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Proceedings had and testimony taken in the matters of the ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS at City of Novi 45175 West Ten Mile Road, Novi, Michigan, on Tuesday, September 7, 2004.

Cynthia Gronachan, Chairman
Gerald Bauer
Justin Fischer
Brent Canup

Don Saven, Building Department
Alan Amolsh, Ordinance Enforcement
Timothy Schmitt, Planner
David Gilliam, City Attorney
Denise Anderson, ZBA Recording Secretary

Machelle Billingslea-Moore, Certified Shorthand Reporter.

1 Novi, Michigan

2 Tuesday, September 7, 2004

3 At 7:30 p.m.

4 - - - - - -

5 MEMBER GRONACHAN: It is 7:31 and I

would like to now call the Zoning Board of Appeals

meeting back into session. For those of you who missed

it, we started the meeting early, because the Zoning

Board was in closed session. So we will, at this point,

start with our rules of conduct.

I will ask everyone to please notice on

Their agenda this evening, there’s a list of rules of

13 conduct. Please review that before approaching the

14 podium.

15 Also, the Zoning Board of Appeals is a

16 hearing board, empowered by the Novi City Charter to

17 hear appeals seeking variances for the application of

18 the Novi Zoning Ordinances. It takes at least a vote

19 of four members to approve a variance, and a vote of

20 the majority of the members present to deny a request.

21 This evening, we have four members.

22 Anyone at this time that wishes to have

23 their case tabled, in lieu of next month when we have

24 a full board, you can approach the podium at this

















1 time. Anyone in the audience that wishes to do that?

2 Seeing none, we had August Minutes in

3 the meeting. Are there any changes or admissions to

4 the Minutes from last month?

5 MEMBER FISCHER: On page 117 line ten

6 --

7 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Member Fischer, I'm

8 sorry, go ahead.

9 MEMBER FISCHER: I'm sorry.

10 I'm not sure how it should be, but my

11 last name is spelled incorrectly. I just wanted to

12 clarify that. Just because also the City Attorney is

13 Fisher, without the C.


15 Just for the record, it's F-i-s-c-h-e-

16 r.

17 We'll make a note to correct that.

18 Thank you.

19 Any other additions or changes?

20 Seeing none, all those in favor of the

21 August Minutes, please say aye?


23 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Any opposed?

24 None.

















1 At this point we would like to open the

2 meeting to anyone in the audience that wishes to make

3 comment to the Board in regards to a case or an issue

4 -- other than what's being presented in front of the

5 Zoning Board this evening -- is there anyone in the

6 audience that wishes to approach the Board at this

7 time in regards to a matter that is not on the agenda?

8 Okay.

9 Seeing none, we'll go ahead and call

10 our first case, case number, 04-075 filed by Steven

11 O'Guin of Westwind Companies, LLC, for new

12 construction at 25910 Strath Haven Drive, lot 96, in

13 Pioneer Meadows Subdivision.

14 Board Members, you will remember that

15 this case was tabled from last month.

16 And we have in front of us?

17 MR. O'GUIN: Steve O'Guin, Westwind

18 Companies.

19 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Mr. O'Guin, you were

20 sworn in last month --

21 MR. O'GUIN: Yes.

22 MEMBER GRONACHAN: -- and that will

23 continue on to this month.

24 MR. O'GUIN: Okay.

















1 MEMBER GRONACHAN: And if you want to

2 bring us up to date on what happened since last month,

3 we're ready to hear you.

4 MR. O'GUIN: We submitted a new plot

5 plan. We resubmitted a new neighborhood association

6 approval. Mr. Greg Nelson was here last month. He's

7 the architectural review board of the neighborhood

8 association. We've ironed out our differences.

9 But on this I notice that it's the same

10 variance as we did last month, and this isn't correct.

11 We're applying for, if you look on page two to the

12 proposed front yard setback, 35 feet. We changed that

13 to 40 feet; so we want a five foot variance; and

14 number two on that required rear yard setback is going

15 to be 41 feet -- or the proposed rear yard setback to

16 41 feet. These figures are the same as last month,

17 which we tabled.


19 And so then the second variance request

20 that you're requesting is five feet, correct?

21 MR. O'GUIN: Is nine feet.


23 MR. O'GUIN: The first one is five

24 feet.


















2 MR. O'GUIN; The other two side yard

3 setbacks are the same. The variances are the same as

4 proposed.

5 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Just one moment.

6 Don, can you check on how it was

7 advertised?

8 MR. SAVEN: We're checking on that now.


10 MR. O'GUIN: If you want to approve

11 that one, that's fine, too, because it's the one we

12 tabled.

13 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you want to make

14 that on the record, Denise?

15 DENISE ANDERSON: The copy you received

16 in the mail was correct, wasn't it?

17 MR. O'GUIN: Yes, it was correct.

18 DENISE ANDERSON: The one that was sent

19 out to all of the property owners was correct. I just

20 copied this from last month.

21 MR. O'GUIN: But that was --

22 DENISE ANDERSON: Made a mistake, okay?

23 MEMBER GRONACHAN: So just so the

24 record shows, the advertising for the changes in the

















1 variances were correct.

2 MR. O'GUIN: Yes.

3 MEMBER GRONACHAN: It's just the

4 agenda. Plus, our cases show the correct

5 measurements.

6 Okay. You can go ahead.

7 I'm sorry. Is there anything else?

8 MR. O'GUIN: No, that's it.


10 Thank you very much.

11 Is there anyone in the audience that

12 wishes to make comment in regards to this case?

13 Seeing none, there were 35 notices

14 mailed; one approval, no objections, and two letters

15 returned.

16 The approval was, in fact, from the

17 Pioneer Meadows Subdivision with the new changes; and

18 they have it -- they have the correct five feet and

19 nine feet for the front, too.

20 Building Department?

21 MR. SAVEN: If it's the Board's desire,

22 I would be hopeful that if a Motion is granted for the

23 approval, I would ask that it be based upon the

24 information that went out to the public.


















2 Thank you.

3 Board Members?

4 Member Canup?

5 MEMBER CANUP: I guess the only

6 question I have is on the front yard setback, the

7 request for that.

8 Does the house line up, the new home,

9 line up with the house directly to the south of it?

10 MR. O'GUIN: Yes.

11 MEMBER CANUP: In other words, the

12 setbacks would be the same.

13 MR. O'GUIN: There's a vacant lot

14 directly to the south. Mr. Nelson lives two lots

15 down.


17 MR. O'GUIN: There is the reason he

18 requested a 40 foot setback so we'll line up with his

19 house.

20 MEMBER CANUP: You do line up with the

21 Nelson's house.

22 MR. O'GUIN: Yes.

23 MEMBER CANUP: I guess in light of

24 that, in looking at the situation of the zoning there,

















1 I guess it doesn't really reflect the trueness of the

2 subdivision. However, it's zoned that, so that's what

3 we have to look at.

4 I don't see where there's a problem,

5 and I think that probably every lot in there is going

6 to come before us eventually. So with that, I would

7 make a Motion -- if that's fine with everybody -- in

8 case number, 04-075 that we grant the variances as

9 requested, due to the uniqueness of the zoning of the

10 property.

11 MEMBER BAUER: Second.

12 MEMBER GRONACHAN: It's been moved and

13 seconded.

14 Member Fischer?

15 MEMBER FISCHER: As requested and as

16 noticed.




20 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Is there any further

21 discussion?

22 None?

23 Denise, would you please call the roll.

24 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Canup?


















2 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Bauer?


4 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Fischer?


6 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Gronachan?


8 DENISE ANDERSON: Motion passes four to

9 zero.

10 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Your variances have

11 been granted. Good luck to you.

12 MR. O'GUIN: Thank you.

13 What are the chances of getting a

14 building permit tonight?

15 MEMBER GRONACHAN: You have to go and

16 see the Building Department.

17 Slim and none.


19 Okay. Let's call our next case, case

20 number 04-079, filed by Michael Versaci for the Baja

21 Fresh Mexican Grill restaurant at 43271 Crescent

22 Boulevard in the Novi Town Center.

23 Good evening.

24 And you are?

















1 MS. CASSADA: I'm Alaina Cassada. I'm

2 in the marketing department of Baja Fresh.


4 Would you please raise your right hand

5 to be sworn in by our secretary.

6 MEMBER BAUER: Do you solemnly swear or

7 affirm to tell the truth regarding case 04-079?

8 MS. CASSADA: Yes, I do.

9 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.

10 Go ahead.


12 MS. CASSADA: It's just a request to

13 extend the furniture out in front of the -- the patio

14 furniture, have it for another three years; 23 seats

15 and seven tables, for eating purposes.


17 Is there anyone in the audience that

18 wishes to make comment in regards to this case?

19 Seeing none.

20 Building Department?

21 MR. SAVEN: I'll just point out this

22 case was before the Building Department earlier on a

23 temporary use permit on case, 03-024. And based upon

24 the fact that they're looking to extent the time. We

















1 no longer do this, I'm sorry. Therefore, that's why

2 they're here before us.

3 We haven't had any problems regarding

4 this particular matter. They've always kept it neat

5 and clean and in an orderly fashion at all times.

6 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Okay, great.

7 Member Canup?

8 MEMBER CANUP: I guess the only

9 question I have is do we have anything in writing from

10 the owners of the center?

11 MR. SAVEN: I do believe so.


13 MR. SAVEN: It should be in your packet

14 from James Klear(ph), property manager, that

15 references the temporary use permit approval.


17 MEMBER GRONACHAN: I did slip here.

18 There were 81 notices sent; no

19 approvals, no objections, and six letters were

20 returned.

21 That might have helped Member Canup.

22 Member Fischer?

23 MEMBER FISCHER: My only question was

24 about the -- if they'd had any problems. And given

















1 that they haven't, and the Building Department can no

2 longer grant this, I'm willing to support it; and

3 would be willing to make a Motion, should there be no

4 more discussion.

5 I move that we grant the use variance

6 as requested in case number, 04-079 for Baja Fresh due

7 to the fact that the past performance of the

8 Petitioner. There's no history of problems;

9 therefore, not creating any environmental or public

10 safety problem.

11 MEMBER BAUER: Three --

12 MEMBER FISCHER: For three years.

13 MEMBER BAUER: Second.


15 It's been moved and seconded.

16 Any further discussion in regards to

17 the Motion?

18 Seeing none, Denise, would you please

19 call the roll.

20 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Fischer?


22 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Bauer?


24 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Canup?


















2 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Gronachan?


4 DENISE ANDERSON: Motion passes four to

5 zero.

6 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Your variance has

7 been granted.

8 Please see --

9 Does she see the Building Department

10 for that, or is she all set?

11 MR. SAVEN: She should be all set, but

12 prior to any season before you start, you call the

13 office so we can take a look at the accessibility to

14 your building.

15 MS. CASSADA: Okay.

16 MR. SAVEN: Okay.


18 Good luck to you.


20 All right. Moving right along at

21 record speed, going to case number, 04-081, filed by

22 Lance Hardins of Toll Brothers for Island Lake

23 Development. Mr. Hardins is requesting 11 sign

24 variances for the 11 ground signs erected in the

















1 Island Lake Development, located north of Ten Mile and

2 Wixom Road.

3 Good evening.

4 And you are Mr. Hardins?

5 MR. HARDINS: Yes. Lance Hardins, Toll

6 Brothers, 30500 Northwestern, Farmington Hills,

7 Michigan.

8 MEMBER GRONACHAN: And you are not an

9 attorney; is that correct?

10 MR. HARDINS: Correct.

11 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Would you please

12 raise your right hand and be sworn in by our

13 secretary.

14 MEMBER BAUER: Do you solemnly swear or

15 affirm to tell the truth regarding case 04-081?

16 MR. HARDINS: Yes, I do.

17 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.

18 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Mr. Hardins, I just

19 want to take a moment and remind you that you have a

20 packet and we've reviewed everything, so if you can

21 give us a synopsis.

22 MR. HARDINS: As you know, Island Lake

23 is in the Novi Community, over 800 acres. We've set-

24 up various directional signs and location signs

















1 throughout. Most of these -- all of these signs, I

2 believe, are on roads that have not been dedicated.

3 They're not on the main thoroughfares or interior

4 sides, but they still want to comply with the Code.

5 I'm asking for a variance, just because

6 we have a lot of traffic, and these are directional

7 signs to let people know where to go in our community.

8 We do not keep our signs up for extend periods of

9 time. As soon as we don't need them, we try to take

10 them down. They're not extravagant; they're just

11 placed to let people know where they need to go.


13 Excuse me, anything else?

14 MR. HARDINS: Nope, I think that is it.

15 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Is there anyone in

16 the audience that wishes to make comment in regards to

17 this case?

18 Seeing none, there were 97 notices

19 sent; zero approvals, one objection. The objection

20 was from Nancy Kola at 25579 Shoreline Drive, Novi.

21 Her objection is that bigger signs will distract from

22 the appearance of the community. Island Lake

23 Association, established by Toll Brothers, is not

24 allowed to erect pole signs of any kind in the

















1 neighborhood; including for sale. I don't see any

2 reason Toll Brothers should include signage for its

3 marketing purposes.

4 Building Department?

5 MR. SAVEN: No comment.

6 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Board Members?

7 MEMBER CANUP: A lot of variances. I

8 think the person who wrote that letter -- I don't see

9 the name -- but I think points were well taken.

10 However, I do understand the developer does need

11 direction. They need advertisement, I guess, for

12 homes that are for sale, so people do come in there

13 and they know where they're going and what's

14 available.

15 I don't know, you know, some of these

16 signs seem fairly large -- there's 28 square foot.

17 That's bigger than a sheet of plywood. Plywood's 32

18 square feet.

19 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Member Canup, can I

20 ask the Petitioner a question?

21 Mr. Hardins, can you clarify, are these

22 -- according to our packet, these signs appear to be

23 put specifically on specific lots; or were those lot

24 numbers just used for our identification, so we could

















1 find them when we went to go to see, driving around

2 the site?

3 MR. HARDINS: Most of them are in

4 specific sites, where it's either a directional sign,

5 you know, pointing directions to model homes or

6 actually, we have some that are in front of our

7 models, again, stating that is a model home. We're

8 open. We want to distinguish that from, you know, we

9 have other houses that are being built. So they are

10 in front of our models, for the most part.

11 And then the directional signs are

12 usually at corners and intersections.


14 Given the map, which you gave us, could

15 you please clarify for this Board how many are

16 directional signs, and how many are like for sale

17 signs?

18 And I can probably note that there are

19 signs, sign one located at lot 145 at Ravine East

20 Development, east of Wixom. Is that a directional

21 sign?

22 MR. HARDINS: NO, that's actually a

23 sign that's distinguishing a model home.


















1 MR. HARDINS: Yeah.

2 MEMBER GRONACHAN: And then the next --

3 MR. HARDINS: Actually, we have a

4 couple of these that were -- like this sign, will be

5 taken down in probably about two weeks, is what I'm

6 hoping. But there's another one there that's in front

7 of other model that will be open for sale. Does that

8 make sense?

9 As soon as it's done with it's

10 usefulness, we take the sign down. We don't keep our

11 signs up. This is what's up right now, but we will

12 take it down hopefully in a couple of weeks.

13 MEMBER CANUP: Which one is that,

14 number one?

15 MR. HARDINS: That's number one.

16 MEMBER GRONACHAN: So how long will the

17 directional signs be there?

18 MR. HARDINS: Those will be there, you

19 know, for extended period, you know, as long as

20 they're needed to get people through the community;

21 but they'll be up for quite awhile is what we --

22 obviously for sale, for a couple of years.

23 MEMBER BAUER: For sale --

24 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Sorry to steal your

















1 thunder there, but my clarification, in terms of

2 directional -- I can understand throughout that

3 complex, for directional signs, but these are a lot of

4 sign requests.

5 So I can understand with the

6 Petitioner, the need for directional -- right, like

7 the signs that we have -- but then, again, I'm not so

8 sure about --

9 MEMBER CANUP: What do we do, handle

10 these one by one?

11 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Member Fischer?

12 MEMBER FISCHER: Now, it's my

13 understanding that these signs have some type of court

14 action going along with them with the Building

15 Department?

16 MR. AMOLSH: Correct.

17 MEMBER FISCHER: Could you give me the

18 background on that?

19 MR. AMOLSH: Okay. We initially had

20 notice out on these and we issued some civil

21 infraction tickets. We have an Order that's been

22 approved by a Judge in the 52nd District Court to

23 remove the signs, but we're waiting to do that,

24 pending the Board's decision on the variances.


















2 MEMBER CANUP: So if I understand that,

3 the Court upheld the violation?

4 MR. AMOLSH: Yes.

5 MEMBER CANUP: And they were told to

6 remove the signs.

7 MR. AMOLSH: Yes. If they do not

8 remove the signs, we have a right to come down and

9 take them down.

10 MR. HARDINS: We're not trying to fight

11 to keep the signs up. I have talked to Alan a bunch of

12 times. He obviously issued the citation. After

13 talking to him, he said that one option is coming in

14 front of you guys and ask for a variance. See, that's

15 what we're doing.

16 We're not trying to -- depending on

17 what you guys decide today, we'll agree to that.

18 MEMBER GRONACHAN: I still don't feel

19 that my question's been answered clear enough; and

20 that's about the directional signs. So --

21 MR. HARDINS: Okay. If I can -- I'll

22 do my best. I believe number two is a directional

23 sign, located just on Drakes Bay; number three is a

24 directional sign; number four is a sign on the corner

















1 of Ten Mile and Wixom. We put that up because

2 obviously, as some of our marketing when you're

3 sitting at the corner of Ten Mile and Wixom Road, we

4 want people to get to know that our community's right

5 there. That's why we put that one up.

6 Number five is --that's in front of one

7 of our models. I guess, we tried to put it in front

8 of our models just to distinguish that, so that people

9 aren't wandering around going to other houses. It

10 seems silly, but I've seen homeowners walk right

11 passed a model up to a house across the street, with a

12 sign in front of it that says residents only; and

13 actually walk right in the front door.

14 So we try to put, you know, as many

15 signs as we can so that people aren't wandering all

16 over the place.

17 Number six is a directional sign; seven

18 is, I believe, just a sign that's stating that -- that

19 one is more of a advertising sign.

20 MEMBER BAUER: It looks the same as

21 four and five.

22 MR. HARDINS: Well, actually -- sorry.

23 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Well, I think I'm

24 going to -- number seven seems to be the same as

















1 number five; on the same street. So my question to

2 you at this point -- if the Board Members have

3 anything else to offer, I'm taking the lead here --

4 what sign could you live without?

5 MR. HARDINS: Seven -- I didn't number

6 these, so I can go by memory. Number seven, we could

7 do without.

8 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Okay. So that takes

9 care of number seven.

10 MR. HARDINS: Nine is directional.

11 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Number eight is

12 directional at that clubhouse on Drakes Bay Drive; is

13 that correct?

14 MR. HARDINS: Number eight is a bigger

15 sign that shows, you know, where the clubhouse is and

16 some of the amenities in that. Obviously, our

17 clubhouse is a big --

18 MEMBER GRONACHAN: It's 80 square feet.

19 And that one is already up, correct?

20 MR. HARDINS: All of these signs have

21 been up, yeah.


23 MR. HARDINS: Number nine is a

24 directional sign.


















2 Board members, any input at this point?

3 Anything else?

4 MEMBER CANUP: The signs are all very

5 tasteful. They're not shabby looking signs. They're

6 all allowed signs, except for the square footage. And

7 I guess the hardship would be to have to take them

8 down and shrink them all.

9 MR. HARDINS: I mean, to be honest, we

10 have a lot of people that complain that we don't have

11 enough signs up. Yes, we're asking for a lot of

12 variances, but this is a huge community, and we are

13 not putting --

14 MEMBER CANUP: The Board doesn't agree

15 with you, but I can understand their standpoint.

16 MR. HARDINS: I do, too. But as I

17 said, these are mostly directional or marketing signs,

18 so people know where to go. We're not putting up the

19 one sign that is --

20 MEMBER CANUP: I drove through there

21 last week one day, and I didn't find anything

22 obnoxious; at least, that jumped out at me. So I

23 guess I wouldn't have a problem with the granting some

24 of your variances, with the understanding that some of

















1 your signs don't meet the Ordinance.

2 MR. HARDINS: No, we take them down as

3 soon as we can. We only put them up where they're

4 necessary.


6 MR. SAVEN: Madam Chair?


8 MR. SAVEN: It's been duly noted that

9 the type of the signs that they're asking for are

10 temporary signs. You may want to take into

11 consideration some kind of duration regarding the

12 signs; and bring him back at a certain time, if you

13 want.

14 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Well, we're already

15 down to ten, to ten signs, and I'm still waiting to

16 see if the Petitioner thinks that there's anything

17 else that he doesn't need at this point.

18 MR. HARDINS: I do know like the sign

19 for number one will -- that's one that will come down

20 relatively soon. I don't want to put an exact date,

21 because I'm not sure, but --


23 MR. HARDINS: -- like I said, as soon

24 as I can get that one down, I will.

















1 MEMBER GRONACHAN: So at this point,

2 you're willing to go with the ten signs?



5 See the problem that I have is these

6 were all put up without the variances ahead of time.

7 And I understand the purpose of marketing and the

8 importance of it.

9 What about sign eight, everybody --

10 does anybody have any opinions on sign eight, the 80

11 square foot?

12 Member Fischer?

13 MEMBER CANUP: That's a big sign.

14 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Member Fischer?

15 MEMBER FISCHER: It is a very large

16 sign. Out of all of the signs, I think that is the

17 most directional of them all. So I can't see saying,

18 you can have these directional signs, but we're not

19 going to let you have the biggest -- and what I think

20 shows all of the amenities of the whole community -- I

21 don't see how we can pull a double face there.

22 It is large, but can you tell me where

23 that's located again? How close is it to a major

24 thoroughfare?

















1 MR. HARDINS: It is -- I wish I had a

2 better map. I grabbed this as I was walking out the

3 door.

4 MEMBER CANUP: It's kind of on the road

5 that comes right in off of Ten.

6 MR. HARDINS: Yeah.

7 And this area is not blocking, you

8 know, anyone's view, but it's near the clubhouse, like

9 a marketing/directional sign there, kind of off to the

10 side of the street coming down, but near our clubhouse

11 right here in this corner; if that helps.

12 MEMBER FISCHER: Is that a major access

13 point -- I'm not --

14 MR. HARDINS: Yeah.

15 MEMBER FISCHER: -- but is that a major

16 access point for most of your prospective customers,

17 too?

18 MR. HARDINS: Yeah. We get people to

19 come in off of Ten Mile. This is Terra Del Mar here;

20 and also off of Wixom. These are the areas that we're

21 talking about, the directional signs, to keep people

22 moving. We're --

23 MEMBER FISCHER: So that's -- all of

24 these -- it's large, relative -- very large, but I

















1 think it's the most important sign if we're going to

2 grant some of these signs, I would be in support of

3 that one.

4 In fact, I go off of Wixom when I

5 entered Island Lakes.


7 MEMBER CANUP: Is there a time that

8 Toll Brothers feels they'll be built out here?

9 MR. HARDINS: I wish I could answer

10 that. I'm kind of guessing, but it's probably three,

11 four years, for all of them. Like I said, we take

12 signs down as soon as we don't need them anymore.

13 These signs, most of them will not be up that long.

14 If --

15 MEMBER CANUP: Well, I would think that

16 if we took and granted a variance on the signs, less

17 than one that are agreed to not have, granted for a

18 period of one year. And that will give you a year of

19 attrition to get rid of some of those signs. And in a

20 year, come back and see us. If there are signs that

21 are still needed there, we could deal with it.

22 That's my take on it.

23 MEMBER BAUER: And don't put up any new

24 ones.

















1 MEMBER GRONACHAN: No more new ones,

2 without coming to see us.

3 MR. HARDINS: Nope. Okay.


5 Member Canup?

6 Member Fischer?


8 Which sign --

9 MEMBER GRONACHAN: We deleted sign

10 number seven.

11 MEMBER CANUP: Before I make a Motion

12 here, number seven --


14 That was actually the only sign that

15 was deleted at this time.

16 Sign number one, per the Petitioner, is

17 only going to be up for a couple more weeks.

18 MEMBER CANUP: Okay. We'll table sign

19 number one. Yeah, we'll just table sign number one.

20 That keeps it in our action.

21 But when you take it down, that'll wipe

22 that out; is that correct? Is that a legal way to do

23 that?

24 MEMBER FISCHER: Why don't we give him

















1 a month for it?

2 MEMBER CANUP: Can we give it for a

3 month?

4 MR. GILLIAM: You can give it any time

5 that you want.


7 Now what sign was that now?

8 MEMBER GRONACHAN: That was sign number

9 one.

10 MEMBER CANUP: Okay. One month.

11 Sign number seven goes.


13 MEMBER FISCHER: Can we look at one

14 more sign, too?

15 Sign number nine, it's in the mix right

16 there. I'm not sure. I don't have the roads on mine;

17 next to sign number eight, ten; and seven has been

18 taken out.

19 MEMBER BAUER: Uh-huh.

20 MEMBER FISCHER: But your ten and eight

21 are still there. And eight is the big one. Do you

22 feel that's a directional sign?

23 MR. HARDINS: Which one is that?

24 MEMBER FISCHER: Number eight.

















1 I'm sorry, nine.

2 MR. HARDINS: Actually, this is the one

3 I thought was seven.

4 MEMBER FISCHER: Seven is this one,

5 right? I feel that is relatively the same sign.


7 MEMBER FISCHER: And they're all in that

8 area next to the very large sign.

9 MR. HARDINS: This one I don't need.

10 We can take down.


12 MEMBER CANUP: So what number is that?

13 MR. HARDINS: This is number nine. So

14 we can take that down immediately.

15 MEMBER CANUP: If that's the -- I would

16 make a Motion in case number 04-081, that we grant a

17 variance for a period of one year for the -- what is

18 it, 12 signs as requested, with the exclusion of

19 number nine being deleted; and number one is okay for

20 a period of one month from this date.

21 MEMBER BAUER: And number seven.

22 MEMBER CANUP: And seven being deleted,

23 also.

24 MR. HARDINS: No. When I was talking

















1 about seven, I meant sign nine. I didn't number

2 these.

3 MEMBER CANUP: Let me back up, then.

4 Seven stays, but not nine.

5 MEMBER FISCHER: Right. He was looking

6 at number seven. He thought that nine was seven.

7 However, I still feel that nine and seven should go,

8 due to the fact that one corner has the largest sign

9 that's being requested; and sign number ten is right

10 on that kiddy-corner from there.

11 MEMBER CANUP: I'll revise my Motion.

12 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you understand?

13 MR. HARDINS: Yes.


15 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Oh, I'm sorry. The

16 Petitioner.

17 MEMBER CANUP: Seven and nine being

18 deleted, and then one being removed within 30 days

19 from this date; and all the rest for a period of one

20 year.


22 MR. GILLIAM: I'm being really

23 difficult tonight. I know that.

24 MEMBER GRONACHAN: We haven't started

















1 throwing anything at you.

2 MR. GILLIAM: I think for purposes of

3 the record, and particularly for Alan, for the purpose

4 of enforcement, if we could do a Motion for each sign.

5 I think that would make it simpler and easier for

6 everybody.


8 I'm trying to find a way to do this

9 without having to make 12 separate Motions.


11 MEMBER CANUP: Okay. Let's start off

12 with item number one.

13 I'd make a Motion that we grant a

14 variance in this case on sign number one for a period

15 of one month.

16 MEMBER BAUER: Second.

17 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Friendly amendment.

18 Just for the record, can you say lot 145 at the

19 Ravines East Development?

20 MEMBER CANUP: One over here reflects

21 over here on the map.


23 MEMBER FISCHER: And it's listed on the

24 agenda.

















1 MEMBER CANUP: Would it be okay to

2 just have (unintelligible) then we'd have a record of

3 all of them.

4 MR. GILLIAM: That's fine.

5 MR. SAVEN: That's fine.

6 MEMBER GRONACHAN: All those in favor

7 of the Motion made, say aye?



10 MEMBER CANUP: Okay. I'd make a Motion

11 on sign number two, that the variance be granted as

12 requested.

13 MEMBER BAUER: Second.

14 MEMBER GRONACHAN: All those in favor

15 of the Motion on sign number two, say aye?



18 Opposed?

19 None.

20 Okay.

21 MEMBER CANUP: I'd make a Motion in the

22 same case, sign number three, be approved as

23 requested.

24 MEMBER BAUER: Second.

















1 MEMBER GRONACHAN: All those in favor

2 of sign number three being approved, say aye?



5 Opposed?

6 None.

7 MEMBER CANUP: I'd make a Motion that

8 sign number four, again, we have recommended or make a

9 Motion that this be approved as requested.

10 MEMBER BAUER: Second.

11 MEMBER GRONACHAN: All those in favor of

12 sign number four being approved, say aye?


14 Opposed?

15 MR. SAVEN: Just one question. When we

16 first talked about the one year time frame --

17 MEMBER CANUP: All for one year.

18 MR. SAVEN: Okay. Just wanted to make

19 sure we're clear.

20 MEMBER GRONACHAN: All those in favor

21 says aye?


23 Opposed?

24 None.

















1 Sorry, guys.

2 MEMBER CANUP: Number five now?


4 MEMBER CANUP: I'd make a Motion that

5 we grant the variance in sign -- case number five as

6 requested.


8 BOARD MEMBERS: All those in favor of

9 sign number five, say aye?



12 Opposed?

13 None.

14 MEMBER CANUP: I'd make a motion that

15 in the same case, number six, we grant the variance as

16 requested.

17 MEMBER BAUER: Second.

18 MEMBER GRONACHAN: All those in favor

19 of sign number six, say aye?



22 Opposed?

23 None.

24 MEMBER CANUP: Okay. Number seven had

















1 to go, right, sign seven was deleted.

2 So I'd make a Motion that we deny the

3 request for the variance in Sign number seven.


5 MEMBER GRONACHAN: All those in favor

6 of denying sign number seven, say aye?



9 Opposed?

10 None.

11 MEMBER CANUP: And I'd make a Motion

12 that in -- same case number, number eight, be approved

13 as stated.

14 MEMBER BAUER: Second.

15 MEMBER GRONACHAN: All those in favor

16 of approval of sign number eight, say aye?



19 Opposed?

20 None.

21 MEMBER CANUP: Number nine is deleted,

22 correct?

23 MR. HARDINS: Correct.

24 MEMBER CANUP: I'd make a Motion that

















1 we deny the variance or request on sign number nine,

2 in the same case.


4 MEMBER GRONACHAN: All those in favor

5 of denying sign nine, say aye?


7 MEMBER GRONACHAN: All opposed?

8 None.

9 MEMBER CANUP: I'd make a Motion, same

10 case, sign number ten, the request be granted as

11 stated.

12 MEMBER BAUER: Second.

13 MEMBER GRONACHAN: All those in favor

14 in granting approval in sign ten, say aye?


16 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Any opposed?

17 None.

18 MEMBER CANUP: I'd make a Motion that

19 in case -- sign number 11 be requested -- be granted

20 as requested.

21 MEMBER BAUER: Second.

22 MEMBER GRONACHAN: All those in favor

23 of sign number 11, say aye?


















1 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Any opposed?

2 None.

3 Okay. Those variances have been

4 granted. See you back in a month, if you need to come

5 back for any reason.

6 MR. HARDINS: Okay.

7 MEMBER GRONACHAN: And no additional

8 signs will be put up, before you come to see --

9 MR. HARDINS: The two will be taken

10 down.

11 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Good luck to you.


13 Okay. Case number 04-084, filed by

14 James Tessen for Standard Federal Bank for signage at

15 I-96 at the new expo, Novi Expo.

16 Mr. Tessen of Standard Federal Bank is

17 requesting one sign variance to allow placement of a

18 marketing ground sign for Standard Federal Bank,

19 measuring 16 feet by eight feet; 128 square feet, with

20 the height of 16 feet.

21 And you are Mr. Tessen?

22 MR. TESSEN: Yes, I am.

23 Good evening.

24 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Good evening.

















1 Are you an attorney?

2 MR. TESSEN: No, I am not.

3 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Would you please

4 raise your right hand to be sworn in by our secretary.

5 MEMBER BAUER: Do you solemnly swear or

6 affirm to tell the truth regarding case, 04-084?

7 MR. TESSEN: Yes.

8 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.


10 Proceed.

11 MR. TESSEN: Good evening.

12 The Standard Federal Bank is just very

13 proud to be apart of the new exposition facility.

14 It's been many years in coming, just delighted to be

15 part of it. And the bank would like to show its

16 commitment to the community and to the project, by

17 having temporary sign that indicates that the

18 financing is provided by Standard Federal.

19 Just to show the dedication for the

20 future projects; that we definitely want to be

21 associated with the community. And it would be

22 limited wording. And this sign would be taken down

23 once the certificate of occupancy is issued for the

24 new facility.

















1 The mock-up is in place. It's visible

2 from eastbound trafficking. It's canned a little bit.

3 We tried to give an indication of the size of the

4 permanent sign; not permanent sign, but temporary

5 sign. As I say, it's only during the period of

6 construction.


8 Anything else?

9 All right.

10 Thank you.

11 Is there anyone in the audience that

12 wishes to make comment in regards to this case?

13 Seeing none, there were nine notices

14 mailed; no approvals no objections.

15 Building Department?

16 MR. SAVEN: No comment.


18 Board Members?

19 Member Canup?

20 MEMBER CANUP: I guess other than just

21 wanting to have a sign, as this gentleman has stated

22 to be part of the community, I guess one of the things

23 that this Board operates on is what is the hardship;

24 other than advertising for a bank. What is the

















1 hardship for the necessity of this sign?

2 MR. TESSEN: I agree.

3 The hardship would be hard to really

4 emphasize. It is showing the -- just that we're so

5 much involved with this project. Several banks

6 certainly were bidding on it. We just felt, to show

7 the new Standard Federal Bank's commitment for

8 commercial projects. That is really where we're

9 trying to make a case.

10 MEMBER CANUP: I appreciate that, but I

11 guess in looking, what is the value to the residents

12 of the City of Novi? Is there a value there for the

13 residents? I can't see where is the value; other than

14 a billboard located on a private use property.

15 I did look at your sign, your mock-up,

16 that was there, and I guess in general, the size of

17 the sign and what-have-you, I don't have a problem

18 with it; except I don't see the value for it for the

19 people in the City of Novi or need for direction;

20 other than it's just a billboard.

21 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Anyone else?

22 Member Fischer?

23 MEMBER FISCHER: I agree that it

24 doesn't, per se, give value to the City, but I think

















1 that it is giving value to one of our important

2 business customers -- expo center, as well as Standard

3 Federal Bank, which we have at least, one -- two

4 branches in the City of Novi.

5 This isn't something that I see that is

6 out of the ordinary, and I -- it's not necessarily the

7 case that I've seen it on other highways, however, I

8 just -- I can see his point. I can see a hardship

9 there.

10 MEMBER BAUER: What is their main

11 (unintelligible.)

12 MEMBER FISCHER: Well, that was another

13 question of mine. In the sign, you do say that --

14 MEMBER BAUER: And it's prohibited.


16 You do say being part of the community,

17 being part -- what you're financing. However, you

18 really don't say what you're financing. And that's

19 why I stated it's just a billboard and that's why I

20 still do agree with Mr. Canup.

21 MR. TESSEN: Right.

22 This was the original rendering from

23 the sign company. In fact, John Bowen's with me,

24 representing, of course, the Novi Expo. But depending

















1 on the ultimate size of the sign, some indication of

2 the T-bond name or giving affect to the new exposition

3 site; financed by Standard Federal.

4 It wouldn't be just Standard Federal

5 Bank, it would be an indication of the new exposition

6 facility, tying both together.


8 Still, I see that as a reason that it

9 then becomes not just a marketing sign, in my eyes.

10 It shows what's being built and where it's going to

11 be. So --

12 MR. BOWEN: With the Chair's

13 indulgence, my name is John Bowen. I'm representing

14 T-Bond, LLC, tonight. Sorry I'm a couple minutes

15 late, but I was doing football practice tonight.

16 We are proud to have Standard Federal

17 Bank as our partner on this and Standard Federal is

18 financing the project and made a significant

19 investment in our project. I think a significant

20 investment in the community by financing the project.

21 And they're requesting that during the period of

22 construction that they be able to identify themselves

23 as the party that made the investment with us in this

24 community.

















1 And I think it's an important thing to

2 let not only the business community, but the residents

3 in Novi know who the partners into the community are.

4 And for that reason, I ask that the Board look

5 favorably upon the request and grant them the ability

6 to erect the sign. It's of the size that really is

7 necessary to have it visible from the placement that

8 it's being put; which is right next to the

9 construction trailer that's on the site currently.

10 It's not a tremendously large sign;

11 considering the rate of speed that people are

12 traveling on the highway and the distance from the

13 highway.

14 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Member Fischer?

15 MEMBER FISCHER: Can the Building

16 Department give me some background, I guess, as to

17 Ordinances, advertising signs, marking signs, any type

18 of signs? Because I know that on I-96 and Novi Road,

19 there's a sign on the highway there. So what -- give

20 me some background.

21 MR. SAVEN: If I may, Alan?

22 MR. AMOLSH: Exactly what are you

23 looking for?

24 MEMBER FISCHER: Just some background

















1 as to Ordinances, concerning not just the size.

2 MR. AMOLSH: Well, any sign -- off

3 premises billboard advertisements, all of the types of

4 signs along the freeway are all intended for that.

5 The one you just mentioned was approved by the Board

6 some years ago for -- actually, for Sheraton Hotel.

7 This type of sign is not a permitted sign.

8 If they included that kind of

9 information with their construction sign, if they

10 wanted to. But these kinds of signs are not permitted

11 signs under the Ordinance.

12 MR. BOWEN: Currently, if I might add,

13 there's currently onsite just a safety sign. It's not

14 a construction sign on the property. Just a general

15 safety, wear your helmet.

16 MR. AMOLSH: Well, the construction sign

17 went up Saturday, I think, or Friday. You have it on

18 Grand River.

19 MR. BOWEN: I think you're talking

20 about the --

21 MR. AMOLSH: No, there's another one,

22 right to the east of that. Just went up recently. It

23 was permitted.

24 MEMBER FISCHER: What do we know as far

















1 as the certificate of occupancy, how long will that

2 be? How long are we looking for?

3 MR. BOWEN: The current target, and

4 we're on track with construction, probably sometime

5 next late June or July.

6 MEMBER FISCHER: That's a temporary

7 sign, as well; and it's one that I'd be willing to

8 grant for nine months or so, until June.

9 Thank you.

10 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Member Bauer, do you

11 have any incite?

12 MEMBER BAUER: Pardon?

13 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you have any

14 incite to offer?

15 MEMBER BAUER: I suggest putting it on

16 the construction sign. But by itself, you can't do

17 it.

18 MEMBER GRONACHAN: I tend to agree with

19 Member Canup. And when it comes to the bottom line,

20 what is the hardship. And I have heard monetary a

21 lot, and unfortunately as a Board Member, I can't use

22 that as a criteria.

23 Now if Standard Federal so fits to --

24 any officials on this end can correct me -- but based

















1 on Mr. Bauer says, you can put it on the construction

2 site; is that correct?

3 MR. SAVEN: Construction identification

4 sign.

5 MEMBER GRONACHAN: On the construction

6 identification sign, then that's fine. But I don't

7 see the purpose of having it on I-96. I'm grateful.

8 I'm excited that the Novi Expo Center is coming; and

9 I'm more than excited that Standard Federal is doing

10 the financing.

11 However, I feel that this is nothing

12 but an advertising sign and I fail to see what the

13 hardship is at this point. And if you two gentleman

14 can come up with something more creative or convince

15 me otherwise, along with a couple of other Board

16 Members, I mean, I'm sorry, but I would not be able to

17 support this request at this time, and for those

18 reasons.

19 Member Canup, were you --

20 Or Member Fischer?

21 MEMBER FISCHER: Given that, would you

22 be willing to table the case to see if they would like

23 to come up with something more creative, if that's

24 okay?

















1 MR. TESSEN: Yes. We'd certainly like

2 to --

3 MR. BOWEN: We'll, look into a couple

4 of things. We'll look into putting something on the

5 construction signage, as well, and see about the

6 hardship.

7 MR. TESSEN: The hardship issue.

8 MEMBER GRONACHAN: I think at this

9 point, tabling is going to do (unintelligible). And

10 the reason why do suggest they do put it on the

11 construction sign, is it correct, they would not need

12 a variance at that point.

13 MR. SAVEN: I believe they already have

14 a sign.

15 Is that correct, Alan?

16 MR. AMOLSH: Yes, they do.

17 MEMBER GRONACHAN: So it would be a

18 whole new different thing, so --

19 MEMBER FISCHER: They're allowed one;

20 is that correct, and that is on Grand River. And if

21 they want one on 96, they'd have to come back.

22 MR. AMOLSH: They still have the

23 construction sign.

24 MEMBER GRONACHAN: If they want to do

















1 that.

2 If they change the location on the

3 case, would this case change or would that be --

4 MR. SAVEN: It would be re-advertised.

5 MEMBER GRONACHAN: But it would still

6 be the same case.

7 MR. AMOLSH: It's up to the Board.

8 MEMBER GRONACHAN: I'm sorry, Alan. I

9 didn't hear you.

10 MR. AMOLSH: I said, it's up to the

11 Board.

12 MEMBER BAUER: If they change it, it

13 has to be a new case.

14 MEMBER GRONACHAN: That's what I

15 thought.

16 MEMBER CANUP: New case.

17 MR. SAVEN: I think if we ask the

18 Petitioner --

19 John, do you intend to put this on a

20 new construction identification sign in two locations,

21 one off Grand River and one on the expressway?

22 MR. BOWEN: If I understand Mr. Saven's

23 question correctly, I think the way I understand it,

24 we'd be able to put Standard Federal identification on

















1 the construction sign that's currently on Grand River.

2 And that if we wanted this Board to consider an

3 additional sign location that would face I-96, we'd

4 have to come back with a new Petition to have that.

5 MR. SAVEN: Correct.

6 MR. BOWEN: Currently, we're approved

7 for the construction sign, and we wouldn't have to

8 bring it back to this Board to add Standard Federal to

9 that sign.

10 MR. AMOLSH: That's --

11 MEMBER GRONACHAN: That's correct.

12 MR. BOWEN: Okay. We understand.

13 MR. TESSEN: Okay.

14 Thank you very much.

15 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Okay. We're not done

16 yet. We've got our stuff to do.

17 Member Canup, would you like to make a

18 Motion?

19 MEMBER CANUP: They could withdraw the

20 case, right?

21 MR. GILLIAM: Correct.

22 MR. BOWEN: I think based on the

23 conversations that -- in conferring with Mr. Tessen, I

24 think we'd like to withdraw our case now.


















2 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.


4 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Okay. Moving right

5 along to case number, 04-086, filed by Cheryl Murphy,

6 homeowner at 22798 Shadow Pine Way in the Village Oaks

7 Subdivision.

8 Mrs. Murphy is requesting an eight foot

9 exterior side variance for the construction of a first

10 floor addition, to the home locate at the above

11 address.

12 Good evening.

13 MRS. MURPHY: Good evening.

14 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Are you Mrs. Murphy?

15 MRS. MURPHY: I am.

16 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Would you please

17 raise your right hand to be sworn in by our secretary.

18 MEMBER BAUER: Do you solemnly swear or

19 affirm to tell the truth regarding case, 04-086?

20 MRS. MURPHY: I do.

21 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.

22 MRS. MURPHY: Good evening.

23 You have the original documents, I

24 believe, as I submitted them with the drawing of the

















1 home. Can you turn on the overhead? Okay. There we

2 go.

3 The original application stated the

4 purpose for the addition. We're an established

5 resident of 17 years. We decided to extend our

6 residency into our senior years, with this first floor

7 master bedroom addition. The north location being

8 least proximate to the majority of the neighbors and

9 the least disruption.

10 The expansion of the basement, also is

11 part of the foundation, is limited to the north side,

12 for which I've requested the variance.

13 Additional points to consider is that

14 our primary utilities, electrical, gas and plumbing --

15 both water and sewer -- are located on the north side

16 of the house. The proposal, in keeping with the

17 subdivision architectural design consideration,

18 retaining symmetry and interest. The overall

19 appearance is aesthetically pleasing, views from the

20 residents are maintained or enhanced.

21 Attempts, also to minimize the variance

22 request was made by setting the first floor addition

23 towards the rear or east of the property. The overall

24 size of the master is proportionate and reasonable.

















1 New construction would be confined to

2 one area of the residence. The portion of the

3 construction in the setback area is less than ten

4 percent than the total proposed addition.

5 Initial use of the first floor addition

6 is anticipated for use by aging parents; and then into

7 our senior years, we would propose to move into that

8 bedroom

9 And finally, the personal contact I

10 have had with the neighbor, I have not met with any

11 opposition. And on the contrary, many of my neighbors

12 are in support of the plan. Corresponding upgrades,

13 putting up siding. It's a 30-year, plus home, and a

14 porch replacement would be considered with that, as

15 well.


17 MRS. MURPHY: It was also recommended

18 that I bring a drawing showing the current home and

19 its internal layout. As you can see here, it's a

20 standard Village Oaks home. One of the different

21 models. I don't know how many different models there

22 were, with the front foyer, living room and dining

23 room to the left; the garage to the right. There's a

24 breakfast, a great room addition on the back. The

















1 addition proposed is on this side.

2 So it compliments the current layout of

3 the house, with minimum disruption to, you know, to

4 the house, as far as access from that room, to the

5 balance of the house.

6 And finally, this is the property

7 layout, which you've probably seen. This is a house

8 with a proposed addition being on this side over --


10 Anything else?

11 MRS. MURPHY: I think that about does

12 it.


14 Is there anyone in the audience that

15 wishes to make comment in regards to this case?

16 Seeing none, there were 35 notices

17 mailed; two approvals and one objection -- one

18 objection and one approval.

19 DENISE ANDERSON: I handed out this

20 earlier tonight.

21 The person in charge of the

22 architectural committee initially approved it. I

23 think it was August 17th. August 17th, it was

24 initially approved; and then today I received a letter

















1 from the full board of the Village Oaks common area

2 association, stating that they do not support the

3 proposed variance; and they did attach a copy of their

4 letter.

5 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Okay. I just wanted

6 to clarify that.

7 Thank you.

8 The Village Oaks Common Area

9 Association has filed objections in regards to this

10 case. They do not support the proposed variance. In

11 their opinion, the homeowner has not met any of the

12 criteria for the approval of the one variance, as per

13 the attached document.

14 Besides not meeting your criteria for

15 granting variances, there are traffic safety concerns

16 related to the granting of variances for side yard

17 corner lot setbacks. We further believe that it is

18 not the best interest of the residents of the

19 association to deviate from the City of Novi's Zoning

20 Ordinances.

21 Then we do have an approve from

22 Helden(ph) Swinehart at 22797 Shadow Pines Way; and

23 another approval from John Bevis at 22859 Heather Bray

24 Way.

















1 Building Department?

2 MR. SAVEN: I just wanted to remind the

3 Board, this is a corner lot; not an interior lot.


5 Board Members?

6 Member Bauer?



9 But you need to put your mic on first.

10 MEMBER BAUER: I think possibly if you

11 move that back within the further setback --

12 MRS. MURRAY: Yeah. That was an

13 initial consideration to move it back. I'd like to

14 present a photograph taken from the bay window of the

15 addition, the great room. That would restrict the

16 view from that window to the road. Is it stands, the

17 addition would already extend about half way back, the

18 back of the house, obstructing the view, basically,

19 from the tree to the left. Then additional photo

20 shows the safety consideration that was raised, really

21 is negated by this photo, that shows that if you were

22 to approach that intersection, coming down Shadow Pine

23 from this direction, toward the sign, this first tree

24 and this other fruit tree, are going to be more of an

















1 obstruction than the addition; which stays within the

2 large willow tree, which is growing even higher than

3 in that photograph.

4 Did I answer your question? I was

5 originally --

6 MEMBER BAUER: It did not.

7 MRS. MURRAY: I didn't?


9 MRS. MURRAY: Okay.

10 MEMBER BAUER: If you were pushing that

11 all the way back to come into that 30 foot square off

12 of Village Lake Road, you would have no problem, none.

13 MRS. MURRAY: If I were to push it all

14 the way back?

15 MEMBER BAUER: Back to the 30 lot. You

16 have a 30 foot lot.

17 MRS. MURRAY: Okay. You're saying if I

18 were to push it all the way back into that direction?

19 MEMBER BAUER: That's correct.

20 MRS. MURRAY: Okay. Right, I

21 understand what you're saying. And that was actually

22 looked at initially. What that would effect would be

23 this other view -- if you could bear with me a minute,

24 while I pull out the right drawing -- it would effect

















1 the symmetry of the north elevation of that addition,

2 and it would create a very large appearance. From the

3 street, it's a little bit large, but essentially if it

4 were to be pushed back from the house, it would fit

5 this location or from this street side, it would

6 appear to be very large.

7 And it really wouldn't be as fitting

8 with architectural interest of the neighbors, you

9 know, the surrounding neighbors. It was an original

10 consideration.

11 Did that help?

12 MEMBER CANUP: Would you read the

13 letter from the neighborhood association again for me,

14 please?


16 Telephone conversation, this letter is

17 date September 7th. We would like to clarify our

18 original letter, dated August 17th. While we do

19 approve the idea of the building addition, we do not

20 support the proposed variance. In our opinion, the

21 homeowner has not met any of the criteria for the

22 approval of a Zoning variance, as per the attached

23 document.

24 Besides not meeting the criteria for

















1 granting a variance, there are traffic and safety

2 concerns related to the granting of variances for side

3 yard corner lot setbacks.

4 We further believe it is not in the

5 interest -- best interest of the residents of the

6 association to deviate from the City of Novi's Zoning

7 Ordinances.

8 MEMBER CANUP: And that's from a

9 neighborhood association, correct?

10 MEMBER GRONACHAN: That is from the

11 Village Oaks Common Area Association.


13 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Member Fischer?

14 MEMBER FISCHER: Before we get into

15 conversations, I don't know if we asked the audience

16 if there was anyone.



19 Okay.

20 MEMBER CANUP: I guess I would have, in

21 light of this letter, I would have a -- and I know you

22 want to look out for the neighbors if someone wanted

23 to do something next to you. We look out for you as

24 we would look out for them.

















1 MRS. MURRAY: I understand.

2 MEMBER CANUP: In this case.

3 And I think in light of this letter

4 that we have from the homeowners' association that we

5 would -- my opinion, I would be hard pressed to give a

6 or table an opinion on the vote on this case.

7 MRS. MURRAY: May I -- I was at the

8 meeting with them last night, if I may, and I think

9 their primary concern was they didn't -- they did not

10 want to grant the variance that was really in the

11 authority of Novi, the City of Novi, rather than them.

12 And they preferred not to set a precedent, although

13 they did feel that on an individual case basis, they

14 would have to evaluate, you know, each homeowner,

15 individually.

16 MEMBER GRONACHAN: I have a suggestion.

17 MRS. MURRAY: Yes, ma'am.

18 MEMBER GRONACHAN: I think that this

19 particular case needs to go back to the drawing table

20 for a couple of reasons. This is a unique lot size

21 and shape, okay.

22 MRS. MURRAY: Yes, it is.

23 MEMBER GRONACHAN: And I think that

24 there maybe, as Mr. Bauer pointed out to you, other

















1 options other than just this. I know it's very

2 difficult when you have a plan set in your head on

3 what you want to do; it just doesn't fit into where

4 the property is. And I guess that's why we have the

5 ZBA.


7 MEMBER GRONACHAN: But I think that

8 this needs to go back to have another look at. And I

9 think that maybe perhaps you might want to go back to

10 Village Oaks; because they're not opposing your

11 addition. They're opposing the fact that you need to

12 have a variance to do so.

13 MRS. MURRAY: Correct.

14 MEMBER GRONACHAN: And I think that

15 perhaps with a little conversation and maybe with a

16 little more creativity -- you have a pretty good sized

17 lot here. And I understand what it is that you're

18 trying to do. And if and then, after you look at all

19 of your alternatives, and you come back here and show

20 us there's just no other way that this can be done;

21 then we'll take another look at it.

22 But my suggestion is to table it at

23 this time.

24 MRS. MURRAY: Okay.

















1 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Go back and do a

2 little homework. Take a look at the whole picture, not

3 just -- do you know what I'm trying to suggest to you?

4 MRS. MURRAY: I do. I'm curious as far

5 as foundation and the basement extensions; that's to

6 be a whole part of it. I don't see how setting it

7 back would allow a congruent floor plan, but.

8 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Let me just say, we

9 give suggestions and then we turn it over to the

10 experts, because I'm sure you had an architect to do

11 this drawing --

12 MRS. MURRAY: Yes. He did draw the

13 plan that Mr. Bauer had suggested, and that one was,

14 again, it aesthetically was not pleasing. It looked

15 like -- it looked like -- it stuck out.

16 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Well, my suggestion

17 if you're willing to go ahead with this, is to go back

18 to the drawing -- bring both of those cases back or

19 take a look at what -- and meet again with your

20 association. I do note for the record that you do

21 have two neighbors that are approving it. Just a

22 couple can go up against a whole association if they

23 don't find approval. And I think that this is

24 something that could perhaps be worked out.

















1 MRS. MURRAY: Okay.

2 MEMBER GRONACHAN: So if we could,

3 would 30 days be enough time for you? Would you like

4 to come back and see us next month; although we do

5 have a pretty big -- we do have a full meeting, but

6 would 30 days be enough time? And if it's not, give

7 Denise a call and she can allow you 60 days. I don't

8 know what your schedule is.

9 MRS. MURRAY: I have to look at my

10 calendar.


12 And at this time, we'll table it and

13 we'll see you back with a little more homework.

14 MRS. MURRAY: Okay.


16 MRS. MURRAY: Thank you.



19 Next case is 04-088, filed by Tom

20 Harvey, homeowner at 1603 West Lake Drive. Mr. Harvey

21 is requesting five variances to allow construction of

22 an addition to an existing home, located at the above

23 address. The applicant is requesting a 29 foot front

24 yard setback variance; an 11 foot rear yard setback

















1 variance; a 13 foot -- 13.4 side yard setback

2 variance, with a 13 foot -- 13.4 foot variance for the

3 combined total of both side yards.

4 Easy for me to say.

5 And you are Mr. Harvey?

6 MR. HARVEY: Yes, Tom Harvey.


8 Would you raise your right had and be

9 sworn in by our secretary.

10 MEMBER BAUER: Do you solemnly swear or

11 affirm to tell the truth regarding case, 04-088?

12 MR. HARVEY: Yes, I do.

13 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you, sir.

14 MR. HARVEY: Good evening.

15 We presented the Board with all of the

16 presentation materials in advance. There were three

17 pages added to the end. I believe it was mailed to

18 you. Hopefully, everybody received them.

19 I'm not going to go through every slide

20 and all of the text, but if you do want to flip

21 through the pages, I will go in the same order that

22 the materials were put together in.

23 Basically, my wife Joyce and I

24 purchased this property at 1603 West Lake Drive ten

















1 years ago. Even for lots in the northend around the

2 lake -- all right. Even for homes on the lake on the

3 northend, this one is particularly unusual. In fact,

4 it's really the typical definition of a flag lot. I'd

5 never heard the term until we purchased the house.

6 And since that time, we've never

7 regretted moving in there. We really enjoy living on

8 the property. But in the last few years, we have

9 started a family -- as we had planned -- and we knew

10 ultimately that some changes would have to be made.

11 We didn't come up with a plan in short order. We've

12 actually been considering it for many years; and have

13 discussed it with the neighbors during that time, as

14 well.

15 What we have currently, is an existing

16 two-story home; with a detached one-car garage and car

17 port. The lot is 40 feet wide from the lake front

18 back; approximately 130 feet. The lake front,

19 actually, the concrete sea wall, is not the legal lot

20 limit. The legal lot limit is back about 22 feet.

21 So the variances that we are requesting

22 are based on the legal lot lines; not where the

23 existing sea wall is. The sea wall was actually put

24 in in the 1950's, and has been there ever since.

















1 The practical limitations to the home

2 are partially innerved(ph) by the fact that the garage

3 is detached. Now, with the children, its an extra

4 hardship to have to take them in and out of the car

5 seats in the weather. Typically, the car port has

6 quite honestly been used for storage of outdoor items,

7 like snow shovels and lawn furniture and things of

8 this sort; which just couldn't be put into the small

9 garage space.

10 So in addition, the house is on a crawl

11 space. The water table has made it such that we've

12 been advised not to try to put a basement under it.

13 Since these are additions and not a complete tear-down

14 and remodel or rebuild. We also considered raising

15 the house and a putting a basement under it, but

16 again, other concern there was the possible damage to

17 the existing structure that could occur.

18 The current foundation is sound. It's

19 supporting the existing two-story house. So again,

20 the goal is to leave what we have there, and try to

21 work around it to meet our practical needs.

22 The -- to give you a sense of just how

23 small the house is for a family of four, the

24 downstairs is 760 square feet, which essentially

















1 composes the kitchen, laundry and utility room; a

2 small bathroom, and some living space. That's about

3 the size of most three-car garages built in Novi

4 today. So, you know, it really is a fairly small

5 space.

6 In addition, our furnace, the water

7 heater and well storage tank, water softener, all of

8 these mechanical systems are on the first floor in the

9 utility room. Again, without a basement, it's just

10 impractical to put them anywhere else.

11 The upstairs is -- it has three-

12 bedrooms and a full bath. The major concern we have

13 with the upstairs is just that the bedrooms tend to be

14 small and the ceiling is really at kind of its minimum

15 height required.

16 So what we've decided to do is -- after

17 looking at the lot and considering how to attach a

18 garage to the home -- we came up with this plan; and

19 this is really the minimum two-car garage. It's a 16

20 foot wide door, which is the practical limit in terms

21 of two-car garage doors.

22 We -- and in the packet there, we

23 provided some information where we showed the

24 potential to do a side entry garage or a front entry

















1 garage; and neither one is feasible. I showed Don

2 Saven what we were trying to do with the side entry;

3 and with only 17 feet, it didn't meet the turning

4 radius requirements for a side entry. So we proposed

5 a diagonal entry garage -- the section A here.

6 Another concern for this existing

7 structure, is that the garage/car port actually is a

8 non-conforming situation on the south property line;

9 while the home has a non-conforming situation on the

10 south property line and the north property line, the

11 lake. In combination, they're essentially cutting off

12 their access from the front of the property to the

13 rear of the property.

14 Additionally, all of our utilities are

15 located here on this side of the house; the south side

16 of the house. That makes building sideways less

17 practical. In addition, it would only increase the or

18 create a non-conformance on the property line to the

19 south.

20 So by moving this garage over to the

21 north property line and attaching it to the home here,

22 we're actually clearing complete access along the

23 south side from the front to the back; as well as

24 removing an existing non-conformance -- basically have

















1 this garage/carport about 1.5 feet from the line

2 there. So actually removing the non-conformance in

3 this area.

4 We are increasing the non-conformance

5 over here, but in so doing, we are creating a

6 situation which is actually very common to the other

7 homes, and I'll touch on that in a moment.

8 I think I have covered -- oh, yeah, the

9 last practical hardship, which we've tried to deal

10 with, is just the fact that we really need some

11 additional storage, indoor storage space; and really,

12 play space. I mean, when I was growing up, my brother

13 and I -- you know, six months out of the year, the

14 lake is a great place to be. The other six months it

15 can be very unpleasant. We call it hibernating

16 actually in our neighborhood. You don't see anybody.

17 And you really need to have some space to set-up a

18 ping-pong table or something, you know, for the kids

19 to do inside.

20 So what we have asked to do in

21 addition, is to do a finished attic, and that would

22 give us, essentially, the same amount of space that

23 you would typically get in a basement; which most

24 homes out in Novi are built with basements today.

















1 Okay. With that, I would like to go on

2 to the specific variances, I think. And the first one

3 I'm going to address -- when the letter came out, we

4 -- as much as we tried to cover this with other

5 homeowners in the area, there were some concerns when

6 the letter came out. Specifically, the letter says

7 for the lake side, that the required setback is 35

8 feet. We're requesting that it be 24 feet.

9 Some interpretations of that, were that

10 we were going to build the house down to 24 feet from

11 the water. Okay. And again, I really want to point

12 out that, in fact, we're not building down to 24 feet

13 from the water. What we are doing is requesting to

14 build the home down to within 24 feet of the legal lot

15 line. The water being an additional 22 and a half

16 feet from that point.

17 So actually, this addition that we'd be

18 building out here will be 46 and a half feet from the

19 water. Okay. And I have another picture here showing

20 that. And what we did is we took the -- we tried to

21 utilize the geological survey photos, because we

22 thought it was really the most straight forward way to

23 look at everything that's affected.

24 And basically, we went 125 feet in

















1 either direction from our home. The property to the

2 south is an enormous lot. It's 87 foot wide lot.

3 It's really quite a large structure already present on

4 it. We also, going to the north, had four homes at

5 125 feet. Two of the homes extend quite a bit further

6 out from the parallel line to the lake. But they are,

7 again, right at the end of the 125 foot range.

8 This home here, the second home from

9 our home, is basically on line with this. And the

10 home directly next to us is tilted slightly at a

11 different angle. But the corner of that home is also

12 on this line. So we did take quite a bit of care not

13 to infringe on the view of our other neighbors.

14 And in addition, this home, besides

15 being quite a distance from our home, has no windows

16 on the side. So again, their view is not impacted by

17 this proposed addition.

18 The reason -- and just about every

19 builder I've spoken to has told me this is not an

20 efficient way to deal with a home addition, but in our

21 case, we don't have a lot of choices. In order to

22 increase living space on the first floor -- in order

23 to get a full-sized living room -- right now we have

24 enough space for dining room or a living space, but

















1 not both.

2 We can't go back this way anymore,

3 because we need it for the garage. So we do have to

4 go -- or we're requesting to go ten feet in this

5 direction. So it's actually -- this ends up being

6 sort of series of smaller projects. A ten foot

7 addition toward the lake, you give up the first floor

8 living space we're seeking. And then the addition in

9 the other direction to attach the garage.

10 So I just wanted to make it totally

11 clear that although we are requesting 24 feet from the

12 front yard setback, the front -- the legal front --

13 I'm sorry, the rear. On the lake front, this is

14 really the rear. 24 feet from the legal line, but 46

15 and a half feet from the water.

16 Okay. The next variance that we're

17 looking for is in regards to the garage, itself. Now,

18 the peculiarities just keep on coming. We have what

19 is best termed an interior front yard line.

20 Typically, the front yard is considered from the

21 street back to the structure. In generic terms,

22 that's what people think of when they see front yards.

23 Because of this notch here, we actually have an

24 interior front yard line. And in reality, more than

















1 half of this structure is 110 feet back from the

2 street. But in this particular point right here, we

3 are one foot from that corner.

4 What I've done to show you that -- how

5 the non-conforming structure in some cases, can really

6 be a conforming structure up in this part of the

7 woods, is that if you look at where the road is, and

8 where all of the other structures or accessory

9 structures are, even by those standards, what we're

10 asking to do is quite a bit farther back from where

11 everything else is in the area.

12 So again, here we are. We are required

13 to have, I believe it's 30 feet to the front yard

14 line, and in fact, we're asking for a one foot, for a

15 variance of 29 feet to that point right there.

16 The third variance and the fourth

17 variance, which really go together, because they are

18 side yard setback -- cumulative side yard setbacks --

19 are along this north property line. I touched on it

20 earlier. Basically, moving the garage over here,

21 eliminates an existing non-conformance on this line;

22 but it increases one on this side.

23 Ultimately, the concern is

24 serviceability of the structure. We're already taken

















1 measures in terms of putting -- using as low

2 maintenance materials as possible, such as brick,

3 along this side so that we won't have to get around

4 there often. But when that finally occurs that you

5 need to get to the side of the building, right now, if

6 I needed service to the existing garage, I need

7 cooperation from the neighbor to the south -- which

8 has not been a problem. As well as to service the

9 existing house, I need cooperation from the neighbor

10 to the north. And again, we've been lucky in that

11 area. Everybody's very cooperative and we haven't had

12 any issues.

13 But by doing this, I've reduced the

14 number of parties involved by one. And in addition,

15 the party directly to the north, has the exact same

16 problem. Their house is also shifted up to the north

17 lot line; and their neighbor to the north is also

18 shifted to the north lot line. So while there's never

19 any guarantee that, you know, cooperation will be

20 forth coming, I can at least, assume, that these

21 people will be more sympathetic to the situation in

22 the future; even if the home were to be sold -- if the

23 other homes were to be sold, not ours.

24 So in this case here, we are asking for

















1 the side yard setback of 13.4 foot variance to reduce

2 that point there down to 1.6 feet. Now, those three

3 variances basically get us the structure.

4 The last one, is with respect to -- you

5 know, we approached it as a finished attic, half

6 story. We met with Don, discussed with him what the

7 situation was. He explained the definition in Novi,

8 is if the roof rafters come down to the floor, it's a

9 half story. Everything under there is a half story.

10 If you raise the roof rafters off the floor, it's now

11 another story, a third story; even if the sides are

12 sloped.

13 So what we did is, we looked at what

14 would happen with a typical roof, you know, a fairly

15 steep roof that is still typical for our area with a

16 ten, 12 pitch. If we put the roof rafters right down

17 to the floor, and we had a fairly standard polotye(ph)

18 construction across the roof rafters for stiffness,

19 we'd basically have three foot six in the attic.

20 That does not solve our practical

21 hardship for having storage space and activity space

22 outside of the living room and bedrooms.

23 So what we proposed was raising these

24 roof rafters up four feet on the sides. And in the

















1 spirit of keeping the half story concept, we looked at

2 other definitions of half stories in our communities

3 -- not relevant to this case necessarily, but at least

4 in the spirit of it -- some of them are based on the

5 fact that half the square footage of that space is

6 below seven foot six; other ones are based on the fact

7 that the side wall is less than half of eight feet --

8 less than half of a full eight foot wall, which is

9 four feet. So we did try to take those things into

10 consideration.

11 The other thing I wanted to point out

12 though is, again, when the letter came out, the

13 specific Ordinance states, two and a half stories, or

14 35 feet. We're requiring or requesting a variance to

15 that. Let me just make perfectly clear, no part of

16 this structure will be over 35 feet. We are not

17 requesting a variance; nor do we need a variance to

18 the total height of this structure, in order to build

19 this space as we're asking for.

20 There's no chimneys, no spires, no

21 antennae. There's nothing on this. There's not even

22 the peak of the roof that is going to be above 35

23 feet. So in terms of the total height of the

24 structure, we are not exceeding that.

















1 The next page or the next slide here

2 shows what essentially happens when you have a narrow

3 house. If we could build a 29 and a half foot wide

4 house, we could bring the roof rafters down to the

5 floor; and end up with exactly the same space under

6 this roof, as we're requesting now. And in reality,

7 there are very few houses probably in Novi built today

8 that are less than 30 feet wide in one dimension.

9 It's -- this is a fairly standard width.

10 In addition, if we could build this

11 house with this width, we would have exactly the same

12 roof height, relative to the base of the roof, the

13 peak, of what we're proposing, from the base of this

14 side wall to the peak, 13 feet four inches. So we are

15 not raising, again, the roof peak above what you would

16 have in a normal 30 foot wide home.

17 Okay. And the very last one I want to

18 make with regard to this, is that besides meeting our

19 practical needs to have storage space, which we just

20 can't achieve with a basement, it's just not an option

21 for this property, we feel that -- well, what we've

22 done is pushed this bump up or this raising of the

23 roof back to the farthest two-thirds of the house,

24 away from the water.

















1 So typically, the thing that people see

2 as they drive around the lake or if they're going

3 around the lake on their boats or their looking at

4 homes one evening after dinner as they go around the

5 lake, is the lake side. It's called the rear yard,

6 but this is really where people put their efforts, in

7 terms of the esthetics. And we feel that moving this

8 back, actually adds dimension to the house. It

9 certainly does not -- since it's not up in front, it's

10 not right in the face. The extra four feet is not

11 right up front.

12 In addition, if you consider how long

13 this roof is -- it's actually going to be, having this

14 stagger height adds a lot of character to it, as

15 opposed to just one long continuous roof.

16 About the only other thing I can say

17 here is that the home directly to our north, had an

18 addition built on three or four years ago. You could

19 still see it here. This room is much higher than the

20 roof of the house, the original house, that it was

21 built onto. And it's a little bit back from where

22 we're talking about, but essentially, it's the same

23 type of situation where they built an addition and

24 bumped it up.

















1 In terms of the total size of the house

2 that we ended up with, we achieve with this design,

3 our two-car attached garage. We achieved a formal

4 entry way, which the home doesn't have at this time.

5 We've achieved the extra living space we need, so we

6 can have a dining room and a living room downstairs.

7 We were able to achieve with this

8 design, having a master bedroom, as well as three

9 smaller bedrooms for our family; and we were able to

10 achieve the activity and storage space we were looking

11 for; without having to build a basement under the

12 home.

13 The total mass of the house is pretty

14 much in keeping -- if you look at the house, two

15 houses to the north, it's basically the same size, in

16 terms of length and width. The house directly to the

17 north, is a little bit shallower. It doesn't go quite

18 as far back. But if you consider the size of the

19 detached garage, it's also about the same proportion.

20 And the large home to the south, is actually much

21 bigger of a profile, on a bigger lot, as well.

22 We don't need an addition where you'll

23 notice that, even though we have five variance

24 requests on the list, we did not have to request a lot

















1 coverage variance. We actually left -- these

2 additions and changes are still only around 23 and a

3 half percent lot coverage; the legal lot coverage; not

4 including this extra area out here to the sea wall.

5 So I think with that, I'd be happy to

6 answer any questions the Board may have.


8 Is there anyone in the audience that

9 wishes to make comment in regards to this case?

10 Please, come on down.

11 Is there anyone else?

12 Would you kindly get in line.

13 Okay.

14 MR. ZARNECK: Hi, my name is Pat

15 Zarneck. I'm the property immediately north of Tom

16 and Joyce at 1601 West Lake Drive. And you may have

17 my paperwork, with my opinion on the matter, but I

18 wanted to appear before the Board to express my

19 opinion on this.

20 My wife and I have talked with Tom and

21 Joyce at length about their plans. We've reviewed

22 their plans and drawings. And in as much as our

23 property would probably be the most significantly

24 impacted by this of any property there, we thought it

















1 wise to come before the Board.

2 We have no problem whatsoever with the

3 proposed improvements. And in fact, we totally

4 support Tom and Joyce in their requested variances.


6 Thank you.

7 Is there anyone else in the audience,

8 besides Mr. Posey?

9 MR. POSEY: Good evening, Board.

10 My name is Brian Posey and I live at

11 1523 West Lake Drive. I live five doors to the north

12 of Tom. I fully support his project. I understand

13 the concerns of the Board with the side yard setback.

14 I'd like to remind the Board, we just recently had a

15 water main installed. There are fire hydrants very

16 close to Tom's house. The area has undergone some

17 great improvements, and I think that Tom's project

18 would only enhance the City of Novi and the

19 neighborhood, and I'm fully in support.

20 Hopefully you will do that tonight,

21 also.

22 Thank you.


24 There were 63 notices sent. Six

















1 approvals -- two that you heard, one objection. The

2 first objection from Janice Strall at 1537 West Lake

3 Drive. Ms. Strall has an objection to the variance

4 request of 11 feet, 11 feet between the house farther

5 or closer to the lake than any other house within the

6 area. This would not be an aesthetically pleasing

7 view in our neighborhood.

8 And the Petitioner has addressed all of

9 this.

10 Objection to the proposed story height

11 of three stories. Three stories would show the house

12 towering over the other houses. All houses in the

13 area are less than 35 feet.

14 Ms. Strall, I believe that the

15 Petitioner has addressed that, as well.

16 The next approval is from Rob and Lori

17 Marsek at 1631 West Lake Drive; approval from Bruce --

18 I'm sorry, Bruce, but, B-a-r-y-a-r-d, Baryard, I

19 guess, 1715 West Lake Drive; Joanne and Nedd Aloe at

20 1529 West Lake, due to the unique shape of this lot,

21 we feel the owner should be allowed to make the

22 desired improvements, which will actually be

23 comparable and compatible with the surrounding homes.

24 And last, from Edward Lesniack at 1516

















1 Lebeta Street. This area is so old, I approve the

2 variance by way of grandfather clause. Many properties

3 here will not pass Novi standards, but have been

4 upgraded to year-round homes, but have been upgraded

5 to be year-round homes, and now are fine -- and now

6 are a fine neighborhood.

7 The variances requested, will also

8 upgrade the home at that address.

9 And then the two residents that were

10 here to speak.

11 Building Department?

12 MR. SAVEN: I can honestly say, Tom did

13 his homework. The gentleman spent a lot of time on

14 this project. As you can see, it's a very unique

15 parcel of land. He's getting rid of some obvious non-

16 conformities, in terms of the garage that's existing

17 on the property. The issue that the house is already

18 set back approximately 110 feet off the front yard

19 setback; that is kind of a difficult situation when

20 you're asking for a front yard setback variance, when

21 the situation is there already.

22 I think it was also pointed out that

23 the sea wall that's there represents a sea wall that

24 was installed some time ago. As a matter of fact,

















1 when we deal with lake front property, you deal with

2 high water table marks sometimes for rear yard setback

3 requirements. That's basically how the Ordinance

4 reads.

5 Tom had presented the fact that he had

6 done his homework in distinguishing that rear yard and

7 dealing with that rear yard as with the variance he is

8 requesting.

9 And like I said, I think he's done his

10 homework. The additional half story, we discussed

11 that possibility. What he ran into a problem with, is

12 the width of his home does not allow him to take

13 advantage of that third story application, so that's

14 why he's bringing the wall up four feet.

15 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Mr. Harvey, I think

16 regardless how this Board votes, you should teach a

17 class on how to present a case to the Zoning Board of

18 Appeals without -- throughout the State of Michigan.

19 This is a job very well done. As a matter of fact,

20 you have inspired me the next time when I send a case

21 back and say go do your homework, I hope you don't

22 mind if I add your phone number out, when they need to

23 go back and do their homework.

24 You have by far done your homework;

















1 have all your I's dotted; have all your T's crossed,

2 and regardless of what this Board votes, you need to

3 be commended. And I thank you on behalf of this

4 Board.

5 Okay.

6 Board Members?

7 Member Canup?

8 Member Canup: I'd make a Motion.

9 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Go right ahead.

10 MEMBER CANUP: That we -- in case

11 number, 04-088, filed by Mr. Tom Harvey, that we grant

12 the variances as requested.

13 MEMBER BAUER: Second.

14 Due to the uniqueness.

15 MEMBER CANUP: Due to the uniqueness of

16 the property and the hardship in the development of

17 this piece of property.

18 MEMBER BAUER: Second.


20 A friendly amendment.

21 As so noted by the exquisite

22 explanation by the Petitioner that left us speechless

23 at the end of his presentation, without any further

24 questions. And that his explanation would serve the

















1 purpose, as to why these variances are so granted.

2 MEMBER CANUP: Accepted.


4 Any further discussion?

5 Denise, please call the roll.

6 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Canup?


8 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Bauer?


10 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Fischer?


12 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Gronachan?


14 DENISE ANDERSON: Motion passes four to

15 zero.

16 MEMBER GRONACHAN: See what happened?

17 Congratulations

18 MR. HARVEY: Thank you.

19 And I can only hope the building goes

20 this smooth.

21 MEMBER GRONACHAN: At this time, at

22 9:07, I would like to call for a seven minute break

23 for the Board, and we will return at 9:14.

24 (Brief recess taken.)

















1 (Back on the record.)

2 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Okay. We are going

3 to resume the ZBA Meeting.

4 We're going to call the meeting back to

5 order, and call our next case, 04-090 filed by Tom

6 Sunderland, homeowner of 30478 Pennington Lane, in the

7 Bristol Corners North Subdivision.

8 Mr. Sunderland's requesting a three

9 foot rear yard setback variance for the construction

10 of a screened porch located at the above address.

11 Good evening.

12 Are you Mr. Sunderland?

13 MR. SUNDERLAND: Yes, I am.

14 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Would you please

15 raise your right hand to be sworn in by our secretary.

16 MEMBER BAUER: Do you solemnly swear or

17 affirm to tell the truth regarding case, 04-090?


19 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you, sir.


21 You can go ahead.

22 MR. SUNDERLAND: Good evening.

23 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Good evening.

24 MR. SUNDERLAND: We recently bought our

















1 second home in Novi back in April, and during -- since

2 that time, we've added a deck onto the back of the

3 house with a walk-out basement. The rear of the house

4 backs up to the Lakewood wetlands, and also Walled

5 Lake.

6 One of the things we discovered as

7 we've been there is, when the air is still outside,

8 you get quite a challenging problem with mosquito

9 situation here. And then we've also got some direct

10 sunlight issues, late morning, early afternoon.

11 I believe in your packet you have some

12 sketches of what we propose or what we're asking to

13 do. You can see in this one, we have the deck area,

14 current deck area situation. And we are proposing a

15 12 by 12 screened-in room. We need a room large

16 enough to accommodate our lawn furniture, patio

17 furniture, and four or five people, also.

18 So, this seems to be about as small as

19 we could go. We pushed it up as close to the house as

20 possible, leaving a four foot walkway here, so we can

21 get through, but the room as close as we can

22 reasonably go, I believe. But the that three foot

23 variance issue is why I'm here tonight.

24 We did get approval from the

















1 homeowner's association. We have no issue there with

2 them, which I believe is in your packet. And the

3 neighbors we had talked to had verbally told us that

4 they have no issue. I don't know if you've received

5 documentation back from them or not.

6 That's basically it.

7 Not quite as complicated as the last

8 gentleman's issue, but not quite as well present

9 maybe, either, but.

10 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Now, now. I know

11 you're trying to make the Golden Globe award, but

12 we're not awarding it until the end of the year.

13 Is there anyone in the audience that

14 wishes to make comment in regards to this case?

15 Seeing none, there were 32 notices

16 sent; one approval, and I'm sorry but I don't see the

17 homeowner's association. Is it in the file?



20 DENISE ANDERSON: It's in the packet

21 that everybody received.

22 Actually, from --

23 MEMBER GRONACHAN: (Interposing.) The

24 other approval is from Donald Luka -- Luchka, at 44462

















1 Bristol Circle(sic), please approve this gentleman's

2 request for a three foot rear yard setback variance.

3 Building Department?

4 MR. SAVEN: I'll just point out to the

5 Board on the plot plan, you'll notice that there is a

6 park that is located directly behind this property;

7 and also that projected enclosure does not extend out

8 farther than what the existing deck is.


10 Thank you.

11 Board Members?

12 Member Fischer?

13 MEMBER FISCHER: I feel that this is

14 pretty -- the homeowners association said yes and the

15 surrounding neighbors say yes. And given the comments

16 that Don shared, if anyone else would like to make

17 comments, I'd like to make a Motion.


19 MEMBER FISCHER: I move that we grant

20 the variance requested in case number 04-090, because

21 the Petitioner established practical difficulty, given

22 that the variance will not impair the intent of the

23 Ordinance; and there's still a significant setback.

24 MEMBER BAUER: Second.

















1 MEMBER GRONACHAN: It's been moved and

2 seconded.

3 Is there any further discussion on the

4 Motion?

5 Seeing none, Denise would you please

6 call the roll.

7 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Fischer?


9 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Bauer?


11 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Canup?


13 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Gronachan?


15 DENISE ANDERSON: Motion passes four to

16 zero.

17 MEMBER GRONACHAN: See, it went just as

18 fast, so, it's all in the delivery.

19 Your variance has been granted.

20 Please see the Building Department.

21 MR. SUNDERLAND: Thank you.



24 Okay. Our next case is 04-091, Sean

















1 McGreevey of Signs and Services Company, representing

2 Option One Mortgage, at 2133 Haggerty Road. Mr.

3 McGreevey is requesting a sign variance to erect a

4 ground sign at the above address between Eight and

5 Nine Mile Road.

6 Good evening.

7 Are you Mr. McGreevey?

8 MR. SCHAEFFER: No, I'm Tim Schaeffer.


10 MR. SCHAEFFER: Representative for

11 Mr. McGreevey.

12 MEMBER GRONACHAN: And you are not an

13 attorney, correct?

14 MR. SCHAEFFER: No, I'm not.

15 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Would you please

16 raise your right hand to be sworn in by our secretary.

17 MEMBER BAUER: Do you solemnly swear or

18 affirm to tell the truth regarding 04-091?

19 MR. SCHAEFFER: Yes, I do.

20 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.


22 You can proceed.

23 MR. SCHAEFFER: We were asking for a

24 variance for the ground sign for identification for

















1 our customers. Back -- case 94-116 was approved for a

2 wall sign by the ZBA; and it's caused a lot of

3 confusion with our customers. They believe it to be

4 the Learning Group Building. The sign is up on the

5 third story. I believe it's the third story, up on

6 top of the building, which leads people to believe

7 that this is the Learning Group Building.

8 And there's just a lot of confusion

9 with where and what -- where we're located at.


11 Anything else?

12 MR. SCHAEFFER: No. That's our

13 practical difficulty.


15 Is there anyone else in the audience

16 that wishes to make comment in regards to this case?

17 Seeing none, there were 12 notices

18 mailed; no approvals, no objections.

19 Building Department?

20 MR. AMOLSH: No comment.

21 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Board Members?

22 Member Canup?

23 MEMBER CANUP: Seems like a reasonable

24 request. They need some identification so people can

















1 find them.

2 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Member Fischer?

3 MEMBER FISCHER: The sign that's to the

4 north of there, that's also for 21333? That's just an

5 address sign?

6 MR. SCHAEFFER: Just an address, yes.


8 All right.

9 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Is there a Motion,

10 gentlemen?

11 MEMBER BAUER: I'd make a Motion in

12 case 04-091 that the variance be granted to -- for

13 identification.


15 MEMBER GRONACHAN: It's been moved and

16 seconded.

17 Is there any further discussion on the

18 Motion?

19 Seeing none, Denise, would you please

20 call the roll.

21 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Bauer?


23 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Fischer?


















1 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Canup?


3 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Gronachan?


5 DENISE ANDERSON: Motion passes four to

6 zero.


8 Thank you.

9 MR. SCHAEFFER: Thank you.

10 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Your variance has

11 been granted.

12 MR. SCHAEFFER: Thank you.

13 MEMBER GRONACHAN: You're welcome.


15 Okay. Our next case is 04-094, filed

16 by Matt Fill of Oscar W. Larson Company, representing

17 Sunoco Gas Station at 43601 Grand River Avenue.

18 Mr. Fill is requesting two sign

19 variances to erect a monument sign at the above

20 address, west of Novi Road and east of Flint Road; and

21 also a height variance on the sign.

22 Are you, in fact, Mr. Fill?

23 MR. FILL: I am.


















1 You're not an attorney, correct?

2 MR. FILL: No, I am not.


4 Would you please raise your right hand

5 to be sworn in by our secretary.

6 MEMBER BAUER: Do you solemnly swear or

7 affirm to tell the truth regarding case 04-094?

8 MR. FILL: I do.

9 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.

10 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Please proceed.

11 MR. FILL: Basically, we're requesting

12 a variance, as you mentioned. The sign, itself, is

13 already been installed, due to a miscommunication with

14 the sign installer, who was hired by Sunoco. They

15 were responsible for putting the base in. The base

16 was put there, under the assumption that it had been

17 permanent. Indeed, it wasn't.

18 We do need a front yard setback. We're

19 asking for the variance on the side yard setback.

20 It's Flint Street, which up until that point of the

21 project, had been a dirt road. We're putting in

22 gutter, paving it. The other side of that is wooded

23 area.

24 Our hardship right now at this point is

















1 we're about a week away from trying to get the station

2 open. It's our primary price sign, I.D. sign. It's

3 the only one on the site. We're trying to get

4 everything kind of buttoned up. We have a lot of

5 landscaping affecting the sign. We, indeed, are

6 required to move the sign, that means we'd have to

7 tear it down. It's on a standard foundation, doubled

8 with brick.

9 When we do or if we would have to move

10 it over -- I do have a picture here to kind of show

11 you what we're up against -- you can kind of see it

12 here -- we are basically -- five feet would put us

13 into this area. We have a retaining wall in here,

14 extensive landscaping, irrigation, already installed.

15 That's kind of the hardship we're up against at this

16 point.

17 The sign up here is our mock-up, in

18 place, and that is essentially it.


20 Is there anyone in the audience that

21 wishes to make comment in regards to this case?

22 Seeing none, there were 19 notices

23 mailed; no approvals, no objections.

24 Building Department?

















1 MR. AMOLSH: No comment.


3 Member Bauer?

4 MEMBER BAUER: You did a much better

5 job that what was there before.

6 MR. FILL: Well, we would hope so.

7 It's our intent.

8 MEMBER BAUER: I have no problem with

9 it.

10 MEMBER GRONACHAN: I feel sorry for the

11 Petitioner, you know, the owner of the company, to

12 hire a sign company thinking they would know the

13 rules. This is like the fourth or fifth sign company

14 that we've come across. They do this and then it's a

15 noose.

16 I feel better now that I said that.

17 Member Canup?

18 MEMBER CANUP: I guess I have no

19 sympathy for them. Mainly, because of the fact that a

20 professional knows better than to do what happened

21 here. And you're not going to get an approval from

22 me. It's pretty simple.

23 Any sign company, anybody in business

24 knows, the first thing you do is you go and get a

















1 permit. You just don't do it without a permit.

2 MR. FILL: Well, the arrangement here

3 is --

4 MEMBER CANUP: I'm not arguing with

5 you. I'm just telling you that's my position.

6 MR. FILL: The arrangement here is that

7 --

8 MEMBER CANUP: I said I wasn't arguing

9 with you, and that's my position.

10 MEMBER GRONACHAN: You need to wait for

11 the Board to get done talking.

12 MEMBER CANUP: So anyway, I guess I

13 would have a difficult time voting for this. They

14 knew what the Ordinances were. The architect who

15 designed this site should have had that sign located.

16 And as far as I'm concerned, there's no excuse for it.

17 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Anyone else?

18 Okay.

19 Member Fischer, any comments?

20 MEMBER FISCHER: I feel that the

21 requests are minimal. I feel that given the efforts

22 to do the landscaping, due to the elevation, curve,

23 grading, all that area, I feel that I would find a

24 hard time not support this.

















1 MEMBER GRONACHAN: I know how Brent

2 feels about this, because I feel the same way and I

3 give him credit for saying what's on his mind. The

4 fact that the sign companies go in and install these

5 signs in Novi, is there something that can't be done

6 about this? I mean seriously, this is four or the

7 five?

8 MR. SAVEN: Alan takes care of this

9 particular area.

10 MEMBER GRONACHAN: But I mean, you

11 know, it's not the sign company that's going to pay

12 for the tear down. It's going to be the owner of the

13 property, is it not?

14 MR. SAVEN: Ultimately it will be, yes.

15 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Okay. There's no --

16 I mean, the sign company screwed up and installed it

17 wrong. I mean, I would just like to see some of this

18 stuff -- if there's any other businesses out there

19 listening, because this happens from time to time, and

20 we don't want to deter good quality business from our

21 city. However, sign companies should know where to

22 put the signs. And now it's going to cost the

23 Petitioner a great deal of money.

24 And the Petitioner not being the sign

















1 company, and not -- my problem is with the sign

2 company. It's not with Sunoco.

3 MEMBER CANUP: You know, being in the

4 construction business, I would suspect that the person

5 who put the sign up, will be the one that is

6 financially responsible for moving it, depending on

7 how your contract reads.

8 And again, this should have been shown

9 on the site -- the overall site plan by the architect,

10 and I don't know that it is not. But again, I still

11 have my same opinion.

12 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Member Fischer?

13 MEMBER FISCHER: I sympathize, as well,

14 and I would like to see some of these sign companies

15 held responsible. But I can't go on that emotion and

16 hold the applicant responsible for that. And there

17 are other things that go into consideration, such as,

18 the reasons he gave throughout his testimony and on

19 the application.

20 His only hardship isn't that, well, the

21 sign company messed up. It has to do with a lot of

22 other things.

23 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Well -- and that's a

24 good point. Had this sign been done the right way,

















1 prior to it being installed, would you have needed the

2 variances prior to erecting the sign?

3 MR. FILL: That's part of what I tried

4 to point out in the drawing. If we did shift it back,

5 I have issues with grading. There's a retaining wall.

6 A landscape retaining wall there. It's sitting right

7 up tight against.


9 Mr. Fill, with all due respect, that

10 was during the construction. So my -- the question to

11 you is, when you went to build this whole thing and

12 the sign, would the sign have needed a variance, at

13 the time that this sign --

14 MR. FILL: Yes.

15 MEMBER GRONACHAN: -- was put in place?

16 MR. FILL: The sign needed a variance

17 with the placement on the drawing. Is that what

18 you're asking?


20 MR. FILL: This drawing right here kind

21 of shows --

22 MEMBER GRONACHAN: You're telling us

23 that that sign could go no other place but there. And

24 because it's going there, you put the sign up, and

















1 because it has to go there, this is why I need the

2 variance -- if the sign was not erected already.

3 MR. FILL: Well, there's the issue with

4 landscaping. I'd have to get either the approval to

5 eliminate plantings, move plantings. We have a

6 landscape plan that's been approved, an irrigation

7 plan. Those types of things.

8 I'm not kind of stuck. Do I -- if I do

9 tear the sign down, then how do I effect those

10 approvals for plantings and trees and so forth out

11 front? I've got to go back to the City consultant, I

12 believe.

13 MEMBER FISCHER: And personally, I'd

14 rather see the plantings, than just space. I think it

15 looks classy. I think this looks much better with the

16 landscaping.

17 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Mr. Schmitt, I need

18 to ask you. How did this happen? Did this come to

19 us? Did we see this?

20 MR. SCHMITT: The Planning Department

21 does not review locations of signs. All our letter

22 specifically state that sign -- you'll have to go

23 through the normal approval process. I can tell you,

24 though, we do review landscaping around the sign,

















1 because -- and I have seen plans directly. But my

2 guess is really close to the 25 foot clear vision

3 triangle, that our landscaping architecture requires

4 at all intersections.

5 So we would have called out at least

6 pushing on that, because due to the requirement and

7 maximum height of the plantings in that area.

8 Now in terms of if he needed to move

9 it, does it affect landscaping, not particularly.

10 It's just going to slide the landscaping -- you're

11 basically going to switch places. As long as the

12 plantings are still in the relative location, and when

13 we go out there and inspect, as long as they're there

14 and they're healthy --


16 Let me go back to Mr. Canup for a

17 minute.

18 Given the circumstances and the fact

19 that we -- he'd be back here anyway to get a variance,

20 I feel that -- even though I can support your

21 frustration, and I'm voicing to this end of the table

22 -- that in the future when those signs come up at the

23 Planning area, that this kind of thing should never

24 happen again.

















1 Someone should catch it, whosever out

2 there listening to me.

3 I feel that this is a major expense to

4 the owner, and I feel that this is a major faux pas,

5 and I do not want to set a precedence in Novi; new

6 construction and new businesses putting signs up where

7 they feel it is important. And the reason I say that

8 is, because we've had a couple here this evening,

9 already installed, expense is done.

10 So somewhere out there in construction

11 land, the point's not getting across. However, we

12 have to view this case.

13 And I'm tending -- I lean to approving

14 this, based on the fact that it came -- it did come

15 back in front of us anyways, if they do what we ask

16 them to do, they're going to need the variance at any

17 rate. And I don't feel like making this particular

18 Petitioner be the sacrificial lamb tonight.

19 Member Canup?

20 MEMBER CANUP: You heard my opinion


22 MEMBER CANUP: And that's the way I'll

23 vote.

24 MR. SAVEN: Madam Chair?


















2 MR. SAVEN: I just want to point out,

3 this particular site has been probably one of the most

4 difficult sites we've ever had to deal with in the

5 development of this particular building. God knows I

6 don't know how many hours I spent on just the flood

7 plane areas on this particular site. I will tell you

8 this, that we know that there were difficulties with

9 the Grand River improvements came into play,

10 elevations of the road, the Flint Street paving. All

11 of these particular issues were issues regarding this

12 particular site. And in -- almost in the practical

13 application, where that road was going to basically

14 end up. That was a very difficult scenario.

15 So with that in mind, I'm not giving

16 excuses. That's not what I'm here to tell you. I'm

17 just going to tell you this was a very difficult site.

18 And the reason for that retaining wall was basically

19 because they had to maintain certain elevations. So

20 naturally where the sign was at, was not picked up for

21 the setback required, but it still needs to have a

22 variance.

23 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Mr. Fill, if this

24 goes to a vote and there's only four members, you're

















1 obviously not going to pass. That's option one.

2 Option two is you can table it until next month, when

3 we have a full Board and represent your case to all of

4 the members at the table.

5 And there's no guarantee, correct. But

6 it would give you more members to reappeal your case

7 to, and we would have six members to vote, instead of

8 four, and it would take --

9 MR. FILL: At this point -- this is the

10 owner, Mr. Matle(ph), of the site.

11 MR. MATLE: Good evening. My name is

12 Allen Matle. I'm the current developer of the site

13 and the operator. I'm not the current owner of the

14 property.

15 I'd just like to make a small

16 statement. And I do agree with Mr. Canup, but I think

17 the biggest issue was, where we have the real problem,

18 the grading on this site initially on the plans. We

19 were under the assumption, the initial plans had the

20 sign where it is today, where the base was. And we

21 followed those approved site plans, and we built the

22 base where we felt the sign was approved already.

23 We weren't even aware of the variances

24 that were required based on the grading and the right-

















1 of-way from Novi. So we just built that base when we

2 did our footings and everything else, with the

3 concrete. And then the sign people just came up and

4 put the actual dummy sign there for us to see.

5 And that's when we realized that we

6 needed a variance on the sign. And the actual sign,

7 itself, today, is the only sign on the site. And as

8 you can see, if you've driven down Novi, you'll see --

9 Grand River, you'll see how far the sign is back.

10 Even where it's at today, is very hard for anyone to

11 see, until they actually come up to me.

12 I spent over a million dollars on that

13 site. I can't really stand here and say that's

14 Mr. Canup's problem, but I have spent a large amount

15 of money on that site, and I still feel that's the

16 only side that's going to give me a half a prayer of

17 succeeding on that site. And it still sits too far

18 back.

19 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Well, sir, excuse me

20 for interrupting one second. Pleading your case this

21 evening, I believe that you're doing it to at least on

22 deaf ear at this point. My suggestion is to table it

23 until next month and bring it back to a full Board.

24 We need four votes to pass it, and you already have

















1 one that's going to vote against it.

2 Now, I'm giving you the option to table

3 it. Because if we vote on it tonight, it will be

4 denied.

5 MR. FILL: And then our other option is

6 to tear the sign down and try to make it work onto the

7 site.

8 MEMBER GRONACHAN: That's always an

9 option.

10 MR. FILL: Well, this again is a great

11 hardship. The owner's been trying to get this site

12 done. A gas station without a price on it --

13 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Sir, I understand.

14 You've stated your case very clearly. I'm not trying

15 to be difficult, but please, my hands are tied --

16 MR. FILL: We have no other option --

17 MEMBER GRONACHAN: -- I don't have a

18 magic wand under this table.

19 My suggestion -- and being that, as the

20 Chair, I'm going to suggest that you table this. I'm

21 not suggesting that you tear the sign down. And as

22 soon as you walk away from this podium and you take 15

23 minutes to think this through, you're going to go, you

24 know, I should have just tabled that case.

















1 MR. FILL: It's -- we don't need to

2 table it. We need to table it.


4 All those in favor of tabling this case

5 until October, say aye?



8 We'll see you next month with a full

9 Board.

10 MR. FILL: Okay.

11 Thank you.


13 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Okay. Calling our

14 last case, 04-096 filed by Ron Nuechterlein of

15 Superior Diversified Services Corp for Novi Site, at

16 26203.

17 Mr. Nuechterlein was in front of this

18 Board last month and he's resubmitting his plans with

19 a request for new -- fewer variances. The applicant

20 is requesting two side yard parking lot set back

21 variances of 15 feet on the north side, and 20 feet on

22 the south side. A 478 square foot interior parking

23 lot landscape variance; a four foot green space

24 variance on the south side of the building; and a

















1 variance to eliminate the loading zone.

2 The building is zoned TC, and it's

3 located west of Novi Road.

4 Usually, as soon as you're done,

5 somebody's out there.

6 MR. HYMAN: We just wanted the dust to

7 settle, Madam Chair.


9 Thank you.

10 That's always good.

11 Good evening, and you are?

12 MR. HYMAN: I'm Norman Hyman. I'm the

13 attorney for the applicant, and the owner of the

14 property, George Cares.

15 With me, Mr. Cares; George Norburg, our

16 engineer; and Ron Nuechterlein, the site development

17 manager.

18 I assume you want to swear them in.

19 MEMBER GRONACHAN: You're lucky because

20 you were sworn in last month, and I'm going to make a

21 note of it, that it is a carry-over; is that correct?

22 Even though the case was denied, it will carry over

23 this month.

24 You were all sworn in.

















1 MR. HYMAN: Thank you.

2 And to carry on in that spirit, I would

3 hope that you would consider the record developed to

4 date as part of tonight's record, so we don't have to

5 repeat it.

6 Thank you very much.

7 MEMBER GRONACHAN: All in favor of

8 that.

9 Thank you very much, given the hour.

10 MR. HYMAN: We'll try to be very short.

11 Mr. Schmitt from the Planning

12 Department made a recommendation that would

13 substantially reduce the variances requested. The

14 matter which that would be done was to again reduce

15 the building. It had been reduced in size once from

16 3186 by 354 feet, knocking three feet off of the north

17 side of the building; thus creating a four foot

18 setback where there had been a one foot setback.

19 The result is that the new building is

20 2832 feet in area. It's a small building. I'm not

21 going to repeat the problems that we've had with this

22 extremely narrow site. We believe that it's the best

23 that can be done. We think we've adequately

24 demonstrated hardship.

















1 We'll be happy to answer any questions.

2 Thank you.


4 Is there anyone in the audience that

5 wishes to make comment in regards to this case?

6 Okay.

7 And you are?

8 MR. GRECO: Greg Greco.


10 MR. GRECO: Greg Greco from Stanton and

11 Associates, 7141 West Michigan Avenue. I'm standing

12 in for Randy Israel.

13 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Okay. And you are

14 an attorney?

15 MR. GRECO: I am not an attorney.


17 I will remind you this evening that --

18 we don't need to swear you in -- but I will remind you

19 this evening that there is a five minute rule for

20 audience participation at this time; and that you can

21 begin.

22 MR. GRECO: Okay.

23 Thank you very much.

24 Just Mr. Israel wanted me to say that

















1 when he talked to Denise, Denise was under the

2 impression that there had been dialog between us and

3 them. There has not been, and it's been stated. And

4 Mr. Israel just wanted me to restate it. The letter

5 we sent out, we still have the objections.


7 MR. GRECO: That's it.


9 Sir, do you have anything to offer at

10 this time?

11 You're not speaking, okay.

12 Mr. Schmitt, do you have anything to

13 offer?

14 I'm sorry. Before you get into that,

15 we'll just do this.

16 There were 32 notices -- 33 notices

17 sent; no approvals, one objection. The objection's

18 from Mr. Israel. This is a very lengthy objection,

19 and it's already a matter of public record. And for

20 time sake and the fact that this is several pages, I

21 will not go into it at this time.

22 However, I will call on the Building

23 Department and Planning Department.

24 MR. SAVEN: Madam Chair --


















2 MR. SAVEN: -- and Members of the

3 Board. At the last meeting, it was definitely

4 explained. There were several variances that were in

5 need. And at that particular time, at the direction

6 of the Board, I did get with Tim Schmitt in the

7 Planning Department and address those particular

8 concerns of the Board. And -- was there possibly

9 anything that can be done to reduce the number of

10 variances.

11 And Mr. Schmitt followed up with a

12 letter to me, which the Board has a copy of. I'll let

13 him explain those variances that were reduced, based

14 upon Tim's review of the meeting with the members.

15 MR. SCHMITT: You guys know if I'm

16 here, there's something good happening. So let me go

17 through what the Planning Department has suggested at

18 this point. Our -- just so you can realize, this is

19 going to be a difficult project. This is really the

20 last step in the approval process, if the Board so

21 decides to do so this evening.

22 One of the main issues that both

23 traffic planning, and to some extent, fire department

24 was concerned with, is parking in the front yard.

















1 That's one of the variances that's in front of you.

2 This variance was very easily eliminated in two ways.

3 One, by sliding everything two feet to the west, which

4 was pretty easily done; and two, by eliminating three

5 feet off the north south width of the building.

6 The square footage was such that that

7 parking space was no longer required. So that

8 variance is eliminated.

9 By reducing the building by three feet,

10 north to south, we then add four feet along the north;

11 four feet existed along the east; and four feet was

12 existing on the west, with a minor configuration.

13 Therefore, that variance was reduced to only not

14 having four feet of landscaping along the south side

15 of the building.

16 By eliminating the loading zone, you

17 eliminate the issue of the setback of the loading zone

18 and the screening of the loading zone. In addition,

19 you also gain a little bit of parking, which reduced

20 that variance, as well.

21 The only two variances that really area

22 immutable at this point, are the parking lot setback

23 in the north and south, with the 24 foot wide

24 maneuvering lane and 20 feet of setback on either

















1 side, you're already over the width of the property,

2 without any actual parking, along your parking lot.

3 So that's our suggestion. It's been

4 our suggestion really all along, to try to manipulate

5 it a little bit to provide lesser variances. I have

6 taken a look at the request for Mr. Israel of Wendy's.

7 And initial reaction, it's going to have much the same

8 problem that you have in front of you this evening.

9 What it's going to change from a site development

10 standpoint -- I understand what it's going to change

11 in their mind from a visibility standpoint and from an

12 accessibility standpoint.

13 What it changes from a site development

14 standpoint is the secondary access, even just being

15 the break-away gate, would essentially be eliminated

16 by sliding the building to the rear. There's really

17 no other place to put it at that point, that would

18 even come close to the giving the fire department the

19 ability -- the fire department to get in.

20 Not that it's a great situation now,

21 but it's workable. And two, you have to put a

22 dumpster in the front yard, which frankly we're trying

23 to avoid at all cost. You'd still have to get a

24 variance for the parking lot setback. You'd still

















1 likely have to get a variance to eliminate the loading

2 zone. The landscaping variances have changed

3 slightly. You may be able to eliminate the four foot

4 variance. It could be around the building.

5 The parking lot landscaping is still

6 going to be there, just by nature of the site. And

7 perhaps, more importantly, the Planning Department

8 will definitely send the project back to the Planning

9 Commission for a new site plan.

10 It's a pretty substantial change from

11 what the Planning Commission saw originally. And our

12 rule of thumb basically is, if they're going to see

13 something different on the ground than what they saw

14 on the plan, then they're going to notice it and we're

15 going to send it back.

16 So if the Board's direction was to move

17 towards that, we would definitely be sending it back

18 to the Planning Commission. But our current proposal

19 is what we've outlined in our memo. They're still

20 going to need a pretty substantial (unintelligible),

21 and I think we're pretty comfortable in saying that

22 this is probably the best that we can do at this

23 point, given the previous (unintelligible) regarding

24 the variances.

















1 I'd be happy to answer any questions,

2 if you have them.


4 Board Members?

5 I'll pipe up.

6 I have something to say.

7 I would like to note that -- for the

8 record, and for my fellow Board Members, that Mr.

9 Israel did write a letter, and it is in the file, and

10 he was -- there was an error, an internal error at

11 Wendy's.

12 He did find out that the Petitioner

13 did, in fact, try to contact Wendy's. For some

14 reason, Mr. Israel was not aware of it. So there was

15 a contact made.

16 I'll clarify that for the record.

17 Yes, Member Canup?

18 MEMBER CANUP: I think in light of the

19 fact that, you know, if you look at this piece of

20 property, it is a very difficult piece of property to

21 develop, if not practically impossible. However, I

22 think it is -- there is a hardship that it is

23 basically undevelopable within the Ordinances. And it

24 does have to be an opportunity for this Petitioner or

















1 owner of the property to be able to use the property

2 in some fashion.

3 And I think with the work the

4 Petitioner has done and the work that the Building

5 Department has done with it, that I don't see what

6 could be done more to make this property somewhat

7 usable.

8 You'd have to be reasonable in the fact

9 that, you know, they are going to have to have

10 variances. This property is 55 feet wide, it's fairly

11 deep. It's very unfortunate that this property ever

12 got split off, but it was done considerably -- many

13 years ago. And that's the way it was when it was done

14 in the 50's or 40's, whenever it was done. And nobody

15 ever dreamed at that time that Novi Road or Novi would

16 be what it is today.

17 So, unfortunately we inherited it or

18 the owner who bought this inherited it. It is the

19 City, and I guess it was done back when it was -- in

20 the Township days. So anyway, I think with all the

21 work that's gone into this and the give and take done

22 on the part of the Petitioner and the Building

23 Department, that we need to -- my opinion is we need

24 to look at this in a very positive way.

















1 I think from what I can understand he's

2 done all that can be done to develop this piece of

3 property with a minimal impact, and I would support a

4 Motion or make a Motion -- if somebody wanted me to,

5 to grant the variance as requested.

6 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Member Fischer?

7 MEMBER FISCHER: I just wanted to echo

8 Member Canup's comments. And I'm just glad to see --

9 I hope that's not me. I forgot to read

10 the rules. I apologize to everyone.

11 -- I'm glad to see this went back to

12 the drawing board, and I want to commend the Planner

13 for his efforts into this, in lowering the number and

14 the extent of these variances. I'm glad to see more

15 landscaping, as well. That was one of my main

16 concerns.

17 And with that, I'd be willing to make a

18 Motion, as well, if comments are done.

19 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Member Bauer?

20 MEMBER BAUER: One thing. I think the

21 cooperation in both the Petitioner and the Building

22 Department and the Planning Department, everybody

23 getting together brought this to a head. And I think

24 you all deserve a grand job done, because I'm for it

















1 also.

2 MEMBER GRONACHAN: You took the words

3 right out of my mouth, you did. Are you reading my

4 notes or what?

5 I don't have any more gold stars to

6 hand out. I do. I'm impressed, that a little effort

7 that was made, or a lot of effort in this particular

8 case was done. And again, I said it earlier and I say

9 it again, when we send people back to the drawing

10 board, it's because we know there's another vision out

11 there. We, in no way, shape or form want to be

12 uncooperative, or have anyone not be able to use their

13 property. It's their property.

14 And when we take the time to say, this

15 is just a little too much, that's because under the

16 Zoning Board of Appeals, we need to look for less,

17 lesser variances. That is what we do. And that's

18 what our job is. So I echo the comments of all of my

19 fellow Board Members, and I will be supporting this

20 Motion, as well, and I believe Member Fischer wanted

21 to make a Motion, and so I will let him do that.

22 MEMBER FISCHER: Did you want to make a

23 Motion?

24 MEMBER CANUP: I did, because that was

















1 the Motion --

2 MEMBER FISCHER: I'm sorry.

3 MEMBER CANUP: I would make a Motion

4 that in case number 04-096, that we grant the

5 variances as requested.


7 MEMBER FISCHER: Friendly amendment?

8 MEMBER CANUP: Friendly amendment,

9 possibly accepted.

10 MEMBER FISCHER: I would just like to

11 point out the reasons why, given that the Petitioner

12 has established a practical difficulty; Petitioner has

13 shown an effort to reduce the variances, given that

14 unique circumstances regarding the narrowness and area

15 of the property; given the failure to grant would be

16 unnecessarily burdensome, and possibly show that the

17 building -- or property would then be economically

18 unbuildable.

19 And given the reduction in variances,

20 has increased health, safety and welfare concerns;

21 that were many of the reasons why we denied this last

22 month.

23 MEMBER BAUER: Here, here.


















1 Is there any further --

2 MEMBER CANUP: Accepted.

3 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Is there any further

4 discussion on the Motion?

5 Seeing none, Denise, would you please

6 call the roll.

7 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Canup?


9 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Fischer?


11 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Bauer?


13 DENISE ANDERSON: Member Gronachan?


15 DENISE ANDERSON: Motion passes four to

16 zero.

17 MR. HYMAN: Thank you very much.

18 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Good luck to you.

19 MR. HYMAN: I just want to state for

20 the record, we appreciate Mr. Israel clearing the

21 record up and acknowledging that we did attempt to

22 contact Wendy's. For the record, there were more than

23 one contact, there really was. Not from us, but also

24 from the fire department to discuss the location of

















1 the building, the break-away gate, etc. We wanted

2 that to be on the record.

3 We didn't want anyone to believe that

4 we had not made an attempt to discuss this matter.

5 MR. GRECO: Can I just say one thing?

6 MEMBER GRONACHAN: We're all set. The

7 case has been heard.

8 We're done. Thank you very much.


10 DENISE ANDERSON: Thank you.

11 And we have other matters.

12 One other matter.


14 DENISE ANDERSON: We have one other

15 matter, the 2005 schedule for the ZBA Meeting.


17 DENISE ANDERSON: I gave everybody

18 their handout.

19 MEMBER GRONACHAN: I need to explain.

20 We started but we didn't have enough time.

21 One of the things that I will cover

22 next month, with regard to the Board Members that are

23 here, is in light of what happened over the last

24 couple weeks, we need a handle on when there's not

















1 going to be enough members at the table.

2 And the reason why is because it's not

3 going to be a full board. We have some cases that are

4 coming back. What Denise does, is she calls them and

5 gives them a heads up that it's not going to be a full

6 board. Instead of going through all the work with

7 notification and everything, she tables them.

8 So it's less the cost. It's less the

9 time, and it's less the efforts. So if we already

10 know up front that we're only going to have four

11 members at the table that particular month, say in

12 January, then when those cases come up -- the larger

13 cases -- are given the option to move to the next

14 month. It just cuts down on the work load.

15 MEMBER BAUER: Whatever suits you.


17 MEMBER CANUP: Looking at this, I can

18 tell you right now, I'll be out of town February and

19 March.


21 MEMBER CANUP: You can make a note of

22 that.

23 And if it affects things --

24 MEMBER GRONACHAN: You can't go.

















1 Then you just can't go.

2 MEMBER CANUP: Okay, okay.

3 MEMBER BAUER: You can fly back.

4 DENISE ANDERSON: It's actually to set

5 the dates for the calendar that's going to go out.


7 See, because that's the only thing, in

8 January and February, if we find that there's going to

9 be that shortage, we can actually, this far ahead,

10 could move the date, and it wouldn't be the big time

11 and the big expense involved, that there is once it's

12 -- you know, our meeting date isn't necessarily

13 written in stone. It better services the Petitioners.

14 MEMBER BAUER: Once in my few years on

15 the Board we were not able to get four. Only three.

16 We cancelled that meeting.


18 Well, I'm hoping that we don't have to

19 ever have to do that. So that's what we're --

20 MR. SAVEN: For matters of the dates of

21 the meetings, you need to get this for the calendars.

22 Looking at this, there are two actual times, July 5th

23 and July 12th; and September 6th and September 13th.

24 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Well, to be honest

















1 with you right now --

2 MEMBER BAUER: The 12th would be

3 better.

4 MEMBER GRONACHAN: -- the 12th would be

5 better in July; and in September, the week after the

6 holiday.


8 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Those two right off

9 the bat.


11 MR. SAVEN: And then, of course, the

12 election coming up, November 8th.

13 All right. That gives us direction,

14 something to put in the calendar.

15 MEMBER GRONACHAN: That completes my

16 wish, that way we don't have to be working on a

17 holiday weekend.

18 DENISE ANDERSON: There you go.

19 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Is there any other

20 issues or matters to be discussed at this time?

21 Then I would -- anyone who wants to

22 support a Motion to adjourn the meeting?

23 MEMBER BAUER: Adjourned.



















2 Okay. It's so moved.

3 Thank you.

4 Then I would thereby adjourn the ZBA

5 Meeting.

6 (The meeting was adjourned

7 at 10:04 p.m.)

8 - - - - - - -

































1 C__E__R__T__I__F__I__C__A__T__E_


3 I do hereby certify that I have

4 recorded stenographically the proceedings had and testimony

5 taken in the above-entitled matter at the time and place

6 hereinbefore set forth, and that the foregoing is a full,

7 true and correct transcript of proceedings had in the

8 above-entitled matter; and I do further certify that the

9 foregoing transcript, consisting of (130) typewritten

10 pages, is a true and correct transcript of my said

11 stenograph notes.



14 ________________________________________

15 Machelle R. Billingslea-Moore, Reporter.


17 __________

18 Date