Roundabout plan presented
Posted on 02/08/2024
City Hall City Council recap of Feb. 5 meeting

Agenda revised – The meeting agenda was revised by Council to remove three items pertaining to the Downs development, due to late-arriving information. These items will be placed on a future agenda, likely on Feb. 22.
B. Proposed ARPA Grant Implementation Agreement with Hunter Pasteur Northville LLC
D. Proposed demolition contract with Renascent Inc. and Hunter Pasteur Northville LLC
E. Proposed Professional Services Agreement with Barr Engineering Company

Mayor Pro-Tem Barbara Moroski Browne asked to move the minutes from the Special Meeting on Jan. 18 from the consent agenda to the regular agenda, which became item H.

Legislative Update – State Sen. Rosemary Bayer presented an update on Michigan legislative action and other statewide news. She said the state has announced a plan to improve water affordability and prevent water shutoffs due to non-payment. She co-authored the first bill that passed the Senate in 2024, which deals with human trafficking that impacts many segments of society from children and teenage girls to IT engineers from India. A stormwater management bill is being developed to enable each local government to handle the responsibility on their own, which will also help maintain desired lake levels. She noted that many bills passed in 2023 are taking effect this year, including a retirement tax repeal, an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit to help low to moderate-income working families, teachers’ bargaining rights, reproductive rights, and firearm safety regulations.

Sen. Bayer is hosting a Town Hall (public meeting) on Monday, Feb. 12, at 2 p.m. at the Northville Community Center. Speakers will include Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Attorney General Dana Nessel and State Rep. Matt Koleszar.

Public Comment
Mayor Brian Turnbull requested that if individuals are representing a group, they should identify the group. He also asked members of the audience not to boo or cheer over any statements made, and to be respectful. After establishing these ground rules, he noted that people tend to be respectful.

Jeff Snyder, 508 Gardner, said he was there on behalf of his Bealtown neighbors. He said they believe the brunt of pass-through traffic with the Downs development will turn their streets into main arteries. He said the neighborhood traffic mitigation plan shirks promises and commitments made by the city. He said his neighborhood’s requests – made to the city and Hunter Pasteur – have fallen on deaf ears, noting the need is to mitigate traffic not manage it. He also requested that the city not close downtown streets.

Lenore Lewandowski, 119 Randolph, thanked Council for moving items regarding the Downs off the agenda for a later date, saying the agenda was daunting. She noted the F&V report has some errors, such as incorrect street names and spellings, and asked that those be corrected.

Mary Elwart-Keys: 502 W. Main, noted a need for more transparency in DDA matters, specifically in meetings where public input would be valuable.

The following people commented on the situation in Gaza: Tim Hasse, 966 Springfield Ct.; Ahmad Hussein, 41450 Stonecroft Ct.; Jabeen Siddiqui, 49199 Parkshore Ct.; Suha Asadulla, 46472 Crystal Downs West; Andrew Siddiqi: 50641 Northstar Way; Farah Khan, 38714 Eight Mile; Iman Qazi, 49767 Parkside Dr.; Tariq Hafeez, 47910 Edenborough Dr.; Eram Uddin, 48282 Binghampton Dr.; A. Hussein; Hala Dubaybo, 47875 Forest Ct.; Aisha Chaudry, 48668 Freestone; Kashif Siddiqi, 50641 Northstar Way; Ilaaf Darrat, 628 W. Main; Naznin Mahmood, 17379 Parkshore Dr.; and Nayyer Siddiqi, 49697 S. Glacier. To listen to comments on Gaza-related items, start at 23:17 in video.

Roundabout presentation – OHM Engineer John Katers presented the preliminary design plan (40% completed) for the roundabout proposed for 7 Mile and S. Center (Sheldon). He showed several renderings of the traffic fixture’s geometry, which is semi-oblong to fit the 150 x 120 foot space. It contains one lane in each direction with a bypass lane for right-hand turns at Sheldon to eastbound 7 Mile and at westbound 7 Mile to Center. There are four pedestrian/bicycle crossings. At two of those locations, bicyclists can either navigate the intersection via the shared non-motorized lane or enter the roundabout. Trucks would traverse the roundabout by driving on a portion of the outer circle. Wayne County and the Mobility Network team have provided input into the project, which is being managed by the city’s Department of Public Works Director Mike Domine. Wayne County owns 3/4ths of the roadway.

In the consent agenda, Council approved a professional services agreement with OHM for the final engineering and design work for roadway improvements to 7 Mile Road, in the amount of $180,000. This will complete the remaining 60% of work needed for engineering design of the roundabout. Two approved grants and one pending grant will be used to help fund construction of the roundabout.

There were several public comments regarding the roundabout.

Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan – DPW Director Mike Domine presented the plan, which was developed by the city with F&V engineering consulting services. (It was phase two of the initial plan presented last summer by F&V Engineer Julie Kroll.) Traffic studies – volume and speed – were used to develop the criteria for the toolbox, which uses an intake form (petition from residents) that assesses the need for traffic mitigation. A summary plan details recommendations for traffic-calming measures, several of which were done at downtown street crossings and more will be accomplished this year. The consultant and DPW are finalizing the petition. The plan can be used for any residential street in the city and requires the support of neighbors. The plan was adopted by Council as a living document that can be adapted as traffic patterns change over time.

There were three public comments regarding this topic.

Land Bank to acquire title to River Park property – City Attorney Tony Chubb said the city has requested the Land Bank acquire title to the River Park property, which will allow for more brownfield incentives to be available to daylight the middle portion of the Rouge River. A deadline for an important meeting next week prompted Council to keep this item on the agenda, which has been discussed at length by the Brownfield Authority and by the mayor with Land Bank officials. Mayor Pro Tem Moroski-Browne questioned the absence of Exhibit D, which is the project work cost for the river park. After discussion and reassurances by the city manager, Council approved the economic development agreement, based on final approval from the city attorney, and the agreement will be signed by the mayor.

Resolution to amend fee schedule – DDA Director Lori Ward presented a plan to raise fees for business owners who use city sidewalks and streets for outdoor dining and retail merchandising by 25¢ per square foot. In addition, a $25 annual permit will be required for businesses that provide entertainment on their premises (e.g. music, trivia). This cost increase and new entertainment fee will help cover the administrative costs of processing applications. Council adopted the resolution to amend the city’s Schedule of Miscellaneous Fees as presented at the Council meeting, to become effective March 1.

There were two public comments regarding this item.

Closed session regarding pending litigation – Council entered closed session with the city attorney and key city staff regarding the trial or settlement strategy for pending litigation in the case of Corriveau vs. City of Northville and Let’s Open Northville vs. City of Northville.

Meeting minutes revised – Mayor Pro Tem Moroski-Browne asked to strike the statement that she was requesting an inventory of school bus routes. Council agreed to that change.

Council communication  
Mayor Brian Turnbull said he is adding two new task forces for the city’s bicentennial and cemeterians, which will be open to volunteers in the coming weeks. He later added that he (and others) are meeting with the Ralph Wilson Foundation to request support for the river walk.

Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Moroski Browne asked city administration to find a balance in what appears on the Council agenda, noting that they are used to rigorous and full packages but it shouldn’t reach a tipping point of becoming too much for Council and residents. She also requested that clear guidelines be set with collaborators working with the city so items appear in the package on time. She noted traffic mitigation is front and center.

Council Member John Carter said the end of horse racing at the Downs on Feb. 3 represents the end of an era, and he was impressed with the turnout. He said a new era is beginning and he’s looking forward to what’s to come.

Council Member Andrew Krenz said the Planning Commission is discussing the tree ordinance at their next meeting (Feb. 6) and encouraged people to attend.

View the meeting video here.