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MEETING - ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
Proceedings had and testimony taken in the matters of the ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS, at City of Novi, 45175 West Ten Mile Road, Novi, Michigan, Tuesday, January 13, 2009.
1 Novi, Michigan
2 Tuesday, January 13, 2009
3 7:00 p.m.
4 - - - - - -
5 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Good evening.
6 It is 7:01 and it's time to call the Zoning
7 Board of Appeals meeting for the City of
8 Novi for January, 2009 to order.
9 May you please call the roll.
10 MR. BOULARD: Yes. Member Bauer?
11 MEMBER BAUER: Present.
12 MR. BOULARD: Member Sanghvi?
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Here.
14 MR. BOULARD: Member Wrobel?
15 MEMBER WROBEL: Present.
16 MR. BOULARD: Member Skelcy?
17 MEMBER SKELCY: Present.
18 MR. BOULARD: Member Ghannam?
19 MEMBER GHANNAM: Present.
20 MR. BOULARD: Member Krieger?
21 MEMBER KRIEGER: Present.
22 MR. BOULARD: Member Ibe?
23 MEMBER IBE: Present.
24 MR. BOULARD: We have a quorum.
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Now, Ms. Skelcy,
2 will you lead us in the Pledge of
4 BOARD MEMBERS: I pledge allegiance to
5 the flag of the United States of America and
6 to the Republic for which it stands, one
7 nation under God indivisible with liberty
8 and justice for all.
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. We
10 do have a quorum and the meeting is now in
11 session and I would like to go over the
12 rules of conduct. You can find them on your
14 Just a friendly reminder, please turn
15 off your pagers and cell phones. Individual
16 applicants may take five minutes and groups
17 may take up to 10 minutes to address the
18 Board. The Zoning Board of Appeals is a
19 Hearing Board empowered by the Novi City
20 Charter to hear appeals seeking variances
21 from the application of Novi Zoning
22 Ordinance. It takes a vote of at least four
23 members to approve a variance request and a
24 vote of majority of the members present to
1 deny a variance. Tonight we have a full
2 Board so all decisions made will be final.
3 Let's look at the agenda. Are there
4 any changes on the agenda or anything, Mr.
6 MEMBER WROBEL: Motion to approve the
8 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
9 MR. BOULARD: If I may, just for the
10 point of record, the revised agenda
11 indicating the election of officers is
12 postponed until the February meeting as in
13 your packet.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All right.
15 So, the agenda has been proposed and
16 seconded. All those in favor of accepting
17 the agenda please signify by saying aye.
18 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All right, so we
20 have an agenda.
21 Next is the approval of the minutes
22 for November 12th, and December 9, 2008
24 Are there any additions, deletions on
1 the minutes? I think we have received a
2 written communication from outgoing Member
3 Shroyer about some changes in the minutes
4 which I would like to be typed into the
5 minutes so that that correction has been
6 taken care of.
7 If anybody has anything else to add to
8 the correction of the minutes? No? I have
9 one correction and that is on November
10 meeting on page 142, line 20. It should
11 read the lunar year, L-U-N-A-R, instead of a
12 linear which is a typo.
13 Anything else? Anybody else would
14 like to add any additions, deletions to the
15 minutes? If not, I would entertain a motion
16 to accept the minutes?
17 MEMBER BAUER: So moved.
18 MEMBER GHANNAM: Second.
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The motion has
20 made and seconded. All those in favor of
21 accepting the amended minutes please signify
22 by saying aye.
23 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
24 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All of those
1 opposed same sign? Thank you. So, now the
2 minutes have been adopted.
3 Next is the Public Remarks Section.
4 If anybody wants to address the Board
5 regarding any issue other than the items on
6 the agenda tonight please come forward and
7 do so now.
8 Seeing none, I think we can close the
9 Public Remarks Section.
11 Moving along we go on to case number
12 one on the agenda. Case number: 08-063
13 filed by Patty Loose of Sign Fabricators for
14 Rojo Mexican Bistro located at 44375 Twelve
15 Mile Road. Is the Applicant here?
16 MR. BROOK: Yes.
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Patty Loose of
18 Sign Fabricators is requesting a variance to
19 allow one additional 64 square foot wall
20 sign for the Rojo Mexican Bistro suite
21 within Twelve Mile Crossing. The business
22 has a permitted wall sign and the property
23 is zoned RC and located west of Novi Road
24 and south of Twelve Mile Road. Are you an
1 attorney, sir?
2 MR. BROOK: No.
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Please identify
4 yourself and be sworn in.
5 MR. BROOK: Robert Brook with Sign
6 Fabricators out of Clinton Township.
7 MEMBER KRIEGER: Do you swear or
8 affirm to tell the truth in this case?
9 MR. BROOK: Yes, I do.
10 MEMBER KRIEGER: Thank you.
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Please go ahead
12 and make your presentation.
13 MR. BROOK: From what I understand on
14 this second sign they're requesting due to
15 the conformity of that mall over there, you
16 get a view of the front entrance from the
17 parking lot, but over towards the northeast
18 entrance there is no way of I.D.ing the
19 restaurant and they would like some signage
20 there for anybody coming in that way or that
21 are in the mall area looping around and
22 looking for it, they will be able to I.D.
23 the restaurant that way. That's basically
24 what they are looking for. That's it.
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Anything else
2 you would like to add?
3 MR. BROOK: Not at this time.
4 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Is
5 there anybody in the audience who would like
6 to address this case and make any comments?
7 Seeing none, I will move on to the Building
9 MR. BOULARD: I would like to just
10 remind the Board this is the second sign
11 that's proposed for this business. There is
12 one legal wall sign which has been permitted
13 and is installed on the structure. I would
14 like to defer to Mr. Amolsch regarding the
15 allowable sizes of the sign. But this is
16 for an additional wall sign beyond what's
17 already been permitted and installed.
18 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Before we go any
19 further. Is there any correspondence
20 regarding this case?
21 MEMBER KRIEGER: I am used to Justin
22 handing it to me or throwing it at me.
23 In Case number: 08-63, 687 notices
24 were mailed. Two responses. And they are,
1 the first one is from Imagine Novi by Paul
2 Glance, ITS manager. "We strongly endorse
3 the proposed variance request. Thank you
4 for your consideration."
5 And the second one is from Chris
6 Brandt of VP of operations, Imagine
7 Entertainment. "We have no objections and
8 support their request." That's it.
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
10 Okay, Mr. Amolsch, do you have anything to
12 MR. AMOLSCH: No. Just for the
13 Board's information, the total maximum size
14 for a sign at that location is 65 square
15 feet but only one sign is permitted.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. I'll
17 open it up to the Board for discussion. Go
18 ahead, Ms. Krieger.
19 MEMBER KRIEGER: Do you have any
20 information or people that came in and said
21 we couldn't find your business with the sign
22 that's already there?
23 MR. BROOK: They have gotten some of
24 that feedback at the restaurant itself.
1 Again, they are just trying to I.D. the
2 people coming in from that north route, the
3 way that loops through that mall that's
4 basically what we're looking for. They have
5 gotten feedback at the restaurant itself.
6 That's why they are looking for a way to
7 identify the building from that direction.
8 MEMBER KRIEGER: So, if I understand
9 right, the northeast corner, that there is
10 the, there is the Rojo sign and then to the
11 side there was the mockup display?
12 MR. BROOK: Um-hum.
13 MEMBER KRIEGER: So, in that same
15 MR. BROOK: Right.
16 MEMBER KRIEGER: Because I had a
17 difficult time understanding with the one
18 sign how somebody driving by, because when I
19 drove by I knew immediately that's where I
20 wanted to be.
21 MR. BROOK: Right. Out from the lot
22 area you can see that it's visible. It's
23 the traffic coming in from the north is what
24 I think they want to cover and the other
2 MEMBER KRIEGER: Do you have a picture
3 you could put up on the display for the
4 people at home?
5 MR. BROOK: I have got one drawing
6 here. It's about as good as you are going
7 to get.
8 MEMBER KRIEGER: Were you interested
9 in getting attention from the expressway or
10 just the parking lot?
11 MR. BROOK: Driving through that
13 MEMBER KRIEGER: That's all I have for
14 now. Thank you.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you, Ms.
16 Krieger. Yes, Mr. Wrobel?
17 MEMBER WROBEL: Thank you. There is a
18 property, I forget the name of the
19 restaurant on the opposite side of the
20 street where this is located. Do they have
21 dual signs?
22 MR. AMOLSCH: Which business are you
23 referring to?
24 MEMBER WROBEL: The one that would be
1 on the east side of the street.
2 MR. AMOLSCH: If you had the name of
3 the business I could find that for you.
4 MEMBER WROBEL: No, I can't remember
5 the name. I can't remember, I apologize.
6 I am kind of torn on this one. To me
7 I think most people in there know where it
8 is. I don't really see a substantial
9 hardship. I do see the opportunity for the
10 restaurant to just get additional signage,
11 making it almost visible from the
12 expressway. I will listen to the rest of my
13 colleagues, but I am inclined at this time
14 not to approve it. Thank you.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
16 Member Bauer?
17 MEMBER BAUER: Yes. This is a
18 destination place. I cannot see this to go
19 no. People know that it's there, so I could
20 not vote yes on it.
21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr.
23 MEMBER GHANNAM: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
24 I just had a couple of questions. You
1 understand we have standards that you have
2 to meet in order to get these approved?
3 MR. BROOK: Right.
4 MEMBER GHANNAM: How do you explain
5 that these are exceptional features or how
6 your property unique compared to other
7 properties in the area?
8 MR. BROOK: It's just the
9 configuration of the mall itself the way
10 that's setup. If you are coming in there,
11 one entrance is readily visible, I mean, you
12 can see it from the lot and you're parking.
13 If you are coming in through the mall or any
14 other which way, that other entrance is kind
15 of vague. That's basically what we're
16 trying to cover.
17 MEMBER GHANNAM: Are there any other
18 -- Member Wrobel was referring to another
19 restaurant or business opposite you. Are
20 you familiar with that? Are there any other
21 businesses in the area that have dual signs?
22 MR. BROOK: Not offhand that I know
23 of. I surveyed this location months ago,
24 and I believe there is a Buffalo Wild Wings
1 or something like that in the area. I don't
2 know if they have dual signage.
3 MEMBER GHANNAM: Do you have any
4 opinions or comments on how this might
5 unreasonably prevent you or your business
6 from using this particular property for its
7 intended purpose?
8 MR. BROOK: No, not offhand, no.
9 MEMBER GHANNAM: I don't have any
10 other questions. Thank you, sir.
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
12 Well, would anybody like to make a motion?
13 While you think about it I will add my
14 penny's worth of comments.
15 I believe there is a nice big sign
16 already present there and it's very easily
17 visible and recognizable and it's not a hard
18 place to find really where you are located,
19 so I don't know how the second wall sign is
20 likely to add anything to it.
21 All right, Ms. Krieger, go ahead.
22 MEMBER KRIEGER: In Case Number:
23 08-063 filed by Patty Loose of Sign
24 Fabricators for Rojo Mexican Bistro located
1 at 44375 Twelve Mile Road, I motion to
2 decline the request of the Applicant due to
3 the not enough sufficient evidence for
4 practical difficulty. That it is the area,
5 the area is a destination. That the request
6 is based upon circumstances and features
7 that are exceptional and unique. The
8 failure to grant relief won't prevent them
9 from using their property. And a grant of
10 the relief will not result in use of
11 structure that is incompatible with or
12 unreasonably interferes with adjacent or
13 surrounding properties.
14 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. The
16 motion has been made and seconded. Any
17 further discussion? Seeing none, will you
18 please call the roll, Mr. Boulard.
19 MR. BOULARD: Member Bauer?
20 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
21 MR. BOULARD: Member Wrobel?
22 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
23 MR. BOULARD: Member Ghannam?
24 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
1 MR. BOULARD: Member Ibe?
2 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
3 MR. BOULARD: Member Krieger?
4 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
5 MR. BOULARD: Chairman Sanghvi?
6 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
7 MR. BOULARD: Motion passes 6-0.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Motion passes.
9 Your request has been denied. Thank you
10 very much for coming.
11 MR. BROOK: Thank you.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Moving along,
13 second case on the agenda is case number:
14 08-064 for 41650 Gardenbrook Road.
15 MEMBER WROBEL: Just a question.
16 Since we are down a member without Member
17 Burke here, shouldn't the alternate be
18 voting on this?
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes. I thought
20 we --
21 MEMBER WROBEL: I don't think we did.
22 Did we?
23 MS. KUDLA: If there is a quorum she
24 doesn't have to, but she may vote.
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: We have the
3 MEMBER WROBEL: All right. I just
4 want to make sure we're clear.
5 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All right. Carry
6 on. Let's go. Will you please identify
7 yourself, sir, and your name and address and
8 if you are not an attorney be sworn in by
9 our Secretary.
10 MR. COSICK (ph): My name is Tom
11 Cosick. My home address is 22855 Nottingham
12 Drive, Beverly Hills, Michigan. I am a
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All right. For
15 some reason the lawyers are exempt from
16 being sworn in. Please go ahead and make
17 your presentation.
18 MR. COSICK: I am one of the
19 principals of JKF Investment Company which
20 owns the building located at 41650
21 Gardenbook which is where Ralph Nichols
22 Group would like to put the wall sign on the
23 building facing I-96 Freeway. If you are
24 not familiar with the location of the
1 building, it's located just west of the
2 Walsh College. It abuts I-96 Freeway. It's
3 located on kind of a cul-de-sac on the end
4 of Gardenbrook Road which is basically kind
5 of a long driveway off of the west side of
6 Meadowbrook Road, just south of the freeway.
7 The building is somewhat unique in
8 that the base of the building is located a
9 little bit lower than the grade of the
10 highway. Ralph Nichols Group is a
11 franchisee for Dale Carnegie Training. I
12 understand they have been doing it for
13 approximately 40 years. They have an
14 excellent reputation in the business
15 community and they would be an excellent
16 addition to the City of Novi's business
18 They are going to be
19 the largest tenant in the building. They
20 will be conducting classes and training
21 sessions in the building and so signage is
22 very important to them as signage facing the
23 freeway will give them exposure to potential
24 students and clients. But most importantly
1 it helps their students identify the
2 building and locate the building. The
3 building is not the easiest to find. There
4 is no exit off of I-96 onto Meadowbrook
5 Road. So, you have to go to the M-5
6 connector or find some other way to get to
7 the building. The signage will help people
8 identify the building, help them find their
10 As I said, this is a very important
11 issue to Dale Carnegie and it was brought up
12 early to me in our negotiations. Dale
13 Carnegie currently is actually a tenant in
14 one of our other buildings located currently
15 in Livonia and I have been fortunate enough
16 to convince them to move to one of our other
17 buildings in Novi.
18 But one of the primary reasons for making
19 the move to this particular building was the
20 opportunity to have signage facing the
21 freeway for the reasons that were just
22 stated. I was asked early on whether or not
23 the sign code would allow them to put a sign
24 on the building. I didn't know. I read the
1 sign code and given that the building is
2 zoned I-1, abuts the freeway, a single story
3 multi tenant building, I came to the
4 conclusion that the building is entitled to
5 two wall signs and was surprised when their
6 permit was denied.
7 I spoke with Mr. Amolsch to find out
8 why the permit was denied and I learned that
9 it was denied because this business did not
10 have any a first floor pedestrian entrance.
11 First floor pedestrian entrance is not a
12 defined term in the sign code and if you
13 take the plain meaning of those words and
14 apply it to that situation you have got a
15 one story building it's a first floor
16 entrance. You walk into the suite
17 entrances. You don't drive, so it's a
18 pedestrian entrance, so as far as I am
19 concerned they meet the definition of a
20 first floor pedestrian entrance. But it was
21 explained to me that the City interprets
22 that phrase as businesses that have
23 entrances on the outside of the building,
24 external entrances. Not buildings, like in
1 this case where there is a common corridor
2 with entrances to the suites off the common
3 corridor. Which I really think is kind of an
4 unfair interpretation of the code.
5 There are other provisions in the code
6 where it specifically says external first
7 floor pedestrian entrances. To insert the
8 word external in this situation where it
9 doesn't exist in the code isn't right. From
10 an aesthetic point of view, I think if have
11 you two buildings, one with suite entrances
12 off a common corridor, one with exterior
13 entrances and you put wall signs on them and
14 if the buildings are otherwise similar, I
15 don't think aesthetically speaking there is
16 much difference between the two buildings.
17 And it's also an unfair interpretation
18 to me as a landlord in these tough economic
19 times, you need all the arrows in your
20 quiver you can have to attract tenants
21 including signage to their buildings, so it
22 puts me at an unfair disadvantage when I am
23 competing with other building with so-called
24 first floor pedestrian entrances.
1 But most importantly it creates a
2 hardship for this tenant. As I mentioned
3 they are going to be having classes almost
4 on a daily basis. It's important for their
5 students to be able to find the building.
6 And I understand that we could be entitled
7 to a ground sign. Given the way the
8 building lies below the grade of the
9 freeway, a ground sign just doesn't have
10 enough visibility to allow students or
11 potential customers to find the building.
12 And my final point is, if you do grant
13 the variance, it's not uncharacteristic for
14 that corridor. There is numerous businesses
15 up and down the I-96 corridor that have wall
16 signs that face the freeway. In fact, the
17 neighbor Walsh College have a very prominent
18 sign facing the freeway. And I'm sure if
19 you ask them, they have it for the very same
20 reason that Ralph Nichols would like to have
21 the sign, it gives them great visibility to
22 potential students and clients who are on
23 the freeway. But most importantly it helps
24 people identify the building and locate the
1 building for their classes. So, I
2 respectfully ask that the variance be
3 granted and that Ralph Nichols be able to
4 put their sign on the building. Thank you.
5 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Is
6 there anybody in the audience who would like
7 to address the Board regarding this case?
8 Seeing none, Ms. Krieger, do you have any
10 MEMBER KRIEGER: In this case, 08-064,
11 twelve notices were mailed. Zero responses.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
13 Building Department?
14 MR. BOULARD: I would like to point
15 out as the petitioner mentioned, this is a
16 multi-tenant building with a common public
17 entryway and would be by Ordinance allowed a
18 ground sign only. Based on the estimated
19 setback from the freeway, on the roadway
20 from the freeway side, the approximate size
21 of that ground sign would be about 50 square
22 feet. I spoke with Petitioner and reviewed
23 their drawings before the meeting, and it
24 appears that the wall sign would be about 45
1 square feet in area. So, I thought that was
2 important for the Board to know.
3 I did have one question for the
4 Petitioner, if I may. You mentioned this is
5 a multi-tenant building and they are not
6 taking the entire building?
7 MR. COSICK: That's correct.
8 MR. BOULARD: Would you be then
9 expecting to come back for a variance for a
10 second sign for another tenant or?
11 MR. COSICK: Well, it's always been my
12 position that the plain language of the sign
13 code entitles that building to two wall
14 signs and a ground sign.
15 MR. BOULARD: Thank you.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
17 Would you like to put that sign on the
18 overhead there so the people at home can see
19 it also while we are talking about it?
20 Thank you. Now, I open the discussion to
21 the Board.
22 MR. COSICK: Where does it go? Right
24 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
1 MR. COSICK: Is that good?
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
3 Mr. Wrobel?
4 MEMBER WROBEL: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
5 I understand the need for this sign. We
6 have granted variances for other signs in a
7 similar situation. But my concern is, to
8 me -- are they the signature tenant of this
10 MR. COSICK: They are the largest
11 tenant in the building.
12 MEMBER WROBEL: So they are the
13 signature tenant so-to-speak?
14 MR. COSICK: Yes.
15 MEMBER WROBEL: I would be in favor of
16 allowing only one sign on the building. We
17 don't want to get in a situation where we
18 are having two or three signs on the
19 building. You might have another client
20 saying, well, you've allowed Dale Carnegie
21 to have a sign. We want a sign. We don't
22 want to get in that situation. I have no
23 problem with just one sign in there,
24 providing that they don't come and ask us
1 for other signs. I know they can, but I
2 would not be very in favor of approving
3 further signs on this building. In this
4 case I could go along with it.
5 MR. COSICK: Well, if that would have
6 to be a condition to the variance being
7 granted, I would go along with it.
8 MEMBER WROBEL: This is something you
9 might have to discuss with future tenants or
10 additional tenants or something. But as far
11 as this I have no problem with it. There is
12 a need for it because of the expressway. We
13 have granted this for other buildings. And
14 I see granting this because a hardship does
15 exist. Thank you.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
17 Mr. Bauer?
18 MEMBER BAUER: Yes, I go along with
19 Mr. Wrobel exactly word for word. But not
20 to have two signs up there at any time.
21 This one, yes, sir.
22 MR. COSICK: I indicated I agreed to
23 that. Thank you.
24 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr.
2 MEMBER GHANNAM: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
3 Sir, I do agree with you also. I think the
4 presentation you made does qualify under our
5 standards. I don't think we have to get
6 into an interpretation of are you entitled
7 to multiple signs given your interpretation
8 of our Ordinances, but I think you meet the
9 practical difficulty standard given the
10 situation of where the building is located
11 in reference to the freeway. Say, it's a
12 little bit low, a ground sign may not work.
13 I do understand that. I think you do comply
14 with our Ordinance so I would be in favor of
15 it also.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: It looks like
17 everybody is in agreement. Would anybody
18 like to make a motion?
19 MEMBER GHANNAM: I would.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Member
22 MEMBER GHANNAM: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
23 In case number: 08-064 regarding 41650
24 Gardenbook Road. I would move to approve
1 the petition as stated and as designed and
2 showed to the Board. I think the standards
3 for granting the sign variance have been met
4 in terms of the practical difficulty
5 standard. I think the request is based on
6 circumstances or features that are
7 exceptional and unique to the property and
8 do not result from conditions that exist
9 generally in the City or that are self
11 A failure to grant relief will
12 unreasonably prevent or limit the use of the
13 property and will result in substantially
14 more than a mere inconvenience or an
15 inability to obtain a higher economic
16 financial return and I think grant of the
17 relief will not result in a use of structure
18 that is incompatible with or unreasonably
19 interferes with adjacent or surrounding
20 properties and will result in substantial
21 injustice being done to the Applicant.
22 MEMBER IBE: Second.
23 MS. KUDLA: Mr. Chair?
24 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
1 MS. KUDLA: Did you want to add a
2 condition to that about no additional signs?
3 MEMBER WROBEL: Can we do that? I
4 thought we couldn't. That each case has to
5 be judged on its own merit. That's from
6 past time.
7 MS. KUDLA: It's a one tenant
8 building, correct, it wouldn't be another?
9 Or is it for two separate tenants?
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: They can have
11 more than one tenant there.
12 MEMBER WROBEL: Multi tenant.
13 MS. KUDLA: Okay, never mind.
14 MEMBER IBE: I did.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, Mr. Ibe,
16 you did. Okay, very good. The motion has
17 been made and seconded. Anything
18 additional? Seeing none, Mr. Boulard will
19 you call the roll, please.
20 MR. BOULARD: Yes. Member Bauer?
21 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
22 MR. BOULARD: Member Wrobel?
23 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
24 MR. BOULARD: Member Ghannam?
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
2 MR. BOULARD: Member Ibe?
3 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
4 MR. BOULARD: Member Krieger?
5 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
6 MR. BOULARD: Member Skelcy?
7 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
8 MR. BOULARD: Motion is approved 7-0.
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: You're variance
10 has been granted. Congratulations.
11 MR. SOSICK: Thank you very much.
12 Appreciate it.
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, moving
14 along to the next case. The next case is
15 case number: 08-065 filed by Harry Kubbe
16 for 1300 East Lake Road. Harry Kubbe is
17 requesting four variances for the
18 construction of a proposed addition to an
19 existing home and the construction of
20 proposed addition to the detached garage
21 located at 1300 East Lake Road. Are you Mr.
23 MR. KUBBE: Yes, I am Harry Kubbe.
24 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Will you kindly
1 identify your name and give your address and
2 be sworn in by our Secretary if you are not
3 an attorney.
4 MR. KUBBE: I'm not an attorney.
5 Harry Kubbe, 1616 Shankton (phonetic) Drive,
6 Walled Lake, Michigan.
7 MEMBER KRIEGER: Do you swear or
8 affirm in case number: 08-065 to tell the
9 truth in this case?
10 MR. KUBBE: Yes.
11 MEMBER KRIEGER: Thank you.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Please go ahead
13 and make your presentation.
14 MR. KUBBE: My name is Harry Kubbe and
15 the potential buyer of 1300 East Lake Drive.
16 As a potential -- and I am representing the
17 current owner, Vincent Diaza (phonetic). As
18 a potential purchaser of this property, the
19 existing home was built in the 1940s. The
20 footprint and the layout would be
21 insufficient to meet my families'
22 need in the future. The current square
23 footage of the existing home's footprint is
24 approximately 916 square feet. We are just
1 looking to expand that footprint to around
2 1,288 square feet. And also the detached
3 garage is currently around 400 square feet
4 and we are looking to double the size of the
5 garage to around 800 square feet of a
6 footprint. Both of the buildings would be a
7 major remodel.
8 I have met with my
9 neighbor to the north and they did not
10 express any issue with the plan just as long
11 as it didn't impair any of their view to
12 Walled Lake. This property is directly on
13 the lakeside of East Lake Drive and the
14 front part of the building which is closest
15 to the neighbor on the north is only going
16 out four feet, so it would not impair his
17 view at all. I have attempted to meet the
18 neighbor to the south side. I have driven
19 by his home many times and have been unable
20 to contact him. So I am not sure if he is
21 in Florida or what.
22 But, again, the proposed expansion of
23 the footprint would not impair his view of
24 the lake in any way. Based on the layout
1 and remodel plan, there is no change to the
2 lake view from across the road on the east
3 side of East Lake Drive. So, I don't believe
4 any other neighbors are directly affected by
5 this request. I am also working with
6 builder Tom Van Owen who has done remodels
7 or rebuilds on Walled Lake on this size lot
8 of approximately seven or eight homes. So
9 his experience with this type of building
10 project will be very helpful in the final
12 My last comment is, my wife and I plan
13 to remodel this home into a very nice high
14 quality lake home approximately 2,000 to
15 2,400 square feet depending on the final
16 design whether it has cathedral ceiling or
17 not. So, this will not be a huge
18 overbearing structure and it would also not
19 be a unique structure and it would fit in
20 with the neighborhood and enhance the
21 neighborhood along that side of the lake
22 there. There is quite a few remodeled
23 homes. This structure would be very similar
24 in size or smaller in size actually than
1 quite a few of them that are there on the
2 lake side of East Lake Drive. Do you have
3 any questions for Tom or myself?
4 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Is
5 there anybody in the audience who would like
6 to address the Board regarding this case?
7 Seeing none, Madam Secretary, is there any
8 correspondence regarding this case?
9 MEMBER KRIEGER: In case number:
10 08-065, 42 notices were mailed. One
11 objection. It's from David and Susan
12 Kobelarik (phonetic) on 1270 East Lake
13 Drive. "My wife and I were before the ZBA
14 several years ago when we were planing
15 construction of our house at 1270 East Lake.
16 We were held to a standard of not less than
17 five feet for side yard setbacks. Part of
18 the logic for this was to allow room to get
19 fire equipment return between houses. We do
20 not agree with the requested setbacks and
21 ask that they be limited to a minimum of
22 five foot the same as what we were allowed.
23 Allowing these excessive setbacks would also
24 be detrimental to the homeowners on either
1 side if they want to reconstruct or sell
2 their property at a later date." That's
4 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
5 Building Department?
6 MR. BOULARD: Thank you. The
7 situation with this lot is not unique among
8 older lots along lakes or in older
9 subdivisions. It's a small lot. The
10 existing garage and house were built very
11 close to the property line. And there is a
12 limit to how much can change about that. I
13 did have one question for the Petitioner or
14 actually two questions. First on the plan,
15 the larger plans that you showed there is
16 apparently a deck between the garage and the
17 house. I wanted to confirm for the record
18 that that's open, there is no roof over
19 that? That's just an open deck?
20 MR. VAN OWEN: There may or may not be
21 at that particular time. That particular
22 roof has -- can we put it up on the screen
23 here? We have a smaller version of it.
24 MR. BOULARD: Sure.
1 MR. VAN OWEN: A smaller version of
2 what you have. I don't know if you can see
3 that or not.
4 MR. KUBBE: Is that the one with the
5 deck? Are you talking about where it
6 appears to the steps?
7 MR. BOULARD: On the large plan that
8 was provided in the packets.
9 MR. VAN OWEN: Okay, we are coming
10 down on this. This right here.
11 MR. BOULARD: Between the proposed
12 garage and the house there is this area here
13 with the diagonal lines. I just wanted to
14 confirm that is a deck, not a roof over
15 there, correct?
16 MR. KUBBE: Oh, that was a very early
17 conceptual view and we have eliminated that
18 roof between the garage and the house. That
19 will be open, yes.
20 MR. BOULARD: And the second question
21 was, if you could talk briefly, I know that
22 the existing garage is fairly close to the
23 property line. The addition to the garage,
24 however, is behind the garage and
1 technically could be shifted to be six feet
2 from the property line. Could you explain
3 or talk briefly about the practical
4 implications of that of shifting the garage
5 addition away from the property line so that
6 that part could meet the Ordinance?
7 MR. KUBBE: It would be just an
8 architectural thing to keep it consistent
9 parallel addition to the existing garage.
10 If we shifted it in you would end up with
11 two squares off centered.
12 MR. VAN OWEN: Well, actually if you
13 shift it over even four or five feet, number
14 one, that's an idea of course, but what we
15 are trying to do is really we're trying to
16 look at the house and see a grand entrance
17 to the right hand side. So, you see the
18 garage door is on one side, but yet you will
19 see a grand entrance that you walk up to and
20 go to the main entrance of the house. We
21 are trying not to disturb that main grand
23 MR. BOULARD: Thank you.
24 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you, Mr.
1 Boulard. Okay, I'll open the discussion.
2 Yes, Mr. Bauer?
3 MEMBER BAUER: So, you are going to
4 have a 40 foot garage? I mean 40 feet for
5 four cars?
6 MR. VAN OWEN: And a workshop up
8 MR. KUBBE: Correct.
9 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
10 MR. KUBBE: Actually you need quite a
11 bit of space in a lake house, in a lake
12 front property to keep toys.
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: We will come to
14 you again now. You have done your
15 presentation. We will talk to you in a
17 MR. KUBBE: All right. Thank you.
18 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, anything
19 else? While they are all looking at the --
20 I have come over and looked at your property
21 and that part of the city always have had
22 very small what I call postage stamp sized
23 lots and it's very hard to do anything very
24 much without variance, so I understand your
1 problem in what you want to do with it. And
2 to a certain degree I have some sympathy
3 with you. My only question is your side
4 yard setback so you leaving so little room
5 that whether there is enough room for a
6 stretcher to go through in case somebody has
7 to run back in the back to pick up somebody
8 who has suddenly taken ill or something like
9 that. These are the safety issues related
10 to this kind of setbacks.
11 And I don't know whether anybody in
12 your department would like to address the
13 safety issue for a fire truck or an
14 ambulance or the side yard setback.
15 MR. BOULARD: In this particular
16 case, the existing house is not going to be
17 coming close to the property line. There is
18 going to be some space on the south side
19 between the property line and the existing
20 house with the addition on it. In that sense
21 we're not making anything worse. Certainly
22 not the ideal situation, but I am not sure
23 how we solve it without moving the house.
24 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. So
1 there are no safety issues. Yes, Mr. Bauer?
2 MEMBER BAUER: To the Chair, what
3 about the square footage as far as
5 MR. BOULARD: One of the variances,
6 the last variance is for a total lot
7 coverage. The maximum total lot coverage
8 allowed by the Ordinance is 25 percent. The
9 proposed lot coverage would be 32 percent
10 and so the final variance request is for
11 seven percent addition.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Ms.
14 MEMBER KRIEGER: A question for the
15 City. For this house I drove by as well.
16 The neighbors' homes don't align directly as
17 in other houses, so each one has a unique
18 need. And, however, in the future, if the
19 neighbors wanted to build a house, how can
20 we do it that there is enough room for a
21 safety issue to be taken care of from front
22 to back if something is going on in the
23 water that a firefighter need to get to?
24 MR. BOULARD: I'm not sure I can
1 include everything, but there will be, short
2 of moving this house and these buildings
3 away from the property line, it's going to
4 be difficult -- well, it's going to be
5 impossible to gain a 12 foot wide, a minimum
6 12 foot wide aisle with six feet on each
7 side of the property line. Certainly if
8 there is an adjacent property which is
9 vacant on which a house is to be built or
10 proposed that we would need to, that would
11 need to take into account the required
12 setbacks. It's likely because the lot is so
13 narrow and the setback, the necessary
14 aggregated setback is 25 feet. Leaving only
15 15 feet for your house that builder or
16 developer would need to come before the
17 Board and would be requesting your
18 permission to limit the setbacks. In this
19 particular case I don't think the Board can
20 restrict someone else's property in terms of
21 future buildings.
22 MEMBER KRIEGER: Okay, thank you.
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
24 Mr. Wrobel?
1 MEMBER WROBEL: As far as the maximum
2 total lot coverage, seven percent is not a
3 great number when you look at it. But I
4 have some issues with the setback for the
5 garage. To me, I understand architecturally
6 it looks better the way you have it, but to
7 me that's not a hardship. That's
8 architecture, I would have a hard time
9 supporting that. And I'm trying to figure
10 out between the lot here on the drawing,
11 1296 West Lake Drive, their deck line to the
12 property line, can someone tell me how far
13 that is?
14 MR. VAN OWEN: The deck is to the
15 property line. The house which is 1300
16 which is the house we're discussing right
17 now, the house right next door is actually
18 sitting behind it. It's not really
19 sitting -- if you want to take a look at
20 this real quick you might be able to see the
21 actual house which is now -- granted we are
22 very, very close to the lot line, but if you
23 look to the right, you can see that house is
24 actually sitting behind the first part of
1 the house, you know. And, yes, he took that
2 deck and it's about 12 feet it looks like.
3 And that deck runs from his doorstep right
4 up to the lot line. I think that's what I
5 saw over there.
6 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Excuse me, sir,
7 will you please identify yourself.
8 MR. VAN OWEN: My name is Tom Van
9 Owen. I am president of Curb Appeal Homes.
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: And you are not
11 an attorney?
12 MR. VAN OWEN: I am not a what?
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: You are not a
15 MR. VAN OWEN: No, I'm not a lawyer.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, then maybe
17 we better swear you in before you continue
18 any further.
19 MEMBER KRIEGER: So, for case number:
20 08-065, 1300 East Lake Drive, the
21 information that you have given so far and
22 will continue to give is the truth?
23 MR. VAN OWEN: The truth and nothing
24 but the truth.
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
2 Carry on.
3 MEMBER WROBEL: That's all, Mr. Chair.
4 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Anybody else?
5 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Chair?
6 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
7 MEMBER IBE: Will the City be able to
8 address the issue that was read in by Madam
9 Secretary about the objection that we got in
10 this case? Is that really true that someone
11 was denied simply because a rule was said to
12 have a setback, is it five feet?
13 MEMBER KRIEGER: Five feet.
14 MEMBER IBE: That was the objection I
15 heard; is that correct?
16 MEMBER KRIEGER: That was written,
18 MEMBER IBE: Does anyone from the
19 Building Department want to address that
20 issue just to clarify and make sure -- and
21 how long ago was this if that's true?
22 MS. KUDLA: I don't know that anyone
23 is specifically familiar with that case. We
24 might need to table it. If you really want
1 that information they would have to research
2 the matter.
3 MEMBER IBE: It appears to me that I
4 am always interested in making sure that we
5 treat people fairly in the -- if someone had
6 requested similar (unintelligible) before
7 this Board and let's assume were unfairly
8 denied, I would like to ensure that it
9 doesn't look like we prefer some people over
10 all the others. So, it's my contention, and
11 nothing against you, Petitioner, that I
12 would not be in favor for you today unless I
13 know exactly the outcome of what happened
14 with that particular case. So, I am
15 interested in knowing what happened with
16 that before I can cast my vote. It's
17 nothing about your case, I mean no offense
18 at all. It's just that whenever I see an
19 objection, it's only fair that I look at
20 things from an objective point of view in
21 seeing how we have treated parties who have
22 sought the same kind of variance that you
23 are seeking before this Board to see whether
24 or not we are consistent with the decision
1 we make or if we are simply inventing new
2 rules as we go along. So I would like to
3 know what happened in that particular case.
4 MR. VAN OWEN: May I speak?
5 MEMBER IBE: Yes, you may, sir.
6 MR. VAN OWEN: Thank you. In the first
7 place I believe it was some time ago. But I
8 do have pictures of up and down the street
9 approximately 12 houses and within those
10 houses there is nobody that's five feet.
11 Now, would you like to see a couple of them?
12 MEMBER IBE: Do you know the party who
13 made that objection?
14 MR. VAN OWEN: I have no idea. But I
15 would imagine it was some time ago because
16 the new houses here are four feet at best.
17 MEMBER IBE: Do you know if the home
18 of the party who made the objection is one
19 of those that you are willing to show me
20 right now?
21 MR. VAN OWEN: What was the address?
22 MEMBER KRIEGER: 1270.
23 MR. VAN OWEN: No, I do not know it.
24 I only know 1290 through 1321.
1 MEMBER IBE: Thank you very much. But
2 I don't think your pictures will answer my
3 question. I do need the specific property
4 itself to know how long it was. Thank you,
5 but I do appreciate your time. Thank you,
6 Mr. Chair.
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
8 MS. KUDLA: Through the Chair, in
9 addition to that, I think even if the matter
10 is tabled to look into the matter, the Board
11 should take into consideration that every
12 case should be considered on its own merits.
13 MEMBER IBE: Absolutely.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
15 Anybody else?
16 MEMBER GHANNAM: Mr. Chair?
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Go ahead.
18 MEMBER GHANNAM: Sir, I have a couple
19 of questions, especially to the builder.
20 You have done work on this lake?
21 MR. VAN OWEN: Yes, I have.
22 MEMBER GHANNAM: Are there number of
23 four car garages on this lake?
24 MR. VAN OWEN: A number of four car
2 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
3 MR. VAN OWEN: No, there are not. The
4 ones that I have done is usually two and
5 three cars. Four cars, no, that would be,
6 that would be a first time for me.
7 MEMBER GHANNAM: I am seeing the home
8 next door is two and a half and I know there
9 are other two car garages and so forth.
10 Four seems to be large.
11 MR. VAN OWEN: It's deep. Is that
12 what you mean it's the depth?
13 MEMBER GHANNAM: It's not only that.
14 If you were to reduce it maybe two and a
15 half, three cars, something like that. One
16 of your jobs is to reduce the number of
17 variances you ask for when you come to the
18 Board and here you are asking for four. The
19 question is have you done everything you
20 could to try to get what you want but yet
21 reduce the number of variances you want?
22 And one of the variances is the lot coverage
23 requirement. You had asked for seven percent
24 variance. So, I am trying to figure out --
1 and another one of the standards is that you
2 want to be consistent with the neighborhood.
3 Instead of building when everybody has a two
4 car garage you have a four, I mean, that may
5 be unusual for the neighborhood. So, that's
6 what I am trying to find out.
7 MR. VAN OWEN: Well, again, that's why
8 I took pictures. I took pictures because we
9 want to blend in as we do with everything
10 else. If you have driven by this house you
11 will notice that this garage sits about nine
12 feet off to the street. It's very, very
13 close to it, but it's not unusual for that
14 part of the neighborhood to have houses and
15 garages like that to the nine foot mark.
16 Again, I don't recall how deep any of the
17 other garages are. We haven't entertained
18 the notion about having a three car garage
19 with the second floor up on top of it and
20 the house in back of it which would take
21 another approximately, approximately 10
22 feet. So, there would be a three car
23 garage. We haven't really discussed that.
24 MEMBER GHANNAM: I am certainly in
1 support of garages in Michigan, especially
2 on the lake. I know we have approved the
3 building of them before. In general this is
4 a somewhat questionable case because you
5 have a little bit harder burden in this case
6 showing a necessary a hardship. I
7 understand the house for some people may be
8 small, you are not even asking for that much
9 of an addition, so I don't have a problem
10 with that as long as no neighbors have
11 issues with you and so forth.
12 The garage is a little bit more
13 questionable. But I wouldn't have a problem
14 supporting it, but it would have to be
15 contingent upon you closing on the property,
16 obviously we wouldn't want to grant these
17 variances and you not close. We can have
18 conditions can't we?
19 MS. KUDLA: We can, but I just want to
20 point out it is practical difficulty. These
21 are non-use variances.
22 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'm sorry, I
23 misstated, it is practical difficulty. But
24 it would have to be conditioned on you
1 closing on the property. But I would be in
2 support of it.
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Bauer?
4 MEMBER BAUER: Is this going to be
5 owner occupied?
6 MR. KUBBE: Yes.
7 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Ms.
10 MEMBER KRIEGER: Question. For the
11 second paper, for the four cars, the
12 driveway is going to go from the street to
13 the house so that you can drive all four
14 cars into the driveway from the side?
15 MR. KUBBE: No, it's not a side
16 entrance. The current garage is a front
17 entrance from the street and it would just
18 continue into back farther to have, you
19 know, in fact a four car space. But, again,
20 we're not really looking to store four cars.
21 We just need space for jet skis, kayaks,
22 that type of stuff, so that's what we're
23 looking for.
24 MEMBER KRIEGER: Question to the City.
1 The nine feet of the building to the street
2 in other homes in that area, is that about
3 similar? What's the shortest driveway we
4 have out there?
5 MR. BOULARD: I can't tell you what
6 the shortage driveway we have out there is.
7 There are several houses. In fact, it's
8 fairly typical in that area to have garages
9 in the front setback and fairly close to the
10 road. But I can't provide distances for
12 MEMBER KRIEGER: That's all for now.
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
14 Anybody else? Seeing none, may I hear a
15 motion from anybody? Go ahead, Member
17 MEMBER GHANNAM: If there is no other
18 discussion I will make a motion. In case
19 number: 08-065 filed by Harry Kubbe for
20 1300 East Lake Road on behalf of its current
21 owner, I will go ahead and move that we
22 approve the petition as filed and as
23 designed as its been presented us here today
24 for all four variances. It does appear
1 based on the condition of the property that
2 if we do not grant the relief as requested,
3 it would unreasonably prevent the use of the
4 property for its permitted purpose. It is
5 an unusual site. All these lake front
6 properties are unusual, they are narrow,
7 they are long and so forth. Since the
8 existing garage is the closest structure to
9 the street, it does not appear that the
10 addition of the garage nor the addition to
11 the home would affect surrounding properties
12 or owners in the district. There are unique
13 circumstances to the property. It's not
14 certainly self created. There would be no
15 issues with light or air to adjacent
16 properties. We haven't heard any evidence
17 that there would be any fire, danger or
18 public safety issues that didn't already
19 exist. Certainly property values would not
20 be diminished in the surrounding area, I
21 think they would be improved. And it appears
22 that the Zoning Ordinances would be
23 observed. And this would be conditioned
24 upon the closing, the successful closing of
1 the Petitioner's purchase of the property
2 from its existing owner.
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. A
4 motion has been made. We are looking for a
5 second? All right, I don't see anybody else
6 volunteering, I will enter myself so we can
7 move on, I will second the motion.
8 Any further discussion? Seeing none,
9 Mr. Boulard, will you kindly.
10 MR. BOULARD: I will. Member Bauer?
11 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
12 MR. BOULARD: Member Wrobel?
13 MEMBER WROBEL: No.
14 MR. BOULARD: Member Ghannam?
15 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
16 MR. BOULARD: Member Ibe?
17 MEMBER IBE: No.
18 MR. BOULARD: Member Krieger?
19 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
20 MR. BOULARD: Member Sanghvi?
21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
22 MR. BOULARD: Member Skelcy?
23 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
24 MR. BOULARD: Motion is approved 5-2.
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Your
2 request has been granted. Congratulations
3 and thank you.
4 Moving along to case, the next case,
5 Case number: 08-066 MacKenzie South
6 Technology Centre. West of Haggerty Road
7 and north of Thirteen Mile Road.
8 Would you please identify yourself,
9 name and address and if you are not an
10 attorney please be sworn in by our
11 Secretary. Thank you.
12 MR. HUGHES: Good evening. Brian
13 Hughes, 328 (unintelligible) Franklin,
14 Michigan and I am not an attorney.
15 MEMBER KRIEGER: Do you swear or
16 affirm in case number: 08-066 to tell the
17 truth in this case?
18 MR. HUGHES: Yes. I am here this
19 evening asking for your consideration for
20 two sign variances for the property that we
21 are developing north of 13 Mile and west of
22 Haggerty Road. There might be a little
23 confusion with the way that I read the
24 agenda item. It's actually two different
1 signs because there is two different
2 properties and ultimately two different
4 The reason why we built the signs the
5 way they are at 32 square feet was this is a
6 pictorial sign and a design that we have
7 been using in our park for quite a few
8 years. Unfortunately we did not realize
9 that the variance had changed which was
10 brought to my attention after the fact by
11 Mr. Amolsch that it's now 16 feet per sign.
12 So, I went out there to look at the signs
13 and our position is that the reality is that
14 the sign at 16 square feet would actually
15 pose a bit of a safety hazard because
16 sitting back as they are off the
17 right-of-way and at the location they are at
18 MacKenzie which bisects into Haggerty Road
19 if you are coming either northbound or
20 southbound, there is quite a bit of incline
21 there. And my concern is that this would
22 pose a safety hazard for people trying to
23 read the sign as they are driving by the
24 park. That is going to be one of the
1 secondary entrances to our second phase to
2 the Haggerty Road or corporate park and both
3 of those building will be on either side of
4 Mackenzie Drive.
5 I actually put in your packet some
6 pictures with some measurements. If you are
7 going northbound, there is a sign at 145
8 feet a picture and there is another one at
9 92. So, not so easy to read at 145 and it
10 is easier at 92. And the same then when you
11 are coming southbound at 102, it's not very
12 visible. At 74 it's more visible. But our
13 concern is if it's only 16 square feet, you
14 would be hard pressed at either of those
15 site lines to actually be able to read the
16 sign. So, I appreciate your consideration
17 and I'm available for any questions you
18 might have.
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Is
20 there anybody in the audience would like to
21 address the Board regarding this case?
22 Seeing none, we close the public remarks.
23 Madam Secretary, are there any
1 MEMBER KRIEGER: In case number:
2 08-066 there were 541 notices mailed. Zero
4 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
5 Building Department?
6 MR. BOULARD: Thank you. A couple of
7 questions for the Petitioner if I may. The
8 application shows two addresses but a single
9 parcel. And this is a single parcel,
11 MR. HUGHES: Correct.
12 MR. BOULARD: And your one 16 square
13 foot sign would be allowed and you are
14 requesting two 32 foot signs?
15 MR. HUGHES: Actually, Charles, it's
16 going to be two different parcels. Right
17 now the way that's been we don't have the
18 land division for that. It's in the
19 process, so you have basically -- it's two
20 different sites. Two different site plan
21 approvals. They have gone through the
22 Building Department, gone through Planning.
23 We have gotten our site plan approval. So
24 it's actually two completely different
1 sites. It's two different buildings,
2 therefore, two different parcels.
3 MR. BOULARD: But at this point it's a
4 single parcel?
5 MR. HUGHES: Right.
6 MR. BOULARD: In the future it's going
7 to be divided?
8 MR. HUGHES: Correct. That would be a
10 MR. BOULARD: So, at the point in the
11 future that it becomes divided into two
12 parcels, each parcel would be allowed to
13 have a 16 square foot sign. In this case
14 you are asking for a 32 square foot sign for
15 each future parcel upfront. Would that be
17 MR. HUGHES: Correct.
18 MR. BOULARD: Thank you. Nothing
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I will open it
21 to the Board. Would you put your sign up on
22 the overhead, please.
23 MR. HUGHES: It is, actually.
24 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Wrobel?
1 MEMBER WROBEL: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
2 It's my understanding looking at the
3 paperwork that you are before us because
4 that you received a violation on existing
6 MR. HUGHES: Correct.
7 MEMBER WROBEL: I understand the need
8 for signs, but I look at this sign here and
9 I am looking, how can I make a sign smaller
10 but yet readable. To me right away looking
11 at other signs, I would take the picture off
12 the sign. You can reduce the size. Reduce
13 the size of your letters -- or increase the
14 size of your letters and maybe get into sign
15 conformity area. To me this is a
16 self-created hardship because of the sign
17 you want to put up there. I think there are
18 other ways around it. I will be more apt to
19 approve a sign larger than the 16 square
20 foot if the picture wasn't there, you moved
21 it around. If the letters weren't big
22 enough to read, then to me would be a
23 hardship. To me based on what I am seeing
24 here, this is self created and I couldn't
1 approve it at this time.
2 MR. HUGHES: With all due respect, the
3 reason we have pictures on the signs is the
4 same reason we build the infrastructure and
5 the roadways we put in the parks, sometimes
6 people have to come out and actually see
7 what it looks like. There are a lot of
8 people that are very challenged by the idea
9 of coming out and just looking at a sign, so
10 for us that's something we've done for years
11 and it's very common place to have pictures
12 of the product because that helps the person
13 buy into the idea of being there. They can
14 envision themselves being there more. The
15 same reason we put the investment in the
16 roadways ahead of time so people can
17 actually drive down the road and get a sense
18 of what it looks like. So, I understand
19 your position, but we do that for that
21 MEMBER WROBEL: I understand your
22 position and I know you guys know what you
23 are doing in your business and everything,
24 and I don't question that. But, I have seen
1 a lot the other way and it works too, so
2 it's six in one and half dozen in the other
3 to me. If we can avoid giving a variance,
4 I'd prefer to do that, to take that route in
5 this case. I don't really see any really
6 hardship, hardship because other people get
7 by without pictures on it. You see what I'm
8 saying? I'm not sold.
9 MR. HUGHES: I appreciate that. I
10 still as I mentioned earlier, I think there
11 is a safety issue posed by that. Even if
12 you don't have a pictorial on there, then
13 you are even trying harder to read the
14 writing. I think in as much as the point
15 you are making it has to do with the size of
16 the sign itself and how visible it is when
17 you are coming down Haggerty Road.
18 I mean, when you are driving 45
19 miles an hour it's not that easy to see
21 MEMBER WROBEL: And as I said I would
22 be more inclined to approve a sign size that
23 is larger than the allowed if it didn't have
24 the picture on it. If it was deemed at that
1 time well the letters are too small that you
2 can't see them that you need it bigger,
3 somewhere between 16 and 32 in there then
4 the size could come up I would approve
5 something like that. Thank you.
6 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay. Mr.
8 MEMBER BAUER: Al, what is the ground
9 sign square footage, do you have an idea for
10 the park?
11 MR. AMOLSCH: The one that's there?
12 MEMBER BAUER: The ground sign that is
13 in the middle of the road?
14 MR. AMOLSCH: Unless it was just put
15 up recently, you are talking as an entrance
17 MEMBER BAUER: No, just the sign for
18 the name of the park.
19 MR. AMOLSCH: These are real estate
20 signs, not entranceway signs. There is a
22 MEMBER BAUER: I just wanted to know
23 the square footage.
24 MR. AMOLSCH: For an entranceway sign
1 to the development would be allowed 24
2 square feet of sign area.
3 MEMBER BAUER: Okay, thank you.
4 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay.
5 MEMBER GHANNAM: I have a question.
6 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr.
8 MEMBER GHANNAM: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
9 Actually I have got a question for the City.
10 Are they entitled to one sign per address?
11 MR. AMOLSCH: Not address, per parcel.
12 MEMBER GHANNAM: And there is two
13 parcels here?
14 MR. AMOLSCH: Currently it's just one.
15 The signs are on one parcel and it's
16 proposed to be split into two parcels which
17 would allow them to have a sign on the each
18 parcel but limited to 16 square feet.
19 MEMBER GHANNAM: If and when this is a
20 split they would be entitled to one sign per
22 MR. AMOLSCH: Right.
23 MEMBER GHANNAM: Up to 16 square foot?
24 MR. AMOLSCH: That's correct.
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: You are saying that's
2 going through council right now to get the
3 lot split?
4 MR. HUGHES: Yeah, we'll go through
5 the process. We have the approval to go
6 forward from the buildings.
7 MEMBER GHANNAM: How about the lot
9 MR. HUGHES: That's in the process.
10 MEMBER GHANNAM: Do you know when you
11 expect to receive that?
12 MR. HUGHES: No.
13 MEMBER GHANNAM: Do you expect to have
14 any issues with splitting the lots?
15 MR. HUGHES: No. I know we own 200
16 acres still to be developed. That will not
17 be a problem whatsoever.
18 MEMBER GHANNAM: And the lots that
19 these signs you intend to put them on, how
20 large would those lots be?
21 MR. HUGHES: I don't really know how
22 large they are. I am assuming they are
23 probably a four acre sites, but I don't have
24 that information with me.
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: So, each site that
2 you intend to put a 32 square foot sign
3 would be about four acres you would say?
4 MR. HUGHES: Correct. It's whatever
5 the proper density would be to allow. The
6 buildings themselves are 52,000 square foot
7 buildings. So whatever that requires. I
8 think it's about four acres. I don't know,
9 Charles, if you would know, but you have to
10 have the parking. It's parked five per
11 thousand. So my assumption it would be
12 approximately that size.
13 MEMBER GHANNAM: Do you know when you
14 would start to build on this particular
16 MR. HUGHES: The north building is the
17 one that we plan on building first.
18 Originally we were going to do one on the
19 speculative, but again with the economy, we
20 are not going to be building them until such
21 time that we have a major tenant. They are
22 designed to be multi-tenant buildings.
23 MEMBER GHANNAM: The reason why I ask
24 is because if the Board is inclined to grant
1 any type of variance I would recommend some
2 type of time limitation. I don't want to
3 put some kind of time limitation that would
4 be reasonable. Because if you are not even
5 intending on building right now, you just
6 want to put up signs I would want to know
7 how long you would recommend the Board put
8 some type of limitation.
9 MR. HUGHES: You know, I would ask
10 that it would be a minimum of perhaps a year
11 that I would entertain that and that would
12 be appreciated. I understand before the ZBA
13 you have to prove a hardship, so to sit up
14 here and say because of economic times I'm
15 not inclined to do it, but it's the reality.
16 The times today are different than they were
17 two or three years ago. And again we have
18 always done the size of the building and I
19 understand that ignorance is not the excuse
20 for doing it the size of the sign, but we
21 were rather surprised when we were told that
22 had been changed. Because Northern Equities
23 Group has worked hard with the city itself
24 to change the Ordinances to make them
1 favorable at the same time fair to everyone.
2 And I was very surprised that this
3 particular portion of the sign Ordinance had
4 been changed.
5 MEMBER GHANNAM: Personally I don't
6 have a problem with the proposal as stated,
7 but I would only recommend it would be about
8 a year and only one side per parcel, so I
9 guess you would be entitled to one, but when
10 the other parcel split, one sign for that
11 parcel to comply with City Ordinances. So,
12 I would be in favor of something to that
13 affect. Thank you.
14 MR. HUGHES: Thank you.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Ibe?
16 MEMBER IBE: I just want to reaffirm
17 what the last speaker said. I would be in
18 favor as well so long as it is to one
19 parcel. Since you are in the process of
20 splitting the parcel, I think one for now
21 should suffice and until the time that you
22 split into two of them perhaps you can get
23 your second one. But just a real quick
24 comment that was made by Member Wrobel
1 regarding the picture. I do know that the
2 sign is for marketing purposes, would that
3 be correct, sir?
4 MR. HUGHES: Yes.
5 MEMBER IBE: Do you have a web site
6 for your marketing this building?
7 MR. HUGHES: Well, it's overall web,
8 www.North.com. It's a company web site.
9 MEMBER IBE: I'm surprised, sir, you
10 don't have it on here. Don't you think that
11 would be more appropriate to have, these
12 days people have visual images on computers.
13 I think you even grandpa in Bolivia on the
14 computer these days can get on the internet.
15 They can see your picture of your building.
16 I can't imagine driving down on Haggerty and
17 saying, whoops, let me stop over and watch
18 that picture and that stuff.
19 MR. HUGHES: My understanding is that
20 it is on the web site. Are you saying you
21 went on there and it's not on there?
22 MEMBER IBE: No, no. I am saying with
23 your sign perhaps if you didn't have your
24 picture on this and you had maybe your web
1 site and showing the visuals are on it, I
2 think it would probably be good. People want
3 to see a full number is probably more
5 MR. HUGHES: That's why the phone
6 number is as prominent as it is.
7 MEMBER IBE: Yeah, but the picture is
8 I think what Member Wrobel had concerns
9 about and I am thinking, I'm not trying to
10 tell you how to run your business, but I do
11 know with the way the economy is people have
12 to develop better ways to market your
13 product. And it's perhaps something that is
14 missing on your sign. You have a picture
15 that personally I don't think solves any
16 problems. I'm not going to stop and look at
17 the picture, but I would probably look at it
18 on the web site and I would be more curious
19 and find more if I am interested in your
20 development that you have right now. So,
21 perhaps something you might want to
22 consider. But as far as I am concerned now,
23 I will be in favor of one approval for now
24 as well. Thank you.
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Ms.
3 MEMBER KRIEGER: For a sign I don't
4 think we can say what can be put on them.
5 But as far as driving by, it's 45 miles an
6 hour on Haggerty and knowing how everybody
7 drives, it's much faster than that. So, to
8 be able to see it, I caught the phone
9 number, but then the rest I don't know how,
10 what you could put on it and what you can't,
11 it would be up to you. So, for size I'm not
12 too sure about what can be done and what's
13 requested. So that's where I'm at. Thank
15 MS. KUDLA: Through the Chair, she is
16 correct, we can't really limit what they're
17 putting in their signs.
18 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Chair, real quickly.
19 Just so we have -- perhaps it's a
20 misunderstanding of language or phonetics or
21 grammatics, I don't know. That's not my
22 suggestion one bit at all. It is just a
24 MR. HUGHES: No, I appreciate it.
1 MEMBER IBE: Times are hard. We can't
2 do business the same old way. Just because
3 it was done that way 50 years ago doesn't
4 mean it works any more. We have have diverse
5 new ways to market your product. It's a
6 suggestion. People take it or you don't
7 have to take it but it might work for you.
8 MR. HUGHES: I wrote it down. Thank
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Just to
11 recapitulate. Mr. Amolsch, please remind
12 me. They are entitled to one sign per parcel
13 and what is the size of that sign they are?
14 MR. AMOLSCH: Sixteen square feet is
15 allowed and 10 feet in height. What they
16 are asking for was 32 square foot sign.
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. I
18 can just put in my penny worth of comments
19 is so long as there is one parcel there is
20 no need to have two signs. It is way back
21 inside, so I don't know how much of the
22 Haggerty traffic is going to slow to see the
23 signs really. How far back are you from
24 Haggerty Road?
1 MR. HUGHES: Eighty feet.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I think we can
3 whittle it down to one sign. The next
4 question is whether the 32 square feet is
5 reasonable or not. Maybe we can entertain a
6 motion? Yes, Mr. Ibe?
7 MEMBER IBE: Can I make a motion?
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Go ahead.
9 MEMBER IBE: Very well, sir. In case
10 number 08-066 MacKenzie South Technology
11 Center, I move that we grant the request
12 made by the Petitioner as to one sign since
13 it's one parcel currently and because the
14 request is based on circumstances or
15 features that are exceptional and unique to
16 the property and do not result from
17 conditions that exist generally in the city
18 or that are self created.
19 Secondly, that failure to grant such
20 relief will unreasonably prevent or limit
21 the use of the property and since the party
22 in this case is trying to market the new
23 development, failing to grant would
24 obviously create an inconvenience or
1 inability to obtain the economic or
2 financial return expected by the Petitioner.
3 And also, the grant of relief will not
4 result in the use of the structure that is
5 incompatible with or unreasonably interferes
6 with adjacent or surrounding properties.
7 And, also, I would state that the sign, it's
8 limited to I think one year time period.
9 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll second that.
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: A motion has
11 been made. Yes?
12 MR. BOULARD: I just wanted to clarify
13 if I could. The motion is for one sign of
14 32 square feet?
15 MEMBER IBE: That's correct.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: And it has been
17 seconded by Mr. Ghannam. Any further
18 discussion? Seeing none, will you please
19 call the roll.
20 MR. BOULARD: Member Bauer?
21 MEMBER BAUER: No.
22 MR. BOULARD: Member Wrobel?
23 MEMBER WROBEL: No.
24 MR. BOULARD: Member Ghannam?
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
2 MR. BOULARD: Member Ibe?
3 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
4 MR. BOULARD: Member Krieger?
5 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
6 MR. BOULARD: Chairman Sanghvi?
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
8 MR. BOULARD: Member Skelcy?
9 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
10 MR. BOULARD: Motion is approved 5-2.
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
12 All right, moving along to the
13 next case. Case number: 08-068 filed by Ed
14 Bezilla of Visual Entities, Incorporated for
15 26750 Providence Parkway, Novi Orthopaedic
16 Center. The Applicant is requesting a
17 variance to install a 9 foot high monument
18 sign for the Novi Orthopaedic Center. The
19 property is zoned OSC and is located west of
20 Beck Road and south of Grand River Avenue.
21 Will you please identify yourself and if --
22 MEMBER KRIEGER: Mr. Chair, I would
23 like to recuse myself because I am an
24 employee of Providence Hospital.
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, thank you.
2 MEMBER BAUER: It has to be voted on.
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yeah, well, I
4 don't know whether having a sign like this
5 would make any difference whether you worked
6 for Providence Hospital or not. This is not
7 part to do with Providence Hospital. This
8 is the Orthopedic Center. As far as I am
9 concerned I don't see any problem by you
10 being here. What is the general feeling of
11 the Board?
12 MS. KUDLA: I believe it's a lessee of
13 Providence Hospital. It's not directly
14 Providence Hospital.
15 MEMBER IBE: So, she can stay.
16 MS. KUDLA: I don't think there's a
18 MEMBER IBE: No, it's not.
19 MEMBER KRIEGER: I wanted to disclose
21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. I am
22 so glad you brought it up and that is the
23 right thing to do and I commend you for
24 doing what you did, but I don't think you
1 need to be excused.
2 All right, sir, will you please
3 identify yourself and if you are not an
4 attorney, please be sworn in by our
6 MR. BEZILLA: I will be happy to
7 introduce myself. My name is Ed Bezilla. I
8 am with Visual Entities, I am not an
9 attorney, and I am ready to be sworn in.
10 MEMBER KRIEGER: In case number:
11 08-068 filed by Ed Bezilla of Visual
12 Entities, do you swear or affirm to tell the
13 truth in this case?
14 MR. BEZILLA: I do.
15 MEMBER KRIEGER: Okay, thank you.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Go ahead and
17 make your presentation.
18 MR. BEZILLA: Yes, sir. We are
19 petitioning to have a variance to allow us
20 to increase the size of the sign to nine
21 feet high compared to the six feet high
22 that's currently allowed. We believe that
23 some of the conditions that exist at that
24 property are creating practical difficulties
1 for us. I refer to what I have been told by
2 our client to be conditions such as
3 landscaping and berming that has been
4 required by the City for this particular
5 property. Also the configuration of the
6 road with it being a broad circular kind of
7 serpentine configuration masks the entrance
8 to the property as well as the identity of
9 the sign by drivers on that road.
10 From as little as only 135 feet from
11 the sign location which is actually the
12 entrance location to the building site, that
13 sign is not visible and that's, I don't
14 believe what is intended for the use of that
15 sign in that particular instance by the
16 City. I also mention that because at that
17 distance, 135 feet, while there is no posted
18 speed limit there, there may very well be,
19 it would seem that a 25 mile an hour speed
20 limit might be appropriate and might be
21 agreed upon. At that particular speed
22 limit, the driver only has about three to
23 three and a half seconds to respond to
24 seeing the sign and then making a decision
1 to turn into the property. I think given
2 that circumstance, cars entering and exiting
3 that creates a significant hazard on that
4 particular road to the drivers.
5 I think that a failure
6 to grant the variance continues to make for
7 a traffic hazard at that location and I also
8 think that it limits the practical use of
9 that sign as it was intended to by the City
10 by a substantial margin. I don't think that
11 granting the variance would create an
12 economic benefit for the property owner. It
13 would just simply allow their sign to be
14 seen as allowed to by the code and by the
15 City for that particular property. Others
16 do not have those sorts of obstacles in that
17 particular compound, the Providence
19 And I don't think that granting that
20 would make the Novi Orthopedic sign
21 incompatible with the signs that are already
22 on that compound and in that area. There are
23 examples of signs at least that high for
24 identifying and directing people in that
1 area. That concludes my presentation.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Is
3 there anybody in the audience who would like
4 to speak regarding this case? Seeing none,
5 we will close the Public Remark Section. To
6 our Secretary, do we have any correspondence
7 regarding this case?
8 MEMBER KRIEGER: In case number:
9 08-068, 105 notices were mailed. One
10 approval, one objection. First one is from
11 Joann Ward on Eleven Mile. "As I previously
12 responded to sign variances, I oppose as the
13 code is clearly written and six feet is high
14 enough. Providence Hospital's property
15 backs up to my backyard and of all the
16 notices I receive for their variances, the
17 only one I oppose to are the sign
19 The second one is from Richard Hurbell
20 on Konisberg (phonetic). "I have no
21 objection to the installation of a nine foot
22 Orthopedic Center sign. There are so many
23 buildings along Grand River it is hard to
24 locate a business location when driving."
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
2 Building Department?
3 MR. BOULARD: If I may, a point of
4 clarification and two questions. You have a
5 drawing that shows the area around the
6 Orthopedic building and then a description
7 of the signs for reference. The Petitioner
8 included a key map of the site and a hatched
9 area is actually the around around the
10 orthopedic building. In terms of questions,
11 if I may, are any of the signs that are
12 proposed intended to replace existing signs?
13 MR. BEZILLA: Yes. If you grant this
14 petition, it would replace the existing six
15 foot high sign that's in that current
17 MR. BOULARD: Which location is that?
18 MR. BEZILLA: If I may, I will use the
19 scanner here. If you can see that image,
20 you will notice that that is the existing
21 sign that's at that property. That sign can
22 be seen because it's about a hundred feet
23 from the entrance. I can show you some
24 other pictures from slightly greater
1 distances. A 135 for example where the sign
2 is there now is not able to be seen. This
3 is the sign at nine feet from the exact
4 location. What you're going to see in
5 comparison between what's there now and what
6 would be proposed is the impact of the
7 berming as well as the foliage that's the
8 landscape plantings which play a significant
9 role in blocking the signs between April,
10 May and October.
11 This next comparison photo is -- oh,
12 that's a big difference. This is from 198
13 feet. You can not see the sign. It's just
14 on the right-hand side of the picture there.
15 This is current conditions and I believe if
16 any of you have driven the site, you have
17 noticed that we added to that existing sign
18 just to show you at nine feet the impact
19 that an additional three feet would have.
20 This shows that the sign would be able to be
21 viewed from that same distance.
22 And then my last comparison is from
23 135 feet. This is what you see, as I say,
24 between April, May and October. You barely
1 make out the top part of the sign. And then
2 this is what we would have if we have
3 another three feet. So, there is, obviously
4 the sign could be seen better at three feet.
5 Their name, traffic can react to the message
6 quicker and get in and out of the property
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay. Thank
9 you. Thank you, Mr. Boulard. Yes, Mr.
11 MEMBER BAUER: Those bushes are going
12 to grow and you are going to come back and
13 ask for three more feet. It will happen.
14 MR. BEZILLA: It will happen.
15 Landscaping is a dynamic as we all know and
16 it will be the property owner's
17 responsibility to keep them trimmed.
18 MEMBER BAUER: That's something else.
19 MR. BEZILLA: Yes, sir.
20 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Ms. Skelcy?
22 MEMBER SKELCY: Can you guarantee that
23 if you were given a nine foot sign that they
24 would still be able to see it in the summer?
1 Because it looked to me from the
2 photographs, the foliage from the trees that
3 you don't really trim would even cover a
4 nine foot sign. Can you guarantee that that
5 would still be seen with all that foliage
6 from the trees in the summer?
7 MR. BEZILLA: I think that the client
8 would be satisfied with that. In all
9 signage there is opportunities to view in
10 between obstacles and that's one of those
11 instances where the angle of visibility is
12 better at nine feet than it is at six feet.
13 So, it's definitely an enhancement to the
14 readability of that sign.
15 Again, as I mentioned to Mr. Bauer,
16 it's going to be their responsibility to
17 keep things trimmed. I don't know what kind
18 of trees those are. I don't know tall they
19 are going to grow. What their canopy is
20 going to be. What the lowest point is going
21 to be. Perhaps they can trim that up a
22 little bit and still keep the beauty of the
23 tree and create a nice window of opportunity
24 for people to view the sign from. In fact,
1 maybe in years to come it might even be
2 better viewed because of that. I don't
4 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Wrobel?
5 MEMBER WROBEL: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
6 Has any thought been given to moving the
7 existing sign you want a variance on to
8 another location on the site that you might
9 be able to keep at the same size and not
10 have the landscaping problems?
11 MR. BEZILLA: Well, all I can tell you
12 about that is that we found when we
13 installed the existing sign we followed the
14 architect's plan and that was submitted to
15 Planning as the master plan site. It is a
16 cross-section easement, I have no idea what
17 that means. But that is where the sign is
18 placed. In my involvement with the property
19 I understand that there may have been some
20 utility lines running in that area which
21 doesn't allow for a lot of range of movement
22 for that sign.
23 MEMBER WROBEL: As you know we have
24 had a lot of requests for variances on this
1 whole property. Quite a few. I am looking
2 at here, I am seeing all the directional
3 signs. If this was the only sign that was
4 out there then I would say, well, yeah,
5 maybe you got a problem, but I see one, two,
6 three, four other signs. I mean if you pass
7 it you are going to catch the next sign.
8 So, to me that's not that big of a deal.
9 This certainly effects some of the traffic
10 it appears coming off of the Grand River
11 entrance because people coming the other way
12 are going to see one, two, three signs
13 before they are even coming from Grand River
14 there is a sign up way up to the north
15 there. It's not like we're going into the
16 industrial park either there. We are looking
17 at very few buildings and most people going
18 to the Orthopedic Center I would say would
19 probably be somewhat familiar when they make
20 their appointment or whatever they know
21 where it is. It obviously is not the
22 hospital, not the big medical building or
23 the hotel. So, by process of elimination,
24 gee, this is the building. I am having an
1 issue with that. There are all the other
2 signs that they could use.
3 MR. BEZILLA: Maybe my answer to that
4 would be that if you are referring to the
5 signs that are within the footprint of Novi
6 Ortho, all of those signs are shielded from
7 visibility from the ring road, from
8 perimeter road that the main I.D. sign is
9 viewed from. Those are all behind the berm
10 and can't be seen. Secondly, what I could
11 say about signage is what I know from 35
12 years experience. You put signs up for
13 immediate identification, recognition of a
14 business. But you put it up to that first
15 time user. The second time user if they are
16 tuned in are going to remember that location
17 if they have to go back there again.
18 MEMBER WROBEL: Does the building
19 itself have a sign on it?
20 MR. BEZILLA: They have address
21 numbers, that's it. Yes.
22 MEMBER WROBEL: Because to me it would
23 almost be better to have a sign on the
24 building. You are not going to get the
1 visibility. You are not going to deal with
2 the growth of the landscaping and hopefully
3 it will be seen from much more distance.
4 That's all, Mr. Chair.
5 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
6 Anybody else? While you are thinking, I
7 will put in my. I went there and I saw it.
8 You have quite eloquent directional signs.
9 Novi Orthopedic Center is going to be a
10 destination and I don't see any reason why
11 they cannot be found with your sign that is
12 present there right now. So, I don't see
13 any need to grant you any variance in your
14 request at this point in time. That's my
16 Any other comments? Yes, Ms. Krieger?
17 MEMBER KRIEGER: I find that traffic
18 is faster than you would expect it to be on
19 that parkway and that, yes, when you go
20 around that curve, if you don't know what's
21 there, it clues you into that that is the
22 main parking for Orthopedic and I had not
23 remembered if there had been Orthopedic on
24 the building itself. So I find that it
1 would be useful to clue someone in to, oh,
2 yeah, that's where I'm supposed to go and
3 park. And that's my observations right now.
4 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
5 Anyone care to make a motion?
6 MEMBER WROBEL: I guess I'll try.
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Go on.
8 MEMBER WROBEL: In case: 08-068 filed
9 by Ed Bezilla of Visual Entities for 26750
10 Providence Parkway Novi Orthopedic Center to
11 deny their variance to install a nine foot
12 high monument sign for Novi Orthopedic
13 Center since the Petitioner has not
14 presented a hardship and existing signage
15 will be sufficient for the present time.
16 MEMBER IBE: Second the motion.
17 MS. KUDLA: Can I interject, the
18 standard is practical difficulty rather than
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Change the
22 MEMBER WROBEL: Okay, I'll change the
24 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Any further
1 comments by anybody? No, seeing none, Mr.
2 Boulard, please call the roll.
3 MR. BOULARD: Member Bauer?
4 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
5 MR. BOULARD: Member Wrobel?
6 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
7 MR. BOULARD: Member Ghannam?
8 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
9 MR. BOULARD: Member Ibe?
10 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
11 MR. BOULARD: Chairman Sanghvi?
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
13 MR. BOULARD: Member Krieger?
14 MEMBER KRIEGER: No.
15 MR. BOULARD: Member Skelcy?
16 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
17 MR. BOULARD: Motion is approved 6-1.
18 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Thank
19 you for your appearance. Thank you very
21 MR. BEZILLA: I would just like to say
22 not related to this subject. My company had
23 a great experience with the City of Novi
24 with regard to support and getting this
1 petition filed and I just wanted that to be
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
4 All right, moving on. The next case
5 is case number: 08-069 for 46100 Grand
6 River Avenue filed by Blair Bowman of
7 ServMan, LLC for Rock Financial. Oh, he is
8 here. He is setting up.
9 MR. BOWMAN: I am trying, yeah.
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, Mr. Bowman,
11 for the record please identify yourself and
12 state your address and be sworn in if you
13 are not an attorney.
14 MR. BOWMAN: Well, I'm not a formal
15 attorney. I am educated way back as one,
16 but I am not a practicing one. I don't have
17 a P number. My name is Blair Bowman and
18 tonight I'm representing ServMan, LLC, as
19 well as I'm also the owner and operator of
20 Rock Financial Showplace both of which are
21 located at 46100 Grand River, in Novi,
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Please swear him
1 MEMBER KRIEGER: So, in case number:
2 08-069 filed by yourself for Rock Financial
3 at 46100 Grand River Avenue, do you swear to
4 tell the truth in this case?
5 MR. BOWMAN: I do.
6 MEMBER KRIEGER: Thank you.
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Please make your
9 MR. BOWMAN: Thank you very much.
10 Tonight I am before you with a request
11 that's based upon I guess two basic tenants.
12 One which is a request for help and
13 assistance for which I hope to give you some
14 good reason. And the second being as I
15 understand it this is a regulatory body,
16 requiring information regarding ordinance
17 variances for some hardship and other
18 information as far as uniqueness as to the
19 property, the situation that we're involved
20 with. And it's my intention to hopefully
21 provide you with good information and
22 respectfully request that you honor our
24 I don't need I think to stand before
1 you tonight and talk about the challenging
2 economic times. I think that's kind of a
3 given these days. It's very, very difficult.
4 As was mentioned earlier you need to find
5 new ways to reach out and conduct business.
6 What my sincere goal in the first basic
7 tenant is again to request some assistance
8 from the City of Novi. Being a privately
9 funded but yet a major public facility
10 within your borders, there is a limitation,
11 a pretty severe limitation on what can be
12 provided by the community to assist in what
13 yet is still a very major economic generator
14 in the community. In the packet we provided
15 you with a study that was done both
16 initially for the construction of the new
17 facility which showed that in our first year
18 of operation we are expecting to have about
19 a quarter of a billion dollars worth of
20 direct economic impact into the community.
21 We recently did have that updated and
22 reviewed by a CPA firm and they projected
23 that in the 2008 season alone we had over
24 600 million dollars worth of direct economic
1 impact in the Novi and surrounding area
2 permeating out of the southeastern, Michigan
3 in general. Typically these types of
4 facilities are fully publically subsidized
5 and operated at a loss and those types of
6 things. We again are a privately operated
8 What we are looking for is a way, kind
9 of the law of unintended consequences when
10 trying to do something good. We originally
11 had granted a conservation easement on the
12 old I-96 rest area which after developing
13 the site in the site plan, came to find out
14 when we went to place our marquis sign that
15 it blocked almost every direction, the
16 opportunity for placement of our marquis.
17 What we have experienced is and you will see
18 in the packet we provided you, testimonials
19 and letters from our major, some of our
20 major shows is that even our old, you know,
21 stick up letter sign at the old facility
22 actually did a better job of delivering
23 information about what was going on at the
24 building than our current marquis does. So,
1 what we're asking for tonight is to improve
2 on some existing signage that is there from
3 an expressway billboard signage group.
4 There is two located on our site and
5 actually install one state of the art single
6 mono-pole sign with a double face, one of
7 which would be an electronic LED style sign.
8 We have negotiated arrangements if
9 we're successful where we would be able to
10 utilize 25 percent of that sign for
11 delivering message about what's going on at
12 the facility. I think that going on to what
13 would be then the more technical
14 requirements, the variance base requirements
15 is that this is a unique situation in that
16 our property currently has two signs already
17 on it. We would be looking to eliminate the
18 two signs and put up one sign. So, a two
19 for one exchange.
20 Our property is also 55 acres in size
21 with over a half mile of frontage along 96.
22 I don't think, again, you would find that
23 you would have any other requests that would
24 be able to meet this very unique situation,
1 frankly where you have both existing signs
2 that would be eliminated in response for
3 one. Where you have such a sizable parcel
4 with this amount of frontage and then also
5 having a major private center but yet a
6 public draw such as we are.
7 I think that if you
8 look in the package, also I apologize, when
9 we delivered our original package to you,
10 for some reason the photographs did not come
11 through very well, they were kind of dark in
12 nature. So, I did include two additional
13 new photographs. One showing the almost
14 exactly similar sign that is located at I-96
15 and Beck Road that has the LED board on it.
16 And then the other photograph has the
17 existing lower scape signs on them.
18 One of the basic hardships, if you
19 would, that I think that you will see is
20 that with the lower scape signs, we
21 currently on a regular basis have to make
22 application to and by right the state grants
23 the ability to clear cut, remove trees and
24 clear a visual path for view-ability of
1 those two existing lower scape signs. With
2 the installation of a new and sensitively
3 placed mono-pole sign we would work with
4 both the state and the city to locate that.
5 Given the topography again with the intent
6 being to deliver an adequate message safely
7 and effectively basically to industry
8 standards as to these types of signs, but it
9 would virtually eliminate the need to
10 continue to cut existing vegetation if
11 placed at the proper height.
12 In addition to the unique nature to,
13 again, the two for one, the major public
14 facility, the size of the parcel and the
15 extensive amount of frontage, what I have
16 placed on the easel here, also that's a
17 large version of what we have kind of cut in
18 half and provided in your package as far as
19 what I just handed you is an aerial
20 photograph which shows that our site is kind
21 of positioned in and amongst many other
22 properties that are similarly situated that
23 have extremely similar if not identical type
24 of signage in and along the I-96 corridor.
1 So, we are simply asking that we would
2 receive reasonably similar treatment to
3 other properties that are similarly
4 situated. This property was, in fact, at
5 one point in time zoned for heavy industrial
6 which I understand is a requirement under
7 the Ordinance. I am not sure as to what the
8 reference is in the response letter that we
9 received that it is in too close a proximity
10 to another off premises advertising sign.
11 I'm not aware of any other off premises sign
12 with the exception of the fact that they may
13 be referring to the two existing smaller
14 lower scape signs that we are proposing to
15 eliminate. Beyond that, it meets all
16 proximity requirements of the state. We
17 would simply be looking to install it in,
18 again, a fashion and size to safely and
19 effectively deliver messages as,
20 particularly in our case looking at this,
21 having 25 percent of this message rotation
22 would be critical to allow us to almost
23 instantaneously virtually provide
24 information on current events and coming
1 events and in the event that new information
2 was received about an existing event, we
3 could put that in with new a key stroke with
4 new technology versus having the old
5 antiquated style signs.
6 So, in summary, again, asking for some
7 help, hopefully for a reasonable and good
8 basis, also looking at it truly that this is
9 a unique situation where we would be
10 offering the exchange of taking down two
11 existing signs, in that stretch of highway,
12 literally it would be less sign poles and
13 structures than prior to our request and it
14 would give us an opportunity to provide our
15 shows with the ability to expand on and
16 maintain the major economic impact that we
18 And our study, I think, is
19 conservatively based and the other piece of
20 information I provided you tonight was a
21 Detroit newspaper article that is referring
22 to a center that's being proposed in Macomb
23 Township. They are going out there. They
24 are going for the same type of business that
1 we are currently providing for. Their
2 center is going to be half the size. They
3 have already installed infrastructure for it
4 and are heavily supporting it and are
5 seeking an abatement at the state level for
6 it and, in fact, the governor just needs to
7 sign it and it is law.
8 But they reduced the size that was
9 required for the investment from our quarter
10 of a million square feet, we actually have
11 320,000 square feet to where they are
12 allowing anything over 100,000 square to
13 apply for this abatement. They have
14 suggested in their infrastructure or their
15 investment of 150,000 square feet, less than
16 half of our size that they would create over
17 1,700 jobs and have literally millions of
18 dollars worth of tax revenues. We are
19 already doing that. We are here and we
20 really could use this adequate signage and I
21 believe also have some good basis for your
22 regulatory aspects to decide upon.
23 So, just with that I would
24 respectfully request that you approve our
1 signage proposal and would be able to answer
2 any questions.
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. If I
4 may request you, would you be kind enough to
5 show some of your photographs on the
6 overhead so the people at home can visualize
7 what we have been talking about?
8 MR. BOWMAN: Sure.
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. I
10 didn't want to interrupt your train of
12 MR. BOWMAN: No problem. This is the
13 existing sign which is at I-96, the
14 eastbound ramp to I-96 off of Beck Road. It
15 is the exact size, I believe if not the
16 exact height, very close and, again, it's a
17 center amount mono-pole structure. We
18 actually submitted plans to the department
19 that has a side shifted pole and also a
20 center mount pole. We are certainly
21 comfortable in installing whatever is best
22 and most sensitive to the environmental
23 features of the property. This is
24 indicative of the type and quality and the
1 state of the art nature of the new digital
2 LED boards. Much more visually attractive
3 than what we have currently.
4 This is one of the two existing
5 expressway billboard signs. And you can see
6 again that this is the corridor of trees and
7 vegetation that has been removed in order to
8 maintain that view-ability path. I think I
9 got one more. It's kind of hard to fit all
10 that in. This is the other sign that is
11 furthest to the west. Again, both of those
12 are located in the corresponding red dots on
13 the overall aerial on the easel on kind of
14 the eastern boundary line along the I-96
15 frontage of the show place parcel.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Are you done?
17 MR. BOWMAN: Yes. I will be pleased to
18 answer any questions.
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Is
20 there anybody in the audience that would
21 like to address this case? Any comments? I
22 don't see anybody. Thank you.
23 Madam Secretary, you got some
1 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yep. In case number:
2 08-069, 52 notices were mailed. One
3 response. This is from Jim Franken -- I
4 apologize I can't read it. But he's on
5 Foster Tractor, Grand River. "I am in favor
6 of additional signage to help direct and
7 identify the Expo Center. My driveway has
8 become a turnaround for westbound traffic."
9 That's it.
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
11 Building Department?
12 MR. BOULARD: Thank you. A couple of
13 housekeeping comments and then some
14 concerns. In the package that was left at
15 your desk there are some pictures that the
16 Petitioner has provided. In our
17 conversations a full scale mockup sign was
18 deemed to be beyond reasonable expectation.
19 So, I would ask the Petitioner to present
20 some photographs of similar signs in terms
21 of size and height. So, you have those in
22 your packet.
23 In this particular
24 case, the allowable off premises advertising
1 sign would be 300 square feet. In this case
2 the proposed sign 14 by 48 is 672 square
3 feet on each of two faces. The Ordinance
4 will allow a maximum of 15 feet of height.
5 The request is 50 feet, three and a half
6 times that. A point of clarification if I
8 MR. BOWMAN: Sure.
9 MR. BOULARD: On the application at
10 one point there is, it talks about a static
11 face on the west side and the electronic LED
12 face on the east side or the east face of
13 the sign. Is the LED face, would that also
14 be static and bright or would that change
15 and I guess how often would that change?
16 MR. BOWMAN: The sign would be
17 proposed to be within the state and industry
18 standards. And I believe that there is a
19 rotation of six or seven seconds for the
20 messaging which has been deemed with the,
21 you know, with the expressway model in mind
22 where the traveling traffic is moving at 65,
23 70 miles an hour for the effective delivery
24 and safe delivery of a message. So, it
1 would not be static for any particularly
2 lengthy period of time. The only exception
3 to that that I would say would be the
4 inventory that we would receive and the
5 rotation, it may very well be that we would
6 choose to leave up, an example would be
7 like, for example, now showing outdoor-rama,
8 might be up there for two or three of those
9 rotations and stay more static than the
10 balance of the messaging. It would be a
11 static face on one side and then an LED on
12 the other.
13 MR. BOULARD: The current City
14 Ordinance allows a sign to change once a
15 minute. If it was more often than that, an
16 additional variance would be required and
17 that's the section that was advertised and
18 is listed as 28-15.
19 MR. BOWMAN: If I may too on that.
20 When we received the letter there was I
21 think reference to three Ordinance sections.
22 And then when we received the notification
23 there was an additional two references and
24 then possibly the need for more variances.
1 Again, kind of here on a bit of a hat in
2 hand, I'm just saying we respect that fully
3 the city process, whatever variances would
4 be needed for this type of graphic and
5 digital sign is what we would be requesting.
6 MR. BOULARD: In all honesty the
7 reasons we include that in the advertisement
8 was to keep you from having to come back
9 again unnecessarily.
10 MR. BOWMAN: Sure.
11 MR. BOULARD: My understanding is that
12 the State has a moratorium on new billboards
13 at this point?
14 MR. BOWMAN: That, again, is what
15 makes this a unique request. We have the
16 two permits that we can retire in this
17 instance and, frankly, along with many other
18 factors of the uniqueness in the site and
19 the ability and the availability of the
20 permits that we have for exchanging the two
21 for the one structure, again, this isn't
22 something that I think would be
23 proliferation of or additional concern for
24 other requests. And the State does mandate
1 proximity requirements as well the number of
2 these are restricted heavily.
3 MR. BOULARD: So, for a point of
4 clarification then, the removal of the two
5 other billboards which are smaller than each
6 side of this billboard, correct?
7 MR. BOWMAN: Yeah, I think they are
8 about 65 percent of an individual face,
9 something of that nature.
10 MR. BOULARD: So, the removal of those
11 two would be required for the State to
12 approve as a condition of the State
13 approving the two double faced --
14 MR. BOWMAN: Right, we have had
15 discussions with them. We meet all the
16 requirements and, in fact, depending on the
17 approval process here they would work with
18 us from the standpoint of allowing us to
19 construct the structure and then remove the
20 two signs.
21 MR. BOULARD: You mention that there
22 is 25 percent of the signage would be
23 dedicated towards the Expo Center?
24 MR. BOWMAN: Right. See, again,
1 currently 100 percent of these existing
2 signs are used for typical expressway
3 billboard advertising. In order to I guess
4 incentivize or put the outdoor advertising
5 company into a position of making the
6 investment and they are significant to put
7 in the state of the art technology. They
8 would continue to do 75 percent of that.
9 And I will be -- they have heavily been
10 dealing with our shows as well. It is not
11 only our hope, but I will tell you that it
12 is our intent to see that in addition to our
13 25 percent stock that many of our shows
14 would also be acquiring additional
15 traditional advertising spots on the
16 billboard as well. We would be obtaining as
17 negotiated what our rights would be, would
18 be 25 percent exclusive to the Showplace for
19 the facility.
20 MR. BOULARD: And that would be for
21 the east side, the LED side?
22 MR. BOWMAN: Correct. And let me just
23 say again, that is coming from frankly CBS,
24 that is what they are suggesting. I would
1 be willing to, again, work with the City,
2 and certainly, again, the State as to what
3 is the most appropriate side for it. My
4 concern is, again, right now we're being
5 told, and the other point is that on the
6 correspondence and maybe I didn't do it
7 properly, but we had at least four or five
8 of our show producers correspond and we
9 provided those last week, I believe,
10 respectfully requesting that the Board
11 approve our request as well. And they have
12 been consistently for the last two years
13 been telling us about the affect or the lack
14 of appropriate signage. We have this brand
15 new wonderful building but very ineffective
16 ability to tell people what's going on. And
17 it was certainly a nuisance, it was a
18 difficulty before, but now it's the
19 proverbial fight for our life. We are
20 anxious to be able to make the additional
21 investment in this community that we are
22 planing for and currently are looking to
23 frankly sustain our attendance and hopefully
24 improve that in what are very challenging
2 MR. BOULARD: I think that wraps up my
3 questions. I am concerned needless to say
4 about the size and the proximity to the
5 other signs, although those two are coming
6 down I understand.
7 MR. BOWMAN: That is correct.
8 MR. BOULARD: Is there a sign on the
9 other side of the freeway that's also in the
10 1,200 feet?
11 MR. AMOLSCH: Yes.
12 MR. BOWMAN: That's what we were
13 referring to in the letter. It's across the
14 freeway just west of Taft Road, so it's
15 within 1,200 feet as verified by TIF.
16 MR. BOULARD: So, even if the two
17 signs on site come down the variance would
18 still be required for the other sign within
19 1,200 feet.
20 MR. BOWMAN: Well, and in that regard
21 and I thought that a freeway might otherwise
22 be a separation at that distance
23 requirement. At least under State standards
24 they don't consider those for proximity. I
1 didn't know that the City did. But if they
2 do, we have a half mile of frontage and
3 there is literally a mile and a third there
4 with no other signs.
5 And with all due respect as far as the
6 size is concerned, we are asking for what is
7 a typical and standard time proven size to
8 deliver safely and effectively a message.
9 And that for us is critical and will be of
10 unbelievable value for assisting in the
11 delivery of message to the general public
12 and providing people the information with
13 what's going on at the facility.
14 MR. BOULARD: Thank you.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes?
16 MS. KUDLA: Mr. Chair, I have a couple
17 of additional clarifications and comments.
18 You indicated that the giving up of the two
19 signs would be your factor of where, you are
20 pointing out that it's your uniqueness
21 factor. Would it be considered unique in
22 that the State would be requiring you to
23 give up those two signs in order to get
24 this? I mean, it's not something that is
1 voluntarily, it's something that you would
2 have to do?
3 MR. BOWMAN: No, first of all that's
4 not true. I could with the amount of
5 frontage that we have and permit
6 transferring capabilities and things like
7 that, certainly make application at the
8 state and gain their permission to put up
9 probably three or four signs. But in this
10 instance, and I guess my point was, is that
11 within the borders of this community, I
12 don't believe you will find a formally zoned
13 heavy industrial property of a major public
14 facility that is privately owned with a half
15 mile of frontage on the expressway with two
16 exiting billboards that we're willing to
17 and, of course, currently don't have to do
18 anything in particular, but would be willing
19 then to commit to making those, the removal
20 of those a condition of the approval of
22 I am not aware of anything else. I
23 have been up and down this pretty
24 thoroughly. I have identified the white
1 dots are basically other expressway
2 billboard signs within this community on
3 very similarly situated properties. And
4 there is only one site amongst all of those
5 that is zoned currently heavy industrial.
6 So, again, very similar situated properties
7 and I think it is unique that we have the
8 two that we would be willing to dispose of.
9 MS. KUDLA: So, it's your assertion
10 that in order to get a double sided sign
11 that the State would allow you to keep those
12 signs there?
13 MR. BOWMAN: If I were to locate, for
14 example, on the far westerly side of my
15 property, a permit request to the State and
16 if were to submit that and if I were to
17 transfer permits from some other location,
18 acquire them from some other signs, up north
19 or along any other thoroughfare that we met
20 their requirements, I could certainly make
21 that application. It would meet their
23 MS. KUDLA: It would be something they
24 would have to review as a separate request.
1 It wouldn't be something that you were
2 automatically entitled to, correct?
3 MR. BOWMAN: As long as I had the
4 permits and met the proximity requirements,
5 I don't think that there would be something
6 that would allow them to deny that.
7 MS. KUDLA: Do you have the permits?
8 MR. BOWMAN: I hold the permits for
9 the two existing signs.
10 MS. KUDLA: Right. I mean as far as is
11 it your intention to seek additional --
12 MR. BOWMAN: No, my intention is
13 exactly what I have outlined here. It is to
14 retire the two existing permits and signs
15 and erect a single mono-pole sign.
16 MS. KUDLA: I guess the other, the
17 point of clarification that the City would
18 need to make about some of these other signs
19 that you are pointing out as existing signs,
20 some of those signs are currently under
21 review to have a determination right now of
22 whether or not they are in compliance with
23 the Ordinance. So, as far as any
24 precedential value to other signs of that
1 nature, especially the changeable copy
2 issue, that that issue is currently under
4 Additionally, the specific issue of a
5 changeable copy signs on billboards is
6 within the City's Ordinance Review Committee
7 currently and is something that is coming up
8 very soon to City Council for discussion.
9 At this point it's something that City
10 Council is not in favor of from the
11 Ordinance Review Committee position at this
12 point as far as having a changeable copy
13 sign as a billboard.
14 The State Statute does allow the City
15 to have more restrictive Ordinance
16 requirements than the State requirements for
17 billboards. So, these are just points that
18 we needed to make for all the members
19 consideration today.
20 As far as the issue of the additional
21 permits. It was our understanding from our
22 review of the that Statute that you would
23 have to give up those two signs in order to
24 get a double face sign to put there. So, it
1 may require additional investigation in
2 order to confirm. You may need to provide
3 additional information in that regard
4 because it's our reading of the Statute that
5 it would be a requirement to give up two
6 one-sided billboard signs to get a double
7 faced billboard.
8 MR. BOWMAN: That is what I am
9 proposing to both the State and the City.
10 That's exactly what I am proposing.
11 MS. KUDLA: But as far as a
12 uniqueness, for a uniqueness standard under
13 the Ordinance, it would be a requirement of
14 the State and not something that is giving
15 something up per se.
16 MR. BOWMAN: I am just saying that
17 there are existing, two existing billboards
18 that will be eliminated. Forget about
19 what's required at the State or not required
20 at the State. Those will be terminated and
21 eliminated and in favor of and in
22 replacement of a single sign. So, when this
23 process if we're successful will be
24 concluded, the result would be one sign
1 versus two. That's my entire point on that.
2 And I don't see any other location within
3 the community that has those same factors,
4 so that I would think would be unique.
5 MS. KUDLA: As far as an additional
6 point, the concurrent billboards, those are
7 currently non-conforming because now I-2 is
8 the only location that you could have
9 billboards. So, at some point those would
10 be, you can't expand a non-confirming use.
11 So, at some point you are looking to expand
12 a non-confirming use which is also not
13 permitted by Ordinance.
14 MR. BOWMAN: What I am looking to do,
15 again, to boil it down to the basic two
16 things that I opened up with is one, seek
17 some assistance from the community in a very
18 limited modest fashion. To install a
19 billboard along an expressway, which is
20 consistent with what's going on outside of
21 the community and is frankly, and I am not
22 sure exactly what you are talking about
23 reviewing as far as conformity or not, but
24 all of those white dots within the community
1 and some that are slightly outside of the
2 community are billboards of the same size or
3 larger and we are just looking to do
4 something that is consistent, proven
5 industry standard that no one I think would
6 argue with as far as the placement of it,
7 the location of it.
8 And in addition to that we are
9 going to be eliminating two, as you just
10 pointed out, older non-conforming signs that
11 will remain there for as long as they will
12 and my guess is it's going to be a
13 considerable period of time functioning as
14 they are in favor of a modern messaging
15 board that will allow us to access some
16 extremely important messaging capability to
17 shore up some dwindling attendance at a very
18 difficult time in order to try to maintain
19 the economic impact, the very positive
20 economic impact that this facility has.
21 So, I understand what you are saying,
22 but I also think that there is a little bit
23 of a more basic aspect of this request as
24 well as, I am hopeful showing some of the
1 more regularity hardship and uniqueness
2 aspect as well.
3 MS. KUDLA: As for a point of
4 clarification. What I mean by about review
5 is that the City has become aware of some of
6 these other signs and is reviewing right now
7 whether they are in conflict with the
8 Ordinance, and whether enforcement action
9 needs to be taken, so it may be determined
10 that these are not signs that are going to
11 be permitted in the long run.
12 MR. BOWMAN: And I don't know how to
13 respond to that nor do I know how to respond
14 to the Counsel's is reviewing things --
15 MS. KUDLA: I guess I'm not asking you
16 for a response --
17 MR. BOWMAN: I don't know if they are
18 in favor or not in favor. I am in a
19 position where, again, I think that what I
20 am looking to do is improve the signage that
21 is there considerably. Be more sensitive to
22 the environmental features. Be able to
23 hopefully deliver a more appropriate message
24 for the attending public and the general
1 public which are key and important to us
2 continuing to be successful in this
3 community. That's what I am looking to do.
4 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
5 Mr. Wrobel?
6 MEMBER WROBEL: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
7 First off, I really like the facility there
8 and with the hotel going on I think you are
9 going to do well. It's a real jewel for the
10 City of Novi and we want to do what we can
11 do to keep you prosperous, because it keeps
12 us prosperous. Though I'm curious, the new
13 sign is going to be 25 percent for your
15 MR. BOWMAN: Correct.
16 MEMBER WROBEL: You already have a
17 sign on the expressway?
18 MR. BOWMAN: Correct.
19 MEMBER WROBEL: So, to me that's two
20 signs on the expressway for the same
21 location. I have kind of a queasy feeling
22 about that.
23 MR. BOWMAN: Well, and that's why again
24 we're not looking to take the hundred
1 percent. We are talking about the
2 improvement to the expressway signage aspect
3 of it versus what's there. And, frankly, if
4 you travel and in the location here there is
5 a conservation easement that we granted to
6 the State. And our existing marquis sign
7 with a much smaller reader board than
8 frankly we wanted to have approved to begin
9 with. Is not in any way, shape or form
10 effectively delivering a message for
11 eastbound traffic at all. Eastbound traffic
12 because of the topography and the distances
13 from the expressway has a view of the sign
14 for a long time, but it's not legible, it's
15 not readable. It does an effective job
16 frankly from the standpoint of letting
17 people know it's the Rock Financial
18 Showplace. It does distinctly do that.
19 But as far as delivering information.
20 And, again, I would urge you to read letters
21 and testimony and requests from the show
22 producers, our old changeable copies
23 (unintelligible) sign did a much better job.
24 Again, we're not here asking for something
1 gross as far as having that on constantly
2 for our usage, but I do believe it will be a
3 major improvement to the signage and it will
4 give us access to consistent rotation to let
5 people know what's going on. And we're
6 seeing a deterioration in attendance. And
7 with these economic times and we look
8 forward to making the investment that you
9 reference too. But it's all part of the
10 package and, again, there are very few
11 things that the community can do and I would
12 suggest that this one being in and amongst a
13 series of already existing signs up and down
14 that corridor it is not going to be
15 inconsistent in any way, similarly treated.
16 I think that we would just ask that we have
17 the opportunity to use that messaging.
18 MEMBER WROBEL: As I said earlier I
19 want to see your business do well there
20 because it's good for the City, but also we
21 want to do what's right for the City. And
22 now with the Ordinance Review Committee
23 talking about the changeable signs, do we
24 have any kind of a time period that we know
1 that something is going to be coming on
3 MS. KUDLA: I believe it is the next
4 agenda that the issue is going to be
5 discussed at the next meeting.
6 MEMBER WROBEL: I personally would feel
7 a lot better if we would hold off on this
8 until we get the direction of what comes
9 from the City. That way we know what we're
10 dealing with. We might need variances or
11 request to do it, or we might not. I don't
12 know what they're coming out with.
13 Personally I would think it would wise on
14 both parties to wait on something like this
15 until we know what's coming from them. What
16 is your thought on that? Is that something
17 you would be willing to do?
18 MR. BOWMAN: I certainly would be at
19 this stage because I can see your point. I
20 guess it depends on how everybody is going
21 to vote. And I'm almost not tongue and
22 cheek about that because I went through a
23 process here where I have waited for a
24 considerable period of time. Since you can
1 even see in the June, July time frame is
2 when we first started receiving the very
3 stern written comments from our folks. And,
4 again, we're in a position that, again,
5 we're fighting for our market share. Others
6 are coming. Kalamazoo is looking to bond
7 publically a facility. Cobo is expanding.
8 Chesterfield Township is on the move and all
9 it needs is the Governor's signature.
10 So, we are looking to do whatever
11 we can to just stabilize and sustain what
12 hopes to be a positive impact, so any delay
13 in that is of concern to me. And, again, I
14 don't know what the process might hold then.
15 I know what the delays have done in the past
16 and it's something I rather not, but if
17 that's the wish of the Board, then certainly
18 I will respect that.
19 MS. KUDLA: Through the Chair, a point
20 of clarification on the timing. It might be
21 the next Ordinance Review Committee which
22 occurs in January and then the following
23 City Council meeting which occurs in
1 MEMBER WROBEL: But it's right around
2 the corner basically we're looking at.
3 MS. KUDLA: It's an upcoming topic.
4 MR. BOWMAN: That would be my only
5 question. Again, knowing Ordinances at
6 least enough to be dangerous, are you saying
7 that they would actually enact some type of
8 Ordinance change by February or March or
9 something? I think there would probably
10 have to be --
11 MS. KUDLA: I don't think there is a
12 specific time frame for an enactment, but
13 it's for the discussion is what's pending on
14 the policy.
15 MR. BOWMAN: Let me just maybe react
16 in this way. Maybe could I ask respectfully
17 that there be a vote? And regardless of
18 what the outcome of that vote, particularly
19 if it would be in a negative to me, then
20 maybe what comes from this committee could
21 yield some other clarification. But if on
22 the alternative the Board would consider
23 what I have laid out as an important enough
24 request that they would see clear to pass it
1 currently and now, that would obviously,
2 again, be my desire.
3 MEMBER WROBEL: Another issue I have
4 for the City and I may be a layman and not
5 know everything. So, we are talking about
6 State requirements plus the City
7 requirements. I would just like to know who
8 supercedes who? How are they intertwined?
9 What do we end up following? And I just
10 don't have that kind of information here
11 from what I could tell and I don't want to
12 make a wrong decision. I would like to know
13 exactly what the facts are before I make a
14 decision. Or is it something that I
15 shouldn't be concerned with?
16 MS. KUDLA: It's something that we
17 could put together a legal opinion as far as
18 what the State requirements are currently
19 under Statute versus what the current City
20 requirements are.
21 MEMBER WROBEL: That might be
22 something I would be interested in seeing.
23 If my feet were held to the fire today I
24 would probably vote against it from the
1 perspective I would want to see what's
2 coming out from the Ordinance Review
3 Committee. I don't want to jump ahead. And
4 hopefully the discussion will be in a short
5 time period. I just don't want to make the
6 leap right now. I would like to see what
7 they come up with first. Thank you, Mr.
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you, Mr.
10 Wrobel. Yes, Mr. Ghannam?
11 MEMBER GHANNAM: Thank you, Mr. Chair,
12 I do have some similar concerns as Mr.
13 Wrobel regarding some of those issues and
14 the timing of it. You understand we don't
15 write the Ordinances?
16 MR. BOWMAN: I understand.
17 MEMBER GHANNAM: We are just here
18 granting variances if applicable. Because
19 there are, I'm sure cities and states
20 understand there are exceptions to the rule,
21 and that's what we give, exceptions to the
22 rule. We need to know what the rule is,
23 though, if it's upcoming.
24 I have actually got a couple of
1 questions beyond that. First, in terms of
2 where these existing signs are and where the
3 new proposed sign will be, who owns that
4 property? Is it your company that owns that
5 owns that property?
6 MR. BOWMAN: Yes, yes.
7 MEMBER GHANNAM: Would the sign also
8 be owned by your company?
9 MR. BOWMAN: Yes, ServMan has been
10 established as an LLC, a separate and
11 independent LLC from the main ownership of
12 the Rock Financial Showplace which is TBON,
13 T-B-O-N, The Best of Novi, LLC.
14 MEMBER GHANNAM: You mentioned CBS.
15 What relationship --
16 MR. BOWMAN: They are the outdoor
17 advertising company along with like Adams
18 and others that do the construction,
19 erection and advertising on a regular basis
20 of these types of signs and structures
21 around the country.
22 MEMBER GHANNAM: Is this sign a source
23 of revenue for your company or CBS or a
1 MR. BOWMAN: Well, predominantly for
2 CBS. There is a modest amount of base
3 rental type of a deal. We have negotiated
4 in this new arrangement, again, it's a
5 sizable investment that they would be making
6 in this. And what we are getting
7 predominantly out of that is nothing
8 significantly more than the base for the two
9 smaller signs and what we're looking for is
10 this ability to access the messaging.
11 MEMBER GHANNAM: And just a couple of
12 questions for the City. We are looking at,
13 the way I read it, five different variances?
14 Is that accurate from the proposal?
15 MS. KUDLA: It appears to be five
16 separate variances. And I believe the last
17 one is dependant on because there wasn't
18 very much information or not enough to know
19 how much the changeable proposal was or what
20 the proposal was.
21 MEMBER GHANNAM: Could we even grant
22 that today or deny that for that matter? Or
23 was that properly advertised?
24 MS. KUDLA: It's properly advertised
1 in that we are advertising more than what
2 they're asking for, so it would have to be
3 limited to something less than that. So, if
4 they're asking for more than what's
5 advertised they would have to be re-noticed
6 and come back.
7 MEMBER GHANNAM: And in terms of the
8 one that pertains to the square footage.
9 For instance, it says there is no more than
10 15 foot in height, and I believe you
11 indicated his is 50 foot, approximately 50
12 foot in height?
13 MR. BOWMAN: Correct.
14 MEMBER GHANNAM: And then the 300
15 square footage in the area. You said one
16 side was going to be 672 and there is going
17 to be two sides. Do we include both sides as
18 part of the variance? Is it 672 times two?
19 MR. AMOLSCH: No, the back to back
20 signs we only take those the one sign, the
21 sign area.
22 MEMBER GHANNAM: So, the variance
23 would be 372 square foot? (Unintelligible).
24 MR. BOULARD: If I can jump in?
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: Sure.
2 MR. BOULARD: I believe the wide side
3 of of the V is approximately 30 feet.
4 MR. BOWMAN: Again I think we show two
5 different variations. One which would be a
6 back to back sign on a single mono-pole
7 approach and that's easily constructed if it
8 were to be deemed that it needed to be
9 positioned differently from the standpoint
10 of visibility or site conditions than we
11 could do a side loaded pole. Typically I
12 think those then are constructed in more of
13 a V shape. But we could do either.
14 MR. BOULARD: The reason I mentioned
15 it is because the area of the sign is
16 calculated differently depending on how far
17 the two sides are apart. If the are
18 separated by more than a certain distance.
19 If it's a triangle as opposed to just back
20 to back then at some point, in fact, if they
21 are at no point more than two feet from
22 another, the area sign is taking one face or
23 larger two, the total of the two if it's
24 more than two feet is how I understand it.
1 Is that correct?
2 MR. AMOLSCH: Correct.
3 MR. BOULARD: So, in this case if it
4 was the V shape configuration with 30 feet,
5 obviously that's more than the two feet, so
6 both faces would be included.
7 MEMBER GHANNAM: So as part of this
8 proposal we would take 672 times two and
9 then subtract 300, and that would be the
10 variance? Does that make sense?
11 MR. AMOLSCH: If that's what was
12 proposed, yes.
13 MS. KUDLA: That would be 300 for each
14 side variance?
15 MR. AMOLSCH: Right.
16 MEMBER GHANNAM: Oh, 300 per side?
17 MR. AMOLSCH: Per side on a V side
19 MEMBER GHANNAM: So, we would subtract
20 600 total? If we would take 672 times two
21 minus 600, 300 for each sign? Okay, just so
22 I get an idea.
23 Another mention is made of the 1200
24 foot distance from the other sign across the
1 freeway. Is that a separate variance in
2 addition to the five?
3 MR. AMOLSCH: No, that's included in
4 the --
5 MEMBER GHANNAM: That's one of the
7 MR. AMOLSCH: Yes, that's one of the
8 five, yes.
9 MR. BOWMAN: We could easily if that
10 truly is a major concern, we could position
11 the new sign further to the west. And spot
12 it on the west side of the property.
13 MEMBER GHANNAM: Well, I mean, all
14 variances are, of course, our concern. I
15 mean, we have to analyze these things as you
16 bring them forward. In addition to granting
17 five, one of my major concern is the policy
18 that the City might set that may be contrary
19 to what it is now. I am very unclear as to
20 that as well as potential other legal
21 issues. I also heard by the way that there
22 was some kind of moratorium on the signs
23 with the State?
24 MS. KUDLA: The State Statute, you
1 have to turn in your existing sign permits
2 in order to get a permit to put up another
3 billboard sign. So there is a whole section
4 of the Statute regarding what you would have
5 to do to get what permit.
6 MEMBER GHANNAM: So, even if we did
7 approve it at some point it's still subject
8 to State approval?
9 MS. KUDLA: Correct. He would have to
10 get State permits. As far as the issue of
11 the changeable copy sign, right now it is
12 prohibited for this type of sign. It's only
13 permitted on business ground sign. This is
14 not a business ground sign. So, to have a
15 changeable copy sign at this point would be
16 a variance from the current rule. And
17 what's being considered by Ordinance Review
18 Committee is specifically with respect to
20 MEMBER GHANNAM: Again, I too enjoy
21 your place. And I think it's a gem for the
22 City. But in terms of these multiple issues
23 that we have, I would be in favor of either
24 tabling it until we get guidance from the
1 committees or the council or potentially
2 deciding against it at this point, which I
3 don't want to do without all the
4 information. That would be my comments
5 right now. Thank you.
6 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Anybody else?
8 MEMBER SKELCY: I just have a
9 question. If you were given the variances
10 to have the sign what would you do with that
11 current sign which is unreadable to
12 eastbound 696?
13 MR. BOWMAN: We would leave it in
14 place. It is more, I guess, a monument sign.
15 We would also I think be able to have the
16 flexibility of having the reader board
17 deliver a much more static message and with
18 the inventory of the 25 percent on the new
19 board, it would open up a great deal of
20 flexibility and make it more useable for
21 when it is readable and viewable.
22 MEMBER SKELCY: Thank you.
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Mr. Bowman, have
24 you prepared kind of a prototype for this
1 site what you propose to put on it?
2 MR. BOWMAN: As far as like what it
3 looks like?
4 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Let me put it
5 another way. If I understand correctly, one
6 side of your sign is going to be static?
7 MR. BOWMAN: Correct.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The second sign,
9 25 percent of that area you are going to use
10 as the changeable copy?
11 MR. BOWMAN: No, no. And, again, the
12 prototypical model of it would be similar
13 to, in fact, identical to the Beck Road and
14 96 sign that's there. A full 14 by 48 state
15 of the art LED digital board. We would then
16 get 25 percent of the rotation of the
17 messaging on that. The other side would be
18 a static hard scaped board. And, again,
19 there is another one just to the west of
20 Wixom Road as well. So, if you wanted to
21 see them, and that's when Charles and I
22 spoke about it, he was gracious enough to
23 say that I didn't have to construct a
24 plywood mockup. I would be duct taping a
1 lot of TVs to it to make it a digital board.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I am just trying
3 to visualize what it might look like. Do you
4 have some artistic impression of anything
5 about what it's going to look like?
6 MR. BOWMAN: Well, it's already up.
7 If you go to Beck Road and 96 on the
8 eastbound ramp to 96 off of Beck Road that
9 is --
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: It is the same
12 MR. BOWMAN: It is the exact type of
13 structure that we would be proposing.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: So, it's not any
15 different than what you already got?
16 MR. BOWMAN: No, that's not on our
17 property. It's not on our showplace
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
20 Anybody else? As far as I can see, the
21 issue here is that the current signs are not
22 conforming signs. The new sign would be a
23 larger sign. And do you have a changeable
24 copy part of the Ordinance is being
1 reviewed? Do we have enough information
2 regarding the position of the State versus
3 that of the City? And I like this place too
4 much to outright reject this application.
5 Because the application can be performed. I
6 don't know how all of you feel, but I think
7 we should give it a lot more time and energy
8 and consider it before making a hasty
9 decision. Okay, before making a hasty
10 decision. So, I will be inclined really to
11 table this and let us look at it in little
12 more depth another time around.
13 Yes, Mr. Wrobel?
14 MEMBER WROBEL: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
15 To staff. If we would decide to vote on it
16 and it would be voted down, then he would
17 have to come before us again and start the
18 whole process over again, correct?
19 MS. KUDLA: He would. Do we have a
20 timing requirement in our Ordinance to come
21 back on the same request?
22 MR. BOULARD: No.
23 MS. KUDLA: He could start right over.
24 MEMBER WROBEL: But it would be to his
1 benefit if we would table it and that way he
2 doesn't have to start it over again. We are
3 just tabling the issue until we get the
4 information we require.
5 MS. KUDLA: So, you're looking for an
6 additional legal opinion on the State versus
7 the City standard?
8 MEMBER WROBEL: If the rest of my
9 commissioners would like to see that, I
10 personally would. I don't know what their
11 feeling is. I think yes we would. I we
12 would also want to await information from
13 the Ordinance Review Committee.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes. As I said,
15 I would hate to turn it down. It's too
16 important an issue.
17 MEMBER WROBEL: I want to do what's
18 best for him. I don't want him to go through
19 the process again.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: It is not just
21 Mr. Bowman here, there are a lot of other
22 implications regarding this business and the
23 different aspects of the City. I think we
24 need to be very, very careful before we turn
1 it down . So my feeling is that maybe we
2 should table this. And I don't know whether
3 we should go home and think about it. But
4 to me this would be the best way out at this
5 point time.
6 MR. BOWMAN: If that is certainly the
7 preference of the Board, it sounds like it
8 is, I won't object to that. And would hope
9 to have an opportunity then on a reasonably
10 objective basis to deal with the remainder
11 of the City decision makers on it.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Would anyone
13 care to entertain a motion to that affect?
14 MS. KUDLA: We could make a motion to
15 table it if you are looking to table for a
16 legal opinion. If you are looking to table
17 it for the Ordinance Review Committee, that
18 would have to be a mutual agreement of the
19 property owner.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: We don't know
21 the timetable do we?
22 MS. KUDLA: We don't know the exact
23 time period. My understanding is the
24 Ordinance Review Committee is this month and
1 then it would be discussed by City Council
2 in February.
3 MEMBER WROBEL: If we table it, when
4 do we table it to next meeting waiting a
5 legal opinion? Or do we want to table it to
6 March when we get hopefully the opinion from
7 Council and the Review Committee?
8 MS. KUDLA: Well, we could have the
9 opinion by the next meeting. We can have a
10 legal opinion by the next meeting. So, if
11 you are going to table it any further than
12 that, it would have to be by mutual consent
13 of the parties.
14 MEMBER WROBEL: It seems like there is
15 two parts. We're looking at the legal
16 opinion and then we are waiting to see what
17 the City is going to say. And I don't want
18 to have to make you come --
19 MR. BOWMAN: Could I get clarification
20 of what the legal opinion would be about?
21 What exactly are you looking for a legal
22 opinion on?
23 MEMBER WROBEL: I would just like to
24 compare State requirements versus the City
1 requirements. Who superceded who and
2 everything of that nature.
3 MR. BOWMAN: And again, unfortunately
4 I have learned too much about this stuff
5 lately. I will tell you that I believe it's
6 already been referred to. That the City is
7 able to regulate signage. And I think has
8 the ability to actually be more restrictive
9 than a State requirement. The State
10 requirement is basically, I'm not sure if
11 they refer to it as a moratorium, but I know
12 they are limited as of the date certain
13 allowed in the past, the number of signs
14 that are allowed on the expressway and major
15 thoroughfares as they call it. And that it
16 was frozen. Now those permits can be
17 transferred, moved around, bought, sold, all
18 those types of things. The only requirement
19 really that they have is a proximity
20 requirement of 1000 feet. They do not
21 recognize across the expressway as something
22 that would be conflicting with that. The
23 expressway is a barrier. And so, again, I
24 am not in any way, shape or form here
1 contending that the City doesn't have the
2 right to regulate signs, nor that we don't
3 need variances. I was unclear exactly as to
4 what variances we did need. And all I was
5 saying is whatever we might need to put up
6 this particular type of sign is what we're
7 asking for. And that's probably not real
8 artful or graceful, but that's what we were
9 looking for.
10 If you are looking for a concurrence
11 from me to await some determination from the
12 Ordinance Review Committee and have the
13 opportunity hopefully to actually
14 participate in those discussions and provide
15 input, I would love to have that opportunity
16 and would be willing to wait.
17 MEMBER GHANNAM: Then why don't I make
18 this suggestion. Why don't we table this
19 for two months. Not in February's meeting,
20 but in March's meeting by mutual agreement
21 so we can have what we need from the City
22 and hopefully you will get some input and we
23 can get some input from the City Review and
24 potentially even City Council if that's
1 acceptable to you?
2 MR. BOWMAN: That's fine.
3 MEMBER GHANNAM: I would go ahead to
4 make that motion to adjourn to the March
5 meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals by
6 mutual agreement for the reasons we just
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Motion has been
9 made. A second?
10 MEMBER IBE: Second.
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: It's been
12 seconded by Mr. Ibe. Any further
13 discussion? Yes?
14 MR. AMOLSCH: Through the Chair, I
15 would like to settle the issue of exactly
16 what kind of sign you are going to be using
17 whether it's going to be a V
18 sign or single face sign?
19 MR. BOWMAN: My preference would be a
20 double faced mono-pole sign not V.
21 MR. AMOLSCH: Okay, because that's
22 what we originally reviewed because they
23 will make a difference.
24 MR. BOWMAN: The only thing I was
1 saying, Al, that's why I would be pleased to
2 have it subject to site visitations. Even on
3 the height I would be willing to come lower
4 if height was a major concern if we could
5 find and position it on the site. We have
6 got a half a mile of frontage to work with
7 and I'm all about putting it in the best
8 spot. And the State even suggested that
9 they would come out and have their local
10 representative work with us on that as well
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay. The motion
13 has been made and seconded. And I don't see
14 any further discussion. So, will you please
15 call the roll.
16 MR. BOULARD: Member Bauer?
17 MEMBER BAUER: No.
18 MR. BOULARD: Member Wrobel?
19 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
20 MR. BOULARD: Member Ghannam?
21 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
22 MR. BOULARD: Member Ibe?
23 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
24 MR. BOULARD: Member Krieger?
1 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
2 MR. BOULARD: Chairman Sanghvi?
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
4 MR. BOULARD: Member Skelcy?
5 MS. SKELCY: Yes.
6 MR. BOULARD: Motion to table or
7 adjourn until March is approved 6-1.
8 MR. BOWMAN: I thank you very much. I
9 appreciate your time.
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. This
11 completes our agenda and there is no other
12 business --
13 MEMBER WROBEL: Motion to adjourn.
14 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Motion to
16 adjourn moved, so moved and is second. All
17 those in favor say aye?
18 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Meeting is
20 adjourned. Thank you.
21 (The meeting was adjourned at
22 9:41 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 (121) typewritten pages, is a
11 true and correct transcript of my said
12 stenographic notes.
19 Mona L. Talton,
20 Certified Shorthand Reporter
22 January 16, 2009