REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI PLANNING COMMISSION

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 1996 AT 7:30 P.M.

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

(810) 347-0475

 

Meeting called to order at 7:33 p.m. by Chairperson Lorenzo

 

PRESENT: Members Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Hoadley,

Chairperson Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington

 

ABSENT/EXCUSED: Member Churella

 

ALSO PRESENT: Planning Consultant Brandon Rogers, Engineering Consultant Doug Pakkala Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, Director of Planning & Community Development Jim Wahl, and Staff Planner Steven Cohen

 

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any additions or changes to the Agenda? Member Bononi would like to add the discussion of planning seminars under Matters for Discussion. Chairperson Lorenzo added it as Item 2 and entertained a motion to approve the Agenda as amended.

 

 

PM-96-12-312 TO APPROVE THE AGENDA AS AMENDED

 

Moved by Weddington, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as amended.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-12-312 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Hoadley, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington

No: None

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

 

Andrew Mutch, 24541 Hampton Court, presented information to the Commission and explained that he was not lobbying on a specific issue. The first issue was Lannyís Road area, he stated there had been some questions regarding a couple of the lots and when they had been initially zoned Industrial and when they were developed Residential. He referred to a 1971 map that showed lots 17 & 18 to be zoned M-1 which is consistent with the current I-1 district. He then referred to a 1974 Existing Land Use Map which showed the house in question to be existing and had been there for at least 22 years. He stated there was a request from the Master Plan and Zoning Committee regarding some investigation and study into wetlands at the area of Grand River and Wixom Roads. He referred to the map that he pulled from the Ivanhoe-Huntley proposal and highlighted the wetland areas. He pointed out the problem that the wetland area creates in trying to develop it as some kind of commercial center because it bisects the parcel from southeast to northwest, and part of the parcel lies within the City of Wixom.

 

Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated he will prepare a report within one week acknowledging input from Mr. Mutch and Mr. Saven and the Assessing Department who provided a print-out for each of the parcels.

 

 

Lynn Kocan, 23088 Ennishore Drive thanked the Implementation Committee and Steve Cohen for allowing her as well as other residents, a forum for which to discuss issues with the Planning Commission.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there was anyone else who would like to address the Commission? Seeing no one, she closed the Audience Participation announcing there will be a second after the midpoint break and a third before adjournment.

 

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

None

 

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any corrections to either of the Regular Planning Commission Minutes of November 20, 1996 or December 4, 1996? Member Weddington had two minor corrections to the minutes of November 20, 1996. Page 24, fifth paragraph, second line, last word should be "protocol". Page 27, sixth paragraph, fourth line, the second word should be "remiss". Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there were any other changes? Seeing none she entertained a motion to approve the minutes as corrected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PM-96-12-313 TO APPROVE THE REGULAR PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES OF NOVEMBER 20, 1996 AND DECEMBER 4, 1996 AS CORRECTED

 

Moved by Weddington, seconded by Markham, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Regular Planning Commission Minutes of November 20, 1996 and December 4, 1996 as corrected.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-12-313 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Hoadley, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington

No: None

 

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

 

1. DALES AND GRAPHIC SUPPLY, SP96-01D

Property located at the end of Trans-X Drive for possible Revised Woodland Permit approval.

 

Lee Mamola stated last fall, during the process of obtaining Final Site Plan approval, the property was staked and the consultants came to the realization that the request to waive the requirement of a berm should go before the Planning Commission. He stated there was a berm indicated on the Preliminary Site Plan as well as the Final Site Plan, however, looking at the actual field conditions, a tremendous amount of undergrowth and a some substantial trees would be saved, if a berm were not constructed. He sought a waiver of the berm requirement from the Commission. There are a number of other minor issues that need to be cleaned up before Final Site Plan and he assured that they could all be easily handled.

 

Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated there are two issues before the Commission, the Revised Woodlands Permit and the Final Site Plan letter. In regard to the waiver of the berm she stated the site is very high and the building will be set down, so only about 10-12 feet of the building will be showing along the property line. The amount of dense vegetation that will be saved is about 30-50 feet. None of the screening will be lost from the previous submittal, she stated the berm is not necessary because of the existing topography and the fact that the building will be set down into the ground.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo announced she has received a memorandum from Chris Pargoff, City Forester which indicates that this office concurs with the recommendations of the Planning Consultant Ms. Linda Lemke dated December 4, 1996. It is our opinion that no further intrusion into the existing regulated woodland should take place for installation of additional landscaping. Therefore, the applicants solution of landscaping at the rear of their building envelope is the best screening alternative. In addition, the builder has agreed to provide drainage to the island in their parking lot in order to provide better growing conditions for the island landscape.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo introduced Doug Pakkala of JCK & Associates who was filling in for Dave Bluhm of JCK.

 

Doug Pakkala of JCK stated the Revised Woodland Permit has been reviewed and there are no objections to the proposed revisions.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo announced it is a Public Hearing and asked if anyone would like to address this issue?

 

Lynn Kocan, 23088 Ennishore Drive wondered if the City or the developer has contacted those residents who are immediately impacted by this. She expressed concern with not knowing what the opacity will be in the winter time once the leaves fall, and hoped that the residents will not be surprised.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there was anyone else who would like to address the Public Hearing? Seeing no one she closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Hoadley stated he walked the site. He asked Mr. Mamola how deep the grade in the rear was, he stated he estimated about 13 feet.

 

Mr. Mamola answered it could very well be, generally when the pad for the building is cut, it is cut a couple feet deeper than the finished floor.

 

Member Hoadley stated it looked to be about 12 or 13 feet deep which would mean there would only be 8 or 10 feet of building showing above the bluff. He stated a natural berm is created when the building is recessed into the hill. Member Hoadley explained as it is currently, the trees have no leaves on them and the houses are barely visible. He explained that there is a 15 foot area between the edge of the retaining wall and the under story of the non-deciduous trees where the applicant plans to plant non-deciduous trees.

 

 

PM-96-12-314 TO APPROVE THE REVISED WOODLAND PERMIT AND WAIVE THE BERMING REQUIREMENTS

 

Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the revised Woodland Permit and waive the berming requirements.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Bononi asked Ms. Lemke if she was satisfied that opacity requirements of the Ordinance are being met?

 

Ms. Lemke answered, yes. The evergreens are not any less than the last plan, there is still a solid evergreen buffer which will give the opacity in combination with the existing woodlands.

 

Member Weddington asked how deep the existing vegetation is, from the proposed evergreen buffer to the property line?

 

Ms. Lemke answered it is about 150 feet deep.

 

Member Capello asked Ms. Lemke if the plan would pass with the new standards?

 

Ms. Lemke answered yes.

 

Member Hoadley stated this is not a petitioner activated initiation, it is strictly by the consultants. He stated it is an excellent example of creativity and thanked Ms. Lemke.

 

Ms. Lemke did not want to take all of the credit, she explained that Mr. Pargoff was also very responsible for it.

 

Member Vrettas asked if the residents in the area were notified of the alteration and given an opportunity to speak on the issue?

 

Mr. Mamola believed there was public notice and stated it was a Public Hearing when the Revised Woodlands...

 

Steve Cohen, Staff Planner stated they were notified through the Public Notice which includes everyone within 500 feet of the site.

 

 

Member Vrettas commended the consultants for using their own initiative, he thought it was outstanding.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-12-314 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Hoadley, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington

No: None

 

 

2. ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.563

 

Property located at the northeast corner of Novi Road and Trans-X Drive for possible recommendation to City Council for rezoning a property from I-1 and I-2 to TC-1 or any other appropriate zoning district.

 

Jim Chen of Evergreen III stated he was before the Commission to present his rezoning proposal. He stated Main Street has been opened to the public and the next step is to submit the Preliminary Site Plan. In order to fulfill the parking requirement, Evergreen III has retained control of the KMH property which is located south of the Main Street project. Mr. Chen stated the property has been proposed for rezoning several times in the past and now as Main Street moves forward, the rezoning is necessary for the project.

 

Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant stated the frontage along Novi Road is vacant. The property abuts TC-1 zoning on the north, I-1 to the east, I-2 to the south and B-3 across Novi Road to the west. The Master Plan for Land Use recommends the site for Heavy Industrial and Light Industrial future land use. The petitioner wants to consolidate the property with his other property to the north to permit adequate parking for the Main Street development. Mr. Rogers stated on the new site plan, quite a bit of the required parking is underground, under each of the buildings. Mr. Rogers recommended the rezoning as being consistent with the objectives of the Town Center area plans and allowing needed space for related off-street parking. Should the rezoning be effected by City Council, he recommended that the Planning Commission revisit the Master Plan for Land Use and make the necessary amendment.

 

Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant provided a comparison of trip generation for the existing zoning in the proposed zoning district. With the existing zoning classification, the two uses are Industrial and General Office. Mr. Arroyo provided estimates particularly looking at the peak hour difference. General Retail would generate 88 trips during the p.m. peak hour versus roughly 50 for General Office, and a Shopping Center would generate 225 trips. There had been a previous traffic study submitted for the development which reflected when the critical intersections were analyzed with the improvements, those intersections would operate at acceptable levels of service.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo announced it is a Public Hearing and opened the matter to the Public.

 

Frank Stevens of Stevens Industries stated his property is adjacent to the area in question. He stated this has come up before and unfortunately the Commission and Council have continually refused to address the issue of light land usage in conjunction with heavy land usage and this a case where the two will be located next to each other. He objected stating sooner or later there will be a problem because heavy industry uses change, business conditions change, there will be noise, odors, lights and disturbances. With TC-1 it is possible that there will be residential. He stated when these two types of zonings are adjacent from one another, it is a problem ready to happen. Mr. Stevens stated there might be some alternatives where the petitioner could be given a temporary usage of some type, until the City can address the heavy industry problem, he again stated that light usage should not be placed adjacent to heavy usage and expect it to be compatible.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there was anyone else who would like to address the Commission? Seeing no one she closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Hoadley asked for a report from a member of the Town Center Steering Committee relating to the issue.

 

Jim Wahl, Director of Planning & Community Development stated as reported by Mr. Rogers, the Town Center Steering Committee has been working on the Main Street concept for more than ten years. In 1990, the Town Center Planning Study identified the Main Street project and included the area which is shown for rezoning as being part of the Main Street development concept. As the planning for the project proceeds, the plan is a guideline for that specific area of the community. Mr. Wahl stated the Committee discussed the rezoning proposal, and on a vote of 6-1 the Committee did recommend to the Commission that the applicants initiative be approved. Mr. Wahl also reported that the matter brought up by Mr. Stevens was discussed by the Committee and about one year ago when another property on Trans-X Drive came to the Commission to discuss non-industrial uses in that area. He stated the Department was prepared to move forward with the consideration of rezoning a larger area to something other than Industrial, there was no consensus of policy or direction from any decision making body to pursue the inquiry from the other property owner. As a result, the implication was that the existing situation should be left in place for the time being, subsequent to that, Mr. Chen has come forward with the initiative that the Department does not feel that this action cannot go forward without further study as suggested by Mr. Stevens. Mr. Wahl stated the Department would be interested in looking at it, as it has been previously involved with area property owners and the possibility of relocating to more appropriate sites. He stated he would not preclude any further action and encouraged the Commission that whatever action it recommends, he would be happy to look at the area and take the matter to the City Manager.

 

Member Hoadley was in favor of the rezoning. He stated that Mr. Chen has done a super job and needs the extra 500 parking spaces in order to make Main Street work. Member Hoadley thought that adequate screening could be put along the edges of the parking to screen it from the light and heavy industrial area. It was his opinion that a parking lot was not incompatible with light or heavy industrial zoning because they also have parking requirements.

 

 

PM-96-12-315 TO SEND A POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL FOR ZONING MAP AMENDMENT 18.563

 

Moved by Hoadley, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (5-3): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Zoning Map Amendment 18.563.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Markham stated if it is rezoned to TC, while a parking lot is proposed, there are other uses in the TC district that could potentially go there and then there is the potential implication of uses adjacent to each other that are inconsistent. If parking is the intent of the parcel, she wondered why the P-1 District was not being looked at for this piece of property. She stated this would allow the parking spaces to be used but would mitigate any effect by having a TC zone there. Member Markham stated she would be voting against the motion.

 

Member Capello asked Mr. Stevens if the rezoning were granted and parking was put in, did he believe it would adversely affect the current use of his building?

 

Mr. Stevens answered certainly not. Parking would not affect the use of his building. He added that nothing in the TC-1 will affect the I-2 business, rather, it is what the I-2 business does, that affects TC-1.

 

 

Member Capello asked if the information was given in general terms, or did Mr. Stevens have a real concern that his property was going to be effected on resale.

 

Mr. Stevens stated it will be effected on resale or if the usage is changed. He stated his building operates on a 24 hour basis, fortunately, other than trucks moving in and out, there isnít any disturbance, noise or odors. For a commercial business, it might not be a problem but it would for residential or some other usage.

 

Member Capello asked Mr. Stevens what his opinion was about rezoning his property to TC?

 

Mr. Stevens answered TC was not worth as much.

 

Member Capello asked if Mr. Stevens thought the value would be higher as I-2?

 

Mr. Stevens answered certainly, at this time because there is very little I-2 in the City of Novi.

 

Member Hoadley stated there is a proposed building on the property in question and did not see how it could be rezoned to P. He stated a building was not allowed to be in a P zoning.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo thought it would be feasible to rezone part of the property P-1 and part of it TC-1 to allow for the building in the future. She stated this might be an acceptable compromise at this point and the Commission has the ability to recommend this to City Council.

 

Member Hoadley stated there is no legal description of the land to split it up.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Watson if the Commission wanted to recommend to City Council, rezoning a portion of the property P-1 and a portion TC-1, where the proposed building is to be sited in the future, how would the Commission go about this?

 

Mr. Watson stated the Commission would do it in the form of a motion and pointed out that the notice of the rezoning was such to indicate that it was a rezoning from I-2 to TC-1 or any other appropriate zoning district. He explained that this language was included so people who see the notice are aware that the City Council has the authority to rezone it not merely to the requested district, but to some other district. As to a portion, Council can divide it up in that fashion. They can rezone a portion and not rezone a portion or they can do it in a split fashion.

Member Weddington stated it appears from the map that there are three separate parcels.

 

Mr. Watson stated that appears to be the case.

 

Member Weddington stated it could be divided by the tax ID parcels.

 

Mr. Rogers stated this is all under the TC-1 shared parking approach. If two of the three parcels are zoned P-1, there will not be the liberality of shared parking. He thought that consistency should be sought stating that the plan is going to keep the land in parking, it will be part of the approved site plan and cannot be used for the building of another Main Street Village for example. He stated the KMH property is zoned I-2 and abuts TC-1 which has not inhibited the lender, developer or architect from going ahead with commercial development. Mr. Rogers stated if it is zoned P-1, it will take a legal opinion from Mr. Watson whether P-1 parking can be used in the shared parking option of the TC-1 district.

 

Mr. Watson did not want to comment until he looked at the ordinance.

 

Member Bononi reiterated the question of why it cannot be used, because what is being talked about is use and practicality and each use being permitted in the zoning classification. She did not understand why it could not be used for that in a practical sense.

 

Mr. Watson stated that Mr. Rogersí point of whether it can be used for parking or not, associated with that use, is that the particular formula allows shared parking to be used thereby resulting in the reduction of the total numbers based upon the types of uses.

 

Member Bononi asked if Mr. Watson was saying in order to take advantage of alternate and/or shared parking that he is speaking about one contiguous piece of property as opposed to two?

 

Mr. Watson answered no, and stated he is not saying anything yet. As he understands Mr. Rogers point, it is that shared parking formula or permission to use shared parking based on different types of uses only lies in the TC-1 District as opposed to the P District. He stated this is what he needs to look into the ordinance for.

 

Member Vrettas deferred to Mr. Chen, he wanted to hear what he had to say.

 

Mr. Chen pointed out that he is not changing any present conditions. As of today, the Main Street project is abutting I-2 which is the KMH property. He stated he has not had problems in the past and with rezoning the portion of the property, it will still abut I-2. He also stated he did a study and any other zoning would probably not be counted as shared parking for the TC-1 development, in other words, Main Street cannot use any other zoning for the parking requirements.

 

Member Capello had some concerns with Mr. Stevens concerns. He stated if his property was rezoned to TC-1, it will be leaving a difficult piece of property to do anything with unless it is zoned TC-1. He asked Mr. Chen if he had any suggestions or comments on it?

 

Mr. Chen gave some history and stated when he proceeded with the purchase of the KMH property, once the seller found out about the Main Street project there was a price increase. Mr. Chen stated it was hard for him to believe that the TC-1 zoning will end up less valuable than an I-2 zoning. He stated if I-2 is more valuable than TC-1, he would not be able to purchase the KMH property.

 

Member Capello understood Mr. Chenís need for additional parking, however, he stated Mr. Stevenís concerns still need to be addressed. He asked Todd Smith if he had any idea of the valuation between TC-1 and I-2?

 

Mr. Smith stated the most recent TC-1 valuation, which was based on an appraisal that came out over $8.50 per square foot. The most recent heavy industrial comparable sale that was run in conjunction with the project for part of the Taft Road extension came in at $3.50 per square foot. He agreed with Mr. Stevens that the location of his site and having heavy industrial, is valuable. Mr. Smith stated that Mr. Chen, Mr. Rogers and himself conducted extensive calculations and the Main Street project does not work without the shared parking. He recommended the Commission look at studying other alternative long-range plans that might happen with Trans-X Drive. If a building was put right next to a heavy industrial use that allowed residential, there would be a problem, he stated this is a 75 million dollar project and this would not be jeopardized for the sake of putting one building next to heavy industrial.

 

Member Capello asked when the I-2 was going to be on line north of 96?

 

Mr. Smith answered right now, they are currently marketing the heavy industrial property. He stated there are 80 acres that will run along the new Taft Road extension. There is a road that runs through the City of Wixom and is stubbed to the Novi property line.

 

Mr. Watson stated that Mr. Rogers was correct in the sense that the Town Center District is unique by allowing the Planning Commission to grant the exception for dual functions. He stated the TC-1 District indicates that parking may be reduced where the Planning Commission determines that given the parking areas serve dual functions by providing parking capacity for separate uses that have peak parking demand periods that do not overlap. He also stated there is a provision in the general parking requirements that allows for an exception for dual function of off-street parking spaces where parking hours do not overlap, however, it is sent to the board of appeals. Mr. Watson stated it is conceivable that the applicant could get some credit for dual function, however, they would have to go through the ZBA.

 

Mr. Arroyo reported the provision in the general parking section of the ordinance is proposed to be changed.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if P-1 would work in this instance?

 

Mr. Watson answered it could allow the applicant to do it as a dual function.

 

Member Capello expressed concern with not doing anything. He stated the Commission has been trying to get the entire four quadrants under the TC-1 District and now that it is trying to happen, the Commission is trying to gerrymander it around into little niches of different types of zoning. He did not see any sense to this at all.

 

Member Bononi did see sense in it from the standpoint of providing transition to the abutting property owner to the south. She thought this was a real concern and believed rather than approving the zone change, maybe Member Capello was correct in saying he would prefer to do nothing or maybe postpone to explore other options.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo reminded the Commission that there was a motion on the floor to send a positive recommendation to City Council for TC-1. She asked if there was any further discussion on the motion?

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-12-315 CARRIED

 

Yes: Capello, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Weddington

No: Lorenzo, Markham, Bononi

 

 

3. MERCEDES-BENZ OF NOVI, SP96-44

Property located at the northwest corner of Grand River and Haggerty Road for possible Preliminary Site Plan, Section 2520.4 Facade Waiver, and Wetland Permit approvals.

 

 

Lee Mamola stated there is an existing building (high bay area) with a showroom (lower bay area). The lower bay area is proposed to be totally demolished, making room for a new addition of a showroom. The showroom will wrap around the remainder of the existing building. There will be showroom offices and other minor support facilities. In front of the showroom is a patio. The patio and showroom floor area approximately three feet above the existing floor of the building. Access is gained by ramps for cars on display as well as compliance with handicapped code issues. Access to the site is gained through two ways off of Grand River and one way off of Haggerty Road. Immediately to the west of the site is Keford Collision and a dental practice office. Due to an ease arrangement, the applicant is proposing a curb cut which would put the curb in better alignment with the Pleasant Run Shopping Center. The curb cut proposed for the Mercedes site proper, is a line across from the Burger King curb cut, so the curb cut alignments function better. The Traffic Consultant has recommended that no left turns be allowed in. There is to be executed, an access easement to allow parking to continue at the Keford site and the Northwest Industries building. There is no parking in the front of the building, there are about 7-8 spaces off to one side for customer parking. Other access to the site is gained off of Haggerty Road and this is the access that most of the customers will be using when they come in for service as well as regular traffic routines. Car haulers will enter off of Haggerty Road. A double wide aisle has been proposed so the car hauler does not block traffic. There is a new car inventory area that is fenced off, however, on-site circulation allows the circulation to go around if needed. There is more than enough parking to meet the ordinance requirements. Screening is provided by a thick row of proposed pine trees. Mr. Mamola stated representatives from Seiber, Keast & Associates were also present. He stated they were seeking wetlands acceptance of preliminary approval, subject to a zoning variance. The zoning variance involves the fact that they have overhead doors . He stated the addition extends over the new proposed facade so that the effect of the doors are not seen from Haggerty Road. There really is no other way to get a car into the building. In regard to some of the facade issues, he referred to the facade design dated 12/12. He stated the building addition is all brand new construction, it is constructed of a flat insulated metal skin, it is a very high-tech quality product. This type of material was selected because it is consistent in part with the image of the Mercedes-Benz company. In the balance of the building, the existing portion has a lesser type of facade material because the use of the building is not as glamorous as the sales room. The latest facade design on the east elevation is extended from the canopy on the overhead door area to the end of the building. There are windows openings that will remain and a more energy efficient type of window will be installed. The material is not taken down all the way to the ground. It is roughly 3-4 feet off of the grade primarily because when snow gets plowed up against it and there are freeze/thaw cycles, it will avoid ultimate failure in whatever product is glued to the building. Another issues happens with when people lean against the building, etc. The type of material that is proposed is very soft and wonít take much more than a punch or a kick to damage it. The west elevation begins with the building addition that wraps around. Mr. Mamola requested the acceptance of the waiver request. He is proposing that the existing over head doors and windows be blocked up and in so doing, it was the opinion of the consultants that therefore, the whole facade comes into play, which he did not necessarily agree with. He feels if it is blocked and painted to be consistent with the existing facade, the end result is one smooth facade. He stated the south elevation does require a facade waiver because it does not meet the proposed chart. He was hopeful that the Commission would grant the Wetland Permit approval, a facade waiver, and Preliminary Site Plan approval subject to obtaining a zoning variance for the overhead doors.

 

Brandon Rogers, Planning Consultant agreed that with the support of the rezoning petition that allows consideration of the use, it is a major improvement over what is existing. He stated the dealership site is 4.75 acres, zoned B-3 and all application data was provided. The building meets setback requirements except along the north edge where the existing building has a 5 foot setback, which should be 20 feet. Based upon the ordinance requirements for parking, 62 spaces including handicapped are required, and 71 spaces are provided. Mr. Rogers stated there will be a need for a cross easement on the west side of the building because there is a northerly one-way driveway and cars will be coming in. At the end where you turn around onto Grand River, this is the Keford site which is I-1. The exiting aisle is not part of the site plan, therefore a cross easement is required for the use of the aisle. Mr. Rogers reported that Mr. Necci of JCK has done the measurements and made a determination based upon the existing ordinance on compliance with Section 2520. His reports indicate there is a need for a Section 4 waiver on the south and east facades. Mr. Rogers questioned if bricking up a wall that has windows and doors is a facade change or just a replacement of a window with a wall. Mr. Rogers stated consideration should be given to whether or not there is a need for a waiver of the extraordinary condition that was placed on the site plan when the rezoning was discussed by City Council. He agreed with Mr. Mamola in regard to the overhead doors, that there is no other way to get in other than the major entrance off of Haggerty Road. The two doors are set back from the road, there will be some landscaping and the waiver is a function of the ZBA.

 

Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect summarized concerns with the conceptual landscaping. There are existing trees in the ROW and on the plan that have not been indicated as to whether they will be saved or not. She stated there are some good trees in the ROW that warrant saving and encouraged it. Screening along Haggerty Road has been provided by a series of shrub channels, this allows the screening requirements to be met and also filtered views of the cars that will be on display in the lot. In addition, Mr. Mamola has indicated that he has added a solid row of evergreens along that area to break up the facade. Ms. Lemke stated she would like an additional row of shrubs at the northern end of the nine trees. The corner clearance is impeded upon by two evergreens, one on either side of the driveway off Haggerty Road. She stated those two need to be moved outside of the corner clearance but left on the site because they are needed as counting as ROW canopy trees. She indicated that twelve of the proposed Ginko trees in the islands must be changed to a heavier canopy tree to provide screening and relief moving through the parking area and on the Grand River side. Ms. Lemke stated there are some other minor comments that she feels can be addressed by the applicant, she feels they have met all of the provisions of the ordinance.

 

Mr. Rogers stated a five foot concrete sidewalk is shown on Haggerty Road and he believed it also to be constructed on Grand River. He stated the sidewalk is also to be extended in front of Keford Collision to tie in with the existing sidewalk. Mr. Rogers urged the Commission to keep in mind that Haggerty Road is just as much a front view of the building as is Grand River. He stated a commercial use is desired to be created trying to get away from an industrial use.

 

Doug Pakkala of JCK stated from an engineering prospective, the biggest problem with the site is that over 90% of the site is in the floodplain. The easterly 130-150 feet is the floodway for Ingersoll Creek. He stated permits through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Oakland County Drain Office will be required for work in the county drain ROW. He stated there are no impacted wetlands on the site, the Wetlands Permit is mainly for the work in the stream and the drain. Mr. Pakkala feels these problems can be resolved and recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan.

 

Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant stated there are three points of access to the site with one being a shared access. He recommended that the principle access in front of the building have prohibited inbound left turns rather than outbound left turns. Trip generation is relatively low. The parking area west of the dealer is proposed to be reconfigured for angle parking and to accommodate exiting vehicles. The end island should have a "keep right" sign to follow the direction of the angled parking. There will be stacking for approximately 12 vehicles and additional stacking space is available outside the building. Deceleration, acceleration and tapers are proposed at all of the driveways. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval subject to resolving Items 2 and 5 as mentioned in his letter, at the time of Final Site Plan.

 

Doug Necci of JCK stated there are three basic issues regarding the facade: 1) the flat metal panels on the south facade, for which 100% is proposed and 75% is allowed; 2) concrete block on the east facade, for which 21% is proposed and 0% is allowed; 3) concrete block on the west facade for which 82% is shown and the ordinance does not allow any painted concrete block. Mr. Necci agreed with Mr. Mamola with regard to the flat metal panels and the fact that they are high quality. The proposed facade would allow 100% of this material and he recommended approval of the south facade. Concrete block on the east facade is a real maintenance problem. He stated as far as parked cars providing adequate screening for the lower belt of block, Mr. Necci stated there may be times when there are no cars parked there to provide the screening, therefore, he did not regard this as a highly efficient way of screening the block. The applicant is proposing to do nothing to the west facade. It would constitute 100% concrete when complete. Mr. Necci felt very strongly in keeping with the intent of the ordinance which states that any facade which is altered shall be brought into full compliance. He felt that the facade was being altered and should be brought into compliance. He did not recommend the Section 4 waiver.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo announced she has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department which states the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended with the following: 1) Install "Fire Lane - No Parking" signs in accordance with Section 15, F-313.0 of the Code of Ordinances in the following locations. Place each sign on the plans, along the curb around the new addition, along the curb in front of the F.D.C.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo announced it is a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public.

 

Andrew Mutch, 24541 Hampton Court stated when the Providence rezoning was discussed, one of the points he made then, was that the area was a gateway into Novi as is this project. He felt it was important that the building establish character. He felt it important to examine the landscaping closely to ensure proper screening of the parking areas. Mr. Mutch encouraged the Commission to look at the Urban Design Plan and try to incorporate some of the recommendations, specifically because it is a gateway, try to incorporate additional landscaping and some sort of announcement that one is entering into Novi.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if anyone else would like to address the Commission? Seeing no one she closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Hoadley stated he had the occasion to walk around the entire building and his main concern is with the facade waiver requirements. He agreed with Mr. Mutch that it should be a premier building. He supported the south facade waiver but to detract from that by leaving concrete block on the west and have a split looking use on the east, in his opinion was not a premier type of look. Member Hoadley stated there is an obstruction half way down the building and asked Mr. Mamola what it was?

 

Mr. Mamola believed it to be a dust collector used by the current user and stated it will be removed.

 

Member Hoadley asked why brick or a continuation of the metal could not be used along the bottom edge? Member Hoadley also agreed with Mr. Necci that something different should be used on the west side to tie in with the showroom area.

 

Mr. Mamola responded that anytime an existing wall is taken and a new material is applied to it, there is a number of concerns that arise as to the durability of that material. He also stated the types of materials to design and build a wall are very limited. To put brick on the building is not really a practical solution. He stated in regard to the other facade, this is the first time that he was aware of this way of applying the ordinance. He stated he has done other buildings in Novi where similar walls on existing buildings have been blocked up and painted with no requirement of a Section 4 waiver. He stated these were the examples that were in his mind when he represented to Council that he would comply with the ordinance. He stated it was done before and he is puzzled why it is being looked at differently this time.

 

Member Hoadley stated the minutes from the City Council meeting were very specific in regard to trying to keep the building up to the B-3 standards.

 

It was Mr. Mamolaís opinion that it does comply with the ordinance.

 

Member Hoadley asked Mr. Necci if there were other materials that would work within the 3 Ĺ feet, that would have more eye appeal?

 

Mr. Necci stated there is a product called thin brick. He stated it is difficult to put veneer brick because it does not have a foundation under it and there would be a need for a steel support that would project out further than the dryvit. He stated real brick veneer would be a problem. Thin brick is also a problem because typically it is put onto a foam base and with the freeze and thaws, it causes a problem. He based his recommendation on the ability of the landscaping to create a visual screen, there are no landscaping elements immediately in front of the building, it is quite a distance away so all of the angles of view and grades would have to be taken into consideration as to whether the bushes really screen the wall or not.

 

Member Hoadley asked what Mr. Necci would recommend for the west side of the building?

 

Mr. Necci felt that the ordinance was clear that it is a substantial alteration and the full facade needs to be brought into full compliance. He suggested the applicant could do the identical treatment on the west.

 

Member Hoadley asked if the use changes, would Mr. Necci have the same opinion that the bare concrete block should be left visible three feet below?

 

Mr. Necci stated it was a good point that there is no opportunity for screening on the west side of the lower belt, the east side will be screened by landscaping.

 

Member Hoadley supported the facade waiver on the south side, he was not in support of the other two facade waivers. He was also in support of the rest of the site plan.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo reminded the Commission that there were three issues: 1) Preliminary Site Plan; 2) Section 4 Waiver; and 3) Wetland Permit.

 

Member Capello asked Mr. Mamola how much money would be spent to construct the west side of the building as Mr. Necci suggested?

 

Mr. Mamola answered on the Keford side, there probably is some room to add a certain amount of similar material, however, there becomes some serious maintenance issues.

 

Member Capello was satisfied with the three foot and asked if three foot were put up and then dryvit the rest of the way, would this satisfy the ordinance?

 

Mr. Necci answered it would still require a waiver because block is not allowed. He stated he would be in full compliance.

 

Member Capello asked what kind of use will be at the rear (northern portion) of the building?

 

Charles Ghesquiere answered inside is all mechanical service. He stated he had this same problem with a building downtown Birmingham and the building looked as good the day they left, as the day they moved into it. Never had any problems with it because there was cars parked in front of it 90% of the time, you do not see the block because it is painted the same color as the dryvit or stucco. He agreed that the west facade should be covered and treated the same as the east side with some kind of dryvit.

Member Capello stated he was in support of the three foot of block.

 

Member Weddington asked Mr. Arroyo about the two driveways on Grand River. She asked if there would inbound left turn to the shared driveway?

 

Mr. Arroyo answered yes.

 

Member Weddington asked if it would be possible to get the cars into the showroom using some of the overhead doors that are existing on the Keford side rather than putting doors on the Haggerty side?

 

Mr. Mamola stated there was another issue that he did not explain to the Commission. He stated the building is 80 feet wide and down the middle, runs a series of columns, some of which will have to be replaced with some structural gymnastics inside to eliminate a few, allowing cars to turn in the inside. He stated considering the columns and other issues involved, cars could potentially reverse the pattern but this would cause another door to go in on the Haggerty Road side. Therefore, the customer entry was left on Haggerty Road and all of the entrances to the service bay areas face the Keford side.

 

Member Weddington asked if the overhead doors were primarily for customer access to service rather than the showroom?

 

Mr. Mamola answered they are used for the service write-up area.

 

Member Weddington asked Ms. Lemke on the east and west sides, if there was any opportunity for landscaping, especially on the west side?

 

Ms. Lemke answered, there is not any opportunity on the west side. On the east side, the building is about 1 to 1 Ĺ feet higher than the grade on Haggerty Road and the landscaping that is proposed along the ROW is about the same level. They have not bermed because they want to allow views into the parking of the new cars. The applicant is providing the filtered views. Ms. Lemke stated as you travel south on Haggerty, there are some areas where you will be able to see the building, because of itsí openness to see the cars, as you travel north on Haggerty, you will not be able to see it.

 

Member Weddington did not have a problem with the facades on the south or east sides, she stated she would like to see some sort of improvement made on the west side.

 

 

 

 

PM-96-12-316 TO APPROVE PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN AND WETLAND PERMIT FOR MERCEDES-BENZ OF NOVI SP96-44 INCLUDING ALL OF THE CONSULTANTS RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONDITIONS

 

Moved by Weddington, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Preliminary Site Plan and Wetland Permit subject to all of the consultants verbal and written recommendations for Mercedes-Benz of Novi SP96-44.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

In regard to the watercourse issue, Member Bononi asked what the status of the MDEQ floodplain fill permit was?

 

Mark Young of Sieber Keast & Assoc. answered he has not yet received any feedback from MDEQ. He stated he made the application on Monday of this week.

 

Member Bononi asked if there was a reason that the size of the culvert and cross sections have not been provided, for the stream crossing?

 

Mr. Young answered the culvert that has been proposed in the MDEQ application is 54 inches in diameter.

 

Member Bononi asked how much of the stream is to be enclosed?

 

Mr. Young answered 140 feet.

 

Member Bononi presumed that Mr. Young was aware that the soil types that are indicated on the plan, are matherton loamy which indicate seasonal high water table, one to two feet during the year, between November and May. She stated the soil is poorly suited to building site development due to wetness and her concern with this was whether or not the applicant proposed sub-surface drains to alleviate that problem, should it arise.

Mr. Young stated he has not looked at sub-surface drains at this point. He was not aware of any sub-surface drainage problem with the existing buildings and stated this was an issue that could be looked into.

 

Member Bononi asked, due to the nature of the business that will take place on the site, is there a plan with regard to hazardous waste as far as fuels and those products that are normally used to service cars, and how they will be removed from the site?

 

Mr. Young deferred to Mr. Ghesquiere.

 

Mr. Ghesquiere answered he has ceased using gasoline or having storage of any fuels on the site, he stated they no longer have tanks. Presently there is removal of waste. Used motor oils, antifreeze, transmission fluids and batteries are picked up on a weekly basis by licensed haulers.

 

Member Bononi expressed concern regarding the water quality in the stream and how the site will contribute to the water quality. She also expressed concern about whether or not there will be routine car washing on the site and where all of the detergents and any other products that are used in washing the cars will go.

 

Mr. Ghesquiere assumed that the water from car washing that is presently done in the Bloomfield store runs into the sewer.

 

Member Bononi stated the water will be untreated in any way as far as detergents going into the holding basin and then directly into the stream.

 

Mr. Ghesquiere stated sanitary sewer is where the waste goes and presently there is not a recycling process.

 

Member Bononi expressed a concern that the water course issue has almost been addressed as a non-issue both from the standpoint of the comments of the consultants and the information that the applicant has brought forward. She did not agree with the consultants that there will not be a significant disturbance to the stream. She believed that the construction of placing the culvert there is going to be a very large disturbance to the stream and it should be looked at for ways to minimize. The fact that it has not been addressed does not bring enough importance to the fact that there should be more concern about water courses. Member Bononi asked that the motion to approve be amended to bring the application back to the Planning Commission for final approval because she was concerned about how the placement of the structure will affect the quality of the stream, particularly with regard to soil erosion and sedimentation.

 

Member Weddington and Member Capello both accepted Member Bononiís friendly amendment.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo announced the motion maker and seconder of the motion have accepted the friendly amendment and it will be brought back for final.

 

Member Hoadley asked Ms. Lemke if the wooded cover will be disturbed?

Ms. Lemke answered she did not know, this was one issue she asked the applicant to address. She stated there are some woodlands on-site and some off-site and she asked the applicant to save as much as possible.

 

Member Hoadley then directed his question to Mr. Mamola stating that there is a lot of high quality woodlands between Haggerty Road and the building and asked what will be done with it?

 

Mr. Mamola answered some of the trees that are substantial good trees will try to be saved where there is no construction, such as the driveway and in open areas. There are some trees that are large and undesirable, as told by his landscape consultants, such as cottonwoods and the like. He stated a better inventory needs to be done between now and final, to clarify some of these points.

 

Member Hoadley asked Mr. Mamola if he had thought about putting some low "bush-type" screening up, that would cover up the 3 Ĺ feet because he still had a concern about it.

 

Mr. Mamola answered there is rock cobblestone between the pavement and the building, any shrub that is put there would take the abuse of snow being piled on it all winter long.

Member Hoadley asked why couldnít the snow be pushed to the north end of the site?

 

Mr. Mamola stated the people who plow the snow are not always as considerate as he would like them to be and this has to be allowed for.

 

Member Hoadley asked if he has considered building a built-up planter along the facade?

 

Mr. Mamola stated this could be looked into, however, this would be raising the grade against the higher level than the finished floor and his concern would be to keep the water from the planter, from entering into the existing building.

 

Member Hoadley again stated the 3 Ĺ foot space of concrete block against the attractive facade above it, is not going to look good.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo reminded Member Hoadley the motion on the floor is for Preliminary Site Plan and Wetland Permit, not the facade.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked in terms of the culvert, why is 140 feet needed to span that crossing?

 

Mr. Mamola answered 140 feet is based on a 30 foot wide drive, from back of curb to back of curb. There are also 15 foot wide shoulders on each side, assuming a 4 on 1 slope down into the drain which all comes out to 140 feet.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked Mr. Arroyo if he concurred with this?

 

Mr. Arroyo believed in terms of how much is needed for the culvert, it was more of an engineering question.

 

Mr. Pakkala stated because of the depth of the stream at that point and the width of the driveway, 140 feet is about the minimum that would make the site work.

 

Mr. Mamola stated the intent of the shoulders was to allow for some attractive landscaping along the entrance as you enter off of Haggerty Road.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if the shoulders were reduced or eliminated, there would be a reduction in the size of the culvert.

 

Mr. Mamola answered yes, there is an opportunity to shorten the culvert by reducing the shoulder width.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked what the reduction would be?

 

Mr. Mamola stated he would probably want to install some sort of wolmanized guard rail or something that is attractive and the shoulder width could be six to eight feet. He stated 20 feet could be taken out of the shoulder width.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo expressed concern regarding the floodplain fill in terms of itsí impact on the flood stage. She stated that Mr. Pakkala and herself had attended the same meeting in which a representative from the DEQ explained that when they review floodplain fill permits, they do not take into account, the peak flood storage stage. She asked who is going to do the hydraulic analysis to make sure there is not any impact in the peak flood storage? And if there is, how will this be compensated for?

 

Mr. Pakkala at the Preliminary stage, the amount of fill is relatively minor. He stated the applicant is not changing the existing grade, the more concerning issue is the floodway. He did not believe there was a whole lot of fill that would be going into the floodplain.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo stated her concern was obviously with the floodway, but also where the culvert is going into enclosing it, the floodplain fringe area is going to be eliminated. She stated the possibility by doing this is the increase of how much will be in the floodway, which then could affect upstream and/or downstream.

 

Mr. Pakkala agreed stating the floodplain fill would be looked at when the final site plans come in.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo stated if it comes to the fact that there will be an increase in that stage and it could impact upstream or downstream conditions, who will be responsible for compensating for the loss of the storage from where the culvert is being placed?

 

Mr. Pakkala stated compared to the amount of water flow in the Ingersoll Creek, the amount of fill in the culvert and the minor grading issues on the site is relatively insignificant compared to the amount of flow. The entire site will be inundated during the 100 year flood. He again stated the amount of fill that will go in for the culvert is relatively insignificant compared to the amount of water and any compensatory excavation that may be necessary for the culvert area.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there was going to be some analysis done?

 

Mr. Pakkala stated the DEQ does not look at compensatory fill and he will be looking at it.

Chairperson Lorenzo stated Mr. Pakkala would also be looking at hydraulic analysis to make sure that there are no impacts upstream or downstream and if there are, he is to provide some type of compensatory storage for that.

 

Mr. Pakkala stated the MDEQ may in fact ask that a hydraulic analysis be provided, however, he pointed out that the size of the culvert that was proposed, is exactly the same as the culvert crossing that exists at American Self Storage which is about 500-600 feet north of this crossing. He stated that crossing was approved by the MDEQ approximately ten years ago. Mr. Pakkala expected that the MDEQ would get back to him with any requirements about the routing analysis.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo shared the concern of Member Bononi in regard to water quality. Chairperson Lorenzo asked the motion maker to consider incorporating into the motion that hydraulic analysis be conducted for the floodplain fill and if there is any impact, compensatory storage will be required and in accordance with the actual culvert and the discharge of water from the sedimentation basin. She also asked that consideration be given to incorporating water quality benefits, per the DEQís Best Management Practices, into the detention basin.

 

Member Weddington agreed.

 

Member Capello also agreed and stated his only concern was does the Ordinance require the petitioner to do this?

 

Mr. Watson believed the Ordinance allows the Planning Commission to impose conditions.

Member Bononi was interested in the comment made by Chairperson Lorenzo regarding the ability to cut down the shoulders, thereby, reducing the stream crossing. She hoped that this would also be incorporated into the motion to the degree that the applicant is willing to do so.

 

Member Weddington agreed to incorporate it into the motion.

 

Member Capello also agreed.

 

Mr. Watson stated there is a provision in the Wetlands Regulations that allows conditions to be imposed on the manner and extent of the proposed activity or use as are necessary to ensure that the intent of the articles are carried out and that the activity will be conducted in such a manner that will cause the least possible damage, encroachment or interference with natural resources and natural processes within the watercourse and wetland area. whenever a Permit is being granted.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-12-316 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Csordas, Hoadley, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington, Bononi, Capello

No: None

 

Member Capello stated he would like to give the applicant an opportunity to go back and rework the west side of the building.

 

 

PM-96-12-317 TO POSTPONE FACADE WAIVER FOR TWO WEEKS

 

Moved by Capello, seconded by Hoadley, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone the facade waiver.

 

 

 

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-12-317 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Hoadley, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington, Bononi, Capello, Csordas

No: None

 

Mr. Mamola asked for clarification on the previous motion, he asked in regard to the Final Site Plan coming back to the Commission relating to water issues, drainage issues, etc., is this the only part of the Final Site Plan that needs to come back? He stated it presents some difficulties in the overall schedule and he would like to give the Commission the information they are requesting, however, he would also like to be able to know how to handle the project schedule.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo believed it would depend on what happens with the facade waiver as well. She was not sure and stated normally when a project comes back, it comes back in full, she did not know if there was a way to break it up.

 

Mr. Mamola stated he runs on a very tight schedule, often when Final Site Plans are submitted, there are two or three submittals. He hoped that when the Final Site Plan was brought before the Planning Commission, that it would be the first submittal which would allow him to incorporate any of the Commissions issues before resubmittal.

 

Mr. Watson believed Mr. Mamola was suggesting when he submits his first Final Site Plan, the consultants may have a number of items that they want revised and he would like to possibly get approval, subject to the administrative approval of the consultants, with the issues they may have.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo thought as long as the issues of concern are addressed, it would be adequate, if there are other little things that the consultants would like done...

 

Mr. Watson stated he was sure the Commission might consider it.

 

Member Capello asked if it could then be put on the Agenda as a Matter for Consideration and waive the requirement of coming back for Final?

 

Chairperson Lorenzo stated at the point the applicant is ready to proceed in that fashion, let him come back and he can be put on and ask the question, at that time the Commission will see if there is a consensus to do just that.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo announced the Commission will take a brief recess.

 

MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION

 

1. MASTER PLAN AND ZONING COMMITTEE REQUEST

Request for approval from Planning Commission to allow the Committee to investigate sites west of Taft Road and south of Twelve Mile Road for some type of commercial use.

 

As a member of the Master Plan & Zoning Committee, Member Bononi clarified from the standpoint of the way the request is worded, she did vote in favor of the motion in order to bring the issue of whether or not, the Committee could exceed itsí original charge from the Planning Commission. She did not believe that the language should infer necessarily that members of the Master Plan & Zoning Committee are seeking approval to do so.

 

Member Capello stated there has been some discussion in the Community, by various groups and developers, inquiring whether or not there should be some commercial development west of Taft and south of Twelve Mile Road. The issue brought up at the Master Plan & Zoning Committee meeting was, since others are investigating it, perhaps the Commission should begin to investigate it so they are not caught cold when the issues come before it. He explained, with this discussion it was realized that the directive from the Planning Commission was not there to at least investigate it to come back with some conclusions or at least be prepared. He stated this is why the Committee is coming before the Commission, it was the consensus that maybe the issues should begin to be studied now so there is ample opportunity to study them before the Commission has to make decisions on them.

 

 

PM-96-12-318 TO DIRECT THE MASTER PLAN & ZONING COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE THE NEED FOR ANY COMMERCIAL USE SOUTH OF TWELVE MILE ROAD AND WEST OF TAFT ROAD IN THE CITY OF NOVI

 

Moved by Capello, seconded by Vrettas, CARRIED (5-3): To expand the investigation of sites for possible Commercial use west of Taft Road and south of Twelve Mile Road to the Master Plan & Zoning Committee.

 

Member Vrettas stated as part of the Committee, the approach he was taking was for the Committee to be pro-active. He stated sometimes the Commission could be at a disadvantage if the first time they were to see something was not until the developer brings it in. He would like to be able to look at it in advance before any of the pressures are applied by developers or residents.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo stated the reason that she proposed the Planning Commission to consider the particular area at Grand River and Twelve Mile Road, and Twelve Mile Road and Wixom Road, was because when Mr. Shapiro approached the Planning Commission for the first time with his proposal, he included a supermarket on that corner. In his subsequent rezoning request, he did not. In conjunction with that, the Green Group, which is a very experienced marketing group, had also concurred that the area would be conducive to a shopping center. In addition, subsequently, there may be some part on the property owners, to consider that particular area as a shopping center. She stated in terms of other areas in the City, she thought the Master Plan to be in conformance with the Zoning Ordinance in other areas of the City and she supported the Master Plan in those areas. Chairperson Lorenzo was not personally interested in looking at a broader scope of Taft Road, south of Twelve Mile Road, she was particularly interested in pursuing the Wixom Road and Twelve Mile Road area because it looks like it could be conducive to a shopping center. She stated she would not be in support of the motion.

 

Member Weddington tended to support the motion because she believed that there is consideration given by various other people for development of a shopping center somewhere on the west side. If not at Twelve Mile Road and Wixom or Twelve Mile Road and Grand River, then at Ten Mile Road and Beck Road or Ten Mile Road and Wixom Road or Eight Mile Road and Beck Road or some other place. She stated it was only a matter of time before they come before the Commission. She believed now to be a good time to look at this and provide input to the Master Plan process. She was in full support of the Master Plan and agreed with Chairperson Lorenzo, however, she stated there was very limited area, if any, designated on the west side for commercial development. She thought that someone should take a look at it so that the Commission is prepared and makes a conscious decision. She stated she would like to have this information brought to the table so that it can be discussed and if any changes are to be made, that they be rolled into the Master Plan update. Member Weddington was in support of the motion for the purpose of information gathering.

 

Member Bononi stated she would not be voting in support of the motion because she thought in this particular case, the Master Plan is key. She did not feel there was any kind of discrepancy or misunderstanding about what the Master Plan says in that regard and any applicant has the right to ask that question at any time.

 

Member Vrettas stated he was very strongly supportive of the area remaining residential, however, when the charge was given to the Commission to look at the area as a possible area for a supermarket, he was amazed that it was being considered because there is an existing Meijerís nearby. He thought maybe the whole area should be reviewed again with an open mind.

Member Hoadley stated he would be supporting the motion. To have knowledge is to allow the Commission to make better informed decisions and it was his opinion that this would allow the Commission more knowledge.

 

Member Markham stated the packet had two motions weaved through it, one was to look for a site for a supermarket, the other was to investigate all of the sites west of Taft Road and south of Twelve Mile Road, for some type of commercial use. She believed these two items were very different. She stated she would like to see some other type of grocery store besides Meijerís in that general area. She pointed out that Meijerís is not in the City of Novi and she likes to do her shopping within the City of Novi so she would like to find a site somewhere within the City that is appropriate for a grocery store. She expressed concern with opening up the whole can of worms of the whole area west of Taft Road, south of Twelve Mile Road and do some sort of broad based investigation which is doing a lot of work that the developer should do. She was afraid that if something like this were to be done, it would come back to bite the Commission at a future date. Member Markham felt this approach was too broad and stated she would be voting against the motion.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-12-318 CARRIED

 

Yes: Capello, Csordas, Hoadley, Vrettas, Weddington

No: Bononi, Lorenzo, Markham

 

 

MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION

 

1. REQUEST FROM COMMITTEES: MASTER PLAN & ZONING - PLANNING STUDIES AND BUDGET

Regarding Consultant services FY 96-97 Planning Commission Work Program

 

Jim Wahl, Director of Planning & Community Development referred to a memorandum that summarized some work requests that were made and the expected amount of time that was estimated by the consultants to do the work which was related to the Master Plan & Zoning Committee request. It was his thought that the work was in keeping with the goal or program of the Special Planning & Zoning research on emerging issues. The second part of the discussion related to the Planning Studies & Budget Committee which were more of suggestions. There were several areas of study which the Committee felt they would like to bring to the attention of the Planning Commission that might be topics to be looked into during the next six months. The others were just discussions for the Commission to consider whether it wanted to do anything in those areas.

 

 

Chairperson Lorenzo asked if there was information regarding the Planning Studies & Budget Committees proposals?

 

Mr. Wahl answered, the minutes of the Committee.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo turned it over to the Commission for Discussion.

 

 

PM-96-12-319 TO ALLOCATE AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $1,650 OF THE SPECIAL PLANNING AND ZONING ENGINEERING BUDGET TO DIRECT CONSULTANTS TO PROVIDE THE THREE STUDIES SET FORTH ON THE MEMORANDUM DATED FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 1996 FROM JAMES WAHL

 

Moved by Capello, seconded by Csordas, CARRIED (6-2): To allocate an amount not to exceed $1,652.40 from the Planning, Zoning and Engineering research on emerging issues budget for the three studies proposed in the memorandum dated Friday, December 13, 1996.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Member Bononi stated she had some problems with the proposal that relate specifically to some of the information gathering and submission being referred to as a "study". She did not believe that they are studies because the actual definition of a study talks about a reading, a research, an investigation which is embodied in a result or conclusion. She stated most of the materials are already in the ownership of the Commissioners and she has a problem with the submission of the information being called a study because this is not what is being asked for. She gave an example. In item 1, the Commission was looking for just the uses to be stated, not actual locations of uses. In item 2, she did not think that sub-part 2 was necessary at all, and in the last part, "JCK services to be provided with regard to verify wetland locations with quick field checks", she stated no way are quick field checks needed of anything in those two instances. Member Bononi summarized that these are not studies, the amounts are too high and if in order to make her point she needs to get on a relevant committee, she stated she would do it next time.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo referred to some of the information that was provided by Mr. Mutch. She believed him to say that the wetlands inventory on the Twelve Mile Road, Grand River and Wixom Road site are from the Shapiro proposal. She stated she retained those studies and stated this is one of the primary reasons that she proposed that specific site, because the Commission has all of the information it needs. It is just a matter of whether the Master Plan & Zoning Committee and the Planning Commission wants to plan and believes that it is a good area for a shopping center or a supermarket. She stated she was reluctant to allocate money for things that may already be in the Commissions possession.

 

Mr. Wahl stated prior to the discussions, the Committee has sat down and reviewed a lot of the information because it knew the property owners were looking to do something out there. He stated there was a lot of work done about five years ago but there was a lot of conflicting information as to what was wet and what was not. There was a feeling that the site needed to be mapped very accurately because it is going to be extremely problematic to do anything with. Mr. Wahl presumed that this was an effort that when the information is given to the Committee, it is correct and not vague or sketched.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo was not sure that the detailed information would be necessary at this time or if it would be premature. She thought that type of information might come from a petitioner at the time that they want to rezone the property or at the time that they want to present a site plan for the property. She did not recall when Master Planning was considered, or that they have actually gone out and done detailed field surveys as if to build the building. From her standpoint, she explained that she was looking for some general information in terms of wetlands and woodlands, in addition to the Green Groups marketing information. Chairperson Lorenzo stated currently she does not hear anything from the Master Plan and Zoning Committee whether or not the Commission should be pursuing a possible Master Plan amendment or initiating any kind of a rezoning, so until she receives a clearer picture of what might be proposed, she is very hesitant in terms of spending that kind of money.

 

Member Capello stated it is a "not to exceed amount", and he felt very confident to trust the consultants that they would do the best that they could, to acquire the information and then go forward from there. In regard to specific details, item 1 when talking about Crescent Boulevard coming through from where the Wyndham is, down to Grand River, the Commission was trying to determine whether the Master Plan should be changed to extend the TC or TC-1 zoning over in that area. As it was looked at, it was not sure what specific uses were there, what uses were new, what uses were not new and what portions of the area were encompassed by wetlands. He stated it was very difficult to take the area in generic terms without knowing what was really there. So he felt the Committee needed to have much more detail in regard to what was left there and where the road actually lays. In regard to Item 2, Member Capello stated it was difficult to make any assessments. He stated the Committee needed to see actually what was being discussed, this was why the detailed study was needed. The third item was the property at Grand River and Wixom Road, if there were so many wetlands there that it could not support a pad large enough for a grocery store and a parking area, then it would not make sense to put a grocery store there because it would never work. This made the exact locations of the wetlands important. He stated a lot of times the existing wetlands maps are not consistent with what exists in the field.

 

Member Bononi did not disagree with the comments of Member Capello in regard to the information needed, she stated she did not feel that the level of work being proposed in the document is what is needed. She did not feel this much time and effort was needed in order to get the information needed.

 

Member Hoadley agreed with both Member Capello and Member Bononi. He did not feel as much information was needed on the Crescent/Ivanhoe area. He stated he would be in support of the motion but he would tender it with the idea that they give minimal graphic display on the other two areas. He also did not believe that $1,600 needed to be spent to gather the information that is needed.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo stated she was a little hesitant but she would be in support of the motion. She hoped that the consultants would heir on the side of a lesser amount than what is proposed. She expressed concern about the hours of time that are estimated. She stated last year Mr. Rogers sat in on developer meetings, giving his time to the developers and it came out of the Planning Commission budget. She thought that the additional time spent at City Hall was to spend more time on studies of this nature and that the hours could be knocked down to an appropriate figure where it would possibly be included as a small study within the retainer.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-12-319 CARRIED

 

Yes: Capello, Csordas, Hoadley, Lorenzo, Vrettas, Weddington

No: Bononi, Markham

 

 

2. PLANNING COMMISSION SEMINARS

 

Member Bononi extended her compliments to Rod Arroyo on the information and thought provoking presentation that he did for the Planning Commission on December 16, 1996 on the subject of Residential Development Options. She stated the presentation was well done and very informative. As a result of the meeting, and realizing the potential to have other workshops and seminars, she asked the Planning Commission where it goes from here and what is the Planning Commissionís plan with regard to those subjects that it would like to see discussed further. She did not know who decides what the seminar topics are to be, how they are chosen, what is the cost of each and what are the priorities? She stated those things that the Commission has the most interest in and problematical situations seem to be the likely candidates for seminars and workshops. She stated if the Commission knows what itsí plan is and knows what itsí priorities are, then a plan can be made. If money is going to spent on seminars and workshops, she stated that it should not be relegated simply to the Planning Commissioners because she believed there were lots of people in the community who would be interested to hear comparisons. She also believed that developers would be interested, the public should be invited and it should also be televised. She thought it was a lot of information with a broad appeal that could go out into the community to great benefit. She was interested to know what the plan was.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo stated Member Bononiís points were well taken and deferred to Mr. Wahl for the plan of future seminars.

 

James Wahl, Director of Planning & Community Development stated a work program had been adopted in the budget in May of which four seminars were identified. Alternative Land Use Development Options, Site Plan Review, Open Space Planning and Architectural Building Form Design and Facades. Mr. Wahl explained that in the Work Program, there is a narrative explanation along with who will be conducting each seminar. There was no reference made in regard to the audience, he thought this could be adjusted and believed the Department could take steps to expand the audience. Mr. Wahl stated there is a budget not to exceed $8,000.00 for the four seminars. Three of the seminars are to be put together by the consultants and the Architectural Building Form Design and Facades seminar is to include other experts in the field. At the last Planning Studies & Budget Committee meeting, it was requested that the Commission follow the suggestions of Member Bononi for next years program. As far as presentation techniques, it was Mr. Wahlís understanding that cable TV programming is rather limited to certain City Council and Planning Commission meeting. He stated he would have to look into what the most practical method of pursuing this would be.

 

Mr. Wahl stated the Planning Studies & Budget Committee directed a motion to the full Commission, requesting that suggestions be made for necessary planning studies or initiatives that should be identified for the next fiscal year, he encouraged any proposals that can be developed within the next 30 days for the budget proposal.

 

Member Weddington followed-up and stated the Committee met last week and started to prepare the budget for next year. She explained that at the end of February, Mr. Wahl must present preliminary numbers and an outline of the work that the Commission hopes to accomplish in the next budget year. In looking back, the issues of studies came up and she mentioned the Commission was very fortunate to receive $1,500 from Council last year. It was not identified for specific, defined studies. She explained that it was not sure that the Commission would receive this money in the next fiscal year. She stated there are some issues that the Commission has been "kicking around" and it might want to take a look at, such as the Grand River Corridor, OST Site Location, Land Uses for the Haggerty/M-5 Corridor and the issue of Commercial on the west side. She stated any ideas that any Commissioners might have on these items, the Committee would like them to bring them forth in the form of suggestions for exploration or consideration in next years budget.

 

Member Hoadley stated he was one of the driving forces behind getting the money allocated for seminars and he was in full support of them. He agreed with Member Bononi that the Commission should do a better job of getting the public involved. He stated he made the point many times that the seminars should be televised and taped. He was in support of the idea of holding seminars to educate the community as to different ways of developing land. He encouraged public broadcasting in the future and recommended that the Commissioners submit a list to the Chair as far as what they would like to see in the way of seminars. Member Hoadley stated he would like to see a polling take place as far as when to hold the seminars so the Commissioners can be sure to schedule them on their calendars and asked the Planning Department to conduct them so a mutual date can be agreed upon. He reiterated that the seminars should be held publicly and stated that knowledge is power and knowledge makes better informed decisions.

 

Chairperson Lorenzo stated Member Hoadleyís points are well taken. She stated it might be helpful in accordance with the consultants, and asked the Planning Department if the Commission could get lists of various options in terms of seminars, so the Commission can decide what they may be interested in.

 

Mr. Wahl stated he had asked Mr. Cohen to keep a log of those seminars.

 

Mr. Arroyo stated that he and Mr. Rogers have been compiling a list of exactly that, for the Planning Studies & Budget Committee, to give them some information and topics to choose from.

 

Mr. Wahl asked when the seminars are scheduled, if they could be programmed as a Special Planning Commission Meeting, that way it would be like an official meeting. He asked if this would qualify as something that could be televised?

 

Mr. Watson stated he was sure it could be scheduled as a Special Planning Commission Meeting and this might be what should be done anyway, however, he stated that in itself might not be what is necessary to get it onto cable TV. He suggested checking with Lou Martin to find out the cable policy. His recollection was that the City Councilís policy only pertains to meetings that were mandatory or had to be televised, he did not think it necessarily precluded other meetings from being televised.

Member Vrettas agreed with the idea of getting the information out to the public. He stated from his experience, whenever he has involved the public, they became his best supporters, not the enemy. He believed that information needs to reach the public so that they know what is going on.

 

Steve Cohen, Staff Planner stated he would work with Mr. Martin on behalf of Mr. Wahl to see what can be done to have the seminars televised and report back to the Commission.

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

None

 

 

PM-96-12-320 TO ADJOURN THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION AT 11:05 P.M.

 

Moved by Capello, seconded by Markham, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 11:05 p.m.

 

 

VOTE ON PM-96-12-320 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

Yes: Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Hoadley, Lorenzo, Markham, Vrettas, Weddington

No: None

 

 

 

_____________________________________

Steven Cohen - Staff Planner

 

 

Transcribed by: Diane H. Vimr

January 03, 1997

 

Date Approved: January 08, 1997