|View Agenda for this meeting
View Action Summary for this meeting
MEETING - ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
Proceedings had and testimony taken in the matters of the ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS, at City of Novi, 45175 West Ten Mile Road, Novi, Michigan, Tuesday, July 14, 2009.
1 Novi, Michigan
2 Tuesday, July 14, 2009
3 7:00 p.m.
4 - - - - - -
5 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Good evening, I
6 would like to call to order the July 14th,
7 2009 meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals
8 for City of Novi.
9 Would you please rise and join me in
10 the pledge of allegiance.
11 BOARD MEMBERS: I pledge allegiance to
12 the flag of the United States of America and
13 to the Republic for which it stands, one
14 nation under God indivisible with liberty
15 and justice for all.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
17 Ms. Martin, will you please call the
19 MS. MARTIN: Member Bauer?
20 MEMBER BAUER: Present.
21 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Sanghvi?
22 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Here.
23 MS. MARTIN: Member Wrobel?
24 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Present.
1 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
2 MEMBER GHANNAM: Here.
3 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
4 MEMBER KRIEGER: Present.
5 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
6 MEMBER IBE: Present.
7 MS. MARTIN: Member Cassis?
8 MEMBER CASSIS: Present.
9 (Member Donna Skelcy is present for
10 roll call.)
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: We have a full
12 Board and we have a quorum and the meeting
13 is now in session. I would just like to
14 remind you of some of the rules of conduct.
15 You will find them in the agenda in the back
16 and they are also being simultaneously
18 Just a friendly reminder, please turn
19 off all cell phones and pagers. Individual
20 applicants may take five minutes and groups
21 may take up to 10 minutes to address the
23 Zoning Board of Appeals is a Hearing
24 Board empowered by the Novi City Charter to
1 hear appeals seeking variances from the
2 applications of the Novi Zoning Ordinances.
3 It takes a vote of at least four members to
4 approve a variance. And a vote of the
5 majority of the members present to deny a
6 variance. Tonight we have a full Board so
7 all decisions made will be final.
8 Let's look at the agenda. Are there
9 any changes in the agenda, Ms. Martin?
10 MS. MARTIN: No, there is not.
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay. May I
12 entertain a motion to --
13 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Motion to
14 approve the agenda as stated.
15 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: A motion has
17 been made and seconded. All those signify
18 it by saying aye?
19 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Those opposed
21 same sign. Okay, now we have an agenda.
22 Okay, let's go next, and we have some
23 Minutes for approval today.
24 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: And we have
2 Minutes for three different months. So, let
3 us start one month at a time and let's begin
4 by talking about the Minutes of April 14,
5 2009 meeting. Are there any additions,
6 deletions, corrections in this? Yes?
7 MS. KUDLA: I have corrections.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Go ahead.
9 MS. KUDLA: My first one is on page
10 31, line 16 the word they should be there.
11 Second one is on page 34, line 4 the word
12 impeded should just be impede. Page 35,
13 line 19 the unintelligible statement there
14 would have been, a consent judgment.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay. Very
17 MS. KUDLA: Those are all my changes.
18 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
19 Mr. Bauer?
20 MEMBER BAUER: Page 23, that would be
21 line 20.
22 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Page 23, line
24 MEMBER BAUER: I'm sorry.
1 (Unintelligible). I can't find it.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay. Anybody
4 MS. MARTIN: Mr. Chairman, on the
5 second page of the April 14th, I did make
6 the corrections that Jerry asked for until
7 we got to page 82, and you didn't tell me in
8 the last meeting what you wanted. Are those
9 the corrections that you wanted, Member
11 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
12 MS. MARTIN: Thank you.
13 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thanks very
15 much. If there are no further changes may I
16 have a motion to approve the Minutes?
17 MEMBER BAUER: So moved.
18 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Motion to
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Motion has been
21 made and seconded. All those in favor of
22 adopting the corrected Minutes of April
23 14th, 2009 please signify by saying aye?
24 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All those
2 opposed same sign.
3 Let's go into the following month.
4 That's the May 12 meeting, 2009. Are there
5 any corrections, additions, deletions,
6 omissions? Yes?
7 MS. KUDLA: I have a correction on
8 page 43, line 23 where it says
9 unintelligible. That should have been plan.
10 And then on page 52, lines 5 and 6 a
11 sentence sort of ran together and it should
12 have been punctuated differently. The
13 sentence should have read: Parcel of land
14 means a unit of contiguous real property
15 under common ownership. Capital, start off
16 with, Where capitalized. And then property
17 is divided into condominium units period --
18 no -- coma, a small s, such unit shall not
19 be treated as separate parcels of land.
20 That's all the changes there.
21 And then line 13 of the same page
22 where it says individual site condominiums
23 it should have been individual site
24 condominium units.
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
2 Anybody else? Yes, Ms. Krieger?
3 MEMBER KRIEGER: On page 48, line 2,
4 where it says Oris is borders. Novi Town
5 Center there is borders in there.
6 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay. Anybody
7 else? We have all the corrections? May I
8 entertain a motion to approve the Minutes as
10 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Motion to
11 approve the May 12th Minutes as amended.
12 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. All
14 those in favor of adopting the Minutes as
15 corrected please signify by saying aye?
16 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All those
18 opposed same sign.
19 And one more time. That's the June 9,
20 2009 meeting. Do we need any corrections,
21 deletions? Yes, Mr. Bauer?
22 MEMBER BAUER: Page 25, line 23. Novi
23 Auto Parts. We have no problem with the
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, all right.
2 Anybody else? Seeing none, may I entertain
3 a motion to adopt the Minutes of June 9?
4 MEMBER BAUER: Move to approve June
5 9th with the changes.
6 MEMBER GHANNAM: Second.
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. The
8 motion has been made and seconded and all
9 those in favor please say aye?
10 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All those
12 opposed same sign. All right, so Minutes
13 have been adopted. We will move on to the
14 next segment.
15 Now, next portion of the meeting is
16 public remarks section. Is there anybody in
17 the audience who would like to make any
18 comments to the Board regarding any subject
19 other than those items which are on the
21 (No response.)
22 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Seeing none, we
23 will close the public remarks section.
24 All right. And this brings us to the
1 first case on the agenda. And that is case
2 number: 09-026 -- no, sorry, wrong one. I
3 have my papers mixed up here. That's the
4 right one, 09-024 for 48700 Grand River
5 Avenue, Jimmies Rustics.
6 MR. SICA: That's me.
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Will you please
8 come to the podium, identify yourself.
9 State your name and address. And if you are
10 not an attorney please be sworn in by our
12 MR. SICA: I'm not an attorney.
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Go ahead.
14 Please identify yourself.
15 MR. SICA: My name is Jim Sica. I'm
16 the owner of Jimmies Rustics. 17191
17 Middlebelt Road in Livonia, Michigan is
19 MEMBER BAUER: Would you raise your
20 right hand. Do you swear or affirm to tell
21 the truth regarding case 09-024?
22 MR. SICA: I do.
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, please go
24 ahead and make your presentation.
1 MR. SICA: I was notified that I was
2 displaying furniture outside without the
3 appropriate permit to do so, and once I was
4 notified I called because I have had several
5 permits to do so, and the previous one that
6 I had expired in three years and I was
7 unaware of its expiration. So, I went to
8 renew this permit and I filled all the
9 paperwork. I'm not sure if you have that
10 information there, but that's what I had
11 done, and they said that I had to be here at
12 the meeting to present the case, so that's
13 why I'm here.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay. That's
15 it? Thank you.
16 MR. SICA: Go sit down?
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Is there anybody
18 in the audience who would like to make any
19 comments about this case?
20 (No response.)
21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Seeing none, I
22 would request our Secretary to read any
23 correspondence regarding this case.
24 MEMBER BAUER: There were 27 notices
1 mailed. Zero responses.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
3 Building Department, any comments?
4 MR. BOULARD: Mr. Chairman, if I could
5 make one request that the record reflect
6 that Member Skelcy was here at the beginning
7 of the meeting. She was inadvertently
8 skipped in the roll call.
9 With that said, this property was
10 granted a temporary use permit previously.
11 There are limitations on that. The
12 Petitioner then came to the ZBA, was given
13 an exception for three years to display
14 outdoor furniture which outdoor sales are
15 not typically allowed in the B-3 zoning
16 district, and that having expired, we
17 requested that the Petitioner return for
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good. I
20 will open it up to the Board now. Any
21 comments from the Board regarding this case?
22 Yes, Mr. Cassis?
23 MEMBER CASSIS: Mr. Sica, you have
24 been around a long time --
1 MR. SICA: Do I look --
2 MEMBER CASSIS: -- in this community.
3 MR. SICA: Yes.
4 MEMBER CASSIS: You have got a lovely
6 MR. SICA: Thank you.
7 MEMBER CASSIS: We appreciate all what
8 you are doing. And we appreciate especially
9 the $300 that you paid to apply again.
10 So, Mr. Chairman, we have restaurants
11 putting people outside by a canopy, why not
12 put the furniture outside too? So, I am
13 going to vote for it.
14 MR. SICA: Thank you.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
16 Mr. Wrobel?
17 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Thank you,
18 Mr. Chair. I too have no issue with this
19 and I would approve it for another three
20 years. Thank you.
21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
22 MR. SICA: Thank you.
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Bauer?
24 MEMBER BAUER: Yes, I would also go
1 along with it for another three years.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good. I
3 see that nobody else -- well, may I
4 entertain a motion from one of you then?
5 Yes, Ms. Krieger?
6 MEMBER KRIEGER: In Case Number:
7 09-024 for 48700 Grand River Avenue, Jimmies
8 Rustics, I move to approve the petition for
9 the permit for requesting a temporary use
10 approval for the outdoor display of outdoor
11 furniture at previous address for a three
12 year period from March 1st, to October 15th
13 during business hours. The property is
14 zoned B-3 and that the property cannot be
15 reasonably used for the purposes permitted
16 in the zoning district. It would be more
17 difficult to get a reasonable return. That
18 the plight of the property owner is due to
19 unique circumstances particular to his
20 property and the variance will not alter the
21 essential character of the area. And it
22 keeps in with the spirit of the Ordinance.
23 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
24 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. The
1 motion has been made and seconded. Any
2 further discussion?
3 MS. KUDLA: I would just indicate that
4 the findings for a variance don't need to be
5 made for this type of approval so we don't
6 need to look at unnecessary hardship, so
7 that part of the motion is not required.
8 It's just a temporary use approval under the
10 MEMBER KRIEGER: Okay.
11 MEMBER BAUER: Okay.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All right. They
13 are adopted, your comments both by the
14 proposer and the seconder. Thank you.
15 Well, no further discussion please call the
16 roll, Ms. Martin.
17 MS. MARTIN: Member Bauer?
18 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
19 MS. MARTIN: Member Cassis?
20 MEMBER CASSIS: Yes.
21 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
22 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
23 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
24 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
1 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
2 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
3 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Sanghvi?
4 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
5 MS. MARTIN: Member Wrobel?
6 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Yes.
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Well,
8 your request has been granted.
10 MR. SICA: Thank you, I appreciate it.
11 I heard there were 27 notices. I think I
12 need to square something away with somebody
13 about where these notices are being sent
14 because I think I heard there was 20
15 something unanswered notices, and that's
16 something I would like to correct somehow.
17 So, I don't know who I would speak to about
19 MR. BOULARD: The notices the
20 Secretary referred to are actually the
21 notices of adjacent property owners.
22 MR. SICA: Oh, okay.
23 MR. BOULARD: They are required to be
24 sent out for the hearing so that they can
2 MR. SICA: All right. I am wondering,
3 standing here going, oh, my God.
4 MEMBER CASSIS: That's what the $300
5 is for.
6 MR. SICA: That's what the 300 is for.
7 Now, that that's clear I feel even better
8 about that.
9 MEMBER CASSIS: Part of it is for us
11 MR. SICA: I appreciate it. Thank you
12 very much.
13 MEMBER IBE: Not me.
14 MR. SICA: Thank you.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay. Moving
16 along. Next case is Case Number: 09-025,
17 41200 Bridge Street, Novi Corporate Center.
18 Okay, sir, will you identify yourself.
19 MR. McKEEVER: William McKeever, 5570
20 Carol Lake Road, Commerce Township,
22 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Please be sworn
24 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm
1 to tell the truth regarding case: 09-025?
2 MR. McKEEVER: I do.
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Please go ahead
4 and make your presentation.
5 MR. McKEEVER: Two years ago the Board
6 had seen fit to grant a sign variance for a
7 real estate sign located at 41200 Bridge
8 Street which has since expired. I am here
9 to respectfully request an extension of that
10 variance. Conditions are similar to that of
11 which the time it was granted originally.
12 The topography of the land. The distance of
13 the building from the street. The economic
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Anything else?
16 MR. McKEEVER: That should cover it.
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Is
18 there anybody in the audience who would like
19 to address the Board regarding this case?
20 (No response.)
21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Seeing
22 none, Mr. Secretary, have we got any
24 MEMBER BAUER: Yes, there were 19
1 notices sent, no response.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
3 Building Department?
4 MR. BOULARD: Mr. Chairman, I have
5 nothing to add beyond the Petitioner's
6 explanation and the information in the
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
9 Thank you. All right, I will open it up to
10 the Board.
11 If it's just a renewal situation from
12 previous times then I personally have no
13 objection in renewing the sign.
14 MEMBER BAUER: I have no objection
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Anybody else?
17 The Chair will entertain a motion. Go
18 ahead, Mr. Cassis.
19 MEMBER CASSIS: You keep looking at
21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I am looking on
22 both sides.
24 MEMBER BAUER: When both of us look at
1 you that's when you worry.
2 MEMBER CASSIS: Mr. Chairman, I move
3 to grant an extension of this application
4 for the sign.
5 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Would you like
6 to specify a period?
7 MEMBER CASSIS: Under Case Number:
9 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Do you want to
11 specify a period?
12 MEMBER CASSIS: What was the period
13 supposed to be for?
14 MR. McKEEVER: The original variance
15 was for two years.
16 MEMBER CASSIS: How many? What?
17 MR. McKEEVER: The original variance
18 was for two years.
19 MEMBER CASSIS: Another two years.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay. Thank
22 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, sir?
24 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Can I make
1 an amendment to that? Two years or until
2 the property is sold or leased if less.
3 MEMBER CASSIS: Yes.
4 MEMBER BAUER: Touché.
5 MR. SICA: Thank you.
6 MEMBER CASSIS: (Unintelligible).
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All right.
8 Anything else? Anybody else have any
9 comments about this case? Seeing none, the
10 motion has been made and seconded. Will you
11 kindly call the roll.
12 MS. MARTIN: Member Bauer?
13 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
14 MS. MARTIN: Member Cassis?
15 MEMBER CASSIS: Yes.
16 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
17 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
18 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
19 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
20 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
21 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
22 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Sanghvi?
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
24 MS. MARTIN: Member Wrobel?
1 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Yes.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good,
3 congratulations. Continue the good work.
4 Hopefully you will have some new business.
5 MEMBER BAUER: Don't go away. He has
6 another one.
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Oh, he has got
8 two of them. Okay, all right. Let's go to
9 the next one.
10 Case number: 09-026, 25795
11 Meadowbrook Road, Novi Technical Center.
12 Certified Management is requesting an
13 extension of the variance granted in ZBA
14 06-011 for one 24 square foot oversized real
15 estate sign located at 25795 Meadowbrook
16 Road. The property is zoned I-1 and is
17 located west of Meadowbrook Road and north
18 of Eleven Mile Road.
19 Okay, go ahead. Do we need to redo
20 his swearing in ceremony?
21 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm
22 to tell the truth regarding case: 09-026?
23 MR. McKEEVER: I do.
24 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you, sir.
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Go ahead.
2 MR. McKEEVER: Actually it's the
3 identical circumstances and statement as
4 previously mentioned for the opposite side
5 of Meadowbrook Road just south of Eleven
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
8 Public remarks section. Anybody in the
9 audience would like to comment regarding
10 this case?
11 (No response.)
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Seeing no
13 interest, Building Department?
14 MR. BOULARD: Nothing to add with the
15 exception of one question if I may?
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Go ahead.
17 MR. BOULARD: Has there been any
18 progress in leasing the space since the
19 previous variance?
20 MR. McKEEVER: Actually, yes, we have.
21 We have signed several leases in the
22 building. There has since been a completion
23 of the final phase of the development.
24 There has been a good deal of traffic and
1 interest in the site and there is, right now
2 they are negotiating an eight to ten
3 thousand square foot lease in one of the
5 MR. BOULARD: When would you
6 anticipate, at the current rate of
7 absorption when would you anticipate not
8 needing the sign any more?
9 MR. McKEEVER: Well, I mean, the site
10 is quite large. It's a total of four
11 buildings on the site. The front building
12 is roughly 20,000 square feet. The three
13 multi tenants in the back are roughly 18,000
14 square feet each. So, I guess right now I
15 currently have, being as they are building
16 shells, the way the buildings are designed
17 to be broken up, there is probably 15 vacant
18 units in the site.
19 MR. BOULARD: I guess my question is,
20 in a multi tenant site that large you are
21 typically going to have, always going to
22 have some vacant space, right? You are
23 never going to have a hundred percent
1 MR. McKEEVER: Correct.
2 MR. BOULARD: So, I guess my question
3 is, is there a point which you think in the
4 occupancy scale that you won't need the
6 MR. McKEEVER: Honestly, I would
7 believe that there would always be a need
8 for a sign. Maybe at a point in time when
9 they reach a certain percentage of occupancy
10 they might not need the larger sign. But
11 given the times, I would love to be an
12 optimist and say that I would lease the
13 building in the next couple of years, but I
14 don't know.
15 MR. BOULARD: Thank you.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Mr.
17 Secretary, do we have any correspondence?
18 MEMBER BAUER: Yes, there were 192
19 notices sent. Twenty-three returned. One
20 response, from a Peter Phillips. "Our
21 neighbor needs our support. Approved."
22 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
23 Thank you. Well, I will open it up for the
24 Board. Go ahead, Mr. Bauer.
1 MEMBER BAUER: What other kind of
2 advertising do you do for this property?
3 MR. McKEEVER: We have a web site that
4 list the property. We also deal with the
5 multi listings, CoStar and Lukenet. We are
6 quite known throughout the real estate
7 community and have several commercial ties
8 with Signature, Grubb & Ellis, the bigger
9 commercial brokers in the area.
10 MEMBER BAUER: Okay, thank you.
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
12 Anybody else? Yes, Mr. Wrobel?
13 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: I have no
14 issue renewing this request at this time.
15 But I would also like to put a little bug in
16 your ear just to explore other opportunities
17 so next time that maybe we don't have to
18 give you another variance for a sign this
19 size. Thank you.
20 MR. McKEEVER: Thank you.
21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Cassis?
22 MEMBER CASSIS: Mr. Chairman, we all
23 know the hard times, economic times that our
24 state and our city are going through. A
1 very important person said we must be
2 empathetic in certain situations. The fact
3 is, the President of the United States. At
4 this moment and for this project I think the
5 Applicant has been using all the resources
6 and all the efforts at his disposal to try
7 to get those leases going. So, I think we
8 should be, I use the word again, empathetic.
9 I will vote for this. And I don't know for
10 what period of time you are talking about.
11 MR. McKEEVER: The previous variance
12 was for two years.
13 MEMBER CASSIS: I will go for two
14 years. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay. Anybody
16 else? Any other comments? May I entertain
17 a motion regarding this case? Any
18 volunteers? Yes, Mr. Wrobel?
19 MEMBER CASSIS: In Case Number:
20 09-026 I move to grant the Applicant an
21 extension for the oversized real estate sign
22 of 24 square feet for a period of two years
23 or until the property is sold or leased if
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay. All
4 MEMBER KRIEGER: Second.
5 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Ms. Krieger is
6 seconding the motion. Have you any
7 comments, Mr. Wrobel?
8 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: No.
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Any further
10 discussion? Seeing none, Ms. Martin, please
11 call the roll.
12 MS. MARTIN: Member Bauer?
13 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
14 MS. MARTIN: Member Cassis?
15 MEMBER CASSIS: Yes.
16 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
17 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
18 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
19 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
20 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
21 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
22 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Sanghvi?
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
24 MS. MARTIN: Member Wrobel?
1 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Yes.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
4 MR. McKEEVER: Thank you very much.
5 Have a good evening.
6 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. You
7 don't have any more tonight, right? Thank
9 Moving along to case number 4 on the
10 agenda. Case Number: 09-027, 44050 Twelve
11 Mile Road, Stoneridge Office Park. Is the
12 Applicant here?
13 MR. CAVANAUGH: Yes. Good evening.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Will you please
15 identify yourself and state your name,
16 address and be sworn in by our Secretary,
18 MR. CAVANAUGH: My name is Pat
19 Cavanaugh. I represent Shannon Development,
20 the owner of the project.
21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Will you please
22 swear them in.
23 MEMBER BAUER: None of you are
1 MR. CAVANAUGH: No, sir.
2 MEMBER BAUER: Raise your right hand.
3 Do you swear or affirm to tell the truth
4 regarding Case: 09-027?
5 MR. CAVANAUGH: Yes, sir.
6 UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Yes, sir.
7 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you, sir.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Go ahead and
9 make your presentation, sir.
10 MR. CAVANAUGH: We came before the
11 Board before with the concept of two signs.
12 Stoneridge is a bermed project with the
13 buildings not seen on Twelve Mile Road.
14 Initially we proposed a tenant sign and a
15 project identification sign. The Board
16 thought that wasn't in keeping with the
17 Ordinance. So, we have come back this
18 evening with a request for a single sign.
19 An identification of the park with the
20 recommendation of the Board that that would
21 be the draw and that instead of trying to
22 list all the tenants, we have the addresses
23 and again the simple office park sign.
24 We had a setback issue so we put the
1 sign on the top of the berm. I believe the
2 sign is some 40 square feet larger, but we
3 think that it works and that's what we're
4 here for is your approval.
5 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
6 Anything else?
7 MR. CAVANAUGH: No, sir.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Nothing to add.
9 Is there anybody in the audience who would
10 like to address the Board regarding this
12 MR. HERTZBERG (ph): Yes.
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Come on in, sir.
14 Please identify yourself.
15 MR. HERTZBERG: My name is Michael
16 Hertzberg. I am with Great Northern
17 Equities. We own one of the buildings
18 within Stoneridge.
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Go ahead. Be
20 sworn in by our Secretary.
21 MEMBER BAUER: Would you raise your
22 right hand. Do you swear or affirm to tell
23 the truth regarding Case: 09-027?
24 MR. HERTZBERG: Yes, I do.
1 MEMBER BAUER: Please go ahead.
2 MR. HERTZBERG: Over the past several
3 months Mr. Cavanaugh and I have stood in
4 front of the Board and presented a few
5 different sign requests. The last time we
6 stood here it was decided that the sign
7 should be a destination sign instead of an
8 individual listing, similarly like in Twelve
9 Oaks Mall and such.
10 Our clients would not look for
11 specific businesses but rather simply
12 Stoneridge Office Park. Mr. Cavanaugh
13 through ASI has created an attractive,
14 simple and informative monument sign to
15 represent the property. The plan is for the
16 sign to be mounted on an angle along Twelve
17 Mile Road effectively to be seen by the
18 westbound traffic in vehicles making the
19 turnaround from eastbound Twelve Mile as
20 well. The positioning and the placement is
21 very convenient to drivers and will not in
22 any way inhibit pedestrians who may be
23 walking the sidewalk.
24 My property has now been in business
1 for 11 months with virtually no signage for
2 clients to find their destination. I
3 understand it's not the responsibility of
4 the Board for the delay, but I would ask
5 that the Board accept and approve this sign
6 as presented this evening. I believe Mr.
7 Cavanaugh has listened to the Board's
8 thoughts, ideas and criticisms, has
9 addressed all the issues that have been
10 presented. Thank you.
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Is
12 there anybody in the audience who would like
13 to make -- any further person to make a
14 comment regarding this case?
15 (No response.)
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Nobody else is
17 forthcoming, Mr. Secretary, do you have some
19 MEMBER BAUER: Yes, there were 118
20 notices sent. Seventeen returned. Two
22 "A 90 square foot sign is
23 approximately half the size of a highway
24 billboard. Such a sign would lead to
1 increase in sign size for other buildings on
2 Twelve Mile. It would detract from the
3 professional look of a medical building
4 which it now lends the present appearance on
5 Twelve Mile Road. Leave Twelve Mile Road
6 neat." Raymond Cassia (ph).
7 Second one. "Don't need that large
8 sign there." Merle Baker.
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
10 Building Department?
11 MR. BOULARD: Just a couple of
12 questions, if I may.
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Go ahead.
14 MR. BOULARD: The previous speaker
15 indicated that the sign was planned at an
16 angle to Twelve Mile, but the drawing shows
17 it appears to be parallel to the edge of the
18 road right-of-away. Could you clarify that
19 for us?
20 MR. CAVANAUGH: Once the sign was
21 erected it's noted that it is not very
22 visible coming from the east. So, we're
23 talking about a few degrees, not a radical
24 change in the sign.
1 MR. BOULARD: The second question is,
2 it has to do with the size of the sign. I
3 wondered if you could share with us any
4 thoughts or information on the necessity of
5 the size of the sign? It's a fairly
6 significant variance.
7 UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Well, after the
8 last meeting that we had where we did try to
9 get two signs, you know, the Stoneridge
10 complex will have 50,000 square foot of
11 building space. In that zone unfortunately
12 they don't have a wall to have a 200 square
13 foot wall sign. So, you know, it posed a
14 problem. We have traffic on a boulevard
15 heading east and west. A deceleration lane.
16 So, when I took all the information
17 that was presented from you, some comments
18 and advice from Pat, what we did is we
19 looked up the MDOT, it's an MDOT chart for
20 signage and character visibility. And what
21 they said was for a boulevard with 45 mile
22 an hour boulevard street, minimum copy for
23 readability of 150 feet would be at 12
24 inches. When we scaled that 12 inches per
1 character it was a mammoth sign. So, what I
2 tried to do is take the main message which
3 is Stoneridge and keep that at 12 inches and
4 proportionately scale the rest of the copy
5 based on those calculations, and this is the
6 size that it came out to be. And reducing
7 that copy to fit in a 50 square foot sign,
8 that being their only sign I think is going
9 to be too small. That's where we came up
10 with the signage size.
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. All
12 right. I will open it up for the Board now.
13 Yes, Mr. Ghannam?
14 MEMBER GHANNAM: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
15 I do appreciate your efforts in going
16 through this whole change and so forth. And
17 I do agree that I think that you have made a
18 better presentation than last time, two
19 signs down to one. I also had a similar
20 concern about the size of the sign.
21 According to our notes in our Ordinances you
22 are entitled to 50 square feet. You are
23 requesting 90. It's almost double. But I
24 understand your explanation here today, it
1 is a multi building, multi tenant property.
2 They are not getting names and so forth.
3 The only thing they get is their address and
4 the name of the office park. So, I think
5 under the circumstances even if you reduced
6 it five or ten feet I don't think it would
7 make that much of a difference, so I would
8 be in support of your new proposal.
9 MR. CAVANAUGH: Thank you, sir.
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good. Yes,
11 Mr. Wrobel?
12 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Thank you,
13 Mr. Chair. I also thank you for your
14 cooperation on this. One question I have
15 for staff is, the placement of the sign,
16 does that create any site line problems with
17 traffic near the entrance on the Twelve Mile
18 if people are there looking one way or the
19 other at this proposed location?
20 MR. BOULARD: It appears from the
21 drawing that was provided and the scaling
22 that roughly that the sign would be in
23 compliance with the corner clearance
24 provisions. I think it would be -- if you
1 are concerned about that, there might be an
2 opportunity for the Board to include that
3 compliance with those requirements in the
5 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Okay, thank
6 you. Other than that, I have no issue with
7 the sign as is. Thank you.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
9 Ms. Krieger?
10 MEMBER KRIEGER: I agree with the
11 previous speakers. I have a question for
12 the City. The Applicant has been here
13 twice. Would they have to re-notify if they
14 change the angle of the sign? Or can we
15 make that part of our motion?
16 MR. BOULARD: That would not be part
17 the variance. The angle of the sign would
18 not be regulated as to the size.
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Cassis?
20 MEMBER CASSIS: I am just trying to
21 visualize. I have seen the size of it out
22 there. If we look at this opening up here,
23 what would 10 feet across be? Could it be
24 the size of the opening?
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
2 MEMBER CASSIS: That's 10 feet?
3 MR. CAVANAUGH: Yes, just about that.
4 MEMBER CASSIS: To be 90 square feet
5 you have to go up --
6 MR. CAVANAUGH: Nine feet.
7 MEMBER CASSIS: Nine feet. Are we
8 talking about like the opening of this whole
10 MR. CAVANAUGH: Yes.
11 MEMBER CASSIS: I am sorry, but this
12 is a huge sign. It's a very huge sign and a
13 big deviation from the Ordinance.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
15 Anybody else? Yes, Mr. Ibe?
16 MEMBER IBE: Thank you, Mr. Chair. I
17 have a problem with the sign. I empathize
18 with you. I know you have been here before,
19 but I think the variation that has been
20 requested here is quite significant. I know
21 it's not in my position to tell you what to
22 put on your sign, but I think the numbers on
23 that sign is personally a nuisance. I don't
24 think anyone driving is going to look around
1 and say, ooh, let me look for 44070. What
2 they are going to see is Stoneridge Office
3 Park. So anything below that is just a pure
4 waste of space.
5 I personally think the sign is too
6 big. If we are looking at the size of this,
7 I think it is too large. And I know the
8 medical center is next to this building. I
9 just don't see how you put such a gigantic
10 sign in the middle of these two buildings
11 and that's the only thing you are going to
12 see is that huge sign when you are driving
13 down the street. The sign for me just
14 doesn't work. I know you have done your
15 best. And I am sure you have tried to do
16 the best that you can to get something that
17 can be approvable by the Board. However,
18 the way it stands right now, as much as I
19 would love to vote in your favor, it doesn't
20 appear as if I will.
21 Thank you, Mr. Chair.
22 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
23 Anybody else? Well, I will put my penny's
24 worth of comments. Yes, it is a huge sign,
1 but then it's a huge development with a
2 number of different buildings. It's not a
3 single building. And when you look at the
4 number of square feet that are involved in
5 that entire project, if you gave
6 individually every one of them a sign that
7 they would be entitled to and if you add
8 them up you might have a different number
9 all together. We are not doing that. And I
10 think putting the numbers on the sign is a
11 kind of style for the individual owners of
12 this. Whether it serves any purpose or not,
13 I don't know, time only will tell whether
14 these numbers serve any purpose. But at
15 least the building and condo owners or
16 whatever term you want to use, they need
17 some identification that, yes, they belong
18 inside this park.
19 And it is, again, as you rightly put,
20 what they put on the sign is really not what
21 we are deciding here. And I always believe
22 that a businessman ought to know what is
23 best for him rather than we advising them
24 about whether it is good for them or not.
1 It's for us to decide whether we want to
2 approve the sign or not approve the sign
3 rather than what goes on the sign by and
4 large. Anyway, that's the sum total of my
5 comments and feelings.
6 May I entertain a motion in any
7 direction by anybody?
8 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Chair, please?
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
10 MEMBER IBE: Just an additional
11 comment. Just so we can set the record
12 straight. No one is dictating to anyone
13 what to put on your sign. However, what you
14 put on your sign affects whether you get a
15 variance or not. Certainly that affects the
16 size of the sign you are asking for. So, I
17 think it is a legitimate issue to ask about
18 what you put on the sign. So, yes, it is a
19 business decision that you make as to
20 whether you put the names of all the
21 occupants of every building on your sign, or
22 whether you elect to put just one name that
23 is identifiable for everyone that occupies
24 the building. It is not the position of
1 this Board member to dictate to you or
2 anyone else what to put on your sign.
3 However, it is unequivocally the position of
4 this Board member that when you have a sign
5 that is extremely too large due to the
6 information you placed on it, that I bring
7 it to your attention.
8 So, Mr. Chair, I just want to make
9 that note that I am not dictating to them
10 what to put on their sign, but the variance
11 itself is so large because of the
12 information contained in the sign. Thank
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Go
15 ahead. Yes, Mr. Cassis?
16 MEMBER CASSIS: You know all the great
17 regard I have for you, Mr. Chairman,
18 however, in this case, we have to think
19 about a precedent we are trying to set here.
20 Are we going to entertain more 90 square
21 feet of signs strolled all across down
22 Twelve Mile Road or any other road?
23 And, second, we have to be cognizant
24 of the affect it has on the neighbor. Would
1 the neighbor then come back and say, look,
2 this sign now hides my sign and makes it
3 look obscure, I want a larger sign? So, I
4 submit, Mr. Chairman, with all due respect,
5 that I think this sign is very huge, way out
6 of size and really radically goes out of
7 size for the Ordinance on the books. And
8 also as my esteemed colleague here said,
9 does not really need all the remarks that
10 are on that sign. Thank you very much.
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
12 Anybody else?
13 MR. HERTZBERG: Is it possible I
14 can add something real quick?
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Just wait, we
16 are still discussing now. Your turn has
17 come and gone basically.
18 MR. HERTZBERG: Okay.
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
20 Okay. Yes, Ms. Krieger?
21 MEMBER KRIEGER: Question for the
22 City. I don't remember the size of the
23 Twelve Oaks' sign.
24 MEMBER BAUER: That's a different
2 MEMBER KRIEGER: It's a different
4 MEMBER BAUER: Special.
5 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: It's not the
6 same. Different zoning and different sign.
7 MEMBER KRIEGER: Okay.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, well, I
9 would like to hear a motion from the Board
10 members of any kind. Yes, Mr. Ghannam?
11 MEMBER GHANNAM: I will try one, Mr.
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Why not.
14 MEMBER GHANNAM: In Case Number:
15 09-027 for 44050 Twelve Mile Road,
16 Stoneridge Office Park I would move to
17 approve the variance as requested and the
18 placement as suggested under paperwork
19 submitted to the Zoning Board. I think
20 their request is based on circumstances of
21 features that are exceptional to this
22 particular property given the size of the
23 number of buildings and the square footage
24 and they do not result from conditions that
1 exist generally.
2 I understand the comments of our
3 colleagues here and precedent is important,
4 but this is a unique center and there may
5 not be necessarily that many centers in the
6 City. I think the failure to grant relief
7 would unreasonably prevent or limit the use
8 of the property and will result in
9 substantially more than a mere inconvenience
10 or inability to attain a higher economic or
11 financial return. I think the grant of
12 relief would not result in a use of the
13 structure that is incompatible with or
14 unreasonably interferes with adjacent or
15 surrounding properties and it would result
16 in substantial justice being done to the
17 Applicant and the adjacent and surrounding
18 properties. And it's not inconsistent with
19 the spirit of the Ordinance.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
21 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Second.
22 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The motion has
23 been made and seconded. Any further
24 discussion? Seeing none, Ms. Martin, please
1 call the roll.
2 MS. MARTIN: Member Bauer?
3 MEMBER BAUER: No.
4 MS. MARTIN: Member Cassis?
5 MEMBER CASSIS: No.
6 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
7 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
8 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
9 MEMBER IBE: No.
10 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
11 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
12 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Sanghvi?
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
14 MS. MARTIN: Member Wrobel?
15 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Yes.
16 MS. MARTIN: 4-3 it passes.
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
18 MR. CAVANAUGH: Thank you.
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, moving on
20 to the next case. Case Number: 09-028,
21 41010 Malott Drive. Is the Applicant here?
22 Presley Architecture, LLC, is
23 requesting a variance to allow construction
24 of a rear one story addition to an existing
1 residence at 41010 Malott Drive. The
2 existing structure extends into the side
3 setbacks. In addition to the following
4 dimensional variance the project requires an
5 exception to 2502.4a to allow expansion of a
6 non-conforming structure. Property is zoned
7 R-4 and is located east of Meadowbrook Road
8 and south of Ten Mile Road.
9 Okay. Both of you are going to make
11 MR. PRESLEY: Yes.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Are any of you
14 MR. PRESLEY: No.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Will you please
16 both identify yourselves. State your name
17 and address and then be sworn in by our
18 Secretary, please.
19 MR. PRESLEY: My name is Greg Presley.
20 Address is 412 West Dunlap, Northville,
21 Michigan, 48167.
22 MR. WARDA (ph): My name Cazmere (ph)
23 Warda, 41010 Malott Drive, Novi, Michigan
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
2 MEMBER BAUER: Would you both raise
3 your right hand. Do you swear or affirm to
4 tell the truth regarding case: 09-028?
5 MR. PRESLEY: Yes, I do.
6 MR. WARDA: Yes.
7 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, please
9 make your presentation.
10 MR. PRESLEY: I am the architect for
11 the proposed project. And with me is the
12 builder, Mike Miller and Caz's father Greg.
13 And also I should say this is Laura
14 MacWilliams who is Caz's girlfriend.
15 We will start with this. Caz grew up
16 in this neighborhood, the Willowbrook
17 neighborhood. He served in the army from
18 2006 to 2008 in Iraq. He was medically
19 discharged in 2008 because as a gunner in
20 March of '07 in a Humvee which was destroyed
21 by a roadside bomb he lost his eyesight. He
22 was then medically discharged and moved back
23 to the neighborhood he grew up in in April
24 of 2008. And Caz is sworn in because he
1 would like to explain to you why he would
2 like to do this addition.
3 MR. WARDA: Hello, Board. The reason
4 why I would like to have this addition done
5 mainly is for my safety for myself and
6 actually for others. The addition is a
7 rehabilitation room. During my whole life I
8 was very active. With Greg and some of the
9 wrestling coaches at Novi High School we
10 came up with a rehabilitation room which
11 accommodates me for all my needs and also it
12 gives enough room for extra safe area to
13 work in.
14 I have tried to go to other gym
15 memberships, but it turns out to be like a
16 nightmare. They are really crowed. There
17 is many incidents where I myself would bump
18 into people even with the cane, and for my
19 safety and other the people safety, that's
20 what I am worried about. Because all it
21 takes is for one slip and I could hurt
22 somebody else severely. Working out is a
23 dangerous sport especially when you are
24 working with heavy weights. The reason I
1 have the wrestling mats is because with that
2 space I can -- I wrestled all through high
3 school and in the military and it gives me
4 enough area to move around and to exercise
5 and pretty much feel safeguarded around me
6 so I can feel confident in what I am doing
7 and I won't hurt myself at the same time.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
9 Anything else?
10 MR. PRESLEY: Yes. I put up for the
11 Board's interest the space layout that was
12 provided far Caz and it shows that the size
13 space that we needed to create is somewhere
14 between 900 and 1,000 square feet. Where we
15 ended up with is about 930 square feet.
16 And then the other thing I would like
17 to show you is the site plan because it's
18 interesting. The subdivision is a very old
19 one by Novi standards even. It was phase
20 two which was Malott, it included Malott
21 Street was built in the early to mid '50s.
22 Whether or not the Ordinance back then
23 allowed buildings to be as close to the
24 property lines as they are, I don't know.
1 However, many of them are 10 feet off of
2 their neighbor. Five feet off of one side
3 at least. And, so, many of them are
4 therefore non-conforming structures. So,
5 you may have seen other projects come before
6 you from this neighborhood, I am sure you
7 have, as for expansion of a nonconformity if
8 nothing else.
9 We looked at how to accomplish this
10 and tried to do that within the confines of
11 the Zoning Ordinance. Trying to put a 1,000
12 square foot addition on a house has its
13 challenges anyway. But we erred on the side
14 of providing light and ventilation to the
15 spaces of the house that we felt needed
16 them, the kitchen and the nook. So,
17 therefore, rather than put what might have
18 been a conforming addition on the back side
19 of the house which would have covered
20 two-thirds of it, we elected that it would
21 be a better choice for the occupants to have
22 it on the side. We do believe that we still
23 maintain ventilation and light for the
24 neighbors because we are not worsening the
1 non-conformity on the east side. In fact,
2 any project that came before you would have
3 two variances of the four that are
4 requested. The total for the two sides, and
5 also doing work in the east side setback
6 there which in our case is what we would
7 like to do.
8 The variance then on the -- let me
9 back up. The variance request for exceeding
10 the allowable lot coverage is seven percent.
11 And the reason for that is the size of the
12 space. We would need to come to you even if
13 we could have created a conforming addition
14 for that variance request. And we hope
15 you'll agree that that's the size space we
17 Then, finally, the only issue that we
18 think would be more controversial might be
19 the request to go into the rear setback by
20 eight feet and that's, I guess we could
21 point out that we are still preserving some
22 73 percent of the required rear yard
23 setback. I put up that site plan so you
24 could see that the adjacent houses, those
1 are also ranch houses, most of the houses
2 there are ranch houses, so they are very
3 wide houses, but not very deep.
4 They are situated forward relative to
5 their property lines and so their rear yards
6 actually are quite generous for the size of
7 the home. In fact, this house is right now
8 is 64 feet off the rear property line. And
9 I'm guessing that's the case for most of the
10 neighborhood. Many of these houses either
11 have original or later additions that would
12 go into their backyards.
13 My point made is that because of the
14 configuration of these houses, ranch houses
15 and being forward in their lots, they do
16 have generous backyards. In fact, I think,
17 I'm not sure where the house would be
18 directly behind, but I am guessing that even
19 with this variance request, it would be in
20 the 60 to 70 foot distance between the two
22 We have asked and
23 received subdivision approval for this
24 addition. So, in summary, we do believe
1 that this is a permitted use to create a
2 rehabilitation use, a gymnasium in a sense,
3 we think we have created a reasonable
4 solution given our circumstances. And
5 unfortunately we need to break some
6 variances to be able to do that. We do
7 believe that it's fair to the owner
8 obviously, but we don't believe that it's
9 detrimental to the neighborhood. We don't
10 believe it hurts property values nor do we
11 believe that it makes safety an issue for
12 the neighborhood. And air, ventilation and
13 light is preserved. And we certainly
14 believe that we do follow the spirit of the
15 Ordinance. Then finally
16 we would say that our circumstances are
17 unique and so we're asking for those reasons
18 that you would grant these variances. Thank
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Is
21 there anyone in the audience who wishes to
22 speak regarding this case? Will you please
23 come to the podium here. Identify yourself,
24 your name, address and be sworn in by our
2 MR. TUREK (ph): My name is Howard
3 Turek. 41065 South McMahon.
4 MEMBER BAUER: Would you raise your
5 right hand. Do you swear or affirm to tell
6 the truth regarding case: 09-028?
7 MR. TUREK: I do.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Please go ahead.
9 MR. TUREK: Board Members, I provided
10 you folks with my input and documentation.
11 But just a couple of added things and then
12 you can discuss that. I forget the
13 gentleman's name, the architect here, but he
14 said he received the subdivision's approval.
15 I spoke with Susan Boulay (ph) who is the
16 president of the association. That is a
17 little erroneous. He is misleading the
18 Board members here. When I spoke to her she
19 had the drawing, but she had never visited
20 the site. She lives on the north side of
21 Ten Mile. So, she unilaterally gave her
22 approval, never consulted with us, the
23 people that surround us. My neighbor next
24 door to me, my neighbor across the street.
1 I'm not sure if there are some other people
2 here regarding this.
3 As far as, Member Cassis, you made the
4 comment that it's setting a precedent. If
5 you folks were to take a Google earth look
6 at the whole neighborhood, this would be the
7 largest addition. It would be out of
8 proportion to anything else that has been
9 built in this subdivision. It doesn't fit
10 with the spirit of the subdivision. I
11 appreciate what Caz has done for our
12 country, but we have a right as homeowners
13 that surround him to have our property
14 preserved in the manner in which we
15 purchased it and in which we intended it to
16 be used.
17 If he wants to stay within the
18 footprint, obviously there is nothing we can
19 say about that, that's fine. But I don't
20 want to be looking at what's going to turn
21 into a quasi medical building. The only
22 thing I need to add is a 7-Eleven and a
23 dumpster and I'll have a commercial building
24 backing up to me. If I wanted to back up to
1 a commercial building I would have purchased
2 a home, you know, behind a building like
3 that. But that's not that the house is
4 going to look trashy, but it's going to be
5 interfering with my view. Particularly the
6 lady on the east side who is going to have
7 an issue with this bike path remains.
8 Caz put up a privacy fence. Mrs.
9 Boulay said that he never requested
10 subdivision approval for the privacy fence.
11 It's in violation of the subdivision's
12 bylaws and it's going to leave about a four
13 foot eight wide path that's going to be 60
14 feet long from front to back. It's going to
15 have no way to get sunlight.
16 I have an issue right now with the
17 privacy fence. I know that's not the
18 discussion here, but the privacy fence along
19 my cyclone fence, I can't clean the trash
20 out because it's on his side of the fence.
21 It's not my problem, but it's my trash now.
22 So, I think if Caz was going to
23 subscribe to the good neighbor policy here,
24 he should have brought this in front of all
1 of his surrounding neighbors instead of
2 coming here first and us getting a notice,
3 and maybe asked us to buy in, maybe
4 discussed it with us. A little goodwill
5 goes a long way. I know he did go to the
6 subdivision, but as I said, you are not
7 getting the full story. Thank you.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Mr. Turek,
9 before you go. You provided us with some
10 photographs here?
11 MR. TUREK: Yes.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I would like you
13 to put them on the screen so the people at
14 home also can see what we are talking about.
15 MR. TUREK: I hope I have enough
16 copies. I might have to borrow from you. I
17 might have run out.
18 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: You can have
19 these. As you put them in will you explain
20 to them what you have explained in your
21 letter. Thank you.
22 MR. TUREK: This is a picture from
23 Google earth. There is Caz's house right
24 here. This is my house. This is Carol, my
1 next door neighbor and this is the neighbor
2 directly west of Caz. As you can see there
3 is an addition, a sun room on the back of
4 mine is 10 by 12. Carol has about the same
5 size. This lady I don't really know her
6 that well. She has the same size and they
7 all fit within the -- a lot of the homes
8 have had these kind of additions put on
9 them. Quite a few. So, it's kind of the
10 spirit if you were to get a larger overview
11 and kind of look around on the Google earth,
12 you will see this is generally what you are
13 going to see in this neighborhood.
14 There is two other houses that
15 are larger additions that appear to fit more
16 into the footprint of what the boundaries of
17 the property, a building should be and don't
18 go outside of it.
19 This picture was taken from my
20 backyard standing in my garage and as the
21 architect noted, there is about 60 feet, 65
22 feet from the back of the house to the fence
23 line. There is the privacy fence that has
24 been put up. He wants to come back 38 feet
1 which would front to back about 60 feet. He
2 is going to put it within about 25 feet of
3 my fence. And as you can see right here,
4 this extension will come out 40 feet and the
5 pitch of the roof is going to block, it's
6 going to sandwich in between the fence and
7 the house. That area of grass that
8 eventually will die and whatever is going to
9 collect in there, there is no way to get sun
10 to it. It's going to affect the woman next
11 door over here. And I am going to have to
12 look at this gabled roof every day.
13 I took the architect's drawing, scaled
14 it down using photo shop and then I laid in
15 the footprint of that addition. And that's
16 what that addition would look like. The
17 dotted line is what would be the footprint
18 of the house if it stayed within its
19 boundaries. So, that's how much it would go
20 outside. So, it would be the largest
21 addition to a 55-year-old subdivision that
22 has nothing this size in it. I don't know
23 how much it's going to cost, I guess it's
24 none of my business, but it just seems like
1 it's quite a bit of work for considering the
2 neighborhood. You can buy a house in our
3 neighborhood for $80,000 right now.
4 I am not really good with paint shop,
5 so I did my best to kind of give you -- what
6 I did is I took the drawing and lined the
7 pitches up based off the architect's drawing
8 to kind of give you an idea. Obviously I
9 can't get the tree on the other side because
10 the tree would be on the other side. But it
11 gives you an idea. Over here you can see
12 what you would have for like a space between
13 the fence and the outer wall of the house
14 and it's just, it's too big for a weight
16 I have free weights. I have a
17 treadmill and they all are in my 10 by 12
18 sun room. I don't think that Caz needs
19 something that large. I'm sorry.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, thank you.
21 Anybody else? Please come forward.
22 MR. KENDALL: Good evening. My name
23 is Patrick Kendall. I am the easterly
24 neighbor to Caz. My wife Christine could
1 not be here. She is taking care of our
2 stepson tonight.
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Will you
4 get sworn in by our Secretary.
5 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm
6 to tell the truth regarding Case: 09-028?
7 MR. KENDALL: I do.
8 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Go ahead.
10 MR. KENDALL: First off, I want to let
11 everyone know here of my admiration for my
12 neighbor. I appreciate what he has done.
13 So, I don't want that to get lost in the
14 shuffle here. In a lot of ways he's what
15 afforded me the ability to come up here and
16 speak before you tonight. So, that said, I
17 do have some concerns about this addition.
18 My major concern is the alleyway that
19 is seemingly created here on the eastern
20 side of the building. From what I
21 understand it's going to be less than five
22 feet and it's going to parallel a six foot
23 wooden fence. You know, by nature, a
24 structure there is fire peril or fire hazard
1 with any structure. Couple that with it's
2 up against or parallels a six foot wooden
3 fence, there may be an issue there.
4 Additionally I have got trees on the
5 west side that line this proposed structure.
6 Am I going to have to cut these down? Am I
7 going to have some exposure due to this at
8 that point? That may cost me some money.
9 Frankly, I would rather spend my money on
10 other things given what's going on in the
11 world today.
12 With regard to light and air flow, I
13 can't tell you what or how that's going to,
14 how that's going to affect anything. What I
15 can deduce is that the plausibility to me
16 exist that with this alley that sun exposure
17 is not going to get to that area. We may
18 have a situation where I believe that the
19 roof is scheduled to, and correct me if I'm
20 wrong, slope to the east and west, correct?
21 MR. PRESLEY: Right.
22 MR. KENDALL: With water runoff I
23 don't know how that's going to affect -- are
24 we going to have standing pools of water?
1 Is it going to create a mosquito issue at
2 some point? Now, I have got five
3 individuals in my home. Two toddlers, a
4 teenager, my wife and myself. We're in a
5 1,400 square foot ranch and we are packed in
6 like sardines. My stuff has been in the
7 garage for four years. We're just now
8 starting to unload it in a garage sale,
9 luckily some of it is selling.
10 We value very much the use of our
11 backyard. My wife and I have worked very
12 hard to create a space that we can enjoy.
13 My daughters love running around. We have
14 swing sets. We have sand boxes all lined up
15 against the western side. So, if I have a
16 concern, mainly mine is this alleyway that
17 is supposedly going to be created. I don't
18 know how much if there is an overhang, how
19 much that is going to play into things as
20 well. So, I wanted to point that out to the
22 Additionally, you know, we're talking
23 about a 57 percent increase in square
24 footage here. A 975 square foot addition.
1 I believe the existing home is 1,700 square
2 feet. It's a 57 percent increase in square
3 footage. It's a 28 percent increase in lot
4 coverage. Given that the homes in our
5 neighborhood are anywhere from 1,200 to
6 1,900 square feet, I might put forth that
7 this structure breaches the integrity of the
8 neighborhood at that point.
9 Mr. Presley pointed out that they are
10 not worsening a non-conformity here. Well,
11 I would argue by virtue of extending this
12 present non-conformity north, they are
13 worsening it. So, you know, I think that
14 that needs to be taken into consideration.
15 And with regard to value, we
16 can't propose to know what value is in
17 today's times. The value anywhere has been
18 dimensioned to a point where I care not to
19 think about at night. It's sickening and it
20 makes me sick to my stomach. All we've got
21 really to live on is our view of treeline
22 backyards. I feel that's going to be
23 compromised with this roof and this brick
24 wall that we are going to be looking at. We
1 like to watch the storms roll in from the
3 You know, from a market value
4 standpoint, while I can't argue that our
5 value is diminished, I can argue that the
6 value to my family it is diminished.
7 That said, my wife and I were firm
8 believers in private property rights. This
9 is very difficult for us to come here and
10 argue this. We have the utmost admiration
11 for what Caz has done. And for us to come
12 to object on another person's property
13 rights, it kind of goes against an ideology
14 that I have. But at the same time, I am
15 starting to feel that it's starting to
16 infringe upon my rights as well.
17 So, that's the reason I am here
18 tonight to kind of speak up on my behalf.
19 So, I appreciate your time.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
21 Anybody else? Please come forward.
22 MR. LIPPINOGA (ph): Hello.
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Please identify
1 MR. LIPPINOGA: My name is Timothy
2 Lippinoga. I live in this subdivision.
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: What's your
4 address, sir?
5 MEMBER BAUER: Your address?
6 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Your address for
7 the record?
8 MR. LIPPINOGA: 41066 South McMahon
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
11 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm
12 to tell the truth regarding case: 09-028?
13 MR. LIPPINOGA: I do.
14 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
15 MR. LIPPINOGA: I just feel that as
16 they've said, it's too big of an addition to
17 the area. I have been in the area for four
18 years now. My wife and I we work hard too
19 like everybody else. And it would be an
20 eyesore. It would diminish the whole
21 context of the area. Like what the
22 gentleman said, it's a ranch area. There
23 are smaller houses. And to put something
24 like that on there, it would be ridiculous
1 really. No disrespect to the gentleman for
2 wanting to do this, but if you could tone it
3 down quite a bit, like what the other people
4 have, you know, the smaller size room. I
5 don't think he needs something that big.
6 I am a concerned citizen in my area,
7 you know. And I appreciate your time.
8 Thank you very much.
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
10 Anybody else? Seeing no further
11 participation from the audience, I request
12 our Secretary to tell us about the
14 MEMBER BAUER: There were 43 notices
15 mailed. None returned. Three objections,
16 and one of those was from one of our
18 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Mr. Turek.
19 MEMBER BAUER: Yes, Mr. Turek. We
20 have Scott and his wife McCurdy (ph). "The
21 size of the addition is just too large and
22 relative to the size of the yard
23 approximately to the neighbors. We built an
24 addition west up rather than into the yard
1 and our square footage is less than the
2 applicant's with proposed changes. The
3 shape of the house after proposed changes
4 might affect a buyer's decision to buy a
5 house nearby."
6 Mr. Patrick Kendall. "On behalf of my
7 family which resides at 40994 Malott, please
8 accept this letter as a formal objection
9 relative to the case: 09-028. Please note
10 that for purposes of this objection, 40994
11 Malott is an eastern adjacent property to
12 the subject property case. We would like to
13 cite the following reasons of objections.
14 Potential fire hazards which is the
15 structure, fire danger and inherent risk of
16 nature. Proposed structure would parallel a
17 six foot high wooden privacy fence.
18 Proposed structure would be constructed mere
19 feet away from 40994 Malott's westerly trees
20 not to mention the power lines. Restricted
21 light and air flow on the eastern side of
22 the proposed structure.
23 Proposed structure creates an
24 additional 975 feet into the already
1 existing 1,700 square feet. This results in
2 a 57 percent increase. With regard to value
3 we can only add really the high value we
4 place on being able to enjoy our outdoor
5 living." Mr. Turek.
6 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
7 Building Department?
8 MR. BOULARD: Thank you. A point of
9 clarification to start. Just for the
10 Board's information there is a total of five
11 variances. Four of those that are
12 requested, four of those are dimensional and
13 then the fifth variance is actually to allow
14 expansion of the non-conforming structure
15 and so that's the reason that it was noted
16 as such in the public notice.
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay.
18 MR. BOULARD: Also, if I could. There
19 were a couple of comments from folks
20 regarding the fire safety and the exterior
21 wall and the proximity to the property line.
22 I just wanted to indicate that at this point
23 we haven't done a building review of this,
24 but the Building codes do deal with openings
1 and walls in close proximity to the property
2 line as well as eaves and maximum extension.
3 I assume that Mr. Presley has taken these
4 into account. If not, I am sure if the
5 variance is granted they can be dealt with.
6 But there are measures that are part of the
7 Building code to address that. So, I will
8 leave it at that.
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. I
10 will open it up to the Board. Yes, Mr.
12 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Thank you,
13 Mr. Chair. First off, Mr. Warda, thank you
14 for your service to our country and the
15 sacrifices you have incurred as a result of
16 that service. And we are also glad you
17 decided to stay in Novi where you will spend
18 a lot of time.
19 That being said, I have another issue
20 for staff. The size of the proposed
21 addition is there any other addition within
22 that subdivision that reaches this
23 magnitude? From just riding around and
24 looking I have noticed there were additions
1 obviously, but nothing this great. Do we
2 have that?
3 MR. BOULARD: I can't give you that
4 answer at this point. I can tell you that
5 in my experience in my short tenure here,
6 I'm not aware of a similar size addition in
7 this area that required variances. I
8 haven't looked at every single construction
9 plan that comes through, but I'm not aware
10 of any. I can't give you a definite answer.
11 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: The other
12 issue which you somewhat addressed. I had
13 written down fire department, fire marshal
14 concerns and you said that would be handled
15 by the Building Department. That's one of
16 my big concerns.
17 MR. BOULARD: Yes, anywhere that you
18 have buildings in proximity to property
19 lines there is an increase in danger, but
20 the Building code, or the current Building
21 code requirements would apply to this
22 addition if approved in this location and
23 there are provisions there that are in place
24 to protect adjacent buildings and also this
1 building from adjacent properties.
2 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: I
3 understand Mr. Worda's need for additional
4 space, and I have a little trouble with the
5 side setback requirements, but where I have
6 the issue is the rear setback. And given
7 the size that's proposed it's just way out
8 of proportion with the other homes in the
9 area that I have seen. I would hope that it
10 might be a possibility that he would
11 consider downsizing the size of the
12 addition. We would like to approve it, but
13 based on the way it is right now I just
14 couldn't in good conscious approve something
15 this size in that subdivision. Thank you.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr.
18 MEMBER GHANNAM: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
19 I have got a couple of questions for the
20 City. First and foremost, if there was an
21 approval of whether it be this size addition
22 or even smaller, would there still be things
23 that have to be complied with in terms of
24 fire codes and fire marshal and things like
1 that? Would there be further steps that
2 they would have to go through to finally get
3 this permit and built? Or no?
4 MR. BOULARD: Yes. And I can give you
5 an example if it would help.
6 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
7 MR. BOULARD: If this variance request
8 as put forth was approved, then there would
9 still be the Building permit application.
10 The plans would be prepared by the
11 architect, the documentation that would come
12 from the contractor and so on. And then
13 once, once that review is completed, the
14 addition would be constructed in accordance
15 with the current requirements with the
16 Building code which would also include
17 hardware and interconnected smoke detectors
18 throughout the house. That's now a
19 requirement. You put an addition on, you
20 have to go back and (unintelligible).
21 MEMBER GHANNAM: One of the neighbors'
22 concern was potential drainage and water
23 runoff and so forth, so I presume like
24 grading, those types of things will be dealt
2 MR. BOULARD: Yes. It would be up to
3 the designer and the contractor to address
4 those issues. It would be a challenge in
5 that area, but I am certain it can be done.
6 MEMBER GHANNAM: I just have a couple
7 of questions for the architect. If you
8 could come to the podium. First of all,
9 does this home have a basement?
10 MR. PRESLEY: No. Well, not in that
11 area, no.
12 MEMBER GHANNAM: No. This particular
14 MR. PRESLEY: I don't know. Do you
15 have a basement?
16 MR. WARDA: No.
17 MEMBER GHANNAM: So, it does not have
18 a basement?
19 MR. PRESLEY: Correct.
20 MEMBER GHANNAM: Secondly, have you
21 considered an alternative to this size of a
22 structure in the location that you choose?
23 I mean, the biggest concern that jumps out
24 to not only I am sure most of us, but the
1 neighbors, is the size because of the
2 obvious. Maybe an eyesore, too big, doesn't
3 fit the neighborhood, things like that.
4 Have you considered something like that
5 given the Petitioner's needs, actually
6 special needs?
7 MR. PRESLEY: Well, I would say this,
8 on the issue of view, the ridge line of this
9 proposed addition isn't higher than the
10 existing ridge line. So, you don't see it
11 from the street, let's put it that way.
12 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yeah, I understand,
13 but you have got side neighbors and you have
14 got rear neighbors who are staring at this
15 and that's a concern for them, and
16 realistically it's a concern for me too.
17 MR. PRESLEY: Right. As I mentioned
18 in my presentation, we were trying to make
19 it work within the setback area, but 900 to
20 1,000 square feet is hard to make that
21 happen. So, in order to make -- in order to
22 accommodate more and have less variance
23 request we would have to reduce the
24 requirements, the program requirements.
1 With meeting the number -- I can put this
2 back up again. There are certain equipment
3 that is desired. And, Caz, can you say
4 again, who provided that information for
6 MR. WARDA: Coach Danny Jilg from
7 Novi High School.
8 MR. PRESLEY: So, I will put this up
9 again. Each one of these pink, it looks
10 like purple rectangles are pieces of
11 equipment. And the dotted lines represent
12 the space around them that's necessary. So,
13 there isn't a whole lot of space that isn't
14 necessary to have this amount, this amount
15 of amenities. So, I don't know how to
16 respond other than we would have to take
17 things out in order to make a smaller
19 MEMBER GHANNAM: Okay. Actually one
20 other question for the City. Is this under
21 a practical difficulty standard or an
22 unnecessary hardship?
23 MS. KUDLA: A nonuse variance, so it's
24 a practical difficulty.
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: It is a practical
2 difficulty standard. If I can ask your
3 client. And, sir, by the way, if you can
4 speak into the microphone so that everybody
5 can hear. I too appreciate obviously your
6 service for our country. You made the
7 ultimate sacrifice, one of the ultimate
8 sacrifices. But is there any other -- I
9 mean, your architect has put something on
10 the screen that shows us kind of the layout
11 of the proposed workout area and so forth.
12 Is there anything that can be reduced in
13 terms of your complete workout? I
14 understand in perfect world you would want
15 every single thing there, but is there
16 anything you can go without to make it more
17 palatable for your neighbors as well as us?
18 MR. WARDA: I don't think so. As far
19 as what takes the most room is the mats and
20 that's where, the mats is where I'll be
21 wrestling and sparing with other people.
22 And, you know, there are going to be padded
23 walls and whatnot, but if that gets smaller,
24 I mean, that just gives me more chance of
1 injury of hitting other equipment. Like I
2 say, I don't know if you know like judo or
3 Brazilian jujitsu, you kind of roll around
5 MEMBER GHANNAM: Actually I have a son
6 who wrestles for varsity for Novi High and I
7 know Coach Jilg and I know their workout
9 MR. WARDA: Right.
10 MEMBER GHANNAM: So, I understand
12 MR. WARDA: But as far as my
13 disability, I mean, if I could be able to
14 see, yeah, I could probably shorten it up,
15 but I can't. So just to have that extra
16 space, if it's four feet on each side for
17 the mat, you know, it will help me greatly
18 and give me more confidence and make me feel
19 more comfort and whatnot.
20 MEMBER GHANNAM: I can certainly
21 appreciate that. I presume given the nature
22 of this addition you plan on living there
23 indefinitely into the future?
24 MR. WARDA: Indefinitely.
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: I don't have any
2 other questions, sir. Thank you.
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Cassis?
4 Okay, go ahead.
5 MEMBER CASSIS: Oh, okay. I do
6 reiterate also the sentiments that my
7 colleagues had mentioned about Caz's
8 situation and his sacrifice. But, you know,
9 I am wondering, putting it to our City
10 attorney, the primary use that he wants to
11 put this addition to would be a gymnasium.
12 Is that in violation of the Ordinance right
13 away as to the use rather than anything
15 MS. KUDLA: Well, I don't think that
16 we have heard any information that he is
17 planning on using it for like a commercial
18 gymnasium with people coming over and using
19 it other than himself. So, at this point he
20 is using it as a personal exercise room is
21 what's been put forward.
22 MR. CASSIS: To the architect, can I
23 ask you a question? You have on the prints
24 here new patio per builder. What is that?
1 Can you explain that to me?
2 MR. PRESLEY: Well, it wasn't
3 something that I was going to design. It's
4 just a concrete patio.
5 MR. CASSIS: What does that serve?
6 What's the purpose?
7 MR. PRESLEY: Just outdoor
8 recreational space. I mean, a place to sit
9 and eat, that's all.
10 MEMBER CASSIS: And that doesn't exist
11 there right now?
12 MR. PRESLEY: Correct.
13 MEMBER CASSIS: Another question to
14 the City Attorney. Usually when there is a
15 subdivision built aren't there some bylaws
16 or whatever you call them -- what do you
17 call those?
18 MS. KUDLA: There may be a subdivision
19 declaration that discusses, it's not in
20 every subdivision. There is usually a
21 declaration of the covenants and
22 restrictions. More recent subdivisions
23 would have more in depth specifications on
24 architectural review committees and that
1 type of thing, but I don't know any
2 specifics with regard to this subdivision
3 and whether or not there is an architectural
4 review committee. And given that it's an
5 older subdivision, I wouldn't normally see
6 something like that. But, again, it
7 wouldn't be something that we would
8 necessarily be taking into consideration.
9 That would be their separate committee to
10 look at instead of us.
11 MEMBER CASSIS: So, you don't think we
12 need to even look at that before we consider
14 MS. KUDLA: No, I don't.
15 MEMBER CASSIS: Okay. You know, I
16 think the subdivisions that we have built in
17 this city were meant to be in a suburban
18 kind of setting. And as such, the
19 Ordinances provided for certain green areas
20 and certain kind of amenities around the
21 house. And most of those suburban
22 communities including ours are for the
23 enjoyment of open space. Aside from also
24 the idea of fire or even drainage and so on,
1 which I think should have been looked at
2 before this was even brought before us,
3 because if there was some sort of, let's
4 say, violation of fire codes of this
5 extension, or drainage, then our approval --
6 or maybe not approval, but consideration of
7 this matter would be useless.
8 MR. PRESLEY: May I respond to that?
9 MEMBER CASSIS: No, no. Wait a
10 minute. Let me finish.
11 MR. PRESLEY: Okay.
12 MEMBER CASSIS: So, I submit to Mr.
13 Boulard, I mean, what is it to what I'm
14 saying as far as bringing this before us
15 before we even consider the other
16 ramifications of this extension?
17 MR. BOULARD: When a project is
18 brought into the Community Development
19 Department, typically zoning site plans and
20 so on are the first things that are looked
21 at. If a building can't be built within the
22 setbacks or variances required or whatnot,
23 this is the first thing that gets resolved.
24 In this case as I mentioned, the Building
1 code does have provisions to allow
2 construction of this type. There are
3 certain provisions, though, that protect
4 adjacent properties and so on. And
5 certainly drainage, there is requirements
6 for performance of drainage. You can't
7 cause a nuisance on adjacent property. That
8 can be done in a situation like this, it is
9 not necessarily going to be easy. It
10 provides a challenge. I'm sure that's
11 something that they have thought about.
12 It's not going to be like a house where you
13 have got a hundred feet on each side.
14 In this case I think those issues
15 can be resolved, perhaps not as cleanly and
16 cheaply as everyone sees, but there are
17 resolutions in the codes for that.
18 MEMBER CASSIS: Are you saying to me
19 that you looked at the fire codes and
20 drainage codes that we have in the City and
21 you thought the construction of this
22 addition will not violate or impinge or will
23 not have to be altered? Are you telling me
1 MR. BOULARD: No, I am not telling you
2 that. What I am saying is, the setbacks
3 from the property lines, the lot coverage,
4 building height, those are issues that are
5 under the purview of the Zoning Ordinance.
6 Exceptions to those are requested here. I'm
7 confident while I haven't reviewed the
8 plans, there is a lot of information, but
9 certainly not what would be appropriate for
10 a construction set of plans at this point.
11 I am confident that those issues with regard
12 to fire safety, the building codes and so on
13 can be addressed. That's, I guess -- I
14 haven't done a review.
15 MS. KUDLA: I can add a little bit to
16 that. If there was to be a problem when he
17 did do that review and something did not
18 meet one of the code standards, if they
19 couldn't resolve it some other way by
20 revising the plan, he would be going to the
21 Construction Board of Appeals for that issue
22 rather than to the ZBA when there is a
23 building code issue.
24 MEMBER CASSIS: I am a little
1 confused. But anyhow, Mr. Chairman, I think
2 this is a very huge addition to this house.
3 I think it could be scaled down. I am
4 looking at the patio there. I don't know
5 what the dimensions are. Did someone say
6 something? Anyhow, what are the dimensions
7 of that patio there?
8 MR. PRESLEY: I don't have the
9 dimensions in front of me but it's probably
10 10 foot by about 20 foot, something like
11 that, 15 foot maybe.
12 MEMBER CASSIS: And I am wondering if
13 the architect might come up with a scaled
14 down addition that will be at the center, if
15 I may suggest, and I cannot tell you what to
16 do, but at the center of the existing house
17 going farther from the house with a
18 reasonable addition that will accommodate
19 maybe some lifting of weights and so on and
20 so forth. And given some due respect to the
21 desire of Caz which I completely can see and
22 sympathize with and empathize with him, I
23 think something like that I would be
24 considering. But to set a certain precedent
1 as I had said before for other homes in that
2 subdivision to start erecting a huge
3 addition, and I'm talking here, I am looking
4 at the scales here, you are talking about
5 another two-thirds addition to that house.
6 That is a very extensive addition. And I
7 would not vote in favor of this addition,
8 Mr. Chairman. Thank you very much.
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
10 Mr. Bauer?
11 MEMBER BAUER: There is already a
12 non-conforming structure. And if we went
13 ahead with this we would just be throwing
14 our Ordinances out the door because we would
15 be adding to a non-conforming structure.
16 Second, the Applicant has stated
17 that he will be having some people over to
18 wrestle with and that brings up a question
19 of parking and whether this is going to be a
20 resort of some kind. As far as the
21 structure is concerned, I think it is far
22 and above what would be normal for a small
23 addition. It's not small at all. You could
24 probably buy a house somewhere else what you
1 are giving this room, and I would not be in
2 favor of this.
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
4 Mr. Ibe?
5 MEMBER IBE: First of all, let me say
6 to Caz that we owe you a debt of gratitude,
7 and say thank you very much for your service
8 to our nation. I commend you for what you
9 have done and what you continue to do for
10 us. Because of you and all that's like you,
11 we are able to enjoy a great freedom in this
12 country. I appreciate what you have done.
13 However, having said that, I must -- I
14 feel bad by what we see here because I know
15 that you did not ask for this. This was
16 thrust upon you due to the nature and
17 circumstances of your work.
18 I am a firm believer in private
19 property rights. And I don't like to
20 infringe upon it whatsoever. We have to
21 look at what you are asking for from this
22 Board and see under what conditions can this
23 be granted. There are some elements that
24 controls whether or not we can grant this
1 variance. And I will run by those real
2 quickly because that will be the basis upon
3 which my decision will be made. And I'm
4 quite sure that other Board members will
5 make the same decision based on the existing
6 law that we have to go by. And I will only
7 touch on the key ones that really, I think,
8 are more pertinent to the issue before us.
9 The first one is, will the variance
10 provide substantial justice to you the
11 Petitioner as well as the surrounding
12 property owners in the zoning district? I
13 think I will answer that question, as to you
14 maybe, yes. But as to your neighbors, the
15 answer is unequivocally no. We have seen
16 some neighbors come forward. I know it
17 pains those neighbors to come forward even
18 to object. The gentleman, the second
19 speaker I think was quite emotional while
20 objecting because he hates to do what he is
21 doing. Unfortunately, he has to look out
22 for his own interest as well.
23 The next element is, are there unique
24 circumstances of the property? Well,
1 considering your current situation, that
2 makes it unique. I do agree that, yes,
3 there are some unique circumstances here.
4 But that is not the only element to be
6 The third one is, is the problem self
7 created? With all fairness to you I say no,
8 because you did not ask for this, like I
9 said earlier. So, you could not have asked
10 for your situation to warrant what you now
11 set to construct on your property. However,
12 remember, that is still not the only element
13 that we have to consider.
14 I am looking at the next one which
15 says, adequate light and air is provided to
16 adjacent properties. Your neighbors have
17 come forward and they have eloquently
18 articulated their reasons for their
19 objection. And one of them being that the
20 light and air of the properties will be
21 affected by the variance that you are
22 requesting. This new construction will
23 impede them getting enough air. I am sure
24 the homeowners there enjoy the outdoors and
1 enjoy looking at the sunset and sunrise. I
2 am sure no one bought their property so they
3 can see the backyard of someone else.
4 Unfortunately, I don't believe that if we
5 were to apply this that it will work in your
7 The next being, there will be an
8 increase of fire, danger and public safety.
9 I think my colleagues have adequately
10 discussed that issue and based on what I am
11 hearing I don't believe that the City do you
12 any justice. They have not given me any
13 reason to be comfortable as to whether or
14 not, that the question of fire, danger or
15 public safety has been addressed. And I
16 don't believe your architect did any justice
17 to that issue either in his presentation.
18 So I am not sold on that issue.
19 The next one is, whether the property
20 values will not be diminished within the
21 surrounding area. I think that is very
22 important. We as we sit here today
23 underestimate the problem we have in this
24 country right now in our neighborhoods. Our
1 property values have greatly diminished.
2 Now, if you were allowed to build what you
3 want on your property, let's respect your
4 property rights. How about the rights of
5 your neighbor? Now, if you can't sell your
6 property right now, imagine what it would
7 look like when you have some property that
8 doesn't conform to the neighborhood, you
9 will not be able to sell your property even
10 five years from now. So definitely allowing
11 this variance will not increase the property
12 values. It will only diminish the property
13 values of your neighbors as well as that of
14 your property because your property will now
15 be far more bigger than your neighbors.
16 Remember the old saying, never buy the big
17 house in the -- buy the small house in a big
18 neighborhood. Is that what it says? You
19 are trying to put in this neighborhood
20 something that is far more bigger than that
21 which will be expected.
22 Finally, whether the spirit of the
23 Zoning Ordinance is observed. As much as I
24 want to give this to you, unfortunately
1 considering the guidelines that I have to
2 abide by and I am sure that my colleagues
3 here also have to abide by, it makes it very
5 The standard here is practical
6 difficulty. Unfortunately, I don't see
7 anything in here that will make it easy for
8 me to grant what you are asking and also
9 please your neighbors. We want to create a
10 happy neighborhood.
11 And I am also very disturbed that the
12 architect did not bring a letter from the
13 subdivision president who gives this
14 unilateral --
15 MR. PRESLEY: Yeah, I did.
16 MEMBER IBE: Do you have that?
17 MR. PRESLEY: Yes, we have that.
18 MEMBER IBE: Was it part of -- we
19 don't have it.
20 MEMBER BAUER: We don't have that.
21 MEMBER IBE: Notwithstanding that,
22 but the neighbors here said no one has
23 informed them of this. Obviously this is
24 the first that they are hearing of this
1 unilateral decision made by the subdivision
3 I am so sorry, sir, that I cannot in
4 good conscious. But if you can scale this
5 down I think that every one of us here will
6 be more than happy to accommodate your needs
7 because we understand that you need to have
8 a life, and I want to make sure you get
9 that. However, you don't give us very much
10 choice here.
11 May I make a suggestion that perhaps
12 you and your architects can go back and work
13 something out that maybe can accommodate the
14 needs you want. And also talk to your
15 neighbors. I find that sometimes in
16 conflict resolution talking to our neighbors
17 help before we bring it forward to a public
18 forum. Maybe that can help. And then bring
19 this back to us if you can bring something
20 that your neighbors can live with and that
21 you can live with.
22 That is my suggestion. Thank you, Mr.
23 Chair. I didn't mean to go very long.
24 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: That's okay.
1 Thank you. Yes, Ms. Krieger?
2 MEMBER KRIEGER: I agree with all my
3 previous speakers. And, Member Ibe, that's
4 what I was thinking as well was to go
5 through the guidelines.
6 A question that I have, that I would
7 like explained is, for this addition that if
8 you are working on one mat then why need all
9 the other mats unless you are having a lot
10 of people over? Which comes back to the
11 question of the parking in the front. So,
12 that would be another disturbance.
13 So, I would be willing as well, if the
14 architect and the Petitioner would, to table
15 this and go back and come back with
16 something that would be more acceptable.
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
18 Mr. Wrobel?
19 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: I have a
20 question for the City Attorney. Obviously
21 Mr. Cassis and I, spending time on the
22 Planning Commission we tend to look at
23 things more comprehensively than we are
24 here. When I look at this case we are
1 basically looking at dimensional variances
2 in this case. Should we be concerned or
3 included in our reasoning and our discussion
4 things like fire safety, drainage, things of
5 that issue or should we just stick to the
6 dimensional variances that is before us?
7 MS. KUDLA: Fire safety would affect
8 the surrounding property owners and that
9 type of thing, so I think that's an
10 appropriate discussion. Whether or not it's
11 going to be used as more of a commercial in
12 nature type thing I don't think that's
13 appropriate for this.
14 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: I just wasn't sure
15 how strict we had to stay on, this is what's
16 presented to us. But we're used to looking
17 at --
18 MS. KUDLA: Well, you are looking at
19 how it affects the surrounding property too.
20 So, if fire concern given that these houses
21 are close together is something that you see
22 as a concern, that's an appropriate
24 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Okay. Thank
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Anybody else?
3 Well, the way I see it it's not going your
4 way. And if you like us to table it and you
5 would like to come back with some different
6 kind of proposal we would be quite open to
7 table this for a future date.
8 MR. PRESLEY: We would appreciate
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Otherwise we can
11 go ahead and vote on this as it is
13 MR. PRESLEY: We would like you to
14 table it, please. We will come back again.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
16 MEMBER BAUER: I move that we table
17 this. MEMBER IBE: Second.
18 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The motion has
19 been made to table this case for a future
20 date to be determined. The motion has been
21 made and seconded. If there is no further
22 discussion on this motion -- Yes, Mr.
24 MR. BOULARD: I guess the question
1 that I have deals with the particular
2 requirements of the law in terms of
3 notification. My understanding is that if
4 tabling is to take place until a specified
5 date we don't have to re-notice everyone,
6 resend out notices.
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Well, I don't
8 want to set a date because I want to give
9 the Applicant as well as the neighbors to
10 talk to each other, come to some kind of
11 understanding. And this may take longer
12 than we think. So one month may be not
13 enough. How long will it take for you to
14 resolve or come to some kind of
15 understanding about your proposal?
16 MR. PRESLEY: I don't know. I think
17 you are correct. We are going to have to go
18 back to the drawing board obviously and then
19 we will need to show it to the neighbors, I
21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I think you need
22 better communication than it has been so
24 MR. PRESLEY: Right. So, I don't
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: So, I don't want
3 to set a date on it. Yes?
4 MEMBER GHANNAM: The only suggestion I
5 would have is if we could set a date, it
6 would obviate the necessity of expending the
7 cost by the City in notifying everybody. It
8 is a very significant cost I would think.
9 If you think you would need two to three
10 months or even longer.
11 MR. PRESLEY: I think -- what is the
12 deadline? How many weeks ahead?
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: What is the
14 stipulated time for re-advertising?
15 MS. KUDLA: Well, if we have a date
16 certain we don't have to re-advertise. If
17 we don't have a date certain we have to
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: So, it doesn't
20 matter how along, so long as it is a date?
21 MS. KUDLA: A specific date.
22 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay.
23 MR. PRESLEY: I think we can come back
24 in August. I think that's very possible.
1 But is it two weeks ahead? Is it two weeks
2 ahead that it has to be?
3 MS. MARTIN: You are going to be too
4 late to make it for August, but you can make
5 the September 8th meeting.
6 MR. PRESLEY: All right. September
7 8th, then we are good for that.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: You will be
9 better off doing it in September. Okay, we
10 will postpone it to the September meeting.
11 Is that amendment acceptable to both of you?
12 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
13 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. All
15 right, will you please call the roll.
16 MS. MARTIN: Could I ask who second
17 the motion?
18 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Mr. Bauer.
19 MS. MARTIN: Then who made the motion
20 then? Because I have that mixed up.
21 MEMBER IBE: I seconded the motion.
22 MS. MARTIN: You second the motion.
23 Thank you.
24 Member Bauer?
1 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
2 MS. MARTIN: Member Cassis?
3 MEMBER CASSIS: Yes.
4 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
5 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
6 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
7 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
8 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
9 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
10 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Sanghvi?
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
12 MS. MARTIN: Member Wrobel?
13 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Yes.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, we will
15 see you in September.
16 MR. PRESLEY: Thank you.
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you all
18 for your patience and participation. Thank
20 Moving on to the next case on the
21 agenda. Case number: 09-029, 45285 Grand
22 River Avenue. Diane Planko of Planko Ballet
23 and Sports is requesting a variance to
24 permit the installation of an indoor
1 recreation private dance and fitness center
2 in an existing tenant space in a building
3 located 45285 Grand River without installing
4 any additional parking spaces as required by
5 the Zoning Ordinance. The property is zoned
6 I-1 and is located south of Grand River
7 Avenue and east of Taft Road. The building
8 is designed to accommodate more than one
9 tenant and is currently partially occupied
10 by Michigan Chandelier.
11 Is the Applicant here?
12 MS. PLANKO: Yes.
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Will you please
14 identify yourself. State your name and
15 address and if you are not an attorney be
16 sworn in by our Secretary, please.
17 MS. PLANKO: My name is Diane Planko,
18 42140 Cherry Hill Road.
19 MEMBER BAUER: Raise your right hand.
20 Do you swear or affirm to tell the truth
21 regarding Case: 09-029?
22 MS. PLANKO: Yes.
23 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
24 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Please go ahead
1 and make your presentation.
2 MS. PLANKO: Yes. We would like to
3 lease a property for the ballet and sports
4 conditioning center which at this time we
5 are a small private organization that we use
6 two trainers and never more than eight
7 trainees at a time. So, we have 16 clients
8 at any time in the evening because they are
9 in high school and college. And the
10 facility we would like to lease has, it's a
11 complex with 76 spaces. Thirty-five of the
12 spaces go to the facility that we would like
13 to lease, and, of course, we would need 19
14 of those spaces.
15 The Ordinance for Novi says that
16 for that amount of space you need to have 54
17 spaces. Well, I would love to have 54
18 people, but it's not going to happen. So, I
19 would like to request the variance be
20 changed so that we could use 19 of the 35
21 parking spaces. Thank you.
22 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Is
23 there anybody in the audience who would like
24 to address the Board regarding this case?
1 (No response.)
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Seeing none, Mr.
3 Secretary, do you have some correspondence
4 for us?
5 MEMBER BAUER: Thirty-six notices were
6 mailed. Five were returned. Seven
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
9 Building Department?
10 MR. BOULARD: In your packet there is
11 included a staff report prepared by Kristen
12 Kapelanski which runs through the
13 requirements and the calculations for the
14 parking. Kristen is also here if you have
15 any questions. She is available for that.
16 So, thank you.
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
18 Thank you. I will open it up to the Board
19 now. I have a question? How much space are
20 you going to be using for your studio?
21 MS. PLANKO: The facility is 6,200
22 square feet because there is office area and
23 warehouse area, which the training will be
24 in the warehouse area which I believe that
1 part is 3,200 square feet.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
3 Which part of that property are you going to
4 be using? I was there this afternoon trying
5 to figure out which one was -- I saw signs
6 everywhere of different companies.
7 MS. PLANKO: We're in the very back
8 where there was the grass on the west
9 side --
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI:
12 MS. PLANKO: Yes, yes. In that area.
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I know where it
14 is. Thank you.
15 Yes, Mr. Wrobel?
16 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Thank you,
17 Mr. Chair. Ms. Kapelanski, just so you just
18 don't have to sit here, we might as well use
19 your expertise. The existing warehouse and
20 showroom I assume Michigan Chandelier is
21 staying there, correct?
22 MS. KAPELANSKI: Correct.
23 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: And the
24 warehouse is that Michigan Chandelier's
2 MS. KAPELANSKI: The warehouse space
3 that's calculated into the parking
4 requirements would be the space for Michigan
6 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Okay, and if
7 I do recall they're only open during the
9 MS. KAPELANSKI: It's our
10 understanding they're open until about 5:00
11 or 5:30.
12 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: I know in
13 trying to go there sometimes it's difficult
14 because they are not open.
15 Your opinion on the parking situation
16 given the projected hours of operation of
17 this establishment?
18 MS. KAPELANSKI: Well, the Applicant
19 has made the argument that they are open in
20 the evenings and the Michigan Chandelier
21 space is open during the day. It's the
22 Planning Staff's opinion that that would
23 signal -- well, we would prefer that the
24 Applicant complete and submit a shared
1 parking study to show that the spaces are
2 used at the different times and to
3 demonstrate that there is the adequate
4 parking available at each of those peak
6 The Applicant alternatively decided to
7 come to the Zoning Board of Appeals and seek
8 a variance for the overall parking standard.
9 So, the Planning Staff would have preferred
10 a shared parking study to demonstrate that
11 those users would have adequate parking in
12 each of their peak hours.
13 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Do you
14 believe that doing the parking study does
15 that put an undue burden upon the Applicant
16 in this situation?
17 MS. KAPELANSKI: It is a cost to hire
18 a traffic consultant and to complete a
19 shared parking study. I can't speak to what
20 the cost of that would be specifically. So,
21 it is a little bit of a burden in that
22 sense. And then they would have to pay for
23 review fees to be reviewed by our traffic
24 consultant and Planning Staff and then go to
1 the Planning Commission. So, there is some
2 cost associated with that, but I can't speak
3 to that exactly.
4 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Okay. Based
5 on knowing the way the building is currently
6 used, but that's not to say that the
7 current, Michigan Chandelier could change
8 their hours tomorrow, it's highly unlikely,
9 but you never know in this environment.
10 You know, if I knew a 100 percent that
11 they were going to stay the same I would say
12 this wouldn't be an issue, and I still
13 might, but I would like hear what my other
14 colleagues have to say on it. Thank you.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Cassis?
16 MEMBER CASSIS: Mr. Chairman, I am
17 wondering whether this issue should be
18 coming before the Planning Commission as a
19 venue rather than coming here first?
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Well, I don't
21 know the response to that.
22 MS. KUDLA: I mean there is two
23 options. It's the Applicant's choice to
24 which one she wants to apply to. She has
1 the option to apply to the ZBA for a
2 variance and that's what she chose.
3 MEMBER CASSIS: As we can see, we have
4 to have a Planner here to augment our
5 situation. It's kind of unique. A hybrid
6 kind of situation if I may use that word.
7 On the other hand, I can see what the
8 Applicant is trying to do. They don't want
9 to go through the expense of having that,
10 which I appreciate. However, you may come
11 before the Planning Commission, and I am
12 there too as a planning commissioner, and
13 they might say, well, look, we don't need a
14 traffic study. And I think that may happen.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The other likely
16 scenario is also that you would approve it
17 with the condition that the Zoning Board of
18 Appeals approves it.
19 MEMBER CASSIS: But at least we would
20 have --
21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: We could have
22 bypassed the whole situation about the
23 study, yes.
24 MEMBER CASSIS: That's all I am going
1 to say at this time. Thank you.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, go ahead.
3 MS. KAPELANSKI: If I could just jump
4 in on that for just a second. In order to
5 come to the Planning Commission, the
6 Planning Commission would need to have
7 something to review. In this case it would
8 be a shared parking study. So, the
9 Applicant would have had to prepare the
10 shared parking study and come to the
11 Planning Commission or chose the ZBA route.
12 I don't think we could take it to the
13 Planning Commission for approval of a
14 preliminary site plan in this case since the
15 Applicant isn't making any exterior changes
16 and it is a permanent use.
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
18 Mr. Ghannam?
19 MEMBER GHANNAM: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
20 I just have a couple of questions. What are
21 your peak hours of service?
22 MS. PLANKO: From 4:30 to 5:30 it's
23 private instruction so it's one or two
24 clients with one instructor. So, that's
1 three parking spaces. 5:30 -- I have it all
2 here somewhere. 5:30 to 7:00 I believe it
3 is is when we start with a group instruction
4 which would be eight clients with one
5 instructor. Or if there are two instructors
6 there, 16 clients. We never go more than
7 that because it's a safety issue at that
8 point. You have to be there. And then,
9 again, another 16 clients later in the
11 MEMBER GHANNAM: So, 5:30 to 7:00 --
12 MS. PLANKO: 7:00 to 9:30 would be the
13 next one.
14 MEMBER GHANNAM: Plus, we don't really
15 know the hours of operation, we don't know
16 how long Michigan Chandelier would be there,
17 so on and so forth. I don't have any issue
18 necessarily with needing a traffic study. I
19 think the City in some of the memorandums we
20 have gotten indicate that if you limit your
21 maximum occupancy to 19 people as you have
22 apparently applied that --
23 MS. PLANKO: And so much of it is drop
24 off also because we do keep a client for an
1 hour and a half. These parents they have
2 other -- like their boys are off at the high
3 school or wherever, so they are all over.
4 We kind of have the client not people
5 actually. And the Ann Arbor skating group,
6 they carpool. So, we might have four coming
7 from Ann Arbor in one car.
8 MEMBER GHANNAM: Once we grant it, you
9 are going to have different clients
10 changing. I am kind of leaning towards this
11 under the circumstances if you limit your
12 occupancy. But you do not do business prior
13 to 4:30 p.m. on any particular day?
14 MS. PLANKO: On the weekends we will
15 be there earlier, but other than that it
16 could be a private lesson.
17 MEMBER GHANNAM: You would schedule
18 those separately?
19 MS. PLANKO: It depends on if like if
20 you -- perfect example, one of the ice
21 skaters is an adult, she is 40. So, she may
22 be working that evening. She will come
23 maybe 1:30 in the afternoon. It's one
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: Do you do group
2 sessions any earlier that 4:30?
3 MS. PLANKO: No. Because they are not
4 available. The high school has them or the
5 university has them.
6 MEMBER GHANNAM: What about the
8 MS. PLANKO: The weekends, if we do,
9 it's usually a very small group again.
10 MEMBER GHANNAM: But you will do that
11 during the day?
12 MS. PLANKO: Yeah, there may be some
13 Saturday, some Sunday under special
14 circumstances. You know, the skaters will
15 have some big competition coming and they
16 will want to come in the week before or
18 MEMBER GHANNAM: My preference would
19 be the traffic study, but I think under the
20 circumstances I think that would be a very
21 expensive situation given the circumstances.
22 So, I think at this point I would be
23 inclined to grant your request.
24 I don't have anything else. Thank
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: If I remember
3 correctly, this is the part of a mini
4 business center, isn't it? On the other
5 side of the -- the east side of the building
6 has a different group of tenants that move
7 in from time to time?
8 MS. PLANKO: Yes, McNish Sporting
9 Goods, Sherwin Williams Pant, us and
10 Michigan Chandelier. Maybe us.
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: They are using
12 the same parking lot?
13 MS. PLANKO: Yes, there is actually 76
14 spaces in the entire lot.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: But this is not
16 just for Michigan Chandelier and you, there
17 are other people?
18 MS. PLANKO: The spaces that are
19 Michigan Chandelier and us is 35 spaces.
20 UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: There is a
21 cross reciprocal parking agreement
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Ms.
1 MEMBER KRIEGER: Parking, there seems
2 to be enough parking and then as the
3 Petitioner has stated there won't be an
4 issue. My concern would be the safety that
5 there is so many different buildings. I
6 went there today at 2:30. There was a bus
7 parked at the Grand River area so if you
8 wanted to turn right that would be of
9 concern, the amount of traffic that was
10 there. Of course, after 4:30 might be a
11 different situation. But I know I made
12 somebody upset with Michigan Chandelier and
13 a truck today because I had my car in the
14 wrong spot. So, I would be worried about
15 people coming in and out at 4:30 rush hour
16 at Grand River and Taft how to make that
17 more safe. And that's where I'm at right
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Any
20 further discussion? Yes, Mr. Ibe?
21 MEMBER IBE: To the Planning
23 I am not sure if you have the answer to this
24 question. Do you have an idea of how much a
1 parking study cost?
2 MS. KAPELANSKI: No, I can't speak to
3 that at all.
4 MEMBER IBE: Not even an approximation
5 of how much it runs from just general
7 MS. KAPELANSKI: No, I can't really
8 speak to that.
9 MEMBER IBE: To the Applicant, do you
10 have an idea of how much it costs?
11 MS. PLANKO: I heard that they cost
12 between one and five thousand dollars.
13 MEMBER IBE: How long is the term of
14 the lease you are going to sign? How long
15 is the term, do you know?
16 MEMBER KRIEGER: Five years.
17 MEMBER IBE: Five years.
18 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay.
19 MEMBER IBE: Thank you.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Anybody
21 interested in saying anything or making a
22 motion? I think the basic issue here is is
23 there going to be adequate parking space
24 there? That is the main issue or the only
1 issue. And if you go by the timing
2 suggested by the Applicant her studio is
3 going to be operating, probably there is
4 going to be enough parking.
5 MS. PLANKO: If I may interject.
6 Also, I did go to McNish and to Sherwin
7 Williams and I do believe they both did send
8 letters saying that they have no problem
9 with us using the parking area because they
10 are closed when we are open.
11 MEMBER CASSIS: Mr. Chairman?
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
13 MEMBER CASSIS: You know, I think I
14 would be inclined to go along with this. I
15 am familiar with the property. That parking
16 lot is always mostly empty.
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Empty.
18 MEMBER CASSIS: McNish gets a customer
19 here and there. Michigan Chandelier is the
20 same. If there is no real change of
21 ownership in those two buildings -- is it
22 industrial use?
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
24 MR. BOULARD: Yes.
1 MEMBER CASSIS: In the future there
2 might be a change of use there which might
3 conflict. That would be one of my
4 hesitations. Other than, I thought she
5 could have at least priced a study and
6 presented that to us. It could have been a
7 thousand dollars and not five thousand.
8 However, with all of this and my first query
9 about whether she should have gone to the
10 Planning Commission first, but the lovely
11 planner that we have here said, no, that's
12 okay. So, I am inclined to go along with
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
15 MEMBER CASSIS: If someone else would
16 make a motion.
17 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: I've
18 got another question because McNish was
19 brought up, and just listening to the radio
20 and TV I will throw this as a general
21 question to anyone. It's my understanding
22 they are going out of business?
23 MEMBER CASSIS: McNish?
24 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Yes, they
1 are closing everything out. If that being
2 the case, do we know if anyone is going to
3 move in there? And what kind of business
4 are they going to come in with? And that
5 could throw a wrench in the whole situation.
6 I am inclined to go along with this now, but
7 the what if is still hanging out there and
8 it's looming large at this time, I believe.
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I think let us
10 cross that bridge when we get there.
11 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Chair?
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
13 MEMBER IBE: This is to the City maybe
14 and maybe to the Attorney. If we are
15 inclined to grant this is it possible that
16 we place a condition other than the 19
17 spaces that's required, assuming there is
18 some kind of drastic change to the property
19 itself in terms of new tenants? Is that
20 possible? I'm not sure if it is or not.
21 MEMBER BAUER: McNish is on the other
23 MEMBER IBE: It's on the other side,
1 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: It's a different
4 MEMBER IBE: It's a different
7 MEMBER GHANNAM: I am going to make a
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, go ahead.
10 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll go ahead and
11 move in Case Number: 09-029 for 45285 Grand
12 River that the Petitioner's petition for a
13 variance for parking spaces is granted as
14 presented. I will add the conditions that
15 the maximum occupancy at any time is going
16 to be 19 people including employees,
17 instructors as well as customers. That the
18 variance will be valid during the term of
19 your lease. You said you are going to sign
20 a five year lease, so it will be valid for
21 that time. I believe you have met the
22 practical difficulty standards. It's in
23 conformity with the Zoning Ordinances and
24 it's not self created issues and I think the
1 other portions of the requirements are met.
2 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Second.
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. The
4 motion has been made and seconded. Is there
5 any further discussion? Seeing none, Ms.
6 Martin, you call the roll, please.
7 MS. MARTIN: Member Bauer?
8 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
9 MS. MARTIN: Member Cassis?
10 MEMBER CASSIS: Yes.
11 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
12 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
13 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
14 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
15 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
16 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
17 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Sanghvi?
18 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
19 MS. MARTIN: And Member Wrobel?
20 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Yes.
21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
22 Congratulations and best of luck.
23 MS. PLANKO: Thank you.
24 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Any other
1 business to be discussed tonight?
2 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Motion to
4 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good, thank
5 you. (Unintelligible). The motion has been
6 made --
7 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: And seconded by
9 Mr. Bauer. And all those who approve of the
10 motion please signify by saying aye?
11 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The meeting is
14 (The meeting was adjourned at
15 9:20 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 (103) typewritten pages, is a
12 true and correct transcript of my said
13 stenographic notes.
20 Mona L. Talton,
21 Certified Shorthand Reporter
24 July 31, 2009