View Agenda for this meeting



WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18, 1999 AT 7:30 P.M.




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


PRESENT: Members Canup, Churella, Chairperson Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Watza


ABSENT/EXCUSED: Members Capello 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 Aimee Kay, Director of Planning & Community Development Jim Wahl, and Staff Planner Kelly Schuler






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




Moved by Watza, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (6-0): To approve the Agenda as presented.




Yes: Canup, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Watza

No: None








Member Churella stated that there was one that was not made out to the Planning Commission but it was sent to the City Council and the Mayor from Sarah Gray regarding Morgan Creek. Her big concern is over discharge from the site that goes directly into Walled Lake. She feels that sedimentation basins should be put into the project and she wants this to be done because she feels that the discharge is not being used properly into the lake. Her main point was making sure that the lake stays clean and that the project does not run its discharge storm water directly into the lake without first going into a sediment pond.


Otto Wendt, 26901 Meadowbrook Road in regards to the Beechforest Park project. He is for it thinking that it is a good project and that everything will work out well.




Chairperson Csordas announced there were two items on the Consent Agenda.


Approval of the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of July 07, 1999 and July 21, 1999. He asked if there were any corrections to the minutes.


Seeing none he entertained a motion to approve the minutes.




Moved by Mutch, seconded by Watza, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (6-0): To approve the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of July 07 and July 21, 1999 as submitted.




Yes: Canup, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Watza

No: None







    An Ordinance to amend Subsection 1602.4 and Section 2302A, or Ordinance 97-18, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, to reorganize those provisions so that they may be read more easily, and to amend Subpart 1905.4b, Subsection 2002.1, Section 2400, Schedule of Regulations, and the notes to the Schedule of Regulations, Subsection 2505.12, Subpart 2505.14e(1), Subsection 2506.7 and 2507.3, Subparts 2509.4d(6)m 2509.6a, 2509.8a(4)and 2509.8e(1) and Subsection 2509.9 of said Ordinance, to allow the Planning Commission to waive or reduce the strict application of certain Ordinance provisions provided certain conditions are met, to reduce the minimum parking yard setback in the TC-1 District from 20 feet to 10 feet, to add footnote references to the minimum yard setback and minimum parking setbacks for certain zoning districts, to allow off-street parking in the front yard of the NCC district, to set forth off-street parking standards for nonresidential structures and uses located in residential districts, to increase off-street parking setback requirements found within footnote (I) to Section 2400, to eliminate text found within footnotes (n) and (o) of Section 2400, to allow for the modification of screening requirements between abutting I-2 industrial sites, to allow the reduction of building setback requirements on individual sites located within planned industrial parks of not less than forty acres, to provide new parking standards for industrial or research establishments, to provide specific loading standards for office buildings proposed in any Industrial District or Expo District, to limit inspection of all landscape work to the Planning Consultant, to require an obscuring landscape earth berm when certain zoning districts are located adjacent to a TC District developed residentially, to amend berming heights required when an I-1 or I-2 District abuts a residential district, to not allow evergreen trees in landscape islands unless the islands are a minimum of fifty feet in width, and to clarify the formula for tree plantings when a multi-family development is involved, and to amend Subparts 2406.4A(2), 2509.5h(9) and 2509.5k of said Ordinance, to correct typographical errors.


    Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant stated that this is a result of the Implementation Committee review of the Zoning Ordinance. This has been an on-going review that has been occurring looking at a number of clean-up amendments to try to address some things that need to be clarified. This is the reason for the very long description; it touches a lot of different sections and articles. He is going to briefly go through them rather than spend a lot of time on them and he is also going to go through the comparison draft.


    All that is trying to be done with the TC and TC-1 amendments is pull the TC and TC-1 setback requirements and put them together within the Ordinance. Right now they are separate and to be consistent should be put together. There are some changes related to off-street parking when it has to be set back from residential. There is one (1) area of the ordinance where it specifies sixty (60) feet and another it specifies one hundred (100) feet so he is cleaning it up. The Implementation Committee recommended that the hundred-(100) feet seemed to be the suggested way to go and so the one that says sixty (60) feet will be changed to one hundred (100) feet. When non-residential parking is adjacent to a residential district there would be a separation but still allow the Planning Commission to reduce it potentially to sixty (60) feet if certain conditions are met.


    Under part three (3) there is a change made to the screening requirements in I-2 uses. Right now it specifies that if you have a planned industrial park of one hundred (100) acres or greater that there is some alternative screening requirements and alternative setback requirements that can be used. One of the things that were addressed by the Implementation Committee was trying to make it more attractive to more users. The committee realized that there could be some industrial parks that are smaller than one hundred (100) acres where this might be a benefit. The suggestion here is that the hundred (100) acre limitation be reduced to forty (40) acres allowing for more flexibility with industrial development, particularly I-2 development. It would also allow for reduced setbacks within I-2 parks if they are in a planned industrial park and are screened accordingly.


    There is also under required conditions provisions under the OST ordinance that talks about truck service areas and berming. Basically, the numbering was incorrect and is being changed to be consistent with the way it should be. The Schedule of Regulations has a number of changes to the footnotes. Some footnotes have been recommended to be deleted because they are no longer applicable and others have changed and the letters had to change to correspond with the change in the designation. In addition, a few footnotes were in the wrong locations that are being moved so that they are in the appropriate locations. It is really a clean-up amendment for the changes here.


    On page 18 of the comparison draft, there is a restriction of off-street parking in the front yard within OSC, I-1, and I-2 districts and it allows you to put it in the front yard under certain conditions. Number two (2) of the conditions does not really make any sense and is suggested that it be struck. It states that the parking area including access aisles comprises an area no more than one and a half (1 ½) times the usable floor area devoted to office use that is served by the parking area. In his opinion, it does not seem to make sense given the fact that you are talking about I-1, I-2 uses, and the other standards that are in place really are the ones that should apply. They will regulate how front yard parking occurs so he is suggesting that number two (2) is struck.


    Regarding the top of page nineteen (19) there is an additional paragraph that discusses non-residential structures and uses in the residential districts. Off-street parking shall be permitted in the front yard provided it meets the minimum front setback for structures, which would be seventy-five (75) feet. Right now, as the ordinance reads, it does not allow front yard parking for the special land uses in a residential district. It forces places like a child care center or a church to put the parking adjacent to the residential and it is usually the component of the use that the residents object to the most. This would allow the flexibility for some of the parking to go into the front yard to get it away from the residential areas as much as possible and hopefully make the uses fit in a more compatible way.


    Under the next item, off-street parking, one of the things that this addresses is being consistent. Once again, this is the one hundred (100) foot versus the sixty (60) foot and also specifying that off-street parking can’t occupy more than fifty (50) percent of the area of the side or rear yard, that abuts a residential district. It is already a requirement, there are just some provisions that needed to be clarified.

    On page twenty-one (21) under footnotes n and o, they are being recommended to be struck because they no longer apply. Footnote n used to be one that would apply to the I-1 district many years ago when the I-1 district allowed outdoor storage. Now it does not really apply anymore because the outdoor storage provisions are covered in the I-2 district and they do not need to be replicated. Footnote o regarding minimum lot size is already regulated by the specific residential districts and is not needed. Under footnote s he is making a suggestion that similar to the earlier change for a planned industrial park of not less than forty (40) acres building setbacks can be reduced. This can be a substantial benefit for a planned industrial park. If you are in an I-2 district and you are under the conventional setbacks then you have to setback one hundred (100) feet from the front, side, and rear yard which are fairly significant setbacks. If you do a planned industrial, it is at least forty (40) acres in size and you make the criteria you can reduce the setbacks to fifty (50) feet in the front, thirty (30) in the side, and thirty (30) in the rear. This is only ten (10) feet greater than the I-1 district, which are forty (40) in the front, twenty (20) in the side and twenty (20) in the rear. He believes that this will provide some flexibility and encouragement for developers to do planned industrial parks.


    Under paragraph two (2) on page twenty-two (22) he does have one (1) minor amendment of two (2) words that needed to be inserted. This section starts off where portions of an I-2 industrial site, after that or park should be inserted are adjacent to land zoned for I-2 use. This will make clear that these provisions for modifying the screening requirements would apply to an individual I-2 site or to a planned industrial park. This allows for reduction in the screening requirement when an I-2 use is next to an I-2 use and flexibility to allow when certain uses are similar to reduce screening requirements and give a benefit to a planned industrial park.


    Under parking standards there is an old provision that really needs to be struck that talks about usable floor area for parking requirements that is on page twenty six (26) paragraph twelve (12). It no longer really applies because when he amended the parking standards he reworked how they are applied and this paragraph really does not fit within the ordinance anymore. Also, under industrial development he has clarified the parking requirement to specify that it is one (1) space for each seven hundred (700) square feet of usable floor area or for every one and a half (1 ½) employees. Right now, the ordinance actually includes both of these provisions but is not in the same location. This is really clarifying something that needs to be clarified within the ordinance.


    Page twenty-seven (27) has another case that has come up a couple times in some OST developments that have come before the Planning Commission. IKON is a good example of this. IKON was in the I-1 district, a pure office use, but because they are in an industrial district, they are required to meet the loading requirements of an industrial user, which does not fit in office use. The addition that is being added specifies that if you have an office building proposed in an industrial district the required loading would be calculated based upon the office requirements. It would not be on the industrial requirements so it will hopefully alleviate a number of trips to the Zoning Board of Appeals that some of the users are facing right now. There are also some changes to some landscaping requirements that Ms. Lemke had suggested, some species were miss spelled.


    Ms. Lemke stated that it is in the chart and there is also a correction on six (6) on page twenty six (26). It should read "the city landscape architect / consultant" and the second one that is crossed out should read "the city landscape architect" on the second sentence.


    Mr. Arroyo stated on page twenty-nine (29) there is a clarification that there are berming requirements that are specified whenever you are adjacent to a residential district. However, he does have cases within the TC district where there are residential uses. It clarifies that if you happen to be adjacent to the residential use in a TC district that you would have to meet the same screening requirements because if you were adjacent to a residential district. These are the ones that he wanted to go over in detail.

    There are another series of clean-up amendments that are coming to the Planning Commission. The Implementation Committee just voted this evening to pass on another series of clean up. The committee is going to try to bring things through periodically.


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


    David Stuart, Northern Equities stated that he is a developer in the community and also the next several items on the agenda so he is an interested party. One, he thinks that the changes are long overdue and he thinks that they are a great asset for the future development of the particular community. On the agenda, he is on for rezoning from heavy industrial to light industrial. He thinks that this particular aspect on the proposed change is very worth while and he would like to see it go a little bit further. He would like to see the setbacks be the same as what they are in light industrial. The heavy industrial, as it currently sits, it makes the zoning virtually worthless because the land and the community is so expensive. The traditional heavy industrial users have changed and are just unwilling to pay the price for developed property as it currently sits with the community. The setbacks as they were did not allow for land that is reasonably priced and that will allow them to fully develop the site. The proposed one is a significant improvement but he thinks that light industrial are that much better and would encourage the development of this particular property. He thinks that they are good amendments.


    He closed the Public Hearing and turned the Matter over to the Commission for Discussion.




    Member Koneda asked about the sixth (6th) page where there is discussion on trees and berms being cleaned up, whether it is two (2) minimum? He asked if it would make more sense to say what the minimum allowable size would be?


    Ms. Lemke stated that she could refer to section 2509 to the exact specifications.


    Member Koneda asked if the recommendation is to change the b to refer to another section of the ordinance?


    Ms. Lemke stated yes.


    Member Koneda stated that he would like to talk about the building setbacks and the I-2 change. Since the front setback has been taken from one hundred (100) feet to fifty (50) and an I-1 district, it is forty (40) the sideyards are reduced from fifty (50) to thirty (30). He strongly disagrees with a comment made earlier because he thinks an I-2 district should have a greater setback. He does agree with the recommendations to reduce them. An I-2 district, outside storage, will be a primary use and there should be a concern about how close the outside storage is to the other usages around it. He does like the fact that there has been an addition to the building setbacks that explains the process for allowing deviations.


    Ms. Lemke stated that the exact specification would be 2509.5.




    Moved by Canup, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (6-0): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Zoning Text Amendment 18.153 with amendments as discussed




    Yes: Canup, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Watza

    No: None



    Zoning Map Amendment 18.587 for possible rezoning from General Industrial District (I-2) to Light Industrial (I-1) or any other appropriate zoning district. Property is located east of Beck Road, west of the CSX Railroad, and south of West Road.


    Mr. Stuart stated that in light of the previously approved recommendation, he would not like to see this property rezoned to light industrial. He did a piece of it a number of months ago from heavy industrial to light industrial. He stated that his chances of getting the zoning right now are pretty slim right now. His arguments remain the same, light industrial zoning is a better, more acceptable, easier zoning for people to develop under. The need for heavy industrial in this community is very limited. The lesser setbacks will result in larger buildings, which will result in a higher tax created by the individual businesses under the particular zoning.


    Mr. Arroyo stated that he reviewed the proposed application, which is to rezone 45.08-acre parcel from I-2 (General Industrial), to I-1 (Light Industrial). He is not recommending approval of the rezoning and he will briefly go through the items in his letter and the reasons why he is not supporting it. First of all, the proposed rezoning is not consistent with the newly adopted Master Plan. One of the things that was part of the Master Plan process was an industrial study that looked at available industrial land within the community. It was pointed out that there was a rezoning that occurred earlier this year just to the west and north of the subject property where approximately eight (8) percent of the heavy industrial land inventory was removed by a rezoning. This would remove another sixteen (16) percent so if the property were rezoned to I-1 in addition to the property that was previously rezoned I-1 earlier this year about twenty four (24) percent of the inventory for heavy industrial users would be removed. He is concerned because he thinks that this location is one of the best locations in the city for I-2 uses. He thinks that as there is a demand over the next twenty (20) years that there should be an appropriate location for all reasonable land uses to go within the community. This particular instance there will be a demand for some I-2 users to come in. As Mr. Stuart stated quite often the reason for I-2 zoning is outdoor storage. Another common reason is automotive service uses, engine repair or collision type of uses, they have to be in an I-2 district. There needs to be a place in the community for them to go and even some that are in locations that people do not like right now. Maybe they could relocate to a more appropriate location. By providing, an area that makes sense from a planning standpoint provides the flexibility. He does mention in his review some of the changes that were proposed earlier that deal with setbacks. He thinks that it does help to make this more attractive than it would be if you were dealing with one hundred (100) foot setbacks in an I-2 district. In conclusion, he knows that the Planning Commission does occasionally like alternatives provided. He has three (3) for consideration. Alternative A, which is the one that he is recommending, is to deny the request because it is inconsistent with the Master Plan for Land Use. Alternative B would be a modified rezoning of the area which is north of Humbult Drive. It is known as the east west portion of Magellan Drive, would be I-1 and then make everything south of there continue it as I-2. Alternative C would be to approve the applicant’s request and rezone the entire forty-five (45) acres to I-1. His recommendation is that the Planning Commission goes with Alternative A and to deny the request, recommend the denial to City Council so that flexibility can be afforded in this area for future I-2 users.


    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 most of the points that Mr. Arroyo made are good points and it is important for the Planning Commission to retain an inventory of land in the city for I-2 uses. He knows that one of the goals that was discussed was getting some of the I-2 uses that are in some areas that aren’t planned down the road for I-2 uses. An example was Fendt or heavy industrial uses in the Town Center area into other locations within the city. His concern specifically with the area north of Humbult Drive is there are some areas that have environmental features with the wetland. They will also be the most visible property in the city because there will be the Taft Road extension. There will thousands of people a day going over the bridge with the great view of all the property. He stated that his choice would have been to leave the property to the west of Magellan as heavy industrial when there was a rezoning. He can accept the idea of rezoning some of the property to light industrial because he thinks that there are some arguments in favor. It would leave the remaining heavy industrial and explore some of the property to the south to insure that it remains heavy industrial as well so there is a location for users.


    Member Churella asked if the petitioner would consider delaying any decision until after City Council would vote on it to see whether the new plan was to go through instead of either denying it or not denying it at this time?


    Mr. Stuart stated that his understanding was to table it until the prior item on the agenda is acted upon by City Council.


    Member Churella stated yes.


    Mr. Stuart stated that it would be acceptable.


    Member Mutch asked Mr. Weisberger if there was some sort of time line that would have to be dealt with?


    Mr. Weisberger stated that there were none that he was aware of.


    Mr. Wahl stated that the concern was the items that Planning Commission acted on that were not getting to Council in a timely fashion.




    Moved by Churella, seconded by Watza, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (6-0): To table Zoning Map Amendment 18.587 to give the City Council the opportunity to review and approve the Zoning Text Amendment 18.153




    Yes: Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Watza, Canup

    No: None



    This proposed road is located in Section 12, west of Haggerty Road between Twelve and Thirteen Mile Roads. Applicant is seeking Wetland Permit approval for the construction of Cabot Drive, a non-residential collector street.


    Mr. Stuart stated that this is the first phase of what the rezoning to OST and the Haggerty Corridor was to accomplish. This is the first major road to go into this corridor and he took great deal of care to avoid as many as woodlands and wetlands as possible. He believes that he has taken the least intrusive route through the property that he possibly could. (Some comments not picked up by microphone). He believes that there is not a better route that he could have picked that would have had less impact on the environment.


    Mr. Wahl stated that the various city departments and consultants spent a tremendous amount of time working on the road engineering for this project. The department has been very closely involved with the familiarity with the whole alignment and the design and engineering of the project. The road is the infrastructure for a major OST park development. The permit is limited in scope for the particular aspect of wetlands. The Planning Commission was instrumental in the rezoning as a city initiated project of this entire area and the department views this eventual buildout as an important city goal that has been pursued. The developers were involved in a similar project, Country Club Corporate Park in Farmington Hills, an outstanding state of the art example of what this could do for the community. He is very excited about the future of this project and working together with Northern Equities to realize its goal.


    Chairperson Csordas and Aimee Kay, Environmental Specialist clarified which wetlands were being discussed.


    Ms. Kay stated that the applicant have avoided to the best of their abilities all of the wetlands systems. There is a small wetland (E) closest to Twelve Mile Road, which was an old farm pond. She is not considering it an essential wetland and the applicant is going to fill it in its entirety. It is basically filled in from farming activities and doesn’t have much wetland vegetation. She is recommending approval.


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


    Art Serve, 28331 Haggerty, stated that he is not opposed to it but he is just concerned because wetlands are being shown across his property that are bone dry. There is no vegetation out there. He asked how it became a wetland?


    Ms. Kay stated that this year we have had an exceedingly hot, dry year. She stated that she could come out to the property to verify whether or not the conditions are different from the ones being shown on the map. The map is a general map and she is not even sure if the wetlands are surveyed in. She kept it in general scope except the areas of impact so if he has a difference on the property he may have.


    Mr. Serve stated that whatever it dumps into it is a stagnant pond and there is no vegetation. He stated that he has been here for thirty (30) years and as all of these ordinances come through, he questioned whether he is grandfathered? He stated that his woods were designated as woodlands some years back. He asked how they could do this since the city does not own it?


    Ms. Kay stated that she would leave it to the lawyers. She appreciates the concern as much as she does not know what he is submitting to do within the city and she thinks that his rights are the same as others. She would be happy to come out to his property and look at it.


    Member Watza asked if during the thirty-(30) years that he has lived, there has there ever been water flowing through the section.


    Mr. Serve stated no.


    Chairperson Csordas stated that he would like someone to go out to Mr. Serve’s property and present some very accurate information on the existing property even the property is not part of the issue this evening. He asked if someone could report back to the Planning Commission on what they had discovered.


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




    Member Mutch asked what the intent of Lewis Drive is?


    Mr. Arroyo stated that it is intended to do a couple of things. One, to provide for frontage of the parcels that abut the roadway and also to provide an access point out to Haggerty Road. One of the things that the Thoroughfare Plan envisions is at least one (1) connection to Haggerty Road between Twelve and Thirteen Mile and Thirteen and Fourteen. This would provide an opportunity for uses that are in Haggerty Road to be able to access the collector road, which is Cabot Drive without having to go all the way to Twelve or Thirteen Mile. It makes sense when you have a long collector road system like this to tie it in somewhere near the midpoint to another main roadway and improve its function.


    Member Mutch stated that he could see that if the uses were commercial or residential but these are going to be office technology uses. He questioned who is going to be driving up and down Haggerty that is going to have to get into the uses?


    Mr. Arroyo stated that he has looked at the traffic study for the entire road system that the applicant submitted as part of the review of the road system. One of the things that he found was that when there is a fairly intensive uses, like the OST users it may have quite a few employees associated with them. If you take all of the traffic, load it onto the collector road and then take it down to Twelve or Thirteen Mile there could be capacity problems at the intersections even with multiple lane approaches and boulevard approach like on Twelve Mile. He found that based upon the traffic study, a relief valve is needed so that some people do have the flexibility to go out to Haggerty Road to gain access. Then if it does become overly congested at one of the other locations then you would have to ability to access another route. He thinks that it makes sense from a traffic standpoint.


    Member Mutch stated that the people would be sent out onto Haggerty who are then going to go to Twelve or Thirteen anyway presumably.


    Mr. Arroyo stated that they might be destined north or south on Haggerty or east on Twelve Mile. Most of the traffic to and from Novi comes from the east. The majority is likely to use M-5 just because it provides regional access but you still have more local areas.


    Member Mutch asked if the alignment is being driven essentially by the property ownership?


    Mr. Arroyo stated that the spacing on it works very well from a traffic standpoint. It is either a quarter of a mile or a third of a mile from Thirteen Mile. He determined that another major user could come into the south and have an access point out to Haggerty if it were located approximately the same distance that this road is from Thirteen. Potentially you could have two signalized locations that could provide for good traffic progression through this area. It is a good location for a possible signal at some point.


    Member Mutch stated that the more signals on Haggerty Road the less that it functions as a thoroughfare.


    Mr. Arroyo stated that was true but if they are spaced properly and are connected in the scat system like all of Haggerty Road is already a part of then good signal progression could come through without stopping, which is one of the goals.


    Member Mutch asked if the total alignment is being driven by property ownership?


    Mr. Arroyo stated no, there are some major issues trying to run the road near the Power Corridor. He thinks that the utility company would not be all that thrilled about it because they like to have some isolation. If there were to ever be a problem with the utility line coming down in the area it would be right next to the roadway and block off the road. With this way, you are getting greater separation.




    Moved by Watza, seconded by Koneda, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (6-0): To grant approval for the wetland permit for Haggerty Corridor / Cabot Drive SP 99-36




    Yes: Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Watza, Canup, Churella

    No: None




    This project is located on 3.67 acres in Section 12, on the east side of Cabot Drive, west of Haggerty Road, between Twelve and Thirteen Mile Roads. The 11,835 square foot single story office building is zoned Office Service Technology (OST). Applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan and Woodlands Permit approvals.


    Mr. Stuart stated that this is the second project in the corridor. The initial project was already approved and should begin constructing next week. Cerebus is a division of Siemen’s, which is an incredibly large. This particular division is a part of the housing projects division. Siemen’s is a large company that deals primarily with fire protection equipment and systems. This will be a regional office for them and is nearly all office. There is a small technological component to the building. He has picked a site that he thinks is an incredible under-utilization of the property. This is twelve thousand (12,000) feet on 3.67 acres. Normally, you would put a building of this size on one acre. However, its location on the edge of a woodland and wetland was thought to be beneficial for the client and the piece of property to be used. It is a primary brick structure with a small component of split-face block along the bottom. The balance of the structure is brick on four (4) sides with a nice accent band. He put it on the lot because it is the first single tenant occupant in the park. It is a very large company and he wanted to make sure that the first building in there looked especially good.


    Kelly Schuler, Staff Planner stated that in this case the applicant had already made revisions and submitted the plans so she decided to use the plans and submit them to the Planning Commission. The changes that are made are the changes that are included in the plans.


    Mr. Arroyo stated that he would begin by going over the planning review letter of July 14, 1999. He is recommending approval subject to a few items that he has noted within the letter. There was a need for one (1) additional parking space that was not going to be a problem. There were some additional details that he needed regarding the screened walls, screening of rooftop, equipment, and trash enclosure. It is also important to point out that approval of this site plan should be conditioned upon the construction dedication of Cabot Drive as a public road and approval of the lot split by the city assessor.


    The traffic review letter is dated July 15 and contains trip generation information. The applicant is proposing two (2) points of access. The drive to the south is proposed to be shared in the event that development occurs to the north of the property he would like the northerly driveway to function well. He wants some good separation between the driveways for Cabot Drive to flow as smooth as possible so he will look for more combined driveways and greater separation with future submittals. The final comment that he had dealt with truck access to the site. There was a need for some additional pavement to provide for truck maneuverability into the loading and unloading areas. He has not reviewed the plan in front of him right now but as he looks at it on the screen, it appears that they have addressed the type of change that he was looking to see. There is a tail pavement area where the trucks could pull up and then back into the loading area. He will be reviewing this plan as part of final to make sure all of the requirements are met. He is recommending approval of the site plan from a traffic perspective as well.


    Mr. Bluhm stated that his office has also reviewed the site plan for this project. He did have a negative recommendation and had seven (7) comments in his letter. One and two were his primary reasons for objecting the plan. Three through seven were pretty much housekeeping issues that they will need to address at final site plan. Since he had rejected the plan with the newest plan that they have submitted addressing his concerns, they have indicated that they are providing a detention basin off-site in an off-site location. The applicant is proposing a storm sewer system on-site that will ultimately outlet to a sedimentation basin that is part of the roadway design that is currently being reviewed through the Department of Public Services. They intend to enlarge the sedimentation basin. They have a storm sewer proposed in Cabot Drive which will outlet storm water into the sedimentation basin and they are going to enlarge it to satisfy the detention functions for the site as well. He does not have a problem with it, he feels that it is an adequate way of addressing this. They would also handle their sedimentation issues in the basin as well. From this perspective, off-site detention is proposed, off-site sedimentation is proposed, these are new issues that have been brought back up after the site plan. He has reviewed them and he feels pretty comfortable with the calculations. He will be looking for a lot more detail at the final. The applicant’s project is fully served by water and sewer. When the road is extended, which will obviously be a condition of this project moving forward, water and sewer will be extended up along the roadway and into the site to be fully served. He does have a number of conditions and comments that need to be addressed. Comments that he would like to add to what he had before in light of the new information is that they will have to provide an easement for this basin for purposes of maintaining the detention and the sedimentation function. They will also have to provide site distance along the roadway and he will be looking for some definitive numbers but with all indications, it does not appear as though there will be a problem. He feels that this plan demonstrates engineering feasibility and he is recommending approval.


    Chairperson Csordas stated that for clarity just so the Planning Commissioners understand that although Mr. Bluhm recommendation in the packet was not approving he is currently approving this plan as shown.


    Mr. Bluhm stated yes, he feels that they have addressed the issues that he had and with the comments that he added, he is recommending approval.


    Ms. Lemke stated that there are two (2) letters with one regarding landscaping and the other, woodlands. She is recommending approval of the landscaping with items indicated by a box and a little dot to be provided at final. She believes that they can provide them so she is not going to go through the letter. On the woodlands, she would have loved to recommend approval of it because she thinks that it is a very good plan. It has minimal intrusion into the woodlands. If she would have been able to review the plans she could, her hesitation is that she has not reviewed replacement trees. As Mr. Stuart said there is very little intrusion into the woodlands on this site. Before Mr. Arroyo had them put in the truck turnaround they were taking out only a few trees. They have increased this number and this is why she asked a revised plan to show the truck wall because she needs to determine the replacement trees for it. The storm water retention basin will be reviewed by the Department of Public Services as will the road for the woodlands. They will be counting the trees as construction begins and that money will be bonded for and put into a tree fund through the Department of Public Services and Mr. Pargoff. She does not have a problem with this. She thinks the location for both the road and the storms are probably in the best locations given the amount of high quality woodlands out there. She has ridden through the site with Mr. Stuart and they are in pretty good places where there would be the least amount of intrusion. Many items can be provided at final including a revised count on replacement trees. The only item that she still has a question on and has talked with Mr. Stuart about is that the remaining regulated woodlands on this site are normally required to be put in preservation easement. Last time she spoke with Mr. Stuart he did not want to do it, so she brings this up right now so Mr. Stuart can respond to it. Outside of this item, she could recommend approval.


    Mr. Stuart stated that he took great care to stay out of the woodlands. A preservation easement is something that is in perpetuity. He has given up a great deal of land here, is wooded, a lot of it has some very severe topography on it. He doubts very seriously that the property will ever be developed but he does not know if a tornado is going to come through and take out every tree that is there. All of a sudden, it will not be woodland. He is not sure if he fully understands what a preservation easement is. In addition, he is not sure if he is willing to give to the city three (3) or four (4) acres of land without being compensated for it.


    Mr. Weisberger stated that what is being dealt with is part of the permit process you are allowed to impose reasonable conditions. The easement is in perpetuity but there is a clause in the form language that is if both parties agree that the easement can be modified. He thinks the goal of the conservation easement is that the developer has come in, taken a look at the impact of the woodlands, and he has decided that you can go so far. After this, he feels that you should preserve the remaining or balance of the woodlands. Obviously, he is guessing that their hesitation is that maybe some day they want to open up the box again and possibly go in there and not be precluded to do so with the easement. He thinks that in the preservation easement in the city’s interest, if at that time the city feels that it is appropriate to go into the additional woodlands then the parties can agree to it in writing. He is in favor of having the preservation easements in place to put the public on notice or any possible future owner on notice that these woodlands have a permit and an easement out on them. If you want to change this, you would have to get an amendment to that conservation easement. In terms of whether he can do it, absolutely.


    Chairperson Csordas asked if it could be done without imposing severe hardship on the property owner?


    Mr. Weisberger stated that in this case you are allowing this person to use the property and get a reasonable return on the property.


    Member Watza asked if they are regulated woodlands?


    Ms. Lemke stated yes.


    Member Watza asked if they could be touched without a preservation?


    Mr. Weisberger stated that he could not touch them without a permit.


    Member Watza stated that the preservation easement does not do anything to protect the woodlands than the current woodlands permit by itself.


    Mr. Weisberger stated yes, except when most people go to buy a property or are looking to expand on some property are not aware of some woodlands permit that is floating around in the archives of the city. What they are aware of when they do their title search that there is a preservation easement.


    Chairperson Csordas asked Ms. Lemke if it is a fine line between a preservation easement and regulated woodlands if the owner of the property wanted to expand into the regulated woodlands? He also asked if they would have to come before the Planning Commission?


    Ms. Lemke stated that they would have to come before the Planning Commission. For a permit, you would come in and go through the planning process.


    Member Watza asked if the difference would be that the agreement would have to be made with City Council approval if there was a preservation agreement versus a woodland permit that would just come to the Planning Commission?


    Mr. Weisberger stated that is correct, if you had an easement placed then City Council would be the only body authorized to do it.


    Member Canup stated that he has the feeling from listening to the applicant he is not really into an agreement like this.


    Chairperson Csordas stated that he agrees.


    Mr. Stuart stated that he has not seen the agreement and he does not know what it says.


    Member Canup stated that he sympathizes with him and he can understand his dilemma of not wanting to give up four (4) acres. He would think that by the woodlands ordinance, site plan reviews, and everything else that comes into play it would be very difficult to circumvent what the thoughts are for the future of the property. He stated that he does not know what it would do to have an agreement like that that the Planning Commission could not accomplish the existing ordinance.


    Mr. Stuart stated that it is 3.67 acres and a huge portion is wetland. The area that is being talked about is perhaps one and a half (1 ½) times the size of the building. There may not even be enough land to build a ten thousand (10,000) square foot building and parking if he utilized every single foot of that space. If he used an acre and a quarter (1 ¼) there than and he would have two and a half (2 ½) acres left probably sixty (60) or seventy (70) of it is wet.


    Ms. Lemke stated that a preservation easement gives the city another level of security and that the remainder would be preserved. The Planning Commission has put on site plans when they come through this common, ordinary condition. She has had some protest from developers and she has looked to delineate the areas in a lesser way. There seems to be more of a protest recently than there has been in the past.


    Chairperson Csordas stated that there is a letter from Ms. Lemke dated July 21 proving contingent upon the plan and then a negative recommendation. He asked if her current position is to not approve?


    Ms. Lemke stated that she could approve if all of the conditions were met in the final site plan. She did not have any major objections except she needed additional information. She also had the question of the preservation easement.


    Chairperson Csordas stated that he received a letter from Doug Necci of JCK. It states that as shown above the percentage materials on all facades are in full compliance with the façade chart. It is therefore recommended that the application is in compliance with the façade ordinance and that a Section Nine waiver is not required.


    Chairperson Csordas announced he 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. One, all weather access roads capable of supporting 25 tons are to be provided for fire apparatus prior to construction above the foundation. This shall be noted on the plans. Two, all water mains and fire hydrants are to be installed and be in service prior to 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 inches high on a contrasting background. This shall be noted on the plans.


    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 Canup asked if this is entered into the agreement be the property removed from the tax rolls?


    Mr. Weisberger stated that there is a provision in the wetlands ordinance where if you were to deny a use of their property because there is a regulated wetland permit then you can then have a re-evaluation of your taxes from the city assessor. He would have to do some further investigation but he believes that he may be able to get a reduction in his taxes. In this case, this is not a scenario where the applicant is unable to use the bulk of the property. Clearly, he would have an appeal procedure and be able to petition the Board of Review if an easement were in place not allowing him to use one third (1/3) of his property. The question would then come up as to whether or not how much of it is regulated woodlands and how much is wetlands.


    Member Watza stated that he has heard the same things repeatedly. There is some unnecessary bit of red tape and he thinks that it should be removed.




    Moved by Watza, seconded by Churella, FAILED (2-4): To approve Preliminary Site Plan, Woodlands Permit approvals subject to all of the consultant’s recommendations with the exception of the requirement of a preservation easement. Also, to recommend that this issue go to a committee for a review to try to avoid this happening in the future.




    Member Mutch stated that he will not be supporting it but he hopes that the Commissioners that do will be consistent on all future plans and not require a preservation easement on any other projects. He has no problem re-evaluating policies and practices but he hates doing it on a case by case basis. He suggested giving it to a committee if it needs to be re-evaluated. He thinks that the Planning Commissioners create the impression that for some projects, they get certain treatment and for others, they do not. He does not think that it is fair to anyone involved.


    Member Koneda stated that when someone comes in with a woodland permit they have to go through the property to mark all of the trees to identify them. He asked if this was done on this piece of property or just the area where they are planning on doing the development?


    Ms. Lemke stated that she has allowed them to not tag the trees for the whole area. They are to tag within fifty (50) feet of development.


    VOTE ON PM-99-08-217 FAILED


    Yes: Watza, Churella

    No: Koneda, Mutch, Canup, Csordas




    Moved by Mutch, seconded by Koneda, PASSES (4-2): To approve Preliminary Site Plan for Siemen’s Building-Cerberus Branch SP 99-28 and Woodland Permit subject to all of the Consultant’s recommendations.


    VOTE ON PM-99-08-218 PASSES


    Yes: Mutch, Canup, Csordas, Koneda

    No: Watza, Churella




This project is located on 7.981 acres in Section 14, on the west side of Meadowbrook Road, between Eleven and Twelve Mile Roads. The four-story professional office building is zoned Office Service Technology (OST). Applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan and Woodlands Permit approvals.


Chuck Fosse, Design Principal with Wah Yee Associates stated that the project is located on Meadowbrook Road between the freeway overpass and Twelve Mile Road on the west side. It is a four-story office building with approximately 37,000 square feet per floor. He is proposing two (2) entrances to the project, on at the north end of the project and the south end of the project. The building is sited approximately at the third (3rd) point on the site with a smaller parking area at the front and larger parking area in the rear. The building exceeds open space landscape and even slightly over-parked. The building will be one of the first (1st) buildings developed in the area and he thinks that it will have a positive impact. He stated that it will be a substantially brick building with brick columns, base, and arch treatment. There will be a copper-colored dome that accents the entrance to the building and the building is sited so that it appears as though it is on an up-hill. The three (3) items that he would like to touch on are 1) the left turn in restriction that is proposed for the south driveway. 2) The setback of the building versus the building height and 3) the compliance with the Fire Department request to eliminate some of the parking adjacent to the building. According to the traffic study there is a possible conflict of left turn movements of people turning into his project and into the proposed project on the east side of Meadowbrook. This project has been approved but no work has begun. Based on the traffic study, there may or may not be conflicts and he would like to propose that the driveway be unrestricted. If conflicts do occur between the two-(2) driveways the restriction could be added at a future date. He feels that being asked to solve a problem that does not exist at this time is burdensome for this project. If this does become a problem, the owner has agreed to act as soon as the city feels that it is necessary. The other issue is in determining the building height versus the setback requirement. The building height as measured to the top of the building is fifty-nine (59) feet. According to the ordinance, the calculation for the additional height would require a setback of seventy-six (76) feet, which he has provided. The screen in the center of the roof, which is the screen for the rooftop in the mechanical units, is measured at sixty-five (65) feet to the top of the screen. This would require a setback of eighty-eight (88) feet and this screen is actually set back an additional forty-four (44) feet from here. The screen is set back from the side property line one hundred twenty two (122) feet. It seems like there is an inconsistency in the ordinance regarding screening and the measurements. In addition, the ordinance states that the mechanical units behind the screen can not exceed the maximum building height for the district. The maximum building height for this district is sixty-five (65) feet. He does not exceed this maximum building height and the screen is set back in excess of the set back required. The measurement of the dome would be taken at the middle and this measurement is also sixty five (65) feet. However, he feels that the dome should be considered an architectural feature element rather than be used to measure the overall building height. This is because it is an architectural feature and is only used to emphasize the entrance of the building. It is a minor element and only represents in the overall length of the façade at the base of the dome about twenty-four (24) percent of the length of the façade. The area enclosed by the roof top screen as you can see on the rear elevations, only represents eleven (11) percent of the building footprints. He has a plan where the site sections are cut and from sixty (60) feet beyond the west property line, you can begin to see the top of the rooftop screen. From the property itself, you cannot see the screening. The neighbor to the south is in favor of the project and has written a letter in support. In response to the fire department letter of deleting parking around the building to establish a curb, line that is no more than twenty five (25) feet from the building for fifty (50) percent of the perimeter. He is willing to do so and what he is proposing to do is to delete the head in parking on the west side of the building. These rows would be extended to compensate for it and he would reduce a landscape area from twenty-eight (28) feet to twenty-five (25) feet so he would be in compliant on three (3) sides of the building.


Chairperson Csordas asked if this site plan requires a façade review?


Ms. Schuler stated that the letter was submitted after the Planning Commission packet went out and is on the table with the correspondence.


Mr. Arroyo stated that he would start by going over his planning review letter for this project, which is a 152,000 square foot office building. In summary, he is recommending approval subject to a number of important issues being resolved on a final site plan that would involve modification to address these issues. One, of the key issues is building height. The ordinance specifies that the maximum height in the OST district is forty six (46) feet unless you provide for additional setback and you can go up to a potential of sixty five (65) feet. Therefore, there is a simple solution to this, which is to slightly change the shape of the building. Make it a little fatter and bring it in to make it slightly narrow. He thinks that they would only have to bring in the building six (6) feet from each side property line in order to meet the ordinance standards. Making the building a little wider could make up the additional square footage. Another option would be to not build the building as tall. Take one of the floors off, make it a larger footprint, and eliminate the height issues. He thinks that there is a lot of flexibility on this site in terms of how you could meet the ordinance requirements. Many of the discussions that the applicant has had this evening regarding the height are those that are going to be best addressed to the Zoning Board of Appeals should they choose to appeal the issue. In his review, he is not in support of ZBA variances for it because it appears that there are ways that this site could be modified in order to meet the ordinance requirements that are before the Planning Commission. Another issue will require addressing and will require input from Linda Lemke. This is the screening of the loading area. The loading area is addressed in a proper manner by having it in the rear yard. However, there is a requirement that it be fully screened from adjacent properties and he will allow Ms. Lemke to explain. In the event that this is not going to happen there would be a need for a Planning Commission waiver of this requirement or modification of this requirement. Another issue for the building height is the rooftop equipment. In the event, that the rooftop equipment is to exceed the sixty five (65) foot height requirement that will require them to wanting to modify it and to be in compliance with the ordinance or to go before the ZBA. There is an ordinance provision that specifies that all rooftop equipment have to be within the maximum building height and in this case they would have to be within sixty five (65) feet assuming you are meeting the setback standards. This is an additional issue along with the setback for the height. Another item that he mentioned and he believes that there is correspondence from the person who lives next door. There is a single family home located directly to the south of this property and he feels that all appropriate measures be taken to do what can be done to minimize the impact of this type of development of an existing single family home.


The traffic review letter is dated August 13 which he provided an estimation of trip generation. A traffic study was submitted as part of the project. He is recommending that left turns be restricted at the southerly driveway. One of the concerns that he has from inbound left turns from Meadowbrook is head-on collisions. The separation between the driveways is such that if you are heading northbound on Meadowbrook and want to turn left into the project you will use the same center left turn lane that will be constructed in order to serve these developments. Therefore, if the spacing of these is too close to one another there is a very serious concern that someone going to merge into the center left turn lane could potentially collide with someone who is attempting to turn into the center left turn lane. Given the fact that there are two (2) access points proposed to this development it makes sense that the left turns be restricted in and therefore left turns could take place at the northerly driveway. Otherwise, all of the other movements would be permitted at this particular intersection. The northerly driveway would be a whole function intersection. He thinks that this improvement is an important safety improvement to consider as part of the site plan review. He would recommend that the final site plan shows this improvement and continue to show that improvement as it has been indicated on the preliminary site plan. The other thing that he points out is that the center turn lane issue is one in which both Meadowbrook Corporate Park and this project are going to be facing. In addition, the city has plans to resurface and reconstruct this roadway as part of the six-year road program. He would like to encourage the applicant’s on both sides of the street to work with the city. He thinks potentially that there could be some improvements in cost savings by hopefully if the timing can come together with the city project coming forward then one (1) contract can be done. He would encourage discussion with the Department of Public Services regarding these issues. He had a number of other minor comments but all of them can be resolved on the final site plan. He is recommending approval from a traffic perspective subject to the items on his letter being addressed on final.


Mr. Bluhm stated that he also reviewed the Preliminary Site Plan for this project. The applicant is proposing to extend sanitary sewer from an off-site location to the south on the west side of Meadowbrook Road north of I-96. The applicant will have to provide the city with off-site public easements, which will need to be provided to him before the final site plan being approved, by his office. The applicant is also providing a water loop, a water main extension through the site with stubs at the mid-point of the project to the north and south. This extension is coming from the east side of Meadowbrook Road from a main that is currently proposed to be extended by the Meadowbrook Corporate Park project. They are nearing completion of their final submittal and should be beginning the construction of this main sometime soon. The developer needs to be aware that that is not in yet but is anticipated to go in. If for some reason it is not put in this project does not move forward and the applicant will have to find another source of water supply. It may include extending the main to service the site. The project generally slopes from the northeast to the southwest and falls off extensively about ten (10) to twelve (12) feet to the southwest point. Storm sewer is provided throughout the site in the parking areas. They are proposing an off-site detention sedimentation water quality basin immediately south of the site. This will require an easement and he does understand that the property that they are proposing the detention is the property that is already owned by the applicant. They will have to provide the easement before the final is approved. The outlet for the basin after detention is into a wetland, which is further to the west, which ultimately discharges through other wetlands into the Twelve Oaks Lake. He feels that the plan demonstrates engineering feasibility and he is recommending its approval. He has a number of comments that will need to be addressed that he will not go over. He would also like to note that the applicant’s proposed walkway which is eight (8) feet wide will need to be constructed in concrete pursuant to the newest Design and Construction Standards changes.


Chairperson Csordas asked if he could address the façade issues at this time?


Mr. Bluhm stated that Mr. Necci had reviewed the façade and does indicate that the plan is in full compliance with the façade requirements. A Section Four (4) is not required.


Ms. Lemke stated that she if referring to her July 29 letters. In regards to the landscape plans, she is recommending approval and she has a couple of comments that go with it. One, that the screening for the OST would be required at the rear of the building on both sides of the screening area. She has talked with the applicant’s landscape architect and it is possible. She is assuming that he is agreeing to do this.


In regards to the woodland plan, she is also recommending approval with three (3) items. The woodlands are basically located in two (2) areas on the site plan. There is a major woodlands that continues off-site and then drops down into a portion of the site. The other area is located immediately to the south, which can be seen with the existing residential that Mr. Arroyo was talking about. The woodlands in that area are right at the edge and they continue back towards the west to be part of the mature woodlands that she had talked about. There is very little intrusion with this plan to the woodlands. The three items that she has concerns about and are conditions of approval are that protective fencing needs to be shown along the property line. In regards to the basin, she had asked the applicant to relocate the basin to save significant trees, which has been done. She had asked them to move it approximately twenty (20) to twenty five-(25) feet further east to guarantee that these large trees are saved. She needs elevations for the trees to be saved so her review at this point is conditional upon this since she did not receive elevations of these trees. She is looking for the traditional preservation easement and this would be only in the area of the basin so it would be a very narrow area of woodlands preservation. The reason that she is asking for the basin to be moved is that there is a twenty four inch sugar maple, a twelve inch ash, a twelve inch sugar maple, a twelve inch white oak, two twelve inch white oak, a fifteen inch bass wood, a twelve inch bass wood, another sugar maple, a sixteen inch ash, a twelve inch ash, and a ten inch ash. In addition, trees on this plan are located on the eastern property line south of the office building. These are a ten inch sugar maple, a fifteen inch white ash, twenty four inch sugar maple, thirty inch white ash, thirty inch white oak, thirty inch sugar maple and a twenty inch sugar maple. She would like these also saved to do several things. One, is to provide screening and buffer not only to the detention area but to the property to the south. Two, to add height and maturity to the site. Third, to complement the building and the new landscaping that they are proposing to put in. These are her basic three-(3) conditions and she has the five (5) conditions. Basically, the payment of all of the financial guarantees, the replacement guarantees, the preservation easement, no construction or clearing can begin until the protective fencing has begun, and the review of the final engineering plans per her office for comments above including these items.


Mr. Bluhm stated that the wetlands permit is required for this project but it is a minor use permit and is reviewed administratively. The Planning Commission would not act on it. There is a large wetland and the eastern edge abuts the detention basin. The wooded corridor also happens to be the twenty five-(25) foot buffer for the wetland. They are proposing buffer disturbance at this time in a single outfall. He had a number of comments. The most significant of which is that he echoes Ms. Lemke’s concern of shifting the basin to the east and preserving more of the wetland buffer area as well as the trees that were mentioned. He will be looking for the applicant to further address this prior to his issuance of the wetlands permit in start of construction.


Chairperson Csordas announced he 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. One, at least fifty (50) percent of the perimeter of the building shall be accessible within twenty-five (25) feet of fire apparatus. Due to the building height, this requirement shall be strictly enforced. Remove the curbside parking on at least one side of the building and provide a maximum setback of 25 feet from the curb to the building. Two, show the location of the Fire Department Connection. The FDC shall be located on the front/address side of the building and within 100 feet of a hydrant. Three, the fire service water main shall be controlled with either a post indicator valve at least 40 feet from the building or a gate valve in a well. Four, all weather access roads capable of supporting 25 tons are to be provided for fire apparatus prior to construction above the foundation. This shall be noted on the plans. Five, all water mains and fire hydrants are to be installed and be in service prior to construction above the foundation. This shall be noted on the plans. Six, the building address is to be posted facing the street throughout construction. The address is to be at least 3 inches high on a contrasting background. This shall be noted on the plans.


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


Steve Reed, 27168 Meadowbrook, lives east from the site. The site is beautiful and everything looks nice on it. It beats the abandoned five (5) houses in the OST district that people are breaking into and raiding. The one problem that he does have with it is a letter he received asking him to donate the front sixty two (62) feet of his property for an easement for the water line. He stated that it is not going to happen. He stated that he has been rezoned, had two (2) parking lots put in on two (2) sides of him and has been told that he can’t rebuild. He stated that he has lost the use of his property and he is not giving it away.


Ted Minasian, developer of the project stated that he wanted to make the comment that he feels that all of these issues can be comfortably addressed. In regards to the restriction to limit no left turns in the south driveway, Mr. Minasian’s traffic consultant feels the problem may never occur as far as having a conflict with the Meadowbrook Corporate Park. He has already pre-designed a resolution to this if the problems were to occur and he asked if he would be allowed to make the left turns into the project if conflict ever did occur. He stated that he would hate to see this project limited in trying to solve a problem that may never occur. The other issue he would like to address is the interpretation of the height where the screen fences in regards to. He feels that the strictest interpretation has been taken against him on this project. If there is any ambiguity in the ordinance, he is being taken to the nth degree against him. If you were to go to the center point or the full highest point of the screened fence, the fence is well beyond the required setback. He would ask that rather than going to the ZBA for a variance that perhaps the code could already be interpreted that he is within the intent of the code.


Mr. Arroyo stated that Meadowbrook Corporate Park has an approved Preliminary Site Plan and this project is asking for it. From the perspective of trying to plan for good traffic flow, he has to deal with what he has which are two (2) development proposals. He thinks the best way for these projects to work together is for this particular term restriction to be put in place. He has many concerns about a temporary turn. It would be very difficult once a driveway opens and is functioning as a driveway. There are tenants in the building that are anticipating a certain level of function in the driveway. He asked what happens if this problem arises five (5) years down the road and the developer has gone on and you are trying to figure out who is going to pay for it? He thinks that it is not the way to do it and a decision should be made whether or not the restriction should be there. The other issue that he would bring up about the building height is that it is his understanding that the roof top equipment regardless with the screen is going to be sixty-five (65) feet or lower. He thinks that this issue should be addressed before the ZBA and not the Planning Commission.


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




Member Canup stated that asthetically it is a very nice project. From some of the problems that he has heard about from the consultants, he thinks that the applicant should have addressed these problems before they got this far. The ordinance in some of these cases is very cut and dry and these items should be corrected before it is voted on.


Mr. Weisberger stated that he does not know what the time constraints are but if you wish an interpretation on the height and setback calculations that they should go to the ZBA. The ZBA are powered to grant interpretations and the Planning Commission would be bound by their interpretations. However, their agendas fill quickly and may set the project back one (1) to two (2) months.



Moved by Canup, seconded by Watza, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (6-0): To table the Preliminary Site Plan and Woodlands Permit approval for Beech Forest Park SP 99-30 until the participant has the opportunity to go to the ZBA and work out their issues.




Chairperson Csordas asked if the applicant would be able to go to the ZBA prior to coming back to the Planning Commission?


Mr. Weisberger stated that the table is not for a date certain, it is left open until the applicant has submitted plans and is ready to come back. If the applicant wishes to go to get the interpretation, they can do that. If they wish to do nothing then he does not know what they will face.


Member Canup stated that it is not his idea to turn them down, he wants to get their project within the ordinance.


Member Koneda asked if the biggest concern is the interpretation of the setback and if there are any other issues?


Member Canup stated that a clean up be done on the sidewalks and the parking.


Mr. Arroyo stated that there is one (1) concern that was raised by the fire department, which is very significant and needs to be talked about. They are suggesting that to meet the ordinance requirement all the parking along one (1) side of the building have to be eliminated so that they can get access. They are concerned because of the height of the building and they want to be able to get access.


Member Koneda stated that the applicant would eliminate all of the building side parking from the back side of the building.


Mr. Arroyo stated that he has not seen it on the plan.


Member Koneda stated that is a major issue and the other issue is the building setback. He feels that there are two (2) choices. One, is to get a variance from ZBA and the other is to change the footprint. Changing the footprint would change the parking and he questioned if changing the parking would change the impact on the woodlands?


Ms. Lemke stated that she does not believe that it would change.


(Discussion not picked up because no use of microphone.)


Member Mutch asked if the applicant could address the planning consultant’s recommendation regards adjusting the building by squeezing it in and widening it out to eliminate the setback question?


Mr. Fosse stated that he feels that the width of the building is ideal for the type of tenants that will go into the building. If you get into an unusually wide building there will be an unusually wide bay deck and there will problems leasing out the space. He went with what was to be the most comfortable maximum depth of the building. If this change were to be made it would impact the effectiveness to the tenants. He stated that by eliminating a floor that would exensuate the problem. A larger building could be put on this site but with the extra landscaping, he is trying to create something very architecturally significant and he thinks that this building will be a tremendous asset to the city. To make changes to the building for the height issue, which he still questions whether it is an issue, the easiest thing to do is for the ZBA to give an interpretation for the ordinance. He may not need a variance, it might simply be a matter of interpretation and if it was interpreted against him then he thinks that he would receive a variance. Regarding the fire department request to change the parking space, at pre-application this issue was never brought up. If it had he would have changed it but it did not come up until well after pre-application and after the plans were submitted. He would have had no problem making the change because it does not impact the footprint of the building. He is well over parked so if he loses a few parking spaces it will not be an issue of parking. He thinks for this project to be turned down for him to clean up all these issues then someone else will submit a site plan across the street and then he will be told to move his north driveway. The issues are easy to solve with the exception of the height, which he would like to go back to ZBA immediately assuming he gets approval tonight subject to ZBA approval.


Member Mutch stated that he agrees and that most of the issues can be addressed. Obviously, they will have to go to ZBA to get the interpretation. The quickest route would be to meet what the consultant’s are saying that is needed in terms of building setback.


Mr. Weisberger stated that he knows that there is a motion of the floor. He stated that site plan approval could be given subject to a ZBA favorable interpretation and/or variance. He warned them from a legal standpoint they might interpret it as a self-created hardship if they do not give a favorable interpretation. There is an avenue by which the Commissioners could be done with the Preliminary Site Plan aspect of it subject to the ZBA.


Chairperson Csordas asked what the difference between the motion that is on the floor and a positive recommendation for Preliminary Site Plan subject to ZBA?


Mr. Weisberger stated that if they table it then they would have to review the site plan issue again. If they give it approval of Preliminary Site Plan unless he request final back here then the Planning Commission will be done with it subject to ZBA doing something wrong. If ZBA does not approve it then the project is dead and they would have to start over.


Member Mutch asked if the woodlands permit, could be separated out because the only woodlands are on the property line within the parking setbacks so whatever they do it won’t be touched?


Ms. Lemke stated that it could be done but traditionally it goes along with the site plan.




Yes: Canup, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Watza

No: None













Chairperson Csordas stated that the committee appointments would be tabled for the evening until they have all of the Planning Commissioners.














Moved by Watza, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 10:00 p.m.




Yes: Canup, Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Mutch, Watza

No: None




Kelly Schuler - Staff Planner


Transcribed by: Sarah Marchioni

September 15, 1999


Date Approved: October 6, 1999