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September 04, 2002

CITY OF PLYMOUTH

 

CITY COMMISSION MEETING

 

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2002

 

A regular meeting of the Plymouth City Commission was held at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 4, 2002 at Plymouth City Hall, 201 S. Main Street, Plymouth, Michigan, 48170

 

PRESENT:  Mayor Bill Graham, Mayor Pro-tem Colleen Pobur; Commissioners Michele

                     Potter, Stella Greene, Phil Pursell, Dan Dwyer, Ron Loiselle

 

ABSENT:    None

 

Also present were City Manager Paul Sincock, City Attorney Robert Marzano, as well as various Department Heads.

 

 

CALL TO ORDER

 

Pledge of Allegiance was led by Mayor Graham.

 

 

CITIZEN COMMENTS

 

Tom MacDonald, 297 Farmer, spoke about the closed head injury rehabilitation facilities at 338-378 Farmer Street.  He spoke about Dr. Broe owning this agency and he is suppose to be overseeing these patients and has impacted the safety of their neighborhood.  He spoke about a latest incident with patients fighting and the police were called to the scene and that they are fearful of the safety of the neighborhood.  He stated the system has voids and Dr. Broe needs to be answering questions about care givers and patients.  The neighbors would like questions answered concerning zoning violations of the care facilities and correcting levels of number of patients in each facility and monitoring them properly for safety issues.  He named four specific issues the neighbors would like addressed, possibly at the next regular meeting of the Commissioners.

 

Cynthia Pinter, 377 Farmer, stated her husband resides at one of the facilities and is rehabilitating because of an unfortunate incident.  She stated she fears the other patients will suffer because of the few incidents that have happened and Dr. Broe is really trying to help these people get back into society.  She knows Dr. Broe’s program and he treats his clients with love and respect and the incident that happened was not Dr. Broe’s fault and was just one person’s fault.  She stated that as far as the vulgar language, the residents in that neighborhood were just as bad as the patients from the facility that evening.

 

Greg Gill, 328 Farmer, stated many more incidents have happened prior to the most recent one and it seems to be an ongoing twenty-four hour problem at those facilities with the patients and care givers.  He stated the caregivers are not properly trained.  His family members have been propositioned, had rocks and debris thrown at them by those people.  He spoke to Dr. Broe and was promised to have the caregivers doubled to help some of the problems and he has not done that.  He stated the neighbors should not have to monitor these facilities and he is concerned with the character of the caregivers.  He gave examples of some of the incidents and has asked Chief Carroll to meet with him to discuss several issues.

 

A resident at 336 N. Harvey stated he sees some of the patients down in his area and they are drinking out of paper bags and there needs to be a change with the facility and the way it is structured.

 

Joan White, 231 W. Spring, spoke about her experience with a patient and also her daughter had one approach her to go out with her.  She stated she is frightened of having them in the neighborhood because she lives alone.  She heard Dr. Broe has a PHD degree and is not a doctor and is merely running a business of buying these houses and collecting rent from these patients.  She asked the city to check into these big operations Dr. Broe is running in that area in case he decides to expand and buy more houses.

 

Ann Manning, explained she is from Dr. Broe’s Rehabilitation Agency and plans on bringing all these concerns back to her team and after they discuss these issues they would like to meet with the community to have a group meeting.  She stated that she would like to have them all live in harmony and appreciates everyone’s comments and concerns.  She explained that these patients are just there to be rehabilitated to try to get their life back and exist in society.

 

Joe Lowell, Mill Street resident, spoke about the recent incident that the police were called to that area and it was getting very violent.  He stated he is very concerned because it seems like no one is supervising these patients at all and they are not getting the proper care if they can just wander all over and go buy alcohol at the party stores.  He stated he is concerned with his wife’s safety and that this is a business this doctor is running which has plenty of funding coming in.  He stated this situation could only get worse if the Commissioners choose to not do anything.  He stated how many houses is the city going to allow him to buy to make a medical campus out of the Old Village area, they are not a hospital neighborhood.

 

Matt Cardwell, 1069 N. Mill, stated he saw Dr. Brow’s van in his neighborhood and he took the sign off the side of the van while he was looking at houses.  He is concerned that he is looking to expand and buy up more houses for medical facilities to house more patients.  He spoke about when he was on the OVDA board and these homes housing closed head injury patients were discussed with them and they saw it as a real issue of concern.  He spoke about the incidents that he has seen around the facilities, feels there is a safety issue for neighbors, problems with the facilities and how they are being run and they need better supervision.  He spoke about a friend of his having a closed head injury and his behavioral problems he displayed.  He stated he feels it is time for the City Commission, the City Attorney and the Building Department to get involved with this serious issue.

 

Susan Clark, 305 Farmer, stated that this subject has been before the City Commissioners and Dr. Broe has been here in the community for about five years and the elements have changed.  She stated the concern with safety with the children in the neighborhood is extreme and kids are walking to school and it is a problem to have to worry about them getting out of sight and what they will encounter.  She stated she also has a friend with a closed head injury and they loose the ability to know right from wrong.  She stated she feels that there are too many houses being used to house patients with these problems in a residential neighborhood.  She asked the City Commissioners to please take a look at this situation because it is very serious and something tragic is going to happen.

 

Peter Bunting, 256 Farmer, stated the issue of these facilities was brought up about fourteen months ago and problems have escalated to this point of having to have police presence.  He stated his brother- in- law has a closed head injury and he doesn’t feel some of these people were ready to be placed in these types of facilities.  He feels they need to have a community meeting with Dr. Broe and have him work with the city and the residents.  He commended the Police Department for the great job they did with handling the incident with the patients fighting.

 

Mark Oppat, 253 Blanche, stated he was contacted by Dr. Broe’s agent and he is seeking more property and the City Commission need to be very concerned with his desire to expand this business.

 

Ann Nulke, a resident on Starkweather, stated she is a social worker for twelve years and has a master’s degree and has done research on closed head injuries.  She stated in her  research on a state website, it indicates that they can legally only have one facility of this type for every 1,500 feet and all the residents must be notified.  She stated she used to manage a facility of this type and they had to have two supervisors on duty at all times.  She has lived in Old Village for eight years and sees a lot of positive things happening and planned for that area.  She asked the Commissioners to have a forum with Dr. Broe and research done on these types of facilities because of the safety issues that the neighbors are experiencing.

 

Kathleen Grupa, 262 Blanche, stated she has two children and is concerning with safety issues in her neighborhood.  She stated that one resident of those facilities in particular took a liking to her son and every time he sees him he tries to give him quarters.  She stated that her and her husband paid good money to be able to live in the City of Plymouth and these types of issues should not be happening and they would like the Commissioners to look into these problems.

 

A resident of 358 W. Liberty, stated no one is looking to run these people out of town and are very compassionate because of their situation.  He stated that Old Village is not a medical campus and the residents in that area are bearing the brunt of Dr. Broe’s rehabilitation facilities.  He stated that they have a five-year-old daughter and they are afraid for her safety and she also hears all the swearing and goings on at those houses.  He stated it is an issue of property values as well because of what type of usage these homes have that Dr. Broe owns.  He also is concern with Dr. Broe purchasing properties under different names and how many more homes is the city going to allow him to buys up for this type of use.  He also feels that those types of facilities should not be so close together and Dr. Broe talks a good game but he is going to do whatever it takes to run these facilities as a business, because he is a businessman.

 

Mayor Graham stated he remembers the subject being brought up a while ago and the Commissioners talked briefly about it and it was a concern.  He stated his suggestion would be to have the legal counsel and the administration take on this for research and asked the residents to please give them time to do so.  He would hope for formal reports to be ready for the next regular meeting and some final resolution at lease by the first meeting in October.  He will be out of town but Mayor Pro-tem Pobur will be overseeing the meeting and he will be in touch with her.

 

Comm. Dwyer stated if Dr. Broe and his team have violated the law by having so many of these facilities too close together and not properly staffed, then the City of Plymouth should shut at least two of them down as soon as possible.

 

Comm. Loiselle asked Ann Nelke to provide copies of her research documents on these types of facilities for them to review for their report.

 

Mayor Graham stated that they need to be careful what they classify these facilities as because there is also a term of “Group Homes” for the State of Michigan.  He stated that there are a few of these in the City of Plymouth that exist under the laws of the State of Michigan and they are primarily charged with responsibility of handling retarded adult citizens.  He stated that there is no local laws that come into play with these facilities, they are existing and are legislated by state laws.  He stated that they need to be careful the type of name they attached to the facilities that Dr. Broe is operating and the Commissioners owe it to the taxpayers to be diligent on handling this problem.

 

Comm. Potter stated she did go on line to do some research on this subject herself and did find that Dr. Broe does have a license as a professional counselor and Broe Rehab of Farmington Hills is licensed with the Department of Consumer Industry Services for the State of Michigan.  She expressed concern with some of the comments from the residents informing them of lack of supervision of these facilities and lack of proper training of these types of patients, and possibly inappropriate placement of levels of patients.  She stated she feels it is fair to have Ms. Manning have her meeting with her team and Dr. Broe and allow the city time to look at zoning issues and state laws.  She informed the residents that they need to document any further incidents and file complaints with the Department of Consumer Industry Services Agency.

 

APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA

 

Mayor Graham requested that item #9b be moved up to Old Business as #7b.

 

Motion was made by Mayor Pro-tem Pobur and seconded by Comm. Greene for approval of the agenda, as amended.  Carried unanimously.

 

 

ENACTMENT OF THE CONSENT AGENDA

 

4a.  Approval of August 19, 2002 City Commission Meeting Minutes –

 

Motion was made by Comm. Loiselle and seconded by Comm. Potter for approval of the minutes for the City Commission Meeting from August 19, 2002, as amended.  Carried unanimously.

 

4b.  Approval of July Bills –

 

Motion was made by Comm. Loiselle and seconded by Comm. Potter for approval of the July bills for the City of Plymouth.  Carried unanimously.

 

 

COMMISSION COMMENTS

 

Mayor Pro-tem Pobur thanked the Administration from Parks and Recreation for the wonderful ribbon cutting ceremony for dedicating the expansion to the Cultural Center.  She thanked the Garrison Company for attending and the great job they did on the construction  She reminded everyone of the open house at City Hall on Saturday from 10:00am – 12:00pm.  She stated that various staff and Department Heads will be there for questions and answers.

 

Comm. Potter stated she attended the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Cultural Center and how nice it was to see how excited the High School Hockey Team is about the expansion on the facility.  She also spoke about the pancake breakfast on Saturday morning and encouraged everyone to attend.

 

Mayor Graham  spoke about the pancake breakfast under the Gathering for the Kiwanis Club and the celebrity flippers that would be there.  He indicated that he would be there taking a turn as well as candidates running for office in November and other elected officials.

 

Comm. Loiselle spoke about the recent article in the paper and on television concerning the Detroit Water Department not collecting delinquent water bills.  He stated he feels the communities need to make it known how concerned the residents are about past due water bills not being collected and having increases passed along to the suburbs to cover their losses.

 

Mayor Graham spoke about the loss of Irene Waldorf, a long time resident and a great English Teacher.  He stated she was a loveable person and will be missed by many people.

 

 

PUBLIC HEARING

 

6a.  Brownfield Public Hearing & Action for 101-201 Industrial Drive –

 

Mayor Graham opened the public hearing at 7:58pm for citizen’s comments.

 

Hearing no comments, Mayor Graham closed the public hearing at 7:58 ½ pm.

 

Mayor Pro-tem Pobur spoke about the report from the Brownfield Committee and stated it was straightforward and was concerning the request for expansion of a business and no request for capturing taxes.

 

 

RES. #2002-137

 

WHEREAS, the City of Plymouth has a Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and the Authority Board did review a Redevelopment Plan for 101-201 Industrial Drive known as the Old LOC Performance site; and

 

WHEREAS, after a review of the proposed plan by the City’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority the Board passed a Resolution of Approval of the plan; and

 

WHEREAS, the City Commission did establish a Public Hearing to hear comments related to the proposed plan and all taxing jurisdictions were notified of the Hearing date and time.

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the City Commission of the City of Plymouth does hereby approve the proposed Brownfield Redevelopment Plan for 101-201 Industrial Drive.  The City Clerk is hereby directed to include a complete copy of the accepted plan as a part of the official meeting minutes of this meeting.

 

Motion was made by Comm. Loiselle and seconded by Comm. Pursell for approval of the resolution.  Carried unanimously.

 

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

7a.  Liquor License for 149 Liberty –

 

City Manager Sincock explained that the agenda item was for the issue of transfer of a 1994 Class C Liquor License from the City of Detroit to Gladstone, LLC to be located at 149 Liberty Street.  He stated the State Liquor Control Commission submitted a proposed Resolution for consideration by the City Commission.  He informed the Commission and audience that an Entertainment Permit does not allow topless dancing.  He stated that Mr. Guenther is not asking for an entertainment license at this time, rather to have approved the transfer of this Detroit license to Gladstone, LLC for 149 Liberty Street.  Mr. Guenther still has to seek Planning Commission approval, seek a variety of building permits, meet handicapped accessibility requirements and obtain a clear Police background check before a certificate of occupancy would be issued for opening a new business at that location.

 

Comm. Greene stated that the transfer of a liquor license and approval of a facility for business are two different issues.  They need to go through proper channels and listen to Old Village when the project comes before the City Commissioners.

 

Comm. Dwyer indicated he would really like to hear the concerns of the Old Village Development Authority about this upcoming project.  He would be in favor of tabling the item.

 

Comm. Potter stated that prior to opening the new establishment they would have to seek various items of compliance of the ordinances. She stated she realizes that there were complaints about Lower Town Grill and would not like for this project to get mixed up with a new facility.  They should be two separate discussions.

 

Comm. Dwyer spoke about possibility of placing a cap on any further issuance of liquor licenses in the City of Plymouth and waiting to approve this one until they get some answers. 

 

Comm. Loiselle stated he doesn’t feel they have any grounds to not approve this transfer and there would have to be some clear violation of the city code to cite Lower Town or not approve this particular license to go forward with his project.

 

City Attorney Marzano indicated he would research the possibilities of the City placing a moratorium on capping of liquor licenses. 

 

Comm. Potter, Comm. Pursell and Comm. Loiselle stated they do not feel it is appropriate to put the applicant through another meeting and wait for research to be done after he has already met the requirements for approval.  It is incumbent on them to vote on this issue one way or another and talk about capping approval of licenses in the future.  Mr. Guenther has met the LCC requirements and they should approve at this meeting and free enterprise will take care of a moratorium on liquor licenses.

 

Comm. Dwyer agrees they should vote, but doesn’t agree they don’t have the right to look at the number of licenses to be issued as a policy issue.

 

Mayor Graham stated it is incumbent on them to look at this issue rationally and realize that whether or not a business succeeds with a liquor license will take care of the moratorium.  He stated that he doesn’t believe they want to get into a policy on liquor licenses, but rather some type of ordinance level.  He has never been a proponent to turn Plymouth into a major entertainment center and flood it with liquor licenses.  He likes the viability downtown and the mix of business right now and recognizes you can have too much of a good thing.

 

A resident of Old Village stated he feel when you have a business person that wants to invest heavily in a business project it would be beneficial for that area.  He stated Mr. Guenther did a good job with Lower Town and why hold him back if he wants to refurbish an old building, rather than tear it down.  He feels Lower Town has turned into a great business for his return and if a business doesn’t do well they end up going out and you don’t have to worry about a liquor license at that point.  He stated that he doesn’t see a problem with trash in the alleys and some of the complaints that have been made against Lower Town he doesn’t see.  He spoke about the local news magazine that prints slanted articles about people and businesses and you can’t believe what they print.  He frequents Lower Town and is glad they are there and would like to see him succeed in another business venture.

 

Mark Knoth, Attorney for Kim Guenther, spoke about his client wanting to continue being a good businessperson with his proposed project.  He stated that Lower Town Grille will continue on the way they are with some outdoor seating.  He stated it is fairly difficult to do a good business if the clientele cannot have a glass of wine or a beer with their dinner.  Mr. Guenther has placed a fair amount of equity in the building on that street and will continue to do so with this new venture. 

 

Matt Cardwell stated he would like to see this area developed but is concerned with ordinance violations not being resolved with Mr. Guenther’s build at 149 address.  He stated he wants to see the building restored and that people in that area will be keeping their eye on his properties to make sure they are being maintained properly and there are no violations of the ordinance.

 

Mark Oppat, 253 Blanche, stated he is involved with the OVDA and is not opposed to the liquor license being transferred, but they need to be concerned with Mr. Guenther’s track record.  He stated that the have issues with structure and appearance and maintaining improvement of alleyways for parking.

 

Carol Levitte, 223 N. Main, inquired whether food service request is attached to approval of the license.  She expressed concern with his financial plan to refurbish the building and make it ADA compliant.

 

RES. #2002-138

 

At a regular meeting of the Plymouth City Commission called to order by Mayor Bill Graham on September 3, 2002, at 7:00 p.m the following resolution was offered:

 

Moved by Commission Phil Pursell and supported by Commissioner Ron Loiselle that the request from GLADSTONE, LLC to transfer ownership of 1994 Class C licensed business, located in escrow at 1426 Al Kaline, Detroit, MI 48216, Wayne County, from THE IRISH SALOON OF CORKTOWN, INC.; transfer location (governmental unit) (MCL 6.1531 (1) to 149 Liberty, Plymouth, MI 48170, Wayne County be considered for approval and the consensus of this legislative body that the application be recommended for issuance.

 

Motion was carried unanimously.

 

 

7b.  Preliminary Un-Audited Financial Report -

 

Mayor Graham stated that this is not an action item but is for information only.  He thanked Mark Christiansen and his staff for the report and feels comfortable with where the city is financially and felt it was a positive report.

 

Comm. Loiselle stated he feels comfortable voting on the expenditures and thanked the Finance Director.

 

 

7c.  Computer Equipment Bids –

 

RES. #2002-139

 

WHEREAS, the City of Plymouth requires computer hardware for their day to day operations and has identified this equipment vital for all employees to effectively perform their jobs, in serving the public; and

 

WHEREAS, the administration, at the direction of the City Commission, has solicited bids, by publishing notices in the local newspaper and on the City’s website, and has reviewed those bids, to verifying the best pricing available to the City.

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Plymouth awards the Computer Hardware bid to Shea Technologies, Inc. in the amount not to exceed $12,096.  This amount was approved during the budget process and the funds will be drawn from the account number 101-900-977.258, Capital Outlay, Management Information Systems, under the Capital Outlay Department, within the General Fund.

 

Motion was made by Comm. Pobur and seconded by Comm. Loiselle for approval of the resolution.  Carried unanimously.

 

 

7d.  Telephone Systems for DMS & Recreation –

 

RES. #2002-140

 

WHEREAS, the City of Plymouth requires the use of telephones for their day to day operations and has identified this equipment vital for all employees to effectively perform their jobs, in serving the public; and

 

WHEREAS, the administration, at the direction of the City Commission, has solicited bids, by publishing notices in the local newspaper and on the City’s website, and has reviewed those bids, to verify the best pricing available to the City.

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Plymouth awards the Replacement Telephone Systems at the Department of Municipal Services and Cultural Center, in the amount of $14,366.26.  This amount was approved during the budget process and the funds will be drawn from the account number 101-900-980.435, Capital Outlay MSD Equipment under the Capital Outlay Department, within the General Fund in the amount of $8,431.64 and account number 101-900-980-751, Capital Outlay General Building under the Capital Outlay Department, within the General Fund in the amount of $5,934.62.

 

Motion was made by Mayor Pro-tem Pobur and seconded by Comm. Loiselle for approval of the resolution.  Carried unanimously.

 

 

7e.  Sprinkler Systems for Kellogg Park –

 

 

RES. #2002-141

 

WHEREAS, the City of Plymouth maintains several parks and public properties.  The City has set the goal of making improvements to public spaces and the City has anticipated installing new sprinkler systems in Kellogg Park; and

 

WHEREAS, Heritage Irrigation and Landscaping was awarded the bid for new sprinkler systems in Cannon and Pointe Park and their work was satisfactory and acceptable to the City; and

 

WHEREAS, the City Administration has proposed that the City Commission authorize an Extension of the Cannon and Pointe Park Sprinkler contract to include Kellogg Park.

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the City Commission of the City of Plymouth does hereby authorize an extension of the contract with Heritage Irrigation and Landscaping to include a sprinkler system for Kellogg Park.  This authorization is for an additional $8,795.00 of additional work to install the sprinkler systems in Kellogg Park.  Funding for this purchase shall be authorized from 101-900-977.437.

 

Motion was made by Mayor Pro-tem Pobur and seconded by Comm. Greene for approval of the resolution.  Carried unanimously.

 

 

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE

 

9a.  Committee Reports -  None

 

9b.  Appointments –

 

Mayor Pro-tem Pobur spoke about the Charter Review Committee appointments and stated that they all agreed to propose the following persons for this committee:

 

                        Robert Mundt

                        James Potter

 

Motion was made by Comm. Loiselle and seconded by Comm. Pursell for approval of the appointments as stated to the Charter Review Committee.  Carried unanimously.

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Hearing no further discussions, a motion was made by Comm. Pursell and seconded by Comm. Potter for adjournment of the meeting at 8:52 p.m.   Carried unanimously.