The Meeting was called to order at 7:31 p.m., with Chairman Antosiak presiding.





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

Baty (alternate)


Absent: None


Also Present: Terrance Morrone - Deputy Building Official

Greg Capote - Staff Planner

Alan Amolsch - Ordinance Enforcement Officer

Nancy McKernan - Recording Secretary




Chairman Antosiak indicated we have a full Board tonight. The Meeting is now in session. The 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 at least four (4) Members to grant a variance request; we have a full Board tonight so any decision made tonight will be final.





Chairman Antosiak indicated we have one (1) proposed change to the agenda; Margaret Kenny has requested that we postpone hearing her variance request until the March Meeting. Just for informational purposes she was postponed from January to tonight. (Case No. 95-124).


Moved by Member Harris,


Seconded by Vice-Chairman Harrington,





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




Moved by Member Bauer,


Seconded by Member Brennan,





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




Chairman Antosiak indicated this is the Public Remarks portion of our Meeting. All comments related to cases before the Board this evening will be heard at the time each case is called. However, if anyone in the audience would like to address the Board on a 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 speak?


James Korte, Shawood Lake. Terry Morrone will be discussing an issue with you late in the Meeting with regards to South Lake and Eubank. That is the Beshears property. I am going to make a comment; I don’t think that in my past knowledge and I have a lot of past knowledge with regards to the north end that anyone has so directly and poorly misrepresented themselves as this property. Therefore, I ask you to listen to Mr. Morrone and please re-hear it.


Harry Avagian, I would like to ask for an exception; I cannot remain long enough to be able to personally address items 2 and 4, Case No. 96-001 and 96-007. To my knowledge the association has not received any negative reports, any communications to me (official communications) and we often do when there are items that come before the ZBA and/or the Planning Commission. With reference to Case No. 96-007 Brettt Garrison and his wife Dawn are new to our community, relatively new and fine LARA Members. That in itself I know doesn’t make their case any more palatable or easy to approve but they are very pro-actively positive in the community and what they are trying to do at their home is a further indication of the attempt of Lakes Area people to improve and to beautify their personal property or real property as it actually is. I would appreciate as I think that you will, give them careful consideration and hopefully a positive response. Thank you for allowing me to speak early.


Harry Avagian, I am also speaking in support of the West Oaks Veterinary Clinic; that in itself just in terms of site perception has been a real welcome improvement to the area. We are happy to have that development and we hope that they will become a permanent part of our community for years to come. Thank you.



CASE NO. 96-001


Lee Mamola, representing F & S Investments (West Oaks Veterinary Clinic) is requesting a variance of 2' to allow the proposed screen wall to extend up to 8' in height for property located at 2150 Novi Road.


Lee Mamola was present and duly sworn.


Lee Mamola: This case involves West Oaks Veterinary Clinic which is now under construction. This particular item came to our attention as a result of an adjacent homeowner, who became a new land owner in the area. Immediately behind part of our property are 2 homes and what happens in this peculiar case is that the homes are very close to their rear property line, approximately 5' or less. There is a significant difference in topography. The Zoning Ordinance requires that we build a 6' tall masonry wall that is measured from our side of the property to screen cars, activity, etc. to the residential side. In this particular piece of property, as I have on the diagram, we are having to raise the grade by about 4' and then build a 6' tall wall. In this case because of the proximity of the immediate house we are really cutting off some natural ventilation that will flow into the rear of that house where there are some bedrooms and we are also cutting off a fair amount of daylight, it will be a dark house.


Lee Mamola: I have a couple of photographs that I would like to pass to the Board. (Photos given to the Board.)


Lee Mamola: The photographs indicate the wall which is under construction and the wall that you see is really the wall that will be buried underground from the veterinary clinic side and that really represents the finish grade line. We have to go up another 6' from there and you can see where we all most half way to the midpoint of that roof on the house behind us. We think in this case in all fairness to the residents and the people that will be living in both of those houses that we ought to do something that will provide them a little better environment. We feel that 2' is a reasonable accommodation to come down and still provide screening both ways, it still provide safety in terms or people jumping over or not jumping over that wall and again it will provide some more daylight to the area.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 29 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was 1 written response received voicing approval. (Copy in file.)




James Korte, Austin Street resident. When this project started the neighbors and SES had 3 concerns. Those 3 concerns were brought immediately to Planning and between Planning and the developer all 3 concerns were immediately dealt with. This fence was one of them. I am a little surprised that it is here. We always knew that it was going to be more than 6' on our side. Our side meaning residential versus commercial. Nobody cares. Nobody cares if it 10. Nobody cares if it is 12. If you could remember the wonderful edifice that was bulldozed under to build this, anything would have to be better. If you have looked at the site, the site is lovely. Therefore, 8' is not a problem, 10' is not a problem. So please pass. Thank you.




Terry Morrone: We have no objection.


Member Bauer: The 2 homeowners, do they object?


Lee Mamola: Actually this case was brought to our attention by the person who owns both of those homes now. There was a little concern regarding drainage in his yard during construction, we met with him and think that we have that resolved. He has some longer term drainage issues in the rear yard to those homes and we are going to work with him to resolve those as well. He was quite concerned about having his tenants having to look at a tall brick wall. I explained to him that it was an ordinance requirement and that it was going to be of face brick material and not concrete block. I said "perhaps we can seek a variance because I think that there is some reasonable unique situations here when you look at the topography and the proximity of out a back wall of a house to a solid brick wall". With basic environmental necessitates you would want to get daylight into those areas. He very much encouraged us to file this petition and to seek the variance. We are somewhat doing this on his behalf.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: To that extent is he aware of the meeting tonight?


Lee Mamola: I told him that we were filing and I assumed that he got the Public Notice. I have not talked to him recently.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: And the answer from Mr. Korte is "yes", he is aware of the meeting tonight.


Jim Korte: He received none of the information I am sure. He is a new owner and it has not gone through Oakland County with his name; but he is aware.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: Thank you, sir.


Member Harris: Maybe I am a little confused, but are you asking that this be lower on the commercial side? Actually 2' lower? Or higher?


Lee Mamola: We are asking that it go down 2' from the veterinary clinic side it would have to be finished to a height 6' above the finished grade. We are asking that it be finished to a height 4' above the finished grade.


Member Harris: So the information that was listed appeared to go in the other direction that you were asking for a taller when in fact you are asking for a lower wall than the ordinance requires at 6'.


Lee Mamola: We are appealing the height of the required wall by 2' to lower it, yes.


Member Reinke: It would depend on which side you were looking at the wall. I understand what he is talking about, but with what I am reading here......


Member Harris inquired of Terry Morrone: The way that we measure this is from the business side? The ordinance says 6' above grade on the business side?


Terry Morrone: I would have thought that the way that I interpreted it, it would be measured from the business side, that is the lot that it is going in on.


Member Harris: If we do it from the business side, you are proposing that it would go down to 4' and make it 8' on the residential side?


Lee Mamola: That is correct.


Moved by Member Harris,


Seconded by Vice-Chairman Harrington,





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


CASE NO. 96-006


Russell Barton, representing Builders Square, is requesting a variance to allow temporary outdoor storage of garden items in an area 16' x 89' on the south side of the building for two (2) selling seasons March 15, 1996 through July 13, 1996 and March 15, 1997 through July 13, 1997, for property located at 43610 West Oaks Drive. Refer to ZBA Case Nos. 91-005, 92-008, 93-002, 94-018 and 95-005.


Russell Barton was present and duly sworn.


Russell Barton: We at Builders Square request the same variance that we have received for the past 5 years. It will be in the identical location. It will be for the same products that we put out there. The only difference that it will be for 2 selling seasons so that we can avoid taking up your time next year. Our products are bagged goods of top soils and we would have some concrete products out there and because of the short selling season we have to buy it in a large quantity and that is where the overflow goes.


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




There was no audience participation.




Terry Morrone: We would have no objection to this variance provided the combustible material is at least 15' away from the building and that fire access is maintained at all times.


Member Reinke: This seems to be a kind of a formality that we go through with a couple of stores each year and there has been no complaints filed, so I really don’t see a problem with the situation.

Moved by Member Reinke,


Seconded by Member Bauer,





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


CASE NO. 96-007


Brett Garrison wishes to add a second floor addition to an already existing single story home. The expansion will also extend into the front yard by one foot (1') thereby leaving a ten foot (10') setback distance, a lot coverage variance of 1% will also be needed for property located at 1729 East Lake.


Brett Garrison was present and duly sworn.


Brett Garrison: We would like to add a 1' bump out which will be only on the second floor approximately 11' across. This is encroaching within the current setback rulings but we feel that the appearance of the house and not affecting any of the neighbors views really shouldn’t be a problem. That is basically about it. I will address any questions that the Board has.

Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 42 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was 5 written responses received all voicing approval. (Copies in file.)




Jim Korte representing SES (South, East and Shawood Homeowners Assn.) also I could go in the direction of Sector Study. As we label blocks this was an awful block; which I think that you realize. The only saving grace to this block is that there is the alley or the street Chapman behind. No one on this block parks in the front yard. They can’t park in the front yard because the elevation is a definitely up. All of the parking and all of that goes in through the back and has never presented a problem. There are still numerous tenants in this block but it just has never presented a problem. When you look at the fact that they are going straight up with the exception of the 1' protrusion over about 11', they are taking more air space shall I say, at 11 square feet which is nothing. And if you are looking at 1% with regards to the variance for the size of the lot versus house at the north end that is also nothing. They are a new couple to the area and have been very active and that is why SES is asking that you pass; so that the can get started.




Terry Morrone: It appears that the variances requested are minimum in nature and that it will be an asset to the north end and that the Board should give favorable consideration.


Member Reinke: Well, I think that it is a definite asset to the community and to the area with what you are doing. The reason for a variance is hardship. I am a very strong opponent of extending into a front yard setback, especially when it is down to 10'. I think it is great what the petitioner is doing but I really don’t think that they need the extra foot in the front yard setback.


Member Harris: Would the additional foot coming off of the front of the house extend less or greater than the deck that you have across the front right now?


Brett Garrison: As I showed in the picture, the actual extension is in red, the deck is in brown and you have a copy of that in your packet.


Terry Morrone: If it would help, the extension and correct me if I am wrong; the extension is only on the second floor. Only 1'. Only to give is some architectural lines. That is all that it is for.


Member Harris: But, it does extend less?


Brett Garrison: The deck is currently 4' in front of the house. This extension would only add an additional 1' on part of the upstairs level.


Member Bauer: The overhang that you have on the home right now; is that about a 1'?


Brett Garrison: Approximately, yes. Just to let you know this, my plans for the overhang would not necessarily exceed that 1'. It would stay existing. The 1' would be underneath the current overhang.

Member Bauer: Is that standard to have it flush against the building with no overhang?


Terry Morrone: The second floor? It is a standard practice to gain some aesthetic look and to have it street pleasing to have some architectural lines in there. This will give it some dimension. That is the standard of today.


Member Brennan: Am I missing something or is this 1' extension on the second floor no more than what the existing roof line juts out?


Brett Garrison: That is correct. That was my intention. So it is really no more than what he has. It really is not an expansion or it not really increasing its’ nonconformity other than the size .


Vice-Chairman Harrington: Do I correctly understand that none of your neighbors are objecting to this protrusion of 1' or less?


Brett Garrison: Most of them are very pleased.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: I would expect so.


Chairman Antosiak: We do have an approval of 1733 East Lake. I would presume that this is your neighbor, Mr. Alexander.


Moved by Member Harris,


Seconded by Vice-Chairman Harrington:





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


CASE NO. 95-115


Continuation of case filed by Matthew Borovoy requesting a variance to allow the continued placement of a real estate sign 3' x 5' with height from grade being 5', for property located at 41200 W. Twelve Mile.


Matthew Borovoy was still under oath.


Matthew Borovoy: The sign is high and setback 60' because the land in front is an easement and fenced off by the road commission. My partner, Sol Luft, is on total disability since February of 1993. This is a hardship case because we must sell this land as quickly as possible. Twelve Mile Road is 160' wide and a small sign cannot be read from the south side of the road. The sign that this sign replaced was of the same size and had been in place by a realty company for several years. It was knocked down when the road was widened and our land was taken for the utility right of way. We have owned this property for 24 years and would appreciate the council cooperation in helping us to try to sell it by allowing us to have that sign.


Chairman Antosiak indicated I believe that I mentioned when you were here before there was a total of 8 Notices sent to adjacent property owners and there was no written response received.




There was no audience participation.




Alan Amolsch had no comment.


Member Bauer: How long are you looking to keep the sign up?


Matthew Borovoy: Hopefully and we are receiving some calls now, so probably 3 to 6 months and we should be able to get rid of the property because Dr. Luft has been disabled for 3 years and we do have to sell it.


Member Baty: Once again, the sign is 60' from the road because you can’t place it on the easement?


Matthew Borovoy: Yes, it is 60' back because the land in front is an easement and is fenced off by the road commission so we have to have the sign way back.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: Maybe the Board could help my recollection. I have a memory that there was discussion about where the easement and the closest part of the road where you could put a sign. There was an issue about visibility of the sign and my memory in this case and correct me if I am wrong, was that someone like the petitioner or his representative was going to take a look out there and come back with some fresh information. Perhaps a sign in conformity with the ordinance could work if it were placed closer to the easement without infringing upon it. My memory of this case is that we were looking for additional information and if this is the case; I don’t think that I have heard any additional information.


Member Bauer: I think that you are correct.


Member Baty: I think that he just said that he can’t place the sign any closer to the road.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: What is the distance, the closest distance to the road that you can place this sign?


Matthew Borovoy: We had the sign company go out there and they said that they couldn’t bring the sign any closer and if it was a smaller sign it couldn’t be seen because Twelve Mile Road is 160' wide. So it couldn’t be seen from the south side of the road.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: In this search for further information do you have a letter from them that we can consider?


Matthew Borovoy: No, I do not have a letter.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: Who is the sign company?


Matthew Borovoy: Hunt Sign Company in Berkley.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: Who is the gentleman that you spoke to?


Matthew Borovoy: I don’t remember his name.


Member Baty: If I remember the picture correctly that we were shown before, if that sign indeed can’t be moved any closer to the road then the size of the sign is appropriate in my opinion. I guess the question still remains, can it be moved closer to the road?


Member Bauer inquired of Alan Amolsch: Do you have anything on that in your file?


Chairman Antosiak: I have photos in the file if you wish to look at them.


Member Reinke: For the sake of discussion, since the petitioner is only looking for a short period of time I think that I could work with a 6 month variance to leave the existing sign there and at the end of 6 months it would have to come down and anything after that would have to conform with the ordinance.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: I agree with Mr. Reinke, that is a very pragmatic solution and I would second that if it were a motion.


Moved by Member Reinke,


Seconded by Vice-Chairman Harrington,





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


CASE NO. 95-130a, b, c & d


Planet Neon, representing Cort Furniture is requesting A) a wall sign 16' x 2'6" (40 sq. ft.) on the west elevation with the verbiage "CORT FURNITURE RENTAL", B) a wall sign 16' x 2'6" (40 sq. ft.) on the south elevation with the verbiage "CORT FURNITURE RENTAL", C) a wall sign 4'6" x 15" (5.63 sq. ft.) at the right entry (west elevation) with the verbiage "RENTAL SHOWROOM", D) a wall sign 4'6" x 15" (5.63 sq. ft.) at the left entry (west elevation) with the verbiage "CLEARANCE CENTER", for property located at 42350 Grand River Avenue.


Jim Kresefka was present and duly sworn.


Jim Kresefka: As indicated we met the Board on January 2nd. At that point we tabled this and were able to go back and figure out exactly what we needed at that time. On January 2nd we were able to use our pictures on the monument sign to show that the monument sign that we erected per the City coding was ineffective. At that point, we went back and in our letter we talk about 2 wall signs and I would like to tell the Board that we only, as of today, in talking with our sign company that we only need 1. We figure that we could use the south one which would serve as traffic goes east and west so we would be eliminating the west wall sign.


Jim Kresefka: The other thing that I would like to appeal the Board about is the 6" letters that would be only vinyl and to be used only as a directional over our doorways to signify our 2 separate businesses of the Rental Showroom and our Retail Showroom.


Chairman Antosiak indicated we discussed the Notices last time.




There was no audience participation.



Alan Amolsch had no comment.


Member Brennan: Clarification, please. You have completely confused me as to what you want now. You are now saying that the wall sign on the west is not part of the package, so we are dealing with 1 wall sign on the east?


Jim Kresefka: Exactly.


Member Brennan: And the 2 archway signs and the monument stays or goes?


Jim Kresefka: The monument stays.


Member Brennan: I expressed concern at the last meeting that there was an abundance of signs in this whole package. I suggested that perhaps there was some merit in wall signage given the petitioners’ plea that the monument sign had no value at all and I also pointed out that I did not support the arch signs. I think that this is an excessive use of signage and as it is presented here even with the amendment I will not support it.


Jim Kresefka: Can I comment on those arch signs? That is a directional sign only and I have 2 separate businesses. I have a retail business there, where customers come in a buy furniture and I also have a rental business. It is more of a customer service thing than a marketing thing. It serves no purpose other than to tell the customer which doorway to enter.


Member Reinke: Is there a dividing wall in between that they can’t go one way or the other once they are inside?


Jim Kresefka: There is a diving wall in between with just an opening. I don’t have any inside signage.

Vice-Chairman Harrington: I am sorry, in answer to Mr. Reinke’s question; there is a dividing wall inside with an opening so that one can access the other area from inside.


Jim Kresefka: Yes, they can.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: Thank you.


Chairman Antosiak: I just want to make an observation. You said something earlier that you have the monument sign as required by the City; the City does not require a monument sign.


Jim Kresefka: No, I meant as far as coding. We obviously put it up with 5' and per the code.


Chairman Antosiak: All I am saying is that you are entitled to 1 sign, and it is your option as to what sort of sign you wish to use.


Jim Kresefka: The other thing that I would like to also bring up is that the monument sign; had we known and I have spent $5000.00 on that sign and to remove it doesn’t make a lot of sense just to take it up. Had I known then that I would not have been able to identify our business we would never have put it up. With the landscaping and the trees, we did not know that at that point.


Member Brennan: Are you saying that when you built this facility you weren’t aware of the signage ordinance?


Jim Kresefka: We were aware of the signage ordinance but I did not know that based upon those pictures, in other words we didn’t go out and research the area to see if the sign would be.....we just went by what the code said and put the monument sign up.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: What sign company did you use?


Jim Kresefka: Planet Neon.


Jeff Heyn: Planet Neon Sign Company.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: You know what the deal is right? You know what the ordinance says. Did you tell this guy that you were just going to put the sign up and ignore the ordinance? What did you tell him?


Jeff Heyn: No; let’s start all over again. I think that what we are trying to do here is this. Cort Furniture and Jim, they have a considerable building here. I think it is 15,000 square feet. They have tried to do a nice landscaping job. We probably thought in the beginning that there best shot with signage here was the ground sign, knowing that we were allowed 1 sign. We thought that would be adequate or at least hopefully and then go in and talk to you people about putting a signature on the building as well because we have a big piece of architecture here and if we could get some signage up there it would help the cause with the visibility and what not; traveling down Grand River and missing the ground sign somewhat. So, I wasn’t at the last meeting but I think that the Board commented that there was a little bit of a visibility problem; so we thought that possibly that if we had a good wall sign, rather discreet and not to large etc., but visible it would help the situation. Realizing also that potentially the west isn’t needed. That is where we are at. We would forget the west side and try to get the sign on Grand River and also the 2 directional signs over the 2 entrances so that when the customer pulls in that they would have somewhat of an idea of which door to enter. One is more or less a retail operation and one is a retail operation. That is really what we are trying to do.


Member Harris: I think that we need to be clear on something. My position on this is that when this building was being built and planned there was a great deal of discussion with the City. It was before this Board for a parking variance. There was no mention of signs or additional signs or is the building to large for the property or do we have the adequate signage or anything else at that point. Our sense last month when it was tabled, is that this is a building that you were trying to put far more signs then we would reasonably expect on any building. It was the petitioner who indicated to us that the ground sign was non-functional; it was not the Board. In fact, if was based on that they were asking for a second sign which turned out to be a third sign, 2 wall signs, at which point we made our various comments and tabled it for the petitioner to come back with another plan as he has done this evening. I don’t have the same concern about the signs over the doors, the directional signs, but I certainly do have concerns about a wall sign and a monument sign. There is no support from this Board Member for both a wall sign and a monument sign. If in fact that the petitioner wants to consider amending further this by either stating the removal of the monument sign and go to the wall sign then I would be willing to explore this variance further. I don’t believe currently that there is this Board Member’s support for it based upon the discussion of last month and this month, as well as the previous variances that were before us regarding this property.


Chairman Antosiak inquired of Alan Amolsch: If the petitioner were to remove the ground sign, would they be entitled to a 40 square foot wall sign?


Alan Amolsch: Yes.


Member Harris: Then the only variance would be for the over the door signs, which I would consider.

Member Bauer: I would go along with that, too. I believe that when they were here for parking that they were saying that they really didn’t need that much parking; that they weren’t going to have that many people there, if I recall. So, I don’t believe that they need the other signs.


Chairman Antosiak: We had a 4 part variance request. The petitioner tonight withdrew Part A which was the west elevation sign. Why don’t we take these 1 at a time?


Member Harris: I guess, I would be interested whether the petitioner is going to pursue both the monument sign and the wall sign because it certainly will with heavily on my decision on the other 2. Is your position that you still want both the monument and the wall sign?


Jim Kresefka: I guess what I would ask the Board if I could be slated on the March Meeting and decided. You have given me the direction that the Board wants to go in and I guess that I would have to talk with my people at the corporate office as to which sign they would want.


Member Harris: With that stipulation that your understanding is that the Board wants you to live within the ordinance in regards to either the monument or the wall sign; then I would be prepared to deal with the other 2 signs; the Rental Showroom and the Clearance Center signs.

Chairman Antosiak: Those would be parts "C" and "D".


Member Brennan: Were you at the Meeting last month when this was first presented?


Jim Kresefka: Yes I was.


Member Brennan: If you will recall there was a great emphasis placed on the visibility of that ground sign and the inference was that no matter which way you are going east or west, at what speed, because of all the landscaping and the utility poles that you can’t see it. I was hoping that was going to be out of the package.


Jim Kresefka: I guess that I didn’t understand that the removal was a...........what we did was to try to reduce the amount of square footage as we indicated in the letter and then based on that and we knew what the Board’s feelings were as over-signage; we just thought that we would have 1 sign serving both east and west. Michael Connors was present at the last Meeting and he was the one that indicated the letter. I will give him those comments.


Chairman Antosiak: Right now we will deal with parts "C" and "D" of your request.


Moved by Member Harris,


Seconded by Vice-Chairman Harrington,





Discussion on motion:


Member Brennan: Clarification, Does the motion indicate that the monument sign is to be removed?


Member Harris: No, the motion indicates only that his other sign will be within the City Ordinance, which means either monument or wall sign; but it is his choice within the ordinance.


Chairman Antosiak: The petitioner has agreed to postpone part "B" to the March Meeting. Obviously if the petitioner decides to remove the ground sign and use his one entitled sign as the wall sign within the ordinance we won’t see the petitioner again. If the petitioner wishes to continue the ground sign and the wall sign or 2 wall signs or 10; I don’t know, then they will be back. That is the context in which I am looking at Mr. Harris’ motion.


Member Bauer: You have 2 wall signs, "A" & "B"; plus you have a monument.

Chairman Antosiak: He withdrew "A" earlier in the petition request.


Jim Kresefka: What I am saying is that we will have to make a decision. I want to check with my corporate office as to what they want, either the monument or the wall sign.


Member Bauer: A wall sign?


Jim Kresefka: Yes, one wall sign.


Chairman Antosiak: When the petitioner first stepped to the microphone he withdrew part "A" of his request.


Member Harris: To clarify, my motion is contingent upon the fact that there is no other variance for signs on this property. That in fact the petitioner will have either the monument sign or the wall sign within the confines of the ordinance as a condition of the approval of this variance.


Member Baty: Why would you have to include that? We would get to vote on that variance if they....


Member Harris: Then we can vote yea or nay on the motion. But, my motion was to end the discussion and deal with the fact that we would approve the directional signs but that was the end. That is what the motion was.


Member Bauer: If I recall, we must vote on those that are on it. I understand that you want to replace one for the other, so we only have one sign. But, I think that the way that you are doing it is that you are still going to have them come back on "B" because it is not solidifying "B" at all.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: Not necessarily because of the merit of the motion. I think that it is confusing to the Board and perhaps the public; so I am going to withdraw my second until we can get a clear motion. I am not sure that we can make an approval contingent upon this petitioner not doing something in the future which is one interpretation of what this motion means. So I am going to withdraw my second.


Chairman Antosiak: I will make a suggestion, hopefully that will help Mr. Harris. Approval of parts "C" and "D" the 2 signs over the doors; to me does not infer that we will approve or disapprove "B" which is the wall sign. The petitioner will have to return. If the petitioner returns seeking to keep both the ground sign and the wall sign it will have to reviewed on its’ merits.


Member Brennan: The petitioner has already offered to come back in March and I suggest that we table the whole thing.


Member Reinke: I don’t believe that I really want to vote on anything if we are going to be looking at something else. I want to look at the whole thing at one time.


Member Brennan: I agree.


Chairman Antosiak: The consensus appears to be that we postpone all decisions until March. If that is the consensus, please so indicate.


Member Harris: I think that we ask the petitioner if that is what he is still asking us. I am not sure.


Jim Kresefka: The only thing that I was going to do, I see where the Board is coming from and I am going to remove.......I am either going to keep the monument or ask for a wall sign. That is what I was saying. I am going to do one or the other. I just need to check with our corporate office as to which one they want. My guess is that they are probably going to want the monument being that it is there already, so that is why I was trying .....


Chairman Antosiak inquired of Alan Amolsch: Should the petitioner choose to remove the monument sign and replace it with a wall sign of 40 square feet as he has sought here tonight, will he need to come back here before us at all?


Alan Amolsch: No, but if he choose to continue the "C" and "D" request that would require your variance.


Jim Kresefka: That is why I was trying to get the approval for "C" and "D" tonight, so that I wouldn’t have to come back.


Chairman Antosiak: I interpret that as a withdrawal of the request "B" on your request.


Anne Heyn: May I add something? I understand where we are at at this time. I guess I just want to clarify something. Deliberately east of this location is McLaughlin’s Center and I don’t particularly know the zoning off of the top of my head, but there is a location there and we did do the paper work for the Zoning Board of Appeals there is a wall sign for Library Pub or Library Sports Pub and Grill on the end of the center directly east of Cort Furniture. They were granted one wall sign by a sign permit approved and we built the sign; they did seek a variance for a second sign and they were granted that sign. It is on the southwesterly angle there. They have been granted that and we are going to be building that and I will be submitting the sign permit application accordingly. That was based upon a hardship and the hardship was that they were granted one sign and they are not requested to take down the front elevation sign because they were granted the second and part of the hardship that I saw and I try to look at this open minded because we build hundreds and thousands of signs and we want to be fair to the City; but as I drove personally up to Cort I almost went by and I know where the location is. We put the ground sign in. You don’t see it until you are on top of it. That is the same thing with the Library Pub which is directly east. You can only see the front elevation sign heading from the east to the west. Therefore they have been granted a secondary sign. We know that and when we built the monument ground sign for Cort, after the studies now that the poles are there and everything is completed and now with spring coming and the landscaping it will be even harder to see that sign. That is the only reason. We did inform Cort Furniture, because we are very well versed and Alan will know that we almost have a direct line to the City of Novi Building Department because we pull a lot of sign permits. We did let them know. Sometimes until a building is completed do you look back and after you invest $5000.00 and I know that money is not a hardship, but it is a beautiful sign. Requesting this front elevation which I refer to as the south elevation, and we said don’t go in the with a 78 square foot sign which was initially proposed, let’s be moderate and go with what the City of Novi would allow if it was granted just with a normal sign permit procedure. That is the only reason, and I still think that we are kind of missing the boat that the hardship is visibility. There are poles and I don’t know if you have been able to go by the site again for this second meeting but I was trying to study it from the aspect of that I can see where Cort Furniture Rental people are coming from and needing that wall sign. It is on the front of the elevation. As you are going east and west you get and angle and you can see the wall sign. The ground you don’t see until you are deliberately in front of their driveway. As you know, Grand River and our company is located on Grand River, I’ll tell you that some of the traffic that accidents can generate; I guess that is my concern. That is what I have to say, thank you.




Vice-Chairman Harrington: I have driven by that many times and it is quite clear to me just driving by that their interior signs that they are having a half off sale or whatever it is that they have going now are quite visible irrespective of exterior signs. Number 2, the Library Pub is a totally separate issue involving a separate tenant in a shopping center on a very strange configuration. I don’t like getting into comparing one variance with another anyway. The third comment that I have and which may be germane relative to Mr. Harris’ suggestion, it would seem to me that if we voted and if the Board vote were to be to disapprove the variance then they have their choice to go ahead and either do one or the other irrespective. The don’t need our permission to do that and they don’t have to come back to us which will then present us with issues "C" and "D". So it may be appropriate to consider a vote in favor, yea or nay on the existing petition.


Member Bauer: I disagree because I think we had better come back on "B" because if we vote yes on that it will give him 2 big signs.


Chairman Antosiak: As I understand the petitioner has withdrawn "B".


Member Bauer: Not "B", only "A".


Member Harris: Both "A" and "B", all we have left at this point is "C" and "D".


Jeff Heyn: I think that we agree with Mr. Harrington’s suggestion.


Member Bauer: That is no problem.


Jim Kresefka: I guess what we are going to do is to decide on what large sign we are going to have and we would like the Board to vote on my directional and we will take it from there and we won’t be here again, I guess.


Member Reinke: We still have a motion on the floor, correct?


Member Reinke: I second that.


Member Harris: We now have a new second for my original motion.


Chairman Antosiak: Mr. Harris has moved to approve parts "C" and "D" of case no. 95-130 and Mr. Reinke has seconded that.


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


CASE NO. 96-002


Rob Boggs, representing Steven Grand/Chase Farms, is requesting a variance to allow the continued placement of an 8' x 8' (64 sq. ft.) sign for the Chase Farms Development. Sign is to be located on lot 50, at Eight Mile Road and Chase Drive. Refer to Case Nos. 92-074, 93-078 and 94-119.


Rob Boggs was present and duly sworn.


Rob Boggs: The sign at Eight Mile Road was erected some time ago; we come back every year to renew that permit. The reason that the sign is there and the reason that it was put up originally was to advertise the development and the homes that were available in that development to vehicular traffic on Eight Mile Road. The development at this time is just a little over 50% sold. About 45% of the lots are still unsold in the development. Phase I has 19; Phase II has 37 and there is roughly 70 to 80 still un-purchased in Phase III, the final phase. Again the purpose of the sign was to and is to notify the public that there is some development still going on in the property. It is very important that the sign stays there as long as it can until the property is developed to insure that it does get developed. If it is removed people would assume that the development there has been completed and finished. That is the reason that I would like to extend the permit on the sign.


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




There was no audience participation.




Alan Amolsch: The sign is very well maintained and taken care of.


Member Brennan: It would seem appropriate that given the development is less than 1/2 sold out that we should perhaps consider extending this for another year and I would support that.


Member Harris: How long has the sign been up, Alan?


Alan Amolsch: Since 1991.


Member Harris: It strikes me that I can’t support another extension of the sign. Principally because I think that the identity of the subdivision is very cleanly established. A very nice entrance. I think that there are other methods of advertising. I think being 55% sold out and whether it is half or not the length of time that it has been up is sufficient.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: In the record you made reference to a comment from a nearby Chase Farms resident who I will not identify; but I think that her position is quite articulate. She refers to this as "the most ridiculous zoning law and a complete waste of time both for the ZBA and the residents to have to deal with this issue year after year; do we, meaning the citizens of Novi want to cut our nose off to spite our face or do we want the City to grow, I can’t figure it out". As to this and other similarly situated homeowners, we don’t make the zoning laws we have to approve them pursuant to the specifics that are contained in the ordinances and that is what we are doing here tonight. Four years on a sign is a long time. The reason that we consider these on a year to year basis is because we are vested with the responsibility to determine how long is to long. Mr. Harris has commented that he thinks that it is long enough. I tend to agree. I do not believe that this is a waste of time that we do this year after year and I think that each year that the sign stays up seeking an exception that the burden increases. We are not a rubber stamp board and we have never have been. I am not sure that I have heard anything different this year then I have heard on prior occasions. So I am not in favor of extending this.


Chairman Antosiak: Would you give us the numbers again on the sales in the phases?


Rob Boggs: There are 331 lots total in the development. There are approximately 19 in Phase I, 37 in Phase II, and I have somewhere between 76 and 86 in Phase III remaining unsold. There are even some spec homes in there too.


Member Bauer: When did Phase III open?


Rob Boggs: Phase III opened a year ago.


Member Brennan: It has been the same sign that has been used for all 3 phases of development?


Rob Boggs: That is correct.


Member Harris: There is 60 to 65% that are sold.


Rob Boggs: Some of the people that I spoke to in there do get a lot of traffic from people just driving into the development because they see the sign. People that are just out driving on a Sunday looking for homes. The signs serve a great purpose for that reason. Without that sign they would possibly assume that there is no longer any lots available in that development and just existing homes. That is the purpose of the sign originally and that purpose still exists. I don’t know if the Board realizes that or some of the Members I should say. That is the main purpose of that sign. It is not to ugly it up. The development pays me to go in and fix it and repair it and maintain it on a regular basis so that we can at least keep the image that they are trying to put forth up.


Member Brennan: Can I ask you to re-phrase your numbers in a different way. Phase III involved how many homes in total? How many new homes were going to be constructed?


Rob Boggs: How many homes are there in Phase III?


Member Brennan: Correct.


Rob Boggs: It is like 140 some.


Member Brennan: And of that, how many are left that are lots?


Rob Boggs: Approximately 80.


Member Brennan: So of Phase III you have sold less than 50%.


Rob Boggs: That is correct.


Member Harris: Don’t get me wrong, I think that the sign is a very attractive sign. I think that you have done a nice job with it. My statement last year and continues is that there is a length of time a temporary sign that I normally consider to be appropriate and until there is an identification of the entryway. There is a very well established and nice looking entryway to Chase Farms. Four years or five years with an extension is a very long period of time for a temporary sign.

Moved by Member Harris,


Seconded by Vice-Chairman Harrington,





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


CASE NO. 96-003


Rob Boggs, representing Steven Grand/Chase Farms, is requesting a variance to allow the continued placement of an 8' x 8'' (64 sq. ft.) sign for the Chase Farms Development. Sign is to be located on lot 236, Chase Drive and Nine Mile Road.


Rob Boggs was present and duly sworn.


Rob Boggs: Chase Farms is a development that has approximately 45% of the homes that are still unsold. Lots unsold. The purpose of the sign originally and still is to identify the development and allow people find the development as an available property and real estate to move into. Without the sign nobody will know that and traffic into the development from people coming down the street would be minimized. Without that sign, they won’t have as much traffic. The development will be slower, the construction traffic in and out of the development will continue to be there for a number of years and keep on going and I will pity all of the people who live there.


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




There was no audience participation.




Alan Amolsch had no comment.


Member Bauer: How long has this sign been up?


Rob Boggs: Two years, no one year and I am trying for 2 years.


Chairman Antosiak: This is the first time for this sign.

Member Baty: Is this sign close in the area of Phase III?


Rob Boggs: It is in Phase III; it is on Nine Mile Road and that is Phase III.


Member Brennan: This sign certainly appears and perhaps appropriate for the purpose of selling out the additional lots. I would support the applicant’s position to retain the sign for another year.


Member Harris: Is that a motion?


Member Brennan: That is a motion.


Member Harris: I will second that.


Discussion on motion:


Vice-Chairman Harrington: I will ignore Mr. Boggs sarcasm and support the motion.


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


Rob Boggs: Can I ask a question. The Eight Mile Road sign is much more valuable to them as a sales tool than the Nine Mile Road sign, because the traffic volume on Eight Mile Road is much higher than the traffic volume on Nine Mile Road. It would be much more beneficial for them to have that sign on Eight Mile Road and that is the first thing that they are......after they give me what for......that they are going to request that I go for.


Chairman Antosiak: If you will recall the discussion, the discussion was a particular sign and a particular location. The feeling of the Board was that the sign on Eight Mile has just been there to long for a temporary and the sign at Nine Mile is closer in proximity to the majority of the unsold lots and that is the main reason that I voted for it, plus it is at the end of its’ first year period. That was my logic and if anyone else has any other ideas.


Rob Boggs: I am just using that so that I can go back to them and explain because that is the first thing that they are going to ask me.


Chairman Antosiak: If they were to come forth and seek a trade, I would say no. I voted against the Eight Mile sign and I am in favor of the Nine Mile sign.


Member Bauer: I voted for the same thing. I thought that 4 years was enough on Eight Mile and 2 years I have no problem with on Nine.


Chairman Antosiak: I understand that you had to ask.

Rob Boggs: I did have to ask. I do apologize, Mr. Harrington, if I upset you. I didn’t mean to do that.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: You didn’t upset me.



CASE NO. 96-004


Lee Mamola, representing Omni Commerce Center, is requesting a variance to alter the existing ground center sign at 24400 Novi Road to include tenant information for three (3) tenants.


Lee Mamola was present and duly sworn.


Lee Mamola: This is a case involving a sign at what is now known as the Collex Auto Service Center. The auto service center has been in existence for several years. You may recall that we were in front of this Board at least a year or perhaps a little longer than that regarding a use variance for a collision or body shop at the end of the center. Outside of that use question, the project was designed and constructed all in accordance with the ordinances that were in effect. There are some peculiar requirements of the zoning ordinance that arrived at the project being built and laid out the way that it was. One of the requirements was that because these were automotive service uses their overhead doors cannot face the main road. Thus, they have to face to the interior of the site. Thus, their store fronts are not facing the main road but facing the center of the property to which there is other property to the south bordering them and more property to the north bordering them. That results in different setbacks for different tenants. A setback varying from their front door of anywhere from 218 feet, 270 feet for a middle tenant, and about 320 feet for the next tenant down the line. What we are seeking is a little bit of additional signage for each of these 3 tenants. The first tenant which is the oil change facility and which really has some frontage on Novi Road, we are not seeking a variance for that tenant because he has frontage, his overhead doors don’t face the road, he can comply and that is not the issue here. The Collex tenant at the end does not a sign, and frankly they are already on that sign. The pole sign that is there today is in accordance with all requirements of the ordinance as a center sign. We are seeking to add 3 individual tenant signs for these 3 individual tenant spaces. These signs would each be a 3' square area and not exceeding that area. They would be in effect miniature versions of what each of these tenants have on their signs right now in their store fronts which are rather small compared to the position of these signs onto the road. When you look at how these buildings must lay out and how their uses must lay out on the property, they are really only given one directional view and that is only the northbound traffic ever has a hope of a chance of seeing these businesses, there is no way anybody will ever know what is in this center coming southbound on Novi Road. I think that frankly when City leaders drafted this part of the ordinance that prohibited these types of tenant signs on these business center signs as this that they frankly had a shopping center kind of an arrangement in mind. Shopping centers such as Ten Mile and Meadowbrook, across the street at Pine Ridge; those are L-shaped centers; you could make an argument that a certain number of those stores have similar signage arrangements. They are sideways to the main road and they can only be seen in one direction. They did that because of their own reasoning or their own rationale. These stores were placed here and they are placed in the position to Novi Road because of the zoning ordinance. The businesses depend to a certain amount on street traffic going by to see their businesses and to drop in and do some business. The business tenants, I understand, are in the audience tonight and they can speak a little further about the particular efforts that they have made to attract business to their center. This is a center which is having some very difficult times business wise and a lot of it has to do with the signage that is out there. I think that this is a very reasonable request. The sign that you see out there today, will be no larger. We are asking for only additional wordage. It is to be lit letters, individually lit from the interior. No ground lights shining or glaring. Done in the colors of each tenants existing corporate business logo. Again it is more or less the miniature versions of what is on the store fronts. So, I would respectfully ask your consideration of this request and allow this center to operate in a reasonable manner. With that I understand that there may be people in the audience and I will step aside to answer questions when necessary.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 8 Notices sent to adjacent property owners with no written response received.




Penny McRath, I am one of the owners of Auto-lab Diagnostic and Tune Up Centers. We are the farthest store in, next to Collex. The furthest from the road. We are in our third year of our business, we have put an exorbitant amount of money in advertising each month. We have a full page, full color add in the yellow pages; a $24,000.00 a year ad. We spend approximately $1200.00 a month on direct mail advertising and newspaper ads and we advertise on the local cable system. We are still not generating enough traffic. We do not get the drive by traffic that is required. We have a great amount of repeat business because we do very good work where we are at. If it wasn’t for our repeat business we would be out of business. Keeping the customer is not the problem once we get it. It is getting new customers in to continue to grow as a business. When we do get customers here, not a day goes by that we don’t hear "are you guys new" or "we didn’t know that you were here" or "I drive by this road all the time and I never even knew that you were here". It is very frustrating. I would just please ask that you grant our proposal.


Nick Savaras, I am one of the owners of Novi Tuffy. Basically what Penny has said holds true for us. We spend an exorbitant amount of money on advertising and daily we hear the same thing from our customers, "we couldn’t find you" , "we drove by". I had a customer today who was being followed to bring in a car and the one fellow turned in and he was looking at the oncoming traffic and continued on by and ended up at Midas and called us from Midas down the road. We feel that this sign is not out of line and it is very important to our business that people be able to find us. We send out coupons, we get phone calls from pay phones "where are you". we tell them that we are in the Collex Center and they think that it is a body shop. So, we would appreciate your consideration.

Diseree Muldoon, I am the owner of Car and Truck Boutique. I am going to reiterate a lot of what my neighbors have just told you. Since our grand opening and I have been in business a couple of months longer than some of the other ones, we have tried to overcome the signage restrictions. We have spent a great deal of money on yellow pages, direct mail, newspaper. I have joined a lot of local service organizations, The Chamber of Commerce and have even done door to door canvassing. We are missing the greatest potential that we have there in that center. The drive by traffic. People just do not see it by driving by at 45 to 50 miles per hour. Not a day goes by that we don’t hear "how long have you been here", "did you just open", "I didn’t know that you were here and I have lived in Novi 15 years, 20 years or worked here for 20 years"; it has been a great hindrance for our business. On March 1st for the Car and Truck Boutique we will be celebrating our 5th anniversary and with a little bit of help on signage we hope to continue for another 5 or 10 years. Thank you.




Alan Amolsch had no comment.


Member Brennan: If memory serves me correct, this whole complex sits quite a bit higher than Novi Road, is that your recollection?


Lee Mamola: I don’t know if I would call it quite a bit, but there is an increase in elevation as you drive from the curb cut at Novi Road to the middle of the complex, there is some rise.


Member Brennan: I will just add that I tried finding one of these companies once; I couldn’t find them.


Lee Mamola: I have been involved with many businesses and I hear much complaints about the signage in Novi and from my business I have a concern for the aesthetics of Novi and I think that many times businesses complain about the signage and they aren’t really valid complaints when you try to balance that with the aesthetics. Here I think that we have an aesthetic solution to a complaint where businesses are just trying to stay in business and they are not necessarily trying to maximize their dollars by way of having extra signage. Without these signs, and these are not large signs, it only gives them a little better edge. They still must do many other things that a good business must do to stay in business.


Member Bauer: Do you have the building owner’s authority to do so?


Lee Mamola: Yes, I have been authorized by the owner, The J. D. Dinan Company, and Mr. Dinan is out of town today; but I have been speaking with him regularly with this application.


Member Harris inquired of Alan Amolsch: Because this is a business center sign, there is a limitation as to what can be put on the sign itself; so these businesses could not be added to it?

Alan Amolsch: That is correct.


Member Harris: Because of the nature of the sign?


Alan Amolsch: That is right. Giving you a brief history; business center signs originally in Novi were permitted to have tenant information on them. With the adoption of the ‘82 ordinance that was amended to restrict it to the name of the business center only. That is the way that the ordinance has been since then.


Member Harris: I think that further to that this building has been a unique arrangement from the time it was brought before the Planning Commission to the City. This has been one that had a great deal of discussion and scrutiny just in order to try to locate it. We could probably talk for hours on whether or not it was a good decision to even build the facility to start with. I think that where we find our self this evening with in my mind a reasonable resolution to an otherwise difficult situation. I would find myself supporting this minimal addition to the sign to identify these 3 tenants.


Member Bauer: Collex Auto Service, is that the collision shop in the back?


Lee Mamola: Yes, sir.


Member Baty: Aside from the tenant information on the sign, is the sign within the ordinance for size?


Alan Amolsch: The current sign is in line with the ordinance. This will require a slight square footage per setback ratio; I didn’t calculate that because at the time that I reviewed this they had a generic sign message board up here and they didn’t have the individual names on here as he has now. But, it would be a slightly larger sign than the ordinance allows for size for setback.


Member Harris: What was the requested square footage per sign, maximum for the 3 tenant signs?


Lee Mamola: 12 inches by 36 inches for each tenant.


Member Harris: So 3 square feet maximum for each tenant.


Member Reinke: It is an unusual situation. I don’t like to see this because we are going back to a bill board type of sign configuration and I think the ordinance in addressing that was trying to eliminate. But, due to the arrangement of the businesses etc., they have little or no identification. Especially on the southbound Novi Road. On the northbound it would be limited. Because of the size of the signage that is being requested being minimal, I can support the petitioners request.


Moved by Member Reinke,


Seconded by Member Bauer,





Discussion on motion:


Alan Amolsch: I have a question. In the event that one of these tenants should go out of business and another tenant would go in; would they have to come back to the Board for a variance to alter the sign? Or is this a blanket type of variance which would allow any tenant to advertise on that sign?


Member Reinke: My concern about that is that with the frontage that they have you could have more than 1 tenant, you could have 2 tenants replacing 1. I guess for right now, so that we could see how this works I would like to HAVE IT REMAIN WITH JUST THESE TENANTS.


Member Bauer: I would second that with no problem.


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


CASE NO. 95-052


Continuation of case file by Anglin Supply. Original approval was extended to February 6, 1996.


Craig Gates was present and duly sworn.


Craig Gates: The project has been submitted and I spoke with Juanita today and she said that we are on the agenda for February 21.


Chairman Antosiak: The Planning Commission?


Craig Gates: Yes, the Planning Commission. So I would need to request a further extension from the ZBA to allow us to continue.


Greg Capote: They have applied for preliminary site plan. Brandon Rogers letter was not finalized and I have not seen a final copy. So. It remains to be seen.


Chairman Antosiak: This is for preliminary site plan approval?


Greg Capote: That is correct. It might be precipitous to assume that it would be on the 21st at this time.


Craig Gates: It is both preliminary and final together.


Member Harris: I think that part of our sense of this is that we wanted it back to make sure that it was moving. If it is in fact moving, especially at this time of the year, I think that it is reasonable to extend it if we have some assumption that we are moving. I would ask Greg when we would think that we would have some kind of an answer at least to the submitted stuff. If it doesn’t go in February, when can we reasonably expect that the Board will hear what the Planning Commission has decided on this?


Greg Capote: I can commit to you now that I can provide a communication in your next packet as to where this particular project is in the site plan process. I would imagine that Mr. Rogers letter is forth coming. It should be here at any time.


Member Harris: Would it actually make more sense to extend it through April as the next check point rather than would we expect to see some discussion or decision by then?


Greg Capote: Without seeing all of the particulars and Mr. Rogers comments you are asking me to give you an answer of something that I don’t know all of the variables to and therefore I am hesitant.

Chairman Antosiak: If something should slip with the February 21st Meeting, the next scheduled Meeting is the first week in March, is that correct? Which would be the day after our March Meeting.


Greg Capote: That is correct and that is with the assumption that the applicant has made other requirements to both preliminary and final site plan for the March Meeting. I would recommend maybe further into the future. I will leave it to the Board as to how long.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: For our loyal and faithful cable following what is it that we are considering continuing to some point in the future? The original case, but for identification what is that case that we are considering continuing?


Chairman Antosiak: It is a previous variance, a nonconforming use in an OS-1 zoning district.


Member Bauer: The whole lot is nonconforming.


Member Reinke: The basic thing is that we are on the right path. We are starting to move now and this is what we want to see is some movement to follow with the direction of the variances that were granted. I would like to see continuing progress made and I would hope that Mr. Capote could update us on a monthly basis as to how this is progressing and whether we have to put a date on it. Unless we see something that is not moving or the movement is not being made, rather than to set a target date and then have to turn around and change that again. This is just a thought or a suggestion.

Member Bauer: So you would suggest having this on our agenda every month at the end and having a report.


Member Reinke: I believe that would be the best way.


Chairman Antosiak: They cannot expand their current nonconforming use without a variance from the ZBA.


Greg Capote: Precisely. I wish that I had more information for you now; but I just simply don’t. I can make a commitment to provide a written report in your packet to apprise the Members as to where the project is at in the site plan process and provide attachments from all of our consultants so that you can follow it along.


Member Reinke: I think that would be the most informative direction that we could go without trying to put a pinpoint date down and not knowing really where we stand at that date and time.


Member Brennan: Many months ago the shade building was constructed and they sought a variance, which we granted. We found out later that a building permit had never been pulled. Hadn’t been at the last time that you were in front of the Board. Has a permit been pulled?


Craig Gates: That comes after the Planning Commission approval, then we have to apply for a building permit. So we have to go before the Planning Commission first.


Greg Capote: Precisely, you cannot have a building permit until you have an approved site plan from our department. Plans are physically stamped for final site plan approval and delivered to the Building Department.


Member Brennan: Perhaps I wasn’t clear, I was talking about the shade structure that was built.


Greg Capote: Yes.


Member Harris: That is the basis of this variance. This variance was to allow them to continue to use the shade house while they pursued a correct remedy. What they are asking for is a continuation of the variance which allows them to use the shade house while they pursue the Planning Commission administrative remedy in order to properly construct whatever it is that they are preliminarily or finally to construct along the way. I would go along with Mr. Reinke’s suggestion was with the exception that I don’t expect to see a report in March because simply it is to close to what is going on with the rest. I would look for the first one in April.


Member Reinke: I think that we could have a brief summation. It doesn’t have to be a detailed report. Just a status of where it is at.

Member Harris: Is that a request to have Mr. Capote do it or the petitioner?


Member Reinke: Mr. Capote would give us the information as to where it stands and what is happening?


Vice-Chairman Harrington: I have a question as long as you are here. Is there new berming on the Eleven Mile Road side of the property? It looks like there is and I don’t know whether it is new or not.


Doug Anglin: We just have dressed that up somewhat and tried to raise it up a little bit to try to keep the construction activities back there and try to hide it a little bit from the Eleven Mile Road side. We are going to try to put some trees and some shrubs up along that berm in get it up even at least so that it hides it a little bit better from the general public as they drive back through there.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: I think that is wonderful. I had noticed and I think that it is a step in the right direction. I don’t think that you are anywhere close to all the way there yet, but I have had significant concerns in the past which whenever Anglin comes up I express on this record. I think that there are serious issues there regarding open public access to that site and the nature of the construction equipment that is stored on site. So any steps that you guys can take to address the security issue, the berming issue, the aesthetic issue and the like, I encourage and I support.


Moved by Member Bauer,


Seconded by Member Reinke,





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


Chairman Antosiak: The June Meeting is June 4th.


Craig Gates: Do I have to attend monthly until then?


Chairman Antosiak: No, Mr. Capote will let us know based on where you stand with the City. If he needs to know anything I am sure that he will let you know.





Chairman Antosiak: Mr. Capote we are now into the Other Matters area, and I just have a question regarding Glenda’s. Where is the City in this?


Greg Capote: No plan has been submitted. I double checked and rechecked the file and the computer file this evening and nothing has been submitted. The ball is in their court to submit for final site plan approval from our department.


Chairman Antosiak: My only suggestion would be that at some point, we may need to remind them that they do not currently have a variance and should not be operating a business unless they come back to this Board. Nancy tells me that she would need information by February 15th in order to get on the Agenda for the March Meeting.


Member Bauer: I thought that they had a plan all set and it was submitted.


Greg Capote: They do for preliminary, but not for final.


Chairman Antosiak: We asked that everything be wrapped when they come to see us.


Greg Capote: Preliminary does not give you a building permit. It would under certain provisions upon review of the Building Department Official to allow you to do some infrastructure improvements to the footprint of the building, but that is it though.


Member Bauer: They could get a temporary, could they not?


Greg Capote: It wouldn’t be a temp, I guess it would be a conditional approval to do some improvements. That would be subject to review and interpretation by the Building Department.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: Usually building permits have been an after thought in this particular case.

Terry Morrone: Mr. Chairman and Members of the Board, at the January 2nd ZBA Meeting this Board granted a variance for properties located at 1101 South Lake Dr. The variance that was requested was for a second story addition and an attached garage on already existing single story home. This Board granted the variances with contingencies. As of this date that home has almost been totally removed. It falls under a different section of the ordinance that prohibits the rebuilding of that home without a variance. A variance is required when 60% of the structure is destroyed. I am asking the Board to consider a rehearing based on the fact that the full scope of the work was not known at the Meeting and that a separate and different ordinance section is now in violation.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: Has a stop work or a citation or the equivalent been issued?


Terry Morrone: Currently there has been a red tag or a Notice of Violation that has been issued and the owner has been alerted that a stop work order is in the works and will be placed on the project.

Member Bauer: How soon will that actually take place?


Terry Morrone: The procedure for that to happen is that we must first place a Notice on the structure or what remains of the structure, that there is a Notice of show cause hearing. He then appears at City Hall Building Department and has to explain why a stop work order should not be issued. He is aware of this.


Chairman Antosiak: When Nancy told me of your pending comments, I went back and looked at the minutes from his appearances. There never really was a discussion as to whether or not he was going to demolish and rebuild or add on. The word addition was used a couple of times in the discussion. I am not sure that it would have affected my vote on the matter, however, you raise a new issue this evening and that is that he is in violation of an additional City ordinance with his removal of more than 60% and if he requires another variance to proceed then I would just suggest to him that he request one, with all of the other actions that you are taking of course. He can’t continue on his current course.


Member Bauer: I think that his drawings showed that the building was going to extend and also add on that with the garage.


Member Reinke: Since I voted negatively on the variance request, I will still add my comments to go along with it. I think that really the whole Board has to look at this in a total different limelight now because you are starting over from scratch zero. It is not that you are trying to accommodate somebody enlarging or adding onto an existing structure. It is not an existing structure any more, it is a vacant lot. I think that there is a lot of things that can be done and a lot of things that can be shaped on that lot that weren’t really taken into consideration when the previous variance request was made.


Member Brennan: I agree with Mr. Reinke and as much as he voted against it, I voted for it and it was because I felt that I was trying to be accommodating to his plans. There was some economic sense to what he wanted to do. He has gone in and bulldozed the whole thing, that changes the whole scenario as far as I am concerned. It is a whole new project.


Terry Morrone: Just to clarify this section of the ordinance, if I can read that section it says: "Should such structure be destroyed by any means to an extent of more than 60% or its’ replacement cost, exclusive of the foundation it shall be reconstructed only in conformity with the provisions of this ordinance, except that reconstruction on the existing foundation or footings shall be permitted provided that reconstruction is commenced within 6 months from the date of such damage." So, if the foundation remains in its exact same spot, he can totally remove this structure and rebuild it on the same foundation. Except that he expanded the foundation with the corner of the house and the garage. I had a discussion with the owner and he explained to me that the more he took off of this building he saw that it was in pretty poor shape and with things the way that they were they just coming down. Now the foundation still exists and he claims that the floor will remain or at least a portion of it so he is not doing any with regard to the existing foundation, that will remain there and that is an acceptable foundation with repair and maintenance. This actually falls under a different section of the ordinance and I think to keep things straight maybe you ought to take a look at it.


Chairman Antosiak: The only problem that I have and although conceptually I may agree with Mr. Reinke and Mr. Brennan, when I look at the variance that was actually granted we granted setback and lot coverage variance. The only contingency was the removal of the existing shed and a verification of the dimensions as appropriate. We didn’t make it contingent upon the fact that this was just to be an addition and not a replacement. I am troubled by just calling him back for the reason that he demo’d the building as opposed to just adding to it, when all we really approved where setback and coverage variances.


Member Brennan: The whole package was presented as an addition; a second floor addition and a garage. When in fact, this is a brand new construction. It is entirely different from my perspective. If I knew that he was going to bulldoze this whole thing the whole argument of the footprint; everything is different. It is a clean piece of paper.


Member Bauer: I think that he can build exactly what was there without us. But, I don’t know if the variance that we gave him is going to extend to this new construction of the same building. Do you follow me?


Member Harris: If he can build exactly what he had and we gave him the authority to build the addition, where is the problem? Conceptually? I understand from an ordinance stand point that we have moved to another ordinance here in terms of that. But if in fact that the building had been destroyed by fire he could have rebuilt it. But we said that he could build the addition.


Member Reinke: I think that the whole package was represented differently.


Member Brennan: That is right.


Member Harris: If he took the foundation out, I would agree with you. By not removing the foundation I haven’t quite gotten there.


Member Reinke: My feeling on this and it is just my interpretation of it, is that when you take the whole thing down to the base where he is at; your whole floor plan and everything can change a lot easier than what it could if you were working with an existing structure. I think that we have to work with and be a lot more lenient with an existing tructure and when the structure is totally removed you are starting over fresh and you can do whatever you want to do.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: I agree with Mr. Reinke. The point here is that we try to work with the applicant in terms of the hardship concept and I have never accepted that financial cannot be a hardship; it can be a hardship. But, we try to minimize that, we work with the petitioners and we try to allow them to preserve what it. But if they are going to go down to ground zero and rebuild from the ground up, I do think that it is a different scenario. I think that it is one that the burden is not really on us to invite him back; he is in violation of the ordinance. He is in violation. If he wants to address that violation, I would suspect that he would wander back in front of us again and then we can consider whether or not we would have granted the original variance or whether or not we approve of what his proposal is now that he is starting from ground zero and building upwards. The burden is on the petitioner rather than us, I think.


Member Baty: At this point the hardship doesn’t exist.


Member Bauer: I don’t know if we are legally or if that variance that we gave, is now a legal variance.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: That is up to him and his lawyers to figure out. He is going to have a stop work order. He is in violation because it is new construction and he can make a determination as to whether or not he does or doesn’t have a variance and the City can take whatever position that it has; but this is not a situation where we have to stand back here and issue an advisory opinion as to whether we think that he is in violation. The ball is in his court and his contractors’ court, who bulldozed this thing down.


Terry Morrone: Just for clarification, I don’t think that they used a bulldozer. I think that they dismantled it. I don’t know if that makes a difference.


Member Brennan: But, it is not there now.


Member Baty: When was it red tagged? What was that date?


Terry Morrone: The red tag was placed on that structure last week Thursday, with a 3 day compliance. I talked with him Friday and we discussed the show cause hearing for the stop work order to be placed on it and that was to be done yesterday but our staff member wasn’t in to help with the paperwork and I wasn’t there today; so it will go on immediately tomorrow.


Member Harris: That would give him time to get to the next month’s agenda.


Chairman Antosiak: If we were taking action to call him back, I think that I would have some trouble. If you feel that there are other ordinances that he is not in compliance with, then he would have to become in compliance or get an additional variance then I think that is fine.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: Did the petitioner submit revised plans to the Building Department which in the ordinary course that you would have to approve of?


Terry Morrone: Let me clarify. The petitioner submitted a set of plans that showed an addition on top of an existing structure, with alteration in the interior.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: What about the brand new fresh walls?


Terry Morrone: Now he is in violation of the building code, because he has deviated from the approved plan and he is going beyond the scope of the permit that was issued to him. You are right, he is required to revise his plan to incorporate all the building code requirements necessary for new construction.


Vice-Chairman Harrington: What he has done effectively is to short circuit the ordinary Building Department review. Is that correct?


Terry Morrone. Yes.


Chairman Antosiak: We will either see him then or we won’t depending upon whether he wants to build his house.


Member Harris: I think that Terry’s request is to ask us to rehear it and I think that my sense is that it is the petitioner’s call at this point since the City has taken administrative action. I would propose that we not recall it or rehear it until the petitioner re-applies and deals with whatever variances that he needs at that point for a total package.


Chairman Antosiak: I would concur with that and I am not sure that it needs to be a motion.


Member Bauer: Is that what you were looking for, one way or the other?


Terry Morrone: You have basically said the same thing, we are going to give him the stop work order and at that point in time he has to do something about it. He is in violation of the zoning ordinance that was dealt with by this Board at previous meetings. I hate to hold the job up, but we really can’t do anything about it. He really has to come back to this Board to get a variance on this section by itself. That had not been publicly announced or dealt with earlier.


Member Reinke: So basically he has to come back before us.


Terry Morrone: I think that he does.


Member Reinke: If he is coming back before us, I don’t see any reason to re-hear this. This may be affected by his coming back before us. If we need to at that time I think that we could reopen or rehear the previous case depending upon the outcome of him reappearing before the Board.


Member Harris: He doesn’t have to come before us. He could choose to just rebuild the structure and seek the permit on the existing footprint........through the building department. He doesn’t need variance to rebuild on the existing foundation, or does he?


Terry Morrone: He could rebuild that structure on the same footprint that was previously there with no variance. He could not put that garage up or the corner.


Member Harris: I think that this is the petitioners’ call. If the petitioner wants to continue with his plans he needs to come back to see us. If the petitioner decides that he just wants to just put the house up as it was before, that is his call.


Member Brennan: Just for clarity, here is the minutes; 4 variances to allow for construction of a second floor and garage. There is nothing in there about demolishing the whole house and rebuilding it.


Chairman Antosiak: I will welcome Mr. Harris and Mr. Reinke on their reappointment to the Board. I will suggest that at our March Meeting we have the election of the officers of the Board.





The Meeting was adjourned at 9:35 p.m.











Date Approved Nancy C. McKernan

Recording Secretary