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




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


Absent: Member Bauer


Also Present: Donald M. Saven - Building Official

Alan Amolsch - Ordinance Enforcement Officer

Gerrie Hubbs - Recording Secretary




Chairman Antosiak indicated the Zoning Board of Appeals is a Hearing Board empowered by the Novi City Charter to hear appeals seeking variances from the application of Novi City Ordinances. It takes a vote of at least four (4) Members to approve a variance and a majority of those present to deny a variance. We have six (6) Members here tonight, a Full Board, so all decisions made tonight will be final.



Approval of Agenda


Chairman Antosiak inquired are there any proposed changes to the agenda? Hearing none, I move that the agenda be approved as distributed. Voice Vote: All yeas. Agenda Approved


Approval of Minutes


Chairman Antosiak indicated in the packet was the draft minutes from the October 7, 1997 Meeting of the ZBA, are there any proposed changes to those minutes? Hearing none, I move that the minutes be approved as written. Voice Vote: All Yeas. Minutes Approved


Public Remarks


Chairman Antosiak indicated this is the Public Remarks section of our Meeting, all comments related to a case before the Board this evening will be heard at the time that case is heard. However, if anyone in the audience would like to address the Board on any matter not related to a specific case before us tonight, now is the time to do so. Is there anyone in the audience who would like to address the Board? (No one wished to be heard at this time.)


Don Saven: Those of you who do come up to speak, I ask that you speak clearly into the microphone please. Thank you. We have had some problems in the past and we just want to make sure that we can pick up on everyone.



Case NO. 97-091 filed by Singh Homes


Singh Homes is requesting a variance to allow the continued placement of an existing construction trailer on lot 4 in the Willowbrook Subdivision for one (1) year. A temporary use permit was granted on April 23, 1997, TUP97-016.


Darshan Grewal was present and duly sworn.


Darshan Grewal: We have a subdivision on Ten Mile called Willowbrook Farms. We have a model home that is currently open there and we have a construction trailer on lot 4 that has been in place for more than 6 months. We had a permit for it. We try to keep our sales operations and the construction operations separate. Our house sites are very small and we using our model garage area for the sales center area, where we have a small display area for the people who come in, with a couch, a computer center and we have the sales literature on the walls. Then we have the construction trailer on lot 4 and that is where we have the construction files for each house that is under construction, the permit files that are approved by the City. We have the construction fax machine there and we have a construction copier there and that is where the superintendent operates out of. That is where the sub-contractors who deliver to each lot, they check in to see that they find the proper lot and deliver to it. That is where the homeowner comes if they want to see the superintendent and talk to them about their house. Lastly we have the building inspector if they have a problem with the site that is where they go to see the superintendent. The construction trailer is a critical part of our operations. We try to keep our sales operations and construction operations separate because we spend a lot of time and money setting up our models and our sales center; so that is what the intent is and that is why we are asking the Board to grant us the variance to continue to maintain our construction trailer for one more year on lot 4. If you have any questions I will be glad to answer them.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 10 notices sent to adjacent property owners, with no written response received.




There was no audience participation




Don Saven: Should the Board decide to grant the variance in the packet also with this request is an April 30th letter from myself referencing the conditions as far as the temporary use which was approved before and stay with those particular conditions.


Member Brennan: How many lots are in this sub?


Darshan Grewal: In Phase I we have 31 lots. We have Phase II and Phase III planned and I think that the total lots are going to be 148 or 149 lots.


Member Brennan: Do you expect that you will need it for more than 1 year?


Darshan Grewal: Right now we are asking for 1 year. We will probably need it for more, unless we decide to have more than one model and then we could use the second model garage as a construction office.


Member Brennan: In this first phase how many of the homes are sold?


Darshan Grewal: We have about 6 houses that are sold.


Member Harrington: How long do you need this trailer for?


Darshan Grewal: We are asking for 1 year.


Member Harrington: But, how long do you need it for, not how long are you asking for? Are we going to be seeing you again at this time next year?


Darshan Grewal: More than likely yes. It is going to be 149 lots. Our intent is to maybe start a second model and use that garage as a construction office. But since we only have 31 lots in Phase I we really don’t have enough room to have another model in the subdivision. But one Phase II and III open up we will have a second model and that is where we will work the construction out of.


Member Baty: When do you anticipate having this second model?


Darshan Grewal: We are probably going to start next spring and probably the later part of the year it will be complete.


Don Saven: A lot of time what happens is that where that construction trailer is the intensity of development may evolve around that trailer and what we like to do is to try to keep it out of the public eye also; so the one year that he is asking for would be reasonable in that aspect.


Chairman Harrington inquired of Don Saven: Would he be entitled to additional trailers for the second and third phases?


Don Saven: If he asked for additional trailers it would be on behalf of the temporary use permit for 6 months and then he would have to come back to the Board.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Meyer,




Discussion on motion:


Chairman Antosiak: I would like Mr. Brennan to make a slight correction to your motion. It is actually a letter from Mr. Morrone to Singh Homes on April 30, 1997.


Member Brennan: So noted.


Member Meyer: So amended.


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



Case No. 97-096 filed by Daniel Love


Daniel Love is requesting a variance of 5'2" in area and 2'6" in height to allow the continued placement of a shed 10' x 15'2" with the height of 10'6", the shed is on the lake side of 1533 East Lake Rd. and was constructed without a permit.


Daniel Love was present and duly sworn.


Daniel Love: I know that it was a bad thing to build this shed without a permit, but the person that was helping me build this or they did most of it and at the time they had to do this we didn’t have enough time to get a permit. After it was constructed we went in the next day to pull it and when we told them the size of the shed they told us that it was to big and that is when we signed up for the variance. The size of the shed is the same size as the sheds on East Lake Drive. We needed the space. Our house is running out of closet space and we don’t have a basement. It has helped us a lot since we moved all of our stuff in the shed now.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 38 notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was 3 written responses received; one voicing approval and two voicing objections. Copies in file.




Mary Fitzgerald, I live right next door to the Love’s. I know several approvals that were filled out and I am surprised that more didn’t come back. I have known the Love’s for about a year and I know that their home and their space, they have 3 children, and no garage area. I just want to say and I don’t know if mine came back but they keep their property immaculate and I don’t see a problem with the shed at all. There is a lot of other homes, sheds, properties that look a lot worse. I am a renter right next door and I would love for my landlord to do some things but I would hope that you would approve their request.




Donald Saven had no comment.


Member Brennan: I remember when you were in and it might have been about six months ago for a variance.


Daniel Love: That was probably for our fence. We did pull a permit to do our garage, but we didn’t need a variance for that because it was just interior stuff. It may have been for the fence that we put up. That is the reason also that we were getting the shed because we are getting ready to do our garage room. We have already submitted the plans and have approval and the permit for that, but we couldn’t start anything until the shed was done. I think the other time that we were in it was for the fence variance.


Member Brennan: So you built the shed first and then did the conversion?


Daniel Love: No, we haven’t done the conversion yet because we had to move all of our stuff out of there, the garage.


Member Harrington: When did you begin construction on this shed?


Daniel Love: We couldn’t get into the ZBA in October so it was probably the end of the summer.


Member Harrington: How long did it take to build it?


Daniel Love: A couple of days.


Member Harrington: What is the reason again that you did not go to Mr. Saven’s office and obtain a building permit?


Daniel Love: Because the guys that were doing it didn’t have much time to help us out with it, so this was the time that they had; Dave and his brother-in-law built it for us.


Member Harrington: When did you decide that you were going to put the shed in?


Daniel Love: When they told us that they could do it. They said they had the time.


Member Harrington: Did you have any idea of what the size would be before they began construction?


Daniel Love: I told them about the size that was built.


Member Harrington: Just go out and start building?


Daniel Love: Yes, but I just felt ........


Member Harrington: Did he rough out a drawing? Did he give you a sketch? Did you tell him how big to make it?


Daniel Love: This is how big we wanted it. We thought it looked about the same size as everybody else on East Lake Drive.


Member Harrington: There was nothing that prevented you from going and picking up the phone and calling the City to see what size you could put up there, was there?


Daniel Love: Like I said, it was wrong. I didn’t pull it, but we weren’t trying to avoid pulling a permit. We were planning on doing that. I just didn’t do it because we were afraid that the neighborhood was going to turn us in, because we were in there the next day telling them that we did something without a permit and we are here to pull it.


Member Harrington: So you figured to just build it and then get the permit?


Daniel Love: That was the time that they could do it.


Chairman Antosiak: The permit application was made on September 12th.


Member Meyer: Did you know that there was a certain size that this shed was to be?


Daniel Love: No. Well, I know that we weren’t supposed to take the whole thing of the lake but we figured we had 60 foot of frontage on the lake and we thought that everybody else got to do it and we have about the same size lot as 3 of the properties that we went down on East Lake Drive and if not we probably have more than some of the people on there.

Member Meyer: One of the objections that has been brought to our attention is that the shed blocks the view of the lake.


Daniel Love: We have it over as far as we could on the property line so it is really not blocking to much of the view. We have it right to the property line and it is really not taking up much.


Member Meyer: Are there a number of sheds that are between the road and the lake?


Daniel Love: Yes. Not everyone is as big as ours. I felt that there were 3 about the same size as ours by looking at it. But there is a lot of them on the lake. Usually they do have them more to the end so that they don’t block the view and stuff. That is another reason we wanted it on that end because when we eventually get started with our garage room, that we can look out the window (we are going to put french style doors facing the lake) and we didn’t want to block the view of it.


Member Harrington: Are the people who did the building for you, are they like a local contractor or are they just friends?


Daniel Love: They are friends, but they are licensed builders too. They are friends, they come up to our store all of the time.


Member Harrington: They are licensed builders and they didn’t know anything about a permit?


Daniel Love: I knew that we would probably have to have a permit to do it, but you pretty much have to have a permit for everything you do.


Member Brennan: Is there any way of making this shed any closer to what is permitted by ordinance?


Daniel Love: We really need the space. If I could take you guys through our house and look at our closet space, when we had the house built in 1991 it is a cape cod house and the roof part we made into space with drywall and instead of leaving it as dead space we put a door leading into that part of the roof just so that we could put our stuff in. We moved out of a house with a basement when we moved there. To construct this house with a basement would have cost us a lot more money, so we just have to live with a crawl space. We have 3 kids and we plan on having one more in the near future and we needed the space and that is why we are converting our garage into a living area because our living room really isn’t that big and when you have 3 kids wanting to watch the TV and you want to watch some other TV ...........


Moved by Member Harrington,


Seconded by Member Brennan,




Discussion on motion:


Vice-Chairman Reinke: The only question that I would raise is that it is slightly larger, but there are sheds along the lake side that are pretty close to that. I don’t really condone the individual building a shed without a permit but I don’t think that there was any willful intention to be deceptive about it. I think that you need some storage situation and looking at it I don’t really see it to be an obstructive view point from it’s position. If it was out closer to the lake, yes, it would be something that would be very much obstructive to neighbors. But I don’t think there is really that much of an obstruction there.


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


Daniel Love: So what do I have to do after this?


Chairman Antosiak: One option is to bring the shed into compliance with the ordinance, that would be 10 x 10 and 8' high.


Daniel Love: It is not fair. Then everybody on East Lake Drive is going to have to take their shed down. If we go to court I am going to take pictures and get information. It is not fair that I have to take ours down for that. I built this shed the same size pretty much as everyone else on that road. I don’t know why they are allowed to do it and we got more kids than they do and we are being turned down for this. It is not fair. We have done everything for this property to make it look nice. I had a vacant piece of property. It didn’t look good. I put a nice house on there. We put a fence that looks nice. Then we go and put a shed up and you guys are going to deny it. But everybody else around there is doing things without a permit and one person on South Lake Drive put a lean-to on our access lot when nobody asked them for a permit to do that. We had to go to court to fight them to take their thing off of our property and then we go to put a thing up and we plan on getting the permit and then you guys deny it. It is not very fair. Then everybody else on that road should have gotten a permit for their shed, because if they did they would be tearing their’s down also.



Case No. 97-097A,B,C,D,D1,D2,D3,E&F filed by Lee Mamola, representing Vincenti Office Bldg.


Lee Mamola, representing Vincenti Office Building, is requesting A) a 36' setback variance on the west side to the R-4 portion of the property; B) a 23.67' setback variance on the south side of the building; C) a variance of 5' for driveway access dimensions; D) a variance to substitute a brick wall for a berm, D1) a height variance of 4' for a masonry wall on the west property line and 91.5' green space setback, D2) a height variance of 4' for a masonry wall of the south property line for 70' and a variance for 100' of green space setback, D3) a height variance of 7' for a masonry wall on the south property line for 90' and a variance for 80' of green space setback; E) a variance for 12 parking spaces (to be land banked with the proposed use as office); F) a variance to omit the requirement for parking closer than 100' from a residential district; to allow for the construction of a new office building on lot 17 and 18 on Lanny’s Road.


Lee Mamola was present and duly sworn.


Lee Mamola: I would first like to give a little background on what this project is. It is an office building located on 2 adjacent platted parcels on Lanny’s Road. It is an office building proposed by the Vincenti Company/Tri-Mount Builders who is a long established residential builder in this community and have grown to become one of the largest residential builders in this part of the state. They are seeking to have this building become their home offices. Right now their offices are in the City of Novi but this will be an owner occupied building and I think that is an important fact to remember. Being that they are home builders and this a residential area and adjacent to a residential area. It was our charge to us as the architects to design this building to look like a home architecturally. We have features like a hip roof, it is substantially an all brick building with various brick details throughout, punched windows and as low profile as we can functionally make it and still have an office.


Lee Mamola: I would also like to simplify all the variances that we are requesting A through F and if you would simply think of this project as an office district type of project, or in other words an OS1 project. If you read the ordinance the OS1 district is there to provide a transitional zoning between commercial and industrial zones and residential zones. The use that we are proposing is such a use. This use is in accordance with the intent of the ordinance.


Lee Mamola: Quickly reviewing the A through F requirements, this is Lanny’s Road here and we are bordered by industrial property to the north, residential property to the south and we have roughly half of the backyard of the office building is residential and the other half is industrial. So half of the site is surrounded by industrial, half the site is surrounded by residential. It is the fact that it is I1 industrial zoning abutting this residential which is the string of requirements for variances here tonight. When the I1 district was written it was with the intent of providing a good deal of buffer, a good deal of greenbelt and setback for industrial uses; such as manufacturing facilities, warehouse facilities, trucking arrangements and the like. It is a little known fact but the I1 district is also in affect an office district. You can put virtually any type of office within the I1 district and your planning consultant is here tonight and I am sure that he will confirm that if you care to ask.


Lee Mamola: The request for variance "A" deals with this portion of the building which does not meet the setback requirement to this part of the residential to the west. For your information, when you have industrial zoned property such as we have, any building on there must be setback at a ratio of one to five. For example, a 20 foot building would have a setback of 100 feet or 5 times 20. We have a similar setback in item "B", and these setbacks are determined by the building height. "C" is a requirement for a curb cut and the ordinance requires this drive to be no nearer than 25 feet to the property line and it is 20 feet and I will get to the reasoning why we feel that is appropriate in a moment. Items "D" "D1" "D2" and "D3" all deal with the height of a screening wall. The recently adopted industrial ordinance now requires these walls to be 10 feet high. When you have a building in an industrial district these walls must be 10 feet high. The Planning Commission has certain powers to waive a berm requirement and to allow a wall and that is what we are asking for here. Request "E" deals with the loss of 12 parking spaces at this point. These 12 parking spaces and in lieu of that we would construct a berm or a partial berm as high as we could make it within the distance and treat it with thickened pine trees all along the way. That takes the space of the 12 parking spaces. Request "F" deals in a similar manner to the milium requirements that when you have a development of any industrial property, next to a residential property there is a 100 foot setback requirement for parking. This whole site is 200 feet by 200 feet and some of these extreme setback requirements we must seek relief from and the question would be to what degree of relief.


Lee Mamola: To give the Board a quick vision of what this property would be developed if we did it here to the ordinance instead of over an 8000 square foot building, we would have 4000 square foot building. We would have a berm of about 12000 square feet. The element that is trying to screen the building is 3 times the size of the building. It would seem that the berm with trees and all on top of it would become the focal point of that neighborhood. It would be out of scale and out of character of a residential neighborhood where the lots are typically 100 feet wide and it does not seem to be very appropriate or sensitive to the neighborhood.


Lee Mamola: Some of the reasons as to how we got here today; historically this is part of a residentially platted subdivision and these 2 parcels were part of another plat to the south where they had 100 x 200 foot residential sites. Over the years this property became master planned for industrial and it became zoned industrial. Recently and I would say that within the past year or there about the Vincenti Company came before the City and asked for these parcels to be zoned to residential; it was there intent to build a house on the site and they felt that would be a sensitive use of the land in this area and for this part of Lanny’s Road and the fact is that they were turned down because the Planning Commission and the Council decided that this I1 zoning district should be developed in accordance with the master plan. So that alternative to the site to keep it residential does not exist, we have been down that road and the City has denied that alternative. The alternative is to develop it as industrial. When you look at the possibilities for development you have office, you have warehouse and you have manufacturing arrangements. Out of all those possibilities I think that the office is the least obtrusive land use that can go onto this property. Add to that the benefit that the office user in this case is the land owner and the developer and is a home builder and has the expertise to develop and design in detail the building to be sensitive and to look like a house. The building is substantially brick and has many gabled roofs to it that jut back and fort and there is somewhat of an irregular shaped footprint to the building to intentionally give it a residential character and to give it a sense of interest.


Lee Mamola: Items "A" and "B" are setback related issues and they relate to the height. There is no way that a building could be built on this property without some sort of height restriction relief. The building was placed to the north so that we could minimize the impact of it’s mass to the south. This also happens to be the highest point of the site so that worked out nicely. Item "C" is the 5 foot waiver to the curb cut. There is a 20 foot radius at this drive and it is a radius that could accommodate any vehicle that needs to get in and out of this site. I think that you will find in most of the other industrial developments where you have larger trucking necessities and the like and that other requirement for a 25 foot radius and the ordinance requirement for a 25 foot setback is to accommodate a 25 foot radius makes sense. But in this particular case it is not designed to have large trucks drive on the property at all. A variance somewhere would have to be given. We could take the building and move it 5 feet to the north and make this issue comply, but to do that we bring the 2 buildings here closer together and I think that we have a little safer situation if emergency vehicles ever have to get between this building to access either one we would result in about a 28 foot difference here and this 5 foot variance has virtually no impact on life and safety issues up and down that street and neither does it have any safety issues of how the site would be serviced with vehicles in and out.


Lee Mamola: If this were an OS1 zoning district the building in fact could be bigger and we would have less of a front yard requirement and we could build out here 5 more feet and we could build closer in this direction and really closer in all directions. The only requirement that we would have to have would be a 4 and 1/2 foot tall brick wall and or berm arrangement where we do abut residential. We are asking for a 6 foot wall by the way, along this area.


Lee Mamola: Initially when we submitted this document to the Planning Commission we did comply with the parking requirements but we were more at variance with the landscape requirements. It was the desire of the Planning Commission to ask if we could provide more landscaping particularly between this homeowner and this development in some manner. The owner was present at the Planning Commission Meeting and he is due to show up tonight and I know that he is going to be late but he stated record at the Planning Commission Meeting given their employee count that they could afford to give up 12 parking spaces and still have a couple of extra spaces left over. These spaces would be land banked in the event that something should occur that parking became an issue, the spaces could be taken away and the brick wall built taller and the parking could be accommodated on the site in the future. So we don’t see a concern for parking happening on the site, there is room to grow internally with this land banking concept. We still have a little taller than a 2 foot brick wall here and we would have a wood timber wall on top of the berm. I think that in your packet there is a site plan with a schematic conception indicating how that would work.


Lee Mamola: Again, I think that when you look at where you place the building on the site and what you do with respect to screening and we are proposing a 6 foot brick wall measured from this side; the topography tails off in a way that we have a 6 to 8 foot tall wall along these persons’ backyards here and then the wall becomes a little lower but we have a taller landscape screen at this point. When you look at the character of the building fitting into the neighborhood and when you really look at the alternatives this is the end of the road for alternatives available to develop this site short of coming in and having a 10 foot berm with trees on top of it that becomes the obstacle to the neighborhood.


Lee Mamola: Hardship here deals with the history of how it was platted and how it was master planned, how it was zoned and how it was requested to be rezoned to residential which may have made some sense in this neighborhood and how that was turned down. I think that you also have to consider the fact that this is a square site and that the geometries of what you have left to work with in developing a functional building and holding some rather strict dimensional requirements in parking lot areas is an issue as well too. The topography tails off in a way that really mitigates or helps the residents along this area have a little greater screening because the wall would be a little taller here than it would be on this side or the development side.


Lee Mamola: One last point that I would like to make about this 5' driveway; we were at the Planning Commission for a proposed development immediately across the street and this 5' driveway would align with a proposed driveway across the street. This property across the street is also zoned industrial. We are trying to put the building to the north to be sensitive to the residential user to the south.


Lee Mamola: That sums up my points on the site and Ray Cousineau representing the Vincenti Companies is here to add a few comments.


Ray Cousineau: I assume that Lee has covered the technical aspects of our proposal and I just wanted to offer a few comments. Number one: this is proposed to be our corporate offices, we are the Tri-Mount Vincenti Companies and are large residential builders. We have been a resident of the Novi community for over 20 years. We have several employees of the corporation, including myself, who are also residents of the community. But, the point is that this building is proposed for our use. We have done quite a bit of research on this site with professionals in the office leasing and construction industry and they have indicated that this site is a class "B" or a class "C" location. I think that you can see by the renderings that we have proposed for the construction of our building that this is a class"A" building. These professionals have indicated that from their standpoint they would not be interested in being involved in a project of this nature. So, the only way that a proposal of this type makes any sense is that if it has a specific end user in mind, such as ourselves. This is a site that they would propose to construct on. It is not a viable economic site for light industrial or office. However, for us it makes sense.


Ray Cousineau: As we indicated to the Planning Commission when we came before them, that again the only reason that we propose this particular site is that we intended to be the end user. Mr. Mamola had indicated that prior to this proposal coming before you, we had intended to rezone the property residential and we had petitioned the City for that and that petition was denied. Subsequent to that we re-evaluated the site for our own use and here we are this evening. However, at the time that we petitioned the City for rezoning onto residential we indicated that no matter what user came before you that variances would be need to construct a light industrial or an office facility on this site. That was made clear at the time of our re-zoning request.


Ray Cousineau: We also indicated to the Planning Commission that we realized that the office building may be larger than you would like to see; however, it was designed for our specific needs - square footage. When we addressed the Planning Commission we simply looked to them for direction. We said, "this is our proposal, this is what our needs are; and if you like what we are doing you can approve it and if you don’t like what we are doing give us a rejection and we will just go away". It was their decision that they liked what we were proposing and they felt that the building we had proposed with the office use and the character of the building was something that was very attractive to them and would be a much preferred alternative to what could go there. The bottom line decision was that they approved us subject to the approval of the necessary variances from this Board; which brings us here this evening. But again, we intend to occupy this building as well as the building across the street and we would like to remain a Novi resident. Thank you.


Lee Mamola: .......typical projects in Novi under the OS District, where the typical footprint coverage to site ratio is 24 to 25 percent floor area to site area; we have done that without any variances. This building represents 20 percent footprint area to site; it is just that with the configuration of the site being square and some of the other requirements that it is labeled as industrial make the request for an appeal seem much more extreme than in fact that it really is. Thank you.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 22 Notices sent to adjacent property owners, with 2 written responses received voicing objection. Copies in file.




Roy Groesbeck, I live on lot number 9 on Lanny’s Road. I object to the nine variances. Obviously the building is to big for the piece of property. The gentleman mentioned something, and I couldn’t see the chart from where I was sitting, but that he had spoken to a resident and the guy didn’t have a problem with something. I don’t know if he realized that lot 19 which would be the lot directly to the south has just been sold, so I am sure that these people who just bought it have no idea of what they are getting into. Nine variances, I think, is just a little ridiculous. One of my main problems is the parking. Twelve parking spaces to few means that we are going to have cars on the street. The street is only about 800 feet long. Twelve cars could pretty well line that street. All in all I just object to the nine variances. Thank you.


Kenny Howe: I reside at 44530 Lanny’s and Thornton Lane. This property is on the west and I have just built a new home having retired from major league baseball and now I will have a parking lot in my back yard. I just left Farmington from an incident that is similar to this when Citation Hills Condominiums came back into my yard. My biggest concern is that we are going from a berm to a wall and they want to put it 10 feet high and then it is a 4 foot wall and then a 6 foot wall. I just see to much inconsistency there and I want to know just what is really going to be done if in fact it does go through. Also visual wise, what is this going to do to my property value when I just built a home there for X amount of dollars and if I take a decline in that, is this just going to depreciate my place and anything else around it. That is my major concern and I just want to know what the consistencies are and I also if this is the property that I seen earlier today when I came in, it had a 4 car garage attached to it and my concern is will there be trucks coming in and out of these garages and at what times and what will be done about the trucks coming in and out, if in fact there are going to be trucks. I want to know what the 4 car garage intentions are. Thank you.


Clinton Price: My wife and I own the property across the street, lot number 10 on Lanny’s Road. We object to the variances. Our house is 1600 square feet on one lot and they want to put 8000 square feet on 2 lots. There are only about 12 cars that live on the road and use the road on a regular basis; but we are also inundated by traffic from the southern subdivision that uses this as a by-pass to Grand River. We are going to put 24 more vehicles in and out of that space? My neighbor and I have to wait 5 to 10 minutes to pull out of our driveways in the morning to get to work and then we are going to triple or quadruple the number of cars coming and going at business hours. This is a very large building and it is going to obscure our view. We purchased this house for the specific purpose of having something outside of a standard subdivision where we had some property and some trees and some privacy and this is all going by the wayside at this point with the extreme number of variances. We really feel very strongly about this. I understand that there is always going to be some differences when you have some residential properties abutting to some light industrial areas, but I think that there is better use of this property. These people are of such experience, well known building construction people who have been in the industry for so long they ought to know what type of building should go in there and it really is a residential area. We realize that we are 3 or 4 lots off of Grand River but there are a lot of beautiful homes in the area and there is a lot of people who have invested money into that area to develop the area as residential as opposed to putting a lot of large industrial type of buildings in the area. Thank you.




Don Saven had no comment.


Member Brennan: First I have a question for Lee, and this has to do with something that you said right at the end. This building as you have presented represents 20 percent of the property? The foot print of that building represents 20 percent of the property? Is that what I heard you say?


Lee Mamola: Right, the total square footage of the building compared to the square footage of the property, yes.


Member Brennan: That seems to be a little deceiving. It looks like 50 percent from my eye, and while it is not 50 I can’t see where you get 20 percent.


Lee Mamola: I can see where it could be deceiving because we do have indents in through here and we do have indents along other ways and I can understand how you could see that, but for example this area here would be counted as part of the site, these little indents here would be counted as part of the site.


Member Brennan: What is the square footage of .98 acres?


Lee Mamola: I think that we are looking at about 40000 square feet.


Member Brennan: First of all you did a nice presentation and convinced me of a couple of things. Number one: you do have to take into affect the adjoining residents and how you are going to fit any facility in and if there hasn’t been discussion with them I would encourage you to do it. Secondly: you have also convinced me that you cannot build a building that meets ordinance on that lot. Third: you have convinced me that this is way to big for the size of the lot. I will not support at least the issues with regard to setbacks because they pertain to the size of the building and it would be my suggestion and only my suggestion that you look at something that is a compromise between what can meet the needs of Vincenti but also isn’t such a large variance consideration.


Member Harrington: I have a question and I am not sure that I tracked on what Frank has just said. Did I understand you to say that you can put a 4000 square foot building on that site without need of these variances? The problem is that it won’t work for your client?


Lee Mamola: I don’t think that it would work for any client. You could put, except with one exception, you could put a 4000 square foot building with the screening, but the point of this diagram is to show the relationship of the building to the ordinance requirements for screening. To make this building work it may be an office but the economics and the reality are such that it probably would never happen and this may come about to be a warehouse or it may come about to be a storage facility which could exist in that district. The point of this diagram was to show the relationship of what could be built; but this berm and screening would stick out like a sore thumb compared to everything else in the neighborhood. The berm itself would be nearly as tall as the building and we would put trees on top of it. It just didn’t seem to fit in with the character and the scale of this neighborhood.


Member Harrington: But the answer is that you can put a 4000 square foot building there without need for any variances. True?


Lee Mamola: By the numbers of the layout, yes. By the economics, by the use, by the practicality, no.


Member Harrington: Practically it won’t work for your client.


Lee Mamola: It won’t work for any client, I believe. You look at, at what I use to back that up is that there are other projects in the OS1 district where the footprints are anywhere from 20 ro 25 percent without variances. If this property were zoned as an OS1 district we would not be before you tonight. It is only the fact that it is zoned.....


Member Harrington: Right and if it were zoned residential you wouldn’t be here tonight.


Lee Mamola: That is correct.


Member Harrington: But you are here tonight and you can put a 4000 square foot building there, true?


Lee Mamola: You could lay it out to put a 4000 square foot building there. The building would be vacant in all likelihood and become an eyesore to the neighborhood.


Member Harrington: That wouldn’t upset the neighbors if it were vacant would it? You would have a significant diminishment in traffic with a 4000 square foot building, true? You wouldn’t have the traffic load?


Ray Cousineau: If I could answer those questions, again we explored with leasing and construction experts in the office/light industrial area. We told them that a 4000 square foot building could go in there. They said that is not marketable in that location. That is a class "B"/class "C" location and it is not economically viable.


Member Harrington: But that is not a part of your package. We don’t have a letters that we can look at to support that, true?


Ray Cousineau: No, you don’t. And again, the reason that we are here this evening is that when we went before the Planning Commission we made this perfectly clear. We indicated that we virtually had no flexibility in the size of the building; that is what our needs are. We said that we had alternate sites that we were looking at outside of the community, but this was a site within Novi that we preferred. We said, "if you like what we are doing, and if you think that this is the best use for this location considering all of the factors; then act on it accordingly"; and that is what they did. That is the reason that we are here this evening. I can certainly understand the concerns of the adjacent residents but I think that number one is that we attempted to rezone these properties to residential and that was our initial use and that request was denied by the City, they felt that the Master Plan would be violated. The Master Plan called for a light industrial use in these locations and they saw no reason to adjust that Master Plan. They sent us back to where we are today. Now and I know that you have heard this before, you can deny us and we will find another site and we will do something else; that is not a problem. But, I think that you also have to take into consideration what can go here and what it can look like with complying with the light industrial use and light industrial zoning. You can get a building that is not going to be nearly as attractive as what we are proposing and not nearly as in harmony with the adjacent residential community; which is the premise for our design.


Lee Mamola: May I answer a part of a question that one of the audience members had; I think that they had a concern about the 4 car garage in the back of the building. That is intended to be an executive parking garage for the owners of the business. I would like to clarify also that this an administrative use for the company and it is not intended to see construction traffic or anything of the like on this property.


Member Harrington: What is the anticipated employee count at that building?


Ray Cousineau: That depends upon the economy. I think that we around 15 to 20 people right now.


Member Harrington: That is your projection for the building?


Ray Cousineau: We will probably end up a little higher than that, but that is about our employee contingent. We don’t anticipate it being much greater than that. The only truck traffic that we would have would be the post office and UPS.


Member Baty: I would like to see more conversation between the residents and Mr. Cousineau. I think that the point that you made that there could be a much less attractive building put on this site, and that is a consideration that the residents should take into account. On the other hand I think that this building is to large and maybe alternatives should be discussed with the residents.


Ray Cousineau: I don’t have a problem meeting with the adjacent residential property owners to discuss the amenities of the site and what we might be able to do to ease their minds. But with regard to the building, I think that I have to make it perfectly clear that we have no flexibility at all, so if the building size is your main issue then I think that you need to act on that this evening.


Member Brennan: I appreciate your candor and I appreciate the directness and I hope that you get a nice 8000 square foot headquarters outside of Novi if it has to be. I am very sensitive to the adjoining residents and if you keep the property and can find something else to do with it and you need variances down the road then come back. I can’t support the size of this thing.


Ray Cousineau: I wish that you would have been on the Planning Commission because if I had gotten that feedback there, I wouldn’t be here.


Member Meyer: I would like to support the request, but I am just amazed at the number of variances being requested. It just seems to a point of saying that we are asking much more than would be normal in coming before the Board. I think that the building is attractive, I just think that based on the design that we have in front of us here that is certainly looks more than 20% of the land space. Once again, if it is 8000 square feet and it is a 40000 square foot piece of land; obviously it is 20 percent. I just hate to see the Vincenti people move out of Novi. So I am wondering if we can carry the conversation on just a little longer and see what is it that makes you say that there is no conversation over the size of the building?


Member Harrington: They have 20 employees that they have to fit in there and they need a building of that size. He is being quite candid with us, that is what he has to have. It is not 7500 or 7200 square feet it is 8000. That is their number and that is what they would have to have.


Ray Cousineau: We have spent a lot of time researching our needs, immediately and in the future and that is what we have to have. If we are talking one or two hundred square feet then we can do that, but that is not the point here.


Member Meyer: Let me put this a little fit further because I have seen to much business go out of Novi. So, this is the only site in all of Novi, Michigan that you can put an 8000 square foot building to meet the needs of your employees? This is the only site where you can do this?


Ray Cousineau: No, it is not. We acquired the land some time ago. Again, when we were denied the residential rezoning then we took a look at it and said "can we develop something in a light industrial zoning that makes sense?" The answer to that ultimately was no. It didn’t make any sense economically. You couldn’t build a building that made any sense. Then we began to look at it from the standpoint of our office facility or any office facility, that is when we got the input from the consultants who said that unless you are going to build this for yourselves that is the only way that it makes any sense. So that is when we began to design, and here we are. Yes, there are certainly other sites that are available but that is kind of the history of what brings us to this particular site.


Member Meyer: I want you to know that I hear you load and clear on that and I guess that what I would say to you is that I am going to reluctantly vote against this. The reason I am saying reluctantly is that I hate to see another business say "well thank you Novi, but no thank you"; so my hope is that you might explore other places where you can build this beautiful building and accommodate the needs that you have expressed here for your employees. It just seems that in light of what these residents have said, that it may be too much, too close to the people who already live there.


Ray Cousineau: Again, I can appreciate your comments and their concerns and I think that we have to take into consideration what can go there and what somebody else could build there, including adjacent and existing light industrial users who would want to expand and how they may want to expand. You could end up with something that would certainly be out of character in that area.


Member Meyer: I appreciate you having the conversation with me, sir.


Member Harrington: I have a comment which is, I think that the homeowners have heard some information tonight that they probably had not heard prior to tonight’s meeting and I would probably sense that Mr. Cousineau and Mr. Mamola have also heard some input from the homeowners that they hadn’t heard yet; if there is some interest in the concerned parties to have temporarily pass on this matter so that they can determine should we table this until next month and if there is a neighboring homeowners association discuss all of the facts in terms of what might go in there. The devil that you don’t know, may be worse than the one that you do and if there is some interest in the parties to have us pass on this until next month, and we can pass on this right now while they talk in the hall; otherwise we can vote. But a denial of this particular petition which may or may not occur, but if it is denied it may not be necessarily in the best interest of these homeowners who are here tonight or other homeowners who are not here and are unaware of what is going on. I think an exchange of information could allow for a compromise on some of the issues, like the screening variance and the berm variance and the like, and it may be more important to some of these homeowners to have 10 feet instead of 6 feet than it is the parking or vice/versa. I am persuaded by what I am hearing from the homeowners that their concerns should be addressed in this proposal. I think there is a real issue here. My suggestion is that these parties should temporarily pass on this matter and come back after the next case or the case after and tell us if there is any reason to put this over to next month or should we vote tonight. That is my thought and suggestion.


Ray Cousineau: I like that idea. I have not had the opportunity to talk to any of the neighbors and if we are talking about going out in the hall and even discussing if there might be some common ground and then coming back...


Member Harrington: Correct. Or if the sense is because I don’t want the homeowners who have come here to feel like we are under pressure to play let’s make a deal; I don’t like that. But if there is a sense that we would really like to think about what you are doing and study what our needs are and if the homeowners objections are withdrawn it is going to materially affect my vote.


Ray Cousineau: Sure, I can understand that. But if I go back there and they tell me "I don’t like you and the project stinks no matter what you do" then we can come back in 5 minutes and say go ahead and vote. That is fine, if the homeowners are willing to do that.


Chairman Antosiak: I move that we temporarily table this variance request until Mr. Cousineau or Mr. Mamola come back and tell us that they are ready to speak with us again.



Case No. 97-092 filed by Singh Development


Singh Development is requesting a variance to allow the continued placement of 2 construction signs, one at Grand River and Constitution and one at Potomac and Market Streets, for the Main Street Village for one additional year.


Jane Diedrich was present and duly sworn.


Jane Diedrich: As you can see I am going for 2 signs on our Main Street Village development. We have one off of Grand River as well as one off of Market Street. There are 240 units in this project and we have received TCO’s on 70 of them, so we are about 30% occupied. We do have a waiting list. We request this extension due to the fact of, if you have been on Grand River, the Micro Brewery kind of blocks our sign there and the construction development sign really helps to let people know that we are taking on leases right now and we are available, there are waiting lists but there are units that will be available soon.


Jane Diedrich: At this time we feel that the construction will be complete by the end of August of 1998. So if it would behoove you, we would like to have them up for one more year.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 26 Notices sent to adjacent property owners, with no written response received.




There was no audience participation.




Don Saven had no comment.


Alan Amolsch had no comment.


Member Brennan: This seems like a reasonable request.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Harrington,




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


Case No. 97-093 filed by Ray Electric


Ray Electric is requesting a height variance of 2 feet for placement of a sign 7 foot high by 6 foot wide, with the verbiage "Ray Lighting Centers, Ray Electric" with a height variance because of the proposed landscape plan to add soil to raise the natural surface grade of the land at the front of the building at property located at 25673 Meadowbrook Rd.


Matthew Quinn was present.


Matthew Quinn: We are here tonight as the Chairman has just stated for 2 appeals or 2 variances. These variances are necessitated by a few facts and I would like to point you to the first diagram that is here and this reflects the situation of the building which is a 20000 square foot building; and remember that this is a combination use, this has an 18000 square foot warehouse in the back and it has a 2000 square foot retail use in the front. This is allowed in an industrial area. The retail area is set up in the front area. This entrance is somewhat of a common entrance with the new Soccer Zone and I am sure that you can picture that as you all drive through the area. Ray’s Lighting is now open and they have just had their grand opening on the retail showroom and they have now decided that the building looks a little to ordinary for the retail purposes. They want to make it look nicer to have a better presence in the community. What they are intending on doing is to start a new landscaping project and they will be spending many tens of thousands of dollars on the front of the building to make it look nice. One of the reasons for them to undertake this landscaping improvement is a unique problem that exists with this property. As you have seen in your documentation and as you will see in the pictures that you have, their site sits very low. Actually you will see this by these pictures that I will pass out to you.


Matthew Quinn: As you can see the front of their building is in a depression. The buildings sits up high, the front sits low. Their current sign sits lower than the property which is adjacent to them on the south side of their property and their sign somewhat sits in a depression. From their sign there is more of a depression that goes out to the road. Now, on the landscape plan their sign which is right here is going to be raised. They are going to bring in dirt to raise the entire front area of this building. If we left the current sign where it is we are going to raise it 4 feet, we are going to add fill dirt underneath it and do the whole landscape area and it will be raised 4 feet.


Matthew Quinn: Now the first variance is just this, in order to raise the natural grade of the land and have a sign on that modified grade you need a variance. This isn’t a berm, we are just decorating landscaping but yet we need a variance to have any sign on this new raised land. So, I hope that you find that is an easy one and we deserve to have a sign continue there.


Matthew Quinn: Now the second variance is the size of the sign. Right now the City of Novi has the ordinance which requires a ground pole sign to be no higher than 5 feet from the lay of the land. We are proposing a sign that is 7 feet high from the lay of the land. Therefore a 2 foot height variance. Now why are we asking for this 2 foot height variance? It is two fold. Number one, so that customers driving by can see this business and number two safety purposes.


Matthew Quinn: Within the package you have a letter from me dealing with various speeds of traffic that pass along Meadowbrook Road and their stopping distances. You have charts that I have provided to you. The same type of charts that I would use in a court room to prove stopping distance at various speeds for various types of vehicles.


Matthew Quinn: Now what we have found in the business is that we have a problem, this is Grand River and Meadowbrook Road and as you go north bound from Grand River to the business you are first going slightly up hill and then you start going down hill. This distance is very short. Also this property as I have stated here to the south is higher and that really shows up on the pictures that I have provided to you. So the vehicles coming southbound have a real problem stopping and discovering the driveway to Ray’s Electric. The sign currently does not help. On your information you will see on picture number 4 there is a little square which is the top of the current sign. As cars are going north on Grand River you just don’t see the sign and you do not know where the driveway is. Now as the cars are going 40, 45 or 50 miles per hour on Meadowbrook they are going down hill and they cannot see the driveway entrance or the sign because of the topography and we have a real safety problem. With the additional traffic that is now in that area, because of the Soccer Zone we have a further complication for all the vehicles that want to find this business and go into the parking lot. The solution, therefore, is to make the sign 2 feet higher and as you have seen on the photographs by making the sign 2 feet higher you now can see this sign almost as soon as you obtain Meadowbrook Road from Grand River. So it serves a real safety purpose to modify this sign by a mere 2 feet. The other factor going to this is that we have 2 businesses in this building. We have Ray’s Electric which is the warehouse component and the commercial component being Ray’s Lighting. Therefore, the Ray’s Lighting will be on the top of the sign because that is where you will get a lot of the business for the commercial aspect. Don’t forget the truck traffic on this too. The information that I have provided you goes with the stopping distance of trucks. This is a warehouse and it has a lot of truck traffic that comes to the warehouse to deliver goods and to pick up goods. So this stopping distance and this turning distance is a real factor. That is why this additional space is needed.


Matthew Quinn: Are there any questions to me at this time? I have 4 gentlemen from Ray’s Lighting here tonight to also answer any questions that you have.


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



There was no audience participation.




Don Saven: Should the Board decide to approve this variance it will be required to have a Minor Land Improved Permit for building up the grade.


Matthew Quinn: That is not a problem, at all. We look forward to doing that.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: What is the height of the existing sign?


Matthew Quinn: The current sign is 4 1/2 feet.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: And you are going to add 4 feet to the base of that, is that correct?


Matthew Quinn: That is correct.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: So, your new sign is 7 foot in height, so you are really going up a total of 11 feet.


Matthew Quinn: It sounds like a lot, but it is really not. I said the same thing to them. I said "you want me to tell them we are going up 11 feet?" It sounds awful, but once you look at the actual topography and the hole that they are sitting in now; yes it is but no it is not.


Member Baty: By having the sign higher, how many feet sooner do you anticipate the cars being able to see it to improve the safety issue?


Matthew Quinn: Almost all the way from Grand River. It won’t be very far once you make the corner or you get over the hump at Grand River and Meadowbrook, the top of that sign will become visible. Right now the distance is 390 feet from the current sign all the way to Grand River, that is more than a football field. So basically it will be within 50 feet of Grand River. Once you are north of Grand River you will pick up the top of that sign.


Chairman Antosiak inquired of Alan Amolsch: This is a 42 square foot sign, is there any size variance required?


Alan Amolsch: No, there are going to set it back the appropriate footage.


Matthew Quinn: That is right, it will be 84 feet from the centerline of the road.


Member Meyer: If I heard it correctly, you are building it up 4 feet and then putting the sign up; so it really isn’t 11 feet from the ground.


Matthew Quinn: No, the sign isn’t.....


Member Harrington: Mr. Quinn has done a marvelous job on his presentation, but I want to see a mock up. I want to see what that 11 feet looks like, because if it can work with 9 foot that is what it ought to be. It shouldn’t be any higher than necessary. And then maybe even 11 foot isn’t enough, I would like to see.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I think that something is needed. I think the distance from Grand River needs something there. Whether 11 feet is needed, I agree with Mr. Harrington that I would like to see a mock up before we proceed with this. We want to do it right for the petitioner and for the City. We don’t want something intrusive, but something to take care of the problem that they have there.


Member Brennan: You can put up a 2 by 4 frame that would be 11 foot at the top, at the current site. My comment would be that you do need some help there. I zipped past your place, and didn’t even see it. It wasn’t until I turned around and came back that I saw it. You do need some relief, I agree. But, we have approved a couple of signs in the past that we had to envision what they looked like and most of us are not to interested in doing that again. If you can put up a 2 by 4 construction that just gives the outline; that will give us a visual and we will get you on the agenda for next month. If you can live with that for 30 days we should be able to address it real quick for you.


Chairman Antosiak: Just let the Building Department know when the mock up is there, he will call us and advise us. You will be on the agenda for the December Meeting.



Recall of Case No. 97-097A,B,C,D,D1,D2,D3,E & F


Ray Cousineau: We have agreed to disagree. But we have also agreed to talk about it. So, we would like to be tabled for one month. There is a small opening in the crack of the door, that we all have agreed to talk about rather than to close the door tonight. We will all think about it for a few days and then meet probably the beginning of next week to see if we can resolve it and then come back.

Member Meyer: I really appreciate that you both made that effort.


Chairman Antosiak: This case is tabled until December.



Case No. 97-094 filed by Gruber Engineering, Inc.


Gruber Engineering, Inc., is requesting a variance to allow a ground sign 4' x 4' (16 sq. ft.) with height from grade being 5', verbiage to be KH logo, HEIDEL-USA, GRUBER ENGINEERING, INC.; for property located at 42960 W. Ten Mile Rd.

Peter Gruber was present and duly sworn.


Peter Gruber: We would like to give you a short history. In 1992 I founded an engineering and sales office located in Oxford, north of Detroit off of M-24. Business went pretty well and I decided after 3 years to add the manufacturing portion to my business. I checked out the area, found that I might find a good home in Novi and since last August I am suited in Novi on Ten Mile and Catherine Industrial Drive. A very nice location and we are very pleased so far. My staff was 3 people and today I have over 30 people with expectations that next year we are going to be 40 or 45 people.


Peter Gruber: Here is my problem. We are dealing with international customers as well as domestic customers, we have a tie to a German company who sends engineers and sales people over here. The other way around we are dealing with a lot of American companies, my business is connected with the automotive industry and I am doing special tools and machinery. The know how comes from both sides; it comes from Europe and it comes from here. We added a lot of our own brain to it so the business runs well but whenever I have meetings with customers these meetings are starting very aggressive and then I try to find the root cause; people cannot find us. You know that Ten Mile Road is a very busy road, particularly in the mornings and at night, with traffic at 45 miles per hour the traffic is fast all bumper to bumper. Our building is almost 120 feet from the road side and in order to look to left or the right to find us the chances to get involved in an accident is pretty bad because there is an intersection and people are accelerating. We do have a sign in front of the building and some of you surely have seen it. (Petitioner showed chart to the Board and discussed.)


Peter Gruber: I am losing a lot of company image because everybody looks for Enzen and not KH or Gruber Engineering and people have told me "you guys aren’t capable of paying for a sign so that we can find you?" It is not the question of a sign it is a question of the neighborhood here and the styling of the neighborhood and the very nice industrial park here. So because this is a continuous problem I am here trying to address this problem to you because I need some business help. I can’t have the fact that people cannot find us. This is a serious problem. I have the feeling that particularly in our business world we are located in a very convenient area but we should also have the capability that we can show our image and in certain places where people can see us and can say OK I will make a left turn or a right turn and I am there.


Peter Gruber: In our neighborhood, like I said, the Enzen Company has a nice sign there and the performance of this sign and the actual affect of this sign when people tell me "I saw Enzen, I didn’t see you", tells me that if I were to have a sign out there at least they could find me and I could start my meetings and my business in an atmosphere that is appropriate and not "I am late, you do not have a sign out here, now let’s start". In business you all know that is a pretty bad start, particularly when you have a growing company and you are looking for new business people and customers, it definitely has a negative affect.


Peter Gruber: The story is very short and very easy. I hope you might understand my position.

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





There was no audience participation.




Alan Amolsch had no comment.


Don Saven had no comment.


Member Brennan: There are four companies in this building, are they allowed any type of a large sign?


Alan Amolsch: They are allowed either a 40 square foot wall sign on the building or a 30 to 40 square foot ground sign.


Member Brennan: That would have all of their names on it?


Alan Amolsch: Yes, that would be a business sign.


Member Brennan: My only concern is, and I agree that you need some signage and you need some help because that sign on the building is pretty small, however if you have a sign out front how will that impact the other 3 people who are in that same building?


Peter Gruber: They are running a different type of business, sir. The company next to me, The Crane Company, their main business is service and they don’t have customers coming in; they have to go out to customers. The Crane Company is actually a split of 2 companies. One is Kone Cranes and one is Crane Pro. One is a service company and one is the manufacturing company for Crane. Their customer traffic is almost zero because their main business actually happens outside. The other company, Rem-Tek, I house this company in my area. It is a sub-lease of mine. It is a very small company with 4 employees, but they have something very special. They are producing a special mixer for chemical dispensing systems for the automotive industry and they are covering one part of my business where I don’t have know how, and they have that. Together with this small company I have a much larger range of customers. All 3 of my neighbors would not require to have an extra sign because their business is running very well without this type of communication.


Member Brennan: Who owns the building?

Peter Gruber: Mr. Arrie is the landlord, I am leasing.


Member Brennan: Would he have any objection in supplying a letter that says that this would be the only sign out in front of the building?


Peter Gruber: I don’t think so. I didn’t ask him. I tried to go the other way around to present first the permission of what we can do and then ask him for his permission.


Member Brennan: I would hope that you understand my concern, that if we grant you a sign there could be 3 other parties that want signs out in front.


Peter Gruber: I could provide that.


Member Meyer: You say that you have international clients who cannot find the place because they don’t know where it is and then you use the neighbors sign as the landmark?


Peter Gruber: Yes, the strangers are coming from Europe.


Member Meyer: And you say that it is not good for business, that they can’t find your place unless they find the other person’s place first and then you say that we are next door to them?


Peter Gruber: Yes, it is an image question. If you direct somebody to find you, you should be able to present yourself in a certain image. If you utilize a different company’s name to find your place it starts negative already.


Member Meyer: If by any chance this would be approved, would you be agreeable to have a mock up put out there so that we could see what it looks like before we actually approve the sign?


Peter Gruber: Sure, it was it is 4 by 4 and 1 foot elevation off of the ground.


Member Meyer: There are several Members of the Board and I agree with them, that if the motion would carry to put it at it’s actual size and actual location; so then we could drive by and see it.


Member Meyer: Has this ever been done before, where you have 4 occupants of a building and 1 occupant because of reasons that would afford greater visibility would be allowed that extra sign?


Chairman Antosiak: I don’t recollect that.


Donald Saven: There is an existing wall sign on the building right now.


Member Brennan: Right and the actual sign that he is asking for is relatively small and the overall height is 5 foot.


Vice-Chairman Reinke inquired of Alan Amolsch: Is the sign on the building currently to the size that is allowed by ordinance?


Alan Amolsch: He could have up to 40 square foot and that one is 30. He is allowed another 10 square feet on the building sign if he chooses.


Member Meyer: If I am hearing correctly, he can have the present wall sign made bigger by 10 square feet.


Peter Gruber: Please understand, I am only asking to get the aggravation out of my business.


Member Baty: What would the hardship be if you took the sign off of the building and used a ground sign only?


Peter Gruber: Number one, if the landlord says yes I would do that because it would be to the benefit of all of us.


Alan Amolsch: If he removed the wall sign, he could do that. The issue is that he has a wall sign and wants a ground sign. If he wants to remove the wall sign and apply for a conforming ground sign, he can do that without a problem.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: What would he be allowed for a ground pole sign, if he took down the wall sign?


Alan Amolsch: The one and two formula for the setback ratio; one square foot of sign for every 2 feet of setback from Ten Mile Road. In other words if he is 70 feet back, he would get a 35 square foot sign. If he is 80 feet back, he would get a 40 square foot sign.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I think that this is something that you might want to possibly explore. I think it would be beneficial to you and to everybody else to have a much more visible and viable sign. You can take the building sign off and work with the Building Department on what size ground sign that you can put in and you could end up actually having a larger sign than what you are proposing to get you and whatever signage identification you are proposing. It would be a lot more visible to the traffic, which is what you are trying to do.


Member Meyer: You have already said that most people don’t see the sign on the building any how.

Peter Gruber: That is definitely a good proposal.


Member Brennan: With my calculation it suggests that you could have a ground sign of about 40 square feet if you took off the wall sign. So instead of the 16 that you are asking for, you could have 40, if you take the one off of the building.


Don Saven: I believe that there should be some communication with the landlord to make sure that if the rest of the businesses did not need the sign that the issue would be presented.


Chairman Antosiak: I would propose that we table your request until the December Meeting and it may be that you won’t need a variance when this is all over, but if you do, you can come back in December.



Case No. 97-095A & B filed by Accent Signs, representing Pioneer Mortgage


Accent Signs, representing Pioneer Mortgage, is requesting A) a variance to allow a ground sign 10' x 3' (30 sq. ft.) with height from grade being 5' and the verbiage "PIONEER MORTGAGE CENTER"; B) a variance to allow a wall sign on the west elevation 12' x 2' (24 sq, ft,) with the verbiage "PIONEER MORTGAGE", for property located at 42400 Nine Mile Rd.


Phil Vennibles was present and duly sworn.


Phil Vennibles: Pioneer Mortgage has been started in ‘92 with 2 employees and has grown to 40 employees today and anticipates growth of near 100 within the next couple of years. They bought this building and at the time not knowing that there was an existing agreement with the original owner that the existing ground sign on the corner of the property at the end of the street and that particular sign was allowed by probably this Board as a means to identify the businesses that are composing Hickory Corporate Park, which is essentially what that industrial park is named.


Phil Vennibles: As a good neighbor Pioneer Mortgage is interested in maintaining a good relationship with that group and not trying to shake any bushes technically. They probably have the option to remove the sign since it is on their property; but it has become a key land mark for the area and it identifies to traffic going to and from those facilities that they shouldn’t be turning into his driveway, which in fact when I took these pictures there was a large truck that turned down Hickory that was supposed to go into Pioneer’s driveway and he has the same problem.


Phil Vennibles: In essence we are asking that a second ground sign be allowed meeting all of the codes in terms of setback and size requirements, etc. and a considerable distance from the existing ground sign in order to clearly identify the distinction of the facility separate from the Hickory Corporate Park since there is no driveway along the side street there to indicate that it is not a part of the park. The only access to the facility is from Nine Mile and there are some confusions that I mentioned, like trucks missing the driveway and causing confusion by turning around in parking lots, etc. causing potential accident situations. As I mentioned the sign that they are requesting is aesthetically pleasing to the area it is similar in concept to the sign that is there for Hickory Corporate Park in order not to create any eye sore, etc.


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




There was no audience participation.




Alan Amolsch had no comment.


Don Saven had no comment.


Chairman Antosiak inquired of Alan Amolsch: Could you clarify for me why there is a variance request required for both signs?


Alan Amolsch: This is another multiple sign issue. He has received but not picked up a permit but he has an approval for one wall sign, he is seeking an additional wall sign plus the ground sign. The ground sign wouldn’t be allowed because there is a ground sign on the premises now which was approved by the Board for Hickory Corporate Park, that is why he is here. Each one of these signs on their own could be approved, except for the ground sign which would need a variance because 2 ground signs are not allowed. The signs themselves all meet code as far as size and setback.


Phil Vennibles: The request for the additional wall sign is what I neglected to address is for purposes of clarifying the entrance to the Pioneer Mortgage offices themselves which would be on the west end of the building and the sign is shielded from traffic going westbound on Nine Mile, but it is kind of a beacon to identify those people and visitors to identify that is where you go in for Pioneer. There is no access to their offices from the other entrances.


Phil Vennibles: As I mentioned the reason that we would like the second ground sign, is of course to allow the other ground sign still be there to benefit the other tenants in Hickory Corporate Park. This will hopefully alleviate any other potential problems traffic wise and otherwise from a safety standpoint.


Member Brennan: You have me confused. Can you show me on this drawing or layout; here is the ground sign that you proposed. Show me where the 2 wall signs are.


Phil Vennibles: (showed Board where signs were to be located.)

Member Brennan: Now that we have clarified where the signs are on the parcel, why do you need the sign over the entrance way if you have this large and very visible sign right on Nine Mile?


Phil Vennibles: The difference between that sign and the ground sign; we would prefer the ground sign and we are allowed the one wall sign, but we would prefer the ground sign.


Member Brennan: You would prefer the wall sign on the west end of the building and give up the main wall sign, so we are now down to 2 signs?


Phil. Vennibles: We would be more than anxious to do that if it would help to expedite.


Member Brennan: I see the problem that you have with the identification of the park and that sign, so I won’t clutter my rationale with all this. Where do the customers come in, on the west end?


Phil Vennibles: Customers for Pioneer come in on the west end. The reason for that sign is two fold, it is to clarify that it is the entrance to Pioneer Mortgage and also to create some security lighting in addition to the parking lot lighting.


Member Brennan: What is the entrance way on the Nine Mile side?


Phil Vennibles: That is for the other tenants of the building.


Member Baty: Both wall signs?


Phil Vennibles: The secondary wall sign which would be the one on the side of the building says Pioneer Mortgage. The main wall sign that we originally had approval on would say Pioneer Center to identify the building so when the other tenants are directing their people hopefully they would be able to get there by the wall sign. That was also thought of as a security lighting situation too. Sometimes additional signage helps with lighting.


Member Brennan: I am clear now, we have a ground sign on Nine Mile that is of approximately 24 square feet and then a wall sign on the west which is approximately 24 square feet which is actually the entrance for your business. There is a concession of removing the wall sign on the Nine Mile side.

Alan Amolsch: It is not existing, there is no wall sign yet. The permit has been approved, but not picked up. At this point it is approved but there has been no permit issued.


Chairman Antosiak: They could exercise that permit by putting a wall sign on the west side.


Alan Amolsch: That is up to the Board as to how many wall signs they are going to allow. Right now he can walk in our office and pull a permit for a wall sign and then the other 2 signs would need a variance.


Member Brennan: But the wall sign permit that he has, he could use on the west side?


Alan Amolsch: Yes.


Member Brennan: Now he only needs the ground sign.


Member Meyer: Where would this ground sign be to the present ground sign for the Hickory Corporate Park?


Phil Vennibles: It would be centered with the front of the building.


Member Brennan: I will make a motion but I want you to understand what I am saying here. You have a permit for a wall sign, so that would take care of your west end.


Moved by Member Brennan;


Seconded by Vice-Chairman Reinke,





Discussion on motion:


Member Harrington: Just as I hear the motion as phrased he is moving to deny "B"; but "B" is what he going to do with the permit that he has already pulled, correct?


Alan Amolsch: Not pulled.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: "B" is for a second wall sign.


Member Harrington: He is going to take the permit that he has now and use it now for a sign on the west elevation?


Alan Amolsch: That is correct.


Chairman Antosiak: And he will not have a sign on Nine Mile.


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

"MAIN STREET" sign cases tabled from the October 7, 1997 Meeting.


Case No. 97083 filed by Greystone Construction, representing Main Street


Continuation of case filed by Greystone Construction, representing Main Street, requesting a variance to allow a wall sign 16' x 8' (128 sq. ft.) with the verbiage "MAIN STREET EAST", to be placed on the front of the building at 42705 Grand River Avenue.



Case No. 97-084 filed by Greystone Construction, representing Main Street


Continuation of case filed by Greystone Construction, representing Main Street, requesting a variance to allow a wall sign 4' x 3' (12 sq. ft.) with the verbiage I.B.C., to be placed on the front of the building at 42705 Grand River Avenue.



Case No. 97-085 filed by Greystone Construction, representing Main Street


Continuation of case filed by Greystone Construction, representing Main Street, requesting a variance to allow a wall sign 5' x 4' (20 sq. ft.) with the verbiage "I.B.C." to be placed on the north elevation of the building facing Grand River for property located at 42705 Grand River Avenue.



Case No. 97-086 filed by Greystone Construction, representing Main Street


Continuation of case filed by Greystone Construction, representing Main Street, requesting a variance to allow a wall sign 12' x 4'8" (56 sq. ft.) with the verbiage "LOCAL COLOR BREWING COMPANY", to be placed on the front of the building at 42705 Grand River Avenue.



Case No. 97-087 filed by Greystone Construction, representing Main Street


Continuation of case filed by Greystone Construction, representing Main Street, requesting a variance to allow a wall sign 2' 6' (12 sq. ft.) which is a metal cut out logo sign for Local Color Brewing Company to be located at the front of the building at 42705 Grand River Avenue.



Case No. 97-088 filed by Greystone Construction, representing Main Street


Continuation of case filed by Greystone Construction, representing Main Street, requesting a variance to allow a wall sign 8' x 3'8" (30 sq. ft.) with the verbiage ‘LOCAL COLOR BREWING COMPANY", to be placed on the north elevation facing Grand River for property located at 42705 Grand River Avenue.



Case No. 97-089 filed by Greystone Construction, representing Main Street


Continuation of case filed by Greystone Construction, representing Main Street, requesting a variance to allow a wall sign 5' x 4' (20 sq. ft.) with the verbiage "ONE WORLD MARKET", to be placed on the north elevation facing Grand River for Property located at 42705 Grand River Avenue.



Case No. 97-090 filed by Greystone Construction, representing Main Street


Continuation of case filed by Greystone Construction, representing Main Street, requesting a variance to allow a wall sign 21'6" x 2'6" (53 sq. ft.) with the verbiage "LAS VEGAS GOLF & TENNIS". located on the front of the building at 42705 Grand River Avenue.


James Chen: I don’t think that I need to repeat the stories and why we are here. So, I do have one question to ask; since we have so many cases here, how should I proceed with the case? Should I present case by case or the whole thing altogether and then we will talk about case by case?


Chairman Antosiak: I presume that Mr. Rogers and Mr. Wahl are here to assist us in this matter this matter this evening; perhaps you could step in at this point and just inform us as to what is going on in the last month.


James Wahl: I would like to give you an overview of the work that has been done and leave the technicalities to Brandon. I think that you have received the reports which were essentially put together through the efforts of an ADHOC Committee and with Mr. Rogers being the technical author of the conclusions of that effort. This work was done by the administration and the consultants at the assignment of City Council, the Ordinance Review Committee and even your request that you would get some direction and help from the administration on this complicated matter. As I indicated, we did have a thorough review by a number of individuals who basically volunteered to work with this program including members of the City Council, Town Center Steering Committee and several City Departments as well as our consultant. Since we are not experts, we relied heavily on Mr. Saven and Mr. Amolsch for their experience in how this work fit in with the overall City Sign Ordinance; because frankly one of the objectives at the top of our list was that although we recognized that this is an unusual project we didn’t want to be in the business of setting precedents that would in anyway undermine the integrity of the City Sign Ordinance. Our objectives as mentioned; we did want to look at how the City Sign Ordinance related to unusual types of projects and buildings that were in the TC1 District and the Main Street Project that are multiple story, that are zero setback and that have the architectural and design uniqueness that this project represents. We also did not want to get into the situation of proposing an ordinance that basically ended up being a "Building 100 Ordinance", or that we specifically wrote an ordinance for this building because frankly when we proceeded in the study one of our immediate conclusions was like many of the projects that you are presented with, this particular building has some unusual siting characteristics and they are even separate and distinct from the total Main Street Project. We also wanted to help as best we could in providing any guidelines and considerations to the variances because I think that we understood that when we left you the last time that these variances were not going to go away. We were going to come back to you with basically the same package and what we were going to be able to provide you was some thoughts of consideration of how theses variance requests fit in with the total project area. So our conclusion is that even if a new sign ordinance is crafted and put in place then some of these variances would theoretically be eliminated if such a sign ordinance was in place, but it isn’t, so the variance requests are not eliminated. Having said that, even though as I just indicated some of the variance requests are uniquely related to this particular building and we did provide some thoughts and comments about the desirability of those variances. At this point I will turn it over to Mr. Rogers; he has reviewed each and every one of these variances and has gone over with the applicant, discussed it with Mr. Saven and we can be as in depth or as brief as you would like but at this point I think that Brandon can give you his findings on the particular variance requests.


Brandon Rogers: I was here last night before the Planning Commission and another committee on Tuesday night, so I think that I am living out here now. It is a pleasure to be back in a constructive vein. I think that one of the last times that I was here it was sort of adversarial on a Paragon type of case if you would recall.


Brandon Rogers: This draft is at least the fifth draft and I know the fifth draft because it has been formatted to 3 pages versus the draft that you got on Friday ( the fourth draft) which was identical but four pages. Basically Novi has good sign regulations. Drive around in some other communities; visual pollution signs are out of control. Reaching higher and higher and leaning further and further over a right of way. You are in the minority of those communities that have strong regulations; the number of signs, the height of signs and the proliferation of signs. We believe as Jim Wahl mentioned to preserve the integrity of the sign ordinance. We don’t want to weaken it and we don’t think that we have. We have come up with 3 areas of concern and suggestions. Now, when I say I recommend a variance I say that with some very careful thought. I can’t recommend that you do anything. You make the decision. But, if you want my opinion and that may be of the ADHOC Committee, I offer it.


Brandon Rogers: So, in my report dated October 31, 1997 I say in the first paragraph and since your last Board Meeting I have met with every committee that you can think of. The Ordinance Review Committees, the Town Center Steering Committee, the City Council, the ADHOC Committee, the Planning Commission, it has been wealth of information provided. I have met frequently with the Building Department, Alan Amolsch and Don Saven and Don probably most of any and of course with Frank Stevens who is in the audience who is a loyal member of the Town Center Steering Committee and a business man downtown.


Brandon Rogers: There are 3 categories. Proposed sign ordinance amendments to reduce the number of variances for this project and quite likely other projects coming in. Two: recommendations for ZBA variances and Three: conclusions on certain variances that have been proposed where I do not recommend accommodating them, either by an ordinance amendment or by granting a variance.

Brandon Rogers: Let me say right off the bat in running these ideas past the applicant and I initiated them, they didn’t. They are in agreement with these recommendations, they may disagree tonight but I think that we have a meeting of minds where they have given in and I have preserved the integrity of the ordinance and Don Saven is comfortable.


Brandon Rogers: Proposed ordinance amendments: the way that is set up and legally since I am not an attorney, words in the existing ordinance are lined out, words that are added are double underlined. One of them takes out the problem that we had where you couldn’t have a business center sign if you had more than one story and that really hurt the applicant because his building is 2 stories and all of the other buildings in Main Street are 2 stories or possibly a multi story over on Novi Road someday. So we make provision where a business center sign can be placed on a building of 2 or more stories or on buildings, even one story. Item A2, we are adding that a business center sign which today is limited to a ground pole sign or a monument sign can also be a wall sign and the permitted wall sign shall not exceed 40 square feet. In the case of the applicant he does propose a business center sign at the second story level over the main entry way plus the ground monument pole sign plus in the first submittal that you had last month another business center sign on the Grand River frontage or in other words 3; we are recommending no more than 2. Item A3, while this was not called out as a specific variance last month it has to be addressed because the present ordinance as you see in paragraph 4 does not permit a mixture of sign types, like cut out letters, box signs, script and this we feel is desirable in an old town Main Street which grows up over a period of 100 years where there is a variety of sign types. (Photo board shown to Members of another community of their different sign types.) That is not a variance that was called out before but this has to be an ordinance amendment because if you start out with one style of sign they all have to follow and we want variety. I like the free cut out letters, back lit and they can be done in very good taste. Item A4, gets into the directory sign. Now Mr. Chen has told me that when Main Street builds out he is going to have 60 to 80 tenants and they all won’t be on ground level with street frontage. They will be in the back part of floor one, they will be upstairs. So at the entry way limited to 20 square feet can be an individual sign board and it can be scrolled, it can be in metal, it can be back lit or there is an infinite variety of directory signs and if there is a large building that has 2 entrances a certain distance apart you can have 2 directory signs. Now once you get inside of the building you can have a kiosk saying go this way for this and that way for this and upstairs for that. So there is all sorts of different types of directory signs permitted. We do not recommend that signage be put on the second level, we think that there should be some control.


Brandon Rogers: Now these amendments would apply City wide for any other tenant in the City. Now variances geared uniquely to Main Street East Building, the building that is at right angles to Grand River which has a micro brewery set back 1000 feet or so; that is in need of some identification. Presently the maximum size of that sign for this type of building would be limited depending upon it’s street or it’s frontage along the sidewalk from 24 to 40 feet and if it is a free standing building occupied by one business you could go to a maximum of 250 square feet and what seems reasonable that instead of limiting it to 40 square feet that depending upon how far back from the centerline of the adjacent thoroughfare you are you could increase the size of the tenant wall signs up to 100 square feet and not 250. This would accommodate about 4 of the requested variances, it seems reasonable because of the distance back from Grand River that some of these uses are located. B2 allowing 2 business center signs; in other words one at the second story level over the main entry way and that script with the diamond shape, I think that is a good location for one, and they also would like one on a ground monument sign out in the parking lot; and they also proposed a series of signs on the Grand River frontage and we would recommend and this would apply only as a variance to the Main Street East Building because of it’s unique orientation two. You can have 2 on the building or you can have 1 one the building and 1 on the ground monument sign and the applicant is in agreement with that. B3 for a 2 story building having a single use and we have only one in mind right now, Local Color Micro Brewery, we would recommend a variance a sign as it is proposed up on the top of the second floor and also directly above the door a logo sign for Local Color limited to 10 square feet and that would be allowed for the uniqueness of the location and for the size and the shape to give identification to Local Color Brewery.


Brandon Rogers: Now on page 3 there are 3 variances that I do not recommend. The position of logo signs for One World Market, Local Color and IBC as you see on the Grand River frontage on the second story level. That doesn’t seen necessary if you identify the building sign, the business center sign and the ground monument sign and could start a precedent for other second story signs as other second story space is rented. The applicant is agreeable to eliminating those signs. Item 2 relates a little to what I just said, no signage permitted on second floor facades other than the business center that we just talked about. In my examples here and I was fair, there was 2 building that did have second story signs, Henry Ford Hospital but it is very discreet, but most of the buildings don’t need it and my photo montage don’t show it. Three: a limit of 2 business center signs which we have already talked about. Two is enough, three or more is excessive. I like there business center sign, the script, the diamond. I think it is neat and has a lot of color.


Brandon Rogers: So we summarize by saying that of the original 9 variances, one of which you have already granted, the ground monument sign which was 97-082; so really we are down to 8 variances that are being requested. Three variances could be remedied by the ordinance amendment, but that may be 2 or 3 months down the road so it requires at this time a favorable variance consideration, that is part A and part B the 5 variances and again 97-082 is already taken care of so there really is only 4 variances recommended for just this particular building and in part C the variances for 085, 088 and 089 for the end wall on the second story in the packet. Lastly at the very end and this is only an idea but possibly in the TC1 district there may be a desire to have when a preliminary site plan comes in and we are getting 3 or 4 site plans a week now that maybe we should address conceptually where the signs are going so it doesn’t come as an after effect. This is a building beautiful that we are looking at, Main Street East, and we don’t want to clutter it up and I am sure that Mr. Chen doesn’t either; but the Planning Commission, my office, Mr. Wahl, we don’t address signs in site plan review. Preliminary or final.


Brandon Rogers: This is a particularly unique area, ambience wise, that maybe we should see the scale, the type and the number of signs as we are reviewing a site plan and architectural facade plans. It is an idea that has to be adopted as part of the zoning ordinance amendment and it is really not before you tonight. I did attach to my file a letter that I wrote about a year ago that expressed some thoughts on that matter. Thank you very much and I will be available for any questions.


Chairman Antosiak inquired of Mr. Chen: Is there anything that you would like to say in response to that.


James Chen: We as the developer and also some of the tenants who are currently occupying the building like One World Market which already is open for business for about 2 months now; we appreciate all that the City consultants and department help and this Board to help us to resolve this problem. So we appreciate that. In the mean time we feel that this year all those 9 cases of applications that are addressed for the one building so I would like to speak for a little while for the entire building as a whole building presented for our case.


James Chen: This building here, we appreciate that this Board approved and granted the monument sign during the last meeting last month and we would ask this Board’s approval to re-open that case because that is a part of our conversation in working with the City Consultant to help to resolve the overall issues. What we are talking about is by eliminating all of the signs on the north side of the building by Grand River we eliminate all of the signs and I talked to the tenants and expressed the difficulties, I expressed the importance of the zoning ordinance. So we made the decision to eliminate all of the signs, however, there are a few things that we must do. Number one is the One World Market sign, because the original building’s credit is being applied to One World Market sign. So that only allows up to 40 square feet according to the zoning ordinance now. Since One World Market the second sign on Grand River will not be there I would like the current sign application to be upgraded as to what we propose. That sign of 53 square feet. This sign is about 100 and some feet away from Grand River and it is far exceeding the building. You have a building just across the street on Novi Road just across from the Main Street project for Gateway Computers sign and that sign square foot is exactly the same at 53 square feet. They came here for a variance of 54 but I am saying that we only allowed for 53. So that is number one. Number two: by eliminating those 3 signs the monument sign we have asked our architect to design the monument sign to include just one tenant, Micro Brewery, because they are so far back. We have tried every possible way to see how the customer can see them from Grand River; we feel that it still creates a lot of difficulties. I would like to present a new monument sign that we just finished designing at 6 o’clock this evening. I will present this to everybody.


James Chen: This sign here, the monument sign that we are talking about and I would like to ask everybody to look at Brandon’s letter on page number 2, Item B2. That is the sign that Brandon is talking about on the letter. This sign here, we are not talking about under 17 square feet. Right here we are talking about under 50 or 51 square feet sign. This sign here by the current zoning ordinance, a business center sign allows up to 15 feet in height and we request only 8 foot in height. So by doing this I am minimize the business center sign to include the Local Color sign that is here as a compromise and we feel that by doing this that we are really helping the business and then we are really helping to resolve the overall issues. At this point in time I would like to turn over to the designer of the sign to let him express how he came up with this sign and with the sizes that is necessary from the perspective of the identification.


Chairman Antosiak: Before you do that I have a question for Mr. Saven. Don, is this a request that we can even consider this evening?


Don Saven: We want to take a look at the whole picture of the building because of the very complicated issue and because we had addressed this sign case at the last meeting this was already decided to grant the variance. In taking the look at the whole process that we went through in the last month and to minimize as many variances as we possibly we can regarding issues of this signage. This was one of the issues that we took a look at, this was a business center sign which we had approved and actually he is coming back here and asking for reconsideration or an amendment to the sign approval. I think based upon that we didn’t have all of the information to do that it might be something that has to come back.


Chairman Antosiak: The reason that I asked is that the sign that we approved is much different and much smaller and if there was more consistency I would consider doing it tonight; but I think that this is something that we can’t vote on this evening.


Don Saven: I think he is just trying to bring it to your attention to try to minimize the variance requests.


James Chen: So, with those 2 conditions and we feel that by taking away the signage on Grand River which we can live with that and there would be no problem and that we do appreciate the consultants help. I am ready to answer all question and now I am turning the meeting over to my architect.


Architect: What I was asked to do recently is in the coordination between the consultants and the developer of Main Street East; we are approaching a compromise and we want to once again because this has not been addressed in the ordinance previously we are trying to meet everybody with an amicable conclusion and resolve this in ways that are beneficial to everyone involved. One of the things that we conceded to within our previous proposal were the 3 signs that were located along the Grand River elevation. We had previously 3 signs that identified the tenants and what we responded to with respect to that is to add one of the tenants or the primary tenant and the only reason that we did that is because of the magnitude of that primary tenant to the business center sign. The previously approved business pylon sign which I could pass around was approximately 32 1/2 square feet. What I was asked to do because of the hardship of Local Color Micro Brewery being perpendicular to Grand River Avenue and being setback 200 to 300 feet from the road; we have a condition where people traveling west to east have a bit of a visual problem seeing back all the way to that setback but the hardship is tremendous along Grand River Avenue traveling west to east because of the way that the site sits perpendicular. The people driving and looking for this space pass and have to look basically backwards to see the tenant Local Color Micro Brewery takes basically one third of the overall Main Street East building section within this area. What we have tried to do and obviously Novi is very sensitive to the appearance of their signs and we are very particular as you can see with the building and what we are doing with the Local Color Micro Brewery and the development itself, we are very concerned about materials and image and appearance but we do not with this situation want to create traffic hazards and we do not want to create problems within the environment and we also do not want to lose business to the facility. What we are asking for with this impart is to add the additional square footage from the difference between 32 1/2 square feet to the 51.5 square feet to include Local Color Micro Brewery within the pylon sign.


Chairman Antosiak: Just so that you understand we cannot vote on this request this evening, it will have to be at the next meeting. It is a new request. Do you concur, Mr. Saven?


Don Saven: You cannot vote on this. You can ask for the reconsideration and the Board can make a decision whether they would even reconsider the case. It will have to be re-advertised.


Chairman Antosiak: I believe that this is a totally different request than the one that we approved at the last meeting. Is that the consensus of the Board?


All agreed.


Don Saven: It has to be reheard.


Chairman Antosiak: I am not sure that we can reconsider it because we had approved what they requested last time.


Don Saven: You already approved what was requested last time, but they are asking for a reconsideration on the particular case because of what they received over this last month.


Member Harrington: I think that the problem is that it is hot off of the drawing board at 6 o’clock this evening and I doubt that there is going to be significant objection from the community as a whole but I think that the community as a whole is entitled to be notified...


Don Saven: Yes, it will have to be notified. But are you going to rehear the request?


Member Brennan: I don’t have any problem with that, and maybe they have presented some cause for having to rework this. I think that in the Notice we should make it clear that we are rescinding our previous OK to listen to a brand new proposal.

Chairman Antosiak: I don’t think that we need to vote on this and that is the consensus of the Board.


Don Saven: I think that what they are trying to do is to give you the whole picture. This was just as confusing to me.


Chairman Antosiak: I just didn’t want Mr. Chen to be mis-lead to think that we could vote on this tonight.


James Chen: From all perspectives I think that at this building, that is the whole thing of the Main Street project. We cannot look at each business as a single, we have to look at the building as one entity or one unit. If you just address any one sign individually and not consider the building size or how the building is situated I don’t believe that we have touched the real issue of the sign ordinance.


Member Brennan: First of all I would like to thank Mr. Rogers for jumping in and getting everyone’s input into this. They have the petitioner in agreement that the petitioner is willing to give up the 3 signs on the Grand River side; my only question would be is there anything different between what was presented last month with the 6 cases that we are being recommended to approve, is there anything new in those other than the smaller logo which went from 12 feet to 10 feet, per Mr. Rogers’ suggestion?


James Chen: The only thing and I think that Don could probably answer this question, is regarding the One World Market sign. I am trying to explain very briefly the building before we came to this Board could only have one sign. We were asked which entity do you want this sign to go to; we mentioned that it should go to One World Market they were already open for business. By the code that could only be up to 40 square feet. However, during the applications here we feel that with all the signs the setback should be considered as Mr. Brandon’s report mentioned the setback should be taken into consideration. Therefore we feel that automatically this sign for the One World Market has to be taken into consideration. That is what I am saying, you should look at the building as a whole thing.


Member Brennan: I would like my question answered and I will phrase it again. Since your submittal last month on all of these various signs has any of the sign size changed for the cases that you and Mr. Roger’s have agreed that we should approve?


James Chen: There is no change, whatsoever.


Member Brennan: What I am trying to do here is that if everyone is in agreement we can expedite some matters here. You have agreed to concede the 3 north signs and we concur among all of the participants and if everyone is in agreement then it sounds like we have a very simple motion.


Chairman Antosiak: The issue that Mr. Chen is raising about One World Market.....


James Chen: May I make a suggestion here. If the motion can see with the sign presented on this drawing except the sign on Grand River.


Member Brennan: We are not going to talk about the ground sign tonight.


James Chen: No, that is not included. All the signs on this paper have not been changed, except the 3 signs on the north elevation. Everything over here can be approved and that would be fine.


Chairman Antosiak: I would like to clarify something with Don and Alan. The One World Market sign; as I understand that is the one sign that was allowed under our current ordinance......


Alan Amolsch: That sign was not allowed by the ordinance and it was not applied for at this Meeting here. It still is not approved.


Chairman Antosiak: As I understand it, if Mr. Chen chose he would be allowed one sign for the building under the ordinance....


Alan Amolsch: One sign of 40 square feet.


Chairman Antosiak: If he elected that to be the One World Market sign, he could get a 40 square foot sign without a variance.



Alan Amolsch: But that sign is more than 40 square feet and that is why it is denied. It is the first application that came into our department and it was denied outright. It is still denied and it is not on the agenda for tonight.


Member Brennan: There is another sign that is not on this?


Member Meyer: If we were to move on this tonight, would it not be appropriate to simply go right down the list and say in Case No. 97-093 filed by Greystone Construction I move that we approve the Main Street East?


Chairman Antosiak: That would be my preference since we have a number of variances that are in front of us. We should go down the list and address them one by one.


Member Meyer: The reason that I brought this to our attention was because I felt that I was being pushed more and more toward a global one motion kind of experience and I think that with Mr. Roger’s excellent presentation we have limited ourselves down to 6 of these to look at tonight because we have already agreed that case no. 97-085, 088, and 089 that Mr. Chen and company have already agreed that they would not have the north wall signs. If it is OK with the rest of the Board we should take them one at a time right now in light of the presentation both by Mr. Rogers and Mr. Chen. We should go down the list. Is that OK?


Moved by Member Meyer;


Seconded by Member Brennan,




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


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Meyer,




Discussion on motion:


Member Meyer: I believe that you did show us a rendering of this last month and it will be true to the rendering.


Chairman Antosiak: I have one question, I believe that this was the one under Mr. Roger’s analysis that should be 10 square feet?


Member Brennan: No, that was the logo. This was stands as it is at 12 square feet.


Member Meyer: The only reason that I am saying that is that we have sat here before regarding some other signs in other places in the City and we have been disappointed to find out that we thought that we were approving one thing and it turned out to be something else. That is the only reason I asked that, what you have stated will be the package.


James Chen: The I.B.C. sign and this particular sign you are approving...


Member Meyer: I would like to know where the location of that is on the front of the building?

Don Saven: There is the issue of the one story and the two story.


Chairman Antosiak: The rendering shows it on the first story next to the entrance.


Member Meyer: That is what I thought and I am just saying that is what you showed us last month.

Brandon Rogers: Right; at the left of the main entry.


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


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Meyer,




Discussion on motion:


James Chen: There is or it seems that the ground monument sign will be discussed next month, could we just table those 3 signs on Grand River until next month?


Member Brennan: No. I personally think that we have started a process that you were in agreement with and I would like to finish it.


James Chen: But the answer is to the entire package, to be approved. I think it is fine. The north side we will withdraw, provided the monument sign will be approved.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: There is no reason that these couldn’t be left because they are not activated by tabling them until they come back with the other signs.


Member Brennan: I disagree. I want to clean this up.


Member Harrington: I want to vote.


Chairman Antosiak: We can’t approve this as a package, we do have to look at each one on it’s own.

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


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Meyer,



Discussion on Motion:


Chairman Antosiak: This is the sign shown right below the peak of the building.


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


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Meyer,




Discussion on motion:


Member Meyer: Mr. Chen do you know what we are doing here?


James Chen: Yes, this sign is to be 10 square feet and Mr. Paisley agrees.


Alan Amolsch: Are there any dimensional restrictions?


Member Brennan: We have a rendering and they have suggested that ...


Chairman Antosiak: Will this be 2 by 5?


James Chen: We prefer 6 foot wide and probably ......


Architect: We would have to look at the proportions. Obviously what it is is a logo that the height and the width are dependent upon each other proportionately, so we would agree to confine it to the 10 square feet if we can do it proportionately.


Alan Amolsch: If the Board doesn’t care about the dimensional thing, then I won’t either. But....


Member Brennan: Can we say that it will be similar to the rendering?


Architect: Yes.


Member Harrington: And this will not exceed 10 square feet.

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


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Meyer,




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


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Meyer,




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


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Meyer,




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


Member Meyer: I would like to take a moment to thank Mr. Wahl, and Mr. Brandon Rogers and Mr. Chen for their patience, because I feel that a month ago it looked like we might not get anywhere on this. Obviously we still have a way to go but I think that we have made some progress here tonight and I would like to thank you.


James Chen: We would like to say thank you to everyone of you and to the City and to the consultants. However one more issue which is the One World Market. The One World Market sign, as you can see the Las Vegas Golf sign is granted for 53 square feet, but because of the nature of the ordinance right now the One World Market sign is only for 40 square feet and we propose here for 50 and that is why I would like you as "other matters" to look at the One World Market sign since they have been open for business for 2 months already. They cannot go any further without a sign. Could you just look to approve that as we presented it here for the 53 square feet.


Chairman Antosiak: Sir, we cannot do that because no variance request has been submitted to the City for that sign.


Don Saven: We still aren’t sure as to what was taking place and that was an issue with the signage that was out toward the front of the building ......


Member Brennan: There is no case for this, Mr. Chen.


James Chen: I agree but I don’t agree. The business is going through a hardship. It is not here but anyway I feel that there sign cannot be up for another 2 months.


Member Brennan: Has a variance request been submitted?


James Chen: The whole thing was a package. I am trying to explain here if the setback is considered as we have requested then all the signs for building 100 should be applied to. Since that was not supported by the City Consultant using that statement, so right now that particular sign is left out. Our original application intent is to make the setback requirement apply to all of the signs for building 100.


Member Brennan: Can you get variance requests in for the next meeting? We could take care of the ground sign and the sign that you are talking about. Right now that sign is not on the agenda.


James Chen: But can you grant it for their sign, which you have right now and place it just like what you have approved for last time to go through the hardship. Right now they do have a temporary sign and it is 53 square feet. Can they put up a temporary sign now until it is granted? Only a temporary sign.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Why don’t we have a mock up to look at?


Chairman Antosiak: There was already a temporary sign up.


Alan Amolsch: It must have blown down in the wind, there isn’t anything up right now.


Chairman Antosiak: At the last meeting we authorized or we voted to allow the signs to be up until our next meeting.


Member Brennan: And they wanted to take them down.


James Chen: Because of the nature here and the way that it is happening right now we just request a temporary sign for that business to be up again until the next month.


Member Brennan: Would a rendering of what your sign proposal is satisfy the need for the next 30 days?


James Chen: Yes.


Chairman Antosiak: Be sure to see Mr. Saven about filing a variance request for that sign because it will have to go through the variance process to comply with the ordinance.


James Chen: So we will have to make an application for One World Market then in the mean time can a temporary sign be up?


Member Brennan: It would be a rendering.


James Chen: A temporary rendering.


Alan Amolsch: It may be January, I think the December Agenda is full.


Don Saven: The case load is getting pretty heavy.




Member Brennan: My tenure runs out next month. I have reapplied but.....


Member Baty: Mine also, but I will not reapply.




The Meeting was adjourned at 10:50 p.m.






Date approved Nancy C. McKernan

Recording Secretary