REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19, 1996 AT 7:30 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBER - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Meeting called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Chairperson Lorenzo
PRESENT: Members Bonaventura, Capello, Hodges, Chairperson Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington
ABSENT: Members Bononi (absent/excused) and Hoadley (absent/excused)
ALSO PRESENT: Planning Consultant Brandon Rogers, Engineering Consultant David Bluhm, Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, Senior Environmental Specialist Susan Tepatti, Director of Planning & Community Development Jim Wahl, Staff Planner Greg Capote, and Planning Aide Steven Cohen
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Capello asked to move the Consent Agenda before Public Hearing because he believes that the first Public Hearing will take a lot of time. Chairperson Lorenzo asked if he is assuming that something will be pulled? Member Capello replied yes and he believes that the Andris item will move quickly. Chairperson Lorenzo asked Member Capello if he is suggesting that if Item (2) Andris-Romain is pulled, the request is that it be conducted prior to the first Public Hearing and asked the Commission if there is a consensus to do that? Member Vrettas suggested moving the whole section. Chairperson Lorenzo replied that they address the Consent Agenda before Public Hearings and it is only if they remove an item that they handle it after the Public Hearings. Chairperson Lorenzo stated that if they remove Andris-Romain when the Commission gets to the Consent Agenda, they will address it prior to the first Public Hearing. Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any objections? Member Weddington said that she would second the motion if there is one. Member Capello replied that it is a motion.
PM-96-06-118 IF ITEM (2) UNDER THE CONSENT AGENDA IS REMOVED, THE ISSUE WILL BE ADDRESSED PRIOR TO THE FIRST PUBLIC HEARING
Moved by Capello, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: If Item (2) under the Consent Agenda is removed, the issue will be addressed prior to the first Public Hearing.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated that it has been moved and seconded if Item (2) under the Consent Agenda is removed, the issue will be addressed prior to the first Public Hearing. She then asked all those in favor say aye, those opposed say no and advised the motion was carried unanimously.
VOTE ON PM-96-06-118 - MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Bonaventura, Capello, Hodges, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington
Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any further changes or additions. Seeing none, she stated that the Chair will entertain a motion to approve the agenda as amended. Member Weddington moved to approve the agenda as amended and Member Vrettas seconded it.
PM-96-06-119 TO APPROVE THE AGENDA AS AMENDED
Moved by Weddington, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated that it has been moved and seconded to approve the agenda as amended and asked Mr. Cohen to call the roll.
VOTE ON PM-96-06-119 - MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Bonaventura, Capello, Hodges, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas,
Sarah Gray - President of the S-E-S Homeowners Association - 133 Maudlin, stated that she would like to comment on Item (2) Andris-Romain, SP90-48D on the Consent Agenda. Ms. Gray advised that as spokesperson for the SES, that they respectfully request that Andris-Romain be pulled from the Consent Agenda and further asked that it be discussed by the Commission. She also advised that the S-E-S is against any extension because it was scheduled to come before the Commission on July 3, 1996, two days after the expiration of the fourth extension and this would be the fifth if they grant it. In addition, Ms. Gray stated that there has been no excuse for the delay in beginning the construction of the building. Ms. Gray advised that the City has had the final information since March and asked why it has not appeared on the agenda before now? Ms. Gray explained that there are many discrepancies that they find issue with on the preliminary plan and they presume they will find the same on the final. Ms. Gray reported that the hand-out that they gave the Commission is a non-scientific, informal research that they did last night. What they are asking for is that the over-flow parking issue be addressed tonight or at the final on July 3, 1996. The Association feels that there is inadequate parking on the site and they also have problems with other issues that other members will be addressing. Ms. Gray repeated that the item be pulled and that the Commission does not grant an extension. Ms. Gray requested that if they grant an extension, they do not see a need for any more than six weeks, six days, or even a month extension. Ms. Gray reminded the Commission that the project expires on July 1, 1996 and it will come before them on July 3, 1996. In addition, Ms. Gray does not see evidence of a need or a hardship for this applicant.
James E. Korte - Shawood Lake, stated that he is going to be talking about the direction of the Walled Lake Sector Study. Mr. Korte advised that Andris-Romain never came to their table, although this project began during the middle of their meetings. Mr. Korte added that Chairperson Lorenzo did a fine job in serving as the liaison. Mr. Korte thinks that the Commission is getting a snow-job on the situation or it would have come before the Walled Lake Sector Study Implementation table. Mr. Korte stated that when the number of years that this project has been proposed is looked at that and its authenticity has been questioned, it should be asked if is ever going to get built? Mr. Korte advised that 1991 is a long time ago, the law suits were over in 1994 and that the the general public has not been allowed to comment on it for years. In addition, any ingress and egress from East Lake Drive onto this property will negate everything that the City, the residents, and the committees and commissions have done in the last five years. Mr. Korte advised that the Walled Lake Sector Study did its best to try to do something about the traffic situation and thankfully, South Lake was not there then or they would probably still be pulling their hair out. Mr. Korte advised that there is a sign which states, "Through Traffic Use Decker" and asked how can they enforce that when there is a proposed restaurant with ingress and egress on East Lake? Mr. Korte stated that for the past six years, the Zoning Board of Appeals has not allowed curb cuts on East Lake or South Lake. Mr. Korte advised that none of the homes on the side streets have been allowed to curb cut and asked why is a curb cut allowed for Andris-Romain when there is more than enough property.
Mr. Korte said that this is an interesting Commission and for some strange reason it is an oddity because they like to plan. Mr. Korte stated that hopefully, this will catch on in the City and people will try to do what they said they would do. Mr. Korte thinks that this is a wonderful opportunity for the Commission to look at the preliminary, the final, and plan it properly so that the residential street has no problems. Mr. Korte also believes that it is a nice piece of property, with a lot of room and that the applicant should use his Fourteen Mile Road address for access. Mr. Korte further suggested that the developer put the building in the middle of this wonderful view and use it to its capacity. Mr. Korte stated that just as the East Lake, South Lake, and West Lake residents enjoy their view, that he should enjoy his without deterring the peaceful coexistence of the whole area.
Chuck Young - 50910 W. Nine Mile Road - SWAN Organization, distributed a hand-out to the Commission members. Mr. Young stated that when the SWAN Organization was founded, it was based upon two members of the Planning Commission who have a great concern for people and they are Member Bonaventura and Robert Taub. Mr. Young would like to thank them for their service and for their concern for Novi citizens. Mr. Young advised that when they originally formed SWAN, he went directly to the Mayor and finally, he also involved Ed Kriewall. Mr. Young further advised that SWAN wanted to keep open lines of communication with the City so that each could understand the other’s concerns. Unfortunately, Mr. Young reported that they discovered a lot of the things that are currently happening at random and it is causing a lot of concern in the SWAN membership. Mr. Young advised that one concern involves the review of the REC Ordinance scheduled for the June 19 and 26, 1996 meetings. Mr. Young would like to commend the people on what they are doing and what they have gone through, because it is a hard decision to put commercial in a residential district and added that they battled the same thing twenty-five years ago.
Mr. Young’s main concern at this point is that he has been trying to contact JCK to get information about the infra-structure on the sewer for the corridor between Beck and Napier Roads. Unfortunately, Mr. Young stated that they advised him that they have no plans. Mr. Young reported that a major developer is going to be the Singh Corporation, who own a tremendous amount of land at Garfield and Eight Mile Road. Mr. Young stated that they will wait to see if they will develop that land as one acre lots. Mr. Young’s other concern is about the proposed ice rink and stated that they should know the infrastructure if an ice rink is to be approved. Mr. Young stated that he would think that the Commission’s time would be better spent in coming up with a recommendation to place the ice arena where they propose it on West Road or on Twelve ½ Mile Road within the domain of the Park and Recreational property. Mr. Young concluded by stating that the Commission will be hearing from SWAN as this project moves along.
Ruth Hamilton - East Lake Drive, stated that she is before the Commission regarding Andris-Romain. Ms. Hamilton advised that the citizens of her community are again frustrated with this project being on the Consent Agenda for another six month extension. Ms. Hamilton further advised that as the Commission knows, the project has been a major controversy to this community since the mid-eighties. Furthermore, Ms. Hamilton stated that after many concept plans and after the suing the City, the applicant got a preliminary approval for the project on January 9, 1991 and added that this will be his fifth extension.
She also reported that City Council granted the applicant the last City liquor license in December 1995 against the provisions of the City’s own ordinance. Ms. Hamilton advised that the Council made conditions that the applicant submit his final plan for review within ninety days, which he did on March 4, 1996. Ms. Hamilton understands that there still may be minor revisions requested by the City in order for these plans to comply with the ordinances. However, Ms. Hamilton spoke with the Planning Department this afternoon and was advised that they see no reason why Novi’s consultants would not be ready for final on July 3, 1996 as requested by Mr. Andris in his letter to the Commission dated June 11, 1996. Ms. Hamilton said that the Commission should also be aware that the developer has met with three residents on East Lake Drive in an effort to bring back the cul-de-sac and/or S curve configurations. Ms. Hamilton explained that it is the feeling of the
S-E-S Homeowners Association that this could be simply a delay tactic to gain support for the cul-de-sac and S-curve configurations again.
Ms. Hamilton believes that Mr. Andris is ready to proceed because in his letter of June 11, he requested to be placed on the July 3, 1996 Planning Commission Meeting agenda for final approval. Ms. Hamilton urged the Commission to send a strong message to the developers who seemingly waste the time of the Planning Commission, City of Novi staff, and consultants and that they grant these extensions only when the City has held up the project and the petitioner is unable to continue. Mr. Andris has a right to build the project, but Ms. Hamilton repeated that he does not have a right to waste the time of the Commission with continual extensions. Ms. Hamilton feels that the project does not deserve another extension, but that is the Commission’s decision. Ms. Hamilton again urged the Commission to consider a one week extension at most.
Terence K. Jolly - Attorney, 39555 Orchard Hill Place - Suite 130 - Novi, stated that on behalf of Andris-Romain that he listened to the two residents talk about the project proceeding with great speed and that the easiest way to make it go with great speed would be to leave it on the Consent Agenda, approve it, and grant a six month extension. Mr. Jolly reported that the applicant is on a time-line in June and a meeting is scheduled with Mr. Rogers and Mr. Bluhm to submit the final site plans to the City for the July 3, 1996 meeting. Mr. Jolly advised that they submitted plans Tuesday and everything is on schedule. Mr. Jolly explained that the purpose for the six month extension is because one never knows what can happen with any set of plans. The applicant has assured Mr. Jolly that he is ready to proceed and that he has done everything that he needed to do upon recommendations from a variety of people regarding the lawsuit. Mr. Jolly believes that the applicant has shown his good faith in proceeding and if they want to keep the project moving, there cannot be a three day gap between June 30, 1996 and July 3, 1996 without having to have another plan. Mr. Jolly further stated that if they require a new plan, then they would have to go through more Public Hearings and do exactly what Ms. Hamilton doesn’t want them to do, which is waste time. Mr. Jolly suggested that if they do not want to waste time, that the item remain on the Consent Agenda and that it receive approval for a six month extension so that they can continue accordingly.
Lynn F. Kocan - 23088 Ennishore Drive, stated that as the Commission knows, residents of Meadowbrook Lakes subdivision retained an acoustical engineer last October to comment on decibel levels and how they relate within residential and light industrial areas. Ms. Kocan reported that the engineer’s conclusion was that the decibel levels within the City of Novi are really antiquated and considerably high compared to other surrounding cities. Ms. Kocan has begun her own research and she would like to submit it to assist the Commission and Implementation Committee in its discussion of acceptable noise levels. Ms. Kocan would especially like to note the decibel levels in residential and light industrial, in addition to the proposed recreation zone. Ms. Kocan has a copy of the Noise Control Ordinance of the Charter Township of Plymouth that has lower decibel levels. Ms. Kocan reported that the ordinance is seventeen pages, is very specific, and could possibly serve as a boiler plate for Novi. Ms. Kocan advised that Novi’s ordinance currently has four paragraphs addressing noise. Ms. Kocan stated that as for the Recreation Ordinance, she knows when commercial is planned in a residential area, the developer has to be very sensitive to the residents because she did not appreciate having to sue or a appeal to the City and she does not think that any other resident will want to do that. Ms. Kocan thinks that if the ordinance is more restrictive and enforced, that everyone will be happy.
Patricia Hughes - 1241 East Lake Drive, stated that she was interested in what Attorney Jolly had to say and if she remembers correctly, the building was changed from an attractive little nautical type of building to a cement warehouse building in a period of approximately six months. Ms. Hughes further stated that she does not know what other changes can take place in another six month period and what harm there would be in a three day delay if the applicant has everything that he is supposed to have. Therefore, Ms. Hughes does not see the reasoning for a six month extension. Ms. Hughes further stated that it seems as though the residents have been "played around with" for a long time with the different types of buildings, the different accesses, and the turn around. She also added that a few years ago they were asked if they wanted to become Gold Coast Row and that if they all paid $50.00 a foot to front both sides of the street, they could buy the land. Ms. Hughes advised that some people could not afford $100.00 a foot if they happened to live across the street, which most do. Ms. Hughes does not like the sound of it and she does not like the feeling of it and she just can’t see the need for an extension and the applicant has been allowed plenty of time already. Ms. Hughes does not know what else they have to do within that three day period that they haven’t already done except make another change or build another warehouse.
Asa Smith - 1294 East Lake Drive, stated that most of what he would like to say has already been said. Mr. Smith said that he hopes that the Commission will stop and think of how long the residents have been going through what they have been trying to achieve. Mr. Smith explained that they have spent years trying to get the developer to accomplish something, either build or not build, but just do something. Mr. Smith believes that extensions at this point are not really required or necessary. Mr. Smith thinks that the developer can "burn the midnight oil" to meet deadlines and no extension would be required. Mr. Smith advised that they take care of a lot of business in the construction industry by doing such things and he thinks that it can be required.
Chairperson Lorenzo asked if anyone else would like to speak. Seeing no one, she closed the first Audience Participation and advised that there will be a second after the midpoint break and a third before adjournment.
Member Hodges requested that Mr. Cohen make Ms. Kocan’s material available to the Commission. Chairperson Lorenzo advised that the material would be included in the packet for the June 26, 1996 meeting.
Member Weddington advised that a letter was received from Deborah Bundoff, a Novi and Twelve Mile Road resident who writes that in looking at the plans received April 15, 1996 it shows a tennis court to the far west (south) and a detention pond just east of that. Member Weddington read further that Ms. Bundoff wrote that the elevation marks show that this is a higher land and she has concerns of it being dug out to a lower level if flooding occurs or the pond is not enough to handle possible run off at the courts, decking, parking lots, all 15' to 35' away from lot lines.
Member Weddington advised that a petition signed by forty Novi residents was received which stated that the undersigned would like to have the Society Hill Apartments, PD-1 Option eliminated.
Member Weddington further advised that there is correspondence from Gregory R.
Gentner on East Lake Drive about Andris-Romain. Mr. Gentner understands that there is another request for an additional six month extension for the preliminary site plan and he has some questions. Mr. Gentner reiterated earlier questions and concerns and suggested that a one month extension would be sufficient.
Member Weddington reported that the last letter is addressed to Mr. Wahl from Sarah Gray, President of the S-E-S Homeowners Association regarding the Andris-Romain Restaurant which stated that the plan is coming up for review and for the potential extension of the preliminary site plan approval in the future. It further stated that the actual date for an extension is in July, although the site received an extension on June 21, 1995. The letter demanded on behalf of the S-E-Smembership and the many residents, that the applicant not receive administrative approval again. They also do not expect that it should be a Consent Agenda item for the Commission. The letter advised that the site has not been before the public since at least 1992 and possibly 1991. In addition, the letter stated that they feel that it is time for them to have another say, because so many changes have been approved on the site without the residents input.
1. Approval of the May 29, 1996 Special Planning Commission Meeting Minutes.
Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there are any corrections or other changes to the minutes? Member Hodges advised that toward the bottom of the first paragraph on Page 7 that the word "etched" should instead read "effected."
Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any further questions and seeing no other corrections, the Chair entertained a motion to approve the May 29, 1996 Minutes as amended. So moved by Member Bonaventura and seconded by Member Weddington.
PM-96-06-120 TO APPROVE THE MAY 29, 1996 SPECIAL PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
Moved by Bonaventura, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the May 29, 1996 Special Planning Commission Meeting Minutes.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated that all those in favor of approving the May 29, 1996 Special Planning Commission Meeting Minutes as amended, please signify by saying aye and those opposed say no. Chairperson Lorenzo advised that the motion passed unanimously.
VOTE ON PM-96-06-120 - MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Capello, Hodges, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington, Bonaventura
Member Bonaventura advised that he would like to remove Item (2) from the Consent Agenda. Member Vrettas asked what would happen by removing Item (2)? Chairperson Lorenzo replied that the Commission will discuss the matter now. Chairperson Lorenzo further stated that by removing an item from the Consent Agenda as Item (2) has and per Member Capello’s motion, which passed, the Commission will discuss it prior to the first Public Hearing. Member Bonaventura advised that he wanted the item removed after reviewing the history of the preliminary site plan and after reading the June 11, 1996 letter from Theodore Andris to Mr. Cohen. Member Bonaventura also remembered from past discussions that the question was raised about how many extensions are too many and it concerned certain Planning Commissioners. He then requested that the six month revised preliminary site plan extension be changed to a thirty day extension. (end of tape)
PM-96-06-121 TO APPROVE A THIRTY DAY SITE PLAN EXTENSION FOR ANDRIS-ROMAIN SP90-48D
Moved by Bonaventura, seconded by Hodges, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To
approve a thirty day site plan extension for Andris-Romain SP90-48D.
Chairperson Lorenzo advised that it has been moved and seconded for Andris-Romain
SP 90-48D to approve a thirty day site plan extension and asked for discussion on the motion?
Member Capello asked that the motion be amended to add a five month extension in case the Commission sees the need for more time after reviewing the plans for the July 3, 1996 meeting. He further stated that this amendment will avoid the applicant from having to ask for another extension.
Member Hodges objected to the amendment because the information will be available to discuss at the July 3, 1996 meeting and she would prefer to give an extension at that time if it is deemed necessary.
Member Capello explained that is what he is saying and that the additional time should be given at the July 3 meeting. He further stated the Commission should be sure that it is on the agenda because if they wait until July 3, the applicant will not have time to get back in before the thirty days is up from their extension.
Member Hodges understands Member Capello to be asking the Commission to allow the applicant five months from this point. Member Capello replied that he is asking that they should include a possible five month extension on the July 3, 1996 agenda, so that the applicant does not have to come back before the Commission and ask for an extension if they need it after the July 3, 1996 meeting.
Member Hodges asked if the Commission can establish a time at that meeting? Dennis Watson advised that the Commission could, but he thinks that Member Capello’s point is that it is on the agenda. He further stated that it is going to be on the agenda for final site plan approval. Mr. Watson thinks that what Member Capello is suggesting is that it be on the agenda for final site plan approval or in the alternative, for a possible preliminary site plan approval extension. Member Hodges asked if the option exists without it being on the agenda? Mr. Watson replied that he thinks that it should be on the agenda so that everybody knows that it is a possibility. Member Hodges stated that she hates to put it on the agenda because she does not want to give the applicant any excuse for not completing the work.
Member Bonaventura would like to leave the motion as it is.
Member Vrettas suggested that the Commission vote on the motion and Chairperson Lorenzo stated that she is inclined to agree with what may be the majority. Chairperson Lorenzo is willing to give Mr. Andris thirty days, but if they’re not prepared to proceed with a final site plan on July 3, 1996, then it is her inclination not to give any further extensions and to have Mr. Andris resubmit the entire package. In addition, Chairperson Lorenzo believes that the Planning Commission and the City have been very reasonable and accommodating and has put forth good faith as well. She further stated that there comes a time when they need to either put something in stone or move on. Chairperson Lorenzo stated that the motion is for a thirty day extension for Andris-Romain SP90-48D and asked Mr. Cohen to call the roll.
VOTE ON PM-96-06-121 - MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Capello, Hodges, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington,
1. ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.542/SOCIETY HILL, SP 95-44D
Property located west of Novi Road, between Twelve Mile Road and Twelve ½ Mile Road for possible Rezoning (R-A to RM-1), PD-1 Option, Preliminary Site Plan, and Wetland Permit recommendation to City Council and Woodland Permit Approval.
Joseph Galvin stated that he is before the Commission on behalf of the petitioner asking the Commission to rezone part of a thirty seven acre property to RM-1 in order to allow the application of the PD-1 Option. Mr. Galvin further stated that they are also requesting a recommendation of approval for a Wetland and Woodland Permit.
Mr. Watson interjected by stating it is a recommendation of approval of a preliminary site plan. Mr. Galvin advised that would be part of the PD-1. Mr. Watson stated that they can be considered together. Mr. Galvin stated that he thinks that they are together, but the applicant is willing to address the issue separately. Mr. Galvin further stated that Mr. Sasson has asked the Commission to excuse his absence tonight because he is currently in Israel with his father who is seriously ill.
Mr. Galvin advised that they think that the rezoning issue is very direct and simple. Mr. Galvin explained that they have planned the property under the Master Plan for a multiple use and the request is in accordance with the Master Plan. In addition, the Planning Commission previously approved the request in 1990 and the applicant thinks that the real issue is the PD-1 Option and the Woodland and Wetland Permits and Mr. Galvin would like to discuss those issues.
Mr. Galvin noted that it is important remember that the plan currently before the Commission is not the initial plan. Mr. Galvin reminded the Commission that they had previously approved a site plan that was in excess of 490 units and that the current plan has 301 units. Mr. Galvin asked the Commission to remember that they initially filed for the rezoning and the PD-1 Option in September of last year and presented a plan that had 411 units with 14 buildings. Mr. Galvin advised that the current plan has 10 buildings and that they have eliminated the buildings and units in a series of meetings with various subcommittees, the Commission, the City’s staff, and the public.
Mr. Galvin reported that they have recommended the current plan for approval in terms of the rezoning, the PD-1 Option and site plan, and the Wetland Permit. Mr. Galvin advised that the one negative area of recommendation has been with respect to the woodlands. Mr. Galvin stated that if they follow Ms. Lemke’s letters chronologically and if Mr. Pargoff’s comments concerning the woodland’s aspect are considered, he thinks that the Commission will see that each of them makes two principal points. Mr. Galvin advised that point one is that the petitioner worked to present a plan which is materially better than any plans previously presented. Mr. Galvin believes that both Ms. Lemke and Mr. Pargoff will agree that the plan is better, more sensitive, and does more to preserve more of the woodlands than a number of previously submitted plans that have been approved by the City (the Centrum plan and the 1990 plan). Mr. Galvin thinks what is more important is that now Mr. Sasson has pushed his project to the limits of its economic tolerance.
Mr. Galvin advised that second point that Ms. Lemke and Mr. Pargoff make is that they think more can be done. Mr. Galvin asked, what more can be done? Mr. Galvin advised that they are not talking about an adjustment here or there or moving a building line. Mr. Galvin explained that when all is said and done, he thinks that what Ms. Lemke and Mr. Pargoff would like to see is the elimination of more units or the elimination of an additional building from the site. Mr. Galvin thinks this is the framing issue because what the applicant is trying to articulate is that they are unable to do that and deliver the project as it is currently planned. Mr. Galvin believes that this is a unique project in the sense that in a normal multiple project, there will be only three or four choices of units. Mr. Galvin stated that this project offers a myriad of choices, which creates additional expense. Mr. Galvin advised that they have planned this plan specifically for this community and for this site. Mr. Galvin advised that it fits the community, its vision, and the site physically and therefore, he asked the Commission to send a positive recommendation to City Council.
Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant advised that this is the fifth review according to his records and he has written an extensive report, which is now a matter of record. Mr. Rogers further advised that they have submitted the data for a rezoning application to activate a PD-1 Option. Mr. Rogers recommends the rezoning to RM-1 District for the following reasons: (1) Rezoning to RM-1 District would be in conformity to the Master Plan for Land use. ; (2) Site would be uniformly zoned RM-1 District; and (3) There would be an opportunity to review a coordinated site development plan under similar zoning standards. Mr. Rogers offers an alternative strategy at the end of his report as per the Planning Commission’s desire. Mr. Rogers documented an alternative development plan under strictly RM-1 zoning without the PD-1 Option in his report.
Mr. Rogers reported that they have submitted all application data in terms of the PD-1 Option and the preliminary site plan. Mr. Rogers advised that the applicant has 301 units in 10 buildings and he understands that it is a high-end apartment rental project. In conclusion, Mr. Rogers recommends PD-1 approval and preliminary site plan approval subject to: (1) Planning Commission reviewing opportunity to reorient Buildings 4 and 5 to at least 45º. To reorient Building 6 there would be some intrusion into proposed woodland preservation area by the building and parking area. ; (2) Adjusting Building 1 to observe the 25' wetland setback. ; and (3) Compliance with Woodlands Permit conditions. Mr. Rogers is aware of the issues in that review and he offers support to possible remedial approaches to preserve woodlands.
David Bluhm, JCK & Associates advised that his office has also had several reviews of the preliminary site plan and offers their June 14, 1996 report for the record. Mr. Bluhm advised that the applicant will probably not be subject to the moratorium as the water main has been in service, will have taps, and will not be required to sink wells, but added that the Health Department will make the final determination on that aspect. Mr. Bluhm added that the 8' pathways proposed along Novi Road and Twelve ½ Mile Road is due to be constructed with the Novi Road improvements this summer.
Mr. Bluhm reported that the site has two different watershed districts. The smaller one is in the extreme northeast corner of the site that encompasses the two buildings at the north, the eastern building, and the very wooded wetland area to the east. Mr. Bluhm advised that the intent is to provide storm sewers through the parking areas in that building and outletting and free draining them down the hillside into the northern part of the wetland just before the eastern building. Mr. Bluhm noted that Novi Road improvements are going to be severely impacting the wetland this summer and as much as 50% of it is to be removed with the requirements for the paving of the road and mitigated into another location. Mr. Bluhm advised that the applicant has provided some engineering details for the impacts on the wetland for storm water detention and proposed approximately one half foot of storage over a period of several hours during a ten year storm event in which the storm water is then outletted across Novi Road and east onto the cemetery property.
Mr. Bluhm advised that the second watershed encompasses the remainder of the site at the northwestern corner and all of the southern part of the development which extends into the wetland and to the southwest toward Twelve Mile Road at Donelson. Mr. Bluhm further advised that there are several detention ponds proposed for storage. Mr. Bluhm explained that the northwestern pond is behind Building 9 and outlets to the wetland to the west and ultimately to the larger southwest wetland at a restricted rate. Mr. Bluhm reported that the other two basins are at the extreme south end, at the west side and again, north of their approach along Novi Road. Mr. Bluhm stated that the basins are fairly large, are connected, and function as one basin because they hydraulically connect them. Mr. Bluhm reported that the applicant is proposing to outlet at two points into the Novi Road catch basins and into the southern end of the southwest wetland. (end of tape) Mr. Bluhm further stated that a comparison of the existing flows undeveloped for the area to try to match restricted storm water to the natural existing conditions is to minimize the effect on the wetland. From there, Mr. Bluhm reiterated that the storm water is directed to the southwest corner of the site and then offsite into the southwest from that location.
Mr. Bluhm stated that the applicant has proposed constructed site basins for the northeastern watershed area on past plans which have had a severe impact into the woodland’s area. Mr. Bluhm advised that this is unacceptable to them and to the wetlands and woodlands components of the project. Mr. Bluhm also advised that the applicants had also proposed parking lot storage and other options before they arrived at the storage in the northeastern wetland for that small area. Mr. Bluhm concluded by stating that the plan shows engineering feasibility and they are recommending approval.
Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant, reviewed the plan and a traffic study that was submitted by the applicant’s traffic consultant. Mr. Arroyo advised that the first issue that they address in their letter is in regards to access and the second item is the traffic study that was prepared by Reid, Cool, & Michalski, Inc. most recently dated February 12, 1996. In conclusion, Mr. Arroyo advised that they are recommending approval, however, the secondary access issue is still yet to be resolved prior to final approval.
Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect, reported that the site is about 87% wooded and consists of a combination of upland woodlands, primarily beech maple and wooded wetlands. Ms. Lemke advised that the dark green areas on the map are all wooded and the turquoise areas are wooded wetland areas. Ms. Lemke advised that it is a very high quality woodlands which connects to one of the two core reserve areas in the City. Ms. Lemke further advised that the woodlands are in the north and the northwest, they continue through an area to the west and up to the north in the core reserve area which is identified on the City of Novi’s Wildlife Habitat Plan. Ms. Lemke stated that Mr. Galvin was accurate in the fact that the applicant has made a lot of concessions by reducing the number of buildings and by changing some of the designs with every submittal. Ms. Lemke further stated that because of the high quality, the reduction to date is still not enough to preserve and allow the woodlands to be a usable woodland. Ms. Lemke advised that the development intersects the two wooded wetland area and disrupts the connections to the wildlife habitat areas to the north and to the northwest. Ms. Lemke stated that she would like to commend them for reducing the number of buildings and for trying to come to a solution with this type of development.
Ms. Lemke then referred to her report dated June 12, 1996 that offered suggestions for design changes per Section 32-294a which allow the best design alternative to be explored and would save the most amount of high quality woodlands. Ms. Lemke advised that they still have some additional comments or design ideas and Mr. Rogers had expressed a couple of them in his report. Ms. Lemke further advised that they support Mr. Arroyo’s recommendation for a "one way" into Twelve ½ Mile Road because the decrease in traffic would have a positive impact on the connection to the wildlife habitat core reserve area. Ms. Lemke also reported that they have listed other alternatives in their report which would involve major redesign of the project. Some of the changes would require a reduction in the number of buildings, no connections between the north and the south portion of the site, removal of the maintenance building, reducing the footprints of the building, and redesigning the compacting area of the parking, etc. Ms. Lemke further reported that there are some minor items that have not been addressed and although they are minor, they do need to be addressed. Ms. Lemke advised that they would not be in favor of a sidewalk along Twelve ½ Mile Road, so not to disturb any flow of wildlife that would go through the site. Ms. Lemke advised that they have seen several alternatives throughout the years and have requested to see them altogether periodically so that the Commission can see the impact of the different alternatives as they have changed. Ms. Lemke advised that the applicant has indicated that they would do that and she is calling it out again because it has been a while since they have actually seen them side by side.
In summary, Ms. Lemke stated that while the plan has tried to reduce the impact on the woodlands, that because of the high quality of the woodlands on the site, the considerable amount of impact on the site proposed for the development, and because there are still alternatives, she does not recommend approval.
Chris Pargoff, City Forester concurred with Ms. Lemke’s observations that the site has intense quality woodlands and he fully supports her review and recommendation for denial. In addition, Mr. Pargoff stated that the northern area has a maintenance facility which is intended for storage and repair areas for maintenance vehicles and equipment. As such, these areas also have storage of toxic materials and is one of Mr. Pargoff’s prime objections to the site. Mr. Pargoff advised that the applicant has been notified and he would like to once again strongly state his objection to this maintenance facility in such a sensitive area on the northern portion of the project.
Susan Tepatti, Senior Environmental Specialist for JCK & Associates, Inc. stated that she has also reviewed the several plans that have been submitted for review for a wetland permit. Ms. Tepatti reported that the site primarily consists of three wetland areas and summarized her review of those areas from her report dated June 13, 1996. Ms. Tepatti advised that they recommend approval of the wetland permit with the following conditions: (1) A DEQ permit must be approved for the development. Any conditions or limitations shall become a part of the City permit.; (2) Engineering plans shall be reviewed for the routing of sump discharges to wetlands.; (3) A Soil Erosion Permit shall be obtained, and a Certified Storm Water Operator shall be utilized on site for inspections.; (4) Retaining walls shall be utilized where necessary to reduce setback impacts.; (5) If feasible, a wildlife culvert shall be installed beneath the road to connect the two habitats at the north end of the site.; (6) The tennis courts shall be moved east, if feasible, to reduce setback impacts. This shall be reviewed as future plans are submitted which include plans for the adjacent basin. The applicant has expressed a desire to keep them in that location, due to the layout of the site and certain amenities. Ms. Tepatti recommends and will review future plans to attempt to remove them from the setback, even though it is in just one small corner of the tennis courts that is in that area. Ms. Tepatti advised that if they switch the basin location with the tennis courts, they may be able to reduce the impacts. ; (7) The wetland impacted by the sanitary extension shall be restored.; (8) Future plans shall be reviewed for stabilization practices at the northeastern outlet.; and (9) The sedimentation basins shall be designed to act as water quality basins on a permanent basis.
Chairperson Lorenzo noted that she has a memo from Bruce Jerome, DPW Superintendent which states that Twelve ½ Mile Road is an unimproved gravel road, it is approximately 20' wide, and has no roadside drainage system. Chairperson Lorenzo further noted that if the proposed development is going to have access onto Twelve ½ Mile Road, Mr. Jerome would recommend a major reconstruction of the roadway to bring it up to current City of Novi collector road standards. Mr. Jerome does not feel in its current condition, that Twelve ½ Mile Road could safely accommodate a major increase in traffic.
Chairperson Lorenzo also reported that she has a letter from Daniel W. Roy, Captain of the City of Novi Fire Department which reports that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended.
Chairperson Lorenzo advised that this is a Public Hearing and opened the floor to the public.
Sarah Gray - 133 Maudlin, President of the S-E-S Homeowners Association began by asking Mr. Rogers if the PD-1 Option was placed on the property in the 1990 Master Plan? Mr. Rogers replied no, that there was a Section 10 Master Plan revision and it was circa, 1990. Mr. Rogers further stated that prior to that time, it had other PD designations. Ms. Gray asked if it was mid to late 80's? Mr. Rogers replied that it would be 1980, 1989, 1990.
Ms. Gray asked what are the R-4 density units per acre? Mr. Rogers responded that it would be 3.3 units per acre. Ms. Gray then asked Mr. Rogers what the old R-4 would be in the lakes area? Mr. Rogers replied that it would be higher and that it is based upon a 10,000 square foot lot, 80 feet wide. Mr. Rogers stated that there are many lots in the lakes area that are half that in width and in area, so the density could be 6, 7, or 8. Ms. Gray asked if it could be over 10 in some cases. Mr. Rogers replied that it could occur on the west side of the lake where there are 30 foot lots.
Ms. Gray advised that she would like to reiterate their previously stated position in favor of the rezoning for this developer and project subject to the consultants’ recommendations and conditions. Ms. Gray further advised that it is a natural progression from the commercial zoning at Twelve Oaks and West Oaks and the office zoning that is master planned on Twelve Mile Road. Ms. Gray stated that she does not care what it is zoned, but that RA seems to be the holding pattern and asked the Commission to rezone it as RM. Ms. Gray further stated there will never be large family houses in that area because they will not sell.
Ms. Gray agreed that traffic is an issue and that the bulk of the people who live in the development will travel to the south and to the east, in which case there are both adequate freeway accesses by way of the M-5 connector and Novi Road at I-96.
In conclusion, Ms. Gray asked where were have all the people who oppose the rezoning been all these years? Ms. Gray stated that they have been stuck in the north end with both PUD’s and although they are not happy, they live with them and will work with the City to make it the best that they can get it. Ms. Gray reiterated that they would like to see the rezoning approved.
James Korte - Austin Drive, stated that he has driven by the property for twenty six years and has walked on the property more times than he can count. Mr. Korte advised that as he looks at development, he looks at two things. First he has to specifically look at the piece of property and secondly, in this case, he has to look at the developer. Mr. Korte stated that whatever happens on that piece of property, there is going to be devastation to the trees, to the land, and everything. Mr. Korte agrees that it is a tragedy, but that it all would be removed if it were zoned as R-4. Mr. Korte advised that there was rumor of putting one acre parcels on this property and explained that even one acre parcels, when considering the lay of the land and the water, would not destroy the land any less than the current developer. He further explained that he does not mean destroy in a bad way, but if it is going to be developed, it’s going to happen.
Mr. Korte asked himself if he would want someone to develop the property and make a mess or would he want someone with a proven track record. Mr. Korte likes the developer’s property and what he has done to the other piece. Mr. Korte also likes the fact that it is going to be an expensive piece of property because that helps him. Mr. Korte advised that rentals in his part of the City are a disaster and further advised that he rents to transients. Mr. Korte would like transients that would pay more than $2,000 a month rather than only $350 a month.
Mr. Korte reiterated that it is a beautiful piece of property and whatever happens, the wildlife will be invaded and he thinks that it will have to be adjusted to. Mr. Korte advised that his whole subdivision looked like the site at one time and in 1970 the developer took a bulldozer and it was a tragedy. Mr. Korte does not know how much of a tragedy it is today. Mr. Korte reiterated that he believes it is a fine development, the developer is bringing a higher level of culture and class to his end of the city, and that it should work for everyone. Mr. Korte therefore asked the Commission to do as much as they can to let the man get started.
Andrew Mutch - 24541 Hampton Court, stated that he believes that everyone already knows his position on this project and the PD-1 Option. Mr. Mutch is amazed that the people who live in this area, considering their opposition initially, are now endorsing the project. Mr. Mutch believes that although they have their reasons, he does not understand them. Mr. Mutch believes that the environmental destruction of the project is incredible and for the residents to endorse now it, amazes him. That having been said, Mr. Mutch stated that his point is that the intent of the PD-1 Option is to provide an alternative means of land use development which are in substantial accord with the goals and the objectives of the City’s Master Plan. Mr. Mutch’s feeling is that a project that results in the destruction of prime woodlands and habitat areas cannot be considered compatible with the City’s Master Plan. Mr. Mutch reiterated what Ms. Lemke has already reported, that the project will have a direct impact on one segment of the core reserve which is also one of the prime habitat areas in the City and that essentially this development will eliminate it from the core reserve. Mr. Mutch stated that it will not only impact the existing wildlife in the area, but will have a domino effect into other areas which are dependent upon it.
Secondly, Mr. Mutch does not believe that it is a transition from Twelve Oaks Mall to office to high density multiple to high density residential. In fact, Mr. Mutch stated that currently along the north side of Twelve Mile Road and beginning at Meadowbrook Road there is a 160 acre farmstead with preserved land that is next to almost an 160 acres of cemetery which is also preserved open space. He further reported that west and north of Dixon Road to the CSX Railroad and then north to South Lake and Walled Lake is city park land which equals approximately 770 acres of preserved open space. Mr. Mutch said that what has been created by accident is almost a continuous half mile greenbelt north of Twelve Mile Road. Mr. Mutch stated that instead of preserving and enhancing that greenbelt, this project will be extending north from the mall the high density, traffic creating land uses north along Novi Road which will negatively impact the lakes areas and will not preserve the character of that area. Mr. Mutch cannot support that because he doesn’t think that it is consistent with the Master Plan. In reality, Mr. Mutch stated that the plan represents a failure. In a sense it is a failure on the City’s part and it is also a failure on the part of the Commission although they tried to engage in land use planning that respects the environment of the land. Mr. Mutch further stated that this is probably one of the most sensitive pieces of property in the City in terms of environmental impacts on its woodlands, wetlands, and habitat. Mr. Mutch added that the developer has only brought in what the City has asked for and that is to bring in the most intense development allowed in the City. Mr. Mutch reported that the City does not allow this intense development in the Town Center and further reported that there is more preservation in Main Street Village, which even as an urban environment, is less intense. Mr. Mutch stated that the approval of the PD-1 Option on the site would result in a substantial benefit over conventional development and it is not going to occur here. Mr. Mutch does not see any benefit from this project and what is being encouraged instead is a project that is more intense, more destructive, which fails to protect and preserve the environmental features of the site.
Ruth Hamilton - East Lake Drive, stated that Mr. Mutch’s statements were correct to a certain extent. However, Ms. Hamilton advised that he failed to mention Sandstone Vistas, which is a PUD with over 1100 units which is located a half section north of the cemetery and Tollgate. Ms. Hamilton admitted that she is also an environmentalist and does not want to see anything destroyed, but the bottom line is that the developer has done his best and it has been a PD Option since the late eighties and it is time to let the man do what he needs to do. Ms. Hamilton does agree with keeping an eye on it. However, she further stated that the bottom line is still the same, if you don’t want progress, buy the land.
Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there was anyone else who would like to speak during the Public Hearing. Seeing no one else, she closed the Public Hearing and turned the matter over to the Commission for Discussion.
Member Weddington asked Ms. Lemke to elaborate about alternatives that may preserve the core habitat and woodland areas to a greater extent? Ms. Lemke advised that the only alternative is to drop buildings in such a way to encourage movement through the site from one wetland area to the other and from one core reserve connection to the other. Member Weddington asked which buildings should be dropped to accomplish that and could they be relocated in some of the less sensitive areas of the parcel as a compromise? Ms. Lemke replied that the developer has done a good job of showing the different types of habitat on the plan and complimented the person who did the current rendering. Ms. Lemke advised that the dark green areas represent the upland woodlands and the light green areas are the wooded wetland areas. Ms. Lemke advised that these are the areas that are being saved and that the large area of slashed lines in her drawing indicate those areas that are being removed. Ms. Lemke described them as upland woodlands and added that there are some small pockets located in the center. Ms. Lemke reported that Chairperson Lorenzo contacted her and asked her to choose a building to remove. In Ms. Lemke’s opinion, the most logical building would be one that would allow movement through the core reserve area. Ms. Lemke advised that it would take a minimum of removing 3 buildings in that area to accomplish that kind of preservation. Ms. Lemke further stated that even by doing that, there is still a decimation of a very large quantity of woodlands that would be removed with the proposed development. In answer to Member Weddington’s question, Ms. Lemke replied that there is no other place on the site to put them because they would either be in a wooded wetland area or where there are already buildings, parking, or other amenities proposed on the site.
Member Weddington asked Mr. Bluhm to address the issues that were raised in Ms. Bundoff’s letter. Mr. Bluhm replied that Ms. Bundoff has some concerns with the southern end of the property and she perceives the detention area as being elevated above her property and that it poses potential flooding to her property. Mr. Bluhm reported that the design standards do not allow that and precautions will be taken to raise up or berm up the south side of the detention area so that the overflow and spillage from the storm events is directed to the northern wetland. Mr. Bluhm further stated that he does not see any problem with that being accomplished at the final site plan and they will make sure that it does get accomplished.
Member Weddington agrees with some of Mr. Mutch’s comments and that if the PD-1 Option is allowed, there should be some sort of a trade-off. Member Weddington always goes back to the purpose of the Woodland Protection Ordinance which states, "it is the intent of this chapter to protect the integrity of woodland areas as a whole in recognition that woodlands serve as a part of an ecosystem and to place priority on the preservation of woodlands, trees, similar woody vegetation and related natural resources over development when there are no location alternatives." Member Weddington stated that she tries to look for alternatives and consideration of alternatives so as to preserve the natural resources to the maximum extent possible. Member Weddington agreed that this is a difficult situation if there are limited alternative locations. Member Weddington is not happy about the density and thinks that the area north of Twelve Mile Road is becoming too dense. It is obvious to Member Weddington that the roads and infrastructure cannot handle it. However, Member Weddington believes that the property owner does have a right to use his property. Member Weddington would go along with a multiple rezoning, but she is not certain that she could support a PD-1 Option in this case because she does not see the trade-off being a benefit, but she is really undecided about it at this point. For those reasons, Member Weddington advised that she cannot support the site plan.
Member Vrettas stated that one thing that concerns him is Chris Pargoff’s concern about hazardous waste stored in a primary part of the property. Member Vrettas looks at the property as one of the prime pieces of land in the ecosystem and he is amazed that the public is willing to accept progress on this land. Member Vrettas thought progress was becoming more aware of what is important in life. (end of tape) Member Vrettas respects the changes that the developers have made, but it’s step by step instead of making leaps. Member Vrettas stated that in the five revisions, there are still only 18 out of 32 acres. Member Vrettas does not see this as progress, but thinks that the developer is playing the game of doling out little by little until they wear them down and that he cannot be worn down when prime property is involved. Member Vrettas further advised that he has a problem with the PD-1 Option, the fact that it is a prime area, the fact that hazardous waste is being placed in a maintenance area in the most prime area, and the fact that the natural flow of the wildlife will be disrupted.
Member Hodges advised that there is a statement in the Impact Statement which says that the "storm water will be managed through the use of on site detention ponds and wetlands," but then it states in Sue Tepatti’s report that the water will be channeled to certain areas to handle the run off as a result of construction and asked if she interpreted this information correctly? Ms. Tepatti asked Member Hodges if she was referring to sump leads. Member Hodges replied that it would be the sump leads. Ms. Tepatti advised that would be from the buildings themselves, with roof run off and similar types of things. Ms. Tepatti further stated that instead of being put into the storm system, it may be possible that they could be outletted to the west of the buildings along that large wetland. Ms. Tepatti advised that in some cases there is concern about routing storm water away from a wetland, because a wetland can be dried up if its source of water is removed. Ms. Tepatti further advised that some of the storm water that normally runs west into the large wetland is being picked up by the sewers, is then routed to the south, and then discharged at the south end of the large wetland. Ms. Tepatti added that there might be a need to add some water along the north and east border of the large wetland and if that is the case, then some water could be put back in with the sump leads or roof run off.
Member Hodges asked if they would be creating new retention ponds or would they be utilizing the existing wetland? Ms. Tepatti replied that what Member Hodges is saying is two different things. Ms. Tepatti advised that the developer is constructing the detention in sediment ponds which gets all of the site’s run off. She further advised that the portion that might go through the sump leads is very minor and would just be outletted directly to the wetland with the small pipe and that another basin would not be needed for that.
Member Hodges is also concerned with the fact that this project would definitely have a great impact to the vegetation, the animals, and Section 10. Furthermore, Member Hodges reported that the residents in Section 10 advised her that they do not want this plan, but they are supportive of large lot development. When Member Hodges looks at rezoning, she needs to see hardship and she does not see hardship in large lot zoning here.
Member Hodges further stated that by judging by the size of the units, most of the occupants will be single and will have one to two vehicles which could generate as many as 1100 vehicles from the site. From her experience with the residents in the City of Novi, Member Hodges stated that if there is a break-away-gate, they will not go around it, but they will run over the berms to get to Twelve ½ Mile Road. Member Hodges advised that even if they put up different mechanisms, the residents will drive a little bit higher on the berm.
Member Hodges cannot support the PD-1 Option and she is not in favor of rezoning. Member Hodges believes that they should at least try the RA before jumping to the highest option available. Member Hodges understands the economics, but that is not in the Zoning Ordinance. Member Hodges thanked the developer for the work that he did on the preliminary site plan and stated that although the process has been "affected," she still cannot support the impact on the land. She added that she cannot give a positive recommendation for the wetland permit because 1245 square feet will be impacted into wetlands and woodlands.
Member Capello asked the Commission to remember when they were reviewing the Singh Beckenham project at Nine Mile and Beck Roads and that initially it was before all of their time except for Laura Lorenzo. He also reminded them about the Silver Beach Estates project that was approved with some type of cluster option. Member Capello advised that when Singh bought the property, that they came back with single family residential and they wanted to keep large lots, rather than cluster and higher density. Member Capello again reminded the Commission that they were opposed to that.
Member Capello asked if anyone had taken a look at the project in regard to site layout and what intrusion there would be in the currently RA zoned area of the site if it were developed that way. Ms. Lemke replied that no one has looked at that, but traditionally when one acre lots is used, it has a high intrusion to natural resources, especially with steep topography and she believes that this would be the case with this site. Ms. Lemke added that the idea behind having a PUD or a higher density is that there is a smaller footprint and therefore, there is less intrusion into the natural resources.
Member Capello asked if there would be more or less intrusion to the upper property if it were developed as RM-1, instead of with the PD-1 Option? Ms. Lemke replied that based on Centrum, there would be more intrusion. Member Capello advised that the PD-1 Option is only allowing them a higher density and that intrusion, which is what everyone seems to be talking about, is less if the PD-1 Option is granted. Ms. Lemke replied that there are different ways to design PD-1 Options and idealistically, a higher density should have a smaller footprint. Ms. Lemke explained that there is so much parking that unless the parking can be stacked underneath and go up for a multiple or for a PD-1, the footprint is still large.
Member Capello’s argument to keep the PD-1 Option is so that there would be less intrusion, even though the density would be greater. Member Capello added that he would liked to have seen some analysis. Member Capello reported that Mr. Rogers did do some analysis, but it was between a standard RM-1 and the PD-1 Option in regard to density and did not include infringement into the environmentally sensitive areas. Member Capello stated that they have not seen the analysis and the difference between a PD-1 Option and a typical RA development.
Member Capello would like to see the PD-1 Option go forward with Society Hill and thinks that they have made headway, although Ms. Lemke apparently does not believe that they have made enough headway yet. Member Capello further thinks that it is not within the Commission’s prerogative, because DNR controls the wetlands. Member Capello advised that if he had is choice, he would rather infringe upon the swamps instead of the upper woodland.
Member Capello moved to send a positive recommendation to City Council to rezone the RA portion of the site to RM-1, there was no second. Still having the floor, Member Capello then moved to send a negative recommendation to City Council to rezone this property from RA to RM-1. Member Hodges seconded the motion.
PM-96-06-122 TO SEND A NEGATIVE RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL TO REZONE THIS PROPERTY FROM RA TO RM-1
Moved by Capello, seconded by Hodges: CARRIED (6-1): To send a negative recommendation to City Council to rezone this property from RA to RM-1.
Chairperson Lorenzo advised that it has been moved and seconded to send a negative recommendation for the rezoning for this property from RA to RM-1 and asked if there was discussion on the motion.
Member Hodges stated that the Commission had talked about RA with one acre lot intrusion and she would prefer large acreage lots with minimum development. Member Hodges stated that five acre lots could be sold with minimum development of less than an acre within that five acres. Member Hodges explained that is why she does not approve of RM-1, but that it is not to say that she would rather have one acre lot development either. Member Hodges thinks that there are a lot of other alternatives that have worked in other communities.
Member Vrettas supports Member Hodges statements and adds in defense of the PD-1 Option that he does not think the developer has been creative enough. Member Vrettas advised that the idea is to concentrate and instead, he thinks they have added more. Member Vrettas thinks that if they would go back and review, that maybe the Commission would look at it again.
Member Markham thinks that it is important to remember that when a piece of property is as large and of such high quality as this site, that once it is disturbed it will never be the same. Therefore, Member Markham explained that it is important to do the job right. Member Markham has not seen much change in the current proposal from the last one, especially in the areas of parking. She further agreed with Member Vrettas in that they have not been creative and she would hate to see so many trees removed to pave parking spaces. In addition, Member Markham thinks that the access issue at Twelve ½ Mile Road is still a serious issue that needs to be addressed because if Twelve ½ Mile Road gets more traffic, it will become degraded.
In addition, Member Markham objected to approving a development just because of its location on Twelve ½ Mile Road, it gets to hook into the water main when there are a lot of homes on the west side of the city that are living off wells because there is a water moratorium. It is an issue to Member Markham because there are over 300 units that get to hook up to Detroit city water immediately. Member Markham does not know if she has a legitimate argument, but she wanted to make her objections known. Member Markham cannot support this project in its current configuration, but she does support the PD-1 option in principle if it is done right.
Member Bonaventura stated that the motion is to send a negative recommendation for rezoning from RA to RM-1, which would allow a PD-1 Option if it was rezoned to RM-1. Member Bonaventura remembered that Novi use to have what was known as a PUD. Mr. Rogers advised that a PUD was an option, an overlay zone and further stated that the zoning under the Vistas and Maples of Novi is still single family residential. Member Bonaventura stated that it was basically an option and he further believed that it was an acronym for Planned Unit Developments, which City Officials have decided that it is no longer useful. Member Bonaventura also remembered that the City use to have something called Adjusted Lot Size that City Officials also decided remove. This in turn gave the City something called the Preservation Option which was a rework of the Adjusted Lot Size and leaves the City with the PD-1 Option, Cluster Option, RUD, and Open Space. In Member Bonaventura’s opinion, some of these options have not been used for a very long time and their time have also come. Member Bonaventura stated that there might be a possibility that simplicity in offering minimum options could be the best way for the City to go in the future. One way of simplifying it would be to get rid of the PD-1 Option some time in the future. Member Bonaventura advised that the Commission was given an Impact Statement and that is one of the things that he looks at when he is looking at a recommendation for a rezoning as far as what the impact on the community is. Member Bonaventura is always looking for a possibility of unnecessary burdens being placed on the community and considers the impact of police responses, fire responses, and classroom needs. It also bothers him when he sees the increase from the proposed rezoning to RM-1 and then the tripling in density to a PD-1 because he is concerned about the burdens imposed on the community, which would also be tripled.
Member Bonaventura asked if there is a standard form for Impact Statements? Mr. Rogers replied that there is an outline in the Site Plan Manual and some new developers are given that to help them. Mr. Rogers further advised that the developer has addressed what was outlined. Mr. Rogers advised that the developer has put in script certain requirements straight out of the PD-1 in their Impact Statement. Mr. Rogers further advised that when Impact Statement is referred to in the Site Plan Manual for any project over ten acres and commercial residential, a Community Impact Statement is required. Mr. Rogers reported that the developer’s Impact Statement satisfies that, but it goes further and addresses this specifically.
Member Bonaventura asked if the developer was required to supply the Commission with a Community Impact Statement? Mr. Rogers replied that they were. Member Bonaventura stated that what he was getting at is under the Roads and Public Safety it reads, "it is anticipated that the number of police responses generated by the proposed development could be less than a number created by facilities of a similar scope and size. This is the result of higher than average rent expected for the development attracting tenants with fewer police related issues." Member Bonaventura asked if Mr. Rogers was looking for a social commentary and income levels related to police in terms of police responses? He stated that if this is what he is looking for, he wondered if there is any documentation on such a statement or if it is it considered as just a comment? Mr. Rogers replied that what you see is what you’ve got and it is their opinion and submits that they did not give actual numbers of police calls at River Oaks West or Saddle Creek. Member Bonaventura stated that what he is usually interested in is the units provided and some sort of calculation or formula that would determine the increase number of police responses for this particular site and not a commentary on income levels. Member Bonaventura would be against any increase in burdens on the community in terms of density.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated that while the Master Plan does designate the PD-1 Option, it is an option, it is the City’s option and not a given. Furthermore, it is Chairperson Lorenzo’s preference to see the property that is being requested to be rezoned as one acre lots and if it does not remain one acre lots as RA, she may even concede to half acre lots. Chairperson Lorenzo believes that it would be better use of the property than a multiple family and particularly a high density multiple family use given the character, the topography, and natural resources of the land, in addition to the existing and future surrounding land use. Even given all that, Chairperson Lorenzo further stated that she came to the table tonight to possibly compromise, but the only compromise that she could concede to would be the removal of the Buildings 7, 8, and 10 and the removal and relocation of the maintenance building. If it is not possible and this plan is the best that the developer can do, Chairperson Lorenzo guesses that they are at a stalemate.
Chairperson Lorenzo further advised that it would be a tremendous compromise on her part to accept this plan when a zoning is being requested from RA, single family one acre lots, to RM-1-PD-1, which is almost the highest density that is allowed in Novi. Chairperson Lorenzo stated that if they are going to go from one extreme to the other, then she thinks that a reasonable compromise would be to remove three buildings and the maintenance building.
Chairperson Lorenzo reported that she is going to support the motion because it seems to be the consensus of the Commission, but she does not know what the Council’s consensus will be. Chairperson Lorenzo asked the Council to consider the reduction of the three buildings and that as a condition of any approval, that they require the left turn signal phasing and the addition of a south bound and west bound right turn lane as indicated in Mr. Arroyo’s letter which would improve the intersection to level of service D as opposed to F if they are inclined to approve the rezoning, the PD-1, and the site plan..
Chairperson Lorenzo asked if the removal of one or more buildings would also reduce, if not eliminate, the necessary detention in the north east wetland? Mr. Bluhm replied that it would. Chairperson Lorenzo stated that obviously anything that is placed on this site or any other site is going to impact the natural character of the land, but the extent of impact on any given parcel is the greatest concern. Chairperson Lorenzo further stated that when a single family residential preservation option is looked at, there is a definition for a bonafide plan and she believes the definition is a plan that could be approved or is approvable according to all of the ordinances with some minor changes.
Furthermore, Chairperson Lorenzo believes that Ms. Lemke indicated to her that the removal of the three buildings and the relocation of the maintenance building, that Ms. Lemke could give her blessings to the woodland permit. Ms. Lemke stated that it would be the best alternative that has been submitted and it would be one that she could work with. However, Ms. Lemke added that she does not think that she could ever give one hundred percent recommendation due to the complexity, the intensity, and the high quality of the woodlands on the site for that type of development, although such a plan would be far superior to the one that’s currently submitted. Chairperson Lorenzo stated that it is then an indication to her, that even though there may have been some improvements to the plan since they first saw it, this still is not a bonafide plan and is not a plan that the City of Novi could approve with some minor changes. Ms. Lemke thinks that if they hold those standards true for single family development, why they shouldn’t enforce the same standards to someone that is asking for a multiple family development.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated that if there are no further comments, (end of tape) she would like Mr. Cohen to call the roll restating the motion is to send a negative recommendation to City Council for the rezoning from RA to RM-1 for Zoning Map Amendment 18.542.
VOTE ON PM-96-06-122 - MOTION CARRIED
Yes: Hodges, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington, Bonaventura
Chairperson Lorenzo asked if the Commission needs to proceed with a negative recommendation for PD-1 and the Preliminary Site Plan? Mr. Watson replied no, but he would suggest that the Commission proceed with those items since everything on there, other than the woodland permit, is a recommendation. Chairperson Lorenzo stated that the Commission can then hold off on the woodland permit, but they should send a negative recommendation on everything else if that is the consensus. Mr. Watson replied that she was correct and the Commission can hold off or take action on the woodland permit. Mr. Watson suggested that if the Commission is postponing the woodland permit that it specifically be postponed until action for the other items is taken by the City Council.
Member Weddington asked as a point of order if the maker of the motion can vote against it? Mr. Watson replied that he can.
Member Hodges moved to send a negative recommendation to City Council on the PD-1 Option, Preliminary Site Plan, and Wetland Permit regarding Zoning Map Amendment 18.542, Society Hill SP 95-44D. Member Vrettas seconded the motion.
PM-96-06-123 TO SEND A NEGATIVE RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL ON THE PD-1 OPTION, PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN, AND WETLAND PERMIT REGARDING ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.542, SOCIETY HILL SP 95-44D
Moved by Hodges, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (6-1): To send a negative recommendation on the PD-1 Option, Preliminary Site Plan, and Wetland Permit regarding Zoning Map Amendment 18.542, Society Hill SP 95-44D.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated that it has been moved and seconded to send a negative recommendation to City Council for the PD-1 Option, Preliminary Site Plan, and Wetland Permit for Society Hill SP 95-44D and asked if there was any discussion on the motion. Seeing none, she asked Mr. Cohen to call the roll.
VOTE ON PM-96-06-123 - MOTION CARRIED
Yes: Hodges, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington, Bonaventura
Member Capello moved to postpone a decision on the woodland permit until City Council makes a decision on the rezoning for the PD-1 Option, Preliminary Site Plan, and Wetland Permit. Member Vrettas seconded the motion.
PM-96-06-124 TO POSTPONE A DECISION ON THE WOODLAND PERMIT UNTIL CITY COUNCIL MAKES A DECISION ON THE REZONING FOR THE PD-1 OPTION, PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN, AND WETLAND PERMIT FOR SOCIETY HILL SP 95-44D
Moved by Capello, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (4-3): To postpone a decision on the Woodland Permit until City Council makes a decision on t he rezoning for the PD-1 Option, Preliminary Site Plan, and Wetland Permit for Society Hill SP 95-44D.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated that there is a motion to postpone the woodland permit until the City Council takes action on all of these other issues and asked if there is any discussion on the motion. Seeing none, she asked Mr. Cohen to call the roll.
VOTE ON PM-96-06-124 - MOTION CARRIED
Yes: Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Capello
No: Hodges, Weddington, Bonaventura
Chairperson Lorenzo advised that the Commission will take a brief recess.
2. ORDINANCE NO. 96-18 (COMMUNICATION TOWER ORDINANCE)
An Ordinance to amend Subsection 2508.1 and 2508.2 of Ordinance No. 84-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, and to add Subsection 2508.8 to said Ordinance, to revise the regulation of communication towers for possible recommendation to City Council.
Greg Capote, Staff Planner in his opening comments reported that pursuant to the City Council meeting of some time ago, it was directed that the Implementation Committee study the ordinance relative to cellular communication towers. Mr. Capote further reported that the Implementation Committee met several times and have produced a draft ordinance. Mr. Capote advised that the draft was sent just before the packet was put out and he would like to suggest a few changes on which Mr. Watson can advise if necessary.
Mr. Capote referenced Property Values on Page 1, Item B, Paragraph 2, and asked why raise a red flag when it is not necessarily required or needed in the ordinance given that it is his understanding that other city assessors have provided testimony that property values are not an issue. Mr. Capote clarified that he is referring to the draft ordinance on the Page 1, Paragraph B, Sub-paragraph 2, where it lists Property Values.
Mr. Capote noted that Page 2 of the draft ordinance, Paragraph C states that, "or the provision of more than one facility at a single location shall be encouraged." and he would recommend that it say "required" given that if there is a problem in co-location, the matter is turned over to the ZBA.
Mr. Capote referred to Sub-paragraph 2 which states, "negotiate in good faith and allow for leased shared use if an applicant demonstrates that it is technically practical." Mr. Capote recommends using "feasibility" because in his opinion, "practicality" is arbitrary.
Member Vrettas asked if he meant "technically feasible?" Mr. Capote replied yes, that he is asking for the word "feasible" comma and then go onto Paragraph 3. Mr. Capote then suggested replacing the ending, "to further minimize the impact of such facilities on the City, if facilities cease to be used for transmission purposes, they shall be removed" with "in their entirety within ninety days of the ceasing of such use."
Mr. Capote reported that Page 3, continuing on Part 1, Paragraph H reads, "equipment shelter building shall comply with building setback and height standards for district in which located." and that "the" should be added before the word "district" and "its" should be added before "located."
Mr. Capote referenced Mr. Watson’s letter to Mr. Cohen dated June 14, 1996 and asked
Mr. Rogers to review and provide some recommendations about the 1000 foot setback distance from any residential district.
Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant advised that it was discussed at a Planning Commission Meeting that if locations other than in the presently permitted I-1 and I-2 Districts are going to be opened, that it should not be permitted in the Town Center Districts. Furthermore, Mr. Rogers stated that if it is to go into certain areas that abut residential in the OS-1, OS-2, RC Districts, that the 1000 foot would be more than an adequate setback to protect the residential aesthetically and added that it is not a health or safety welfare issue of something falling down and hitting a house. Mr. Rogers also stated that they do not want a ring of towers for the seven carriers around the Twelve Oaks Mall. Mr. Rogers reported that some towers may be as high as 160 feet or more and that if they are going to be in the commercial and office centers, (Providence Hospital, Twelve Oaks Mall, West Oaks) that they would be set back 1000 feet. Mr. Rogers advised that they have used 1000 feet in other spacing criteria (i.e., restaurants in an RC District). and that it is a little bit arbitrary because it could just as well be 500 feet. Mr. Rogers explained that a tower was just approved in another community at 104 feet high and although it doesn’t sound big, the base is five foot in diameter. Mr. Rogers added that the little ladder for the workmen is up 20 feet so that children cannot climb it. Mr. Rogers stated that he is not uncomfortable with 1000 feet and it is difficult to say that there is a scientific reason for that. Mr. Rogers advised that some cities are allowing towers in residentially zoned districts where the land is committed to something other than residential. For example, Mr. Rogers stated it could be something like a high school playfield or a hospital site, but it has to be shown that it is going serve a gap or a dead spot in the system. Mr. Rogers had read the Telecommunications Act as a non-legal expert and Mr. Watson’s attachment to his letter where it states that telecommunication companies are legally entitled to complete their system to serve the public. Mr. Rogers thinks that they can be regulated in Novi to serve the City and if they are restricted in too few of areas, they could either come in for a rezoning or they can play hardball. Mr. Rogers further believes that Novi is providing many good sites by allowing them in the OS-2 and RC Districts, but currently they can only go into I-1 an I-2.
Mr. Capote advised that he has a question about the Paragraph 2 on Page 2 of Mr. Watson’s letter to Mr. Cohen dated June 14, 1996 which states, "The current draft requires an applicant seeking to utilize setback areas of less than 100 feet of the tower height to provide data showing that the facility is designed to remain within a smaller "fall zone." The minimum area for the fall zone is 40% of the tower height." Mr. Capote advised that his question is whether an applicant might be permitted a smaller fall zone if the applicant can demonstrate than any possible collapse will be retained within a smaller fall zone? Mr. Rogers replied no and thinks that 40% would be a minimum unless they can find any other information that exists and indicates that it could be less than 40%. Mr. Capote recommended that the Planning Commission keep it at 40%, unless information states otherwise. Mr. Rogers replied that according to their studies, Ameritech and CellularOne are comfortable with 40%. Furthermore, Mr. Rogers advised that right now the setback in the Novi Ordinance is 100% and suggested that if they can demonstrate with new technology or by a new type of collapsing pole that 30% is adequate, then they ought to make their case to the ZBA.
Mr. Watson believes what Mr. Rogers is saying is that he has data from Ameritech and others advising that 40% is the limit of what is possible right now. Mr. Rogers replied that they have interviewed them and he knows that they are comfortable with 40% and that they are not demanding 30%. Mr. Rogers advised what they don’t like is that in some cities the setback is as much as 100-150%. Mr. Rogers thinks that 40% is a reasonable and acceptable standard. Mr. Rogers advised that he just had a case like this for Ameritech and they
were pleased with 40% setback.
Mr. Capote added that some questions posed to Council have been, "How many towers are there in the City?" and "What are the possibilities for more?" Mr. Capote directed these questions to Margaret Jolin and Tony Nowicki, Director of Public Services and they do not really have the answers. Mr. Capote advised that there is an Existing Land Use Inventory that is currently being done by Wayne State and is moving into Phase II of GIS System which should provide that number a little bit later in the summer. Mr. Capote further advised that he could not get a definitive answer as to how many towers there could actually be within the City given the different demands and changes for service and in technology. Mr. Capote knows that this question is going to come up again at Council, but he would like the Planning Commission to know that he does not have an answer.
Mr. Rogers stated that it has been said that with the approach to digital, fewer towers will be needed, but they may be taller. Mr. Rogers advised that it is important that they require the cellular companies to take down any tower that is not usable to avoid white elephants. Mr. Rogers added that is why the leases for the towers are only five years with extensions of five years. Mr. Rogers reported that although the cost of towers and the equipment shelter building run into seven figures, it is still a very profitable business.
Mr. Rogers further advised that in terms of co-location, when Ameritech and CellularOne were the only two FCC approved companies, they were set up with different grid systems and they matched only 5-10% of the time and therefore, he can name on two hands where there is joint cooperation. Mr. Rogers further advised that since the new companies, Nextel, MCI, Sprint, AT&T, and two others do not have any towers, so they can be encouraged to co-locate before construction begins. Mr. Rogers stated that the tower’s system of transmitters only need to be ten feet apart, but added that the tower has to be built strong enough to hold the added weight. Furthermore, Mr. Rogers stated that if a tower is not strong enough, the Telecommunication Act states that the new company can build another tower and at the cost of the new company, the other company can transfer to the new tower. Mr. Rogers does not want to see what could be a dozen new tower applications this year, because Novi does not have an adequate ordinance. Mr. Rogers suggested that perhaps they are waiting to see what is going to happen and further advised that Farmington Hills extended their moratorium. Mr. Rogers recommended to send this ordinance back before City Council.
In response to comments made by Mr. Watson about a remark made by CellularOne that the City require a 10,000 square foot area owned or leased, Mr. Rogers stated that he does not see a need for that standard and although it may be achievable, he would suggest that it be deleted. Mr. Rogers further stated that if the applicant can meet the fall zone requirement, they could have more than 10,000 if they want. Mr. Rogers advised that there are still some sites that are on very small sites, but they don’t need to be bigger because they are on top of or adjacent to an existing industrial building.
Mr. Watson noted in his cover letter that during the time when this was before the Implementation Committee there was some discussion of doing some additional study about the 1000 foot distance requirement and he thinks that the discussion tonight militates in favor of doing some additional study. Mr. Watson further stated that after listening to Mr. Rogers’ comments, among the things that he indicated was that the 1000 feet was more than adequate to protect residential areas and he just picked a round number which was perhaps arbitrary. Mr. Watson thinks that the gist of that is that there hasn’t been any particular reason why the 1000 feet was chosen. Mr. Watson urges the Commission to look at it before it is acted on by City Council. Mr. Watson suggested that the impact of a 1000 foot and other distance limits relative to different residential properties within the City residential zones be mapped out throughout the City. He also suggested that they look at what is trying to be accomplished with distance restriction and in the discussions before the Implementation Committee, it was pretty clear that it was for aesthetic purposes. Mr. Watson stated that they did not want the towers so close that they were harmful to the aesthetics of the community, which is what a lot of the zoning is based and given that is the goal that they are trying to attain, he would suggest that a view to what the visual impact of such towers at the various distances would be could be done by either Brandon, by a Committee, or Commission members. Mr. Watson added that they could begin by looking at the towers in Novi and if necessary, in neighboring communities to determine what the impact is from those towers at various distances. Mr. Watson explained that based upon that, they could come up with a recommendation as to that standard.
Chairperson Lorenzo advised that this is a Public Hearing and opened the floor up to the public. Seeing no one, she closed the Public Hearing and turned the matter over to the Commission for Discussion.
Member Hodges asked about the notation regarding the affects if the proposed REC Ordinance should pass? Mr. Watson explained that if the Commission would notice, the tower provision in the ordinance is an amendment to certain subsections of Section 2508 of the ordinance which is the part of the ordinance that has uses not within a particular district. Mr. Watson advised that section of the ordinance includes not only towers, but things like horseback stables, drive-in theaters, and commercial recreation uses. The draft that the Commission has still includes Subsection 2502 and it was actually combined with the tower in another subsection. Mr. Watson advised that it actually has golf driving ranges, golf courses, and putting courses in the I-1 and I-2 Districts. Mr. Watson stated that he left it in the draft only for the reason that the recreation draft hasn’t gotten to this same point yet, but as a part of the recreational ordinance draft, one of the recommendations in Mr. Rogers’ work was that these recreational uses be deleted from this part of the ordinance. Therefore, Mr. Watson stated that he has not yet done it, but when it is finally adopted that may be the one final "tinkering" that is done depending on what happens with the REC Ordinance.
Member Hodges asked if that would be Part 2 and Part 3? Mr. Watson advised that it would be Part 2. Member Hodges asked if the outdoor theaters would be part of the Recreation Ordinance? Mr. Watson replied that they would not.
Mr. Rogers stated that the 1000 foot distances will vary depending upon how tall the tower is and he would be glad to do some investigation. He further stated that it is aesthetics and it is separating it from "not in my backyard" syndrome, particularly in single family neighborhoods. Mr. Rogers’ intent was to strictly contain these towers internally in the office districts, which are all monopole and can go as high as 165 feet.
Member Hodges asked what the approximate distance is for a setback from residential to a power line? Mr. Rogers asked if she meant the high power lines? Member Hodges replied yes. Mr. Rogers responded that the Detroit Edison Company steel pole line near Providence Hospital that runs north to south through the City is on a 200 foot easement. Member Hodges stated it is then from the center of the easement. . .Mr. Rogers interjected by stating, no 100 feet. . .Member Hodges said it is then on each side of the A-frame. Mr. Rogers replied, yes. Mr. Rogers added that Mockingbird subdivision abuts right up to the 100 foot from centerline of the Detroit Edison line. Member Hodges stated that they are talking about ten times that much. Mr. Rogers said yes and he does not know how tall the steel pole towers are.
Member Markham asked how a reasonable charge is determined for a shared use lease as it is described in Paragraph 1.C, 3. Member Markham is not certain that it is necessary because it is stated in the sub-element above it that they need to negotiate in good faith and allow for leased shared use. To Member Markham, negotiating in good faith means coming to an agreement. Mr. Watson explained that the reason that is included is that it applies to an applicant that is coming in with a new tower. Essentially, this message tells the applicant to build the tower so that it can accommodate other users later. In addition, Mr. Watson stated that when the tower is approved, it makes the applicant commit to making no more than a reasonable charge for the shared use. Mr. Watson further stated that the reason for that is so that when User 2 comes in with an application to build a second tower later and would like to put it on the first tower, they will be assured that they will charged a reasonable fee to share. Mr. Watson advised that the fee should be determined in terms of what it costs to build a tower and what it costs to maintain that tower. Mr. Watson explained that it makes more sense from an economic standpoint to build a second tower if the fee is unreasonable and it would be difficult for the City to tell the second user that he cannot build a second tower. Member Markham agrees that it makes sense, but the word "reasonable" is open ended because what is reasonable differs from person to person. (end of tape)
Mr. Rogers agreed that what is reasonable to Ameritech, may not be reasonable to the City. Mr. Watson thinks that the City would make that evaluation when User 2 comes in and reports that he is being charged more than a reasonable charge.
Chairperson Lorenzo asked if it would be advisable to postpone any recommendation to City Council based upon Mr. Watson’s previous recommendation for Mr. Rogers to do a little more research concerning the 1000 feet. Mr. Watson thought it would be a good idea to postpone the item and added that the Commission could make a recommendation to send it forward with additional information to come from Mr. Rogers, but that would not really be a recommendation.
Mr. Rogers suggested that it should not be date specific because there is more involved than what meets the eye and Mr. Watson agreed.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated that the Chair would entertain such a motion.
Member Weddington moved to postpone any action on Ordinance No. 96-18, Communication Towers pending the return of information from the consultants regarding the 1000 foot setback of towers from residentially zoned districts and any other issues that have been brought up.
Mr. Watson stated that Member Weddington said what he was thinking and furthermore, when it does come back, that they make the other changes. Mr. Rogers advised that he will work with Dennis on these changes.
Member Vrettas seconded the motion.
PM-96-06-125 TO POSTPONE ANY ACTION ON ORDINANCE NO. 96-18, COMMUNICATION TOWERS PENDING THE RETURN OF INFORMATION FROM CONSULTANTS REGARDING THE 1000 FOOT SETBACK OF TOWERS FROM RESIDENTIALLY ZONED DISTRICTS AND ANY OTHER ISSUES THAT HAVE BEEN BROUGHT UP
Moved by Weddington, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone any action on Ordinance No. 96-18 Communication Towers pending the return of information from consultants regarding the 1000 foot setback of towers from residentially zoned districts and any other issues that have been brought up.
Member Vrettas asked if a quorum was present. Chairperson Lorenzo replied yes and that six makes a quorum. She then asked if there was further discussion on the motion.
Member Hodges stated provisions for more than one facility was added to Part 1, section 1, section C and asked if the auxiliary structure and the pole, or just the pole constitute a facility? Mr. Capote responded that it typically needs both. He added that there is all of the electronic equipment cables, conduits, etc. that go from the accessory structure to the pole itself and travel through the interior of the pole to the antenna at the top of the pole. Mr. Capote stated that there cannot be one without the other. Member Hodges asked if there were a space that was designated for Ameritech with a pole and a building, can CellularOne also construct a pole and a building, or just a building to attach to that pole? Mr. Capote replied that they would only construct a building. Member Hodges stated that there could then be a lot of little boxes. Mr. Capote replied that would be possible, but most of the equipment is proprietary, where they’re just using the pole as a structure to mount their own antenna and they have their own connections to the utilities to power the antenna for lighting, etc. Mr. Capote agreed that it is possible that there could be additional buildings, because they are not going to want to share the same equipment shed so that there could be two to three accessory buildings next to one of the poles.
Mr. Rogers interjected by stating that on that point, Mr. Watson raised another point. Mr. Rogers advised that on the last page of the draft, the draft requires any structures associated with the towers to be constructed of brick. Mr. Rogers stated that the question raised was whether to permit facades that correspond to other buildings on the site and to the facade standards of the particular zoning district. Mr. Rogers advised that the fiber optic buildings and the little equipment buildings have worked well by constructing them with brick and a gable roof. Mr. Rogers further advised that the one that was built by Ameritech behind Commerce Controls on Vincenti Court had precast panels on it. Mr. Rogers stated that he and Mr. Cohen inspected the building and that it looked perfectly acceptable, however the approval was for brick. Mr. Rogers advised that the applicant had fortunately built the ledge out at the bottom and the brick that was on order matched the light beige brick on the industrial building. Mr. Rogers was amenable to that, but most of the equipment shelter buildings come prepackaged and Mr. Rogers’ thought was to dress them up with bricks, notwithstanding the fact that the building next door may be cinder block with standing seam metal panels. The cellular companies do not object to this, but Mr. Rogers is willing to suggest that the color of the brick might match and have a gable roof.
Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there was any further discussion on the motion and if not, she asked Mr. Cohen to call the roll restating the motion is to postpone any action on Ordinance No. 96-18 pending the return of the information regarding the 1000 foot setback of towers and any other outstanding issues to be resolved.
VOTE ON PM-96-06-125 - CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington, Bonaventura, Capello, Hodges
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION
1. MASTER PLAN AND ZONING COMMITTEE REPORT:
The Committee has reviewed the following areas:
* Zoning on both sides of Lanny’s Road, south of Grand River Avenue.
* Zoning on both sides of Novi Road, between 13 Mile and 12 ½ Mile Roads Possible direction from Planning Commission
Jim Wahl, Director of Planning and Community Development stated that this item has received a couple of reviews by the Master Plan and Zoning Committee and is a response to items that came before the City Council. Mr. Wahl advised the Committee is behind schedule in trying to get a report back to them and therefore, he would like to request that regardless of what kind of action the Commission decides to take, that they would be able to put it in some sort of a report to forward to Council.
Mr. Wahl reported that the Committee looked at these two areas in a couple of meetings and did a considerable amount of field work. He added that they took photographs of the sites and buildings. Mr. Wahl further stated that they have also provided information regarding property ownership and other aspects of the area. Mr. Wahl advised that they have also tried to address some of the concerns raised by Council Members and Commissioners to have a more legible format in terms of communication of maps. Mr. Arroyo’s office has tried a new color technique and would appreciate the Commission’s input on it.
Mr. Wahl also pointed out that one of the major conclusions for the Novi Road/Austin Drive area was that perhaps additional work should be done before any final recommendation would go to Council. Mr. Wahl stated that in keeping with the new approach that if the Commission requests specialized planning analysis and research, that the consultant should prepare a proposal. They have done that and the fee is $1800.00 for the additional work. Mr. Wahl noted that city initiated rezonings efforts over a number of years have been problematic and approximately 95% of them have not gone through. Mr. Wahl believes the question is, how much additional research is appropriate for such proposals.
Rod Arroyo reported that the Commission previously had an application for rezoning from I-1 to R-4 for Lanny’s Road, Lot 18 and further reported that Grand River Avenue is to the north and Eleven Mile Road is to the south. Mr. Arroyo advised that City Council denied the petition and asked the Planning Commission to study this area in more detail and report back. Consistent with the recommendation that Mr. Rogers had made in one of his earlier reviews, the Committee is recommending that the existing zoning district boundaries in this area remain as they currently exist and that the Master Plan be amended to reflect what the zoning ordinance shows. This is a little unusual, but in this case, the four lots are currently developed as existing single family residences and the Master Plan shows that these four lots will go to industrial use which would then extend the industrial area further south into the residential area. The Committee feels that the existing residential zoning for these four lots makes sense and reiterated that the Master Plan should be amended to be consistent with the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Arroyo added that there would also be some consistency to the west and to the south where there is planned residential development and that it would also be consistent with the existing development pattern.
In moving on to the second recommendation, which covers a larger area, Mr. Arroyo asked the Commission to recall that there was a petition that came before them for rezoning of property south of Austin Drive, on the west side of Novi Road to B-1. Mr. Arroyo advised that this rezoning would permit additional commercial development in that area. Mr. Arroyo further stated that it was denied at the City Council level and they requested that the Planning Commission study the area to determine if there are any changes to zoning Ordinance or to the Master Plan that might be more appropriate. The Committee first looked at this specific area and decided that it might be appropriate to look at the entire Novi Road corridor because of some of the changes with the completion of Decker Road and the anticipated reduction in traffic on Novi Road. They also considered the development pattern in the area and the configuration of the lots that are currently zoned B-3. The Committee has tentatively made a recommendation that the B-3 zoned property on the west side of Novi Road between Irma and Austin to Pleasant Cove be rezoned from B-3 to R-4, which is consistent with the zoning to the west. Furthermore, south of Pleasant Cove, the recommendation is that this area be rezoned from B-3 to RA, which is consistent the zoning to the west and to the south. Mr. Arroyo reported that on the east side of Novi Road, the recommendation would be that the property south of Linhart, east of Novi Road that is currently zoned B-3 be rezoned to R-4, which is consistent with its existing use. One thing that Mr. Arroyo failed to mention is on the west side of Novi Road, all of the property between Irma and Austin is currently being used as either residential or is vacant and that there are no businesses. Mr. Arroyo advised that there is an existing small office use and a radiator business, which is non-conforming to the B-3 zoning as well. Mr. Arroyo stated that if it were to be rezoned to RA, it would also be nonconforming and would not be able to continue in its current status as would the office development.
Mr. Arroyo stated that when considering their recommendation, one of the things that the Committee evaluated was the fact that the lots on the west side of Novi Road are only 100 feet deep, which makes redeveloping them more difficult. He further stated that they would have to tear down the homes and in a B-3 district there is a 30 foot front setback, a 20 foot rear setback, and a 100 foot deep lot which means that there is not a lot of room there for business development. Mr. Arroyo reiterated that traffic volumes are expected to drop, there is existing residential abutting to the west, and in one case to the east.
Because of the scope of the area, the fact that it encompasses a fairly large geographical area, and it is a significant change from what is currently in the Master Plan and the Zoning Ordinance, Mr. Arroyo reported that the Committee is recommending that a specific process be followed. Mr. Arroyo advised that the process is documented in the second page of the report as bullated items. One step is the preparation of small area master plan study of the impacted area to document the existing conditions and the proposed conditions. Mr. Arroyo added that the process amends the Master Plan and by studying it and ensuring that the conditions are there, both existing and proposed, that it would support the conclusion that the use should be changed and that a residential use is more appropriate in these areas. The Committee would then conduct an informal meeting with the affected property owners. It was felt rather than immediately go to a Public Hearing stage, it would be appropriate to have the Committee meet with affected property owners to let them know what the City is considering and to also get their comments before finalizing a recommendation. The Planning Commission would then schedule a Master Plan Hearing and a Zoning Ordinance Hearing for the same evening. If the Commission felt that it was appropriate, then the Master Plan could be amended and approved by the Planning Commission and a recommendation for a zoning ordinance amendment could be sent to City Council for action.
Chairperson Lorenzo turned the matter over to the Commission for Discussion.
Member Capello finds it hard to believe that the vacant lots are going to be developed into residential or that any improvements are going to be made to the existing houses in the Novi Road/Austin Drive area because of the additional traffic due to the expansion of Novi Road. Mr. Arroyo replied that the traffic volumes will drop because this area of Novi Road is not going to be expanded and that it is the component between Twelve and Twelve ½ Mile Road that will be expanded. He further advised that the current through traffic is roughly 27,000 vehicles per day and is going to drop significantly when the Decker Road connection is made to the five lane connection on Novi Road.
Member Capello asked how far down is it? Mr. Arroyo pointed to the area on the map and stated that is where Decker Road will intersect with Novi Road and Novi Road will be widened to five lanes. He added that the through movement will take the traffic onto Decker Road and a left hand turn will have to be made from Novi Road to continue north on Novi Road. Mr. Arroyo advised that as a result, the traffic volumes will drop significantly because the capacity of through traffic is going to be directed onto Decker Road.
Member Capello asked if with that, does Mr. Arroyo think that the area is going to be more of a residential neighborhood? Mr. Arroyo believes that it will be more conducive to residential than it currently is. Mr. Arroyo advised that there will be a significant change in the character of the roadway and he anticipates that there will be 10,000 to 15,000 cars per day coming off this roadway.
Member Capello asked if RT would be a better transition zoning? Mr. Arroyo replied that it might be an alternative, however most of the lots are currently developed with existing single family. Although there are some vacant lots with development opportunity, Mr. Arroyo stated that the R-4 is the next step down and seems like a logical extension because it is the highest single family detached zoning district that is available in the City. Mr. Arroyo advised that RT is something that might be considered, but he is leaning toward the R-4 because it is consistent with the zoning to the west and is consistent with the present development pattern.
Member Vrettas reported that as a member of the Committee that when they looked at the small businesses, which is depicted in red, their idea was that these neighborhood businesses would contribute to a little town unto itself and added that once the by-pass is developed, the whole area is just going to drop off. Member Vrettas advised that the thing that they found interesting is with the bypass not being there, the area still has not been developed. There has been an opportunity to put businesses there and they haven’t, even with the current traffic conditions. Member Vrettas stated that when the traffic drops even further, there will be even less interest in developing business there. Mr. Arroyo stated that Member Vrettas had a very good point.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated that in terms of the recommendation and the plan of action, she is not sure that they actually need the small master plan. Chairperson Lorenzo thinks that between Mr. Rogers, the sufficient reasons, and documentation in terms of why this seems like a good idea that Mr. Arroyo has supplied, she would think that those are enough legitimate reasons without moving any further. She added that she thinks a next step could be an informal hearing with the Master Plan and Zoning Committee and the affected property owners. Chairperson Lorenzo further stated that after the meeting, the Committee could make a recommendation to the Planning Commission and in turn, the Planning Commission could consider scheduling the Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance Public Hearing.
Mr. Rogers interjected by stating that he thought that Mr. Arroyo had Mr. Korte and other residents sit in on some of the Committee meetings. Mr. Arroyo replied that representatives from the S-E-S Homeowners Association were in attendance and Mr. Korte was one of the citizens who offered comments. In addition, the Committee received correspondence that outlined comments on changes to the area. Mr. Rogers added that the S-E-S speaks for a substantial group. Mr. Rogers also added that in initiating rezoning, and he falls back on Mr. Wahl’s statements about the people whose property is being proposed for rezoning are the ones that should be heard. Chairperson Lorenzo concurred with Mr. Rogers. Mr. Rogers further stated that the frontage between Irma and Austin is only 100 feet deep and when the front and rear yard setbacks are considered, it is going to be extremely difficult to develop. Mr. Rogers stated that the best way to go would be to assemble that land with property on Austin to the west. Mr. Rogers added that the RT suggestion made by Member Capello was an interesting commentary, but asks what can be done on 100 feet unless the homes are right up to Novi Road.
Mr. Rogers thinks that in terms of the possible amendment to the City Zoning Map, that just the corner of Novi Road and Pleasant Cove is B-3. Mr. Rogers asked if there was discussion to leave the two corners commercial and address the strip to the north? Mr. Arroyo replied that there was some discussion, however it was felt that they’re small areas and one is already non-conforming. Furthermore, he believes that the Committee felt that concentrating the commercial area near the intersection made good sense and developing a small area, a spot area to the south, didn’t seem to make good sense. He added that it is one thing to have proposed commercial up and down the corridor, but when considering the possibility of bringing the other areas out of the commercial and into a residential use on a permanent basis, having a small area of commercial did not seem to fit the development pattern and it did not seem to make sense, particularly because of the size and one of the uses is a non-conforming use.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated that she believes, with the consensus of the Commission, that the next step is to refer it to Committee to hold the informal Public Hearing with the affected property owners and then report back to the Commission and she added that the Chair would entertain such a motion.
Member Hodges would like to make a motion that the Commission refer the program outline back to Committee with the deletion of the first bullet and that the plan of action proceed as recommended. Member Weddington seconded the motion.
PM-96-06-126 TO REFER THE PROGRAM OUTLINE BACK TO COMMITTEE WITH THE DELETION OF THE FIRST BULLET AND THAT THE PLAN OF ACTION PROCEED AS RECOMMENDED
Moved by Hodges, seconded by Weddington, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To refer the program outline back to Committee with the deletion of the first bullet and that the plan of action proceed as recommended.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated that it has been moved and seconded to refer this matter back to the Committee according to their plan of action with the first recommendation to be removed and to report back to the Commission accordingly.
Mr. Arroyo asked if that also included a progress report back to City Council on the Commission’s recommendation. Chairperson Lorenzo replied if that is what the Commission would want to do, then yes. Chairperson Lorenzo then asked if there was any further discussion on the motion? Seeing none, she asked Mr. Cohen to call the roll.
VOTE ON PM-96-06-126 - MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Markham, Vrettas, Weddington, Bonaventura, Capello, Hodges, Lorenzo
Chairperson Lorenzo asked if any member of the audience would like to speak during the final Audience Participation. Seeing no one, she closed Audience Participation.
Member Hodges moved that the meeting be adjourned.
PM-96-06-127 TO ADJOURN THE REGULAR PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING AT 11:00 P.M.
Moved by Hodges, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To
adjourn the Regular Planning Commission Meeting at 11:00 p.m.
Chairperson Lorenzo stated that all those in favor of the motion to adjourn, signify by saying aye, those opposed say no, meeting is adjourned.
VOTE ON PM-96-06-127 - MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Yes: Markham, Vrettas, Weddington, Bonaventura, Capello, Hodges, Lorenzo
Steve Cohen - Planning Aide
Transcribed by: Barbara Holmes
June 28, 1996
Date Approved: July 17, 1996