Boards and Commissions
The City Council encourages resident involvement in City
government and relies on dedicated residents who wish to serve the
City as a volunteer on various Boards and Commissions. The Boards
and Commission Selection Committee interviews interested applicants
and make their appointment recommendations to the City Council.
Residents must be a registered voter, a resident for at least two
years, and not in debt to the City.
for a complete list of the composition, purpose, and meeting dates
and times for the various Boards and Commissions.
here to print an application to serve on a Board or Commission.
Click here to print an application to serve on the Arts Commission.
Click here to view the Boards and
Commission meeting schedule.
Click here for a list of Boards and
Board and Commission
Additional information on the
Beautification Commission and Housing Commission is in the
Section of our website.
The vision of Jay
Wendt will continue to serve the city as new developments take shape
would prompt a business owner to invest 40 years of his free time as a
volunteer to the City of Northville to ensure that builders and
developers abide by ordinances? For Jay Wendt, retiring chair of the
Planning Commission, it was based on an affinity for the city and a
belief that new development should enhance a city.
“I try to be
positive. There’s give and take with ordinances; they have to adjust
with the times. Developers often want things that go against the
ordinances. It’s the Board of Commissioner’s job to work with them,”
said Wendt, who announced his retirement from the board at the April 3
For nearly four years, he was the Planning Commission
liaison to the Board of Zoning Appeals. His preference though was to
create and uphold the standards rather than defend challenges.
Educated as a physicist, Wendt’s occupation centered on sales. He owned
an electrical supply company in Livonia, and sold it before retiring. As
a board member, he was glad to be an outsider – one who didn’t work as a
developer, builder or in real estate. He would like to see that continue
with the new board member who is appointed to the vacancy. (Applications
will be accepted until May 18. –
“People like Jay
are the reason Northville is such a special place,” said Pat Sullivan,
city manager. “I can’t imagine how many hours Jay has given us over 40
years, but it has to be rewarding for him to drive through Northville
and see all the great developments he’s helped shape with his
leadership. We’ll miss him.”
When he first came to Northville in
the late 1970s, he brought a broader vision of what building standards
and growth should look like. Sometimes that went against the grain of
longtime residents who wanted the city to stay just as it was. When an
ordinance was changed, he made sure there was some benefit for the city.
One of the most important, yet contentious building projects he was
involved in was the school built in 2007 at Our Lady of Victory on
Orchard Drive. The board spent about one year wrestling with the process
of review, changes, objections and eventual approval.
recalled the resistance of residents who didn’t want a two-story
structure in the neighborhood. Public meetings on the matter drew
standing-room-only crowds. Residents got a chance to talk on the stage
of the Northville Community Center for three minutes.
long nights of public comment, the Planning Commission considered those
views and pored over the building plans to search for a compromise. The
solution was to have one of the two stories become a lower level floor,
partially built underground.
“We (the board) worked with
neighbors and the church and almost everyone came out happy,” Wendt
recalls. He added that the mayor and city manager kept the process
moving by being available to residents and the builder.
with developers on historic buildings – such as the New Victorian
Building (on Cady) and Village Workshop – was a sweet spot for Wendt.
Although the Historic District Commission regulates exteriors in the
historic district, the Building Department ensures that standards are
met inside and out.
“The (different) owners spent a lot of time
making sure things were right and worked with the city,” Wendt said.
Many may not know that a bowling alley occupied the corner where
MainCentre, apartments by Singh, has resided since the 1980s. As a board
member, Wendt was involved in the oversight of the new construction
Big changes are coming to the city, especially with
Hunter Pasteur Homes under contract to buy the Northville Downs property
for new residences (single-family homes, apartments and condos) and Cady
Street primed for development. Wendt is proud of his advisory work on
the master plan, which is shaping the direction of these landmark
He predicts the Northville Downs redevelopment plan
will take a lot of work with the Planning Commission and Building
Department. He was one of the advocates for daylighting the river that
is encased in concrete currently, and adding a public park along the
waterway. (While this concept is in the master plan, details and costs
need to be worked out.)
As a board member, he advocated for
bringing more technology to town. He wanted to convert outdoors lights
to LED lights, and add camera-linked timing devices to traffic lights to
keep traffic flowing. In addition, he is a proponent of installing solar
panels on homes in a manner that is aesthetically acceptable. The new
commission will have to carry the torch on those matters.
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