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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, August 12, 2008.
1 Novi, Michigan
2 Tuesday, August 12, 2008
3 7:00 p.m.
4 - - - - - -
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: All right,
6 I would like to call to order the Tuesday,
7 August 12th, 2008, Zoning Board of Appeals
8 meeting for the City of Novi.
9 Ms. Working, could you please go ahead
10 and call the roll for us today.
11 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
12 MEMBER BAUER: Present.
13 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
14 MEMBER SHROYER: Here.
15 MS. WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Absent excused.
17 MS. WORKING: Member Fischer?
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Present.
19 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
20 MEMBER GHANNAM: Present.
21 MS. WORKING: Member Krieger?
22 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Absent excused.
23 MS. WORKING: Member Wrobel?
24 MEMBER WROBEL: Present.
1 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
2 MEMBER IBE: Present.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: At this time I
4 will ask Member Wrobel, given that it is
5 your last meeting with us if you could
6 please lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.
7 BOARD MEMBERS: I pledge allegiance to
8 the flag of the United States of America and
9 to the Republic for which it stands, one
10 nation under God indivisible with liberty
11 and justice for all.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: We do have a
13 quorum present tonight so the meeting is now
14 in session.
15 The rules of conduct for the City of
16 Novi Zoning Board of Appeals can be found on
17 the back of the agenda or in the back of the
19 They are not part of the agenda,
20 correct, Robin?
21 MS. WORKING: That is correct.
22 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: But they are in
23 the back of the room?
24 MS. WORKING: We had copies of those
1 in the agenda but I am curious if we had
2 enough copies of the agenda.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Is there anyone
4 who does not have a copy of the agenda or a
5 copy of the rules if you like one? For
6 anyone else they can be found on the City of
7 Novi's website.
8 I will also ask and point out that if
9 anyone has any pagers or cell phones we
10 would appreciate those being turned to at
11 least vibrate if not off all together.
12 The Zoning Board of Appeals is hearing
13 Board empowered by the Novi City Charter to
14 hear appeals seeking variances from the
15 application of the Novi Zoning Ordinance.
16 It takes a vote of at least four members to
17 approve a variance request and a vote of the
18 majority present to deny a request.
19 Today we do have six members with us
20 and a full board consist of seven members,
21 so we are one member short. Since four
22 votes are required, those Petitioners who
23 wish to table their request until the next
24 meeting or when a full board is present may
1 do so now.
2 Does anyone have an interest in doing
3 so? Or does that make sense to everybody at
4 this time? Are there any questions? All
5 right. So, I will give one last chance if
6 anyone does want to table since we don't
7 have a full board, otherwise all decisions
8 will be final tonight.
9 Then we will move along to our agenda.
10 Are there any changes to the agenda?
11 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer, there
12 is one change as I would like to point out
13 to the Board in case number four under
14 unfinished business, 08-035. The property
15 is zoned OST and is located south of Twelve
16 Mile Road and West of Novi Road.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other
18 changes? I would like to point out to the
19 Board that as you may see we do have a new
20 agenda format today. We have unfinished
21 business and finished business. We hope
22 that that will lead to a little efficiency
23 with the Zoning Board. I hope no one has
24 any issues, but if you do, please feel free
1 to let me know at some other point.
2 Is there an approval of the amended
4 MEMBER BAUER: So moved.
5 MEMBER WROBEL: Second.
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
7 motion by Member Bauer and a second by
8 Member Wrobel. All in favor say aye?
9 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: All right, it
11 looks like we have an agenda.
12 In our packets we did have the minutes
13 from July 8th, 2008, mailed separately from
14 our packet actually. Are there any changes
15 to these minutes? Then if not, is there a
16 motion to approve as submitted?
17 MEMBER BAUER: So moved.
18 MEMBER IBE: Second.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
20 motion by Member Bauer and a second by
21 Member Ibe. All in favor say aye?
22 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye. We have an
23 agenda and we have approved minutes, so
24 let's move along to the public remarks
1 section of the meeting tonight.
2 At this point I'll open it up for
3 anyone in the audience who wishes to make a
4 comment to the Zoning Board regarding
5 anything but the agenda tonight. Is there
6 anyone in the audience that wants to make
7 any comments to us not involved in a case
8 tonight? Seeing none, we'll close the
9 public remarks section of the business of
10 the agenda and move to the first case under
11 unfinished business.
13 Which is Case Number: 08-018 filed by
14 Edie Victor of Gardner Signs for Huntington
15 Bank located at 43200 Ten Mile Road. As
16 Board Members may remember this was tabled
17 from the May 13th, 2008 meeting. If I can
18 also point out that to the Board Members you
19 may have noticed that the mock sign that was
20 available for us at Vantage Point without an
21 E as the mock-up sign, but as you will see
22 in the renderings that were submitted to us,
23 it is an E and it is correct as an E. Is
24 that the correct way to state it, Ms.
2 MS. WORKING: That is correct.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I just wanted to
4 point that discrepancy out.
5 The Petitioner is requesting a 13
6 square foot area variance and a one-foot
7 height variance for an 8 by 6 foot
8 multi-tenant ground sign measuring 48 square
9 feet to be located at said address. The
10 property is zoned B-3 and located north of
11 Ten Mile Road and east of Novi Road.
12 The Petitioner can come forward.
13 MS. WORKING: Mr. Chairman?
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Yes.
15 MS. WORKING: That was the
16 Petitioner's original request. They do have
17 a revised request before you.
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Okay. I will go
19 ahead and read that into the record. Sorry
20 about that.
21 The Petitioner is requesting a 27
22 square foot multi-tenant ground sign to be
23 located on Novi Road identifying Vantage
24 Pointe and its tenants. Petitioner's
1 rendering depicts a brick structure
2 measuring 8 by 6 feet in total size.
3 Were you at the last meeting?
4 MR. MILLER: No, sir.
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: If you could
6 raise your hand and be sworn in by Mr. Bauer
7 who is serving as our Secretary tonight.
8 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm
9 to tell the truth in case: 08-018?
10 MR. MILLER: Yes.
11 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Go ahead and
13 state your name and address and proceed with
14 any comments you wish to make.
15 MR. MILLER: My name is Rob Miller for
16 Gardner Signs. Address is (unintelligible).
17 We are in front of you tonight because
18 of the Vantage Pointe Sign. They would like
19 to seek relief from the Ordinance to install
20 one 27 square foot multi-tenant ground sign.
21 The reason being because the center where
22 it's located we are unable to see it from
23 three of the corners. Three of the four
24 corners is not identified where the tenants
1 are located.
2 As you can see in each of the pictures
3 when you are also traveling along Novi Road,
4 when you are traveling southbound you
5 totally miss the sign. Without a sign of
6 this magnitude it doesn't help out the
7 tenants at all. We really need something
8 there in order to get some identification.
9 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Okay. Any other
10 comments you wish to make?
11 MR. DONALDSON: I would like to add a
12 comment if I could too.
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: All right. Will
14 you please raise your hand and be sworn in.
15 If there is anyone else who wishes to make a
16 comment before we close your comments,
17 please come and be sworn too.
18 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm
19 to tell the truth regarding case: 08-018?
20 MR. DONALDSON: Yes.
21 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: State your name
22 and address and go ahead.
23 MR. DONALDSON: Bennett Donaldson with
24 J.B. Donaldson Company. We're at 48150
1 Eleven Mile Road, Novi. We are the
2 developers of the center. We are here with
3 Huntington to request this variance
4 specifically because it is challenging for
5 traffic and passersby to notice the site
6 whether you are going southbound or
8 Specifically we have concerns about,
9 we have a lot of mom and pop operations in
10 that multi-tenant center which is next to
11 the Huntington bank branch, and they are
12 dependent on quality representation,
13 especially on Novi Road. We don't have any
14 franchises in that center. I have got
15 Benito's Pizza which is a local franchise.
16 I have got Novi Cleaners which is a local
17 cleaners. And then we have Penn Station
18 Subs which is a small sub franchise, but
19 they are not very well known. There is two
20 in the State of Michigan, so, they, speaking
21 for them, they need the advertisement.
22 So, I ask that you consider that. And
23 also consider that as a practical matter
24 with the Speedway gas station the way it
1 sits, it does block the Huntington Bank
2 considerably from anyone's view. Certainly
3 the point of their center is not so much as
4 a bank branch, but as a financial investment
5 branch and their sales and their livelihood
6 is based upon bringing new people in,
7 deriving new business, not that they just
8 have accounts there, but also they give
9 financial consulting too.
10 So, that means that drive-by traffic
11 is very important and knowing that they are
12 there is very important. So, just the way
13 that the center is situated makes it for
14 typical signage layout more challenging than
15 you would find in most centers. Thank you.
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: If you are not
17 part of the case we will be calling you in
18 one minute. If you are waiting to make a
19 comment, let me make sure there are no other
20 comments from the Petitioner tonight.
21 Seeing none, I will ask the past Chair to be
22 read any notices into the record.
23 MEMBER SHROYER: Mr. Chair, we have 18
24 notices mailed. Zero approvals. Zero
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: At this time I
3 will go ahead and open it up for anyone who
4 wishes to make a comment on this case.
5 Please come forward.
6 If you could state your name and
7 address for us.
8 MR. WOLFORD (ph): My name is Peter
9 Wolford. I lived at 12051 Evaline Powell
10 Drive, Plymouth, Michigan.
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: One second.
12 Just a point of order, do public comments
13 need to be sworn in for us?
14 MS. KUDLA: No.
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I didn't believe
16 so. Go ahead and proceed.
17 MR. WOLFORD: My name is Peter Wolford
18 and together with my wife we own and operate
19 the Novi Pizza Company for the last 15 years
20 which is located in Pine Ridge Center which
21 is the center for those of you that don't
22 know it, immediately across the street.
23 We have serious concerns regarding the
24 variance requested by the Gardner Signs for
1 the multi-tenant sign at the northeast Novi
2 Road entrance of Vantage Pointe strip mall.
3 One of the comments that I heard is
4 that there are mom and pop stores that are
5 in that strip mall that is just going in
6 there. There are 20 tenants on the other
7 side of the street. We are all mom and pop.
8 We have been there for a long period of
9 time. We have probably if you drive down
10 the street we have less accessibility than
11 those across the street.
12 I attended the Zoning Board, the one
13 back in May. I believe you were talking
14 about at that time. The comment came up
15 that you can't see the sign when you come
16 down the road. And that's why the picture
17 is here today. I would like to point out a
18 few things with the pictures. When you are
19 coming northbound on Novi Road you can
20 clearly see the signs that run, the dry
21 cleaners, the sub shop and two signs that
22 run Huntington Bank. Saying you can't see
23 them is absolutely not true.
24 If you are traveling on Ten Mile going
1 eastbound and you stop at the traffic light,
2 you look to the left, which is obviously is
3 where you are going to look, you see two
4 signs Huntington Bank and you can see the
5 other signs of the other places that's in
6 there. The dry cleaners has a sign up and
7 the sub shop has a sign up right now.
8 If I can, can I show you on the
9 pictures here? I think they are somewhat
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Go ahead and
12 take the microphone with you so we can hear
14 MR. WOLFORD: When you look at some of
15 these pictures it's as if you have already
16 come down Ten Mile Road and here it's as if
17 you are standing on the grass. One isn't
18 standing on the grass when you are driving
19 along trying to see the intersection. In
20 all cases the biggest thing you see is the
22 When I come down Ten Mile you have
23 already crossed past Huntington Bank. If
24 you look to the right Huntington Bank is
1 there. They actually have an access into the
2 strip mall before you even get to the
3 Speedway gas station which they say blocks
4 it. I think these signs are very misleading
5 when if you are sitting at this traffic
6 light here looking at this sign, of course,
7 you can see Speedway, but you have just
8 passed the entrance into the strip mall
9 here. So, I think that these pictures
10 really -- they are great pictures of the gas
11 station, but that's about it. I don't think
12 they really represent what's out there.
13 That's my concern about the pictures.
14 I have got a few other comments I would like
15 to make also.
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Please.
17 MR. WOLFORD: I guess one of the
18 things that comes out is the reason I am so
19 adamant about it is, we have two dry
20 cleaners. One on each side of the street.
21 Two pizzerias, one on each side of the
22 street. I would like to think that if there
23 is going to be some advantage given to
24 putting a sign up there, we should all have
1 the same thing. If each person is in there,
2 there are four of them, and if they get four
3 square feet or five square feet advertising
4 their name or out by the road, I would like
5 to see the same thing.
6 Realistically I used to live in Novi
7 for a long while. I may be living here
8 after retirement. Do I want to see signs all
9 over the place? I really don't. I feel I
10 should be treated equally as the others, but
11 do I really want to see signs all out by the
12 road? I don't want to see that because I
13 don't think we need it. We have been here
14 15 years. If everybody works hard at it,
15 there is a good product, advertises, we
16 don't need to make Novi look like some of
17 the other cities around.
18 I think that's all I -- once again, I
19 just think it gives an unfair advantage to
20 them over us and I would just like to be
21 treated equally. If we all get equal
22 treatment and we don't make it that's a
23 different story than if somebody gets signs
24 that the other ones don't get.
1 There was one other
2 thing too if I could just comment and
3 somewhat to do with this and that is, we
4 just had two weeks where we could all have
5 signs put up because of the 50's Festivals.
6 We have two weeks, I think it's two, two and
7 a half weeks in each year. Some us in the
8 strip mall requested to put the signs up,
9 and we put them up.
10 When somebody goes for a mock-up sign,
11 the mock-up sign was up before the May
12 meeting and for three months now the sign
13 has been there. So, they really have had
14 three months of advertising out by the
15 street. This is just a comment which I
16 think once again treats fairly that I think
17 when a mock-up sign is put up, maybe it
18 should be put up two weeks before your
19 meeting so you have a chance to look at the
20 sign that's out there. Forty-eight hours
21 after you make your ruling one way or
22 another the sign should come down. I think
23 it's unfair again to have it up there for
24 three months giving advertising to somebody
1 that hasn't even been in business when all
2 the rest of businesses in Novi can't put
3 signs like that up. That's all. I
4 appreciate the time.
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you very
6 much for your comments. We can appreciate
7 the comments regarding the mock-up sign,
8 it's not something that the Zoning Board
9 does take lightly and we have discussed it
10 at great length at some of our rules
11 meetings about what we can do to make sure
12 that they do come down sooner. Certain
13 instances as you can understand when there
14 is a long gap between meetings. We just
15 want to make sure that we can get the best
17 We certainly understand those comments
18 and we appreciate all of your comments
20 MR. WOLFORD: Well, thank you for
21 hearing me. I was a little emotional, but I
22 got it in there.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: No problem. Is
24 there anyone else in the audience that
1 wishes to make a comment on this case?
2 Seeing none, I will close the public hearing
3 portion of this case and turn it over to
4 anyone from the City. Ms. Working?
5 MS. WORKING: Mr. Chair, I just wanted
6 to point out to you that the memo that was
7 just passed down is summarizing the number
8 of signs cases you are looking at tonight
9 and refreshing your memory about the
10 practical difficulty standard that we apply
11 when a motion is being considered in a sign
12 case for this evening.
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Absolutely. And
14 as always we appreciate you putting all of
15 this information together for us. I think
16 it will help in our deliberations.
17 Anyone else from the City? Mr.
19 MR. BOULARD: I did want to just
20 remind the Board that there was a variance
21 granted for this property previously for a
22 second sign for Huntington Bank structure.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you.
24 Anyone else? Seeing none, I will go
1 ahead and open it up for the Board's
2 comments. Member Ibe?
3 MEMBER IBE: Thank you. Sir, you just
4 heard the concern that the neighbor across
5 the street what he talked about. Let me ask
6 you, do you think it would be okay to have
7 the neighbor across the street to have a big
8 sign just like yours advertising your
10 MR. MILLER: Part of the reason for it
11 also, which he pointed out to are that you
12 can see the Huntington Bank was, he said you
13 can see those signs from the intersection.
14 That's great, except you can't make a left
15 turn into Huntington Bank if you are going
16 eastbound. Which from my understanding was
17 changed recently. I guess originally it
18 had, it used to be a left turn there,
20 MR. DONALDSON: No, there was never a
21 left turn there. It was built that way. We
22 understand his concern, but I think
23 everybody has a right in today's day and age
24 to advertise their business especially since
1 every single dollar today you got to fight
2 to get that dollar.
3 So, if their center wants to go
4 through the same process that we have been
5 going through for the last six months to try
6 to get our sign advertised out there, then
7 they can feel free to do that. I think
8 everybody's right is to make as much effort
9 as they can to advertise their business and
10 I am here to speak for our five tenants to
11 say that they need that right too.
12 The sign is going to match the center.
13 It's going to have the same matching brick.
14 I don't think it's going to be intrusive.
15 It's just simply identifying the center that
16 doesn't have the opportunity to have a great
17 sign exposure just because the building is
18 perpendicular to the road which is typical
19 of perpendicular centers. They have
20 challenge in signage. With the Speedway
21 being approximately where it is and the
22 foliage and the amount of trees that are
23 there, it's just difficult to see it.
24 So, I appreciate the Pizza Cutter's
1 argument, but I certainly understand his
2 motivation too. So, we all have our
3 economic challenges to overcome.
4 MEMBER IBE: Currently the bank has
5 two signs; is that correct?
6 MR. DONALDSON: That's correct.
7 MEMBER IBE: Will this be an
8 additional sign?
9 MR. DONALDSON: We're asking for an
10 additional sign, that's correct.
11 MEMBER IBE: So that would make it a
12 total of three?
13 MR. DONALDSON: That is correct.
14 MEMBER IBE: Now, he did say there
15 were some signs for the other businesses.
16 Do you have any signs currently for any of
17 those businesses?
18 MR. DONALDSON: One sign over the door
19 of each business.
20 MEMBER IBE: Of each business?
21 MR. DONALDSON: Right.
22 MEMBER IBE: Now, do you disagree with
23 them that you can see that sign coming down
24 Novi Road?
1 MR. DONALDSON: I think when you are
2 heading southbound once you get through the
3 light -- I'm sorry, once you are going
4 northbound and you get through the light you
5 can see that center. We have bump outs so
6 reveal from the building that is blocked.
7 We had to break the facade so that those
8 bump outs prevent some of those signs from
9 being seen clearly. Especially with the
10 Novi Cleaners.
11 So, as you are going northbound, you
12 get past the light, yes, you can see that
13 sign. Coming southbound you have no
14 opportunity with the exception of making a
15 hard left over your shoulder to look back
16 and look at those individuals that are in
17 the center.
18 So, that's the challenge, that's the
19 biggest challenge. If we had the same
20 opportunity going both north and south we
21 probably wouldn't be here.
22 MEMBER IBE: The gas station was there
23 before your development?
24 MR. DONALDSON: Yes, they were.
1 MEMBER IBE: So, you were kind of
2 aware of the challenges that you faced when
3 you did the development; is that correct?
4 MR. DONALDSON: No, we weren't clear.
5 We didn't know who are tenants were going to
6 be. And we didn't know exactly how the
7 center was going to layout as it related to
8 Speedway. We didn't know exactly where our
9 landscape plan was going to -- how it was
10 going to impact the signage.
11 So oftentimes people say how come you
12 didn't think of that? Well, it's like
13 building a new house, you don't exactly know
14 what you are going to get until the house is
15 built. You get inside the rooms, you are
16 like, darn it, I wish I would have changed
17 that one when we were building this thing.
18 Well, we're here now and our tenants are
19 challenged and we are trying to help them.
20 We are asking the ZBA to help us do that.
21 MEMBER IBE: I have nothing further.
22 Thank you.
23 Thank you, Mr. Chair.
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
1 Member Ibe.
2 Member Wrobel?
3 MEMBER WROBEL: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
4 In general I am not in favor of the
5 additional signage. Like the gentleman who
6 spoke earlier. I don't want to see the city
7 full of signs. But on the other hand, I
8 know there are instances given the layout of
9 property that it is helpful with people
10 coming by and it is required. Therefore, I
11 can support it somewhat for the smaller
12 businesses because I know if I drive
13 northbound on Novi Road I can't see the
14 businesses blocked by the gas station
15 especially when there are vehicles there.
16 There tends to be a lot taller vehicles and
17 trucks there. So, you don't really get a
18 chance to see the businesses until you are
19 past the gas station that way. Going
20 southbound you just don't see them.
21 I have a big issue, though, with
22 Huntington Bank. They have two signs
23 already. And a third one is unnecessary in
24 my book. If we were to agree to this sign
1 with them being on it, first off, I am not
2 happy with the size of their sign compared
3 to everyone else's, there's an inequity
4 there. I would really want to see them
5 remove the one sign that would be on the
6 western side of the facade before I would
7 even think of agreeing to having a sign put
8 up there.
9 That's all, Mr. Chair.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
11 Member Wrobel.
12 Member Bauer?
13 MEMBER BAUER: I agree with the last
14 speaker. I can't see having two signs for
15 Huntington Bank. For the small businesses,
16 yes, I can see a sign there.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
18 Member Bauer.
19 Member Shroyer?
20 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
21 I basically agree with the things that have
22 been said, but I have got other comments as
24 First of all, I don't understand why
1 the applicant -- well, the way it reads is
2 that case number: 08-018 filed by Gardner
3 Signs, Incorporated for Huntington Bank.
4 Why are they bringing it forth as opposed to
5 the shopping center? That's the first
6 question I have.
7 MR. DONALDSON: What we did with
8 Huntington Bank is there is a shared cost
9 scenario going on with this sign.
10 Huntington Bank obviously have an interest
11 in being placed on the sign. And we have an
12 interest for the smaller tenants to be
13 placed on the sign. So, through the process
14 that's how it worked out. That's why they
15 are bringing it.
16 MEMBER SHROYER: I pretty much figured
17 that that had something to do with it which
18 speaks directly to Member Wrobel's comments.
19 At any rate, Vantage Pointe is on the
20 sign which is one of the things that I
21 emphasized at the last meeting that we had,
22 but passersby don't know what Vantage Pointe
23 is. Is it a store? Is it a theater? What
24 the heck is it? It doesn't say Vantage
1 Pointe Shopping Center or Vantage Pointe
2 Stores. It just says Vantage Pointe. I
3 don't know what that is.
4 MR. DONALDSON: I think if you look
5 across a lot of communities you are going to
6 see that you have got, you know, Glen Oaks
7 or something along those lines. It's just a
8 name to signify a destination. If it said
9 the Shops at Vantage Pointe or something
10 along those lines, the Vantage Pointe name
11 has just been carried throughout. We have
12 been working on this project for three and a
13 half, four years now. It's just been --
14 it's been on all the plans, all the
15 applications and here we are, so.
16 MEMBER SHROYER: I have seen it on
17 other plans. My concern is for the tenants,
18 I'm always thinking about them. If somebody
19 called and says where is your store? Well,
20 I am in the Vantage Pointe Shopping Center
21 at the corner of Ten Mile and Novi.
22 MR. DONALDSON: Next to the Speedway
23 Gas Station.
24 MEMBER SHROYER: Sure. That was my
1 intent for being approvable for a shopping
2 center sign on that corner. I have never
3 been in favor of a multi-tenant sign. If
4 you look at it as mentioned before with just
5 the name of the shopping center and maybe
6 the address at the bottom perhaps I would
7 probably be in favor of it. But if you had
8 just that, there wouldn't be a need for a 13
9 square foot sign variance. There wouldn't
10 be a need for an additional one foot height.
11 And obviously -- well, bottom line is I am
12 very disappointed that after several months
13 which was mentioned, and I noted that as
14 well, because I go by there every single
15 day. This sign is what's been brought in
16 front of us. I can't support it all.
17 MR. DONALDSON: Realize that if we did
18 just do that, if just put Vantage Pointe, or
19 Shops at Vantage Pointe or however we put
20 it, we put the address there, you realize we
21 have five addresses on that property. So,
22 that would be confusing a lot of people.
23 Now, if we just put the Shops at
24 Vantage Pointe, we might as well not have a
1 sign because you don't advertise the people
2 that are in there.
3 MEMBER SHROYER: I agree with the
4 Applicant, let's not have a sign.
5 Thank you, Mr. Chair.
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
7 Member Shroyer.
8 Ms. Working?
9 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer, for
10 continuity purposes, I would like to remind
11 the Board and have them recall that this
12 case came before them in May and the
13 original request was for a 13 square foot
14 variance. The Board asked the Petitioner to
15 rethink that and come back with something
16 different. The revised request before you
17 is for a total 27 square foot sized sign.
18 Keep in mind that's what the sign says and
19 not the brick facade surrounding the sign.
20 So, I don't want you to be misled in reading
21 the original petition because they did
22 rethink it and come back to you with a new
24 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you for that
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you, Ms.
4 Any other comments from Board Members?
5 Mr. Amolsch, I had a question for you.
6 Under what circumstance would they be
7 allowed a multi-tenant sign? Is there any
9 MR. AMOLSCH: Yes, there is. If they
10 were to remove all the wall signs they can
11 have a multi-tenant sign on the property.
12 The other thing they can do is once there
13 are four tenants, running in the center they
14 can have a business center sign which again
15 only has the name of the business center and
16 no names of the tenants.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: So, if they took
18 down all the wall signs they would be able
19 to have all the tenants, minus Huntington.
20 Huntington is not part of the property, is
21 it, of Vantage Pointe or is it?
22 MR. AMOLSCH: Yes, they are.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: It is one big
24 separate building, one big L-shaped parcel?
1 MS. WORKING: Correct.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: They would be
3 allowed the multi tenant if they took all
4 the wall signs down?
5 MR. AMOLSCH: That's correct.
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Once the tenants
7 are in they are allowed a Vantage Pointe
8 business center identification sign?
9 MR. AMOLSCH: They need four or more
10 up and running tenants.
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Okay, four or
12 more up and running tenants. Thank you for
14 I can't agree more with some of the
15 comments that were made earlier. I look at
16 this and I think if we allowed every bank to
17 have three signs, and if we allowed every
18 shopping center shaped and positioned along
19 thoroughfares like this one to have these
20 type of variances agreed to, we would be
21 looking at a lot of things coming before us
22 in the coming months.
23 There are countless shopping centers
24 in this exact situation and that's something
1 that the Zoning Board must look at. What is
2 unique regarding this property and I see
3 really nothing. The shape is similar to
4 many other shopping centers that have been
5 successful in this city before.
6 Failure to grant relief would
7 unreasonably prevent the use of this
8 property, that is another thing that the
9 Zoning Board must consider, and I don't
10 think that that has been established with us
11 as well. There has been no even talk about
12 not being able to use the property. This
13 sign isn't allowed.
14 And I think we must go a long way with
15 what Mr. Amolsch said. There are other ways
16 that they could advertise using the
17 multi-tenant if they took all the wall signs
18 down or if they wanted to put a business
19 center sign which is something that Member
20 Shroyer had mentioned before showing Vantage
22 I don't think that this would be fair
23 to any other Petitioner or any other
24 resident, business or otherwise in this city
1 and I cannot support this. So, those are my
2 comments regarding this as it has come
3 before us today.
4 I think we have kind of gathered a lot
5 of the comments from the Board. Member
7 MEMBER SHROYER: I am prepared to make
8 a motion if I may.
9 In case number: 08-018 filed by
10 Gardner Sign, Incorporated, move to deny the
11 variance request for a multi-tenant sign on
12 the grounds that the Applicant has not
13 established a justifiable practical
14 difficulty warranting such a variance.
15 Under the current B-3 zoning, a business
16 ground sign is allowed provided that sign
17 names the business center only and does not
18 allow for the individual business tenants.
19 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
21 motion and a second on the floor. There is
22 a motion by Member Shroyer. A second by
23 Member Bauer. Any other comments? Ms.
1 MS. KUDLA: I would request that you
2 amend it to add some of the circumstances
3 that you mentioned including that the
4 circumstances and features of the property
5 including the foliage, road speed, other
6 buildings in the area are circumstances that
7 generally exist throughout the city, so no
8 unique circumstance has been shown.
9 MEMBER SHROYER: That's acceptable.
10 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: We will add that
12 to the motion and the seconder concurs. Any
13 other comments or findings you recommend at
14 this time?
15 MS. KUDLA: No.
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
17 motion and a second. Any other comment by
18 the Board? Seeing none, Ms. Working, will
19 you please call the roll.
20 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
21 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
22 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
23 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
24 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
2 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
3 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
4 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
5 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
6 MS. WORKING: And Member Wrobel?
7 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
8 MS. WORKING: Motion to deny passes
9 7-0 --
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: 6-0 --
11 MS. WORKING: 6-0, I'm sorry, 6-0.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: At this time your
13 variance request has been denied.
15 Move to case number two on the
16 agenda. Case number: 08-029 filed by Mr.
17 Chawney of Villagewood Place Condominiums
18 for Villagewood Place located on Haggerty
19 Road and Kartar Lane.
20 As Board Members will remember this
21 was tabled at the June 2008 meeting and
22 denied at the July 2008 meeting. The
23 Petitioner is requesting to be reconsidered
24 given the denial at the last meeting. As
1 mentioned in the agenda and as given to us
2 in our packets, reconsideration can take
3 place and I quote from Robert's Rules,
4 "Enables a majority in an assembly within a
5 limited amount of time and without notice to
6 bring back for further consideration a
7 motion which has already been voted on. The
8 purpose of reconsideration is to permit
9 correction of hasty, ill-advised or
10 erroneous action, or to take into account
11 added information or to change a situation
12 that has been developed since taking said
13 vote." So, that's what we are here tonight.
14 I will mention to the Board that we
15 are not here to rehear the case, we are just
16 looking at a possible reconsideration. So,
17 if you could please come forward and raise
18 your hand and be sworn in by our acting
20 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm
21 to tell the truth regarding case: 08-029?
22 MR. CHAWNEY: I do.
23 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you, sir.
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: If you can state
1 your name and your address and let us know
2 what additional information we might want to
3 take into consideration.
4 MR. CHAWNEY: My name is Amarjit
5 Chawney. My address is 23965 Novi Road,
6 Suite 120, Novi, Michigan.
7 First of all, I regret that I was not
8 here last time due to some family situation
9 and I did not mean any disrespect to anybody
10 in the Board. And I would very much
11 appreciate it to be reconsidered. It is a
12 sign that has been there for the last two
13 years for (unintelligible) condominium
14 development, and as you know, the housing
15 market is not that great, so that's the
16 reason we need the extension.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Do we need to go
18 through the full proceeding of asking the
19 audience for comments or do we just open it
20 up for --
21 MS. KUDLA: This is not
22 set for a public hearing today, so, no, you
23 don't need it.
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There were two
1 meetings that we had tabled you at the June
2 meeting and then there was a July meeting.
3 And I definitely don't want the details of
4 any circumstances that may have arisen, but
5 it was two meetings in a row that you had
6 missed. Is there anything you might want to
7 share with us?
8 MR. CHAWNEY: The first meeting I had
9 called and sent an e-mail that I wouldn't be
10 able to attend because of the death in the
11 family. And the second one I very frankly,
12 I missed the date, but I did call Ms.
13 Working later on and explained to her what
14 happened and what was the reason behind it,
15 and she was very gracious to listen to me.
16 And I dare say that it should be kept
17 confidential. I would appreciate it if you
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: All right. I
20 will open it up for Board discussion if
21 there are any questions. All of us did vote
22 to deny at the last one, so we all have the
23 opportunity to reconsider that and make that
24 motion as I understand from it Robert's
2 MS. KUDLA: Correct.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: So, you weren't
4 here, so Tim is the only one who cannot.
5 But if there is an opinion of the Board to
6 reconsider, I will entertain that motion or
7 we can take no action.
8 Member Bauer?
9 MEMBER BAUER: For the June meeting
10 there was a death in the family. To me that
11 would be figured into something new that we
12 did not know about. As far as August -- I
13 mean July, that's beyond our knowledge.
14 He's been a pretty good person here in the
15 city for quite a long time. I can see
16 giving him another chance.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Then I am going
18 to go ahead.
19 MEMBER SHROYER: I can't vote, but I
20 can comment. The question regarding this
21 is, if it is not reconsidered, the steps
22 that he would have to take would be to
23 re-apply with a new fee; is that correct?
24 MS. KUDLA: Correct, he would re-apply
1 with a new fee.
2 MEMBER SHROYER: I feel we should
3 provide him the benefit of the doubt and
4 allow him to be open. I know I can't vote.
5 Thank you.
6 MEMBER GHANNAM: I just have one
7 question for the City. If we do reconsider
8 today, wouldn't they have to republish it
9 and set it for another hearing?
10 MS. KUDLA: Correct, it would have to
11 be set for a public hearing for the next
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I would go ahead
14 and make a motion that the Board reconsider
15 the denial of case number: 08-029, given
16 that we have been given additional
17 information regarding the circumstances of
18 that vote.
19 MEMBER BAUER: I'll second that.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
21 motion by Chairman Fischer and a second by
22 Member Ghannam. Do we need to set a date as
23 far as that motion or will it just be by
1 MS. KUDLA: It will be on the next
2 meeting public hearing.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other
4 comments? Seeing none, Ms. Working, please
5 call the roll.
6 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
8 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
9 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
10 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
11 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
12 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
13 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
14 MS. WORKING: Member Wrobel?
15 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
16 MS. WORKING: Motion to approve
17 reconsideration passes.
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: We look forward
19 to seeing you in September.
20 Ms. Working, do you know the date so
21 that we can make sure that we are all on the
22 same page?
23 MS. WORKING: September 9th.
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: So, we will see
1 you or a representative regarding that sign
2 on September 9th.
3 MR. CHAWNEY: Thank you so much.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you very
7 Move to the next case on the
8 agenda number three under unfinished
9 business. Case number: 08-031 filed by
10 Mark Johnson of Cornell Sign Company for
11 Allstate Billiards, Patio and Hot Tubs
12 located at 26159 Novi Road. As Board
13 Members will remember, this was tabled to
14 the July 8th, 2008 meeting.
15 The Applicant is requesting, has a new
16 request in front of us and they are
17 requesting two wall signs for the stated
18 business and address. The Petitioner is
19 requesting one 48 square foot illuminated
20 wall sign on the north elevation of the
21 tower and one on the south elevation of the
22 tower. Petitioner has also indicated they
23 are willing to remove the ground sign from
24 the property.
1 And you were at the last meeting and
2 you were sworn in at that time, so that will
3 stand. I will also remind you as well as
4 all the people in the audience today that
5 the Board does have the packets and has
6 reviewed and most likely driven by the
7 sites, so go ahead and make any comments you
8 feel are pertinent, but keep that in mind as
9 we do have a full agenda tonight.
10 MR. JOHNSON: I noticed that. Yes,
11 actually after the last meeting we
12 reassessed the situation and took the Board
13 Members' comments and I met with the owner
14 of the store and realized that in case and
15 point the ground sign itself was something
16 that could be removed and we would remove
17 upon installation of the wall sign.
18 We also looked at the fact that the
19 east wall sign because originally as you
20 recall we were asking for three signs on all
21 three elevations was basically overkill. We
22 did some things with him looking at it and
23 doing drive-bys. And then, of course, we
24 also then realized for the distance that we
1 wanted and really needed the visibility for
2 the Allstate copy we had on the 6 by 10s
3 that were originally proposed in essence in
4 that area on each side. So, we were also
5 going to take the two signs and actually
6 make them smaller from 60 square feet to 48
7 square feet and we still get the same
8 visibility because we have the same letter
9 height in the Allstate, which is the
10 corporate branding that we are trying to get
11 out there.
12 Although it is two wall signs and
13 obviously there is only one sign allowed for
14 the property, obviously it is noted that you
15 will not be able to see the two signs at any
16 one time. In essence it is kind of a
17 double-faced freestanding ground sign and
18 placing it on the tower itself which is more
19 of a focal point and eliminates the problem
20 of the landscaping and cars in front and
21 everything of that nature along Novi Road
22 that sometimes blocks the existing sign.
23 And obviously I am here for any
24 questions you may have.
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I will pass this
2 along for our acting reader tonight, the
3 past Chair. You can go ahead and review for
4 any correspondence for the Board. Sorry to
5 put you on the spot like that, Member
7 MEMBER SHROYER: No problem, Mr.
8 Chair. Anything for you.
9 In this case we had 43 notices mailed.
10 Zero approvals and zero objections received.
11 There was eight letters returned.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
13 Member Shroyer. Is there anyone in the
14 audience that wishes to make any comments on
15 the case? Seeing none, we'll close the
16 public hearing portion of the meeting and
17 move to the City for any comments. Member
18 Ghannam, did you have
19 any --
20 MEMBER GHANNAM: No, no. I wanted to
21 ask questions of the Petitioner.
22 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Okay. Anyone
23 from the City? Seeing none, I will open it
24 up to the Board for discussion.
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: I just have a few
2 questions for the Petitioner.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Ghannam?
4 MEMBER GHANNAM: Thank you. Sir, one
5 of the questions I had last time when you
6 were here was the allowable square footage
7 of the sign and it dealt with one square
8 foot in signage for each three feet of
9 setback and so forth. Did you ever do your
10 own calculations on that?
11 MR. JOHNSON: Yes.
12 MEMBER GHANNAM: What do you claim you
13 are allowed under the Ordinance?
14 MR. JOHNSON: Under the Ordinance with
15 a three foot of setback, we are 105 feet
16 from the center line of Novi Road.
17 Obviously not knowing if that is the center
18 of the right-of-way, but the center of Novi
19 Road at a one to three ratio that would
20 allow us 35 square feet for the wall sign.
21 MEMBER GHANNAM: The reason why I ask
22 this is because the City has made their
23 estimate and they are claiming some
24 approximately 29 square foot.
1 MR. JOHNSON: Well, the existing sign
2 itself, the freestanding sign is at 64 feet
3 for it to meet the required setback. And by
4 measuring from the front of the building to
5 the front of that sign is how we came up
6 with the 105.
7 MEMBER GHANNAM: 105 what? I'm
8 missing that.
9 MR. JOHNSON: 105 feet from the front
10 of the building.
11 MEMBER GHANNAM: In either event you
12 claim it's 35 square foot, but you are
13 petitioning for 48?
14 MR. JOHNSON: Right.
15 MEMBER GHANNAM: Is there a way that
16 you can comply with the Ordinance while
17 having two signs? I mean, what you say
18 makes sense by having one on the north and
19 south end in some sort of double-sided sign,
20 but the question is what have you done to
21 comply or at least make the variances as
22 minimal as possible?
23 MR. JOHNSON: Well, I think what we
24 could do is take it down even further in
1 height perhaps to a 5 by 8. What we were
2 looking at in readability and also part of
3 the square footage calculation is the fact
4 that you still need to have a large enough
5 letter that is actually visible from a
6 distance. And that if the sign gets so
7 small that the name of the business is not
8 on there at letter height, that it can be
9 read from a decent distance, it in effect
10 becomes a safety issue because people can't
11 read it and they are swinging to read it and
12 things of that nature.
13 If you look at the actual lettering
14 were in essence a six inch tall letter were
15 originally on the ground sign and were an
16 eight inch tall letter from the Billiards,
17 Patio and Hot Tubs and we actually brought
18 that in. In other words, we condensed it in
19 order to make it fit into eight feet.
20 In answer to your question, yes, I
21 understand what you are saying. You can go
22 down to a lesser square footage, but I think
23 the end result would be that the copy would
24 not be of a sufficient size that you would
1 be able to read it from a ground or read it
2 from a car traveling.
3 MEMBER GHANNAM: I guess the question
4 becomes from how far are you talking? And
5 the reason why is, the City Council
6 establishes the Ordinances. You come here
7 for a variance from the Ordinance if you
8 establish a practical difficulty.
9 MR. JOHNSON: An eight inch tall
10 letter is visible at approximately 120 feet.
11 The theory in the United States Sign Council
12 standard is 15 feet per inch.
13 MEMBER GHANNAM: So, your position is
14 that you tried to minimize the variance that
15 you requested?
16 MR. JOHNSON: Right. By taking it
17 from the 60 down to the 48. If we take it
18 down any further, I would look at the fact
19 that 120 feet, while it may seem like a
20 decent distance, when you are driving at
21 road and in traffic that is probably close
22 to the minimum distance that you would need
23 in order to be able to pull in and know
24 where you are going.
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: Your company is
2 prepared to take down the sign on the
4 MR. JOHNSON: Yeah. Originally when
5 he went into the building when he relocated
6 from Novi Town Center across the street,
7 obviously knowing he was allowed both a wall
8 sign or a ground sign, he felt the ground
9 sign was more important because one wall
10 sign just facing to the south, which is what
11 Wonderland Music had wasn't going to be
12 effective for him. For the type of business
13 that he draws from a great distance and a
14 lot of people are coming off the freeway, it
15 became a hard place to where he would put
16 it. Unfortunately how Wonderland Music got
17 around it, of course, is they in essence
18 renamed the shopping center which is a
19 separate parcel directly to the south to
20 Wonderland Music Plaza. In effect putting
21 up a billboard, an off premises sign more or
22 less in order to be able to get exposure
23 both ways up in the air and get something
24 above the building.
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: I don't have any
2 other questions. Thank you.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
4 Member Ghannam.
5 Member Shroyer?
6 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you, Member
7 Chair -- Mr. Chair. Mock-ups sign that are
8 currently up they are still from the
10 MR. JOHNSON: Yes, they are. They are
11 6 by 10 and that's what we looked at.
12 MEMBER SHROYER: I thought they were,
13 I just wanted to make sure. Basically I
14 want to commend you for looking at this and
15 talking to the owner and trying to come up
16 with something that was more amiable to the
17 entire group here.
18 My initial preference would be only
19 one sign on the east elevation, but if the
20 rest of the Board is inclined to look at the
21 two signs and the removal of the monument
22 sign I would be in favor of that.
23 Thank you, Mr. Chair.
24 MR. JOHNSON: If I may say, we even
1 went so far as looking at were we better off
2 to ask for more of a pole type sign and he
3 felt that -- well, we looked at it to the
4 point of me holding up a flag for him to
5 look at and realized that the architectural
6 feature of that building is that tower. And
7 he felt that in retrospect we made a mistake
8 by going with the ground sign. That he
9 should have stayed with that tower. That's
10 why it built that way. I am sure the
11 architect built it that way and it was
12 approved that way and built that way. Live
13 and learn.
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other
15 comments at this time? Member Wrobel?
16 MEMBER WROBEL: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
17 Just to clarify. Did I hear you say that
18 you consider making the sign rather than the
19 6 by 8 to a 5 by 8?
20 MR. JOHNSON: What I was saying is
21 instead of a 6 by 8, if we went to a 5 by 8,
22 the concern is going to be that the
23 lettering is going to get so small that you
24 are not going to be able to read it from a
1 satisfactory distance. The other member was
2 asking me why did we go to this size? We
3 went to this size because we realized
4 originally we were 6 by 10. We need six
5 foot in height in order to be able to get
6 the letter height sufficient you can
7 actually read it. So, we looked at it. If
8 you look at the two options that's why I
9 re-submitted the paperwork the way I did,
10 you realize there is a lot of white space on
11 each side of the Allstate and we were able
12 to condense the billiards, patio and hot
13 tubs sufficiently that it was still within
14 the parameters that we use in design that it
15 would be readable from a distance.
16 So, by doing that we didn't sacrifice
17 readability so people would still see it in
18 time to pull in, but effect there is less of
19 a footprint on the tower and there is more
20 of the tower visible elements.
21 MEMBER WROBEL: I guess I am looking
22 at it and I know and I know it's pretty
23 effective when a sign is up higher versus a
24 ground sign, but I am looking at the other
1 sign that you are currently have which is 4
2 by 8. And if that looks good enough, why
3 isn't 4 by 8 good enough for there? I
4 understand because it's sitting up higher
5 and footage increases. They are apples and
6 oranges, but they are still kind of linked
7 together to me from a layman's perspective.
8 MR. JOHNSON: I understand. Basically
9 the difference is is the distance and the
10 fact that when you are looking at something
11 that's up higher, you not only have the
12 difference of the two heights, but you also
13 obviously have a line of sight involved and
14 obviously not only is it taller from there,
15 but when you look at how far the total
16 distance is that you are looking, that is
17 the factor that comes into play.
18 The idea of the ground sign, I mean, I
19 have a ground sign in the front of my own
20 business is the idea that you are closer to
21 the person viewing the sign so, therefore,
22 you can go with the smaller sign and still
23 be effective.
24 Our biggest problem here is that he
1 has a lot of people that seem to have
2 difficulty finding him and because he draws
3 from such a large regional area, I mean to
4 give you an idea, his next location is in
5 Bloomfield Hills. He is looking at heading
6 toward Lansing. He is a higher end product.
7 He can put one in every city. He is trying
8 to get it so that when they come off the
9 freeway or as they are heading up Novi Road
10 or from Northville or anything like that
11 that they see and they find him because he
12 does a lot of other marketing on line and
13 things like that.
14 I appreciate the fact that they
15 lowered the size of the sign. Personally I
16 think it looks pretty good there. It makes
17 sense to me on both sides. It's not
18 overdone. I think I can support this.
19 Thank you.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
21 Member Wrobel.
22 I will commend you as well for the
23 work that was done. Obviously I was quite
24 disappointed last time at the proposal that
1 came before us. And the main reason is
2 because here we are tonight, we have 12
3 cases and we're looking at the same thing
4 again. If this was brought to us last time
5 you would already have the signs up there.
6 That's the disappointing thing for the
7 business before us.
8 But with that said, the new plan looks
9 great. The statement everyone agrees the
10 current sign does not make sense there. I
11 too was looking at a smaller sign, but I
12 think architecturally and aesthetically it
13 actually looks proper up there.
14 In genera the intent of the Ordinance
15 is there. And I think Member Ghannam says
16 it's like one sign any way because of the
17 architecture of the building. This is a
18 unique circumstance. It is a unique feature
19 to the building that is exceptional and
20 unique to this property. In general it's
21 consistent with the intent of the Ordinance.
22 And I also believe that it does give
23 substantial justice as well as the other
24 properties surrounding.
1 So, thank you for this plan and I can
2 support it as well. Anyone care to discuss
3 further or make a motion? Member Shroyer?
4 MEMBER SHROYER: I can make a motion
5 if you would like.
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Love to hear it.
7 MEMBER SHROYER: In case number:
8 08-031 filed by Mark Johnson of Cornell Sign
9 Company for Allstate Billiards, I move to
10 approve the variance to allow two 48 square
11 foot signs to be located as illustrated on
12 the north and south elevation of the tower
13 with the condition that the monument sign be
15 This motion is based on the fact that
16 the variance will provide substantial
17 justice to the Petitioner. That there is
18 unique circumstances to the property,
19 specifically the pre-existing tower ideal
20 for sign placement. That the problem is not
21 self created. That adequate light near
22 provided to the adjacent properties, there
23 that is no increase of fire, danger or
24 public safety. The property values will not
1 be diminished in the surrounding area and
2 the spirit of the zoning ordinance is
3 obviously observed.
4 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll second it.
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
6 motion by Member Shroyer and a second by
7 Member Ghannam.
8 Any further discussion by the Board or
9 by the City? Seeing none, Ms. Working, will
10 you please call the roll.
11 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
12 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
13 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
14 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
15 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
16 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
17 MS. WORKING: Member Wrobel?
18 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
19 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
20 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
21 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
22 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
23 MS. WORKING: Motion to approve passes
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Your last
2 request has been granted. Best of luck to
3 the business.
4 MR. JOHNSON: Thank you very much.
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Moving right
7 along. Our case number four on the agenda
8 under unfinished business. Case number:
9 08-035 filed by Larry Kelley and Greg Hudas
10 of Signature Associates for 45145 Twelve
11 Mile Road, Husky Injection. The Board
12 Members will remember that this was tabled
13 from the July 8, 2008.
14 Petitioner is requesting a 40 square
15 foot area variance and a one foot height
16 variance for a 56 foot square oversized real
17 estate leasing sign to be placed at said
18 address. The property is zoned 0ST and is
19 located south of Twelve Mile Road and west
20 of Novi Road.
21 Is the Petitioner here today? Do you
22 know if the Petitioner is in the lobby?
23 MS. WORKING: I do not know if the
24 Petitioner is in the lobby. I do know that
1 the Petitioner was not only sent a letter
2 informing him that the case was tabled
3 because they did not --
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Would someone
5 like running out there quickly to see if
6 they were out there?
7 MS. WORKING: And they were notified
8 of the new hearing time and date as well.
9 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Let's make a two
10 second attempt here, otherwise I would like
11 to make sure we do some action on this as
12 soon as possible. Sorry for the delay.
13 Maybe we'll have Member Shroyer dance or
14 something for us to keep everybody awake.
15 MEMBER SHROYER: I can practice my
16 Olympics --
17 MEMBER BAUER: Back stroke.
18 MEMBER SHROYER: Back stroke.
19 MS. WORKING: Is that the gold medal
21 MEMBER SHROYER: I already shaved my
23 to cut down on wind --
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: In that case I
2 would move that in case number: 08-035
3 filed by Larry Kelly and Greg Hudas of
4 Signature Associates for 45145 Twelve Mile
5 Road that the Board deny the request as
6 stated given that there is a lack of
7 practical difficulty shown by the Petitioner
8 because the Petitioner has not shown up and
9 this is the second meeting we tabled to give
10 them a chance at the first meeting.
11 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
13 motion by Chairman Fischer and a second by
14 Member Bauer.
15 Ms. Working, will you please call the
17 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
19 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
20 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
21 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
22 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
23 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
24 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
1 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
2 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
3 MS. WORKING: Member Wrobel?
4 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
5 MS. WORKING: Motion to deny passes
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: That takes care
8 of the unfinished business of the Zoning
10 At this time we will go ahead and move
11 to new business.
13 Case number one under new business
14 which is case number: 08-030 filed by Rob
15 Miller of Gardner Signs for Flagstar Bank
16 located at 39900 Eight Mile Road.
17 Petitioner is requesting one variance for a
18 25 square foot ground sign with LED message
19 display and one variance for a 40 square
20 foot illuminated wall sign for the west
21 elevation of the bank at said address.
22 Petitioner is permitted 21.5 square feet of
23 wall signage based on the setback from the
24 centerline of Orchard Hill road.
1 The Petitioner also has an approved
2 wall sign for this business. The property
3 is zoned OSC and is located north of Eight
4 Mile Road and west of Haggerty Road.
5 And if you would like to be sworn in
6 regarding this case by our Secretary.
7 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm
8 to tell the truth regarding case: 09-030
10 MR. MILLER: Yes.
11 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Name and address
13 for this case and you can proceed.
14 MR. MILLER: Bob Miller 10709
16 Basically Flagstar Bank would like to
17 add a ground sign due to the fact that the
18 building has such a setback and there is a
19 berm in the front along with a considerable
20 amount of trees which border the property.
21 So, you are not really going to be able to
22 see the front sign on the building, so, they
23 elected to add a variance to have a ground
24 sign in front of the building.
1 That being also, they want to put a
2 wall sign on the side on Orchard Hill Road
3 being it's on the corner. We feel that they
4 are both essential. One for safety reasons.
5 There is a lot of, if you are traveling
6 westbound on Eight Mile you are not going to
7 see the bank sign until the very last minute
8 once you get past the row of trees. As far
9 as safety issue it would nice to have a sign
10 before you get right on top of the bank.
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other
12 comments from your staff or anything? Any
13 other comments?
14 You will be sworn in.
15 MEMBER BAUER: Raise your right hand.
16 Do you swear or affirm to tell the truth
17 regarding case 09-030 (sic)?
18 MR. COLLINS: I do.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: State your name
20 and address and go ahead and make your
22 MR. COLLINS: Robert Collins, 6578
23 Laurie Drive, (unintelligible) Michigan,
24 representing Flagstar Bank. I have heard
1 some of the discussions tonight. We were
2 trying to get a variance for the Orchard
3 Lake side road. I feel we could forgo if we
4 could have the monument sign with the LED in
5 the front and the front building sign.
6 Part of our big niche in the banking
7 industry are extended hours. With the LED
8 that shows that we're open, we're closed.
9 Gets that out to the people before they
10 drive by us and it allows our customers to
11 know that we are open and our future
12 customers that we are open extended hours
13 including Sundays so they have proper access
14 and time to pull into our business.
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Okay, perfect.
16 Anything else from you guys? All right.
17 Then I will actually read the notices.
18 In this case there were 12 notices mailed
19 with zero approvals and zero objections.
20 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you.
21 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: And I will open
22 it up for anybody in the audience who might
23 have a comment on this case. Is there
24 anyone who has a comment? Seeing none, we
1 will close the public hearing portion of the
2 meeting and open it up to the City for any
4 MR. AMOLSCH: No comments.
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Seeing none, I
6 will go ahead and open it up for Board
8 Member Wrobel?
9 MEMBER WROBEL: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
10 I can support a monument sign along Eight
11 Mile Road without LED. I don't really see a
12 really justifiable reason for having that.
13 As far as the other sign on Orchard Hill, I
14 am not in agreement with that at all.
15 MEMBER GHANNAM: I think he said he
16 withdrew that.
17 MEMBER WROBEL: He would withdraw it
18 if we gave him the LED. But that just
19 clarifies it from my perspective. I can't
20 support an LED sign. A monument sign I can
22 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
23 Member Wrobel. Other Board Members? Member
1 MEMBER BAUER: That's going to be a 40
2 square foot monument sign?
3 MR. MILLER: Actually it's 25 square
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: A monument
6 rendering it appears to be 30 square foot
7 according to how the city measures things
8 and the wall sign that we are looking at is
9 a 40 square foot case, Member Bauer, is that
10 what you were reviewing?
11 MEMBER BAUER: Good. Seeing that you
12 have already one sign on the wall I cannot
13 support anything nor the LED as permitted by
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
16 Member Bauer.
17 Member Shroyer?
18 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
19 Mr. Amolsch, can the hours be placed
20 on a sign without the LED? Can they have
21 the name of the bank and the hours on the
22 same sign?
23 MR. AMOLSCH: Yes.
24 MEMBER SHROYER: I thought they could.
1 And to the Applicant, who owns the trees
2 that's blocking the sign?
3 MR. COLLINS: We are required to plant
4 the trees.
5 MEMBER SHROYER: It was a landscape
7 MR. COLLINS: Right.
8 MEMBER SHROYER: Can you plant little
10 MR. COLLINS: As low as I can get
12 MEMBER SHROYER: I do feel I need to
13 make a comment. Under the application,
14 under the portion that asks what the appeal
15 is based upon it says that you were told by
16 the City that only gas stations and
17 entertainment venues are allowed LED message
18 signs which is correct under the Ordinance.
19 Then there is an extra statement. It
20 says, "Flagstar Bank feels it's
21 discriminatory to allow certain types of
22 business these message center signs." And I
23 just feel I need to make a statement.
24 The reason is discriminatory. All
1 Ordinances are put in place to allow for
2 and/or prohibit certain functions, usage
3 materials and setback. The City of Novi
4 City Council by approving those Ordinances
5 did establish that LED message signs are not
6 appropriate for banks. You can call it
7 discriminatory if you want, but that's the
8 way the laws are written. And if you don't
9 agree with that, then there are other
10 avenues that can be taken by attending the
11 various meetings and what have you and
12 expressing your concern, and this is one of
13 the avenues you have taken to express your
14 concerns here.
15 MR. COLLINS: Could you read that
16 comment one more time about the electronic
18 MEMBER SHROYER: It says, "Flagstar
19 Bank feels it is discriminatory to only
20 allow certain types of business these
21 message center signs."
22 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Just a point of
23 information, Tim. I am not sure where that
24 came from.
1 MEMBER SHROYER: I thought it was part
2 of --
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Robin, maybe you
4 can clarify. We all got this.
5 MS. WORKING: It was received as part
6 of the application package that was
7 submitted by the Petitioner.
8 MEMBER SHROYER: It looks like the
9 same printing.
10 MS. WORKING: It does.
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Oh, okay. There
12 was no letterhead. No signature or
13 anything. I wasn't sure where it had come
14 from. Thank you for that.
15 Sorry to interrupt. I just figured it
16 might be informational for the Board.
17 MEMBER SHROYER: That's fine. It's
18 not upsetting or anything, I just wanted to
19 clarify the reasons why in case somebody
20 wasn't aware as to what City Ordinances are
21 all about. And, of course, the Zoning Board
22 of Appeals is here to overrule some
23 Ordinances in the case of in-justification
24 or something along that line.
1 MR. COLLINS: May I make one comment?
2 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes, sir.
3 MR. COLLINS: My understanding was gas
4 stations and entertainments were allowed a
5 message center. Can somebody tell me if
6 that is true or false that those were really
7 the only two businesses?
8 MEMBER SHROYER: Is there a third, I
9 believe, Mr. Amolsch?
10 MR. AMOLSCH: Yeah, there are certain
11 uses that are permitted interchangeable
12 copy. Gas stations, entertainment venues,
14 MR. COLLINS: So, restaurants are?
15 MR. AMOLSCH: Yes, restaurants are.
16 MS. KUDLA: Schools, movie theaters,
17 entertainment venues, recreational
18 facilities in which events change on a
19 regular basis.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Mr. Shroyer, if
21 I may one more time just to bring us back to
22 where we are at tonight. Tonight we are not
23 looking at the Ordinance. The Ordinance is
24 written as it is. Does this Petitioner have
1 they established a practical difficulty by
2 law, by City Ordinance to allow them an LED,
3 is their circumstances unique, et cetera.
4 So, we can pontificate regarding the
5 Ordinance all night long, but we need to
6 stay on focus because we do have a long
7 agenda and that's regarding the practical
8 difficulty shown by the Petitioner. We need
9 to stay on topic.
10 MEMBER SHROYER: No problem. That was
11 all I had to say. Thank you.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
13 Member Shroyer.
14 Member Ghannam?
15 MEMBER GHANNAM: I have a few
16 questions for the City. If a ground sound
17 is allowed, what would the dimensions be
18 allowable under the Ordinance?
19 MR. AMOLSCH: The Ordinance's allows
20 30 square feet of sign area or one square
21 foot of sign for every two feet of setback
22 as measured from centerline of the nearest
23 adjacent roadway.
24 MEMBER GHANNAM: In this case what
1 would the maximum allowed, do you know?
2 MR. AMOLSCH: Well, I don't know what
3 the setback is. They didn't give that in
4 the site plan, I don't believe.
5 MEMBER GHANNAM: I have been looking
6 at some of the renderings that they have
7 given and I understand that Flagstar Bank --
8 MS. WORKING: 98 right here.
9 MR. AMOLSCH: 98.
10 MEMBER GHANNAM: Flagstar Bank logo
11 has one 2 foot by 8 inch height as well as 5
12 foot by 9 foot length. To one of the
13 Petitioners whoever can answer this. If
14 only a monument sign was allowed just by
15 being your logo Flagstar Bank without the
16 LED symbol would it be the same dimensions?
17 Is that what you are requesting, 2 foot by 8
18 inch it looks like 5 foot?
19 MR. MILLER: 6 foot by 2 foot 8.
20 MEMBER GHANNAM: Okay, I got it. 6
21 foot by 2, that's what you would request?
22 MR. MILLER: And we would still be
23 under the height foot requirement.
24 MEMBER GHANNAM: How would that be
1 affixed to the ground?
2 MR. MILLER: It would be anchored in a
3 footer with a six inch steel tube.
4 MEMBER GHANNAM: A metal?
5 MR. MILLER: It would have a shroud.
6 MEMBER GHANNAM: You didn't offer that
7 as part of your package so we don't know how
8 it would look.
9 MR. MILLER: I have that if you want
10 to look at it.
11 MEMBER GHANNAM: You have a rendering?
12 MR. MILLER: Yeah.
13 MEMBER GHANNAM: Let me see what you
15 MR. MILLER: I have this.
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Go ahead if you
17 want to pass that through. There is no
18 overhead. Usually we have an overhead, we
19 apologize so that we can put things like
20 that over, but unfortunately it's been broke
21 for a while.
22 MEMBER GHANNAM: So, this is how you
23 are suggesting it would look without the LED
1 MR. MILLER: No, the LED. We do have
2 a rendering that does show the LED.
3 MEMBER GHANNAM: Just one question for
4 the city also. Can there be an exception
5 made for an LED sign at this location for
6 this type of business?
7 MR. AMOLSCH: No.
8 MEMBER GHANNAM: There cannot be?
9 MR. AMOLSCH: No. To answer your other
10 question, the Ordinance would allow a ground
11 sign at 46 square feet at the setback that
12 it was at at the time. However, the
13 advertised sign in the legal notice was only
14 for 25 square feet and they need a variance
15 for the ground sign by the Board so they
16 have an approved wall sign.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I'm not
18 following. In the advertisement they were
19 requesting a 25 square foot --
20 MS. KUDLA: They would have to
21 re-notice it.
22 MEMBER SHROYER: It can't be any
23 larger than what was advertised.
24 MEMBER GHANNAM: For what they are
1 proposing today we couldn't even vote on it?
2 MR. AMOLSCH: Correct.
3 MEMBER GHANNAM: Do you understand
4 that, sir?
5 MR. COLLINS: I believe so. We have to
7 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yeah, because proper
8 notice has to be given to neighbors and so
9 forth. Is that what you want to do, do you
10 want to table this today to consider the
11 ground sign?
12 MR. COLLINS: Yes.
13 MEMBER GHANNAM: Okay. Then I will go
14 ahead and move --
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: One more time.
16 Why are we --
17 MR. BOULARD: If the proposed sign was
18 only 25 -- if the ground sign was only 25
19 square feet -- if the ground sign was only
20 25 square feet, would we have to re-notice?
21 MS. KUDLA: Are they asking for a 46
22 square foot sign?
23 MR. MILLER: No.
24 MR. AMOLSCH: If they took the LED
1 portion off and just used the Flagstar Bank
2 that they had proposed here, it's only about
3 16 square feet.
4 MS. KUDLA: If they are going to
5 increase the variance from what was
6 published it needs to be re-noticed. If
7 they are going to decrease it's does not.
8 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: What increase
9 are we talking about?
10 MEMBER GHANNAM: No, there is no
11 increase suggested.
12 MR. AMOLSCH: He was asking about what
13 would they be allowed per Ordinance as size
14 for a ground sign.
15 MEMBER GHANNAM: Without the LED?
16 MR. AMOLSCH: Right.
17 MEMBER GHANNAM: If they are proposing
18 two and a half feet by six feet would that
20 MR. AMOLSCH: Yeah, because that's
21 less than what was advertised.
22 MEMBER GHANNAM: Right.
23 MS. WORKING: But they would still
24 need a motion and an approval because they
1 an approved wall sign for their property.
2 MR. AMOLSCH: They still need a
4 MEMBER GHANNAM: Right. I understand
5 that, but we don't need to adjourn this or
6 table this?
7 MS. WORKING: Not unless they are
8 requesting something larger than what was
9 noticed previously.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I don't think
11 we're going to go there.
12 MEMBER GHANNAM: Based on what I am
13 hearing and my feelings about this, I don't
14 have any problems with approving just the
15 ground sign without the wall sign that you
16 are suggesting that you agreed to withdraw
17 without the LED and the dimensions that you
18 suggested, of two and a half foot by six
19 foot, and affixed to the ground as you
20 suggested in the photograph that you gave
22 I don't have any other questions.
23 Thank you.
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Other Board
1 Members? Were you proposing with the
2 portion of the LED?
3 MEMBER GHANNAM: No, without LED and
4 without the wall sign.
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I would agree
6 with that sentiment. I think we need to go
7 back to what would be unique to allow the
8 LED and looking through the City, there is
9 nothing unique about this property that
10 necessitates the LED. It would nice to have
11 it, I'm sure, in other places where it's
12 allowed. But as I say, we are not the City
13 Council, we're not making Ordinance. And if
14 we approve this, I can think of about 10, 15
15 banks on Grand River or Ten Mile Road that
16 would be back in front of us asking for LED.
17 I don't think that that's where the City
18 wants to go.
19 I can agree with the
20 ground sign as you had stated given the
21 setback from Eight Mile Road as well as the
22 frontage on Orchard Hill Road. I believe
23 those comments would support a practical
24 difficulty in this case as Member Ghannam
2 Member Wrobel?
3 MEMBER WROBEL: I just have one
4 question to staff. The Henry Ford sign just
5 to the west of the sign that we recently
6 approved, what is the height of that sign do
7 you recall offhand?
8 MR. AMOLSCH: Not off the top of my
9 head. It was eight feet --
10 MEMBER WROBEL: Because it looks
11 really big.
12 MR. AMOLSCH: I think it was about
13 eight feet, somewhere around there.
14 MR. FOX: I believe it's seven or
15 eight feet.
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Who approved
18 MEMBER WROBEL: Okay, thank you.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Isn't there one
20 right down the road from us?
21 MR. COLLINS: Yes.
22 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Ghannam?
23 MEMBER GHANNAM: I can make a motion
24 unless there are some more comments.
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Okay.
2 MEMBER GHANNAM: In case number:
3 09-030 (sic) filed by Rob Miller of Gardener
4 Signs for Flagstar Bank located at 39900
5 Eight Mile Road. I'll go ahead and move
6 that we grant the variance with some
7 modifications. Number one, there will be no
8 LED sign on the premises. They will be
9 granted a monument sign with a height of 2.8
10 inch as proposed with a length of six foot
11 that's proposed and to be affixed to the
12 ground or a monument to the ground as
13 suggested in the testimony tonight. With no
14 wall sign as the Petitioner has agreed to
15 withdraw that particular request. I think
16 it is consistent with the businesses in the
17 area. With the other banks and so forth in
18 the area. It's consistent with the Zoning
19 Ordinances, the spirit of the Zoning
20 Ordinances. The property values in the area
21 won't be diminished. There will be no
22 increase of fire danger or public safety. In
23 fact, I think it would help as the
24 Petitioner suggest. There would be adequate
1 light, air and so forth to the adjacent
3 They are unique circumstances of the
4 property including the setbacks as required
5 by Ordinance as well as the berm and trees
6 that the Petitioner has indicated that they
7 had to put when they built the premises.
8 And I think will do substantial justice to
9 the Petitioners in the surrounding areas.
10 And if we do not grant this this will
11 unreasonably prevent the use of the property
12 for the permitted purpose.
13 Do we need to address the total height
14 of the sign from the ground?
15 MS. KUDLA: Did you give the
17 MEMBER GHANNAM: I gave the dimensions
18 of the sign itself but not actually the
19 total height off the ground. Do I need to
20 be that specific?
21 MR. AMOLSCH: Yeah, the original sign
22 was five feet tall with the LED. Are you
23 saying that you want the sign to be 2 foot 8
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: Well, the sign
2 itself, but do we have to be specific in how
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: If I can make a
5 suggestion as they had a rendering, you
6 might want to look at how high the rendering
8 MR. COLLINS: It is at five feet.
9 MEMBER GHANNAM: Is that a problem
10 with the City?
11 MR. AMOLSCH: No, the Ordinance allows
12 six feet.
13 MEMBER GHANNAM: It's as proposed as
14 exhibit being a total of no more than five
15 foot off the ground as according to the City
16 that you are allowed up to six foot. Let me
17 put it to you this way. Instead of limiting
18 it to five foot I will say consistent with
19 the City Ordinance which would be six foot
20 or less. Is that fair?
21 MR. AMOLSCH: Correct.
22 MEMBER WROBEL: I'll second the
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
1 motion by Member Ghannam and a second by
2 Member Wrobel. Are there further questions?
3 Member Shroyer?
4 MEMBER SHROYER: Not a question, but a
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Or a comment.
7 MEMBER SHROYER: Because the Applicant
8 had indicated the importance of hours and I
9 had asked if hours could be included on the
10 normal sign, would the motioner be willing,
11 if the Applicant wants this, to not limit
12 the size of the sign to 6 foot by 2 foot 8
13 which is only. It's less than 18 square
14 foot total, allow it to go up to perhaps the
15 25 square foot that they were originally
17 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes. What I could do
18 is I'll amend the motion that the Petitioner
19 their sign can be no larger than the City
20 Ordinance would require.
21 MR. AMOLSCH: It's got to be 25 square
23 MS. WORKING: That's what the variance
24 request is for.
1 MS. AMOLSCH: That's what it was
2 advertised for. It can't be more than that.
3 MEMBER SHROYER: Twenty-five is
4 posted. We already noticed it at that.
5 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll re-amend and say
6 no more than 25 foot because that's true,
7 that is what you requested and if we go
8 beyond that that would require a new
9 hearing. So, I will go ahead and amend my
10 motion to that effect.
11 MEMBER WROBEL: Concur.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other
13 comments by the Board? Did you understand
14 the motion at this time? I want to make
15 sure you are all set as well.
16 MR. COLLINS: I want to make sure I am
17 clear. We can go up to the legal, to the
18 variance of the 25 square feet for the
19 monument sign plus the building sign and
20 minus the wall sign on the Orchard Lake
22 MR. GHANNAM: No. You already have
23 your building sign. That is not part of
24 this. It is simply an approval of a
1 monument sign. You withdrew the wall sign
2 on the side of Orchard Hill Road.
3 MR. COLLINS: Got you.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: And the Eight
5 Mile side where --
6 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yeah, the monument on
7 the Eight Mile to the dimensions up to 25
8 square foot and no higher than six off the
9 ground which is the City Ordinance.
10 MS. WORKING: So, it's 25 square feet
11 of sign area.
12 MEMBER GHANNAM: Right.
13 MR. COLLINS: Okay, thank you.
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Seeing no
15 further comments, questions, concerns, Ms.
16 Working, will you please call the roll.
17 MS. WORKING: Did we have a seconder?
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Wrobel.
19 MS. WORKING: Member Wrobel, thank
21 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: You did concur
22 with all the amendments?
23 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
24 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
2 MS. WORKING: Member Wrobel?
3 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
4 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
5 MEMBER BAUER: No.
6 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
8 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
9 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
10 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
11 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
12 MS. WORKING: Motion to grant passes
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Your request has
15 been amended, but approved in that fashion
16 and we wish you guys the best of luck.
17 MR. COLLINS: Thank you.
18 MR. MILLER: Thank you.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Robin, just to
20 clarify, did you get all the conditions and
21 items or would you like me to read them?
22 Did you get all the conditions?
23 MS. WORKING: I did get all the
24 conditions. Mr. Chair, could I please
1 remind the Board that I would like you all
2 please to take note of the memo that I did
3 give you as we started the cases this
4 evening for the sign cases to look at the
5 practical difficulty standards that are to
6 be applied for sign variances this evening.
7 I think you are overworking here and I
8 want you to relax a little bit. We have got
9 a long way to go.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you, Ms.
12 Since we have four minutes left we are
13 going to call this and then we will take our
14 standard break after an hour and a half.
16 Number two under new business
17 which is Case number: 08-037 filed by
18 William Lutz of Sign Graphix for Cooper
19 Standard located at 39550 Orchard Hill
20 Place. The Petitioner is requesting one six
21 foot square non illuminated wall sign for
22 the south elevation of the Cooper Standard
23 Office Building located at said address.
24 The business has an approved ground
1 sign as the Board may remember from
2 ZBA07-042 and the property is zoned OSC and
3 located north of Eight Mile Road and west of
4 Haggerty Road.
5 If you could raise your hand and
6 be sworn in by our Secretary.
7 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm
8 to tell the truth regarding case: 08-037?
9 MR. LUTZ: I do. My name is Bill Lutz
10 with Sign Graphix, 39255 Country Club Drive,
11 Farmington Hills, Michigan.
12 If we can dim the lights.
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Are we working
15 MS. WORKING: We did test it before
16 the hearing.
17 MR. LUTZ: We did test it, but I don't
18 see much.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: We will ask the
20 behind the scenes if it's possible if they
21 are listening to us. Like the Wizard of Oz.
22 MS. WORKING: It is. It's magic.
23 MR. LUTZ: I can get started here
24 because I know you want to keep this meeting
1 rolling here.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Are you telling
3 me of all the times you have been here you
4 don't know our equipment yet? I figured you
5 could be giving the lessons for us.
6 MS. WORKING: I swear it worked
8 MR. LUTZ: It did.
9 MS. WORKING: I know.
10 MR. LUTZ: Since these packets have
11 been sent out, by the way, the Petitioner
12 has changed his petition a little bit.
13 Instead of the corporate standard colors, he
14 has asked that if this is proposed that the
15 colors be a brushed aluminum which has even
16 less visual impact on this facade than
17 normal. So, what you are seeing in your
18 packet in full color you are seeing on your
19 screen as a kind of a monotone and that's
20 what proposed this evening.
21 So, that's a slight change from what
22 you have in your packet.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Let me just get
24 a point of order to make sure if we're
1 looking at a different colors since it was
2 in our packet as blue, do we have an issue
3 or no?
4 MS. KUDLA: It sounds like they are
5 describing it as a more neutral color so it
6 looks like a lesser variance question, so I
7 don't think there will be a problem.
8 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you. Go
9 ahead and proceed.
10 MR. LUTZ: What we are asking for here
11 is according to where the city measures this
12 sign, this six square foot. If you actually
13 measure the footprint of this sign it's less
14 than four square feet. By the footprint I
15 mean the way the City Ordinance describes
16 measurements is to draw a box around the
17 largest item and so it's a little difficult
18 when you have individual characters like
19 this because it doesn't represent the actual
20 size of the footprint that one sees when one
21 views this. So, I would call that to your
23 The actual footprint is more in the
24 neighborhood of 3.7 square feet. So, we are
1 talking a very small sign here that setback
2 is a considerable distance from the road.
3 If you actually look, and this is a
4 photograph from about 30 feet from the
5 actual first curb cut there off to your
6 left, the curb cut into this property is
7 right here. This sign is right there. So,
8 that's with a car parked at almost a curb
9 cut right here. You would almost have to
10 identify that as you approach. You can't
11 see that sign. You physically can't see it.
12 I would argue that there is no
13 differentiation or hazard to an adjoining
14 property. It doesn't deny anybody any
15 rights because it really can't be seen from
16 the road. It can barely be seen from the
17 parking lot, but it's meant to identify the
18 entrance which is rather obscured by trees.
19 This whole property is very well treed.
20 This building sets back a considerable
21 distance, several hundred feet from the
22 road. It's got a large parking lot. It's
23 not a very obvious entrance.
24 Right now it actually has small
1 entrance letters that says entrance on it
2 which you really can't see. This will
3 provide you a little more visibility if you
4 will from the parking lot so that people
5 know where the entrance to the building is.
6 Now, that's the intent.
7 If you look at the actual square
8 footage, that's how you have to measure a
9 sign according to Ordinance by this whole
10 perimeter. As you can see that actually
11 leaves a lot of white space there. If you
12 measure it by the footprint which a lot of
13 Ordinances are starting to do, it measures,
14 this larger disc if you will which is the
15 logo and that a perimeter around the actual
16 text size which gives us 3.8 square feet.
17 The Petitioner is not asking for a lot
18 of extra signage here. It can't be seen
19 from the road, so I would argue that it's
20 not a detriment to the property. It doesn't
21 violate the intent of the Ordinance. And it
22 certainly doesn't charge any difficulty for
23 adjoining properties in terms of their
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you for
2 your comments. Anything else?
3 MR. LUTZ: I think not.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Then I will ask
5 the past Chair to read any correspondence.
6 MEMBER SHROYER: Mr. Chair, 21 notices
7 were mailed. We have zero approval. Zero
8 objections. And two letters have been
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I will open it
11 up to the audience. Is there anyone in the
12 audience who wishes to make a comment on
13 this case? Seeing none, we will close the
14 public hearing portion of the meeting and
15 open it up for the City's comments. Mr.
17 MR. BOULARD: I just have a couple of
18 questions for the Petitioner. There was a
19 previous variance approved for an oversized
20 ground sign in front of the building, the
21 intent is that that would remain?
22 MR. LUTZ: That's correct.
23 MR. BOULARD: That would remain and
24 not be reduced in size?
1 MR. LUTZ: That is correct.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other
3 comments from the City? Seeing none, I'll
4 open it up for the Board. Member Wrobel?
5 MEMBER WROBEL: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
6 First off, the new rendering looks much
7 nicer than the other. But, that being said,
8 if you can't see it from what you keep
9 telling us, why do you even need this? I
10 don't really see a practical difficulty.
11 MR. LUTZ: The difficulty is that the
12 entrance is not a well defined entrance.
13 The trees really block a lot of the
14 visibility of the site. So, from the parking
15 lot it's difficult to find a vantage point.
16 I had to search around for a vantage point
17 to even take the photograph and you really
18 can't take the photograph. Especially when
19 it's kind of a muted light density color on
20 a light density background. So, it's really
21 for pedestrians. I would consider this a
22 pedestrian sign much like a pedestrian
23 ground sign many of which you are allowed by
24 the Ordinance. If this had been a
1 pedestrian ground sign I doubt that we would
2 even be here. Mr. Amolsch would have
3 approved this as a normal event because
4 those kinds of things typically are allowed
5 to identify an entrance.
6 MEMBER WROBEL: How long has this
7 business been there?
8 MR. LUTZ: I can't answer that. That
9 business has been there a long time. They
10 changed their logo and they had a very large
11 ground sign which we actually removed and
12 actually made a smaller ground sign. So, I
13 don't know if they have been in that
14 building for a very, very long time or not.
15 My impression is they have been, but I don't
16 know the age of the building.
17 MEMBER WROBEL: So, obviously they
18 have been there for a while. So, obviously
19 people are finding their way into the
20 building right now as it is, correct? So,
21 that goes back to practical difficulty for
22 me if they are finding their way into it.
23 I really can't support this. I mean,
24 it looks nice, but it doesn't demonstrate a
1 practical difficulty to me, so I would have
2 a hard time agreeing with it. Thank you.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
4 Member Wrobel.
5 I would echo the same comments. Once
6 again you reference the 3.8 square feet, I
7 believe, versus the 6 square feet. The way
8 that the City figures out square feet on a
9 sign, that's up to Ordinance and once again,
10 we are not the Ordinance policy maker, we
11 are the Zoning Board of Appeals. But
12 regardless, we are not even looking at the
13 sign as much as the fact that only one sign
14 is allowed for this building.
15 What was there before you put the
16 ground sign? A different ground sign; is
17 that correct?
18 MR. LUTZ: Yeah, they changed their
19 logo and changed their whole corporate
20 structure here some time ago, so that sign
21 changed. It had been -- I don't even know
22 what size it was. Approximately the same
23 size as it was replaced with, but a large
24 concrete type of ground sign that had Cooper
1 Standard, but it was no longer their valid
2 logo, so it changed some time ago.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: So, nothing was
4 up there?
5 MR. LUTZ: Oh, yes, the words entrance
6 has been up there and it's been up there
7 since the building was built. The Petitioner
8 is asking that those be taken down --
9 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: It's not a logo,
10 though? It's not Cooper Standard or
12 MR. LUTZ: That's correct.
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Alan, what kind
14 of identification are they allowed in the
15 window? I noticed they had something here
16 and already there is an address and the
17 contents looks almost as large as the sign
18 above. What are they allowed in their
19 windows to designate that this is the
21 MR. AMOLSCH: They are allowed --
22 well, actually any window sign is allowed to
23 be 25 percent of the total glass area.
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Once, again, my
1 issue isn't that it looks bad or that it's
2 obtrusive to other businesses but in general
3 there is nothing exceptional or unique to
4 this piece of property that any other
5 building wouldn't have in the City of Novi.
6 It's not a bad sign, it's just that there is
7 no practical difficulty and that's
8 something, once, again per the Ordinance,
9 not necessarily for us. And I think that's
10 where Member Wrobel was kind of going.
11 Those are my comments. Unfortunately
12 I don't think I would be able to support
13 this tonight. Other Board Members?
14 MEMBER GHANNAM: I have a couple of
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Ghannam?
17 MEMBER GHANNAM: Does this business
18 occupy the entire building?
19 MR. LUTZ: Yes.
20 MEMBER GHANNAM: Is there more than
21 one entrance other than the one you want the
22 sign over?
23 MR. LUTZ: Other than an employee
24 entrance, no, it's not. But that entrance
1 is not ideally visible. It's setback from
2 the building structure, the facade of the
3 building. So, there is a setback. It's not
4 an offset. It's not an easily identifiable
5 entrance. It's not an obvious entrance. If
6 you were building that building today, my
7 guess is that that building is a good 20
8 years because I know that we have been in
9 our location almost that long and that
10 property has been there for that long. You
11 probably wouldn't design that building. You
12 design that building with an obvious canopy.
13 It's not an obvious canopy. It's not an
14 obvious entrance.
15 The practical difficulty from my
16 standpoint is that this is an entrance
17 identification sign more than a logo sign.
18 I think there is a practical difficulty and
19 that once you get on the property it's hard
20 to find the darn entrance. You can
21 accomplish the same thing perhaps with
22 ground signs. Is that any more sign
23 pollution than a 3.8 square foot wall sign
24 that's over the entrance and identifies the
2 MEMBER GHANNAM: In your presentation
3 of this, the ground sign that you showed us
4 at the corner you are looking kind of north?
5 MR. LUTZ: It's actually in the middle
6 of the property between the two curb cuts
7 and those two curb cuts are a good 250, 300
8 hundred feet from each other so it sits in
9 the middle of the properly and this building
10 sits back, I am kind of guessing now, and
11 maybe Mr. Amolsch has a better feel for
12 that, but I would bet it's 300 feet from the
13 road. It's a considerable setback behind a
14 lot of trees. You cannot really see the
16 MEMBER GHANNAM: I wasn't even getting
17 to that. That's not my question. But that
18 was your client's company sign, right?
19 MR. LUTZ: Correct.
20 MEMBER GHANNAM: That was the one you
21 were suggesting that was not even visible?
22 MR. LUTZ: No, no, no. I am saying
23 the sign that is proposed over the entryway
24 is not visible.
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: I am talking about
2 the ground sign. You made a mention of a
3 sign that was barely visible from the
4 vantage point of your photograph. Was that
5 your company sign?
6 MR. LUTZ: I wasn't referring to the
7 ground sign if that's your question. I was
8 referring to the wall sign.
9 MEMBER GHANNAM: Okay. I must have
10 misunderstood. I don't have any other
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Ibe?
13 MEMBER IBE: I think Member Wrobel
14 made a comment. Your presentation, no harm
15 meant at all, but your presentation makes it
16 easy for me not to support it. I mean, you
17 come up and you showed us a nice
18 presentation and you said it's not visible
19 here and it's not visible there. If it's
20 not visible, why do you need it?
21 MR. LUTZ: My point was that it's not
22 visible from the road. It's not meant as a
23 building identification sign. It's meant as
24 an entry identification sign to be visible
1 only from the parking lot and the parking
2 lot sits considerably within the property of
3 the structure. It sits considerably back
4 from the road. So, it's meant as an
5 entrance identification sign.
6 I treat this building much like I
7 would treat a campus. Internal campus signs
8 are not meant to be visible from the
9 highway. The highway sign, the road sign,
10 if you will, their primary identification
11 sign which is allowed is simply to get them
12 in the curb cut. All we want to do is get
13 them on the property. After we get them on
14 the property then we can direct them to
15 shipping and receiving or to the main
16 entrance or what have you.
17 This is typically the way a
18 campus works. This building functions like
19 a campus much in the same way because it
20 sits back so far, you see very little
21 footprint of the building from the road.
22 Part of that is the landscaping. I am sure
23 it was required by the city at the time.
24 Part of it is the way the property was
1 structured, so there is a built-in hardship,
2 I think, because of the fact that this is a
3 beautifully landscaped place. You can't see
4 the building. You can't see that sign.
5 My argument was that this is not meant
6 as an identification sign. It's meant as an
7 entry sign to designate that entryway into
8 the building from the parking lot and not
9 from the road.
10 MEMBER IBE: Is there any other
11 alternative other than what you proposed
13 MR. LUTZ: Sure, you can have a ground
14 base sign that sat near the entry to the
15 thing, to the sidewalk, if you will, to
16 identify the entrance of that building is
17 something we often do. But I would say
18 that's 50-50. Whether you put it on the
19 canopy. This canopy happens to be recessed
20 beyond the side of the building on that one
22 The parking lot sits off to the west
23 of that property. That's where the building
24 actually jumps out farther than the
1 entryway. It sits out in an in set, if you
2 will. So it makes it difficult to see.
3 Only visible from the parking lot.
4 MEMBER IBE: Who generally comes to
5 this building? I mean, members of the
6 public or specific businesses?
7 MR. LUTZ: Well, this is a -- this is
8 an automotive, a second or third tier
9 automatic supplier. Every time I have been
10 to that building on numerous times because
11 we have been working with them on other
12 locations that parking lot is full. I end
13 up having to park out of the perimeter, so I
14 am sure that there are a lot of employees,
15 it's a multi-story building, but I know that
16 they have visitors from outside of the area
17 that come there because this is their
18 corporate headquarters. This is the world
19 headquarters for Cooper Standard, so they
20 have a lot of traffic in and out of there.
21 I have always had to park on the
22 perimeter because you can't even get close
23 to the building which makes that entry even
24 more difficult to find.
1 MEMBER IBE: Let me ask you. Since the
2 parking lot is always full, do you have any
3 evidence from data that has been collected
4 over the years that indicates to us that no
5 one can find the entrance to the building?
6 MR. LUTZ: I don't know if any surveys
7 have been done, but the reason the client
8 asked us to help them with this problem was
9 just that. They have had people go to the
10 opposite end of the building because the
11 parking lot sits towards the west side of
12 the building.
13 The actual main entrance if you could
14 park directly in front of it would be very
15 nice, but the landscaping doesn't allow
16 that. All the parking is at one end of the
17 building which makes it difficult to see
18 this entryway.
19 MEMBER IBE: Thank you very much.
20 MR. LUTZ: You're welcome.
21 MEMBER IBE: Nothing further, Mr.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
24 Member Ibe.
1 One more question. If its not meant
2 to be an identifier, what would be wrong
3 with just having entrance instead of having
4 a six foot sign, having the logo, having the
5 company's name and automotive underneath,
6 what's wrong with just entrance as opposed
7 to them to just advertise the business?
8 MR. LUTZ: Well, from the client's
9 standpoint, why not? If they have a six
10 square foot sign that they are going to
11 invest in that says entrance, why not put
12 the name up there and kill two birds with
13 one stone? It's a practical consideration.
14 But to see your point, sure.
15 That is to get people to the entrance.
16 In the hospital we would say main entrance.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: That's kind of
18 my point. Any other Board Members have any
19 other comments? If not, there could be a
20 motion or I will be willing to make a
22 I would move that in case number:
23 08-037 filed by William Lutz of Sign Graphix
24 for Cooper Standard located at 39255 Orchard
1 Hill Place that we deny the Petitioner's
2 request given that no practical difficulty
3 has been established regarding the
4 circumstances being exceptional or unique to
5 the property in the fact that it has not
6 been established that the entrance can be --
7 has not been established that the
8 identification of the entrance can be taken
9 care of within the Ordinance via ground
10 signs or signs in the door.
11 And also that the variance requested
12 would be excessive given the fact that the
13 name of the business, the logo would all be
14 included as opposed to just entrance which
15 was listed as a practical difficulty for the
16 variance request.
17 MEMBER WROBEL Second.
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is motion
19 by Chairman Fischer and a second by Member
20 Wrobel. Any further comments?
21 MS. KUDLA: Can the motion be amended
22 to add that landscaping, trees and distance
23 setback from the road are circumstances that
24 exist generally throughout the city?
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I would accept
2 that as an amendment as further finding of
3 our case.
4 MEMBER WROBEL: Accepted.
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Approved by the
6 motioner and the seconder. Any further
8 Seeing none, Ms. Working, please call
9 the roll.
10 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
12 MS. WORKING: Member Wrobel?
13 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
14 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
15 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
16 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
17 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
18 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
19 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
20 MS. WORKING: And Member Shroyer?
21 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
22 MS. WORKING: Motion to deny passes
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: At this time the
1 variance has been denied.
2 At this time the Board will also take
3 a 10 minute break reconvening at 8:56.
4 (A recess was held.)
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: We have a
6 busy agenda ahead of us, so if we can stay
7 on track here. I gave the Board an extra
8 minute to make sure we were all refreshed.
9 At this time we will go ahead and call
10 case three under new business. Case number:
11 08-038 filed by filed Bill Lutz of Sign
12 Graphix, Incorporated, for HINO Trucks
13 located at 41180 Bridge Street.
14 Petitioner is requesting one 75 square
15 foot illuminated wall sign for the north
16 elevation of said address. The property is
17 zoned I-1 and located north of Eleven Mile
18 and east of Meadowbrook Road.
19 If you could raise your hand and be
20 sworn in for this case.
21 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm
22 to tell the truth regarding case: 08-038?
23 MR. LUTZ: I do.
24 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you, sir. Name
1 and address.
2 MR. LUTZ: My name is Bill Lutz of
3 Sign Graphix at 39255 Country Club Drive,
4 Farmington Hills.
5 Don't ask me way we have double ones
6 up here now. It's always interesting here
7 in terms of what we can see. Actually you
8 are seeing two slides. Well, what I am
9 seeing on my screen here, but we'll have to
10 deal with it, I guess.
11 This particular building is only
12 visible from the highway on the connecting
13 road that connects 96 to 275. We are asking
14 for one sign. It's the only sign that's
15 going to be on the building. It's at the
16 entry side on of the building. This is the
17 only visible side of the building from any
18 highway. If you were northbound or
19 northbound or northeast bound, northwest
20 bound from 275 approaching 96 you could not
21 see this sign because the trees in the media
22 would prevent it. There is no other way to
23 see the sign other than these photos that
24 you are seeing right here.
1 Obviously the first photo you are
2 barely seeing little pieces of sign through
3 the trees and you may or may not be able to
4 see that, but it's going to be right here.
5 Right at that little piece of the building.
6 When I park my car on the side of the
7 highway and tried to dodge traffic, I could
8 actually see a little bit of the banner was
9 up there as a temporary sign. You can fully
10 see it probably 100 feet farther down the
11 road. Your visibility of this particular
12 sign is pretty limited because of the speeds
13 on that road on that highway. If you look
14 at the specification drawing the word HINO
15 is only 12 inches high. This is not a very
16 big sign from highway standards. In fact,
17 most buildings that border this highway have
18 considerably larger signs.
19 The Ordinance permits in this zone
20 district up to a 65 square foot sign.
21 However, this building can't be setback far
22 enough to make that work with your 3-1
23 ratio. This is a strange piece of property
24 that's sandwiched in there next to the
1 expressway. It's actually pretty darn close
2 to the expressway given the fact that you
3 normally would have a bigger setback. But
4 it's an odd piece of property.
5 If you tried to look for this building
6 you might have hard time finding it as many
7 of you may have done. You probably didn't
8 see the sign for very long. If you measure
9 it, the way we are forced to measure it,
10 here, you see another view it. So we got
11 one of the other slides and then the new
12 slide as you see it. The only way you can
13 see this view on the far right-hand side is
14 if you are standing in the parking lot.
15 The parking is very limited parking.
16 We are almost at the edge of the parking lot
17 standing on the grass, if you will, by those
18 trees practically when you take this shot.
19 If you measure this sign the way it's
20 supposed to be measured, you get 75 square
21 feet. By that, I mean if we draw a
22 perimeter around here to include the word
23 trucks which is not as tall as this box sign
24 here, you get 75 square feet. If you
1 measure it by the footprint of the word
2 trucks and not include the white space
3 that's dead space around the cabinet next to
4 it, it ends up being considerably smaller
5 than that or 59 square foot.
6 So, the visual footprint of the sign I
7 would argue is 59 square feet. Again, this
8 the only sign on the building. It's not
9 very visible except from the highway. It
10 serves as both an entry identification sign
11 for the property and for visitors coming
12 into it because the entry is on this side of
13 the building and it is visible for a brief
14 period of time on the connector road from
15 696 to 275.
16 I would be happy to answer any
17 questions you may have.
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: All right. I
19 will pass this along to our past Chair so he
20 can read any correspondence.
21 MEMBER SHROYER: You ready?
22 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Yes, Mr.
24 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you. Eighteen
1 notices were mailed. We have zero
2 objections and there is one approval that I
3 get to read. It states, "We are located at
4 41200 Bridge Street. Our company name is
5 Certified Management Company. We do not see
6 any negative impact from the request,
7 therefore, we are in favor of Novi granting
8 this variance." And it's signed Paul
9 Fenkell at said address and dated 4-28-08.
10 Thank you, Mr. Chair.
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Is there anyone
12 in the audience who wishes to make a comment
13 on this case? Seeing none, we will turn it
14 over to the City for any comments. Seeing
15 none, I will open it up for the Board's
17 I have a couple of questions. Alan,
18 how long have we been measuring signs the
19 way we do in the parallelogram?
20 MR. AMOLSCH: Since the Ordinance has
21 was adopted in 1974.
22 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: So, it's not a
23 new thing the way that we --
24 MR. AMOLSCH: No.
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Also, there are
2 two other businesses that I noticed and I
3 think it was INCAT and Finlay. Would you
4 share with us the size of those by chance?
5 MR. AMOLSCH: That e-mail? I don't
6 think I kept a copy of it.
7 MS. WORKING: Mr. Chair, INCAT is
8 measuring 53 square feet in area and Finlay
9 is measuring 54 square feet in area. Both
10 computed from centerline freeway to ramp.
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Now, looking at
12 the proposed layout of the actual building,
13 it appears to me that this business is
14 actually closer to the ramp than these other
15 businesses, yet they are requesting a larger
16 amount of signage. Can you comment to that
17 at all?
18 MR. LUTZ: I can't comment because I
19 didn't really pay any attention to those
20 other signs. This is a step building, so
21 there are a couple of feet difference, it's
22 pretty nominal. However, the road arches
23 down through there too, so I am not sure
24 that that is a consistent right-of-way or
1 setback from the right-of-way, for that
3 This is a very difficult thing to
4 measure. I know Alan has looked at it and
5 tried to make a distinction with GIS and
6 high accurate that is, none of us really
7 know. It's impossible to measure it by land
8 standing out at the centerline of that road
9 at any time of day or night. I don't know
10 that we really know exactly how far that
11 setback is to that building.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: So, by Ordinance
13 how large would their sign be allowed to be
14 as far as the closest estimation of the
15 setback there on the centerline that you
17 MEMBER SHROYER: Forty-six and a half.
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Forty-six and a
20 MR. AMOLSCH: Correct.
21 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: You know,
22 staying with the consistency of the
23 surrounding buildings, I can see giving them
24 an additional square feet similar to the
1 other 53 and 54 for the similar businesses,
2 but this going up to 75 square feet I don't
3 believe that I can be in support of that.
4 I'll open it up to other Board Members
5 for comment. Member Shroyer?
6 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
7 On these letters, obviously the sign for
8 HINO is standard or basic or it's an
9 obviously a logo.
10 MR. LUTZ: That's a logo, right.
11 MEMBER SHROYER: The truck is just a
12 standard --
13 MR. LUTZ: That's a part of their
14 corporate logo.
15 MEMBER SHROYER: It is part of the
16 logo, but I mean the font is nothing
17 patented or anything like that, it's just an
18 aerial width or something?
19 MR. LUTZ: That's a yes and no answer,
20 Mr. Shroyer. You're right, it's not like
21 the word HINO that is in a customized font,
22 if you will. But the two together comprise
23 their logo. In other words, you can't have
24 one without the other. There was
1 considerable discussion with this client
2 about that very thing and HINO is a Toyota
3 subsidiary that specializes just in
4 commercial truck business. That's all they
5 do. They also make parts for what I consider
6 the non-commercial part of the business, the
7 Tacomas and the smaller pickup type trucks.
8 They make parts for that. But there is
9 specifically a commercial truck entity, so
10 trucks has to be part of their logo.
11 MEMBER SHROYER: Sure. I understand.
12 With this being basically a patented logo
13 and what have you, quite a few other
14 businesses that we have talked to that have
15 a lot of locations, there are standard sizes
16 that are available. In other words, they
17 can purchase them off the rack or whatever.
18 They are not custom made. Is this a
19 standard size?
20 MR. LUTZ: No, this is not.
21 MEMBER SHROYER: So, there is not a
22 next step down or above?
23 MR. LUTZ: This is a non-retail
24 entity. What you are speaking of is mostly
1 from retail type which have, like you say,
2 hundreds of locations throughout the
3 country. This is the Michigan headquarters
4 for this facility. So there isn't any
5 particular size, so, yes, it could be
6 downsized. One of the ways we came up with
7 the size, though, was the word HINO which is
8 kind of the key to this whole thing is only
9 12 inches. That's barely visible at these
10 distances, at the speeds that are on this
12 This is a small size by virtue of the
13 signs that are further down the road on
14 either side. They are visible from the
15 expressway. I would argue that this is a
16 special set of circumstances. This is not a
17 small public right-of-way. This is not a
18 secondary road or a county road, this is a
19 highway that is a very high speed highway.
20 So, the visible impact of this sign is very
21 limited. I realize that this is the way
22 that the Ordinance enforces us to measure
23 this sign, but this sign does not have a 75
24 square foot visual impact. It has
1 considerably less than that.
2 I think it is consistent with what's
3 on that building in terms of 54 and 55. The
4 visible impact is 59 square feet.
5 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you. Do we
6 have any idea to the City -- and I apologize
7 for not contacting you earlier to give you a
8 head ups on this. But do we know the letter
9 sizes for Finlay and for INCAT?
10 MR. AMOLSCH: No, not offhand.
11 MEMBER SHROYER: I was trying to
12 compare, but I am not very good at doing
13 that driving on 96.
15 MEMBER SHROYER: I have never been
16 opposed to any type of even an additional
17 sign. I think any time we can advertise or
18 promote the good businesses within the City
19 of Novi, we need to take every advantage.
20 My only concern was trying to be fair and
21 consistent with the other vendors or
22 businesses in the immediate vicinity and it
23 would be very easy for me to support a sign
24 up to the 54 square foot, but I need some
1 convincing from other Board Members if we
2 want to approve something as requested at 75
3 square feet.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
5 Member Shroyer. Member Ghannam?
6 MEMBER GHANNAM: I just have a couple
7 of questions. With the way that the City
8 Ordinance requires us to measure signs using
9 that route, what is the minimum you think
10 you can use in terms of square footage to
11 meet your client's needs as opposed to the
12 75 square foot?
13 MR. LUTZ: I would argue that 12 inch
14 letters of HINO are barely visible as they
15 are. This client would have liked a larger
16 sign. We suggested that they down-size it
17 because I didn't think I could sell a larger
18 sign. I did think that 75 square feet, even
19 though that's not the way I would measure
20 it. It's not the way a lot of cities are
21 measuring it these days was consistent with
22 what's on the expressway. What's visible on
23 the expressway. To have a sign that meets
24 the Ordinance but is not visible is kind of
1 a useless sign, in my opinion. That does
2 more to contribute to sign pollution in my
3 view than having a sign that is readable.
4 MEMBER GHANNAM: This would be your
5 only sign on the premises whether it be
6 ground sign?
7 MR. LUTZ: That's the only sign.
8 There are no ground signs. It is the only
9 sign on this whole premise that addresses
10 this particular tenant.
11 MEMBER GHANNAM: This is not only
12 visible to the freeway, but it's in front of
13 your main entrance?
14 MR. LUTZ: Which really is parking
15 lot. I don't know if you actually drove
16 onto the premise, but it is pretty narrow
17 out there. Like I say, this building, they
18 really squeezed this building in into a
19 space that would probably only be suitable
20 to this kind of a tenant. This is not a
21 retail space. We don't get any retail truck
22 guys in here, but we do get people from the
23 Big 3 and from vendors, tertiary suppliers,
24 secondary suppliers to them that come into
1 this facility.
2 I think that it is important, Mr.
3 Shroyer is correct, we have always tried to
4 do signage in a tasteful way in the City of
5 Novi. We've got AAA properties here. It's
6 a very desirable place to be.
7 I have not met you before, Mr.
8 Ghannam, but we have been doing these kind
9 of properties for a long time. We try not
10 to oversize signs and have signs that are
11 garish and that are retail type signs. This
12 is not that kind of --
13 MEMBER GHANNAM: No, and I appreciate
14 that. I mean obviously you are entitled to a
15 sign, the question is how large. Personally
16 I understand your difficulty that you
17 explained given the freeway and parking lot
18 situation. I would have no problem
19 supporting it as is. I would have liked to
20 see something smaller, more consistent with
21 the area, but I understand from the
22 photographs you put up on the overhead given
23 the nature of the freeway, the nature of the
24 speed and so forth I understand your
2 I don't have any other questions.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
4 Member Ghannam. Other Board Members?
5 We talked a lot about
6 the freeway. Is it your intent to pull
7 traffic off of the freeway? And what exit
8 are they going to take? I mean, I drive by
9 there all the time. Either you already got
10 off at Novi Road which was a good four miles
11 before that, or you are going to maybe take
12 the Grand River. Why the advertising on 96?
13 That's where I am going --
14 MR. LUTZ: I don't know where else you
15 can put a sign, Mr. Fischer, that would be
16 visible for either in the parking lot or
17 from the expressway. Relative to the size
18 of this building, this is a pretty small
19 sign. When I think of some of the signs
20 that we have put up and some of which you
21 have authorized from visibility from M-5, as
22 an example, they are considerably larger. I
23 don't think given the size of this building
24 and the fact that this building is a
1 compromised building and the fact that it
2 was set into an area by the expressway
3 that's probably difficult to lease in normal
4 circumstances. So, I think they have a
5 hardship here by virtue of the fact that
6 it's difficult on the property to do
7 anything on a retail basis. I think we're
8 darn fortunate to get a high quality tenant
9 like this that is willing to locate where
10 their only visibility is from the expressway
11 which doesn't have any obvious place to get
12 to. I don't know how else to address this
13 particular client's issue. A ground sign,
14 we could put up a great big ground pole type
15 sign which to me would be more offensive
16 than what we are asking for here. So, I
17 think this is the lesser of all the
18 potential evils, if you will. And I think
19 it's appropriate to the site. I think it's
20 appropriate to the building. And, yes, it
21 exceeds the Ordinance, but this piece of
22 property is kind of odd to the Ordinance
23 too. It's an exceptional piece of property.
24 I think there are extenuating circumstances
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: To my
3 colleagues. Once again I'm just still not
4 convinced that features regarding this piece
5 of property are significant enough and
6 exceptional enough and unique enough. I
7 would find it very hard if INCAT or Finlay
8 were to come in and ask for 75 feet, how
9 would I look them in the eye and honestly
10 say, well, I know the tenant two doors down
11 got a sign that large, but you guys don't
12 get to just because your logo doesn't
13 require one.
14 So, we are at somewhat at an impasse.
15 So, I am going to ask for Board Members to
16 make comments or look at entertaining a
17 motion. I want to make sure we stay on
18 point and stay on our agenda tonight.
19 MEMBER IBE: Just one quick comment.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Ibe?
21 MEMBER IBE: I feel the pain of your
22 client, sir. And if I am inclined to vote
23 right now, I really don't know which way I
24 stand on this issue, and I will tell you
1 why. The City has stated that they don't
2 have any information regarding other
3 businesses with similar signs in terms of
4 size. If I were to know that information,
5 it would help me to make a better decision.
6 Maybe in favor of your client as to what you
7 are asking for, but I don't have that
8 information today.
9 Now, I am not so sure whether or not
10 the other five members are inclined to go
11 for or against what you are asking for, but
12 if I were to make a suggestion to you, and
13 perhaps if the City would -- is it possible
14 to get a comparable information concerning
15 other businesses, the size of other two
16 businesses we are taking about? Is there
17 any way to find out?
18 MR. AMOLSCH: We have files if they
19 are where they are supposed to be.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I am sure the
21 City of Novi they are.
22 MEMBER IBE: What I am going to
23 propose is this. And that perhaps, this is
24 just a mere suggestion, you don't have to
1 take my suggestion. I would probably
2 propose that you table this. Allow the city
3 to maybe gather that fact for the next
4 hearing date. It's your call. I can tell
5 you it could go either way today. But right
6 now I am not sold either for or against.
7 So, I really don't know. It's your call.
8 But that's the way I think about it right
10 Thank you, Mr. Chair.
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
12 Member Ibe. Other Board Members?
13 MEMBER BAUER: I like his idea.
14 MEMBER SHROYER: I am not in favor of
15 tabling it. I would like to move forward.
16 But if I did know the size letters of the
17 other two businesses there, it sure would
18 make my decision a lot easier. Right now I
19 am leaning toward an approval simply because
20 a one foot size letter isn't very big. Now,
21 of course, it's not our problem or fault
22 that the letters are a foot, they got a foot
23 above it and a foot below it. It's just
24 background color. I believe our attorney --
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I can understand
2 that, but my only concern with that is let's
3 take for instance the City of Novi log.
4 Novi is very small on there. Now, would we
5 just allow the City of Novi to put an
6 extremely large sign just because they chose
7 to have their lettering so small? That's
8 the City of Novi and I would still say no to
9 them if they had to come before us, but I
10 don't think they do.
11 That's my concern. Anyone can have --
12 as part of the logo structure anyone can
13 have any size lettering as they want. Just
14 because one has tiny letters doesn't mean we
15 should allow them to enhance their entire
17 MS. KUDLA: I was just going to add.
18 You could move to table it. You don't have
19 to wait for an applicant to request to table
20 it. So, if you were inclined to table it
21 and get information you could make that
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Ghannam?
24 MEMBER GHANNAM: The only comment I
1 have to tabling is this, even if we were --
2 I am not familiar with these other two signs
3 that you are talking about since I am fairly
4 new to the Board, but each case is specific
5 with regard to its location. It just so
6 happens they have two words in their name
7 and they have a logo symbol there, and every
8 case should be looked at separately. And
9 even if they were smaller letters and made a
10 smaller script in the sign I can appreciate
11 that, but this still has to stand on its own
12 merits whether we vote it up or down.
13 That's why I don't know even if we get that
14 extra permission I don't think it would be
15 helpful to me.
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I think the key
17 there is there are two businesses that are
18 right within that same exact park. And, so,
19 what I am looking for is the surrounding
20 area and consistency as fairness to all
21 adjacent areas.
22 MR. LUTZ: Mr. Chair, if I may. If we
23 could have an adjournment I think that might
24 be information that might be valuable to the
1 Board and I would request that at this time.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Would someone
3 care to make a motion?
4 MEMBER GHANNAM: I will make a motion
5 to table this to the next hearing date. Is
6 that okay with you, sir?
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: September 9th?
8 MEMBER GHANNAM: September 9th.
9 MR. LUTZ: I got to look at the
10 schedule. I can't answer that right now, but
11 we can certainly work that out.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: The next
14 MEMBER GHANNAM: The next mutually
15 agreeable date. I would move to table this
16 until that time.
17 MEMBER IBE: I will second that.
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
19 motion by Member Ghannam and a second by
20 Member Ibe. Any further discussion on the
21 motion to table? Seeing none, Ms. Working
22 will you please call the roll.
23 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
24 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
1 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
2 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
3 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
4 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
5 MS. WORKING: Member Wrobel?
6 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
7 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
8 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
9 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Nope.
11 MS. WORKING: Motion to table passes
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: All right. You
14 have been tabled and we will see you at the
15 next mutually agreeable date.
17 Moving right along to case
18 number four of new business which is case
19 number: 08-039 filed by Matt Quinn of Gabe,
20 Quinn & Seymour for Alan Rushforth of 22705
21 and 22655 Heslip Drive, Parcel
22 22-26-326-016. The Applicant is requesting
23 an exception to the City of Novi Code of
24 Ordinance Article 24 scheduled regulations
1 which requires a minimum 10 foot side yard
2 setback in an I-1 zoning district to
3 facilitate the proposed land division for
4 the already mentioned parcel. The property
5 is zoned I-1 and is located north of Nine
6 Mile Road and west of Heslip Drive.
7 MR. QUINN. Gentlemen, good evening.
8 Robin, Beth, good evening to you. I am
9 Matthew Quinn appearing on behalf of my
10 client Alan Rushforth.
11 We are here tonight on a -- well,
12 first of all congratulations on getting rid
13 of all the sign cases. I think everybody is
14 pleased. Now you are moving into the more
15 exciting things on your agenda. And unlike
16 everybody else here I have a unique piece of
17 property. And it really is.
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: So, we have
20 MR. QUINN: Yes. This piece of
21 property that my client owns is unique in
22 that it has two industrial buildings located
23 on it. And the purpose of Mr. Rushforth
24 obtaining a lot split is obvious so that in
1 the future he will be able to sell these
2 separately, mortgage these separately.
3 Unfortunately Novi has an Ordinance that
4 requires that there be a 10 foot setback
5 from any boundary line to parking lot,
6 landscaping, what have you. When you put a
7 line down the middle of a parcel, it's
8 impossible to come up -- on an existing
9 parcel, it's impossible to come up with
10 those setbacks.
11 So, by you in your own benevolence
12 granting the variance for the 10 foot
13 required interior side yard setback, the
14 Assessors office will be able to work on
15 completing the lot split and my client will
16 be happy that he is paying me to be here
17 this evening.
18 So, I would be more than happy to
19 answer any questions that you have. You
20 have been provided with the diagrams of the
21 information. We are proposing, of course,
22 in the future along with the lot split,
23 there will be an access, an ingress easement
24 for both of the properties to share. That
1 we will be working out with the Assessors
2 office after this evening.
3 So, I will be more than happy to
4 answer any questions that you may have.
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: In this case
6 there were 20 notices mailed with zero
7 approvals and zero objections. Is there
8 anyone in the audience that wishes to make
9 comment on this case? Seeing none, we will
10 turn it over to the City for any comments.
11 Whoever would like to start. It's your
13 MS. KUDLA: I was just going to point
14 out the applicable standards just to refresh
15 everyone that this is not a use variance or
16 a dimensional variance and it's an
17 exception. We are going by two actually
18 separate sets of standards under the Zoning
19 Ordinance so you need to consider both of
21 The first section being Section 2906,
22 "When yard regulation cannot reasonably be
23 complied with or where their application
24 cannot be determined on a lot with peculiar
1 shaped topography or due to architectural or
2 site arrangement, such regulations may be
3 modified as determined by the Board of
5 If you make that determination that
6 due to the site arrangement, the yard
7 regulation cannot be complied with, then you
8 need to move on and consider whether or not
9 the exception will impair inadequate supply
10 of light and air to adjacent property or
11 immediately increase the congestion in
12 public streets or increase the danger of
13 fire or endanger public safety or
14 unreasonably diminish or impair established
15 property values within the surrounding area
16 or in any other respected public health,
17 safety, comfort, morals or welfare of the
18 inhabitants of the City of Novi.
19 That standard is under Section 3104,
20 3104(1)(C)4. These are both summarized.
21 They are actually set forth in Mark
22 Spencer's memorandum dated July 28th, 2008.
23 If you go to the second page there is one
24 right after another if you want to look at
1 them to consider them.
2 I just wanted to also point out, I
3 don't know if it was clear, but nothing is
4 physically changing on the property is my
6 MR. QUINN: That's correct.
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Anyone else?
8 MR. BOULARD: (Unintelligible), but
9 nothing to add.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Board Members, I
11 will open it up for discussion.
12 When was this building built?
13 MR. QUINN: Oh, 20 plus years ago both
14 buildings. My client just purchased them
15 about two years ago.
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: You wouldn't
17 have been on the Planning Commission at that
18 time, would you?
19 MR. QUINN: Oh, no, no, no.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Okay.
21 MR. QUINN: No, I was never started.
22 They made me mayor right away.
23 MEMBER BAUER: He was long time gone
24 by then.
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Shroyer?
2 MEMBER SHROYER: Well, I will state
3 that this packet works better than sleeping
5 MR. QUINN: My pleasure. They had me
6 cut out five pages.
7 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer, I only
8 give you the second one, not the first one.
9 MEMBER SHROYER: I can try and make a
10 motion but I would sure like help if need be
12 In case number: 08-039 filed by Matt
13 Quinn of Gabe, Quinn & Seymour, PLLC, for
14 22705 and 22655 Heslip Drive, move to grant
15 the allowance of a zero foot interior side
16 yard setback due to the justification that
17 the spirit of the Zoning Ordinance is
18 observed. Health, safety and welfare is
19 secure. And substantial justice is done.
20 This granting is conditional upon either,
21 this is key, one, a lot division so that
22 each parcel contains the same percentage of
23 their required parking spaces or a reduction
24 of the amount of office space in the
1 northern building be lowered to 10 percent
2 or less.
3 And this is all due to the proposed
4 exception or a special approval will not
5 impair an adequate supply of light and air
6 to adjacent property or unreasonably
7 increase the congestion in public streets or
8 increase the danger of fire or endanger to
9 public safety or unreasonably diminish or
10 impair established property values within
11 the surrounding area. Or in any other
12 respect impair the public health, safety,
13 comfort, morals or welfare of the
14 inhabitants of the City of Novi.
15 MEMBER BAUER: I'll second it.
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
17 motion by Member Shroyer. A second by
18 Member Bauer.
19 MEMBER SHROYER: Does that work?
20 MEMBER BAUER: Could I inquire of the
22 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: In one minute.
23 MS. KUDLA: I would just add that with
24 respect to these special considerations
1 under 3104, the reason that we know that
2 these things are not, that the standards are
3 not -- I shouldn't say met -- the reason
4 that the light is not impaired, the
5 congestion does not increase, the fire
6 danger does not increase is because these
7 are existing buildings that have been there
8 for 20 years and the fact that they have
9 been existing shows that none of these
10 standards are affecting the circumstances.
11 MEMBER SHROYER: Add that as part of
12 the motion.
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: You had a
15 MR. QUINN: My inquiry of the motion
16 is I did not understand the issue of
18 MEMBER SHROYER: What I was doing was
19 giving the Applicant the option of choosing
20 either -- let me find the right note here.
21 He would have the option, instead
22 of us dictating which one has to be done, I
23 was giving the applicant the option of
24 dividing the lot so each parcel contains the
1 same percentage of required parking spaces
2 and as indicated in the notes we received,
3 73 percent, or reduce the amount of office
4 space in the northern building to 10 percent
5 of the building or less.
6 So, they can choose either one to meet
7 the requirement.
8 MR. QUINN: I would propose that that
9 is not an issue that is front of you
10 tonight. There is nothing dealing with
11 parking. The only thing in front of you is
12 the zero side yard setback. I may have to
13 come back to you later regarding parking.
14 But that is not an issue that was published.
15 Not an issue that is really here this
17 MS. KUDLA: That's correct.
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: But are we not
19 allowed to impose conditions as we see fit
20 before approving such?
21 MS. KUDLA: I guess my question would
22 be what are the conditions based on then?
23 What is your --
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Is Mark and
1 someone from the Planning Department here to
2 discuss this with us?
3 MS. WORKING: Kristin Kapelanski is
4 here from the Planning Department.
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Is she prepared
6 to discuss the case?
7 MS. WORKING: Let me caution you, she
8 did not write the letter.
9 MEMBER SHROYER: This came from a
10 recommendation from the City.
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Correct.
12 MS. KAPELANSKI: Good evening, Board
13 Members. As Robin said, Mark spent a
14 majority of time going over this particular
15 case. I believe his thought on the issue of
16 the lot split with regards to the parking
17 was that we would try to make each site with
18 the lot as close to in compliance with the
19 Ordinance as possible. I believe that's why
20 he suggested that at least 73 percent, meet
21 the requirements for 73 percent of parking
22 on both sites rather than splitting the lots
23 directly down the middle and having one site
24 be grossly under-parked and the other closer
1 to the Ordinance.
2 I would leave it up to Beth as to
3 whether or not that would be considered a
4 reasonable condition. I think that was
5 merely a suggestion of the Planning
7 MEMBER SHROYER: He was indicating, he
8 said to insure more equitable distribution
9 of available parking spaces. Now, I thought
10 that was a reasonable recommendation and
11 that's why I included it in the motion.
12 MS. KUDLA: It is a recommendation of
13 the Planning Department. You can consider
14 it based on the reason given if you feel
15 that you agree with that.
16 MEMBER SHROYER: There was a question
17 raised that it wasn't noticed that way?
18 MR. QUINN: Well, it's more than that.
19 Mr. Spencer merely looked at the size of the
20 buildings and how many parking spots had
21 been there. I do not believe he has taken
22 into the location of the loading docks. I
23 merely can't move parking around -- I mean
24 the parking is there. It's been there for
1 20 years. I have given you photographs
2 actually of a typical day and you see there
3 is extra parking that's there on both
5 We setup our ingress and egress
6 easement based upon backup areas to use the
7 loading docks. To do what they do in my
8 opinion, I cannot do regarding moving these
9 parking spots around. You would be on the
10 smaller building on the south, Parcel B, you
11 would be taking too much of their parking
12 spots away from them in the location where
13 their loading docks are. So, that is why, I
14 guess, that will be an issue later when we
15 get back to the Assessor Department to
16 complete the lot splits. I still have the
17 right to come back to you if they say I need
18 adjustments in the parking. That is not in
19 front of you this evening.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: As far as number
21 of parking spots go you are referring to the
23 MR. QUINN: Correct.
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Shroyer,
1 I noticed that there were three different
2 orders. Did you include all three in your
4 MEMBER SHROYER: No, I did not include
5 the last one.
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Is there a
7 certain reason?
8 MEMBER SHROYER: Partially because I'm
9 not sure exactly what it means. And the
10 other two, like I said, I felt were
11 reasonable and equitable in the request. We
12 could inquire upon what non-revokable
13 parking easements mean, but that to me
14 sounded like we were in that instance
15 indicating exactly the parking situation and
16 I tried to give the Applicant the ability to
17 choose as opposed to enforcing it.
18 MS. KUDLA: The third condition would
19 actually sort of insure the other two
20 conditions, that's sort of how you would put
21 it in place. The legal means by which you
22 would reapportion the parking spaces.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Sir, are you
24 able to give us a determination on whether
1 you legally feel these are reasonable
3 MS. KUDLA: You can add it as a
4 reasonable condition. It just depends
5 whether you think it's reasonable as
6 recommended by the Planning Department you
7 take it into consideration as you do any
8 other kind of factor or recommendation by
9 the Planning Department.
10 MEMBER SHROYER: If we don't include
11 it, the Applicant needs to come back and
12 talk about parking spaces, correct?
13 MS. KUDLA: He may need to come back
14 for parking.
15 MEMBER SHROYER: If we include it he
16 may not have to come back and we save
17 another meeting; is that correct?
18 MS. KUDLA: Possibly.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: What are your
20 major concerns with these conditions?
21 MR. QUINN: I really don't know how
22 they layout on the site. The City has never
23 shown me what they would like to see for
24 parking. I get a percentage of this and a
1 percentage of that. I have never seen
2 anything in that regard, how so can I
3 possibly consent that goes with being
4 acceptable conditions?
5 The only thing that was published was
6 a zero setback on the line period.
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Yes, but the
8 whole entire folder is open for the public
9 prior to the meeting too. I mean, if anyone
10 wanted to view the entire folder they can
11 come and see Robin how many days in advance?
12 MS. WORKING: I think that if I
13 understand what Mr. Quinn is saying is that
14 the Board is being asked to make a decision
15 on the setback request. Mr. Spencer from
16 the Planning Department gave his
17 recommendation of what would be considered
18 in his opinion to be reasonable conditions
19 that the Board might want to consider when
20 looking at the request for the side yard
21 setback variance. We did not notice for
22 parking spaces required. That is a correct
24 MEMBER GHANNAM: I got a couple of
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: The floor is all
4 MEMBER GHANNAM: To our City Attorney.
5 Can we grant a variance to a lot that hasn't
6 been split that will be nonconforming
7 because of these parking issues?
8 MS. KUDLA: This is meant to make it
10 MEMBER GHANNAM: I understand. So,
11 would we have to condition this on the lot
12 being split?
13 MS. KUDLA: No. Once this is granted
14 then the lot can be split.
15 MEMBER GHANNAM: Secondly, I notice in
16 his letter dated July 24, '08, the last
17 paragraph on the second page. He does
18 specifically request variances for parcel A
19 and parcel B for the parking.
20 MS. WORKING: You are talking about
22 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes. I don't know
23 how it was noticed up, but that's the way I
24 read it. He was looking for parking
1 variances also. The very large paragraph on
2 page two.
3 Wasn't that what you were seeking too?
4 MR. QUINN: There is a long history to
5 this. I don't really want to bore you, but
6 I will give you the quick synopsis. The
7 Ordinance says an appeal from a denial of
8 the Assessor goes to the City Council. Your
9 City Attorney got together with staff and
10 determined that this should not go to City
11 Council. That I should go to the Zoning
12 Board of Appeals.
13 So, I put my first application
14 together and as Robin stated, it included
15 everything in Mr. Spencer's letter.
16 Landscaping deficiencies, every site
17 deficiency that he noted. I was then told,
18 no, that wouldn't be necessary and we can
19 simplify it and just deal with the side yard
20 setback. So, we're here for the side yard
22 Now, bingo, I get hit with Mr.
23 Spencer's letter again saying, well, also
24 let's deal with parking. I can deal with
1 parking in accordance with my letter, but I
2 am not quite certain in my mind as an
3 attorney on how you can deal with something
4 legally that hasn't been published. The
5 only thing that has been published is the
6 side yard setback.
7 MS. KUDLA: I think you are looking at
8 it as conditions. You have to determine
9 whether they relate to the exception that is
10 being requested which is a zero setback.
11 Now, do you think that these conditions here
12 would somehow make that request more likely
13 to meet the standard that was named here?
14 You follow what I am saying? That the
15 conditions make it more likely too that the
16 standard, that the exception will impair an
17 adequate supply of light and air to the
18 adjacent properties or unreasonably increase
19 congestion of public streets or increase the
20 danger of fire. Now, if these conditions
21 regarding parking are added, is it more
22 likely that you see the standard being met
23 is what I would ask you to consider.
24 MEMBER GHANNAM: Isn't the standard
1 undue hardship in this case?
2 MS. KUDLA: No, no --
3 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'm sorry,
4 unnecessary hardship?
5 MS. KUDLA: No, this is an exception.
6 You have to consider just the two provisions
7 that I read to you from the Ordinance which
8 are Sections 3104 and 2906, which are set
9 forth on page two of the memorandum dated
10 July 28, 2008 by Mark Spencer. This is not
11 a variance request. It is an exception if
12 you look at the Ordinance.
13 If you go down starting the second
14 full paragraph where it says Section 3104(C)
15 and then it cites Section 2906, these would
16 be the two standards, 2906 and 3104 that are
17 being considered by the Board. Those are
18 the standards that the Board is being asked
19 whether or not this exception request meets.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other
21 questions at this point, Member Ghannam?
22 MEMBER GHANNAM: Nothing further.
23 MEMBER SHROYER: I don't have any
24 reason to believe that these conditions
1 would change the motion as to what we want
2 to do. In other words, have any affect on
3 the health, safety and all the other
4 activities or actions that you just
5 mentioned. Consequently, I have no problem
6 removing the conditions from the motion as
7 long as the City Attorney is agreeable to
9 MS. KUDLA: To amend the motion to
10 remove conditions?
11 MEMBER SHROYER: Correct.
12 MS. KUDLA: You can do that if that is
13 what you are seeking to do?
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: No, I don't
15 think that is the way he is phrasing it. He
16 is not just asking to allow to remove them,
17 he is asking your opinion on whether or not
18 to remove them?
19 MEMBER SHROYER: Correct.
20 MS. KUDLA: Like a substantive opinion
21 on whether or not -- I can't tell you
22 whether you think this helps it meet the
23 standards that is being requested. Is that
24 what you are asking?
1 MEMBER SHROYER: No, I am already
2 saying I don't think it has anything to do
3 with meeting the standards. I think the
4 standards could stand on their own with the
5 remainder of the motion.
6 MS. KUDLA: Right.
7 MEMBER SHROYER: Consequently, I do
8 not have a problem removing the conditions
9 as long as there are no objections from the
10 City Attorney in doing that. Or any reason
11 why I shouldn't.
12 MS. KUDLA: I don't see any reason why
13 you couldn't.
14 MEMBER SHROYER: Okay. Then I would
15 like to amend the motion to remove the
17 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Seconder
19 concurs. Any further discussion? Seeing
20 none --
21 MS. WORKING: Mr. Chair, who was the
22 seconder on the motion?
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Bauer.
24 MS. WORKING: Thank you. That was the
1 motion to grant the exception for the zero
2 side yard interior setback?
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Yes. Please
4 call the roll.
5 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
6 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
7 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
8 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
9 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
11 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
12 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
13 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
14 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
15 MS. WORKING: And Member Wrobel?
16 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
17 MS. WORKING: Motion passes 6-0.
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you very
19 much. Have a good evening. Hopefully I
20 won't see you --
21 MR. QUINN: Hopefully I won't see you
22 on parking issues.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Always a
1 MR. QUINN: We'll work it out.
2 MEMBER SHROYER: I'll say I told you
3 so if you come back.
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: We will move
6 along to case number five under new
7 business. Case number: 08-040 filed by
8 Affiliated Investors, LLC, for Premier
9 Medical located at 44000 West Twelve Mile
11 The Applicant is requesting a variance
12 to the required number of off street parking
13 spaces to allow placement of a mobile
14 medical unit in the parking lot near the
15 northeast corner of the building located at
16 said address.
17 Petitioner is requesting 200 parking
18 spaces in lieu of 203 parking spaces
19 required by Ordinance. The property is
20 zoned OS-1 and is located north of Twelve
21 Mile Road and west of Novi Road.
22 You are here tonight. Are you all
23 planning on speaking?
24 MR. COHN: I will speak tonight. He
1 will be available to answer questions.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Then we will go
3 ahead and get you sworn in unless you are an
5 MR. COHN: I am an attorney.
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Then you are
7 good to go. Apparently we trust attorneys.
8 Never gotten an determination on that.
9 MS. WORKING: Chairperson Fischer?
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Yes.
11 MS. WORKING: Could we have you state
12 your name for the record.
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Yes, and your
15 MR. COHN: Good evening. I am Mark
16 Cohn, I am counsel for Affiliated Investors,
17 LLC, 2000 Town Center Southfield, Michigan.
18 I guess Mr. Quinn was the segway into
19 the parking variance. I was actually hoping
20 since he was the first non-sign variance he
21 would create some momentum, but I am not
22 sure if that occurred, so I guess I am on my
23 own. I am going to be brief, the hour is
24 growing late.
1 With me here tonight just to introduce
2 them in case there are any questions that
3 are asked is there Mr. Jeff Grant who is
4 vice-president of Diagnostic Services for
5 Detroit Medical Center.
6 DMC is the proposed center of the
7 Imaging Center and they are ready to make
8 use of the space. As part of the Imaging
9 Center they want to be able to locate and
10 operate a mobile imaging center on the site
11 to provide the full range of diagnostic
12 services that they need to provide to their
14 Also with me here in case you have
15 questions regarding building operations is
16 Michelle Walter of Paragon Corporate Realty
17 Services property manager.
18 By way of background we are requesting
19 the variance to three parking spaces to
20 allow the placement of the mobile imaging
21 unit in the parking lot on the eastern side
22 of the building. Affiliated Investors, LLC,
23 is the owner the property. It's a group of
24 medical professionals that were formed and
1 they bought the property after it was site
2 planned by a developer to build the building
3 and complete the building late 2006.
4 In May of 2006 Affiliated entered into
5 a lease with a company called Health First
6 Imaging Center of Novi for the imaging
7 center. And part of that lease also
8 included this mobile imaging unit outside of
9 the space. Under the lease, Health First
10 was required to get all the necessary
11 permits and approvals to build out for space
12 because they were obligated to complete
13 their own space.
14 And they were also obligated to put
15 any improvements of the parking lot that
16 were required from the Imaging Center, so
17 they were also required to get any other
18 approval they needed for the mobile imaging
20 The built out their space and they
21 improved the portion of the parking lot for
22 this mobile sign or mobile imaging unit. If
23 you have been out to the site you can sort
24 of see on the eastern side there is a
1 concrete pad that's flush with the rest of
2 the parking lot, that's where it would be to
3 accommodate the unit.
4 The center issued a certificate of
5 occupancy I think in December of '06. But
6 for whatever reason Health First never
7 occupied the space, so the space hasn't been
8 utilized as of yet. DMC is prepared to move
9 in there and to lease the space and to
10 operate an imaging center, and the key part
11 of that is going to be operating a mobile
12 imaging unit as part of that imaging center.
13 So, while the parties were finalizing
14 the lease negotiations, the property manager
15 visited the city just to make sure that
16 whatever approvals had been issued for the
17 mobile unit were still in place and they
18 could just move forward and move right into
19 the space.
20 That was the first time it was learned
21 that the contractor that was hired to build
22 up the space and to improve the parking lot
23 obtained what we understand is a temporary,
24 some type of temporary permit for the mobile
1 unit, but not a permanent approval and that
2 parking variance was required. So,
3 obviously DMC did not move into the space.
4 We didn't take possession of the space and
5 the variance request was quickly made to try
6 to rectify the situation.
7 If you have any questions regarding
8 the unit itself Mr. Grant would be happy to
9 answer those. As far as the use and any
10 effect on the parking lot, even at peak
11 hours, there is significant number of
12 surplus spaces on this parking lot. I have
13 some photos if you would like to take a look
14 at them. The property manager went out
15 there several days, surveyed the parking lot
16 at peak office hours such as mid morning,
17 10:00, 2:00 in the afternoon and 4:00 in the
18 afternoon. And the number of surplus unused
19 spaces range from 110 to 120 spaces.
20 So, this is not a closed call as far
21 as use of the parking lot. The parking lot
22 isn't fully utilized and it shouldn't have
23 any kind of adverse impact from the use of
24 the space.
1 It should be noted that the owners of
2 the property are also the tenants by and
3 large of the property. So, they are not
4 concerned about this, they sort of
5 understand what their patient load is and
6 what their operations are and so there is
7 obviously a consensus on the part of the
8 owner. This isn't going to have some kind
9 of adverse impact on the practitioners
10 within the building.
11 So, at this point we would be happy to
12 answer any question that you may have
13 regarding the unit or anything else about
14 the parking. Thank you.
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other
16 comments from you guys? You are all set?
17 Member Shroyer, would you please read
18 any correspondence for us please.
19 MEMBER SHROYER: Certainly. We have
20 132 notices mailed and received zero
21 approvals and zero objections.
22 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Is there anyone
23 in the audience that wishes to make a
24 comment on this case? Seeing none, I will
1 turn it over to the City.
2 MR. BOULARD: No additional comments.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: And we'll open
4 it up to the Board.
5 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer, I
6 would like to point out that Kristin
7 Kapelanski is still here and she would be
8 happy to answer any questions that you might
9 have of her.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Do you have any
11 comments that you want to bring to our
12 attention first or are you just here for our
14 MS. KAPELANSKI: No.
15 Member Wrobel?
16 MEMBER WROBEL: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
17 To the Applicant, what additional usage or
18 additional cars would be brought into this
19 lot based on the use of this facility?
20 MR. COHN: I can at least answer under
21 the Ordinance it would require 30. So, you
22 can maybe address better what the number of
23 patients would be there.
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Sir, are you an
2 MR. GRANT: No, I am not.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: You will be
4 sworn in, of course.
5 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm
6 to tell the truth regarding case: 08-040?
7 MR. GRANT: Yes.
8 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: You look more
9 trustworthy than him. But for some reason.
10 Please go ahead.
11 MR. GRANT: Can you ask the question
12 again? Number of patients?
13 MEMBER WROBEL: How much additional
14 space will be required based on the
15 installation of the unit sitting there?
16 MR. GRANT: So, the Imaging Center
17 within itself has multiple different imaging
18 modalities. What we are proposing to bring
19 in is the mobile trailer to provide service.
20 At any one time we would have an additional
21 two or three cars coming through.
22 MEMBER WROBEL: Okay, it's minimal.
23 MR. GRANT: It's minimal. Twenty over
24 the course of the day would make we very
1 happy. I would love it if 20 cars came in
2 the parking lot over the course of a full
4 MEMBER WROBEL: Based upon that I have
5 no problems granting this. Thank you.
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Bauer?
7 MEMBER BAUER: I think we have a
8 little problem. The notice that went out
9 says 1400 West Ten Mile. And below that it
10 is north of Twelve Mile Road, west of Novi
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: If you look on
13 the notice, Member Shroyer. He is referring
14 to the first paragraph of --
15 MS. WORKING: Oh, that's just a cover
16 letter, that wasn't the public hearing
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: That's just for
20 MS. WORKING: That's just where we put
21 the City staff comments on the case. The
22 public hearing letter is in the file,
23 though, on the left-hand side.
24 MEMBER SHROYER: It is.
1 MS. WORKING: Thank you.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other
3 comments from the Board Members? Member
5 MEMBER GHANNAM: I just have a couple
6 of questions. In terms of the pad where
7 this mobile unit will go it's already been
8 built, correct?
9 MR. GRANT: Correct.
10 MEMBER GHANNAM: That will not be
12 MR. GRANT: Correct.
13 MEMBER GHANNAM: Your intention is
14 keeping it in the same place?
15 MR. GRANT: Absolutely.
16 MEMBER GHANNAM: The question I had
17 was -- actually I forgot what my second
18 question was. Oh, I remember it now. Is
19 this intended to be there seven days a week,
20 24 hours a day? Or is ti going to be moved?
21 MR. GRANT: It will be moved. So,
22 depending how volumes go we want to start
23 off with a couple days a week and up to
24 four, five at the most. At that point we
1 want them all affixed from inside of the
2 building from a financial perspective.
3 MEMBER GHANNAM: I got you.
4 MR. GRANT: I don't expect or
5 anticipate seven day a week service.
6 MEMBER GHANNAM: That's fine. Either
7 way I think it's a great idea and I have no
8 problems with it.
9 MR. GRANT: Thank you.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Question.
11 Looking at the map and it appears that this
12 yellow area is where obviously it will be.
13 Why was it placed there as opposed to
14 somewhere else on the property? It just
15 seems like you would want it away from the
17 MR. GRANT: We are kind of assuming
18 the lease. We are kind of taking it as is.
19 I think the rational was that that was the
20 space that was available. You do want a
21 particular space so the patient can transfer
22 from the building suite via covered area
23 into the mobile. So you want it as closely
24 attached as possible.
1 MR. COHN: And I think that's a
2 requirement for the certificate of need for
3 the unit.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I'm sorry, one
5 more time?
6 MR. COHN: I think that is also one of
7 the requirements for the certificate of need
8 for the unit itself.
9 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Okay. That
10 answers my questions. Board Members?
11 MEMBER GHANNAM: I am prepared to make
12 a motion unless there are any questions.
13 MEMBER SHROYER: Just one quick
14 clarification, please. I jotted down
15 emphatically here because it says in the
16 information we received in the packets it
17 says this vehicle is proposed to be on site
18 two to three days a week. Now, if I hear
19 you correctly there is a possibility of it
20 being there up to seven days a week?
21 MR. GRANT: I said the initial plan is
22 to have it up to two days a week, two to
23 three. It could go up to four to five. But
24 I don't ever anticipate seven day a week
2 MEMBER SHROYER: I just wanted to get
3 that clarification, because if the motion
4 maker wanted to include limits as to what
5 the Applicant put in, we may need to look at
6 that and consider that.
7 MEMBER GHANNAM: I appreciate that
8 suggestion. One of the things I was going
9 to state because he made mention that if
10 there is a need and they move these type of
11 equipment and then decide -- if they abandon
12 the use of that variance then it would
13 expire at that point. In other words, the
14 variance would run with the land. It would
15 presumably be effective indefinitely. But
16 if they abandon that use and move the
17 equipment inside then my suggestion would be
18 to make a contingency that would expire.
19 Would you have any problem with that
20 type of contingency?
21 MR. GRANT: Just so I understand then,
22 if we were not using the mobile unit it
23 would expire or after a period of time?
24 MEMBER GHANNAM: That's a good
1 question. My intent was to state something
2 to the effect that if you were to abandon
3 the use such as to put your imaging
4 equipment inside for intended permanent use
5 inside your building, then that variance
6 would expire because when we grant variances
7 -- do we have any problem with the City
8 phrasing it that way?
9 MS. KUDLA: No.
10 MEMBER GHANNAM: Because when we grant
11 variances they do run with the land and
12 technically it would be there indefinitely.
13 MR. COHN: My only concern with that
14 is what's an abandonment? Time might change
15 the requirements of MRI units where they can
16 operate something smaller inside and then
17 still have this need. I am just a little
18 bit concerned because I am not sure how we
19 all are going to interpret that ten years
20 down the road or five years down the road.
21 If it's not there for three months do we get
22 a letter that it's been abandoned or that
23 kind of thing? I think it's set up for that
24 and there seems to be adequate parking. And
1 that's the only impact is the parking.
2 MR. GRANT: My other concern is the
3 certificate of need regulations change every
4 two to three years and that's an evolving
5 process. There are situations where if we
6 needed emergency service, so if we did have
7 a fixed unit on-site and we needed to do an
8 upgrade, the State allows us to do it from
9 an CON perspective to actually bring in a
10 mobile unit to cover during a down time.
11 MEMBER GHANNAM: I understand that. I
12 wouldn't put that kind of contingency on it.
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Mr. Boulard, did
14 have you -- or no longer needed?
15 MR. BOULARD: My suggestion was going
16 to be if the Board wanted to continue down
17 that road that perhaps the language could
18 suggest indicating that the variance was
19 good as long as duplicate service was not
20 available within the building.
21 MEMBER GHANNAM: From what they are
22 saying there may be a need for duplicate
23 service and that would be very difficult to
24 harmonize, I guess. I am prepared to make a
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: The floor is
3 still yours.
4 MEMBER GHANNAM: Thank you. In case
5 number: 08-040 filed by Paragon Property
6 Management Services for Premier Medical
7 located at 44000 West Twelve Mile Road, I
8 move that we grant the variance as
9 requested, the parking variance because I
10 believe this would not unreasonably prevent
11 the use of the property for the permitted
12 purpose. I think the variance would provide
13 substantial justice to the Petitioner and
14 the surrounding property owners in the
16 There are unique circumstances
17 regarding the property in that they are
18 going to have medical, but with the use of
19 this particular type of equipment, medical
20 imaging equipment I understand there is
21 larger pieces of equipment and smaller
22 pieces of equipment. Because there is not a
23 sufficient need for full use of imaging
24 equipment in the building that a temporary
1 mobile unit is sufficient for their needs.
2 The problem is not self created. Adequate
3 light and air is provided to adjacent
4 properties. That would not be affected. I
5 don't believe there would be any increase of
6 fire, danger or public safety. I don't
7 think they would have any issues on property
8 values being diminished in the surrounding
9 area. I think the spirit of the Zoning
10 Ordinance would be observed. And I think a
11 small minimal parking variance in this
12 amount is not unreasonable.
13 MEMBER WROBEL: Second.
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
15 motion and a second. Why don't we also take
16 into consideration City's comments that the
17 site actually has 206 parking spots, but
18 it's the vehicle that takes away six, so it
19 takes it down to a deficit of three just to
20 get some specifics to the findings. Would
21 you be amenable to that?
22 MEMBER GHANNAM: I would. In addition
23 to the condition that it would be on the pad
24 that was built and is existing currently.
1 It would have to be at that site.
2 MEMBER WROBEL: I concur.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: So, we will add
4 that finding and that condition. And the
5 seconder concurs. Any further discussion
6 from the Board Members? Seeing none, please
7 call the roll.
8 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
9 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
10 MS. WORKING: Member Wrobel?
11 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
12 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
13 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
14 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
16 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
17 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
18 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
19 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
20 MS. WORKING: Motion passes 6-0.
21 MR. COHN: Thank you.
22 MR. GRANT: Thank you.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Good luck to you
24 guys. Your variance has been granted.
1 We will go ahead and take one
2 more case and then we'll look at taking
3 another break.
5 Case number six filed by -- Case
6 number: 08-041 filed by Michael Harris of
7 Novi Feed & Supply located 43963 Grand River
8 is requesting a use variance that would
9 allow him to continue storage of vehicles
10 and operations of a U-Haul franchise located
11 at said address. The property is zoned TC-1
12 and located south of Grand River Avenue,
13 west of Novi Road.
14 Are you the Applicant?
15 MR. HARRIS: I am the Applicant Mike
16 Harris. And I'm not an attorney.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: If would you
18 raise your hand and be sworn in by our
19 acting Secretary.
20 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm
21 to tell the truth regarding case: 08-041?
22 MR. HARRIS: I do.
23 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you, sir. Give
24 your name and address, please.
1 MR. HARRIS: Michael J. Harris, 43963
2 Grand River Avenue, Novi Feed & Supply. You
3 want me to start?
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Yes, absolutely.
5 MR. HARRIS: I guess as you guys have
6 seen I prepared a packet for you and there
7 are some pictures in there. Some good ones
8 and some bad ones. Mostly good ones are
9 from Alan, the Ordinance Division.
10 We have been operating the U-Haul
11 there for a couple of years now. And there
12 was a little confusion in compliance in
13 their request from the Ordinance Department,
14 but we continued to do it and then got a
15 violation and have since responded to that
16 and hopefully there is enough information
17 there for you guys to make a favorable
18 decision or have some questions for me that
19 I can hopefully answer.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other
22 MR. HARRIS: Not at this point, no.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Shroyer,
24 if you will read any correspondence for us.
1 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
2 Twenty-two notices were mailed. Zero
3 objections were received. We do have two
5 The first one states, "To whom it may
6 concern. I live right next door to the
7 business in question and it does not bother
8 me in any way having U-Hauls being parked or
9 coming in and out. With the way the economy
10 is right now please don't take this income
11 away from him. Mike Harris is a very hard
12 working citizen. Thank you." Jennifer Agee,
13 A-G-E-E, at 43831 Grand River Avenue.
14 I believe the second letter of
15 approval is the one that's from the area
16 field manager which is David Vallie,
17 V-A-L-L-I-E, of U-Haul of Central Michigan.
18 It states, "To whom it may concern: This
19 letter is to explain that Novi Feed & Supply
20 has been a part of our dealer organization
21 since May 17th, 2006. During that timeframe
22 Mike and his staff has served numerous
23 customers from the Novi area. These would
24 be customers that would be forced to travel
1 outside the city to do business if this
2 location did not exist. He has also served
3 many customers from other cities bringing
4 more business to the Novi area. Mike has
5 always been wanting to comply with U-Haul
6 and the policies we ask of him. His
7 location has earned the right to be a top
8 100 dealer numerous times. This is a great
9 achievement as we have over 10,000 dealers
10 across the United States and Canada. As a
11 U-Haul representative I give Mike and his
12 dealership 100 percent support. If you have
13 any questions please feel free to contact
14 me. Thank you." And again that was David
15 Vallie, area field manager.
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
17 Member Shroyer. Is there anyone in the
18 audience that wishes to make a comment on
19 this case? Seeing none, we will close the
20 public hearing portion and ask the City for
21 any comments?
22 MR. AMOLSCH: No comment.
23 MR. BOULARD: I just wanted to ask Mr.
24 Harris. Could you clarify the ownership of
1 the property in regards to the railroad?
2 MR. HARRIS: The Novi Feed & Supply
3 has been at that location under a couple
4 names over the past hundred years. And as I
5 said it in my letter, it's probably one of
6 the oldest businesses in Novi. It's under a
7 hundred year lease and we are in the third
8 year of our second hundred years with the
9 lease from the railroad track.
10 The lease currently is between Novi
11 Feed & Supply and CSX Railroad. Under that
12 lease we in a sense, myself being the new
13 proprietor their owned everything from the
14 ground up and then the railroad owns the
15 dirt. And we have a lease for dirt. In our
16 lease agreement they have constant access in
17 that little map that you can see where they
18 have a perimeter around our building where
19 they could get in there at any time if they
20 had to get in there, if there was a
21 derailment or whatever that may be.
22 But they currently come in on a
23 regular basis to get to their propane tank
24 that's somewhere down the tracks.
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Anything else
2 from the City?
3 MR. HARRIS: Did that answer your
4 question, Charles?
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Did that answer
6 your question? Is that what you were
7 looking to clarify?
8 MR. BOULARD: Yes.
9 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other
10 comments? Seeing none, I'll open it up for
11 the Board. Member Shroyer?
12 MEMBER SHROYER: One of the things I
13 probably should mention included in the
14 packet, so it's obviously a part of the
15 record as well, was a petition to support
16 and there is 14 names and signatures and
17 addresses would also be on file. I wanted
18 to be sure and include that.
19 And I do have a couple of questions.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Please.
21 MEMBER SHROYER: The first one, I
22 guess goes to the City. Did we have a
23 violation issued in 2007 and one in 2008
24 just prior to this one?
1 MR. AMOLSCH: There was a violation
2 regarding the parking by the road, I
4 MEMBER SHROYER: It wasn't on land
6 MR. AMOLSCH: No. That wasn't
7 reviewed at the time.
8 MEMBER SHROYER: So, it's been
9 operating for three years, the dealership?
10 MR. HARRIS: Since the date that's
11 mentioned in there, yes.
12 MEMBER SHROYER: So basically you
13 probably thought it was in a way
14 grandfathered in and everything was status
16 MR. HARRIS: Yes, we thought that it
17 was okay. And as Alan had said when he gave
18 me notice to not park the trucks by the
19 road, then I guess I assumed at that time
20 that we were just operating as normal.
21 MEMBER SHROYER: What does it take to
22 seek new zoning? That's a major overhaul,
24 MS. KUDLA: A zoning request? Is that
1 what you are asking about?
2 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
3 MS. KUDLA: It would have to go to the
4 Planning Commission for recommendation and
5 then on to City Council.
6 MEMBER SHROYER: These are the only
7 questions I have, Mr. Chair.
8 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
9 Member Shroyer.
10 Member Wrobel?
11 MEMBER WROBEL: This site now, how
12 many parking spots are at this site? I know
13 it's all like dirt. Is there a defined
15 MR. AMOLSCH: It's a dirt parking lot.
16 MEMBER WROBEL: Okay. So, there is no
18 MR. AMOLSCH: No.
19 MEMBER WROBEL: To the Applicant, what
20 is the maximum number of trucks or trailers
21 at one time are you going to have on this
23 MR. HARRIS: Our maximum amount of
24 trucks we currently had to this date is 20
1 trucks and 12 trailers.
2 MEMBER WROBEL: On any given date if
3 that's your maximum what do you on a normal
4 day have sitting there?
5 MR. HARRIS: About seven trucks on a
6 normal day.
7 MEMBER WROBEL: Looking at these
8 pictures it just seems like you got to park
9 them wherever you can park them. That's one
10 of my concerns that they are all over the
12 MR. HARRIS: We are working on some
13 grading issues now to make some definite
14 parking so that we can still have
15 accessibility around the building all the
16 time which we currently do now. The way the
17 grade is when they put the new bridge in
18 it's very, very steep where we park the
19 trucks. Also, we would like to fix that
20 grade so that it's not so steep and it
21 allows for comfortable parking.
22 When we started this thing I had
23 talked to Alan first, then Robin, then
24 Charles and down the line and I had asked
1 about the Ordinance change. And in doing
2 that we have asked Allen about a new sign
3 and we are continually progressing there at
4 Novi Feed trying to make something work in
5 that location. It's very difficult. And
6 the way that they relandscaped after the
7 bridge made it even more challenging.
8 So, if you were to fix the grade a
9 little bit, I had a grader come over and
10 look at it, we could make that a little more
11 level and a lot easier to park a lot more
12 trucks there. And in that one concrete wall
13 that you see that's kind of falling down, we
14 would like to take that out all together and
15 that would make it even more accessible and
16 easier for trucks to park in that area.
17 Just recently, I don't know if anybody
18 did go by the building, but we did grade
19 behind the building between the building and
20 the railroad tracks. Again, when they did
21 the bridge they created a flood underneath
22 our, the whole barn, the hay barn, we call
23 the hay barn to keep hay in it and straw.
24 They put a sewer hole in there, but for some
1 reason could never agree with the railroad
2 tracks on how to get the water to go under
3 the railroad tracks into the drain. So now
4 it just floods in our parking lot there.
5 I have spoken with a guy from
6 Sankovich Grading and they told me that they
7 can create a little bit of a plain there to
8 get that water to drain down along the
9 railroad tracks. It was something that I
10 feel more comfortable that we can make
11 happen to where our building won't rock and
12 at the same time we can use that parking
13 space where currently it floods because of
14 what happened because of the new bridge.
15 MEMBER WROBEL: To the City. I know
16 in a lot of other storage facilities when
17 they store industrial vehicles and things,
18 we don't have any requirements, as far as I
19 understand for pavement and things of that
20 nature. Would something like this be
21 applicable where they wouldn't have it? Or
22 can we -- I mean, because this is something
23 that customers are going to be coming in and
24 out a lot. It would seem like you would
1 want to have like a paved lot or something,
2 but I don't know.
3 MR. AMOLSCH: Undergoing those I'm
4 pretty sure, that's not my expertise, but
5 any parking area has to be paved for storage
6 of any vehicles.
7 MEMBER WROBEL: Kristen, do you have
8 anything to add?
9 MS. KAPELANSKI: I believe that Alan
10 is correct they will require the parking
11 area to be paved, however, they are not
12 proposing any site improvements or any
13 exterior site changes. I don't think we
14 could require it in this case. I think this
15 is just for the use alone.
16 MEMBER WROBEL: The only other concern
17 I have, and I understand your predicament,
18 what I was thinking about, I don't even know
19 where I would rent a truck if I need to rent
20 a truck in Novi. But from a safety aspect,
21 that road comes out so close to the bridge
22 and I am thinking like me when I am getting
23 one of those trucks or a trailer if you are
24 not used to pulling them out you are going
1 to be coming out of there real slow and
2 hesitant. And all I think of is a potential
3 accident happening with the bridge crown and
4 everything coming down. That's one of my
6 MR. HARRIS: I have approached the
7 officers because if anybody does come over
8 that bridge you know they sit in my driveway
9 all day long every day. And it's because
10 that bridge created that unfortunately, and
11 they have placed four speed limit signs
12 prior to the bridge and now they are not
13 only sitting in my driveway, but they are
14 sitting in Harold's Frame Shop driveway and
15 they feel that they are doing a good job,
16 and they are slowing them down. And quite
17 honestly, I am more concerned with my old
18 lady who is buying bird seed pulling out in
19 her '72 Monte Carlo than I am in that big
20 huge yellow truck because they can see that
21 when they come over the bridge. They can't
22 see her and she is pulling out at 22.
23 MEMBER WROBEL: Okay, that's all my
24 questions. Thank you.
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Pulling out at
2 22, that's miles per hour, right?
3 MR. HARRIS: Right.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Other Board
5 Members? Member Shroyer?
6 MEMBER SHROYER: I am going about this
7 a little different. But I jotted this down
8 because I have been up there quite a few
9 times. I find the whole site fascinating.
10 MR. HARRIS: Thank you.
11 MR. SHROYER: But I am different. I
12 wrote this down so I want to read it. I
13 think this is exactly what the ZBA is all
14 about. We have a businessman that has a
15 unique property that has changed over the
16 past 100 years. It changed both because the
17 change in the traffic and the bridge and has
18 had to change due to changes in the
19 agricultural industry. Train schedules
20 frequency and utilization has also changed
21 dramatically over the years.
22 This Applicant has found a business
23 that is well suited for his property. It is
24 not obtrusive to the neighboring properties
1 and the cities has allowed to function since
2 2006. Most other approval businesses would
3 not or could not survive due to the tuck in
4 location, very poor visibility from Grand
5 River and the requirement of the CSX
6 Railroad to have access to the propane tanks
7 and service their tracks.
8 Due to these reasons I move to grant
9 the allowance to continue storage of
10 vehicles and the operations of the U-Haul
11 Rental franchise as outlined in case number:
12 08-041 filed by Novi Feed & Supply located
13 at 43963 Grand River Avenue.
14 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll second it.
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
16 motion by Member Shroyer and a second by
17 Member Ghannam.
18 I will insert my comments. Number
19 one, the one thing I noticed in driving by
20 there were, I know you tried to address
21 this, but there is trucks parked out facing
22 Grand River and I think when I drove by
23 there were signs in there saying rent me,
24 buy me, et cetera. I would like to see some
1 conditions imposed that advertising inside
2 the vehicles should not take place and all
3 trucks should be moved out of line of sight
4 when and if possible. I would like to see
5 that as some type of, those two as some type
6 of condition. That would include the trucks
7 being behind the building, the ones that
8 sits or next to the bridge.
9 MEMBER SHROYER: I have a comment.
10 MS. KUDLA: I just want to suggest
11 possibly as a condition it was mentioned
12 that this property is on a hundred year
13 ground lease. That maybe the variance
14 should be limited to the determined ground
16 MEMBER SHROYER: I would be willing to
17 make the amendment to include the attorney's
18 statement. Also to include the sign
19 information because the U-Haul truck itself
20 is advertisement, so you don't need signs in
21 the window, so I will add that as well.
22 Please repeat the other one about
23 parking trucks.
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Sure. The
1 trucks were parked. If you look at the
2 picture with the police vehicle, the trucks
3 are parked, what I would imagine is as close
4 to the property line towards Grand River as
5 possible. Possibly encroaching on the next
6 door neighbor's lot and there was what I
7 consider to be some available spots next to
8 the bridge that could have been used when I
9 drove by. My main goal is to -- and I
10 understand the advertising is great, but
11 once again, we are not using the city to
12 advertise businesses as much and I would
13 like to keep it as clean and neat looking as
14 possible when driving by there. And I
15 understand your needs, but at the same time
16 that's my main goal. That's my main concern
17 with the outdoor storage of these vehicles.
18 MEMBER SHROYER: Do you understand
19 what he is referring to?
20 MR. HARRIS: I understand what he is
21 referring to.
22 MEMBER SHROYER: That could be done as
24 MR. HARRIS: Yes, it can be done.
1 There is no real question about it.
2 MEMBER SHROYER: I will include that
3 as well in the motion.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Then my last
5 recommendation or consideration, if we
6 could, if this is agreeable by the City
7 Attorney as well, if we can kind of tie this
8 to the specific needs of this business, if
9 we can tie the specific uses that he has
10 mentioned somehow was well because if
11 another business moves in and just wants to
12 keep their own outdoor work trucks, I am not
13 sure that that would meet the same
14 specifications as what this Petitioner has
15 met. He is running his business as renting
16 these vehicles out as opposed to just having
17 a bunch of work trucks. If a fence company
18 moves in there and wants to keep their fence
19 work trucks out there, I see that as a
20 different use and I want to be able to bring
21 that back before us.
22 MEMBER SHROYER: The way I stated it
23 was to grant the allowance to continue
24 storage of vehicles and the operations of
1 the U-Haul Rental franchise.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Okay.
3 MS. KUDLA: His lease would also limit
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I was thinking
6 before the lease, if something were to
7 change before the lease were up and someone
8 else moved in there.
9 MS. KUDLA: Like a sublease or
10 something like that?
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Yes. Member
12 Shroyer addressed what I needed.
13 Mr. Amolsch?
14 MR. AMOLSCH: Any restrictions to the
15 number of vehicles?
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Motion maker?
17 MEMBER GHANNAM: I got to ask you one
18 question. Would there be any Ordinance that
19 would regulate them?
20 MR. AMOLSCH: No. It's not a
21 permitted use in the zoning district. But
22 you might want to have a limit on -- I mean,
23 suppose he bought a hundred U-Hauls.
24 MR. SHROYER: What if we requested
1 through this that the Applicant work with
2 the City to determine a, looking at the
3 parking situation, et cetera, determine the
4 proper number of vehicles that would be
5 maxed out under a safe condition?
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Because the
7 Board could still say 10 vehicles, but 10
8 vehicles short as 19 foot is different than
9 10 vehicles that are 29 foot. So we really
10 can't make that determination, but I think
11 it's a very valid point.
12 MEMBER SHROYER: I guess the reason I
13 am saying is, I am thinking really with the
14 grading and everything else, some day he is
15 going to be coming back looking at a parking
16 lot. And with the parking lot obviously at
17 that time some decisions are going to have
18 to be made. So, should we make them up
19 front with this zoning request or should we
20 wait and review it at a later date?
21 MS. KUDLA: What about limiting it to
22 the current number that he has now?
23 MEMBER SHROYER: I would not have a
24 problem doing that.
1 MR. BOULARD: I guess my purpose would
2 be that it would be better to have a number
3 as opposed to leaving it to someone's
4 discretion where you may have someone else
5 making the decision.
6 MR. AMOLSCH: The reason I bring this
7 up is because he started with just a few
8 vehicles and it's grown or it could grow
10 MEMBER GHANNAM: Maybe we could ask
11 the Applicant how many he think is the
12 maximum factor for the trailers?
13 MR. HARRIS: I feel like I comfortably
14 handle 20 trucks and 12 trailers. That's
15 the maximum I feel we can comfortably handle
16 and then still operate our business and
17 still have access around the perimeter.
18 The maximum we have ever had there and
19 the situation we're in now once we grade,
20 then I feel we will have even more useable
22 MEMBER GHANNAM: But you don't
23 anticipate having or wanting more trucks or
24 trailers at this point?
1 MR. HARRIS: No. I don't anticipate,
2 even when I go to the largest U-Haul
3 facilities that are owned by U-Haul they
4 might have 30 trucks if you go to the
5 Farmington location. Unless you go to the
6 largest location which is in Inkster, I am
7 sure somebody has passed it before. They
8 might have 200, but that's their main
9 branch. But if you go to Farmington it
10 might be 30 trucks there.
11 The only reason we got to the 20 when
12 we did was because as everybody knows,
13 everybody moved out of Michigan two years
14 ago, so on that July 4th weekend there was
15 like 10,000 U-Hauls left Michigan one way
16 and we were a big part of that. So, at one
17 time we brought in 20 trucks and sent them
18 right back out the next day.
19 MEMBER SHROYER: So, we can add not to
20 exceed 20 trucks and 12 trailers on site at
21 any given time.
22 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Now, as far as
23 comfortable, can you comfortably move around
24 the site? If there is some type of CSX
1 accident and we need fire trucks back there,
2 ambulances back there can they get back
4 MR. HARRIS: We most comfortably can.
5 Like I say, we do our normal course of
6 business there going around the building.
7 The trash man has to come in on Monday. He
8 goes all the way around. Wilkins our other
9 businesses right next to us. There is guys
10 coming in and getting hydraulic hoses made
11 and stuff like that.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
13 motion and a second.
14 MS. WORKING: Did you give us a number
15 or were you going to --
16 MEMBER GHANNAM: He said 20 --
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: 20 trucks.
18 MS. WORKING: Okay.
19 MEMBER GHANNAM: I will agree with the
20 second with the amendments.
21 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Seeing no
22 further discussion, Ms. Working, please call
23 the roll.
24 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
1 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
2 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
3 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
4 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
5 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
6 MS. WORKING: Member Wrobel?
7 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
8 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
9 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
10 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
12 MS. WORKING: Motion to approve passes
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Best of luck to
15 you. I hope you get up to 200.
16 MR. HARRIS: Thank you very much.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Then you have to
18 get a new lot and you can start a second
19 business in Novi. Just what we want.
20 MR. HARRIS: We will. And I want to
21 thank the city for encouraging me to
22 continue down this path, Robin and Charles
23 and Alan for encouraging me. Thank you
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: They are a great
2 staff, aren't they --
3 MS. WORKING: Tell all your friends.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: We'll go ahead
5 and take 10 minutes since we have been
6 sitting here for another at least hour and a
7 half. So, reconvene at 10:38.
8 (A recess was held.)
9 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: All right, let's
10 go ahead and call back to order the Novi
11 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting. We're not
12 going to make the action now, but I will let
13 everyone know that Pheasant Run has decided
14 to be tabled, so if you are here for the
15 Pheasant Run case you are more than welcome
16 to stay until that time and make a comment,
17 however, that case will not be heard
18 tonight. It will be most likely heard at
19 the September 2008 meeting.
21 So, moving along to case number
22 seven on the agenda. Case number 08-042
23 filed by DAP Investments for Mercantile
24 Marketplace located on the west side of Novi
1 Road where the current Novi Big Boy is
2 located at 26401 Novi Road. The Applicant
3 is requesting a variance to the requirement
4 that loading and unloading be located in the
5 rear yard in a TC-1 district. Applicant is
6 providing for loading and unloading in the
7 exterior side yard of the proposed three
8 tenant development at said address. The
9 property is zoned TC-1 and located west of
10 Novi, north of Fonda Drive.
11 In our packets tonight we did receive
12 an updated site plan for Board Members'
14 Member Wrobel?
15 MEMBER WROBEL: As a member of the
16 Planning Commission I recently took part in
17 discussion on this case and I need to recuse
18 myself at this time based on the advice of
19 the City attorney.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Motion to
21 approve the recusal of Member Wrobel.
22 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
24 second. All in favor say aye?
1 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any opposed?
3 Seeing none. Sounds good.
4 MEMBER SHROYER: As long as he doesn't
5 leave and go home.
6 MEMBER BAUER: Yes, you got to come
8 MEMBER WROBEL: Okay.
9 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Are you an
10 attorney by chance?
11 MR. KUKAS: What's that?
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Are you an
14 MR. KUKAS: I am not an attorney.
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Would you raise
16 your hand and be sworn in by our acting
17 Secretary and then state your name and
18 address and proceed.
19 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm
20 to tell the truth regarding case: 08-042?
21 MR. KUKAS: I do.
22 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you, sir.
23 MR. KUKAS: Dan Kukas, DAP
24 Investments, (unintelligible), 26105 Lannys
1 Road, Suite A, Novi Michigan.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Go ahead with
3 your case.
4 MR. KUKAS: As you know we are
5 redeveloping the Big Boy sign located at
6 Fonda and Novi Road. What we are doing is a
7 three tenant retail facility. Two
8 retailers, one restaurant. The way the site
9 is configured, we have three front yards and
10 no rear yard, so what we did is in working
11 closely with the Planning Commission --
12 Planning Department, excuse me, we
13 determined that the most logical and
14 appropriate place for the loading zone given
15 what we are working with here is where we
16 are located at in the side yard.
17 We are faced with the practical
18 difficulty of not having a rear yard.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Anything else?
20 MR. KUKAS: No.
21 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: All right. In
22 this case there were 26 notices mailed with
23 zero approvals and zero objections.
24 Anyone in the audience that wishes to
1 make a comment on this case? Seeing none, I
2 will open it up to the City for any
4 MR. BOULARD: No additional comments.
5 We have a copy of the preliminary/final site
6 plan review in your packet. You can refer
7 to that. I would be happy to answer any
9 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Board Members?
10 Member Shroyer?
11 MEMBER SHROYER: How is the new site
12 plan we received different than the old one?
13 I can't find the differences.
14 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
15 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
16 MS. WORKING: I have a very reliable
17 assistant. We had a mountain of material
18 this time. Unfortunately she had just put
19 the site plan for a different case with this
20 case. I wanted to make sure that you had
21 the site plans specific to the DAP
22 Investment case.
23 MEMBER SHROYER: Okay, so they are the
1 MS. WORKING: Better safe than sorry,
2 yes. I wasn't sure whether all packets got
3 a second one or not.
4 MEMBER SHROYER: Like you said, better
5 safe than sorry.
6 Sir, where is Big Boy's current
7 loading area?
8 MR. KUKAS: Big Boy's current loading
9 area, where the Big Boy restaurant currently
10 sits is probably right here. Their loading
11 area is behind the building, so you know,
12 probably right around this area here. Their
13 front door faces Novi Road. The difference
14 is their building again is pushed further
15 back so their loading zone is right in this
16 general area.
17 MEMBER SHROYER: So, Mr. Amolsch or
18 one of the other City representatives, I
19 assume that Big Boy received a variance
20 request for their loading area when they
21 were built or was that prior to building?
22 MS. WORKING: It precedes my tenure,
23 I'm sorry about that.
24 MEMBER SHROYER: If this new proposal
1 wasn't there and Big Boy came forward they
2 would have to seek a variance for a loading
3 area because there is no rear yard -- no
4 front yard I should say, correct?
5 MS. WORKING: I don't know that that
6 is a correct statement. Big Boy may have
7 had a front yard.
8 MS. KUDLA: Big Boy is situated
9 differently on the property.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: But they still
11 don't have a rear yard, right?
12 MS. WORKING: I don't know.
13 MEMBER SHROYER: But I think we got a
14 subject matter expert.
15 MS. KAPELANSKI: If I may take that
16 one. If Big Boy were to come forward right
17 now and that was a vacant piece of property
18 they would also be required to seek a
19 variance if they want to locate their
20 loading zone along Expo Center Drive. This
21 technically has three front yards.
22 MEMBER SHROYER: And stay there
23 because you might know the answer to the
24 next question. What about Melting Pot?
1 Same situation?
2 MS. KAPELANSKI: It's the same
3 situation. We would have to pull the site
4 plan and the ZBA records to see if they
5 received a variance to see where their
6 loading zone is located. If they proposed
7 the same type of set up they would have had
8 to have received the same type of variance
9 as well.
10 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you. That's
11 pretty much what I expected and that's all
12 the questions I have. Thank you.
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I don't remember
14 the Melting Pot coming before us for this.
15 MEMBER BAUER: (Unintelligible).
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Do you see a
17 feasible way that they could situate this
18 loading zone that they would not require a
20 MS. KAPELANSKI: No. There is really
21 no other place for it. And it is situated
22 behind the building. The Planning Division
23 has no problem with this.
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: My comment is,
1 they don't have a rear yard and it's pretty
2 impossible to adhere to an Ordinance when
3 you don't have a rear yard. So I am very
4 willing to support this request.
5 MEMBER BAUER: Where would it sit?
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Exactly. I
7 think they have chosen the best place on the
8 piece of the property.
9 So, if there is no other comments then
10 I will make a motion that in case number:
11 08-842 filed by DAP Investments, DAP
12 Investments for Mercantile Marketplace
13 located at 26401 Novi Road that Petitioner
14 be granted their request for the variance as
15 requested on the premise that due to the
16 unique configuration of this property there
17 is no rear yard as defined by the Zoning
18 Ordinance, therefore, it will be impossible
19 to place said loading zone in a rear yard.
20 The Petitioner has also done their
21 best to place the proposed loading zone and
22 unloading area as far from the major
23 thoroughfares as possible and out of the
24 sight of as many visitors as possible.
1 MEMBER SHROYER: Second.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
3 motion and a second by Member Shroyer.
4 Any further discussion? Seeing none,
5 Ms. Working, will you please call the roll.
6 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
8 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
9 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
10 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
11 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
12 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
13 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
14 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
15 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
16 MS. WORKING: Motion to approve passes
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Congratulations.
19 Your variance request was approved. Best of
20 luck to you guys.
22 We'll move along to case number:
23 08-043 filed by JFK Investment Company for
24 26200 Town Center Drive/Autodesk. The
1 Petitioner is requesting two sign variances
2 for the placement of one 54 square foot
3 illuminated wall sign for the north
4 elevation of the Autodesk Building located
5 at said address. And one 28 square foot
6 illuminated multi-tenant ground sign for the
7 Lakepointe Office Center to be located at
8 the west entrance to the office center off
9 of Town Center Drive. The property is zoned
10 OSC and is located north of Eleven Mile Road
11 and east of Town Center Drive.
12 Are you an attorney?
13 MR. KOSIK: Yes. But there will be
14 someone else from Autodesk making a few
15 comments too. If you would like to swear
16 him in now?
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: That would be
19 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm
20 to tell the truth regarding case: 08-042?
21 MR. PECK: Yes.
22 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
23 MR. KOSIK: Joe Kosik, Jr., here on
24 behalf of JFK Investment Company. We're
1 here to tackle a problem that we have had in
2 the eight years I have owned and managed and
3 operated the building. We have had people
4 with difficulty locating the building given
5 its location even though it's very visible
6 from the expressway. Usually the comment
7 goes is, oh, you are the building with the
8 fountain in front of it. I saw it going by
9 the expressway, but how do I get back there?
10 We are hoping that our application
11 here helps rectify that. What also brings
12 us here is two nationally well-known tenants
13 that are now wanting to be part of the
14 building. Autodesk this is one of their
15 fifth largest office in the country. They
16 have people not only for their normal
17 operations, but Autodesk will let you know,
18 but they bring people in for training on
19 their software which is used by most of the
20 architects and engineers throughout the
22 The other one is Merrill Lynch, again,
23 a national tenant. Both are prominent
24 tenants that I think they are nothing but
1 assets to the City of Novi to have here.
2 Where are happy to have them in our
4 I would like to make a
5 few comments about the building and the
6 reasons why they feel they need the
7 additional signage on the expressway.
8 MR. PECK: Thank you for the
9 opportunity. I will be very brief, I
10 promise. My name is Larry Peck. I am
11 representing Autodesk, 26200 Town Center
12 Drive, Suite 300. Autodesk has been in Novi
13 for 16 years. We have 7,000 employees
14 globally. About 170 of those employees work
15 in the Novi office.
16 The Novi office is actually the fifth
17 largest in the world, approximately, they
18 vary given the day of the week slightly.
19 But in the neighborhood of the fifth largest
20 in the world in terms of number of employees
21 employed. Yet it is virtually unknown to
22 this local community. That gets us into
23 trouble with recruiting. Frequently I go
24 down to U of M in recruiting employees. We
1 had candidates that applied to other offices
2 even though they are local to the Michigan
3 area because they don't realize Autodesk has
4 a presence here.
5 I just interviewed somebody last week
6 and it truly did just happen. He has been
7 going to the Bally's that's two doors down
8 from us for five years. He has been in the
9 software industry for 12. He knew of
10 Autodesk, he just didn't know we were in the
11 Novi area.
12 We are a two billion dollar a year
13 company. That was our revenue last year.
14 We are actually the fourth largest P.C.
15 software company in the world. So, we are a
16 significant presence in this industry. As
17 an employer we are growing, we are trying to
18 draw new talent in all the time. We are
19 very, very actively recruit in the
20 universities, but no one lives locally in
21 the area recognizes Autodesk is here. I hope
22 that was short.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: That was great.
24 Thank you for that.
1 MR. KOSIK: Just a couple of quick
2 comments to augment my letter that's in your
3 package. Hardships, the reasons that we
4 feel that you should consider granting these
5 variances. For instance, the setback
6 location of the building. When the building
7 was built under a different Ordinance and
8 sign Ordinance, there really was little or
9 no signage available at all. The location
10 of the building next to the pond makes for a
11 great setting and a great work environment.
12 However, there is a large parking field, the
13 building is well over 450 close to 500 feet
14 back at its closest point from the road,
15 from the Town Center Road that has
16 expressway visibility as I hope you all have
17 been able to see it, but there is a pond
18 that blends into the wetland, that blends
19 into the roadway right-of-way that then
20 blends into the express right-of-way.
21 So, while there is a clear site of
22 vision which is ideal for signage, there is
23 quite a substantial setback also for the
24 building back there. I think you all are all
1 familiar with the traffic patterns to get
2 back there and the road system that allows
3 you to get back there.
4 Our other arguments and hardships are
5 a little more technical. Your Ordinance,
6 your sign Ordinance lists quite a few
7 exceptions for allowing additional signs on
8 a property of this nature. One deals with
9 buildings that are over 40,000 square feet.
10 One deals specifically and mentions
11 buildings that face and abuts the expressway
12 like we do in clearance. Another deals with
13 just a different zoning Ordinance which
14 allows for multi tenant and multi-story
15 buildings. All of which grant some sort of
16 additional signage. But for some reason no
17 one has been able to explain to us when we
18 have asked the building and the people we
19 applied for signage with why our particular
20 zoning didn't receive the same type of
21 consideration? Now, I know you don't draft
22 the Ordinances, but the Ordinance has
23 crafted a bit of a hardship for our type of
1 We have a use of a building that fits
2 in several of your zoning ordinances. Next
3 door there is the hotel. They have a
4 building sign with their name on it. They
5 have a ground sign with their name on it.
6 They have a two sign system there. I wasn't
7 able to check for sure what that zoning is,
8 but I would suspect that it's slightly
9 different than ours.
10 My argument is, given all the
11 variances that the Ordinance does give, it
12 does create a technical hardship for the
13 tenants in our building. But for the one
14 designation we would meet several of the
15 requirements this township has sought fit to
16 grant other zoning Ordinances for similar or
17 the same type of uses elsewhere.
18 If I could answer any questions?
19 Thank you.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Shroyer,
21 if you could please read any correspondence
22 for us.
23 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes. Mr. Chair, we
24 had 19 notices were mailed. We received
1 zero approvals and zero objections.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: We'll open it to
3 anyone in the audience who wishes to make a
4 comment on this case. Seeing none, I'll
5 turn it over to the City. Anyone?
6 MR. AMOLSCH: No comments.
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Seeing none, I
8 will turn it over to the Board. Member
10 MEMBER WROBEL: First off I won't hold
11 it against Autodesk for going to U of M.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Agreed.
13 MEMBER WROBEL: The number of tenants
14 in this building is it just Merrill, Lynch
15 and Autodesk or are there additional?
16 MR. KOSIK: There is additional
17 tenants. It's a multi-tenant building.
18 Autodesk has close to 50 percent of the
19 building under the current agreement with
20 the signage and things being resolved. They
21 are making a substantial multi-million
22 dollar investment for renovations of the
24 Merrill Lynch has a substantial office
1 in there and they are almost more of a
2 retail type of nature given the clientele,
3 but they like the office atmosphere. And
4 there is another 10 to 12, 8 or 10
5 additional tenants in the building and we
6 would one have additional vacancy on top of
8 MEMBER WROBEL: I have no issue with
9 the multi-tenant sign over on Town Center
10 Drive. I do have a little concern. I
11 understand Autodesk wanting to put the sign
12 on the building visible from the expressway.
13 But my concern is Merrill Lynch coming in
14 and saying, hey, we want to put a sign up
15 there, and four or five of your other
16 neighbors, you know, people occupying the
17 building wanting a sign too. And I am just
18 afraid of what that could lead to. So, at
19 this time I am kind of hesitant to go along
20 with that sign. I understand you are a
21 multi-tenant sign and I will wait to see
22 what my other colleagues have to say.
23 MR. KOSIK: May I comment on that? In
24 the industry generally you give the
1 signature rights to one tenant in the
2 building. The old days of having those
3 large wall multi-tenant signs are very few
4 in between. I think your worries of having
5 a multiple tenants on the building is kind
6 of old school, so to speak. I don't think
7 that's the nature in leasing buildings these
8 days. We handle close to two million square
9 feet in Southeastern, Michigan. Signature
10 rights or naming rights on the building are
11 generally just that. They go to the largest
12 tenant. They go to a specific tenant for a
13 specific reason, so I don't think that would
14 be a true issue to come up.
15 MEMBER WROBEL: If that's the case you
16 can guarantee you are only allowed one sign
17 on your building, you wouldn't come back to
18 us with other things then?
19 MR. KOSIK: Well, no. The way this
20 Ordinance is written, we went and applied
21 and we were told they are entitled to one
22 building sign. They are asking for the
23 second one. I would have no problem having
24 a condition on that it's always the one and
1 the same tenants.
2 MEMBER WROBEL: All right. Thank you.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Other Board
4 Members? Member Shroyer?
5 MEMBER SHROYER: I just had a question
6 regarding the remodeling of the existing
7 sign. Because you are requesting two new
8 building signs, and I was looking at that as
9 being one for the Autodesk and one for the
10 multi tenant.
11 MR. KOSIK: No, they are entitled to
12 one building sign under this sign Ordinance
13 and that's been applied for and they told us
14 to pick the side of the building, which they
16 The variance is for two signs. One is
17 asking for a sign facing the expressway
18 which is a wall building sign. The other is
19 to revamp the ground sign which is currently
20 just an address sign. We want to revamp it
21 and update it to allow for up to two tenants
22 on that sign. And that's what's applied
24 MEMBER SHROYER: So, your application
1 states it wrong?
2 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer, if I can
3 draw your attention to the letter submitted
4 by JFK Investment Company as part of their
5 petition you will see that under the
6 request. One line out the second wall sign
7 request is because it was a permitted sign.
8 MEMBER SHROYER: It was permitted?
9 MS. WORKING: That's correct.
10 MEMBER SHROYER: That's the
11 explanation, all right. I didn't realize
12 they were linked together. So, the
13 remodeling of the ground sign was strictly
14 making it a multi-tenant sign?
15 MR. KOSIK: That's correct.
16 MEMBER SHROYER: And you are only
17 looking to have the two largest or I should
18 say the two most prominent tenants
20 MR. KOSIK: Yes.
21 MEMBER SHROYER: That's all the
22 questions I have, Mr. Chair. Thank you.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: The permitted
24 ground sign, where is that going on the
1 building because I didn't see it up when I
2 drove by?
3 MR. KOSIK: We had a wood mock-up.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Facing the
6 MR. KOSIK: No, we had a banner on the
7 building for the freeway. And we have had
8 the wood mock-up. We couldn't catch it
9 right on top of the old sign. When I saw it
10 it was about 20 feet to the north of the
11 current brick sign which has the address on
12 it. So, it's substantially in the same
13 location as the current address ground sign.
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: No, no, no. I
15 am talking about the permitted wall street.
16 MR. KOSIK: Oh, the permitted wall
17 sign was not up. I did not realize we had to
18 put a banner up.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: You didn't have
20 to. I was just making sure that when I
21 drove by and I drove around and I wasn't
22 losing my mind, where is that going on the
24 MR. KOSIK: That will be above the
1 entrance. As you know the building is
2 L-shaped, the entrance is in the middle. It
3 will be up on the western facing sign
4 overlooking towards the parking lot.
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Over that main
6 entrance then?
7 MR. KOSIK: It's up at the top of the
8 building. It's the same sign and it's the
9 same type of sign that we gave you for the
10 freeway sign and it's at the top of the
11 building just like that.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: So, what is the
13 main function that you see of the one facing
14 the freeway then? Are you looking at it?
15 MR. KOSIK: The main function --
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Advertising on
17 the freeway --
18 MS. KOSIK: It's a business sign. It
19 is a business sign. So advertising is
20 clearly involved. But as we have stated
21 earlier, the eight years we've owned the
22 building there is a bit of a problem finding
23 where you're at back there. Like I said,
24 over the years we told people we have a
1 fountain in front of it with the expressway.
2 They say, yeah, now I know where it is, but
3 how do I get there? And depending on where
4 they are coming from, Meadowbrook, Eleven
5 Mile or whatever the case may be.
6 We do need to create a little better
7 visuals. In keeping it we will probably
8 call it the Autodesk Building if this is
9 granted and this is up and we think it will
10 also help the other tenants' people to find
11 that building.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I can see that.
13 I am pursuing my MBA and I just started, and
14 I met someone from Autodesk and they said,
15 oh, it's in Novi. And I said, oh, I'm on the
16 Zoning Board of Appeals there. Where is
17 that? And so I understand that. They said,
18 oh, we're in the Town Center. I said, oh,
19 between the two hotels? So, I completely
20 understand that this building definitely
21 needs to be. Here I am involved in the city
22 and I didn't know where one of our largest
23 and one of our greatest businesses was.
24 Now, my only last concern is the
1 multi-tenant sign. Alan, I tried to touch
2 base a little bit. The signs that came
3 before us, the entranceway signs to the Town
4 Center that we approved I believe right on
5 the corner, how large are those and how do
6 those compare to these signs? They show us
7 a six foot tall sign. I'm just a little
8 concerned that this might be just a little
9 overbearing for this 25 mile per hour
11 MR. AMOLSCH: The Town Center sign
12 there was four variances there. One was for
13 the 26 square foot Novi Town Center sign and
14 two of those logos. I think one of them was
15 four square feet and the other ones were two
16 and a half square feet, somewhere around
18 MS. KUDLA: They were on the brick
20 MR. AMOLSCH: Right, right. The main
21 sign was 26 square feet.
22 MS. KUDLA: How tall was it?
23 MR. AMOLSCH: Primarily not more than
24 five feet.
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Not more than
2 five feet? Like I said, I do have a little
3 concern over the height of this sign, but I
4 will leave it up to the Board to see what
5 your opinion is. Like I said, I don't have
6 an issue with the second wall sign.
7 Board Members? Member Bauer?
8 MEMBER BAUER: I don't have any
9 problem with any of it.
10 MEMBER GHANNAM: Just quickly for the
11 City. If we were to allow the ground sign,
12 the maximum height would be six feet?
13 MR. AMOLSCH: By Ordinance, yes.
14 MEMBER GHANNAM: By Ordinance it would
15 be six feet?
16 MR. AMOLSCH: Yes.
17 MEMBER GHANNAM: I would have no
18 problem supporting this as long as it
19 complied with the height with the Ordinance.
20 You wouldn't request it any higher than
22 MR. KOSIK: No, we tried to design all
23 the signs, each sign is within the size and
24 height of the Ordinance.
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: I have no problem. I
2 think it's a good idea.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: That's a valid
4 point. I can support it as well.
5 In that case I will make a motion that
6 in case number: 08-043 filed by JFK
7 Investment Company for 26200 Town Center
8 Drive that we grant the Petitioner's request
9 as stated given the fact that setback of the
10 building from any thoroughfare including
11 I-96 and Town Center Drive unreasonably
12 prevents identification of the building.
13 These variances will provide substantial
14 justice to the Petitioner as well as
15 surrounding property owners. There will be
16 an increase in public safety due to proper
17 identification of the building. And the
18 spirit of the Zoning Ordinance will be
20 And also I would like to make comment
21 regarding the large size and footprints of
22 the building as well as the odd -- not odd,
23 I'm sorry, strike that. The unique L-shaped
24 curvature of the building, not odd.
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll second that.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
3 motion and a second by Member Ghannam. Any
4 further discussion?
5 MR. AMOLSCH: Did you include the
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: The height?
8 MR. AMOLSCH: Yes.
9 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I said as
11 MR. AMOLSCH: Well, it was submitted
12 at eight feet.
13 MEMBER BAUER: Six feet.
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: At first it was
15 six feet tall and they cut it to 72.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: The top of the
18 sign will be 72 inches, that's correct.
19 MR. AMOLSCH: On the application it
20 had 96 inches on it.
21 MEMBER GHANNAM: And it would have to
22 be consistent with City Ordinance. Is that
23 what you want added?
24 MR. AMOLSCH: Yes.
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Correct.
2 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll second that.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: City Ordinance,
4 if they would allow it. The seconder
6 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes, I will concur.
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any further
9 MS. KUDLA: Did you mention you wanted
10 Autodesk to be the only building sign as a
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: We're going to
13 say that the sign facing the highway must be
14 in conformance, the same as the one near the
15 entrance, the two wall signs must
18 MR. KOSIK: A single tenant on the
19 wall sign is fine.
20 MEMBER GHANNAM: I think she was
21 indicating that there would be no additional
22 signs facing the freeway. If you wanted to
23 add that condition.
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I will make the
1 one condition, but the other condition we
2 will get back before us anyway because it
3 would be a new wall sign. We would get these
4 minutes. We would have them stating that
5 the reason we approved the first sign is
6 because they said they wouldn't need further
8 MEMBER WROBEL: That wouldn't prevent
9 them from coming back?
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: They have the
11 right to appeal it. Beth, is that right?
12 MS. KUDLA: They could.
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: If Merrill Lynch
14 came and said they wanted one, then we would
15 have this whole conversation as part of the
16 record. So, I will make a condition that
17 the wall sign, that the second wall sign
18 that we are approving tonight must be
19 consistent with the permitted sign.
20 MEMBER GHANNAM: I concur.
21 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Was that
22 understood everything we have gone through
23 so far?
24 MR. KOSIK: That's fine. That would be
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Anything else
3 you wanted?
4 MR. KOSIK: No. You caught me at a
5 weak moment here tonight.
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Ms. Working,
7 will you please call the roll.
8 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
9 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
10 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
11 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
12 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
13 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
14 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
15 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
16 MS. WORKING: Member Wrobel?
17 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
18 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
19 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
20 MS. WORKING: Motion passes 6-0.
21 MR. KOSIK: Thank you very much for
22 your time. I hope you get this done before
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Good luck.
1 MR. KOSIK: Thank you.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I'll go
4 ahead and call case number: 08-044 filed by
5 Gary Kade of Affordable Spaces for 24278
6 Roma Ridge. The Petitioner is requesting one
7 five foot rear yard setback variance for the
8 construction a proposed sun room addition to
9 the rear of the home located at said
10 address. The property is R-4 located north
11 of Ten and east of Beck.
13 MR. KADE: Hello.
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Are you an
16 MR. KADE: No.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Will you be
18 sworn in by our Secretary.
19 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm
20 to tell the truth regarding case: 08-044?
21 MR. KADE: Yes, I do.
22 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: If you will
23 state your name and address and proceed with
24 your case.
1 MR. KADE: My name is Gary Kade. I am
2 representing the case for 24278 Roma Ridge.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Go ahead.
4 MR. KADE: I would like to introduce
5 the homeowners, Mark and Jill Metz (ph).
6 They have lived in the home for 12 years,
7 raised their family there. In fact, their
8 son was one year old when they moved there
9 and their daughter was in kindergarten and
10 she is now a senior in high school.
11 The house was built in 1989, and we
12 are requesting a five foot rear yard
13 variance, and that basically keeps this to
14 five points. Point number one is, as
15 mentioned in the report, that location, the
16 addition incorporates an existing rear door
17 of the home and it's probably the most basic
18 practical location is the addition. We are
19 actually going to use the same footprint as
20 the deck that's there now. We using a small
21 glass sun room. The walls are glass. The
22 roof is glass, so it will have very low
23 impact on the view from the neighbors.
24 Then I want to address the practical
1 difficulty. Point number two, it's a small
2 lot. The lot is 87 feet by 115. What
3 causes the difficulty is the garage actually
4 extends out 13 feet 8 inches in front of the
5 house which is actually, with it being a
6 small lot and the garage, backyard area has
7 really squeezed the house on the lot and
8 pushed it back.
9 I've walked the neighborhood and most
10 of the homes, the majority of the homes,
11 like the neighbor to the north the garage
12 extends out only 6 foot 9. And the neighbor
13 to the south extends out 1 foot 8. So,
14 what's happened with their particular home
15 is it's pushed way back because the garage
16 is extending out 13 feet 8.
17 I talked to Robin today and I just
18 really want to acknowledge her for helping
19 us. I went back and looked at a case.
20 Which I know every case stands on its own,
21 but this is just around the corner in the
22 same neighborhood and it's exactly the same
23 size. It's exactly, actually the duplicate
24 house. The garage extends out 13 feet 8
1 inches. I actually measured it. It's the
2 exact same situation and a variance was
4 The other thing I want to talk about
5 is the uniqueness in the yard. Did anybody
6 actually go to the site and look at the
7 site? Have anybody been out there? In the
8 rear of the home there are Arborvitae trees
9 that are 25 feet high which totally screens
10 any view to the rear which is a unique
11 situation that there is a natural landscape
12 there that totally screens it.
13 Also, the neighbor behind them
14 actually is on acreage so they actually turn
15 onto Ten Mile and they go way back, so the
16 Metz's rear yard is actually the neighbor's
17 side yard. So, it's a rear yard to a side
18 yard and it's acreage back there.
19 The fourth point I want to make is you
20 can't really use the back yard. The
21 mosquitos are horrendous. There is a huge
22 wetland just three houses and then there is
23 a huge wetland in that neighborhood. There
24 is also a catch basin in the northeast
1 corner of their property and you can look
2 down there and see water which is a nice
3 little breeding ground for the mosquitos.
4 The ground is wet. The yard tapers pretty
5 dramatically to the Arborvitae trees and
6 that's actually wet a good share of the
7 time. Again, a tremendous breeding ground
8 for mosquitos, so they can't really use the
10 And the fifth point is the neighbors
11 on both sides. We have discussed this with
12 them and there is an approval letter in your
13 package and we have also been before the
14 association and we have the association's
15 approval as well. Thank you.
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other
17 comments? Mr. Shroyer, if you will please
18 read any correspondence for us.
19 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes, sir. We had 22
20 notices mailed. Zero objections and three
21 approvals. As was mentioned the first
22 approval here is from the Architectural
23 Control Committee Exterior Project
24 Application, it's on an application form in
1 the Roma Ridge Homeowners Association. It
2 says it was approved on August 7th, 2008,
3 and signed by either Jill or Jim M. Wasson,
4 W-A-S-S-O-N, Roma Ridge President.
5 Second letter. "To whom it may
6 concern: Our neighbors Mark and Jill Metz
7 have reviewed with us the plans for the
8 conservatory -- it looks like --
9 observatory, one of those two, that they
10 plan to build in place of their existing
11 deck at the back of their home. We live at
12 24296 Roma Ridge Drive and the house is to
13 the north. Please be advised that we have no
14 objection to the construction of the planned
15 sun room." And it's signed Abdul and Tina
17 The third letter is, "To whom it may
18 concern. My neighbors Mark and Jill Metz has
19 reviewed with us their site plans for the --
20 that one says conservatory sun room that
21 they plan to build in place of their
22 existing deck in back of the home. We live
23 at 24200 Roma Ridge Drive in the house
24 adjacent to the Metz' home in the south.
1 Please be advised that we have no objection
2 to the construction of the planned sun room.
3 Sincerely." And it looks like it's A-R-U-P
4 and G-O-P-A, and the last names appears to
5 be G-A-N-G-O-P-A-D-H-D-A-Y or something
6 close to that.
7 That's all I have, Mr. Chair.
8 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
9 Member Shroyer. Anyone in the audience who
10 wishes to make a comment on this case? If
11 there were they would be very loyal
13 I will close any public remarks
14 section of this hearing and ask the City if
15 they have any comments.
16 MR. FOX: No.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Seeing none,
18 I'll open it up for the Board for
19 discussion. Member Bauer?
20 MEMBER BAUER: It's a minimum request
21 for a variance. And as they mentioned, the
22 mosquitos are carrying people away down
23 there. I would be willing to give it to
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Wrobel?
2 MEMBER WROBEL: Just one question.
3 Can I assume that the deck is going to be
4 taken down and you are going from the
5 foundation up?
6 MR. KADE: Correct.
7 MEMBER WROBEL: I have no problems
8 with this either. I had a similar situation
9 five feet of a variance you still have 30
10 feet. That's fine with me. Thank you.
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: And it's within
12 the existing footprint as well?
13 MR. KADE: Yes.
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: You had
15 mentioned it's a smaller lot than normal in
16 that area. What is the size differential
17 we're looking at? What are most of the lot
18 sizes there?
19 MR. KADE: If I can approach. Most of
20 these lots in here because of the bend, the
21 bend starts just after their house and then
22 these lots are opening up (unintelligible).
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: May I pass these
24 around? I have no other comments. Member
2 MEMBER SHROYER: In case number:
3 08-044 filed by Gary M. Kade of -- yeah,
4 that's right -- Affordable Spaces,
5 Incorporated, for 24278 Roma Ridge. Move to
6 approve a five foot rear yard setback
7 variance request due to the fact that the
8 proposed sun room, the size of the proposed
9 sun room does not exceed the footprint of an
10 already existing deck and that the location
11 of the addition incorporates an existing
12 rear door of the home and is the most
13 economical and practical location to place
14 the addition. And a legal alternative may
15 not exist that would provide substantial
16 justice to the Petitioner and surrounding
17 property owners.
18 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
20 motion and a second by Member Bauer. Any
21 further discussion? Seeing none, Ms.
22 Working, if you will please call the roll
23 for us.
24 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
1 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
2 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
3 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
4 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
6 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
7 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
8 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
9 MEMBER IBE? Yes.
10 MS. WORKING: And Member Wrobel?
11 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
12 MS. WORKING: Motion to approve passes
14 MR. KADE: Thank you.
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Your variance
16 has been granted. Best of luck to you guys.
18 At this time we would normally call
19 case number 08-045, but after we did receive
20 a request to table this meeting -- this
21 case. Is there anyone in the audience that
22 was here to speak on this case present on
23 this case Pheasant Run? All right, I wanted
24 to give anyone the opportunity if they did
1 sit here all night, but apparently that's
2 not the case.
3 So, I will entertain a motion to table
4 case number: 08-045 to another possible
6 MEMBER BAUER: So moved.
7 MEMBER WROBEL: Second.
8 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
9 motion by Member Bauer and a second by
10 Member Wrobel. All in favor say aye?
11 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any opposed?
13 Seeing none, we will go ahead and table
15 Just so the Board Members know, what
16 we would like to do going forward with
17 tabled cases is to put them back into our
18 recycled back in the City folders so Robin
19 can add any correspondence or anything else
20 and then recycle it back to us when we get
21 our new packets. So, we did have some tabled
22 cases. If you will please abide by that
23 procedure we would greatly appreciate it.
1 This takes us to case number
2 11 on the agenda. Case number: 08-046 filed
3 by DAP Investments for the proposed tenants
4 Chipotle located at 26395 Novi Road, Casual
5 Male located at 26385 Novi Road and Vitamin
6 Shoppe located at 26375 Novi Road in the
7 proposed Mercantile Marketplace. DAP
8 Investments representing the proposed
9 Mercantile Marketplace is requesting 3 wall
10 sign variances for the east elevation of the
11 proposed building. Petitioner is asking for
12 one 34.5 square foot illuminated wall sign
13 for the proposed Chipotle restaurant at said
14 address. One 46 square foot illuminated wall
15 sign for the proposed Casual Male retail
16 store to be located at said address. And one
17 52.5 square foot illuminated wall sign for
18 the proposed Vitamin Shoppe retail store
19 located at said address.
20 Each tenant has an approved west
21 elevation wall sign. The property is zoned
22 TC and is located north of Grand River
23 Avenue and west of Novi Road.
24 And if I remember, you are not an
1 attorney, so if you could raise your hand
2 and be sworn in for this case.
3 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm
4 to tell the truth regarding case: 08-046?
5 MR. KUKAS: I do.
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Name and address
8 MR. KUKAS: Dan Kukas, DAP
9 Investments, (unintelligible), 26105 Lannys
10 Road, Suite A, Novi, Michigan.
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Go ahead.
12 MR. KUKAS: I hope you guys can see
13 this okay. This is the rendering of the
14 shopping center from Novi Road.
15 This is the rendering once you
16 are in the parking lot where the front doors
17 of the space would be. Then this is the
18 reference to the site plan is right here.
19 So, as the developer of the project and
20 speaking on behalf of the three tenants,
21 Chipotle, Casual Male and Vitamine Shoppe,
22 all who are national companies that have
23 come in to this meeting from other states
24 and are available if need be.
1 During the design process we worked
2 really closely with the Planning Department
3 and we came up with a design for the center
4 as you see right here that given the
5 configuration of the property, you know, we
6 thought we all collectively came up with
7 this scheme, thinking that this will allow
8 the shopping center to function
9 appropriately. And also staying consistent
10 with the 2008 master plan update which we
11 accomplished by bringing the the building
12 close to Novi Road.
13 So, given that situation, we had signs
14 over the front doors of the buildings, over
15 the front doors of the retail space that
16 share the front in the parking lot which
17 would leave the major exposure to Novi Road
18 signless. We are seeking a variance for
19 that based on the hardship that we won't be
20 able to find the business if you are driving
21 by. It looks like a nice brick building.
22 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Anything else?
23 Any other comments? All right, I will ask
24 Member Shroyer to read any correspondence.
1 MEMBER SHROYER: Mr. Chair, we had 27
2 notices mailed. We received zero approvals
3 and zero objections.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Is there anyone
5 in the audience that wishes to make a
6 comment on this case? Seeing none, I will
7 close the public remarks hearing piece of
8 this and move to the City for any comments.
9 MS. KUDLA: Is Member Wrobel going to
10 recuse himself on this?
11 MEMBER WROBEL: This is a sign
12 variance. I don't know if I need to.
13 MS. KUDLA: So, you didn't discuss
14 that --
15 MEMBER WROBEL: We didn't discuss
17 MS. KUDLA: Okay.
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Anything else
19 from the City? Seeing none, I will open it
20 up for Board discussion. Member Shroyer?
21 MEMBER SHROYER: I just want to make
22 sure I understand something because I didn't
23 have any map in my packet. This is the
24 building that's currently being constructed
1 just north of Pot Belly's and --
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: No, it's not.
4 MEMBER SHROYER: No wonder I couldn't
5 find any signs. I was looking at the wrong
7 MS. WORKING: This is the building you
8 just granted the zoning variance for.
9 MEMBER SHROYER: Right.
10 MR. KUKAS: Again this is replacing
11 Big Boy.
12 MEMBER SHROYER: Oh, this is replacing
13 Big Boy?
14 MR. KUKAS: This is the Big Boy at the
15 corner of Fonda and Novi Road.
16 MEMBER SHROYER: So, I still couldn't
17 find any signs because it's not there.
18 MR. KUKAS: We brought the 3-D
19 renderings showing what the view would look
20 like on both sides.
21 MEMBER SHROYER: I kept waiting for
22 that brick wall to be built so they would
23 hang the signs up on it so I could --
24 MS. WORKING: There goes Member
1 Shroyer again.
2 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you for
3 clarifying that. I don't have any questions
5 MS. WORKING: I would like to point
6 out to the Board that Kristen Kapelanski
7 from the Planning Center is still here. And
8 she would be able to speak to the unique
9 location of the building and pick up on what
10 Dan Kukas did mention to you about seeing
11 the master plan requirement for that zoning
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Okay. So, in
14 your rendering here these cars, and I am
15 happy to point that I can already see two of
16 them on the floor I see are Ford products,
17 maybe a little Focus. I don't know what the
18 beige one is. Those are actually from your
19 rendering. Those are Novi Road. They are
20 on the road.
21 MR. KUKAS: Those are on Novi Road.
22 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I was having
23 trouble distinguishing because at first I
24 thought they were in the parking lot, but
1 that didn't make sense given the site plan
2 that it was so close to Novi Road.
3 MR. KUKAS: Yeah, again, here is the
4 access into the site and that's depicted
5 right here. You pull in, you park, you
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Wrobel?
8 MEMBER WROBEL: Thank you. The east
9 side signs in size what are they, to our
10 City staff, compared to the signs that we
11 approved for the Town Center corner for Pei
12 Wei and Pot Belly, how do those signs in
13 size compare?
14 MR. AMOLSCH: Well, the signs meet our
15 sign code for square footage by elevation.
17 actually the same thing for rear elevation.
18 Pot Belly is around 60 something square
19 feet. The other two are a little less than
20 that. But they do meet the code as far as
21 what I have seen. Of course they don't have
22 a building there yet, so we can't verify my
23 field inspection. I'm going on what they're
24 telling me their building sign is. And so
1 it's meets the code.
2 MS. WORKING: Members of the Board, I
3 would like to point out that DAP Investment
4 did inquire as to the signage in the
5 adjacent area for the surrounding properties
6 and they were provided all of that
7 information. And based on that going to
8 their client, came up with the sign request
9 that actually met the square footage of the
10 Ordinance rather than asking for additional
11 variances to the already existing one as an
12 additional sign. So, they meet the size.
13 They are just asking for an additional
15 MEMBER WROBEL: Based upon that I
16 understand there is a need for these signs
17 on Novi Road side and also on the other side
18 so you know where you are going to. So, I
19 have no problem supporting this. Thank you.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: So, the
21 permitted signs that are already allowed
22 those are facing which side then?
23 MS. KUDLA: The parking lot.
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: So, now you are
1 looking for the Novi Road signs?
2 MR. KUKAS: Right, exactly.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I see the need
4 absolutely. I am willing to support as
5 well. Especially given the further comments
6 regarding the sign. I was just confused by
7 the packet. We have a lot of letters from
8 businesses saying this is what we need, but
9 if I could have gotten these photo images
10 upfront that would have been a great help as
11 well as normally we don't have what's been
12 approved already from Alan. So, I was just a
13 little confused by the packet being put
14 together, but I can see the need so I am
15 willing to support as well.
16 MS. WORKING: I think you all will
17 agree that this is a rare occasion where we
18 are looking for a request before there is
19 even a building in place. And it makes it
20 difficult to have the renderings available
21 for the packet distribution.
22 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Absolutely. But
23 those would have been available. I'm saying
24 those could have been submitted and those
1 would have helped the Board.
2 MS. WORKING: I'm not sure they were
3 ready for distribution for the packets.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Shroyer?
5 MEMBER SHROYER: Now that I have my
6 bearings I have some questions. First of
7 all, from your rendering I assume you are
8 going to be filling in the lot to bring it
9 up to street level?
10 MR. KUKAS: Yes.
11 MEMBER SHROYER: Because right now one
12 is below and that was one of the reasons Big
13 Boy came in front of us and wanted a pole
15 MR. KUKAS: Part of the development
16 it's quite a bit of earth work. We are
17 going to have to cut out six to eight feet
18 and bring in. So, I mean, our engineer has
19 worked with the City of Novi engineer and
20 figured out hopefully a grade plan.
21 MEMBER SHROYER: I just want to
22 clarify and make sure. Obviously the Big
23 Boy pole sign is going away?
24 MR. KUKAS: Yeah, there is no ground
1 sign at all. These are the signs.
2 MEMBER SHROYER: Does this property
3 now incorporate the area of the property
4 that has the old Novi Expo sign on it as
6 MR. KUKAS: No.
7 MEMBER SHROYER: I didn't think it
8 did. So we are still stuck with that?
9 MR. AMOLSCH: Yes. It's still as far
10 as I know still being talked about by the
11 City Attorney's office.
12 MR. KUKAS: Yeah, I mean, our property
13 line is --
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: You can use the
15 microphone to speak. You can grab it if you
17 MR. KUKAS: Our property line is
18 running right down the middle of the green
19 bell on Fonda street. I think the sign you
20 are talking about is actually in the outdoor
21 area that we are creating, bringing brick
22 pavers in, benches, bringing the corner into
23 conformance, so I am pretty sure that's
24 outside of the property that we're working
2 MEMBER SHROYER: Just to refresh my
3 memory, for Melting Pot since it's adjacent
4 to this they have the signage that's on Novi
5 Road and we approved a sign facing the exit
6 ramp or the entrance ramp?
7 MR. AMOLSCH: Yes. It was based on,
8 they didn't quite have freeway frontage,
9 otherwise they would have needed a variance.
10 There was a little sliver of land. We did
11 grant a variance for that further sign.
12 MEMBER SHROYER: So, they have two
13 signs, two wall signs and no monument sign?
14 MR. AMOLSCH: No monument.
15 MEMBER SHROYER: I am fully in favor
16 of this proposal. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you. Any
18 other comments or motions that wish to be
19 made at this time? Member Ibe?
20 MEMBER IBE: I move that in case
21 number: 08-046 filed by DAP Investments for
22 Chipotle, Casual Male and the Vitamin Shoppe
23 at the Mercantile Marketplace, that we grant
24 the variance as requested due to the unique
1 circumstances of the property having no rear
2 yard as defined by the Zoning Ordinance.
3 (Unintelligible) that the Board approve your
4 request. The failure to grant relief will
5 unreasonably prevent or limit the use of the
6 property and will result in substantially
7 more than a mere inconvenience or inability
8 to obtain a higher economic or financial
9 return. It would not result in the use of
10 structure that is incompatible with or
11 unreasonably interfere with the adjacent
12 surrounding properties, will result in
13 substantial injustice and surroundings
14 properties and is not inconsistent with the
15 spirit of the Ordinance.
16 MEMBER GHANNAM: Second.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
18 motion by Member Ibe and Member Ghannam
20 And is there any further discussion?
21 Seeing none, Ms. Working, will you please
22 call the roll.
23 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
24 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
1 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
2 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
3 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
4 MEMBER SHROYER: Now which -- yes.
5 MS. WORKING: There will be vitamins
7 Member Wrobel?
8 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
9 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
10 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
11 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
13 MS. WORKING: Motion to approve passes
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Best of luck. It
16 looks great. Your variance has been
19 At this time we'll go ahead and
20 get started with case 12 under new business.
21 Case number: 08-047 filed by Dave Nona of
22 Triangle Main Street, LLC, for Main Street
23 Phase II.
24 The Petitioner is requesting four
1 variances for the ongoing development of the
2 Main Street corridor in Novi. The
3 Petitioner is requesting, one, to allow a
4 surface parking lot area to be located in a
5 front yard of a non-residential collector
6 street. And, two, a reduction in the
7 required loading and unloading space in the
8 rear yard. The variance requested is 919
9 square feet.
10 In addition, the Petitioner is
11 requesting, three, to locate a dumpster in
12 the front yard of the Building 400. As well
13 as, four, a three foot setback variance to
14 allow the dumpster enclosure to be located
15 17 feet from the property line. The
16 property is zoned TC-1 and is located south
17 of Grand River and east of Novi Road.
18 Member Wrobel?
19 MEMBER WROBEL: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
20 Once, again, having heard this case as a
21 member of the Planning Commission and on the
22 advise of the City Attorney I need to recuse
23 myself from this matter.
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Motion to
1 approve the recusal of Member Wrobel.
2 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
4 second by Member Bauer. All in favor say
6 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any opposed?
8 Seeing none, you are recused.
9 MEMBER BAUER: Don't leave.
10 MEMBER SHROYER: There is one item on
11 the agenda.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: A goodbye cake
13 for you.
14 All right, let's go. Please step
15 forward and we'll get whoever is going speak
16 sworn in. Are you both going to speak?
17 MS. SHECKLER (ph): Yes.
18 MR. NONA: Yes.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: You can both be
20 sworn in by our acting Secretary.
21 MEMBER BAUER: Are either one of you
23 MS. SHECKLER: No.
24 MEMBER BAUER: Raise your right hand,
1 please. Do you swear or affirm to tell the
2 truth regarding case: 08-047?
3 MS. SHECKLER: I do.
4 MR. NONA: I do.
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER:
6 Go ahead and state your name and address and
7 proceed with your case.
8 MS. SHECKLER: My name is Dora
9 Sheckler and I am with McKenna Associates at
10 235 East Main Street, Suite 105 in
11 Northville that's 48167.
12 MR. NONA: My name is Dave Nona. I am
13 with Triangle Development and the address is
14 30405 Thirteen Mile Road in Farmington
16 MS. SHECKLER: We're here tonight
17 because the conditions of the Main Street
18 Novi Development have changed. Specifically
19 those in Phase I. I know in your packets
20 you received the Planning Department
21 Kristen's report discussing all the changes
22 in Phase I. Specifically because of
23 changing economic situation as I am sure
24 everyone understands and has been
1 sympathetic. The prior planned parking
2 structure that was part of Phase I will not
3 be constructed and is now going to be
4 surface parking. I think you all received a
5 phasing plan along with some plan detail in
6 your packet.
7 So, tonight the variances that we're
8 requesting are involved with Phases I and II
9 at the northern portion of the development
10 north of Main Street.
11 Just to get right into the variances
12 that we're requesting. As already
13 mentioned, the first one involves front yard
14 parking on a non-residential collector's
15 street and that's an area that's shown on
16 page L2 of the plans that we passed out.
17 That's on street parking adjacent. There is
18 a precedence of you granting this sort of a
19 variance for this development and that was
20 for the parking along Novi Road. I believe
21 you granted that variance last year.
22 To have front yard parking is
23 consistent with (unintelligible), and,
24 therefore, we think it's a reasonable
2 In addition, there will be a 30 inch
3 brick (unintelligible) and ornamental
4 plantings and trees consistent with balance
5 of the development.
6 Would you like me to go through all
7 the variances we're requesting or did you
8 want to do question and answer on each one?
9 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: My suggestion
10 would be go ahead and prove your practical
11 difficulty for each of them and we can talk
12 to them all at once is my take, unless other
13 Board Members disagree.
14 MEMBER SHROYER: That's good.
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Go ahead and
16 prove your case on each of them first.
17 MS. SHECKLER: Moving on to the
18 dimensional variance for the loading and
19 unloading space associated with Building
20 400. That's shown on sheet L3 in your
21 packets, I believe. Again, there is a
22 precedence in this body supplying this
23 development with the dimensional variance
24 for the insufficient dumpster or
1 insufficient loading and unloading space.
2 The requirement 1200 square feet, we are
3 proposing 281 square feet which would
4 necessitate a variance to the tune of 919
5 square feet.
6 I think if you look at the phasing
7 plan you can see that on the northern side,
8 northeast side is kind of an interesting and
9 unique situation, as the chairman has been
10 stressing all night long. It's a very
11 unique area in terms of where the parcel
12 lines lie in adjacent to Phase II here and
13 adjacent to Building 400 along the edge of
14 the property.
15 We are accommodating a large amount of
16 the overall site parking indicated on Phase
17 II. As a result our landscape is pretty
18 pinched in terms of land space. The size of
19 the space is appropriate for the type of
20 deliveries that would be happening at that
21 location for Building 400.
22 Moving on to locational variance for
23 the dumpster at Building 400. As this body
24 already heard earlier tonight, we have a
1 unique situation in that there is no rear
2 yard in Building 400. Essentially there are
3 two front yards and one side yard and we are
4 proposing to locate the dumpster at the
5 functional rear of the building which would
6 be the rear yard, but in this case it was
7 not. And, again, that was as a result of
8 being the parcel lines and the practical
9 difficulty and having no rear yard for
10 Building 400.
11 Finally, we are requesting a
12 dimensional variance for the dumpster
13 setback for Building 400. Twenty feet it
14 required. Seventeen is proposed. That would
15 necessitate a variance of three feet.
16 I have found in trying to accommodate
17 all the site planning characteristics as I
18 have sort of been saying over and over
19 tonight, there is a limited amount of space
20 here. Because of getting rid of the
21 vertical parking element we really had to
22 make it creative and try to figure out the
23 best places for these site plans and
24 characteristics. Especially the dumpster
1 and the loading zone. We have tried to
2 locate them as closely as possible to
3 Building 4400 and make it work with trying
4 to meet the parking requirements which I
5 believe the planning center requires. We
6 were just in excess of the required amount
7 of parking spaces.
8 Thank you. I am sure Dave and I will
9 be happy to answer any questions you have.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Perfect. That
11 will be great. Did you want to wait for
13 MR. NONA: No, I'll wait for
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Okay. Member
16 Shroyer, I will ask if you could read any
18 MEMBER SHROYER: Sure. Sixty-five
19 notices were mailed. Zero approvals
20 received and two objections. Those
21 objections state, the first one, "Much time
22 and expense is involved creating a TC-1
23 Ordinance. A variance to 200 square feet for
24 loading and unloading would not even allow
1 space for passenger accommodations.
2 Commercial loading would be impossible. A
3 dumpster in the front yard, how do you keep
4 the integrity of the Ordinance?" That came
5 from Stephens Industry, Incorporated,
6 gentleman named Frank Stephens and that was
7 August 5th.
8 Second letter states, "Much time and
9 expense was involved creating the TC-1
10 Ordinance. The 200 square feet for loading
11 and unloading would not even allow space for
12 the passenger accommodations, commercial
13 loading would be impossible. A dumpster in
14 the front yard having to keep the integrity
15 of the Ordinance." This is from Raven
16 Investments, LLC, also Frank Stephens, P.O.
17 Box 201. Dated 8-5-08.
18 That's all.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
20 Member Shroyer. Is there anyone in the
21 audience that wishes to make a comment?
22 Seeing none, I will ask the City if they
23 have any comments for us?
24 MS. WORKING: Members of the Board,
1 Kristen Kapelanski has graciously endured
2 this entire hearing so that she could be
3 here for this case this evening.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: So have we.
5 MS. WORKING: So please ask her a
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Were there any
8 preemptive comments that you wished to make
9 at this time?
10 MS. KAPELANSKI: No.
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Anyone else from
12 the City? Mr. Boulard?
13 MR. BOULARD: I had one question if I
14 could ask of Petitioner.
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Absolutely.
16 MR. BOULARD: The variance for the
17 loading is probably, is very significant.
18 Can you tell us why you think that the
19 building would work with that limited area?
20 Obviously I think you have got some tenants
21 and uses in mind. Can you tell us why you
22 think that will work?
23 MR. NONA: Well, this building as it
24 is right now is not going to be a regular
1 retail operation. Right now it's going to
2 be a nightclub that will have limited
3 operations only on weekends and late in the
4 night and through the night. So, the type of
5 delivery trucks. It's not going to expected
6 to be big trailers, rather, just small
7 pickup trucks just for delivery of liquor
8 and some limited food.
9 MS. SHECKLER: So, most likely the
10 size of, the maximum size would be the size
11 of a Fed-Ex or UPS truck which can easily be
12 accommodated or comfortably be accommodated
13 up to 280 square feet.
14 MR. BOULARD: So, you wouldn't see the
15 deliveries from Sysco or big beer trucks?
16 MS. SHECKLER: We were kind of
17 thinking about that because it's not like a
18 big food operation.
19 MR. NONA: Yeah, they have, they have
20 limited food operation. There may be some
21 food delivery trucks, but I would not expect
22 them to be large trucks because it's not
23 going to be a regular restaurant operation.
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: What about beer,
1 if they have beer? What about the large
2 Budweiser trucks?
3 MR. NONA: Well, yeah. I mean, they
4 will have liquor and beer and deliveries,
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I mean, those
7 are usually 18 wheel vehicles. Anything
8 else that you have in mind?
9 MR. BOULARD: Just those questions.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Board Members?
11 I'll open it up for discussion.
12 MS. KUDLA: You can put a limitation
13 on the size of the vehicle as a condition
14 for that for safety reasons.
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: We could, but
16 how do we really enforce that? And what
17 would we base that on?
18 MS. KUDLA: The different sized truck
19 could have requirements to be deliveries
20 only in a certain size truck.
21 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Is Alan going to
22 be out there all hours of the night making
24 MEMBER BAUER: Weekends.
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Well, let's keep
2 on task here, and I will open it up for
3 Board Members to make specific comments or
4 questions. Member Shroyer?
5 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: And remember, we
7 do have a -- she is hiding, but we do have a
8 member of the Planning staff too.
9 MEMBER SHROYER: The first thing, and
10 I just have to ask this to the City or to
11 the City Attorney, I should say. Because we
12 reviewed the site plan before and these are
13 obviously quite a bit of changes with the
14 removal of the multi-story apartment garage,
15 et cetera, does any of these changes make
16 the seven previously granted variances null
17 and void?
18 MS. KUDLA: I would have to see what
19 the other variances were and I think we
20 would have to compare the plan. I don't
21 recall specifically what the other variances
22 were, so if it's a change of plan then, it
23 would eliminate some of those.
24 MEMBER SHROYER: Because we didn't get
1 the old plans.
2 MS. KAPELANSKI: If I could just jump
3 on that question.
4 MEMBER SHROYER: Sure.
5 MS. KAPELANSKI: The City Council
6 recently approved the revised preliminary
7 site plan for this and as part of their
8 motion they reaffirmed all previous waivers
9 and variances.
10 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you. What
11 would the plans be if the loading and
12 unloading size variance was denied? What's
13 the backup plan?
14 MR. NONA: Right now we don't have any
15 backup plans.
16 MEMBER SHROYER: Back to the drawing
18 MS. SHECKLER: Yeah, just because of
19 the large amount of required parking. And
20 like I said the vertical out, it just has
21 made the site planning very difficult.
22 MEMBER SHROYER: The reason I bring
23 this up. And I don't know if other people
24 are going to touch on it or not, the current
1 tenant that's in there might decide it may
2 be okay. But as you know, we have had a lot
3 of businesses come and go downtown. And if
4 the anticipated tenant doesn't make it or
5 doesn't go there and then we have somebody
6 else comes in, they are going to be severely
7 restricted based on the loading size, the
8 size of the loading area.
9 Go ahead.
10 MS. SHECKLER: I was just going to say
11 this goes in essence like the rear of the
12 structure. And in another community I am
13 actually the community planner and I kind of
14 sit behind the table like Robin and Kristen.
15 And they have very small lot along Ford Road
16 in Garden City, and I am just using this as
17 an example. They have many vacated alleys
18 behind and they have pretty exorbitant
19 loading and unloading requirements.
20 I think that the intent of the
21 Ordinance is, of course, to make sure that
22 there isn't conflict between traffic and
23 people enjoying the site and pedestrians and
24 everything along those lines, but it's not
1 in a business owner's interest to have
2 deliveries coming to the front of the door
3 or whatever. The front of the structure,
4 the front yard and be conflicting with those
5 things. It's not your corner one acre 7-11
6 where they are pulling in with a big rig.
7 It's a larger site. But it has more of an
8 urban feel to it than maybe some other
9 developments in the city.
10 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you.
11 MS. SHECKLER: Your are welcome.
12 MEMBER SHROYER: I am excited about
13 the whole project. I really think it's
14 something that is going to be great for Novi
15 and I am looking forward to when
16 construction begins, more so when
17 construction is completed. Viable business,
18 et cetera. But please understand the
19 concerns because after a developer builds it
20 or he sells it and he moves on and we're the
21 City is stuck with what's left and we always
22 need to try and look down the road at
23 potential problems that may occur.
24 MS. SHECKLER: Absolutely.
1 MEMBER SHROYER: That's all I have,
2 Mr. Chair.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
4 Member Shroyer.
5 MEMBER GHANNAM: I have a couple of
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Absolutely.
8 MEMBER GHANNAM: Have there been any
9 opinions from the fire department or anybody
10 regarding the safety of unloading and
11 loading in this particular area?
12 MS. SHECKLER: I actually
13 (unintelligible) engineering report. I don't
14 know if Kristen.
15 MS. KAPELANSKI: The fire marshall did
16 review the entire plan and had no issue
17 other than location of the loading zone or
18 the layout of the parking lot.
19 MEMBER GHANNAM: That's good to hear.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other?
21 MEMBER GHANNAM: I don't have any
22 other questions. That was my main concern.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Other Board
24 Members? In reviewing this I
1 guess I'll make a couple of comments. Given
2 the size and complexity of this development
3 I have drawn and redrawn and made lots of
4 lines that probably won't make sense to
5 anyone else, but myself, but there are only
6 so many ways you can do things and there is
7 only so many things that make the most sense
8 with what we are given. And I think that's
9 what we have in front of us. If I could
10 offer something better, I would. I think if
11 the City Planning staff could offer
12 something better they would.
13 But I think that what we have is a
14 collaboration of many different City bodies,
15 and City entities and those looking to build
16 this. So, I believe that difficulties are
17 met and I can support a motion if you were
18 to make one, Member Shroyer.
19 MEMBER SHROYER: Okay.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Did you like how
21 I lead right into that?
22 MEMBER SHROYER: I'll start. You may
23 want to add a couple things. In case
24 number: 08-047 filed by Dave Nona of
1 Triangle Main Street, LLC, for Building 400
2 of the Main Street Project located south of
3 Grand River Avenue and east of Novi Road,
4 move to approve allowing, one, a surface
5 parking lot area to be located in the front
6 yard of a non-residential collector's
7 street. Two, a reduction of 919 square feet
8 in the required loading and unloading space
9 in the rear yard. Three, locating a
10 dumpster in the front yard of Building 400.
11 As well as, four, a three foot setback
12 variance to allow the dumpster enclosure to
13 be located 17 feet from the property line.
14 These variances are based upon providing
15 substantial justice to the Petitioner and
16 surrounding property owners, and the zoning
17 district, the unique circumstances of the
18 property. And the fact that all of these
19 changes lie within the spirit of the zoning
21 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I will second
22 the motion.
23 There is a motion and a second on
24 the table. Is there any further discussion?
1 Seeing none, Ms. Working, will you please
2 call the roll.
3 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
4 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
5 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
7 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
8 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
9 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
10 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
11 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
12 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
13 MS. WORKING: Motion passes 5-0.
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Best of luck.
15 Look forward to seeing some groundbreaking
17 MR. NONA: Thank you.
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Robin, I
19 scribbled out a little here because I signed
20 it as being 12, but it's technically 13 now.
21 Just an FYI. That's why it looks like a big
23 MS. WORKING: Thank for the reminder.
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: This takes us to
2 other matters. Rules and procedure update.
3 MS. KUDLA: One more paragraph to
4 write, so for sure to be in the next packet.
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Well, Member
6 Shroyer and I did see Mr. Schultz on last
7 Thursday and I think we gave him enough
8 ribbing that hopefully he will get around to
9 correcting the revisions fairly quickly and
10 we can bring some something back.
11 MS. KUDLA: He actually did revisions
12 and suggested that I expand a paragraph, so
13 that's where we are.
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Okay.
15 MEMBER SHROYER: If I may make a
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: You may.
18 MEMBER SHROYER: If it is ready prior
19 to the distribution of the packets could we
20 receive them early?
21 MS. KUDLA: Sure.
22 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: If we can get it
24 as soon as possible that would be great. I
1 know there is a lot to go through besides
2 our packet.
3 Once again, I just wanted to reiterate
4 in any tabled cases which would be whatever
5 they were tonight, HINO Trucks and Pheasant
6 Run, please put back in your folder for
8 MS. WORKING: Hopefully you have
9 retained Villagewood. Those will be coming
10 back for reconsideration. I will give you a
11 brief overview, but I think that hopefully
12 you have retained what you have received.
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: All right.
14 Member Wrobel?
15 MEMBER WROBEL: As everyone knows this
16 is my last meeting. My terms is up. Brian
17 Burke will be taking over for me as a
18 liaison from the Planning Commission. I
19 want to thank all City staff for their help
20 the past year. All my colleagues have been
21 very helpful. And I hope that I was
22 beneficial being on the ZBA for the past
24 MEMBER BAUER: We just broke you in.
1 MEMBER WROBEL: I know.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: That's the way
3 it goes. I would like to reiterate what I
4 talked about a little earlier. Member
5 Wrobel had written to much of City Council
6 and the Mayor as well as some people on the
7 Planning Commission and some staff
8 expressing a very positive experience with
9 us on the Zoning Board. And while it is not
10 as elaborate and nicely put as he had done,
11 I did reply to that and said I think it's a
12 great integration between the Planning
13 Commission and Zoning Board. So, I hope you
14 guys don't mind, but I kind of spoke on the
15 Zoning Board's behalf saying, yes, we would
16 like this continued relationship, and so
17 that's how we ended up with Mr. Burke.
18 He has big shoes to fill. I am sure he
19 won't fill them, but we appreciate all your
20 service and everything you have done. So,
21 thank you.
22 MEMBER WROBEL: Thank you.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Seeing no other
24 business I will entertainment a motion to
2 MEMBER WROBEL: Motion to adjourn.
3 MEMBER SHROYER: Do we need to act on
4 Robin's note concerning 1915 West Lake
6 MS. WORKING: That was last month. You
7 were absent. I just left that in there for
8 your information. Thank you, though.
9 MEMBER SHROYER: Sorry about that.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
11 motion by Member Wrobel to adjourn --
12 MEMBER BAUER: So moved.
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: And a second by
14 Member Bauer. All in favor say aye?
15 BOARD MEMBERS. Aye.
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any opposed?
17 Seeing none, the meeting is adjourned.
18 (The meeting was adjourned at
19 12:06 a.m.)
C E R T I F I C A T E
I, Mona L. Talton, do hereby certify
that I have recorded stenographically the
proceedings had and testimony taken in the
above-entitled matter at the time and place
hereinbefore set forth, and I do further
certify that the foregoing transcript,
consisting of (236) typewritten pages, is a
true and correct transcript of my said
Mona L. Talton,
Certified Shorthand Reporter
August 15, 2008