MINUTES OF BOARD MEETING
TRUSTEES OF BARTON HILLS VILLAGE
June 19, 2006
The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees was called to order by President Laporte at 7:02 PM at the Village Hall.
ROLL CALL Present: Trustees Al-Awar, Boddie, Bogat, Butterwick, Laporte, Lindstrom, MacKrell, Perry and Wilkes; Atty. Reading, Asst. Treas. Redies and Supt. Esch; BHMC President Bultman and Directors Kelly, Langford, Merlanti and Stubbs; consultant Shannon Gibb-Randall. Absent: None.
PUBLIC COMMENT (VAC) None.
Joint Meeting/VAC Project VAC Chair Wayne Lindstrom began the discussion between the BHV Trustees, BHMC Directors and landscape architect Shannon Gibb-Randall concerning the site for the proposed Village Administration Center by reviewing the goals and progress of the project to date. Based on the input received from multiple sources the VAC Committee recommends the Garden site, acknowledging that it is not perfect but is the best compromise among the three sites, all of which have positive and negative factors to be considered. The Garden site meets the mandatory criteria: within the village, large enough, acceptable for septic needs, natural beauty and minimal disruption of the maintenance area during construction. The site also scored highest in all of the discretionary criteria: overall cost-effectiveness, convenience for employees, access to the building, potential shareholder approval and ambiance. Discussion included:
--The current Fire Hall is acceptable for public meetings under the Open Meetings Act, but does not meet the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act Michigan Accessibility Code. (amended 7/17/06)
--If money is to be spent filling in the swimming pool, has that been considered as a possible site? Response: It was considered by the VAC Committee early in the process, but was not thought to be available very soon. Also, access to that site presents the same problems as the California Avenue site, with little support for a new driveway from Barton Shore Drive.
--Is there clear understanding about the nature of the building in terms of community use? Comments at the Annual Meeting seem to suggest interest in flexible meeting space. Response: The audience at the Annual Meeting indicated with a show of hands that they agreed that the Committee was on the right track in focusing on administrative space rather than larger space for groups/parties. The meeting space can be flexible for small group use but square footage won't be added to accommodate large groups or social events.
--Another comment at the Annual Meeting indicated a building on the Garden site would not be easily seen and therefore would not have the character of a community building.
Response: There was more support for an administrative building rather than a community center. Residents will be able to find the building, perhaps more easily than visitors. It will not be especially prominent but it won't be hidden.
--Did Ms. Gibb-Randall state that her company would not support construction at the California Avenue site due to safety concerns? Response: Yes, the approach is unsafe and we would not knowingly design access through the parking area--it goes against the principles of acceptable landscape design. It would become a legal issue if that site were chosen.
--The Village Green site was characterized as a trapped watershed, but when the hydrant across the driveway is flushed, the water flows away. Response: The area across the driveway wasn't included in the survey, but it's apparent that the water flows toward the tennis courts and gets trapped there where it can't drain easily so that area is soggy most of the time. The water south of the road doesn't flow over the road towards the river--there is no easy way under the road.
--A number of positive objectives are met by the Garden site. Are there any issues of concern there? Response: Activity on the Ann Arbor City property just over the fence suggests security issues; the building would be in danger of vandalism like any other uninhabited public building. A spokesperson at Barton Dam said the vandalism there occurred in 1978. There has not been any damage done to other BHV buildings or equipment right next to the Garden site. We contacted Rose Bauer, who lives at the end of Juniper Lane; she said sometimes it's noisy with people and firecracker-like sounds, but over the water it's hard to tell where the noise is coming from. Ms. Bauer didn't think it was a big problem, but she was sensitive to Mr. Esch's concerns and support for the California Avenue site.
--Access is also a concern. The road narrows right at the entrance and would need to be widened. There are no guarantees about the large oak tree, although the roadway would not encroach very much under the drip line. Emergency responders prefer a double access to public buildings; in the future a loop could be constructed by the maintenance buildings. Moving the gas pumps would be expensive, but they could be screened and protected. Ms. Gibb-Randall left
--Is there any objection to use of the building by other groups? Response: The interior could be designed to secure municipal offices and assets so the room could be used after hours, but community use is not a major focus.
--This is not my first choice, but I strongly agree with Mr. Surovell's words at the Annual Meeting that this is a vital responsibility and we need to work together to move the project along to completion.
--What about the Ann Arbor City road ownership concern? Response: A great deal of time and effort has been put in by both the BHV and BHMC attorneys to address this. Mr. Reading's title search request indicates the road is in Ann Arbor Township and is owned by Ann Arbor City, but BHV has been using it for service to the maintenance area and residences for a long time with the resulting likelihood of easement. It probably won't be a problem with Ann Arbor City, but there is reluctance to pursue the question too aggressively at this time.
--This isn't my first choice out of concern that the building won't be as nice because it isn't as visible. However, Ms. Gibb-Randall stated the Garden site is lovely and deserves as nice a building as the Village Green site, so on that basis I would support the Garden site.
Motion Mrs. MacKrell moved that the Barton Hills Village Board of Trustees support the recommendation to establish the Garden site as the site for the location of the Village Administration Center; further that building and landscaping plans be developed for this site only. Mr. Wilkes seconded; the motion carried by unanimous vote.
BHMC Directors adopted an identical resolution.
The importance of unanimous support by both boards was stressed, particularly when talking to shareholders about the issue. People care about the community and have strong feelings. Positive effort will be needed to bring the project to successful completion. BHMC Directors left 7:54 PM
PUBLIC COMMENT None
MINUTES Motion Mr. Wilkes moved that the minutes of the May 10, 2006 Special Trustees meeting be approved with two corrections:
--Atty. Reading was not in attendance
--Page 1, paragraph 4, line 4: "…more structural work fill would be needed…"
Mrs. MacKrell seconded; the motion carried with Mr. Al-Awar abstaining.
Motion Mr. Wilkes moved that the minutes of the May 16, 2006 Trustees meeting be approved as printed, contingent on Mrs. Esch's review of the tape recording regarding a question during the VAC Public Forum. Mrs. MacKrell seconded; the motion carried.
FINANCE Mrs. Redies read the cash balances as of June 19, 2006:
Checking Account $ 11,976
Total General Fund $538,370
Public Improvement Reserve Fund
Motor Vehicle Highway Fund
Bank One Govt. Trust Account $ 242,244
Bank One CD 100,000
Bank of Ann Arbor 121,057
Ann Arbor Commerce Bank CD 109,776
United Bank & Trust Washtenaw 100,886
Flagstar Bank CD 100,000
Total Savings $ 773,963
BHV 6/19/06 P. 3
Mrs. Redies was asked to provide a comparison of current year/past year figures in her financial report, to be distributed with the agenda for future meetings.
PROPOSED ZONING AMENDMENT Zoning and Planning Administrator Perry stated that the Zoning Ordinance does need to be amended to clarify how to measure height and what limits to set; however he felt that the currently proposed amendment was not necessarily the right answer and requested that the issue be tabled another month to give the Zoning Committee time to revise the proposal.
Motion Mr. Boddie moved that the discussion on the Proposed Zoning Amendment be tabled to the July 17, 2006 Board of Trustees meeting. Mr. Lindstrom seconded; the motion carried.
BHMC LIAISON Ms. Laporte stated that BHMC Directors approved several small changes to the corporation's By-Laws. Updated copies will be distributed soon.
BUILDINGS Mr. Lindstrom expressed appreciation for the support of the VAC Committee's recommendation and the Trustees' spirit of compromise in order to move the project forward. The next step is to engage an architect to provide conceptual designs of the building on the site. An estimated cost sheet from Penchansky Whisler Architects was distributed. Discussion included:
--This company was interviewed previously when InSite was chosen for the site selection consultation. Penchansky Whisler (PW) provides architectural more than landscaping designs. The VAC Committee was impressed with the versatility of the company's work on a variety of projects including a historical home, library, new construction and a shopping center.
--Does recommendation of this company indicate support for a particular building method? Response: The VAC Committee asked for cost-efficient building processes. PW would not do a strictly modular building but are open to options other than stick-built.
--How much did we pay for designs from Lincoln Poley and Carl Hueter? It would be helpful to see how these estimates compare. Response: Mrs. Redies can find out that information, although it is important to remember that the services provided are different in each case.
--It isn't clear from the cost sheet if Option 4 is instead of 1-3 or in addition to (either price range from $5,500-9,000 or $$7,900-12,700). This needs to be clarified.
--Good concept drawings should be within 20-25% of the actual cost of the project--they should give a reasonable cost estimate.
--The "selling" services are also important--it is essential that the residents are presented something they can understand.
--PW is not available until August, but we could "get in line" with them now.
--If this company provides three conceptual designs, what is the process for choosing? Who decides, and how? Response: Criteria would be listed like is was for the site selection process, with input from various sources.
--We don't actually have to have three designs--it should be considered "up to" three. Maybe the first one will be strongly supported by the architect and more won't be needed. Also, communication with the community is very important. There should be lots of opportunity for resident input.
--The VAC Committee did a great job on the site selection process and can be trusted to continue with this step. I'm concerned that cost-effectiveness not overshadow other important concerns, especially the historical nature of the surrounding homes and neighborhood. At least one concept plan should be other than modular building. (Another Trustee supported these comments). Response: Any modular aspects of the construction won't be visible.
--When will be the best time for the land-transfer vote? Response: It would be good to aim for this fall, before residents head south for the winter. January wasn't a very good time, and next spring seems too long to wait. It is conceivable that things could move along if the decision is made to hire PW. The VAC Committee could work out a schedule with the architect that involves timely responses--not necessarily waiting for a scheduled monthly meeting.
Motion Mr. Lindstrom moved the question; seconded by Mr. Wilkes and carried.
Motion Mr. Wilkes moved that the Village Administration Center Committee be authorized to spend up to $5,000 for preliminary architectural work provided by Penchansky Whisler Architects and InSite Designs, the exact nature of these expenditures to be at the discretion of the VAC Committee. Mrs. MacKrell seconded; the motion carried.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT Mr. Butterwick requested clarification regarding the mandated pumping of septic tanks at least every four years per Ordinance 21. A resident with a relatively new system has asked if there are any exemptions to the requirement. The Trustees determined that it would be very difficult to determine what systems might meet exemption requirements and that pumping is not a significant expense; further that the ordinance has no allowance for exemptions to be permitted.
Ms. Laporte will respond to the resident who inquired, indicating that no exemptions are allowed under the ordinance. Mrs. Esch added that the field inspections required at least every 8 years under the ordinance are not included in the tank inspections being conducted by BHV employees when tanks are pumped; visual inspection of the field is done but not a complete inspection, which takes considerably more time.
Mr. Bultman relayed a concern from BHMC regarding weed control during construction at the Probst/Klein project at 280 Barton North Dr. Mr. Esch will be asked to make a friendly request of the owners to keep the area visible from the road mowed.
FINANCE Mr. Boddie had no report.
LONG RANGEPLANNING Mrs. MacKrell stated that a list of suggested improvements to the M-14/Barton Drive exit will be submitted to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), with the expectation that they will reply with a cost estimate that can be considered by the Trustees (for possible use of Motor Vehicle Highway Funds). The list includes blinking yellow lights, more visible signs/pavement markings and a streetlight. Additional ideas should be relayed to Mrs. MacKrell so they can be included in the request.
PERSONNEL Ms. Laporte had no report.
RECREATION Ms. Bogat described plans for the Village Picnic to be held on Sunday, June 25, 2006. Trustees were encouraged to attend, and to notify Ms. Bogat so an appropriate amount of food could be purchased.
ROADS Mr. Al-Awar asked that Ms. Laporte contact MDOT as soon as possible about using Motor Vehicle Highway Funds for paving of the portion of Country Club Road beyond the West Entrance that is maintained by Washtenaw County Road Commission. If the MVH funds are used for that portion, remaining BHV funds budgeted for road maintenance could be used to pave Colliston Road this year.
Mr. Wilkes asked if there could be some barrier to cars parking on his property along Colliston Road, where such use is causing damage to the area. . Mr. Esch was asked to talk with the Weisers about Mr. Wilkes' suggestion to place some stones on the road edge in question. After Colliston Roadis paved, Mr. Esch was authorized to place rocks on the road edge in question to prevent further damage." (Amended 7/17/06)
SECURITY Mr. Butterwick researched telephone options for providing notice to those residents who want to know when the deer management team is in BHV. Mrs. Esch will include a notice in the next Barton Bulletin asking who would be interested in a notification system and Mr. Butterwick will continue working on this issue. It was noted that DTE Energy continues to trim trees that are threatening the power lines. Mr. Perry added that a recent court case was decided in favor of the utility companies so municipalities must pay to have lines buried.
VEHICLES/EQUIPMENT Mr. Al-Awar had no report.
WATER Mr. Wilkes distributed a written report, noting that the new well is being connected to the water system. He has attended two public hearings related to new developments, adding that Senator Liz Brater is developing legislation that would require conformance with local zoning before permission can be sought for private wastewater and/or sewage plants.
ZONING Mr. Perry reported that an application from Barton Hills Country Club to construct a gazebo near the tennis courts was approved.
POOL Ms. Laporte had nothing new to report. Mr. Esch has posted "No Trespassing" signs but is still looking for metal "Closed" signs.
NEW BUSINESS Mr. Al-Awar received an inquiry from Cingular Wireless about changing equipment cabinets near the water tower. Atty. Reading will review the lease in regard to the question. A request from T-Mobile for a change in contract was rejected as the Trustees are satisfied with the current contract terms.
A request for paving the BHV tennis courts on California Avenue was assigned to the Recreation Committee for investigation. The company that does the road paving does not do tennis courts, which are a specialized application. It was noted that BHCC recently had their courts resurfaced; Mr. Esch thought D & H Paving did the last resurfacing of the BHV courts about 15 years ago.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:36 PM.
Jan Esch, Assistant Clerk