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TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 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, September 10, 2002.

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

Don Saven, Building Department
Thomas Schultz, City Attorney
Sarah Marchioni, Building Department

Ethel M. Martin, CSR

THE CHAIRMAN: The board members are

all here and we have a little business to take care

of before we call the first case. Let's call the

meeting to order.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


THE CHAIRMAN: There are some rules

of conduct, please, and they are listed at the top

of the agenda. I would ask you to take a little

time to walk through those and keep them in mind.

We do have a pretty heavy load


tonight but let's try to be not quick, but let's

not dilly-dally. We do have a quorum. The meeting

is now in session.

This is a hearing board empowered by

the Novi City Charter hearing appeals seeking

variances of the Novi zoning ordinances. It takes

a vote of at least four members to approve a

variance and a vote of the majority to deny it. We

have five members here tonight. We do not have a

full board. To get an approval of the variance, we

do require four of five members. So if anyone here

tonight would like to hold off until September,

when we should have a full board, you should have

that option now. You have the option now. Anybody

here tonight to have a case heard, if you want to

put it off a month, raise your hand and identify


Okay. We will continue on. Any

decisions tonight by this board are final. Any

changes to the agenda?

MS. MARCHIONI: Yes, there are.

Number 15, Case 02-085, John Richards, representing

homeowner at 20970 Turnberry has been removed and

there will be a discussion on 02-080, when we get



MEMBER SAVEN: Mr. Chairman, I would

like to address that right now. Basically, the

notice went out on a request for a variance.

Looking at the front yard, there was an error as

far as the notices are concerned. The one foot in

itself would require that we notify and all

residents in that area.

Based on the uniqueness of this case,

I would ask that it continue to be heard tonight,

due to the numerous setback requirements. As there

were some objections in this particular case, it

might be good to hear the case that exists now.

Which case number is that again?

MEMBER GRAY: This would be 02-080,

Lot 7071. This required front yard setback with a

30-foot proposal, was at 17.67. That was

incorrect. 17.67. Therefore the variance request

for 12.3 feet should be 13.3 feet, which is an

increase of the required variance. If it was less,

we may have been able to deal with that. More of a

setback could be required. Again, because of the

uniqueness of the case, I ask that it be brought



THE CHAIRMAN: We will hear testimony

and hear complaints and lots of yelling and

screaming but we will not take any action tonight.

Is there anything else on the agenda?

MEMBER GRONACHAN: I vote to approve

as amended.

(Vote taken.)

THE CHAIRMAN: Public remarks? This

is, of course, from the meeting that anyone wishing

to talk to the board can do so, if it's not

relevant to a case that's on our agenda, if there's

something other than what on our agenda any -- if

anyone is here to talk to us, now is the time to

raise your hand. If not, we will call our first

case, Case 02-061. This is SR Jacobson Development

Company. Are they here?

Board Members, I will make a move to

deny the petitioner's request for grants for no

cause, no show. He wasn't here last month. We

gave him a another month and he is not here.

MEMBER SAVEN: I support.

THE CHAIRMAN: Any other discussion?

Tom, do you have any problem with that?

MEMBER SCHULTZ: This is the one that


was --

THE CHAIRMAN: They weren't here.

MEMBER SCHULTZ: I don't have a


THE CHAIRMAN: Any other discussion?

(No discussion was held.)

THE CHAIRMAN: We got through that

one pretty quick.


Case 02-063, Richard Tanielian. This

is a table case, so anyone who is going to speak

will go under oath.

MR. PERLMAN: Michael Perlman on

behalf of Richard Tanielian.

THE CHAIRMAN: Tell us what's

different and tell us how your neighbors are happy.

MR. PERLMAN: The neighbors are happy

for two reasons. One, they're not here. They have

indicated that we could make a representation that

they're satisfied with, one, the discussion we had

a month ago, that is,as to Lot 6, and we have

talked with the neighbor of Lot 8 and it's Mr. and

Mrs. Armstrong, and they have indicated their


agreement with the proposal.

The proposal as you have set forth in

the agenda is a variance of six feet on the north

side, which is Lot 6, five feet on the south side

for Lot 8, and the variance for both sides together

is an 11-foot variance.

We have discussed previously that

without this variance, a house that would be built

there would basically be, at most, ten feet wide.

The property has been cleaned up per previous

request. It was cleaned up several months ago.

The garage there was removed. The request is based

on the size of the lot and it wasn't self-created.

And lastly, we believe that the variance will not

negatively impact either neighbor as previously


THE CHAIRMAN: Well, sir, you it it

on the head. We asked you to go back last month

and work things out with your neighbors.

Obviously, you did. If the board members have

questions, I'm sure they will ask it.

We did have another thirty-one

notices sent. No objections, no approvals. Does

anyone in the audience wish to comment on this


particular case?

No hands are waving.

MEMBER SAVEN: I want to qualify one

thing. It was not 11 feet, it was 14 feet. I have

no further comments. It seems that the best we

could do. I will vote to support the applications.

THE CHAIRMAN: Any others?

You can't give a man a task and him

do it and come back and tell him he didn't do it.

MEMBER SANGHVI: I will make a motion

on 02-063, the request be counted, because of the

hardship of the size and the configuration of the




THE CHAIRMAN: We have a motion to

support. Any discussion?

MEMBER GRAY: Mr. Chairman, even

though I am not happy with the whole situation, I

am very reluctantly going to support this. I do

feel that the entire hardship going back through

cases back to 2000 was in fact self-created. He

owned two properties, adjacent, for 70 feet. He

chose to sell one. But, again, he has done what we


asked him to do and he gave more to the north and

if the people to whom he's going to sell this

property and build this house can live with that,


THE CHAIRMAN: Any other discussion?

I hear none. Motion in support?

(Vote taken.)

THE CHAIRMAN: Sir, you finally have

your variance request for building your house.

MR. PERLMAN: Thank you, very much.


THE CHAIRMAN: Case Number 02-067 is

VIP Tire and Iron. This also is a table case, so

anyone who is going to present, tell us what is


This is my wife Cindy, who has been

meeting with city officials in regard to what we

need to do to correct the situation. She can

probably best speak as far as.

THE CHAIRMAN: We do have and we will

put in the file a letter from you, I believe, that

everyone here has got. Give us a second to read it



MEMBER GRAY: When was this letter


THE CHAIRMAN: This letter was

written yesterday.

MEMBER GRAY: It's not dated. That's

why I asked.

THE CHAIRMAN: You want to give us a

quick summary?

MR. VALENTINE: The summary is we are

going to try to put up a berm on the west side of

the property all the way down. We still want to

work with the city as far as the front of the

property. The only request we make is possibly we

can go into the spring, when the construction is

completely over with and we have a chance to


THE CHAIRMAN: There were eleven

notices sent, one approval, no objection. You did

get an approval.

Is this a new one or is this from the

last one?

MS. MARCHIONI: That's from the last


THE CHAIRMAN: As I recall, this is


also a case that had some zoning change over the

years, was it not?

MR. VALENTINE: Sir, I don't believe


MEMBER SAVEN: We did meet with the

applicant and the planner sat down and we went over

all the issues that we thought would be something

to take care of the situation, as requested by

this board. If it is the board's decision to

approve this variance, I would ask that it be

contingent upon the approval of our landscape

architect, to ensure that the scheming is effective

as to what was presented at our meetings.

THE CHAIRMAN: Any problem with that?


THE CHAIRMAN: Anybody in the

audience that wanted to say anything regarding this


MR. WYZYNSKI: My name is Carl

Wyzynski, 25860 Wixom Road. I guess is really a

question about what is considered outdoor storage

on V-3. There is a new Target store being built

next to my property and the truck access is 50 feet

from my property. As I was reading through the


Valentines case -- and I'm supportive of their

issue -- but I question if licensed cars are

considered outdoor storage. Are trucks and

tractors also considered outdoor storage and if

they are, would Target be required to get a

variance to leave trucks and tractors on their

driveway or in their lot overnight?

THE CHAIRMAN: During construction --

Construction is coming to an ends. I understand

there is an area for construction as the store

opens, Target often leaves trucks and tractors on

their property overnight. I'm trying to understand

why Valentine would need to come to you for a

variance unless RB-3 would, that leaves trucks and

tractors on property and they would also need to

come to you for a variance.

MEMBER SAVEN: I believe if we take a

look at the use of what the Valentines are using,

they are working on vehicles. They were working on

unlicensed vehicles and licensed vehicles and motor

homes. This is quite different than what we have

in the Target situation, retail sales and dropping

off goods and moving on.

I think there are two issues we're


looking at. Although they may be similar in some

nature, they are dissimilar.

MR. WYZYNSKI: As I look at these

trucks out my window every day -

THE CHAIRMAN: Sir, I'm going to have

to interrupt you. We're hearing a case on the

Valentines. I did say if there's any matters that

need to be brought before the board, they need to

be brought over on. If you want to discuss Target,

you need to go to the building department. I'm


MR. WYZYNSKI: Thank you.

THE CHAIRMAN: Board members, any

questions or comments to the petitioner?

MEMBER REINKE: I think then

petitioner is resolving to reduce the numbers of

vehicles and is working very diligently with the

city and is very cooperative and I can support what

they're doing and extend it on the condition that

they wrap it up in the spring. If they follow the

directions of the city requirement, I have no

problem with the petitioner's request.

THE CHAIRMAN: Anybody else?

MEMBER SANGHVI: My only comment, you


used the words you will "try" to do this.

MR. VALENTINE: No, sir. We will

work with the city.

MEMBER SANGHVI: If you will do it or

just try to do it, I think that makes a lot of


MEMBER GRAY: The only comment I have

has to do with using the phrase in here of

unlicensed vehicles. I'm presuming that you have

transit plates?

MR. VALENTINE: We take these on the

roads, yes, ma'am.

MEMBER GRAY: Even though they're not

sold and they don't have plates, they can use their

own transit plates. It's just a technicality but I

took minor issue with it on here. Based on the

fact that they're doing what they're trying to do,

I would move that we grant the variance to maintain

outdoor storage of licensed and unlicensed vehicles

awaiting repair, due to the nature of the business,

the fact that he has been in business eighteen

years and he's been doing it for some time and only

now it has become questionable and that he is

attempting to screen or fence.



THE CHAIRMAN: We have a motion and

second. Sarah?

(Vote taken.)

THE CHAIRMAN: We got a clean sweep

there. Go see the building department for your



MR. VALENTINE: Thank you. Case

02-076, Tomco Fabricating. This is also an outdoor

storage case.

THE CHAIRMAN: Raise your hand and

give us name and be sworn.

MR. HENRY: Don Henry, representing

Tomco Fabricating.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm the information ****

MR. HENRY: I am requesting a

variance that I do not have to put an eight-foot

fence to obscure the property around Tomco

Fabricating on Haggerty Road.

THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. That's short

and sweet. There were four notices and one


objection from a Done Henry. That's him? All

right. We will continue on.

Anybody in the audience that wishes

to address this particular case? Building


MEMBER SAVEN: Mr. Chairman, I guess

I would like to hear why he feels he doesn't have

to screen or number one, why he is allowed to have

the outdoor storage in that area.

MR. HENRY: When we bought the

property it was -- heavy industrial for well over

twenty years. We have been storing outside since

we have had the property.

MEMBER SAVEN: What you have done

twenty years ago was consistent with the business

that was with the building.

MR. HENRY: Yes, sir.

MEMBER SAVEN: The outdoor storage

you have today is consistent with what you have in

the building?

MR. HENRY: I can't say it's

consistent with the building. We have stored RVs

and some cars there. We have used the income as

part of the business. Whether that's considered


part of the business or not, I don't know.

MEMBER SAVEN: I'm concerned about

the expansion of that particular use of the outdoor

storage. Usually storage is consistent with the

business within the building itself. When you are

dealing with something above and beyond that, you

are technically pursuant to the ordinance, you are

expanding that business, which is in evidence -- in

fact not allowed, in terms of the I-1 zoning. This

was changed back in 1981, around that particular


THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. Board Members?


MR. SCHULTZ: For clarification for

the board, when he bought the property, it was

zoned I-2 and he might have had a non-conforming

use that he could have kept up and extended it for

the outdoor storage. But he never did have the

eight-foot fence. It was required even back when

the property was purchased. Without the screening,

he doesn't have the valid non-conforming use. It's

essentially a use variance to allow outdoor storage

without the screening, because the property was

rezoned I-1 classification.


He's here for use variance. The

property can't be used for purpose under the zoning

ordinance and would work an unnecessary hardship on

him. This is not the typical are of non-use

variance. This is the higher standard of review of

an unnecessary hardship.

MEMBER SANGHVI: A question for Tom.

Is there any comparative situation involved?

MEMBER SCHULTZ: I guess that's what

I was trying to get at. He might have been

grandfathered, had he had the eight-foot screen

wall around the property back when he he started

using it for outdoor storage. That arguably would

have made it a legal unconforming use. Without

that, when it gets rezoned to the I-1 district, it

essentially just becomes a use that's not legal.

So he needs to establish to the board what it is

about his use that would cause you to grant the use


THE CHAIRMAN: As I understand what

the petitioner has presented the Fabrication

business that he's got has nothing to do with him

storing cars.

MEMBER GRAY: I have a few questions.


Maybe you can help me out here, Tom. I understand

what you're saying and back when it was zone, I-2,

heavy industrial, whether it was fabricating or

whatever it was, they were allowed a certain amount

of outdoor storage if it was consistent with their

business and if it had a foot screening. Is that


MR. SCHULTZ: If it was screened.

MEMBER GRAY: When we, as a city, for

whatever reason, rezoned it to I-1, simply because

he had not pursued screening and still was using

outdoor storage on an unpermitted nature, not

conducive to his business, no matter what we say,

not no matter what we say, no matter what we do,

just putting a name for a fence really doesn't not

make the use legal, does it?

MEMBER SCHULTZ: Unless we grant a

use variance. In order to establish that valid

non-conforming use in the first instance it had to

be legal. Without the screening, it wasn't legal.

MEMBER GRAY: It was conducive to the

business at hand, whether he needed the fence, to

become valid.

MEMBER GRAY: When it was rezoned --


before it was rezoned, he started doing storage. I

understand need for storage, motor homes, et

cetera, but when he started doing the outdoor

storage not related to the business, he should

have come to the city and asked for a permit or


MEMBER SCHULTZ: That's really what

is before us, a use variance. He established a

need for the use variance. If you find that he has

established that, you can attached conditions or

things like that.

MEMBER SANGHVI: There are two issues

involved. One is the fencing and the second one,

he is renting the place for other people to store

vehicles there. You're talking about a use

variance, because that's not part of his real

business. Am I right in thinking that?

MR. HENRY: I'm sorry. I'm having a

hard time hearing you. I didn't hear what you said

to Tom.

MEMBER SCHULTZ: Number one is not

related to the principal use on the site. Number

two, even though it's a use variance, outdoor

storage generally is not permitted.


MEMBER REINKE: If you were to permit

storage, also, you have the issue of the screening.

MEMBER SCHULTZ: You would permit it

and you would have the ability to condition that

permission on screening, if that's what you choose

to do.

MEMBER GRAY: One of my other

questions, if this has been going on for twenty

years, why is it before us now? Did somebody

complain about it?

MR. HENRY: No. They're starting to

build all around me now. Really, when you drive by

my business, you don't even know that I'm there.

It's really difficult to find.

MEMBER GRAY: Did someone complain --

I believe it was an issue regarding the Regency

businesses being constructed in that area and they

cleared out a lot of property.

MEMBER GRAY: How many acres is this,


MR. HENRY: 2.95.

MEMBER GRAY: How many acres are you

using for storage?

MR. HENRY: I would estimate about


half of that. I would say it might be closer to

one, one and a quarter.

MEMBER GRAY: One to one and a

quarter acres?


MEMBER GRAY: Did the previous owners

from whom you purchased the property also use it

for outdoor storage of this nature?

MR. HENRY: I think they were a

construction company. They had literally

seventy-five trucks in there.

MEMBER GRAY: So that was conducive

to their business?

MR. HENRY: I think.

MEMBER GRAY: Was there hindsight and

representation to you that this property could be

used to this type of storage, not conducive to the

business? Was there any representation made to you

when you bought the property that you could use the

property for outdoor storage, vehicles, boats,

et cetera, not conducive to your business.

MR. HENRY: I can't really answer


MEMBER GRAY: That's all.


THE CHAIRMAN: Sir, we have two

things before us. Number one, you should have had

an eight-foot fence around this property, even when

it was rezoned. Number two, the fact that you are

using this property in something over and beyond

your general business requires a use variance. You

have indicated that you need this secondary

business to supplement income and to keep your core

business going. Have you investigated what is

involved in fencing off this property?

MR. HENRY: No, sir, I have not.

THE CHAIRMAN: Don't you think that

might be an important thing to pursue?

MR. HENRY: As far as cost-wise?


MR. HENRY: Absolutely. I know you

are not here to hear my hardship case. The economy

is down. Our business is absolutely dead. We're

doing everything we can to hang on right now. I

certainly don't want to spends the money -- my dad

owns the property there on Haggerty Road and he has

in for sale. We hope it will be sold within the

next year or two. I have to do what I have to do

to keep the income coming in, as we speak.


MEMBER SAVEN: You say your dad owns

this property?


MEMBER SAVEN: It is for sale?

MR. HENRY: Yes. He was very close

to a deal right before 911. He had been in

negotiations all summer long.

MEMBER GRAY: Mr. Brennan, I guess

what I would like to propose is we ask Mr. Henry to

come back next, when he has had a chance to figure

out whether he is going to be able to afford the

fencing to go around the property to screen it or

discontinue the outdoor storage. I think there two

options here, neither of which has been


THE CHAIRMAN: To meet codes, does

the whole thing need to be screened?

MEMBER SAVEN: I think the portion

where it is subject to use, where you can see the

outside storage. When we start getting involved in

issues like this, one is outdoor storage. There

certainly has to be issued -- as far as what he has

there now and if it is the board's wish to grant

the variance, then we have to ensure that that use


does not expand and maybe take a look at the

limitations of that, if that's what the board's

wish is. Certainly, the issue of cleaning up the

area, I'm sure you can do that without too much of

a problem.

MR. HENRY: We should clean it up.

MEMBER SAVEN: I think you should

concentrate in that particular area, but the bottom

line is we're talking about outdoor storage in an

I-1 district which is a little tough.

MEMBER SCHULTZ: Following up, I was

out at that property back before they wrote the

Notice of Violation. In addition to outdoor

storage, there is a collapsing out building that's

if the board has at all inclined to go in that

direction, I think -- that would certainly be an

appropriate condition of any kind of relief this

board gave to have that structure, which frankly

looked pretty dangerous, to be removed in

connection with any relief you give them. I don't

know whether you are going to relief but if you are

headed in that direction, that's something that

needs to be explored




MEMBER SANGHVI: May I suggest we

make the cleaning up and removal of the unsound

structure as part of the condition for granting him

temporary variance until such time as he has sold

the property

MEMBER REINKE: Mr. Chairman, I

believe we need to have a better program than that.

I think we would like to see the petitioner explore

what a fence is going to cost. Come back with some

options, what you feel you can do and what you feel

you can do what you feel you have to have.

We're not trying to run you out of

business. We're trying to work with you to resolve

the situation and circumstance, if the property is

up for sale, you know, what kind of time line, what

kind of ways, what potential do you think there is

for marketing this property. If the economy starts

picking up a little bit, if it's something that's

sellable in a year's time, and try to work with you

if this is the goal that you are working for and

not say cut it off to strangle you until this time

and situation.

Until we have had the opportunity,


the kind of things that we're looking for has had a

chance to go back okay, these are the options. If

I comply with everything, it's cost prohibitive to

me, I can't do that. But until you sit down and do

the leg work or homework on it, either you or we

can't make a true assessments of what the situation

is and try to be fair to all parties.

THE CHAIRMAN: Not to cut Laverne

off, but it's a fairly good parcel. If you start

looking at what it's going to cost to put a fence a

round the whole thing, it's probably going to be

pretty pricey. Is there a possibility that the

outdoor storage could be contained in one corner

and you could look at boxing off one corner?

I think rather than move tonight it

may be in your best interest to look at another

option, given what has occurred from the City

attorney and some of our input.

MR. HENRY: Terrific.

MEMBER GRAY: I would also like to

suggest that that building be torn down as soon as


MR. HENRY: The problems that you

have in tearing the building down, it's an old


piece of property. The building feeds the electric

that goes to the actual shop. The well is in that

building. That's where we get our water supply

from. The City told us to tear that down about

five years ago and we explained the electrical

problems and water problems and they came back and

said board it up, so it's non-accessible and that's

what we have done.

MEMBER GRAY: The letter of June 6th

said the building should be torn down or made safe.

I don't know if this is going to make it safe.

MEMBER SCHULTZ: The well is in the


THE CHAIRMAN: We will make that part

of your situation as we look over this whole thing.

We would like to suggest to give you another thirty

days and come back and maybe there's a way we can

work this out and not cost a lot of money. All


MR. HENRY: Terrific.

MEMBER SANGHVI: And we provide the

screening and number two, whatever way you can make

it safe. Both of these are vary importance issues.

THE CHAIRMAN: Typically, table cases


are put at the front of the agenda. So we will get

you on out of here.

MR. HENRY: Thank you very much for

your help.


MEMBER GRONACHAN: Mr. Chairman, do I

need to ask board's approval to withdraw from this

case. This is my neighbor, and due to past

association, I don't think I can do this case

justice this evening.

THE CHAIRMAN: We're going to ask

you. You only have four members left. You've got

to get them all. What's your choice?


was on vacation at the last board meeting. The

time is running out and I don't know what I'm going

to do. I don't know if there's any difference, so

I will accept that risk.

THE CHAIRMAN: Raise your hand and be


MEMBER GRONACHAN: Raise your right


Do you swear or a affirm that the


information you are about to give in the matter

before you is the truth?

MR. BODRIE: I do. My name is Mike

Bodrie. I live at 2140 Garfield Road in Novi. The

house at 305 Duana is a cottage for ourselves.

What I'm trying to do is make this a very concise

-- I know your agenda is very large. The reason

I'm here for the variance, the lots were -- the

subdivision was platted in the early 1900s, so lot

sizes were unbelievably small. It had provisions

for chicken coops in the neighborhood. So that's

what we kind of started dealing with.

In part of this, I tried to design

this to match the neighborhood. Just today on the

way over here I drove down the road and wrote down

the addresses that have very similar side yards.

The most -- every house on Duana has the same type

situation, where there is two or three foot on each

sides of the house. They're all pie-shaped plats,

so I have tried to fit within the neighborhood.

One thing I do want to call to the attention is

that I questioned some of the variances that

they're saying that need to be -- I need to have.

For example, the coverage, I calculated there's


only 14 percent and it's calculated at 25 percent.

I have approximately 10,000 feet of land and all my

coverage is 1320.

THE CHAIRMAN: We will ask done about

that. Why don't you keep going --

The other its the southeast setback

is existing. I don't know if that's a standard

thing that you put all the variances that this

property have or not. The only variance I feel I'm

asking for is the two foot on the northwest side,

which mimics the neighbor's on that side. He has

an extremely small tie, because he has the same

situation. He's on both side approximately two

feet away from the side yards.

THE CHAIRMAN: Can I ask who that

neighbor is?

MR. BODRIE: It's 307.

THE CHAIRMAN: He's not too happy

with your plans, I understand.

MR. BODRIE: I just became aware of

that last night and it was on my answering machine.

I think my wife left me the message and I tried to

address it with him, because he said it was a fire

concern. I called him up and I said I didn't even


think about it, to be honest. I mean, of course,

there's a fire wall there. You know, it's common

sense. His statement was basically -- just made

another excuse, he just doesn't want it. Just as

much as I don't really want the way his yard looks

in my yard, but I have to accept it because we're

on small lots and that's the way it is.

So I don't know what to do about

that. I do know that what I have proposed is very

consistent with the neighborhood and that's the

biggest thing. I didn't create this problem

myself. I think that an attached garage is almost

like an in-house toilet at this point, compared to

an outhouse over the time that was build and a

detached garage is going to cause the same amount

of problems. It's going to need the same

variances. Those are my -- that's my thinking in

that respect. I want to make sure I covered

everything that I wanted to say.

THE CHAIRMAN: I'm sure we will

provoke some questions for you.

MR. BODRIE: I guess I'm ready for

that, then.

THE CHAIRMAN: There were thirty


notices. You had one approval and the objection

from the adjoining neighbor. Is anyone in the



THE CHAIRMAN: Sir you wants to come

on up. Are you Henry?


THE CHAIRMAN: This is Henry


MR. GRUZWALSKI: Well, if he puts up

this garage, his garage is going to be within two

feet of the property line alongside my house and

years ago they had a garage built six inches off

the property line and that was because of a fire or

emergency, getting back there. If somebody gets

hurt or drowns in the water, that would be access

to that property.

If the house is built the way he is

constructing, there is no way you can get back

there, either fire or emergency cars. So this is

why I'm against it. If he can put the garage in

the back, where he has access for fire and

emergency to get back there, I wouldn't complain

about that.


THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. Anybody else in

the audience? No? Building department?

MEMBER SAVEN: Basically, what Mr.

Bodrie indicated earlier was the fact that if the

board does decide to approve this case, the issue

would be fire rating for that one wall two feet

from the property line would be required to have

more fire protection. I do have a sharper pencil

than Mr. Bodrie in terms of block coverage --

MR. BODRIE: May I ask what you have

for the lot size?

MEMBER SAVEN: I don't have that with

me. I used a scratch sheet of paper. In terms of

computer your lots size, I had a difference of

approximately 1.5 percent difference.

THE CHAIRMAN: Board members?

MEMBER REINKE: I think lot coverage

is the least of your problems.

MR. BODRIE: I understand.

MEMBER REINKE: It's too close to the

house. I mean you are foot feet -- the unfortunate

situation is the lot. I understand that. You have

room on that side to be innovative in some way. In

moving it back further, you get some distance to


that side lot. But I can't support what you are

proposing here, to go that whole building, that

whole lot there, two feet off the lot line.

MR. BODRIE: It does go to 4.2 feet.

I guess my question to you is what would be

permissible. I mean basically, no matter what I

design will be out of code. I don't want to

perpetuate --

MEMBER REINKE: I understand. What I

see, to get the two feet up further, to get a

larger distance there, this thing is going to have

to be moved back.

MR. BODRIE: I guess my question is

how far back do you want it? Do you want a

four-foot setback, a six-foot.

THE CHAIRMAN: Why wouldn't you place

the garage more in back of the house?

MR. BODRIE: There is a lake back


THE CHAIRMAN: There is a what?

MR. BODRIE: There is a lake back


MEMBER SAVEN: I think you should

worry about some unstable ground conditions back


there. I would like to bring to the board's

attention you have a front entrance garage. You're

dealing with a garage door. That means the minimum

he could reduce it down is ten feet to ten feet

six, to have any maneuverability whatsoever.

MEMBER REINKE: Right now, what is

the length of the garage that's adjacent to the


MR. BODRIE: The proposed garage or

the existing?

MEMBER REINKE: The proposed garage.

MR. BODRIE: The proposed garage is

18 feet. The existing garage -- I'm sorry -- is 18


MEMBER REINKE: The proposes garage?

MR. BODRIE: Is 34 feet.

MEMBER REINKE: You are saying it's

going to be attached to the house. What's the

length of the wall in the house?

MEMBER SAVEN: That part of the

garage that's attached to house, what is that


MEMBER SAVEN: 9 foot 5, something

like that.


MEMBER GRAY: He's 34 feet and he's

got 15.5 in the back.

MR. BODRIE: It's roughly 15 feet.

MEMBER GRAY: About 19 feet.

MEMBER REINKE: If you were to move

the whole thing back where you maybe four to six

feet of that adjacent to the home, would bring that

probably away to at least a four foot on the front

edge of that and still maintain a 12-foot width.

MR. BODRIE: I can accept that.

Again, when I first brought this up, I said I want

to go right to the lot line and I said

realistically there's no way you can do that. I

don't know where you want me --

MEMBER REINKE: If you have a wind

like you have tonight and you have a fire there,

all those houses are gone. There's no question in

my mind at all, they're all gone. Any kind of

distance that you can get, four foot, I mean, that

would be the minimum. I don't know what the

distance would be here by moving this back to maybe

where you have got, let's say, six foot adjacent to

that, because it's going to bring it away further.

How much, I don't know. But it would have to be


something like that for me to support it, because I

can't support what's there right now.

MR. BODRIE: Would you support four

foot or not, or do I have to come back with another


MEMBER REINKE: From my point of

view, it would have to be a minimum of four foot.

This is one board member's opinion and thought of

it, because then you are getting at least six foot

in between the two and I would like to see more

than that.

MR. BODRIE: That's reasonable.

MEMBER REINKE: But that's my


MEMBER GRAY: First of all, when I

first moved to Novi back in 1978, I moved into 315

Duana. Now, one those houses on Duana, that's on

Elm Court, has an attached garage. This would make

this house unique to that area. However, I

understand you want an attached garage. My initial

reaction, when you look at this, if you wanted a

garage, you should be thinking about replacing the

one that's there moving, this whole thing back.

I'm not thrilled with the idea of anything less


than six feet from the property line. I'm sorry.

I still call it Ms. Shyloff's house,

307, is three feet off the property line. These

houses were all built in the forties. They're all

cottages. I guess the good thing about your house

is it's brick and it probably won't burn. All the

houses in the back, they were incidental to the

amusement park and the casino. There's no house in

there that's probably less other than the Knox

house at 317, that burned about three years ago.

There's nothing in there that's more

recent than, I would say, the fifties. So if you

want to know what we want you to do, I think what

you need to do is you need to plan to move that as

far back as you possibly can. I don't want to see

anything less than 50 feet on that property line,

because the houses are too close, as it is.

Understanding Mr. Reinke's comments

and mine, and you need four votes, you may want to

come back next month.

MR. BODRIE: Unfortunately, I

understand that at this point. I guess that's

about it then. It's just the timing is just a

killer, you know.


THE CHAIRMAN: We can't do anything

about that.

MEMBER GRAY: How long have you owned

the property?

MR. BODRIE: We bought it in late

November of last year.

MEMBER GRAY: So you have had all

winter, all summer to look at it?

THE CHAIRMAN: I would also say that

if you come up with an idea --

MR. BODRIE: That's one of the things

that was most upsetting to me. I sent a letter to

everybody, gave them my plans and told them to call

me if there's any issues.

MEMBER GRAY: Have you thought of

knocking on their doors? I would like to hear what

your neighbors on the east also say, between you

and the Marlowe's house, to the east.

MR. BODRIE: I mean they knew my

plans and I talk with them all the time.

MEMBER GRAY: It would be nice if

they wrote a letter saying "we support what he's

trying to do."

MEMBER SAVEN: Mr. Chairman, if I may


make a comment here. You have a direction from the

board. What I should ask, also, that you do is

take into consideration the physical location where

you are proposing to place that garage, in

reference to your house, because it's got to

function. Okay?

MR. BODRIE: I understand that.

MEMBER SAVEN: Because it's an

attached garage, it has to function. That means

wherever that's going to be set back, as Mr. Reinke

indicated, whatever that attachment is, it still

have to function with the original building.

MR. BODRIE: Maybe I don't understand

your statement. Mare sure I can back a trailer in,

for example? Is that what you're saying.

MEMBER SAVEN: And whatever that

attachment is to the house, you are entering that

into the house or do you not plan to have a doorway

attached to the house?

MR. BODRIE: Yes, I do, and it's in

the very back of the house. Moving it back that

didn't dawn on me until last night when I was

thinking about it, you know, but here I come. All



THE CHAIRMAN: If it looks like you

can have it done in time to get on next month's

agenda, talk to Sarah.

Sarah, anything else.


MR. BODRIE: Thank you.


THE CHAIRMAN: All right. 02-058.

The petitioner has a request for signage on a new


Sir, do you want to give us your name

and raise your hand and be sworn.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information that you are about to

give in the matter before you is the truth?


MS. GRONACHAN: Your name, please?

Tim Schaefer, 33560 Gittis, G-i-t-t-i-s.

THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. You're on.

MR. SCHAEFER: We are proposing a

30-foot-square sign on the east elevation. It

follows what other businesses have had to ask for,

for visibility in this shopping district. Also,


we're asking for -- I believe it's a six square

foot sign on the rear of the out building. It is

more of a directional sign for egress and ingress

out for the carry-out traffic. Basically, that's

our case.

THE CHAIRMAN: All right. There were

six notices sent, no approvals, no objections.

Anyone in the audience wish to comment?

THE CHAIRMAN: Building Department?

We will come back.

MS. GRONACHAN: Mr. Chairman, I drove

out there and I don't personally feel that there is

a need for the sign. With the line of trees, when

you are coming in, you get the front view of the

sign. But the side sign, I don't think is really

necessary or there is a need. You can't see it

from the road with the line of trees.

MR. SCHMIDT: I think it would be

more conducive for people heading northbound on

Novi Road, because they can't see that business

coming in from the north, heading up Novi Road, as

let's say -- what is the store Chez 2, 2 Chez,

whatever, where they have the monument sign out

next to the road for people heading in the southern



MS. GRONACHAN: Let me finish my

train of thought. The second side sign I don't

believe is a need, because of the line of trees,

and I didn't see it from driving up and down Novi

Road and going through. I felt -- this is personal

opinion from driving around there -- that a

directional ground sign would serve you more

purpose, in this case, as opposed to a side sign.

In regard to the rear sign, I do feel

that there is a need because of the fact that there

-- you have people driving all over the place and

it is an alley type situation coming into the back.

But I'm not sure what -- without it, I don't know

that you would ever find the back. Walking around,

I found it and I wasn't even sure where I was

going. Again, driving in the car, I didn't see a

full view.

THE CHAIRMAN: Did you have anything

to input on this case?

MEMBER SAVEN: No, sir, I did not.

MEMBER REINKE: Mr. Chairman, I take

a little bit of a different viewpoint. I think the

signing on the building for the name of the


business are direction. They're not obtrusive. I

think they identify the business and give

direction. My question is really if there is any

need for the carry-out sign, because I can't

picture that people coming in are going to run

around and look for a carry-out sign. They're

going to go in the front door, put up their food

and go back out the front door. That's my point.

MEMBER SANGHVI: I agree. What kind

of restaurant is going to be?

MR. SCHMIDT: Carrabba's. It's an

Italian restaurant.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: A lot of them are

doing that now. My only question is where is the

parking for the back door.

MR. SCHMIDT: I believe it would be

right out the back door.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: You have a curb --

MR. SCHMIDT: I can't believe they're

going to have more than four people at a time

pulling up there.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: But there is no

place for them to park, and for all intents and

purposes, that's a leading road behind the other


businesses, because there is a stop sign at the end

of that.

MR. SCHMIDT: I see what you're

saying. They're going to have an island there.

MS. GRONACHAN: When I was coming

down Novi Road tonight to come to the meeting, the

only way I could see the sign at the east elevation

on Novi Road was when I was sitting at the light

southbound on Novi Road. Once I got to the place

where there's one tree missing, I couldn't see the

sign. So I don't believe it serves any purpose.

You can't see it through the trees.

MR. SCHMIDT: I believe at night is

what they're going for, the visibility at night,

with the neon sign.

MS. GRONACHAN: And probably in the

winter, when there is no leaves on the trees.

MR. SCHMIDT: You'll also see the

glow, is what will attract your eye to it at night.

MEMBER SANGHVI: Mr. Chairman, may I

make a motion?

THE CHAIRMAN: You want to make a




THE CHAIRMAN: I agree with Laverne.

MEMBER SANGHVI: That's going to be

my motion in 02-058, we grant the applicant's

request for the signs, minus the curbside carry-out

sign for the business.

THE CHAIRMAN: Do we have a motion to

support? Let's see if we have four votes.

MS. MARCHIONI: What was the reason

for denying the carry-out sign?

THE CHAIRMAN: We didn't give a

particular reason but I think the testimony was

that we didn't believe that that was going to be a

functional sign, as part of their business, that

there wasn't sufficient parking. We believe that

the carry-out business, if any would come through

the front door, which is --

MEMBER REINKE: Plus, it's where the

parking is.

MS. MARCHIONI: Dr. Sanghvi?


MS. MARCHIONI: Mr. Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?



MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


THE CHAIRMAN: We're back to


MS. GRONACHAN: Mr. Chairman I really

don't see the purpose of the second sign. I mean

after being out there and looking at it from all

angles, especially after being on this board for a

historic time, -- from my peers, we don't really

give a lot of signs out when it's not necessary.

The second sign is pretty close to the first sign,

when you are looking at the front of the building.

Even when you are pulling into the parking lot, you

get the view of the two signs. If anything -- I

mean I just don't feel that there is a need.

MEMBER SANGHVI: The only reason why

I feel there is a need is that this is not just a

free-standing building with a main road frontage.

Whether we like it or not, it is still part of that

mall situation there and that's why people driving

in and out could notice this better than without

the sign on the north side, as well as the east


side. It would make it a lot easier to be

identified for the people who are going in and out

of the mall.


Chairman, the sign is minimal. You've got traffic

going in and out to the hotel there and you've got

that roadway being utilized more, which helps gives

direction that they can go into, also. I think

it's a minimal request to help a free-standing

building to get some identification. That's my

basis for supporting the additional sign.

THE CHAIRMAN: I don't want to

reference other cases but we have been consistent

with buildings that are within the envelope -- not

the outer envelope but the inner envelope of a

mall. I think that some of the coffee stores and

some other restaurants, we have had similar where

there is a view available on all four sides. You

take any of those stores that are along the outer

parameters, I don't find any reason for other

thing, other than a front sign, but there is a case

where there can be access for quite literally all

four signs.



because of the multi accesses, it would help in



MS. GRONACHAN: I can go along with


MEMBER GRAY: Compromise? I also

don't like to reference cases. We just turned one

down for one of their immediate neighbors not too

long ago because we said they wouldn't be able to

see it because of the screen. I would like to

offer a compromise that the north sign, which is

marked on our plans as approved stay, that the east

side be eliminated.

However, take the wording from the

east sign and put it over the carry-out sign in the

back. So you have "Carrabba's" and the carry-out

on the back. You have no sign on the east

elevation and you have your identification sign on

the north.

THE CHAIRMAN: We have to send it out

again. We can't change the location of the sign.

That's how it's been posted.

MEMBER GRAY: That's my offer of a



MEMBER REINKE: I couldn't support

that, because then we're putting a main business

identification over a side door carry-out. You

have an entrance door that then has no


THE CHAIRMAN: I would like to recall

the vote. Can we do that?

MEMBER SCHULTZ: I guess I was going

to recommend you do them one at a time.


MEMBER REINKE: Mr. Chairman, in case

02-058, let's call is a Sign Request A for the side

elevation, I move the petitioners variance request

be granted due to inner traffic identification



THE CHAIRMAN: Discussion. Sarah?

MS. MARCHIONI: You are doing them



MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?



MS. MARCHIONI: Yes. Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


THE CHAIRMAN: Next, the rear

elevation sign, I move that the request be denied

due to insufficient traffic and parking location.


THE CHAIRMAN: Discussion? Sarah?

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MR. SCHMIDT: Thank you, very much.



THE CHAIRMAN: 02-0077, Beechforest

Office Park. Give us your name, sir, and raise

your hand and be sworn.

MR. FRICKE: John Fricke.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information that you are about to

give in the matter before you is the truth?

MR. FRICKE: I do. My name is John

Fricke. I work for a commercial real estate

company based in Southfield, Signature Associates.

We were hired several months ago by the ownership

of the soon to be built Beechforest Office Park to

do the leasing for them of this building. This is

a building that was site-planned and approved

approximately a year ago and the site-plan

approval, I believe, was extended in July for

another twelve-month period.

It's an approximately 150,000-foot,

four-story office building that's located on the

west side of Meadowbrook, approximately a quarter

mile north of I-96. It's a building that was

designed by an architectural firm Yi Yee (ph.).

The primary developer is Ten Mananian. I believe

you should be familiar with him. He has developed


several office building in Novi, including the

maxim building on Grand River just east of Town

Center Drive, and the Pinnacle Office Building,

located on Eleven Mile, just west of Meadowbrook,

one of which is under construction right now.

THE CHAIRMAN: Sir, tell us why you

want the variance.

MR. FRICKE: I just wanted to give

you the background. The project in scope is a

significantly larger one than anything the

developer has entered into before. It will be one

of the premiere buildings. Because of the

difficult commercial real estate market we are in,

the difficulty of financing projects of this scope,

we have asked for the ability to erect the project

sign that normally would be permitted at the

issuance of a building permit somewhat early. We

anticipate asking for the building permit next

spring, before spring 2003, which would prove for a

2004 delivery date for the building.

We will be doing marketing for

tenants in the building prior to the construction

start-up, which would give the project a much

higher level of assurance of being successful.


It's an important part of our marketing effort, in

addition to lot of other things we're doing and

that's why I'm here.

THE CHAIRMAN: Does anybody in the

audience wish to comment on this case? There were

eleven notices sent. No approvals, no objections

to the building. Building Department?

MEMBER REINKE: I have no objection.

MEMBER SAVEN: I have no objection.

THE CHAIRMAN: Board members? This

is pretty consistent with this type of development.

We have been in approval of this type of assistance

in marketing and given the economic condition

today, this is probably in our best decision to

support the petitioner. That's my thought.


Mr. Chairman.

THE CHAIRMAN: We have a lot of

nodding. Can we have a motion?

MEMBER SANGHVI: I make a motion in

the Case 02-077, that we grant the variance for the

future site of this project.

THE CHAIRMAN: Do you want to put

some lines on this?


MEMBER REINKE: The only way I can

supports it is to have a limitation, because

without having, you know, a site plan or building

permit issued, this could go on forever and maybe

building -- I will support a year and it would have

to be just justified to me if they didn't have a

building permit pulled by that time, to go for an


MEMBER SAVEN: The variance was

granted previous for the project, for the final

site plan for the extension. Maybe we can keep it

in mind.

THE CHAIRMAN: Is that acceptable?

MEMBER SAVEN: July 10, 2002, by that

time, you should have a building permit.

THE CHAIRMAN: So one year from

July 10, 2002. Is that what we're saying? Are you

okay with that?

MR. FRICKE: Yes. We're certainly

happy to come back when you visit the situation, if

it needs to be sold.

THE CHAIRMAN: We have a motion and a

second and some discussions. It's all part of the

record. Any further discussion? Sarah?


MS. MARCHIONI: Who seconded that?


(Vote taken.)

THE CHAIRMAN: Sir, see the building

department for your sign.

MR. FRICKE: Thank you.


THE CHAIRMAN: Case Number 02-078,

25202 Sullivan Lane.

Mr. Dwyer, you want to raise your

hand and be sworn.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm the information you are about to give in the

matter before you is the truth?

MR. DWYER: I do. I'm Tom Dwyer, and

I'm looking to build a screen and porch on top of

an additional deck in my yard. To accomplish this,

I need a variance of ten feet that's noted on the

plat plan I think you have in your possession. We

like to sit and enjoy the outdoors and we get a lot

of mosquitoes from the wetlands and we hope to

build the screen and porch. The neighbors don't

seem to have an objection.


THE CHAIRMAN: Anybody in the

audience with to comment on this case? We did have

33 notices sent. You have approval from Nakki,

Morris, Sears and Moletin (ph.). Do you have an

association that you would have had to get an

approval from?

MS. MARCHIONI: It's a plan, I guess

under the association.

THE CHAIRMAN: All right. The

building department?

MEMBER SAVEN: As the applicant has

indicated, it's on an existent deck, plus it's in

pretty good shape.

THE CHAIRMAN: Six nearby neighbors

have similar screened-in porches in use. Board


MEMBER REINKE: My standard comment

is we have the unfortunate situation, you have lot

sizes created and platted. Anytime somebody wants

to do something like this, they have to get a

variance. The gentleman is not intruding to that

length or depth into the rear lot. I have no

problem, other than I wish that the lots were a

little bigger, so every time somebody wanted to


build something, they wouldn't have to get a


THE CHAIRMAN: Duly noted, as well.

Any other discussion.

MEMBER GRAY: I was going to say on

02-078, I vote to approve, due to lot size.


THE CHAIRMAN: I have the motion

second dead. Any further discussion.

(Vote taken.)

MR. DWYER: Would it be possible to

expedite the permit?

THE CHAIRMAN: See the building


MEMBER SAVEN: The five-day waiting

period is what you are asking to waive?

MR. DWYER: Yes. Thank you, very



THE CHAIRMAN: 02-079. Do you want

to give us your name?

MR. HILLER: Yes. Daniel Hiller.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or


affirm that the information you are about to give

in the matter before you is the truth?


THE CHAIRMAN: All right, sir.

MR. HILLER: I'm here not out of

preference but out of need. Four or five years

ago, Chrysler abandoned the Eagle brand and they

would like to have us redo our sign and we dodged

and weaved and so on and so forth. And two years

ago the Plymouth brand was abolished.

The reality is that we don't own

these signs, that they're leased. We have been

approach by companies to subcontract with them and

Chrysler and it really doesn't make good sense at

all, that the facility should have the same brand

image. The need for this is one that's being put

forth by Daimler Chrysler. It's my belief -- and

while I don't have the original variance request,

that was granted back in '95, I think our square

footage has actually been diminished.

I would apologize for the poor

duplication of what appears on the front of that

building but technicians don't do well on 30-foot

ladders, when they're not accustomed to it. Mr.


Amash was able to handle part of this with our

monument sign, also, just the verbiage has Plymouth

is coming off of that. He said with the square

footage, we may be ale to move the -- square

footage of the original variance. One way or the

other, it doesn't matter to me, other than the

expense and time involved, but that's the purpose

for that.

THE CHAIRMAN: We did have eleven

notices sent. No approvals, no objections. Anyone

in the audience? Building department?

It was my impression, also, that the

new signs are smaller. They do represent your new

business? My only thought, personally, was given

the many changes in the corporation with products

that perhaps we should consider -- this is the

third change in signs at this site, if I'm not


MR. HILLER: If one more goes away,

we're out of business.

THE CHAIRMAN: Who knows? Any other

boards member comments?


THE CHAIRMAN: It seems like a


reasonable request.

MEMBER REINKE: Mr. Chairman, I would

like to say that if the petition is granted, that

the variance would read for the size signs as



recommendation for a motion.

MEMBER SANGHVI: I make a motion, in

Case 02-079, that it the request be granted with

specific size of the sign as already depicted, as

per the change in the business.

THE CHAIRMAN: Are you granting the

elimination of continued jurisdiction, as well?


saying nothing about it.

THE CHAIRMAN: That's part of his

petition. So you either have to deny that part or


MEMBER SANGHVI: And we may as well

remove the condition of continuing jurisdiction of

this variance.

MEMBER REINKE: I will support it but

I have a discussion. My question is what are the

pros and cons of removing it?


MR. SCHULTZ: As I said last time,

I'm not really able to say that. Continuing

jurisdiction is kind of a term of art. I think

it's something that's involved with the city. If

you remove it, what you have granted is a variance

from this side. He wants to change it, he comes

back -- really, it's enunciating something that

really happens, anyway.

THE CHAIRMAN: Any discussion?

MEMBER SAVEN: It was just brought up

earlier that was for what was depicted or what was

presented here as to dimensions. I'm concerned

about the fact that the dimension itself maybe

elaborated on. We go from the highest letter to

the length of whatever that sign is. We could get

something a little more intense in that area than

what is presented before us today.

THE CHAIRMAN: Any other discussion?

MR. SCHULTZ: Just a clarification.

The idea here that you are granting a box, beyond

the logo?

MEMBER SAVEN: I'm picking up from

the board that they're going to grant the box by

virtue of dimension. Although the box that we have


here is not as intense in shape, it might be

something down the road that they could stay within

that parameter and we could say wow, what do we do?

MR. SCHULTZ: I think the board could

resolve that saying as it's shown now.

THE CHAIRMAN: The petitioner has no

problem with that?


THE CHAIRMAN: I think we have an

understanding and agreement, continuing


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MR. HILLER: Thank you.



THE CHAIRMAN: Case number 02-080.

This is Lots 70 and 71.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information you are about to give

in the matter before you is the truth?

MS. SCOTT: Yes, I do.

MS. GRONACHAN: Your name again,


MS. SCOTT: April Scott. I reside at

9560 Deering. I am here representing my mother

Jessie Farkas. She is the prospective buyer of 70

and 71 Idlemere Park. Based on the irregular shape

of this lot, the building envelope is actually a

triangular shape. That's why I'm proposing the

setbacks of 13.33 feet in the rear, 13.33 feet in

the front. That's actually the area that was on

the minutes and the announcement, and two feet on

the north side of the yard.

The purchase agreement has been

signed contingent upon a variance approval to allow

a 1053 square-foot manufactured home, including the

porch to be placed on a cross-base foundation. The

manufactured home is a 1997 Fairmont, which meets

all HUD and BOCA housing requirements. This is a


picture of it. I believe you have the

documentation in the packet. But this is the

interior of the home, all of which meets all the

BOCA requirements. It has two bedrooms, two full

baths, a large living area, living room, kitchen

with the bay window, the easy access colonial-style

windows, the laundry room with storm and screen

doors. The exterior is beige siding with green

shutters and a porch that's approximately 4 feet 3

-- excuse me -- 13 feet wide, which would nicely

complement and accent the curb appeal in the area.

I have a picture of the home itself.

That would be the exterior front, facing the front

of the lot. And if you want to see the size of the

home, I don't have the actual pictures of the size

but I do have the drawing. That's basically what

the side view would look like, with the exception

of the doors, the doors in the front on the version

that I have.

This home is not meant for resale.

This is something that my mother -- my mother has

been in the area for more than thirty years and she

would like to reside in the area. She is really

active in the community and hopes to stay in the


Novi community. She's currently living in an

apartment and hopes to retire in this area.

The visual appearance of this

property can be very discouraging, but as you can

see from the dimensions you have in the packet, as

you can see, the dimensions laid out on paper the

home selection and placement would be a very good

match for this piece of property.

The total lot coverage would be 19

percent, which falls within the City's maximal

allowance of 25 percent. The placement of the home

would enabled the shortest distance to be 21.67

feet in the backyard, which is the dimension right

here, this side dimension. The 16.7 feet in the

front yard, which is this dimension right here,

going to the corner of the home, eight feet on the

north side, this rear corner and approximately 22

feet on the south side, posing for the option of a

garage in the future, this dimension right here.

The conformity should be met to that

of neighbors' homes through the shape of the house.

The siding is similar to some of the homes in the

area and most of the homes are closer than 30 feet

to the front of the road. I do understand that


there is a grandfathering in the area, though.

Being that the lot has been vacant for over fifteen

years, putting housing structure on this piece

property would actually increase the value of the

homes. I know there are some neighbors that are

concerned with the value of the property itself and

the value of their homes decreasing. We also took

into consideration the size of the road when

designing the horseshoe-shaped driveway right here.

This would remain gravel until the budget would

increase and then that would stretch a cross the

front of the property. This would allow visitors

to have easy access to the road, while enabling

traffic to continue as normal.

In addition, we have the proposed

triangular-shaped driveway to run from the

horseshoe-shaped driveway along the side of the

house for side door access, once again allowing for

more access for visitors, with the possible option

of the garage.

Speaking with Mr. Terrence Maroon,

Deputy Building Official of the City of Novi, he

has informed me that the property is not wetlands,

nor is it woodland or floodland. That's being said


it constitutes as a sound piece of property for


In closing, I would like to state

that this is not an idle piece of property, rather,

an ideal piece of property for the right individual

who is willing to work with the surroundings and to

me, I feel that is my mother. She would like to

have a piece of property to take care of and keep

her home in the area. I want to thank you for the

time that you have had to listen to me and hope

that I have provided you with all the information

you need.

THE CHAIRMAN: April, were you here

right at the beginning of the meeting?

MS. SCOTT: Yes, I was.

THE CHAIRMAN: So you heard our

comments that we were going to hear your case,

we're going to let your neighbors talk to you,

hopefully talk to you. That's where we're going to

go right now. There were thirty-one notices sent

out and there were a number of objections, people

in the audience that wish to talk to the board

about this. Any hands? Just one?

Let me read some of these names and


hopefully you will have an opportunity. Is there

any problem with her getting some of these, any

particular objections?

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Reeves, Chris

Posma, Lawrence Wesson, and Henry Berry. Sir, now

is a good time --

MR. RUSSELL: I am the realtor

involved in this issue. I'm in support of this a

hundred percent.

THE CHAIRMAN: If you want that to go

on the record, come on down here and say it. Give

us your name, please.

MR. RUSSELL: If it's possible, I

have a couple of more things I would like to add.

My name is Randy Russell. I'm the realtor

involved. I have been involved in the community, I

am a property owner in Novi. This property has sat

here for a long, long time. The people around it

may not want it built on but I think they want it

for their own personal gain, to remain vacant land

and to devalue this property.

This is the highest and best use of

this property. This woman has gone through great

detail. The property has a small building


envelope. Her mother who just wants a piece of

dirt to take care of. This property is ideal for

that situation because it's not too large. It's

just small enough for her to care for. This is

just an excellent situation to happen for this

piece of property. It will increase the value of

the neighborhood. It also will increase the

property taxes to our community.

THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. Anybody else in

the audience?


THE CHAIRMAN: Come on down, sir.

THE CHAIRMAN: If there's anyone

else, please come on down and get in line, so we

can save a little time.

THE CHAIRMAN: You have seen these

letters, April?

MS. SCOTT: I have seen these

letters. I contacted the Rabees as well as the

Posmas and I really didn't get that much of a

response. I did try and stop by -- I'm sorry.

What was Lawrence's last name? I tried to stop by

your house last night but you weren't home.

MR. WESSON: Larry Wesson, 30305


Maudlin. Randy said exactly what I said in my

letter. This is all about a real estate

commission. We're not having a homeowner. There

is no homeowner. It is a vacant lot. I would love

to see it used but I really can't see approving

something just for a realtor and that's what I'm

hearing, that this whole thing is sets up for a

realtor. Unless you've got questions, thank you.

THE CHAIRMAN: Maybe, we will clarify

that a little bit. Building department?

MEMBER SAVEN: You said there is a

future use of a garage is being proposed.

MS. SCOTT: Yes. That's why the side

variance is being requested of the two feet versus

the ten minimum on the north side.

MEMBER SAVEN: Just so that you are

aware this is -- we're no longer grandfathering the

ordinance. The grandfathering was taken out of the

ordinance about a year and a half ago, around that

time. So you have a 10- or 15-foot requirements,

so when it comes time to build a garage --

MS. SCOTT: Another variance would be

needed? Okay.

MEMBER SAVEN: Take that into


consideration, as far as the configuration of the


MS. SCOTT: I wasn't aware of that.

Thank you.

MEMBER GRAY: I have to disclose that

I live at 315 Maudlin. I did not return my notice

when it was sent. I feel I can judge fairly.

However, if the board would prefer that I sit out,

I would be happy to.

THE CHAIRMAN: Given your history,

Sarah, if you are comfortable with it, I don't have

any problem.


THE CHAIRMAN: Continue on.

MEMBER GRAY: When I originally saw

what you are proposing, the first thing I saw was

the 8-foot variance to -- where was the garage

going to go sometime in the future.

MS. SCOTT: We were proposing.

MEMBER GRAY: I figured out where the

garage would go. I realize it's a difficult piece

of property. This subdivision was platted in 1917.

The fact that there are lots does not necessarily

mean that everything is buildable. However, it's


not a bad piece of property. It's not a bad use.

My concern is if you have the ability

to put side variances, both 10 on the north and 15

on the south, I think you should observe them and I

think you should skew the house however you want

to, to move it over. I don't care if you want to

build a garage in the future.

MS. SCOTT: I was unaware of the

variance for the garage.

MEMBER GRAY: Some of my other

concerns have to do with the house to the north.

Did you get in touch with Rick?


MEMBER GRAY: His house is less than

five off the property line, Larry? It's almost

right on top of the property line. Again, these

are houses that have been in existence since the

forties and fifties. So they predate the setbacks

and they are existing and the fact that they're

existing doesn't mean you have the right to

duplicate what else is being done.

I have a legitimate concern with the

rear yard setback, although, again, I understand

this a very difficult piece of property, but Mr.


and Mrs. Wesson's house is right behind there and

they're a little farther off the property line.

Larry, how far is your rear property

line setback? How far you off the property line

MR. WESSON: On the north side?


MR. WESSON: It's probably about 25


MEMBER GRAY: Mr. and Mrs. Wesson's

house is about 25 feet off the north property line.

Although it doesn't meet current standards, it

gives a little bit more buffer to this. I don't

have as much a of a problem as it may seem in

bringing in a manufactured home. My question is to

you -- and I don't even know that it has any

bearing on this case -- but is this going to be

brought in in two pieces or four?


MEMBER GRAY: How are you going to

make the turnoff south Laring onto Maudlin?

MS. SCOTT: I'm not a driver.

MEMBER GRAY: I don't know how

they're going to do it, but I'm not going to worry

about it. I understand my neighbors concern. I


just have a problem with the side setback. I think

if we can get 10 on the north and 15 on the south,

whatever we can to make it a little bit more

compatible, let's do that. Thank you.

THE CHAIRMAN: Anybody else?

MEMBER REINKE: I feel there is no

reason that the house couldn't be positioned on

there to have the existing side yard requirements

without a variance on one side as a minimum to

start with. It's unfortunate for lot

configuration. I understand you're trying to work

with it and do the best you can, but I couldn't

vote for variances on all the sides.

MS. SCOTT: I understand and I

appreciate your feedback.

THE CHAIRMAN: Anybody else? I guess

I would encourage you to take some of this input

and keep your potential new neighbors informed.

That goes a long way in getting variances up in

that part of town. I know you had hoped to come

here to have us address this case, vote on this

case. It's a short board tonight, as well. I

think another day will give you enough time to work

on this, if that's your pleasure.


MS. SCOTT: Yes. It very much is.

MEMBER GRAY: I just want to suggest

that you might want to put some stakes on the

property to show you're possessing this.

MS. SCOTT: Stakes will be made after

purchase. Base on the contingency, we don't own

the land. Therefore, we don't want to pay for a


MEMBER GRAY: That's not what I'm

suggesting. I would suggest you get in touch Mr.

and Mr. Shearer and if they would allow you to

stake where you show what you are proposing -- not

survey stakes, just so what you are proposing. You

might want to show where you are proposing the

garage, maybe, too. I think with the garage, it

may be too intense and I just want to let you know

that up front.

MS. SCOTT: I understand. Thank you.

I had a quick question. I don't know if you wanted

to address me first of --

MEMBER SAVEN: I would like to do

that, please. Mr. Chairman, I would indicate that

I know all the board members have seen the plan as

it exists now. This is a very unusual piece of


property, so the skewing of that building, as we're

trying to achieve a setback requirement may require

a more intense front yard setback than what's here

right now, or rear yard setback, or moving this


I just want you to be aware of that.

MEMBER GRAY: I understand that and I

see it pivoting on the one corner.

MS. SCOTT: In reference to the

garage, are carports or something along those

lines considered a building?


MS. SCOTT: That would be.

MEMBER SAVEN: It's still the same


MS. SCOTT: I just wanted to show you

quickly that I did put thought into this layout. I

just drafted a couple of, real roughly, what the

different layouts of the house would look like on

the property, how it would fit best without a


MEMBER GRAY: Would you show me where

the Wessons' house would be, please?

MS. SCOTT: This is actually laid out


wrong. The Wesson's house would be out here. The

rest of them will follow suit. So there is this

proposal, that I tried to get it to fit this way

but there were way too many -- I had to get a

setback on all four sides. I went against that and

tried for this, slightly pivoting it and won't.

Again, it just barely made the sides, but I would

still have to apply for the variances up here. I

declined on that one, also. This just seemed to be

the best fit overall, which is -- I can give it

10.5 here on the new plat plan to allow for this

area right here, which is where the driveway is

right in here, to make the carport or garage

proposal. So this is what I will probably change

the proposal to be for the next meeting.

THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. Any other input

from board members or the building department?

(No comments by the building


THE CHAIRMAN: Then I would move that

we move this to the next meeting, where we will

have a lot more input and hopefully a lot more

support coming from your neighbors.

MS. SCOTT: Okay. I thank you for


your time.

THE CHAIRMAN: We're going to take a

four-minute break.

(A recess was taken.)


THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. 02-081. Ma'am,

give us your name and raise your right hand and be


MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information you are about to give

in the matter before you is the truth?

MS. DUREK: I do.

THE CHAIRMAN: Tracy, make your

presentation and keep in mind, we are already


MS. DUREK: I am Tracy Durek with

Sign Art. We are requesting a variance to replace

the First Federal of Michigan wall sign that

Charter One Bank sign on the front of this

building, bearing in mind that we're only about one

sign per parcel, per ordinance now. I was out

there tonight and you kind of run in a little

difficult with the pylon sign, if you're driving


east and on Ten Mile, it's barely visible. If

you're driving north and south on Meadowbrook, it's

not real visible until you're right there on the


What we were hoping to accomplish was

by having the front of the building maybe a little

more visible, so people would know where the bank

was. Also, I think it's unique, in the fact that

it doesn't look like your normal bank. The

drive-through in the back of the building to the

front of the building, it doesn't really look much

like a bank building, so we're requesting a


THE CHAIRMAN: There were fifteen

notices sent, no approvals, no objections. Anyone

in the audience with to talk to us?

MEMBER SAVEN: Just a smaller sign.

THE CHAIRMAN: Smaller sign? Boards

members, please.

MEMBER REINKE: Just a question. Is

that a mock-up or is that a permanent sign.

MS. DUREK: That's a permanent sign.

MEMBER REINKE: I thought it was.

MS. DUREK: Actually, they'll


probably put me on a ladder to start taking it


THE CHAIRMAN: Any other questions?

(No questions were posed.)


02-081, Charter One Bank sign, I move that we

approve the request for the new sign, 27.13 square

foot which is a smaller sign than the sign that was

previously there.


THE CHAIRMAN: We have a motion and

second. Any discussion?

(Vote taken.)

THE CHAIRMAN: You have permission to

put up a sign. See the building department for

your necessary permits.

MS. DUREK: Thank you, very much.


THE CHAIRMAN: Now we have the case

on 23782 Cranbrooke Drive. Your name?

MR. SZCZYGIEL: Stan Szczygiel,


THE CHAIRMAN: You want to raise your


hand and be sworn.

MR. RAYIS: Omar Rayis, of garage

building of Livonia, Michigan. They asked me to

speak for them because they speak broken English.

Is that fine?

THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. Will you both

raise your hands.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information you are about to give

in the matter before you is the truth?

MR. RAYIS: Yes. We're requesting a

variance for six feet. The city told us that we

need six feet on the east side and six feet on the

north side right here. We made an agreement, we

wanted to just fill in these two walls. This is an

L shape right here. WE just want to make a

complete square in the corner. That's what Mr. and

Mrs. Szczygiel wanted to do. I have a picture of

the house, also. This is the house right now.

They just want to bring this over here.

THE CHAIRMAN: Is that in the rear


MR. RAYIS: Yes, the rear.

THE CHAIRMAN: If we have some


questions we will get to them? There were

thirty-four notices sent. The petitioner sent in

an approval plus two neighbors. Anybody in the


Building department?

MEMBER SAVEN: Basically, my comment

is this is an existing house. They had a nine-foot

setback on that side. The six-foot was based on a

fifteen-foot requirement. He did have a ten-foot

which was okay, therefore it's just making

everything right in this particular area, the sum

total of the setback.

THE CHAIRMAN: Board members?

MEMBER REINKE: Mr. Chairman, he is

not exceeding the side yard footprint. This is the

scare yard for the existing wall and I have no

problem with the petitioner's request.

MEMBER SAVEN: Do I understand that

you said it's only going to be the back of the

house? It didn't say so on this application.

Man man: We're building the front of

the garage, also.

MEMBER SANGHVI: You didn't mention

that at all.


MR. RAYIS: Mr. Webber, he just told

us about the addition. We need it for the garage


THE CHAIRMAN: You are okay with the

front yard setback. There's no problem there. You

are all set.

Man man: I understand. I spoke with

Mr. Webber last week and that's what he mentioned

to me. So I guess there was a misunderstanding.

MEMBER GRAY: I don't have any

problem with this, because as Mr. Reinke said,

they're not going to be intruding any further into

Lots 3 than what exists.

I would move to approve the

petitioner's request for the two variances, based

on their presumed need to expand the size of the


THE CHAIRMAN: We have a motion to

support. Any discussion?

(Vote taken.)

THE CHAIRMAN: You have your




THE CHAIRMAN: Our next case is Novi

Party Store, Number 02-083. Give us your name and

be sworn.

MR. CARROLL: Yes. John Carroll.

THE CHAIRMAN: You are representing

Carroll Installation?

MR. CARROLL: Yes, we do.


MR. CARROLL: The layout of the

building is a multi-tenant building. When you get

into the parking lot, we need to identify which

unit the store is in. It's not in from Grand

River. Therefore, the directional sign, the

tenants' sign, pylon sign, does not show where the

store is, it just shows that it's one of the

buildings in there. When you get into the lot, we

need to identify which store is there. We have

requested signs that meet the ordinance, as far as

square footage.

THE CHAIRMAN: Is that it?

MR. CARROLL: That's it.

THE CHAIRMAN: There were fifteen

notices. We did have an objection for an adjoining

party store, Mr. Quinn.


MEMBER GRAY: Mr. Seymour?


MR. SEYMOUR: We're covering for

everyone tonight. Mr. Quinn is in Italy. My name

is Phil Seymour. I am here on behalf of the

adjoining property owner, George Sanawi (ph.), who

is the owner of the fine wine shop. This fine wine

shop is located immediately to the west of the


THE CHAIRMAN: You are going to

address the objection?

MR. SEYMOUR: We would address the

objection. Mr. Gilliam had a letter faxed over

this afternoon. I apologize for the tardiness of

it. I have given it to the recording secretary,

and it's my understanding that she has given it to

each member of the commission.

Obviously, the commission is familiar

with the standard that must be established by an

applicant's requesting a variance. He must show a

practical difficulty. There are a number of

standards with respect to practical difficulties

that there are special circumstances regarding the



I think if we look at this lot, I

think the property was developed by the owner in

such a fashion that it's not unique. They just

chose to run the building in a north/south

direction. The length of the building is a

north/south direction and that does not make it

unique to any other property in this district, and

as a result, there is no uniqueness of this

property allowing the variance.

The literal interpretation of the

provisions, the second standard would be the

literal interpretation of the provisions, would

deprive the applicant of the right of common use of

the property. They're allowed a sign. They have a

sign out in front. That is sufficient to identify

the occupants of the store. They can put another

name on the side. They can change that ground sign

that they have in front, but I think the other

thing you have to keep in mind is this building, as

I indicated, the north side is on Grand River. It

runs lengthwise. All the parking is on the east

side the front door. The only entrance to the

property is on the east side.

Clearly, they don't need another sign


to identify the entrance to this building. If they

want to say well, we have a tenant over here and

the party store is to the south entrance, it would

seem to me that they could identify the tenant by

putting a sign inside the building. I believe the

ordinance allows window signs that are inside and

they could identify the various tenants by those

types of signs, that being signs on the inside.

Number three would be the special

conditions and circumstances do not result from the

actions of the applicants. This is where I think

they have problems. You have a site plan that was

approved for a single-tenant building, I believe.

They, on their own choosing, decided to divide this

building in two and create two businesses in one.

Any difficulty that they may have is self-created

and as a result, that standard is not met and they

should not be granted a variance strictly on that


Now, the other matters are that

substantial justice be done. I need not remind the

commission that you are here to enforce the

ordinances. I understand that you are supposed to

attempt to help properties owners and certainly the


applicant is a property owner but your obligation

really is to enforce the ordinance and not to grant

exceptions, except in unusual circumstances.

I don't believe that the applicant

has met its burden in this particular matter to

establish an unusual circumstance or a practical

difficulty. We would ask you deny the variance in

this request.

THE CHAIRMAN: Any other audience

participation here? Building department?

MEMBER SAVEN: No comments, sir.

THE CHAIRMAN: It doesn't appear to

be relevant but I'm curious as to the comments made

about this being approved as a single business and

now being sublet. That doesn't really matter to

us. I'm kind of curious --

MEMBER SAVEN: As long as the use is

approved for that district and they have ample

parking for that particular tenant, there should be

no problem. It's like changing tenants in and out.

THE CHAIRMAN: I indicate that there

were fifty notices sent and I had one objection.

Board members?

MEMBER REINKE: Mr. Chairman, there


is a sizeable ground sign there in existence. If

they're going to have a wall sign, to me, the

ground sign should be removed.

MR. CARROLL: We need identification

on the Grand River side.

MEMBER REINKE: You have to have one

or the other. You can't have both.

MR. CARROLL: We need to show

identification in then parking lot. There is going

to be two separate businesses and two separate

doors. We want to identify where the party store

is. They're allowed to have two tenants in the


One of the main reasons our building

is aligned that way, we were asked to confirm with

other buildings by the City of Novi. We have

agreed to do that and now we are facing the

consequences but, you know, were asking for your

help in this matter.

THE CHAIRMAN: Board members?

MEMBER GRAY: I guess you have a

party store, a party store going in next to a party


THE CHAIRMAN: That's been the case


for three years.



there since 1978, just to let you guys know.

MEMBER GRAY: I would have to agree

with the other board members about one sign is

going to have to go.

MEMBER SANGHVI: Mr. Chairman, you

said it is not hard to find this business with just

one sign. Either it's on the wall or it's on the

ground. I think we were giving an option to them,

what they would like to keep, whether they want the

ground sign or the wall sign, because I don't think

two signs are needed.

THE CHAIRMAN: My observation is that

this store is very close to Grand River. That

building is probably with in 50 feet of Grand

River. The basis for variances are granted based

on hardship being demonstrated.

MR. CARROLL: Did you visit the site?

THE CHAIRMAN: Sir, I have lived in

the community since 1969.

MR. CARROLL: I understand. Did you

visit the site, pull into the parking lot?



MR. CARROLL: Did you know what store

the sign was going to be in?

THE CHAIRMAN: Whether the sign was

going to be necessary? My point is the store is

very close to Grand River, that the sign on

Grand River identifies that business.

MR. REINKE: If there were a sign to

identify the door of which business was which, it

sure wouldn't take a 65 square foot sign from that

side of the building from the parking lot that I

drove through just again tonight to review the

situation as it is.

MR. CARROLL: That was the limit in

that zoning, so that's why we used 65 square foot.

MR. REINKE: Until we see in total

what is there, because now as I look at it, just in

reviewing this, we now need a sign for the party

store. Now, you get another tenant, we come back.

Now, we need another sign for this tenant. Until I

see the total of what is going up on there, I'm not

going to approve any sign.

THE CHAIRMAN: Is the other suite



MR. CARROLL: No, because we want to

see what happens with the sign first. That's part

of leasing the building, telling the tenants what

signs are available and it's not going to be very

marketable if all we can put them on is that pylon


MEMBER GRAY: I think the comment was

made, too, that the tenants can put a sign in their

building to identify them. So why can't the party

store put a sign in the window to identify them, if

that's the case?


insert a point, if you guys don't mind, the only

objection that you heard from the party that just

made this objection was using our property for the

last twenty years for parking and now since we

improved the site and put landscaping, a bench and

lighting and we, quote, used their parking for our

landscaping, which is property that we owned, there

is some kind of hard feelings now, and I think

this is all they can do to kind of justify it. But

that's not why we're here. We're here just to take

care of our property.

MEMBER REINKE: I don't want to get


into a debate on this. His was probably a minimal

part of my discussion and feeling on the warranting

and justification for the second sign. I just

wanted to clarify that point.

THE CHAIRMAN: I think the sign looks

better on the building. I would take the sign off

of Grand River. All the applicants were given an

option at the beginning of this meeting to present

before a full board. This applicants didn't. If

there is anyone who is in a position, unless there

is other discussion, we will entertain a motion.

MR. CARROLL: You are not going to

allow any type of sign at all to define his door,

nothing at all?


remind you guys the audio-visual place next door

has both a pylon sign and a building sign.

MEMBER SANGHVI: We're dealing with

your situation at this moment. I think we have

already given you a choice, which way you would

like to go, whether you would like to have a wall

sign or if you would like to have a ground sign.

If I don't want to make a choice, we will make a

choice for you right now and make a motion.



have to review the marketing for that other unit.

MEMBER SANGHVI: If you would like to

table the case, I have no problem with that. You

can request that.


what I would like. Okay.

MEMBER SANGHVI: Okay. Mr. Chairman

is it okay?

THE CHAIRMAN: I think you just made

a motion to do so.

MEMBER SANGHVI: I make a motion that

this particular request be tabled until the next

meeting and give them a chance to --


MEMBER SAVEN: Can I ask a question

here? Is it such that your business is going to be

toward the front of the store if you keep the

ground full sign? Is that what you are looking at?


our building is facing the east. Anybody that's

driving east is not going to know we exist, if we

don't have the pylon sign. Anybody driving west --

THE CHAIRMAN: Is going to see the


pylon sign?


we're going to lose all the traffic that's flowing

east, because that's the easy side to get into our

building if we don't have the pylon sign.

THE CHAIRMAN: Don't you in the

course of your business have all kinds of signage

in your windows?

MEMBER SAVEN: You're talking about

thirty days for whatever that time factor is.

THE CHAIRMAN: Every party store has

got every square inch of window space.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Not that we're

encouraging that.

THE CHAIRMAN: I'm talking reality.

He's suggesting that the pole sign doesn't give him

full identification and I disagree. It gives him

fine identification for east and west traffic on

Grand River.

MEMBER SAVEN: I think Mr. Reinke

came up with a fine suggestion. You have two

tenants that are going to be there. In the big

picture, you might give that some thoughts, when

you come back to the board for the next meeting.


MEMBER REINKE: No matter who your

tenant is, look at some signage that covers two

tenants. Look at something that's realistic. If

somebody pulls in and parks there, what's it going

to take to know which door is which business? Not

64 square feet, that's for sure. I would like you

to look at what you have to have as a minimum for

two businesses there, so we deal with this at one

time and no matter who you come in with,

business-wise, you know you have got a certain

signage to work with which will help you out, also.

THE CHAIRMAN: We have had a motion,

discussion. Any further discussion?

MR. CARROLL: Is there a limitation

on signage in the windows? You are telling us to

go inside and put it in the windows but there is a

limit to that?

MEMBER SAVEN: It has to be ruled

within thirty days after it's first displayed and

not more than 25 percent glass are coverage and it

has to be located in the front.

THE CHAIRMAN: I think Mr. Reinke's

advice is more sound. We're dealing with another

business that's obviously down the road, that's


going to require a sign. Let's come back and

address both of those suites. Permanent neon in

windows is not permitted.

MEMBER SAVEN: Just an open sign.

One that says open and/or closed, and that's it. I

would suggest that you get in to the sign

enforcement officer and talk to him.



THE CHAIRMAN: Case Number 02-084.

This is 145 Buffington.

Give us your names.

MR. HALL: John Hall.

MS. HALL: Stephanie Hall.

THE CHAIRMAN: Your right hands,

please, and be sworn.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information you are about to give

in the matter before you is the truth?

MR. HALL: Yes.

MS. HALL: Yes.




MR. HALL: We are asking for a

two-foot variance, both front and side yard on a

Queen Anne style victorian porch. We are the

original tenants, original owners of this house,

and had some choice in designs and tried, because

of the pie-shaped nature of the lot, tried to

anticipate building a porch on the house and have

it changed, but because the shape of the lot, could

not move it back. So when we went to put on a

porch, we want a functional porch, not just a

cosmetic across the front. We intend to use it

with a porch swing.

We have a deck in the back that does

not get much use, because of significant mosquito

population and so we have tried to work with the

designer to meet the style requirements and the

functionality and get the least variation from the

ordinance with a functional porch.

THE CHAIRMAN: Well, you must have

really done some homework because all your

neighbors love it. There was 41 notices sent. We

have thirteen very applauding approves. There were

no objections.

MR. HALL: I took the plans around


personally and showed them.

THE CHAIRMAN: That's the mark of a

smart man. Anyone here in the audience care to

participate? Building department?

MEMBER SAVEN: And then there was the

building department. Okay. I would just mention

that if this was an open, uncovered porch, based on

the dimensions he had, it would be something that

would be allowable by ordinance, then, dealing with

the side yard, two inches for every foot of

required setback, but based on the fact that this

is covered --

THE CHAIRMAN: Boards members?

MEMBER REINKE: Mr. Chairman, I

believe the gentleman has done an outstanding job

of doing minimum intrusion into the front and side

yard and we fully support his request. I would

move in case 02-084 that the petitioners' request

be granted, due to lot size, shape and


THE CHAIRMAN: We have a motion?


(Vote taken.)

THE CHAIRMAN: See the building


department for your permits.


THE CHAIRMAN: Case Number 02-086.

This is the Eight Mile case.

THE CHAIRMAN: Whoever may be giving

some input, we will swear you in.

MR. ROBINSON: Paul Robinson.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information you are about to give

in the matter before you is the truth?

MR. MASCIULLI: Dean Masciulli, Multi

Building Company.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information you are about to give

in the matter before you is the truth?

MR. MASCIULLI: I do. The request is

for a variance to allow an over-sized garage, the

primary purpose of which is to display an antique

car collection. I'm talking about display for the

homeowner and the homeowner's personal guests. The

description on the variance references the building

as 7600 square feet and the variance requested 5100

square feet.


I think that without seeing what that

really means on this property and for this home

it's a little bit of an exaggeration of what the

visual impact of the variance would be. The home

itself will be setting 600 feet off the road. The

primary building of the house is approximately 7800

square footage and about almost 11,000 square feet

total living space.

The building in question is -- this

is an illustrative photo. This is not the actual

photo that would be the design in question, but we

have on each side a parking area that would

accommodate three cars. Each of those sides would

be approximately 1100 to 1150 square feet. There

is then a driveway section that would be covered

that accommodate the cars moving in and out from

these parking structures.

That covered area is about 1700

square feet. So the footings on this, about 3800

square feet. The additional 3800 square feet is

all underground. It's a basement that will have an

access point from here and a driveway that comes up

from underground and around the property.

So we then look at the surrounding


properties to see how this structure would be

viewed by the neighbors. The property, as I say,

sits 600 feet off the road. On three sides it's

surrounded by tall trees, hundred-year-old mature

trees. There is no visual sight into the property

from off the property on three sides. On the

fourth side, the neighbor has a chicken coop. His

hobby, instead of collecting cars, is collecting

and breeding chickens and he has a couple of small

storage sheds. The house itself is back here and

behind the existing chicken coop on the neighbor's

property. The garage itself would sit from one

corner, 80 feet setback from the property line and

from the front corner a 199-feet setback.

Because of the building, the existing

building of the neighbors being between the house

and this garage, it's not visible from the

neighbor's property, either. So we have the

building that, in effect, will be approximately

1150 square foot here, 1150 square foot here and

this covered ingress and egress driveway of about

1700 square feet and then 3800 square feet below

ground, that can't be seen from any vantage point.

The hardship to the homeowners is


obviously a personal one. A lot of families

collect things. Some families collect crystal,

some families collect porcelain. This family

collects cars. They're not driven in and out of

the house on a regular basis. They're used, as I

say, for display purposes. They might go out for a

parade once or twice a year. There will be two

residents driving in this house. Any car that will

be driven on a regular basis will come out of the

main floor. Really, the bottom floor is really a

subterranean display room. A home that's already

in existence, as this particular home, it has a

similar structure built.

The primary difference between the

structure that the Levitts request and this one is

the fact that in the Levitts request the garage

will sit on a slight angle off of the main home,

where on the Turnberry home, it creates an L shape.

The only feasible way to eliminate the request for

a variance is number one, they would have to

eliminate the display room in the basement, which

would mean that they couldn't accommodate all the


Secondly, they would have to


eliminate the covered portion of the driveway area,

which would be a structure such as this one here,

which would have a separate garage for three cars

on this side and an attached three-car garage here.

That gives you a square footage for an accessory

building for about 220 square feet. There would be

no request for the variance. When you do that, you

lose the architectural tie-in, you lose the beauty

of the home. The Levitts lose the ability to keep

their collection, which as I mentioned, is really

one of the primary motivating factors in seeking

out this property to build this home.

If you take a look at the remaining

elements of the ordinance, the setbacks and the

comparative sides between the home and the

accessory building, all of the elements are met.

The setbacks from each property line range from 75

feet to 600 feet. There is nothing closer than 75.

The footings of this building, even including the

driveway space, is approximately one-half of the

footings of the main structure of the home and the

ordinance allows up to of even footing between the

home and the accessory building so they're well

within that.


When you consider the size of the

property and the seclusion of the property, I think

the spirit of the zoning ordinance is met. We

don't have a situation where they're trying to put

too much home on too small of a lot. We don't have

situation where they're intruding the the

neighbors' use or enjoyment of their property.

It's simply to let them use the house the way

everyone does, which is to keep their collections

on display in their home.

If there's any technical questions

about the drawings that you have in front of you,

Mr. Matinelli is here from the building company.

He can explain the designs. If you have any

questions, please, I would like to respond to it.

THE CHAIRMAN: There were fifteen

notices sent no approval, no objection. Anyone in

the audience care to make a comment?

We do have someone back here. Give

us your name and address, ma'am.

MS. VANTON: my name is Barbara

Vanton, 41225 Llewellyn. My property actually

backs up to this property. Since I had no idea

what the plans were, I wanted to come and see


exactly what he was proposing. It was such a huge

structure, I didn't know if I was going to be

looking out at the garage, the back of a garage.

Actually, that's why I'm here. I just wanted to

see what he was proposing.

MEMBER SAVEN: If I may take a

minute, I will take the plan and show what it looks


THE CHAIRMAN: You want to do that

outside and let us continue on here.

MEMBER SAVEN: Yes, please.

THE CHAIRMAN: Before we do that,

building department?

MEMBER SAVEN: I feel this is one of

the best laid out architectural plans that I have

ever seen in terms of accessory structures in

taking full utilization of the square footage in

this area. I would like to go over a couple of

things. If you turn to sheet two, this is the

basement area which they're talking about. This

basement area is approximately 3800 square foot in

size. This is basically a two-story accessory

structure, directly over one another and it's

always been our intent in the zoning ordinance,


when we deal with accessory structures, once the

footprints of the building are laid out, is that it

takes up space within that yard. Here, we're

taking that space and putting one over another.

This is the first time I have ever

seen anything like this. They have taken full

utilization of that particular area, bearing in

mind that they have a portico on the first storage,

which is the entrance that was pointed out earlier

on. That's complete air space. Unfortunately,

they have habitable space above that and that was

also counted in the square footage. If you did not

utilize that square footage in the computation, you

would be losing 1600 or 1700 square foot in that

particular area. Even though it's an open space,

it was counted in the tabulations for the square

footage in the area.

At this time I would like to show

this lady what the plan is.

THE CHAIRMAN: Bored members?

MEMBER REINKE: Mr. Chairman, in

reviewing the plan, looking at the size, the first

thing you think is, my God, we have never seen this

kind of request. But there's two factors to this.


Number one is you are looking at what you visually

see in the sides of this house. When you are

looking at it and looking from the front elevation,

it looks like you're seeing a two-car garage

because you really don't see the garage doors.

With respect to petitioner's hobby of

collecting cars, I can understand that and I can

commend you, the way this is arranged or laid out,

because you can store so many cars and nobody would

ever know that there was anything there. It makes

it nice that you have them at your residence, so

that you can enjoy the toys that you do have.

I think they have done a tremendous

job. The numbers looked high but in relation to

the size of the house and the scope of the

building, it really doesn't look like there is

anything like that at all.

THE CHAIRMAN: I don't think it was

pointed out, in case anyone is still watching on

t.v., this parcel is fourteen acres plus. My only

concern when I first looked at the case was the

size of this is going to negatively impact somebody

nearby. I know that subdivision and that's where

they're all huge houses. It seems like a


reasonable request and I think the facts that it's

a 7,000 square foot garage is a bit misleading

because a fair chunk of that is basement

MEMBER GRAY: I have no problem with this because I

would much rather see what is proposed as opposed

to the possibility of building separate structures

in the rear yard or something. I don't have a

problem with it. I think it's a beautiful plan. I

think it's going to be a wonderful showpiece and

your architect is to be commended.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: I just want to

know if you would like to start collecting horses

instead of cars?

MEMBER SANGHVI: Can I just make one

observation. It is unusual for this part of the

world to see this kind of alignment in the rest of

the house. These are 200 years old. In the days

of the stable they used to have that same thing. I

have no problem with it. The only thing, when I

read your -- you say use are to store and work on

classic cars and I just wondered if we're talking

about, you know, reconditioning old cars, also, or

just showing them for exhibition only inside your



MR. MASCIULLI: We won't be working

on it within the underground portion. It's just a

display area, as we say.


THE CHAIRMAN: As an owner of an old

car, we're always working on them.


talking about painting and that kind of thing

cleaning it up and polishing and all that, that

goes on all the time. Even if it stays there, you

still have to keep removing the dirt and dust,

anyway. I have no problem. Mr. Chairman, I would

like to make a motion.

THE CHAIRMAN: What do you think,


MS. VANTON: I have no objection at

all. I just couldn't fathom what this was all

about. I have no problem.

MEMBER SANGHVI: I make a motion that

Case 02-086, the request of the applicant be

granted and at the same time, we would like to

commend the size of the house and the design and

everything else, which is so refreshing. Thank




MEMBER SANGHVI: The reason for the

request is they have a special hobby and need a

place to store these articles and that's be


MEMBER SAVEN: And the five-day

waiting period be waived.

MEMBER GRAY: I second again.


(Vote taken.).

THE CHAIRMAN: See the building


THE CHAIRMAN: That concludes our

agenda for this evening, unless there are other


MEMBER GRAY: I have one other

matter, if I may. Tom, when we asked the

petitioners to put up a specimen sign or a mock-up,

do we have any set thing in the ordinance, if there

is an ordinance that says if you don't get it

approved you have to take it down in X amount of


MEMBER REINKE: They're still up.

MEMBER GRAY: They're still up. It


was up yesterday and --

MEMBER REINKE: Would you send them a

letter to take it down?

MEMBER SCHULTZ: It's not in the

ordinance but we can move it.

MS. MARCHIONI: It says in the sign

requirements down at the bottom.

MEMBER GRAY: Is there any way we can

highlight that to make them aware if we do. As I

was driving here tonight, I noticed that the old

banking building, 43381 Grand River is putting up a

sign that tonight, even as I was driving here,

about home furnishing and decorative stuff, the

southeast corner of Grand River and Novi Road. It

looks pretty big.

MEMBER REINKE: It's good-sized. I

noticed that, also.

MEMBER GRAY: I like the way they did

the exterior of the building but -- that's all I

wanted to bring to the table tonight.

THE CHAIRMAN: Our schedule for next

month is back to the beginning. All right. We

will close the meeting. Thanks for coming.

(The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.)

Date approved:

November 4, 2002 __________________________

Sarah Marchioni Recording Secretary


I, Ethel M. Martin, 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

one hundred fourteen (114) typewritten pages, is a true

and correct transcript of my said stenograph notes.


Ethel M. Martin,

Certified Shorthand Reporter