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Proceedings had and testimony taken in the matters of the ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS, at City of Novi, 45175 West Ten 10 Mile Road, Novi, Michigan, Tuesday, April 11 14, 2009.

Mav Sanghvi, Chairperson
Gerald Bauer
Victor Cassis
David Ghannam
Rickie Ibe
Linda Krieger
Donna Skelcy

Elizabeth Kudla, City Attorney
Charles Boulard, Building Official

Mona L. Talton, Certified Shorthand Reporter.

1 Novi, Michigan

2 Tuesday, April 14, 2009

3 7:00 p.m.

4 - - - - - -


6 The clock is about to say 7:00 p.m. And I

7 would like to call to order the April 14,

8 2009 meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals

9 for the City of Novi.

10 Mr. Cassis, would you kindly lead us

11 in the pledge of allegiance.

12 MEMBER CASSIS: Thank you, Mr.

13 Chairman.

14 BOARD MEMBERS: I pledge allegiance to

15 the flag of the United States of America and

16 to the Republic for which it stands, one

17 nation under God indivisible with liberty

18 and justice for all.


20 Mr. Boulard, will you please call the

21 roll.

22 MR. BOULARD: Certainly. Member

23 Bauer?

24 MEMBER BAUER: Present.





1 MR. BOULARD: Chairman Sanghvi?


3 MR. BOULARD: Member Wrobel?

4 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: He is absent and

5 excused.

6 MR. BOULARD: Member Skelcy?


8 MR. BOULARD: Member Ghannam?


10 MR. BOULARD: Member Krieger?


12 MR. BOULARD: Member Ibe?

13 MEMBER IBE: Present.

14 MR. BOULARD: Member Cassis?


16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: So, we do have a

17 quorum and the meeting is now in session. I

18 am not going go over the rules of conduct

19 because they are already printed in your

20 agenda and there is no use of repeating all

21 this. But just a friendly reminder to

22 please turn off your cell phones and pagers.

23 Today we have a full quorum and so all

24 the decisions taken will be final.





1 Are there any changes in the agenda or

2 is the agenda as presented?

3 MEMBER CASSIS: Move to approve.

4 MR. BOULARD: Mr. Chairman, the

5 Petitioner for case number 4 on your agenda,

6 case number: 09-017 for 47601 Grand River

7 Avenue has requested to be located on the

8 agenda just before the last case number 7.

9 09-015 is there for the same property.


11 Anything else? Can I have a motion to --

12 MEMBER BAUER: So moved.


14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The motion has

15 been made and moved. All those in favor

16 please signify by saying aye?



19 opposed same sign.

20 (No response.)


22 also do have some minutes here. And does

23 anybody have any corrections, alterations,

24 deletions to the minutes? If not we can --





1 the minutes are for the meeting of March 17,

2 2009.

3 MR. BOULARD: Mr. Chair, I have a

4 couple of corrections I believe of other

5 Board Members' comments. On page 16, line

6 13, I believe Member Ghannam meant to say

7 obtrusive as opposed to obtruding.

8 MEMBER GHANNAM: What line?

9 MR. BOULARD: 13.


11 MR. BOULARD: Page 17, line 3, my

12 statement was, or my question is: Is the

13 amendment accepted?


15 MR. BOULARD: And the last proposed

16 correction would be page 71, line 2. I

17 believe Member Ibe said: I think we should

18 be on our way to recovery from this

19 recession.

20 MEMBER IBE: Correct.

21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Anything else?

22 Anybody notice anything? If not, can we

23 entertain a motion to accept the minutes as

24 corrected?





1 MEMBER BAUER: Move to accept the

2 minutes with the corrections.


4 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Motion has been

5 made and seconded.

6 All those in favor signify by

7 saying aye?



10 same sign.

11 (No response.)


13 minutes are in place.

14 This is the time for the public

15 remarks section. Is there anybody in the

16 audience who would like to address the Board

17 regarding any item other than what is on the

18 agenda tonight?

19 (No response.)

20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Seeing none, we

21 will close the public remarks section and

22 we'll go on to first case on the agenda.

23 All right. And that is Case Number:

24 08-061 Robert Slack of Ace Family Hardware





1 for 22104 Novi Road Ace Family Hardware. Is

2 the Applicant here?

3 MR. SLACK: Yes.

4 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Will you please

5 come over here. Identify yourself with your

6 name and address and if you are not an

7 attorney please be sworn in by our

8 Secretary.

9 MR. SLACK: I am not an attorney. My

10 name is Robert Slack. My residence is 1320

11 Stephanie Drive, Milford, Michigan. We are

12 the owners and leasing space at 22104 Novi

13 Road.

14 MEMBER BAUER: Would you raise your

15 right hand?

16 MR. SLACK: Sure.

17 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm

18 to tell the truth regarding Case: 08-061?

19 MR. SLACK: I do.

20 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.

21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, go ahead.

22 MR. SLACK: Well, this was a

23 continuation of a prior case. This was

24 tabled. So, I don't know if I should start





1 at the beginning or just -- when we tabled

2 it we were left with making sure that CVS

3 gave us consent to place the propane tanks

4 in front of the building, which I did get

5 the letter and I did deliver 14 copies of

6 the letter to the Zoning people in the

7 Building Department, and that was in

8 December. I don't know the date exactly,

9 but I do have a copy of it with me.

10 But the copies were submitted to the

11 Zoning people at the Building Department.

12 Beyond that, I think there was going to be

13 some discussion, not by me, but with the

14 Fire Department people and the Building

15 Department. So, I don't have information on

16 that.


18 there anybody in the audience who would like

19 to make any comment about this case?

20 (No response.)


22 none, Mr. Secretary, do you have any new

23 correspondence?

24 MEMBER BAUER: No. Just the one from





1 the management of the property. It's the

2 same as what the owner said.


4 Building Department, anything to add?

5 MR. BOULARD: Nothing other than as

6 Mr. Slack indicated, your packet should

7 include a copy of the letter from CVS.

8 Also, there is a copy of an e-mail from Mark

9 Spencer of Planning and Community

10 Development with response to some of the

11 questions about placement around the

12 building.

13 And there is also a letter from Mike

14 Evans, the fire marshal, providing the

15 requested information. And for anyone

16 who do not recall the discussion on December

17 19, there is a copy of those minutes also

18 for your use.

19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, very good.

20 Thank you. Now I will open it to the Board.

21 Yes, Mr. Cassis?

22 MEMBER CASSIS: I know, Mr. Slack, I

23 know you've indicated that you are going to

24 protect that cage from impact from thieves.





1 Do you foresee any other dangerous kind of

2 happening that might happen to those

3 cylinders that should be protected in the

4 case?

5 MR. SLACK: Not that I'm aware of.

6 And as far as protecting them, it's sitting

7 back probably I am going to say probably 10

8 to 12 feet inside the sidewalk. So it's

9 already, I would believe, I have not heard

10 anything different, that that would be far

11 enough back to be protected from traffic.

12 So we had no intentions to put poles in that

13 location.

14 MEMBER CASSIS: I'm not talking about

15 that. I am talking about people walking by,

16 somebody throws a match or something. I

17 don't know. I am not too familiar with

18 these kind of cylinders or what have you.

19 Can you educate me a little bit as to the

20 safety?

21 MR. SLACK: I don't know of any.

22 MEMBER CASSIS: Nothing?

23 MR. SLACK: I don't know of anything

24 we had intended to do beyond what's there





1 unless there is some other suggestions.

2 MEMBER CASSIS: Thank you.

3 MR. SLACK: There has been nothing

4 indicated to us additionally that we might

5 need to do at this point.


7 Yes, Mr. Ibe?

8 MEMBER IBE: Just one question. Sir,

9 assuming that we are to grant your variance

10 request, would you be willing to provide

11 some kind of screening to minimize the

12 visual impact that the cylinders will have

13 to the public, you know, people who are

14 driving up to the building so it's just not

15 glaring out there? Is there any kind of

16 screen that you might provide to make it

17 more aesthetically pleasing at least?

18 MR. SLACK: Yeah. And, in fact, we

19 had initially at some point in the past

20 discussed that kind of thing. We had made

21 no plans, definite plans for that, but we

22 would be not opposed to something like that.

23 Were something acceptable suggested, we

24 would be willing to do that, sure.





1 MEMBER IBE: I have no other comments.

2 Thank you.

3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, very good.

4 Yes, Ms. Krieger?

5 MEMBER KRIEGER: Question. On the

6 building if you have the surveillance camera

7 does it also light up that area?

8 MR. SLACK: There is no surveillance

9 camera in front of the building on the

10 exterior. The only place that there is a

11 surveillance camera on the exterior of the

12 building is right near the garage door

13 between the back of the building. It's down

14 at the garage door at the back of the

15 building. That's the only place that there

16 is a surveillance camera on the exterior of

17 the building.

18 MEMBER KRIEGER: That was something I

19 was wondering about for helping with if kids

20 wanted to play around that area.

21 Also, the bollard, I believe that's

22 what they are called, those cement pillars,

23 bollards, that they could also be placed if

24 it was to stay in the front that you could





1 put some up in the front. And then I notice

2 that the cages are painted white and it

3 blends with the building. So, as long as

4 they were kept up that that would not be as

5 obtrusive.


7 Anybody else? As far as I am personally

8 concerned, as far as I am concerned I think

9 we have got the information from the Fire

10 Marshal that went over all the major

11 concerns at the last meeting. And

12 everything seems to be A okay from that

13 perspective. And as far as the screening in

14 front of this is concerned, maybe we should

15 come to some kind of consensus about what

16 kind of screening would be acceptable.

17 Have you any idea, Mr. Boulard, about

18 what kind of screening you suggest?

19 MR. BOULARD: My one question I guess

20 for the Petitioner would be, if there was

21 screening put around the cabinets, it would

22 need to be three plus feet away from it so

23 that you can access the cabinets. Would

24 that then block the sidewalk?





1 MR. SLACK: If you went three feet? I

2 would have to actually measure that, but it

3 would definitely protrude out into that area

4 definitely, yes. And there is a pillar in

5 that vicinity of the corner, that if you

6 went three feet all the way around it, that

7 pillar that holds up the porch I guess you

8 would you call it, would probably come into

9 conflict with the screen that was three feet

10 all the way around it.

11 MR. BOULARD: I guess my initial

12 thought is that having the cabinet painted

13 to match the building and not having

14 advertisement on it would probably be the

15 least obtrusive. But if there was screening

16 I would suggest that we make sure that there

17 is plenty of room for pedestrians to get

18 around it and also it's some kind of

19 noncombustible material.

20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: A question for

21 the Counsel. Is it okay to make a motion

22 that the nature of the screening to be

23 determined later in the motion?

24 MS. KUDLA: At this point I don't





1 think that we've had any suggestions from

2 the Planning Department on specific

3 screening, so I think it would probably

4 involve another meeting with the Planning

5 Department to determine what they would

6 think is appropriate.

7 I don't know at that point then if

8 something like that would be acceptable to

9 the Applicant, but I think if we are going

10 to require screening that we need to at

11 least give some sort of notice of what that

12 might be, some types of suggestions types of

13 things so that when the variance is granted

14 that the Applicant is aware of what is being

15 considered by the Board in making their

16 decision.

17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: That would mean

18 putting it off another month?

19 MS. KUDLA: As far as screening, if we

20 don't have the information at this point we

21 might want to do that. You could ask the

22 Applicant if he has any suggestions on what

23 he might put in that area that would help to

24 screen it.





1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Do you have any

2 idea about what kind of screening you might

3 put there?

4 MR. SLACK: I had not considered it as

5 far as any specific thing because I didn't

6 realize that was an issue so we hadn't

7 really done a lot of consideration on what

8 type of -- I mean, it would be conceivable.

9 I mean, at one point we even thought of

10 maybe just some plantings, you know.


12 MEMBER GHANNAM: I have got a few

13 questions, sir. The current way that you

14 are storing the tanks right now is as we see

15 in the pictures, is that correct, like you

16 proposed?

17 MR. SLACK: Yes, nothing has changed.

18 MEMBER GHANNAM: Forgetting our last

19 meeting in December '08, that's the way it

20 was back then?

21 MR. SLACK: Yes.

22 MEMBER GHANNAM: And you had nothing

23 on the inside of the building; is that

24 correct? No storage tanks inside?





1 MR. SLACK: No, no storage tanks. We

2 don't allow even a storage tank to be

3 brought inside for exchange. The actual

4 physical exchange is done outside. The

5 payment is inside. The physical exchange is

6 outside.

7 MEMBER GHANNAM: Then I just have a

8 question for Counsel. In the Fire Marshal's

9 letter he indicated that the current storage

10 amount which I assume is the one that we see

11 in the picture is in compliance with fire

12 prevention codes and so forth. So,

13 apparently according to them it's

14 acceptable.

15 MS. KUDLA: Yeah, the current, yeah,

16 there was a letter indicating and I don't

17 know if the Applicant -- have you had a

18 chance to review the letter?

19 MR. SLACK: I haven't gotten a letter.

20 MS. KUDLA: We can give you a copy of

21 the letter if you want to take a look at it

22 right now. The premise of the letter I

23 believe was that there were some alternate

24 locations proposed at the last meeting and





1 we didn't know because of some of the

2 locations whether they would cause it to be

3 a dangerous situation and we wanted to look

4 at whether some of those alternates were

5 even plausible before considering any

6 proposed alternatives.

7 So, the letter does go through the

8 Fire Marshal's opinions on some of the other

9 alternatives. It does indicate that the

10 current placement is within the

11 International Fire Code requirements, yes.

12 MEMBER GHANNAM: Okay. Because I know

13 in his letter the Fire Marshal talks about

14 the south side of the building and then I

15 guess it would be the east side behind the

16 building as alternatives. He indicated that

17 the south side would not be practical. On

18 the east side would require additional

19 protection and so forth.

20 Another question about the cages or

21 whatever you call them, they are stored in

22 right now. Are they somehow secured to the

23 premises either to the floor or the building

24 somehow so they can't be removed by anybody?





1 MR. SLACK: They are not at the

2 present time, they could be.

3 MEMBER GHANNAM: Is that a concern for

4 you or has it ever been a concern to you

5 about someone trying to haul these things

6 away or not?

7 MR. SLACK: No. We have had no

8 concern with it. We've had no issue with

9 it. I wouldn't suppose that we would. They

10 are quite heavy. And the cylinders

11 themselves weigh in access of 25 pounds

12 each. There would be 24 of them in a

13 container, so you are talking several,

14 several hundred pounds. You would probably

15 need a fork truck or something to try to

16 pick that up and take it.

17 They could be anchored, that wouldn't

18 be a problem to do that, but I wouldn't have

19 a concern about someone trying to take the

20 propane.

21 MEMBER GHANNAM: That's fine.

22 Personally I'm in favor of it as you propose

23 now that we have all the information here.

24 I don't know about the screening issue





1 because that would be kind of hard to define

2 I think at this point. But as long as the

3 Fire Marshal is okay with the way they are

4 secured at this point and there is not a

5 bunch of advertisement over it. It's

6 basically as is as you have pictured it?

7 MR. SLACK: Yes.

8 MEMBER GHANNAM: I think I have no

9 problems with this. This is a typical type

10 of thing that's sold in businesses such as

11 yours. You can't store it inside. It's got

12 to be somewhere, and to me this seems to be

13 the most logical position.


15 MEMBER CASSIS: Thank you, Mr.

16 Chairman, for giving me another chance

17 here. Just one observation. I live by that

18 store and I have frequented your store. I

19 want to compliment you on your service. And

20 why do I mention service? Because I want to

21 try to alleviate my previous two colleagues'

22 minds about the protection that you and your

23 people will be giving this cage.

24 I have observed your people how they





1 come out and try to help. And I presume

2 that nothing will happen to those cylinders

3 unless your people are really right there on

4 the spot helping the customer and giving

5 those cylinders out. So, in my mind I would

6 rest easy as far as what you have supplied

7 us here. But that is only my opinion.

8 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


10 Mr. Bauer?

11 MEMBER BAUER: Did you have any

12 problem with your insurance company?

13 MR. SLACK: No.


15 MR. SLACK: In fact, I spoke with our

16 insurance agent prior to even doing anything

17 on this and our current coverage was

18 adequate to cover that. We didn't even need

19 to make an alteration in the policy.

20 MEMBER BAUER: Okay, fine. Thank you.


22 Anybody else? Would anybody like to make a

23 motion?

24 MEMBER GHANNAM: I will go ahead and





1 make a motion, Mr. Chair.


3 MEMBER GHANNAM: In case number:

4 08-061 by Robert Slack of Ace Family

5 Hardware, I move that the Board approve his

6 request for placement of an outdoor propane

7 exchange rack on the west elevation of the

8 building at 22104 Novi Road at the Oakpointe

9 Plaza as depicted in the photographs as it

10 currently exits right now.

11 This is a use variance I believe that

12 the property cannot be reasonably used for

13 the purposes permitted in the existing

14 zoning district. The plight of the owner as

15 you suggested is not -- I'm sorry, is due to

16 unique circumstances peculiar to his

17 property and not the general neighborhood

18 conditions. The use variance will not alter

19 the essential character of the area. The

20 proponent's problem is not self created and

21 as I suggested before, it's a type of

22 product that's typically sold in businesses

23 such as yourself and it's really the only

24 logical place to put it in this case, so I





1 would move to approve it on that basis.

2 But it also, at any time you have it

3 in that placement or in that position, it's

4 got to comply with existing City Ordinances

5 and Fire Marshal regulations.



8 been made and seconded. Do I hear any

9 further discussion? Seeing none, Mr.

10 Boulard, will you please call the roll?

11 MR. BOULARD: Certainly. Who was the

12 second?


14 MR. BOULARD: Thank you. Member

15 Bauer?


17 MR. BOULARD: Member Cassis?


19 MR. BOULARD: Member Ghannam?


21 MR. BOULARD: Member Ibe?


23 MR. BOULARD: Member Krieger?






1 MR. BOULARD: Member Skelcy?


3 MR. BOULARD: Chairman Sanghvi?


5 MR. BOULARD: Motion is approved 7-0.

6 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Congratulations.

7 MR. SLACK: Thank you very much. And

8 thank you for your compliment about the

9 store. We intend to keep our service the

10 way it is.

11 MEMBER CASSIS: Keep it up. Good luck

12 to you.

13 MR. SLACK: Thank you.

14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The next one on

15 the line. Moving onto the next case and I

16 would be calling Case Number: 09-009, Boyne

17 Country stores. Oh, I beg your pardon, I

18 stand corrected. I jumped one case.

19 Case Number 2. It's Case Number:

20 08-069 filed by Blair Bowman of ServMan LLC

21 for 46100 Grand River Avenue, Rock

22 Financial. Good evening and I apologize for

23 jumping ahead.

24 MR. BOWMAN: Good evening. How are





1 you? I am, first of all, Blair Bowman of

2 ServMan LLC for 46100 Grand River. Like the

3 prior Applicant before you, this is a

4 continuation of a previous request that was

5 tabled. I can certainly summarize or answer

6 any questions.

7 It was primarily tabled as I

8 understood it to give the opportunity for a

9 legal opinion to be provided to the Board,

10 and for some additional discussion to take

11 place at the Ordinance Review Committee,

12 which I did have the opportunity to do.

13 You know, frankly, I don't believe any

14 modifications were actually provided to the

15 Ordinance. I think that what occurred is

16 that there was a settlement of some other

17 issues relating to a similar, but yet not so

18 exact circumstances that the City was

19 dealing with.

20 For the benefit of those that might

21 not have been present before, basically

22 summarizing our request is simply to look to

23 take two existing older expressway billboard

24 signs and replace them with a more modern





1 single pole structure. And within doing

2 that, providing for approximately 25 percent

3 of the rotating message time to benefit the

4 showplace venue as far as the ongoing events

5 that, frankly, is continuing to be a

6 challenge. It's desperately needed to

7 provide information about what's going on at

8 the facility.

9 I did provide a packet which I think

10 has been again subsequently provided to you.

11 So I would be happy to answer any questions

12 and just frankly ask for your assistance and

13 help in this regard. And I am pleased to

14 answer any questions that you have.


16 a point of clarification. We don't need to

17 swear him in again if it's a continuation of

18 the first case? He was involved in the

19 other case, right?

20 MS. KUDLA: He is a lawyer.

21 MR. BOWMAN: No, I'm not. I'm not a

22 practicing one. No P number.

23 MS. KUDLA: Okay. You can swear him

24 in.





1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Is there anybody

2 in the audience who would like to make any

3 comments about this case? If anybody would

4 like to, now is the time.

5 (No response.)


7 would close the public remarks section.

8 Building Department?

9 Do we have any new correspondence

10 also?


12 MR. BOULARD: As the Petitioner

13 mentioned, this is a variance request that

14 was tabled previously for additional

15 information. There was information provided

16 in your packet.

17 I did have one question for the

18 Petitioner. In reviewing this proposal, was

19 a lesser alternative considered? In other

20 words, an installation that would require

21 fewer or lesser variances and what maybe if

22 you could comment on what the ramifications

23 of that would be.

24 MR. BOWMAN: Sure. I would say that





1 there is a couple of points that would be

2 worth noting. One is, I think that there is

3 a couple of the cited variances which I

4 think might be a matter of interpretation.

5 But one in particular is the proximity to

6 an additional sign would be within 1,200

7 feet. And my understanding of the State

8 statutes were that that was on the same side

9 of any major freeway facility.

10 Apparently in the City's situation

11 they are looking at the sign that is across

12 the expressway. If that's the case, that's

13 exactly why we didn't cite a particular

14 location. We had suggested that we would be

15 willing to place it with input from the City

16 and even the State as far as locating it for

17 best visibility, but also sensitivity to

18 natural features. And certainly that would

19 include also eliminating that particular

20 variance by way of locating it even further

21 west on the site so that it would not

22 provide a problem there.

23 Really, the only other aspect would be

24 the size issue. And certainly we could do





1 the sandwich face, back-to-back face

2 approach to things which I understand would

3 significantly reduce by the way that the

4 Ordinance is applied, the actual amount of

5 square footage in variance.

6 Beyond that, there is no specific, you

7 know, other applications that we had looked

8 at. I think that in this instance the

9 standards, if you would, I think you only

10 have to look up and down the entirety of the

11 freeway, you will see that these are the

12 typical size in nature because that is the

13 size that is normally required to deliver

14 safely and effectively a message.

15 Other than that, there were

16 discussions about looking possibly at other

17 signage opportunities and things of that

18 nature, which certainly we are willing to

19 explore, but I think in this particular

20 case, we do have, in the case of the actual

21 expressway sign itself, a very unique set of

22 circumstances where we are looking to

23 eliminate to two and install one. And at

24 the same time I think it's a much more





1 attractive situation and can be more

2 appropriately placed and provide the added

3 impact which is also a benefit to the

4 community of helping sustain the major

5 economic impact of hopefully a more

6 successful venue.


8 we have no more or new correspondence?

9 MEMBER BAUER: No, sir.


11 MS. KUDLA: Just a point of

12 clarification that I wanted to make. That

13 there was at Ordinance Review Committee,

14 obviously a consideration and there was a

15 proposed draft Ordinance put together, but

16 it's correct, it has not gone to Planning

17 Commission yet. It has not gone to City

18 Council for approval, but I do believe some

19 of the specific proposed changes discussed

20 at the Ordinance Review Committee were

21 specific to this type of signage that was

22 proposed. Specifically the changeable copy

23 issue on billboards and billboards in the

24 I-2 district, keeping them in the I-2





1 district only. So, that was just a point of

2 clarification for the record.


4 Thank you. Now, might I open it up to the

5 Board?



8 MEMBER CASSIS: I will take a first

9 stab at it. And this is just more

10 clarification to me because you looked at me

11 when you said for those who weren't at this

12 Body before.

13 MR. BOWMAN: You were not here were

14 you before?

15 MEMBER CASSIS: No. And that's why I

16 wanted more clarification. Now, you said

17 that you would be eliminating two signs?

18 MR. BOWMAN: Correct.

19 MEMBER CASSIS: Is one of them the big

20 huge one now?

21 MR. BOWMAN: No. The current Rock

22 Financial Showplace marquee sign is

23 functioning frankly for the purpose of

24 assisting us in identifying to the person





1 that's looking at it from a destination,

2 where they are going, suggesting, you know,

3 again, that that's where their intended

4 location is. But it is not effective for a

5 couple of reasons.

6 The conservation easement that

7 un-intendedly, you know, certainly we meant

8 to provide that but it had the unintended

9 consequence of blocking almost entirely when

10 you are eastbound any view of the sign.

11 And then also just because of the virtue and

12 the size of the constriction on the

13 changeable copy board itself and when you

14 have more than one show or more than a, you

15 know, a number of them occurring within a

16 range of time, you have to rotate it and it

17 just doesn't provide the opportunity for

18 people to see it.

19 It's consistently not performing.

20 Even like our old changeable copy,

21 changeable letter sign at the old facility

22 it's not as effective as that. The two that

23 I am speaking of specifically, and, again,

24 it should be in your packet is the existing





1 lower scape expressway billboard signs that

2 are permitted by the State and we would be

3 consolidating those two into one single

4 monopole sign doing a back-to-back dual face

5 sign.

6 MEMBER CASSIS: Would that existing

7 big one still have the changeable?

8 MR. BOWMAN: Yes, it would still have

9 the same basic purpose as that sign provides

10 for. The new one, the new one that we are

11 proposing here is being provided under a

12 circumstance where the advertising company

13 would be willing to make the investment in a

14 modern, you know, changeable copy board, and

15 then provide us as a part of the arrangement

16 up to 25 percent for utilizing the face, the

17 changeable digital face for advertising

18 events at the facility. So, again, much

19 different than just asking for a

20 continuation or for a larger billboard.

21 MEMBER CASSIS: Question to either Mr.

22 Boulard or the City Attorney. Has the City

23 Council done anything legislatively in this

24 matter since I think this is something that





1 probably the City Council would be involved

2 in and also the Planning Commission? I

3 don't know.

4 MS. KUDLA: Well, what has happened at

5 this point is that the issue has been

6 considered by the subcommittee, the

7 Ordinance Review Committee, and a draft of

8 an Ordinance amendment was put together

9 specifically relating to this issue which

10 would be maintaining off-premises

11 advertising billboards only in the I-2

12 district. This is the EXO district. And

13 not permitting changeable copy on the

14 off-premises advertising billboards.

15 So, they did come up with a proposed

16 amendment and it has been as far as a

17 recommendation is being forwarded to the

18 Planning Commission to start the process

19 because it will be an amendment to the

20 Zoning Ordinance. But that first step has

21 not occurred yet. It has not gone to

22 Planning Commission for a recommendation.

23 Once that happens the recommendation then

24 will go to City Council and they would





1 consider Planning Commission's comments and

2 things.

3 MEMBER CASSIS: I gather that from our

4 notes and so on. But would our action

5 tonight eliminate all the other steps or

6 would we have to come back again after they

7 take their actions?

8 MS. KUDLA: Their actions are going to

9 occur regardless of what happens tonight.

10 It's going forward as planned.

11 MEMBER CASSIS: But if we make a

12 decision tonight it would be a final

13 decision?

14 MS. KUDLA: Well, if you make a

15 decision the Ordinance Amendment is still

16 going to go forward as proposed to prohibit

17 this type of situation in general along that

18 corridor on the freeway. It's a general

19 policy decision that the City is being

20 considered to prevent this type of proposal

21 in the future, right currently and in the

22 future as a policy decision. So, regardless

23 of what happens here, the Ordinance Review

24 Committee has decided that it would be a





1 recommendation to the Planning Commission

2 and City Council not to have this type of

3 sign.

4 MEMBER CASSIS: My thinking is that

5 because we are the last resort, so-called,

6 and that's what I am trying to clarify. If

7 there was some different action taken in

8 those two other venues who would they appeal

9 to? Am I going astray here?

10 MS. KUDLA: Well, I guess maybe I need

11 some clarification. If their proposal was

12 not to pass, that the Ordinance Amendment,

13 this type of sign still currently isn't

14 permitted as requested. They are still all

15 those variance requests. So regardless of

16 what happens there, this still requires five

17 variances.

18 If you tabled it until after then, it

19 would require additional variances depending

20 on what happens there or less. But the

21 current proposal would not eliminate the

22 variances.

23 MEMBER CASSIS: I don't want to

24 eliminate your suntan tonight. I don't want





1 you turning white. I would stop my queries

2 at this point and we will see what my

3 colleagues say.

4 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, thank you.

5 Anybody else? Yes, Ms. Skelcy?

6 MEMBER SKELCY: I was wondering, do

7 you currently advertise on the other large

8 billboard for the Rock Financial that is

9 further down by I think Beck Road? It's the

10 one that was used as the mock-up.

11 MR. BOWMAN: Oh, no, no.

12 MEMBER SKELCY: No Rock Financial

13 advertising on that one?

14 MR. BOWMAN: Well, I shouldn't say

15 that. I mean, some of the show producers

16 may engage a billboard signage pattern

17 through normal advertising situations, they

18 may do that. It is not one of the more

19 utilized venues. A lot of it is TV and

20 radio and news print to the degree that that

21 is starting to suffer some as far as the use

22 of the internet and things like that. But

23 we do not have any advertising on that

24 board.






2 Bauer?

3 MEMBER BAUER: Sir, can you tell me

4 what you are going to get out of this new

5 sign being smaller for your particular

6 business over what you have right now, two

7 good signs?

8 MR. BOWMAN: Let me see if I

9 understand.

10 The two billboard signs, we would be looking

11 for a larger one. It would actually be

12 larger.

13 MEMBER BAUER: So, that's all that you

14 are really trying to get?

15 MR. BOWMAN: And the fact that it

16 would be the more modern technology and

17 allow us to access 25 percent of the

18 messaging and literally almost

19 instantaneously. For example, if we were to

20 have an event that were to come to us and

21 for circumstances out of our control have to

22 switch to us versus another venue or

23 something like that, we could literally

24 advertise that instead of having to go into





1 the stream of a typical, you know,

2 billboard, you know, development of the

3 vinyl covering and things like that. It

4 would allow us to be able to do that. And

5 that's one major advantage to it.

6 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.


8 Yes, Mr. Ibe?

9 MEMBER IBE: My comment is not really

10 a question to you, but more so to the City

11 Attorney. It's probably more in line with

12 Member Cassis' question. In light of the

13 fact that the City Council has this plan

14 regarding the Ordinance change, does it

15 impede or limit any action that we can take

16 today? I am still not clear on that.

17 MS. KUDLA: It doesn't impeded or

18 limit your action today, no, because it's

19 not an actual, no legislative action has

20 occurred at this point. So, no Ordinance

21 has changed. It remains as originally

22 requested that there would be required five

23 variances from the current state of the

24 Ordinance in order to grant this variance.





1 And those five variances, depending on what

2 happens, may require more variances after

3 whatever City Council does or less, but as

4 of today it's just still the same five that

5 were proposed the last time that are

6 reflected.

7 MEMBER IBE: So, as it stands right

8 now, let's assume for the sake of argument

9 that we elect to go with whatever the

10 current state of the law is. If we do that

11 will not allow for the Applicant's petition

12 to be approved, am I correct?

13 MS. KUDLA: Could you repeat that? I

14 missed the beginning.

15 MEMBER IBE: If we were to assume that

16 the state of the law what it is right now,

17 the Ordinance was, that law does not work in

18 favor of the Applicant; is that correct?

19 MS. KUDLA: Currently as the Ordinance

20 stands the sign as proposed does not allow

21 it, no. The regulations -- am I getting at

22 what your question is?

23 MEMBER IBE: Right. So, really if I

24 understand because I know the Applicant





1 mentioned about the settlement regarding the

2 case. It's simply if I understand, it only

3 allows prior existing signs to remain valid,

4 is that the take on it?

5 MS. KUDLA: Well, his existing signs

6 are nonconforming because at some point City

7 Council has already taken action to say that

8 billboard signs along the freeway would only

9 be permitted in an I-2. So, these two signs

10 are nonconforming.

11 MEMBER IBE: If we were to look at the

12 matter that was cited in the letter that we

13 have, the one regarding Adam's Outdoor?

14 MS. KUDLA: The Adams signs are under

15 (unintelligible). What you are talking

16 about is just general signs along the

17 freeway?

18 MEMBER IBE: Correct.

19 MS. KUDLA: Those are part of a

20 consent judgment and those read, yes, that

21 was recently settled in litigation and those

22 signs even though they don't conform to the

23 current Ordinance, those are frozen as

24 permitted as to what the settlement was on





1 the Ordinance on the date of the settlement.

2 So, even though those are not permitted by

3 Ordinance, there is a reason.

4 MEMBER IBE: So, in other words, no

5 new signs?

6 MS. KUDLA: Those are not new signs,

7 no.

8 MEMBER IBE: Absolutely. I got it.

9 Thank you, Mr. Chair.


11 MR. BOWMAN: Is it appropriate for me

12 to?

13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Just wait for a

14 second.

15 MR. BOWMAN: No problem.

16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: So, let me get

17 this clear once and for all. As far as we

18 are concerned the Ordinances have not

19 changed yet?

20 MS. KUDLA: That's correct.


22 there are some amendments to the Ordinance

23 in the pipeline, but they are still not

24 adopted, so as far as we are concerned





1 sitting here today, we are to go by what is

2 on the books?

3 MS. KUDLA: That's correct.


5 three, even though you have indicated that

6 these kind of things are not likely to be

7 accepted in the amendment, that doesn't

8 preclude us from making any decisions

9 tonight?

10 MS. KUDLA: The amendment goes a

11 little bit farther in clarifying some

12 regulations that are pertinent to this

13 request, but as of tonight still it's a

14 prohibited sign as proposed. It's under the

15 current regulation.


17 still prohibited?

18 MS. KUDLA: Yes.

19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: So, what we are

20 talking about here is replacing two

21 nonconforming signs with two more

22 nonconforming signs?

23 MS. KUDLA: That's correct. It's

24 either a proposal for a new nonconforming





1 use or to expand an existing nonconforming

2 use.


4 Bauer?

5 MEMBER BAUER: I have been on this

6 Board a long time.


8 know. I came before you 30 years ago.

9 MEMBER BAUER: I would say I think

10 about 20 years ago we had billboard signs

11 that came before us and every one of them

12 are torn down. It is my understanding that

13 the City fathers do not want off-premises

14 advertising signs except in the I-2

15 district.

16 Also, it does not want off-premises

17 advertising billboard signs allowed to have

18 changeable copy, or to increase in size.

19 So, it has been on the books for many years.


21 haven't changed much.

22 MEMBER BAUER: And, really, he has got

23 more advantage of the two signs now. So I

24 would not be able to vote for it.





1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, thank you.

2 Yes, Mr. Cassis? Is there anybody else who

3 hasn't gone forth? Okay, go ahead.

4 MEMBER CASSIS: I seem to be

5 repetitive tonight and taking more turns, so

6 I appreciate your courtesy, Mr. Chairman.

7 You know, I haven't been around this

8 venue as long as my colleague. I haven't

9 been around, I am repeating because I don't

10 have (unintelligible). Let me repeat, thank

11 you for giving me another turn on this. I

12 remember discussions when Mr. Bowman's Expo

13 Center came about. And I remember the City

14 Council wrestling with what to give him as a

15 designation whether it should be I-1, I-2 or

16 EXO or EXPO and so on. I remember that

17 discussion. They settled on EXO. Am I

18 right?

19 MR. BOWMAN: That is an overlay in the

20 OST district, correct.

21 MEMBER CASSIS: I go over that

22 repeated, aside from being old enough and

23 like to rehash things my wife tells me, are

24 we to be stringent and doctrinaire of what





1 designation this edifice which you have on

2 that premises is? In my opinion, I don't

3 think it should be.

4 You have, Mr. Bowman, a unique project

5 or a unique kind of a business in our

6 community. There is only one Rock Financial

7 Center. In fact, in this whole area, the

8 Detroit metropolitan area. While Detroit is

9 still arguing about Cobo Hall, you have come

10 through with a kind of place that absorbs

11 all of those businesses that are not as huge

12 or do not desire to go downtown. You have

13 done well. Rock Financial has become a

14 symbol where Novi is.And when I see it on

15 television, Rock Financial Novi. We have

16 been put on the map by Twelve Oaks and by

17 your place. I wrote A, B, C, D as my

18 arguments to support your project here

19 tonight.

20 Number B I put is, you are eliminating

21 two signs. So, really, you are doing

22 something that is bringing the clutter there

23 to less signs than there will be now. So

24 that's a plus, I would say.





1 Number C, your place is right by a

2 freeway. It's not going to be something by

3 other residences or it's not going to be

4 interfering with other smaller businesses

5 being located where you are that it might

6 overshadow or overwhelm any other businesses

7 and thus really gives you an advantage.

8 In fact, because it is by the freeway,

9 and this is not, I guess, the age of Lady

10 Bird anymore. I remember the Lady was very

11 good and she tried to eliminate all freeway

12 as much as she could. But this is a

13 different age that we're living in. Those

14 turning things, whatever you call them in

15 the signs have become very prevalent. And I

16 recall from being associated with the

17 Providence people that they wanted something

18 like that. Everybody wants that kind of a

19 thing.

20 You being in a very competitive

21 business, by installing this kind of sign

22 would give you the same kind of advantage

23 and standing that like all the others have

24 in the metropolitan area. If I go down to





1 Cobo Hall I see all kinds of flashing signs,

2 not just one sign, but many and big huge

3 ones. Mind you, those are in the city and

4 there is a difference, I know that.

5 I think economic, and

6 we always say we shouldn't let economics

7 enter into it, but I think in this case

8 economics has become very, very important in

9 our economy and in our nation and also in

10 our community. And I think I would bend

11 towards helping you in this because if I

12 didn't, I would be not giving you the tool

13 that you feel, and I think I would agree,

14 will give you the same kind of advantage to

15 bring people to Novi to your place that can

16 spend the money here. That can be attracted

17 to our neighborhood and so on. And all of

18 the revenues and ramifications that come

19 from bringing business here in Novi.

20 The last thing I would say, number D,

21 is I think here as a businessman myself, and

22 I have been in it a long time, if at any

23 time I as a good businessman conscientious

24 and aware of what makes my place good and





1 attractive and will bring people and will

2 not really make undue hardship on others, if

3 I felt at any time that has happened, I will

4 change it. Even after I put it up. And I

5 believe that you are that kind of an

6 operator. If we give you the grant tonight,

7 and I am willing to vote for it, I think if

8 you reach at any time the conclusion that

9 your business is not really that kind of --

10 doesn't need that kind of a thing, I think

11 you will come forward and say I want to

12 change it. And for these reasons I would

13 tend to go along and okay the request

14 tonight.

15 Thank you, Mr. Chair.


17 Cassis. Thank you for you eloquent

18 discourse and I do appreciate your

19 eloquence. Thank you.

20 I consider my job as a member of the

21 Zoning Board of Appeals primarily to uphold

22 Ordinances of the City. To uphold

23 Ordinances of the City and when necessary

24 find exceptions and maybe vote for





1 variances. But the primary function is, of

2 course, upholding the Ordinances and City's

3 rules and regulations within limits. What I

4 see here in this situation is very simple.

5 There are two nonconforming signs which are

6 being replaced by two more nonconforming

7 signs and other details which are not

8 permitted by the Ordinances as they stand

9 today. And I don't see any pressing need to

10 make any changes in what there already is

11 whether it's going to make any substantial

12 difference. And, so, I'm sorry to say, but

13 I cannot support this variance at this point

14 in time. Thank you.

15 Anybody else? Yes, Mr. Boulard?

16 MR. BOULARD: I guess you had

17 mentioned two signs. I just wanted to

18 clarify that based on the previous

19 discussion, and perhaps the Petitioner could

20 confirm that, the Petitioner agrees that the

21 V-shaped sign would actually be flat back to

22 back so it would only count as a single

23 sign, double sided as it's listed in the

24 sign Ordinance.





1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Whether you call

2 it eliminate and put a new one or you call

3 it replace, it comes to the same thing in my

4 opinion. Thank you.

5 MR. BOULARD: Thank you.


7 else?



10 MEMBER KRIEGER: Coming eastbound on

11 96 the sign that's closest to Beck is that

12 yours? There is a, I think it's a V-shaped

13 sign similar to the Rock Financial sign.

14 MR. BOWMAN: With the Rock Financial

15 on it?


17 MR. BOWMAN: Yes.

18 MEMBER KRIEGER: And then if you go

19 further when you get off at Beck there is

20 another one on the south side that is a pole

21 sign.

22 MEMBER SKELCY: I think she is talking

23 about the mock-up.

24 MR. BOWMAN: Oh, no, no. That is on a





1 parcel of land which is owned by another

2 party and I am a, a very minor part of a

3 group that owns, but has leased that sign by

4 way of easement and I have no control over

5 that sign, the mock-up sign.

6 MEMBER KRIEGER: So, the sign that you

7 are asking for would be similar to that and

8 would it be closer toward Beck than toward

9 Novi Road?

10 MR. BOWMAN: Are you familiar with

11 where the two lower stature existing signs

12 are that I am looking to replace? Do you

13 know where the marquee sign is on the

14 expressway side of things, the Rock

15 Financial Showplace monument sign?


17 MR. BOWMAN: So, just to the east of

18 that on, again, the south side, same side as

19 the Showplace is two existing lower scape

20 existing expressway billboards. Those are

21 the two which we are speaking of and

22 replacing. It will not be the same as the

23 pole sign which is further west closest to

24 Beck Road that is used in the mock-up.





1 Particularly now in that that sign has

2 actually been recently altered to actually

3 have two electronic digital faces on it.

4 So, my proposal as it stands is

5 currently to eliminate two signs. And with

6 all due respect to the Chairperson, and

7 install a single sign by virtue of the

8 Ordinance which one face of which would be

9 an LED digital face board.

10 MEMBER KRIEGER: And that would be in

11 the area where the Rock Financial sign is

12 currently?

13 MR. BOWMAN: It would be to the east

14 as I have proposed it. In fact, the logical

15 location would be considerably closer to

16 Taft Road actually than to Beck Road.

17 MEMBER KRIEGER: Okay. Thank you.

18 MEMBER SKELCY: I have a question.

19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, go ahead.

20 MEMBER SKELCY: Are you going to be

21 like a 100 percent owner then of this

22 particular sign?

23 MR. BOWMAN: We will own it. It will

24 be a leased situation to an outdoor





1 advertising company who has agreed to make

2 the overall investment because these are

3 very expensive assets to install. Then in

4 return for our providing them the location

5 they would then give us 25 percent of the

6 rotating message side of the panel.

7 MEMBER SKELCY: For free?

8 MR. BOWMAN: Well, it's not for fee.

9 MEMBER SKELCY: For no charge?

10 MR. BOWMAN: Yeah, we would have no

11 charge to us for that messaging time and

12 access to being able to do that. It would

13 be in a normal rotation so that over the

14 course of a 24-hour period we would have 25

15 percent of that time.

16 MEMBER SKELCY: Is the sign company

17 that produces the signs with the LED are

18 they considered a lessee to you then?

19 MR. BOWMAN: I think they would be a

20 licensee possibly, I'm not sure technically,

21 lessee or licensee.

22 MEMBER SKELCY: So, you would recoup

23 the profits from whatever they paid to you

24 just through the lease or?





1 MR. BOWMAN: No, they would be

2 providing me the time.

3 MEMBER SKELCY: But for all the other

4 advertising that is not Rock Financial?

5 MR. BOWMAN: They would retain that.

6 That's theirs to do. Literally this sign

7 would be projected to cost somewhere in the

8 half million to $700,000 range, so they

9 would install it and they would be making

10 that investment. They would be contracting

11 with advertisers just like they do in other

12 locations. But in this instance we would

13 be -- and, again, this is why it's unique as

14 compared to just a farmer's plot along the

15 way or some other I-2 property, this would

16 be allowing us then to access a portion of

17 that messaging for the purposes of

18 advertising the events at the facility.

19 And that's what we are really, I guess

20 I will say desperately looking to do in an

21 effective way that we are not doing

22 currently.

23 MEMBER SKELCY: That tall monument

24 sign that you have there currently with the





1 rotation and it's in that red color, how

2 close is this proposed sign going to be to

3 that?

4 MR. BOWMAN: Again, we did not cite a

5 specific location, but it could be as far

6 towards Taft Road as anyone that would work

7 with us from the City would like or from the

8 State. Again, there is topography issues to

9 be considered there. One of the key things

10 that we consistently have to do with the

11 existing signs is continue diminution and

12 cutting of the vegetation which the State

13 has to allow the cutting down of the trees

14 and things like that to maintain a clear

15 view which would not have to be done if we

16 were able to extend to the height that we

17 looking to do in a typical expressway

18 monument pole height, but we could place it

19 virtually wherever. We have over a half

20 mile of frontage.

21 The requirement is only 1,000

22 feet under the State statute and I think

23 1,200 feet under the City. So we could put

24 it anywhere to provide adequate placement





1 even closer to the western boundary line of

2 our property if that's what the City would

3 desire or indicate. We would be totally

4 flexible.

5 MEMBER SKELCY: Then the two

6 traditional billboards that you have, are

7 these lit at night?

8 MR. BOWMAN: Yes, they are.

9 MEMBER SKELCY: I have no other

10 questions. Thank you.


12 Seeing none, any further discussion? Or

13 would anybody like to make any motion?


15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Go ahead if you

16 want to, sure.

17 MEMBER CASSIS: Thank you, Mr.

18 Chairman. I will go with a motion to

19 approve and it's up to my colleagues, of

20 course, for a vote. As I have mentioned in

21 my previous talk about this, is that, number

22 one, I considered the situation about the

23 idea whether this Expo center is really an

24 EXO or I-2 or I-1. I think in looking at it





1 myself I don't think it could be extremely

2 relevant to this situation in my opinion.

3 Secondly, the Petitioner here is

4 eliminating two signs and replacing them

5 with one sign. So, there is a quit pro quo,

6 whatever measurement you give it, it's

7 there. And number three, we have a business

8 here that is complimentary to our city and

9 brings additional revenue and taxes and

10 resources to our area. Fourth, these signs

11 that are involved here are next to a freeway

12 that do not really impact and bring any

13 other hardship to any other person.

14 I feel while it's not really a

15 terrific hardship on the Petitioner not to

16 put this kind of a sign replacing those two

17 others, in my opinion it's still not giving

18 him the same advantage as it gives to other

19 businesses along the freeways be they

20 hospitals or be they whatever other

21 businesses that are even of a minor and

22 lower kind of impact that this Petitioner

23 has.

24 And then I would resort to this motion





1 that was put here which is, I would approve

2 this based on, the request here is based

3 upon circumstances of features that are

4 exceptional and unique to the property and

5 do not result from conditions that exist

6 generally in the city or that are self

7 created.

8 Second, the failure to grant relief

9 will unreasonably prevent or limit the use

10 of the property and will result in

11 substantially more than mere inconvenience

12 or inability to attain a higher economic and

13 financial return. And I have alluded to

14 that before. The grant of relief will not

15 result in a use of structure which is

16 incompatible with or unreasonably interferes

17 with adjacent or surrounding properties.

18 Will result in substantial justice being

19 done to both the Applicant and adjacent or

20 surrounding properties. And is not

21 inconsistent with the spirit of the

22 Ordinance.

23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, the motion

24 has been made.





1 MS. KUDLA: Just a clarification. Did

2 you indicate to grant the motion as

3 requested or grant the variance as

4 requested?

5 MEMBER CASSIS: Yeah, I said it.

6 MS. KUDLA: Okay.

7 MEMBER CASSIS: If not, let it be.


9 second.

10 (No response.)

11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Well, where do

12 we go from here, Counselor? We haven't had

13 a --

14 MS. KUDLA: The motion is not seconded

15 so it dies.

16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: How long do we

17 give it?

18 MS. KUDLA: I don't think we have a

19 specific time frame in the rules of

20 procedure, but a reasonable time.

21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, we'll give

22 it a reasonable time. Two more minutes.

23 MEMBER CASSIS: Thank you, Mr.

24 Chairman, for giving us the time.






2 MEMBER CASSIS: Because it is kind of

3 a tough decision to make and I appreciate

4 that. And I know my colleagues are really

5 giving it all the due consideration that it

6 deserves. And I appreciate that, thank you.

7 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Chair, just a

8 comment, please. Can I make a comment?


10 MEMBER IBE: Thank you. I am

11 wrestling with this myself. I do understand

12 obviously the plight of the businessman.

13 And, Mr. Cassis, you stated your points

14 eloquently.

15 The problem I am wrestling with is

16 trying to balance what the existing law is

17 and trying to accommodate the need of the

18 Petitioner as well. And I am also looking

19 at other big businesses out there that may

20 not be as big as Rock Financial, but it does

21 provide certain needs that we need in the

22 city.

23 I think we have had one or two that we

24 have already denied that were similar to





1 this since I have been sitting this Board.

2 And one of them actually is across the

3 street from Rock Financial. I would hate to

4 have a situation where create two standards.

5 One for a large business and one for a small

6 business.

7 I think that the fair thing to do is

8 look at things on a case by case basis, but

9 to look at it fairly from everyone's point

10 of view, from the Petitioner's point of

11 view. And if I would make a comparison to

12 the business across the street from Rock

13 Financial that was denied a while back, I

14 think came back to us twice, he presented a

15 good case as well. If I wanted to look at

16 it from an economic point of view I would

17 have wanted to grant it. But the Board

18 obviously denied that Petitioner's request

19 for the same reasons that I think this Board

20 is hesitant to grant this particular

21 Petitioner's request.

22 I am trying to understand how this is

23 not self created. That is one of the things

24 I am wrestling with here. This is an





1 off-premises advertising. It's going to be

2 run by an outside agency. The benefit of

3 the use to Rock Financial is only 25

4 percent. So, the other agency controls what

5 really goes on on this off-premises

6 advertising. It's not under the control of

7 Rock Financial. I have a huge problem with

8 that. But that shouldn't play a role in my

9 decision, but sadly to tell you that it

10 doesn't, I would lie to you.

11 I find it extremely difficult to say

12 that this is not self created. I think

13 there are other options. It is tough to say

14 you are going remove something that is

15 nonconforming but you are going to replace

16 it with another nonconforming. I think

17 that's like having, it's like saying we are

18 going to take a bank that has failed and put

19 more money in it to hope that it's doesn't

20 fail next week. It's still going to fail.

21 MEMBER CASSIS: They are doing it all

22 the time now.

23 MEMBER IBE: That's why we are in this

24 mess we're in.





1 MEMBER CASSIS: (Unintelligible).

2 MEMBER IBE: I understand, Mr. Cassis,

3 but what I understand is this. The

4 Ordinance as written I think is clear.

5 (Unintelligible) the City Attorney for the

6 notices that we received. That's why I

7 didn't ask any questions because I just

8 wanted verification. I think the existing

9 law as it is prohibits what the Petitioner

10 is requesting. And even if we take any

11 action that is positive, that is positive to

12 the Petitioner's request, future laws that

13 are going to come up from the City Council

14 will still be inconsistent with what this

15 Board will do.

16 Unfortunately, Mr. Cassis, and nothing

17 against the Petitioner, I just don't know

18 how if you have enough votes to pass this

19 motion. I am still on the fence, so unless

20 you find a way to convince me, I don't know

21 which way I am going to go. Thank you, Mr.

22 Chair.


24 I think you have (unintelligible) the floor,





1 but go ahead.

2 MEMBER CASSIS: You are on that fence.

3 I am going to push you one way or another.

4 And I respect what you just said

5 tremendously. You have always been as far

6 as I am concerned in the small amount of

7 time that I have been with you here on this

8 side, you have been extremely thoughtful and

9 very eloquent too.

10 MEMBER IBE: Thank you.

11 MEMBER CASSIS: I don't think self

12 created or not self created is really the

13 major determinant in my going along to

14 approve this, and I don't think it should

15 with all due respect, it should be a

16 determinant in the decision because we are

17 dealing here with a very modern type of a

18 situation. And I mean by modern, for lack

19 of any other word that I might pull from my

20 dictionary, from my head, is that we are

21 living as I said in a different age. Time

22 is going so fast and businesses have to

23 adapt and keep even ahead or otherwise they

24 will be left behind.





1 I recently heard some

2 murmuring that there might be another venue

3 like Rock Financial being built somewhere

4 else and it would have been in Oakland

5 County. I do not mean to bring any kind of

6 political issues here or competitive issues

7 to try to convenience my colleagues,

8 however, it is what item that would support

9 my conviction that we are in a different

10 age. This man, this project is trying to

11 compete, stay ahead and keep, keep ahead of

12 the time. And I think if anything and if it

13 makes any one of us feel more comfortable is

14 not base it on whether an Ordinance already

15 exist or not from the City. And mind you,

16 Mr. Chairman, I wholly agree with you, if

17 there is no Ordinance that goes along with

18 this and, in fact, it may be contrary to a

19 certain Ordinance that is there. But,

20 however, I don't think our City Council, our

21 legislative body or any other body has

22 really tackled a situation like this.

23 This is a unique situation I believe

24 and it calls for a unique kind of decision.





1 And it so happens that this is, I believe, a

2 kind of unique decision that we should be

3 making is that this is a major, major

4 project or business that we have in our

5 community. We have seen the actual

6 operation of this business. It's been

7 exemplar. It's been doing good. We have

8 never had any, as I recall any problems with

9 any violations in this business. And also

10 it's half off the freeway. It's so far

11 removed from our direct impact on any

12 businesses in the area. And you are willing

13 to put it anywhere within that half mile

14 stretch that you have talked about and

15 coordinate it with the City to give it the

16 most convenient and yet very conducive kind

17 of location.

18 I think this is how I would approach

19 it in my mind if I was trying to make a

20 decision on this side of the table. And I

21 know it is very, this is a very tough, tough

22 decision to make. Thank you, Mr. Chair.


24 Cassis. Thank you very much. I don't see





1 any second coming along, so I guess we have

2 to deal with this motion to have failed for

3 lack of a second.

4 So, moving on, I would entertain any

5 other motion if anybody would like to make,

6 other than the one made by Mr. Cassis in a

7 different direction. Your silence is

8 deafening.

9 This is a very tough situation. I

10 agree with most of the things you said, but

11 my problem is very simple. I am not a

12 legislature and it is not the responsibility

13 of a quasi judicial body to legislate new

14 Ordinances for the City. It is the job of

15 the City Council and I cannot bring myself

16 to start legislating from this chair. Thank

17 you.

18 MEMBER BAUER: I will try.

19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, go ahead.

20 MEMBER BAUER: We have in Case:

21 08-069, five different items and I'll read

22 them off and why I'm against it and why I

23 would like everybody to vote for it. One is

24 changeable copy of the sign. You want to be





1 on a ground sign. Off-premises advertising

2 signs are only permitted in an I-2 zone

3 district. Off-premises advertising signs

4 not more than 300 square feet, 15 feet tall.

5 Mr. Bowman is going for two to three times

6 the square footage that our Ordinance has

7 set. And three times, over three times the

8 height. These are an off-premises

9 advertising sign being located closer than

10 1,200 feet from any other advertising sign.

11 I think this would be overwhelming. And

12 also the Applicant may need a variance that

13 says that this sign is not maintained on a

14 static message.

15 And I do believe as my colleague, Mr.

16 Ibe, had said, I do believe that this is

17 more than less self made.


19 MS. KUDLA: Is that a motion?


21 motion.

22 MS. KUDLA: Can I suggest sort of

23 rephrasing it? Is it a motion to deny the

24 variances as requested in Case: 08-069





1 because the proposed variance is

2 inconsistent with the spirit and intent of

3 the Ordinance. Given that the Applicant has

4 not shown that there are not other

5 alternatives more consistent with the spirit

6 and intent of the Ordinance. And the City's

7 policy to limit off-premises advertising

8 signs to the I-2 district and to prohibit

9 changeable copy messages on off-premise

10 advertising billboards. And that based on

11 the fact that the proposal is self created.

12 MEMBER BAUER: I'll buy that. Women

13 say it so much nicer than us.

14 MR. BOWMAN: Indeed, it's amazing.

15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Is that clear on

16 the motion?

17 MS. KUDLA: I think I sort of covered

18 what you --


20 covered it. Thank you.

21 MR. BOWMAN: Sort of.

22 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I am not going

23 to wait for somebody else to second it. I

24 will second it myself so that we can move





1 on. I second the motion.

2 Any further discussion? Seeing none,

3 Mr. Boulard, will you please call the roll.

4 MR. BOULARD: Member Bauer?


6 MR. BOULARD: Member Cassis?


8 MR. BOULARD: Member Ghannam?


10 MR. BOULARD: Member Ibe?


12 MR. BOULARD: Member Krieger?


14 MR. BOULARD: Member Skelcy?


16 MR. BOULARD: Chairman Sanghvi?


18 MR. BOULARD: The motion to deny is

19 approved 6-1.


21 MR. BOWMAN: Thank you very much for

22 you time.


24 MR. BOWMAN: I appreciate it. No





1 worries.


3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, let's move

4 on to the next one. Case Number: 09-009,

5 Boyne Country Sports at 27782 Novi Road. Is

6 the Applicant here? Will you please

7 identify yourself, your name and address and

8 if you are not an attorney please be sworn

9 in by our Secretary. Thank you.

10 MR. COLLINS: I am not an

11 attorney. My name is Keith Collins for

12 leased property 27782 Novi Road.

13 MEMBER BAUER: Would you raise your

14 right hand. Do you swear or affirm to tell

15 the truth regarding Case: 09-009?

16 MR. COLLINS: I do.

17 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you, sir.


19 MR. COLLINS: Basically what we're

20 asking for is currently I don't know, I will

21 brief you real quick. Boyne Country Sports

22 is a store, in case you don't know what that

23 is. We are basically an Alpine ski,

24 snowboard and golf specialty retailer. We





1 have been in business in the Novi Town

2 Center for 20 years. And recently we had

3 the opportunity to go ahead and move our

4 location and to be on the service drive of

5 the Twelve Oaks Mall.

6 And it was just an opportunity to be a

7 part of that mall. And I feel that our

8 store can bring something else to Twelve

9 Oaks as well. And it was an opportunity we

10 couldn't pass up and that's what we are

11 going to do. And we are looking for

12 basically just another store sign to be able

13 to put above our entrance to the building

14 just to give our customers another

15 additional chance to know where we moved and

16 to give them every opportunity to find us

17 going forward.


19 That's it?

20 MR. COLLINS: Yes.


22 MR. COLLINS: I will be happy to

23 answer any questions that you guys may have.

24 The reason as you guys are familiar probably





1 with where we are moving as well, the

2 uniqueness of the building that we are

3 moving to from Novi Road is the Novi Office

4 Center. And our store extends on the back

5 of the office center. I just feel that we

6 need more visibility for our customers to be

7 able to find us. Currently at our old

8 location we had plenty of signage on the

9 building for our customers to be able to

10 find us.


12 Is there anybody in the audience who would

13 like to address the Board regarding this

14 case?

15 (No response.)


17 Building Department?

18 MR. BOULARD: I have no comments

19 beyond what's in the staff report. There

20 are two ground signs for the building now.

21 Is that correct?

22 MR. COLLINS: Yes, that is correct.

23 And to go back to the uniqueness of that

24 building. The exposure to Novi Road, if you





1 look at this building it's an office

2 building. They do have a monument sign

3 right on Novi Road for the Novi Office

4 Center. But our retail location is off the

5 back side of this building which is not seen

6 or visible from the Novi Road at all.

7 We have one monument sign that we

8 would utilize on the ring drive road around

9 the service drive of the mall. But that's

10 where I struggle. We have nothing to do

11 with the monument sign on Novi Road. We

12 only have the monument sign on the ring

13 drive. Two signs to that building? Yes.

14 Are they the same building? That's where my

15 struggle is.

16 MR. BOULARD: So, just for point of

17 clarification, there is a single piece of

18 property with a building with several uses

19 on it. There is one monument sign which

20 advertises or identifies the center. There

21 is another on the ring road on the east side

22 that is a ground sign that you will be using

23 to identify your business, and then the

24 proposal is for a wall sign also on the





1 business?

2 MR. COLLINS: Correct.

3 MR. BOULARD: If there are any

4 questions I will be happy to answer them.


6 Secretary, do you have any correspondence?

7 MEMBER BAUER: There were the 96

8 notices mailed out. Nine returned. No

9 responses.

10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, thank you.

11 We'll open it to the Board, now. Yes?

12 MEMBER SKELCY: I don't understand how

13 the sign on the building would help the

14 advertising on the Novi Road side, because

15 when I drove by there I saw that you had the

16 blank monument sign. You haven't had it

17 printed up yet.

18 MR. COLLINS: Correct.

19 MEMBER SKELCY: And then you have got

20 it facing east toward ring road, how does

21 that sign help with regard to people coming

22 in from, I guess, the back?

23 MR. COLLINS: That is correct, but the

24 service drive that comes directly right





1 across the back of the building there, there

2 is an entrance to our parking lot right from

3 that mall entrance. And if we had a sign on

4 the building too, when people were coming in

5 finding that they could identify our store

6 and still make the turn into the parking lot

7 before they drove right past to find the

8 monument sign to the building.

9 MEMBER SKELCY: Okay, thank you.


11 Ghannam?

12 MEMBER GHANNAM: I just have a couple

13 questions for the City. The sign that's

14 proposed is it within the City Ordinance the

15 size?

16 MR. BOULARD: The sign that's proposed

17 is not allowed. So there wouldn't be a

18 limit on it. Any size is not allowed. I

19 don't know if the -- I don't know what size

20 would be allowed if it were the only sign

21 because it's not based, it would be based on

22 the setback.

23 MEMBER GHANNAM: Right. I guess that

24 was my question. Had you not had a monument





1 sign what would the size be allowable for

2 the wall and would this be consistent with

3 (unintelligible)?

4 MR. BOULARD: I don't know that. I

5 have to know the setback from the center

6 line of the road.


8 MEMBER BAUER: There is no size in the

9 sign on his petition. (Unintelligible) at

10 that point.


12 MR. BOULARD: If I may. There is on

13 the drawing it says the east elevation,

14 there is a proposed sign of 111 inches by 71

15 inches. I am not sure if that clarifies it

16 or helps in any way.


18 MEMBER CASSIS: Just informative

19 question, Mr. Boulard. Usually shopping

20 centers or whatever you want to call this,

21 and may I say that this shopping center is

22 one of the weirdest ones I have seen. And,

23 in fact, the people that own it are going to

24 try to change it in some way to make it more





1 conducive to businesses. Usually in

2 shopping centers you have a big monument

3 sign that identifies all the businesses that

4 are in that center and we allow those, am I

5 right?

6 MR. BOULARD: Yes, there are

7 identification signs for centers allowed.

8 MEMBER CASSIS: The one on Ten Mile

9 and Novi Road or -- you know, all of those

10 areas that have multiple --


12 MEMBER CASSIS: Tenants, they usually

13 put up a sign that says, or even across --

14 the Gershenson one has a big one that says

15 K-Mart or whatever it was. In this is case

16 there is none.

17 MR. COLLINS: For Twelve Oaks Mall,

18 no, there is not.

19 MEMBER CASSIS: Does that make any

20 difference in trying to -- and I don't know

21 if this gentleman will eliminate one of

22 those other signs.

23 MR. COLLINS: Well, the Novi office --

24 MEMBER CASSIS: And take this one





1 instead.

2 MR. COLLINS: No, I would like to keep

3 the monument sign as well.

4 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: This is a center

5 within the Twelve Oaks Mall. This is not

6 part of the Twelve Oaks site, but this is on

7 the periphery. And it has got a setback and

8 it has got also a gradient problem as

9 compared to the road and Novi Road which is

10 at a much lower level. So, the exposure

11 from the Novi Road is very difficult without

12 a wall sign.

13 MEMBER CASSIS: Yeah, that's what I

14 was trying to communicate in my awkward way.


16 sign you are referring to is for multiple

17 tenants in the same location. He is only

18 one of them. There are other empty spots at

19 the moment, but there used to be more

20 tenants in that complex before. Yes?

21 MEMBER SKELCY: If you going around

22 this ring road and your business is on the

23 right, if you miss the pull in to get into

24 it is your next stop outside of the mall,





1 leaving the mall? In other words, if I

2 don't see the sign, the monument sign --

3 MR. COLLINS: I got you. If you come

4 in and you miss the sign on our building.


6 MR. COLLINS: The proposed sign and

7 you took a right and you went through Ring

8 Drive which would take you in front of our

9 store.


11 MR. COLLINS: As soon as you passed

12 the monument sign there would be another

13 opportunity to come back into our parking

14 lot, but you would actually pass our store,

15 you would have to come in and backtrack back

16 into our parking lot. That is the parking

17 lot that is, I believe, going to be shared

18 eventually with the tenant whoever takes

19 over the new furniture building and that

20 whole corner of the Twelve Oaks mall there.

21 MEMBER SKELCY: Do they have to do the

22 turnaround, do they have to?

23 MR. COLLINS: If they pass that, then,

24 yes, they would have to go back around to





1 Novi Road.

2 MEMBER SKELCY: They do have to exit

3 off onto Novi Road?

4 MR. COLLINS: That or take Ring Drive

5 all the way around Twelve Oaks.

6 MEMBER SKELCY: All the way around?

7 MR. COLLINS: Correct. Also just to

8 mention as well. In order first to come

9 here tonight we did have to submit our plans

10 and get approval from Taubman, with the mall

11 as well, and I did receive that approval

12 yesterday, so I do have that if you guys

13 need to review it and see it as well. Our

14 landlord and the Taubman Company did approve

15 for a building sign.


17 MEMBER BAUER: We need that.

18 MR. COLLINS: I got it.

19 MEMBER BAUER: Because our letter from

20 them as of March 16th, said they denied it.

21 MR. COLLINS: Correct. I made sure

22 that I had it for tonight.

23 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.






1 question for you, sir.


3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Is this the same

4 sign or similar sign as what you used to

5 have in the previous location?

6 MR. COLLINS: Yes. The size was

7 predetermined because it is a sign that we

8 took off the existing Novi store and we were

9 going to move it to --

10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: You were in the

11 Town Center I know that. I have been there

12 shopping before there, so I know where you

13 were. Now you are moved to a new location

14 and it's the same sign you are moving?

15 MR. COLLINS: Yes.

16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, very good.

17 Anybody else?

18 MEMBER IBE: Just real quickly. I

19 just need to for the sake of disclosure,

20 that he mentioned the Taubman. The

21 president of my office is related to the

22 Taubmans, so I just want to make sure there

23 is no connection with myself or to the mall.

24 Just so we know. I just want make sure that





1 disclosure is out there.


3 okay. All right.

4 MEMBER IBE: Thank you.


6 a motion from somebody about this case?

7 MEMBER IBE: Can I go ahead?


9 MEMBER IBE: On Case number: 09-009

10 filed by Boyne Country Sports, requesting a

11 variance to allow a wall sign on the east

12 elevation of the building located at 27782

13 Novi Road, I move that we grant the

14 Applicant's request. The request is based

15 upon circumstances or features that are

16 exceptional and unique to the property and

17 do not result from conditions that exist

18 generally in the city or that are self

19 created.

20 A failure to grant relief will

21 unreasonably prevent or limit the use of the

22 property and will result in substantially

23 more than mere inconvenience or inability to

24 attain a higher economic or financial





1 return. The grant of relief will not result

2 in use of structure that is incompatible

3 with or unreasonably interferes with

4 adjacent or surrounding properties. Will

5 result in substantial justice being done to

6 both the Applicant and the surrounding

7 properties and is not inconsistent with the

8 spirit of the Ordinance.




12 motion has been made and seconded. I don't

13 see any further discussion coming up, will

14 you please call the roll.

15 MR. BOULARD: Member Skelcy?


17 MR. BOULARD: Member Krieger?


19 MR. BOULARD: Member Ibe?


21 MR. BOULARD: Member Ghannam?


23 MR. BOULARD: Member Cassis?






1 MR. BOULARD: Member Bauer?


3 MR. BOULARD: Chairman Sanghvi?


5 Congratulations. Thank you and good luck in

6 your new place.

7 MR. COLLINS: Thank you.


9 number: 09-010, 47601 Grand River Avenue,

10 Providence Hospital.

11 MEMBER KRIEGER: We're moving that one

12 to the end.


14 MEMBER BAUER: Number seven.


16 works for Providence Hospital and had a

17 question whether she should continue to

18 participate in the discussion or should she

19 be excused. Is that your question?

20 MEMBER IBE: No, Mr. Chair. I think

21 her question was that number four was

22 supposed to have been moved to --

23 MEMBER CASSIS: A later time.

24 MEMBER IBE: -- a later time.







3 (Interposing)(Unintelligible).


5 coming both together, okay. I beg your

6 pardon.


8 Moving on to 09-012 filed by Roger --

9 I hope I say it correctly -- Soulliere of

10 Stone City, Incorporated for 26940 Taft

11 Road, Stone City.

12 MR. SOULLIERE: Hello, you said it

13 correctly, Soulliere. Thank you.


15 please give your name.

16 MR. SOULLIERE: My name is Roger

17 Soulliere. I am the owner of Stone City and

18 Soulliere Decorative Stone. We have been

19 there for almost nine, ten years.


21 further will you please be sworn in.

22 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm

23 to tell the truth regarding case: 09-012?






1 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you, sir.


3 ahead.

4 MR. SOULLIERE: I would like to

5 continue the use of the outside storage that

6 we have used. We do appreciate all the help

7 that you had by allowing us to put the

8 outdoor sign on the corner which has helped

9 out a lot bringing some traffic in.

10 Hopefully business does continue to grow

11 there.

12 During the beginning of our petition

13 we did plant quite a few pine trees up along

14 there and they are growing nicely shielding

15 off any distractions or anything from that

16 area. We have currently purchased out Dixie

17 Cut Stone. They have decided to get out of

18 the granite and stone business in which we

19 want to elaborate a little bit on that with

20 some inside storage and start cleaning it up

21 and have a little nicer facility to sell

22 finished granite and product. So, we see

23 that in the near future once the market

24 returns to make that a nicer interior





1 showroom stone supply yard so that you can

2 come to.

3 It has been there for five years and

4 we would like to show that in good faith we

5 will continue to conform and to supply with

6 the products for the local areas. I know a

7 lot of people are coming in to fix up their

8 homes the ones that people are staying in or

9 foreclosed to help them with some good

10 products and items to keep the place looking

11 good in the local market. Thank you.

12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Is there anybody

13 in the audience who would like to comment

14 about this case?

15 (No response.)


17 none. Building Department?

18 MR. BOULARD: Thank you. This as it

19 was mentioned in the staff report, this is a

20 nonconforming use is in the I-1 district

21 with the exterior storage. Originally there

22 were variances granted in 2000 and 2004.

23 And that last variance expired fairly

24 recently. Hence, the Petitioner's presence





1 here.

2 One question I had. Was this a

3 temporary use, the use that requires a

4 variance? Is it a temporary use? Is it

5 your plan to find a conforming spot at some

6 point or to request rezoning?

7 MR. SOULLIERE: We were looking. We

8 have been talking to a couple other places

9 to merge with them as a stone yard making

10 that more of an interior showroom, a little

11 nicer venue. Maybe enclosing more. The

12 market has been kind of tough and the road

13 and all during this time, you know, we have

14 fought through a lot of different hardships

15 with them rebuilding Grand River Road,

16 people not getting to our place, trying to

17 collect some other revenue and income. And,

18 you know, eventually down the line we would

19 like to make that a nicer showroom, a nicer

20 inside and sell more higher-end granite

21 products and finished stone product like

22 that in our long-term plans. A little

23 lesser of the landscape supply products.

24 MR. BOULARD: Actually I had another





1 question. You had mentioned that you had

2 planted some pine trees and I am not sure

3 where. I brought the area photographs just

4 so you can take a look at how things have

5 changed through time. So maybe you could

6 tell us where those are. Also, right now

7 there is a line of pine tree along the

8 freeway that has been there for some time.

9 MR. SOULLIERE: That's what was asked

10 for at the beginning to plant those and to

11 maintain those so that there wouldn't be any

12 type of distraction or unsightly look from

13 the freeway. And I think they filled in

14 well and they have shielded that area.

15 And, again, our area is out there and

16 not really visually seen from any

17 residential. We are well off the main

18 roads. It's kind of a hidden spot. A good

19 place for local contractors and people that

20 come by and to get their products to service

21 the local areas.

22 MR. BOULARD: There is a fair amount

23 of storage at the west end of the line of

24 trees where it's pushed right up against the





1 fence there. Was the intent to extend the

2 screening along there at all at some point?

3 MR. SOULLIERE: Nothing was ever asked

4 about that. We had on the west side some

5 gardens in there in which we putting some

6 pavings. There is that house there we're

7 looking to possibly rebuild that house,

8 maybe make it more into somewhat of an

9 office. I don't know, tear it down, do

10 something with it. We were trying to see

11 how the Novi Expo Center was going to be

12 developed at some time, if they were going

13 to be putting up hotels and what would be

14 best suited for the property.

15 So, we are trying to keep it somewhat

16 open. It seems like there is, as the

17 economy grows or wherever it goes we want to

18 be able to capitalize on it through whatever

19 different avenues that we can.

20 MR. BOULARD: Does the request, just

21 as a note, the previous variance was for

22 three years, the variance extension. The

23 request the gentleman has made is for five

24 years in the application. Being that it's





1 essentially a nonconforming use that's being

2 allowed on that site under a variance, my

3 suggestion would be no more than two years.

4 Nothing else.


6 Boulard.

7 Mr. Bauer, do you have some

8 correspondence?

9 MEMBER BAUER: Yes. There were 57

10 notices mailed out, eight were returned and

11 we had one response from Corrigan Moving and

12 Storage. And it so states that: This

13 letter is to state our approval of the

14 requested variance of Stone City Outside

15 Storage. Corrigan Worldwide is the neighbor

16 south of Stone City. We feel that Stone

17 City has done a good job in keeping their

18 outside storage neat, organized and out of

19 sight for the majority of the people. And

20 the industry, especially in the current

21 economic conditions require inside storage

22 isn't a responsible thing to ask a business

23 to afford.






1 I will open it up to the Board. This is a

2 renewal of a previously granted variance.

3 Yes, go ahead, Mr. Cassis.

4 MEMBER CASSIS: Mizure Soulliere, poly

5 vu fran say.

6 MR. SOULLIERE: (Unintelligible).

7 MEMBER CASSIS: That's a beautiful

8 name.

9 MR. SOULLIERE: Thank you.

10 MEMBER CASSIS: French name, right?


12 MEMBER CASSIS: I have been easy on

13 people all night. I am going to give you a

14 little hard time. I visited your place last

15 summer or last spring. I was looking for

16 that red small stone. What is it called?

17 MR. SOULLIERE: It's probably a red

18 Lava.

19 MEMBER CASSIS: A red Lava. How come

20 you don't have it?

21 MR. SOULLIERE: We were out that day.

22 MEMBER CASSIS: It seems like you are

23 handling the big boulders mainly; is that

24 right?





1 MR. SOULLIERE: They are being

2 requested. We have been slowly trying to

3 take out the larger, the stones that creates

4 more dust. The boulders has less dust. We

5 are trying to hone down a little bit of

6 that, that's our goal there, more

7 palletized. It was brought up last time up

8 to a few more years, they said there were

9 some issues, some questions about

10 conformance, soil not grading and stuff like

11 that. So, they said we'll make it two years

12 so that we could see if you keep your nose

13 clean, and I believe we have.

14 We have tried to keep it nice. We've

15 put in some newer management to try to perk

16 it up a little bit. We want to keep it

17 looking nice there. It is an area that

18 hardly anybody gets down there. It is a

19 nice place for the locals to go to. They

20 come in without driving all over town, get

21 their product, get in. We are getting a lot

22 more retail people that are looking. And we

23 do help them out with a variety. It's more

24 of a display of what we can get them and we





1 ship it in from our other facility out of

2 Utica.

3 So, we try to keep it up there just

4 for the people that need to come there.

5 And, you know, we hope to, you know, keep

6 tightening it up to products that people

7 want and just deliver it to them out of the

8 main warehouse.

9 MEMBER CASSIS: That's exactly the

10 answer, but thank you. The thing I was

11 trying to suggest and I injected a little

12 humor into it is that you would think, now I

13 had to go to Lyon Township to get some of

14 that stone, and they have two varieties.

15 One they had them in bulk in a coral kind of

16 a thing, I don't know what you call it, a

17 different base.

18 MR. SOULLIERE: Correct.

19 MEMBER CASSIS: That they can scoop

20 and keep it clean. And they were very

21 clean. I think you know that outfit down

22 Grand River. But they also had it in bags.

23 I bought the bags. And you would think that

24 if you branch into that kind of -- you know,





1 which you might get more business. I'm not

2 trying to tell you what to do.

3 MR. SOULLIERE: Yeah. And some of

4 that can be moved into the building, so

5 that's kind of our thing, the more

6 palletized item, less bulk, dusty materials

7 I can get it inside a building or contained.

8 We did the screening walls. We did the

9 evergreen belts. We have done things to

10 minimize the impact of anybody seeing it and

11 I haven't really had too many people that

12 really -- the only comments I had is, where

13 are you? Because I don't know where you

14 are --

15 MEMBER CASSIS: And one last thing if

16 I may interrupt. I don't want to take the

17 time. But I had to have a car wash after

18 going to your place.

19 MR. SOULLIERE: You think they could

20 pave that road?

21 MEMBER CASSIS: Because of the dust.

22 MR. SOULLIERE: (Unintelligible).

23 MEMBER CASSIS: Anyhow, I would vote

24 for this extension. It's actually like an





1 extension.

2 And I would I think go along with an idea of

3 no more than a couple to three years. Thank

4 you, Mr. Chairman.


6 Cassis. And going back to the business of

7 the ZBA. Anybody else would like to make

8 any other comment? Yes?

9 MEMBER CASSIS: And I promised you

10 9:30 tonight so I will abide.


12 MEMBER IBE: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

13 Mr. Soulliere, you said something that was

14 quite interesting and I would like you to

15 help me understand it. I think if I may

16 paraphrase you you said down the road, I am

17 just making sure. I am not sure if you have

18 used that phrase before before this Board.

19 Last time you were here (unintelligible), I

20 told the party that it was like a musical

21 chair that you play when you come to this

22 Board. The City asked you if this was a

23 temporary thing that you were doing and your

24 response was down the road. It appears down





1 the road means that you don't have any

2 concrete plans, that's how I take it. Could

3 you please tell me what are your more

4 concrete plans other than this down the

5 road, you know, read between the line kind

6 of stuff? I would like something more

7 substantial.

8 MR. SOULLIERE: Within five years I

9 would like to say I would like to have

10 everything set in place. And that's with

11 buying the -- what I have done is purchasing

12 there, and they have inside storage of their

13 granite and stone which they were in the

14 tributary down on Grand River, they have

15 gotten out of it which opens up the

16 opportunity to do an inside showroom. That

17 was the hardest part is there was one down

18 there and there is still Dwyers down there,

19 but we would like to further explore and to

20 create that and that's my plan.

21 It's not to have a landscape supply

22 yard but a stone supply yard. And those are

23 all conducive to inside storage climate

24 control and traffic. And when the economy





1 comes back I am ready to do something. And

2 I have already made big improvements in my

3 Utica area because the area I had was

4 available. So, I am done with that and I am

5 working on my next down the road plans which

6 is Novi.

7 MEMBER IBE: Do you think that if we

8 follow the suggestion of the City and allow

9 you a two-year extension, that perhaps, I

10 know that you will be back in two years,

11 would you say that you probably will have

12 this down the road plan?

13 MR. SOULLIERE: I would have a site

14 plan and I would have either started or

15 maybe I would be in front of the Board, but

16 I, knock on wood, hope that the economy

17 within two years we are going to be there.

18 You know, I'm an optimist and products that

19 I sell are good values and I think people

20 could always use a good value.

21 MEMBER IBE: Thank you, Mr. Chair.


23 Ibe. Yes, Mr. Ghannam?

24 MEMBER GHANNAM: I just have a couple





1 of questions for you, sir. What do you

2 store outside specifically?

3 MR. SOULLIERE: We have paving stones

4 primarily on pallets. We do have large flat

5 stones that they do landscaping with. A

6 very limited amount of colored stone, some

7 mulch and primarily that's it. Then we have

8 a large building garage that we keep our bag

9 material and another garage that we keep

10 other product inside wherever we can. So,

11 primarily we haven't expanded at all. We

12 have been trying to tighten it up a little

13 bit more than anything and just, you know,

14 good moving products, palletized materials

15 or things that eventually I can move whether

16 it be a cold storage or something along that

17 line.

18 MEMBER GHANNAM: These are not the

19 type of things you could store within your

20 building facility right now?

21 MR. SOULLIERE: Not currently, no. It

22 takes a bit of space and I would have to

23 have a pretty elaborated plan to -- it would

24 be a huge building.





1 MEMBER GHANNAM: The reason why I ask

2 you this question is, to me the standard

3 that you have to establish in this case is

4 what we call an unnecessary hardship, it's a

5 higher standard than say like a sign case,

6 but it doesn't seem the type of standard

7 that can be continued year after year.

8 Either you change zoning and you use it for

9 what you intend or just store everything

10 inside. That's what it seems to me. I

11 mean, I wouldn't have a problem supporting

12 it for a couple of years given the current

13 situation that you have been doing business

14 and you have been granted all of these

15 variances. But all I'm saying is like

16 Member Ibe has suggested, at some point --

17 and this is not the type of thing that

18 should be continued year after year or those

19 types of periods. It should be either

20 zoning change or the motive in the way you

21 operate your business should change in terms

22 of moving these things indoors. But I would

23 be support of couple of years.

24 MR. SOULLIERE: What I hope I would be





1 able to do is to get through phases to erect

2 some buildings, move more and more inside

3 and minimize any of that impact. And there

4 is different ways of doing it having the

5 larger bins with doors that still allow you

6 to open the doors to get into these type of

7 products, but not dump it inside. There is

8 environmental issues, dust, you know,

9 wellbeing of people.

10 MEMBER GHANNAM: Which is why you

11 need to consider if you want to do business

12 outdoors, then go to City Council and get

13 your zoning issues taken care of so that

14 whatever zoning you would need for this

15 would be conducive to your business if they

16 agree. They are the ones who wrote the

17 rules, we just work with unusual

18 circumstances.

19 MR. SOULLIERE: And this area was

20 a real bad area when I bought it. It was

21 tired. It was a mess. And I have spent a

22 lot of energy and time and I was just

23 renting it, cleaning it up, abiding by it.

24 And we have been trying along the way. And





1 I just purchased it just a few years ago. I

2 was just under a rental.

3 MEMBER GHANNAM: And I understand.

4 MR. SOULLIERE: And now I have

5 committed to buying this and making the

6 necessary improvements.


8 else? My only comment would be that I only

9 know about kidney stones, (unintelligible)

10 stones, gallstones. I don't know about any

11 other stone. But, anyway, would anybody

12 like to make a motion? Let's get on with

13 the business.

14 MEMBER GHANNAM: I will go ahead and

15 make a motion.


17 Ghannam.

18 MEMBER GHANNAM: Thank you. I'll go

19 ahead and move that in Case Number: 09-012

20 for 26940 Taft Road

21 for Stone City of Novi that we grant a

22 two-year extension of their current variance

23 for this outdoor storage as it has been

24 doing for the present time. I think under





1 the circumstances how they have done in the

2 past, and given the state of its current

3 operation, it would be an unnecessary

4 hardship for a limited period of time. That

5 at this time the property cannot be

6 reasonably used for the purposes permitted

7 in the zoning district. There are unique

8 circumstances peculiar to this property not

9 to the general neighborhood conditions. The

10 variance would not alter the essential

11 character of the area and that the

12 proponent's problem is not self created.

13 MEMBER IBE: I will second that.

14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The motion has

15 been made and seconded. Any further

16 discussion? Seeing none, will you please

17 call the roll, Mr. Boulard.

18 MR. BOULARD: Member Bauer?


20 MR. BOULARD: Member Cassis?


22 MR. BOULARD: Member Ghannam?


24 MR. BOULARD: Member Ibe?






2 MR. BOULARD: Member Krieger?


4 MR. BOULARD: Member Skelcy?


6 MR. BOULARD: Chairman Sanghvi?


8 MR. BOULARD: Motion passes 7-0.

9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Congratulations

10 to you.

11 MR. SOULLIERE: Thank you. I will

12 start working on those. Thank you.



15 moving on. Next one is Case Number: 09-013

16 filed by Euko Design Signs, Incorporated for

17 47440 Grand River Avenue, Comerica Bank.

18 Will you please identify yourself. Give your

19 name and address and if you are not an

20 attorney be sworn in by our Secretary.

21 Thank you.

22 MR. DIACHENKO: Eugene Diachenko, Euko

23 Design Signs. That's 24849 Hathaway,

24 Farmington Hills, Michigan.





1 MEMBER BAUER: Raise your right hand.

2 Do you swear or affirm to tell the truth

3 regarding Case: 09-013?

4 MR. DIACHENKO: Yes, sir.

5 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you, sir.


7 MR. DIACHENKO: Board Members, with

8 today's poor economic climate and extremely

9 competitive nature of the banking business

10 we are requesting adding on a 21 foot square

11 wall sign matching the other two existing

12 ones on the Tower of Comerica Bank.

13 In identifying the building to the

14 public it will give them the ability to see

15 the bank's location more easily thus

16 allowing proper slow down time to be able to

17 enter the north complex road safely.

18 Currently TCF Bank the neighbors to the

19 north have pre-existing wall signs giving

20 them a distinct advantage which we feel if

21 we were granted the variance would give us a

22 level playing field. So, I feel that this

23 request is a fair and equitable one.






1 anybody in the audience who would like to

2 address the Board regarding this case?

3 (No response.)


5 none. Mr. Boulard, the Building Department?

6 MR. BOULARD: Thank you. In this case

7 the new building, the bank building would be

8 by right allowed one sign. The size of

9 which would be based on the setback from the

10 road. In this case being that the structure

11 is fronted on two thoroughfares, they are

12 allowed two signs. And that's the basis of

13 the two approved signs currently on the east

14 and south basis of the tower.

15 The proposed sign is a third sign

16 which would be on the north. So, if there

17 are any questions I would be happy to

18 assist.


20 Bauer, are there any correspondence?

21 MEMBER BAUER: Thirty-nine notices

22 were mailed out. Nine returned. No

23 responses.






1 will open it up to the Board.

2 MEMBER SKELCY: Mr. Chairman?


4 MEMBER SKELCY: Mr. Boulard, I had a

5 question about the TCF Bank having three

6 signs. Do you know if that was the subject

7 of a variance in the past?

8 MR. BOULARD: I don't know that. I

9 don't know the history or whatnot for the

10 sign, I'm sorry.

11 MR. DIACHENKO: The size of those are

12 approximately four foot by eight foot, about

13 32 square feet.



16 Ghannam.

17 MEMBER GHANNAM: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

18 The problem I have with this, sir, is that I

19 presume you have received one variance for

20 the second sign on the building already?

21 MR. DIACHENKO: No, sir. We went

22 through the proper recording procedure.

23 MEMBER GHANNAM: Do you have any

24 monument signs on the premises?





1 MR. DIACHENKO: No, sir.

2 MEMBER GHANNAM: The proposed sign,

3 you want it to be the same size and

4 character as the two existing signs?

5 MR. DIACHENKO: Correct. Exact

6 duplicates, yes. The gutter would have to

7 be re-arranged so we are not too far off the

8 wall.

9 MEMBER GHANNAM: I understand that.

10 When was this building built?

11 MR. DIACHENKO: I think it opened less

12 than 30 days ago.

13 MEMBER GHANNAM: I guess my question

14 is why wasn't this done in the process when

15 the land was purchased and --

16 MR. DIACHENKO: Because somebody from

17 corporate saw the bank next door having

18 three signs and told us to go through the

19 steps.

20 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yeah, I know. I can

21 appreciate that. The problem I have with

22 all these signs on the building is, I mean,

23 the object is not to have it seen from every

24 single possible angle. I know other





1 applicants have come in and said they want

2 it on every single side that there is a road

3 and I don't blame them necessarily, but I

4 guess the question becomes does it meet our

5 standards.

6 MR. DIACHENKO: There is difficulty

7 with people going southbound on Beck Road

8 seeing the bank physically. There is no

9 idea until they are literally right next to

10 the wall sign facing west, so it becomes a

11 visual difficulty. So, it does give them

12 sufficient time to slow down to enter the

13 service door coming in.

14 MEMBER GHANNAM: I don't have any

15 other questions. Thank you, sir.


17 Oh, I'm sorry. Mr. Bauer, you go next.

18 MEMBER BAUER: Did you by chance get a

19 written approval from the owner of the

20 properties?

21 MR. DIACHENKO: No, we didn't, I'm

22 sorry.

23 MEMBER BAUER: We will have to have

24 that before anything is done.






2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, thank you.

3 Mr. Cassis?

4 MR. CASSIS: This one I am going to be

5 a little bit more tougher on this one.

6 Sorry, I mean, I have been lenient all

7 night. I feel, I feel we cannot just keep

8 going, putting three signs all over the

9 place. It's got to stop somewhere, that's

10 number one.

11 Number two, a bank is not a

12 restaurant, it's a destination kind of

13 operation. If I want to go to Chase Bank, I

14 look up in the Yellow Pages or whatever on

15 my computer, where is it located I go to

16 that bank.

17 I doubt that a third sign is going to say,

18 oh, this guy is driving down, oh, that's a

19 Comerica bank, I better go in. That's not

20 the way banks operate. Now, whoever in top

21 management told you I am jealous, tell him

22 you are in the banking system. You should

23 be sophisticated enough to know that

24 Comerica is one of the biggest and most





1 capable banks in our community and you don't

2 need a third sign. Tell them I told you.

3 I will not approve a third sign.

4 Thank you.

5 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, all right.

6 Anybody else? I see no comments coming.

7 Would anybody like to make a motion? Nobody

8 wants to make a motion or say anything.

9 It's a tough night here.

10 Well, as far as I am concerned

11 personally, I saw the same thing which

12 everybody else saw, and I think it would be

13 good for the patients in the hospital to

14 find out where Comerica Bank is, but

15 otherwise I don't see any need for a third

16 sign on the tower myself. And that's about

17 it. Okay.

18 MEMBER BAUER: Sounds like a proposal

19 here.


21 you going to make a motion?

22 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll make another

23 motion tonight.

24 MEMBER CASSIS: You are the motion





1 maker.

2 MEMBER GHANNAM: In Case Number:

3 09-013 for 47440 Grand River Avenue, Euko

4 Design Signs, Inc., on behalf of Comerica

5 Bank I am going to move that we deny the

6 proposed sign variance as requested because

7 under the circumstances of this particular

8 case, the features of the property are not

9 exceptional or unique and do not result in

10 conditions that generally exist in the city.

11 In this case you are allowed two signs

12 because it is a single business on a corner

13 and I guess they chose at that time which

14 corners they wanted them.

15 I know they may see other businesses, but we

16 can't comment on those and how they may have

17 been approved. But I don't think in this

18 particular case another sign coming from the

19 north or the south would be beneficial.

20 Certainly the failure to grant relief will

21 not unreasonably prevent or limit the use of

22 the property and will not result in

23 substantially more than a mere inconvenience

24 or inability to attain a higher economic or





1 financial return. It will not result, the

2 denial will not result in the use of a

3 structure that is incompatible and

4 unreasonably interferes with the adjacent or

5 surrounding properties. I think the denial

6 will be not be inconsistent with the spirit

7 of the Ordinance.



10 been made and seconded. Who seconded that

11 is Ms. Krieger. Anybody further discussion?

12 Seeing none, would you please call the roll,

13 Mr. Boulard.

14 MR. BOULARD: Member Bauer?


16 MR. BOULARD: Member Cassis?


18 MR. BOULARD: Member Ghannam?


20 MR. BOULARD: Member Ibe?


22 MR. BOULARD: Member Krieger?


24 MR. BOULARD: Member Skelcy?






2 MR. BOULARD: Chairman Sanghvi?


4 Sorry, sir.

5 Moving on, last but not least

6 right from the beginning.

7 MEMBER KRIEGER: Just to confirm as

8 you were previously discussing in previous

9 cases that I am an employee of Providence

10 but I am a lesser employee according to

11 previous discussion I believe?


13 MS. KUDLA: Well, I not had been here

14 for the lesser employee discussion, but.

15 MEMBER KRIEGER: I thought you were

16 the one that told me.

17 MS. KUDLA: I think Tom Schultz must

18 have been here. Tom Schultz was here during

19 the last Providence. I would say it would

20 be best if you abstain from this.

21 MEMBER KRIEGER: Okay. I would like

22 to recuse myself.


24 are being recused. Well, you can always go





1 home then.



4 MS. KUDLA: We can do a motion to

5 approve her abstaining, yes.


7 MEMBER BAUER: So moved.

8 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll second that.

9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, the motion

10 has been made and seconded. All those in

11 favor say aye?



14 opposed same sign. Okay, you are excused.

15 Oh, he is already there. You want to

16 identify yourself? I don't know why, but

17 identify yourself. Give your name and

18 address and get sworn in by --

19 MR. LUTZ: My name is Bill Lutz with

20 SignGraphix at 39255 Country Club Drive,

21 Farmington Hills, Michigan.

22 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm

23 to tell the truth regarding case: 09-010?

24 MR. LUTZ: Yes, sir, I do. Well, you





1 all are pretty much familiar with Providence

2 Hospital. It is a signature building. It

3 is the only hospital in the City of Novi.

4 We think it's a real community attraction.

5 We know that a lot of people come to cities

6 to live because of schools. An equal

7 number come to live because of the hospitals

8 and the health care that the community

9 provides. This is a signature property.

10 It's 200 acres. Consist of many, many

11 buildings. We have tried to do our very

12 best to sign this campus at the entryways to

13 get people in the right entryways, but if

14 you don't you have got quite a long distance

15 around to the opposite side. What we have

16 not done is sign this building. This is the

17 only hospital I think in the entire

18 metropolitan area of Detroit that does not

19 have a sign on the building.

20 So, the poor people in the banking

21 centers on the other side of the road can't

22 tell that there is a hospital across the

23 street. We think this is too bad because it

24 is a prominent feature in the City of Novi.





1 It's mentioned about 54 times on your

2 website. We know that you are proud to have

3 Providence as a community member and

4 neighbor. They have been there for a long,

5 long time and I think it's something to brag

6 about if you will and something to let

7 visitors know that we have a world class

8 health care system right here in Novi.

9 So, I think it's time to put a sign on

10 the building. Unfortunately the City of

11 Novi is no different than any other city,

12 there has never been an Ordinance written

13 that I am aware of for a campus type

14 environment. It is very difficult to write

15 those kinds of Ordinances because there are

16 two many variables.

17 We have many buildings on this campus.

18 Everything from stand alone hotel to medical

19 office buildings to what was the old

20 facility which is now offices and

21 administrative offices and physician offices

22 as well as the full service hospital. So,

23 there is no way to know on this big piece of

24 property that we really have a hospital





1 there from any kind of distance and that's

2 what we really need.

3 So, our photo studies have kind of

4 indicated the only way to do that really --

5 I don't know if we can make this work in

6 this kind of configuration here, we will

7 see. This is a shot and this is a photo

8 study. One of the ways that we do these

9 studies is to take actual photographs of

10 what your eye would see at particular spots

11 along the road.

12 This is the approach from the

13 expressway coming off of Beck Road heading

14 south. As you come off the exit ramp from

15 96 this is the first view you have. Now,

16 it's not really easy to see in this

17 photograph unfortunately because of the

18 light here. But if you were to look, you

19 are going to see Staple signs. You are

20 going to see all kinds of signs for all

21 these buildings and there is no way to

22 distinguish this building in the back here

23 from any other building.

24 So, without that sign up there and you





1 can barely see it in this photograph, I

2 think if the lighting was right and we

3 didn't have the ambient light here you

4 probably would be able to see it a little

5 bit better. Those are 48 inch letters which

6 is about the minimum size that we can

7 actually see from that distance. And this

8 is about 1,200 -- no, I'm sorry, that's not

9 correct. It's about 2,200 feet. Let me get

10 my distances right. From that particular

11 spot it's about 2,200 feet to the hospital.

12 That's a long way. So, you are barely going

13 to be able to see a 48 inch letter from that

14 distance.

15 This is the only place that we can

16 sign this building. Because of the unique

17 nature, I said this a signature building,

18 architecturally it's very interesting, it's

19 very different. It has a lot of different

20 paneling on it. We tried to make it

21 different than an office building, if you

22 will, so the design was well thought out.

23 But that sign right there is also

24 about as large as you can possibly get and





1 still identify the hospital and take out the

2 space between vents. That's the only

3 location on that entire building that you

4 can put any kind of logo really that's going

5 to be seen from that vantage point. We

6 think it's necessary to sign this hospital

7 and let folks know that you have a hospital

8 here. There is an awful lot of visits to

9 this campus every day. There is about a

10 1,000 parking spots that turn over six to

11 eight times a day. There is 1,200 employees

12 on this campus every day. We think it's

13 high time that we had an identification sign

14 so that people know there is a hospital

15 there.

16 That's been one of the feedbacks that

17 we have gotten from physicians consistently

18 is folks say, gosh, we know it's here

19 somewhere, but where is it? And they are

20 looking for a long range way finding tool to

21 get them there. It's a very confusing

22 landscape. You know, people say it's a big

23 building you should know what it is. It's a

24 big building, but without a sign they really





1 don't know what it is.

2 The Ordinance doesn't allow for it

3 because the Ordinance is not written for a

4 campus environment, multiple buildings,

5 multiple types of traffic. This will be the

6 only sign on this campus on the building.

7 Questions?


9 on to the next one?

10 MEMBER SKELCY: I have a question.


12 MEMBER SKELCY: I was curious as to

13 why you didn't apply for a variance for the

14 building when it was first built because I

15 know you had a number of other variances for

16 signage around that facility?

17 MR. LUTZ: Well, that's a valid

18 question. Any sign on this campus requires

19 a variance and we felt it was necessary

20 initially to identify the entrances first

21 and do that. The decision about identifying

22 the hospital did come up, in fact it came up

23 in conversations as early as two or three

24 years prior to construction of the hospital





1 during the planning stages and we talked

2 about it. The initial thought was let's

3 wait until later, see what happens, see if

4 we really need it. It's an expensive

5 proposition. As you know, health care is --

6 they are squeezing dollars like everybody

7 else here these days, so if it wasn't

8 necessary we didn't want to put the cart

9 before the horse. We addressed what we

10 thought were the most urgent concerns first,

11 Which was patient traffic. Let's try to get

12 them to the campus in other ways. If that

13 doesn't work we'll look at building signage.

14 I would say normally building signage

15 is probably the last thing. We are

16 consultant for a number health care

17 facilities throughout the Metropolitan area.

18 Building signage is the last thing that is

19 addressed and we have had to go back

20 numerous times and talk to cities and

21 municipalities about building signage.

22 There seems to be an emphasis to work on the

23 ground signs first, get people to the right

24 entrance, get people to the parking lots.





1 There are numerous parking lots within this

2 facility This is a 200 acre campus. This is

3 a large campus. So, managing the traffic is

4 the primary concern. You always hope that

5 the traffic will come without signage, but

6 sometimes it doesn't always work that way.

7 In this case we are creating

8 a lot of confusion by really not getting

9 folks -- this is a very confusing

10 intersection. When we started working with

11 this campus, gosh, almost 20 years ago now,

12 this was in the middle of a field. In fact,

13 it was in the middle of a golf course.

14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: In fact it was

15 my golf course. Kidding apart, thank you

16 very much. Is there anybody in the

17 audience, I don't see very many other

18 people, but I have to go through motion, who

19 would like to address the Board regarding

20 this?

21 (No response.)


23 none, Building Department?

24 MR. BOULARD: The staff report





1 mentions a couple of things. Number one,

2 there is a second variance request that

3 obviously the City Attorney has suggested

4 that we do them one at a time. But I just

5 wanted to make sure that everyone was aware

6 that those are both going to be in close

7 proximity.

8 Also, there is a rundown in the staff

9 report about the previous variances and what

10 they are for. So, if there are any

11 questions I would be happy to assist.


13 Bauer, do you have any correspondence

14 regarding this?

15 MEMBER BAUER: There were 79 notices

16 mailed, 17 came back no response.

17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, very good.

18 Thank you. Open it up for the Board.

19 Before doing that, I might make my own

20 personal comment. And that is, I don't see

21 any advantage of having this particular sign

22 that high in the sky, but I will leave it to

23 the Board to decide.

24 Go ahead, Mr. Ghannam.





1 MEMBER GHANNAM: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

2 Sir, I was born at Providence Hospital, not

3 your new one, but the old one and I don't

4 hold that against you, you guys have done a

5 great job. I think for all the reasons that

6 you stated, I think you be are absolutely

7 right. This is a very unique circumstance.

8 It is a campus. It is a huge hospital. It

9 is a major attraction. We all know it's

10 there, your staff knows it's there, the

11 employees do, but there is certainly a lot

12 of people hopefully that you will attract in

13 the surrounding areas that may not know

14 exactly where it's at on given situations,

15 maybe emergency and so forth. I think

16 absolutely, it's like having a Ford Building

17 without identifying Ford as their

18 headquarters and so forth. So, I think this

19 type of sign would meet our standards in

20 terms of what you would have to establish.

21 So, I would be willing to support it.


23 MEMBER IBE: I would like to echo the

24 words of my colleague who just spoke. I





1 think a building of this magnitude deserves

2 to have a signature name on it. I think

3 that having a signature name on it is like

4 having a well sewn Italian suit and you

5 decide to put on a tie that was sold at

6 K-Mart with it. You have to have a

7 signature to go along with the building.

8 And to echo what you said, my kids and I

9 drive down this intersection three times a

10 day. On our way to school back and forth

11 and to other programs. When you come off 96

12 and Beck, you have to get to Beck road to

13 know that Providence Park is right there.

14 You can't see it. I mean, you see the big

15 building but you don't know what it is. You

16 have to approach it to know exactly where

17 you are going.

18 But I think with a sign there you can

19 see it and say, oh, that's the hospital

20 right there. And that makes more sense. I

21 am incline to support this as well.

22 Thank you, Mr. Chair.


24 MEMBER CASSIS: I usually want to talk





1 a lot, but since my colleagues already took

2 my time I won't talk as much. You have

3 deprived me of it. But I go along with what

4 was just said. That this is such a huge

5 edifice, a huge building and most hospitals

6 really have that kind of a signature on it.

7 All the hospitals I have been to and I have

8 been to many of them. As was just said,

9 it's your signature, it can be seen from

10 far.

11 Also I'm very concerned about the

12 emergencies. We should not take a chance

13 for any reason whether there is two other

14 signs or four other signs, if there is one

15 more sign that can save a life, and I may be

16 stretching it here, but you never know.

17 Somebody coming off the freeway, they had a

18 heart attack and they don't even know. I

19 mean, we are familiar with Providence and we

20 know where it is. But how about that lady

21 that had a brain tumor and had suffered a

22 hemorrhage by Brighton, which my wife knew,

23 and she had to go all the way down to

24 Providence down there. She died





1 subsequently. But I hate to bring that up,

2 but I think to illustrate my point that if

3 our trauma center now has been there three

4 years ago, four years ago when this incident

5 happened, this lady would be coming out on

6 I-96 and she would see the big sign out

7 there. So I am tempted to go along with my

8 colleagues and approve this. Thank you, Mr.

9 Chair.


11 Mr. Bauer?

12 MEMBER BAUER: I used your facilities

13 this last year, sorry to say. Very good

14 emergency technicians. I think you do need

15 a nice sign up there. Even with all the

16 others sometimes you have to have, well,

17 this is mine. So, I would vote for it.

18 MR. LUTZ: Thank you.


20 a motion from somebody?



23 your night tonight.

24 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll go ahead and





1 move in case number: 09-010 at 47601 Grand

2 River, Providence Park Hospital that we

3 approve their proposed sign as proposed. I

4 believe that they have met the standards.

5 The sign variance being practical

6 difficulty. The request is based on

7 circumstances and features that are

8 certainly exceptional and unique to this

9 particular property and don't result from

10 conditions that generally exist in the city

11 or that are self created. The failure to

12 grant relief will unreasonably prevent or

13 limit the use of the property and will

14 result in substantially more than mere

15 inconvenience or inability to attain a

16 higher economic or financial return. And

17 the grant of relief will not result in the

18 use of structure that is incompatible or

19 unreasonably interferes with adjacent or

20 surrounding properties. It will result in

21 substantial justice being done to both the

22 Applicant and the adjacent or surrounding

23 properties. And is certainly not

24 inconsistent with the spirit of City's





1 Ordinance.



4 been made and seconded. Any further

5 discussion? Seeing none, Mr. Boulard,

6 please call the roll.

7 MR. BOULARD: Mr. Chairman, who second

8 that?


10 MEMBER CASSIS: I seconded.


12 ahead.

13 MR. BOULARD: Chairman Sanghvi?


15 MR. BOULARD: Member Skelcy?


17 MR. BOULARD: Member Ibe?


19 MR. BOULARD: Member Ghannam?


21 MR. BOULARD: Member Cassis?


23 MR. BOULARD: Member Bauer?






1 MR. BOULARD: Motion is approved 6-0.

2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Congratulations.

3 Let's get on with the next one.

4 MR. LUTZ: Okay, this request is a

5 little different, and frankly every sign

6 that we have put up and we have talked with

7 staff every time we have put up a sign on

8 this campus that was not going to be visible

9 or be seen from Beck or Grand River Road.

10 The staff has said we are not concerned with

11 that sign and that was true of every entry

12 identification sign that we put up of all

13 the smaller directional signs on the campus.

14 This sign is not meant to be seen nor can it

15 be seen from Beck Road.

16 This sign is a result and is

17 there to recognize the beginnings and a

18 major grant, a multi-million dollar grant

19 that was made by the Vaneslander family who

20 is a long time supporter of Providence

21 Hospital to establish a neuroscience center,

22 a world-class neuroscience center here at

23 Novi for both in-patients and out-patients.

24 This is meant to be viewed from the ring





1 road. These letters are only 21 inches.

2 They are not meant to be viewed from Beck

3 Road nor can they be. I have actually done

4 a photo study and, frankly, I can show it to

5 you and you won't be able to see the letters

6 on the wall. At night you may be able to

7 see kind of some sparkly white, but you will

8 not be able to read the letters. They are

9 just too small. From 1,200 feet away this

10 is about as close as you are going to see

11 this. And I suspect in a couple of years

12 when all the trees grow up that have been

13 planted, you will not be able to see that

14 facade, that portion of the building.

15 This is at the second level of the

16 hospital, upon that architectural detail

17 there. They will be lit at night. But,

18 again, you will not be able to see this from

19 Beck road. So, the interpretation here in

20 coming before the Board this evening is a

21 little bit new and different because we have

22 not had to request variances for any wall

23 signage over entries or on building walls

24 that couldn't be seen from the public roads.





1 We need this. We need to recognize

2 this donor. This is a substantial gift.

3 This is one of the ways that hospitals are

4 being funded today. This probably started

5 to change 10 or 15 or 20 years ago. We

6 really started to notice it within the last

7 10 years. Without the philanthropy of local

8 donors and local business people that have

9 made major grants to a number of hospitals

10 in this area, we would not see the

11 world-class facilities that we see today.

12 So, we are very dependent on these folks and

13 they have been very generous and we need to

14 recognize them and let people know that we

15 have a world-class neuroscience center here

16 at Providence Hospital in Novi. Again, it's

17 meant for people that are already on the

18 campus. And to recognize this donor but

19 specifically to mention the neuroscience

20 center.

21 There are a number of world-class

22 facilities here. We have a cancer center

23 that's by virtue of a large donor also.

24 This is part of how health care business has





1 to be done today.


3 MR. LUTZ: For the moment.


5 Again, going through the motions, I don't

6 think there is anybody in the audience who

7 wants to say anything about this case, but

8 now is the time for anybody who wants to.

9 (No response.)


11 Building Department?

12 MR. BOULARD: Nothing to add.

13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Nothing to add.

14 Thank you. Mr. Bauer --

15 MEMBER BAUER: Would you raise your

16 right hand. Do you swear or affirm to tell

17 the truth regarding case: 09-015?

18 MR. LUTZ: Yes, sir, I do.


20 (Unintelligible). He is always here and he

21 is always under oath.

22 Anything in the correspondence?

23 MEMBER BAUER: Sixty-nine notices sent

24 out. Twelve returned. No response.






2 Thank you. Now, I am opening it up to the

3 Board. Yes, Mr. Ghannam?

4 MEMBER GHANNAM: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

5 I just have a few questions. I understand

6 the sign is to identify donors and so forth

7 and what type of services you are offering,

8 but is this also to signify an entrance to

9 that particular area?

10 MR. LUTZ: No, it's not. It's meant

11 as general informational only. And that's

12 why it's up high on the building. It's kind

13 of at the corner of the building where an

14 entrance isn't. We tried to really separate

15 it and get it away from major entrances so

16 it wouldn't necessarily be confusing because

17 it's not really to identify a particular

18 entrance.

19 MEMBER GHANNAM: Where is that

20 neuroscience center actually located in

21 relationship to the sign?

22 MR. LUTZ: Well, it depends on whether

23 it's an in-patient neuroscience situation or

24 an out-patient. And they are by virtue of





1 the different kinds of care in two different

2 areas. But there is a major in-patient

3 neuroscience facility within this building.

4 So, again, we are not trying to identify an

5 entrance, more of awareness than anything

6 else.

7 MEMBER GHANNAM: There is the services

8 and who the potential donor is?

9 MR. LUTZ: Correct.

10 MEMBER GHANNAM: I tend to agree with

11 you also. I think it's very important that

12 this type of organization identify very

13 generous donors and certainly to advertise

14 what type of specialities or subspecialities

15 you have. So, again, I would tend to

16 support this also.


18 Cassis?

19 MEMBER CASSIS: Just one question.

20 How many other departments do you have here?

21 If I have two million dollars I want to give

22 to you will you put my name?

23 MR. LUTZ: We need to talk.






1 expensive sign.

2 MEMBER CASSIS: I tend to be asking

3 them sometimes in jest, but it is important.

4 I mean, how many times can you put --

5 MR. LUTZ: No, it's a legitimate

6 question, Mr. Cassis. This is a substantial

7 donation. There are a lot of donations that

8 have been made to the hospital and they have

9 been recognized in lesser ways. If you go

10 into the lobby there is an entire wall of

11 donors that have made substantial donations

12 but to a lesser extent than this. This is a

13 very specific donation.

14 I would say if I go back into my

15 personal history about how health care donor

16 recognition has happened, we see within the

17 metro area in the last 20 years very few of

18 this type of thing, so it's not like we are

19 talking about plastering the entire building

20 with donors.

21 MEMBER CASSIS: The reason I ask this,

22 and I am going to vote for it, but I think

23 my colleagues here have treated the same

24 kind of questions in the same manner, is,





1 look, you have come before us before. Now

2 you are coming again, you want one more.

3 And I am trying to find out whether there is

4 going to be another philanthropist that you

5 are going to put another sign on the same

6 building. Now, mind you if you built

7 another building you may want to do that

8 again.

9 MR. LUTZ: Well, there are other

10 opportunities. This is a big building.

11 There are some that are less obvious. We

12 would love to see another donor with this

13 kind of a thing. This is an unusual

14 circumstance. This is not something that we

15 see on a regular basis. We have a history

16 with a lot of health care and we have not

17 seen a lot of this size donation.

18 MR. ABBOTT: Hi, I am Rick Abbott with

19 Providence Park Hospital, 47601 Grand River.

20 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or

21 affirm to tell the truth regarding case:

22 09-015?

23 MR. ABBOTT: I do.

24 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.





1 MR. ABBOTT: I need to answer the

2 concern. We would be so thankful if we had

3 another donor come forward with this type of

4 a gift. We would be back here again I can't

5 lie to you. But we already have recognition

6 of the Assarian Cancer Center which is one

7 of our featured services of excellence. We

8 have our Heart Institute and that's

9 identified (unintelligible). So, we have

10 kind of taken the opportunities and have

11 used those to provide some signage and

12 acknowledgement of those programs, but it

13 could happen again.

14 But I want to also bring up that

15 we were on the agenda last month, this is to

16 address your question concerning these. We

17 had the building sign on the agenda last

18 month, the one that was just earlier

19 approved. And our concern with going

20 forward with that at that time was that this

21 opportunity had just come up after we had

22 filed that petition and we didn't want to

23 create that circumstance where we are coming

24 back here one month after another and tell





1 you what's the next thing that is going to

2 be coming forward. So, we consciously

3 withdrew that last petition, deferred it to

4 this meeting so that both of these could be

5 brought forward and you could see that this

6 is a pretty complete plan for us at this

7 time. Maybe something will come forward but

8 we don't anticipate anything in the

9 immediate future.


11 MEMBER CASSIS: May I just say that

12 this is really not your usual kind of staff

13 cannot support because of so on and so

14 forth. This is a unique kind of situation

15 and I think most hospitals that I have been

16 really aware of, they do those things. They

17 put signature names on buildings of big

18 donors, and not just to honor those people,

19 but also to identify that you do have a

20 neuroscience center, so that's an additional

21 kind of icing on the cake if I may say. So,

22 it does in a sense serve a couple of

23 purposes here and I just hope that that

24 donation was big.





1 I would go along and approve this.

2 Thank you, Mr. Chair.


4 to say this, but now that Mr. Cassis started

5 going with it, I have been in this business.

6 I left medical school in 1956. I have been

7 around for a long time and these events

8 don't happen very often and they must be

9 recognized. I have no problem with it at

10 all. And I am so glad you are recognizing

11 it. And I am so glad we are going to within

12 two minutes approve it I have no doubt.

13 Thank you.

14 I would entertain a motion if nobody

15 has anything further to add.

16 MEMBER IBE: I will make a motion so

17 that I can give my colleague a break.


19 MEMBER IBE: In case number: 09-015, I

20 move that we approve the Applicant's

21 petition for a variance to erect a 107 foot

22 square foot wall sign on the south end of

23 the northeast elevation for Providence Park

24 Hospital located at 47601 Grand River Avenue





1 for the reasons that the request is based

2 upon circumstances or features that are

3 exceptional and unique to the property and

4 will not result from conditions that exist

5 generally in the City or that are self

6 created.

7 Secondly, that a failure to grant

8 relief would unreasonably prevent or limit

9 the use of the property and will result in

10 substantially more than a mere inconvenience

11 or inability to attain a higher economic or

12 financial return. And last, that a grant of

13 relief will not result in use of structure

14 that is incompatible with or unreasonably

15 interferes with the distant surrounding

16 properties and that it is consistent with

17 the spirit of the Ordinance.

18 MEMBER BAUER: Second.

19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, the motion

20 has been made and seconded. I don't see any

21 further discussion, will you please call the

22 roll.

23 MR. BOULARD: Member Bauer?






1 MR. BOULARD: Member Cassis?


3 MR. BOULARD: Member Ghannam?


5 MR. BOULARD: Member Ibe?


7 MR. BOULARD: Member Skelcy?


9 MR. BOULARD: Chairman Sanghvi?


11 Congratulations.

12 MR. LUTZ: Thank you very much. I

13 appreciate your time and patience.


15 less concludes today's business. If there

16 is nothing further to come up before the

17 Board then I will entertain a motion to --

18 MEMBER BAUER: So moved.

19 MEMBER IBE: Second.


21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Motion has been

22 made to adjourn and seconded. All of us say

23 aye (unintelligible).






1 (The meeting was adjourned at

2 9:41 p.m.)



























1 C E R T I F I C A T E




5 I, Mona L. Talton, do hereby certify

6 that I have recorded stenographically the

7 proceedings had and testimony taken in the

8 above-entitled matter at the time and place

9 hereinbefore set forth, and I do further

10 certify that the foregoing transcript,

11 consisting of (121) typewritten pages, is a

12 true and correct transcript of my said

13 stenographic notes.






19 _____________________________

20 Mona L. Talton,

21 Certified Shorthand Reporter



24 April 29, 2009