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TUESDAY, AUGUST 13, 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, August 13, 2002.

Frank Brennan, chairman
Jerald Bauer
Sarah Gray
Cynthia Gronachan
Siddharth Sanghvi
Laverne Reinke

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

Cheryl L. James, Certified Shorthand Reporter

MR. CHAIRMAN: We'll call this

meeting to order. Sarah, will you please call the


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. We do have a

full quorum, so the meeting is now in session.

Ladies and gentlemen, we do publish

rules of conduct. It's right on the top of this

agenda, and I'd ask that you take a look at that

and try to keep with that.

The Zoning Board of Appeals is a

hearing board empowered by the Novi City Charter to

hear appeals seeking variances from the application


of the Novi zoning ordinance.

It takes a vote of at least four

members to approve a variance and a vote of the

majority of the members present to deny. We do

have a full board tonight, and the decisions will

be final.

Any changes to the agenda, Sarah, as


MS. MARCHIONI: I just want to make

sure no one is here for 305 Guana (ph). That one

has been tabled to next month.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Which case?

MS. MARCHIONI: It's not even on


MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Any other

changes to the agenda?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Move for approval as

submitted. All in favor, say aye.

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Minutes. I believe we

had two months, both June and July. Any changes,


MEMBER GRAY: I had some minor ones


to July, and I already gave them to Cheryl.

They're just spelling, they're non-substantive.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Anything else?

MEMBER SANGHVI: I move the minutes

be approved as submitted.


MR. CHAIRMAN: All those in favor,

say aye.

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. Public

remarks. This is a public remarks portion of the

meeting. All comments related to a case on the

agenda should be left until that case is called,

but if anyone wants to talk to the Board right now

on a matter or a case that's not on our agenda,

stick your hand up in the air. If not, we'll move



MR. CHAIRMAN: We're going to call

our first case, Case Number 02-061, filed by

SR Jacobson regarding property at 45588 South Lake

Drive. Is the parties here -- are the parties



(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Tell you what

we're going to do is call case number two, and

we'll look at this again a little bit later on.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Case number two is

Value City. Gentlemen, are you here? Come on

down. This is Case Number 02-062. Are you

Mr. Riddell?


MR. CHAIRMAN: You would like to add

a sign. And if you'll raise your hand and be

sworn, we'll let you fill us in.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information that you're about to

give in the matter before you is the truth?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Go ahead.

MR. RIDDELL: I have an awning on the

back of my store. My customers were having a hard

time finding my customer pickup. They come several

days later after they order furniture and were

going Donelson Drive, down through there, and a few


of them couldn't find my store.

I put up -- on the customer pickup

part I put Value City Furniture above that in our

-- in our, you know, signage, and got a letter in

the mail saying that wasn't good, which I -- I

didn't realize that, so I'm here now.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. There were

seven notices sent; no approvals, no objections.

Anyone in the audience wish to

comment on this case?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Seeing none, Building


MR. SAVEN: No comment, sir.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. Board

members? I'll make just an opening comment. This

-- I recall similar stores in similar developments

having a similar problem, and we have given similar

relief, similarly.

Any comments, questions of the


MEMBER REINKE: Well, I think that a

sign is needed there, no question about it, but

whether it needs to be 52 square feet that you can


see from the other side of Fountain Walk Drive,

that's my only question about that.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Jerry?


MEMBER SANGHVI: Not only that, there

are signs on the doors itself, painted on the

doors, isn't there?

MR. RIDDELL: There are small signs.

My problem is that they were going around

Donelson Drive and-

MEMBER SANGHVI: (Interposing) I had

no difficulty in finding your place this morning.

MR. RIDDELL: I'm sorry?

MEMBER SANGHVI: I said I had no

difficulty finding your place this morning with the

signs on the doors itself, and it's very nice

looking and all that; nevertheless, once you start

with that kind of sign there, all stores in that

area are going to ask for the same thing. You are

not the only one with back doors out there for

pickup and other things.

That's it.

MR. RIDDELL: I would think that I'm

the only one that has trucks and things like that


in that particular plaza right there coming to pick

up loads of furniture.

MEMBER SANGHVI: My comment is for


MR. RIDDELL: Sure, of course, I


MR. CHAIRMAN: What is the square

footage on that sign?

MR. SAVEN: Fifty-two square feet.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Is there a way that

you can modify that to make it -- a new awning?

MR. RIDDELL: It's vinyl letters on

the canvas sign. Certainly we could put-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) Like

ironed on or something like that?

MR. RIDDELL: Yeah, something like

that. I don't know how they do it.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I think that you may

be hearing that there's support for that type of

identification, but it's too big. Is there a

chance that you can make that smaller?

MR. RIDDELL: I dealt with

Marygrove Awning on it, and they seem to do a very

good job.


MR. CHAIRMAN: They've been here


MR. RIDDELL: I'm sure that they

could make that red again and then make it smaller

on there if that's what, you know, we think we need

to do. I'm certain of that. I hate to mess up the

look of the sign, you know, and trying get the

colors exact.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Unfortunately, you're

not the sign guy, you're with Value City, so --

MR. RIDDELL: Exactly.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Well then, let's --

not being the sign guy, let's, perhaps, get some

recommendation from the Board what we feel is more

appropriate and maybe give you a little freedom

plus or minus this or that as it works out with the

sign company.


MEMBER SANGHVI: I thought ten by

four would be quite adequate over there.

MEMBER REINKE: I think that's still

even big. The thing is, the distance from there

is for anybody driving down the street behind

there. I don't think you need 40 square feet to


see where that customer pickup is.

I'm thinking of something more in the

line of 24 to a maximum of 30 square feet.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Do you think you can

live with that range?

MR. RIDDELL: Yes, I can live with

that, sure.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members, we've

got some agreement with the petitioner that he

needs the recognition in the back and he's willing

to cut this back to 30 feet or less, okay.

Any other comment?

(No response.)

MEMBER REINKE: Mr. Chairman, in

Case 02-062, I move that the petitioner's variance

request for a customer pickup sign be granted and

not larger than 24 square feet.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Do you think you can

live with that?

MR. RIDDELL: Twenty-four?

How long would I have to get this accomplished;

right away?

MEMBER REINKE: How long do you feel


that it would take?

MR. RIDDELL: I'm not sure, a few

weeks, a month maybe.

MEMBER REINKE: I have no problem

with 45 days.

MR. CHAIRMAN: That work?


MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. We have a

motion, we have a second and we have an

understanding applicant.

MEMBER SANGHVI: I call the question,

Mr. Chairman.


MEMBER SANGHVI: Said I call the


MR. CHAIRMAN: You call the question?

MEMBER SANGHVI: We can vote on it


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

right. We have a motion, we have a second.


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?



MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, sir. You

do have a-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing)

Clarification from the Board. Is that a 45-day




MR. RIDDELL: Forty-five days,

twenty-four square feet.


MR. RIDDELL: Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

MR. RIDDELL: Have a nice night.



MR. CHAIRMAN: All right.

Case 02-063 filed by Richard Tanielian at

1280 East Lake Drive.

Sir, you want to raise your hand and

be sworn?

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information that you're about to

give in the matter before you is the truth?



MR. CHAIRMAN: You've got the floor.

MR. TANIELIAN: My name is

Richard Tanielian. I've got a representative here

with me today. I'd like him to come forward and --

on my behalf.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Bring him on down. If

he's not an attorney we'll swear him in. Looks

like he is. He has a suit on.

Sir, you want to give us your name,

name and address?

MR. PERLMAN: Michael Perlman,

28400 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, Michigan.

MR. CHAIRMAN: And you are an



MR. PERLMAN: I'm an attorney.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Go ahead,

whoever's going to present, have at it.

MR. PERLMAN: This matter was

previously brought before this Board starting in

September of 2000.

At that time the variance requested

was granted. Unfortunately, my client did not

proceed with the building plans and came back again

the following year. At that time the variance,

again, was granted but did not -- he did not follow

through as he had to do some work on the site and

was interested ultimately in selling the property.

He originally had contemplated

building his own house on the property.

When he came before you in May of

this year, the question arose over the variances

and the size of those variances. The request was

no different than the previous requests made in

September of 2000 and again in 2001.

During the course of your meeting,

there was an indication -- or a concern about the

width between buildings and that you wanted to see


basically not less than ten feet.

At the time, my client was requesting

a five foot variance on each side; however -- and I

don't know if the Board was fully aware, five feet

did not exist between his lot and lot eight to the

north. Likewise, between his lot and lot six there

was also a variance of less than five feet between

the building and the lot line.

My client, at that time, did have a

purchaser for a house that would be twenty-five

feet wide on a thirty-five foot lot, and the

request was for five foot variance.

The Board apparently had some

concerns about what was deemed ten feet though, as,

in fact, it turned out to be a little bit less.

My client has had the opportunity to

find a new purchaser because the old purchaser

didn't want to go through the process of giving up

square footage in the house.

As a result of finding a new

purchaser, we have modified the request of the

variance, and as it is indicated on the petition

that you have, we have decreased the request so

that, as to the north side, it's 4.5 feet instead


of five feet; as to the south, 9.5 feet instead of

the original fifteen feet; and then, likewise, on

both sides the variance is fourteen feet.

We believe that a twenty-four foot

width house instead of a twenty-five is the maximum

variance and reduction that we can basically

support in terms of being able to build the house

on the lot.

At the same time, what that does is

it clearly makes sure that there's more than ten

feet between houses on both the north side and the

south side of this lot seven.

So our request is -- and in taking

into account your requirements for obtaining a

variance, we'd like you to consider that we have

adjusted our request from the previous time. We

have talked with the neighbors.

The houses all along that short

stretch right there average ten feet between

houses. We are going to have eleven feet -- or

close to eleven feet in our situation, so we ask

you to consider this request.

This is the last of the unbuilt lots

in this area along East Lake Drive.


I'm more than happy to answer any

questions relative to this request.

The petitioner has basically taken

into account the requirements of this Board, has

taken the time and the effort through its broker to

find someone who would accept building a house less

than twenty-five feet in width, and therefore, we

ask that -- your consideration -- or

reconsideration in this matter.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. There were 31

notices sent. There were no approvals, no


Anyone in the audience wish to --

come on down, sir.

If there's anybody else that wants to

comment, please get in line right behind him.

Sir, give us your name and your

address for the record.

MR. ANDREWS: My name is Bob Andrews

and my address is 1262 East Lake Drive. I am the

house to the north side.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Lot eight?

MR. ANDREWS: Lot eight. And I think

the -- some of the information you were just given


is not correct.

My house is six feet from the

property line. When I built my house I got a four

foot variance, and that's what it is.

I don't know what dimensions -- or

what -- where they're getting their figures from.

I've never seen anybody survey that lot. That

doesn't mean it wasn't done. I've never seen any

stakes or survey stakes.

But I do believe that five-and-a-half

feet is a little close. Last time they asked for

five feet. They're moving in the right direction,

getting five-and-a-half, but I still don't think

that's enough.

And the, you know, the houses are

very close in that area, I'll certainly agree with

that, and I just think that's a little bit close

and I would ask for, you know, a little more room

than that.


MR. ANDREWS: And they also said that

they asked the neighbors. I've talked to my

neighbors, and I don't know anybody who's -- who

else was talked to.


MR. CHAIRMAN: There were thirty-one

notices sent; no approvals, no objections.

MEMBER GRAY: Is Mr. Andrews at lot

six or lot eight?

MR. ANDREWS: Lot eight.

MR. CHAIRMAN: He's to the north.

MEMBER GRAY: So it's lot six because

lot eight is the multiple.

MR. ANDREWS: Lot six, I'm sorry.

MEMBER GRAY: Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Was there somebody

else? I thought there was another hand up. Okay.

Anyone else in the audience?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: No? We'll move on.

Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: Mr. Chairman and the

Board, when Mr. Tanielian was before you at

previous ZBA hearings, there was a couple concerns

the Board brought up.

Number one was the issue of the

garage. The garage is demolished. The other issue

was to try to set the house back far enough from

the road -- or the lake for visibility, and I think


he has attempted to do that.

And the fact that he has increased

the side yard setback, although maybe not to the

six feet as the gentleman in the rear has

indicated, but he has made attempts to try to work

out a situation here with five-and-a-half feet on

both sides.

What I want to bring up to the Board

was, bear in mind, that previously when he was here

for the first time with -- five times he's been

here before the Board, was that fact that we had a

grandfathering clause in affect at the time, which

meant that we had -- we were dealing with two side

yard setbacks with ten foot on each side.

What you're seeing before you now is

the fact that the grandfathering provision on the

ordinance has been changed. It's no longer there.

And, therefore, based upon that particular

situation, he has to comply with the current

provisions of the ordinance, which is a combined

total of twenty-five feet for a total side yard

setback, so it's a little bit more of an increase

as far as the variance that was granted.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Board Members,


any questions for the petitioner?

MEMBER SANGHVI: Question. Is --

1282 is just behind your property, right?

MR. TANIELIAN: Next to it.

MEMBER SANGHVI: Is it next door or

behind you?



MR. TANIELIAN: Next to it.

MEMBER GRAY: Lot number eight? 1282

is lot number eight?

MEMBER SANGHVI: What is right behind


MR. TANIELIAN: Used to be a garage,

and that's gone.

MEMBER SANGHVI: I was there this


And so you are not going to have any

driveway to get into your house?

Where is that going to --

MR. TANIELIAN: Off the center of the

property from the road.

MEMBER SANGHVI: On the north side or

the south side?


MR. TANIELIAN: Straight, down the


MEMBER SANGHVI: I don't have any

lines from your home in this packet.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All we have is a


MR. SAVEN: First of all,

Mr. Chairman, if I may, there are provisions in the

ordinance that also takes the fact that the

driveways can be as close as three foot to the side

yard lot line. That's how close they can get, so

if they stay within that provision, anywhere from

three foot of the property line, then you're okay

pursuant to the ordinance.

MR. CHAIRMAN: So you will have a

straight-in driveway coming in off of East Lake


MR. PERLMAN: Correct.

MEMBER SANGHVI: Okay, thank you.

MR. PERLMAN: And at that point, at

East Lake, it's 35 feet wide, so the driveway is

going to be basically in the center of that, so

there shouldn't be an issue of any side yard

setbacks as it relates to the driveway.




MEMBER GRAY: It's a step in the

right direction. One foot is one foot. I still

have a concern, because this is new construction,

with the closeness to the side yards.

I realize that petitioner no longer

owns lot number eight, and lot number eight is

where the multiple is, and that all the vehicles

that are there now at lot eight are using lot

number seven for parking, so they're going to have

to absorb their own parking on lot number eight.

We're not talking about lot number eight, we're

talking about lot number seven.

I still am uncomfortable with

five-and-a-half feet on each side. This is another

situation where you play neighbor off against

neighbor, and I understand the owner of lot eight

doesn't have a problem with this, but I'm not happy

with only five-and-a-half feet to the property line

on either side.

Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I wish we had some

more detail on what this proposed house looks


like. What's the square footage, do you have an


MR. TANIELIAN: Main floor is about

sixteen hundred I think.

MEMBER GRAY: Is it a two-story?

MR. CHAIRMAN: I don't know. That's

why I asked the question.

MR. PERLMAN: Sixteen hundred and

twenty-five feet.

MR. CHAIRMAN: On the main floor.

There's a second floor?

MR. TANIELIAN: That's the main


MR. PERLMAN: That's the main floor.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Is there a second


MR. TANIELIAN: Between that and the

garage, it's taking the full footprint, which is


MR. CHAIRMAN: So it's a single-story


MR. TANIELIAN: No, no. That would

be the footprint, what would be allowed in the

square footage with a two-car attached garage,



MEMBER REINKE: Is there going to be

a two-story home or a single-story home?

MR. TANIELIAN: I'm selling the

property. I don't know.


MEMBER GRAY: 1625 is exactly the

size of the last -- in May. It was 65 by 25 in

May, and it should be a little bit smaller than

1625 square feet.

MR. PERLMAN: It is, it is. It is

actually 1601.

MEMBER GRAY: On the first floor?


MEMBER GRAY: With garage?

MR. PERLMAN: Yes. When the

petitioner was here in May he was asking for a

twenty-five foot width house, sixty-five in depth

with five foot on each side. Now he's asking for

twenty-four width with five-and-a-half foot on each

side. It's a decrease of one foot overall in


MEMBER REINKE: It seems to be closer

to lot -- the house on lot six than it is on lot


eight, if I'm reading this correct, although not a

great deal of a difference in distance there.

The problem is, of course, the width

of the lot, there's no question about that. To

build something narrower than twenty-four feet

represents a problem also.

One thought in mind is to maybe put

six feet on the lot six side and five feet on the

lot eight side, which would give it kind of a

balance of space between the two homes and still

allow for a twenty-four foot wide house which, to

me, is probably the smallest practical size you

could build.

That's the thought of -- my concern

to throw out for the Board's consideration.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Did you follow

Mr. Reinke's-

MR. PERLMAN: (Interposing) Yes.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Does that have any

merit, possibility, more centering -- centering the

house on the lot rather than how it's laid out?

MEMBER REINKE: Well, it's not so

much centering on the lot. It's kind of centering

it between the homes.


MR. PERLMAN: He wants to make a

balance. I believe you have a certificate of

survey by Mr. Leiber.


MR. PERLMAN: And you'll note -- and

I appreciate exactly what Mr. Reinke was trying to

do, in that if you look at lot eight, at one point

it's 4.7 feet and 4.4 feet from lot seven, the

house, and on the other side it's 4.4 -- this is

lot six -- 4.4 and 4.6 from the lot line, so it's a

difficult balance there.

We obviously would take direction

from this Board if, in fact, you wanted us to have

it, you know -- when we talk slightly off center in

this lot, we're only talking two or three inches.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, I'd like to work

something a little bit closer to helping out your

neighbor on lot six.

MR. PERLMAN: And I agree. We don't

have a problem with that. And all I'm saying is it

is only a matter of a few inches, and we would do


MR. CHAIRMAN: Are you prepared to do

that right now?



MR. CHAIRMAN: Make a proposal.

MR. PERLMAN: Well, I think the

proposal Mr. Reinke made basically-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) So how

does that modify your request then? North side

variance request would remain-

MR. PERLMAN: (Interposing) Well,

his lot -- excuse me. His house is --

MR. TANIELIAN: North side would be

six feet, south side would be five feet.

MR. PERLMAN: Right. So there would

be six feet on the north side of his house.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Six foot variance


MEMBER REINKE: No. It would be


MEMBER GRAY: Would be four.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Four and six.

MR. PERLMAN: Would be four foot

there, right.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Is everyone clear with


Are you comfortable with that?



MR. SAVEN: Would you please explain

that to me. I'm not trying to be dumb here or

anything, but I have four foot-

MR. PERLMAN: (Interposing) Well,

what we're trying to do is pull it away from his

house, the extra half a foot, so it would be-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) I have six

foot on one side and five foot on the other; is

that correct?


MR. SAVEN: Okay. Somebody said four

feet, and that's why I-

MR. PERLMAN: (Interposing) I'm not

sure where that came from.

MR. CHAIRMAN: It's five and six.

MR. SAVEN: Mr. Chairman-

MR. PERLMAN: (Interposing) Because

it is 11.

MR. SAVEN: -and members of the

committee here, I have to tell you that this is a

change in the request that is before you tonight.

This will have to be readvertised based upon the

differences that we're dealing with. I'm really


sorry to say that, but I don't believe we have the

right to modify without advertising to the public.

I think this is very good direction

that you're giving this gentleman. I think

everything that we're looking at right now is fine,

but what we have done is we modified the

petitioner's request to the south, which is a

little bit more stringent than what we're dealing

with right now before us, but we have direction. I

think this gentleman is very well aware of that.

MR. PERLMAN: Well, I guess the issue

is we're trying to be as accommodating as possible.

We want the opportunity to build on this property.

My client's entitled to the opportunity to sell the

property and let someone else build on it.

I'm not -- fortunately or

unfortunately, the neighbor to the other side of

lot seven isn't here, and I'm not in a position,

and -- nor I don't know if this Board is, to

indicate that we should move further away because

someone's here than someone who isn't -- who's

absent in these proceedings.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Might have been nice

if we had them here.


MR. SAVEN: Still wouldn't have made

any difference.

MR. PERLMAN: They had no objection.

MR. CHAIRMAN: We would have had some


Now, if we table this for another

month and then we have the people from lot eight

here, that's my point.

You said that you -- you already

indicated you checked with your neighbors.

Obviously, the gentleman on lot six you didn't

check with and lot eight's not here.

MR. PERLMAN: My client has addressed

matters with the gentleman -- Mr. Andrews from lot

eight. His position is he would like to have it

further away than we were proposing. If all things

were equal in this situation, I'm sure he'd like to

have it ten, twenty feet away, and I recognize


The houses along that short stretch

of lots are all basically ten feet apart, five from

each side. Those were the variances that you

granted over the last several years.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Sir, you have a couple


options. We can vote on your-

MR. PERLMAN: (Interposing) I


MR. CHAIRMAN: -submittal tonight or

you can look at what we've given you as guidance,

or you can withdraw your case. You have lots of

options, but let's move on.

MR. PERLMAN: Well, if I'm getting-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) Hold on

a second.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Bauer has


MEMBER BAUER: Are you going to be

building the house on the lot?


MEMBER BAUER: Then we're not

worrying about lot six.

MEMBER GRAY: That's right.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All we're voting on is

the setbacks.

MEMBER BAUER: But he's not putting

the house there.

MR. CHAIRMAN: He's the property


owner and he's trying to get setbacks established

so he can sell the property. Right?

MR. PERLMAN: Correct.

MEMBER GRAY: So it's like the

invisible house for spec?

MEMBER SANGHVI: No specs to-

MEMBER GRAY: (Interposing) This is

just a footprint.

MEMBER SANGHVI: We're going to see

the owner when he comes to bring all the work


MEMBER BAUER: What we're going to

have is we're going to have the buyer come back

here to this Board.

MR. PERLMAN: No, I don't think so,

because the contract is written based on the fact

that it's going to be a 24-foot width house that's

going on the property, and with this Board's order,

granting a variance, we will be inside this


MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Schultz, I'd like

some guidance here.

MR. SCHULTZ: Well, initially, I

agree with Mr. Saven, that if the Board's direction


at this point is to shift it, essentially, six

inches, we run into a problem as advertised because

it's a difference to the south. To the north it's

not a problem because we're increasing.

I think, as the Chair had said, it

puts the ball squarely in this proponent's court;

does he want to have this readvertised with that

potential solution that there's some indication of

support for, or does he want a decision tonight as

is, and then I think he's also seeing where that

might be heading, so I think the ball's squarely in

the proponent's court.

MR. PERLMAN: Our position is we're

going to take our lead from this Board, and if this

Board is prepared to support what's been discussed

-- I've talked with my client in advance in terms

of something like this. We're prepared to adjourn

it for a month and bring it back.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I think you saw enough

nodding heads, that if you're back in 30 days

you're going to get something out of this.

MR. PERLMAN: Thank you very much.

MR. CHAIRMAN: So we have a motion by

the petitioner to adjourn this one month, come back


and we're going to republish it based on the

recommendations of Mr. Reinke.

We've got that squared away, right,


You're all set. Thank you.

MR. PERLMAN: Thank you.


MR. CHAIRMAN: 02-064, filed by Bret

and Christine Miller, 24594 Redwing.

They need a setback variance in their

backyard to put a covered deck.

Raise your hand and be sworn.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information that you're about to

give in the matter before you is the truth?



MR. MILLER: Bret and

Christine Miller from Redwing Drive. We were

requesting consideration of a setback variance to

2.37 feet so that we can add a three season room to

-- addition to our home.

As part of our application, we had


provided documentation that we had spoken with all

of our neighbors, and in addition to that, we had

tried to consider some alternative designs, but

were advised against pursuing those by the builder

and architect, which brings us before this Board

requesting the variance.

MR. CHAIRMAN: That it?


MR. CHAIRMAN: If there's a question

we'll get to it.

There were forty-three notices sent.

We had seven approvals and no objections.

Anybody in the audience care to talk

to us about this case?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Seeing no hands,

Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: Well, my main concern was

the issue of the 20 foot easement which is off the

back of the proposed structure. There's an

(inaudible) easement. I have no objection.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members?

MEMBER REINKE: I think the request

is minimal, but I have my standard thing in this,


is that we build our lots to the maximum to start

with, that you can't throw a two-by-four on a house

without having to get a variance.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You're right,

Mr. Reinke. I recall that the petitioner had to

get a variance to put a sidewalk alongside the

house, but that's not the case before us tonight.

I think the petitioner did a nice job

in putting together information. It's clear. You

do have subdivision-

MEMBER GRONACHAN: (Interposing) No


MR. CHAIRMAN: No association, but

you have a gaggle full of neighbors that are all in

favor of this. You did a nice job.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Pardon? Seven

approvals, no objections.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Yes, sir.

MEMBER SANGHVI: I like the thing.

The only thing I didn't like when I came there

today was finding -- did I see Ohio State on the-

MR. MILLER: (Interposing) Yes, you



MEMBER SANGHVI: Everything else was


MEMBER REINKE: Mr. Chairman, in

Case 02-064, I move that petitioner's variance be

granted due to the size and area required for the



MR. CHAIRMAN: We've got a motion and

a second. Any discussion?

(No discussion.)


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?



MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. You've got

your variance. See the Building Department for

appropriate paperwork.

MR. MILLER: Thank you very much.


MR. CHAIRMAN: All right.

Mongolian Barbeque, come on up.

This is Case Number 02-066, and they

would like to remove the signs currently on the

restaurant and put a nice smaller one up.

You want to raise your hands and be


MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information that you're about to

give in the matter before you is the truth?



MR. CHAIRMAN: Go ahead.

MR. DOWNS: Okay. I'm Billy Downs,

21297 Wheaton in Novi, Michigan, here with

Mike Stevenson, general manager of the

Mongolian Barbeque. I'm the founder and president

of BD's Mongolian Barbeque. Thank you for taking


the time with us tonight.

Just to give you a little bit of

history, we were one of the first leases in the

Novi Main Street development more than five years


We, at numerous times, almost left

the development prior to its being built, and since

its opening, we've had moderate success with our

business, and we have six other restaurants in the

Detroit area, and this particular restaurant is our

lowest volume restaurant of the six.

Today the development is not nearly

what the City envisioned it or what we envisioned


Our signage, especially at night, is

barely visible from the corner of Grand River and

Market, and that was the intent of our original

variance, and we were very appreciative of this

Board for giving us the original variance for our

current signs.

We had the support of the landlord,

the current management company. And the

development management, you may be aware, is in

foreclosure and we have the support of the receiver


of that development right now.

The receiver, as well as others,

recognize us as an anchor tenant currently in the


And I'd just like to read a little

bit of the letter I dated July 15th that you have

in your packet. BD's Mongolian Barbeque is seeking

a variance of the sign ordinance in attempt to gain

higher visibility of our location from Grand River


In fact, just this afternoon we have

a temporary sign on the building. We had some

guests who came in just because they saw this

temporary sign, and we are trying to draw more

attention as -- and as an anchor tenant bring more

traffic to the center.

Currently BD's is operating in the

development that is struggling and has numerous


We are committed to long-term success

of the development. We believe it's going to be

there. We know that the short-term is going to be

a struggle but we believe in the long-term it will

be there.


The company is seeking to exchange

its current variance for a sign that's no bigger

than the current variance. It's the same size sign

really with the current variance.

It's the company's position that the

sign will not alter the essential character of the

building, will positively impact the success of the

business and the development, and is reasonable in

considering the variance that we already have, and

we will not impair the intent or the purpose of the

ordinance or the Master Plan.

Thank you for all -- everybody's

support getting to this point, specially Sarah.

Gene Guthrie, our sign guy, made sure I said that.

We're very involved in the community

as a business. I'm very involved in the community

myself, young kids involved in the community, and

regardless of what this Board's decision is

tonight, we will remain involved with this


I'd thank you for your time and ask

for your help for our business, to help us with

this business, and help out the development.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, sir. There


were 21 notices sent; no approvals, no objections.

Anyone in the audience care to


(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: No. Building


MR. SAVEN: Just a couple issues.

Number one, you said you have a letter from the

receiver indicating this was all right?

MR. DOWNS: I do not have a letter

from the receiver. I had a verbal meeting with the

receiver yesterday. He believes that signs will

help this development and is looking forward to

helping with marketing. He's only been on the case

for about ten days. We met as tenants with him.

MR. SAVEN: I would request that as

part of your building permit application or your

sign permit application, that that be submitted at

that time. This Board's-

MR. DOWNS: (Interposing) If I could

-- I asked for the receiver to come tonight. He

said he was unable at this time to come, and I

can't commit that he will write in writing right

now to support the sign, but I did get a verbal


from him, you know, just letting you know what

happened yesterday, so -- I cannot put it as part

of this package.

MR. SAVEN: The second issue is on

your sign application to the Board here, you're

indicating that you're taking one sign down. It

says remove one existing fifty square foot wall


MR. DOWNS: We will actually be

removing both 50 foot square foot wall signs.

MR. SAVEN: I want to make sure that

we have an understanding that both signs will be

coming down.

MR. DOWNS: And then just one sign

will be coming off, same square footage.

MR. SAVEN: Okay.

MR. DOWNS: Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: This -- I know on your

mockup you couldn't show it exactly, but it's meant

to go right on the corner and project out?

MR. DOWNS: It will actually come on

a ninety degree angle right off of the building, so

the highest visibility will be from the corner of

Market and Grand River.


MR. CHAIRMAN: And this will be

illuminated as well?

MR. DOWNS: Yes, it will be back


MR. CHAIRMAN: What's the -- is there

any -- no issue with illuminating on a projection



MR. CHAIRMAN: Tell you what, I --

not to jump in front of everyone else here, but

when we granted those first two signs I was a

little bit irritated because they seemed to be

right up on top of each other, and the possibility

of getting rid of those just thrills me to no end.

You have my support.

Board Members?

MEMBER REINKE: I think they've done

a tastefully and minimal impact, and I think if

it's going to get rid of the other two signs, I

agree with you.

MEMBER SANGHVI: Mr. Chairman, may I

make a motion?




02-066 by Mongolian Barbeque, we approve the

request of the applicant with the hardship of

marketing this day and age being a great


MR. CHAIRMAN: We have a motion.

MEMBER BAUER: I have a question.


MEMBER BAUER: You're also going to

put in there that both signs be removed?

MEMBER SANGHVI: That is also part of

the application. All right. We can add that with

the -- that the two signs also be removed.

MEMBER BAUER: And the letter from

the receiver?

MEMBER SANGHVI: All right. And also

they will obtain a letter from the receiver.

MEMBER BAUER: Now I second.

MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you, sir.

MR. DOWNS: You know, honestly, if I

could have a letter from the receiver, I can have

him here, I'd -- I just cannot guarantee that I can

get a letter.

MEMBER SANGHVI: That's okay.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Let's move on with


this, and if you have a complication get back to


MR. DOWNS: Okay.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. I think in

spirit you have our backing. If you got a problem

with the other side, maybe let Tom know.

MR. DOWNS: I just don't understand

the position that the receiver's in to put

something in writing at this time.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. And that's


MR. DOWNS: If I could appeal to this

Board to remove that particular part of it, then I

-- again, I have a sworn statement here that I met

with him and he supports this, but I couldn't get

him to put it in writing on the short notice and I

can't guarantee-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) Maybe

he can zip you a little E-mail. Give it a try.

MR. DOWNS: Okay.

MR. CHAIRMAN: We have a motion and

support. Any additional comment?

(No response.)



MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MR. CHAIRMAN: All right.

MR. DOWNS: Thank you very much.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Very good. Thanks for

coming down.


MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. VIP Tire,

come on down. This is Case Number 02-067, and you

have a variance regarding storage of licensed and

unlicensed vehicles.

You want to raise your hand and be



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: Thank you. Well,

my name is Ken Valentine. I've owned VIP Tire and

Automotive for over 19 years now, same location,

and I've just recently come across a problem I

wasn't aware of.

We do quite a bit of work for the

surrounding dealerships close to us, and, of

course, their used vehicles are not plated while

they're sitting there waiting for us to work on,

and that's basically what I'm here for.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. I'm sure

if we have some questions we'll get back to you.

We did have eleven notices, one

approval which came from Lincoln Varsity, and they

were pretty strong in their support of you and your

business, and if we can't work out an arrangement

they'll take it elsewhere. They were very clear on


Anybody in the audience that wishes

to comment on this particular case?


(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: If not, Building


MR. SAVEN: Mr. Chairman, Members of

the Board, this matter was brought to our attention

through the neighborhood services regarding the

outdoor storage of vehicles on the property.

An investigation into that disclosed

this gentleman has been operating the business

like this for a considerable amount of time. It

was just never brought to his attention until this

time now.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members?

MEMBER BAUER: How many vehicles do

you have there at any one time?

MR. VALENTINE: Sir, it varies, of

course, with business, but it can go anywhere from

15 to 40 vehicles, just depending on how busy we


MEMBER BAUER: How long are they left


MR. VALENTINE: The most part, the

most -- anywhere -- most of them, between five to


ten days. Normally ten days maximum. It just

depends on the vehicle, the job, if we're waiting

for parts, that sort of thing. It wouldn't be all

the vehicles sitting there at one time.

MEMBER REINKE: Is there some way

that -- I mean, I understand, and I don't want to

see you be put out of business. Is there some way

that these vehicles could be shuttled rather than

stored on your property to be like -- say, you

know, when you've got a list of maybe vehicles from

Varsity, just use it as an example, that you need

to work on, rather than them being stored at your

facility there, you go pick it up when you're ready

to work on it?

MR. VALENTINE: Sir, for the most

part, we -- I mean, they do. They don't bring over

fifty cars at one time. For the most part I'll

have anywhere from two to five to ten cars at very

most to work on at one time. Of course, we can

process sometimes three, four, five, six of those

in a day. Just if we have a car that needs quite a

bit of work, then that has to sit there for a while

while we're waiting for parts to work on it.

MEMBER REINKE: Is there any way an


area could be dedicated and screened so that the

cars wouldn't be visible?

MR. VALENTINE: I -- the way my

parking lot's set up, I don't know how, but I --

without fencing in the whole business, but I could

try to get them out of sight of Grand River

somehow, but I just -- without fencing the whole

business, I don't see how that's possible.

MEMBER REINKE: Just -- I'm going to

throw out one more thing. I guess I would like to

see -- from my input on this, I would like to see

this matter looked into a little further by the

petitioner. One is possible screening or fencing

in of an area; and, two, a maximum number of

vehicles that you would be required to have on site

at any one time. Fifty vehicles, I think, is going

to be, to me, unacceptable. Maybe twenty or

something like that, you know, we might be able,

from my opinion, to work with.

But I think you need to look at

really what you can do, what your minimums are, and

give us some more guideline rather than to say a

blanket of being able to store fifty cars there at

one time.


MR. VALENTINE: Well, the word store

-- I mean, it's kind of confusing to me because,

like I said, there's not fifty vehicles sitting at

one time but I might have two to five to ten at one

given time in one week, and there might only be two

in there the following week, but I'm not storing

them. They're just sitting there while I'm working

on them.

MEMBER REINKE: My classification of

storage is if a vehicle is there overnight it's


MR. VALENTINE: Right. That's my

understanding of what's in the ordinance. I didn't

-- you know, of course I wasn't aware of that


MR. CHAIRMAN: My comments echo

Mr. Reinke's. We've had probably three cases in

front of us in the last year-and-a-half that were

exact same situations. So to be fair, perhaps it's

worthwhile taking Mr. Reinke's recommendation and

taking a look at the lot, seeing if there's a way

that you can work out arrangements with the dealers

that you're only bringing cars over in a time frame

that allows you to get them in, work on them and


then get them out, take a look at what kind of

screening you can provide, and we'll work with


You've been here eighteen, nineteen

years, sir. I'm not prepared to sit here and deny

your request, but we need you to help us.

Does that make any sense?

MR. VALENTINE: Okay. Sure.

MR. CHAIRMAN: So what that means is

you doing a little homework, maybe talking to

Mike Stanford, explain that we did not deny you nor

did we approve you tonight, but we asked you to

take a look at how you can make things better,

because right now it's been identified as a

problem, and to be fair with other businesses in

the same business, that we've denied outside

storage, overnight storage.

MR. VALENTINE: Okay. You spoke of a

fenced-in area?

MEMBER REINKE: It's just one

option. It could be screening, could be fenced in.

We're saying is look at different avenues to not

make this a highly visible storage lot.

MR. SAVEN: Mr. Chairman and Members


of the Committee, what I would like to say is,

basically with this type of a business it isn't

just a fencing requirement. It is a screening

issue, which is part of this operation of this

business. Whether it's this business or any other

business, that's one thing that should be looked




MR. SAVEN: As opposed to fencing.

Some kind of screening which is a fence.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Could Mr. Valentine

speak to anybody at City Hall about the


MR. SAVEN: I think you'd probably

talk to the ordinance division, Cynthia Uglow.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You know who Cindy is?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Maybe give her a call

tomorrow, make an appointment, come on in.

MR. SAVEN: Or Lauren McGuire. As

far as plan review center, her and Cindy together,

it meets the requirements of the ordinance for size

and the screening that's appropriate for that type


of business.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I think we can work

with you, and if you have a plan, that you can come

back next month and show us this is what I intend

to do, we'll get a little closer to getting you out

of here.


MEMBER BAUER: Move to table.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Bauer has moved to



MR. CHAIRMAN: All those in favor,


(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, sir.


MR. CHAIRMAN: 02-068 is filed by

David Lanyon of Yorkshire. He's seeking a setback


Mr. Lanyon?


MR. CHAIRMAN: You want to raise your

hand to be sworn?


MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information that you're about to

give in the matter before you is the truth?



MR. LANYON: I have a very short

statement which sounds like you'll appreciate

tonight with all the other people talking.

I would like to respectfully request

a variance to place a 12 by 23 foot deck on the

side of our Michigan room. The variance needed is

2.33 feet.

Our house was built in 1980 and the

house is built in the center of the lot.

We looked at making the deck fit into

the City code, but as we measured the furniture,

it will not fit and allow for uncongested traffic

to flow from the house to the backyard, which would

be going across the deck.

The additional two feet would allow

for unrestricted movement for all of our family to

be together on the deck at the same time.

The material that the deck is made

out of comes in six foot increments, so if we could


not make it twelve feet, we'd be paying for twelve

feet either way.

In looking at the alternative ways to

meet the code, we tried to place the deck in front

of the Michigan room, but this would allow the

exiting door from the garage not to be able to be


Our neighbors, which is the

Stottlers, which is on the west side and directly

affected by this, have no objections, and the

letter's in your packet right there. The

homeowner's association has approved the plan.

And the deck, in our opinion, would

be very proportional to the lot and to the


I feel that this project would add

value to our house and to the subdivision.

Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You've got some

interesting neighbors here. Twenty-nine notices

sent; two approvals, one objection.

The most immediate neighbor to your

-- next door is the Statlers, and they approve.

There's a gentleman on -- or there's a party on


West Ten Mile that seems to have all kinds of

conflicts and problems with the City, doesn't seem

to address anything that you have raised tonight.

You know Felicia Maggio?

MR. LANYON: No. She the one on

Ten Mile?



MR. CHAIRMAN: You might do us a

favor and walk over-

MR. LANYON: (Interposing) What


MR. CHAIRMAN: 44720. You might just

fill her in after tonight's meeting. She's got a

lot of anxieties.

Anybody in the audience care to make

comment on this particular case?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: This deck is dealing with

projections, not as though it's an enclosure. It's

an open, unenclosed deck, and would be -- the

variance that he's seeking tonight is that of a

projection, not, technically, a setback variance.


As a normal setback, you put this floor in a


MR. CHAIRMAN: I should have made

note, there is a approval from James Tom Green and

the association.

Personally, sir, I believe that your

request is minimal, and I would only condition my

support with a pledge by yourself that you'll go

talk to this lady and -- Board Members?

MEMBER REINKE: I think the gentleman

has done an excellent job of covering everything.

The intrusion is an open area of 2.33 feet, which

is very minimal. And as far as the setback, you

wouldn't even hardly notice that, and I would

support the petitioner's request.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Other Board Members?

MEMBER SANGHVI: Sir, may I make a




02-068, petitioner's request be granted because of

the peculiar size and shape of the lot which needs

this variance.



MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. We have a

motion and a second. Any discussion?

(No discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: No discussion. Sarah?

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MR. CHAIRMAN: You've got a variance.

Please see the building department for your permit.

MR. LANYON: Thank you very much.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Case 02-069 is filed

by Carroll Installations representing Fidelity



Are you here tonight?

This is with respect to the -- what

used to be called Novi Crossings on the northwest

corner of Novi Road and Grand River.

Sir, you want to raise you hand and

give your name?

MR. GODSMAN (ph): My name is

Larry Godsman. I live at 857 Estes Avenue in

San Antonio, Texas.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information that you're about to

give in the matter before you is the truth?



MR. GODSMAN: Good evening. I think

you probably all have drawings showing the proposed

sign, and you also requested that we install a

temporary banner to show the exact location of the

sign, which we did about a week-and-a-half ago. I

don't know whether you've had a chance to go by and

look at that.

But in looking at this location, this

is -- I've been all over Novi today, and this

appears to be one of the busiest intersections in


the entire city. In that regard, I think that -- I

was going to talk about esthetics first, but I'd

like to talk about safety first.

I think getting people off of those

streets and inside their parking lot is very

important. In fact, I -- before I realized I was

coming up on the parking lot entrance I already had

cars in my rear bumper and I had to go and turn

around and come back in on the Grand River


Additionally, from an esthetic

perspective, I believe that the signs are very

esthetically pleasing. I think they blend in with

the building. In fact, I think they enhance the

building. We went to great lengths to make sure

that these signs were going to architecturally

blend with the building, and I believe we did a

good job in that regard.

People coming from the expressway

have no idea that Fidelity Investments is even

there until they're at the red light. When -- by

placing the sign on the northbound entry, which, in

fact, is our entry, it will give them ample notice,

ample time to pull into the parking lot and park


near the entry.

We've already had some situations

where Mr. Randy Hines, the manager, has spoken many

times about people walking around one of the

buildings on the corner of Grand River and Novi

because that corner looks like an entry. And, in

fact, it does. And he saw one poor lady with an

oxygen tank hooked to her wheelchair who had to

walk around the entire -- wheel around the entire

building until she was able to find the entrance.

He's concerned about ice in the

wintertime and people slipping and not realizing

until they've walked around the entire building

that the entrance is where the sign is not.

From a business perspective, this is

obviously a retail area, and I don't think what

we're doing is taking away in any form or fashion

from that area.

In fact, I do feel that if you looked

at our signs they do definitely esthetically

enhance the building and our work done in an

architectural element in designing the building.

And that's all I have in that regard.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Twenty-one


notices sent; no approvals, no objections.

Anyone in the audience?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Seeing none, Building


MS. MARCHIONI: Mr. Brennan, just to

note for the record, someone from Wonderland Music

called me today at about a quarter to 5:00, said

they were faxing over a letter. I never received

it. So -- he didn't say if it was approving or




MR. CHAIRMAN: I just asked if there

was anyone in the audience that would like -- okay.

Come on down.

Give us your name and address,



Wonderland Music, and also Wayne Management Company

who's the owner of the property that the sign would

be facing towards. The address is 26159 Novi Road.

I just came in from Dearborn.

First of all, we applied for a sign


on the north side of the building, and that was

flatly turned down.

We have one sign. Seems to be

smaller than their sign. There are two signs on

their building, and I would like to hereby ask that

if they be allowed we should be allowed a sign on

our side -- north side of the building.

The sign would promote the

unauthorized use of our driveway to get into their

property, and we don't like that either, because

they've never asked for permission. The owner of

the property, or the builder of the building, never

asked for permission for them to use our driveway.

And apparently, I heard at a very late date, that

this was part of their original plan.

They didn't have a real good entrance

or exit for that parking lot of theirs, so they

told somebody they had an agreement to use our


And I didn't even know who the

landlord was until the building got itself into

serious trouble by dumping so much stuff on the

parking lot there that they never reported.

So they don't have legal use of the


driveway. That's increased the traffic.

Their token driveway and -- on the

side doesn't work at all. Most of their customers

have to come across our driveway anyways, but this

-- people coming down Novi Road are now going to

see the sign and more people are going to come

across our driveway.

If nothing else, we should be allowed

the same type of sign that they have on the side of

our building. We were flatly turned down.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, sir, you have the

right and option to go down to City Hall anytime

and pull an application to come before this Board

for a sign. That's not what's before us tonight.


MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) And if

you've got issues with this party using your

parking lot and using your driveway, you should

probably be addressing it with somebody within the


We're going to discuss and debate the

merits of this sign, and I encourage you to sit and


WONDERLAND MUSIC: Okay. But it does


face our building (inaudible), and it would

encourage the use of our driveway.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Point made.

THE WITNESS: Which is -- which we do

not authorize and never have.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I recall very vividly

there was a lot of discussions about this

particular development, and parking was one of


Okay. Anybody else in the audience?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: Basically, that he does

have two signs on the building as it exists at the

present time and they are within the tolerances of

the zoning -- or sign ordinance.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members?

MEMBER REINKE: No way I can support

a third sign on that building.

MEMBER GRAY: Technically it would be

the fourth.

MEMBER REINKE: Right. It's --

there's too much, it's over signage, and I see no

justifiable support for it.




MR. GODSMAN: Can I add something?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Let the Board Members

discuss this. If they have questions they'll ask


Jerry, you have something?

MEMBER BAUER: I cannot go along with

this, no.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Go ahead.

MR. GODSMAN: Well, you mentioned we

had too much signage. We actually only used 78.5

of the 100 square feet we were allowed on the two

elevations, and if this motion is rejected, I --

will it be clear to the reason for it being

rejected as part of the ruling?

Is it rejected because you feel it's

too many signs?

MR. CHAIRMAN: I think that's been

the general sentiment, that you have -- as having

frontage on two main roads you have the right to

have two signs and you have your two signs.

We're looking at why you might need a

third, and there wasn't evidence brought that


suggested that you did need it.

I guess if you were that inclined

that you had to have a sign on that north wall,

which of the south or the east wall don't you want,

because there's not sentiment among the Board

Members to give this particular site three signs.

MR. GODSMAN: My feeling is, if -- in

visiting the site that there is a definite need for

a third sign there, and more for safety reasons as

anything else. That's a very, very busy

intersection. The people coming off the expressway

have absolutely no evidence that the Fidelity

location is there until it's too late. And I would

urge you to consider it for that reason if no


MR. CHAIRMAN: It's -- I'll extend

your rationale then. If people are coming in off

the expressway and can find your store with the

north sign, why would you need one on the east


MR. GODSMAN: Well, because we don't

have one on the east wall, then all of that traffic

will have no idea we're there. It's a very-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) With


that rationale, sir, you would need a sign on every


MR. GODSMAN: That's not true because

the sign -- coming from the other direction, you

have plenty of time to see the sign because the

building is set back far enough to give you notice

that the building is there.

I've driven every location at least a

half a dozen times today. And, no, we do not need

another sign on the west side. That sign on the

front wall is plenty visible -- on the south wall,

excuse me.

MEMBER GRAY: Mr. Brennan?


MEMBER GRAY: I would suggest that

anybody coming to your office, if that's what it

is, an office, is going to know where they're going

before they leave their home. Most people do a

Mapquest on the Internet before they go anywhere

these days.

I can't imagine that this is going to

be something where people would just walk in off

the street or be driving somewhere to say well,

hey, there's Fidelity Investment, I think I'll just


drive in.

I was quite surprised with the two

signs that are already there, that a third is

requested, and made the comment when Mr. Reinke

spoke earlier that you've asked for three, why not

ask for four.

I cannot support a third sign.

Safety is always an issue on any

street in the city of Novi, and if you're trying to

direct your clients to your parking area, you're

probably going to direct them off Grand River


Whether your main entrance is at the

rear of the building or not, that should be

something that you should have some kind of

directional signs or something to direct people to

come to your entrance as opposed to walking around

the building.

The potential of people slipping and

falling on snow or ice, I mean that's the burden of

having built in this location. That's -- I would

suggest that if you want a sign on the north, that

you have to remove one of them from either the east

or the south.


And I think that kind of sums up


Thank you.

MEMBER SANGHVI: Well, I think the

choice is in your court. What would you like to

do, have the sign on the south side and remove one

of the other two, or you just want us to go ahead

and give an opinion about-

MR. GODSMAN: (Interposing) We're

hoping that the Board will support business in

Novi and vote in favor of this tonight.

MEMBER SANGHVI: There's nobody here

that supports business more than I do, sir. That's

not the issue, sir.

MEMBER REINKE: Mr. Chairman,

in Case 02-069, I move that petitioner's variance

request be denied due to insufficient hardship.


MR. CHAIRMAN: We've got a motion and

a second. Any discussion?

MR. SCHULTZ: Couple of things?


MR. SCHULTZ: Couple of things?



MR. SCHULTZ: Again, this is a

non-use variance, so we're talking about the

practical difficulty standard, and under the

circumstances I think it would be appropriate if

there were some findings attached to the motion. I

think from at least one of the members we heard

that this is a destination point rather than a

drive-by point, and-

MEMBER REINKE: (Interposing) Well,

I totally agree with that, because if somebody's

going there they're knowing they're going to be

directed to the corner of Grand River and

Novi Road, and it doesn't lend itself to a

practical difficulty to require the third sign on

the building.

MEMBER SANGHVI: Make that part of

the motion, please.

MEMBER REINKE: I have no problem

with that.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Any further


(No further discussion.)



MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MR. CHAIRMAN: I'm sorry, sir, but

your motion has been denied.


MR. CHAIRMAN: General Filters,

43800 Grand River, Case Number 02-070.

Want to raise your right hand and be


MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information that you're about to

give in the matter before you is the truth?




MR. CHAIRMAN: You got it.

MR. REDNER: I'm Bob Redner, vice

president of General Filters at 43800 Grand River.

We manufacture humidifiers and high-efficiency air

cleaners for residential homes. We employ about 50

people here in Novi. We've been at this Novi

address since 1953.

We're in the final stages of

completing a 40,000 square foot expansion. This

includes a new sign at our Grand River entrance.

The sign will replace our existing sign which has

been in place for over 20 years.

We have also had our name,

General Filters, Inc., over our front door where

our customers enter since the building was built in


It is my understanding that Novi does

not allow both a roadside sign and the name on the


Our name above the front door is made

of 12-inch tall stainless steel letters, and it's

an unlit sign. It is 240 feet back from the edge

of Grand River.


I'm here tonight to ask that we be

allowed to keep the sign at Grand River and our

name on the building above the customer entrance,

which is our front door.

We ask for this variance because Novi

required us to eliminate our customer driveway off

of Grand River and move the customer parking lot

driveway over to proposed Crescent Boulevard.

This Crescent Boulevard driveway runs

along the east edge of our property, and our

customer entrance, which is our front door, is not

as clearly visible as it was with our old


With this new entrance to our

customer parking lot, we feel it is necessary to

keep our name above the front door.

We are not asking for anything more

than we have had for over 20 years.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, sir.

Fourteen notices sent; no approvals, no objections.

Anyone in the audience care --

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: It's my understanding


that this proposed sign is to replace an existing

sign that's been there for 20 sum years, and the

fact that this sign does meet the size and setback

requirements pursuant to Allen, as I discussed the

issue with him, I have no objection.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members?

MEMBER BAUER: Don, when they come

through and widen Grand River there, is that going

to set this back further?

MR. SAVEN: He sets back -- no. I

think he'll be all right. If he wasn't all right,

then I would say -- I would have been notified,

probably be before you myself. I do not want to do


MEMBER BAUER: I have no problem with


MR. CHAIRMAN: I don't either. The

business does sit substantially off Grand River,

and now that the entrance road has been moved -- I

mean, you can fly by that and never even see it.

MEMBER SANGHVI: It's very hard to

see. The only question I have was, when they do

any expansion of the bridge, is that going to

affect you?


MR. REDNER: No, we don't feel it


MEMBER SANGHVI: And that was my

worry when you put the sign over there, because

whichever size sign you put you have to go higher

than the bridge. Not many people are going to see

it from outside, from Grand River itself, and I

just wondered if there were -- if you had any

knowledge about what is going to be the impact of

the building.

MR. REDNER: We fully understand what

will happen with the bridge and the widening of

Grand River at that point, and we're comfortable

with it.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Laverne, you have


MEMBER REINKE: It's really -- it's

not an expansion of what's been there, it's kind of

an upgrading-

MEMBER SANGHVI: (Interposing)


MEMBER REINKE: -to make it look more

-- I think it looks a lot more esthetically

pleasing and makes everything stand out and adds to


the architecture of the lot, and it's basically a

direction. People know where they're going. It's

just knowing when they get to their final point

where you should turn and where you're located at

and everything like that. It's not anything in

addition to what's already been in existence.

I can support petitioner's request.

MEMBER SANGHVI: Mr. Chairman, may I

make a motion that in Case Number 02-070 the

petitioner's request be granted for identification

purposes as well as for the upgrading of the whole



MR. CHAIRMAN: Motion and second.

Any discussion?

(No discussion.)


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?



MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Sir, you've got your

variance. See the Building Department.

MR. REDNER: Thank you.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Abel Kwang. This is

Case 02-071. This is a rear yard setback, a south

side yard variance, and a combined total side yard

variance, also on Yorkshire.

You want to raise your hand and be


MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information that you're about to

give in the matter before you is the truth?

MR. KWANG: I do.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Kwang, go ahead

and tell us what you want to do.

MR. KWANG: Yes. My name is


Abel Kwang. I live in 45007 Yorkshire Drive. I

live at that site for seven years. My family is

growing. I need more room to accommodate my

family. That's why I propose the one family room

in my backyard.

The back -- the new house will be

expanded to cover just the deck area, so no further

than deck area.

And, also, my backyard, the south

side back yard is wide open, nobody live there, so

it's no interference with the neighbor. The most

interference neighbor is on the south side. I

think it's 14 feet but proposed 11 feet.

I talked to my neighbor on south

side. I indicate my new building will be no window

toward their side, so I think they give me the

verbal agreement, said -- told no problem with

that. But I don't know any letter they send.

Okay. So that's why -- that's why I

want to keep the same -- the new proposal size.

Also, that if I cut back the two and

two -- the 2.27 feet, and also three feet shorter,

the room is not meaningful for this house;

otherwise, if Board reject, I need to go to find


another room to -- move that other new house to

accommodate my family. That's why, therefore, I

would like committee to grant my setback variance.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay, thank you.

There were thirty-five notices and there was an

approval from Mr. Garden and two letters from

Fidora and Stenar.

Are any of these three the neighbor

directly to the south?

MR. KWANG: Two of the south, two

families from south. I don't know which one.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Who is the neighbor

directly behind-

MR. KWANG: (Interposing) On the

south side? I don't know his name.

MR. CHAIRMAN: It wasn't Stenar, it

wasn't Fidora or Garden?

MR. KWANG: No Fidora, no Stenar.

MR. SAVEN: Those are all from

Glenda, which is the back.

MR. KWANG: Yeah, back side.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. Let's keep

going. Anybody in the audience care to make

comment on this case?


(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: Two side yard variances,

which is before you, again is one of the issues

where we did have grandfathering, and the setback

requirements were ten foot at the time that this

subdivision was built. With the new ordinance

change, those two provisions are now part of the

ordinance requested.

MEMBER REINKE: So really, if it was

by the old part, the only thing he would need is

the rear yard setback?

MR. SAVEN: That's correct.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members?

MEMBER REINKE: I -- you know, 2.27

and 3 foot, somebody walking by there, unless

somebody really told them, they'd never see it

anyway. It's a minimum intrusion, and there's no

objection, he has the association's approval and

everything. I can support petitioner's request.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I forgot to mention

that, the subdivision.

All right. Any other Board Member

comments? Sarah?


MEMBER GRAY: I also like the fact

that it doesn't intrude any farther to the south

than the existing line of the garage, so that's not

a problem either.

MEMBER REINKE: Mr. Chairman, in

Case 02-071, I move petitioner's request be granted

due to lot size and side yard configurations for

the addition needed.


MR. CHAIRMAN: We have a motion and

overwhelming seconds. Any discussion on the


(No discussion.)


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?



MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Sir, you've got your

variance. See the Building Department.

MR. KWANG: Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Sure. And we've got

five cases left, we're going to take a four minute


(A short recess was taken.)


MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. Let's call

the meeting back to order.

We're going to call Case 02-072,

filed by Pollack Design Associates. They have a

number of variance requests for the construction of

a gas regulator building at 44488 Grand River.

You want to give us your right hand

and your name and be sworn?

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information that you're about to

give in the matter before you is the truth?

MR. PIKE: I do.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Would you state


your name, please.

MR. PIKE: Yeah. I'm Bill Pike. I'm

the manager for Consumers Energy for the western

metropolitan area. I'm not Kristy Dunbar. They're

with Pollack Design who is assisting us on this


I appreciate the opportunity to be in

front of the zoning board this evening to discuss

the five variances for the essential services of a

natural gas regulator station that we need to build

in the city of Novi.

We have a station that is there now,

has been there since 1966. Due to the population

growth and the rapid growth of Novi -- when we

initially built it it was Novi Township. Now it's

-- I don't have to tell you folks how fast this

community is growing.

This facility controls the flow and

the volume of natural gas to the residential,

commercial and industrial customers in the city of

Novi. We need to build this station to handle the

existing load and the future growth.

And we've been to our previous

meetings and had approvals. We do have the five


variances that we would like to discuss with you

this evening.

We have many regulator stations, city

gates and/or regulator stations around the state of

Michigan that are for communities. They all

operate within the same way, and they pretty much

look identical to a small degree, some to a large


What we would like to do, as we've

showed the Planning Commission, is take an existing

facility that was just there when Novi was a

township, having gone through the rules and

regulations of this community now, and we want to

make it look better.

You can see in front of you that I

have here, which shows you the old facility as it

is and what we plan to do with it to make it a more

modern facility, look a little bit nicer, blend in

more with the community.

As people drive by -- of course, the

traffic there, other than at 6:00 and 7:00 in the

morning when they're dead stopped at the light, the

traffic usually flows around 45 miles an hour or so

through there.


But it's our objective at

Consumers Energy to make the facility look nicer.

Bottom line, we do have some variances

that we certainly need approval on from this Board

to go forward. We need to get this station started

-- actually, I needed to get it started yesterday,

but I need to get this up and done before snowfall.

Our deadline for us is around November 15th to the

20th. Pending approvals from this Board, we can

meet that date for us to provide the natural gas

essential service to this community.

And with that I would certainly

entertain any questions that you have.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Well, we'll

have plenty.

MR. PIKE: I'm sure.


just want the Board to be aware that Mr. Pike, I

had no idea was going to be here this evening, is a

friend of mine and has been a friend of mine for 23

years, and so with -- I have no association with

this and don't feel that it's necessary, although

if the Board does, to recuse myself in this matter,

I will.



MR. SCHULTZ: I don't see a financial

conflict of interest. It simply becomes a question

of is Ms. Gronachan able, in her mind, to fairly

judge this and not be biased. If she thinks so --

she's not asking to be recused, but -- and so if

she wants to sit she's permitted to sit, that's her

call. I think she's offered it to the Board for

their opinion and will abide by that, so --

MR. CHAIRMAN: Personally, I don't

have any objection.

MEMBER BAUER: No problem.

MR. CHAIRMAN: We'll continue on.

Okay. You've presented -- where are we?

MR. PIKE: And I would certainly say

the same thing. I was going to until -- I didn't

even know she was on the Board.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. We have --

thirteen notices were sent; one approval by

Guardian Equipment, also on Grand River, and then

an objection by Mr. Cassis.

Anyone in the audience -- Victor, I

assume that you would like to talk to us a little



MR. CASSIS: Good evening. I'm

Vic Cassis, 22186 Bayview Drive, Novi. I just

happen to own the building directly east and

abutting this particular operation by the

applicant. It's what is called the McNish Sporting

Goods Building.

I cannot understand for the life of

me how that station was located in that particular

area to begin with, but it's there nevertheless,

and I guess we have to deal with it.

Seeing that the proximity of this

thing is so close to people, to other buildings,

and to even traffic -- but I guess it's there and

we -- I think we have to deal with it.

I don't know about future expansion.

He claims that this is anticipated future expansion

in the city. The city is not even half built yet,

so if this station is going to be expanded even

further in the future, maybe they think -- maybe

they should think of relocating this.

But let me address just some -- a few

things that I think you can have control over and I

think you can do something about.

First of all is safety. As I


encountered, in my little note to you, last year

about this time an operator of a bulldozer or a

backhoe punctured one of those gas mains, and it

was a very hazardous situation. I personally

happened to be there at that time and was

quarantined in that location for seven hours.

Four years ago we had an odor coming

from that area, and it kept coming for the entire

winter. I personally wrote the company, talked to

them. They tried to correct it, and finally I

think it was corrected.

Liability. What would have happened

if my entire building exploded at that time last

year, or any of our employees that were there

working, which were about 13 or 15 people at that

time -- what compensation would this company have

in that direction? And I don't know if you have

any authority or any power over that kind of a


And, finally, esthetics. I'm puzzled

how the applicant claims that this is going to

blend and this is going to look good and so on.

And many of you must have driven by that place.

It's nothing but exposed pipes, a fence, cyclone


fence, around it. You can see everything that's in

that location, and it does not look good, it does

not blend with the surrounding area at all.

I do not want to put any obstacles in

front of the progress of the community and progress

of industry and so on. I'd be the last one to do

it because I'm a businessman and I understand what

goes on in the lives of industry and companies, but

I think maybe you can look into the situation and

see -- maybe there should be some improvements in

esthetics, either a high wall or some trees, high

trees to-

MEMBER GRAY: (Interposing) I was

going to say, you might want to look at the

presentation. That shows trees and such.

MR. CASSIS: Does it? Oh. I thought

when I read about trees that they couldn't plant

trees because it doesn't grow there or something.

If they have tall trees, I don't know.

So esthetics is important, and I

think there should be also addressing of, really,

the danger -- the dangerous situation, whether it

should be a wall or -- to divide it from other



These are some of the things that I

have to say about it. I don't know. I didn't see

any trees, but I'd like to look and see what they



MR. CASSIS: By the way, I got

notified on Friday about this, didn't have the time

to come in, except I think yesterday, looked at it,

but I didn't look at it very closely, so --

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay, Victor.

MR. CASSIS: Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Anyone else in the


(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Let's go through

Building Department and some questions from the

Board, but at some point in time, sir, I'd like you

to address some of the issues that's-

MR. PIKE: (Interposing) I'd be more

than happy to.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Building


MR. SAVEN: Mr. Chairman, Members of

the Board, one of the things I do want to point


out, assume Mr. Cassis' testimony just recently, he

had indicated that he was not notified of the

Planning Commission meeting. That was just based

on the fact that this did not have to go out for

public notice, for the fact is there was no

wetlands or woodlands involved in the site, nor was

this a special land use approval; therefore, he did

not get noticed for the meeting itself.

He talked about notices for the

Zoning Board of Appeals. He just got notified just

recently. That's why I could understand that he

hasn't seen the landscaping features that are part

of this (inaudible).

As far as the property in itself, if

you take a look at the property, there's two things

apparent to this property: One, the narrowness of

the lot; and, two, what that use is all about

pursuant to them to be able to do anything

reasonable pursuant to the ordinances, and that's

why this gentleman is here today.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Tom?

MR. SCHULTZ: Just to follow up on

that, and answer a couple items to Mr. Cassis'

questions about liability insurance and


compensation and for things like that.

This is an essential services

permitted of right in this district under the

ordinance. The reason why it came before the

Planning Commission, and ultimately to this body,

is that while the use is permitted, the building is

subject to review, but it's subject, again, to

review in terms of it being a use on the property

that's allowed.

So in terms of attaching conditions

relating to liability or compensation, those are

really issues that are -- for this Board anyway,

it's a little bit beyond your obligation.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, let's stay

focused on what's before us. We have five

ordinances in front of us on berming and setback,

and while Mr. Cassis has raised good points, I

don't want to belabor that, and I would like some

quick comments from you at some point in time.

At this point in time, I'd like Board

Members to start looking at the facilities, the

layouts, the variances, and let's start with the

east and west sides and address those first.

You've got the main building which is


pretty much positioned in the middle of the

property, correct?

MR. PIKE: Yes. The old building

that we're going to tear down is about 155 square

feet. The new building that we're putting up is

390 square feet. The property is only 50 foot wide


MR. CHAIRMAN: And I would imagine

that there are some constraints if you made this

building three foot wide and a hundred and twenty

foot long to meet all setback requirements?

MR. PIKE: That is true, as well as

requirements of the Michigan Public Service

Commission, the Office of Point Planning Safety,

the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as far as

the design and operability of this facility.

MR. CHAIRMAN: What's inside that


MR. PIKE: There is a series of pipes

and valving, monitor regulation. They're known as

PVTTs that record pressure, volume, temperature and


It is -- while there is no -- the

electric services will be underground to the


facility. It is not a manned facility at all. It

is manned telephonically in our gas control in

Jackson, Michigan, and back at 11801 Farmington

Road where my office is at.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members, let's

discuss these two setbacks, the east and west side

setbacks. Any questions for the petitioner?

MEMBER REINKE: Well, the size of the

property dictates the setbacks, and really there

isn't anything we can do in respect to that.

My issue is the screening, and I'm

looking for some response to Mr. Cassis' questions.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, you want to

discuss setbacks and discuss screening and then let

the petitioner make some comments about Victor's


MEMBER REINKE: Well, due to the

requirements of the building and what they have to

follow and what they need mandates the setbacks.

MEMBER SANGHVI: This is the smallest

building you can deal with, right?

MR. PIKE: This is the smallest

building, sir, that we can do to handle the growth

in this community, and this is planned for many,


many, many years into the future. The first one

lasted thirty-six years.

MEMBER SANGHVI: What are your bases

about protecting the growth requirement of the


MR. PIKE: Pardon?

MEMBER SANGHVI: I said what are the

bases of your growth requirement-

MR. PIKE: (Interposing) The basics

for our -- for the growth of this community are --

is working with the plan that -- the City Plan,

that they have a ten-year growth plan.

Applications for natural gas for residential,

commercial and industrial customers are -- my

marketing and engineering folks work constantly

with developers and stuff, with the city manager

here and others to understand and know the growth

of this community, who's planning what.

Many, many times when a developer,

not only from the state of Michigan, from out of

the state of Michigan, comes to look into an area,

we, the public -- one of -- the public utilities

are one of the first ones that they contact to

check into the supply of energy, be it natural gas,


electricity, up to and including cable, fiber

optics, et cetera. So we're pretty well appraised

and have a pretty doggone good idea how fast this

community is growing.

MEMBER SANGHVI: Do you have any idea

of any kind of dimensions you are talking about? I

know you told me all that in very vague and general

terms, and that's fine, but-

MR. PIKE: (Interposing) As far as

economic dimensions, economic development



MR. PIKE: Not off the top of my

head, no. We have facts and figures on the volume

of natural gas that we need to serve, to bring into

that facility to give out to the individual

streets. We know the facility -- industrial

facilities, whether they're running three shifts,

two shifts, if they're a 7/24 operation, we have

historical record. We've been in the state of

Michigan for about 125, 130 years, what a

residential home uses. We're members of the

Builders Association. We know the sizes of homes

that are built in Novi, and we can calculate the


flow and the volume of natural gas that way.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Let me ask it another

way, the way Victor asked it.

MR. PIKE: Sure.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Do you expect this

will take care of the city of Novi-

MR. PIKE: (Interposing) For a long

time, yes, sir.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I think that's about

the best you can answer.

MR. PIKE: We don't want to come back

and build another one, believe me.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You've discussed it

with the city manager, you know what the city plan


MR. PIKE: (Interposing) Yes.

MR. CHAIRMAN: -you know what the

build-out is expected to be. It's supposed to be

80,000 people. And that takes care of that


MR. PIKE: Yes.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Can we get some

movement on variance A and B in their letter, which

is the first two variances on setbacks? There's


been discussion that this is what they need.

Is there any objection by Board


Can we get a motion on these two,

Board Members?

MEMBER GRAY: I will move to approve

the variance -- the first two variances for the

side setbacks due to the -- well, it's an essential

service, and-

MEMBER REINKE: (Interposing) It's

actually due to the size and shape of the lot.

MEMBER GRAY: And it has to do with

the width of the lot and the depth of the lot.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Motion and support on

those two items. Any discussion?

(No discussion.)


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?



MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. Two down

and three to go.

The next two items relate to berming

and landscaping, and yet you have some landscaping

in your drawing up there. Is that representative

of what you're planning on providing?

MR. PIKE: Yes, sir. This is the

existing, where there is virtually no landscaping,

and this is what we plan to do to landscape the

facility to esthetically have it blend in more.

MR. CHAIRMAN: So you've got a --

you've got -- give me a little detail on that

bottom line, the adjoining property.

MR. PIKE: We have the trees, arbor

bidy (ph) and other tress that are approved to

plant all along there.

The requirement for the property is

approximately 336 square feet of plantings, and we


actually have about 530, so we've exceeded that

amount considerably to make it blend in more and

more esthetically --

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) And the

only spot where you do not have any foliage is

actually the driveway which leads in?

MR. PIKE: That is correct, yes.

MR. SAVEN: Mr. Chairman?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Yes, sir.

MR. SAVEN: If I may, maybe

Mr. Cassis could come forward and take a look and

see what he has adjacent to him as far as the

plantings are concerned that Mr. Pike mentions.

(A discussion was held between

Mr. Pike, Mr. Cassis, and

Miss Dunbar.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Let's knock these off

one at a time. The next item on the list is


MR. CASSIS: (Interposing) May I say

something regarding the trees? I mean, that's-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) We're

going to get there. We're going to hit these one

at a time, Victor. Let's take care of the lack of


the berm or wall along Grand River. Obviously

that's in the ordinance.

You've taken exception to that, and

you want to expand on why?

MR. PIKE: Sure. The reason we take

an acceptance to that is because of security, and

safety as well, and Mr. Cassis mentioned safety,

which is absolutely tantamount to everything we do

at Consumers Energy. Number one is safety when

you're working with natural gas, or any other fuel.

MR. CHAIRMAN: So the site is secure?

MR. PIKE: We need access to -- we

work very closely with the police and fire

departments, even more closely now since 9/11. In

observation of that facility, as you drive by and

stuff, we need access to be able to see in there

and to get in there.

We don't -- none of our facilities

around the state of Michigan are hidden so that you

can't see them. We have some that are in

residential subdivisions where there are two

residential homes on either side of them.

MR. CHAIRMAN: This is secured though

with fencing I-


MR. PIKE: (Interposing) Yes, it is

secured with fencing, and we are going to make the

fencing blend in with the area so that you really

won't see the fencing that much. It will blend

in. We have approval from the gentleman to the

west to do some additional planting over there to

kind of hide that as well.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. So from a

practicality standpoint, a berm or a wall doesn't

even give you the same security that you're going

to have with the fencing?

MR. PIKE: That is correct. And

another reason, sir, was we know in time that

they're going to widen Grand River. We already

have some plans and some things on the widening of

Grand River, and we have agreed, without a problem

at all, to assist in the cost of that sidewalk in

front of there when that time comes, and that would

be about where the berm would end or start, so that

was another consideration as well.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members, can we

have further discussion and questions on this line

item, the berm or wall along Grand River, which

the applicant is seeking a variance for?


MEMBER SANGHVI: Well, I have no

difficulty in agreeing to that, the more

(inaudible) the better for the security point of

view, and I have no problem at all. The fence can

keep the kids and stray animals outside, that's


MEMBER REINKE: I guess I have a

question. It says here quick access and

underground gas pipe.

Mr. Cassis raised the issue of where

someone was in there with a backhoe and hit a line.

I guess I would like Mr. Pike to address those kind

of situations, what happens.

MR. PIKE: I'm sorry, sir. You said-

MEMBER REINKE: (Interposing)

Mr. Cassis alluded to a situation that happened

there previously where a gas line was hit. I would

like you to address the issues that he has raised

in conjunction with that and the affect on the

surrounding area.

MR. PIKE: I certainly will.

Mr. Cassis is correct. About a year ago we had a

gas line that was broke over there, and it was

broke by one of our own employees doing some work


in there. He made a mistake that should not have

been made. The error was fixed.

The facility that Mr. Cassis is the

owner of was without gas for about six-and-a-half

to seven hours. It was in the summertime. We had

to make the repairs. There was no evacuations

required. The people could come and go. There was

nothing -- no one was evacuated or anything. It

was safe at all times. It was broke. We pinched

it off. It was in the summer. There was no need

for heat immediately to the facility. There was

plenty of water in the water heaters that would

have lasted in a commercial building for a while.

I will grant you that we shouldn't

have taken seven hours to go over there and light

his appliance back up after we made the repairs.

That was an error on our part. It should not


To give you an example, today I had

-- in the western Metropolitan area that I'm

responsible for, I had seven gas mains broken and

fourteen gas services broken by different

contractors today. We've made all those repairs

and fixed all of those repairs and have lit all


those customers up.

We did make a mistake on this one

incident and not get natural gas lit back up to

that facility as soon as the repairs were made.

Also, at the time -- we weren't

working on this, but at the time we've also talked

to the employee that made the mistake, and he did

make the mistake in what he was doing, and he knows


I would also be more than happy at

any time to, myself personally, sit down and talk

to Mr. Cassis about any concerns that he has

separate from the variances that we're asking for

here. We certainly are insured and have insurance

and have a process for litigation and stuff, as any

company does.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Don, you know, as part

of the planning process, the fire department and

fire marshal and all that are all involved in the

design of this and safety and precautions and all

of that, are they not?

MR. SAVEN: That's correct.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Victor, I'd certainly


want to address your concerns, but it's not

something we can do here. Okay?

MR. CASSIS: Can I just say one



MR. CASSIS: I just don't want to be

in the -- I don't want to stop progress or

anything. I'm not here to object to this thing

going forward. All I'm asking is, right now, if

those trees can be higher, you know.

I have air condition behind my house

and I have ten feet, twelve feet -- foot high trees

around them, and I think this is the least that

they could do here to at least have a little bit

more esthetically pleasing to the side of my


Now, the terrain comparison, my

parking lot is like about four or five feet higher

than their property, so if -- the lady here is

saying oh, these are hedges, two or three feet

high, they're not going to do anything as far as-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) That's

actually the next line item we're going to discuss.



MEMBER GRAY: I want to jump ahead,

if we may, and may I suggest that Mr. Cassis deal

with Mr. Pike and, perhaps, Consumers Energy would

be willing to make some plantings on your side of

the property line to help the screening process at

their cost.

MR. PIKE: We certainly would take a


MEMBER GRAY: Maybe that's the way to

resolve this part of that issue.

MR. PIKE: Sure. And these hedges

are about six to seven feet high now. If the City

allows us, on that side, within the rules and

regulations, we will put them as high as -- we will

certainly be happy to work with you on your side of

the property to put some stuff in.

MR. CASSIS: I don't think the City

is going to tell you to do it smaller trees than-

MR. PIKE: (Interposing) I have to

work within the rules and regulations of the

ordinances of the community, but I'll be happy to

work with you. We definitely will.

MEMBER REINKE: I think that really

Mr. Pike has satisfied the situation. He's willing


to work with Mr. Cassis and work out something


MR. CHAIRMAN: Let's get back,

focused, and talk about this berm and wall variance

that they've requested. It's -- there's some --

certainly some security reasons for doing what he

wants to do. It will be secured by a -- some sort

of a chain-link fence, and if there's any further

discussions of Mr. Pike on this particular item,

let's ask him; if not, let's move on and discuss a


MEMBER GRAY: Mr. Chair, in the

matter in item C of the variances, lack of a berm

or a wall along Grand River right of way, I would

move that we approve the requested variances for

the reasons stated, additional safety without a

berm or a wall.


MR. CHAIRMAN: We've got a motion and

a second. Any discussions?

(No discussion.)


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?



MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. Next item

is the landscaping to the adjacent building. I

think we talked about Mr. Cassis' building. How do

we want to handle this, because there's, obviously,

got to be some discussion made between the two

parties. Sarah?

MEMBER GRAY: This is the interior

landscaping to their building.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Oh. I just read


MEMBER GRAY: And I think what the --

the variance they're requesting is not to have

landscaping around their building.

MR. PIKE: That's correct, yes.



self-explanatory, because the gas lines-

MEMBER GRAY: (Interposing) For the

reasons stated there.

MR. PIKE: And in time, when you do

plant them, then the roots and stuff get down into

the lines over the course of time.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. So we have

an understanding of your need. Any further

discussions of Mr. Pike on this subject?

(No further discussion.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Motion, please.

MEMBER GRAY: Move to approve the

variance requested due to the nature of the

business and the -- and that's it.


MR. CHAIRMAN: There has been a

motion and a second made. Any discussion? Thomas?

MR. SCHULTZ: Just a note, I guess,

that if there is any inclination on the part of the

Board, I'm not sure whether there is or not, to

require an increase in the height of the trees or


MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) That's


not there. We're talking about any landscaping

around that building, the interior building.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: The perimeter of

the building.

MR. SCHULTZ: Are you going to do it

in connection with the next one then?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, it's really not

before us, but as-

MR. SCHULTZ: (Interposing) I guess

what I'm suggesting is, if you're going to be able

to tie it to something, this is probably the best.

MEMBER GRAY: I'll amend my own

motion to request that the petitioner work with the

neighbor to the east to provide additional

screening on his property, take it into

consideration that the topography varies between

the two properties, and the intent is to provide

maximum screening.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: And I will second

the amendment.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Do you have a problem

with that?

MR. PIKE: No, I really don't. I can

assure this Board that if we -- I will personally


talk with Mr. Cassis and we will work with him to

come up with something. We need to have that

facility open to -- and, in fact, Kristy Dunbar

from Pollack would like to say a couple of things,

myself not being an engineer or a designer.

MR. CHAIRMAN: We have your pledge on

record that you're willing to work with Victor.

MR. PIKE: I'd be more than happy to

take a look at some-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) I think

if that's your word, that's good enough for me.

All right. We have an amended motion

and an amended second. Any further discussion?

(No further discussion.)


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?



MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Now, let's talk about

the unpaved driveway and parking area.

MR. PIKE: The reason we proposed to

pave the driveway up to the gate, the reason we

would not like to pave the driveway inside the

thing, is because of the piping and the valving and

stuff that we have inside there that is underground

and will be underground for safety and security

reasons again. Should something happen, we need to

get access to that facility as soon as possible.

Up to and including, even though we protect all of

our pipes for corrosion with our cathodic

protection program against rust and stuff

underground, mother nature is still much more

powerful than science allows us yet to 100 percent

protect your pipe forever, and we need to get at

that pipe.

None of our other facilities in the

state of Michigan have paving inside the gate. We

pave up to the gate. We're more than pleased to do

that, but for safety and security and access to


that pipe, now we propose not to put that there.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Any

questions of the petitioner?

(No response.)

MEMBER GRAY: I'll continue, if I



MEMBER GRAY: Move to approve the

variance requested for paving only to the gate due

to the nature of the occupancy, and I'd also like

to note that this is not a manned site, so it's not

like we have to provide parking spaces for



MR. CHAIRMAN: Motion and a second.


(No discussion.)

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?



MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Sir, you have your

variances. And, hopefully, Victor, you've got some


MR. PIKE: And I assure this Board

again that we will work with Mr. Cassis on his

facility next door.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you much.

MEMBER GRAY: Thank you.

MR. PIKE: You're welcome.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Next case is 02-073

filed by Robert Dempster representing Ace Cutting.

This gentleman wants to put a nice pretty sign up

on the building.

You want to raise your hand and be


MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information that you're about to


give in the matter before you is the truth?

MR. DEMPSTER: Yes. Good evening.

As you can see, everybody has an illustration of

this proposal for a variance.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You want to tell us

anything about it, or do you want us just to start

asking you some questions?

MR. DEMPSTER: Well, I -- we are

requesting a variance on this signage.

Mr. Meizel, Ron Meizel, has offered

-- he's -- he would like to improve the look of the

building. He hired us to come out and take a look

at it. He actually initially wanted to put up two

or three signs, and I came out to the location and

I looked at it and I go well, if this would fit

into the TCI format -- which it does. I believe

Allen Amolsch called our office today and explained

that they -- it did pass their approval, so there

is a letter. I don't know if you have it, Sarah.

There is some -- there is a positive on that.

And this way it -- by having the sign

projecting like this, it becomes part of the TCI,

the Town Center area. It's very attractive. He'll

put a new brick facade on the front. And it will


look really great with the goose neck lamps, and

he's ready to go forward with this.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thanks. There were 11

notices; no objections, no approvals.

Anyone in the audience?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Seeing no hands,

Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: Just as the gentleman had

indicated, the Town Center committee looked at this

sign, which is a committee of one, I believe, and

didn't have a problem with that.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members?

MEMBER REINKE: It's really a small,

non-intrusive sign. I think it's esthetically

nice, and it's going to be nice for what they're

planning on doing with the facade on the building.

I think it would look very good and I support the

petitioner's request.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Tell your client we

were all pleased.

MEMBER SANGHVI: Mr. Chairman, may I

make a motion?




02-073, we grant the petitioner's request for the

sign as requested in their application. We'd also

like to note the design -- note the niceness of the

design as well as the very esthetic appearance of

the front of the building also.


MR. CHAIRMAN: We've got a motion and

a second. Any discussion?

(No discussion.)


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Sir, you've got your


variance. See the building Department?

MR. DEMPSTER: Thank you. Have a

great evening.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You too.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Next case is 02-074

filed by Greg Hudas representing Regency Center.

He's got a marketing sign on the -- at the

entranceway to Regency Center on Haggerty and is

looking for an extension.

Raise your hand and be sworn.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information that you're about to

give in the matter before you is the truth?

MR. HUDAS: I do. My name is

Greg Hudas. I work for Signature Associates, and I

represent Ferlito Construction, which is the

developer of the Regency Center light industrial

project off of Haggerty Road.

And we were granted a sign variance

for a four foot by eight foot marketing sign in

July of last year, and we are requesting a one-year

extension on that, for one more year, to continue


marketing the property. It's a great tool for our

company to expose the property to prospective

tenants, and we would ask, with only seventy feet

of Haggerty frontage, that we be allowed to keep

that sign for one more year.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Seventeen notices; no

approvals, no objections.

Anyone in the audience?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: No comment, sir, no


MR. CHAIRMAN: I'll just ask the

quick question, because I reviewed the minutes from

the last time. What's your rented out or leased

out --

MR. HUDAS: We have two buildings

up. We just finished the lease with Underwriters

Laboratories for a 25,000 square foot building, a

ten year lease actually, so a long-term tenant

there, good quality tenant.

The buildings that Mr. Ferlito has

built so far are gorgeous additions to the park,

and we've got two -- Coastal and Underwriters


Laboratories, two good, long-term tenants there,

and we're about to go in for site plan approval for

two more buildings.

MR. CHAIRMAN: And at that point, if

you have five, what are you, thirty percent, forty


MR. HUDAS: Yeah. Well, it's a 30

acre park, and it would depend, you know,

obviously, on -- right now we're going to build

another -- probably a 28 and a 22, some variance of

the 50,000 square feet. And, you know, there's

still an opportunity to get a larger user in there,

somewhere in the 50 to 75,000 square foot range.

But right now I think we like the look of the park

with 20 to 30,000 square foot, kind of class A type

light industrial users, which is what we've got so


MR. CHAIRMAN: And the total square

footage, according to the minutes, was 350,000, so-

MR. HUDAS: (Interposing) Yeah.

MR. CHAIRMAN: -if my math is right

here, even if you get the next two tenants here,

you're about thirty percent?



MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

MEMBER SANGHVI: Question. Under the

current economic condition, you really anticipate

that will be filled up in one year?

MR. HUDAS: Well, the real estate

market has been terrible, obviously, for the last

twelve to eighteen months, so the fact that we were

able to secure Underwriters Laboratories for a

ten-year lease is a real bonus for that park, and

obviously we're going to continue marketing it very

aggressively, and hopefully things will soften up

over the next few months and we'll be able to fill

those two units at some point during the 2003 year.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members?

MEMBER SANGHVI: I was just going to

suggest between two years or later, or as required

so that you don't come back next July.

MR. HUDAS: Yeah. That would be

wonderful. That would be wonderful.

MEMBER REINKE: Question to

Mr. Saven. Can we go longer than advertised?

MR. SAVEN: Mr. Schultz?

MR. SCHULTZ: I would say no.




MR. HUDAS: You tried.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. Let's move

along here. I think we've got a-

MEMBER REINKE: (Interposing)

Mr. Chairman, in the Case 02-074, I move that

petitioner's variance request be granted to assist

in marketing and building out the location.


MR. CHAIRMAN: We have overwhelming

seconds. Any discussion on the motion?

(No discussion.)


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?



MR. CHAIRMAN: You have your one-year

variance extension.

MR. HUDAS: Thank you very much.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Next case is 02-075.

This is Shemin Nurseries, Beck and 96.

Sir, are you an attorney?

MR. RATTNER: I'm an attorney, sir.

My name is Rick Rattner. Rick Rassel was with me.

He's my associate.

My name is Rick Rattner. I'm at

380 North Old Woodward in Birmingham.


MR. RATTNER: May it please the

Board, I represent Shemin Nursery. With me tonight

is Mr. John Standish, who is the general manager of

the Michigan division of Shemin Nursery which

operates approximately 31 locations in the

northeast, southeast, and the midwest, started

business in about 1955, and has been a member of

this community by lease on this property since

about 1990 -- December 1st, 1998.


We are asking tonight simply that the

variance that was granted in 19 -- March of 1999,

which allowed us to continue the use of the

landscape business at that location, that the

temporary nature of that be removed.

Actually, we have a two-tiered

request. Since this property was purchased by

Mr. Vidosh before us, it's our understanding it was

used by Mr. Vidosh in his business, and we took

over in 1999 -- actually, December of 1998.

This business of landscaping and

supplying, not retail but supplying institutions,

cities, we supply developers, we also supply

landscape contractors, so it's a wholesale business

and has been operating this way for quite a while.

Sometime in the late 1980s, about

1987, actually just before that, the property was

rezoned from I-2 to I-1, and then the Michigan

Department of Transportation expressed interest and

alerted the various powers that be that they were

thinking of condemning that property, or parts of

that property, although the exact plans were not

known. These plans have been going on in one form

or another, we understand, since 1987.


And again, in 1999 when Mr. Vidosh

came in and Shemin Nurseries came in again for a

variance, it appeared that the -- MDOT was going to

condemn the property, and it appeared it was going

to be eminent at that time. That has not happened


Our latest indication from MDOT is

not certain either. We don't know what they're

going to do. If I were to stand here and tell you

something, I just -- I couldn't do that because I

don't know. We think they're going to do

something, but we don't know what they're going to


So we would ask, first of all, since

this has been operated -- since it was I-2 and

going through the different iterations of zoning

from I-2 to I-1 and now OST, as basically a

landscape business, wholesale landscape business,

we'd ask that this Board declare that the use that

we have going on now, and that Mr. Vidosh had, was

a legal nonconforming use, and that actually a

variance in itself is not needed, that it is a

variance-free situation because of the legal

non-conformity of the use.


Secondly, if you will, the second

alternative would be, if this Board does not feel

that they can make that declaration, we would ask

that the temporary nature of the zoning variance be

removed so that we can continue to operate there as

we have and has been operated there before us for

several years.

We have -- we are leasing the

property, and we have since December 1st of 1998.

We would like to, I would say, at least stay

through our lease so that we can continue the

operations as indicated in our -- or intended in

the lease.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Nine notices.

Couple of your neighbors give you support, Kicks Up

Raidplents (ph), and Mark Wingblah.

Anybody in the audience?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: Basically, if you go to

the writeup, the nursery does not propose a single

change to its existing operations. There will be

no enlargement, extension, expansion, movement,

reconstruction or alteration of any use or


structure on the property. Is that correct?

MR. RATTNER: That is correct.

MR. SAVEN: One of the things that we

talked about in the previous minutes -- or the

motion was a fact MDOT was a major decision as to

this project, and I -- although the gentleman had

indicated that you are not sure what the plans are,

I was able to acquire a set of plans that went back

to February of this past year, but I haven't seen

anything else come by since that time indicating

what the intersection is going to look like. And

you're more than welcome to take a look at this.

MR. RATTNER: I might say that we

also did that inquiry. We had certain plans, but I

believe we were told that the plans were not


MR. CHAIRMAN: I have -- maybe it's a

simple question. What's your objection to the

continuing jurisdiction when the future still is

unknown? I mean, that's why we put it on there to

begin with, because we didn't know what MDOT's

plans were.

MR. RATTNER: The continuing

jurisdiction issue has to do with the fact that we


would like to be able to have the Board declare

that it's a legal nonconforming use.

If there is a temporary nature to the

variance, which we hope there isn't, but that we

could maybe stay at least through our lease.

Seeing as we don't know what MDOT's going to do, I

can understand the continuing jurisdiction of this


MR. CHAIRMAN: Tom, help he out here.

MR. SCHULTZ: This is a real

procedural mess, this case.

Some of the things that you have in

the attachment that Don gave that weren't in the

applicant's packet I think are the most helpful.

I guess the way I kind of look at

this is, in 1982 when they were zoned -- rezoned

from I-2 to I-1, and outside storage became an

issue, there was some existing use of the property

for outside storage.

In 1987 they came in, first to

Planning Commission, which denied their plan to

expand their use, and then ultimately to this

Board, and got a one-year variance to continue the

outside storage. The City had cited them for going


beyond what was a small nonconforming area of

outside storage, and then somehow the thing sort of

fell off the table and never came back for the

yearly variances as was contemplated by the ZBA and

have kind of grown into this large thing.

And then they came back more

recently, in the '90s, kind of acknowledging that

they -- in my opinion, that they're not as clearly

a nonconforming use in their current state and got

some more variances passed.

So I guess Mr. Rattner's pointed out,

their first request is we just want to be called a

nonconforming use and be told to go on our way and

you guys have no more jurisdiction, and I'm a

little concerned about that with the history.

The second half of what they're

asking is, if you don't do that, don't make us come

back here -- don't tell us we're temporary to some

nebulous time frame. We want to at least be out to

the year 2010.

I guess I kind of look at this as a

policy question on the part of the Board. What is

it that -- it may be hard to do, just looking at

the record here. Why is it that they were allowed


to stay for all these years by the Board during

those variances, and what is it that they're really

trying to accomplish; what is MDOT going to do

that's going to affect their business? MDOT may

make Beck inaccessible to them. They still have

other access to the property off of a different

area of Beck Road, and they want to keep this use

up, potentially forever. I mean, they only have a

lease to 2010, but they just want to keep going

with this.

I guess the Board needs to decide

what it expects to happen on this property

long-term and deal with the variance that way.

So the first question is not are they

nonconforming, they're not. The first question is

what is it that you expect to see long-term on this

property as the Board?

Based on the history and the past

representations, once you decide that, then maybe

we can jump into how you accomplish that.


wondering, would it be fair to continue the

variance until such time as we hear from MDOT about

what is going to happen to their area?


MR. SCHULTZ: That's one option.

That's essentially what's happened in the last

couple of-

MEMBER SANGHVI: (Interposing) One

year and every year coming back, going back and

forth. We just tie it down to the timetable of

MDOT so that we all are ignorant at the moment

what's going on. By doing so, I think you won't

have to come back here every year, and also the

other side of the story that we are both ignorant

what's going to happen and -- but we are all in the

same boat and we want to do the best that's going

to happen for this business, and maybe this is a

reasonable way out. I'm just putting the proposal

for the Board to discuss, if you want to go this


MEMBER BAUER: Don, is there a limit

on that?

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

MEMBER REINKE: Mr. Chairman, going

back to history with this property and usage, I

think ever since Shemin took over we haven't had a

problem. We had problems with the previous

business that was operating there in conjunction


with that.

I really don't have any problem in

making it a viable nonconforming use. We just

maintain continuing jurisdiction over it to give us

a lever if we need it and not necessarily having to

come back before this Board.

MR. SCHULTZ: I guess my -- if I may,

Mr. Chair, my concern with that is I'm not

necessarily sure what the phrase continuing

jurisdiction means. It is kind of a legal phrase.

It's not some kind of term of art that I can put a

definition to, so it's something you would have to

further define in your approval.

The second thing is, I think if the

Board is interested in going down that route, then

we still need some sort of time frame as a

reference I think here, unless it's to be

open-ended with an explanation of what that

continuing jurisdiction is all about.

How is it that they would cease

operation as a nonconforming use if it's not -- if

it's not when MDOT chooses, or it's not a term of

years. There's got to be a statement as to what

will cause that nonconforming use to stop, and so


that kind of definition needs to be considered when


MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) So

we're talking about -- like if they decide to cease

doing business, number one, or MDOT takes their

property in the taking?

MEMBER REINKE: Well, there's a

couple ways we can approach that. We can make the

variance to the current occupant only. If MDOT

decides that they need the property for their road,

interchange or whatever, that's going to take care

of it right there at that point.

MR. SCHULTZ: I think it's unlikely

-- not unlikely. I think it's a good chance that

MDOT will not take all that property. They may

deprive them of some frontage -- some access along

the frontage on Beck, but that use, even after

MDOT's done and has built that intersection,

there's going to be that property there, there's

going to be access to it, and somebody may well

want to use it, whether it's this proponent or

someone else.

MEMBER REINKE: But I think in the

past we have restricted usage to a particular


business or occupant.

MR. SCHULTZ: I think that's an

option in part because Mr. Rattner alluded to that

when he said at the very least we want to go

through the term of our lease, so I think that's an


MEMBER REINKE: Or the term could be

to the extent of the length of their lease. So we

have a lot of different options that can be

approached there. I guess I kind of like the term

of the lease myself.

MR. SAVEN: That's 2010; is that


MR. RATTNER: That is correct. We

have options until 2010.

MR. SAVEN: Okay. So let the Board

be aware of it.

MEMBER GRAY: So if it's 2010 and

MDOT comes in sooner, it's going to be, you know-

MEMBER REINKE: (Interposing) Well


MR. SAVEN: Not necessarily.

MR. SCHULTZ: Not necessarily.

MEMBER REINKE: But the 2010 is


giving them the length of their lease plus it's

giving us a termination or a review point, which is

the kind of approach, I guess, in this general

discussion that I like myself.

MR. SCHULTZ: One reason why I think

-- even though it's a little unusual to put a term

of years on it and relate it to a particular lease,

if you go back in this record, what the City has

done, both at the Planning Commission and the ZBA,

was take their representation that MDOT is going to

affect our business and we're not going to be here

forever and we've let them continue. So this is

really just kind of a continuation of that with a

formal ending period.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I see nodding heads

here, and a lot of nodding heads here. Let's try a

variance and let's have some discussion so we're

more comfortable.

Want to give it a try, Laverne?

MEMBER REINKE: Yeah. Mr. Chairman,

in Case 02-075, I move that petitioner's request

for a variance be granted to the length of the term

of their current lease, which expires in 2010, to

conduct the existing business as it's been an


ongoing operation.


MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. There's a

motion, there is a second. Is there any


Tom, are you comfortable with how


MR. SCHULTZ: (Interposing) I'm

comfortable with that.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You've got a question


MR. RATTNER: Yes. I hope I'm not

out of order, Mr. Chairman. That lease is until

2010, but I did say it was options until 2010, so

you know that.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Do we need to read

that back for you because you were talking?

MR. RATTNER: No. I'm comfortable

with it. Maybe I should hear it again. I'm sorry.

Thank you very much.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.

Can you read that back.

(The motion was read back to the



MR. RATTNER: Thank you very much,

except for the -- just to the clarification, the

option, that's fine.

MR. CHAIRMAN: That's part of it. We

have a motion, we have a second, we've had


Sarah, call the vote, please.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MR. RATTNER: Thank you very much for

your consideration.



MR. CHAIRMAN: Is case 02-076,

Tomco Fabricating, are they here?

MR. SAVEN: They will not show up

tonight. We received notification.

Basically, are we going to bring them

on next month, Tom, Tomco?

MR. SCHULTZ: I have no problem with

it occurring next month.

MR. SAVEN: We have been challenged

through the petitioning for the variance -- or the

granting of the -- not granting but the application

for the variance. They feel -- they felt

indifferent to how it was sent out. I have had

communications with our ordinance division

regarding this matter, and we are correct in how we

did this; and, therefore, they opted not to show up

tonight because they're going to be out of town and

not able to make it, so they asked to postpone it

to the next meeting.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. We will recall

case number one, 02-061 filed by SR Jacobson. Are

they here tonight?

Okay. This is-


MR. SAVEN: (Interposing)

Mr. Chairman, if I may, so that we can help reduce

the -- our agenda item for the next -- following

month, what this is is dealing with fences that are

attached from model to model. It's kind of like a

direction for people to be able to walk in a

particular area.

This was part of a violation that was

sent to them. It would be good if we could act on

it. If it was favorable tonight, if we feel it's

favorable tonight, we should give them the

opportunity to come back and petition.

But like I said, this is dealing with

models and directing traffic.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I read the case. Why

aren't they here?

You didn't hear from them, Sarah?

MS. MARCHIONI: I left a message for

them last night. I don't know.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, Mr. Saven, if

you want them back on next month's agenda, we can

take that recommendation. I'd like to hear from

the Board. I know in the past when we have not

heard from an applicant, they don't show, they can


refile. Mr. Harrington had a legal word for that.

What was that? He said doesn't show, toss it out.

MR. SAVEN: It's your call. I was

looking at it from the standpoint of a few of our

agendas being very heavy for the next following


MEMBER REINKE: Well, I think this is

going to be a short -- it's not a lengthy case

that we're going to deal with, and I agree with

Mr. Chairman, that I would like to see the

applicant here.

MR. SAVEN: Very well. Tom, does

this do anything for the-

MR. SCHULTZ: (Interposing) Not that

I'm aware of.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. We have

made it through. Any other matters?

MR. SAVEN: Yes, sir. I have been

asked to discuss this issue with the Board.

Scott Shuptrine received variances

for two signs, what I can recall. I'm just asking

now, it was our understanding they were going to

take down one sign and -- so that they could put up

the main sign at the entrance.


Well, they took that one sign that

they took down and put it on another end, which

Allen was looking for clarification from the Board,

do they remember possibly that they did not do this

and allowed the three signs to go up.

I'm under the impression we were

taking down-

MEMBER BAUER: (Interposing) Taking

down the one and moving it on the other side.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Because of the

tree issue.

MS. MARCHIONI: Yeah. The minutes

are, quote, Mr. Saven, one will be taken down,

correct. And the applicant said correct.

MR. SAVEN: I just wanted to verify

there was no problem in that area.

MEMBER SANGHVI: No ambiguity about


MR. CHAIRMAN: Anything else?

(Unrelated discussion held.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Next month's meeting

is September 10th.

MEMBER GRAY: Mr. Brennan?



MEMBER GRAY: Mr. Saven, what is the

status with our friend, Mr. Coon, on West Lake?

MEMBER SAVEN: I will let Sarah

discuss this issue with you.

MEMBER GRAY: We were told last

month -- we were encouraging him to come back.

MS. MARCHIONI: Okay. He's saying

that there was a new survey taken for one of his

neighbors and that his setbacks have changed, the

surveys that he submitted to you are different, his

variance request will be different. He came to me,

I think a week or two after the cutoff date. We

already had a full agenda. I had already bumped

him off because I hadn't heard from him. So he's

supposedly coming next month.

MEMBER GRAY: Can you encourage him

to come next month?

MS. MARCHIONI: I send him letters

and I will do so.

MEMBER GRAY: Tell him we miss his

smiling face.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. This

meeting is adjourned.


(The meeting was adjourned at

10:07 p.m.)

- - -

Date approved:

November 4, 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 149 typewritten pages, is a

true and correct transcript of my said stenograph notes

to the best of my ability.



Cheryl L. James, CSR-5786