Barton Hills Village, Michigan

shim image News

June 20, 2005

TRUSTEES OF BARTON HILLS VILLAGE                                             
June 20, 2005

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees was called to order by President Wilkes at 5:47 PM at the Village Hall.

ROLL CALL     Present:  Trustees Al-Awar, Boddie, Butterwick, Hensinger, Laporte, Lindstrom, MacKrell, Perry and Wilkes;  Clerk Foss, Atty. Reading, Asst. Treas. Redies, Supt. Esch and BHMC President Bultman;  four guests and three residents.  

Randolph Perry took the oath of office and was seated as a Trustee.  The meeting was set aside for a public hearing.

June 20, 2005

The Public Hearing concerning the Proposed Amendment to the Barton Hills Village Zoning Ordinance was reconvened (tabled to this date on May 17, 2005) by President Wilkes at 5:48 PM at the Village Hall.  

Present: Trustees Al-Awar, Boddie, Butterwick, Hensinger, Laporte, Lindstrom, MacKrell, Perry and Wilkes;  Clerk Foss, Atty. Reading, Asst. Treas. Redies, Supt. Esch and BHMC President Bultman;  four guests and three residents.

Mr. Wilkes noted that utilities had been properly notified of the hearing, and asked if there was any comment from the public.  There being none, the hearing was closed at 5:49 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Janice K. Esch
Assistant Clerk

The Board of Trustees meeting was reconvened.  Mr. Wilkes introduced visitors Gary Jonna from Whitehall Real Estate Interests, James Galbraith from Lautrec, LTD and David Call from Atwell Hicks.

WHITMORE LAKE LLC PRESENTATION     Mr. Jonna described the development being proposed for property bounded by Whitmore Lake Road, Warren Road and US-23 just northeast of BHV.  Ann Arbor Township is being asked to rezone the property from agricultural to residential (R-3A).  A previous petition for rezoning to accommodate about 400 units was denied by the township.  The current request would permit lots with a minimum size of 1/2 acre and minimum frontage of 90 feet.  The parcel is a total of 166 acres, but with subtraction of about 9.4 acres for road right-of-way, 40 acres for natural land features, 8.6 acres for on-site water/sewer and 24.8 acres for internals roads/storm water management, the net developable acreage is about 83 acres, or 164 lots.  Mr. Jonna suggested concerns from BHV point of view might include: --Density.  The current proposal represents a significant decrease in density, from 400 units to 164 units.
--Sewer/Water.  The development would not affect future potential sewer capacity set aside by Ann Arbor Township for BHV since the homes would be served by an on-site sewage treatment plant managed by the developer and/or the community.  (7/18/05) Engineering studies indicate there would be no negative impact on the aquifer from which BHV draws its water (specific data from the studies will be available at the township public hearing).
--Character.  The community was described as high caliber residential with homes not less that 3,000 square feet in size, of two-story design with basements and predominately side-entry garages, priced beginning at $550,000.  
--Traffic.  Existing conditions suggest the need for improvements such as signals at the M-14 ramps and turn lanes into the community.  The developer will help to fund these improvements and does not anticipate a negative impact on traffic flow.
-Fiscal Impact.  The development is expected to generate a net increase in tax base revenue of about $85,000 with a net increase in school district revenue of about $1,150,000  $500,000 per year.  (7/19/05)

Questions from the audience were discussed:
--Will Whitmore Lake Road be widened?  The county would decide, but it is not anticipated that widening the road would be necessary.
--How many access roads will there be?  Not less than three, probably one on Warren Road and two on Whitmore Lake Road.  Those details have not been planned yet.  Access will be controlled with stop signs.
--Would rezoning provide for more than the 164 lots stated?  This number is the maximum allowed considering the other factors mentioned.
--Will there be variation in lot size?  Some variation will be caused by road lay-out, but the lots will all be basically the same half-acre size.
--Will the houses face Whitmore Lake Road?  The intent is that the houses will face the interior roads, with landscaping to provide a buffer area between the community and Whitmore Lake Road.
--What has testing indicated about the impact on the water supply?  Documentation will be available at the township public hearing that indicates no negative impact.
--Will the houses be individually designed by a variety of architects?  There will be up to three builders with a choice of designs.
--Who will manage the sewage treatment plant?  Either the homeowners association or the township.
--Is air quality a concern, being so close to the expressway?  That could be considered.
--Will this look like other subdivisions in the area?  The goal is to create a high quality residential community with a neighborhood atmosphere.

Ann Arbor Township Supervisor Michael Moran commented that a public hearing will   likely be held in early August.  The property is currently zoned agricultural/preservation in the master plan, and it will be up to the developers to convince the township board that it should be rezoned.  Mr. Moran also stated it was unlikely the township would be interested in managing the sewage treatment system.  Appreciation was expressed to the guests for the informative presentation.

Motion     Mr. Al-Awar moved that the minutes of the May 17, 2005 Trustee meeting be approved as printed.  Mr. Lindstrom seconded;  the motion carried.

FINANCE     Mrs. Redies read the cash balances as of June 20, 2005:

Cash Balances

    General Fund
        Checking Account              $    2,873
        Savings                              614,359
Total General Fund                     $ 617,232

    Public Improvement Reserve Fund
        Savings                            $111,762

    Motor Vehicle Highway Fund
        Savings                            $  94,050

        Bank One Govt. Trust Account  $  495,846
        Bank of Ann Arbor                       118,493
        Ann Arbor Commerce Bank CD       106,537
        United Bank & Trust Washtenaw     99,295
Total Savings                                  $ 820,171

BHV/BHMC LEASE     Both BHV and BHMC have agreed to the revised lease agreement.  Atty. Reading advised that official authorization to sign be given.  The lease will automatically continue until a change is requested.

Motion     Mrs. MacKrell moved that President Wilkes be authorized to sign the revised lease agreement between Barton Hills Village and Barton Hills Maintenance Corporation.  Mr. Al-Awar seconded;  the motion carried.

PROPOSED ZONING AMENDMENT     Comments concerning the proposed amendment included:
--The word "structure" is too vague.  Atty. Reading responded by reading the definition of the word as listed in the Zoning Ordinance: "anything constructed, erected or placed with a fixed location on the surface of the ground or affixed to something having a fixed location on the surface of the ground."  He agreed that the term was subject to interpretation, saying it was commonly used in ordinances.
--A sketch isn't sufficient for zoning purposes.  It was stated that the purpose of
including this provision was to avoid undue financial burden on an owner who proposed a small, simple project;  further that BHMC requires more detailed plans for their architectural review.  BHMC President Bultman commented that the goal was to make the process easier for the owner, but that this option may actually cause more confusion.  Atty. Reading noted the proposed amendment also requires a copy of the buildings plans to be submitted to the building inspector, so he felt that would be adequate.

Motion     Mr. Al-Awar moved that the proposed amendment to the BHV Zoning Ordinance be adopted.  Mrs. Hensinger seconded.  The motion carried with Mrs. Laporte and Mr. Perry voting no.

ELECTION CONSOLIDATION     Mrs. Esch explained the state legislation that requires BHV to convert from the charter provision of three Trustees elected annually to three-year terms, to either all nine Trustees elected every two years or a staggered four/five plan.  The legislation is not very specific on the procedure for this change.  Mrs. Esch and Atty. Reading agreed they had sought advice from several sources and that the change needed to be made so the election process could move forward.  Mrs. Esch referred to distributed plans for transition options.

Motion     Mrs. MacKrell moved that terms for BHV Trustees be changed from three years to four years in length as required by recent state legislation.  Mrs. Hensinger seconded;  the motion carried.

Motion     Mr. Lindstrom moved that the transition to staggered terms be accomplished by the following plan:
--Trustee terms that expire in 2005 will stand for reelection in September 2005 (four year terms expiring in 2009)
--Trustee terms that expire in 2007 will stand for reelection in September 2007 (four year terms expiring in 2011)
--Trustee terms that expire in 2006 will stand for reelection in September 2007 (four year terms expiring in 2011) with the exception of one seat (to be determined by lot) which will be designated as a one-time two year term elected in September 2007 and expiring in September 2009.
Mrs. MacKrell seconded;  the motion carried with Trustees Al-Awar, Boddie, Butterwick, Hensinger, Laporte, Lindstrom, MacKrell, Perry and Wilkes voting yea;  no nay votes, abstentions or absences.

FENCE      Mr. Wilkes explained the situation of the wire fence along Barton Shore Drive which was damaged earlier this spring.  Comments were solicited from the public as to whether the fence should be repaired or changed in some way.  Opinions were voiced on each side of the issue, citing aesthetics, security concerns, maintenance time and the following offering from resident Bill Davis:

Pointed Ode from a Rusty Barbed Wire Fence

A Grecian urn I ain't
My cell-like looks offer visitors a vile taint
Deer pour over me;  small animals core through
And from time to time I collect a car or two
I yearn to look as good as the manicured spaces of my road's north side
The time has come, my life is done
Please respond to this little ditty
Recycle me into something useful and pretty.

Motion     Mrs. Hensinger moved that the motion tabled at the April 18, 2005 Trustee meeting be brought back to the table.  Mrs. Laporte seconded;  the motion carried.
Original motion:  Mrs. Hensinger moved that the wire fence along Barton Shore Drive be removed.  Mr. Lindstrom seconded.  The motion was defeated with Trustees Hensinger and Laporte voting yes;  Trustees Al-Awar, Butterwick, Lindstrom, MacKrell and Wilkes voting no;  and Trustees Boddie and Perry abstaining.  

The fence repairs will be completed by the trucking company that caused the damage.

BUILDINGS     Mr. Lindstrom reported the committee has been focusing on storage requirements and options for off-site storage.  Iron Mountain, a worldwide records management company, estimated the cost of storing 40 file cabinets of documents at $1,800 annually (plus initial cost of transfer).  Files are secured in warehouses accessible only to company personnel with a two-day return time.  The company seemed willing to store BHV records in local buildings in Ann Arbor, Canton or Livonia.  Mrs. Esch and Mrs. Redies will be sorting existing records from the furnace room to determine what needs to be kept on site and what could be stored in a long-term facility.  Mr. Lindstrom asked for any records currently in residents' homes to be brought for inclusion in the sorting process.  The BHV retention plan will be consulted to see what needs to be kept.  It was noted that BHMC records would also be included, with the corporation paying their share of employee time and storage costs.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT     Mrs. Hensinger described several activities relating to the implementation of the forestry plan:
--A "life cycle of garlic mustard" illustration was distributed.  This will be included in the next Barton Bulletin.  Some garlic mustard was pulled in the last month.
--Work will be done on planting of oaks in Cayuga Park.
--Removal of woody exotic plants will be done in the fall through a contract with Nick James.
--More dead trees along the road need to be removed, perhaps by Don Packard who removed trees last winter.  It was suggested that the most dangerous trees be identified, and residents notified if they have such trees on their property near the roadway.

FINANCE     Mr. Boddie had no report.

LONG RANGE PLANNING     Mrs. MacKrell attended a meeting where the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority presented plans to add more park-and-ride lots.  She urged the Trustees to pursue the issue of transferring the field by the Lower Gate from BHMC to BHV.  Mrs. Laporte asked that other lots of similar status in the village be included in the discussion of land transfer.  The LRP Committee will develop a proposal on this issue for the next Trustee meeting.  Work also continues on the Continuity of Government plan.

ORDINANCE REVIEW     Mrs. Laporte had no report.

PERSONNEL     Mr. Al-Awar stated that employee Chris Ward was involved in a traffic accident earlier this year, resulting in two weeks of time off to recover from injuries.  His employment agreement allows for six days of reimbursed sick leave per year.  The Personnel Committee recommended a one-time bonus to help towards the lost wages from the accident.  Further, the committee will pursue development of an employee manual to address such issues, as Atty. Reading advised that a standard policy with allowance for exceptions would best protect BHV from legal risk.

Motion     Mr. Lindstrom moved that a one-time bonus be given to employee Chris Ward to compensate for time off due to non-work-related injury.  Mr. Butterwick seconded;  the motion carried.

RECREATION     Mrs. Esch confirmed that all is ready for the Village Picnic on Sunday, June 26, 2005.

ROADS     Mr. Al-Awar stated one bid in the $50,000 range has been received for paving;  more bids are being sought.

SECURITY     Mr. Butterwick deferred to Supt. Esch who reported 3 false alarms in the past month.
VEHICLES/EQUIPMENT     No report.  (No committee at present)

WATER     Mr. Wilkes distributed a pictorial report focusing on the replacement of a gate valve at Barton North Drive/Hillspur Road and the cleaning of well #1.  A letter has also been received from Michigan Department of Environmental Quality stating that BHV is in compliance with the Phase II Stormwater requirements.

ZONING     Mr. Al-Awar had no report.

Trash Pick Up:  The current policy for trash pick-up is first, third and fifth Mondays of the month.  Opinions were expressed both in support and opposition of this schedule.  It was decided to send a special notice to residents making the fifth Monday an option they may sign up for.

Fireworks:  Mr. Butterwick will contact Barton Boat Club with a request for special vigilance on the Fourth of July weekend to curtail fireworks that could present a fire hazard to nearby homes.
Signs:  It has been established that BHV does not have a sign ordinance, and while it has been tradition not to post realtor/vendor signs it is not a legal prohibition.  

Traffic:  Mr. Al-Awar stated that during the Dexter-Ann Arbor Run on June 5, 2005
Foster Bridge was closed and traffic rerouted through BHV.  When the sheriff's deputy at the bridge was asked, he deferred to race officials who said they had permission to do so.  No such permission was given.  It was agreed that BHV would probably be amenable to the once-a-year event but wished to be asked in advance.  Mr. Wilkes will write a letter to the race organization concerning this issue.

Seventh-day Adventist:  Notice has been given by the Seventh-day Adventist Church that they will have young people distributing literature door-to-door during the summer.  This activity cannot be prohibited although residents are not obligated to engage in discussion.  The group has provided vehicle/personnel identification to Supt. Esch.

Mr. Wilkes received communications from Washtenaw Wireless asking about the water tower, and from the State of Michigan concerning compliance with the Metro Act.  He will respond to those requests.

There being no further pressing business, the meeting adjourned at 8:13 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Janice K. Esch
Assistant Clerk     Approved 7/18/05