The Meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m., with Chairman Antosiak presiding.





Present: Members Bauer, Harris, Brennan, Antosiak, Reinke, Baty (alternate)


Absent: Member Harrington


Also Present: Terrance Morrone - Deputy Building Official

Greg Capote - Staff Planner

Alan Amolsch - Ordinance Enforcement Officer

Nancy McKernan - Recording Secretary




Chairman Antosiak indicated the Novi Zoning Board of Appeals is a hearing board empowered by the Novi City 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 four (4) Members to grant a variance request. We have a full Board with our alternate here this evening, any decision made tonight will be final.





Chairman Antosiak indicated we have two (2) proposed changes to the agenda. To table case numbers 95-115 and 95-124 to the February Meeting.


Moved by Member Reinke,


Seconded by Member Harris,





Roll Call: (Voice Vote) (All Yeas) Motion Carried




Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Reinke,





Roll Call: (Voice Vote) (All Yeas) Motion Carried




Chairman Antosiak indicated all comments related to cases before the Board this evening will be heard at the time each case is heard. However, if anyone in the audience would like to address the Board on any matter not related to a specific case before us, this is the time to do so. Is there anyone in the Audience who would like to do so? (No one wished to be heard at this time).




CASE NO. 95-111


Continuation of Case filed by Scott Rumley proposing an alteration the existing building with a covered porch, a second floor deck and a full second floor expansion; a variance is needed to allow the covered porch and the upper level deck to be constructed in the required front yard for property located at 1229 East Lake Rd.


Scott Rumley was present.


Scott Rumley: I originally came in here looking for a 5'5 variance for the extension of the front porch. After talking with Don, my neighbors and stuff, I pulled it back to 3'5 and shortened it up a little bit in the front to try to please people around the area. I have 10 of my neighbors signed and have some pictures if you would like to see them.


(Pictures were presented to the Board and a copy with 10 signed approvals.)


Chairman Antosiak: Last time we went through the comments of the adjacent land owners and Mr. Rumley has given us an approval of his amended requested variance that is signed by 10 residents of East Lake Dr.




James Korte, Shawood Lake. I am totally coming from the Sector Study issue. When we started the Sector Study we sort of ball parked certain areas and I guess I am not allowed to say that some were good and some were bad and some of them were let’s wish that they didn’t exist. This section of East Lake is one of the fortunate ones that is generally set back in a decent situation with enough yardage and I won’t say acreage to do. I don’t know the petitioner, I know what is happening in that area and the developments are lovely. So, I am only coming from Sector standards. This person, I am sure, has 300 to 350 foot behind and that is the depth of the land. We all at the north end wish we had 300 feet, none of us at that level and none of us today can understand why we must come forward. I don’t understand a hardship of having the depth of 300 feet and the lots are narrow, most of these are larger than 40 and I don’t know what this one is. I imagine that it is 45 at least because most of them in through there are. As you go south on East Lake they get worse and worse and worse until it is a joke. In this nice area, where so few and little encroachment happens and I guess if you are only talking 3 and 1/2 feet that is not much encroachment. But, if only we could instill in the new people "if you have 300 feet move it back". Three feet is not that much. Now this is a lovely renovation and they have done a lot of lovely beach work and it is certainly an asset to the community. But, he could have put the whole house back over the existing house; he didn’t. There is a little hunk back there and I don’t know what it is; I presume laundry room or furnace room never having been in the house. Why didn’t you set everything back, then you could have had your upper deck and then you could have enclosed your upper deck and really had something without encumbrancing. What is going to happen when the neighbor next door says "I want to go up, I want to go out and he is in my way". I think that this is something and you have to realize that where do we start and where do we stop. The development is certainly lovely there and believe me that it is from the Sector Study standard of if you have 350 feet why do we need any encroachment on the 30 foot. Thank you.




Member Brennan: A quick comment, the gentleman who was at the last meeting when you were here previous who was contesting, is he on this list?


Scott Rumley: Bill Spencer. I have tried to get over there 3 or 4 times and I tried right before I left for here and I have not been able to get him. I did talk to him with Don about the fence in the front, he had a problem with the boulder wall and that thing was moved over and we are talking care of that.


Member Harris: The revisions that you brought forward are asking now for a variance of 3.5 feet rather than 5.5 feet?


Scott Rumley: Correct and then I am reducing it about 1/3 across the front.


Member Harris: You have reduced the width of the porch itself?


Scott Rumley: Yes, by approximately 8 feet; it has gone from like 24 to 16 feet.


Member Harris: So, the primary objection of your neighbor the last time was site lines which based on the pictures or your description of this would appear.......


Scott Rumley: Yes, Bill has a window and that is why I moved this over; so he would have the view and it wouldn’t block.


Member Harris: So, this still gives you the ability to come out the doors on the front of the house rather than on the driveway?


Scott Rumley: That is correct.


Terry Morrone: The Building Department has no objection. Some consideration should be given to this porch area as not being enclosed by windows, screens or anything else.


Scott Rumley: I was going to use the same metal fence that I have across by the lake and put the hand rail up on the upper floor and then maybe even do it down below and just leave it all open.


Member Brennan: Having this lower porch area wide open, in contrast to boxing that in should actually help the site line of the neighbor who isn’t here tonight.


Scott Rumley: Right, it is only going to have 3 posts out there and then you are just going to have the one poured........there is nothing visually that is going to affect........his curtains are drawn all the time any ways. I asked when I was digging out my front, I offered to dig out the front for him and he said that he didn’t want to touch it. So........I just don’t think that he wants to improve anything on his property.


Member Harris: Did you want to comment on the comments about whether or not you could have built the house further back?


Scott Rumley: Well this is an older structure. Apparently I haven’t done the removals on the first floor to know how the original construction of the house was, but when I tore the roof off it looked like the original section of the house was like about 800 foot square. It looks like they added on coming out in the front possibly because of the way that the floor kind of like a little variance in the floor in the front. Then as we go in the back a long time ago somebody put on an addition on the back. Then I am land locked. I have the garage on the back and then as you fall off on the back farther, it is swamp land in the back. So I mean, you have 300 and some feet here but it is not there. I have the problem with the garage, like I say I am probably from my back of my house to the garage maybe 20 feet or something like that. I was trying to do the best that I could with the existing structure that I had and just maximize the use of what I had without getting into a lot of cost.

Member Reinke: Usually anything in that area I have been very much against encroachment into the front yard space. From the petitioner’s original request and what he has revised it to; I think it is really of minimal impact. Working with the existing building I can see that there is problems there and for what he is proposing to cut it back to; I think that it really alleviates the problem and the objection that was raised. I can support the petitioner’s request.


Moved by Member Harris,


Seconded by Member Reinke,





Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) Motion Carried


CASE NO. 95-119


Continuation of case filed by Brent Beshears seeking four (4) variances to allow for the construction of a second floor and a garage for property located at 1101 South Lake Dr.


Brent Beshears was present.


Brent Beshears: Last month we had proposed for 4 variances to construct a 2 car garage. With further review with you folks, we have reduced the garage dramatically on both sides to reduce the amount of variances that we are gong for as well as lot coverage. I think also there was an issue of the measurements of the property lines and where the house sat on the property. To satisfy that request I got a mortgage survey for you folks. Basically all of the information is given to you prior.


Brent Beshears: I just want to run through that real fast with you. Some of the comments. The side yard setback which would be on the east property line towards Eubank, we have reduced the setback from the variance that was needed. Last month we asked for an 18' variance and we have reduced that down to 14'. On the west elevation we have shifted the garage towards the west to satisfy the problem that you folks were saying that a car parked in the driveway would encroach on the right of way of Eubank. So what we have done is shifted the whole garage over to the west property line and still leaving 3'2" for adequate drainage on the west side. Obviously, being as close to the property line as that would be we have also proposed to put a fire rated wall on the garage and you can see on the site plan or on the mortgage survey that the adjacent house would be 21' from the proposed garage. The rear yard setback, we have reduced the size of the garage by 5' and also after getting some measurements off of the mortgage survey it showed that we did have more room in the backyard than anticipated which is a benefit on my part. So the variance requested last month was 24'5" and now we have reduced that variance 10'11". Lot coverage, last month we were at 15% of a variance for the lot coverage; now we have reduced that down to 11%.


Brent Beshears: A couple of other notes that we were thinking of; how can we even make this less of a hardship on myself so that I am not asking for such a large variance. Talking with the architect I was trying to reduce the depth of the garage below 22' and he really didn’t want me to do that. He said "if you were to park a car in the garage and close the garage door you really need 22' to walk around the car to get into the house", so that is why we only went down to 22' and didn’t reduce it down any more than that. Also one of the Board Members had mentioned possibly changing the entrance to the garage to the rear of the property which I believe would be the south property line and really after doing a lot of discussion and homework with our architect that we have hired, he stated that it is pretty much physically impossible to take a car in on the dimensions that we have. As you can see on the pictures that we have kind of showed around basically what you would be doing is "U" turn to enter onto your property and enter into the garage. He states, being the architect, and there is a letter that I have given to you folks; that it is physically impossible. Even if we reduced the garage down or manipulated it somehow to put one car in there could you imagine the grief that you would go through to put the second car into the garage once you have forced the first car in on those dimensions. Another issue is the whole reason why I am here is to create parking for houses on the lake property. If we put the garage in the rear, obviously and we could which I don’t think is physically possible to put 2 cars in the garage; now I am going to have to double up 2 more cars on the driveway. So now to have another car leave the property I would have to move 2 cars to get a car out of the garage. If we take the garage and leave it as it is proposed, I could put 4 cars on the property and also now if somebody in the garage needs to leave you only have to move 1 car. Obviously that is a pretty good hardship right there.


Brent Beshears: Also I had mentioned what you folks had proposed to the adjacent property owner, you can see that it is the blue house directly behind my property. They weren’t to thrilled about that idea either, obviously because of head lights going onto the property would be shining right into their living room every time somebody approached onto my property to pull onto the driveway. So they didn’t really show that they were to favorable about it. I don’t know if she is here right now, but you can certainly ask her after I am done speaking.


Brent Beshears: Last on that issue, also it really doesn’t fit the architectural design that we are looking for in the house to change the garage to the south entrance of the property. Also if you look at other properties that are the corner lot for lake front properties their garages enter off of the street that they live on. They don’t enter from the rear. So, we want to stay consistent with the area. We want to be with the norm of the area, that is to leave the garage on the east side of the property.


Brent Beshears: Once again I have a letter here signed by my architect stating exactly where he has gotten the information about the distances and why we physically can’t put the garage on the south side of the property. I don’t know if you folks did, but he was encouraging by putting his phone number on the letter to answer any questions because he couldn’t be here tonight.


Brent Beshears: One other thing that I haven’t mentioned to you folks is that if you put the garage entrance on the south side of the property and you had to back the car out, there is also not enough and I didn’t type this in my letter to you and that is why I wanted to stress this; there is physically not enough property on the west side being that there is only 3.2' to back a car out and turn it around and then head off of the property. You would be forced to back the car all the way out of the garage and down to the end of the property to get onto the street. Now you are backing onto a public street backwards instead of forward.


Brent Beshears: Do you have any questions?


Chairman Antosiak indicated last time we talked about the Notices sent to adjacent property owners. Copies in file.




James Korte. (Paper passed out to Board.) I am dealing with these 2 pieces of paper that you have in front of you. Now, I talked with the survey company today and asked what about the actuality of 35' and the only thing that these people would tell me is that there are no encroachments to the property. Now, if we get into the piece that I have given you at the top; if we take this sheet from the survey and we do our computations and then we overlay this as to his garage and propose we are 3'4" short of what he wants to do. Now, when you get into this piece of property that still shows at 35, which I told you people last time and I hate to be dogmatic but you know me, the house is not 35' from the street. This is coming from Sector Study. This is coming from 3 years before Sector Study was an implementation group. Now, if we take that potential 5' and move it somewhere we may have a doable commodity. Now, if you take my piece of paper below the red line that says "my proposed" and I apologize for "my proposed" I just didn’t know what else to call it. If we take 27' which is the back-up-ish, turn around area and we do his garage at entry of 25' not 22 so we are talking an extra 3', so we are talking 27, 25, 44.6 that the house exists or at least the foundation exists and we do 30 feet to the front of the property which it is; low and behold we get 126'. And it is doable. And it is only doable if somebody gets out there and does a stake survey and proves that the space is where it should be. This is not

where the space should be, this is not where the space should be. If you can take my calculations that I didn’t do that are subject to audit, it can be done from a rear entry. Now, we are dealing with a 3' entity because I left his garage at 25'; if we were to bring it at 22 we have 3'. I did not take the potential 1' behind the shed that is questionable because I didn’t trespass to get it. None of the figures match. If we go to the original and we go to 35' at a frontal and we go to the house next door that was here at a 32' that is marked on his drawing and we see that the one side of his property is at 126 and the other side of his property is 128 and specifically the next 40 to 41' is 130, we are talking 2' over 40. His neighbor is at 32. That puts the man at 30. At 30 with my lower computation it is doable. Therefore I think that any survey that was handed to you people is inadequate. Any of the times that I have been to the ZBA and a great deal of the people are at the ZBA that come with a stake survey. Six inches is a problem at the north end and we all know that and where is that 6'? When you get into the problem of his computations are 3'4" short to even do what he says he is going to do; obviously we have to get some measurements.


Jim Korte: Is the house over built as it would exist in that plan? Not really. But we have to position the house where it is and at this point in time it is not. I just don’t know how you can make a valid judgement until you know where it sits, because either he is wrong or I am wrong and if you take his numbers and add them up and the numbers of the survey they don’t add up. This is not to presume that I am not wrong too, I’ll bet that I am not but obviously his factors aren’t right and I will bet you that the house sits 30' as everyone presumes that it sits 30' and then we are talking with a very valuable 5'. I think that we have to find it, because if we find it then Mr. Reinke’s thought process is a total doable and I think that it is a good process.


Sarah Gray, 133 Maudlin. I am probably going to be more affected by what happens at this location than Mr. Korte is. I am speaking from living in the back part of the subdivision. There have always been parking problems on this property, whether they park in the front yard and obstruct the view, whether they park on the side street. It is not an easy area to deal with when you are dealing with such a small lot. I brought up last month that I was concerned about the size of the proposed garage. I think that what he is proposing now is much more valid, attaching it to the house, then what was proposed last time. Again, I am thrilled to see that this house is being worked on. My concern is that I have after seeing what he is proposing now, is that if you look at the west property line it shows that at the front of the property just off of East Lake where the 2 houses and the corners are together, there is only 3'4" between the corner of those houses. Then towards the back where he wants to bump the garage over 1' towards the west property line that there is 21 1/2'. Well, that is fine for that part of it but it is still very awkward. It is not that you are dealing with 21 1/2', it is that you are dealing with a house that encroaches awfully close to the property line. It doesn’t meet current standards; of course it doesn’t these houses were all built in the 40's, the 30's. That subdivision was platted in 1917. I live in that subdivision. It is awful. We are doing the best that we can and of course we come to you and we ask you to help us to improve the area. I would like to see a rear entry garage on this property. It is doable, I don’t know. Is he going to be able to back up and go around, I really don’t know. But then again, if you are pushing the garage a foot closer to the property line you are not going to have any room at all. It would probably make more sense to move the garage closer to the east line of the house to give that extra room to back around. Because it has been brought up before the problem is parking. That is a 30' road, Eubank. Two or 3 months ago you granted a variance for the house on the opposite corner and there is always going to be a problem with parking there. When anybody has a party in the area and when you live on the lake front and believe me you do want parties, even the people and those of us who have the access lot; who launch our boats and park our cars on the side of the road - it is awful. So, please work with Mr. Beshears. Please do the very best that you can because we are looking forward to it. But, let’s try to be as logical as we can. Thank you.


Jayme Thomas, 1105 South Lake Drive. I live right next door to where he is going to be building. My only concern is that in the future I was planning on putting a garage in my back yard, which if he is leaving only 3' or 2' to the property lines; is that going to unable me to get a variance for my garage also. That is my concern because I would be on the same side as his garage and he would be backing up to mine. That is my concern. Other than that I don’t have any objections.




Terry Morrone: This is the first time that we have seen the shed on the property and we don’t know what is going to happen with that. Additionally the new site plan that was submitted is showing a 21.4' rear yard setback and the variance requested is indicating that there is a 10 and 1/2' rear yard. So, I don’t know where the discrepancy is. Maybe Mr. Beshears can explain that. 21.4' is actually 10.5, if I am understanding Mr. Beshears correctly.


Brent Beshears: You are talking, the discrepancy that the gentleman had about the 3'4"? You are trying to find that?


Member Reinke: No. 10.5 and 21.4 don’t add up to 35. You are saying that the variance requested is 10.5 for the rear yard setback. It doesn’t add up to 35'.

Brent Beshears: The way that I did my math here and correct me if I am wrong; the rear yard setback is supposed to be 10 1/2', correct?


Member Reinke: The rear yard setback is supposed to be 35'.


Brent Beshears: I am taking my numbers from last month’s information that went around to you. So, if the rear yard setback is supposed to be 35' and I have 21' then the variance would be 15' instead of 24'. You are right.


Member Harris: You have 21.4' according to this information, assuming at least for the sake of the discussion that the information is correct, which would require the rear yard variance to be 13.6'. So 13.6 is what you are requesting as a rear yard setback variance. That is the difference that you would encroach into the 35' because you have 21.4' of coverage.


Brent Beshears: I want to comment on that discrepancy that the gentleman had about the 3'4". It still comes down to and let’s say that we do shift the garage back so that it holds a straight line with the east side of the house. You still physically and that leaves 4'2" and still physically a car cannot back out and turn around to leave the property. Whether there is a 3'4" difference from the mortgage survey, and I was told to get a mortgage survey so I got a mortgage survey to verify the information. We all know or feel confident that the house sits 4'2". You can see in the survey the measurement that was taken also from the neighbors house to my house at 13'7" to at least give us a point of reference to determine how many feet is the proposed garage going to be from the neighbor. So, there is always going to be discrepancy on those lake front houses and I think that we all know that as far as exactly where we are required to be. But still physically we cannot back a car out. Also once again, if we do a rear entrance and obviously I am the homeowner and I am a single man and I am going to live there and rent a room out there and rent a room out to a buddy to help pay for the mortgage payment. So, obviously I am the homeowner and I am going to park my car in the garage; so I am going to be forced to wake up somebody when I go to work to have them back their car out so that I can back out and leave. It just seems ludicrous.


Member Harris: Let me take you back to the east elevation, which is the other in question; the Eubank side. What is the actual distance that you are requesting? What is the distance from the garage as it has been redrawn to the street?


Brent Beshears: To the street, 23'. There is 16' from the proposed garage to my property line and there is another 5' there that is the right of way of Eubank. If you look at it with the naked eye, you would think that is my property; but technically it is not.


Member Reinke: What is 5 and 16?


Brent Beshears: 21'.


Member Harris: So there is 21' at that point, which is a foot shorter than the interior of the garage where you have indicated that you need 22' in order to park a car and to be able to walk around it. So unless the car was pulled up right snug to the garage door the back of the car will still be in Eubank, if the car is 22' long or 21' long, you will be right at the street line?


Brent Beshears: I believe that your longest car is 19'.


Member Harris: But in order to be able to move around this car?


Brent Beshears: I would have to walk on the right of way of Eubank.


Member Harris: You also indicated that the wall on the west side of the garage would be a fire retardant rear wall, so that if the neighbor was concerned about the closeness of it whether it was 3' or 4' or whatever it followed the lot line; we would at least have a fire retardant wall on that side which would in fact another structure close to it available.


Brent Beshears: One thing also, we have been spending so much time talking about the garage; I don’t want to leave out that I am seeking 4 variances and one of which is also to continue the house line. I just want to make sure that we don’t overlook that.


Member Brennan: I have 3 questions. One concerns the shed, is that going?


Brent Beshears: Once we start construction, yes. The shed will be gone. I believe, and I haven’t taken measurements but I think that the garage will be in the way.


Member Brennan: Yes or no, it will be gone or it is not.


Brent Beshears: Yes, it is gone.


Member Brennan: Thank you. Number 2, regarding comments of whether the house is 35' or 30' from the road; when you have a plot or a plan from a surveyor dated 12-8-95 and says 35' I don’t know what else we can go by unless there is other information that someone else has got. I am assuming that 35' is correct. My last question is to the Building Department and this relates to the comments by the other neighbor and maybe it is not relevant, but I am kind of curious given the history of this area up there: if you have garages that are close to being back to back if the neighbor to the west is looking at a garage in the future and is looking at the same type of setback 3 or 3 1/2' from the property line which gives an overall of 6 of 6 1/2' is that something that is out of reason?


Terry Morrone: Not in accordance with the code. The distance from the property line to the building is less than 5' and would require a fire rated wall. So in actuality both of these garages would end up with a fire rated wall by reason of the building code requirements.

Member Brennan: I guess that I am asking the question for this lady’s benefit. She could put a garage behind her home with the same setback from the property line, assuming that she goes through all of the same appeal processes.


Terry Morrone: If the Board grants a variance. It would be totally up to the Board.


Terry Morrone: One comment that I would have on the mortgage survey. The mortgage survey, if you read the lettering down on the bottom of the survey, basically this survey only shows the existence or the non-existence of a structure on the property and whether there are any encroachments on anyone else’s property. It is not to be used to determine accurate boundary lines.


Chairman Antosiak: I realize that it is not a stake survey.


Member Reinke: I am assuming that from this that the lot is 126' deep, is that correct? If you take 35' off supposedly to where the front of the house is, that leaves us with 91.4'. You take 34.3' off for the existing house and that leaves us with 57.1. If we rotate the garage 90 and have that go back 22' that leaves 35.1' from the back edge of the garage to the back edge of the lot line.


Brent Beshears: May I comment on that? The survey and I gave a letter to Terry, there was a utility room also on the house and if you compare the proposed site plan that is drawn up to the survey you will see that the house is 44'6". There was a utility room there and we cut a tree down and the tree fell on the utility room. Obviously the house is so far deteriorated it did a lot of damage. So we cleaned it up and just took the utility room off. It is also in the pictures that I showed, to show where the foundation exists. So you need to add another 10' to the house there.


Member Reinke: You might have to compromise and set the garage into part of that. Because I can no way support a side entrance garage going out into Eubank. It is to close and it is to over built. I told you before when you came in here as far as my opinion was, you have a workable situation but you are not working with it. You have enough room to have a garage and the excuse to move a car as a hardship is one of the poorest excuses that I have ever seen presented to this Board. My opinion.

Member Baty: On the calculations that are shown in the handout that we got. One of the dimension is shown as 6' for the shed, and that is the missing 2' that dimension should be 8'. If you take a look at the survey and also the pictures I think that the width and the length are reversed in that number.


Member Brennan: I guess that I have to make one more comment because obviously I was in error in my comment previous about referring to this surveying document that it is not necessarily something that is valid. There is still much contention about as to where the house is in relationship to the road and we are still dealing with that issue, maybe we ought to request that information be verified.


Member Reinke: I really don’t think that is going to change the situation because number one he is not going to move the house footprint. There is adequate space on the lot to put the garage and have a rear entrance.


Brent Beshears: I think that we are still dealing with is it feasible to have a garage that you can’t back your car out of to pull back out and to leave the property? Right now, and I could be wrong and correct me if I am, I don’t think that you can physically back a car out of the garage, turn around and leave the property. You need more than 4'2" to back the car out of the garage and leave the property.


Member Baty: In addition to the 34' that is existing you want to add a 10' addition approximately 10'2" which brings is up to 44' and then if you turn the garage that would be an additional 22', so that would take up 32' and leaving you over 20' to turn. I don’t come up with the same numbers that you are coming up with.


Brent Beshears: The dimension between the garage and the south property line is not the issue that I am talking about right now. The issue that I am talking about is between the west side of the garage and the west property line, which would leave you 4.2'. If we take the garage and continue down the line of the house it gives you 4.2'. This is what my architect proposed to me, I didn’t even realize it but he is right; you can’t back a car out of the garage and turn around and leave the property. Whether it is 3.2' or 4.2'.


Member Reinke: That is not what I am talking about.


Brent Beshears: You are talking about the rear property line. And the issue that I am posing is that I would be forced to build the garage and back out of the garage and back off of the property and back onto Eubank. Physically we can’t turn a car around there.


Member Harris: The proposed addition is not a proposed addition to the existing footprint. The utility room as you called it, is in fact in existence right now as part of the foot print of the house.


Brent Beshears: Correct.


Member Harris: So in the sense of it not showing on the mortgage plat but being on your drawing as a proposed addition is really a rebuilding of the footprint of the entire house by this proposal?


Brent Beshears: No, if I could approach you folks and show on the pictures and the diagram to kind of clarify.


Mr. Beshears approached the Board and discussed the pictures and the diagrams.


Member Harris: Just one further question or clarification on the west elevation you are in the new drawing moving from a 4.2' side yard to a 3.2' side yard by moving the garage over 1'?


Brent Beshears: Correct.


Member Harris: Where 4.2' was the dimension that was the existing dimension from the lot line for the existing footprint of the house, 4.2' would continue that, 3.2' would then give you 21' on the east side in order to go between your garage and Eubank.


Brent Beshears: Correct.


Member Harris: So the west elevation variance that you are now requesting is 6.8'.


Brent Beshears: Correct.


Member Harris: The east elevation is 16' so you are requesting 14' now on the east elevation.


Brent Beshears: Yes.


Member Harris: The rear yard request is for 13.6', which we established earlier. And with the existing structure as you are requesting there is still an 11% variance needed for the lot coverage. You did indicate that removal of the shed would be a condition of building if you were granted the variance.


Moved by Member Harris:


Seconded by Member Brennan,





Discussion on motion:


Member Reinke: For 2 reasons I cannot support this motion. Number one, no figures match up on any thing that is presented here. . Secondly, unfortunately that the utility room was deteriorated or demolished that leaves a workable situation. That utility space could be added along with the garage and rotated 90 and worked into that area to give adequate entrance way from the back of the lot. Give more additional parking than would be allowed or available per the proposal. I cannot support the motion as presented.


Member Brennan: As I recall the biggest concern when the petitioner was here last was the whole issue of parking. He has taken an effort to down size the garage to the point that he has available parking on the Eubank side and for that purpose and the other efforts that he has made to make the lot workable and that is why I have supported it.


Member Bauer: I can’t support it because I think that if he turned it around he would have more parking coming back into his drive. I just can’t see it.


Roll Call: Yeas (3) Nays (3) Bauer, Reinke, Baty


Chairman Antosiak indicated we have a 3/3; the variance has not been granted. Further discussion?


Member Harris: My purpose for making the motion was to try to get us off the dimension discussion which was why I made the dimension verification a contingency of the motion. I think that it has been a reasonable effort of this Board that if a person wants to rebuild in a footprint that we haven’t asked them to cut the footprint down. I think in order to put a rear entrance garage he would have to take out what was the utility room. I think that is an unfair request of the Board. If there isn’t hardship which is really what we are looking at in the existing so be it. I think that the petitioner made a very diligent effort to bring us back something that fit within the framework of that lot and the needs of the homeowner which is a delicate balance. That if it was not clear is the reason I made the motion.


Brent Beshears: Can I present to the Board the proposed first floor plan? The layout. Obviously by reducing the utility room, the only thing that I can think of and I can show you on the illustration is now we are losing the utility room so we have to obviously put the furnace, hot water tank, etc. somewhere and I am thinking on the floor plan that I will show you that I will lose a bathroom on the first floor to do that. I can’t lose a bathroom on the first floor. Granted it is a hardship that I even had to tear the shed down prior to construction but accidents happen.


Chairman Antosiak: I supported Mr. Harris’ motion primarily because he made it a condition that the measurements be such that the City be satisfied before granting the permit. So, I was hopeful that would resolve any concerns that might exist about the lot size.


Member Reinke: The thing is that this could encroach into the utility room area by a small margin. It wouldn’t have to eliminate the whole utility room. There is enough space there to make everything work. I really don’t understand the total reluctance to work with that area. There is enough space there to do everything that you want to do. The thing is that a rear entry garage would be safer for you, safer for the people along Eubank and would give you more parking than what you would have for what you are looking at. I don’t understand the big reluctance to work with that.


Brent Beshears: Do you want me to comment? The reluctance is still once again that I don’t want to have to back out of my garage for the next 30 years and down a driveway and then back onto Eubank. That is not safe to back out. When you back out onto any public street, do you back onto it or do you pull onto it? Granted, it is not that busy of a road but still you have to do it. It is something that I don’t want to have to live with for 30 years.


Member Reinke: You are going to back out onto the street, if you have a side entrance garage.


Brent Beshears: Correct, but I don’t have to back out the whole property line. You can see that there is a telephone pole right on the corner of the lot. I don’t want to have to worry about hitting that either. I still don’t think and I would have to double the cars up when I park. You can illustrate that you can park 2 by 2 on the proposed driveway that I have, now if we change the entrance around to the rear I can’t do it 2 by 2. I would have to put 2 cars in the garage and then a car in front of another car.


Member Reinke: How many cars do you own?


Brent Beshears: I own one. There will be 4 cars at that house. Really, I think it absurd to take away from a house that I bought and to reduce the size of the house. I don’t think that I should be forced to do that just because a tree fell onto my utility room.


Member Reinke: You don’t have to, don’t put the garage up and you don’t have any problem.


Brent Beshears: And then just park in my yard?


Member Reinke: That is one solution. You don’t seem to want to work with another option.

Brent Beshears: I feel that I have worked very well on it. I have reduced the garage dramatically.


Terry Morrone: I don’t know if it would help but in looking at this plan it shows a garage width of 25'. If you take 3 1/2' off of that, which would leave about 21'5" in width and apply it to the rear yard that would give 25' to the rear yard. That would give him a side entry to that garage of 25' and that complies with our design and construction standards requirement for side entry garages. It can be done and that is the minimum needed to get a car in and out with a side entry garage. 25'. That would give 22' of hard surface and 3' of open space for drainage. So as a standard that you might consider, that is what the standard is and that is in accordance with our design and construction standards. The only problem that the petitioner would have is that he would be left with a 21.5' wide garage. That is not large and I don’t think that I would want to go any narrower than that but it is not unreasonable. I think that by some standards that is a 2 car width garage.


Brent Beshears: One thing that dawned on me and I don’t know if it relevant or not, it is obvious that I’ll own a boat and I will obviously want to back the boat into the garage. Can I back the boat into the garage if you turn it to the rear. I am going to live on a lake and obviously I am going to own a boat, we all do that live on a lake. I don’t think that you can do that either. What do we do, unhook the boat and push it in. You would have to call your neighbors in just to do that.


Member Reinke: I think that we have offered enough proposals and ideas, the petitioner doesn’t seem to be able to work with those. With that attitude and direction I would move:


Moved by Member Reinke,

Seconded by Member Bauer,





Discussion on motion:


Member Harris: I would like to indicate that Mr. Reinke’s comments are his comments and not the Boards. I happen to believe that the petitioner has acted in an attempt to try to find resolution.


Member Brennan: I have just a general comment. I would like to know and we have had 4 expressions on this Board tonight and I would be curious of the other 2 opinions so that we could address those concerns and questions and move on. I would hate to have the guy come back again. I think that he has made sufficient effort to work with this parcel and I have expressed that opinion.


Member Baty: I have a problem with the dimensions. I know that your original motion had words to the effect that the variance would not be granted if the dimensions came back inconsistent with what was proposed. Without knowing specifically what the dimensions are I couldn’t vote one way or the other.


Member Harris: On that point, I think that we regularly on this Board grant variances contingent upon the Building Department enforcing the standards and requirements and that really was my sense here that there was discrepancy around it and there is discrepance as to whether these are accurate or not. If they are not accurate the variance is void based upon that. If in fact, the information is correct and the dimensions are correct than what he is asking us to do would be available under that variance. That was my intent in trying to get us off the dead center if you would and move into the direction that of saying that there is going to have to be a verification of this as part of the building permit when it is all said and done; which the building department would have to do anyway even if we had a stake survey. They are still going to have to ensure that this is properly built, properly located and properly done.


Roll Call: Yeas (2) Nays (4) Brennan, Baty, Antosiak, Harris Motion Denied


Member Harris: In an attempt to see if there has been a different sentiment on the Board I would replace my original motion as stated on the record.


Member Brennan: I will second that.

Member Reinke: Clarification. Can he recall the same motion that we have already voted upon?


Chairman Antosiak: It was neither passed, nor denied.


Discussion on original motion:


Member Reinke: I only have 2 problems with the petitioners’ proposed hardship. Backing a vehicle up or if he did have to maybe push around and push a boat in the garage, to me is not a hardship situation.


Member Baty: The reason that I changed my vote, in case you are interested, is because I misunderstood the dimensions and also the point about historically the Board has not asked people to change the original footprint. I think that is a valid point and in turning the garage if I understand that proposal correctly it would take away from the original footprint.


Member Reinke: Correct me if I am wrong, Terry, if you rotated the garage and you picked up 3' by construction standards how much is needed for a side yard entrance garage of that type; if it is rotated with a back entrance? You said 25'?


Terry Morrone: 25' is the minimum dimension that is needed for a side entry, which would be the rear yard in this case.


Member Reinke: So if the garage was rotated at 90 and it came out to 22' which is what he is proposing and with the 21'4" he would really have to encroach into the building only 6".


Brent Beshears: You didn’t take the 3' for your drainage setback on those dimensions. You still have to have 3' for adequate drainage and also for what I have from the Architects Journal you can see in the letter that it is not 25' it is 27' or that is what I was told and that is just coming from the Architects Journal.


Member Reinke: I am just saying that from what he is saying is a minimum standard, everything is workable.


Brent Beshears: Correct, but we are not at 6", we are at 3' for the drainage. What is adequate standards? Adequate standards according to Architect Graphics , the book of American Institute of Architects is 27', so now we are not at 6, we are either at 3 or maybe even 5'.


Member Reinke inquired of Terry Morrone: Is the 3' included in that 25'.

Terry Morrone: Yes. It is 22' of hard surface and 3' of open area between the hard surface and the property line to allow for drainage. Total of 25' from the building to the property line.


Member Baty: If these dimensions are correct we would have 24.4'......


Member Reinke: 24.4' and he would have go 8" into the area where......


Member Baty: Then he gets back into the footprint of the house.


Terry Morrone: One more thing, if it were decided that a side entry would be required by the Board or requested by the petitioner and it is less than the 25' then there would be another variance to the Construction Board of Appeals for that. That is handled at that Board which is separate from this.


Roll Call: Yeas (4) Nays (2) Reinke, Bauer Motion Carried


Chairman Antosiak: Your request as stated by Mr. Harris has been granted.


Brent Beshears: Contingent that those measurements are correct?


Chairman Antosiak: Yes. See the Building Department for all of the information.



CASE NO. 95-125


Jonathan Crane, representing Cellularone is requesting a variance to build a 120' (+15' appurtenance) high antenna 10' from the property line with 120' being required, for property located at 44170 Grand River Ave.


Jonathan Crane was present and duly sworn.


Jonathan Crane: I am here tonight on behalf of the Detroit Cellular Telephone Company, Cellularone and what we have proposed is the construction of a monopole type of antenna immediately adjacent and 10' off of the CSX railroad right of way behind Harold’s Frame Shop on Grand River at Clark Street. We have entered into a long term lease agreement or at least an option and we are finalizing the lease to build the 120' monopole in the back and a 12' by 30' equipment enclosure at the base of the monopole antenna. We came through the Planning Commission and the City Council for special use approval. It will be very similar to the monopole that you see behind the post office over here on Novi Road. For those of you who have noticed the monopole behind the post office, it is 120' high and it is part of the infrastructure to provide improved cellular communications. Currently we have a taller monopole to the west at Taft Road. We have a lattice tower at Ten Mile Road and we are on the City of Farmington Hills DPW antenna at 275 and 96. So what we are doing is adding capacity. Thank you very much.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 17 Notices sent to adjacent property owner with no written response received.




There was no audience participation.




Terry Morrone had no comment.


Member Reinke: I am assuming that this a tower that it is collapses that it collapses from within?


Jonathan Crane: Yes, sir. They haven’t had one to collapse yet, but they are designed to buckle.


Member Harris: The intent of the ordinance which has been sent to ordinance review, I think was dealing with structures before this type of structure was at least available. There are other very similar in the City.


Member Bauer: I think that we went through with this with another company not to long ago.


Moved by Member Harris,


Seconded by Member Bauer,





Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) Motion Carried


CASE NO. 95-126


Mary Goers is requesting a variance to replace a 20' section of fence at the southeast corner of her property. This fence extends approximately 10' into the Haggerty road right of way. Additionally the fence may not allow corner vision as required in Section 2513 "Corner Clearance", for property located at 39411 Westminster Cir.


Patti Champagne was present and duly sworn.


Patti Champagne: I will be speaking for my mother. We are here to request a variance in code to allow the erection of 5' cyclone fence at the south back yard property line of 39411 Westminster Circle. There is a fence that runs behind my mothers’ property which was put in by Westminster Village, the new subdivision. Stonehenge is on the other side. The fence did not continue through the back yard of my mothers’ lot. In front of Stonehenge there is rental townhouses, in front of the town house runs a sidewalk. The sidewalk ends at Stonehenge Blvd. and then continues past Westminster Circle adjacent to Haggerty up to Ten Mile Road. The problem that we have on my mothers’ property is that people use her property as a continuation of the sidewalk. We have people coming through on bicycles, skateboards, roller blades, walking their dog and not picking up their dog feces and we have kindly asked people to not cut through on the property. My mother has had her windows busted out of her van.


Patti Champagne: The erection of a cyclone fence does not, with no slatting installed, does not cause an obstruction of view for vehicular traffic leaving or entering Stonehenge or on Haggerty Road. It sets backs because there is a ditch that runs next to my mothers’ driveway. So, there is a small path on the property next to Haggerty between the ditch and the road. The problem that has created is that it forces the people to walk closer to Haggerty. I understand what they are doing cutting through my mothers’ property but there is just to much traffic. They are looking through my mothers’ windows and we just find that a total invasion of privacy on her part. The apartments were required or the town houses were required to put in the sidewalks and so was Westminster Village. The City of Novi recommends the construction of a split rail fence along the back property line, which we do not consider that to stop any traffic. They are just going to jump it and eventually it is going to be ruined.


Patti Champagne: We are here to see if we can get a variance on that fence.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 312 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was 9 written responses received voicing objection. Copies in file.




Michael Casanova, by granting this variance the Zoning Board will be endangering every pedestrian, especially children. They will have to walk within 3' of traffic on Haggerty highway with cars and semi trucks traveling at 45 to 50 miles per hour on this tiny dangerous strip of mud between the highway and 6' deep drainage ditch. This fence which serves no purpose will restrict the continuation of the sidewalk along the west side of Haggerty both now and in the future. Many children use this right of way to walk and ride their bikes from numerous apartments and condos south of this strip to go to the party store, the cleaner and donut shop to the north. This area is especially dangerous because traffic must merge from 2 lanes to 1 lane and drivers are constantly trying to cut off each other at high rates of speed right in the area. I not only request a denial of this fence, but I will be requesting a sidewalk constructed as soon as possible in the right of way specifically set aside for a safe distance setback of the Haggerty sidewalk system. Please let us not forget the recent Farmington Hills tragedy of the boy hit and killed by a driver. These boys were walking on the shoulder within feet of traffic because of lack of side walk or right of way. To tell you the truth, I am really surprised that anybody would construct a fence across a right of way. Thank you.




Terry Morrone: This request comes to us through a complaint filed with the Ordinance

Division. Officer Babinchak had gone out to investigate the problem and saw that there had been a fence that had been damaged by a vehicle that had gone up on the lawn and damaged it and they were about to replace it or repair it and he had to issue a Notice of Violation. So there is a Notice of Violation out on it. It is unfortunate because I understand that the residents were probably some of the first people in that area and the development cam all the way around them. They have a problem with the people who walk by and trespass on the property. They have lost their privacy, but by the same token it is a bit hazardous for anyone who may have to go around that fence. The only thing that I can offer is the fact that I didn’t see anything here from the county that would give authorization to put that fence out in the right of way of a country road.


Chairman Antosiak: Who actually holds the right of way, is it the City or the county?


Terry Morrone: I think that it is the county.


Patti Champagne: We have taken care of that property there for over 38 years. When Stonehenge came in with the condominiums they had even asked us could you cut the cattails down so that we would be able to see and that wasn’t a problem. Like I said, we have been there for a very long time and have caused no problems to anybody. Mr. Casanova is one of the people that do like to walk their dogs right through my mother’s property and he likes to go around the other side of the fence and he does not pick up his dog fesces, also. We are tired of this. My mother is a senior citizen and she does live alone and for people to be looking in her windows and walking right in front of her house on the front and the side it is ridiculous. I am sorry but they have put my mother in a hard spot also. He lives in the brand new big house of his and does he think that he has the right of way, I don’t think so. This is really getting absurd with the amount of people that are cutting through there. It is forming a path with the roller blades, the bicycles. We are getting cussed at and I am afraid; what are they going to do next; shoot us? It is private property and I don’t think that he would appreciate us walking through his front yard with our dog and that is the next thing that I am going to do!


Member Harris inquired of Terry Morrone: Based on this drawing it appears as if the driveway is currently in the right of way as well or half of the driveway, is that correct?


Terry Morrone: I don’t know whether that is correct or not. It appears that it may have been widened from what it was originally.


Member Harris: The road or the driveway?


Terry Morrone: The driveway, plus the road.


Member Harris: Or was the right away in fact moved when Haggerty Road was expanded?


Patti Champagne: Both were.


Member Harris: What we are dealing with here is an existing condition, where what I see the incursion into the right of way is really no more than the current driveway. The real problem is the fact that we have this very deep ditch.


Patti Champagne: No, no, it is not 6 feet deep.


Member Harris: But we have a problem, from there the drop off from the drive or the edge of the property through the ditch and out to the road which does create a safety hazard. What my sense is and I was going to ask in the next question is: how long was that cyclone fence there before it was destroyed?


Patti Champagne: A week. Coincidentally there was an accident and 2 young men lost control. It was pouring rain and evidently they were going at a high speed and they hydroplaned, lost control of their car, they hit the fire hydrant, they hit the fence and they also hit the brick fence that was put up by Stonehenge. If the fence was not there that car would have been in my mother’s garage and not through it.


Member Harris: So, it was a car that came from Haggerty Road and not from the access road.


Patti Champagne: Correct, it was heading north on Haggerty.


Member Brennan: Do we have the ability to issue a variance to a right of way owned by the county.


Chairman Antosiak: No, we can give her a variance as to the City Ordinance, but she would have to go to Oakland County and get permission from the county to build the fence into the right of way.


Patti Champagne: So, you can’t help us?


Chairman Antosiak: You have 2 problems to overcome. One is the City Ordinance which doesn’t allow a fence into the public right of way and then the second is this a city or county public right of way. If it is a right of way that belongs to Oakland County, then you would have to go to the Oakland County Road Commission to seek their approval to build a fence into the right of way. We can only offer you relief as to the City Ordinance.


Terry Morrone: One more thing, I was told by Officer Babinchak that originally this house was designed as a one story with an attached garage; but it appears that there was a garage and a driveway that did not encroach into the right of way. Since that time, a portion of the garage has been converted to a family room and an additional addition or a garage was then put on closer to the right of way and obviously the driveway looks like it was pushed over. So that may be a problem that wasn’t addressed properly when it first went in.


Member Bauer: I think it might be the best thing to do is to have Mrs. Goers go to the county and get their approval or disapproval whichever the case may be before we can do a thing.


Member Harris: Are you suggesting that if she gets the county approval that we would grant the variance, or should we talk about the granting of a variance contingent upon achieving it. I really don’t want to send her off, if she is not sure of what she is coming back to.


Member Harris: This is a difficult call. It is a difficult situation because we have a long standing homeowner that has had things built up around her. I think that it is unfortunate that the circumstances that you have laid out that she has been subjected to and at the same time we have one of the most difficult corridors in the City in Haggerty Road with the health and safety on both sides. It is a very difficult decision in a case like this. I do believe in looking at the piece of property and looking at what is obviously happening and in fact while I was there looking at the fence there was several youngsters who passed through and did not go down the driveway but across the back yard and out the other side of the house. Which in my mind is different then just going along the edge of the driveway in order to go forward. These youngsters were not going to the party store or to the donut shop or the cleaners; at least my observation is that was not where they were going.


Moved by Member Harris:


Seconded by Member Bauer,





Discussion on motion:


Member Reinke: I will support the motion, my suggestion would be to have a sidewalk extension put on that would direct the traffic flow and eliminate a lot of the problems that go with that. Understanding the petitioners’ concern I can support the motion as presented.


Chairman Antosiak inquired of Patti Champagne: Earlier I believe that you stated that this was intended to be a cyclone fence without slatting?


Patti Champagne: It is a cyclone fence, it is visible and there is no obstruction at all.


Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) Motion Carried


Chairman Antosiak: Your request has been granted with just a reminder that you will have to talk to the county.


Patti Champagne: Can we just call them? Or do we have to go through this also with the county?


Terry Morrone: I believe that you just have to give them a call. I don’t know if they require a permit or not. If you can get a letter from them........


Patti Champagne: Just get a letter from them.


Chairman Antosiak: Bring the letter back to our Building Department.



CASE NO. 95-128


American Temperature Service, Inc., is requesting a permanent use approval to allow outdoor storage behind the building located at 46101 Grand River Avenue. Case No. 94-064 at the November 1, 1994 Meeting requested the petitioner to return in one year after completing the clean up project that was under way.


Werner Georg Hoffman and George Lasecki were present and duly sworn.


George Lasecki: Back in November of 1994 we came in and requested a variance for outdoor storage. At that time you gentlemen suggested some guide lines. The prime one being a privacy fence. We have since put up a privacy fence along with a new fence. We have added a 30 yard dumpster as a permanent fixture to the building. We have put canopies on the front of the building, painted the outside of the building, planted evergreens along the property line and planted shrubs and flowers along the Grand River side of the building. I think that we did everything that was asked at that time to comply with the ordinance.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 11 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was 2 written responses received one voicing approval and one voicing objection. Copies in file.




There was no audience participation.




Terr Morrone: We would hope that the Board would give favorable consideration to this request as the slatting material that was used in the screening appears to be of a high quality and with the fact that most of the businesses down the Grand River Corridor that have requested outside storage have been granted the same variance. A condition that the outside storage of equipment and material be conducted so as not to extend greater than the on site obscuring screen. If there are any trucks or trucks with booms on them that the booms be in a horizontal position when stored.


Member Harris: The question that I had when I drove by it the other day is that there is one semi on the east side of the property, are you intending to keep that there?


George Lasecki: We are using that for storage.


Member Harris: There appeared to be still visible through the fence a large amount of materials or something underneath it, would that also stay?


George Lasecki: I am not aware of materials under it, but they can be removed.


Member Harris: I was very pleased with the difference from when we saw it to the present; but there did appear at least in that portion of the yard to still be some work. I thought that the slatting did a good job; I had to peer carefully in order to see those things; but generally speaking it did a nice job. I think that there has been a general improvement as you have stated in the appearance of the property.


Georg Hoffman: We still have the issue where we have approximately 55 yards of gravel on the west side of that back acre and we are still intent on finding somebody that wants that gravel and would take it out. At that point we either have to scrap the trailer that you mentioned or put it to the other side of the lot and at that point you would not see it at all. At this point, we still have not found anyone that would like to have 55 yards of road gravel and be willing to take it out and that has been a little bit of a hang up so that is why you have seen that trailer that way.



Member Brennan: You didn’t have any objections to any of the comments from the Building Department as far their requirements?


George Lasecki: None whatsoever.


Moved by Member Harris,


Seconded by Member Reinke:





Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) Motion Carried


CASE NO. 95-129


Lukacs/Koutsouradis is requesting a variance to allow parcel numbers 5022-10-278-006, 007 and 008 (Novi Road and Austin area) to be used as commercial parcels.


Dennis Dickstein was present and duly sworn.


Dennis Dickstein: The property in question that abuts Austin Road and Novi Road is unusual in the sense that the commercial zoning line passes through all of the lots; where all of the lots have some residential zoning and all of the lots have some commercial zoning. I have checked other communities and this seems to be a very rare situation. We originally came before Council to try and get and there is an existing house sitting on lots 109 and 110 and there is a vacant piece of property between the house that sits on lot 107 and the house that sits on lots 109 and 110; we originally came to Council to try getting an approval of a lot split to allow 7 and 1/2 feet of lot 109 to be added to lot 108 so a residential home could be built there. There is a minimum 60' requirement for a home site in Novi and that lot split, even though we weren’t looking to split a lot to take away from property; we were looking to add the Council Members were prohibited from voting for it because we didn’t have the minimum 60' that was required. We have also tried to conform to zoning and building to design a building to fit on lots 111, 112, 113 and 114 so that we could design a building that would fit between the creek bed and the right of way lines. The problem is that the wetlands and the creek lines there restrict the development of all 4 of those lots. Right now the City of Novi is requesting an easement to go over lot 114 so that they can reconstruct the creek that is blocked going underneath Novi Road. They are willing or the engineers have stated that they are willing to move the easement and the creek towards lot 115 to try getting it to work better because there is no easement granted there.


Dennis Dickstein: There just seems that every time we try do anything on the property there seems to be one dramatic problem or another in developing this property to gain any economic usefulness from the use of the property. The house that is there we are proposing to take down and utilize hopefully the entire property as commercial property to put one beneficial development to the community and to the surrounding area over all of the lots. We need a variance not for the entire lots, just for the portion of the lots that fall in the residential zoning and not for the portion of the lots that fall in the commercial zoning. I do have a stake survey showing the commercial zoning line which goes right through the proposed lot and the yellow is the outline of the entire property, the cross hatched lines are the individual lot lines for the lots in question.


Chairman Antosiak: I don’t believe that we have that, could we take a look at that please?


(Copy of survey handed to Board.)


Dennis Dickstein: This is the commercial portion here and this is the residential portion behind it. And in order to gain economic benefits for the use of the property we have tried numerous and different approaches to gain an economic beneficial use to the property to be able to utilize it. This seems to be the last approach to gain a benefit for the use of that property. I would be glad to listen to any suggestions that you might have and if there were any alternative solutions that you could think of so that each lot could have a uniform zoning. Building a house on Novi Road seemed kind of out of the question to try to find a buyer who would want one, especially with the intended and most likely future expansion of Novi Road.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 19 Notices sent to adjacent property owners with one written response received voicing approval. Copy in file.




James Korte speaking for the SES Homeowners Association. Things have changed since December 4th. December 4th we wanted to break it into 3 small pieces and it was shut down by the City. When I talked to Mr. Dickstein before that Council Meeting they were going to do something with the small house that sits as it is and possible twist it or possibly turn it and do it into a commercial development. Now, had anyone asked the organization or someone who knew what was going on we would have told them that the whole piece of property must be dealt with as a whole piece of property. Now, I had a chance to talk to Jim Wahl, the City Planner, and he knows nothing about anything that is ever been going on with this property in any past or future. Greg Capote, I talked with today and he is not and I am certainly not going to put words in his mouth because he can speak for himself; is not aware of any specific plan.


James Korte: Now, through the illustrious endeavor of your secretary/clerk; August 8, 1977 the same piece of property was before you and the Miller’s who owned the property since the mid 50's asked that the house be built there. Now, it appears that we thought it was finaled when a house was built on the end of the property. Obviously every owner is going to have their choice and their thought process of what is going on. Now, I asked City Council at the December 4th Meeting to please send this to the planning area to get solved once and for all. SES would be more than happy to entertain one endeavor on this piece of property. However, what is that endeavor? A pizza parlor? I don’t think so. A used car lot? I don’t think so. So for you to make any value judgement I personally and this is not SES think that it is a waste of time. Obviously 1977 is back to haunt us. I would hope that 1996 isn’t back to haunt us. Therefore, I think that this has to be sent to be finalized once and for all. Brandon Rogers did speak with the previous people, at least he spoke at City Council on their behalf and in their direction. Nothing can be done with the property as it sits and the residential house. Now, that is going to be sad if they tear the house down and when Novi Road is turned over to the City from the County and Decker Road comes through and we are severed as Novi Road, which of course is going to happen. Tony Nowicki is and has contract of March 15th to start the 5 lanes, Novi, 12 1/2 to 12; therefore we are going to see that Novi Road in front of Shawood/Walled Lake Heights is not going to be commercial usage because it will no longer invite the commercial traffic.


James Korte: Now several years ago, possibly 2, possibly 3, Brandon Rogers took it upon himself to update the Master Plan and that involved 3 pieces of property there. The radiator shop, 2 of the neighbors. The radiator shop, the realty center and this property. Realty center is the other half of the canal; just to sort of pinpoint where that is going in. Of course it was brutally shot down by the neighborhood because the City was asking for the 2 conforming to be nonconforming and to leave the nonconforming alone. So, when they say that they tried that, they didn’t try that. They have tried nothing. What they have tried to do is to sell the property in 3 little pieces.


James Korte: I was surprised as Sector Study chair that there has been talks over the last 3 years of getting an easement in for that canal. To restore the canal. Dr. Lukacs, the present owner, is the man that filled the canal in. So, that in itself is a joke. Had he not filled the canal in we wouldn’t be seeking the same situations and paying the thousands and thousands of dollars to recreate what is going on.


James Korte: Today at about 2:30 I spoke with Zenya Payton. Zenya Payton is the resident just north of this property and if you look at one of those there is a little slash that says resident, that is Zenya Payton. She is not thrilled with anything going on there that isn’t residential and I think that we understand that and I think that we can understand that if you were to go to her and say "this is the project and what do you think" we may get a winner. At this point in time I don’t know how you get a land use variance on nothing. They did it in 1977 and obviously it wasn’t good enough because they are back. Please send it to the higher peoples and get it solved once and for all.


James Korte: If one is really looking at the wetlands and those buffer zones, I am not quite sure that this is not going to be a totally residential piece of property. I don’t know what you are ever going to be able to build successfully, commercially on such a little piece of property. So, I am asking you certainly not to do nothing; but I think that do nothing is probably what I am asking. I don’t think that you have the capacity to deal with the ramifications and all of the problems that should be solved upstairs so that we never hear it again. Neither the real estate or the owner has ever been in touch with LARA or SES. So, when they say on my and I am saying on our behest they have never talked with me. I would be happy to talk with them but I don’t think that I have to beg. Why they are here no one understands.


James Korte: The first meeting, which will be next week, of SES we already have on the docket to officially ask that this property be sent to the proper and Brandon Rogers is aware of that; this was Jim Wahl’s thought process on an unofficial direction and hopefully we can either get it one way or the other. But, at this point in time, the homeowners association isn’t about to say anything until we know what anything is. That is not fair. If you want a special use permit they got one and how many more are we going to get before it is finaled at the right end. Thank you.


Dennis Dickstein: Some of the comments that were made as to the fact that Dr. Lukacs filled in the canal; I don’t know that anything has ever been shown or any violations were ever issued to Dr. Lukacs for filling in the canal nor in my meetings with the engineers was anything like that ever stated. I don’t know that Dr. Lukacs other than buying the property has ever or that no work has ever been done on the commercial end of it or in the rear yards that I am aware of since that house was built. That is number one. As to the alternatives, yes, we did talk on the phone he said that he would prefer one use rather than a split use of the property by dividing it into 3 portions what he was talking about was that when we asked to build a residential house between the houses at 121 and 125 Austin that would have been one site; the existing house would have been a second site and we were trying to get some type of utilization over the commercial piece that would have been the third site. All we are trying to do is to develop a use for the property. We are more than willing to listen to a suggestion for one use on the property as I had stated when we had originally talked. The fact that stating that we have never met or talked to anybody; we have been to Council, we have had pre-walks with wetlands, we have had pre-walks with woodlands, I have had minor talks with the Building Department, I have met and sat in the City Engineers’ offices trying to talk about the fact of trying them draw up an easement the way that they wanted it so that we could grant the easement. But to state that we have had no meetings and no conversations is a little bit foolish. I do feel that the gentleman has some good ideas and might be of great help in planning for a use of the property and would be more than willing to take the suggestions. But, to come up with designing buildings and designing site plans without knowing what is going to be designed and what the use is going to be allowed is also just as ludicrous. To state that it can’t be granted, it can be granted with exceptions providing that we come up with a plan that meets all of the requirements of side yards and setbacks and design requirements that would be required by the city has already been stated tonight in other cases allowed. All we are asking for is a definition of the use of the property for one use, residential use on Novi Road would be a very difficult if not impossible task to build a single family home there that somebody would want to purchase that would gain an economic use for the property on property that is already zoned commercial. To build a 1200 square foot building is very economically difficult also in this day and age; even though that could be built meeting all of the requirements under the existing zoning and with the existing side yards and setbacks. I don’t think that would be beneficial to the neighborhood or to the community.

What we are looking for is to benefit the community, to benefit the neighborhood and to come up with something that is palatable and acceptable and desirous for everybody concerned. I am looking for guidance from the ZBA allowing a commercial use subject to approval of a site plan, if necessary, on a use that would be allowed but with the pre-approval that it would be granted as commercial use providing that we can come up with a site plan that is acceptable. It is hard to design something; the back half of the building will be a house and the front half of the building will be commercial and we will have an archway between them; I need some better definition of that. I would hope that you would please grant it with that caveat that I would have to come back here or the owner would have to come back here with an appropriate design with allowing for all of the property to be used for commercial.




Greg Capote: The only thing that I would like to say is that it would be helpful to know what the use is. What is the intent of the petitioner. On the application it really doesn’t specify that. I think from a planning perspective and looking at all the allowable B-3 uses it would be helpful to know what is the intention of the petitioner.


Chairman Antosiak: What is the exact zoning on the.....


Greg Capote: It is multiple, it is R4 and B3.


Terry Morrone: It appears that in order for a use variance to be granted the petitioner has to demonstrate clearly that the land cannot be used for what it is zoned for. I don’t know if that has been demonstrated yet. So, with that in mind he may need to come up with some site plans to show that it can or can’t.


Dennis Dickstein: The problem is that part of the lot the same identical legal description has one zoning and another so yes it is a variance for zoning and yes under normal circumstances if we are taking whole commercial property next to whole residential we wanted to make the whole residential property commercial, I can understand that approach. The problem is that we have property that has zoning that passes right through the property at an angle where some of the lots have more residential, some more commercial, some less and nothing is even. All I am looking for is guidance. We don’t mind if it is subject to further approval of the ZBA or of the Planning Commission for the intended use. I can certainly appreciate the comment "what is the intended use"; until we know what we have got we can’t determine how much square footage can be built and what can be built to make a determination as to what the intended use would be. You may say one lot stays residential and the rest goes commercial; we might be willing to compromise on that.


Member Harris: Let me stop you there. You need to be clear that the Zoning Board of Appeals does not have the authority to change the zoning district. We have the authority to grant a special use within a district should you demonstrate the property cannot be used as zoned. That has not been done. You have asked that it be considered for the same, but what you have not demonstrated for us to consider and we have a very limited authority in this, but you have not asked us to consider the fact that this cannot be used as zoned because the reality is that the commercial property if you kept coming and stepping down could be used as residential and the residential cannot be used as commercial. When we look at the interpretation of the ordinance and when we look at what our authority is we can continue to go to a lesser use from B-3 all the way down through the residential uses. But you have not demonstrated that in fact that it can’t be used for residential. So, the fact is that you could build residential houses on it, you could deal with a split on it and there are things that you could still do with it, theoretically. What you are saying is that practically doesn’t make sense. What you need to be able to do is to come before the Board and demonstrate that in fact is true. That there has been efforts and there has been actualities. Further, although you may think it is ludicrous, this Board is not of a mind generally to grant any variance based upon a speculation; even with a speculative approval granting some other review down the road. We are a very factual case by case Board, What you need to do is 2 things in my mind. One is to demonstrate that it couldn’t be used for something else and secondly to demonstrate what that use would be to ask us whether or not that would be an appropriate use under the zoning that was available. In my mind neither of those tasks or conditions have been met.


Member Brennan: I think that it is also clear that if you didn’t know before tonight that you know now that there are a couple of citizen organizations up in that neck of the woods that are very concerned about what goes on in the neighborhood. I would encourage you to talk to them and have them along side of you the next time that you come, if that be the case.


Chairman Antosiak: I would just add that I concur with Mr. Harris, I think that to just approve a blanket commercial use for that parcel would be beyond the power of this Board because we would basically be rezoning. We don’t have the power to rezone. I don’t know of another instance where we have approved a different use where we haven’t had a specific use presented to us, frequently with site plans that have gone all the way through planning. So for that reason I couldn’t support the variance request as it has been presented here this evening.


Moved by Member Bauer,





Motion dies for lack of support.


Moved by Member Harris,


Seconded by Member Bauer,





Roll Call: Yeas (5) Nays (1) Reinke Motion Carried


CASE NO. 95-123


Richter Rosin Homes/Andover Pointe is requesting a variance to allow the continued placement of a subdivision business sign located at Beck Road and Edinborough Lane.


Greg Benson was present and duly sworn.


Greg Benson: There is a sign located at the entrance to the subdivision that we would like to continue to use for advertisement for the remaining sites that we have to sell there. I do believe and I am just new with the company, but I do believe that we were granted a variance to have it there previously but I don’t know for sure.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 5 Notices sent to adjacent property owners with no written response received.




There was no audience participation.




Alan Amolsch: The sign is well maintained and we haven’t had any problems with it.


Member Harris: How long has this sign been there?


Greg Benson: I was told approximately 1 year, but I don’t know exactly.


Member Harris: That was the addition of the Andover sign. The Edinborough sign was there .....


Alan Amolsch: This is the first request for a variance for this particular sign that is up there now. There was a sign there previously that just advertised Edinborough.


Member Brennan: There is construction under way right now on both sides of the entrance way, 2 concrete walls. Will those be identification signs for both Edinborough and Andover?


Greg Benson: I don’t know that.


Alan Amolsch: At this time they are just strictly walls. They did entertain signage there but when they realized that they would have to go to the Board of Appeals for that; they are just going to put up walls now without any signage at this time.


Member Harris inquired of Alan Amolsch: The Andover sign has been up for a year, so there was a variance for that?


Alan Amolsch: This permit was granted under the new ordinance which allowed a subdivision that does not have an entrance on a main thoroughfare to advertise on the thoroughfare, so this will be the first request for a variance on this particular sign.


Member Harris: Are you representing the Edinborough sign as well?


Greg Benson: I don’t think so.


Member Harris: What is the current variance on the Edinborough sign?


Alan Amolsch: This will be the first request, we administratively issued a permit for the sign originally.


Member Harris: For the entire sign, what about the Edinborough portion of it?


Alan Amolsch: We don’t concern ourselves with what is on the sign itself, it is just the structure.


Member Harris: So even though Edinborough had a sign up there previously, this was granted under the new and even though Edinborough does have access to the main road.

Alan Amolsch: That is correct. We don’t concern ourselves with what verbiage goes on the subdivsion signs. It is the structure that is of concern.


Member Harris: Since this is the first renewal do you know what the current built or sold lot rate or the number in Andover is?


Greg Benson: There is 11 left to sell and I do believe that there has been 8 that have been built or under construction now.


Member Harris: That doesn’t include the other section? The section to the west?


Greg Benson: That is in the existing neighborhood, that does not include that.


Member Harris: That is part of the development.


Greg Benson: That is 11 or 12 lots all by itself.


Member Brennan: Is there a generally accepted extension period after the first year on a new subdivision?


Member Reinke: Usually all of our requests and I think that the standard time frame that we have extended a sign is one year.


Chairman Antosiak: A year or 6 months; a couple were done for 6 months.


Member Harris: I think that there is a sense of uniqueness to the fact that part of the sign has been there a great deal longer; but since this is under a revised ordinance for the approval of the first year; although I don’t normally like temporary signs I would support a 1 year additional variance on this with the expectation that there be some other regular signage in place in the subdivision to replace this next year or that you wouldn’t find support from me.


Moved by Member Harris,


Seconded by Member Reinke,





Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) Motion Carried


CASE NO. 95-127 a & b


Beacon Sign is seeking variances for 24101 Novi Road. A) a 5'6" x 4'11" (27.06 sq. ft.) wall sign with the verbiage ‘MICHIGAN NATIONAL BANK", B) a 4' x 6' (24 sq. ft.) tenant

ground sign with height from grade to top of sign being 10'.


Joe Fern was present and duly sworn.


Joe Fern: I am the project manager for Michigan National Bank and with me is a representative from Beacon Sign. What I would like to do is basically that we have 2 signs that we are requesting for your approval. I would like to get you familiar with the site if you are not already familiar, Novi Road and Ten Mile Road and Michigan National Bank has this property which is a combined office building to the rear and the bank to the forward part. The first sign that we are requesting is our logo which will be placed on the newly remodeled front portion of the bank. One of the problems that we have here is recognition from a commercial point of view. Because the site and the building is so far back, it is about 180 feet from Novi Road and you can really only see it from the front because it is kind of blocked from this landscaped area over here to the south and to the north you can see our sign but when you come up to it this whole area back here is kind of obscure you can’t really tell which is the bank and which is the office buildings. Although you could probably guess that it is right here. What we would like is to increase the curb appeal for the building. The signage that we would be doing here is part of an overall improvement planned for the whole site. Michigan National Bank has made a commitment to being here for the next 10 years; we have signed a lease for that, and we are putting in approximately 500 to 600 thousand dollars into the site. So, we would like to upgrade the frontage of the building. The second sign is really a tenant sign. Part of our strategy for the site is to try to improve it to the point of attracting new tenants to the building. There is a current tenant sign that is here that is a very dated and is currently a parallel sign to Novi Road. What we would like to do is to upgrade that sign and move it to the center of the property to increase the view and be able to see it both north and south coming on Novi Road.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 12 Notices sent to adjacent property owners with no written response received.




Karen Safran I am attorney and I am associated with law offices of James J. Harrington III and we are a tenant in 24101 Novi Road. Mr. Harrington was sorry that he could not be here tonight but he sends his regards.


Karen Safran: I would just like to highlight a few points about this building and about some of the unique features of this building which increases the need for additional signage for this building. There is an extreme setback on the building and it is not even clear that there is an office building behind it. There is really no true lobby to this building or a front entrance to the building. There is no accessibility to the office suites from the front where the bank is located. The intended entrance on the building is in the rear of the building and without some additional signage it is very difficult for client and delivery people to find and identify that this is the place where they are supposed to be and this is where the tenants are located.


Karen Safran: The landlord is doing extensive renovations to the building and we are very pleased with what is happening. They are turning the building and the site into a first class office building. Replacing the currently existing sign on Novi Road is part of their plan to improve the site, I didn’t know that the sign was there and I had been working in the building for about 2 months. It is an extremely, crude and ugly sign. The sign that is proposed is a metal sign and it is more in conformity with the building. It is much less obtrusive than the existing sign ( there currently is a variance in place for the existing sign). The existing sign is 32 square feet. The sign that the bank is proposing is 24 square feet, it is a metal sign and much nicer looking. The placement would be moved so it would be much more visible to oncoming traffic to meet the tenants needs.


Karen Safran: I would just ask this Board to approve the variances as requested. Thank you.




Alan Amolsch had no comment.


Member Brennan: What is the comparison to the proposed tenant sign and the existing sign?


Joe Fern: If you mean the square footage, the square footage is 32 feet for the existing and the new is for 24 square feet.


Member Harris: The height of the existing sign is about 6 feet and the new request is 10 feet?


Joe Fern: That is correct.


Member Harris: Are you anticipating no signage on the Ten Mile side with this request?


Joe Fern: That is correct.

Member Harris: So we are talking about 2 complete signs as your package for the whole property, the one wall sign and the tenant ground pole sign.


Joe Fern: That is correct.


Member Harris inquired of Alan Amolsch: The square footage of the wall sign is within the ordinance, because that is not here for a variance?


Alan Amolsch: Yes, it is well within the size for setback ratio for a wall sign, however the issue here is that there is already 3 ground pole signs currently on the property. It is a variance to the number of signs permitted per parcel of land.


Member Harris: What other signs are on the property?


Alan Amolsch: There is a ground pole sign on the Novi Road side and there is one on the Ten Mile side and the tenant directory sign is currently there.


Member Harris: The ground pole sign, the one on Ten Mile?


Alan Amolsch: That is the one that was granted by a Board of Appeals variance some years ago. The one there is 12' 4 1/2".


Member Harris: It just indicates that it is Michigan National Bank?


Alan Amolsch: That is correct, it is not a tenant directory sign it is just a sign for the bank.


Member Harris: The one on Ten Mile?


Alan Amolsch: That is the same thing.


Member Harris: So both Ten Mile and Novi Road just simply indicate that it is Michigan National Bank.


Alan Amolsch: They are tenant directory signs.


Member Harris: They are directional signs by......


Alan Amolsch: There is one on the driveway for Ten Mile Road which is within ordinance.

Member Harris: How many signs are allowed on the parcel?


Alan Amolsch: Just one. The signs currently on the parcel are all the results of ZBA variances over the years.


Member Harris: This would not increase the number of signs, but would replace?


Alan Amolsch: The wall sign would increase the number of signs, the tenant directory would replace one that is there now.


Member Harris inquired of Joe Fern: Would it be your intent to take down the Michigan National Bank sign that is on the Novi Road side and replace it with a wall sign?


Joe Fern: No.


Member Harris: So this is in addition?


Joe Fern: This is in addition, Michigan National Bank wall mounted sign is in addition to the pylon sign.


Member Harris: So the pylon sign would remain?


Joe Fern: Yes. The main reason for the wall mounted sign is because this bank is not in conformity with our standard type of building. Also the pylon sign would be very much closer to the building. This is about 180 feet away from the building. The pylon sign is here and the building is here. This wall mounted sign would indicate to customers where the bank is versus the commercial building. One entrance would be here and the main entrance for it is back here.


Member Harris inquired of Alan Amolsch: What is the definitional difference between this and other centers? It is because it is not a center?


Alan Amolsch: That is correct. Also the issue of the excess signage on the property. Any other additional signs would require ZBA approval.


Member Harris: If this was new and we were building a center and called the pylon sign the center sign.....


Alan Amolsch: Right, if they had 4 more businesses on one story..........again it is a only a one story building located on its own parcel of land that is allowed a business center sign.


Member Harris: This doesn’t meet that definition.

Alan Amolsch: That is correct.


Member Harris: I happen to believe that the replacement for the tenant sign is probably an excellent idea. I do have a little trouble with the wall sign although there is a degree of difficulty with that particular parcel and particularly with the corner gone with the gas station. It would appear to me to at least be a reasonable request.


Chairman Antosiak inquired of Joe Fern: You said that Michigan National Bank leases that property. Do you also lease the white building to the north?


Joe Fern: That is our old cash vault building, yes we do. It is abandoned right now. That is part of our plan to upgrade the site; our real estate department is trying to work with a client to demo that building and regrade that area. So that is one possibility. The other thing I can mention is that in here is a concrete area with a retaining wall that is in need of repair and I have a plan to redo this court yard and either repair the wall or if we tear down the building to regrade the area. We are going to continue to move ahead and upgrade the site.


Member Brennan: Could you point out where this white building is that you are speaking about?


Joe Fern: The white building is right here, you can’t see it, but it is right here.


Member Harris: It is the one that is facing Ten Mile Road.


Member Bauer: They used to have a sign on the top of that building.


Member Baty: The new tenant sign couldn’t replace the old tenant sign and the Michigan Bank pylon on one sign?


Joe Fern: The tenant sign is just meant to be a tenant sign, that was our intention that we would give adequate space to our tenants. I think having that as a Michigan National Bank sign would be to small really because you are looking at the size of the tenant verbiage is only about 2 inches and Art.......


Art (Beacon Sign): Right now the sign is about 6 by 5 or about a 33 square foot sign which traditionally the bank in all locations and shopping centers it segregates the bank from additional tenants and keeping their ID separate. One other point, I think if you look back in the records the sign that was on Ten Mile Road was originally permitted under the address of the building that they are talking about demoing because at that time it was a separate parcel of land with a separate address.

Member Reinke: Is there any reason why the tenant sign couldn’t be lowered to fall within the ground hugger height guidelines for the height of the signs?


Joe Fern: What height is that?


Member Reinke: 5 feet.


Joe Fern: The only problem there is that I don’t think that you would be able to see it. Coming up Novi Road I don’t think that you would be able to see it until you are right on top of it.


Art: The proposal for the tenant sign was to be actually a larger directional sign to be eye level as they were coming into the drive to identify the building as having "X" number of tenants in it. We didn’t want to set it up as an additional pylon sign and have it 15 to 20 foot in the air. Anything designed this small would become very difficult to read. The more we increase the height of it, the harder it is to read it. We tried to make it a low profile sign which Joe has redeminsioned their parking area and do some curb work and some green belt area to show it more of a monument type of sign than a pylon sign.


Member Bauer: 10 feet is a pylon sign.


Member Harris: 4 feet is the distance from the ground to the bottom of the tenant. Where would the placement be?


Joe Fern: Right in the middle here, this is one entry and exist and it would be right in the middle,


Member Harris: The existing tenant sign is?


Joe Fern: It is in the corner over here facing Novi Road. This would be perpendicular to Novi.


Member Reinke: Traveling the area quite frequently I really don’t see it being a visibility problem if it had to be lowered.


Member Brennan: There is a stretch of pine trees behind the Total Station that run perpendicular to Novi Road, but I am not sure how far out it comes.


Member Reinke: But that doesn’t come out down into the area where he is talking about putting the sign.


Member Brennan: I am just talking, if you are heading south on Novi Road how far that strip of trees come out. I think it is on the other side of where the driveway would be.


Member Baty: What is the height of the current tenant sign?


Joe Fern: It is about 6 foot, approximately 2 foot out of the ground and is a 4 by 8 horizontal and this is a vertical sign that we went 6 foot in height with. Do you have any suggestions of what height would be acceptable?


Moved by Member Harris:


Seconded by Member Bauer,





Discussion on motion:


Member Reinke: I can see the request for additional signage, but I have a problem with a 10 foot high sign. I cannot support the motion.


Member Bauer inquired of Alan Amolsch: How high is the tenant sign that we have now?


Alan Amolsch: If it was a business center sign it would be allowed to be 15 feet, but the one that they have now is 6 feet high and was granted by this Board.


Roll Call: Yeas (4) Nays (2) Baty, Reinke Motion Carried


CASE NO. 95-130a, b & c


Planet Neon, representing Cort Furniture is requesting A) a wall sign 26' x 3" (78 sq. ft.) with the verbiage "CORT FURNITURE RENTAL", B) a 4'3" x 15" (5.32 sq. ft.) wall sign at the left entry with the verbiage "CLEARANCE CENTER", C) a 4'6" x 15" (5.63 sq. ft.) wall sign at the right entry with the verbiage "RENTAL SHOWROOM", for property located at 42350 Grand River Avenue.

Michael Connors was present and duly sworn.


Michael Connors: I am the Vice-President of real estate with Cort Furniture Rental and with me tonight is Tim Kresefka, the district general manager for the Detroit district which encompasses all 3 counties surrounding the Detroit metro area.


Michael Connors: As you know, we just built a brand new building on Grand River just east of Novi Road and the address is 42350 Grand River. It was a substantial upgrade of the property from what existed there previously. Due to the amount of traffic traveling on Grand River and the speeds at which they travel, which the posted speed limit is 40 miles per hour and given that there is only one entrance into the site we feel that there is a need for additional signage to direct motorists and customers to our site.


Photographs were passed out to the Board.


Michael Connors: Photo number 1 which would be in the upper left hand corner of the board that you are looking at is taken from the perspective of traffic traveling westbound on Grand River. This photo shows that the existing monument sign is partially blocked by landscaping to the east of the property and utility poles. I would also like you to note that you can see McLaughlin’s Thomasville sign very clearly and the business directly across the street from us Mary Feldman Chevrolet you can see his 3 pylon signs very clearly. Photograph number 2 is as you are approaching the site again traveling from the east to the west a little perspective and closer to the site just east of the driveway entrance. Please note again that you are unable to read the monument sign in it’s entirety due to the telephone pole which blocks the sign. Photo number 3 which is in the center is taken from across the street and is looking directly north. The monument sign is not visible at all, the building signage on the south side of the building would help identify the building. Photograph number 4 is looking west of the site traveling from Novi Road and going eastbound on Grand River and shows that the existing monument sign that is out there now that the visibility is blocked by the telephone pole. You will also note that the one driveway entrance into the site is just west of the monument sign and when customers are entering or exiting the property as well as the delivery trucks, the visibility of the sign is completely blocked. The last picture, number 5, again shows motorists traveling east on Grand River from the west and is taken from the perspective as if they were making a left turn into the site via the center lane and the perspective that I want you to focus in there is again no signage on the west side of the building. What we are proposing is signage between the entrances that says "Cort Furniture Rental" as well as specific signage for the customer to allow them to park their vehicle in the parking lot closest to the entrance of which particular business they might be entering; whether it be the furniture rental showroom which is to the right or to the clearance center which is to the left, where we are selling used furniture.

Michael Connors: As far as the proposed signage we are just showing you a board which shows the signage that we are proposing on the building, with the building signage.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 7 Notices sent to adjacent property owners, with two written responses received. One voicing approval and one voicing objection. Copies in file.




There was no audience participation.




Alan Amolsch had no comment.


Member Harris: Just so there is clarity in the request, you have a monument sign there that exists and looking at this drawing there is one sign asked for on the west elevation and one sign asked for on the south elevation, plus the 2 arched signs. Are you going to remove the monument sign as part of this request or you asking that the monument sign and the 4 additional signs be allowed?


Michael Connors: The monument sign would not be removed.


Chairman Antosiak: The variance as requested was just for one wall sign, not for two.


Member Harris: I understand that, but I am just trying to make clear that what he is showing here is more than what is in the request.


Alan Amolsch: The request presented to our department by permit was for only the west elevation wall sign, there was a mention of it in the letter that was in there but permit applications that we received only indicated the west wall sign and the clearance center and the rental showroom signs.


Chairman Antosiak: We can only resolve the issue of one wall sign.


Alan Amolsch: That was the only one that was advertised.


Member Harris: I think that the concern that I have is the notification that was sent. I also have a concern with the number of signs on this piece of property. But the Notice that was sent appeared to ask for one wall sign and "B" the "Clearance Center" and "C" was the "Rental Showroom". This doesn’t address the fact that the monument sign would stay nor does it address the fact that there is a second wall sign on the drawing for the other elevation. That notification is deficit for us to consider the entire package. However, beyond that I have some very serious concerns about whether or not this amount of signage would even find my support were it properly noticed. I don’t believe based upon your own presentation that the monument sign is doing you any good, that if you wanted to replace the monument sign with a wall sign that would be perfectly OK, and then we could talk about the size of the sign as to whether or not that was appropriate or not. I also find it relatively acceptable in terms of the clearance center and the rental showroom after actually visiting the site and seeing the shape and the size of it and within that I think that those were reasonable kinds of things to do in the architecture. But, I am not prepared to support 2 wall signs and the remainder of the monument sign even if it was properly noticed.


Michael Connors: Let me address the monument sign first. The monument sign that was permitted and installed meets your requirements from a code standpoint. The concern that we have is because of the limitation of the height which is 5' and the amount of landscaping that we will be installing in the spring as per our building plans plus the landscaping west and east of the property, plus the telephone poles make that sign somewhat and again because of the height limitation not completely visible. As far as the application, I had a long and serious conversation with Planet Neon the company that was helping us because they were instructed to file both building signs. I got the drawings for them, the 5 point attachment came from me clearly specified 2 building signs; so why it was only 1 building sign and I understand that the sign company tried to call the City last Friday and was unable to make contact with anybody.


Chairman Antosiak: Last Friday would have been to late, this would have had to come in before December 18 in order for us to get the information out.


Member Reinke: I agree with Mr. Harris in looking at the size of the wall sign that you are proposing, plus the entrance way signs and then having the monument sign out there also, I think for as close as that building is the Grand River there is way to much signage.


Michael Connors: We just have one sign there now and it’s visibility is blocked traveling both ways. The concern that we have is with the one driveway entrance and the speed that people travel that without additional signage you have a potential for some traffic accidents out in front of the site.


Member Harris: The building was designed with the sign ordinance in tact. The need for signage in an unique parcel which this was, there was variances provided in order to even put the building up there. I think what we would have assumed at the time was that was all the variances or all the information that was needed. I have a concern that we put a new building or a remodeled new building up and then come back with a sign package that greatly exceeds virtually anything that has existed in this Boards’ history. I know that there may have been something previously and your tenant directly across the street, who has been back before this Board several times recently in an attempt to try to change their sign package and we continue to talk to them about that. But we take these cases individually and we take these cases based upon what is in the best interest under the ordinance and what we can do. My sense is that the sign package that you are requesting has some positive, the arch signs I think are very reasonable; but I think that you need to decide whether or not you are going to go a monument sign or a wall sign and the dimensions of those for this Board to make any serious consideration; or at least this Board Member to make any serious consideration. Considering the fact that it wasn’t noticed correctly for the entire package what I would propose that we do is to table it to February and properly notice it and also give you the opportunity to rethink based upon the comments of what your real request would be; so that we not come in with a greater request than what we have noticed.


Member Brennan: This clearance center and the rental showroom are those 2 separate facilities inside or can you walk in one door and get to the other area and vice versa?


Michael Connors: Yes.


Member Brennan: I will give my impressions now. From my perspective I can see perhaps some requirement of having signage on both the east and west side, you have already demonstrated that the existing sign is worthless and you can’t see it. I think that the, and again this is my impressions, that the clearance center and the rental showroom are redundant to your business. I think that you would have more to be gained by having your business visible from either direction on Grand River and minimize the number of signs and getting closer to what the ordinance is.


Michael Connors: I understand that it is an unusual request with the amount of signs and I can appreciate the Boards’ perspective as far as the quantity. I would just ask that you look at the physical nature of the properties on either side of us and as you are looking at the pictures the amount of trees. If I put a sign on the west side of the building if you look at the one picture number 4 traveling eastbound the trees on the property next door would block that sign. So, in a way if I am limited to one building sign, not one sign is going to do it. It is not a case of trying to over sign a building that has clear visibility from all directions. Obviously, there would be no hardship there. In traveling from both directions because of the landscaping, because of the existing utility pole, the fact that there is only drive going in and frankly I think that the monument sign is a sign that has the greatest potential for people to see it traveling because they don’t have to crane their necks to see it. It is unfortunate that it is only 5' in height and it is unfortunate that there is and depending upon where you are traveling and obviously when you pull up to the site it is in great view as long as you don’t have a car pulling in or out of the driveway. But, you don’t see that sign until you are on top of the site. I think some additional signage would help complement it and give the motorists and that is the whole idea of signage to allow them to clearly see the business in time to make the proper left hand turn or right hand turn signal so that they can let other motorists know that they are exiting from the road.


Member Reinke: It says in the petition that 78' are requested and 40' are permitted, is that in addition to the pylon sign?


Alan Amolsch: No, that gave the standards for a wall sign which would be permitted if there was no other sign. They are requesting a variance as to size and number of signs.


Member Bauer: I think that we had this and that we gave them the variances to put in the parking for the building and they said that they didn’t need all of the parking because there wasn’t going to be that many people coming in and out. Do I remember correctly, or do I not?


Chairman Antosiak: I believe that you do.


Member Bauer: I cannot go along with the variance.


Chairman Antosiak: I will add my opinion to that. I think that Mr. Harris and Mr. Brennan have both raised good points. I think that the petitioner has demonstrated that the ground sign isn’t working and he does have one sign within the ordinance to work with. I could not approve all of the sign requests that have been requested.


Member Reinke: I think that I agree with the majority of the Board. We have a situation here that is building up what I really consider to be over signage.


Member Brennan: Perhaps we could reiterate the suggestion that Mr. Harris made and that was to delay this if the petitioner is willing to re-look based upon the input that we have given rather than going through a voting process which you could see which way that is going!


Michael Connors: That is fine, I just would like to make sure that I have the full Boards’ input because I understand that the rental showroom and clearance center signage is looked at favorably or that is a question that I have.


Member Harris: This Board Member said that he would look at it favorably as with the addition of one of the other 3 signs, the existing monument sign for one of the 2 wall signs. That would be the choice That if there was but one other sign, then I think that it is reasonable. Member Brennan indicated that maybe if you put a Cort Furniture sign on both the south elevation and the west elevation that maybe you didn’t need the clearance center or the showroom. I think in either case what we are saying is that the package that you brought to us is to intense and we have given you some options to think about if you would so desire. I have a problem voting on a variance even to deny it, that wasn’t properly noticed.


Chairman Antosiak: We can only vote to grant or to deny what was noticed.


Member Harris: We could deny the variance request in total, but I am not certain that is in anyone’s best interest at this point because I think that the petitioner if he so desires should have the opportunity to re-look at the package and as we say there is no guarantees in this business. But certainly you have heard a great deal of input from this Board as to our feelings.


Michael Connors: I will accept the Boards’ recommendation for tabling this. We can consider and resubmit.


Moved by Member Harris,


Seconded by Member Reinke,





Member Reinke: When will that have to be in for notification for February?


Nancy McKernan: January 18th.


Michael Connors: Do I have to pay another application fee?


Member Harris: No. What we are indicating is that we will table it, giving you an opportunity, if you want to change it, otherwise it will be noticed with all of the things that have been here before us.


Roll Call: (Voice Vote) (All Yeas) Motion Carried


CASE NO. 95-131


Tri-Mount Prestige Homes is requesting a variance to allow the continuation of the existing sign on lot 32 in the Yerkes Manor Subdivision for a period of one (1) year. This variance was granted under Case No. 94-122, January 3, 1995.


Robert Binder was present and duly sworn.


Robert Binder: Yerkes Manor is a subdivision of 32 lots. We came in there approximately a year ago and started with a trailer and models. So far we have sold 3 houses. One of the reasons again is that we could argue the market and getting our model open and everything else. We do have a problem with getting traffic in there and that has been a problem all along. Another problem which is not caused by the traffic but we are trying to overcome a conceptual architectural feeling that wasn’t successful and that was the Victorian style housing. We are trying to re-establish the subdivision with the more traditional Novi housing program as well as get the traffic in there. So that is why we need the time. We have 3 houses sold and I think that there are 5 houses occupied at this point. Which means that there are 80% of the lots that are still available. If we don’t succeed then probably someone will come in there and build smaller houses. That is really where we are at as far as that goes. I think it is in Novi’s interest and our interest and the overall betterment of the community and our hardship is as I have expressed it.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 9 Notices sent to adjacent property owners with no written response received.




There was no audience participation.




Terry Morrone had no comment.


Member Bauer: You have no problems with the sign?


Terry Morrone: No.


Member Harris: You have been in there for a year, but the sign has been up there longer than that.


Robert Binder: There was a builder who was in there prior to us who was unsuccessful.


Member Harris: But it was basically the same and we let that sign continue and this was the end of the first year.


Robert Binder: Yes sir, that is correct.


Member Harris: In reviewing the notes from last year and the minutes from last year, I indicated that I believe that this was the last extension that I could support because of the length of time that the sign was there. However, in consideration for what you have told us this evening I would modify that to support one additional year; but that is probably as far as I would go.


Moved by Member Reinke,


Seconded by Member Harris,





Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) Motion Carried




Chris Cagle, 40799 Grand River; regarding Glenda’s Market, was present and duly sworn.


Chairman Antosiak: Let me say something first Mr. Cagle, since you really don’t have a variance request in but on December 11th the Building Department and Mr. Saven wrote a letter explaining that Glenda’s variance had expired at the end of 1995 and requested that someone from Glenda’s appear before us to discuss what was happening with respect to basically the site plan approval for your site. That is why Mr. Cagle is before us.


Chris Cagle: In regards we were at the December Meeting with the Planning Commission and we do have at this time a plan with preliminary approval with the exception of 2 variances which will be in front of you at your February Meeting. As far as the variances that have expired in December at this point I think that it would be better to address them at the February Meeting if at that time variances will be needed to continue business as is at Glenda’s. In respect to that if I could ask or if you would like to table until your next meeting or if there are any questions that I could answer. There was a letter that I had written to Don Saven and I had asked him if he could kindly transfer that on to you.


Chairman Antosiak: We have a copy of that letter.


Greg Capote: We are just waiting for Mr. Cagle to submit plans prior to the December 20th Meeting of the Planning Commission to address the consultants concerns and to proceed for final site plan approval.


Chairman Antosiak inquired of Greg Capote: What is the status with respect to the site plan for Glenda’s. I was under the impression that it was improved at the December 20th Meeting?


Greg Capote: That is correct but it is a preliminary site plan. They need to proceed for final site plan approval. It is a two step process basically.


Chairman Antosiak: Preliminary site plan approval subject to our granting the variances if I understand that correctly and subject to final site plan approval by Planning.


Greg Capote: Yes.


Terry Morrone: We have no problem with granting an extension of this variance until he can get his final site plan approval and proceed with the project. As long as their is a stipulation of time and that he doesn’t extend it to far.


Member Bauer: I have no problem. He is coming up to the final.


Chairman Antosiak: Are you open now?


Chris Cagle: We won’t open up until about the middle of April. We start doing some work around there; but we won’t have anything opening until the end of April or the first of May as far as Glenda’s being open for business. We have downsized the project. We have all of the acceptances of the Planning Commission, the Building Department, Brandon Rogers, etc. So I think that this is a project that we hopefully can proceed on with and proceed on diligently.


Member Harris: When will it realistically get to final in the Planning Commission site?


Greg Capote: The plan does not have to go back to the Planning Commission for final. It is up to the Planning Commissions’ discretion at the time of preliminary approval if they want to see the plans for final. So, the final plan will be reviewed and approved administratively in this case.


Member Harris: When would you expect to be dealing with that?


Greg Capote: At any time.


Member Harris: Should that occur before we consider the variance in case there is any other problems with it in final, or would you prefer that the variance be addressed contingent upon final approval?


Greg Capote: I think that in this case, we have a preliminary site plan, the building foot prints are set. The changes there after are typically minor; more to engineering issues. I will leave that up to the Boards’ discretion If they want to put that type of condition on the approval.


Member Harris: I would like to know what the final is as a condition. My sense at this point would be to accept the continuation through the February Meeting and take a look at what all that we have there. If it possible to get the final review done before our February Meeting, it would certainly help me get to a final decision in this one.


Greg Capote: Very well, but that will be up to the petitioner to proceed and to submit plans to our office to get them approved.


Member Harris: Is that a realistic request on our part to have the plans into the City offices in enough time for them to review it before our February Meeting?


Chris Cagle: I will do everything possible, I will work with Greg in every way that I can. I was just thinking or under the inception that we had to come in front of your Board prior to going to final. But if you would like for us to proceed and that is the avenue we can go with; no problem.


Member Harris: Since we have been through this for really an extended period of time, and I think that we would all like to see this come to a final, I would like to know that we are all in sync. There have been times in the past where we thought that we had an understanding; where we really didn’t. I would like to see that happen.


Chris Cagle: It was reviewed by JCK, our City Engineers, there are some things that have to be on the final plan of course like your asking and I will make a phone call tomorrow morning and as a matter of fact I am going to pick up some copies to bring over here any ways and see if we can just keep going with getting the finals.


Greg Capote: I don’t think that there has been a final site plan that has ever come through our office that has made it through the first time for final site plan approval. There is a lot more detail, a lot more engineering involved; so to make it for your packet deadline for the February Meeting I don’t think it is realistic. We have a 15 day review period, I think that you are really looking at a March date.


Member Harris: What I would prefer, though, is whether we do it in February or do it in March and realistically I don’t know if that makes a real difference; is that we set it a time when we can have the full input of your office as to whether or not this is really a go. Because at that point we are going to be asked to not only deal with the variances that might be requested there but also to give you a use variance to allow you operate until these things happen. My sense is that we have gone a long ways in this one and I would like to be there. Maybe we should move it to March to allow those things to occur. Since you are not operating right now and the difference between February and March would only force you to maybe operate maybe more quickly or cursively or the City and neither of us want to see that.


Chris Cagle: I think that it would actually bring the project to head faster by proceeding through Greg and through the final site plan then waiting until February and getting your approval and then going to final site plan. So, I have no problems with that. Our intent is to bring this to a head and to put this together. I will appreciate any help or recommendation that you can give us.


Greg Capote: I think that the March Meeting is more realistic.


Member Harris: I would then support scheduling it for March Meeting.


Member Reinke: I really don’t see a problem with that.


Chairman Antosiak: We will put you on the March agenda for hopefully the last time.


Chris Cagle: Then I will get with Greg tomorrow.





There were no other matters.





The Meeting was adjourned at 11:00 p.m.









Date Approved Nancy C. McKernan

Recording Secretary