The Meeting was called to order at 7:33 p.m., with Chairman Harrington presiding.




Present: Members Meyer, Brennan, Reinke, Antosiak, Harrington


Absent: Members Bauer, Baty


Also Present: Terrance Morrone - Deputy Building Official

Steve Cohen - Staff Planner

Alan Amolsch - Ordinance Enforcement Officer

Nancy McKernan - Recording Secretary




Chairman Harrington indicated we do have a quorum this evening. We have a total of five (5) Members. The Zoning Board of Appeals is a Hearing Board empowered by the City Charter to determine applications for variances or special use permits. Generally these cases are in the nature of appeals after the denial of an application by the City of Novi Building Department. The variance request will seek relief from the strict application of the City of Novi Zoning Ordinances. It takes a vote of at least four (4) Members to grant a variance request. We have what we refer to as a "Short Board" this evening with a total of five (5) Members; that means for your variance to be approved by this Board you will need four (4) affirmative votes. Normally a full Board will consist of six (6) Members which would give you an extra vote in a close case. Under these circumstances we will normally table upon request variances petitions which would like to have a full Board rather than a five (5) Member Board sit upon their application. Is there anyone here this evening that would like to have their request for a variance moved to the next meeting in September?


I am representing IDOD Systems, Case No. 96-050. I would have to convince 4 of 4 tonight because Mr. Brennan cannot vote; so I would like to table until September.


Chairman Harrington indicated your matter will be moved to the September Meeting.


James Korte, Shawood area. Whosever fault that it was for moving this Meeting off of a voting day, I thank you.


Chairman Harrington inquired is there anyone else who would like their matter moved to the September Meeting? (No one came forward at this time.)


Chairman Harrington inquired is there any other proposals or changes to the agenda this evening?

(None were presented.)





Chairman Harrington indicated we will turn to the approval for the minutes of last month’s Meeting, which would be the July 9, 1996 Meeting. Are there any additions, modifications or changes?


Member Antosiak: I have 2 comments. I noticed on page 16 a vote was tallied as 6 and 0 and I think that there were only 5 Members present that evening. I also noticed that on page 34 that the word building was mis-spelled 3 lines up from the bottom.


Chairman Harrington: So, noted. Subject to those changes; we will move for approval of the July Minutes by acclamation .


All in favor? (Voice Vote) (All Yeas) (Member Meyer, abstained). Carried


Chairman Harrington: Mr. Meyer not being present or sworn in at last month’s Meeting; his abstention is appropriate. I would at this time take the opportunity to introduce Mr. Meyer who is the newest Member to our Board and we welcome his addition. Thank you to your service to Novi, Mr. Meyer.





Chairman Harrington indicated the Public Remarks section allows audience comment on matters which are not specifically before us this evening. It may be matters of general importance or otherwise; but if you do have comment related to an agenda item kindly withhold your comments until that agenda item is called. Do we have anyone who would wish to speak in the "Audience Participation" or the "Public Remarks" section of this Meeting? (No one wished to apeak at this time.)


Chairman Harrington indicated we have a docket of 13 cases this evening, plus the Glenda’s Case which is a continued case at the conclusion of this Meeting.



Case No. 96-042 filed by Lee Mamola


Continuation of case filed by Lee Mamola, representing Craig & Lynn MacGowan, requesting a 4% lot coverage variance, a 2.17' side yard variance on the south and a 1.88' side yard variance on the north to allow for the construction of a new single family residence at 1312 East Lake Dr.


Lee Mamola was present and duly sworn.


Lee Mamola: As you will recall we were here in front of you in June. We were here again in July and for various reasons, one of them being the situation that you have tonight of 5 Board Members, we have been put off until this time. The schedule is such that we would still prefer to have a full Board but we must proceed because the winter weather is coming around the corner.


Lee Mamola: I would like to recap what we spoke about briefly in June to the benefit of the new Member and to refresh the memories. Much of the variance is predicated upon the size and the configuration of the parcel; that being the narrowness of the parcel. We have talked about the building design reflecting the site configuration being long and narrow - a lineal design. We discussed some floor plan arrangements. We talked about the project being a general improvement to the neighborhood; the aesthetics of the neighborhood; safety for the neighborhood (currently people are allowed to park just off of the shoulder of the road in somewhat of an unorganized/semi-organized manner and a new building would allow the construction of a garage with indoor parking and additional parking for guests). We presented a list of neighbors who had no objections to that parcel with the exception of one neighbor and you heard him in June. We were sent from the June Meeting to meet with that neighbor and work out some differences which were expressed at that Meeting; shortly after that and within the matter of the week we had a meeting and had a number of points discussed and we were presented warmly on all fronts if you will. I have a landscape plan that was presented to the neighbors and it was accepted by our clients and the neighbors; which was a concern of theirs. The plan involves a terracing of the site in the rear between the house and the lake front. We have modified the design considerably, where the floor plan was narrowed even further. To do that we were able to eliminate 2 feet off the width of the house; taking 2 feet off the garage, 2 feet off of the kitchen or not quite 2 feet, but more inches of the toilet and storage areas. We really have this house down to the most narrow dimension that we can get it and still have functional spaces inside. There is a corresponding decrease on the basement area which supports the building above. The building was also moved on the site somewhat to the south and what that allowed us to do was to provide a north side yard which is slightly greater than the south side yard of the north neighbor. So, there is a little bit more space here than the neighbor has. The neighbor was quite concerned that we only had 5 feet before and we now have a little more than 8 feet at this point. The building shifted a little bit to the south; about a foot to the south; and we still have ample area here. Again, we have more space, we have 7'10" and there is about 4 and 1/2 feet to our neighbor to the south.



:Lee Mamola: There was a comment, I believe made at the last meeting in June, where we discussed the size and the scale of the structure in accordance with the neighborhood and I would like to pass out a photo of the existing houses. The house to the south and existing 2 story, our proposed house, and the neighbor to the north. I think that you can see graphically that they all somewhat fit into the site and ours being even lower than the house to the south. It is what I would call sculpted, where there are carvings in the masses and in framing of the house. It is not a solid box, the footprint and the architecture is quite unique to the area. The massing allows a sense of scale and proportion that is sensitive to the site. Much of the house is essentially 22 feet wide.


Lee Mamola: The MacGowans also met with 2 different neighborhood groups, LARA and SES. They had very lengthy discussion with them and all the plans that we had prepared at the time were presented to them, open on the table. Both groups acknowledged acceptance of the plan and were supportive of the plan. We did not have this information in June.


Lee Mamola: This house and yes it does take 29% of the site. We have reduced that percentage increase by a third from when we were here in June. But take that same house 2800 square feet and put it on any other average lot in Novi and it would represent coverage of 9 to 15% depending upon the lot, of course. It is a house that is very common to this community. It is on a site that is not very common to this community in general or as a whole. Even if it met all of the side yard, front and rear yard setbacks we would still need a lot coverage increase on percentages. We are meeting the front yard and the rear yard or the lake side, the view to the lake and off the street. We need just a fraction to make this a functional house on the interior and to make it livable. Our option is not to obtain a variance and to build on the existing footings and basement and I don’t know that if that would prove to be beneficial to the community. We would still have a house on the lake in that area without a garage, we would have outdoor cars and traffic and the problems that you see today would still be there.


Lee Mamola: Again, I would like to appeal to Members of the Board that this our third attempt and we would really wish to see you in 3 weeks or September; but the schedule is such that we would like to proceed accordingly tonight. We would welcome your vote and support of this method. The clients are here tonight. The neighbors who spoke at the Meeting in June are also here tonight and I believe that they are here to support the project. If you have any further questions, I will be happy to answer them.


Chairman Harrington: This matter having been before us before, it is not necessary to read the approvals and the single objection to the record again.




James Korte speaking for SES, South, East and Shawood Homeowners Association. You were nice enough to get it off of voting day, but now it is on our meeting day. Sarah Gray, President and Ruth Ann Hamilton, Secretary will not be here this evening and I am speaking on their behalf. As I say the meeting is this evening. At our last meeting this house and the problems within this house or within this construction were brought to our Meeting and there was unanimous approval given by the homeowners’ association. therefore I ask you to pass it.


James Korte, homeowner Austin. It should have been passed last time. I would hope that with the situations; the side yard variances which are minor compared to what has been given just north of this little house. I don’t mean to be nasty by saying little house, but it is a little house if you look at what you have allowed north. Please pass Thank you.

Arnold Ray: I am the property owner to the north and all of my objections have been satisfied I think with the present plans it would be an asset.


Chairman Harrington: We are pleased that your objections have been satisfied and for that reason alone we are pleased to re-entertain this matter this evening.




Terry Morrone: We have no objection.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I think that it is good that they have been able to work out the differences with immediate neighbors and that they have the local homeowners association approval. I think that they have done the best job that they can with what they have to work with.


Chairman Harrington inquired of Lee Mamola: You made reference to the generic term fraction, and just so the record will reflect what we are voting and approving I would assume that the variance request that are present tonight are a scaled down version of what we originally faced?


Lee Mamola: Yes, that is.


Chairman Harrington: The actual dimensional variances that we are being asked to approve are?


Lee Mamola: They are as they were advertised. They were roughly 2 feet something and 1 point something.


Chairman Harrington: So the revised advertisement reflects what you are asking for this evening?


Lee Mamola: We did resubmit drawings because the dimensions were different than in June.


Moved by Vice-Chairman Reinke,


Seconded by Member Antosiak,





Roll Call: Yeas (5) Nays (0) Motion Carried


Case No. 96-066 filed by Bruce Simon


Bruce Simon is requesting a 12 foot side yard setback variance to allow for the construction of an addition at 112 North Haven (corner lot).


Bruce Simon was present and duly sworn.


Bruce Simon: My wife and I would like to construct an addition on our home. We have a family of 5 and unlike some of our neighbors across the lake on East Lake Drive we don’t have the topography to accommodate a basement and we need the extra room. Part of the difficulty with our lot as you will see from the paperwork that we have submitted is that it is an extremely irregularly shaped lot which restricts us in ways that similar size lots of more rectangle or square configurations don’t burden us with. Secondly, it is a corner lot and that subjects us to 2 front yards and that is a particular problem in that West Lake Drive literally dead ends at our property line, it only services 6 or 7 homes toward that direction to the north and those 6 or 7 people as well as an another group of people that closely surround our property were kind enough to sign a petition for us in favor of our zoning variance. I would like to circulate that to the Board. (Petition presented to the Board.)

Bruce Simon: Lastly, if the variance were granted for our addition because of the size of our lot we would still end up with a what I believe is a far smaller coverage ratio than is typical for either new construction on Walled Lake in Novi or let alone existing structures.


Chairman Harrington indicated there was a total of 36 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was a total of 3 written responses received voicing approval. (Copies in file.)




There was no audience participation.




Building Department had no comment.


Member Brennan I have a question to be addressed to the Building Department. Is there any minimal requirement from a road to a residential dwelling that would be of concern here because we are only from the road to the corner of the proposed addition 18 feet away?


Terry Morrone: I didn’t see any. If there were a garage here and it caused a traffic problem or congestion in the road where parking vehicles would be there, then yes. But, I don’t see that. I didn’t see a real problem with this.


Chairman Harrington: We have accepted for filing in the record and we will make it part of the record the signatures of a number of your neighbors. I note that there is a total of 14, 3 of whom have already filed approvals with us, so you have a total of 11 new persons who are supporting your proposal.


Bruce Simon: Those happen to be the neighbors that are the closest to our home and would be the most impacted by our proposed addition, of course.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Being the shape of the lot as the petitioner has pointed out, the intrusion is really minimal and it is not the whole addition that is going into the side yard setback. With the amount of traffic flow and everything that is going down there I don’t see it to be a visual obstruction and the only people that are going to be going down there are the people who live there or are possibly visiting on occasion. I don’t see a problem with the petitioners request.


Chairman Harrington: I agree with Mr. Reinke. You have a pretty unique lot configuration which is something that we take a close look at.


Member Antosiak: I concur with your comments.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Vice-Chairman Reinke,





Roll Call: Yeas (5) Nays (0) Motion Carried



Case No. 96-068 filed by Thomas Nations


Thomas Nations wishes to construct a new home with an existing home already on the property at 28835 Summit Drive.


Thomas Nations was present and duly sworn.


Thomas Nations: I have a feeling that you might not be able to see this very well; I am new at this and I apologize if you can"t but I will try to point out if I can. (Plot shown on board.)


Thomas Nations: A little over a year ago, my partner and I bought 10 acres or approximately 10 acres on Summit Street at the end and subsequent to that I purchased another 4 acres or just a little under 4 acres to the south of that. There is a house on the 10 acres. There is a house on the 4 acres. They are 2 different lots. The reason that we purchased the 10 acres was to divide that and for me to build a house on the back part of it. This is the 10 acre piece here and this is the 4 acre piece here. I was going to build a house back here. We purchased this so that we could take a piece of this property off and adjoin it to lot 7, which we have done at this point. I wish to build a house, back in this area, of approximately 3000 square feet the house itself; an enclosed swimming pool attached to the house which will probably add about another 1500 square feet.


Thomas Nations: At the present time, as I said, there is a house on lot 7 and that house is being used at the present time for a residence. I would like to keep that house there until this house is completed for my residence. At that time I would remove it. My understanding is that you can’t have 2 houses on the same lot. I am asking that you leave 1 house as a residence until the other one is finished and then I would remove the older house in the front.


Thomas Nations: I have a picture of the house, if you wish to see what I am going to build. (Pictures shown to Board.)


Chairman Harrington: The new home will be how many square feet?


Thomas Nations: The house itself is just over 2900 square feet. The pool is 16 x 32 and with it being enclosed there will be 5 to 8 feet on either side and on the ends. There will also be a room, very large, what we would call a solarium between the house and the pool as a dead area space to keep the moisture out of the house. It is going to be quite a large house.


Chairman Harrington indicated there was a total of 12 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was a total of one written response received voicing approval. Copy in file.




There was no audience participation.




Building Department had no objection.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: My only objection was answered by the petitioner; and that was the concern about the second house on the lot and since it is just going to be there I could live with a motion to grant a variance that under the condition the original home was removed upon Certificate of Occupancy of the new home.


Moved by Vice-Chairman Reinke,


Seconded by Member Brennan,





Discussion on motion:


Member Antosiak: Given for normal delays and the such, how long do you anticipate having both houses on the lot?


Thomas Nations: Not counting for delays, my plans are to be in by the first of December. I have a feeling that is not going to work. We are putting up the original 2900 square foot house, which is a modular home, and it could be delivered 8 weeks after the order is put in and approximately one month after that the house itself could be ready for occupancy. If everything goes according to plan we hope that would be done by the first of December. I have a feeling that won’t be done by plan, but the pool itself will be a phase two which we will probably start in the spring. I am hopeful that we will be in by the first of the year and that is my plan at this point.


Chairman Harrington: What is your target date for demo of the existing home?


Thomas Nations: As soon as I get occupancy and move in, we will start the demolition of the home. I have no idea how long that will take because I have never done something like that before.


Chairman Harrington: You have to help us, how does May 1 sound? We want to put a time limit on it. I think that is where Mr. Antosiak is headed.


Thomas Nations: If there is a problem in terms of my getting occupancy?


Chairman Harrington: You can come back and see us.


Chairman Harrington inquired of Vice-Chairman Reinke: Would you like your motion to include the date of May 1?


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Sure, I have no problem with that.


Roll Call: Yeas (5) Nays (0) Motion Carried


Case No. 96-069 filed by Northwest Propane, representing Intelligent Controls


Northwest Propane, representing Intelligent Controls is requesting a variance to place on (1) 1900 gallon propane tank on the site located at 41000 Vincenti Ct.


Jim Tullis and Tom Spire were present and duly sworn.


Jim Tullis: What this is about is that Intelligent Controls is doing some testing for Ford Motor where they want to use high tech propane and they contacted us to supply a propane tank; which we did. What it requires is that we have to take a tank full truck down to the terminal and it is high speck gas. We have to purge that tank and utilize it only for this customer. It is not gas that we use for our home heating customer. So it is an isolated case where we are taking one of our regular delivery trucks and going over to the terminal and getting a full load of gas and taking it over to the customer site and unloading that gas. Therefore, we wanted to set a tank with 1990 gallons because that would take a whole load of gas. Otherwise we would have to bring the truck back to our plant and set it in storage until they needed gas again. This would probably be about a month’s time and we can’t afford to tie up one of our regular every day delivery trucks for a month. The State Code on propane tanks is 2000 gallons; at that point you have to apply for special request and that is why we picked the 1990 which is under that and does not require a permit from the State.


Tom Spire: We use this fuel to test fuel injections for future uses. We need the larger tank to keep the costs down.


Chairman Harrington indicated there was a total of 9 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was one written response received voicing approval. Copy in file.




There was no audience participation.




Building Department had no comment.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: You say in the request that this if for temporary testing of engines; is there a time frame that you are looking at for this testing?


Tom Spire: The customer has not set a time frame. They run a sequence of tests and then determine whether they need more testing or not. I think that 6 months would be sufficient to complete the testing.


Chairman Harrington inquired of Terry Morrone: Is this a scenario because of the propane that is being used is a hazardous chemical or the fire department might have input on this?


Terry Morrone: A permit would be required from the fire department.


Chairman Harrington: So even if we were to approve they would have to satisfy the fire department, relative to the health and safety issues.


Terry Morrone: That is correct.


Tom Spire: We have already contacted the fire department and it has been inspected , so that has already been done.


Moved by Chairman Harrington,


Seconded by Member Brennan,





Roll Call: Yeas (5) Nays (0) Motion Carried


Case No. 96-070 filed by Clinton Hackney


Clinton Hackney wishes to move a house into the City of Novi, for property located on Herman Street, Sidwell number 5022-02-332-012. By Resolution dated March 17, 1975 a Board of Appeal Hearing is mandatory.


Edith Hackney was present and duly sworn.


Edith Hackney: We need a bigger house with more rooms; extra bedrooms. The house has 2200 square feet. We have pictures of the home. We have enough land to move the house onto. There was some questions about the road behind us that was vacated. I have the plat that shows that it was vacated and I have a description of the land saying that it is vacated. (Pictures presented to the Board.)


Edith Hackney: If we get approved, we would be moving the house about the middle of September. That is, if everything goes OK.


Chairman Harrington indicated there was a total of 24 Notices sent to adjacent property owners with no written response received.




James Korte: If this house can fit relatively within the confines of the property; and I say that because in that area nothing fits. If it can fit with regards to the Ordinance not to similar or not to dis-similar; which makes no sense at our end of the world; then what is the difference in an old house, new house, pre-fab, pre-built or renovation if when they are done it looks like it belongs there then one should approve of the situation.




Terry Morrone: This is a case where this proposal came into the Building Department and the site plan shows the location to be in conformance with the Ordinance; meeting all of the required setbacks. The only reason why they are here is because we do have a resolution that requires Zoning Board of Appeals approval when we have a house being moved into the City. Our consulting engineers have looked at the home, as to my understanding, and it meets the similar to dis-similar ordinance, we have had inspections by our department that have determined that the house is in good conditions with a few minor things to be taken care of; but it is in relatively good condition. So, we would have no objection with the proposal.


Chairman Harrington: The house is coming from where?


Edith Hackney: It is in Commerce Township on Fourteen Mile Rd.


Chairman Harrington: How long of a move is that for you?


Edith Hackney: A mile or so.


Member Brennan: Just for my own sake, this resolution that we are referencing of March 17, 1975; is a resolution that said you cannot move a house into the City of Novi without granting a variance through the ZBA.


Chairman Harrington: I assume that to be true. I looked through the file for the actual resolution itself; I don’t see it. But I am assuming that is the governing statute.


Member Brennan: Assuming that no one has any objections and the Building Department has no objections .........


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Antosiak,





Roll Call: Yeas (5) Nays (0) Motion Carried


Member Antosiak: I would like to make one comment to the petitioner. Just so you know. Does the City require a permit to move a house into the City?


Terry Morrone: Yes.


Member Antosiak: All that we did tonight was to grant the right to do this. You may have to get a permit from the City, you may have to speak with the utility companies, the Novi Police Department, etc. to make the arrangements for the move. You will have to do that all on your own and I just wanted to make sure that you understood that.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I have an after the fact question for the Building Department. I am assuming that all the utilities, all building inspections, etc. will be done pretty much the same as building a new home in the City; am I correct on that?


Terry Morrone: Yes, being that the home is existing and the structure is already up there have been inspections on the structure to see if there is anything that needs to be repaired and it will be repaired. There will be inspections for all of the new work that takes place. Meaning, foundation, walls and concrete slabs and that type of thing. I have been working relatively close with Mr. and Mrs. Hackney on this move because it is difficult and complex with all of the different permits and weighmasters and the road problems, etc. I hope that it works best for them and we are trying to guide them through it.



Case No. 96-071 filed by Mark Tobias


Mark Tobias is requesting a vriance to place a fence in the required front yard setback area (corner lot) for property located at 24417 Kings Pointe Dr.


Mark Tobias was present and duly sworn.


Mark Tobias: I was here in July before this Board. At that time I had one neighbor who contested my fence being put up, that was the neighbor at 24525 Queens Pointe, because it was across the street from her. Since them I have talked to Bruce and Cindy and they have filed a letter to the Board stating approval. We have changed the material that we are going to be using to construct the fence. The first time it was going to be galvanized vinyl coated fencing and now it is going to be aluminum. (Pictures shown to the Board of the design.)


Mark Tobias: I also have obtained a letter from the Meadowbrook Glens Homeowners Association, with their approval on this. I have also conferred with my neighbor 24501 Queens Pointe, 24513, 24525, 24545 Queens Pointe - all the neighbors who are directly across the street from the house and next door. They have offered me their approval. I also have one of my neighbors here. This is the new evidence and there was only objection and I have satisfied all of her questions.


Mark Tobias: When we put the fence in, we would like to set it in from the sidewalk a little bit so that I can get the lawnmower and my sprinkler system to give me a little bit of a buffer zone to the sidewalk.


Chairman Harrington indicated there was a total of 54 Notices sent to adjacent homeowners. There were 4 written responses received. Three voicing approval and one voicing objection. Copies in file.


Mark Tobias: I am sorry to interrupt you, Duane is here today. I have had a chance to go by and to talk to him. He was under a misunderstanding on the variance front yard. We were confused on which was the front yard and the back yard.


Chairman Harrington: Your neighborly communication has resulted in 4 approvals and no objections?


Mark Tobias: Correct.




Duane Nowayto, 24513 Queens Pointe, which is directly west. I also have a letter from Bruce and Cindy. (copy presented to the Board.) They asked me to bring the letter because they went on vacation. I go along with Bruce and Cindy which is just what he said, that the aluminum fence seems reasonable. All I really cared about beside the type of fence, that it didn’t go into the front yard of the property. His side yard is also front yard because it is a corner. I agree with Bruce and Cindy.




Building Department had no comment.


Member Brennan inquired of Mark Tobias: Have you read this letter from Bruce and Cindy?


Mark Tobias: Yes, I have.


Member Brennan: Does their second comment relative to the placement of the fence........


Mark Tobias: Yes, we have discussed that too. We are going to move it in somewhat, so it won’t be directly .....

Member Brennan: Is that represented on this?


Mark Tobias: I don’t believe that I gave you a definite on how far he wants to go in. I really didn’t know. I talked to Mr. Saven on a couple of occasions and because there was new evidence to go with the same drawing then if I wanted to move it in to check with my neighbors. I have a sprinkler system there and I want to go inside of the sprinkler system approximately 2 to 3 feet so that I have room to get my lawn mower through there to take care of my lawn and to keep the dogs away from the sidewalk so they don’t scare somebody walking by.


Member Brennan: According to this, it looks like it is from the corner of the garage, across the driveway and then down the main driveway and then wrapping around Queens Pointe. Is that the representation? (Mark Tobias came forward to show the Board the plot plan and discussed it with them.)


Member Meyer: I am just a little bit confused. It appears that maybe in a way you have a front yard on Queens Pointe as well as a front yard on Kings Pointe?


Mark Tobias: Yes, that is because I am on a corner lot.


Member Meyer: It appears that the people on Kings Pointe have no problem. What about the people on Queens Points?


Mark Tobias: Those are the people who are at the meeting. All the people I questioned had no problems.


Member Meyer: The Queens Pointe people across the street, they are OK with this?


Mark Tobias: Yes.


Member Meyer: It looks like the fence will be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. So it is not just simply putting up a fence. It will add to the beauty of the property.


Moved by Member Meyer,


Seconded by Member Antosiak:





Discussion on motion:

Vice-Chairman Reinke: I would like to see a better definition of where the fence is going. Approximately 2 or 3 foot in from the sidewalk is a very vague definition.


Member Brennan: Perhaps I can get a little closer to what I was driving at. Did I hear you correctly in that the placement of the fence is to be 3 foot in from the driveway as well as 3 foot in from the sidewalk all the way around?


Mark Tobias: I was going to bring it in 3 foot in from the sidewalk all the way around, the driveway was going to be a little closer. I thought that the sidewalk was where everybody would be walking and it should have more of a buffer. Along my driveway, I didn’t fix a set amount of footage.


Member Brennan: So, if we are making this part of the record that the fence is going to be 3 foot inside of the sidewalk and some 2 to 3 foot inside of the driveway, does that define it?


Member Meyer: I would like to include that into my motion.


Member Antosiak: Seconded.


Terry Morrone inquired of Mark Tobias: I have a plan here that has a red line on it and it appears that the fence starts at the corner of the garage and goes down the driveway and then north along the front property line and then east and then around the back of the house, or does it circle the entire property?


Mark Tobias: No, it is just on that one side.


Terry Morrone: That is what this drawing depicts and I just wanted to get a clarification on it.


Roll Call: Yeas (5) Nays (0) Motion Carried


Chairman Harrington: Mr. Tobias, your variance request has been granted unanimously by the Board. Please see the Building Department for the necessary permits.


Chairman Harrington: I would like to make this additional comment for those persons in the audience as well as those who may be listening via the media. We as a Board think that it is really important if you have questions about variances to feel free when you get a Notice or hear about a variance request to give a call to the petitioner and find out what they really have in mind. A lot of times your questions can be answered and the anxiety of having to appear at a Meeting or send a letter back could be avoided. Many times neighbors are able to work out accommodations and we always look to the voice of those who are objecting and when they turn around a favor variance requests that does have an impact on us. Good luck to you.



Case No. 96-073 filed by Thomas VanOyen, representing Jeffrey Sobolewski


Thomas VanOyen, representing Jeffrey Sobolewski, is wishing to extend the variance that was granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals on November 7, 1995, Case No. 95-099. "No order of the Board permitting the erection of a building shall be valid for a period longer than ninety (90) days, unless a building permit for such erection or alteration is obtained within such period and such erection or alteration is started and proceeds to completion in accordance with the terms of such permit." A variance is needed for the extended length of time. (172 days). This property is located at 1099 South Lake Drive.


Thomas VanOyen was present and duly sworn.


Thomas VanOyen: The reason why the 1099 lot has expired is because Mr. Sobolewski and the builder at that time had a falling out. They couldn’t come to terms. He has hired me to continue on with the project. That is why we are asking for the variance again. We really haven’t changed anything at all. I have a couple of small pictures that I would like to show you.


Thomas VanOyen: The house is not really re-buildable. Everything on it is so far gone that it is going to be just a simpler case to take it down. Unfortunately it is a corner lot and so we are limited in our space a lot. The next few pictures you see are pictures of the house next door, down the street one right after the other. The neighborhood is being built quite rapidly.


Chairman Harrington: Why don’t we talk about the reason that you need 172 days and why you couldn’t get it done in 90. What is the problem? Why do you need the extension on the permit?


Thomas VanOyen: I don’t know where the 172 days came from.


Chairman Harrington: How much time do you need?


Thomas VanOyen: We could probably do it with the standard 90 days. We have to have new prints re-drawn. That may take time.


Chairman Harrington: Why? What is the problem? Why hasn’t it been done?


Thomas VanOyen: The previous builder seems to claim that these are his prints and he doesn’t want to give them. Therefore, we would have to start with a new set. That is going to take a small amount of time. I would say that if we could have just a small or a little bit more attention; maybe another month so that we could push it up to 120 days if it would be OK. It is a booming time and it is very difficult to find and schedule things around.


Chairman Harrington: Let’s assume that the clock starts clicking tonight. How much time?

Thomas VanOyen: 120 days would be fine from today.


Chairman Harrington indicated there was a total of 64 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was one written response received voicing approval. Copy in file.




James Korte: November 7th voting day. I don’t know how many of you remember? I think you understand that if we had been here, I presume that it would not have been passed on November 7th. I presume that it wouldn’t have happened; but presumptions are interesting.


James Korte: A comment that was made from this Board, that there was a gal here that said it would be an improvement. Is she here tonight? I said that you would never see her again, so I would like to say that I am right.


James Korte: In this situation and this is exactly the one that I brought to you several months ago and you said that you needed a name, so we are back and the City has finally did catch up with it.


James Korte: If this situation is to be an improvement to the area this house has been derelict all year. If you have driven by that grass is never cut. The front fence has been bashed in, it hasn’t been fixed and this is an improvement?


Chairman Harrington: Mr. Korte, hang on a minute and I don’t normally interrupt comments from the audience, but are you speaking in approval or objection to the petition?


James Korte: I am objecting for the same reasons; SES is not here and I will speak for Sarah Gray at this specific point. Parking. Now, sometimes you hear us hollering "parking" and we do have an ordinance that talks to off-street parking. That Ordinance has got to be looked into. Eubank is 30 and South Lake is impossible and we know that. Parking. Parking. Parking. The Beshears, which is interesting and is the only approval; we fought to get the best that we could get. We have to fight in this situation to get the best that we can get.


James Korte: Now I am back to Korte. Sarah Gray is gone.


Chairman Harrington: As long as you are back to Korte, can you speak to not the merits of the original petition which is not before us this evening but to the merits of the extension as requested.

James Korte: There is no reason for an extension. I say that because at this point in time, it is my belief and I could be wrong, I have been wrong on occasion, the property is for sale. There are no building permits. He can’t say what he is going to build, that would be dependent on who buys it. There has never been a "spec" home built on lake frontage, South Lake or East Lake. I can’t speak of West Lake because I don’t know. To allow this is wrong. Are we going to let it go again and have no one buy the property and ask for another extension. The original talked of removing the original foundation that has to be removed because of the dilapidated condition. But to use the same foot print is wrong. I don’t understand what the hardship is. If the hardship is extended the thought that maybe I could sell it and make money - that is not a hardship. I have said to you so many times before, we want the best for the north end. He can’t show you blue prints today of what that best is going to be. Is it going to be a 2 bedroom? Is it going to be a 6 bedroom? Is it going to be a 3 car garage? Is it going to be a 2 car garage? Is it going to be no garage? What is the hardship?


James Korte: To extend, in my belief, is wrong. What we have to look into first and foremost is where the parking is going to be. I think that when and if this property does sell to someone that is going to be actually in a living situation; then we can know the problems that possibly they themselves as family, as a single, as a whatever would have. There is no hardship! Just and extension.


Chairman Harrington: Mr. Korte, while you were speaking the gentleman held up a packet which I assume to be plans on the proposed homes.


Thomas VanOyen: Just one of many. We haven’t decided yet.


Chairman Harrington inquired of Mr. Korte: Would you like to have the opportunity as long as you are here and he is here to what the gentleman has that apparently he is going to present to us and come back in a couple of minutes and tell us if that has affected your opinion?


James Korte: Without being rude, it would be a waste of your time and this gentleman’s time. If he has a list of many; which of the many is he presenting this evening.




Terry Morrone: We would recommend denial. Due to inadequate parking. The house is up for sale, we don’t have a property owner here who is presenting the case himself. I think that with the congestion in that area and being the lake area with a lot of recreational vehicles and toys, etc., there needs to be a little bit more parking. The plan shows 14 feet from the edge of the garage to the right of way, adequate parking would be at least 20 feet. That is a normal parking stall of 20 foot. I think that they could do something better to provide adequate vehicles for at least the vehicles getting off of the road right of way.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I echo and totally agree with Mr. Morrone’s comments; I was against this variance request from the beginning and I am doubly against it now because there is really nothing presented. This is going on speculation to put the thing on the market. I think that it is wrong to extend that situation into that because it is creating a situation that is really wrong.


Thomas VanOyen: I don’t understand what is wrong. You are asking something.....

You feel that someone off of the street can come up and design a house that would make more parking area?


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Definitely.


Thomas VanOyen: Then I will work on the parking area, on the structure or on the lot. I only have 35 feet, it is not very much room. The lot is very close to the other street. The neighbor next door has the same situation. His house is very, very close to the street and he would also be a problem with the parking.


Member Brennan: I think that we are totally off base here. This has already been granted.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: It is voided. It has expired.


Member Brennan: He is asking for an extension of the variance. He is not here to debate whether the house is the right size or there is enough parking; he is here requesting an extension of the variance that has already been granted. We are not here to debate the size of the house or parking or any other issue. What is before us tonight is whether we grant an extension of the variance that was already given.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Can the petitioner guarantee that the house that was presented for the original variance will be built? The house that was presented on the original variance request, will that house be built?


Thomas VanOyen: Yes, it will be built to that foot print.


Member Brennan: To that foot print. That is what we approved back in November.


Thomas VanOyen: Yes, that is our guideline.


Member Brennan: What is your capacity? Are you the builder?


Thomas VanOyen: Yes, I am.


Member Brennan: You have been hired by Mr. Sobolewski to mop this thing up because the other builder and the relationship tumbled.


Thomas VanOyen: Yes.


Member Brennan: So your intention is to build a building on the same foot print that we approved in November?


Thomas VanOyen: Yes.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Is the lot for sale right now?


Thomas VanOyen: Yes, it is. The house is going up as a "spec".


Vice-Chairman Reinke: That is strictly speculation....


Thomas VanOyen: If you wouldn’t mind, if you would look at those pictures that I showed you just down the street. There is really no parking area on any of those homes. I don’t really see the difference. They are only 10 feet apart. If you look at pictures 4, 5 and 6 .......


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Do these places have a garage in the back lot? The houses that you are making reference to; do they have garages in the back lot?


Thomas VanOyen: Yes, they do. They are only 30 foot wide lots or 40 foot.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I understand that, do they have cars that when they come out of the garage that are touching the street?


Thomas VanOyen: No they don’t, they go to the back.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: My point on this one doesn’t change. I was against this before and I am still against it. That is my point of view.


Chairman Harrington: Is there a difference in the parking configuration with respect to the plan or the proposal that you have this evening that is any different than it was when we approved this matter in November?


Thomas VanOyen: I have only one suggestion for the parking area. Off the top of my head,....


Chairman Harrington: I am impressed by Mr. Brennan’s comments. This is not a motion for a re-hearing, this is not an appeal of our original decision, this is simply a request for an extension of the approval that we granted at that time. I don’t have a recollection and I am sure that the minutes would tell us but I don’t have a recollection of an objection from the Building Department but maybe they did, I don’t remember that. But, to the extent that Mr. Reinke is concerned with parking which is a legitimate concern in the north end, a very serious problem up there. Is there any difference between what you are asking for tonight and the proposal which included presumably parking that we approved in November.

Thomas VanOyen: There is no difference on the foot print of the house at all and there is no difference in the lot sizes, so it must be the same.


Chairman Harrington: Were you going to make a suggestion off of the top of your head?


Thomas VanOyen: That house does have a garage area and as you point out there is an area of parking by the garage area. There could also be a stall at the very front of the house for guests for parking. You could give it a nautical looks with ropes and tied off with large pillars around it and then you could have a beautiful little entrance way with a parking area right in front of the house.


Member Brennan: The front of the house on Eubank or South Lake?


Thomas VanOyen: It would actually be 1099 South Lake, so it would be off of the South Lake side but in between the house and the street. I would like to point this out to you.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: With the lot depth and everything there it is a similar situation to a house just on the opposite side or the next block where we had the petitioner rotate the garage and have a back entrance to the garage which took it away from going out on the side street. The lot is deep enough to offer that configuration. It is going to be a 2 story home, correct?


Thomas VanOyen: Yes.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: That would offer them the choice to build over the garage, still have the square footage and get the cars off of the street.


Member Brennan: I have another thought and perhaps it is something to just spit around and chew on here; but maybe there is an opportunity here for putting this off another month to give the petitioner a chance to meet with SES to specifically address concerns regarding parking. The petitioner has presented some new ideas tonight which I think might alleviate some of the concerns and perhaps this is the remedy that we can suggest to satisfy the community and still protect the interest of the property owner.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Sir, do you have any interest in moving your case for a month. As I indicated at the beginning of the Meeting we do have a "Short Board" and that would give you, and assuming that we have a full Board in September, it is my understanding that as of today we have a fairly light docket at least at this point. Would you like to have the opportunity to go a little further than thinking off the top of your head and perhaps putting something down on paper and then meeting with SES or LARA or Mr. Korte or whoever is interested in this situation to see if there could be more of a consenus presented.


Thomas VanOyen: I would like to and well of course I always want to work with people on these things...


Chairman Harrington: We will be happy to vote.


Thomas VanOyen: I just see everybody elses lot the same and there again you did have a good idea to stick the garage entrance on the back of the lot. This is a full month away?


Chairman Harrington: It is only 3 weeks, it is the first Tuesday in September.


Thomas VanOyen: I think that what we could do is that I will meet with Mr. Korte.


Chairman Harrington: Would you like us to place you on the September docket?


Thomas VanOyen: Yes, why don’t you do that and I will try to work with everybody so that things will run smoothly.


Chairman Harrington: Move to table by acclaimation. All in favor. All yeas. Case tabled to the September 3, 1996 Meeting.



Case No. 96-074 filed by Ann Paul


Ann Paul is requesting a 14 foot front yard setback variance to allow for the construction of a deck at 1310 East Lake Rd. (corner lot).


Ann Paul was present and duly sworn.


Ann Paul: I am here to request a variance so that we can build a 24 x 10 foot deck on the front of our home. When we applied for the permit, we were not aware that they considered us a corner lot becuase of the little dirt street there. The house is presently 12 feet off of that street. We are requesting the variance. The deck will not be any wider than the house and the house is already there. The 10 foot that we are coming out is towards East Lake Drive and not towards Newport.


Chairman Reinke: From your drawing you are going to be approximately 60 feet off of East Lake and the right away, correct?


Ann Paul: That is right.


Chairman Harrington indicated there was a total of 38 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was one written response received voicing approval. Copy in file.



There was no audience participation.




Terry Morrone: We have no objection.


Member Antosiak: Corner lots are usually a problem and I think this about the fourth one tonight.

Vice-Chairman Reinke: The other thing is that Newcourt is not a through street. It goes back and it is really an access street back into the area there. There is little or no traffic that goes down through there. It is not projecting any further into the setback than the home that currently exists there. My main point is that it is almost 60 feet away from East Lake Drive and that is my big concern.


Moved by Vice-Chairman Reinke,


Seconded by Member Antosiak,





Roll Call: Yeas (5) Nays (0) Motion Carried


Case no. 96-065 filed by Beacon Sign Company, representing Extended Stay America


Beacon Sign Company, representing Extended Stay America, is requesting a vriance to allow a wall sign 9'3" x 4'3 1/2" (39.5 sq. ft.) with the verbiage "EXTENDED STAY AMERICA", to be placed at 21555 Haggerty Road.


Terrnace Aulch was present and duly sworn.


Terrance Aulch: We are asking to be able to label the Extended Stay building with it’s corporate name Extended Stay America. The sign meets the guide lines of Section 28-6 number 2B of the Novi Sign Code. The sign is relatively small compared to the building frontage. It should pose no aesthetic problem. It should not be a problem as far as aesthetically pleasing or against the ordinance by the City of Novi.


Chairman Harrington indicated there was a total of 3 Notices sent to adjacent property owners with no written response received.



There was no audience participation.




Alan Amolsch had no comment.


Member Brennan: I had 3 notes listed on here. I am familiar with that stretch of Haggerty; that is the rise where you are elevating at a pretty steep angle while also bearing to the left at about 45 or 50 miles an hour. It is dangerous. If the petitioner has portrayed the requirement of having the sign for visual identity I would tend to agree with the need. That is a nasty piece of highway right there. It may be in the best interst of the community to have better identity.


Vice-Chairman Reinke inquired of Alan Amolsch: There is an existing pylon sign there now, is that correct?


Alan Amolsch: No, all that is there right now is the construction sign. They have received a permit for a conforming ground mounted sign which meets the City’s code, but it is not there yet.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I really have trouble without seeing what they are going to put up in existance and going ahead granting a second sign right away.


Chairman Harrington: I agree with Mr. Reinke.


Member Antoisak: I do to, because the petitioner in their request says it is difficult to see the monument sign, why have it?.


Chairman Harrington: The question is why do we need the monument sign?


Member Antosiak inquired of Alan Amolsch: Am I right, they are allowed one or the other?


Alan Amolsch: Yes, that is correct. They have already received their permit for the ground sign.


Terrance Aulch: The monument sign is extremely small. It is only 5 foot in overall height. With the wall sign on the building it would be more visable even from the road than the monument sign itself.

Member Antosiak: That is exactly my point. If the monument sign isn’t visible then why do you need it?


Terrance Aulch: At different angles the monument sign is more visible than the wall sign. If you are travelling south on Haggerty Road you would be able to see the monument sign before you would see the wall sign. If you are travelling north on Haggerty Road you would first see the wall sign.

Vice-Chairman Reinke: Without seeing the pylon or the ground sign there, and to really see somthing to show that there is a hardship; I really don’t see any hardship demonstrated.


Chairman Harrington: The monument sign is ordered but not put in yet?


Terrance Aulch: That is exactly right. The monument in the location at this time.


Chairman Harrington: Here is the problem that I have and I think that I may be echoing Mr. Reinke, one of the things that we try to do if humanly possible is to go out and physically observe the signs because the reaction of the Board Member is critical in terms of their opinion. You are asking us to speculate that the sign that you have already ordered and are putting in is inadequate on it’s face and it is not even there yet and you are immediately going for a second sign which I don’t feel comfortable with. While we may have done that previously, I can’t remember ever approving a second sign conditioned on the fact that the first sign isn’t adequate before it is even in. My feeling is and this is just speaking for myself and not the rest of the Board, my feeling is that I would take a look at the wall sign in the future; but I am not prepared to approve that right now when we don’t even have a monument sign in the ground right now.


Member Brennan: Being that I spoke first, I will not necessarily retract but it wasn’t pointed out that the monument sign is not there now. I was under the impression that it was already there. I still believe though that if you are familiar with that stretch that is a high speed, curve on Haggerty and that particular corner on that curve of Haggerty if you are heading north and the site does sit back from the road. But I would concur with the rest of the Board to let time tell.


Member Antosiak: I do believe, Mr. Harrington, in the past that we have asked some property owners that they would erect a mock up so that we could go and take a look at it.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: When do you expect to have the monument sign up?


Terry Aulch: The proposed date is at the end of this month, the end of August for Extended Stay. I do not have for sure date at this time as to when the monument sign will be installed. As far as mock up, we should be able to comply but we would have to have Extended Stay’s approval to do that.


Chairman Harrington: My sense is that you are sign is not going to be approved this evening. Would you like us to table this until the September Meeting or perhaps the October Meeting which will give you the opportunity to get the ground sign in the ground?


Terry Aulch: I would like to go for the September.


Member Antosiak: That is fine as long as the petitioner understands it is the 3rd of September.

Chairman Harrington: That will be in 3 weeks.


Terry Aulch: That will be upon us quite quickly, maybe I will take the October.


Chairman Harrington by acclaimation to table to the October Meeting. All in favor? All yeas.


Case tabled to the October 1, 1996 Meeting.


Case No. 96-067 filed by The Futon Place


The Futon Place is requesting a variance to allow the sign to remain on the east building elevation on the southeast corner for property located at 43448 West Oaks Drive. The sign ws not placed within the lineal frontage of the business.


Roger Burkduct was present and duly sworn.


Roger Burkduct: When we leased this property, part of the lease that we had changed was to allow us to put this sign on the side of Toys R Us. We got permission from Toys R Us, the landlord did, which is in West Oaks II and then they revised our lease so that would be a part of it. The sign company that we used, which was Radiant Sign, brought drawings, had a permit from the City and they erected the sign. Our spot that we have in the plaza, we are in an extreme corner where that is so important for us where we made that us a stipulation for us to rent that space. We want to make sure that we could put our sign on the side of Toys R Us as compared to the front of the building, becuase it would not be able to be seen from anywhere unless you were right in front of our building, which makes a big difference to business. We got everybody’s approval with one slight snag. We have met every requirement that we could in order to do it in the beginning. That is my case here tonight.


Chairman Harrington indicated there was a total of 30 Notices sent to adjacent property owners, with no written response received.




There was no audience participation.




Alan Almosch: For the benefit of the Board, the sign permit was issued under the stipulation that it would be contained within the lineal frontage. The sign company put it on this wall thinking that it would be a better location. Sometimes businesses have lineal frontage that go into the corner and it would be possible, but in this case they don’t have any frontage where this wall is. It is one of the canopy walls in the shopping center. That is what the problem is here.

Member Brennan: Are we only dealing with one sign?


Roger Burkduct: Correct and only 6 letters.


Member Brennan: Then it is the matter of location and your preference being where it is at versus what we interpret as being the front of the building.


Roger Burkduct: Correct.


Chairman Harrington: Your hardship being the configuration of the building presents visibility problems and this is a clearly superior location? Correct?


Roger Burkduct: The plaza that we are in is a great location. The corner of the plaza that we are in is so far hidden that it was a major determining factor of us even leasing this building.


Chairman Harrington: I take that as a yes.


Roger Burkduct: Yes.


Member Brennan: I tend to have some sympathy with the petitioner’s request. We are only dealing with one sign. It is his impresstion that the lcoation better fits the sign.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Antosiak,





Discussion on motion:


Alan Amolsch: Is it the Board’s pleasure that this be limited to this petitioner only, or to any future petioners at that location?




Roll Call: Yeas (4) Nays (1) Reinke Motion Carried


Case No. 96-072 filed by The Maples of Novi


The Maples of Nvi is requesting a variance to allow the continued placement of a construction identification sign 6' x 6' (36 sq. ft.) to be located at the corner of fourteen Mile and Decker Roads. Refer to ZBA Case No. 95-064.


Alan Shapiro was present and duly sworn.


Alan Shapiro: We would just like to continue the variance that we were granted last year. It has expired. It is essential for the completion of the subdivision to have the sign there to direct people in. We have approximately 25 to 28 units to go and then we will be completed. That will probably take about one year.


Chairman Harrington indicated there was a total of 3 Notices sent to adjacent property owners with no written response received.




There was no audience participation.




Alan Amolsch had no comment.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Are you saying that you will not need any additional extensions?


Alan Shapiro: Right now I would say no, but if we would hit a recession, yes.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I would say that you are going to have trouble getting another extension.


Alan Shapiro: If you give us this one we won’t ask for another one.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Well, we haven’t got through this one yet, so I shouldn’t be speaking.


Member Brennan: Twenty-five lots left of how many total?


Alan Shapiro: About 800.


Member Brennan: Then you are nearly done.


Alan Shapiro: We are nearly done, but we are "specing" everything out. So once everything gets up we probably won’t need the sign any way. The sales office is within the subdivision, so it is hard for people to get to know that there are units for sale. You can’t see anything off of Fourteen Mile and very little off of Decker.

Chairman Harrington inquired of Vice-Chairman Reinke: Would your qualified support for an extension extend to get this gentleman through the building season next summer rather than cutting it off in July? Could you go with October 1?


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Yes, I could go with that, but that would be the last time.


Chairman Harrington: I feel likewise. I think that we are pushing the outer edge of the envelope to give this gentleman any time beyond October of 1997.


Member Antosiak: Well I was on the fence, but Mr. Brennan’s question pushed me over to the other side. He sold 96 to 97 percent of the units in this complex an had a variance on the sales sign and I really question the hardship.


Chairman Harrington: My sense is and I likewise thought that Mr. Brennan’s question was pertinent but it supported my position because the sooner we get these 25 lots sold, the sign obviously is going to come down. Correct?


Alan Shapiro: Correct, as soon as we are sold.


Chairman Harrington: The date of that last sale that sign is coming down. I think that the sign may be a factor and obviosly there may be some correlation. It has been up there a year alreay and they have most of it sold. There is 90% sold.


Alan Amolsch: This is the second sign variance. This is the first variance request on this sign. There was a sign there for some years and the Board had it under their jurisdiction for about 5 or 6 years at the same corner. This is only the first year for this one.


Member Meyer: What I don’t understand is that it seems that you are almost done with this project, and so why would you still need a sign for people to identify the location.


Alan Shapiro: The sales models are within th subdivsion. There is no exposure from Fourteen Mile or Decker Road for anybody to know that something is for sale.


Member Meyer: I am thinking that if you have 775 units already completed it would seem to me that maybe you would have a permanent kind of identificaiton sign rather than a temporary sign.


Alan Shapiro: There are permanent signs that just say Maples of Novi; but those are entrance signs into the sub from 2 streets off of Fourteen Mile Rd.


Member Meyer: And that would not be good enough for people to identify?


Alan Shapiro: No, since we put the sign up last year; I guess they have sold 40 or 50 units. I have only been with the company for a month so I am not real sure of myself.


Member Meyer: I am relatively new here myself so I am just trying to get the picture, so I appreciate your comments.


Alan Shapiro: I think that if the signs stays, we will be out quicker.


Member Brennan: I would like to make a comment and then a motion. Again, to be consistent and fair I think that we have represented some history in new construction and new subdivison signage, and with that I would propose....


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Vice-Chairman Reinke,





Discussion on motion:


Chairman Harrington: Would you incorporate in your motion that when the last lot is sold, the sign is removed should that preceed the October, 1997 date.


Member Brennan: So amended.


Roll call: Yeas (4) Nays (1) Antosiak Motion Carried




Case No. 96-021


Continuation of case filed by Glenda’s Market requesting an extension of the variance that was granted on April 4, 1995 to allow Glenda’s Market to do business as it is currently situated. This variance expired on December 31, 1995. This case has bee tabled to the August 13, Meeting allowing Gelenda’s to continue to do business.



Case No. 96-064


Donald Samhat, representing Glenda’s Market, is requesting variances to allow the expansion and relocation of a nonconforming building and use on site at 40799 Grand River Avenue. The present use of about two thirds of subject site for building and seasonal outdoor storage and display is a nonconforming use. Outdoor storage is not permitted in an NCC District.


Donald Samhat was present.


Donald Samhat: As you know I have been before this Board many times in regard to Glenda’s Market. Tonight I can say that I am glad to be here. The reason being that we are on that final stage to bring this to a completion.


Donald Samhat: A number of years ago this all started before the ZBA with regards to the existing structure. Some variances were asked for and granted at that time with the understanding that something was going to happen in the future and that something discussed at that meeting was basically two things.


Donald Samhat: Number one, the existing structure is ultimately going to be removed and a new building to be constructed on this site to house Glenda’s Market. Secondly Glenda’s Market had indicated that they were trying to acquire additional property in order to develop the site to meet all of their needs as well as to devise an overall site that would conform to public safety concerns.


Donald Samhat: To that extent these two things have now happened. Number one, they have acquired that additional land which was to the east of their property and is referred to as lot number 1 of the Lesley Park Subdivision. I point that out because it is probably one of the reasons for our variance and I will point that out in the drawing in a moment. The second issue that has happened here is that they have proceeded with regards to developing the site plan that is in conformity with all of the Zoning Ordinances except for the 2 that we are asking for the variances tonight. These 2 variances are needed regardless of how we build this building, what size we build this building, no matter what we do if we are to develop a better looking Glenda’s Market at this location. In other words if we are to continue to operate as Glenda’s Market at this location we need these variances because there is no more massaging, fine tuning, or tweaking in order to develop this site. To that extent I think that is evidenced by the fact that the Planning Commission on July 17 did issue a final site plan approval contingent upon these 2 variances being granted.


Donald Samhat: A little bit of a history now. This site for over 30 years has been used for plant materials, nursery stock, sales of produce and for approximately the last 15 years these petitioners have owned this location and have been operating out of this location in the same exact use. In 1985 it was rezoned to a NCC District, which made their current use a nonconforming but permitted use because they were already operating before the zoning change had taken place. Because we are asking to number 1) to relocate the building, and 2) because we bought the additional property; we need these variances.


Donald Samhat: In looking at the overall site I wanted to address if you have available to you the June 21, 1996 letter of Brandon Rogers which I think summarizes it very nicely. It lists them as number 1 and number 2 on his first page and then he identifies the variances on the second page. On number 1) he indicates, relocate and expand building from approximately 2757 square feet to 9840 square feet. In that explanation that necessitates the first variance which is referred to as expansion and relocation of a nonconforming building use on the existing site. I will now refer to the site plan which has been approved to acclimate you to the overall site. (Site Plan shown to Board Members).

Donald Samhat: This is Grand River right here. You will notice another drive begin here. This is something that the Planning Commission has asked to be implemented as basically almost a service road in the NCC District. This is the site that constitutes Glenda’s Market. They did at one time and as of today’s date occupy this property here under a lease agreement, they are not owners of that property; if this site plan is approved and it has been approved and the variances are granted, we will move everything off of the adjoining property and it will all be on their site. The Lesley lot number 1 is essentially this section here which they did not own and only acquired within the last few years as they were going through this process of development of the site. To that extent, here is there existing building that was referred to in Brandon Rogers letter as approximately 2757 square feet and the new structure is this brown building right here with the green houses being in the blue with the checks on the site plan; this constitutes a little less than 10,000 square feet. In an NCC District which this is zoned; the size of the building is not in question. 10,000 square feet is permitted. I would point out that 10,000 square feet in a NCC District whether you have a one acre parcel of a five acre parcel; our parcel is a little over 5 acres here. So it is somewhat unique in an NCC District. The size of the structure itself is restricted with no type of a formula or ratio for overall land size. But none the less, we are in conformity as far as the size of the structure. The need from the variance arises because we are number 1) physically locating by removing the existing structure and building the structure over here. It is a relocation of the structure that necessitates the first variance here. If we were not doing a nursery, produce type of business that we are proposing we would not be before you and we would not need a variance to do anything with regards to the size of the structure or the location of the structure or anything else. But it is merely the type of our business and to operate at the location, which they have for a number of years, that we need this variance. The other ancillary issue is the increase ins size from the 2700 square feet to a little less than 10,000 square feet. Again, the 10,000 is within the parameters of the NCC District. The other reason for the variance that is cited in Brandon Rogers letter of June 21 is to utilize property for some of the new building and parking lot on land not heretofore used for the market. He is referring to this Lesley Park lot. Because we are now going onto the site, although there may be a little bit of a debate because we have always rented this Joseph property for some storage of nursery materials there, even prior to the NCC District being changed, by lease arrangement but because we did not own it or acquire it and are having a building located there that we need this variance.


Donald Samhat: I would indicate that actually there is no part or use that we would consider nonconforming, that being the outdoor storage of nursery stock which is right here and again this is only seasonal outdoor storage as we are currently using it on the site at this point in time.


Donald Samhat: A couple of things with regards to the Lesley Park lot that I think supports the need for granting of this variance and the hardship here. Lesley Park Subdivision as you know goes back up Joseph Street. This lot here is unique because there are subdivision restrictions as applied to all of Lesley Park Subdivision but on this particular lot there is a subdivision restriction that says this site can only be developed for multiple dwelling. In other words a parking complex could be built here and it would conform with the NCC District Zoning, however the Joseph Street residents basically do not want that developed into an apartment complex. In fact, they are very supportive of us; they have watched and monitored this throughout as far as our development here and we have been told that we will be granted a restriction amendment allowing Glenda’s Market and Glenda’s Market alone to develop under this site plan because they want to make sure that the final site and ZBA are locked into this before they would sign this restriction remove only allowing it to be used for what we are proposing here. I think that is one of the reasons why this variance should be granted.


Donald Samhat: A couple of other reasons go to the issue that one of the problems that we have always encountered is this structure right here that we obtained variances. Under this site plan this structure will be totally removed; all variances regarding this structure will then be eliminated and now we are dealing with a much cleaner and enhanced overall site here.


Donald Samhat: The other issue as far as the reason for this variance; no matter how we locate this and no matter where we put this, we were going to come before you for a variance in order to develop this site as a Glenda’s Market business. That was the situation and circumstances when we first started coming before you 4 years ago.


Donald Samhat: Today we do have a final approved site plan that is workable. We have gone back to the Planning Commission a number of times, we have reduced the overall size of this structure, thereby eliminating one of the variances that we would have been requesting tonight. We have also added a tremendous amount more of landscaping in order to shield it, as noted by the green here.


Donald Samhat: For those reasons I think that the variances are in order. Granting the variances I think that there is going to be 3 strong and compelling issues here as far as the granting. 1) you would be telling a long term, on-going business that you want to keep them in the community and I think that is a compelling reason since they have been here for a long period of time and this use has been going on for a long period of time. 2) you would also be satisfying a need of the community with this type of a business because there is not a great deal of businesses in Novi that serve this type of purpose and function. 3) this is going to be a vast improvement over what is currently there at this site. It is going to enhance the overall look and appearance of this overall site and thereby also helping to develop the Grand River Corridor.


Donald Samhat: Under that extent I think that this variance would be an appropriate step forward in the overall development of this site. It seems to be the indication from every consultant throughout the City, they have all approved this site. There have been no additional recommendations or suggestions on how this site can be improved better than what we have proposed here. It has been fine tuned with each of them. Brandon Rogers has indicated in his letter to the Planning Commission that he would approve this final site plan contingent upon these 2 variances being granted. The Planning Commission has also seen fit to grant this site development as proposed now and after many times going before them and working it out. For those reasons I would ask that the ZBA grant the variances.


Donald Samhat: Here is a couple of other drawings here. This is the frontal view and this is the front green house that we are talking about. (Drawings shown of the site.)


Chairman Harrington indicated there was a total of 22 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was three written responses received. One voicing approval, one objection and one concern. Copies in file. (this was for both cases)




There was no audience participation.




Terry Morrone: We have no objection to the request. We would also like to remind the petitioner that should the variance be granted building permits would have to be pulled within the 30 days from the final site plan approval date.


Member Antosiak: The area where the existing building now is, that you say will be demolished, what is going to be in that area?


Donald Samhat: Actually nothing. There will be nothing in that area.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: That will be like what the material is to the west of that now, it will be moved in there.


Donald Samhat: We won’t even store material there, we are going to keep it all towards the back portion of the site and conceal as much as possible and that is why we have done the additional landscaping all around it so it is not visible. There is a home that is existing, that home will remain. The other question was involving and I think that one of the letters talked in terms of the traffic concerns and there concern obviously was that now there is basically no drive. Everyone that pulls out literally goes from to here fronting along Grand River; that has all been eliminated now with the setback. There will be one exit way to Grand River.


Member Antosiak: When you say seasonal storage of materials outside, what time frame roughly are you talking about?


Donald Samhat: Basically, they start or open at Easter. The biggest portion of their season sales are from Easter and it pretty much wraps up by June although there are still some outside storage at that point in time, it becomes non-existent as it winds down into the late summer and fall. As you know basically by December in the past they have closed. The outdoor storage in December has only been Christmas trees and things of that nature. Pumpkins in the fall. Very minimal compared to the other times of the year. Nothing exists there from the end of December to the beginning of Easter.


Chairman Harrington: My comment is that over the many, many months that these matters have been before us; I initially had and continued to have a substantial concern over what would appear to be a significant and material expansion of a non-conforming use. I have deep philosophical problems with that. Those concerns, I believe, have been addressed by this plan which is a substantial modification of what I originally understood about the site. The proposal as presented this evening looks workable and looks like a fine job.


Member Brennan: Not having all of the history but only a year and a half or maybe two years; you are still looking at these 2 variance requests.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Actually there is 3. We have to give them a variance to continue to operate.


Member Brennan: I guess my sentiment though given that this has been on-going for a number of years; the petitioner has spent a lot of time and money to satisfy a lot of different departments within the City of Novi and it appears that we are at the point where everyone has been satisfied and this should wrap up this piece of business. I could support the petitioner’s request.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I think that we are at the point where we wanted to be and it has been a long hard road for everybody to get here. I think the site plan and the layout they have done a tremendous job. I think that we are at a point where we can wrap this up and get it under way to get everything finalized.


Moved by Vice-Chairman Reinke,


Seconded by Member Brennan,





Discussion on motion:


Member Antosiak: I would suggest that the motion be amended to include the comment of Mr. Morrone that the petitioners will still have to seek all of the necessary permits for construction on this site as well as the fact that the variance is being granted based on the site plans that were presented to us this evening, which we believe are a fair representation of the final site plan that was received by the Planning Commission.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I have no problem with that.


Chairman Harrington: Mr. Reinke, do you intend your motion to be applicable to this petitioner only?


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Correct.


Chairman Harrington: So amended and seconded, I presume.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Yes.


Member Brennan: Yes.


Roll Call: Yeas (5) Nays (0) Motion Carried


Chairman Harrington: We have another variance before us which would be allowing them to continue in business.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: How long do we need to make this for?


Donald Samhat: I would suggest and I need some time parameters also, obviously they are not going issue even a temporary "C of O", unless we remove the structure. (tape inaudible) ...................If I was to proceed and try to give you a timetable, I would like to say that we would obtain a final "C of O" when we tear down the structure but that would have to be done before they give a final "C of O". As far as the timetable goes, I would indicate that they typically do business until the end of December; they then close until Easter. If all things stay to the timetable here, by the time Easter is opening we hope we are not opening in this structure but this structure here. So as we see it today, we would only need it through the end of this year.


Chairman Harrington: Then your answer is December 31.


Donald Samhat: I guess my definitive answer "yes", my other answer would be for a "C of O" or at that time. Whatever the Board would choose, I just wanted to make you aware of our timetable.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I like December 31st.


Moved by Vice-Chairman Reinke,


Seconded by Member Brennan,





Roll Call: Yeas (5) Nays (0) Motion Carried




Member Antosiak: I have 2 areas of comment. Mr. Amolsch made a request about limiting a sign variance to a particular petitioner. I thought that was an excellent suggestion. I would suggest to the other Board Members that they consider making that statement with every sign variance request and occasionally as we see with the Glenda’s and other types of use variances. Very frequently the basis for my decision is a use or a sign that has been placed before us at a particular time and it perturbs me to have a new petitioner show up 5 or 6 years after a variance has been granted with a totally different type of business or a different type of request and want to use the same. I was planning on saying something and Mr. Amolsch beat me to it.


Alan Amolsch: One of the reasons that I say that is because there is a provision in the sign ordinance that once the Board of Appeals approved a wall sign, it is forever and as long as the next person down the line uses the same sign area that was approved by the Board, they no longer need a variance. I think that I supplied the Board with that opinion letter some time ago from the City Attorney’s office. It is written in the ordinance that once you approve a wall sign it is approved forever unless you limit it to one person or petitioner.


Member Antosiak: I would encourage other Board Members to think about that when they make a motion to approve a sign variance.


Member Antosiak: The second area deals with a decision within the last month by the Michigan Supreme Court, Paragon versus Novi, a decision upholding a Michigan Court of Appeals which upheld Novi in that case. Holding that before a person could file suit against the City they had to seek a variance with the ZBA. That is a gross simplification of the case. We have copies this evening. The reason that I raise it is that 3, 4 or 5 months ago we suggested that perhaps regular meetings or discussions with the City Attorney be set up between the City Attorney and the ZBA to discuss zoning law cases involving upholding or denying ZBA decisions. Since this is a case that involves the City of Novi, we have seen Paragon twice outside of this law suit, and it raises the specter that our work load may be increasing as a result. This may be an opportunity to have the City Attorney meet with us to discuss issues because I would like to hear at least our attorney’s opinion as to what that case means for us as the ZBA as well as what the process is going to work in Novi. I just throw that out as a suggestion. Not making a motion of any type.


Chairman Harrington: I think that it is an excellent idea. It is one that we had reached a consensus on before. I think an appropriate vehicle for dealing with that so that it is in the record would be to make a motion. I think that the City Attorney should communicate to the Board either in person or in writing when material cases affecting zoning issues here at the City of Novi come from the Court of Appeals, or the Supreme Court or even the Circuit Court, be that as it may. As well as other cases that we need to know about so that we can implement those principles in our decisions. I do not on the other hand think that the City Attorney should be put to having to report to us every month. I think it is an issue of discretion. But, I think that we should make the request in the form of a motion and I would be prepared to make such a motion.


Moved by Chairman Harrington,


Seconded by Member Antosiak,





Roll Call: Yeas (5) Nays (0) Motion Carried


Chairman Harrington: I think in order to implement this I would request that this section of the minutes be excerpted and forwarded to Mr. Watson or Mr. Fried’s office as appropriate, as well as perhaps copied to City Council so they are aware of the kind of help that we are asking for here.


Member Brennan: Is it improper to talk about the Paragon case specifically at this point? I have a general question. I thought that I read in the paper that it is coming back to ZBA, but I thought that we had already heard that case and denied that special use.


Member Antosiak: The impression in the paper was that it was coming back here, but Paragon did come back here following the Court of Appeals decision and also went to City Council to request rezoning. The property was rezoned, not to the use that they requested and they came back to us a second time. As I recollect, we denied the variance request.


Member Brennan: As I recall they were looking for special land use.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: They were looking for a use variance, if I remember correctly.


Member Antosiak: As I recall, the property was zoned RA or R1 and they requested that it be rezoned to RM for, I believe, mobile home usage. They were turned down and that is when they filed the suit against the City. They won at Trial Court and lost at the Court of Appeals and at that point they came back to us to request a variance and at the same time they were requesting the zoning with the City. The City did rezone the parcel, but they rezoned it to a commercial office use and I don’t recollect the particular class. We tabled their request from one meeting and then they came back and requested a mobile home use in a commercially zoned area and I believe that we denied the request for the petition.


Chairman Harrington: What their remedies are from here are up to their attorneys. The Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeals, who held that they had failed to exhaust their remedies so the constitutional claim that they were bringing was barred; as I read the opinion and it was just a quick review tonight. What their remedies are from here, if any, and how they may come back to this Board only the future can tell.


Member Antosiak: The reason that I raise the issue is that it raises the specter that every person turned down a rezoning request may come to ZBA seeking a use variance. I don’t know that to be a fact, but it raises that concern and I would like to know if that is an appropriate interpretation and what that may mean for us in the future.


Terry Morrone: A question to the Board. Sometime ago we had a petitioner request for an expansion and a total rebuild of a home on the lake side. This Board asked for a stake survey or an accurate boundary survey, we received it. The Board ruled and a variance was issued or granted. Since that time the adjacent property owner has come up with a stake survey, an accurate one, to demonstrate something in conflict with what was presented to this Board. We don’t have proof of either one being correct. So the building has been allowed to proceed. We go with the assumption that what was presented here was indeed correct. At this point in time there is a court injunction on this property by the adjacent neighbor. Should it be that it is found that his stake survey is incorrect, does this Board want to rehear that case or how would you want to take a look at it? The house is up. There may be as much as a 3 foot difference.


Member Antosiak: The house is up?


Terry Morrone: Yes, it is not completed but the frame is up.

Member Brennan: They have ceased construction because of this?


Terry Morrone: No, the court injunction is not to cease construction; it was to prevent Mr. Beshear from removing the fence as I understand it.


Chairman Harrington: This is precisely the kind of issue that we should be looking for guidance from those who are retained by the City to provide us such guidance. One’s gut instinct is that if a material misrepresentation was made, which was material to our decision and that was part of the fact basis for our approval of the variance then one would expect as a gut reaction if that was false that we should take a hard look at that. But, whether or not we are the proper authority and whether or not we even have authority to do so or even have jurisdiction to reconsider on a future basis that kind of scenario; I don’t know. I don’t know whether legally that we have the power to retain continuing jurisdiction over a material misrepresentation which may have occurred during the course of our approval. My sense is that is exactly where it ought to come is back in front of us, but I would want some guidance from the City Attorney.


Member Antosiak: I agree with you. I have a question for Mr. Morrone. Should the petitioner prove to be wrong in that survey presented to us then your question is that the variance that we approved as against the property line that is now 3 feet closer to the house than it was?


Terry Morrone: It would be different than what was presented to this Board.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I think that our variance was based on the information that was supplied and our variance is really not correct.


Member Brennan: That was every specific issue raised by adjoining property owners and Mr. Korte. The information, the property lines and all that, it was very clearly raised and we had that documented plot plan that was signed off by a surveyor and we took that as gospel. If that is wrong........


Terry Morrone: At this point it isn’t proven to be wrong either and it may never be. Should that occur where it is proven to be wrong then where do we go?


Member Antosiak: Good question.


Chairman Harrington: I think that there is a reason why the petitioners are put under oath. I think that there is a reason why we mark documents and items and make them part of the file so that they are an official public record and we are the highest appeal board in the City and it is from here to the Court of Appeals or the Circuit Court. We are it as far as the City is concerned and we review on the merits and if those merits are materially wrong, whether intentionally or otherwise my instinct is that is something that someone is going to say "Zoning Board of Appeals you better take a look at that", I don’t think that they are going to foist it off on some court when we were the original fact finders. But again, that is just my gut instinct and I think that is where we need some guidance. That is the kind of issue that we need guidance on. The mechanism for bringing it back in front of us; do you cite them on a violation? How do you get it back in front of us? I don’t know how you do, even it that should happen and I don’t know if that is what should happen.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I think that they would be cited on a violation of the ordinance variance that they didn’t conform to. That is what I see. If they were given that they had to have 8 foot and it turns out that they have 5 they are not in conformance with the variance that was granted. My feeling and reaction to this is that they would have to come back before this Board.


Member Antosiak: I think that the Building Department would basically do whatever the Building Department does when they find out that somebody has either violated a zoning requirement or a variance that has been granted. You would cite them and tell them to cease and desist at which point they would go somewhere; either here or to court. Like Mr. Harrington said, I am not sure which is the place for them to go. I agree with your comment I would like to hear the City’s legal opinion of what that is and whether if a neighbor for example were to raise that issue with us, do we have any jurisdiction to bring them back. I just don’t know.


Chairman Harrington: We will obtain some input on that.





The Meeting was adjourned at 10.05 p.m.,




Date Approved

Nancy C. McKernan

Recording Secretary