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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, February 10, 2009.
1 Novi, Michigan
2 Tuesday, February 10, 2009
3 7:00 p.m.
4 - - - - - -
5 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The clock says 7
6 p.m. and I would like to call to order the
7 February 10th, 2009 meeting of Zoning Board
8 of Appeals of City of Novi.
9 Will you please call the roll.
10 MR. BOULARD: 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 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Absent excused.
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: Member Cassis?
1 MEMBER CASSIS: Here.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good. Will
3 you please rise and join me in the pledge of
4 allegiance. Mr. Cassis, will you please
5 lead us.
6 MEMBER CASSIS: I sure will.
7 BOARD MEMBERS: I pledge allegiance to
8 the flag of the United States of America and
9 to the Republic for which is stands, one
10 nation under God indivisible with liberty
11 and justice for all.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: We do have a
13 quorum and the meeting is now in session.
14 Before I go into further details, I would
15 like to introduce Mr. Victor Cassis who is
16 joining us as a representative from the
17 Planning Commission. Welcome, Mr. Cassis.
18 MEMBER CASSIS: Thank you fellow
19 Rotarian, Mr. Sanghvi. It's very exciting
20 to be elevated to this high forum. And may
21 I say I'm really excited and it's a
22 privilege to be joining my good friend, the
23 legendary Gerald Bauer on the same forum.
24 And believe me, coming here with my
1 former colleague on the Planning Commission,
2 Wayne Wrobel, there is no scheme or plot to
3 take over this body by the Planning
4 Commission. So, it's great to be with you
5 deliberating the very exciting cases. Thank
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. You
8 are very welcome.
9 MEMBER BAUER: You are welcome, sir.
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Getting back to
11 the business. Okay. I would like to go
12 over the rules of conduct it appears nobody
13 is here to listen to, but you can find them
14 on the agenda.
15 Just a friendly reminder, please turn
16 off all cell phones and pagers.
17 Individual applicants may take five
18 minutes and groups may take up to 10 minutes
19 to address the Board. The Zoning Board of
20 Appeals is a Hearing Board empowered by the
21 Novi City Charter to hear applicants seeking
22 variances from the application of Novi
23 Zoning Ordinances. It takes a vote of at
24 least four members to approve a variance
1 request and a vote of a majority of members
2 present to deny a variance.
3 Now, let us look at the agenda. Are
4 there any changes to the agenda? Mr.
6 MR. BOULARD: I don't have any
8 MEMBER BAUER: Motion to approve.
9 MEMBER GHANNAM: Seconded.
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: A motion has
11 been made and seconded to approve the
12 agenda. Those in favor please say aye?
13 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Opposed same
15 sign? We have an agenda.
16 We also have minutes from the January
17 2009 meeting. Are there any changes,
18 additions, deletions in the minutes?
19 MS. KUDLA: Through the Chair, I have
20 a change on page 97 paragraphs 13 and 14.
21 In both paragraphs where it indicates
22 non-confirming use I would have that amended
23 to non-conforming use. Those are my only
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Ibe?
2 MEMBER IBE: Yes, I do have a -- thank
3 you, Mr. Chair, by the way. I do have a
4 change on top of page 39. It has in
5 parenthesis unintelligible. The word should
6 be variance. Thank you.
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Anybody else? I
8 had noted one error in Mr. Bowman's part on
9 page 77 line 19 it reads in here it is two
10 basic tenants. What he meant was tenets.
11 If you can just correct that.
12 Well, anything else? Any other
13 additions, deletions, corrections? Seeing
14 none, may I have a motion to adopt the
15 corrected minutes?
16 MEMBER GHANNAM: So moved.
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: So moved. And
19 MEMBER KRIEGER: Second.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay. The
21 motion has been made and seconded. Will you
22 please call the roll.
23 MR. BOULARD: For the record, the
24 motion maker?
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: I moved.
2 MR. BOULARD: And the second was?
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Linda, Ms.
5 MR. BOULARD: Thank you.
6 Member Cassis?
7 MEMBER CASSIS: Yes.
8 MR. BOULARD: Member Ibe?
9 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
10 MR. BOULARD: Member Krieger?
11 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
12 MR. BOULARD: Member Ghannam?
13 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
14 MR. BOULARD: Member Wrobel?
15 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
16 MR. BOULARD: Chairman Sanghvi?
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
18 MR. BOULARD: And Member Bauer?
19 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
21 Now, let's begin with the agenda.
22 The first case on the agenda. I don't know
23 whether there is any representative here.
24 And the case is 09-001 for 27000 Sheraton
1 Drive, Crowne Plaza.
2 Is the applicant here? I don't see
3 anybody here, so I think we will be moving
4 to the next one.
5 And we move onto the next one on the
6 list. And that being the case with Mr.
8 MR. CASSIS: Mr. Chairman, I think I
9 may have to recuse myself since the
10 Petitioner may be heading towards the
11 Planning Commission and there could be some
12 conflict there at the time they're at the
13 Planning Commission.
14 MR. QUINN: Yes, subject to the City
15 Attorney if this variance is granted we then
16 have to file for a special land use which
17 would go through the Planning Commission
19 MS. KUDLA: I would agree that you
20 should recuse yourself.
21 MR. CASSIS: I think we need to vote
22 on that? And do I need to leave the forum?
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Well, I
24 personally have no objection to you being
2 MR. CASSIS: Can I close my ears?
3 MS. KUDLA: Normally we would have you
4 leave the forum.
5 MR. CASSIS: Oh, okay, I'll do that.
6 Is there a motion?
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Do I have a
8 motion to have Mr. Cassis continue on the
9 Board during this case?
10 MEMBER WROBEL: A motion to allow Mr.
11 Cassis to recuse himself from this case.
12 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: A motion has
14 been made and seconded. No further
15 discussion, will you call the roll.
16 MR. BOULARD: Member Bauer?
17 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
18 MR. BOULARD: Member Sanghvi?
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
20 MR. BOULARD: Member Wrobel?
21 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
22 MR. BOULARD: Member Ghannam?
23 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
24 MR. BOULARD: Member Krieger?
1 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
2 MR. BOULARD: Member Ibe?
3 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
4 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay.
5 MR. QUINN: Sorry, Victor, on your
6 first case.
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All right. Now
8 that we have dealt with that, let's begin
9 with the issue here. In case number 09-002
10 filed by Matthew Quinn for 43000 West Nine
11 Mile Road. Mr. Quinn is requesting an
12 exception from Section 1903.0 to allow an
13 automotive service use adjacent to a
14 residential district, to request
15 consideration by the Planning Commission, in
16 accordance with 1903.0 for a special land
17 use. The property is zoned I-1 and is
18 located north of Nine Mile Road and east of
19 Novi Road.
20 Would you like to make your
21 presentation, Mr. Quinn?
22 MR. QUINN: Yes. Thank you, Mr.
23 Chairman. Matthew Quinn. I'm appearing on
24 behalf of the property owners that own 43000
1 Nine Mile Road. That's Swad & Company. Ed
2 Swad, Jr., is here with me this evening.
3 They are the landlord. Ed, raise your hand.
4 And the tenant is the operator of the
5 business that's there Ramiah Auto. And
6 Steve Ohan (ph) is the operator. And Ram
7 (ph) is the owner of that business.
8 Now, why are we here? Because we find
9 ourselves with an adjacency that is by
10 happenstance. Under the Novi Ordinance if
11 you are allowed in an I-1 District and we
12 are an I-1 Zoning District. We happen to be
13 abutted on both sides and I will use the
14 overhead here.
15 Here is our property right here. Here
16 is Nine Mile Road. This is to the north.
17 Our property is right here. The building is
18 in white and we have I-1 to the west of us,
19 I-1 to the east of us. We have I-1 across
20 Nine Mile Road and unfortunately we have
21 this buffer with a multiple family zoning.
22 Now, this is the apartment, Saddle
23 Creek throughout here. Now, as you can see
24 and I will stick to this drawing first. The
1 parking for this building is in the rear.
2 It's 53 yards or more than a half a football
3 field from the end of the building to the 10
4 foot setback that we have there.
5 On the apartment side you also have a
6 10 foot green belt and this square
7 represents a parking structure that is
8 adjacent to us and then their apartments sit
9 back here. So, I am showing you this to
10 give you the idea of how far away the
11 building is from the property line. That
12 there is an additional buffer by the parking
13 structure before you get to any real
15 Now, here is what your Ordinance says.
16 If this RN-2 was I-1 we could go straight to
17 the Planning Commission and apply for a
18 special land use. But because we are an I-2
19 adjacent to residential, your Ordinance says
20 we can't do that. So, in order to go to the
21 Planning Commission and obtain the
22 application for special land use, we need to
23 have the variance granted that allows us to
24 be an I-2 use basically adjacent -- I mean,
1 sorry I-1 use adjacent to an I-1 property.
2 That is really the variance and I think
3 that's what Mr. Boulard and I kind of worked
4 out when we were talking about this
5 application. That would be the process.
6 So, I guess unlike typically where you
7 might put in certain conditions yourself on
8 granting a variance, you are really not
9 going to do that because that's going to
10 come with the special use process when we
11 proceed forward through the Planning
13 Now, within this building what has
14 happened is my client, the tenant has been
15 operating a repair business there for a
16 couple of years. It was not known to he or
17 the owner of the property that this was not
18 a permitted use because of the adjacency to
19 residential. During this two-year period
20 that this business has been there they --
21 Oh, and by the way. They do only business
22 by referral.
23 Steve happens to be one of the only,
24 if not the only Indian mechanic in the area
1 and all of the business he gets is from the
2 Indian community referring to him. He has
3 no signs. There is not even a sign on the
4 door. He just uses the two units now for
5 his business.
6 Now, the units that he
7 is in, this is a layout and these, of
8 course, were in your packets. Again, this
9 shows Nine Mile Road here. It shows there
10 is offices upfront. This is the Novi
11 Commons property at the address. And then
12 it has bays that are used by individual
13 businesses. Now, here is the rear of the
14 property and the apartment complexes are
15 near. There is a very large double unit
16 here on the end that is rented out by
17 another person and then the tenant uses 307
18 and 308. These two units right here. Now,
19 this business is operated in an enclosed
20 building. The bays where any vehicles might
21 come and go are adjacent to the I-1. So
22 they do not in any way open up towards the
23 residential area. They are totally to the
24 east and would be adjacent to I-1. The
1 pedestrian access they're on the west of
2 these two units. So, these two units are
3 where the businesses operate within.
4 Now, the type of business that is
5 operated there is minor repairs. It's not a
6 bump shop. There is no heavy duty repair
7 work there. They're a specialist in minor
8 vehicle repairs, minor engine repairs. They
9 do electrical work on cars. They do not do
10 any painting of vehicles. They don't do any
11 heavy bump work. They don't do any
12 windshield replacement or anything like
14 In fact, when the owner, Mr. Swad was
15 going around to the other businesses in the
16 complex, he found that, yes, there were a
17 couple of other tenants that used this
18 business because they like to drive to work,
19 drive their cars down a couple of bays and
20 have it taken care of while they were there
21 be it some minor repair or electrical
22 matter. The other tenants didn't even know
23 that it exited there. That's basically how
24 quiet it is within the confines of these two
1 units. The good thing is is that it's
2 separated as I said from any residential
3 area by both half a football field and a
4 double unit before you ever get to their two
6 Now, this Novi Commons is not doing
7 all that well. Of course, in this economy
8 it's not usual. Only about half of Novi
9 Commons is leased out and Mr. Swad's company
10 really can't afford to lose two units. He
11 honestly told me when we had our meeting, he
12 said if I lose two more units I might as
13 well give it back because it's not worth it
14 for me to keep anymore. Sometimes that is
15 something you want to just listen to,
16 sometimes it's not, but it's, in fact, the
17 reality of what's happening right now.
18 We also have obtained and submitted
19 with our documentation three letters from
20 businesses within the complex that are in
21 favor. What's important is one of them is
22 adjacent 309. We have 307, 308. The 309
23 unit is in favor of it staying there.
24 Now, within your purview, you have to
1 look at a number of things certainly.
2 Practical difficulties of this situation.
3 The practical difficulty here is we have a
4 building that's an I-1 use and it's just
5 happenstance it happened to be next to a
6 multiple family. I don't really remember
7 which came first or second, but as I think
8 back I think the apartments came second.
9 The businesses on Nine Mile were first at
10 that point in time so they were there before
11 this existed.
12 Is this business in this location
13 going to have any effect on the surrounding
14 property values or property owners? I would
15 propose not. We actually have consent from
16 some of the adjacent property owners. Is
17 there going to be really any effect on the
18 light, air, noise for that residential
19 community? No. They are so far away, both
20 with a half a football field away. Their
21 parking structure before you ever get to any
22 of the apartments, they are not going to be
23 in that particular type of circumstance.
24 So, by granting this variance, it's
1 going to be limited to this piece of
2 property. It's not going to have the effect
3 of being any type of precedent for anyone
4 else that comes here because it's limited to
5 the facts and circumstances of this
6 particular property as it exist today.
7 So, we would ask that you grant the
8 variance that would allow us then to proceed
9 to the special use process through the
10 Planning Commission. And myself and my
11 clients are more than happy to be here to
12 answer any questions that you might have as
13 you go through your deliberations. So,
14 thank you very much.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you, Mr.
17 Does anyone in the audience wish to
18 address the Board regarding this case? I
19 don't see any. So we will close the public
20 remarks section.
21 Madam Secretary, are there any
22 correspondence regarding this case?
23 MEMBER KRIEGER: In case number:
24 09-002, 82 notices were mailed. One
1 response. Seven mail returned.
2 And the one response is John Dean of
3 (inaudible). "As a property owner two
4 blocks away I have no problem with allowing
5 an exception to Section 1903.0. The open
6 bays of 4300 West Nine Mile Road face east
7 towards other businesses so noise will not
8 be directed at residential properties. It is
9 my opinion that an automotive service
10 facility will not impact residents to the
11 north in a negative manner." Sincerely
12 yours, John Dean, President.
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
14 Building Department?
15 MS. KUDLA: Mr. Chair, I would just
16 like to say that this would be a standard
17 for a use variance. So, you are looking for
18 a more stringent standard which is
19 unnecessarily hardship. The Building
20 Department has put those standards in its
21 memorandum, the elements of unnecessary
22 hardship. So, rather than a practical
23 difficulty you are going to want to confine
24 your consideration to these considerations.
1 A through D.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Do
3 you have anything to add?
4 MR. BOULARD: Just a question for Mr.
6 Could you give the Board a rough
7 estimate of the distance between the suite
8 that's being proposed or being proposed for
9 the automotive use and the nearest
10 residential unit?
11 MR. QUINN: That would be -- let me
12 ask the question. Approximately how wide is
13 that last unit sitting on the end of the
14 building? Is that a double unit?
15 MR. SWAD: It actually faces north and
16 south. It's about 1,400 square feet. It's
17 probably an additional -- let me get some
18 estimates here.
19 MR. QUINN: Hang on. I might have a
20 bigger drawing that answers that question
21 come to think of it.
22 MR. SWAD: I would estimate a good 30
23 to 40 feet because those units on the north
24 side of it run north and south. So, it goes
1 deep, whereas the units from 301 to 308 go
2 east west.
3 MR. BOULARD: I guess from looking at
4 the drawings that you provided it appears --
5 MR. QUINN: About 40 feet if I took a
6 guess from this scale drawing here that I
8 MR. BOULARD: So somewhere in the
9 neighborhood of 40 feet from the automotive
10 repair units to the back of the building?
11 MR. QUINN: Correct.
12 MR. BOULARD: A 150 feet to the
13 property line and then another how far to
14 the actual occupied residential area?
15 MR. QUINN: About another half a
16 football field. So, you're whole football
17 field plus another 40 feet away.
18 MR. BOULARD: So, 340 feet?
19 MR. QUINN: Right.
20 MR. BOULARD: Approximately?
21 MR. QUINN: Yes.
22 MR. BOULARD: The only other comment I
23 had was just to repeat. The Planning
24 Commission, it will be in their purview to
1 put any restrictions on the types of uses,
2 noises (inaudible). The ZBA at this point
3 is just, the question before us is whether
4 to grant them permission to go before the
5 Planning Commission.
6 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Well,
7 I'll open it up to the Board now.
8 As you are all looking at it, I might
9 add myself that I have personally no
10 objection to giving this variance with an
11 understanding and a recommendation to the
12 Planning Commission that this would be only
13 for the use of this particular tenant and
14 not an open kind of variance for land use
15 for everybody that comes into that complex.
16 MR. QUINN: That's understood.
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Bauer?
18 MEMBER BAUER: Mr. Quinn?
19 MR. QUINN: Yes.
20 MEMBER BAUER: If this is so passed by
21 the Board, please emphasize upon them no
22 outside parking at night.
23 MR. QUINN: Yes, absolutely.
24 MEMBER BAUER: We have plenty of them
1 that do the parking outside and that's a
2 real pain in the neck.
3 MR. QUINN: I can promise you, Mr.
4 Bauer, we have discussed that about moving
5 any vehicles inside. And since they have
6 double bays they should be able to handle
7 that. And they understand and I have
8 impressed upon them having gone through that
9 with other clients that that's a nightmare
10 and they will be back here if there is
12 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you very much.
13 MEMBER GHANNAM: I just have a couple
14 of questions. What type of noise does this
15 business make?
16 MR. QUINN: Muffled. Basically when
17 they take a tire off, they unscrew a door
18 panel -- and you can correct me if I'm wrong
19 -- unscrew a door panel, put a door panel
20 back on. That's about the loudest noise
21 that goes on.
22 MEMBER GHANNAM: When they operate
23 during the regular business hours is the
24 interior exposed to the outside? In other
1 words, are the bays open or how does that
3 MR. QUINN: No, no. The bays, and
4 this is another thing I've gone over with
5 them. Independent of what's happened here,
6 your Ordinance requires business to operate
7 in a totally enclosed structure and,
8 therefore, those doors are to be closed.
9 MEMBER GHANNAM: That's all I have.
10 Thank you.
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
12 Mr. Wrobel?
13 MEMBER WROBEL: What are the hours of
15 MR. OHAN: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
16 MR. QUINN: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
17 MEMBER WROBEL: How many day a weeks?
18 MR. QUINN: Six days?
19 MR. OHAN: Six days.
20 MR. QUINN: Six days. Monday through
22 MEMBER WROBEL: I am looking right
23 here at the elements of unnecessary
24 hardship. I would just like to go through
1 them briefly and let's see if they apply.
2 Number one is that the property cannot be
3 reasonably used for purposes permitted in
4 the zoning district, i.e., property will not
5 yield a reasonable return. No.
6 MR. QUINN: Not given what's happening
7 right now.
8 MEMBER WROBEL: We can't be concerned
9 with economic conditions in the state today
10 because obviously they can change tomorrow
11 God willing.
12 B, that the plight of property owner
13 is not due to unique circumstances peculiar
14 to his or her property and not the general
15 neighborhood conditions. No. Third one,
16 that the use variance will not alter the
17 essential character of the area. No. And
18 that the proponent's problem is not self
19 created. It is self created.
20 I just wanted to read those. We have
21 to take those into consideration in making a
22 motion and making a decision about it. I
23 will wait to hear what other people have to
24 say. Thank you.
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Any more
2 comments? Mr. Ibe?
3 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Quinn?
4 MR. QUINN: Yes, sir.
5 MEMBER IBE: The only thing I'm
6 struggling with is really you are trying to
7 meet the elements that is required of this
8 body to allow this to go forward. I do
9 understand the prevailing economic
10 conditions not just in the city of Novi but
11 across the United States which we are all
12 optimistic that things will improve. And if
13 that were to be true, then obviously the
14 elements, number B that was mentioned by my
15 colleague, Wayne Wrobel, would certainly not
16 apply in this case.
17 But if we were to look at the
18 prevailing conditions today obviously it
19 would fit in with what your client is
20 looking for. But I have some reservation.
21 As much as I want this to go forward I
22 certainly want it to, but I do have some
23 reservation. Is there any way that you can
24 obviously perhaps through the -- I believe
1 it's the owner?
2 MR. QUINN: Mr. Swad?
3 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Swad can explain
4 exactly. The units that are currently
5 available there are empty, I think you said
6 it's about 50 units?
7 MR. QUINN: About 50 percent.
8 MEMBER IBE: What are the prospects of
9 anyone getting those units in the last two
10 years? Have they had any inquiries made by
12 MR. QUINN: Sure. Ed, you want to
13 come up?
14 MR. SWAD: Sure.
15 MR. QUINN: You got to get sworn in.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Is he an
17 attorney, Mr. Quinn?
18 MR. QUINN: No.
19 MR. SWAD: I'm only a CPA.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Can you kindly
21 identify yourself and be sworn in by our
22 Secretary, please.
23 MEMBER KRIEGER: In case number:
24 09-002 do you swear or affirm to tell the
1 truth in this case?
2 MR. SWAD: Yes, I do.
3 MR. QUINN: The question was what's
4 been the activity in your building within
5 the last couple of years.
6 MR. SWAD: Okay. If you would take a
7 look at the building it's laid out in a
8 couple -- this is the industrial unit going
9 here. This part is office. So, in the
10 office part there has been significant
11 decreases of office use. There are 52
12 separate offices upfront here. There is
13 about 14,000 square feet and the entire
14 first floor on the east side has been
15 vacated in the last year and then on the
16 upper level, second floor on the east side
17 there has been significant vacancies there
18 within the last year as well.
19 There has been two tenants that have
20 come in in the last twelve months, each of
21 them renting one 12 by 12 office space up
22 there. Now, separately in the back here,
23 unit 306 directly adjacent to the tenant has
24 come in and signed a one-year lease. They
1 are in the process of winding their business
2 down. They were previously located in Troy.
3 They are down-sized to this location which
4 is about 2,700 square feet and they only
5 signed a one-year lease because they will
6 have their process of liquidation completed
7 in the 12 months.
8 The unit next to it is vacant. No
9 activity in the five years that I have owned
10 the building. 304 is a tenant in there and
11 has been there since I bought the building
12 five years ago. 303 is vacant and has been
13 vacant. And 302 and 301 are occupied.
14 Now, back here there are five units.
15 This shows as one but really there are doors
16 that separate this part into five separate
17 units. There has been two vacancies that
18 happened within the last 12 months that
19 tenants have left. Basically just went out
20 of business and couldn't afford the rent
21 anymore so they have vacated.
22 MEMBER IBE: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you, Mr.
24 Ibe. Yes, Ms. Krieger?
1 MEMBER KRIEGER: In light of the
2 economics that we can't really look at, the
3 problem not being self created. If we can
4 look at it in a light where it created
5 itself or it's self created -- never mind.
6 That the proponent's problem is not self
7 created is what I'm trying to think through.
8 That the proponent has this thing that's
9 working. We've got a building that's got
10 other vacancies, so to assist use of
11 building in Novi to have businesses and have
12 a unique circumstance that can be alleviated
13 with the variance request that would have
14 guidelines not to cause any distress to
15 neighboring residents, that I would support
16 looking at a variance.
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
18 Mr. Ghannam?
19 MEMBER GHANNAM: I also would concur.
20 I generally support a variance in this
21 matter. However, it would have to be
22 subject to all of the restrictions that they
23 would submit which is on page two of their
24 attachment. The third or fourth section
1 down such as no vehicle paintings, no
2 parking outside. With those restrictions
3 along with obviously subject to Planning
4 Commission requirements and so forth, so I
5 would be in favor for something like that
6 and good for only this particular time.
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
8 Well, do I hear a motion then?
9 MEMBER GHANNAM: I will go ahead and
10 make a motion at this time that in ZBA case
11 number: 09-002 filed by Matthew Quinn for
12 43000 West Nine Mile Road on behalf of the
13 owner and the tenant that we grant relief
14 from Section 1902 of the Zoning Ordinance
15 restricting the ability to put this
16 particular type of business within this
17 district and allowing the petitioners to go
18 before the Planning Commission and get
19 whatever relief they need there. Due to the
20 unnecessary hardships explained and
21 demonstrated by the petitioner, illustrating
22 that the property cannot be reasonably used
23 for the purpose permitted in the zoning
24 district. The plight of the property owner
1 is due to the unique circumstances peculiar
2 to the property and not to the general
3 neighborhood. I believe the variance will
4 not alter the essential character of the
5 area and the problem is not self created.
6 This would be again subject to the
7 self imposed restrictions that they agreed
8 to on page two of their submission and good
9 for this tenant and also subject to any
10 requirements of the Planning Commission.
11 MEMBER KRIEGER: Second.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The motion has
13 been made and seconded.
14 MS. KUDLA: Could I make a suggestion
15 that we probably need to add a couple of
16 specific facts as far as the element of
17 unnecessary hardship as to why the Board is
18 seeing it as unique circumstances and not
19 peculiar, that type of thing, some
21 MEMBER GHANNAM: Well, I can state
22 because I live not too far from this area
23 actually that there are no businesses of a
24 similar nature nearby. I think it's
1 actually a better place to put a repair shop
2 as opposed to seeing a garage filled with
3 cars making the area look more blighted. I
4 think it's set back reasonably well. It's
5 not close to any residential neighbor that
6 would certainly create any noise or odors
7 and things of that nature. And I think that
8 given the support of their neighbors that it
9 would be reasonably fit for this particular
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay. Yes, Mr.
13 MEMBER BAUER: You mentioned 1902. It
14 should be 1903.
15 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes, you are right.
16 I apologize. It is Section 1903.0. With
17 that amendment.
18 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All right, now
19 we have got the correct number and
20 everything, section number and all that.
21 Very good.
22 Any further discussion? Seeing none,
23 will you please call the roll.
24 MR. BOULARD: Member Wrobel?
1 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
2 MR. BOULARD: Chairman Sanghvi?
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
4 MR. BOULARD: Member Krieger?
5 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
6 MR. BOULARD: Member Ibe?
7 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
8 MR. BOULARD: Member Ghannam?
9 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
10 MR. BOULARD: Member Bauer?
11 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
12 MR. BOULARD: Motion passes 6-0.
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Congratulations.
14 MR. QUINN: Thank you very much. I
15 appreciate your consideration.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Off to the
17 Planning Commission.
18 MR. QUINN: Our job is just beginning.
19 Thank you.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Now,
21 I wonder if the first applicant has arrived
22 or not. I will call case number: 09-001
23 filed by Thomas Asmar for Crowne Plaza --
24 oh, you have arrived. Very good.
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: Someone needs to get
2 Mr. Cassis.
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: We can get Mr.
4 Cassis back. Welcome back.
5 MR. CASSIS: Thank you.
6 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All right, sir.
7 Would you state your name and address and be
8 sworn in by our Secretary before you can
9 make your presentation.
10 MR. ASMAR: Thomas Asmar, 27000
11 Sheraton Drive.
12 MEMBER KRIEGER: Do you swear or
13 affirm in case number: 09-001, 27000
14 Sheraton Drive for Crowne Plaza to tell the
15 truth in this case?
16 MR. ASMAR: Yes.
17 MEMBER KRIEGER: Thank you.
18 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Go ahead.
19 MR. ASMAR: I am proposing, actually
20 we've already put the sign up on our facade.
21 We've constructed a new facade at the Crowne
22 Plaza. I am sure you guys know the
23 location. It's a unique situation where we
24 put a new facade up and we put a little sign
1 made out of like stucco saying Crowne Plaza.
2 I know all you guys have a picture of it.
3 I think the people who constructed it
4 thought that they were able to put that sign
5 up since it was so small. So now we got a
6 violation for it. We got a citation for it.
7 So now I am coming in front of you guys to
8 see what we could do by leaving it up there.
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: That's it?
10 Anything else?
11 MR. ASMAR: That's pretty much it.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Would you like
13 to show what the sign or facade change looks
14 like and put it on the screen?
15 MR. ASMAR: Actually I did not bring
16 it with me.
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: So that you can
18 show it to the people at home.
19 MR. ASMAR: I did not bring it with
20 me. I'm sorry.
21 MEMBER BAUER: He is going to show it.
22 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay. I don't
23 see anybody in the audience, but this is the
24 time for any public remarks. Seeing none,
1 we will move on and go on to the Secretary
2 and see if there are any correspondence
3 regarding this case.
4 MEMBER KRIEGER: In case number:
5 09-001 notices were mailed were 78. One
6 response and 12 mail returned. And the
7 response is Chris Brant (ph), VP of
8 operations, Emagine Entertainment. "Emagine
9 supports Crowne Plaza Hotel's request for
10 the additional signage." And that's it.
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
12 Building Department?
13 MR. BOULARD: Thank you. In the staff
14 report I indicated there are a number of
15 variances existing for sign variances for
16 the property. Some of which, some of those
17 signs have been permitted but not installed
18 and so on.
19 MR. ASMAR: Actually we haven't put
20 any up.
21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Now you hold on,
23 MR. ASMAR: Oh, I'm sorry.
24 MR. BOULARD: These are from previous
1 variances and I have listed all the way back
2 to 1981. 1981, '06, '08. I tried to
3 provide a quick rundown of those. And, in
4 fact, in your packet there is a -- what we
5 did was took pictures of the signs and then
6 there is a drawing that has the locations on
7 them. I hope you can read that. Of the
8 existing signs that are out there right now.
9 The only signs that aren't there right
10 now are the ones that are labeled G and H on
11 the building which were approved under one
12 of the previous variances. I tried to
13 provide a rundown of what's approved and
14 what's out there. And we've got pictures of
15 most of those as well as the variances.
16 There is one thing I would like to
17 point out. You will notice that the
18 variance listed number 886 from July of
19 1981, the original variance to allow four
20 ground pole signs. The definitions of a
21 ground pole sign have changed in the years
22 over the Ordinance, so what is called a
23 ground pole sign in 1981 is a monument sign
24 under the current ordinance requirements.
1 So, I apologize for the confusion. But if
2 you have any questions I will be happy to do
3 my best to explain it to you.
4 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
5 Well, I'll open it to the Board now. Yes,
6 Mr. Wrobel?
7 MEMBER WROBEL: Thank you. After
8 seeing this last year, last April where we
9 approved the other sign, I personally don't
10 believe any hardship exist to allow another
11 sign. There is adequate signage for this
12 location. I just don't see a need for it at
13 this time. Thank you.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Bauer?
15 MEMBER BAUER: I agree with Mr.
16 Wrobel. The 18-square feet as far as I'm
17 concerned is not going to make or break you
18 one way or the other. So, I would be
19 inclined to vote against it.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
21 While you are all looking at your file, I
22 might add my own personal comments. I agree
23 with what has been said. I don't think it's
24 going to add anything to it. This business
1 has adequate signage and adding one more is
2 not going to do anything extra other than
3 adding one more variance. I don't see any
4 need for it. Thank you.
5 Yes, Mr. Cassis?
6 MR. CASSIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
7 Maybe my first outing I shouldn't be
8 commenting, but, you know, I think the case
9 is very clear. Do you know how high that
10 big huge sign that you have way up there
11 like 15 feet, 20 feet, how high is it?
12 MR. ASMAR: It's probably about 30
14 MR. CASSIS: Thirty feet. I'm counting
15 how many other signs. You've got five other
16 signs and two others coming up.
17 MR. ASMAR: I see the way that the
18 Board is going right now --
19 MR. CASSIS: I didn't ask you
21 Mr. Chairman, I know it's hard times,
22 but I remember this. I have been around
23 here a long time to know the Sheraton used
24 to be here. The same hotel that you are in
1 right now used to be called the Sheraton.
2 They didn't have all those signs and they
3 were still doing big business. It's very
4 unfortunate that the place of that hotel is
5 at that juncture of that area there. But I
6 don't see, with all the signs that the city
7 has also directing people towards your
8 place, so, really, I really don't see that
9 one more sign 4 feet by 4 feet in that spot
10 is going to really bring you more customers.
11 And plus, Mr. Chairman, hotels get their
12 guests mainly probably 80% or so, 90%, I
13 don't know what the percent is from internet
14 or calling or if they are Crowne Plaza they
15 belong to an association of Crowne Plaza and
16 people they do their commitments through
17 that means rather than just driving around
18 and saying, oh, here's a Crowne Plaza. For
19 all of those reason I don't think that sign
20 is really necessary. Thank you.
21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you, Mr.
22 Cassis. May I hear a motion from some Board
24 MEMBER WROBEL: Okay, I'll take a stab
1 at it. In the matter of case: 09-001,
2 27000 Sheraton Drive, Crowne Plaza, deny the
3 request for additional signage. The
4 applicant has not proven an undue hardship
5 by not placing additional signs at this
7 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
8 MS. KUDLA: Can I amend that it's a
9 practical difficulty rather than hardship.
10 MEMBER WROBEL: That's okay. So
12 MEMBER BAUER: I'll second it.
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All right. The
14 motion has been made and seconded.
15 Did you get the name?
16 MR. BOULARD: Who seconded the motion?
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Mr. Bauer.
18 MR. BOULARD: Thank you.
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Any further
20 discussion? Seeing none, will you please
21 call the roll.
22 MR. BOULARD: Certainly. Member
24 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
1 MR. BOULARD: Member Cassis?
2 MEMBER CASSIS: Yes.
3 MR. BOULARD: Member Ghannam?
4 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
5 MR. BOULARD: Member Ibe?
6 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
7 MR. BOULARD: Member Krieger?
8 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
9 MR. BOULARD: Chairman Sanghvi?
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
11 MR. BOULARD: Member Wrobel?
12 MEMBER WROBEL: Yes.
13 MR. BOULARD: Motion to deny is
14 approved 7-0.
15 MR. ASMAR: Could I say something?
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I think the case
17 is closed. We made our decision. Thank
19 I think that finishes our cases this
20 evening and we will go on to the other
21 business. The other business is the
22 election of officers over the coming year.
23 And if the Board pleases we will do this by
24 going one by one for each position. Chair,
1 Vice-Chair, Secretary. If there is a
2 consensus about that. If so -- Yes, sir?
3 MEMBER BAUER: I just wish to have you
4 as the Chairman for this next year. I put
5 your hat in the ring.
6 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Is anybody
7 seconding your proposition? It has to be
9 MR. CASSIS: Second. Yeah, I second
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The proposal has
12 been made and seconded. Any other
14 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Chair, can I add one
15 more name to the Chair just to mix it up a
16 little bit? How about Wayne Wrobel for
17 Chair. I don't know if he is going to be
18 interested or not.
19 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll second it.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: It has been
21 seconded. So, we have two people names have
22 been put forward. And we haven't had this
23 situation before. But how would you like to
24 vote on it? Would you like to do a voice
1 vote or would you like to write down names
2 on a piece of paper?
3 MS. KUDLA: A voice vote, actually I
4 guess a roll call vote would probably be
5 good on this so we can distinguish how many
6 votes there are one way or the other.
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay. Whichever
8 way is the right way of doing it. I have no
9 problem. So, go ahead and do a voice vote
10 one by one?
11 MEMBER KRIEGER: Question? Can we
12 write it down like they have on council
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yeah, that's
15 what I thought you can write down the name
16 on a piece of paper.
17 MS. KUDLA: We can do it as two
18 separate motions.
19 MR. BOULARD: Could they just write
20 the names on a scrap of paper?
21 MS. KUDLA: Let me look at the rules
22 of order.
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I have never
24 faced this before, so I don't know of the
2 MS. KUDLA: We could have you make a
3 motion to take the vote by secret ballot.
4 And then if the motion is approved to vote
5 by secret ballot and it can be done by
6 secret ballot.
7 MEMBER BAUER: I move to take the vote
8 by secret ballot.
9 MEMBER IBE: I'll second that.
10 MR. BOULARD: Do we need a vote on
12 MS. KUDLA: It doesn't have to be a
13 roll call.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All those in
15 favor of a secret ballot please signify by
16 saying aye?
17 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
18 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Ayes have it.
19 Mr. Boulard, would you like to collect it
20 and give it to the counsel there?
21 MR. BOULARD: I would be happy to.
22 MS. KUDLA: For a secret ballot it
23 appears you have to appoint tellers. People
24 who are uninterested in the results of the
1 vote. We could have two tellers for them to
2 review the ballots just to make sure
4 MEMBER GHANNAM: We appoint you two.
5 Just so you're official.
6 MR. BOULARD: Is there a second?
7 MEMBER IBE: I'll second that.
8 MEMBER GHANNAM: All in favor?
9 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
10 MR. BOULARD: Now we can look.
11 MS. KUDLA: The results are in favor
12 of Mav Sanghvi for Chair.
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
14 Moving on to the next -- yes, Member Bauer?
15 MEMBER BAUER: I wish Mr. Wrobel to be
16 put into Vice-chair.
17 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll second that.
18 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The motion has
19 been made and seconded.
20 Any other nominations? Seeing none, I
21 think Mr. Wrobel will be elected.
22 MEMBER CASSIS: I second.
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
24 MR. BOULARD: Do we need a vote?
1 MS. KUDLA: Yes.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All those in
3 favor of Mr. Wrobel's nomination as the
4 Vice-chair please signify by saying aye?
5 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
6 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Those opposed
7 same sign.
8 Now the next position of the
9 Secretary. I would like to nominate Mr.
10 Bauer for the position of the Secretary.
11 MEMBER CASSIS: I second.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The nomination
13 has been made and seconded duly.
14 Are there any other nominations for
15 the position? Seeing none, all those in
16 favor of accepting Mr. Bauer's nomination as
17 Secretary please signify by saying aye?
18 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Those opposed
20 same sign?
21 MEMBER BAUER: (Inaudible.)
22 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: You got it Mr.
23 Bauer. Thank you. If this is no other
24 business I would like to -- Yes, Mr.
2 MEMBER WROBEL: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
3 I would just like to have on the record,
4 unfortunately he didn't come tonight, but I
5 would like to congratulate Mr. Amolsch on
6 his retirement and thank him for all his
7 help on the ZBA. He has been really helpful
8 and I hope he enjoys his retirement. I envy
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Anything else
12 for the good of the Board? Seeing none, may
13 I have a motion to adjourn?
14 MEMBER BAUER: So moved.
15 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll second that.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All those in
17 favor signify by saying aye?
18 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Good-bye.
20 (The meeting was adjourned at
21 7:57 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 (43) typewritten pages, is a
11 true and correct transcript of my said
12 stenographic notes.
19 Mona L. Talton,
20 Certified Shorthand Reporter
22 February 26, 2009