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TUESDAY, MARCH 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, March 5, 2002.

Laverne Reinke, chairman
Jerald 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 time I would

like to call the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting

to order.

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: 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 the members to deny a variance. The

Board consists of six members. We have all

members present tonight, we have a full Board, so

all decisions this evening will be final.

The rules that we conduct our

meeting under is: Each person desiring to address

the Board shall state his name and address.

Individual persons shall be allowed five minutes

to address the Board. An extension of time may be

granted at the discretion of the Chairman. There

shall be no questioning of the audience by the

persons addressing the Board; however, the Board

members may question that person with recognition

of the Chairman. No person shall be allowed to

address the Board more than once unless permission

is granted by the Chairman. One spokesperson for

a group attending shall be allowed ten minutes to

address the Board.

Are there any changes or corrections

to the agenda this evening?

MS. MARCHIONI: Yes. Rotary Park

has been taken off.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. And then on


the other thing, election of officers, we're going

to move that to the last item on the agenda.

Any other corrections?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Do I have a motion to

accept the agenda as corrected?



MR. CHAIRMAN: All those in favor

signify by saying aye.

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: All opposed?

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: The next item we have

are the approval of the minutes of the

February 5th meeting. Are there any additions or

corrections to those minutes?

MEMBER GRAY: Mr. Chairman?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Miss Gray.

MEMBER GRAY: I have five

corrections that are nonsubstantive, so I will

give them to our secretary afterwards. They do

not change anything.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Are there any other


additions or corrections?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, Chair

would entertain a motion to accept the minutes as




MR. CHAIRMAN: All those in favor,

signify by saying aye.

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Opposed?

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Motion carried.

At this time we have a public

remarks section. If there's anything that anybody

would like to address the Board on, they may do so

at this time. If there is remarks pertaining to

cases before us, I would presume -- I would prefer

that they would apply at that time. If it's

something else that's not on our agenda that

somebody would like to address the Board on, they

can step forward and do so at this time.

Hearing none, we'll close the public

remarks -- I stand corrected. Would you step


forward, please.


Buffalo Wild Wings, and we're on your agenda for

item number three.

And we have originally applied for

a -- I guess a variance to your sign ordinance,

and since then JPRA, the architects for the

Fountain Walk, and PLC West, have decided that

that wasn't significant enough, so they have gone

through a whole process the last couple weeks and

we've come up with a new scheme with awnings to go

with the signage, because they felt that that was

an entrance to the mall.

And I have the plans with me and the

awning, I guess, story board, so -- I don't know

if I have to resubmit or --

MR. CHAIRMAN: I would -- it's

different than what we had been presented to us,


UNIDENTIFIED: The signs are the

same but we've added awnings.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Don, I think this is

going to have to be reevaluated.

MR. SAVEN: I'm sorry. I was out.


Would you please explain that one more time.


originally applied for the variance to the signage

for our location, since then JPRA, who's the

architect for the Fountain Walk Mall, has decided

that that wasn't what they wanted, so we went back

to the drawing board, or my architects did, and

we've come up with a new scheme with banners and

awnings to go with our signage.

MR. SAVEN: Has this been approved

by JPRA?

UNIDENTIFIED: Yes, it has.

Actually, it just was approved this week.

MR. SAVEN: Unfortunately, we'd like

to take a look at the whole matter, not just a

portion of the matter. We'll require you to come

back with a new presentation.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Our attorney?

MR. SCHULTZ: I agree.

MR. CHAIRMAN: What we can do is

table your case until you can get with the City

Building Department, and then we'll put you back

on our agenda at a meeting right after they've had


time to evaluate and readvertise as needed.

UNIDENTIFIED: Okay. Sorry about


MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

Board Members, any further discussion on tabling

the Buffalo Wings case?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. We'll

table that case until it is resolved with the


Anyone else in the public remarks?

(No response.)


MR. CHAIRMAN: We'll close the

public remarks and call the first case, which is

Case Number 01-103 filed by Gina Blazo of

All Star Gymnastics.

Would you be sworn in, please.

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: I do.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Would you

please present your case.

MS. BLAZO: Hi. I was here last

month and -- applying for a variance to have a

directional sign located on the corner of

Nine Mile and Heslip, just to give you a review,

and I was told to go in front of -- write a letter

to the city council first, before I came here, and

then that was changed, so I'm back.

What I'm applying for is to put a

directional sign on the corner of Heslip and

Nine Mile in order to aid in traffic flow because

the traffic on Nine Mile is not only very heavy,

but we have a lot of new people who are coming for

various events that -- especially in the evening

when they cannot see the street sign.

There is no sign for the industrial

park at all, and it doesn't even look like an

industrial park, and the street sign cannot be

seen in the evening.

We have a lot of families with

minivans and small children, and we've had several


near accidents with people trying to slow down and

trying to find the street.

So we have erected a temporary, very

small sign with just the name of the business that

is small enough so that it can be hit by

headlights, and it's much easier to find in -- and

we feel that it's esthetically pleasing and it's

not large enough to detract in any way from the

character in that particular area.

As far as the -- addressing the

needs and the objections, we have hundreds of

children coming around Christmastime for Toys for

Tots events, we have many schools that are coming

from not only Novi but many surrounding areas for

school field trips and Girl Scout badge workshops.

We also hold gymnastic and cheerleading

competitions, and anywhere from six to ten

birthday parties every weekend with people coming

who do not go to this gym, they're coming for an

event and do not know where we're located, so we

are worried about safety and traffic flow.

The zoning in this park is

industrial, but I have a zoning variance for a

place for public assembly, so we have a lot more


traffic than the other businesses do in that

industrial park. We have a higher volume of

traffic, and we are providing a service to the

family -- to families in the community.

I don't feel that this variance will

negatively impact any of the neighbors or alter

the character of this particular industrial


The only objections that we have

were two, and that was that the sign might be

located in one business's front yard, which is not

the case. It would be located across the street.

And the other objection was that this type of

business belongs on a major road with easy access

for patrons with minivans.

And if I was given a zoning variance

to be in this location -- and we do have a lot of

parents coming in a minivan. I think that's a

personal opinion and has nothing to do with the

sign, I think it's a separate issue.

That is my case.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone in the audience who would like to input

into this case?


(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, there

were seventeen notices sent, we received two

approvals, two objections, and two were sent


Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: Just a couple

questions. You had indicated that this is going

to be a temporary sign, correct?


MR. SAVEN: It will be that

particular sign at that particular location?

MS. BLAZO: Yes, if that is


MR. SAVEN: Board, be aware, that

this is in a public right-of-way and a temporary

sign. Although it may not appear to have a visual

obstruction, the sign is still located in the


MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members?

Mr. Brennan?


conflicts we had last month was does she get our

approval first or city council's.


MR. SAVEN: Because it's a temporary

sign, it's a different -- this is a different --

it can be picked up and moved off the premises.

It isn't as though it's a permanent sign. That

was one of the concerns that I had, based upon

thinking that that was a mockup at that time, and

it's a little bit different.

MEMBER BRENNAN: So her issue then

is with us and us only?

MR. SAVEN: If it's going to be in a

right-of-way, it will be from here and then go to

city council.


recall seeing the mockup. I recall driving down

this industrial park. And I have some sympathy

for the petitioner's position.

I would be -- I would be in favor of

approval of this because it is a non permanent

sign. I'd encourage, perhaps, a one-year time to

see if there's any issues, invite Miss Blazo back

next March. If there's no issues, we'll continue

it and we'll limit it to this party.

That's my observations.

MEMBER BAUER: I'll second the



MR. CHAIRMAN: I think we have more

discussion before we get to that point.

Board Members, other comments or


MEMBER SANGHVI: I would like to ask

a question. Is this a movable sign or is it a

temporary sign?

MR. SAVEN: Mr. Sanghvi, this is a

temporary sign.

MEMBER SANGHVI: Temporary means how

long it will be there?

Temporary means that it is not-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) This will

be up to the decision of the Board and -- relative

to, number one, the temporariness; and, number

two, the placement of the sign.

MEMBER SANGHVI: Because a movable

sign can be moved and put there every day, take

down, be temporary. Are we talking about that

kind of sign there, or are we talking about

something you stick in the ground and take it out

after three months?

MR. SAVEN: This is something that


is probably a little bit more than temporary,

portable, like a real estate sign. It has that

same connotation as a real estate sign. It has

two legs.

MS. BLAZO: Yes. It pounds into the

ground. It's very small, about three feet in-

MEMBER SANGHVI: (Interposing) I

have seen the sign.

MS. BLAZO: It's not portable. I

mean, you can't -- you could pick it up and move

it, but it's meant to stay-

MEMBER SANGHVI: (Interposing) It's

going to be stuck in the ground?

MS. BLAZO: Yes. It is stuck in the


MEMBER SANGHVI: And that is why I

am a little confused with the use of the word

temporary and movable. They're not really

interchangeable terms.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, I guess it's

really only temporary in that it's not permanently

mounted, by my definition.

Board Members? Mr. Fannon?

MEMBER FANNON: I feel the same way


as Dr. Sanghvi does. I'm -- I don't want to beat

up a word here, but I can't imagine anything

happening between now and next March where the

petitioner won't be back saying we still need the

sign because we're back in this industrial

community -- or park.

I respect the fact that she has a

variance to have her business in this industrial

park, but I can just imagine that everybody in the

industrial park is going to come and want to put a

little sign out there on Nine Mile Road.

I travel that road a lot. All over

the city, anywhere that you're in the back,

they're going to want to put a sign out in the

right-of-way or out in the front, a little tiny


So this isn't something that we're

going to put up every Saturday for eight hours.

This is going to become -- or try to become a

permanent sign, and I don't know what issue -- you

may say, Frank, we have an issue because nobody

complains about the sign for a year.

MS. BLAZO: Can I make a comment?

MEMBER FANNON: I'm having some real


troubles with that sign in that location-

MEMBER BRENNAN: (Interposing) Can

I address --

MEMBER FANNON: -based on --



MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, I don't want to

get into a debate here, but I guess you can, you

know, express what your viewpoint is on that.

MEMBER BRENNAN: Well, Brian missed

last week's -- or last month's meeting. And

Ms. Blazo has a special variance, special use I

guess, from the city council. I mean, this is a

industrial complex where you got industrial

business going on. She has got a commercial

business going on.

MEMBER FANNON: I know exactly what

she has going on. I agree with that, but she

chose to go into the back of an industrial park

and go to the city council and say do you mind if

I open a gymnasium, right, and that's happened,

and I think that's great.

I think what the City should do is

put a bigger sign up that says Heslip Drive. They


have the larger ones. You can get them reflective

so you can see them at night, and try that before

we agree to this kind of a sign. That's all I'm

saying. There may be a way for the City itself,

Bruce Jerome's department, to help out in

identifying Heslip Drive better than what it is

today, which isn't very well done, so -- I guess

I've finished my whole mini presentation.

I'm just having troubles with that

sign. Before we go to the next point -- if it's

just getting on Heslip Drive, which seems to be

the confusion, maybe the City can help you out.

That's all. That's just my own

opinion, just one.

MS. BLAZO: I guess that my feeling

is that since the other businesses are industrial,

they -- I mean, if they want to have a sign they

could go through the same process that I did, but

most of them have truck deliveries and are not

open to the public, so they don't have the traffic

that I have.

And as far as choosing to be in an

industrial park, it's not much of a choice. I

need at least 10,000 square feet with 20 foot


ceilings and big garage doors in order to get in

the gymnastic equipment and have the space and

ceiling height that I need, so I don't really have

much of a choice.

All other gymnastic schools are also

located in industrial parks, but many industrial

parks have signs at the entrance that state the

businesses that are in there. This one does not.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, I think

Mr. Fannon has a good point in being that I think

there's other avenues -- if the Heslip Drive sign

is either larger or lit up better and everything,

that would give the identification and help people

in direction to your place, because I think -- how

many times do you have new people coming in?

A lot of your people are always

repeat that are coming back, correct?

MS. BLAZO: That is true, but we

probably have as many new people as we have

repeat. The students who take gymnastics every

week are repeat customers, but the children coming

for field trips and birthday parties and

competitions and Girl Scouts and all those other


events -- we had a Halloween party that had over a

hundred kids, and they were coming from schools

and all over the place.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Usually, when anybody

is going to a place like this, either they're

going to have a map from you or going to generate

a map of their own direction-wise.


MR. CHAIRMAN: And I think

Mr. Fannon has a good point that I'd like to see

explored before I could really feel comfortable

about putting a temporary sign there because, as

he has stated, that temporary sign is going to

turn into a permanent sign, and the next thing is

another company down the road says, you know, I'm

really having trouble getting people identified, I

want to put a temporary sign out there, and then

we've got a real problem.

So I think there's other avenues

that need to be explored before I could support a

variance for a sign of that nature.

Board Members -- other

Board Members, comments or discussion? Miss Gray?

MEMBER SANGHVI: I agree with you,


Mr. Chairman. You need a visible, well-lit sign

to define Heslip Drive rather than this particular

business. Heslip Drive is identifiable, then once

they come in that street it is not hard to find

your business.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Miss Gray?

MEMBER GRAY: Thank you. Some of

the notes I made when I first read this last

month, the first thing I said was -- my note to

myself was I was hesitant due to the precedent it

would set, and if the street sign meets the code,

whatever our code is, what's the potential for a

future corporate park sign, all of which we've


I also had a problem with the word

temporary. I think if we have -- if we address a

combination of a larger sign for Heslip that is

reflective and more readable or visible, and the

potential of possibly her putting out a temporary

sign that can be removed, that is temporary and

portable and is removable by event, I think that

would be something I would be more comfortable

seeing to begin with before we go into a permanent

sign that may be temporary in nature.


MR. CHAIRMAN: What you're saying on

the temporary classification is all well and good,

but who's going to be the police dog? I mean,

that's the part right there, of knowing what's a

temporary event and when it is and so forth like

that. I don't want to get into a setup of that

nature like that, because to control that is

almost impossible.

Thank you. Mr. Bauer?

MEMBER BAUER: The number of years

I've been on this Board, it's always gone to the

city council because it's being in a right-of-way,

and then it's come back to the ZBA, and I think

that's the way it should -- and I think that

should still continue, not trying to have this

woman come back.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, I understand

your point, and I think it's probably going to

bounce back to us because of being classified as a

temporary sign.

Either way, I think we need to deal

with the issue that's before us, would we consider

or would we not consider, and I think that -- we

might as well take and give direction right at


this point in time.

Other Board Members, comments or


(No further discussion.)

MEMBER FANNON: How do we make a

request to the City DPW Department -- I think

that's the department -- to look at that sign and

see if there's -- I know they've done this

elsewhere. You know what I'm saying?

MR. SAVEN: If it is the Board's

wish to make that request at this particular time,

I will contact Bruce Jerome and his department to

take a look at that particular sign and see what

we can do to make it visible.

MR. CHAIRMAN: What I would like to

do, rather than acting on this case, is keep

open -- I would like to table it. I'd like to

direct the City Building Department to get with

whatever necessary agency about increasing the

size of the street sign, reflective,

identification, something to help you out in the

situation there, and make an evaluation of that

before we -- because if we're going to act on this

right now, I have a feeling it's going to be


turned down without exhausting other avenues which

we feel are available.

Board Members, further --

Mr. Sanghvi?


motion, sir, that we table this issue at this

point in time, and at the same time we request the

City to put up a better visible and reflective

sign at this particular street and try it for the

period of six months and then re-evaluate the


MR. SAVEN: Okay. Mr. Chairman,

point of order. You already had a motion on the

floor and you have a second by Mr. Bauer.

MR. SCHULTZ: I have a motion to

table, takes precedence over the motion on the

floor, but --

MR. SAVEN: All right. I stand


MEMBER BAUER: I'll withdraw my


MR. CHAIRMAN: It's been moved to

table this case for a period of six months until

we've explored other avenues of street



MEMBER BAUER: One thing. Can she

still have that little sign until that time?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Let's say no, because

the thing is if it's out there, it's not going to

get the avenue of things rolling.

Board Members, further discussion on

tabling the motion?

(No further discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, all

those in favor, signify by saying aye.

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: All opposed?

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Motion carried.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Next case, Case

Number 02-003 filed by Taylor Scott Architects

representing Great Indoors Fountain Walk.

MR. GOBLE: Good evening. My name

is Chris Goble. I'm with Taylor Scott Architects.

We are the architect of record for the

Great Indoors Fountain Walk Development. We're


requesting a-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) Sir,

excuse me a moment. Have you been sworn in


MR. GOBLE: Yes. I've appeared

before this Board previously.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Continue on. I'm

sorry I interrupted you.

MR. GOBLE: All right. We

previously appeared before this Board in July

requesting variances for seven signs for the

Great Indoors facility.

One sign in particular that we're

requesting now be modified is the east wall sign.

In July that sign was approved with a variance

total square footage of a hundred and thirty-three

square feet. We're requesting that sign be

replaced with a 407 square foot sign. That sign

matches the building on the south face, the

primary entrance.

We're requesting this sign be

enlarged, primarily for one reason, and that's

visibility off of Novi Road.

There's currently two access points


into the Fountain Walk Development. Off of

Novi Road through Donelson is where the vast

majority of traffic currently comes through right

now. Off of Twelve Mile Road they'll come in past

Gaylan's, through -- I believe it's called


The visibility of the sign out on

Twelve Mile Road is very limited. It's a very

small sign, very difficult to read, and we're

requesting a larger sign be placed -- the small

sign be removed and the larger sign be placed


I did bring with me, if you're

interested in seeing from the information

requested, we took some digital photographs and

modified before and after the existing proposed,

if you're interested in taking a look at those.

MR. CHAIRMAN: If you would, pass

those around, please.

While you're doing that, is there

anyone else in the audience with input into this


(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, there


were nineteen notices sent out, zero approvals,

zero objections, and two were sent back.

Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: No comment, sir. We've

had several variances for this project earlier

on. You have to take a look at the visibility

issue right now.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: Yeah. I'm a little

-- I was a little peeved that this is back before

us. I thought we were pretty gracious with the

signage that we gave this petitioner in July.

I sat on Novi Road and could see

that easterly sign. I sat in front of

Service Merchandise and could see that easterly


And the petitioner is giving me no

further evidence tonight -- evidence that would

lend me to believe that you need relief, and not

hearing any evidence I don't support the

petitioner's request.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Other Board Members,

comments or input? Miss Gray?

MS. GRAY: Well, I have to agree


with Mr. Brennan. Every time I have driven by

this area, Novi Road, Donelson Drive,

West Oaks Drive, I make a point of looking because

I keep anticipating what we're going to be seeing

in the future.

The sign as it exists at a hundred

and thirty-three square feet, which is a variance

of ninety-three square feet that we granted back

in July, is clearly visible over and above the

Kmart Store. Whether it's backlit or not, as it

was not this evening when I was driving by, I

don't see what the hardship is.

And my comment on this is, what has

changed since July 17th when it was clearly

acceptable -- that 133 square foot was acceptable?

And I don't see anything that tells us that there

has been a change in circumstances or a change in

need or a change or, indeed, a hardship on this to

say why they need the bigger sign.

Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Bauer?

MEMBER BAUER: I go by this probably

eight, ten times a day. I can see Great Indoors

as it was, and I do not understand and cannot see


where there is any hardship. I cannot support it.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I'm going to ask the

petitioner a question. Where do you feel the

current sign is not visible from?

MR. GOBLE: Well, from Novi Road.

It is visible. You can, obviously, see the sign.

My client (inaudible) of the Great Indoors has

directed me that they would like, basically, a

larger sign.

MR. CHAIRMAN: We kind of gathered

that on the original application for the size they

requested at that time.

I really can only echo the other

Board Members' comments. I'm in there three or

four, five times a week, and there's no question

about where you can see that sign. It's very

visible. And we're not going to allow something

that's going to be like a big billboard and is

going to jump out and swollow you up as you make

the corner or come around.

I mean, if you keep going that way,

of course it will be visible from I-96 before you

even get to Novi Road.

I really see no hardship in


requiring the additional size.

Board Members? Miss Gronachan?

MS. GRONACHAN: I just want to

concur with everyone. I re-read the minutes. I

spent Saturday out there looking at all angles,

and I agree with all my members on this Board. I

don't see any need for it. I believe that part of

the -- I don't believe that the signage is the

problem, and maybe if there were complaints -- I

believe that it could just be getting around the

parking lot perhaps, but what needed to be brought

in here is proof that people can't find your

building or that they can't see Fountain Walk or

they have no clue where the Great Indoors is, and

I really don't believe that that's a problem. The

parking lot was full, people were hustling and

bustling. It was about six o'clock. I went back

on another day. I didn't see people driving

around the parking lot lost.

I just can't support this request.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Other Board Members,

comments or discussion?



MEMBER FANNON: Just real quickly.

I think I made a comment in July, but I don't know

why it's not in the middle of the facade.

I just had two quick questions. As

you drive down this road that I can never

remember the name off of Novi Road

MEMBER GRAY: Donelson.

MEMBER FANNON: Is that the one that

goes --

(Discussion held around the


MEMBER GRAY: West Oaks Drive.

MEMBER FANNON: Okay. Driving down,

there are signs that say Great Indoors to the left


MEMBER GRAY: (Interposing)

Directional signs.


temporary. There's a big temporary sign now that

says Novi Road, about a two-foot cardboard sign.

Who's putting those up?

MR. SAVEN: It's probably part of

the SAD improvement for the Novi Road issue, but

the ones that are for this project have not been


installed yet. They are in the process of being

-- as you were well aware of, we're getting to

closure on this project pretty soon. Hopefully


MEMBER FANNON: (Interposing) So

there would be something permanent?

MR. SAVEN: Yes. We had them before

the Board. Their directional signage has been


MEMBER FANNON: Those are just

temporary. I have no other questions then.

MEMBER GRAY: Mr. Reinke, if I could

mention one more thing? Another thing that was

brought up to me was that when you're doing your

advertising on the radio or on the TV it says the

Great Indoors by Twelve Oaks Mall. Well, maybe

you're creating your own hardship by saying you're

by Twelve Oaks Mall. I mean, because people are

going to look for you by Twelve Oaks Mall. They

need to be told that you're across from

Twelve Oaks Mall, so -- that's the only other

comment I want to make.

Thank you.

MR. GOBLE: I'll be happy to pass


that along, too.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members,

further comments or discussion?


make a motion?


MEMBER SANGHVI: That in Case Number

02-003, the petitioner's request is denied because

of lack of showing of any hardship.


MR. CHAIRMAN: It's been moved and

seconded to deny the petitioner's request. Any

further discussion on the motion? Mr. Schultz?

MR. SCHULTZ: I'd just ask that the

phrase hardship be revised to include practical

difficulty. It is not a use variance, it's lack


MEMBER SANGHVI: (Interposing) Due

to lack of practical difficulty.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Per the

modified motion and second, is there any further

discussion on the motion?

(No discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none,


Madam Secretary, would you call the roll, please.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Fannon?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Sir, your variance

request has been denied.

Thank you.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Next case is

Case Number 02-007 filed by John Anderson of

207 Charlotte.

This a continuation. Has anybody

not been sworn in?

You are his lawyer, correct?


MR. LEIB: Good evening,

Mr. Chairman.

MR. CHAIRMAN: We don't need to have

you sworn in.

MR. LEIB: Okay. Mr. Chairman,

members of the Board, my name is Jeff Leib. I've

been retained by the Andersons, and it is my

pleasure to be here tonight on their behalf.

Would you like me to proceed?


MR. LEIB: Thank you. The Andersons

are here as the applicants for variances for lot

47 of Pratt Subdivision at 207 Charlotte Street in

the city of Novi.

Their lot is forty feet wide by

eighty-five feet deep. It is a legal

nonconforming lot, and in my opinion it cannot be

practically developed without variances.

There is some history here, which

you're probably familiar with, but I would like to

make a record.

In 2000, August of 2000, the

applicants wanted to buy this property. They did

some due diligence, they came to the City, talked


to the Building Department, talked to water and

sewer, talked to the assessor's office, determined

that they could build only a twenty by twenty foot

home without variances and that they would need

variances for anything larger than a twenty by

twenty foot home.

In September of 2000 they bought the

lot. They made an application for a -- some

variances and came before this Board in March of


At that time they were asking for a

couple of variances in order to build a home thirty

by twenty-two in size. This Board opposed that,

for the most part. There were some neighbors who

opposed it, indicating that they didn't -- they

didn't want to see any encroachment near their

yard. And despite the fact that their home -- and

this is the neighbor to the west. Their home is

practically on the lot line.

But, nevertheless, it was confirmed

by the building official at that meeting -- it's

part of the minutes -- that they could build a

twenty by twenty foot home without a variance.

But, nevertheless, this Board tabled it for a



Came back again in April with a

revised set of variance requests, five by number,

and the Andersons, at that time, wanted to build a

home with a two-car attached garage and the home to

be twenty-six feet wide.

At that time, again, a neighbor down

the street objected saying that this is too small a

lot, there shouldn't be anything built on it,

ridiculed the Andersons for even buying such a

small lot. The neighbor to the west, again,

objected, too.

And this time, instead of asking for

a five foot variance they were only asking for a

one foot variance. It still would have been nine

feet from the property line, but the neighbor to

the west complained that with the two feet that

they had from the property line plus the nine feet,

they would only be eleven feet away from their

house, and they objected to that.

Again, the matter was tabled by your

Zoning Board of Appeals until May of 2000, at which

time the Andersons came back with a new request,

including a front yard variance request of ten


feet, they wanted that, and they eliminated the

variance request on the west side, asked for an

east side variance of five feet.

And, again -- this time the neighbor

to the west didn't object to it. The neighbor down

the street said they still needed it because --

they still objected to it because of the nature of

the beast -- I took that as a quote from the

minutes -- meaning that the lot was just too small.

And at that time some of the members

of the ZBA expressed the opinion that the lot

simply was not large enough for it to be


Mr. Schultz, city attorney,

indicated that -- so many words, that that was not

a sufficient reason to deny it.

Discussion then ensued which

contradicted some earlier meetings of the ZBA

relating to the fact that they would be entitled to

build a twenty by twenty foot home.

It was then brought up for the first time

by Mr. Saven that the ordinance -- the R-4

ordinance had been amended and the grandfathering

provision that had been in had been taken out; so,


therefore, they would need a five foot variance to

even build a twenty by twenty foot home. They

could only build a twenty by fifteen foot home

without a variance.

At that time this Board denied that

appeal, indicating that the request was

self-created hardship and a lesser variance could

be generated, whatever that meant.

Since that time -- and that was in

May of 2000. Since that time, the Andersons went

to the City. They wanted to get a permit for a

twenty by twenty foot home. I guess it went to JCK

for review and then it came back to the City, and

they said they could not build a twenty by twenty

foot home without getting a variance, they could

only build a twenty by fifteen foot home.

And, in fact, in July of 2001 the

Andersons went and applied for a building permit

for a twenty by fifteen foot home plus a detached

rear yard garage, and that was approved by the

City. No variance was necessary.

And they paid their fee, they got the

inspections, they did -- got approval from Edison

to get temporary electric service. They dug their


basement -- or they cleared the lot. They put some

fencepost holes in. They closed on their mortgage

loan. They formed the footing, set the steel, and

the basement was staked and dug.

And then when they called for the

City to do some inspections, JCK came and said that

somehow the plans -- the house plans that were

submitted to the City showing a two-and-a-half

story home, somebody interpreted that as being a

three-story home; so, therefore, it was -- violated

the two-and-a-half-story requirement. So there was

an ensuing lawsuit and things have been stopped

since then.

Last week I had the pleasure of

meeting with Mr. Saven and Mr. Schultz to see how

we could get this thing resolved. And at that --

I said to my clients you're being -- there's

litigation now to try to stop a twenty by fifteen

home. Even if we won the litigation, why would

you want a twenty by fifteen home, it's so

impractical today. And I said let's meet with the

City and see if there's some reasonableness that

we can arrive at.

So I met with Mr. Saven and


Mr. Schultz last week, and we came up with a plan

that -- I came up with a plan, the Andersons came

up with a plan to propose tonight that calls for a

twenty by twenty foot home plus an attached twelve

foot garage, single story -- or single-car garage,

eliminating the need for a rear yard garage.

In order to accomplish this

reasonable request, in my mind, for at least a

reasonable sized home, we would need a three foot

side yard setback on the east side, necessitating,

therefore, a twelve foot variance, because you've

got -- the ordinance in Novi requires ten feet on

each side but a total of twenty-five. So the

request is for, really, a twelve foot variance on

that side instead of fifteen, and on the west side

asking for a five foot variance; instead of ten

feet, five feet, in order to build a twenty by

twenty home with an attached two-car garage.

This is a request for dimensional

variances. So, hardship, as I'm sure Mr. Schultz

will indicate -- and I know you know this, it was

just discussed in the last case. Hardship is not

the criteria. Practical difficulty is a criteria.

This is a buildable, nonconforming


lot. It wasn't any illegal split; so, therefore,

in order to build a house more than fifteen by

twenty, there has to be the granting of a variance,

and that is a practical difficulty. The lot simply

is narrow, and in order to build something

reasonable and habitable, variances are necessary,

and that's the practical difficulty.

I'd like to show you something. I

had my clients go to JCK and get a -- sort of a

plat of the area. And they're lot 47. I don't

know if this is televised, so I may not be able

to -- hopefully I can speak loud enough. I don't

know if you require me to speak into the

microphone. I'd just like to pass this along,

start with Miss Gray. Just take a look at this.

You'll see that the predominant lot size in the

area is forty feet. There's many homes with three

foot side yards. Some of them, like the one

immediately next door, is only two feet. There are

many, many homes in this immediate neighborhood

that are on forty foot lots.

The property -- I know from my own

experience being on ZBA, you always look for

alternatives. Well, this has been brought up


before. The property to the east is a vacant lot.

It's owned by the woman who lives in a home to the

south of that lot. That lot is not available for

sale. My clients pursued it and were declined.

The lot to the west has a home and a

shed that are practically on the lot line. The

shed is maybe a foot from the lot line, and the

home looks like it's 2.8 feet from the lot line, so

that home is -- the variance -- or the setback that

we're requesting on the west exceeds the setback of

not only the home but the shed -- I should say not

only the shed but the home as well to the west.

A house -- here's another example of

practical difficulty. I think another portion of

your ordinance requires that you have a thousand

square feet on combined levels of floors. A home

that's fifteen by twenty cannot, in two-and-a-half

stories, have a thousand square feet. So it has

to be a variance granted in order to get to a

thousand square feet.

I submit that a granting of a five

foot variance on the west side would not be

detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of

your great city, and it would conform to the


neighborhood, will not adversely affect Novi's

Master Plan or the zoning ordinance.

I've already showed you this map

indicating that the predominant size of the lots

in the area is forty feet.

I submit to you that a habitable

residence cannot be built on this property without

a variance, and I believe it's incumbent upon you,

in your deliberation, to grant a variance in order

to allow the applicants to build a home which they

can live in and which will meet the other standards

of the ordinance, including the compatibility

section, having a home that's compatible in size.

Again, this is an alternative to

continuing a lawsuit that I think is -- it's not a

win/win situation here. It's a lose/lose

situation. Even if my clients won the lawsuit, to

be able to win to build a twenty by twenty foot

home I think is ridiculous. It just -- it doesn't

make sense in today's day and age. Certainly, it

doesn't make sense in the city of Novi.

So I'm asking you to be reasonable,

to consider the practical difficulty of the size

of the lot and the area in the neighborhood in --


in the area where the Andersons' lot is, that this

conforms to the neighborhood. Hardship is not an

issue. It certainly isn't self-created. There is

a practical difficulty, and without the variance,

a practical home cannot be built.

I would respectfully urge you to

grant these variances so that they can build this

twenty by twenty foot home with an attached twelve

foot garage.

I would be happy to answer any


MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone in the audience who would like to input into

this case?

MR. LEIB: Oh. Can I just add one

thing, Mr. Chairman?


MR. LEIB: There are -- I had the

Andersons circulate letters of -- asking their

neighbors to support them, and they received five

letters of support, all from the neighbors, one on

Charlotte Drive and the rest on Austin, and I

would like to submit those for your consideration.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.


Mr. Korte (ph).

MR. KORTE: Korte, Shawood Lake.

First comment, I'm hearing impaired, and half of

what he said I heard from the side speakers, and

for some reason the side speakers are now off, so

if I didn't hear what you said, that I apologize,

and that's the City's fault.

Now, I've been here twice. Now,

let's get into the five people -- and I think it

was five -- that responded. They didn't send one

to Victoria White Thompson that surrounds two sides

of the property. They didn't send one to my 2026

because they thought that's where I lived. I

don't live there. They sent one to 2022, and they

also sent it to my tenant.

Now, how many of those letters did

they send out? They sent them out as far as

Mark Robbins. Mary McDermott didn't get one. So

we're down to 2293. How many did they send out?

When they sent them out -- and

you'll find one from Harry Lewis in there -- and I

said Harry, you're going to get one. And he says

yes, I sent it back, I don't care what they do. I

said it's the house on the corner. He said that's



Interesting survey, isn't it?

And I do realize, from speaking with

Don Saven, as per some of your comments at the

earlier, they were to be in touch with the

residents. This is not being in touch with the

residents when they send it to my tenants and not

to me. Interesting, isn't it?

Now, he gave you a whole scenario of

what's going on, and because he started the parade,

I'll finish.

I was at the City today. In the year

2000 they purchased the property for $29,000. Its

SEV, as we speak today, is 9,300. That means the

State and the City thinks this wonderful piece of

property is worth 18,600. Now, why do you think

that property was only today worth eighteen six?

Because it isn't buildable. Buyer beware.

Now, these people know how the City


February of 1999 they were looking

to purchase another property, and it was the

Elm Court property, those seven lots that were such

a hysterical mess that we have been able to shut


down and vacating of that whole mess twice, and

that whole mess is over with because it's been

purchased by neighbors.

February of '99 he was told

restrictions, lot lines, this, this, this,

inadequate and other things. He understands how

the City operates.

Now we're here to a house. Now

we'll get into stop work orders. I'm the one that

put the stop work orders on that because somehow,

legal or not legal, and I'm not arguing, a

foundation is in, fifteen by twenty.

Now, I called and asked who approved

that. And one of the most pleasant inspectors said

to me it meets side lot lines. I said does it meet

a thousand square feet? He said to me does your

subdivision have a thousand square feet. I said,

first of all, not my subdivision; secondly, your

law, not mine. The man was told not to pour the

concrete. He poured the concrete.

Now, I've dealt with the SEV, I've

dealt with '99, and they know what's going on.

The house is three stories. There's

no way anybody with three sliding glass doorwalls


out the front can say it's not three stories.

Okay. Let's talk about the

basement. The foundation that has not been -- and

it isn't a foundation, it's a pad, and if I'm using

the wrong terminology I -- excuse me -- is

two-and-a-half feet in the ground. We're going to

build an eight-foot basement on a two-and-a-half

foot hole. Interesting, isn't it?

Now, how are we going to get that

daylight basement to be a basement? We're going

to fill in two-and-a-half to three feet.

Over three feet on one lot line and

five foot on the other lot line? Unacceptable.

It's a con job all the way around.

He knew he wasn't to do some of the

things he did. I watched him tear the stop work

order off. I watched him do it.

Now, I'm not saying the property

isn't buildable. Three feet and five feet is

unacceptable. To construct a swale in the

backyard. That house -- that property had a house

on it. That property had a garage on it. Nobody

ever flooded. Why would anyone change any grade?

Because to change the grade one iota is going to


flood the world out.

Talked with Don Saven today on

flooding and elevations. We, as a City, on Austin

are putting in culverts and catch basins because

we, as a City, allowed people to fill and to build

and to flood people out. It can't happen again.

Not everything in this City is


And the thought process of making

the City pay for it and buy the lot, that's just

great because we can do retention detention in

that area and we can get rid of the rest of the

flooding in the area.

Now, many of you know I've been here

a long time. I've fought for the flooding, I've

fought for this. This is wrong for the area.

Specifically, three feet and five feet is

unacceptable. All of the other is fluff.

Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr. Korte.

Is there anyone else in the audience who would

like to input into this case? Step forward,

please, ma'am.

MS. THOMPSON: I'm Victoria


Thompson, and I'm on the lot on the east side of

Anderson's lot he's building. And-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) For

the record, ma'am, what is your street address?

MS. THOMSPON: 1910 Austin Drive.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.

MS. THOMPSON: And I bought a lot

that's -- one side's on Austin -- it's a corner

lot -- and the other side's on Charlotte.

So -- he has proposed three feet on

my side and five on the west side. And why three

feet on my side?

Then I'm here to complain that he

took the fence down, said he wanted to clean the

fencerow out. I had a fence there that -- the

last person owned the lot, they had a house on it

that I bought. That's since been demolished

before I bought it.

But the man put the fence up, and my

son, that was a teenager then, helped him put the

fence up. And I asked John Anderson not to take

the fence down. He claimed he had to take it down

to clean the fencerow out.

Well, the fencerow on my side, the


east side, was clean. I kept it clean. But he

took the fence out and left it out, and now that

he left it out it's a hazard to my grandkids and


Because that lot is my lawn. It's

not a lot to me. To you it would be a lot, the

corner lot, but I bought it for a lawn and planted

two trees, a rosebush, and my grandkids and

great-grandkids play out there, so they're in

danger of going into that vacant lot of his.

And he took it down, he said, to

clean out the fencerow. So he hasn't put it back.

I asked him to put it back and he hasn't put it


And, anyway -- he took it out for

his own benefit. He didn't take it out for -- to

clean the fencerow out. He took it out to get

heavy equipment in there. You can't maneuver

heavy equipment and that fence there. The lot's

too small, so he tore the fence out, me asking him

not to, to -- so he can get heavy equipment in and

maneuver to build.

And I want the fence put back, and I

will have it put back one way or another, because


it was put up by my son's father-in-law when it

was put up. It wasn't put up by Drew.

So I went -- after Anderson bought

the place he continued what he was doing. He

wouldn't mow the -- I had to call him once. He

only mowed it twice all summer. It was horrible.

I mean, twelve feet of the lot by the house -- by

the kitchen of the house -- he mowed it twice and

I had to call him once.

Well, Drew did the same thing. When

Drew's house burnt, he had Freedwall (ph) to try

to buy my lots and Freedwall would buy his lot,

and I wouldn't sell it, so then Drew had give me a

hard time ever since until -- Anderson is just

continuing what Drew did to me, trying to ride

over me and go beyond the terms that he's to go,

so that is my complaint.

The three feet of my lot is -- it's

too close. It's not a lot. It's a lawn. I keep

it up like a lawn.

Across the front of my house on

Austin, I've got -- forty feet is all I've got

where I live, and that's why I bought the lot, to

extend my lawn to where children would have a


place to play and where that -- and now they're in

danger unless he puts the fence back up.

So that's my complaint.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Thank you very

much. Is there anyone else in the audience --

ma'am, would you step forward, please.

MR. KORTE: The speakers are back

on, thank you.

MS. HAMILTON: Hi. I'm Celeste

Hamilton and I live at 209 Charlotte Drive. I'm

on the west side of the Andersons' home.

And I don't mind if they build a

house there, but I don't feel that I should have

to pay the price because of the size of the lot.

I don't feel I should have to give up an extra

five feet of privacy.

Like their attorney pointed out, our

home, which was built thirty-five years ago, is

only two feet away from that fence, bedroom

window, okay. They want to be five feet closer to

the fence. That means seven feet between our two

houses. No privacy.

Okay. Fire truck. If they're ever

a fire hazard, a fire truck has to get down there


between the houses, how's a truck going to get

down with seven feet in between, or any kind of

utility truck. It's just too close.

There's no privacy.

Esthetically, it's not pleasing, and

in terms of the value of our home, resale value is

going to be affected by that as well.

And that's my main complaint about

it. I don't mind if they build, but they're the

ones with the small lot. They should pay the

price for having the small lot, not the neighbors.

That's all I have to say.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone else in the audience with input into this


(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, we'll

close audience participation at this point.

There were thirty-two notices sent

out. We received some responses that the

petitioner presented this evening, and that's the

only ones we show as being received.

Sir, you had a comment before we go



MR. LEIB: Yes, yes, Mr. Chairman.

I just wanted to comment on a couple of the

comments that were made.

In regard to the last speaker,

again, I'm glad that she acknowledged that her

property is almost on the same property line as

the Andersons. It is, according to the plan that

I see done by the engineer, is 2.8 feet from the

house to the property line; and the shed, it's

just about abutting it.

I think that the -- we could have --

we could have accommodated her a little bit better

had this Board been more receptive to the granting

of a front yard variance. But you didn't do that

and I'm not asking for it tonight. But had you

granted some relief in the front where the home

could have been instead of thirty feet from the

street, maybe twenty or twenty-five feet from the

street, that impact would have been a little bit

less on her because the home would have been closer

to the street.

On the other hand, it's -- it is --

the home, as the plans show, is closer to the

shed, and if the shed is between her home and the


property line, I don't think that the impact of

this new home is that great on Miss Hamilton's


With regard to the comments made by

Mr. Korte, with all due respect, you know, in

April of 2001 he talked about being a landlord, he

talked about this lot being too small and allowing

overbuilding, and it's -- then he started talking

about this property doesn't have lake access and

Shaywood (ph) Lake there's no public-

MR. KORTE: (Interposing) Shawood.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Wait a minute.

MR. LEIB: Excuse me, Shawood. It's

all irrelevant. It had nothing to do with the

proposal. And tonight he's basically talking

about other irrelevant things like SEVs.

That's not -- those aren't issues

that are cognizable by this honorable body. The

issue tonight is whether or not a home can be

granted a couple of variances in order to make it

habitable because of the practical difficulty


Those are the issues, not what the

SEV is, not where they used to live in


Walled Lake. That was another item that he raised

a year ago. Those are irrelevant comments, and I

would hope that this Board would address those

issues that are relevant and are material.

Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. I just want to

address one thing. I think we're all well aware

of what's before us. I don't think we need to be

reminded about what we're looking at and what we

need to look at. I want to clarify that point.

MR. LEIB: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I'm just trying to make a record. I appreciate


MR. CHAIRMAN: Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: Here we go.

Mr. Chairman, before you we have a new plot plan.

This plot plan was derived from several meetings.

And, certainly, the last meeting was with

Mr. Anderson's attorney and Mr. Anderson and his


What we tried to do was try to take

into consideration all of the Board's concerns

based upon everything that was brought before the

Board in the previous cases. And what I'd like to


do is just basically recap a couple of things that

I feel that was merits for this particular case

being brought before you.

Number one was to reduce the number

of variances. That was the first thing. The

second thing, there seems to be a concern relative

to any type of garage in an area close to

Mrs. Thompson's house, because I think she had

brought that up because of a concern that she had

had, and the issue was to bring the garage and

somehow try to attach the garage to the house.

The other issue was, certainly, try

to maintain the rear yard setback of thirty-five

foot for the main building. And, certainly, from

a front yard setback was to maintain a thirty foot


The other issue was to -- was to

make sure that we have off-street parking in that

area. Because if you brought anything closer to

the road there was a concern with the number of

vehicles that would have been there.

And, certainly, the other issue that

I had was the three-story issue. What looks like

a three-story wasn't. It was -- my opinion was


it's a three-story type of a building, so that is

why he needs to spread the house out a little bit

wider, to try to accommodate that thousand square

yard and stay within those particular parameters.

And this is what they have chose to

bring before you today.

MR. CHAIRMAN: That's it?

MR. SAVEN: That's it.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Okay.

Board Members, comments or discussion? Miss

Gray? MEMBER GRAY: I would like to

commend Mr. and Mrs. Anderson for what you are

proposing. It's a great improvement, and you did

listen to the comments. You did do some looking

around the area. You are trying to incorporate

what we suggested to make this better for

everybody concerned. So on that front, thank you

for listening and thank you for doing your best

for that.

I have some questions, and I have --

and I don't know who's going to answer these.

When you look at the front, the

facade that you presented facing Charlotte, the

front elevation, and -- it shows the first floor


is cantilevered over the basement. Is that

cantilever line, the west side of the building, is

that at twenty feet or is the basement at twenty

feet, the west basement wall or the west house


MR. ANDERSON: There's no cantilever

on there.

MEMBER GRAY: This is a cantilever.

This would be your west basement wall, this would

be your west house wall. There's a gap there that

I presumed to be a cantilever. Is this at fifteen

feet or is this at-

MR. ANDERSON: (Interposing) Okay.

This is like a front protrudence that comes out

thirty inches by four-and-a-half feet.


MR. ANDERSON: (Interposing) That

probably is not drawn correctly. That line should

be right in line with the basement line.

MEMBER GRAY: So the west -- so on

this drawing, the basement wall here, the west

basement wall-

MR. ANDERSON: (Interposing) Should

be in line --


MEMBER GRAY: -will be underneath in

a straight line-

MR. ANDERSON: (Interposing) That's


MEMBER GRAY: -with the west wall of

the house?


MEMBER GRAY: And I presume then that

that line is where you want the five foot variance

to be?


MR. LEIB: Correct.

MEMBER GRAY: Okay. That's number

one. The depth of what's poured right now, the

foundation or the pad that's in there, is that

two-and-a-half feet, roughly?

MR. ANDERSON: You mean how deep it



MR. ANDERSON: Well, it's probably

three foot I would think.

MEMBER GRAY: Okay. Three foot deep

-- depth on an eight foot basement-

MR. ANDERSON: (Interposing) Well,


I've got a -- I had to pay a surveyor and had to

present it to JCK.

MEMBER GRAY: So you're-

MR. ANDERSON: (Interposing) That

cost me, like, twenty-five hundred dollars, and it


MEMBER GRAY: (Interposing) So

you're going to be contouring the land within five

feet to bring it up so that -- how much backfill

are you going-

MR. ANDERSON: (Interposing)

Probably two feet on that side, so I'll probably

have to put up like an eighteen inch retaining

wall, you know, six by six timbers along that


MEMBER GRAY: And in between the six

by six timbers, along that side on the Hamilton's

property line, you're going to have a swale in

there so that you don't flood them, correct?

MR. ANDERSON: Yeah, I would have --

yeah, according to what the surveyor put down.

MEMBER GRAY: Well, we say you can't

flood your neighbor.



MEMBER GRAY: Okay. So my concern

in that is that if we're going to be backfilling

that much -- it looks like we have a

three-and-a-half story house, Don.

MR. SAVEN: It would depend on where

the elevation of the basement -- and, it's true.

We need to have the basement elevation checked for

the existing plot plan of what it shows for

existing grades and proposed grades.

MEMBER GRAY: Okay. I have a major

concern with what has gone on in this case since

we said, you know, no. I have -- I'm very

thrilled to see that the front and rear setbacks

are met. I have a major concern with five feet on

the west, and I have a concern with three feet on

the east.

On a forty foot lot, thirty-two feet

width, it's still -- it's -- for all intents and

purposes, it's new construction, and it doesn't

matter what's going on with the other houses

around there. They've been there for years and

years and years. This is new construction.

That's all for now. Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members,


comments or -- Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: Yeah, Sarah, I hear

you, but we can't have it both ways. We -- last

time they were here we said listen, we want the

thirty feet in front, we want the backyard, and we

don't want you sneaking back here two years from

now telling us you want to put a garage in the


It's a forty foot lot. They've got

a twenty by twenty foot house. I think that they

have taken what we told them at the last meeting

and done the best job they can. I don't see what

else they can do.

I'm still a little unclear, and I'll

ask Don, is this considered a three-story house or

is it a two-and-a-half-story house because half

that upper level is in the rafters?

MR. SAVEN: The picture that you

have before you, exclusive from what we were

talking about, the basement -- that is a

two-and-a-half-story house. What was presented

before had a slight angulation to the outside

wall, which I could possibly try to relate to

Waterview Apartments with the mansard roof and


coming down the exterior wall. Certainly, it was

covered, the roof was covered, but it was still a

liveable full-fledged floor area, so we're -- it

constituted a three story, and that's what alerted

me to the fact it's a little bit more than what it


In other words, he's taken this to

the -- to every degree to try to achieve the

thousand square foot which was required by

ordinance and try to meet your requirements, too.

MEMBER BRENNAN: I think that

they've met the two most critical issues that we

raised, which were the front and rear setback

issues, and designing and coming up with the

concept that incorporates the garage so we don't

see a variance down the road.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Other Board Members,

comments or discussion?

MEMBER BAUER: I think they've done

the most they possibly could do.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The unfortunate

thing, the lots can't be combined with -- the

lot's not available, so there's nothing that can

be done with respect to that part.


As Board Members have alluded to,

they've done away with the front yard setback

request, the rear yard setback request, and I

don't really know much of what else can be done.

Miss Gray?

MEMBER GRAY: One more comment, if I



MEMBER GRAY: If there are going to

be three sliding glass doorwalls on -- facing the

north to the street, four foot uncovered -- front

porch, correct?

MR. SAVEN: Correct.

MEMBER GRAY: Mini deck, whatever,

so it's -- that's fine for the first floor.

MR. SAVEN: He can't extend -- what

he can do is project out four foot with

cantilevers or posts or whatever so long as it's

not covered, can't have a roof over it.

MEMBER GRAY: Okay. So let me ask

you a question. So you have a deck on the first

floor for your entry, and then you're going to

want a deck for the second floor. Doesn't that

constitute as one man's ceiling is another man's



MR. SAVEN: We had -- we had -- we

had brought this before the Board in the past,

and I'm trying to remember the time it happened,

but unless it had a roof over-

MEMBER GRAY: (Interposing) At the

very top.

MR. SAVEN: Right, because there was

exposure to the elements.

MEMBER GRAY: Okay. I certainly

don't want to see, at some point in the future,

somebody coming back and wanting to build a large

front deck on this house.

MR. SAVEN: A projection is only

allowed by the four foot requirement.

MEMBER GRAY: That's what was

allowed in my subdivision on the corner, and they

came back and we gave them the deck, so --

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members, further

comments or discussion? Mr. Schultz?

MR. SCHULTZ: I have a question I

think for Don in light of some of the comments

that the Board Members have made about not wanting

to see another structure placed in the rear of the


yard, and I guess the question I have is, whether

in the absence of some statement from the Board,

would there be anything permitted without having

to come for a variance under the ordinance that's-

MEMBER BAUER: (Interposing) Shed.


MR. SAVEN: That's the same question

I would have to present to the Board because

you're taking a look at this variance as a whole

for this property to allow them to do what they're

doing right here. If it is such that you are

allowing this structure to be placed there, is

there any other conditions that you are placing on

any accessory structure other than a, quote,


Can they have a shed meeting the

requirements of the twenty-five percent lot

coverage that they're presenting here? That will

probably be an issue. I just want to make sure we

address that right now.


MEMBER BRENNAN: Can be part of the




MR. SAVEN: Whatever.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Board Members?

MEMBER FANNON: Are you saying that

we can limit future accessory buildings on the lot

if the variance was granted because there are

other accessory buildings that would be permitted?

MR. SCHULTZ: I am. It sounds to me

that you're looking at this as sort of a final

view of the property, and if that's the case then

I think you need to say that. If you don't

expect, in voting for this, if you voted in favor

-- for example, if you didn't expect to see

anything else two, three, four, five years from

now, you probably ought to take the opportunity

now to make that clear. And I'm not suggesting

that you have to do that.

If you don't object to a shed or you

wouldn't object to what the ordinance might

otherwise allow, then you don't need to address


I just wanted to raise the issue.

MR. LEIB: May I just comment? The

square footage of the lot -- I just -- I don't

have my calculator with me, but I think forty by


eighty-five is thirty-four hundred square feet.

The home that they're proposing with the garage of

twenty by thirty-two is six hundred forty square

feet. By my rough calculation, that's like

nineteen percent area coverage. With a home and a

twelve foot garage, I don't think it would be

unreasonable to -- for them to go in at some time

and request some kind of a small shed in the back.

We're not talking about a garage, which they have

permission already. They have a building permit

for a garage. We're not -- I'm not proposing


MR. SAVEN: That's null and void now.

MR. LEIB: Again, I would hope that

this Board would not, as part of a motion,

disallow them to forever to be able to go in and

apply for a shed -- or permit to build a shed as

long as they met the setback requirements.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You haven't got the

house yet.

MR. LEIB: I beg your pardon?

MR. CHAIRMAN: You haven't got the

house yet.

MR. LIEB: That's true.


MR. CHAIRMAN: I wouldn't worry

about the shed.

MR. LIEB: For sure.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members,

comments or discussion? Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: I'll just continue

on that thought. We're dealing with a pretty

difficult piece of property, and we're trying to

appease and keep some neighbors happy as well.


MEMBER BRENNAN: And I think that

the City attorney's suggestion that we at least

consider in our motion addressing additional

dwellings on that property is good counsel, and --

MR. CHAIRMAN: I don't think we need

to defend that. It's a good point to make, but to

-- if we condition the variance of a certain

position, that's the way it will be and go from

that point.

Board Members? Cindy?

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Mr. Chairman, do

we have any jurisdiction over the fence in our




MEMBER GRONACHAN: And the reason,

if you need clarification, back in the May of 2000

meeting I specifically asked the question about

the fence. Mr. Anderson identified that it was

his neighbor's fence, and I'm curious as to where

-- or do we not have any say in regards to that?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Schultz?

MR. SCHULTZ: It's not really an

issue that covers the question of the size of the

house and the variances that are before you.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: I understand that.

MR. SCHULTZ: I guess you might

take the opportunity to ask Mr. Anderson what

happened to the fence, but it's primarily an issue

that happened between him and the neighbor.




going to do about the fence?

MR. ANDERSON: I think the fence

that you were talking about -- there's two fences,

the side yard fence and then the rear fence.

She's the one that replaced the rear

fence. I think a tree fell a couple years ago,


and I told her I wouldn't take that down.

The side fence, I had to take that

down because the trees and the brush and

everything was kind of growing together, and I

told her I would replace it, you know, with

another fence.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: The side fence

you're talking about?



already explained to her that you're-

MR. ANDERSON: (Interposing) Yes.

When we cleared the lot we took a couple of her

trees out. You know, it was -- it was a good

meeting, so I don't know when things changed.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members,

further comments or discussion? Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: I'll take a stab at

a motion to see where the Board sits.

I would move that the petitioner's

amended request that we have before us tonight be

approved as submitted with the additional note

that there will be no accessory buildings on the


property. And the reason for the motion is due to

practical difficulty, the small lot.


MEMBER CHAIRMAN: Okay. It's been

moved and seconded that the petitioner's request

as stated this evening for a variance be approved.

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 Fannon?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


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, and we wish you the best of luck.

MR. LEIB: Thank you very much for

your kind attention. Good night.

MR. CHAIRMAN: At this time the

Board will recess for a ten-minute break and we'll

be back right after that.

(A short recess was taken.)


MR. CHAIRMAN: At this time I would

like to reconvene the Zoning Board of Appeals


Our next case, Case 02-008, filed by

James (sic) Dietrich representing Waltonwood.

Sir, would you please be sworn in by

our secretary.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Would you raise

your right hand?

Do you swear or affirm that the

information that you're about to give in this case

before you is the truth?

MR. RIZZARDI: Yes, I do.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Could I have your


name and address for the record, please.

MR. RIZZARDI: My name is

Paul Rizzardi. I'm with Singh Development

Company, address is 7125 Orchard Lake Road, suite

200, West Bloomfield, Michigan 48322.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

MR. RIZZARDI: I'm also-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) Go


MR. RIZZARDI: I'm also the director

of Waltonwood Services, LLC, which is a management

company which oversees (inaudible) zoning

including Waltonwood and Twelve Oaks.

I'm here before you tonight to

request an extension of our sign -- our two

development signs we have at our

Waltonwood/Twelve Oaks facility. The current sign

extension expired in February of this year. We

would like another extension for another twelve

months so we can complete our lease-up of this


We are currently at about sixty

percent occupied. Out of a hundred and forty-four

units it comes up to about eighty-six units that


are occupied out of a hundred forty-four.

Leasing up a senior residence such

as Waltonwood is somewhat different than a typical

lease-up like you see with apartments, like our

Main Street Village project or Westwood project

where we get the building basically in one shot.

We got a hundred forty-four units. The lease-up

starts a little bit later in the process rather

than just getting a few units leased and getting

people moved in.

In addition, we're dealing with

clientele which is a smaller niche in the

marketplace. We lease up apartments, we get about

twice the traffic coming in to make application.

So this is a unique situation for the company.

We wish to take those signs down,

that means we're successful in our stabilization

of our property and we can just proceed with

normal operation. We put the onus on ourselves to

get traffic into the building so we can get it

leased up where it needs to be.

I have with me tonight Ms. Colleen

DeBarge. She's our administrator of the

Waltonwood/Twelve Oaks facility. We're both here


available to answer any questions you might have,

and at this point I will answer your questions.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. We'll get back

to that if we get to that point.

Is there anyone else that would like

to input into this case?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, we had

eleven notices sent, we had no response.

We'll pass over the Building

Department at this point. I don't think they

would have anything directly on this.

Board Members, comments or

discussion? Miss Gray?

MEMBER GRAY: Thank you. The

directional sign out at Twelve Mile Road, is that

going -- is the widening of Twelve Mile going to

happen at that point and is it going to have any

affect on that sign?

MR. RIZZARDI: We're going to have

to move the sign back out of the proposed

right-of-way for Twelve Mile. We're already

coordinated with the Building Department for a new



MEMBER GRAY: Okay. So if it does

remain in the right-of-way, you'll have to seek

council for a license or whatever.

Okay. Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Other Board Members,

discussion or -- Miss Gronachan?

MEMBER GRONACHAN: I have no problem

with extending this. As in the past, we have all

agreed that this is kind of a sign of the times.

I think it's a well-made sign, and I'm in full

support for another year.

MEMBER BRENNAN: I thought that was

a motion. I'll second.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Would you like my


MR. CHAIRMAN: Go ahead.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: In the matter of

Case Number 02-008 for Waltonwoods at Twelve Oaks,

I make a motion that the approval be given for an

extension for twelve months on this sign due to

the current economic times, for both sign A and

for sign B.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Saven, do you


have any input for the Building Department in that

case for the Waltonwood signs?

MR. SAVEN: I have no objection,


MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. I hope to

see the lease-up, too, because I'd hate to see you

come back again.

MR. RIZZARDI: I hope we get it done

before twelve months.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members, any

further comments or discussion?

(No further discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Madam Secretary,

would you call the roll, please.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Fannon?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?



MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Your variance

request has been granted. Please see the Building

Department and go from there. Thank you.

MR. RIZZARDI: Thank you very much.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Next case, Case

02-009, filed by North American Signs representing

Jared Jewelers.

Sir, would you be sworn in, please.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm the information that you're about to give

in the matter before you is the truth?


MEMBER GRONACHAN: Would you please

state your name.

MR. SCHALLIOL: My name is

Charley Schalliol, North American Signs.


MR. SCHALLIOL: Thank you. First of

all, good evening. Thank you for allowing me to

come before you and speak.


With me this evening is also

Mr. Steve Edmeister, Jared construction manager,

so we do have a representative from Jared's here

if you have some questions for him later on.

First of all, what I'd like to

respectfully do is amend our application. This

application was filed per instructions from the

Rugla (ph) Sign Company who is a sign company for

Jared's Galleria of Jewelry. It was for a third

wall sign at sixty square feet, just like the two

that have been previously approved.

What we'd like to do this evening,

is instead of going for the third sign -- we had

an opportunity to visit the site today, look at

how the trees that had been taken down in October

of last year affected the property. What we'd

like to do is remove the rear sign, the sixty

square foot sign from the rear, and place it on

the south elevation. We feel that this is a

benefit due to the fact that it's utilizing the

existing signage. The signage on the rear of the

property was not as effective as we originally

thought it was.

The trees that came down in October,


they reduced -- or they increased the visibility

of the sign on the east; however, the people who

are viewing that sign are in the West Oaks Mall.

They can see the Jared sign. That's great.

The people that we still have

problems visibility wise are the people that are

coming off the interstate heading northbound on

Novi Road. These are the people that we'd like to

get into the center that don't have to go up to

Twelve Mile Road because they missed the previous

exit at the turn lane with the light.

We'd like to inform those motorists

that Jared's Galleria of Jewelry is at that

location. They have the opportunity to view the

sign, have the opportunity to safely enter the

shopping center and visit the store.

I'm sorry for the confusion. We

didn't -- or I did not have an opportunity to view

the proposal before this evening. That's why

we're here respectfully adapting our application.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone in the audience who would like to speak or

put input into this? Mr. Korte?

MR. KORTE: As they all cringe.


Have you ever been to Jared Jewelry? This is

Jared Jewelry. You should go in there.

And I think when we look upon

businesses in this city, we should look how they

relate. Do we want them to stay, do we not want

them to stay?

First of all, you've given CVS

corner signs, and this is really what it is, a

corner sign. You've given all of those people

that without a problem.

And the one thing I will tell you of

Jared Jewelry and how they relate to the city,

even though some attorneys don't really think it's

important, their donation to the River Day Cleanup

that I begged from Debbie was a hundred and

twenty-five dollar Bulova clock. Now, I don't

know what says we like you as a city, we want to

stay here.

And, please, give them a sign so

that they can pay for whatever I beg off of them

next time, because it's going to happen.

A lot of people have asked for a lot

more and got it, and this is really quite nothing.

If you ever drove into the parking


lot, they have a lovely sign to the back end of

the building. Makes no sense.

Please approve.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone else in the audience that would like to

input into this case?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, we'll

close audience input. Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: Just basically --

basically, he would still have to come before you

-- basically he would still have to come before


MR. KORTE: (Interposing) Jared

Jewelry can fix that.

MR. SAVEN: I'm sure, James. They

still have to come before you because it's more

than one sign, but the fact is they're taking the

sign off the back and putting it on the side.

You're going to have to make that part of your

motion if you so choose to approve this deal.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I think you're doing

the right thing. I think we suggested this when

we first got into the signage in the beginning.


MR. SCHALLIOL: I wish we would have


MR. CHAIRMAN: I think it's the

correct thing to do. I think that sign on the

west side is totally useless. Once they got in

there like that, they know where you're at, and

with the quality of your product and workmanship,

it doesn't take but more than once that they're

there, they know where you are without the sign.

Board Members, comments or


(No further discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, the

Chair would entertain a motion.


motion, sir, that in case number 02-009 we approve

the petitioner's request to put a sign on the

south side?

MR. CHAIRMAN: And removing the


MEMBER SANGHVI: (Interposing)

Removing from the west side and putting on the

south side.



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 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

has been approved. See the Building Department.

We'll move on from there. Thank you very much.

MR. SCHALLIOL: Thank you, ladies

and gentlemen.




MR. CHAIRMAN: Next case, Case

Number 02-010, filed by Terry Burns representing

Mattress & Futon Shop.

Sir, would you be sworn in, please.

MR. BURNS: Yes, sir.

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. BURNS: I do.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Could we have your

name and address for the record, please.

MR. BURNS: My name is Terry Burns.

I reside at 47115 Seven Mile Road in

Northville Township.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Would you

please present your case.

MR. BURNS: Yes, sir. I'm coming

before you today in reference to trying to get a

second sign for the Mattress & Futon Shop on the


south elevation of the building.

They have two entrances into the

building. This particular unit originally had an

appeal that was granted to Clothestime for two

signs, and it was only good for their property

only, and they basically had the same hardships.

People are not noticing it.

That unit has been vacant for some

time because it's a good-sized unit there. And

there's also the other buildings of Kohls and

Joanne Fabrics and a number of other -- several

other units in there have two signs.

The landlord has also sent a letter,

that I have here, saying that they did inquiries

from people and they advised us to go get -- ask

for another sign for the location because of

people having difficulty finding it. That's for

the lender company.

The sign would be able to stay

within all ordinances, other than the fact that

you're only allowed to have one sign; otherwise,

we don't need any -- there's no -- we're not

asking for any additional square footage or

anything of that nature.


I believe that would be it.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Is there anyone in

the audience who would like to input into this


(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, we'll

close audience participation.

Mr. Saven?

MR. SAVEN: No comment, sir.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members,

comments or discussion?

MEMBER SANGHVI: The only comment I

would like to make is that somebody needs to spell

that word correctly.

MR. BURNS: What?

MEMBER SANGHVI: Did you see that,

how they're spelling mattress on that?

MR. BURNS: Yes. The problem with

that ad down there is to try to get into a banner

what they could get -- in order to get it up on

there, so the problem is in order to get a special

size banner for it, they would never have it up in

time for the City, so they tried to make it the

best to fit into there, and so they had a choice


of doing -- either making something that wouldn't

fit at all or do something that they did do, and

unfortunately that's the choice they took.

MEMBER SANGHVI: Does it make any

difference in the dimensions in what you are

requesting if you correct the spelling?

MR. BURNS: No, not at all, because

basically the same sign that is on the west

elevation is going to be the same type of sign

that's on the south elevation. So they're trying

to keep it as inform, try to keep it as clean.

That shopping center there, the

landlord told me, is ninety-eight percent leased

out, but if there's so many elevations on that

building that has no signage, you would not think

that sign has that -- it's not that full.

Also, a lot of people -- that's kind

of a dark area over there, and kind of people --

and they've even had people stopping in the middle

of the road saying oh, there's something in there,

and they don't bother to pull in. They stop in

the middle of the road, and it's amazing what that

has caused.

And, you know, they -- basically,


the sign that we're asking for is going to be

visible from the interior of the shopping center.

It's not really for people to see from Novi Road

or anything like that. It's just an

identification sign for people to be able to see

what type of business is in that complex.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

Board Members? Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: I'm prepared to

make a motion if you like.

MEMBER FANNON: I just have one


MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Fannon?

MEMBER FANNON: If you got this

sign, would you take the signs out of the window

that were the -- it says the same thing in the

window right now?

MR. BURNS: Yes. Those were there

on a temporary basis hoping to get something for

somebody to see those.

MEMBER FANNON: So you would be

willing to take the signs out of the window that's

in there temporarily?



MEMBER FANNON: There's another sign

from the Town Center in blue that's hanging on the

-- you've got, like, five signs there right now.

There's the Town Center sign that says

Mattress Futon that's hanging on the wall; there's

one over the front door; there's one in the


Now -- you know what I'm saying? So

I'm just trying to figure out how you clean this


MR. BURNS: Well, they were trying

to get rid of all the temp -- I don't see there's

any reason why they would need to have any

temporary signage on that.

Basically, you're referring to the

ones that are all on the south elevation, am I not



MR. BURNS: So if they have a sign

on there, there's no absolute reason to have to

have any of those types of signs up there.

They're just -- all those would be taken down and


MEMBER FANNON: Okay. That's fine


with me.

You want that part of the motion,

that would be great.


clarification, Don. They can-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) They can

have up to 25 percent sign coverage in the


MEMBER FANNON: Even if we make it a

condition of the variance?

MR. SAVEN: That's your choice.

MEMBER FANNON: I think we did that

on Grand River for the tool shop. Do you remember

the tool-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing)

Mr. Fannon, we do not have a motion on the floor.

MEMBER FANNON: I would make a

motion that we approve the Case Number 02-010 for

the Mattress & Futon to approve their sign

variance to locate the thirty square foot sign on

the south side as long as all other signs in the

window on the south side are removed as part of

this variance.



MR. CHAIRMAN: Been moved and

seconded to grant petitioner's variance request

with a limitation of signage in the windows on the

south elevation.

Any further discussion on the


(No further discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none,

Madam Secretary, would you call the roll, please.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Fannon?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Your variance request

has been granted. We wish you the best of luck.

MR. BURNS: Thank you.




MR. CHAIRMAN: Next case, Case

Number 02-011, filed by John Nutting of

621 South Lake Drive.



MR. NUTTING: (Interposing) Joe


MR. CHAIRMAN: Joe. I'm sorry.

MR. NUTTING: No problem.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Would you be sworn

in, please.


MEMBER GRONACHAN: Would you raise

your right hand?

Do you swear or affirm that the

information that you're about to give in the

matter before you is the truth?


MR. MILLER: Do you want to swear me

in as well?

MR. NUTTING: This is my architect.

He's going to-


MR. MILLER: (Interposing) I'll be

doing the presentation tonight, so do you want to

swear me in as well?

MEMBER GRONACHAN: All right. Would

you raise your right hand?

Do you swear or affirm that the

information that you're about to give in the

matter before you is the truth?


MEMBER GRONACHAN: State your name,


MR. MILLER: My name is

Robert Miller.


MR. MILLER: As written down in the

Case Number, we are going for five variances for

Mr. Nutting's residence on South Lake Drive.

The first variance that we're trying

to receive is the rear yard setback. Required is

the thirty-five feet. We're proposing twenty-four

foot eleven. The reason that we would like to

have this variance is that with the front of the

house facing the lake, that's obviously the most

important portion of this piece of property, with


the views of the lake. We have an attached garage

at the front of the house, and we're trying to

push the front of the house back away from the

street as much as possible, which, by doing that,

that front yard will be -- will not require a

variance. Pushing this back, we feel that will

keep the garage further back from the house to the

west, which does not impair the people to the

west, their views of the lake.

So -- the other three variances that

follow are for the side yard setback, and there

are three variances; however, they're all kind of

tied into the same idea of the side yard setback.

Right now, the existing house to the

west side -- I'm sorry, to the west lot line is

three-and-a-half feet away. We're proposing to

push that five feet. It's actually getting it

away from the neighbor to the west, and the

opposite as well is five feet.

The property to the east is a park

currently owned by the City. We called the City

manager's office and tried to see if we could

purchase this piece of property to -- yes -- to

obviously make the lot more in conformance. As of


right now, the lot does not conform. This was not

possible, as Miss Gray has delightfully pointed

out for us.

So, again, the side yard setbacks of

two -- five foot required amounts are the two

proposed five feet on either side, therefore,

requiring the variance of five feet, a variance of

ten feet and the variance of fifteen feet.

The last variance we're requiring --

I'm sorry -- that we're going for is the lot

coverage variance. And the required is

twenty-five and we're going for 34.5 percent.

And of -- there's a variety of

hardships here. The main hardship, as it seems

with most of the property on the lake, is the lot

isn't big enough, it does not conform, and in

doing that we took that into very -- consideration

because we want to be able to create a home that

is large enough for Mr. Nutting's family that he

has right now, and the family that he is hopefully

to develop over the next few years, as well as the

family that are out of town. He has his in-laws

and his family -- his parents, as well, live out

of town, in and out of town on a great basis, and


with that he needs the space to, obviously, to

accommodate them.

We have gone around to the neighbors

in the area and have sat down with them and asked

for their input on the design of the house, the

layout of the house, and everyone, so far, has

given their approval on it.

And with the submittal, Mr. Nutting

did supply signed signatures -- I'm sorry --

signatures on the site plan with the submittal. I

don't know if that has been passed around or not.

And so, with that, we're here to

answer any of your questions.

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 audience participation.

Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: I just thought I'd point

out to the Board that it appears as though they're

going to be removing the wood frame garage to the

rear of the property; is that correct?


MR. MILLER: That is correct.

MR. SAVEN: And there is an existing

side yard setback that's nonconforming, which is a

little more intense than what his proposed

building is. I believe they're trying to center

the building on the property.

And, again, this is one of the

narrower lots, not as much as the previous case,

but it is a narrow lot pursuant to the ordinance

requirements, and I don't have any objections.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: Well, you had me on

the small lot until we started looking at the

maximum lot coverage, and when I look at the

maximum lot coverage of twenty-five percent and

you're proposing thirty-five percent, it lends me

to believe your design is a little overbuilt.

I'm glad to see that you're

maintaining your setback off of South Lake Drive.

I probably wouldn't have as much heartache about

the rear lot setback as I do with the side yard


This is new construction. I heard a

lot of we would like. I didn't hear a lot of I


have good reason to demonstrate why we need it

this way.

Given new construction, I think

we're a long way from coming to a site plan that's


MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Sanghvi?

MEMBER SANGHVI: Well, my question

is, is it really -- all of it is new construction?


MEMBER SANGHVI: You are using some

of the old part of the-

MR. MILLER: (Interposing) We're

demolishing what's on the site right now.

MEMBER SANGHVI: You're demolishing

the whole thing?

MR. MILLER: The whole thing.

MEMBER SANGHVI: And why do you

need -- and why do you need any variances?

MR. MILLER: Right now, if we were

to build a house that was to conform without

variances, with putting in a two-car attached

garage, the size of the house would be unliveable

to a certain degree for what Mr. Nutting has

required for his house. He has a large family.


I'm sorry. He's trying develop a large family.

With the lake front property,

obviously, the lake is the most important piece of

that. To have a two-car attached garage at the

front of the house, that would diminish almost

entirely all the views of the lake. So if we were

to put the garage anyplace else, it would require

a variance.

MR. NUTTING: If I may add one

thing, one of the requirements that I asked my

architect when we started this out was -- my

parents, they're in Florida and they're moving up

here in the summer. They can't go up and down

stairs, so that's why I told him I needed first

floor bedrooms, bath and laundry. And being on a

lake I wanted to have a two-car garage to store

all the stuff for the lake rather than a lot of my

surrounding neighbors and houses, they store

everything in their front property. And,

currently, I do, too, because I got a one-car

garage that the roof wants to fall off of.

So what we did is we tried to center

the house in the center of the property.

And then, with regard to the two-car


garage, first floor bed and baths and laundry room

for my parents so they don't have to go up and

down the stairs because they're elderly and I'm

going to take care of them, they kind of produced

a house that was more of a ranch style versus one

of these tunnel style that we're seeing along

East Lake and the houses right down the road from


MR. CHAIRMAN: But, you know, the

reason those houses are built that way is because

of the size lots.

I appreciate your situation, what

you're trying to accommodate, but I don't think

that really has a bearing on the lot and the

rationale of the variances for that.

Miss Gray?

MS. GRAY: This is an absolutely

beautiful house, and I was really pleased when I

saw it. What I'm disappointed in is that you're

not -- it doesn't appear to me that you're doing,

like, a two-story.

Now, I can appreciate that you want

to have your parents on the first floor, but when

I see all the space that's wasted where you could


have, like, a master suite over the garage -- I'm

not trying to design the house for you, please

understand -- but this is -- you're -- you have a

lot-and-a-half, so you have fifty-seven feet.

I'm not thrilled with the rear yard

setback. I'm glad to see the front yard setback,

but I can't -- you know, I'm having a real hard

time with anything less than ten foot on either


MR. MILLER: One issue that the

client did bring up is that this -- there's,

obviously, a cost factor with construction as

well, and one of the reasons, as well, as why

we're trying to keep this on the ground floor is

it is expensive to go up, to build on the second

floor. There is a cost factor. So that is one of

the reasons why his requirement was to keep the

ground floor as the liveable space as opposed to

keeping it up on the upper floors.

MEMBER GRAY: I would respectfully

suggest that with the lot size that he has and

wanting the size house that he may want, he may

have to narrow his house and go up at least half a

story somewhere along the way.


With new construction, especially in

the lakes area, to have anything less than ten

feet on either side when the ordinance requires

ten to fifteen -- I could live with ten and ten,

but I sure can't live with five and five. And it

doesn't make sense.

And as far as the neighbor to the

east, the City just purchased that house and tore

it down within the last two years because they are

going to be expanding the park, so --

MR. MILLER: If I may address the

five foot. As well as centering the house on the

lot and maintaining the five feet on either side,

one of the issues that we were trying to look at

-- we went around and kind of looked at some of

the houses that are along the lake front there,

and a vast majority of them do maintain five feet

on either side, so that was the only reason why we

were looking to go with what is along the area and

what has been approved in the past.

MEMBER GRAY: And you also realize

that most of those houses have been there for a

very long time?

The first floor of my house was


built in 1942, and when I needed more space I went

straight up, so I know what the cost factors are

and -- I'm just suggesting that a -- five feet may

be acceptable with existing that's been there

thirty, forty, fifty years, but with new

construction it's not, and -- you know, it's a

lovely house and I hope you -- I do hope you build

it, just on a little bit narrower scale.

Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Other Board Members,

comments or discussion?

MEMBER FANNON: I agree. I would

support a ten foot side back on -- side yard

setback on either side.

This required maximum lot has to go

down to the twenty-five percent, so this home has

to be smaller.

I mean, in all due respect of your

family and all of that, that's not what we're here

for. We're trying to get a home on a lot, help

you out, and all this other stuff isn't really a

reason to give a variance.

MR. MILLER: If I may ask on the --

I'm sorry. On the lot coverage, twenty-five


percent lot coverage, right now the house with a

detached garage, right now I believe has a lot

coverage of twenty-three-and-a-half percent, and

that footprint alone would somewhat be more

conforming but, then again, not in the right size.

The point I'm trying to get to is,

if you would allow the ten foot variances for the

side yard setbacks, that would still deem us to be

larger on the lot coverage.

So I'm just trying to get you to

understand the input.

MR. CHAIRMAN: How do you get -- if

you went from a five foot to ten foot on the side

setbacks, how does that give you a larger lot


MR. MILLER: If we went from five

foot on one side to a ten foot, we did that on

both sides, that still would be greater than

twenty-five percent lot coverage.

MEMBER BRENNAN: It wouldn't be

thirty-five percent.

MR. MILLER: No, it wouldn't be

thirty-five percent. I'm sorry. Mr. Fannon had

stated he would like to see it as-


MEMBER FANNON: (Interposing) I

don't know what it would be.

MR. MILLER: Okay. I'm sorry. I

mis -- I thought you were saying-

MEMBER FANNON: (Interposing) I

thought there was a plan for this. What

percentage would it be?

MR. MILLER: I thought you were

saying you wanted it back at the twenty-five


MEMBER FANNON: So you're at

twenty-seven, which is closer to twenty-five. I'm


MEMBER GRAY: That would be a lot

better, though.

MEMBER BAUER: Mr. Chairman?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Bauer.

MEMBER BAUER: I can't go for this

at all with all of these variances and with a

maximum lot coverage of thirty-four. For

brand-new on this size of a lot of fifty-seven

rather than a forty?

MEMBER GRAY: Or thirty?

MEMBER BAUER: Or thirty. And I


think you would have to stay within the ordinance.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members?

Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: Well, let's assume

both of these parties have never been before this

Board before. Obviously, you've got a couple of

options here. You can see where we're going here.

MR. MILLER: Yeah. Request to



MR. MILLER: I would like to request

it be tabled then.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members, any

problem with tabling this? We'll table this-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) Excuse

me. As a point of discussion, I just want to

continue with what somebody's mentioned on the

Board, is that the house as being smaller was a

consideration, but I think what we're trying to

get across is, the design itself is to stay within

that particular setback which we're giving you.

You may go up as was indicated earlier on.

There's nothing to say you can't do that. I just

want you to be aware of that.


MR. MILLER: If I may, is there --

is the -- are their objections to any variances at

all, or is the objection to not so many on such a


MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) Well,

I think the objection is you're looking at -- you

got a lot-and-a-half. You have a good size lot

for the area. You're walking in here and you're

asking for -- well, two -- three -- four -- you're

asking for five variances really, it's actually

four. And when you come in with that size lot,

new construction, and for the rationale and reason

that you're using, it doesn't support.

We're saying that, understandable in

some respects, there may be a justifiable reason

for a variance, but as a bare minimum on the side,

we're going to say that you have to have ten feet

on each side before we'd even -- you're going to

run into the same place you are. There's no sense

coming back with you want -- you know -- I mean,

we're trying to work -- we try to work with

everything and every situation.

Another thing that's been voiced is

a percentage of lot coverage.


So these are the things we really

want you to take into account in looking at your

design and what you feel is the minimum that you

can get by with.

And it's not -- I mean, it comes in

here and -- like this is a shopping list, that,

you know, I want this and I want that and I want

everything else, and you don't have the rationale

to support that.

We try to work with you but, you

know, this is just way out of line for what we

feel is justified.

So if you would like to table it

until you've got things lined up and get back with

the Building Department, we'll get you back on the

agenda when you have everything together and we'll

go on from there.

MR. MILLER: That will be great.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right?

MR. MILLER: Thank you very much.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. We will

table that to the Building Department.




MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Next case,

Case Number 02-012, filed by Robert Janik of

2300 Old Novi Road.

Sir, would you be sworn in by our

secretary, please.


MEMBER GRONACHAN: Would you raise

your right hand?

Do you swear or affirm that the

information that you're about to give in the

matter before you is the truth?


MEMBER GRONACHAN: Would you please

state your name for the record.

MR. JANIK: Robert Janik. I live at

2300 Old Novi Road.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Sir, would you

present your case.

MR. JANIK: Yes. It's my intent to

add on an acceptable minimum square footage

compared to the new houses going up in the area.


I don't want the existing home to appear as a home

that was pieced together. The home should have

desireable street appeal. The house would be a

ranch style.

My property is on an odd-shaped lot

facing the Austin Road side in which the grade of

the road goes up about three feet from the curb.

There's an additional twenty foot City easement

before my property line.

I understand that my property was

not on -- if it wasn't on a corner the setback

would be ten feet. Some of the homes in the area

are ten feet or less from the road now.

I feel the biggest issue would be

the setback on the Austin side. As the drawings

illustrate, only the corner of the garage actually

would be the closest to the variance requested.

From there on, to the rear of the garage towards

Old Novi Road, it will exceed forty-one feet.

The home recently, across from me on

Austin, was granted a garage variance, and all I

ask is the same consideration.

So I'd like to take this time to

thank my concerned neighbors for their time in


reviewing my plans and their support in approving

our subdivision.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

anyone in the audience who would like to input

into this case. Mr. Korte?

MR. KORTE: Korte, Shawood Lake.

Austin. What difference does it make what the

neighbors want? Let him build anywhere he wants.

Let him flood the rest of his neighbors out as the

last three houses on Austin have done to the tune

of putting in culverts and rights-of-ways. Just

let him do what he wants.

It appears to be the modus operandi.

Nobody cares.

Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you,

Mr. Korte. Is there anyone else in the audience

with input into this case?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none,

Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: Only that this is an

unusual lot, just by the configuration in itself.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You were before us


last year, weren't you?

MR. JANIK: Yes, sir.

MR. CHAIRMAN: What's different?

MR. JANIK: Basically now, the

garage is the issue. I've had to move it back. I

have done that as far as I possibly could without

-- without having the house look geometrically


MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: I also recall there

was a lot of discussion about whether the access

to the garage should be from Old Novi Road or from

Austin, and I'm assuming that now it's from Austin?

MR. JANIK: If you prefer, that's --

I'm open there. I can go either way.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members,

comments or discussion? Mr. Bauer?

MEMBER BAUER: What's the size of

the garage?

MR. JANIK: The garage will be

twenty-four by -- twenty-four wide by


MEMBER GRAY: Which way is the depth



MR JANIK: Pardon me?

MEMBER GRAY: Which way is the width

running; north to south or east to west?

MR. JANIK: North and south. Only

reason why twenty-seven, because nowadays, garages

are three-car garages. I wanted a little bit

extra room so that -- in which I'm not asking for

anymore additional variance. It would still fit

in that setback -- or the variance requested, but

I need -- wanted a little bit more room in the

garage so I could set up a work area.

MR. CHAIRMAN: What's the distance

of that sidewalk between the existing residence

and the proposed garage?

MR. JANIK: That should be about no

more than five feet.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Understanding your

lot situation, what you want to build and what you

want to do, you got to be quite creative.

MR. JANIK: The garage is also going

to have a breezeway, so it will be connected to

the roof line of the house.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, that's not my

problem. My problem-


MR. JANIK: (Interposing) Okay. I

didn't know if --

MR. CHAIRMAN: -is the ten foot

distance from Austin.

You got enough of a lot, enough of a

space, somehow you got to get that garage away

from that distance.

MR. JANIK: Again, I'm open for

suggestions, what you -- where else could I-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) I

can't design it for you, but I'm saying, as my

opinion --

MR. JANIK: There is absolutely no

way. I've worked -- I've worked with the builder,

you know, trying to get this garage to fit

somewhere, even on the other side of the house or

the back side of the house. There's no way

because of the shape of the lot off of

Austin Road.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I understand that,

but what I'm saying is, from my opinion and

everything, being that close at that point to the

edge of the road, I really have a problem with



MR. JANIK: Okay. It's only that

one corner.

MR. CHAIRMAN: One corner, the whole

wall. It's there.

Board Members, comments or

discussion? Miss Gray?

MEMBER GRAY: Well, when the

applicant was before us last year, we told him --

when he wanted ten foot off Austin we said no, and

I still have a problem with ten foot off Austin,

irrespective of what neighbors have done. Each

case is individual. Some of the houses have been

there for 50 and 60 years when they are -- weren't

setback requirements.

One of the things I brought up last

time, or I know I thought about it, it was brought

up last time, is that the front yard setback

facing Old Novi Road, that's a hundred twenty foot

right-of-way. The City will never use more than

it's using right now. The City has it, owns it.

The bike and safety path was put

in. I would respectively suggest that Mr. Janik

consider going closer to Old Novi Road.

I don't necessarily have -- because


I know he won't use that for his access because of

the elevation. I believe he's showing a walkout

basement to that side. I thought he was. No.

Maybe he's showing a walkout basement to-

MR. JANIK: (Interposing) To the


MEMBER GRAY: To the north?


MEMBER GRAY: Okay. Anyhow, if

you're looking for ideas -- I mean, where he shows

the word main and main addition, that's where I

would put the garage.

You know, there's so many different

alternatives, and I realize that he's going to be

building around the existing house, but there's so

many different alternatives than putting the

garage where he's siting it and then having the

sidewalk in between.

I want this garage as far off Austin

as possible. I don't want a ten foot setback on


And, you know, I realize that there

are easements that the City owns and there's

rights-of-way, but I think that there is certainly


a way that the petitioner can work within what

he's got.

And I understand it's a very awkward

lot, but this -- you have to work outside the

envelope with these odd lots.

Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members,

comments or discussion? Mr. Fannon?

MEMBER FANNON: We don't have the

print of what we approved last time. I mean,

everything was moved towards Novi Road.

Didn't you walk out with a variance

that you could be ten foot, including the garage,

from Novi Road last time?

(A discussion is being held

around the table.)

MR. SAVEN: Ten feet from --

(A discussion held between

Mr. Saven and Member Fannon,


MEMBER FANNON: I'm just trying to

remember exactly what we did. So what made you


MR. JANIK: (Interposing) So it is


acceptable to have a driveway off of

Old Novi Road?

MR. SAVEN: It would depend on how

close you are to the intersection, sir.

MR. JANIK: And it's also -- if I

did put the garage on the other side of the house,

there is -- on the easement, there's a big tree,

so that means that I would have to bring the

driveway out and then come around and then back up

into -- so I'd have to go around a tree.

MR. SAVEN: I would have to take

into consideration some of the slopes that you

have to deal with before we make that decision.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Somehow, something

has to be done with that ten feet. I don't know

what the answer is.

MR. JANIK: I could put a garage

that's -- I don't know -- twenty-four foot long by

ten foot deep. I don't -- there's a combination

there. It's not (inaudible) to accommodate that.

I don't know where else to put up a garage-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing)

Mr. Brennan?

MR. JANIK: -you know, to keep it


one level. I'd like to keep it one level.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, I mean -- I

know there's a lot of things we like to do.

MR. JANIK: I understand. But,

also, you have -- I have to take into

consideration costs, too.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I understand that,

but we're trying to work with you also on what we

figure that -- is reasonable on a respective of

being away from Austin Drive.

Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: What purpose does

the sidewalk between the garage and the residence

serve other than it's a nice little drive? I

mean, most houses have the garage attached to the


MR. JANIK: You are right,


MEMBER BRENNAN: (Interposing) Take

up five feet there.

MR. JANIK: To be able to -- back of

the house to the front of the house, you know, I'd

have to go all the way around the garage.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Don't you have a


front door and back door?

MR. JANIK: Yeah, there is a front

door, but I can't get to it from the back of the

house where the garage would be coming in.

You notice where the breezeway is?

If I attach the garage to the house, you know-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) I

understand your point, but the thing is, if you

had ten acres you could do all the things you want

to do.

Board Members, where are we going?

MEMBER BRENNAN: Well, I'll just ask

the petitioner -- I think you can get a sense that

there's some problems with the design as you've

laid it out. Do you want to take another look at

it? I hate to put you off, but we already -- you

had approval a year ago. You didn't proceed, I

don't know why. But we've got problems with the

design as it's laying before us tonight. The

ball's in your court actually.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Sanghvi.





MEMBER SANGHVI: That in Case Number

02-012, petitioner's request be denied due to lack

of any practical hardship.


MEMBER SANGHVI: Beg your pardon.

Again, Case Number 02-012, the petitioner's

request be denied because of lack of practical



MR. SCHULTZ: Difficulty.

MEMBER SANGHVI: Difficulty, beg

your pardon.

MR. CHAIRMAN: It's been moved and

seconded to deny the petitioner's request. Is

there any discussion on the motion? Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: I would just like

to ask the Board Members who made the motion and

second whether we want to give the applicant a

chance to look it over before -- I mean, he's got

to refile if he wants to-

MEMBER SANGHVI: (Interposing) We

have gone through this over and over again. This

is not the first time he's come to us.


MEMBER FANNON: Can I just ask one

-- yeah. What happened to the -- I'm still

looking at a year ago. What happened to that

design that we spent all that time on, that -- we

took care of this problem. What happened?

Why couldn't you look at the way

that we all -- what happened to the way-

MR. JANIK: (Interposing) I will

say that the way the Board recommended -- the

recommendation was that we push the garage further

towards Old Novi Road. That was your

recommendation at that time.

MEMBER BRENNAN: That's what you got

your variance for. Why don't you go-

MR. JANIK: (Interposing) I'm at

the very end of the variance with the garage right

now. There's no more room to go. I can't go any

further out towards Old Novi Road with this


MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Bauer?

MEMBER BAUER: Since we don't have

the records in front of us of what we did last


MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) The


records are here, sir, if I may read the motion.

MEMBER BAUER: Sure, please.

MR. SAVEN: We'll have an

understanding. Basically it says, that in the

Case Number 01-013, to grant the petitioner's

request for a ten foot front yard setback on

Old Novi Road and to deny the request for the

front yard setback on Austin Drive with the

condition that the shed be removed at the

completion of the garage.

So you did deny the request for the

front yard setback off of Austin Drive, okay, so

he had to try to do something with what the garage

-- certainly, there was an issue whether the

garage was detached and where it was placed. If

it was detached where it needed to be attached to

the principle building because garages can only be

placed in a side and rear yard.

Because Austin was a considerable

length, he had, really, no position to place the

garage to comply with that particular provision,

so the garage had to be attached, and that's why I

believe he's here again.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, I don't think


our position has changed from what we worked with

from the last variance request. The problem was

the garage at that time. We granted all your

other requests except for the garage. You're back

at the same point that we couldn't agree with last


We have a motion on the floor.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Is there any further

discussion on the motion?

MR. SAVEN: Mr. Chairman?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Saven.

MR. SAVEN: I just want to ask a

question here. I know that a lot of things have

been tossed around in regards to what to do with

this garage and reconsideration for the size of

the garage, eliminating the walkway between the

garage, moving it closer to Novi Road, would this

be an option, because if this is something that

the Board would look at, what we really have to do

is renotify, because this would be a different

request. And that's basically one of things I

would be concerned about rather than tabling this.

I think we have to renotify.


MR. SCHULTZ: Mr. Chair, just

following along those lines. The motion just

simply states no practical difficulty shown. I

think it might help in terms of the record if the

maker of the motion could clarify that it is the

garage and the location of the garage that leads

to the denial here, and I think that gives the

petitioner a clearer indication on the record, and

anybody reviewing the record, where it is he needs

to go to fix the problem.

MEMBER SANGHVI: I have no problem

adding that onto the motion, that the location of

the garage --

MR. SCHULTZ: Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Is there any further

discussion on the amended motion, modified motion?

MR. JANIK: Could I say one more


MR. CHAIRMAN: What's that?

MR. JANIK: Can I say one other



MR. JANIK: If a variance is

approved at one house in the subdivision, then why


can't another one?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Because each case is

looked at on its own merit and justification.

MR. JANIK: I have more room. I've

got more room to work with.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You're not utilizing

the space very effectively at all. Okay. You're

stretching things all over the place and trying to

build around a small building that's there. That

small building is costing you more aggravation

than if you were to level it and start over from


MR. JANIK: I real-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) That's

my opinion only.

MR. JANIK: Absolutely, but I have

too much invested in it now to do that.


MR. JANIK: (Interposing) Does --

MR. CHAIRMAN: You're saying that

this is the only way it can be done and we're

saying you have a lot of latitude, even with the

parameters that you're in.

MR. JANIK: I'm open for



MR. CHAIRMAN: It's not our job to

design your house. You have the facilities there,

you have the land there that, with imagination and

innovation, can be done.

MR. JANIK: The petitions and that

that were signed by the neighbors in support, that

has no bearing whatever?

MR. CHAIRMAN: It has support to the

case, but it's not going to get you your variance

on its own.

Any further discussion on the motion?

MR. JANIK: I think that's something

that wasn't discussed. I didn't hear how many

were sent out, how many were accepted.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I apologize on that.

There were twenty-seven notices sent out. There

were fourteen approvals received.

Does that answer your question?

Thank you.

Any further discussion on the


(No further discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: 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 denied. Thank you.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Moving on, next case

filed -- Case Number 02-013 filed by Holly and

Jason --

MR. WAECHTER: I'll help you.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.

I appreciate that. Of 45475 Addington Lane.


Sir, would you be sworn in, please.

MR. WAECHTER: Certainly.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information that you're about to

give in the matter before you is the truth?


MEMBER GRONACHAN: Would you please

state your name.

MR. WAECHTER: Certainly. May it

please this Honorable Board, my name is

Jason Waechter. I'm here representing myself and

my lovely wife, Holly. We live at 45475 Addington


We seek -- respectfully request your

consideration for a dimensional variance to allow

the construction of an open air pavilion-style

roof over our existing brick paver patio to the

rear of our house.

Attached to our detailed application

is -- are the plans, and I think only one set of

photographs. I don't know if they're floating

around. If I may approach, I can have them start

this way, but -- I have them marked -- if you have

any questions, so we can discuss that.


The number one thing that we wanted

the architect to achieve was to make sure that the

proposed roof or pavilion-style structure exactly

matched the existing house. That was very

important to us, using the same brick, the same

material, and also the same pillar-like columns

that are on the front of our house.

As to approvals, the Addington Park

Homeowners Association both signed off and

approved our plan. I think on your packet they

hand wrote on the plan approved, both of the

members of the committee. They also received your

notice and thought that oh, gosh, we didn't put it

on the right form, so then they also wrote on your

notice. Both of those gentlemen again approved it

on what they thought was the right notice.

We went to all of our neighbors that

surround and abut us and that actually could see

this, and we obtained approvals from all of them

on our own little form, and that was submitted

with our application.

Then the City sent out notices to --

unbeknownst to me, you guys really cover a nice

wide area. David Landry, city council member,


lives in a subdivision or cul-de-sac behind me and

he can see what -- he can see my backyard. I

believe he's approved it. Tom O'Conner used to be

on the Addington Park subdivision committee. He

received -- when he lived a few doors down, he

also approved it and thought that it would

actually add to the value of the subdivision or

actually increase the value of the homes in the

subdivision since you're adding on and you're

making my property more valuable.

As for the criteria, I think it's

important to realize that our -- the back lot

abuts woodlands, which are also wetlands, so in my

mind -- and I don't do this every day -- I think

one -- I imagine one purpose for this type of

restriction is so that two houses don't appear

really close to each other like the privacy

concern that the other case presented.

There is nobody else behind us.

It's protected wetlands. Nobody can move -- can

build back there, and I think that lot is --

doesn't perk. It's wet. People ice skate back

there, and it's so situated that I don't think you

could really put any type of house that would


equal the square footage needed for Addington

Park, so I think that's important to note.

As for the criteria, does

enforcement prevent use of the property? I would

submit to you that the main reason we want -- we

would like to do this is we really can't use our

patio because it's in direct sunlight from

11:00 a.m. until sundown. Certainly, we could put

up a bunch of umbrellas. I think that would be

more of an eyesore, and certainly the proposal is

-- would be to spend a reasonable sum of money or

a nice sum of money to make it look perfect and

make it look nice and not just junk it up with

three umbrellas or, because we're having more

people over, to pull out portable-type tents. We

want to get away from that type of fix.

Number two, will the proposal

negatively impact others? I submit to you the

answer to that is no. All of the neighbors I

believe signed our -- signed and approved, and

the Chairperson, I'm sure, will read -- if there

are any denials -- I do not know of any denials.

I only know, I believe, that there are a vast

number of approvals.


Number three, is there a lesser

variance available to remedy the problem? The big

question I think someone's going to ask is why do

you -- why can't you build it shorter, why can't

you build it -- I'm going to make up numbers --

why can't you build it eight -- eleven feet as

opposed to eighteen feet. The reason for that,

our architect says, that the pitch has to be a

certain degree so that the water goes down, and --

so that when you have winter-type weather that it

will roll off and it will do the right thing

structurally. That's, again, not my forte, and I

only know what they tell us. I'm sure the

Building Department can speak to that.

Number four, any unique

circumstances of the property? When we bought

this house from the builder, because of the

wetlands, we were only -- he could only put one or

two different models of that house there. We

chose to have the wetlands behind us instead of

have a three-car garage, we chose to have -- took

a two-car garage so we could have wet woods behind

us, and then they had to situate the model for

that lot a certain way, thus making the sun the


issue as it is today.

Number five, is the need for a

variance self-created? The answer I submit to you

is no. Again, the developer, when they put the

house that we ended up buying there, it was a

certain model because, again, of the wetlands, and

they put it at a certain position.

Again, I thank you for your time and

I'm happy to answer any questions that you may


MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is there

any other person in the audience that would like

to input into this case?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Close the audience


Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: The extent of the cover

of the roof goes to the extreme of your brick

paver patio; is that correct?

MR. WAECHTER: That's correct.

MR. SAVEN: It does not extend

beyond that point?

MR. WAECHTER: My understanding,


from looking at the plans, is there are brick --

I'll call them footings or pilings -- that are on

the edge on -- I'll call it the grass -- or just

past the brick paver patio. On those footings are

the matching columns that go to the roof, and our

number one goal is to shade that area. We have

the blinds drawn, you know, closed, and then --

that's our main living area, that back family

area, the kitchen, and we'd like to enjoy the

wetlands and our backyard.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. There

were thirty-one notices sent and received eight

approvals and one was sent back.

Mr. Brennan?

MEMBER BRENNAN: Sir, nice job. You

did your homework. You got the approvals of the

homeowner association. You want to enjoy your

backyard. I see no problem with the variance

you've asked for.

MR. WAECHTER: Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members,

further comments or discussion?

I only have one thing to ask about

that. You say that your house has -- doesn't have


any room to move. That's because the builder

built to such extent that if you want to put five

foot someplace else, you can't do it.



MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members,

further comments or discussion? Mr. Sanghvi?


couple of questions.


MEMBER SANGHVI: How long will it be

before you would want to enclose this?

MR. WAECHTER: We do not want to

enclose it. We -- it's my wife and I's

belief that -- we don't want to enclose it. We

want a brick -- we want a brick paver patio, we

want a barbeque out there, we want to have maybe a

fan up above, and we just want to enjoy the breeze

and some shade back there in, you know, a

barbecue-type situation when we have people over.

We don't want to enclose it.

We have thirty-two hundred square

feet, we have a half-finished basement, all of

which permits have been pulled for, so that's


really not anything that we're intending to do.

MEMBER SANGHVI: My only concern is

that next year there are going to be a lot of

mosquitoes. They're going to bite you up and then

you would want to enclose it.

MR. WAECHTER: That's good

forethought. I really don't think that's going to

be a concern. And we're actually building it in

such a way that I don't know if that -- again, I'm

not a builder. I don't know if that's possible.

This is what we envision. This is what we'd like.

I don't foresee a variance request for enclosing


MR. CHAIRMAN: Miss Gray?

MR. SAVEN: If I may comment for

Dr. Sanghvi. Irregardless, because this is a

covered situation, speaking on the principle

building characteristics, whatever you approve,

he can still enclose it based upon that being a

covered patio.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Miss Gray?

MEMBER GRAY: My same comment, but

it's absolutely no different than the sunrooms or

conservatories that we're approving all the time,


and we will be doing again this spring, so -- it's

a nice design, and I commend you for the

compatibility with the-

MR. WAECHTER: (Interposing) I

appreciate you giving me all the credit. I'd like

to thank my wife because she did all the work and

I'm just --

MS. GRAY: Nice job.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Board Members,

further comments or discussion?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, the

Chair would entertain a motion.


motion, sir, that in Case Number 02-013, we

approve the applicant's request for variation to

cover the patio because of the special

circumstances of the wetlands and the woodlands

behind and the location of the house because of

sun-producing problems.


MR. CHAIRMAN: 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 Fannon?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Sir, your variance

request has been approved. See the Building

Department for necessary permits. We wish you the

best of luck.

MR. WAECHTER: Thank you for all

your time today.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Case 02-014.


I guess it's been tabled.

Mr. Saven, do you have any other

matters before we get into election of officers?

MR. SAVEN: Not really. I'd like to

introduce the gentleman that's going to probably

before you next month. He's a little concerned

because he's got a situation that's a very

delicate situation and -- at his home at the

present time, and I'm sure he's looking at the

Board right now to try to figure out what is he

going to do as far as his presentation.

This is one of our new residents

coming into the City. He's in the process of

building a new home in which he came to a major

problem, so he will before you next month.

MR. STONE: I'm Chris Stone. I'm a

current resident in Mystic Forest and we are

moving into the Park Place subdivision.

Unfortunately, my builders seem to

have misplaced his tape measure when he put

together the plot plan, and so we -- I need a

fifteen foot sawzaw.

But all in all, in my view, it's a

fortunate mistake. If I were to have the option


of putting the house there, that's where I would

have put it. He actually moved the house forward

too far. If we move it back, well, involves

tearing up a basement and a great deal of

aggravation. It also involves pushing further

back into the woodlands, which we really don't

want to do.

It's one of these things that's just

a major oops. And none of us caught it. I didn't

catch it. I wouldn't expect to catch it. I don't

understand the details of plot plans, but it got

through a number of other people. It's

unfortunate, but yes, we will be back next month.

MEMBER BRENNAN: Bring your builder.

MR. STONE: He will be here.

MR. CHAIRMAN: We'll look forward to

seeing you.

MR. STONE: Thank you very much.

MR. SAVEN: You have election of

officers. I was going to allow -- I'll shut up.

MR. CHAIRMAN: We have three

positions on our Board for which we elect

officers; one being the chairman, the vice

chairman and the secretary. The Building


Department fired our treasurer, so we don't have

to re-elect them.

At this time I'd like to open up the

floor for nominations for chairman.

MEMBER BAUER: I nominate Frank.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Been moved and

seconded to nominate Mr. Brennan. Are there any

further nominations?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, we

would say that by acclamation, Mr. Brennan, you

have been elected chairman. All those in favor,

signify by saying aye.

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Opposed?

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. For the

position of vice chairman?

MEMBER BRENNAN: I'd like Mr. Fannon

to sit at my left-hand side and pass me the



MR. CHAIRMAN: Been moved and


seconded to nominate Mr. Fannon. Is there any

further nominations?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, we

would unanimously -- all those in voting for

Mr. Fannon for voice chairman, signify by saying


(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Opposed?

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Fannon,


For the position of secretary?

MEMBER BRENNAN: I think we ought to

let Mr. Sanghvi take a shot at interfacing with


MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) I'll

support that.

MEMBER BAUER: Secretary.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Any further

nominations for secretary?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hearing none, all

those in favor of electing Mr. Sanghvi secretary,


signify by saying aye.

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Opposed?

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Congratulations to

Mr. Sanghvi, Mr. Brennan and Mr. Fannon.

The only thing I think we should get

as a reminder to us and to our presenters is a big

five-minute hourglass.

MEMBER BAUER: Mr. Chairman?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Or we need to elect a

timekeeper, one or the other.

MEMBER GRAY: If you're keeping

time, you can't really listen.

MEMBER BAUER: Mr. Chairman?


MEMBER BAUER: I wish to say hurrah

for Lavern for guiding us this past year. I think

you did a glorious job.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I appreciate that,

and I think we'll be in good hands with

Mr. Brennan and Mr. Fannon for next year.


MR. CHAIRMAN: And with that, being


a proud new grandfather, say good night to Adam

and Hailey, meeting adjourned.

(The meeting was adjourned at

10:18 p.m.)

- - -

Date approved:

May 7, 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 152 typewritten pages, is a

true and correct transcript to the best of my abilities.



Cheryl L. James, CSR-5786