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REGULAR MEETING - ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
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, January 11 9, 2007.
1 Novi, Michigan
3 January 9, 2007
4 7:30 p.m.
5 - - - - - -
6 MEMBER SANGHVI: I'd like to call to order
7 the January 2007 meeting of the City of Novi
8 Zoning Board of Appeals.
9 Would you please all rise and join me in the
10 Pledge of Allegiance.
11 BOARD MEMBERS: I pledge allegiance to the
12 flag of the United State of America. And to
13 the Republic for which it stands, one
14 nation, under God, indivisible with liberty
15 and justice for all.
16 MEMBER SANGHVI: Ms. Working, would you
17 please call the roll.
18 ROBIN WORKING: Member Canup?
19 Member Fischer?
20 MEMBER FISCHER: Present.
21 ROBIN WORKING: Member Gatt?
22 MEMBER GATT: Here.
23 ROBIN WORKING: Member Bauer?
24 MEMBER BAUER: Here.
1 ROBIN WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
2 MEMBER SANGHVI: Here.
3 ROBIN WORKING: Member Shroyer?
4 MEMBER SHROYER: Here.
5 MEMBER WORKING: Member Krieger.
6 MEMBER KRIEGER: Here.
7 ROBIN WORKING: Mr. Chairman, everyone
8 present except Member Canup.
9 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. We do have a
10 quorum and the meeting is now in session.
11 I would like to go over the rules
12 of conduct. You can find them on the
13 agenda. Just a friendly reminder, please
14 turn off all your cell phones and pagers.
15 Individual applicants may take five minutes
16 and the groups may take up to ten minutes to
17 address the Board.
18 Zoning Board of Appeals is a
19 Hearing Board empowered by the Novi City
20 Charter to hear appeals seeking variances
21 from the application of the Novi Zoning
22 Ordinances. It takes a Board of at least
23 four members to approve a variance request
24 and the vote of the majority of members
1 present to deny a variance.
2 Tonight we have a full vote so
3 all decisions made will be final.
4 (Unintelligible) Are there any changes on
5 the future that we have?
6 ROBIN WORKING: No changes.
7 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes?
8 MEMBER SHROYER: I wanted to ask because we
9 have in our packet case number 06-083 that
10 has been tabled. Has that been advertised?
11 We probably need to have it tabled now.
12 ROBIN WORKING: Which case is that?
13 MEMBER SHROYER: That's (unintelligible)
14 Novi Retail, LLC.
15 ROBIN WORKING: That case was advertised in
16 November and they have officially been
17 tabled in the February meeting.
18 MEMBER SHROYER: Then do we need to include
19 it in the agenda to grant the tabling?
20 ROBIN WORKING: No.
21 MEMBER SHROYER: I have no additions to the
23 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
24 Anybody else?
1 MEMBER FISCHER: Motion to approve.
2 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes?
3 MR. SAVEN: Just a point of interest. I
4 would like to bring up under other matters a
5 starting time for the ZBA, please, as item
6 number two.
7 MEMBER FISCHER: Motion to approve as
9 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
10 MEMBER SANGHVI: Motion has been made and
12 Would you please call the roll.
13 All in favor please say aye.
14 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
15 MEMBER SANGHVI: Okay, (unintelligible). Do
16 we have minutes today?
17 ROBIN WORKING: Yes.
18 MEMBER SANGHVI: We have minutes.
19 MEMBER BAUER: Move to approve.
20 MEMBER SANGHVI: A Motion has been made to
21 approve the minutes in the November meeting.
22 MEMBER FISCHER: Second.
23 MEMBER SANGHVI: Motion has been seconded.
24 All those in favor of accepting the minutes
1 as presented please signify by saying aye.
2 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
3 MEMBER SANGHVI: All opposed same sign.
4 All right. At this point the
5 meeting is open for public remarks section.
6 Is there anybody in the audience who would
7 like to address the Board and wishes to make
8 comment not pertaining to any matter which
9 is on the agenda today? If anybody would
10 like to please come forward now.
11 Seeing none, we go to public
12 remarks section. And this brings us to the
13 first case on agenda.
14 Case number: 06-091 filed by Brad Wilson of
15 Callison Architecture for 27640 Novi Road
16 Nordstrom located at Twelve Oaks Mall.
17 This case was tabled from
18 December. Is Mr. Wilson here?
19 MR. WILSON: Yes.
20 MEMBER SANGHVI: Would you please come
21 forward. Identify yourself, state your name
22 and address and be sworn by our secretary.
23 MR. WILSON: Thank you. Brad Wilson,
24 Callison 1420 Fifth Avenue, Seattle,
1 Washington 982 -- excuse me, 992.
2 MEMBER BAUER: Raise your right hand. Do you
3 swear or affirm to tell the truth regarding
4 case: 06-091?
5 MR. WILSON: Yes.
6 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you. Go ahead.
7 MR. WILSON: Thank you. Thank you, and I
8 appreciate having us back.
9 I would just like to recap a
10 little bit from the last meeting and go
11 through a few points of our previous
12 proposal and state, review the discussion of
13 points from the ZBA from last meeting and
14 then our new proposal.
15 Previously the variance was
16 requested for the area of 217 square feet
17 for three separate signs at Twelve Oaks,
18 Nordstrom at Twelve Oaks. The sign
19 Ordinance had limited to 65 square feet at
20 which we were proposing a 217 square foot
21 sign -- or excuse me, three 217 square foot
22 signs. Signs composed of individually faced
23 letters and were illuminated and each sign
24 was centered over the entrance way.
1 Regarding the points of
2 discussion from the last ZBA meeting,
3 objections were raised by the neighbor and
4 condominium management companies on behalf
5 of the other residents, which I believe
6 those items were, didn't see any issues with
7 the overall, the ZBA did not see any issues
8 with it.
9 What seemed to be the major point
10 of discussion was the overall sign size.
11 And what we have gone back to and looked at,
12 what we have gone back and looked at was the
13 direction from the Board, looking at
14 reducing the signs. And we have gone back
15 and decided to reduce the size to 195 square
16 feet which the old sign was approximately
17 five feet high by -- excuse me, 43 feet
18 long. And the new signs are 4 foot 9 by
19 approximately 41 feet in the area of
20 195 square feet.
21 This would make, this adjustment
22 would make the sign a full foot, a full one
23 foot three inches smaller than the present
24 signs out at Novi Road at the other existing
2 The new sign proposal size would
3 align itself very closely with that of the
4 other existing neighbors as I believe one of
5 the Members requested last time around 195,
6 192 square feet.
7 Just to kind of wrap it up, I
8 think Nordstrom, the signs aren't
9 significantly different than what is out
10 there right now, and we hope that the
11 proposal can be put forward and accepted.
12 Thank you.
13 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. Does anyone in
14 the audience wish to address the Board
15 regarding this case?
16 Seeing none, I have informed the
17 Board that 196 notices were mailed, four
18 approval, six objections.
19 Mr. Secretary?
20 ROBIN WORKING: Mr. Chair, if it pleases the
21 Chair, there were no new objections or no
22 new approvals from the meeting last month.
23 MEMBER SANGHVI: This is the same as the
24 last meeting, okay. Thank you. Then we
1 don't need to go into that.
2 All right, then we move on and go
3 to, Building Department, any comments? Yes,
4 Mr. Saven?
5 MR. SAVEN: Mr. Chair, Members of the Board,
6 at the last meeting as you could tell there
7 was so much concern about the number of
8 signs and whatever the size of the sign,
9 what the sign looked like, what have you.
10 As you are aware we do require mock-ups to
11 be placed. The mock-up in this particular
12 case has a white background with the
13 letters. These are individually illuminated
14 letters, the white background certainly
15 makes it look larger than probably what it
17 The direction of the Board although not
18 formally is an issue that they looked at as
19 reducing the size of the sign to which they
20 took the Board's advice and they did do
21 this. And the fact is that these are three
22 separate signs which for each individual
23 anchor store within the mall there are three
24 signs, so this is pretty well consistent
1 with what was happening in this particular
3 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you, Mr. Saven.
4 I will open up to the Board for
5 discussion now. Yes, Mr. Bauer?
6 MEMBER BAUER: Al, what is Macy's sign?
7 MR. AMOLSCH: You want the size of it?
8 32 feet by 6 feet for 192 square feet.
9 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
10 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Fischer?
11 MEMBER FISCHER: As stated before I have no
12 real issue with the three signs. I
13 appreciate and applaud your efforts to bring
14 it down to something we see as more
15 consistent that, certainly not speaking for
16 everyone, but especially for myself,
17 something I see as more consistent with the
18 other stores, so I know it's just kind of
19 last time it was, oh, it's just 20 square
20 feet, but 20 square feet in the principle of
21 everything makes a big difference to me. So
22 I applaud you and appreciate that.
23 I would like to go into the
24 illumination for one second. What is the
1 plans for illumination is this 24/7?
2 MR. WILSON: Currently that's what the plan
3 is. Nordstrom has in the past gone and
4 looked at putting them on a photo timer.
5 They would be off during the hours of
6 probably midnight and 6:00, hours of
8 MEMBER FISCHER: I don't know where the
9 Board stands on that, but I drove by the
10 mall this morning 5:00, 5:30 and there were
11 no other anchor stores that had their lights
12 on and that was a little point of contention
13 for me personally. I will see where the
14 Board sits with that issue, see what they
15 have to say. But other than that I have no
16 issues with approving everything else we
18 And once again, thank you very
19 much and we look forward to having you guys
21 MEMBER SANGHVI: Ms. Krieger?
22 MS. KRIEGER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
23 I also wanted to thank you for,
24 reiterate, thank you for taking our
1 concerns at heart and reviewing them.
2 And that when I drove by I also see no
3 concern, as we said, it looks much better.
4 And for 195 square feet I would have no
5 difficulty approving that also.
6 And then regarding to light.
7 What time do the other, do some of the other
8 stores turn off their lights?
9 MR. AMOLSCH: The City has no restrictions
10 on the illumination of signs, when they can
11 turn on and when they have to go off. The
12 Board certainly can put that in a Motion for
14 MS. KRIEGER: Okay. I guess if there was a
15 uniformity of it that we could take into
16 consideration. Then that's all I have.
17 Thank you.
18 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes, Mr.
20 MR. SHROYER: Thank you, Mr. Chair. I too
21 thank you. 195 was the maximum that I said
22 that I would consider so I have to maintain
23 truth to my word.
24 So with that I will be making a Motion in
1 case number: 06-091 filed by Brad Wilson of
2 Callison Architecture for 27640 Novi Road,
3 Nordstrom located at Twelve Oaks Mall. I
4 note to approve all variances to permit
5 three exterior illuminated wall signs not to
6 exceed 195 square feet per sign provided
7 illumination hours of operation is
8 consistent with the other anchor stores.
9 These variances are maintained in
10 consistency in numbers and sizes with the
11 signs of pre-existing anchor stores at the
12 mall and will allow for directional
13 assistance for customers looking for the
14 Nordstrom entrances.
15 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
16 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. The Motion has
17 been made and seconded. Seeing no further
18 discussion, Ms. Working, will the please
19 call the roll.
20 ROBIN WORKING: Member Shroyer?
21 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
22 ROBIN WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
23 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
24 ROBIN WORKING: Member Bauer?
1 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
2 ROBIN WORKING: Member Fischer?
3 MEMBER FISCHER: Aye.
4 ROBIN WORKING: Member Gatt?
5 MEMBER GATT: Yes.
6 ROBIN WORKING: Member Krieger?
7 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.
8 ROBIN WORKING: Motion passes 6-0.
9 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
10 MR. WILSON: Thank you. I appreciate your
12 MR. SHROYER: Welcome to Novi.
13 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you, Mr. Shroyer.
14 And all the best to your business
15 and everything else.
16 MR. WILSON: Thank you.
17 MEMBER SANGHVI: All right, moving on. Case
18 number: 06-095, filed by Triangle Main
19 Street, LLC, for Novi Main Street located
20 east of Novi Road. Are you representing
22 MR. JACKSON: Yes, I am. My name is
23 John --
24 MEMBER SANGHVI: Please identify yourself.
1 State your name and address. And if you are
2 not an attorney please be sworn in by our
4 MR. JACKSON: Okay. My name is John
5 Jackson. I am with McKenna Associates. Our
6 office is in Northville, Michigan.
7 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm to
8 tell the truth regarding Case 06-095?
9 MR. JACKSON: I do.
10 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you, sir.
11 MR. JACKSON: Thank you very much. We are
12 here tonight to talk a little bit about this
13 very existing project on Main Street. As
14 you know the project has been through the
15 site planning review process and received a
16 recommendation for approval from the City
17 Council subject to receiving two variances.
18 These variances pertain to the first phase
19 of the project only and that is the office
20 building that is on the corner of Main
21 Street and Novi Road.
22 The two variances, the first
23 variance has to do with the required loading
24 area. According to the City's ordinances
1 the amount of loading is based on the length
2 of the building. According to the formula
3 we would be required to provide over
4 2,300 square feet of loading area which
5 equates to about four or five loading areas
6 -- loading spaces.
7 The fact of the matter is this
8 building is geared primarily to office,
9 medical office in particular, there is a
10 little bit of specialty retail on the first
11 floor. But there is simply not a need for
12 that many loading spaces. So we are
13 proposing a single loading space of
14 approximately 525 square feet. So with that
15 we are asking, and, again, an office use
16 will not have large vehicles. The trucks
17 will be primarily, you know, office supply
18 type trucks and things of a smaller nature.
19 So we don't feel the square footage that is
20 required by the Ordinance is necessary to
21 support the uses that we are proposing in
22 that building.
23 The second variance being
24 requested is along Novi Road. As you know,
1 the Main Street project itself doesn't have
2 a lot of exposure to Novi or Grand River.
3 This is one area of the project that has a
4 lot of exposure and we want to try to take
5 advantage of that by bringing the buildings
6 closer to the street. Essentially we are
7 asking for a ten-foot variance along Novi
8 Road. I will put a detail up here so they
9 can see. Do I need to hit something or is
10 it going to just magically appear? Great.
12 This is Novi Road along the top
13 of the drawing. This is the parking located
14 in front. There is a requirement for
15 20 feet between the parking and the
16 right-of-way. There are areas in here that
17 are less than that. There are some areas
18 that are more than that. But by in large
19 it's about a 10 feet setback between the
20 right-of-way and the parking.
21 And what we are doing to sort of
22 offset that is we are providing a
23 significant amount of landscaping and a
24 decorative wall. You can kind of see right
1 here the knee wall or the screen wall that
2 we are going to provide along that frontage
3 to help create the visual buffer. But we
4 wanted the reduction in order, again, to
5 increase the presence of the building on
6 Novi Road and to sort of begin to introduce
7 that urban fabric that we have along Main
8 Street out on Novi Road and, again, improve
9 the visibility there.
10 So with that we would ask your
11 consideration favorable hopefully for these
12 two relatively minor variances concerning
13 the overall scale of the project. So with
14 that I would be happy to answer any
16 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
17 MR. JACKSON: You are welcome.
18 MEMBER SANGHVI: Does anybody in the
19 audience (unintelligible) or comment about
20 this particular case?
21 Seeing none, I will inform the Board that 82
22 notices were mailed, one approval, zero
24 Building Department, any
2 MR. SAVEN: Just to point out that the
3 Planning Department had drafted a letter in
4 regards to their review with a favorable
5 recommendation on August 10th -- excuse me,
6 August 10th, 2006 letter regarding the
7 loading space.
8 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
9 I would open it to the Board for discussion.
10 Yes, Mr. Bauer?
11 MEMBER BAUER: The sidewalk will be between
12 that small brick wall and the street?
13 MR. JACKSON: That's right. The sidewalk is
14 within the right-of-way so the sidewalk
15 really isn't impacted by the setback
16 variances being requested.
17 MEMBER BAUER: You would have people walking
18 on that?
19 MR. JACKSON: Yes, they will be walking, the
20 wall will be on one side of them and then
21 the street will be on the other side.
22 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
23 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Shroyer?
24 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you, Mr. Chair. A
1 point of clarification. I want to address
2 to the City or Counsel. I just want to make
3 sure that we have control over TC-1 area in
4 particular since Council extensively
5 reviewed the preliminary site plan and we
6 gave it its blessing. We still do have
7 control over --
8 MR. SAVEN: It's still an Ordinance
10 MEMBER SHROYER: I wanted to make sure of
11 that. That it wasn't (unintelligible) or
12 whatever. So, I wanted to make sure of that.
13 Mr. Jackson, the concerns I have,
14 and it's not going to be a make or break for
15 me at this point. But I want to hear
16 comments from my fellow Board members. The
17 ten dollars -- the ten-foot setback is a
18 concern. Part of the reason is it does
19 prevent any future widening of the street.
20 I do realize that that portion is already a
21 five lane road.
22 MR. JACKSON: Um-hum.
23 MEMBER SHROYER: And as we increase the
24 width of the road going all the way to 10
1 Mile Road it will be consistent. So that's
2 part of the reason I say it's not a make or
3 break type thing, but it is a certain. And
4 I don't know if that was bantered around or
5 discussed very much at your level. If it
6 was, can you please share that information
7 with us.
8 MR. JACKSON: Well, Dave Milanan here might
9 be able to comment on any specific
10 conversations, but, again, the setback is
11 from the existing right-of-way. So if there
12 is any road widening that had to occur in
13 the existing right-of-way, then that
14 obviously could be accommodated. If the
15 right-of-way had to be expanded, more than
16 likely we would lose a row of parking in the
17 front and then parking would have to be
18 picked up someplace on site. So the
19 setback --
20 MEMBER SHROYER: That leads me into the --
21 is it a three story parking garage that is
22 going to be behind it? I believe it's still
23 part of phrase one?
24 MR. JACKSON: Yeah.
1 MEMBER SHROYER: Four hundred plus parking
2 spaces that would offset the loss of the
3 potential road in front if we had to do it
4 and move the site on the other side of the
5 U-haul or whatever.
6 MR. JACKSON: If we lost any parking we
7 would be in a deficit according to the
8 City's --
9 MEMBER SHROYER: Overall plan.
10 MR. JACKSON: Right, the City's standards
11 and the plan.
12 MEMBER SHROYER: Okay. The secondary of
13 course is the extreme reduction of the
14 loading area which basically limits or
15 severely limits actually any other use of
16 the building. I understand the zone retail
17 and office and what have you, and did I hear
18 you correctly when you said that retail
19 would be on the main level and offices on
20 the top three?
21 MR. JACKSON: That's right. And the retail
22 that's is limited, it's primarily catering
23 to the medical oriented offices, you know,
24 medical related supplies and things of that
1 nature, walkers and other. It may have some
2 restaurants on the first floor, a gift shop.
3 MEMBER SHROYER: And there is adequate
4 parking for a restaurant?
5 MR. JACKSON: Yes, all the uses have been
6 laid out according to the shared parking
7 provisions and reviewed repeatedly.
8 MEMBER SHROYER: I'm not concerned about the
9 loading area for the medical and the office
10 because that's just supplies periodically.
11 MR. JACKSON: Right.
12 MEMBER SHROYER: If you get a retail store
13 that has a lot of merchandize coming and
14 going constantly there is a lot of
15 restocking and the size of the truck may
16 vary, etcetera, etcetera.
17 One of the other concerns I have
18 is that even though medical facilities are
19 great in the buildings. As you know there
20 are a lot of medical buildings currently in
21 Novi and now with the large complex that's
22 going to be Providence. You are confident
23 that you are going to be able to bring some
24 business into that facility?
1 MR. JACKSON: Again, that's a question for
2 Mr. Milanan.
3 MR. MILANAN: My name is David Milanan I'm
4 with the Triangle Main Street and
5 Development. Do I need to?
6 MEMBER SANGHVI: Be sworn in. Thank you.
7 MEMBER BAUER: Do you solemnly swear or
8 affirm to tell the truth regarding case:
10 MR. MILANAN: I do.
11 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
12 MR. MILANAN: Thank you. Again, my name is
13 Dave Milanan I'm with Triangle Development
14 which is developing the Main Street project.
15 The medical building is going to be the
16 first phase and, in fact, we have a user for
17 that and it's a group of doctors from
18 Beaumont Hospital. So Beaumont Hospital is
19 going to have their name on it and they are
20 very excited about the project, so...
21 MEMBER SANGHVI: Great.
22 MR. MILANAN: It's not a speculative
23 building for us. But we do have users and,
24 in fact, I think it's going very well as I
2 MEMBER SHROYER: Now, I have read as part of
3 phrase one the building structure to be
4 built as well you are aware in the
5 presentation mentioned that this medical
6 building or office building would be built
7 first. So it's not going to be together?
8 MR. MILANAN: The medical building is going
9 to be built at the same time we are building
10 the parking deck and there is a very good
11 possibility that the building in front of
12 the parking deck is also going to go to be
13 built. We are negotiating with a user who
14 might take that building and then that comes
15 about then we will move ahead. So some
16 good things are happening.
17 MEMBER SHROYER: And did you plan any sky
18 walks between the buildings or anything
19 along that line to allow perhaps --
20 MR. MILANAN: We asked the medical building
21 people if they wanted a sky walk between the
22 medical building and parking deck. They
23 chose not to have one. We are still
24 considering the possibility of having a sky
1 walk between the parking deck and the other
2 building fronting on Main Street.
3 MEMBER SHROYER: Part of the reason I was
4 asking about that is our handicap community
5 I note that all your handicap parking is
6 right in front of the building on the main
7 level, but if your medical up on the second,
8 third, fourth levels if they could park out
9 of inclimate weather in the parking garage
10 and use the walkway to get across or wheel
11 way, you might say, if you use a wheelchair,
12 but that's up for you guys to decide. I was
13 just curious.
14 MR. MILANAN: Well, as I indicated, we gave
15 them that option. We are really not
16 developing it. It's a group of doctors and
17 they have their own architect, but it's
18 being done in conjunction with the overall
20 MEMBER SHROYER: Very good. I do want to
21 hear comments from the rest of the Board
22 members in particular about the concerns I
23 have. At this point I am not opposed to
24 anything that is being recommended, but I do
1 want to hear comments.
2 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you, Mr. Shroyer.
3 Anybody else? Mr. Gatt?
4 MEMBER GATT: I have no problem with the
5 loading space variance that you guys are
6 requesting. I think that the facility as
7 it's going to be used that's really not
8 going to become an issue, a major issue at
9 least. I was a little hesitant about the
10 ten-foot variance until you guys described
11 the wall that was going to be put there.
12 Really the big thing I was thinking if there
13 is a major accident right there they are
14 going to run into people in your parking
15 lot, but that wall and the look, the overall
16 look I think the safety concern and the
17 overall look will look very nice. I don't
18 really find myself concerned with the road
19 expanding to a seven lane road any time in
20 the extremely near future.
21 So I have no problem with either
22 of these variances now that we have gotten
23 to discuss this with you guys. So I am
24 prepared to vote yes for both of these.
1 Thank you.
2 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. I just have one
3 question for the Building Department or
4 somebody to enlighten me. Where is this new
5 overpass over the railroad crossing on Novi
6 Road going to end up on the north side?
7 MR. SAVEN: That I couldn't tell you. I
8 still think it's in the planning stage right
10 MEMBER SANGHVI: It's still in the planning
11 stage so you don't know what kind of impact
12 that could have on (unintelligible).
13 MR. SAVEN: I don't believe it's going to
14 have an impact strictly because of the fact
15 is the elevation at the railroad track
16 versus what the overpass is going to be
17 like, the height of the overpass there is
18 plenty enough road to make it work.
19 MEMBER SANGHVI: Very good. Thank you.
20 Yes, Mr. Fischer?
21 MEMBER FISCHER: You caught me in between a
22 drink there. I promise it's water.
23 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yeah.
24 MEMBER FISCHER: I appreciate the comments.
1 I enjoy having someone who has been on the
2 Planning Commission on the Zoning Board
3 because I think you bring a lot of great
4 points, so I appreciate your comments, Mr.
5 Shroyer. Thank you very much for those.
6 I especially appreciate the
7 concerns regarding the ten-foot setback from
8 Novi Road, but I believe that those have
9 been met. I was quite concerned about the
10 expansion too not so much that we might go
11 to seven or nine or eleven lanes, but even
12 the possibility of putting some type of
13 island in there or something. But it seems
14 as though we would have some type of relief
15 should that ever become necessary.
16 As far as the loading, I agree as
17 far as that Ordinance goes. I read
18 somewhere in our packet that that might be
19 being looked at currently anyway. Can you --
20 MR. SAVEN: I believe so.
21 MEMBER FISCHER: Can you provide any more
22 than that?
23 MR. SAVEN: No comment where it's at right
1 MEMBER FISCHER: No comment on where it's
3 MR. SAVEN: That's correct.
4 MEMBER FISCHER: But it might be being
5 looked at?
6 MR. SAVEN: I know that it is, yes.
7 MEMBER FISCHER: So obviously
8 somewhere in the City it appears that we
9 need to look at that Ordinance and review
10 it. So my comments would be supporting both
11 Mr. Gatt and Mr. Shroyer. Thank you, Mr.
13 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you, Mr. Fischer.
15 MR. SAVEN: With everybody being free of
16 their comment I do have a comment.
17 MEMBER SANGHVI: Go ahead, please.
18 MR. SAVEN: I would prefer all the rest of
19 the Board members speak first.
20 MEMBER SANGHVI: I think (unintelligible).
21 MR. SAVEN: Okay. Mr. Chairman, Board, I
22 would like to just bring to your attention
23 two issues here. Number one, please take
24 into consideration the magnitude of this
1 project. This is something that is not just
2 going to be one building, but it's going to
3 be many buildings as part of the site plan
4 is concerned. There is a provision in the
5 Ordinance that talks about a building permit
6 is to be taken within 90 days of the
7 approval process and even after final site
8 plan approval or 30 days after final site
9 plan approval. But based upon the magnitude
10 of the project and taking a look at the
11 projection, whatever, I would request that
12 should the Board decide to approve this
13 variance, that they add at least a one year
14 extension to that particular provision so
15 that we are not going to be bouncing back
16 and forth here for the whole entire project
17 as we are going through the project.
18 And second, there was a letter
19 that was drafted by the one of the previous
20 owners of Novi Auto Parts and Dan's Auto
21 Repair and Tommy's Tire which was part of
22 your packet talking about the concern of the
23 drainage which is going in that particular
24 direction. I would ask that the Board just
1 have the applicant look into this matter and
2 please get with the people or whatever
3 regarding what they plan on doing for that
4 particular issue.
5 It has been a concern in that
6 area for a while. So it's part of a
7 planning process I'm sure in engineering,
8 but just to be sure that that is the concern
9 and it should be addressed.
10 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you, Mr. Saven.
11 MEMBER BAUER: Does the applicant have a
12 copy of this?
13 MR. SAVEN: I believe the applicant does
14 have a copy of that.
15 MR. MILANAN: In this particular letter I
16 haven't seen but we were familiar with some
17 of the concerns about a drainage.
18 MR. SAVEN: That is correct.
19 MEMBER BAUER: You can keep this copy.
20 MR. MILANAN: Thank you.
21 MEMBER SANGHVI: Okay, (unintelligible).
22 And if there is no further discussion, the
23 Chair will entertain a Motion.
24 Yes, Mr. Fischer?
1 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you, Mr. Chair. I
2 would move that the Board approve the
3 requests in Case Number: 06-095 filed by
4 Triangle Main Street, LLC, for Novi Main
5 Street located at Novi and Grand River, near
6 Novi and Grand River. Given the fact that
7 the Petitioner has established the elements
8 of practical difficulty. That this request
9 is not based on circumstances generally in
10 the area, but it is unique to the property.
11 That the failure to grant will unreasonably
12 prevent or limit the use of the property.
13 And that the grant of relief will not result
14 in a use or structure that is incompatible
15 with or unreasonable or interferes with
16 adjacent or surrounding properties.
17 I would also like to note as part
18 of my Motion that part of the plan review of
19 the prelaminarly site plan from August 10th,
20 2006 states that the Planning Department is
21 in support of the requests.
22 And I would also find that the Petitioner
23 has established that there will be limited
24 retail which ties into the fact of the lower
1 proposed loading space. The fact that Novi
2 Road is already expanded to five lanes.
3 And, lastly, that these variances are
4 consistent with the site plan for the
5 development and also with that of the master
6 plan for the City of Novi.
7 Lastly, I would request that the
8 Petitioner address the concerns in the note
9 to the Zoning Board of Appeals and get with
10 that person who had some concerns.
12 And lastly, I would allow for this variance,
13 a permit to be pulled through July 31st,
15 MR. SAVEN: For the extension of the
17 MEMBER FISCHER: Extension of the approval
18 July 31st, 2008.
19 MEMBER BAUER: Second the Motion.
20 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. The Motion has
21 been made and seconded.
22 ROBIN WORKING: Did Mr. Bauer
24 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
1 ROBIN WORKING: Thank you.
2 MEMBER FISCHER: Did you want me
3 to repeat that or?
4 ROBIN WORKING: No, I got it.
5 MEMBER SANGHVI: If there is no further
6 discussion, Ms. Working, please call the
8 ROBIN WORKING: Member Fischer?
9 MEMBER FISCHER: Aye.
10 ROBIN WORKING: Member Bauer?
11 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
12 ROBIN WORKING: Member Gatt?
13 MEMBER GATT: Yes.
14 ROBIN WORKING: Member Krieger?
15 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
16 ROBIN WORKING: Member Shroyer?
17 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
18 ROBIN WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
19 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
20 ROBIN WORKING: Motion passes 6-0.
21 MEMBER SANGHVI: Congratulations.
22 MR. JACKSON: Thank you very much.
23 MEMBER SANGHVI: God speed and good luck.
24 MR. JACKSON: Thank you.
1 MEMBER SANGHVI: Moving on. The next case
2 is number: 06-096 filed by Phil Venables of
3 Accent Signs for Ellison Technologies
4 located at 29050 Cabot. Will you please
5 identify yourself and --
6 MR. VENABLES: My name is Phil Venables. I'm
7 with Accent Signs, again, on behalf of
8 Ellison Technologies. As you got the plans
9 I think and you've seen pictures of the
10 building. We put a markup on the building
11 for you all to see. I hope you had an
12 opportunity to take a look at it. Showing
13 the position of the sign --
14 MEMBER SANGHVI: Excuse me. Are you an
16 MR. VENABLES: No, I'm not.
17 MEMBER SANGHVI: All right. Would you
18 please be sworn in by our secretary.
19 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm to
20 tell the truth regarding case: 06-096?
21 MR. VENABLES: I do.
22 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. Go ahead.
23 MR. VENABLES: As I was saying, the
24 situation is such the building is situated
1 on a graduated curb, it's not a smooth curb
2 or a grade (unintelligible) curb. And
3 pardon me if I am a little out of it today,
4 I am drugged up on cold medicines, my head
5 is not too sharp today. So the building as
6 I said is on a curb and this building is
7 occupied by two tenants. The tenant is
8 concerned, Ellison tenant is concerned that
9 as the traffic is approaching the facility
10 because there is this periods of the day
11 where the traffic is significant in front of
12 the building, there is concern that there
13 may be stuck with traffic incidents if they
14 are not visible from the street the building
15 does sit back a significant distance from
16 the road.
17 That's the one of their biggest
19 MEMBER SANGHVI: All right. Thank you. Is
20 there anybody in the audience who would like
21 to address the Board regarding this case?
22 Seeing none, Building Department? Mr.
24 MR. AMOLSCH: Just for Board clarification
1 the issue here is that the applicant is
2 asking for a second sign on a building that
3 only have one entrance. Multi tenant
4 buildings are allowed a sign for each tenant
5 if they have a direct separate entrance.
6 What they are asking for is they can either
7 share a 65 square feet sign for the building
8 or just have the one sign. So what they are
9 asking for is a variance to that, not having
10 a direct separate entrance.
11 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. We had sent, 90
12 notices were mailed, zero approvals, zero
14 Okay, opening to the Board? Yes,
15 Mr. Bauer?
16 MEMBER BAUER: Al, have they already right
17 now exceeded the square footage necessary?
18 MR. AMOLSCH: The sign they currently have
19 on the building is 40 square feet.
20 MEMBER BAUER: Okay, thank you.
21 MEMBER SANGHVI: Okay. Yes, Ms. Krieger?
22 MEMBER KRIEGER: I noticed that the Ellison
23 sign was more difficult to see than the Mori
24 Seiki -- if I said that correctly -- sign,
1 and was the intention just for the Mori
2 Seiki or to also have the Ellison there
3 coming to one drive?
4 MR. VENABLES: No, the markup is sized in
5 accordance not to exceed the -- does it say
6 any square feet on it? The total that you
7 would normally allow for it with multiple
8 entrances, made sure that that sign did not
9 exceed that total. So we didn't want to
10 encroach on that as well. It's white on
11 white which makes it certainly difficult.
12 When the colors are introduced to the sign,
13 they're not white, but when the colors are
14 introduced to the sign then it would be more
16 MEMBER KRIEGER: Okay, thank you.
17 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Shroyer?
18 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
19 Mr. Amolsch, I see a citation was
20 issued. What was that for?
21 MR. AMOLSCH: A citation?
22 MEMBER SHROYER: According to the
23 information we received, item six is your
24 appeal case notice for violation of --
1 MR. AMOLSCH: There is no violation.
2 MEMBER SHROYER: There is no violation?
3 MR. AMOLSCH: They applied for a permit
4 application and they were denied based on
5 the Ordinance. There was no violation.
6 MEMBER SHROYER: Okay. A lot of them we see
7 that shows denied and are checked no in that
8 box. So I thought perhaps this was
10 MR. AMOLSCH: No.
11 MEMBER SHROYER: Okay, Thank you. And to
12 the applicant, when you wrote the appeal it
13 says the appeal is based upon the following
14 grounds. Please attach second page
15 necessary. The building is setback a great
16 distance from the road and is on a gradual
17 curb. The building is shared approximately
18 half and half by two companies. The
19 building was designed aesthetically with
20 only one entrance, however, and then you say
21 certain periods of the day high --
22 MR. VENABLES: I was discussing the traffic
23 issues and I, somehow that managed to miss
24 the rest of the application. I apologize
1 for that. It was regarding the traffic at
2 certain times of the day does get fairly
3 high and that's the issue that they are
4 concerned about. There are visitors to and
5 from the building even during those peak
6 periods and those are the times that they
7 are afraid of accidents and so forth and
8 safety issues that occur, that could occur,
9 you know, like passing and missing the thing
10 and trying to stop in the middle of the road
11 and that sort of thing.
12 MEMBER SHROYER: Missing the area would be
13 something like high volume traffic?
14 MR. VENABLES: That's correct. I apologize
15 for that.
16 MEMBER SHROYER: No, problem. I just wanted
17 to get clarification on it. And how did we
18 come to the point where there are two
19 tenants in the building when it was built
20 with one entrance, was it originally for one
21 tenant and it couldn't be -- the one
22 tenant -- you didn't get a tenant large
23 enough --
24 MR. VENABLES: I would have to assume that
1 was the case. I would have to consult with
2 the builder, but that probably would be
3 logical to be the case. Right now it works
4 out very well as a two tenant unit, I can't
5 imagine how they would ever get anybody else
6 in there. It's just configured nicely for
7 two. One certainly could have been in there
8 at some point.
9 MEMBER SHROYER: And because of aesthetics
10 there is no anticipation at this time of
11 creating a second entrance?
12 MR. VENABLES: Without doing some
13 significant architectural changes to the
14 building I don't know how you would work
15 effectively to do it. Without taking, you
16 know -- I mean, you get into a question of
17 aesthetics, you want to hack a building up
18 to make it look with an extra entrance just
19 to meet the sign ordinance, I think that's
21 MEMBER SHROYER: No, no, no, that wasn't the
22 reason for that.
23 MR. VENABLES: Okay.
24 MEMBER SHROYER: That's all I have, Mr.
1 Chair. Thank you.
2 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. Thank you very
4 Yes, Mr. Gatt?
5 MEMBER GATT: Mr. Amolsch, if you were to
6 take this sign that they are asking for and
7 the sign that's currently existing and you
8 were to put them together into one sign they
9 would be within the Ordinance?
10 MR. AMOLSCH: Possibly, I don't have those
11 figures. The Ordinance allows them to have
12 65 square feet for the building. They can
13 divvy that up whichever way they want to
14 within the square foot parallel.
15 MR. VENABLES: In answer to your question, I
16 purposely designed the Ellison signs to do
17 that so it would not exceed the 65 square
19 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Fischer?
20 MEMBER FISCHER: Have you considered putting
21 the two signs in one?
22 MR. VENABLES: Well, that's always a
23 possibility. Now the situation is you take
24 a building that's extremely lineal and quite
1 attractive and do you take the signs, do we
2 jam the two signs over the center entrance
3 or something? And then you have got a mumbo
4 jumbo of two signs stacked on top of each
5 other. Or do you -- that's the problem.
6 You stack them together so all the letters
7 become not readable?
8 Right now it's a pleasant design,
9 the building architecturally certainly. And
10 I think graphically as well if it's done on
11 a balanced basis. It's a question of
12 balance. I don't know that putting them
13 together --
14 MEMBER FISCHER: It might appear as one
15 business almost too?
16 MR. VENABLES: Well, possibly, yeah.
17 MEMBER FISCHER: Regarding the general
18 characteristics of this area, do we have
19 many buildings in this area that only have
20 one entrance and have two tenants, is that a
21 common theme in that campus?
22 MR. AMOLSCH: There are several different
23 types of buildings in that site or in that
24 area. Some of them are multi tenant with
1 separate direct entrances. Many of them are
2 a little larger office buildings. To help
3 the Board in deliberation, the recent sign
4 Ordinance attempted to handle this problem
5 by allowing the second sign on a building
6 with over 40,000 square feet. This building
7 does not meet the 40,000 square foot limit
8 so the Ordinance Review Committee tried to
9 prevent these type of things coming before
10 the Board. So it's (unintelligible) to
11 allow that kind of a second sign, but the
12 building is not qualified square footage
14 MEMBER FISCHER: Where are we at as far as
15 square feet go?
16 MR. VENABLES: I couldn't tell you.
17 MR. AMOLSCH: The number is 9,000 on the
18 building permit.
19 MEMBER FISCHER: We are not sure?
20 MR. SAVEN: No.
21 MR. VENABLES: It's significant. It's not
23 MEMBER FISCHER: You guys are
24 split 50/50; is that correct?
1 MR. VENABLES: That's correct.
2 MEMBER FISCHER: I would be -- I'm very
3 hesitant to support this given the recent
4 review of the Ordinance and that we have
5 looked at this and I don't want to open too
6 many flood gates. But I think a determining
7 factor for me is that it is 50/50. If we
8 were looking at a building here that had 80,
9 75, 90 percent of one tenant and now a
10 tenant that only has 15 percent of the
11 building wants a full second sign I would
12 have a bit of a problem. But given the fact
13 that we have two tenants sharing equally in
14 this building, I think it's almost unfair
15 that one would get a sign and one wouldn't.
16 So, despite the attempt to fix
17 this through the recent Ordinance, I feel
18 that this still is a bit of an inadequacy
19 and I would be willing to support. Thank
20 you, Mr. Chair.
21 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
22 Yes, Mr. Bauer?
23 MEMBER BAUER: Do you happen to have the
24 building owner approval?
1 MR. VENABLES: Yes, I do.
2 MEMBER BAUER: Do we --
3 MR. VENABLES: Northern Equities is the --
4 MEMBER BAUER: Pardon?
5 MR. VENABLES: Northern Equities, Brian
6 Hughes is the --
7 MEMBER BAUER: We should have a copy of
9 MR. VENABLES: We'll get that for you.
10 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
11 MEMBER FISCHER: You should make that part
12 of the Motion.
13 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes. I just wanted to make
14 my own comments for the record. This is a
15 long lineal building with north wing and a
16 south wing with two separate businesses even
17 though they have a single entrance for
18 aesthetic reasons and I don't see any reason
19 why they can't have a second sign on the
20 wall for the second business being such a
21 large building as it is. So I have no
22 hesitation myself personally in supporting
23 this application. Thank you.
24 Yes, Mr. Shroyer?
1 MEMBER SHROYER: Since the Chairman supports
2 it I will make a Motion. In case number:
3 06-096 filed by Phil Venables.
4 MR. VENABLES: Close.
5 MEMBER SHROYER: Of Accent Signs for Ellison
6 Technologies located at 29050 Cabot, I move
7 to approve the request for variance to allow
8 an additional 24.98 square foot maximum wall
9 sign due to the fact that the sign meets the
10 (unintelligible) size of the building in the
11 zone that has multiple entrances. In other
12 words, the 65 square foot combination of the
13 two signs.
14 And B, that was A. B, the
15 building is shared equally by two
16 individuals in separate companies that need
17 to be identified. And by that I want to
18 state that if the tenants change and there
19 is a different percentage, it needs to come
20 back to the Board for re-review.
21 Let's see here, and, C, the ZBA does have
22 the authority to grant variance relief based
23 upon the following affirmative findings,
24 practical difficulty that apply in this
1 instance. One, failure to grant relief will
2 unreasonably limit the use of the property
3 and will result in substantially more than a
4 mere inconvenience and ability to attain a
5 higher financial return.
6 And, two, that the grant of the relief will
7 not result in a use or structure that is
8 incompatible with or unreasonably interferes
9 with adjacent or surrounding properties,
10 will result in substantial justice being
11 done to both the applicant or adjacent or
12 surrounding properties is not inconsistent
13 with the spirt or the intent of the Zoning
14 Ordinances, provided that written approval
15 is obtained from the owner and provided to
16 the City prior to the final approval.
17 MEMBER KRIEGER: Second.
18 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. Motion has been
19 made and seconded.
20 Any further discussions? Seeing
21 none. Yes, Mr. Amolsch?
22 MR. AMOLSCH: Before I mentioned something
23 about square footage aiming for a future
24 tenant, are you limiting this variance to
1 this Petitioner only then?
2 MR. VENABLES: Yes, sir.
3 MR. AMOLSCH: Thank you.
4 MEMBER SANGHVI: All right. Ms. Working,
5 will you please call the roll.
6 ROBIN WORKING: Member Shroyer?
7 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
8 ROBIN WORKING: Member Krieger?
9 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
10 ROBIN WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
11 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
12 ROBIN WORKING: Member Bauer?
13 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
14 ROBIN WORKING: Member Fischer?
15 MEMBER FISCHER: Aye.
16 ROBIN WORKING: Member Gatt?
17 MEMBER GATT: Yes.
18 ROBIN WORKING: Motion passes 6-0.
19 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. (Unintelligible)
20 MR. VENABLES: Thank you. We will get
21 approval for you right away. Thank you very
23 MEMBER SANGHVI: All right. Case number --
24 Next case, Case number: 06-097 filed by Joe
1 Bennett of ITC Holdings for ITC
2 Transmissions Corporate Headquarters.
3 Are you, Mr. Bennett? Yes, I am Joe
4 Bennett. I am an employee of ITC Holdings
5 located at 39500 Orchard Mill Place, Suite
6 200 in Novi.
7 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. Will you be
8 sworn in by our secretary, please.
9 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm to
10 tell the truth regarding Case: 06-097?
11 MR. BENNETT: I do.
12 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
13 MEMBER SANGHVI: Please make your
15 MR. BENNETT: ITC is proposing a new
16 headquarters at a site we currently own. We
17 have our Quaker substation site there. It's
18 between Haggerty which is down here and 12
19 Mile Road here, and it's off the M-5
21 I would just like to give you a
22 little background on ITC and the reasons for
23 this project. And then I will turn it over
24 to our civil engineer, Jim Butler, from TEA
1 to go over the details of the variances that
2 we are asking for.
3 ITC is a rapidly expanding electric utility
4 and we have quickly outgrown our current
5 facilities at Orchard Hill Place. Partly
6 due to the recent acquisition of a
7 transmission company, Michigan Electric
8 Transmission Company on the west side of the
10 With that acquisition we now own
11 and operate all of the, pretty much all of
12 the transmission system in the lower part of
13 Michigan. And the high voltage transmission
14 system that we operate is large transmission
15 wires and large substations that basically
16 move bulk power across the system. The
17 Consumers Energy and Detroit Edisons are
18 still in place and they are still the
19 companies that actually generate the power
20 and serve the customers. We are kind of the
21 middle man between the generation and the
22 distribution, so we kind of help move large
23 quantities of power.
24 One of our substations is
1 actually on this site, the Quaker
2 substation. We have a number of substations
3 throughout Michigan and a lot of the
4 transmission lines as I said that you see on
5 the towers, metal towers are ours.
6 With our recent growth we have
7 been forced to move a number of our
8 employees out of Novi because of the, just
9 our rapid expansion. Just to give you an
10 idea of how quickly we have grown, in less
11 than four years our company started four
12 years ago with 38 employees and we are now
13 up to about 300 employees and contractors
14 and we don't anticipate that growth changing
15 any time soon which is part of the reason we
16 are actually looking at building a second
17 building down the road. So for efficiency
18 and cohesiveness our CEO has made it clear
19 that he wants all the employees in one
20 location. And that location is Novi.
21 We are also looking at building a command
22 center which would actually be attached to
23 the back of the office building. This
24 building will house our 24-hour, seven day a
1 week operation where we basically manage the
2 transmission grid, do the switching and
3 tagging and make sure the system stays up
4 and running so there is no blackouts in the
5 system. It's a very critical building to our
7 We currently have about 200
8 employees here in Novi and when we have this
9 building complete we plan to immediately
10 bring another 100 in here. The building is
11 going to be designed for 450, the first
12 building, so we will have a lot of potential
13 to grow and we actually expect that we will
14 probably be well over the 300 by the time we
15 move in hopefully in about a year and a half
16 if all goes well.
17 We will be bringing engineers
18 that design and maintain the transmission
19 assets. The operation group as I indicated
20 monitors the transmission system and then a
21 lot of the corporate support functions,
22 legal, finance and what have you.
23 So, I just want to say it's been
24 great being here in Novi for the last couple
1 of years and we hope to maintain a good
2 relation with the City of Novi and stay here
3 for many years to come.
4 So, with that I guess I will just turn it
5 over to Jim who will walk through the five
6 variances that we are looking for your
7 approval on.
8 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
9 MR. BUTLER: Good evening. My name is Jim
10 Butler with Professional Engineering.
11 MEMBER SANGHVI: Would you be sworn in?
12 Thank you.
13 MEMBER BAUER: Do you solemnly swear or
14 affirm to tell the truth regarding case:
16 MR. BUTLER: Yes.
17 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
18 MEMBER SANGHVI: Please go ahead.
19 MR. BUTLER: As Joe has pointed out this is
20 an 83 acre site located along M-5, Novi
21 Road, Haggerty Road and 96. It comprises
22 three parcels that will be combined as a
23 part of this. Joe had also mentioned that
24 there is an existing substation on the site
1 here. It is accessed currently from
2 Haggerty Road. There is a paved access.
3 The site plan is for two
4 buildings, two six story office towers in
5 these locations. This is building one, this
6 is building two. There are two parking
7 decks. This will be parking deck number
8 one. And this will be parking deck number
10 The site will access from 12 Mile
11 Road along the serpentine drive to the
12 parking deck. The first office tower is a
13 six story building and in accordance with
14 the City's Ordinance we are required to have
15 a setback of approximately 188 feet in this
16 direction. Currently we have 77 feet, so we
17 are asking for a variance of 111 feet and
18 that's from this corner right here.
19 It should be noted that the Novi
20 Research Building, the proximity of that
21 building from here to that first office
22 tower is approximately 500 feet. So we
23 don't feel that this setback variance
24 request will be detrimental to the adjacent
1 building since it is 500 feet away.
2 The second request is for a guard
3 shack. Due to the nature of the business
4 that ITC does it's very sensitive high
5 security stuff. So we do have a guard shack
6 located in this location. People will enter
7 and exit the site from it, from 12 Mile
8 Road. In accordance with the Ordinance it's
9 an accessory building. It is located in the
10 front yard, and given the fact there are
11 many front yards, it's kind of difficult to
12 not have a variance for this accessory
14 The third request is for the
15 dumpster. The dumpster is located in this
16 area right here. It is, again, in a side
17 yard setback. I should be noted that that
18 dumpster and its relationship to the
19 existing Novi Research Park Building is
20 approximately 400 feet.
21 The fourth request is actually two requests
22 wrapped in one. The Novi standards for a
23 major road. This is noted and defined as a
24 major road in accordance with the Ordinance.
1 The road will only service ITC employees,
2 visitors. We are proposing to have parking
3 along this road in a couple of locations,
4 and also there is a driveway here and here
5 that is less than the standard of 100 feet.
6 Given the fact that it is just for the
7 purposes of ITC we feel that a variance is
8 warranted for that.
9 And, finally, the last request is
10 for a setback. The driveway in this
11 location right here is approximately 10 feet
12 from the property line. The Ordinance
13 requires it being 20 feet and, again, the
14 distance from there to the adjacent building
15 is about 440 feet. So with that, I close my
16 presentation and if you have any questions I
17 would be happy to answer them.
18 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. Is there
19 anybody in the audience who would like to
20 address the Board regarding this case?
21 Please come to the podium, please.
22 MEMBER FISCHER: Mr. Chair, and if anyone
23 else maybe is going to make comments if they
24 want to kind of line up.
1 MEMBER SANGHVI: That may be a good idea.
2 If there is more than one person here who
3 would like to make a comment would you
4 please come join around here.
5 Sir, will you please identify yourself.
6 MR. WHITEGG: My name is Thomas Whitegg.
7 MEMBER SANGHVI: And your address?
8 MR. WHITEGG: And my one question that I
9 would like to ask these gentleman here, as
10 we noted we got the wetlands there -- did I
11 do that? We have the wetlands, you are not
12 going to destroy these wetlands are you?
13 Please tell me that you are not?
14 MEMBER SANGHVI: At this point you have a
16 MR. BUTLER: Yes, this 83 acre site contains
17 a variety and sizable wetlands. The biggest
18 ones being up here on 12 Mile Road and also
19 in this location. There are other pockets
20 throughout the site. We do have an
21 application with the Michigan Department of
22 Environmental Quality to fill in
23 approximately a half an acre of wetlands.
24 There are some small pockets here, here,
1 here. And obviously to get an access into
2 the site off of 12 Mile we have to do some
3 building. We will be mitigating for those
4 areas and the mitigation area will be in
6 MR. WHITEGG: Now as far as the one lake,
7 the lake that is along the M-5, 12 Mile exit
8 right there, you are not going to be
9 destroying that area, are you?
10 MR. BUTLER: No, we are not going to be
11 destroying that. Our storm water will be
12 treated in pretreatment basins and
13 discharged into that lake.
14 MR. WHITEGG: Because I actually, I live
15 right by the woods there, right by that area
16 and my main concern is destroying the
17 woodland and the wetlands and so forth. But
18 from what I am seeing here it's gonna be
19 actually not right on top of us.
20 MR. BUTLER: No, we will not --
21 MR. WHITEGG: My concern is actually with
22 the wetland. I love the wetlands, you know.
23 This is one of the things we do here in
24 Novi, we preserve the wetlands.
1 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you, sir.
2 MR. WHITEGG: Okay, thank you.
3 MEMBER SANGHVI: Anybody else? Please come
4 along, identify yourself, your name and
6 MR. BURNETT: My name is James Burnett. I
7 have lived in Novi since '73. I'm also
8 concerned that the wetlands to this, which
9 when the road comes through and throws in
10 their drain pipes, their electric pipes,
11 their gas pipes they're going to dig through
12 ground which will actually affect all of
13 this wetlands. The pond is at one time
14 could be considered almost a lake. It's a
15 good size, 10 acre or more. The woodlands
16 are going to be destroyed. Five hundred
17 trees they are going to take down and not
18 counting the smaller trees which they are
19 going to just plow under. This pond really
20 isn't big enough for what they want to do
21 and they are showing you this by asking for
22 these variances.
23 To put a guard shack in the front
24 which is just open for other businesses
1 which it says here, in no way will you put
2 in guard shacks in buildings in the front
3 yard, they want that. They want their
4 variances. They should be checked out more
5 by the fire department because they were
6 built for, these Ordinances were built for
7 safety. Now to move your dumpster and to
8 move your -- having parking in certain
9 areas, that's going to impede the fire
10 department doing their duties in which they
11 try to come if ever they have to help these
12 buildings or something.
13 But the land itself to me is something that
14 should be preserved in this community. We
15 have a lot of areas that have been
16 designated for building on the west side of
17 M-5 all the way down to Meadowbrook it's
18 ready. From 12 Mile to 14 it's ready. But
19 this property here is virgin land. It's all
20 wetlands. Right now it's being approached
21 on the other side of Ruby Tuesday with a new
22 piece of property which is approaching the
23 wetlands. They are building it up about
24 eight feet. And what they are going to do
1 to the wetlands is unknown.
2 The wetlands run all through that
3 area. This here to me once they start
4 cutting into the grounds and bringing in
5 their gas lines and sewer lines you can't
6 replace this with a million dollars even
7 though this is a million dollar project, you
8 cannot replace this with the money they want
9 to put in here. This is something that
10 can't be replaced with money.
11 So even though they want to build
12 their building there, we have land in Novi,
13 it can acquire them. But this piece needs
14 to be preserved by Novi. That's my
16 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. Thank you, sir.
17 MS. LOT: My name is Barbara Lot. I reside
18 at Country Cousins Village. Did you want me
19 to swear an oath?
20 MEMBER SANGHVI: Go ahead.
21 MS. LOT: I am concerned with the fact that
22 the proposed plan abuts right up against the
23 lot line as near as I can figure it of our
24 mobile home park. I am wondering what
1 effect -- in fact, I live in the back corner
2 there, where I'm wondering whether or not
3 the proposed, let's see, that would be the
4 south border on the diagram. I think that's
5 going to come right up against the park.
6 And I wonder if there is a buffer zone
7 allowed there? Or what will be allowed
8 there? Will there be a fence? I don't see
9 that in the plans.
10 MEMBER SANGHVI: Please, go ahead.
11 MS. LOT: I can't see that.
12 MR. BUTLER: Thank you. These are the
13 buildings we are proposing. This is the
14 (unintelligible) substation.
15 MS. LOT: The electric will be by Twelve
17 MR. BUTLER: Yes, this is the power station
18 right there. This is the mobile home park.
19 This is approximately 670 feet.
20 MS. LOT: Okay. Oh, so it is --
21 MR. BUTLER: This is Haggerty Road.
22 MS. LOT: Okay. Is this coming -- what is
24 MR. BUTLER: We're leaving this as
1 untouched. The only area we are building on
2 is here.
3 MS. LOT: Okay, I'm satisfied.
4 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
5 MS. LOT: Thank you.
6 MEMBER SANGHVI: Okay. Anybody else?
7 MR. SERVIN: My name is Robert Servin. I am
8 residing in Country Cousins also. And
9 actually right there is where I reside. And
10 where they are doing everything, what I am
11 worried about is like my roommate Thomas
12 said, the wild life. In the mornings we see
13 deer walking through there. What's going to
14 happen to all the wildlife and the
15 (unintelligible) pads that you plan on
16 putting in that was in the proposal. And
17 the backfilling that they are already doing
18 in one of the wetlands which is, this is the
19 substation, they are already starting to
20 backfill right in this area. I hear them at
21 7:00 in the morning dumping. And I am just
22 wondering are we going to hear that or are
23 we going to have to put a privacy wall up so
24 we don't hear the road traffic? Are they
1 going to destroy all the trees and all the
2 wildlife? Where is all the wildlife going
3 to go?
4 They can go across the street to Cabot Drive
5 just north and be one mile away from their
6 substation. Like the other gentleman said,
7 there is plenty of property there that's
8 already been developed. There are buildings
9 already built. Why destroy virgin land?
10 You know, we are already destroying the
11 ozone layer, why not keep some trees and try
12 and keep some oxygen here. That's more or
13 less all I got to say. Thank you.
14 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you, sir.
15 MR. WOOD: My name is Scott Wood, I am also
16 a resident of Country Cousins.
17 Two concerns. First question I
18 have is the current access roads going back
19 to the power station right now, I notice
20 it's been staked out, and my understanding
21 was there was supposed to be no construction
22 in the area. So I guess I am not sure why
23 there would be all these stakes in there?
24 MR. BUTLER: We are currently working with
1 the Building Department for a soil erosion
2 and staging permit. And what you are seeing
3 staked out there is a location of a
4 temporary soil erosion control fencing.
5 MR. WOOD: Okay.
6 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
7 MR. WOOD: And the other concern I would
8 have is the location of the dumpster. It's
9 a very large site and the dumpster location
10 is on the east side of the site. And
11 generally the winds are coming from the
12 west. So it's the closest to where the
13 residential area is. So if it could possibly
14 be relocated a little farther away from the
15 residential areas that would be an
17 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. Thank you very
18 much, indeed.
19 Next, just come on up.
20 MR. THOMPSON: My name is Zach Thompson. I
21 am the owner of the property directly across
22 Haggerty Road where the Quaker substation
23 entrance is. I guess I want to take
24 advantage of this opportunity as a matter of
1 the record to address a concern that I have
2 that was not addressed by DTE. Now, I am
3 not sure whether I approached the wrong
4 people on this or not. But we have had an
5 ongoing problem with water that's coming up
6 out of the ground from some sort of, you put
7 some sort of holding tank about a year or
8 two ago, and what's happening is that water
9 in the winter is coming up, bubbling up,
10 traveling down the sidewalk and freezing
11 over my parking lot.
12 I didn't get any response out of
13 DTE, maybe it's ITC, but as a matter of
14 record I would like to add that at least
15 something that's addressed and considered as
16 a part of this approval.
17 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
18 Anybody else? I want to thank
19 you all for coming here this evening and
20 stating your concerns. Thank you.
21 Now, Building Department?
22 MR. SAVEN: I think there is a lot of
23 concerns that were certainly generated by
24 the adjacent neighbors in regards to the
1 activity that is going to be taking place on
2 this site. And a couple of things I want to
3 point out. For as long as I have been with
4 the City of Novi issues regarding wetlands,
5 protected wetlands and woodlands and State
6 requirements have to be maintained even
7 prior to me issuing a building permit for
8 the site.
9 This is a requirement by the law
10 of Public Act 230. It's very explicit about
11 complying with all State, Federal ordinance
12 requirements. This issue has been so
13 sensitive enough that even in the process of
14 looking at dealing with temporary buildings
15 on the site or temporary trailers on the
16 site where they are going to be placed in
17 regards to the construction of this site,
18 certainly there are issues. Everybody is
19 well aware about the congestion that is
20 presented by the wetlands and woodlands, and
21 in an effort to protect these areas there
22 are certain locations that have to be looked
23 at. And then after the construction of the
24 building that site is reestablished to where
1 it was right from the very beginning.
2 One of the things that I think
3 what needs to be brought up is the fact that
4 the access is going to be off 12 Mile Road.
5 And would you mind coming back up to the
6 podium? In regards to the Haggerty Road,
7 the Haggerty Road entrance in terms of
8 access for that particular site once it's
9 completed this is as I understand is going
10 to be for emergency purposes.
11 MR. BUTLER: That is correct.
12 MR. SAVEN: And only for emergency purposes?
13 MR. BUTLER: That is correct.
14 MR. SAVEN: There will be no entrance where
15 we are going to be going by these people's
16 homes after the place has occupancy; is that
18 MR. BUTLER: The only caveat I would put on
19 that, it is an emergency entrance for the
20 building. However, the substation entrance
21 which is currently there we'll maintain --
22 MR. SAVEN: That's understandable. I'm
23 concerned that these folks here are looking
24 at a high congested area and the 400 and sum
1 or the employees that are going there are
2 going to be coming off of Haggerty Road
3 there goes the purpose of the guard shack
4 and entrance off of 12 Mile Road. So that
5 needs to be pointed out.
6 But in terms of the wetlands and the
7 woodlands, all these issues must be approved
8 and we are presently waiting on the approval
9 from MDEQ as it exist right now for the
10 allowance of this to take place would be to
11 issue a temporary permit for trailers which
12 will be along that stretch over here from
13 Haggerty Road for the construction of the
14 site because there is no other place to put
15 the units.
16 So, from that standpoint of view
17 we want to insure that the wetlands is
18 protected. We want to insure that the
19 woodlands is protected and continue in that
21 MR. BURNETT: I want to say, are they taking
22 in consideration of the, allowing these
23 roads they are building in and this grass
24 along the front of the building,
1 fertilizers, weed killers and bug killers
2 that are going to be brought into these
3 wetlands? That's what they stay away from.
4 That will kill the whole thing right there.
5 Once your fertilizer gets in there to keep
6 your grass nice and green you will have weed
7 killers to keep the weeds out, that's what
8 wetlands belong there. When you start with
9 your bugs around there, which your swamp
10 lands and your marshes give you, you are
11 going to spray bugs in there to help your
12 people at the business so they don't have
13 bugs on them when they go in in the morning.
14 This is going to just destroy the
15 property. There is no way you cannot
16 destroy it by bringing people in there.
17 People are what destroy wetlands. You
18 cannot live together with it. You have to
19 keep your distance from it. And that's what
20 we are asking, keep your distance from it.
21 MEMBER SANGHVI: Excuse me, sir. You had
22 your chance when you were up here.
23 MR. BURNETT: He asked me.
24 MEMBER SANGHVI: We can't have a running
1 conversation like that going on. If you
2 would like to make a response will you
3 please come to the podium so that everybody
4 at home also can listen to your
6 MR. BURNETT: You want me to come up there
8 MR. SAVEN: Certainly.
9 MEMBER SANGHVI: Please. This meeting is
10 being televised and people --
11 MR. BURNETT: I am saying that you are going
12 to introduce insecticides, you are going to
13 introduce fertilizers, you are going to be
14 bringing in weed killers. This is what
15 keeps wetlands dying, that's what kills
16 them. To stay away from them is what people
17 have to do.
18 Right now in this area here in larger
19 electric lines they have gone up in the air.
20 When they cut those trees down they didn't
21 clear the area, they just pushed the trees
22 into the woods. People on the sides of
23 them, the neighbor of ours that has the
24 landscaping business, his back property is
1 flooded because they just dropped trees. I
2 have walked back there. There are areas
3 where trees are just dropped into the woods.
4 They are not taking care of this when they
5 do this, but just coming in like humans
6 usually do. We want this, that's it. Never
7 mind the animals, never mind the land around
8 it. Never mind Novi brought in a Wetlands
9 Act, never mind they said they wanted a
10 Woodland Act. We'll just take out 500 trees.
11 Cut down 500 trees. Not talking about the
12 trees that are over three feet tall only to
13 eight feet tall, those are still trees. You
14 are talking over a thousand trees when you
15 think of the trees that are on that land.
16 I have been back there. The
17 ponds you are going to affect, you are going
18 to destroy that pond once the fertilizers
19 get in there it's dead.
20 Like I said, I one time it might
21 have been a small lake, but when the
22 entrance from M-5 came down to 12 Mile they
23 covered part of that pond. I don't know how
24 they got the right to do it, but Novi
1 allowed them to do it. Maybe the State
2 allowed it over us. But somehow they have
3 shrunk that pond down. It's still over ten
4 acres. Ten acres is a large pond. Really
5 almost a small lake in some places. So to
6 destroy this is just wrong, it's just
7 completely wrong.
8 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
9 MR. BURNETT: And that's why I'm against
10 whatever they want to do to this property
11 because I have been in Novi for over
12 30 years. I lost my home because of a
13 project that built a subdivision. They
14 flooded my home out and I lost my home.
15 That's why I live where I live in that park
16 because the City allowed the people to come
17 behind me, build a reservoir, flooded me out
18 and then they fought me and I cannot beat
19 nine lawyers, so I lost. I lost my home. My
20 family and I all had to move. So this is
21 where we are.
22 And now I am watching another
23 reckless project come in and want to take
24 over this land. It's not my land, but it
1 should belong to the City of Novi as a point
2 of nature. Look at all that we have torn
3 down now. You went over and you built this
4 big center down there, Rock Financial. The
5 wetlands were covered over for Rock
6 Financial's parking lot. They were covered
7 over. Nobody thought of the wetlands. And
8 you can't take it and say I will build it
9 here and I will give you a wetland over
11 Down by 13 Mile on Haggerty Road
12 they cleared out a pond, they took and
13 dredged it out and now it looks like a
14 little reservoir, that's not how you clean
15 out a pond. Novi has no way of cleaning up
16 cattails in ponds. They have no way of
17 taking care of that. I don't think you have
18 anybody in here qualified to take care of
19 land, the wetlands.
20 MEMBER SANGHVI: Okay. All right, sir, your
21 point is well taken. Thank you very much.
22 Thank you.
23 MR. BURNETT: I just like to say one other
24 thing. I came to a meeting on the 13th of
1 the December. I spoke of the same thing.
2 The vote was really taken before I got there
3 because ten minutes after I got done talking
4 it was a unanimous decision that they could
5 do what they wanted to do. Our
6 consideration should be taken in because the
7 Mayor tells us this community belongs to the
8 people, not to the investors, to the people.
9 Thank you.
10 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you, sir, thank you
11 very much.
12 Anything further from you, Mr. Saven?
13 MR. SAVEN: You know everything.
14 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
15 Moving along. We had sent 386 notices.
16 There were two objections and I believe they
17 are here today. Mr. Secretary, please read
18 the names.
19 MEMBER BAUER: Darlene Alexander.
20 MEMBER SANGHVI: She is here.
21 MEMBER BAUER: (Unintelligible). As long as
22 you don't involve Country Cousins, Inc.,
23 Section 13, I have no objection.
24 Alan on Old Justin Road.
2 I have one from Stankiewicz is it? I'm
3 sorry, Edward. Approval and objection. I
4 give approval as long as you don't fool with
5 Country Cousins.
6 Marilyn Kilner. As soon as we
7 give more to ITC Company will want more as
8 far as I am concerned. I object to the
9 requested variance.
11 MEMBER SANGHVI: All right. Thank you.
12 Moving on. I open up the discussion for the
13 Board now.
14 Yes, Ms. Krieger?
15 MEMBER KRIEGER: I have a question regarding
16 the six story office building. I thought
17 from previous council meetings that the
18 office buildings in Novi would be five
20 MR. SAVEN: We're looking at six stories.
21 It was still in approval for six.
22 MEMBER KRIEGER: And then also for the size
23 of the fence for Novi is supposed to be six
24 feet. They can exceed that?
1 MR. SAVEN: That, I am not sure of.
2 MEMBER KRIEGER: For residential I
3 understand it's six feet?
4 MR. SAVEN: That's correct.
5 MEMBER KRIEGER: But for office I would
6 question that height. And then I guess if
7 the security nature is so great that they
8 need a guard area, I have concern regarding
9 that. And also every time I come home from
10 work I get off at M-5 and 12 Mile and I see
11 the swans tending the lake, so it's
12 environmental issues I have a concern with
13 also. Thank you.
14 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. Anybody else
15 making comments? Yes, Mr. Fischer?
16 MEMBER FISCHER: Sure. First off I want to
17 say that I applaud all of the neighbors and
18 all of the people who came in today to voice
19 their concerns. I am excited when we
20 actually get participation and conversation
21 and dialog going on because so often we go
22 thorough a whole meeting and we don't hear a
23 single objection, approval or anything, so
24 it's exciting to see people actually care
1 about what happens to the City of Novi. So
2 thank you all for coming and your objections
3 are well noted.
4 Number two, as much as I lived in
5 this city for my entire life now, 20 sum
6 years. I remember Irwin Farms and before
7 when A & P was A & P and all those certain
8 things. As much as I wish we could take
9 Novi and set it at a certain point in time,
10 I realize that we can't do that. And I
11 realize that what we have to do is use our
12 Ordinance to the affect of making sure that
13 we do preserve and mitigate the woodlands,
14 wetlands and everything as much as we can.
15 So if the City is to go in and not allow any
16 building whatsoever on this property, that's
17 when we get into lawsuits, that's when we
18 get into having to buy this property. And
19 we at this level are certainly not in the
20 position to make any of those types of
22 At this level on the Zoning Board
23 of Appeals we have to stick with the five
24 exact variances that are before us. We
1 can't look at the whole site plan. We can't
2 look at all the surroundings factors and the
3 decisions that go on at the Council or
4 Planning Commission level. We have to look
5 at the variances in front of us and the
6 application of the law, the practical
8 And in doing that I would on the
9 other side applaud the Petitioner in doing
10 what they did. My first concern when I
11 looked at this is to look for the
12 residential areas that would be affected.
13 And I saw Country Cousins and I'm not sure
14 if there is another village over there that,
15 is it part of Country Cousins or it is all
16 one --
17 MR. BUTLER: Two sections.
18 MEMBER FISCHER: Two different sections. So
19 I saw both of those on my map that I have
20 and I was encouraged to see that the
21 Petitioner is requesting to build all on the
22 other side of the existing substation. And
23 I believe that was pointed out to the lady
24 who was up here questioning that that she
1 lives in the back corner and it appears that
2 all of the development, correct me if I am
3 wrong, is completely on the other side of
4 the Quaker substation?
5 MR. BUTLER: That's correct.
6 MEMBER FISCHER: And While I do note and
7 agree that maybe we could look at a
8 different position for the dumpster, I think
9 that would be a minor thing that we could
10 definitely look at. Besides that, I can
11 agree with these variances because I see
12 them as a way to maximize the amount of
13 wetlands and woodlands that we are
14 preserving. By granting this we actually
15 have saved more than if we did not grant
16 these. And that's why I am in favor of the
17 majority of these petitions given the fact
18 that, you know, it's a very unique piece of
19 property. The size is unique. I think that
20 the Petitioner has done everything to
21 preserve as much wetlands as they can and
22 take into consideration those residential
23 and actually other business neighbors that
24 reside near them.
1 I would also ask if we were to
2 talk about any type of Motion, that we do
3 have some followup with the neighbor across
4 the street regarding the water that has been
5 happening recently. But, in general,
6 looking at this, once again I applaud the
7 neighbors and I take into consideration
8 their objections, but given the facility and
9 the site plan and how it's laid out I think
10 that since we have to do something this is
11 the best plan that can be proposed.
12 So, I will start the conversation with that
13 and see where it goes. Thank you, Mr.
15 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
16 Yes, Mr. Gatt?
17 MEMBER GATT: My comments some what mirror
18 Member Fischer's. I am also a very large
19 proponent of nature and the preservation of
20 nature. I lived in Sault Ste. Marie for
21 quite a while and the tree falls in the
22 woods there came into effect many many times
23 for all the wetlands and forest areas that
24 were up there.
1 On the other hand, we live in a city that is
2 in a massive development time period and
3 this particular company, this ITC Holdings
4 is going to be an extremely beneficial
5 factor of the City of Novi. A company that
6 is growing at the rate that it is can only
7 bring good things to the city.
8 I really appreciate the design layout that
9 you guys are proposing to use. I think that
10 you have maximized the area that is
11 buildable. I think that you guys have done
12 the best possible justice to the residents
13 in Country Cousins, the facilities. I think
14 that the sensitive nature of the business
15 that you guys are running and the guard
16 shack necessity will be minimized by the
17 fact that the Haggerty Road entrance will be
18 essentially shut down.
19 I can see that there may be some issue with
20 the dumpster location that is being proposed
21 and I think if maybe that could be moved to
22 a different area of the site I would be in
23 favor of that. I would like to hear from
24 ITC Holdings to determine whether or not
1 that's a possibility. I think that this is
2 going to be an extremely exciting and very
3 very beneficial factor to the City of Novi.
4 I think that with the wetlands this is the
5 best possible scenario for this particular
6 site. I don't think that any other company
7 could have come in and given a better
8 proposal to attempt to maintain the wetlands
9 without the City having to purchase it and
10 prevent any kind of building which would be
11 as Member Fischer said, way out the Zoning
12 Board's realm and I don't think that is a
13 possibility. So, again, I very very much
14 applaud the members of ITC Holdings for
15 their design and their attempts to minimize
16 the issues that could come up with the
17 wetland and forestry in the area. Thank
19 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you, Mr. Gatt.
20 Anybody else coming along? Yes, City
21 Attorney Sharon Ozga?
22 MS. OZGA: Thank you, Mr. Chair. I just
23 want to make two slight comments. First
24 with regard to the wetlands, there has been
1 a lot of discussion with the wetlands and
2 there has been some statements that there is
3 a lot of rules and regulations that have to
4 be followed. And ITC will be following
6 And I had one comment with regard
7 to some of the variances that are being
8 requested. It's my understanding that some
9 of these variances are being requested in an
10 effort to minimize the impact on the
11 wetlands. So perhaps the location of the
12 dumpster and some of the other setback
13 issues those requests are being made because
14 it's going to minimize the impact on the
15 wetlands a little bit more.
16 Also I wanted to note with regards to the
17 dumpster, the Planning Department was not
18 opposed to the location of the dumpster. I
19 noted that it would be sufficiently screened
20 from view from any of the other neighbors or
21 anything. So perhaps that's something to
22 take into consideration when looking at
23 their variance request for the dumpster.
24 Thank you.
1 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
2 Yes, Mr. Shroyer?
3 MEMBER SHROYER: Do you want to place a
4 comment on the record?
5 MEMBER SANGHVI: (Unintelligible) Go ahead.
6 MEMBER SHROYER: I have to basically support
7 all the comments that have been made so far.
8 I served the city in different capacities
9 and I have had to review things that
10 included wetlands and woodlands and things
11 along that line. I am very very pleased
12 with how this plan has been placed. I have
13 seen companies come in and request that 20,
14 30, 40, 50 percent of the wetlands been
15 filled in and plowed over and trees just
16 leveled everywhere, and it's a constant
17 fight, it's a constant struggle, because if
18 somebody owns the property they have the
19 right to build.
20 Now, we can try to limit things
21 as a city and we have done I think a very
22 good job in most instances. Now has things
23 slipped through the cracks, have we made
24 mistakes, absolutely. If we could go back
1 ten years I'm sure a lot of us would do a
2 lot of things all over again. And the
3 people that were in these positions years
4 ago probably would have done things
5 differently as well. Unfortunately we are
6 where we are now and there is not that much
7 land left in Novi to develop. So it's
8 critical that we look at every piece of
9 property as it comes forward, and that's the
10 job of the Planning Commission and the
11 Planning Department. They review those
12 extensively. This unfortunately isn't the
13 proper group for that.
14 As was mentioned earlier, we are stuck
15 basically in reviewing the five variance
16 requests. All the reviews, the wetlands and
17 the woodlands and the road layout and the
18 building heights and everything else was
19 done before, and they were approved. MDEQ
20 has been brought in and I'm sure they
21 reviewed everything in its entirety.
22 I think losing one half acre of wetlands is
23 very very minimal compared to what it could
24 have been. If ITC didn't purchase this land
1 or didn't own this land and a different
2 company did, we could see somebody coming in
3 and requesting a huge box building such as a
4 Rock Financial where you limit all the
5 woodlands and just flatten all the wetlands
6 -- flatten the wetlands and ruin the
7 woodlands -- I am saying that backwards, but
8 you know what I mean. For them to build the
9 separate buildings and separate garages and
10 not have one very large building I think is
11 a good plan.
12 And my major concern when I first
13 saw this and I went out and drove the back
14 road, there basically is what's going to be
15 the impact on the entrance from Haggerty
16 Road. And it's nothing. They are going to
17 put up a soot fence or whatever it's called
18 to prevent soil erosion which, of course, is
19 something you want to do.
20 One thing that I would encourage when you
21 look at is when you are looking at trying to
22 green the grass, etcetera, look at natural
23 methods of doing that. Don't look at
24 insecticides and fertilizers and things
1 along that line. There is some products out
2 there that can be used to help minimize any
3 affect on the environment. And you are the
4 ones that are going to have to look out the
5 window and see the results of what happens
6 to the wetlands. And what do you want to
7 look out and see? Do you want to look out
8 and see a fawn and a doe? Or do you want to
9 look out and see a bunch of dead trees, a
10 bunch of dead bushes, etcetera?
11 So, I think it behooves them to do
12 everything in their purview to try and make
13 sure that their surroundings are
14 aesthetically pleasing and that the wildlife
15 is there to enjoy by all of their employees
16 as well as the surrounding community and the
17 people that are enjoying that.
18 And I know I have been rambling
19 on here for a while, but you can tell, I
20 hope you can tell it's very dear to my heart
21 and I am really concerned about those areas.
22 Unfortunately, again, we have to review the
23 five zoning Ordinances that are in front of
24 us. In looking at those, I do not see a
1 problem with any of them. We did have the
2 little bit of concern about the dumpster,
3 the screening will help the odor. I don't
4 really know the total distance, perhaps you
5 might know the distance to the closest
7 MR. BUTLER: The dumpster is located in that
8 location. It's approximately in excess of
9 500 feet. Understanding of what we
10 structured here, it's pretty well
11 established woodlands as well. So the
12 natural features that are on the site will
13 enhance the screening odor.
14 MEMBER SHROYER: The mitigation of the
15 wetlands that you are proposing or where
16 it's been approved to put it in, that
17 offsets obviously the half acre that's being
18 back filled?
19 MR. BUTLER: Yes. We have an application in
20 with the DEQ, it has not been approved.
21 That's where we are proposing to put it.
22 MEMBER SHROYER: With the removal of the
23 trees, the woodland portion has there been
24 any type of exchange for those, the trees
1 that were removed, are you going to be
2 putting in additional trees to offset those?
3 MR. BUTLER: We have a pretty extensive
4 landscaping plan that goes with this site.
5 MEMBER SHROYER: Right. Could you very
6 briefly give us an overview of that for the
7 audience so they understand that at least
8 some things are going back in, we are not
9 just removing.
10 MR. BUTLER: Yeah, there is approximately
11 500, I believe about 539 trees that we are
12 removing in accordance with the City's
13 Woodlands Ordinance. The entire driveway
14 and the areas around the buildings will be
15 landscaped extensively in accordance with
16 the Ordinance of the City. There is a large
17 berm that we are building in this area that
18 will have a significant amount of trees.
19 The entire area along the driveway will be
20 landscaped. The building areas will have
21 not only landscaped street trees or
22 (unintelligible) trees. There we be a
23 foundation planting system around the site.
24 So a significant amount of vegetation is
1 going back into the site.
2 MEMBER SHROYER: I understand. I wanted to
3 make sure that the audience was aware of
4 that. Again, it's not in our purview but
5 something else I would like to throw out for
6 consideration. If there is additional
7 landscaping trees perhaps whether it be
8 conifers or whether it be heartwoods or
9 whatever, if anything else is available or
10 you look at additional landscaping down the
11 road, please consider increasing the buffer
12 between the village and the entrance to your
13 substation, even though there is not going
14 to be a lot of traffic there, any type of
15 additional buffer would help not only the
16 aesthetics, but also any type of odor that
17 may come from a dumpster.
18 MR. BUTLER: I understand and appreciate
19 that. Also I would like to point out that
20 the existing wetland structures that are on
21 site will be placed in a conservation
22 easement. There is also woodlands in the
23 area that will also be placed in
24 conservation, so we will be restricted from
1 developing going into those areas. Like I
2 said, it's an 83 acre site. We are
3 developing approximately 22, 23 and a half
4 acres of the site. So a lot of it will be
5 left in its natural pristine state.
6 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you. Mr. Chair,
7 after your comments, if you like I am
8 prepared to make a Motion.
9 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. I just want to
10 go on record. First of all, I want to thank
11 you all. I love these wetlands as you do.
12 I love everything that is living. That's my
13 religion and that's what I believe. So
14 personally I understand exactly where you
15 are all coming from, more than you all
16 realize. But the reality of life is that
17 the function of Zoning Board of Appeals is
18 to only deal with the variance request and
19 nothing more and nothing less. And that is
20 all we can consider in this forum.
21 So you even though I appreciate and I also
22 sympathize and empathize in all that you
23 have said, and my feelings are very similar
24 to yours, there are very few things that we
1 can do here as a body.
2 And, again, it's so nice to hear
3 people who are concerned with what goes on
4 in the city and taking time out, coming out
5 here on this cold night. If I had a choice
6 I would have stayed home, but that's not
7 (unintelligible), but you have a choice and
8 you made that choice to come here and talk
9 to us. So thank you again for doing what
10 you did. And so long as we have people like
11 you around in Novi, Novi development is
12 going to be much like a (unintelligible) and
13 people are going to do what is right thing
14 to do. Thank you again.
15 Coming back to tonight in the
16 case on the question here, we have had a lot
17 of discussion here about the various aspects
18 of the situation. And now I will entertain
19 a Motion from the members of the Board.
20 Yes, Mr. Shroyer?
21 MEMBER SHROYER: Move to approve all five
22 variance requests for Case Number 06-097
23 filed by Joe Bennett of ITC Holdings for ITC
24 Transmission Corporate Headquarters for the
1 following reasons: Variance number 1,
2 setback variance has no detrimental affect
3 on the adjacent property to the east whereas
4 the existing building is of a respectable
5 distance west of the common property line.
6 Variance number 2, parking alongside the
7 said drive will not fundamentally alter the
8 function of the drive.
9 Variance number 3, reduction of the center
10 line radius to 100 feet -- less than a 100
11 feet would not significantly alter the
12 utilization of the proposed drive.
13 Variance number 4, the size of the proposed
14 structure coupled with the distance from the
15 major thoroughfares allows it to not have
16 detrimental affect on the adjacent
18 Variance number 5, the location of the
19 proposed dumpster is at a distance from
20 adjacent properties so as to not pose a
21 detrimental affect. Also the uniqueness of
22 the properties justify the need to allow
23 variances in order to preserve the
24 substantial amount of regulated wetlands
2 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
3 MEMBER FISCHER: Might I add a couple of
4 other findings regarding some findings just
5 to ensure that we do meet all of the
6 elements of practical difficulty. I would
7 also like to say that failing to grant
8 relief will unreasonably prevent or limit
9 the use of the property and will result in
10 substantially more than a mere inconvenience
11 or inability to obtain a higher economic or
12 financial return. And also that the grant
13 of relief will not result in a use or
14 structure that is incompatible with or
15 unreasonably interferes with adjacent or
16 sounding properties.
17 In essence substantial justice will be done
18 both to the applicant and adjacent or
19 surrounding properties and this is
20 consistent with the intent of Section 2514
21 that in general throughout the site the
22 preservation of wetland and woodland areas
23 is met.
24 And if you were to accept those I would
1 second that Motion.
2 MEMBER SANGHVI: Okay. The Motion has been
3 made and seconded.
4 I just want to ask
5 (unintelligible) our attorney if there is
6 anything that we need to add or delete from
7 the Motion before we pass it?
8 MS. OZGA: I believe Mr. Shroyer accepted
9 and amended his Motion to add what Mr.
10 Fischer had included and there was a second
11 to that. So that should be sufficient.
12 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. The Motion has
13 been made and seconded. I think we have had
14 enough discussion on this matter. And it's
15 time to call the roll.
16 ROBIN WORKING: Member Shroyer?
17 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
18 ROBIN WORKING: Member Fischer?
19 MEMBER FISCHER: Aye.
20 ROBIN WORKING: Member Gatt?
21 MEMBER GATT: Yes.
22 ROBIN WORKING: Member Krieger?
23 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
24 ROBIN WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
1 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
2 ROBIN WORKING: Member Bauer?
3 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
4 ROBIN WORKING: Motion passes 6-0.
5 MEMBER SANGHVI: Okay. Thank you.
6 MR. BENNETT: Thank you very much.
7 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. I think we will
8 take a five minute recess and resume in five
9 minutes. Thank you.
10 (A recess was held.)
11 MEMBER SANGHVI: All right. Let's resume.
12 Case number: 06-098 filed by
13 John S. Gelfusa of Home Works CGO, Inc., for
14 22649 Shadow Paine Way in the Heatherbrae
16 Will you please identify yourself, sir,
17 state your name and address and be sworn in
18 by our secretary. Thank you.
19 MR. GELFUSA: I am John Gelfusa with Home
20 Works, 332 Cass Avenue, Mount Clemens.
21 MEMBER BAUER: Raise your right hand,
22 please. Do you swear or affirm to tell the
23 truth regarding Case: 06-098?
24 MR. GELFUSA: Yes, sir.
1 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. Please proceed.
2 MR. GELFUSA: We are proposing a 1.5
3 variance increase on the 25 percent lot
4 coverage. We are building a 336 square feet
5 addition on to an existing home. The
6 footings for this project were put in in
7 1987 and they were inspected. The homeowner
8 had intended to do that back then. Just a
9 normal course of life never got to the point
10 where they could afford it. They are now
11 interested in doing it. But apparently now
12 we are just a hair over the maximum lot
13 coverage. We would like to build on those
14 existing footings and that is what we are
15 hoping we could do here.
16 I do have the homeowner here if
17 you have questions for the homeowner as
19 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes. That's all,
20 (unintelligible) your case?
21 MR. GELFUSA: Yes, sir.
22 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. Is there
23 anybody in the audience who would like to
24 make any comments regarding this case?
1 Seeing none, Building Department?
2 MR. SAVEN: I think a pencil was probably
3 sharpened a little bit more since the time
4 they put the footings in. I do apologize of
5 us not catching this any sooner than that.
6 It is relatively a small variance that we
7 are dealing with. We also have a copy of a,
8 I believe, approval, if I am not mistaken.
9 Yes, I think we have it in file and I think
10 you also have an employee from the
12 MEMBER SANGHVI: Okay. We have 43 notices
13 were mailed, zero approval, zero objections.
14 I will open this for discussion to the
15 Board members. Yes, Ms. Krieger?
16 MEMBER KRIEGER: I am in support of a Motion
17 for it.
18 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. Short and sweet
19 and precise and succinct.
20 Anybody else? Yes, Mr. Gatt?
21 MEMBER GATT: I am also in support of Motion
22 to approve this variance. I think that it's
23 going to be extremely minimal for a variance
24 request. And I don't really even think that
1 it will be noticed by many.
2 I think it's going to be a lovely addition.
3 I think it will do nothing but increase the
4 value of the property and I think that it's
5 going to make a very very, make a very
6 beautiful home even more beautiful. Thank
8 MEMBER SANGHVI: Very good. Anybody else?
9 MEMBER FISCHER: Mr. Chair?
10 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Fischer?
11 MEMBER FISCHER: Thank you, Mr. Chair. I
12 would tend to agree. Ordinances are in
13 place to protect the city and protect other
14 residents and neighboring and surrounding
15 areas and I think it does nothing but adds
16 to the area. It does not detriment it any
18 And do we have any other
19 questions? If there are no other questions
20 or comments I would go ahead a make a
22 MEMBER SANGHVI: Please go ahead.
23 MEMBER FISCHER: In Case Number: 06-098
24 filed by John Gelfusa of Home Works for
1 22649 Shadow Pine Way in the Heatherbrae
2 Subdivision that we grant the Petitioner's
3 request given that the Petitioner has
4 established practical difficulty. That the
5 proposed improvement will not be a detriment
6 to public safety, welfare or other neighbors
7 and that it is within the intent of the
9 MEMBER BAUER: Second the Motion.
10 MEMBER SANGHVI: Motion has been made and
12 Yes, Mr. Shroyer?
13 MEMBER SHROYER: Would the Motioner be open
14 to a friendly amendment to include that the
15 homeowner's association has provided
17 MEMBER FISCHER: Yes, I would include that
18 our findings of fact.
19 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you.
20 MEMBER SANGHVI: All right. The Motion has
21 been amended and has been approved by the
22 proposer and seconded. And I don't see any
23 further discussion, so, Ms. Working, will
24 you please call the roll.
1 ROBIN WORKING: Member Fisher?
2 MEMBER FISCHER: Aye.
3 ROBIN WORKING: Member Bauer?
4 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
5 ROBIN WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
6 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
7 ROBIN WORKING: Member Shroyer?
8 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
9 ROBIN WORKING: Member Krieger?
10 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
11 ROBIN WORKING: Member Gatt.
12 MEMBER GATT: Yes.
13 ROBIN WORKING: Motion passes 6-0.
14 MEMBER SANGHVI: Congratulations.
15 MR. GELFUSA: Thank you very much.
16 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
17 Moving along. Case number: 06-099 filed
18 Luciano Gonzalez of Planet Neon Signs for
19 Miracle Software located at 45625 Grand
20 River Avenue.
21 MR. ANEW: I'm Bailey Anew from Miracle
23 MEMBER SANGHVI: Okay, would you kindly
24 identify yourself, state your full name and
1 address and be sworn in by our secretary.
2 MR. ANEW: Sure. I'm Bailey Anew,
3 vice-president for Miracle Software.
4 MEMBER BAUER: Would you raise your right
5 hand. Do you swear or affirm to tell the
6 truth regarding the Case: 06-099?
7 MR. ANEW: Yes.
8 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
9 MEMBER SANGHVI: Please make your
11 MR. ANEW: First of all, we would like to
12 thank the City of Novi. We moved from
13 Southfield where we have been there in
14 business for almost eight years. And since
15 our coming down here in May, we have not
16 only increased our revenues, but also
17 increased our people strength, so it's been
18 very good and we enjoy this place. So thanks
19 for all the support here.
20 The reason for the display which we are
21 requesting for is we are uniquely placed
22 today in the IBM world. When we say IBM
23 world, IBM is a major software company
24 addressing large software needs for a lot of
2 Miracle Software is one of the 14 innovation
3 centers across the world and what it brings
4 is it's a training center, it's a demo
5 center for a lot of the major projects are
6 key software solutions right now. Like the
7 SOA (unintelligible) architecture and all
8 the new concepts which are all being
9 showcased in the IP world. And what this
10 center brings in is for anybody, it could
11 (unintelligible), it could be a student,
12 offering anybody to come and walk into the
13 center and understand those concepts. And
14 this is one of the 14 centers
15 (unintelligible) and we are uniquely placed
16 from business integration standpoint.
17 Now all this is being relayed out on our
18 website and we send names to lot of
19 corporations and everybody, but for those
20 people who live in and around this place and
21 for all those people who travel around, this
22 display will be continually displaying as to
23 what is going to be showcased during that
24 particular session or something. It's a
1 continuous ongoing work, so that's the
2 reason that we wanted to have the display so
3 that everybody can take advantage of it.
4 Thank you.
5 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. I don't see
6 very many people in the audience left, so if
7 anybody wants to make any comment about this
8 case they are welcome.
9 Seeing none, I will go on to the Building
11 MR. SAVEN: No comment, sir.
12 MR. AMOLSCH: Mr. Chairman, just for a point
13 of information for the Board, the latest
14 sign Ordinance only allows changeable
15 company signs for businesses such as place
16 of worship, schools, movie theatres, and
17 similar entertainment venues which shows
18 performers or entertainers' names on a
19 regular basis, gas stations, restaurants,
20 recreational facilities at which events
21 change on a regular basis and these are the
22 only uses that are permitted for change of
23 copy signs under the new Ordinance.
24 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you, Mr. Amolsch.
1 Twenty-eight notices were mailed, zero
2 approval, zero objections. I open it up to
3 the Board now.
4 Yes, Mr. Bauer?
5 MEMBER BAUER: In this particular case I
6 would have to go along with what the
7 Ordinance states that there be no changeable
8 copy. There is no hardship shown at this
9 point to defend it.
10 MEMBER SANGHVI: Okay. Yes, Mr. Shroyer?
11 MEMBER SHROYER: (Unintelligible) the sign,
12 it's a beautiful sign, but, it always seems
13 to be a but, under the new section as was
14 stated it really doesn't comply with the
15 changeable sign part of the Ordinance. The
16 question that I would have to you because
17 I'm right now leaning towards a denial is
18 give me some examples of what the sign would
19 say and why you would need to have that.
20 MR. ANEW: Sure. I'm not a very well versed
21 with the (unintelligible) but as per my
22 operations. One of the things is when we
23 first designed and signed this contract I
24 believe we were allowed to do that and the
1 sign Ordinance was operated after 9-26-06.
2 I am not very familiar, but I would request
3 your help on that.
4 But in terms of the actual display what
5 (unintelligible) center really means is,
6 it's a demo center, it's like a training
7 center. So what we would have is like
8 today, service oriented architecture and its
9 importance for the industry. Thus we are
10 modeling and its need for today's world. So
11 basically it's very specific to the topic
12 only as like automotive industry
13 architecture (unintelligible) and it's a
14 very high level, it's very high level
15 education which you won't get it until you
16 pay for like a $5,000 or $6,000 fee if you
17 have to go for outside training centers.
18 And this is a facility which is funded by
19 IBM and Miracle. And it's a giant facility
20 that people can take advantage of it. And we
21 want everybody to take advantage of it. We
22 won't have a big display or something, it's
23 only those few words like the Rock World
24 Financial or something like that, so that's
1 the only thing that you want to see.
2 MEMBER SHROYER: So you're not advertising
3 what's for sale inside?
4 MR. ANEW: No, sir.
5 MEMBER SHROYER: It's only the training
6 programs that are offered during that
7 particular time?
8 MR. ANEW: Exactly.
9 MEMBER SHROYER: And it won't change the
10 next day or the next day or the following
11 week or whatever?
12 MR. ANEW: We don't have any advertising
13 programs or anything like that. The topic
14 of display would be the content which is
15 going to be demoed on that particular day.
16 Like, for example, we had the ASO Innovation
17 day, the inauguration day and IBM
18 (unintelligible) students from the worldwide
19 departments have come in and presented the
20 SOA infrastructure.
21 A lot of people around including our City of
22 Novi has come there and they said that we
23 weren't able to understand. They identify
24 with the location obviously because they
1 know the location, but they did not
2 understand why exactly this is being placed.
3 Some neighbors who are coming in and said
4 maybe this is something like would like to
5 take advantage of it. So it would help
6 people to understand what this is all about.
7 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes, Mr. --
8 MEMBER SHROYER: May I continue?
9 MEMBER SANGHVI: Sorry (unintelligible).
10 MEMBER SHROYER: Education and training is
11 my business. I understand where you are
12 coming from with that and I understand the
13 reason and the need. The concerns that I
14 have, and this is just for everybody else's
15 thoughts, I guess, is the City spent a lot
16 of time reviewing the sign Ordinance and
17 came up with some very specific
18 recommendations as to who they felt this
19 sign should be used for, changeable signs.
20 You don't fall into one of those categories.
21 And because it is new and because, like I
22 said, they spent a lot of time and took a
23 lot of consideration with this, I am very
24 hesitant to make a recommendation that that
1 be approved.
2 If we do end up with a denial and
3 you do have permission to have a monument
4 sign obviously, what would you do instead?
5 Would you take the center portion and say
6 training facility or something like that as
7 opposed to having the changeable sign?
8 MR. ANEW: Before I go into it, the reason
9 why the schools -- we are not a school for
10 sure, we are not a school, but this is also
11 a training facility for all the IBM related
12 softwares and not only IBM and all the key
13 softwares within the IP world right now.
14 But we have not thought about any changes
15 because we always thought that this is
16 something which is going to be key for in
17 terms of the demos and information for the
18 local people around here, like for
19 automotive customers and particularly all
20 the people around there. So have not thought
21 about any alternate as of now, and we don't
22 intend to do any other, other than the
23 company stamp, we don't have any other ideas
24 right now.
1 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you. That's all have
2 I for now, Mr. Chair.
3 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
4 Yes, Mr. Gatt?
5 MEMBER GATT: I have one question for you.
6 First of all, how often do you feel that the
7 sign's electronic changeable portion of the
8 sign will change? Is it a daily situation
9 where there is one training on that
10 particular day or is it per week? Will it
11 be a constantly changing five per minute
12 type sign where it will be five different
13 things per minute that would change over?
14 MR. ANEW: Good question, sir. Right now
15 what we are doing right now is every 15 days
16 we have web casts. Which the innovation
17 center is right now is doing. So currently
18 it's every 15 days change. But what we
19 intend to do is we want to invite the local
20 customers more often and see if we can bring
21 in this, it's thought more revenue for the
22 company as well as for the City, so we
23 intend to do it like weekly once, so that's
24 the intent right now. So it's not a major
1 like five-minute or it's not, it's not
2 something to attract people or anything like
3 that. And the best part of this is the
4 majority of the people who come in over
5 there they either apply through the
6 operations or somebody, but there is so many
7 business around here who are not able to
8 take advantage of it, and we would like to
9 display that for those people.
10 MEMBER GATT: Thank you. My other thoughts
11 on this are, I understand that it is not
12 specifically included in the changeable sign
13 variance that the City has adopted, however,
14 I feel that if the City of Novi were to have
15 thought, well, there is going to be a very
16 high level IBM training software facility in
17 the City of Novi, maybe, I think that this
18 is so unique that this might have gone
19 beyond the realm of something that they
20 would have thought of to even consider
21 putting it in. I don't think that this is
22 for advertisement to sell any type of
23 product or anything like that which would be
24 a detriment.
1 I think that this particular company and the
2 service they provide is a demonstrated need
3 and hardship to have a changeable copy sign
4 that would state what was going on for an
5 outsider of this City to come to this
6 particular thing if they had a day where
7 they had this training where people from
8 Southfield or any other city around the area
9 was trying to find them, they needed to find
10 this particular training for this particular
11 type of software on that week, this is the
12 only real option that they have is to have a
13 changeable copy sign. That I think that
14 would be the hardship that could be
15 considered in a Motion today. That's all.
16 Thank you.
17 MEMBER SANGHVI: I just like to go on the
18 record myself. I think this is an
19 innovative idea. And I'll give you an
20 example from the history, when that when
21 Andrew Jackson was the president of the
22 United States of the America and they were
23 trying to lay some tracks for a railroad
24 there was a lot of opposition. What will
1 happen to the horses? Who will treat them?
2 Who would provide them water, this, that and
3 other things? And the people would run in
4 front of this track and got killed and all
5 that. That was over a hundred years ago.
6 But times keep changing, we need to keep
7 changing with the times.
8 And I personally have no objection with your
9 concept. I understand what you are trying
10 to say. I applaud you for what you are
11 thinking about in putting over there, and if
12 you are going to change the sign only once
13 or week or so I have no problem with it.
14 The second thing, because it is not listed
15 in the whole category of the things the City
16 has thought about, that is one of the
17 reasons why we are here to give a variance,
18 a use variance if you want to call it to try
19 and see if we think it is a worthwhile
20 thing. And if it's not going to do any harm
21 to anybody else in the community. And I
22 personally have no difficulty in supporting
23 your request. Thank you.
24 MEMBER FISCHER: One question for the Board.
1 You weren't there when Andrew Jackson said
2 that, were you?
3 MEMBER SANGHVI: I was there, I've been
4 around for a long time. (Unintelligible)
5 been around for a long time.
7 MEMBER BAUER: Let me see his autograph.
8 MEMBER SANGHVI: All right, I will show you
9 when you come to my house. Thank you.
10 MEMBER FISCHER: But I do have a couple
11 pieces of clarification for myself just to
12 make sure that I fully understand what this
13 sign is used for. Number one, my
14 understanding is that this is for specific
15 training courses, kind of specific days that
16 those courses will be going on. Is that
17 correct, number one?
18 MR. ANEW: It's only for the specific days on
19 which those specific topics are covered, so
20 it's only on that.
21 MEMBER FISCHER: Okay. The reason I ask that
22 is because in the packet of information we
23 were given it said a listing of company
24 information as to what they provide. And if
1 this was purely going to be used for general
2 information, then I would be hesitant to
3 support. If it was just this is what we do
4 on a day to day basis, then I would be
5 hesitant to support. But I see these
6 training sessions as I would say events at
7 Rock Financial Show Place, which I would
9 Number two, you had mentioned
10 that this is not going to be a flashing
11 sign, it's not going to be continuously
12 moving, it's not going to be changed every
13 five minutes. This is going to show
14 something for an extended period of time,
16 MR. ANEW: Yes, sir. In fact, what we did
17 is, if I understand right, if we just put
18 that level out of there it cost us something
19 around 6,000, but because it's not mandatory
20 to put a title (unintelligible), so it's
21 almost doubled the cost now to put in that
22 sign. And it's purely to make sure that
23 this city takes advantage of this high level
24 courses or high level software business and
1 make an awareness amongst their people.
2 Particularly there is a lot of schools
3 around, a lot people are traveling around so
4 it would be a good events for a lot of those
5 people there.
6 MEMBER FISCHER: I know it may seem like I'm
7 kind of beating a bit of a dead horse there,
8 but I wanted to make sure that those two --
9 MEMBER SANGHVI: I'm sure you didn't intend
10 any pun.
11 MEMBER FISCHER: Are very clear because like
12 I said I would compare the events to, the
13 intent of the Ordinance is for changing
14 events so people can be made aware of
15 certain events, and that's what I think that
16 this sign is trying to do. It's not purely
17 flashing and advertising.
18 And number two, I had serious concerns if it
19 was a continuously changing sign as far as
20 the public safety. People going 50 miles
21 per hour watching something flash by. So,
22 given those two facts regarding this
23 particular sign I feel that this sign is
24 within the intent of where the Ordinance was
1 trying to go and I would be willing to
2 support this unique instance.
3 Thank you, Mr. Chair, for the opportunity
4 and I apologize for the joke about Andrew
6 MEMBER SANGHVI: That's no problem. That's
7 okay, I am quite used to it. Yes?
8 MEMBER KRIEGER: I agree with the previous
9 speaker and he stole my word unique.
10 MEMBER SANGHVI: Okay. Yes, Mr. Shroyer?
11 MEMBER SHROYER: The Board basically has
12 convinced me to change my mind.
13 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Saven, are you
14 saying something? (Unintelligible).
15 MR. SHROYER: For a couple reasons and one
16 would be I would be in support of a Motion
17 if the provisions are as we just discussed
18 through Mr. Fischer, and because I have for
19 quite some time said that the City building
20 needs that kind of sign out front, the
21 changeable copy sign and they're not listed
22 in this either. It doesn't say anything
23 about governmental buildings
24 (unintelligible) so that is unique as well.
1 So with those thoughts in mind I would be
2 willing to support if somebody would make a
4 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Saven?
5 MR. SAVEN: Mr. Chair, I do appreciate all
6 the comments and certainly Mr. Fischer
7 stepping up to the plate in terms of being
8 specific to this sign. But I just want to
9 caution the Board, somewhere along the line
10 you are going to be dealing with a lot of
11 this stuff that may be coming forward in
12 regard to this particular issue and I want
13 to make sure that the intent or what the
14 intent of the Ordinance is trying to do is
15 basically what you guys are looking at.
16 Because you could have every business
17 looking kind of at the same thing here. And
18 I am not trying to sway anybody one way or
19 the other.
20 I think what you did, you figured
21 out what it was that this gentleman is
22 trying to deal with, and that's good. But
23 just bear in mind, signage in this city is
24 so critical to every business here and this
1 is one of the things that you are going to
2 be looking at. So take into account, you
3 have already heard this gentleman and you
4 heard his appeal, it sounds to me like you
5 are satisfied with what he is indicating,
6 what the intent of the Ordinance is, but
7 this is like a whole can of worms here. I
8 am just indicating that.
9 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. Thank you for
10 your warning, sir. I appreciate your
11 comments. But my mind is made up. Thank
13 Go ahead, sir.
14 MEMBER BAUER: One last little thing. This
15 is as an education item, correct?
16 MR. ANEW: Yes, sir.
17 MEMBER BAUER: You are selling something,
19 MR. ANEW: No, this is not a charge for.
20 MEMBER BAUER: You are not charging for the
22 MR. ANEW: For the demos we don't charge
23 anything. It is a showcase for the
1 MEMBER BAUER: So, you are not charging for
2 the students, am I correct?
3 MR. ANEW: Yes, sir, we don't charge for the
5 MEMBER BAUER: I can't say anything else.
6 Because education would be as the same thing
7 as for a school building, for an automobile
8 dealership. You are selling something.
9 MR. ANEW: The larger benefit to where we
10 get to the (unintelligible) of this
11 particular --
12 MEMBER BAUER: I like the intent, believe
14 MR. ANEW: Yes, sir.
15 MEMBER BAUER: But what the Ordinance is
16 calling for at this time our forefathers
17 must have left something out. But I still
18 would have to vote no. Thank you.
19 MEMBER SANGHVI: All right. Well, I wish I
20 could make a Motion but I don't want to. Go
22 MEMBER GATT: I would like to make a Motion
23 in case number: 06-099 filed by Luciano
24 Gonzalez of Planet Neon Signs for Miracle
1 Software located at 45625 Grand River
2 Avenue. I would like to make a Motion to
3 grant the variance requested for a 30.75
4 square foot ground sign with a changeable
5 copy message center included due to the fact
6 that this is a unique property and the
7 uniqueness of the services provided, and
8 without this variance there would be a
9 significant hardship to the company. Thank
11 MEMBER FISCHER: Amendment. A couple things.
12 First of all, I just want to point out that
13 the Board used practical difficulty as the
14 element upon the set of hardship for one
15 amendment. And number two, I would strongly
16 urge that we discuss the intent of the
17 Ordinance, and that was the major reason for
18 moving to approve this, that this sign meets
19 the intent of the Ordinance, this particular
20 and very unique sign and the use of this
21 sign meet the intent of the Ordinance. So
22 if I could make those two friendly
24 MEMBER GATT: Agreed.
1 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Shroyer?
2 MEMBER SHROYER: Are you going to consider
3 putting in any provisions, times and lengths
4 and things along those lines and that it
5 would be only limited to the training
6 activities? Are do you put it in the realm
7 of a school or similar to those of Rock
9 MEMBER GATT: I can put in a provision to
10 state that the changeable copy display only
11 events for the property, but I don't want to
12 put a specific time limit on an event. What
13 if one event is every day, and if we say
14 every seven days that would be something
15 that would be an issue. Do we say only to
16 be changed every 24 hours? I don't know.
17 MEMBER SHROYER: I guess I'm just looking
18 for a little more detail to help justify why
19 this sign and how it can be approved because
20 as the City stated, or indirectly stated, we
21 could see the entire Grand River Avenue with
22 nothing but changeable signs and you would
23 accidents one after another trying to read
24 all of them as you are going down the road.
1 So I want to see something more unique if
2 possible as to specifics. And I don't want
3 to put words in anybody's mouth.
4 MEMBER SANGHVI: Would you like to exchange?
5 MEMBER FISCHER: If you have any suggestions
6 I think the Board would be up to hearing any
7 suggestions and then the Motion maker could
8 decide whether he would accept that
10 MEMBER SHROYER: I think one of them would
11 be limited to training activities and not to
12 include any merchandise or retail sales
13 activities or something similar to that or
14 verbiage similar to that, and something that
15 perhaps would mirror the fact that training
16 activities are also going on in schools
17 which does fall within our guidelines. And
18 it's a specific event that does fall within
19 the guidelines of places such as Rock
20 Financial. I am just trying to tie some
21 things in so the next applicant that comes
22 forward and says, you know, I want it too,
23 we have something to point out as to the
24 reasons why this one was approved and theirs
1 may not be.
2 MEMBER FISCHER: I kind of see where you are
3 going with that. The one thing I would say
4 is that it's not our job to prove to the
5 petitioner why we're not going to approve
6 the next person.
7 Just for example I was driving
8 down and I saw Johnson Printing right next
9 door, if I may. And I thought, well, what
10 if they come before us. First of all, it's
11 not our job to prove that they can't have
12 it. They have to prove why they have
13 difficulty. And in that instance they don't
14 have the training center, they don't have
15 the training sessions going on, so I would
16 have no problem denying such a hypothetical
17 case. You know obviously if they came
18 before us I would look at that, but each
19 case is looked uniquely and we don't look, I
20 don't and I don't think we are instructed to
21 look at past cases.
22 So I like, I kind of see where
23 you are going with some of those, but I
24 don't think we necessarily need to put
1 restrictions on them in order to stop
2 someone else from coming before us. The
3 biggest thing is they have the burden of
5 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
6 MEMBER GATT: My concern about adding a
7 provision to my Motion to limit the types of
8 verbiage that can be placed on the sign is
9 that I don't know exactly what type of
10 training, like I said, it's only for
11 software training or in classes. What if
12 they have a convention of some type, you
13 know, we don't have a blanketed -- if we
14 don't have a blanketed statement that says
15 they can put anything that is related to
16 this company on it, I can leave out things,
17 I could say as long as it doesn't include
18 any type of retail or merchandising
19 displays, that I would be okay with amending
20 my Motion with that.
21 MEMBER SHROYER: That would help.
22 MEMBER SANGHVI: Okay. Go ahead.
23 MS. OZGA: I was just going to question,
24 what are you amending your Motion to say
2 MEMBER FISCHER: I think we are still kind
3 of conversing --
4 MS. OZGA: No, because I was just going to
5 comment on Mr. Shroyer's comment. It would
6 be appropriate if you attempted to
7 distinguish this applicant's situation from
8 the general situation in the city to show
9 that this, if this is the route that the
10 Board is going, to show that this is a
11 unique property compared to general
12 property, general commercial businesses,
13 things like that.
14 MEMBER SHROYER: I also have another
15 question while we're on that. If the
16 property sales and another group comes in.
17 They already have a monument sign, obviously
18 they would have to get approval to the
19 change the name on the sign, it went to ABC
20 Construction, but now they got a changeable
21 sign there with their name on it. Are they
22 going to be permitted to use the changeable
24 MEMBER FISCHER: We can stick to this
1 business only. We have done it in the past.
2 MR. AMOLSCH: Limit it to this Petitioner
4 MEMBER FISCHER: Um-hum.
5 MEMBER SHROYER: Then I would like to see
6 that be added to the Motion as well.
7 MEMBER SANGHVI: To this particular
9 MEMBER GATT: Okay, I would like to amend my
10 Motion to include the provision that A, this
11 variance is only for this Petitioner and no
12 other. B, the changeable copy sign
13 display -- not display any type of retail or
14 merchandising. And C, that this is due to
15 the fact that this is an extremely unique
16 business and the business of having training
17 seminars and the like is not -- how do I
18 want to put this?
19 MEMBER SHROYER: Is acceptable.
20 MEMBER GATT: Is acceptable.
21 MEMBER FISCHER: I would second.
22 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
23 MEMBER FISCHER: I would second the amended
1 MEMBER SANGHVI: The Motion has been made
2 and seconded. Any further discussion, any
3 comments from anybody else?
4 MR. SAVEN: I will shut up.
5 MEMBER SANGHVI: Seeing none, Ms. Working,
6 would you please call the roll.
7 ROBIN WORKING: Member Gatt?
8 MEMBER GATT: Yes.
9 ROBIN WORKING: Member Fischer?
10 MEMBER FISCHER: Aye.
11 ROBIN WORKING: Member Krieger?
12 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
13 ROBIN WORKING: Member Bauer?
14 MEMBER BAUER: No.
15 ROBIN WORKING: Member Shroyer?
16 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
17 ROBIN WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
18 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
19 ROBIN WORKING: Motion passes 5-1.
20 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
21 MR. ANEW: Thank you.
22 MR. SANGHVI: All right. That takes care of
24 Now, the other matters. ZBA training dates
1 February 13th or the 27th.
2 ROBIN WORKING: Mr. Chair, it was brought to
3 the attention of the Board two months ago by
4 Member Fischer that we might entertain a
5 training event in regards to bringing the
6 Board up to speed on the current Ordinance
7 changes as well as establishing practical
8 difficulty and hardships in their Motion.
9 Mr. Schultz has given us two dates to choose
10 from. He would like for you to choose one
11 of those two dates for the training program
12 for Tuesday.
13 MEMBER SANGHVI: February 13th is good date
14 for me.
15 MEMBER FISCHER: I like the earlier date as
17 MEMBER KRIEGER: It's okay with me.
18 MEMBER SANGHVI: Okay. It looks like it's
19 going to be February 13th.
20 ROBIN WORKING: February 13th.
21 MEMBER FISCHER: Do we have a time on that,
23 ROBIN WORKING: Not yet.
24 MEMBER FISCHER: I am assuming it would be
1 somewhere around the time that the meeting
3 ROBIN WORKING: That was my understanding
4 when I corresponded with Mr. Schultz.
5 MEMBER GATT: I would request that it
6 wouldn't be a later time, at the time of a
7 regular Zoning Board meeting.
8 ROBIN WORKING: So 7:30?
9 MEMBER GATT: That would be the only way I
10 would be able to attend.
11 MEMBER SANGHVI: Okay. Mr. Saven?
12 MR. SAVEN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It's
13 been brought to my attention that the
14 Planning Commission is entertaining the fact
15 that it's starting at 7:00 much like the
16 Council has been doing at this time. We
17 have touched base with this issue once
18 before, based upon some of the concerns of
19 those Board members whether or not we wanted
20 to do this, I would like to bring this up to
21 the Board at this time to see whether or not
22 you wish to entertain that 7:00 time and if
23 so, let us know.
24 It's difficult to get here after
1 work or whatever we need to function.
2 MEMBER SANGHVI: That is correct. And we
3 shall function.
4 MEMBER BAUER: Do we function better with
5 something to eat?
6 MEMBER KRIEGER: Order dinner.
7 MEMBER FISCHER: Are we allowed to make
8 comments? I know that currently, I know
9 that Mr. Gatt has a difficult time. I cut
10 it a little close each time. And Member
11 Krieger, she usually sometimes has to move
12 her schedule around. I see the intention of
13 the Planning Commission and City Council,
14 they often go a lot later than we do. And I
15 think they also have a larger viewership
16 than we do and I think they try to meet
17 those by having that earlier start time.
18 But given our current makeup of the Board I
19 would prefer to leave it at 7:30.
20 Thank you, Mr. Chair.
21 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
22 MR. SAVEN: There was one objection, I
23 probably wouldn't entertain it.
24 MEMBER SANGHVI: I think we are all right as
1 we are.
2 MR. SAVEN: Okay, that's fine.
3 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
4 MR. SAVEN: I just thought I would bring it
6 MEMBER FISCHER: About a new building
7 official, though?
8 MEMBER SANGHVI: Okay. (Unintelligible).
9 The Chair will entertain a Motion to
11 (Unintelligible): So moved.
12 MEMBER SANGHVI: So moved. Meeting is
13 adjourned. Thank you.
14 (The meeting was adjourned
15 at 10:05 p.m.)
1 C E R T I F I C A T E
4 I, Mona L. Talton, do hereby certify
5 that I have recorded stenographically the
6 proceedings had and testimony taken in the
7 above-entitled matter at the time and place
8 hereinbefore set forth, and I do further
9 certify that the foregoing transcript,
10 consisting of (117) typewritten pages, is a
11 true and correct transcript of my said
12 stenographic notes.
19 Mona L. Talton,
20 Certified Shorthand Reporter
22 January 22, 2007