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MEETING - ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
Proceedings had and testimony taken in the matters of the ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS, at City of Novi, 45175 West Ten Mile Road, Novi, Michigan, Tuesday, December 8, 2009.
1 Novi, Michigan
2 Tuesday, December 8, 2009
3 7:00 p.m.
4 - - - - - -
5 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I would like to
6 call to order the December 8, 2009 meeting
7 of the Zoning Board of Appeals for the City
8 of Novi.
9 Will you please rise and join me and
10 Mr. Bauer in 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. Ms.
17 Martin, please call the roll.
18 MS. MARTIN: Member Bauer?
19 MEMBER BAUER: Present.
20 MS. MARTIN: Member Wrobel?
21 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Present.
22 MS. MARTIN: Member Skelcy?
23 MEMBER SKELCY: Here.
24 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: Here.
2 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
3 MEMBER KRIEGER: Present.
4 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
5 MEMBER IBE: Present.
6 MS. MARTIN: Member Cassis?
7 MEMBER CASSIS: Here.
8 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Sanghvi?
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Here. Thank
10 you. We do have a quorum and the meeting is
11 now in session.
12 I would like to go over the rules of
13 conduct. Just a friendly reminder to please
14 turn off all your cell phones and paging
15 devices. Individual applicant may take five
16 minutes and groups may take up to ten
17 minutes to address the Board.
18 Zoning Board of Appeals is a hearing
19 board empowered by the Novi City Charter to
20 hear appeals seeking variances from the
21 application of the Novi Zoning Ordinance.
22 It takes a vote of at least four members to
23 approve a variance and a vote of the
24 majority of the members present to deny a
1 variance. Tonight we have a full Board so
2 all decisions will be final.
3 Let us look at the agenda. Are there
4 any changes in the agenda?
5 MS. MARTIN: No, there is not.
6 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: May I have a
7 motion --
8 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Motion to
9 approve the agenda.
10 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The motion has
12 been made and seconded. All those in favor
13 of accepting the agenda as presented signify
14 by saying aye?
15 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Those opposed
17 same sign. So, we have an agenda.
18 Let's move on. We don't have any
19 Minutes to approve.
20 Now is the time for public remarks. Is
21 there anybody in the audience who would like
22 to address the Board regarding any item
23 other than what is on the agenda tonight?
24 (No response.)
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Seeing none, we
2 will close the public remarks section.
3 We will begin with old business. Case
4 number: 09-043, 46050 Twelve Mile Road, Novi
5 Corporate Park.
6 MEMBER CASSIS: Mr. Chair?
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
8 MEMBER CASSIS: May I interrupt? Can
9 we say some remarks about our colleague?
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: We will do that
11 at the end.
12 MEMBER CASSIS: At the end? Okay, I'm
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Is the applicant
15 here? Have you heard from the applicant?
16 MS. MARTIN: Yes, I have. I talked to
17 one of the staff, the office staff today.
18 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, if the
19 applicant is not here then we will move on
20 to the next case.
21 MS. MARTIN: Jason?
22 MR. PARENT: Yes.
23 MS. MARTIN: Are you here for --
24 MR. PARENT: Novi Corporate. I got
1 called in at the last second.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: We were just
3 asking for you to --
4 MS. MARTIN: Yes.
5 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The Petitioner
6 is requesting a renewal of the continued
7 placement of a temporary construction/sales
8 trailer located at 46050 Twelve Mile Road
9 for Novi Corporate Park from November 10,
10 2009 through November 10, 2011. The
11 temporary permit was issued in TUP05-030 and
12 TUP06-020 and was granted continued approval
13 under ZBA07-065. The property is zoned I-1
14 and located east of West Park Drive and
15 north of Twelve Mile Road.
16 Would you please identify yourself,
17 your name, address, and if you are not an
18 attorney, be sworn in by our secretary.
19 MR. PARENT: I am Jason Parent with
20 Amson Dembs Development also DAP Investments
21 which runs Novi Corporate Campus. Our
22 address is 26105 Lannys Road, Novi,
23 Michigan. And I am not an attorney.
24 MEMBER BAUER: Raise your right hand.
1 Do you swear or affirm to tell the truth
2 regarding case: 09-043?
3 MR. PARENT: I do.
4 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
5 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Go ahead.
6 MR. PARENT: I honestly I got called
7 in at the last second. The girl that was
8 supposed to attend had an emergency with her
9 son. My attire kind of tells you that. So,
10 is there anything I need to say? She just
11 kind of said just show up. I'm sorry for my
12 not being prepared.
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay. Is there
14 anybody in the audience who would like to
15 address the Board regarding this case?
16 (No response.)
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Seeing none, we
18 will close the public remarks section.
19 MR. BOULARD: Do you want to check the
21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Pardon?
22 MR. BOULARD: The notices?
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Oh, we will come
24 to that. Have you got any? This is from
1 the last month. Go ahead.
2 MEMBER BAUER: There were 15 notices
3 mailed. Zero responses and two mails were
5 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, there is
6 nothing in the correspondence. All right,
7 your turn.
8 MR. BOULARD: Thank you. I will try to
9 assist in filling things in. A temporary
10 construction/sales trailer as you mentioned.
11 A couple of temporary use permits in the
12 past. There is a limit on how long trailers
13 and that kind of thing can be approved under
14 those. And this case came to the ZBA
15 previously. The petitioner was granted a
16 variance allowing that trailer to stay for
17 two more years. And the request is for what
18 I would suggest a maximum of two years.
19 The only question I had, and I don't
20 know if you will be able to answer it is,
21 I'm not sure, is the trailer being used on a
22 regular --
23 MR. PARENT: The trailer is being used
24 to correspond for the people who have
1 meetings to go and look at the empty spec
2 buildings. And we didn't foresee
3 construction going as long as it has to use
4 the sales trailer, hence we had to keep
5 renewing the permit, and basically due to
6 the times. That's what I know.
7 MR. BOULARD: Do you have any idea of
9 MR. PARENT: We have a lot of people
10 looking at the tenants at the existing
11 building on the corner which I believe is
12 parcel six which is a vacant building.
13 Seven just got filled. And eight we just
14 got that big pile of dirt on that we are
15 going to build our spec building on it. As
16 of right now there is not anything over
18 MR. BOULARD: Is there any plans to
19 dress it up a little bit the longer it
21 MR. PARENT: Yeah, on parcel eight me
22 and a couple other affiliates with our
23 company did the hey bails and the trenching
24 around in regards to the city so the dirt
1 didn't move. We put the grass blankets on
2 it and everything.
3 MR. BOULARD: I guess my question is
4 if there is any plans to dress up the
5 trailer at all? A little landscaping maybe
6 here or there?
7 MR. PARENT: If it's required, yeah.
8 I know during the summer our crew took care
9 of cutting the grass and taking care of the
10 maintenance of the building.
11 MR. BOULARD: Those are the only
13 MR. PARENT: Yeah.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. All
15 right, I will open it up to the Board. Any
16 comments by any member? Yes, Mr. Bauer?
17 MEMBER BAUER: You say you have had a
18 number of people stop by and go through the
19 building there on the corner?
20 MR. PARENT: No real bites, but I
21 believe it's Signature & Associates that's
22 showing the building. Every once in a while
23 we got to go over there and clean the
24 windows and make sure it looks good. And
1 they always call me over there to clean it
2 up, me and my partner, Jose, that work in
3 the field when they show it. And there has
4 been probably about two or three showings
5 within the last couple of months.
6 MEMBER BAUER: You have been
8 MR. PARENT: Yeah, we have been
9 advertising. Usually the owner of the
10 company, Ryan, handles that with Signature &
12 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
13 MR. PARENT: You are welcome. Thank
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Wrobel?
16 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: You said you
17 have one spec building that you are
18 currently trying to lease. You mentioned
19 that you still have an available lot that a
20 spec building has not been built on?
21 MR. PARENT: I believe there are nine
22 parcels. Nine has a building. Seven has a
23 building which was General Development, our
24 partner. Eight is vacant land. Six is a
1 spec building which is built by General
2 Development. And there is one through four,
3 and I believe Toyota is on three. So, that
4 would be one, two, three, four, five vacant
6 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: So, you are
7 looking to keep this trailer up then for all
8 the vacant property too during the next two
10 MR. PARENT: That would be correct,
12 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Thank you.
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Anybody else?
14 No? The economy is such there is hardly any
15 action going on anywhere, so I think they
16 are going to need all the help they can get.
17 May I suggest somebody to make a
18 motion if there are no more comments?
19 MEMBER CASSIS: I'm not the great
20 motion maker. Mr. Ghannam, he is a good
21 motion maker.
22 (Interposing) (Unintelligible).
23 MEMBER GHANNAM: If I have been
24 nominated. If I can have the floor.
1 MEMBER CASSIS: You are an attorney
3 MEMBER GHANNAM: But I usually get
4 paid for it. In case number: 09-043 for
5 46050 Twelve Mile Road, Novi Corporate Park,
6 I would move to grant petitioner's request
7 and limit it to two years starting November
8 10th, 2009 through November 10th, 2011, for
9 the reasons that the setback, frontage,
10 height and so forth unreasonably prevent the
11 use of the property. The variance would
12 provide substantial justice to the
13 petitioner and surrounding properties.
14 There are unique circumstances to the
15 property. It's not self created. There is
16 adequate light and air. There is no increase
17 of fire danger or public safety. Certainly
18 property values will not be diminished. And
19 the spirit of the Zoning Ordinance would be
21 MEMBER BAUER: Second the motion.
22 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The motion has
23 been made and seconded. Do I see any
24 further discussion? Seeing none, Ms.
1 Martin, will you please call the roll.
2 MS. MARTIN: Member Bauer?
3 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
4 MS. MARTIN: Member Cassis?
5 MEMBER CASSIS: Yes.
6 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
7 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
8 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
9 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
10 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
11 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
12 MS. MARTIN: Member Wrobel?
13 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Yes.
14 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Sanghvi?
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes. All right.
17 MR. PARENT: Thank you. Thank you for
18 the start, Charles.
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All right.
20 Moving on to the next one is part of the new
21 business. Case Number: 09-048, 31124 Beck
22 Road, Planet Fitness. Is the applicant
24 The Petitioner is requesting a
1 variance to allow installation of one
2 additional 63 square foot wall sign on the
3 north elevation of a multi tenant building
4 located at 31124 Beck Road for Planet
5 Fitness. The property is zoned B-3 and is
6 located east of Beck Road and south of
7 Pontiac Trail.
8 Would you please identify yourselves
9 and if you are not attorneys please be sworn
10 in by our Secretary.
11 MS. DILLON: My name is Sue Dillon.
12 I'm the owner of Graphic Visions. We are
13 the sign company who has been contracted by
14 Chris Klebba who is the owner of Planet
15 Fitness. He has taken the lease space of
16 this unit. We have a business at 16857
17 Northville Road, Northville, Michigan.
18 MR. KLEBBA: Chris Klebba, I own and
19 operate these Planet Fitness facilities and
20 our main office is in Northville on Main
21 Street, 235 East Main.
22 MEMBER BAUER: Neither one of you are
24 MR. KLEBBA: No.
1 MEMBER BAUER: Would you both raise
2 your right hands. Do you swear or affirm to
3 tell the truth regarding case: 09-048?
4 MS. DILLON: I do.
5 MR. KLEBBA: I do.
6 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
7 MS. DILLON: You are welcome.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Go ahead.
9 MS. DILLON: I am going to let Chris
10 tell you a little bit about the philosophy
11 of Planet Fitness. If you have experience
12 with fitness clubs, it's a little bit
13 different in terms of the franchise and who
14 they are positioning and I think it's good
15 to understand their philosophy.
16 MR. KLEBBA: I will be brief. But
17 normally when you say opening a health club
18 in Michigan in the same sentence you get a
19 lot of grimaces. It's a tough proposition,
20 but Planet Fitness, only about 42 percent of
21 the people use clubs across the country and
22 Planet Fitness is a franchise on the East
23 Coast with several hundred locations. I
24 have been in the business personally about
1 25 years and have been following this
3 What it actually has done is created a
4 whole new fresh approach reaching the
5 non-typical health club user. More busy
6 adults, not people that are worried about
7 being in shape before they go and different
8 things like that. So, we have a very unique
9 fresh approach. We normally bring a lot of
10 traffic, a lot of busy adults to a center.
11 So, obviously the neighbors like that
12 because we bring some traffic throughout.
13 So, it's kind of a fresh approach,
14 different. We offer training. We take away
15 all the barriers. They are normally about
16 fifteen to twenty thousand square feet
18 MS. DILLON: And basically the
19 proposal you have in front of you is
20 consideration for a second wall sign. We
21 did receive a permit for the Planet Fitness
22 channeled letters, and it was within the
23 sign codes which is indicated on the drawing
24 as sign number one.
1 Sign number two is the Planet Fitness
2 icon that is on all their marketing and
3 branding. And because this is a very unique
4 location, I also provided you an elevation
5 of the frontage of a Planet Fitness
6 facility. This particular portion that I am
7 showing the signs on is only from here to
8 here. He physically has all the way to
9 here. It's a very long linear frontage.
10 So, I think it's very important to keep that
11 in scale and in mind.
12 When Chris and I were looking at the
13 building a couple of things came to mind
14 that were concerning both of us. Especially
15 after being there tonight before this
16 meeting, there is not a lot of lighting that
17 lights up the front of these buildings, so
18 at night on the front you have very dark
19 soffits until there is a lit sign. So, we
20 have addressed in this application of ours
21 that we feel that the hardship statement
22 that the Planet Fitness is standing on is
23 that because of their commitment to numerous
24 addresses in this tenant strip mall, the way
1 the interpretation is for one business sign
2 for this location, if he had decided to come
3 under the umbrella of two separate business
4 logos, two different identities, two
5 separate entry doors that he had connected
6 under this entry, he probably could have had
7 both of these signs. He is not allowed to
8 do that by his franchise agreement. He has
9 to do everything under the Planet Fitness
10 name and logo. So, he didn't have that
11 option to do to get more visibility.
12 He basically is located between the
13 Dollar Castle and the Coney Island. There
14 is 165 linear feet there. It originally was
15 marketed and has been vacant for over eight
16 years. They have been trying to get four to
17 five tenants into this space. It has not
18 been built out. There has been no one in
19 it. Chris is going through the built out
20 investment portion of getting the interior
21 up to a facility level for Planet Fitness.
22 We have noted that our concerns for
23 requesting two signs, the first note is to
24 display visibility and viability. At night
1 and during the day these type of complexes
2 are really designed to have repetitious
3 signs to show where people can shop. And
4 because it's such a long linear frontage
5 because there is no repeat of signs it's
6 going to appear that it's still not leased.
7 It's going to look from a distance like the
8 same, people are going to make assumptions
9 due their driving patterns on Pontiac Trial
10 that there is really no change. That there
11 maybe is another smaller unit there. And
12 Chris is making an investment over a large,
13 obviously large linear frontage of that.
14 So, he would normally if he had put in
15 separate units he would have been allowed
16 three to five signs depending on
17 interpretation of the linear frontage and
18 how he used his door entries. Another
19 interesting thing with this unit and the way
20 that it works is he is going to be using the
21 primary entrance of the large peak. The
22 Planet Fitness lettering if you put that in
23 that peak area would not have been able to
24 go up quite as high because he is by
1 obligation has to keep it all in one long
2 line. So, when we started looking at the
3 frontage it made much more sense to put the
4 channel lettering off to the side of the
5 soffit area and to bring in that beautiful
6 circle. And you probably saw the mock-up
7 sign, it fits very well in there. It is
8 within the portion and it does compliment
9 the peak. It also make people realize that
10 that's the main entrance which was the
11 intent of Chris using that full space.
12 The one concern that we do have is
13 because the frontage is so long and people
14 will be parking at nighttime, it doesn't
15 help direct them to the proper frontage to
16 get into that entryway. By having that
17 brightly lit with a logo as well as having a
18 Planet Fitness lettering there, people are
19 going to know what entrance to park and
20 where to go and quickly get inside. Again,
21 it's not a well lit parking area, so it's
22 going to create brightness for those people
23 who are there at night.
24 And there is an equitable mutual
1 benefit to other tenants. If you look at
2 the pattern of the signs along the way,
3 having the two signs there is creating a
4 pattern and continuing to say that it is
5 there now and it is very consistent. And he
6 is currently located between two other
7 signature larger tenants, the Dollar Store
8 and National Coney Island, and both of those
9 were very happy to have him come on board
10 and looked at the proposal with thumbs up.
11 So, that is our rationale and the
12 reason for the request and the
13 interpretation of our hardship.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
15 MS. DILLON: You are welcome.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Do you mind
17 putting those on the overhead so the people
18 at home can see also your logo?
19 MS. DILLON: Oh, sure.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. In
21 the meantime, is there anybody in the
22 audience who would like to address the Board
23 regarding this case?
24 (No response.)
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Seeing none, we
2 will close the public remarks section. And,
3 Mr. Secretary, do we have any
5 MEMBER BAUER: There were a number of
6 notices sent, one objection, and nine were
7 returned. The objection, it was strictly
8 objection. There is no writing on it and
9 there was no name on it that I can make out.
10 MEMBER CASSIS: It may be on the back.
11 MEMBER BAUER: No.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Good, thank you.
13 Mr. Boulard?
14 MR. BOULARD: Thank you. As was
15 mentioned, it is a little bit of a unique
16 situation. The suite or the business is
17 actually going to take up like nine of the
18 potential suites out in the building. The
19 signage that they are proposing is well
20 below the threshold of maximum signage
21 allowed by the frontage. However, in this
22 zoning district and under the sign ordinance
23 those signs are limited to 65 square feet
24 each, so, and in that sense it doesn't
1 comply. However, certainly it's
2 understandable with 165 feet of frontage it
3 may be appropriate to have some more
5 So, if there are any other questions
6 or anything I would be happy to help with
7 that. We did have one question today about
8 leaving the mock sign up. The Board
9 really -- that's outside of the purview of
10 the Board. It's supposed to come down
11 within five days of the approval. Do you
12 know how long you were thinking before you
13 have the other sign ready to go?
14 MS. DILLON: Not a problem. We need
15 about four weeks for fabrication and
16 installation. And the intent of leaving it
17 up primarily is to save the cost of bringing
18 out the truck and pulling it. I mean, we
19 have that high height so we are having to
20 use a boom truck and bring a crew in to do
21 it, so we are trying to save Chris that
22 extra cost of removing that sign.
23 MR. BOULARD: What I would suggest is
24 once you know for sure in the next couple of
1 days how long it's going to take, give us a
2 call and we will see if we can be as
3 flexible as we can.
4 MS. DILLON: Okay, wonderful.
5 MR. BOULARD: But that's something
6 that would be outside --
7 MS. DILLON: It would be removed at
8 the same time of the new one going up.
9 MR. BOULARD: But technically it's
10 supposed to out in five days. But please
11 give us a call.
12 MS. DILLON: Okay. And just call the
13 Building Department?
14 MR. BOULARD: Yes.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you, Mr.
16 Boulard. Well, I will open it up to the
17 Board for discussion. I went there and I
18 saw the place today. The logo looks pretty
19 good, and it's a pretty deserted place so
20 they need some more traffic around there.
21 This might help. I personally have no
22 objection to granting this variance myself.
23 But we will let the Board decide. Thank
1 Yes, Mr. Cassis?
2 MEMBER CASSIS: Ms. Dillon, very
4 MS. DILLON: Thank you.
5 MEMBER CASSIS: She did a very good
6 job. She did a good job for you.
7 MR. KLEBBA: She does a very good job.
8 MEMBER CASSIS: You presented a very
9 logical and very persuasive argument. I
10 think you have done a very nice, tasteful
11 couple of signs. I was trying to see if you
12 could put the one underneath, but you
13 persuaded me otherwise, and I can see
14 because there is no way you can squeeze in
15 the flat one underneath the logo. I believe
16 the area needs some revival and prominence,
17 and you would be helping the others in that
18 same shopping center.
19 I would vote to approve this. I wish
20 him a lot of luck. He has a lot of space
21 here that he is renting. And he is going to
22 need all the help that he can muster from
23 all of us in the community. And, Mr.
24 Chairman, we are here to help. I don't
1 think they are asking for too much here,
2 seeing how wide the area of the building is.
3 And the significance that it can point at
4 that epic thing up there that has the logo
5 on it is very nice and it will direct the
6 people to the entrance.
7 So, good luck to you and I wish you
8 all the luck. That's all I can say, Mr.
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
11 MEMBER CASSIS: Thank you.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Wrobel?
13 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: I too, given
14 the fact that this is taking up a multi-unit
15 section of this building, I have no issue
16 with the second sign because as Mr. Cassis
17 said, and the sign will also direct the
18 patrons of this establishment towards the
19 entrance. And given the footage of it that
20 could be quite helpful. So, I have no issue
21 with this and I would approve it.
22 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good. Yes,
23 Mr. Ghannam?
24 MEMBER GHANNAM: I too have no problem
1 for the reasons that you stated. And you
2 did do a nice job. I just have one
3 question. When do you plan on opening your
5 MR. KLEBBA: Hopefully by the
6 beginning of February. We are waiting for
7 the permit any day. We are ready to go. We
8 are just getting the final stages of the
10 MEMBER GHANNAM: You mean construction
12 MR. KLEBBA: Yes. I'm sorry, the
13 building permit, yes.
14 MEMBER GHANNAM: I have no problem
15 with this also. You did a nice job.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
17 Mr. Bauer?
18 MEMBER BAUER: I think you are going
19 to put a lot of light there in that area and
20 I think that's going to be great for you,
21 and I will definitely vote for this.
22 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Ms.
24 MEMBER KRIEGER: In Case Number:
1 09-048, 31124 Beck Road for Planet Fitness I
2 move to approve the Petitioner's request for
3 the variance to allow the installation of
4 one additional 63 square feet wall sign on
5 the north elevation of the multi-tenant
6 building located at said address. And
7 according to the Petitioner's statements
8 that we grant her request and colleague.
9 And the request is based upon circumstances
10 of features that are exceptional and unique
11 to the property and do not result in
12 conditions that exist generally in the city
13 or are self created.
14 And failure to grant relief will
15 unreasonably prevent or limit the use of the
16 property and will result in substantially
17 more inability to attain a higher economic
18 or financial return.
19 And grant of the relief will not
20 result in a use of structure that is
21 incompatible with or unreasonably interferes
22 with adjacent or surrounding properties.
23 MEMBER BAUER: Second the motion.
24 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. The
1 motion has been made and seconded by Mr.
3 Now, any further discussion? Seeing
4 none, Ms. Martin, will you, please, call the
6 MS. MARTIN: Member Bauer?
7 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
8 MS. MARTIN: Member Cassis?
9 MEMBER CASSIS: Yes.
10 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
11 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
12 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
13 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
14 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
15 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
16 MS. MARTIN: Member Wrobel?
17 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Yes.
18 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Sanghvi?
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
20 Congratulations. Good luck.
21 MR. KLEBBA: Thank you.
22 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Moving along to
23 the Case Number: 09-049, 26132 Ingersol
24 Drive, Novi Town Center. Jim Clear of Novi
1 Town Center Investors, LLC, is requesting
2 one three foot maximum front yard parking
3 setback variance, one variance to locate
4 loading space in the side yard, and one
5 variance for the reduction of loading space
6 of 832 square feet, and one variance to
7 locate the dumpster in the side yard to
8 permit the partial demolition and
9 reconstruction of Building 1 in the Novi
10 Town Center. The property is zoned TC and
11 is located on the south side of Crescent
12 Boulevard and Ingersol Drive and Town
13 Center. I see Mr. Quinn is here.
14 MR. QUINN: Yes, good evening, Mr.
15 Chairman, ladies and gentlemen. With
16 presentations like that us attorneys are
17 going to be put out of business.
18 I'm Matthew Quinn appearing on behalf
19 of Novi Town Center. We are here tonight to
20 talk about what we call Building I. You
21 might know it as the Boyne Sports Building
22 or the Clock Tower Building. As you know
23 the Town Center is going through a
24 redevelopment and this is one of the
1 buildings that is going to be partially
2 demolished and then rebuilt. And because of
3 the way this building sits as an island with
4 roads really all around it we need a few
6 The matter has already been
7 through the Planning Commission who has
8 recommended positively to the City Council
9 approval of this site plan with conditions
10 and subject to the variances. The City
11 Council last night approved the site plan
12 subject to the three variances we are asking
13 you for. These three variances are
14 relatively small, and if you should have any
15 questions on those, we have got
16 representatives from YE Architects are here,
17 (unintelligible) Webster Engineers and Jim
18 Clear, the mayor of the mall is here to
19 answer any questions that you also might
21 The first variance we're asking is for
22 a three foot setback, parking setback. And
23 the reason for that three foot setback as
24 you see up here, this is the interior
1 roadway that runs parallel to Crescent Drive
2 and then it comes out. Well, because of
3 that little moon area we can't maintain the
4 full 20 feet. So, we're asking for a three
5 foot variance in that area.
6 As far as the loading space, we're
7 asking for a variance of 832 square feet.
8 The loading space on this building has been
9 flipped from one side to the other. It used
10 to be on the west side of the building, but
11 it was thought because most of the vehicles
12 come in off Novi Road down Crescent Drive,
13 that would be the first thing they would
14 see. So, it's been flipped to the opposite
15 side where it's more remote and out of the
16 way. Again, because of the curvature of
17 this access road it cuts off the squareness
18 of the loading area and that gives us our
19 deficiency that we're asking for. But it's
20 sufficient enough to allow for the purposes
21 that the loading space is intended.
22 The third variance is the
23 location of the dumpster, the refuse bins
24 which is here in this loading area. The
1 Ordinance says they should be in the rear.
2 Well, since we're in an island we really
3 don't have any rear. We have businesses on
4 all sides. So, that's really the only place
5 that it can go. And those are the three
6 variances we're asking you for this evening.
7 We would be more than happy to answer any
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
10 MR. QUINN: Thank you.
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Is there anybody
12 in the audience who would like to address
13 the Board regarding this case? Seeing none,
14 we'll close the public remark section. Mr.
15 Secretary, do we have any correspondence?
16 MEMBER BAUER: Yes. Seventy-seven
17 notices were mailed out, three were returned
18 and we had one objection from Panera Bread.
19 No wording.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: No wording.
21 Thank you. Yes, Mr. Boulard?
22 MR. BOULARD: Thank you. I have just
23 one question with a bit of explanation.
24 Originally the request or when the plans
1 were brought before the Planning Commission
2 and so on, there was a need for I believe
3 four variances. The petitioner has
4 eliminated one of those which was dealing
5 with the berm. Could you clarify the
6 request for the first variance, the three
7 foot maximum front yard setback? Is that
8 still necessary?
9 MR. QUINN: Well, there is an issue on
10 that. It appears that we may be maintaining
11 the 20 feet, but I guess because of the
12 curvature there it still looks like within
13 the last 10 feet we're three feet deficient.
14 But I guess it's better to ask for it and to
15 get it just in case we're a foot off or two
16 feet off. So, I guess we'll abide by and
17 request it, Mr. Boulard.
18 MR. BOULARD: And we have Kristen
19 Kapelanski here from the Planning
20 Commission. She may be able to comment on
21 that. If there are any other questions she
22 could give you the rundown on what happened
23 at the Planning Commission and so on.
24 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
1 Well, would you like to make some comments?
2 Please go ahead and join them.
3 MS. KAPELANSKI: I guess just a
4 comment on that first question on the three
5 foot variance for the parking setback. The
6 applicant did submit a supplemental plan to
7 address some of the issues in the traffic
8 review, and that plan indicated that they
9 may not need a three foot variance, we
10 haven't formally reviewed anything yet. As
11 far as the supplemental plan goes it may be
12 best just to give them that variance and
13 then should they need it when it comes to
14 stamping site submittal there won't be any
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, thank you.
17 Are you done?
18 MR. BOULARD: Yes, sir.
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All right. I
20 will open it up to the Board.
21 MEMBER CASSIS: I might as well start.
22 You keep looking at me.
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Why not. The
24 year is coming to an end now, you might as
1 well continue the good work.
2 MR. QUINN: Or maybe he thinks you are
3 never quiet.
4 MEMBER CASSIS: I was going to say you
5 wore the same jacket, are you trying to
6 persuade me or what?
7 MR. QUINN: I checked with Nancy
8 before I came, yes.
9 MEMBER CASSIS: Yes. You know, I
10 appreciate all the work that is being done
11 on this whole area. It's been needed and I
12 think it looks like they are going on this
13 job in a very constructive and I think very
14 good way of trying to accommodate all the
15 people that come in to shop there. I don't
16 think you are asking for too much in any of
17 these variances. What size of shoe are you
18 using? I can go by my shoes if you want.
19 You said you might not use any of those, but
21 MR. QUINN: Well, just the one maybe
23 MEMBER CASSIS: Just that one --
24 MR. QUINN: Just that first one,
1 right. But it's still up in the air until
2 the final drawings are done.
3 MEMBER CASSIS: Okay. I don't see,
4 Mr. Chairman, any problem with any of those.
5 Certainly the dumpster should be moved from
6 that area. And also the uniqueness and the
7 kind of setup you have in that island there,
8 you said you don't have an end. That's kind
9 of unique. So, really, you couldn't do it
10 any other way. I would vote for it, Mr.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
13 Mr. Wrobel?
14 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Thank you,
15 Mr. Chair. Not having been on the Planning
16 Commission when this came before the Plan.
17 Background, why is this being done, I guess?
18 I am kind of surprised to see that they are
19 demolishing a portion the building. And is
20 there a potential tenant coming in to occupy
21 the unoccupied space that requested this?
22 MR. QUINN: Yeah. As you know it's
23 been a large rental space with Boyne Sports
24 taking up the majority of this building.
1 The philosophy in the center now with the
2 new management company that has taken over
3 is to make smaller rental units out of this
4 large area. Large areas, although you just
5 had one just ahead of me, large areas
6 typically aren't renting in malls right now.
7 So, the idea is to have smaller uses with
8 multiple users in order to make it
9 economically sufficient. So, that's why
10 typically that it's being remodeled.
11 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Okay. I
12 have no issue with this and I will support
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Bauer?
15 MEMBER BAUER: You are going to have a
16 number of smaller places?
17 MR. QUINN: Yes.
18 MEMBER BAUER: So, you are going to
19 have more signs, correct?
20 MR. QUINN: That will be more money
21 for this body. It's a possibility --
22 MEMBER BAUER: Possibility, probably.
23 MR. QUINN: We would welcome lots of
24 signs along those.
1 MEMBER BAUER: That's all.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Anybody else?
3 Yes, Mr. Ibe?
4 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Chair, I have no
5 problem supporting this as well. And in the
6 absence of any further comments I will be
7 more than happy to make a motion to approve
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I just want to
10 make one comment before you start.
11 MEMBER IBE: Very well, Mr. Chairman.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: And that is, we
13 have only two people in this room who can
14 afford this kind of jacket. Those are the
15 only two.
17 MEMBER IBE: Thank you, Mr. Chair. In
18 Case Number: 09-049, 26132 Ingersol Drive,
19 Novi Town Center, I move that we approve the
20 variance as requested by the Applicant for
21 the reasons that the setback and frontage,
22 height, bulk and density requirements
23 unreasonably prevent the use of the property
24 for the permitted use. The variance will
1 provide substantial justice to the
2 Petitioner as well as the surrounding
3 property owners. And considering the
4 economic times that we're living in, the
5 Petitioner has demonstrated the need to
6 demolish and rebuild the property in order
7 to attract new businesses, which I find very
9 In addition, there are unique
10 circumstances of the property that makes it
11 important for this variance to be granted as
12 well. And the problem is not self created.
13 And it will not impede the light and air for
14 adjacent properties, and it does not
15 increase any fire danger or public safety.
16 And the spirit of the Zoning Ordinance will
17 be observed.
18 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The motion has
20 been made and seconded. Is there any further
21 discussion? Seeing none, Ms. Martin, will
22 you, please, call the roll.
23 MS. MARTIN: Member Bauer?
24 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
1 MS. MARTIN: Member Cassis?
2 MEMBER CASSIS: Yes.
3 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
4 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
5 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
6 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
7 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
8 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
9 MS. MARTIN: Member Wrobel?
10 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Yes.
11 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Sanghvi?
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes. Well,
14 MR. QUINN: Thank you very much.
15 Everyone have a Merry Christmas, Happy
16 Holidays and a good New Year.
17 MEMBER BAUER: Same to you.
18 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All right. Next
19 one is 43350 Grand River Avenue, Potbelly
20 Sandwich Works. Is the applicant here?
21 Please come to the podium.
22 The Petitioner is requesting a
23 variance to relocate the existing 63 square
24 foot south elevation wall sign approved
1 under ZBA07-068 to the west elevation of the
2 multi tenant building located at 43350 Grand
3 River Avenue for Potbelly Sandwich Works.
4 The property is zoned TC and is located east
5 of Novi Road and north of Grand River
7 Will you kindly identify yourselves
8 and be sworn in by our Secretary if you are
9 not an attorney.
10 MR. KOWSKE: Absolutely. My name is
11 Chris Kowske, I'm the district manager of
12 operations here in the state of Michigan for
13 Potbelly Sandwich Works.
14 MR. FRASER: I'm Bruce Fraser, general
15 manager of Potbelly Sandwich Works.
16 MEMBER BAUER: Would you raise your
17 right hand. Do you swear or affirm to tell
18 the truth regarding case: 09-050?
19 MR. KOWSKE: Yes.
20 MR. FRASER: Yes.
21 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you.
22 MR. KOWSKE: Back when we opened this
23 location in November of '07 the signage both
24 on the north and south sides was fantastic.
1 We gained a lot of exposure on Novi Road
2 which is obviously the primary artery there.
3 With the erection of the new building which
4 is currently housing the AT&T, and from what
5 I hear it will soon house a Bagger Dave's,
6 our visibility has been cut in half. Right
7 when that visibility was diminished. Our
8 business actually went down approximately 10
9 to 15 percent. We are no longer getting any
10 visibility at all on the southbound Novi
11 Road travel. And we're looking to move that
12 south elevation signage to that west side so
13 we can gain additional exposure.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: That's it?
15 Thank you. I don't see anybody in the
16 audience, but if anybody would like to make
17 any comment regarding this case this is the
18 time to do it.
19 (No response.)
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
21 Seeing none, Mr. Secretary, have we got any
23 MEMBER BAUER: Seventy-seven notices
24 were mailed, no objections and four were
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
3 Building Department, Mr. Boulard?
4 MR. BOULARD: Thank you. As the Board
5 saw in the previous hearing to grant the
6 exception for the second sign, certainly I
7 would not be opposed in the least. The only
8 reason that we had to bring this back is
9 that the previous variance was specific
10 about the location of the sign. So, any
11 questions I would be happy to answer them.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
13 Yes, Mr. Bauer?
14 MEMBER BAUER: You have a tree on that
15 wall sign near that wall. Is that going to
16 interfere with your name?
17 MR. KOWSKE: No, no, it shouldn't
18 interfere at all.
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay. Yes, Mr.
21 MEMBER CASSIS: I will put in my usual
22 dime's worth. You know, first of all, I
23 went into your establishment in Chicago
24 (unintelligible) where my son lives. He and
1 his kids are so in love with your operation.
2 They really love that operation of yours,
3 and I have been there and here too. I am
4 intrigued. Are you sure that it's better
5 for you to move that sign to that location?
6 MR. KOWSKE: Absolutely. The amount
7 of congestion which you can get just at that
8 traffic light alone is going to help. And
9 we have lost all visibility from Novi Road
10 with that north signage. Now, the north
11 signage we need to keep, that's our main
12 entrance. Once you're in the plaza it also
13 identifies where to go in. However, you
14 can't see it anymore now that the AT&T
15 building is up from any angle whatsoever
16 north or southbound.
17 MEMBER CASSIS: But how about the
18 people that are driving on Grand River?
19 MR. KOWSKE: On the Grand River side
20 you will be able to see it. Pardon my
21 direction here, going eastbound on Grand
22 River. However, the westbound will be
23 blocked. However, we are willing to take
24 that chance in order to capture the Novi
2 MEMBER CASSIS: Yeah, I have no
3 objection, Mr. Chairman. I just question --
4 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I understand.
5 MEMBER CASSIS: Of course, every
6 person has their own thoughts about things.
7 I have been in this community for a long
8 time. I hope it works for you.
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good. Thank
10 you, Mr. Cassis. Do I see any other
11 comments? Seeing none, would anybody like
12 to make a motion?
13 MEMBER GHANNAM: Mr. Cassis has
14 nominated me. He wants to get out of here.
15 I will go ahead and make a motion, Mr.
16 Chair, in case number: 09-050 for 43350
17 Grand River, Potbelly Sandwich Works, I move
18 that the Petitioner is granted their
19 requested variance of relocating their
20 existing and approved additional wall sign
21 from the south to the west elevation as
22 requested. I believe that the request is
23 based on circumstances of features that are
24 exceptional and unique to the property as
1 they suggested, the new AT&T building being
3 That failure to grant relief will
4 unreasonably prevent or limit the use of the
5 property. The grant of relief will not
6 result in a use that is incompatible or
7 unreasonably interferes with adjacent or
8 surrounding properties, and substantial
9 justice will be done to both the applicant
10 and adjacent properties. And it is not
11 inconsistent with the spirit of the
13 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Second.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The motion has
15 been made and seconded. Do I see any
16 further discussion? Seeing none, will you
17 please call the roll, Ms. Martin.
18 MS. MARTIN: Member Bauer?
19 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
20 MS. MARTIN: Member Cassis?
21 MEMBER CASSIS: Yes.
22 MS. MARTIN: Mr. Ghannam?
23 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
24 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
1 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
2 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
3 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
4 MS. MARTIN: Member Wrobel?
5 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Yes.
6 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Sanghvi?
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes. Go ahead if
8 you want to move your sign.
9 MR. KOWSKE: Thank you guys so much.
10 Have a great holiday.
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: That is the end
12 of our scheduled cases. And now coming on
13 to other matters. Number one, I would like
14 to welcome the new city attorney here
15 tonight. Welcome aboard.
16 MS. KOLB: Thank you.
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Number two, I am
18 very sad to see Mr. Bauer go. I have known
19 him for a long, long time, a long, long many
20 years ago.
21 MEMBER BAUER: Now you'll have to
22 work, all of you.
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: We appreciate
24 really your service to the community and the
1 city. And to me personally you have been a
2 great strength and a mentor and I want to
3 thank you for all your generosity over the
4 years. Thank you.
5 MEMBER BAUER: Well, this is a city
6 that I love so...
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I am glad you
8 are going to be hanging around for a while
9 around here.
10 MEMBER BAUER: I hope so.
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: You are not
12 moving out I hope?
13 MEMBER BAUER: No.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Cassis?
15 MEMBER CASSIS: Thank you, Mr.
17 You really put it very capably and in very
18 good words and very good thoughts. I would
19 also like to put my own thoughts into this
20 since I have known Jerry and his lovely
21 wife --
22 MEMBER BAUER: A few years.
23 MEMBER CASSIS: For a few years.
24 Tonight, Jerry, we salute you and give you
1 and your wife, Carol, our gratitude for your
2 long service. My wife and I also thank you
3 for your service. You have been Nancy's
4 political companion for a long time.
5 We all hitched our wagons and headed
6 west to the promised land. Each at a
7 different time of the history of this town,
8 our beloved Novi. I took the road in 1975.
9 You preceded me, and I understand you were
10 here in 1971. You got involved directly in
11 the community from day one and, oh, what a
12 journey that has been to you and to your
14 The late Martin Luther King once said,
15 "Longevity is not that important. It's the
16 value of life." And so it was your 33 years
17 of service. You served with dignity, with
18 grace and wisdom. And you have been a
19 mentor to all of us, as our Chairman has so
20 ably said. And this city is the best for
22 We thank you for all your service and
23 contributions to our community. Thank you,
1 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you very much.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
3 MEMBER BAUER: If you run into
4 problems just give me a call.
5 MEMBER CASSIS: And I do run into
7 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: In a time
8 where the City has trouble filling positions
9 on commissions and boards, people just don't
10 want to become involved in their city even
11 though it's their home, it's amazing that
12 you spent over 33 years helping the City and
13 it's quite commendable. People like you are
14 what makes Novi what it is, a good place to
15 live. And on behalf of the citizens and
16 everyone in Novi I would like to thank you
17 for all your 33 years. And hopefully you
18 can continue to serve the City in maybe some
19 other means.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr.
22 MEMBER GHANNAM: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
23 Again, I'm not going to follow my colleague
24 in terms of the length, but I would like to
1 congratulate you on your service to the
2 City, and good luck to you afterwards.
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr.
5 MR. BOULARD: I just wanted to assure
6 you that based on what I saw on Friday
7 night, Mr. Bauer he was at Ringing in the
8 Holidays with the Citizens Emergency
9 Response Team directing folks here and
10 there. I especially also would like to
11 thank you, and it's been an honor.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
13 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you very much.
14 I'm on the Board for the Friends of Novi
15 Library and I want everybody to know that, I
16 guess, we're going to get into it a little
17 bit sooner than they had hoped. And I'm
18 also a member of CERT which we try to help
19 out the City a little bit and I enjoy it,
20 and so does Carol. So, thank you very much.
21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you,
22 Jerry, we salute you. Thank you.
23 Now, because Jerry is going to leave
24 we are going to have a little minor problem
1 on hand and we need to fill the position for
2 the secretary for next month's meeting and
3 the following month's meeting too. And I
4 was going to suggest that we nominate one of
5 the members. Yes, Mr. Wrobel?
6 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Given that
7 we're going to need a temporary secretary
8 for several meetings I would like to
9 nominate Member Ghannam to fill that
11 MEMBER CASSIS: Second.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Mr. Ghannam, is
13 it acceptable to you?
14 MEMBER GHANNAM: I would be happy to
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Well,
17 Mr. Ghannam has been -- do I see any other
18 nomination? Seeing none, I think you are
19 elected by proclamation, I guess. So, you
20 will be the secretary the coming two
21 meetings and then we'll have the regular
22 election in February.
23 MS. MARTIN: Should I call the
24 members' names just to have a voice vote on
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: If you need to
3 have that. The motion has been made and
4 seconded to nominate Mr. Ghannam as the
5 temporary secretary. All those in favor
6 signify by saying aye?
7 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All those
9 opposed same sign. We go through the
10 motions. If there is no further business to
11 come before the Board may I entertain a
12 motion to adjourn?
13 MEMBER BAUER: So moved.
14 MEMBER IBE: Seconded.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Motion has been
16 made to adjourn. All those in favor signify
17 by saying aye?
18 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
19 MEMBER BAUER: A Merry Christmas and a
20 Happy New Year to all.
21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: And thank you
22 again, Jerry, for all your service. The
23 meeting is adjourned.
1 (The meeting was adjourned at
2 7:52 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 (48) typewritten pages, is a
12 true and correct transcript of my said
13 stenographic notes.
20 Mona L. Talton,
21 Certified Shorthand Reporter
24 December 29, 2009