View Agenda for this meeting



WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 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, Piccinini, and Watza


ABSENT/EXCUSED: Member Richards


ALSO PRESENT: Planning/Traffic Consultant Rod Arroyo, Engineering Consultant David Bluhm, Assistant City Attorney Paul Weisberger, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, Director of Planning & Community Development Jim Wahl, and Planning Assistant Beth Brock






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




Moved by Watza, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To approve the amended Agenda.




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

No: None




Sarah Gray, 133 Maudlin, asked what is being amended on the agenda?


Chairperson Csordas stated that there were some items moved from Public Hearing to Matters for Consideration. He stated that the two-(2) items were Morgan Creek and Beechforest Park.


Ms. Gray stated that she is here on behalf of herself and Lakes Area Homeowners Association regarding Morgan Creek. Her previous objection stand and she does not think that she needs to go into most of them again. She is very concerned with the drainage. She respectfully requests that in light of developments that have recently become known that the Commission postpone any discussion and action on it. She is asking Mr. Bluhm to comment. It has been recently discovered that the city owns Morgan Creek. The detention basin that is now sited in the southeast corner of the property is well within the forty-(40) foot easement that the city maintains. The city is going to have to do some major work back there to make sure that the water is flowing. All of the houses that are shown, as she knows it are going to be under water in the spring. Mr. Bluhm was supposed to walk the property at the direction of Mr. Nowicki and he can share his information. She asked if she could ask him to do some discussion as to whether he thinks it is something that needs to be looked into for postponement purposes?


Chairperson Csordas stated that he has written it down and will raise it during the time of Matters for Discussion.


Ms. Gray stated that it may be because of the complexity of the issue and the nature of the issue that this is not ready to come tonight. She thinks that a comment would be appropriate at this time.


Chairperson Csordas stated that he would ask Mr. Bluhm at the time at the discussion.


Ms. Gray stated that the detention basin that is shown on-site now at the southeast corner is one hundred (100) by one hundred (100) and about three (3) feet deep. It shows that it is going to retain approximately forty one hundred (4100) feet of water and that is nothing. She feels that it is very inadequate for this property. She is still firm in her opinion that this project could come in off Decker Road. Yes, it would go into the wetlands but wetlands have to be dealt with as opposed to the lake. Where the water main is capped at the end of Maria Court where it meets East Lake Drive, it would be appropriate to have a hydrant there. There is no water on East Lake Drive now. She still has a concern for what the future plans are for the lake frontage. It is not fair to say that the residents will deal with it. She knows that she has a keyhole ordinance and she has been very successful in fighting development with it. She is still not happy that two (2) platted residential lots are going to be used for a private road. One of the Commissioners at the last meeting did make a point that it is not fair that the residents cannot turn the road over to the public and to the city. She has concerns with a number of trees being taken off.


Jim Korte, Shawood Lake stated that he would like to thank Commissioner Capello for making an honest effort in Morgan Creek to get proper retention/detention in the whole water flow. It still is not enough and that takes him to Councilperson Churella. He had an interesting discussion at one of the Council meetings and he would like to remind everyone that the amount of money that a builder is to make has nothing to do with the quality of the project. To remove one (1) house as was potentially suggested to make it better and the comment was "I can’t support because it won’t make money." Monetary concerns should not be a part of the water quality that goes into Walled Lake. It will be interesting tonight in the leu of city owning easement next to it and the situation that they have to reconstruct. He would like to ask if the Chairperson is a planning person tonight or if he is running for Council? Because in his running for Council he as quoted in his paperwork "is trying to do ecology and natural resources." This is at the top of the list and is still not adequate. It is totally substandard as to what is going on and he hopes that it will be postponed until the Morgan Creek specific situation is resolved at the city level.


Seeing no one else, he closed the audience participation.




Chairperson Csordas asked if there were any correspondence for the evening?


Member Churella stated that he had four (4). The first one was from Virginia Klaserner regarding Kindercare Learning Center. She stated that she is against it and the reason is the same that she gave before for the childcare that was going to be on the other corner. She claims that the traffic could be heavy and picking up the children will cause more traffic in the area. The property lines along the south to her property. It takes fifteen (15) minutes to get out of her driveway and curb cuts would not work on Ten Mile.


Gayle Bart, 47640 Warrington Drive, stated that she opposes the daycare center.


Patricia Hughes, 1241 East Lake Drive, regarding Morgan Creek stated that the uniformed lakefront lot use, now and in future, heavy traffic on East Lake. The developer has not offered any options. Her suggestion is to reverse the entrance and make it come off Novi Road.


Elizabeth Van Eck, regarding the Wixom Road rezoning, stated that the wrong plans were sent and she sent the correct plans. The Commissioners are to disregard the plans that were sent and look at the new plans. The leases that were put on the plans were not the leases for the use.




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



This residential care facility project is located in Section 27, which is west of Novi Road between Nine and Ten Mile Roads. The 16.71 acre site is zoned Office Service District (OS-1). The applicant is seeking a one-year extension of the Preliminary Site Plan.


2. Approval of the October 6, 1999 Planning Commission minutes


Chairperson Csordas asked if there were any removals or approvals?


Seeing none he entertained a motion to approve the minutes.




Moved by Mutch, seconded by Capello, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0): To approve the Consent Agenda.




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

No: None






  2. The applicant is seeking to rezone a 57 acre parcel in Section 17 on the south side of Grand River Avenue and east of Wixom Road, from Light Industrial District (I-1), to Community Business District (B-2) or any other appropriate zoning district.


    Matt Quinn stated that he is here on behalf of Novi Equities who are the owners of the requested fifty-seven (57) acres that he is seeking to have rezoned from Light Industrial to B-2. The property that he is concerned with is south of Grand River, east of Wixom Road. He had come before through the Master Plan process and had the property Master Planned to commercial purposes. The commissioners had received information on why it fit in, how it fit in and the timing that he felt would be right to later come in to have rezoned. The time is now here to move forward with this particular parcel. In accordance with Rod Arroyo’s review letter, a letter from Mr. Quinn’s traffic consultant and Mr. Arroyo’s office review of the traffic proposal he sees that everything makes sense. The commercial development that will be proposed will serve the local citizens in western Novi. It will also be the last commercial development built in western Novi. This project will serve everyone that will be living in the new Toll Brothers project since there will be eight hundred (800) new homes in that area. The people that will be living there will be very nicely served by this commercial development. What is around this commercial development is Light Industrial property. There is a trucking company to the east, the Iron Company to the east, across the street is the Pellerito property, which was rezoned to commercial, and other property that was rezoned to I-1 and I-2. This particular piece of commercial property fits in very nicely. It is buffered from the commercial property that is on the south. On the conceptual plan, the existing woodlands and wetlands buffer the homes. It will of course, remain. Even at the conceptual stage, he knows that there is a residential property abutting and he wants to make sure that this property is protected. What would be developed on this commercial property will be B-2 uses. The property owner did not want B-3 uses because he is sensitive as to what the city perceives as adverse B-3 uses and he did not want to get into those types of arguments. By bringing in B-2 the Commissioners will know that they are peaceful, less intense, and will fit very nicely in the area. There could be a grocery store to service the new homes, a drug store or any community commercial designation uses. As far as when this project will be built, if they started lining up leases now, design the project, and build it, it would be about two (2) or three (3) years from now. He asked why this is important? When are the road improvements going to be made? This project can work without the road improvement but they will be very important. The road improvements are the widening of Grand River that is tied in to the Wixom Road and the Beck Road interchanges improvements. Grand River will end up being a five-lane road between Beck and Wixom Road. With the intersection improvements at Grand River and Wixom Road, by additions of the turn lanes and the lane on each side, his traffic consultant is very comfortable with the fact that the level of the intersection now is at C level. After the improvements are done, with the addition of the project that it will still remain at a C level. He knows that he will have to participate when it comes time for site plan approval in adding an extra lane to Wixom Road on his side of the road, possibly for turning. He will be able to address these issues at that point. Now is the time to request the rezoning so he can move ahead with the leasing of the project.


    Rod Arroyo, Planning and Traffic Consultant stated that he would like to briefly go over his two-(2) letters. The applicant is requesting to rezone this parcel that is currently zoned I-1 to a designation of B-2. The Master Plan does in fact designate this property for commercial uses. At the time when the Master Plan came through his recommendation was to designate a much smaller area of commercial. At the time, additional information was brought forward and there was discussion of features on the site, particularly natural features. There is a wooded area towards the back and there are also wetlands. The wetland is on the southeast portion of the site and continues to the east along the back of several of the industrial parcels along the south side of Grand River. The Planning Commission did consider this and did recommend that this entire parcel be designated as Community Commercial. You can see in the Master Plan how this relates to other properties directly across the street, the Pellerito property has been designated as Community Commercial. At the time that he was preparing some of the background information for the report the City Council was in the process of changing the zoning so that is a correction in his report on the west side. He has provided a list of uses that can be permitted in I-1 as principal permitted uses and special land uses and also B-2.


    He stated that there was a traffic study that was submitted as part of the application and he has reviewed it. He has provided a comparison of trip generation between the existing zoning classification. The applicant had done an analysis of where they felt two hundred seventy three thousand (273,000)-sq. ft. of warehouse as an example could be built under existing zoning. This would generate one hundred forty (140) PM peak hour trips and about thirteen hundred fifty (1350) trips during a weekday. Obviously, a retail development is going to generate more traffic than that with a forecast of approximately twelve hundred (1200) trips during the PM peak hour and over thirteen thousand (13,000) trips during a typical average weekday. One of the things that he points out in his report is that not all of the traffic would not be new to the road network because retail development does tend to capture some of the traffic. As Mr. Quinn indicated there will be substantial residential development taking place to the south of the project. People going to and from work who happen to pass a retail development there will pull in to get some of the goods and then go on the route they would have gone on anyway. Not all of the traffic generated by retail is new to the road network. The Institute of Transportation Engineers would suggest that for a development of this size that roughly thirty-four (34) percent of the traffic would already be on the road. There has been an analysis of the intersection of Grand River and Wixom Road. There are some current problems at that intersection that could be improved with some changes in signal timing as well as some additional lanes. The Grand River road between Wixom and Beck is slighted for a five-lane widening as part of the overall improvement to the I-96 interchange. He does not have an exact date on when this will happen. MDOT indicated that they are desirous of getting under construction in the year 2001 or 2002. These projects could be moved forward at this time and it could be coincident with the development. He asked when the appropriate timing for the rezoning was? He stated that the good news is that there will be major road improvements coming forward in the area and will address some of the capacity problems but he still does not know when some of the improvements will occur. As Mr. Quinn indicated there will be a need for further evaluation of traffic conditions as part of any site plan that comes forward for this development as well as screening and buffering of any use with adjacent single-family development that exists in the area. This has been an important issue in the past with development in the area and he thinks that it will continue to be.


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


    Don Dominic, 26991 Wixom Road stated that he lives in one of the single-family dwellings that would be west of the proposed zoning change. He does not know if anyone has been up or down Wixom Road lately but with the opening of the new middle school, it looks like the entrance or the exit at the mall at the holidays. He can say with the land use that would be applicable for the zoning he would like each of the Commissioners to think about living where they are currently living, looking out their window with the land utilization such as this with grocery store, etc. He asked what type of a buffering zone could be put in to prevent the steady flow of traffic out of the parking lot? He agrees that change is inevitable. However, there is a Meijer’s down the street that provides everything. Wixom Road is currently a single-lane road and to put five lanes at the intersection of Grand River he doesn’t see what this would do besides move the bottle neck back a little. He stated that if change is going to occur think about land utilization such as this how it would really have a minimal impact on the residents.


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




    Member Mutch asked what the current zoning is on Mr. Wusinski’s property?


    Mr. Arroyo stated that he is zoned residential.


    Member Mutch asked if he was Master Planned industrial?


    Mr. Arroyo stated that is correct.


    Member Mutch stated that he did receive some comparisons between light industrial development and commercial development. He asked if there are any daily totals?


    Mr. Arroyo stated that it is on the next page at the very top.


    Member Mutch stated that Mr. Quinn commented on the buffer that would be provided between the proposed development and Mr. Wusinski’s property but looking at the Arial photo it looks like it is farmed until the property line. He asked what type of buffer he would be using?


    Mr. Quinn stated that the Arial is a little older. There is wetland there but obviously, what he will have to do at site plan is build a berm unless there is natural vegetation. The area will probably be heavily planted with evergreens as a visual screen.


    Member Mutch stated that he had thought that the woodland and wetland covered the entire southern end but it is pretty open there. When he first looked at it at the Master Plan Committee, originally there was an idea to square off the zoning at the north end, consistent with the Pellerito rezoning so that they would come south from the intersection a short distance and that the rest of the property would remain Light Industrial. Obviously, Mr. Quinn came forward with a proposal and that was adopted by the committee and by the commission as part of the Master Plan. He thinks that there is no good reason to change the zoning from what it currently is. There are a number of points and he thinks that most of them are covered in Mr. Arroyo’s letter. The total trip generation between the two-(2) uses that build out ten (10) times the amount of traffic from a shopping center. He is concerned with the potential competition that may occur where Mr. Pellerito’s proposal to bring a shopping center to the community may be under-cut by having this additional commercial on the East Side. Yes, there is going to be development on the west side of the city but there is also a shopping center going in at Beck Road that is going to absorb a lot of that demand. He cannot see supporting three (3) shopping centers that would support Novi unless the intent is to bring in traffic from Lyon Township and Wixom. Frankly, he does not think that this is the direction that the city needs to go in this area. It is not consistent with what is trying to be done with the Master Plan in terms of improving the tax base. There is a tax base that is heavily weighted with commercial development. Here would be eliminating light industrial development which is the highest on the plus side for municipalities and replacing it with retail development which is a loser on the fiscal scale for municipalities. There is language in the Master Plan that says exactly that. If the bulk of this non-residential growth is commercial not industrial or high-tech future municipal, service and facility demands may impact municipal expenditures or service levels. Retail development brings in low wage jobs and industrial development can bring in skilled, high wage jobs. He would support a rezoning that would square off on the north end, provide some commercial zoning in that area. He thinks that fifty seven (57) acres is too much and the Light Industrial zoning there now makes sense.


    Member Canup stated that on the Master Plan and Review committee when the Master Plan was approved all of this was gone over and the concerns that Member Mutch has. He thinks that it was a fairly unanimous vote to adopt the Master Plan. It has not been that long ago and things have not changed that much since the Plan was adopted. He cannot see any reason why the Commissioners should not bring this property in alignment with the Master Plan.


    Member Capello asked what the setback is between B-2 and Mr. Wusinski’s property with the berming requirements?


    Mr. Arroyo believes that it is a four-(4) foot six (6) inch high berm.


    Member Capello stated that he agrees with Member Canup that this was all reviewed not too long ago. This property has been zoned Light Industrial for several years and before there was the growth spurt along M-5 and Haggerty. It is just not a good location for any Light Industrial use. Now since Taft Road has been put in and there is the OST district property is being sold before the developers can get plans into the city for subdivision/site condominium approval. Obviously, the area there is the area of growth for Light Industrial. If the property is not rezoned then this property may never develop or may be one of the last parcels to develop. He understands where there may be some concerns that there will be the lights from the shopping center come into the driveway. He has two (2) different plans that are not similar at all to each other. If this is rezoned and at the time, the site plan is submitted to the Commissioners then he suggests that the issues be brought back. Maybe the Commissioners can then make some accommodations to redirect the driveways away from the houses. Unfortunately, the residents live in an Industrial area and unfortunately, it will develop around them. He agrees with Member Canup that this should be zoned to some type of commercial and he is in support of a positive recommendation. The only concern that he has is that there are two (2) plans in front of him and they are very different in regard to the buffering along Mr. Wusinski’s property. About six (6) years, the Commissioners tried to rezone the property to Light Industrial and people came forward during that Master Plan. The Commissioners agreed to leave it Residential and since then, it has been kept up well.




    Moved by Capello, seconded by Canup, PASSES (5-3): To send a positive recommendation to City Council for Zoning Map Amendment 18.588.




    Member Koneda stated that the traffic is already unacceptable along Grand River and it will continue to remain this way if it is an I-1 development or B-2. The traffic problems will still be there. The question really becomes if federal funds are not available when this project comes forward for site plan approval will the addition of acceleration/deceleration lanes help alleviate the traffic problems?


    Mr. Arroyo stated that they will certainly assist in turning movements in and out of the site but they will not address the capacity problems that the major intersection has.


    Member Koneda stated that the capacity problems at Wixom/Grand River are probably going to get worse as Harvest Lake develops. These problems are going to occur anyway and something will have to be done to solve these problems. He will support the motion because he feels that it is very important that a business district is provided near Harvest Lake.


    Member Churella stated that he agrees with Member Mutch. He drove down Wixom Road on Sunday. It is a very narrow road, would take a lot of expansion to make that road feasible to support a shopping center in that area, and that type of zoning was approved across the street. There is going to be almost the same type of facility across the street. He knows that the Master Plan Committee approved it and that the Commissioners voted yes on it. However, it does not seem to have the road system properly at this time to go ahead with the zoning. Maybe OST would have better fit this piece.


    Member Canup stated that when Meijer’s came in and wanted to build there the roads were a lot worse than they are now. Meijer’s was sent away and went across the street. Novi got everything except for the tax dollars from it. The same mistake should not be made again.


    Member Piccinini stated that the Master Plan Committee sat down and looked at many alternatives for this area. The Committee felt that it was well thought through that this was the best use overall of this area.


    Mr. Arroyo stated that the Committee felt that retail should not go as far down as it currently exists. The original recommendation was that it would come down and include an additional seven-(7) acres. When it came to the Planning Commission there was additional information presented. Originally there was one (1) finding and then more information was brought to the table and the Committee made an additional finding that they felt that the entire fifty seven (57) acres should be designated for commercial. Then it went to the Planning Commission and it was approved.


    Member Piccinini asked if there was a lot of discussion?


    Mr. Arroyo stated that there was.


    Member Mutch stated that he would like to remind the Commissioners of the scope of the retail development. It is not going to be a corner grocery store, it is close to three hundred thousand (300,000) square feet of retail development. As big as Harvest Lake is, eight hundred (800) to nine hundred (900) homes you could probably find that many homes just around Meadowbrook Road and Ten Mile area. Nobody is proposing to build two to three hundred thousand (2-300,000) square feet of retail in this area to provide grocery store service. He supports a commercial area in that sector that is consistent with the amount of development that is going on the West Side of the city. A West Oaks 3 is going to be built over there and traffic will be brought in from Lyon Township. The question is do you want to have the demand on the police, fire, and roads to service these communities or do you want to build a scale that makes sense for a community?


    VOTE ON PM-99-10-243 PASSES


    Yes: Capello, Csordas, Koneda, Piccinini, Canup

    No: Churella, Mutch, Watza


  3. KINDERCARE SP 99-30

This project is located on 4 acres in Section 29, on the southwest corner of Ten Mile and Beck Roads. The site is zoned One-Family Residential (R-1). The proposed use is permitted in the R-1 district subject to special conditions. The applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan and Special Land Use approvals.


Chip Valchinko, real estate manager with Kindercare Learning Centers, stated that Kindercare is proposing a ten thousand (10,000) square foot building on the four-(4) acres. Kindercare has twenty-four (24) child care centers within the metropolitan Detroit area. The facility would be open from 6 AM to 6 PM, Monday through Friday and would hold one hundred eighty (180) children. He is seeking a special use approval in the R-1 zoning category and site plan approval. He stated that Jennifer Mangel, Giffels and Webster, has worked with the city consultant’s in trying to answer all of the questions and issues that have come up.


Jennifer Mangel stated that she has received letters from all of the consultant’s regarding the site that she is currently working on at the southwest corner of Ten Mile and Beck. Her only concern is the issue with the drainage. All of the other comments are not a concern to her at this point in time. She thinks that she can accommodate most of the concerns. Kindercare is going out of their way to try to abide by all of the city’s standards. They are adding extra landscape area around their fence. She will have to go to the Zoning Board of Appeals for the four-(4) foot landscape buffer around the building. However, plant materials and young children do not normally mix so she would prefer to put it on the outside of the fence and provide extra landscape. She presented a board that showed what the building would look like with a list of the materials and samples.


Mr. Arroyo stated that he would begin with the October 11 planning review letter. This is an R-1 piece of property, a special land use in the Residential Single Family District. He is recommending approval of the Special Land Use and the Preliminary Site Plan subject to issues that are addressed in his letter being resolved. One special land use issue is the requirement for noise analysis. All Special Land Uses regardless of the character require that a noise study be submitted. The applicant would have to go to the Zoning Board of Appeals or to provide this study. He believes that they will be going to the ZBA for this issue. This is an issue that needs to be reflected in the Commissioner’s motion, that it be conditioned upon either a study being provided or ZBA variance being granted for the provision of this study. Another issue that is related to landscaping which Ms. Lemke will be discussing. In addition, they will also be providing for landscape walls instead of landscape berm. He has some other comments that can be addressed at final site plan.


The applicant did submit a traffic study as is required. Mr. Arroyo provided some background information on both Beck Road and Ten Mile Road and trip generation information. Approximately one hundred fifty five (155) PM peak hour trips would be generated by a development of this size and approximately eight hundred fifteen (815) trips over a twenty four (24) hour period would be generated. This project does meet the warrants for a left turn lane on Beck Road. They will be extending the center left turn lane that exists at the intersection down to provide for this lane as well as deceleration lanes. The access from Ten Mile has been one that has been a discussion for a number of reasons because of the close proximity of this site to the intersection at Ten-Mile and Beck Road. He has concerns about inbound left turns and the applicant has agreed that left turns in from Ten Mile would be prohibited through a channnelizing island. He has some issues that need to be resolved on the final site plan in terms of how this is actually structured in design. The idea would be that left turns would not be permitted from Ten Mile, rather you would head down Beck Road and make a right turn in to the access that will be on Beck Road. In addition, their traffic consultant has recommended that outbound left turns onto Beck Road would be prohibited because of the length of the back up that occurs for the left turn lane northbound on Beck Road. Making a left turn at this particular location would be very difficult during peak hours. The patrons of this particular facility have the option of going up to Ten Mile, making a right turn and then continue. There is an option in this site because it has access to two (2) roads and therefore the turn is not necessary to provide access to all four (4) directions from the development. He will be looking for this to be addressed through the comments that are in his letter on page two (2).


Chairperson Csordas asked if he feels comfortable with the design?


Mr. Arroyo stated that there are some changes to the approach that need to be made. Changing the channelizing design to reflect something that is more consistent with what has been applied in other areas of the city. He stated it is also provided for eight (8) foot wide safety paths along Ten-Mile and Beck which are required to be concrete per recent changes in the Design and Construction Standards. The traffic impact study was provided and he has given the Commissioners some of the results. He is recommending approval of the site plan from a traffic perspective subject to the items in his letter being addressed on the final site plan.


David Bluhm, Engineering Consultant stated that his office has also reviewed the Preliminary Site Plan for this project. The applicant will be extending public water and sewer to service the site. Water from the East Side of Beck Road across Beck Road and into the building. Sewer will also be extended farther from the south across Beck Road, actually extending from Broadmoor Park to service the site. The applicant is proposing two (2) points of access. He does note that the Ten-Mile access does not meet the required site distance along Ten Mile Road because they are short by ten (10) feet, a very small amount. He is recommending that the applicant shift this driveway about ten (10) feet to the west, which will allow them to comply with the required site distance along Ten Mile. This is a fairly unusual site from a topography point of view. All points of the site basically drain to a hole in the middle. There is a very low area, which is very unusual for most sites in Novi. They are actually elevating this building on fills by about twelve (12) feet to account for this hole in the middle. There often occurs drainage concerns in properties that drained onto the site. He and the applicant’s engineer have looked at this. Coming in from the west and the south, he would like to put the applicant on notice that they will have to address picking that water up and providing a positive drainage outlet for it. He has evaluated a few alternatives at a very conceptual level but he will be looking for them to take this to a more detailed level at final. It does appear that it is a workable situation. Storm sewers are proposed from the site. A detention basin is proposed at the southeast corner of the site which outlets to the Beck Road ditch on the West Side and then drains to the south. Beck Road continues to fall as it goes to the south. He has a number of other comments, which he will not address. There is a Design and Construction Standards variance required. This site is in a sanitary sewer drainage district that would require them to extend the sewer about two thousand (2,000) feet from the south up to service their site. Also, stub it to the northwest corner for extension to the west, which is a very significant cost to the applicant. They will be asking the Council for a variance for having to meet this standard. He would like it to be known that this will have to be submitted to the Clerk’s office, reviewed, and approved by Council. He will providing more input at this time. He is recommending approval of the project.


Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect stated that she has three (3) comments to make on this proposed facility. As dated they will need a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals for the four (4) foot green space adjacent to the building. She would like to see additional plantings provided taking into consideration that play areas and plant materials are not compatible with children. However, the other daycare facilities in Novi have provided the four-(4) foot of green space adjacent to the building and some of them would provide plant materials that would not be detrimental to children. Also, there is room for additional plant materials along the eastern side. As presented, she is not recommending approval of the variance. They also need a waiver from the Planning Commission and that is for the use of the four (4) foot six (6) inch high wall on the south property instead of the required berm with plantings. They are raising the site significantly and the wall is to basically take up the topography as it comes down to that south property line. They are providing the necessary plantings in that area and she would recommend this waiver with some conditions that she has in her letter. The third comment is regarding the right-of-way plantings that Mr. Arroyo referred to along Beck Road. They are basically providing the screening in this area except they are saving some of the existing trees in this area and she would support the use of a natural topography in this area with plantings. She has a number of other items that can be address at final and she is recommending approval.


Chairperson Csordas asked for clarity on the first item of the four (4) foot green space? He asked where she was talking about?


Ms. Lemke stated that the four-(4) foot green space is required all around the building which right now they do not have any. The requirement is for four (4) feet of green space around the entire building. With sixty (60) percent of that four (4) foot green space being planted with shrubs, perennials, grasses, annuals, where it is visible from the major roads. This would be the east and north façade.


Mr. Bluhm stated that Mr. Necci writes that the façade is in full compliance.


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, show the location of the Fire Department Connection. The FDC shall be located on the front/address side within one hundred (100) feet of the hydrant. Two, the fire protection water main shall be controlled with either a post indicator valve or a valve in a well. This was signed by Michael W. Evans, Fire Marshal for the City of Novi.


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


Susan Hartnan, Broadmoor Park subdivision, stated that she is here because she is very opposed to Kindercare developing on the corner of the intersection. Being a resident of this subdivision, the intersection right now is unable to handle the current traffic flow. She uses Ten Mile to take her children to a daycare in Wixom and she cannot exit her subdivision onto Beck Road and turn onto Ten Mile. She has to use the Ten-Mile exit to even get onto Ten Mile in the morning. First, if there is going to be any development of that intersection, all directions need to have the wide road and every direction needs a turn lane. She is running into the same problem trying to turn left onto Grand River from Beck Road. At her particular intersection, there are no turn lanes available to turn into any direction and there is too much traffic currently. The road is showing tremendous wear and tear. If you look at the intersection and go to Ten Mile just past Beck Road there is a huge depression in the road. Just outside Cheltenham Estates there is the same sort of huge depression going on. The roads will have to go through significant repair because it is potentially damaging to cars. She believes that the use of the intersection has been extended beyond what is appropriate for it. She found this summer when 275 was under construction a lot of traffic was diverted from M-14 to 96 through Beck Road. She moved from out of state two (2) years ago and she abuts to part of the woodlands. She is surprised in the two-(2) years of the change and the volume. The traffic begins very early in the morning and goes all night long. She thinks in general that the development of that quadrant is far too aggressive. On the northeast corner, there is the CVS pharmacy, Rent-a-Flick, a small shopping mall there. On the southeast corner right now is not developed but it is her understanding that Rainbow Rascals is the owner of that property and there is an intent to develop a daycare facility. Now Kindercare wants to go in across the street and on the northwest corner, there is a home and a large piece of property, which has been recently vacated. She does not know what the city’s Master Plan is for that corner. She questions the appropriateness of two (2) daycare centers at that intersection. There are two (2) other daycares nearby and it seems like far too many daycare centers in a concentrated area. She would appreciate it if the city would exercise some restraint and look to spread it out. There are enough customers to make use of these facilities but she does not think that it makes sense to put everything in that corner. She is disappointed to see that the beautiful corner, which is treed and does represent some green space, is being developed. Her questions are what is the impact of this on that intersection? Is there going to be significant development and allowing for turn lanes? She is very opposed to it knowing that there is going to be another inside of her development. Her subdivision already suffers from water pressure issues and she is concerned what additional water pressure issues she will have in the subdivision.


Chairperson Csordas stated that Beck Road and that area is Master Planned for a four-lane boulevard. Ten Mile and that area is also planned for widening.


Mr. Arroyo stated that the intersection of Beck Road and Ten Mile is in need of additional turn lanes at all four (4) approaches. He has recently completed a grant application for congestion mitigation air quality funds to get money to do this. It is currently in the review process. It would not only add right turn lanes to all four (4) approaches but would also upgrade the signal to a SCAT signal and would allow for left turn phasing where warranted. Also, there will be some improvements made in terms of turn lanes associated with this project as indicated. Finally, Rainbow Rascals, which was proposed directly across the street, did come before the Planning Commissioners and their special land use application was denied so that is no longer an active application.


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




Member Canup stated that he is concerned about the sewer. Mr. Bluhm had mentioned that the sewer would be some two thousand (2,000) feet away. He asked if that is correct?


Mr. Bluhm stated that it is quite a distance to the south.


Member Canup asked who is going to pay for it?


Mr. Bluhm stated that if it runs fifty (50) to seventy (70) dollars a foot if could very likely be one hundred thousand (100,000) dollars. If the variance is not granted then the applicant is required to pay for it. There is a payback policy that the city has that the applicant can utilize which would allow him to recoup those costs as connections are made. That could be a long-term type recoupment of the cost.


Member Canup stated that he would have a problem with the taxpayers paying for it. That would be a major concern of his. He did look at a facility on the opposite corner. He does have concerns about this piece of property. He asked if this piece of property is shown on legal descriptions at present as a four-(4) acre piece or is it being split off for this purpose? He stated that at one time this was one piece of property. If this has been split off this way then there has been a creation of an odd piece coming off Ten Mile. He asked what would be done with it?


Mr. Bluhm stated that the applicant might be able to talk about if the parcel is being split off.


Mr. Arroyo stated that it is a four-(4) acre parcel that currently exists and that it is not being split. The applicant was at one time talking about splitting the property into two (2) parcels but once they got into the site planning they found that they had to use most of the entire parcel in order to fit in everything.


Member Canup stated that he does not have difficulty supporting this because the Commissioners have been over this before on the opposite corner. He knows it was a different size of property.


Member Koneda asked what the typical draw is from clients?


Mr. Valchinko stated that it all depends on the density of a neighborhood. If the neighborhood is real dense then the draw could only be for blocks. If the population is not real dense and there is not a need then it tends to be wider draws. The trade area for this one is about a three-(3) mile draw. It probably goes up to 96 to the north and not even three (3) miles to the west because there are not enough people out to the west. Down about two and a half-(2 ½) miles to the south and two (2) miles to the east.


Member Koneda stated that he assumes that he did a feasibility study and that his project is viable.


Mr. Valchinko stated that with the amount of new homes that are being constructed and planned in the area he feels that there will be a need by the time the facility is built.


Member Koneda asked why he did not do the sound analysis? He asked if he is going to go to the ZBA and ask for a variance?


Mr. Valchinko stated that he does not have a product that makes noise.


Member Koneda asked if it would be possible for the berming to the south with the wall to berm and provide the retention basin?


Ms. Lemke stated that there would be conflicts with the amount of space available. The wall is allowing a planting area and allowing the four (4) foot six (6) inch it drops significantly to meet the property line because they are raising the site significantly.


Member Konedas asked if she supports the four-(4) foot six (6) in place of berming?


Ms. Lemke stated yes.


Member Koneda asked how far it has to extend? He assumes that it has to extend further than where they show it on the site plan. He asked if it goes all the way to the right-of-way?


Ms. Lemke stated that it goes all the way to the right-of-way.


Member Koneda asked which right-of-way, the sixty-(60) foot or the thirty three (33) foot? He asked how far the wall has to extend on the south side?


Mr. Arroyo stated that he prefers that it is the sixty-(60) foot but it can go to the thirty three (33).


Member Koneda stated that another questions that he has concerns the setbacks for the parking. If it is done off of the sixty-(60) feet there is a defiency in setback, correct?


Mr. Arroyo stated that is correct.


Member Koneda asked what ordinance do they go by for determination, the existing thirty three-(33) foot and then accept the defiency later when the road is widened?


Mr. Arroyo stated that the city attorney has already ruled on this issue and he has to accept the setback from the existing right-of-way.


Member Koneda asked if there was sufficient berming along Beck Road?


Ms. Lemke stated that there is except where they are saving the existing trees. She will look at this to put in shrubs in this area. In her opinion, there is enough berming in that area.


Member Koneda asked that the berming requirement is met but she is going to ask for additional plantings as one of her conditions?


Ms. Lemke stated that it is all in the letter.


Member Koneda asked if there was a problem moving the driveway ten (10) feet further to the west and if it will cause a problem with turn radius?


Mr. Arroyo stated that he believes that it can be addressed.


Member Koneda stated that he does not see any conflicts with driveway spacing with adjacent properties.


Member Mutch asked that since this is a special land use approval would it be unreasonable to acquire that they meet setbacks per the future right-of-way as opposed to the current right-of-way?


Mr. Weisberger stated that it should be evaluated in its current state that there is no guarantee that a proposed right-of-way is going to go in. He does not think that it is an unreasonable condition though. He suggested that the Commissioners go with the current state of what is depicted on the plan. He does have the seven (7) or eight (8) criteria that he evaluates plans by for a special land use.


Member Mutch stated that at the corner, they are not showing the extension of the sidewalks to the actual intersection and he asked if this is something that they should be doing?


Mr. Arroyo stated that it would be taken care of as part of final site plan.


Member Mutch stated that he does not see any connections from the building to the external network.


Mr. Arroyo suggested that they add that as a condition of their motion because there is not actually an ordinance requirement that specifies that. If the Commissioners think that it is important then he suggests that they add it to their motion.


Member Mutch stated that the detention basin has a fairly low slope but he asked if coming up to the bike path is presenting a passable safety hazard? He asked if there are any requirements of putting in a fence or protection to keep someone from falling into the pond?


Mr. Bluhm stated that it would not be required. Actually, the detention basin slopes are required to be flatter than general slopes. One on four is required everywhere else and basin’s are required to be one on five. In essence, it is actually a flatter slope at the base than would be allowed otherwise.


Member Mutch stated that Mr. Arroyo had talked about in his letter about re-designing the entrance onto Ten Mile Road. He asked if there is a solution that he is satisfied with that will address the turning in and out of the site?


Mr. Arroyo stated yes and that it would be half of what you would normally see in terms of the divider. It is similar to the channelizing island that the Commissioners approved as part of the Novi Crossing’s plan, which restricted only one (1) of the left turn movements. It would be a similar configuration to that.


Member Mutch stated that he understands the concerns that the resident brought up regarding the plan and it is difficult because we saw a lot of the neighbors with the other corner. A number of them made comments about the fact that they weren’t opposed to daycares in general and they were going to support the Kindercare proposal on the other corner because they thought that it was a better site. He does not know if their absence means that they support this or not. One of the things that have been discussed with the daycares is the need to have a large enough site to ensure buffering from the neighboring residential districts. This does seem to provide that. The traffic issues are an important because it is a special land use and the Commissioners have to consider what other land uses could go in there. Also, if the impact would be less from those uses and whether they have properly mitigated sufficiently to offset this. Obviously, you could have residential homes as opposed to a daycare center.


Member Capello stated that he is really torn on this issue. He does not think that Novi needs another daycare center in that area. He thinks that there are enough now. On the other hand, he cannot think of any other good use for that property. He does not think that the four-(4) acres on that corner is going to develop as residential. If it does, he does not think that he would be happy with the residential project that would end up there. The only other thing that comes to mind is that perhaps in the future there may be a lawsuit because some type of commercial use wants to come there. He has not made up his mind on what he wants. He agrees with Member Mutch on special land use. If the Commissioners want to they can require the setbacks from the proposed sixty-(60) foot setback. He does not think that they have to stick to the thirty three-(33) foot setback. He does not understand why this project cannot be moved back and have an additional twenty-seven (27) foot setback to comply with. Beck Road and Ten Mile are going to be widened. He asked if there is a reason why the project is staying that close to the corner?


Mr. Valchinko stated that when he develops a site he goes out and looks for one acre and a half

(1 ½). This is unusual because he is being burdened with putting so much landscaping and so many other things on this piece of property. This is why he is having a hard time fitting on four (4) acres.


Member Capello stated that he could set back an additional thirty-(30) feet from each current right-of-way.


Mr. Valchinko stated that he might not meet the parking ratio because he would have to blow out a whole row of parking.


Member Capello asked why?


Mr. Valchinko stated with the setbacks.


Ms. Mangel stated that the issue also deals with the fact that she is required to put berms in the back. In order to meet the berms there is a four-(4) foot six (6) inch berm and it takes up a considerable space in the rear.


Member Capello stated that if they only need one and a half (1 ½) acres then there will be two and a half (2 ½) extra acres. All that he is looking for is twenty-seven (27) feet along each of the roadways.


Ms. Mangel stated that there are landscaping berms that need to be provided for.


Member Capello stated that those would have to be put in anyway. He asked if the daycare could not be built on a four-(4) acre site?


Ms. Mangel pointed to a section of where the berm is going to be. It will probably take thirty (30) feet in the rear. Her neighbors are residential and she if trying to screen them from the property that will be special use.


Mr. Bluhm stated that one of the difficulties is the severe grade. They are raising the site by twelve (12) to fourteen (14) feet and allow the slopes to meet the one on four. There is a significant amount of room to the west and the south that is required. An argument could be that they could put walls in and walls could make the grade, allowing the buildings to be shifted back. The primary reason that the Commissioners are seeing the buildings not shifted farther south is the significant elevation that they are having to achieve to have the building high enough so that the parking is at grade with Beck and Ten Mile Road. It does not constitute a slope problem in the parking areas in achieving access ingress/egress from the roadways.


Member Capello asked if Beck Road and Ten Mile are expanded how much landscape will be lost?


Ms. Lemke stated that they have set it back and it will not come out.


Mr. Arroyo stated that the bike paths are set at sixty (60) feet so that is as far as the widening occurs. Everything that is in from the safety path towards the site would not be touched unless there has to be an unusual situation with the boulevard. The sidewalks are set one (1) foot inside the sixty-(60) feet.


Member Capello clarified that none of the landscaping on the berm will come out?


Ms. Lemke stated that is correct.


Member Capello asked when Ten-Mile and Beck Road slated for improvements?


Mr. Arroyo stated that no applications have been done and nothing on the radar screen in terms of funding of improvements. There are so many other roadways and segments that are actually in need of improvement to a greater degree. The intersection needs improvement but to actually widen the roadways is not top priority.


Member Capello stated that the plan doesn’t show going north on Beck Road, left turns into the site or passing lanes on the east side of the road.


Mr. Arroyo stated that the center left turn lane would be extending so that there will be a separate lane to turn into the project off Beck Road. The only way that the lane would be extended all the way across is if the acceleration taper would come into an area that was within one hundred (100) feet of a deceleration taper at the approach. Since there is no right turn lane at the approach that will not happen unless they come after the improvements are made to the intersection. As the current state right now, there would not be a need to extend the lane all the way through to the intersection.


Member Capello stated that one of the conditions for the Special Land Use is the impact that it has on the existing Thoroughfare. His general principal is that he is not going to hold up development until the infrastructure catches up. That intersection on Ten Mile Road anytime after 6:45 is very difficult to get through. He wondered if it would make any sense to continue the lane from the Ten Mile entrance and continue a right hand turn lane all the way to Beck Road to keep traffic flowing.


Mr. Arroyo stated that it would certainly improve the intersection.


Member Capello asked if it would be cost defective or is it not a fair question to ask?


Mr. Arroyo stated that the key issue is how much traffic from this development is actually going to pull out onto Ten Mile and then make a right turn to go south onto Beck when there is already an access point onto Beck. If you are heading southbound on Beck then most people who are in the parking lot are going to come out on the Beck Road entrance and make a right turn to go south. He does not think that there is going to be a very high volume coming out onto Ten Mile and then turning right to go southbound.


Member Capello stated that he fully agrees with him but his thoughts are to keep the traffic on Ten Mile. Right now you cannot make a right hand turn and a lot of the traffic is going southbound Beck to get to M-14 or Eight Mile Road. If the traffic can be moved through Ten Mile quicker than that would allow the traffic coming out even if it is going eastbound on Ten Mile to move through.


Mr. Arroyo stated that that could shorten the Q length at the intersection and makes it easier to make turns at certain times of day.


Member Capello stated that it would help all the way down to Wixom Road because there would not be the continued back up. He asked if sewer is available to the applicant? He asked if they have to hook up wherever the sewer is or is there going to be some additional cost to the city to bring sewer to their site?


Mr. Bluhm stated that there is sewer available in a number of locations. The Master Plan location requires them to extend from a fairly great distance which is their responsibility and their cost. If the variance is not granted then it is their cost. However, if the variance is granted then all of the other issues would come into play as far as the cost issues and utilizing a temporary location. At this point in time without a variance they are required to extend it from that location at their cost.


Member Capello asked if there were two (2) berms that are being asked for a variance?


Ms. Lemke stated that there is one (1) berm that they are asking for a waiver for from the Planning Commission. It is on the south property line and they are asking for a wall with plantings instead of the berm with plantings. The other one (1) is on Beck Road and in her opinion, they need it. They are dipping down for some existing trees but they basically meet the berm requirement along Beck Road.


Member Capello asked if there was going to be a wall along Beck Road?


Ms. Lemke stated no.


Member Capello stated that site lighting would normally be an issue for him, near residential property but he does not foresee that they are going to have any lighting at night. He asked if this was correct?


Mr. Valchinko stated that the light would be on until 6:00 p.m. or everyone leaves the premises.


Mr. Arroyo stated that the question that he has is parking lot lighting and if it will also go off.


Member Watza asked how much of the parking do they actually need as opposed to what they are required under the ordinances?


Mr. Valchinko stated that operationally they need about thirty (30) parking spots.


Member Watza asked how many are there?


Mr. Valchinko stated that there are forty-nine (49).


Member Watza asked if it is possible to eliminate a row of parking to give some more latitude for some of the variations that Member Capello has suggested?


Mr. Arroyo stated that he would not recommend it. The ordinance would require a minimum of forty-two (42). They are proposing forty-nine (49) spaces so there is only seven (7) over and above the ordinance. One of the concerns that he has with a use like this is special event days where parents come. The parking lot is designed for normal operation but there are quite often special events days where there are more parents come. To have a little surplus is a good thing, otherwise you end up not having the ability to park all of the vehicles. The applicant is a little bit over on parking and he thinks that it is appropriate for this type of use.


Member Watza asked if there is a concern for some future use of the building?


Mr. Arroyo stated no.


Member Watza asked how many children would be on-site?


Mr. Valchinko stated that it would be licensed for one hundred eighty (180). However, they are not all there at the same time if that is what their concern is.


Member Watza asked about special events?


Mr. Valchinko stated that sometimes there are special events. He asks the parents to carpool or sometimes they are picked up in the vans that they have.


Member Canup stated that his concerns are the splitting of the property and how it is split. An odd piece is left off Ten Mile and will be difficult to deal with in the future. His other concern is the need to the residents of the city of Novi for this facility. There is one on the corner of Wixom Road, one just opened about halfway between Beck and Taft on Ten Mile, and churches have daycare centers. He thinks that there is some opposition from the residents in the area. Because this piece was split off as a four (4) acre piece from the original fifteen (15) acre someone created their own hardship. To say that it cannot be used for residential in his opinion, that is their problem and they should have thought of that before they split the four-(4) acres off.




Moved by Canup, seconded by Watza, FAILED (4-4): To deny Special Land Use and Preliminary Site Plan approvals for Kindercare SP 99-43.




Member Piccinini stated that she agrees that the location is not good and the need for a daycare in that area is not great but she does worry about something commercial ending up on that piece. She cannot decide what way she is going to vote.


Member Churella stated that the last time that this came before the Commissioners there were a bunch of residents that were against it and they told them to move it to the other corner.


Member Watza stated that he does not want to get in the habit of accepting something less than what the Commissioners think is right because of what they might think will come later.




Yes: Mutch, Piccinini, Watza, Canup

No: Churella, Csordas, Koneda, Capello



Moved by Churella, seconded by Koneda, FAILED (2-6): To grant Preliminary Site Plan and Special Land Use approvals subject to the conditions of the consultant’s recommendations, a connection of a sidewalk from the inside of the property to the surround sidewalk subject to ZBA variances, and subject to a waiver for the wall rather than a berm on the south side of the property for Kindercare, SP 99-43. Also, a condition of a ZBA approval for a waiver for a noise analysis, the improvement of Ten Mile Road to allow for an additional southern lane from the entrance to the interchange and additional landscaping along Ten Mile.




Member Piccinini asked why a variance for the greenspace should be given?


Member Koneda stated that the applicant has indicated that greenspace in a playground area does not make sense. They would rather put landscaping outside of the playground area and he supports it.


Ms. Lemke stated that she thinks that it is possible to put greenspace and play surface around the facility. It has been done in other daycare facilities so she thinks that it is possible to not go for a ZBA waiver, which is why she did not support it the way that it was presented.


Member Koneda stated that the daycare on Ten Mile did it. He asked if the purpose of the greenspace is to make it more appealing to the drive-by traffic? He does not disagree with Ms. Lemke, he thinks that greenspace on the inside of play area is fine to have.


Ms. Lemke stated that it is for both drive-by and to encourage green space around a building. She is not sure what they are proposing around the building.


Ms. Mangol asked if Ms. Lemke had suggested to the north and the west green space, not all the way around?


Ms. Lemke stated that she suggested on the east side there is room for additional green space.


Ms. Mangel asked if she had mentioned the north?


Ms. Lemke stated that the north is part of the play area. The north and the east façade need green space and additional shrubs and plantings according to the ordinance.


Member Koneda stated that this is the only variance that they are asking for from the ZBA and they can go to the ZBA to plead their case. If the ZBA turns them down then they will have to provide the green space.


Member Capello stated that he would like to see the southern lane of Ten Mile improved if that is possible. He would also like to see some landscaping beefed up a little bit along Ten-Mile and Beck. He asked if this was put off for awhile would the applicant be behind their schedule?


Mr. Valchinko stated that it would.


Chairperson Csordas asked when the applicant had first approached the city?


Ms. Mangel stated in the first quarter of the year.


Member Capello asked if two (2) weeks would hurt them?


Mr. Valchinko stated that he is supposed to close on the property by contract by mid December. He needs to have his permits by December in order to close.


Member Capello stated that he is looking for a way to get the support that he needs as opposed to just getting turned down tonight.


Mr. Valchinko stated that he would much rather wait two (2) weeks for support.


Member Capello asked if he could make an amendment to the motion and require additional landscaping along Ten Mile Road and Beck? He is hesitant to do it tonight because he would like to have a chance if it is feasible. He would like to see a lane put in from the Ten Mile Road exit up to the interchange.


Mr. Weisberger asked if this is to address ingress/egress traffic safety issues?


Member Capello stated yes.


Chairperson Csordas asked the applicant what his opinion is of it?


Mr. Valchinko stated that he is way over budget as it is. To him it is a pre-existing condition right now, the traffic on Ten Mile. People going onto Beck Road will exit the Beck Road exit.


Chairperson Csordas stated that in his opinion it is an extreme burden on the developer for the extra lane. He wants to make sure that everyone is clear on the drainage issue. He understands that they have to build the property up because there is a hole in the middle. He understands it is their responsibility to connect to the sewer. He asked when they build the property up, where is the water going to go?


Mr. Bluhm stated that he has discussed the flows coming in from the west. He was at the site today and the area drains towards the site is very small. There is a driveway one hundred fifty (150) feet west of the site. There is another very small ridge about one hundred-(100) feet south that pushes the water back to the north to the low area on site. As you move farther south, it drops off very quickly. He has explored and discussed with the engineer the possibility of putting in some concrete culverts connecting the two-(2) lower areas together. Possibly, they could talk to the neighbor to the south and acquiring a grading easement to grade the areas out and provide positive drainage. The property to the south has problems also. This would be a mutual solution to this property as well as the property owner to the south. There are other options as well, it is a fixable solution, there are a number of different ways of doing it, it is just a matter of getting into the final and looking at what makes the most sense.


Chairperson Csordas asked that he is certain that it will not cause a hardship for the neighbors although the property around it is empty?


Mr. Bluhm stated that if it is addressed correctly using one (1) of the options that he has explored it should not be a problem.


Chairperson Csordas stated that he would change his position because he believes that it is quite a hardship to impose on the developer.


Member Mutch asked if there are things in terms of site design that would possibly provide for future shared access for that L-shaped piece? His concern is that these driveways might meet driveway spacing standards but it is more likely than not that the driveways coming off the L-shaped piece are not going to be able to meet the driveway spacing standards.


Mr. Arroyo stated that just looking at the size of the L-shaped piece, there is the potential to single load a road coming off of Ten Mile with lots on one (1) side of it, bring it down and then turn ninety (90) degrees. It could be a double-loaded road coming across. He cannot say if it will meet all of the ordinance requirements but there is a potential for it. It is really hard to speculate without going through and doing an actual study.


Member Koneda stated that there was the same problem on the east side of the road with the housing development that was currently there. It was kept out and the Commissioners made them put in a stub road for future development. He knows that it will never develop as residential, it will probably be vacant for a long time. There was a plan in to put in a daycare facility that was turned down. It will not develop as commercial, it will just sit there empty. He thinks that there will be the same problem with the L-shaped piece of property. It is not the Commissioners problem, whoever did the splits divided the land up and figured that they were going to make money off it. If it stays treed then the residents will be happy and if the L-shaped property stayed empty then he is sure that the residents would be happy also.


Member Mutch asked if the positive recommendation is denied are the Commissioners still able to table the project to a future meeting?


Mr. Weisberger stated that they could. To kill the project, they would have to vote it down. If this does not go through then the Commissioners should seriously look at tabling the project.


Mr. Arroyo stated that a motion to approve that does not fly does not mean that the project has been denied. The Commissioners actually have to make a motion to deny the project and have that pass.


Member Koneda asked if there is still the requirement for the southbound right turn lane off Ten Mile as part of the motion?


Chairperson Csordas stated yes.


Member Koneda stated that he is concerned that there is a burden being put on the developer to solve a problem that he did not cause.


Mr. Weisberger stated that he hopes that this is not considered an off-site improvement that considers impact. According to Member Capello, it is addressing the traffic concerns directly related to the project. For clarification, he thought that Member Koneda had asked for a green space waiver from the ZBA and he thinks that Ms. Lemke’s letter states that she is not in favor of that recommendation. If the motion states subject to all consultant’s recommendations then that is not necessarily the case.


Ms. Lemke stated that the way that the plan is now she is not in favor. They could present something else before they went to the ZBA and she might change her opinion.




Yes: Koneda, Churella

No: Csordas, Mutch, Piccinini, Watza, Canup, Capello


Chairperson Csordas asked if tabling an issue now?


Member Capello stated that the applicants could work with some of the concerns that the Commissioners have and there will be a new Commissioner at the next meeting.




Moved by Capello, seconded by Mutch, PASSES (5-3): To table Kindercare SP 99-43 until the next meeting.




Chairperson Csordas asked if Mr. Wahl had anything to add?


Mr. Wahl stated no.




Yes: Koneda, Mutch, Capello, Churella, Csordas

No: Piccinini, Watza, Canup


Member Mutch stated that one (1) of the conditions that he will be looking at is that seventy five-(75) foot setback from the future right-of-way land. He thinks that it needs to be addressed and that it is a proper condition of a Special Land Use.





This project is located in Section 02, north of 13 Mile Road and east of East Lake Drive. The 9.72 acre site is zoned R-4. Applicant is seeking Preliminary Site Plan and Woodlands Permit approvals.


Rick Hofsas, Zeimet Wozniak, stated that he is standing in for Mr. Soave this evening. The consultant’s have all issued their letters and there are all favorable letters from them.




Member Churella asked if Mr. Bluhm could comment on the drain?


Mr. Bluhm stated that the outlet is directly into Walled Lake, there is a see wall right on Walled Lake where it outlets directly to. As you move to the east and across East Lake Drive, it is enclosed. It is an elliptical concrete pipe that has been there for quite some time that is in fairly good shape. However, there is no flow through the pipe because the actual pipe has recessed down below the standing water of Walled Lake slightly. The pipe is perpetually half-full, has capacity to handle the ten-year flow, and it was designed originally for the ten-year flow of the area that drains to it. From that point, as it moves farther to the east it traverses the south side of this development’s property. It is very flat, standing water, fairly overgrown through that area, quite a bit of vegetation especially near the inlet to the actual enclosed part of the pipe and opens up as you move a little bit farther to the east. It wraps around into the large wetland as he has been talking about that exists at the eastern part of the site. The creek meanders in no well-defined route all the way to Novi Road and then continues to pick up the Maple’s of Novi flow. He does concur that this is a city drain, he does not believe that the county owns it. It is a creek and not a drain. One of the things that he would like to see the applicant do is some selective clearing, brushing and evaluation of that creek from the storm sewer part of it to the east across the property. There may be some incremental improvements in flow that they can make through there. It will be very limited, it is a very flat standing water drain. The drain works because of the rain and the flow. There is no continuous flow through the drain, it reaches an equilibrium and only when it rains does it begin to flow. Some improvements that they can make in brushing and possibly cleaning the drain out that he would be asking the engineer to evaluate at final in coordination with the wetlands people and Ms. Lemke. These are not large-scale improvements, the drain functions fairly well and the city continues to evaluate it’s ability to handle the flows beyond ten-year. It ultimately may need to be improved, the enclosed part of it, to handle those flows better but it would not be the applicant’s responsibility. That is the recommendation that he is making that they evaluate and selectively improve the drain itself across their property. He would like to add that as a condition to any kind of recommendation that the Commissioners make. Water quality is obviously the biggest issue and water quantity is an issue as well but he believes that the biggest concern is with the quality. The relocation of the sedimentation basin to the east provides more distance for the flows to travel before it outlets to Walled Lake, which is definitely an improvement. They have oil and gas separators as a requirement. The sedimentation basin will be converted into a water quality basin and will be required to be maintained permanently so the water quality improvements will be permanent. It will definitely help in long-term with cleaning the water up prior to its release into Walled Lake and that area. He is asking for an easement over the drain. Right now, there is no easement on the property of the developers and he is asking for one so that the city will have the ability to get in there and maintain the drain into the future. The sedimentation basin is shown partially into the easement that they have identified. He feels that it is a workable condition and he may ask them to slightly reconfigure the basin to alleviate any concerns with restricting flows through that part of the cross section. These are all final issues that he will be looking into a lot more depth but he would be asking the developer to meet on site to go over the types of improvement that he wants to be seen to maintain flow through there properly.


Chairperson Csordas stated that there were favorable recommendations from all of the consultants. He asked if Mr. Arroyo has anything to expand on before the discussion is continued?


Mr. Arroyo stated that all of his issues are clearly stated in his letter.


Chairperson Csordas asked Ms. Lemke if she had anything to add regarding woodlands and landscaping?


Ms. Lemke stated that she did meet with the applicant several times. She had talked about removing a lot last time at the discussion. She was able to save additional materials that were higher quality than saving just one (1) lot so that is why she gave a positive recommendation with conditions.


Member Mutch stated that in one (1) of the letters discussing the short amount of bike path/sidewalk that would go on East Lake Drive it noted that there was insufficient right-of-way in that area to successfully do that. He asked what the applicant would normally be required to dedicate?


Mr. Arroyo stated that they would be required to dedicate what is shown on the Master Plan. It is shown as a local street which would be a sixty-(60) foot wide right-of-way so half of that would be thirty (30) feet. It shows forty-eight (48) feet but he does not know how accurate it is if it has the statutory sixty-six (66) feet. The city is planning on adding a safety path to East Lake Drive and maybe it shouldn’t go in that location that is shown on the plan because it is going to be alongside the roadway. Maybe it would be appropriate for whatever money might be attached to this component to put into a fund to offset the cost of doing this.

Mr. Bluhm stated that he agrees. The concern that he is going to have if they put it in, is how it merges in with the path that he is proposing. It makes a lot more sense to have a continuous path with a single design along East Lake Drive as opposed to trying to merge in a piece that they build with the extensions that he is making. He would definitely support this kind of plan.


Member Mutch stated that his concern would be that if in the future the Commissioners found additional right-of-way or an easement. If they are legally required to give a certain amount that it is taken now even though it might not be consistent with the currently platted subdivisions. It may be needed in the future for either bike path extensions or something else.


Mr. Arroyo suggested to the applicant that when the next plan comes in that they clearly dimension thirty (30) feet from the center line as being the half of sixty (60) foot right-of-way and that it be provided for in the documents for the dedication.


Member Mutch asked that of the woodlands on the site that are not within the wetlands which they wouldn’t normally be allowed to touch how much preservation is being seen?


Ms. Lemke pointed to the areas on the map. She stated that most of the woodlands are being removed from the site, there are over two hundred (200) trees that will be removed and need to be replaced.


Member Mutch asked if a cluster option was looked at?


Ms. Lemke stated that she did not think that the site was eligible for a cluster option.


Member Mutch asked if it was fifty (50) percent woodlands?


Ms. Lemke stated that she would have to check. She had raised some options before that was eligible for, she can look back at her letters. She knew that the applicant was not interested in pursuing it though.


Member Mutch asked if the applicant is required to explore options under the woodland ordinance?


Ms. Lemke stated that she is required to ask them.


Member Mutch asked if they have to show it.


Ms. Lemke stated no.


Member Mutch asked if the Commissioners do not have to give them a permit?


Ms. Lemke stated that is correct.


Member Mutch stated that some of the lots are larger than ten thousand (10,000) square feet and he knows that it is because of where some of them are located. He asked if there would be any benefits to reducing lots one (1) and two (2) to ten thousand (10,000) square feet?


Ms. Lemke stated that it would be difficult to do it.


Member Mutch asked what the difficulty would be?


Ms. Lemke stated that they would be reduced lengthwise but they meet the minimum width.


Member Mutch stated that he is looking to retain the woods on the rear of the property.


Ms. Lemke stated that the reason that the woods are being taken out of there is because they do have drainage problems and weeds in the rear.


Member Mutch stated that he has a concern that a cluster option was not discussed. He asked Mr. Arroyo if a cluster would apply on this site?


Mr. Arroyo stated that he would have to check.


Member Mutch stated that he thinks with a site that is this heavily wooded and obviously, small amounts of woodlands are being preserved. If the trees are saved then that is a bonus. He thinks the biggest issue that he has is the private drive, which is going to negatively affect the homeowners on both sides of the street. He knows that it will create a problem for those homeowners in the future and will obviously reduce the property values of them. The private drive does not benefit the future homeowners and the neighbors. It benefits the developer only and he cannot support that kind of proposal. He does not think that he could support a woodlands permit without exploration of a cluster option on the property.


Member Capello stated that he thought that last time this was in front of the Commissioners it was discussed with Mr. Weisberger whether or not they could grant site plan approval. Because the developer was, utilizing a private access road or having the road go over to another resident’s lot. They were allowed to do it and that was not without their review. It was for the private individual’s to enforce deed restrictions. He thinks that there were even some Supreme Court cases that supported the developer’s right to utilize a private road to go over other residential property even in a platted subdivision to gain access.


Mr. Weisberger stated that there was a case that dealt with subdivisions but the legal opinion from the majority of municipalities that did not apply to this type of condominium project. There is not necessarily a Supreme Court case that dealt with it. Supreme Court cases dealt with deed restrictions and whether or not you can access further residential development through a residential lot. The answer was you could as long as you were not using a residential lot for access to a commercial development. As long as there was a similar use to the lot that, you were using for access.


Member Capello stated that he thinks that last time he asked the applicant if they exercised the cluster option.


Mr. Arroyo stated that in order to qualify for a cluster option you have to meet certain conditions. There is A and B in the ordinance. The applicant does not meet A so you would have to look to B. A is that there is a parcel of land that doesn’t exceed three hundred sixty (360) feet of depth abutting a major thoroughfare so it does not apply in this case. He thinks that it exceeds three hundred sixty (360) feet in depth. The next one is "the land consists of an unsubdivided area and the Planning Commission finds after reviewing the proposed site plan and after a public hearing that the conventional approach to residential development would destroy the unique environmental significance of the site and that the use of the cluster option is a desirable course of action to follow." There are a number of conditions that have to be met. One question that he has is does the land consist of an un-subdivided area when there is subdivided parcels within the legal description?


Member Mutch asked if it would qualify under number four (4)?


Mr. Arroyo stated that the majority, fifty (50) percent of the net side area exclusive of right-of-ways is composed of woodlands or wetlands. Ms. Lemke had answered yes.


Ms. Lemke stated that it is basically a one hundred (100) percent wooded site.


Mr. Arroyo stated that under number two (2) is the woodlands and wetlands used to qualify for the cluster option have to be left undisturbed so as to remain in excess of fifty (50) percent of that side area after development.


Ms. Lemke stated that it would be hard to do.


Mr. Weisberger stated that if you read the ordinance literally there is a section on the area that has subdivided lots on it so he would say that it does not qualify.


Member Capello stated that he does not like to force applicants into certain business decisions. In particular, if you are going to develop single family homes or cluster homes it is a business decision on your part. The last cluster option that he remembers coming through was Tri-mount’s project just west of Lochmor and Eleven Mile. The applicant got two (2) buildings up, decided that it was not marketable and went back to typical single family homes.


Mr. Arroyo stated that the project is just about built out and is detached cluster. There can be detached clusters under the cluster option so there can be individual units. However, they have to be clustered together so that they are together but still separated by space. The standards in the ordinance clearly spell out how it is done.


Mr. Hofsas stated that Mr. Soave builds single family houses usually in a subdivision and he does not build cluster style housing. It is his intention to duplicate his subdivision as closely as he can. Normally, the developer would request the cluster option as an option to increase the density but that is not Mr. Soave’s intention. With respect to the reducing, the depths of lots one (1) and two (2) he thinks that what would happen then would be a parcel of open space that would not have any access. He could try when it comes to final engineering to move the sump legion around and try to save some trees.


Member Capello stated that when he asked the applicant to move the sedimentation basin back to lot eight (8) he thinks that it saved several trees.


Member Mutch stated that he thinks that there is the misperception that cluster somehow signifies a multi-family attached development, which may be true in some communities. He thinks that Abbey Woods is a perfect example. It is an R-1 development where if you drive down the street there is a little bit of separation between a couple of the units. Essentially they look like and are detached single family homes. It is not a question of a subdivision versus a site condo because this is going to be a site condominium. In terms of the ownership, issue there is no difference and in terms of the development, there can be a detached single family house that would be the exact same thing. The benefit of the cluster option is that it gives the flexibility to the developer and the consultants to position the houses instead of being locked into square lots. With the square lots you have to have a thirty-five (35) foot setback you can have the clustered homes tighter while still preserving the space. Maybe it is not possible but he thinks that having the engineers do a quick study to see if it is possible is worth the time. He knows that it is not a big site but when you look at the east side of the lake there are no other big pieces of property left that have this direct impact on the east side of the lake.


Chairperson Csordas stated that he had the opportunity to speak with Sarah Gray and she was concerned about the quality of water that was going to drain from the area into Walled Lake. He wanted to make sure that the consultant’s are comfortable with the water that drains from the site and goes into Walled Lake.


Mr. Bluhm stated that they have the groundwork established. They will have steps that they will need to take at final to continue to satisfy him that they have optimized it to the best that it can be. He will be looking for them to do that at the final engineering stage.




Moved by Canup, seconded by Watza, PASSES (6-1): To grant Preliminary Site Plan and Woodland permit approvals for Morgan Creek SP 98-27 subject to all of the consultant’s recommendations.




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

No: Mutch


(Note: Member Piccinini left before the motion.)



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, principal at Wah Yee Associates Architects, stated that this is the second time that he has come before the Planning Commissioners. He is returning successfully from the ZBA. He received a unanimous approval for the variance for the side yards. The building is now in complete compliance with the Zoning Ordinance. He intends to comply completely with all of the consultant’s recommendations.


Chairperson Csordas asked if any of the consultants wished to comment? He noticed that Mr. Arroyo had a couple of conditions, engineering is okay, traffic is okay, there is approval and conditions from the Fire Department, landscaping was okay, woodlands was okay, and wetlands are okay. He asked Ms. Lemke about the waiver for the screening of the loading area? He asked if it got ZBA approval?


Ms. Lemke stated that yes it did.


Chairperson Csordas asked if the side yard met approval?


Mr. Arroyo stated that item number one (1) in his letter no longer applies. It was what the ZBA addressed with their action.




Member Koneda stated that the Commissioners could have voted on this when it was before them in August conditional upon ZBA approval. He remembered Member Canup made a motion to table it so that all of the issues such as the fire apparatus, dumpster screening, parking, and the sidewalk could be addressed. He does not see anything that addresses any of the issues except for the two-(2) variances from the ZBA. He asked if anyone remember what the issues were that came up? He is prepared to vote in favor of the project but he just wants to make sure that all of the issues that were supposed to be cleaned up are addressed.


Mr. Arroyo stated that there were a couple of comments related in his traffic review. These were all things that he felt could be addressed at final.


Chairperson Csordas stated that Member Koneda did bring up a good point and evidently, the petitioner has agreed to comply with the fire. He remembers that being an issue.


Member Canup stated that his understanding is that they have been to ZBA. He asked how they got to the ZBA?


Mr. Arroyo stated that essentially the Commissioners tabled action to allow the applicant to go to the ZBA to address the issue. the Commissioners wanted to determine whether or not they needed to see a revised plan to address the setback situation. His recollection was that the Commissioners tabled it so they could state their case to the ZBA, see how it goes, and then figure out what they would do from that point.


Mr. Weisberger read the motion "To table Preliminary Site Plan and Woodlands permit approval for Beechforest SP 99-30 until the participant has had the opportunity to go to the ZBA and work out the issues." He thinks that the issues with the ZBA were the height of the building and he thinks that they have been worked out with the ZBA.




Moved by Koneda, seconded by Watza, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To grant Preliminary Site Plan and Woodland permit approvals subject to all of the comments and conditions of the consultant’s for Beechforest Park SP 99-30.




Member Canup stated that he is disappointed in the ZBA because the hardship here was a self-created hardship. There is a new building, new zoning district and already there are problems with the intent of the ordinance. He is saddened by the fact that the ZBA approved it.




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

No: None












Debbie Bundoft, Novi/Twelve Mile Road, stated that she wanted clarification on an issue. Mr. Arroyo was talking about a project in the Wixom/Grand River area and he had said something about a current problem with the traffic. He stated that signal timing could possibly improve the situation. If that is known and the current situation could be improved why hasn’t it been done or checked out if it would improve it?


Chairperson Csordas asked if that was one (1) of the items on the Road Bond?


Mr. Arroyo stated that the question is related to the signal timing and actually, that information has just come to him in the form of the applicant’s traffic study. It is a Road Commission signal, they control the signal and timing and they can certainly be asked to evaluate it.


Ms. Bundoft asked if it could be done?


Mr. Arroyo suggested that she asks the department to forward it on to the Road Commission and it could certainly be requested.


Chairperson Csordas asked Mr. Wahl to do so.


Member Mutch stated that if it is Grand River and Wixom Road then it is not Novi, it is actually the city of Wixom. Going to City Council might not get you too far but maybe the Road Commission or Wixom City Council could. Projects that Wixom is doing may have an impact on the timeline. Maybe it is something that is already underway in Wixom.


Mr. Arroyo stated that his suggestion was to make the request to the Road Commission because it is their responsibility. He thinks that they would listen whether it is in Novi or not. There are going to be changes to that intersection because of what is going to happen with the improvements related to the freeway. He thinks that it is a reasonable request to make.


Chairperson Csordas asked if there were any other members of the audience that would like to address the Planning Commission?


Member Capello stated that he happened to run into Mr. Weisberger in court about a month ago. It appears that what is happening is that the Commissioners are finessing the woodland permits and getting them where they want them. Some of the developers are able to go to the Woodlands Review Board. He asked if that is where they go?


Mr. Weisberger stated that they submit the plans through Ms. Lemke’s office and are then able to ask for further tree removal.


Ms. Lemke stated that that has happened recently but it does not normally happen. It was not the developer that went for a further reduction it was the individual lot owner.


Member Capello stated that he is thinking of the project down at the end of Clark Street. He asked what it is called?


Ms. Lemke stated Settler’s Creek. She stated that the individual lot owners did it.


Member Mutch asked what is being done?


Member Capello stated that he just wants to see if there is any sense in looking at the ordinance and seeing if there is any additional trees removed after a woodland permit is granted.


Ms. Lemke stated that it is something that could be looked at. However, these individual homeowners asked for an extension of their back yard area.


Mr. Weisberger stated that the concern is when the plat or site condos are done the Commissioners "draw a line into the sand as to where they want the woodlands to go" and the line in the sand is pecked away at by individual lot owners. What you see walking out the door is the woodlands permit is not necessarily where the woodlands will stop. If there is a way in which there could be a mechanism, where the developers could show his building envelope and that is where the woodlands will stop. If anyone wants to go further than that then they come back to the Commissioners, who drew the line in the sand.


Member Mutch stated that the permit is granted to the developer not the homeowner and he is not clear on how this functions.


Ms. Lemke stated that if a homeowner wants to go beyond the limit then they have the right to the go to the Woodlands Review board and seek relief. It has happened recently with Settler’s Creek.


Mr. Weisberger stated that he does not know how many applicants there are and the meetings are starting to run late as it is.


Member Mutch stated that maybe it is just the process that the Commissioners better define the lot, permit area, and avoid the problem down the road in the first place.




Moved by Capello, seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To send the issue to Implementation Committee for investigation.




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

No: None






Moved by Capello, seconded by Churella, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (7-0): To adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission at 10:20 p.m.




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

No: None




Beth Brock - Planning Assistant


Transcribed by: Sarah Marchioni

November 5, 1999


Date Approved: November 17, 1999