View Agenda for this meeting







Meeting called to order at 7:35 p.m. by Chairperson Weddington



PRESENT: Members, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, and Chairperson Weddington



ABSENT/EXCUSED: Members Canup, Capello, Piccinini, Watza



ALSO PRESENT: Planning/Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Engineering Consultant David Bluhm, Assistant City Attorney Paul Weisberger, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, Senior Environmental Specialist Aimee Kay, Director of Planning & Community Development Jim Wahl, and Planning Assistant Kelly Schuler








Chairperson Weddington asked if there were any additions or changes to the Agenda?


Under the Consent Agenda, Member Csordas would like to move Society Hill SP95-44F under

Matters for Consideration.





Moved by Csordas, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as amended.





Yes: Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Weddington

No: None





Kelly Schuler, Planning Assistant read the correspondence.


John M. Diederich wrote regarding Morgan Creek Estates. He objected because the lake was already full, potential increase in vandalism, potential increase in theft, an increase in lake users will result in increased accidents, the rights to the lake are a priviledge, therefore, why should a developer be able to come in and buy one lakefront and give access to others.


Debra and John Cabott wrote in regard to Harvest Lake RUD. They objected to the request because they moved to Birchwoods Drive with the understanding that the property east of Wixom Road, south of Eleven Mile and north of Birchwoods Subdivision was protected wetlands. They also moved to western Novi because of the ½ to ¾ acre lot sizes, they also objected to the east/west road between Napier Road and Wixom Road, connecting to Wixom Road between Delmont Road and Eleven Mile Road. They thought Delmont or Eleven Mile Road made more sense for safety reasons and future traffic signalization. They also expressed concerns with developing in a drainage and wetlands area, location of Harvest Lake east/west road and traffic volumes, lot sizes and setbacks, density credits, and the fact that courtesy notices of the City Council meetings are only postmarked approximately two business days before the meetings.


Karl Wizinsky wrote in regard to Harvest Lake. He restated his concerns with the northern most Wixom Road entryway to Harvest Lake. His house is the only home on the east side of the road in the 1.5 mile stretch south of Grand River and given Harvest Lake’s extensive frontage on Wixom Road, it seemed like there must be another practical option that would not affect him adversely.


Michael Kara wrote regarding Morgan Creek Estates. He objected due to the fact that the condos would be located right behind him and he is losing the woods. With more houses going into the lake, it would produce more dirty water going into the lake and traffic on East Lake Drive is already too high.


Dale Myers wrote in objection to Morgan Creek Estates.





Joseph Galvin spoke regarding Society Hill. On behalf of the Solomon Group, he requested an extension of the Preliminary approvals for the project in order that the staff can review the Final plans. He felt it was necessary because of the timing of the Ordinance periods.


Chairperson Weddington asked if anyone else would like to address the Commission? Seeing no one she closed the Audience Participation and announced there would be a second after the midpoint break and a third before adjournment.





Chairperson Weddington announced there were two items on the Consent Agenda. Approval of the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of January 20, 1999 and February 03, 1999.





Moved by Mutch, seconded by Csordas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Consent Agenda consisting of the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of January 20, 1999 and February 03, 1999.





Yes: Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Weddington

No: None










  2. Project located in Section 19, on the east and west side of Wixom Road and north of Ten Mile Road. The 901.13 acre site is zoned RA. Applicant is seeking a positive recommendation to the City Council for a Revised Residential Unit development (RUD) Option Application.

    Steve Weiner requested a positive recommendation to modifications to the RUD Area Plan.

    Mary Jukuri of JJR, Inc. presented the plan changes. She believed that the changes were all positive improvements to the Area Plan as previously approved. She stated the changes have all been reviewed by the City Consultants and they have given favorable recommendations. She presented the highlights of the revisions and stressed what the plan did not change. The revised plan proposes an increase in lot size for one area which is allowed in the RUD Ordinance. The north side of the site is proposed to be changed as formerly designated as single-family detached cluster to single-family detached homes in order to create a greater continuity of housing type for that portion of the site and greater marketability. The revision increases the total amount of single family detached homes from 52% to 57% of the overall project. The revised Open Space Plan and Open Space Summary Table demonstrate that there will be no impact to any of the open space acreage’s that was designated for Open Space credit. Reductions in the number of cul-de-sacs are proposed primarily on the north and south sides. This will help improve the internal site circulation, it will help increase pedestrian connections from block to block, and will allow for better utilization of the buildable areas of the project. The reduction will also allow the number of lots with private rear yard views to be increased and will decrease the number of street intersections coming out onto the southern residential collector. The entrance off of Wixom Road has been revised by terminating it closer to the water. The second entrance off of Napier Road has been eliminated to reduce the intrusions into the woodlands in that area. The north access road has been proposed to be removed away from the single-family attached cluster on the north side, this will create more of a ring road concept on the north side which allows the reduction of through traffic. In order to accommodate the road changes, some of the lot layouts and open space corridors have been modified and shifted as reflected on the plans. In summary, Ms. Jukuri reiterated that there is no increase in density, there is no impact to the amount of open space provided, the revisions result in an increase in single-family detached housing, it also gives a better connectivity of open space, less intrusion into higher quality woodlands and an improved internal site circulation.

    Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant stated there is no change in density. He indicated that there appears to be a number of improvements to the plan that seem to work better than the previous plan. In regard to the cul-de-sac immediately next to the single family waterfront homes, it appeared that it might be slightly longer than the 800’, however, it was his understanding that upon the submittal of a Tentative Preliminary Plat or a Site Plan for that area, that it will be within the maximum cul-de-sac length standards. He noted that there is an amended pedestrian network plan that includes a few areas of the internal road network that would only have sidewalks on one side of the road. He stated this would require a Design and Construction Standards waiver from City Council.

    In regard to traffic trip generation, there is no difference from what was previously approved. He stated the access point onto Napier Road has been eliminated which provides for the saving of a fairly large open space wooded area. The applicant continues to provide stub street connections to adjacent properties. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Revised RUD plan.

    David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant concurred with Mr. Arroyo and agreed that the changes were positive. He stated that some of the road layouts enhance the utility connections and the looping systems, therefore he felt it was a better plan than the previous. He stated the Master Plan utility comments that need to be addressed by the applicant, prior to them moving onto the phased submittal process still continue to hold true. Mr. Bluhm supported the project.

    Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect recommended a positive recommendation on the changes to the development. She stated the woodlands have been benefited by removing the road to Napier Road on the western side of the project. Ms. Lemke recommended a positive recommendation.

    Chairperson Weddington announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public.

    Karl Wizinsky, 26850 Wixom Road previously expressed concern with having the northern entrance directly across from his front door. He asked the Commission to consider other things than the wetlands and woodlands and that being his family home. He stated he has the only home on that 1.5 mile stretch south of Grand River. He was very disappointed that the entrance was being located across from his front door not making any change from the Preliminary. He thought the entrance would carry a lot of traffic and did not understand why it had to be placed there, he thought there must be other alternatives.

    John Gerutter lives in the Birchwood Subdivision. Expressed confusion with what was occurring, he explained that the Public Hearing notices do not give any details. He asked how a detached unit would give the same amount of open space? He asked for a definition of open space.

    Chairperson Weddington asked if anyone else would like to address the Public Hearing? Seeing no one she closed the Public Hearing and asked the applicant to address the questions of the residents.

    Mr. Weiner stated because of the way the RUD Ordinance is written, he was obligated to present an Area Plan amendment. When he comes forth with a first phase site plan submittal, prior to doing so he stated he would work with Mr. Wizinsky to try to align the road at the least minimum impact to his residence.

    Chairperson Weddington clarified that the building envelopes and building sites are not considered open space. Whether the units are located close together or far apart, there is still a building envelope that is not considered part of the common open area.

    Mr. Arroyo stated if it considered a lot or a unit, that common area is not counted toward the overall common open space.

    Chairperson Weddington turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.


    Member Mutch asked for clarification on the school park site regarding pedestrian paths along the perimeter of the property. He asked if they were going to be built?

    Mr. Weiner did not believe that the prior plan or the revised plan proposes a pedestrian network on the school side. He stated he has an agreement with the school to integrate crosswalks, etc. in order to maintain safety and security for the children.

    Member Mutch thought it needed to be addressed.

    Mr. Weiner stated he would take the matter up with the school district to see what their position is.

    Member Mutch stated the Subdivision Ordinance requires a pedestrian path from the development south of Eleven Mile Road and east of Wixom Road which should be included on the Area Plan. At the northwest corner of Harvest Lake, he asked if there was going to be any effort to preserve a view from Napier Road through the lake?

    Mr. Weiner believed that as the development proceeds to submittal for that area, the logical thing would be to take advantage of that view.

    Mr. Jukuri also added that the Novi/Lyon Drain exits the site at that location, therefore, it is already an open space area.

    In regard to the perimeter treatment of the development, Member Mutch asked if any kind of fencing or walls were proposed?

    Mr. Weiner answered, no.

    Member Mutch thought the issue needed to be addressed before going to City Council.

    Mr. Weiner stated he was certain that it would be addressed as he moves forward.

    In terms of the traffic impacts on Wixom Road, Ten Mile Road and Napier Roads, Member Mutch asked Mr. Arroyo what type of road improvements is the City going to need to start planning for in terms of expansion or paving?

    Mr. Arroyo stated it came into two categories, there are the necessary improvements at the site access points which will include center left turn lanes or passing lanes and deceleration lanes. The major intersections, Wixom and Ten Mile Road was recently constructed and there is no anticipated need for any major improvements. The traffic study identified at the intersection of Grand River and Wixom that there would be a need for improvements and a lot of it will be addressed with the widening of Grand River as part of the interchange improvement project. With the new Wixom Road Interchange, there will be a need for improvements to the Grand River and Wixom Road intersection.

    Member Mutch asked if the pedestrian paths at the school and City site would normally be required by Ordinance?

    Mr. Arroyo answered they would normally be required by Ordinance.

    Member Csordas applauded the developer. He stated they continue to set the pace for development in the City of Novi for Open Space Planning.


    Moved by Csordas, seconded by Churella.


    Member Koneda thought the improvements were all positive changes. He did not understand why the property east of Wixom Road was included in the plan since the developments existed before the plan came along. He asked why the land was included since it did not enter into any of the calculations for density.

    Mr. Arroyo clarified that it does indeed enter into the calculations for density. He stated the school property is considered part of the RUD and the density calculations are allowed to include recreation areas and other areas which are factored in.

    Member Koneda asked why the other two housing developments on the east side of Wixom Road were included in the RUD?

    Mr. Arroyo believed it was land that the applicant had under their control and wanted to include.

    Member Mutch respectfully requested that the motion include something along the lines that pedestrian paths be required along the Phase I section of the City parks school site. He thought it should be sent to City Council for further discussion. He thought it would be remiss to leave it out at this point.

    Member Csordas agreed with Member Mutch, however he was not sure that the Commission could hold the applicant responsible. He asked Member Mutch if he was recommending that the school board do something about the sidewalks?

    Member Mutch commented that the RUD covers the entire property including the school and City park site.

    Paul Weisberger, Assistant City Attorney thought it could be included in the motion and from a legal standpoint it could be investigated.

    Member Mutch thought at the very least the City property should include the sidewalks.

    Member Csordas asked if it needed to be included in the motion?

    Mr. Weisberger stated the Commission could include that it would be investigated and it could be addressed at City Council.

    As the maker of the motion, Member Csordas accepted the amendment.

    As the seconder of the motion, Member Churella accepted the amendment.


    Moved by Csordas, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To amend the motion to send a positive recommendation to City Council for Revised Residential Unit Development Option application for Harvest Lake of Novi SP97-06C and also to request investigation of pedestrian paths along Phase I City Park site and school areas.


    Yes: Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Weddington

    No: None

  4. Project located in Section 2, located north of 13 Mile Road and east of East Lake Drive. The 9.72 acre site is zoned R-4. Applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan and woodlands Permit approvals.

    Leo Soave, owner of the property requested a 12 home condo site. He stated the homes would be three and four bedroom homes with full basements. They will be constructed of brick and will be marketed at about $325,000 to $350,000. He stated there have been concerns from neighbors regarding the approach to the subdivision. He stated the approach would be screened to avoid the headlights of cars going in and out.

    Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant stated the total site is approximately 9.7 acres. They propose 12 units. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan subject to the items in his letter. He stated the lot dimensions are in conformance with the R-4 District requirements. He indicated that the density for the project has a maximum cap of 3.3. Access to the project will be off of East Lake Drive. There is approximately an 80’ wide area where a private road will be constructed and terminate in a cul-de-sac. The private road is required to be built to City standards which will include 28’ back to back. The Final Site Plan will need to show some additional information. There are two existing homes, one to the south and one to the north. There is a 10’ wide landscaped area before the required sidewalk and there is also an additional landscaped area before the road cross section. It was his recommendation that the landscaped area between the sidewalk and the edge of the property be heavily landscaped to minimize the impact. There are some non-conforming situations with some of the existing homes that front East Lake Drive.

    In regard to traffic, the project is forecast to generate approximately 120 trips during an average weekday. Morning peak hour trips equal approximately 18 and the afternoon peak hour trips equal approximately 16. There is one access point that will be constructed to public road standards. The cul-de-sac length is under the 800’ maximum, therefore, only one point of access is required. All other required information has been provided. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan subject to the conditions in his letter.

    David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated the applicant will provide public utilities to service the site. Water will be extended in from the northeast, looped through the site and extended to East Lake Drive. Sanitary sewer will be brought in from East Lake Drive as well. There will be a roadway brought in which is intended to be a private roadway, however, it will be designed and required to be constructed to public standards. In regard to topography, the development portion of the site sits about 15’ to 18’ above the large wetland complex which exists east of the site. The applicant proposes storm sewers to pick up drainage. They will provide sedimentation at the southern part of the site adjacent to Lots 11 and 12. They are not proposing stormwater detention on the site as Walled Lake serves as a regional basin. The sedimentation will be required to have permanent water quality controls and will be in place on a permanent basis. The applicant is required to provide an easement off site along the north and east part of the development for water main construction. Oil and gas separators are required. The drainage easement over Morgan Creek was not clear and would have to be shown in more detail at the time of Final. He indicated that the flood plane of Walled Lake extends into the Morgan Creek area, Mr. Bluhm did not feel that there would be a conflict with the elevated lots proposed. He stated he would like the applicant to identify the flood plane easement properly over the park areas. Mr. Bluhm felt the plan demonstrated engineering feasibility and recommended approval.

    Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated the woodlands on the site are classified as average. Ms. Lemke did not recommend approval of the Woodlands Permit because of missing information on the plan and because potential for alternative design plans have not been addressed at this point. She stated there were a number of items that could be addressed at the time of Final. She was looking for alternatives for R-4 which would be subdivision open space plans, one family clustering option. Also the location of the detention basin, the review of the elevations of the road to minimize tree and woodland removal, the relocation of outlet for storms between Lots 11 and 12, and the reduction of lots abutting Morgan Creek, such as Lots 8 and 9 are also options that could be looked at. She stated there were a number of items that are missing and can be provided at the time of Final. The replacement trees need to be indicated on the Landscape Plan. She was also looking for a Preservation Easement for the remainder of the woodlands on site. If there is a positive recommendation for a Woodlands Permit, she had a number of standard conditions.

    In regard to the Landscape Plan, Ms. Lemke recommended approval at this stage as it appears to be feasible with a number of comments. The islands are not to have plant material on them which obstructs vision across the island, therefore, evergreen trees and shrubs need to be removed and substituted with canopy and sub-canopy trees. The R.O.W. easement plant detail needs to show the proposed sidewalks and R.O.W. lines for East Lake Drive and Maria Court. There is a conflict between the Woodlands Preservation and the Landscape Plan as some trees are shown to be saved, however, they interfere with the sidewalk and the plantings. Additional screening is needed on both sides of Maria Court with heavy evergreen trees and shrubs adjacent to the homes on the north and south sides. Location of the entry sign needs to be clarified. All canopy, evergreen and deciduous trees need to be 20’ from overhead utilities. The location of transformers and screening also need to be indicated throughout the subdivision. There is a requirement along East Lake Drive for a 30" high berm with a 3 to 1 slope and a clustering of shrubs and canopy trees. Due to the limited area at the entrance, a berm is not possible and a variance from the ZBA is necessary.

    Aimee Kay, Senior Environmental Specialist stated the Wetland Permit is an Administrative Permit, therefore, she did not have any comments. She stated Ms. Thor recommended approval because the actual impact is only one single storm water outfall to the creek. There is no impact to the wetland.

    Chairperson Weddington announced she has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department which states that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended with the following items being corrected on the next plan submittal; 1) all roads are to be paved prior to construction above the foundation; 2) all watermains and fire hydrants are to be installed and in service prior to construction above the foundation; 3) the building address is to be posted facing the street throughout construction. The address is to be at least 3" high on a contrasting background; 4) street names on suitable poles shall be established and installed prior to construction above the foundation.

    Chairperson Weddington announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public.

    Sarah Gray, 133 Maudlin, Vice President of the Lakes Area Homeowners Association who did not have a formal opinion. She stated the comments made by the residents tonight are not in the direction of the Homeowners Association, they are individual private residences. She stated the Stormwater Holding Facilities Ordinance states that all new developments shall provide an on-site storm water holding facility in accordance with the Master Plan. She was fully aware that the lake was used as a regional detention basin. She stated Morgan Creek was running "chocolate" into the lake and she did not think it was appropriate for the lake which they are paying top tax dollars for. She felt the City needed to stop using Walled Lake as a regional detention basin. She expressed concern with the discharge of storm sewers going directly into Morgan Creek. Ms. Gray felt this needed to be addressed to see if the drainage could be forced to run into the wetland. There were many other matters that needed to be addressed. She asked why access could not be forced from Decker Road?

    Joe DeBrincat, 1339 East Lake Drive, lives directly south and adjacent to the new road. He expressed concern with traffic turning onto the new road and their headlights shining into his house. He supported a landscaped berm to eliminate this disturbance. He asked that any site plan approval be contingent upon the residents not having the use of the lake property. In regard to the private road, he asked who will maintain it as far as snow and ice removal? He asked if he would be responsible for cleaning the sidewalk along the road if it is to be constructed? He objected to it if he would be held responsible for cleaning the sidewalk.

    Asa Smith, 1294 East Lake Drive spoke in regard to the legality of the roadway through the plotted existing subdivision. In regard to the division of the corner lots, he stated the neighbors may be concerned about visibility, landscaping and fencing. He asked how much grading would be required to obtain the elevations necessary to construct the buildings. He stated building sites 7 through 10 seem to have unstable soil. In regard to basements on some of the elevations, he asked if the footings could be built on the lower elevations or would they have to be put on pilings driven into the ground to support their weight. He stated building sites 7 through 12 all seem to have elevations that are pretty close to the flood plane conditions. He stated that property is known to generally be under water and he thought it should be looked into. He asked who owns and has the responsibility of maintaining Morgan Creek, the creek has been known to be the main waterway to Walled Lake to the wetlands for the northern Pike spawning. Today it is in sad condition. He asked the Commission to make sure that storm water run off is handled properly. He asked that adequate fire protection is made available to the new buildings and that fire hydrants are added to the end of Maria Court at East Lake Drive. Mr. Smith was neither for or against the project. He believed it would bring building modernization to the northern end and help make north Novi a better place to live. He was hopeful that the Planning Commission would take a long hard look at the proposed development and would make the right decisions for the betterment of the Community.

    John Bolton, 1197 East Lake Drive expressed mixed emotions about the project. He felt Walled Lake was a showcase but there were things that could be done long term to promote and foster the growth. He thought if keyholing developments were continued to be allowed, it would stifle everything. Mr. Bolton questioned if 12 homes could be put on the site due to the water table. He believed the developer had every right to use his lakefront as he chooses as long as it coincides with the Keyholing Ordinance. He did not think the project fit with the long term goals.

    Jim Korte, stated the intrusion of the road into East Lake Drive was totally unacceptable. He stated the parcel is not landlocked, therefore, they have to use Decker Road. He thought it was a proven fact that the City could not keep the dirt and sedimentation out of what is going on during construction periods. He stated the potential for severe problems presents itself again and it is unacceptable.

    Mark Adams, 1737 East Lake Drive thought the applicant had every right to develop his property, however, he had a number of concerns. He questioned whether the development should discharge directly into the Creek which would discharge directly into the lake. He questioned whether the developer needed to clear cut the entire development to put in homes, he thought some trees could be saved. He expressed concern with the future of the lake frontage. He thought the issue of the lake frontage should be dealt with at the site plan approval level so that it is in conformance with the Keyholing Ordinance as well as other Ordinances. He recommended that the Planning Commission turn down the applicant on the Woodlands Permit and Site Plan.

    Chuck Caldwell, 180 New Court expressed concern with grading and flooding of his backyard. He questioned if the area was the best for the plan, at this point, he did not think so.

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


    Member Mutch questioned whether utilizing existing lots within a platted subdivision would be permitted by law to be included within the new development without going through the process of vacating the lots from the existing plat. He also asked whether there were existing deed restrictions or covenants covering the use of the lots for anything other than a residential purpose. He asked who owns the property? If the applicant owns the property, he asked if it grants some legal access to the lake? How would the rights be carried over to the condominium development?

    Mr. Soave answered, yes, he owns about 40’ of lakefront property and it is not part of the project.

    Paul Weisberger, Assistant City Attorney stated although it is not part of the property, there is a lakefront protection Ordinance. One is empowered to grant license or access to a lakeside lot even though it may not be part of the subdivision or site plan.

    Member Mutch expressed confusion with the site condominium and the rights being split up amongst multiple property owners but still a single common ownership. He asked how it is apportioned?

    Mr. Weisberger answered it is apportioned by lineal feet which is 25’ for each lot with a minimum of 200 lineal feet. Because the applicant does not have 200’, he cannot give any access. He stated it appeared from the 1998 case, that it would not be lawful if the site plan were to be considered including the road section. It would constitute a change of boundaries which, under the State Act, would require either consent of all of the owners of the subdivision or an action in circuit court vacating or re-platting that area.

    Member Mutch asked if that is the legal standard, that wouldn’t the Commission have to reject it?

    Mr. Weisberger prefaced his opinion that he was given the information right before the meeting.

    Member Mutch stated if this were the case, then the action of the Commission would be to reject it until such actions take place to either vacate the plat or get the permission.

    Mr. Weisberger was hesitant to have the Commission approve a plan where there is illegal access.


    Moved by Mutch, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone Morgan Creek Estates Site Condominium SP98-27A to a future date to give time for the City Attorney to investigate the legality of the proposed roadway access to East Lake Drive and also to give the applicant time to investigate design alternatives specifically for the Woodlands and storm water management issues raised.


    Yes: Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Weddington, Churella

    No: None

  6. Proposed rezoning of 24.9 acre property located in Section 9, east of Beck Road and south of West Road and west of the CSX Railroad. The Applicant is requesting rezoning from General Industrial District (I-2) to Light Industrial District (I-1), or any other appropriate zoning district.

    Clif Seiber of Seiber Keast & Associates represented the Northern Equities Group. He proposed to rezone a 25 acre portion of a 70 acre parcel from I-2 to I-1. He stated the property is bounded to the north by West Road, the CSX Railroad and the Taft Road extension borders the westerly portion of the site. To the west of the project is an existing Industrial Park zoned Light Industrial. He felt to downzone from Heavy Industrial (I-2) to Light Industrial (I-1) would make for a better neighbor adjacent to the existing Industrial Park. He felt the elimination of the potential for outside storage would also make for a better neighbor.

    Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant stated the proposal is not consistent with the current Master Plan for Land Use in that the current Master Plan calls for Heavy Industrial for the property. However, the Master Plan is currently in the process of being updated and the Master Plan and Zoning Committee has evaluated the area.

    In regard to the traffic impact, Mr. Arroyo did not see much of a difference between the I-2 and I-1 Districts. Potentially the same uses could be permitted and the traffic impacts would probably effectively be the same depending on the uses that are put on the property. Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the rezoning request.

    Chairperson Weddington announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public.

    Seeing no one she closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.


    Member Koneda asked if the only reason for the rezoning request was because of the setback requirements?

    Mr. Arroyo stated if the parcel is rezoned to I-1, potentially there could be lesser setbacks. Whether or not it results in more development depends upon what happens. He stated the applicant indicated two reasons for the rezoning; 1) the location of the road makes it difficult to meet the setbacks for I-2 and; 2) the desire to have the uses more consistent with the lighter industry in the adjacent City of Wixom which is served by the same road.


    Moved by Koneda, seconded by Csordas, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Zoning Map Amendment 18.583 to rezone the property from I-2 to I-1.


    Member Mutch asked if the lots are proposed or existing?

    Mr. Seiber answered, they were proposed lots. He stated no splits have taken place yet.

    In regard to the I-1 lots, Member Mutch asked how wide the proposed were?

    Mr. Seiber believed them to be approximately 150’.

    Member Mutch asked if the intent of the lots was to have combined development on combined lots?

    Mr. Seiber answered, yes. He believed that most of them would be combined, then split and they would be much larger lots that 150’.

    In terms of the build out of the properties, Member Mutch asked if there would be a potential need for improvements along Taft Road?

    Mr. Arroyo answered, he did not believe so. It was his understanding that when the City designed the roadway, they anticipated that the connection would come into place.

    Mr. Seiber added that the road improvements for the approach to the connection to Taft Road was designed by the City’s Engineers. It was all anticipated in the original design for Taft Road.

    Member Mutch asked about Beck Road in Wixom. He asked if there was any coordination to ensure that traffic was not being dumped into Wixom without any improvements taking place.

    Mr. Arroyo stated Beck Road was likely to be improved over the next few years as part of the Beck Road Interchange improvement. He thought the City of Wixom was intending that it be constructed as a 5 lane roadway. He did not know the current status of the construction.


    Yes: Koneda, Mutch, Weddington, Churella, Csordas

    No: None



An Ordinance to amend subsection 1301 and to add subpart 1302.3 to Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, to include as a principal use permitted instructional centers and to include as a principal use permitted subject to special conditions sit-down with a maximum seating capacity of 50 persons and carry out restaurants.


Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant stated this is a recommendation of the Implementation Committee to make two (2) changes. Under Principal Permitted Uses Allowed within a Local Business B-1 District, there is the addition of instructional centers for music, art, dance, crafts, martial arts, exam preparation and similar instruction. The second part is to add a use as a special land use, a sit-down restaurant or carry-out restaurant but excluding a drive thru facility with a maximum seating capacity of 50 persons. Mr. Arroyo reported that the Implementation Committee recommended that there be a limited application of sit-down restaurants. Conditions included are: 1) Dumpsters shall be located as far as practical from adjacent residential uses and districts; 2) Service and loading doors that face residential uses and districts shall remain closed at all times except during active loading and unloading and service activities; 3) All restaurants shall be located within a planned commercial center and the gross floor area for all restaurants shall not exceed 50% of the gross floor area for the commercial planned center; 4) Food preparation and sales shall be limited to the assembly of pre-cooked or pre-packaged items, accessory baked goods cooked on-site in a convection oven, microwave oven or similar process that does not require venting to the outside, and similar functions. There shall be no deep fryers, greasers, grills or similar cooking devices within the restaurant.


Chairperson Weddington announced it was a Public Hearing and opened the Matter to the Public.


Jonathan Brateman, 42705 Grand River appreciated all of the effort that the staff and Planning Commission have taken to address the issue. He stated he looks for the staff and Planning Commission to give the tools to attract good uses to the City and he felt this would help in that regard. He thanked the Commission for their efforts.


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








Moved by Mutch, seconded by Csordas, CARRIED (4-1): To send a positive recommendation to City Council to adopt Zoning Text Amendment 18.148 as proposed.







Chairperson Weddington stated she would not be in support of the motion. She was very torn by the proposal. She stated in the research of looking at other City’s, only about one half of them had these types of restaurant uses in B-1. The conditions that have been added are good improvements, however, she was still hesitant to support the motion. She stated she did not want to get into the habit of creating any more designer Ordinances targeted for one particular use. She thought there were other uses that were appropriate.





Yes: Mutch, Churella, Csordas, Koneda

No: Weddington







Project located in Section 23, north of Grand River Avenue and west of Meadowbrook Road. The 1.39 acre site property is zoned Light Industrial (I-1). Applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval.


Lee Mamola outlined the nature of the project. He stated the buildings represent a three phase project that was initially proposed and approved about 10 years ago. Mr. Mamola stated he was not able to meet all of today’s standards as the Ordinance standards have changed within the past 10 years. There is a wetland issue involved with Bishop Creek, near the property line at Meadowbrook Road. It has been flagged and he is awaiting approval by JCK. He did not believe there was any intent to impact the wetlands. In regard to the landscape review, a 10’ greenbelt must be provided and this will be taken to the ZBA. There is also a question regarding the 4’ strip of parking paved area immediately to the south which is part of a previously approved site plan. Another concern is the lack of la 4’ landscaping strip along the westerly edge of the building. He believed that it should be allowed not to be landscaped as it allows for a wider aisle for truck traffic. There were a number of other issues indicated in the landscape plan, he believed they could be accommodated for on a revised plan for Final. Mr. Mamola stated he intended to seek a variance for the paving areas on the north and south property lines. In regard to the traffic on the site, due to the cross access easements, it is planned that the dumpster truck would enter from the Ray Electric portion of the property to the south, travel behind the buildings to the dumpster and exit along the drive to the north. Deliveries to the project would enter from the drive, travel behind the building and back into the rear loading areas and exit via Ray Electric’s drive. Mr. Mamola formerly requested a façade waiver.


Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant stated there is an existing drive on the north side of the property therefore, the setback requirements cannot be met for that drive. He did not recommend approval because of it, however, it appeared that they could appear before the ZBA and receive a variance due to the fact that it is a pre-existing condition. There were other items that needed to be addressed on the Final Site Plan as indicated in his letter.


In regard to traffic, the project is a fairly low traffic generator, anticipated at approximately 16 trips during the morning peak hour and 17 during the afternoon peak hour. The applicant needs to provide all appropriate easements. There were some other minor comments regarding driveway and internal radii and end islands that can be addressed at the time of Final. From a traffic perspective, Mr. Arroyo recommended approval of the Preliminary Site Plan.


David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated public utilities fully service the site. The applicant is proposing some enhancement to the existing storm sewer that covers part of the existing parking. There is an existing regional basin that is on the east side of Meadowbrook Road which will detain storm water for the site. There will be deep sumps and catch basins to trap sediment for water quality control. The applicant will provide either existing ingress/egress easements or additional easements where necessary to allow the proper access to the site. Mr. Bluhm noted, due to Bishop Creek, it will be difficult to put the required 8’ pathway along the frontage. The applicant would therefore need to request a waiver to the City Council. Mr. Bluhm stated he would support the waiver due to the severe topography in that area and the potential for wetlands in the ditch area. Mr. Bluhm felt the plan demonstrated engineering feasibility.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect did not recommend approval of the landscape plan primarily because of the variances and because of the minimal amount of landscaping on the plan. She stated the applicant is required to have either a combination of a 36" berm where there are parking areas and a 30" berm where there are no parking areas along Meadowbrook Road, planted with trees and shrubs. Five trees are required and only one tree has been provided. She questioned whether or not the berm could be put in due to the location of Bishop Creek. If the berm could not be constructed, the applicant could look at a wall with a waiver from the Planning Commission or they could look at a waiver going to the ZBA. In regard to the 4’ greenspace, it could be provided on the west side of the property, however, the applicant has indicated that they would rather have a wider aisle for turning radius. Ms. Lemke did not support it because of the lack of plant material proposed on the site.


Chris Fox of JCK stated due to the way the building is situated and the high bay area, the EIFS percentage on the front of the building is fairly high. However, considering it is setback from the front, there will be limited visibility from the street. He stated there was a considerable amount of split faced block on the south side of the building, however, this is the side that has an existing structure next door and there will also be limited visibility of that side. There is a fairly low percentage of split faced block on the north façade which is not considered to be too much of a problem. Mr. Fox stated at this time there was no problem with giving a recommendation for a Section 4 Waiver.


Chairperson Weddington announced she has received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department which states that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended.


Chairperson Weddington turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.





Member Csordas asked to hear the petitioner’s answer to Ms. Lemke’s question.


In regard to the north parking area about 20’ deep, perpendicular to Meadowbrook Road, Mr. Mamola stated the problem with putting something there for screening is with an existing hydrant in the island. As a solution, he proposed to extend a series of dense evergreen shrubs along the front wall of the building toward the driveway.


Ms. Lemke stated there was also a requirement for a 30" berm along the frontage with shrubs and trees.


Mr. Mamola stated that was virtually impossible without adding structures. He preferred to soften the hardness of the front façade of the building with some low plant materials and additional trees. He thought the impact would be better served than other standard industrial sites.


Ms. Lemke stated she would not have a problem with that, however, it would need to go to the ZBA.


Member Csordas asked if there were berms in front of the two properties to the south?


Mr. Mamola answered, no. He stated many of the requirements did not exist 10 years ago.


Ms. Lemke added that it was not in effect when those plans came through.


In regard to the deficient 4’ greenspace along the south side of the building, Member Mutch asked if grass was to be put into the non-paved area?


Mr. Mamola answered, the landscape plan reflected a rock area along the south of the building. He stated when the site plan comes for Final, the rock will not be shown, it will be grass.


Member Mutch asked if it brought the applicant into compliance?


Ms. Lemke answered there was still a deficiency on the western side of the building.


In regard to the 4’ greenspace along the western side, Member Mutch thought there was no practical reason why it could not be met. In regard to the parking spaces along the access drive, he asked if there would be a problem with people using the access drive for access?


Mr. Arroyo did not think it would be a problem. He thought it was intended to function as a multiple industrial site, he did not think it would be a real issue as it is a fairly low traffic generator.


Member Mutch stated clarification needed to be made regarding whether the driveway and parking spaces meet the 43’.


Mr. Arroyo believed it was scaled, however, he would confirm this as part of the Final.


Member Churella asked about the size of the shrubs that the applicant proposed to plant in the front of the building?


Mr. Mamola thought the minimum shrub size was 24" to 30".


Ms. Lemke stated the minimum standard was 24".


Member Churellla asked if the applicant would be willing to go more than the minimum?


Mr. Mamola answered he would provide as large of shrubs as he could practically find.


Member Churella asked if the applicant would provide 36" shrubs?


Mr. Mamola agreed as long as they were available.




Moved by Churella, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED (4-1): To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval and Façade Waiver subject to all of the Consultants conditions and ZBA variances to DIBO Building SP98-63 including additional landscaping in lieu of the berm.





Member Mutch asked Ms. Lemke to address whether her comments had been properly addressed during the discussion?


Ms. Lemke stated they have been addressed, however, she would like to see more plant material on the site. She was hopeful to see quite a bit more plant material provided along Meadowbrook Road to make up for the fact that there is not much throughout the site.


Member Churella stated he included within his motion that the applicant needed approval from Ms. Lemke on the Final Site Plan.


Member Koneda asked if the ZBA had to grant a variance for the berming on Meadowbrook Road?


Ms. Lemke answered, yes.


Member Koneda stated he would like to see more planting materials in lieu of the berming.





Yes: Weddington, Churella, Csordas, Koneda

No: Mutch







Project requesting a one (1) year extension. The Applicant is seeking a positive recommendation to City Council for PD-1 Option and Preliminary Site Plan extension.


Member Csordas stated the Preliminary Site Plan extension was not a problem. He asked if the PD-1 Option was already approved?


Joseph Galvin stated the entire package was approved. He clarified that the Preliminary approval of the Site Plan, Phasing Plan, Wetlands and Woodlands Permit were all at request for a one year extension and all accompanied the PD-1 Option. The PD-1 Option was limited to the approved plan so it is part of the package.





Moved by Csordas, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To send a positive recommendation to City Council to extend Society Hill SP95-44 including all of its permits for one year.





Yes: Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Weddington

No: None












Chairperson Weddington requested a copy of the written opinion on the recent Sandstone decision from Mr. Weisberger.


Member Koneda asked about the status of the Wetlands Ordinance?


Mr. Weisberger stated if there are no significant changes, it would be sent on to Council








Moved by , seconded by , CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 10:20 p.m.





Yes: Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Weddington

No: None



Kelly Schuler - Planning Assistant


Transcribed by: Diane H. Vimr

March 01, 1999


Date Approved: March 17, 1999