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View Action Summary for this meeting

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 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, February 5, 2002.

Laverne Reinke, chairman
Gerald Bauer
Frank Brennan
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 time I would

like to call the meeting to order of the Novi

Zoning Board of Appeals.

Madam Secretary, would you call the

roll, please.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Fannon is not

here. Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MR. CHAIRMAN: The Zoning Board of

Appeals is a Board empowered by the City charter to

hear appeals seeking variance in the application of

the Novi zoning ordinance.

It takes at least four members

present to approve a variance and a vote of


majority members to deny a variance. The Board

consists of six members. We have one of our

members absent tonight but our alternate will sit

in this evening, so we have a full board this

evening and all decisions will be final.

The rules of conduct that we govern

our meetings under are: Each person desiring to

address the Board shall state his or her name and


Individual persons shall be allowed

five minutes to address the Board. An extension of

time may be granted at the discretion of the


There shall be no questioning by the

audience of the person addressing the Board;

however, the Board Members may question that person

with the recognition of the Chairman.

No persons shall be allowed to

address the Board more than once unless permission

is granted by the Chairman.

Once spokesman for a group shall be

allowed ten minutes to address the Board.

Are there any additions or

corrections to our agenda this evening?


MS. MARCHIONI: Yes. Number five has

been tabled to the next meeting.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Any other changes or



MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, the

Chair would entertain a motion to approve the

agenda as amended.



MR. CHAIRMAN: It's been moved and

seconded to approve the amended agenda. All those

in favor, signify by saying aye.

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: All those opposed?

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: We have approval of

minutes this evening from the January 8th meeting.

Any additions or corrections to the minutes as


(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, we would

entertain a motion to approve the minutes from the

January 8th meeting.




MR. CHAIRMAN: It's been moved and

seconded to approve the minutes. All those in

favor, signify by saying aye.

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Opposed?

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Motion carried.

At this time I would like to open up the public

remarks section. If there is anything that anybody

would like to address the Board on that's not

pertaining to the cases before us, the comments

could be made. We wish that those be made when the

cases come before.

Is there any other comments that

would like to be made to the Board at this time?

(No response.)


MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, we'll

close the public remarks section and call our first

case, Case 01-095 filed by Carl Wizinsky on

26850 Wixom Road.


MR. SAVEN: Mr. Chairman, if I may, I

would like to just basically announce that this was

a request of City Council to bring this matter back

before the Zoning Board of Appeals based on a --

based on the fact that they're -- they had

indicated that they -- this case would not be heard

before the Planning Commission, that it be brought

back before the Zoning Board of Appeals.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr. Saven.

Mr. Harrington?

MR. HARRINGTON: Good evening,

Board Members. James Harrington for Mr. and

Mrs. Wizinsky, 24101 Novi Road, suite 210 -- or

201, Novi, Michigan.

Mr. and Mrs. Wizinsky wanted me to

take a look at what has occurred in light of the

rather extraordinary directive from City Council,

and I would like to share my thoughts on the

problem that's been created here and give you a

suggestion as to what I think the Board can

consider doing in this case.

When the Board met last month -- and

I wasn't here but I read the minutes -- the Board,

I felt appropriately, asked for additional


information so it could exercise its discretion

regarding the berming issue on the property.

Since that period of time,

City Council, feeling itself caught in a position

with respect to Northern Equities and representing

the interest of the City, felt that the

Consent Judgement that was entered needed to be

adhered to in good faith and that this issue

brought before this Board could jeopardize that

Consent Judgement. I think that's fair in terms of

what their perception was and what their position

was. And in the rather extraordinary and unusual

decision on January 30th, directed this Board to

rescind the action you took last month. That's why

this is here.

And the direction of the City Council

is, the information that you might be able to

gather regarding the past practice on measuring of

berms -- and I remember when I was sitting up there

when Linda came in and told us that's the way they

always did it, is you measured from the first floor

of the residence, if there is a residence.

The schematic that's in the ordinance

doesn't have a residence there, but apparently


that's what the City has done.

The City Council position is you

don't need that information. Not only that, but

this matter will not be placed back on the

Planning Commission agenda. City Council had it

removed from that agenda, as I understand it, and

their directive is clear. You are to rescind what

you did last month.

I've spoken with Mr. Schultz on

numerous occasions regarding this issue. I think

the position of the legal counsel for the City is

clear, is that you have no discretion to exercise

in this matter, that this is a matter of law for

you and that because the issue falls within the

purview of a Consent Judgement in Oakland County

Circuit Court, you cannot do anything, which would

jeopardize that Consent Judgement, even by way of

interpretation. I think they’re wrong, but that's a

legal issue for the courts.

If it is the sense of the Board this

evening and the position of the Board that, in

fact, you have no discretion to exercise because

the directive from Council, and that whatever

information you might have gathered sort of has to


go by the wayside because City Council has tied

your hands, I don't agree with what City Council

did, but that may be the direction you have to go

and let the courts figure it out. We don't need a

Constitutional crisis in the City between

City Council telling the Board what to do, even

when it's clear that's what they did.

But based on the best legal advice

you have, all you can do is follow the directive of

City Council and the city attorney, then I think

that that's the route you may wish to consider.

If you want legal argument from

myself to be followed by Mr. Schultz, we can do

that, too, but that's really more appropriate for

the courtroom, but I think the issue before you is

pretty clear. You've got a past practice, you've

got interpretation by the City, and you have legal

opinion saying that doesn't matter and, by the way,

it would mess up a Consent Judgement we entered

into, so that's what you have before you.

Mr. and Mrs. Wizinsky, when I said

what else you want me to tell the Board tonight,

they wanted me to make clear that they really

appreciate the interest and the concern you showed


them in their situation last month and presumably


They are the innocent victims of this

deal that was struck between Northern Equities and

the City. They weren't parties to it, they weren't

part of the lawsuit, and their input, if any, has

been minimal.

So they appreciate your fair hearing

they received in front of you, and whatever you

decide to do tonight, or maybe you decide to do

nothing, they will accept that, that this Board is

acting in good faith.

That's my comment.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone else in the audience who would like to input

into this case?

MR. SAVEN: Mr. Chairman, if I may, I

would just like to make a comment.

Mr. and Mrs. Wizinsky was here before

you last month. Certainly, what they had was a

presentation to which they had felt, by their

landscape architect, was the correct rendering that

was presented to the Board at that time and we had

acted to that rendering.


I had asked Lauren to take a look at

this rendering and see how it matched the approved

site plan. And, based on that fact, I do believe

Lauren should probably be able to come up here and

explain a little bit about the berm that we had

questions about, or concerns about last meeting,

also to the fact of the certain characteristics of

the trees, I assume maybe she could better explain

that, and also the berm elevations, which you

probably should need to know.


MEMBER SANGHVI: Mr. Chairman, just a

question of point of order. We have a directive to

do nothing about this. Is there any virtue in

going further about this?

MR. CHAIRMAN: I think if we have the

information that alludes to density or -- what

they're saying, interpretation, and look at the

berm, I think that information should be presented,

because I think this is the issue in question, and

any and all information that's available right now

this evening should be presented.

Please proceed.

MEMBER SANGHVI: My question was



MR. SCHULTZ: Mr. Chairman?

MR. CHAIRAMAN: Mr. Schultz.

MR. SCHULTZ: I think I'm obligated

to respond to the way the question's framed, and I

think it comes framed that way based on

Mr. Harrington's comments that the City's giving

you a directive. The City Council is giving you

directive that your hands are tied here.

Essentially, what Mr. Harrington is

arguing is that I think he wants to be able to

preserve an argument, probably for review in the

court, to the affect that you weren't able to

exercise your independent judgement here sitting as

the Zoning Board of Appeals as to what the Consent

Judgement meant or what the -- more importantly,

what the ordinance means when talking about the six

foot requirement for a berm.

And I guess I look at it differently

than that, and I don't look at it as a directive

that deprives you of jurisdiction or your ability

to act as a ZBA.

I think what the Council did was to

tell you, based upon its understanding of what


occurred at the Planning Commission and the ZBA,

that with respect to the Consent Judgement, the

City Council entered into a Consent Judgement with

a particular understanding of what the term six

foot wall meant, and that it -- and it understood

that term for purposes of the Consent Judgement to

mean that six foot wall measured under the clear

and unambiguous terms of the ordinance which call

for six feet measured from the bottom of the berm

to the top of the berm with no reference anywhere

in the ordinance to somebody else's first floor


And the Council, further indicating

that Novi Prominade, when it entered into the

Consent Judgement on its end, believed that the

same interpretation of the ordinance, as

unambiguous and straightforward in six feet, not

twenty-six feet, was what both parties contemplated

when they signed that Consent Judgement.

In addition, based upon Mr. Fisher's

comments, that his -- in his opinion, the ordinance

wasn't ambiguous and, therefore, wasn't capable of

being construed or having a past practice sort of

attached onto the ordinance, we've given you an


opinion explaining a little bit further about this

concept of past practice and how it might grow into

an ordinance, essentially an ordinance regulation.

I think the bottom line, from our

perspective, is that there is a possibility, when

there is an ambiguous ordinance, to have an

interpretation of the ordinance that isn't a black

letter and that is a reasonable interpretation

supported by the record.

In this case, Council gave its

opinion, Mr. Fisher gave its opinion, the

Planning Commission gave its opinion, and I've

written a letter saying this is not the kind of

case that can create a separate past practice.

This is an unambiguous ordinance.

It's clear the way it's to be interpreted, and

Council's direction, if there is any to you, is to

understand -- read the minutes and understand what

it thought when entering into the Consent Judgement

and to take a look, again, at the concept of

whether something can be a past practice and defeat

an unambiguous ordinance like this.

It didn't direct you what to do.

It's directing you to consider and act as a Board.


It hasn't tied your hands. It's put information

before you for you to act on, and it's requested us

to put information before you for you to act on.

But your decision is a decision of this Board

(inaudible) when all is said and done.

I guess the bottom line is, I think

you have to listen to Miss McGuire. I think you

have to take that information and put it in the

record, and then you have to -- in our opinion, the

ordinance was properly interpreted by the

Planning Commission, and you can put all that

together and make that determination and that


MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Would you

please proceed.

MS. McGUIRE: Certainly. I'm

Lauren McGuire, landscape architect in the

Planning Department.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Could you raise

your right hand, please.

MS. McGUIRE: Certainly.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information that you're about to

give in this matter before you is the truth?


MS. McGUIRE: Yes, I do.


MS. McGUIRE: I'd just like to show

you a little background information. This is --

these are photographs taken by the design team that

was the firm that put together the landscape plans.

And this is a view of the Wizinsky

property looking from the north to the south, so

from the area -- and you have those photographs in

front of you as well. This would be the east, this

would be the west side of his property, and there

you can see one of the buildings on the property.

The house is about in that location.

And the other set of photographs on

the second sheet simply provides you with a little

bit of information on what the property looks like


Here you see the drive-thru with the

house here, the garage, and here's the home from

the side, looking from the north to the south.

On these two boards, also prepared by

the design team, this gives you a little bit of

information on the elevations. This plan here

provides the plan view-


MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) Excuse me.

Can we put that on the screen here? It's very

difficult for the audience to see that.

MS. McGUIRE: This is a plan view of

the area. The Wizinsky property would be here.

North is in that direction. And the colored area

is the area in question, so that is the berm area.

This shows the plantings that would be put into

that area. The wall extends from this point and

goes to the east. There is no wall in this section


MR. SAVEN: Could you go over that

one more time please for the benefit of-

MS. McGUIRE: (Interposing) Sure.

This is the berm area. This direction is north.

Here's the street. Here's the east. So these are

the plantings that are -- that run along the

property, the Wizinsky's north property,

Novi Prominade'd south property.

And the actual wall itself starts

here and makes a turn and heads to the east down

here. Okay?

This is a series of elevations

prepared, again, by the design team that did the


plan. This is a section in east elevation. This

is the Target Store. You can see a little bit of a

green belt bend in the roadway that's in question,

which is the service drive. Here's the berm coming

down, his garage and his residence.

And, as you can see, his residence is

-- if you're standing on his first floor elevation

and he's standing there, you can see the -- this

would be the site line here.

This particular cross section cuts

across the berm just at the point right about here

where the wall comes into play. You can see the

wall coming behind you there, and this is further

to the east on the berm. And you can see, again,

the service drive, the wall and the rest of the


In all cases, the berm is at least

six feet measured from the Novi Prominade side and

greater from the Wizinsky property when measured at

the property line, which is here. Property line

here, and property line here, and property line


And you can come up later and take a

look at it if you'd like, but in this case, for


example, it's measured at seven feet to the top of

the berm, and if you took the same line across to

the property line, it's ten foot from the Wizinsky


Here it's eight feet to the top of

the wall and berm combination from the level of the

service drive, and if you take it across to the

property line of the Wizinsky property, to the top

of the wall it's 17.2 feet, so it continues like

that down to the east.

And at its greatest point it's eight

foot from the service drive side to the top of the

wall and berm combination, and eighteen-and-a-half

feet to the property life on the Wizinsky side,

because the property is dropping off to the east on

his property.

I think that's all. If you have any

questions --

MR. SAVEN: Lauren, could you briefly

explain the opacity portion of this thing, or the

screening portion, because I know in my

conversation with you you had indicated that

additional screening was requested for that. And

the company did provide that; is that correct?


MS. McGUIRE: That's correct. That's

correct. Linda Lemke did review this plan

originally, and there was a request to the design

team to add additional plantings to help buffer the

Wizinsky property. The drawing that you saw from

the Wizinskys is this drawing which is colored up a

little bit, and you can see that this is -- this

would be a summer kind of look at the same drawing

that he submitted. These are the evergreen trees,

and then these are the assiduous trees going back

in here with the shrubs along the bottom.

She did approve it. The City also

looked at it. We don't feel there's any real

question about whether it meets the intent of the

berm and wall height requirement and -- and the

buffering capacity.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

Building Department, anything else?

MR. SAVEN: No, I'm done.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members,

comments or discussion? Mr. Brennan.


MEMBER BRENNAN: Well, we certainly

have a lot more information tonight than we had


last month, and I think what concerns me more than

anything else is that we didn't spend a lot of time

last month talking about the sanctity of a

Consent Agreement, and that seemed to be the

biggest issue with members of the City Council.

It's part of the issue that the city attorney has

brought up, and it's certainly part of the issue

that the Novi Promenade parties are concerned with.

Everyone seems to believe and

recommend that we have no jurisdiction in dealing

with what has already been negotiated.

That's my comments. I'll be more

than happy to make motions, as I was the motion

maker last month. I feel a little obligated to do

that, but listen to others and their comments.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members,

comments or discussion?

MEMBER SANGHVI: Well, I have one

question, Mr. Chairman was, and that was, how long

will it take for all these trees to become this

size, to be affective in the summer?

MS. McGUIRE: That drawing is pretty

accurate about what it would look like when it went



MEMBER SANGHVI: Right from the


MS. McGUIRE: At the beginning,

correct. We do have a minimum -- we do have

spacing requirements in the ordinance that direct

the spacing between the plantings, so given the

spacing requirements and the plantings that are in

there, the potential for complete buffering is

there; obviously, not initially, as you can see.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members,

comments discussion wise?

MR. SCHULTZ: Mr. Chairman, one

comment. It follows up really what I said earlier.

I'm troubled by the statement that you're being

somehow directed to say that you don't have

jurisdiction. That's not the case here. You are

the Board to which an appeal is taken on an

interpretation of the ordinance. You are tonight,

at some point, going to determine where that six

foot height measurement starts, whether it's the

first floor elevation or not. You are not deprived

of jurisdiction. You have to make a decision.

The indication from Council is what


it intended the Consent Judgement to mean, but at

some point you also have to interpret the ordinance

language of Section 2509 to say the six foot wall

-- or six foot berm is not measured from the first

floor elevation of that neighbor's house but it's

measured the way the Planning Commission measured

it in this case, from the bottom of the slope to

the top of the slope.

So I'm -- I need to make sure that

you're aware that you're not being deprived of


MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

MEMBER BAUER: I have one thing to


MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Bauer.

MEMBER BAUER: If we were to decide

that the six feet would start from the applicant's

side, we're well over that already. So if we go on

the other side, over on Promenade's side, as Lauren

had said, we were already over the six feet.

So, consequently, I can't see any

other way to go as leaving it as it is at this


MR. CHAIRMAN: I think what we're


looking at here directional wise is we're making a

final determination of our interpretation of the

ordinance in that by the language of the ordinance

itself states that the six foot is from the

property line, not from the first floor of the

house on the adjacent property, and if our

interpretation of that is such, then that aligns

with the Consent Judgement of where the

Consent Judgement stands at this point in time.

Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: I'm prepared to make

two motions, if you'd like.


MEMBER BRENNAN: With respect to

Case 01-095, I would move that the Board rescind

the actions that we took on January 28th (sic).

MR. CHAIRMAN: Is there a second to

that motion?


MR. CHAIRMAN: It's been moved and

seconded that the Board rescind the action taken at

the previous meeting. Is there any further

discussion on the motion?

MR. SCHULTZ: Quick clarification,


Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Schultz.

MR. SCHULTZ: Is this with regard to

the determination to send it back to the

Planning Commission, that that's what's being


MEMBER BRENNAN: We were rescinding

our previous actions of that evening. There were

two motions made that evening.

MR. SCHULTZ: I don't think you need

to rescind a determination that Mr. Wizinsky and

Mrs. Wizinsky had the right to come before you to

make the interpretation. It's more the -- I think

the issue of rescinding the determination to send

it back to the Planning Commission.

MR. CHAIRMAN: 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 Bauer?



MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MR. CHAIRMAN: The motion passes,

that we rescind the recommendation to send it to

the Planning Commission.

Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: Okay. Second motion

is a motion denying the request for relief as the

applicant had asked for reasons that the

Consent Judgement makes provision for a six foot

berm and the measurement of the berm is consistent

with the action of the Planning Commission.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Been moved and

seconded to -- I'm going to paraphrase your motion

as you stated it -- that the interpretation holds

with the Planning Commission's direction to the

application of the ordinance.


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 Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MR. CHAIRMAN: The motion passes.

You have the interpretation as we gave it and we go

from there. Thank you.

MR. HARRINGTON: Thank you,

Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Board Members.



MR. CHAIRMAN: Next case, Case Number

01-103, filed by Gina Blazo of All Star Gymnastics,

at 22515 Heslip Drive.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Excuse me one moment.

Would you give your name and address and be sworn

in by our secretary, please.

MS. BLAZO: Certainly. My name is

Gina Blazo. I'm the owner of All Star Gymnastics

located at 22515 Heslip Drive.

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. BLAZO: Yes, I do.


MS. BLAZO: I'm here to ask for a

variance to locate a directional sign on the corner

of Nine Mile and Heslip Drive where my business is

located. I own a gymnastics school that has been

located at this address for approximately one year

and two months.

I moved here from Northville because


many of our students were from Novi. This is a

very family-oriented community I felt. A lot of my

parents lived in this community and we were getting

increasing numbers from this area.

A gymnastics school requires a large

space. I have 10,300 square feet, and we also need

high ceilings and commercial style industrial

garage doors in order to get the equipment in and

out, and those types of buildings are most often

found in an industrial area.

So I had to find -- apply to get a

variance to locate this type of public assembly

type building in an industrial area. I was granted

this variance by the City of Novi.

But the difficulty that I'm now

having is that there is two industrial complexes

located on each side of the railroad tracks.

Neither one of them have a sign as to the name of

the complex or what is located there.

Because we have so many people coming

and going, a lot of them new, who have never been

there before -- we host many Girl Scout functions,

we host preschool and elementary field trips. The

Novi/Northville High School gymnastics comes to


practice during the off season. We have a lot of

community events, such as Chamber -- we have a

Chamber breakfast, Novi Chamber of Commerce, that

we're hosting in March. Many people have never

been there. We host fundraisers for Toys for Tots

every Christmas with over a hundred and fifty kids

that come, that -- many of them who have never been

there before, as well as cheerleaders and

gymnastics teams from all over the state.

And because Nine Mile has become

increasingly busy, with the railroad tracks there

and it only being one lane, we are finding that

people cannot find us. I drive this every day, so

I see slow-downs and people slamming on their

brakes and trying to slow down to see the street

sign because they don't know which side of the

railroad tracks it's on, and I -- we can't tell

them what's the name of the complex because there

is none.

And -- so for safety purposes and

traffic flow, it's very difficult to read just a

street sign. I wanted to place a directional sign

to increase traffic flow, not for advertising

purposes because I have one on my building and we


do put out a map to all people coming to the

business, but it is difficult to find, particularly

at night.

And the sign that has been designed

is very small and it just has the name and an

arrow, but it's reflective when headlights hit it,

so that at night they can see it whereas they can't

see a street sign.

And because most of the people coming

are families with children, I am very concerned

about an accident happening at this intersection.

The only two objections I have had,

one them said that this type of -- John Dean, I

believe from Kaltech Scientific, said that -- his

objection was that type -- the sign would be in his

front yard -- but he's not on that side of the

street -- and that families with minivans should

not be coming into this industrial park.

And there is a letter that was

presented to you from the Toys for Tots director

that states that if we were allowed a variance to

be here, that families with minivans have just as

much a right to be driving down Heslip as anybody



And that's my contention here, is

that they should be able to get there and get there


And the business that is located on

the corner where the sign would be placed, which is

Fife, as far as I know, they haven't filed any

objections to having the sign placed there.

It would be on the easement closest

to Nine Mile, and it's very small. It wouldn't

obstruct any business.

Thank you. I guess that's it. That

was my -- that's my case.

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 seventeen

notices sent out, two approvals, two objections,

two were sent back. You alluded to the objections

that were already in here, so that's printed on the


Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: Gina -- it is Gina,




MR. SAVEN: I guess a question

regarding the placement of the sign. It's in the

easement; is that correct?


MR. SAVEN: Okay. I just wanted to

ask you whether or not you received permission from

City Council first before coming here?

MS. BLAZO: They sent me here. I

have talked to Al -- I can't think of his last


MR. SAVEN: Alan Amolsch?

MS. BLAZO: Yeah. And what they told

me is that -- I was rejected by the Zoning Board,

and at first -- that -- they told me I had to send

a letter to City Council. And then I was told that

no, that this was not the procedure, that I had to

go through Zoning first and I could be denied by

Zoning because a directional sign is not permitted,

and so that I would need a variance to place a

directional sign and that I did not -- should not

go through City Council, that I had to come here


MR. SAVEN: Okay. The Zoning Board


cannot act on issues where we have signs in

right-of-ways. This is an issue that should be

brought before City Council.

Am I correct?

MR. SCHULTZ: That is correct. And,

actually, City Council had a number of requests

recently for structures or signs in the

right-of-way, and I think this -- they're in the

process, I think, of re-evaluating whether those

are to be permitted and under what circumstances.

I think that it is an issue that

City Council should consider first so it doesn't

end up in front of the Council with the ZBA having

already said, you know, it's fine.

MR. SAVEN: The other issue, too, is

that once this issue is brought before the

City Council, they'll take into consideration all

the safety standards in regards to the placement of

the sign, where the sign is going to be placed.

And, certainly, they're going to have concerns

about the -- maybe a Hold Harmless Agreement of

some sort regarding if anybody gets hurt.

All these issues have to be

addressed. I don't think any member of the Board


would even act on this until such time that this

would be addressed.

So if I gave you any direction, that

would be the direction that I would give you, is go

before City Council for that approval.

MS. BLAZO: Okay. How -- maybe you

can explain to me how I can -- that's what I tried

to do first. I was told I had to have a

Hold Harmless Agreement and send a letter to

City Council. And when I did that, it was all sent

back to me and I was told it was not the procedure

to take, that I did have to come here first.

MR. SCHULTZ: We can walk her through

that process.

MR. CHAIRMAN: My only question is, I

would like to see a little bit more uniform in the

direction that we're directing people so that don't

have this bounce back.

MR. SAVEN: Do you have any idea who

informed you to come before-

MS. BLAZO: (Interposing) I talked

to several people. It's been many months. It took

me a long time to get here, so -- some of the

people that I talked to were at the


Building Department desk, and it went through Allen

and it went through -- I don't have the man's name,

but we talked about the whole process. They

couldn't find a Hold Harmless Agreement for a

business. And then Allen told me it wouldn't

matter anyway because I needed to go through

Zoning, not City Council.

MR. SAVEN: Your zoning aspect --

because of the directional sign in an I-2 -- excuse

me, other than an I-2 district is certainly an

issue that we would address, but the fact to allow

this to go into an easement, the permission for it

to go into the easement should be addressed to the

City Council first.

There's safety issues and

Hold Harmless Agreements that must be satisfactory

to the City of Novi prior to us even acting on


I think the Board would agree the

Board would want to see this before this took


MS. BLAZO: Okay.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Don, can she get in

touch with you and can you give her direction as to


what she needs to follow and have a central figure

point that-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) I'll

handle it. Call me.

MR. CHAIRMAN: We'll table this case

until you've got everything else lined up that you

need to do and then you can come back before us and

we'll go from that point there.

Board Members in agreement in tabling

this until all the information is put together?

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: We'll table it then.

Thank you.

MS. BLAZO: Thank you.

CASE NUMBER 02-002 (case heard out of order)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Next case, Case 01 --

02-001 filed by -- I'm not even going to try.

Would you please step forward and

I'll let you pronounce your name.

MR. CERVI: Fabio Cervi.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is

requesting a three-dimensional variance for

construction of a new home on property located on


lot 29 of Cenaqua Shores subdivision.

Sir, would you give your name and

address for our secretary and be sworn in, please.

MR. CERVI: Fabio Cervi, 47087 Seven

Mile Road.

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. GRONACHAN: Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Would you please

present your case.

MR. CERVI: Well, we're requesting to

extend the -- to keep the trailer there for another

year, but since then we are changed, that we would

like to -- just to extend it another 60 to 90 days.

What we're doing is we're finishing

up another house that is just across the street,

and then soon as we finish that, which will take up

at least 60 to 90 days, we want to take the trailer

off the lot.

MEMBER BRENNAN: Sir, can we make

sure we know who you are. Are you representing the


Broadmoor Park trailer?

MR. CERVI: Yes, Broadmoor Park.


different case, but as long as you're there we're

going to hear it.

MR. CERVI: Lot 91. The trailer

right now is placed on lot 91.

This is what our case is, that we're

just about finished another home there and we'll

like to remove the trailer and send the trailer out

of the property.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Is there anything

else, sir?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Is there anyone else

in the audience who would like to input into this


(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, we had

twenty-seven notices sent out. We received two

objections. Let's just kind of review the

objections. I think there's issues here that we

need to address.

Says -- this is from Helen and


Dominic Stanko (ph), and we've been here two -- the

trailer has been here -- wait a minute. We have

been here two years in April. We've lived directly

across from the trailer and do not understand why

Mason Homes needs another twelve months in their

unsightly trailer. They have at least two spec

homes in the neighborhood. Why not move the office

into one of those houses. The other buildings have

been long gone from the trailer -- the other

builders have been long gone from their trailer.

We'd like to see this sub being finished -- be

finished. For two years we've been inconvenienced

by big trucks and everything else that goes on when

you put a new sub in; torn up lawns from the

workers, dust, garbage. Enough is enough. Another

twelve-month permit means another year-and-a-half

to two years of inconvenience. If Madison (ph)

doesn't have to build on this lot, please do not

extend it from there.

The second one is from Lawrence and

Patricia Keyes, and they just circled objection.

Mr. Saven?

MR. SAVEN: Yes, sir.

MR. CHAIRMAN: On the trailer request


from Broadmoor Park Lane, do you have any


MR. SAVEN: How much longer do you

need the unit?

MR. CERVI: About sixty days, sixty,

ninety days at most.

MR. SAVEN: That's what I wanted to

know -- bring up to the Board.

MR. SAVEN: How many lots do you have

left and how many units do you have to build out?

MR. CERVI: Oh, I think about four

more. We already apply for two more, and we got

about -- we've got four under construction and we

build six.

MR. SAVEN: So those under

construction are going to take approximately nine

months to build; eight, nine months?

MR. CERVI: We're thinking about --

we would like to finish up there by the end of the


MR. SAVEN: Sixty days isn't-

MR. CERVI: (Interposing) The one --

the house right now, we're almost finished. Okay.

We're about to -- we've painted and we're just


doing the finish, the counter tops, plumbing,

electrical, so I should be finished in 60 to 90

days and then I'll take the -- send the trailer

back out of the subdivision.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Anything else?

MR. SAVEN: No, that's it.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members,

comments or discussion? Miss Gray.

MEMBER GRAY: I'm concerned that the

neighbors are upset with trailers, and we're being

a little more sensitive with construction trailers,

and I would -- if it's the consensus of the Board,

I would probably make a motion that we grant a

three-month extension, which would be ninety days,

and see where we go from there.

MR. CHAIRMAN: With the suggestion

that the area be cleaned up and maintained for that


MEMBER GRAY: Absolutely. The only

question I have, that somebody else mentioned to me

was, when did the permit expire on this, do we know


MR. SAVEN: We could take a look at

the temporary use permit.


Would you happen to know right


MR. CERVI: No. No, I don't.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, the thing is,

from whatever time we give today it will expire

that time from today, and I expect that it will be

out of there before that time frame expires.

MEMBER GRAY: Is ninety days going to

be enough?


MEMBER GRAY: And you'll clean up the



MEMBER GRAY: And make your neighbors


MR. CERVI: Yes. We're still going

to move the trailer and make (inaudible.)

MR. SAVEN: But you're going to clean

up all the debris around there?

MR. CERVI: Yes, sir.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Was that a motion?

MEMBER GRAY: That's a motion.


MR. CHAIRMAN: It's been moved and


seconded that the petitioner's request for a

variance be granted for a period of 90 days and the

lot is to be cleaned and maintained and the trailer

will be out of there before the end of 90 days.

Any further discussion on the


(No further discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none,

Madam Secretary, would you call the roll, please.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MR. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Sir, your variance

request for 90 days has been granted. We wish you

the best of luck.


MR. CERVI: Thank you.

CASE NUMBER 02-001 (Case heard out of order)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Now, let's gets back

where we should be, case 02-001 -- which looks like

it might have been my mistake that I called the

wrong number, and I apologize -- is requesting a

three dimensional variance for construction of a

new home on property located on lot 29.

Sir, would you give your name and be

sworn in by our secretary?

MR. KALJEVIC: My name is

Vaselj Kaljevic, 20113 Deering, Livonia, Michigan.

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. KALJEVIC: Yes, I do.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Would you please

present your case.

MR. KALJEVIC: I'm looking to build a

house on this property, lot 29, and I'm asking for

about -- for the setbacks on the sides and the


rear -- three setbacks, three sides. This -- in

order to have a, you know, colonial, not build a

box, simple one, I would like to make it a little

more design there.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Is there anything else

you wish to say or present?

MR. KALJEVIC: That's all.

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,

Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: Basically, the lot has an

unusual shape, is set on 50 foot front and 60 foot

in the rear, but there's also possibly a 70 foot

additional footage in the rear end of the property

based upon -- what is the name of that street?


MR. SAVEN: There you go. That's

there. So it is tight. The 50 foot is a small

frontage, but it does widen out towards the rear of

the property, and the property has depth, which is



MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members,

comments or discussion? Please, Cindy.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Would you please

let us know what the neighbors have to say?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Oh, I'm sorry. There

were 69 notices sent out and nobody said anything.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: That's an answer.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: Sir, I understand

your problem with a very, very narrow piece of

property. Can you tell me a little bit more what

you're planning on building? Typically, we get

some building drawings and we have some idea of

what's going to go in there.

MR. KALJEVIC: I've got blueprints.

It's going to look not exactly. I'd like to do

some changes on it. I've got blueprint if-

MEMBER BRENNAN: (Interposing) Can

we take a look at it? I'd like to look at them

while other people are asking you questions.

MR. KALJEVIC: It's going to be about

90 percent of this. I might do some change.

MEMBER BRENNAN: That's okay. I know

it's not going to be a little box like you see


here. There's going to be more -- I knew there was

some detail somewhere.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Miss Gray?

MEMBER GRAY: I'm real familiar with

this area, and as Mr. Saven mentioned, the --

there's a street that goes behind the house called

Chapman, and that's an alley, and I drove down that

alley last night. It runs parallel to East Lake

Drive between Endwell and Monticello, and I drove

down that alley last night and I was impressed by

the fact that every one of the other neighbors who

has property facing the lake on East Lake Drive and

facing Paramount south of Monticello has rear entry

garages off the alley, and this is one of the few

areas that I'm aware of in the city -- in this old

part of the city that does have original alleyway.

And the alleys were put in there for a reason.

I think with new construction, and

especially in this area where a 50 foot lot at the

road widening to 60 at the back is a luxury that

some of your neighbors would probably give their

right arm for because it's a fairly good sized lot

in this area of the city.

Based on the fact that there is the


alley in the rear and -- I would be more amenable

to setback variances in the rear for a rear entry


I'm wondering if you are willing to

consider something like that before I make any

further decision?

MR. KALJEVIC: Well, at this point I

don't know how would that look or I don't have any

idea for something like that, but if I can come up

with something I can do something with that.

MEMBER GRAY: Do you understand my

point, that there's a road back here-

MR. KALJEVIC: (Interposing) Yes.

MEMBER GRAY: -that you could do a

garage that opened to the back and you could have

-- instead of having your front yard -- using your

front yard as a driveway and parking -- because I'm

presuming this is a side entry garage in the front.

MR. KALJEVIC: Yes, it is.

MEMBER GRAY: Take all that cement

and put it in the backyard. I mean, you'd have

green in your front yard, still have to have the

setbacks, but you could move your house a little

forward maybe, if you could.


I just wanted to offer that option to

you because this is new construction, and new

construction is a little bit different than

something that you would be adding on to, and I

just wanted to make those suggestions to you and

certainly would be willing to hear some of the

comments from my Board Members -- fellow

Board Members.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Bauer?

MEMBER BAUER: I don't like to see

changes in the setbacks on the north or south or

rear yard on new construction. I think they have

enough room with the 50 foot and the 60 in the

rear, and like we say, that garage can be moved

into the rear at the alley. I would not be for

this at all.

MR. CHAIRMAN: What's the square

footage of the house that you're proposing to


MR. KALJEVIC: I don't know exactly.

Around eighteen hundred square feet.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Sanghvi, do you

have a comment?




MEMBER GRONACHAN: Yes, Mr. Chairman.

I concur with both Miss Gray and Mr. Bauer. When I

first looked at this, I thought that the --

although the lot size was one of the problems,

there was still enough width in the back that this

could be rectified perhaps, and I would almost

suggest that, perhaps, the petitioner would like to

have this tabled and go back -- sorry -- to the

drawing board and take a look at it again.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I think I concur with

the Board Members, that with new construction we

have something here to work with, and I think some,

possibly, thoughts and suggestions were given this

evening, that it possibly needs to be tweaked up a

little bit, because we're looking at variances on

three sides, and with that size lot and everything

I think that something else could be worked out to

fit that in a little better arrangement.

MR. KALJEVIC: Well, if -- I kind of

took the (inaudible) on the first floor I kind of

like to have a kitchen, dining and then the living

room and a laundry, so if I want to put that -- and


the garage on first floor, that's about, you know,

this square footage; otherwise, all the rooms would

be too small.

MEMBER SANGHVI: Wouldn't you be

better off talking to your architect about this

addition and maybe come back next month with new

drawings, new plans, if this is practical or not

from your point of view rather than deciding

offhand one way or the other?

Do you understand what I'm saying?

MR. KALJEVIC: Yeah, I understand. I

like to-

MEMBER SANGHVI: (Interposing) Or

you just want a decision right now?

MR. KALJEVIC: Well, pretty much,

yeah, because if I don't -- I mean, if I don't get

granted, if I have to make the house small, you


MEMBER SANGHVI: (Interposing) No.

We're not talking about making the house small.

We're talking about moving your garage from the

front to the back and using the back alley to get

into your garage, which would give you a larger

front yard without doing many changes and you may


not need as many variances. And it is a win-win

situation all around.

If you talk to your architect --

because the way things are going now, if you want a

decision today, the chances are you would be

denied. It's up to you to take the decision which

way you want to go.

Would you rather come back next month

after talking to your architect and making some

modifications in your plan, if it is practical for

you, and come back and talk it over with us again,

or do you want us to make a decision right now?

MR. KALJEVIC: You're saying to put

the garage in the back?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, that's-

MR. KALJEVIC: (Interposing) Same

size of the house?

MEMBER. SANGHVI: Yeah, same size of

the house, yes.



architect will tell you how to reorganize it

without changing the size of the house. You can do



MR. CHAIRMAN: But I would like to

still see the side yard variances either shifted to

one side or the other without a variance on both


MEMBER SANGHVI: I agree. That is


MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) I think

the whole thing needs to be looked at, trying to

position the home on the lot that you want to build

with a very minimum request in variance needed and

not a variance on three different sides, because on

new construction, that size lot, I couldn't support


MR. KALJEVIC: The rear -- eight

inches in the rear, I can take that off, doesn't

make no difference to the size of my house or --

MEMBER GRAY: Have you driven around

the lake to see some of the houses that have when

put on those-

MR. KALJEVIC: (Interposing) Yes, I


MEMBER GRAY: Some of them have been

put on 30 foot lots. Some of them on South Lake


have been put on 30, 35 foot lots.

MR. KALJEVIC: Yeah, but-

MEMBER GRAY: (Interposing) Okay.

I'm just making some suggestions, because as

Dr. Sanghvi said, if we make a decision tonight it

probably is not going to be what you want, so if

you want to take this -- get with Sarah and get

some of our notes, what we're talking about --

she'll put it in writing for you, I'm sure -- take

them back with your architect and take a new look

at how -- you know, a fresh approach to this,

because basically you got a street in the back and

street in the front, what can you do with that.

I mean, I know, you know the

neighbors use the alley for -- to get to their

garages, and that cleans up the whole front of the


You may want to talk to your

architect about that and the fact that with new

construction we're not quite as generous with

variances on the sides and on the rear, because

this is a good size lot for that area of the city.

This is a very good size lot.

MR. KALJEVIC: I see a lot of houses


there that they don't need-

MEMBER GRAY: (Interposing) Some of

those are 30 and 40 foot lots, too.

MR. KALJEVIC: Yeah, but they don't

have on the sides-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) Some of

them have been there 30 or 40 years.

MEMBER GRAY: Yes, yes, yes.

MR. KALEVIC: Okay. If I put -- if I

want to put garage in the back and keep the same

size of the house and -- that way I can forward the

house a little bit, the garage is-

MEMBER GRAY: (Interposing) Keep in

mind that we may not be willing to give you both

variances on both sides. That's why you need to

talk to your architect about this.

MR. SAVEN: I think it's important,

sir, that you take a look -- understand what the

Board's trying to relay to you in terms of the

number of variances which is being brought before

them tonight. You have a potential to reduce the

amount of variances.

Unfortunately, we have a 15 foot side

yard variance that you have to contend with.


Depending on how you work this out, it might be to

your advantage to try to reduce the one that's

lesser and go for a little bit more on one side if

it has to be done. Okay?

MR. KALJEVIC: Is there a number to

-- when I-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) We can't

do that.

MEMBER SANGHVI: I want to make

something very clear. By and large, we do not give

any variances for new construction.

MR. KALJEVIC: I understand that.

MEMBER SANGHVI: So what we are

trying to suggest to you is try and readjust that

in such a way that you need the least variances

rather than increasing them, okay.

So I want you to go and talk to your

architect, tell them what we told you, tell them

also that we suggest a better idea to put the

garage in the back with the entrance to garage from

the back alley rather from the front side and see

how it can be worked out without asking for any

major variances, which would be easier for us to



And that is why my suggestion is that

you want to ask us to table this this month and you

want to go and talk it over with your architect and

see if you can come up with an idea which is

acceptable to you and also which falls within the

parameters of the City's ordinance.

MR. CHAIRMAN: What we -- and just

reiterating what Mr. Sanghvi has said, we would

like to have you come back with a minimum request

that you have to have, and I would say if you came

back with a request on three sides again, you're

not going to get it. At least you wouldn't have my


MR. KALJEVIC: Pretty much on the

sides, that was, you know -- that's what I thought

was minimum that I can put on first floor.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, you're really

basically -- and what we're talking about for the

ordinance, you're overbuilding that lot.

Would you like to table that, have

another look at it and come back?

MR. KALJEVIC: Yeah, sure.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Board Members,

we'll table this until the petitioner gives us new


direction on what he wants to follow.

MR. SAVEN: I would like to mention

to petitioner that if he changes the request and it

does increase any of the side yard setback, we will

have to renotifiy, so please make sure you do this

in an expedited manner, please.


MEMBER GRAY: As soon as possible.

MEMBER SANGHVI: That will be for

your benefit.

MR. KALJEVIC: Thank you.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Next case, 02-004,

filed by James Cox at 44450 Sussex Drive, is

requesting a 9.1 foot dimensional side yard

variance for the construction of an additional

attached garage.

Would you both be sworn in, please,

by our secretary.

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. & MS. COX: Yes.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Would you please

present your case.

MS. COX: I'm Denise Cox and this is

my husband, Jim, and we reside at 44450 Sussex. We

are requesting a variance to build an attached

garage on our existing home.

We live in Cedar Springs and our

house was built in 1979. I don't know if you have

a picture of it or not, but we do have -- we're

requesting the variance for the garage that is to

be built on the east side of our property, and

right now they're -- it is woods on that side of

the property. We also live on a pond, so the

closest neighbor -- we have one next-door neighbor.

We don't have really anybody in front of us and

anybody in back of us.

We did get letters from our

neighbors, so we do have the support from the Cooks

and the Hendersons as well. The Cooks live

directly next to us on the west side, and the Woods

are on the east side.

Also, one of our neighbors,


Mr. Bob Zaad, was also kind enough to join us to

give us his support as well.

We did turn in a letter from the

association, and they told us that they would

support us as long as we could get this variance.

Some of the reasons that we feel that

we should get the variance includes that our 1979

house was one of the smallest models built, and

when we moved into the neighborhood three years ago

we had a family of four. We are now a family of

five. And it does not provide a lot of closet


Right now we have a two foot by three

foot closet on our first floor, so if we could

build this garage it would allow us to have more

storage space, more closet space on the first

level, as well as free up some basement storage,

because we were thinking of putting our laundry on

the first floor as well.

Right now our current garage is very

small. We don't have a lot of room for a vehicle.

We don't even park our vehicles in there right now

with all the lawnmowers, snowblowers, bikes, tools.

We just can't fit everything in there.


And our association does not allow

sheds, so -- we looked into that as well.

And let's see. That's really all I

have. It -- we have looked in our neighborhood,

and it does appear that some people have been

granted variances for three car garages.

MR. COX: There are two homes that I

found in our subdivision. It looks like they've

gotten variances. I don't want to say this person,

but -- I think that's it.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone else in the audience wish to input into this


MR. ZAAD: Yes.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Sir, could you please

step forward. For the record, could we have your

name and address, please.

MR. ZAAD: Robert Zaad,

24921 Christina Lane, Novi.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Please, your


MR. ZAAD: I've been there 23 years.

My house is kiddy-corner from -- they're in full

view. I'm very proud to have them as a neighbor.


And everything they've done to that house has just

enhanced the neighborhood, and I have no objections

to it because I thought about doing that to my

house, too, and my house is a lot larger than

theirs, but my kids are gone, so -- but I think

it's a superb idea, and everything they've done to

that house so far has just, you know, just enhanced

the neighborhood.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Is there anyone else

in the audience who would like to input into this


(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, there

were eighteen notices sent, we received two

approvals, which you've alluded to also, plus


If you have additional approval

sheets, would you please present them so we can put

them in the file.

MR. COX: Yeah, we have.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: Just a couple issues. As

you can tell, there's a wooded area on the east

side of the property line. I did send out our


woodlands person, and they recommended that the

snow fence be installed should this variance be

granted for the protection of the woodlands on that


MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

Board Members, comments or discussion?

MEMBER SANGHVI: Perhaps -- I have

been there and I've seen this place and -- but for

the fact that we (inaudible) I think this is not

going to impact anybody else in the neighborhood

when given permission and I think they have a real

hardship and I'm quite happy to support their


MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

Board Members? Miss Gray.

MEMBER GRAY: What are you going to

do with the existing garage?

Part of it's going to be converted to

a laundry and walk-in closet. And what about the

rest of it?

MR. COX: It's going to stay a one

car garage. If you see our plan, it's going to

look like it's a three car garage but it's going to

be an L.


MEMBER GRAY: That's what I thought.

Okay. Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Sanghvi?

MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes, sir. Would you

like a motion?

MR. CHAIRMAN: I thought you were


MR. SANGHVI: (Interposing) No, I

wasn't saying anything.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Sorry. Board members,

further comments or discussion?

(No further discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: If none, Mr. Sanghvi?

MEMBER SANGHVI: I make a motion,

sir, that in Case Number 02-004, that applicants'

request be granted due to the hardship and also due

to the situation, peculiar siting of the lot and

the wooded area around and this variance is not

going to impact any of the neighbors.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Been moved and

seconded to grant the petitioner's request as

presented. Is there any further discussion on the



MEMBER SANGHVI: With the inclusion

of the fence, the snow fence that was recommended.

MR. CHAIRMAN: 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 Sanghvi?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Sir and ma'am, your

variance request has been approved. See the

Building Department for necessary permits. We wish

you the best of luck.

MR. & MS. COX: Thank you.



MR. CHAIRMAN: Next case, 02-005.

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

what I'd like to do is bring to the Board -- this

is, again, dealing with the SAD, which was located

between Novi Road and the boulevard on Twelve Mile


One of the issues which was brought

before us just most recently was the fact that

there's a grating permit that's necessary for

Twelve Mile adjacent to the Ethan Allen property.

If you've been by there, you can see

that there is a small berm that is approximately

three foot in height and it is adjacent to that

wall. That berm will be affected by the grating in

that area.

Because there's a berm requirement

pursuant to the ordinance, that's why this has to

come back to the Board.

And, once again, it's dealing with

the SAD for the improvements to Twelve Mile Road.

Tom will answer any questions if

there may be any necessary, because he's most

involved in the right-of-way issues.


MR. CHAIRMAN: I have to say this.

Anyone else in the audience who would like to input

into the case?

(no response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: There were six notices

sent with no response. You didn't have to notify

the neighbors on the north side?

MR. SAVEN: Not -- very funny. We

won't go there.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Tom, any comments?

MR. SCHULTZ: No. This is no

different than a couple of the others that have

come before you, McDonald's and Art Van, and few


We're essentially imposing a

difficulty, and the City is seeking a variance on

behalf of the property owner in this situation.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

Board Members? Miss Gray.

MEMBER GRAY: Mr. Chairman, if it's

in order, I'd like to propose a motion. I'd like

to move to approve that this be -- this variance be

granted due to the City-imposed hardship due to

road improvements on Twelve Mile.



MR. CHAIRMAN: It's been moved and

seconded to grant the variance as requested. Any

further discussion on the motion?

(No further discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none,

Madam Secretary, would you call the roll,


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Your variance has been

approved. Make sure you pull necessary permits if

need be.

End of cases. Other matters?


MR. SAVEN: Yes, sir.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Saven?

MR. SAVEN: In your packet was a

diagram basically which you had asked of me to

present to you on those signs -- where those signs

would be required to be exempt from requirements of

the sign ordinance. Also -- and this was for

Fountain Walk by the way.

Also, number two, I think it's very

important to let you know that the City is actively

pursuing easements and right-of-ways for the

improvements along Grand River. It has been

brought to my attention about two-and-a-half weeks

ago -- we know we're going to be going through the

same type of scenario as we have off of Twelve Mile

Road, and I just want to prepare the Board that

until -- these are a little more difficult because

these are some of the ones that were not conforming

for a long period of time. Zoning has changed. A

little bit of research has got to be done and we'll

we back before the Board probably -- in April,


MR. SCHULTZ: Yes, April.

MR. SAVEN: Somewhere along April,


along that line. So there will probably be quite a

few cases before you at that time.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anybody not going to be at next month's meeting?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Sounds great. Under

other matters for next month's meeting is election

of officers. Since Mr. Sanghvi and I were

confirmed after our last meeting, we should have

this at our next meeting, take care of this.

Board Members, other comments?

Miss Gray.

MEMBER GRAY: I don't know if this is

the appropriate time to do this, but Don, I know

you're aware of it -- I'm sure you're aware of

it -- with 207 Charlotte-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) It will be

back before the Zoning Board of Appeals next month.

MEMBER GRAY: I understand it's going

to be for setback variances?

MR. SAVEN: It will be for one

setback variance. They came before you with five,

you beat them up, tried to get them to come back

for one. There were several -- there was several


issues that was brought before the Board.

I know that Jim said attach a garage.

I mean, those were -- he wants an attached garage

so he has some building to keep distance away from

the homes.

There were several issues. The

neighbor next door was one that was concerned

because of the ten foot -- or the setback that they

had. I think they wanted five foot on that one

particular side. And the parking in the front. I

remember because they didn't have a garage, that

they wanted to -- the placement of the cars, get

them off-street parking. That was another issue.

They're trying to address all these

particular issues, and they will be back before

you. It looks as though it's only going to be one

variance, going down to a one car garage.

And I think that's what we tried to

explain to that individual today, is to try to

minimize it as much as possible.

So that's where we're at.

MR. CHAIRMAN: One sounds a lot

better than five.

MR. SAVEN: Well, that's what it


started off with, is five, and they came back with

three, and then that still wasn't satisfactory.

MEMBER GRAY: Because of the

neighbors on both sides of the property and the

smallness of the lot.

MR. SAVEN: Yeah. The only problem

that I have is I wish -- and I know that they tried

to buy the property immediately east from-

MEMBER GRAY: (Interposing)

Mrs. Thompson?

MR. SAVEN: Mrs. Thompson.

Mrs. Thompson does not want to sell the property.

MEMBER GRAY: Mrs. Thompson's been

trying to buy that lot.

MR. SAVEN: Yeah. So now

Mrs. Thompson's going to have a problem. She

wanted to build on that property, but the City

can't get involved in this type of a dispute. They

can only act on those specific issues that are

relative to the zoning ordinance.

Unfortunately, the gentleman has

taken every effort to take care of this particular

problem. The problem is he's got such a small lot,

and the fact is that he has got no room.


I mean, when the plan came and I

build this house, the parameters were there. The

height requirement was the one in which we beat him

up on, and that's why the job was stopped.

I mean, we went through a lot of

court action in this particular area, so his only

alternative is to come back before the Board for

that one variance. The only issue is that if we

take a look at this and deny him any type of

relief, we're going to be buying the property, I

can almost guarantee that.

MR. SCHULTZ: I can't say it any


MR. SAVEN: We need to get him down

to the most minimum, whatever it is.

MEMBER GRAY: If I may ask, because

I'm not quite sure, but -- I mean, is he coming

back and asking for the one variance because he's

already put in the foundation and everything and we

can't basically force him to tear it out?

MR. SAVEN: Well, if the foundation

meets the requirements with what he intends on

doing, then why would we tell him to tear it out?

MEMBER GRAY: Well, for one thing, it


was poured uninspected.

MR. SAVEN: That's true.

MEMBER GRAY: There's a lot more in

this that-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) You're

absolutely right.

MEMBER GRAY: I'm not trying to be,

you know, too picky, but I've been -- I drive by

there every day, and I saw the cement truck there

Friday morning.

MR. SAVEN: There were -- there


MEMBER GRAY: (Interposing) And he

was told not to pour, so-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) He was told

not to pour. He circumvented the procedures and

policies of the City.

MEMBER GRAY: Absolutely.

MR. SAVEN: But, definitely, that is

a point.

MR. CHAIRMAN: If -- well, I won't

even --

MEMBER GRAY: I don't want to belabor

the issue, and I appreciate the indulgence of the


Board. I'm just, like, how can this happen.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I can say that if he

comes back before us, all these issues are going to

come up.

MR. SAVEN: That's fine, and it

should. It really should.

MEMBER GRAY: Well -- and I have to

tell you, I appreciate Terry -- Mr. Morrone's

frankness in getting back with me on these, and I

know he's kept Sarah apprised as to what's going

on, too.

And the other thing that I was asking

him about is what's going on with the house at

2230 Old Novi Road, because they've three dumpsters

that they've hauled out, and is it a rental, is

it -- you know, what is it, what's going on. He

said he's got to check into it.

MR. SAVEN: I will tell you this, it

came to me as Austin, 2230 Austin.



MEMBER GRAY: 2230 Old Novi Road.

MR. SAVEN: And my inspector went

over there. Of course, I'm very rarely sitting in


a place for more than five minutes, so I don't see

him as often as I want to, but we did correct that.

MEMBER GRAY: Okay. I appreciate

your help. I mean, renovations are going on in

that area, but-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) I'm

amazed, Sarah.

MR. SAVEN: I think it was a concern

of whether or not this house was put on the

dangerous building list. I think that it was.

MR. CHAIRMAN: With all the equipment

(inaudible) I'm amazed they still have a frame of

the building.

MEMBER GRAY: Well, I was just hoping

that none of those shingles were asbestos.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Any further comments

to be extended before the Board this evening?

MR. SAVEN: I'll shut up.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The meeting is


(The meeting was adjourned at

8:52 p.m.)

Date approved:

March 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 78 typewritten pages, is a

true and correct transcript to the best of my abilities.



Cheryl L. James, CSR-5786