerns to follow through with City Council on this issue.

Chairperson Lorenzo will also vote in favor of the motion. Chairperson Lorenzo does not believe that this is the best use for the land when considering the surrounding, existing, and future land use of the area. Chairperson Lorenzo advised that the south side is master planned for office and she is not ready to abandon that desire based upon the limited amount of information she currently has in her packet. She stated that Rome was not built out in a day and neither will the City of Novi. Furthermore, Chairperson Lorenzo stated that in terms of the residential portion, there is a portion that is master planned at 1.65 density, R-1 and much of the property west of there is also master planned at 1.65 density. Chairperson Lorenzo would like to see the entire piece, including the currently master planned PD-1 Option, zoned R-1 and believes that is the best use of this land. She further stated that R-1 is the best use when considering there is a cemetery to the east, which is low density and a park to the north and west, which would also be compatible with low density residential. Chairperson Lorenzo stated that if the office portion is reconsidered in the future, she would like to consider R-1 for that area. Chairperson Lorenzo compared Telegraph Road in Bloomfield to Novi’s Twelve Mile Road as a similar situation. Chairperson Lorenzo described the future Twelve Mile Road as possibly having low rise, office complexes with low density and a beautiful surrounding residential area.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-03-057 - MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Hoadley, Hodges, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Bonaventura, Bononi

No: None

 

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

 

4. ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.546

Property located south of Grand River Avenue, west of Lanny’s Road for possible recommendation to City Council for rezoning of property from Light-Industrial District

(I-1) to One-Family Residential District (R-4) or any other appropriate zoning district.

 

Theodore A. Soley advised that he is the owner of Lot 18 in the Mary’s Orchard Subdivision and is requesting the Commission’s consideration to support the rezoning of Lot 18 from I-1 to R-4 based upon:

 

1) The history of Mary’s Orchard Subdivision, the recent development in the area, and the subdivisions residents who have signed a petition supporting the request.

2) The rezoning of the lot is consistent with one of the goals in the Master Plan that was adopted July 7, 1993.

 

Mr. Soley advised that Mary Orchard Subdivision was platted in 1953 and there are deed restrictions on the subdivision that require that all of the lots shall be used for residential purposes except for the two lots that front on Grand River which are currently used for industrial. Mr. Soley stated that based upon this, six houses have been built in the subdivision, four of which were built prior to the City’s rezoning of a portion of the area to light industrial in approximately 1987. Mr. Soley reported that the four houses are on Lots 17, 20, 7, and 9. Mr. Soley further stated that two other houses (Lots 19 and 10) were built within the last four years. Furthermore, Mr. Soley advised that

there are three lots that are developed and are zoned I-1 and he owns one of them (Lot 18). Mr. Soley stated that two of the lot owners requested that the lots be rezoned to residential. Mr. Braum, owner of Lot 17, advised Mr. Soley that he does not want to spend the required $505.00 to change it. Mr. Soley further advised that the owner of Lot 11 (Tri-Mount) had filed a petition last month to have it rezoned to residential, but the petition was withdrawn after receiving unfavorable recommendations from the Commission and the City’s consultants. Mr. Soley has included correspondence from Tri-Mount in the packet indicating that they support the rezoning and Mr. Soley reiterated that the entire subdivision (developed or undeveloped) support the rezoning to residential. Mr. Soley further stated that in addition to the existing homes in Mary’s Orchard Subdivision, there are two new homes being built directly to the west which abuts the parcel. Mr. Soley’s lot is bounded by residential and a non-conforming use residential which is a permitted use as he understands it. Mr. Soley advised that his lot is only 100' wide.

 

Mr. Soley stated that one of the goals of the Master Plan which was adopted in 1993 reads; "As the City desires clean industries to develop with modern technology to support job and tax base, an environmental fact should be controlled with performance standards, hazardous chemical materials, and transition screening to residential neighborhoods." Mr. Soley would like to emphasize this because it was a major issue in the first rezoning request. He would also like to emphasize; "and transition screening to residential neighborhoods" because his lot is only 100' wide, 200' deep, and is bordered on two sides by houses. He stated that because of the surrounding houses, the chance of using his lot for industrial zoning is remote. Mr. Soley stated that the City’s goal cannot be obtained based upon the size of his lot because the lot would not meet setback requirements, nor could it provide transition screening.

 

Mr. Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant, referred to two previous requests in the same area for rezoning, one of which, is the same site that Tri-Mount requested rezoning for in 1994. Mr. Rogers’ recommendation is the same as it was then and he does not recommend rezoning Lot 18 to R-4 District. Mr. Rogers referred to the map he attached to his March 7, 1996 report and advised that the zoning line is depicted by a dashed line and an arrow points out the Zoning District Boundary. The line exempts four existing homes (Lots 9, 10, 19, and 20) along Lanny’s Road. Mr. Rogers advised that the home on Lot 19 was built approximately one year ago. The line then jogs west on an angle. The Master Plan for Land Use recommends that all the lots that front upon Lanny’s Road be zoned for light industrial future land use, including the four homes zoned residential (indicated by a dark dashed line with arrow indicating Master Plan Light Industrial - Single Family Boundary). Mr. Rogers further advised that the house on Lot 17 is a non-conforming house in an I-1 District and immediately north on Lot 16 is an office specialty, high-tech type use called EDM Specialties. Mr. Rogers also stated that Suburban Rented Company is located on Grand River at Lanny’s Road and that Engine Supply of Novi is located across Lanny’s Road on the southeast corner and uses Lots 12, 13, and 14 for parking. Mr. Rogers then advised further east is the Novi Fence Company and they back up to Lots 11, 12, 13, and 14. Mr. Rogers reported that Tri-Mount has recently requested a rezoning of Lot 11 and received a negative recommendation from the Planning Commission and Mr. Rogers and ultimately withdrew their petition. Mr. Rogers reported that Mr. Cousineau was considering putting an office on the property as a transition to the industrial and will probably need a variance for certain setbacks.

 

In conclusion, Mr. Rogers does not recommend rezoning Lot 18 to R-4 District because:

 

1) Such a rezoning would be contrary to the City’s Master Plan for Land Use.

2) If Lot 18 were rezoned to R-4 District it would abut Lot 17 zoned I-1 and property to west partly zoned I-1 which would result in future screening requirements.

3) Further, Lot 18 would also, if rezoned to R-4 District, be directly across Lanny’s Road from I-1 zoned property which was recently proposed for rezoning to R-4 District but which petition was withdrawn by applicant on February 7, 1996 to permit consideration of an office use for said property. (Proposed Map Amendment No. 18531)

4) Subject property was earlier considered for rezoning by Tri-Mount Companies but was denied by City Council on January 23, 1995.

5) Mr. Rogers continues to feel a logical uniform zoning boundary now exists for zoning purposes notwithstanding fact the Master Plan for Land Use recommends Light Industrial future land use for the four lots southerly thereof whereon homes now exist.

 

Mr. Rogers acknowledges the physical configurations and that the non-conforming house on Lot 17 may not be there forever and could be assembled with Lot 18 for an improved development parcel which would be one acre in size. In addition, as far as Mr. Rogers knows, Lot 11 has been withdrawn from single family residential purposes and is likely to have an I-1 permitted use. Mr. Rogers reminded the Commission that offices are permitted in I-1 Districts.

 

 

Jeff Teffer, 26075 Lanny’s Road (Lot 19), stated that he purchased his home on December 15, 1995 and plans to live there for 20-30 years and raise his family. Mr. Teffer stated that he would be back before the Commission if industrial were proposed next to his home. Mr. Teffer stated that he is not opposed to rezoning Lot 18 from an I-1 to an R-4. Mr. Teffer further stated that he is opposed to any industrial building because he does not wish to hear industrial sized AC units or exhaust fans directly next to his house. Mr. Teffer understands that the rezoning was denied in 1994, but would like the Commission to keep in mind that his home was not constructed at that time. After Mr. Teffer reviewed the minutes, he discovered that a reason for rezoning the lot to R-4 was due to the fact that the Master Plan should not be changed. Mr. Teffer pointed out that the area was once zoned as Mary Orchard’s Subdivision with twenty lots and was not zoned as an industrial complex. Mr. Teffer believed that the City had deviated at the same time from the previous Master Plan to allow Lots 13, 14, 15, 16, and 18 to be rezoned from R-4 to I-1. Mr. Teffer then stated on behalf of the surrounding neighbors and the future enhancement of Mary’s Orchard Subdivision, that he sees no reason why the City cannot once again deviate from the Master Plan and rezone Lot 18 to R-4. Mr. Teffer believes that rezoning Lot 18 to R-4 would have little impact, if any, on Novi’s industrialization, but would have a severe impact on the subdivision if it is not rezoned. Mr. Teffer is especially concerned about the severe impact on his home and Lots 10 and 17. Mr. Teffer stated that if the City rezones Lot 18 to R-4 it would enhance the subdivision and make it safer for their children. Mr. Teffer reported that the current six homeowners are in favor of the rezoning and asks the City to consider their concerns. Mr. Teffer further stated that Mr. Soley, as a property owner, has a right to develop the property and cannot develop it with the current zoning because Mr. Teffer would not permit an industrial building next to his home. Furthermore, Mr. Teffer believes Tri-Mount would build a residential home on Lot 11 if the City would reconsider its previous recommendation. Mr. Teffer further stated that he speaks for Tri-Mount, because he is employed with them.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if anyone else would like to address the issue. Seeing no one, Chairperson Lorenzo closed the Public Hearing and turned the matter over to the Commission for Discussion.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Hodges, realizing that it has no bearing on whether or not the amendment request is approved, asked Mr. Soley what he would propose to build on his lot? Mr. Soley responded that eventually a residence would be constructed, although he would not necessarily build it. Mr. Soley acquired the lot approximately seven years ago through the dissolution of a partnership and he has unsuccessfully been trying to dispose of it for the last seven years as industrial.

 

Member Hodges asked Mr. Rogers that in the event that the request is denied, could anything possibly be built on the lot with the necessary setbacks and the buffers? Mr. Rogers replied that the required building setback is 20' on either side, so a 60' wide building could be constructed. Mr. Rogers further stated that it would not be likely to comply on the south side and a piece on the west requires the 5 on 1 setback requirement. Mr. Rogers then stated that the ordinance also requires the landscape berm treatment and it would be necessary to get a waiver for some of the setbacks. Mr. Rogers added that there are a lot of office buildings built on 100' wide parcels and it could be done on this site. Member Hodges then commented that other concerns are raised in relationship to the nearby single family residences. Mr. Rogers appreciates those concerns and agrees that it will be a tough call. Mr. Rogers referred to the Commission minutes of a year ago and reminded the Commission that he was not sustained.

 

PM-96-03-058 TO SEND A POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL FOR ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.546

 

Moved by Bonaventura, seconded by Hodges, CARRIED (6-1): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Zoning Map Amendment 18.546 for rezoning of property from Light-Industrial District (I-1) to One-Family Residential District (R-4) or any other appropriate zoning district.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Bonaventura added that he would like to recommend that the zoning be changed to R-4 across on the north edge of Lot 18 and Lot 11. Chairperson Lorenzo interjected that is not the request of the petitioner. Member Bonaventura stated that he would like to state his recommendation for the record for City Council. Chairperson Lorenzo asked if he would like to state his support for Tri-Mounts piece across the street. Member Bonaventura replied yes and he believes that if Lot 18 is rezoned, it would be a smart move to also rezone Lot 11.

 

Mr. Watson clarified that when the application goes before Council, they cannot act on Lot 11 until there is a formal application. Member Bonaventura responded that he understands that.

 

Member Hoadley voted negatively for the last rezoning request and he now hesitates to rezone this lot because of the Master Plan, but also added that he also understands that hardship situations arise. Member Hoadley asked if the Commission can initiate a city rezoning for Lot 11? Mr. Watson replied that the City does perform city initiated rezonings and the request can be made. Mr. Watson reported that there was a budget item that covered such a request and he is not certain whether or not there is monies available. Mr. Watson further stated that if money is not available, there would have to be a budget revision. Member Hoadley asked if it would cost $1,000? Mr. Wahl interjected that there is money in the budget for JCK to perform city initiated rezonings and there are several pending. Member Hoadley advised that because there is a budget for city initiated rezonings, he will change his mind and support the motion to rezone Lot 18 contrary to the City’s Master Plan and recommend that a city initiated rezoning be performed on Lot 11 as soon as possible. Member Hoadley would like amend the motion to include the city initiated rezoning. Mr. Watson interjected that this motion is just to make a positive recommendation to Council and Member Hoadley’s request is to ask Administration to come back with a city initiated rezoning. Chairperson Lorenzo interjected that it is not part of the motion. Member Hoadley replied that he cannot see doing one without the other.

 

Mr. Watson suspects, because of the letter included in the packet, that Lot 11 is owned by Tri-Mount. Mr. Watson suggested that the Planning Department should contact the property owner to verify if the owner would like to pursue the rezoning on their own before allocating city funds.

Member Hoadley would like to postpone this item and rezone both lots at one time. Chairperson Lorenzo advised that would be a separate application.

 

Mr. Rogers asked if the withdrawn petition is still alive so that it could be brought back before the Commission for reconsideration? Chairperson Lorenzo reminded Mr. Rogers that it was withdrawn and that the Commission did not act on it.

 

Member Bononi agrees with Mr. Rogers’ point of view and does not think what goes on with regard to the activities that are taking place currently in the industrial zone is contributing positively to the quality of life for the construction of a single family home. Member Bononi believes it is unfortunate that the zone line and the Master Plan line are not coincident. Member Bononi further stated that from the other side of the coin, if the Commission looks at what is going on from the standpoint of the zone change proposal and also the status of the Lot 11, she believes that if the zoning is changed on either or both that the designated industrial zone is chipped away. She further stated that she has not heard anything that proves that a transitional use on Lot 18 could not be proposed that would be attractive, that would blend into the neighborhood, and would not be intrusive. She reminded the Commission that such uses are proposed in the Zoning Ordinance. Member Bononi stated that based on the way the I-1 zone line relates to the existing R-4 line and also taking into consideration the abutting properties and uses to the northwest, to the north, and across the street, she would not be in favor of rezoning either Lot 18 or Lot 11.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo restated the motion to send a positive recommendation to City Council for Zoning Map Amendment 18.546.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-03-058 - MOTION CARRIED

 

Yes: Hodges, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Bonaventura, Hoadley

No: Bononi

 

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

 

4. ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.547

Property located south of Austin Drive, west of Novi Road for possible recommendation to City Council for rezoning of property from One-Family Residential District (R-4) and General Business District (B-3) to Local Business District (B-1) or any other appropriate zoning district.

 

William B. Luckacs, advised that part of his request is the result of a request from the City to purchase an easement for all of Lot 114, a little less than half of Lot 113, and approximately 15% of Lots 108-112. Mr. Luckacs further stated that a temporary easement over the balance of Lot 113 is also requested. Mr. Luckacs has been advised by the City that the only way that the drain can be constructed across Novi Road is to obtain an easement over a good portion of the subject property. He further stated that by granting the easement, the only way the property can be developed is if it has a contiguous, one use zoning because it is not possible to build over the easements. Mr. Luckacs explained that the developer needs to get into the easement with heavy equipment to build the drainage easement and they also have to get in there to service it through the back of the lots which are currently half zoned B-3 and half zoned Residential. Mr. Luckacs reported that by zoning the lots B-1; it will downgrade the B-3 zoning where a gas station could be built, and will upgrade the residential zoning to B-1. This zoning would also allow the developer to build a very small three unit strip center that would service the neighborhood and allow service vehicles to enter behind the building to also service the easement. Mr. Luckacs thinks that the compromise of the zoning from B-3 and R-4 to B-1 would be beneficial to the City and the neighborhood as it would allow for one use on the property and would also permit the construction of the drain which has to take place by the City and the County. Mr. Luckacs reported that there were objections in a letter that was sent in. One objection was related to the Austin Road access. Mr. Luckacs stated that they do not intend to access Austin Road and plan to access from Novi Road. A second objection was that the rezoning could be a hindrance to the creek. Mr. Luckacs has been advised by the City engineers that not only is it not a hindrance, but the City has to have the easement.

 

Mr. Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant, referred to his March 11, 1996 report and stated that six of the seven lots are presently divided by the B-3, R-4 line and all front onto Novi Road or front into B-3 zoned property which in turn fronts onto Novi Road. Mr. Rogers further stated that a more uniform pattern of development would result by consolidating the zoning and the Master Plan recommends Non-Center Commercial for future land use for the present B-3 zoned property and the balance for Single Family Residential.

 

Mr. Rogers recommends the rezoning and stated that it has an unusual subdivision pattern. Mr. Rogers further stated that it has 100' frontage along Novi Road, but cautions that any future development on the site because of its small size, it will have to be scaled down to meet all building and parking lot setbacks, screening, and berming. Mr. Rogers reported that the total area of the site is less than 1˝ acres, less the drainage easement.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo stated that it is a Public Hearing and opened the floor to members of the public.

 

 

James Korte, 2026 Austin, distributed maps (maps were not provided to the Planning Department) to the Commission and advised them that they cannot make a decision on anything unless they have a full picture. Mr. Korte further stated that he did not see anything that shows the easements. Mr. Korte referred the Commission to the paper on the back which shows the easements. One map is a blow-up that he got from the City Clerk and the other is a map that came through, from, and with city attorneys. Mr. Korte then pointed to the purple stripe which is the existing B on Novi Road, the green is residential, and the blue is water. Mr. Korte further advised that the kidney shape in the corner is the Shawood Island owned by the City. Mr. Korte reported that in conjunction with the five lane widening of Twelve Mile Road that will directly hit the new Decker Road and back in the Sandstone Vista’s and the "I want my water back" syndrome, this is the point that the water that the Commission will be dealing with in Phase III, IV, and V of Sandstone Vistas back to the Shawood Canal. Mr. Korte finds it interesting that a drainage ditch has anything to do with property zoning. Mr. Korte further stated what this drainage situation does is further limit the usage of the property. Mr. Korte believes that the tragedy is that all of the canal was filled in by Dr. Luckacs when he bulldozed the horrible front building down that was a condemned issue and the small back building. Mr. Korte was amazed that when he reported it and Geraldine Stipp was in visual sight with her house and she watched it be done and Earl Bailey said that someone beat you to the point. Tragically, Mr. Korte stated that the City never forced Dr. Luckacs to recreate what was redone. Mr. Korte then referred to Novi Road to the new Decker and what is happening; SES is questioning the whole purple (B-1) area. When this happens and the signs do go in that say, "Through Traffic Take Decker," this whole greater area will be taken to a very residential nature. Several years ago the City tried to rezone this and two other small pieces back to residential and Mr. Korte fought the issue. The reason he fought the issue was that they did not make any notation or try to do anything with the two existing businesses that would then become non-conforming. They also weren’t dealing with this to residential which has three residential houses which they would have left non-conforming. They were trying to take conforming and make it non-conforming and leaving the non-conforming, non-conforming. Before the Commission does anything, Mr. Korte asked that the whole picture be looked at to see what is going on. Mr. Korte stated that when the size of the property is looked at and to his knowledge there has been no stake survey for the deeded drainage ditch. Mr. Korte advised that the drainage, the Shawood Canal, is more than 40' wide at points. Mr. Korte therefore presumes that the area that is seen as 20' is from a deeded lot line and some of it is under water. Mr. Korte stated that he doesn’t have a problem with that because it has been there a long time. Mr. Korte then addressed wetlands and there is another 25' buffer zone on the residential business side of the canal and now the property has been reduced by a minimum of 45'. Mr. Korte stated that if the sizes are now looked at, it is an impossibly buildable lot and a strip store is a joke. Mr. Korte advised that the intrusion of any business into the existing subdivision is unacceptable and to change the B-3 to B-1 is spot zoning. Mr. Korte advised that he represented SES at City Council when they tried to approve some splits and put in a tract house which was unanimously denied. Mr. Korte was also at the ZBA when they asked for one usage upon the property and they had no usage and still in their paperwork have no usage for this property. Mr. Korte further stated that if it were to go that all of the Shawood Canal area, are we going to have a boat launch? What is going to happen and he does presume when Sandstone is through, they will have their water back. This means there will be a waterway and a whole different situation that they have not had in ten years, twenty years and replaces this back to a lovely viable situation direct through Shawood Lake, directly into Walled Lake and it is all unacceptable.

 

 

Mark Chancey, 2250 Crown Drive (Lots 123 and 124), stated that highlights of a letter that he had written to the Commission have already been read but would like to add that the residents of his neighborhood are concerned about the future of the neighborhood as a quiet and peaceful residential area. He hopes that the Commission would defer to the wishes of the people who actually reside in the area, rather than the wishes of a single individual who does not reside there.

 

 

John Hinerman, 2240 Crown Drive (Lots 108-114), stated he opposes the recommendation and to him it clearly belies in the face of the Master Plan. Mr. Hinerman stated that when he moved to the residential section of Novi he did not anticipate having a strip mall in his backyard. Mr. Hinerman also has a letter from a neighbor who could not attend and gave it to Mr. Cohen.

 

 

Mark Abanatha, 2230 Crown Drive, stated that his property backs up directly to the project. He further stated that a lot of issues were mentioned by Jim Korte regarding the overall project and as an architect and planner he has done a number of projects in Novi. Mr. Abanatha stated that he not only lives in Novi, but he is also involved in multi-million dollar projects and from a planning standpoint, he would like to go on record saying that he is totally opposed to the rezoning. He advised that there are a number of reasons why it doesn’t work and that the Master Plan has been suggested. He stated that when the Master Plan is looked at along Novi Road, it is set up for commercial and when the Master Plan is looked at west of the commercial, it is set up for residential. Mr. Abanatha further stated that if the setup of the neighborhood and types of homes there is looked at, that is what the zoning should be there. Mr. Abanatha stated that if someone were to come into his office and ask him to apply for rezoning for this particular project, he would say that the chances are slim to none in having this type of a project approved. Mr. Abanatha further stated that the property is environmentally sensitive; there is water fowl, deer move through it, and restoration in terms of drainage is very important for the property. Mr. Abanatha added that a question was raised as to whether it is buildable or not buildable. Mr. Abanatha stated that if it is buildable, then the commercial should stay on Novi Road and if not, it should have been investigated when the property was purchased. Mr. Abanatha also stated that it has already been mentioned that the Decker Road connection and the traffic patterns that are going to impact Novi Road as it links through to Decker on up. Mr. Abanatha believes that is where the traffic belongs and it will turn Novi Road in that area into a very residential natured road. Mr. Abanatha stated that there is a tremendous amount of commercial as a result of Twelve Oaks, West Oaks, and the commercial as a result of Vistas. There is also existing small business commercial on Novi Road and there is no need for any more commercial at that point. Mr. Abanatha stated that if there is commercial that is going to take place there, he would like to stick with the Master Plan and let it fall where it belongs along Novi Road. Mr. Abanatha advised that if it is not buildable, let it be a drainage easement. He further stated that there is plenty of pieces of property in the City where wetlands come up to a road and go through commercial and become a vista back into a residential area. Mr. Abanatha feels that is a beautiful transition to the existing homes that are there. Mr. Abanatha concluded by stating that he was before the Commission recently with what he believed to be a reasonable request on a project and at that time the Commission stated that they had an ordinance and agreed to stick with the ordinance. Mr. Abanatha asked the Commission to look at the Master Plan and stick with it and leave residential, residential and commercial, or commercial.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo closed the Public Hearing and turned the matter over to the Commission for Discussion.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

 

PM-96-03-059 TO SEND A NEGATIVE RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL CONCERNING THE ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.547

 

Moved by Bonaventura, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a negative recommendation to City Council for rezoning of property from One-Family Residential District (R-4) and General Business District (B-3) to Local Business District (B-1) or any other appropriate zoning district.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo stated that it has been moved and seconded to send a negative recommendation to City Council and asked for discussion on the motion.

 

Member Hoadley agrees with the negative recommendation. Member Hoadley further stated that he has driven through the area for three years and agrees that they do have some severe problems and will continue to have them until the drainage and paving is completed. Member Hoadley asked Mr. Rogers if the three lots could be combined and what can be built on them? Mr. Rogers replied probably and further stated that the zoning has been B-3 on the frontage for some time and they all can be consolidated. Mr. Rogers added that there was a proposal to combine or split some lots, and the Council did not see it fit to change any standards in the zoning ordinance and denied the introduction of a new homesite. Mr. Rogers also stated that the lots could be used residentially. Member Hoadley then asked if the B-3 is all along Novi Road? Mr. Rogers responded, yes. Member Hoadley agrees with the audience that when Decker opens, he seriously doubts if they’re going to be able to support any kind of commercial venture in there. Member Hoadley also suspects that perhaps that the party store that is currently there, may not be there eventually. Member Hoadley stated that not only will the Vistas of Novi put in 100,000 square foot commercial area, but Maples of Novi has ten acres zoned for commercial which will accommodate 80,000 square feet all within a mile or closer. Member Hoadley believes that the three lots could be developed as one lot with a larger home. For the record, Member Hoadley agrees with Mr. Korte and disagrees with Mr. Rogers. Member Hoadley suggested that perhaps a strip along Novi Road could be considered for potential rezoning.

 

Mr. Rogers replied that there was a request including the south west corner of Pleasant Valley and Novi Road and Mr. Rogers recommended that it go back to residential under the old Master Plan. Member Hoadley agrees because he does not believe that because of the small size that anything commercial could be put there. Mr. Rogers advised that the property owners of the existing buildings protested and the Council did not rezone it.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there was further discussion on the motion. Seeing no one, she asked Mr. Cohen to call the roll. Chairperson Lorenzo restated the motion to send a negative recommendation to City Council for Zoning Map Amendment 18.547.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-03-059 - MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Bonaventura, Bononi, Hoadley, Hodges

No: None

 

 

MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION

 

 

1. PLANNING COMMISSION WORK PROGRAM & BUDGET - FY 96-97

Recommendations from the Planning Studies & Budget Committee regarding the following:

1. Possible amendments to the approved Planning Commission Budget & Work Program

Line Items for Fiscal Year 1996-97 (1/31/96 - $246,636).

2. Recommendations to Administration & City Council.

 

Mr. Wahl stated that the Commission has a written report that recommends several changes that were discussed briefly at the Planning Studies & Budget Committee. Mr. Wahl added that action is needed because the report has to go forward to the Finance Department tomorrow morning. Mr. Wahl reported that the recommendation is that the futuring element of the Master Plan process be delayed one year to the Fiscal Year 1997-98. Mr. Wahl further reported that the reasons for the delay are: (1) Complete all the technical studies that are part of the Master Plan first, so that they would be available for use by the citizens involved in the futuring process.; (2) There is going to be a proposal brought forward to City Council to perform an overall visioning or city wide futuring for a wide variety of subjects beyond Master Planning and that this program would be anticipated to take place starting in either the summer or fall and run for a year. It would be a good follow-up and a natural relationship for the Master Plan. Futuring would then come after that and be separated from it because of the nature of the type of work that would be involved with the Master Plan versus an overall conceptual goals for the Community. The first process would help the second process to be more defined. In order to accomplish that, Mr. Wahl recommends deferring the $19,000 Focus 2020 study for a future fiscal year. The Committee further recommends that the budgeted amount for Special Studies on Emerging Planning Issues be increased by approximately $6,000 to the $9,000 budget and also change it to include engineering issues. Mr. Wahl added that during the Consultant Review Committee, it became clear that there is no money in JCK’s retainer to respond to any research requests, to write any reports, or to do more than attend a few meetings and provide telephone consultation to Commissioners. Mr. Wahl further stated that the recommendation of the Consultant Review Committee was to plug that type of need into the Planning Commission’s budget and David Bluhm has provided a report disclosing the number of hours and cost.; (3) The third item provides for the possibility of doing more computer generated Auto CAD representation of a build-out concept which Commissioner Hoadley and the Planning Studies Committee thought would be very helpful to futuring and to establishing the next Master Plan. One rendition was not possible cost wise which provided a three dimensional mock up and the other was budgeted for $11,800 which would bring the proposal to almost $29,000.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if the Committee came to a conclusion? Mr. Wahl deferred to Member Hoadley for his comments. Member Hoadley stated that he originally proposed the build-out design and Ms. Lemke provided the cost which requires further changes as the Master Plan and zoning is revised. Member Hoadley further stated that he would like to see the City begin it this year and he is not opposed to doing computerized in the future, but reminded the Commission that it is costly. Member Hoadley added that he would like to see the proposed budget passed as it is, with Member Bonaventura’s idea that it be looked at a year from now. Member Hoadley stated that Ms. Lemke would still have to do all the work in order to activate it. Member Hoadley’s vision is to have a 6' aerial photograph build out as the City is currently master planned and zoned to see what the City would look like 25 years from now if nothing was changed. Member Hoadley stated that it would be used as a basic tool to revise the Master Plan over the next few years.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked what is the Commission being asked to amend and would like a motion so that the Commission can move on. Member Hoadley replied that his motion would be to leave the proposal on the Design Build Out Year 2020 as it is currently proposed for $17,024 using the build out program that Linda Lemke has already presented.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo clarified that this was in the budget, so what is being amended? Mr. Wahl responded that a change was considered and the recommendation is to leave it as is. Chairperson Lorenzo asked why then does anything have to be done? Mr. Wahl responded that other Commissioners were interested in this and they may feel differently and he wanted to offer it for discussion. In summary, Mr. Wahl stated that the amendment proposals are to defer one item to a different fiscal year at $19,000 and then add a $6,000 item to Emerging Issues, Engineering which would reduce the budget request to $233,000 and something from $246,000.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if that was Member Hoadley’s motion and he responded yes. Chairperson Lorenzo stated that the motion is to postpone the 2020 Futuring Program to next year and re-budget that money towards the +$6,000 on number 2; and to maintain the 2020 Design Build- Out of $17,000 as is.

 

PM-96-03-060 TO POSTPONE THE 2020 FUTURING PROGRAM TO NEXT YEAR AND RE-BUDGET THAT MONEY TOWARDS THE +$6,000 ON NUMBER 2; AND TO MAINTAIN THE 2020 DESIGN BUILD-OUT OF $17,000 AS IS FOR THIS YEAR.

 

Motion by Hoadley, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (6-1): To postpone the 2020 Futuring Program to next year and re-budget that money towards the +$6,000 on Number 2; and to maintain the 2020 Design Build-Out of $17,000 as is for this year.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Hodges stated that as a member of the Committee that this does closely reflect what the Committee had decided and unfortunately neither she nor Member Weddington were at the meeting tonight. Member Hodges feels that the Committee took the time to review the proposed program and the recommendations in the budget for the years to come. Member Hodges further stated that they looked at a long range plan and not just 1996-97. Member Hodges stated that the Committee wanted to be sure that the specific studies which arise that Mr. Wahl described was included as a line item and she encourages her fellow Commissioners to support this recommended budget.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Cohen to call the roll.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-03-060 - MOTION CARRIED

 

Yes: Markham, Vrettas, Bononi, Hoadley, Hodges, Lorenzo

No: Bonaventura

 

 

2. MULTIPLE-FAMILY PRESERVATION OPTION

March 4, 1996 City Council recommendation to Planning Commission to study possible environmental protection and options for the RM-1 and RM-2 zoning districts, similar to those provided in single-family zoning districts. Possible direction to Implementation Committee.

 

Member Hodges asked if this was a willing task. Chairperson Lorenzo replied that it is once they get to it as there are other items before it. Member Bonaventura added that if there was a way to pass it on to another Committee, he believed it could get done sooner.

 

 

PM-96-03-061 TO REFER THE MATTER TO THE IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE

 

Moved by Vrettas, seconded by Hodges, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To refer the matter to the Implementation Committee.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Hodges asked if there is a time limit on the matter. Chairperson Lorenzo responded that she understands that there is no time limit. Member Hodges asked if it bothered Chairperson Lorenzo that there is no time limit? Chairperson Lorenzo responded no. Member Hodges asked what the point is if there is no time limit? Chairperson Lorenzo responded that the Committee will get to it when they get to it. Member Bonaventura added that it gives them flexibility. Member Hodges asked that when there are updates on the zoning ordinance, should it be concurred with some other activities? Chairperson Lorenzo replied that the Committee has a running work load.

 

Member Hoadley believes that there is an urgency to the item because it has been referred back twice and he would like the Committee to consider what he recommended the last time a vote was taken on this matter. Member Hoadley’s recommendation is to immediately look at amending the PD-1 and putting the sensitivity in it and get back to the sunset clause. Member Hoadley believes that would give the Committee plenty of time to deal with the underlying zoning and do it right. Member Hoadley urges the Committee to put this matter on the front burner.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo stated that there is a time limit on the cellular towers and the Committee also has the ongoing issue of I-1 next to residential. She further stated that it is very difficult to prioritize, because they are all priorities.

 

Member Hoadley suggested that perhaps it might be beneficial to have an A & B Implementation Committee. Chairperson Lorenzo responded that she is not certain that would be feasible, but could be a matter for discussion at another time.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo then stated that the motion on the floor is to refer the matter to the Implementation Committee and asked Mr. Cohen to call the roll.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-03-061 - MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Vrettas, Bonaventura, Bononi, Hoadley, Hodges, Lorenzo, Markham

No: None

 

 

3. PLANNING COMMISSION REVIEW & POSSIBLE ACTION

1. Farmington Hills rezoning proposal - NE corner of Nine Mile and Haggerty Roads

(Farmington Hills Planning Commission - Public Hearing 3-21-96)

2. Oil well drilling permit for Haggerty Road site.

(Farmington Hills City Council - Public Hearing 3-25-96)

 

 

Chairperson Lorenzo stated that Mr. Kriewall, on behalf of the City Council, has brought to the table a letter that was forwarded to the City of Farmington Hills Planning Commission expressing the Council’s concerns over the rezoning and is asking the Planning Commission if they would like to do the same?

 

Member Bonaventura stated that he does not believe that the Commission has enough information about the projects to discuss it. He further stated that if the Commission would like to send a letter to a neighboring community suggesting that they do what is best, then that is fine with him.

 

Member Markham asked if other communities communicate with Novi in the same way that the Commission is proposing to communicate with Farmington Hills? Chairperson Lorenzo replied that it occurs on occasion.

 

Mr. Wahl interjected that the notices were forwarded to the Planning Department in an informal fashion and their staff asked Mr. Wahl to write a response. Mr. Wahl did not feel that he had the authority to respond. Mr. Wahl further stated that other communities in the past have not only written opinions to our City, but they also come to Commission meetings. Mr. Wahl added that Novi has had an active participation of other cities in planning decisions and the Commission has always been tolerant of neighborly advice.

 

Member Hoadley is inherently opposed to gas wells in the middle of a residential and commercial district. Member Hoadley has had a personal experience with an oil tragedy and mentioned that he worked on the Kalkaska fiasco many years ago that suffered a $20M loss and polluted the whole town because of a fractured casing. Member Hoadley recommends that a very strong recommendation be sent to the City of Farmington Hills not to allow a gas well.

 

 

PM-96-03-062 TO SEND A VERY STRONG RECOMMENDATION TO THE CITY OF FARMINGTON HILLS NOT TO ALLOW A GAS WELL

 

Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (5-2): To send a very strong recommendation to the City of Farmington Hills not to allow a gas well drilling permit for the Haggerty Road site.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo stated that there is a motion that has been moved and seconded to ask Administration to send a strong letter on behalf of the Commission to the Farmington Hills Planning Commission in opposition of the oil well.

 

Mr. Wahl believed that the item has already gone past the Planning Commission and is now at the City Council for a permit application.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Bonaventura is against the motion and he is embarrassed about sending a strong recommendation to Farmington Hills on something that has been gone over lightly.

 

Member Vrettas has also had a personal experience with this kind of situation in Ohio. Member Vrettas supports the motion and believes that the City of Farmington Hills should be made aware that this is a serious matter.

 

Member Hoadley stated that his client was Amoco Oil and it took four years to handle the claim.

Chairperson Lorenzo interjected by stating that there is not time for his story and asked Mr. Cohen to call the roll.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-03-062 - MOTION CARRIED

 

Yes: Bononi, Hoadley, Hodges, Lorenzo, Vrettas

No: Bonaventura, Markham

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

Seeing no one, Chairperson Lorenzo closed Audience Participation and entertained a motion to adjourn.

 

 

PM-96-03-063 TO ADJOURN REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION AT 12:35 A.M.

 

Moved by Markham, seconded by Hoadley, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular meeting of the Novi Planning Commission at 12:35 a.m.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-03-063 - MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Vrettas, Bonaventura, Bononi, Hoadley, Hodges, Lorenzo, Markham

No: None

 

 

 

Steven Cohen - Planning Aide

 

Transcribed by: Barbara Holmes

April 8, 1996

Date Approved: April 17, 1996