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TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2001

The Meeting was called to order at 7:45 p.m., with Chairman Reinke presiding.


PRESENT: Members Bauer, Brennan, Fannon, Gronachan, Gray, Reinke and Sanghvi

Absent: None

ALSO PRESENT: Don Saven – Building Official

Sarah Marchioni – Community Planning Assistant

Thomas Schultz – City Attorney


The Zoning Board of Appeals is a hearing board empowered by the City Charter to hear appeals seeking variances from the application of the Novi Zoning Ordinance. It takes a vote of at least four members to approve a variance request and a vote of the majority of the members present to deny a variance. A full Board consists of six members. Since there are six (6) members it is a full Board and any decisions made will be final.


Chairman Reinke indicated that there are nine (9) cases on the agenda. He announced Case No. 01-018 and Case No. 01-034 will be covered under Public Remarks. Are there any additional changes to the agenda? Hearing none, all in favor to approve the agenda, please say aye. All ayes. Agenda approved subject to modifications.


Chairman Reinke indicated that there are minutes from the April 3, 2001. Are there any changes or corrections to the minutes? Hearing none, all in favor say aye. All Ayes. Minutes approved as written.


  1. Case No. 01-009 filed by Linda & John Anderson of 207 Charlotte
  2. Linda & John Anderson are requesting a ten (10) foot front yard setback variance and a ten (10) foot side yard setback variance (east side) for the construction of a new home located at 207 Charlotte.


    Required front yard setback: 30 feet

    Proposed: 20 feet

    Variance: 10 feet

    Required side yard setback (East): 30 feet

    Proposed: 20 feet

    Variance: 10 feet

    John Anderson was present and duly sworn in.

    John Anderson: I was told at the last meeting that I was asking for five (5) variances and to meet with the neighbors. I met with the neighbors the night of the last meeting, and with their drawings have come up with a two-story house plan that I think she would agree is okay. I would only need two (2) variances. I bought the lot in August and at that time I was told that I could build a house without a variance. One day after the March meeting, I also got a confirmation from the Building Official that I could build a house without a variance. The house they said that I could build would be too small.

    Chairman Reinke indicated that there were twenty-seven (27) notices sent to neighbors and there were no approvals and one (1) disapproval from Victoria Thompson.


    Jim Korte, Shawood Lake: I was here for the first two meetings. I think at the first meeting you were asked to get a little more creative. I do have the proposal at this point in time. The only creative thing that we have done is we have moved the potential driveway to the garage in the backyard from the East Side to the West Side. This is in essence no different than the first time that we were here. You did not like it the first time that we were here with two (2) variances. The second time we were here, we have four (4) or five (5) variances. Now we are back still without a garage, a listed sixteen (16) foot driveway, that is still not large enough to house enough cars of any situation. When the house is built, there will be a variance request for a garage in the back. That was brought up the first time. We are in no better shape than we were the third time. The property is far too small in this day in age to put a rental on it. The second time it was understood that it was to be a rental or a resale. I would presume a rental. Therefore I would ask that you allow no variance, because of the nature of the beast. Rentals have been the deterioration of the north end. We do not need another one. Yes, I have several. But, we do not need anymore. Thank you. Please turn him down.

    Victoria Thompson, owner of East Side lot: I live on the East Side lot of the proposed lot. When I purchased the property, Mr. Kriewall, previous City Manager, said that it was too small for a garage. Now he is going to get my house. He also has a variance of ten (10) feet on the West Side. On my side he will have a five (5) foot. Can he do this? On the drawing, he is coming over near my property line within five (5) feet.

    Chairman Reinke: This is his variance request. Normally he would have to have ten (10) feet on your side as well as ten (10) feet on the other side. The five (5) feet is the variance request.

    Victoria Thompson: He would like to have the fence taken down. I do not want the fence taken down. He said to plant a brush. My side is kept clean. The East Side is my side of the fence. If we take down the fence, then it would look like my lot belongs to him. So I oppose him building. If he builds, then I will be in to get a permit to build on my lot. My lot is bigger than his. Mr. Kriewall would not let me build a two-car garage on it. My son-in-law tried to purchase this lot before the Anderson’s bought it. They would not sell it to me, because I would not hurry or sell Kriewall my lot. Mr. Kriewall was going to buy Drew’s lot if I was selling mine. But I wouldn’t. Drew had it in for me. He wouldn’t sell to my son-in-law. He said that he wouldn’t sell it to anyone that associates with me.

    Celeste Hamilton, owner of the property to the west: I reside on the West Side of the proposed property. This is the third time that they have submitted something. They have been in communication with us. What we expressed, they did comply with in terms making sure they were ten (10) feet from our house. Out of all three (3) plans, I feel that this plan is the best for us. Different people have different feelings, but for us it seems to be workable. My only concern is that I do not know if this plan is in compliance with the ordinance in terms of a house being built on a lot that small. Can they build a house of that size on a lot that small.

    Don Saven: Yes, twenty-five percent (25%) lot coverage. The previous one was not.

    Celeste Hamilton: So, it is in compliance with the ordinance. If they get turned down, what is going to happen to that piece of land? Is anyone going to be able to build anything on it? Is it just going to sit there and not be maintained? What is going to happen to it? From my point of view, this is the best plan that I have seen so far on their part. If they are in compliance, then, I do not feel it is up to me to make the decision. I guess I am concerned if they are living in it or renting it out to someone. I do not want that possibility, but I do not have any control over it. The only other thing I am wondering is that I was told that the fence between the property might not be the actual property line. It may be that we have a little more property on the other side of the fence. I do not know that for sure, I would have to check it out.

    Chairman Reinke: Is there anyone else that would like to participate in this case? Seeing none, Building Department.

    Don Saven: No comment.


    Member Bauer: One thing to note is that it is not going to be a rental at this point.

    Linda Anderson: We have no intention of it being a rental.

    Member Bauer: It is going to be a rental?

    Linda Anderson: No it is not,

    Member Bauer: That is what I said, "It is not going to be a rental".

    Linda Anderson: But the homeowners feel that it is not our intention to live in the home.

    Member Brennan: My biggest concern is I can see this petitioner here in another year wanting some variances on setbacks for a garage. They are getting closer to being in compliance. I have a difficult time with this case. I still believe that this lot is too small to build a house on it. I could not imagine a twenty (20) foot wide house being livable. However, they purchased the piece of property. I think that if we consider some variances tonight for the setbacks it would only be a matter of time before we would be looking at additional setback requirements for garages and creating a problem with the parking.

    Member Gray: Mr. Saven, I know there is some required side yard setback that shows fifteen (15) feet.

    Don Saven: We had this conversation at the first meeting, which I was advised by our City Attorney, as to the non conforming issues as effective to as what it is now. At the time when I was notified that this change had taken place, it came in line with the time that they came to petition. From that point on, once I am aware of a situation, I have to comply with what that particular opinion is of the City Attorney. We did have a grandfathering clause at one time.

    Member Gray: I still have a major problem with any front yard setbacks especially in this area. There are too many houses in the area that sit closer than thirty (30) feet off of the road. There is nothing but problems with parking with any kind of gathering. I don’t have as much of a problem with the side variances as I do with the front variance. As I brought up at the first meeting, the first time that you were here, the fact that there is a thirty-five foot (35’) setback in the back, in the rear yard and the fact that there is adequate room on the side. That tells me that there is going to be a request, maybe not by these petitioners, but somewhere down the road, there will be a request to build a garage. Unfortunately they bought the property, but not every piece of property is buildable and this may be one of those circumstances.

    Member Gronachan: I have a suggestion. I am not sure if the Board will agree or disagree. I believe that they have been here twice already and this is the third. This is not our attempt to make you "dance the dance". We are trying to come up with some ideas. I appreciate the fact that you took our advice last time and spoke with your neighbors. However, I think this house should be moved from the front and not ask for the ten foot (10’) variance on the front yard. If you do not ask for that, I could support a rear yard setback with the five feet (5’) on the side. I can not support the front. I have been out there several times and walked the area. I do not think it is safe. I do not think it is a good idea to have only twenty feet (20’) on that lawn. Now, I am confused whom the fence belongs to. Does the fence belong to you?

    John Anderson: I asked authorities who said that it was hers. I did not say that I was going to take the fence down.

    Member Gronachan: But, we have the fence issue on top of this. My suggestion would be to move the house back ten feet (10’). I could support this along with the five feet (5’) on the side. Other than this, I do not have any solutions. I would appreciate any other comments.

    Member Fannon: If the home was moved back ten feet (10’), there would need to be a new variance requested in the rear yard that would need to be noticed. This could effect people that have not been noticed that there is rear yard setback variance. Is this correct?

    Member Gray: The two abutting properties owners are here this evening.

    Member Fannon: I do not know about the legal technicalities. The other question I have is if the driveway itself is in the five foot (5’) area, between the house and the property line, so that a driveway can encroach?

    Don Saven: A driveway can come as close as three foot (3’) to the property line.

    Member Fannon: The for neighbor who is feeling a little crowded, the print shows the driveway is even closer than the house.

    Don Saven: Correct.

    Member Fannon: And it can be up to within three feet (3’)?

    Don Saven: That is correct.

    Member Fannon: I am having trouble with the front yard setback also. If the home is moved back ten feet (10’), it seems like the driveway could be moved over too in line with the house to stay away from the neighbor next door, who is here tonight upset.

    John Anderson: That is a vacant lot to the east. That is the side the vacant lot is on. That is why I need the house closer to the vacant lot as away from the two (2) residential structures.

    Member Fannon: Sorry, I apologize.

    Member Reinke: I do not think that the lot is large enough to build on, although it is a buildable lot. If somebody wants to build something on there, I think it is going to be a problem on one way or the other. To move it one way takes it away from one neighbor and upsetting the other neighbor’s lap. In the front, the cars are too close to the road. In the back, you are upsetting another neighbor. I feel that this is a self-created hardship. Knowing the size the lot was when you purchased it, I do not think that any type of variance should be issued for this property.

    Tom Schultz: What troubles me is the statement that the lot is too small to build a lot. I think there will be an uphill battle affirming a denial on the grounds that he can not put anything on this lot.

    Member Reinke: He can build on the lot, however, he can not build this house.

    Tom Schultz: The motion needs to clarify that he has not met his burden of proving a practical difficulty for the variances requested. Not because he can not build on the property, but because there is a reasonable practical alternative, which is building a house that meets ordinance requirements. If this is the intent of the motion, then I do not have any objection.

    Member Brennan: I think the records will show that he has acknowledged and we have said, and the Building Department, that you can build a house that meets the Code and you can not build this house.

    Tom Schultz: As long as the record is clear.

    Member Brennan: The petitioner has said it at every meeting, that he could build a twenty foot (20’) wide house.

    Don Saven: No, he could build a fifteen foot (15’) wide house. We are going to run into problems when we call to talk about the similar/dissimilar ordinance or anything along this line. This is why these people are before us tonight.

    Member Reinke: Everyone around this, regardless of which way it is moved, objects. I am not going to put one person off to the next, this is my reason to say that I can not support the variance request on this property. To build a house on this property needs to be built to the zoning requirements to this piece of property. If it has to be ten foot (10’) wide, then it will need to be ten foot (10’) wide and it would not be encroaching on property on either side. We can not control or stop that.

    Member Fannon: Could you please clarify why it is fifteen feet (15’)?

    Don Saven: We had an ordinance change in the R-4 District, which took place a couple of years ago, but we also had a grandfathering provision. This provision allowed homes on lots of record to be within ten foot (10’). In my own mind, if you looked at this as if it was, everything that we have done at the north end had ten foot (10’), that would be reasonable for those lots. However, because the ordinance had changed and the grandfathering provision was taken out, we contacted our attorney regarding this matter to have it clarified. This was the opinion that was given to us.

    Member Reinke: This request is inaccurate as stated then, if he needs to have fifteen foot (15’) on each side.

    Don Saven: No. It is fifteen foot (15’) on one and ten foot (10’) on the other. He provided the ten foot (10’) to accommodate the lady to the west, due to the request to work out a situation out in this area. The property to the east was vacant and they brought that within five foot (5’), which was not an uncommon request in other variances that have been sought for that area.

    Member Fannon: This would mean that he needs at least a five foot (5’) side yard setback variance to build a twenty foot (20’) wide house?

    Don Saven: That is correct.

    Member Reinke: I still say that we are playing one neighbor against another and I can not support that.

    Moved by Brennan,

    Seconded by Bauer,


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

  3. Case No. 01-018 filed by Michael Storm
  4. Michael Storm of 46103 Grand River Avenue is requesting a variance to allow residential use of an existing home in an I-1 Light Industrial zoning district. One and two family dwellings are not permitted.

    Chairman Reinke: This is the second table request. We have an inspection record and I am looking for a timetable.

    Michael Storm: Thirty (30) days.

    Chairman Reinke: You will have everything arranged at that point?

    Michael Storm: Yes.

    Chairman Reinke: Building Department?

    Don Saven: This is reasonable, Mr. Chairman.


    There was no audience participation.


    Member Brennan: Did the issue of occupancy in this home get resolved? I ask because at the previous meeting, it was stated that this was strictly against the court order.

    Tom Schultz: We had an opportunity after the meeting to go back through the change in the District Court and consider the nature of the occupancy. I believe it is a family there. Under the circumstances, we are in agreement with Mr. Saven. We think that thirty (30) days is a reasonable to resolve this, in light of the kinds of violations that we found. If it is limited to thirty (30) days we are in agreement with that.

    Member Bauer: I would request that the petitioner have the issues itemize at the next meeting.

    Don Saven: Those particular items would need to be re-inspected.

    Chairman Reinke: Are there any further comments or discussion from Board members.

    Moved by Sanghvi,

    Seconded by Bauer,


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

  5. Case No. 01-027 filed by John Bernard Jr. of Bernard Real Estate

John Bernard Jr. of Bernard Real Estate is requesting a variance to allow two (2) real estate signs at the corner of the Grand River Avenue and Market Street and Novi Road and Main Street.

"Area" Requested: 160 square feet

Permitted: 6 square feet

Variance: 154 square feet

"Height" Requested: 10 feet

Permitted: 5 feet

Variance: 5 feet

John Bernard was present and duly sworn in.

John Bernard, 43155 Main Street Suite 2200A: This is a matter of a hardship that promotes the new downtown. I have been representing Mr. Chen as a real estate consultant for the past three (3) years, since March 1, 1998. We needed identification for the downtown development on major thoroughfares Grand River Avenue and Novi Road. It would help us substantially in the proposed two (2) new buildings and to finish out the leasing. We are at eighty-five percent (85%) least out. This is our hardship. According to Ed Phillips of Phillips Sign, it probably cost me forty percent (40%) of the total cost of the sign to try to put the mock up and the wind might have knocked it down. In lieu of a mock up on a piece of paper that may have been destroyed we built the sign. We put the sign up, we worked with Greg Capote to get behind the right-of-way. Technically, the sign is on Mr. Chen’s property, Evergreen III Inc., and the other one on Grand River Avenue outside of the right-of-way.


There was no audience participation.


Don Saven: The marketing of this particular project is a little difficult. The location of the sign off of Novi Road area is something that we have talked about for a long time. The fact that it is a real estate sign could be a little misleading and sometimes is looked at as a project sign or a project identification sign, which could have the verbiage of the real estate company. I would ask if the Board is looking at this, would be that Mr. Bernard take down the other smaller signs, which are on the premise.

Member Brennan: I am fully supporting the development of Main Street. But, sir, you have two (2) signs proposed that are right on Novi Road and right on Grand River Avenue. One hundred sixty (160) square feet standing at ten foot (10’) in the air. I do not see any reason for a variance for a request for a ten foot (10’) tall sign. I do not find the reason to consider a sign one hundred sixty (160) square feet when six (6) square feet is what is permitted. I will not support your request.

Member Bauer: I agree with Member Brennan. This is too much.

Member Sanghvi: Are both signs identical?

John Bernard: Yes they are.

Member Sanghvi: The colors and the mockups you are using are identical?

John Bernard: They are identical signs. They are eight by ten (8x10) and both V-shaped. The reason is for the speed vehicles going north, south, east and west and we have an interior piece of property. It is an identification sign basically for the development to proposed two (2) new buildings slated for construction. It is a variance that we would be glad to cooperate with you. It is meant to help us to promote the downtown. We will gladly cooperated with you in the terms of the variance to help promote the downtown. There are tenants that people do not even know that there is a downtown, due to the lack of frontage on Grand River Avenue and Novi Road.

Member Gray: I have an issue with the length of time for the variance. I think three (3) years is a long time. Is this standard for these types of developments or should it be an annual review situation?

Member Reinke: It varies with the place and situation. There is no set rule that we follow for looking at what is to be accomplish in the time frame is that they are trying to work with. The length of time we put on a variance that we could work with.

Member Gray: The other problem was with the proximity of the location to a road or corner. Mr. Saven, don’t we have a type of a requirement?

Don Saven: Twenty-five foot (25’) corner clearance. This one was okay.

Member Gray: I still think it is too big.

Don Saven: I would also like to add that projects are allowed a project identification sign. This project identification sign can be as great as sixty-four square feet (64). This would be to identify the project, indicate what the project is about, the architect, the merchandising contact, etc… These are typically a year.

Member Brennan: This is not what is here in front of us tonight.

Don Saven: I am aware of that sir.

Member Brennan: As far as the Building Department has concern, he is allowed a six (6) square foot sign five (5) feet tall. Now you are indicating that there is something else that he could have that would get him closer to what he wants.

Don Saven: It depends on how the determination is made. There is no project that is going on for the new phase that is out there right now, but we know that this is going to happen. We know there is going to be an additional construction in this particular area. The needs are of identifying the project in itself.

Member Reinke: Mr. Chen, at this point in time, do you have a timetable for the construction of the next project?

Jim Chen: I am not trying to find an excuse. We are planning on the next building for this summer. However, it is driven by the pre-leasing issues. This is one of our difficulties. People come here to look at our project and at first they say that they could not find it. We have to meet at another location such as Local Color, where there is exposure on Grand River Avenue. We can not get together on Main Street. We tried this several times and they say that they could not find Main Street. Even the people live in Main Street Village do not know. A lady who lives in Main Street Village asked where Main Street is located. Our project has identity problems. In terms of how you are looking at it. In long term, our project still has 4 to 6 buildings to be built. Therefore, the project is still going. Are we building the buildings now? We are trying very hard to. In order to help Mr. Bernard to do the leasing, we need your support. You can consider our difficulty taking this long. We ask your approval to give the Main Street project the boost to make it easier for people to find. The picture shown on the board is our next building.

Member Reinke: I think you have gotten the feeling from the Board that this one is not going to work due to the height and the size. What do you feel that you have to have to get by with, because your proposed is not okay?

John Bernard: If we have to get by with the standard identification sign for a multi-million dollar project. This particular development is much more difficult to deal with than the big box users. We work very hard on a fifteen hundred (1500) square foot user and a twelve hundred sixty-one (1261) space. We need the identification on the major thoroughfares, because the property of a Main Street does not front on the major thoroughfares. This is temporary and we have studied this every possible way to place it so that it would not be obtrusive. So that if we had this ability that the traffic speed is so great, that you need to draw the attention that there is a project called Main Street. We have had countless mailings with comments of "How come you are not leasing things more quickly. Fountain Walk is building a lot of steel, how come you can not move it quicker?" In my experience, I can tell you that it is more difficult to lease up a downtown where you have to have the synergy of merchants. We are doing the fifteen hundred (1500) square foot florist. We happened to have a prime spot that would be ideal for a florist next door to Agape Salon. The difficulty here is if you are dealing with big boxes, you deal with one hundred thousand (100,000) square foot or seventy-five thousand (75,000) square feet or as much as one hundred fifty thousand (150,000) to two hundred thousand (200,000) square feet. But, when you start looking at the tendency, it took us three years to develop twenty-six (26) tenants and we still have a tremendous identification problem. There is not sign that says Main Street that says Main Street and Market Street on Main Street when entering the townhouses. Although it seems unbelievable, but it a difficulty that we fight everyday for identification. I have already received comments on the mock sign that people did not know we had available space. Those renderings have cost a lot of money and have only been out a matter of days. The renderings are already working. If you try to understand our dilemma, we would be more than happy to work with you. If things are going good, I would be more than willing to come back and work out something else out that is less big. An eight by ten (8x10) is not an unordinary identification for a development. Forty percent (40%) of that sign is the rendering of the two (2) new buildings. In order for Jim Chen to build the buildings, he needs to have tenants to go to the bank to get the money for a construction loan.

Member Brennan: I could start with Mongolian and wrap myself all around Main Street and tell you all about sign variances that this board has granted in the last couple of years. For the record, we have been more than agreeable in working to gain the exposure on the site. Secondly, if you believe there is fast paced traffic on Novi Road and Grand River Avenue, then I do not believe that you have driven it in the last couple of years, because it is not a 50-mph road. Third, if you are unwilling to make any concessions on what you just stated, that you have to have this, then Mr. Chairman, I am prepared to make a motion.

John Bernard: I do not know what your concession would be. The question that came up was, what was considered a real estate development identification and the answer is honestly eight by ten (8x10). There are ten by ten (10x10) signs. We made an eight by ten (8x10) on purpose so that it would not be a ten by ten (10x10). We purposely set it back from the right-of-way. We placed it on Evergreen III’s property. There has been a lot of thought for this on a temporary basis to help us sell the downtown.

Member Fannon: Could you please tell me again the purpose of your sign?

John Bernard: To identify the downtown development for the City of Novi.

Member Fannon: And to tell people that there are spaces for lease. Are you the only one who does the leasing?

John Bernard: Cushman Wakefield is involved in the leasing.

Member Fannon: So the sign could have been much smaller if it was only for this purpose. The engineer, the construction manager, the developer, the architect are irrelevant if the purpose of the sign is for identification and leasing?

John Bernard: The purpose of the names of the development if for credibility.

Member Fannon: But, it is not necessary for the leasing purpose?

John Bernard: It is not Mr. Chen building the downtown. The result of the buildings you see are professional. There is a construction company, an engineering company, a developer and an architect who are very involved. There are a number of people who are involved that are professionals to the new downtown.

Member Fannon: I do not think that you are understanding. Maybe we would like a smaller sign with what you need to have for your purpose.

John Bernard: We have small signs right now and people do not even see them. They stop by the merchants and say "Is there any other space available?"

Member Fannon: You are speaking of the small signs? How large are these?

John Bernard: I believe they are sixteen (16) square feet. They may be tall square feet. People do not see them. They drive by the signs and do not know they are there.

Member Gray: Mr. Saven, you indicated that some signs that are typical constructions project signs are in the neighborhood of sixty-four (64) square feet?

Don Saven: That is correct.

Member Gray: That would be less than half of the sign being proposed. Are those typically viewable and readable?

Don Saven: It would depend on the location, the miles per hour, the traffic and the placement. Normally it is a project identification sign that tells everything about the project.

Member Gray: Would you be agreeable to the potential of a couple of sixty-four (64) square foot signs? You could discuss that with Mr. Chen and perhaps postpone?

John Bernard: As stated in my earlier remarks, we built the sign because at the time we did the mock up, it was absurd in cost to do the mock up because of the nature of being outdoors. It had to be weathered to withstand the wind and the rain before we came before the ZBA. Certainly we would consider less verbiage and would literally have to redo the sign. I am sure Mr. Chen would address this.

Member Gray: I only offered that as a compromise, understanding that this Board and the City are behind the project. Mr. Chen is aware of this.

Jim Chen: I agree with that and I appreciate it. What happened was that the project sign is an eight by eight (8x8), which is sixty-four (64) square feet. This one is larger is because it is a v-shape. The other sign, if it was one sided, then it would be sixty-four (64). For this project, the eight by ten (8x10) is an eighty (80). Truthfully, it is not because it is two-way traffic to gain the people. Instead of 8x10, which is one sixty (160), it can be cut down to eighty (80). The 8x8, which is sixty-four (64) could be cut down to sixteen (16).

Member Gray: I have a problem when I drive by signs with there is too much information on them. Unless I am sitting in a traffic jam, there is too much information and it is dangerous. I understand that you would like to credit the architects, etc… however, in the spirit of compromise, would there be any way that you would be willing to make your sign smaller?

Jim Chen: Let me suggest this. Currently the signs are a v-shaped. If we modified it, instead of a v-shape and took out one side and have one flat face. This would cut the square footage in half.

Member Bauer: You would still have eighty (80) square feet looking one way.

Jim Chen: Correct.

Member Bauer: That is what we do not want.

Jim Chen: But, in general, it is sixty-four (64) by eight (8) by eight (8), which is normal. In order to say that it is a basic sign, some of the basic components of information normally on the sign, does not have to be there, but it gives the creditability to the developer, contractors, etc… Would it be acceptable to the Board with the sixteen (16) square foot difference between the sixty-four (64) and the eighty (80)?

Member Reinke: We need to move in one direction or another. We are going in circles with the discussion.

Member Sanghvi: What is the smallest sign that you could live with if we can not approve it?

Jim Chen: Eighty (80) square feet, flat faced and removing the other half would be reasonable, if we could let them try it with one (1) year. The first six months, we would come back to the Board. If you feel like it is too big, then we will cut it.

Member Bauer: It is too big. Right now it is eighty (80).

Jim Chen: For example, you have been to Main Street many times. You must have seen the Real Estate One projecting sign. This sign is typically filled with our requirements. I do not know how many phone calls that I have received from the people calling me to say "Why is that sign so small compared to the building size?" The are saying that the sign is too small and they could not see the Real Estate One. We could try for a little while.

Member Bauer: I agree that six (6) feet is not enough. But, I think that the eighty (80) feet is too much. I feel like this is a billboard and I personally do not like billboards.

Jim Chen: Could I please look at one of the handouts? If you could you could look at the bottom of the handout, you will find the architect, developer, construction and DMR Engineers. If we cut off this portion, we could bring the square footage close to sixty-four (64) square feet. I am getting at the bottom, 1.5 feet with a total of ten (10) feet and we would then be removing fifteen (15) or sixteen (16) square feet. We would be cutting from eighty (80) to close to sixty-four (64) square feet.

Member Reinke: I suggest to the Board that we give him a sixty-four (64) square feet variance for one year and then review the situation from there. Are you agreeable to work with this?

Jim Chen: Yes.

Member Bauer: It can not be ten (10) feet high.

John Bernard: I would like to add that when you look at the elevation of the railroad track and the elevation of Fifth Avenue, Fireplace and Spa and Redhot and Blue you are traveling up hill or down hill. We are trying to achieve visibility on that thoroughfare.

(Tape ends)

Member Reinke: How much height would be taken off?

Jim Chen: It would lower the sign by two (2) feet. The height would be eight feet (8) and the area sixty-four (64) square feet.

Moved by Sanghvi,

Seconded by Bauer,


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

  1. Case No. 01-028 filed by Robert Clark representing 23325 West Lebost

Robert Clark is requesting a three (3) foot front yard setback variance for the construction of a patio enclosure on an existing patio located at 23325 West Lebost. Please note: Proposed construction is located on a corner lot.


Required front yard setback: 30 feet

Proposed: 27 feet

Variance: 3 feet


Robert Clark was present and duly sworn in.

Robert Clark: (Technical difficulties, no audio)

Chairman Reinke indicated that there were thirty-seven (37) notices sent to neighbors and there were three (3) approvals and no disapprovals.


There was no audience participation.


Member Brennan: I do not have any problem with the petitioner’s request.

Moved by Brennan,

Seconded by Gronachan,



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

  1. Case No. 01-029 filed by Brian Hughes representing Haggerty Corridor Corporate Park

Brian Hughes representing Haggerty Corridor Corporate Park is requesting a variance to allow lot splits off a private road in the Haggerty Corridor Corporate Park located north of Twelve Mile Road and west of Haggerty Road. The affected properties are those parcels which front on Cabot and Lewis Drive. Presently the City of Novi is not in a position to accept the roads based on the requirements for road dedication due to Detroit Edison crossings within the project.

  • The streets within the development of Haggerty Corridor Corporate Park have not been accepted by the City of Novi.


Phil Seymour, 26200 Town Center Drive Suite 145: I am an attorney representing Mr. Hughes, who is present and the Haggerty Road Corporate Corridor. We have a rendering here that indicates the property that is owned by the petitioner. That would be these lots here and here. These lots are serviced by Lewis Drive and Cabot. This Haggerty Road Corporate Park is an unplatted development that is being created but the divisions allowed under the Land Division Act. There is approximately an excess of thirty (30) divisions. Presently, through an agreement with the City, that was entered into in January, the petitioner has been able proceed with building some of the lots in this park. I believe there are two (2) buildings that are applied for under construction and two (2) more in which there is Preliminary Site Plan Approval. The difficulty here in what we are seeking is that this empty line is the property owned by Detroit Edison, where their tower wires run. You will notices that the line crosses Lewis and Cabot Roads in three (3) areas. The petitioner has been able to obtain easements for their roads underneath the towers. The roads have been built to city specifications and all of the utilities are in. The City and Detroit Edison were in negotiation for a period of time to have a deed from Detroit Edison to the petitioner, which would then leave the property and the roads to the City. However, Detroit Edison is requiring language in the deed or conveyance that is not agreeable to the City. Although these roads have been built to City standards, they can not be dedicated as of this time because Detroit Edison and the petitioner could not agree upon some language. Due to the ordinance in the City of Novi, prohibiting the development of any lot not located on a public road, the petitioner is not able to proceed with any further development of their project, unless it has a variance to permit this. To my understanding, once an agreement is worked out or a language satisfactory to the City is worked out with Detroit Edison, the roads will then be dedicated to the City and then become public roads. We are asking for a variance to allow us to proceed with the development of the project or the splitting of the additional lots to allow us to proceed with the development of the project on a private road. We are asking that the variance apply to all lots that may front Cabot and Lewis Drive. There is a letter to Miss Marchioni from City Attorney Tom Schultz indicating no real objection. Mr. Schultz’ suggestion was that the variance be granted only until such time that the grants are accepted by the City. The petitioner has no objection to this.


There was no audience participation.


Don Saven: The main issue is the issue regarding the Detroit Edison language. This was very difficult and we are still trying to work this situation out. There is a final site plan that needs to be approved and it can not be unless this is granted.

Tom Schultz: It really is making sure that the petitioner continues working in good faith to work out this problem with Detroit Edison. We assume that the petitioner needs to continue to be involved in those. Our suggestion, if the Board is inclined to grant this request, that it be subject to the limitation that the petitioner continue to work in good faith toward the dedication. It would only be good and effective until the dedication is accomplished. In fact, I think the Board should also continue a general time element such as six months or one year and bring it back to find if there is another option. (tape ends)

Member Sanghvi: Is this an interim arrangement?

Don Saven: Yes.

Member Brennan: I think we have the basis for a motion from Mr. Schultz and other notations.

Moved by Fannon,

Seconded by Bauer,


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

  1. Case No. 01-030 filed by Larry Leo Jr. of 915 Lemay

Larry Leo Jr. is requesting a six (6) foot front yard setback variance to allow construction for a deck located on a corner lot at 915 Lemay.

Required front yard setback: 30 feet

Allowable projection

(Uncovered Deck): 4 feet

Required adjusted setback: 26 feet

Proposed: 20 feet

Variance: 6 feet

Larry Leo Jr. was present and duly sworn in.

Larry Leo Jr.: My drawing is representing a plot plan showing the thirty (30) foot. I am allowed four (4) feet and I am requesting another six (6) foot here going into the thirty (30) foot setback to have a deck. I do not know if you need me to explain anything else. The road infringes on my property.

Member Sanghvi: Where is the deck going to be?

Larry Leo Jr.: The red represents my variance request.

Chairman Reinke indicated that there were forty-five (45) notices sent to neighbors and there were no approvals, no disapprovals and one (1) return.


James Korte: I was here when this house was arguing the construction of the house. Let me give you a brief. This was a hundred and twenty (120) feet that JCK decided was not dividable so it got one water tap. Somehow it got divided into two sixties and then the fight began of how to place a house on a sixty (60). The first time it was at the ZBA, it was turned down. Somehow, at the next ZBA meeting, a petitioner asked to be reheard and it was approved with no notice to the neighbors so that no one could give their thought process. I find it interesting that the original pictures that were delivered to you are not what the house now looks like. Anyone that thinks they can build a house with a sliding glass door wall and not come to you and petition for more, what a dream. The house in my opinion should not have been put there. I am not arguing that the house was put there, but with all of the earlier problems, why was this deck not part of the original? The reason is the same as the reason you move a house over to get a garage in the back at some point in time. It is what has happened so many times at the north end. This is a nice house and the whole water main had to be redone to facilitate the new house. At least it was at the point in time that the water main was not finished. To ask for more is unacceptable. Why didn’t they flip the house over and put the sliding glass door to the other side which would have been privacy? When this ten foot (10’) deck gets up and they put the hot tub on it and they want an enclosure, how do we stop it? When they do this and they barbecue and it is an awful corner, which it is and they want the six foot (6’) fences for privacy, how do we stop it? Therefore, I think the thing to do now is to allow the four (4) foot of whatever is allowable within the thirty (30) and allow no more above ground level. Thank you.


Don Saven: This is an uncovered deck, which is allowed to go up to four foot (4’) into the required front yard setback. This is the reason for the six foot (6’) set back variance.

Larry Leo Jr.: In response to Mr. Korte. He obviously has some feelings about the situation. The lot split and the resale of the lot, I had nothing to do with. I only built the house. He likes the house. Mrs. Gray is a neighbor of mine. I do not think I have been a problem to the neighborhood at all. I only want to put a deck and I am not asking for anything more. I hope the Board can see that verses the animosity that he brings to this table.

Member Gray: Chairman Reinke, I am not going to partake in discussion this evening. My comments were on the record with the lot split. Because the petitioner is a neighbor, I feel it would be a conflict.

Chairman Reinke: Thank you.

Member Brennan: I do remember this case. It does lead to a valid question. The house was designed with this sliding glass door and you must have had some plan at some point of putting up a deck.

Larry Leo Jr.: Actually I was originally going to put in a patio. I have an opportunity to put a deck in and I prefer decks. Mr. Saven, would I have any problem placing a deck?

Don Saven: It depends. A landscape patio, you would not have a problem.

Larry Leo Jr.: Needless to say, I would like to put something there. I eventually plan to put something there instead of keeping that wood gate that I have over my sliding door now. My intentions were not malicious.

Member Brennan: I feel that Mr. Korte raised a good point. Although it should not have any influence, the fact that he raised it does. I would hope that you would not take advantage of the situation in the future. You have created a problem. You have created a resolution. I think it is a fairly simple resolution. I hope that we do not see you here over other issues.

Larry Leo Jr.: Believe me sir. My intentions are to end here.

Moved by Brennan,

Seconded by Bauer,


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


Member Gray: Would it be in appropriate in cases like this if it is new construction, that we be apprised of what variances have been granted for the new construction on future issues? I know that there are several variances granted on this to get this house in. You only need to look at the setbacks.

Chairman Reinke: There is no reason to not ask for that information, but I do not expect that each and every case would be researched for previous variances.

Member Gray: I know in this case, the house is a year old and I know the variances that were granted.

Chairman Reinke: You have all right to ask for that information. I think it would be complied with by the Building Department.

  1. Case No. 01-031 filed by Jeffrey Puccio of 47830 Beckenham
  2. Jeffrey Puccio is requesting a ten (10) foot rear yard setback variance for the construction of an enclosed screened porch and deck at 47830 Beckenham.

    Required rear yard setback: 35 feet

    Proposed: 25 feet

    Variance: 10 feet

    Jeffrey Puccio was present and duly sworn in.

    Jeffrey Puccio: I am requesting a ten (10) foot rear yard setback variance on my lot. I do not know if you had an opportunity to look at my plans. This is a second story structure. In order to have any kind of functional second story structure there, you would have to exit out that level out of my kitchen nook area, which would be very close to the thirty-five (35) foot setback depicted in the drawing. The way the house is positioned on my odd shaped lot, is if you are facing the front of my house, the left rear corner is pushed back toward that rear setback. In order to have any kind of structure off of the back of the house, I feel that I would have to go into the thirty-five (35) foot setback. There are wetlands and woodlands behind me. This structure would be going on a sod in my backyard. There would not be any trees taken down. I would be at least thirty-five (35) feet away from any viable trees in the backyard. I would not even be disrupting weeds, which are at least twenty-five (25) feet away from the back of my house. I have two (2) neighbors that I have told that I am doing this and have heard no objection. Homeowner Association is run by the builder because our subdivision is relatively new. I have only been in the house for about two (2) years. The builder has no problem with this. I have a letter from the environmental engineering at JCK, who said that I would not be disrupting the wetlands.

    Chairman Reinke: If you have a copy, I would like to have a copy of the letter for the file.


    There was no audience participation.


    Don Saven: I have an individual from Linda Lemke’s office to make comments on the woodlands issues.

    Eric Olson: I went out and looked at the site. The construction is proposed to go up to the edge of the approved woodland line. However, after speaking with the City Forester, the woodland line was supposed to be closer to the house when this was approved. Therefore, if the variance is granted, we are recommending that we work with the homeowner and find a way to get some of the grass area remove that is in the woodlands area and restore it.

    Member Reinke: Do you have a problem working with them on this?

    Jeffrey Puccio: No.

    Member Brennan: If you could work with Linda Lemke’s office, I do not have any problem with the request.

    Member Fannon: Do we need approval by the builder, who is acting as the association?

    Member Reinke: Do you have a problem getting a letter from the builder and supplying it to the Building Department?

    Jeffrey Puccio: No.

    Moved by Fannon,

    Seconded by Gronachan,


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

  3. Case No. 01-032 filed by Tom Palushaj of Palushaj Building
  4. Tom Palushaj is requesting a variance to the thirty (30) inch berm requirement along Nine Mile and Haggerty Roads between the building and the right-of-way for the proposed construction of the Palushaj Building. Please note: Building is at a higher elevation than the road.

    Jason Rickard was present and duly sworn in.

    Jason Rickard: Jason Rickard with Seiber Keast & Associates at 40399 Grand River Avenue Suite 110. We are asking for a thirty (30) inch berm that goes along the building and the right-of-way on Haggerty Road and Nine Mile Road. We are asking for this variance mainly because our building is six (6) to eight (8) feet higher than the existing road. The whole lot is set very high above the road. We feel that we would have a difficult time constructing it because of the slopes we would have to deal with. We still have the required plantings that the berm would need. The landscaping has been met in that area, we are only missing the berm. We feel since it is so much higher, it would not provide any screening.

    Chairman Reinke indicated that there were nine (9) notices sent to neighbors and there were no approvals, no disapprovals and one (1) return.


    There was no audience participation.


    Eric Olson: Our office has no objection to granting the approval for this.

    Member Brennan: It seems like unpractical to meet the ordinance and put in this berm. Ms. Lemke has come up with a different plan that she would work with you to provide some screening and proper landscaping. It sounds like that would be the way to go.

    Member Bauer: I go by it daily and it is way up there. I do not find where a berm would be of any value.

    Moved by Sanghvi,

    Seconded by Bauer,


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

  5. Case No. 01-034 filed by Susan Friedlaender, attorney for Ten & Beck LLC

Susan Friedlaender, attorney for Ten & Beck LLC is requesting to develop a single family residential site in a R-1 zoning district and is requesting a non-use variance for less lot area and setback requirements throughout the proposed 40 home site.

Required minimum lot area: 21,780 square feet

Proposed: 14,425 square feet

Required minimum lot width: 120 feet

Proposed: 90 feet


Required minimum side yard setbacks: 15 feet w/total of 40 feet

Proposed: 10 feet w/total of 30 feet

Tom Schultz: I have distributed a letter that was prepared today after discussion over the last couple of days between Jerry Fisher and myself after reviewing the packet for tonight’s meeting. This matter is scheduled to this point as a non-use variance. The status is that it came from the Planning Commission after recommending denial of rezoning from R-1 to R-3. As most of you are aware from the Paragon Case, if that request for rezoning is headed in a direction that the proponent does not like and is ultimately denied by City Council, Paragon Case says that there has to be appealed to this body for some kind of final determination as to how the property could be use. At this point, they have come from the Planning Commission to the ZBA seeking a non-use variance. This essentially gives them the layout that they would be permitted under the R-3 District. There is nothing wrong with this. They are permitted to do this time and come before the ZBA. But, it raises two (2) issues from a legal perspective. 1) Whether or not it is a non-use variance as it is presented. Mr. Fisher has given the opinion administratively that he believes it is a use variance. The reason being that this is how the review could become another district. In this case it closely resembles a R-3. It is a deviation from the essence of the use that is permitted in the R-1 District. 2) What kind of a proceeding are we going to have with the kind of evidence that has been submitted. They have submitted in the packet, a review letter from the engineers, landscape architect, builder and a document on the non-use variance issues that appears to have been prepared by a planner. We suggest, for you to make a good evaluation, that you would have a response from those that advise you, such as various consultants, civil engineers, the planners and the landscape architect. If this were to proceed tonight to a decision, hypothetically, either way, one could say there is one-sided evidence. There has been no evidence presented. There needs to be a review of the professional evidence. Our suggestion tonight is that you table the matter and give the City the opportunity to meet with the proponent and the their professionals give the city consultants the opportunity to look at the packet. I do not believe that they have had that opportunity. I think this could easily be done by the next meeting. I think it was a surprise to see it this quickly after the Planning Commission. Attached to the opinion letter is another document that is essentially a hearing procedure and rules for use-variance type proceedings. These are procedures that have been adopted elsewhere and have guided these types of proceedings. Over the next thirty (30) days, we can discuss these with the Chair and have a clear outline for the procedures for the next meeting. This is being raised at the beginning of the meeting to avoid having the petitioner sit through an entire meeting if they are to be tabled. I apologize for not getting this to you earlier.

Susan Friedlaender: I represent the petitioner’s at Ten Mile & Beck LLC. First and foremost, I would like to place an objection on the record to having this matter tabled tonight. We followed all of the City’s procedures and rules in submitting this application to be placed on the agenda tonight. I do not see any reason why it should not be heard or treated differently than any other application, which has been timely filed to be heard tonight. I also believe, in all due respect to Mr. Schultz whom I know well, that there are some assumptions being made here. For example that we are coming here from the Planning Commission. That is not accurate in my mind. Yes, we first attempted to get a rezoning because we were guided that way by the City, that that would be the way that we had to go in order to develop the lot in the manner that we wanted to, when seeking variances was a better way to do this. That is why I came to this board. This is why I told my client to come to this board. I felt that this type of land use was better effectuated through the variance procedure than the rezoning procedure. Under Paragon, there are several steps with the intent to sue the City on a constitutional ground and that is the assumption that is being made here. I was just looking for an alternative right now to help my client obtain the development that they want. I would also like to place on the record, that this is not a use-variance that we are seeking. The legal definition of a use-variance is you are seeking a use that is different than what is permitted in the zoning ordinance. We are zoned R-1 single-family residential land use is permitted in R-1, R-2, R-3 and R-4. I am not seeking a variance from the use provision. That is exactly how my client would like to use the lot. We are seeking a variance from Article 2400 Schedule of Regulations. This deals dimensional variances such as height, area and setback but, we are not asking for a variance for height. We do not want to be tabled. We would like to be heard and we want you to make a decision tonight. It is yes or no after you hear the evidence. If you do decide to table tonight, I have to ask that any documents that are prepared by the City in response to the documents that we have filed, which I filed according your instructions for final ZBA action, which stated that if you wanted any action to be placed on the record you must file it by a certain date. This is what we did. If the City is going to be preparing any documents, I want a reasonable time prior to the hearing of which this will be scheduled to be heard, if not heard tonight, a chance that I could review what documents you plan to put on the record that evening. This would be so that I would have the chance to respond to them and have the proper witness here to respond to them. According to your rules, I can not do that unless I do it two (2) weeks before the hearing date. I would like to have those materials well before two (2) weeks, before the hearing date. Unless you are going to make an exception from your rules to ensure that I am able, for my client, to get the evidence on the record that would be in response to that. I have some concerns about the procedure here tonight. We are ready to go and we would like to be heard and we would like have a decision.

Tom Schultz: I am not intending to suggest that this is some kind of adversary hearing. This is information that has been submitted in its unprofessional nature that needs a response. Whether the hearing proceeds now or is tabled, this has to be done. I suggest that this needs some City consultant review prior to making a decision. Does the proponent want to present a case or would the proponent prefer to have a case tabled without having to sit through the hearing tonight since they would have to come back? These are procedural issues.

Chairman Reinke: At this point I would like to ask the Board to comment on the information that has been presented. Are going to look for or request additional information on this case? Then we could table it.

Member Brennan: I looked at this case as being a very simple three (3) variance requests to the zoning requirements of this corner lot. I know there have been communications with the adjoining neighborhoods, there are a number of them tonight. I do not understand why we would want to table this case since it is a straight forward case. For the attorney, I lived at this corner for nearly 20-years. I have been involved with a number of different proposals for development. Having been involved with those and with this case, I will not vote on this case. I will ask Member Gray to fill in for me.

Member Fannon: I think there has been a lot of consultant materials that have been submitted tonight. I do agree with our City Attorney that we should have it reviewed. Its seems as the applicant is asking that it be tabled for two (2) meetings to allow the information to be returned to them in thirty (30) days, which would give them plenty of time to respond in the July meeting as opposed to the May meeting. If that would be acceptable, could this matter be reviewed and given to the applicant within thirty (30) days?

Tom Schultz: I think the material they have submitted is not extensive. I believe if it is forwarded to the Planners and Engineers within the next day, it may be turned around.

Member Fannon: Do you think it could be turned around in two (2) weeks? Because they would like two (2) weeks to review the material before the next meeting.

Tom Schultz: If they want two (2) weeks, then it would be pretty tight.

Member Fannon: If they want two (2) weeks, and we can not give them two (2) weeks, then we would have to table it until the July meeting.

Tom Schultz: If they would accept one (1) week of leave time, then I think we could do this.

Member Fannon: With all due respect to the applicant, we have the right to table to get more information from consultants. I appreciate the fact that you said that you would like us to make a decision tonight. You are prepared, but if we are not prepared, we owe it to the citizens of the City of Novi to be prepared. If any board member feels like they are not prepared, then I think we have the right to ask for consultants to review what you have submitted to us.

Susan Friedlaender: The reason I am standing up here is to say that I do not want to be tabled until July. I am saying that I want the chance to review your materials, which you are having a chance to review my materials. If we could deal with your rule that we need to have any other evidence to go on the record the two (2) week before maybe we could discuss that later. We do not want to be tabled tonight and we do not want to be tabled until July.

Chairman Reinke: At this point, I think there is enough additional information that the board members would like to have. I think it would be in our benefit to table this case until June. I direct it to City Administration to gather the information and submit it to the applicant no later than two (2) weeks prior to the meeting. You will have at least two (2) weeks time to review the information that they have put together and then we will hear this case.

Susan Friedlaender: We would have to get the application and submit something for record in time.

Chairman Reinke: Correct.

Susan Friedlaender: Thank you.

Don Saven: A two (2) week time constraint is going to be very difficult. I would ask that you have the leniency of at least one (1) week for us to have the time to be able to do this.

Chairman Reinke: The reason I have stated two (2) weeks, is due to the time frame that they send out the information.

Don Saven: We will do our best to meet this particular requirement, I would like to be clear that we have another week to bring it together.

Susan Friedlaender: As it gets closer, we could talk about that.

Member Reinke: I suggest that we keep the petitioner apprised of what is happening and the progress. Maybe if we have gathered 90% of the information, we could send it to avoid overwhelming them with all of the information at the last moment.

Member Fannon: If their concern is to answer what you receive in a timely manner back to the board, are you requesting that we allow you to submit items the night of the hearing? Are you asking permission to be able to submit or rebut items you see the night of the hearing verses it being submitted two (2) weeks prior? It will have to be. We look at the information. We receive the packages two (2) weeks prior to the meeting. It is impossible to receive it two (2) weeks prior to the meeting with what is to happen. I think we are all agreeing to look at what the City reviews and what the applicant answers, even if it is not within the two (2) weeks.

Susan Friedlaender: Right, that is what I am saying. I would like you to accept that on record so that we could discuss it that evening.

Member Gray: I would like to request that we have the information the weekend before, at the latest, to allow us the opportunity to review the materials. Perhaps if the original draft packet deadline could not be met, then I suggest that we could have the information no later than the Friday prior to the meeting. This would give the petitioner’s the time that they need to review our consultant’s reviews and respond accordingly.

Susan Friedlaender: I am in agreement.

Moved by Bauer,

Seconded by Gronachan,


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


  1. Agenda items for joint City Council/Zoning Board of Appeal meeting

Sarah Marchioni: Do any of the Board members have any additional agenda items for the proposed meeting with the City Council?

Member Fannon: Are keeping those that we already have?

Chairman Reinke: Yes. Do we have any dates?

Sarah Marchioni: I will put together a calendar of dates that are available and everyone could respond with their availability on those dates.

Chairman Reinke: Has there been any direction from the City Council on what they would like to do and when they would like to meet?

Sarah Marchioni: No.

Chairman Reinke: Please find what is available and maybe at the next meeting, come back with some possibilities that we could look at. I think the summer time is going to be hard for Council and hard for the Board. We may be looking at the first part of fall of this year. That is my opinion.

Member Sanghvi: Are we meeting on July 3, 2001?

Chairman Reinke: I believe it is July 10, 2001.

Member Brennan: Will everyone be here for the June meeting?

Chairman Reinke: I will not be here for the June 5th meeting. Will everyone else be here for the June meeting?

Members: Yes.

2) Fountain Walk Signage

Member Fannon: Do we have an idea of when Fountain Walk signage situation would be coming up?

Don Saven: I anticipate it next month. We are diligently trying to resolve a lot of issues regarding the Fountain Walk signage. The City Attorney’s office is working on the interior signage and reviewing our ordinance. Whether or not we would be looking at interior signage would be their opinion. This would assess if a variance is required or not for those interior signs as we would treat a mall. The rest of these issues are still going to have to come before the Board. I will tell you that this is going to be difficult to put up mock up signs in that specific location where the signs need to be, due to Twelve Mile Road. They will need to show the size of the sign and place it in a location as close as possible so that we could see what the sign looks like as far as the sign height requirement, etc… They are willing to do this. This will probably be a process for the next five (5) months in a row. Please be prepared, because they will have to come before the Board.

Chairman Reinke: Basically it will be spread out though. It would not be all on one agenda.

Don Saven: You may have that. But we could work on that as it comes.

Member Brennan: But there has been no discussion at City Council about coming up with something specific before this project.

Chairman Reinke: I think we are going to have to see what comes from the basic review of what they are requesting and what they feel is what they have to have.

Don Saven: We broke this down. We took the signs that would be on the perimeter of the site and address those at one time. For example, the entrance way signs, the project identification portion, the main business center sign and business signs that would be located around the site. There are several entrances to the site. There is definitely a need to address these, the size and the placement. We also have the directional signs. These are all part of the outer perimeter site signs that they are looking at. We could do these at one time. As the businesses come in, we would address the business signs as needed. We could try to do them systematically to allow a better understanding of the project.

Chairman Reinke: I think from our past experience, the Building Department would put us in better shape to deal with this than we dealt with some of the previous.

Don Saven: I think over the years, we have learned quite a bit in terms of what we should be doing when we have these special projects. Main Street is having a difficult time, because it is a different concept. Fountain Walk is a different concept. All businesses want signs and it is hard to come up with an answer.

The Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.




Sarah Marchioni

Community Planning Assistant

Transcribed by: Christine Otsuji

May 29, 2001

Date Approved: June 5, 2001