REGULAR MEETING - ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
Proceedings had and testimony taken in the matters of the ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS, at City of
2Tuesday, February 9, 2010
4 - - - - - -
5 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Good evening.
6 I'd like to call to order the February 9,
7 2010 meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals
8 for the 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.
13 And to the republic for which it stands, one
14 nation under God indivisible with liberty
15 and justice for all.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Ms. Martin, will
17 you please call the roll.
18 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
19 MEMBER IBE: Present.
20 MS. MARTIN: Member Cassis?
21 MEMBER CASSIS: Here.
22 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
23 MEMBER KRIEGER: Present.
24 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Sanghvi?
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Here.
2 MS. MARTIN: Member Wrobel?
3 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Present.
4 MS. MARTIN: Member Skelcy?
5 MEMBER SKELCY: Here.
6 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
7 MEMBER GHANNAM: Here.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. We do
9 have a quorum and the meeting is now in
10 session. I would like to go over the rules
11 of conduct. You can find them on the
13 Just a friendly reminder, please turn
14 off all your cell phones and pagers.
15 Individual applicants may take five minutes
16 and groups may take up to ten minutes to
17 address the Board.
18 The Zoning Board of Appeals is a
19 Hearing Board empowered by the Novi City
20 Charter to hear appeals seeking variances
21 from the application of the Novi Zoning
22 Ordinance. It takes a vote of at least four
23 members to approve a variance -- a variance
24 request, and a vote of the majority of the
1 members present to deny a variance. Tonight
2 we have a full Board so all decisions made
3 will be final.
4 Let's look at the agenda. Are there
5 any changes to the agenda?
6 MS. MARTIN: The tribute to Jerry
7 Bauer has been rescheduled for the March
8 16th meeting because of the weather
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. We
11 have a deletion. May I have a motion to
12 approve the agenda as amended?
13 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Motion to
14 approve the amended agenda.
15 MEMBER CASSIS: Second.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All in favor
17 please say aye?
18 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
19 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All those
20 opposed same sign. We have an agenda.
21 We do have minutes from December and
22 January meeting. Are there any changes to
23 the minutes? Yes, Mr. Boulard?
24 MR. BOULARD: Regarding the minutes
1 from December 8th, on page 9 at the bottom a
2 couple with the last speaker, with our
3 company did the hay bails, H-A-Y instead of
4 H-E-Y. And on page 28, line 17,
5 representatives from the architectural firm
6 of Wah Yee, W-A-H, and then in a separate
7 word, Y-E-E. On page 31 line 6: Planning
9 If I may, on the January 12th on page
10 number 12, the second word in line 19 is
11 within, setback within required side
12 setbacks for eaves.
13 And on page 57, last word in line 16
14 is Division as opposed to Planning
15 Commission. Thank you.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay. Thank
17 you. Anybody else? Seeing none, may I
18 entertain a motion to approve the minutes as
20 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Motion to
21 approve the December 8th amended meeting
23 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll second. Oh, I'm
24 sorry, go ahead.
1 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Do we do
2 them together or separately?
3 MS. KUDLA: Both are fine.
4 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: And also to
5 approve the amended January 12th meeting
7 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll second that.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Motion has been
9 made and seconded. Will you please call the
11 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
12 MEMBER IBE: Present -- yes.
13 MS. MARTIN: Member Cassis?
14 MEMBER CASSIS: Yes.
15 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
16 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
17 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Sanghvi?
18 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
19 MS. MARTIN: Member Wrobel?
20 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Yes.
21 MS. MARTIN: Member Skelcy?
22 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
23 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
24 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good. At
2 this point the meeting is open for public
3 remark section. Is there anyone in the
4 audience who wishes to make a comment not
5 pertaining to any item on the agenda
6 tonight? Please come forward now.
7 (No response.)
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Seeing none,
9 we'll close the public remark section.
10 This brings us to the first case on
11 the agenda. And that is from the previous
12 month so let's begin with case number:
13 09-052, 27225 Wixom Road, Catholic Central
14 High School. Catholic Central High School
15 is requesting a variance to allow one
16 additional 24 square foot, 54 inches high
17 identification ground sign located at the
18 south entrance to the property of 27225
19 Wixom Road. The proposed sign would include
20 changeable copy. The property is zoned R-1
21 and located south of Grand River and west of
22 Wixom Road.
23 I see Father Elmer is here. Welcome.
24 And please make your presentation.
1 FATHER ELMER: The request is for a
2 second sign. The first sign that we have is
3 twice as large as this one will be and it's
4 only one sided. It's 600, over 600 feet
5 apart from the first sign and there are
6 three houses that separate along Wixom Road
7 that separate that sign.
8 We want to use the sign to announce
9 our achievements and also our upcoming
10 events and that's the main purpose of it.
11 And our architect tried at the direction of
12 this committee to see if we could attach it
13 to the main sign and he found it was just
14 impossible without destroying the
15 individuality of that sign and the balance
16 of that sign. So, we did try to do that.
17 There was a concern last time about a
18 sign there increasing the traffic to the
19 south entrance which we did not want to do.
20 And, really, I talked to my maintenance
21 people and it's less than five percent being
22 used now. And our parents know that the
23 most convenient entrance to the school is
24 the north entrance where the traffic light
1 is and also where the front of the school
2 will empty out in.
3 And we also noticed that the other
4 high school, Novi High School here in Novi
5 also has two signs as well. So, that is our
6 request today. And I'd like to -- Mr. Tom
7 Ryan is a friend of mine and has helped us
8 through the building of Catholic Central and
9 as a city attorney he offered to come along
10 today as well to give any advice or answer
11 any questions that you might have.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
13 FATHER ELMER: You're welcome.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Do you have
15 anything to say, sir, right now?
16 MR. RYAN: Just briefly, Mr.
17 Chairperson. Thank you, ladies and
18 gentlemen, for coming out on this evening
19 and doing your civic duty. Just relative to
20 your sign ordinance standards, if I may.
21 You know, this is a unique situation. I
22 know ZBAs are always worried about setting
23 precedents for other similar situated
24 properties. I dare say that we have a fine
1 high school, public high school, Novi High
2 School in the city which has a second sign.
3 And we have approximately 60 acres of
4 property in the city.
5 And when we were here in June, you
6 know, we talked about trying to do something
7 as Father said with the main entrance sign
8 but it was recommended it wouldn't work, it
9 was just too busy and it would maybe create
10 too many issues with people trying to get in
11 there and looking at the content of the sign
12 and whatnot. So, we went back to the
13 drawing board. And, so, I know one of the
14 circumstances is is whether or not it's
15 exceptional and unique circumstances to the
16 property and I would just say that, maybe
17 you'll get another educational institution
18 such as a private school or whatnot or a
19 public school in the city, but we're very,
20 very isolated relative to being on Wixom
21 Road, and most of the traffic comes in from
22 the north entrance as Father said. So, it's
23 a unique property with a lot going on and it
24 needed to get the public and the students
1 and the parents information as to what's
2 going on. And, so, we believe that it's
3 really exceptional and unique, our use and
4 our property, which would militate this
5 having another sign which is only one side,
6 as Father said, which is 24 square feet.
7 We believe that it's critical. That
8 it would really lessen the use of our
9 property by not having the second sign
10 because there are lots of activities there
11 and this is a way to get that information
12 out to people.
13 And, lastly, we don't believe we're
14 going to hurt anybody. The sign will not be
15 incompatibly used with any of our neighbors
16 on Wixom Road. And, so we really believe
17 that we do meet or exceed the Ordinance
18 standards for our variance and we request
19 you to grant the variance this evening.
20 We would be happy to answer any
21 questions. I thank you for your attention
22 and cooperation.
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
24 MR. RYAN: Thank you.
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Does anyone in
2 the audience like to make a presentation
3 regarding this case? Now is the time.
4 MS. SITTOU (ph): Yes, I would.
5 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Please come to
6 the podium. Identify yourself, your name
7 and address.
8 MS. SITTOU: My name is Frances
9 Sittou. I live at 26436 Fieldstone Drive and
10 I'm on Island Lake right next to it. I
11 didn't know because last time --
12 MEMBER GHANNAM: Were you sworn in
13 last time, ma'am?
14 MS. SITTOU: Yes.
15 MEMBER GHANNAM: Is that okay?
16 MS. KUDLA: That's fine.
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Go ahead.
18 MS. SITTOU: I didn't know you had a
19 data show so I brought some things that I'd
20 like to share with you. I'm not sure how you
21 turn this thing on. If somebody could give
22 me some instruction.
23 MEMBER GHANNAM: I believe it is on.
24 You just have to put something on it.
1 MS. SITTOU: Okay. This is the City
2 of Novi map which is not showing very well
3 on here. So, I made some notes so I wanted
4 to be sure I made all my points. First I
5 thank you all for the time to do this as
7 The issue that we focused on last time
8 was really the distance between the two
9 signs. And that really is not the issue.
10 As you know from my concerns expressed, and,
11 Father, in all due respect I'll reiterate at
12 this time. It is the overflow traffic on
13 Island Lake. It's not the distance of the
14 signs on Wixom. It's the proximity of
15 Island Lake to Catholic Central and
16 specifically at the point where there is the
17 fire hydrant. And you can't see on this so
18 I'll be happy to point it. So I marked it
20 Right here it's very close and that's
21 where all the people park and cross over.
22 And so if you're not familiar, I squared
23 that off for you folks. That's the issue.
24 Catholic Central is a prominent school and
1 has a winning team. That's all goodness so
2 nobody is disputing that. But what I am
3 concerned about is the overflow traffic and
4 it spilling over onto Island Lake.
5 Especially when they were winning.
6 On Channel 7 local news last year they
7 said that there were over 8,000 people at
8 one of the events. Where are all those
9 people parking? It's not at Catholic
10 Central. The capacity issue at Catholic
11 Central is a whole other issue, it just
12 needs to be noted that I'm not addressing in
13 this forum. And you can hear the
14 nervousness because it's just been five
15 years of frustration with the other issues.
16 In fact, from the last issue which is
17 not related to this either is the whole
18 water concern issue which I did get an
19 e-mail from Rob Hayes last week that they're
20 going to be putting catch basins in in late
21 spring because of all the water and the ice
22 which is another issue. It's just been a
23 series of issues.
24 So, the parking issue is just one of
1 the things that just has not been addressed.
2 The overflow parking is on Island Lake which
3 is a city street, but they cross over Island
4 Lake which is a private berm. And I have
5 been on the board for Island Lake in my
6 homeowners association. You cannot put a
7 fence in that area which is very close
8 because you need access to the fire hydrant,
9 fair enough. But then the people need to be
10 considerate and not be crossing over.
11 So, the concerns are as mentioned last
12 time, the accessibility of the safety
13 vehicles to travel through Island Lake which
14 is the main thoroughfare through the Island
15 Lake subdivision. People park on both sides
16 of the street. The other one is
17 accessibility to the fire hydrant. Again,
18 who's going to monitor if there's going to
19 be access to that? There's nothing to block
20 it off for people parking in front of the
21 fire hydrant.
22 The safety hazard and the risk of the
23 attendees crossing over private property
24 including at night because there are night
1 games. This is not a lighted area. The risk
2 of a lawsuit to both the City and the
3 homeowners because of the ice, which I
4 brought pictures that is currently on Island
5 Lake because of the water overflow damage
6 that's been going on for the last five
7 years, and the fact that Island Lake is a
8 homeowners private association. And who's
9 going to be monitoring that? The risk to
10 slip and fall. And Island Lake, again, this
11 is a main street. There is going to be over
12 800 homes in Island Lake when it's
13 completely finished. That's 25 percent of
14 your tax base.
15 I also brought some additional
16 pictures. The comments, and, again, with
17 all due respect, but I live there so these
18 are facts.
19 Father stated that he directed the
20 Novi police, and I'm paraphrasing this from
21 last month. That he had directed the Novi
22 police to issue tickets to people that are
23 illegally parked. One, (unintelligible) the
24 fact that he's aware of the parking issue.
1 Two, the Novi police. We have called them
2 multiple times who told us face to face that
3 he cannot do anything about issuing tickets
4 when people park on Island Lake because it's
5 a public street.
6 Three, Father stated last time he can
7 have the Dad's Club direct the traffic.
8 Does the City of Novi what private citizens
9 directing traffic on a city owned street?
10 What kind of risk does that put the city at?
11 What else? He said he knows his people,
12 8,000 people. How can he know 8,000 people?
13 He said when we talked about the cross
14 country team running in the middle of Island
15 Lake as you'll see in these pictures. It
16 was interesting to us because they were
17 running, he said that that had stopped, they
18 were running that day of the last meeting.
19 And these pictures were taken 1-28, and you
20 can see the cross country team, Catholic
22 Here's just one picture of the ice
23 which puts the City at risk for the overflow
24 of the ice coming over from Catholic
1 Central. The fire hydrant is completely
2 covered all the way up to the first notch.
3 We sent several pictures to Rob Hayes on
4 that. More Catholic Central. He can't
5 control his own cross country team, how is
6 he going to control the 8,000 people
7 attending the events that are crossing over
8 my private property?
9 Again, more. And this is what I
10 really wanted to show you and this is what
11 the issue that I'm trying to convey to you
12 folks. You see his team starting to cross
13 over and continuing to cross over because
14 it's a short distance in between Island
15 Lake. And then my husband also took these
16 pictures. My husband just happened to be
17 coming home that day, went home, grabbed the
18 camera, caught the last group of the guys
19 that are running. All the little footprints
20 going over right where the fire hydrant is,
21 crossing over it. Again, if he can't
22 control his own cross country team, how is
23 he going to control the large events that
24 are attending Catholic Central today?
1 The other thing that I wanted to say
2 he mentioned is, he wanted the sign to
3 encourage people to come to the events at
4 Catholic Central that there was a financial
5 impact because the school is not full. What
6 about the impact of the people that are
7 living in Island Lake who are voting people
8 into office here that are 25 percent of your
9 tax base? What about the impact of the
10 homes? Island Lake is one of the main
11 streets going through that subdivision.
12 Again, 25 percent of the tax base. There
13 are many homes that are for sale there.
14 It's one thing to live next to a school and
15 go into it. There's another thing to have
16 to contend with the traffic and the parking
17 that's daily on your street driving through.
18 There is no way, again, to measure that kind
19 of impact.
20 You guys should know better than I do
21 what the pricing is and the tax revenue
22 default that's going on here. The homes on
23 Island Lake are going for less than 50
24 percent of what they were offered to five to
1 seven years ago. Condos are going that were
2 listed between 300,000 and $350,000 are sold
3 now for as low as $130,000 in the last
4 quarter of 2009.
5 Father also referenced that we could
6 get additional police. My question is, if
7 additional police are required to manage the
8 events at Catholic Central which is a
9 private school, whose going to fund it?
10 Catholic Central or the City of Novi
12 Then Father graciously offered to meet
13 with the homeowners. That's me, I'm the
14 only one here complaining. What's the
15 point? The point is as a taxpayer, as a
16 voter I'm concerned about what is the best
17 interest for the people that are living on
18 Island Lake. Who's going to take the
19 responsibility? And who's going to manage
20 the risk? And who's going to pay for that?
21 You know, regardless if the sign is approved
22 or not. Again, I could care less about the
23 sign. My concern is the overflow traffic
24 and the disregard for people on private
1 property. And risks as a City of Novi
2 taxpayer, if we're sued because people are
3 in the street. It's not a lighted area.
4 It's not being monitored. People can't get
5 through to access the fire hydrant. Why is
6 the fire hydrant there? It's there for a
7 reason and a safety vehicle.
8 As I mentioned last time, in the eight
9 years we've lived on Island Lake we've had
10 to call EMS twice. If we could not get EMS
11 to our house for whatever reason I would
12 guarantee you, it's not a (unintelligible)
13 because the City of Novi, the people here in
14 the Zoning, the City of Novi regardless
15 outside of the Zoning has a responsibility
16 to the homeowners and to the taxpayers and
17 not to placate a private school. I mean,
18 the whole issue of what's going on in the
19 capacity and the planning on the parking,
20 again, that's not something here. But, I
21 mean, that all needs to addressed at some
23 So, what I can say is I know I've done
24 my part and I've gone on record and said
1 what my concerns are. I've brought pictures
2 for facts. You know what my concerns are.
3 So, now the responsibility is with the City
4 of Novi whether it's with the Zoning Board
5 Committee or with somebody else. But the
6 City is duly informed of what the issues
7 are. Thank you.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
9 Anybody else?
10 (No response.)
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Seeing none. We
12 would request our Secretary to read any
13 correspondence regarding this case. Do we
14 have any new correspondence?
15 MEMBER GHANNAM: No. According to the
16 file there were 219 notices mailed.
17 Thirty-five returned. Two objections. Zero
18 approvals. And the note in the file
19 indicates that these two objections were
20 received and read into the January 12th
21 Zoning Board meeting so there is nothing
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Nothing new,
24 thank you. Building Department?
1 MR. BOULARD: Nothing to add.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Nothing to add
3 from the previous meeting?
4 MR. BOULARD: No.
5 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All right. Then
6 I will open it up to the Board now for
7 discussion. Yes?
8 MEMBER KRIEGER: I have a question
9 regarding the speaker. Regarding your
10 having the sign and the issues seem to be
11 directed -- where would be the best place
12 for her to take her issues? I'm not sure
13 the relevance.
14 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: The City
15 Manager I would think.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I'm just talking
17 from the top of my head. It is beyond our
18 purview. But the best place to address some
19 of these issues is the City Manager's
20 office. Yes, Mr. Boulard?
21 MR. BOULARD: The speaker did forward
22 an e-mail and some other information, that's
23 what led to Rob Hayes going out to look at
24 the issues with the catch basins and the ice
1 and so on. And he has had some
2 communication back and forth. Also I
3 followed through with the police chief and
4 expressed to him the concerns about the
5 roadways and so on. And as well as the
6 parking on the site at Catholic Central in
7 the drive. And based on a conversation,
8 that's not a problem now when there is not
9 the large groups coming to the games, but
10 certainly he is aware of that and indicated
11 that they will certainly keep an eye out for
12 it and if necessary take the appropriate
13 course of action.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
15 Mr. Ibe?
16 MEMBER IBE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
17 I sincerely want to thank the speaker from
18 Island Lake for submitting her concerns that
19 she had raised regarding the issues here.
20 And also welcome and thank Mr. Ryan as well
21 as Father Elmer for their presentation. I
22 don't have much of a question but more
23 probably a comment here. Like Mr. Chair
24 said, I think most of the issues raised by
1 the objections that we heard is beyond the
2 scope of this Board and certainly if it's
3 something that we could have taken up then I
4 think that we can address those issues.
5 But I cannot address things that are
6 not within the jurisdiction of this Board to
7 take on. And I believe that the property
8 issues that you've raised (unintelligible).
9 As a homeowner of Island Lake you do have,
10 of course, the right of quiet enjoyment of
11 your property and I think that is also true
12 for the people at Catholic Central.
13 I believe that the conversations we
14 had here at last meeting speaks for itself.
15 As to what I intend to do as a Board member,
16 I can certainly say without much reservation
17 I intend to go along with what has been
18 requested here by Catholic Central because I
19 think it's just clearly unfair for them to
20 have an entrance that was approved on the
21 planning of that school and there is no way
22 to access that property through that
23 entrance. Obviously someone had to approve
24 that plan before the school was constructed.
1 It's 600 feet apart from what I understand,
2 600 feet apart. There's currently an
3 entrance there but there is no sign to tell
4 you whether it's Catholic Central.
5 I drive down Wixom Roads two times
6 every single day. It wasn't until last
7 meeting that I knew that that's the access
8 way for Catholic Central. I thought it
9 belonged to some other neighborhood. I
10 didn't realize that Catholic Central owned
11 that. Until I saw the sign I said, oh my
12 goodness, I didn't realize they have two
13 entrances here. It convinced me that
14 obviously that while the school may have
15 used the north entrance, they also have a
16 south entrance that has been left without
17 any sign. It is my conclusion that I will
18 support the Petitioner's request. Thank
19 you, Mr. Chair.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
21 Mr. Wrobel?
22 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Thank you,
23 Mr. Chair. Right now they are requesting a
24 second sign. Both signs will be along Wixom
1 Road. It was mentioned by the Petitioner,
2 he gave the example of Novi High School.
3 Yes, Novi High School has two signs. One is
4 Ten Mile. One is on Taft Road, separate
5 roads. This is redundant. I would be more
6 agreeable to a second sign at the location
7 if it was a directional sign. This
8 obviously is not. This is an informational
9 sign. I don't really think that it's
10 totally required. It doesn't create a
11 hardship. Like I said, if you came before
12 me and said we wanted a directional sign so
13 people know it's just a second entrance, I
14 could go along with that. Unless any of my
15 colleagues can convince me otherwise, I
16 can't support that at this time.
17 In another side bar to this, talking
18 about the Island Lake residents' concerns
19 about parking. I remember way back when on
20 the Planning Commission we addressed this
21 issue, what about overflow? And we were
22 assured at this time that that would not be
23 a problem ever because arrangements were
24 being made with Meijers I believe or
1 something to help with the overflow parking
3 Obviously that has not worked and I
4 was wondering if the Building Department can
5 look into something in that, into the final
6 site plan approval to see if it was noted in
7 there and to see what can be done to resolve
8 the situation. Thank you.
9 FATHER ELMER: Would this be the time
10 to respond to that?
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Not at this
12 point, sir. Thank you. Go ahead. Anybody
13 else on the Board? Yes, Ms. Skelcy?
14 MEMBER SKELCY: I had some questions
15 for Ms. Sittou. Can you please come back to
16 the podium. I know that you're upset about
17 some things that don't really pertain to the
18 sign request. So, I'd like to know from you
19 now that you've had the opportunity to
20 express what's been bothering you, to tell
21 the panel, the Board here, what your true
22 objection is to the sign aside from cross
23 country runners being on the street, parking
24 on that. What is your true objection to the
2 MS. SITTOU: My true objection to the
3 sign, and I appreciate the opportunity
4 because I needed to get that all off my
5 chest. Is that we already have the issue
6 with the overflow traffic. As I said in the
7 last meeting, Catholic Central has not been
8 a good neighbor and it's evident in the fact
9 that we have all the overflow parking.
10 Again, going to the issue with the planning
11 of, you know, what was gonna happen to all
12 this traffic on the large events. It comes
13 and it parks on Island Lake. As an Island
14 Lake resident it is difficult to maneuver my
15 own street to get to my own home on the
16 event days because there is so much traffic.
17 The cars are large.
18 Fieldstone and the other streets, I
19 live in the condos in the back. Those
20 streets are not wide enough to be considered
21 city owned streets. So you have to maneuver
22 people on game days. You know, you're like
23 tunnel vision going down Island Lake because
24 they're parked on both streets. They're
1 crossing over private property. So, the
2 first thing is just maneuvering Island Lake
3 because it's a tunnel vision.
4 People know that little entrance is
5 there which is very close at the fire
6 hydrant and so just on a game day you have
7 to wait for somebody to allow you to come
8 in, but because it's bumper to bumper to
9 bumper cars, hundreds literally, that you
10 have to maneuver yourself in or go in a
11 different way. So, that's concern number
13 MEMBER SKELCY: Okay, but I think more
14 specifically what does the approval or
15 disapproval of the sign --
16 MS. SITTOU: We already have got the
17 issue and if you have the second sign
18 announcing that this is Catholic Central,
19 people have already found that out is only
20 going to direct more traffic onto Island
21 Lake because they're going to go, oh,
22 Catholic Central, and then we're right
23 there. That's the second concern. That's
24 going to facilitate more traffic onto Island
2 MEMBER SKELCY: Even without a sign
3 there is lots of traffic?
4 MS. SITTOU: Right. So then, just
5 like Mr. Ibe said, he wasn't even aware that
6 entrance was there. He goes up and down
7 twice. People that are not aware are
8 finding Island Lake as their second home to
9 park, cross over private property. So, if
10 you put a sign which is right next to it
11 it's going to potentially facilitate more
12 traffic being on Island Lake.
13 MEMBER SKELCY: Okay, thank you.
14 MS. SITTOU: Any other questions while
15 I'm here?
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: No. Thank you.
17 Yes, Mr. Cassis?
18 MEMBER CASSIS: Mr. Ryan?
19 MR. RYAN: Yes, sir. Good evening.
20 MEMBER CASSIS: Good evening.
21 MR. RYAN: Happy New Year.
22 MEMBER CASSIS: Happy New Year to you.
23 I've been very conflicted about this.
24 MR. RYAN: I understand that, sir.
1 MEMBER CASSIS: I value Catholic
2 Central and I value my good friend here and
3 Father Elmer. But here's where I think this
4 lady didn't -- I mean, she has it in her
5 mind but she wasn't able to articulate it
6 and here's my question. If you put a sign
7 in that particular entrance, doesn't it
8 increase the intensity of people saying, oh,
9 this is the entrance to Catholic Central,
10 and thus increase the likelihood of more
11 people going through there? And that's what
12 she is objecting to. The traffic will
13 increase at that time, am I right or no?
14 MR. RYAN: It may, but I thought the
15 objection was to parking on Island Lake
17 MEMBER CASSIS: No, no, I heard both.
18 Parking. She showed the traffic. She
19 showed the people walking around.
20 MR. RYAN: Well, right, and let's just
21 talk about that, Mr. Cassis, for a moment if
22 I may.
23 MEMBER CASSIS: Yes.
24 MR. RYAN: We try to be good
1 neighbors. And you know Father Elmer is an
2 honorable man --
3 MEMBER CASSIS: Absolutely I know
5 MR. RYAN: And we don't want to
6 inconvenience anybody any time. And
7 obviously Catholic Central had a very good
8 season this year. They had maybe six or
9 seven home games. Six or seven days of the
10 year they're going to have people at that
11 stadium. Now, we offered to do the Dad's
12 Club and the objection was you can't have
13 private people out there. Well, the Dad's
14 Club do a lot of things and they can monitor
15 the traffic. We have a contract agreement
16 with my Meijers, with Target, with --
17 FATHER ELMER: Sam's Club.
18 MR. RYAN: -- Sam's Club and Cadillac
19 Asphalt. All our abutting properties.
20 We're trying to keep people off. We don't
21 want to impede or interfere with Island
22 Lake. There is some bandit people that are
23 parking there that shouldn't be there. So,
24 the Dad's Club can take care of that. That
1 shouldn't happen.
2 Secondly, we pay the Novi police to
3 police our events. That's not on the nickel
4 of the taxpayer. We should pay that and we
5 do pay that because that's a surcharge on
6 the public safety of the city and we pay for
8 Thirdly, let me ask you this while I'm
9 sitting here. You know this is a movable
10 sign. It's got moveable letters. What if
11 the sign would say on game days, game days
12 no parking, only at Sam's Club, on campus,
13 Meijers. Do not park Island Lakes. The
14 information could be right there on that
15 sign so people would see it and if they went
16 over there, and I don't know why they
17 wouldn't be towed or issued a ticket. They
18 would be issued a ticket.
19 MEMBER CASSIS: Well, that is helpful.
20 MR. RYAN: I mean, seriously, consider
21 that. It's going to be informational. You
22 know, today is a game day let's be good
23 neighbors. Do not liter. Do not park
24 illegally. This could be perfect.
1 MEMBER CASSIS: You talked about the
2 police. Are you on game day for instance,
3 Father, are you calling the police or your
4 people and saying, look, today there is a
5 game and we want you to monitor this?
6 MR. RYAN: Yeah, we do. And again --
7 MEMBER CASSIS: Is that being done?
8 MR. RYAN: Yes, sir. And the good
9 thing, not that they should be
10 inconvenienced for a day. I don't say that.
11 But it is not on a daily weekly basis. In
12 the fall and it's going to be five or six,
13 maybe seven days. We thought it worked
14 pretty well this year because the city, the
15 public safety people, the police know about
16 it and they are there and we pay for them
17 and we will continue that.
18 MEMBER CASSIS: Mr. Ryan, I asked
19 Father last time this question. Why is it
20 so important to put a second sign? Why?
21 Give me a reason. Are you trying to promote
22 more students to come in? You have a lot of
24 MR. RYAN: We have a lot great
2 MEMBER CASSIS: Okay, so what is the
3 reason? I mean, there has got to be a
4 hardship here as my colleague has said.
5 MR. RYAN: Sure.
6 MEMBER CASSIS: My colleague has said.
7 MR. RYAN: Right, absolutely.
8 MEMBER CASSIS: You know that. You
9 are in that business. What is the hardship?
10 I asked Father, I said what is the hardship
11 for Catholic Central?
12 MR. RYAN: Because to get the message
13 out about the multi-faceted, multi-talented
14 things that are going on at Catholic
15 Central, it's not a simple use. There is
16 dances. There is games. There is SAT
17 scores. There is ACT testing done. There is
18 after school the Crew Club meets today.
19 It's informational gathering and it
20 can be informational gathering for the area
21 in that this is a game day as I said and
22 please be a good citizen. Be a good
23 neighbor. It's for information, Mr. Cassis.
24 And nobody wanted the original sign.
1 Remember we were here in June and you folks
2 didn't want the original sign loaded up with
3 all that stuff because if you got people
4 coming down Wixom Road and they could see it
5 north and south because it's a two faced
6 sign, people are going to say, what's
7 happening now? It was too busy. So we
8 agreed with you about that. But the message
9 still has to get out to people. That's all,
11 MEMBER CASSIS: Thank you.
12 MR. RYAN: Thank you. And we don't
13 want to be a bad neighbor. But honestly it
14 is a public street and if the cross country
15 team runs down the street, I mean, it's a
16 minor inconvenience respectfully.
17 MEMBER CASSIS: Thank you, Mr. Ryan.
18 That's all I have. Thank you.
19 MR. RYAN: Thank you.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Ms.
22 MEMBER KRIEGER: I have a followup
23 question. For the second sign that people
24 would not be aware previously to that being
1 a part of Catholic Central that instead of a
2 directional sign that they're opting for an
3 informational sign, it would probably, that
4 there is a potential that it would have
5 visitors park, go into that street versus
6 Island Lake as well. And also the speaker
7 that she has people in Addington
8 subdivision. Every time there's a Novi High
9 School game I drive down Taft on a football
10 night and the same thing, the traffic is
11 very heavy. There is kids cutting through
12 Addington all the time, so there are similar
13 concerns about cars and teenagers running
15 I guess that would be something that a
16 person would consider when they buy a
17 property next to a school that there is
18 going to be kids running around. So, to be
19 aware of that. So, I would not -- I would
20 be in favor of this sign if they don't start
21 adding directional signs.
22 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
23 Mr. Ghannam?
24 MEMBER GHANNAM: Just a quick comment.
1 Like I said last time for all the reasons
2 that the representatives of CC has stated, I
3 do agree that they've met our standards. If
4 you simply limit it to the issues of this
5 particular sign and not all the other issues
6 that have come up. Obviously Catholic
7 Central has issues with neighbors and what
8 may be going on, but it's not really
9 relevant to the sign issue. So I would be
10 in support of it.
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
12 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Chair, in the absence
13 -- do we have any other discussion? Mr.
14 Chair, can I make a motion in the absence of
15 any other discussion?
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Go ahead. I
17 don't see any more discussion coming around.
18 MEMBER IBE: Thank you, Mr. Chair. In
19 case number: 09-052, 27225 Wixom Road,
20 Catholic Central High School I move that we
21 grant the Petitioner's request as presented.
22 I believe that the grounds are there to
23 allow the Petitioner's request to be
24 granted. The Petitioner has presented a
1 case concerning the fact that the signage
2 that is required on the south entrance is
3 600 feet from the main entrance of the
4 school. The sign that is requested is also
5 an informational sign only and not a
6 directional sign.
7 The request is based upon
8 circumstances which I believe are
9 exceptional and unique to this particular
10 property and do not result in conditions
11 that exist generally in the city or that are
12 self created. I also believe that the
13 failure to grant relief will unreasonably
14 prevent Catholic Central from using this
15 property in the way and manner that it's
16 supposed to be used. Obviously it is a
17 school and schools give out information. I
18 think it is worthy that the school can have
19 a place where they can pass on information.
20 And, lastly, the grant of relief will
21 not result in the use of structure that is
22 incompatible or will unreasonably interfere
23 with the adjacent properties. With all
24 deference to the speaker that objected, I
1 believe that granting this relief to the
2 Petitioner as presented will not interfere
3 with some of the concerns that have been
4 raised which we all have stated is beyond
5 the scope of this Board.
6 Based on these facts and all the
7 matters presented I move that we grant the
8 Petitioner's request. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
9 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll second it.
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The motion has
11 been made and seconded. Do I hear any
12 further discussion? Seeing none, Ms.
13 Martin, will you please call the roll.
14 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
15 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
16 MS. MARTIN: Member Cassis?
17 MEMBER CASSIS: Yes.
18 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
19 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
20 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Sanghvi?
21 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
22 MS. MARTIN: Member Wrobel?
23 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: No.
24 MS. MARTIN: Member Skelcy?
1 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
2 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
3 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
4 MS. MARTIN: Motion passes 6-1.
5 MR. RYAN: Thank you very much.
6 Everybody please drive safely going home.
7 Thank you for your courtesy.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The next case on
9 the agenda is case number: 09-055, 24235
10 Glenda Street. The Petitioner is requesting
11 variances to allow a reduced rear setback
12 for an existing home and reduced front
13 setback for an existing detached garage to
14 allow a lot split of an existing parcel.
15 Property is zoned R-4 and is located north
16 of Ten Mile Road and east of Taft Road.
17 Is the Applicant here? Would you
18 please come to the podium, identify
19 yourself, give your name and address, and if
20 you are not an attorney please be sworn in
21 by our secretary.
22 MR. VARIS: Good evening, my name is
23 Chuck Varis. I live at 749 Sherbrook,
24 Commerce Township, Michigan and I need to be
1 sworn in.
2 MEMBER GHANNAM: Would you raise your
3 right hand. In case number: 09-055 for
4 24235 Glenda do you swear or affirm to tell
5 the truth in this case?
6 MR. VARIS: Yes.
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Please go ahead.
8 MR. VARIS: Basically just to give you
9 a little background, I purchased this parcel
10 back in 2005 knowing that it could be split
11 and a buildable lot would be there. We did
12 proceed in 2005 to have the parcel surveyed
13 and the split was finalized in 2005. Since
14 that time this parcel has been assessed and
15 taxed as a buildable parcel, the side lot.
16 I just want to go through a couple bullet
17 points and then I'm really here mainly to
18 answer your questions tonight.
19 First off, we are not proposing any
20 change to the house that's been there for 50
21 years that is existing and non-conforming.
22 So, we are not proposing any increase to the
23 non-conformity of the existing situation.
24 What brought this up was I saw the new
1 library, it's a beautiful library by the
2 way, but I saw the new library go up and it
3 was pretty close to the Ten Mile parcel and
4 I thought maybe if I increase from 100 foot
5 that the lot is currently split at to 150 it
6 would give a little more of a building
7 envelope to an eventual home builder.
8 So, I went and talked to Assessing and
9 they said, yes, go downstairs. And at that
10 point I was told that staff's interpretation
11 currently is that these two separate lots
12 are one zoning parcel. And so if I do
13 anything to either parcel I had to come
14 before this Board tonight. So, that's
15 basically what got me here this evening.
16 This lot, the total lot was originally
17 divided before water and sewers were
18 available and the lots were larger because
19 you need a large septic field. This lot
20 currently has water and sewer available.
21 Actually the existing house is connected to
22 city water and city sewer and because of
23 this you can have lots that are more in
24 keeping with the current zoning standards
1 and current trends with building in the City
2 of Novi.
3 I guess one thing that is so unique
4 about this lot in the area is that it does
5 have water and sewer available. A lot of
6 these adjacent parcels do not, especially
7 going down Glenda.
8 Other than that, I just want to go
9 through real quickly why I think this
10 variance could be granted. The additional
11 question, setback, frontage, height, bulk
12 and density requirements unreasonable
13 prevent the use of the property for a
14 permanent purpose. Basically it's not
15 practical to move an existing house that's
16 been there for 50 years. We're not
17 proposing to do any changes. There is a
18 shed that's existing that staff has pointed
19 out they would like to have relocated which
20 I have no issue with.
21 Will a variance provide substantial
22 justice to the Petitioner and surrounding
23 property owners in the Zoning District? In
24 my opinion definitely yes. Are there any
1 circumstances of the property? Yes, the
2 property and sewer are available to this
3 parcel unlike the others in the area, so
4 there is really not a precedent being set
5 for other parcels that would not have that
6 available. Is the problem self created?
7 No. Adequate light and air is provided for
8 adjacent properties, yes. No increase of
9 fire danger or public safety, yes. Property
10 values will not be diminished within the
11 surrounding area, definitely they will not
12 be. Anything that I have ever had built or
13 done to an area has been a great
14 enhancement. And the spirit of the Zoning
15 Ordinance is observed. I believe it is.
16 Other than that, I am just here to
17 answer your questions. Thank you.
18 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Is
19 there anybody in the audience who would like
20 to address the Board regarding this case?
21 (No response.)
22 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Seeing none,
23 we'll close the public comment section. Mr.
24 Secretary, do you have any correspondence?
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: Twenty-five notices
2 were mailed out. Three returned. One
3 approval. Zero objections. And the
4 approval came from a person by the last name
5 of Ryznar, R-Y-Z-N-A-R, from 44875 Yorkshire
6 in Novi. And it's just simply circled
7 approval with no comments.
8 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
9 Building Department?
10 MR. BOULARD: Thank you. I don't have
11 a whole lot to add to the Petitioner's
12 presentation. There was one comment I would
13 like to make, though. The existing shed
14 along the north property line is
15 non-conforming because it would be the
16 second detached accessory building,
17 accessory structure so that really needs to
18 be removed. And I have suggested --
19 MR. VARIS: Okay.
20 MR. BOULARD: It's a fairly small shed
21 and it's way out in the back. Other than
22 that, the existing parcel now has water and
23 sewer available. I think that dividing the
24 site into two lots of 100 by 150 is
1 preferable actually to having a 100 by 100
2 lot out close to the road. So, I would
3 support the request and I will be happy to
4 answer any questions.
5 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. All
6 right, I will open it up to the Board.
7 While you are thinking I have a couple of
8 questions, sir.
9 MR. VARIS: Yes.
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Where is your
11 septic tank on this lot?
12 MR. VARIS: It's the water and sewer.
13 There is no septic tank.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: You never had
16 MR. VARIS: Oh, you mean originally?
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
18 MR. VARIS: I honestly do not know the
19 answer to that question. I would have to do
20 some research. The abandon tank you are
21 speaking of?
22 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Which part of
23 the lot it's likely to go into?
24 MR. VARIS: Oh, it would be on the
1 same parcel that it's on now. But it would
2 be fairly close to the house. It would be
3 the south boundary of the home which is
4 about 120 feet from the north property line,
5 so, it would be within the 30 feet of that
6 home for sure.
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. You
8 already have water and sewer already?
9 MR. VARIS: Yes, there is already
10 connected water and sewer.
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
12 Okay. Yes, Ms. Skelcy?
13 MEMBER SKELCY: Do you plan to build
14 on the lot yourself or are you going to sell
15 the lot?
16 MR. VARIS: I'm not really decided. I
17 tried to sell it, and just with the current
18 economy I have been sort of just letting it
19 sit. My original goal was to actually build
20 and then sell it sort of as a spec home, but
21 I'm not sure with the current economic
22 climate that's something that I would be
23 able to do in the near future.
24 MEMBER SKELCY: Thank you.
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Cassis?
2 MEMBER CASSIS: To our City Attorney.
3 Is this a lot split?
4 MS. KUDLA: I believe it is proposed
5 for a lot split.
6 MEMBER CASSIS: Doesn't this have to
7 go through some -- now I was involved in a
8 case of a lot split one time, but it had to
9 go through either the state or the county
10 with some legal action. I mean, I can't
11 remember how -- that was 20 years ago.
12 MS. KUDLA: It looks like it's going
13 to be combined. There is existing parcels
14 that are going to be combined and re-split.
15 For the purpose of resizing what the lots
16 started out as being, so there was two lots
17 but the lot sizes were not what the property
18 owner liked so he decided to combine and
19 re-split it in a different location. It
20 started off as two and winded up as two,
21 just two different sizes.
22 MEMBER CASSIS: But the word split is
23 there. My question is, does this have to go
24 through some other kind of legal action?
1 MS. KUDLA: The county will look at
2 the parcel items. I don't know if it would
4 MR. BOULARD: The city appraiser or
5 assessor also has to weigh in on this. But
6 coming here is the precursor to that.
7 MEMBER CASSIS: Are you saying he
8 still has to go?
9 MR. BOULARD: Yes. We're not
10 splitting the lot or combining the lots.
11 All this is is dealing with the setbacks so
12 that he can move for with that.
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: This is a
14 request for the variance for the setback and
15 not splitting the lot.
16 MEMBER CASSIS: So, you will still be
17 going through the legal actions that I
18 thought I had remembered?
19 MR. VARIS: Yes.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Your memory is
21 correct. But this is not the issue at this
23 MEMBER CASSIS: That was my question.
24 Okay, thank you.
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Anybody else?
2 MEMBER GHANNAM: I have a question.
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr.
5 MEMBER GHANNAM: I've reviewed your
6 request, sir. And I do agree also that it
7 is preferable as opposed to the way you have
8 it, so I have no problem with it, but with
9 the existing shed to the north side of
10 property being removed as a condition.
11 MR. VARIS: Okay.
12 MEMBER GHANNAM: So, I have no problem
13 other than that.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
15 Anybody else? Yes, Mr. Wrobel?
16 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Thank you,
17 Mr. Chair. Mr. Boulard, regarding the
18 reduced setbacks, do we have any way --
19 obviously he doesn't have any homes planned
20 for the second lot, do we have any idea how
21 much of a variance would be required on the
22 setback that don't meet our current
24 MR. BOULARD: My understanding is that
1 the request is for setbacks for the existing
2 house only and that any new construction
3 that would be contemplated would meet the
4 requirements of the (unintelligible).
5 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Okay. All
6 right, no problem.
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good.
8 Anybody else? Are you saying something, Mr.
10 MEMBER CASSIS: Yeah, yeah, one more
11 question to the attorney. I just
12 remembered, and I realize that this is not
13 the split thing, but for your purpose -- are
14 you a lawyer or no?
15 MR. VARIS: No.
16 MEMBER CASSIS: So, you don't know
17 about splitting of lots?
18 MR. VARIS: Well, just having been
19 through the process several times and having
20 gone through it with this particular parcel
22 MEMBER CASSIS: Now, as I recall that
23 splitting, and he has to go and split it
24 after we give him whatever, has to be with a
1 parcel that is a certain size that maybe
2 this is not the right size to be split.
3 MS. KUDLA: It's going to depend on
4 the zoning district, so I think that the
5 Assessor is going to take that into
6 consideration as part of his analysis. So
7 that wouldn't be something you would have to
8 worry about here. And I think we are just
9 looking at is how -- you know, if this was
10 to happen, what is currently there, is that
11 going to meet the current zoning. Are you
12 asking whether a certain number of lots, how
13 many lot splits? Or are you asking about
14 lot size?
15 MEMBER CASSIS: Well, first of all, I
16 think from what I recall is, number one, how
17 large the parcel is and how many splits.
18 MS. KUDLA: Well, that's all going to
19 depend on the parent parcel that it came
20 from and that's not really something we know
21 here today and that we will be considering
22 today. That would take a lot of more
23 information. The Assessor would have to
24 look at that and decide where did that
1 parcel originate. How many times has it
2 been split over the years. That's really
3 not something that we have been given the
4 information for.
5 MEMBER CASSIS: I'm just airing this
6 out for purposes of information for this
8 MS. KUDLA: It's probably part of the
9 application process and then the Assessor
10 will go back through all that information.
11 MEMBER CASSIS: Okay, thank you.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Very good. You
13 done, Mr. Cassis?
14 MEMBER CASSIS: Yes, thank you. Sorry
15 to take your time up.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Anybody else?
17 Seeing none, may I entertain a motion? Yes,
18 Mr. Ghannam?
19 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll make a motion,
20 Mr. Chair, in case number: 09-055 for 24235
21 Glenda, that we approve the petition as
22 requested with the contingency that the
23 existing shed adjacent to the north property
24 line should be removed. That the variance
1 should be granted because the setback,
2 frontage, height, bulk, density requirements
3 unreasonably prevent the use of the property
4 for a permitted purpose. The variance will
5 provide substantial justice to the
6 petitioner and the surrounding property
7 owners in the zoning district. There are
8 unique circumstances to this property. They
9 are not self created. Adequate light and
10 air is provided to adjacent properties. No
11 increase of fire danger or public safety.
12 Property values will not be diminished
13 within the surrounding area. And the spirt
14 of the Zoning Ordinance is observed.
15 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Second.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The motion has
17 been made and seconded. Do I hear any
18 further discussion? Seeing none, Ms.
19 Martin, will you please call the roll.
20 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
21 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
22 MS. MARTIN: Member Cassis?
23 MEMBER CASSIS: Yes.
24 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
1 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
2 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Sanghvi?
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
4 MS. MARTIN: Member Wrobel?
5 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Yes.
6 MS. MARTIN: Member Skelcy?
7 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
8 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
9 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
10 MS. MARTIN: Motion passes 7-0.
11 MR. VARIS: Thank you very much. I
12 would like to thank of the members of the
13 Board and staff for all your help through
14 this matter.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Moving on, the
16 next case, case number: 10-001, 27000
17 Sheraton Drive, Crowne Plaza Hotel. The
18 petitioner is requesting a variance to allow
19 installation of an additional 22.6 SF awning
20 sign for the Crowne Plaza Hotel located at
21 27000 Sheraton Drive. The property is zoned
22 C and is located north of I-96 and west of
23 Novi Road.
24 Will you please identify yourself,
1 give your name and address and if you are
2 not an attorney please be sworn in by our
4 MR. LUCERO: My name is Tony Lucero.
5 I'm the owner operator of Eagle Graphics &
6 Design. I am not an attorney.
7 MEMBER GHANNAM: Please state your
9 MR. LUCERO: My address is 82 Myrick
10 Avenue, White Lake, Michigan.
11 MEMBER GHANNAM: For case number:
12 10-001, do you swear or affirm to tell the
13 truth in this matter?
14 MR. LUCERO: I do.
15 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Go ahead.
16 MR. LUCERO: Ladies and gentlemen, I'm
17 here on behalf of the Matt Prentice
18 Restaurant Group representing my client,
19 Matt Prentice who is the owner operator of
20 the No. VI Chophouse located, co-located
21 with the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the City of
22 Novi. Mr. Prentice is an independent
23 operator who is a leaseholder subordinate to
24 the Crowne Plaza Hotel who is the landlord.
1 This facility is a world class fine
2 dining restaurant, again, that is
3 independently operated. And as such he is
4 located within the main footprint of the
5 hotel, the Crowne Plaza. And like many
6 other similar situations, he enjoys dual
7 entrances into his restaurant. He has an
8 independent exterior restaurant outside the
9 building with double doors and that's where
10 we are proposing to place identifying
11 signage above those doors.
12 And additionally he has a secondary
13 entrance from the lobby of the Crowne Plaza
14 Hotel. Very customary when you have fine
15 dining or dining room, dining facility
16 within a hotel. Mr. Prentice is asking to
17 support his business by allowing, by asking
18 the Board to allow him to have signage
19 identifying the entrance of his restaurant.
20 Presently there is the Crowne Plaza
21 Hotel. Again it's in that main footprint,
22 Novi or No. VI Chophouse. And also another
23 enterprise operated by Mr. Prentice of Matt
24 Prentice Restaurant Group which is Deli
2 Today I have with me the general
3 manager, Tony Anan (ph) from the No. VI
4 Chophouse who works for Matt Prentice
5 Restaurant Group. Well, the situation is we
6 in accordance with the City of Novi we
7 applied for a permit for this sign and was
8 denied. We were denied because of the
9 current zoning ordinance that does not allow
10 multiple signs for a single parcel, single
12 In this case Mr. Prentice did not
13 create the hardship. He leased the facility
14 that was operated previously in a similar
15 fashion with a restaurant called Benedetto's
16 and I think maybe one other one before that
17 time. After making his leasehold
18 improvements and investing quite a bit of
19 money in getting his restaurant open in
20 2009, we are now in accordance again with
21 the City requirements. We've put up a
22 mock-up of the sign on the awning above the
23 entrance, the outside entrance to the
24 restaurant. And I'm assuming, I don't know
1 if the majority of the Board has had an
2 opportunity to get out to the Crown Plaza
3 Hotel to see that mock-up. In case you
4 haven't, I have an illustration of showing
5 what we did.
6 There is a double very nice oak door,
7 double entrance, very low. Not a high
8 profile door by any means, but the entrance
9 is crowned with a fabric covered awning
10 above that part of the building. And that's
11 where we put the mock-up letters. These are
12 polished aluminum letters non-illuminated.
13 They are attached through the awning fabric
14 into the skeleton or the frame work of the
15 awning. And that is what Mr. Prentice would
16 like to enjoy to promote his business.
17 Now, he serves both hotel guests in
18 that restaurant as well as customers from
19 outside the hotel. So, as you come into
20 that facility and you're not staying in the
21 hotel, you pull into the parking lot, you
22 are going to meet a client there for dinner
23 you want to know which door to go in to.
24 Without a sign it would be almost
1 predictable that anybody would have to go
2 into the hotel, stand in the lobby and maybe
3 go up to the counter, wait for other people
4 to check in and say where is the entrance to
5 the -- how do I get to the No. VI Chophouse.
6 Just a side bar, that the No. VI
7 Chophouse is a Zagat rated world class fine
8 dining establishment and it's a real asset
9 in the City of Novi to have an operator of
10 his caliber. So, beyond that I'm here to
11 answer any questions that the Board may
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. In
14 the meantime will you put this on the
15 projector there so the people at home can
16 see the sign. Do you have a smaller
17 version? Or you can have one of these.
18 While he's doing that, is there
19 anybody in the audience who would like to
20 address the Board regarding this case?
21 Please come to the podium, identify
22 yourself. Give your name and address.
23 MR. AMAN (ph): My name is Tony Aman.
24 My address is 18865 Lexington, Redford,
2 MEMBER GHANNAM: Would you raise your
3 right hand, please. In case number: 10-001
4 do you swear or affirm to tell the truth in
5 this matter?
6 MR. AMAN: I absolutely do.
7 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
8 MR. AMAN: Good evening and thank you
9 for your time. One point I just wanted to
10 make, ladies and gentlemen, is that the No.
11 VI Chophouse is not a new business coming
12 into Novi. We've been a restaurant in Novi
13 for over 15 years, previously housed at the
14 Hotel Baronette where we have attracted
15 guests from all over the world. But what's
16 really unique about the No. VI Chophouse is
17 that Monday through Thursday we do attract
18 world business travelers, but on Friday,
19 Saturday and Sunday we are definitely a
20 community restaurant and have been supported
21 by the Novi community and the surrounding
22 communities here in Michigan.
23 And the life blood of our business is
24 being able to offer such a valued product
1 and service that we do at No. VI. Had it
2 not been for a change in management at the
3 Hotel Baronette last November we would still
4 be housed there. But because they are
5 moving in a different direction with
6 Marriott we were forced to find a new home.
7 We had a lot of offers with other hotels in
8 Metro Detroit because of our reputation as
9 being an excellent restaurant, but because
10 the Novi community and the local people here
11 have supported us so well, we really wanted
12 to stay here in Novi. And Mr. Azmar (ph),
13 the owner of the Crowne Plaza was looking
14 for a restaurant operator that had a
15 reputation of quality. And it was kind of
16 like fate that we could stay within a
17 quarter mile proximity of where we had been
18 for over 15 years.
19 The day we moved over to the Crowne
20 Plaza was the opening of construction on the
21 I-696, 96, 275 corridor. That was the
22 beginning of May. It lasted all summer long
23 and followed up with the complete
24 resurfacing of Novi Road which was
1 definitely, with the exception of coming in
2 back behind Emagine Theater, the only way to
3 get into our restaurant. And the fact that
4 we are still alive and kicking through all
5 of that is evidence that we're just not a
6 fly-by-night restaurant. People actually,
7 they fought and clawed to get to us because
8 they know what we have to offer. And on top
9 of it not to have a sign to advertise where
10 we were, it was absolutely brutal.
11 I mean, to ask any business in your
12 city to overcome all of that is, it's tough.
13 And I know you're aware of how many
14 restaurants have opened and closed over the
15 last couple of years because of the economic
16 times here in Michigan. The fact that Matt
17 has persevered and the No. IV Chophouse
18 still stands here in Novi. And we are known
19 in Japan as the Novi Chophouse. I think it
20 would be really tough to ask us not to get
21 approved for a sign. And that's what I'm
22 asking for. Thank you.
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
24 Seeing nobody else, Mr. Secretary, will you
1 kindly read any correspondence in this case.
2 MEMBER GHANNAM: There were ten
3 notices mailed. Zero returned. No
5 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Mr.
7 MR. BOULARD: Thank you. In the staff
8 report I wanted to try to provide as much
9 clarification. This site is a unique site
10 and over the years this Body has granted a
11 lot of variances. You may recall that
12 earlier in 2009 there was a request for a
13 sign up on the hotel wall. At that time we
14 did a similar rundown of the signage that's
15 there on the site. If you go back and look
16 at that you'll note that the numbers have
17 changed somewhat. Part of that is because
18 there were variances that were granted
19 previously that the signs weren't used so it
20 was kind of dropped off.
21 They went beyond the allowable time
22 for the permit to be picked up and so on.
23 With that said, there is lot of signage for
24 the site. And I'm concerned about that. I
1 met with Toni Brandon some time ago
2 regarding this exact issue with Crowne Plaza
3 and discussed this with her, suggested that
4 there may be some of these signs that
5 they're not using, I'm not sure. But
6 suggested that obviously this is the process
7 to get the sign, it's very important for
8 this restaurant. And where Deli Unique has
9 a dedicated entrance to the outside, this
10 entrance you go in and you can access the
11 lobby and other parts of the hotel before
12 you enter into the restaurant. That's why
13 there's not a sign allowed by right as there
14 is for Deli Unique.
15 With that said, if there are any
16 questions I'll be happy to do my best.
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
18 Before I go further I have a question for
19 you, Mr. Boulard. Isn't this a separate
20 business on the same premises which requires
22 MR. BOULARD: It is a separate
23 business. The sign ordinance specifies an
24 additional sign is allowed for businesses
1 that have a direct outside entrance. And in
2 this case as I mentioned Deli Unique does
3 have that direct outside entrance on the
4 west. This building, this restaurant you go
5 into a portion of the larger structure and
6 then into the entrance across a lobby,
7 so-to-speak. So, in that sense it's not a
8 single outside entrance serving just the
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
11 Mr. Wrobel?
12 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Thank you,
13 Mr. Chair. First off I'd like to thank the
14 Prentice Restaurant Group for remaining in
15 Novi. You're an asset to the city and we're
16 glad you were able to relocate so close by.
17 I'm looking at the drawing of the sign and
18 we have 21 inches of height and 155 inches
19 long. The way it's presented on the drawing
20 is that the lettering height or is that the
21 whole awning length and height?
22 MR. LUCERO: That would be the
23 lettering height and the perimeter around
24 from the top of the highest point of the
1 lettering, bottom of the lettering to the
2 extreme left and right.
3 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: The extreme
4 left and right of the lettering or above?
5 MR. LUCERO: Of the lettering.
6 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: What is the
7 total length of the awning then from the one
8 end to the other end?
9 MR. LUCERO: I don't have that exact
10 figure. If I had to scale it I would say
11 it's --
12 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Just a
14 MR. LUCERO: Maybe three times the
15 width of the sign, so I'm talking about 450
16 inches, 40 feet.
17 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Another
18 question is what is the depth of the awning
19 that would be mounted on the building?
20 Because I don't see it on the drawing here?
21 MR. LUCERO: The depth of the awning
22 I'm going to guesstimate would be about 24
23 inches, 18 to 24.
24 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Okay. So,
1 it's very minimal. Looking at where the
2 sign would be presented by an exterior
3 entrance, right off the parking lot where
4 cars will be parking, personally if I were
5 going there, if I could afford to go there,
6 I wish I could, it would be very helpful to
7 me to get in and out quickly. And I have no
8 issue with this sign and I'll support it.
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Yes,
10 Mr. Ghannam? And then Mr. Cassis.
11 MEMBER GHANNAM: Sir, I also have no
12 problem with it in terms of the height and
13 width. According to the drawing that you
14 presented, though, it does say it's 155
15 inches in length. Does that make sense and
16 21 inches high, though?
17 MR. LUCERO: Yes, sir.
18 MEMBER GHANNAM: So, that's going to
19 be the dimensions of the sign, correct?
20 MR. LUCERO: That's exactly right.
21 MEMBER GHANNAM: Also, we've had
22 issues with businesses within a business and
23 certainly especially with a gem like this
24 you deserve to put a sign up, so I have no
1 problem with it also.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes, Mr. Cassis?
3 MEMBER CASSIS: Thank you, Mr.
4 Chairman. Yes, it is a unique kind of
5 situation that we are presented with. And
6 it's kind of ironic, Mr. Boulard says that
7 there are so many signs there which in
8 itself I think explains why he should have a
9 sign because if there are so many others,
10 people coming to this world renown, which I
11 can testify to, I have been there quite a
12 few times at the old location. You do a
13 fantastic job.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: You can afford
16 MEMBER CASSIS: I can afford it.
17 MEMBER IBE: It's a fine restaurant.
18 MEMBER CASSIS: Anyhow, it's kind of
19 ironic that because there are so many signs,
20 that you need this sign to say, hey, this is
21 the Chophouse. That's number one. Number
22 two, this is so far removed from the road or
23 where people can say, oh, look there are so
24 many signs here. So, you know, really it
1 does not really attest to the idea that,
2 look, there is so many conglomerations of
3 signs in this area.
4 And it's such a nice looking -- you
5 did a nice job here on this sign. It's
6 very, very nice, very sharp.
7 MR. LUCERO: Thank you, sir.
8 MEMBER CASSIS: You know, times are
9 tough, times are tough. And this gem of a
10 restaurant we want it here. We want it to
11 stay and I'm so glad that you chose to stay
12 in the same area. And we wish you -- you
13 know, you went through tough times with
14 those constructions. I know it. Those were
15 tough times. And Matt Prentice has so many
16 other operations and still fighting and
17 persevering to keep that business going. I
18 applaud him and I will vote for this, Mr.
19 Chairman. Thank you.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
21 Anybody else? Yes, Mr. Wrobel?
22 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: I would just
23 like to make a side comment for the other
24 members of the panel. Mr. Cassis and I
1 served on the Master Plan and Zoning
2 Committee through the last update last year
3 and this is relative to the number of signs
4 at this facility. Well, when we did a study
5 of this area, what was the main problem?
6 People don't know how to get in there. So,
7 yes, there are a lot of signs here, but I
8 think the way it's structured right now the
9 signs are required so people can find the
10 building to get in there.
11 MEMBER CASSIS: And maybe if I may say
12 one more thing, Mr. Chairman.
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Go ahead.
14 MEMBER CASSIS: To Mr. Boulard. If
15 the owner of the Crowne Plaza knows that
16 there are some that left and don't need the
17 sign, maybe they should, you know, take that
18 sign out. And, you know, if you would
19 pursue that kind of a line with them. And I
20 don't know if there are any that have left
21 or do not exist in there anymore.
22 MR. BOULARD: Right. And the reason
23 that I bring that up is our conversations
24 were based on the last application that came
1 through and the Board declined to approve
2 felt that if there was that opportunity it
3 will certainly assist the Plaza.
4 MEMBER CASSIS: Thank you. I
5 appreciate that.
6 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Well, can I
7 entertain a motion regarding this case? Mr.
8 Ibe, go ahead.
9 MEMBER IBE: Thank you, Mr. Chair. In
10 the absence of any further conversations I
11 will make a motion on case number: 10-001,
12 27000 Sheraton Drive, Crowne Plaza that the
13 Petitioner's request be granted as requested
14 for the grounds that the request is based
15 upon circumstances or features that are
16 exceptional and unique to the property and
17 do not result from conditions that exist
18 generally in the City or that are self
19 created. And the fact that the property, the
20 location of the property itself is of
21 crucial nature that it requires a sign to
22 find the establishment in question.
23 And also that a failure to grant
24 relief will limit the use of the property
1 and will result in inability to attain a
2 higher economic or financial return for the
3 business that is currently located in this
4 unique location. And also that a grant of
5 relief will not result in the use of
6 structure that is incompatible with adjacent
7 or surrounding properties, and that
8 substantial justice will be done to the
9 applicant as well the surrounding
10 properties. And that this is not
11 inconsistent with the spirt of the Zoning
13 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll second it.
14 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The motion has
15 been made and seconded. Seeing no further
16 discussion, Ms. Martin, will you please call
17 the roll.
18 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
19 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
20 MS. MARTIN: Member Cassis?
21 MEMBER CASSIS: Yes.
22 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
23 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
24 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Sanghvi?
1 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Yes.
2 MS. MARTIN: Member Wrobel?
3 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Yes.
4 MS. MARTIN: Member Skelcy?
5 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
6 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
7 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
8 MS. MARTIN: Motion passes 7-0.
9 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay,
10 congratulations and good luck.
11 MR. LUCERO: Thank you very much, sir.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Mr.
13 Cassis is going to take us all there.
14 MR. AMAN: You are all my quests.
15 Thank you very much.
16 MEMBER IBE: I don't eat cheap either.
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you, Mr.
19 MEMBER CASSIS: There is the six ounce
20 and there's the twelve ounce.
21 MEMBER IBE: I'll take the twelve.
22 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All the cases
23 are done for this evening and moving on to
24 the other matters on the agenda. The next
1 item is election of the officers. Normally
2 we do this office by office so first of all
3 let us begin with, I invite nominations for
4 the position of the Chairperson.
5 Traditionally the Vice-Chair becomes the
6 Chair and it rotates. We don't have a lot
7 of nominations coming on the floor, so if I
8 may, I would like to nominate Mr. Wrobel as
9 the Chairperson.
10 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll second that.
11 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: The motion has
12 been made and seconded. Do I expect any
13 other nominations? Seeing none -- yes?
14 MS. KUDLA: Being that he's on the
15 Planning Commission --
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: No, he's not.
17 MEMBER CASSIS: I'm the one.
18 MS. KUDLA: Oh, okay.
20 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: So, the
21 nominations are closed. Let's move on to the
22 nomination for the Vice-Chairperson. Yes,
23 Mr. Wrobel?
24 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: I'd like to
1 nominate Mr. Ghannam for Vice-Chair.
2 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Okay, Mr.
3 Ghannam, are you agreeable?
4 MEMBER GHANNAM: I am.
5 MEMBER IBE: I'll second that.
6 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: And the motion
7 has been seconded by Mr. Ibe. Do I hear any
8 other nominations? Hearing none, the
9 nominations are closed and, Mr. Ghannam,
11 MEMBER GHANNAM: Thank you.
12 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Now, moving on
13 to the third position and that is of the
14 Secretary of the
15 Board --
16 MEMBER CASSIS: Don't you vote on
18 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: We don't need
19 to. Everything is done. Do I hear any
20 nomination for the Secretary? Yes, Wrobel?
21 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: I would like
22 to nominate Mr. Ibe for Secretary.
23 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Are you willing
24 to serve, Mr. Ibe?
1 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
2 MEMBER GHANNAM: I'll second that.
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you. Mr.
4 Ghannam is supporting the nomination. Do I
5 hear any other nominations? Hearing none,
7 Board elections are done. The new
8 people on the Board in the office are Mr.
9 Wrobel as the Chair. Mr. Ghannam as the
10 Vice-Chair. And Mr. Ibe as the Secretary.
11 And I am so happy for the next month. I
12 thank you all for your very kind and civic
13 cooperation and I have thoroughly enjoyed
14 being here. And I wish you all luck.
15 MEMBER KRIEGER: Where you going?
16 You're not going anywhere.
17 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I'm not going
19 MEMBER CASSIS: Mr. Chair, although
20 I'm not originally in this body, but I want
21 to thank you for your past leadership. You
22 have conducted yourself in the best way and
23 the best manner befitting this office and we
24 want to thank you very much for a great
1 leadership that you have supplied us. Thank
3 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: I appreciate
4 your kind words. Thank you, Mr. Cassis.
5 Is there any further business? Seeing
6 none, may I have a motion to adjourn?
7 VICE-CHAIRPERSON WROBEL: Motion to
9 MEMBER GHANNAM: So moved.
10 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: So moved.
12 MEMBER IBE: Seconded.
13 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: All in favor of
14 adjourning signify by saying aye?
15 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
16 CHAIRPERSON SANGHVI: Thank you.
17 Meeting is adjourned.
18 (The meeting was adjourned at
19 8:21 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 (67) typewritten pages, is a
12 true and correct transcript of my said
13 stenographic notes.
20 Mona L. Talton,
21 Certified Shorthand Reporter
24 February 12, 2010