REGULAR MEETING OF THE ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS OF THE CITY OF NOVI

 

TUESDAY - SEPTEMBER 5, 1995

 

CIVIC CENTER - 45175 TEN MILE RD.

 

The Meeting was called to order at 7:32 p.m., with Vice-Chairman Harrington presiding.

 

ROLL CALL:

 

Present: Members Bauer, Reinke, Harris, Harrington, Brennan

Baty (alternate)

 

Absent: Member Antosiak

 

Also Present: Donald M. Saven - Building Official

Alan Amolsch - Ordinance Enforcement Officer

Nancy McKernan - Recording Secretary

 

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Vice-Chairman Harrington indicated this is the September 5, 1995 Meeting of the City of Novi, Zoning Board of Appeals. A quorum being present the Zoning Board of Appeals is now in session. The Zoning Board of Appeals is a hearing Board empowered by the City of Novi Charter to hear appeals seeking variances from Novi Zoning Ordinances and their application as enforced and reviewed by the Building Department. It takes a vote of at least four (4) Members to grant a variance request. We do have a six (6) Member Board this evening; so any decision by the Novi Zoning Board of Appeals will be final.

 

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington indicated we have a couple of items relative to the Agenda; we have a request from Mr. Capote requesting that case no. 95-076 and 95-086 be heard last on the regular agenda and just prior to the sign cases; this will allow time for Mr. Brandon Rogers to appear here this evening. He is en route from the airport.

 

Voice Vote: All Yeas

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington indicated with respect to case no. 95-045 they have requested to be tabled to the October 3, 1995 Meeting. We also have request by the Maples Club on case no. 95-084 to table until the October 3, 1995 Meeting because of an emergency.

 

Voice Vote: All Yeas

 

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Moved by Member Reinke,

 

Seconded by Member Brennan,

 

 

TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE AUGUST 8, 1995 MEETING AS WRITTEN.

 

Voice Vote: All Yes MOTION CARRIED

 

 

PUBLIC REMARKS

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington indicated at this time we have what we call the Public Remarks section of the Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting. All comments related to cases before the Board this evening should properly be heard at the time that case is called. However, if anyone in the audience would like to address the Board on any matter not related to a specific case; now is the time to do so. Is there anyone in the audience who would like to come forward and speak on a matter other than officially before the Board this evening? (No one wished to be heard at this time.)

 

 

Case No. 95-072

 

Continuation of case filed by Amarjit S. Chawney, representing Hampton Woods requesting a variance to allow the construction of an eighty (80) bed residential care facility located on Novi Road between nine and Ten Mile Roads. Sidwell No. 5022-27-200-034.

 

Amarjit Chawney was present and duly sworn.

 

Amarjit Chawney: I am here to present the case on this property. This property is about 16.56 acres in size and out of which, I believe, 6 1/2 acres is buildable. The other is wetlands and woodlands as the drawing that we have put on the easel so that you can see.

 

Amarjit Chawney: Most of the development is in the northeast corner or the northern part of the property. The relief that we seek is for the residential care facility which allowed under OS-1 Zoning. We do not have 20 acres and 20 acres is the requirement by the zoning ordinance to develop this kind of facility. As you can see, primarily the existing features of the woodland and the wetlands offer a very nice buffer for the rest of the neighbors and the residential development that is in the back. We have done our best to keep the development in the northeast corner of the property and we really do not need 20 acres to develop this property. We have 16.56 acres.

 

Amarjit Chawney: Basically the relief that we seek is to allow us to have relief for the 20 acre requirement. Most of the property is wetlands and woodlands and we will only come in from Novi Road. The site plan has been approved, subject to approval from the ZBA. Most of the development is along the northeastern and northern property line. This gives it a very nice look.

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: There was a total of 19 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was one written response received, voicing approval. Copy in file.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

There was no audience participation.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Don Saven: What is the distances that you have between the buildings?

 

Amarjit Chawney: 30 feet minimum.

 

Member Harris: The only question that I have is in the petition; he talks about it and he said in his presentation 16.56 acres is what he has but in the notice it said 16.65; I suppose that it is just a "typo" but I think that we need to make certain that if we grant the variance that we recognize that. This seems to me to be a very reasonable request with the material that was received. It is certainly a use that has been demonstrated as needed. I really have no problem with this one at all.

 

Member Bauer: I don’t have any problem with it. He is saving so much of the wetlands and woodlands that I think it does deserve a little giving on the acreage.

 

Moved by Member Bauer,

 

Seconded by Member Reinke,

 

 

THAT IN CASE NO. 95-072 THAT THE REQUESTED VARIANCE BE GRANTED DUE TO THE FACT THAT PETITIONER IS SAVING A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF WOODLANDS AND WETLANDS.

 

Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) MOTION CARRIED

CASE NO. 95-060

 

Continuation of case filed by John Flanagan requesting a variance to the Home Occupation Ordinance, Section 201 c, to allow for the retail sales of fire arms in his home located at 23948 E. LeBost.

 

There was no one present for this case. Case will be called at the end of the Meeting.

 

CASE NO. 95-088

 

Evelyn Decker is requesting a variance of 9'6" to allow an existing shed to remain on the property at 22638 Chestnut Tree Way in the Village Oaks Subdivision.

 

Mary Ellen Forest the listing agent was present and duly sworn.

 

Mary Ellen Forest: Jay and Lyn Decker built a shed behind their garage on property located at 22638 Chestnut Tree Way in the Heatherbrae Subdivision. They were not aware that they needed a building permit and they have supplied you with the construction and the blue prints and pictures of this shed which is located behind the garage. It is not unsightly. It is actually not visible. In addition, they have checked with the Civic Association which is the Village Oaks Civic Association and they have 6 signatures of the surrounding people including the neighbors who live behind them on the opposite street who have no objections to this. They would like it to remain up. Their house is sold. They are out of state.

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: There was a total of 44 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There were 2 written responses received both voicing approval. Copies in file.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

There was no audience participation.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Don Saven: I really don’t have any problem, provided one certain thing is done. Number one, an accessory structure being located that close to the house represents a fire hazard as it exists now. Being it is as close to the house as it is going to require by building codes that you provide some type of fire protection on the interior shed side walls and also the wall which faces the house. This will probably require fire rated drywall, maybe of a type X or C, depending on what the individual would like to use. It will have to be applied in this particular case because it is 6" from the house. Normally they are supposed to be 10' away as the ordinance indicates, but for fire code purposes we can deal with 6'; in this case it is 6"; so you are going to have to do something.

 

Member Bauer: As long as they meet the ordinance as required.

 

Member Brennan: That was my only concern, if they are storing petrol tanks, etc. if the Building Department is satisfied that they can protect it with whatever materials given that it is an existing structure even though it was built without a permit; I guess I would be inclined to support it.

 

Member Reinke: I have two comments. One is that I have a real problem when people build things without a permit. Secondly, something that is built 6" away I would like to see this attached some way to the garage so it is the same building rather then to have it left in that condition.

 

Member Bauer: Would that still require a fire wall?

 

Don Saven: That would depend on how the shed would be attached to the garage. I am sure that it would be well within the square footage requirements for the area that it is located in. But, it would take some re-structuring of the shed itself. This as being presented is a detached shed and it has to meet certain requirements.

 

Member Baty: If the house is sold, who is the petitioner?

 

Member Bauer: It would have to be the seller.

 

Member Reinke: I am presuming that the petitioner is the current owner, because they are in the process of selling it and this is probably where this came to light. This situation with this shed and being located in that distance, I really have a problem with it. I think that since it has to be reworked in some fashion, I think it could be reworked and tied into the garage, rather than leaving it in existence the way that it is.

 

Moved by Member Harris,

 

Seconded by Vice-Chairman Harrington,

 

 

THAT IN CASE NO. 95-088 FOR APPROVAL OF THE REQUESTED VARIANCE, SUBJECT TO THE CONDITIONS OF THE BUILDING DEPARTMENT REGARDING FIRE HAZARDS.

 

Roll Call: Yeas (5) Nays (1) Reinke MOTION CARRIED

 

 

CASE NO. 95-090

 

DeConti/Jernigan & Assoc., representing Barnes & Sweeney is requesting a front yard setback variance of 50 feet to allow for the construction of a new containment building located at 25265 Trans X Drive.

 

David Jernigan was present and duly sworn.

 

David Jernigan: Barnes and Sweeney is a manufacturer’s representative of concrete.........and concrete products. In their inventory they have some products that are considered hazardous in regards to containment. Fire Marshall Conn has indicated that a containment area be provided and we are providing a containment area which is basically a concrete pad with some walls around it and we are going to store materials in that away from the building. As a requirement of containment areas it can’t have a drain in it; so we are providing a gazebo type structure with a roof over the top of it to keep the rain water out of it. Basically it is a self contained, concrete, basin to store material in. Presently located in an outdoor storage yard.

 

David Jernigan: The requested setback at the insistence of Fire Marshall Conn, the branch of the Rouge River runs across the back of the property. The property slopes from the front to the back.

Fire Marshall Conn and our opinion that we have it in a place to the farthest away from the river. We request that this variance be granted and in addition the setbacks along Trans X are primarily and they appear to be about 40 or 50 feet currently. There are structures on both sides as well as the main structure of Barnes and Sweeney and have approximately 40 or 50 foot setback. I am not sure because I didn’t measure them all. They do appear to be in the same line.

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: There was a total of 6 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was no written response received.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

There was no audience participation.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Don Saven: How much storage are you going to have?

 

David Jernigan: Pallet storage. Items on pallets. How many exactly and I will guess, approximately 5 pallets or there abouts.

 

Don Saven: This location is the farthest location away from the river?

 

David Jernigan: There is a berm in front of the property. A presently landscaped berm. We are not going to disturb that. We are going to stay behind the existing fence that runs across the property. We are going to stay behind that fence. The berm basically is well maintained, it is a nicely landscaped berm; it has some high evergreen trees on it and it would probably obscure about 90% from the road.

 

Don Saven: No objections.

 

Member Harris: I think that this is a very reasonable compromise considering the neighborhood and considering the other buildings there; this will fit in quite well. I think that the Fire Marshall’s warnings are well placed and that we should heed them.

Moved by Member Harris,

 

Seconded by Member Reinke,

 

 

THAT IN CASE NO. 95-090 TO GRANT THE REQUESTED VARIANCE, DUE TO THE UNIQUE CONFIGURATIONS OF THIS LOT AND THE CONCERNS FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY.

 

Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) MOTION CARRIED

 

CASE NO. 95-092

 

Arbor Drugs is requesting a height variance of 1'3" to allow for an expansion of the existing warehouse building located at 43800 Genmar.

 

Matt Ray was present and duly sworn.

 

Matt Ray: I am the architect representing Arbor Drugs for the warehouse expansion. Arbor is proposing an addition to their existing warehouse on Genmar Drive of approximately 231,000 square feet. It about doubles the size of the existing warehouse and is anticipated to come into full capacity in about 5 years.

 

Matt Ray: We presented before the Planning Commission in August and received our special land use approval and preliminary site plan approval at that time. What we are proposing is a variance in height of 1'3" to accommodate an average building height of 26'3"’ with 25' being the allowable height averaged on the proposed 3 sides. The west side which is bermed approximately 6' is only 22 1/2 ‘ of exposed building and of course the other side by the loading dock (the east side) has a height of about 29'6". That was averaged by Brandon Rogers.

 

Matt Ray: We had attempted to seek site plan approval in May with the condition that we be allowed to have roof top furnaces on the roof. We were denied at that time. We revised our plan. On the east side of the building, which I will show you in a minute, we lowered a portion of the rood to accommodate all mechanical and roof top furnaces approximately 10'. I will point those out.

(Drawings shown on easel.)

 

Matt Ray: We anticipate approximately 100 employees and we are providing approximately 206 parking spaces and we have land banked a portion of those. The roof area in question that was lowered will accommodate all roof top equipment.

 

Matt Ray: We are requesting that we match the existing warehouse height for two reasons. One, the existing warehouse contains a 3 level rack storage system. Without the variance that top third level of the racking system would not be able to be utilized and eliminating a third of the effective area of the building. The second item is the conveyor system which exists in the warehouse now. Arbor wishes to maintain that system, it was a large investment. We have to get goods from the proposed addition into the existing warehouse. The goods will be received at a new loading dock, stored in this area and the conveyor will call for them to the existing warehouse and down into the .........

The conveyor system is at the highest in the warehouse and the 1'3" variance that we are requesting would also help us to accommodate that existing conveyor system. If we were to live with that 1'3" off set in the roof it would be almost impractical or obsolete to get products from one warehouse to the other. The products on the conveyor travel down hill, they are gravity fed and in order to use the existing conveyor system we would need all of the available height that we have.

 

Matt Ray: The addition will match the existing warehouse in materials and in height. The addition 540' long by about 360' wide. So you can imagine the 1'3" height difference is minimal in the scale of the project.

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: There was a total of 34 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was no written response received.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

There was no audience participation.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Don Saven: Two concerns. Number one; how much is the drop where the mechanical equipment is going to be? Are you going to be able to screen the mechanical equipment so that it can’t be visible .

Matt Ray: It will be screened at the west and south end. This portion to the north and the east are industrial property. C & O Railroad, Stricker Paint.

 

Member Bauer: Didn’t we have this same thing a few years ago?

 

Don Saven: I am not absolutely sure, but there was a height requirement variation, yes. I think one of the things that was brought up was the issue of the conveyor system to accommodate their needs.

Matt Ray: We did submit 2 years ago and were approved at that time. The plan was then withdrawn for internal reasons at Arbor Drugs and put on hold until this time.

 

Member Reinke: As I believe that I stated when the case was before us at that time, with the size of that building 15" really isn’t going to be noticeable whatsoever. Understanding the system of operation that they have there, I really see no problem with supporting the petitioner’s request.

Moved by Member Reinke,

 

Seconded by Member Bauer,

 

 

THAT IN CASE NO. 95-092 TO APPROVE THE REQUESTED HEIGHT VARIANCE OF 1'3' TO ALLOW FOR THE EXPANSION OF THE EXISTING WAREHOUSE BUILDING LOCATED AT 43800 GENMAR.

 

Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) MOTION CARRIED

 

 

CASE NO. 95-093

 

The City of Novi, Department of Parks and Recreation is seeking a variance for the property located at 51000 Eight Mile Road to allow gravel surfaced parking areas.

 

Dan Davis was present and duly sworn.

 

Dan Davis: Before you tonight we have a request for a variance to the paved parking lot areas for our proposed community sports park located at 51000 Eight Mile Road intersected by Napier Road in the southwestern part of the City. This park development is a 72 acre park site that will feature a variety of athletic field area; including soccer, baseball, softball, tennis courts, etc.

 

Dan Davis: We have just less than 600 parking spaces planned throughout the entire site. The park will feature a roadway system that will have a main entrance off of Eight Mile Road and meander through the park with a secondary access at Napier Road. Off of those locations are 5 parking areas. The roadway itself will be curbed and guttered. The entrances to the parking lot areas will be paved, but the actual gravel base of the parking lot is what we are requesting a variance on this evening.

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: There was a total of 3 Notices sent to adjacent property owners with no written response received.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

There was no audience participation.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Don Saven: The structures in question are baseball diamonds, soccer fields and what have and there are, I believe 2 outbuildings?

 

Dan Davis: There is an existing building on the site and in the future phase planned development of this location are 2 additional buildings; concession restaurant facilities.

 

Member Harris: Mr. Davis, are you talking about a temporary variance for the graveled surfaced or a continuing variance?

 

Dan Davis: At this point, we would approach it as a continuing variance; like we have in operation at other park location,; LakeShore Park, etc. We believe the seasonal nature of the operation which is heavy in the summer months would merit that consideration.. It is not going to be year round and the amount of traffic onto the location would also merit the consideration for a continuing variance to that request.

 

Member Harris: The primary road itself would be paved?

 

Dan Davis: That is correct.

 

Member Harris: The parking lots and the parking places?

 

Dan Davis: Just the parking surfaces themselves are what we are requesting.

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: Mr. Davis, would the ultimate objective when funding allows is to pave the parking area, to bring it into conformity with the ordinance?

 

Dan Davis: That is something that will definitely be given great consideration to, when funding does become available.

 

Member Bauer: I can see going for the first year, but I think that I would have to have it paved from the second year on, because the street is paved.

 

Member Reinke: I agree with Mr. Bauer. I think I can see a temporary variance for a period of time; but I think down the road that maintenance wise, direction wise, it would be much better to be at least asphalt rather than to be a gravel situation.

 

Member Brennan: Just another question. Is it really an issue of this being used seasonally verse the cost?

 

Dan Davis: It is a matter of both in actuality. Also, during our review at the Planning Commission level, some issues were raised by some of the Planning Commissioners that for environmental reasons it may be better to allow the surface parking areas to remain gravel to help and assist with drainage on the site to allow it to conform to its natural drainage patterns within the soil itself. That is something that we are going to be reviewing with our Planning Commission tomorrow night at their review of our final site plan to see what their request is. At this point, we would be happy with the temporary for the one year that is allowable under the ordinance here with the City and then to address it a future date if necessary.

 

Member Brennan: I would just like to make a point, that if you travel the 30 or 40 miles of Edward Hines while the main road is paved all of the off roads are not. It has handled the traffic and events for many years. I don’t know if it is a necessary burden for the tax payer to ask to do that.

 

Member Bauer: I think that you are considering a number of miles against a few acres. I think the number of ball parks, soccer fields, etc. that this could be utilized in the winter time for cross country skiing also and for sledding and what have you.

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: Mr. Davis, my own sense is this, I don’t think we ought to wholesale a card of exceptions into the statute just because it is a matter of economics, especially when it is the City that is involved. On the other hand, I certainly would support a motion to give you a variance for a year and let’s see what the budget looks like next year at this time. Perhaps you will have the monies to pave it. If not we can consider and take a look at the hardship at that time.

 

Moved by Member Bauer,

 

Seconded by Member Reinke:

 

 

THAT IN CASE NO. 95-093 THAT THE REQUESTED VARIANCE BE GRANTED FOR A ONE YEAR PERIOD AND THAT IT COME BACK TO THE BOARD AT THAT TIME.

 

Discussion on motion:

 

Member Harris: There are two things. One is that I would like to make it an 18 month motion or something to take it through the spring of the following year. To take us to a time of April or May of the following year. Secondly, I think I am going to support the motion because it is the right thing to do; but for the wrong reason. I think this is very reasonable to have graveled parking surfaces in our park system. I think that most of the places that you go you see that, and I am not certain that an asphalt parking in an open and natural area is necessarily in our community best interest either. As I stated, I would in fact support the motion because I do believe that the gravel is the right way.

 

Member Bauer: That is no problem 18 MONTHS WOULD BE FINE.

 

Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) MOTION CARRIED

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: Your variance has been granted for a period of 18 months.

 

Vice Chairman Harrington: Board Members we have now concluded the regular agenda and are now turning to the signs cases; but at the inception of this Meeting we did agree to move 95-076 and 95-086 to this point in the Meeting so that Mr. Rogers would have an opportunity to speak. What is the Board’s pleasure?

 

Member Harris: Since the Meeting has moved as rapidly as any Meeting that we have had recently. I would recommend that we continue to wait for Mr. Rogers at least through part of the sign cases if not all of them, since he believes that there is something that he can add to those 2 cases and I think it is in the Board’s best interest to hear that presentation. Since we have moved so quickly, I suggest that we move on with the agenda.

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: I concur, is there any disagreement?

 

 

CASE NO. 95-078

 

Continuation of case filed by Johnson Sign Company, representing Providence Hospital requesting a variance to change the verbiage on the existing signs at 47601 Grand River Avenue. These signs were granted under Zoning Board of Appeals Case No. 91-105A-C, December 3, 1991.

 

Chuck Bissel was present and duly sworn.

 

Chuck Bissel: Providence Hospital, Director of Facility Planning and Construction. As you may or may not have known, Providence Hospital back last June and July, over a year ago now, developed a joint operating agreement with the Catherine McCauley Health Care System based in Ann Arbor. It is made up of 4 hospitals with the new corporate name of Mission Health; which has been rather widely advertised. As part and parcel of that opportunity, we made changes to our signs in terms of that new corporate name. That is why we are here this evening; to seek approval for that, even though it is after the fact. The signs are in the same location, the same size as was granted in the variance back when we came before two or three years ago now. Virtually all of our facilities in 8 different communities other than Novi have under gone the same change at or around the same time. I think that is pretty much it. If there are any questions I would be happy to try to answer them for you.

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: There was a total of 7 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was no written response that was received.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

There was no audience participation.

 

 

DISCUSSION

Alan Amolsch had no comment.

 

Member Bauer: If this is just changing their corporate name I have no problem with it. They are keeping the same size.

 

Member Reinke: I agree with Mr. Bauer. As long as the size of the sign stays and the verbiage just is changed to reflect the new identification, I really have no problem with that.

 

Alan Amolsch: All the sign sizes remain exactly the same as they were before.

 

Moved by Member Reinke,

 

Seconded by Member Bauer,

 

 

THAT IN CASE NO. 95-078 THAT THE PETITIONER’S VARIANCE REQUEST BE GRANTED TO GIVE THEM THE PROPER CURRENT IDENTIFICATION.

 

Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) MOTION CARRIED

 

 

CASE NO. 95-085

 

The Selective Group is requesting a variance to allow the continued placement of a subdivision business sing, 8' x 8' (64 sq. ft.) In the island on Kingswood Blvd. and Fourteen Mile Road for the Haverhill Subdivision. The sign was erected without a permit.

 

Michael Horowicz was present and duly sworn.

 

Michael Horowicz: First of all, I must apologize for the sign being erected without a permit. We have erected numerous signs in the City of Novi and other cities and we are fully cognizant of it, but in placing blame we typically rely on our sign contractor for whatever procedure and I can’t even begin to give you an intelligent explanation of how the sign got erected without a permit.

 

Michael Horowicz: Having said that, I believe that we would certainly like to maintain a sign there and it is my understanding that a variance is result of us wanting to place it in the boulevard entry because we can’t place it on either side of that. It is further my understanding that the Building Department or someone in the Building Department evaluated the location of the existing sign and found the existing location to be potentially hazardous; I went out there and I concur with that assessment. Where it is at it is conceivable that if eastbound traffic were coming this sign could be in the way and I further understand that there is a staff recommendation that it would be acceptable in the island if it were moved back south of the sidewalk. If this body would so grant that variance we would certainly concur with that assessment. I am prepared to answer any questions.

Vice-Chairman Harrington: There was a total of 1 Notice sent to adjacent property owners. There was no written response received.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

There was no audience participation.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Alan Amolsch had no comment.

 

Member Bauer: Is this a permanent sign or is this a temporary sign?

 

Michael Horowicz: It is a temporary sign.

 

Member Harris: Is that the approximate location that you would look to put the permanent sign?

 

Michael Horowicz: No, the permanent sign would be eventually on some fences on either side of the boulevard. This would not be a permanent location.

 

Alan Amolsch: Mr. Harris, they have already erected their permanent entry sign. It is on the east side of the boulevard going into the subdivision. It has already been approved and put up.

 

Michael Horowicz: On either side of the boulevard there is a fence, a stone kind of a detail and it is on that.

 

Member Harris: It is on one side of it right now..

 

Michael Horowicz: The sign is on one side, but the fencing or whatever is on both sides.

 

Member Bauer: How long do you expect the sign to be there?

 

Alan Amolsch: By ordinance one year that it can be on there, then they have to come back.

 

Michael Horowicz: That is all that we can ask for is the one year. Ideally we would like to not come back and be done.

 

Member Brennan: How many homes? How many are sold? Is this all brand new?

 

Michael Horowicz: It is brand new, we have a good back log and we are just getting going with the actual construction. The first phase has about 60 lots, the total number is about 110. We have got about 25 reservations at this point.

 

Moved by Member Brennan,

 

Seconded by Member Harris,

 

 

THAT IN CASE NO. 95-085 THE PETITIONER BE GRANTED THE VARIANCE FOR A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR TO FACILITATE THE SELLING OF HOMES IN THE SUBDIVISION, CONTINGENT UPON THE SIGN BEING AT THE NEW LOCATION THAT HAS BEEN INDICATED.

 

Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) MOTION CARRIED

 

 

CASE NO. 95-087

 

The Garrison Company, representing Profile Steel is requesting a variance to allow the continued placement of the construction identification sign located at 26700 Wixom Road.

 

Michael Brozer was present and duly sworn.

 

Michael Brozer: Basically the project isn’t finished yet and we want to leave the sign there for identification for deliveries and trucks coming in and out. It should be finished and I am guessing in 3 to 4 months. We will take the sign down just as soon as it is done.

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: There was a total of 10 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. A correspondence from Karl Wizinsky was read into the record. Copy in file.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

There was no audience participation.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Alan Amolsch had no comment.

 

Member Reinke: What are your plans for a permanent sign?

 

Michael Brozer: None, at this time we are not going to have a permanent sign. The sign that is there is strictly for construction use.

 

Member Bauer: How many feet away from the Wizinsky property is the sign?

Michael Brozer: I am not exactly sure where the Wizinsky house is, to tell you the truth.

 

Member Bauer: It comes right up to the easement there, does it not?

 

Michael Brozer: I think that on the plans that I submitted it showed basically where the sign is.

 

Member Reinke: You are saying that if you had the sign for 3 or 4 months that would be sufficient and then at that time it would come down, is that correct?

 

Michael Brozer: That is correct.

 

Member Reinke: I have no problem with extending it out for that length of time. We can extend it to January 1, 1996 and at that time the sign could come down.

 

Moved by Member Reinke,

 

Seconded by Member Bauer,

 

 

THAT IN CASE NO. 95-087 THE PETITIONER’S VARIANCE REQUEST BE GRANTED AND THE EXTENSION OF THE VARIANCE WILL BE TERMINATED ON JANUARY 1, 1996. AT THAT TIME THE SIGN WILL BE REMOVED.

 

Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) MOTION CARRIED

 

Member Brennan: I have a brief question, would it be appropriate to respond to that letter advising that there was not going to be as sign?

 

Member Reinke: No.

 

Member Harris: I think it is a site plan and planning issue. It is interesting information for us to know but....

 

Don Saven: This is just a construction identification sign.

 

Alan Amolsch: The only reason that he is here is that he needs and extension because they are only valid for one year.

 

Member Brennan: My question was related to that there was not going to be a permanent sign.

 

Alan Amolsch: We have not received any permit applications for a permanent sign at this time.

 

 

CASE NO. 95-091

 

The Selective Group is requesting a variance to allow the continued placement of a subdivision business sign for Barclay Estates, located at Beck Road and Stratford Lane. Refer to ZBA Case Nos 92-144 and 94-067.

 

Michael Horowicz was present.

 

Michael Horowicz: We are requesting the right to maintain the existing sign that is on Beck Road at the entranceway to our Barclay Subdivision for as long as possible. I guess that will be another year. We have just opened a new phase of Barclay and we need that marketing sign. We request that you extend the time for us to allow us to keep it there for as long as possible. It is well maintained, the entranceway is nicely done. We hope that you will grant us a long a stay as possible.

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: There was a total of 16 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was one written response received, voicing approval. Copy in file.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

There was no audience participation.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Alan Amolsch had no comment.

 

Member Bauer: How many phases are you going to have?

 

Michael Horowicz: Two, the last and second phase has recently opened up.

 

Member Bauer: So, you are going to have this one and one more?

 

Michael Horowicz: No, we are done in terms of development. There is a total of 2 phases and both are now opened. The first is almost finished, and the second one is just starting up.

 

Member Reinke: How many units do you have to build out this subdivision?

 

Michael Horowicz: About 40.

 

Member Reinke: It says here that the sign has been up since 1991?

 

Michael Horowicz: I think since 1994.

Member Reinke: ‘94 was the last variance request. There was a variance request also in 1992.

 

Michael Horowicz: The initial variance request, I believe, had to do with the placement of the sign. It is on our property, but is not on a lot as I understand it. So, I think that the sign itself and I didn’t check my note; but I think the sign went up in ‘92 or ‘93.

 

Alan Amolsch: ‘92. The original variance was for location of the sign, because before we changed the sign ordinance subdivision business signs could only be at the entrance to a platted subdivision. Since then the ordinance has been changed. Now he is just asking for an extension on the original sign variance that was granted.

 

Member Bauer: That would be for the second phase, more or less.

 

Member Harris: The sign went up in ‘93, and there was a variance of this Board in ‘94 when we went from 2 signs to 1 sign in ‘94 because there was a sign on Nine Mile as well which didn’t have the road through. It was an agreement that roll back to one sign in ‘94 and that is the renewal of that particular sign that is before us this evening. When did the second phase start?

 

Michael Horowicz: I think we literally just started getting permits in the last 30 or 60 days.

 

Member Harris: Although I believe that there is a very distinct personality to the entrance of that subdivision, I think it is very distinctive and well recognized and usually 3 years is about the length of time I consider a sign being needed in one of these; but I would support a variance extension for one year since we have just entered the second phase. That would be the end of any support that I would give for this.

 

Michael Horowicz: The prices, of course, on these homes are substantial and you don’t whiz or don’t sell them in high production. The sales pace depending on market conditions of 20 to 25 homes a year is fairly normal. So, this is nothing out of the ordinary. The start up of the current phase is a little behind schedule just because things have been busy, etc. Generally speaking there is nothing unusual going on.

 

Member Reinke: I agree with Mr. Harris. I could support extending this one year to support the second phase and at that time it is going to have to be really something really significant to support it any further than that.

 

Moved by Member Harris,

 

Seconded by Member Reinke,

 

 

THAT IN CASE NO. 95-091 TO GRANT THE EXTENSION OF THE VARIANCE FOR THIS SINGLE SIGN AT THE BECK ROAD LOCATION FOR A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR.

 

Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) MOTION CARRIED

CASE NO. 95-076

 

Continuation of case filed by William Eldridge, representing Oakland Hills Memorial Gardens requesting a use variance to allow approximately a 1.151 acre parcel located at the northeast corner of 12 Mile and Novi Road to be used as B-3 (General Business District). The property is currently zoned R-4.

 

Roberto Sanchez was present and duly sworn.

 

Roberto Sanchez: This case I have come to label in my files "The Cinderella Case". I will present a brief history of the case to you so that you can understand this label. This case came to the Planning Commission and the Planning Department recommended "not approval" for this change of zoning proposal here. The night of the meeting there was a discussion that lasted 2 minutes after it was suggested that the approval be denied. They sent the case then to the City Council group and the night that the City Council group meeting there was a very controversial case prior to my case that lasted until 12:30 a.m. At that point, one of the members of the City Council group proposed to table this case or to hear what the petitioner had to say and about that I got up and said that I have been here for 5 hours and I would like to have the case heard. So, the case came to be heard. Discussion was approximately 1 and 1/2 minutes which was reading the names of all the members after the suggestion was not to approve. Then that sent the case to the ZBA which is your group here for the meeting of August I received a call at 10 o’clock in the morning from Nancy McKernan informing me that there were several members of your group that were on vacation and for that reason there was no quorum and it would be advisable that the case be postponed until tonight. I had 2 extra witnesses to come; one from Chicago, that day. Fortunately I was able to call in time and have this person who was an expert witness on land values for cemeteries be held there and did not fly to the City. Tonight for the case I was happy that my case was case number 2. I came to the meeting and the first motion was to send the case with the last case tonight here. And here we are and that is the basic history of how we came to this point.

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: Sir, we are here at this point in the agenda because we wish to afford Mr. Rogers the opportunity to speak. This is a significant issue to you and presumably a significant issue to other people. Do not take it as a slight that you were placed at this point in the agenda, but please state your case.

 

Roberto Sanchez: The case may warrant or may not warrant approval; but I propose that the case warrants attention and discussion of some of the hardships that I would like to present to your group and those are as follows: The 2 boards that I have here to present to you (pictures set up on easel).

 

Robert Sanchez: In this particular one, in this simple graphic here, it shows the situation at that corner today, Twelve Mile and Novi Road. There is an entrance here that is the procession entrance to the cemetery from this location. Here is an entrance with the arches at the present time. In the past when the request for zoning was made it was for B-3 and this is a slight error the request is for a B-2. At the time of the B-3 there was a proposal from McDonalds Corporation to purchase this portion of land in the corner for a possible fast food restaurant and that would call for a B-3. Subsequently, Shell Oil has made another approach to this company to purchase land in that corner for a possible location of a Shell gas station at that corner. That corner as you probably know, on the northwest corner there is the Amoco gas station at the present time. At the southwest corner there is a Midas automobile repair or muffler place and on the southeast corner there is a big furniture store. I present these facts so that the possibility of a spot zoning could be presented or discussed in light of the situation at the corner.

 

Roberto Sanchez: By virtue of the expansion of the City of Novi and the proposed 5 lane construction of Novi Road and the 5 lane construction on Twelve Mile Road, the noise and the traffic and congestion produced by 2, 5 lanes coming together at the corner would make the immediate vicinity that land used for a cemetery for the last resting place of loved ones impossible to promote as burial grounds at that particular location. The proposal then is to create a visual and audio barrier and take a portion of that corner away and have green area behind so that the land on the other side will be away from the pollution and the noise and the traffic and be more acceptable for a burial ground. Liberating then the immediate closest to the noise and distraction. Also the second hardship deals with traffic in the following fashion. As I read the report made to you by Finkebinner, for the engineering of this road. They never mentioned the presence and the location of that intermit into the cemetery. I am facing right now the same situation in the city of Cleveland Township, where there is a boulevard entrance at the very intersection of Garfield and Clinton River Road. The city came to us begging to move that entrance to another location because of the traffic hazard. When you have 5 lanes on Novi and 5 lanes on Twelve Mile Road and the processions are entering and exiting on a platoon formation going through red lights at a slow speed that will become a nightmare to you and a nightmare to us. The hardship with that particular case of traffic; we are proposing that if this rezoning is granted that entrance to the cemetery will be removed to a different location anticipating that nightmare of traffic on that corner with the procession entry and exit.

 

Roberto Sanchez: In a few minutes I have with me Paul Slaving a traffic consultant known to this community ................difficult with that kind of traffic there.

 

Roberto Sanchez: In conversations that I have had with Mr. Kriewall and the Mayor they also suggested that I present it to the community and the ZBA other places that are favorable to the community by having this deletion here. One of those is the competition to the present location of Amoco who know that several miles, I believe 5 or 7 miles, would be the next gasoline station location so the presence of a Shell gas station would be competition to Amoco and the benefit of the community. The next benefit to the community would be that if a rezoning is given here then this parcel would enter immediately to the tax paying parcels of the community since the cemetery is not paying taxes to the local community.

 

Roberto Sanchez: Tonight what I wanted to do then is to present the ZBA now the new hardship that I have mentioned and those other things that I believe would benefit the community and then I will be able to answer any question. I would like to bring now Paul Slaving to make his case on the traffic situation in that corner.

 

Paul Slaving: I represent Reid, Cool & Michalski traffic and transportation consulting engineers in Farmington Hills. I have a report that was prepared by us for Mr. Sanchez. (Copies passed out.)

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: Sir, are you expecting us to read this report right now?

 

Paul Slaving: No, I am not. I am expecting to give you synopsis of the report. I am sorry that it didn’t get to you sooner.

 

Paul Slaving: We were asked to look by Michigan Real Estate Properties at the traffic concerns of this area. What we did and keeping in mind that they are looking for a rezoning from a residential to a business zoning of R-4 to B-2; we looked at the volumes of the roads as they exist today. We looked at the laneage as it exists today, and we all know that laneage very well. Twelve Mile Road is currently a 2 lane road and it widens out to 5 lanes at this intersection. Novi Road is a 5 lane road south of the intersection and narrows down to a 2 lane road about 700 feet north. Novi Road has planned expansion that is currently under way or is about to begin. Planning is already there, I believe from my understanding that contracts have been let for that. That will become a 5 lane road within a 120 foot right of way from where it exists as a 5 lane road now at Novi Road up to the Twelve Mile Decker connection. Decker will continue obviously as a 5 lane road from that point to the north. Twelve Mile Road is also slated to be rebuilt. It is to be rebuilt as a boulevard in this area; they are not exactly sure on what the exact laneage will be at this time although they believe from conversations with Finkbeiner, Petter and Strout that they are going to 180 foot of right of way

to accommodate this boulevard cross section. We are assuming that it will be similar to the boulevard cross sections now under construction on Twelve Mile between Halstead and Drake and consistent with the whole new Twelve Mile Road Boulevard to the east.

 

Paul Slaving: We did traffic counts at the intersection on August 3, 1995; at that time we did a 24 hour machine count to the location approximately 1000 feet north of the intersection on Novi Road and found a volume of 26411 vehicles on Novi Road. 14000 in the southbound direction and 12000 in the northbound direction. We also did 15 minute manual turning movement counts for a period of 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon to gain the peak hour and that information is included in the report. There is approximately 3091 vehicles in the morning peak hour through the intersection and 3866 vehicles through the intersection in the afternoon peak hour.

 

Paul Slaving: In keeping with the idea that this could possibly be re-zoned and a gas station allowed to be constructed there; we looked at the ITE trip generation manual for a service station allowing for 8 pumps. The ITE trip generation manual has a new update that was just released in February of 1995 and in that manual a station with 4 pumps and a car wash would generate approximately 1165 cars in an average day. 87 of those cars being generated in the morning peak hour and 101 cars being generated in the afternoon peak hour. In a situation like a gas station or a convenience market or a shopping center we allow for pass by traffic; that means that trips that already on the road that will be turning into the site just because it is there. It is not a distinctive, I am going to the gas station to get gas, like a trip. For a gas station of 8 pump size the manual allows for approximately a 61% reduction in new trips for the morning and 56% reduction in trips for the afternoon peak hours which relates to 34 new trip or new vehicles that will come in the morning and 44 new trips generated by the site of a gas station of this size in the afternoon. The other traffic would all be from the drive by traffic and those individual most likely on their way home. This site has the opportunity to provide home bound motorists on northbound Novi Road with an excellent opportunity to make a right turn in and the easiest movement allowable and a right turn out back to Novi to head home. It also allows for the same type of movement from westbound, a right turn in and either back out to westbound Twelve Mile Road or to the northbound side of the site. Those 2 movements happen to be 2 of the highest movements out there. We have in the afternoon peak hour, which would be the premium time for a station like this. We have 966 vehicles traveling north on Novi Road and 458 that are currently making right turns onto Novi Road. We believe that because of the location of the existing driveways and the tapes that will be necessary for the expansion of the roadways it will put the driveways that are currently there in closer proximity to the corner making it a little harder to get in and out of that driveway or those driveways that exist. With a new site that can be developed there those driveways can be then modified to be set back farther from the curb line.

 

Paul Slaving: That is basically the crux of our report. If you have any questions I will be happy to answer them.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

Brandon Rogers: Mr. Chairman and Members of the Zoning Board of Appeals, I have reviewed the petition of applicant (The Michigan Cemetery Group and Mr. Eldridge) and also have heard the comments of Mr. Sanchez, the architect, for that group. I have reviewed the City’s Master Plan for Land Use on many occasions since being retained in February of 1985. This site was planned in the 1980 Master Plan for cemetery usage and was carried forward in the plan that I assisted on in the 1988 Master Plan and the 1993 Master Plan. Through this time the zoning has been; at least since 1984 and I believe in the 1975 ordinance, zoned for residential R-4, single family residential which permits or refers to cemeteries being allowed where they existed at the time of the ordinance went into effect. Of course, this cemetery has been here for many years. It has been a good citizen, a very attractive feature, I feel, for the City. A softening affect if you will, highly compatible with the trust property to the east and residential properties to the north. The property and some of it may be taken for the widening of Twelve Mile Road and maybe for Novi Road and there may have to be some relocation of a building, like the administration building to the north. They may have to relocate some landscaping. I have not seen a redevelopment plan, but there is going to be some admitted dis-location; but I cannot find in good conscience why this property cannot be continued to be used for cemetery purposes or for that matter R-4 purposes. I am concerned that to introduce a commercial use at this corner would be poor planning. I think that the zoning implements the Master Plan. The property, the quarter section close to 160 acres, is a magnificent cemetery facility with some room to expand. I see no need and I see no good purpose in taking off a 1 acre corner with the possible of the possible taking of the 2 widening projects, the property is just over 1 acre. To, you might say to change the zoning on this quadrant. The discussion tonight was on a gas station, a Shell Station. I have never heard that referred to in the past, when they came in for a re-zoning request. That was a new issue tonight. I looked at the plan when it was turned around facing me and said "this is a new concept", but we are not here tonight to do a site plan approval we are here to consider B-3 District usage because the present zoning is not suitable on such a high traffic corner. We all know that there is a lot of traffic on this corner. I think that it might behoove traffic planners to reduce not add curb cuts and I think that the gas station will generate more traffic than the cemetery will at this location. Particularly if a plan that I once saw relocates the administration center and maybe a funeral home to the north on Novi near 12 1/2 Mile Road. I would respectfully recommend that you not approve this variance because I cannot see where it is clearly shown where the land cannot be used for it’s zoned use or for that matter for the planned use that has been historically been on the property. I will be happy to answer any questions.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Don Saven had no comment.

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington indicated there was a total of 27 Notices sent to adjacent property owners with now written response received.

 

Member Bauer: I can’t see where it is a hardship for one thing. Also, I don’t know of any funerals that start out and come in at the cemetery at 7 in the morning or at 4 or 5 o’clock in the afternoon. They are usually after 10 or 11, but that is beside the point. I don’t see where there is any reason to make any change, none whatsoever except to the petitioner’s own making.

 

Member Harris: Mr. Chairman, what I see before us is an opportunity for the Zoning Board of Appeals to look at something that might not have another resolution and the ordinance is very clear to us that there needs to be a clear showing that the land cannot be used as zoned. The presentation this evening did not rise to that level, from my perspective. In fact, it struck me a little odd that we would be looking at changing this to a B-3, high intensity use, a gas station if you would, that would further bring traffic noise and other disruption to the otherwise tranquil piece of property that exists there as we speak. I see no basis under the current zoning for this Board to do anything but to deny this request.

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: I concur with Mr. Harris.

 

Moved by Member Harris,

 

Seconded by Member Bauer,

 

 

THAT IN CASE NO. 95-076 TO DENY THE REQUESTED VARIANCE, AS NO HARDSHIP EXISTS.

 

Roll call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) MOTION CARRIED

 

 

CASE NO. 95-086

 

Robert L. Fenton, representing New England Associates is requesting a variance of 1530 feet to allow for off-street parking to be allowed for a building to be located at Sidwell No. 5022-24-100-051, for the Nantucket Cove Restaurant/Bost Club Banquet Hall.

 

Robert Fenton was present and duly sworn.

 

Robert Fenton: We have already received preliminary site plan approval subject to us getting a variance on our parking problem, the shortage of 116 spaces. You might recall that several months ago when we were here a number of suggestions were made to us; we have pursued each and everyone of those suggestions exhaustedly. The only option that we were able to successfully alleviate the parking problem, was the shared parking concept. During the 2 month period, I talked and discussed and wrote to most of the neighbors on Vincenti and we have now received from them over 415 spaces primarily after 5 o’clock. Our problem if you will recall, is that most of our business will be on the weekends and after 5 o’clock. We feel that the shared parking arrangement that we have with these good neighbors of ours has alleviated that problem.

 

Robert Fenton: I would like to turn the meeting over to our engineer, Clif Seiber.

 

Clif Seiber: Very briefly, I would like to outline where the location of these proposed shared parking spaces are. As you know the location of the proposed restaurant and banquet facility is at the northeast corner of Meadowbrook and Grand River. Just to the north of our side is the Vincenti Industrial Park and you can see on this plan that there are 11 buildings which we have secured shared parking with. The total parking available in all of these spaces totals 457 spaces. As Bob has indicated we are short or deficient by 116 spaces. Therefore, we have over 3 times the number of spaces needed to accommodate that additional parking. Also as an additional point, at 5:15 today I checked the Vincenti Industrial Park to see what there parking count looked like shortly after most of the employees were leaving and I found that of the 457 spaces available in total in all of those parking areas 369 parking spaces were free. Or approximately 81% of the spaces. It looks like after 5 o’clock we have more than 116 spaces that we need to share will be available.

 

Cliff Seiber: Also you might note that as part of this project in accordance with the ordinance requirements that we are proposing construction of a sidewalk along the route of Vincenti Industrial Court and along Meadowbrook Road in order to facilitate pedestrian access to those shared parking areas. We still feel that with over 350 parking spaces on site that it is unlikely that we will ever need these spaces but they now have become available with the agreements that we have provided for with those adjacent properties. That concludes our presentation to the Board.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

Brandon Rogers: Just a point of clarification, there is in the zoning ordinance this permission for off premise parking; not shared parking but off premises parking. As I believe there is 3 conditions; one which you have before you on the agenda that it should be within 300 feet as the pedestrian walks, I believe and not as the crow flies. The second one is that it have a pedestrian sidewalk and if it had to cross a major thoroughfare some safe way of getting across the major thoroughfare. The third one is that the property should be owned by the applicant.

 

Brandon Rogers: I talked with Mr. Watson before he left and he suggested that I bring this up and that if you are of an opinion to grant this variance you should also address the ownership question. I believe that they are entering into some type of lease agreement with the various industries on Vincenti Ct. I would just like to bring that to your attention.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Robert Fenton: One other point is that we have already agreed that we are going to have valet parking and that no guest of either the banquet facility or the restaurant will ever have to be in these parking spaces. It will be compulsory that they use valet parking; which should again alleviate any problem and make it easier.

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: Do I understand your comment to mean, Sir, that no guest at the facility would he himself or herself be required to travel out to the off site parking because of the valet nature?

 

Robert Fenton: That is true.

 

Don Saven had no comment.

 

Member Bauer: These off site parking spots, are they all lighted?

Robert Fenton: Yes, it is all asphalt and it is lit with the regular lighting for parking facilities.

 

Member Brennan: I would like to make a comment; I think that this Board challenged this petitioner to find additional parking because of the concerns that we had with other developments in the City and the lack of parking and I personally I believe that he has done an outstanding job of fixing the problem. He has more than is required. Three times as much will be available. I certainly think that he has done a fine job in meeting the challenge that we presented the last time that he was in front of us.

 

Member Reinke: I agree with Mr. Brennan. The only thing that I felt when I originally looked at it was that the patrons would not have to walk over to the various sites, etc.. You have already answered my question with respect to that. I also commend you on coming up with an answer to a challenge or a requirement that we had for insufficient parking. I can support the petitioner’s request.

Member Harris: I would add my congratulations as well. I think that you have done a nice plan. My sense is that if in fact through a lease arrangement you were to loose these parking places then your variance would be at risk anyway. So from a standpoint of the fact that you have to have the parking whether you do it on lease or own the property, I think it is still a circumstance which you have tried to address here. The use of valet parking or whatever that system happens to be in doing it. I think that this does a very reasonable job of keeping people from crossing Grand River or Meadowbrook which I know were some of your other options. This in fact, comes to the spirit of what we have asked you to do.

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: Sir, do I understand that you have received commitments from these adjoining land owners; but nothing has been signed as of this point?

 

Robert Fenton: Yes, Mr. Chairman. I have contacted each owner personally. Met with them or their manager of the facility and in some instances I have received written commitments from them and I have suggested to them that after I meet with the Board and with the Board’s approval that I would then go back to them with a lease agreement. I suggested to them that I thought it would be improper for us to do that first, before this Board’s approval and they agreed. They are waiting for my call tomorrow to tell them that the agreements are going to go into effect and that everything has been approved. We will have signed agreements and I will file them with the City.

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: You would be perfectly willing to have your variance be contingent upon execution of those documents?

 

Robert Fenton: Absolutely.

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: Is there any provision for security for the automobiles that are parked over there in the other areas? How are you going to handle that problem?

Robert Fenton: Well, there is 2 kinds of security that we are talking about. First of all we will have restaurant employees on those premises all night long; as long as we are using the premises employees will be there. Second of all, our insurance company will indemnify the tenants that are already there in case their is any damage because even valet parkers can do some damage. So, we have taken care of those 2 problems, too. There is another problem that you asked me to address and I have done it; I have agreed that I would enter into an agreement with the City that if our property is ever sold that would be part of the agreement that would go along and that they would have to have the shared parking arrangements and it would be part of the sale so that there would be no problem with protecting the interest of the City of Novi.

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: On that last issue I have a comment for the Board Members; I am not necessarily sure given the thorough and exhaustive discussion that we have had over this issue last time around that I necessarily feel comfortable with simply transferring, automatically, this variance onto a new user because the arguments that were made were quite specific to this proposed occupant and the unique nature of his business. That was what was compelling to us and I think that is why we asked him to sharpen his pencil and see how he could address the problem. I would not be in favor of providing for basically an assignment of this variance to a new user without having that person come forward to us.

 

Robert Fenton: I would agree, Mr. Chairman.

 

Member Harris: Further, I think, that part of what we are saying is a commitment to maintain sufficient additional spaces to meet the spirit of the ordinance. There may be one of these off site spaces that changes hands and there may be a change in the numbers. But as long as the total number of spaces is maintained great enough to meet the ordinance, I think that he has met the spirit of any variance that is granted.

 

Don Saven: I have a concern that I would like Mr. Rogers to clarify this please. In the terms of the 3 commitments that need to be pursuant to off site parking; the question of ownership, could you clarify that please?

 

Brandon Rogers: I do not have a copy of the zoning ordinance but we looked it up a minute ago in another book and it spoke to ownership. There’s several attorneys in this room; I suppose that if you have a lease that runs indefinitely you might conceive that to be ownership. I think that ownership should be fee simple or land contract something that you have the control of. I am not trying to throw a monkey wrench into the system, but that does call out and if you read the first page on the off street parking and loading in the section of the zoning ordinance there is a little short paragraph on the right hand column that speaks to ownership. We had a similar case when McDonald’s wanted to expand its’ parking down at Eight Mile and Haggerty, and you may remember Big Boy was looking at a vacant lot just north of McDonald’s and the issue of ownership came up and the sidewalk came up and the 300 feet came up; well it turned out that McDonald’s ending up getting the lot that was contiguous to their restaurant site so that ownership question was that they bought the land. I remember that as one instance.

 

Member Harris: The ordinance reads: "ownership shall be shown of all lots or parcels intended for use as parking by the applicant." It is silent on who owns, but that ownership shall be shown.

 

Don Saven: I just want to make this as a point of clarification. If we are going to agree to something like this I think that it should be entered into the record that we have an understanding that this ownership is a leasing agreement.

 

Member Harris: I am very comfortable with the fact that we have the petitioner’s statements in the record that there is these leasing agreements with these conditions in it that would satisfy. My sense is that we have no satisfied 2 of them with the sidewalk and the ownership with the leasing agreement and the third would be the variance before us for the distance.

 

Member Baty: I have a problem. If we grant a variance based on the additional parking that should ownership change hands or management change hands that we will have before us a hardship case and it will be right back where we started from.

 

Member Reinke: My response to your question, if you didn’t have an overabundance of what his needs are, if he was right at the bottom line with what he is showing then I would agree. But he has an access that if he lost one or two, he would still be over what additional spots he needs. That is where I feel comfortable with that and with Vincenti Court being a dead end street that it is not putting it into a traffic flow, etc. That arrangement, I think, is workable.

 

Moved by Member Harris,

 

Seconded by

 

 

THAT IN CASE NO. 95-086 TO APPROVE THE REQUESTED VARIANCE OF 1530 FEET BASED UPON THE UNIQUE CONFIGURATION OF THE PROPERTY AND THE PETITIONERS’ UNIQUE RESOLUTION TO MEETING THE INTENT AND THE SPIRIT OF THE ORDINANCE. THIS WILL BE FOR THIS PETITIONER ONLY AND CONTINGENT UPON THE FACT THAT THEY WILL MAINTAIN SUFFICIENT ADDITIONAL SPACES OFF SITE TO MEET THE NUMBERS IN THE ORDINANCE. SUBJECT TO FURNISHING EVIDENCE OF WRITTEN LEASES OF PARKING SPACES TO THE CITY.

 

Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) MOTION CARRIED

 

 

CASE NO. 95-094A, B, C & D

Stanley Tkacz, representing Marty Feldman Chevrolet is requesting a variance to allow the placement of four (4) wall signs for property located at 42355 Grand River Avenue. A) sign to be 2'1" x 18' (37.8 sq. ft.) Verbiage to be "MARTY FELDMAN", B) sign to be 2'8" x 7'1" (19..3 sq. ft.) And to be bowtie; C) sign to be 1'10" x 7'10" (14.4 sq. ft.) verbiage to be "GEO" D) sign to be 2'4" x 10'11" (48.9 sq. ft.) verbiage to be ‘CHEVROLET".

 

Stanley Tkacz was present and duly sworn.

 

Stanley Tkacz: I am before you this evening representing the Feldman Group concerning the development of the new image 2000 program that is being instituted by the General Motors Corporation. The program before you this evening is basically within 2 parts. Part Number One had to do with the creation of the new fascia that has just been completed at the Feldman location and you may see with the photographs at the bottom of the board traveling among you. That we presented tot the Planning Commission at review and the items curtailed thereof. The second part of the program has to do with the graphics. The physical nomenclature as related to the image 2000 program. This program is instituted by General Motors Corporation and like all automotive organizations is part of the marketing image that is requested by the dealers to bring the present sales and service facilities in line with General Motors Marketing Corporation. This also applies to Ford or Dodge or Chrysler or the rest of them. This particular program relates to the presentation and the installation of 4 elements on the new fascia. The bowtie as indicated within the facility just prior to the word Chevrolet as indicated on the presentation drawing which is the only fascia of Mr. Feldman’s facility that runs parallel to Grand River Avenue. The word Geo is again there second marketing product under the Chevrolet nomenclature and would appear on what is the extended saw tooth wing and would face to the northeast as one traveled down Grand River; that is at a 45 angle. The third is the dealers’ marketing name of Marty Feldman, which is also on a 45 angle of the saw toothed fascia. The board that is traveling among you is photographs of 2 other existing Chevrolet dealerships that have been completed within the last few months within the southeast Michigan area. Mr. Feldman is the fourth, there are 2 others presently under construction under this same element. The Oldsmobile facilities are also presently under way with this image 2000 program.

 

Stanley Tkacz: We are here this evening seeking approval for the installation of these items as related to the graphic program within the City of Novi. If you have any questions, I will be most happy to answer.

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington indicated there was a total of 13 Notices sent to adjacent property owners with no written response received.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

There was no audience participation.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Alan Amolsch had no comment.

 

Member Bauer: Are you going to take any signs down, along Grand River?

 

Stanley Tkacz: The present pylon sign and the used car/truck sign are owned by General Motors Corporation proper under lease to the dealer. I have no control over those. I have not been privy to any information of the removal of those signs at this time.

 

Member Harris: Refresh for us, if you would, the signs that were there and what we are replacing.

 

Stanley Tkacz: The only sign that was on the fascia was the old Geo sign when the Geo products first came out in the late 80's. That was the only element that General Motors required at that time. The new image that was started in 1991 thru their image 2000 look has created this new program of signs and graphics along with the new fascia program.

 

Member Harris: So in addition to the Geo replacement, we are being asked to put Marty Feldman’s name, the bowtie and Chevrolet which would be additional signs on that piece of property.

 

Stanley Tkacz: That is correct, Sir.

 

Member Harris: I do have a problem with the additional signs without taking into consideration the pylon signs that are out along Grand River as a full sign package. I would find it very difficult to, although I believe that this is an upgraded image and does make sense from a perspective, I don’t think that it includes all of the signs on the property including the 3 large pylon that run along Grand River. You are not prepared this evening to include those in the discussion?

 

Stanley Tkacz: I have no jurisdiction over those signs, Sir, since they have been there for 15 years.

 

Member Reinke: Without taking those signs into consideration there is no way that I would support what you are requesting because you are increasing your signage significantly. There is no way that I can support that without looking at the whole package.

 

Member Harris: Sir, would you be interested in having this request tabled to allow you to go back and look at or have whoever has the authority look at the entire sign package and return with a full proposal. I agree with Mr. Reinke, I am not prepared to increase the number of signs on the side of that building although I think that what you have presented to us this evening is very appealing. The total signs on the piece of property is one of concern to me.

 

Stanley Tkacz: I can take the request to General Motors Sales and Marketing Division and see what the response is, but at this point in time since it has never been discussed; I would not know their feelings of it as it would relate to the total program.

 

Member Harris: My question again would be, would you be interested in having this tabled to allow that discussion or would you like to proceed this evening?

 

Stanley Tkacz: As I am standing here, I can see that it is leaning in the wrong direction and for the sake of my client...........But, due bear in mind that in all automobile sales and service facilities; the dealer does not own any of the graphics for signs. They don’t own the pylon signs. They don’t own the signs on the fascia. These are long term leases. When an automobile manufacturer decides to change his marketing route and General Motors under the Chevrolet, Olds, Cadillac is doing at present; then they begin to force the dealers to stand up here and do this; but the dealers don’t own the signs, they never have and probably never will and I have done enough automobile dealerships to know that. So, it is not with Mr. Feldman proper that we are dealing. I am doing the work of a company called Plasti-Line who represents General Motors out of Knoxville, Tennessee. I am Mr. Feldman’s architect so I am the one who gets the stones thrown at.

 

Member Harris: I do believe that this is something that we as a Board have always taken into consideration and that is the entire package. It would appear to me, that you do have some need to talk further. My next question would be how much time would you be in need of in order to reasonably do this and get the information back to this Board so that they can consider it.

 

Stanley Tkacz: As you know the fascia is completed. We have ordered the light bar across the bottom of the fascia which hopefully will be installed in the next 2 to 3 weeks; they are just so far behind schedule at Plasti-Line in Knoxville in making this. We of course, would like to proceed as quickly as possible to get approval as to which is the proper way to go in the process. Let me, if I may interject, if General Motors is adamant within their pylon program or signs, if we deducted like Mr. Feldman’s name off the fascia; would that assist? I know the bowtie and the Chevrolet are a must, just knowing the image program. The dealer identification sign it’s kind of been batted around as a no no, yes in some place, etc. Again, due keep in mind that we have over 1800 square feet of fascia, 300 feet long. It is not all a straight line fascia. It is of a saw toothed variegated fascia. If some direction could be made as a trade off item, would that be advantageous in a presentation to this Board?

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: Sir, let me tell you this. I think that you are absolutely headed in the right direction because we always want petitioners to out line for us what it is that they have to have otherwise it would be a significant or substantial hardship and where the areas of flexibility and we feel more comfortable when the petitioner tells us what they have to have in order to make a situation livable or survivable. But a component of that may be General Motors. If there is no flexibility there from them and they can’t trade some signage with you, and I would think that there would be a community of interest between sales that you make and General Motors, but maybe there wouldn’t be. My sense is that there is, and that is the direction that we think you are properly headed. We would await input from you at the October Meeting or if that is to soon for you to get back to us we can put you in the November Meeting.

 

Stanley Tkacz: No, I will be back at the October Meeting.

 

Member Harris: Nancy, when will he have to have his information to you for the October Meeting?

 

Nancy McKernan: The Meeting is October 3rd, I would need everything by the 20th of September.

Stanley Tkacz: That would be no problem. I will call Mr. Stevens tomorrow first thing and we start from there.

 

Member Reinke: I don’t want you to go off with a direction that just by dropping Marty Feldman’s name that everything else.....

 

Stanley Tkacz: Oh no, bear in mind, sir, that the present pylon sign program that we have is at the 15 year age. The new ones today and his new dealership at Jay Chevrolet at M59 and Hickory Ridge Road in Highland Township their graphic program on the fascia is the same because it is so very new, but their pylon program is a total different ball game in which we have to create. At the time that sign was put up at Mr. Feldman it was an iron clad kind of thing, take it or leave it. Today there is some flexibilities; but again Mr. Feldman does not have within his lease say "I have to change a sign". That has to come directly from Chevrolet Marketing and that is what I would have to find out.

 

Moved by Member Harris,

 

Seconded by Member Bauer,

 

 

THAT IN CASE NO. 95-094A, B, C & D TO TABLE THIS MATTER AT THE PETITIONERS’ REQUEST TO ALLOW FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND COMPLETE SIGN PACKAGE TO BE BROUGHT BACK TO US FOR THE OCTOBER MEETING.

 

Roll Call: VOICE VOTE (All yeas) MOTION CARRIED

 

 

CASE NO. 95-060 - RECALLED

 

Continuation of case filed by John Flanagan requesting a variance to the Home Occupation Ordinance, Section 201 c to allow for the retail sales of fire arms in his home located at 23948 E. LeBost.

 

There was no one present for the case.

 

Member Reinke: Being that the petitioner is not here and the discussion that we had at the last meeting, when we couldn’t come up with a quorum and if he really wanted to pursue it he would be here or would have made some kind of notification.

 

 

Moved by Member Reinke:

 

Seconded by Member Bauer:

 

 

TO DENY THE CASE.

 

Discussion on motion:

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: My only comment would be that the motion would be without prejudice in the event that the petitioner comes back with good and sufficient reason why he has not appeared.

Member Reinke: I have no problem with that at all.

 

Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) MOTION CARRIED

 

Vice-Chairman Harrington: The petition for variance has been denied, without prejudice.

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

The Meeting was adjourned at 9:50 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date Approved

Nancy C. McKernan

Recording Secretary