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TUESDAY, MAY 3, 2005

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, Tuesday, May 3, 2005.

Justin Fischer, Chairman
Cynthia Gronachan
Brent Canup
Gerald Bauer
Frank Brennan
Siddarth Sanghvi

Don Saven, Building Department
Alan Amolsch, Ordinance Enforcement
Gail Backus, ZBA Recording Secretary

Machelle Billingslea-Moore, Certified Shorthand Reporter.

1 Novi, Michigan

2 Tuesday, May 3, 2005

3 At 7:30 p.m.

4 - - - - -

5 MEMBER FISCHER: All right.

6 It's 7:30, and I would like to call to

7 order the May, 2005 Zoning Board of

8 Appeals meeting.

9 Ms. Backus, would you please

10 call the roll?

11 GAIL BACKUS: Member Bauer?

12 MEMBER BAUER: Present.

13 GAIL BACKUS: Member Brennan?


15 GAIL BACKUS: Member Canup?


17 GAIL BACKUS: Member Fischer?


19 GAIL BACKUS: Member Gronachan?


21 GAIL BACKUS: Member Sanghvi?


23 GAIL BACKUS: All present.

24 MEMBER FISCHER: All right. We







1 do have a quorum, so the meeting is now in

2 session.

3 I would like to remind everyone

4 of some of the rules of conduct. Please turn off

5 all cell phones and pagers; as well as I will be

6 asking the secretary to hold individuals to five

7 minutes in front of the board; and groups, ten

8 minutes. Other rules can be found on the agenda.

9 The Zoning Board of Appeals is a

10 Hearing Board empowered by the Novi City Charter,

11 to hear appeals seeking variances from the

12 application of the Novi Zoning Ordinance. It

13 takes a vote of at least four members to approve

14 a variance; and a vote of the majority present to

15 deny a variance.

16 A full Board is it present

17 tonight, and so all decisions will be final.

18 Any changes to the agenda?


20 MEMBER FISCHER: Member Bauer?

21 MEMBER BAUER: No, we're going to

22 get to it. I'm sorry.


24 Mr. Saven?







1 MR. SAVEN: Yes, in Case Number,

2 05-033, filed by Edmund and Christine Szelap for

3 23468 Duchess Court, I met with the applicant,

4 and he is requesting an (unintelligible) one of

5 the variances he is requesting, the variance for

6 the square footage of the accessory structure on

7 the property, it appears as though when I did the

8 computation, I did not take into account, a

9 triangular calculation, and I did not do it

10 correctly.

11 Therefore, the variance

12 requested, instead of 126 foot would be 49 square

13 feet. It is of a lesser variance, and this is

14 not -- this should not pose a problem.

15 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you.

16 Any other changes?

17 Seeing none, I'll move for

18 approval of the agenda as amended.

19 All in favor say aye.


21 MEMBER FISCHER: Any opposed?

22 The aye's have it. The agenda

23 is set.

24 We did have Minutes from March,







1 as well as April 2005.

2 Are there in any changes to

3 either of these?

4 MEMBER BAUER: April's, yes.

5 Minor changes, and I have them

6 listed. (Unintelligible) give them to her. Or if

7 you want them, I can read them off for you.

8 MEMBER FISCHER: Is it all right

9 to just submit them, changes to the Minutes, or

10 should they be read out?

11 MR. GILLIAM: If the

12 changes are just minor changes, Member

13 Bauer can just submit those in writing

14 to Ms. Backus, that would be fine.

15 MEMBER BAUER: Will do.

16 MEMBER FISCHER: That's fine

17 with me.

18 Any other changes to either

19 packet of Minutes?

20 All right then. I'll move for

21 approval of the Minutes as amended.

22 All in favor say aye?


24 MEMBER FISCHER: Any opposed?







1 None. The aye's have it.

2 All right. We'll move to public

3 remarks part of the agenda. If anyone wishes to

4 address the Board on any matter not on our agenda

5 tonight, please come forward. All comments that

6 are related to a case on the agenda should wait

7 until that case is called.

8 Seeing none, we'll close the

9 public remarks portion.


11 And we'll call our first case.

12 This is Case Number 05-011 filed by Paul Knuth of

13 Ivanhoe Huntley Companies.

14 Are you Mr. Knuth?

15 MR. KELESIC: I -- good evening.

16 My name is Ken Kelesic. I'm with Dykema Gossett.

17 Mr. Knuth is unable to be with us tonight. We're

18 representing him.


20 are an attorney?

21 MR. KELESIC: That is correct.

22 MEMBER FISCHER: Go ahead with --

23 MR. KELESIC: We've been before

24 you twice before, both at the March and at the







1 April meeting. We don't have any additional

2 comments at this time.

3 If you have any questions, we'd

4 be happy to answer those at this time.

5 We have nothing to add.


7 very much .

8 No new notices were made because

9 the changes did not -- the variance did not

10 change.

11 Does anyone in the audience wish

12 to address the Board tonight concerning this

13 case?

14 Seeing none, Building

15 Department?

16 MR. SAVEN: This case is

17 (unintelligible) hardship which I believe they

18 presented to you already, is that correct?

19 MR. KELESIC: That is correct,

20 at the March meeting.

21 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

22 Mr. Saven.

23 Board members?

24 Member Brennan?







1 MEMBER BRENNAN: Last month we

2 had asked our City attorney for some assistance;

3 and given that I'm prepared to make a Motion,

4 unless there's others that have comment.

5 I'll follow then on in Case

6 Number, 05-011, I would move that the Ivanhoe

7 Huntley Companies for Wellington Ridge

8 Condominiums, I would move to deny the

9 application for the use variance, as the

10 applicant has failed to establish an unnecessary

11 hardship.

12 In order to establish an

13 unnecessary hardship, the applicant must

14 establish each of the following: There's five

15 conditions:

16 The property cannot reasonably

17 be used for the permitted purpose; number two,

18 the requested variance is base upon unique

19 circumstances related to the property; the

20 variance will not alter the essential character

21 of the area; four, the variance is not based on

22 self-created hardship; five, 5 the variance will

23 ensure the spirit of the Zoning Ordinance is

24 observed, public safety secured, and substantial







1 justice done.

2 I believe that this Board has

3 found that the applicant has not established any

4 of these five elements. The findings are based

5 on the entire record, including materials

6 submitted by the, Petitioner, City Planning

7 Department, City Consultants, as well comments of

8 the City Planning Department staff.

9 With respect to each item of the

10 five noted -- I'll begin with number 1 -- the

11 applicant has failed to establish that the

12 property cannot be used for any other purpose

13 listed in OS-1 and RA.

14 Generally, the applicant has

15 stated that the property has been listed with a

16 real estate broker since 1999; and there have

17 been no other -- or has been no other interest in

18 the property. However, the applicant has not

19 presented any evidence as to the listing price of

20 the property, and as to whether or not that

21 listing price is reasonable.

22 As to the OS-1 portion of the

23 property, the property could be developed with

24 approximately 18,000 square feet of office under







1 the existing Zoning. The office market in Novi

2 is strong, as evidenced by an additional 200,000

3 square foot of office that has been approved for

4 development in the City. Vacancy rates in Novi

5 are reported at approximately ten percent, which

6 is significantly less than in the surrounding

7 areas.

8 The applicant did not present

9 any evidence that office development is not

10 economically feasible, and does not constitute a

11 reasonable use of the property. The applicant

12 also failed to address the reasonableness of

13 other permitted uses within the District,

14 including banks, and churches, and special land

15 uses permitted within the district, including

16 nursery schools and child care centers.

17 As to the RA portion of the

18 property, the Planning Department has stated that

19 the property could be developed with five single

20 family lots of approximately 1 acre each, under

21 the existing zoning. That portion of the

22 property could also be used for expansion of the

23 existing cemetery to the west under the existing

24 zoning. The applicant did not present any







1 evidence that.

2 The applicant did not present

3 any evidence that either of these uses is not

4 economically feasible and does not constitute a

5 reasonable use of the property. The applicant

6 also failed to address the reasonableness of

7 other permitted uses within the District,

8 including private elementary schools and special

9 land uses permitted within the district,

10 including such as nursery schools and child care

11 centers.

12 Item two, the applicant has

13 failed to establish that the request is due to

14 unique circumstances peculiar to the subject

15 property, as opposed to the Petitioner, itself.

16 The applicant has not presented

17 any evidence that there are any unique

18 circumstances related to the property. The only

19 characteristic that might be considered unique is

20 the split zoning of the property, which is

21 self-created hardship.

22 Addressing item three: The

23 applicant has failed to establish that the

24 proposed variance would not alter the essential







1 character of the area.

2 The variance requested by the

3 applicant would permit multiple family

4 development, which is out of character with

5 existing uses in the area.

6 With respect to item four:

7 Petitioner failed to establish that the problem

8 sought to be addressed is not self-created.

9 The applicant has stated that

10 the property cannot be developed as zoned, due to

11 a split zoning. However, the front of the

12 property was rezoned for residential to OS-1 in

13 approximately 1979 at the request of the then

14 property owner. Therefore, if, in fact, the

15 applicant is suffering -- if he's suffered any

16 hardship, that hardship is self-created.

17 With respect to the last item:

18 Granting the variance would not observe the

19 spirit of the Ordinance, secure the public safety

20 or do substantial justice to the surrounding

21 property owners.

22 Granting the use variance is not

23 necessary in order to do substantial justice for

24 the applicant, since the property can be







1 developed with 18,000 square feet of office and

2 five single family homes under the existing

3 district regulations. The property has existing

4 uses that are feasible and reasonable.

5 Approval of the use variance

6 would permit multiple family development, which

7 is out of character with the surrounding area,

8 and would not do substantial justice to the

9 surrounding property owners.

10 The applicant is requesting the

11 same relief as would be granted by way of a

12 rezoning. The residential use proposed for the

13 front of the property and the intensity of the

14 residential use proposed for the rear of the

15 property are both inconsistent with the City's

16 Mater Plan for land use for the property.

17 So, I guess, in essence, we have

18 not found that the Petitioner has met any of the

19 conditions for the variance requested under the

20 aforementioned verifications of the zone.

21 MEMBER BAUER: I second that.

22 MEMBER FISCHER: There is a

23 Motion and a second.

24 Is there any further discussion







1 on the Motion?

2 Seeing none, Ms. Backus, would

3 you please call the roll.

4 GAIL BACKUS: Member Brennan?


6 GAIL BACKUS: Member Bauer?


8 GAIL BACKUS: Member Canup?


10 GAIL BACKUS: Member Gronachan?


12 GAIL BACKUS: Member Sanghvi?


14 GAIL BACKUS: Member Fischer?


16 GAIL BACKUS: Motion passes six

17 to zero.

18 MR. KELESIC: Thank you.


20 Your variance has been denied.


22 All right. We'll move on to the

23 next case, Case Number 05-024 filed by Abdu

24 Murray from Honigman, Miller, Schwartz and Cohn







1 for CVS Corporation.

2 This meeting was -- this case

3 was tabled from last month. And so, your

4 swearing in is still intact.

5 MR. MURRAY: Thank you.


7 state your name for the record.

8 MR. MURRAY: My name is Abdu

9 Murray, from Honigman, Miller, Schwartz and Cohn.

10 MEMBER FISCHER: Go ahead.

11 MR. MURRAY: Thank you.

12 I'd like to just make sure it's

13 clear for the record that we are not seeking all

14 of the variances for all of the signs noted in

15 the agenda.

16 At the Board's suggestion, we

17 limited the number of signs. We limited some

18 signs we were asking for at the last meeting. We

19 sent an amended package to the Board on April

20 13th, and the signs (unintelligible) one to that

21 package, are all of the signs -- the only signs

22 we're seeking variances for.

23 So I wanted to make sure that

24 was clear. There's a monument sign we're looking







1 to put up there. Area variances for the two

2 primary wall signs we're allowed for under the

3 Code; and then a variance to allow for some

4 ancillary signage on the north and west

5 elevations that say "Drive-Thru Pharmacy", at the

6 corners of the north and west elevations.

7 I'll deal with each sign in

8 turn. Let me go to the primary wall signs first.

9 The primary wall signs say CVS Pharmacy. They're

10 going to be on the north and west elevations.

11 The Code allows us to have -- because we're on a

12 corner lot -- up two primary wall signs on the

13 property -- on the building.

14 We're looking for a variance

15 from up to 24.5 square feet for each sign. Was

16 24.5 square foot variance, I believe. And the

17 reason is this: Visibility's an important part

18 of this location, due in no small part to the

19 unique circumstances of it being across the

20 street from the neighboring town that has a

21 Rite-Aid, which has very large, very prominent

22 signs that are meant to, of course, attract

23 business to that Rite-Aid into Wixom; and away

24 from Novi.







1 Having thus been able to have

2 visibility of the sign will help with this

3 practical difficulty of competing in an unfair

4 advantage with the Rite-Aid across the street.

5 There's no negative impact I believe on property

6 here or the surrounding area because of the fact

7 that we are on the border. And we're surrounded

8 by or next to a competing business that has the

9 exact same or even bigger -- actually bigger

10 signage than we're looking for here.

11 What that means is that because

12 our signs' on the border, much of Novi won't even

13 be facing or looking at these signs. Rather,

14 this is meant to attract business from people who

15 are travelling on Pontiac Trail and Beck. And it

16 won't negatively impact the visuals for the City,

17 because we're not -- we're on the border of City;

18 so it can't possibly negatively impact the

19 visuals.

20 So, for the primary wall sign,

21 it's a visibility issue. We'd like to be able to

22 have a little more visibility to attract business

23 and commerce in Novi, as opposed no Wixom, and it

24 won't have a negative visual impact.







1 Those are the area variance for

2 the primary wall signs.

3 With regard to the monument sign

4 we're seeking, the Ordinance says that we are

5 either allowed a wall sign or a monument sign,

6 but not both. We think that it's important to

7 have a monument sign here, because of a

8 visibility problem, as well. As you know, in

9 that area, there's surrounding developments that

10 are going up -- commercial developments that are

11 going up around in that shopping mall there, the

12 Shoppes at the Trail.

13 Especially on Pontiac Trail,

14 there's going to be -- my understanding of the

15 site plan, is that there's going to be

16 developments that are going to protrude farther

17 and farther north than the CVS si actually

18 located; such that, if you're traveling along

19 Pontiac Trail on the west, you won't be able to

20 see the CVS until you're on top of it.

21 If you have a monument sign at

22 the corner, you'll be able to see that the CVS is

23 actually going to be there before you get to it.

24 In other words, you'll know it's there. You can







1 prepare to stop, make a left turn into the

2 parking lot before you get there. Otherwise, you

3 might not know that it's there, until you get on

4 top of it.

5 Why that's important -- it's

6 especially important because of fact that there

7 is a Rite-Aid, again across the way in Wixom,

8 that has a prominent monument sign. So if we're

9 travelling along either one of the two roads,

10 Beck or Pontiac Trail, and you see this monument

11 sign, in Wixom we're likely to go to the

12 Rite-Aid, instead of the CVS. And that will draw

13 dollars, of course, away from Novi and into the

14 City of Wixom.

15 So then we have a practical

16 difficulty in that there's a bit of a visibility

17 problem, an obstruction, possibly, from these

18 neighboring developments. But also, there's a

19 benefit to the City in that he will attract

20 business to Novi and it keep from going outside

21 of the city. That's with regard to the monument

22 sign variance request.

23 Now, part three of our request

24 here is the ancillary signage, the drive-thru







1 pharmacy signs that will -- the wall signs that

2 will go on the corners of the Rite-Aid facility

3 -- I'm sorry, the CVS facility.

4 Well, the practical difficulty

5 in not having those signs is this: We offer the

6 drive-thru pharmacy, which is a very nice, very

7 convenient feature that comes at a premium to the

8 pharmacist. Not all of the pharmacies offer

9 these. You'll see plenty of pharmacies that

10 don't. I when we do, it's important that people

11 know about it. They can't know about it, unless

12 there's sign that says something about it on the

13 property.

14 So we needed to be able to tell

15 motorists travelling along Beck and Pontiac Trail

16 that we offer this service. That will, attract

17 -- again, attract dollars to the City of Novi.

18 Now, why that's especially important, is because,

19 once again across the way, we have a Rite-Aid

20 with a plethora of wall signs, as you well know,

21 the least of which, are illuminated signs

22 (unintelligible) that say drive-thru pharmacy at

23 the Rite-Aid -- at the C -- yeah, at the

24 Rite-Aid -- I keep getting mixed up -- at the







1 Rite-Aid across in Wixom.

2 Now, if you're looking for a

3 drive-thru pharmacy, and you see the signs on the

4 Rite-Aid, where are you going to go? You're

5 going to go to the one where you know there's a

6 drive-thru pharmacy, instead of trying to guess

7 and see if the CVS has one. So, eliminating this

8 guess-work from motorist on Pontiac Trail and

9 Beck, we propose to have these drive-thru

10 pharmacy signs that tell them for sure -- yes,

11 come on it. We've got a drive-thru pharmacy.

12 Spend your money in Novi; don't spend it in

13 Wixom, we've got it here.

14 It's important to us because we

15 need that visibility for that premium service,

16 and I think it's important for the City, as well.

17 Granting these variances, I

18 think really is a win-win situation. It allows

19 for some visibility; allows us to bring some

20 dollars into Novi, and allows for us to identify

21 to motorists that we offer a drive-thru pharmacy,

22 which is a special convenience for customers.

23 If you have any questions, of

24 course, I'd be happy to answer them.








2 very much.

3 No new notices were mailed, as

4 this case was tabled from the previous Board --

5 Board meeting.

6 Does anyone in the audience wish

7 to address the Board regarding this case?

8 Seeing none, we move to the

9 Building Department.

10 MR. AMOLSCH: Yes, sir, a couple


12 I beg to differ with the

13 Petitioner regarding his statements that these

14 other signs do not need a variance. They do, in

15 fact, do. The interior signage and the driveway

16 entrance signs need a minimum setback area on

17 Pontiac Trail and Beck Road; are only allowed one

18 per entrance. They're requesting three on one

19 and two on the other one.

20 The interior directional type

21 signs are not covered on Ordinance. The nearest

22 we have anything that would even come close to

23 that would be allowed is what we call locator

24 signs, which are only two square feet in area and







1 not commercial in nature.

2 I have a great deal of

3 difficulty with the sign company who is

4 presenting this. I think a lot of this could

5 have cleared up by a couple of phone

6 conversations. (Unintelligible) usually were not

7 available. So that was one of the problems we

8 had in dealing with this variance.

9 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you.

10 Anymore comments?

11 MR. SAVEN: No.


13 Members?

14 Member Canup?

15 MEMBER CANUP: On the sign on

16 top there in front of the building, CVS Pharmacy,

17 the large sign, is the car footage of that

18 computed properly? Looks like you computed just

19 the word or the verbiage on there and not the

20 complete sign.

21 If my memory is correct, signs

22 are computed by the perimeter of the sign itself;

23 where there, they've got that red circle in the

24 CVS Pharmacy. My interpretation of the Ordinance







1 would be that that would be the total square

2 footage of the sign; not the alphabet that is on

3 the sign.

4 MR. AMOLSCH: Again, the plans

5 were drop (unintelligible) just the individual

6 letters on the wall. It didn't have a background

7 to it.

8 MEMBER CANUP: And now they have

9 the background.

10 MR. AMOLSCH: Right.

11 MR. MURRAY: Well, if I could --

12 I'm sorry to interrupt --

13 MR. CANUP: You've either got it

14 or you don't. It's on the drawing.

15 MR. MURRAY: Well, this -- if

16 you're referring to the top sign, the very top

17 signs, that says CVS Pharmacy, for the

18 (unintelligible) letter sign, that's sign A, sir?


20 MR. MURRAY: That's just a letter

21 sign. It's just the letters. There's the --

22 MEMBER CANUP: Well, that's not

23 the way -- my understanding of the Ordinance,

24 that's not the way that it's computed; is that







1 correct?

2 MR. AMOLSCH: That's correct.

3 That's the way it was originally (unintelligible)

4 individual letters on the wall without the

5 border.

6 MEMBER CANUP: The real

7 computation of the size of the sign would be that

8 red box; is that correct?

9 MR. AMOLSCH: It depends on if

10 it's -- if the background is different from the

11 sign -- the sign area that's inside of the red.

12 If it's different colors than the background,

13 then it would become a sign area.

14 This -- these were not the

15 original -- this -- this first were

16 (unintelligible) individual letters. There was

17 no border on them.


19 And now we've got a sign that

20 has the red in it.

21 MR. AMOLSCH: I do not know what

22 the dimensions are (unintelligible.)

23 MR. MURRAY: Oh --

24 MEMBER CANUP: Am I correct in







1 stating that the computation should have been

2 made on the red?

3 MR. AMOLSCH: If it's a

4 different background than what's on the wall,

5 yes.


7 further comments?


9 MEMBER FISCHER: Member Brennan?

10 MEMBER BRENNAN: Certainly,

11 welcome CVS to Novi, which brings up my first


13 There is no relevance with

14 comparing any business in Wixom, because you're

15 not dealing with Wixom and Wixom signs and Wixom

16 business. You're dealing with Novi and Novi sign

17 Ordinances.

18 That's said, your best

19 comparison is the most recent drugstore that went

20 in at 10 mile and Novi Road, Wallgreen. Now that

21 is sitting on a corner lot, 10 and Novi, very

22 similar situation. They have two signs; and

23 given their setback actually falls within their

24 zoning and were able to signs on both sides of







1 that building without a variance.

2 Additionally, they've got

3 drive-thru pharmacy. I stopped in there a couple

4 weeks ago to see how that business was doing. It

5 was doing quite well with no signage out front at

6 all.

7 I think drugstores, for the most

8 part, are supported by local residents, who very

9 quickly understand what's in there and what's not

10 in there. But I guess my biggest issue is I'm

11 hearing a lot of speculation; speculation and

12 guesswork was another word I heard, because this

13 business isn't even open yet.

14 So I don't know how you can give

15 this compelling data that you're suffering when

16 you're not even open. I don't know how you can

17 tell us that you've got visibility problems --

18 potential visibility problems with businesses

19 that don't exist, with a business of your own

20 that's not even open yet.

21 So, with the direction, by law

22 of this Board granting variances based on good

23 information and a compelling case, I think you're

24 early, and I don't think you have a case.







1 That's my comments.

2 Thank you.


4 Gronachan?


6 I concur with Member Brennan.

7 Going down Pontiac Trail, there's another CVS

8 that has no variances. The sign is relatively

9 within the letter, and you don't have any problem

10 seeing it.

11 This case is, in my opinion, ill

12 prepared. And the reason why I say that is

13 because, as Member Brennan commented, you cannot

14 use competition for grounds to determine a

15 hardship when you're going for sign variances.

16 Granted, you're on a corner lot but, you're still

17 not ready to ask for what you're asking for this

18 evening in my opinion.

19 I did forget about the Novi road

20 and 10 mile Wallgreen's, and Member Brennan is

21 correct with that location. I feel that the Beck

22 and Pontiac Trail location is -- if there's going

23 to be anything -- you'll need to go back and do

24 your homework, because I'm not going back up







1 there on Sunday again, is that there is a

2 visibility problem but it's not from the front of

3 the store.

4 And maybe after all the

5 construction gets done, it may be -- and that's

6 with a big M -- with your drive-thru and that's

7 only because you're coming through, and -- but

8 again, it's identical to the Wallgreen's, so --

9 and it's a little tough to tell with the

10 construction going on. You couldn't drive into

11 the site to get an idea. So it was very

12 difficult to take the length.

13 The sign in the front is way too

14 big, in my opinion. I can't support that sign at

15 all. And -- you took my advice last week without

16 even Hearing the case, and going back to the

17 drawing board. But in all honestly, I think you

18 need to go back there again and do some more

19 homework, because I don't think you're ready to

20 ask for what you're asking for, because you have

21 not substantiated your case this evening.

22 Thank you.


24 Canup?







1 MEMBER CANUP: (Unintelligible)

2 Wallgreen's, which is Novi Road and 10 mile,

3 correct?


5 MEMBER CANUP: Made it without

6 any variances. Why can't these people? They

7 have a very similar corner lot. And obviously,

8 our sign Ordnance would work. It worked for them.

9 And with that, if there's no

10 further discussion I would make a Motion.

11 Okay. I would make a Motion

12 that in Case Number, 05-024, that we deny the

13 request as stated, due to the fact of a lack of

14 display of a sufficient hardship; and due to the

15 fact that we do have another facility located in

16 a similar situation on a corner of two busy

17 intersections, that managed to -- in the same

18 business, and managed to make it through with no

19 request for variances.


21 MEMBER FISCHER: There is a

22 Motion on the floor and there was a

23 second.

24 Is there any further discussion







1 on this Motion?

2 Member Bauer?

3 MEMBER BAUER: Just to add to the

4 Motion.

5 If you remember and still do

6 Wallgreen's has been in the process of having

7 just one road --


9 everything else.

10 MEMBER BAUER: -- on both sides.

11 So not just as to --

12 MEMBER FISCHER: Any further

13 comments on the Motion?

14 Ms. Backus, would you please

15 call the roll.

16 GAIL BACKUS: Member Canup?


18 GAIL BACKUS: Member Gronachan?


20 GAIL BACKUS: Member Bauer?


22 GAIL BACKUS: Member Brennan?


24 GAIL BACKUS: Member Sanghvi?








2 GAIL BACKUS: Member Fischer?


4 GAIL BACKUS: Motion passes six

5 to zero.

6 MEMBER FISCHER: Your variance

7 has been denied at this time.

8 MR. MURRAY: Good evening.


10 you.


12 Our next case, is Case Number

13 05-028 filed by Tracey Shipley for 25890 Strath

14 Haven.

15 Is Ms. Shipley in the audience?

16 Please state your name for the

17 record.

18 MS. SHIPLEY: Tracey Shipley.


20 And will you please raise your

21 hand and be sworn in by our secretary.

22 MS. SHIPLEY: Sure.


24 me.








2 you, ma'am.

3 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear

4 or affirm that -- to tell the truth in the matter

5 before you?




9 proceed.

10 MS. SHIPLEY: I am proposing to

11 build a home that is 48 feet deep on one -- I'm

12 sorry. 38 feet deep on one side and 44 feet deep

13 on the other at 25890 Strath Haven. Therefore,

14 I'm requesting four variances: Ten feet in the

15 front from the garage; four feet from the house;

16 nine in the back; four on the side; and an

17 aggregate total of side yard of two feet.


19 else?

20 MS. SHIPLEY: I mean, I have a

21 lot, but I don't (unintelligible) will help. I'm

22 not really sure how this process goes.

23 MEMBER FISCHER: Just give

24 us any information you feel is a is







1 pertinent relating to the difficulty

2 given this lot or whatever you find the

3 Board might need to consider when

4 making a decision on the variances.

5 Well, I decided on this lot -- I

6 purchased this lot using the prior owners

7 approval from the homeowner's association. Her

8 home was actually 45 feet deep. And I went to

9 the City of Novi, and I was told about the 25

10 percent on the plan; I couldn't take up more than

11 25 percent. I really didn't have a floor plan in

12 mind; went and looked, found one that fit those

13 numbers and I proceed (unintelligible.)

14 So I mean -- and therefore, the

15 subdivision, I'm sure that you're aware is very

16 hard to make the number that you guys have, as

17 far as the zoning goes. I believe that it's

18 zoned RA. Therefore, pretty much anybody who

19 builds there, has to request a variance of some

20 sort.

21 In order for me to build a home

22 the size -- it's roughly 2400 square feet -- and

23 make the value from the lot -- what I paid for

24 the lot -- these are the variances that I need.







1 These are the variances that were granted to the

2 prior owner, as well.

3 MEMBER FISCHER: Excellent.

4 There were 31 notices sent out

5 for this particular case, as you remember. We

6 did -- this was before us before. I think the

7 variances have changed, that's why 31 new notices

8 were sent; one approval and one objection.

9 As well as in our packet, we did

10 receive six support letters from surrounding

11 neighbors.

12 MS. SHIPLEY: One of those

13 neighbors is here this evening, (unintelligible)

14 directly next door, as well.


16 And this time we'll ask any

17 persons in the audience who wish to address the

18 Board regarding this case, to please come down.

19 Please.

20 And if there's anyone else in

21 the audience, just go ahead and file down behind

22 this gentleman.

23 Please state your name for the

24 record.







1 MR. NELSON: My name is Greg

2 Nelson and I represent the architectural

3 committee for the association.


5 Go ahead. Please proceed.

6 MR. NELSON: Okay.

7 We've been working with

8 Miss Shipley here for I don't know, a couple of

9 months, and it's been, you know, a little

10 frustrating to both parties, frankly, and I guess

11 a little bit of background.

12 We're in a subdivision that's

13 roughly 30 years old or thereabouts; about 80

14 homes in the neighborhood; and, you know, roughly

15 ten lots remaining. So one of the challenges the

16 committee has is to preserve the consistency, if

17 you will, of the homes that are there in terms

18 of, you know, size, location, and anticipate so

19 on; yet being reasonable to people coming in who

20 want to build and not constrain them too much.

21 So it's been -- it's an ongoing

22 challenge that we wrestle with. I think, you

23 know, I'll put it right on the table that Tracey

24 and the committee have politely agreed to







1 disagree. You know, this -- her build is -- the

2 committee feels is a little bit too big for this

3 particular situation.

4 One thing I wanted to share with

5 you -- if I can get this projector turned on

6 here.

7 Do I have to do anything?

8 MEMBER FISCHER: It'll come

9 on.

10 MR. NELSON: Okay.

11 I don't know how much you'll be

12 able to see, but I just wanted to share a little

13 bit of the information that we've talked about

14 and shared with Tracey, as well. I guess you

15 can't really see the colors, but, what this shows

16 is the -- the homes in the area, the adjoining

17 homes, if you will.

18 This is the parcel that Tracey

19 wants to build on. And these are -- then the

20 other five homes are existing homes. If you look

21 a the numbers here, 42 feet -- and down here at

22 the bottom here, these are all the setbacks front

23 setbacks for the exciting homes. So what -- you

24 know, we tried to, you know, be as objective







1 about it. If you look at -- I don't know if I

2 can get it all the way up there -- but one of the

3 things we've done is looked at, you know, what

4 are the current homes and where they sit.

5 If you see on the left there,

6 front setbacks sit at -- and you know, the homes,

7 they're not perfectly symmetrical, of course.

8 It's kind drawn there. It's not to scale. But

9 current homes sit at about 42 feet or they do sit

10 42 feet. So there is an average of 42 feet.

11 And one of the things, again,

12 what we wrestle with, is where do we draw the

13 line. What is -- you know, given that the

14 neighboring homes -- and yes, there are

15 exceptions as you drive through the subdivision.

16 There are always exceptions. There are mistakes,

17 perhaps that may have been made in the past.

18 There could be hardships, because of the road,

19 and so on. But these homes that are most

20 impacted sit 42 feet.

21 The bylaws also require a 40

22 foot front setback. So the committee had drawn

23 the line -- a pretty firm line -- at 40 feet in

24 the front. So that's the front setback. And







1 then on the rear, without going back to the

2 drawing, you'll see on the right side, current

3 setbacks of the same -- same homes are at 47, 50,

4 49, and 45. So, you know, one might think, okay

5 make the -- you know, the average is 48 feet,

6 let's draw the line there. But, of course, that

7 doesn't seem reasonable.

8 So the limit has been draw in

9 the rear setback as a 40 foot minimum, as well.

10 Which if you look at the type of home that would

11 allow -- it would allow a home with a footprint

12 of 70 feet wide by 40 feet deep, which is 2800

13 square feet. It could be two-stories, remove the

14 garage, that's a reasonable sized home, that's

15 the opinion of the committee.

16 So, you can see there, on lot

17 96, is a recent build. I think Tracey mentioned.

18 He's in the audience, as well. That home sits at

19 40 feet in the front and 41 feet in the back. So

20 in Tracey's credit, she's trying to cut some size

21 off the home. There was a small discrepancy last

22 month of two feet. She's agreed to take that

23 off, I think of the garage. But it just seems,

24 in our opinion, to be had a continued struggle to







1 make this house dimensionally, you know,

2 appropriate with the surrounding homes.

3 But -- and one other thing I

4 wanted to mention is, you know, we've talked --

5 we've talked several times. The last time we

6 talked again, that -- we were looking for your

7 help in helping us assess what's reasonable. The

8 association feels that 40 feet in the back and 40

9 feet in the front -- based on bylaws and also

10 consistency, is reasonable. It seems that homes

11 can be built on that sized lot, as you can see

12 the left lot, left home there. And you know,

13 that's the limit the committee has drawn.

14 I'm happy to answer any

15 questions and I'm sure Tracey, as well. That's

16 one that we share, trying to be objective about

17 it.

18 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you

19 very much.

20 Is there anyone else in the

21 audience that wishes to comment on this case?

22 Seeing none, we'll move to the

23 Building Department.

24 MR. SAVEN: Just to point out,







1 this is a RA zoning. It's probably one of the

2 more difficult subdivisions that we have to deal

3 with in regard to setback requirements for the

4 properties that are planning on being built.

5 As you can tell, in an RA zoning

6 district, it requires that you have at least an

7 acre of property with 150 foot of frontage.

8 There's no doubt in my mind that based upon side

9 yard setback, there will be side yard setback

10 concerns, and also rear and front yard concerns.

11 I do want to point out that this

12 property was before you before, with a variance

13 that was granted for a 35 foot rear yard

14 variance; and which was approved by this Board.

15 I just want to keep and make sure that you were

16 aware of this. And that the variances are

17 different from the side -- for the side yard

18 being -- and this was, I believe, looked at by

19 the architectural control committee also.

20 And just with that in mind, I

21 believe that's part of your documentation that

22 you have before you, also.

23 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

24 Mr. Saven.







1 Just a procedural question for

2 Mr. Gilliam.

3 This does need to go for -- I do

4 need to entertain a Motion to reconsider.

5 Should I do that now? Should I

6 have done it before -- but before we get into the

7 Board discussion, would this be a good time to

8 entertain a Motion?

9 MR. GILLIAM: Before

10 there's any Board discussion on the

11 matter, that's correct. The

12 application was denied at last months

13 meeting due to the applicant's

14 nonappearance. As I understand, there

15 might have been some mitigating

16 circumstances there, so the issue would

17 be back in front of you.

18 But before you can take any

19 action on the application, there will need to be

20 a Motion for reconsideration of the denial from

21 last month. The Motion would need to be made by

22 someone who voted in favor of the denial at the

23 time.








1 this time, there's a Motion.

2 Is there a second?



5 Motion and a second.

6 Anything discussion?

7 Please call the roll,

8 Ms. Backus.

9 GAIL BACKUS: Member Brennan?


11 GAIL BACKUS: Member Gronachan?


13 GAIL BACKUS: Member Bauer?


15 GAIL BACKUS: Member Canup?


17 GAIL BACKUS: Member Sanghvi?


19 GAIL BACKUS: Member Fischer?


21 GAIL BACKUS: Motion passes six

22 to zero.


24 We'll now move to Board discussion,







1 working on this case.

2 Member Brennan?

3 MEMBER BRENNAN: Did you follow

4 what just happened?

5 We just voted that we were going

6 to reconsider this case.

7 MS. SHIPLEY: Yes, from last

8 month, correct.

9 MEMBER BRENNAN: Now, I'm the

10 meanie that voted you down last time.

11 MS. SHIPLEY: Well, the reason I

12 --

13 MEMBER BRENNAN: It doesn't

14 matter.

15 MS. SHIPLEY: I was going to say,

16 I actually changed --

17 MEMBER BRENNAN: We're going to

18 hear it tonight.

19 MS. SHIPLEY: I changed my

20 variance five feet. I moved the house five

21 forward, because of the lady behind me thought

22 the house was too close; and I wanted to be

23 respectful of that; as well as the architectural

24 control committee didn't -- they thought my rear







1 setback was too big.

2 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you.

3 MS. SHIPLEY: It was too -- I'm

4 sorry. Not big enough.

5 MEMBER BRENNAN: Is the drawing

6 that we have in our packet the most current

7 drawing, as far as --

8 MS. SHIPLEY: Yes. Does that

9 represent the plot plan?


11 MS. SHIPLEY: Yes. Then that's

12 correct.

13 As you can see, it's the garage

14 that's really the issue, that's the 35 feet.

15 MEMBER BRENNAN: You hit it right

16 on --

17 MS. SHIPLEY: So the 41 -- the

18 rest of the house is 41.

19 MEMBER BRENNAN: Yep. If you'd

20 let me say that --

21 MS. SHIPLEY: Okay.

22 I'm comfortable now. I can

23 talk.

24 MEMBER BRENNAN: Yeah, I was







1 going to point out for those that were listening

2 or watching it's -- it's actually the variance --

3 the front yard variance is to the front of the

4 garage. It's actually -- the dimensions of the

5 front of the house is right around where the

6 association would like to have it. It's around

7 40 foot.

8 I'm not going to speak for the

9 subdivision, but I guess looking at it as a tough

10 lot, I'd rather give up a little in the front,

11 rather than being pushed to the back end -- the

12 rear. And maybe you can cut that in half. But

13 you work with what you got.

14 I got a question here -- I think

15 Pioneer Meadows is probably closer to 40 to 50

16 years, that sub, and it's it started around '57,

17 '58, (unintelligible) older. What's the square

18 footage of the house you're planning on building?

19 MS. SHIPLEY: I believe it's

20 2450.


22 MS. SHIPLEY: Roughly. It was

23 2550, but I had it cut down a hundred square

24 feet, because the homeowner's association







1 preferred them to be 2500 or less.

2 MEMBER BRENNAN: I wanted to get

3 a sense for the size and that helps, because I

4 know the sub. We've had probably four -- three

5 or four new homes with variances go into that

6 sub. And frankly, it's too bad that you couldn't

7 work out every little detail with the homeowner's

8 association.

9 I know there's a lot of work

10 towards it. I'm compelled to support your

11 request.

12 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

13 Member Brennan.

14 Any further comments?

15 Member Gronachan?


17 Fischer, you indicated that there was an

18 objection. Is that from the architectural

19 control committee?


21 find the objection.

22 It is from Gregory Nelson.

23 Is that you?

24 MS. SHIPLEY: Yes.







1 MR. NELSON: Yes.


3 the -- the architectural control committee is not

4 even supporting this plan at this time; is that

5 correct?

6 MR. NELSON: The committee does

7 not. And frankly, for the record --


9 come up the Mike, I'm sorry.

10 MR. NELSON: That's correct.

11 So my -- the information I

12 shared was on behalf of the committee. I guess

13 sometimes I'm not sure if I can also respond to

14 the mailing as well. That -- if you look at the

15 home next to it, which happens to be the home I

16 live in, by the way -- which, you know, right,

17 wrong, or in different, those are my comments. A

18 lot of them mirror what we just went through.

19 If you look at, for example --

20 and I'll be very brief -- the home that I live in

21 is 42 foot setback on the southside, but this

22 side closer to this lot is actually lip 44 feet.

23 So part of my concern is, yes it's farther back

24 than 40, but the difference, you know, at the end







1 closest to this new build, would be actually nine

2 -- actually would be nine feet. Because that's

3 44. This would be a 35. So that home would

4 stick out nine feet farther than the home right

5 next door to it.

6 So that's part of the concern --

7 part of my concerns about that, which are really

8 objections.


10 MS. SHIPLEY: But I guess on the

11 flipside --


13 hang on.

14 MS. SHIPLEY: Sorry.

15 MEMBER FISCHER: That's all

16 right.

17 Board discussion.


19 essence, there are two objections. One from the

20 architectural control committee and from

21 resident; if that is correct, because Mr. Nelson

22 wrote the letter, as well as the control

23 committee.

24 I just want that on record.







1 MS. SHIPLEY: It's the same

2 person?



5 sure if that's correct.

6 Did we receive, Ms. Backus, an

7 actual submittal from the architectural

8 committee?

9 GAIL BACKUS: Not this month.


11 month, did we receive one?



14 denial at that point?



17 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you

18 Ms. Gronachan.

19 Anything else?

20 MEMBER GRONACHAN: No, that's all

21 at this point in time.


23 Canup?

24 MEMBER CANUP: Yeah. You know,







1 a good case has been made with the fact that a 40

2 foot setback. And if you look at the homes that

3 are in there, they've managed to live with the 40

4 foot setback in the front and on both side. Most

5 of the homes in there I think, as demonstrated,

6 have a 40 foot setback in front.

7 And I think it's important to

8 the other people who live in that committee -- me

9 being one of them -- that, you know, we've

10 maintained that 40 foot setback in the front

11 yard. So at least the subdivision has some

12 continuity. If you're going to give it up in the

13 backyard, that's one thing. Everybody that

14 drives by and everyone that lives there is not

15 inconvenienced by that, by moving it back.

16 Or possibly aligning the garage

17 in this case with the front of house. Whether

18 it's the garage that you park your car in or a

19 bedroom where you sleep in, it still sticks out

20 beyond the 40 feet. That is provided by our --

21 certain covenants in our subdivision which have

22 been upheld primarily over the past 40 years.

23 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

24 Member Canup.







1 Any further comments?


3 like to go ahead and make several


5 I would tend to agree with

6 Member Brennan, because I understand where Member

7 Canup is coming from, that it doesn't matter what

8 is above and beyond that 40 feet; however, you

9 also need to look at the portion of house that is

10 going to be asking for an additional variance.

11 It's maybe one third of the house. Maybe up to a

12 half the house; it's not the whole frontage of

13 the house.

14 And I'd also like to comment --

15 given the previous case, this property. The

16 person who Ms. Shipley has purchased it from,

17 when they came before us they were asking for

18 many more side yard variances, and we were

19 inclined to approve that. And so, if she can

20 build the house, given the lot condition that

21 Mr. Saven has told us about, with an additional

22 five feet in the front; then I'd be inclined to

23 support that minor addition to the front; given

24 the things she's she given up on the sides.







1 So, given that, ask for


3 Mr. Canup?

4 MEMBER CANUP: You know, still,

5 you're violating the covenants of that

6 subdivision. Those were established. The houses

7 in there were built to that. Most of them have

8 the 40 foot setback in the front. And I who

9 encourage this Board to respect those and respect

10 the other 50 homes that are in there; and ask

11 these people -- this person, the builder --

12 whoever, go back and redo you drawing. You knew

13 there was a 40 foot there.

14 I think the -- if my memory is

15 correct in looking at the previous one, it

16 allowed 40 feet; is that correct.



19 Enough said.

20 MEMBER FISCHER: Is there a

21 Motion on the table, then?

22 MS. SHIPLEY: May I speak or --

23 MEMBER FISCHER: No, ma'am,

24 I'm sorry, that's out of order. This







1 is Board discussion.

2 Member Gronachan?


4 something to add to concur with Member Canup.

5 The Zoning Board is to look at

6 variances after a hardship and a degree of

7 practical difficulty, and all the yada-yada-yada

8 are substantiated or not substantiated; and this

9 is new construction in a well-established

10 subdivision.

11 And my favorite saying is, it's

12 time to go back to the drawing board. There's

13 houses upon houses in this subdivision that were

14 built with the 40 yard setback. If you'd got

15 your subdivision approval, then I would look at

16 this differently. But I think that because this

17 is new construction, because of the age of the

18 subdivision, because of the convenant laws are --

19 that subdivision has, I'm not able to support

20 this.

21 I'm sorry.

22 And I think Member Canup was

23 making a Motion.








1 Canup?

2 MEMBER CANUP: Now the house

3 that was just built next door to this was built

4 without any variances; is that correct?


6 MEMBER CANUP: No? You sit back

7 40 feet, though.


9 sure. I haven't got the variances here.

10 MEMBER CANUP: Okay. All right.

11 I who make a Motion that in Case

12 Number 05-028, we grant the variances as

13 requested; with the exception of the front yard

14 setback to be 40 feet. They asked for a 35 foot

15 front yard and a ten foot variance, and that

16 would be cut to a 40 foot, with a five foot

17 variance.


19 MEMBER FISCHER: There's a

20 Motion and a second.

21 Is there any further discussion?

22 MR. SAVEN: What was presented to

23 the Board tonight was this plot -- particular

24 plot plan. And with all due respect to the







1 architectural control committee, that's their --

2 if we grant the variance, it may not be in line

3 with what the architectural control committee

4 may be looking at for that particular type of

5 house.

6 It's not that we enforce

7 architectural control committee rules. It's a

8 courtesy which we extend to the architectural

9 control committee. But I do want point out just

10 a couple of things.

11 This board has always been --

12 always taken into account those issues that are

13 dealing with the architectural control committee

14 as a courtesy is rendered to this Board. The

15 concerns that we -- some of the concerns that we

16 have relative to the setback requirements is that

17 every lot in that subdivision will be before you.

18 So we know that it will be going before the

19 committee; that -- to the extent as to what those

20 setbacks are. It's going to be a difficult

21 massaging type of scenario as these people come

22 before the Board.

23 One of the things the Board put

24 into play, is the fact that we established these







1 10 rules. When we have a difficulty with a

2 subdivision where they are not in agreement, we

3 go and ask what is it -- ask the adjacent

4 neighbors to put forth there input regarding

5 these matters, so that the Board can make a

6 better decision in regards to this particular

7 case.

8 Let them know we've got a

9 problem. We have to try to address the

10 Ordinance. We do still have to make the

11 association happy and what they're looking at,

12 too. So it's a very difficult case. And of the

13 things I'm hearing right now, can this lady move

14 the house back now. She tried to do this with

15 the adjacent neighbor to the rear. The adjacent

16 neighbor to the rear said, no, move it forward.

17 So that's what she's trying to

18 do. But I guess the difficulty is where are

19 we -- what kind of direction can we give her?

20 Are you going set forth a square foot rectangular

21 area that she has to live within? Bearing in

22 mind, this is what was presented to the Board

23 tonight.

24 MEMBER CANUP: My reasoning for







1 this is can that garage be move back five feet.

2 This is not (unintelligible.)

3 MS. SHIPLEY: It can't be done.

4 MEMBER CANUP: Can't be done.

5 That was the Motion. And that's the Motion I

6 made and you're at liberty to speak when there's

7 a Motion on the floor.

8 I call for a vote on the

9 Motion.

10 MEMBER FISCHER: There is a

11 Motion and a second.

12 Any further discussion?

13 MEMBER BAUER: Read it back.


15 read the Motion, or Member Canup --

16 Can you repeat the --


18 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

19 Mr. Canup.

20 MEMBER CANUP: I made a Motion to

21 the effect that it be approved as stated in

22 Ms. Shipley's case, with the exception of

23 requested front yard setback to be made 40 feet

24 with a five foot variance.








2 questions?

3 Ms. Backus, please call the

4 roll.

5 GAIL BACKUS: Member Canup?


7 GAIL BACKUS: Member Sanghvi?


9 GAIL BACKUS: Member Bauer?


11 GAIL BACKUS: Member Brennan?


13 GAIL BACKUS: Member Gronachan?


15 GAIL BACKUS: Member Fischer?


17 That Motion fails.

18 Any further discussion from the

19 Board.

20 Member Brennan?

21 MEMBER BRENNAN: Yeah, I see

22 what -- I see what we're -- you're trying to

23 accomplish, and I guess given that we're back

24 into discussion, I'd like to ask the Petitioner







1 what's the issue in moving that garage back?

2 MS. SHIPLEY: If you look at the

3 floor plan, that's the kitchen. The -- where you

4 could push it back. If I could do it, I would.

5 If I would have known these things when I first

6 picked out a floor plan, I would have done it. I

7 mean, I'm not trying to cause problems. But I

8 can't -- I've already paid a lot of money for

9 that plan, and I can't -- I've already tweaked it

10 as much as I can.

11 I went back to the architect. I

12 said, what can we do. I've got to get rid of

13 four feet. It's 44 feet deep. They want it to

14 be 40/40. What can we do? And he couldn't come

15 up with anything, other than me going back to

16 start from scratch or chopping the garage in

17 half. That would be hardship. I've got to have a

18 garage. I can't have a half of a garage. And I

19 do have a -- there was a meeting in November of

20 2003 where another gentleman on this street was

21 granted a 35 foot setback.

22 And I've also been told

23 (unintelligible.) I had these things, you know,

24 these pieces of information before I went ahead







1 and did all this work. And if I could change it,

2 I would.

3 MEMBER FISCHER: Any further

4 comments, Member Brennan?

5 MEMBER BRENNAN: No, no further

6 thoughts.


8 Canup?

9 MEMBER CANUP: What he do here

10 on this Board in this case will reflect on the

11 entire subdivision for a long time to come. It's

12 not going to go away in 30 days or 60 days or a

13 year or five years or ten years. It's going to

14 be there. And the rest of the homes found away

15 to build with a 40 foot setback.

16 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you.

17 MEMBER CANUP: And you know, I

18 live here and I guess I'm being very forceful

19 about this. To me it's very important that we

20 try to maintain some sort of continuity in our

21 subdivision. And would like to see that happen

22 here in this case. And I don't see a hardship,

23 other than the fact that the lady's already

24 prepared her drawings. The original variance







1 that was granted, had a 40 foot front yard.


3 appreciate that. I sure that everyone

4 in their particular subdivision has

5 certain standards that they'd like to

6 live by and don't like to deviate.

7 Mr. Saven, I do have a question.

8 MR. SAVEN: Sure.


10 maps, do you know the width of the

11 neighboring lots by chance? I really

12 couldn't tell --

13 MR. SAVEN: I will tell you that

14 the lots are not money 150 foot wide, in

15 accordance with the RA zoning district. I will

16 say that. It probably pertains to pretty well --

17 much all of the lots within that particular

18 subdivision. One of things I tried to think

19 about, too, is -- I understand she tried to move

20 the house forward because of neighbor, but also

21 thought based upon the size of the lot, which

22 we're dealing with the lot, what basic zoning

23 regulations would this follow, would this be in

24 the R3 category; R2, you know, R1, this type of







1 thing. What was the setback, the rear yard

2 setback in that area.

3 Might have been a logical way to

4 try to look at this to see how that would fit in

5 with the rest of the subdivision. But pretty

6 well much, a 35 foot rear yard is what we have in

7 the R4 and R3 zoning districts. So that

8 particular issue was there. The fact is, that

9 she went to the neighbors to ask them again. The

10 neighbors said no, move it away. That's where

11 the problem lies.

12 So it's what is compatible with

13 the rest of the subdivision. I couldn't tell,

14 other than what was presented by this gentleman

15 earlier on.


17 Shipley, do you know, by chance, the

18 size difference, if there is any,

19 between the neighbors' lots and yours?

20 MS. SHIPLEY: I believe we're

21 all 100 by 120.

22 MR. SAVEN: That sounds right.

23 MS. SHIPLEY: At least, right in

24 my area, the one on either side of me.









3 Given the Board's tone,

4 Ms. Shipley, it doesn't look like these

5 (unintelligible) have been granted will not pass

6 the Motion.

7 If you'd like, you could try

8 that or we can table it. And I understand that

9 you have your plot plan picked out, but go back

10 to the drawing board one more time and table it

11 again.

12 It's up to the Board, basically,

13 but I'd like some input from you, if you would to

14 give us a direction. Try a vote or table it

15 until next month.

16 MS. SHIPLEY: I would say we

17 should table it.

18 MEMBER FISCHER: All right.

19 Is there a Motion to table this

20 case?

21 MEMBER BRENNAN: So moved.


23 MEMBER BAUER: Second.

24 MEMBER FISCHER: There's a







1 Motion and a second.

2 Any discussion?

3 Member Brennan?

4 MEMBER BRENNAN: I think it's

5 worthwhile for the Petitioner to know that

6 perhaps there's some sentiment on the Board to

7 give you relief, as you've heard in the Motion

8 made. You might go back to the designer, the

9 architect, and say, you know what, I think we

10 could probably get 40 in the front. I think

11 we'll live with the 41 in the back. They seemed

12 to be okay with the side yards.

13 What you can you do with that?

14 MS. SHIPLEY: Right.

15 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

16 Member Brennan.

17 There's a Motion and a second.

18 Any other comments?

19 Ms. Backus, would you please

20 call the roll.


22 GAIL BACKUS: Member Bauer?


24 GAIL BACKUS: Member Canup?








2 GAIL BACKUS: Member Gronachan?


4 GAIL BACKUS: Member Sanghvi?


6 GAIL BACKUS: Member Fischer?


8 Your case has been tabled.

9 MS. SHIPLEY: Thank you.

10 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you.


12 Fisher, just for the record, can we table this

13 case until next month for the first case, so the

14 Petitioner will be ready.


16 of right now, we'll move this to the

17 first case.

18 Thank you.

19 Case Number four on the agenda,

20 Case Number 05-029, filed by J. Bennett Donaldson

21 of J.B. Donaldson Company for a two-story office

22 building known as Miracle Software, located south

23 of Grand River, West of Taft Road.

24 Are you Mr. Donaldson?









3 don't you get set up.

4 Are you attorney, sir?

5 MR. DONALDSON: No, I'm not.

6 MEMBER FISCHER: Okay. If you

7 can please state your name for the record; and

8 raise your right hand to be sworn in by our

9 secretary.

10 MR. DONALDSON: My name is

11 Bennett Donaldson with J.B. Donaldson Company.

12 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear

13 or affirm that you're about -- sorry. I'm a

14 little rusty.

15 Do you swear or affirm that the

16 information that you're about to give in regards

17 to this case is the truth?



20 You may proceed.

21 MR. DONALDSON: Okay. Let me

22 just give you a brief summary of Miracle

23 Software.

24 Miracle Software is currently a







1 software engineering company located in

2 Southfield, Michigan and they are choosing to

3 relocate their offices here in the States to this

4 Novi location.

5 Basically, they are a software

6 engineer company. They have an international

7 clientele; and they would be locating roughly 100

8 to 120 software engineers in this building. And

9 they have sort of, you know -- they're a very

10 interesting company, very innovative company.

11 And I don't know if you've had a

12 chance to look, they have volleyball court and a

13 basketball court, which is something sort of

14 unique to office building that you see developed

15 today. Usually, they don't have recreational

16 types of things associated with them. It's

17 important for them to have a team oriented and

18 communal feeling with their employees. So

19 anyways, that's just a comment.

20 Regarding the variance, I'd like

21 to swing around here and go over the site plan,

22 if I may.

23 Okay. Couple things to note

24 here on the site plan. This was the original







1 site plan that was proposed to the Planning

2 Department regarding how this building would be

3 laid out. We have a substantial stance of

4 existing trees in the rear and a seven foot high

5 berm currently. There's standing water that

6 currently si in existence right here, and some

7 other -- you can sort of see the line here. It's

8 a little tough. But that is sort of the woodland

9 line.

10 We have since -- with the help

11 of the Planning Department -- changed this layout

12 to further -- to move the building further

13 towards the front, to lessen the impact of the

14 overall development as it abuts the residential

15 area.

16 This is -- this is the new

17 layout, which shows us basically substantially

18 out of the entire woodland area, out of the

19 entire wetland area that is located right here.

20 And we are currently located about 330 feet from

21 the residents' property line.

22 The variance tonight that we're

23 asking for is roughly a seven foot height

24 variance. And one item of note is that this







1 building sits roughly five feet below Grand

2 River; therefore, the height and the eye level

3 that you would see from the residences from the

4 rear, is not only obstructed by the existing berm

5 and the trees -- the mature trees that are

6 already here, but the building is also sunken

7 down on this site, as well.

8 We've looked at several

9 different options, as far as trying to make this

10 a single story building. We just -- with the

11 wetland that's existing here and the woodlands

12 that are here, and the parking that's associated

13 with an office building, we just couldn't get a

14 single story building in.

15 You'll notice there's a

16 substantial amount of acreage. This is a 5.4

17 acre site. We'll place the building on, you

18 know, three of it. So we're leaving a lot of the

19 site undeveloped for the natural resources that

20 currently exist on the sight.

21 And then secondly, we've -- we

22 haven't -- the building is a standard two story

23 building. The building's 32 feet high, plus or

24 minus, and roughly -- that's 16 plus or minus







1 footage between floors. And with web joisting

2 and mechanicals, and ceiling heights, it's

3 basically -- if you're standard building height.

4 So, we feel that the we're

5 asking for a reasonable variance here.

6 And I'd be happy to answer any

7 questions.

8 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

9 sir.

10 There were 26 notices; zero

11 approvals and two objections.

12 One from Cynthia Ornisque, an

13 officer of the Andes Hills Condo Association on

14 behalf of the 11 units in that association.

15 Objecting to the building being above 25 feet.

16 We must keep -- we should not accept variances.

17 There'd be no uniformity according to the

18 established Code.

19 And also one from Felix Val

20 Buena of 45525 Andes, also stating that the Andes

21 Hill Condo Association disapproves; and also

22 asking concerning the berm on the south side, as

23 to block the height of the building.

24 That is it.







1 Building Department?

2 Oh, I'm sorry.

3 Is it there anyone in the

4 audience that wishes to comment on this case?

5 Seeing none, Building

6 Department.

7 MR. SAVEN: I provided the Board

8 with documents from the Planning Commission, and

9 rather late, but basically I'd like to just take

10 a minute to read, it if it's okay with the Board.

11 MEMBER FISCHER: Please do.

12 MR. SAVEN: It's in reference to

13 the building height for this project.

14 It is the opinion of the

15 Planning Department that it maybe difficult to

16 construct a two-story building within the 25 foot

17 height limitation; given that many buildings

18 constructed today have a floor to floor height of

19 approximately 14 feet.

20 And that's their --

21 (unintelligible) it indicated, yes, there's

22 practical construction, there's mechanical

23 systems; and differences in the height between

24 floors, this does extend beyond what I believe to







1 be the 25 feet. We may have this depending on

2 the type of construction that's needed,

3 structural supports for the building and

4 what-have-you.

5 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

6 Mr. Saven.

7 Board Members?

8 MEMBER BAUER: Is the air

9 conditioning, heating and so forth on top of

10 this?

11 MR. SAVEN: Normally it is, yes.

12 MEMBER BAUER: So we're just

13 talking building; not the accessories for the

14 building?

15 MR. SAVEN: Not at this

16 particular time.



19 Brennan?

20 MEMBER BRENNAN: Well, Mr. Saven

21 you have raised an interesting point. We have in

22 our Ordinance a limitation of 25 feet. Does that

23 mean that a two story building can't be built,

24 because we're already saying that two story -- a







1 practical two story building is in excess of 25

2 feet?

3 MR. SAVEN: It may be based on

4 upon the type of construction that they utilized

5 for that particular building. We have -- when we

6 deal with Building Codes, we normally deal with

7 non-combustible construction, which deals with

8 masonry, masonry steel, web joist, the thickness

9 of the web joist, the size of the building, the

10 bearing points are located from column to column

11 for thicknesses.

12 Sometimes -- most people like

13 the clear floor span, in other words, they don't

14 want to have any individual post within the

15 building for lesser thickness of web members, so

16 sometimes the thickness of the web members can

17 exceed that particular requirements.

18 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

19 Mr. Saven.

20 MEMBER BRENNAN: So the answer

21 to my question was?

22 MR. SAVEN: It depends on the

23 type of construction used.








1 depends. Always be with that answer

2 (unintelligible) (interposing.)

3 MEMBER BRENNAN: I point that

4 out because on the applicants application, he

5 makes a comment that a two story office building

6 needs to be higher than 25 feet. And our own

7 Planning Department seems to be saying the same

8 thing. I think you said the same thing.

9 But what concerns me more than

10 anything, though, is that we've got residential

11 homeowner's association that I'm going to ask the

12 Petitioner --

13 Have you been in touch with at

14 all?

15 MR. DONALDSON: Yes, on several

16 occasions. We've talked to Felix, and it's oddly

17 enough, we -- in speaking with Felix -- and I

18 mean, we've -- on four separate occasions and the

19 most recent was last week. We talked about the

20 storm water discharge. And he has not expressed

21 any concern over the project. That's why I'm

22 curious to understand that; especially since

23 there is a significant amount improvements that

24 we'd be making to the homeowner's association, as







1 it relates to drainage. As far as filling in the

2 pond, cleaning out their drainages off of Taft

3 Road.

4 And I'm just -- I'm surprised.

5 That wasn't -- we had never talk about that.

6 MEMBER BRENNAN: There were two

7 denials, one from Felix and then one from the

8 homeowner's association who wrote in as

9 representing the 11 homeowner's.

10 MR. DONALDSON: Felix has

11 represented himself as representing the

12 homeowner's association; that's who we understood

13 is -- was the president of the homeowner's

14 association.

15 MEMBER BRENNAN: And you thought

16 you had an understanding and now you're hearing

17 something different tonight.

18 MR. DONALDSON: I would be --

19 I'm surprised to hear that Felix is not the head

20 of the homeowner's association.

21 MEMBER BRENNAN: Are you equally

22 surprised that neither the homeowners nor Felix

23 are supportive of your variance request?

24 MR. DONALDSON: And I'm further







1 surprised that they're not here.

2 MEMBER BAUER: What's the date

3 of those letters?


5 letters are dated 5-2 for Felix and

6 4-28 for Ms. Ornisque.

7 And so -- don't let me

8 miss-portray these letters either. Miss Ornisque

9 is an officer. Stated officer, not necessarily

10 the president. And Felix doesn't necessarily say

11 anything about being from the condo association.

12 Just says all 11 property owners

13 (unintelligible); just to clarify the letters.

14 Further discussion from the

15 Board Members?

16 I have a question for the

17 Building Department.

18 Given what you just stated about

19 floor to floor height, is there a way to make --

20 I guess this is kind of going to what Member

21 Brennan (unintelligible.) But if the floor to

22 floor height is approximately 14 feet, wouldn't

23 that give me a 28 foot high building?

24 MR. SAVEN: Again, it depends







1 upon the type of construction that's being

2 utilized. Without seeing the actual construction

3 plan, it's very difficult to make a

4 determination. But I will take your comments --

5 and certainly Mr. Brennan's comments -- under

6 advisement.

7 I will approach the Planning

8 Department and see whether or not there can be

9 some type adjustment to that particular height

10 requirement, because this maybe something that

11 we'll be looking at down the road for additional

12 variance requests. And if it's something that's

13 a continuous problem, we'd better look at

14 addressing this, if it's practical.

15 MR. DONALDSON: One thing to note

16 on these buildings, you have a two to three foot

17 parafit(sic) wall that extends beyond the top

18 steel line. It is meant to sort of screen this,

19 you know, whatever type of roof system you have

20 up there, so.


22 ceiling, what are your floors?

23 MR. DONALDSON: We have nine

24 foot clear, is what the ceiling height is when







1 you're walking through there. So from the bottom

2 of the joist, you've got usually three to four

3 feet of space that you can run your mechanical

4 sprinkler lines and what not; then you've got

5 your webbing of the joist, itself, to get the

6 other side of the second floor damp.


8 Board Members?

9 Member Gronachan?


11 give it a shot, since everybody's so talkative

12 tonight.

13 I think that the Petitioner

14 has -- within reason -- substantiated the

15 uniqueness of this property, given the wetlands

16 and the woodlands involved in this piece of

17 property. I think they've done a pretty good job

18 in doing their homework.

19 They have, in fact, addressed or

20 attempted to addressed the neighbors, however, if

21 the neighbors were that concerned, I think that

22 they'd be here. There seems to be some confusion

23 on the letters and the Petitioner working with

24 them. However, again if that wasn't true,







1 somebody would be here from the association. So

2 I tend to -- I'm leading to think something got

3 resolved in your meetings. Maybe, that's putting

4 the cart before the horse.

5 However, given the comments

6 by -- given by -- I'm sorry -- given the comments

7 made by Member Brennan and pointing out the

8 difficulty in building this building to a 25 foot

9 height; also given the information by our

10 Building Department and this letter from the --

11 in the information by the Planning Department --

12 I am in agreement to support this request, based

13 on the uniqueness of the property; the difficulty

14 of the building already being sucken down -- so

15 it's even not going to be as high as what it

16 would normally be if the ground was all level.

17 And -- yeah, it's very unique in

18 nature. And I think the Petitioner has

19 demonstrated every probabilty of protecting the

20 surrounding areas in which they are building.

21 MEMBER BAUER: Second.

22 MEMBER FISCHER: Was that a

23 Motion?

24 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Oh, I guess it







1 was.


3 There is a Motion on the floor

4 to approve and a second.

5 Any further discussion?

6 All right.

7 Ms. Backus, please call the

8 roll.

9 GAIL BACKUS: Member Gronachan?


11 GAIL BACKUS: Member Bauer?


13 GAIL BACKUS: Member Brennan?


15 GAIL BACKUS: Member Canup?


17 GAIL BACKUS: Member Sanghvi?


19 GAIL BACKUS: Member Fischer?


21 GAIL BACKUS: Motion passes four

22 to two.

23 MEMBER FISCHER: Sir, your

24 variance has been granted.







1 Please see the Building

2 Department.

3 MR. DONALDSON: Thank you.


5 MEMBER FISCHER: All right.

6 I would like to call Case Number,

7 05-030 filed by Gerry Gibbens of City

8 Sign company for Games Workshop,

9 located at 27793 Novi Road.

10 Are you Mr. Gibbens?

11 MR. GIBBENS: Yes.

12 MEMBER FISCHER: All right,

13 sir.

14 Would you please state your name

15 for the record, and then also raise your right

16 hand to be sworn in by our secretary.

17 MR. GIBBENS: My name is Gerry

18 Gibbens for City Sign in Pontiac, Michigan.

19 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear

20 or affirm that the information that you're about

21 to give in the matter before you is the truth?

22 MR. GIBBENS: Yes, I do.


24 You may proceed.







1 MR. GIBBENS: The building that

2 we're talking about is basically an out building

3 in the parking lot of an existing mall area. It

4 sits quite a ways back from Novi Road. There's

5 also another business in there, Jennifer

6 Convertibles. So far they've had a variance for

7 their signs right there. So we're basically

8 requesting something equal to what they're doing.

9 They have two signs; we one

10 right now that faces Novi Road. We'd like

11 another one the south facade, face the driveway

12 there. Once again, the building is quite a bit

13 back from Novi Road, so seeing it from Novi is

14 pretty hard. In case, you have to be in the

15 parking lot to see it.

16 And once again, we're just

17 asking for what Jennifer Convertibles already

18 has. When we called to see about the sign, we

19 were told that they had gotten a variance for it.

20 There's some mix-up as to what (unintelligible)

21 -- which variance. But basically, these are the

22 only two business in the building.


24 MR. GIBBENS: S we're asking for







1 a 38.74 square feet for the main sign; and then

2 that squared feet for the south facing sign,

3 also.

4 MEMBER FISCHER: All right.

5 Thank you.

6 There were eight notices mailed

7 out; zero approvals and zero objections.

8 Is it there anyone in the

9 audience that wishes to comment on this case?

10 Seeing none, move to the

11 Building Department for comments?

12 MR. AMOLSCH: Yeah. I'm a

13 little confused. I was unaware that this was a

14 two sign case. The only application that we ever

15 received was for one sign, which was put up

16 without a permit and -- which needs a square

17 footage dimensional variance only. There was no

18 advertising for a second sign.

19 MR. GIBBENS: That's partly a

20 mix-up on my part. (Unintelligible) I apologize.

21 MEMBER FISCHER: Any other


23 MR. AMOLSCH: No comment.








1 Brennan?

2 MEMBER BRENNAN: So I can assume

3 that we are dealing with what was posted and

4 advertised that we're dealing with, the existing

5 sign that's up, which is larger than permitted.

6 You've been in the sign business

7 a bit?


9 MEMBER BRENNAN: You build signs

10 for lots of communities?

11 MR. GIBBENS: This sign has built

12 by somebody from out of state. They shipped it

13 to us and basically contracted us to just put it

14 up for them.

15 MEMBER BRENNAN: You put up signs

16 without building permits?

17 MR. GIBBENS: Yes -- oh, without

18 building permits? I'm sorry.

19 MEMBER BRENNAN: That's the

20 wrong answer.

21 MR. GIBBENS: I can't hear out

22 of this ear very well.

23 MEMBER BRENNAN: Well, I just

24 wanted to make note that, you know, if you're







1 going to do more business in town, make sure you

2 get a permit before you put the signs up.

3 I guess I have no big issue with

4 the matching something that's already up.

5 I'll ask Alan, is his contention

6 that Jennifer's Convertibles had got a variance

7 for the size of their sign?

8 MR. AMOLSCH: No. They only have

9 a variance for the number. Their sized sign

10 meets the Ordinance. He was talking about having

11 two signs. That's what Jennifer's got. They got

12 a variance for a second sign. Their sign meets

13 the sign Ordinance, with regards to square

14 footage.

15 MEMBER BRENNAN: Now I'm even

16 more confused. The permitted by Ordinance is 24

17 square feet.

18 MR. AMOLSCH: Correct.

19 MEMBER BRENNAN: And if that

20 sign was put up, it would be less than Jennifer

21 Convertibles, yet Jennifer Convertibles sign is

22 within Ordinance?

23 MR. AMOLSCH: The size of each

24 sign at Jennifer's Convertibles meets the sign







1 Code, as far as 24 square feet goes. They have a

2 variance for two -- for a second sign; not a

3 dimensional variance. He's asking for a

4 dimensional variance on the one sign that's put

5 up.


7 So if I understand now, the

8 existing sign that you've already put up is not

9 the same size as Jennifer. It's actually 38 --

10 almost 39 square feet; is that correct?

11 MR. GIBBENS: Yes, 38.74.

12 MEMBER BRENNAN: So, if you

13 wanted to match Jennifer Convertibles, as you

14 suggested you wanted to match, you could make it

15 24 square feet, and you don't need a variance.

16 MR. AMOLSCH: He would still

17 need a variance.

18 MEMBER BRENNAN: For one sign?

19 MR. AMOLSCH: For a second sign.


21 MEMBER GRONACHAN: No, for one

22 sign.

23 MEMBER BRENNAN: We're not

24 talking about a second sign. We're only talking







1 about the one wall sign that's up and it's too

2 big; and it was put up without a permit.

3 If he wants it the same size as

4 Jennifer Convertibles -- which is what he stated

5 -- it should be 24 square foot, and he doesn't

6 need a variance. He needs a permit, but he

7 doesn't need a variance.

8 Am I reading that right?


10 That's not what I asked for,

11 though.

12 MEMBER BRENNAN: That's what this

13 says.

14 We asking for 38.74 square feet,

15 for the existing sign that's up there right now.

16 MEMBER BRENNAN: All right.


18 my -- going along with what you're

19 saying is if we can look at this

20 photograph that you were just holding

21 up, if Jennifer Convertibles is 24 in

22 this picture, and this our 38 foot

23 point 74 foot mock-up, then maybe high

24 eyes are crazy, but they look the same







1 size to me.

2 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Not on site,

3 they don't. Not when you drive out there, they

4 don't. You can definitely tell that that sign's

5 bigger at the site. This picture is deceiving.

6 But when you're at the site, it does not.


8 MR. AMOLSCH. Mr. Chairman?

9 The problem with this sign is

10 the way read the (unintelligible) once again.

11 This P that goes down below here, automatically

12 includes all of the square footage underneath

13 that. That's why the sign looks about the same

14 size as the other one. (Unintelligible) the

15 sign.


17 That makes more since to me, as well.

18 I ask for more Board Members

19 questions.

20 Member Gronachan?

21 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Have you --

22 and I say this kind of respectfully but tongue in

23 cheek, have you driven down Novi Road and looked

24 at that sign?









3 35 miles per hour. And you can honestly tell me

4 that you can read that? That it doesn't look

5 like one big yellow blob to you?

6 MR. GIBBENS: Well, once again,

7 their logo is what it is. And the sign was built

8 out of state, so I have no control on how -- I

9 wouldn't have designed it this way, because

10 (unintelligible.) I can't see it. But once

11 again, they just contract me to put it up.

12 I do quite a bit of work all

13 across lower Michigan, putting other people's

14 signs up.

15 MEMBER GRONACHAN: With all due

16 respect, I cannot support this sign. It is not

17 visible from Novi Road; and it is bigger than

18 Jennifer Convertibles' which proves that this

19 signage could be done without a variance.

20 So I will not be supporting this

21 request.



24 MEMBER CANUP: Why don't somebody







1 make a Motion.

2 MEMBER FISCHER: Member Sanghvi,

3 did you want to make a comment?

4 MEMBER SANGHVI: I just wanted to

5 make comment.

6 I don't believe in letting --

7 legitimizing anything that has been put up

8 illegally. You don't take a permit and put it

9 up; then it requires a variance, which is a

10 no-no, as far as I'm concerned. (Unintelligible)

11 go through the proper channels in the right way,

12 and I can't believe that the sign maker who

13 erected the sign didn't know that they needed a

14 permit to put this sign up.

15 And every time they do this kind

16 of thing, they're just walking all over us, our

17 Building Department and our Ordinances and

18 everything else. And I am getting tired of

19 legitimizing these illegal things. So I feel

20 that, no illegal sign should be granted a

21 variance, if they are not bother to take a permit

22 in the first place.

23 Thank you.

24 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you.







1 And I'm just also going to say

2 on the record that I don't feel the burden of

3 proof in this case was met. I think that

4 something showing the picture or a computer image

5 picture showing what the sign would look like

6 compared to Jennifer Convertibles would prove to

7 us, maybe, that a lesser variance isn't

8 necessary.

9 But I don't feel that that

10 burden of proof has been met.

11 So at this time, I'd like to ask

12 if there's a Motion on the table? Would anyone

13 like to make a Motion.

14 Member Canup?

15 MEMBER CANUP: I would make a

16 Motion that in Case Number 05-0300 or 030, we

17 deny the request as stated, for grounds of

18 insufficient hardships, and due to the fact that

19 the sign erected illegally without a permit or

20 any submission to the City Building Department.

21 MEMBER BAUER: Second.

22 MEMBER FISCHER: There is a

23 Motion and a second.

24 Any further discussion?







1 Seeing --

2 Member Bauer seconded it, I

3 believe.



6 call the roll.

7 GAIL BACKUS: Member Canup?


9 GAIL BACKUS: Member Bauer?


11 GAIL BACKUS: Member Brennan?


13 GAIL BACKUS: Member Gronachan?


15 GAIL BACKUS: Member Sanghvi?


17 GAIL BACKUS: Member Fischer?


19 GAIL BACKUS: Motion passes six

20 to zero.

21 MR. GIBBENS: Thank you.

22 MEMBER FISCHER: Sorry, your

23 variance was denied, sir.









2 time, I'm going to take a quick seven

3 minute recess. We'll reconvene at 8 --

4 9:03.


6 (A brief recess was taken.)


8 MEMBER FISCHER: All right.

9 We'll reconvene and call Case Number,

10 05-031, filed by Rob Boggs of Wooden

11 Graphics for Kirkway Place Subdivision.

12 You are?

13 MR. BOGGS: I'm Rob Boggs for

14 Wooden Graphics.

15 MEMBER FISCHER: Would you please

16 raise your hand and be sworn in by our secretary.

17 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear

18 or affirm to tell the truth in regards to this

19 case?

20 MR. BOGGS: Yes, I do.


22 MR. BOGGS: We're trying to get a

23 variance for a second sign at the entrance to the

24 subdivision. The setback requirements with the







1 signs the way they are -- with two signs -- the

2 visibilty is higher with one sign; it's less.

3 And we're just trying to create a more visible

4 entrance, avoiding any traffic hazards with

5 people missing the entrance and slowing down,

6 going in.

7 The signs are both in the square

8 footage of the Ordinance. They're not that

9 large, and they do, I feel, enhance the entrance.

10 And we are trying to get a variance for that

11 second sign.


13 Thank you, sir.

14 Five notices were mailed out;

15 zero approvals, zero objections.

16 Is there anyone in the audience

17 that wishes to address the Board on this case?

18 Seeing none, Building

19 Department?

20 MR. AMOLSCH: We have no



23 Members?

24 Member Sanghvi?








2 question?


4 MEMBER SANGHVI: You already got

5 two signs now, one on each side of your entrance.

6 MR. BOGGS: Correct. The one is

7 a mockup; that's, one has a permit and the other

8 one is the one we're seeking a permit for.

9 MEMBER SANGHVI: You think the

10 one you've got here now is going to be -- improve

11 anything very much?

12 MR. BOGGS: After the last guy,

13 no. I wouldn't assume that.

14 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.

15 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you.

16 Now, let's get this straight.

17 We've -- you've called it a mock-up. On the

18 application it shows that this is in violation.

19 So is it --

20 MR. BOGGS: It is a permanent

21 sign, yes.


23 I have a question for either

24 the Building Department or City Attorney.







1 I've seen in other instances

2 where violations or -- such as the case before,

3 other Zoning Boards of Appeals will double the

4 fee as a condition to the variance.

5 Is that under our jurisdiction

6 or why is it under theirs? Because, you know, as

7 you can get the sentiment from the Board --

8 especially in the previous case -- it's not

9 something that should be allowed; it's not

10 something that's we are taking very lightly when

11 these businesses are just putting up these sign

12 without pulling permits. So --

13 MR. GILLIAM: As to the

14 amount of fees or additional fees or

15 costs or anything like that, that

16 something that would need to be

17 established by Council, by way of

18 either Ordnance or a Resolution

19 pursuant to authorization contained in

20 the Ordinance.

21 So with all respect to the

22 Zoning Board, that is not something you have

23 authority to do.

24 MR. SAVEN: I will also comment







1 in regards to a certain Senate bill which was

2 just recently passed -- local jurisdictions have

3 to be very careful about the issuance -- local

4 jurisdictions have to be very careful about the

5 -- what they call double permitting.

6 We used to in our Department,

7 many years ago, have the issue double permitting

8 work done without a permit, something along that

9 line. It probably maybe construed as an

10 additional inspection or something along that

11 line, but not double permit fee anymore. It's

12 not allowed.

13 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

14 gentlemen.

15 Board Members?

16 Member Gronachan?


18 so the sign that's up there at the wall --

19 MR. BOGGS: The sign that's up,

20 yes.


22 size that you want, but you didn't state really

23 why do you want to go with that big of a sign;

24 number one, and what -- I mean you have a pretty







1 attractive subdivision. And it's pretty

2 accessible, even -- you have a good view coming

3 down Beck Road -- granted, Beck Road goes a

4 little fast. We've already established that I

5 speed when I drive down Grand River. But I don't

6 speed down Beck, because it's usually

7 bumper-to-bumper police. So, I do the sights of

8 Beck Road.

9 And -- but in all seriousness,

10 when you're driving down Beck and you're looking

11 at that subdivision -- you have such a beautiful

12 brick wall, that, in my opinion, that size of a

13 sign takes away from it. So are you having

14 people telling you that they can't find your

15 subdivision? Is it this a marketing -- what is

16 it that you need -- why do you think that you

17 need such a big sign?

18 Or is this just -- we put this

19 up and it's money and we don't want that take it

20 down?

21 MR. BOGGS: Well, I'm the sign

22 company. I manufactured the sign. The client

23 came to me with the design and said that's what

24 he wants to put up, a marketing people design,







1 this logo, which is not what I did. Or -- and

2 the -- as far as the size goes, it's a smaller

3 sign. It's ten feet, roughly -- ten feet smaller

4 than they allowed square footage of a sign this

5 size.

6 And when I came to the sight

7 from the -- oh, gees -- from the south, I had

8 trouble actually -- I wasn't oriented to the

9 area. I didn't know quite where it was, when I

10 went to service the large development sign,

11 because we had to change that out. And I had

12 actually trouble actually seeing the entrance,

13 which I knew roughly where the area was.

14 But I saw the wall and I

15 thought, well this looks like it, but I was

16 looking for my big development sign and it's in

17 the island; and I didn't see that right away. I

18 actually saw sign -- the name of the subdivision

19 on the north side first. And whole idea behind

20 flanking the entrances with signs like that, is:

21 One, when all the development signs are gone,

22 those are what people look for the entrance.

23 And, you know, two, it's

24 tastefully done. It's not loud and obnoxious,







1 but it does identify the entrance and help the

2 viewing distance, as far as people approaching

3 the site.


5 Thank you.


7 Canup?

8 MEMBER CANUP: Again, this is

9 meant to be a permanent sign, correct?

10 MR. BOGGS: Yes.

11 MEMBER CANUP: Again, what's the

12 hardship? And once it goes up, it's going to be

13 there for a long time.

14 MR. BOGGS: Are you asking me?

15 MEMBER CANUP: No. I'm making

16 comment to the Board.



19 Member Brennan?

20 MEMBER BRENNAN: We've had two

21 different layouts, configurations of that

22 subdivision entrance way. When there's been an

23 island going into the sub, we've typically

24 approved and worked with the developer to have a







1 single sign with language on both sides.

2 The alternate route into the

3 sub, the (unintelligible), you've got east and

4 west, north and south traffic. We've typically

5 been approving signs that are on an angle that

6 will allow for good viewing from either

7 direction.

8 I don't know if it's worth the

9 discussion about trying to get these signs

10 smaller or match up to what's there, I'm just --

11 I want to make for anyone who is new that there's

12 some history and we try to be consistent with our

13 judgments; and that's how we've dealt with

14 entrance way signs in the past.

15 That's my comment.


17 Board Member comments?

18 MEMBER BRENNAN: With that I'll

19 make a Motion, if that's okay?

20 MEMBER FISCHER: Please do.

21 The table's yours.

22 MEMBER BRENNAN: Let's see how

23 the Board feels.

24 I make a Motion that the







1 Petitioners request for the second sign be

2 approved as submitted for the purpose of

3 identifying the subdivision from both north at

4 south.


6 Motion on the table.

7 Is there a second?

8 MEMBER BRENNAN: Now we know

9 where the Board sits.


11 an alternate Motion?

12 Member Canup?

13 MEMBER CANUP: I would make a

14 Motion that we deny the request as stated in Case

15 Number, 05-031 for lack of sufficient hardship.


17 MEMBER FISCHER: There is a

18 Motion and a second.

19 Any further discussion?

20 Seeing none, Ms. Backus, would

21 you please call the roll.

22 GAIL BACKUS: Member Canup?


24 GAIL BACKUS: Member Gronachan?








2 GAIL BACKUS: Member Bauer?


4 GAIL BACKUS: Member Brennan?


6 GAIL BACKUS: Member Sanghvi?


8 GAIL BACKUS: Member Fischer?


10 GAIL BACKUS: Motion passes four

11 to two.

12 MR. BOGGS: Thank you.


14 variance has been granted, please see

15 the Building Department.

16 BOARD MEMBERS: No, it was

17 denied.


19 sorry. They approved the Motion to

20 deny.

21 Your variance has been denied.

22 I thought my vote just kind of

23 covered everything, sorry.








1 Next we will call Case Number,

2 05-032, filed by Robert Barnett of Library Sports

3 Pub, located at 42100 Grand River Avenue.

4 Are you Mr. Barnett?

5 MR. BARNETT: Yes, I am.


7 please raise your hand and be sworn in

8 by our secretary.

9 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear

10 or affirm that the information that you're about

11 to give in the matter you is the truth?

12 MR. BARNETT: I do.


14 proceed.

15 MR. BARNETT: My name is Robert

16 Barnett. I am the owner/operator of the Library

17 Sports Pub on Grand River; and happy to say that

18 this is our tenth year in business here in the

19 City of Novi.

20 We've a achieved our success for

21 a variety of reasons; and certainly one of the

22 reasons in the summertime, is that we've been

23 able to offer outdoor seating to our customers.

24 We've been approved by the Board in the past.







1 We're looking for the same approval of three

2 years. I don't believe there's been any

3 violations or issues with any part of City

4 Government; and we would certainly appreciate the

5 ability to offer outdoor seating to our customers

6 for the next three years.

7 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

8 sir.

9 There were 17 notices mailed;

10 one approval, zero objections. Approval coming

11 from Larry White of Marty Feldman Chevrolet;

12 saying that this will assist with the downtown

13 atmosphere that's trying to be created downtown

14 there.

15 So, does anyone in the audience

16 wish to comment on this case?

17 Seeing none, Building

18 Department?

19 MR. SAVEN: I'd indicate to the

20 Board that should the Board decide to approve

21 this case, just mention that you have continuing

22 jurisdiction.


24 Brennan?







1 MEMBER BRENNAN: Any issues as

2 far as you know?

3 MR. AMOLSCH: None that I'm

4 aware of.

5 MEMBER BRENNAN: This has been a

6 good member of our community. He's had a good

7 track record; wish him well; and I would -- I'd

8 make a Motion that the Petitioner's request be

9 granted for an additional three years.


11 MEMBER FISCHER: There's a Motion

12 and a second.

13 Member Brennan?

14 MEMBER CANUP: Member Canup.


16 Canup?

17 MEMBER CANUP: Would I ask for a

18 friendly amendment to the Motion that the three

19 years of granting the variance, be subject to the

20 ownership of -- by the present owner. If it

21 changes hands for some reason -- which could be

22 unforeseeable, you get a different crew in there,

23 you get a different owner with different

24 philosophies -- maybe he's the operator that this







1 gentleman is, and we have problems and we're

2 stuck with it for three years.

3 MEMBER BRENNAN: That's fine

4 with me. We've got a nod there, so I -- along

5 with the continued jurisdiction.


7 for change of ownership, as well as

8 continuing jurisdiction.

9 You approve?



12 All right.

13 One question out of me.

14 Has there been any liquor

15 violations?

16 MR. BARNETT: No, not in --

17 gosh, seven, eight years.

18 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you

19 very much.

20 That's all --

21 There is a Motion and a second.

22 Motion approved as amended.

23 Ms. Backus, would you please

24 call the roll.







1 GAIL BACKUS: Member Brennan?


3 GAIL BACKUS: Member Gronachan?


5 GAIL BACKUS: Member Bauer?


7 GAIL BACKUS: Member Canup?


9 GAIL BACKUS: Member Sanghvi?


11 GAIL BACKUS: Member Fischer?


13 GAIL BACKUS: Motion passes six

14 to zero.

15 MEMBER GRONACHAN: I'm just going

16 to add something. I think you run a great

17 establishment. Anybody who hasn't been to your

18 restaurant needs to go. And your outdoor is

19 immaculate and that's the one reason that I found

20 (unintelligible) and I got to it all the time.

21 MR. BARNETT: Thank you very

22 much.

23 MEMBER FISCHER: And thank you

24 for being such a great business, as well.








2 Call Case Number 05-033, filed

3 by Edmund and Christine Szelap -- I probably

4 messed that one up -- for a residence at 23468

5 Duchess Court.

6 Are the Petitioners --

7 MR. SZELAP: I'm Ed Szelap.

8 MEMBER FISCHER: All right.

9 Would you please raise your hand

10 and be sworn in by our secretary.

11 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear

12 or affirm that the information that you're about

13 to give in the matter before you is the truth?

14 MR. SZELAP: Yes, I do.


16 MR. SZELAP: Recently, Christine

17 and I got married back in July, trying to blend

18 two families. We have three adult children 16,

19 18 and 20. One away at college coming home here

20 in couple of weeks. The other one goes to OCC

21 and has a car; as well as 16 year-old that has a

22 car that goes to Novi High.

23 We both a vehicle, also; and

24 living on a court like we do (unintelligible) has







1 lots of parking problems. So, I'm asking for a

2 couple of things.

3 With a blended family, my wife

4 would like to stay in Novi. She's been here

5 20-some years. (Unintelligible) small community.

6 And I'm a builder by trade, so I looked at what I

7 could do with the house and talked with the

8 neighbors, and (unintelligible) couple of

9 different plans to address the situations -- what

10 they liked or didn't like. (Unintelligible) how

11 we could expand the home.

12 Our home is the smallest house

13 on the court within the block that we live on.

14 It's only -- it has 1760 square feet. The

15 largest home on the block is 3200 square foot.

16 My neighbor to the right of me has home of 22; my

17 neighbor to the left of me has a home of 24. The

18 neighbor across the street has house of 2600

19 square foot.

20 Several of our neighbors have

21 three car garages. One neighbor has a two car

22 and a one car garage that are not on the same --

23 they're not together. So we are looking at all

24 these different things to help accommodate the







1 parking there and help accommodate our lifestyle

2 a little bit. (unintelligible) agreed upon.

3 Along with that, of course,

4 involves new landscaping to keep with the with

5 the (unintelligible) contact several tree movers

6 and tree companies. And we're moving some of the

7 larger trees back on the lot and buying some

8 other large trees. I'm talking 25 and 35 feet

9 tall, so that we don't change the look of the

10 neighborhood.

11 (Unintelligible) the kind of

12 house (unintelligible) to improve the house which

13 is the worst on the block because the siding has

14 faded over the years and it was designer siding

15 at that time, and a few other things that have

16 gone ary on the home. So we're looking to expand

17 the home to accommodate five adults at this point

18 in time. I consider them adults at their age.

19 And the other issue that we have

20 is that we're probably going to have her mother

21 living with us, too. Her father passed away two

22 years ago. Her mother 83 and is getting along

23 where she can't get by by herself. And we'd like

24 to able to her into the house with us.







1 So these are the concerns as to

2 why we want to expand the home. We would

3 actually be (unintelligible) 200 -- 2285

4 (unintelligible) so, I think that's about it that

5 we're looking for. We have talked with our

6 architectural committee and they approved it.

7 The neighbors have all approved it. I did have

8 one little glitch I'm going to mention to you.

9 The neighbor to the right of me -- who's -- I

10 made several (unintelligible) to the building to

11 accommodate their concerns. Sunday they came by

12 and say his wife didn't like it and they were

13 probably going to object at this point in time.

14 (Unintelligible.) So I don't

15 know have if they've really contacted you or not

16 but I figured you should know about it. But the

17 architectural committee had approved it and the

18 one neighbor had some objections.

19 MEMBER FISCHER: All right.

20 Thank you, sir.

21 There were 74 notices mailed;

22 five approvals -- five approvals and six

23 objections.

24 Again there's a 11 of them. If







1 it's the Board's desire, I will read them.

2 Just the objections, all right.

3 An objection from John and Nancy

4 Dujowa, we are the neighbors who live directly

5 next door; are opposed to the proposed variance.

6 As much as we understand the desire to expand the

7 residence, feel that the two garages will be too

8 large of a structure on a with a small frontage;

9 will not be proportioned with the other houses on

10 the cul-de-sac.

11 David Sung Chi of 23161

12 (unintelligible) Forest (unintelligible)

13 regulations to follow, follow them. Once an

14 individual requests a variance, it's almost based

15 on some selfish reason to increase the property

16 value, does not benefit the community.

17 Harold Rudolph, 43800 Algonquin

18 objects. There's no comments. Dave Cutler of

19 23401 Duchess Court objects. Don't have any

20 objection to the extension to the kitchen. And

21 then, however, objects to the extension of the

22 garage and the addition of the second garage.

23 The additions will make the home look unsightly

24 relative to neighboring homes. Also, I have







1 concerns about approvals that will open the flood

2 gates for all of our neighbors in the area.

3 Dave Cutler reviewed the

4 proposed variances and wants to add comments that

5 he won't be here tonight. However, he still

6 objects that the garage addition will look like

7 an afterthought.

8 And lastly, Roma Cloucher

9 Rudolph, objects, 43800 Algonquin. No comments.

10 Is in anyone in the audience

11 that wishes to comment on this case?

12 Seeing none, Building

13 Department?

14 MR. SAVEN: This is in a

15 cul-de-sac area and note that the property is of

16 an unusual configuration. And I just wanted to

17 point out from the very beginning when we first

18 started the meeting, I indicated that the

19 variance that was being sought for the sum total

20 of the accessory structures that it changed from

21 126 feet to 49 square feet.

22 So there is a lesser variance

23 associated with that. So we'll deal with 49

24 square feet, for the sum total of all accessory







1 structures on the property.

2 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

3 Mr. Saven.

4 Any other comments?

5 All set.

6 Okay. Board Members?

7 Member Canup?

8 MEMBER CANUP, you know I'm a

9 firm believer that you've never got enough garage

10 space no matter how big it is. But also, you

11 have a very unique problem; and with being in a

12 (unintelligible) subdivision where the homes are

13 on the road. And in the sense that we've heard I

14 don't know how many negative letters, five, six

15 there.


17 6. I think it's 5, because it's a

18 double letter.


20 And as much as I would like to

21 say yes, I would like to support this, I just

22 can't, being that the letters that we received

23 from people next door. And when these people

24 bought their homes, they bought them looking at







1 the neighbors house and made a decision on buying

2 that home, based on what they saw around it.

3 And if they have -- if the

4 neighbors came in and said yes, we don't have a

5 problem with this, I might look at it in a

6 different way. But, being as that -- what we've

7 heard of the letters that were written, I would

8 have a difficult time supporting; at least the

9 garage aspect of this of this particular case.


11 Brennan?

12 MEMBER BRENNAN: How many houses

13 are on this court?

14 MR. SZELAP: There's one, two,

15 three, four, five. It's actually five houses on

16 this court; and I have another five neighbors

17 that can see me. Of the people that have written

18 in, only one person -- one -- two people are --

19 one person is within sight of me; the other

20 people are farther down the row.

21 And as far as size of the

22 house --

23 MEMBER BRENNAN: Hold on. We'll

24 ask the questions. I want to get a fix on the







1 objections. I counted two people that are on

2 Duchess, just to go on and that's a problem. It

3 is a lot of building on a pie shaped lot. And I

4 mean, you're squeezed in with this plan on both

5 sides; total both sides, front yard -- boy,

6 that's a lot of building on that property. I'm

7 surprised that you're not starting to push the

8 percentage.

9 Was that calculated?

10 MR. SAVEN: Yeah, but it's not a

11 problem at all.

12 MEMBER BRENNAN: (unintelligible)

13 (interposing) 25 percent?


15 45 foot for the rear yard.

16 MEMBER BRENNAN: So it'll be

17 all.

18 MR. SAVEN: And remember, the

19 pie's going out like this. So he's got more

20 property in the rear than he does out in front.

21 MEMBER BRENNAN: I share the

22 same comments as Mr. Canup. Boy, it's a lot of

23 building, but more so, if we had less objections

24 and maybe, it was somebody from a couple streets







1 over that sent in something with no comment, I'd

2 feel a little bit different. But I'm not very

3 comfort with this.

4 Thank you.


6 Gronachan?


8 My first -- when I first looked

9 at this, my first question was why not go farther

10 back, as opposed to change the shape of the house

11 to such an odd shape.

12 What's behind that house?

13 MR. SZELAP: Well, we're on the

14 walkout, and our yard is the drainage for most of

15 the subdivision. When you go back there, it's

16 wet all the time. So it drains back into the

17 commons there. And so, I don't really think

18 that's a feasible thing to do, and it's all clay.

19 So even with it being all clay

20 like right now, it hasn't rained in a week, you

21 walk back there and you have mud all over your

22 feet. The whole purpose for making the design

23 the way I did is -- I had a different design and

24 it just made the building look too big.







1 And so talking with the

2 neighbors, including the gentleman next door, the

3 Dujowas, that sent in the thing, I shortened the

4 garage by five feet, turned the door, so they

5 wouldn't have to see it; and none of the other

6 neighbors will. The only neighbor that will see

7 a door at all would be gentleman on the other

8 side; and that's why we angled the secondary

9 structure, so that they wouldn't see a garage,

10 you know two garage doors.

11 So I've been working with them

12 for weeks and weeks and weeks on this thing. And

13 like I said, the only objection that I've gotten

14 from anybody -- and that's -- we've been going

15 back and forth on the drawing on the computer --

16 and back and forth (unintelligible) Mr. Dujowa

17 came to me Sunday evening and he had changed his

18 mind.

19 So that's -- I just don't know

20 of any other way to fit it back in there. I've

21 looked at it and the way the house was designed

22 and built originally -- and I've designed a lot

23 of homes, and I just can't find a way to make it

24 work any other way.








2 off in the back; is that correct? There's a

3 drop-off. So going to the back is not possible,

4 is what you telling me.

5 MR. SZELAP: Yeah.


7 My second question, and I can

8 appreciate the fact that you worked with your

9 neighbors. It's unfortunate that these letter

10 came in. I've been there. I understand your

11 pain. Is it a thought on -- could it be a

12 thought to go back and sit down and give this one

13 more try? I think that the garage is the biggest

14 problem on the angle; it is with me.

15 And I can understand -- I

16 understand the lots -- the lot shape. Okay. And

17 I can understand the wanting to expand, but that

18 garage at an angle, I think that's where it's got

19 everybody. It's something different.

20 Everybody's been there for a while, and maybe

21 just going back -- I'm not an architect -- but

22 it's just a food for thought -- give them the

23 fact that you can't build behind -- and that's

24 important to tell the Board that. It's important







1 to tell the Board what you can't do as well as

2 what it is that you'd like to do, okay?

3 MR. SZELAP: Well, when I

4 originally wanted to do was come another ten feet

5 forward and make a three car garage with a turned

6 court. And that's what neighbor, Mr. Dujowa,

7 next door to me had an objection to. And that's

8 why I came up with the garage to the side, and

9 that's what they had agree to. And that's what

10 they thought would be the best looking; so that

11 they wouldn't have that big garage door sticking

12 out in the front.

13 But, a long with that, there are

14 other setback concerns with -- because we're

15 already closer to the property than what the area

16 originally called for. All the houses on there,

17 except Mr. Dujowa's are. Most of my neighbors

18 are even ten feet closer than I am on the pond.

19 And so for esthetics, the way it looks,

20 (unintelligible) it just looked horrible. I

21 would prefer to do it that way. It would be

22 cheaper for me, money wise; and I would gain the

23 space that I want a lot easier.

24 But you know, trying to take







1 into consideration what everybody wants or the

2 majority of the people, trying to work it them to

3 do that, and that's why I worked extensively with

4 the them and the architectural committee; and the

5 architectural committee bought off on it, based

6 on (unintelligible.) But nobody objected from

7 the architectural committee. Nobody -- including

8 Mr. Dujowa, who's right next door, who had a

9 change of heart on Sunday night and and came to

10 see me in anguish. He said he'd live with

11 whatever the decision is.

12 I haven't her any negatives from

13 anybody else, until this.


15 have.

16 Thank you.

17 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

18 Member Gronachan.

19 Do you have any --

20 MEMBER CANUP: You know, again I

21 appreciate your situation. Maybe you'd just

22 better move. You know, find a bigger lot find

23 the type of home that will accommodate -- and you

24 know, looking at -- I've been in your position







1 where the kids are -- you got kids 16, 18 and 20;

2 and then in a matter of more than likely five

3 years, you're not going to have any kids at home.

4 MR. SZELAP: Right.

5 We are not looking at moving

6 from Novi, no matter what at this point in time.

7 MEMBER CANUP: Yeah. It just

8 looks like the lot just isn't capable of

9 accommodating what you want to do with it. And

10 make it presentable. I, for one, I just can't

11 support this, as much as I'd like to. So one

12 thing, the kids are going to be gone, the garage

13 is still going to be there. It's going to be

14 permanent. And that's something we've really got

15 to look at.

16 MEMBER FISCHER: Any other


18 Is there a Motion on the table?


20 like to make a comment, an additional comment.

21 I would like to see this tabled

22 and go back and try to work it out with your

23 neighbors. I really would. I'd hate to see you

24 try to move. I understand the frustration.







1 Believe me when I tell you, I understand the

2 frustration, okay.

3 The fact that you have your

4 homeowners association approval is a good thing.

5 But maybe, if you can just work it out with the

6 neighbors and come back; tabling it for one

7 more -- you know, for one more meeting, it's

8 going to give the effort to go back. And maybe

9 they just had a bad day. I don't know. Sunday

10 wasn't -- maybe his race car driver lost. I

11 don't know.

12 MR. SZELAP: Well, those

13 neighbors that objected, is it possible for me to

14 find out who they are so I can go and talk to

15 them directly?


17 assist you with that. My suggestion would be to

18 table it and take a look at it and go back with

19 the neighbors and see if you can't get some

20 support. Maybe the misfigure on there on the

21 size of the garage, that didn't help you. So

22 maybe we can just table it and go back and talk

23 with them again. It's worth a shot.

24 MR. SZELAP: They were notified







1 of the misfigure. Everybody got a second letter.

2 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Well, it's up

3 to you.


5 Canup?

6 MEMBER CANUP: Well, we can't

7 table something that -- just to get it -- because

8 we think maybe it should go through. I would

9 like to give this guy this -- the applicant the

10 variances requested. I just can't do that. And

11 it's not going to change next month.

12 And to send them back to try to

13 do something, what are they going to do? You've

14 got five foot variance a one foot variance and a

15 two foot variance. They're going to have to

16 shrink that to get that within Ordinance in order

17 to be able to build it.

18 So what are we sending him back

19 to?


21 Canup, I think that these are minimal variances.

22 And the fact that he got his association's

23 approval -- and I think if he worked it out with

24 the neighbors -- this is an odd shaped lot. I







1 hate to tell everybody to leave Novi, just

2 because you can't do anything with your lot.

3 I think that maybe another look

4 at this might help working this out. This is not

5 a rectangular shape piece of property. And maybe

6 if they sit down and talk with the neighbors --

7 and had I not gone through this on a personal

8 basis and seen what happens from your neighbors,

9 I wouldn't feel so strongly about this.

10 But having just been exposed to

11 that, I feel that maybe -- being that he had the

12 support of neighbors and then they changed at the

13 end, something happened. So maybe there's

14 misinformation; maybe there's something.

15 MEMBER CANUP: I'd like to make

16 a Motion that in Case Number, 05-033, that we

17 deny the request for variances as stated due to

18 the lack of sufficient hardship.


20 there a second for the Motion?

21 MEMBER BRENNAN: Second the

22 Motion.

23 MEMBER FISCHER: There's a

24 Motion and a second.







1 Is there any further discussion?

2 Seeing none, Ms. Backus, would

3 you please call the roll.

4 GAIL BACKUS: Member Canup?


6 GAIL BACKUS: Member Bauer?


8 GAIL BACKUS: Member Brennan?


10 GAIL BACKUS: Member Gronachan?


12 GAIL BACKUS: Member Sanghvi?


14 GAIL BACKUS: Member Fischer?


16 The Motion to deny does not

17 pass.

18 Is there another Motion that

19 you'd like to try?

20 MEMBER GRONACHAN: My suggestion

21 is to suggest to the Petitioner to table it until

22 next month to see if he can work further with his

23 neighbors. I mean, that's what this Board

24 promotes. And I think that there's something







1 here that we don't know about. If the

2 Petitioner's willing to do that, that beats

3 taking a denial.

4 MR. SZELAP: I'd be willing to do

5 that.

6 MEMBER BAUER: I'll second it.


8 Motion and a second.

9 Any further discussion?

10 Seeing none, please call the

11 roll.

12 GAIL BACKUS: Member Gronachan?


14 GAIL BACKUS: Member Bauer?


16 GAIL BACKUS: Member Brennan?

17 MEMBER BRENNAN: The Motion is

18 to table?


20 case.


22 GAIL BACKUS: Member Canup?


24 GAIL BACKUS: Member Sanghvi?








2 GAIL BACKUS: Member Fischer?


4 GAIL BACKUS: Motion passes four

5 to two.

6 MEMBER FISCHER: The Motion to

7 table has been approved, and we'll make sure to

8 get you second on the agenda for June.

9 MR. SZELAP: Thank you.


11 you'd like to speak with the Building

12 Department to get a copy of these

13 letters, they should be able -- to be

14 available.

15 MR. SZELAP: Thank you very much.

16 Have a good day.



19 like to call Case Number, 05-035, filed

20 by Mary Kotsogiannis of Greek Isles

21 Eatery, located 39777 Grand River.

22 And you are Miss --


24 Kotsogiannis.








2 I apologize for messing up your

3 name.

4 MS. KOTSOGIANNIS: That's fine.


6 please raise your hand and be sworn in

7 by our secretary.

8 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear

9 or affirm that the information that you're about

10 to give in the matter of this case is the truth?



13 MEMBER FISCHER: Please proceed.

14 MS. KOTSOGIANNIS: What we're

15 Petitioning the Board for is the ability to

16 provide outdoor seating for our customers. We're

17 requesting four tables with four chairs each,

18 basically; outdoor capacity of 16.

19 We've been in business going

20 into our third year. We did provide outdoor

21 seating last year with a temporary permit. And

22 we're requesting to be allowed to do that for

23 next three years. Our customers have already

24 started asking when do the tables go out, so.







1 So we're eager to make them happy.

2 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you.

3 There were 17 notices mailed;

4 one approval from the property management company

5 in the area, Pleasant Run Plaza; and there were

6 zero objections.

7 Is there anyone in the audience

8 that wishes to comment on this case?

9 Seeing none, Building

10 Department?

11 MR. SAVEN: Just basically, this

12 is a similar request that the previous eating

13 establishment had in that particular area.

14 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

15 Mr. Saven.

16 Member Brennan?

17 MEMBER BRENNAN: No citations,

18 no problems?

19 MR. AMOLSCH: Not that I know

20 of.

21 MEMBER BRENNAN: I make a Motion

22 for approval of the variance as requested to this

23 Petitioner only, with continued jurisdiction for

24 the period of three years.









3 Motion and a second.

4 Is there any further discussion?

5 Seeing none, Ms. Backus, would

6 you please call the roll.

7 GAIL BACKUS: Member Brennan?


9 GAIL BACKUS: Member Bauer?


11 GAIL BACKUS: Member Canup?


13 GAIL BACKUS: Member Gronachan?


15 GAIL BACKUS: Member Sanghvi?


17 GAIL BACKUS: Member Fischer?


19 GAIL BACKUS: Motion passes six

20 to zero.


22 variance has been granted. Please see

23 the Building Department.

24 MS. KOTSOGIANNIS: Thank you very







1 much.


3 MEMBER FISCHER: Moving along,

4 Case Number 05-037, by James E. Korte for 2034

5 Austin Drive, located south of South Lake and

6 west of Old Novi.

7 You are Mr. Korte?

8 MR. KORTE: Yes, I am.

9 MEMBER FISCHER: All right.

10 Would you please raise your hand

11 and be sworn by our secretary.

12 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear

13 or affirm that the information that you're about

14 to give in the matter of this case before you is

15 the truth?

16 MR. KORTE: Yes, I do?



19 proceed.

20 MR. KORTE: You have very little

21 to look at because very little is going on.

22 If you look at what I've

23 provided, you can see the original foundation.

24 There's a front porch foundation that was put on







1 sometime in the late '50's to my knowledge.

2 There is a side foundation, sometime in the

3 mid-'70's; that's a lean-to shed. Both of those

4 sides stick out four foot from the original 20 by

5 40.

6 Specifically where it says eight

7 foot on the right side of your paper, that is a

8 foundation and a well pit; existing, that was put

9 in in the '50's when the basement was done. It

10 technically goes out two and a half feet farther

11 than the closet addition.

12 So, I'm going one foot out

13 farther than the existing, which still gives me

14 eight feet between the new house to be or the

15 closet addition, and the side lot line. I do own

16 to the north, that's 2030.

17 I could have -- I guess if I

18 chose -- have it narrower and wider and go out

19 another two and a half feet, but it still would

20 have been peculiar closet space. So I decided to

21 fill in the blanks as best as possible, and go

22 out a foot. Now, where it say five feet on there,

23 you may wonder why I'm not filling in there.

24 That's the gas meter, where the gas attaches to







1 the house. It's the electric meters and all the

2 phone situation.

3 So that's why that little dent

4 is still in there. I wasn't about to get into

5 the major utilities.


7 further comments?

8 MR. KORTE: It's impossible --

9 nearly impossible -- to build on a 40 by any of

10 today's standards. When I handled so much for

11 Lara and Wolbeck's Sector Study, and SES

12 Southeast in Tromwood, no one ever questioned ten

13 and ten. And, of course, now all Ordnances have

14 to fit everybody. 25 is just impractical in

15 these narrow 40's. And I know you've had some

16 30's to deal with.

17 And I don't think I'm asking for

18 much. It's one foot farther than existing; and

19 as I say, the eight foot is there. And

20 self-imposed, I would have surveyed the place as

21 it is, but seeing how that was done in 1916, I

22 didn't have much control.

23 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

24 sir. You can have a seat.







1 34 notices were mailed in this

2 case; three approvals and four objections.

3 You want me to read the

4 objections again?

5 Eugene Maliki and Victor Muscat,

6 who is the owner of 2213 Austin. The homeowners

7 on Austin would like to keep the property

8 eye-pleasing. The variances would make it look

9 worse.

10 Laura Quinn of 2219 Austin

11 understands Mr. Korte intends to turn this

12 property into a duplex; strongly objects on

13 Austin. This is zoned for single family

14 residential. No true purpose for the need for

15 stairs. Most of us choose to live on Austin;

16 take pride in our homes and properties. And

17 everyone should try to maintain standards with

18 the Ordinance.

19 And Mark Robbins of 2295 Austin,

20 received information submitted by homeowner and

21 does not see a hardship identified. States that

22 this is for a closet, but construction is

23 two-story with windows. Also has concerns

24 regarding the use of the building.







1 And Mark Robbins, again, who

2 also owns 2293 Austin, I assume -- yes. Says

3 that same comments apply to this. I assume it's

4 another address.

5 Does anyone in the audience wish

6 to make comments regarding this case?

7 Please, on down.

8 And if there's any other

9 persons, please come to the corner.

10 Please state your name for the

11 record, sir.

12 MR. SUTTON: James Sutton.


14 Please proceed.

15 MR. SUTTON: I think this is the

16 drawing that you all have. Don't know if you can

17 see -- if it doesn't show up there, do you have a

18 drawing of what Mr. Korte --


20 to move it up a little bit, sir.

21 MR. SUTTON: That's fine. You

22 have a drawing (unintelligible.)

23 If you look, there's, I guess

24 the mark -- if you're facing the front of house,







1 to the right side where it shows eight feet. One

2 of the concerns I had is that's eight feet not

3 just to the property line, but to the actual

4 physical side of that house, because that house

5 being built way back when, is literally built on

6 the property line.

7 So, you know, if it was eight

8 feet from the property line, that's one issue,

9 but this is eight feet from the house, which

10 creates a fire hazard. And you know, all these

11 houses in Detroit -- sorry to say but you hear,

12 that if one catches on fire, it jumps to the

13 next. So, you know, that's an obvious fire

14 hazard.

15 And then, you know, I'd like to

16 know -- he said the use of the area is closet,

17 because I've also heard that he wants to use it

18 for a stairway -- because he told the City

19 Prosecutor at some meeting that he was going to

20 turn this into a multiple; and I've heard that

21 from other people, too.

22 But I heard specifically from an

23 Ordinance officer that right out in public he

24 said this; and so that's a concern. And -- as







1 far as the use of the area.

2 And then the validity of the

3 information he has on here, it's like, you know,

4 he's is not a surveyor, none of us are surveyors,

5 so I doubt any of it. And the fact that he's

6 saying that it's on an existing footing built in

7 the '60's, it's -- I mean, I own property in

8 Novi. I know for a fact that if there is

9 non-conforming use and a certain percentage of it

10 is gone, you can't rebuild non-conforming.

11 And I guess that's another

12 issue. And it just seems like it's a lot to go

13 through for a closet, I guess. But, you know,

14 there's other, I guess, unresolved building

15 issues of the whole structure to begin with. So

16 I guess I just find it just ridiculous to try and

17 go for something like this.

18 Thank you.

19 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

20 sir.

21 Next audience member.

22 Your name and address, ma'am,

23 for the record.

24 MS. QUINN: Laura Quinn at 2219







1 Austin Drive.

2 And I wanted to come to this

3 meeting to find out exactly what Mr. Korte

4 intended on doing with this, because we have

5 heard that it's going to be a duplex; that it's

6 going to be stairway for this duplex. I wanted

7 to find out what, because the plans don't show

8 what.

9 Now he saying it's a closet. And

10 I personally feel that no true hardship has been

11 proven for why this supposed closet has to be

12 here. Why a closet can't be in this house; if

13 it's a closet. I have a real problem with that.

14 My husband and I love all and

15 any improvements to our neighborhood, and we all

16 hold ourselves to very high standards; most of

17 us. We have properties in our neighborhood that

18 are a total disgrace and to the whole City of

19 Novi. And I think that should be address. And

20 if people would focus on that, that would be a

21 big improvement.

22 I don't think hardship has been

23 proven here; but I have not the final say.

24 Thank you.







1 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you.

2 Any further comments?

3 Yes, sir?

4 Your name and address for the

5 record.

6 MR. MARCH: Good evening. My

7 name is Tim March, and my address is 1846

8 Clairmont Circle in Northville, Michigan.

9 Back in November, I purchased

10 two properties on Austin Street, 2001 and 2007

11 Austin street. To say the least, when I

12 purchased those properties, they weren't in very

13 good shape. I have done my best to bring them

14 up; improve them. My concern here, as well is

15 with the homes that this gentleman has. This

16 addition has already been added. It's already

17 there without a permit. He's already started it.

18 In addition to that, the home

19 next to it and the home next to it that he owns

20 haven't been completed. I purchased my homes in

21 November, and they are completed. Again I have

22 concerns about it being stairway. It certainly

23 -- being in the construction business -- it

24 doesn't look like a closet to me. And I hope







1 that this Board takes into consideration the

2 property that he does have on that street and how

3 he maintains it; which he doesn't maintain it.

4 And I'm shocked that Novi would

5 let that go on as long as it has. The homes are

6 in very, very, very bad shape, if you've been

7 there. And this addition that he's already put

8 together, without a permit, is just adding to the

9 nuisance and the eyesore of that street.

10 Thank you.

11 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you.

12 MR. WEINER: James J. Weiner. My

13 office address 30600 Telegraph, Suite 3350

14 Bingham Farms, Michigan. I am attorney, but also

15 his potential next door -- Mr. Korte's potential

16 next door neighbor.

17 On the six foot side, I own the

18 vacant piece of lot; the lot right there. And

19 I've owned it since 2001; and Mr. Korte and I

20 were originally friendly, but he has stated to me

21 many times that he wants me to build on that lot

22 in strict conformance with the Building Code

23 without a variance.

24 He's now asking to expand -- in







1 fact, he's not asking to expand. He already has

2 expanded a non-conforming use in blatant

3 disregard of this City's Building Codes. He's

4 done multiple things in blatant disregard of this

5 City's Code. He's failed to maintain his

6 property. He's failed to cut weeds. He's

7 claimed it's some sort of deer habitat in the

8 middle of a residential area.

9 He has, to my knowledge -- in

10 fact he admitted to me -- he showed it to me at

11 one time -- he's connected City water to this

12 house with the proper permit, without the proper

13 things. He showed me personally.

14 It is a non-conforming use, I am

15 on the six foot side of this. I'm his only

16 direct neighbor. These other ones are down the

17 street or across the street. I'm going to be his

18 direct neighbor eventually.

19 I don't like to come out

20 against anyone -- neighbors, but in the past,

21 he's is done his best, and actually told me that

22 I had to live within the Zoning Ordinances, I

23 hope he has to do, too. He's -- of the

24 properties in this neighborhood, five of them --







1 the five worst are his. The garage across the

2 street is falling apart; peeling paint,

3 everything. The landscaping materials and

4 garbage all over the place.

5 There was an unlicensed vehicle

6 in the lot for -- in his lot for months last

7 year. He -- on the -- he owns four lots there;

8 in this. Four of them, I understand that only

9 one of them is properly hooked up to the City

10 water. I assume -- it's two lots down, so I

11 assume it's connected through all of them.

12 But, he's -- I think only one of

13 them has and occupancy permit. The other ones

14 have basically been pulled because of his

15 violations; his previous violations and blatant

16 disregard for the City's Building Code. I'm

17 hoping you don't allow a farther expansion of a

18 non-conforming use. I'd like to see them

19 condemned, they're so bad. He's -- because it's

20 been in the same condition.

21 In fact, there used to be a roof

22 underneath the roof that you could see through a

23 window from my property. It's gone. So he's made

24 major alterations on the inside of the property,







1 I believe -- but I'm not sure -- without a

2 building permit. And it's just because of that,

3 I just have a serious problem with him coming --

4 after his blatant disregard for the City's

5 Ordinances and this City's Building Codes, coming

6 and asking you for leave to expand a

7 non-conforming use.

8 Thank you.

9 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

10 sir.

11 Are there -- is there anyone

12 else in the audience that wishes to make comments

13 on this case?

14 Seeing none, I'll move to the

15 Building Department?

16 MR. SAVEN: There's a packet in

17 your packet of information. There's issues where

18 there's been notices of violation issued for this

19 property. A ticket has been issued for the

20 property and it's in the Court system now.


22 Okay. Board Members?

23 Member Brennan?

24 MEMBER BRENNAN: First, I want







1 to address some legal issues.

2 Where we're at right now, Mr.

3 Korte's been ticketed. It's in court and things

4 are on hold until this Hearing tonight; is that

5 the gist of things?

6 MR. GILLIAM: That's my

7 understanding from talking with Mr. Vanerian from

8 our office. (Unintelligible) Alan if he has any

9 knowledge.

10 MR. AMOLSCH: Not really. It's

11 not my case, so I wouldn't have any information.

12 MEMBER BRENNAN: That appears to

13 be what is it based on.

14 MR. KORTE: We again meet on the

15 16th --

16 MEMBER FISCHER: You're out of

17 order. Mr. Brennan has the floor.

18 MEMBER BRENNAN: I also want to

19 be clear on Petitioner's request to -- for an

20 application for a variance. They're very

21 specific in what their variance desire is. And

22 the consequences of us issuing a variance in

23 another -- something else other than what was

24 portrayed is done, assuming that this was even







1 fabricated at this point.

2 And I'm -- if you didn't read

3 between the lines -- the Petitioner clearly says

4 that he's asking for a variance for closet space.

5 And if something else is going in there and we

6 granted a variance for closet space, and he's

7 built something else, what are the consequences

8 there.

9 MR. GILLIAM: If the Zoning

10 Board sees fit to grant a variance, and

11 the variance is specific. And when say

12 the variance it's specific, the Motion

13 approving the variance request is

14 specific that the additional space is

15 toe used for closet space only; then

16 any use other than closet space would

17 be a violation of variance. It would

18 essentially be no variance at all. So

19 that would be prohibited. If the

20 Motion specifically limited the

21 expansion for use as closet space.

22 MEMBER BRENNAN: Those are my two

23 questions of legal.

24 Another question directed to the







1 Building Department with respect to the

2 observation that this eight foot -- this eight

3 feet dimension between the illegally erected

4 addition to the adjoining property to the

5 north -- the home that's being (unintelligible)

6 eight foot section -- are we looking at a fire

7 hazard issue with --

8 MR. SAVEN: From an eight foot

9 distance, no.

10 MEMBER BRENNAN: Okay. Wanted

11 that clarified.

12 Two legal questions, Building

13 Department.

14 May I address the Petitioner?


16 MEMBER BRENNAN: Mr. Korte, do

17 you live at this residence?

18 MR. KORTE: Yes. I have for

19 five years.

20 MEMBER BRENNAN: Okay. Do you

21 plan to continue to live there?

22 I guess that's not really a fair

23 question, but you live there now.

24 MR. KORTE: Five years, and







1 that's where I had my mother for two and a half

2 years, because of the no-staircase situation.

3 MEMBER BRENNAN: You have already

4 erected this addition?

5 MR. KORTE: Structurally, yes.

6 If you drove by, it's the white hunk.

7 MEMBER BRENNAN: What's -- give

8 me some feedback on the reference to this being a

9 two-story addition with windows?

10 MR. KORTE: First of all, a

11 closet of that size, a window is not out of line.

12 If you look at the new houses today, walk in

13 closets can have windows. Now, the upper closet

14 will be next to the bathroom. The lower closet

15 will be a break-through to a quote unquote,

16 walk-in closet that's maybe two and a half by

17 three, as it exists.

18 MEMBER BRENNAN: Are there

19 two-stories in the home?

20 MR. KORTE: There's always been

21 two-stories in that home.

22 MEMBER BRENNAN: I just want to

23 make sure I'm looking at the right house.

24 Thank you.







1 MR. KORTE: The one next to the

2 empty one. The one you really can't see so much

3 because of the seven foot grape vines in the

4 front.

5 MEMBER BRENNAN: Explain --

6 clarify please, why someone, who, like yourself

7 whose been around for a long, long time, would

8 build this without getting a permit?

9 MR. KORTE: The whole thing that

10 started when Austin doesn't need permits anymore.

11 They are 22 things going on without permits.

12 MEMBER BRENNAN: I'm asking you,

13 sir, why you built this without a permit.

14 MR. KORTE: Because with 22

15 people that don't need permits, I didn't

16 realize -- and you'll understand the farce of

17 this -- and I have pushed the issue -- why do I

18 have to be the only one of 22 to get a permit.

19 Now --

20 MEMBER BRENNAN: No, no, you

21 answered my question.

22 That's all I have.

23 MR. KORTE: Well, I did answer,

24 and it's farce of an answer. And sir, that's all







1 I can give you.


3 you're out of order. If the Members

4 have a question, they will ask you.

5 You need to respond to questions.

6 Any further discussion?

7 Member Canup?

8 MEMBER CANUP: A number of

9 people in the audience made a reference that the

10 eight foot is actually eight foot to the side of

11 the house. Did I understand that correct?

12 Well, it says here eight foot is

13 to the side of the proposed addition; with the

14 five foot addition so that would be 13 feet from

15 the lot line. And someone in the audience

16 spoke -- made reference that it was actually

17 eight feel to the side of the house; which would

18 mean that you who actually have -- if it went to

19 the side of the house and not the closet or

20 whatever it is, in that case you'd only have

21 roughly three feet.

22 What is it that's actually there

23 Alan, Mr. Amolsch?

24 MR. AMOLSCH: I have no idea.







1 I'm not involved with this one at all.


3 understanding -- I think they were

4 saying that the house, the neighboring

5 house is on the lot line, so there's a

6 house right on that lot line.

7 MEMBER CANUP: This gentleman

8 here, I think, is the one who made reference to

9 that.

10 Sir, could you clarify that for

11 me?

12 MR. SUTTON: What I was saying

13 is that if you look on the drawing, he just shows

14 the side of his addition that he put up. He

15 shows it eight feet from the property line. But

16 what I'm saying is that that property line is,

17 you know, of the neighboring house. The

18 neighboring house, the actual wall, the exterior

19 wall of that neighboring house is on that

20 property line.

21 So there is no setback on the

22 other side at all. That other house has zero

23 setback. And typically, there's supposed to be a

24 -- you know, I guess a common amount for each







1 house to be from the property line; to have a

2 certain distance from house to house.

3 MEMBER CANUP: Okay. That

4 answered my question.

5 Thank you very much.


7 further comments, Member Canup?


9 MEMBER FISCHER: All right.

10 From other Board Members?

11 Member Gronachan?

12 I knew you didn't want to b

13 silent.

14 MEMBER GRONACHAN: I don't know

15 where no start first; with the residents, with

16 the Petitioner or what it's like to be on the ZBA

17 at 10:00 at night with a case in front you like

18 this. So I'll just jump in.

19 This is not the first case in

20 the City of Novi that someone's built something

21 without a permit; and it probably won't be the

22 last.

23 I will tell up that five years

24 ago, my very first case on this Board was







1 somebody up in the northend built a front end

2 addition on their house and didn't get a permit.

3 It's not the end of world. However, I'm not

4 condoning not pulling a permit.

5 I got a ton of phone calls over

6 the weekend from residents in the northend, that

7 you thought there was going to be riot out there

8 because of this. Now I say that because you're

9 all neighbors. I say that because this is a

10 difficult situation, and I know that this is

11 heated situation, as well.

12 However, we're the Zoning Board.

13 We're not the Circuit Court. We're not God.

14 We're not somebody that can just sit up and make

15 a decision. We have to base each and every case

16 on an individual basis. That speech that I just

17 made is for all the residents that called me at

18 home and wanted to know what my decisions was

19 before I could come to this table.

20 I feel very strongly about being

21 on this Board. And I feel very strongly about

22 treating residents very equally. However, I have

23 a problem when someone's been a member of this

24 City for as long as you have --







1 MR. KORTE: 35.

2 MEMBER GRONACHAN: -- and did

3 not pull a permit, regardless -- I don't want any

4 comments at this point. Let me finish. I don't

5 care what's going on at the other 45 residences

6 on Austin or whatever other streets there are up

7 there. I've been up there many times on many

8 various occasions, and it is very difficult.

9 It's one of our biggest difficult northends -- if

10 Member Reinke was here, he would be sighing very

11 heavily right about now.

12 And he has -- him and Member

13 Gray trained me very well for that northend. But

14 we have to listen to this case objectively. So

15 objectively taking it a way from what I heard

16 this weekend from the residents; what I --

17 nothing the Petitioner the way I know the

18 Petitioner, here are my concerns.

19 I drove out to the sight, and if

20 someone went and built an addition on the side of

21 their house and didn't pull a permit, I could

22 forgive that, because it happens. But this

23 particular addition is extremely close to the

24 other house next door. And that other house is







1 right on the property line.

2 There's not a lot of room there.

3 There are -- and I realize -- I respect what

4 Building Department has to say about safety

5 concerns, but I question that eight feet. I'm

6 not good at measuring -- although, if it was a

7 fence line I probably could do it -- but I'm not

8 real good at eight feet. And I question that it

9 is, in fact, eight feet.

10 When I stand on this picture

11 that they -- that the Ordinance officer took

12 right here, I stood there Sunday morning. And if

13 that house started on fire with that addition --

14 this garage is for other house. So my concerns

15 are safety. My concerns are that we have a long

16 time resident that didn't pull a permit. I have

17 concerns of the fact that -- if the Petitioner

18 says it's a closet, it's a closet. I hope to God

19 it doesn't -- it wouldn't become something else.

20 But at this point, if it

21 wouldn't be eight feet from the property line, I

22 could look at this. But because of the fact that

23 this house is this close to the other house

24 sitting right on the property line; giving no







1 leeway, I cannot condone this request for a

2 variance.

3 And I feel better now that I got

4 to speak.


6 not here to make you feel better, so --

7 Board Members?

8 Member Brennan?

9 MEMBER BRENNAN: Maybe another

10 question for legal.

11 If this is denied, sir, then the

12 case is heard at Circuit Court, and what -- I

13 guess you can't project what happens there, but

14 the case continues at Circuit Court, I guess is

15 --


17 understand the matter is in the

18 District Court right now. It's not in

19 Circuit Court. It's an Ordinance

20 violation that was issued to Mr. Korte,

21 as opposed to any kind of a civil

22 action initiated by the City.

23 So, whatever happens tonight in

24 the case si going to go back to the District







1 Court.

2 And if the Zoning Board were to

3 grant the variance, then that would essentially

4 eliminate any existing violation, I would assume,

5 that hour office would (unintelligible) end the

6 prosecution as far as the citation was concerned.

7 If the Zoning Board denies the

8 variance tonight -- subject to any appeal rights

9 that Mr. Korte has as to the denial tonight, he

10 has the District Court level. And Mr. Korte

11 would have the right to have a contested Hearing

12 in reference to the violation.

13 MR. KORTE: Mr. Chair, am I

14 allowed to speak again.


16 If you are addressed, then you may

17 answer the question. But at this

18 point, that would be out of order,

19 but -- for the fact that we are in a

20 Board discussion. I apologize.

21 MEMBER BRENNAN: I'm done.

22 Thank you.

23 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

24 Member Brennan.







1 Board Members?

2 Member Bauer?

3 MEMBER BAUER: As it stands

4 right now, my decision would be no on this

5 application; and let him go to Circuit Court

6 and -- District Court and let them handle it. If

7 they say no, then he is going to have to take it

8 down. I think that's where we have to start.

9 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

10 Member Bauer.

11 Further Board discussion?

12 Of if not --

13 MEMBER BRENNAN: I do have one

14 other question. I have a legal -- can we talk

15 to Don a little bit about expansion of a

16 non-conforming; and the rebuilding. There was

17 some testimony given that where this had been

18 built was on an existing -- some existing

19 foundation. Now, maybe he hasn't even been out

20 there to make that determination.

21 MR. SAVEN: I think one of the

22 big keys maybe whether or not this does have a

23 foundation. Being that no permit was pulled, we

24 have no idea whether or not there is an existing







1 foundation there that's capable for handling the

2 structure in itself. So that's one of the

3 questions.

4 Normally, the issue is that if

5 the building does have a foundation and it's torn

6 done, and they have certain amount of time to

7 rebuild within that, for that time factor on the

8 existing foundation. That's the non-conforming

9 issue that we talk about a lot.

10 MEMBER BRENNAN: What's that

11 available time?

12 MR. SAVEN: It's basically six

13 months.

14 MEMBER BRENNAN: So if this

15 was -- and we don't know because we haven't been

16 able to determine that --

17 MR. SAVEN: That's correct.

18 MEMBER BRENNAN: But if we were

19 to determine that that foundation has been there

20 for many years, then the building on that

21 foundation is indeed an illegal expansion of a

22 non-conforming --

23 MR. SAVEN: It would be

24 considered expansion because it was nothing there







1 for a period of time.

2 MEMBER BRENNAN: Okay. I guess

3 I'm looking for the -- to the meat of the denial,

4 if that's indeed where we are going with this.

5 Thank you.

6 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

7 Mr. Brennan.

8 Board Members?

9 MEMBER BAUER: Board Members, so

10 we're looking for 180 days.

11 MR. SAVEN: May I?

12 Pursuant to the Ordinance

13 regarding non-conforming structures and such. It

14 says should any structure be destroyed by any

15 means -- okay -- to an extent of more than 60

16 percent of the replacement cost, exclusive of

17 foundations, it shall be reconstructed on the

18 conformity with the provisions in the

19 (unintelligible) reconstruction of the existing

20 foundation and footings, shall be permitted,

21 provided reconstruction is commenced within six

22 months from the date of such damage.


24 conformity?







1 MR. SAVEN: Pardon?

2 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Conformity is

3 the keyword in there, right? Within six months

4 in conformity?

5 MR. SAVEN: However,

6 (unintelligible) have the ability to reconstruct,

7 provided, for example, if there was a tornado or

8 some kind of wind damage or things of this

9 nature; something did happen, the building, you

10 could put it back, as long as there was existing

11 foundation available.

12 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Well, just to

13 make a point. It was -- it's one foot over, so

14 that's even -- or three feet over, three feet.

15 It's over the foundation, as the Petitioner so

16 stated, a couple of feet.

17 MR. KORTE: It's a foot and a

18 half short of the foundation.


20 MR. KORTE: Or two and a half

21 feet short of the existing.


23 Thank you.

24 So that's not even conforming,







1 is it?

2 MR. SAVEN: Correct.


4 I'll make a Motion.

5 MEMBER FISCHER: Did you have a

6 comment, Mr. Brennan.

7 MEMBER BRENNAN: I guess I want

8 to be clear in my own mind that -- of why I would

9 make a Motion, if I were making the Motion, and

10 that is, that I can't approve something that I

11 don't know was built within Ordinance, even with

12 a variance -- because a building permit wasn't

13 pulled so that this guy could check it out.

14 I don't know if that foundation

15 has been there porch 60 years or three months.

16 The law says that he can put an addition within

17 180 days; isn't that what you said?

18 MR. SAVEN: Basically, yes.

19 MEMBER BRENNAN: Of whatever

20 used to be on that foundation. I suspect that

21 that foundation that he's built on has been

22 vacant for much longer than 180 days; that's my

23 suspicion, but I can't verify that because the

24 Building Department hasn't checked it out,







1 because a building permit wasn't pulled.

2 So I guess I would say from my

3 perspective that we would need to deny this for

4 sake of Mr. Korte, so he can go to Building

5 Department and pull a permit and verify what,

6 indeed, the situation is. Once we know what that

7 situation is, then he could come back again

8 requesting a variance, once we know what the

9 basis are. We don't even know what the basis

10 are. The building permit wasn't pulled and we

11 can't ask any questions.

12 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

13 Member Brennan.

14 Is there Motion?

15 MEMBER GRONACHAN: I'll do it.


17 Gronachan?


19 05-037, filed by James Korte at 2034 Austin

20 Drive, I move that we deny the variance based on

21 health, safety and welfare issues; number one.

22 Number two, that the building permit was not

23 pulled, thus not indicating how correct

24 information on the foundation that was -- that







1 this addition was built on. Number 3, that

2 the -- that the -- that's it. Number one and

3 two.

4 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

5 Member Gronachan.

6 Is there a second for the

7 Motion?


9 MEMBER FISCHER: There is a

10 Motion and a second.

11 Is there any further discussion?

12 Seeing none, Ms. Backus, would

13 you please call the roll.

14 GAIL BACKUS: Member Gronachan?


16 GAIL BACKUS: Member Brennan?


18 GAIL BACKUS: Member Bauer?


20 GAIL BACKUS: Member Canup?


22 GAIL BACKUS: Member Sanghvi?


24 GAIL BACKUS: Member Fischer?








2 GAIL BACKUS: Motion passes six

3 to zero.


5 variance has been denied.

6 MR. KORTE: The only thing I

7 find interesting is that I (unintelligible) rebut

8 their lies.

9 Thank you for your time.


11 sorry, you are out of order.

12 MR. KORTE: Thank you for your

13 time.

14 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you.


16 And we'll move on to the next

17 case, which is Case Number, 05-038, filed by

18 J. D. Hedemark for Mozart Homes for Taft Knolls

19 Subdivision.

20 Are you Mister --

21 MR. HEDEMARK: Hedemark, yeah.

22 MEMBER FISCHER: All right.

23 Please raise your hand and be

24 sworn in by our secretary.







1 MEMBER GRONACHAN: Do you swear

2 or affirm that the information that you're about

3 to give in the matter before you is the truth?



6 proceed.

7 MR. HEDEMARK: We would like to

8 erect an additional entrance way sign to the Taft

9 Knolls Subdivision. It's located on the south

10 side of Jacob Drive. That way, the entrance for

11 that balance (unintelligible) north and south

12 bound traffic on Capital.


14 There were 41 notices mailed

15 out; one approval, two rejections and two pieces

16 of mail were approved -- two pieces of mail were

17 returned. The approval came from Art Johnson of

18 Johnson Printing, at 45525 Grand River. I

19 believe this building would be a beautiful

20 addition to the Grand River corridor.

21 I think this might be from the

22 previous case; one of the previous cases.


24 that does fall under the building that







1 we looked at earlier, the case of the

2 building, so I would assume there's no

3 approvals and no objections.


5 Printing for the other -- for the two-story

6 building.

7 MEMBER FISCHER: For the --

8 yeah, for the two-story building. The

9 seven foot variance request.

10 So, is it appropriate for me to

11 assume that there was no approvals and no

12 objections.

13 MR. GILLIAM: Yes, I agree.

14 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you.

15 Is there anyone audience that

16 wishes to comment on this case?

17 Seeing none, Building

18 Department?

19 MR. AMOLSCH: No comment.

20 MR. SAVEN: I'll just point out

21 that the wall that it's going on is the wall

22 that's basically set back in an arch fashion,

23 which one side would be blind if you're coming

24 one way or whatever, east and west, north and







1 south directions. You almost need some type of

2 -- something out there.

3 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you,

4 Mr. Saven, for your humor.

5 Board Members?

6 MEMBER BRENNAN: I'd be happy to

7 try a Motion here.

8 Given the direction from our

9 Building Department, I'd make a Motion in respect

10 to Case 05-038, the Petitioner's request for

11 second sign be approved for the purpose of

12 subdivision identification.


14 MEMBER FISCHER: There is a

15 Motion and a second.

16 I guess I have a question for

17 the Motion maker. In this case -- I'm going to

18 withdraw my question, in light of making one.

19 So, there's a Motion and a

20 second.

21 Is there discussion by other

22 Board Members?

23 Seeing none, Ms. Backus, will

24 you please call the roll.







1 GAIL BACKUS: Member Brennan?


3 GAIL BACKUS: Member Sanghvi?


5 GAIL BACKUS: Member Bauer?


7 GAIL BACKUS: Member Canup?


9 GAIL BACKUS: Member Gronachan?


11 GAIL BACKUS: Member Fischer?


13 GAIL BACKUS: Motion passes six

14 to zero.


16 we may have scared you with earlier

17 discussions, your variance as been

18 approved.

19 Please see the Building

20 Department.

21 MEMBER GRONACHAN: And stop by

22 Johnson Printing and thank them anyway.









1 concludes the cases for tonight.

2 Moving on to other matters.

3 Do you just want to update us on

4 that case, please?

5 Well, I just wanted to put this

6 on on other matters. Jason Levy called me after

7 the meeting asking to be tabled, because they

8 need to prepare the materials and have enough

9 time.

10 But he also asked how many times

11 can the applicant request to be tabled.


13 I'll refer that to our attorney, I

14 believe.

15 MR. GILLIAM: I think the

16 applicant can ask to be tabled as many

17 times they want. You know, if it just

18 becomes a practical consideration at

19 some point, I think the Board will have

20 to make a decision just to -- when it's

21 time to reach closer on an issue, with

22 the understanding that the application

23 is not tabled and denied, that the

24 application can be refiled. They







1 wouldn't necessarily have to

2 (unintelligible) the application.


4 don't think that's something we want to

5 tackle at all tonight or we can just go

6 with, he can table it according to the

7 attorney's instructions.

8 I will make a comment that we

9 did promise some people they'll go first and

10 second. I think we should put that before them,

11 since he was here last month.

12 So, if there's --

13 MR. SAVEN: Just an additional

14 comment in regards to one of the cases tonight

15 for that height requirement for that one

16 particular case. I'll contact the Planning

17 Department and see if I can get some feedback

18 from them on what can be done.

19 Most of you are aware, as far as

20 -- even from a residential standpoint, the height

21 requirement for a house is still 35 feet.

22 (Unintelligible). So that's just from a

23 residential application. When you're dealing

24 with a two-story building, commercial building,







1 and layouts (unintelligible.) There's are some

2 mechanical needs that are there, and like I said

3 (unintelligible). So maybe there's time to take

4 a look at -- just like everybody says --

5 continuous concern (unintelligible) addressing

6 this.

7 We did that with the property on

8 12 Mile -- excuse me, on Grand River, when

9 (unintelligible) remember that particular issue;

10 came before us on several occasions

11 (unintelligible); and I'll see what I can do for

12 you.

13 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you

14 very much, Mr. Saven.

15 MEMBER GRONACHAN: And the fact

16 that you didn't have your mic on during the whole

17 thing, so nobody at home heard what you said.


19 will provide (unintelligible) on the

20 height of building that abuts

21 residential.

22 Entertain a Motion to adjourn?

23 BOARD MEMBERS: So moved.








1 favor?



4 Board does stand adjourned until June

5 2005.

6 (The meeting was adjourned at

7 10:30 p.m.)

8 - - - - - -























1 C E R T I F I C A T E


3 I, Machelle Billingslea-Moore,

4 do hereby certify that I have recorded

5 stenographically the proceedings had and testimony

6 taken in the above-entitled matter at the time and

7 place hereinbefore set forth, and I do further certify

8 that the foregoing transcript, consisting of (174)

9 typewritten pages, is a true and correct transcript

10 of my said stenograph notes.



13 ___________________________

Machelle Billingslea-Moore,

14 Certified Shorthand Reporter


16 May 18, 2005.