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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 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 Monday, November 4, 2002.

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

Don Saven, Building Department
Stephanie Simon, city attorney
Sarah Marchioni, Building Department

Cheryl L. James, Certified Shorthand Reporter

MR. CHAIRMAN: We'll call this

meeting to order. Madam Secretary, will you call

the roll.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: And Member Sanghvi is

absent excused.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. We do have a

quorum. The meeting is now in session.

Ladies and gentlemen, this agenda in

yellow has at the very top the rules of conduct,

and I would ask that we read and abide by them.

The Zoning Board of Appeals is a

hearing board empowered by the city -- Novi City

Charter to hear appeals for variances from the

application of the Novi zoning ordinance.


It takes a vote of at least four

members to approve a variance and a vote of a

majority of the members present to deny.

Tonight we have five members, which

is considered a short board, so anyone who wishes

their case to be tabled has an option. Think about

that. There's five of us here. You need four

votes of approval. So if you would prefer to have

a full board, you have that option now.

Anybody in the audience seeks to have

their case held over for a month, please raise

their hand.

Sir, why don't you come on down and

talk to us. Give us your name and which case.

MR. HENRY: Donald Henry representing

Tomco Fabricating.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Are you

prepared to talk to us tonight, because-

MR. HENRY: (Interposing) Yes.

MR. CHAIRMAN: -because I know you

didn't show up last month.

MR. HENRY: Yes, I am.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I don't want to lead

you either way, but we gave you some direction a


couple months ago of what we wanted you to do.

Do you think you're prepared to

present something that's -- that's going to make-

MR. HENRY: (Interposing) Yes.

MR. CHAIRMAN: -us happy and nodding

our heads?


MR. CHAIRMAN: It's up to you. I

don't want to put you between a hard spot and a

rock, and that's where I put you.

Tell you what, we'll call your case,

we'll listen to you, and in fairness if it -- well,

in fairness, we'll give you some options.

MR. HENRY: Okay.


MR. HENRY: That's fair.

MR. SAVEN: Mr. Chairman, if he so

chooses, the next meeting will be December 3rd; is

that correct?


MR. SAVEN: That is the date that

you'd have to deal with at the time.

MR. HENRY: Okay.

MR. CHAIRMAN: But you've had a


couple months to put together some sort of a plan,

and hopefully you're able to tell us what you got,

and you know what we wanted-

MR. HENRY: (Interposing) Right.

MR. CHAIRMAN: -and gave you some

direction, so-

MR. HENRY: (Interposing) Right.

MR. CHAIRMAN: -let's give it a run.

MR. HENRY: Okay.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. Anybody


(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. So we now

have a full board. Any decisions on cases will be

final tonight.

Agenda. Any changes to the agenda?

MS. MARCHIONI: Just to let you know,

David and Susan, the new homeowners of lot seven on

East Lake Drive, are going to be coming under

public remarks. There's a letter on the table

from them, if you want to take a look at that real


MR. CHAIRMAN: So noted. Minutes.

We had the minutes of August and September. Any


comments, changes? Sarah.

MEMBER GRAY: The minutes for

September 10th, the only one that really -- on page

26, Member Sanghvi said may I suggest we make the

cleaning up and, not renewal but removal,

r-e-m-o-v-a-l, of the unsound structure, and this

is in Mr. Henry's case with Tomco. That was the

only glaring change I saw that needed to be made.

MR. SAVEN: Which page was it?


MEMBER REINKE: (Interposing) Page


MEMBER GRAY: September 10th minutes,

page 26 -- I'm sorry -- line 23. It says renewal

instead of removal, and that totally changes the


MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Anything else?

(No response.)

MEMBER GRAY: Move to approve as


MR. CHAIRMAN: All those in favor,

say aye.

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. Public


remarks. This is the portion of the meeting that

any members in the audience can address the Board

on cases -- or any issues other than cases before

us. If you have something to discuss, debate, cry,

scream or yell at us, wait until we call that

case. Anybody fall in that category? Come on


This must be the Gobelarks (ph)?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Good. This is the

time for you to speak.

MR. GOBELARK: Okay. As Sarah said,

we had written a letter requesting an extension of

time to pull the building permits on lot seven,

1270 East Lake Drive.

We purchased the land from

Richard Tanielian. Variances were granted at the

September 10th meeting. We purchased the lot from

Richard Tanielian on September 30th, after having

soil tests done on September 18th. We hired an

architect on October 8th, ordered the topographical

survey, what should be done in the next week or so,

and we'll be designing the house over the winter to

break ground in the spring. So we're asking for a


hundred and twenty day extension to pull the

building permits.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay, thank you.

This, for the audience's sake, was a very difficult

case we dealt with for many, many months, and I'm

glad to see that we finally have the homeowners

that are going to be dealing with the property.

Personally, I have no objection. Any

other members?

MEMBER GRAY: Is a -- sorry. Is a

120-day extension normal, Mr. Saven, under these


MR. SAVEN: No, it's a little

extenuating, but in this particular case, it is a

small lot. They have to work out some type of

arrangements and configuration of the home pursuant

to the lot size. It does get difficult on the

smaller lots to make it a little bit more

esthetically pleasing, so I think it's something

that possibly could work with.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You live in Novi



MR. CHAIRMAN: Welcome, again, to



MEMBER BAUER: Move that the request

for the hundred and twenty days be granted.


MR. CHAIRMAN: All those in favor?

(Vote taken.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: I think we doubled


MS. GOBELARKS: Thank you.

MR. GOBELARK: Thank you very much.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. Anybody

else in public remarks?

(No response.)


MR. CHAIRMAN: We're going to move

on. Mr. Henry. This is case 02-076 filed by

Don Henry of Tomco Fabricating.

Sir, you were here a couple months

ago, so you're still under oath. So tell us what

you want to do.

MR. HENRY: As -- they way we left

our last meeting is you folks wanted me to get a

price on a fence and also the removal of that


structure, which I have done and I do have in front

of me.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I think more to the

case was some screening issues.

MR. HENRY: Yeah, that being the


MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. I don't have

anything in front of me that tells me what you're

planning on doing.

Building Department, has-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) I haven't

received anything.

MS. MARCHIONI: I never got anything.

MR. SAVEN: I think there were --

Mr. Chairman, I think there were several issues, as

Mr. Henry had indicated that he -- he was looking

at -- there was a potential buyer for the property;

is that correct?

MR. HENRY: That's correct, yes.

MR. SAVEN: Has that issue been

addressed at all?

MR. HENRY: Well, actually, it's my

parents' property, as you know, as I mentioned.

And they have another party that's now interested


in it. A Hummer dealership has now approached

them. Apparently, they're in negotiations with

that now as well.

MR. SAVEN: So what you're basically

telling the Board tonight is that you're looking at

something from a temporary standpoint; is that


MR. HENRY: Well, you know, I think

the whole problem here is my outside storage.

MR. SAVEN: That's correct, but what

I'm saying is that it might be just for a


MR. HENRY: (Interposing) Yeah.

MR. SAVEN: -period of time?

MR. HENRY: Personally, I would feel

that we should be out of there within a year, and

that's only speculation, but --

MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, let's get back

in control of things here now.

We had four notices sent, and we did

have an objection to the outside storage.

We've had some Building Department

conversation here.

You know, we offered to work with you


on this problem a couple months ago. You didn't

show last month, you're showing up tonight with

nothing new other than maybe the property's going

to be sold.

We're faced with a citation that says

that you're not in compliance with code, and

there's only two ways to go. You either give us

reason to grant you some variance and relief for

one reason or another, which you haven't done

tonight -- you haven't given us anything, other

than maybe the property's going to be sold to a

third party -- or the other option is we deny your

variance request and you're out of business.

MR. HENRY: I had thought the way we

left it was that you wanted me to get prices on

removal of that one structure and prices on a


MR. CHAIRMAN: I think we also --

sir, I have nothing in front of us. I have nothing

in front of us other than what you have stated in

the last four minutes. There's nothing in front of


Do you have anything to present to us



MR. HENRY: (Interposing) Yeah.

MR. CHAIRMAN; -as evidence?

MR. HENRY: Yeah, I have blueprints.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Please

present the evidence. That's what you were asked

to do tonight. What do you have?

MEMBER GRAY: Can we suggest he use

the overhead, if it's only one piece of paper?

If you just have one piece of paper

you may want to use the overhead so we can all see

it at the same time.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I'm sorry if I come

across a little pissy on this. We've got to deal

with the law.

So what do we got here? We got a-

MR. HENRY: (Interposing) This is

the price for putting a fence around the whole

perimeter of the property.

MR. CHAIRMAN: And this would allow

you then -- if you put this fence up, this would

allow you to continue your business until you

potentially sold it to a third party?

MR. HENRY: I -- that's the way I

thought the city attorney explained it to me, yes.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. And you're

prepared to do this?

MR. HENRY: It's a lot more money

than I certainly planned. I certainly hate to

spend that kind of money for one-year's time or --

now, the city attorney had also mentioned that if

there was a fence there before, because I've been

doing this storage for approximately 25 years now,

that there wouldn't be a problem.

There actually was a fence there, and

the developer that developed Regency Park removed

that fence. Some of it is still there, but he's

removed most of it.

Now, that was not a privacy fence.

That was a chain-link fence, so I don't know if

that falls in the same category or not.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Let me ask for some

help from the Board Members. Maybe you guys have

got a different twist on things here. Sarah?

MEMBER GRAY: Mr. Brennan, I thought

our conversation was fairly explicit in a


Initially, in refreshing myself

reading these minutes, I thought that we had


suggested that if Mr. Henry could not afford to

screen the entire property he certainly should

investigate, and as was said in the minutes, moving

all the storage to one location and screening from

view, which means privacy fence, not chain-link,

the outside storage.

Whether this outside storage use has

been legal or illegal for all these years is, you

know -- it's not allowed, so it's illegal, and the

only way we, as a Board, can make it legal would be

for him to provide privacy screening or fencing

around the storage.

And I -- and the other idea -- or the

other point was the building that was deemed to be

dangerous, although that did have his water supply

and electrical, and he said he had boarded it up so

it wasn't open to the public.

That's my recollection, that we told

him to investigate the cost for fencing and, yeah,

find out how much it costs to fence the entire

property, but move the outside storage to one

location of the property.

Some of the comments were he said he

has 2.95 acres and he uses about half of it to one


to one-and-a-quarter acres for the storage.

If it isn't screened -- I mean, it's

illegal, and whether he wants to be there for

another year or another ten, I think we have no

choice. He has to screen the outdoor storage, and

that's what I'm looking at -- or what I'm looking


MR. CHAIRMAN: Other Board Members?

MEMBER REINKE: I echo Miss Gray's

comments, that I think any storage that's going to

maintained there has to be screened. I think he's

going to have to figure out what his minimum

storage is, and it's going to have to be screened

around that. It's not going to be the whole lot,

which is going to cut the cost down from what his

estimate is. But that's the only way I can see it


MR. HENRY: Out of curiosity, why

didn't I have to screen it 25 years ago?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Sir, 25 years ago I

was a 25-year-old little punk.

MR. HENRY: Also, when we purchased

that property, that property was zoned outside



MEMBER GRAY: No, it wasn't.

MR. HENRY: That's heavy industrial.

MR. SAVEN: The use of the outdoor

storage is one thing. What basically would allow

you to do have done that in -- since time immortal

is the fact if it was screened. If it was

screened. It was not screened. Okay?

We got to put this in perspective.

This is a use variance what you're here before us

tonight on. That's basically what we're dealing

with right now.

This Board is trying to make a

decision to allow you to have your storage, but

what they want to see is how much of a storage area

you're going to be looking at. This is what

they're trying to extract from you right now, and

they need your help in trying to get that

information. But right now they don't have

anything before them other than the fact it's going

to cost you 20-some thousand dollars to screen


MR. HENRY: Yeah. And just so you

know, that price for 21,000 is for just that

parcel, that one-and-a-quarter acres. That's not


for the whole thing.

MEMBER GRAY: Well, I think to go

back to the initial comments, in looking at the

minutes from September, we were very explicit what

we expected of you. We told you that outdoor

storage, if it was conducive -- I don't know if

that's the word -- but there was a contractor there

that had outside storage of their vehicles, so it

was, like pertinent to-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) Yeah. It

was associated with the business.

MEMBER GRAY: Associated with the

use. This is not associated with the use. You're

using it to make additional money. I don't fault

you for that, but if you're going to do that, if

you want to make it legal, you have to screen it

from view, period.

And it was brought up that even back

then when you bought the property. I asked you was

there any representation made that you could use

outside storage in this, and you said there was no

explicit representation. So-

MR. HENRY: (Interposing) We bought

it was from a construction company, McFarland and


Hayes, and they had outside storage.

MEMBER REINKE: The bottom line is,

if there's going to be outside storage there it's

going to be screened. That's just the bottom line.

MR. HENRY: Even though I'm going to

be gone in possibly-

MEMBER REINKE: (Interposing) That's


MR. HENRY: -a year there's -- it

still has to be screened?

MEMBER REINKE: That's right.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Or move it out.

MR. HENRY: Okay. Does it have to be

screened one hundred percent around all four sides

or just from what the public can see? I think down

Regency Drive is the main concern here.

MEMBER GRAY: Screen it from view.

How many sides can you see it from, Don?

MR. SAVEN: I think the issue is it

will be totally screened.

MEMBER REINKE: I can't see it being

anything else.

MEMBER GRAY: No. And then what

about the issue with the building, because we had


that issue, too, not just the screening but with

the building?

MR. SAVEN: I don't have any idea.

Nothing was presented to me.

MEMBER GRAY: What are you doing with

the building?

MR. HENRY: I've gotten estimates on

that as well, to remove that.

MEMBER GRAY: You want to show us

those estimates and make it part of the case?

MR. SAVEN: Sir, we're going to need

the documentation for the file, please.

MR. HENRY: Well, there's the actual

price of it down here.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Bottom line, doesn't

sound like we're any farther along today than we


MEMBER GRAY: (Interposing) No.

MR. CHAIRMAN: -three months ago.

And what is before us is a petition to maintain

outdoor storage on his property.

The petitioner has a problem with the

outdoor storage, also within a auxiliary building,

and -- well, he very well may have the intention in


the future of selling this property, as it is today

I haven't heard anything to -- any real good

reasons to justify granting the variance to

maintain it as it is.

MEMBER REINKE: Petitioner was given

the option that he could table it until next month,

but if it does get tabled to next month I want to

see exact drawings, I want to see exactly -- format

what's going to be done with the building and a

time table on both, because if I don't see that

there's no way I can support any request for a

variance at all.

We've been going on too long. We've

given you direction. You haven't complied with

what we've asked for other than to just give us an

estimated cost, which is really telling us nothing.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I don't think we're

any farther along than we were-

MEMBER REINKE: (Interposing) We're


MR. CHAIRMAN: -in September.

MEMBER BAUER: Mr. Chairman?


MEMBER BAUER: When is closing for


next month?

MS. MARCHIONI: November 14th.

MEMBER BAUER: November 14th? He has

until November 14th to put it in.

MEMBER GRAY: A week from Thursday.

MR. SAVEN: Mr. Henry, do you believe

that you could have this information presented to

the secretary by November 14th?

MR. HENRY: I could, but do I have to

personally be here?

MR. SAVEN: For the next meeting?

MR. HENRY: For the November 14th?

MS. MARCHIONI: You just have to give

me the paperwork by November 14th.

MR. HENRY: Yeah.

MS. MARCHIONI: The next meeting is

December 3rd.

MR. HENRY: Yeah.

MR. SAVEN: What the Board is

indicating right now, and I want to make it

explicitly clear, is that what they're looking at

is a plot plan showing us where your storage is

going to be, where the fence is going to be, and

the cost associated with that fence for that


location, and the time factor that you're going to

need to have that fence installed.

MR. HENRY: Okay.

MR. SAVEN: And also a time factor

involved as to when you're going to be tearing down

the building.

MR. HENRY: Okay.

MR. SAVEN: Is that understood?

MR. HENRY: Yes, sir.

MR. SAVEN: Okay.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I'll make a motion to

move this to the December meeting.


MR. CHAIRMAN: While we have a motion

and a support, I'll go on record as I'm not too

happy with how this thing has progressed, and I

hope we see a lot more next month.

Sarah, call the vote.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?



MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Mr. Chair, the city

attorney is requesting that we get that information

right now. Do you have a copy of it?

MR. HENRY: Sure.

MR. SAVEN: Your estimates, can we

get a copy of it?

MR. HENRY: Absolutely.

MR. SAVEN: You want to bring it


Do you have a copy of it?

MR. HENRY: Yes, I do.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. We have a

vote and a motion -- we have a motion and a vote

and, sir, we'll see you next month.

MR. HENRY: Okay, thank you.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Case 02-083,

John Carroll representing Novi Party Store.

We may have some new faces here, so


why don't we just swear you all in. All right?

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Raise your right

hand, please. Do you swear or affirm that the

information that you're about to give in the matter

before you is the truth?


MEMBER GRONACHAN: Would you state

your names, please.

MR. BAIN: I'm Dan Bain, attorney, on

behalf of Novi Party Store.

MR. CARROLL: John Carroll from

Carroll Installations.

MR. BUCK: Joseph Buck, employee of

Novi Party Store.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Let me just

summarize here. You guys did a real nice job in

rebuilding a party store that had been on

Grand River for a number of years, repositioned the

party store so that you've got some signage issues,

and that's what before us tonight.

We had given you some direction that

while you were petitioning to have a second sign on

the eastern side of the building, you also had

space reserved for a third party, and that's what


we've asked you to look at, is addressing both your

needs and potentially your rented out space-

MR. BAIN: (Interposing) Future


MR. CHAIRMAN: -is what it comes down


MR. BAIN: Future tenant, yes, that's


MR. CHAIRMAN: So not to steal your

thunder, but that kind of summarizes things maybe,


MR. BAIN: You know, that summarizes

very well, and I wasn't here last time. It's my

understanding you interpreted -- these gentlemen

were here in September 10th and it was tabled to

this month, pursuant to your suggestions that they

make some changes in it.

And I know that everybody thinks

attorneys like to go on forever, but I'm going to

be quiet and I'm going to let the sign guy speak

because he knows a lot more about it than I do, and

I believe they did make a change -- some changes,

which you request.

We have two photographs here of the


signage as we have adjusted it, and I believe the

Board also asked us, you know, to place those signs

on the building. They've been on there I'm

thinking for about two weeks so that possibly you

had an opportunity to go by there and take a look

at them.

I'll turn it over to Mr. Carroll,


MR. CARROLL: He about said it all.

We took your suggestion, reduced the size that

we're suggesting and identified what -- square

footage we want for both tenants, which I'm going

to propose 65 square foot which, by code, would be

allowed without the ground sign, so we've reduced

it to less than half and split the difference.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

MR. BAIN: And we do have two

photographs, if you'd like me to approach with them

or put them on the screen.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Put them on the screen

while we're talking.

We had an additional notice, and

there were fifteen notices sent. We had one

objection, a neighbor, Mr. Crain, the guy that


cracks my back. The building has an existing sign

which meets the ordinance. If he wishes to rent

part of the building he needs to split the signage

space, so I see no hardship.

Thank you, Mr. Crain, for


Anybody in the audience wish to


Yes, sir. Want to give us your name?

MR. LAMB: I sure will. Thank you,

Mr. Chairman. My name is David Gillam. I'm an

attorney with the law firm of Cooper, Shifman,

Gabe, Quinn & Seymour, 26200 Town Center Drive here

in the City of Novi, and I'm here this evening on

behalf of the Sinoui (ph) family who are the owners

of Jonna's Fine Wines, which is located directly to

the west of the subject property in this case.

It's our position, and has been and

is tonight, that we're opposed to the variance

that's requested in this particular case. I think

there's a letter in the file from our office

regarding our comments.

But just briefly, if you look at the

specific language of the zoning ordinance itself,


it talks about property that has exceptional

narrowness, shallowness, shape or area, exceptional

topographic conditions or other extraordinary or

exceptional conditions of the property that, in so

many words, give rise to peculiar exceptional

practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships.

And it's our position here that there

really is nothing exceptional or out of the

ordinary about this particular piece of property.

If there are any difficulties or hardships that are

involved in the property as it's been developed,

it's a result of the way that it has been

developed, that is, the way the property faces to

Grand River Avenue; in fact, that the parking is

located to the east of the building rather than to

the front, as is the case with many other

properties along Grand River Avenue.

So it's our position that there is an

existing sign in front of the building along

Grand River that satisfies ordinance requirements.

That's more than sufficient.

If the applicant would like to have

signage on the east side of the building, they can

have signage on the east side of the building but


comply with the ordinance, they should have to give

up the signage along Grand River.

We would ask the variance request be


MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. Anybody

else in the audience?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: Is it my understanding

that there's not going to be any ground pole sign?

MR. BAIN: No. We're still going to

keep the sign out -- the ground sign out front.

MR. SAVEN: Okay.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. I believe

that we are at where we asked the petitioner to be


Last month, as we reviewed the

building as it was built, which is not before us,

position the parking, the attitude of the building,

which is not before us. What is before us is a

petition for a second sign.

This Board expressed some concern

that we might have a Pandora's Box because there

was some property in this building that was also


going to be sublet, and we'd prefer to see a

signage plan that addressed all of their needs, and

I believe that's what they have presented in this

month's rendering, which suggests two signs

addressing the party store needs, as well as what

we would expect down the road being a sublet


So if I paraphrased that correctly,

historically, that's what's before us tonight, is

whether the applicant and his request for a second

sign, as well as an additional third sign I guess

we could say at this point, for another business.

I'll open questions to the Board


And as my constituents ponder their

questions, I'll go on record as reiterating my

comments from last month. I felt last month, and I

made the point, that the new building was certainly

an improvement over the existing business. It was

the petitioner's desire to lay it out in the

fashion that he laid it out, and I did not see the

need to retain the sign that sits on Grand River.

I have no problem with supporting the petitioner's

request for two signs on the parcel because it will


ultimately be two different businesses, and I

haven't heard anything new, and so that's still my

position. Other --

MR. CARROLL: The argument there

would be-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) Sir,

please let us finish now.


MR. CHAIRMAN: We have -- the Board

Members are -- give their opinions.

MEMBER BAUER: Mr. Chairman?


MEMBER BAUER: We're then going to

wind up with one-piece sign and no Grand River

sign, correct?

MR. CHAIRMAN: That's what I was

hoping for.

MEMBER BAUER: I like that, oh, yeah.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Towards the end of

this particular case last month, if you recall, or

maybe it was two months ago, it was kind of sprung

that the new building, being as though it was

larger, there was a portion of the building that

was going to be sublet, and I think it was Laverne


that said I would like to see a complete sign

package, and that's what we have before us tonight,

although the petitioner is still requesting to

maintain the ground sign that is on Grand River.

And that's where we're at.

MEMBER REINKE: I would like to

direct a question to Mr. Saven. Are they allowed

any identification over a door?

MR. SAVEN: Depends on what you're

talking about, identification sign, if you're

talking about, like, for emergency purposes,

identifying the parcel, yes, indeed, they can have


I want to just bring something up.

In terms of the amount of businesses that are

allowed -- business center district, you're

normally allowed one ground pole sign that

identifies the complex and then each individual

store would have their sign package or whatever

they would be allowed to have.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Isn't three or more

businesses though?

MR. SAVEN: But that's four

businesses. So in this particular case, you're


dealing with how many businesses?


MR. SAVEN: That's kid of what he's

looking at. And I do believe he wants to keep that

front sign; is that correct?

MR. BAIN: That's correct, because

without -- frankly, without the front sign, if

you're traveling eastbound on Grand River you don't

know we're there because you can't see the sign

unless you're looking out your back window.

MR. SAVEN: That's the dilemma that's

before you right now.

MR. BAIN: And I believe they --

originally, if I understand it, they originally

wanted to have the building facing -- basically the

glass doors facing Grand River, but they were

unable to do that. The Building Department didn't

want them to do that way and they adjusted-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) What


MR. BAIN: I'm sorry?

MR. SAVEN: Which department?

MR. BAIN: Planning. I apologize.

MR. SAVEN: Thank you.


MR. BAIN: But the planning

commissioner wanted them to change that, so they

adjusted the site plan and whatnot so that, you

know, basically the other one would be facing,

otherwise it wouldn't be a problem, so -- and,

given the fact that it is a long, narrow building,

it does create somewhat of a hardship for them.

And as the Chairman so eloquently

stated, they put significant financial obligations

into this building to rip down a whole ratty store,

that I used to cash my checks at when I was working

construction 15 years ago, and put a significant

investment into this community and built a very

nice store and put out a very nice ground sign in

front in addition to the two signs that they're

proposing at this point, and they want to,

obviously, be able to give their tenants a separate

identity from them in the way that the building was


I might point out to the Board that

at the very -- their neighbor directly, I believe

to the east, at Audio Video Systems, has not only a

ground sign but also a wall sign, if I may put a

photograph on that.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Sir, we're -- I'm not

going to accept other stores, other conditions

here. We're listening to your case.

MR. BAIN: Well, I understand, but I

just think the Board should be aware of how many

variances have been granted.

MR. SAVEN: I've been on this Board

for nine years.

MR. BAIN: I understand that, sir.

I'm just making my record.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I know which store

you're talking about. It's different strokes for

different folks.

Other Board Members?

MEMBER REINKE: We really got a

problem here, the way it's orientated.

The second business, I guess there's

some identification needed there. The thing is I

look at the size of these signs and I look at,you

know -- you're almost really putting the size of

the sign on a wall of the building as what you're

ground sign is out in front, the way it looks in

the presentation, and I really don't -- I don't

agree with what's being presented. I think it's


too large, too much, but I don't know what the

answer is.

MR. CARROLL: If we look at this

photo here, here's a shot taken from the

Grand River, you can see how small the signs are on

the building.

MEMBER REINKE: The thing is, in my

mind the ground pole sign is your identification

for Grand River. The only thing that you're going

to see that I see as -- and that I can buy for the

identification on the building as you're presenting

is it to identify which business is which once

you're in the parking lot. That's the only reason

and only rationale I see for a sign on that

building, on that side at all, unless you want to

give up the ground pole -- ground sign.

MR. CARROLL: Do you feel that 30

square foot is excessive?


MR. CARROLL: That 30 square foot is

excessive for the size of the building?

MEMBER REINKE: Yes. That sign --

the only reason -- the only thing I see use for

that sign is to identify which business is which


once you're in that parking lot.

MR. BAIN: What size would the

commission -- or the Board suggest that would be

viewable by potential customers so you can see it?

MR. CARROLL: Those Novi Party Store

letters are approximately 12-inch letters, maybe

14, but probably 12-inch letters.



MEMBER GRAY: I guess my whole

problem with this whole dilemma from back in

September and to now is you have a pole sign out on

Grand River. That is your identification for

people driving by. You have the two suites in the

building, which was your choice to build that way,

or the property owner's choice to build that way.

As Mr. Reinke has said, if -- all you

need when you drive into that parking lot -- once

people drive by and notice that you're party store

on Grand River, once they drive into the parking

lot they just need to know which is the party store

and which is not.

And even from the pictures, with all

the stuff you have in the windows, the pricing and


stuff, you know, there will be no doubt which is

the party store and which is the tenant space.

So our sign ordinance -- I don't see

a reason to grant a variance from what our sign

ordinance allows.

MR. CARROLL: We were told we were

not allowed to have signs in the window. I thought

last meeting-

MEMBER GRAY: (Interposing) Well,

you can have a certain amount of signs in your


MR. SAVEN: Twenty-five percent.

MEMBER GRAY: No more than 25 percent

of the window can be covered by signs on the

inside, such as pricing or whatever.

MR. CARROLL: But that's not

permanent signs; that can't be neon signs or


MR. SAVEN: No neon signs.

MEMBER GRAY: No neon signs at all.

MR. SAVEN: Neon signs is just open,

that's two square foot, something like that. You

can check with Allen Amolsch on the sign.

MR. CARROLL: So the 25 percent,


that's not -- it's permanently 25 percent?

MR. SAVEN: That's 25 percent of your

advertising, that retail -- whatever it is that you

do for your product, whatever it is, but 25 percent

coverage is the most you can have.


MEMBER GRAY: And if you can refresh

my memory, what is it -- how big a sign are they

allowed to have total on the building?

MR. CARROLL: Without a ground sign?

MR. BAIN: Without a ground sign?

MEMBER GRAY: No, with a ground sign.

MR. SAVEN: They're only allowed one


MEMBER GRAY: One sign period?

MR. SAVEN: This is -- one sign.

This is the reason why we're -- maybe the Board

wants to look at dividing the ground sign up into

two categories here and put smaller signs up on the


MEMBER GRAY: I think my feeling is

that they have the ground sign to identify the

party store and the tenant, whenever the tenant

comes in. Then they should need minimal signage,


if any, on the building saying who does what,

because whoever the tenant is is probably going --

probably going to be of a commercial nature, cell

phone, whatever, just to use an example, they're

going to have their own signage in their window up

to a maximum of 25 percent in putting their product


There's not going to be a question

about who's doing what, unless there's another

party store that moves in, and I doubt that that's

going to happen.

So I don't see a need to have any

signs on the building other than the very minimal,

if we go that route. It's either one or the other.

That's what our sign ordinance says.

MR. BAIN: (Inaudible) if you were

traveling eastbound in reference to whoever their

tenant may be because their sign space that will be

on the ground sign for whoever the tenant may be is

going to be so small that a passing motorist is

going to be very hard-pressed to see it.

MEMBER GRAY: Well, with all due

respect, if somebody's going to drive by they're

going to find another party store to go to.


MR. BAIN: I'm not talking about the

party store, ma'am. I'm talking about the store

that -- maybe the cell phone store-

MEMBER GRAY: (Interposing) No.

MR. BAIN: -whatever other store it

may be.

MEMBER GRAY: Most of those are

destination places anyhow. The people know where

they're going before they leave home.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Let's back up a second


MR. BAIN: I would just like to make

the record clear, and I understand the Chairman

indicated different strokes for different folks,

okay, but I want to go through the addresses of

which sign variances have been granted, just a few.

MR. CHAIRMAN: No, sir. I'm not

going to listen to that. We're going to address

this case.

You've got a legal sign on

Grand River. You have petitioned us for two

thirty-square-foot signs on the eastern wall of the

building. That's what's before us tonight.

The Board has suggested that we're


not comfortable with the size of these two signs.

You've declared that you need the signage to

identify those two separate businesses.

As I see it right now, you have an

opportunity right now to look at smaller signs

identifying those two business while maintaining

your Grand River sign, or you have the option of us

denying everything in front of us tonight, sir.

I'm not going to debate this anything


MR. BAIN: So I suppose what you're

suggesting is that we resubmit smaller signs once

again and table this again for next month?

MR. CHAIRMAN: No. That's to -- your

option. You can either consider some smaller signs

right now and make that presentation before us, or

you can table it again.

MR. CARROLL: Well, that's what we

did, sir. We've reduced it to this. If you could

give us some idea where you want us to be.

MEMBER GRAY: Probably somewhere

between I am and what you're proposing is where we

want you to be. That's your decision to make,

because we have the ability right now to say yes or


no, or we can tell you we don't want to give you a

thirty square foot sign. We can tell you we can

only give you a ten square foot sign. That's up to

our discretion, too, so you need to tell us what

you feel you need, and it's going to probably be

somewhere between what I said and what you're



MR. CHAIRMAN: Mr. Carroll, that's

the sign guy?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Can you make two signs

above these two locations something less than

thirty square feet?

MR. CARROLL: To build a channel

letter type sign, to get it anything less than a 12

inch letter is difficult to build.

MR. CHAIRMAN: So is that a no?

MR. CARROLL: I don't have -- I don't

know how it was going to lay out. I have to lay it

out on a computer and figure out the scale and how

it comes out square footage.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You're asking us for a

decision tonight or-


MR. BAIN: (Interposing) No. We're

going to table -- Mr. Chairman, we're going to

table it to next month. We will try to reconfigure

the sign once again so it will meet the Board's

approval and come back in a month with a new


MR. SAVEN: Mr. Chairman, if I may

add something here, please. What they're looking

at is problem with this easterly exposure, okay,

and whether or not they'll be able to see the

traffic coming in both sides.

Maybe you ought to look at doing

something with that ground sign out front, or

whatever it is, change that or do something

different there so that you can get your exposure

and look at that as your primary target. This way

you get both your traffic on each side.

I don't know how the Board looks at

this thing, but one way or the other you're going

to have a problem.

MR. BAIN: And if I might-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) And I

think before you come back to the Board again is

you take a look at it and maybe -- because now that


you have that focus on the ground sign out front

and your people can find it by virtue of the

address, which I'm sure will probably be out there

also, or something along them lines, but they'll

know -- your business will know where to go to,

plus you wouldn't need the tremendous amount of

square footage on the interior of that particular


That might be something to take a

look at, I mean, as an option. I don't know how

the Board feels.

MR. BAIN: And, sir, I tend -- if I

may, I tend to agree with you because -- and I know

there's been one objection voiced here tonight by a

community member -- and hopefully it will show up

and turn that back on -- but one of the things we

are dealing with, and they're certainly in their

right to do this, but if you can see, there's two

cars parked back to back there on that adjacent

property. It's their property, they can do that,

but it seems to be a deliberate attempt to block

our ground sign from view from the easterly -- from

anybody traveling east, and that is from the person

that voiced this objection. So we can kind of see


what's going on.

I suppose we can try to have another

proposal and raise that ground sign or do something

different with that. But that's what's going on.

MR. SAVEN: Five foot is the maximum

height of the ground sign.

MR. BAIN: I understand. But I just

want the Board to be aware of what's happening.

MR. CARROLL: When you recommended

changes, are you considering allowing more square

foot or more height?

MR. SAVEN: That's something that the

Board would look at. You know, you got to be

reasonable in your request. That's what I'm saying

to you right now. The Board's not going to play a

game back and forth here. What we're asking is

that you be reasonable.

MR. BAIN: And we thought we were

being reasonable this evening.

But, in any event, I believe we'll

table it for next month, we'll come back on

whatever date next month will be, the meeting, and

try to have a proposal which will meet the Board's



MEMBER REINKE: But please follow

direction and look at everything, because you

didn't really look at your total package in

perspective of what will make things work.

MR. BAIN: Understood.

MR. CARROLL: With all due respect, I

thought we did reduce them by more than half, what

we proposed last month, and that's what you

suggested, so that's why we-

MEMBER BRENNAN: (Interposing) Oh, I

-- what I suggested was to look at all options on

total signage, which was not addressed.

MR. CHAIRMAN: What I suggested was

you take down the pole sign if you want

identification for two separate businesses. I was

willing to give you that. I said take down that

sign on Grand River. You don't want to do that.

Come back next month, pitch it again.

MR. BAIN: That's all we can do.

MEMBER BAUER: Can we ask for it

before the cutoff date so we can see it before it

gets here?

MR. CHAIRMAN: That's supposed to be

the case.


MR. BAIN: That shouldn't be any


MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay, thank you.

MR. BAIN: Thank you.

MR. SAVEN: We're tabling the case?

MR. CHAIRMAN: We're tabling the


MEMBER GRAY: Move to table.


MEMBER GRAY: You need a motion?

MR. CHAIRMAN: No. I think we beat

that horse to death.

MS. SIMON: You should probably make

a motion so the record's clear.


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?




MR. CHAIRMAN: Let's call the Heaths

up. This must be-

MS. HEATH: (Interposing) I'm

Elizabeth Heath. I'm the co-owner of the property

at 905-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) Okay.

This is Case Number 02-090 filed by Douglas Heath,

905 South Lake Drive.

This is for a variance request for

the construction of a addition in the front of the


MS. HEATH: That's correct.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Want to raise your

hand 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?

MS. HEATH: I do. Well, after we

left the meeting here last month we went back home

and got back onto the drawing board. And as you

can see we changed the plans totally as opposed to


adding onto the west side of the house.

Someone on the Board suggested look

at your front yard, that's where your, you know,

largest piece of property is.

So we went ahead and did a little

drawing on the front of the house, which we're

hoping will be a little more acceptable.

This time we only need one variance,

which is a setback, as opposed to five like we had

last month.

We've also spoken to all the

neighbors in the area, and I do have another

signature paper that we --

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, ma'am.

Just going back to last month, and this is a

carryover. Previously we were looking at an

addition that would encroach onto the east side

property quite tightly.


MR. CHAIRMAN: And we had -- west?

MS. HEATH: It was the west, yes.

MR. CHAIRMAN: And we had suggested

that you take another look at it, and I thank you

for doing that.


Are there any members in the audience

that want to comment?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: No. There were 54 new

notices sent, and you've got a vote of approval

from one gentleman, Hartman, one man, and

Bonnie Sapula, in addition to another half-dozen or

so here that are also residents that have reviewed

the proposed revised addition plans of

905 South Lake.

Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: Definitely minimized the

amount of variances before you tonight.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members?

MEMBER REINKE: I guess it is a much

better plan, better layout, and not going to the

extremes of what your original proposal was to the

side lot.

MS. HEATH: Right.

MEMBER REINKE: And I think it's a

minimum intrusion and I can support petitioner's


MR. CHAIRMAN: Me, too. Sarah?

MEMBER GRAY: Well, I also can


support your request. I just wonder if you have

to -- if you can't pull it back a little bit and

not request the three foot variance?

MS. HEATH: Well-

MEMBER GRAY: (Interposing) Finesse

the footprint a little bit, not that I'm trying to

tell you how to design your house.

MS. HEATH: Right. Well, one of the

reasons why we want that large of an area is we

want to put a pool table in, and you need quite a

bit of area. Plus we also want to install, like, a

wet bar type thing, so that does take up a lot of

space for that, and we were thinking about putting

in a fireplace also.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I personally believe

the petitioner has worked along the lines that

we've directed her and I would support her motion.


like to make a motion in Case 02-090 that this

Board grant the request for the three foot variance

due to lot size and configuration.


MR. CHAIRMAN: We have a motion and a




We have-

MEMBER GRONACHAN: (Interposing) We

have the attorney raising her hand.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Miss Simon?

MS. SIMON: Thank you. I just want

to make sure that you're using the practical

difficulty standard for this in your motion.

MR. CHAIRMAN: So noted and is part

of the motion. So we have a minor adjustment to

the motion. So noted.

Sarah, please.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Ma'am, you have your



MS. HEATH: Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: See the Building



MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. Let's get

Mozart Homes Limited Liability Corporation for

Brookhaven. This is regarding a ground sign on

property at 42400 Ten Mile Road.

Sir, you want to give us your name

and be sworn?

MR. FELLOWS: Certainly. My name is

Mike Fellows. I'm with Mozart Homes.

Good evening, Mr. Chairman and Board


MEMBER GRONACHAN: Would you raise

your right hand, please, to be sworn in.

MR. FELLOWS: Certainly.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information that you're about to

give in the matter before you is the truth?



MR. FELLOWS: I think I should start


by trying to clarify something. Through our little

bit of nonunderstanding of the entire sign

ordinance, we may have caused a little confusion.

We apologize for that.

I think that the variance we are

actually asking for is what I would call a timing

variance, not really a size variance.

What we'd like to do is put up the

sign that you have a drawing of, which is a five

foot by five foot sign, which identifies a

subdivision -- a second condominium under

development is what we would like to do.

There is a sign out on the property

now, which I think is a conforming temporary sign,

advertising the residential sale of vacant

unplatted property, which is what that property is

at the moment. It is not part of a plat yet.

Obviously, we have applied for a

second condominium approval -- site plan approval

but we don't have it yet.

That sign is four feet by four feet,

which is the size allowed by that section, if I

understand this correctly now.

The particular property is a seven


acre parcel, which is fairly narrow, somewhat

wooded, and is on -- if you've been by there, I'm

sure you know -- the north side of Ten Mile, just

east of the railroad tracks between Novi Road and


Because it is narrow but more so

because of two things, I think, visibility

problems. The property is on the side of a hill,

which if you're traveling westbound on Ten Mile you

don't really get to see the sign until you're

pretty much on top of it. And the other issue is

that there -- the property has been with one family

for I think a hundred years, and as such there is

no right of way other than the 33 foot user right

of way, which is always adjacent to properties like

that, and the trees that are growing on the

property grow very close to Ten Mile Road. And

it's really more so the trees than that hill which

makes the visibility a little difficult. That is

one difficulty we see with advertising this


The other one is not really a

hardship created by the property as much as it is

the fact that the sign ordinance, as it's written,


which permits construction identification signs or

a sign like we're asking for, the subdivision

identification sign, does not permit those signs

until a first building permit for the project is


If a small builder such as us does

not or cannot build a model on the site, the first

building permit that would be issued would

obviously be the first home sale, but we can't get

a first home sale, as we would like to so we can

compete with everybody else, if we can't have a

sign out front advertising that home sale, so it's

kind of a little catch-22 for us.

The sign that we are proposing is --

and the sign that is out there we thought would

serve as a decent example or mockup of the sign

because it would be almost the same. That sign is

four feet by four feet. The one we'd like is five

feet by five feet, which is, obviously, twenty-five

square feet, and less than half of the sixty-four

square feet permitted for the type of sign we want

to put up.

I hope that that clears it up a

little bit.


Sarah, I should apologize to you

because we didn't make it clear in our application

what that was.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Anybody in the


(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: It's -- basically, what

Michael had indicated is the fact that this is

unplatted property. This is not a construction

site as it exists now but it is homes that are

going to be for sale on this site, so it's like a

real estate sign that you're basically looking at.

That's the difference in square footage.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members?

I should say we had seventy-one

notices sent. We had one approval, one objection.

The approval said nothing, the objection said too

large, try something more like four by three or

four by four.

I'll make one comment. I've lived in

the city now for twenty-five years, and I saw that

sign, the one that's up, the day that it went up

because that's property that's been sitting there


for a long, long time, and you knew sooner or later

somebody was going to do something with it.

So I was able to see your sign, the

existing one that's there. I saw it immediately.

But that's just one casual observer.


clarification, please, Mr. Chairman. The sign

that's up there is allowed now?





sign would be coming down and we're going to be

approving the one that we have the drawing for?

MR. SAVEN: You're going to be

looking for the size. What you're looking for is

the size of that sign; is that correct?

MR. FELLOWS: Well, not so much the

size. Again, I think, in my reading of the

ordinance, that it's a timing variance. The size

of it -- the kind of sign we're asking for is that

subdivision identification sign, which is permitted

at first building permit.

MR. SAVEN: Let's not talk timing


aspect, platted property versus construction site

versus -- what you're looking at as far as real

estate plans. We're talking square footage.

That's basically what we're dealing with.

MR. CHAIRMAN: And what he's looking

for is a real estate sign.

MR. SAVEN: That's the -- real estate

sign versus so on and so on.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: So the sign that's

there, not this -- that's what we have in front of

us, the sign that's up-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) The sign

that's there is the one he wants, that's correct.


MR. FELLOWS: The sign that is -- the

picture says Brookhaven, Novi schools, from the

300s with a phone number on it, that's the sign

we'd like to have there.

MEMBER REINKE: That's sixteen square


MR. FELLOWS: The one we'd like to

have would be twenty five.

MEMBER REINKE: The one you have up

there now is sixteen square feet.


MR. FELLOWS: Yes, sir.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: So that one would

be coming down and this will increase by -- all


MEMBER REINKE: The only other

question I have here is what is the time frame

we're looking at?

MR. FELLOWS: For the development?

MEMBER REINKE: For what you need

this sign.

MR. FELLOWS: We would like to have

that sign there starting now until -- it's probably

a one-year thing. Well, actually, it would be a

lot less, now that I think of it, because,

hopefully, you know, we wouldn't have a model.

Hopefully I'd sell a house sometime in the spring

and be able to get the first building permit and

then I could go get a different -- a permitted

sign, a sixty-four foot construction identification

sign. So maybe it's more realistically a four- to

six-month thing timing.

And, really, I don't know if this

helps me, but just so you have an accurate picture,

we would probably leave that sign there and just


apply for the construction identification sign.

Instead of making it sixty-four square feet, just

make it that sign, but it already happens to be

there as a temporary sign should you reconsider my

request favorably.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I hope there's a lot

straighter minds on the Board tonight than mine is

right now, because I'm confused as all getup.

MEMBER REINKE: Well, correct me if

I'm wrong, Mr. Saven, the reason it's before us

because, really, technically, it's a second sign?

MR. SAVEN: No, this is not a second

sign. He's got a four by four up there right now;

is that correct, Mike?

MR. FELLOWS: That's correct.

MR. SAVEN: He wants a five by five

saying the same thing as that four by four sign

that's there now says. Once he gets approval for

his project and he gets his first building permit,

then he will be allowed to have a sixty-four square

foot sign advertising that project. Okay?

MR. FELLOWS: But just likely we

would just leave that one there.

And, Don, I should clar -- listening


to you, the sign that's out there now advertises

the land that's there. It's land available for

sixteen wooded sites or something like that. It

doesn't have the exact same wording on it of the

sign I'm asking for.

MEMBER REINKE: I have no problem

supporting a twenty-five square foot sign for six


MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. I saw a

lot of nodding there. Laverne, why don't you take-

MEMBER REINKE: (Interposing)

Mr. Chairman, in Case 02-087, I move that

petitioner's variance request for a twenty-five

square foot temporary sign for identification of

residential building sales be approved for a period

of six months.



MR. CHAIRMAN: We have an

overwhelming support.

Sarah -- and we have -- Stephanie

wants to make a point.

MS. SIMON: I'm sorry to interrupt

you again, but if you could state the practical


standard difficulty. I think the Board went

through some good reasons as to what those

practical difficulties were, if you could just

include those in your motions.

MEMBER REINKE: I have no problem

with that?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Are they not part of

the record?

MS. SIMON: They're part of the

record (inaudible) clear in the motion as to why

the practical difficulty exists.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Duly noted. Sarah,


MS. MARCHIONI: Can you give examples

of practical difficulty?

MEMBER SAVEN: He said duly noted.

MS. MARCHIONI: Okay. Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?



MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MR. FELLOWS: Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. See the

Building Department.

MEMBER BAUER: Good luck.


MR. CHAIRMAN: We'll call

Arnold Randy Schmitt representing Bamboo Club,

44375 Twelve Mile. This is Fountain Walk, Case

02-093, requesting two illuminated wall signs.

Sir, you want to give us your name

and raise your hand and be sworn?

MR. SCHAEFER: Sure. Tim Schaefer.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information that you're about to

give in the matter before you is the truth?



MR. SCHAEFER: Well, I need to amend

our request. What we have in front of you is

wrong. Instead of what was a 54 foot, I think you


have in front of you, square foot, we're -- we are

requesting a forty-six-and-a-half square foot



MR. SCHAEFER: The mockup, I believe,

represents that, that's on the building now.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Why don't you tell us

why you need two signs and why you need them where

you need them and why you need them as big as you

need them.

MR. SCHAEFER: Right. I got a little

story to tell you about tonight going over to look

at this site.

I drove all through the place, could

not find it, did not find it, would not find it.

But I did go into Van's and almost spent a hundred

and thirty dollars on a skateboard for my son.

But to -- we need this second sign to

adequately identify the store in the center. The

center's extremely hard to find anything. It's

just -- it's laid out hard for pedestrians to just

find out where they're going inside of here, that I

found out.

That's what I have.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Anybody in the


(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: No comment, sir.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members? I'll

just start by saying I wandered around that damn

place trying to find these two mockups, and I found

two little squares taped to the wall about six feet

off the floor, and I thought this certainly isn't

what this guy wants. So the renderings that were

there, whether you did them or somebody else did

them, didn't serve us any real representation of-

MR. SCHAEFER: (Interposing) Were

they up on the walls, up high?

MR. CHAIRMAN: I went Saturday. I

went Saturday and there were two little thirty by

thirty inch squares that were at eye level.

MR. SCHAEFER: Oh, no. That must be

a construction sign.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay, I'm sorry.

MR. SCHAEFER: You didn't find it

either, huh?



MR. SCHAEFER: Did you go to Van's?

MR. CHAIRMAN: I didn't buy a

skateboard but I probably spent 40 bucks in gas

driving around the dang place.

MR. SCHAEFER: The signage on the

outside of this is very -- on this center is very

lacking, extremely. You don't know where any

businesses are.

MR. CHAIRMAN: What was the requested

square foot again?

MR. SCHAEFER: 46.5 square.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Other

Board Members, because I can't speak to what they

have presented because it wasn't there on Saturday,

so I'll take your lead?

MR. SCHAEFER: We put it up on

Friday, the mockup, so it is there. It was there.

I do have pictures of it actually up on the wall.


MR. SAVEN: Can you put it on the



MEMBER BAUER: This is changing the

whole thing. Are we going to have to readvertise?


MR. SAVEN: It's less than-


It's smaller.

MR. SCHAEFER: I couldn't even find

the colors.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: It's facing the

expressway next to Buffalo Wings.

MEMBER GRAY: Because here's

Buffalo Wings over here and-

MEMBER GRONACHAN: (Interposing) And

here's a good example. Look at that color scheme.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Sarah, you got


MEMBER GRAY: Well, I didn't have a

problem with it. I didn't have a problem with the

size. I mean, I understand that you want to

identify your building there, or your location

there, and so I really don't have a problem with


Is this the only sign you're going to


There's not going to be one on the

other court?

MR. SCHAEFER: Over the doorway


there's a small sign that's already permitted, and

I believe -- has that been approved? I believe

it's been approved.

MEMBER GRAY: So this is your only

entrance facing 96 Expressway?

MR. SCHAEFER: I couldn't tell you.

I couldn't find the place, I'm sorry, and I don't

have a plot plan of the property.

MEMBER GRAY: Is this the only

entrance to this restaurant, Don, do you know?

MR. SAVEN: I thought it was on a


MEMBER GRAY: Well, it is on a

corner, but I didn't see any other doors when I was

wandering around there on Sunday.

MR. SCHAEFER: I believe they only

have one door, the big-

MEMBER GRAY: (Interposing) Okay.

MR. SCHAEFER: -on the corner there.

MEMBER GRAY: Yeah. Because it's set

back. The -- to the west of it is Buffalo Wings,

and this is set back in, and I didn't really have a

problem with it.

And, don't forget, there's going to


be all those little destination signs around

directing people where to go to.

MR. SCHAEFER: Okay. They weren't

out tonight, and I'm not familiar with the center.

MEMBER GRAY: I don't think they're

up yet. I don't -- because of occupancy.


MEMBER GRAY: If a motion's in order,

unless there is any other discussion-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) Yes.

MEMBER GRAY: I'll move to approve

the variance request for this sign, the smaller

sign at forty-six-and-a-half square feet, which is

a variance of six-and-a-half square feet, correct,

based on the fact that I think this restaurant

needs to be able to identify itself so people can

see it, and if that's practical difficulty, so be




MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. We have-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) This is a

second sign?

MEMBER GRAY: This is a second sign?


MR. SCHAEFER: This is the second


MEMBER GRAY: That's incorporated

into my motion then, this is a second sign.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. We have a

motion and a second.

Sarah, will you?

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay, sir. You've got

your variance. See the Building Department.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You know what, maybe

let's take three, four minutes for a quick break.

We'll be right back and we'll get through these.

(A short recess was taken.)



MR. CHAIRMAN: We'll call the meeting

back to order and we will call Case 02-094 filed by

Beverly White representing Westmarket Square. This

is the development at the northwest corner of

Grand River and Beck Road.

Ma'am, you want to raise your hand

and be sworn?

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information that you're about to

give in the matter before you is the truth?



MS. WHITE: Beverly White from

Juxtapose Sign Studio, and I'm here on behalf of

Bradley Rosenberg who has been here a couple other

times to get an extension on a variance for the

temporary construction sign, or real estate, I'm

not exactly sure how it's referred to, but you've

very nicely and cordially granted us a couple of

extensions, and we're here for another.

Construction is still going on and we

need to market the retail space that's still

available. It's not a building yet but it's still


property within Westmarket Square.

I do have a drawing. If you need to

see it I can put it on the board or -- basically,

it's a simple request to extend the variance that

we have already for as long as you see fit to grant


MR. CHAIRMAN: If you have evidence

to present, you better present it.

MS. WHITE: Okay. That corner that

you see there in the lower right, that is where the

sign is. Right here is where the sign is located

right now.

It's an eight foot by eight foot,

sixty-four square foot sign. And if granted an

extension -- if you had a chance to look at it,

it's kind of wearing over time, and if the

extension is granted we are going to straighten the

sign and make it look nicer and refresh it so to


But here are some -- this is still

property here that is not built or contracted yet,

this is also open property, this over here is open

property, and we also have some future retail space

here that's still open and needs to be marketed.


So all those available spots are still in need of

construction and marketing.

If that sign were removed it

basically stops all the phone calls. I mean,

people will think that's completely full and won't

be interested, because there are no signs on the

property right now to advertise those spaces.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Anybody in the


(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: No comment, sir.

MR. CHAIRMAN: May I ask, with

respect to the entire complex what percentage is

built and leased?

MS. WHITE: All the orange areas that

you see are built and leased.

MR. CHAIRMAN: What percentage of the


MS. WHITE: (Interposing) What

percentage, that's a very good question. I would


MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) If you

have to shoot from the hip, shoot from the hip.


MS. WHITE: Okay. I would say


MR. CHAIRMAN: That answers my


I mean, I look at this, personally,

no different than the residential development when

we're looking at the number of houses that had been

sold and the number of vacant lots. It's a very

similar situation.

We have had meetings in the past with

other signage and we've asked the land owner here

to -- I remember distinctly that attorney -- I

forget which one it is. I forget his name. We --

I personally asked him to go back to the property

owner and come back with a full signage package,

which hasn't happened, but that withstanding, this

is a request for a previously approved sign for --

MEMBER GRAY: You're thinking of

Joe Garin?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Yes, yes, yes. I did

ask Joe-

MEMBER GRAY: (Interposing) You

asked specifically --

MR. CHAIRMAN: -to go back and get a


full sign package.


MR. CHAIRMAN: So I'll just leave

those comments.

Any other Board Members?

MEMBER REINKE: I have one comment.

Where were you six months ago?

MS. WHITE: Well, actually, are you

saying that because the -- it went farther past the

extension than it's supposed to?


MS. WHITE: Oh, I have an answer for

that actually, and it's something that you resolved

within yourselves here at the last -- Sarah, help

me. It was the last-

MS. MARCHIONI: (Interposing) At the

October meeting it was brought up.

MS. WHITE: It was brought up because

the verbiage had said -- I have it here, give me

two seconds. You granted it for six months or

until leased, and nobody really caught that, so it

was pretty open-ended, and it was -- we thought

that was pretty cool, but it turns out that-

MEMBER REINKE: (Interposing) Our


definition --

MS. WHITE: -what you really meant


MEMBER REINKE: I can tell you

definition right now, is six months or if it's

leased earlier than that.

MS. WHITE: Of course.

MEMBER REINKE: The maximum is six


MS. WHITE: Whichever comes first,

sure, but it actually didn't say that though, so I

think that maybe is why it went past its time, and

that was clarified at the October meeting, and of

course the sign needs to come down unless we get

the variance -- I mean the extension.

MEMBER REINKE: I would support a

variance request for a year or until leased,

whichever is shorter, but this will be the last


MEMBER GRAY: Any notices,

Mr. Chair?

MR. CHAIRMAN: I'm sorry. Three

notices sent; zero/zero.



MEMBER BAUER: Did I hear you say

you're going to refurbish that sign?

MS. WHITE: Yes, we are. It's


MEMBER BAUER: Stay the same?

MS. WHITE: Graphics will -- we have

no advantage in changing anything on the sign.

We're not asking for that. It's going to be

identical. It's just going to look a lot nicer

than, you know -- it's falling apart a little bit

right now.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Other Board Members?


that was a motion, I'll-

MEMBER REINKE: (Interposing) I'll

make it into one.

Mr. Chairman, Case 02-094, I move

that petitioner's variance request for a temporary

marketing sign be granted for a period of one year

or until leased, whichever is shorter, and the

practical difficulty is to improve marketing.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Motion and a second.

Sarah, please.


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?



MS. WHITE: (Interposing) Thank you

very much.

MR. CHAIRMAN: -you have another


MS. WHITE: Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Unless you lease it


MS. WHITE: Hopefully.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You're not kidding.


MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. How about

the Ryans, they here? Come on down.


This is a case filed by Neal Ryan

requesting a six foot rear yard setback,

construction of an attached garage. This is at

24360 Willow Lane.

Raise your hand and be sworn.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the that information you're about to

give in the matter before you is the truth?

MR. RYAN: Yes.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Tell us what you want

to do and why you want to do it.

MR. RYAN: Well, we've recently

bought a property -- or a home here in Novi and we

want to put on a two-car garage.

One of the -- the drawing was

submitted and it was suggested to us that we move

the garage forward on our property six feet. The

biggest problem that we have with that is that

eliminates the one and only window we have on that

side of the house, takes away any daylight,

ventilation, whatever, but that also happens to be

the laundry room in the home.

Another problem we have is part of


the association rules are that there's no parking

on the street at night.

In the event that -- well, for

example, this past weekend we had our children up

and, you know, they drive in, we don't have that

much of an area to accommodate the association. So

we're asking for the six foot variance in order

that we have a little longer driveway and also to

allow us to have the natural light and ventilation

in our laundry room.

Some of the material I submitted, I

did go to all my neighbors, except one that I never

could find at home, and they've all signed on the

plan that they approve of it.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Did you -- do you have

that with you?

MS. MARCHIONI: It's in the file.

MR. RYAN: It's -- I submitted it.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I'm sorry. Keep


MR. RYAN: I'm going to have to look

at notes now. I'm not much of a speaker.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I'll tell you what,

you know what, if we've got questions we'll ask



MR. RYAN: Okay. Well, one of the

things I guess I should mention, I don't think that

it's going to have an adverse affect on the

neighborhood. If anything, I think it's going to

be an improvement.

I submitted some pictures. There's

basically three different plans that people have

used in the three different subdivisions in the

association, and unfortunately quite a few of the

homes in our area have followed the one plan, and

we're trying -- or, hopefully, if we're allowed the

variance, we'll be able to make the house a little

bit unique, the whole neighborhood won't look --

it's a home out of the '50s. It will break up the

subdivision look if you will. I think it would be

a good improvement.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. You're all

set. Anybody in the audience?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: We had thirty-three

notices. We had two approvals through the normal

format, but we had another dozen or so, and we do

have Willowbrook Community Association approval.


Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: Well, this is basically a

corner lot scenario, plus it's a very unusual lot

configuration, which puts these people in a very

difficult situation. I think they tried to do the

very best they could as far as the location.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members?

MEMBER REINKE: I don't think there's

any garage can be built in Willowbrook without a


I think you've done a good job, you

know, it's minimal. It's to the rear yard. I can

support petitioner's request. There's not much

else you can do.

MR. RYAN: Can I ask one other thing?

I'm not sure if this is the time or

not, but is it possible to get a five-day waiver so


MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) If you

get a nod from us.

MEMBER BAUER: If they can do it.

MR. RYAN: Okay. I didn't know where

to go with that.

MR. CHAIRMAN: If I were you, I would


ask that question about that time.

Let Mr. Reinke make a motion here.

MEMBER REINKE: Mr. Chairman, in

Case 02-095, I move that the petitioner's variance

request be approved. The practical difficulty is

lot shape, size and configuration.


MR. CHAIRMAN: We have a motion and

overwhelming support.

Sarah, will you please call the vote.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MR. CHAIRMAN: You've got your

variance. See the Building Department.

And would we grant the -- can we

handle this five-day-


MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) I am

hopeful that we can.

MR. CHAIRMAN: See the Building


MR. RYAN: Okay. Thank you very



MR. CHAIRMAN: Let's call up the

Haynes, Kelly and Mike, on 112 Maudlin.

They'd like a ten foot yard -- front

yard setback for the construction of a covered


As I read this, this is an existing

porch that they want to enclose.

Case Number 02-096, Kelly and Mike.

You want to raise your hand and be


MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or

affirm that the information that you're about to

give in the matter before you is the truth?



MR. CHAIRMAN: Why don't you give us


a quick little summary of what you want to do and

why you want to do it.

MS. HAYNES: Okay. We received the

building permit for the addition in July and we

started it in August. We're not aware that there

was a variance needed, but -- so we apologize for


We've since talked to our neighbors

and no one seems to have any objections.

And we just -- we want a roof on the

porch, not to enclose it completely, just the roof


MR. CHAIRMAN: That's pretty simple.

We'll run with that.

Anybody in the audience?

(No response.)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Building Department?

MR. SAVEN: The Building Department

did not catch that covered porch. It's our fault.

And it's an existing building.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Board Members? Sarah.

MEMBER GRAY: Well, the Haynes are

neighbors of mine. And contrary to popular belief,

not everybody on Maudlin is redoing their houses,


although it seems like it.

What they're proposing is lovely.

The porch has been there for years. They just

wanted to put a roof over it. It looks very nice,

and I know a lot of the neighbors support it.

I think you have a petition.

MR. CHAIRMAN: What I do have is

seventy-two notices; one approval. And if there

was a petition I haven't found it yet.

MS. HAYNES: Actually, I have one.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Ma'am, I tell you

what, if you had people that were ready to rip your

house down and burn you at the stake, they'd be

here tonight, but what we do have is all the people

who weren't going to burn you at the stake are

listed here. You have the support of the majority

of your neighbors.

So if Sarah's ready to make a

motion --

MEMBER GRAY: Well, if I must. Move

to approve in the matter of Case Number 02-096, the

petition by Mr. and Mrs. Haynes, to put a roof over

their existing front porch with a ten foot setback

variance due to the fact that it was existing for


many, many years. Practical difficulty noted?


MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. We have a

motion and second.

Sarah, please, unless there's


MS. MARCHIONI: Is there a second?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Jerry was the second.

MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Ms. Haynes, you have a

variance and see the Building Department.

MS. HAYNES: Do we ask for the

five-day waiver now?

MS. MARCHIONI: I talked to Andy, and

call him tomorrow morning between 8:00 and 9:00.


MS. HAYNES: Thank you very much.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Looks like there's

been previous discussion.


MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. Come on

down. We're going to call Case 02-097 filed by

Greg Eitelman.


MR. CHAIRMAN: And give me the

pronunciation of this business.

MR. EITELMAN: It's called

Roche Bobois.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Roche Bobois.


MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. This is

regarding an existing business, or at least part of

a business. That was Hagopian?

MR. EITELMAN: Correct.

MR. CHAIRMAN: And you're requesting

three sign variances.

You want to raise your hands and be

sworn, please.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear or


affirm that the information that you're about to

give in the matter before you is the truth?



MR. EITELMAN: The -- first, let me

just say, my name is Greg Eitelman, and I'm a

resident of Novi.

My partner is Edgar Hagopian, and we

formed a separate company to take on the Roche

Bobois franchise, which in an internationally

known, recognized furniture brand, and probably the

radius of our customer base is at least 50 miles,

so we would be potentially bringing in customers

from Windsor, and then probably on the other side

as far as Grand Rapids.

With that said, the existing Hagopian

building on Twelve Mile Road has some very unusual

topographic conditions in that it is a two-level

building originally designed as one entity, one

store, and our company has taken the lower level of

the store, and the upper level will be the existing

Hagopian World of Rugs.

And we have -- we now have a new

address. The original address for the whole


building was 43223 Twelve Mile Road, and our

address now is 43221 Twelve Mile Road.

We have a shared entrance off of

Twelve Mile Road. At that point the parking lot

wraps around three sides of the building, and so

our potential customer would come in off of

Twelve Mile Road and be directed down to the lower

level, which would be our entrance, which actually

faces Ring Road.

So we have a very unusual condition

in terms of trying to identify our building.

There's sort of a diconomy (ph)

happening here. You have a Twelve Mile Road

address with an entrance off of Twelve Mile Road

but we also have a main entrance on Ring Road which

faces the mall.

So what we're requesting is that the

existing Hagopian sign, which is over the main

entrance, be merely replaced with our Roche Bobois

sign, in the same amount square footage that's

already there, and that we have some sign presence

along Twelve Mile Road in that our customers who

are not familiar with the Novi area have some

signage presence along Twelve Mile Road so they can


identify where they might -- where the store might

be, since that is our address.

So -- and then we're also saying that

there's an existing monument sign at Ring Road, and

what we're requesting for that, which -- and that

sign is merely to identify the entrance, because --

I don't know if you've been to that site, but it's

-- it's like a very unusual site. You have to --

you really kind of have to follow the signs. It's

a case where the sign really does have some

meaning. The monument sign, it's really a

directional sign to go up and into the parking lot

for Hagopian.

So we're requesting the existing

monument sign having a different level put on it

that says Roche Bobois, which is still within

limits of the -- I think it's four feet height for

your monument sign.

That's basically it and that's what

our request is.

MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. Anybody in

the audience have anything to say with respect to

this case?

(No response.)


MR. CHAIRMAN: Building Department

left. That's okay.

We had eight notices sent; one

approval from Sears.

I'd like to get it square in my head

on these three signs.

The first one is a brand-new sign on

Twelve Mile.

MR. EITELMAN: Correct.

MR. CHAIRMAN: That little sign that

you showed. And what was the size? That was 50

square foot?


MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. The second sign

is the existing Hagopian sign. You want to replace

that same sign with Roche Bobois?

MR. HAGOPIAN: The one facing the


MR. CHAIRMAN: Right. And the third

sign is an existing ground sign that say



MR. CHAIRMAN: Will also retain




MR. CHAIRMAN: And have Roche Bobois.

Thanks. That answers my questions.

Board Members?

MR. REINKE: So really, building

wise, there's going to be one additional sign. One

sign is going to be replaced.

MR. EITELMAN: That's correct.

MR. CHAIRMAN: One use sign and one

replaced sign.

MR. REINKE: Right.

MR. CHAIRMAN: And one modified sign.

MEMBER REINKE: Well, that's a -- I

have no problem with the ground pole, I have no

problem with the replacement sign. Like I say, the

ground pole sign -- because it's not even going up

in height, now would be four feet, if I'm reading

this correctly. I have no problem with the

replacement sign.

The only one I have to really look at

is the additional sign.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Anybody else?

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Mr. Chairman, when

I was trying to drive through Twelve Mile and


getting the identification to that building, it is

really difficult to identify. I don't know that

I'm in agreement with the size necessarily, but in

lieu of the petitioner's explanation of coming in

off of Twelve Mile and coming back down -- and

right now you can't come in off Twelve Mile because

of that construction -- at least I couldn't.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You have to go down to


MEMBER GRONACHAN: Yeah. You have to

go all the way down and then come back up. And if

you do it that way, you really can't identify -- it

was very difficult for me to identify through all

of that.

So I can support that additional

sign, but I'm in question of the size and look to

my other Board Members for guidance.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I'll make a comment,

because I drove around that dang thing probably

three times looking for all these other signs.

Maybe I didn't understand what the petitioner was


But I don't have any problem with the

ground sign. I don't have any problem with


changing the large Hagopian sign on the Ring Road


Given this is essentially a new

business, I think that there is some merit for

signage on the Twelve Mile Road sign side, and I

thought that the rendering that they put up -- I'm

kind of shocked that that was 50 square foot. I

thought it was quite a modest sign. That was my


We often have lulls like this when

we're deep in concentration.

MEMBER GRONACHAN: Deep in thought.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Deep in thought.

MEMBER BAUER: Mr. Chairman?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Jerry, thank you.

MEMBER BAUER: The monument sign on

Ring Road is no problem, and replacing the one on

the southeast elevation.

The new one on the north side I think

could be a lot more smaller, because you're right

up against that on Twelve Mile Road. You can't see

it either way.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Let's do this.

Let's start knocking this down. Let's -- we seem


to have a lot of support for the ground sign.

Let's take these in reverse order.

Sign C, do we have a motion?

MEMBER GRAY: Mr. Chair, in the

matter of the road sign, directional sign, I will

move that we approve the addition of the name

Roche Bobois to the existing monument sign for

business identification sign and directional off of

Ring Road.


MR. CHAIRMAN: We have a motion and

support. Any discussion?

(No discussion.)


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?



MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. Now, let's

take sign A, which is the existing Hagopian sign

which faces the Ring Road.

Do we have a motion with respect to

that sign?

MEMBER REINKE: Mr. Chairman, in

Case 02-097, sign rendering A, which is to replace

the existing sign on Ring Road side, I move for

support for business identification.


MR. CHAIRMAN: We have a motion and

support. Any discussion?

(No discussion.)


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?



MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. Now we're

dealing with the sign that's fifty square foot.

What was that, six by eight?

MR. EITELMAN: Yeah, approximately

six by eight.

MR. CHAIRMAN: We mentioned early on,

right at the beginning of the meeting, that we have

a short board. There's only five members here.

You have to have four. I think you get a sense

that there's a little sentiment between a couple

people that would maybe like to see this sign on

Twelve Mile be a little smaller. Is that something

you want to address tonight and clean things out?

MR. EITELMAN: To answer your

question, yes, but can I add another bullet to my

little speech here?

MR. CHAIRMAN: Well, like I said, you

need four votes, and if my math is correct, you're

a couple short right now, so maybe you want to cut

to the chase and tell us what you might be able to

live with on the Twelve Mile side.


MR. CHAIRMAN: I don't want to twist

your arm or anything.


MR. EITELMAN: I understand where the

Board is coming from, and I am sensitive to that.

Living here in this community I can understand

totally where you're coming from, and I can, you

know -- I mean, I think that the sign -- I must

have been at a great hardship to put up that

temporary sign which just about blew me off the

side of the building putting that thing up.

That sign can be reduced in size.

And I think -- it is an illuminated sign, and-

MR. CHAIRMAN: Does that help your


MR. EITELMAN: Yeah. I mean, I think

that really all we're trying to do is have some

business presence along Twelve Mile Road. We're

not trying to say this is our main entrance here,

but we need to be distinguished from the Hagopian

side of the building. That's really what we're

trying to do.

MR. CHAIRMAN: You're on that end of

the building?

MR. EITELMAN: Right. So we can't be

seen as, like, you know, that's the Hagopian

building, where is Roche Bobois.


So really we can -- I think that we

could very much reduce the size of that sign and,

you know -- how much, I don't know. I mean to


MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) You're

not sign guy, right?

MR. EITELMAN: I can be. I'm a

designer and architect. I mean, I can probably

proportion that down. The logo has that

proportion. That's how we came up with those

dimensions, but if, you know, reduced twenty

percent or twenty-five percent or something like


MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) What

was that, forty-two, six by seven foot?

MR. HAGOPIAN: It's very significant.

MR. EITELMAN: Right now it's at-

MR. CHAIRMAN: (Interposing) It's at


MR. EITELMAN: It's at 50? Forty.

MEMBER REINKE: Reduce it down to,

like, five by seven, which would be thirty-five

square feet.

MR. EITELMAN: So instead of eight by


seven. Approximately, it's proportion.

So right now we're at fifty square

feet. If it were reduced, say, to forty square

feet, which would take it more into the boundary of

the brick dimensions that are already there on the


MR. CHAIRMAN: If we go back

historically, this was a tough building.

MR. EITELMAN: It's a really tough


MR. CHAIRMAN: We had a lot of

discussion with the Hagopian signage and the

topography of this, so I think that we owe this

petitioner a little room to move here, and if


MEMBER GRAY: (Interposing)

Mr. Chair, I'll make a motion --

MR. CHAIRMAN: -a shared sentiment.

Thank you.

MEMBER GRAY: I'll make a motion in

Case 02-097 that sign B, which is the additional

sign facing Twelve Mile, the variance be granted

for building identification -- tenant

identification purpose with the understanding that


it's to be no larger than forty square feet. I'd

like to see it a little bit smaller if you can

proportion it, but absolutely no larger than forty

square feet.

MR. EITELMAN: If you say no larger

than 40 square feet, it more than likely will be

smaller than that because of the proportion of the

logo, yes.


MR. CHAIRMAN: We have a motion and a

second. Any discussion?

Laverne, does that help?



MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gray?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Bauer?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Brennan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gronachan?


MS. MARCHIONI: Member Reinke?



MR. CHAIRMAN: You've got your


MR. EITELMAN: Thank you, ladies and


MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Thank you,

Board Members, for working with the petitioner.

That is our last case.

Other matters. I have just two real

quick ones, and one may have been answered already.

The ability of a business to put signage in their

windows, inside the windows, as far as name of the

business, it's only restricted by square footage?

MR. SAVEN: It's restricted by square

footage of twenty-five percent. Now, there's one

-- couple of the things that came about the sign

ordinance. Somebody took that out of context at

one time and wanted to put neon.

If you recall before where

Mesquite Bar and Grill was, the place upstairs,

they put some neon up there. And, of course, the

only thing that was allowed as far as neon signs

were secured are those which said open or closed,

something to that affect.

There's a lot of issues that are


involved in this stuff. Normally, you've got the

retail establishments or the grocery stores or

whatever, they put in all these signs in the

windows, double coupons or whatever it is, and cost

of certain items or specials, or whatever, but

they're only allowed to have twenty-five percent.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I only -- I wanted

just to point out the Gorman's Store, which has got

the signage along Twelve Mile that's inside the


The other sign that I took notice of

is the Twelve Oaks Landscaping on Twelve Mile,

whether you want to have somebody look at that.

They've added a big chunk to the existing sign,

added verbiage, and I don't know if that goes

beyond their-

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) I'll send

Allen out to take a look at that.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Any other additional

comments? Sarah?

MEMBER GRAY: The Imagine Theater

open -- now open sign hanging on -- facing the

expressway, are those permitted?



MEMBER GRAY: There's two banner-type

MR. SAVEN: (Interposing) No. We

will be notifying them.

MEMBER GRAY: And what happened with

the furniture building and the bank building on the

southeast corner of Grand River and Novi where the

designer carpet and furniture --

MR. SAVEN: I'm not sure-

MEMBER GRAY: (Interposing) They had

two signs.

MR. SAVEN: -but I think that was

mentioned by Mr. Reinke, and we will have

Mr. Amolsch check it out. I do believe that he

probably has that somewhere. I'm sure he was

intuned to us, but I will find out for you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Anything else?

MEMBER GRONACHAN: One other thing.

To remind everybody, that we're still looking for

volunteers for our Board. If anybody wants to sign

up, please, by all means, see Sarah and come join

us every month and have as much fun as we do.

MR. SAVEN: I'd like to thank

Stephanie for coming in at the last minute here.

We really appreciate it.


MEMBER GRONACHAN: You did a great


MEMBER BAUER: Very good.

MS. SIMON: Thank you for having me.

MR. CHAIRMAN: This meeting is


(The meeting was adjourned at

9:22 p.m.)

Date approved:

December 3, 2002 __________________________

Sarah Marchioni Recording Secretary

- - -


I, Cheryl L. James, do hereby

certify that I have recorded stenographically the

proceedings had and testimony taken in the

above-entitled matter at the time and place hereinbefore

set forth, and I do further certify that the foregoing

transcript, consisting of 110 typewritten pages, is a

true and correct transcript to the best of my abilities.



Cheryl L. James, CSR-5786