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City Council Meeting Minutes
February 10, 2020 | City Council Minutes

CITY OF GROSSE POINTE FARMS
CITY COUNCIL
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES

A regularly scheduled meeting of the City Council for the City of Grosse Pointe Farms was called to order at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, February 10, 2020, by Mayor Louis Theros, at 90 Kerby Road, Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan.
Present: Mayor Louis Theros, Mayor Pro Tem Joe Ricci, Councilmembers John J. Gillooly, James C. Farquhar, Beth Konrad-Wilberding, Neil Sroka and Lev Wood.
Absent: None.
Also Present: Shane Reeside, City Manager; Derrick Kozicki, City Clerk & Assistant City Manager; Debra Peck-Lichtenberg, City Controller & Treasurer; Daniel Jensen, Director of Public Safety; John Hutchins, Deputy Director of Public Safety; Matthew Baka, Director of Public Service; and William T. Burgess, City Attorney.
Mayor Theros led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Council considered the Minutes of the Regular City Council Meeting held on January 21, 2020.
Mayor Theros motioned to approve the Minutes of the Regular City Council Meeting held on January 21, 2020. Motion carried.
Council held a Public Hearing to consider a request for preliminary site plan approval of an addition and site alterations at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial located at 32 Lake Shore Road.

Charles Burke, President and CEO of the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, applicant, gave a presentation regarding the preliminary site plan for an addition and site alterations at 32 Lake Shore Road.

Sroka asked the applicant if valet would be free to alleviate congestion around the front entrance.

Mr. Burke stated that valet is and would continue to be free.

Ricci shared two types of bird deterrent glass with the applicant that could be used to reduce birds striking the building.

Konrad-Wilberding shared two examples of bird friendly design at Northwestern University and Loyola University with the applicant.

Gillooly stated that he has met with the Grosse Pointe War Memorial Board and stressed the importance of continued public engagement for this project.

Wood asked if a lighting plan for the parking lot has been created yet.
Mr. Burke stated that a lighting plan for the parking lot has not been created but would not be different than the current conditions except the lighting will be LED.

Wood asked the applicant if native plantings would be prominent in the landscaping plan.

Mr. Burke stated that the landscaping plan would only include plantings recommended by a landscaping architect.

Wood asked the applicant if this project would be a low impact development.

Mr. Burke stated that a sustainability task force would be utilized to evaluate potential green-friendly infrastructure related to this project.

Sroka recommended that bird advocates be included as members of the sustainability task force.

Mayor Theros told the applicant that the final site plan application would need to include details about the construction materials and construction schedule.

Mr. Burke stated a dedicated construction manager would be used for this project and that those items would be included in the application.

Mayor Theros opened public comment at 7:40 p.m.

Marcia McBrien, 74 Cambridge Road, stated she is concerned about this project increasing the amount of birds colliding with the building.

Susan Bristol, 168 Moross Road, stated she is concerned about this project increasing the amount of birds colliding with the building.

Margaret Walter, 268 Ridgemont Road, stated she is concerned about this project increasing the amount of birds colliding with the building.

Jim Schultz, Grosse Pointe Memorial Church, stated he is in favor of granting the parking variance and the proposed preliminary site plan.

Dr. Constance Boris, 28 McKinley Place, stated she is concerned about this project increasing the amount of birds colliding with the building.

Judy Marsh, 22 Elm Court, stated that an Alger family member she spoke to was not aware of the proposed project.

Mayor Theros closed public comment at 7:55 p.m.

Wood motioned, Ricci seconded to grant preliminary site plan approval to the Applicant, the Grosse Pointe War Memorial as required in accordance with Sections 1511, Subsections 1(c) and 1(d) of the Zoning Ordinance.

The Applicant wishes to construct a new multi-purpose community room, renovate the existing parking lot and construct several other site improvements.

We grant this preliminary site plan with the understanding that the Applicant will return to the City Council once detailed elevation drawings are complete that will specify the design and materials proposed for the project. At that time, the plan will be reviewed for consistency with the preliminary site plan and any additional zoning ordinance requirements.

Our decision to approve this preliminary site plan is based upon review of the McKenna memo dated February 3, 2020, a memo from Matt Baka to Derrick Kozicki dated January 31, 2020, information contained in a packet titled “GPWM Site Plan and Parking Variance Application – Council Materials” and on un-dated, detailed, floor plans by Tryba Architects.

After reviewing the available information, we find the following:

• The new renovation will have minimal interference with the routine activities of the Grosse Pointe Club or the Grosse Pointe Memorial Church.

• The new plans show a land use that is consistent with the development pattern of the War Memorial site in that the new development does not increase density at the site nor does it require a need for an increase in government services such as public safety, storm water management and provision of drinking water.

• The preliminary site plans support a desirable environmental stewardship and a low impact development approach by the War Memorial which is beneficial to the public.
• The new plans reuse and improve the existing site.

• The new proposed uses are consistent with the City’s adopted Master Plan.

Approval of this preliminary site plan is subject to the following conditions:

• The final site plan must include a landscape plan acceptable to City Council.

• Concerns about birds colliding with the glass building have been voiced by residents. The War Memorial will mitigate this risk by providing a “bird friendly” design that will be reviewed by staff and City Council at the time of Final Site Plan approval.

• Tree species native to Michigan will be used and shown on the Final Site Plan.

• A photometric plan will be conducted with the concerns of the neighbors in mind. The photometric plan will be part of the Final Site Plan submittal.

VOTE: YES: Theros, Farquhar, Gillooly, Konrad-Wilberding, Ricci, Sroka and Wood. NO: None. ABSENT: None. Motion carried.

Council considered a request for parking exception for proposed addition at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial located at 32 Lake Shore Road.
Wood motioned, Ricci seconded to grant a parking exception to the Applicant, the Grosse Pointe War Memorial as required in accordance with Zoning Ord. Sec. 1504 9 C.
The Applicant wishes to reduce the number of required parking spaces by ten; from 312 required to 302.
Our decision to approve this parking exception is based upon review of the McKenna memo dated February 3, 2020, a memo from Matt Baka to Derrick Kozicki dated January 31, 2020, information contained in a packet titled “GPWM Site Plan and Parking Variance Application – Council Materials” and on un-dated, detailed, floor plans by Tryba Architects.
Based upon review of the available information, we find the following:
• The magnitude of parking space reduction is small – the 3% reduction request is reasonable given the efforts being made to find cooperative parking arrangements.
• The new plans show a land use that is consistent with the development pattern of the War Memorial site.
Approval of this parking space exemption is subject to the following conditions:
• The War Memorial will continue to work cooperatively with the Grosse Pointe Club and the Grosse Pointe Memorial Church to satisfy parking requirements.
• The War Memorial will re-allocated their programming in order to avoid a need for overflow parking and to avoid the need to have patrons park on Jefferson Avenue.
• If needed, the War Memorial will provide off-site parking at South High School on those days or nights when there is conflicting programming.
• The War Memorial will revise the use agreement previously executed with the City that restricts the Patriot Theatre programming at the same time as ballroom functions. The form of the revised use agreement must be acceptable to the City Attorney and City Administration.
• Valet parking services will be used as often as possible in order to make parking more efficient at the site.
VOTE: YES: Theros, Farquhar, Gillooly, Konrad-Wilberding, Ricci, Sroka and Wood. NO: None. ABSENT: None. Motion carried.

Farquhar motioned, Wood seconded to adjourn the Regular City Council Meeting and reconvene as the Board of Zoning Appeals. Motion carried unanimously.

The Board of Zoning Appeals held a Public Hearing to consider a dimensional variance at 343 Mt. Vernon to allow a covered porch to extend into the required front setback.

Blake Elderkin, agent for the property owners, gave a brief presentation regarding the requested variance.
Ricci stated that a similar variance was granted for a home on Mapleton Road.

President Theros opened public comment at 8:12 p.m.

City Clerk stated the following written public comment was received.

No public comment was heard at the meeting.

President Theros closed public comment at 8:12 p.m.

Gillooly motioned, Wood seconded that the Board of Zoning Appeals grant Jim and Barbara Evans the property owners of 343 Mt. Vernon a variance of 1’-4 ½” for a covered front porch overhang in the front yard after considering the following:

1. The variance is in harmony with and serves the intent and purpose of this Ordinance after considering:

a) The extent of the variance in relation to the requirement;
b) The effect, if the variance is allowed, of the increased population density produced on available governmental facilities and on the character of the district;
c) Whether a proposed building is in harmony with the predominant type of building in the district in size, character, location and intended use.

2. The variance will result in substantial justice being done, considering the public benefits intended to be secured by this Ordinance, the hardships or difficulties suffered if a variance is not granted, and whether the hardship or difficulty can be obviated by some method other than a variance.

3. The variance will not substantially interfere with or injure the rights of persons whose property is affected by the proposed variance.

4. The proposed variance meets the standards of Article XXV.

Council considered the following items on the Consent Agenda.
a) Consideration of a request from the Finance Director to approve December 2019 invoices.
b) Consideration of a request from Administration to enter into an agreement with Revize LLC for website redesign and hosting services.
c) Consideration of a request from the Public Safety Director to replace the current I.P. Logger as mandated by the State of Michigan and replace it with compatible equipment.
VOTE: YES: Theros, Farquhar, Gillooly, Konrad-Wilberding, Ricci, Sroka and Wood. NO: None. ABSENT: None. Motion carried.

The Board of Zoning Appeals held a Public Hearing to consider a use variance for the occupancy, of the structure at 383 Kercheval Avenue (former Jerry’s Club Party Store) as an establishment for the preparation and sale of food for off-site consumption.

Annie Moreland, applicant, gave a brief presentation regarding her request for use variance at 383 Kercheval Avenue.

Wood asked the applicant if future signage would be compliant with the sign ordinance.

Ms. Moreland stated yes, the future signage would be compliant with the sign ordinance.

Wood asked the applicant what exterior changes would be made to building.

Ms. Moreland stated that she would add a sign, sign lighting, exterior paint and potentially the windows.

Konrad-Wilberding asked if the building owner was present.

Ms. Moreland stated the building owner was Jodi Spitz and she was present.

Konrad-Wilberding asked the applicant about their business plan.

The applicant explained that the business would prepare meals for limited pickup and delivery to local customers.

President Theros asked what percentage of the business would be customers picking up their pre-made meals.

The applicant stated ten percent of the business would be pickup.

Farquhar asked the applicant to explain what the business’ employee parking requirements would be.

The applicant stated there would be one shared space behind Jerry’s Party Store.

Farquhar asked the applicant where the HVAC System would be located.

The applicant stated she did not have an exact location at this time.

Public Services Director Baka stated the HVAC System would need to be located on the roof.

Farquhar asked where the ventilation for the kitchen would be located.

Public Services Director Baka stated ideally the kitchen ventilation would be directed to the roof upward.

The building owner, Jodi Spitz, stated that the HVAC would go where the condenser is and the venting will face the side of the building.

President Theros stated that drawings show two ranges venting to the side of the building.

City Attorney Burgess reminded the Board of Zoning Appeals that a use variance requires five votes to be granted.

President Theros opened public comment at 8:50 p.m.

Jerry and Molly Wagner, 350 Mary Street, spoke against granting the use variance due to traffic and parking concerns.

Vanessa Young, 160 Lakeview Street, spoke against granting the use variance due to concerns about parking, traffic, noise, odors and rodents.

Patria Bologna, 370 Country Club Lane, spoke against granting the use variance due to concerns about parking and traffic safety.

Edward Russell, 155 Irvine Lane, spoke against granting the use variance due to concerns about parking and ventilation.

Applicant was asked if they would like to postpone the public hearing until the March City Council Meeting.

The applicant stated she would like to postpone the public hearing until the March City Council Meeting.

Wood motioned, Farquhar seconded to postpone the public hearing until the March City Council Meeting. VOTE: YES: Theros, Farquhar, Gillooly, Konrad-Wilberding, Ricci, Sroka and Wood. NO: None. ABSENT: None. Motion carried.

The Board of Zoning Appeals held a Public Hearing to consider two dimensional variances to allow for the alteration of an existing home at 122 Muir Road.

Jim Budziak of FPJ Investments, property owner and applicant, gave a presentation regarding the request for two variances.

President Theros opened public comment at 9:20 p.m.

Rhena Moore, 120 Muir Road, stated she is concerned about parking and the construction schedule.

President Theros close public comment at 9:25 p.m.

Wood motioned, Gillooly seconded move that the appeal of FPJ Investment, the owners of 122 Muir Road, be granted thereby authorizing issuance of a building permit to construct the renovation of a single family home. Specifically, we grant two variances to allow:
1. A dimensional variance to allow the alternation of an existing home with a non-conforming side-yard setback, and
2. Allow a dimensional variance for new lot coverage

We grant these variances after reviewing a memo from McKenna dated February 3, 2020, a memo from Matt Baka to Derrick Kozicki dated January 30, 2020 and a comprehensive set of building plans date stamped December 19, 2019.

The Board hereby grants the two variances to Article 17 of the City’s Zoning Ordinance to allow for a 3” 1 3/8” side-yard setback (keeping it the same as the existing conditions) and a total reduced lot coverage of 38.4% from 43%.

For variance #1, the side-yard variance is granted on the basis that:
1. Strict application of the Zoning Ordinance would result in a practical difficulty for the user of the property due to the fact that the lot is already non-conforming for the side-yard and a variance is needed to allow a continuation of the current set-back
2. The practical difficulty is not self-created
3. The variance is in harmony with and serves the intent and purpose of the Ordinance because:
a. The variance will not result in substantial variation from the requirements of the Ordinance and in fact leaves the set-back the same as it currently exists
b. The variance will not result in increased population density
c. The variance will not adversely affect government services or the character of the district
d. The proposed project is in harmony with the predominant type of building in the district
4. The variance will result in substantial justice being done because of the hardship suffered if a variance is not granted would be significant and there are no viable alternatives that would eliminate the hardship
5. There are no letters from neighbors in the file that object to the new lot coverage

For variance #2, the lot coverage variance is granted on the basis that:
1. Strict application of the Zoning Ordinance would result in a practical difficulty for the user of the property due to the fact that the lot is already non-conforming for the total lot coverage and a variance is needed to allow a reduction in the lot coverage
2. The practical difficulty is not self-created
3. The variance is in harmony with and serves the intent and purpose of the Ordinance because the variance will result in a public benefit in that the total lot coverage will be reduced from 43% to 38.4% coverage.
4. The variance will result in substantial justice being done because there are no viable alternatives that would obviate the hardship
5. There are no letters in the file that object to the new lot coverage
6. The variance does not increase population density, the building will be in character and harmony with the surrounding homes and the newly renovated home will not increase the demand on government services

VOTE: YES: Theros, Farquhar, Gillooly, Konrad-Wilberding, Ricci, Sroka and Wood. NO: None. ABSENT: None. Motion carried.

Council considered a METRO Act Permit Application from Rocket Fiber LLC.

Abbie Spector, Project Manager at Rocket Fiber LLC, gave a brief presentation regarding the permit application.

Wood asked the applicant if this application was pro forma and if it would only apply to accessing the right of way for Grosse Pointe Public School System.

Ms. Spector stated that the Metro Act Application was pro forma and it would only apply to accessing the right of way for the Grosse Pointe Public School System.

Wood asked the applicant if the City’s requirement of a performance bond to cover the City specifically would be acceptable.

Ms. Spector stated that the City’s requirement of a performance bond to cover the City specifically would be acceptable.

Council heard public comment on the agenda item.

Gillooly motioned, Wood seconded to approve the application for a Metro Act Permit submitted by Rocket Fiber LLC contingent upon the following conditions: 1) Rocket Fiber LLC obtains a separate performance bond for their work specifically in the City of Grosse Pointe Farms’ Right of Way; and 2) that Rocket Fiber LLC keep the insurance limits on the certificate of liability insurance submitted with the Metro Act Permit applications except for increases as follows:

• Commercial General Liability limits be increased to $2,000,000 for A) Each occurrence; B) Damage to Rented Property; C) General Aggregate; and D) Products-Comp/OP AGG.
• Automobile Liability limits be increased to $2,000,000 for A) Combined Single Limit (Ea accident); B) Bodily Injury (Per person); C) Bodily Injury (Per accident); and D) Property Damage (Per accident).

Motion carried.

Council considered the following items on the Consent Agenda.

a. Consideration of a request from Administration to approve the 2020 Grosse Pointe Farms Regatta Fireworks Display.
b. Consideration of a request from Beautification Chair Lev Wood to reappoint Sheila O’Hara, Stephen Hansen and Michael Brown.
c. Consideration of a request from Administration to renew a cell tower lease agreement with AT&T.
d. Consideration of resolution regarding Wayne County Annual Permit renewals.
e. Consideration of a request from the Finance Director to approve January 2020 invoices.

Wood motioned, Farquhar seconded to remove item “a” and approve items “b-e” on the Consent Agenda. Motion carried.

Council considered a request from Administration to approve the 2020 Grosse Pointe Farms Regatta Fireworks Display.

Farquhar motioned, Gillooly seconded to approve the Grosse Pointe Farms Regatta Fireworks Display including all of the necessary permits. Motion carried.

Council received the January 2020 Public Safety Report.

Council received the Quarterly Financial Report for the Six Months Ended December 31, 2019.

Council heard Public Comment from the audience.
Mayor Theros adjourned the regular meeting at 10:05 p.m.


Derrick Kozicki, City Clerk                                                                  Louis Theros, Mayor

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