MINUTES OF BOARD MEETING
TRUSTEES OF BARTON HILLS VILLAGE
July 16, 2007
The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees was called to order by President Laporte at 6:03 PM at the Village Hall.
ROLL CALL Present: Trustees Al-Awar, Boddie, Bogat, Boyle, Laporte, Lindstrom and Wilkes. Absent: Trustees Butterwick and MacKrell.
Others attending: Atty. Reading, ZPA Perry, Asst. Treasurer Redies, Supt. Esch, BHMC President Bultman, BHMC Director Kelly, VAC Committee members MacKrell and Teeter, architect Ed Wier and residents Uwe and Sharbyn Pleban.
PUBLIC COMMENT Resident Sharbyn Pleban, 715 Spring Valley Road, addressed the Board regarding the issue of unreasonable noise caused by music being played over an outdoor speaker at her neighbor’s home at 715 Oakdale Road (Ponce de Leon). Attempts to discuss the problem with the Ponce de Leons were unproductive so the Plebans requested help from the Trustees in resolving the issue in a “spirit of neighborliness.” Attention was directed to BHV Ordinance No. 5 which addresses the situation specifically; however the ordinance does not contain any reference to decibel levels and it was felt that “annoy” is impossible to enforce. Ms. Pleban stated that there was not a party in progress and the problem did not occur every Sunday but it was an activity of the neighbor some Sundays to sit and listen to music outdoors. She added that loud music could be heard seemingly from further up Oakdale Road during the time she was conversing with her neighbors about their music amplification. Mr. Wilkes noted that he experienced similar problems with a Barton Hills Country Club function last fall and received no reply to the letter he sent (copies of the letter were provided to the Trustees). Mr. Lindstrom commended the Plebans for talking with the neighbors first, and suggested that a letter and a copy of the ordinance be sent. It was also suggested that Mr. Esch be asked to assist in discussions between neighbors as he has many times in the past. Ms. Laporte thanked the Plebans for their comments and assured that the Trustees would respond to this issue for both the Plebans and Wilkes.
MINUTES Motion Mr. Wilkes moved that the minutes of the June 18, 2007 Trustees meeting be approved with the following correction requested by Mr. Butterwick via email: Page 1, paragraph 6, line 10. “…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.”
Mr. Al-Awar seconded; the motion carried.
FINANCE Mrs. Redies distributed the cash balances, comparison report and June 30, 2007 financial report. Motion Mr. Lindstrom moved that approval of the First Quarter Cash Disbursements be tabled to the August 20, 2007 Board of Trustees meeting to allow time for the Trustees to study the report. Mr. Boddie seconded; the motion carried.
ZONING AND PLANNING ADMINISTRATOR Mr. Perry reported that zoning approval had been granted for an application received from Mary Paul Stubbs, 490 Barton Shore Drive, to remodel an existing sunroom into a family room. He is continuing to gather information for the Zoning Committee regarding gates and fences.
Buildings Architect Ed Wier gave a slide presentation of the floor plan and exterior design proposed for the Village Administration Center. Elements of the floor plan include:
--1 story building, 2,056 square feet
--covered porch main entry, pass-through window to clerk’s office, stairway to basement
--meeting room to the right of the entry, 24’ x 32’ exterior dimensions, 22’4” x 30’4” interior, 13’ height, occupant load 40 people, small storage area for tables/chairs
--2 bathrooms as required, mop sink in stairway (additional door)
--3 offices, exit at the end of the hallway
--2 records storage rooms, mini kitchenette
--an exterior door from the meeting room was considered, but decided that security concerns outweighed the possibility of a future patio
--lower level: open area, mechanical room, 9’ foundation walls, most wiring and ductwork in a central strip in the rafters, one entrance, some smaller windows, incidental storage only (not an active work/storage space).
Elements of the exterior design include:
--original design with Prairie influences
--low pitch, hip style roof 3:12pitch, 4’ overhang
--emphasis on horizontal lines shown in stone sill and window trim
--metal roof shown on drawing for better view, but the roof will be asphalt shingles (metal costs about 4 times more)
--landscaping is representative only, not to scale or type
--sidewalk leads to parking area behind the tin maintenance building
--entrance at grade level
Mr. Lindstrom stated that the VAC Committee was very pleased with Mr. Wier’s work and had found the color renderings very helpful in envisioning the project. He asked for response from the Trustees regarding the progress of the project and whether the material provided by Mr. Wier was sufficient to present to the public or if more was needed. Comments from the Trustees included:
--It’s a handsome building that is what we asked for—the original design with some Prairie style elements that is within our cost objectives.
--Are we still within our overall cost objectives for the project? Response: We won’t know until the bids are actually received, but the elements added (changes in roof design, stone sill, window treatments) are not overly expensive items.
--The material presented is sufficient for the public meeting. The view where the building drawing is inserted into the digital photo of the site is very helpful. The 3-D images of the slide show are also very effective in understanding the building elements.
--The site should be clearly staked so residents can see where the building will be located in relation to the tree. It should be moved back a little farther from the tree so there won’t be any overhang of tree branches on the roof, and to protect the tree. It can’t go too far back in the lot because people have to walk from the parking area, and it needs to be seen for security reasons.
--Can the slide presentation be posted on the website? That would be great. Response: Mrs. Esch will see if that can be done.
Discussion then focused on the timetable and how to present the information to the residents. It was agreed that having Mr. Wier narrate the slides at the public forum just as he did for the Trustees would be best. The site plan presented at the February 19, 2007meeting was deemed sufficient to show where the building would be located relative to existing buildings and features. Taking into account Mr. Wier’s schedule, the election date and BHMC meeting schedule, it was agreed that:
--a public forum will be held on Monday, August 20, 2007 at 6:00 PM when Mr. Wier will present the plan and resident feedback will be received
--the BHV Trustee meeting scheduled for that evening will begin at 7:00 PM
--the plans/drawings will be copied into smaller size and distributed to the BHMC Directors as soon as possible. BHMC will be asked to review the drawings at their July 26, 2007meeting.
--the large scale plans/drawings will be posted in the Village Hall and announcement made in the Barton Bulletin that they are available for public viewing
--the plans will be posted on the BHV website if possible
--the site will be clearly staked to indicate the proposed location of the building.
Regarding the survey of the site, Mr. Al-Awar reported that the work is done and he has been told the paperwork is on its way. Mr. Bultman will contact Atty. Lloyd about the process of arranging for the land exchange.
Recreation Ms. Bogat suggested two dates and the Trustees chose to have the Fall Picnic on Sunday afternoon, September 9, 2007. Regarding the bicycle race proposed by the Michigan Cycling Club, Trustee comments included:
--Are there possible legal consequences? Response by Atty. Reading: As long as there is adequate insurance [included in the proposal] it looks OK.
--It is a compact event, taking only a few hours, so we should support the idea. Barton Hills is known as a challenging place to bike.
--Would there be a lot of practice riding beforehand? Response: Local riders are already practicing here, and the visiting teams would probably only come the day before to check out the route.
--We can take the position that we just don’t do this type of event, or we can support student athletes in a way that isn’t too burdensome to the residents.
--We may be starting a precedent we won’t like. If too many riders come too often it could pose a problem.
--We could try it, and if it doesn’t go well we would have basis not to do another one in the future.
--There was a request a few years ago to have a bicycle race as part of a triathalon that was turned down due to the size and nature of the event. We have the ability to decide each case individually.
Motion Mr. Lindstrom moved that the proposal received from the Michigan Cycling Club asking to have a collegiate bicycle race in Barton Hills Village on March 30, 2008 be approved. Mr. Boyle seconded; the motion carried with Mr. Al-Awar voting no.
Water Mr. Wilkes referred to his written report, noting that a question had been asked at the annual meeting about fluoride in the water. Walter Esch had in the past been advised by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) not to add fluoride because there was a sufficient amount of fluoride naturally occurring in the water. Mr. Esch will check the current test data for fluoride levels.
Environmental Impact No report.
Finance No report.
Long RangePlanning No report.
Personnel No report.
Security No report.
Roads No report.
Vehicles/Equipment No report.
Zoning No report.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS Mr. Al-Awar reported that work has begun on the demolition of the swimming pool. He added that he was gathering quotations for resurfacing the tennis courts. Ms. Bogat asked why the information she gathered last summer wasn’t considered; Ms. Laporte replied that she had been asked by a resident about the worsening condition of the courts and apologized for acting spontaneously.
NEW BUSINESS Mr. Lindstrom distributed a statement regarding a resident’s suggestion that monetary contributions be solicited for the VAC project. The committee listed pros and cons they thought of and a proposed manner of handling the process if the Trustees should decide to adopt the idea. While contributions could provide for upgrades to the building beyond the means of public funding, concern was expressed that those contributing might assume they have more say in the project than would be appropriate. The municipality might end up with extended maintenance issues/costs because of a specific contribution, so perhaps the funds would need to be undesignated, or a list of possible items i.e. furniture, landscape elements, could be developed. No one has specifically asked to contribute to the project nor have funds been solicited. Motion Ms. Bogat moved that the VAC Committee proposal for seeking monetary contributions to the Village Administration Centerproject, labeled “Keep It Simple” in the written report dated July 15, 2007, be accepted. Mr. Wilkes seconded; the motion carried with Trustees Boddie and Lindstrom voting no.
In regard to the proposed Colt Farms development Ms. Laporte stated that the option period ended and the developer made an offer to purchase which was turned down by the property owners. The appeal of the MDEQ decision was dismissed so the project is considered no longer viable although there is still a case pending in federal court. Ms. Laporte has been part of a small group having conversation with the property owners and added that there were other options being considered by the owners. The possibility of filing an amicus brief in the York Township/MDEQ case is being considered by Ann Arbor Township; Ms. Laporte suggested that BHV should join in that action. Atty. Meagher’s letter describing the situation was distributed to the Trustees under confidential cover. A copy of the BHV Application to Intervene submitted by Mr. Meagher [as approved 6/18/07] was also distributed. Motion Mr. Boddie moved that Barton Hills Village convey to Attorney Meagher the wish to participate in the amicus brief referred to in Mr. Meagher’s letter dated July 13, 2007 to the extent that is possible within the $10,000 approved at the June 18, 2007 Trustee meeting for Mr. Meagher’s services. Mr. Lindstrom seconded; the motion carried.
Atty. Reading distributed a report of applicable sections of the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act relating to amendment of zoning ordinances so the Trustees would be aware of the process to be followed when considering amendment to the BHV Zoning Ordinance.
Ms. Laporte referred to the Ann Arbor Township Soil Erosion Ordinance distributed to the Trustees via email, asking that consideration be given to the option of contracting with the Township to administer enforcement of soil erosion control similar to the current Township enforcement of building codes. It was agreed that existing controls are inadequate, with concern expressed for potential soil erosion into the storm drains leading to Barton Pond and other undesirable situations stemming from various construction/landscaping projects. It was suggested that more attention to the overall management of construction projects is needed, with clearer requirements about containment of dust, noise, road damage, stormwater flow, etc. Trustees were asked to give thought to these issues and how to best address them.
Mr. Bultman mentioned a recent newspaper story regarding Ann Arbor Townshipbeing sued for not providing specific types of zoning within the township, suggesting that the Trustees should watch what develops and consider the potential ramifications for undeveloped land in BHV.
Mr. Reading asked for a decision regarding the contract with Ed Wier. He read portions of the proposed contract which state that the hourly rate would be capped at $75/hour, that BHV would not be responsible for billings that exceed estimates by more than 10% and that if such billings should occur Mr. Wier should cease work and seek further advice from BHV. Motion Mr. Wilkes moved that the contract between architect Ed Wier and Barton Hills Villagebe approved. Mr. Lindstrom seconded; the motion carried.
Mr. Boddie moved that the meeting be adjourned at 8:30 PM. Ms. Bogat seconded; the motion carried.
Jan Esch, Deputy Clerk