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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, Wednesday, November 12, 2008.
1 Novi, Michigan
2 Wednesday, November 12, 2008
3 7:00 p.m.
4 - - - - - -
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: It is 7:00. I
7 would like to call to order the Wednesday,
8 November 12th, 2008 City of Novi Zoning
9 Board of Appeals meeting.
10 Ms. Working, would you please call the
11 roll for us.
12 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
13 MEMBER BAUER: Present.
14 MS. WORKING: Member Burke?
15 MEMBER BURKE: Here.
16 MS. WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
17 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Here.
18 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
19 MEMBER SHROYER: Here.
20 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
21 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Present.
22 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
23 MEMBER GHANNAM: Present.
24 MS. WORKING: Member Krieger?
1 MEMBER KRIEGER: Here.
2 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
3 MEMBER IBE: Present.
4 MS. WORKING: All present, Mr. Chair.
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Excellent. I
6 would ask my Vice Chair to go ahead and lead
7 us in a pledge of allegiance.
8 BOARD MEMBERS: I pledge allegiance to
9 the flag of the United States of America and
10 to the Republic for which it stands, one
11 nation under God indivisible with liberty
12 and justice for all.
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
14 Vice-Chair Sanghvi.
15 I would like to point out in the back
16 of the room there should be a copy of the
17 rules and the procedure for the Zoning Board
18 of Appeals. I would like to call attention
19 to two of the main rules. First of all, if
20 everyone could make sure that they turn off
21 or at least put on vibrate all of their cell
22 phones and pagers.
23 I would like to let you know that
24 tonight we will, and in any case we will
1 hold individuals to address the Board, they
2 have five minutes to do so. Groups have ten
3 minutes to address the Board if they are
4 speaking on behalf of, an individual
5 speaking on behalf of a whole group has ten
6 minutes to speak.
7 The Zoning Board of Appeal is a
8 hearing board empowered by the Novi City
9 Charter to hear appeals seeking variances
10 from the application of the Novi Zoning
11 Ordinance. It takes a vote of at least four
12 members to approve a variance request and a
13 vote of a majority present to deny a
14 variance request. Tonight we do have a full
15 board so any decisions made will be final.
16 Looking at our agenda, are there any
17 changes to our agenda tonight?
18 MS. WORKING: Mr. Chair, I would like
19 to please add under approval of minutes, the
20 minutes for the October 5th, Zoning Board of
21 Appeals hearing.
22 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: It was the 14th?
23 MS. WORKING: October 14th.
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you.
1 MS. WORKING: And under Other Matters,
2 if it pleases the Board under number 4, the
3 Rules of Procedure.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Is that going to
5 be a discussion? Or is there a little bit
6 to tell us about?
7 MS. WORKING: I believe last meeting,
8 Mr. Chair, there were a couple of minor
9 changes to the rules and I do not believe
10 there was a vote to approve -- to codify
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: We can talk
13 about when we get to that. Any other
14 changes or is there a motion to approve as
16 VICE CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: So moved.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Is there a
19 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
21 motion by Member Sanghvi and a second by
22 Member Bauer.
23 All in favor say aye?
24 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any opposed?
2 Seeing none, we have an agenda.
3 We'll move to the approval of the
4 minutes from the September 9th, 2008 Zoning
5 Board of Appeals meeting. Are there any
6 changes? Member Sanghvi?
7 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: A couple of
8 things I noticed. One for the September,
9 we'll take September first. And on page 108
10 line 18, it says: I think you are requiring
11 the new members to participate. It should
12 be excluding by changing the date of the
13 election. If you remember the discussion we
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Oh, excluding.
16 Page 108, line 18. Requiring should be
17 changed to excluding?
18 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other
21 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: And for
22 October --
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Let's do
24 September first. Is there a motion to
1 approve as amended?
2 MEMBER BAUER: Approve as amended.
3 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Second.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is motion
5 by Member Bauer and a second by Member
7 All in favor say aye?
8 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
9 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any opposed?
10 Seeing none, the minutes are approved as
12 And move to October 14th, 2008
13 minutes. Member Sanghvi?
14 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Page 43,
15 line 10 where it says: Is there a safety,
16 and there it says unintelligible. It should
17 be changed to hazard.
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Okay. Page 43,
19 line 10, unintelligible should be changed to
21 Any other changes? Is there motion to
22 approve as amended?
23 MEMBER BAUER: So approved.
24 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Second.
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
2 motion to approve as amended by Member Bauer
3 and a second by Member Sanghvi. All in
4 favor say aye?
5 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any opposed?
7 Seeing, none, the October 14th minutes are
8 approved as amended.
9 At this time I will go ahead and move
10 to the public remarks section of the Zoning
11 Board of Appeals meeting. This is a public
12 remarks portion where anyone in the audience
13 may make a comment. Any comments relating
14 to a case on the agenda should be held to
15 that case being called. So if anyone wishes
16 at this time to address the Board on a
17 matter not in front of the Board tonight,
18 please come forward. Seeing none, we will
19 close the public remarks section of the
22 And we will go ahead and call
23 case number: 08-054 filed by the Manyam
24 Group, LLC, for the property located at
1 26233 Taft Road. The petitioner is
2 requesting it appears to be seven height
3 variances and then an accessory structure
4 height variance, dumpster located in the
5 side yard as well as a parking variance.
6 MEMBER BURKE: Mr. Chair, I need to
7 interrupt you just for a second. Seeing as
8 I sat on the Planning Commission on this
9 item I need to recuse myself. Do I have to
10 make a motion to that affect?
11 MEMBER IBE: So moved.
12 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Second.
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
14 motion to recuse Member Burke by Member
15 Bauer and there is a second by Member
16 Shroyer. All in favor say aye?
17 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I'm sorry,
19 second by Member Ibe.
20 MEMBER SHROYER: Before you go to the
21 vote I believe Mr. Schultz might have a
23 MR. SCHULTZ: No, I'm fine. Thank you
24 very much.
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
2 motion. All in favor say aye?
3 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any opposed?
5 Seeing none. Mr. Burke, we will see you in
6 a bit.
7 And you are here to represent the
9 MR. AMANN: I am, Mr. Chairman. My
10 name is Bryan Amann. I am the attorney on
11 behalf of the Petitioner. I have given my
12 card with the address to the stenographer so
13 she won't have to figure out how to spell
14 that name.
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Okay. Just so
16 everyone knows, since you are an attorney we
17 won't need to swear you in for this case,
18 but I am sure you will be happy to tell the
19 truth anyway.
20 MR. AMANN: I never understood why
21 they don't swear in the attorneys but
22 everybody else.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I never
24 understood it either. The least reliable
1 people in the world.
2 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I won't say
3 that, but anyway.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I'm surrounded
5 by them.
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Before I get
8 myself into any more trouble, please
10 MR. AMANN: Thank you, Mr. Chair. Let
11 me indicate what is the ninth item, the
12 variance we are referring to regarding the
13 dumpster, we are no longer seeking. We have
14 essentially found a way to move the dumpster
15 to the rear of the building pursuant to our
16 report with the Planning Commission --
17 Barbara is shaking her head no at me. And
18 we still need that variance.
19 Okay, late changing news, we still
20 need that variance. We will get to that at
21 a later time.
22 Mr. Chairman, I will briefly address a
23 quick introduction of project and I will get
24 the architect to kind of walk through each
1 individual item. First, we appreciate the
2 time and effort you have been putting in
3 this effort. We have worked greatly with
4 your staff and the administration and the
5 Planning Commission up to this point and we
6 appreciate the time put into that.
7 This project, if you have received
8 this part of your packet, this package which
9 actually refers to the preliminary site
10 plan, those elements. Unless you could not
11 sleep at night I would not expect you to
12 read line by line on this item, but you will
13 find in this a reference to the fundamental
14 design of this project.
15 This was established pursuant to a
16 practice known as Vastu. And, in fact, the
17 practice that many of you know as Fung Shway
18 comes out of this practice of Vastu. It
19 dates back to the 1300s and it really is
20 based in the 2000-year-old principles of
21 what is known as the Vastus, the scriptural
22 principles which support this religion and
23 this practice. It aligns a prescriptive
24 relationship between certain elements of the
1 designs in the building. And those elements
2 that we are here to talk to you tonight is
3 the heights of certain features are of those
4 elements that are under this Vastu approach
5 are prescriptively designed and it took 12
6 months with the architect to try to make
7 sure the building, its features and all the
8 other elements including where the windows
9 are, the number of windows and all those
10 items are part of this religious basis of
11 this Vastu principle that they may apply.
12 Material to, reflective of their religious
13 objectives. We will go through those
14 individual features.
15 But I think some of the good news that
16 we are really here on what I deal with a lot
17 of other communities which are essentially
18 architectural features. We are not seeking
19 wholesale dimension variances or wholesale
20 variances that allow a whole wall to be a
21 lot taller than others. These are
22 architectural features which are essentially
23 key to their religious practice under the
24 Vastus principle. So, with that I am going
1 to bring Praveen Manyam, the architect to
2 explain each item to you in detail you so he
3 can point out exactly what we are talking
5 MR. MANYAM: Thank you. My name is
6 Praveen Manyam.
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Are you an
8 attorney as well?
9 MR. MANYAM: No.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: All right. If
11 you would please raise your hand and be
12 sworn in by our Secretary.
13 MR. MANYAM: Okay.
14 MEMBER KRIEGER: Do you swear or
15 affirm in this case number: 08-054 to tell
16 the truth in this case?
17 MR. MANYAM: I do.
18 MEMBER KRIEGER: Thank you.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: State your name
20 and address and then go ahead and proceed
21 with your presentation.
22 MR. MANYAM: I am Praveen Manyam of
23 Frankenmuth, Michigan. I am an architect.
24 I represent the design profession on this
1 project. I would just like to explain a
2 little bit about the variances that we are
3 seeking for this project.
4 I will start with the height
5 variances. Some of these variances actually
6 I will deal with one particular building.
7 It's a three phase project. Three buildings
8 there. One particular building is the
9 temple building that is part of the phase
10 two on this project. The height variances
11 that we are seeking, first one is this
12 building, this structure right here, the
13 Maha Rajagopuram. This is essentially the
14 entrance gateway to the building. All of
15 these design features on this building are
16 derived out of the necessities dealing with
17 the temple itself. They are not there for
18 pretty decorations. Hindu temple is an
19 authenticate Hindu temple in India and the
20 carving on the building. And each carving
21 is a unique carving. And every temple is
22 different carving and so forth.
23 So, what we are putting together here
24 is an emulation of an authentic building
1 found in India. Most specifically the
2 southern regions of India. This is the
3 entrance gateway and we're basically looking
4 for two feet, four and a half inches
5 variance for this structure. It's a strict
6 proportional entity. And you can see by the
7 drawing there that it's the wider bands at
8 the bottom and they taper up to the smaller
9 bands toward the top. It's completely
10 derived out of mathematics and it wasn't
11 something where we were able to just shorten
12 it this way or that way emulating the
13 authenticity of this structure.
14 Another couple of variances that we
15 are looking at from a height perspective is
16 behind the structure there is -- let me pull
17 this sheet up a little bit. Now, I am
18 showing you the north elevation of this
19 building. The entrance gateway we are
20 talking about earlier is right here.
21 Toward the front of the building we
22 are talking about the entry point. And
23 these elements here, we are looking for a
24 variance of one and a half feet. Also, same
1 thing, this is the actual building itself.
2 We are marking the actual entry points of
3 this building. It's part of the process of
4 extension to the prayer hall space and it's
5 something where the doors itself on the
6 building are not standard doors. We are
7 talking greater than 10 feet height doors
8 and really magnificent large doors.
9 In proportion with the entire
10 entrance perspective of the building, we are
11 seeking this variance for these elements
12 that compliment the entry points of the
13 building. Towards the rear of the building
14 there are three, essentially three items
15 here that stand out quite tall. This
16 element here is the tallest variance that we
17 are seeking. It's 55' 1" in height, so we
18 are asking for a variance of 20' 1".
19 I will show you a section that
20 essentially this, that piece that we're
21 talking about right here, it's purely a
22 decorative piece and this space that lies
23 under that piece is a very sacred space.
24 This is a space where the general public
1 will actually not be allowed to enter this
2 space. This is essentially the markings of
3 that space.
4 In this temple configuration there
5 will be three such spaces like that and
6 that's what these three elements represent
7 in this structure here. The brass pole over
8 here is also part of the process of entering
9 the temple building. Once you pass this
10 brass pole you have not entered the prayer
11 hall space yet. It's really the last point
12 that you pass before you enter the prayer
13 hall space. This has a definite symmetry to
14 the tallest point of the back of the
15 building to that sacred place that I showed
17 They are both 55' 1" in height and it
18 simulates with one another. It's
19 essentially those two elements are meant to
20 be in symmetry with each other and they are
21 on center on access with the center of that
22 sacred space there. Those are, I believe
23 those are the height variances that we are
1 The other, there is one
2 more height variance that we are seeking
3 that deals with the roof top units. Right
4 here we are seeking a variance on the height
5 vertical for a 7 foot variance for a 42 foot
6 high structure above the building here.
7 What we have done here is that we are
8 enclosing the mechanical equipment in order
9 to ensure that there is no sound, outdoor
10 noise situations on this property being that
11 we have residential neighbors essentially
12 all over the property lines, so we will be
13 using acoustic material inside that
14 structure there.
15 In order to get a service technician
16 in and so forth, we needed to have the
17 height implications that we are presenting
18 here. We have lowered the height of the
19 prayer hall space that falls underneath that
20 to try to reduce the overall height of that
21 space but still with the serviceability
22 implications and so forth, we needed it to
23 be -- the best we could do was 42 feet on
24 that structure there.
1 Then another variance that we are
2 seeking is the refuge bin. Essentially we
3 were looking at the refuse bin, we were
4 looking at the three buildings as
5 essentially as main buildings. So we were
6 initially looking at moving the dumpster
7 behind the cultural center building. I will
8 show the site perspective. I will show you
9 the road just to get some perspective. The
10 road is essentially on the right edge of the
11 screen there. The cultural center is this
12 building right here up front. The temple
13 building that we are talking about is right
14 here. So, we do have a refuge bin behind
15 this temple building. But we are looking
16 for another refuge bin for this cultural
17 center building that is something more
18 relative to this building.
19 Essentially for the Planning
20 Commission we did put it on the side of this
21 building and what we were looking at is that
22 this won't be an accessory building, so we
23 were looking at moving this dumpster to
24 somewhere behind the cultural center
1 building and not requesting a variance.
2 Essentially anywhere we put it here will be
3 a side yard, so we are requesting a variance
4 for putting the dumpster. We would be happy
5 to move it from this location and put it
6 somewhere else which we could work with the
7 Community Development Department on that,
8 but we would be looking for a variance to
9 put it anywhere here, before this temple
11 And then the last
12 variance that we are seeking is the parking
13 variance. We presented a plan that provides
14 272 spaces for parking for this development.
15 From the calculations at the Planning
16 Commission, we determined that the main use
17 building, the temple building has two, we
18 were going to determine the parking based on
19 the main use building. The temple building
20 has a prayer hall on the upper floor and a
21 multi purpose room on the lower floor.
22 The prayer hall is determined that it
23 would need 194 parking spaces. The multi
24 purpose room it was determined that it would
1 require 112 parking spaces. So the total
2 for that would be a requirement of 306
3 parking spaces. We have provided 272
4 parking spaces, so we are requesting
5 variance for 112 parking spaces.
6 In support of that variance one, we
7 wanted to mention that the prayer hall and
8 the multi purpose room are not meant to be
9 simultaneous activity spaces. The prayer
10 hall space itself in terms of maximum
11 capacity is a totally separate use from the
12 multi purpose room and we can't even
13 conceive of a situation where we would want
14 to be having such an event in the prayer
15 hall and let people be in the multi purpose
17 But barring that, we do have
18 contingency plans. One is an overflow
19 parking agreement we do have with Miracle
20 Software which is a property located on
21 Grand River not far from here. And we do
22 have a letter of agreement for that. Also
23 we do have, we do have someone representing
24 Miracle Software here as well to verify that
1 request of that.
2 So, those are essentially the
3 variances that we are seeking and I will
4 turn it over to Bryan.
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you.
6 MR. AMANN: Just to wrap up very
7 quickly. I think it's important to point
8 out when we were at the Planning Commission,
9 although we had certain neighbors concerned
10 and things like that, we were really pleased
11 at the general appreciation and expression
12 and support of the beauty and the splendor
13 of the buildings. These buildings have a
14 certain look and it's very expensive
15 exterior finishes. So we think that will be
17 Also, this building is essentially at
18 its closest is 27 feet away from the nearest
19 resident. So, although we are seeking
20 certain variances on certain heights, when
21 you look at it as relationship to actual
22 setbacks from other residents, the potential
23 impact of that is certainly minimized if
1 With that for one final closing point
2 I want to bring up Anand Gangadharan who his
3 going to represent the actual temple itself.
4 He just has one comment and then we are
5 prepared to answer any questions or hear any
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Perfect. Good
8 evening, and are you an attorney?
9 MR. GANGADHARAN: Not I am not.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: If you will
11 please be sworn in as well.
12 MEMBER KRIEGER: Do you swear or
13 affirm in case number: 08-054 to tell the
14 truth in this case?
15 MR. GANGADHARAN: Yes. Again, we
16 appreciate on behalf of the Sri Venkateswara
17 Temple and Cultural Center. I just want to
18 state that the variances requested are very
19 much a part of religious practice. It is
20 part of the Hindu basis of why and how a
21 temple is constructed. And fundamentally we
22 appreciate your consideration of our request
23 here. If there are any questions I am happy
24 to answer. That's all. Thank you.
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Is that all, Mr.
3 MR. AMANN: We are all set, thank you,
4 Mr. Chairman.
5 MR. MANYAM: I have a bunch here a
6 letters from various members in the
7 community that are in support of this
9 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Robin, did we
10 receive those prior to?
11 MS. WORKING: I have not received
12 them, no.
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Can we go ahead
14 and get those to you and you can make a copy
15 of them as part of the case?
16 MS. WORKING: Absolutely.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: You can go ahead
18 and bring them to the Board. I don't seem
19 to have the case file for this case. At
20 this point in the meeting we normally go
21 ahead and read all the correspondence into
22 the case prior to letting the audience make
23 their comments, unfortunately I am missing
24 the file, so if you would bear with us for a
1 few moments while Robin helps me out I would
2 greatly appreciate it.
3 Madam Secretary, if you will please go
4 ahead and read the correspondence into the
5 record, I would appreciate it.
6 MEMBER KRIEGER: In case number:
7 08-054, 32 notices were mailed. One
8 response, and it is, Dear Board Members.
9 The purpose of this letter is to object to
10 the approval of the variances to construct
11 the proposed cultural center. My objection
12 is based on the following reasons: One, to
13 build the proposed -- I don't want to say it
14 or I am going to miss it up -- Sri Ven --
15 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Sri
16 Venkateswara Temple.
17 MEMBER KRIEGER: Thank you. And
18 cultural center requires approval of too
19 many variances. To approve all those
20 variances makes a mockery of the building
21 ordinances of the City of Novi.
22 Two, the size of the parcel does not
23 provide enough spaces to accommodate so many
24 parking spaces. Reducing the size of the
1 building to 21,823 square feet is not
2 enough. It does not reduce the number of
3 people who will come for major celebrations
4 and banquets.
5 Three, discharging more water into the
6 back of Andes Hills will increase the storm
7 water problem we currently face with the
8 storm water from the commercial buildings of
9 the north.
10 Four, the parcel is too small to the
11 proportion of the proposed cultural center.
12 According to web page of this project, the
13 temple is expecting to serve a membership of
14 over 3,000 families and the cultural center
15 expects to have over 1,000 persons seating
16 down at one time.
17 The web page also indicates that the
18 temple and cultural center will be the place
19 to celebrate weddings, birthdays,
20 graduations and other important occasions.
21 It is reasonable and realistic to anticipate
22 that the temple and cultural center will be
23 used at the same time as a gathering place
24 for thousands of people. Perhaps over 3,000
1 families who will come to worship and
2 celebrate their cultural practices.
3 The web page also indicates that the
4 cultural center will be the place where
5 medical and legal help will be offered by
6 willing specialists in their respective
7 fields for our community.
8 Are the medical and legal services
9 free or will there be a minimum charge? In
10 either case many people will come for the
11 services all the time. The community center
12 will be considered as a re-configurable
13 space focused on 1,000 persons seating
14 weddings, multi-purpose classroom and
15 recreational activities. Premium banquet
16 hall with all (unintelligible) for an Indian
17 wedding. To me this use of the cultural
18 center sounds like a commercial hall. The
19 traffic and commotion of the area will be
21 This number of people will arrive in
22 more than 287 cars, therefore, people will
23 have to park all over the neighborhood
24 creating too much commotion. The
1 disturbance will negatively impact in the
2 peace and value of the properties around.
3 Thank you for considering my concerns.
4 Cordially Felix Alwana (phonetic) from Andes
5 Hills Court.
6 That's it.
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Mr. Schultz,
8 also in our packet we did receive --
9 MS. WORKING: I'm sorry, through the
10 Chair. I think there was a late submission,
11 number two behind that one, Mr. Chair.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: This appears to
13 have been sent in with no name or address.
14 Mr. Schultz, is it appropriate to read it
15 into the record?
16 MR. SCHULTZ: No, it is not.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: We will skip
18 this e-mail at this time. Any other
19 comments that you are aware of, Robin?
20 MS. WORKING: That was it.
21 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you very
22 much as always for your help on that. At
23 this time I would ask anyone in the audience
24 if they wish to make comment on this case if
1 they will please come forward. If there are
2 going to be other people behind her, go
3 ahead and come forward so we can keep a
4 cycle going and line up against the wall if
5 you are able to. Before we do get started
6 with the public remarks, comments. I do
7 want to mention that the Zoning Board has
8 the scope and the jurisdiction over the
9 ordinances and variances requested on the
10 agenda and the heights that were mentioned
11 during the presentation, et cetera. We
12 would appreciate everyone keeping their
13 comments to those variances and keeping
14 their comments mainly on the proceedings
16 As far as what the Planning
17 Commission has decided and as far as
18 building sizes, et cetera, we don't have
19 jurisdiction per se over that. So, I just
20 want to ask that everyone keep their
21 comments to the point in order to keep this
22 as an efficient meeting.
23 Please state your name and address and
24 then proceed with your comments.
1 MS. GARDENER: My name is Jane
2 Gardener. I live 46000 West Eleven Mile,
3 Novi, Michigan. I would like to start, we
4 as residents in this community, we are
5 trying to come to grips with this building
6 going into this spot and we are kind of
7 excited about it, and I do appreciate the
8 explanation of the different decorative
9 elements on the top of the temple. It's a
10 big concern to me, the decorative elements,
11 not so much in how tall they are, but in
12 terms of how well they are lit, and I want
13 to discuss that a little bit.
14 But I also wanted to say in his
15 presentation about this temple, I
16 appreciated that, but the Applicant totally
17 omitted to mention the 21,000 square foot
18 cultural center and its use. Yes, I don't
19 believe that they will use the upstairs
20 prayer portion of the temple and the
21 downstairs 4,000 square foot multi-purpose
22 room. I can't imagine our own church, the
23 Catholic church I belong to using the church
24 and having a function at the same time. You
1 just wouldn't do that. It would be
2 irreverent. But I really am concerned that
3 the 4,000 square foot multi-purpose room and
4 the cultural center will be used at the same
5 time. And I think that this is a huge issue
6 for parking.
7 There is almost 4,000 square feet in
8 the multi purpose and I think in the
9 cultural center as well. If you look at
10 your plan you can see these are two large
11 spaces. So, yes, I don't believe that the
12 temple or these parking places for these
13 variances will be used at the same time, but
14 I don't think the Applicant at all addressed
15 the fact that the two buildings because they
16 are two separate buildings of the same size.
17 If you look, the one is 22,000 square feet.
18 The other one is 21,000 square feet. And I
19 guess as a resident of this area and living
20 on a very small road of Taft and Eleven Mile
21 we are grossly concerned that this is going
22 to provide a headache constantly for all of
23 the people involved. We believe it will be
24 a safety hazard. It will be a traffic mess.
1 And the intersection will be overwhelmed and
2 we as a community will be overwhelmed.
3 So, I really would like the Zoning
4 Board to look at that. One of my fellow
5 residents is going to talk more about the
6 parking spaces because it is a big issue.
7 And we are not trying to prevent this
8 temple. We are appreciative of the
9 diversity of our area and of our culture for
10 our children and for our community, so, we
11 really welcome this.
12 But we really also want to have our
13 living on those properties. So, we also
14 expect a little bit of consideration given
15 that this site is going to go in. Ten
16 variances is a lot of variances. I know
17 most of us have tried to get variances at
18 one time or another and had not been granted
19 one. So, these are very large variances and
20 I guess the one I want to talk about in
21 terms of the lighting.
22 I believe these are beautiful
23 structures on top of this building. My
24 property backs up on Eleven Mile backs up
1 into the woodland. I don't want to be
2 sitting outside on a beautiful evening and
3 see these large structures lit up all night.
4 As it is there is a lighting from the back
5 intersection that went in. Some nights with
6 the cloud cover you could particularly read
7 in my backyard because it is so bright. My
8 biggest concern is how long are these
9 structures or the steeples, the decorative
10 elements, whatever they want to be called,
11 how long are they going to be lit? And if
12 these variances are granted, I believe we
13 have to have wording in the approval of the
14 variances that sets a time frame for these
15 structures to be lit.
16 This building is bright white.
17 It will beautiful, but it is bright white.
18 So, the ambient light that reflects off this
19 and these tall towers is going to be huge
20 and we have a very big concern, the
21 residents in this whole area about seeing
22 this in the evening. So, we would really
23 like to know what time it's going to be lit
24 and we want the temple and the Applicant
1 held to these times. That is very important
2 to us.
3 Another thing I just
4 wanted to point out in terms of the
5 structure being close to residents. Yes,
6 the temple itself may be 275 feet from the
7 nearest residence, but the cultural center
8 is 75 feet from the nearest resident. I
9 know Mrs. Thibodaux (phonetic) who lives on
10 that piece of property next to where the
11 dumpster was before, she is truly
12 appreciative of moving the dumpster
13 literally outside of 10 feet from her
14 property because that's where the initial
15 application is. So, we appreciate them
16 working with her and us in terms of moving
18 I guess that about sums up our
19 concerns. We want to be excited about the
20 temple, we truly do. My daughter just came
21 down to U of M to go to the Indian dance
22 that was performed there. She had several
23 friends and we would like to also be a part
24 of that community for them. But we also
1 want them to be cognizant of why we moved to
2 these pieces of property and why we built
3 our homes and why we live in this area
4 because we appreciate the wetland and
5 woodland and we would like those as
6 undisturbed as possible by the lighting, the
7 parking and the traffic.
8 So, those are some big concerns I
9 have. Thank you very much for your time.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you very
11 much. Is there anyone else? Is there
12 anyone else in the audience that wishes to
13 make comment? Yes?
14 MS. THIBODAUX (ph): Yes, I am Janet
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Your address as
17 well, please?
18 MS. THIBODAUX: My address is 26201
19 Taft Road and my property is directly south
20 to the proposed project. And I have been
21 opposed to this project from the very
22 beginning for many reasons. The amount of
23 variances that they are asking tells me that
24 perhaps this site does not accommodate the
1 very wonderful plans that they have for
2 their temple and cultural center. I am very
3 concerned about the impact that this project
4 will have on myself and the other residents
5 surrounding this project.
6 I am very concerned about a dumpster
7 being 10 to 20 feet from the side of my
8 property and perhaps I don't understand the
9 variances that are being asked, but that is
10 my understanding at this point. I am very
11 concerned. And when I hear a variance that
12 request the dumpster being put to the side,
13 what does that mean to my property? I do
14 not wish to see a dumpster. I do not wish
15 to smell trash from a dumpster from my
17 Additionally, I am
18 concerned about my ability to leave and
19 enter my driveway. The Basilian Brothers
20 residency is underway right now, that
21 project is being underway, and I know you
22 are not here tonight to hear that. But I am
23 very concerned about how close their egress
24 is to Eleven Mile. I will have that new
1 egress to the right of my property as I
2 leave my drive. And then I will have this
3 new project egress to the left of my
4 property and I am very concerned about that.
5 Eleven Mile and Taft Road is already -- what
6 do I want to say? A dangerous site. You
7 know why? Hit the brakes and look both ways
8 and hope that nothing is going to happen
9 when I proceed south down Taft Road.
10 Please consider the impact that this
11 project will have not only on my residency,
12 but on the residences that's surrounding.
13 And at the same time I know you wish to
14 accommodate the interest of the people who
15 support this project. It's not an easy
16 decision and I hope you will make the right
17 one. Thank you.
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you very
19 much. Next? Name and address for us and
20 make your comments.
21 MR. ROZACH (ph): Good evening, my
22 name is Matt Rozach. My address is 45950
23 West Eleven Mile. I am probably the second
24 closest resident -- I am probably the
1 closest resident to this temple. Parking
2 requirements are typically dedicated by
3 building size and usage per the City of Novi
4 Ordinances. In this case as stated in the
5 Planning Review preliminary site plan, "The
6 Applicant provided data was used to
7 calculate the occupancy of the temple and
8 the cultural center which was then used to
9 determine the parking standard for the
10 overall site." So, there was a strong bias
11 to using the Applicant's supplied data.
12 From this information parking
13 requirements were determined for each of the
14 buildings. We have the temple up here,
15 22,600 square feet. The cultural center
16 21,823 feet. Parking was determined from
17 the prayer hall and the multi-purpose room
18 which is 40% of the temple. And parking was
19 determined for the main conference and the
20 classrooms which is 50% of the cultural
21 center. I wish my percentages came in
22 there. I guess I got the red a little too
23 dark. Working with this they came up with
24 the temple needing 306 required parking and
1 the cultural center needing 239 required
2 parking for a total of 545 total required
4 Now the requests for variance is for
5 34 parking spaces based on just the use of
6 the temple building now. If we look at just
7 the use of the temple building now, we are
8 taking the 306 minus the 272 planned parking
9 and we come up with 34 variances and there
10 is no parking right now designated for the
11 cultural center.
12 When actually what's
13 going on is, parking is only provided for
14 20% of both building spaces with the
15 variance of 34 parking spaces. Doesn't
16 something seem wrong here? Wake up. There
17 is too much building and not enough parking.
18 We have moved from allocating 7 or 15 square
19 feet per person, depending upon the building
20 or the room to allocating 49 square feet per
21 person to determine our work parking
22 requirement on this project.
23 Using only one of the buildings at a
24 time appears to be a moving target with the
1 Applicant. Even though the Planning
2 Department's approval basis on both
3 authorities will not be utilized
4 simultaneously. Building usage from the
5 Applicant has evolved from the September
6 24th Planning minutes saying uses would not
7 occur at the same time. Then we moved up to
8 the October 22nd Planning minutes and now
9 major events will not occur at the same
10 time. So all of a sudden now we are using
11 two buildings but major events will not
13 Now, the latest is in the October 29,
14 letter to the City Zoning Board from the
15 Manyam Group they say maximum capacity use
16 will not occur simultaneously. They are
17 admitting they are going to use both
18 buildings. It's obvious to me that there is
19 definitely an intent by the Applicant to use
20 both buildings at the same time. What
21 number of persons in a building does it
22 require that parking places be provided?
23 Fifty people? A hundred people?
24 Consider the following here. These
1 are the hours that they are presenting for
2 use of the temple. We are talking 9:00 to
3 9:00 during the weekdays except for early
4 afternoon and on the weekends we are talking
5 9:00 to 10:00 in the evening.
6 Uses of the cultural center. There are
7 10 recognized southern Hindu major festivals
8 and other minor festivals that are
9 celebrated. In addition, temples or centers
10 in Canton and Troy are booked three to four
11 months out for parties such as wedding,
12 graduations, birthdays and other events.
13 The same will most likely occur here.
14 Traditional weddings in India will be for
15 two days, it is possible that two-day
16 weddings will occur here.
17 This is an authenticate
18 traditional Hindu temple, very ornate with
19 the next closest one in Chicago. This alone
20 with attract more activities than other
21 temples in the area. It seems like a lot of
22 activity in the cultural center during
23 temple hours. To me it sounds like both
24 buildings are attended and will be operated
1 simultaneously. Therefore, parking
2 requirements must be addressed for use of
3 both buildings.
4 The question is is 308 required
5 parking places sufficient together with off
6 site parking to meet the needs of 45,000
7 square feet? No. Off-site parking will
8 actually have a heavier burden on the
9 traffic flow. Traffic increases not only
10 for those arriving, departing to park on the
11 site's lot, but traffic for those cars
12 performing drops offs and pick ups will
13 actually had four times to the traffic
15 This is the lot here and we have Grand
16 River and we have a Taft Road and down here
17 we have Eleven Mile. With only a single
18 entrance, there is only one entrance to this
19 parcel, all traffic will be required to use
20 Taft Road which at this location is a very
21 short two lane residential street. Note
22 also very close by are two schools. There
23 is a school down here. A school here, a
24 church, the Basilian and the Basilian
1 Father's project that is going in. And this
2 intersection right here, Eleven Mile and
3 Taft Road, that is the number one crash site
4 today per the April 16th, 2008 master plan
5 for land use.
6 Off site parking is currently
7 discussed to be at Miracle Software which is
8 up here. That requires left-hand turns off
9 the site, so people coming out of the site
10 are going to have to make a left-hand turn
11 to go up to Miracle Software. While cars on
12 Taft trying to turn in on left are going to
13 back up. So you have got two directions
14 trying to turn left here.
15 Backups will occur and residences
16 that use Taft to get to from their subs are
17 not going to be pleased and there is a lot
18 of people that use Taft to get off the
19 expressway to come in their sub.
20 In summary regarding the parking, it's
21 more important than ever that adequate
22 parking is provided for both buildings and
23 on-site. It's strongly stressed that any
24 parking variances come out of the zoning
1 that it is conditioned upon the applicant's
2 promise and statement that both facilities
3 will not be utilized simultaneously in the
4 motion to approve and that the term utilized
5 is quantified. Define the number of people.
6 Is that 50, a hundred people when the
7 building becomes utilized? If this is not
8 adhered to the neighborhood will not only be
9 overran by traffic, but also by parked
10 vehicles because this is really not a 34
11 space variance, it's 100 percent variance
12 based on the use of two buildings.
13 The variance must be conditioned upon
14 the promised statement that applicant, that
15 both the temple and the cultural center will
16 not be used at the same time, otherwise this
17 variance will not be appropriate. It is a
18 disaster waiting to happen.
19 I am very concerned four to six years
20 into the future if it's found that the
21 deciding facts were way too conservative or
22 building use is different than as presented
23 that the city and neighboring residents and
24 subdivisions will pay a heavy toll since the
1 project may not have been approved with
2 better facts on the onset.
3 Now regarding the height variances.
4 This falls under special land use this
5 project. Under special planned use
6 additional requirements Section 2516.2C
7 states, "The proposed use is to be
8 compatible with adjacent uses of land in
9 terms of location, size, character and
10 impact on adjacent property or the
11 surrounding neighborhood. Again, this is a
12 residential district. The building and its
13 towers are not at all compatible in size and
14 character with the surrounding parcels.
15 Homes one side, the temple and an office
16 building of finishes that are white and not
17 neutral in color on the other side. How is
18 that compatible with adjacent uses of land?
19 It will definitely stand out in this
20 residential community.
21 Approving the requested land variance
22 only further conflicts with the requirements
23 to not impact adjacent properties or the
24 surrounding neighborhood.
1 Now, added lighting to the building,
2 the building towers and the parking lots.
3 This is a significant wild life wooded area
4 that will be undergoing a major stress
5 change. That parcel that this site is going
6 to be on is basically going to divide a
7 major wildlife habitat and the lighting, if
8 it's not monitored or restricted is
9 definitely going to impact this wildlife
10 habitat in this woodland area.
11 I ask that lighting not remain on
12 beyond a reasonable length of time in the
13 evening. Hopefully the lights can be shut
14 off by 10 p.m. This lightening issue needs
15 to be considered so that light pollution
16 does not further intrude into our
17 residential neighborhood. Any motion to
18 approve the height variance must address for
19 the residences' sake the lighting element
20 and the time restriction, especially if the
21 architecture elements are going to be
22 approved at the height requested. Thank you
23 very much for your time.
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you very
2 MS. DOOLEY: My name is Trisha Dooley.
3 I live at 25711 Arcadia. I sat at the
4 Planning Commission meeting last month and
5 heard people speaking and letters being read
6 in support of the temple and the cultural
7 center and how it would benefit the
8 community and their families.
9 And the fact is, no one ever
10 argued that point. This has never been the
11 issue. The issue remains to be for me is
12 why for this particular project I feel like
13 so many issues are willing to be overlooked
14 or ignored. The City Ordinance, the
15 protective lands. The traffic situation.
16 And my next question for whether it's you or
17 the Planning Commission, I don't know, is if
18 we do that for this project, what do we do
19 for the next project that comes to the city
20 that wants to change 10 ordinances, 13
21 variances? And really I don't know if
22 that's a precedent that's being set for
23 future projects that are coming to the area.
24 And that makes me nervous.
1 I think it's a wonderful project.
2 It's a beautiful building. I still believe
3 that there is a better site that would be
4 much more suitable for a project this size.
5 But if it is going to end up on this
6 property since so many considerations will
7 have had to be made for this project to fit
8 into this piece of land, I would just expect
9 that the same amount of consideration be
10 given to the residents in this area. Which
11 means that, I understand to the best of my
12 knowledge that there are required times,
13 that there are specific times that the
14 temple can be open, but I have yet to hear
15 about designated hours that the cultural
16 center will be opened and I think that that
17 needs to be regulated and monitored for the
18 residents in the area how late that can stay
19 open? How early it can be open? And,
20 again, the lighting for people in that area
21 remains to be a big issue.
22 I would expect the traffic issue to be
23 re-examined because, again, from my
24 understanding, I think the traffic report
1 was clearly biased. What I understood was
2 that they believed that there was to be no
3 traffic -- I know you all have driven that
4 and if you for any reason could think that a
5 center of this size, bringing that many
6 people into that area, it's a problem there
7 already and it is only going to get worse.
8 Again, what I would really just like
9 to say is, I think to have good neighbors,
10 you need to be good neighbors. If everybody
11 is willing to give something. Obviously,
12 like I said, if it's going to be in that
13 area, they will be getting a lot and I think
14 they need to give the same back to the
15 neighbors and be considerate of the area
16 that they are moving into, the residential
17 area they are moving into. Anyway, thank
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you very
20 much. If I could just make one quick
21 comment. Once again, per the rules of
22 conduct, please make sure that all cell
23 phones are turned off or at least on vibrate
24 out of consideration for Petitioners,
1 speakers and the Board, I would greatly
2 appreciate that.
3 Name and address?
4 MS. MATHIS (ph): My name is Maria
5 Mathis. I live at 25714 Arcardia Drive. And
6 I have been a Novi resident since 1986. I
7 bought my second house in Novi off of Eleven
8 Mile because we loved being there. We love
9 the location. Away from everything and it
10 is just keeps getting more and more,
11 Catholic Central going in and now
12 Providence, and the traffic on Eleven Mile
13 has become atrocious.
14 I would drive down Eleven Mile
15 and I would set my cruise at 30 because I do
16 not want a traffic ticket and I have to go
17 on my back end all the time and I am coming
18 from that perspective. I don't know how you
19 are going to be able to monitor this.
20 Let me back up. The parking variance
21 is also what I want to talk about. When you
22 have a place, the web site promoted 3,000
23 families. You are talking at least one car
24 per family. We are not talking about a wife
1 or husband coming at separate times or the
2 teenage child starting to drive. Then we
3 are talking additional cars than 3,000. We
4 have to be realistic. And the gentleman had
5 the photographs of all that. He did a
6 fantastic job. It was so well prepared.
7 Let's look at the real picture. How
8 many people are the cultural center thinking
9 of having? If you look at what at the last
10 meeting because they brought a photograph
11 and they showed the place in Troy and they
12 were parked all over the grass. And my
13 question is, who is going to police this?
14 If they start parking all over the grass, I
15 mean our community, it brings us down. We
16 are supposed to be one of the top 100
17 cities. And people starting to park on the
18 grass is not going to look very attractive.
19 And who is going to monitor that? What
20 start happening if you give a little fine,
21 the fine is not going to be a big deal. So,
22 I want to know who is going to monitor that?
23 And they mentioned that there is going
24 to be a company that is going to be
1 providing additional parking. How many
2 parking spaces does this company have? And
3 how is the transportation? Is it going to
4 be with busses? Is it going to be with
5 vans? How is all that going to work out?
6 And then also at the last meeting it
7 was brought up that the school system was
8 also going to provide additional parking. I
9 know at my child's elementary school parking
10 we use Novi Meadows when we have been
11 advised that we don't have enough parking.
12 And then if they are going to use the school
13 property who is going to maintain that?
14 It's all during winter break and there is
15 nobody shoveling the driveway. So, I want to
16 make with realistic of, can you have a place
17 that big with that amount of parking spots?
18 Be realistic. If you went and looked at the
19 web site before it was taken off you would
20 have seen how it was promoted and it was
21 promoted to bring people from all over.
22 It's a regional center and a regional center
23 is going to have more than 300 parking
24 spots. It has to. So, I am asking as a
1 resident of Novi, a resident that deals with
2 Taft Road all the time, we like Taft, it's
3 usually local residents going to their
4 places. Once in a while we get people
5 cutting through. Usually it's local and now
6 we are going to have much more traffic down
7 there. I am asking please be responsible.
8 And if it goes through make sure that
9 everything is kept up to par. That there
10 are monitoring with the police making sure
11 that traffic is not getting to go too fast.
12 If there is a left turn lane problem,
13 that a left turn lane is going to be put in
14 and then whose going to have to pay for
15 that? Hopefully as a Novi taxpayer I'm not
16 going to have to have the extra expense in
17 that. That's going to be written in. That
18 if any infrastructure and all that needs to
19 be changed that that is going to be taken
20 care of.
21 But most importantly be realistic with
22 parking. If you look at really how many
23 people they are going to cater to and really
24 where they are going to park? And hopefully
1 I forgot to notice that Taft Road has no
2 parking signs, but if they don't I would
3 hope that that would be consistent and
4 people are not parking along the road.
5 Look at us residents that have been
6 here a long time. Yes, we want the temple.
7 We want the goodness of people but we have
8 to be realistic of where they are going to
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you very
11 much. I wish I had jurisdiction over the
12 potholes because my road would be the best
13 in Novi, but I appreciate your comments.
14 More comments?
15 MR. KASER (ph): Ray Kaser, 45435
16 Andes Hills Court directly north of the
17 temple. It's almost hard to expound on
18 everything that my neighbors have said
19 because they have done a good job. One
20 thing, I don't know what the question here
21 is, at the onset of us learning this back in
22 September, there was 14 variances and the
23 parking variance had stated it needed over
24 900 parking spots for this project and
1 magically it's down to 400 or 500 or 300
2 now. And I have no idea where these parking
3 spots had gone.
4 They said they have downsized 55,000
5 square feet of building on that space and
6 it's only 8 and a half acres. It's not a 10
7 acre site. It's eight and a half inches and
8 an acre and a half is wetlands which crosses
9 a river. So, the property cross a river.
10 And that's equivalent to 33 houses or 1,500
11 square feet houses being built on that
12 property which you two probably would have
13 never allowed to happen.
14 I researched by going to Troy. Troy
15 has two entrances. One of them goes out to
16 a three lane highway having a left turn
17 lane. And Canton has one building. It has
18 the temple and I believe below is the
19 conference room. So, what else I have
20 noticed at both those places, there are
21 trees are everywhere. They must have 40 foot
22 trees and 20 foot lights. Their neighbors
23 cannot see them at all which is really they
24 are really nice to their neighbors.
1 One of the variances that are missing
2 in the beginning is a berm. I think
3 ordinance say that they have to have a 15
4 foot berm. Well, because of the size of the
5 property they can't put a 15 foot berm. So
6 they brought it down to three foot. While
7 they have three foot berm and a ten foot
8 tree, and I have looked at the site plans,
9 they have a 20 foot light. That means we
10 will see lights all the time. I will be
11 sitting on my deck and it would just be lit
12 up. It's too big a project. Too big of a
13 temple to be put on eight and a half acres.
14 Thank you very much.
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you.
16 MR. MORELY (ph): Good evening, my
17 name is Irwin Morely. I am a resident of
18 Novi, 24508 Partridge Court. I just wanted
19 to add on that in addition of the scale it's
20 something that is very positive for the
21 Indian community in Novi as well as other
22 surrounding areas and we really appreciate
23 you taking the time to understand the
24 development, understand people's concern and
1 hopefully you will do the right thing and
2 approve this for us. We appreciate it.
3 Thank you.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you very
5 much. Is there anyone else in the audience
6 that wishes to make a comment on this case?
7 Going once, going twice, seeing no other
8 comments, I will close the public remarks
9 portion of the case. And I will ask if
10 anyone from the City wishes to make a
12 MR. BOULARD: I wanted to give Barbara
13 McBeth, our Deputy Community Development
14 director is here. I believe she was present
15 and can speak to the previous hearings. And
16 I wanted to ask Barbara if she could bring
17 us up to date on the progress so far that
18 may have eliminated some of the variances.
19 And also, Barb, if you would be so
20 kind, there seems to be some question about
21 the number of parking spaces required if
22 it's 306 or 308. Then that number required
23 for the variance appears the same 34, but I
24 wondered if you would clarify that if you
1 would be so kind?
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Right before you
3 get to that, I actually just want to ask our
4 attorney and I am sure he will have some
5 comment to make, but as far as the number of
6 spots and how it was determined, that is not
7 under our purview, am I correct in that
9 MR. SCHULTZ: You are correct. And I
10 think it's important about understanding
11 exactly. And we'll have Barb go through the
12 sort of physical characteristics of the 308.
13 The bottom line is, the Planning Commission
14 as part of its special land use made the
15 determination based on the representations
16 about not having use at the same time.
17 That's it's the 308 or 306, whichever number
18 Barb says it is. And that's not an issue
19 that's on appeal to the ZBA. It's not an
20 issue that the ZBA can look into, decide
21 whether they agree or disagree with, that's
22 the number. So, the 308 or 306 boils down
23 to the fact that they provided 272. So the
24 issue is 34 spaces.
1 It would be helpful if Ms. McBeth
2 could talk a little bit about whether or not
3 those spaces actually could be put on the
4 property if need be because I think that's
5 an important consideration for you as we
6 move forward.
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Absolutely. I
8 just wanted t make sure that the Zoning
9 Board and everyone in the audience
10 understood that we are not allowed to
11 necessarily look at how the number was
12 brought. We are not looking at the 308, we
13 must concentrate on the 34 and apply our
14 standards to the 34.
15 MR. SCHULTZ: That is correct.
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you. Ms.
18 MS. McBETH: Thank you. Good evening.
19 I will go over a few of the details that I
20 was hoping to talk with the Board about.
21 This is the areal photo of the property.
22 The subject property is outlined in red
23 here. Taft Road is over to the right. Mrs.
24 Thibodaux's house is right here she alluded
1 to her property earlier. The Andes Hills
2 development is here and Grand River is just
3 to the north and off the page.
4 The property is zoned RA, residential
5 acreage and is master planned for single
6 family residential uses. There are wetlands
7 on the front of the property as well as near
8 the back of the property and almost all of
9 the back part of the property contains very
10 good quality dense woodlands on the back
11 half of the site. I did also just want to
12 go just over briefly the site plan for the
13 property so that we can all make sure that
14 we're aware of where the different buildings
15 are prosed to be located.
16 So, again, Taft Road is to the right
17 and north is up. The cultural center
18 building is located closest to Taft Road.
19 It's a two-story building about 21,823
20 square feet. The proposed temple building
21 is also two stories. It's about 22,693
22 square feet. The first phase of the
23 development is the priest residence and
24 temporary temple essentially a room in
1 residence that will accommodate the temple
2 until the second phase, the temple itself is
3 constructed. And then the third phase
4 somewhere down the line will be the cultural
5 center again closest to Taft Road.
6 The Planning Commission approved
7 this special land use, the preliminary site
8 plan the woodland and wetland permits on
9 October 22nd, subject to the considerations
10 of the Zoning Board of Appeals for the
11 variances and ordinance considerations that
12 are presented this evening. All of the
13 height variances are related to the temple
14 building itself. Mr. Manyam presented the
15 cross section and elevations that there is
16 an artist rendering that I can also show you
17 where the height considerations are located
18 for the features on the temple building.
19 Again, the structure that is located in
20 front of the temple is proposed to be 37' 4
21 1/2" in height.
22 There are a couple of decorative
23 elements appearing on the temple that are 36
24 and a half feet and 40 and a half feet in
1 height. There are two decorative elements
2 here at the back what we refer to as
3 elements that exceed the typical height
4 standards that are 50 feet in height each
5 and then two elements that are 55' 1" in
6 height. The brass pole and the element in
7 the very back of the building.
8 We have noted in Section 2903 of the
9 Zoning Ordinance exemptions from the height
10 locations have been identified. The zoning
11 ordinance states that church spires are not
12 required to meet the height standards and
13 it's staff's opinion that these elements
14 could be considered to be the equivalent of
15 a spire on a church. We did some research,
16 if anybody is interested we can show some
17 pictures of various church spires that exist
18 on churches around the world, but I won't
19 show you those at this point and I will move
20 on to the other aspects of this.
21 The proposed temple we know that each
22 element is setback from the property line
23 the distance that is greater than the height
24 of those elements as the ordinance requires
1 and the staff supports the approval of the
2 use variances since the elements are part of
3 the design and function of the temple.
4 The final height variance is for the
5 mechanical equipment screening on the roof,
6 located right about here. That is 42 feet
7 in height and that variance is from a
8 different section of the ordinance, Section
9 2503.2E (2) which states that roof top
10 appurtenances shall not exceed the maximum
11 height standard of the distance which is 35
13 We note that the screening is located
14 in the center of the temple building and is
15 proposed to match the color of the building.
16 Staff supports this variance since the
17 screening has been designed to be an
18 integral part of the design of the building.
19 There is another request from the
20 ordinance standards and that relates to the
21 location of the dumpster enclosure near the
22 cultural center, so I'll put that back up
23 here. I can zoom in on it a little bit.
24 The location where it is shown on the plans
1 is right about in this location here. And
2 we have talked with the applicant about
3 relocating that somewhere further to the
4 west. Somewhere further from the adjacent
5 residential home. Possibly somewhere in
6 this location over here, but that has not
7 been determined yet.
8 It's staff's opinion that the Zoning
9 Board of Appeals would continue to need to
10 look at this as an ordinance variation since
11 the dumpster enclosure would be still
12 located in the side yard. We would like to
13 work with Applicant at the time of final
14 site plan to find a better location for that
15 dumpster enclosure.
16 And we did provide quite a bit of
17 information in the written materials to the
18 Zoning Board of Appeals related to the
19 parking requirements for the site. We did
20 note that the Planning Commission approved a
21 special land use of the site plan designing
22 that the parking in the more intense use.
23 The temple is required to be provided on the
24 site. A total of 308 parking spaces are
1 required for the development and only 274
2 parking spaces have been provided with the
3 deficiency of 34 parking spaces. Again, we
4 did have the applicant in the applicant's
5 materials, let me show you up here on the
6 overhead with the statements about the
7 events at the cultural center would never be
8 held concurrently with any large scale
9 temple activities. So, we relied on that
10 information. But if the Zoning Board of
11 Appeals is inclined to grant the variance,
12 we would suggest that this be requested
13 again on the record and is part of that
15 It sounds like people are interested
16 in the actual calculations, that the
17 Planning Commission endorsed for the parking
18 requirement. What we did was we took the
19 temple parking standards and we looked at
20 the prayer hall and the multi-purpose room
21 in the temple itself and we found that the
22 prayer hall could be assumed to have an
23 occupancy of one person per seven square
24 feet. That's based on a curve line of
1 people sitting in chairs. There would be no
2 pews or chairs as we understand it provided
3 in that prayer hall. So, we kind of took
4 the tightest scenario that we could.
5 And then for the multi-purpose room on
6 the first floor of that building we made an
7 assumption that there would be one person
8 per 15 square feet, assuming that people
9 might be sitting at tables and chairs and
10 that's when we came up with the 308 parking
11 spaces that would be required.
12 Again, I looked at the cultural
13 center, that building also would require a
14 number of parking spaces and, again, we took
15 the maximum occupancy that we're assuming
16 for the main area that would be occupied.
17 There is kind of banquet room that again we
18 assumed would be one person for every 15
19 square feet. With the tables and chairs for
20 150 spaces for that room and then some
21 classrooms as well. And then our calculation
22 again at one per 15 square feet were 89
23 parking spaces.
24 So, that building itself would require
1 239. Again, based on the assumption that the
2 Applicant is -- we can rely on the
3 Applicant's statements that there would not
4 be concurrent use of the two buildings, the
5 Planning Commission endorsed the higher of
6 those requirements which was the 308 parking
7 spaces. And that's how we arrived at that
9 I will be happy to answer any of
10 the questions that the Board might have
11 either now or at the appropriate time.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I think we will
13 bring you back up during more discussion
14 should there be any questions.
15 MS. McBETH: Thank you.
16 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I have a
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: We will let the
19 whole entire city speak and then we will
20 turn it to Board discussion. And at that
21 time if you request her assistance we will
22 call her back up.
23 Anyone else from the City
24 officials who wish to make comments at this
2 MR. BOULARD: Nothing further.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Then at this
4 time I will go ahead and open it up for
5 Board discussion. It sounds like you may be
6 coming back up as soon as I turn it over to
7 Vice-Chair Sanghvi.
8 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: First of
9 all, I want to thank you for your
10 presentation. I have a couple of questions.
11 If I am correct, Novi area is about 36
12 square miles?
13 MS. McBETH: I would say that's about
15 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: How many
16 churches do we have in Novi?
17 MS. McBETH: You know, our department
18 has not made a study of that. That would be
19 something interesting --
20 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Because the
21 number I came to in my mind after going
22 through different streets and all that was
23 about 14. How many of them are not in a
24 residential area?
1 MS. McBETH: Again, churches are
2 typically permitted with special land use
3 approval if in a residential district. I am
4 not aware of any churches or places or
5 worship that are not located in a
6 residential district in Novi.
7 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
8 One of the issues that was raised by some of
9 the city residents here was about the
10 traffic or the perception of a traffic
11 problem. I believe a traffic study was
12 presented to the Planning Commission. Would
13 you like to throw some light on that so
14 people will understand that this fact has
15 already be covered in this discussion?
16 MS. McBETH: Through the Chair, the
17 Applicant did provide a traffic study and
18 some parking figures as well in that traffic
19 study and that was reviewed by the City's
20 traffic consultant. Our consultant had some
21 questions about that study and referred it
22 back to the Applicant's expert and they took
23 a look at the traffic study together and
24 provided some additional information that
1 was requested or required by our traffic
3 Our consultant eventually did endorse
4 that traffic study and made a conclusion
5 that he was comfortable with it and that
6 Taft Road would be able to accommodate the
7 traffic that would be generated.
8 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
9 I have one more question for you. Would you
10 rather have the prescribed number of parking
11 spots in this project or save the trees if
12 you could?
13 MS. McBETH: Again, I think that might
14 be a matter for the Zoning Board of Appeals.
15 Our consultants again are environmental
16 consultants have noted that woodlands that
17 are on site are in very high quality and
18 good habitat as the residents have pointed
19 it as well. It would be our preference as
20 planners to keep the woodlands intact
21 wherever its possible without causing undue
22 difficulty with the parking on the site.
23 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you
24 very much. I don't have any more questions
1 for you.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
3 Member Sanghvi.
4 I just want to ask the Board if we
5 want to look at all the variances at once, I
6 mentioned this to you before, or if we
7 wanted to break them into different
8 sections. Does anyone have an opinion on
9 that that they wish to share?
10 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I think
11 easier administrative put for discussion.
12 Maybe just the height variance first and the
13 parking variance second.
14 Because dumpster is off.
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: No, we still
16 have to review that as well, the dumpster as
17 well. But I do like that idea. I think we
18 are going to go ahead and discuss the height
19 variance first if that's appropriate, Mr.
21 MR. SCHULTZ: It may be a good time to
22 make a little introductory statement on the
23 questions that relate to height briefly.
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I already gave
1 you your chance.
2 MR. SCHULTZ: Okay, I can wait. I
3 noticed a couple of times use of the word
4 variances for the height issues here and we
5 were careful in the letter that we did and
6 what the Planning Department came up with to
7 try and say you have got two different ways
8 to go here. You are used to dealing with
9 issues relating to more height than is
10 allowed under the ordinance as a variance.
11 In this case though because it's a church.
12 And it's our position and I think it's the
13 Planning Department's position that we are
14 really not looking at you exercising
15 authority to grant variances. Yes, there
16 are elements, seven elements that are listed
17 in the notice as being beyond 35 feet in
18 height. But there is a provision in the
19 ordinance called the general exceptions
20 provision that says for church spires the 35
21 foot height limitation doesn't apply. And
22 unfortunately as we said in our letter, the
23 language is a little bit inconsistent or
24 might even be a word or two missing. But
1 our interpretation of that Section 2903 of
2 the Ordinance is the 35 foot height
3 limitation is not a limitation in the normal
4 sense and you are not being asked in our
5 view to give a variance from. What you are
6 being asked to do under 2903 is decide
7 whether what they have proposed as to height
8 for these particular seven architectural
9 elements, which we think are church spires
10 would fall under that, are those appropriate
12 2903 does not give you good standards
13 to do that. It basically just says the ZBA
14 if it's a special land use can specify what
15 the height limit is going to be. It's not
16 the same as granting a variance. It's not
17 your usual practical difficulty standard. It
18 just sort of says, the height limit doesn't
19 apply for church spires, the ZBA decides if
20 it's a special land use. I think the
21 assumption of the ordinance is it's going to
22 be higher than 35 feet because frankly, most
23 churches whether they're in a residential
24 area or anywhere else tend to have at least
1 some architectural element that's higher
2 than the rest of the building to draw
3 attention to it or for the purposes
4 described by the proponent.
5 So, the question that the Board needs
6 to ask itself is, taking a look at these
7 seven things, whether they're in a
8 residential area or anywhere else tend to
9 have at least some architectural element
10 that's higher than the rest of the building
11 to draw attention to it or for the purposes
12 described by the proponent. So, the
13 question that the Board needs to ask itself
14 is, taking a look at these seven things,
15 should the height that they are proposing be
16 permitted? Without good standards in that
17 Section 2903, though, what we tried to do in
18 the letter that we gave you today, my
19 apologies for doing that, we got a number of
20 questions so we thought we would put
21 together a letter.
22 Because it's a special land use we
23 thought it would be appropriate to look at
24 the Special Land Use Section that normally
1 is the province of the Planning Commission.
2 You don't normally apply those factors that
3 are laid out in the letter. But without
4 that kind of guidance you are just sort of
5 left deciding whether or not it's a good
6 height or not.
7 I think the first thing you have to do
8 is decide, number one, do you think these
9 fall under the characterization of church
10 spires? And if they do, you are not talking
11 about variances, you are talking about is
12 the height that is proposed appropriate for
13 a church spire. Here it says a temple. A
14 temple architectural element. So, if you
15 decide to go down that road, then you need
16 to look at those factors, not your practical
17 difficulty factors, but the factors laid out
18 in our letter, compatibility with
19 surrounding uses, appropriateness to the
20 particular use and decide are these heights
21 that are proposed for these elements
22 appropriate and can they be approved.
23 Because that Section 2903 leaves that
24 question to you. I wish it had better
1 guidance, but it is what it is.
2 So, I think that's the height issue
3 with everything except those, the air
4 conditioner which is your usual variance,
5 practical difficulty and all that kind of
6 different stuff.
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: So, I think
8 that's where we are going to break at. We
9 will look at one through seven at this time
10 and discuss that first. Then we will get to
11 the apparatus, the dumpster and the parking
13 Do you wish to make comment as well in
14 regards to the distance of the nearest
15 property line as part of that ordinance as
17 MR. SCHULTZ: That is the one standard
18 that I guess is in the ordinance. It says
19 obviously it can't be higher than the
20 distance from that element to the property
21 line and that is not here. They are 75 feet
22 away. The tallest aspect of this is 50
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you as
1 always for your expertise, Mr. Schultz.
2 Board Members?
3 MEMBER KRIEGER: Question?
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Secretary
6 MEMBER KRIEGER: Regarding the height.
7 No, I'm sorry. For Mr. Schultz. How do we
8 measure the height? For example, on Novi
9 Road they are building a dentist office I
10 believe next to a residential area and I
11 believe they put in landfill or filler, and
12 then they put in the building. So, is the
13 height determined or maybe it's for Beth,
14 I'm not sure, how they determine the height?
15 I'm not or maybe it for both.
16 MR. SCHULTZ: She is walking up. I
17 will wait for her to answer.
18 MS. McBETH: Thank you for the
19 question. Typically the height is measured
20 from average grade around the building. So,
21 we look at the four sides of the building,
22 come up with the average grade and then the
23 height is measured from that average
24 finished grade. I think that the office
1 that you are referring to might be slightly
2 different because they are bringing in some
3 fill at that point. Usually it would be
4 measured from the average grade around the
5 building at its finished level and thought's
6 how it is measured.
7 MEMBER KRIEGER: That's it.
8 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
9 Member Krieger. Other Board Members?
10 Member Shroyer?
11 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you. I have so
12 many questions I'm not sure how to start.
13 The presentation was excellent. It cleared
14 a lot of questions that I had initially
15 because I didn't have a complete
16 understanding, even to the point of hearing
17 that one person said the cultural center was
18 one story and reading that it is two. And
19 then having it confirmed that it is a two
20 story, right?
21 The first question I have regarding
22 height would be, is there anything in your
23 religious SWA or whatever that would prevent
24 the Applicant from building the building
1 seven feet below ground? Lowering it seven
2 feet which meant a height above the average
4 MR. AMANN: I just want to stipulate
5 for Mr. Schultz's purposes we would have no
6 objection to the interpretation of the spire
7 approach versus the variance request that we
8 stipulate to as well. I'll let Praveen
9 maybe answer the question.
10 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you very much.
11 MR. SCHULTZ: If I could. I am not
12 agreeing to the stipulation. I think
13 obviously that's going to be the Board's
14 determination whether to go that route and
15 if you decide you don't want to treat them
16 as spires, you will be back into the
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Understood.
19 Thank you both for the clarification.
20 MR. MANYAM: Part of the design
21 implication that we were dealing with one is
22 if the soils report comes out that the soil
23 generally in that area are very poor, so we
24 were trying to negotiate with the expense of
1 realistically making these buildings happen
2 without re-inventing the wheel.
3 Going below let's say even seven foot,
4 with the tight program that we were
5 maintaining in order to maximum woodlands
6 that we are trying to preserve on this
7 property and then allowing for normal
8 implications in terms of how people enter
9 the building, the process they go through to
10 get to the point that they need to get to,
11 determining in terms of like snow, ice EDA
12 capabilities and so forth, we were looking
13 at needing more floor space again just to go
14 below anything that we needed to go. So we
15 were trying to come up with the best
16 compromise and preserve as much of the
17 woodlands as we possibly can.
18 MR. AMANN: To complete that answer
19 there is a more practical issue to be
20 confronted. This is as you have heard
21 surrounded by some very pristine woodlands,
22 but also a substantial wetland area. The
23 water table of this site is such that if we
24 were to try to go road we were going to
1 breach the water table and would be
2 impossible of constructing in that manner.
3 MEMBER SHROYER: There are not
4 residences in the area that have basements?
5 MR. AMANN: The residences are to the
6 north of there a substantial distance away.
7 We are essentially wrapped around it and we
8 actually took a substantial portion of the
9 site and preserved the wetland in there and
10 would have constructed it near. The
11 residences are essentially uphill to the
13 MEMBER SHROYER: Did you look at other
14 residences or other property within the Novi
15 area that perhaps it could be lowered seven
16 feet which would bring everything within our
17 ordinance requirements?
18 MR. AMANN: No, we got into this site
19 obviously because they owned this site and
20 started to try to design with this site.
21 And then the ultimate presentation we had
22 earlier as to the Vastu principle, that
23 they go to the religious connections of the
24 design of the building kind to take over
1 when they get into that and that is
2 essentially what drove this design.
3 MEMBER SHROYER: Tying in with other
4 questions that have already been somewhat
5 looked at, the lighting?
6 MR. AMANN: I am glad you asked that
7 question. In fact, we have already
8 indicated at the Planning Commission and I
9 think the photometric report shows that, in
10 fact, we meet the Ordinance requirements of
11 (unintelligible) that property line level.
12 But more importantly it also indicated the
13 building lighting, people are concerned
14 about the back lighting will be turned off
15 no later than 11:00 p.m. as a regular basis,
16 that was part of our Planning Commission
17 presentation as well.
18 MEMBER SHROYER: I still have, I have
19 an interpretation concerning having to do
20 with what constitutes a spire. Everything I
21 have read it's something conical, coming to
22 a point. There is definitions that indicate
23 that it basically is a steeple. And the
24 things I read of a steeple, it simulates the
1 same thing. So that's something that I want
2 to get further clarification myself on
3 regarding height.
4 MR. AMANN: If I may, Mr. Chair, I
5 have actually had the pleasure of
6 representing now several temples. I did the
7 last three temples in Canton, Michigan and
8 have had the experience as to the definition
9 issue that Mr. Schultz raises.
10 Our ordinances are typically written
11 from an American perspective so we use the
12 term spire. Spire if you look at its
13 intended meaning essentially a conical type
14 of architectural structure for religious
15 significance. Because I was raised in a
16 Baptist church and a spire was a much
17 different thing than what you are looking
18 for on this temple.
19 A spire I think when used in ordinance
20 terms in your mind's eye creates the sense
21 of a conical type structure. And although
22 the ordinance is written essentially in
23 American terminology in a sense of what we
24 are used to seeing, the fact is I think what
1 we are presenting to you is essentially the
2 reflection of this religion's perspective of
3 what their spires are.
4 I have come to the same issue in other
5 communities, they have come to the same
6 conclusion on this.
7 MEMBER SHROYER: Thanks for your input
8 on that. I still want to do further
9 research myself. Regarding the mechanics
10 which is also a height variance. I
11 understand that --
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Mr. Shroyer, if
13 we could stick with the first seven. The
14 height of the interpretation and the spire I
15 think that's where we're going to stick with
16 first and then we will get to the apparatus.
17 MEMBER SHROYER: Okay. I thought that
18 was the height.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: It is the height
20 as well, however, we're looking at the
21 interpretation versus that brass goes back
22 to our normal practical difficulty standard.
23 MEMBER SHROYER: Is the brass pole in
24 the first seven?
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Yes.
2 MEMBER SHROYER: Okay. Come on up.
3 The renderings on the brass poles show some
4 type of appendixes off the top. Are those
5 antenna or what is the --
6 MR. GANGADHARAN: Fundamentally the
7 brass pole is a flag pole that basically
8 where the daisy or the guard declares this
9 is my territory or this is a religious spot.
10 It's very similar to a U.S. flag in a U.S.
11 consulate in a different country. It's
12 fundamentally something that says this is a
13 temple. This is proclaimed. It's something
14 that is visible. It's a brass, but it's a
15 flag made of brass on a pole.
16 MEMBER SHROYER: I was looking at
17 interpreting it as flag pole as well. What
18 are the appendixes, the things sticking out?
19 MR. GANGADHARAN: It simply stands
20 like a flag. It is symbolic.
21 MR. AMANN: It is a flag and it would
22 appear like a flag.
23 MEMBER SHROYER: It's nothing like a
24 person physically, it's not like a crows
1 nest or something that would be up there?
2 MR. AMANN: No.
3 MEMBER SHROYER: And it has no
4 servicing purposes such as an antenna?
5 MR. AMANN: No. No.
6 MR. GANGADHARAN: No, it is strictly
7 for religious purpose.
8 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you. I believe
9 these are all my questions I have for now,
10 Mr. Chair. Thank you.
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
12 Member Shroyer. Other Board Members?
13 Member Bauer?
14 MEMBER BAUER: What is a decorative
16 MR. AMANN: You are referring to the
17 term of -- I think you have heard the term
18 used decorative element for what we have
19 ascribed to these elements of the religious
20 practice a part of the Vastus principle.
21 So, even the parapet that you see along the
22 front of the building has a particular
23 religious purpose representing aspirations
24 of hope, wealth, security and faithfulness
1 and those things like that. So, sometimes
2 you have seen them described as decorative
3 elements because they are not a flat wall.
4 It's just part of they appear decorative as
5 the rest of the building. But the elements
6 they are seeking the variances on are as we
7 described even though they have been
8 characterized as decorative elements, they
9 are functionally part of the religious
10 demonstration of the Vastu principles that
11 they are seeking approval of.
12 MEMBER BAUER: It actually is part of
13 the religion?
14 MR. AMANN: It is part of the Vastu
15 principles exactly.
16 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Other Board
18 Members? Vice-Chair Sanghvi?
19 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
20 I would like one of you to describe the
21 architecture of a Hindu temple which will
22 cover all these questions for everybody
23 else. I know what they are, but that's not
24 the issue. And I think you might as well
1 enlighten everybody by stating in the
2 scriptures of Hinduism there are prescribed
3 structures for a temple of different parts
4 and elements of that temple which are
5 essential for this place of worship.
6 MR. MANYAM: In the design of the
7 Hindu temple you will never find two temples
8 that are actually alike. A true authentic
9 temple was actually carved out of stone on a
10 hillside mountain in India. The carvings
11 that are done on these temples are stories
12 and they wrap around the entire building.
13 It's a story of various scriptures within
14 the Gita which is the Holy book for the
15 Hindu religion and these stories and the
16 temple that's created for the deity that is
17 represented in that temple are specific and
18 very germane to the design of that temple
19 and that's where a Boston specialist comes
20 in and determines how this temple is laid
22 The entrance of every temple faces
23 eastward for the rising of the sun in the
24 morning. The deity is on center with the
1 door. The flag pole that we are talking
2 about is an element that relates directly to
3 the main central deity that is represented
4 in this temple.
5 In this temple that we are presenting
6 here, the deity is flagged by two other
7 (unintelligible), and these two
8 representations are part and parcel of this
9 deity that we have here. And so, it's an
10 actual process of entering a temple. It's a
11 situation where the temple that this is
12 emulated from is one that rest up in the
13 hills of southern India and it's an ascent
14 from way below near sea level all the way
15 up. And people sometimes walk on bare feet
16 to get to this point. It's an ascension
17 process and that's why most temples, even
18 the Hindu temples that you see here that
19 states that the prayer hall itself is on the
20 second floor. It's not a situation where
21 you go downstairs and then come back
22 upstairs. You park your car on ground
23 level, you enter in at some point at ground
24 level. You take off your shoes. You take
1 off your coat and you prepare yourself from
2 this journey to the prayer hall space.
3 The elements that are depicted on the
4 building are indicative of what is composed
5 of this specific temple. So, for this
6 reason we went to a specialist in India who
7 helped us determine exactly the composition
8 proportions and sizing of all the elements
9 that were presented to you here today.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you. I
11 will go ahead and make a few comments
12 regarding the height variance on items
13 number one through seven. No, you first.
14 MEMBER GHANNAM: I don't have any
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Oh. Did you
17 have something?
18 MR. SCHULTZ: Just on the spire
19 question. We did address that. We did
20 highlight that section of the ordinance. We
21 don't find a lot of initiating case that
22 talks what a spire is. So, we fell back on
23 some kind of practical research. What would
24 be described as spires. And you find
1 descriptions of that, not just the conical
2 or steeple kind of thing, but I think the
3 architectural term we use to describe all
4 different shapes and sizes, so I just wanted
5 to throw that out there.
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you, Mr.
8 Regarding the items one through seven
9 I tend to agree that the use of spire in our
10 ordinance is more of an americanized version
11 of what we are looking at and it would be my
12 belief that, I just want it to be
13 interpreted as such and it would fall under
14 the ordinance of that the height limitations
15 shall not apply to such religious
16 structures. And as such, given our
17 attorney's opinion, I don't find any reason
18 that the Zoning Board should exercise its
19 ability to restrict that underneath the
20 greater distance to the nearest property
21 line. We are in between that.
22 Another point regarding the spire is
23 that, some of the items that require the
24 largest variances actually are what we or
1 some of us are Christians look at as a
2 spire. They are in the same context that
3 that whole type structure. So, I feel that
4 the items that are being requested that have
5 the large variance request, if you will,
6 fall even closer to that description of a
7 spire. So, once again I believe for this
8 purpose, items one through seven would fall
9 under that interpretation. That would be
11 What I would like a little bit of
12 clarification on is that in page one of the
13 packet that was prepared for the Zoning
14 Board, this packet. It says that the some
15 of the Vastu principles determine decisions
16 as how one enters the temple and where on
17 the land the temple should be located as
18 well as height and ratios among other
20 If you could just give me more
21 explanation as to how the ratios were
22 derived at, given the religious background
23 and driving the height that was finally
24 decided upon in this request. I will let
1 you go first.
2 MR. MANYAM: Some of the things that
3 make up other criteria are things like bird
4 stars and star signs of the deity itself.
5 Essentially the deity in the temple
6 situation is personified. So, there are
7 birth dates. There are essential elements
8 about the deity that this temple is built
9 for that make up the other criteria that
10 come up in the design. If we pick a
11 different deity than the temple, the
12 proportions, the elements of how we put this
13 together changes slightly and those are all
14 composed of, say, the bird sign, the
15 location, geographic location, and elements
16 like that. If it helps now.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I understand a
18 little bit more. I appreciate your
19 willingness to teach us more. So, thank you
20 for that.
21 Last for the attorney. In regards to
22 this we are looking at an interpretation and
23 finding that is in a religious sense a spire
24 in accordance with this ordinance.
1 I also have concerns regarding the
2 lighting. Are we able to with an
3 interpretation motion attach a condition or
4 finding of fact that they did state that the
5 lights would come down at 11:00? That is
6 also a major concern of mine. Living close
7 to a commercial property where the lights
8 were on at all hours of the night.
9 MR. SCHULTZ: Sure. The answer is,
10 yes. The only reason I am hesitating, I
11 don't know that you need to formally make an
12 interpretation if somebody makes a motion
13 under Section 2903 to approve those heights,
14 then you don't need to use the word
15 interpretation, you have made that motion
16 and, yes, you would be able to attach a
17 condition with regard to the lighting being
18 turned off I believe at 11 o'clock or
19 whatever time you find it appropriate.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Other Board
22 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Just a
23 question to you, Mr. Schultz. Just a matter
24 of interpretation. Is it all right to
1 mention the City attorney's letter to the
2 Planning Commission in the current
4 MR. SCHULTZ: Through the Chair, you
5 can ask questions about what's in the letter
6 in terms of a motion or reading things out
7 of it, I guess I would prefer not to do
8 that. But if you have a question --
9 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: No, I just
10 have a couple of questions regarding that.
11 And one of them was his reference to this
13 MR. SCHULTZ: RLUIPA.
14 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Would you
15 like to educate me a little more about it?
16 MR. SCHULTZ: Sure. What you referred
17 to is an acronym for the Religious Land Use
18 and Institutionalized Persons Act. It's a
19 Federal Statute that was adopted a few years
20 ago when the United States Congress made
21 some findings that maybe certain religious
22 uses were not getting a fair shake before
23 local municipal approving bodies. You can
24 agree with that or disagree with that, but
1 the bottom line is a Federal statute was
2 enacted that basically changes the way a
3 court might look at it at a decision of a
4 local body like this if there is a denial of
5 a requested religious use.
6 Normally your decisions are, I don't
7 want to say easy to uphold from review, but
8 it's a pretty minimal standard that's unique
9 as the Zoning Board of Appeals reviewing
10 court doesn't decide whether you made the
11 right decision, whether it agrees with the
12 decision. It basically looks and hears the
13 records, sees what was before you and says
14 to itself, was there any basis on which they
15 could have made that decision. Even though
16 I think it's wrong, was it irrational.
17 That's a very minimal differential standard
18 to review.
19 The Federal statute flips that on its
20 head and basically says, if it's a religious
21 use and you are making a discretionary
22 decision and that decision burdens the
23 ability, that decision burdens the ability
24 of the user to engage in that religious use,
1 substantially, not a minor burden, but a
2 real burden, then it goes the other way.
3 Instead of the proponent having
4 to prove that you were wrong, we essentially
5 have to prove that we were right and it's a
6 much higher standard. It's often brought up
7 by religious petitioners, petitioners for
8 religious use. Sometimes it applies.
9 Sometimes it doesn't. Whether it's applies
10 has to do with whether or not you are really
11 imposing a burden limiting somebody's
12 ability to engage in a religious use. So,
13 the question, for example, tonight on this
14 issue would be if we are looking at the
15 height issue. You would ask yourself if we
16 just said, you know what, those elements,
17 the spires, whatever you want to call them,
18 are too high. You got to cut them down by
19 12 feet to meet the ordinance, would that be
20 imposing a burden, a substantial burden on
21 their ability to practice their religion.
22 If somebody reviewing your decision
23 says, yes, that would be a substantial
24 burden, we would have the obligation to
1 prove that there was some compelling
2 governmental interest, that this was the
3 least restrictive thing we could do to meet
4 the height ordinance. We haven't
5 necessarily talked about this until now, but
6 it's an issue.
7 The fact that it's a religious
8 use makes it a little different than the
9 next case that's coming up because of that
10 Federal statute.
11 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you
12 for your educational discourse. I think it
13 helps everybody else who listened to you
14 also to understand what else is involved
15 under the service here what we are facing.
16 Thank you, Mr. Chair?
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
18 Member Sanghvi. Member Shroyer?
19 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
20 If Ms. McBeth -- she is still here. I
21 thought you were hiding behind that chair.
22 In looking at one of our standards
23 that we tried to review concerning providing
24 substantial justice to the Petitioner and
1 the surrounding property owners, if the
2 surrounding property owners were sitting
3 onto their rear deck or in their backyard,
4 is there a way to determine how much of the
5 spires they would be able to see over the
6 tree lines?
7 MS. McBETH: I am not sure if the
8 architect has presented kind of a site
10 MEMBER SHROYER: I haven't seen one in
11 the packet.
12 MS. McBETH: I don't think we have
13 seen that either. I don't recall seeing
14 something like that. I can point out that
15 there are the wooded areas, again,
16 throughout the property.
17 MEMBER SHROYER: Primarily endogenous
19 MS. McBETH: Yes.
20 MEMBER SHROYER: (Unintelligible).
21 MS. McBETH: Yes, I believe they would
22 for the most part. So, here is the temple
23 that we were talking about that has the
24 height consideration. The Planning
1 Commission looked at this project twice as
2 you may or may not know. The first time the
3 priest residence had been a little bit
4 further to the back and the temple building
5 had been a little bit further to the rear as
6 well. Encroaching into this natural woodland
7 area. So, they have moved the buildings out
8 of that area a little bit. They are
9 proposing these trees in this area to
10 further buffer and our landscape architect
11 and our woodland consultant are going to
12 work together to determine if those are
13 going to need the julett (ph) or evergreen
14 trees. I think there is an argument to make
15 those evergreen trees.
16 I think at that point to help mitigate
17 the view from the residents that have talked
18 this evening that are off of Eleven Mile
19 Road -- let me in switch this over. They
20 are this area to the south.
21 So, there was that mitigating factor.
22 Also some trees are proposed along here,
23 but, of course this is a very dense woodland
24 on the south side and the other residents
1 that we have talked about as well. Andes
2 Hills are here and the applicant is
3 proposing some landscaping through here.
4 So, I think to answer your question, there
5 has not been a study done by our department.
6 I'm not sure if the architect has done one
7 to take a look at it, but there are some
8 existing woodlands and replacement landscape
9 trees that are proposed and woodland
10 replacements on site as well.
11 MEMBER SHROYER: The topography of the
12 area Andes Court is higher than the land and
13 the development; is that correct?
14 MS. McBETH: This area here is quite
15 low. This is a wetland area, so there is not
16 too much vegetation in this area. This area
17 is lower. We have heard that this area in
18 the back here is lower as well. So, I think
19 that this property stands a little bit
20 higher, but I haven't verified that on a
21 survey at this point.
22 MEMBER SHROYER: And we are not
23 looking at any height variances at all
24 regarding the cultural center?
1 MS. McBETH: No, not for the cultural
2 center. Again, that is two stories above
3 grade and that meets the height variance of
4 35 feet.
5 MEMBER SHROYER: There was no
6 mechanical apparatus?
7 MS. McBETH: We have not seen any
8 mechanical apparatus on top of that
9 building. So, I am going to say, no, there
10 was none.
11 MEMBER SHROYER: I know that's not an
12 original seven, but while I have her up
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Absolutely. You
15 have the floor.
16 MEMBER SHROYER: I think that's it.
17 I had a second question but it wasn't
18 for Ms. McBeth. That's all for now.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Other Board
21 More comments? Member Ibe?
22 MEMBER IBE: My comment I think is
23 probably more from a legal point of view.
24 Now, this is not, it's not indicative of
1 what I think of the project now, but I think
2 the definition of spire, clearly I will
3 agree with the attorney for the Petitioner
4 as well as for the (unintelligible). If we
5 are to accept the definition to be what it
6 is, then, of course, this whole discussion
7 is moot. I don't know why we are wasting
8 all the time. I think we need to make a
9 motion. Thank you.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I just want to
11 clarify one last time with our attorney, the
12 City attorney. You say that we would make
13 a -- you would recommend making a motion,
14 but towards the effect of granting the
15 variances as opposed to an interpretation?
16 Is that what you said?
17 MR. SCHULTZ: No. And I think I
18 wasn't clear.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you.
20 MR. SCHULTZ: It's a two-step
21 analysis. If you look at Section 2903 and
22 say I think that that was intended to apply
23 to these elements, they are spires, they are
24 within that concept, then you don't need to
1 do the variance issue. You don't need to
2 make a specific formal interpretation of
3 that. You would just apply that standard.
4 You would say, what 2903 says is, if you are
5 a spire, the 35 feet doesn't apply and the
6 Board specifies the height. As long as it's
7 not more than 75 in this case.
8 So, the motion would be, I find under
9 Section 2903, these are spires. I think the
10 height is appropriate, but I want to deal
11 with the lighting and I want it turned off
12 by such and such a time. That would be the
13 motion if I am correctly understanding it,
14 it's a motion to approve.
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Ibe?
16 MEMBER IBE: So, may I move forward
17 with a motion then?
18 MR. SCHULTZ: Thank you.
19 MEMBER IBE: In light of the extended
20 discussions, presentations made by
21 Petitioners, comments made by concerned
22 residents and the discussions we have heard
23 from the Board Members as well as the City
24 and the attorney for the City, I would move
1 that the structure as presented by the
2 Petitioner falls under the definition of
3 what a church spire should be. And in
4 accordance with Section 2903, there are
5 spires and the heights obviously makes
6 exemptions from height limitations. And as
7 a result a variance relief is not required
8 and as such I move that the Board adopt,
9 adopt the definition -- strike that. I move
10 that the Board apply the standard for the
11 definition of a church spire to the
12 Petitioner's claims.
13 In addition, there should be a
14 condition that the lighting of the structure
15 should be turned off by 11 p.m. each day.
16 Mr. Schultz, (unintelligible)?
17 MR. SCHULTZ: It does, but briefly
18 through the Chair. Confirm that this
19 relates to all seven of the elements, the
21 MEMBER IBE: Certainly.
22 MR. SCHULTZ: And that you are
23 approving the heights that are proposed on
24 the site plan.
1 MEMBER IBE: So moved.
2 MR. SCHULTZ: Thank you very much.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: For the items
4 one through seven on the agenda?
5 MR. SCHULTZ: Correct.
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Would it also be
7 appropriate to mention that this is in
8 consideration of the Religious Land Use and
9 Industrialized Persons Act and other
10 determinations would be a burden on
11 religious exercise?
12 MR. SCHULTZ: No. I don't know that
13 you need to mention RLUIPA. I think that's
14 kind of a background kind of thing. I think
15 it would be appropriate if the maker of the
16 motion chose to say that these are elements
17 that appear to be related to the purpose of
18 the temple and that the height relates to
19 that larger building structure. That would
20 be appropriate.
21 MEMBER IBE: I will concur with that.
22 MR. SCHULTZ: Thank you.
23 MEMBER IBE: So moved.
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: So, we have a
1 motion on the table.
2 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll second it.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Ghannam
4 seconds the motion and all its amendments I
6 MEMBER GHANNAM: Absolutely.
7 MR. BOULARD: If I may further
8 complicate issues, that's not my intent.
9 The lighting which is to go off at 11 p.m.
10 and my understanding would be that it would
11 not come on before daylight in the morning,
12 that is the light for just the building or
13 all the site lighting, the parking lot
15 MR. SCHULTZ: Through the Chair, I
16 think your ability to condition that
17 probably relates to the seven elements that
18 you are talking about.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I think you also
20 bring up a good question. Do we have a
21 morning time that we want to relate to?
22 MEMBER IBE: I would think that
23 depending on when we have daylight.
24 MR. AMANN: If I may. We wouldn't
1 expect to have them on ever before -- I
2 think the earliest we get dark around here
3 even with Daylight Saving's Time in effect
4 is probably 5:00 p.m.
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I am referring
6 to the morning.
7 MR. AMANN: Well, we wouldn't expect
8 to have them on in the morning. So, it's
9 problem solved.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: So, delaying the
11 first two items one through seven only
13 MR. SCHULTZ: That's correct.
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: And the seconder
15 concurs with all those comments?
16 MR. GHANNAM: Yes.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other
18 comments before the motion is called?
19 Member Shroyer?
20 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you. I just
21 want to mention I am not opposed whatsoever
22 to this structure. I think it's a gorgeous
23 building. However, I still reserve the
24 thought that I said originally, that I want
1 to do further research on spires and temples
2 -- I mean spires and steeples.
3 And also due to the lateness of
4 receiving the attorney's recommendation, or
5 letter I should say this afternoon, I have
6 not had adequate time to thoroughly review
7 it. Consequently I will not be in support
8 of any motions this evening. Thank you.
9 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you. Any
10 other comments? Seeing one, Ms. Working,
11 please call the roll.
12 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
13 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
14 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
15 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
16 MS. WORKING: Member Krieger?
17 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
18 MS. WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
19 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
20 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
21 MEMBER SHROYER: No.
22 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
23 MEMBER BAUER: No.
24 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
2 MS. WORKING: Motion passes 5-2.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Let's go ahead
4 and move along with the Board discussion on
5 item number 8, the roof top apparatus and I
6 will open it back up for Board discussion.
7 Member Bauer?
8 MEMBER BAUER: I think in the past
9 when we have run into these type of things
10 it's almost a given. I mean, you got to
11 have them somewhere and rather than take out
12 space inside of building itself, that's
13 where they go on top. So, I would be in
14 favor of leaving at the 42 feet. The seven
15 feet variance.
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Sanghvi?
17 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I agree
18 with what Mr. Bauer says. Thank you.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Just a point of
20 clarification, Mr. Schultz, that we are now
21 back to our practical difficulty standard on
22 this; is that correct?
23 MR. SCHULTZ: That it's a practical
24 difficulty and the dumpsters, yes.
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Other Board
2 Members? You can go ahead and come up for
3 us, the architect or you. Both of you.
4 Given the standards, the legal standards
5 that I am sure you are well aware of for
6 practical difficulty, go ahead and please
7 explain to us what the practical difficulty
8 in this situation is.
9 MR. AMANN: Thank you. Certainly, the
10 practical difficulty is simply based on the
11 fact that we obviously have a roof line that
12 is at a certain level and then we have the
13 mechanical equipment of the size required
14 for this structure. So, in order to
15 properly screen it, we have had to apply a
16 seven foot, essentially we needed a variance
17 of seven foot to get appropriate screening
18 because of the desire, particularly as we
19 have heard concerns from neighbors tonight
20 and also with the Planning Commission
21 throughout the process as to not wanting to
22 hear mechanical equipment, not wanting to
23 see mechanical equipment. So, in order to
24 sufficiently screen it we need to start from
1 where our roof line is and then provide what
2 has been determined a seven foot wall to
3 provide that screening. So our practical
4 difficulty is where we have to start and
5 then the sufficiency of wall needed to
6 complete the job. And that being the basis
7 of the seven foot variance. It's our desire
8 to have sufficient wall that it allows us to
9 use materials for absorption of sound so we
10 can minimize any sound escaping as well as
11 prevent any visualization of the equipment
12 as well.
13 We have also located it centrally
14 enough to the building even though we have
15 this practical difficulty, we try to
16 minimize any potential impact of that
17 practical difficulty on the neighbors to try
18 to further minimize the appearance of it.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I am looking
20 through the Plan Review Center report that
21 was dated October 14th, and it appears that
22 the Community Development Department brought
23 up the point that you could consider placing
24 the unit in a mechanical room as part of the
1 building or placing the unit on the ground.
2 Why can't that be done?
3 MR. AMANN: Certainly it's feasible to
4 do that. It affects their layout that they
5 had and I will let them address that. As to
6 being on the ground, I think you are seeing
7 more and more not only with religious
8 institutions but with many institutions uses
9 and other uses, the attempt to have them off
10 the ground away from potential mischief and
11 also involvement of people trying to do any
12 danger, especially HVAC systems it's best to
13 have it in a secure area so that you don't
14 have any potential problems with those. I
15 will let them address the actual design
16 within the building of that location.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: That would be
19 MR. MANYAM: On the ground just like
20 Mr. Amann said that the site footprint that
21 we in order to for the goal to maximum the
22 woodland on this property when the site
23 footprint is very tight. We have parking up
24 against this building. There is no real
1 yard space on the side of these buildings.
2 The location of this, we do have a separate
3 mechanical room inside the space on the
4 floor in addition to the penthouse
5 mechanical structure. The nature of this
6 building, the choreography of the spaces,
7 the prayer hall space itself is in its sense
8 its own space. There is the ground floor
9 space in which you enter which you go
10 through process of removing your shoes and
11 coat. And there are those services like the
12 restrooms and so forth there. They is a
13 stairway and elevator to go up to the second
14 floor. And then on the second floor there
15 is going to be the front spaces of the
16 second floor before you actually enter the
17 prayer hall space itself.
18 So, in essence it's designed as its
19 own entity and we are trying to create a
20 clear span of space that's in the prayer
21 hall likewise within in the building. So,
22 when you compose all those items together
23 and the duct work that we would like to
24 utilize to get to within all the elements of
1 the building and properly servicing a
2 building of this nature, this is a location
3 that we really need to be more centralized.
4 MR. AMANN: One aspect of that if I
5 can ask him in front of you. I never really
6 like to ask questions that I am not sure of
7 the answer to, but I am going to do that
8 here. It is my understanding also that the
9 equipment we have on the exterior of the
10 roof is equipment that we could not
11 necessarily have internal to the building
12 without open ventilation and access.
13 MR. MANYAM: Right, and proper
14 ventilation as being accommodated for the
15 building structure.
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: What about the
17 equipment that makes it that way?
18 MR. MANYAM: The air conditioning unit
19 and the open air systems that we would like
20 to have for proper ventilation of running
21 this equipment. These are equipment, for
22 instance, the AC condenser unit, not the
23 furnace itself. Those are all located
24 within the mechanical room within the first
2 MR. AMANN: One other aspect of this
3 is also in light of obviously the seven
4 structures that we talked about earlier,
5 although this mechanical screening wall that
6 we have is above the sidewalk, obviously
7 it's below, and we have made it out of
8 similar color. Essentially disappear into
9 what would be arising above the roof.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I appreciate the
11 aesthetics there. In my mind I see it as a
12 separate unit, but I want to look at it in a
13 different light as far as the legal world
14 would take it. So, I appreciate your
15 comments Thank you. That's all I have as
16 far as questions.
17 Other Board Members?
18 MR. GHANNAM: I would be willing to
19 make a motion if there are no other
20 discussion. I would move that in case
21 number: 08-054 that in item Number 8 that
22 we approve the proposed variance requested
23 by 7 feet as requested and as designed by
24 the architects because it meets the
1 practical difficulty standards in that if we
2 do not approve it it would be unreasonably
3 prevent the use of the property for
4 permitted purpose. The variance would
5 provide substantial justice to the
6 petitioner and surrounding property owners.
7 The property is unique in that it's a
8 residential area and they are trying to fit
9 these structures on the property.
10 The problem was not self created,
11 because as they explained, the structure has
12 to be certain height and to me the most
13 logical place is on top of the roof for the
14 reasons that they have discussed. There is
15 proper and adequate light provided to
16 adjacent properties. There is no increase
17 of fire danger or public safety. In fact, I
18 think it would be decreased. Property
19 values would not be diminished and the
20 spirit of the zoning ordinance would be
22 MEMBER IBE: Second.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
24 motion by Member Ghannam and a second by
1 Member Ibe. Would you consider making part
2 of the motion the last comments that were
3 made regarding the aesthetics matching that
4 of the rest of the building?
5 MR. GHANNAM: Yes. I stated that I
6 would move to approve it as proposed, so
7 that would include that.
8 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Okay. Any other
9 discussion? Seeing none, Ms. Working,
10 please call the roll.
11 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
12 MR. GHANNAM: Yes.
13 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
14 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
15 MS. WORKING: Member Krieger?
16 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
17 MS. WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
18 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
19 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
20 MEMBER SHROYER: No.
21 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
22 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
23 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
1 MS. WORKING: Motion passes 6-1.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Moving along to
3 item 9. We are still talking about the
4 dumpster. It's gone back and forth whether
5 or not we were discussing that, but it
6 appears, Ms. McBeth, that it's still is on
7 the table for us to decide tonight. So I
8 will open up the Board for discussion on the
9 dumpster, number 9.
10 And I will start off. Ms. McBeth, if
11 I could bother you for a second.
12 MS. McBETH: Sure.
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: One of your
14 comments was that basically the final
15 placement is going to be decided at the
16 final site plan approval anyway. So I find
17 it hard for the Zoning Board to approve a
18 blanket for anywhere in the side yard at
19 this time. Can you explain maybe why you
20 would consider that we do?
21 MS. McBETH: Yes. The staff felt
22 strongly that the location as to the single
23 family home was not an appropriate location.
24 And we felt that there were many other
1 locations where it would be appropriate
2 behind the cultural center but not
3 technically in the rear yard. It's a little
4 bit strange because we have multiple
5 buildings on the site. So, the side yard
6 would be anywhere to the side of these
7 buildings. The rear yard would actually
8 have to be behind all of the buildings on
9 the site, and we don't feel that that would
10 be appropriate to have the dumpster located
11 physical to the cultural center that far
12 away. And our best representation is that
13 the dumpster itself could be located along
14 this line here which is also in the side
15 yard, but more appropriately located for the
16 cultural center which was the third stage
17 and located closest to Taft Road.
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: On the left-hand
19 side of the cultural center there is a
20 little green box, is that the entrance then?
21 MS. McBETH: This area here, Mr.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Yes.
24 MS. McBETH: Yes, that is a
1 (unintelligible) I believe for driving under
2 and dropping people off.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: The area where
4 you are looking at on the south side where
5 you think it might be more appropriate, tell
6 me more about the land that is to the south
7 of that.
8 MS. McBETH: The resident that was
9 present this evening, there is a house right
10 in this location and a swimming pool at
11 about this location. And then heavy woods.
12 Really nice quality woodlands that are in
13 that area occupy all of this space here. We
14 felt that locating a dumpster enclosure with
15 the appropriate screening would be better
16 located further away for the noise problems
17 that are sometimes preceding with emptying
18 the dumpster and sometimes the smell of the
19 dumpster enclosure to be located as far away
20 from that home as possible without really
21 encroaching into the other residential areas
22 that are surrounding.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: What is possible
24 for the lot below there? South of where you
1 are proposing the possible dumpster and west
2 of the home in question.
3 MS. McBETH: This is the current
4 property line shown right here. So, it's
5 assumed that this property would stay
6 residential. This parcel here just to the
7 west of that actually comes to the south and
8 connects over to Taft Road a little bit
9 farther down off the page here. So, this is
10 connected to a larger site. Again, zoned
11 single family residential. We would expect
12 residential types of entities on the
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: What time can
15 dumpsters be emptied in residential areas?
16 MS. McBETH: I don't believe that
17 there is an Ordinance provision for that.
18 Charles, I'm sorry, are you aware if
19 there are any Ordinance provisions on that?
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I believe in
21 commercial abutting residential it's 6:00 in
22 the morning, but I'm not aware if there is
23 anything as special land uses abutting a
24 residential area.
1 MR. BOULARD: I am not aware of a
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Has the north
4 property line been considered as far as
5 dumpster location?
6 MS. McBETH: Yes. The north property
7 line here. This area is not shown for
8 development because it is a regulated
9 wetland and they are proposing some wetland
10 mitigation in these other areas that are
11 identified. This line of trees here, kind
12 of a heavy line of trees was proposed by the
13 Applicant and approved or recommended for
14 approval by our landscape architect. The
15 residential property is to the north from
16 the cultural center itself. So, we felt
17 that it would be more appropriate to be
18 located on the southern property line and
19 more convenient and less obtrusive into the
20 natural areas that are on site.
21 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: That's all the
22 questions I have. I will open it up for
23 other Board Members. Member Ghannam?
24 MEMBER GHANNAM: Actually I have a
1 couple of questions for Ms. McBeth.
2 Ms. McBeth, I have got a couple
3 of questions for you. If we did approve
4 item number 9 which is the dumpster
5 variance, would you recommend that we
6 approve it for the south side or what you
7 call the side yard property, to be
8 determined between the Applicant and the
9 Planning Commission?
10 MS. McBETH: I think that would be
11 appropriate between the Applicant and the
12 Community Development Department on their
13 final site plan review which we would be
14 handling administratively.
15 The Applicant's attorney, Mr. Amann,
16 just suggested that they would be willing to
17 as well provide a limitation on the request
18 that the dumpster enclosure itself be at
19 least 100 feet from that adjacent
20 residential area.
21 MR. AMANN: Actually better than that.
22 That hard red line along the bottom is a
23 wall. So the end of that wall no less than
24 100 feet west from that wall, so it would
1 put it essentially we think about there if
2 you want to use that picture.
3 MS. McBETH: So, the same general
4 area, just 100 feet from the end of the
6 MR. AMANN: What we are dealing with
7 on the south of us that is a pool in the
8 rear and the house is in front of the pool,
9 that would put us probably 200 feet. And we
10 have no problem as it relates to really the
11 application, if there is a standard that
12 doesn't allow dumpsters being picked up
13 before 6:00 a.m., on commercial property is
14 adjacent to residential, we don't have a
15 particular issue with that either as well to
16 our dumpster and we wouldn't expect it to be
17 before that time.
18 MEMBER GHANNAM: I don't have any
19 other questions. Thank you.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: It's not so much
21 regarding the time limit that I have -- I am
22 not particularly impressed with the
23 Ordinance that allows that to begin with. I
24 think 6:00 is too early. And I appreciate
1 the effort. And as far as putting it 100
2 yards from that line, but I live even
3 further than that from the dumpsters in the
4 commercial area and at 6:00 when they come
5 by I can still hear them. And it's much
6 more than that. So, I am not sure where I
7 can take a time limit on this.
8 I am struggling because I see that
9 there is really no other place on this lot
10 and this makes much more sense to put the
11 dumpster closest to the Cultural Center.
12 However, there is also great concerns about
13 the affect on that neighbor. So where does
14 the neighbor's right coincide with their
15 right to have a dumpster nearest to the
16 Cultural Center as far as the legal standard
17 is permitted?
18 MR. SCHULTZ: That's a fair question.
19 I mean, that's the determination that you
20 are making in terms of is the proposed
21 location, does it do justice to the property
22 owner as well as the proponent here? So,
23 you have to make that determination. If the
24 question is can you impose conditions on
1 timing, regular removal to make sure there
2 is no overflow and things like that, all
3 those conditions are appropriate to be made.
4 MEMBER KRIEGER: (Unintelligible).
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: You want to make
6 your comments known.
7 MEMBER KRIEGER: My question would be,
8 if we could table it until a future time
9 when they are building it to determine?
10 MR. SCHULTZ: And maybe Ms. McBeth
11 would chime in on this. At some point they
12 need a final site plan approval and they
13 need to know where to show the dumpster. I
14 think they can proceed at some point with
15 the assumption that they are going to bring
16 that question back. But they do need final
17 site plan approval and they need to know
18 where their dumpster is permitted. They do
19 need a dumpster. In terms of the proponent,
20 the proponent has to be able to put it
21 somewhere on the property. Whether it's
22 further away or closer, I guess, that's what
23 you would need to struggle with.
24 From a Planning Review perspective and
1 from a Community Development perspective, I
2 don't know that they need to see the
3 building still first.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Sanghvi?
5 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Is it just
6 enough to say that they cannot put it in the
7 backyard, and leave it at that? Because
8 that is the main concern of the neighbors
9 around there. The dumpster being close to
10 the property line in the backyard, back of
11 the property.
12 MR. SCHULTZ: Through the Chair, it
13 would be appropriate to say it's got to be
14 at least X feet away from the residential
15 improvements wherever they ultimately agree
17 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: So, they
18 don't have to come back to us again and they
19 can decide for themselves.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Other Board
21 Members have any other comments? Anyone?
22 MEMBER GHANNAM: How about I make a
23 motion if there is no further discussion. I
24 will go ahead and move in case number:
1 08-054 as to item Number 9 to approve the
2 petition that the dumpster be located in the
3 side yard with the understanding and
4 specific agreement that it will be at least
5 100 feet west of the southern wall that's on
6 the property line as described on the site
7 plan I believe that is shown tonight. The
8 specific location to be approved and agreed
9 between mutual consent of the Community
10 Development Department as well as the
11 Petitioner for the reasons that, first of
12 all, they have to have, it's got to be a
13 location that doesn't affect at least as
14 much as possible the neighbors mainly to the
16 And based on the layout of this
17 particular site, I think there are unique
18 circumstances to the property where it
19 deserves to be in the side yard. The
20 problem is not self created. There is no
21 increase of fire danger or public safety.
22 Property values would not be diminished
23 within the surrounding area. And the spirit
24 of the Ordinance is observed.
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
2 motion on the table.
3 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Second.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
5 second by Member Sanghvi. Any further
6 discussion? Member Krieger?
7 MEMBER KRIEGER: Question? Was that a
8 100 feet or 100 yards from the westerly
9 point of that wall?
10 MEMBER GHANNAM: As the Petitioner
11 suggested at least 100 feet west of the
12 southern wall that's adjacent to the
13 southern property.
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other
15 questions or comments? Seeing none, Ms.
17 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
18 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
19 MS. WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
20 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
21 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
22 MEMBER SHROYER: No.
23 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
24 MEMBER BAUER: No.
1 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: No.
3 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
4 MEMBER IBE: Present.
5 MS. WORKING: Member Krieger?
6 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
7 MR. SCHULTZ: Could you clarify that
8 the present was a yes.
9 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe, present is a
10 yes for clarification, please?
11 MEMBER IBE: I think my vote is a
12 present vote. You can interpret it
13 whichever way you want. It means I am
14 neither for nor against it.
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: The only issue
16 with that, Member Ibe, is that I believe the
17 rules that regulate the Zoning Board mandate
18 that we do vote a yes or a no on each motion
19 in front of us. And I believe that maybe
20 not by our rules but maybe in the Charter,
21 the City Charter, I believe.
22 MR. SCHULTZ: It's a requirement of
23 the Rules. It's a requirement under the
24 Statute. There is no abstentions unless you
1 have a conflict of interest which I don't
2 believe is present. So, there must be a yes
3 or not vote, you are correct.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Can you please
5 recall the roll, Ms. Working.
6 MS. WORKING: Should I begin at the
8 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Yes, with the
9 motion maker.
10 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
11 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
12 MS. WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
13 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
14 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
15 MEMBER SHROYER: No.
16 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
17 MEMBER BAUER: No.
18 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: No.
20 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
21 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
22 MS. WORKING: Member Krieger?
23 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
24 MS. WORKING: Motion to approve passes
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: And last to the
3 parking item number 10. I'll open it up for
4 Board discussion. Member Ibe?
5 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Chair, as well as the
6 Petitioner this is one area that concerns me
7 the most as perhaps the parking. I think if
8 there is any area where I am on the fence,
9 it is the parking. I think the gentleman,
10 one of the residents who had some, he had a
11 projection for us to see. He made a good
12 point. And I think that's Mr. Mathis, I
13 believe, I am not sure if I got his name
14 right. And I will go over his points, and
15 I'm not paraphrasing, I am actually quoting
16 him, he is says, "This is too much building
17 and not enough parking." And John I think
18 said, Is this the best site for this
19 project? I think the parking is what
20 troubles me the most. Everything about what
21 we have heard so far I have had no problem
22 with. As much as I think that we ought to
23 accommodate with what the Petitioner wants,
24 it troubles me that you do have two large
1 structures in a big building.
2 And to someone who understands world
3 religion. I am a Catholic, but I do
4 understand the Hindu religion very well, and
5 I do know that the people are very religious
6 devout people. And there will be events.
7 And there will be multiple events. It's not
8 just going to be one event. Knowing fully
9 well that there is a temple in Canton that I
10 am familiar with and I drive by it. My
11 family lives very close to the temple and I
12 know how busy it can be. And they don't
13 even have a cultural center that is
15 MR. AMANN: It's part of their
17 MR. IBE: It's part of the building.
18 So, parking is a huge issue for me.
19 The residents are concerned that you
20 will not have activities going on. Is there
21 any guarantee that you can give to alleviate
22 the fears of those residents as well as to
23 calm me down for me to trust that this is
24 not one of those April Fool's jokes that you
1 are playing on us? Because the last thing I
2 want is driving down Taft and having these
3 people coming the same route because the
4 place is crowded and we can't get by.
5 MR. AMANN: Certainly. I very much
6 appreciate your concern in your question.
7 We spent a fair amount of time with this in
8 the Planning Commission. You are raising an
9 issue, I think what your attorney was
10 talking about is essentially about the
11 underlying calculation of the parking
12 required for the site. And I will address
14 The issue before you tonight, though,
15 is really about these 34 spaces. But let me
16 address the first part because I think it
17 will help to give you comfort in
18 understanding of that 34 space issue. As it
19 relates to the parking as probably Beth
20 explained, we submitted, of course, a
21 detailed traffic study which included
22 parking calculations.
23 The traffic consultant we are very
24 appreciative of the fact that not only did
1 they review it, they questioned it. They
2 disagreed at first and said how can you make
3 these assertions? The beauty of what we
4 have here is that you don't have to take our
5 word as a promise, but we do have a letter
6 on file as part of the Planning Commission
7 approval that says that you will not have
8 simultaneous events as part of our condition
9 of our approval.
10 What the traffic consultant did is
11 actually said go check the other temples
12 that are in existence. And they referenced
13 the one in Troy that they thought, many
14 thought was the worst case scenario. And,
15 in fact, to demonstrate and determine, in
16 fact, whether or not, number one, do they
17 have simultaneous events with the Cultural
18 Center and the Temple.
19 You are right, many of the Temples you
20 don't see separate buildings because, for
21 example, the one that I was representing in
22 Canton, they have the ability because of the
23 size they have them as part of the building
24 itself. So, there was a Prayer area. There
1 was a Cultural Center area. All within the
2 one same building. So, it wasn't that they
3 didn't have the capacity for the use on
4 site, that had it, it was just all within
5 one building. And those sites parked
6 properly because just as this Temple, they
7 do not use both sites at one time. It is by
8 the very nature of their function. Although
9 we have given a letter based on the Planning
10 Commission condition that should be I think
11 part of your file that says as a condition
12 we agree that they will not be used.
13 But, secondly, we had the ability to
14 have the traffic consultant go and, in fact,
15 verify the actual experience of other
16 Temples to see that this is, in fact, the
17 case. Just as we also looked at one of the
18 bigger issues is your Ordinance is typically
19 Americanized as it relates to calculating
20 parking spaces for worship spaces. In fact,
21 I go to a church where 22,000 families
22 belong and maybe 4,000 people attend on a
23 weekend at each services, four different
24 services. We all sit in a pew, we sit in a
1 seat and you can designate a space for it.
2 The fact is we can then cram more
3 people in one area and we have to have more
4 parking to accommodate that. This Temple
5 actually involves the use of the prayer room
6 which is (unintelligible) where people
7 actually would go prostate. They would
8 actually go flat on the ground. And the
9 space required for an individual worshipper
10 in this area is much larger than you could
11 have actually think. So, it actually
12 affects the parking calculations because you
13 will not physical fit in the area where
14 normally you would think in a normal
15 Americanized worship experience.
16 So, that's where it fundamentally
17 affects the underlying parking calculation.
18 Then when you look at the actual uses and
19 decide not to have multiplicity of use.
20 Then when you look at the actual
21 verification of that experience, that's how
22 we ultimately got to an understanding of the
23 underlying parking calculations.
24 As it relates to the particular issue
1 on the 34 spaces, it comes down to as Ms.
2 McBeth explained, an attempt and the desire
3 expressed by the Environmental consultant
4 and the Planning Commission the desire to
5 preserve really a pristine woodland area as
6 opposed to putting more spaces in there.
7 Particularly since we are only going to
8 confront this experience of being
9 potentially maximized on the parking on
10 certain events in the year and we do have
11 several events. You are aware of several
12 events throughout the year. But that's why
13 we have also made an accommodation with the
14 ZBA and the Planning Commission as it
15 considered before us off site parking.
16 Questions were raised about what that
17 does to parking. We will actually as we
18 have indicated in the Planning Commission
19 have a van, a shuttle van which would be
20 used to transport people back and forth
21 keeping cars away from the site. But more
22 importantly out of all these concerns about
23 traffic and parking, it's important to
24 understand one of the great things about
1 religious institutions as it relates to
2 traffic and parking concern is predominantly
3 they occur on Sundays. So, we hear a lot of
4 concerns about cars getting in and out of
5 the road and whatever. That's why when
6 traffic analyst look at these issues they
7 look at how they are non-rush hour and they
8 are very compatible to residential. They
9 are compatible in the business areas because
10 we are not occurring at rush hour times
11 which are on weekdays. Even though we will
12 have people to come in to worship and
13 perform functions throughout the week, but
14 those will not be the areas or the times
15 where we have large gatherings of people
16 where we have to worry about the parking.
17 So, as it relates to -- and we also
18 indicated to the Planning Commission, we
19 know it's important to the neighbors that
20 this site is properly parked. We know it's
21 important to the City. We have gone through
22 great discussions on this. It is more
23 important to us if our worshippers can't get
24 to the site, there is more problems for the
1 leadership of the Temple than anybody else.
2 So, they have spent a lot of time with the
3 traffic consultant to make sure they are
4 actually properly parked and that's why they
5 have also entered into the ancillary
6 agreement. They have also approached the
7 school about a secondary agreement if they
8 need for some other purpose for other
10 The Cultural Center itself is a
11 subsequent phase that we may get to. It's
12 not part of the initial construction. So,
13 we are going to have the time and experience
14 of having the temple built. Its operation
15 and then we will be coming to ultimately on
16 the final site plan with the City on the
17 Cultural Center some time down the road.
18 The City will have had years under its
19 belt with this site operating in the Temple
20 and its parking and its traffic before it
21 has to give any consideration ultimate to
22 the Cultural Center and its final site plan.
23 So, you will know. So there won't be any
24 April Fools. There will be great experience
1 under the belt.
2 MR. SCHULTZ: Mr. Chair, can I
3 followup on those comments to address sort
4 of, is this a real promise kind of question
5 just so everybody is clear? And it was
6 discussed a little bit at the Planning
7 Commission. It's a lot more than just a
8 promise the way the Planning Commission has
9 phrased it. It's an actual condition of the
10 special land use approval. If there is a
11 violation, and I think you all got the
12 minutes that shows what that limitation is,
13 events will occur at the same time. I think
14 one of the earlier speakers from the public
15 asked the question who pays attention to
16 that? Who enforces that? And the answer
17 is, the City would in the normal course
18 enforce that. Not just an Ordinance
19 requirement that says you can't create a
20 nuisance situation. You can't park on Taft
21 Road, but literally go to that special land
22 use approval and say this is the condition
23 that allows you to be having any events here
24 whether it's worship service or the use of
1 the Cultural Center. And if, in fact, it's
2 not being adhered to and it's deemed to be
3 an actual violation of that condition, the
4 City absolutely has the right to enforce
5 that provision as though it were an
6 Ordinance, maybe even more so. It's the
7 kind of thing that we would probably
8 approach the Court and say they are in
9 violation of their entire use because they
10 are not supposed to be parking on Taft Road.
11 They can't park on the lawn. If they have
12 problems with the parking that they have set
13 up, they either need to go back and get more
14 parking approved which would go to the
15 Planning Commission. Or if they can't do
16 that, then they have to make their own
17 arrangements as they were discussing. But
18 it's an enforceable promise. It's actually
19 a condition that the Planning Commission put
20 out and you would be able to tag along to
21 your own determination if you chose to do
22 that. Thank you.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Can you better
24 define enforceable? What happens down the
1 road? Are they no longer allowed to
2 practice? Are they no longer allowed to use
3 the building for purposes? Or are they
4 issued a $100 ticket? Where on the spectrum
5 is -- where is the enticement for them to
6 actually go along with this condition or
7 just ignore it and drag it out in court?
8 MR. SCHULTZ: That's a good question.
9 Where on the spectrum the City's enforcement
10 falls depends on where the violation is. If
11 it's the occasional car or something like
12 that parked improperly, then they give a
13 ticket. That may be a regular role of
14 Ordinance enforcement. If it's a regular
15 occurrence that there seems to be violation
16 of the promise and a condition not to use
17 these two at the same time, we probably
18 approach the appropriate authority in
19 District Court or in the Circuit Court and
20 say, here is the approval. Here is what we
21 want them to start doing and stop doing.
22 And I guess what I am saying is, the courts
23 acknowledge your ability to place that
24 condition on and, therefore, our ability to
1 enforce it on behalf the ZBA or Planning
2 Commission. It's in the Statute. It's in
3 the Ordinance. You have the authority --
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I understand we
5 have the authority to attach it. What is
6 the punitive realization of such a
7 condition? I am still grasping --
8 MR. SCHULTZ: It goes anywhere from
9 the ticket if it's a minor thing that can be
10 corrected that way to full blown litigation
11 where we ask for a court to order them to do
12 something or stop doing something.
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: But we have no
14 idea what that something could be?
15 MR. SCHULTZ: It would be to comply
16 with the condition. Not use the two at the
17 same time. Don't park on the grass. Don't
18 park on Taft Road. Whatever the violation
19 is is what we're asking.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Okay. That's an
21 answer. I'll open it up for the Board.
22 MEMBER KRIEGER: I guess just to add
23 to that. Like they could park, not
24 necessarily if they would, but the potential
1 of parking on the shoulder is there because
2 there is shoulder. Just like at the high
3 school on a football night you drive down
4 Taft and if they are there and they're
5 arguing with the people, they are doing it,
6 so why can't we?
7 MR. AMANN: If I may address that --
8 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Not at this
9 time. If the Board ask a direct question
10 then we will call you up.
11 MR. AMANN: Okay.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: We are trying to
13 get some answers from our City Attorney at
14 this time. Thank you.
15 MR. SCHULTZ: That is one of the
16 conditions that the Planning Commission put
17 on it that there wouldn't be that occurring
18 as happens with football games. That's a
19 requirement. So, once they make that
20 representation and the Planning commission
21 and perhaps this Board says it's going to be
22 a condition of whatever approval we give
23 you, then there is no ability to come back
24 later and say but the school does it on the
1 weekends. It's a condition.
2 MEMBER KRIEGER: Another question I
3 came up with too is the number of services,
4 because it being a church or a temple, that
5 if you go to church on Sunday and you might
6 have three services, two in the morning and
7 one at night, then what would they
8 anticipate here for amount of people? The
9 number of services?
10 MR. GANGADHARAN: Fundamentally it's
11 more or less an open format between you and
12 your God. You can come there at any time
13 you choose when the temple is open. It's
14 not a prescribed service per se. There
15 might be offerings that people might make,
16 but come in and let the priest help them any
17 way they wish. It's almost a menu format
18 that says these are the various things you
19 could do by way of services and it's a one
20 on one thing.
21 So, there is not a concentrated
22 time at which things happen. There might be
23 just because the way of American life people
24 might get free at 6:00 or 7:00 and you might
1 find that small bump up around that popular
2 time, but otherwise anyone who wishes to
3 practice can walk in any time the temple is
4 open and get the equivalent of personalized
5 service, if you will.
6 And also along the discussion just to
7 say that we have agreed about not parking on
8 Taft, putting signs for not parking on Taft
9 just to add to the previous questions.
10 MEMBER KRIEGER: Thank you.
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other
12 questions, Member Krieger?
13 MEMBER KRIEGER: No.
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Other Board
15 Members? Mr. Shroyer?
16 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
17 Ms. McBeth? I have several questions here.
18 First of all, is the master plan showing
19 Taft being widened any time soon?
20 MS. McBETH: The master plan for land
21 use for expanding Taft Road to more than --
22 MEMBER SHROYER: Multiple lanes?
23 MS. McBETH: Not that I am aware of,
24 not at this point.
1 MEMBER SHROYER: So, there are no
2 plans on the record at all for widening the
4 MS. McBETH: Not that I'm aware of.
5 MEMBER SHROYER: Any plan for
6 improvements on the intersection of Taft?
7 MS. McBETH: I am not aware of any
8 proposed improvements for that intersection
9 at this time.
10 MEMBER SHROYER: Somebody had
11 indicated I think they said a 2006 survey it
12 was slated it was the number one crash site
13 in the intersection. Is that correct?
14 MS. McBETH: I have not been able to
15 confirm whether that's correct. I did not
16 go back and check the record on that.
17 MEMBER SHROYER: Is there parking
18 permitted on Andre Hills road?
19 MS. McBETH: In Andes Hills.
20 MEMBER SHROYER: Andes Hills.
21 MS. McBETH: It's a private road and
22 speaking with a couple of the residents
23 there they indicated that they would not
24 want to allow or encourage parking on their
1 street. So, I assume that that would be
2 enforced and that there would be no parking
3 on Andes Hills Court.
4 MEMBER SHROYER: I didn't think there
5 was. I wanted to make sure. Any there any
6 connecting sidewalks or driveways planned
7 that would run from Grand River to the
8 property or from Eleven Mile Road to the
10 MS. McBETH: Again on the plan there
11 is a gap. Andes Hills has the sidewalk to
12 this point and that I believe goes all the
13 way to Grand River. But there is gap here
14 where the wetland is currently located.
15 The temple is proposing a sidewalk
16 along Taft Road here. There is another gap
17 in property to the south. As you get a
18 little bit farther to the south into the
19 corner it's part of the approval for the
20 Basilian Father's, there are sidewalks
21 proposed to the corner.
22 MEMBER SHROYER: And when there is a
23 wetland such as where the gap is, the only
24 way to have a sidewalk there is at the
1 City's expense; is that correct?
2 MS. McBETH: There would be, that
3 would probably show up on the report that's
4 being prepared that talks about gaps in the
5 sidewalk. There are various funding
6 mechanisms. One of which if the City could
7 take the initiative and complete that. They
8 are looking at other funding alternatives,
9 but that one seems to be the primary source
10 at this time.
11 MR. SHROYER: Okay, thank you. And
12 obviously what I am looking at is I am
13 equally concerned as Member Ibe stated about
14 safety and traffic and parking, etcetera.
15 It's a huge concern in my eyes. On the site
16 itself can additional parking be added
17 without approval of the MDEQ?
18 MS. McBETH: Yes, the MDEQ would cover
19 the wetlands issue, so I believe that this
20 area is regulated wetlands and it doesn't
21 seem likely that they could add parking
22 there without MDEQ approval at that
23 location. Further to the back this is all
24 regulated woodland and not all covered by
1 wetland. I think there is a creek or stream
2 that comes through here. And its an area
3 that is wetland. But I believe they could
4 add some parking there in the back with
5 removal of some of that.
6 MEMBER SHROYER: About any idea how
7 much we would lose to create 34 parking
9 MS. McBETH: No, we haven't done a
10 study of that in particular. And there may
11 be other areas on the site where they can do
12 that. I know there are buffers required
13 around the perimeter here and I think they
14 have worked their way to provide the
15 necessary buffers in those locations as
16 well. This is also a wetland area here.
17 So, I think that it's most likely that that
18 back area would be affected before adding
19 additional parking without trying to get any
20 additional variance.
21 MEMBER SHROYER: And they can do that
22 whether we approve it or not actually?
23 MS. McBETH: Well, that would again go
24 to the Planning Commission for review and
1 they would take a look at it, tree survey
2 the woodland plan and get some professional
3 recommendations from our environmental
4 consultants and they would talk about the
5 replacement value, whether they could
6 replace the woodlands on site or if they
7 needed to pay into the tree fund as part of
8 that. And the Planning Commission would be
9 the one to authorize to grant a woodland
11 MEMBER SHROYER: So that would be one
12 option available if we were to deny the
13 parking variance. Is there other options
14 that you are aware of?
15 MS. McBETH: I think another option
16 would be to reduce the size of the building.
17 That would be something that I think the
18 Applicant is taking into consideration
19 regarding the review of the project,
20 especially between the first and second
21 reviews by the Planning Commission. There
22 was a 10,000 square foot decrease in the
23 building size of the Cultural Center at this
24 location here. And I believe they reduced
1 some of the meeting space as well as some of
2 the other functional space. That would be
3 another option.
4 MEMBER SHROYER: Does our Ordinance
5 enforcement officers work on Sundays?
6 MS. McBETH: I think occasionally it's
7 some work on the weekends. But Alan is
8 shaking his head.
10 MEMBER SHROYER: What I am looking at,
11 obviously I think it would be very difficult
12 for the City to monitor these usages. And
13 if we do look at something like this and
14 attaching requirement terms like large
15 numbers when we are talking about
16 simultaneous events and maximized spacing
17 and what have you, I think you will need to
18 attach specific numbers too. I am going to
19 rule out completely the possibility of
20 thinking about Miracle Software as an
21 overflow. Especially in today's economy,
22 and hopefully this will never happen, but in
23 today's economy we don't know from one day
24 to another if a business is going to even be
1 in existence. We don't know what tenant may
2 be in there in the future, if any. So, I am
3 not going to look at that any further.
4 I still want to and I mentioned
5 earlier, I want to review things further.
6 But this initial talk on the three phases of
7 547 spaces, which would leave a shortest of
8 273 spaces is only 50 percent. So I want to
9 go back and review that even further.
10 One other question for the Applicant,
11 if I may. This is partially because of my
12 ignorance of the Hindu religion and I
13 apologize for that. It was mentioned this
14 evening that if a different deity was used
15 that may change the requirements that would
16 need to be built of the temple itself. Is
17 there a different deity that could be used
18 that would allow --
19 MR. AMANN: The deity they had
20 selected for this is at the very core of
21 their religious purpose. And I think Mr.
22 Schultz will tell you you are now deep down
23 into RLUIPA in a long long manner.
24 Let me further address that. You are
1 expressing concerns about --
2 MEMBER SHROYER: There is no other
4 MR. AMANN: Not on that point, but
5 about the 547 parking spaces.
6 MEMBER SHROYER: I didn't ask you
7 about that.
8 MR. AMANN: Okay, well, it shouldn't
9 be part of the consideration.
10 MR. SCHULTZ: Mr. Chair, can I just
11 followup the question? I don't think the
12 question was improper. I think the answer
13 was fine. There was a comment made. I
14 think Mr. Shroyer was simply asking a
15 question to get some more clarification.
16 There is nothing wrong with that. But
17 obviously it is sort of their core issue, so
18 probably not going to be the basis on which
19 you make your decision.
20 MEMBER SHROYER: Oh, not at all.
21 MR. SCHULTZ: Thank you.
22 MEMBER SHROYER: And to the City, is
23 there any way at all of separating the
24 phases? Looking at -- Oh, I'm sorry, I
1 didn't think it would have to be you again,
2 Ms. McBeth. Since it is three phases and it
3 is stretched out over a period of time is
4 there a way you can look at phase one and
5 two and approve those activities and
6 postpone phase three? Or is it all because
7 it's tied into the final site plan approval?
8 MS. McBETH: I believe, and Mr.
9 Schultz can correct me on this if I'm wrong,
10 but the Applicant has proposed the
11 development in its entirety, so they are
12 asking for approval in its entirety. The
13 phasing is helpful so we will know which
14 order the buildings will be constructed and
15 would be completed. Utilities available for
16 each phase.
17 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you. That's
18 all I have, Mr. Chair.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
20 Member Shroyer. Further discussion? Member
22 MEMBER GHANNAM: Thank you. I have
23 got a couple of questions again. You have
24 mentioned this business on Grand River that
1 you have an agreement with for overflow
2 parking and so forth. Is it the intent of
3 the Applicant to enter into a lease for that
4 space during certain periods of time? And
5 if so, for how long?
6 MR. AMANN: It's our intent to enter
7 into an enforceable agreement, lease or
8 easement which would be provided for as long
9 as need. We also have tentative agreements
10 from Rock Financial as well as agreement we
11 have with the school as far as additional
12 spaces if we need to get to there. And we
13 have talked about that because the focus of
14 this variance request is about 34 spaces.
15 It's not about intersection questions or
16 width of roads and stuff like that, it's
17 about these 34 spaces. We have the ability
18 we reflected in the record to meet that
19 amount over and over and over. So, we would
20 have put them into an enforceable agreement
21 that would run with the land so that even if
22 the company or something were to happen with
23 the company, the agreement would be
1 MR. SCHULTZ: Mr. Chair, can I break
2 in here a little bit? I guess I want to
3 make sure we don't get too far down the road
4 on this idea that they are coming to you
5 with a lease for spaces off site. It's not
6 really what our Ordinance is set up for.
7 It's not really something that we want to
8 encourage petitioners to do in the normal
9 course. We can't meet the parking on our
10 site so we are going to go several
11 properties down the road. We had an
12 Ordinance that allowed shared parking in
13 certain circumstances that allows such
14 parking agreements, but it's very specific
15 and I think we are getting pretty far field
16 from it.
17 I think it's a fine point for them to
18 raise, but I don't think it's something that
19 you as a Board want to be regularly relying
20 on. If they enter into a lease and that's
21 how they plan to make sure that are not in
22 violation of our Ordinances, that's great.
23 But I don't know that it should be formally
24 brought into the discussion. I just wanted
1 to get that out there.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Ghannam,
3 you still have the floor.
4 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes, just one more
5 question. One of the citizens came up here,
6 the gentleman who gave us a nice
7 presentation indicated that apparently there
8 has been some change in your position
9 regarding whether or not there is going to
10 be major events held at the same time or
11 that type of analysis. I just want to make
12 it clear from my mind that if a parking
13 variance is granted and their, I guess day
14 of worship is on Sunday; is that accurate?
15 MR. AMANN: Yes.
16 MEMBER GHANNAM: That there would be
17 no other events at the Cultural Building; is
18 that accurate?
19 MR. AMANN: Yes. The language that
20 was given, the letter was presumed to a
21 specific request and conversation with the
22 Planning Commission that pretty much
23 articulated here is want we want, the
24 condition we want you to agree to.
1 Essentially we gave a letter and it is
2 expected that, the letter specifically talks
3 about not having maximum usage of the site
4 which means essentially usage of the temple
5 and then usage of the cultural center in
6 which if it gets built, because we're still
7 talking about that being a phase down the
8 road. So, the language that is actually in
9 the agreement, although he is correct, it
10 hasn't worked, but the language that was
11 given, the letter requested was the language
12 requested pursuant to the condition of the
13 Planning Commission on its approval.
14 MEMBER GHANNAM: So, if they have
15 worship on a Sunday there will not be, say,
16 a wedding or some other type of large amount
17 in the Cultural Building?
18 MR. AMANN: Exactly.
19 MR. GANGADHARAN: It's not just a day
20 of worship, but it might be those select
21 days that we had mentioned as being the
22 major worship days in the year.
23 MEMBER GHANNAM: Right, and I
24 understand that.
1 MR. GANGADHARAN: They may not
2 necessarily fall on a Sunday, but for those
3 days we will definitely take all the
4 precautions because end of the day when we
5 have such a fine development, we fully
6 intend for it to be an enjoyable experience
7 as much as a spiritual experience. It's not
8 much of a spiritual experience if you can't
9 find parking. And you are driving around
10 the place and you can't park on Taft. You
11 have to get out some place. We want to
12 organize it such that it's done well. I was
13 the person representing the trustees and the
14 executive in offering that letter to make it
15 very clear that that is a commitment from
16 the Temple organization to the City and we
17 take it very seriously that we have no
18 intention of making this just a statement
19 for the purpose of getting this permit. We
20 are citizens. We stay here. I have been a
21 resident of Novi. I am a business owner in
22 Novi. We fully intend for this to be
23 something that we are all proud of in the
24 community and something that works well.
1 We are trying to work within the
2 constraints of the whole system, but in
3 general we want for this to be a pleasant
4 experience for all us that will be using the
6 MEMBER GHANNAM: I understand your
7 point and it's well taken. But we also want
8 to make sure that you are a good neighbor to
9 your surrounding property owners. Thank
10 you. I have no other questions. Thank you.
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Were we given --
12 I don't remember seeing a copy of that
13 letter that keeps being referred to as part
14 of the agreement.
15 Member Bauer?
16 MEMBER BAUER: The letter that I have
17 of November 6th, states that: We wish to
18 clarify that we will not use the Cultural
19 Center and Temple facilities concurrently at
20 maximum capacity. But you could use one at
21 full and one at half.
22 MR. AMANN: I guess you could try to
23 interpret it that way. You have heard the
24 expression on the record and certainly you
1 can include that in as a condition if you
2 were so generous to give an approval. It is
3 not intended to use, to have scheduled
4 events at each facility at simultaneously
6 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you, sir.
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I found the
8 letter I was referring to. I was referring
9 to the letter with the parking and the
10 Planning Department or the Planning
11 Commission. I didn't catch which one it
13 MR. AMANN: That's the letter that we
14 gave in response to the Planning Commission,
15 yes, that's correct.
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: You sounded much
17 more formal, I guess.
18 MR. AMANN: It actually was made --
19 I'm sorry, if I wasn't clear about that.
20 The Planning Commission made it as a
21 condition of their approval and they wanted
22 a letter acknowledging their condition and
23 that was the purpose.
24 MR. SCHULTZ: I just want to point
1 out. The Planning Commission approval and
2 the language in that is the floor beneath
3 which they can't sink. So, whatever their
4 letter says it's still the Planning
5 Commission motion that applies.
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Other Board
7 Members? I have a couple of questions
8 regarding the parking study or to address
9 the parking in this booklet. Now, it's
10 states in here that -- now, this is your
11 traffic study that was sworn to?
12 MR. AMANN: Yes, we provided the
13 traffic study that was reviewed by the City
14 traffic consultant.
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: It admits itself
16 that the weekend parking demand may be an
17 issue, correct?
18 MR. AMANN: Certainly the weekend is
19 when we expect the greatest usage of the
21 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I am just
22 quoting the actual comments as made in the
23 study. Would the Cultural Center 2.8 times
24 as large as the one inch (unintelligible)
1 potential demand would be 510.
2 MR. AMANN: Hang on just one second.
3 We have got some specific. When you look
4 at, yeah, you are extrapolating out a
5 particular line when you get to the
6 conclusions that says, in fact --
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I am going line
8 by line, just trying to understand your take
9 on it. I will get down to the bottom.
10 MR. AMANN: Right. If you use the
11 same square foot of the entire area Cultural
12 Center you utilize the one inch, correct.
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Then it gets
14 down to like you stated what they say is a
15 more comparable reference point, correct?
16 When they say the demand estimate is at 265
17 parking spots?
18 MR. AMANN: Correct.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Based on a
20 Saturday afternoon accumulation of 182 in
21 Troy. Did they only do one weekend of
23 MR. AMANN: You mean our consultant?
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Yes.
1 MR. GANGADHARAN: They gave a complete
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Including one
5 MR. AMANN: I believe that's one
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: One weekend.
8 And was that weekend one of these particular
9 instances where it would be higher than just
10 a normal weekend?
11 MR. GANGADHARAN: It was. It was
12 determined that there was an event taking
13 place at the Bharatiya Temple in Troy on the
14 Saturday afternoon.
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: What about
17 MR. GANGADHARAN: I don't actually
18 recall on Sunday. I am not aware of
20 MR. AMANN: If I can help reference
21 that. I think you are trying to go to the
22 underlying determination of the parking
23 capacity which started with the Planning
24 Commission --
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: No, sir, I'm
2 not. I'm looking at the 308. I am not
3 looking to say that anyone is appealing the
4 308. I am looking at, you are going below
5 the 308 and that 34 is crucial to me and I
6 have great concerns about that. So, I am
7 specifically talking about the 34 that you
8 were going under the 308 that everyone has
9 determined is kind of the floor at the time,
10 but determined by the Planning Department.
11 So, I'm sticking with the 304.
12 So, I am still questioning, did this
13 include a Sunday?
14 MR. GANGADHARAN: It did include a
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: And was this a
17 regular Sunday or a Christmas type event?
18 MR. AMANN: It was a regular Sunday
19 after the Saturday being one of the High
21 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: So, it was near
22 a High holiday?
23 MR. GANGADHARAN: For clarification,
24 most of those major days that we talk about
1 don't necessarily have to fall on a Sunday.
2 It would be literally improbable that is
3 just falls, that it's coincidence with a
4 Sunday. Sunday is just general traffic you
5 will find it higher. But on an auspicious
6 day which we celebrate could be any day of
7 the week and we had one of those days
8 included as part of the traffic study.
9 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: What day was
11 MR. GANGADHARAN: I suspect it was a
12 Saturday that we were talking about.
13 MR. MANYAM: There was a retirement
14 engagement on the Sunday afternoon.
15 MR. GANGADHARAN: So, there was an
16 event as well on Sunday.
17 MR. AMANN: In fact in Troy, in the
18 Troy center they do not have a description
19 of the use of the Cultural Center. They are
20 allowed to use the Cultural Center at the
21 same time for other events like that where
22 we would not be doing that.
23 MR. MANYAM: As a matter of fact, the
24 control traffic study that was submitted to
1 the Planning Commission showed peak Sunday
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Which was the
4 High Holy day?
5 MR. AMANN: Saturday.
6 MR. MANYAM: Saturday there was an
7 event that leads us toward the evening and
8 on Sunday there was an afternoon luncheon
9 type occasion or retirement type party that
10 occurred that day.
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: So, I'm looking
12 at a peak of about 230 at 8:00 on Saturday?
13 MR. AMANN: Yes.
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: So, the study
15 still references 183 as a peak. Now if I am
16 looking at this peak of 200 multiplying by
17 his ratio, we would be over and probably in
18 between the 277 and the 308.
19 MR. MANYAM: What I am showing here is
20 enter and exit. It's written here on the
21 side, side bar entry about exiting volume
22 per hour. (Unintelligible).
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Let me ask as
24 well. You said you represented other areas
1 or other temples in Canton as well. Are any
2 of them of a more similar nature to this as
3 far as size goes?
4 MR. AMANN: I don't recall the exact
5 square footage. They were all unified
6 buildings. We had separate buildings. It
7 seems to me the last temple I did I think
8 was roughly, it's not constructed yet. It's
9 roughly 36,000 square feet I think.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I have great
11 concern about the parking as well and as
12 mentioned regarding Miracle Software they
13 could go away and I understand we would look
14 at tenant agreements, and I agree, I don't
15 think we want to promote an agreement. We
16 need to work on keeping parking on site. I
17 think that's the main intent of the
18 Ordinance. This one study from one day and
19 one temple in Troy that is half the size is
20 not convincing to me that the number of
21 demand per spots would be adequate at 277,
22 notwithstanding 308, not to be in question
23 once again.
24 So, I will ask one last question of
1 Ms. McBeth just to clarify something on a
2 memo that I saw regarding 25 percent. It's
3 page 4 of your October 14th memo, the very
4 last couple of lines. I believe it refers
5 to the Planning Commission, but I just want
6 a clarification as it may apply to us. If
7 it's not even germane to the proceedings let
8 me know that too. It says the Zoning Board
9 has advised the Planning Commission the
10 mechanism to accept land banking up to 25
12 MS. McBETH: It does, that is correct.
13 I think that would have been a Planning
14 Commission determination. The Planning
15 Commission would have said that they would
16 support the idea that not all the parking
17 space will be installed at the initial time
18 and that a certain area is being reserved
19 for those additional parking spaces. That
20 was not something that was proposed by the
21 Applicant. That was not a plan that was
22 reviewed by the Planning Commission or the
23 Community Development Department. And
24 likely if they had seen a plan it might have
1 been one of those encroached into the
2 woodland because things like that would have
3 been in the logical area. So that question
4 was not really supported by the Planning
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Okay, thank you.
7 That sums up my comments in general. I am
8 not convinced given the study that was
9 provided to us regarding parking and other
10 concerns that I brought up as well as other
11 Board Members that the 34 variance would do
12 substantial justice to this Petitioner and
13 the others in the area. I'll leave it at
15 Other Board Members? Member Sanghvi?
16 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you,
17 sir. I would like to make certain
18 observation and comments. First observation
19 I want to point out that Hindu year is a uni
20 year and it is not like what we have in the
21 western world. Number two, Sunday has no
22 special significance in a Hindu religion and
23 all this hang ups about Sunday and all these
24 things are really irrelevant when it comes
1 to celebrating certain Hindu days of
2 worship. Number three, when you have a
3 congregation of 3,000 family and you all go
4 to your churches and all that and I go to
5 mine which is not this particular church
6 anyway, but hardly ever you will find the
7 whole congregation showing up at the same
8 time. How many times have you seen it? So,
9 when you consider all these things I think
10 let us keep common sense in front of our
11 mind when we take all these decisions and
12 talk about all these numbers rather than get
13 carried away by the numbers used there and
14 everywhere. Sometimes statistics have bad
15 traffic and will mislead you. So, please
16 don't get hung up on these numbers. As well
17 as this particular traffic area we are
18 trying to put here from what I gather this
19 is the temple complex where entire Hindu way
20 of life is going to be represented in that
21 complex about how people live, Hindus live
22 in their own life which is very different
23 than what we know, understand as to how the
24 (unintelligible) lives.
1 I have lived in the western part of
2 the world for over 50 years. Not only in
3 this country but also in England. I have
4 seen all kinds of temples and all kind of
5 churches and when we start talking about
6 getting into the microscopic details of this
7 thing, sometimes going for the trees we
8 forget the woods. So, let us understand the
9 issue here.
10 The issue here is 34 parking spots as
11 recommended by our own City Department. Are
12 these 34 spots so critical that you are
13 likely to prevent this kind of place of
14 worship to be constructed in this city?
15 Whether they can cut the trees and build
16 those 34 spots because they have a legal
17 land to do it and whether you would like to
18 see more cement concrete than live tree is
19 another issue we ought to think about. So,
20 let common sense direct and let's get on
21 with it. We have been dealing with this
22 issue, first case for about three hours and
23 I think time has come to understand the
24 value of our time and everybody's else time
1 as well as the importance of this project
2 and make decisions and move on. Thank you.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Other Board
4 Members? Member Krieger?
5 MEMBER KRIEGER: My concern would be
6 if we denied the 34 spaces then they could
7 always cut down some trees and put up some
8 more parking lot. So, that is what my
9 question would be. Thank you.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Other Board
11 Members? By no means am I under the
12 impression that cutting down more trees and
13 putting more cement is ever the correct
14 answer. But I have not been convinced that
15 the amount of space or the space in between
16 the 277 and 308 won't keep people from
17 parking in the nearby residences. I have
18 done it myself. I have been at the football
19 games. I have been many places where
20 parking is not adequate and that is not
21 something that the City of Novi wants to
22 create. And until, once again, the
23 Petitioner has the burden of proof to show
24 us that the practical difficulty is there
1 and that this is adequate and it does
2 everybody justice and it works in the best
3 interest of the City and the residents and
4 the visitors that will be there, until that
5 can be done, whether it be through studies
6 or further information from the Planning
7 Department, I cannot support this at this
9 One car parked in a resident's street,
10 a residential street and traffic running
11 through residential street is one too many
12 for me. And until I am convinced that that
13 won't take place and that there is adequate
14 parking on site, I cannot support this. I'm
16 Other Board Members? Other
17 suggestions? The Board has never been so
19 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Let me be
20 the devil's advocate and I'll make --
21 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Ibe,
23 MEMBER IBE: Just a quick comment. I
24 understand your point is well taken. But I
1 think to the defense of the other Board
2 Members, I don't believe that I am hung up
3 on Sunday as any day for the sake of
4 argument. As I stated previously, I do
5 understand the Hindu religion just as much
6 as I understand my religion of being a
7 catholic. And understand the practice and
8 the way of the people. It's a great
9 religion and I completely want to
10 accommodate them. As someone who attends a
11 church in Farmington Hills, when I saw the
12 size of the church grow, where we were
13 parking at that funeral facility that is
14 located next to the church, that they had to
15 literally give us tickets every Sunday and
16 the residents in the condo were complaining
17 because church members were parking just
18 everywhere. It became a nuisance. The city
19 of Farmington Hills had to assign the police
20 to direct traffic on Sundays. That was
21 costing the city money. It was
22 inconveniencing the people in the
23 neighborhood and until the church was able
24 to take matters into their own hands and
1 expand the parking lot, and made away with
2 so many other things that we enjoy in order
3 to create more parking for the parishioners,
4 I think it is incumbent upon the Petitioner
5 to find a way to accommodate the needs of
6 the residents.
7 Unfortunately I may have gone along
8 with other things that we have had so far
9 today, but this is where I draw it off. I
10 don't think I am going to support the
11 variance that is being requested for the
12 parking for the simple fact that I think the
13 residents have made their point clear. I
14 think their point is that it's just not
15 going to work. I don't buy the idea that
16 because you have some off site parking that
17 that is going to solve this problem. I
18 seriously don't buy that at all. I probably
19 use the term April Fool's day because that's
20 going to happen here. I don't buy the idea
21 the City is going to enforce this rule on
22 any given day. I just don't buy that idea
23 because no one has told me exactly what that
24 penalty will be. What is a punitive nature
1 of this penalty? Is it going to $100?
2 Well, gee, maybe they can just pay that. Is
3 it going to require the taxpayers of the
4 City of Novi to have to litigate this case
5 in court at my own expense? I don't think
6 that's fair to the people who live in this
7 neighborhood or the people of the City of
8 Novi to have to litigate something that we
9 can foresee right now. It is foreseeable
10 that we are going to end up litigating this
11 matter. I just don't buy it. I'm sorry, I
12 just don't approve of this variance. Thank
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Might I suggest
15 at this time that the Board consider a
16 postponement of this case to give the
17 Petitioner and the City more time to review
18 and come up with any factual evidence that
19 they want to present to the Board, possibly
20 additional studies as I have mentioned. If
21 we can get some more clarification on the
22 litigation of punitive damages piece.
23 I need some clarification from the
24 Petitioner regarding the extent to which a
1 quote unquote "large scale temple activity",
2 and what that is and how it won't coincide
3 with the Cultural Center and what events
4 takes place at the Cultural Center. I just
5 need to know estimates of real population
6 that they anticipate now, five years down
7 the road, ten years down the road when none
8 of us will likely be on the Board anymore.
9 And I would also like to see some
10 input from the Planning Department and the
11 environmental consultants regarding the
12 woodlands and wetlands and the parking as it
13 sees fit. I think there is a lot more
14 factual evidence that this Board is going to
15 need before they make a decision on this
16 parking determination. I would suggest a
17 postponement. Other than that I would not
18 be able to support and would be forced to
19 deny it.
20 Mr. Schultz?
21 MR. SCHULTZ: Just a couple of
22 comments. Number one, in terms of the
23 enforcement issue, I guess I am surprised at
24 that. That engenders as much discussion as
1 it has. In any case where you grant a
2 variance in any case where you make an
3 approval, you are sort of assuming that the
4 proponent is going to live up to what's been
5 approved and sought and that the City is
6 going to do what it normally does in the
7 event that that doesn't happen. That is --
8 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: The counter on
9 that, Mr. Schultz, is if we approve some
10 type of setback on a house and they go in
11 and they build the house and if it's not to
12 the specifications that the Zoning Board
13 takes place, we can litigate that and that's
14 litigated once.
15 On the other hand, when you are
16 looking at a traffic situation or a parking
17 situation where people are parking daily,
18 weekly, monthly, whatever it may be, we have
19 the potential to have to litigate this over
20 and over and over again. It's not a one
21 time thing of I built my house, I put it six
22 feet away and the Zoning Board said I could
23 put it five feet away from the setback, this
24 is a parking issue that is constantly
1 moving. And I think that warrants the
2 discussion of where a litigation may go.
3 MR. SCHULTZ: I take the point that
4 it's different than sort of a one time
5 building issue and I don't disagree. I
6 guess I would, I would say there are all
7 sorts of approvals that the City gives
8 everyday through the Planning Commission and
9 occasionally through this Board that do
10 exactly what is proposed here today. The
11 Planning Commission I guess more so than
12 this Board. It's the nature of the land use
13 approval. All of these issues are ongoing
14 and, therefore, require vigilance. If it's
15 a Sunday the police are out there responding
16 to a complaint. I am not actually
17 disagreeing, I am just saying it's
18 enforcement in the normal course I guess
19 from staff's perspective.
20 And then with regard to the tabling, I
21 guess we just need to know what additional
22 information you are seeking. I don't know
23 whether the proponent has a timing issue for
24 this or not?
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I made my list
2 of what I would prefer to see. I saw heads
3 nodding and I think Member Ibe just made
4 some comments as to what he would see. And
5 I certainly don't want to forejudge this
6 just because of any timing issues. I would
7 be interested if they wanted to make any
8 comments as to timing, I am sure we would
9 accommodate them and get them on the
10 December meeting if possible. But I
11 certainly can't make a decision based on
12 timing. I am sure you don't want to defend
13 that in court. That's not a practical
14 difficulty standard.
15 MR. SCHULTZ: Sure.
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other Board
17 Members want to make a comment on a possible
18 postponement? Does the Petitioner wish to
19 make any comments as far as you see where we
20 are going at this time?
21 MR. AMANN: Mr. Chairman, thank you
22 for the opportunity to respond. And I will
23 respond to the limited questioning by the
24 Board Members. We would certainly welcome
1 if you believe it's the pleasure of the
2 Board that it would otherwise deny the
3 application that we would certainly welcome
4 the postponement of the application as
5 opposed to a denial so we could work with
6 staff and the City attorney and anyone else
7 to provide additional information to respond
8 to the concerns expressed by the Board
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: If you do have
11 any other questions through the City, I am
12 sure that the City would be more than happy
13 to contact any of the Board Members to
14 gather additional information as to what we
15 are requesting of you.
16 MR. AMANN: We appreciate that.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I would make a
18 motion that we postpone this case likely to
19 the December meeting or when the Petitioner
20 is ready for further clarification on the
21 issues brought up by the Board Members and
22 give time for the City attorney, Planning
23 Department as well as the Petitioner to
24 address those concerns.
1 MEMBER BAUER: Second the motion.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: We have a second
3 by Member Bauer. All in favor say aye --
4 I'm sorry, Ms. Working, please call the
7 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
8 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
9 MS. WORKING: Motion to postpone.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Correct.
11 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
12 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
13 MS. WORKING: Member Ghannam?
14 MEMBER GHANNAM: No.
15 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
16 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
17 MS. WORKING: Member Krieger?
18 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
19 MS. WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
20 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: No.
21 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
22 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
23 MS. WORKING: Motion to postpone
24 passes 5-2.
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: With that the
2 Zoning Board will take a 10 minute break and
3 come back.
4 (A recess was held.)
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: We will
6 call Case Number 2 on the agenda. Case
7 Number: 08-056 filed by filed by Jason
8 Minock for Toll Brothers for Island Lake
9 located south of Grand River, north of Ten
10 Mile, east of Napier Road and west of Wixom
12 Is the Petitioner here tonight?
13 MR. MINOCK: Yes.
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: All right,
15 please go ahead and step up to the front.
16 The Petitioner is requesting 9 variances for
17 oversized real estate advertising signs to
18 be located at several addresses on the
19 property. And the Petitioner is requesting
20 12 variances for directional signage within
21 the development to be located at several
22 addresses within the property as well. All
23 those properties can be found on the agenda.
24 Are you an attorney?
1 MR. MINOCK: No.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: All right, could
3 you be sworn in by our Secretary.
4 MEMBER KRIEGER: Do you swear or
5 affirm in case number: 08-056 to tell the
6 truth in this case?
7 MR. MINOCK: I do.
8 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Go ahead and
9 proceed with your case.
10 MR. MINOCK: You need my address or
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Name and address
13 and your case, yes.
14 MR. MINOCK: My name is Jason Minock.
15 My address is 25622 Napier Road.
16 As most of you I'm sure know, Island
17 Lake is a large community. It covers over
18 900 acres. We are asking that the current
19 signage that we have in the community that
20 we get an extension for a year. We have two
21 models on the site currently and due to the
22 large size of the site we have models on
23 both the north and south side and there is
24 multiple entrances and we believe that
1 signage is needed in order to get to our
2 models and get around where people are not
3 driving around in the community lost.
4 The signs are all in good shape except
5 for some that I was about to replace and
6 then I got the notice that I needed an
7 extension, so I have held off on that.
8 There are some signs, I don't know if you
9 guys have this map. The signs on the
10 northern most piece of the property. It
11 would be signs 23 through 25, and hopefully
12 if I sign one of these deals this weekend I
13 will only need three of those signs and so
14 we will see if that occurs.
15 Since last time we had an extension we
16 have removed one of the signs. It's been
17 taken down. And I could go into some of the
18 economics. We talked earlier with Robin
19 about the economics. I don't know that I
20 need to bore you with all the economics.
21 It's a tough market out there. I think
22 pretty much everybody reads the paper and
23 understands that getting traffic to our site
24 is paramount for our sales.
1 I don't have a whole lot to say. If
2 people have questions I can answer.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you for
4 your comments and I will go ahead and ask
5 the Secretary to read any correspondence.
6 MEMBER KRIEGER: In case number:
7 08-056, 370 notice were mailed and we have
8 five responses.
9 The first one: The only sign we
10 object to is the boathouse on Drakes Bay
11 Drive. Number two, this sign is much too
12 big and contains directions and descriptions
13 that other signage also describes. From
14 Chris and Debra Richinger (ph) on Reeds
15 Pointe Drive.
16 The next one is from Charles A. Selski
17 (ph), 50406 Drakes Bay Drive: Toll Brothers
18 has done an outstanding job in maintaining
19 these signs they received on approval. I
20 know I speak for other homeowner when I say
21 the word targeted up scaling advertising for
22 the development improves the value and
23 future marketability of all homes.
24 The next one is from John McKernan
1 (ph), 25976 Island Lake Drive: I object to
2 the variance for the nine oversized signs
3 requested by Toll Brothers.
4 I see no need after five years that this
5 neighborhood has to continue to look like a
6 used car lot. Signs for homes for sale or
7 model homes is one thing, but I think by now
8 everyone knows there are homes for sale by
9 Toll Brothers. They are asking for
10 variances, they should be making repairs to
11 some of the grounds they are responsible
13 The next one is from Fred Cola (ph),
14 50385 Drakes Bay Drive: I am in support of
15 Toll Brothers' request for nine variances of
16 oversized signs.
17 And the next one is from Frederick and
18 Lisa Cola: I am in support of Toll
19 Brothers' request for nine oversized signs
20 for Island Lake of Novi.
21 Carlene and Robert Luntsford (ph): We
22 strongly oppose the Toll Brothers proposal
23 for large signs. Toll Brothers violated the
24 state and local laws by fraudulently
1 representing no development behind our homes
2 verbally and inviting as been evidenced by
3 the master deed and record (unintelligible)
4 located in the City of Novi. The
5 consequences of their breach are still felt
6 to this day. Buyers who are not impacted
7 are simply lucky. Do not allow Toll
8 Brothers to utilize larger signage in our
9 community. Our fellow homeowners are not
10 allowed oversized signs to help sell their
11 homes. Why should Toll Brothers benefit and
12 our homeowners be harmed any further.
13 Lastly, larger signs will not equate to the
14 additional sales. The economy will.
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you, Madam
16 Secretary. I will ask if there is anyone in
17 the audience who wishes to make a comment on
18 this case? Seeing none, we will close the
19 public comments section and move along to
20 the City if anyone from the City who wishes
21 to make a comment.
22 MR. BOULARD: Mr. Chairman, I don't
23 have any particular information to add
24 beyond what was included in your packets. I
1 did want to point out that extensions were
2 granted for oversized real estate signs in
3 2004 and then again in 2006 and 2007.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you.
5 Anyone else? Open it up for Board
6 discussion. Member Shroyer?
7 MEMBER SHROYER: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
8 The applicant, Mr. Minock, please come
9 forward. Somewhere in here I read that
10 there was signs that would be combined in
11 order to be reduced. How many signs were
12 being combined?
13 MR. MINOCK: There is actually going
14 to be two signs combined into one. I
15 believe sign number 7 and 8. I don't know
16 if you have this map. Number 7 and 8 are
17 going to be combined into one. I haven't
18 done that yet. But that's my intention is
19 to combine those.
20 MEMBER SHROYER: Which sign will be
21 removed then?
22 MR. MINOCK: Actually, both of them.
23 They both have some paint peeling and I need
24 to have a new sign put in.
1 MEMBER SHROYER: So, 7 and 8 are being
2 removed and only one is being replaced?
3 MR. MINOCK: Correct.
4 MEMBER SHROYER: I read earlier that
5 signs 7, 8, 9, 44, 46, 66 and 27 are to be
6 replaced by newly identified signs. What is
7 the size of those? Do the new signs meet
8 the City ordinance or are they oversized as
10 MR. MINOCK: They are oversized. They
11 are actually in place. The new signs I am
12 going to put actually do meet the lot size
13 marker for 25, 26, 24 and 23 on the north
14 side, those would be -- I don't know if you
15 are looking at the map.
16 MEMBER SHROYER: I am going from the
17 written response.
18 MR. MINOCK: Oh, I'm sorry, you are
19 talking about the home site number. Yes,
20 correct. I was looking at -- yes, those are
22 MEMBER SHROYER: It's 24 by 36.
23 MR. MINOCK: Right. Which I believe
24 falls under the six square falls under the
1 six square feet.
2 MEMBER SHROYER: Is that right, Mr.
3 Amolsch? Does that fall within our sign
5 MR. AMOLSCH: If they are less than
6 six square feet, yes, and five feet high.
7 MEMBER SHROYER: Do they fall within
8 five feet?
9 MR. MINOCK: We can make them five
10 feet, yes.
11 MEMBER SHROYER: That's all the
12 questions I have, Mr. Chair. Thank you.
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
14 Member Shroyer. Member Burke?
15 MEMBER BURKE: Jason, you said pending
16 the outcome this weekend you may have a pass
17 on which sign?
18 MR. MINOCK: The signs that we were
19 just referring to. Currently those signs
20 are oversized that are there. They have
21 been there for several years. They have
22 been there like four or five years and I was
23 going to replace those with signs that
24 actually are going to fall within the six
1 square feet so I actually wouldn't need a
3 MEMBER BURKE: That would be 7 and 8?
4 Which number signs?
5 MR. MINOCK: Yes, it would be 6, 7, 8
6 and 9.
7 MEMBER BURKE: So that whole north
9 MR. MINOCK: Correct.
10 MEMBER BURKE: Sell me on the
11 billboard being sign number 2. Tell me why
12 that has to be that big? It seems that you
13 have got some support within the community,
14 but somebody had a pretty specific position
15 against sign number two and it is pretty
17 MR. MINOCK: There is no question it's
18 a larger sign. It's been there for a couple
19 of years and what is does is that photo
20 that's in there, it's an aerial photo of the
21 boathouse. It gives people the ability to
22 see an areal shot of what's down in that
23 boathouse without actually driving down
24 there and touring around. So, it's been
1 very successful for us because we're selling
2 lifestyle in terms of this community. The
3 amenities that we have there are different
4 from all the other developments in Novi. I
5 think we have a 170 acre lake. We have a
6 boathouse that has tennis courts in places.
7 You go swimming and an outdoor pool, boat
8 docks and that kind of thing. In my opinion
9 this really showcases that.
10 It is sitting back, it's a little bit
11 off the road and it also directs people that
12 the two signs actually direct people to the
13 model. The one model is somewhat within the
14 middle of the community there. We have
15 people that tend to get a little bit
16 confused driving around so both has the
17 directional and then an aerial photo to show
19 MEMBER BURKE: Would it be safe to
20 assume that any potential buyer coming out
21 here has done a little research on the
22 facility or just happened to drive by? You
23 probably don't get a lot of sales by
24 drive-bys, would that be accurate?
1 MR. MINOCK: More so, yes, that's
3 MEMBER BURKE: So they are probably
4 doing a little research on-line?
5 MR. MINOCK: A little bit of research,
7 MEMBER BURKE: You probably have this
8 aerial picture on-line?
9 MR. MINOCK: We have some of this
10 on-line, correct. But when you drive by
11 it's not completely apparent that that's
12 what is there. It sits quite a ways off of
13 Drakes Bay.
14 MEMBER BURKE: Do you know what the
15 size of this is?
16 MR. MINOCK: I don't know off the top
17 of my head. It's probably, I am just going
18 to make a guess here and say it's probably 9
19 feet wide and maybe 6 feet high by itself.
20 The actual sign not the height off the
21 ground. Five feet high maybe.
22 MEMBER BURKE: And you said that that
23 sits off the road a little bit?
24 MR. MINOCK: It sits off the road. I
1 mean, it's not sitting right on the road.
2 It's behind the sidewalk there. It's
3 actually at the entrance to the boathouse
4 going in.
5 MEMBER BURKE: I have been there a few
6 times. It's a nice sub, no doubt and nice
7 community. I think the signs throughout are
8 okay. I have to appreciate what the one
9 respondent said about the sign that it is
10 pretty big and that might be one that I
11 would have a problem with.
12 MR. MINOCK: The idea with the signs
13 too is, I mean, it's a benefit to the
14 homeowners. Nobody benefits, the City, us
15 or the homeowner if I have vacant lots
16 sitting in there.
17 MEMBER BURKE: You won't hear that
18 argument from me. But it's a big sign.
19 Thank you.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Krieger?
21 MEMBER KRIEGER: Two things. On the
22 notice of violation did they pay the $400
23 fee? Alan or Robin?
24 MS. WORKING: The fee receipt would be
1 on the last page on the right hand side of
2 the case file.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Yes.
4 MEMBER KRIEGER: Then the second thing
5 was, I actually drove through this twice,
6 and I was in jeans and a T-shirt so I guess
7 the lady in the model thought I was the
8 woman that was going to fix her signs, but
9 that was okay.
10 MR. MINOCK: She didn't no. She asked
11 me about today. She had no idea that I was
12 even doing this.
13 MEMBER KRIEGER: Okay. For 6, 7, 8, 9
14 is where I started out at. I then I saw how
15 many real estate signs were up. So, then I
16 was wondering, okay, Toll Brothers is
17 selling empty lots and homeowners are trying
18 to sell their site. So, I was wondering
19 what's the difference. Then I drove along
20 and I got to where 19 was and saw another
21 sign and said, oh, these are the arrow
22 signs. So, I went all the way down because
23 the directional arrows really didn't tell me
24 where to go and so I started from 16 and
1 then went 17, 18, 19. Of course, 19
2 somebody played with and said turn right
3 instead of turn left. So, then I went
4 around and had the scenic ride all the way
5 down to 20. And when I got to 21 that was
6 laying out in the grass both signs. And
7 then I got to 2 and 3, 11 and 12 and if the
8 signs are, if you have got a sign, the
9 homeowners, the majority of the people
10 there, they are already residents, they know
11 what's at the boathouse. So, the only
12 person it would benefit would be somebody
13 coming in at 1.
14 So, it looks like that whole south end
15 near Ten Mile the area that wants to be
16 built, so I can see a sign where number 1 is
17 at and then the rest of them would be
18 irritating to the homeowners I think more
19 than anyone trying to get direction to
20 anywhere. And that's my observation so far.
21 Question percent built? The percent
22 that's left to be built? And what
23 percentage has been built so far this year?
24 MR. MINOCK: Left to build is around
1 18, 19 percent for the community as a whole.
2 And everything except for the four lots on
3 the north side there, everything on the
4 north side of the lake is sold. So, the
5 only thing we have left to sell is on the
6 south side of Drakes Bay. On the south side
7 of the lake. And it not just out at Ten
8 Mile. We actually have this whole section
9 back here. Then we have 27 lots back here
10 and we have almost 100 lots down here.
11 There are quite a few lots to go. We're
12 getting there, but we're definitely not
14 MEMBER KRIEGER: So, total percentage
15 build out?
16 MR. MINOCK: About 82 percent. Was
17 your question how many sales we had this
19 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
20 MR. MINOCK: Between the two sites we
21 have had 12.
22 MEMBER KRIEGER: Twelve percent?
23 MR. MINOCK: Oh, I'm sorry. Oh, geez,
1 MEMBER IBE: Sales.
2 MEMBER KRIEGER: Units?
3 MR. MINOCK: I would be promoted and I
4 wouldn't be here if it was 12 percent. I
5 can assure you that. Twelve sales.
6 MEMBER KRIEGER: Those were all my
8 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
9 Member Krieger. Anyone else? I tend to
10 agree in the general sense that the lots
11 sitting vacant and the houses sitting vacant
12 do nothing for you, do nothing for the City,
13 do nothing for the homeowners. I can
14 support this request with probably a year
15 time limit on it.
16 There are certain ones that are large
17 like number 2 that probably should be looked
18 at maybe next time, but given everything
19 that's going on, given the statistics that
20 you presented, I can support this for one
22 I will make a motion that in case
23 number: 08-056 that we approve for one year
24 the variance as requested given the unique
1 size of the land, the layout of the land,
2 the layout of the roads. All with the
3 condition that the signs must be maintained
4 and to the standards of the Community
5 Development Department. Should they have
6 any issues I would appreciate them letting
7 the Zoning Board know.
8 MEMBER BURKE: Second.
9 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: So, motion by
10 Member Fischer and a second by Member Burke.
11 Any other questions? Member Sanghvi?
12 MEMBER SANGHVI: I was going to
13 suggest a friendly amendment to make it two
14 years because I don't think the economy is
15 going to change very much in a year's time.
16 And things the way they are they are not
17 likely to improve to sell this kind of
18 design houses in a year's time.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: You said you are
21 82 percent built. What about sold?
22 MR. MINOCK: Eighty-two percent are
23 closed and we have got eight that's -- seven
24 in backlog right now that we haven't closed
1 yet, but we have sold and were built.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I will amend it
3 to 18 months.
4 MEMBER SANGHVI: All right.
5 MEMBER BURKE: Second.
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Seconder
7 concurs. Any other questions or comments?
8 Member Shroyer?
9 MEMBER SHROYER: Would the Motioner
10 entertain a second friendly amendment that
11 the Petitioner would indicate that signs
12 number 7, 8, 9, 44, 46, 66 and 27 when they
13 are to be replaced by newly identified style
14 not to exceed the 24 inches by 36 inches and
15 no more in height than the five feet as
16 required by Ordinance?
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I can agree to
18 that given that the Petitioner stated that
19 in his comments, yes.
20 MEMBER BURKE: Concur.
21 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other
22 comments? Seeing none, Ms. Working, please
23 call the roll.
24 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
2 MS. WORKING: Member Burke?
3 MEMBER BURKE: Yes.
4 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
5 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
6 MS. WORKING: Member Krieger?
7 MEMBER KRIEGER: Sure, I guess.
8 MS. WORKING: And Member Sanghvi?
9 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
10 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
11 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
12 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
13 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
14 MS. WORKING: Motion to approve passes
16 MR. MINOCK: Thank you.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you.
18 We will call number 3 on the agenda
19 which is Case Number: 08-057 filed by John
20 Babcock for the property located north of
21 Eight Mile and west of Beck Road at the
22 Richmond Drive Entranceway. The Petitioner
23 is requesting two 1.83 square foot
24 single-face builder panel signs to be placed
1 below each of the existing signs. The
2 Petitioner is also requesting two 10 feet
3 height variances for the placement of two
4 6.5 square foot monogram seal emblem signs
5 15 feet high on the existing peaks of the
6 entranceway ground sign. The property is
7 zoned RA and is located north of Eight Mile
8 west of Beck Road.
9 You are the Petitioner?
10 MR. BABCOCK: I am.
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Are you an
13 MR. BABCOCK: No, I'm not.
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Please be sworn
16 MEMBER KRIEGER: In case number:
17 08-057 for Maybury Park Estates do you swear
18 or affirm to tell the truth in this case?
19 MR. BABCOCK: I do. John Babcock,
20 2071 Maple Road, Babcock Homes. In Maybury
21 Park we have two entrances there that were
22 built at two different times. The first
23 entrance to phase one and the entrance to
24 phase two is basically a duplicate of the
1 two of them. The phase two landscaping
2 monuments and everything has already been
3 approved and looked at. The signage that we
4 are talking about putting on phase two is
5 exactly the same that has already approved
6 on phase one. It's just in need of a
7 variance because of the way the signage sits
8 on a monument higher up, but it's exactly
9 the same as phase one.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other
12 MR. BABCOCK: No.
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Then I will ask
14 the Board Secretary if there are any
15 comments. I will note that there is 14
16 notices mailed with zero responses and I
17 will ask if there is anyone in the audience
18 that wishes to make a comment on this case?
19 No? Then we will close that opportunity and
20 turn to the City. Mr. Fox?
21 MR. FOX: Through the Chair for some
22 clarification. The two entrances of the new
23 proposed entrance is only a few hundred feet
24 down the road on Eight Mile from the
1 original. The Applicant is proposing to put
2 the same signage up for consistency sake.
3 Originally when the original entrance was
4 approved through ZBA 04-051 I think was the
5 first time that was pushed through. They
6 considered the crest up at the very high
7 point to be considered artistic augmentation
8 is how they called it which is not
9 considered signage. And then the rest of it
10 should be consistent as far as size and
11 everything else.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you, Mr.
13 Fox. I remember the first time, I was much
14 younger when this case came before us. A
15 long time ago.
16 I will open it up for Board
17 discussion. Member Burke?
18 MEMBER BURKE: How far did you say the
19 two streets were? You said a few hundred?
20 MR. FOX: I don't know the exact
21 number, but they are not very far apart
22 there's probably five to seven feet maybe
23 between the two.
24 MEMBER BURKE: I see. I support it.
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I'm sorry?
2 MEMBER BURKE: Nothing. I just said I
3 support it.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Shroyer?
5 MEMBER SHROYER: I think it's a pretty
6 simple case and I am going to go ahead and
7 make a motion that in case number: 08-057,
8 Maybury Park Estates, move to approve a
9 variance request. Being the seal is more
10 decorative in nature and not part of the
11 signage. This variance allows for the
12 consistency and the sign is already approved
13 in existence and making this property
14 unique. And granting this relief will not
15 result in use that is incompatible with
16 adjacent and surrounding properties and is
17 not inconsistent with the spirt of the
19 MEMBER KRIEGER: Second.
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
21 motion by Member Shroyer. Seconded by
22 Member Krieger.
23 Any further discussion? Seeing none,
24 Ms. Working, please call the roll.
1 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
2 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
3 MS. WORKING: Member Krieger?
4 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
5 MS. WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
6 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
7 MS. WORKING: Member
9 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
10 MS. WORKING: Member Burke?
11 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
12 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
14 MS. WORKING: And Member Ibe?
15 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
16 MS. WORKING: Motion to approve passes
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Your variance
19 has been granted. Thank you very much. We
20 probably scared you with the earlier cases.
21 Have a good night.
23 We will call Case Number: 08-058
24 filed by Michael Kahm of Singh Development
1 for the property located at 27475 Huron
2 Circle. The Petitioner is requesting one
3 sign variance for the location of a double
4 sided leasing sign for Waltonwood at Twelve
5 Oaks to be located in the northwest corner
6 of said property. This property is zoned RC
7 and located south of Twelve Mile Road, east
8 of Novi Road.
9 If you can raise your hand and be
10 sworn in for us.
11 MEMBER KRIEGER: In case number:
12 08-058 for Waltonwood do you swear or affirm
13 to tell the truth?
14 MR. KAHM: I do. My name is Mike
15 Kahm. I am with Singh Development Company,
16 7125 Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield.
17 Good evening. A long night.
18 Most of you remember I was here a few
19 months ago regarding the signs we have at
20 our Waltonwood Development and we discussed
21 the current economic conditions and the
22 exposure that we need for this development.
23 And at that time you allowed us to keep the
24 one sign that we have on the ring road of
1 the mall -- no, pardon. You had us remove
2 the one on ring road and we still have the
3 one. And I indicated at that time that one
4 of the important things for us given the
5 location of our development is really having
6 the exposure from Twelve Mile Road. So,
7 what we presented this evening is a
8 directional/marketing sign which is off
9 premise on property that we own adjacent to
10 our Waltonwood Development. But we would
11 like to use that as a way of directing
12 people who are looking for a development,
13 but who are not completely acquainted with
14 the Novi area. We have people living in our
15 development that live from areas as far away
16 as Grosse Pointe. So, Novi is a regional
17 destination. So, it's important to us to be
18 able to direct people from a major
19 thoroughfare to our development. So, we are
20 asking if you would consider us placing this
21 sign on our property that fronts on Twelve
22 Mile Road and we obviously meet the setback
23 requirements in the Ordinance for the sign.
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: All right.
1 Thank you very much. In this case there
2 were 14 notices mailed with zero responses.
3 Is there anyone in the audience that wishes
4 to make a comment on this case? Seeing
5 none, we will close that opportunity as well
6 and turn it over to the City.
7 MR. BOULARD: No response or comment
8 other than what is in your packet. If you
9 have any questions we'll be glad to answer.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you. And
11 Board Members? Vice-Chair Sanghvi?
12 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I can
13 support their request. It is a replacement
14 for the Huron Circle sign because once you
15 get inside you know where Waltonwood
16 Development is.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
18 Vice-Chair Sanghvi.
19 Mr. Kahm, just a question on the
20 application attachment where you said:
21 Therefore, marketing efforts are a never
22 ending necessity and exposure is critical to
23 that effort.
24 Do we have an end plan to having these
1 types of signs ever?
2 MR. KAHM: I wish.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: And I
4 understand. I guess all I'm asking is is
5 there a point where you will feel that you
6 are occupied in the sense where these kind
7 of signs can come down and you are basically
8 replenishing with new customers? Or are we
9 looking at something that really, truly
10 could potentially be there forever? Assume
11 a decent economy or an economic turnaround
12 as well.
13 MR. KAHM: I would say obviously when
14 we develop the property that it's on we are
15 not going to probably want that sign there
16 any more and we are hoping as the economy
17 turns around and we get more customer
18 traffic that this project will stabilize.
19 But the statement in the application is
20 true, the assisted living side of things, we
21 probably have a 50 percent turnover annually
22 and that's only because of the nature of
23 our --
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I'm sorry, what
2 MR. KAHM: A 50 percent turnover. But
3 that's because of the nature of the
4 occupants. They come there out of necessity
5 not out of demand. So, they either have
6 something happen in their life and a lot of
7 times we lose people to nursing homes,
8 hospitals or unfortunately death. And
9 that's just the nature of the beast. Our
10 average age, our entry age I should say is
11 85. So, we will always be marketing, but
12 right now to us it's very crucial to have
13 some exposure to bring the traffic in from
14 Twelve Mile and recognize where we are and
15 what we are.
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: But assuming an
17 economic turnaround and assuming that this
18 stabilizes at some point, this type of
19 marketing may go away and you will promote
20 in other ways, I'm hoping?
21 MR. KAHM: Or I will be here with my
22 knee pads on.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: With the economy
24 I might be living here by that time.
1 What type of time were you looking
3 MR. KAHM: A couple of years if that's
4 all right.
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Other Board
6 Members? Mr. Shroyer, do you have any
8 MEMBER SHROYER: I do. Mr. Amolsch,
9 does this sign fall within the size
10 requirements of the City for size
11 limitation? It looks like it's about to 8
12 feet by 4 feet 7 inches.
13 MR. AMOLSCH: It's an off premise
14 advertising sign is what it is. So, it
15 doesn't fall under the normal aspects of the
16 Ordinance. If it's a real estate sign it
17 would only be allowed to be 16 square feet
18 in area and 10 feet tall.
19 MEMBER SHROYER: So, this would be an
20 off site advertised sign. It can be
21 construed temporary in nature as well?
22 MR. AMOLSCH: An off premise sign it
23 would be up to the Board as to the time
24 limit. It's not a permitted sign. That's
1 why it has to be here.
2 MEMBER SHROYER: Our temporary sign
3 that's on Huron Drive right now is scheduled
4 to be done in January; is that correct?
5 MR. AMOLSCH: That is correct.
6 MS. WORKING: No. I'm sorry, through
7 the Chair. It is the Huron Circle sign that
8 was denied and the Mackinaw Boulevard sign
9 will expire in January of 2009.
10 MR. AMOLSCH: That's it.
11 MS. WORKING: They are very similar.
12 MR. AMOLSCH: Yes.
13 MEMBER SHROYER: I have my streets
14 mixed up. Those are the only questions I
15 have, Mr. Chair. Thank you.
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
17 Member Shroyer. Member Burke?
18 MEMBER BURKE: I just had to laugh
19 real quick because the staff couldn't
20 support this variance due to a lack of
21 demonstrated practical difficulty. I can't
22 imagine anybody for the first time coming in
23 around the mall and that not being a
24 practical difficult entrance.
1 Anyway, I support the sign and would
2 like to make a motion in case number:
3 08-058 for the approval of one off premise
4 advertising sign for the reason that it is
5 upon circumstances of features that are
6 exceptional and unique to the property, and
7 that the failure to grant relief would limit
8 the use of property and could result in
9 substantial inability to obtain a higher
10 financial return. And this would not result
11 in any unreasonable interference with
12 adjacent or surrounding properties. Also,
13 that we would give this approval for two
14 years and we would reiterate that the
15 Mackinaw Boulevard sign would be removed in
16 January of '09.
17 MEMBER SHROYER: Support.
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Isn't it already
19 scheduled to come down in January '09?
20 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
21 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Do we need it as
22 part of the motion then?
23 MS. WORKING: I believe the Petitioner
24 reserves the right to petition the Board on
1 the Mackinaw sign when it expires.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I would say it
3 would be its own case and we shouldn't be
4 deciding that tonight. I would feel
5 hesitant to put that as part of the motion.
6 MR. SCHULTZ: I mean, it would be a
7 permissible condition but it sounds like
8 it's been requested.
9 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Would we not be
10 taking away his right to appeal that sign?
11 MR. SCHULTZ: He could ask for that
12 sign, but then he would lose the one that he
13 just asked for. It would be permitted but it
14 sounds like it's withdrawn.
15 MEMBER BURKE: So, if I retract it, he
16 can still come back in January and say can I
17 keep the Mackinaw sign?
18 MR. SCHULTZ: Correct.
19 MEMBER BURKE: Then I retract it. My
21 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Do we need to
22 talk about the land ownership at all given
23 that they own it? I don't think it would be
24 an issue.
1 MR. SCHULTZ: No.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
3 motion by Mr. Burke for two years and a
4 second by Member Shroyer. Any further
5 discussion? Seeing none, Ms. Working,
6 please call the roll.
7 MS. WORKING: Member Burke?
8 MEMBER BURKE: Yes.
9 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
10 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
11 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
12 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
13 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
15 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
16 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
17 MS. WORKING: Member Krieger?
18 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
19 MS. WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
20 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
21 MS. WORKING: Motion to approve passes
23 MR. KAHM: Thank you very much.
24 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you. Best
1 of luck. Save me a room.
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: We'll Case
5 Number: 08-059 filed by Sam LoPiccolo for
6 159 at 24580 Cavendish Avenue. Petitioner
7 is requesting a temporary use permit for the
8 continued placement of a temporary
9 construction trailer at said lot for the
10 time period November 12, 2008 through
11 November 12, 2010. And the Petitioner has
12 received temporary use permit and a one year
13 extension. The property is zoned R-4
14 located north of Ten Mile Road and west of
15 Novi Road.
16 Are you an attorney?
17 MR. LoPICCOLO: No, sir.
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Can you raise
19 your hand and be sworn in by our Secretary?
20 MEMBER KRIEGER: In Case Number:
21 08-059 for LoPiccolo Homes. Did I say that
23 MR. LoPICCOLO: Close.
24 MEMBER KRIEGER: Do you swear or
1 affirm to tell the truth in this case?
2 MR. LoPICCOLO: I do.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Go ahead and
4 state your name and address and proceed with
5 your case.
6 MR. LoPICCOLO: My name is Salvatore
7 (ph) LoPiccolo. I am owner of LoPiccolo
8 Homes. My address 44303 Plymouth Oaks
9 Boulevard in Plymouth. This is just, I
10 guess reiterating what we did last year
11 because of the economy. I would have been
12 out of here three years ago if things didn't
13 turn as they did. Nothing has changed since
14 last year. I am asking for a two year
15 variance, but quite honestly I can't
16 guarantee that that's going to be done.
17 Depending on when this thing turns around.
18 I still have 23 vacant lots in there. So,
19 it's a substantial amount and it's adjacent
20 to Singh's third phase which we were in and
21 could not go into it because of the economy.
22 So, the trailer is right next to phase three
23 which has got quite a bit more lots than we
24 have left.
1 I have got people I'm working with
2 right now and I am going to need someplace.
3 I can't stay there forever like this. The
4 trailer would be gone with everything else.
5 So, I got the lots nice and clean. The
6 trailer there isn't any garage laying around
7 it. We would appreciate the help on that.
8 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: All right. Any
9 other comments?
10 MR. LoPICCOLO: No, I don't.
11 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I would ask,
12 Madam Secretary, if you could read any
13 correspondence into the record.
14 MEMBER KRIEGER: In case number:
15 08-059 43 notices were mailed. Two
16 responses and one complaint was received.
17 The first one is from Sally, I can't say the
18 name. The last name is spelled
19 G-O-G-I-N-E-I, on Cavendish Avenue: We
20 strongly oppose the continued placement of
21 the trailer on Lot 159. There are many
22 developed and owner occupied homes around
23 the lot and the trailer is an eye sore. It
24 also is a hazard to kids playing around,
1 with construction workers pulling and out of
2 the trailer in this parking lot. LoPiccolo
3 has many options to place this trailer where
4 there are a majority of undeveloped, unsold
5 or unoccupied lots without causing
6 inconveniences to any other owners. Safety
7 of children is our top priority.
8 (Unintelligible) are right around that
9 trailer. I strongly oppose this permit
11 The next is from Cromwell (ph) on
12 Cavendish Avenue: An empty trailer and
13 building equipment has been sitting on Lot
14 159 for over a year. The trailer is not
15 being used or cared for. The builder has
16 empty spec homes that could be used instead
17 of the trailer should they build another
18 house. Since they have not built a house
19 recently the trailer should be removed. It
20 seems dangerous to have an empty trailer
21 sitting there.
22 This one is from Sandra McCarthy on
23 Decker Drive. Dear, Ms. Working, attached
24 you will find our comments in regards to the
1 Zoning Board of Appeals Case Number:
2 08-059, and the attached documentation
3 states: Please do not extend the temporary
4 use permit to extend the temporary
5 construction trailer of Lot 159 in Churchill
6 Crossing at 24580 Cavendish from November
7 12, 2008 to November 12, 2010 for the
8 following reasons. Number one, LoPiccolo
9 Homes have not built a new home in the 20
10 months since we have been in our home. Two,
11 the construction trailer has been vacant,
12 abandoned since summer of 2007. Three, all
13 utilities to the trailer have been cut off.
14 Four, Singh is currently building homes and
15 they have no construction trailer. There is
16 no reason for LoPiccolo to retain their
17 vacant trailer on site. Five, the
18 construction trailer attracts kids to the
19 site causing mischief. Six, a very
20 unpleasant sight to view. And that's it.
21 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: This second
22 complaint form was not necessarily part of
23 the send out? Ms. Working, could you just
24 clarify that for the Board, if you would?
1 MS. WORKING: That is correct, Mr.
2 Chair. A resident came to the City
3 requesting to file a complaint and we were
4 aware that the case was appearing before the
5 Board, so we brought it to your attention
6 here at the ZBA for your consideration.
7 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: And we
8 appreciate that. Thank you very much.
9 MS. WORKING: You are very welcome.
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Is there anyone
11 in the audience who wishes to make a comment
12 on this? Please come forward.
13 MR. COLLINS: Good evening, everybody,
14 my name is Dave Collins. I live at 24652
15 Cavendish. Actually, guys, what I would
16 like to do is show a real quick slide show
17 on the trailer. Pretty much pictures say
18 words, you know. If things will work out. I
19 don't now how well this is going to work
20 out. That is just a shot down the street.
21 Let me try another one here. This is the
22 trailer in question. And it's still too
23 glossy. Actually, I don't know if I can
24 hand these to you and you can take a look
1 for yourself since these are not showing too
2 well. Here is another one. And there has
3 also been some tickets written on it. You
4 can barely see it. It's a trailer right
5 here. Right below my finger and there is
6 some equipment on the side too also.
7 The bottom installation is falling out
8 of this thing. The top is rusting. I agree
9 with my fellow homeowners, it's not too
10 pretty. Actually, I just had a listing on
11 my house. Nothing is selling right now and
12 I tell you, this doesn't help when you come
13 in the sub and you roll in and you see that.
14 The electricity is cut off. There was a
15 porta potty a while back, that's gone. It's
16 not been used. I can feel for Mr. LoPiccolo
17 and him trying to sell houses. But, again,
18 this isn't helping.
19 That's pretty much all I got to say,
21 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you very
22 much. Anyone else tonight who wishes to
23 make a comment on this case? If not, we
24 will close the opportunity for comments and
1 turn it over to the City.
2 MR. FOX: Just for some clarification.
3 As far as Singh not having a trailer on
4 site, they have a trailer that they are
5 using on another one of their sites. They
6 have three or four sites here in town that
7 have combined all their efforts into one
8 trailer. As a matter of fact I think is has
9 come before you to be talked about recently,
10 so they don't need it. They don't need a
11 trailer on every one of their sites at this
12 time. So, they are just combining it into
13 one location and this just isn't the
14 location where they keep it.
15 As far as the trailer is concerned, we
16 had a site visit. It does look like it's
17 not been maintained very well. It does look
18 vacant, although we don't know that for a
19 fact. When we were out there there was
20 nobody there, but that doesn't necessarily
21 make it vacent. There is some heavy
22 equipment stored on the site either on that
23 site or adjacent to that site with some
24 building materials that might need to be
1 taken care of. Maybe a stipulation as part
2 of it if you guys are inclined to grant the
4 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you, Mr.
5 Fox. Board Members? Mr. Burke?
6 MEMBER BURKE: Do you still have
7 equipment on site?
8 MR. LoPICCOLO: Yeah, I have a
9 bulldozer and a back hoe on site.
10 MEMBER BURKE: Did you get a citation
11 that said you had to move that stuff off?
12 MR. LoPICCOLO: Yes, I did.
13 MEMBER BURKE: What is the condition
14 of the trailer?
15 MR. LoPICCOLO: The trailer does have
16 some issues with that resting on top. But
17 nobody has even asked me for that. I would
18 be happy to take care of that.
19 MEMBER BURKE: Certainly you can see
20 where people that you build homes for --
21 MR. LoPICCOLO: This economy isn't
22 going to stay there and I will have to come
23 back sooner or later --
24 MEMBER BURKE: Hold on. Hold on. Let
1 me just finish. You can understand why they
2 have an objection --
3 MR. LoPICCOLO: Absolutely.
4 MEMBER BURKE: -- as a bit of an eye
5 sore. I am just trying to get clarification.
6 We have some pictures dated as recent as
7 October 6th, so I just wanted to know since
8 then have you removed the equipment, cleaned
9 up the lot, taken care of the building?
10 MR. LoPICCOLO: Not knowing if I am
11 going to be pulling the trailer out I have
12 not. Nobody has asked me to do it. That
13 trailer is in the same condition it's been
14 in for three years.
15 MEMBER BURKE: Okay. Thank you.
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Any other Board
17 Members? Member Sanghvi?
18 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank
19 you, Mr. Chair. I visited the site
20 yesterday and it doesn't look any different
21 than what is shown on those pictures. It is
22 in shambles. There is no way I can support
23 this kind of trailer sitting on that lot.
24 Thank you.
1 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Ibe?
2 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Piccolo --
3 MR. LoPICCOLO: LoPiccolo.
4 MEMBER IBE: LoPiccolo, sir, would you
5 agree that the economy is bad? We can agree
6 on that?
7 MR. LoPICCOLO: We have been in
8 business for 30 years and never seen it this
9 bad. Builders are going out of business
10 every day.
11 MEMBER IBE: I completely concur with
12 you. Would you also agree that you have
13 homeowners who have their properties leased
14 in there?
15 MR. LoPICCOLO: As well as I do.
16 MR. IBE: That's correct.
17 MR. LoPICCOLO: I got six completed
18 houses in there.
19 MR. IBE: So, would you agree in this
20 economy the buyer has more preferences now
21 and if they come to your place and see that
22 trailer in the bad condition it is, do you
23 think they are more likely buy from that
24 subdivision? Or are they going to go to one
1 that doesn't have an eye sore like what you
3 MR. LoPICCOLO: That trailer is a
4 temporary vehicle and people see that it's
5 temporary. Now, if people want it cleaned
6 up, I have no problem cleaning it up. That
7 trailer was put there like that. That was
8 Multi's trailer and sometimes I put my
9 trailer in the lot. So, I have no problem.
10 Nobody has asked me to date to do that. I
11 would be more than happy to do a clean up on
12 that. Everything is nice and neat that's
13 there. I have got two buyers that I am
14 working on. I am going to need the
16 Now, I can't force the people to buy.
17 I am trying the best that I can. There are
18 a lot of other issues that we're fighting
19 every day besides that.
20 MEMBER IBE: I do understand that,
21 sir. Do you think that we have to ask you
22 to clean up something that looks like an eye
24 MR. LoPICCOLO: Like I said, it's been
1 that way for three years. It's temporary
2 there. Unfortunately this temporary has
3 dragged on way too long. So, I agree with
4 you that it can be cleaned up. And I would
5 be happy to do that.
6 MEMBER IBE: The point I am trying to
7 make, you know, you keep repeating this
8 which is my annoyance, and I will tell you
9 what it is. No one has asked you to do
10 something. Excuse me one moment, sir. You
11 have an obligation not just to yourself, but
12 the people who live there to clean it up.
13 You are making it look like that have to
14 sanction you to make you do something that
15 you have an obligation to do. Would you
16 agree, sir, that no one has to ask you to
17 take care of your property? If it's in a
18 bad condition, you have some obligation that
19 you shoulder as the owner of that trailer to
20 keep it in good shape so that the residents
21 don't have to look at an eye sore and
22 potential buyers don't see it and get scared
23 that this property is (unintelligible). And
24 you drive down the home values. Would you
1 agree, sir, that it is your obligation to do
2 it without anyone asking you to do it?
3 MR. LoPICCOLO: Yes, I do.
4 MEMBER IBE: Thank you. I have
5 nothing further.
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Thank you,
7 Member Ibe. Any other comments? Questions?
8 Is the trailer completely vacant?
9 MR. LoPICCOLO: Nothing has moved in
10 or out. I stopped paying electric because I
11 didn't need electricity because of the air
12 conditioning in the summer time. I don't
13 even know if the electric has been turned
14 off, to be honest with you. That's the only
15 utility that we have there.
16 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: When do you
17 anticipate using the trailer again?
18 MR. LoPICCOLO: We store stuff in
19 there. I do maintenance on the houses. I
20 just got done, we had electricians there. I
21 don't have a lot of volume right now because
22 there is nobody buying.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: When was the
24 last time you were there?
1 MR. LoPICCOLO: I was personally there
2 probably two weeks ago.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Mr. Amolsch, am
4 I safe to understand that this expired in
5 April? Can you give me a little background
6 on that?
7 MR. AMOLSCH: I can't. This was
8 Officer Underhill's case. I do know that a
9 ticket was issued --
10 MR. LoPICCOLO: I think a ticket was
11 just issued --
12 MR. AMOLSCH: A formal hearing was
13 scheduled if not done already.
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I have a
15 violation in my packet from April 2008.
16 MR. LoPICCOLO: On the trailer?
17 MR. AMOLSCH: Right.
18 MR. LoPICCOLO: You filed it the day
19 after. The equipment was on Singh's lot and
20 I had that moved. It was our lot at the
21 time it was there. But then we didn't go
22 into phase three, so I had it moved. It was
23 during the cold weather and I couldn't get
24 it out of there. It was mud, so it was
1 difficult. But I did get it out of there.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Shroyer?
3 MEMBER SHROYER: Due to the economy
4 and only due to the economy I would be
5 willing to move forward on this granting of
6 a temporary use. But I would expect us to
7 look at a much shorter period, perhaps even
8 a nine month time frame which would only go
9 through the summer of next year with a lot
10 of conditions. Naturally it would require
11 the cleaning up and removal and storage of
12 heavy equipment and materials and taking
13 care of any of the safety issues with the
14 trailer, et cetera. It is not fair to the
15 surrounding homeowners and the people in
16 that subdivision to that have to look at
17 that eye sore everyday.
18 After nine months or whatever period
19 of time you may wish to grant, I would like
20 to see the Petitioner back with evidence
21 that he has maintained the property as
22 requested. That would be my comment.
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I would concur
24 and I would even support six months,
1 beginning of the Springtime given the
2 concerns that we have seen.
3 Board Members? Any comments on that
4 time limit? Anything here? For a motion?
5 Member Burke?
6 MEMBER BURKE: What are you going to
7 do with the equipment? Are you going to
8 pull the equipment out of there?
9 MR. LoPICCOLO: If I don't get these
10 deals signed I am going to have to. It's not
12 MEMBER BURKE: You were given a notice
13 in April, in August and September. Now you
14 got a citation in October. So, I think it's
15 quite clear that the city wants the
16 equipment off property.
17 MR. LoPICCOLO: The first notice was
18 on (unintelligible) that was a lot that was
19 on Singh's property.
20 MEMBER BURKE: I am look just looking
22 MR. LoPICCOLO: I understand. It
23 moved from one lot to the other --
24 MEMBER BURKE: At this point it really
1 doesn't matter. It started in April and
2 here we are now in November. What I am
3 looking at is the citation.
4 MR. LoPICCOLO: I guess let me ask
5 you. When do you expect it to removed and I
6 will have it removed?
7 MEMBER BURKE: If it's equipment how
8 is tomorrow? They have been asking you
9 since -- they give you a reminder in August
10 and September. And you got a citation in
11 October about the equipment on the property.
12 I am not sure how much lead time you need.
13 You tell me.
14 MR. LoPICCOLO: It depends on if I
15 sign the deal. I will do the best I can to
16 get them out of there now. Right now I am
17 limited at what I can do and I don't have a
18 big staff. After 30 years I am down to just
19 me right now. I will get it moved as
20 quickly as I get it started and out of
22 MEMBER BURKE: I tell you what, I
23 would support my fellow members here on
24 giving you six months in the trailer, but
1 that equipment has got to be gone and out of
2 there. I don't know if we can give you a
3 time frame on that, but I would want it out
4 yesterday. You are not building anything
5 right now. They don't need to be there and
6 it's clearly an eye sore for the entire
7 community there. And I would also put some
8 stipulations on you cleaning up the
9 property and making this trailer look
10 halfway decent. That would be about the
11 only way I can support it.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Shroyer?
13 MEMBER SHROYER: I will go ahead and
14 make a motion then. And please feel free to
15 add something on this. In Case Number:
16 08-059, LoPiccolo Homes I move to approve
17 the temporary use requested for a period of
18 six months provided all actions that do not
19 fall within our Ordinance requirements are
20 ceased by month's end. This includes
21 storage of any heavy equipment and any other
22 stored materials. Also, the site must
23 cleared of any -- cleared up with removal of
24 any and all trash and debris and all safety
1 concerns of the trailer need to be addressed
2 by the same time. The construction trailer
3 as well as the parking area, the landscaping
4 and grass must be maintained for the length
5 of the variance. The use permit is based on
6 the need for the use due to 22 lots yet to
7 be developed. Is that correct, sir?
8 MR. LoPICCOLO: Well, home sites
9 built. The lots are developed.
10 MEMBER SHROYER: Twenty-two homes
11 sites yet to be developed. The slowness of
12 our current housing industry. No additional
13 fire or safety issues being created. No
14 decrease in surrounding property values and
15 the spirt of the Ordinance upheld.
16 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
17 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
18 motion with conditions by Member Shroyer and
19 seconded by Member Bauer. Any further
20 comments or questions? Seeing none, Ms.
21 Working, please call the roll.
22 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
23 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
24 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
1 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
2 MS. WORKING: Member Burke?
3 MEMBER BURKE: Yes.
4 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
5 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
6 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
7 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
8 MS. WORKING: Member Krieger?
9 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
10 MS. WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
11 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
12 MS. WORKING: Motion passes 7-0.
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: You were given
14 six months, but hopefully when you come back
15 at that time will see some progress. So,
16 best of luck, though.
17 MR. LoPICCOLO: Thank you very much.
19 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: He will get the
20 notice from the City.
21 Moving on to other matter.
22 Number one, it appears that we have a
23 request for ZBA 08-024 on Meadowbrook Road
24 for a six month extension and we received
1 that in our packet and the back up for it.
2 Is there a motion?
3 MEMBER BURKE: Motion to approve.
4 MEMBER BAUER: Second. Are we looking
5 for six months from today, Robin? Chris?
6 MR. FOX: The expiration would be six
7 months from the expiration date from the
8 original variance.
9 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Is that fine
10 with you, Mr. Burke?
11 MEMBER BURKE: It is.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Member Bauer?
13 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
14 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: So, we have a
15 motion and a second. Ms. Working, please
16 call the roll.
17 MS. WORKING: Member Burke?
18 MEMBER BURKE: Yes.
19 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
20 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
21 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
22 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
23 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
24 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
1 MS. WORKING: Member Krieger?
2 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
3 MS. WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
4 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
5 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
6 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
7 MS. WORKING: Motion to approve passes
9 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: We'll look
10 at Case Number: ZBA 08-010 requesting 180
11 day extension from the original expiration
12 date. Is there a motion to approve that?
13 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: So moved.
14 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: There is a
16 motion by Member Sanghvi and a second by
17 Member Bauer.
18 MS. WORKING: And the time frame
20 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: It is 180 days
21 from the original expiration as requested.
22 Please call the roll.
23 MS. WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
24 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
1 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
2 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
3 MS. WORKING: Member Burke?
4 MEMBER BURKE: Yes.
5 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
6 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
7 MS. WORKING: Member Ibe?
8 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
9 MS. WORKING: Member Krieger?
10 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
11 MS. WORKING: And, Member
13 MEMBER SHROYER: Yes.
14 MS. WORKING: Motion to approve passes
16 And last ZBA 08-020. They are
17 requesting a six-month extension from the
18 original expiration date. Is there a motion
19 to approve as requested?
20 MEMBER BAUER: So moved.
21 MEMBER KRIEGER: Second.
22 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Motion by Member
23 Bauer and a second by Member Krieger for a
24 six month extension from the original
1 expiration date.
2 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
3 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
4 MS. WORKING: Member Krieger?
5 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
6 MS. WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
7 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
8 MS. WORKING: Member Shroyer?
9 MEMBER SHROYER: Si.
10 MS. WORKING: Member Burke?
11 MEMBER BURKE: Yep.
12 MS. WORKING: Chairman Fischer?
13 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Aye.
14 MS. WORKING: And Member Ibe?
15 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
16 MS. WORKING: Motion to approve
17 passes 7-0.
18 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Moving along to
19 the last item of the day. The Rules.
20 MS. WORKING: Through the Chair, this
21 is a document that you have all worked very
22 hard on and there have been several
23 revisions and last month there were a few
24 minor changes made and we would like to have
1 it codified, if possible, with the
2 appropriate approval and signatures.
3 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: I thought we
4 already approved the re-write. We approved
5 it based on them being rewritten as we
6 stated. Do we really need an approval
8 MS. WORKING: I will leave that up to
10 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Can we just sign
12 MR. SCHULTZ: I'm sorry I wasn't here.
13 Were there changes discussed at the last
15 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: It was
16 discussed, but we approved it based on that
17 and said we approve it with those already --
18 MEMBER BURKE: There is a motion --
19 MR. SCHULTZ: I think it just needs a
21 MS. WORKING: It just needs a
23 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: You will
24 withdraw your motion?
1 MEMBER BURKE: I withdraw it.
2 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Given that that
3 takes care of all the business before the
4 Zoning Board today. I will entertain a
5 motion to adjourn.
6 MEMBER BAUER: So moved.
7 VICE-CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Second.
8 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: Motion by Member
9 Bauer. Seconded by Member Sanghvi to
10 adjourn. All in favor say aye?
11 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
12 CHAIRPERSON FISCHER: We are hereby
13 adjourned for the November meeting.
14 (The meeting was adjourned at
15 11:32 p.m.)
1 C E R T I F I C A T E
4 I, Mona L. Talton, do hereby certify
5 that I have recorded stenographically the
6 proceedings had and testimony taken in the
7 above-entitled matter at the time and place
8 hereinbefore set forth, and I do further
9 certify that the foregoing transcript,
10 consisting of (204) typewritten pages, is a
11 true and correct transcript of my said
12 stenographic notes.
19 Mona L. Talton,
20 Certified Shorthand Reporter
22 November 21, 2008