Council approves new ordinance
Posted on 06/06/2024
City Hall is where City Council meetings are held.City Council recap of June 3 meeting

New Community Development Director – City Manager George Lahanas introduced the new director of Community Development, Justin Quagliata, to Council members. He is a MSU graduate and recently worked as a planner for White Lake Township’s Community Development Dept. Quagliata shook hands with Council members and said he is excited to be working for Northville, noting it’s a small city where much is happening.

Ordinance approved (Chapter 6) – Council adopted the new ordinance at the second reading. It is the Dance and Entertainment Article IV. The ordinance regulates music, public address systems, and other forms of audio projections from within bars, restaurants and clubs. Among the measures, the combined noise of live, recorded, or amplified music, employees and patrons shall not be so loud as to be audible beyond the boundaries of the dance entertainment premises. In addition, music cannot project sound away from the hosting establishment. The Northville Police Dept. shall be enforcers of the sound levels, considering decibel readings from inside the building and any outlaying factors that contribute to the sound level, such as traffic and construction. Applications, with a corresponding fee, are due by April 30 of each year. The permits are good for one year and can’t be automatically renewed.

Parking Survey Contract – Council approved a contract with Fishbeck, of Novi, in the not-to-exceed amount of $46,612 to conduct a 2024 Parking Management Study. The study will include a plan to implement short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals with cost estimates. Fishbeck will help the city develop a parking policy, management plan, and identify potential new parking sites/concepts that support sustainability. Data collected as part of the study will be used to apply for future grants. The last such study was done in 2006. A community workshop will be held as part of the contract. The motion passed on a 3-2 vote; Genitti and Krenz voted no.

Application for street crossings grant – Council approved a request by Strategic Planning Director Wendy Longpre to prepare and submit an application to MDOT’s Shared Streets and Spaces Grant Program. This program is funded by federal dollars and provides grants of up to $200,000 to cities to fund projects that make communities more walkable, bikeable, and friendly to transit and micromobility, such as scooters. The program does not require a local match. Longpre showed the three pedestrian crossings that would benefit from the potential funding: 7 Mile and River, Fairbrook and Center, and Cady Street connection to downtown (near Town Square, west of Hutton). These crossings will be partially funded by the Downs developer as defined in the Downs Development Agreement. OHM will prepare the grant application. The Mobility Network, represented by co-chair Nancy Darga, spoke in favor of the grant submission. She said those three crosswalks are part of a larger network of crosswalks identified in the Mobility Study as needing enhanced safety measures for pedestrians, families and bicyclists, and ADA compliance.

Minutes of the May 20 regular meeting
– The minutes were moved from the consent agenda to the regular agenda, becoming 9D, at the request of Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Moroski-Browne. She stated she had read the two letters submitted via email as part of Public Comment, and asked that the writers’ names, addresses and a brief statement be entered along with those letters into the minutes. Council approved the motion.

From the consent agenda, items of interest due to community impact or budget amount

Resolution in support of historic tax credits – Council agreed to write a resolution of support for House Bill 5430 and calls upon the Michigan Legislature to approve this legislation and for Gov. Whitmer to sign it, which will protect irreplaceable historic buildings, while stimulating economic development. The Michigan Historic Preservation Network (MHPN) noted that resolutions played a key role in reinstating the credit in 2020. However, it had a cap of $5 million. The new bill has expanded funding and a more equitable application process for owners of historic homes and businesses.

Debra St. to be paved – City Council awarded a contract extension to Nagel Paving Co. for the 2024 Local Road Reconstruction Program in the amount of $172,845 with a 15% contingency for total of $198,772. Nagel was awarded a contract at the May 6 Council meeting for the 2024 Local Road Reconstruction Program. The company has agreed to complete repaving and rehabilitation of Debra Lane at the contract unit prices.

New V-Box salter spreader
– Council approved the purchase of a new V-Box salter spreader in the amount of $24,395 from Shults Equipment, of Ithaca. Council authorized the sale of old V-Box salter spreader.

Sunday streets concerts expand Summer Music Series – Council approved a plan to add acoustic music to N. Center Street on Sunday afternoons from mid-June to mid-August. The three music providers – the city, DDA and Chamber of Commerce – will coordinate the concert schedules and marketing. The budget to add music on Sunday afternoons is $2,000, and required a 4th Quarter budget amendment. The specific date and times of the concerts will be announced soon.

Council communications
Mayor Brian Turnbull – He stated the city has two new task forces: the Bicentennial and Cemeterian with much for both groups to accomplish. He said the city received $8.5 million in grant funding last year, much of it due to the work of the task forces. He expects more grants to be received in the coming year.

Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Moroski-Browne – She expressed concerns about the Downs demolition process, saying she was receiving complaints from citizens about airborne dust, and she verified that by visiting the site.

Council Member John Carter – He noted the city has a new oversight team that will continuously provide oversight at the Downs demolition site. He mentioned that he would be at the Lava Grill the following night as a bartender for charity.

Council Member Laura Genitti – She congratulated the Beautification Commission for the wonderful job they did planting flowers downtown. She said the Northville High School graduation activities in the downtown area went well, and noted that the mayor spent time in the dunk tank. With the seasonal street closures, she said she wants to see residents and merchants engage fully, with stores and restaurants adjusting their hours to keep it activated.

Council Member Andrew Krenz – He said the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) is meeting and he has been talking with a member of the Planning Commission about a generator ordinance, which will be much needed with the new construction projects around town. He delivered a lengthy personal message to naysayers about the commitment he has made to the city through his involvement over the years and continues to give back to the community by serving on Council.

City Manager George Lahanas said a letter is being sent to residents and business owners in the Historic District, notifying them of a meeting on June 19 for the Historic District design guidelines, requesting public comment. He also stated that he went to the Downs site after receiving citizen complaints and addressed the dust situation to ensure that it stays under control.

These citizens spoke during public comment:

Steve Pichan, 611 Ashley Ct.
David Kibe, Representing Northville Concours d’Elegance
Denise Jenkins, Office Manager, Demray Dental
Domenic Giovanni, 443 River St.
Jeff Snyder, 508 Gardner
Jeremy Daum, 2114 Boulder Circle
DJ Ware, 249 Hutton
Lenore Lewandowski, 119 Randolph
Tim Hasse, 966 Springfield Ct.
Denis Engerer, 999 Coldspring
Naznine Mahmood, 17379 Parkshore Dr.

View meeting video here.