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




Present: Members Brennan, Harrington, Bauer, Reinke, Meyer, Baty (alternate)


Absent: Member Antosiak


Also Present: Donald M. Saven- Building Official

Alan Amolsch - Ordinance Enforcement Officer

Nancy McKernan - Recording Secretary




Vice-Chairman Reinke indicated we have a full Board with our alternate here tonight. All decisions will take a vote of four (4) Members and will be final.


Vice-Chairman Reinke indicated the Zoning Board of Appeals is a Hearing Board empowered by the Novi City Charter to hear appeals seeking variances from applications of the Novi Zoning Ordinance. With our alternate tonight we have a full Board and it takes four (4) Members of the Board to grant a variance. All decisions made tonight will be final.





Vice-Chairman Reinke indicated we have one case that has asked to be tabled to the October Meeting; Case No. 97-060 filed by Lee Mamola, representing Steve and Izumi Myers. Are there any other corrections to the Agenda?


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Myer,




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




Vice-Chairman Reinke inquired are there any additions or corrections to the minutes of the August 5, 1997 Meeting?

Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Harrington,




Roll Call: (Voice Vote) (All yeas, abstain Meyers) Motion Carried


Case No. 97-076A & B filed by Joann Aloe


Joann Aloe is requesting A) a 1 foot side yard setback variance to allow for the construction of a 12' x 20' attached carport; B) a 7 foot front yard setback variance to allow for the construction of a 20' x 30' garage on the lot across the street, for property located at 1529 West Lake Drive.


Joann Aloe was present and duly sworn.


Joann Aloe: This is a continuation of an item that was requested last month when we were informed that we should go back and return tonight with an alternative plan. The more I thought about it our alternative plan was going to be a garage on the same side of the road as our home, but the more I thought about it that would be a lot of expense and we would be very limited as to the size that we could build and I did have a concern about building over sewer lines and being that close to the well. The plan that I am presenting tonight would include a 3 car garage on the opposite side of the road from our home. It would include a car port next to our home and I think that this would be something very useable and something that we could live with very well. We would get the larger garage, we would have the car port. I just don’t see myself building a garage and being very limited on the same side of the road as the house. But, I also don’t see myself parking the car in the garage at night and walking across the road to go home, so I think that this is going to be a good combination. We would be demolishing the existing garage which is only 6 feet from the road right now and putting a new one 23 feet from the road which I understand does require a variance. Yet, that would still be quite an improvement as to what is there now.




Brian Kosaian, I own the property right next door. If I look out of my property looking away from the lake I look across the street at their current garage. The existing garage is in very poor condition, it is 6 feet from the road and even backing the car out of my lot I have to caution myself so that I don’t hit the corner of the garage. I think that the improvement that she is asking for is great and I welcome it in our neighborhood.




Don Saven: One other concern that I would have is the overhead power lines; how close are they to your proposed structure?


Joann Aloe: They come along the very edge of the property. Edison just moved them and I had mentioned at the time that we were going to be building a structure there and they said that they could move those if necessary. They also said that we might have to put an extension to make it come into the house at a higher point; if that were necessary then we would do the extension and they would move the wires.


Don Saven: I just want to make a point that no structure is to be placed under any overhead power lines. We will have to be very careful in that area.


Joann Aloe: I would have to take a look at it again, but my recollection is that it comes even with the north side of my house. It doesn’t cut across the middle of the house, it is even with the north side .

Member Harrington inquired of Don Saven: On that issue, at what point in the permit process or the like does the power line situation get addressed?


Don Saven: It is a position where I want the applicant to be aware number one that the issue regarding overhead power lines that it will be required to be moved. No accessory structure can be placed under any overhead power lines.


Member Harrington: So before there was conclusion of the reconstruction someone would have to go out there and do the yea or nay on that?


Don Saven: Absolutely. It will be shown on the plan. When she submits the plan for the proposed structure we would note that and she would be aware of it at that time.


Member Brennan: We had 2 issues last month; one was the concern about an extension off of the house for parking on the residential side of the street being not sufficiently set back. It appears that this carport solves that problem. And removing the existing garage on the other side of the street solves a lot of other residential problems, so it seems like this is a well thought out plan.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: My comment is that I think that you have done the best you can with what you have to work with. I like the way the carport is set into the house, it gives you more room to get out, be seen and not back out and be on top of the street. I don’t know what more you could do. I think that you have done an excellent job and it is much better than what you came in with the first time.


Joann Aloe: Thanks, I think that we will be happier with this one. There is one thing and I don’t know if I should tell you this before or after you vote; that is this is kind of a 3 phase program and I do have 2 children in college; what I wanted to do was to get an extension on the; and only if you should vote to approve, the permit for building the garage so that I could actually do that next summer. Carport, demolition is phase I, like in the next couple of months. But then garage I guess that this permit if it would be accepted would only be for 6 months, is that correct. I am asking for an extension on that. I don’t know if that is something that comes up at this time or not.


Don Saven: I think that if she is going to do this in 2 phases, I think that she can probably draw the first permit for whatever she intends on doing for now but before the time period is up she gets us an application and we will be reviewing it at that time and you can still renew it provided you are moving along satisfactorily on your first phase.


Joann Aloe: So I would apply for the garage at this point and then asked to have it renewed. Is that correct?


Don Saven: Right.


Chairman Reinke indicated there was a total of 38 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was 4 written responses received voicing approval, 1 written response voicing objection and 1 written response that was conditional. Copies in file.


Moved by Member Harrington,


Seconded by Member Brennan,




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


Case No. 97-066 filed by DeMaria Building Company, representing DMC Rehab


DeMaria Building Company, representing DMC Rehab, is requesting a variance to allow the existing construction trailer to remain on the site until November 28, 1997, for property located at 42005 Twelve Mile Road. A Temporary Use Permit was granted in January of 1997, TUP 97-001.


Dennis Dimoff was present and duly sworn.


Dennis Dimoff: We are requesting that we can extend our existing trailer permit there on site. We were hoping to get off the site but with the great weather in Michigan we have had a major delay in the project. We were planning to start construction on that building back in November and then actually started in March. We are requesting an extension to use the construction trailer on site until November or until we can secure the building so that we can bring our equipment inside of the building. The trailer is presently being used only for an office for the construction superintendent and some of our computer stuff is in the trailer.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I have one question to your statement. You say until November or?


Dennis Dimoff: Before.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Thank you for the clarification.




There was no audience participation.




Don Saven: As in past practices this Department can only issue temporary use permits for a period of time of 6 months and that is why this gentleman is here today. And yes, the weather has been very bad.


Member Brennan: It seems like a reasonable request.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Bauer,




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


Case No. 97-067 filed by Cynthia Gronachan


Cynthia Gronachan is requesting side yard setback variances to allow for the construction of a barn at 21668 Garfield Rd. On the north side a 48 foot variance is needed and on the south side a 10 foot variance is needed.


Cynthia Gronachan was present and duly sworn.


Cynthia Gronachan: I have 2 letters of approval to submit to the Board.


Cynthia Gronachan: For a little history, just because I am not here to build the barn. I have lived at this address for the last 18 years. This farm once was Mabel Ash’s 60 acre farm and for those of you who don’t know her she was the first City Clerk of Novi. When I moved here 18 years ago, I was in care of her horses, the farm and all of the duties on the farm. As most of you know, she passed away in 1994 which enabled the family and the estate to split the farm. It left 12 1/2 acres. Because of Mabel’s planning I have been able to purchase my house that I have been living in all of these years and 2 acres. There was one slight problem; with me there also came 3 remaining horses. These horses have been living on the farm since 1980, except for the last one. Koso is 22, Max is 18 and Costar is 10.


Cynthia Gronachan: The reason for being here tonight is that my sole purpose is to build a building for the 2 remaining horses. Koso because of her age has arthritis and she will be put to sleep shortly. Max and Costar I would like to have them remain in my backyard. There are a part of my pseudo family if you will. It is not my intent to train or show or raise or breed horses any more, these are simply 2 pets that have been members of the community and I wish to keep them. I am hoping that you grant this variance this evening because I am not going without my horses. If the horses can’t stay then I am unfortunately going to have to leave the community of Novi and that is why I thought I would put an honest effort in for this variance.


Cynthia Gronachan: I have submitted a site plan which leaves the barn in plenty of distance from the house. You will see that the back acreage is the wetlands. The barn will be plenty ways from there. When the 2 horses are no longer a part of my life, this will be a garage. It will have 2 box stalls upon completion if it is approved. It will have one area for hay, grain and my tractor. Again, I have to stress that in no way do I want to do any kind of business with training or showing, I am officially retired.




There was no audience participation.




Don Saven: The lot being in the position where it is narrow makes it very difficult to deal with harboring animals and that is where the 100 foot requirement comes in. She will be using this as a garage at a later time and that could go as close to 6 foot to the property line and then we wouldn’t have this problem.


Vice-Chairman Reinke indicated there was a total of 13 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was 2 written responses received voicing approval. Two additional letters were given to the Board. Copies in file.


Member Brennan: Is the party directly north of you, or next door, one of the 4 approvals that we have?


Cynthia Gronachan: There is no neighbor there.


Member Meyer: Is there anyway that the barn could be more centered on the property so that it is 75 feet on the one side and approximately 75 feet on the other?


Cynthia Gronachan: No reason why, but my living room is at the back of the house (a second story living room) and putting the barn directly behind the house blocks the view of the wetlands.


Member Meyer: With these horses being 18 and 10 years of age, are they what you would call tame horses?


Cynthia Gronachan: They are retired show horses. They are pets, not wild.


Member Meyer: Then it appears that these animals will be no problem to anyone around.


Member Bauer: I only have one question is the 800 square feet enough? The 20 x 40 that you are going to put in?


Cynthia Gronachan: Yes, there has been a recent development. Mabel’s house has been up for sale and there has been an offer made on the house and it looks like it has been accepted, the people who have bought the house and the existing barn on the property have made overtures that I can use the lean-to in the back as well. So they will be out most of the time, this is just to protect them in the winter when the weather is pretty cold.


Member Brennan: Well unless she doesn’t build a barn there is no way that she can place it anywhere on here piece of property without a variance.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: It would still need a variance on each side.


Member Brennan: It certainly seems to be a reasonable request for that part of Novi with the size of the lot.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Bauer,




Discussion on motion:


Member Harrington: This seems to be a situation which would uniquely call for it being limited to this petitioner under the circumstances rather than passing it on from generation to generation.


Member Brennan: Do you have a problem with that? Do you understand what he is asking for?


Cynthia Gronachan: You mean if anyone else purchases the home later on, that they can’t use this barn for horses?


Member Harrington: Correct. Do you have a problem with that.


Cynthia Gronachan: I don’t have a problem with it.


Member Harrington: I was picking up on your invitation that when the horses are no longer with us, that it would be turned into a garage.


Cynthia Gronachan: Right.


Member Brennan: If you don’t have any problem with it, I don’t have a problem with it so I will add it to the motion. THIS IS LIMITED TO THIS PETITIONER ONLY.


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


Case No. 97-069 filed by John Gauruder


John Gauruder is requesting a 22 foot rear yard setback variance and a 5 foot side yard setback variance to allow for the construction of an enclosed pool in a RA Zoned District for property located at 25334 Birchwood Ct.


John Gauruder was present and duly sworn.


John Gauruder: I built the house 11 years ago. When I built it I planned the lot out that I could eventually put an addition out in the backyard. I put the well in the back and the septic in the front which was kind of an odd plan back then. But I had it planned out to build the addition. When I went to sketch it out, I put 35 feet and 10 feet because I thought that those were the guide lines that I had to fall within. But when I got the letter I realized that somehow I am under a RA District now which wasn’t that way when I built the house. Originally it was 10 foot setbacks and 30 foot in the back. I looked at the current list and even R1 says 35 rear and 10 on the side. My lot is a half an acre and there is no way ...... a RA is 43,000 square feet and my lot is like 21,000. So when I got the letter I was kind of shocked that all of a sudden.....I thought that I was asking for 7 feet rear setback and all of sudden I am at 28 and 5 foot on the side. So I guess one of my hardships is that my property has been rezoned under RA when I was originally; I don’t even know what it was then. But I think that basically I would fit under like a R2, because they are only half acre lots in our subdivision.


John Gauruder: The second hardship is that I am on a cul-de-sac lot and the house is turned about 15 degrees on the lot and based on keeping the room parallel with the rest of the house the room that I want to add on goes into the rear setback.




There was no audience participation.




Don Saven: What John has indicated is true. The initial plat of that subdivision was platted in 1979 with a R3 Zoning District, which the setback requirement at that time being a lot less than it is now. Since that time the property was rezoned to a RA Zoning District and because of a change in ordinance it became a little more restrictive. So, in this particular aspect that is why there is such a substantial request that he is here today before you on.


John Gauruder: I have letters here, the approval from my architectural committee of the subdivision and the neighbors on either side of me. Copies presented to the Board.


John Gauruder: I also have some aerial photos of the property if you would like to see them. Photos given to the Board.


Member Brennan: You have answered the one question that I was going to ask you and that was the rear property and if you will reiterate that for the record.


John Gauruder: My backyard abuts a person’s property that is on Eleven Mile. I don’t know how deep it is but it is at least a quarter of a mile deep from Eleven to my backyard. He owns and I would think 20 acres back there and that is all designated 100 year flood plain back there and supposedly can never be built upon. So I am not infringing on any neighbors backyard that I am right up against. I have seen my neighbor only a few times in the 11 years that I have lived there.


Vice-Chairman Reinke indicated there was a total of 18 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was 1 written response received voicing approval. Two written responses voicing approval were given to the Board. Copies in file.


Member Meyer: Is there any way that the pool could be smaller?


John Gauruder: If I decrease the pool even 10 feet I am still not inside the 50 foot setback or even the 35; because of the angle that it is tilted on.


Member Baty: What size is the pool?


John Gauruder: I am hoping it is going to be 36 by 18. If you see where I drew the structure in and then you see the dotted line there, the dotted line is going to be the sun room and a bathroom and then there will be a glass wall there and the pool will be out in it’s own kind of separate house. It won’t be a glass roof but there will be sliding glass doors all the way around. I have put a lot of thought into if I should enclose it or not or just put the outdoor pool; but if you look at those pictures of where I live it is basically a swamp back there and with the mosquitoes you can’t stay out there after 7 o’clock. My neighbors have a outdoor pool for about 7 or 8 years and after 7 o’clock you can’t stay outside where we live. That is one of the main reasons for enclosing it.


Member Brennan: You do have an issue with the lot as it is laid out. Somebody decided to put the house at that angle and to put any extension on it does shove it into that easement. Again my biggest concern was the impact on surrounding neighbors and there doesn’t seem to be any objections. The biggest intrusion is into the rear setback and you have already explained that is not going to present any issues. So, I don’t have any objections.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: There is two fold thing here that needs to be addressed. One is the lot shape and two is the change in zoning from the time of the original layout to what it is zoned today. So I think that there is two situations there that have to be addressed and if we address it as the previous zoning the amount of variance required would only be the rear yard. Since there is no objection and the gentleman has done an excellent job in laying it out I really don’t have a problem with the petitioner’s request.


Moved by Member Brennan:


Seconded by Member Bauer:




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


Case No. 97-070 filed by Clif Seiber, representing Beech Tree Development Co., LLC

Clif Seiber, representing Beech Tree Development Co., LLC is requesting to place the required landscape berm at the southern 30 feet of the site and within the R-4 district instead of totally within the I-1 district (this site is split by two (2) zoning districts), for property located at 40399 Grand River Avenue.


Clif Seiber was present and duly sworn.


Clif Seiber: We are proposing the development or the construction of a 24,000 square foot office building located on the south side of Grand River near the intersection of Seeley. It is immediately adjacent to the existing AGA Gas Company and to the south the Cambourne Place Subdivision. When the Cambourne Place Subdivision was developed it was not developed directly along the existing R-4 and I-1 zoning line. That zoning line was held back 30 feet into this site. So in other words the development of the Cambourne Place Subdivision resulted in a split zoning for this site. The purpose of that was to provide for a landscape berm which would straddle that zoning line, 30 feet from the landscape berm. In other words half of the landscape berm would be located in the R-4 zoning and the other half would be located on the I-1 zoning. That berm is required by ordinance to range between 6 and 10 feet high and in this area we are holding pretty close to 10 feet high in order to maximize the amount of screening for the adjacent homes to the south. As this plan indicates we are also providing a substantial amount of landscape trees, evergreen trees and deciduous tree in order to provide a 80% opacity in the summer and 60% in the winter time.


Clif Seiber: Brandon Rogers has indicated once in the minutes of the Planning Commission Meeting on September 1, 1993 that was the intent of locating that subdivision line 30 feet off of the R-4 zoning line. In those minutes he indicated that the ZBA did grant a variance for the allowance of that landscape berm within the 30 foot area. He again in 1988 indicated that the Planning Commission and the ZBA allowed for a portion of the landscape berm in the R-4 zoned area. However, we have researched this with Nancy and we were unable to find what the case number of the date was when that was granted by the ZBA. However, as I said Mr. Rogers has indicated on 2 occasions that one had been earlier granted.


Clif Seiber: We are requesting tonight that we be allowed to place the landscape berm entirely on our site but that a portion of the berm be placed with in the R-4 zoning area and the remainder of the berm within the I-1 zoning area. I will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.




Mark Less, 24770 Willowbrook. This is the first time that I have seen these plans. I am all in favor of a berm as long as it obscures the view to Grand River. AGA was going to have a good berm and their berm is not up to par or what it should be. Will this berm go all the way to the lot line or will it be like the AGA berm where it doesn’t go to the lot line and sort of drifts down to nothing and then you can see the traffic on Grand River?

Clif Seiber: The intent is to tie into instead of leaving a gap or a dip down between the berm for AGA Gas and ourselves. We plan on making a connection between the two so that we have a continuous berm. Also he is exactly right, the berm on the AGA Gas was supposed to be 6 feet high and it is only 4 feet high; so with the permission of that property owner we intended to raise that up to make sure that it meets minimum requirements for the City. So we are going to make the connection and make it a little bit higher.


Mark Less: Will you be using better trees than AGA did? As long as they do that I have no problem. My biggest concern is that this will obscure the view to Grand River.


Ellen Hulverson, 24829 Willowbrook. My property backs up directly to this. My whole backyard would be to the berm. I am impressed with what the gentleman has said concerning the 10 foot berm because what is behind and the AGA Gas property; my little girl can fly right out into the AGA parking lot or to Grand River, there is no barrier to let anybody through there. I did bring some pictures. I have a completely blocked view of Grand River. I can’t see cars, so I was concerned about them cutting down some of the big trees that block our view right now.


Clif Seiber: The AGA Gas berm is to low. Like I said that one is about 4 feet and we are proposing one at 10 feet.


Ellen Hulverson: Are they going to re-do theirs’ to make it uniform?


Clif Seiber: We intend to connect to that instead of having it drop down to the property line and then raise their berm. As far as some of the trees or brush, that will be lost in order to construct the berm unfortunately.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: But, you are going to have your plantings according to your rendering there on top the berm after you put that in, correct?


Clif Seiber: Yes, both along the sides and on the top of the berm. It will be quite densely planted.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: So that should be filled in almost as what you have there right now.


Ellen Hulverson: That is what I was concerned about, the fact that we can’t see out there now and I don’t want it changed. We would have to build a fence or something because that would slowly depreciate our property value. We have a beautiful lot and it would be nice if that was going to be kept up. Like the AGA Gas property, they planted and some of the trees died and then if we don’t have any recourse and if you grant them permission and this is what they do or didn’t do. They didn’t build the berm to what they were supposed to do and then nothing happens and we have to look at it. That is what we are concerned about.


Clif Seiber: As I said, the berm will be 10 feet high at the highest point and then gradually go down to 8 feet. With the 8 to 10 feet plus the 8 foot high trees on top of that I think that it will provide substantial screening.




Don Saven: I would just like a point of clarity. You have indicated that you are going to put the landscaping on the berm for your project, would this be continued over to AGA Gas also?


Clif Seiber: Yes, we are putting in here and there are plantings on there now that would be removed and then build up the berm and then put those plantings back in.


Don Saven: Chances are that it won’t be as dense as what your’s is.


Clif Seiber: That is something that I would have to discuss with the owner of that property.


Vice-Chairman Reinke indicated there was a total of 24 Notice sent to adjacent property owners. There was one written response received voicing objection. Copy in file.


Member Brennan: I have no particular objection to the plan as presented. But for the sake of the residents who have shown up tonight discussing AGA, I would like to ask the Building Department to look at what was required and what is actually there to see if they are in compliance with their plans.


Don Saven: We can go back to the site review which is done by various agencies and see what they have approved and then we will follow up with that approval and see what needs to be done.


Member Brennan: I am sensitive to people coming to meetings like this, so thanks.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I think that he has addressed the residents concerns and the Building Department I don’t think will let this happen again as to what happened next door. This will rectify some of that, so I think that we are all going to come out ahead if they do this as the petitioner has requested.


Moved by Member Harrington,


Seconded by Member Bauer,




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


Charlie Rousseau: I am the owner of the property that AGA Gas occupies and I would like to make a comment. The site plan and the landscaping plan was presented and it met the requirements of the City of Novi and it was done to the requirements of the City of Novi and it was approved by the City of Novi. There were 2 or 3 trees that were about a half inch or a quarter inch off in diameter and they were removed and replaced. A little later on 2 or 3 trees died and they were replaced. I have not heard a word from anyone from the City of Novi that there has been anything other than meeting those specifications. They have been lived up to and done and replaced and I just wanted to go on record that they did meet the site plan and the landscaping plan that was presented and approved by the City and what didn’t make it in growth was replaced. So, I want to go on record that everything isn’t all black and everything isn’t all white, there is something someplace in the middle. If there is anything other than what I am stating I would like to be notified by mail because I am a reputable person. We stand behind meeting the codes as they are presented by communities.


Member Harrington: Do you have a phone number where these people could call you if they choose?


Charlie Rousseau: I don’t think that I want to deal with the neighbors and if they have a complaint then....first of all the plan that Mr. Seiber is presenting I am in approval of and I concur with it and it should resolve the entire questions of everyone in particular the neighbors. The only thing that I want to mention is that we did what was required on the site plan and the landscaping plan and Ms. Lemke contacted our office and stated that 2 or 3 of the trees were short by a quarter of an inch and they were replaced. Six months or 8 months later there were 2 or 3 evergreens that didn’t make it and this is fairly common and then they were replaced. That is the last that I have heard. So. if the City of Novi has any complaint with the project for AGA Gas I would be more than happy to respond and be involved in it. I have worked with he Building Department and have had nothing but high respect for everybody there. The program that Mr. Seiber is presenting is excellent because it ties in both properties and therefore makes something uniform which in turn will make a better project.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Sir, I appreciate your input and I wish that you would have done so before we voted on that. The only deficiency that I heard mentioned and I went out to check it and they said that there was a deficiency in the height of the berm on the property. I would suggest that you contact Mr. Saven and the Building Department or give your name to Mr. Saven and he will contact you and that can straighten out the whole thing there.


Charlie Rousseau: Would you like my phone number now? 248-377-2590.



Case No. 97-072 filed by Stephen Goldman


Stephen Goldman is requesting a 3 foot 4 inch rear yard setback variance to allow for the construction of a sun room at 42612 Wimbleton Way.


Stephen Goldman was present and duly worn.


Stephen Goldman: The reason that we are asking for the 3 foot 4 inch variance is that if you look at our lot plan which is on the architectural drawings; the back of our lot is on quite a bit of an angle. It is almost a reversed pie shaped lot with a tip cut off. The side of the lot where we would like to place the 4 seasons sun room next to our deck is on that short side of the lot that is closest to the house. We have looked at possibly making the room smaller but considering that the room is only going out about 10 feet shaving 3 feet off of the room, basically makes not even worth putting the room on the house because it would only be like a 6 foot wide room. So that is why we are coming to the City tonight to see if we can get a zoning variance.


Stephen Goldman: We have talked to our neighbors and several have submitted letters on our behalf with the forms that were sent out. But again, the main reason that we are asking for the variance is to shave that much off of the depth of the room would make it basically not much of a useable room.



There was no audience participation.




Don Saven: Just for you to note, the front yard easement didn’t give them much room in the placement of the house.


Vice-Chairman Reinke indicated there was a total of 43 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There were 2 written responses received voicing approval. One approval was given to the Board at the meeting. Copies in file.


Member Brennan: Just a comment as we have noted in cases similar this is an extension of an existing wall and that would keep the side line of the house in line.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Harrington,



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


Case No. 97-073 filed by Dave Slaven


Dave Slaven is requesting a side yard setback variance of 2 feet 10 inches to allow for the construction of an attached garage at 126 Penhill.


Dave Slaven was present and duly sworn.


Dave Slaven: The 2 problems that we have and why we need a garage: Number one the house is on a crawl space; it is about 1000 square foot 2 bedroom house that has no storage whatsoever. The second is after we found out that there wasn’t quite enough room for an attached garage we were thinking about putting a detached garage in the back yard and upon the survey we found out that we only had 33 foot or so left in the backyard because the house sits so far back. So we would only have 2 foot from the house to the garage.


Dave Slaven: I have one notice signed by the neighbor on the west side where the garage is closest to his house. Copy given to Board.


Dave Slaven: That is basically the reason why we want to do this. I think an attached garage will look more attractive than a detached garage in the back which would also have to have a variance or a shed.




There was no audience participation.




Don Saven had no comment.


Vice-Chairman Reinke indicated there was a total of 29 notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was a total of 5 written responses received all voicing approval. One approval was given to the Board at the meeting. Copies in file.


Member Brennan: Does the width of the garage go to where the carport ends right now?


Dave Slaven: It is basically about the same size as the carport.


Member Brennan: So the fence stays?


Dave Slaven: The fence will stay, but actually the fence is rotten and falling down and the neighbor on the west side that the garage is closest to - we are going to take the fence down.


Member Brennan: I think that the garage will look a lot nicer than the carport that is there.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I think that it will be a definite improvement for the neighborhood and for the petitioner and everybody concerned; they will have some closed storage and I can support the petitioner’s request.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Bauer,




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


Case No. 97-074 filed by Brian Kosaian


Brian Kosaian is requesting a lot coverage variance of 2%, side yard setback variances of 3.83 feet for each side and a projection variance of 30 inches for each side to allow for the construction of a new single family residence at 1523 West Lake Dr.


Craig McDonald, Architect, was present and duly sworn.


Craig McDonald: Mr. Kosaian and his fiancee have purchased the log cottage at 1523 West Lake Drive. Initially we had taken a look at what we could do as far as remodeling it, which was not an option. He would like and is proposing to build a 2 story residence and because of the extreme narrowness of the lot and the size of the lot which was platted well before the ordinance was enacted he is requesting a 2% consideration on lot coverage and also the 3.83 feet on either side as well as the 40 inches of the overhang variance which is actually 14 inches beyond the wall of the house. We have centered the house in the middle of the site to balance the setbacks on the side. We have also pulled the house farther back from the lake from where the original cottage was, in consideration of the views and the site lines of the adjacent neighbors. We have also with pulling the house into the center of the site have lessened the nonconformity of the site with the existing house being 2.8 feet from the northerly property and the new house would be 6 foot 2 inches away from the north property line as well as correcting the nonconformity of the garage up close to West Lake Drive.



Ned Aloe, I like right next door. Brian has been very considerate as far as informing me of his intentions and providing plans and answering questions. As his next door neighbor I give him full support of his plans.


Greg Gnatek, I am also a West Lake Drive resident. I have reviewed Brian’s plans very thoroughly and I think that he is doing a wonderful job with what he is looking to do. The area, if you have ever driven through the area, needs great improvement through there and the lots are very narrow in that area. I recently built a house out there myself and had the same type of problems that Brian is having. So the variances that he is requesting are very necessary for that area and it does need all of the help that is possible.


Jeff Hagar, 2109 West Lake Drive. I had the opportunity to evaluate the actual site plan that is being proposed and a couple of areas that I noticed and that I felt were definitely in the best interest of the City is the fact that he is going to take a home that is about ready to fall over and instead of trying to build with something that is existing he wants to improve by centering the home on the lot which is something that is reasonable and I think it is something that is necessary to be done. The question that you would have to ask yourself is if you were to do it over again and replace it on the lot would you shove it one side of the lot or the other? No, I think that you would center it. The 2% lot coverage that he is asking for; I think, is very reasonable and necessary in order to maintain the architectural features of the home. The practical hardship that I see in this particular location is that it would be in the best interest of the neighbors on each side to center the home. Thank you.


Bruce Barnard, 1517 West Lake Drive. I am the neighbor to the immediate north of Mr. Kosaian. I submitted a letter to the Board explaining my concerns with the proposal and I guess at this time if you have any questions regarding my letter, I would be happy to go into more detail.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: We will address the letter momentarily on that. If we have questions, I would like to recall you to the stand at that time.


Bruce Barnard: Does the Board have a limit as to how far away people can live and still speak to the Board?


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I don’t think that there is any limitation as far as people putting input into something.


Bruce Barnard: My biggest concern obviously the 6 foot 2 inch setback on our shared property line. Mr. Kosaian’s house design is 28 foot wide. I am sure that you are aware that there are several 40 foot lots on West Lake Drive, East Lake Drive, South Lake Drive. There are some homes that are 20 foot wide and 22 foot wide and 24 foot wide. I am not sure that I see the need for a 28 foot wide home, although it is a desire I certainly would desire that as well. I am very leery about that short of a setback because I intend in the future to improve my lot as well and I would be 10 foot from that line, so this would take us at 16 and I think it would be a bit crowded. Presently my house is quite away from that line, approximately 30 feet. But that would change because my home is 73 years old as well. Some of my neighbors have stated that they support my interest in this issue and they submitted letters along the lines stating that the immediate neighbors’s concerns should be taken into account. I didn’t feel like dragging them down here tonight, but I felt that their letters were sufficient. If you have any questions later, please call me back up.


Tom Harvey, 1603 West Lake Drive. I have had a chance to meet with Brian and Becky both. I really thought that their plan was exemplary to be honest. I think that they have spent a lot of time considering what their needs are, evaluating the limitations of this particular lot which is only 40 feet wide and I would really like to see it approved. I don’t think that the requests are out of line with the homes that exist in the area. Thank you.


Don Saven had no comment.


Vice-Chairman Reinke indicated there was a total of 25 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was a total of 7 written responses received; 5 voicing approval, 1 objection and 1 conditional. Copies in file.


Member Harrington: Do I understand that 1 of the effects of the proposed construction will be to actually back the house farther off of the lake? How far will that be?


Craig McDonald: (tape inaudible)


Member Harrington: So the effect of this reconstruction would be to improve the site lines that the neighbors would have?


Craig McDonald: That is correct. (tape inaudible)


Member Harrington: The comment that I have for the Board is that this is somewhat troublesome because you have one neighbor who is very enthusiastic and you have a neighbor on the other side who has concerns. But, we also have had a great deal of input from other interested neighbors who feel strongly about the project; but to the extent that there is a property value issue it is generally my experience that when a major reconstruction goes in next door your taxes go up which is a cause of some distress because of the increase in the value of your property. I find it difficult to accept at face value that this reconstruction would have a detrimental impact on the neighbors. More to the point, with respect to a 2 story house, it if is 2 stories it is going to interfere with the sunlight anyway and no matter what he does, his remedy with a 73 year old house at some point may be build a second story himself, so I don’t know if the sunlight is a significant consideration in so far as the shading would be in an area that he has the right to re-build on anyway.


Member Brennan: I don’t think that you are ever going to find a design on any of these little lots on Walled Lake that is going to conform to the ordinance. So what we have dealt with in the past, although we don’t reference what we did in the past, the fact is can we minimize the effect on the neighbors? What type of variances are being requested? Is the house being over built? Is the lot to small for what you propose? When I looked at this, I thought that this was a nice design. It solves a couple of problems; one it gets rid of the house and the garage that is there and centers a new house, which is only smart. Unfortunately you have a neighbor that has some concerns; but I don’t think that you can come up with a design that meets everyone’s requirements. I like the idea that you are moving it back by pulling it back almost 6 more feet from the lake. I think that giving some consideration to your neighbors was very pro-active on your part.


Member Meyer: I think that it will increase the market value in the area and I think that the presentation has been excellent.


Moved by Member Harrington,


Seconded by Member Bauer,




Discussion on motion:


Member Brennan: For the record maybe we can add that the variance request is rather minimal and is still within the spirit of the ordinance.


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


Case no. 97-075 filed by Robert Pierson


Robert Pierson is requesting a 3.33 foot height variance and a 60 square foot variance to allow for the construction of a 40 x 64 pole barn for property located at 28477 Summit Drive.


Robert Pierson was present and duly sworn.


Robert Pierson: I am requesting and our plan is to put a pole barn up. We are in the Summit Hills Subdivision, very large lots. The barn that we propose to put up by the standard sizing of the company that we want to use would encroach the square footage by 60 square feet and given the size of the property we don’t feel that it is a problem. It is going to sit 25 feet off of one property line and 75 feet of the other; so it is well inside of the property. The other issue is the height. To get a door large enough to get our motor home through without going to a very customized pole barn would require the wall height of 14 feet which to meet their requirements or their recommendation of a 3-12 or 4-12 roof pitch, it puts the mean height of 2 1/2 or 3.33 feet over the requirements. The barn that we plan to put up is mainly for storage for the motor home and vintage vehicles, will not be the typical tin roof pole barn, it will be a shingled roof. It will meet the environment around it. It is completely protected by evergreens so that none of the neighbors really can see it. It is sitting in a low spot in the area so all of the homes adjacent to it, sit well above it. I don’t think that the relative height of it would be a problem.


Robert Pierson: I do have some photos showing the area around the site. (Photos given to Board.)




Chris Siefert, 28660 Summit Ct. I drive by this location at least twice a day and typically more times than that and what they have said about the shielding and the space is all entirely true. There is plenty of space and plenty of greenery around it and I find the request very reasonable.




Don Saven had no comment.


Vice-Chairman Reinke indicated there was a total of 14 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was a total of 3 written responses received all voicing approval. Copies in file.


Member Brennan: Again, a fine job by a resident in preparing and presenting a case. It seems that you have addressed all of the issues that I might have raised in regard to how it might impact neighbors. You certainly have the room out there. I don’t have a problem with this request.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Bauer,




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


Case No. 97-057 filed by Lee Mamola, representing Mercedes Benz


Continuation of case filed by Lee Mamola, representing Mercedes Benz, requesting a variance to allow a 66 square foot ground sign with the height from grade being 24'9" for property located at 39550 Grand River Avenue.

Robert Wilshaw, I will make some very brief comments and I will be followed by the architect, Lee Mamola.


Robert Wilshaw: I am the market manager for Mercedes Benz of North America. I would like to start out by thanking this group for the support and assistance that has been shown towards the Ghesquire organization in the establishment of the newest Mercedes Benz dealership in the United States. We at Mercedes Benz of North America recognize that this facility that is currently under construction in Novi will be a benchmark to which other high line luxury automobile dealerships will be judged. It will be a beautiful and tasteful facility. It will be a pride of Mercedes Benz of North America and a pride of the community of Novi. We at Mercedes Benz as with the community of Novi are intensely concerned with our image. We zealously protect our trademark and in representing our trademark we have an established sign program that is tasteful and portrays an upscale image for both the dealership and the community. Our sign program has components that are mandatory and some elements that are based upon our recommendations. The Ghesquire organization is before you seeking a variance based upon our recommendations. We at Mercedes Benz would like you to understand that we feel that this recommendation is in the best interest of conveying a tasteful and upscale image for both the facility and for the community of Novi. We hope that we would never make a recommendation for signage that is obtrusive. We feel that our signs will be an indication to those people entering Novi via Grand River Avenue that they are entering an upscale and prestigious community.


Lee Mamola: I would just like to recap some of the reasons that we felt that the variance was in order. I think that most of our case was presented at the previous meeting. At the previous meeting we talked about the dangers of and with traffic in the Grand River and Haggerty intersection and the safety issues for the customers coming onto the site. We showed photographs of the inabilities to view along Grand River Avenue, especially traveling from Farmington Hills towards this site and the unique angle that the building has to face; it is not a 90 degree angle to the road because of the angle of Grand River. It is a corner lot but it is buffered by a 135 foot setback that is measured from the center of Haggerty Road, and that is more than twice the normal setback width for a right of way. In addition to that there is some other setbacks that we had to comply with respect to flood way areas, another 80 feet in fact. The position of the sign is approximately 4 feet below the grade of Grand River, when you measure the location of the sign perpendicular to Grand River.


Lee Mamola: (passed a photo to the Board) This is a photograph of Mr. Ghesquire’s Mercedes store in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. If you look closely to the one side of the photograph you will see a very comparable sign as to what is proposed for this site. The difference is that the sign in that photograph is only a few feet shorter than the sign that is being proposed. That sign is not below the Woodward Avenue pavement as this sign is below the Grand River Avenue pavement. So the effect is that we would have a comparable height sign.


Member Harrington: What is the size of that sign?

Lee Mamola: 21 feet. I believe that sign is in scale to that building as this is sign is.


Lee Mamola: Finally what I would like to propose to the Board for your consideration in addition to all else that has been presented is that if you see a way to grant this variance Mr. Ghesquire has informed me that he would be willing to live with the requirement that this Board has the power to place on him that he would not be able to install any window signage. If this variance is not granted he would have to resort to window signage, hopefully in good taste. But I believe that this pole sign that you see the mock up out there in the field represents scale in proportion consistent with the site. I will be available for your questions.




There was no audience participation




Alan Amolsch had no comment.


Member Harrington: I have inspected the proposed rendering of the proposed sign no less than 11 occasions; all different directions, all different access and egress to the site and I am absolutely convinced and it is interesting that we have the Best Buy matter coming up later in the agenda, that the decision I made as a result of those variances was that I would never again approve a sign variance without a specific because I want the visceral and visual impact of that sign. I cannot possibly approve that sign, it is way more than needs to be done to address whatever the problems are there on site. It is over-kill, it is over-signage and it is inconsistent with what we are doing throughout the City of Novi and in my view inconsistent with a lot of the positive steps that we have made on Haggerty Road. If you drive south on Haggerty all the way down to Eight Mile, the other cornerstone of the City, you can see tasteful signs, you can see ground signs, you can signs where we have given modest relief where exigent circumstances require. But I don’t see any of that present on that sign at this location as proposed.


Member Brennan: It is very clear what the sign ordinance has written, with regard to car dealerships specifically. We do not wish to see these large, tall, pylon signs and while I can consider some relief on square footage given the setback, I too, was very upset at the height of the sign. As it is sitting there right now and today, I have no support.


Member Bauer: I too, go by it every day twice. I still feel that 24' 9" is to high. Visibility is very easy to see the sign both east and west and north and south for quite a distance. It doesn’t have to be that high.


Member Meyer: I have driven by both the mock up sign here in Novi as well as the sign in Bloomfield Hills and I believe that in Bloomfield Hills it is appropriate because of their signage and their ordinances; it is inappropriate here in Novi. I am truly of the opinion that Mercedes Benz can come up with a ground sign that will serve it’s purposes and serve it well and indeed address the dangers of the traffic intersection and the safety of customers in such a way that both of those issues will be resolved.


Member Brennan: I also think we are somewhat obliged to give some direction as we also give negative comments. I’ll concede that there is some topography issues with the parcel there and I will concede that maybe that 4 foot difference should be considered as part of the overall height. But, I would encourage you to look at what has been approved with other car dealersips in that same area as closer to what this Board would consider. Given that I have done the homework, if we include 4 foot as the ditch then I think that we are only looking at something that is even remotely acceptable that being the 4 foot plus an 8 foot or 12 foot overall height.


Member Bauer: I cannot approve it at this point.


Lee Mamola: Is it within the Board’s jurisdiction to approve a sign granted not at the requested height but at a lower height and I would let the Board be aware that once these signs get lower they also become narrower, they are all in proportion with the corporate guidelines and if the Board would be willing to consider a lesser variance somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 feet, that is measured from the ground and that in affect we would have 11 foot or thereabouts height when measured from Grand River, would that be available for discussion with the Board?


Member Baty: With 15 foot, what is the area?


Lee Mamola: I believe that the area would be about 26 feet, plus or minus a foot, because it is roughly 5 feet by 5 feet where the logo would be.


Charles Ghesquire: That is 7'2" by 7'2" and at present it is 8'7" by 8'7".


Member Brennan: So you are closer to ordinance on square footage.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I believe and I concur with Mr. Brennan that I am willing to allow the base of this sign be 4 foot above grade to counter act for the dip at that point, but the base of the sign would have to start at 4 foot. That is my opinion on this.


Member Brennan: Let me just reitterate what you just said, so that I am clear on this. What you are looking for is an overall height from the ground to the top of the sign at 15 foot with a reduction in square footage to something closer to 50 square feet. Is that where we are at right now?


Lee Mamola: Yes sir, a little less than 50 square feet. That 15 feet would include the 4 foot dip.

Member Brennan: The answer to your initial question was can we address any changes to your submittal and I believe that the answer is "yes" if it is less of an impact on the variance request.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: That is correct.


Member Meyer: I still want to see what the sign looks like before I would approve it. Particularly with where the location was, I would want to make sure that it is not going to become a traffic hinderance as far as view for those driving; so I would want to see this. I certainly do not mean to inconvenience these gentleman, but I would want to see what this sign would look like at 7'2" by 7'2" at 15 feet tall.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: The sign is going to be in the same place where the mock up is now?


Lee Mamola: That is correct.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: So that position will not change. The size sign that you had there is the size that you have requested at both elevations, is that correct?


Lee Mamola: That is correct.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: So basically it would be the same it is just that the height is going to change and the position.


Member Meyer: I thought that the size of the sign was going to be smaller becuase it was coming down.


Lee Mamola: Yes, the width of the sign gets narrower because the square which the circle or the logo fits in become that much smaller. It is like reducing on the Xerox machine; just hit the button.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I don’t believe that we are dealing with a traffic visual problem at that point in any elevation that would be there because I think that this would have been addresses by the police or the safety department when looking at the sign placement. I don’t think that is really an issue. It may be and you may want to pursue that but as to what I see I don’t think it is by driving and looking at that location.


Member Meyer: Then I wouldn’t have a problem.


Member Bauer: I don’t think it is a problem either.


Member Harrington: I cannot approve a sign unless I see it as it is proposed, and having said that if 15 feet is anywhere close to the Chrysler sign then it is huge and I don’t want to have these gentlemen coming back with a false impression that if they give us one at 15 feet then they are going to have it looked at with favor at least from this Board Member. I think that the starting point is compliance with code and you work up from there. You don’t pick 25 feet and work down from there. My position on that will not change.


Member Bauer: How close are you to opening?


Charles Ghesquire: When we came before the Board for rezoning and we had requested to talk about signs then and we were told that we couldn’t talk about signs until the building was up. We are now 30 days from opening, we want to be open on the 6th of October.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: You are saying a sign at 15 feet, with a 7'6" square?


Lee Mamola: Approximately. It would be 7'2".


Vice-Chariman Reinke: Then you are going to be 8 foot above grade, the base of the sign?


Lee Mamola: You would have as much of a void under the sign visually as you would for the sign board itself.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I still think it is to high. I hate to use one of your competitors as an example but the "Land Rover" down the road has the same kind of corner configuration that you have and they have a sign package that I think would almost fit our ordinance and it looks very tasteful and noticeable.


Charles Ghesquire: We are set 250 feet back from Haggerty and that is the major problem.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I think that a sign at 4 feet above grade, the base of the sign, would give you very ample identification.


Charles Ghesquire: Our landscape will grow higher than that. (tape inaudible as he did not go to microphone) I think this is very minimal compared to some of the signs that you have at the Chevrolet dealer, for example. Our neighboring dealers have just unbelievable amounts of signs. We have only one very simple sign. If you put a sign that is 8 feet high you are still 4 feet down and then you have 3 to 4 feet of landscaping. You can’t expect people from 250 feet away to see that sign. We have no signage on Haggerty and that is a major thoroughfare, it carries more traffic than Grand River.


Member Brennan: I like the fact and I am encouraged by the fact that we can get square footage down to where the ordinance reads, 50 square feet or so. That is always much more of an impact, I think, from my perspective than height. We are looking at from grade a sign that is 11 foot tall. I am a lot more comfortable with that proposal, which from their perspective is a 9 foot give on height and meeting ordinance on square footage. I would certainly give square footage of a sign for height; but we are not in a trade or give. But, I am much more comfortable with the alternative.


Member Baty: What would be the area of the sign if the height were 11 or 12 feet? Would it still be 7 by 7?


Charles Ghesquire: Yes.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I have a problem with 8 foot underneath that sign. I am willing to give some, but my personal opinion is that 8 feet is not required. You talk about the landscaping, etc. of being 3 to 4 feet, I don’t know because we don’t see anything on the rendering showing where landscaping is going to be.


Lee Mamola: On the diagram in front there are some existing trees that must stay.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: The existing trees that are there, I have seen those and they don’t seem to be an obstruction other than maybe if you were at one exact point. Yes, you do need some identification, but I don’t think it needs to be as high and at the impact level as the mock up at this point.


Charles Ghesquire: The 8 feet that you are concerned about under the sign has another sign which indicates "Welcome to Novi" and if you get much lower you can’t get that sign in.


Member Baty: Using your argument, we wouldn’t be able to see that sign anyway.


Member Meyer: The one concern that I have is that I still think that you can do a tasteful and classy sign and I don’t believe that the height of the sign is going to determine how tasteful and classy it is. I do truly believe that the Chairman’s comments about other signs in that area could be visited and seen for what they have done as far as the landscaping and the building up around the sign. The sign could be very tastefully done. I don’t know if I understand that as part of the issue here.


Charles Ghesquire: (tape inaudible - did not go to microphone to speak). Even if you berm this sign you are still restricted because the berm counts for the sign height. So that won’t solve our problem. We are down below the road. We have done everything that we can to satisfy the City and not overbuild the sign. If you put that sign on a vacant 5 acres of land on that corner and we........


Member Harrington: I think that we have a problem here and that is a failure to communicate running both ways and I am not sure that this Board Member is going to be persuaded by further argument for a 15 or 20 foot sign. The applicants don’t seem to be particularly hearing what we are saying, which is that there may be room for some relief but much closer to where the ordinance requires. That being the case and before suggesting a motion I will make one other comment which is the Mercedes sign is tasteful, it is striking, it is attractive. It is not the Mercedes component of the sign that causes this Board Member a problem, it is the height from grade given the location at this particular juncture, given what other people on the Haggerty Corridor have done to come as close as they can if not within the confines of the ordinance. That is my comment.


Moved by Member Harrington,




Motion fails due to lack of a second.


Lee Mamola: Can I ask that perhaps the Board may be willing to table this matter until the end of the Meeting and perhaps you can hear the other cases and we go to the back area and come back at the end of the Meeting.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: We will see you at the end of the Meeting.



Case No. 97-064 filed by Norman Hyman, representing American Realty Corp.


Norman Hyman, representing American Realty Corp. (Highpoint Shopping Center) is seeking clarification and/or revision of the Zoning Board of Appeals sign variances that were granted on April 1, 1997 in case Number 97-008 (Best Buy Company), 97-009 (Office Max), and 97-010 (Copy Max) limiting the variances to the particular petitioner only.


Norman Hyman was present.


Norman Hyman: I have petitioned on behalf of American Realty and I represent American Realty. Gary Krull from American Realty is with me and I hope that between us we can answer any questions that you have.


Norman Hyman: The first thing that I want to point out is that we are not asking for a variance here and we are not asking for a change in any of the conditions that you applied to your variance grants. It didn’t occur and it should have, until they looked at the minutes that in fact this was limited to the existing tenants and the potential tenants. It can create a severe problem. We have already had discussions with one other user that kind of dramatizes it and that is that it is very difficult to run a shopping center as a landlord if every time there is a change in tenancy you have to tell the tenant that we don’t know if your sign is going to be approved, we will have to go to the ZBA. So what we would like is as I say, either a clarification or revision which will still limit the size of each sign and you will recall that the variances were given because of the visibility issue. Still limit the size of the sign to what has been granted and to the general location or the same locations. With that there will be no addition, no impact at all in terms of land use impact or in terms of impact on the surrounding area. We will be happy to answer any questions.




There was no audience participation.




Alan Amolsch had no comment.


Member Bauer: I think that these variances were stated exactly the way we wished them to be, for each individual occupancy that is there today. When a new one comes in, they will have to come to this Board to get a variance to have their name on it.


Norman Hyman: Assuming that is the way the Board decided to go, can we at least get an expression that if we maintain the same size and the same location that unless there is something that you feel is totally out of tune with the character of the development that it will be a relatively easy matter to get those approved?


Member Meyer: We may all be dead or not on this Board any more. We can’t say that it would be relatively easy.


Norman Hyman: Hopefully, however, your minutes won’t be dead and I will have a copy of them.


Member Meyer: My point is that relatively easy is very relative concept.


Norman Hyman: I understand. I am looking for some kind of expression of sentiment that at least would help us and it is inevitable, not if but when, there is a change in tenancy that we can give the tenant assurance or the perspective tenant assurance; "the same conditions exist, as long as you do a tasteful sign you are not going to have any problems".


Member Meyer: Well, you just hit the nail on the head. It is a tasteful sign that one of the absolute goals of all of this and to make sure that Novi doesn’t become a City of signs as so many cities have and that it be done tastefully. So, in light of that I would imagine that anyone coming before the Board with a tasteful sign within the ordinance should find it very easy.


Norman Hyman: Thank you. You have given me what I have asked for in terms of the minutes.


Member Harrington: I specifically remember the High Point package and we probably spent as much time on that package over various sessions over a period of months as we have on any package with the possible exception of Vistas. I had major concerns at the beginning, at the middle and at the end with that entire package out there and one of the reasons that I felt strongly that we should we have it reserved to the particular applicants was because of those reservations. I would love to have that package to start from the beginning on again, but we have approved it for better or for worse and I am looking forward particularly in the case of Best Buy, if there is a new tenant that comes in - I want to hear some powerful justification for the color scheme and the like which has been imposed and which was a part of that package. I could not be persuaded to simply grant a location specific variance at this point rather than a tenant specific and I don’t think that you want us re-doing that whole package again either. So, my position is so your minutes are clear that for this Board Member it is user specific and we are busy but we will always make time for your new tenants.


Member Brennan: Does that tell you what you want to hear?


Norman Hyman: Oh, I get the message and you don’t hear me complaining. If there is some formal action required by way of a vote, we are ready to go home.


Member Harrington: I am not sure that we need to vote ....


Norman Hyman: I am not sure either.


Member Brennan: You have asked for clarification.


Member Harrington: The clarification is that it is tenant specific. That is my recollection. Does that concur with the rest of the Board?


(All yeas.)


Member Brennan: That is something that we very often tie as part of a motion.


Norman Hyman: We understand. There was a request in the alternative for a revision and I don’t know if that would require a formal vote. I don’t know, but I will leave that to the Board. I gather that the sense is that you have clarified and it is to be personal to each tenant and that therefore our only relief at this point is a revision, so you may want to take a vote on that.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: It is represented as a clarification or revision and I think that this way we are taking care of the situation. The clarification is that it is as exists would be to deny the revision. Am I correct?


Member Brennan: You were seeking clarification and or revision.


Norman Hyman: That is correct.

Member Harrington: Are we dealing with tidying up the issues for file purposes or are we dealing with a larger issue which is creating a record and a decision by this Board which may then be timely appealed to Circuit Court? Because we may have to deal with timeliness issues in order to give you a record you can work from.


Norman Hyman: That would hurt me. It would hurt my client and not the City. As you know we have a 21 day appeal period.


Member Harrington: Correct, and the decision that was made was back in April.


Norman Hyman: Oh, I see what you are saying. No, the issue that we would appeal would only be tonight’s issue. But Gary is there any intention to go to court on this? I can’t imagine that the client would take your action tonight as a basis for going into court.


Member Harrington: OK, then I am prepared to vote if there is a motion for a revision. I am prepared to vote on that it being stipulated and in the minutes that we are not dealing with whether this matter has been brought before us timely because I feel quite strongly that it has not been. So, I don’t want to trigger a jurisdiction which would not otherwise exist by virtue of making a decision but as long as that is not what is at issue here........


Norman Hyman: I can assure the Board that even if we should decide to go to the court, which I think would not happen, we would never raise that issue or rely on that issue.


Moved by Member Harrington,


Seconded by Member Bauer,




Discussion on motion:


Member Brennan: I would like to include in the motion, that the issue of clarification was specifically addressed to the satisfaction of the petitioner.


Norman Hyman: I am not walking out of here entirely satisfied. We would have like the revision or a clarification.


Member Brennan: I just wanted to make sure that we have clarified what our position is and you said that you understood our clarification.

Norman Hyman: I certainly do. You have given me that clarification to my satisfaction and I clearly understand it.


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


Case No.97-065a, b & c filed by the Food & Wine Bazaar


Food & Wine Bazaar is requesting variances: a) to add additional verbiage ("LOTTO" 2' X 7', 14 sq. ft.) to the existing awning on the front elevation; b) to add verbiage ("LIQUOR * PIZZA * LOTTO", 24' X 2', 28 sq. ft.) to the existing awning on the east side elevation; c) to add verbiage ("LOTTO, LIQUOR * PIZZA, 9' X 4', 36 sq. ft.) to the existing awning on the rear elevation, for property located at 43340 Ten Mile Rd.


There was no one present for the case. Will be recalled at the end of the Meeting.



Case No. 97-068 a & b filed by Jan Signs, representing Belle Tire


Jan Signs, representing Belle Tire, is requesting a variance to allow the placement of two (2) wall signs on the building located at 42409 Grand River Avenue. A ) 28' x 7' (196 sq. ft.) wall sign with the verbiage "LOGO, BELLE TIRE", B) a 35' x 2' (70 sq. ft.) wall sign with the verbiage ‘CERTIFIED AUTO SERVICE". There is an existing ground pole sign at the location.


James Bolton was present and duly sworn.


James Bolton: After the completion of a huge obstruction next door to the Belle Tire Store on Grand River, the gentleman that owns the store wants to remodel the store number one and number two he would like to add signage to the building reading "Belle Tire and Certified Auto Service" and include the logo with the drawings that I submitted.


James Bolton: You have down here that the logo and the Belle Tire is 196 square feet. This is the first city that I have been in that has come up with that number. I have done 30 of these stores and they called it 100 square feet. I don’t know how you came up with 196 square feet. The logo is 28 square feet and the Belle Tire letters are 70.


Alan Amolsch: That is how we measure sign area. 28 by 7 . Wasn’t that on the application?


James Bolton: No, it was 100 square feet on the application.


Member Baty: What was the size of the sign?


James Bolton: A 4 by 7 foot logo, and a 3 by 24 foot Belle Tire letters.

Alan Amolsch: We measure the entire parallelogram of the sign. From the highest point of the sign times the longest length of the message is how we measure the sign area. We include all of the dead space that is in between there, that is how we measure the sign area.


James Bolton: So that is how you figure it. The first one out of 30. OK.


Member Meyer: It is nearly double what you are used to. You thought it was 100 and it is 196, that is almost twice the size of the sign that you say it is.


James Bolton: No, that is how you figure it. I have 30 other cities that don’t figure it that way.


James Bolton: One of the reasons that we need more signage at this building specifically is because there seems to be a huge obstruction built to the west of this property and also there is now a street that is there. This is an entrance to some sort of apartment complex or something and then there is the shopping center that is built next door.


James Bolton: Presented pictures to the Board.


James Bolton: Since we are on the corner of a street now, aren’t we allowed more signage?


Alan Amolsch: No. Only thoroughfares.


James Bolton: I did a job down the street from here about 4 years ago and we were allowed to put second and third signage up because we were on the corner of an intersection.


Alan Amolsch: That would be corner on an intersection which is a thoroughfare and not a private road. The road that goes into the apartment complex is not a public street. The ordinance stipulates that it has to be a thoroughfare.


James Bolton: Well, I went back today and looked at that street and it is still not a street.


James Bolton: We simply want to reface the building and this is a building that is done in Plymouth. (photos given to the Board.) and we have them in 24 other cities. That one is similar to the same construction as this building. At this point in time this building has no identification other than the 30 square foot sign out in the front. I believe that we need some signs on this building. The foliage out front is growing up around the ground sign that is out front. It is a 30 square foot sign and it is about 4 feet tall. The trees on either side of are now 4 1/2 feet tall. Plus they built this, I don’t know what next door at this private driveway that he is says is there and it just wipes out the building. The building is gone when you drive eastbound on Grand River.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Let me ask you a question for my clarification. You are proposing to add 2 wall signs to the location in addition to the existing sign that is there? Am I correct on that?


James Bolton: The 30 square foot ground sign, yes.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Then that is what you are requesting?


James Bolton: Yes, sir.




There was no audience participation.




Alan Amolsch had no comment.


Member Brennan inquired of Alan Amolsch: If he didn’t have the ground sign and he had one wall sign what would be the allowable square footage on that?


Alan Amolsch: I don’t know that because I don’t know the setback of the building is to the centerline of Grand River. You are probably looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 square feet.


Member Brennan: I asked that question because I wanted you to have an understanding of the significance of your request. You can either have a sign on the building or a ground sign in front, that is what the ordinance reads. You not only want the ground sign in front but 2 wall signs that are approximately 6 times the allowable square footage. So your request is rather enormous.


James Bolton: There is a tire store down the street that I got a variance for 4 years ago, and it has 120 square feet out front and it has 2 signs, it has 2 entrance signs with logos that are 3 square foot each, it has a secondary sign for the side road of 30 square feet, with another entrance sign of 3 square feet and then in the windows I noticed today that there must be 250 square feet of other sign.

(Pictures were presented to the Board.)


James Bolton: I go back to the obstruction, that I don’t know what it is next door to this building that has totally wiped out the building when you are coming eastbound on Grand River and the foliage and the ground goes up hill. The foliage that is growing up around the one ground sign, it is just wiping out the store. The store is gone.


Member Brennan: Belle Tire was served notice of that addition or entranceway next door, if they had a problem they should have been at the meeting that night. Secondly, what is that another tire store that is not relevant to this case.


James Bolton: It is not, why not?


Member Brennan: As I see the case as written, this is Belle Tire on Grand River and it has nothing to do with this case.


Member Brennan: The case as presented, as far as I am concerned, doesn’t have a lot of cause for hardship for the amount of signage that they are asking for and for the square footage of signage.


James Bolton: What do you consider hardship?


Member Brennan: That is not for me to say, that is for you to say sir.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Harrington,




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


Case No, 97-071 filed by Intercity Neon, representing Gateway Country Personal Computers


Intercity Neon, representing Gateway Country Personal Computers, is requesting a variance to allow a sign 24' x 4'10 1/2" (118 sq. ft.) for property located at 25875 Novi Road in the City Center Plaza.


Ray Schaeffer and Dan Marfield were present and duly sworn.


Ray Schaeffer: The store is 108 foot roughly long. The speed limit on Novi Road is 40 miles per hour at that point and the store is roughly 150 foot off of the road, where Gateway is. I know that it angles over where it is closer; the farther south that you go. We are just looking for a sign that would be able to be seen so that people could slow down to get into this shopping center. That is basically it. I understand that you only allow 40 square foot and we asking for 118 and from what I have seen so far this probably wouldn’t be approved. What would you suggest that we come up.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I wouldn’t ask that because we would tell you to live within the ordinance.

Ray Schaeffer: Basically if we put a 40 square foot sign up there, it would end up being 14 foot long. On a 108 foot long building that is really not much identification. Can I ask, if somebody else in the shopping center rents a 25 foot store front, how much square footage would they be allowed?

Alan Amolsch: They would be allowed 24 square feet. That is the minimum, if you only have 5 feet of frontage you still get 24 square feet. You are allowed a little larger sign as your lineal frontage increases, but the maximum is 40 square feet.


Ray Schaeffer: I know that at the strip center across the street, Novi Town Center, there are quite a few of the signs in there that are quite a bit larger than the 40 square feet. I don’t know if that is relevant or not.


Dan Marfield: One of our concerns is that we have an identity package that we are supposed to stand by. The logo, Gateway Country and also the personal computer part. The setback from the street is 150 feet, the building is also on an angle where I believe that if you are coming down Novi towards Grand River the building is on an angle. A 40 square foot sign the maximum letter for the Gateway Country is around 14 inches, which if you have a visibility chart the maximum that you could read is about 140 feet. We are looking for something, any more square footage that we can use to help people identify our sign. The personal computer part, the letter on the personal computer is a box sign and they are only 6 inches.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I think that maybe to help the situation out I am going to throw out a suggestion here. When do you plan on opening your store?


Dan Marfield: They are going to be open in about a month and a half.


Dan Marfield: We were hoping and if asking to much at 118 square feet that there would be some way that we could find a happy solution for everyone. We are concerned that a sign that small is not going to identify the location with the speed limit at 40 miles per hour. There is also at the corner a gas station, so that is also a concern of ours.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: That building is a magnet in itself , without even a sign on it.


Ray Schaeffer: Yes, but you wouldn’t be able to tell what stores are in there.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I understand that, but I am just saying that the building draws people’s attention and any sign is going to be directed from the attention that the building draws. It can’t do anything but draw attention because it is the only thing that is there. My observation of that and driving by there on a daily basis.


Dan Marfield. Our concern as I said earlier is at 40 square feet the size of the letters actually doesn’t bring the visibility to a decent level. We thought that if we had something larger the people would at least be able to identify. They might be able to identify the center but they won’t be able to identify the store.


Member Harrington: Is this a tenant in the retail area, is this the shopping center, what is Gateway Country Personal Computers?


Dan Marfield: A mail order and a retail store.


Member Harrington: Will there be other occupants?


Dan Marfield: We are taking up the big space.


Member Harrington: Any idea where the other tenants are at with their signs.


Dan Marfield: I do not.


Member Harrington: Because whatever we do is going to have an impact on the other signage in that center.


Dan Marfield: We have a verbal approval from the landlord to go ahead with this.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I concur with Mr. Harrington, until we know really what all we are looking at I am very reluctant to deviate from the ordinance. With what your request is, if the others come in with the same kind of request pretty soon we won’t have a building, just a big sign all the way across.


Dan Marfield: Also in a case like this the other tenants that are coming in don’t have 108 feet.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I understand that, but what I am saying in proportion to what you have requested if they come in and request in the same proportion additional signage pretty soon we are going to have a sign across the whole front of that building.


Ray Schaeffer: We have another size that would take in 72 square foot of sign. Would that be reasonable? I have a drawing here of it.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Where we are loosing perspective here, in my point of view, it is the same thing that we have gone through time and time again in cases - to be really fair to you and to be fair to the Board to make the best decision my suggestion is that we table this and that you put up a the size in a mock up a banner or something of what you think is the minimum that you have to have. That way everybody can drive by there and they can make a very intelligent decision on what is visible and what is not visible. Maybe it is that you need more; but to sit here without having something as a reference to work with is very difficult. It is not really fair to all sides. It is my best feeling to do something to have the best representation for everybody.


Ray Schaeffer: And then come back when? A month from now?


Vice-Chairman Reinke: That would be October 7th.


Ray Schaeffer: Then there wouldn’t be enough time to get the sign built and installed before the opening.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: This is only one person’s opinion and in my opinion you are not going to get past 40 square feet without that. I am only speaking for myself.


Member Brennan: From another perspective you are asking us to consider a sign that is 3 times that of ordinance and now you want to put the burden of the time table on our shoulders too. I am not going to accept that, sir.


Dan Marfield: If that is a problem, is there anything that is comprable?


Member Brennan: I don’t know what 70 square feet would look like.


Dan Marfield: We have a drawing here.


Member Brennan: That is not the building. If you were here all night you have heard the discussions and the comments that were made with regard to signage and if you are going to have something that excessive, even 70 foot is twice the ordinance, be prepared to take some recommendations that the Chairman has just made or you give us really no options. What we have in front of us is a request for something that is 3 times...


Dan Marfield: Then how should we go about that, you said a recommendation of putting a banner up?


Vice-Chairman Reinke: My suggestion would be is to take a banner the size of the sign that you want; you don’t necessarily have to put the lettering on it because we know what you want to put on there. We want something in the position and size that you want to have. Tape it up there. We don’t care. Call the secretary, tell her it is up there, we will drive by it and give it a fair evalutation. And it might come up to where we think that you need something bigger. I don’t know.


Dan Marfield: What I am asking is, if we put a banner up should we put a banner up at the 40 square feet or something that we would like?


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I would suggest that you put up what you want to have, and then you relay to Nancy that we feel that we need a ?? square foot sign and that is what we are putting up as a mock up and located where we feel that we want this sign. Other than that, I am not prepared to vote for anything other than 40 square feet this evening.


Dan Marfield: That is reasonable.


Ray Schaeffer: Then we will table it for a month.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Does the Board agreee to table this until the next meeting?


(All yeas)


Member Baty: I have one more suggestion, you had suggested that they don’t need to put the lettering on the sign; in your particular case I think that it would help to put the lettering on the sign because you have such a long name.


Member Meyer: It doesn’t have to be a banner, it can be whatever.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: It can be a piece of cardboard and you could just paint the block letters.


Dan Marfield: I think that is something that we can do.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: We want something up there that would represent the size sign that you want.

Dan Marfield: Also, would that be taken into consideration the size and the actual visibility of it? That is why we would put a banner up showing the actual size.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: That is what we are looking at in the whole perspective and that will give us the perspective by you doing that.


Member Meyer: You did say that is a 150 foot setback?


Dan Marfield: That is correct.


Member Harrington: Your starting point has to be the 40 square feet and not the 115 on your wish list, but the 40 square feet and how much more than that do you gentlemen feel that you absolutely have to have in order to accomplish your purposes. You may decide when you see the letters up there in your own rendering that maybe you could get closer to the Novi Ordinance. The closer you get the better your chances of getting some relief.


Ray Schaeffer: And what is the date of the next meeting?


Vice-Chairman Reinke: We will see you at our next meeting on October 7th.


Continuation of Case No. 97-057 filed by Lee Mamola, representing Mercedes Benz


Lee Mamola: Thank you for the pause in the action. I have had the chance to review a few options with our clients and take into heart some of the comments that we have heard a few moments ago. I am going to pass around a suggestion here in a moment.


Lee Mamola: In lieu of the pylon sign that we have been talking about, I would like to suggest that we have a much lower ground sign. You see a little diagram that is on the Xerox there, however, we are asking that the Board allow us to berm up to take away that approximate 4 foot disadvantage that we have of being down in the ditch and that the height of the sign be measured from the top of the berm and the top of the berm will be the Grand River pavement. So we want to equalize the pavement in the height issue relative from Grand River to the base of the sign. The total sign height would be 6 feet then if you measure from the top of the berm, a mini pylon sign. The other facet that we are doing, however, and I can’t reitterate the necessity to keep the other half; that we take the star part that was on the pylon sign and put that along the eastern facade of the building over the glass which is over the showroom. We have about an 8 foot height of wall above the glass and we would be proposing a sign of about 6 1/2 feet tall. So the surface of the wall would go around the permiter of the sign and be quite tasteful. The sign, in other words, would look like it fits into the facade of the building. It does a couple of things; it maintains the mandatory requirement that any Mercedes dealership has to display the star logo and it gives visual access and the start logo towards Haggerty where we feel much of the hazards of the driving and the need to have visibility from Haggerty and also the fact that we have great distance from Haggerty to that side of the building for several reasons that I stated before.


Lee Mamola: To sum up, in lieu of the pylon sign we are going to split that sign up - part of it on the side of the building, the star part and go with a low ground sign but we ask the Board to allow us to build up a berm and to measure it from the pavement of Grand River. Any questions?


Member Bauer: Is this the one that you are talking about?


Lee Mamola: Yes, MHPC is what I think it is called.


Member Bauer: What is the legth from the ground to the sign?


Lee Mamola: That would be about 2 feet. It would be 6 feet in total height. There is a 2 foot open area under that sign.


Member Brennan: So if we re-look what your request is for; the ground sign we are now looking at something around 55 square feet and a variance of 1 foot; are there any issues about berming up that 4 foot ditch?


Don Saven: That would be up to the Board.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: What were you talking about - that you would berm it up to road ground level?


Lee Mamola: The berm would come up so that the top of the berm would match the Grand River grade, then we would have another 2 feet of open area that you see on the diagram in front of you and then a 4 foot tall paneled sign. The idea is to get this up and visible to the people on the road.

Member Brennan: So we are dealing with approximately 55 square foot, a 1 foot variance on the ground sign; but in addition now a wall sign of about 42 square feet.


Lee Mamola: Yes.


Member Baty: The variance would actually be for a 10 foot height then, due to the berm?


Vice-Chairman Reinke: You are looking at 10 foot from grade.


Lee Mamola: It is about a 4 foot berm, so it would be about 10 foot total.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: So we are looking at this from eixisting grade to where your sign is located and that would be 10 foot to the top of the sign.


Lee Mamola: That would be correct.


Member Harrington: What other signs have we already approved or does code already provide for so that we can comprehend what the total sign would be for Mercedes?


Lee Mamola: There are other signs, on the site plan you will see 2 dark lines; one by the 45 degree over the entry that kind of faces towards the intersection and then one at the other westerly entry towards Grand River. I will pass this around but that is where they are.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: So, there are actually 2 major wall signs there.


Lee Mamola: One says Mercedes Benz and the other says Manor Motorcar Co.


Member Harrington: Am I correct in my count that with the addition of thiis 42 square foot star sign and the ground sign and th 2 additional signs on the facing wall would give you 4 signs on the property?


Lee Mamola: Yes, there would. However, if you look carefully at the Bloomfield Hills store sign what they have is a continuous piece of fascia material, a flat metal panel and frankly I think that you would have the perception of that being 1 sign but it is counted as 2 signs.


Member Brennan: In total because they are on 2 main thoroughfares....


Alan Amolsch: They have applied for, but have not gotten the permits, but they were approved for 2 wall signs. On a corner lot they are premitted 2 wall signs subject to the square footage limitations of the ordinance. That is another reason they are here for the ground sign, because it is not allowed once they put the 2 wall signs up; then they are not allowed any other signage.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Do you have the calculations of what square footage they would be allowed?


Alan Amolsch: It is a 1 and 3 formula. One square foot of sign for every 3 feet of setback measured from the centerline of the adjacent roadway, so from Haggerty Road you are talking about quite a bit of sign area.


Lee Mamola: I think that we are 210 feet, then we have another 60 and another 20 so we are easily 300 feet from the wall.


Alan Amolsch: If you divide that by 3 you would get your square footage allotment for a wall sign.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: What are you going to use name wise? How many square foot are you going to use for that?


Alan Amolsch: They applied for a 23'10" x 22" wall sign on one side of the building for 43.7 square feet and 17'3" x 22" wall sign on the other for 31.6 square feet. Those were applied for and approved. However, they have not gotten the permits for those.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: According to what the setbacks are, you could fit that logo in without even getting the variance.


Lee Mamola: I think that we had the question of the number of signs.


Alan Amolsch: If you consolidate the signs in the square foot allotment you could do that. If you have the logo combined with the letters, it could quite possibly fit.


Lee Mamola: Maybe you could look at the print, we are talking about putting this in 3 different positions around the building.


Member Brennan: On the same runner?

Member Harrington: No, he is going to tuck the star to the far north end of the building.


Alan Amolsch: That would then be a separate sign.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: To me it seems that it would look a lot more harmonious if it was included with the star logo in a panel similar to what you are proposing for the pylon sign.


Robert Wilshaw: This is a requirement from our German parent company, it can’t be combined with the name. There are certain parameters that have to be worked with.


Member Brennan: You don’t have the star on the building in Bloomfield Hillls?


Charles Ghesquire: No, because it is on the pylon sign.


Member Brennan: The star in the proposed ground sign doesn’t meet the requirement?


Charles Ghesquire: No, it has to be a pylon sign. There is one exception if there is no pylon you can put it on the building but with no other letters.


Member Baty: You can combine the star with words on the pylon sign; but you can’t combine them on the wall?


Robert Wilshaw: We don’t have a fascia that is approved by Germany that has the star in it. Mercedes Benz has to be to the left the dealer name has to be right, but we don’t have the actual star in the fascia. Now what they are saying is that they are putting up a wall star that will have that star because we do have situations where we just have no place to put a pylon. That is why you can put a wall star up.


Vice-Chariman Reinke: I think that we have gotten into enough of sign designs, I think that we need to take some action.


Member Bauer: I don’t see a problem with it.


Member Brennan: I am encouraged that we have gotten rid of the pylon, got it down to a reasonable height with the ground sign and I think in the spirit of moving along they are looking for a relatively small sign on the building, 42 square feet, and I would be moved to accept the proposal.


Member Meyer: I am also reassured by the fact that the Bloomfield Hills store does look very polished and classy, so I believe that they will do this in good taste.


Moved by Member Meyer,

Seconded by Member Brennan,




Discussion on motion:


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Clarification of the motion, you are asking for how many stars?


Lee Mamola: There would be a star on the little ground sign and the other star would be on the building on the east wall (Haggerty wall) over the show room window.


Member Meyer: And that would be 42 square feet if I understand you.


Lee Mamola: Right.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I just want to clarify the locations that we were talking about so that we all had a clear understanding.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: That should reference rendering MHP-C (ground sign). The star sign on the east elevation of the building should reference Type B or MWS-B .


Member Harrington: Is this motion for this applicant only?




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


Recall of Case No. 97-065a, b & c filed by Food & Wine Bazaar


No one was present for the case.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Harrington,




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

Other Matters


Don Saven: Just something on this particular case, when we deviate from what is being presented to us; I kind of lost it in the whole transitiion with the bartering of what is allowed. Whether the star was going to be a part of the wall sign or not. They did not come before us for a wall sign. The wall signs were approved based upon the location and I wasn’t sure how you were voting on this issue. The question is whether or not when we deal those things that are coming before us that are not a part of the original approval process we are going to have to be very watchful in that particular area and try to clarify whether or not that it is an approved use or whether it is something that they are seeking a variance for. They could take that star and put that star up there as a wall sign and not have to worry about a permit based upon the distance from the road or they could add the star to part of the verbiage for the sum total of the x-amount of what they are allowed based upon the setback. But I think that what I am more concerned about is the fact that if we start trailing off into some other realm from what we are here for, that is what I have a concern about and whether we can do that legally.

Vice-Chairman Reinke: Direction wise where I think I ran off and in the wrong direction is that I was looking at both square footages of the signs.


Don Saven: Yes, in talking and listening to what Alan was indicating was what was allowed for the 2 wall signs on the corner piece. He was only here for the pylon sign. The star is now incorporated in the wall, they didn’t show us that as being part of the initial approval.


Member Brennan: I was under the impression that given the 2 wall signs approved in square footage, that the square footage that they were asking for with the star was still within the allowable wall signage. I understood that quite specifically.


Don Saven: Maybe then I didn’t hear that correctly.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: That was my interpretation.


Don Saven: Why would we give them another wall sign?


Member Brennan: With the 2 wall signs that they had that were already approved, that totaled 100 square foot. The star was going to given them another 42 for a total of 142. I heard somewhere in there that they were allowed 150. Now, if I.......


Member Baty: The way that you worded the motion, did we then give them 150 plus 40 or...they didn’t need a variance so it shouldn’t have been a part of the motion.


Member Harrington: It did because of the location.


Member Baty: Because of the location and not the size or because it is the third.


Member Brennan: It is differnent than what we had last month.


Don Saven: I guess the point is that if we start bartering and things of this nature, I guess we have to be a little more careful in what we are doing in that particular area to make sure that we are clarified in what we are doing different from what they petition for. We always say if it less than but then if it goes from one to another and for example the first case that came before us we had to do a whole new case over for it because they decided that they were going to go for a carport in lieu of the detached garage and that is not how it first came to us. It came to us as a detached garage and that was what they wanted to have for the size and location. Then he went across the street and to a carport. So that was different than what they had petitioned for so we needed to go back and notify.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: What is our disposition on Case No. 97-058, which was their original?


Don Saven: We had to come up with a different case number.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Yes, but what about the file for 058, do we have to do anything with that?


Don Saven: I don’t think so. You asked them to come back with a different option, which they did.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: But we never did anything other than to table 058. Do we need to do anything with that?


Don Saven: I don’t think so, because you gave them the option to come back with a different option.

Vice-Chairman Reinke: It is that time of the year, have you seen anything on the MSPO conference?


Don Saven: I think that Jim has something on that upstairs. I will check with him.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: If he does, include that in our next packet.


Don Saven: Is anyone interested in the MSPO conference?


Member Bauer: It would depend upon when it is.





The Meeting was adjourned at 10:42 p.m.







Date Approved Nancy C. McKernan

Recording Secretary