The Meeting was called to order at 7:32 p.m., with Chairman Antosiak presiding.




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


Absent: Member Baty (alternate)


Also Present: Terry Morrone - Deputy Building Official

Steve Rumple - Staff Planner

Alan Amolsch - Ordinance Enforcement Officer

Nancy McKernan - Recording Secretary


Chairman Antosiak indicated we have a full Board present this evening. This Meeting is now in session. The Novi Zoning Board of Appeals is a Hearing Board empowered by the Novi City Charter to hear appeals seeking variances from the application of Novi Zoning Ordinances. It takes a vote of at least four (4) Members to approve a variance and tonight it will take four (4) Members to deny a variance.



Approval of Agenda


Chairman Antosiak inquired are there any proposed changes to the Agenda?


Terry Morrone: There has been a requested change Case No. 97-097 and 97-098 filed by Lee Mamola, has requested to be pushed back one or two cases if possible.


Chairman Antosiak inquired is there any objection from the Board? Hearing none, we will so amend the agenda. Mr. Mamola’s cases will be called after 97-103.



Public Remarks


Chairman Antosiak indicated this is the Public Remarks section of our Meeting. All comments related to cases before the Board this evening will be heard at the time that the case is heard, however, if anyone in the audience would like to address the Board on a matter not related to a specific case before us now is the time to do so.


James Korte, Shawood Lake. Good evening and good holidays. Sarah Gray and I cannot be here this evening this is the last joint meeting of SES and LARA before we merge the beginning of the year. I have delivered a letter to Nancy this evening with regards to Case No. 97-103 and ask that it be read into the minutes. We are sorry that we can’t be here. Please read the letter. Heed the letter. I will see you in the new year.



Case NO. 97-102A,B & C filed by Mary Kuzdrzal, Stanley & Delphine Rzepka


Mary Kuzdrzal, Stanley & Delphine Rzepka are requesting A) a 7' side yard setback variance on the north, B) a 5' side yard setback variance on the south, C) a 3.53' projection variance to the front yard; to allow for the construction of a new single family home at 1515 East Lake Rd.


David Rzepka was present and duly sworn.


David Rzepka: First of all I would like to thank the Board for the opportunity to present our case tonight. Let me introduce Stanley Rzepka, my father. Delphine Rzepka, my mother. Mary Kuzdrzal, my grandmother.


David Rzepka: I would like the Board to look at exhibit number one. Just to give everybody an indication of where 1515 East Lake Drive is on exhibit number one it is located on East Lake Drive in the Chapman Walled Lake subdivision and is on the east side of Walled Lake. Lot number 40 is highlighted in yellow on your copy and orange over here, it is a 30 by 110 foot lot and adjacent and to the rear of the lot is lot number 14 in the Cennequa Shores subdivision and that lot measures 40 foot by 110 feet and is located between Lashbrook and Parklow and between East Lake and Paramount.


David Rzepka: At this time I would like to have my mother come up to the microphone and she has prepared a letter which is exhibit number two and she would like to read it to the Board at this time.


Chairman Antosiak: Let me add that we have the letter, it is considered part of the official record so there really isn’t any need to read it. If you have anything to add to what is in your package we would be glad to listen to that.


David Rzepka: OK, then we will continue on.


David Rzepka: If you can turn to exhibit number three, it is a series of photographs. In the top photograph is the white framed wood structure which is the existing home at 1515 East Lake Drive. Just to the right of it, the south, is a new two story home that has just recently been constructed and to the left of it there is an existing two story home that has probably been there for about 6 or 7 years. In this picture over here you can see that the existing structure is approximately one foot off of the property line. It is 20 foot 8 inches wide and it is approximately about 8 feet off of the north property line. What my parents would propose to do, is that they would like to center their new home between the existing homes that are there which would give between their new proposed home and the existing south home over here you have 15 feet between the two structures and then at the north side it would allow them to give 16 feet between the two structures. I could also point out to the Board that the existing home is 20 foot 8 inches wide and the new construction that my parents are planning on doing calls for a 22 foot wide home which is only 16 inches wider than the existing structure that is there today. We go down to the center picture; the center picture is taken from the back of lot number 40 and is looking at the rear of the existing home. Then if we take a look at the lower picture which is taken from Paramount Avenue, which is lot number 14 the Board can see the white frame structure in the far background and the existing homes on either side and you can see the depth of the lot also. With the combination of both lots what you have is a depth of 220 feet in the lot. The proposed driveway that you will see later would be through the trees right over here where the thru track is right now.


David Rzepka: My father has met with the assessment department and what he has done recently is combined both pieces of property, lots 40 and 14. I have with me the response from the City of Novi assessment department which they combined both lots into one and gave one parcel number or one sidwell number to both lots.


David Rzepka: If I may ask the Board to turn to exhibit numbers 4, 5, 6 and 7. These are letters from all of the adjacent property owners, to the north, to the south, to the southeast and then to the far east. All four property owners have discussed the situation with my parents, they have taken a look at the drawings that they propose to do and they are aware of the variances that my parents are looking for in the construction of the home over here. All of them have approved it with no objections.


David Rzepka: I would ask the Board to turn to exhibit number 8. My father employed David P. Smith and Associates, a licensed land surveyor and asked them to go ahead and establish the property corners for both sets of properties, 14 and 40 as outlined in the dark heavy bold line. They have also marked the existing homes to the north and to the south as shown in the hatched markings over here and then also to the rear. They have also indicated in the dotted line, if you take a real close look at it over where the existing cottage is today and then the proposed construction which is the new home and that is outlined in a solid line over there.


David Rzepka: At this time my dad would like to come up to the "mike" and explain the budget and the estimates that he has been putting together for the proposed construction.


Stanley Rzepka: My son and I set the budget to try to build a home, if it is approved by the Board, and I have worked on this for 2 and 1/2 months. Please look at exhibit number 9. I have contacted sub-contractors, vendors, suppliers and I have estimates from them and what it amounts to is that the cost of construction would be about 110,000 dollars for the home. This will be comparable to the homes on each side of us. I will be the general contractor. I will be the homeowner. I will be assisted by my 3 sons and my son-in-law and they are all in the building industry. Thank you.


David Rzepka: If the Board could turn to exhibit number 9. I met with Denny Lacey with Detroit Edison and I requested that he come out and visit the site. There are some power lines that run between lots 40 and 14 and I had asked him what type of rules and regulations that Detroit Edison would have. Dennis met me at the site, took a look at everything and then made me a copy of the rules and regulations of Detroit Edison which indicates that there has to be a horizontal setback from the outer most wire of 7 feet 6 inches. According to the drawings you will see that the setbacks from these lines are 11 foot 8 inches so we do fit into their guidelines.


David Rzepka: The last exhibit that we have in front of you is exhibit number 11 and those are the proposed construction documents that my parents are looking to build. The first page of the document will indicate the foundation plan. The foundation will be on trench foundations, there will be a block foundation on top of that and there will be a crawl space. On the second page is the first floor plan which depicts the outline of the first floor indicating a living room, dining room a bathroom a foyer, utility room, first floor bedroom, kitchen and then a stairway up to the second floor and an attached 2 car garage to the rear of the site. On the third page we have the second floor plan. The second floor plan shows that there will be 2 bedrooms on the second level with a full bath. Page number four is the roof plan depicting hip roofs on the house. Then if we take a look at page 5 it will show the various elevations; to the upper left hand side of the page is the east elevation which is the rear of the home, at the bottom of the page is the north elevation. Turning to page 6 of the documents in the upper right hand corner we have the front elevation which is done in face brick. At the bottom of the page you will see the south elevation. Page number 7 is the section through the structure. My dad intends to use engineered trusses for the roof and conventional framing 2 by 10's for the floor joist and 2 by 4 studs for the walls. Page number 8 is the schedule of miscellaneous notes and specifications. Page 9 is broken into 2 portions. We have the existing site plan which shows the existing structures and the one story cottage as it is today and on the right hand side we have the proposed layout depicting the driveway, the garage, the front deck which measures approximately 12 by 12 and then the proposed 2 story home.


David Rzepka: What I would like to point out with the location of the new home that they are proposing; the home will now be in line with the 2 homes on either side. The existing cottage over there is approximately 7 feet closer to East Lake Drive than the 2 adjacent homes and the deck that we are proposing for the front yard variance is in line with the existing deck which is just to the north also. We seem to be fitting in real well with the adjacent property owners. With the side setbacks that we are requesting which is a 5 foot setback on the south side and a 7 foot variance on the north side; giving us 3 foot to the property line; this home will now fit in and be equally spaced between the adjacent structures.


David Rzepka: We thank you for your time and if you have any questions we would be more than happy to answer them.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 31 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was one written response voicing approval. Copy in file.



There was no audience participation.




Terry Morrone: The only comment that we would have is that although we would like to see a new home in there and upgrade the area, the distance on the north side which is the north setback of 3 feet seems to be a little narrow. We would like to see it a little wider or more space on the north side to allow for better drainage and accessible to fire equipment and/or emergency equipment to the rear yards.


David Rzepka: May I comment on that? Being that my parents own the back lot which is where their driveway is going to come in, there is access for fire and life safety both from the front road of East Lake Drive and also from the rear road of Paramount. So there is access from both sides of the new proposed home.


Member Brennan: I have a couple of comments. First to tell you why I wasn’t flipping through all of this stuff; we get this about a week in advance so I looked at this pretty intensely. So while I appreciate all of the information that is why I wasn’t flipping through. But, the one comment that I wanted to make and I wrote this on here the night that I read through this and this is an outstanding presentation of a case. I have only been on the Board for 3 years, and this is probably the best case that has been presented at the lakes area. All of the information is there. A very nice job and very well presented. You answered the only one question that I had, and that was why you felt that you needed the front yard setback and in your interpretation it is for aesthetics to be in line with the other homes and I don’t know if that really is a hardship but I would consider the entire package. I would give some consideration to Terry’s concern about whether the possibility of centering this even more so that there is equal balance between the two but however you may have already accomplished could go a little to the north to give a little more equal balance, or could it not?


David Rzepka: If you went anymore for equal balance it would be about 6 inches and then you would have 15 1/2 feet between both homes over there and what you would end up being would be 2 1/2 feet from the side property line.


Member Brennan: So, if we would alter your plans to satisfy Terry, we are only talking about 6 inches? Is that what I heard you say?


David Rzepka: I am not sure that is what Terry was indicating by his comment. I think he wanted to see it slide to the south just a little bit.


Terry Morrone: I thought that a 3 foot setback on either side is pretty minimal. It presents a bit of fire hazard and a number of problems. Whether it is reducing the width of the building in it’s entirety has to be looked at as well. Or if it can be more centered, you are not going to gain anything from centering it more, the building is just a little too wide.


David Rzepka: I understand what you are saying, you are saying as far as centering the home on the piece of property that is there.


Terry Morrone: Or narrowing up the building a little more.


David Rzepka: My father and I have spent a lot of time taking a look at the floor plan of the new proposed construction. It is very difficult to design a home any less than 22 feet. Twenty-two feet is pretty much of a minimum and if you take a look at the floor plan the bathroom on one side is of minimal size, you have the hall way that comes through the home and then you have a minimal sized kitchen over there. The home has been designed to be handicapped in case in the future if it needed to be. We tried to go with wider doors and a little wider hall way to accommodate that in the future. That is pretty much where we came from and to get it down any less, and if I could point out once again the existing home is 20 foot 8 inches the structure that sits 1 foot off of the property line and all we are talking about is an additional 16 inches than what is already over there.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: There is a problem with a small lot. The main concern that I had was the existing house sits closer to East Lake Drive than the proposed new house and this was one of my biggest objections to re-doing it if they were going to go in the same position. But they are moving the central part of the structure back away from East Lake Drive. With the existing homes there; there is nothing else that is going to go in between which really gives access to both sides. As the petitioner pointed out, with having the lot connected to the back it gives access to both ends of the house and towards the size and I don’t really see how they could build a much narrower home. The lot is over built, there is no question about that. I just don’t know what else they are going to be able to do.


Chairman Antosiak: I just wanted to support Mr. Brennan’s comments. I thought it was an excellent package and I came in without any questions really.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Vice-Chairman Reinke,




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


Case No. 97-103A, B & C filed by Felix Godlewski


Felix Godlewski is requesting A) a 4.33' setback variance from the structure, B) a 10' front yard setback variance, C) a 4' side yard setback variance to allow fro the construction of a garage at 302 South Lake Dr.


Bud Scott was present and duly sworn.


Bud Scott: Felix would like to build a garage. Presently he has an old shed that has been there for a number of years. He would like to tear that down and build a garage. He has a very small piece of property there right on the lake and he needs a side yard variance, a front yard variance, and another side yard variance.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 21 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was 2 written responses received voicing objection. Copies in file. The letter submitted by Mr. Korte was read. Copy in file.




Dan Love, 1533 East Lake Dr. I would like to object to this garage being built. The reason why and I don’t know if the City knows that we have a small easement next to his carport or whatever; which was awarded to us back in 1996. I am not sure if the City knows this. But I don’t think that he is going to have enough property if he has to be so many feet away from that access lot.


Chairman Antosiak: Mr. Korte’s letter points out that this lot is a deeded access lot to several property owners on Duana and Elm Court.


Dan Love: I am not sure what the size and the height of it is, but I feel that it is not being very fair to allow somebody to build a garage on the lake when other people cannot.




Terry Morrone had no comment.


Bud Scott: The garage will be located and there is a 6 foot easement, so he is correct, and the garage will be located outside of that 6 foot easement. So the easement will not be affected. As far as Mr. Korte’s letter and I haven’t seen it, but all of the owners that were involved in this have been taken care of by this easement. So that part is really a done deal. As far as the garage there is currently, and he called it a carport, there is a shed like garage that has been there for years and this will look a lot better than what is presently there and it will be a lot more effective for Mr. Godlewski and I think for the other neighbors also. It will be a big improvement in appearance.

Member Brennan: Is there any reason why this couldn’t be an attached garage and in line with the front of the house?


Bud Scott: Well, as you can see from the drawings that you have there, there is not a whole lot of property back there, there is very little property there. He does not want to attach it because you have windows from the house that looks out at the lake and you would be blocking and awful lot of the view if it were attached and run back as you have described it from the front of the house.


Member Brennan: As I scale it, it looks as if you could move that back be attached to the garage and may only need a side yard setback of probably a couple of feet from the side and would alleviate some of the front yard setbacks, the side yard setback and would eliminate this whole issue of this being close to South Lake Dr.


Bud Scott: But that would eat up just about all of the property there behind the house. As far as usable property between his house and the lake there is very little. You can see that his house sits right on the lake and there is very little property back there.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I concur with Mr. Brennan, I think that the only way of this being done would be to move it back and attach it to the house because then this is a minimum intrusion and getting it as far away from the lake as possible which I think is the prime thing that needs to be done.


But Scott: One other problem with attaching to the house, in talking to the Building Department and Don Saven, when we first contacted him; he commented that we could attach it to the house but it would require a 42 inch deep footing and because the lake is right there we might have a problem putting in a 42 inch footing down. That is why we decided to not attach it and use just the regular slab and rat wall type of construction.


Member Meyer: Would this structure block access to the lake by other residents.


Bud Scott: No, it would not. There is a 6 foot easement and that would not be affected.


Member Meyer: Would it block the view?


Bud Scott: There is currently a lean to type of garage right there now. I would imagine that this garage would be slightly higher but I don’t think there would be any appreciable blocking of the view.

Member Harrington: The problem with putting it next to the house, is that there might be a difficulty with the 42 inch footing, correct?


Bud Scott: Right because the lake level is very close there. I don’t know exactly what it is but it is pretty close to the ground level.

Member Harrington: But no one has dug and we don’t know, right?


Bud Scott: No, we haven’t dug; but we were cautioned away from that by Mr. Saven. But, no we have not dug. It is very close. It is within about 2 feet of the lake level so if we dig down 42 inches we will be down below the water level. Plus the fact that we will block the whole side of the house with that garage too, as far as the windows and the house.


Member Brennan: We have to weigh as to what you perceive as hardships versus the neighbors and their expressed concerns. It appears that this garage could be put along side of this house; it creates a self imposed hardship because now you have covered up windows on that side of the house. But those are the things that we have to throw in the pot. Personally I think it needs some more thinking. There may be some better alternatives. I don’t support the plans.


Member Bauer: I cannot support it either.


Member Meyer: How big will this garage be, a two car garage?


Bud Scott: No, it is going to be a single car garage, it will be 14 by 22.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I concur with Mr. Brennan; as to what has been presented here tonight I could support some alternatives. The only thing that I can see right now is to move the garage back in line with the home and attach it; unless there is some other alternative that can be presented.


Chairman Antosiak inquired of Terry Morrone: Is that structurally possible?


Terry Morrone: It is possible, but it is certainly going to have some complications if they drop those foundations below water level. He may need to get a soil engineer to design a foundation and a method to do it. Currently a detached garage only needs a rat wall and not a foundation.


Chairman Antosiak: How deep would that be?


Terry Morrone: That would be 2 foot below grade.


Member Meyer: I think that this gentleman has tried to listen to the counsel of Don Saven and I think that we should be aware of that. I think that 2 of the Members of this Board have already indicated is that we would like to have you possibly think of coming back after you have had some time to reflect on it rather than having us take a vote right here and now that would perhaps indicate that even with the counsel of Mr. Saven that we are going to reject the possibility of this garage without you going to some enormous effort for grounding it.


Bud Scott: That is part of the problem, he is going to do this as the general contractor or do the job himself and if the cost gets out of sight obviously he won’t be able to do it.


Member Meyer: The concern that I have is that I feel it is too close to the lake.


Bud Scott: That is where the lot is and that is where the house is, that is his property. He has no other place to put it. Right now there is an existing shed and this will look a lot better than that when this is done.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Bauer,




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


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


Continuation of case filed by Lee Mamola, representing Vincenti Office Building, 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 on the south property 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 lots 17 and 18 on Lanny’s Road.


Lee Mamola was present.


Lee Mamola: We not only have this item on the agenda but we also have a very closely related item following this on the agenda. Perhaps we ought to move through this item and perhaps the Board may want to hear the other case before they vote. Of course that would be your prerogative. I will summarize what our issues were.


Lee Mamola: We have a 200 by 200 foot site. It is zoned industrial. It is surrounded partially by residential property. The concern primarily by the residents at that time was that we had adequate screening. The extent and the number of the variances seemed extreme. We had a laundry list of variances and I feel that our hardship is due to the fact that these platted properties were initially intended to be residential properties. The client came before the City for a petition to rezone these properties to residential and if you will look at the layout they are 100 by 200 foot sites and that was clearly the intent. When they were platted it was not the intent to be used as industrial or office. Given the industrial zoning, I believe that we have the softest land use that you can put on this zoning; an office use essentially. If this same parcel were zoned an office district we would not have these variances; it is only for the fact that the City intends keep firm their belief that this property should maintain the industrial zoning. We also talked about some of the configurations, alternatives and setback dimensions and screening options. The long and the short of that is what we have had two meetings involved with Mr. Cousineau and the homeowners and myself. The homeowners expressed a number of concerns again involved with screening, involved with site lighting and involved with the landscape wall. What I would like to do is at this point pass out to the Board a copy of a plan.


Lee Mamola: Following our meetings with the neighbors, and I think that you will hear from them in a moment. They are strongly now in support of this project on the basis of how we are proposing to modify the design and to modify the plans. We are proposing a series of plantings, some on our property and some on their property and that of course would require some legal understanding that would have to be executed properly in the City site plan process. The neighbors expressed a concern about the brick wall, one the height of the wall and two the material on the wall. They suggested a strong desire not to have a brick wall but to rather have a wood fence that would be 6 feet tall instead of a 6 foot tall brick on brick wall and that is what we are intending to provide since that is what they have requested and we think it makes sense and would fit nicely into the neighborhood. The wood fence we would call a shadow box pattern and it would allow some visual relief and be decorative as well. Their concern for lighting was to see a non-commercial type or style of lighting and there is a note on the drawings that I just passed out to you that refers to approximately a 7 foot tall lighting standard and that is a residential scale. We are proposing a residential style and type of light fixture. There would be a few more of them to adequately light the property but I think again that it goes in keeping the character with making our project characteristically and visually in scale to that neighborhood.


Ray Cousineau: If you recall the last time that we were here the residents expressed their concern over our proposal and the need for variances. We asked for a respite at that meeting to give us the opportunity to meet with the residents in the hallway. We did that and were unable to come to an agreement at that time. We came back before you and at your recommendation we tabled the matter so that we could continue meeting with the residents to try to resolve their concerns. We did that and I think that when you hear from the residents that we were able to do that to their satisfaction which I think that you indicated would go a long way in your favorable consideration of our request for variances. We think that we have done just about everything that we can and I think that with that maybe it is time to hear from the residents rather than letting me speak for them.



Kenny Howell, 44503 Eleven Mile Road. My property is in back of this structure that is going to be built. I just want to say that I am in total agreement with these gentlemen and what they have gone through. They have performed above and over the call of duty in trying to please us. It is just great to see a company take into consideration our needs and what we needed as residents and they went ahead and performed that. I think a lot has to be said about what type of company they are, because they could have tried to do a lot of different things but they came to us and they met everybody’s needs and they were very considerate about what we felt and I think that this property should be built and I think that the variances that they are asking for should be granted. Thank you very much.


Clint Price, I am an adjacent land owner to the proposed development site. I do believe that they have made every effort to consider our needs and I think that we have reached to what we consider a fair compromise based upon the renovations and the site proposals that you see in front of you. They have made agreements to keep us updated with the approval process and any changes to the site plans that you see. I think that we have a fair and working compromise and I think that they have done an excellent job of trying to make the best use of the land that has been made available to them. Thank you.




Terry Morrone had no comment.


Steve Rumple: I concur with the petitioner, the variances that are being requested tonight are a product of negotiations of the Planning Commission Meeting that took place on October 1. One of the stipulations in addition to these variances that are being requested was that the petitioner work with the adjacent property owners and I think it is apparent that he has done that. The Planning Department concurs with these requests and in addition to that the final site plan approval has been requested to go back to the Planning Commission and at that point any changes or implementation of the site plan will be double checked at that point.


Member Harrington: It sounds like they have come to an accommodation, but I don’t have a clear handle on what that accommodation is and how it impacts on the laundry list, so to speak, of the variances that are in front of us. Maybe Mr. Mamola could explain what varying variances are being requested in lieu of what was presented to us last month. In other words, were we to approve this accommodation that you have reached with the property owners; what are we approving? It sounds like a wooden fence......


Lee Mamola: That is right. On the second page of the list that you have of November 6 it talks about a proposed brick wall and that would now be a wood wall. The drawings that you have in front of you, we intend that they become a part of the permanent record. But to summarize on the diagram there was a yard setback from the homeowner to the south to the existing building and when we are in an industrial ....

Member Harrington: Lee, I don’t mean to interrupt you but you have to work with our list here because someone will probably make a motion to approve this and we have to be able to follow our list rather than to work off of the diagram.


Lee Mamola: Do you have it marked a, b, and c as I do.


Member Brennan: We all have that. Tell us just what is different.


Lee Mamola: "A" has not changed. "B" has not changed. "C" has not changed. "E" has not changed. All of item "D", wherever it says brick wall we would change that from brick to shadow box pattern wood wall. The detail on your drawing does start with about roughly a 1 to 3 foot brick wall on the residents side so that we can accommodate some grading differences and on top of that there is a 6 foot fence, so the height will be measured from the developers side of the property if you will and the homeowner would have a little taller total screening in affect. "F" has not changed. The lighting issue which we talked about with the homeowners was really not a part of the variance request it is a request that we did agree to go along with and it makes sense; it is just not a part of the variance request.


Member Harrington: But, we could make it a part of the request. It could be a condition to our approval. What is the actual lighting accommodation that has been reached?


Lee Mamola: We have indicated and I think that the light poles on the initial site plan were about 20 feet in height and on the drawing that you have we have generically said that they would be approximately 7 feet in height. There would have to be a few more of them and I can’t tell you exactly how many until we do the lighting layout, but there would be a few more.


Member Harrington: Can you give us an amount not to exceed.


Lee Mamola: Eight.


Member Brennan: If we use this as a part of your submittal to be read in there are some evergreens that are going on adjoining properties.....


Lee Mamola: You could refer to that landscape concept plan prepared by Ludwig Associates dated I believe today and we intend for that to be a part of the permanent file.


Member Brennan: So they will get the trees as shown on here.


Member Meyer: Did I understand correctly that you are going to be putting trees on the residents property as well?


Lee Mamola: Yes. Again on the diagram those trees would range in height, I believe, from 7 feet, 10 feet and 12 feet. It was intended to give a variety of landscape screening and views. The final landscape plan would be submitted as part of our final landscape package and it would be reviewed by the City Consultants and the Planning Commission and we did tell the residents tonight that we intend to notify them in advance as soon as we understand what our date and appearance on the Planning Commission would be. We intend to continue the dialog and the information with the residents that we have so far.


Moved by Member Meyer,


Seconded by Member Brennan,




Discussion on motion:


Member Harrington: I believe that the motion should be modified to reflect the accommodations placed on the record this evening which would include "D" of the proposed variance referring to a shadow box wood wall, that the light poles be reduced to 7 feet as per the accommodation and that would be a condition of the variance. And further that the variance package be subject to the rendering which would be a part of the record and finally as I listened to this petitioner only, I am not sure that it is appropriate that it be a part of this motion because 5 years from now if they sell this building they are going to have to come back to us to get permission to do what they have done for 10 years and I am not sure that it makes sense under the circumstance. So I would suggest that we withdraw the condition for this user only.


Member Meyer: I would do that.


Member Harrington: Because they are going to build the building, the building will be built.


Chairman Antosiak: This is a use variance.


Member Meyer: What I was trying to avoid though was to have some other petitioner come here with a laundry list of variances. So I cannot say that this is for this petitioner only then, because in 10 years somebody else may decide......


Member Harrington: We are approving side yard setbacks and the like, parking variances and the like and all which run to this particular structure that is going to be built. This is a unique structure and as we heard last month that it needs to be this large and it needs these variances or otherwise they cannot locate in the City of Novi, if we condition all of these variances to this user what happens in 10 years from now if they sell to another owner? They would have to come back in front of us again and get permission for all of these setbacks or the building may be unsellable. I think that if we are approving this package we have to approve the package as it and if they choose to sell the business it goes with it. That is my thought.


Chairman Antosiak: It runs with the property.


Member Meyer: I would like to amend my motion to reflect the thoughts that Mr. Harrington has just shared here. Not only regarding what might happen in 10 years, but also regarding DI and the height of the light pole.


Member Brennan: Now that we have a modified motion, I will modify my support to it.


Member Harrington: Before voting on the motion and I think it is implicit but, is there any further audience participation, discussion or objection of the motion as raised. I want to be sure that the motion that we are going to vote on and approve, if we do approve, accurately reflects the position

of the homeowners. Is there any further comment?


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



Case No. 97-098A & B filed by Lee Mamola, representing Lanny’s Road Office Building


Lee Mamola, representing, Lanny’s Road Office Building, is requesting A) a 52' setback on the south side of the building and B) a parking variance of 96' on the south side of the property, to allow for the construction of a new office building on Lanny’s Road, lot 11 of Mary’s Orchard Subdivision.


Lee Mamola was present and duly sworn.


Lee Mamola: To keep it brief in the courtesy of the others that are after us on the agenda, I would simply summarize the hardship and the issues as being substantially similar to the previous case except that the lot configuration in this case is really even tougher. The lot width is 100 feet. By the time that you figure to have to put in a 30 foot wide drive at the road and the 24 foot wide drive, etc., we are really left with a very minimal area to build a building. We do comply with the side yard setbacks to the north and we do comply with other ordinance requirements.


Lee Mamola: Prior to coming to tonights’ meeting we also met with the same group of homeowners who had very similar concerns as the brick wall becoming a shadow box wood wall. The particular homeowner to the south of this property shared with us another concern that they had with drainage. The drainage kind of in a back pocket which abuts this property. There are several engineering options to resolve that and to make their land become dry as it is apparently wet throughout most of the year and we think that we have the ability to make that become dry in conjunction with the how our site is engineered and constructed. They also requested that the dumpster which was located in the rear corner of our property and right next to their property (the southern property line) be relocated to the northern property line. The plan which I just passed out and submitted to you does reflect that. They also requested that the similar requirement for the light pole question be done and we intend to do that. This property and the diagram of the site that I passed out also includes 2 land banking parking spaces which were discussed at the planning commission level and the Planning Commission felt that we could give up 2 land banked parking spots which would be parallel parking spots right near the owners residence to the south and those would be landscaped until the time that there be proven a need that we would need 2 more parking spaces so that would be the reason to call it land banked parking spaces. So there is room to grow onto this property for parking so that parking would not interfere with the day to day circulation on the street.


Lee Mamola: Beyond that, since we were in front of the Planning Commission it was a little unclear but I think that since that time it has become further crystallized that at this point this will also be a Vincenti owned and operated and occupied building. This building is intended to become a display center where they will take their customers to this building to display cabinets, light fixtures, carpets, brick selections and the type of selections that one goes through when they purchase and have a house built. So again that is kind of a light use with respect to traffic.


Lee Mamola: One other comment that again pertains to the previous case and this case and I think that the homeowners like about both of these projects are that the traffic generated would generally come in the afternoon hours and during the week; at a time when typically the homeowners are not there and are away at their place of work and the traffic would not be generated on the week ends and in the evenings when the homeowners are there. It is a very compatible arrangement in terms of traffic.


Lee Mamola: We have passed out similar landscape diagrams and we intend that those become a part of the record as in the previous case. Our hardship again is based on the fact that some of the historical proceedings that went on with these lots intending to be residential and the previous attempt at having them rezoned to residential use that was not successful; the City said let these be industrial parcels; and we have the least caustic or the softest use to go up to these homeowners in this neighborhood.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 21 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was one written response received voicing objection. Copy in file.



........immediately south, no objection.




Terry Morrone indicated the Building Department had no objection.


Steve Rumple: The Planning Department supports the recommended variances as presented.


Member Brennan: To summarize like we did the previous case we are dealing with the one setback and the one parking lot setback, so these are the 2 variances?


Lee Mamola: Yes, these remain.


Member Brennan: As far as the landscape plan it can be included into the record as what has been agreed to with the adjoining homeowners?


Lee Mamola: Yes, sir.


Chairman Antosiak: I would just add that I think that this was caused by troubled zoning, and let’s just classify it as that. I see it to be a very good use of the property and I think that they have made every effort to live within the ordinance to the extent that is possible.


Moved by Vice-Chairman Reinke,


Seconded by Member Brennan,




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


Case No. 97-014 filed by A.M. Kowal


A.M. Kowal is requesting a rear yard setback variance of 4.33 feet to allow for the construction of a sun room addition at 1185 South Lake Dr.


Andy Kowal was present and duly sworn.


Andy Kowal: I am requesting a variance to construct a sun room on the rear of my house. My house as it is currently constructed faces South Lake Drive and across the street from me is Walled Lake. When I first purchased the property on which I built my house in 1981 there was a vacant lot to the west of me and a vacant 10 acre parcel to the east of me. There was an old and fairly dilapidated house behind me which has since been torn down and reconstructed. At the time I constructed my house, I built it strictly as a bachelor pad because I was getting a divorce and I had to quickly find a place to live. I designed the house without any living space on the lower level. On the lower level there is only a kitchen and a dining room and a bedroom and a laundry room and a bathroom. But there is no living room or den on the lower level. There is a large living room up stairs. My original plan was if I was to expand my house and I did plan on expanding even when I bought it. There was vacant property on each side of me. One the east side that property turned out to be mostly wetlands and it was a lot larger than what I needed so I didn’t pursue that very much; but I did make an offer on that property based upon wetlands and it was rejected. Subsequently they built the South Pointe Condominiums on that 10 acre parcel; over my objections. To the west of me there was a vacant piece of land and I wanted that land very much and I made an offer for that piece of land for a future addition to my house and at the time I was informed by the then Building Inspector that the land to the west was unbuildable because it was only 30 feet wide at the front. When I made an offer on the land back in 1982 I made the offer on the fact that the lot was unbuildable. The lot was sold to another party in about 1984 and in 1992 or 1993 this Board granted variances to allow the construction of a house on that land. So it is no longer an option for me to expand to the west of me. I would like to put on this sun deck and except for another mistake in my original drawings that the surveyor made, I would have plenty of room. But I noticed on my original drawings for my house that were submitted in 1981 which was approved by the City that the back property line was drawn incorrectly and after I made all of my plans for putting on this addition I noticed that I had to get a variance. The reason is the back property line is on a very sharp angle with the back of my house. On the east side of my house to the back property line I have over 57 feet. One the west side I have over 40 feet or 44 feet I believe, to the back property line. My addition if it is built at right angles to the property or the back of my house it projects out from the back of the house 9 feet and that would put me at the 35 foot required setbacks on one edge of the sun room but on the west edge of the sun room I would be about 4 feet too tight because of the way the back property slopes. I measured all of the measurements on the drawings that I have prepared for you from the existing fence line that is there and I did not re-survey the property; but there is an existing fence line there and it is new and I assume that it is correct and so all of the measurements are taken from there.


Andy Kowal: I would like to put on some living space on the lower level of my house and I think that the sun room would be an improvement to the property and the surrounding area. I am asking for that variance.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 62 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There were 3 written responses received, all voicing objections. Copies in file.




There was no audience participation.




Terry Morrone: If a variance is going to be granted I would request that the Board require a Land Improvement Permit to indicate the positive drainage in the way that it was approved when the building was initially built. This goes along with the complaint that you have on file by the adjacent property owner that some of the down spouts are directed in the direction of their lots and they are incurring the water problems on their property. In addition to that, some things that just came up recently and I haven’t had the opportunity to talk to Mr. Kowal, but I am told that there is another structure on the property but it is not indicated on this site plan. I was going to ask.....


Andy Kowal: There is a, excuse me, I am sorry. Recently in this last summer I put up a removable car port. It is supported on pipes and it has a plastic roof on it. I was going or I intend to put my helicopter underneath there for the winter because I recently sold the airport that it was at. And that is a removable structure. It is not anchored to the ground in any way, it is supported by pipes but they are just sitting on the ground.


Terry Morrone: If the structure is removable, it doesn’t mean that it is not going to be permanent. If it is permanent it should be a part of this case. If in fact it is going to be temporary, then a Temporary Use Permit should be requested by yourself through the Building Department and it would be temporary in nature and evaluated and a permit would be issued if in fact it was consistent with the ordinance.


Andy Kowal: It is intended to be temporary until I acquire a permanent place to house my helicopter. I can’t use it from there, I would have to truck it in and bring it there temporarily and I am not going to leave it there if I can’t fly out of there and I can’t.


Member Harrington: I don’t see any linkage between the helicopter and the sun room which is before us this evening and I would like to just limit the discussion to that. If there is a problem with the temporary housing of the helicopter on site that is another issue on another day.


Terry Morrone: Actually if it is a structure, it should be evaluated. Either by a permanent structure or a temporary structure via a Temporary Use Permit.


Andy Kowal: I will take that up with the City inspectors if you recommend me to do that. Although I do not know of any ordinance objecting to a temporary and it doesn’t have any sides or front or anything to it. It is supported by 8 pipes and on top of it are 6 other pipes which form a peak and on top of that is a piece of canvas that comes with a kit that I purchased.


Chairman Antosiak: This sounds like an enforcement question, which would probably best be addressed through enforcement. We really can’t resolve that issue here tonight.


Member Harrington: What you are learning is that the City may believe that a permit is required in order to maintain that and probably if you don’t go and talk to them you are going to find out the ordinance that is involved.


Andy Kowal: I will bring that up to them and I will show them what I have and if they object I will take it down.


Terry Morrone: One more issue. I was also told that the foundation is already in...


Andy Kowal: Yes.


Terry Morrone: We don’t have a permit on it as of yet.


Andy Kowal: The foundation was built because there is nothing above grade to be built and it was started long before I found out that there was a problem with it and I hand dug it myself and I wanted to continue before the ground froze. It was not a presumption on my part but I knew that I wasn’t violating any ordinance in pouring the foundation there; it wasn’t above ground. As far as the drainage goes, I will abide by any drainage regulations. I do not see where I am changing any drainage out there. But I will abide and accept approval subject to a closer inspection of the drainage problem.


Member Meyer: Did you put that foundation in since November?


Andy Kowal: I poured it since then, I have been working on it all summer.


Terry Morrone: Is the foundation consistent and accurate with the submitted site plan?


Andy Kowal: It is absolutely accurate with it.


Member Harrington: Do I take it that it would basically be impossible to construct your sun room were you to comply with the legislated setback. You need the extra 4 feet in order to do it right?


Andy Kowal: Yes.


Member Brennan: I just want to reiterate that Mr. Kowal has said that he is in agreement with whatever needs to be done with the Land Improvement and Drainage. Your neighbor believes that there is a problem so if you are in agreement you will address that and work through the Building Department, is that where he does that?


Terry Morrone: Yes.


Member Brennan: Just to go on record his request for a variance is not a 4 foot across the back, it is a pie shaped variance which is really rather minimal.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Vice-Chairman Reinke,




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


Case No. 97-106A, B, C & D filed by Marriott Towneplace


Marriott Towneplace is requesting A) a 16' variance for parking lot green space along Eleven Mile Road, B) a 5.15' and a 10' variance for parking lot green space on the east side yard, C) a 33% variance for parking in the front yard, D) a 6.66' side yard setback on the west, to allow for the construction of a hotel on the north side of Eleven Mile Road easterly of Town Center Drive.


Tim Peters was present and duly sworn.


Tim Peters: We are proposing that we locate 2 brands of Marriott products in Novi. One is the Courtyard by Marriott which will be located here on the site plan and the other is Towneplace Suites which is a new product to Marriott this year and will be the first unit of it’s kind in the Detroit Metropolitan area. The Courtyard brand is a business travelers hotel and it was designed by business travelers to accommodate their needs that they identified as easy accessibility to the rooms. They didn’t want to pay extra room rates in order to pay for meeting facilities and banquet facilities that they weren’t utilizing. There are also unique items in the rooms; 25 foot cords on the telephones, executive desk chairs and those types of items that make it more of a business environment for a traveler. It does cater to some family business on week ends, but in this market we are particularly targeting business travelers.


Chairman Antosiak: I would like to interject one thing. I am sorry to interrupt. Your Marriott Courtyard is ZBA Case No. 97-107, so it is the next case; but continue to explain it as you see fit and we will address that issue as we get to it. If it works better for you to explain them together, then do so.


Tim Peters: It is kind of hard to separate them. I will go on with the Towneplace Suites and if you have any questions about the Courtyard we can come back to that.


Tim Peters: The Towneplace Suite is a moderate priced extended stay product. The rates will be approximately $65.00 per night and we anticipate that the average length of stay will be close to 30 days in this product. They are all equipped with full kitchens and we anticipate that they will serve the needs of families that are relocating to the area, or people who are in the area for training. Given that type of customer you will be having people who are essentially in temporary living facilities here that will be spending money on various shops, movies and restaurants withing the area; so there will be further support to the community besides the tax base that these 2 products will generate and is about $300,000.00 per year. We also anticipate that there will be very minimal impact to the City in response to fire and police.


Tim Peters: We have an extensive landscape plan here on this site. If you are familiar with the particular property currently the only trees that exist on the entire site are within the right of way setback of the road, so we are going to be adding 140 trees to this area here. This plan is also being designed with a campus type of affect; as you can see in the larger drawing we have the Towneplace Suite on the left and the Courtyard in the center and a possible future hotel the Fairfield which is another Marriott product on the northwest corner and a restaurant here. You can see that we have extensive landscaping on the interior of the site as well. We have spent over one year in design with this and have had substantial input with the City staff and the City Consultants. We have moved the buildings around several times trying to accommodate all of the variance and City codes and ordinances and essentially this design has the least amount of requests for any variances.


Tim Peters: Specifically we are looking at he parking setback along Eleven Mile Road, the parking setback that is along the east property line, the building setback that has come off of the Towneplace suite and the front yard setback that is along the Towneplace. Again it is difficult to talk about just one individually because the numbers are similar but I will keep relating to the Towneplace if I can.

Tim Peters: Beside the fact that we are adding extensive trees to this property, we have long landscape islands which will break up the mass of the parking lot so that it actually looks like multiple parking area rather than what you see at the LakePointe Office Center which is one large parking area in the front. We feel that we are in character with the surrounding area and we actually exceed the landscaping and we have equal front yard setback and parking ratios with the comparative properties. The LakePointe Office Center has 20% landscaping on their total site, the Wyndham Hotel has approximately 30% and the Novi Town Center across the street is 16% landscaping. Our 2 developments combined together in this area and not including the retention pond is close to 40%, we are just under 39% landscaping or green space. Additionally on the front yard parking setback at the LakePointe Office Center you have 93% ratio and the Wyndham Garden Hotel is 81% and our setback request we are 83% at the Towneplace and 81% on the Courtyard, so we are in line with the surrounding areas there also.

Tim Peters: The site location is ideal for our intended use. It has proper zoning and it insures that we are in character with the area. The absence of trees on the site allows us to develop without any woodlands impact so we are actually adding a substantial amount of trees to the area. The infrastructure is in place. The short access to the freeway is ideal for use as hotel sites. We also have exposure and view from the freeway and our market study suggests that the sites are located to support the hotel facilities as the sizes are shown. We have worked with the site plan as close to the current variances as possible and can design the site without impacting the existing retention pond.

Tim Peters: In order to help mitigate the variances that we have we have designed a few features in that are not called for within the ordinance. One of which is that along Eleven Mile we will have an over planted berm that we are using substantial vegetation. The parking is dropped below street grade and you can see that here. Any cars that are parked here will not be visible from the road with the berm and the heavy landscaping that we have done. We have also if you refer to figure 12 in your book it is a drawing of a retaining wall for the east side setback where we are up against an industrial zoning on this property which has a non-conforming use. We have put terraced retaining walls with substantial vegetation and this is a much higher cost item for us rather than just providing a 20 foot green space that would be required under the ordinance. Our interior landscape areas also exceed the minimum requirements and we have put extensive brick on both buildings. We are up to 38% on the Courtyard while the Towneplace Suite is at 63% brick and those minimum coverages for the ordinances are 25%.


Tim Peters: We feel that we have worked as closely as possible to maintain the spirit of the ordinances. Our property configuration that we are faced with is a hardship that we have specifically on the north side of the property. As you can see here this is the existing retention pond which was built years ago when they built the office building next door. The design of the drainage for land that is not to be owned by Marriott, specifically these 2 sites here, the drainage that is coming through will have little or no impact to the retention pond. We have tried to work to the spirit of the ordinance, we do have hardships to the north. There is a 25 foot setback from the water level that we have to maintain and regardless of that we can’t even get close to it because of the slopes of the pond. The location of the existing sanitary sewer and the retention pond slope runs along the property line here and cuts over to this point and over to this point and has to serve the properties which are over here. It ties into the office building and loops all the way around. It is impossible to change the grade.


Tim Peters: That is our presentation. Essentially on the Towneplace property.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 21 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was no written response received.




There was no audience participation.



Terry Morrone had no comment.


Steve Rumple: The Planning Department has taken a long and hard look at this development, and we have come a long way in shifting around the site plan. It is our belief that this is a quality development not only in the design of the buildings but with the design of the site itself and therefore would recommend approval of the requested variances as presented.


Member Brennan: The setback requests seem fairly minimal for a project of this size. I was struck by a comment that came out of the packet that dealt with the green space issue which noted that because the site abuts the lake that this provides substantial open space and compensates for reduced green space. That and addition to what they are planning for that buffer between the road and the property is a nice proposal. In terms of the parking space being over populated on the front end, I don’t know where else you are going to put it. It seems a logical place. I support the plan as presented with one question. You have a sign somewhere on this building, have you gotten that far on your planning?


Tim Peters: On the Towneplace Suites, we just have the small monument sign on Eleven Mile Road.

Member Brennan: And that would be within the sign ordinance?


Tim Peters: As far as we know.


Member Harrington: I am delighted to see a project of this quality on that site. That site has been a historic eye sore in the midst of this City for many years and congratulations to persons who are not in front of us tonight who apparently worked hard with the petitioners to put this project together. It is a welcome addition.


Member Meyer: I need just a little bit of clarification as to figure 12. This wall, is this going to be facing the lake?


Tim Peters: The wall is located here, and comes along here and about 20 feet to this way; then it is just the fence. This is the highest point and then it starts dropping in grade along here. (shown on cart)


Member Meyer: I am trying to picture how high that is going to be. Six feet above the ground at the top part, with the wood fence?


Tim Peters: The wood fence will be essentially on the property line right here; so you will drop down and it is 10 feet to the bottom of the fence so you can see the concrete retaining bricks that we are using and they are 5 foot sections. So you will have those terraces and the fence will be 6 feet on top of that. Essentially you can see on figure 12, you can see the parking lot and then you will have about 5 feet and then about a 4 foot step back and then another 4 or 5 feet of retaining wall. That will face the interior of the Towneplace property; so essentially you will be looking at the wall here and if you are coming down Eleven Mile you could probably look over and see the top 4 or 5 feet of it.


Member Meyer: It will be aesthetically beautiful?


Tim Peters: Yes, sir.


Chairman Antosiak: I have a question and you can deal with the Towneplace in my question either separately or together with the Courtyard. I presume and you can tell me if I am wrong, that you could construct hotels on this property in compliance with the zoning ordinance, my question is how many rooms less?


Tim Peters: We tested that and if we were to follow absolutely the letter of your ordinances we could do a 154 room Courtyard Hotel on the 2 combined pieces of property. So you would drop your room count, the value of the building, and you would drop property taxes and we would drop revenue and at the land price that we are at it wouldn’t be possible to do so. Additionally, you only pick up another 1% of green space because you have so much more parking lot that you are dealing with, because the parking has to be close enough to the building that they are convenient to the guests. The other point is that one reason why choose to split 2 brands here is that it is easier to fill 2 smaller hotels than it is 1 larger hotel of one brand.


Member Bauer: They have done a grand job.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Bauer,




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


Case No. 97-107A, B, C & D filed by Marriott Courtyard


Marriott Courtyard is requesting A) a 15' variance for parking lot green space along Eleven Mile Road, B) a 20' variance for parking lot green space on the east side yard, C) a 10' variance for parking lot green space on the west side yard, D) a 31% variance for parking in the front yard, to allow for the construction of a hotel on the north side of Eleven Mile Road easterly of Town Center Drive.

Tim Peters was present and duly sworn.


Tim Peters: One thing that I would like to point out that is just a little bit different than the Courtyard is; the one variance that we are asking for on this property line right here will not be up against a street but it will be against this property line here. These are just for schematic purposes so essentially you will have more landscaping, this is an interior setback rather than a setback off of a street. That is really the only difference in our request. Pretty much all of the numbers that I quoted earlier hold for this project as well.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 21 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was no written response received.




There was no audience participation.




Terry Morrone had no comment.


Steve Rumple: There is nothing that I can add.


Member Brennan: Just what is apparently the obvious, this is also in line with the spirit of the ordinance. The variance requests are minimal. I will note that there is one request for a zero side yard setback on the east side of the property which abuts to your own property and you are the one that is most affected and the same points in regards to parking apply. I would ask the same question regarding signage, do you plan to be within ordinance on the sign for this particular property?


Tim Peters: We will be in compliance with the ordinance. There is a little bit more signage, there is a building sign on the Courtyard and we will be having a monument sign that is probably about 5 feet high, directional signage to funnel people into the registration to the hotel.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Bauer,




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


Case No. 97-108 filed by the Ledy Design Group, representing Big Boy Restaurant


Ledy Design Group, representing Big Boy Restaurant, is requesting a variance for an insufficient amount of green space for the restaurant located at 26401 Novi Road to allow for the alteration to the building.


Mike Bristor was present and duly sworn.


Mike Bristor: I have also brought with me Tom Reader from our office who is an architect and sitting in the back and also Gabe Cassab, the President of Elias Brothers.


Mike Bristor: We are at the northwest corner of Novi Road and Fonda Rd., the Big Boy Restaurant. At the October 15, 1997 Planning Commission Meeting we got final site plan approval contingent upon getting a variance from article 16, section 1602.8 from the zoning ordinance. In that ordinance it talks about that we need 15% of gross site area of development which will be devoted permanently to the landscape or the open space area. Our site currently has 10.96%. Our hardship is that it is an existing condition and if we were to remove parking, we would be in noncompliance of the parking ordinance and also as part of our site plan review process we would be in noncompliance of the parking ordinance. Also as part of our site plan review process we did re-stripe the parking to maximize efficiency of the parking and we removed 7 feet off of the front of the parking area along Novi Road which allowed us to provide a continuous landscape screening. We have a letter of support dated from the Planning Department, October 24, 1997 which supports our approval of the variance. At this time we would ask if there are any questions and approval of our variance.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 15 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was no written response received.




There was no audience participation.




Terry Morrone: There is no objection from the Building Department.


Steve Rumple: Subsequent to the October 15th Commission Meeting it was determined that an insufficient amount of green space existed on the site plan that is before you. We had recommended that the petitioner seek relief from article 16, section 1602.8 of the zoning ordinance which deals with the green space requirements. It is our opinion that because of the nature of the site and the fact that it is already existing, the fact that there will be no changes to the building foot print other than the entry way and the facade, and the practical difficulty and hardship involved in removing parking spaces to meet the 15% requirement of green space and thereby creating a deficiency in parking; is kind of like they are at 10.96 now and to get that they would have to remove parking spaces and then they would have to get a variance for the parking spaces. We find that this is the lesser of two evils and therefore would recommend approval of the variance request.


Member Bauer: Did you leave out the sign for the Expo Center that goes in here?


Mike Bristor: I would have to see what plan that you have, but that is not our property.


Member Bauer: Due to the clearance on the corner, is the one big pine tree going to come down?


Mike Bristor: That is an existing tree which is a part of the Expo Center and really is not a part of our property.


Member Bauer: I have no problem with this.


Member Harrington: Let’s assume hypothetically that we were not to approve and we were to insist upon compliance with green belt, what would the practical affect be? You have to take out parking spaces, how many?


Mike Bristor: Well we would have to take our and I don’t know the exact amount but it would be substantial if we have to gain 5%. Right now the parking count that we have does meet the current ordinance.


Member Harrington: I understand and it is the lesser of 2 evils and you are obviously voting for parking spaces over green, but I am just wondering what the trade is. My next question would be how much green are you putting in. what configuration would you have in mind? Has anyone thought about what you would have to do to comply.


Mike Bristor: I guess during the site plan review process we did look at some alternatives and this seems to work the best for the site as far and meeting the parking ordinance and increasing the green space.


Member Harrington: I understand that but we have to make a vote tonight o hardship and so that we can understand what we are voting on what would you do in terms of green area if we were not to approve your variance request? What would that mean?


Mike Bristor: We would have to re-look at configuring the parking and possibly adding islands to the parking area.


Steve Rumple: We had talked earlier about this and I believe and I don’t have the numbers in front of me but I believe that it would involve taking out 5 or 6 spaces directly in front of the building. We felt that was fairly substantial given the number of spaces that exist. It would do more to hurt the patronage of the building and being that they are nearly 11% we are talking about a 4% difference and that is why we were going with our recommendation.


Member Harrington: I understand that. So the practical effect if they were to comply would be to trade away 5 or 6 parking spaces for perhaps 5 or 6 little islands with little trees on them somewhere in the parking area. Right?


Steve Rumple: I don’t remember the islands being brought up, they would have to directly take out 6 parking spaces and that was what was brought up at the time of our negotiations.


Member Brennan: Then they would also have a deficiency in the parking spaces.


Steve Rumple: Correct and then they would have to come back for a variance for that.


Member Bauer inquired of Terry Morrone: When this was owned by Cassis, wasn’t there a variance that was given when that road was put through because the road took in a part of that property; and there was a variance that was given by this Board? Which would mean less green space.


Terry Morrone: I couldn’t tell you. I don’t know.


Member Bauer: I believe that there was, but I can’t remember when.


Member Brennan: My take on this is what the petitioner wants to do is an improvement to the site. It is a very minimal variance request and I think that there would be more of an issue in that area with all the Expo traffic that isn’t allowed to park in your parking lot. That is more of a problem than the 4% green space.


Mike Bristor: Tom Reader our architect just informed me that 5% would be about 15 parking spaces. He did do a calculation before.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: One last comment on my part. I can support the petitioner’s request because really nothing is basically changing from what is there. If it was increasing or decreasing the green space, I would have a problem with it. Since really it is not changing anything with what is there in existence today and therefore I can support the petitioner’s request.


Member Meyer: I just want to go on record that I will not be voting based on the lesser of two evils. I just don’t think in those terms. So, I will be voting on this because I think it is in the best interest of all concerned and particularly the citizens of Novi.


Terry Morrone: Just for clarification. It is my understanding that they wouldn’t have had to go through the site plan review process if they didn’t do this small entry way. That is all that it is. A small entry way. It really doesn’t do anything to increase the occupant load of the building. They just did a little bump out and as a result they ended up going through the site plan review process and they got caught because of the new ordinances on an existing piece of property.


Chairman Antosiak: I would concur with Mr. Reinke given that there is no increase in use. There is an improvement to the building and I could support the variance.


Moved by Member Reinke,


Seconded by Member Bauer,




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


Case No. 97-109 filed by Joseph LaFleche


Joseph LaFleche is requesting a side yard setback variance of 1'10" to allow the continued placement of a deck at 2111 West Lake Drive. (The deck was constructed without a permit.)


Joseph LaFleche was present and duly sworn.


Joseph LaFleche: I don’t know where to begin. The deck was built 16 years ago, and now I have to have a 1.10" variance to build the deck that has been there for 16 years. That is all I did; put new decking on it and I put a railing around it. That deck was there in 1994 when I did the addition on the front of the house and nothing was said then and I don’t know why it is being brought now. Well I know why, but.


Joseph LaFleche: I don’t know what to say. I have sent pictures in here. You have seen what it looks like and now....


Member Meyer: Was it constructed with a permit 16 years ago?


Joseph LaFleche: I don’t even remember what happened a year ago. I am not trying to be smart, but 16 years is a long time ago.


Member Meyer: That might be why you are being asked, because maybe there was no request for a permit originally.

Joseph LaFleche: That could have been, I can’t say.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 27 Notices sent to adjacent land owners. There were 6 written responses received, 3 voicing objection, 3 voicing approval. (Copies in file.)




Greg Gnatek, 2023 West Lake Dr. There are 2 houses between my house and the applicants’ house. The problem that I have with the variance, is yes there was a deck on the home at one time; however, the deck was completely destroyed and removed. The newly constructed deck is twice the size of the original deck and it does not conform to City codes. The owner knew that he needed to obtain a permit for the deck and failed to do so. The site plan documentation submitted does not accurately represent the placement of the home with respect to the property lines. In my opinion this specific piece of property does not require a variance. The owner can build an architecturally correct structure according to the house and there have been no hardships proven. Thank you.


Jeff Hagar, 2019 West Lake Dr. I am the adjacent homeowner. Yes, the deck was constructed without a building permit. There is a series of events that the Board should be aware of that is critical to a decision making process. The applicant was advised prior to the construction of the deck that he needed a building permit. At the start of the construction of the deck he received 2 letters from the Ordinance Officer of the City of Novi advising him of the building permit requirement; he ignored both letters. During the construction of the deck he received 2 telephone messages requiring him to apply for a building permit; he ignored those. A ticket was then issued. He ignored the ticket and completed the construction of the deck. It was not until after a judge summoned him to appear in court where he then decided to accept the responsibility. I submitted an engineered site plan to my home that was built 1 1/2 years ago, which illustrates the size of the original deck that was on the applicants home. I submitted that to the Building Department. It clearly states that the new deck construction is twice the size of the original one. One other point is that the previous deck that was on the home was completely removed and completely torn down to where there was nothing in existence. It was at that point in time during the construction process where the Ordinance Officer actually took photographs of the deck. A couple of points also that I would like to make is that I don’t feel that the applicant has successfully defined the hardship. If there is a hardship it is self created and probably not deserving of any relief. Since I have recently been through the process of getting a variance for a deck which was denied and I feel that my situation was very similar to his, that you can build a reasonable deck given the current envelope. Thank you.


Paula Bradley, I live in Novi, but I don’t live near him. I have lived across the street from where he resides for almost 50 years. When these 2 people say that the deck was totally torn down, they are mistaken. We have pictures to prove that the deck was never removed. It has been there for 16 years. The only thing that he did was put railings up. That was it.


Joe LaFleche: As far as me getting phone calls, I don’t know where he is getting that information from. I don’t have an answering machine.


Paula Bradley: The deck was not even touched. We have pictures to prove that.




Terry Morrone: I am told that the research has been done on the property in question and that no permit was discovered for this deck. It is also the opinion of the Building Inspector that he feels that the deck was there for quite some time; but the recent alterations to the deck were done without any sort of permit. Secondly, there is an ongoing feud out there between the neighbors and as a result of a complaint we discovered that the alterations to the deck were done without the permit and we were required to enforce the ordinances with Notices of Violation and Citations after that.


Joseph LaFleche: If anything I have cut that deck down, it was 12 by 20 and it is now 12 by 18. So I didn’t make it bigger. I just replaced some boards that were messed up and put a railing on it.


Member Brennan: The footing remained?


Joseph LaFleche: Yes, sir.


Member Brennan: So you just ripped off the old decking?


Joseph LaFleche: Yes and I even flipped the good boards that were decent and then had to replace some that were bad. It is not like I didn’t apply for a permit. I did apply for a permit. I was told that I needed to come before the Board to get a variance, so here I am.


Member Harrington inquired of Terry Morrone: Was a permit required under City code to build this deck and set aside the variance issue or the side yard setback and let’s assume that there was no variance required; was the homeowner required to pull a permit 16 years ago?


Terry Morrone: Yes.


Member Harrington: Let’s assume that the deck was built in accord with the pictures and I am looking at the one here that shows a deck without railings and the like; is a permit required today to put up railings on a deck?


Terry Morrone: Depending upon the height of a deck above grade. It is greater than 30 inches, yes.

Member Harrington: What is the height of this?


Terry Morrone: I don’t know.


Member Bauer: It says 29.


Member Harrington: If it is less than 30 inches above grade is a permit required to put railings up?


Terry Morrone: No, except that there was other work to the deck that did require the permit, such as the structural members. Some of them were removed and replaced as I was told. That in itself would constitute repair and a permit.


Member Harrington: Is there a code section that deals with decks? Or is this simply general construction?


Terry Morrone: We have an ordinance that deals with decks and we do have the State Construction Codes that deals with structures in general.


Member Harrington: The deck ordinance was in effect 16 years ago?


Terry Morrone: Yes.


Member Brennan: Have we heard anything different that changes what is before us tonight and that is a variance request of a side yard setback of 1 foot 10 inches? Is anything different than that? I haven’t heard anything different. We have heard a lot of debate on other issues, but what is before us tonight is this case is with respect to a side yard setback of 1 foot 10 inches which has been in violation for 16 years.


Terry Morrone: I don’t know if the side yard setback is the same today as it was 16 years ago.


Member Brennan: The petitioner says it is now even less, because it used to be 20 foot wide and it is now 18 feet wide. So he has reduced the variance requirement.


Joe LaFleche: The only reason why I did that was because the boards were starting to curl up and it looked nasty at the end, so I just cut them off. No big thing. I wasn’t trying to make it bigger.


Member Harrington: The effect of reducing the size of the deck, if you follow the foot print of the existing house you are actually inside of that. Correct? The side of your house is closer to the setback than the deck is, true?


Joe LaFleche: Right. The deck is like 3 foot 6 inches from the outside of the house. I think and I don’t know what I wrote. The other side is 3 foot.


Member Brennan: If I can again speak the obvious, what we are looking at is the placement of the house with respect to the property line and because the property line is coming in at an angle we are clipping and the petitioner (which I am not going to debate whether he had a permit or didn’t) but he is before us tonight is seeking relief of 1 foot 10 inches on that side.


Joe LaFleche: It would be the north side if anything because the way that the house is sitting on the property itself there is more....I am probably a foot over. The way the house is sitting is why the deck is like that.


Member Brennan: Would it be possible or what would be involved in getting this deck into compliance? It would be quite literally stripping off another 1 foot 10 inches of the width on the end, right?


Joe LaFleche: On the north end.


Member Brennan: To lop off 2 foot which would make the overall length 16 feet.


Joe LaFleche: That wouldn’t look right. The deck would be on an angle and the house would be straight over here. You can see, I have the one picture that is straight on from the lake looking at the house. If I did that, it would really look stupid.


Chairman Antosiak: For the record and for the Board there is a permit application in the file and it was received by the City on June 20 and there appeared to be some failure of the minds to meet during July and August on getting a plot plan for this and then a later note that he would have to go to the ZBA for encroachment. Apparently there was difficulty in communicating during the summer on what was needed.


Member Brennan: So this is a bit mis-leading then because on the Notice there is a comment that the deck was constructed without a permit, but he did make the attempt to get a permit.


Chairman Antosiak: He filed an application, which is consistent with what he has said tonight.


Joe LaFleche: I have no problem with going over here and getting a permit or whatever you guys want. I’ll put all new boards on, I don’t care.


Member Bauer: There is no way of knowing that there was a permit issued back then?


Terry Morrone: We did the research and we didn’t find one.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: On the 3 objections, are there any notations or comments on them?


Chairman Antosiak: Mr. Hagar’s was one and you heard that. Another objection was that it was built without a permit and does not meet the code, no rails on stairs, no post holes, cement blocks holding up deck. Another objection was variance shouldn’t be required can built within the current building envelope.


Member Brennan: I will just summarize some thoughts that I had. While this is an improvement of the property, it is also a smaller deck than what was previous. There was an attempt to get a permit. It is not as if it was constructed in complete violation of the Building Department. I think that we have to deal with the issues that this particular notice pertains to and that is the variance from the setback and the petitioner has some claim due to the lot configuration and the property line; this deck is clearly well within the envelope of the house. It is unfortunate that there is a lot of other issues with respect to neighbors and other problems but I think that we can only talk with what is before us.

Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Meyer,




Discussion on motion:


Member Harrington: I am going to reluctantly support the motion. I am satisfied that the deck which is there presently follows the foot print of the existing deck. I think that the original photograph that was submitted is compelling and persuasive in that regard. I am not completely comfortable with how the petitioner has proceeded here especially in light of what seems to be some communication from the Building Department. On the other hand, I am not satisfied that there was flagrant disregard of the Building Department procedures. This is an unfortunate case. It is to bad that neighbors can’t get along, but when they don’t sometimes we have to make the call. So, I am reluctantly supporting the motion.


Chairman Antosiak: I share your reluctance. The only reason that I will support the motion is because of the fact that the deck was 16 years old and the fact that the new deck is actually smaller and less of an encroachment than the old deck. Were Mr. LaFleche be willing to shave 1 foot 10 inches off of his deck he would not be with us this evening. So, I will also support the motion.

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


Case No.97-093 filed by Ray Electric


Continuation of case filed by Ray Electric requesting a height variance of 2 feet for the placement of a sign 7' high and 6' wide with the verbiage "RAY LIGHTING CENTER" "RAY ELECTRIC" and 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 for property located at 25673 Meadowbrook Road.


Matt Quinn was present.


Matt Quinn: I think I will forego my 45 minute presentation that I gave to you last month and just get to the chase. You will recall that you asked Ray’s Electric to put a mock up of the sign. Remember the purpose of the mock up. The real concern was the fact that the original sign was built in a hole and it was placed there by the previous owners. Now, the intent is and 2 variances are required. Number one: they are going to fill that hole in by improving the landscaping to the front of the building and raising the natural grade up 4 feet and then they are going to replace the sign on top of the new grade and we are asking for a 2 foot height variance for the sign, making it a total of 7 feet high from the new grade. Now the purpose of the additional height and this sign is the size that is allowed by the setback from the roadway, the 42 square feet is appropriate. But the height is because of safety. In order to make the left turn into Ray’s Electric you are presented with really an emergency situation because of the down slope of Meadowbrook Road and given the berm affect of the property that is on the corner it is impossible to see the existing sign and even if you raised it up a few feet above the new ground level it will still not be visible far enough away for the people that have to make the left turn into Ray’s Electric and also be used as a focal point for the people turning into the new soccer center that is there since they share a common entrance. Those people will be able to use the Ray Electric sign as a mental thought of this is where I make that turn and with the significant amount of traffic that will be coming that way it becomes a real safety hazard. So the mock up was there and I hope that you all have seen it. What the mock up showed you is that the white section on the sign is the sign itself; the bottom of the white to the top of the white is the sign and everything under that would be the new grade that would be placed there. So we are asking for 2 variances. Number one, to modify the existing grade and to place the sign on top of the new grade and then a 2 foot height variance for the new sign. I will be more than happy to answer any questions..


Chairman Antosiak indicated as mentioned last month 7 Notices were sent to adjacent property owners. There was no written response received.




There was no audience participation.




Terry Morrone had no comment.


Alan Amolsch had no comment.


Member Harrington: If we were to grant the variance on raising the surface grade only, would it be the intention of the owners to raise the surface grade or is that linked to the larger sign?


Matt Quinn: No, the surface grade and they have had an architect already do a plan raising the existing grade 4 feet is all that is going to occur. Are you asking if it can be raised any higher?


Member Harrington: No, I am asking if we were to grant that variance and not make a ruling tonight on the height variance on the sign, would your owners go ahead and raise the grade?


Matt Quinn: Well, it is difficult because they have to remove the existing sign to raise the grade.


Member Harrington: Let me try it a different way, and here is where I am coming from. Where I am coming from is if I had my druthers and you are going to go ahead and improve that grade and raise the grade any way I would like to see the proposed sign on top of the new grade so I don’t have to do a visual in my own head about a difference in subtraction of 4 feet. I think that I could get a fair or visceral reaction and a gut reaction to what the impact of that new sign would be if the grade is going to be raised. But if the grade is linked to the higher sign and we are not going to raise the grade unless we get the higher sign, then that rules that out.


Matt Quinn: Mr. DeSteiger was just explaining to me that the actual footings of the sign will go in first and then the landscaping will go around it. So even though we are talking about the height of the sign from the top of the new dirt level, underneath that dirt level they have to preplan the footings that they will need for the size of the sign.


Member Harrington: Has any consideration been given to keeping the sign the present size but putting some signage on the south face of the building itself; which would ease the visibility problem from Ten Mile Road.


Matt Quinn: We did talk about that fact. They way the building is set up however there is no convenient or aesthetically pleasing way for a sign to be placed. If you can picture the building, over the entrance way they have a fake type of roof and that you really couldn’t put a sign on and that is still fairly low and above that they have part of the brick up to the roof line; but the size of the lettering would require another variance and it would be a second sign.


Member Harrington: The reason that I ask that question is that particular route is one that I travel on almost a daily basis. I am intimately familiar with the Ray’s sign, I have looked at probably 50 times since the last meeting. There is absolutely no need in my view for increased height variance on that sign when you are coming south on Meadowbrook Road. The only need that is presented is that by traffic coming to the north and as I drove by there both ways on many occasions the thought occurred to me is there a better way to go or has it been considered to doing something with signage on the building itself because then you are not having an additional sign for southbound traffic - you are only fixing the north bound problem. That is what you have, a north bound problem and not a south bound. The 7 foot sign impacts both directions.


Matt Quinn: I agree. I think it is a trade off and we would rather comply with the ordinance and have one sign than two.


Member Bauer: You are going to raise the ground level almost to the top of the sign that was there?


Matt Quinn: Pretty close.


Member Bauer: Then you are going to go 7 feet above that?


Matt Quinn: To the top of the sign, right.


Member Bauer: So you are dealing with almost the top of the roof of the building.


Matt Quinn: No, that is where pictures don’t show the true story in that regards. If you and let me show you this picture which is the current photograph. The maximum height will be 7 feet from the new grade.


Chairman Antosiak: It is considered 7 feet only because they are adding 4 feet to the current level which has to be considered in the height of the sign.


Member Harrington: If this mock up in terms of the height if you drew a line across would almost parallel the canopy there, which is what I had in mind for....


Matt Quinn: It is closer to the bottom of the canopy really.


Member Brennan: My take on this is that they were here last month and they did what we asked them to do and I think it is only fair. It would have been nice to envision what the berming looks like. I am a little concerned about the 2 companies that are north and right in line that have signs that are within ordinance and what impact this means down the road; but I don’t think that we can let that be a part of our consideration. The petitioner has done what we have asked and I guess we need to make our determination on what he did in line with what we asked him to do.


Member Bauer: You have a gutter with water running down, is that going to interfere when you put the 4 feet on there?


Matt Quinn: Don Saven at the last meeting mentioned that we would probably need a Minor Site Improvement Permit and so the drainage would more than likely be directed underneath the new landscaping to the drainage ditch in the front.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I would much rather see this than 2 signs, there is no question about that and I appreciate your comments in that direction. The definite problem is north bound and there is no question about that. Due to the building height and the level of the lot at that point I think that what they are doing is the minimum that they could get by with; it is not increasing the size of the sign only the height. For everything that has been done and looking at the mock up that is there I believe that I can support the petitioner’s request.


Member Harrington: My gut reaction and I have driven by there 50 times, it is too tall. It is taller than it needs to be and taller than it has to be and that is my reaction to the sign and that is why the mock up is important.


Chairman Antosiak: It is very tall.


Member Brennan: The concern is going northbound and the ridge of not being able to identify the building. We clearly have building identification now. In fact, you can see it from Grand River. I think that if you are looking down stream with what else may be on that corner in terms of trees and landscaping and everything else this might look a little tall today but in fact to serve their purpose down the road. There is nothing on that corner right now. If this signage is all in line with the utilities and everything else there will be trees and everything else along there.


Matt Quinn: You are right that corner is a NCC litigation approved corner. It has not been built upon but they will have to have a green space on the Meadowbrook Road side. So you are right.


Moved by Vice-Chairman Reinke,


Seconded by Member Bauer,




Roll Call: Yeas (4) Nays (2) Harrington, Antosiak Motion Carried


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


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


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



Case No. 97-099 filed by SignGraphix, Inc., representing Merritt Handling Engineering, Inc.


SignGraphix, Inc., representing Merritt Handling Engineering, Inc., is requesting a 63 square foot variance to allow for the placement of a wall sign 23'1" x 4'6" (103.5 sq. ft.) with the verbiage "logo, MERRITT HANDLING ENGINEERING, INC."for property located at 22635 Venture Dr.


Bill Watts was present and duly sworn.


Bill Watts: We have a kind of interesting situation here. Merritt Handling Engineering has been in the Novi area for about 12 years and in business for about 20 years. They have a kind of unique logo and a very long name and it is very difficult to conform to the ordinance given that information. Your ordinance stipulates a measurement system which makes it real difficult for an individual lettered sign like this, I think it was really set up for a sign that has a background that is very distinctive to the sign. When you have an individual set of letters here, really the visual impact of this sign is less than the ordinance allows and it allows us about 40 square feet. Visually our impact here is about 38 square feet; but according to they way that the ordinance describes measurement of this sign it ends up being about 103 square feet. We are seeking relief based upon that hardship.


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




There was no audience participation.




Terry Morrone had no comment.


Alan Amolsch had no comment.


Member Brennan: Sir, I agree with you. I think that you have a visual impact of a 40 square foot sign.


Member Harrington: The variance that is requested would actually track the rendering submitted in accord with your application, correct?


Bill Watts: That is correct.


Member Harrington: Which would include MERRITT HANDLING ENGINEERING, INC. in lower case letters?


Bill Watts: Yes, we have indicated the size right on the drawing of those individual letters.


Member Harrington: What kind of road distance are we looking at?


Bill Watts: The building setback is about 72 feet from the right of way. Actually from the property line to the road is a little bit further out than that. We have a bit of problem. If we were to actually conform to the letter of the ordinance we would have letters here that would be under 5 inches which would make them impossible to read from the road. We tried to rearrange the letters and it doesn’t make it any more readable unfortunately. It is a real difficulty based on the way the ordinance describes the measurement of this particular type of sign.


Member Brennan: I had made the assumption and maybe I shouldn’t have that there is some contrast between the lettering and the building.


Bill Watts: Yes, the building background is a light background and we have tried to maximize the contrast for visibility purposes.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: There are pros and cons for the way that we measure our signs. A lot of times it works out to be the correct way to do it. This is one situation where I think that it is incorrect. Usually it is more correct than incorrect. I think that this is an example where some relief is needed in the way that it is laid out for the size of the building and the distance from the road. I think that is what this Board is for, no sign ordinance is going to have 100% answer for everything.


Member Meyer: I believe that the way it is presented here is very appealing, very clean and neat.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Harrington,




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


Case No. 97-100 filed by the Selective Group (Haverhill Farms)


The Selective Group is requesting a variance to allow the continued placement of a subdivision business sign for Haverhill Farms, located at Fourteen Mile and Kingswood Ln. for one year.


Carolyn McCafferty was present and duly sworn.


Carolyn McCafferty: I would like the Board to allow us for the sign to remain because of the hardship of the closing of Fourteen Mile Road. We need the visibility to complete our home sites.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 1 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was no written response received.




There was no audience participation.




Alan Amolsch had no comment.


Terry Morrone had no comment.


Chairman Antosiak indicated for the information of the Board Members there was a variance granted one year ago to extend the business sign.


Member Brennan: What is the build out, or the sold number of homes?


Carolyn McCafferty: We have about 25 more home sites to sell.


Member Brennan: What was the original subdivision count?


Carolyn McCafferty: I am not sure, it could have been about 100.


Member Brennan: Then you have about 25% left.


Carolyn McCafferty: That is 25 more homes left to sell.


Member Brennan: Do you think that you will need a year for that?


Carolyn McCafferty: Maybe not a year, but with the construction going on for the M5 connector all of our drive by traffic is totally out.


Member Brennan: Do you have your permanent signage out yet? The monument sign or whatever?

Alan Amolsch: They do have an entrance way sign.


Member Brennan: Is that on Fourteen Mile Road?


Carolyn McCafferty: That is right.


Member Harrington: Do you have every confidence that one year will be sufficient?


Carolyn McCafferty: Definitely.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: With the condition of Fourteen Mile Road I am sympathetic to the developer’s problems. That is a real problem. I don’t know how long it is going to take to have Fourteen Mile Road open again. So under that condition I could support this for a year but I could not support another request beyond that.


Moved by Vice-Chairman Reinke,


Seconded by Member Brennan,




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


Case No. 97-101A,B & C filed by ASI Sign Systems, representing The Detroit Medical Center


ASI Sign Systems, representing the Detroit Medical Center, is requesting A) a ground sign 144" x 86" (86 sq. ft.) with height from grade being 7'11", B) a ground sign 84' x 69 1/2" (41 sq. ft.) with height from grade being 6'7", C) a ground sign 84" x 81 3/4" (48 sq. ft.) with height from grade being 7'7"; for property located at 41935 West Twelve Mile Rd.


Kathy Garrison was present and duly sworn.


Kathy Garrison: First of all I would like to give you gentleman some additional paper work. Within the last 10 days the Detroit Medical Center reduced the size of the signs that they are requesting for this variance. I have new drawings here. (New drawings given to Board Members.)


Kathy Garrison: Basically if I could run through very quickly the changes that we are asking for. We are asking for 3 signs to be placed on this property and I will get into the reasons why and the locations in a moment. But, the sign at the front entrance way and what we are calling a business center sign we are asking for a 48 square foot sign and it will be double faced and 6 foot high from the grade. Then there are 2 signs within the campus area. One would be 4'8" above grade and just a little over 18 square feet and would be single faced. The other would be 22 square feet, single faced and 5'8" high above grade. All that information is up in the upper left hand corner of the specific sign drawing.


Kathy Garrison: As I am sure you are aware the Detroit Medical Centers have had a health care center on Twelve Mile Road for a number of years and recently built an additional building on that property. A single story building that is the re-hab center Novi. That is opening in January. Basically that facility is housing 3 different entities. The Detroit Institute for Children, The Rehabilitation Center of Michigan has a group there and Children’s Hospital of Michigan has a group there. The amount of patients going to that facility are going for brain injury treatment and neuro rehabilitation treatment. If you look on my photographs and I am sure that you are familiar with this property on Twelve Mile. Either traveling west or east on Twelve Mile you come up on this property and because both buildings are below the grade of Twelve Mile that combined with the berm and the landscaping it is very difficult to see the wall mounted signs on the buildings. It will be almost impossible to see the re-hab center sign since that is situated facing east and not facing Twelve Mile. So what we are basically asking is that you consider this whole campus, if you will, as a business center. We are asking for a business center sign to be placed in the island at the intersection/entrance into the facilities. That sign would have the Detroit Medical Center logo and the 2 general names of the facilities that are in that entrance way.


Kathy Garrison: This presents some problems. First of all we and even though we have reduced the size of that sign we are above your 5 feet ordinance above grade. We have reduced the size but we still feel that we need the 6 feet to accommodate the logo and the messages that are required on that sign. Because that intersection and the entrance way is situated on top of the hill on Twelve Mile when you are coming east you are right on top of it and when you are headed west you don’t see the buildings and you are all of a sudden to the light. Now if the light is green and while I took the photographs I saw several people go right through and realize that they missed the health care facility and then turn around and have to go back. Definitely the patients are not finding the center, as it is right now a basic health care center. Now when you are adding another facility with many entities in that facility and patients that have severe problems we feel that we are going to have more of a problem there and more of a hardship without the sign out there.


Kathy Garrison: Basically we are asking that the sign be placed in the front half of the island, from the lamp post forward is to the front of the island is approximately 30 feet. This sign is an 8 foot wide sign and we would place it somewhere halfway in the middle. We have planned on a post mounted sign so that when and not if Twelve Mile is widened the Detroit Medical Center acknowledges that they would have to remove that sign and we have designed the sign so that it is very easily removable; as well as the whole island which will be removed and the light post that exists.

Kathy Garrison: Then as you enter the facility or the campus you now have a choice of 2 buildings. You have been told to go to the Detroit Medical Center and now which building do I go to. While the existing building says Health Care Centers on it, if you are in the Children’s Hospital Pediatric Brain Injury Program there is going to be some confusion as to which of the 2 buildings you are to go to. So we are asking that a smaller sign be allowed at each entrance way to the parking lots for each building.


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




John O’Connor, representative of the Detroit Medical Center. There were a couple of other issues that I would like to add that we feel are concerns as far hardships for these 2 facilities. The 3 signs that we are requesting are actually for the 2 buildings at the site which we are calling a campus. One of the uses of the existing facility that was there before is an urgent care facility so that the visibility of the signs is very important for the fact if there is an emergency situation with a patient that they are aware of where they need to go, so direction wise they can get there without any delay.




Kathy Garrison: My understanding and the way that the programs are being handled at the re-hab center is that it is an on going treatment. Patients are coming there everyday but they may not be delivered by their parents or the same care giver everyday. So you are going to have volunteers and people who are unfamiliar possibly with the area attempting to get these patients to the right place and probably patients that can’t help them with that. These are all of the reasons that we ask that you acknowledge that there is a hardship and allow us the variance.


Alan Amolsch: It appears according the plan and I have noted it on the application that the sign appears to be in the right of way which is a problem. They would need a permit from the county, because Twelve Mile Road is a county road. They would need this county permit to allow a sign in a right of way.


Chairman Antosiak: What Mr. Amolsch is saying is that we can only approve a variance from Novi City Ordinance if the sign is in the right of way for Twelve Mile, you will also have to get an approval from the Oakland County Road Commission.


Kathy Garrison: OK. I do acknowledge that it is within the right of way. One of the possibilities that we have looked at is having the sign on the far back side of the island and I have placed a few things there and have tried to take some photographs of them and you can’t see it. That will be our next step.

Member Brennan: Just for conformation or clarification, we are now dealing with sign "A"- 48 square feet based on revision submitted tonight. Sign "B" is 18.6 square feet. Sign "C" is 22.6 square feet. The height requests are the same?


Kathy Garrison: No, the height has changed also. The height of "A" is 6 feet, the height of "B" is 4 feet 8 inches, the height of "C" is 5 feet 8 inches and only because we have more messages on "C" there are the 3 entities in that building.


Member Brennan: So "B" you no longer need a variance because you are within the height permitted if you are at 4 foot 8 inches, correct?


Chairman Antosiak: They need a variance because they have more than one sign.


Member Brennan: I just wanted this to be clear.


Kathy Garrison: The other 2 issues that I would like to bring up and they are on my chart here and I know that you are not to concerned with DMC’s identity in recognition, but that ends up being an important part of patients finding the right facility. If you see we have just finished and completed a sign program at a new facility on Grand River and any patient that has been to one Detroit Medical Center will hopefully then recognize the DMC standard and they will be able to find the second one that perhaps they have been sent to. We also appreciate the fact that you have looked at health cared facilities in the past and possibly have been more lenient with the signage code because of the whole heath care situation and the fact that these are people who are ill, not feeling well and already probably having a bad day and don’t need to be lost on top of the whole thing.


Member Harrington: Did I hear you say that the current signs on the building really don’t work very well and you probably don’t need them?


Kathy Garrison: There is an existing sign on the health care facility and it is the DMC logo, it doesn’t signify what is truly happening within that building. It doesn’t specify urgent care. There is absolutely no way that we could put the 3 entities on the new building. You wouldn’t allow us to do that.


Member Harrington: That is correct. The question in my mind is whether you really need that sign on the building, if it doesn’t work very well and no one recognized it anyway.


Kathy Garrison: Let me address that from a sign persons’ standpoint. I do way finding. I like to start out with a basic group and the basic group here is the DMC and within the DMC there are 2 separate facilities and one is the DMC Re-Hab Center of Novi and one is the Health Care Center. Now within that DMC Re-Hab Center of Novi there are 3 separate groups working in that building. So I like to have the focus or the main group at the beginning and then feed basically people through that way finding system. That is really what we are doing here. We are saying this is the Health Care Building, this is the Re-Hab Center and we are doing that with the wall mounted signs. Then the ground signs break that down further saying if you are looking for urgent care this is where you want to go and if you are looking for the Children’s Hospital group this is where you want to go. If you have just been sent to the DMC Re-Hab Center you will see that by the wall mounted sign, or we would have to add another line or a designations somehow to the ground sign.


Member Brennan: Is there any other signage in the complex to.....


Kathy Garrison: Exterior signage, no. There is one existing wall sign, one wall sign for the new facility that meet the ordinance. A permit has not been approved on that sign yet, but there is an intention to request a permit for that sign. My understanding with Alan is that the sign meets the ordinance so that is not an issue.


Member Brennan: How many signs do we have in total now?


Kathy Garrison: There is 5 in total.


Member Brennan: There is 2 currently. One has been there since day one and you have a new one with a permit pending and then the 3 ground signs for identification purposes.


Kathy Garrison: That is correct.


Alan Amolsch: This is the new building that you are talking about, you have to differentiate from the old Medical Center where there are 2 existing wall signs or 3 if you count the pharmacy building and they were approved by the Board some years ago. They are quite large. She is talking about the new facility which has an approved wall sign, it has been issued but it is not up yet. That is their permitted sign and it has already been approved. The other signs are in addition to all of the others.


Member Meyer: I am wondering why sign "B" and sign "C" will not serve the purpose of identification at the 5 foot permitted level, why the extra height?


Member Harrington: Sign "B" is within the height, she has modified that.


Kathy Garrison: It really becomes an issue of the size of copy and the length of the message. Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan is a difficult message to deal with on a sign. If we decrease the size of the sign to meet the 5 foot height requirement, we are going to have to go quite small on the 3 designations. I felt that DMC did make the effort to reduce the size of the signs from what they had originally wanted and I realize that we are still not meeting your ordinance but I thought that this could be a good compromise.


Member Meyer: You do understand that the City Code, Section 28-6 part 3 does read that the number of on premise advertising signs permitted would be that no parcel of land shall be allowed more than one sign permitted under this section.


Kathy Garrison: That is really a part of the variance as far as I am concerned. I am asking you for a variance as to how many signs are allowed on this piece of property.


Member Meyer: At the moment we are looking at 5 signs and the City Code permits one sign.


Chairman Antosiak: Two, one on each building.


Alan Amolsch: The current building already has 3 existing wall signs, and they are already there. What the applicant is asking for basically is the 3 ground signs. I have approved a wall sign on the

Re-Hab Center; so basically you are looking at a number of sign variance for 3 ground signs.


Member Harrington: I would like to see this package. I am having difficulty conceptualizing it. I would also like to see a rendering if the new sign is not ready to be put up in final form, I would like to see some location where that is going to be, so that I can appreciate the total impact of this package. That is a lot of signs.


Kathy Garrison: I believe that the Detroit Medical Center would be willing to do a mock up of the business center sign. I can see what I can do about mocking up all 3.


Member Brennan: What is the timing requirements of identifying these medical services; are these business already under way and in place?


Kathy Garrison: The Health Care Center has been there for years and this has been a problem for years but obviously they have been dealing with that daily. The Re-Hab Center opens the 7th of January. If you approve all 3 signs tonight they would not have signs for that opening day; but they would within probably 10 days of opening. So the timing is critical, or we see it as being critical. We will work with the Board to get approval for these signs.


Member Brennan: Can you put a rendering up that would serve as identification short term that would survive the elements ?


Kathy Garrison: Absolutely. That is one thing that we had looked at for the DMC and basically had been told that we would need a variance for that, so we didn’t actually ask for that. But, if it is a part of this approval process we could definitely do that; it would help in the short term to identify these buildings when they open and the decision is being made.


Member Brennan: I will tell you where my jist is, I am encouraged that we have sign people who read the ordinance and modify their appeal before they even come in. You are a lot closer to meeting what ordinance is and I think that there is some leverage to be given for a facility like this - this is an emergency medical facility. If it will satisfy you and the institute for 30 days to put up something short term that will provide recognition of how people can get around and still satisfy our requirements that would be great.


Chairman Antosiak: Typically what we ask is that the sign or even a blank board be put up the same size and height, width, etc. that the sign you are requesting would be so that we can go look at it and see the impact. If you wish to paint that piece of plywood or whatever with the lettering on it, that would be helpful. If that is agreeable with you, our next meeting is January 6 or the first Tuesday in January. We would table your request to that meeting.


Member Bauer: Make sure you go to the County for the one sign.


Chairman Antosiak: You will have to talk to the road commission about that. I move that the variance request be tabled until the January Meeting, all in favor say aye. All ayes. Case tabled to the January 6, 1998 Meeting.



Case No. 97-105 filed by Signs by Crannie, representing Steve & Rocky’s


Signs by Crannie, representing Steve & Rocky’s is requesting a variance to allow a second wall sign 8'8" x 6' (52 sq. ft.) with the verbiage "STEVE & ROCKY’S", on the north elevation, located at 43150 Grand River Avenue.


David Saidoo was present and duly sworn.


David Saidoo: This is in regards to the Steve & Rocky’s on Grand River, if you are heading down Grand River there is already signage on the front that has been approved. That is where the old Fudruckers used to be. On Grand River there is no entrance to pull into Steve & Rocky’s and until just last week in between there is a service drive that goes to the NBD Bank and there is now been a curb cut that has been put in there. But up until that time, the only way to get to Steve & Rocky’s was to come through the Novi Town Center and twist and turn and still have a hard time because it is very difficult to find. But on the back of the building, Fudruckers also had the same sized signage on the back and that is the entrance where the people are coming and there is no signage there. The code has changed and therefore that sign is not allowed and we are definitely looking for some signage on the back of the building. There are 2 entrance signs that are already existing there that are about 6 inches to tall and all we are doing is replacing the faces on them to say Steve & Rocky’s and by the code only 30% will say Steve & Rocky’s and just entrance and exit there. However, if you are heading down Grand River you can see Steve & Rocky’s. If you are coming up Grand River people can’t see Steve & Rocky’s and there is no entrance there per se and this could definitely be a safety hazard. With the grand opening eminent I can see people heading up Grand River and going like this at 45 mile per hour. So we are thinking that there needs to be signage at the new curb cut as well.


Chairman Antosiak indicated there was a total of 19 Notices sent to adjacent property owners. There was no written response received.




There was no audience participation.




Alan Amolsch had no comment.


Terry Morrone had no comment.


Member Brennan: What is the square footage allowed for the signage that is on the Grand River side?


Alan Amolsch: That is 52 square feet.


Member Brennan: So what you are looking for is something exactly the same size.


David Saidoo: That is correct.


Member Bauer: That would be the same as Fudruckers.


David Saidoo: Now up until last week there was not a curb cut allowed there at the NBD Bank, so now people will be able to come off of Grand River by turning into the NBD service drive and now there will be a curb cut there. So if you are heading up Grand River it would be ideal to have signage right there at that point instead of everybody looking to the back to their left.


Member Meyer: So you are asking for 2 signs?


David Saidoo: Well the one sign on the back for sure and then there is the issue of the entrance and exit signs which are about that much too tall and then up until last week, yes, now if it is OK with the Board to bring this up we are looking to see if we can have a sign so that when you are heading up Grand River there is one there as well. So to consider those 3.


Chairman Antosiak: Well, we have one sign before us. It is a 52 square foot sign on the north side of the building and we really can’t address any other signs tonight.


David Saidoo: On my application I did mention the entrance and exit signs and that is all that I originally came here to speak about; replacing the faces in there.


Alan Amolsch: Those are existing on Eleven Mile Road. They just require a face change and not a variance.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: There is no variance request needed on those.


Alan Amolsch: Any new signs would require a variance by the Board.


Member Brennan: Then we are not worried about these little box signs. All we are dealing with is the 52 square foot sign on the back.


Alan Amolsch: Any additional signage or entrance signs that they want to put up will require another permit. If you have a new entrance going into the facility you can have a driveway identification sign there also. The same square footage, 3 square feet.


David Saidoo: The main flow of the business does come through from the shopping center, so actually that sign will be used quite extensively.


Member Harrington: When are you going to open?


David Saidoo: That keeps changing. Hopefully it will be early January. It will be an upscale seafood place, A-1, top of the line, a fine addition to the City of Novi.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I am wondering, the north side sign is really limited distance that it is serving and granted there is some signage that is needed there; but I question does it really need to be 52 square feet?


David Saidoo: It would be nice to be consistent with the front and considering the distance that it will be viewed from and from a sign person’s point of view it is really not that big at all.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: But you don’t have traffic going 50 miles per hour down those interior roads in the Town Center.


Member Harrington: By way of example; could you live with a 40 square foot sign, say 8 foot by 5 foot?


David Saidoo: I would have to recut all of my foam letters. It will be a very nice sign. The letters when they were cut out are 3 dimensional foam letters that are pinned up with exterior illumination and it is going to be a beautiful sign. I have 2 sets of letters cut because it was cheaper to do that than to cut one because I didn’t know what was going to happen here. It really would be ideal if I could reproduce the same 2 signs.


Member Harrington: You mean you have already made your sign?


David Saidoo: I knew that I had one sign that was OK. So to sit there and have the company router cut one set of letters it would have cost nearly as much as having 2 sets; so I took a chance and said that dollar for dollar.....and Fudruckers had a sign there and I really didn’t think it would be a big issue and apparently it is.


Member Harrington: But you are not going to charge them extra for doing work that we didn’t really approve?


David Saidoo: No, I can’t do that.


Member Brennan inquired of Alan Amolsch: Were the 2 Fudrucker signs the same size?


Alan Amolsch: Yes, they were just a little smaller than this; but they were the same size.


Member Brennan: I agree with Laverne, I think that you could try to squeeze it down; but I think that you are going to get equal traffic from both ways. People may see it from Grand River but they are going to come in from the north side because that is where the parking lot is.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I understand that. What I am saying is that I don’t think there is really a rational need for the same sized sign on the north side of the building that is geared to the Town Center or just directing the people in there.


David Saidoo: I have a photograph that will show you the relative size of that sign. Photo shown to the Board.


Member Brennan: So the Fudrucker sign as also 9 foot wide?


David Saidoo: The same size.


Member Meyer: I think that both signs should be the same size. I think that it provides a certain sense of balance for the building itself. I do believe that there will be a certain aesthetic balance and order to have both signs the same size.


David Saidoo: Also the construction of the signs and the way that they are designed; with these letters some are 2 inches thick, some are 4 inches thick and some are 6 inches thick and they are all pinned one inch away from the base of the sign. To shrink that down, gets more difficult and more difficult and the material has less strength to it. So larger is better in this case. I mean the size of the letters.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Meyer,




Discussion on motion:


Vice-Chairman Reinke: One quick comment, I believe that signage is needed. I think this is over sized for the direction that the sign is in. We have been very conservative around the Town Center area and I think that we are going against the trend that we have set and have tried to maintain.


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


Case No. 97-110 filed by Greystone Construction - representing Main Street


Greystone Construction, representing Main Street, is requesting a variance to allow the placement of a wall sign 18' x 3'2" (58 sq. ft.) with the verbiage "ONE WORLD MARKET", to be located at 42705 Grand River Avenue.



Case No. 97-111 filed by Greystone Construction, representing Main Street


Greystone Construction, representing Main Street, is requesting a variance to allow the placement of a 6'5" x 8' (34.49 sq. ft.) ground sign with the height from grade being 8', verbiage to be "MAIN STREET EAST" "logo" "LOCAL COLOR BREWING COMPANY", to be placed in the parking lot area by the Grand River curb cut at 42705 Grand River Avenue.


James Chen was present and duly sworn.


James Chen: Tonight we are here to request the variance for 2 cases. One is 97-110 which is regarding the sign for One World Market and realizing that the store has been open for more than 2 months now and all that is showing there right now is temporary renderings. So in order to make them what they deserve for a sign we request your approval for 58 square feet of the sign.


James Chen: In case number two is 97-111 which is the request for the amendment to the case which you approved before for the monument sign which is called a business center sign which is Main Street East. We are adding the Local Color Brewing Company underneath it as a compromise solution from the case we dealt with before by deleting the request for the building wall sign on Grand River.


James Chen: I am ready to answer any questions.


Chairman Antosiak indicated since you are representing 97-111 we can treat them both together and then we will have separate motions.


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




There was no audience participation.




Alan Amolsch had no comment.


Terry Morrone had no comment.


Chairman Antosiak indicated for the record there is a letter to the Board from Brandon Rogers discussing both variance requests 110 and 111 and his comment on the One World wall sign of 58 square feet proposed is consistent with previously approved wall signs for Local Color and Las Vegas Golf and Tennis which we approved at the Meeting last month.


Chairman Antosiak inquired of Alan Amolsch: The variance request on the notice requested a sign of 58 square feet. The application signed by the applicant was 54.5 square feet and the square footage shown on the attached drawing was 53 square feet; I guess we should know what we are talking about. Which is the correct sign measurement that we are discussing?


Alan Amolsch: The original application that came in was for 58 square feet. They must have changed the dimensions on it between the 2 applications. The original application was received about 3 months ago that was denied.


Chairman Antosiak: I am looking at an application that was submitted on August 1 that shows a sign of 215 inches by 36 1/2 inches or 54 1/2 square feet. I have the original that shows the measurement of 18 feet by 3 feet 2 inches or 58 square feet. That is the size we are now looking at.


Member Brennan: In looking at Brandon’s recommendations with regard to the first case, The One World Market, that is pretty cut and dry as far as I am concerned. The ground sign though we have bumped this up from 5 feet to 8 feet and Brandon feels that is OK as far as he is concerned. I guess from your perspective you needed that much additional height to get Local Color Brewing on that?


James Chen: Yes. We do have a picture indicating the signage. We are trying to minimize the logo and the verbiage and that is what we have come up with.


Member Brennan: We asked for Mr. Rogers help before in giving us some guidance in this particular Town Center District and I am satisfied with his recommendations.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I think for the trade off that we did to keep the signs off of the north elevation of the building I am willing to make somewhat of a concession on that sign.


Chairman Antosiak: The ground sign in case 111 is to replace the ground sign that we previously approved, is that correct?


James Chen: Yes, sir.


Member Brennan: It is only taller?


James Chen: Yes.


Member Brennan: Also bigger?


James Chen: Yes, the square footage.


Alan Amolsch: Brandon’s letter also refers to something about a second business center sign and I don’t know what he is talking about. There was no second business center sign approved.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Vice-Chairman Reinke,




Discussion on motion:


Member Meyer: I would ask that if this gentleman has to come to us for signs that he be put near the front of our sign discussions since he has usually had to wait until the end of our Meeting. I will vote in favor of this, but I am also hoping that if he has to come before us again we might have him before us a little bit earlier in the evening.

Chairman Antosiak: The secretary is shaking her head, it is the luck of the draw, they come in order. First come. First serve.


Member Meyer: I didn’t realize that sir. I hope that you do better in the draw.


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


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Vice-Chairman Reinke,




Discussion on motion:


Chairman Antosiak: May I suggest a re-phrasing of the motion. THAT YOU APPROVE THIS REQUEST AS SUBMITTED FOR THE REASONS THAT YOU GAVE AND THAT OUR PREVIOUS APPROVAL IN ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS 97-082 BE RESCINDED. That was the previous ground sign that we approved and this variance request was to replace that ground sign.


Member Brennan: That is OK. I thought that I had something along those lines. That this was a modification of a previous.


Chairman Antosiak: It is actually new and we had a variance previously and I think we need to rescind it.


Member Brennan: I will accept your recommendation and modify my motion.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: I support the modification.


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


Recall of Case No.97-094 filed by Gruber Engineering


There was no one present for the case.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: Wasn’t he going to try to solve this with the landlord?


Chairman Antosiak: Did he come back and talk to you?

Alan Amolsch: No he did not.


Vice-Chairman Reinke: You know we did leave that sort of open ended, that he could come back if he needed to but it would have been nice if he had notified us that he no longer needed our assistance.


Moved by Member Brennan,


Seconded by Member Meyer,




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




There were no other matters.





The Meeting was adjourned at 11:20 p.m.















Date Approved Nancy C. McKernan

Recording Secretary