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TUESDAY, JANUARY 8, 2002 -- 7:30 P.M.

Proceedings had and testimony taken in the matters of ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS at City of Novi, 45175 West Ten Mile Road, Novi, Michigan, on Tuesday, January 8, 2002.

Laverne Reinke, chairman
Gerald Bauer
Frank Brennan
Brian Fannon
Sarah Gray
Cynthia Gronachan
Siddharth Sanghvi

Don Saven, building department
Thomas Schultz, city attorney
Sarah Marchioni, building department

Cheryl L. James, Certified Shorthand Reporter

MR. CHAIRMAN: At this point I'd like

to call the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting to


Madam Secretary, would you call the

roll, please.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Fannon?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MR. CHAIRMAN: We have all members

present this evening, so all cases heard will be


The Zoning Board of Appeals is a

Board empowered by the City Charter to hear appeals


seeking a variance from the application of the Novi

zoning ordinance.

It takes at least four members

present to approve a variance, and a vote of a

majority of members present to deny a variance.

The Board consists of six members, and we have a

full Board this evening, so all decisions will be


Rules of conduct that we govern our

meetings under is: Each person desiring to address

the Board shall state his or her name and address.

Individual persons shall be allowed five minutes to

address the Board. An extension of time will be

granted at the discretion of the Chairperson. There

shall be no questioning by the audience of persons

addressing the Board; however, Board Members may

question that person with recognition from the

Chairman. No persons shall be allowed to address

the Board more than once unless permission is

granted by the Chairperson. Only one spokesperson

for a group attending shall be allowed ten minutes

to address the Board.

Are there any questions or additions

to the agenda for this evening?



November 5th, 2001 minutes off there.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Any other additional

corrections or updates?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, I would

move that the agenda as amended be approved.


MR. CHAIRMAN: All those in favor,

signify by saying aye.

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. We will use the

December 4th minutes then. Are there any additions

or corrections to the December 4th minutes?

(No response.)

MEMBER BRENNAN: Vote to approve.

MR. CHAIRMAN: It's been moved-

MEMBER SANGHVI: (Interposing)


MR. CHAIRMAN: It's been moved and

seconded to approve the December 4th minutes. All

those in favor, signify by saying aye.

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: All those opposed?


(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Motion is carried.

At this point we have a public remarks section.

Anyone that would like to address the Board may do

so at this time. If you have something pertaining

-- that's not to a case before us this evening,

this would be a time to address the Board.

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, we'll

close the public remarks section and we'll call the

first case, Case 01-089, filed by Gregory Gnatek of

2023 West Lake Drive.


MR. GNATEK: Good evening. This is a

continuation of the case that we had last month.

What I've done is I've taken the plans and moved my

garage a little bit, hopefully to address some

concerns that we had at the last meeting.

The changes I made, I've tried to

address everyone's concerns and still give me the

proper space to service the well that I do have

close to my house. And what I've done, the changes

I have made, the closest point of the garage that I


have proposed is sixteen feet from the street on

the south side and twenty-two feet from the street

on the north side. The changes also move the

garage three feet from the easement as opposed to

two feet from the easement, what we had last month,

and this will also give -- keeps my garage four

feet eight inches from the north side property


And this garage is necessary to keep

additional vehicles off the street. This will also

give you the room to park five vehicles in front of

my house as opposed to three.

And in certain times in our area, I

don't know if you've all been through the area, but

the amount of vehicles that we have on our street,

it makes it very difficult for travel during snow

storms or summer weekends when people have a lot of

company out there because there are just so many

vehicles on the street.

My intentions with this garage, and

anything I do to my home or household, is just to

improve the area.

Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Is there anyone in the


audience who would like to input into this case?

Sir, would you step forward, please.

MR. ROSS: Yeah. I'm Jerry Ross,

1911 West Lake Drive, a neighbor of Mr. Gnatek's.

I've lived at that same residence for almost 28

years, and in that time I've seen a lot of change

in the area, and I encourage change, and when

Mr. Gnatek came in the area and built this nice

home -- and I think he just wants to continue to

improve this area.

Personally, I'm tired of seeing the

cars in the driveways, and any garage would be a

benefit to this area. I'd like to see this Board

approve Mr. Gnatek's plans. I know that he's made

some changes that you've recommended the last time,

and I also know that the last time he was here

there were no immediate neighbors that, you know,

were against this proposal. I see no reasons that

this Board should not approve what Mr. Gnatek has

offered to improve our neighborhood.

Again, if you've been in our

neighborhood, you know the problems with the cars

in the yards, and this would just enhance

everything that he wants to do.


I encourage you to vote in a positive

manner to this concern. Thanks.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone else in the audience who would like to input

in this case? Would you step forward, please.

MR. Hager: Good evening. My name is

Jeff Hager, 2109 West Lake Drive, and I live one

house adjacent to the applicant. And, actually, I

had no intentions on coming here tonight except I

spoke to Mr. Gnatek a couple of days ago and he had

mentioned that they had -- the Zoning Board had

tabled his application, and when I had asked why he

gave me a reason, and I said well, that seems

reasonable, it's a process what one must go

through, and then he had commented that there had

been some letters that had been sent in in

objection to his request, and I briefly had an

opportunity just to evaluate some of the comments.

And my comments relative to that are,

people in our area need to put in its proper

perspective that we live in an area that needs

construction, it needs new construction, and we're

in a situation where is -- there are homes that are

in a surrounding area that are condemned, and the


applicant actually purchased one that was. And I

had been in the area since 1994 and he had

purchased a home that was essentially condemned,

it was unmortgageable, and he bought that land and

developed it into a brand-new home and improved the

appearance, improved the property value, and

produced an incredibly well-architecturally correct


In that time period, he had commented

about wanting to put up a garage, and I take the

position that if something doesn't directly affect

me in a negative way, then I certainly don't have a

problem with that, and one of the reasons why I

didn't attend the previous ZBA meeting that he had

was because I couldn't imagine anyone would have

any objection to that.

So here's an individual that bought a

piece of property that was essentially a condemned

home, it was unmortgageable. He leveled it, built

a brand-new home, and I am here to support anything

that this individual would like to do.

Thank you for your time.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone else in the audience who would like to input


into this case? Please step forward.

MR. OLIVER: Good evening.

William Oliver, 2009 West Lake Drive. I live three

doors down from Mr. Gnatek. Mr. Gnatek has one of

the nicest houses in our neighborhood. I know he's

spent considerable time trying to achieve the look

that he has. I know his architect personally, and

know the lengths that he went to get that look.

We've discussed the building that he wishes to

construct, and I don't think it would in any way

detriment our community.

As the previous speakers have noted,

he's done every effort to improve our community,

and me, being in that community, would hope that

you grant him this variance and let him continue to

improve my street. Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Sir, would

you step forward, please.

MR. KOSEY: Good evening. My name is

Brian Kosey, and I live at 1523 West Lake Drive.

And as the other comments you've heard, you can't

help but notice the time and the cost that Greg

went through to make his house look correct. His

house is absolutely beautiful. I think that the


job he's done in that neighborhood can only make

things better for the City of Novi.

I strongly encourage you to approve

his garage. I think that living on the lake and

having docks and boats and all the other things

that go along with living on a lake, it makes sense

to have a garage, and the practicality of it, I

think, far outways any encroachment or problems

that he's going to create in the neighborhood.

Thank you very much.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone else in the audience who would like to input

into this case?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, we'll

close the audience participation.

There were thirty-seven notices sent

out, we received seven approvals and four

objections -- four were sent back.

Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: Mr. Chairman, at the last

meeting there were two issues that were brought up,

one being the fact that -- I believe Miss Gray

brought it to everybody's attention, if we could


center the garage within the property rather than

being so close to the property line. That was one

of the concerns that we looked at. And the other

issue was a setback. The setback of the garage

from the front property line, it was only 15 foot,

was not enough to get a car off the road at that

time unless it was parked in a parallel position to

the road.

I believe those were the two major

concerns. We did have to repost for -- or renotice

for this particular change, and this is basically

the information that's presented to you tonight.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. One other

thing I want to note on the objections is the

objections that were raised about being an

overbuilt lot and one wanted to see it further away

from one side of the lot, but none of the

objections came from West Lake Drive. They were

all Penhill and Pickford.

Board Members, comments and


Mr. Brennan?

MR. BRENNAN: Well, Uncle Don stole

my thunder. I was going to tell the applicant that


there were two requests, he fulfilled them both,

and I support the plan.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Miss Gray?

MEMBER GRAY: I wanted to make the

comment that I wasn't so concerned about centering

the garage on the property. I was more concerned

that the -- increasing the width so there was

adequate room around on both sides in the event

fire equipment was necessary.

Quite frankly, I wouldn't have a

problem if he built on the easement line because I

know nothing's going to be built on the easement;

however, that may not be acceptable or appropriate.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

MEMBER GRAY: Thank you.

MR. SAVEN: Mr. Chairman, I stand


MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members, further

comments or discussion?

MEMBER FANNON: This little dot,

again, is your well?

MR. GNATEK: That's correct.

MEMBER FANNON: I think you've done a

great job, too, and I have no problems supporting


the motion if Member Brennan made one.

MEMBER BRENNAN: I sure will. In

Case Number 01-089, I would move that the

petitioner's request be granted as presented

tonight due to lot configuration.

MEMBER BAUER: Second the motion.

MR. CHAIRMAN: It's been moved and

seconded to grant the petitioner's request as

presented this evening. Is there any further

discussion on the motion?

(No further discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none,

Madam Secretary, will you call the roll, please.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Fannon?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?



MR. CHAIRMAN: Sir, your variance

request has been approved. See the Building

Department for necessary permits. We wish you the

best of luck.

MR. GNATEK: Thank you.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Next case, Case

01-095, filed by Carl Wizinsky of 26850 Wixom Road.

He's appealing the decision of the Planning

Commission regarding a preliminary site plan

approval of the Novi Prominade project.

Sir, would you be sworn in by our

secretary, please.

MR. WIZINSKY: Sure. My name is

Carl Wizinsky and this is my wife Marcia Boynton.

We live at 26850 Wixom Road.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Would you raise

your right hand.

MR. WIZINSKY: Oh, sorry.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information that you're about to

give in the matter before you is the truth?




MR. CHAIRMAN: Would you please

present your case.

MR. WIZINSKY: Our home is located on

an 11.77 acre parcel on Wixom Road directly south

of the Novi Prominade project which was approved of

with a preliminary -- for a preliminary site plan

on November 11th.

We share a 770 foot property line to

the south of their property, the north of our

property. The Prominade property is actually zoned

I-1. Our property is zoned R-1, but the use is RA,

one home on 11 acre -- or 11.77 acres.

The -- a consent judgement was

reached by -- between the City of Novi equity

partners in July of this year, after -- to -- which

enables the owners of the property to build a

375,000 square foot retail center with four out

lots on their property.

The reason we're here this evening is

to appeal the -- not the entire approval of the

preliminary site plan but the approval which allows

only a six foot berm between their property and our


property. We believe that this really does not

meet the intent of the ordinance to provide

buffering between noncompatible uses.

We believe that we got to this

position because of a long series of decisions from

the City starting well over two years ago, and the

chronology of that is included in your package.

We also believe that during the

meeting on 11/7, that the commissioners were

presented information about a noise ordinance that

was, basically, incorrect. Commissioner Kanetta

asked some very specific questions about the noise

ordinance and our protections through an ordinance,

the noise ordinance. And, basically, I just

believe they were unaware that truck noises are

excluded or exempt from the noise ordinance.

The -- I know this may be difficult

to see, but this is the Target Store. The

Target Store is going to be 125,000 square feet.

And this is difficult to see, but these are

semi-trucks. What they have done is, 50 feet from

our property line they have-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing)

Mr. Chairman -- why don't you bring this closer and


use this mic over here. Thank you, sir.

MR. WIZINSKY: What the -- the

consent agreement allowed for 50 feet of screening

between our residential property and the I-1

property being used as commercial.

And this is actually drawn to scale.

I hired a landscape architect to do some drawings

that would actually show the reality of the


The fifty foot berm -- a fifty foot

allowance for the berm allows for a six foot berm.

Now, semi-trucks are thirteen feet

tall, so what we will have is a twenty-four foot

brick wall, semi-trucks going in and out with a six

foot berm.

Now, the ordinance does allow -- or

says a minimum six foot berm. But the ordinance --

the intent of the ordinance is to provide buffering

and screening. The top of the berm -- and I will

quote Linda Lemke in your minutes from the November

7th meeting. Linda Lemke indicates that the usual

or the customary interpretation of the level of the

berm is from the first floor of adjacent



The top of the berm is the same level

as the first floor. Actually, it's a little bit

below the first level of our home. And that is,

really, the basis and the reason why we are

appealing this. We believe that we will have a

substantial amount of noise pollution, visual

pollution, and in speaking with another resident in

Novi, Nancy Midst, who lives behind a warehouse,

also the odor. I didn't even think about that,

but diesel trucks also create odors. So a six foot

berm, the same level of our house, the semi-trucks,

is not buffering, is not screening.

I just don't believe that if this

would have gone through the normal process, through

a Planning Commission, that this drive would be

here at all.

In your packet, at the very end of

the -- I kind of thought there would be someone

from the developer here with some more charts, but

the entire -- at the very end of the consent

agreement there is a diagram of the entire project.

I believe that the drive could have been put on the

industrial side and not the residential side.

Basically, this goes north to Grand River, and


there will be two more large stores to the north,

and those will be -- have their truck access on the

east side, from Grand River, and they could have

put the drive right down here. There's no reason

in the world why the Planning Commission would not

have said let's put the truck drive against the

industrial property to the east rather than to the

residential property to the south.

In addition to, you know, Linda's

comment, that traditionally or generally the berm

starts at the residential level, that is also a

part of, as you saw in the package, the ordinance

-- the landscape ordinance has been under review

for a while. The proposals in that do make that a

requirement in the new ordinance.

During the Planning Commission

meeting, the developer showed a diagram of what the

berm would look like. And, literally, they showed

a diagram that covered the entire building with

green. What I had contracted Greg Bowman, the

landscape architect, was what this will look like

in the winter at two years, not twenty years but at

two years, and that's it. So that's the screening

that is provided currently.


This is the scale of the building

from sideways view. It's a 400 foot long concrete

masonry building.

I just can't believe that this would

be approved. It's just hard for me to believe

when, as you saw from my -- our appeal, we were not

allowed to build a 30 by 40 pole barn for our

horses within a hundred feet of the property line

towards vacant industrial 12 years ago, so we moved

our barn because they wanted a hundred feet for our

horse barn, 30 by 40, and now we have truck access

50 feet from our residential property.

I think that's about all I have for

the appeal. We're certainly open to questions.

My understanding is the Zoning Board

of Appeal can amend something that the Planning

Commission has done, and that's what we're here to

ask for, for relief.

I mean, if -- I'm not asking for the

moon here. I mean, if I -- if we had gone through

the Planning Commission, and I had the opportunity

to go to the Planning Commission, I would have

asked to move the drive to the east side, or I

would have asked for a ten foot berm. It's still


I-1. I-1 requires a minimum of a ten foot berm. I

didn't ask for that. I asked for an additional six

foot brick wall.

There's already a foundation in,

there will already be a six foot brick wall. I ask

for six additional feet to provide twelve feet of


We can -- we do not know that this --

we do not understand how this could impair or

impede any of the intent for the use as commercial

property. The only reason I can believe that the

-- because I've asked the developer after the

meeting if he would do that.

So the only reason I believe

that that -- they would not want to do this is the

additional cost. I believe the cost of this entire

project is about $80 million, so if -- the cost of

the additional six foot brick wall on $80 million

is probably a decimal of a fraction.

Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone else in the audience who would like to input

into this case?

(No response.)


MR. CHAIRMAN: There were 20 notices

sent out and we received no approvals or no


Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: Carl, would you please

explain to the Board your other concern regarding

the elevation of your home in reference to -- in

reference to the property line? That was one of

your concerns that you brought before me when we

had a discussion.

MR. WIZINSKY: Well, the-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) Could

you use the microphone that's there, please. Thank


MR. WIZINSKY: Our house sits at

about 987, and the property -- it really sits on a

ridge, so it really drops going north and south.

So the property to -- going north towards the

development does drop, and the top of the wall --

and, of course, our house is an older home built in

about 1915, and it actually has -- so there's

probably an additional three-and-a-half feet from

the ground to where -- the level of our house. So

to -- from the ground to the first floor of the



The property does roll down, and the

store is actually being built on eight to ten feet

of fill, so -- they're actually two nonessential

wetlands underneath the store, about right here and

right here, that are the low spot, and the store --

there's -- the store will be built on eight to ten

feet of fill to bring it up.

So this line here actually represents

a six foot wall. The -- my belief is is that

whoever negotiated the consent agreement did not

understand that you cannot get a six foot berm on

fifty feet when you're not working on a level

plane, and when you bring in the eight to ten feet

of fill and you bring it down to the property line,

you obviously -- the developer is going to be eight

to ten feet above the property line because of the

fill. Then when you try to add six feet to that,

you can't get that in with a one to three in fifty


So they did put in this wall in order

to have a berm on our side and a wall on their side

to get the six feet.

Is that what you were asking for,



MR. SAVEN: Yeah. It was just to

give a visual appearance of what it would be like

from your property to -- the property line to where

the berm's located, and I think that was it.

MR. WIZINSKY: Right, and I -- I

mean, I will admit, we do have some very large

evergreens up here in front, but when you get

towards the house, there's an opening here, that's

to the garage, and we believe that we're going to

be able to see, you know, a substantial amount

above our garage because, again, the property rolls

right down from the house. So this garage is

actually much lower than the house, and then the

property line continues down. So even with the

eight to ten feet, we're going to see a lot of the


And the main concern is really the

truck access. I mean, if it was a six foot berm

and all we were talking about is a regular parking

lot, we may not be here, but with a truck access

next to residential, we just believe that six feet

is very inadequate.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Building


Department, anything further?

MR. SAVEN: No, sir.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: I spent a lot of

time on this case. This is one of those toughies.

And I visited the site, and it is quite apparent

that the -- where the Target Store is going to be,

by the time they add ten feet of fill, it's going

to be very elevated.

As I read the letter that we received

from Mr. Schultz, it appears to me that we -- our

first action needs to go on record as deciding

whether this applicant is a person aggrieved, and

I'd like to make a motion that yes, indeed, this

person is, indeed, very much a person aggrieved

because he is the adjoining property owner on

residential property, a longtime Novi resident,

abutting new commercial.

So with that motion made, if there's

a second-

MEMBER SANGHVI: (Interposing)


MEMBER BRENNAN: Laverne, you can

call it.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. There's been a

motion moved and seconded to find that the

applicant is the aggrieved petitioner in it.

Before moving on that motion, is

there any further discussion on that?

MEMBER SANGHVI: Not on the aggrieved

party part, no.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Madam Secretary, would

you call the roll, please.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Fannon?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MR. CHAIRMAN: With that out of the

way, continue on.



understand it, now that we have found that the

applicant meets the legal challenge, we can move on

whether either to amend Planning's decision, or

send it back, I would think, is the other option.

I believe that there's enough

evidence before us that we can amend their

decision. I think that there's been significant

information presented. And I have to acknowledge

the applicant. He's done a lot of work, he spent a

lot of money out of his own pocket to bring this

before us. I think that he has presented a very

strong case.

I think the fact that the developer

is already building a brick wall -- and by going

another six feet we're asking him to put some more

concrete, I can't imagine that that's a big deal.

I have complete support for the

petitioner here, and I think that he has been --

it's been unfortunate. At least he's had an

opportunity to seek relief, and the relief is

through our Board. I support him a hundred


MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members, further

comments or discussion?



wholeheartedly agree with the previous speaker.

Also, I just want to say that even though the berm

meets the requirements, it doesn't really serve the

purpose. There's -- obviously, the whole idea is

to provide you screening. This is a residential

piece of property, and I support the additional six


And on a side note, I'm glad the

horses are not right next to the property line


So I will also be supporting the

additional six feet.

MEMBER BAUER: I understand this-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing)

Mr. Bauer?

MEMBER BAUER: I understand that the

wall will be on top of the berm?

MR. WIZINSKY: Well -- yes.

MR. CHAIRMAN: A wall going, and this

would be an extension of the wall.

MR. WIZINSKY: Yes. Actually from

our side, and I really thought there would be other

drafts and charts from the developer here tonight,


but this is actually a berm -- this is a berm going

to the north.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The bottom one shows

it, I think probably because you have a wall there

and the berm is going up to the wall.

MR. WIZINSKY: Yes. You can barely

see the wall, but basically that black line is the

top of the wall on our side. On the other side

there is between five and six feet of brick wall,

and what I'm requesting is -- which I requested at

the other meeting also, is an additional six foot

brick wall. Leave the berm where it is. I believe

there will be a requirement in the final site plan

for opacity because the opacity doesn't even meet

the requirement currently, so what I'm looking for

is the six foot brick wall and then to meet the

opacity standards in the current ordinance.

Right now, the winter opacity is

about 40 percent, and it -- I mean, it's required

to be 80, so -- I don't think I have to take that

up with you guys. That's -- other people will take

care of that, but if we have the six foot

additional brick wall with the required opacity, I

think there will be substantially more screening.


Again, if we were to start from

scratch, it doesn't even belong there. It belongs

on the industrial side.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

Miss Gray?

MEMBER GRAY: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Schultz, do we -- if I understood Mr. Brennan's

comment correctly, we have the right to say that

although we may agree with the petitioner's

request, we could send it back to Planning and

say here's something, make them meet it; in other

words, do the berm correctly?

Is that another one of our options?

MR. SCHULTZ: I guess the difficulty

that I had with the way it was framed by

Member Brennan is the use of the word amend the

site plan.

What this Board has the jurisdiction

to do is to determine with Mr. Wizinsky's appeal

whether or not the Planning Commission read the

ordinance requirement correctly and applied it

correctly. The Board doesn't have the authority to

amend the site plan that's been approved by the

Planning Commission. It has the ability to


determine whether or not it was read correctly.

If you are able, after making that

initial determ -- if the Board were to initially

determine we think that the Planning Commission

read it incorrectly because of X, then you would

have the ability -- you would do one of two things:

You would then either have a clear distinction in

your mind as to what is required and you would say

here's what we believe, as the reviewer of the

Planning Commission's decision, is required; or the

other alternative of saying we think the Planning

Commission has read it incorrectly and we want the

Planning Commission to go back and review the site

plan with our proper interpretation, which is this

is how it's supposed to read.

And I guess, frankly, that's the

problem that I have with the appeal here, because

if -- either if you make the interpretation or you

send it back to the Planning Commission, you're

stuck with the problem that the language itself is

pretty clear and pretty unambiguous.

The ordinance has minimal

requirements. That's the way zoning ordinances

work, and the question is did the Planning


Commission correctly find that the minimum

requirement, even if it may not be appropriate,

even if it may not accomplish the intent and the

purpose of the goals for this project because of

elevations or whatever, if that minimum requirement

is met, the Planning Commission is obligated under

State law that gives the City the right to enact

the zoning ordinance in the first place to approve


The idea is that they're supposed to

be objective standards and they're -- it's not

supposed to be a question of intent or goals or

objectives. It's supposed to be a calculation, do

they meet the requirement, and that -- if you send

it back to the Planning Commission without some

explanation as to why six foot doesn't mean six

foot, then they're going to have trouble

understanding what you want them to do.

If you make a determination here,

your task is going to be to say we review or we

mean -- we read this section not to require just

the six foot wall or a six foot berm but to require

a six foot berm and something else, and in the

course of making that determination you're going to


need to rely on something more than -- I don't want

to use the word sympathy, but an agreement with the

property owner that he isn't protected by the


The ordinance is, unfortunately, what

it is, and that's what your job is to do today, is

to say what is that language in the ordinance mean.

MEMBER GRAY: Thank you. One of the

things, when I was looking at this was, my first

initial reaction, and having worked in the Planning

Commission, being that -- and in which this

discussion took place, was how could this happen.

If the ordinance itself says that the

elevation is established at the first floor of the

house where the residential property's being

protected, then they have -- they've clearly not

met the ordinance, either the actuality or the

intent, and I had a problem with that.

I can certainly sympathize with the

petitioner who lives at property -- on the property

that is not only zoned residential but is also

master plan residential, and we as a City have an

obligation to protect his health, safety and

welfare; indeed, his livelihood and his enjoyment


of his property, and if that means to me that --

I'm not thrilled with the idea of putting a six

foot wall on top of a six foot berm. I just think

it's going to be -- from the Target side it's going

to be wonderful protection, but I don't think it's

going to accomplish -- so I'm just throwing out

some additional thoughts.

I think the more appropriate action

might be to send it back and say build the berm the

way it needs to be built and meet the actuality of

the ordinance.

Thank you very much.

MEMBER GRAY: Mr. Sanghvi?

MEMBER SANGHVI: The question being

whether the berm is really the correct

interpretation of the level, and what I see here is

that it is not, and -- so that is where the legal

interpretation comes in, the definition of where

you determine the height of the six feet from, from

the applicant's -- Mr. Wizinsky's side or the other

side. And what do you read in that?

MR. SCHULTZ: First, I want to agree

with you, the first part of the statement, that

we're really talking about a berm. I know there's


been discussion about a wall here, but there is no

ordinance that talks about a wall. We're talking

about a berm requirement in 2509(b) and how is


MEMBER SANGHVI: (Interposing) I'm

talking about that.

MR. SCHULTZ: What the proponent has

said is that that berm height should be measured

from the first floor elevation of my house, and our

reading of the ordinance -- but, ultimately, this

is your call. This is what you're here to do

tonight -- is that the ordinance -- and I attached

it in the letter. You won't find that language

about third floor elevation of Mr. Wizinsky's house

anywhere in the ordinance.

What the ordinance says is that it's

a six foot wall -- or a six foot berm, and then the

cross-section shows basically that it's measured --

that six feet is measured from the bottom of the

berm to the top of the berm. Where you start the

measurement -- or which side of the berm you start

the measurement from is addressed in the ordinance,

and it says you start it at the side that is the

most beneficial to the adjacent property.


So if you had a property line that

sloped down, as this one does, towards the

neighbor's property, you wouldn't measure on the

low side, you would measure on the high side so the

property owner got the six feet over here and you

might have the bottom of the berm over here being

nine feet, not six feet where it matters.

That's all the ordinance talks about.

It doesn't say anything about first floor

elevation. It talks about which side you measure

from so you can be generous to the person affected.

But it's still six feet, and you're

talking about which toe of the slope, which base of

the slope, you're starting your measurement from.

Is it inadequate for screening this

property? I don't think anybody disagrees that it


The question is where -- what

language in our ordinance would you find to make it

be measured from the first floor elevation of the

house, and I'm suggesting that's a difficult

interpretation to make, but that's the question.


MR. WIZINSKY: (Interposing) May I



MR. SANGHVI: Excuse me. This leads

to another question. Really, we are talking about

the letter of the ordinance or the spirit of the

ordinance. The spirit of the ordinance, to me,

really tells you that you need to provide adequate

screening, and-

MR. WIZINSKY: (Interposing) Just a


MEMBER SANGHVI: (Interposing) Just

one second, please. And -- so, if it doesn't

provide adequate screening, even though the letter

of the ordinance says six feet is adequate but it

doesn't provide the screening, or obscure or

whatever word you want to use, that is not


MR. SCHULTZ: I guess the way I would

respond to that is a court is going to look to the

spirit of an ordinance instead of its actual

language only if it finds it to be ambiguous. And

if that's what you do, if you find the language

that's in 2509(b) to be ambiguous and you're going

to look at the intent of the ordinance, then you

need to make that clear. You need to first find


that it's not as clear as the consulting supplier.

The idea is the objective standard,

but if you find it difficult to interpret, then you

need to look at the intent.

MR. SANGHVI: Thank you,

Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Brennan -- or

Mr. Fannon?

MEMBER FANNON: I'm having a little

trouble with the consent judgement itself, so when

the consent judgement specifically says the buffer

shall be a six foot landscaped berm, how can the

City of Novi Planning Commission or Zoning Board of

Appeals overrule a consent judgement?

How can we take a position that we're

a higher body than the judge that signed this

order? That's one of my questions.

MR. SCHULTZ: I think the Planning

Commission actually asked the same question, and

the response is that the Planning Commission, in

addition to interpreting the ordinance and applying

the ordinance, is interpreting essentially that

consent judgement.

We've all agreed that it's a six foot


berm. The question is where is it measured from,

and the consent judgement doesn't give anymore

explanation than that, so it really points you back

to the ordinance, six feet as required by the

ordinance, and that's the question; where is that

six feet measured from, the property line or the

first floor elevation of Mr. Wizinsky's house, and

that's the tough question.

MR. CHAIRMAN: My, I guess, feeling

and thought on that line is that the intent of the

ordinance and berm is to screen the difference in

zoning of the pieces of property, and if what is

presented is not doing that job, then there's a


Board Members, further comments or


Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: I'm willing to make

a motion just to see where the board sits.

MR. SAVEN: Further discussion. I

would like, if I can-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) Please.

MR. SAVEN: Couple things. We have

two issues here. One is the height of the berm,


and the other is the inadequate screening which is

being presented here tonight. And there's the

screening which we all are concerned about in

trying to meet the spirit and intent.

Mr. Wizinsky is absolutely right. I

dealt with the issue with a similar project in

reference to a residential project dealing with a

berm which exists adjacent to a residential

development, even though it is very intense as far

as the screening is concerned.

What's being presented right now is a

screen that we're looking at, is this adequate.

Did the Planning Commission see this?


MR. SAVEN: They have no knowledge of


MR. WIZINSKY: No. Again, I had to

hire someone to do this presentation. Their

presentation, unfortunately, it's not here, but

they showed a car on the other side of the brick

wall. Well, I'm not concerned about the cars. I'm

concerned about the trucks.

And their presentation of the

screening, as I said, was way -- I mean maybe


twenty years. They represented it as two years,

but it was just not realistic. It was wrong.

MR. SAVEN: I guess the point that

I'm trying to deal with is a berm has to be

constructed, okay. You know that. To put a brick

wall on top of a berm is inconceivable to me. I am

really sorry. I can't see this. I would be more

concerned about failure in that wall and something

happening to that wall such that I've got a lengthy

wall which is "X" amount of feet long and,

certainly, the issue of the unstable ground

conditions that's associated with that berm, and if

I've got seven foot of fill in that area with a

berm and the wall, the chances are any movement's

going to take place, and any movement in a brick or

block wall which allows moisture, it's going to be

a maintenance nightmare.

MR. WIZINSKY: If I may, Don,

currently what has been approved does have a six

foot brick wall-

MS. BOYNTON: (Interposing) Retaining


MR. WIZINSKY: Retaining wall.

MR. SAVEN: A retaining wall at the


top of the berm?


MR. SAVEN: Okay. That's what I'm

trying to-

MR. WIZINSKY: (Interposing) Okay.

If I could -- I might be able to present some

copies of stuff. If I could have this thing turned

on. I'll pull you some --

MR. CHAIRMAN: If I'm correct, Don,

there's going to be a six foot wall and berm built

up on that, and they want six foot on top of that

existing wall?

MR. SAVEN: Right.

MEMBER GRAY: Or somewhere on top of

the berm.

MR. WIZINSKY: Now, let me assure

you, we are very open to the ten foot berm, and I

want to repeat, that property is zoned I-1. I'm

zoned R-1. That requires a ten foot berm with

landscaping on top.

MS. BOYNTON: But for the consent


MR. WIZINSKY: Arotta Royal, at that

meeting, said that was not a special use. And that


I'd like to understand. If it's not a special use,

then how can you put commercial -- how can you put

retail on I-1 without special use? If it's a

special use then we should have a ten foot berm. I

am very open to a ten foot berm with landscaping on

top, but you can't do it in 50 feet. I mean,


MS. BOYNTON: (Interposing) We're

looking for a solution that's realistic.

MR. WIZINSKY: Well, what I hoped was

a very reasonable solution. What I need is to

either move the truck access or a ten foot berm.

I'm open. My priority, move the truck access.

That's the most reasonable thing to do; number two,

ten foot berm; number three, six foot wall.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: The resolution to

this man's problem is it has to be done in

Planning. There's no question it has to be by

Planning, and I'll go back to my statement that I'm

prepared to make a motion to move this along.

MEMBER FANNON: Can I just make one

last -- before you make your motion?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Fannon?


MEMBER FANNON: If the property

wasn't rezoned -- I'm not trying to be a lawyer

here. This is not rezoned and today it is I-1 and

will remain I-1, even though the consent judgement

allows the use of B-2 and 3. Why doesn't the I-1

berm stay with the property if it wasn't rezoned?

MR. SCHULTZ: The way the consent --

this consent judgement, like any other consent

judgement, works, when you -- when you -- rather

than rezone the property, if you enter a consent

judgement and you allow different use on the

property, in this case B-2, B-3, then those -- all

of those-

MEMBER FANNON: (Interposing)

Everything goes with it then?

MR. SCHULTZ: Everything's carried

along with it.

And I guess, just to make this very

clear, the City Council has taken a lot of this out

of the ZBA's hands in the sense that it's

determined where the driveway's going to be, it's

determined what the uses are going to be that are

allowed, and it's determined that there's going to

be a six foot wall, and the only -- really, the


only question -- or, I'm sorry, a six foot berm.

The only question here, as a matter of

interpretation is, where do you -- how do you

measure that six feet, and that's your job as the

ultimate interpreter of the ordinance.

The consultants have said you measure

it the way the pro -- the Novi Promenade has

measured it, and it meets ordinance requirements.

The Planning Commission has said we read the

ordinance the same way, the six foot is measured

from the property line at the property line on

their side, and that gives the greatest screening.

Your decision is simply are those --

is the Planning Commission reading that correctly,

and if you think it is not reading it correctly

then you need to tell them -- if you're going to

send it back, you need to tell the Planning

Commission why they're not reading it correctly and

how they're -- how they're incorrect.

MEMBER FANNON: So -- just to finish,

if you were to make a motion, what basis would you

do this?

Before you make it, can you give us

an idea, a peek, of what -- how would you give


this -- how would you send this back?

MEMBER BRENNAN: Number one, I think

there's enough sentiment on this Board that this

petitioner has demonstrated that the design as it

sits today does not provide screening to

residential property, as simple as that.

I'll leave the design and how they

fix it, to Planning. That's not our job. The

petitioner has come before us and said what's being

prepared to be done doesn't protect me, and I,

quite frankly, agree.

I don't have to get anymore detailed

than that, that I agree with the petitioner that

the screening is not sufficient, in addition to our

previous motion that we've already agreed, that he

is a party aggrieved. I think that in itself-

MEMBER FANNON: (Interposing) I have

no problem sending it back, but I would imagine

that the Landon (ph) Group will be right back in

front of this judge.

MR. WIZINSKY: If we have to go back

to the judge we'll go back to the judge.

MEMBER FANNON: I mean, I just don't

know what basis we're sending it back to the


Planning Commission other than we think that's not


I'm not saying that I think that the

I-1 should -- this is -- the City Council should

hear loud and clear. But of course, it was a

consent judgement, so it's not fair to bring it up,

so whoever negotiated it must have talked, there

must have been reasons and we weren't involved in


MS. BOYNTON: I think you're -- can I

speak, Mr. Chair?


MR. BOYNTON: I think that you -- you

asked earlier, Mr. Fannon, what the -- how you can

act within the context of the consent agreement,

and as you look at it you'll see that it

specifically reserves the Planning Commission's

rights to do the necessary combination of plantings

and obscuring features, whatever it is, to -- with

the objective of providing the screening

contemplated in the zoning ordinance. That's on

page 12 of the consent decree, and I think that

that creates an opportunity, too. For

clarification; simply say that the -- however the


additional object securing and screening is

accomplished, wall, screening, berm height, that

those are powers that still remain in the Planning


MEMBER FANNON: We're just not being

very specific what we're doing, that's all. That's

what bothers me, and if you were very specific, I

don't think any of this -- this is more -- I have

no problems doing this, that they're not -- the

Planning Commission has not provided you the

screening as contemplated in the zoning ordinance,

then they ask us what do you want.

MS. BOYNTON: What do you want, yeah.

MEMBER FANNON: I mean, that's the

problem for me. I have no problem sending it back.

MR. WIZINSKY: And, again, I think

we're here because there was a tremendous lack of

communication on behalf of the City.

I'll review, again, from my letter,

we came to this Board seven years ago when the

property directly behind us was being completely

gutted, and someone in administration made a

decision not to do a site plan, which took away the

need for a berm.


We came before the ZBA and they said

-- they were -- they were sort of appalled that

administration would not require a site plan which

-- with such dramatic -- well, they gutted the

entire building. They spent twice as much on the

renovation as they did on the property, and someone

made a decision not to do a site plan. So they --

and we got our -- we got the berm there, but I do

-- I do want to go back to Linda Lemke's note.

This is addressed to Mr. Schultz.

Linda Lemke indicates that, typically, this section

of the ordinance has been interpreted to be

measured at the first floor elevation. If that's a

correct statement, then that's -- and I have not

done the research on this, but, you know, I've done

a lot of work on this. I really wouldn't mind some

City support on this. It would be good if someone

could do some research. If this is how it's been

interpreted before -- and, you know, Linda sits in

a lot of meetings. Then what's the issue?

Why wasn't it interpreted this time

from the base of the floor? I mean, since -- and I

have a copy of the proposed landscape ordinance

changes. It's in there quite clearly, and that --


I see a draft from April of last year. If that

would have been passed, we wouldn't even be here

tonight. So if the interpretation historically has

been from the first floor, then that's how it

should have been interpreted.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

Mr. Schultz?

MR. SCHULTZ: I think in some

respects I agree with Mr. Wizinsky, that you're

presented -- if the question really narrows down to

okay, we've got a six foot berm requirement, where

do we measure it from, in a way that (inaudible)

even further than the question of are we measuring

it from the property line or are we going to

measure it from some other benchmark like the first

floor elevation.

I think that it is a accurate

statement that Miss Lemke, on her properties, has

measured the height from the first floor

elevation. She indicated at this time that her

view of the ordinance, after reviewing the

ordinance and after -- not just on this project but

on other projects, is that it's hard to find an

ordinance basis, hard to find language in what's in


front of you, that permits that interpretation,

first floor elevation.

If, though, you're inclined to make an

interpretation that it's measured from somewhere

else other than the property line, that really is

your only other option in terms of deciding what

the ordinance means.

And you may want talk to Miss Lemke

to find out how this has been administered over the

years. The problem with doing that, there's --

you're still back to the simple question of does

the ordinance language support that reading that

it's measured from the first floor elevation. If

you find that it is, fine; if you find that it's

not, then it may just be a new interpretation.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Where -- Don, do you

know where we're in the -- looking at the revision

of the landscape ordinance?

MR. SAVEN: I can't answer that

question. Maybe -- Lauren? At this time I would

like to introduce Lauren McGuire from the Planning

-- Plan Review Center, which -- she's the new kid

on the block and she's getting faced with some real

tough stuff right now.


So, Lauren, maybe you could answer

that question.

MS. McGUIRE: I could answer that.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Would you step

forward, please.

MS. McGUIRE: I certainly will.

Currently we had a session with the Ordinance

Review Committee last week, or not -- what's today?

This week -- and at that time they are sending it

back for one more review. That will happen in

February. And that -- then, at that point, it will

go to -- go forward from there to the City Council.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. If -- my

question is, with the new revision, how would that

apply to this situation?

MS. McGUIRE: Mr. Wizinsky is

correct. In the new revision, it does specifically

state that it will be measured from the elevation

of a residence, if that provides the greatest


In the ordinance now, the way it's

worded, it says the berm height shall be measured

from whichever side provides the most height for

screening the residentially zoned property. That's


how it's quoted. It doesn't say from where.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay, thank you.

Board Members, any further -- Board Members have

any further questions?

MEMBER BAUER: On page 12 of the

consent, under B it says with an object, foundation

and plantings on the berm shall be determined as

part of the site plan review and approval, with the

object providing the screening is contemplated in

the zoning ordinance as permitted.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I guess I feel that

the -- what we're looking at in the -- again, we're

going ahead for interpretation of what the

intention of the ordinance is, and in the ordinance

review, that this is one of the things that they're

looking at addressing that would rectify this

situation. I think we need to take that into

account and what direction we're giving from our

decision this evening.

I think that's what you addressed,

Mr. Brennan, am I correct?

MEMBER BRENNAN: That's one of my

questions. I wanted to know when this ordinance

was going to be looked at at taking the ambiguity


out of the whole situation.

I still feel compelled that, given

what we have in front of us today, without this

being passed by Council, that our ordinance is

ambiguous and it's not -- I think Planning needs to

take another look at this. Planning needs to see

this information. I think it will be very clear to

Planning when they see this information that

something needs to be fixed.

MEMBER FANNON: If there was

plantings all the way across there, six foot high

pine trees all the way across, if we sent this back

and said that the plantings on the landscape berm

don't give the health, safety and welfare

protection to the residents, is that something that


MS. BOYNTON: (Interposing) I spoke

with --

MEMBER FANNON: Can't we say that the

landscaping -- I'm just trying to -- I know what's

going to -- I'm not an attorney, again, but if this

thing isn't passed right now, we're dealing with

what we got on the books today.

MS. BOYNTON: (Interposing) Well



MR. FANNON: -and these guys are

pretty sharp. They've already been to court once,

so our Board, I think, has to be very careful on

what we do with this so that it just doesn't get

overturned by some court and you end up with


So I'm trying to figure a way myself

to get it back to the Planning Commission with

something specific other than-

MS. BOYNTON: (Interposing) With a


MR. WIZINSKY: I spoke with

Paul Evans of the Farmington Hills ordinance

department, and -- because I was -- I'm beginning

to do my research on decibel levels and noise.

And, actually, just for your information, Novi's is

very high. Sixty decibels is higher than a lot of

communities that do have retail or industrial next

to residential. Novi does not have a lot of

experience at this right now. I mean -- and the

ordinance shows that. But he said that they had

found that the trees do not abate much noise for

trucks, so -- and that's why I went with the wall.


But, again, the right-of-way -- if

this would have gone through a Planning Commission

-- I've sat at enough meetings to know they would

not have allowed a drive on a residential side when

there was a very clear other option on the east

side, very clear option. So that is what really

should be done.

Second, a ten foot berm, it is still

industrial; and, third, I went with the easiest

solution, but if Don says that this is not a long

-- this is not a good solution, I'm going to go

with Don's -- with what Don says. That means we

need another solution.

Now, I want to get back to my other

point about the communication on this process, and

that's why I was talking about my 1994 encounter

with the ZBA to get the berm.

Our knowledge from the City of our

desire for appropriate screening is very well

documented, very well documented, and the City

negotiated a consent agreement for a 375,000 square

foot commercial center that is 25 percent bigger

than the Home Depot and Kroger center on

Grand River and Beck Road. It's a huge commercial


center. They did not communicate with me once, not

even after it was finalized. I was notified by the

DEQ that there was going to be a review, a wetland

review. That was my notification from the City

after 26 years. That -- that's negligent. It's


Thank you for allowing me to-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing)

Mr. Schultz?

MR. SCHULTZ: Hopefully, one last

comment. I think the Board has to recognize that

it can't solve issues that may have been created by

the way the Council went about it. Settling the

case and entering into a consent judgement, you're

stuck with that consent judgement. There's simply

no way around it.

And related to that is, if we're

looking at where we measure the six foot wall from,

I think it's important to know that, with respect

to this site, and it was permitted to be developed

under this consent judgement, there's no way that

they can get a berm in that met the interpretation

they measured it from, the first floor elevation of

the other property.


So I think you have to take that into


And, you know, I wonder whether we're

really talking about, from Mr. Wizinsky's point of

view, the berm height or whether we're really

talking about screening. And the problem with

saying there's not enough screening as required

under the ordinance, and we talked about the

opacity that's required in the ordinance, 80

percent or whatever, unfortunately really isn't

here in front of this Board tonight. Maybe that

leads into what Mr. Brennan's getting at, and maybe

what the Planning Commission or somebody ought to

be looking at is, is the screening on top of the

berm, which the Planning Commission found to be the

right height, does that meet ordinance

requirements. But that question may not be before

you tonight.

MEMBER GRAY: Mr. Reinke?


MEMBER GRAY: May I suggest that the

ambiguity of the interpretation of the ordinance in

the past, where Miss Lemke has stated it's

generally been, I think that might be enough of an


interpretation for us to send it back to Planning

because of our concerns not only with the height of

the berm and from which side it's measured, but

also the screening.

I think Mr. -- I think the petitioner

has the right -- or should have the right to

readdress this with the Planning Commission through

their -- through proper channels, because it's so

difficult to try to figure out how this is going to

be resolved from where I'm sitting.

There's too much ambiguity, because

if you continue looking through the consent

judgement, not only what it says on page 12 but on

page 17 under general terms, basically says

however, where the express terms of this consent

judgement deviate from City ordinance, the terms of

the judgement shall govern. So we have

contradictory statements on pages 12 and 17, and as

Mr. Fannon said, how can we overstep -- I think the

ambiguity of the interpretation in the past of this

ordinance may be enough to send it back to Planning

for them to take a hard look at it.

Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.



going to go out on a limb here and I'm going to ask

Mr. Schultz for your help.

If the past ordinance has been

interpreted that the measurement is from the bottom

of the house, from the base level -- first level of

the home, and this property cannot be measured that

way, then, therefore, why could we not apply that a

berm would not be used and, therefore, just a wall

could take place of that berm? And I'm referring

to page 3329 of the ordinance, letter C, and I'm --

like I said, I'm out on a limb here, but based on

what you've just said, based on what Sarah's

saying, based on all the other members, I'm just

trying to put it back.

And if we're supposed to do an

interpretation, my suggestion would be that the

interpretation is this: Given the facts that we

have been given, that the determination has been in

the past, even though it's not in print, and we are

aware of that, that the measurements in the past --

and we can ask for support on this, or previous

cases to document this -- but in the past, if the

level has been measured from the first floor of the


house, therefore, that would give us a reason to

measure this particular piece of property.

Step two would be that if -- the fact

that we're measuring from that house based on our

interpretation, if this berm can't be measured

because there's only 50 feet, then why can't the

berm be done away with and a wall could be


And I don't know if that's out of our

jurisdiction. I'm looking for support on -- or

suggestions from other Members or the city


That's -- I said I was going out on a

limb, and that's my suggestion. I just hate to see

these poor people bouncing back and forth here and

it ends up in our lap interpretation, and we

understand that we're supposed to do an

interpretation and we can't solve all the problems,

but maybe if we just jump out here, that might give

us some direction.

Thank you.

MR. SCHULTZ: I guess, in a sense, it

doesn't sound all that dissimilar from what

Member Gray said a moment ago, that if you're


unsure about the history of how the ordinance has

been applied in the past, or maybe you want some

further guidance on that, starting with the

Planning Commission then possibly coming back up


In terms of whether or not if -- if

the information is that a much larger berm would be

required that could be placed there, then the

ordinance does allow, in certain circumstances --

I'm not sure whether they apply here -- the wall

could be substituted.

Again, you're back to the same issue.

In order to screen here, it would it be one tall


Sending it -- I don't think there

would be any problem with sending it back to the

Planning Commission for further information on the

record about how the ordinance has been applied in

the past, number one; and then, number two, for

some sort of review of what's on top of the berm as

it's proposed, is six feet measured at the property

line, and whether or not the Planning Commission

and landscape consultants can look at that part of

their review to make sure that they, you know,


properly apply the ordinance.

I think that will be, certainly,


MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: Ready for a motion,

or do you want a pencil version first?

MR. CHAIRMAN: I think we've covered


MEMBER BRENNAN: Let me try it and if

somebody wants to doll it up they can, but I would

make a motion on Case 01-095 that the petitioner

has presented sufficient information to lead us to

believe that there's ambiguity to the

interpretation of the ordinance, as well as the

presentation material presented tonight, which

Planning has not seen, that would lead us to

believe that, perhaps, there's not sufficient

screening, we would recommend that this be returned

to Planning for further review.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Been moved and

seconded that the case be returned to Planning for

further review. Is there any further discussion on

the motion?


(No further discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none,

Madam Secretary, would you call the roll, please.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Fannon?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MR. CHAIRMAN: We hope with that

direction it will rectify that situation.

MR. WIZINSKY: What does that mean,

turning it back to Planning? I mean, this has been

approved -- a preliminary site plan has been

approved, and I don't quite understand what this


MR. CHAIRMAN: What we're -- go



MEMBER BRENNAN: The evidence -- we

have an ordinance that says that the measurement is

taken in this regard, and yet we have Linda Lemke

saying it's done over here. Well, we have some

conflict. I'd like them to decide which is right,

until we have it clarified by-

MR. WIZINSKY: (Interposing) How do

you open up a closed-

MEMBER BRENNAN: (Interposing) Let

-- let me just -- I'm going to explain what my

motion said. I'm confused on how we measure,

number one; and I'm satisfied that you've presented

me information that Planning hasn't seen, that

tells me that you don't have sufficient screening.

I'd like them to see this evidence, and that's what

my motion said.

MS. BOYNTON: He hopes that they'll

act on it by reopening the-

MEMBER BRENNAN: (Interposing) I

don't know.

MS. BOYNTON: What's their method?

MR. SCHULTZ: Mr. Chair, you're not

-- certainly, as I understand the motion, the Board

is not telling the Planning Commission to go back


and re-open its decision on the site planning. At

this point you've asked for information from the

Planning Commission on how the ordinance has been

applied in the past at its level, and more

information regarding the -- and, essentially,

possibly to look at whether or not the screening

has been reviewed correctly, and I think the

Planning Commission-

MR. WIZINSKY: (Interposing) Then

does it come back to the ZBA?

MR. SCHULTZ: It would have to come


MR. WIZINSKY: So you're just asking

for clarification on an issue-

MR. SCHULTZ: (Interposing)


MR. WIZINSKY: -and then it comes

back here.

MR. CHAIRMAN: That's correct.

MR. WIZINSKY: Does that mean I need

to do anything?

MS. BOYNTON: We need to make a

presentation to Planning Commission because they



MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) You

need to make a presentation to Planning.

MR. WIZINSKY: So how do I get -- how

do I do that?

MS. BOYNTON: Because it won't be on

the agenda.

MR. WIZINSKY: Do I have to pay

another hundreds of dollars to do this?

MS. MARCHIONI: I can contact the

Planning Department and there won't be a fee, and

they'll put you on the next agenda hopefully. I

don't know if they're -- how many cases they have.

MR. SCHULTZ: Their next available

agenda, this will be on as a matter referred back

from the ZBA. And there won't be-

MR. WIZINSKY: (Interposing) And

then I have to come back here again?

MS. MARCHIONI: You'll have to make

another presentation to the Planning Commission.

MR. WIZINSKY: And then come back

here again?

MS. MARCHIONI: And then come back


MR. WIZINSKY: Well, this has been an


incredible amount of work. I've done this -- this

is the second time I've done it, and I just wish

there was an advocate from the City on behalf of

the residents in these situations. Again-

MEMBER BRENNAN: (Interposing) You

heard it.

MR. WIZINSKY: -it's not here.

MEMBER BRENNAN: You just heard


MR. WIZINSKY: Well, yes, but that

means I have a lot more steps to do, and there's --

I have no support from the City.

MR. CHAIRMAN: It's the best

direction and the best help we can give you at this


MR. WIZINSKY: And I appreciate it.

I'm just-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) And


MR. WIZINSKY: It's just --

MR. CHAIRMAN: And, unfortunately,

not everything is correct the way it should be

aligned here, and I agree with you on that, but

we're giving you the best direction (inaudible).


We agree that there is a problem that needs to be

addressed, and this is only way that we see and

feel that we can address to help your situation


MR. WIZINSKY: Okay. Thank you very

much, and I know I'm a little grumpy, but it's been

a long haul, and I guess I got farther to go.

MS. BOYNTON: Full employment for

lawyers. This is full employment for landscape and



MR. CHAIRMAN: Next case, Case

01-096, filed by Don Marhofer representing

Saratoga Circle and Camden Court.

Is the petitioner here?

Would you be sworn in by our

secretary, please.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information you're about to give in

the matter before you is the truth?


MEMBER GRONACHAN: State your name,



MR. MARHOFER: My name is

Don Marhofer. I represent S. R. Jacobson


MR. CHAIRMAN: Present your case,


MR. MARHOFER: We presently are

requesting an extension for a sign permit for two

signs we have located -- I believe you have the

maps in front of you. We're simply asking for an

extension of those signs.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Excuse me a moment.

Would you take your discussion out in the hallway?

MR. WIZINSKY: Yes. I apologize.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Please continue.

MR. MARHOFER: I was going to say

we're asking for an extension for the sign permits.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Is there anyone

in the audience who would like to input into this


(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none,

Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: This is just an extension

of sign permits. What I would ask Don is probably


to brief the Board on how many lots you have


MR. MARHOFER: We have a total of a

hundred and ten lots between the two sites. And,

presently, we have fifty-two lots sold between the

two, so approximately forty-eight percent to


MR. CHAIRMAN: There were a hundred

twenty-nine notices sent. We received one

approval, thirty-five were sent back.

That would have been my first

question. Mr. Saven's addressed that.

Board Members, comments or


MEMBER FANNON: Is there other things

that have been put on these signs as we're seeing

them today?

MR. MARHOFER: As you see the -- I

provided you photos of the actual signs.

MEMBER FANNON: Yeah. Is that today

-- up-to-date signs?

MR. MARHOFER: To my knowledge, those


MEMBER FANNON: Okay. I could have


swore I saw a little bit more on those signs

tonight than what's here.

So, there's a motion being passed

based on what you have here?

MR. MARHOFER: Correct.

MEMBER FANNON: Nothing else, just in

case I'm right.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I think there's

something that says odd lots available.

MR. MARHOFER: You could be right. I

can't tell you for sure if it's --

MEMBER FANNON: Well, due to market

conditions and September 11th, I would make a

motion that we approve the variance for one year

based on the signs that we were presented tonight

and no additional signage on the signs, if there is



MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. It's been moved

and seconded to grant the petitioner's request as

requested. Any further discussion on the motion?

(No further discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none,

Madam Secretary, would you call the roll, please.


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Fannon?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Sir, your variance

request has been approved. See the Building

Department. We wish you the best of luck.

MR. MARHOFER: Thank you.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Next case, Case Number

01-097 filed by Chris Costello representing

Autumn Park, is requesting an extension of one year

for existing trailer located on lot 127.

Would you give your name and address

and be sworn in by our secretary, please.


MS. SKOLTON: Yes. My name is

Colette Skolton. I'm with John Richards Homes.

We're the builder in Autumn Park. Chris Costello

was unable to make it this evening so I'm here in

his absence.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Would you raise

your right hand, please.

Do you swear or affirm that the

information that you're about to give in the matter

before you is the truth?

MS. SKOLTON: Yes, I do.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Would you please

present your case.

MS. SKOLTON: We currently have a

construction -- a contemporary construction trailer

on lot one twenty-seven in Autumn Park. We still

have twenty-five more homes to be built in

Autumn Park and would like to request an extension

for one more year for allowing that construction

trailer in that same location.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone in the audience with input into this case?

(No response.)


MR. CHAIRMAN: Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: I have no objection.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I'm assuming that the

-- it's been maintained and there's been no

complaints or anything of that nature?

MR. SAVEN: The location of the

trailer is such that it's away from the homes.

It's in a pretty good location.

MR. CHAIRMAN: There were 13 notices

sent and we received no response.

Board Members?

MEMBER BAUER: Make it one year or

until sold out.

MR. CHAIRMAN: What level are you at

at this point?

MS. SKOLTON: As far as sales?


MS. SKOLTON: We still have 25 homes

in there to build -- to sell and build, so we're

hoping that in the year that we could be out of the

construction trailer for sure.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

Board Members?

MEMBER BRENNAN: Was that a motion,


Jerry, and I'll second that if it was?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. It's been moved

and seconded to grant the petitioner's request for

an extension of one year. Any further discussion

on the motion?

(No further discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Madam Secretary, would

you call the roll, please.

MS. MARCHIONI: Is that one year or

until sold out?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Fannon?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?



MR. CHAIRMAN: Your petition request

has been granted. See the Building Department for

the necessary permits and we wish you the best of

luck. Hope you sell out in six months.

MS. SKOLTON: I hope so, too. Thank


MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. At this time,

the Board will take a ten minute recess and we'll

continue on from that point.

(A short recess was taken.


MR. CHAIRMAN: At this time I would

like to reconvene the meeting and call our next

case, Case Number 01-098, filed by

Danelle Marshall of 1315 East Lake Drive. Is the

petitioner present?

MS. MARSHALL: Yeah. It's Danelle.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Would you please give

your name and address and be sworn in by our


MS. MARSHALL: My name is

Danelle Marshall, and I'm the owner of Little Nel's

Custom Canine, which is in Novi, 22150 Old Novi



MEMBER GRONACHAN: Would you raise

your right hand, please.

Do you swear or affirm that the

information that you're about to give in the matter

before you is the truth?

MS. MARSHALL: Yes. I just want to

say I might be a little nervous. I'm not good at

public speaking.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Just relax.

MS. MARSHALL: Okay. I'd like to

start out by saying thank you for letting me at

least come and try to get this variance.

I've been a business owner in the

city of Novi for three-and-a-half years, and I

recently discovered an opportunity to not only

continue my business relationship in the city but

to become a homeowner, too.

As you know, I'm requesting a

variance for the city to run my business out of a

second home on the property located in Novi. The

front house, which is currently subdivided on

1350 East Lake Drive, would be my primary

residence, along with my husband and daughter. The


second house, which is approximately 35 feet

behind the front house, is where my business would

be located.

I'd like to stress that these homes

are located on a main road and the six to eight

customers I service a day would not greatly

increase traffic. Currently, there's three

separate families renting from the property, and

the traffic level from that is higher than just a

single-family home.

My business hours are 8:00 to 5:00

Tuesday through Saturday, and I'm flexible if, for

any reason, you would like to shorten them.

And most of my customers drop their

pets off in between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m., and

generally pick them up between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m.,

a time when most people are at work normally.

There will be no outward signs of a

business present, and all dogs will be required to

be on a leash while on the property. I'm not going

to let dogs be running freely.

I know many of the neighbors are

concerned about barking. The business -- where my

business is located now, I have about three houses


around me and -- very close to me, and I've never

had one complaint of noise. Granted, it's a

commercial building, but I've never had one

complaint of noise. The noise from the dogs in the

house would be controlled at all times, and I will

purchase sound absorbers if needed, if there's a

need. But, like I said, I don't have problems


I have no intentions of keeping dogs

overnight or letting dogs run freely on the

property. My business is in no way a kennel or

boarding house, nor do I want it to be.

In closing, I feel a home occupation

would create a more stable, loving and comforting

environment in which to raise my daughter. This is

the most important reason for my family's request

that a variance be granted, because this would be

give me the capability to be home with my daughter

while I'm working. She could be there with me.

Where I'm at now, it doesn't give me that freedom.

Hopefully you'll take into

consideration my plans and welcome me and family

into the city of Novi. I feel the care a homeowner

gives in his or her property is noticeably


different than the care given by renters, thus

increasing the value of the home and homes in the

surrounding area.

Again, thank you, and hopefully

you'll consider this opportunity for me.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone in the audience who would like to input into

this case?

Ma'am, would you step forward,


Could we have your name and address

for the record, please.

MR. SATELLA: Yes. I am -- this is

-- I'm Mark and this is Eisley Satella (ph), my

wife, and we live at 1317 East Lake Drive, the

property immediate to the south of -- that's

adjacent to the property that Miss Marshall --

Mrs. Marshall wants to have rezoned.

And our objections aren't to anybody

that wants to move there. Now, my wife and I are

making our objection to the requested variance for

the following reasons: We object because a

business would be conducted in the business -- at

the rear of the property. It's currently a


residence, thus turning the usage of that building

from residential to commercial.

Mrs. Marshall states in a letter,

which there is a copy enclosed that you mailed to

folks around -- that her family will live in the

front house and the business will be conducted from

the house in the rear of the property. We believe

this is a violation Section 201(b), home

occupation. It says the home occupation is

conducted wholly within the main building by the

residence, so for her to conduct a business in the

back thus makes that a commercial building, which

are other issues there all to begin with, turning

residential now into commercial property.

Mrs. Marshall also states in her

letter that a privacy fence would be erected in the

back of the property to obscure a designated potty

area for her approximate 25 to 35 customers, dogs,

per week to use.

You know, the noise, the smell, let

alone the sanitation issues generated by the feces

and urine from such a large amount of animals is


I believe it's also a violation


201(b), home occupation, any home occupation that

creates objectionable noise, fumes, odor, dust,

electrical interference or normal residential

traffic shall be prohibited.

Lastly, in the letter we received

from Mrs. Marshall, it states that three families

that currently reside on the property and the

traffic -- that currently reside on the property,

and the traffic flow from her business would only

increase as compared -- slightly as compared to the

traffic flow from the three families.

MS. SATELLA: That's not true.

MR. SATELLA: Yes. My wife and I,

we're the next door neighbors to these families,

and, in affect, these families generate very little

traffic. They're very quiet and they don't have

pets that run around, again, urinating and

defecating on the property.

So, pretty much, we don't object to

Mrs. Marshall buying this property for her and her

family. It's the commercial aspects about it that

bother us. And, you know, we wish Mrs. Marshall

and her family well, but the business should be in

a commercial setting in a commercial environment,


and we're not saying this to be as a cranky

neighbor. My wife and I both are small business

people. We own Vettestorations in Southfield and,

consequently, being small business owners we know

that businesses that -- businesses, no matter what

you do, there's other things and other -- pretty

much ordinances and things you have to and should

fulfill for a commercial business, no matter how

small the owner might perceive it to be. The fact

is, you still have a great deal of traffic over and

beyond now that's making a path into a residential

area, making egress, so you would have issues of

widening the road now, perhaps make a deceleration


MS. SATELLA: Handicap parking.

MR. SATELLA: Handicap parking and

things like that, and I just don't think it would

be beneficial for Mrs. Marshall, nor would it be

for the neighbor -- for the neighborhood itself.

And I think it would also be damaging to other

properties, the value of other properties in this


Particularly, we looked at this

property and we're leasing this property. I would


not lease this property to another business. I

have business 15 hours a day. I want to come home

to peace and quite. That's why when we saw this --

and, again, it's not impuning Mrs. Marshall at all,

or her business, but being in the automotive repair

business, a lot of our associates do have dogs and

animals and they do bark, and then when you get two

or three that bark at each other and bark at each

other's property and who's who, so -- that's all.

It's nothing personal, but I believe

a commercial business should be put into the proper

commercial venue. Thank you.

MS. SATELLA: Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Is there anyone else?


MR. OLSON: Good evening. I'm

Paul Olson and this is my wife (ph) Mehe Olson. We

live at 1312 East Lake Drive, catty-corner across

the street from the proposal here.

We also are against the zoning

variance here. I couldn't have said much more than

what Mark had said here. I would like to talk

though about the additional traffic, the fact that

it is residential, the fact that we did do some


improvements on the road recently to put in some

bike lanes and pedestrian lanes and so on.

It is a lake community where we have

a lot of across-the-street traffic for pedestrians,

so the less the traffic the better, as far as the

residents go, as far as safety goes, and I think

that's really the main concern.

The other things that Mark had

mentioned, such as noise and smells, and the fact

that it being a business in a residence is just not

something that we would care to have.

Our property values are important


MS. OLSON: And if you approve one,

what if somebody else asks for another one?

How do you stop them?

MR. OLSON: We would like to have

some new residents come in, you know, some

permanent residents, that type of thing instead of

-- a rental property would be fine with us, but the

business just isn't something to have in a

residential area.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Sir?

MR. Hessell: Hi. I'm Rick Hessell,


1314 East Lake Drive. I've lived there for about

fourteen years with my wife.

Approximately five years ago we built

a new house on the same property, and we moved

there initially and we stayed there and rebuilt a

house on the property to raise our family in the

neighborhood. It was a great neighborhood. It

still is a great neighborhood.

We have children now. They are

two-years-old, four-years-old, and six-years-old,

and we object to the proposed variance, the dog

grooming business.

We want to keep it a residential

neighborhood. First and foremost, a dog grooming

business will take animals with unknown

propensities. I understand that she said that they

will be on leashes and things like that, but dogs

do get loose. We are concerned about the

propensities that even the owner that will own the

home and the dog grooming business is not aware of,

concern about the health, safety and welfare not

only of our small children but all the other

children in the area. There are many more small

children, two-, four-, six-years-old,


eight-years-old and so on.

We're also concerned with, when it

comes to the children, again -- there is a bus stop

approximately -- I'm sorry. Let me go back to, we

are the house directly across the street from this

property. We are also concerned with the other

children in the area. This dog grooming business

would be about two houses from a bus stop where

there's also small children being picked up on a

daily basis.

What about parking? We're concerned

about the parking. There's a long driveway that

goes in the back of the house, but there's not much

parking behind the house. We're also concerned

with the future, what other variances they may ask

for, whether it be signs, fences, making it look

like a compound to our residential neighborhood.

We're very concerned with the possibility of the

future boarding. Right now, if there's the dog

grooming business in the house in the rear, there's

also, as she had stated, two renters in the main

house; one on the main floor and one in the lower

level. We're concerned with that lower level

possibly becoming a boarding business.


If approved, it opens the door to

other homes in the area. There's many other homes

in the area -- or property in the area with two

homes on the property, and we're concerned with the

future of more people asking for other businesses

in area.

In closing, we object to this

variance. We're extremely concerned about the

safety of our children, the esthetics of our

residential neighborhood, the excessive noise and

the value of our property.

Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone else in the audience with input into this


Please step forward, Mr. Smith.

MR. SMITH: Good evening,

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Board. Asa Smith,

1294 East Lake Drive.

I think my neighbors have summed it

up pretty well how we feel in the neighborhood. We

are trying to make our neighborhood, as you all

know, as pleasant and as residential-oriented as



We have the request for a business

that we do not believe should be located in a

residential area, especially a business of this

type. This type of an operation is designed and

should be located in a commercial area.

We would like to, as my neighbors

have said, keep this as residential and as peaceful

and as quiet as we possibly can; so, therefore, we

are requesting that -- this evening that you deny

the request for a variance and let's keep this

property residential as it should be.

And thank you for your time.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone else in the audience who wants to input into

this case? Sir, please step forward.

MR. LEVY: Good evening. My name is

Rubin Levy. I'm at -- going to be moving in

shortly to 1509 East Lake Drive, and I'm on the

other side of the fence here so to speak from

everyone else.

I currently take my dogs up and have

had them groomed by Nel up there for probably about

a year-and-a-half.

When I go up and drop my dogs off --


I've known Nel for a long time. I think that she's

been a great person up there. I drop my dogs off,

usually in -- when I take my dogs in, I pull up,

take them out on their leashes, they go in.

There's very few dogs there. Usually I'm the only

car in the parking lot. And I'm in there -- if I

chitchat for maybe five minutes, because usually

it's on my way to work in the morning when I drop

the dog off if I do that, maybe I've seen one or

two other cars pull up at that time, drop their

dogs off and leave within the five minutes when

I've been in and out.

I know that the other residences

around the area were talking on some of the things

-- I will be moving onto East Lake Drive myself, as

I said, and I would definitely not like a house

that I'm building right now -- I was up here before

a number of you oh, probably about a

year-and-a-half or so ago, to get some variances,

which we did obtain and finishing up there. It

would definitely not be an area that I would be

interested in building out and commercializing by

any means whatsoever.

I'm just recently married, going to


be starting a family soon. I know one of the

gentlemen who was up here spoke on concerns about

the dogs. I haven't seen any -- I probably have

the biggest dogs that go up there, and I have a

Dalmatian who sheds a lot unfortunately, so I get

them bathed every two weeks up there, and he's

about twelve and he has trouble jumping in and out

of the back of my car.

Most of the dogs that I've seen

whenever I've been up there are smaller size little

poodle-types and things along those lines, so from

the standpoint of someone taking up the dogs and

concerns about dogs getting out, I don't think that

people would be taking dogs along those lines up

and getting them groomed that are along the lines

of angry dogs or violent dogs or anything of that


The potty area that's out there, I

heard that as a concern. I highly doubt that that

would be something -- I know that's cleaned every

time I take my dogs up there, and what Nel has now

is a pea gravel area where the dogs will go. You

take your dog over if it has to go, usually goes to

the bathroom. I've never seen an excess, and I'm


up there at least every two weeks with my dogs.

I've never seen an excess of any feces or anything,

nor have I noticed any smell unless it's coming

from my dogs who just went to the bathroom up


Traffic, as I said, if that's a

concern by other people, it's been extremely,

extremely minimal. I've been going up there for a

year-and-a-half. I'm in, drop my dogs of, I'm in

and I'm out of there, and it's during business

hours. I'm a business owner also in the city of

Novi myself, so I'm very aware and keen of having a

business and running it and doing that to raise a

family and get things going along those lines.

Pets running around, once again, I

know that they, at one time -- if I'm up there

longer, might take my logs out on a leash at that

time, stand out there and they might go to the

bathroom and that would be it. I always pick the

dogs up during the day at the same time. Usually

when I pick up I'm in five minutes and out of


Let's see. I heard a couple people

talking about that being a concern during business


and you'd want to come home and you wouldn't want

that because you're working all day. I do the same

thing myself. I work very hard all day like most

of us all do, but like Nel said, her hours are

during normal business hours.

So concerns along those lines, I

always refer to the bus stop and things along those

lines with children being there, I'm sure that if

you were to allow a variance along those lines for

Nel that it would be something that she would be

more than willing to talk with the neighbors and

finding when the bus hours were and things along

those lines and broadening her hours around those

types of situations to take away that -- any

concern along those lines.

The additional traffic, I'm sure

there will be a little bit more additional traffic

there. Like I said -- or like Nel said, excuse me

she's cutting down the number of people that she

has currently as customers. And I know that the

lady who grooms my dogs right now and had her own

group of customers is leaving, so I'm sure that

that's going to be -- cut down quite I bit.

In even talking to Nel about this for


the little while that I was talking to her, she

explained that to me, along those lines, so a lot

of extra traffic I wouldn't really see as a major


I can't tell the future, but from

what I've seen and up there in the year-and-a-half,

I haven't noticed that myself.

And parking, things along those

lines, as somebody stated, I park there for five

minutes, I'm in and I'm out, so I know that that

wouldn't be a concern along those lines.

And the future of a boarding

business, the last time when I was talking to Nel

about this she said she was wanting to not have

this business going for the rest of her life and

not extremely long-term. My conversations with her

up at the shop -- and I had just gotten a call from

Nel today and asked me about coming up here and

talking, so I just thought I'd mention those


I'm moving in, like I said, on

East Lake Drive, too. I bought my house, and I'm

with everyone else in here with the idea, you know,

that area is building up and making the houses


nicer and making the residences nicer and

increasing values for all of us there.

And, like I said, I'm going to be

looking at starting a family here very shortly. I

have a nephew who's five-years-old and another

nephew who is four-months-old now, and I would

never be looking to be in a situation, at all in

any shape or form, that could put those children in

any sort of danger along those lines.

I've had my dogs, like I said, and

they hug and tug and the whole nine yards on them,

and that's the type of animals I've seen up at

Nel's place also.

So, that was my two cents. I was a

little outnumbered here tonight I see, but

hopefully you'll take that into consideration and-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) Thank


MR. LEVY: -I appreciate your time.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Anyone else in the


MS. WILLIAMSON: Hi. My name is

Rebecca Williamson. I'm also a client of

Little Nel's. And just a couple of quick



It's always good to hear the concerns

of the citizens, but my understanding is that she's

looking for a variance for usage of the back house

for the home occupation. Had she chose to use the

home -- do the home occupation under the guidelines

of the ordinance as I read it, I believe she could

do it in the current house if she wished to do it

in the basement. I don't -- I don't believe that

that is her intent. Of course, she wanted to

separate that from the house.

I also have been taking my dogs for

approximately two years up to Little Nel's. My

dogs are my kids now because my child is in

college, and I handle them with great care, as most

people do. If somebody's bringing their dogs to a

groomer, they're usually very well cared for, many

times they're very expensive, there's always on a


My habit is to walk my dogs around

the building first because they're Bichons, they're

really hyper and they get very excited.

And never once have I ever seen any

dog feces or any waste outside, not once. I have


been to several groomers before. She's very

conscientious. She does a great job. The building

is always clean.

It's -- certainly, there are children

in every neighborhood, and I don't think we're on

any campaign here to ban dogs in neighborhoods,

because everyone's allowed to have a dog. Anyone's

dog could get loose and hurt a child. I would

think it would be more likely that a homeowner's

dog might get stray or might get away from their

own yard versus an animal that might be coming with

their owners that are on leash. And we have leash

laws to protect the animals in this regard.

There's plenty of parking. I've been

on the property. There's approximately six parking


The property is already a

nonconforming use. Again, there are three tenants

in two existing buildings. The first building

would be turned into a single family residential

home, and the second building in the back would be

used for what -- the dog grooming business under

the home occupation guidelines as they already



It is not a commercial use. Again,

it would be a business under the home occupation


And if there would be a privacy fence

that would be put up, as a homeowner and for

property values it would improve the property.

There is one property that is -- abuts this

existing home that, you know, I guess if I had a

home there, or even a business, I probably would

want some privacy screening because it's not very

well maintained, and in order to create more of a

peaceful environment, that might be another reason

you put up a privacy fence, not just to barricade

or enclose in the property.

I would just like to say that I would

support Little Nel's business being in the area,

would like to continue using her. She would like

to have her business close to her home where she

can be with her small child versus having to travel

back and forth. Her child, of course, is just as

important to her as the others in the


I think that you will find that she's

going to improve the property. She's talked about


several things that they are going to do, things

that need to be done right now that are not going

to be done. And that property is not going to be

improved as it sits there as long as the current

owner owns it.

And you will not have -- you're not

going to have the traffic that you think you're

going to have. Whenever I've been up to the

grooming building, I've never had to wait, as this

gentleman mentioned. Very seldom is there more

than one car there, so people come and go as in a

situation like a day care. It's going to be very

similar to that type of traffic or activity that

you might have.

So I appreciate your time and hope

that you consider this variance so that she, you

know, doesn't perhaps have to readdress and use --

put the business in the main house. Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone else in the audience with input into this


(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none,

Building Department?


MR. SAVEN: Basically what you're

going to be looking at is the fact that this is --

is this a home occupation pursuant to the ordinance

in itself.

Number one, is it -- there is an

addition of a home to the rear of the building,

the existing structure there; and, number two, is

the fact that is there any objectionable noises,

odors, trafficking, and that's why she's here


MR. CHAIRMAN: There were thirty-nine

notices sent out, and we received ten written

objections along with the other input we received

here this evening.

Board Members, comments or


Miss Gray?

MEMBER GRAY: Mrs. Marshall has been

a viable part of the community on Old Novi Road

just south of Thirteen Mile, and I am aware of her

traffic volume that she generates. Living in the

area, Mr. Reinke, I'm sure you are, too.

I'm also fully aware that there are

many -- not many, but quite a few commercial


buildings in that immediate area that are going up

for sale right now.

I know from living in the area and

being active in the area for many, many years how

hard we have fought to get the traffic down.

The only existing other commercial

occupancy within the Twelve -- Thirteen Mile to

Fourteen Mile stretch was at 1320 East Lake Drive,

which used to be Lillian's Party Store. And some,

perhaps, 15 years ago a gentleman purchased it and

converted it to residential. The old party store

frontage is now a two-car garage.

There is existing commercial zoning

up on the corner of Fourteen Mile and East Lake,

which at some point will probably be built.

There's existing commercial at Fourteen and Decker,

there's proposed commercial at Thirteen and


In reviewing the terms under the

code, the home occupation is conducted wholly

within the main building by the residents. The

second building probably at one time was a garage

that was converted, as many of these -- the old

cottage area was converted into multiple -- years


and years ago.

As Ms. Williamson said, the area --

this property is already nonconforming. I would

have a major problem in increasing the

nonconformity when what our intent should be is to

get that to single family residential.

As far as home occupation shall not

be carried on to an extent so as to require parking

in excess of that required for the residential

structure in which it was located, if it's a

triplex now, you would have potentially six

vehicles, figure maybe twenty cars a day. She's

talking thirty-five to forty-five clients a week.

I thought I heard I her say sixty-eight a day-

MS. MARSHALL: (Interposing) Six to


MEMBER GRAY: Six to eight?

MS. MARSHALL: Yes, sorry.

MEMBER GRAY: I'm also looking at 30

-- in her letter she says 35 to 45 dogs a week. If

they're dropped off in the morning and they're

picked up in the afternoon, that's a minimum of 70

to 90 trips additional a week for that property.

No matter how much screening you put


in, you cannot screen adequately for pets. My next

door neighbors have all sorts of screens up, they

have privacy fences, and when I go out at night,

when I turn on my back light, I hear three dogs

barking. Now, I don't mind the dogs barking

because they bark when they hear something. That's

what I appreciate them doing.

Finally, any home occupation that

creates objectionable noise, fumes, odor, dust

electrical interference or more than normal

residential traffic shall be prohibited. A dog

grooming business, a dog sitting business, any home

business that is not incidental, and by incidental

I consider that to be an office perhaps -- says

right in here shall be prohibited. Piano lessons,

we don't prohibit that. That's incidental. Art

classes, we don't necessarily prohibit. That's


This is a different ball, and I would

hesitate to open the door, because as other

neighbors have said, there are so many multiples in

that area that used to be garages that were

converted to apartments years ago, that if we open

the door for one we will be seeing more people in


here, and I don't think that's what the City wants

in that immediate area.

This is a residential collector

street. It is not a main road. The main roads are

Thirteen Mile, Old Novi and Decker. This is a

residential collector street.

And with that, I will thank the Board

for your time.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Other

Board Members, discussion or comment?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: I'm going to act on

Miss Gray's comments, that I live up in the area

also. I've driven by your business, and everything

is maintained very well, but I can't support

putting this type of business in a residential

neighborhood. As much as I understand it -- and I

would like to see the area and the house that

you're looking at fixed up and everything, but I

can't pay that price for -- to be fixed up that

way, for that kind of use.

Board Members, comments or


(No further discussion.)


MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, the

Chair would entertain a motion in the case.

MR. SCHULTZ: Mr. Chair, just a quick

comment before the motion, just to point out that

this is use variance and we're looking at the

hardships -- the unnecessary hardship standard

rather than the more deferential practical

difficulty standards. You have the unnecessary

hardship standard for a use variance, can the

property be used for any use already permitted

under the ordinance.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Anyone

venture a motion on this case?

MEMBER FANNON: Mr. Chairman, in

Case Number 01-098, I would make a motion that the

variance be denied due to the fact that there is

-- there hasn't been shown any unnecessary hardship

that the property can't be used as zoned.

MEMBER BAUER: Second the motion.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. It's been moved

and seconded to deny the variance as requested.

Any further discussion on the motion?

(No further discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Madam Secretary, would


you call the roll, please.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Fannon?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Mr. Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Your petition has been


MS. MARSHALL: Okay. Thank you.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Next case, Case Number

01-099, filed by Lisa Parmentier of

Patisserie Parmentier.

Could we have your name and address

and be sworn in by our secretary, please.

MR. PARMENTIER: Hello. My name is


John Parmentier, Patisserie Parmentier.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Raise your right

hand, please.

Do you swear or affirm that the

information that you're about to give in the matter

before you is the truth?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Please present your


MR. PARMENTIER: Okay. We're looking

for a mixed use variance. We've been in Novi doing

business for the last five years. We're trying to

get into this building on Grand River. Right now

it's zoned for complete retail. We're looking to

do retail with some wholesale, which is what we do


We're in a very small business

looking to expand. We can't do so in the place

that we're at. So we're in a large industrial

building where we take over a small piece of that.

We're looking to increase our retail

part of our trade where we do all custom retail.

It's not a storefront where you would come into and

just buy doughnuts or bread or something like


that. We do custom work where we do sculpted cakes

and wedding cakes and sweet tables and things like


We're looking to have a larger area

where our customers come to meet with us, and we

got a display area with various cakes and things

set up and plan parties.

We do a small amount of wholesale.

We do like Whole Foods Market Stores. But, again,

it's custom work where we do custom cakes and

things for orders that are done at their stores and

sent out.

We have very little traffic that

comes in and out. We get a couple deliveries a

week, not really large trucks. We get one semi

that comes in a week and one other small truck from

deliveries. And then our deliveries are made in a

small -- just a regular van, which is what will

continue to be.

We're not looking for a lot of

increase in traffic because it is just meetings

where people come into, and then most of the cakes

and things we deliver to different hotels and clubs

and Temples and things within the area.


That's basically it. That's what

we're looking for.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone in the audience with input into this case?

Could we have your name and address

for the record?

MR. BRYANT: Yes. My name is

Bill Bryant, and I own the property, and I think

that -- the building sits way in the back of the

property. It was built there a long time ago, and

I think his business would be very good seeing as

there wouldn't be a lot of traffic on the road nor

coming in and out. I think it would be a good --

good for me, good for him, and good for the


MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

MR. BRYANT: Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Would you please step


MS. McGUIRE: Lauren McGuire,

landscape architect from the Planning Department.

I do have two aerials here that I think might be

helpful to you in making your decision.

This is the property right here.


There are -- this is RN-1 behind it, and it's NCC

zoning on either side of it.

This is the same piece of property

just in a larger scale, if that helps you to

visualize it. I believe this is the building. It

is located behind the other building, so it's

difficult to see from the roadway.

MR. PARMENTIER: I do have photos

showing the building in the front and the building

in the back, if I can.

This is Grand River right there, and

then this is -- the building in the back is the

building we propose to use, and it sits behind this

other building. It's the -- a scuba place. The

building right next door to it is a -- it's a new

building going in, the Brateman (ph) Medical Center

right next to it, so we sit a good --

MR. BRYANT: Behind Grand River,

you're about 270 feet from there.

MR. PARMENTIER: From the road.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone else in the audience with input into this


(No response.)


MR. CHAIRMAN: There were twelve

notices sent and we received one approval and two

were sent back, one objection. The objection says

we don't need more development in the city --

commercial development.

Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: Once again, this is a use

variance. Basically what Tom had indicated before

in the previous case would apply in the particular


What you'll really be looking at is

the wholesale -- amount of wholesale work that's

being performed on this particular job. The

intensity of that particular use is probably

something I would be looking at.

As indicated, this is NCC district

where retail is required.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. If I'm

interpreting this right, really, with the wholesale

business, that would actually generate less traffic

than complete retail, am I correct in that?

MR. PARMENTIER: Yes, it does. It's

much less because we're not looking to have a lot

of traffic. We set up meetings to do things. We


do custom work where it's larger parties, so we

have a few customers a week.

Our wholesale -- we've got one main

store that we deal with, and it's our small van

that goes out each day, once a day, and that's the

extent of what the traffic is.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

Board Members?

Miss Gray?

MEMBER GRAY: Mr. Parmentier,

one of the questions I had that I didn't see

addressed in here, and if I overlooked it I

apologize. What is the percentage of retail versus

wholesale that you do? Perhaps that might help us

make our decision.

MR. PARMENTIER: We're -- at this

point we're probably about -- this is approximate.

We're about, probably, 40 percent retail and 60

percent as far as our sales goes, give or take.

What we're looking to do is increase

-- I don't want to increase wholesale. Our biggest

thing is the custom work. That's what's we do.

Wholesale, unfortunately -- I mean, it's pays, you

know, it pays a portion of the bills, and that's


what it is. I want to increase the customers. I

got a great customer right now. It pays our bills

on time. We don't need anymore hassles with that.

So we're looking to -- that's why we want to move,

because where we are we can't have a good -- we

don't have a large area where we can meet with

customers or have nice displays set up. It's

just -- we're just within one kitchen. We'll have

a small kitchen area and a nice meeting area and

display area.

MEMBER GRAY: Thank you. I've been

in this building before. I was in it when the limo

company was in it, and I really think that we need

to be a little more flexible with this economy. I

know that's not a basis for a hardship or for a use

variance, but I really don't have a problem with --

with this use going in there. I think it is an

ideal location. It's certainly going to be less

noise than some of the past occupants have been,

and that's a concern with the residential to the

rear and to the side, but I certainly can

understand why they would want to be here, and I

think it makes sense.

Thank you.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, the thing is,

too, is looking at the use of what they're working

at and what they're working towards. They're

really working towards the intent of the ordinance,

of going towards retail rather than wholesale, and

the wholesale is -- like he said, it's paying the

bills right now until the other part is built, so I

think really that they're almost beating the basic

intent of the ordinance as they're operating.

Mr. Schultz?

MR. SCHULTZ: Kind of a lead in into

my going out on a limb here a little bit. I think

it's important for the Commissioner -- for the

Board to recognize that the use variance is for --

every petitioner comes before you, it's supposed to

be a pretty hard thing to get in the sense that

it's a high standard.

In this case, I think you have an

alternative way of looking at it that both

Member Gray and the Chair have pointed out. You're

throwing out the word wholesale, and I guess to me

that's Awrey's or Wonder Bread or something like

that. I'm not sure what this petitioner is

describing for you tonight really wouldn't fall


under the intent of retail as opposed to


I think it would be within the

Board's purview, if it wants to consider this --

I'm not suggesting that they do it -- to -- rather

than granting a use variance, determine that the

use that they have put in the written

documentation, the use that Mr. Parmentier has

discussed today is permitted, you know, based on

those facts that have been presented as akin to a

retail use and not the kind of wholesale use that

the ordinance is trying to preclude.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

Board Members, further -- Mr. Saven?

MR. SAVEN: If the Board's so

inclined to look at this favorably, I would suggest

that we keep this to this petitioner.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Further

comments or discussion?

MEMBER BRENNAN: One last parting

word. It ought to smell a lot better, that's for


This a tough location. This is

buried back there, and if these guys can make it


work, I'm -- I'll support this.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members,

comments or discussion?

MEMBER SANGHVI: Only comment is I'm

distressed to find that he hasn't brought any

samples with him.


MR. CHAIRMAN: No further discussion,

Chair would entertain a motion.

MEMBER SANGHVI: Mr. Chairman, I move

in Case 01-099 the petitioner's request be granted

due to the hardship shown because of the location

of the business.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: Discussion. And we

want to limit it to this party only, the variance

to this party only.

MEMBER SANGHVI: And the variance

would be just to the current applicant.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Member Gronachan?


needed to change that this is not going to be a use



MR. SCHULTZ: It's up to the Board.

I guess -- I question whether it meets the use

variance standard, but I certainly would not have a

problem with the Board saying, as a matter of

interpretation, this is a permitted use based on

the use that was described and limited only to that


You know, obviously, it's the Board's


MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, I think that's

really been covered and addressed in the motion

(inaudible), whether it's presented as the use.

Further discussion on the motion?

(No further discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none,

Madam Secretary, will you call the roll, please.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Fannon?



MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Your variance request

has been approved. See the Building Department for

any necessary paperwork. We wish you the best of


MR. PARMENTIER: Okay. Thank you

very much. And can I ask for a five-day waiver so

that we can start getting the permits.


MEMBER BAUER: Can you handle that?

MR. SAVEN: We'll try.



MR. CHAIRMAN: Next case, Case Number

01-100 filed by Michael Zambricki representing

Scott Shuptrine.

MR. ZAMBRICKI: Thank you,

Mr. Chairman. I'm Michael Zambricki here on behalf

of Scott Shuptrine. Also with me is

Mr. Brian Noble, the store manager, and


Mr. Ed Phillips of Phillips Signs.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Sir, would you give

your name and address and be sworn in by the


MR. ZAMBRICKI: Certainly. My name

is Michael Zambricki. My office is located at


MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) Let me

stop and repremis it. Are you an attorney?


MR. CHAIRMAN: You don't need to do

that. Sorry about that. Please proceed.

MR. ZAMBRICKI: Okay. We're here

today for the sign variances that's outlined on the

agenda. I wish to point out that the agenda does

mention that there are two variances. I spoke a

little earlier with Sarah to try to clarify that

since there was really only one sign variance that

we were requesting in the application. She

deferred to Mr. Amulch (ph) who requested that two

sign variances go on the agenda simply to note to

the Commission that there are currently two signs

existing on the property.

And as indicated in my letter, and I


hope you all received a copy of my letter, it's a

two-pager that was sent with the application. In

addition to some of the sign -- excuse me, the

renderings that were provided that do show what it

is that we're intending to achieve here this


What I would like to do is to show

the rendering on the overhead, if I might that

indicates the sign as shown to scale. This is a

125 square foot sign as measured under our

ordinance. It's approximately 61 inches by 295

inches in size.

The hardship that has been displayed

right here is that we've got a significant size

building. The location of the building is

currently on the inside of a curve as you enter

into the West Oaks Shopping Center. And, of

course, it's a very busy shopping center. And I

hope you are familiar with the location of

Scott Shuptrine. We're trying to make it easier

for more people to find the location of

Scott Shuptrine.

Currently, it has the two signs at

the extreme right and left edges of the building as


you face it from West Oaks Drive.

And on a typical day, the store

manager has advised me that he'll typically get

between ten and fifteen calls per day asking where

our store is located. He will typically provide

information to them saying that it's located at

this shopping center somewhere in between the

Art Van Store and the Value City Furniture stores,

and it's pretty well up to the consumer then to try

to locate it within that area.

And from time to time we do have a

number of customers who are unable to find the sign

-- or the store simply because they drive by it.

What we're trying to achieve here is

to relocate one of the signs to show the sign above

the entrance as is displayed here. Currently in

that area there is no signage at all. As I

mentioned before, the two signs are at the extreme

edges of the building.

We feel that by locating the sign to

the central entrance, it's typically where the eyes

are drawn from the consumer who's looking for the

location of the building that they're driving to.

There are a number of neighboring


stores in the vicinity, all that have significantly

larger signs than our current signage, and even

larger than the signage that we're requesting


For example, some of our competition,

Value City, has a 236 square foot sign; Bed, Bath,

and Beyond, Jo-Ann's and Kohl's all have larger

signs, and I've indicated the size of those signs

in my accompanying letter.

Some of the other furniture stores in

the area, some of the other competitors, all have

larger signs than Scott Shuptrine does, including

Gorman's right on Novi Road, which has two signs, a

monument sign in addition to the building sign;

Ethan Allen, Newton's, Art Van Furniture, Hagopian.

So there are a number of precedents that we feel

have been logically made, that the Board has made

the appropriate decisions in those determinations,

and we take no exception to that because we feel

that, given the commercial nature of those

properties, that it's appropriate for -- for the

City to make it easier for customers to find their


The orientation of this building and


of the signage that we're requesting would be

simply to the middle of the shopping center, would

not create any additional confusion, any traffic

confusion simply because it's directed toward the

interior, not on any major thoroughfares such as

Novi Road.

We feel that the scale of the 125

foot sign is appropriately and tastefully done.

It's discreet. The lettering will be black

lettering against a white background.

We feel that we've shown good faith

in trying to work together with the community.

There is one other point I'd like to

mention, is that because of the way that the

ordinance measures the signs, we take a look at, of

course, the highest points and widest points and

essentially box it in and calculate that as being

125 square feet.

But you notice that there's a lot of

air. It's because of the stylized Ss and the

height of those Ss in the sign that we've had

since, what is it, 1927, that -- the size of the

sign really doesn't look at all as large as the 125

square foot that it's measured to be.


So we believe that the spirit and

intent of the ordinance would be achieved by

granting this proposal.

If I might also turn to another

rendering I got with the 40 foot sign that would be

allowed by ordinance, I think that it looks a

little bit small according to scale, and it doesn't

stand out. This one does stand out much better,

the other one that was shown before, and I think it

does so in a tasteful manner.

And those are the reasons that we're

requesting this variance.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone else in the audience with input into this


(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: There were 16 notices

sent and we had no response.

Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: I'll indicate that --

that there are going to be two signs on this

building. One will be taken down, correct?


MR. SAVEN: And this other one you're


proposing to install. The location of this

building is very peculiar. (Inaudible.) If

everything was done according to the interior of

the complex rather than facing out towards --

facing out towards Novi Road where there's

definitely visibility at that time.

And, as always, yeah, we do calculate


MR. CHAIRMAN: Miss Gray?

MEMBER GRAY: Well, I've looked at

this building for a long time, and I -- one of the

three things I really like about this building is

the fact that the facade has always been so

elegant, and I really hate to see you put a sign on


I don't have a problem with the two

signs that are there, and what I have been

wondering since this case came before -- came in

the packet is, why aren't you contemplating putting

directional signs on the road? You had -- could do

it over on the north side, you could do it on the

south side and on the west side of the building.

We have directional signs on roads throughout other

shopping areas in the city. In fact, we, as a


City, are even putting them up on Twelve Mile Road

to direct people to go to the various shopping


And rather than clutter up the front

of your building, which is very beautiful

architecturally, I'm wondering why -- and you may

have considered them, but why aren't you coming

forward with a proposal for directional signs down

at street level where people's eyes are?

Thank you.

MR. ZAMBRICKI: Well, it's our belief

-- thank you very much, if I may answer. In

response, we think that, you know, a single elegant

sign like this -- and I think that it is in the eye

of the beholder, but we believe that it really does

look very tastefully done. Most of the people that

we've shown this to -- as a matter of fact, all the

people that we have shown the suggested rendering

to have thought that it was very well achieved.

We think that by putting multiple

signs would really clutter up the landscape, and

we're trying to leave that as clean and tasteful as

possible. We'd rather have the focus -- a singular

focus, that being toward the entrance of this main



MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: Sir, I've been in

your store many times, and I have always been

struck why there wasn't a sign over the entrance.

I would suggest that you take your

existing sign and move it to that location, and it

might solve many of your problems.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Other Board Members,

comments or discussion?

Mr. Fannon?

MEMBER FANNON: I was trying to

figure out, couldn't you just take one of the signs

that's there now and put it over the front door?

MR. PHILLIPS: Excuse me a minute.

My name is Ed Phillips, Phillips Sign and Lighting,

40920 Executive Drive, Harrison Township.

The sign construction that presently

exists at that site is halo lit channel letters.

That does not lend itself at all to this


Number one, they're too small.

They're going to be much like the drawing you saw a


moment ago, the 40 square foot drawing; number two,

they are a halo. They're a back lighting

situation. On a curvature in a very varied

background such as all the code moldings and all

the molding, the structure -- the elements that

make this thing so pretty. The lighting would not

work. There would be highlights, low lights, very

inadequate, totally the wrong halo light on the

walls of this building.

And just as you can see, it would not

work. It would be highs and lows in the lighting,

and that would not be even.

MEMBER BRENNAN: I'm not a sign guy,

but that 40 square foot sign showed on the

rendering is not what's on the wall. What's on the

wall right now is 67-

MR. PHILLIPS: (Interposing)


MEMBER BRENNAN: -which is another 50

percent larger than 40 square foot-

MR. PHILLIPS: (Interposing) Right.

It's a little thinner --

MEMBER BRENNAN: So don't tell me

that this sign looks like this because it doesn't.


MR. PHILLIPS: It's a pen stroke on

the wall right now.

MEMBER BRENNAN: It's significantly


MR. PHILLIPS: Right. The lighting

aspect of it would absolutely not lend itself.

MEMBER BRENNAN: There's been signage

on that building since 1990. I haven't seen a

going-out-of-business sale. I think the signs are

in the wrong location. I'm not stating that I

don't like them, but I'm not compelled with what's

been presented thus far that there's any reason to

grant a larger sign.

MR. ZAMBRICKI: What we're requesting

is that the reason for the larger sign would just

be for practical difficulty that people do have in

finding the building. We feel that the variances

that have been granted to the other businesses in

the community have been done for good reason, and

we'd rather come up to standard by having something

that's smaller than those signs but be granted

equal footing with those other businesses that we

have to compete with.

MEMBER FANNON: Both signs that you


have up there now equal how many square feet?

MR. ZAMBRICKI: One is 67 plus the

other's 57, so it would be 127.


MR. ZAMBRICKI: Excuse me.

MEMBER FANNON: Is it adding the 67.5

and 34.1 which was back in 1990?

It's about a hundred square feet of


MR. ZAMBRICKI: That's correct.

MEMBER FANNON: So why wouldn't you

ask to take both signs down and put one over the


MR. ZAMBRICKI: What we would like to

do is have one sign on the front of the building

and the other sign on the rear aspect of the

building so that the customers who are driving in

from the other access road off of Novi Road would

be able to see it from that direction as they're

coming in.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members, further

comments or discussion?

MEMBER BAUER: I personally can't see

any problem with what he's asking for.


MR. SANGHVI: No, I don't either.

MEMBER BAUER: None whatsoever. It's

for identification.


MEMBER BAUER: (Interposing) It's a

very elegant store, and I think he deserves it.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I think it's an

elegant store, and I think for the approach that

they're using, signage, location and direction is

better than what's there. The only problem I have

is I don't think it really warrants a

hundred twenty-five square foot sign up on top of

the building. That's where I have a problem.

Other than that, I don't have a problem with it at


MR. ZAMBRICKI: If I may counter,

Mr. Chairman. With all due respect, the other

buildings can be seen from quite a distance;

Value City, Bed, Bath, Beyond, Jo-Ann's, Kohl's,

all those other buildings can be seen from

Novi Road. You can't see anything from Novi Road.

MEMBER SANGHVI: I know. But that's

why they need a larger sign, that far back.

You are not visible from Novi Road at all, so the


size of the sign is not going to make you visible

from Novi Road, whatever sign you put on there.

You are located in a different place. Those signs

are bigger because they can be visible from the

distance from Novi Road, so they are not

comparable. You are comparing apples and oranges.


MR. SAVEN: Yes, sir.

MEMBER BRENNAN: They're only

allowed, by the ordinance, one sign?

MR. SAVEN: That's correct

MEMBER BRENNAN: So in 1990 we solved

this problem of identification and we gave you two

signs and gave you larger signs at that time.

I will reiterate, I think one sign is

probably misplaced. It should be over the

entranceway. Every other sign is over the


MR. ZAMBRICKI: If I may, once again,

we're trying to undo the mistake that we believe

that was made in that earlier time. We're

relocating and having a better size sign. You look

at some of the other companies that I just

mentioned, a number of them have multiple signs.


Great Indoors has, I don't know, ten or eleven


I know there are different

circumstances for each of these. We don't feel

that this is an unreasonable request.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members, further

comments or discussion?

MEMBER FANNON: Is there anything

less than a hundred twenty-five square feet that

works on the top of the building?

MR. ZAMBRICKI: Once again, what

we're trying to do is do something to scale.

I think if you wanted to reduce the

size of this sign, something close -- as close to

125 as could be achieved would be what we would be

seeking to do, so whether that's 120 or 115 or 125.

That's really what we're seeking to do. We think

that 125 is the right number because it looks so

appropriate when you look at the scale of the


Of course, this is just a small part

of the facade of the building. The entire building

is much larger than this. This is just the

truncated portion of that building.


MR. CHAIRMAN: I think we've

discussed the variances that -- if we need to

address something, and of course-

MEMBER SANGHVI: (Interposing) May I

make a motion, sir?


MEMBER SANGHVI: I would like to make

a motion that we grant the request from the

applicant due to the hardship related to the

location of the store and being not adequately


MEMBER BAUER: Second the motion.

MR. CHAIRMAN: It's been moved and

seconded to grant the petitioner's variance request

as presented.

Any further discussion on the motion?


do. I would like to clarify that -- I would like

to suggest that both the signs that are currently

on the building, seeing how they serve no purpose

as stated by the petitioner, be removed and that

this sign be served as its -- be added as the

replacement sign for those two signs.

MR. CHAIRMAN: We have an existing


motion on the floor. If that's-

MEMBER GRONACHAN: (Interposing) I'm

sorry. That was for discussion.

MR. CHAIRMAN: And is there any

discussion in reference to the motion that's on the


(No further discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none,

Madam Secretary, would you call the roll, please.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Fannon?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Sir, your variance

request has been approved. See the Building

Department for necessary permits and we wish you


the best of luck.

MR. ZAMBRICKI: Thank you very much.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Next case, Case

01-101, filed by Lee Mault representing Haggerty

Pumping Station.

MR. SAVEN: Mr. Chairman, If I may at

this time, I would like to introduce Nancy McClain.

She is on our staff in the Plan Review Center.

She's also involved with this particular project

and prepared to answer any of your questions.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.

Sir, would you give your name and address?

And are you an attorney?

MR. MAULT: I will give my name and

address. No, I'm not an attorney. My name is

Lee Mault. I -- my personal residence is at

7594 Dell Road in Saline, Michigan. I'm

professional engineer representing the

Clearwater Team, a joint venture that is doing the

design build project for the Detroit water and


MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) I have


to interrupt you-

MR. MAULT: Yes, sir.

MR. CHAIRMAN: -and have you be sworn

in before you continue on at this point.

MR. MAULT: Yes, sir, absolutely.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Would you raise

your right hand, please.

Do you swear or affirm that the

information that you're about to give in the matter

before you is the truth?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Please proceed.

MR. MAULT: As I was saying, the -- I

represent the -- I work for Tetra Tech, MPS. We're

the design arm of a design build team, Clearwater

Team, that is currently working on the Haggerty

pumping station project. It's a booster (ph)

pumping station for the Detroit water and sewerage

department and includes a ten million gallon water

reservoir. Both items are infrastructure

improvements that were negotiated prior to us

entering the agreement with DWSD -- between the

City of Novi and Detroit in order to provide

increased pressures for water in the city of Novi


and points west and north.

The -- at the Planning Commission

meeting on the 19th of December we received

preliminary site plan approval, except that we had

a need for, as it turns out, two variances. The

variances that are in front of you, the parking

variance, was decided by the Planning Commission

that the industrial use was not -- did not really

apply, and it was within their purview to grant

that two parking spaces were appropriate, so that

item actually is not needed to be considered by the

Zoning Board today.

The second item is the requirement

for a 30 inch berm abutting the right-of-way along

the road. I've brought a -- I believe this is the

same drawing that each of you should have had in

your packet, and what you see is, up at

Fourteen Mile Road the portion of the project that

we have along Fourteen Mile compared to the site

itself, the south boundary here and these west

boundaries and these two north boundaries, this

portion, which has a wetland on the east side, is

very narrow, and the relief in this area, the

relief of this whole site, is rather severe.


The topography goes all over the place.

In this area, the -- towards the

wetland, towards the drain here, the Sealy (ph)

Drain, this drops off very quickly, and we did not

consider practical -- and the Planning staff agreed

with us, that the 30 inch berm really was not a

practical consideration on this property.

Now, what we have agreed to do as a

team is provide landscape plantings along there to

provide the same intent, but we're asking to

eliminate the 30 inch berm because there's really

no practical way to do that, the sidewalk and all

the other things that need to be done in that

area. So that's the -- that's the request for

deletion of the berm.

I guess I should just reiterate that

that's not a request for deletion of screening, we

understand that, and that's not the intent.

The last variance that we're

requesting is actually for minimum building

separation, which is actually a portion of the

zoning ordinance that refers to multiple dwellings,

and by extension and some very -- some references

within the ordinance itself, it bounces back and


forth to get you to the multiple dwelling

requirement. To separate these buildings based on

formula that -- that, when applied -- and I'll take

their word for this because I've had trouble

applying it myself -- requires a 66.92 foot

separation between the two structures.

Now, one of these structures is the

pumping station and the other is a water reservoir,

so I just want to make clear that I've had some

people tell me make sure they understand that,

really, only one of these is a building, the other

is a tank.

The petition as it reads here is in

line with what was submitted to the Planning

Commission in November, which was a 44.69 foot

distance between the buildings.

Between the time of that submission

and now, we realized we made an error in our -- in

the way we set up the tank. We did not have an

adequate cover for the footing and foundation for

frost heave, and we were trying to reconcile the

conflicting requirements of MDEQ not wanting an

entirely buried tank with this other requirement

which got overlooked.


In addressing that issue, I should

state that the 44.69 feet was the maximum we were

able to obtain with the direction that the pumping

station be as far west as possible to meet the

setback requirements, and the reservoir be as far

east as possible to not encroach on the wetland.

We have to maintain the wetland buffer area and we

have to protect the Sealy Drain in that area, and

those were things we were very cognizant of.

But in order to -- we have two

different contractors doing the two structures, so

practically we wanted to separate them as far as we

could. When we did that, the -- in trying to do

that, the 44.69 feet was the maximum we could

obtain and still -- we have the retaining wall that

is part of this landscape plan as you can see, so

we weren't trying to really save money. We were

trying to do what we could to make this work. It's

a very difficult site for this infrastructure


However, the application I submitted

actually requested the granting of a 30 foot

distance between them which would increase the

variance requirement, and I wanted to make sure I


noted that for the Board here. The planning folks

and I were kind of in a quandary because what we'd

given them to look at was based on the -- before we

realized we made this error.

The drawing you've seen here and that

was in your packet show the 30 foot separation, and

that is what we need to meet all the setbacks, to

meet all the design and construction requirements

of Chapter 11, to make MDEQ happy and stay off the

wetland and still get this built and meet all DWSD


And I'll be glad to answer any

questions that you have. Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone in the audience with input into this case?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none,

Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: Let's talk a little bit

about the separation of the two buildings.

MR. MAULT: Yes, sir.

MR. SAVEN: What was initially

proposed was a separation of, I believe-

MEMBER BRENNAN: (Interposing)



MR. SAVEN: 44.69.

MR. MAULT: Yes, sir.

MR. SAVEN: And now we're saying that

we're going to go for 30 foot separation?

MR. MAULT: Yes, sir.

MR. SAVEN: We were advertised for

the 44.69 feet.

MR. MAULT: That's what went in front

of the Planning Commission with the submission on

the 13th of November, yes.

It was in discussion with Matt Gundy

(ph), tank manufacturer, that we were discussing

piping interconnections and talking about -- we

were actually talking about the facade. We were

talking about the brick and trying to coordinate

the whole facade portion of the package, and the

tank manufacturer said to us in this conference

call well, four feet of the tank is going to be

buried anyway, we have to have that for the -- for

the foundation to have frost cover, and we realized

that we had taken the MDEQ idea that they didn't

really want the whole tank buried. They wanted

some but they wanted the one side down. The


foundation would not work structurally, and so I

went back to our site engineers and asked them to

look at the situation and see what we could do

without changing the storm water detention, because

we have to have the tenured, we have to have one

foot for sediment said, we have to still be able to

build the retaining wall, and we still have to be

able to stay away from the wetland.

And what I was asked is, the only way

that's going to work, and we can still make the

grading come in within all these requirements we

have, is to move the reservoir to the west.


MEMBER SANGHVI: (Interposing) I saw

you have to reduce the space?

MR. MAULT: What's that?

MR. SANGHVI: I saw doing this you

have to reduce the space.

MR. MAULT: Yes, sir. In order to

achieve the grades that -- to make this thing


Unfortunately, it created a quandary

for Planning and for us, and I didn't want to come

before the Board a second time and say I told you


something that was wrong the last time.

So I apologize for giving you any

different message here, but I think we've corrected

the problem, but we do need a 30 foot separation,

and that's -- that's the minimum we're going to

need to make this work on this site.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. I want to

interrupt on two things. One is, there were ten

notices sent out and we received one objection.

The objection states we currently feel that a berm

is necessary as a buffer at the rear of the

property and that shrub hedge is also recommended.

Occupants of our property should not have to face

the structure and feel a berm and a tree line will

mitigate the unsightly view. Thirty inch berm does

not present a hardship to applicant.

The second thing, so then, really,

read it in the variance of 22.3, we're up to 37


MR. MAULT: Yes, sir.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Don, are we going to

need to readvertise that?

MR. SAVEN: I sure hope not. One of

the concerns that we had here is that in the


ordinance itself there is no definition that we

have for separation of these buildings, and I think

that maybe we can try to work that out in that area

in terms of the separation between the buildings on

a similar case for a building which is a storage

tank -- a building and a storage tank. Take a look

at it from that standpoint.

There was really nothing we could

relate this to, okay, and for the best choice that

we had was a multiple dwelling; is that correct,

used that formula for multiple dwelling?

MS. McCLAIN: That's correct. When

we went through the ordinances, the best we could

relate it to was -- going back through was there is

footnotes, and it came out with this rather

convoluted formula, but it -- that formula usually

applies to multiple resident dwellings.

MR. SAVEN: This is a very, very gray

area, but we know that we had to have a separation

from the -- of the two buildings, and that was

definitely something to take a look at, something

that was a possibility. Based on the formulas that

we had, we tried to use that to the best of our



MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: If I understand your

testimony, if you did not have the separation at 30

feet and you pushed it out wider, you'd be back

here for variances on setbacks on the pumping


MR. MAULT: One way or the other,

something is going to have to give.

MR. CHAIRMAN: If he's going to go

the other route and separate it further, then he's

going to be intruding into the wetlands, correct?

MR. MAULT: Yes, sir.

MEMBER BRENNAN: My first reaction

is, I don't have any problem with this. My only

concern is that we advertised 22 feet and it said

36 feet. Can we do it without having to


MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, I really think

that -- the only objection we received, in a sense,

of the deviation of this and where the property is

located and everything, I really don't think it has

that much of an affect, and is the berm extreme,

and I think what he's talking about screening wise

and where he's talking about eliminating the berm


really doesn't relate to the objection that the

person presented.


MR. CHAIRMAN: So I really don't

think that we need to go back through the process

of readvertising.

MR. SAVEN: Again, that will be up to

the Board. The only thing I'm going to tell you is

that we had nothing to use as a separate case other

than the formula.

It is a gray area when we try to deal

with something like that.

MR. CHAIRMAN: And the thing is, if

the applicant hasn't tried to meet the intent of

what the ordinance was looking at, and I think if

we're going to -- we have to deviate a little bit,

we're better to deviate between the buildings

rather than to intrude into the wetlands or other


So, I mean, we've done the best we

can with what we've got to work with.

Board Members, further -- Mr.-

MEMBER SANGHVI: (Interposing) Yes.

I don't think we have to worry about separation of


the buildings other than the tank itself.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Miss Gray?

MEMBER GRAY: I think the only thing

comparable would be something you get out at

Northville Sewerage Treatment Plant, and that's in

a very isolated location.

The first thing that struck me about

this site is that -- the incredible awkwardness of

site itself, and knowing that area topographically,

you know, maybe the argument could be made that,

you know, there's a difference in elevation and

maybe we could somehow apply that in the setback or

separation of the two.

I think the screening to the west may

be important, and I do understand the petitioner's

position in understanding that the berming does not

alleviate the need for screening, but I think if

the neighbor -- was it the neighbor to the west,

Mr. Reinke, that complained about the berm?

MR. CHAIRMAN: We're talking about to

the south.

MEMBER GRAY: To the south?

What is on the south?

MR. MAULT: Trees, lots of trees.


MR. CHAIRMAN: They were-

MR. MAULT: (Interposing) It's vacant


MEMBER GRAY: I know. And it was the

neighbor to the south that was complaining about


MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) Right.

The neighbor addressing the berm buffer area to the

rear of the property. And we're not even

addressing the berm-

MEMBER GRAY: (Interposing) No.

MR. CHAIRMAN: -in that area or the

screening in that area, so that's why I don't think

it's really -- they're going to have any

complications with what the petitioner's -- or

neighbor was objecting to.

MEMBER GRAY: That's what I was

trying to figure out, exactly where the neighbor

was that was complaining about that. If it's to

the south -- I mean, there's not a whole lot you

can do in that area anyhow because of the

configuration, the topography, and the features,

the wet-

MEMBER BRENNAN: I'm looking -- if I


may make a motion with respect to Case 01-101, that

the petitioner's request for the deletion of the

berm and a building separation of 36 feet be

approved due to lot configuration.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thirty foot variance?

MR. MAULT: The variance would

actually be 36.92 feet?

MR. SAVEN: 36.92 feet, yeah.

MEMBER BRENNAN: Building separation

of 30 feet.

MR. SAVEN: And the parking.

MEMBER BRENNAN: No. The parking was

looked at. He said it was fixed by somebody else.

MR. MAULT: The Planning Commission

took that under their purview and said they didn't

see the industrial use as the right interpretation,

and they said unmanned station is okay.

I had to put this together on the


MEMBER BRENNAN: Is there support?


MR. CHAIRMAN: It's been moved and

seconded to grant the variance request for the


deletion of the berm and building separation. Any

further discussion on the motion?

(No further discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none,

Madam Secretary, would you call the roll.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Fannon?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Your variance request

has been approved. See the Building Department for

whatever is necessary and proceed.

MR. MAULT: Sir, I have one question.

I did read that there's a -- you have to request a

variance of -- or a waiver of the five-day waiting

period. I'm not sure we're going to have to have


that, but we are trying to move very quickly on

this project, and I'm wondering if at this point

asking for that would be-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) Are you on

the Planning Commission tomorrow night?

MR. MAULT: No, sir.

MS. MARCHIONI: He's done with

preliminary site plan approval.

MR. SAVEN: That's fine.

MR. CHAIRMAN: We can waive the five


MR. MAULT: Thank you, sir. I would

like to thank the Board very much.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Next case, 01-102.

Sarah, is this the one we tabled to next week -- or

next month?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Could I have your name

and address for the record.

MR. SAVEN: My name is Don Saven.

I'm the Building Official for the City of Novi. I


serve in capacity of advisor to the Board. At this

particular time I'm not going to be acting as an

advisor to the Board. I'm going to be acting as a

member of the building authority. I will be

replacing Mr. Craig Klaver for tonight's petition.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Since you're in that

propensity, would you be sworn in by our secretary,


MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information you are about to give

in the matter before you is the truth?

MR. SAVEN: I do.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. If you

would please present your case.

MR. SAVEN: Before you tonight is a

entryway sign that has been constructed at -- from

Meadowbrook Road. I'm sure everybody had the

opportunity to see this particular sign.

Entryway signs are rather peculiar,

especially for the location, as it is located in

the boulevard. There are some extenuating

circumstances based upon, certainly, the issue

regarding maintenance and snow, packing of snow,


and the ability to raise the sign up a little bit

so we didn't have a maintenance problem.

But more so, and not as an issue

regarding -- if you took a look at where the sign

is in relationship to the center line of the road

as in the setback for this particular sign, if it

was considered a ground hole sign we would not be

here before you but are a ground sign -- I'm sorry,

ground sign because you would be allowed one square

foot of sign for every two foot of setback.

This sign sets back eighty-four --

excuse me -- eighty-six feet from the center line

of the road, which would allow roughly a

forty-three square foot sign.

So what we're dealing with is

something that could have been within the

ordinance, we would allow it to be in such a manner

that it would be considered a ground sign, but it's

not. It is an entryway sign.

The maximum allowable for an entryway

sign is twenty-four square foot. You still have

the requirement for five foot in height.

The problem this sign presents is

that the basic sign in itself is a three by eight.


It meets that requirement. It's the dome portion

of the sign which kicks it into a sign which is

over area in size.

Again, as I indicated, the sign

height, placing the sign above the ground to about

a point where it's about a foot-and-a-half is

certainly an issue where it becomes a maintenance


If you take a look at any entryway

sign in the city, you'll see that it is elevated

above the ground. In this case it's no different,

but, unfortunately, in this case, when it's located

in the boulevard -- and, certainly, from plowing

the snow and things of this nature, it could become

a maintenance problem.

Anyhow, based upon those particular

issues, our two entryway -- there are two entryways

to this particular facility, but we're only dealing

with the one sign.

As you're well aware, that there is

another sign on the property which was -- which has

been approved by the Board, and this was for a

construction identification "Now Leasing" sign,

which is a real estate type of a sign, which is to


be -- due to be taken down in June.

So that's where -- that's where we're


MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone else in the audience who would like to input

into this case?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: There were eighteen

notices sent out. We received two objections.

Mainly, one relates to saying not only where the

sign is and for a larger sign here it's already

difficult to get out onto Meadowbrook Road. The

other one just said they object.

I guess there's a couple things I'm

disappointed on. One was, it's put up and there.

MR. SAVEN: Understood. And I will

take the full responsibility for that sign being

installed and being up.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members,

comments or discussion?

MEMBER BRENNAN: Mr. Saven, what

drove the design to this that required such a

variance, or why couldn't this have been a square

sign or a rectangular sign?


MR. SAVEN: I think it was the design

of the sign in itself, the cattails, which were

part of -- I don't know, for whatever reason

cattails become incorporated into the design of the

sign, and in doing so it created the dome shape,

which part of that is, again, air space and part of

it is the dome that is considered part of the sign.

MEMBER BRENNAN: Do you know what the

cost of the sign was?

MR. SAVEN: I have no idea, sir.

MEMBER BRENNAN: Do you know who paid

for it?

MR. SAVEN: No, sir. Actually, I

believe the City of Novi paid for it.

MEMBER BRENNAN: So it's taxpayer

paid for?

MR. SAVEN: Absolutely.

MEMBER BRENNAN: Without a permit?

MR. SAVEN: That's correct.

MEMBER BRENNAN: If this wasn't my

money, I'd tell you to tear it down. Seriously.

MR. SAVEN: Absolutely.

MEMBER BRENNAN: If this was Joe Blow

standing in front of us, didn't pull a permit, put


the sign up, it's too tall, it's too big, but I

paid for it. And I think that we hold our

Planning Commission liable, we hold the

City Council liable to watch our money, and it

disappoints me that I'm compelled to vote for

variances to our own Building Department.

I don't want to embarrass you.

MR. SAVEN: Mr. Brennan, again, I

will take -- again, I will state to you that the

City Council had nothing to do with this particular

sign, nor did the Planning Commission. It was my

responsibility. I did not follow through on this

responsibility and I take all of that particular



MEMBER SANGHVI: Mr. Chairman, may I

make a motion, please.


MEMBER SANGHVI: That we grant the

applicant's request in case 01-102 due to the

configuration and the landscape hardship.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. It's been moved

and seconded to grant the petitioner's variance

request. Is there any further discussion on the



(No further discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none,

Madam Secretary, would you call the roll, please.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Fannon?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Your variance

has been approved. See the Building Department for

a permit.

MEMBER BAUER: And we're very glad

you're going to move that over from that center

island. It saves maintenance and that-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) I'm sorry.

I did not understand what you said.


MEMBER BAUER: Well, it saves

maintenance if you're moving it over there, keeping

it out of that island with snow and so forth.

MEMBER FANNON: It will save money

because of maintenance.

MR. SAVEN: No, no, no, no. That is

staying there. It's just elevated.

MEMBER SANGHVI: I think it is

appropriate at this point, I would like to make --

I know it's on the agenda, but I would like to make

a little comment on a motion if I may.


MEMBER SANGHVI: I would like to make

a motion that we congratulate Mr. Saven for all his

accomplishments to the Michigan Builder, and also

thank him for his input in the proceedings of this


MEMBER BAUER: Second the motion.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I don't think we even

have to take a vote on that.

MEMBER BAUER: I don't know.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I think that would be

a unanimous consent of the Board. I would like

everybody to say aye in support.


(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

Congratulations, Mr. Saven.

MR. SAVEN: Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Other matters.

Planning Commission action summaries. You're

looking for opinions?

MS. MARCHIONI: Yes. What do you


MR. CHAIRMAN: I don't like it.

There's not enough -- I don't feel comfortable they

have enough detail.

MS. MARCHIONI: (In audible.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Yes, please, because a

lot of times it's used as -- kind of point to

refresh myself on, and just to look at everything,

and plus to refer back rather than asking for it,

and I don't feel comfortable with that.

Next item. Court reporter.

Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: I think this is

beautiful work. I love this. This is the best

documentation we've had in -- as long as I've been

on the Board. It's nicely done, it's easily read,


it's very good work. Thank you.

MEMBER GRAY: Do you like -- I'm

sorry. Do you like the synopsis type this, the

short form, or do you want -- I like this style.

MR. CHAIRMAN: It's the same thing.

MEMBER GRAY: I like this much better

than the-

MR. BRENNAN: You ought to show that

to Planning and Council.

MS. MARCHIONI: (Inaudible.)

MEMBER GRAY: I prefer them in this

format rather than the full.




say something?


MEMBER GRONACHAN: Being the newest

member on this Board, and going back and using

these minutes, I think it's very important. When I

came onboard, unfortunately we were caught in

something where a tape broke and there was

information missing, and I think this is penny

wise, and I want to be on the record to say that I


wholly support this a hundred percent. It gives me

a peace of mind that we're doing a better job.

And in regards to, if we need to cut

costs someplace else, I would like Mr. Saven to

call me in regards to that, in regards to the

delivery of the files to my house at seven,

eight o'clock at night on a Friday, and I would

volunteer to go pick up my own packets if it's

going to cut costs as opposed to having somebody

working overtime and bringing me my packets. And

ask that you give the Members -- in regards to

that, I drive past City Hall three, four times a


MR. SAVEN: The reason why this was

brought up was because we're going to be going into

a new budget, which means that we were probably be

in consideration for increased costs for Zoning

Board of Appeals fees. No reason why we have to

pass this on. I mean, this is the cost of doing

business. We should incorporate this into our fees

and deal with this particular matter.

So we can look forward now, based

upon what we're talking about, we're going to sit

down and evaluate what we're dealing with here as


far as sign permit applications and people coming

to the Board. Not that we want to bleed our

citizens for this, but part of mind is we have to

do business.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I think to have this

in this form like this is beneficial to us and to

any citizen who would want information or want a

copy of the minutes to be able to look at it and

see everything that's there and have it verbatim

for what was in the meeting, but I think it's very

crucial to the operation of the Zoning Board, in my


Is there anything else on that topic?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: I'm going to

Fountain Walk signage. What are we addressing


MR. SAVEN: Okay. Last meeting we

had a discussion in regards to the opinion from the

city attorney, and one of the issues that we were

looking at was a consideration for setting forth a

standard, was the issue of those interior signs

which are located facing the interior, that that

distance that we would be looking at from the


outside wall in would be utilized at 25 feet as a

criteria for the line-in-the-sand that we're going

to look at for those signs which we would not have

to bring before the Board. Anything beyond 25 foot

on the interior, that's considered inside and it's

not part of the sign ordinance.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Are you talking about

an interior wall?

MR. SAVEN: Talking about the

interior wall.

MEMBER BRENNAN: That ought to clean

up a whole lot of that.

MR. SAVEN: That's what the whole

process was about. That was the opinion we

received from the attorney. It has to be visible.

So it would be visible from the street, and then we

start going around well, what can it be. We have

to do something, put the line in the sand, this is

what it is, and we'll go from this point.

Anything on the interior we're not

going to mess with, whether it's banners or signs,

as long as it stays within 25 foot of that exterior

wall. Anything beyond that now comes back before

the Board, so -- where we will not be seeing as


many cases as what was initially proposed.

MEMBER BAUER: That -- question?


MEMBER BAUER: You say 25 feet. I

don't see the wall sign on the building right here,

but I can see the one on this side, so that's why


MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) I think --

MEMBER BAUER: You said 25 feet in.

That took care of the whole inside.

MR. SAVEN: Everything on the inside

of the building. If -- that which faces the

inside. If you took the whole -- if you just

follow the footprint of the whole outside of the

building, where you have a walkway that comes

through, that private drive, so-called private

drive and the courtyard, interior courtyard.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Don, I think for

clarification, could you just take one of the

footprints and just outline the area?

MR. SAVEN: Absolutely. I will have

it before the Board-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) Give us

a copy for the next meeting?


MR. SAVEN: Sure.

MR. CHAIRMAN: And then that way we

have something visually that would help everybody

define as to what we're talking about?


MR. CHAIRMAN: I think it would be

very helpful.

MR. SAVEN: Again, if it's something

that's obvious that you're going to be looking at,

sometimes you'll have projections above the

building line which is part of the interior. Well,

you know, if I can see it I'm going to be -- I want

to be -- I'm going to probably be bringing these

people back before the Board. That's the question,

for those which are facing the interior.

I think it's good. I think it's

something we can work with.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Because I -- it would

help me, and I think it would probably answer a lot

of questions that anybody has as to okay, now it's

in here, it's defined, it's represented, we know

where everybody's talking about.

Anything else?

Miss Gray?


MEMBER GRAY: Mr. Reinke --

Mr. Reinke, I'm going to bring this up because I

don't know in what other form to do so other than a

personal phone call.

When I was checking out

1350 East Lake for consideration of this, I found

from the Water Department that this particular

property, although it is represented as having

three occupants, it has but one sewer tap with two

accounts and it has one water tap, and I'm just

wondering how that can be in a multiple situation.

And, Mr. Saven, if you could pursue

that to discuss how that -- because the water just

went in last year, and I know there's one meter at

the house and I know there's a line from the house

back to the garage. I was told that. I don't know

if it's under your jurisdiction, but I-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) I'll refer

this to water and sewer department.

MEMBER GRAY: Okay, because there is

one sewer tap with two accounts being billed on it,

but there's three people with three separate living

units, and there's one water tap. And at the cost

of, you know, those of us with city water


subsidizing this, I don't think it's quite right.

The other issue I wanted to address,

if we could get into it for a future meeting,

refers to parking at the Lakeview Bar and Grill and

the parking that continues to go on across the

street at the old Boron station. It's a difficult

situation, I know. If we can discuss that at some

future point, and maybe we can do it not

necessarily in this forum.

Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Anything further this


(No further discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, this

meeting is adjourned.

(The meeting was adjourned at

10:43 p.m.)

Date approved: February 5, 2002 ___________________

Sarah Marchioni Recording Secretary

- - -



I, Cheryl L. James, do hereby

certify that I have recorded stenographically the

proceedings had and testimony taken in the

above-entitled matter at the time and place hereinbefore

set forth, and I do further certify that the foregoing

transcript, consisting of 174 typewritten pages, is a

true and correct transcript to the best of my abilities.



Cheryl L. James, CSR-5786