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




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


Absent: Member Baty (alternate)


Also Present: Donald M. Saven -Building Official

Alan Amolsch - Ordinance Enforcement Officer

Nancy McKernan - Recording Secretary




Chairman Harrington indicated Ms. Baty, our alternate, is not present; however we do have a full Board this evening. We have a quorum. The Zoning Board of Appeals is Hearing Board empowered by the Novi City Charter to determine applications for variances or special use permits. Generally these cases are in the nature of appeals after denial of an application by the City of Novi Building Department. The variance request will seek relief from strict application of the City of Novi Zoning Ordinances. It takes a vote of at least four (4) Members to grant a variance. We do have a full Board, so four (4) Members will carry.





Chairman Harrington indicated there are no changes to the Agenda this evening. The "chair" would note that we have four (4) cases this evening; two (2) zoning cases and two (2) sign cases.





Chairman Harrington inquired do we have any changes or additions to the minutes of the January 7,1997 Meeting? Do we have any additions, deletions, or modifications to the January 7, 1997 minutes?


Chairman Harrington indicated by hearing none; by acclamation all in favor of approving the January 7, 1997 minutes say aye. (All yeas)





Public Remarks


Chairman Harrington indicated this portion of the Meeting relates to general matters to be brought to the Board’s attention. If there are any comments from the audience about specific cases; kindly wait until that case is called. Are there any members of the Audience who wish to participate in Public Remarks? (No one wished to be heard at this time.)



Case No. 97-002 filed by Multi Building


Multi Building is seeking a variance to allow the continued placement of an existing construction trailer on lot 12, Windridge Place Subdivision, 24044 Windridge Lane for six (6) months. A Temporary Use Permit was granted on January 19, 1996 for a period of six (6) months.


Owen Linford was present and duly sworn.


Owen Linford: In January of 1996 we had applied for a 6 month permit, as you know. That has since lapsed. We are still under construction on the site. We are probably 2/3rds of the way through. We presently have approximately 7 houses under construction and we need to keep our trailer there for up to 6 months to complete the subdivision.


Owen Linford: If you would grant that, it may end up to be 4 months but I don’t forecast it going beyond 6 months. Most of the houses now are under construction and we might have 1 or 2 but the trailer would be moved off at that point and moved to another subdivision.


Owen Linford: It is important that we are in that sub; servicing our homeowners who are living in the homes. It is a place where they come to see me if they have a problem and also they are relaxed knowing that we are not pulling out of the sub before all their issues like the 30 day walk through list and things like that are being taken care of.


Owen Linford: If you could allow me 6 months, we would appreciate that.


Chairman Harrington: What happened in July? Did you forget about us?


Owen Linford: Evidently we did. Quite honestly. In January when we were sent the letter, that was the first notification that the office, falling through the cracks or whatever, that we were never notified before and somebody should have taken it upon themselves. I didn’t know the procedure, myself, or else I would have been the responsible party. So I am washing my hands just a little bit from that.


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



There was no audience participation.




Don Saven had no comment.


Member Brennan: How many homes in the sub? How many built? How many sold?


Owen Linford: There is a total of 45 lots. It is a joint venture between Multi and Lopiccolo, where 2/3rds of the lots are ours, Multi’s. We have approximately 7 houses under construction, 2 lots reserved which should shortly be going into contract and then under construction and we have 2 basements that are excavated at this point.


Member Brennan: So there are none that are occupied?


Owen Linford: We have approximately 30 homeowners who are living in the sub right now. The trailer itself is to one end of the sub, it is not in the center between all of them.


Chairman Harrington: Your sense as I understand from your earlier presentation is that 6 months is going to do it for you.


Owen Linford: Yes, it would.


Chairman Harrington: We are not going to see you again?


Owen Linford: No.


Member Bauer: I don’t have a problem as long as they meet the normal regulations for the trailer.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Vice-Chairman Reinke,





Discussion on motion:


Member Antosiak: I would only ask that Mr. Brennan amend his motion to include that the petitioner still has to comply with the conditions set forth in the memo that was sent in January of 1996.


Member Brennan: So amended.


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


Case No. 97-004 filed by The Selective Group


The Selective Group is seeking a variance to allow the continued placement of an existing construction trailer on lot 53, Barclay Estates, 22059 Barclay Ct. for one (1) year. A Temporary Use Permit was granted on January 5, 1996 for a period of six (6) months.


Charles Bungee was present and duly sworn.


Charles Bungee: The Selective Group is requesting a continuation of the special use permit for the construction trailer at the Barclay Estates, lot 53. The trailer is used by the site superintendent to run the daily operation of the site. What we have left in Barclay right now is approximately 28 lots out of the original 89 that are in the Barclay Estates. We anticipate being completed by the end of the year so we are asking for a variance through 1997. Thank you.


Chairman Harrington: That would be to terminate December 31, 1997?


Charles Bungee: That is correct.


Chairman Harrington: Likewise, you have confidence that you will not need an extension of that variance?


Charles Bungee: Correct, lot 53 will probably be one of the last lots that we build and we anticipate that in November or December. So we will probably be out; but I am asking for the end of the year just in case there is any mishaps or anything.


Chairman Harrington indicated there was a total of 7 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was no written response received.




There wa no audience participation.




Don Saven: Based upon the length of time I would like to recommend that if the Board does approve this, that they leave it under the continuing jurisdiction of the Building Department should there be any other problems:

Chairman Harrington: Absolutely.


Member Bauer: I can see no problem, this should continue with the same rules that were given to them on January 5, 1996.


Chairman Harrington: My only comment on the petition and I think that it makes sense; but it would be the "chair’s" desire that the word get out that when the variances or the special use permits or the like expire that we want to see you guys back here and not to wait 6 or 8 months. You are the second one in the row that we have seen this evening where it sort of slipped through the cracks during the summer building months and then in the middle of winter it is extended again. There is slippage and I don’t feel comfortable with waiting 6 or 8 months. This is just simply a comment, but it is as applicable to the prior one as it is to you.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Bauer,





Chairman Harrington: The termination date will be December 31, 1997?


Member Brennan: Yes.


Discussion on motion:


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I have one comment, I have a problem with the length of the request being that the original was for 6 months. This would be extending this out for 2 years and I think that would be to long of a time.


Member Meyer: I would like to know why the gentleman needs it for a year. Would 6 months do it?


Charles Bungee: We won’t be done in 6 months. I don’t want to stand here and say that I will be back in 6 months after the initial 6 months. To finish this site it is going to take approximately the balance of the year.


Chairman Harrington: Let me tell you what my thought is and I am just 1 voting member. I am going to vote to approve your petition to extend. Granted we are in February and moving towards March and you are looking at another 9 months rather than a full year. But I agree with Mr. Reinke, I think that a construction trailer for that period or length of time is excessive. I am prepared to vote for it, but don’t come back here looking for even 30 or 60 days at the end of the year. This will be the last extension that I will vote for.


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



Case No. 97-001 filed by Singh Development


Singh Development Co. Ltd., is requesting a variance to allow a second construction sign 6'5" x 8'5" (55.25 sq. ft.) with height from grade being 8'6:. This sign will be located in the Main Street Village at Potomac and Market Streets.


Mike Kahm was present and duly sworn.


Mike Kahm: As most of you know, we are the developers of The Main Street Village Project, in the Main Street development area located south of Grand River and East of Novi Road. We have 2 entries to this development which are depicted on the site plan that we have provided. Our main entry is on Grand River Avenue. We have a second entry which would be the extension of Market Street, which is a public road down to the intersection of Main Street; this is an ingress and egress easement that we have from the owner of the property, with our second entry being here.


Mike Kahm: My petition indicated that our problem is one of exposure to both of our principal entries to our development. As you can see the entries are completely separated from each other and have no visual identification whatsoever. One of the things that we are looking for is to have equal identification off of the Main Street complex where we hope to actually generate quite a bit of market traffic with the development of the Main Street complex by Evergreen III.


Mike Kahm: One additional ingredient which I did not reflect in my petition, which is in fact something that has happened to us this year, is that in the design and the development of our project we knew of the existence of this retail and micro-brewery building which is currently under construction and I am sure that you have seen it and unfortunately the location that was identified to us ended up in reality being different. It is much closer to the right of way to Grand River and if you drive by that building and our entry, our entry is totally dwarfed by that building and all most virtually unidentifiable for anybody traveling eastbound on Grand River. That has exacerbated the problem for us which is something that we did not anticipate when we originally designed the project.

Mike Kahm: We also are really interested in making this for marketing purposes and it could become, we hope, with the success of the Main Street Project our principal entry for marketing and exposure of our development to the public. So we are asking the Board’s approval of a second development sign for this location at our entry at Market and Main Street.


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 Antosiak inquired of Alan Amolsch: If this were the only development sign, what size would be allowed?


Alan Amolsch: 64 square feet, 15 feet in height.


Vice-Chairman Reinke inquired of Alan Amolsch: How long is the construction sign allowed?


Alan Amolsch: One year or until the Certificate of Occupancy is issued for the project.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: How many units are going to be in this development?


Mike Kahm: 240 units.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: When do you anticipate the start of construction?


Mike Kahm: We are under construction.


Chairman Harrington: Any sales yet?


Mike Kahm: These are rentals. Our club house and rental office is opening up the beginning of March. Also we will have units available the beginning of March.


Chairman Harrington: How long do you think that you might need this sign for, based upon your optimistic projections?


Mike Kahm: This development is very large. We have projected a 2 year construction period. We started construction this mid-summer, August. Hopefully we will finish sooner than that, but I am anticipating completion sometime in the spring of 1998.


Chairman Harrington: Your sense probably is that your need for the second sign is more critical now while people learn where you are at and what you are doing back there, right?

Mike Kahm: Yes. Once the public gets more of a feel of where we are it will be a lot easier. Right now unless you are intimately familiar with the Main Street complex, the only exposure that we have is for those people that drive by Grand River and that throat that we have for exposure is rather narrow and it has been somewhat more limited by the other construction in the area. We are hoping that identifying our other entry and especially off of the Main Street area, which is the reason that we named the project as we did, will help not only our exposure but also the identification of us being the residential component of Main Street.


Chairman Harrington: Plus you have exposure through your full arsenal of marketing and advertising resources as well, correct?


Mike Kahm: That is true, but in our experience I would say that 80% at least of our marketing is drive by; newspapers and that kind of thing don’t get you a whole lot of real honest to goodness tenants coming in and looking. It is mostly drive by.


Member Meyer: If I understand what I have seen here, this drive by is on Main Street; the new part that is being built and you are hoping that there will be a lot of traffic going by there. I haven’t seen a whole lot of traffic going by there.


Mike Kahm: That is correct. Mr. Chen, I understand, is going to begin a couple of buildings in there this spring or summer and we are hoping that is going to generate some additional traffic and add to the exposure of our project. Also people going to Vic’s will hopefully see the sign.


Chairman Harrington: Plus, getting the places built is going to generate traffic, too.


Member Meyer: The sign itself, for a temporary sign, looks pretty impressive.


Mike Kahm: That is exactly like the one that we have on Grand River. It is in accordance as Alan has mentioned with your ordinance for development signs.


Member Meyer: But, you are just going to put this up for awhile and then take it down?


Mike Kahm: That is right.


Member Antosiak inquired of Alan Amolsch: Their current development sign, do you know when that expires?


Alan Amolsch: I am guessing. They probably put it up August or September.


Mike Kahm: It was in the early fall.


Alan Amolsch: They will probably need a variance for an extension in time for that one.


Member Antosiak: So if they wish to keep it up we will see them back next year.


Member Bauer: What about permanent signs?


Mike Kahm: We haven’t presented that yet for permit. The permanent sign on Grand River, we are hoping to put in this spring as soon as the weather breaks. The permanent sign over on Market and Main we may put off for awhile because this development sign is where we want to put the permanent sign; so we will probably not do that until after we remove the development sign. So both of them won’t be done at the same time. The development sign is much better exposure for us, initially, than the permanent sign would be.


Member Antosiak : I would suggest that if the Board is going to consider a variance, they might consider the ending of the variance to be concurrent with the ending of the timing of the initial development sign so if the petitioner needs a variance that we looking at a variance for developmental signage rather than have us approve a variance of one length for the second sign and it is a different length than the first sign.


Chairman Harrington: Can we put or fix a date on the expiration for a sign, Alan?


Alan Amolsch: Sure.


Chairman Harrington: When is that? Do you know?


Alan Amolsch: For the sign on Grand River, I can get the information. I don’t have it right here. It was put up sometime in August or September. Are you talking about the temporary sign on Grand River?


Chairman Harrington: That is correct. In other words he already has one now; which is going to expire sometime in July or August?


Alan Amolsch: Probably August or September.


Chairman Harrington: Mr. Antosiak’s inquiry is related to approving this sign, if we do approve it, and tie it so that if he has to come back we are looking at both signs.


Alan Amolsch: You can do that.


Moved by Member Antosiak,


Seconded by Member Bauer,





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


Member Antosiak: I would just ask the Mr. Amolsch that whatever subsequent correspondence that there is with the petitioner that by that point you will have identified a date so that we can give the petitioner a date.


Chairman Harrington: Technically as I understand it, there will actually be an approval issued and that approval should contain the actual cut off date.


Alan Amolsch: Right, that will be on the permit.



Case No. 97-003 filed by The Maples Country Club


The Maples Country Club is requesting a variance to allow a business sign at the corner of Fourteen Mile and Wakefield Drive (a residential zoned district).


Todd Gerhart was present and duly sworn.


Todd Gerhart: We recently purchased, on April 4, 1996, The Maples Country Club from the Classic Corporation which is doing a subdivision called The Maples of Novi at Fourteen Mile and Wakefield. We purchased the golf course, the restaurant, the swimming pool and the health club facillity in this building.


Todd Gerhart: Some of our problems have been that there is not a sign out on Fourteen Mile and the public thinks that they are not invitied. They think that this is a private facility. We have a full restaurant, we have a class "A" resort liquor license which allows the restaurant to be open to the public. We have made approximately a million dollar investment into the community of The Maples of Novi in this purchase. We have been struggling on the restaurant part due to visibility and people just not realizing that we are a restaurant and not just a club house for the members of the country club.


Todd Gerhart: We are asking for a variance on our sign and one thing that I do want to clarify on this sign is that I was wrong on the cost, we wish it was $500.00 but it is approximately $2100.00 to do this sign. We are asking for a variance for a 30 square foot sign, 3 feet high and 10 feet wide running north and south on Fourteen Mile. This sign would have an ivory background with dark green letters saying "restaurant" and "golf". It is a very simple sign.


Todd Gerhart: The reason that we haven’t come before is that there is a lot of things going on in the community; we have had to put a lot of money into the golf course to get it back to something that is proud for the members to play on and also the public who is invited to play on the golf course. So we are coming before you to ask for a variance to put this sign up.


Chairman Harrington indicated there was one notice sent to the adjacent property owner, with no written response received.




Robin Holmes, I live on Sleepy Hollow Drive in The Maples of Novi Subdivision. As a tax payer for the City of Novi I am please to have the opportunity to come and talke to you tonight and to share with you my views and those of many of my neighbors on this important issue. I am here tonight to speak in favor of the sign. As you all know, and some of you probably to well, at the heart of our subdivision is a 9 hole golf course, country club and restaurant. For many of us, myself included, I moved to the City of Novi and specifically to The Maples of Novi so that I could live in a golf course community; an affordable golf course community. My property values are directly tied to the success or failure of this country club and restaurant. While the club enjoys a reasonable support from the members of our club and from the residents in the subdivision, it cannot survive alone on our support. The club’s liquor license requires that it be open to the public and yet for the most part the public doesn’t know that we are there. Unless you pull into the parking lot and get out of your car and go into the building you will never know that a restaurant is there. I believe that without signage to identify that the restaurant is there that the survivability of this business, country club and restaurant, is questionable at best. If these owners fail like their predecessers did, it will have a dramatic and immediate effect on our lives in The Maples of Novi. As residents our values will go down and I think that we will have a tough time selling our homes. Equally complicating for this issue for those of us who live there is the fact that we have 4 condominium associations within the subdivision, 2 of them the Maples Heights and the Maple Greens share the clubhouse building with the golf course and the restaurant enterprise. If the restaurant fails our 2 associations cannot support that building; we couldn’t keep it open if we had to. So we need your help. I appreciate your giving us the opportunuty to come here tonight. Thank you.

Sandra Noonan, I am a City of Novi taxpayer. I reside in The Maples of Novi in the Maple Greens Association. I am here tonight to support the petitioner’s request for signage. In September of 1996 I was transferred to the Detroit area from Chicago and it was my desire to find a home in an area which fostered a sense of community and pride in neighborhood. The City of Novi and specifically The Maples of Novi met those criteria. The Maples Club provides a common meeting place, restaurant, fitness facilities and a 9 hole golf course for members and the population at large. It provides a venue for the development of friendship and community spirit. The primary support for the Maple Club comes from it’s members; members who reside in the Maples of Novi as well as the City of Novi and surrounding communities. However as Robin mentioned, the Maples Club cannot survive on club membership alone or the association dues from the Maple Heights and the Maple Greens. The Maple Club needs to advertise. Signage on Fourteen Mile would advertise the existence of the Maple Club Restaurant, the golf course and various social events. The success of the Maples of Novi as a community is largely dependent on the success of the Maples Club. Without the club house and the golf course property value would dramatically decline. The Maples of Novi homeowners appreciate the beauty and the prestine maintainence of the golf course which intertwines our homes. If we want to promote the City of Novi as a place to call home, I believe that we should support private business enterprises like the Maple Club which promotes a sense of community. Thank you.




Alan Amolsch had no comment.


Member Brennan: If I understand this correctly, what we have at issue is that this is a residentially zoned property and that there is no signage on this building at all.


Alan Amolsch: Restaurants are not normally in a residential district, they are not normally dealt with as far as signage goes.


Member Brennan: At issue with the placement setback, I presume that some of that is related to the corner of the building. Is that why we are 60 feet instead of 63 feet? The location of the sign in relationship to the corner of the building.


Todd Gerhart: Yes, sir.


Member Antosiak inquired of Alan Amolsch: If we were to approve this variance would the petitioner require any approval from Oakland County?


Alan Amolsch: No, it is outside of the right of way. It does not meet the setback requirements of the ordinance.


Member Antosiak: Speaking as one resident, I must say that your request for a variance was the first indication that I had that there was a restaurant there.


Todd Gerhart: The previous owners tried to make it look like a private facility. I understand that the previous owners had applied for a variance to have a sign put up and they never showed for their variance. We are the new owners, not the new management. We are the actual new owners. Mr. Saven has had plenty of dealings with Classic Corporation. I think that these homeowners and everybody else wishes, Classic has a few houses left to build and then they will be gone and hopefully the community will continue to thrive the way that it was originally designed. This is vital. Nobody knows that we are there. They just think that it is a club house for the homeowners.


Member Antosiak: I think it would be very difficult to operate a business without a sign.


Chairman Harrington: I never knew that you were there and I get around this community quite a bit. I do have a question on you sign. Is the rendering that we have received that says Maples Restaurant and Golf is that substantially similar to what you are going to erect on that site?


Todd Gerhart: That is exactly what we are going to erect.


Chairman Harrington: I as the "chair" and a member don’t get into sign content, but I would sugget that you consider adding the verbiage "Public Welcome" because simply identifying restaurant and golf doesn’t necessarity get the message out there that you want. If you are looking to attract drive-by traffic you may want to consider that. Subject to that, I am in favor of the sign and if that is the nature of the sign approved I am in favor of it. If that sign were to evolve into a special event billboard which is different from the permanent sign that he has told us about I would have trouble with that. But if this is going to be the general nature of that sign....


Todd Gerhart: We have no desire to have a special. It will be flourescent lit, there will be no neon. It fits into the country club atmosphere with the ivory background and the dark green writing.


Moved by Member Antosiak,


Seconded by Member Bauer,





Discussion on motion:


Member Meyer: I would only add that I think that the motion should include what the "chair" has indicated; namely that this sign would not be used for posting of events going on.

Todd Gerhart: We have no desire for that.


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




Chairman Harrington indicated our Board minutes will reflect that at 8:07 p.m., this evening we have concluded the regular agenda on the docket. We will now turn to the other matters. In that vein the "chair" would inquire about the Building Department’s concern over the 4 agenda docket this evening and are we to compliement the Building Department on being so tough that no one is appealing their decisions or do we have a new explosion of liberalism where everything is being approved and no one is appealing. Mr. Saven would you address that issue, please.


Don Saven: No comment, please.


Chairman Harrington indicated the "chair" has also been informed that looking forward to the coming months that in November our Tuesday Meeting would interfere with election day and that was a source of some discussion last year and we have a couple of available substitute dates and non are on a Tuesday. The following Tuesday is Veteran’s Day, but I believe that we have a Monday and a Thursday of that week and perhaps a day the following week. Nancy could you give us some information on that?


Nancy McKernan: What we have available is Monday, November 3rd.


Chairman Harrington: That would be election eve.


Nancy McKernan: Thursday, November 6th and Wednesday, November 12.


Chairman Harrington: The Thursday of that week sounds reasonable, is there any comment on that?


(discussion on days)


Chairman Harrington: I think that sense is that the Board prefers the Thursday date on November 6th. As we would draw closer if that presents actual schedule conflicts we will have to take another look at it.


Member Bauer: That time is wrong, we actually got through at 8:04 p.m.


Chairman Harrington: For those of you who are wondering about the time fixation, this is a new modern Novi record, I don’t know about the old records; but this will go down in the books.


Nancy McKernan: A reminder that the March Meeting has been changed to March 11th.


Chairman Harrington: That is the following Tuesday, due to schedule conflicts. We are looking forward to seeing you at an abreviated session in March.





The Meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.









Date Approved Nancy C. McKernan

Recording Secretary .