View Agenda for this meeting



WEDNESDAY, JULY 07, 1999 AT 7:30 P.M.




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


PRESENT: Members Canup, Capello, Churella, Chairperson Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, and Piccinini




ALSO PRESENT: Planning/Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Engineering Consultant David Bluhm, Assistant City Attorney Paul Weisberger, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, Senior Environmental Specialist Ben Farnham and Debbie Thor, Façade Architect Specialist Doug Necci, Director of Planning & Community Development Jim Wahl, and Planning Assistant Kelly Schuler






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


Member Capello stated that under Matters for Discussion he would like to include discussion of

Meadowbrook Road and its designation.




Moved by Capello, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To approve the Agenda as amended.




Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, and Piccinini

No: None












Chairperson Csordas announced there were items on the Consent Agenda.


Approval of the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of June 02, 1999 and June 16, 1999. He asked if there were any corrections to the minutes.


Seeing none he entertained a motion to approve the minutes.




Moved by Capello, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To approve the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of June 02, 1999 and June 16, 1999 as presented.




Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini

No: None



Paul Weisberger, Assistant City Attorney stated that the by-laws indicate during the first July meeting of the Planning Commission, the Chairperson, Vice Chair, and Secretary should be nominated and appointed.


Moved by Canup, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To elect Kim Capello as Vice Chair of the Planning Commission.


Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini

No: None


Moved by Capello, seconded by Piccinini, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (6-1): To elect Robert Churella as Secretary of the Planning Commission.


Yes: Canup, Capello, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini

No: Churella


Moved by Capello, seconded by Piccinini, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To elect Lou Csordas as Chairperson of the Planning Commission.


Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini

No: None







    Zoning text amendment 18.152: An Ordinance to add Section 403 to Ordinance 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, to require developments in the R-1 through R-4 zoning districts to meet certain conditions such as, the submittal of site plans, similar / dissimilar standards, façade regulations, off-street parking and screening regulations and Section 2400, schedule of regulations.


    Weisberger stated that when the zoning rewrite was done in 1997, this was a section that was inadvertently omitted. It should be there, it is a housekeeping ordinance. They have re-inserted the language that was supposed to be there.


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


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






    Moved by Churella, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Zoning Text Amendment 18.152.




    Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini

    No: None




This project is located in Section 17 at the northwest corner of Beck Road and Grand River Avenue. The 306,991 sq. ft. commercial center and 3.055 sq. ft. gas station/convenience store with auto car wash is zoned Community Business District (B-2). The planned commercial center is located on 51.53 acres. Applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval, Special Land Use Permit approval, and Woodlands and Wetlands Permit approvals.


Gary Jonna presented himself as the development partner for the Providence Park Place. First, is the project consistent with the long range Master Land Use Plan for the City of Novi? He added that with the recent update, it has been recommended to the future Land Use Plan for the City of Novi that targets the Grand River Corridor on this area for commercial development to accommodate the commercial and shopping needs of the west Novi area. The project is certainly consistent with the Master Land Use for the city. The long-term transportation plan for the subject area has four major elements. First, there has been fifteen (15) acres set aside in the upper corner of the development that will accommodate the reconfigured Beck road interchange located at the southeast portion of the project. In addition, Providence in their association with Michin roads was a vital catalyst for the commitments that were secured from both the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration for the improved interchanges at both Beck and Wixom roads. There is also planned a seven lane widening for Beck Road that will go north of Grand River to Twelve Mile. Also, proposed by the county is a five-lane cross section of Grand River Avenue. In terms of other developments and traffic improvements that will be needed have been set forth in the traffic study and will accommodate the traffic, generation associated with phase one (1) of the project. They can speak to the high quality natural land features that are located on the project. The most notable is located in the northwest portion where the line share of the regulated woodlands and wetlands and high caliber natural features are consolidated. They will be expanded and enhanced long term. The next question would be what is the relationship of the project to the surrounding development? He believed that everyone knows that Providence Hospital has been a major community partner in the City of Novi. The hospital has a 300,000 sq. ft. ambulatory center and some eighty (80) million dollars of investment. This represents another forward step in their expansion and partnership with the community. This land was acquired so that Providence Hospital could ensure that this land, certainly a gateway to the community, which has tremendous visibility along I-696 would be developed in a way that is consistent architecturally. Also, from a quality standpoint, the ambulatory center has continued to expand and most recently with the cutting edge cancer treatment center in the Midwest. The next question is what does every project need in terms of national retailers for long-term success? He is very proud to announce that the Kroger Company will be locating a modern 54,000-sq. ft. full-service supermarket as one of the anchors. Secondly, Home Depot USA which has $32 billion in sales and the major retailer in their category. An essential element is to have powerful national retailers that can have tremendous draw from the subject area and can also serve to attract ancillary retailers and will sustain the long term viability of the project. Does the project represent high quality architectural design? They have tried to transplant some of the architectural features, materials and forms, and evoke some of those forms into the retail development. Again, some of the masonry and stone are compatible with the medical center. It gives a thread of commonality to the Grand River Corridor along the Providence Park frontage. What will ensure the long-term maintenance and care? It will be arranged as a site condominium, there will be a board of directors, and a management agent. Everyone will have enforcement rights to make sure that the buildings are cared for, lawn maintenance and paving, so that this project will be attractive and there will be a form of governership well into the future that is enforceable. This project represents the convenience shopping that is needed.


Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant reviewed the planning review of June 23 first. Regarding the Preliminary Site Plan he is not recommending approval due to one particular outstanding item on the plan which is the proposal for outdoor storage of merchandise associated with the Home Depot facility. Outdoor storage and display of merchandise is not permitted in the B-1 district. The applicant has indicated that he will be going before the Zoning Board of Appeals to address this issue. As proposed, however, it does not meet the current ordinance recommendations. Regarding the Special Land Use, this applicant includes a gas station at the corner of Beck and Grand River, northwest corner. A gas station is a special approval use, in addition there are specific standards related to a gas station facility that are contained within the ordinance. He has reviewed the project against these standards and find that it does meet the standards for Special Land Use approval. The only exception to this being a minor modification of the accessory car wash facility that will have to be moved slightly to meet the stacking standards for a dry-off area outside of the exit from the car wash. Other comments are there are a number of natural features that will be impacted by this proposed development including rather extensive changes to flood plains and drainage and JCK will be reviewing these. There has been a lot of focus on consistency with the Master Plan as part of the review of this plan. The applicant has been very receptive to comments from the consultant team in attempting to ensure that this development does conform with the newly adopted Master Plan. One of the things that the Master Plan talks about for this corner is de-emphasizing the big box appearance of larger units and facilities within shopping centers. This happens to be a major entry point to the city with the Beck Road interchange located to the north and this has been identified as a potential location for a City of Novi entry sign at the corner. They have included a conceptual plan to incorporate this, something that can be worked out at final, going through the sign permit process. The information right now, is deemed as phase one (1), and phase two (2) is more of a future phase. He suggested that their motion refer to the component of the development that is identified as phase one (1) in the plans for Preliminary Site Plan approval as being part of their action.


He moved on to the traffic review, which was dated June 29. He had done an extensive review of the site plan related to traffic issues. There is a lot going on in this area in terms of transportation improvements. The Beck Road interchange is coming in the next couple of years. There is also a proposed widening of Grand River Avenue between Wixom Road and Beck Road, essentially right in front of this project. A center left turn lane will then be able to serve the various driveways. However, in the event that these road improvements are delayed, it will then become the responsibility of the applicant to meet the standards. This would call for the extension of a center turn lane across the entire frontage of the property as well as provisions of deceleration lanes and deceleration tapers at the project entrances in accordance with the City’s Design and Construction Standards. The proposed access to Beck Road has now been proposed as a right-in-right-out-only which he concurs with and recommends. He feels that this is the best way to provide for safer, reasonable access to this road and not have a negative impact on the through- traffic on Beck Road. In summary, he is recommending approval of the Preliminary Site Plan from a traffic perspective based on his letter of June 29.


David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated that this site is fully serviced by public utilities, and that water is available on the site, as well as sanitary. They will be extending water loops around the buildings. There is a continued concern with pressures down in this area and the city constantly monitors the pressure situation. There is a lot of improvements that the city is trying to make in this area, trying to alleviate any pressure problems but there may be some special precautions the applicant may need to take. Sanitary is available on the site, but one of the bigger issues is the storm water situation for this site. Currently, the Shaw Creek courses through the site. The east arm exits at Grand River, about the point of their entrance and basically bisects the site. The east arm of the Shaw Creek, which flows from Grand River to the north, is actually very small in size and the tributory is mainly on the south side of Grand River. That currently courses through the middle of the site towards the loop that they are proposing for I-96. The west branch of the Shaw Creek exists farther to the west. What they are proposing to do with their flood plain evaluation is to 1) establish the flood plan elevation. In the current flood plain map, it is an undefined elevation. A hydraulic study was prepared to establish what the elevation is which the DEQ and JCK agreed to. 2) Fill and grade the site so they can build on it. This would require them to fill a portion of the flood plain that they have established. This requires them to provide two fairly substantial detention basins which store above and beyond what the standards require on a ten (10) year event. The reason for this is that the flow of water ultimately entering into Wixom basically is at the existing condition and does not change so that there is no flooding in an off-site situation. What they are proposing is a long, narrow detention basin on the south side of Grand River that is going to be constructed to detain to a hundred (100) year storm. This is primarily going to be there for any future developments that they plan on the south side of Grand River but it is also needed for flood control now to make sure there is no downstream flooding. The second basin, which will be utilized primarily for this development, will be provided in the vicinity of the interchange improvements. This will be the basin that will be used primarily for storage of storm water on this site. It will not be a hundred (100) year basin, they have identified it as something a little less than a hundred (100) year but still well in excess of what the city requires. It is sized to make sure that the off-site flows into Wixom do not exceed what is going into Wixom right now at a full development condition. This will have water quality treatment, sedimentation basin characteristics, and a pre-treatment fore bay. He will be asking the applicant to take special precautions in the long, narrow storage area along Grand River. He is satisfied with all of the design and construction standards. He thinks that they have done a great job addressing all of the hydraulic and flooding issues. They must get a FEMA Letter of Map Revision, which is required to make sure that the buildings are elevated properly and the flood plan is established properly. It is a two (2) step process beginning with obtaining a conditional letter before the final site plan is approved. He is also looking for a temporary sedimentation permit as well as a number of other items that are discussed in his letter. He believes that this plan demonstrates engineering feasibility and he is recommending approval.




Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated that there are about four and half (4 ½) acres of woodlands on the site and they are located in a rather isolated area. It is almost directly behind the District Court parking lot. The open area of the site was a golf course and there were a lot of planted trees. Some of them were quite large and there was a total of thirteen (13) 36" d.b.h. or greater. Most of these trees were in poor condition or would not survive construction around them. There were two (2) that she would like to see saved, tree #7522 and tree #7550. These trees are both 42" d.b.h. oaks and are located in front of retail north. In summary for woodlands, she is recommending approval with her normal four (4) conditions listed in her June 28 letter and that the design alternatives are explored to preserve the two (2) trees.


In regards to landscaping, there has been a considerable amount of landscaping provided. She is recommending approval of the landscaping with the ZBA variance being granted for the four-(4) foot building greenspace adjacent to the buildings. They are providing decorative paving and planter areas and she would support the variance with what is shown. She has looked into some of the Master Plan things and wanted to discuss them briefly. The city entryway sign has been provided with Providence Park Place on the top. The dimensions and extent of lettering will be reviewed at final through the Building Department. They have provided prototypical plans for the Grand River Corridor landscaping and they have also increased the landscaping in that area. The design and the development of the landscaping in this area are consistent with the character of the vicinity. She has asked them to add additional evergreens and they have provided them to the rear of Home Depot area and behind the retail north area. This will provide screening for the loading areas. In summary, she is recommending approval of this plan for conceptual landscaping.


Ben Farnham, Senior Environmental Specialist has reviewed the Preliminary Site Plan for the wetlands and will go over the existing conditions. Currently, there are two (2) wetlands located on the property. One is approximately five and half (5 ½) acres in size located in the northwest part of the property, which is going to be under a conservation easement and left as is. It has several habitat types - forested, open water, and emergent areas. The wetland species are high due to overall size and connection to the West Branch of the Shaw Creek, which is located just off-site of the plan. It serves as a feeding ground for several seasonal waterfowl species and other common local flora and fauna. The second wetland is a quarter (1/4) acre parcel, located about where their entrance is going to be on Grand River. It is low quality and has been subjected to many disturbances in the past but most recently the golf course. The plant species are low in diversity and he recommends that it be filled. The East Branch of the Shaw Creek bisects the property. The stream comes up and through, at one part it is an open ditch, then it is open water again, and then there is another culvert, which connects it up to the outlet at I-96 over to Wixom. There is approximately fourteen hundred (1400) linear feet of this stream that will be re-located as a mitigated wetland adjacent to the existing wetland on the property. This will be connected by a culvert, he wants to have less impact since the existing wetland is very high quality. The East Branch of the Shaw Creek along the south side of Grand River will be delineated into the detention basin / stream re-location. They have been work with MDEQ for stream depths. He is approving the filling of the quarter (1/4) acre parcel of wetland adjacent to Grand River. Currently, the storm water that discharges, there will be one into the East and one into the West Branch of the Shaw Creek, which will be treated prior to be released into the creeks. Upon review of the Preliminary Site Plan, he has a few comments and conditions. First, add the wetland plan the total lineal feet of the East Branch of the Shaw Creek and individual acreage of the wetland areas as noted. Also, add the wetland buffer to the plan. The relocation of the East Branch of the Shaw Creek, along the south side of Grand River should be designed with some environmental features. To decrease the water temperature possibly lining it with trees for cover. Also to minimize future impacts from herbicides and fertilizers, a management plan regarding these issues must be addressed. The proposed wetland mitigation offered as compensation for losses of the stream sections that bisect the property should not be directly connected to the existing wetland mitigation. They will need a MDEQ permit or letter of no jurisdiction to be obtained by the applicant and submitted to the office prior to issuance of a wetland permit from the City of Novi. A conservation easement shall be placed over the wetland mitigation and stream relocation. Lastly, the stream level and associated hydrologic inputs to the East Branch of the Shaw Creek for the off-site area northeast of the proposed site should be maintained during the time of actual construction for the development of the north side of Grand River. A plan should be submitted to his office describing the schedule of construction, method of maintaining the flow for off-site portion of the East Branch of Shaw Creek during the construction phase. In summary, he recommends approval of the wetland with the above mentioned conditions.


Doug Necci of JCK stated that his review consisted of five separate buildings and there will be six additional buildings to be submitted in the future. He would like to begin by saying that the architect, Albert Kahn Collaborative, has done an absolutely commendable job on this project. In particular, he believes that the gasoline station is going to be a truly unique, reference type building that will be pointed to in the future as a really good example of a gas station. The design is particularly strong with respect to the fact that it homes in on the scale and character of Providence Hospital. With respect to the façade chart, there are a few deviations, split face block has been used to stimulate a stone base. He is recommending a waiver for this, since the façade chart does not allow any split face block in this region. There are some other materials, E.I.F.S. on the Home Depot and metal panels on the gas station, which are just minor deviations. He is recommending waivers with respect to these as well. There is some pertinent language in the Novi 2020 Master Plan regarding "big box" architecture. He defines it as a negative term, it means a simple, repetitive solutions to a big envelope building. The inference is to avoid this, to delineate the walls, to delineate the shape of the envelope as much as possible. This is where he probably had the most back and forth with the applicant. They have added some vertical elements, some integral light fixtures into the building façade, which eliminates any of his concerns about a "big box" look.


Chairperson Csordas announced he had received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department, which stated that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended with the following items being corrected on the next plan submittal. A water flow analysis was conducted by TVA Fire & Life Safety, Inc., in April 1999, for the Home Depot store. This report indicates a fire pump will be needed for the Home Depot and recommends a twelve (12) inch water main be installed to the rear of the proposed store. Change the eight (8) inch water main at the rear of the Home Depot to a twelve (12) inch main for proper water supply to the fire pump.


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


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




Member Mutch stated that the Master Plan shows that the future traffic volumes on Grand River are going to be in the neighborhood of thirty eight thousand (38,000) vehicles per day. He asked if a five-lane cross section would be sufficient to handle this volume of traffic?


Mr. Arroyo stated that if they were talking about through volumes, it would be very difficult to achieve an acceptable level of service with a five-lane section. Additional through lanes would be needed in order to do this. In the Thoroughfare Plan basis in 1993 was the use of the traffic model and sometimes traffic models have difficulty addressing the parallel roadways. Especially when there is a Grand River that is parallel to a freeway and how much the freeway is going to take in terms of through traffic versus the parallel roadway. One of the issues that has been fairly significant with the freeway system is the fact that it is going to have to be widened in order to provide for the through capacity that it needs to serve this area. He believes that if the through traffic can be accommodated in an efficient manner by the freeway system, it can open up more of the Grand River Corridor. It will be serving the abutting uses providing for shorter trip lengths and potentially having lower volumes that might otherwise be anticipated. His expectation is that if this happens a five-lane section will work along Grand River with appropriate turn lanes widening out to a seven-lane section at the major intersections to provide for additional capacity.


Member Mutch commented that a wider cross-section, six (6) or seven (7) lanes at one hundred twenty (120) feet is not going to be sufficient space.


Mr. Arroyo commented that seven (7) lanes could be put into one hundred twenty (120) feet. The intersections may have to be widened for turn lanes, but it is feasible.


Member Mutch commented that there are five entrances into the development. He asked if this many entrances are warranted for this project since it is a unified development?


Mr. Arroyo stated that he looked at the traffic study and spent a lot of time on this issue. The key component to this entire area working in an efficient manner particularly serving the Providence Medical facility, and the proposed facility, is the eventual signalization of the third driveway. If one of the driveways were taken out there would be difficulties with internal circulation and loading more traffic on to some of the other drives. This is a very large retail development and a number of access points are needed. Otherwise, stacking is going to become a problem. He feels that the plan is well designed and that the number of driveways that are proposed are necessary serve this development.


Member Mutch stated that he is concerned that every entrance is a potential for a location where someone needs to turn and the traffic conflicts that occur at these points. He asked if there is a way to consolidate any of these access points?


Mr. Arroyo stated that he does not think so. The westerly most drive is primarily there for service as well as for a future development area, the next entry provides a logical connection in, the next one is the main entrance, east of that is a boulevard entrance that lines up with Providence across the street, and the final one is primarily an entrance to serve the gas station reasonably.


Member Mutch described the access onto Twelve Mile Road where it becomes the on-ramp to I-96. He asked if people were turning out of there onto I-96 if there was a sufficient distance for them to get up to speed and onto the freeway traffic?


Mr. Arroyo believes that it has sufficient distance and he will be exploring a little more detail on final.


Member Mutch asked how Twelve Mile will be handled once the interchange is completed?


Mr. Arroyo explained that the Twelve-Mile on-ramp would no longer be an on-ramp once the freeway interchange is constructed. It will likely be a cul-de-sac or a dead end. The access can remain to provide another way into the property, which is good, but you will no longer be able to get onto the freeway there. This is going to be a temporary improvement, which could potentially have a number of benefits particularly if the freeway interchange improvements becomes delayed.


Member Mutch asked if MDOT is okay with the storm water detention within the interchange area?


Mr. Bluhm believes that it fits with their plans for the interchange. Still the developer owns the property, so they are not on any property that MDOT has any rights to at this point. He believes it has been their intent to make it fit with the interchange and they are working with the details right now to function for their development and possibly the interchange area.


Member Mutch commented that there has been a prior development with some off-site mitigation taking place on property that the city had just acquired from MDOT. Part of the explanation for this was that they did not want the wetlands being constructed within the interchange areas because of potential wildlife conflicts. He asked if this was a standard policy or a case by case type of thing?


Mr. Bluhm agreed that they look on it by a more case by case basis. If there is a corridor or wildlife there, he is unaware and obviously that would be a concern. This case may serve as a benefit to MDOT as well as the developer. He does not see any detriments at this point to MDOT with the location.


Member Mutch asked if the overhead power lines are planning on being buried?


Mr. Bluhm stated that it is a private utility and they would decide. Typically, anything on-site would be buried off the main roads. He does not know how they intend to handle the main roads.


The developer for the project stated that right now he is doing an analysis with Detroit Edison for the logical and most efficient points of connection for the electrical transmission system. From that point, the primary ducts would be an underground system. It would be pad-mounted transformers and underground secondary lines. The site proper with dealing with an underground system unless there is some overhead necessary for extending Detroit Edison lines. From the source to serve, the property would be an underground system.


Member Mutch commented that any of the overhead utilities could be moved in line with what they are looking for in the corridor. He asked in terms of the woodlands and wetlands area is it going to stay under the ownership with the preservation easement on top of it?


Ms. Lemke stated that he was correct.


Member Mutch asked who will be in change of managing this area in terms of insuring that the area stays in the condition that it is currently in?


Ms. Lemke stated that the property owners would be.


Member Mutch asked if they have provided enough vertical treatments to break up the "big box"? Is the Home Depot broken up enough to satisfy his desires in terms of keeping the articulation and delineation that he is looking for?


Mr. Necci stated that there was a submittal and a letter written that included a sketch. The lower sketch shows some vertical elements that project up into the cast stone. The cast stone is the upper band of the Home Depot and the brick is the lower band.


Member Mutch asked about the canopy section?


Mr. Necci responded that there were two areas of concern. One was the retail strip, which was composed mainly of a horizontal stretch of the green-colored standing metal roof. They have added two vertical tower elements along with the one originally on the corner. They have projected a portion of this façade out, it appears to be about eight (8) feet so there is some delineation as well as the towers, with respect to the ins and outs in plan. The Home Depot has the upper parapet line only interrupted by the main entrance and the rest of the building is rectangular. Below this line, there is a substantial amount of delineation especially on the front façade. The brick piers are four (4) or six (6) inches in relief from the back up brick. The upper façade material is cast stone, it is a very high quality material.


Member Mutch expressed a concern about the colors being used.


Mr. Necci displayed the board with the sample materials.


Member Capello stated that he did not understand what Mr. Necci was asking to do with the north retail because it seemed that there is still the extended metal roof.


Mr. Necci stated that now that he has looked closer at it the two vertical elements do not seem to be represented on the rendering.


Member Capello stated that even if they approve something tonight they could always have it come back for final to make sure that they do what they approve. He is not sure what he is approving. He is also not sure what the gas station canopy material is, it states that it is metal. However, one of the things that have been fought about is having the typical metal canopies. Since Mr. Necci approved it there must be something there that he is not seeing. He asked if there are any material boards that he can see what the canopy is going to be made of?


Mr. Necci explained that the canopy consists of metal and brick. It had to be a minimum of thirty (30) percent brick, incorporating that thirty (30) percent brick they have added an arch feature between the pairs of pillars. He thinks it will be a very nice feature.


Member Capello asked if the faces of the canopy in the other areas are going to be flat?


Mr. Necci stated that it would be flat, metal panels of the same green color that has been used in their other project. There is a pediment detail as part of the canopy, which is reminiscent of the Home Depot entrance arch and adds a little character to it. He believes that the stone arches will be significant visually.


Member Capello asked if there are any minor details that they can add to it to make a difference to break up the canopy look?


Mr. Necci stated that he thinks that they have exceeded the amount of detail on the canopy.


Member Capello asked if the East Branch was running south to north, coming off of the current Providence property?


Mr. Farnham stated that yes, the East Branch begins at Grand River and extends straight out through the site from south to north.


Member Capello asked if it is the little creek that runs through the golf course?


Mr. Farnham explained that it runs through the old golf course, not the existing one. It originates down and extends where there is a small swale on the new golf course on the south that acts as a funneling point for the water.


Member Capello asked if there are any remaining creeks south of Grand River?


Mr. Farnham stated that he is not sure if it extends to the south from Grand River or where the turmenance of the drain itself.


Gary Trussel, Hobbel, Roth & Clark, engineer, stated that the district limits of the Shaw Creek are approximately the south limits of the construction of the Providence Hospital complex. There is approximately ninety (90) acres on the south side of Grand River that drain northerly towards Wixom.


Member Capello asked if it is through the East Branch?


Mr. Trussel stated yes, through the East Branch.



Member Capello questioned if the MDEQ has taken jurisdiction over it?


Mr. Trussel stated that he has met with the MDEQ, they have reviewed the plan, and they understand what is being done. The permit is in process for the approval and he expects it soon.


Member Capello asked if they are requiring any mitigation different than what is already required?


Mr. Trussel answered no.


Member Capello asked if they are taking jurisdiction over the small quarter acre?


Mr. Trussel stated that there are two (2) MDEQ issues. One is the wetland and the other is the floodway management. The floodway management, the area of the watershed, is less than two (2) square miles of drainage area. There is no jurisdiction on behalf of the MDEQ on the floodway management, it is a FEMA issue. On the wetland issue, yes they do have jurisdiction and yes, they are providing the mitigation at the rear of the Home Depot store.


Dave Purdy, Brooks, Williamson, & Associates stated that there is a nine-tenths (9/10) acre of wetland and / or stream associated with the East Branch. South of Grand River there is a portion of a stream and a portion of a wetland channel. North of Grand River is the East Branch, with a quarter (1/4) acre of wooded and wetland which is adjacent to the stream.


Member Capello asked if they are taking jurisdiction over it?


Mr. Purdy clarified that they are taking jurisdiction over the whole nine-tenths (9/10) acre of wetlands and stream.


Member Capello asked if there is anything that he is trying to regulate that the MDEQ has already taken jurisdiction over?


Mr. Purdy stated that there is a little, tiny wetland up in the field that the City has said that they don’t even consider it to be regulated but the MDEQ will not be notified of it.


Member Koneda stated that it has been mentioned that the ninety (90) acres to the south drains into the Shaw Creek and heads northward. Now it is planned on being retained on the south side of the road in the new constructed wetland area just south of Grand River. He asked about where it exits to?


Mr. Farnham stated that it loops around the property.


Member Koneda stated that concern was expressed about not mitigating the site and having it impact the existing wetlands. He asked if there has been any consideration to moving the mitigation off-site to another location in the city?


Mr. Farnham stated that there is plenty of room without adversely effecting the existing high quality wetlands.


Member Koneda asked that since the new detention area is going to be built on the south side is it going to have an adverse effect on future developments for the Providence site to the south?


The developer stated that the storm water management that is being provided on the south side is a two (2) phase basin. It provides for the storm water management for Providence Hospital which would have to be provided somewhere on the south side and it also allows for the elimination of the East Branch of the Shaw Creek.


Member Koneda stated that the existing roadway that enters the Providence Hospital site is the road that is on the east side of the property that is outside of the wetlands area. He asked about the future and when they decide to put in the road will they have to culvert the wetland?


The developer stated that their plans will address this during the final engineering to establish this causeway.


Member Koneda stated that the only issue that Linda had is the two trees, #7522 and #7550, which looks like they are sitting in the middle of the retail either north or in the middle of the parking lot. He asked if she thought it was feasible to save the trees?


Ms. Lemke stated that they are real close to the islands that are at the corners of the buildings, it just depends if they really check out and what the drainage is around them. She is not holding out much hope right now but she does want to look at it one more time.


Member Koneda asked if she could put it in an island, with such large trees with such massive root structures, isn’t there a real high probability that doing any development around them will kill the trees anyway?


Ms. Lemke stated this is why she wants to really look at it, she believes that she probably won’t go forward with it right now but she is still looking for a glimmer of hope.


Vern Gustafsson, Albert Kahn Collaborative stated that he has been working with Ms. Lemke on this issue and he has looked preliminary at it. There is, between existing grade and proposed grade, six (6) to eight (8) feet of additional cover going into this area. The two trees are within the former flood plain in relatively low spot on the site. To do any type of mitigation would severely impact the long-term effect of benefiting the trees.


Member Koneda asked what the solution is to the back up of cars from the car wash?


Mr. Arroyo stated that the car wash structure would have to be moved to the south enough to meet the standard. This was a condition of his recommendation.


Member Koneda asked if there were any variances?


Mr. Arroyo stated that they could always ask the ZBA for a variance on this issue but he would not recommend it to occur.


Member Koneda asked if there would be any problems with moving the car wash on-site?


Mr. Gustafsson stated that it has been looked at and will be accommodated. The structure is not permanent or fixed and can be shifted.


Member Koneda asked if the light at Beck Road would be signalized to accommodate all of the left turns that will now have to be made?


Mr. Arroyo stated that it would be necessary to accommodate the improvements. It will be necessary to make Grand River a five-lane and seven-lanes are being proposed between Grand River and the freeway.


Member Koneda asked if this does not happen before the site goes in, will there be a signalized turn lane?


Mr. Arroyo stated that it has been suggested that it be incorporated into the plans and it is in his letter as a condition.


Member Koneda stated that the outdoors-seasonal sale is a required ZBA variance. He asked how this one is different from the Home Depot on Seven-Mile and Haggerty?


Mike Klingle, Greenburg Furgh Architecture stated that he is a representative from Home Depot. He stated that this is one of the new prototypes that Home Depot has come up with. Specifically to address the concerns of the appearance of the garden center, currently, the garden center is a separate item entirely outside of the main building. With this new prototype, the main building and the garden center are one in the same. The only area that is left is a thirty five (35) foot wide by the length of the garden center down to the truck dock, which will be primarily for live plants during the course of the growing season. The other main difference is the racking is typically on the inside of the building to twenty (20) foot tall, there was racking in the garden center to twenty (20) foot tall and the materials that they were storing, not selling were stacked up on the racks. Currently, with the garden center being closed all the storage and stacking will be left to the inside of the building, totally screened from the public. Potentially, what will still happen in the garden center is a pallet of soil will be stacked on top of a pallet of soil. This will be probably be six (6) feet in height and this is why there is a six (6) foot screen wall with an additional six (6) feet of fencing above it. The fencing is to the height of twelve (12) feet and is used for the purpose of security. Basically, there is going to be plant material with some hardscape materials during the course of the selling season at which time the store managers are being told to vacate the entire area for the winter months so there will not be a year round storage.


Member Koneda asked Mr. Klingle if he thinks that the Home Depot on Seven-Mile and Haggerty looks like a "big box" store?


Mr. Klingle stated that he does not know how to answer that.


Member Koneda asked if the landscape treatment that is being provided makes up for the loss of the four (4) foot green space?


Ms. Lemke stated that she would be looking at this at final.


Member Koneda asked if this requires a ZBA variance?


Ms. Lemke stated yes.


Member Canup stated that he likes what he sees. In his opinion, there are two (2) front doors. There is one on the expressway and one on Grand River. He questions what it will look like from Grand River?


Jim Gaines, Albert Kahn Collaborative showed the different boards. On all sides of most of the buildings, they started out with a base of split-face block, go up three feet, then use a larger size brick, and then a top that is made of cast stone. In some instances, it is not seen by the public and from the front face. They will substitute an eface type system that will have the same color as the cast stone. The cast stone is a direct replication of the material used at the hospital and is a signature piece. He felt that certain materials should be used in their building that were used for the hospital.


Member Canup asked Ms. Lemke to address the height of the berm, the screening in the back of the building?


Ms. Lemke stated that they are underplaying their landscape architecture. On the site plan, they are preserving existing vegetation so there will be no berm there. They are supplementing that existing vegetation with evergreen trees and that will be a substantial amount of screening. She does not believe that the rear of the buildings will be seen.





Moved by Canup, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval, Special Land Use Permit approval, Woodlands and Wetlands Permit approval for Providence Park Place, SP 99-16B subject to the consultants recommendations and ZBA variance for outside sales at Home Depot, Section Nine waiver for the façade, and the four foot variance in Phase One.




Yes: Capello, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Canup

No: None





    This project is located in Sections 14 and 23 at the northeast corner of Novi Road and Grand River Avenue and the northwest corner of Grand River Avenue and Town Center Drive. The proposed restaurant and retail buildings are zoned Town Center District (TC) and Office Service District (OS-1). Applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval.


    Matt Quinn stated that there are older centers that have been in Novi, like the Novi Town Center. It has been in the city for over ten (10) years and his client, the applicant, now realized that he has to keep up with the new developments. The older centers have to modernize, bring in new clientele, and expand in order to survive. Mr. Quinn stated that he has already been to the Novi City Council and he had talked to them about the project because there are some economic trade-offs back and forth. In fact, he had an agreement in principal with the City Council on the development, which consists of three (3) new building pads to the Novi Town Center. In exchange for the Novi Town Center owners, being ETNA, contributing to the construction of the park in the old Amoco gas station site. The condition that the City Council gave was that the project be subject to the normal review process of the Planning Commission. The Novi Town Center is located on Grand River and Novi Road. It has been a centerpiece of the downtown area for over ten (10) years. Its landscaping has been ideal and has received awards almost year after year for the landscaping that is done. Jim Clear does an outstanding job with the flower arrangements, the shubbery, and the fountain at the Crescent Drive entrance. On the original Town Center plan, there were certain requirements that had to be maintained regarding open space and greenspace. Even with the additions of the new buildings, they are still in excess of the requirements. The requirement is a minimum of fifteen (15) percent open space and a minimum of twenty five (25) percent open space is being maintained throughout the entire Town Center planned area. Part of the method that the Town Center is going to use to spruce up the center is to spend significant amounts of money on the perimeters especially on the major four (4) entrances. All of the entranceways are going to be upgraded, as is the entire perimeter of both Novi Road and Grand River. One of the problems with the Town Center are the driveways by the Sony store and Crow Drive, they don’t jump out at you. There will be a new sign by the Sony store drive mentioning Novi Town Center, there will be pillars at the various entranceways throughout the center, bright flowers behind the Town Center sign, and a place for future proposed sculptures. Being proposed are less expensive art sculptures. At Grand River and Town Center drive, it will be upgraded so it looks nicer, will be more attractive and recognizable. By using the monuments, entranceway signs will easily identify the roads as actual entranceways into the center. There are no new curb cuts anywhere that are being proposed on Grand River or Novi Road. Some cross easements will be used between the various users as well as existing curb cuts. There are two pads being proposed, located at the corner of Novi Road and Grand River. On the Grand River side, there is a retail building of eight thousand (8,000) square feet being serviced in excess totally internally from the existing parking. On the other side of the park, is a seven thousand (7,000) square foot restaurant building. A cross easement has been worked out with the car wash so that there is one right turn access. By providing the car wash with additional space, they will be able to stack another lane of traffic of cars going into the car wash. There will be a park proposed for the pedestrians to sit down while they are waiting to eat at the restaurants. The applicant is working with the city for two (2) easements for outside seating areas that extend into the city park. A couple of variances from the ZBA will be needed for the setbacks on the two (2) buildings. One variance pertaining to each of them is the front yard variance and a ten (10) foot side yard variance which will both be needed. However, it is something that is being worked with the City Council in exchange for the use of the two (2) easement areas. He stated that a question that might be asked is why are the buildings so close to the corner? This has been driven by the concept of having the buildings look like a downtown. The final, exciting part of the entire project is the transformation of the old Amoco corner at Novi Road and Grand River. There has been an approved landscape plan for the entire park on the corner. Everything would be constructed and paid for by ETNA as part of the arrangement with the city. A very nice landscaped park area with an outdoor seating area for the two (2) buildings and a walkway coming through and around the park will be the final product. There is a big hole in the middle of the park because the fountain is going to be placed there. City Council appointed an AD-HOC committee to meet with the applicant to come up with a design for a city fountain. The last design that the AD-HOC committee agreed to will have smaller bubbles that go up six (6) feet that will be in the front of the fountain and an elevated area in back that could be used for displays. A Christmas tree could be put there in the winter or a racecar in the summer.


    Mr. Arroyo stated that he would be going over the planning letter of June 30. There are some outstanding items that will need to be addressed through waivers and variances. He is not recommending approval until these items are resolved. One, is the setback issue that is unique because of the location and the fact that the TC ordinance allows the City Council, upon recommendation from the Planning Commission, to modify a building setback requirement. If the City Council was so inclined, they could in fact modify the setback requirements without action by the Zoning Board of Appeals. If the City Council chooses not to grant the setback waivers then they could appeal to the ZBA but there is the provision and flexibility of the TC zoning district. A second issue is the design and construction standards waiver by City Council due to the five (5) foot sidewalk versus the eight (8) foot bike path that is currently specified in the city’s plan. There is an eight (8) foot bike path requirement along both sides of Grand River as well as the west side of Town Center Drive. Currently, there are five (5) footpaths in those locations based upon the recommendations and plans that were in place when the Town Center project was originally built. The applicant is proposing eight (8) foot wide path through the city park area which would be consistent with the current plan but obviously they aren’t planning on going back and replacing the five (5) foot sidewalks with eight (8) foot bike path. The final item, is the ZBA variance for parking lot screening and Ms. Lemke will be addressing that in more detail. This is another example of a consultant team that has worked well with the city consultant team trying to address a number of issues. There have been several meetings over the last few months starting when the concept was first addressed. He does support the building setback waivers in this case. He thinks that this is a location where it makes sense because of the existing development pattern in the area and he thinks it adds more interest and excitement to the development of the park property by having the buildings closer to it. In summary, he does have some outstanding items that need to be addressed but if they were resolved through appropriate waivers and variances he would recommend approval.


    From a traffic standpoint, he has also reviewed the plan and there are a number of minor items. The applicant has been very willing to work with him and make a number of modifications from some of the earlier submittals. There are no new curb cuts being added to the external road network as part of the plan. They are planning on using existing curb cuts. There are some minor changes as he has indicated in his review letter. He feels that all of these can be addressed on a final site plan so therefore he is recommending approval of the traffic review dated June 30.


    Mr. Bluhm stated that the most extensive engineering issues with this project were the relocation of a number of utilities that exist right now, sanitary sewer and water main. They will be relocating some of the hydrants that lead to the buildings and will be extended from main lines. The sanitary sewer originates in Novi Road, and they will be reconstructing this to facilitate the site. There is an existing sewer that crosses the old Amoco site and this site has been undergoing ground water remediation from its existing use as a gas station for a number of years. It has recently been given approval for contamination. They aren’t proposing any building development in this area, but the existing utilities that are there are going to be abandoned for the most part and left in place. He prefers this because he does not want them digging in this area unless it is totally necessary. The applicant will be proposing the relocation of sewer that takes the place of what was in the Amoco area. From a storm water point of view, the Grand River / Novi Road buildings and the fountain area, will be served by an existing storm sewer. It was part of the original Novi Town Center development and the storm water detention had been previously addressed. There is no need for detention on-site for these areas. The site is fairly small and does not need a specific separate basin for sedimentation water quality. It does not meet that threshold, however, oil and gas separators will need to be put in, deep sumps for sediment control for this sort of thing. He will be looking for this at the final site plan. To the eastern side, which is adjacent to Town Center drive some minor utility relocations. One specific concern he does have is that this area does not appear to be incorporated in the original storm water drainage plan for Town Center. They are proposing to outlet into a storm sewer in Grand River, which is questionable on its capacity. The engineer has provided some basic information to show that he thinks it is okay but Mr. Bluhm will be getting additional information from him at final. This is to make sure that the system does not surcharge with the additional drainage from the restaurant area. However, he expects this to be okay as well. He feels the plan demonstrates feasibility and is recommending approval.


    Ms. Lemke stated that this is a very important landscape plan because it changes what is out there considerably. It meets the requirements of the ordinance but it does change the character out there and she wants everyone to be aware of this because it is not discussed a lot. Basically, it goes from a very natural format that provides a lot of screening to a very formalized hedge treatment with brick monuments. You will be able to see into the site as opposed to not being able to see into the site. They have their pros and cons but they are very different so she wants everyone to be aware of the difference that is going to happen. She is recommending approval once a couple of ZBA variances are met. Basically, they are for the Grand River / Town Center drive area, a four (4) foot six (6) inch berm is required and they are proposing a double row of evergreen shrubs. That does provide the screening of the parking and she would recommend for the variance. The Main Landscape Plan requires a two and a half (2 ½) foot decorative wall or berm to screen the parking areas. The applicant is proposing a thirty (30) inch high wall but it does not extend far enough north along Novi Road to screen the parking and she would support the variance if they change the proposed Amelanchier to evergreen trees in that area. She is not sure of the Town Center amenities, so for final she will be looking at specific locations of existing and proposed Town Center amenities per building and building site. This would include lights, benches, trash receptacles, and the brick paving. She would like to know what is remaining and what is going to be proposed. She will be looking for continuation of and proposing of new areas for all the items on the plan as well as the select additions such as the monuments and the sculpture. With these comments, she would recommend approval and all of the other comments in her letter of June 29 that she will be looking at for final site plan approval.


    Mr. Necci stated that the three (3) buildings submitted are essentially all brick buildings and are in full compliance of the façade chart. He took exception to a footnote on the drawing which reads "Storefront, doors, and location / shape of awnings are only conceptual, will be adjusted based on final tenant interior layouts." He felt that this left a little too much to the future discretion so he asked the applicant to remove the note, which he has agreed to. The fabric awnings are an asset, feature of the building, and he asked the applicant to add "future" to these. He can eliminate them as long as he provides some alternate design that is equal in quality. Mr. Necci is looking for some tenant flexibility because he has run into this on the Main Street project. He is recommending approval.


    James Wahl, Director of Community and Development stated that the project came through a process that would be considered slightly different than he would typically be involved with in respect to site plan. The department and the administration were more directly involved from the very beginning and he considered this what he would call a Community Development project. This is the planning objectives, developmental objectives, of the city that had been longstanding that he wanted to proactively see accomplished. So when the Linder Company came in a year ago, they brought in conceptual plans primarily for the corner buildings and he started to work with them and their architects and designers. He thinks the final product contains many of the recommendations. Designs were changed substantially at the department’s request, and the final product came very close to a consensus of fifteen (15) people, working together. He thinks that it is important to add to the recommendation that the department feels that the Linder Company has done an outstanding job working through their designers to come up with this concept which really goes back to the original plan for the intersection. He believes that from his own experience and knowledge, that bigger isn’t necessarily better and that spaces that have some enclosure to them can be better people-oriented spaces. He thinks that this design presented, particularly for the corner, will facilitate and improve the public use of this. The buildings will enhance the intersection as the center of the town. He is looking forward to the Planning Commission’s positive recommendation to the City Council and he would be supporting it at City Council.


    Chairperson Csordas announced he had received a letter from Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi Fire Department, which stated that the above plan has been reviewed and approval is recommended with the following items being corrected on the next site plan submittal. One, the turning radius into the retail "C" parking lot from the driveway off of Town Center Drive shall be increased to a minimum forty five (45) foot outside radius. Two, all water mains and fire hydrants are to be installed and be in service prior to the construction above the foundation. This shall be noted on the plans. Three, the building address is to be posted facing the street throughout construction. The address is to be at least three (3) inches high on a contrasting background. This shall be noted on the plans. Four, all weather access roads capable of supporting twenty-five (25) tons are to be provided for fire apparatus prior to construction above the foundation. This shall be noted on the plans. Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal, signed this.




    Member Koneda stated that his first question concerns the building setback from the road of twenty (20) feet. He asked Mr. Arroyo if there is a potential problem when the roadway gets widened?


    Mr. Arroyo stated that he has taken this into consideration. As a matter of fact, the park plan shows a line of the future widening of both Novi Road and Grand River Avenue to include an additional lane. They are proposing to dedicate the additional right-of-way to provide for the sixty (60) foot half right-of-way, the hundred twenty (120) feet so he believes that there will be adequate right-of-way there and it will not place the buildings in jeopardy.


    Member Koneda believed that the applicant has done a very nice job of trying to improve the entranceways and he thinks that as part of that they should have been given some consideration to eliminating some of the curb cuts instead of increasing the traffic for the car wash. He is concerned about the increased traffic that it will produce, there are problems now on the weekends with people coming out of the car wash, wanting to make left turns. He asked why there wasn’t consideration given to making only the entranceway to the two (2) pads on the corners of Novi Road and Grand River? These will both end up being restaurants at some point, having the access only from the internal roadways instead of trying to do the shared easement?


    Mr. Arroyo stated that it has been a bit of a dilemma in terms of reviewing it. The applicant is desirous of having some type of more direct connection to Novi Road. They had originally proposed the curb cut just south of the car wash access point, which he indicated that he would not be able to support. Certainly this location is not an ideal location for an access point, it happens to be existing. There is a combination of things going on. There are some improvements that are going to happen because of this proposal. This is the expansion of stacking capabilities for the car wash. Right now, especially in the wintertime after a nice sunny day after a lot of snow, the car wash backs up onto Novi Road. It presents some safety considerations and turning considerations. By implementing this plan, the applicant is widening out and doubling the stacking capability of the car wash entry over what currently exists today. He believes this has the potential to provide some benefit over existing situation. It has been his recommendation and he verbally indicated to the applicant that he does not want to see the entryway enhanced, like the other entranceways are being enhanced. He wants the entryway to be played down in terms of an access point. Yes, it will be a way to get into the project as one way in only and is going to be signed and striped appropriately so that it will provide for entry only and not exit. He is struggling in one sense, he has some positive things happening and there is also additional traffic that will be added by the new connection.


    Member Koneda asked how many people are going to abide by the sign and not go out the one way entry?


    Mr. Arroyo stated that the lane immediately next to the car wash is an in bound lane only for the car wash. If a person were to try to exit, he / she would have to go against inbound car wash traffic which would be taking a chance. He does not see that many people doing it, it will be signed and if he / she would do it they would be in violation of the signage and violation of circulation of the area. This is the best that he can do to attempt to make sure it is designed as a one-way access.


    Member Koneda asked that one way traffic will go parallel to the car wash double stacking row to get to the easterly entrance driveway so will there be two (2) driveways, one immediately as you come in and one in the back?


    Mr. Arroyo stated that the one in the back would be chained. The only reason that it is being added to the plan is because the car wash has a situation right now. If you enter the car wash with a problem with your vehicle it can’t go through the car wash and you would have to back all the way out to Novi Road to exit. They want the driveway in the back only for emergencies so that a vehicle with problems could get out. The driveway will not be open to through traffic and will only be opened by the car wash operator.


    Member Koneda stated that he believes that if the developer really wanted to improve the site he should be working to reduce the number of curb cuts along Novi Road and reduce the amount of entranceways. He believes that this is a step in the wrong direction.


    Member Mutch stated that in Mr. Arroyo’s review letter, he noted on the retail "C" building he wanted a connection from the sidewalk along Town Center Drive. He asked if he is also looking for a sidewalk connection to Grand River Avenue?


    Mr. Arroyo stated that the building itself is in fairly close proximity. There could be a pedestrian connection added there. He asked Ms. Lemke if she could see a problem from a landscaping perspective?


    Ms. Lemke stated no.


    Member Mutch asked if Mr. Arroyo is recommending that the applicant keep the existing five (5) foot sidewalk?


    Mr. Arroyo stated that it is a matter of scale and what is reasonable. To him, it seems like it is probably not reasonable.


    Member Mutch asked if this would be the level of improvement that they would have to make?


    Mr. Arroyo stated that if they were going to meet the current plan, it would be either tearing it out or adding an additional three (3) feet and that would not work.


    Member Mutch asked that while looking at the improvements to Grand River the existing sidewalks are within the areas of improvement, so are these sidewalks going to have to go at some point?


    Mr. Arroyo stated that it depends on the location.


    Member Mutch has a concern that anyone can walk the sidewalk and not have any separation between the sidewalk and the roadway. He asked if there is an existing safety concern?


    Mr. Arroyo stated that it would have to be set back a minimum of five (5) feet under existing standards. The sidewalk will be shifted back in front of the City Center Plaza, back to one (1) foot inside the sixty (60) foot right-of-way.


    Member Mutch stated that he would like to have more discussion in terms of where the new development is going in to see a replacement in that area. Specifically, in front of retail "C", restaurant "A", and retail "B" because somebody will have to replace it. He stated that Mr. Quinn had mentioned the issue of a one-story building versus a multi-story building. He asked in terms of parking, could they have larger buildings there?


    Mr. Arroyo stated that there is excess parking and the applicant could probably do it. It would be a question of where the parking lot is located. The plan is treated as one (1) large shopping center from a parking standpoint and he believes that there would be enough parking in the shopping center to meet the total demand. If more space would be added, they would be over by quite a bit. They are required to have twenty six hundred and forty two (2642) spaces and they have provided twenty nine hundred and ninety two (2992). However, the question is how approximate it is to these buildings. He would have to look at a small area study to determine what is available in close proximity to the buildings to determine what impact it would have. It would also depend on what the use was.


    Mr. Wahl stated that in response to the two-story issue, about fifteen (15) people looked at the plan and thought it was a good idea. His view at the time was that it would probably be incongruous with the rest of the center. The rest of the center is one-story and it would be really out of character with the rest of the center so he was comfortable with the single-story. The parking is within a reasonably convenient arch of the two (2) buildings and if they was more square footage it would become inconvenient to use the two buildings. The square footage seems to work well with the parking that is within this area. There really was no conclusion that two (2) stories were a good approach to the corner.


    Member Mutch asked if the one-story is sufficient to capture the urban feel?


    Mr. Wahl stated that this was the question that was faced throughout the whole planning process. He does not think two-stories would make it significantly noteworthy as an intersection. He thinks that depending on how the buildings are going to end up being designed specifically with the architecture of the building and the materials. He thinks that is more important than whether it is one or two-stories.


    Member Mutch asked how the lighting in the plaza, the fountain area, is going to be lit up?


    Mr. Quinn stated that the whole Town Center area is in a special assessment district for lighting. There will be pedestrian lighting throughout the park area and continuing the lighting on the perimeter. There will be a lot of accent lighting especially at nighttime. Of course, there will be a multitude of light in the fountain and those lights could be used in the wintertime.


    Member Mutch asked if there is a reason why there are only benches on one side of the fountain?


    Mr. Quinn stated that one of the reasons is that as the vehicles are passing by, they can look at everything.


    Member Mutch asked if along the roadways, is there any screening walls between the park and the sidewalk?


    Mr. Quinn stated that there is a thirty (30) inch wall that goes in both directions.


    Member Mutch asked if the benches are skateboard proof?


    Mr. Quinn stated that they are trying to make the fountain skateboard proof.


    Member Capello stated that there are the two (2) buildings, "A" and "B", that are brought up towards the road. He asked why retail "C" has not been brought up?


    Mr. Quinn stated that it may become a bank and it would need the drive-through capacity around it for circulation. The building could not be moved to Grand River because then there would not be circulation around the building.


    Member Capello stated that he is not comfortable with the parking along Grand River.


    Mr. Quinn stated that it would be heavily screened because it is one of the major entranceways. He does not even think that anyone will notice the parking there.


    Member Capello asked if the future commercial building to the east of Sony drive is part of the site plan?


    Mr. Quinn stated no, not this time.


    Member Capello asked if there was a new curb cut off of Sony drive?


    Mr. Quinn stated that yes, it is new.


    Member Capello asked if the only change in the parking lot was the curb cut?


    Mr. Quinn stated that was right and also, there are new islands put in that are expanded.


    Member Capello stated that he agreed with Member Mutch and that he would like to see the eight (8) foot sidewalks. He asked whose responsibility it is to maintain Grand Rivers brick pavers and benches?


    Ms. Lemke stated that it is a combination. The city as well as the brick pavers maintains the lighting standards. There is some crossover with Town Center development. She stated that the Department of Public Works has done it. In the Grand River and Novi right-of-way, it has been done by the city. Within the development itself, it has been the Town Center.




    Moved by Capello, seconded by Canup, PASSES (6-1): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Novi Town Center Expansion, SP 99-18A subject to the consultant’s recommendations and City Council variance for front yard setback and side yard setback, City Council waiver for the existing five foot sidewalk, ZBA variance for parking lot screening and that the developer is required to install eight foot sidewalks along the new development.




    Chairperson Csordas stated that he does have some comments and questions on the motion. He asked Member Capello if he was recommending an eight (8) foot sidewalk because the recommendations of the consultants is that the City Council waiver for the existing five (5) foot sidewalk?


    Member Capello stated that he may have misunderstood Mr. Arroyo’s letter but he thought that Mr. Arroyo had recommended the eight (8) foot. However, if it would go down to a five (5) foot, it would require a City Council waiver. He stated that his motion would be to go with the eight (8) foot sidewalk.


    Mr. Arroyo asked if what Member Capello was asking for was an eight (8) foot sidewalk be put in front of the areas that are new and retain the five (5) foot in the areas that they are not?


    Member Capello stated along the buildings that they are developing, from the car wash to where building "B" would stop.


    Mr. Arroyo stated that he believes that they would still need a waiver for the five (5) foot sections that aren’t being replaced. The plan currently calls for it and theoretically, they would have to bring it up to current standards.


    Chairperson Csordas stated that he agrees with Member Koneda regarding when reality strikes on the entrance next to the car wash and he sees a lot of potential for problems.


    Mr. Quinn stated that he has time to give it some consideration before City Council.


    Craig Hessee, The Linder Company stated that the purpose of enhancing each one of the entryways is to disperse some of the traffic that is going into the shopping center. In addition, to ease some of the traffic load that is currently being handled primarily by Crescent Boulevard. The purpose for the curb cut is to create the ability for the nighttime customer to have easy access into the restaurant area.


    Member Koneda asked if this is an action by the Planning Commission or a recommendation to City Council?


    Mr. Weisberger explained that it is a recommendation.


    Chairperson Csordas stated that as the City Council reads the notes, they should strongly take a look at the car wash and the curb cut.


    VOTE ON PM-99-07-202 PASSES


    Yes: Churella, Csordas, Mutch, Piccinini, Canup, Capello

    No: Koneda




This project is located in Section 36 on the west side of Orchard Hill Place Drive. The project, a three-story hotel with 89 studio suites on a 3.093 acre site, is zoned Office Service Commercial (OSC). Applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan approval.


Mike Francis, employee of Extended Stay America stated that the first unit was opened in Novi in later 1996 and has been very successful. They now have eight (8) in the Detroit area and three hundred and forty-five (345) that are owned and operated nationwide. The Studio Plus hotel being proposed is a brand extension and will have a room rate of ninety (90) to hundred (100) dollars a night but it will have the same operating characteristics as the current facility on Haggerty Road.


Mr. Arroyo stated that his recommendation for planning is for approval and does meet the required setback requirements. For the traffic review, on his June 18 letter he has only one comment of significance. There is a northerly driveway shown on the site plan and he does not believe that it is necessary. One driveway currently services the Extended Stay on Haggerty and it seems to be working well. He does not see a need for a second driveway. The second driveway that the applicant has shown does not meet city standards in terms of width and location. It would be his recommendation that the driveway not be included on the final site plan. He is recommending approval from a traffic standpoint subject to the one item.


Mr. Bluhm stated water and sewer service the site. The applicant will be extending a hydrant, or two, for service for fire protection. The two (2) utilities are very straight forward. The applicant has provided Mr. Bluhm with a storm-sewer plan and a drainage plan, which he did ask them to make some changes to. A sedimentation basin will be needed for the site. There is no storm water storage detention requirement on the site, it all flows to the regional basin that is part of the city’s regional basin system along Haggerty Road. Based on the two (2) acre and greater threshold the applicants just meet it and have to provide a sedimentation basin. At the south east corner there is a fairly large green space area and have identified an outlet point to a small sedimentation water quality basin that is proposed. Based on the grades, it does not need to be quite so big and he feels it can be considerably smaller. Ms. Lemke had stated that they could still provided the vegetation and the trees that have been proposed around it. However, they would like to make the change with the plans for tonight. The storm water would be routed into the basin and then routed back out. He feels that the plan demonstrates engineering feasibility and recommends his approval with the addition of the sketch into the record.


Ms. Lemke stated that she is also recommending approval of the plan. She has fourteen (14) items that she will be looking at in final and she is adding a fifteenth (15th) based on Mr. Bluhm’s comment. One of the items that she did want to point out is the four (4) foot six (6) inch berm along the western property line that is required. The applicant has provided an eight (8) foot berm to screen the residential to the west. She is requiring that additional shrubs are put in front of the deciduous trees, the tri-color beech, and that the berm be changed to a Viburnum species. For the fifteenth (15th) item, she would like shrubs in clusters added along the top edge of the detention / sedimentation basin. She is recommending approval.


Mr. Necci stated that there had been a revision from what he had reviewed. The drawings that he reviewed were dated May 14, 1999 showed an excess amount of EIFS. Ordinance maximum is fifty (50) percent and the façade were averaging around sixty five (65) percent. The applicant stating that they had corrected it had written a letter. He has not had a chance to review these percentages, glancing at it he stated that it looked like they had achieved ordinance compliance but he would have to review it and indicate it.


Chairperson Csordas asked if he could recommend a Section Nine (9) waiver tonight?


Mr. Necci stated that they had not requested one. A revised drawing had just been submitted and he is not sure what the procedure would be. Ordinarily, he would do a measurement to be more precise because sometimes the percentages of materials can be deceiving so he would hesitate to recommend approval until he has had a chance to measure it.


Chairperson Csordas stated that he could include in the motion that the applicant does meet Mr. Necci’s recommendations and the city’s requirements.


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








Moved by Capello, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To grant Preliminary Site Plan approval to Extended Stay America Studio Plus SP 98-18B subject to the consultants recommendations and subject to the petitioner being required to meet the City of Novi façade ordinances and Mr. Necci’s requirements.




Member Mutch asked why the external and internal sidewalks could not be connected, landscaping wise?


Ms. Lemke stated that there is no reason.


Member Mutch asked if the landscaping would provide enough screening for the power line easement?


Ms. Lemke stated that there will be an eight (8) foot high berm and she is asking for additional shrubs. They are putting matured trees on the property.


Member Mutch asked if there is any existing vegetation on the property line?


Ms. Lemke stated that there is some on the Turnberry Estates side that will also help.


Member Churella asked if there has been any consideration to making the development all brick due to the residential behind the property?


(Comment unable to decipher without use of microphone)


Member Koneda asked if one of Mr. Arroyo’s conditions was to eliminate one of the driveway access points?


Mr. Arroyo stated that it is a recommendation. He does not see a reason for the access point and the standards essentially say that there is one (1) access point and another one must be proven as to why it is needed. He stated that an alternative would be that it would be an emergency access, not open to the public.


Member Capello stated that in his motion he assumed that the northerly drive was going to be taken.



Yes: Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini, Canup, Capello, Churella

No: None






Member Capello stated that he would like to make a motion to send it to Master Plan and Zoning to study Baptist Church’s request, through Mr. Quinn, to look at Meadowbrook Road and see how it fits into the Thoroughfare Plan.




Moved by Capello, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To send the petitioner, including Mr. Quinn, to the Master Plan and Zoning Committee to study of his request.




Mr. Arroyo stated that one of the reasons that it was suggested to go to Implementation was because there are two (2) ways of addressing it. He has some concerns of changing the Master Plan designation for Meadowbrook Road but he does think that there is a potential avenue to address the problem through a zoning ordinance.


Member Capello stated that he thought of Master Plan and Zoning first was because of if they were in tune with the theory of it. The Implementation could effectuate whatever was needed in the language of the ordinance.


Member Mutch asked if the Baptist Church is one of the mega-church proposals? He is having a problem with moving it forward if it sounds like a site-specific issue for a single project without any details.


Kelly Schuler, Planning Assistant stated that because they need a church in order to be located on the property, it needs to have frontage on the major Thoroughfare. She has spoken with the applicant several times and at this rate, the church seats about two hundred fifty (250) and is not a mega-church. She does not have a site plan to show but it is basically that in order to locate at the property they need for it not to be a scenic road, it needs a major Thoroughfare designation.


Mr. Arroyo stated that the Implementation Committee should determine whether or not it is appropriate for the Special Land Uses to possibly be able to access a scenic drive as part of meeting the requirements of twenty five eighteen (2518). He feels comfortable with the Master Plan Thoroughfare Plan designation. He is willing to study the concept of amending the Zoning Ordinance language to state that there could be a potential Special Land Use and have access to a scenic drive. He is not necessarily supporting it but he is willing to look at it with a committee.




Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini

No: None






Member Capello stated that he believes there is enough support to send it on to a committee to study and get a report.


Mr. Wahl stated that he is interested in explaining it so when it comes forward in the future everyone will be well briefed as to where the whole concept came from.


Member Capello suggested sending it to Implementation and then a more complete report later.


Mr. Wahl stated that the Town Center development goes back to 1990 when working with Oakland County. The reason that this Planning study was put together was because the Town Center project is not what the community is looking for in terms of the downtown. He went through a Planning Process that took from 1988-1990 and this was a summary of the plan that came out at that point in time. Some of the ideas that have been implemented, the Novi Expo Center, the ring road, and the Main Street project have been taken from this. The city is evolving, things are changing and there is another review of the planning of this area. This proposed DDA district is one of the products that have come out of the re-review of the Town Center plan. There are other elements and the Town Center gateway is part of the overall proposal. The original plan showed residential community in the Town Center area and it has not evolved this way. Currently, there are office buildings coming in and a DPW site redevelopment, pending. It showed redevelopment along Trans-X Drive where there is still work being done. It showed a larger district and the district has evolved into something that he thinks is going to be larger but is turning out to be more linear than the district boundary showed. He thinks that it is at a good point to review and rethink the Town Center planning and the ordinance provisions that implement the concept. He wants to bring the proposal forward and implement what the Master Plan is called for. In order to do this, action needs to take place. One of the actions is to refer it to a committee and he would like to give Mr. Arroyo a chance to describe what matters would be looked at.


Mr. Arroyo stated that he wanted to go over some of the basic concepts that were discussed in the Master Plan and let everyone know that is the direction that he will head into when talking to the committee. He is hoping to go to the Implementation Committee and come back with some recommendations. One of the things that was envisioned was that the Town Center gateway would be something in between Town Center and the rest of the Grand River Corridor, in terms of density. He would be looking for something where there would be more density than there would be in the NCC categories along Grand River. There are some specific concepts and ideas in the Master Plan that include reduced setback requirements, going to building heights in the mid-forty (40) range, encouraging high-quality building materials, amenities that are similar to the Town Center but possibly different, having a mix of uses, interconnecting properties so that there are both pedestrian and vehicle connections to get maximum efficiency for circulation, providing for some urban type plazas and pocket parks and settings, and limitations in front yard parking. It will be a transition from the more suburban setting that is seen along Grand River east of Meadowbrook until the Town Center is reached. The Master Plan also includes a recommendation for a Grand River overlay zoning district which would impact the entire Grand River Corridor and would overlay all existing zoning categories within the Grand River Corridor. He would also like the Implementation Committee to consider this as well. Some of the recommendations that may end up being made might be more appropriate in an overlay district. He would like to see both of them go forward to the Implementation for study.




Moved by Capello, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): Motion to send Town Center Gateway to Implementation Committee.




Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini

No: None




Member Mutch asked what the time line would be for voting on something for approval?


Mr. Wahl stated sixty (60) days.




Debbie Bundoff, Novi / Twelve Mile Road, stated that her concern is the Matter for Consideration. She was hoping it was the Bates hamburger site and it isn’t. It also did not include the Preliminary Site Plan approval so unfortunately, the paperwork that the city published was incorrect in a few ways. She thinks that it is very unfortunate especially since the site was a site that had given concessions to the property owner of the site originally to get out of the site. The city then purchased the property for the downtown park to have two (2) restaurants. They will be approximately fifteen thousand (15,000) square feet on sites that would not have been able to have the two pads added to it in a development. This would have enhanced a bigger park than what the property that the city had purchased would have been is a shame. Granted, the Town Center area could use a few extra restaurants since the Coney shop is it on the side of the Town Center. However, she thinks that it is very unfortunate that it was not written as the corner that it is. The developer is going to dedicate road right-of-ways. Hopefully, the tax payers already own the property so the developer won’t have to dedicate the right-of-ways.






Moved by Capello, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 11:06 p.m.




Yes: Canup, Capello, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Piccinini

No: None


Kelly Schuler - Planning Assistant


Transcribed by: Sarah Marchioni

August 03, 1999


Date Approved: August 18, 1999