MINUTES OF BOARD MEETING
TRUSTEES OF BARTON HILLS VILLAGE
June 18, 2007
The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees was called to order by President Laporte at 6:04 PM at the Village Hall.
ROLL CALL Present: Trustees Al-Awar, Boddie, Bogat, Boyle, Butterwick, Laporte, Lindstrom, MacKrell and Wilkes. Absent: None.
Others attending: Atty. Reading, ZPA Perry, Asst. Treasurer Redies, Supt. Esch, BHMC President Bultman and guest Nick Boswell.
PUBLIC COMMENT Nick Boswell, President of the Michigan Cycling Club, described a proposal to hold a collegiate team trial bicycle race in BHV on Sunday afternoon, March 30, 2008. The race would be in addition to a similar race being held on U-M’s North Campus in the morning. Participants would cycle over, with spectators parking in Bandemer Park and walking over to watch the beginning and end of the race on Barton Shore Drive near the Lower Gate. Teams of 4 cyclists would ride in single file along Barton Shore Drive, Oakdale, Forrest and Country Club Roads and Barton North Drive to just before the Upper Gate, then turn around and return by the same route, racing against the clock. The event would begin at 1:30 PMand be completed by 3:00 PM. Michigan Cycling Club would provide insurance, post-race clean up and volunteers for traffic control during the race. Mr. Boswell estimated that traffic would be minimally disrupted, as the teams travel 20-30 mph in only one lane. A written proposal was sent to Recreation Chair Bogat.
MINUTESMotion Mr. Wilkes moved that the minutes of the May 21, 2007 Special Trustees meeting be approved as printed. Mr. Boddie seconded; the motion carried. Motion Mr. Wilkes moved that the minutes of the May 22, 2007 Trustees meeting be approved as printed. Mr. Boddie seconded; the motion carried.
FINANCE Mrs. Redies distributed the cash balances/comparison reports.
ZONING AND PLANNING ADMINISTRATOR Mr. Perry referred to his written report, noting that Mrs. Klingler, 225 Corrie Road, has withdrawn her application [6/11/07 email]. As a matter of information, he also mentioned a communication received from Peter Klamka, 1000 Country Club Road, regarding the possible construction of a driveway gate. Since the Zoning Committee members had differing interpretations, Mr. Perry asked for the guidance of the board as to whether this request would be subject to Section 4.05 of the BHV Zoning Ordinance requiring a permit for fences and walls. Trustee comments included:
--Gates are a subset of fences and are subject to review under the Zoning Ordinance. Otherwise it could be argued that a fence was simply a series of gates that would not be subject to review with little to no design modification one could build what would appear to be a fence and function as a fence but could be presented as one or more “gates”—thus circumventing the Fence Ordinance. [Amended 7/16/07]
--A gate is a structure unto itself and not a type of fence. There are already driveway gates in BHV and to deny this one would be inconsistent.
--Are gates prohibited? Reply (Mr. Perry): not in the current Zoning Ordinance.
--The ZPA should make his decision; if a Trustee disagrees s/he can appeal the decision which would bring the matter to the Board for review.
--If other gates exist they must have gone through the zoning process and were reviewed/approved.
--It’s questionable if the zoning process was adequately and consistently followed in previous years. There are no records of variances for other deviations from the Zoning Ordinance, such as multiple-car garages.
--What is the legal opinion? Reply (Mr. Reading): If there is no definition in the Zoning Ordinance, the dictionary definition may be used. Past interpretation indicates precedence.
Ms. Laporte asked for a straw poll of the Trustees on the question of gates. Trustees Bogat, Butterwick, Laporte, MacKrell and Wilkes would favor amending the Zoning Ordinance to prohibit gates; Trustees Al-Awar, Boddie, Boyle and Lindstrom would favor regulation of gates by permit.
Discussion then moved to zoning issues that need to be examined further to see if the Zoning Ordinance should be amended, including definition of lot and maximum building height as well as gates. Trustees were encouraged to communicate their ideas to the Zoning Committee so specific draft amendments could be formulated and circulated prior to future meetings.
COLT FARMS Ms. Laporte referred to her memo sent with the agenda, adding that there is new information relevant to this issue. Atty. Reading explained that a similar situation in York Township has been closely followed, and that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) had denied the request for permit in that case. Recently an administrative judge ruled that MDEQ did not correctly interpret Rule 98 and should only have considered the potential benefits but not the adverse effects of the application. This ruling could also apply to the Colt Farms application and allow the process to move to another level of appeal. Mr. Reading acknowledged that the basis of the denial of the Colt Farms application was the inadequate establishment of potential benefits, but noted that potential adverse effects weighed heavily in the MDEQ decision. While there are still a number of steps in the review process, there is presently opportunity to further comment on the proposed Colt Farms development. BHV could join with Ann Arbor Township in their submission of material, and certainly will offer strong support to the Township, but it was felt that BHV has a unique perspective on the matter and would be wise to also present information as a separate entity. This is especially true regarding the potential impact of the proposed development on water resources, both in degradation of the Huron River and its tributaries and effects on BHV drinking water aquifers.
Atty. Reading represents other governmental entities and feels a conflict of interest exists if he is the primary legal voice for BHV in this matter. Ms. Laporte recommended that BHV engage the legal services of Tom Meagher, the attorney working for Ann Arbor Township. Ms. Laporte has reviewed some of the Township billings and felt that Mr. Meagher’s rate of $175/hour was reasonable, and that he handled matters in an efficient and effective manner. Discussion among the Trustees focused on the overall cost, and their desire to determine estimated expense before committing to this type of arrangement. Mr. Lindstrom called the question, seconded by Mr. Boddie and carried.
Motion Mr. Lindstrom moved that Barton Hills Villageparticipate in the appeal of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality decision regarding the proposed Colt Farms development application [MI0057163] by engaging legal counsel Tom Meagher to represent Barton Hills Villagein putting forward issues in a manner similar to the original application. Mrs. MacKrell seconded. Mr. Al-Awar moved to amend the motion to limit the amount for these legal expenses to $10,000, after which expenditure the Trustees would review the situation. Mr. Boddie seconded the motion to amend, which carried with Trustees Butterwick, Laporte and MacKrell opposing. The motion as amended carried. Mrs. MacKrell left
Buildings Mr. Lindstrom displayed an amended floor plan for the Village Administration Center. Stairs to the basement were added and the storage area relocated. It is not confirmed if one or two bathrooms are needed. The square footage is 2052 sf (two feet were added to the office area length). The basement floor plan was also displayed. Basement windows were added to the sides and back, but not the front of the building. It was asked that the ceiling height in the basement be 9’ when finished.
Mr. Lindstrom reviewed the proposed timetable: architectural plans are expected the week of July 9, the VAC Committee would meet on July 12 to review the plans before presenting them to the BHV Trustees at their July 16 meeting, and a community forum could be held the week of July 30. Discussion then focused on what type of drawing is needed. Shannan Gibb-Randall could produce a 3-dimensional color rendering at a cost of $1,600-2,400. Ed Wier could provide a 2-dimensional computer rendering based on a digital photo of the site with a drawing superimposed for a cost of not more than $500. The color rendering would be appropriate for the public forum, but the expense was questioned, especially if there are changes made to the plan after the drawing is completed. Motion Mr. Lindstrom moved that architect Ed Wier be asked to provide a three-dimensional representation of the proposed Village Administration Center (view from front corner as seen when driving into the area) as part of his material to be presented to the Board of Trustees on July 16, 2007; further that the proposed timetable for the VAC project continue to be followed through July 16, 2007. Mr. Boddie seconded; the motion carried.
Environmental Impact Mr. Wilkes reported that Ann Arbor City is beginning a scientific study of the Huron River with the goal of developing a long-term management plan. He asked that a representative from BHV attend the meetings; the Environmental Impact Committee will arrange for BHV participation. Ms. Laporte expressed concern that Washtenaw County is not following up on construction projects and that a great deal of soil is eroding into the Huron River. She suggested that BHV either adopt a soil erosion control ordinance or contract with Ann Arbor Township to be part of their newly developed ordinance that could provide enforcement with trained personnel. This issue will be added to the agenda for the July 16, 2007 BHV Trustee meeting.
Security Mr. Butterwick addressed the request from resident Peter Scott for a speed table on Underdown Road. He observed that traffic does seem to travel too fast and a speed table would be warranted if one could be installed according to the legal requirements. He added that the heavy foliage along both sides of the road makes it nearly impossible for a driver to see a child in a yard or stop in time if a child should run suddenly into the road. Mr. Butterwick suggested putting a notice in the Barton Bulletin calling attention to this hazard (on any BHV road) and asking residents to trim their vegetation to increase visibility. Roads Committee Chair Al-Awar added that it might be possible to install a speed table near the top of Underdown Road if measurements indicated there was enough space to conform to the legal requirements. Concern was expressed for the divider already in place at the intersection near the Upper Gate that drivers must watch out for; also that there are children playing all along Underdown Road and a speed table might only slow drivers at the top who might speed up after the table and on down the road. Motion Mr. Butterwick moved that a speed table be installed on Underdown Road near the Upper Gate if it could be done according to the standards of the applicable Michigan Traffic Code. Mr. Lindstrom seconded. The motion was defeated in a tie vote, with Trustees Boyle, Butterwick, Laporte and Wilkes voting yes and Trustees Al-Awar, Boddie, Bogat and Lindstrom voting no.
Recreation Ms. Bogat asked if there was interest in a community picnic this year. September was suggested so she will look into possible dates, taking into consideration area events and the U-M football schedule.
Roads The suggestion to seal cracks in the roads in between pavings was discussed. Mr. Al-Awar reported that this idea was considered before and rejected due to the unsightliness of the lines. He estimated that it might add 1-3 years of life to the road and might cost $.75-1.00 per foot depending on the size of the job. Including a top coat of sealer to cover the lines (to improve the appearance) adds nothing to the life of the road and generally does not hold up beyond a year before developing wear grooves.
Water Mr. Wilkes referred to his written report, noting that the lead/copper testing has been completed and BHV is again in compliance with government standards. The lead problem occurred only at one home and was very likely due to old plumbing fixtures. Extensive testing is conclusive that BHV source water has very low, almost undetectable levels of lead
Finance No report.
Long RangePlanning No report.
Personnel No report
Vehicles/Equipment No report.
Zoning No report
UNFINISHED BUSINESS Two bids have been received for removing the swimming pool—one for $10,000 and one for $15,000. There is no advantage to the more expensive bid, so the first bid will be accepted as approved by previous motion [2/19/07].
One bid was received for paving of the maintenance area: $23,169 to install a concrete pad with an asphalt road around it for the recycling bin to be placed next to the Salt Shed, $15,990 for repaving the existing asphalt between the buildings, and $4,200 to repave the driveway out to Barton Shore Drive. Trustees favoring the project felt that the work is needed since the area has been neglected for so long, although the portion out to Barton Shore Drive could wait, and that the work should be done now before asphalt costs rise higher. Those opposed felt that the VAC project should be done first and everything paved at once, since construction traffic may be routed through the maintenance area and around the existing buildings in order to protect the oak tree, and that the pad would be another obstacle. Motion Mr. Boddie moved that the concrete pad be installed for the recycling bin and the maintenance area repaved. Mr. Al-Awar seconded. The motion carried with Trustees Butterwick, Laporte and Lindstrom voting no.
Three bids were received for the survey of the land to be acquired by BHV from BHMC in the amounts of $1,650, $2,900 and $4,800. All three propose to do the same work within two weeks after the contract is accepted (topographical information is not included). Motion Mr. Boddie moved that the bid from GLA (Greg Ash) in the amount of $1,650 for survey of the land near the maintenance area be accepted and that signature of the contract be authorized. Mr. Lindstrom seconded; the motion carried.
NEW BUSINESS Mr. Butterwick has followed up on the suggestion from the Annual Meeting that more be done to curtail speeding, such as an electronic sign and more patrolling. He spoke with Ann Arbor Township Supervisor Michael Moran, who thought the deputies employed by the Township would be willing to patrol during specific times as BHV requested, i.e. during peak traffic hours or when more BHCC traffic is expected.
Mr. Lindstrom, Mr. Butterwick and Mr. Esch investigated the idea of an electronic speed indicator sign, estimating the cost to be $12,000-$15,000 for a trailer-mounted unit, around $3,500 for a smaller unit on a permanent post, or rental for $625/month. The rental unit would need to be picked up from and delivered back to Grand Rapids, MI. Atty. Reading was asked to explore the legality of radar/camera units, which are effectively being used in Europe. It was agreed that a determined effort would be needed to change peoples’ driving habits and that residents were often as likely as non-residents to drive faster than the posted limit. Motion Mr. Boddie moved that an electronic speed indicator sign be rented for one month at a cost of $625 to see if it is an effective tool in controlling traffic speed on Barton Hills Villageroadways. Ms. Laporte seconded; the motion carried with Trustees Bogat and Butterwick voting no.
Mr. Al-Awar moved that the meeting be adjourned at 8:51 PM. Ms. Bogat seconded; the motion carried.
Jan Esch, Deputy Clerk