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, on Tuesday, October 12, 2010.
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT
1 Novi, Michigan
2 Tuesday, October 12, 2010
3 - - -
4 It's seven p.m., and I'd like
5 to call to order the October 12th regular
6 meeting of the City of Novi Zoning Board
7 of Appeals.
8 Would everyone please rise for
9 the Pledge of Allegiance. Member Ibe,
10 would you please lead us.
11 THE BOARD: I pledge allegiance
12 to the flag of the United States of
13 America, and to the Republic for which it
14 stands, one nation under God,
15 indivisible, with liberty and justice for
17 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Thank you.
18 Ms. Martin, please call the roll.
19 MS. MARTIN: Member Sanghvi?
20 MEMBER SANGHVI: Here.
21 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
22 MEMBER KRIEGER: Present.
23 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
24 MEMBER IBE: Present.
1 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Wrobel?
2 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Present.
3 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
4 MEMBER GHANNAM: Here.
5 MS. MARTIN: Member Skelcy?
6 MEMBER SKELCY: Here.
7 MS. MARTIN: Member Gedeon?
8 MEMBER GEDEON: Here.
9 MS. MARTIN: Member Cassis will
10 be absent tonight.
11 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Okay. We do
12 have a quorum, and the meeting is now in
14 As a reminder, please make sure
15 all cellphones and pager ringers are
16 turned off at this time.
17 At this time, I would like to
18 go over some of the meeting rules. A
19 copy of the entire public hearing rules
20 of conduct is available next to the
21 chamber entrance door.
22 The Zoning Board of Appeals is
23 a hearing board empowered by the City of
24 Novi to hear appeals from individuals
1 seeking variances from existing Novi
2 planning ordinances.
3 It takes a vote of at least
4 four members to approve a variance
5 request and a majority of members present
6 to deny a request. Today we have a full
7 board, so all decisions made will be
9 Individual applicants may take
10 up to five minutes, and groups may take
11 up to ten minutes to address the board.
12 The next item on the agenda is
13 the approval of the agenda. Are there
14 any additions or deletions to the
15 proposed agenda?
16 MS. MARTIN: Just that we are
17 not going to approve the September 14th
18 minutes tonight.
19 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Okay. Any
20 other changes?
21 MS. MARTIN: No.
22 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Seeing none,
23 I will entertain a motion to approve the
1 MEMBER SANGHVI: So move.
2 MEMBER IBE: Second.
3 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: We have a
4 motion and a second. All those in favor,
5 please signify by saying aye.
6 THE BOARD: Aye.
7 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Opposed, no.
8 We have an approved agenda.
9 Okay. We are skipping over the
10 meeting minutes from September 14th; they
11 are not ready yet.
12 So next on the agenda is the
13 public remarks section of the meeting.
14 Is there anybody in the audience who
15 wishes to make any comments not
16 pertaining to any matter on the agenda
17 tonight, please come forward. Seeing
18 none, the public remarks section of the
19 meeting is closed.
20 This brings us to the cases on
21 the agenda this evening. The first case
22 is Case No. 10-040, 25345 Novi Road,
23 Stricker Paint.
24 The petitioner is requesting
1 variances to allow installation of a
2 maximum 50 square foot, 40-foot tall pole
3 sign located on the Stricker Paint
4 property, and an off-premises monument
5 sign of 50 square feet maximum. These
6 signs are in addition to the existing
7 signs, with the exception of those to be
8 removed from the right-of-way.
9 The proposed signs address the
10 existing non-conforming signage reduced
11 visibility, resulting from the additional
12 highway easement required for the new
13 railroad bridge on Novi Road. The
14 property is zoned I-1 and is located west
15 of Novi Road and south of Grand River.
16 Is the petitioner here? Please
17 step forward. State your name and
18 address for the record. And we know you
19 are an attorney, so you don't have to be
20 sworn in.
21 MR. ROLLINGER: Thank you very
22 much, Mr. Chair.
23 Good evening, members of the
24 Zoning Board of Appeals. My name is
1 Robert Rollinger. I'm an attorney, and
2 I'm here on behalf of the petitioner,
3 Road Commission for Oakland County.
4 You may recall we were here
5 last month with a proposal for you
6 regarding a signage issue based upon the
7 widening of Novi Road at the Stricker
8 Paint Products facility. And we, at that
9 point, contemplated a pole sign that
10 would be high enough that would be
11 visible from motorists traveling
12 northbound and southbound on Novi Road.
13 The board had requested that we
14 come forward with possible alternatives
15 to the pole sign at that height. And we
16 have been working with City of Novi
17 representatives, and I want to thank them
18 for their help. And we have come
19 forward, and you should have in your
20 packets the proposed alternative signs in
21 terms of the design and height and width
22 of those two signs.
23 We also have provided some
24 background information that would explain
1 sight distance issues in terms of the
2 height and coloration of the lettering
3 with the background so that the signage
4 would be visible to passing motorists
5 both northbound and southbound on
6 Novi Road.
7 And we have also, finally, have
8 before you super-imposed on the design
9 plans for the Novi Road project, the
10 approximate locations for each of the two
11 signs that we are contemplating for
12 Stricker Paint. And those were, I
13 believe, handed out earlier this evening.
14 Also with me this evening is
15 Kim O'Rear from Orchard, Hiltz &
16 McCliment, who will be able to explain in
17 more detail the sight distance issues
18 that is faced by passing motorists
19 traveling 40 to 45 miles per hour, in
20 terms of the size of the lettering that
21 needs to be visible so that it will be
22 capable of being seen and would not
23 create any kind of a public safety issue
24 for the passing motorists. As well as be
1 able to identify the entrance to Stricker
2 Paint off of GenMar once it's relocated
3 south of where it currently is.
4 We have -- well, I already have
5 the drawing on the overhead. I think
6 what I will do is have Ms. O'Rear step to
7 the podium, and perhaps she can explain a
8 bit better than I can from an engineering
9 point of view the proposed location for
10 the two signs.
11 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: You have to
12 be sworn in, so state your name and
14 MS. O'REAR: Hi. Kim O'Rear,
15 370 Barker Road, Whitmore Lake, Michigan.
16 MEMBER IBE: Do you swear or
17 affirm to tell the truth?
18 MS. O'REAR: Yes.
19 MEMBER IBE: Thank you.
20 MS. O'REAR: Thank you for
21 having us here tonight. I know this has
22 been a source of big contention of what
23 to do with the pole sign. And we
24 understand that pole signs are not
1 desirable. And so we really worked hard
2 with both the City of Novi and with the
3 Road Commission to try to come up with
5 And what we were able to come
6 up with -- and it's on your sheet. I'm
7 sorry they are small; we are testing
8 everyone's vision tonight, just to see if
9 you are awake.
10 On the northwest corner of
11 GenMar, the new -- what will be the new
12 GenMar is at the corner of what is the
13 City of Novi property, and just north of
14 that is the Road Commission for Oakland
15 County's property. We are proposing to
16 put a sign there that is approximately
17 the same size as their existing Stricker
18 Paint sign, which is about four -- about
19 six by eight; six feet tall, eight feet
20 wide. That will be a monument sign.
21 We are envisioning that it will
22 have much the same information. It will
23 say, "Stricker Paint, tomorrow's finishes
24 for today."
1 And on the one located on the
2 newly located GenMar, it will show an
3 arrow pointing motorists to be able to
4 go -- to turn down GenMar to be able to
5 get to the new location. You will not be
6 able to see their building from Novi Road
7 any longer on the bridge.
8 What we did for sight -- to be
9 able to size that sign was, currently, we
10 took their letter height they have on
11 there now, and using some of the tables,
12 which I think were also provided to
13 you -- the letters are about 14 inches
14 high. According to those tables, they
15 can be seen from about 350 feet away.
16 Placing a car on the bridge and
17 just past where the bridge railing, that
18 tall thing on the edge sits, you would be
19 able to see that sign about 500 feet.
20 So we haven't changed the
21 ability for someone to see the sign
22 that's currently out there. Because,
23 right now, people can read that sign at
24 about 350 feet. We are going to allow
1 them the ability to see that sign for
2 about 500 feet. They still won't be able
3 to read it until they are about 350 feet
4 away. If we put that sign there, they
5 would have plenty of time to be able to
6 react and stop, pull into GenMar and turn
8 And then located on GenMar, on
9 the Stricker Paint sight itself, we would
10 like to put a second sign of the same
11 size and have the same information on it,
12 just telling them that now you've reached
13 Stricker Paint, and you can go ahead and
14 park and enter into their building.
15 And here are the two signs that
16 we had shown. I don't know if you can
17 see it. This is the one with the arrow
18 on the bottom. So the top piece that
19 says, "Stricker Paints, Benjamin Moore
20 Paints, tomorrow's finishes today," that
21 piece of it would be about four feet
22 high. It leaves us about 18 inches to
23 put an arrow, and that leaves us another
24 six inches for clearance on the bottom,
1 for a total overall height of about six
2 feet and eight feet in width. The total
3 square footage for that sign is 48 square
5 The sign for -- on their
6 building could be reduced to not take
7 into account that arrow, so it could be
8 eight by four-and-a-half, which would be
9 slightly smaller than that. They
10 wouldn't need the arrow to tell them
11 where to turn.
12 MR. ROLLINGER: And the sign,
13 again, that will be at the intersection
14 of GenMar, and the newly realigned Novi
15 Road will be a double-sided sign. If you
16 are going northbound on Novi Road, you
17 will be able to see one side. If you are
18 heading southbound, again, you will be
19 able to see it. It will still have that
20 arrow, so you will be able to see where
21 GenMar Road is now.
22 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Okay, good.
23 Thank you. Is there anyone in the
24 audience who wishes to address the board
1 regarding this case?
2 Seeing none, will the secretary
3 read any correspondence regarding this
4 case into the record.
5 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Chair, 16
6 notices were mailed, zero responses, two
7 mail returned.
8 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: All right.
9 Thank you. Does the building department
10 or city attorney wish to add anything at
11 this time?
12 MS. KUDLA: No.
13 MR. BOULAND: I'd like to just
14 make sure that a couple things are clear.
15 One, when this request
16 originally came forward, we advertised
17 for just the larger pole sign. Based on
18 the conversations and the actions of the
19 board last month, this is actually
20 re-advertised. That's why there was
21 another set of notices that came out, to
22 add in addition to a sign that was up to
23 the pole sign that was requested and,
24 also, the off-premises sign. That's why
1 notices were sent out again, and that's
2 why we have another set of
4 Just a couple things I wanted
5 to clarify. Just for the sake of
6 understanding, only the areas of the sign
7 that are used for letters or symbols, or
8 so on, would count in the square footage.
9 So, the six-inch decorative square would
11 The other -- the other thing
12 is, as I understand, the existing sign in
13 front of Stricker Paint would be removed.
14 We would have the -- what you are
15 proposing as a new sign on what is now
16 Road Commission property, may be sold
17 off, but the Road Commission would intend
18 to provide an easement for that
19 off-premises sign that would get folks in
20 off of Novi Road onto relocated GenMar or
21 re-routed GenMar. And once they get back
22 to the other part of GenMar, they would
23 have the sign in the front -- in front of
24 the building to guide people in where
1 their new driveway would come off the old
2 stub of the road.
3 As I understand, the signage
4 that they got painted on the building
5 would remain. That's grandfathered;
6 there would be no reducing that. I'm not
7 sure what -- who would see it, but it
8 would still be allowed there.
9 And, also, these signs, as I
10 understand, would not be -- would be
11 located so that they would not be in the
12 corner setback that's required for
13 vehicles to see for safety purposes.
14 That's all true?
15 MR. ROLLINGER: Correct.
16 MR. BOULAND: We are on the
17 same page. I would be happy to answer
18 any questions. Thank you.
19 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Okay. Thank
20 you. At this time, I will refer this
21 matter over to the board for discussion.
22 Member Sanghvi.
23 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you,
24 Mr. Chair. First, I had a question. I
1 don't know who is going to answer it,
2 maybe Mr. Boulard. The (inaudible) on
3 this sign of the property owner, also, he
4 is aware of it?
5 MR. ROLLINGER: Oh, yes.
6 MEMBER SANGHVI: You have the
7 consent of the property owner?
8 MR. ROLLINGER: The property
9 owner through their legal counsel has
10 been made aware of this. He has copies
11 of the drawings just like you have them.
12 So he certainly knows about all of it.
13 MEMBER SANGHVI: Okay. Thank
14 you. I think this is a greater
15 improvement on what we had last month.
16 And this looks very nice, very
17 acceptable, and I have no difficulty in
18 supporting it. Thank you.
19 CHAIRMAN WROBEL:
20 Member Gedeon.
21 MEMBER GEDEON: Just to
22 clarify, the Road Commission is not
23 actually going to be installing new
24 signs; you are just getting authorization
1 for the property owner to do it if they
2 choose to?
3 MR. ROLLINGER: That is
5 MEMBER GEDEON: I wasn't sure
6 if that was clear.
7 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Anyone else?
8 Member Skelcy.
9 MEMBER SKELCY: So, you are
10 going to get rid of the one sign that's
11 currently there, and this one on the
12 GenMar area will be the sole sign
14 MR. ROLLINGER: There is two
15 signs. There is the double-sided side
16 where GenMar right-of-way meets Novi Road
17 right-of-way. That will be an on-premise
18 sign, as well, telling the customers that
19 they are on Stricker Paint Products.
20 MEMBER SKELCY: Are they
21 seeking a variance for that second sign
22 on the property, or just the monument
23 sign at GenMar?
24 MR. BOULAND: Well, it's a
1 little complicated, because there is
2 existing non-conforming signage. And so
3 what the variance request is going to
4 include is permission to put the --
5 permission to put not only the sign,
6 which would be technically a
7 non-conforming replacement sign, on the
8 property, which would be technically
9 non-conforming, because it's a second
10 sign. But, also, the off-premise sign,
11 which is not allowed in the ordinance
12 without a variance.
13 So what this does is
14 memorialize two signs to account for
15 what's been removed.
16 MEMBER SKELCY: Thank you.
17 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Any other
18 questions? Member Krieger.
19 MEMBER KRIEGER: Who would be
20 paying for the sign? This is the sign
21 that the Road Commission is offering to
22 Stricker Paint, and then they can opt to
23 do it or not to do it?
24 MR. ROLLINGER: Correct. They
1 can either install these signs, based on
2 the variances, or they can choose not to
3 have any sign. But we certainly want to
4 make it -- make it capable of them having
5 this signage so that there will be no
6 visibility issue, and customers will be
7 able to still locate where the actual
8 facility is.
9 MEMBER KRIEGER: Thank you.
10 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Any other
11 questions? I have one question for the
12 city attorney. If we adopt this and pass
13 this, Stricker still has the option if
14 they want to come back on their own at a
15 later date to go for something else?
16 They can do that, right?
17 MS. KUDLA: That's correct,
19 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: So they are
20 not held to this totally?
21 MS. KUDLA: No. If they have
22 some other proposal, that's a different
23 variance. If they can't fit within this
24 variance, they can always come back.
1 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Thank you.
2 Seeing everyone has had a chance to
3 speak, I will look for a motion.
4 Ms. Skelcy.
5 MEMBER SKELCY: I move that we
6 grant the variance in Case No. 10-040 for
7 Stricker Paint. And that would include a
8 non-conforming replacement sign, as well
9 as an off-premise monument sign, which is
10 six feet by eight feet wide, on the south
11 side of the building, because the
12 petitioner has shown practical
13 difficulty, requiring the additional
14 monument sign and property sign.
15 Without the variance, the
16 petitioner would be unreasonably
17 prevented or limited with respect to the
18 use of the property because of the
19 changes to Novi Road.
20 The property is unique because
21 of its location in relation to the
22 addition of the bridge. The petitioner
23 did not create the condition, because it
24 is the county making the road changes.
1 The relief granted will not unreasonably
2 interfere with adjacent or surrounding
3 properties because it is -- because it is
4 the sole business on that side of the
6 The relief is consistent with
7 the spirit and intent of the ordinance,
8 because it provides Stricker Paint with
9 proper signage to alert potential
10 customers of its location.
11 MEMBER IBE: I will second.
12 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: We have a
13 motion made by Member Skelcy and second
14 by Member Ibe.
15 Is there any further
16 discussion? Mr. Boulard.
17 MR. BOULAND: Could I possibly
18 suggest that we include language that the
19 off-premises sign is 44 square feet and
20 six feet in height, and the on-premise
21 sign would be 32 square feet and 4.6 feet
22 in height?
23 MEMBER SKELCY: I would like to
24 amend the motion to include that language
1 proposed by Mr. Boulard.
2 MEMBER IBE: I second, as
4 MEMBER GHANNAM: One other
5 amendment. That would include an
6 agreement that the existing
7 non-conforming sign would be taken down;
8 isn't that part of the petition? So I
9 would like to include that.
10 MEMBER SKELCY: I motion for
11 that addition to the motion, as well.
12 MEMBER IBE: I will second that
13 as well.
14 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Okay, good.
15 We are all set.
16 Ms. Martin, please call the
18 MS. MARTIN: Member Sanghvi?
19 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
20 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
21 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
22 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
23 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
24 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Wrobel?
1 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Yes.
2 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
3 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
4 MS. MARTIN: Member Skelcy?
5 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
6 MS. MARTIN: Member Gedeon?
7 MEMBER GEDEON: Yes.
8 MS. MARTIN: Motion passes,
9 seven to zero.
10 CHAIRMAN WROBEL:
12 MR. ROLLINGER: Thank you very
14 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: All right.
15 The second case on the agenda is Case No.
16 10-047, 901 South Lake Drive.
17 The petitioner is requesting
18 variances to construct an open deck
19 extending 12 feet into the required front
20 yard, and an additional five feet into
21 the required side yard from the existing
22 residence at 901 South Lake Drive.
23 The petitioner is also
24 requesting variances to allow
1 construction of a storage shed located
2 within eight feet of the existing
3 residence, within four feet of the rear
4 property line, and extending into the
5 exterior side yard, increasing the total
6 lot coverage to 27 percent. The property
7 is zoned R-4 and is located east of West
8 Park Drive on the corner of South Lake
9 Drive and Maudlin.
10 I see the petitioner is here.
11 Please state your name. If you are not
12 an attorney, please be sworn in.
13 MR. HECHT: My name is Kyle
15 MEMBER IBE: Could you raise
16 your right hand, sir. In
17 Case No. 10-047, 901 South Lake Drive, do
18 you swear or affirm to tell the truth?
19 MR. HECHT: Yes.
20 MEMBER IBE: Thank you.
21 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Please
23 MR. HECHT: My name is Kyle
24 Hecht, and I'm the property owner of 901
1 South Lake Drive. I wanted to thank the
2 city for helping me out down here. First
3 time homebuyer, kind of navigating
4 through the system. There has been quite
5 a few people that have assisted me.
6 Quite a few documents that I have put
7 together in front of you.
8 What we are trying to do is I
9 would like to build a deck in front of my
10 house. And, in addition, put a storage
11 shed facility, since there is lack of a
12 garage or any other storage facility at
13 the location.
14 The deck itself was actually
15 replicated from an approval dating back
16 to 2006 from the previous owner. And the
17 variances that were approved, I have the
18 deck dimensions that were approved; I
19 believe it's included in the packet.
20 Here is a small diagram of the mortgage
22 On the front there you can see
23 that I'm requesting a deck that extends
24 into the front yard roughly about 12 feet
1 in the front yard, to be about 23 feet
2 wide. And it comes back along the house,
3 wraps around, about five feet in width as
5 And, then, in addition, I'd
6 like to put a storage facility back
7 behind the house that is in size roughly
8 about 10 by 14. This allows me to store
9 household items such as lawnmowers, and
10 so forth, that right now there is no
11 storage facility. So it's often left in
12 the driveway, which is very unsightful
13 for neighbors. And that's what I'm here
14 for this evening.
15 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Okay. Thank
16 you. Is there anyone in the audience who
17 wishes to address the board regarding
18 this case?
19 Seeing none, will the secretary
20 read any correspondence.
21 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Chair, 51
22 notices were mailed, one approval, zero
23 objections, four mail returned.
24 And the sole approval we have
1 is from Douglas Heath, 905 South
2 Lake Drive, dated October 4, 2010. It
3 says "Approval."
4 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Thank you.
5 MEMBER IBE: Thank you,
6 Mr. Chair.
7 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Does the
8 building department or city attorney wish
9 to make any comments?
10 MS. KUDLA: No.
11 MR. BOULAND: I will try to be
12 brief. You may notice some
13 discrepancies, minor discrepancies,
14 between the dimensions from the '06
15 variance and the current request. Those
16 are basically due to better information
17 that was on the survey, so it's more
19 As the petitioner indicated,
20 the original variance for the open deck,
21 there is no roof over this. On the north
22 and east sides of the building is
23 literally just that, an open deck. And
24 one of the things that's also -- that
1 doesn't contribute to the lot coverage;
2 that's why the request was for a higher
3 amount of lot coverage. The variance,
4 when we figured it out (inaudible), which
5 is two percent over.
6 With regard to the shed in the
7 back, we worked with the petitioner to
8 try to balance out the limited space he
9 had, along with keeping a minimum of
10 space -- distance between the adjacent
11 properties and the building. Normally,
12 the ordinance requires 10 feet between a
13 building and the accessory building.
14 So, the other thing that I want
15 to bring up, we purposely made the
16 footprint of the accessory building as
17 large as possible so that it would cover
18 all possible variances that the board
19 might be inclined to grant, if it was so
21 My suggestion is that, at the
22 very least, there be enough room
23 between -- on the Maudlin side of the
24 shed, to pull a vehicle up onto the
1 property without projecting out
2 (inaudible). Also, I was not -- did not
3 secure any comment from the fire marshal
4 on this at this time. Thank you.
5 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Okay. Thank
6 you. I will turn this matter over to the
7 board for discussion now.
8 Member Sanghvi.
9 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. I
10 have a question for you. If you build a
11 shed where you are proposing to do it,
12 where are you going park your car?
13 MR. HECHT: That's a good
14 question. There is about roughly 80 feet
15 I'm looking to cover, roughly about 10 to
16 12 feet coming out into the driveway, so
17 there is going to be enough room for us
18 to park cars in front.
19 MEMBER SANGVHI: Depends on the
20 size of the car. You don't have a lot of
22 MR. HECHT: I did take that
23 into consideration. I measured it out;
24 it would work.
1 MEMBER SANGVHI: You are going
2 to end up being on the street. And in
3 winter, that's not going to be very
4 simple. So, I don't know whether you can
5 reduce the size of the shed and make
6 enough room for your car to be in your
7 own lot, or how you are going deal with
8 it. Maybe you want to think about it.
9 Thank you.
10 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Thank you.
11 Member Skelcy.
12 MEMBER SKELCY: I had the same
13 concerns about the parking issue. I have
14 two questions about the shed. On the
15 drawing it says that the neighbor
16 requested the shed. Why would the
17 neighbor have requested the shed?
18 MR. HECHT: There is two
19 different indications. The first part
20 was the neighbor in parentheses.
21 MEMBER SKELCY: Okay.
22 MR. HECHT: And that's the
23 neighbor's house.
24 MEMBER SKELCY: Okay. That
1 looks like neighbor requested the shed.
2 And then the other question I
3 have, similar to Mr. Sanghvi, is that it
4 says 140 square feet. Did you want a
5 shed that large?
6 MR. HECHT: What we decided on
7 was to ask for the board to approve the
8 largest shed. It's probably going to be
9 smaller, but I'm asking for a 10 by 14,
10 and probably end up with something along
11 the lines of 10 by 10, something a little
12 smaller. We measured it out, and roughly
13 about 15 feet, 10 to 15 feet to park the
15 MEMBER SKELCY: If you did a 10
16 by 10, there would be 15 feet?
17 MR. HECHT: Yeah.
18 MEMBER SKELCY: Would you be
19 happy if we did it as a 10 by 10?
20 MR. HECHT: I would approve --
21 or I would appreciate a 10 by 12, is what
22 I would really appreciate.
23 MEMBER SKELCY: Okay. Thank
1 CHAIRMAN WROBEL:
2 Member Krieger.
3 MEMBER KRIEGER: So you didn't
4 want to put a car in your -- in the shed?
5 MR. HECHT: When we looked at
6 the variances and the code, due to
7 setbacks with attaching a garage to the
8 house, this was the only feasible --
9 feasible thing we could do for storage.
10 A garage attached had different variances
11 due to setbacks and lot coverage. So we
12 decided to do the smaller shed behind the
14 MEMBER KRIEGER: Okay.
15 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Charles.
16 MR. BOULAND: If it would help,
17 the lot is about 41 feet wide. If the
18 shed was 10 feet from the west property
19 line and was 14 feet in length, there
20 would still be 17 -- basically, 17 feet
21 to the property line. If, for example,
22 the shed were 10 by 10, the 41 feet minus
23 10 feet for the setback plus 10 feet for
24 the shed, would leave about 21 feet. So,
1 10 by 10 would be plenty of room to bring
2 a car onto the property; 12 feet would be
3 a little tighter, maybe about 19 feet.
4 But, we did encourage -- I did
5 encourage the petitioner to request the
6 largest, so that if the proportions of
7 the shed changed, that we wouldn't have
8 to go back and re-advertise.
9 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: I have a
10 procedural question. We have basically
11 two different topics. We have the shed
12 and we have a deck. Do we have to
13 address them separately in voting?
14 MS. KUDLA: It would probably
15 be easiest if you did. They are two
16 separate issues, unrelated issues. Do
17 two motions. Do the lot coverage motion,
18 that one together with the --
19 MR. BOULAND: The shed?
20 MS. KUDLA: The shed.
21 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Okay. So
22 keep that in mind when I look for a
23 motion. Thank you.
24 MEMBER SKELCY: I move that we
1 grant the variance for the open deck. In
2 Case No. 10-047, filed by Kyle
3 Hecht, for 901 South Lake Drive, because
4 the petitioner has established a
5 practical difficulty relating to the
6 property, including some or all of the
7 following criteria:
8 He has established that the
9 property is unique because of its size
10 and location and the way that it -- the
11 size and location. And the physical
12 condition of the property -- okay, that's
13 it. And the condition is not a personal
14 or economic hardship.
15 The need for the variance is
16 not self-created, because of the property
17 size. It would unreasonably prevent the
18 petitioner from using the property for a
19 permitted purpose, as a single-family
20 home, because of the fact that they can't
21 store enough items within the house
22 itself, and the house itself is very very
24 The petitioner has established
1 that the variance -- the minimum variance
2 necessary. And the requested variance
3 would not cause adverse impact on the
4 surrounding property, property values or
5 the enjoyment of the property in the
6 neighborhood or the zoning district.
7 And, also, given the fact that
8 it's been previously approved by the
9 board in the year 2006.
10 MR. HECHT: Can I add one more
11 thing? I did -- I'm sorry.
12 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: We have a
13 motion on the floor; we are looking for a
15 MEMBER SANGHVI: Second.
16 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: We have a
17 motion made by Member Skelcy and
18 seconded by Member Sanghvi. Any further
20 MEMBER KRIEGER: That was for
21 the deck?
22 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: That was for
23 the deck. Ms. Martin, please call --
24 this is for the deck.
1 MS. MARTIN: Member Sanghvi?
2 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
3 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
4 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
5 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
6 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
7 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Wrobel?
8 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Yes.
9 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
10 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
11 MS. MARTIN: Member Skelcy?
12 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
13 MS. MARTIN: Member Gedeon?
14 MEMBER GEDEON: Yes.
15 MS. MARTIN: Motion passes,
16 seven to zero, for the deck.
17 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Now we move
18 on to the shed issue. And if there is
19 any other discussion on the shed issue.
20 If not, I will look for a motion on that.
21 MEMBER SKELCY: I move that we
22 grant the variance in Case No. 10-047,
23 set by Kyle Hecht, for 901 South Lake
24 Drive. And this would be for the
1 variance for the shed with a square
2 footage of 10 by 14. Also --
3 MS. KUDLA: The lot coverage.
4 MEMBER SKELCY: I was just
5 going to say, and for the lot coverage,
6 as well, which would increase that to
7 25 percent. I'm sorry? Oh, 27 percent.
8 Is it possible to use the same
9 reasons that I did for the --
10 MS. KUDLA: Yes.
11 MEMBER SKELCY: And I would
12 incorporate the same reasons I gave for
13 the deck.
14 MEMBER GHANNAM: I will
16 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Okay. We
17 have a motion made by Member Skelcy and
18 seconded by Member Ghannam. Any further
20 Ms. Martin, please call the
22 MS. MARTIN: Member Sanghvi?
23 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
24 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
1 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
2 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Wrobel?
3 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Yes.
4 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
5 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
6 MS. MARTIN: Member Skelcy?
7 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
8 MS. MARTIN: Member Gedeon?
9 MEMBER GEDEON: Yes.
10 MS. MARTIN: Motion passes,
11 seven to zero.
12 MEMBER IBE: You didn't call
13 Member Ibe.
14 MS. MARTIN: I'm sorry.
15 MEMBER IBE: That's okay. I
16 say yes.
17 MS. MARTIN: I counted you.
18 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: All right.
19 The next case on the agenda is Case No.
20 10-049, 21900 Meadowbrook Road, Grace
21 Immanuel Church.
22 The petitioner is requesting a
23 variance to permit the construction of a
24 1,152 square foot addition at the
1 existing Grace Immanuel Bible Church,
2 located at 21900 Meadowbrook Road,
3 without installing any additional parking
4 spaces as required by the zoning
5 ordinance. The property is zoned R-3 and
6 is located on the east side of
7 Meadowbrook Road between Eight and Nine
8 Mile Road.
9 The petitioner is here. Please
10 state your name and address for the
11 record. And if you are not an attorney,
12 please be sworn in by our secretary.
13 MR. SEXTON: I'm Pastor Charles
14 Sexton, Grace Immanuel Bible Church. You
15 want my business address?
16 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: You can just
17 use the church address.
18 MR. SEXTON: Okay, 21900
19 Meadowbrook Road. Since I'm not an
20 attorney, I guess I have to be sworn in.
21 MEMBER IBE: Can you please,
22 sir, raise your right hand. In Case No.
23 10-049, Grace Immanuel Bible Church, do
24 you swear or affirm to tell the truth?
1 MR. SEXTON: Yes, I do.
2 MEMBER IBE: Thank you.
3 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Please
4 proceed with your presentation.
5 MR. SEXTON: I
6 appreciate (inaudible) thank you for all
7 the board, ladies and gentlemen, for
8 being here.
9 We are presenting our appeal
10 based on the fact that with a church,
11 Novi has the dilemma of the fact that
12 when they look at occupancies for
13 buildings, they use a -- like just an
14 assembly building of some sort. Where a
15 church is somewhat different; we don't
16 use all the buildings simultaneously.
17 The occupancy is not -- the
18 building department said our occupancy
19 should be 121. The actual sanctuary
20 where all the people come from, at the
21 maximum we feel should be -- would be
22 about 96 to 100, and, so, because
23 everybody that comes out of the
1 I talked to several of the
2 pastors in the community that belong to
3 the Novi Minister Association; he said
4 that's exactly right. Your worship team
5 comes out of the congregation. Your
6 Sunday school teachers come out of the
7 congregation, your students. Everything
8 comes out of the congregation. Whatever
9 the sanctuary holds is really the
10 occupancy of the building. And, so, we
11 don't have a bingo game going at the same
12 time we have worship, or whatever, like
14 So, that's what our appeal is,
15 in fact, that we currently have 30
16 spaces, which would be enough for
17 90 people, according to the regulations.
18 We can concede that we could add another
19 four spaces to take it up to 102, which
20 we think would be pretty crowded. They
21 also have mentioned that we could have
22 seats on the platform and so forth.
23 Well, if -- if I can get this
24 to show up here, I will do it this way.
1 That's our current worship team area.
2 This is 35 feet wide. We basically take
3 up pretty much all the 35 feet. And,
4 also, we are adding a ramp for -- a
5 wheelchair ramp. And you have to have
6 about at least three feet for them to
7 come off the wheelchair ramp. So,
8 basically, we are filling up the whole
9 platform area with the worship team. So
10 there would not be really be any seating
11 area on there.
12 And, so, we are also saying,
13 because in order to do the extra 10
14 spaces, we would have to eliminate 14
15 trees on our basically park-like setting.
16 And the four spaces would eliminate
17 seven. But I'd rather, if at all
18 possible, be able to save the other
19 trees. And they are mature Australian
20 Pines. We just would rather not have to
21 do that. Because it's -- to us, it seems
22 very superfluous, because we couldn't get
23 that many people in there anyway.
24 So, that's basically our
1 thrust. And, you know, we welcome any
2 questions you might have, if I could kind
3 of field that.
4 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Okay. Thank
5 you. Is there anyone in the audience who
6 wishes to address the board regarding
7 this case?
8 Seeing none, will the secretary
9 read any correspondence into the record.
10 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Chair, 48
11 notices were mailed, zero responses, one
12 mail returned.
13 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Thank you.
14 Does the building department or city
15 attorney wish to add anything at this
17 MS. KUDLA: No.
18 MR. BOULAND: As a bit of
19 history, the existing building in the
20 past, the building department worked with
21 the folks to come up with a
22 non-simultaneous occupancy number. There
23 is nothing that actually prevents, excuse
24 me, the worship space and the classroom
1 space and so on from being used at the
2 same time. In this particular case,
3 that's not how it's used by this
4 occupant, but that's what happened in the
6 When these folks came in to add
7 a significant amount of space to the
8 building, we worked to try to reduce
9 the -- try to address the actual
10 occupancy as closely as possible.
11 Obviously, the egress and so on are going
12 to be based on worst case scenario.
13 That's where the 102 number came from.
14 One of the planners provided
15 the staff report that's -- I believe they
16 were here late last night. I will do my
17 best to answer questions.
18 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Okay. Thank
19 you. At this time, I will refer this
20 matter to the board for discussion.
21 Ms. Skelcy.
22 MEMBER SKELCY: To add the ten
23 spaces, that would give you additional
24 cost that you would have to incur?
1 MR. SEXTON: Yes, that would.
2 MEMBER SKELCY: How much
3 additional cost?
4 MR. SEXTON: My estimate is
5 another at least $5,000 for the -- well,
6 for all 10 spaces, it would probably be
7 closer to eight.
8 MEMBER SKELCY: Eight thousand
10 MR. SEXTON: Eight thousand.
11 MEMBER SKELCY: And, you know,
12 I did visit the property today, and I saw
13 that there is quite a lot of open space
14 on the property. So, it seems to me that
15 you don't have to cut down trees, that
16 you could possibly add spaces in a
17 different area.
18 MR. SEXTON: If we started --
19 MEMBER SKELCY: Would you agree
20 that you could do that?
21 MR. SEXTON: Well,
22 economically, no. We could park behind
23 the house that's ours, also, but that
24 would add a greater financial burden to
1 us than it would to cut down -- to put
2 the parking adjacent to it. Because we
3 would have to either make a driveway from
4 the parking lot to behind the house and
5 do it that way, or we would have to pave
6 the driveway on the north side of the
7 property and have the black top all the
8 way back to there. So either way would
9 be a significant financial burden for us.
10 MEMBER SKELCY: What would the
11 cost be if you had to pave the area by
12 the house? Did you look into that?
13 MR. SEXTON: No, we hadn't
14 considered that. But that would be --
15 let me defer a second to my architect.
16 UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: We
17 didn't really look at that at all.
18 MR. SEXTON: We didn't really
19 look at that. Because, again, we tried
20 to keep it as economically feasible as
21 possible. And that part was brought up,
22 and we tossed that around just at the
23 very beginning and considered that would
24 really -- you know, paving -- coming back
1 that way, that would be paving about 200
2 feet of driveway, and then plus the area
3 where the space is. And you have the
4 access portion for the spaces and so
5 forth. So it would add significantly to
6 the cost.
7 MEMBER SKELCY: Thank you.
8 CHAIRMAN WROBEL:
9 Member Ghannam.
10 MEMBER GHANNAM: Pastor, how
11 many years has your congregation been
13 MR. SEXTON: We have been -- we
14 have been in Novi for three years, as a
16 MEMBER GHANNAM: At this
18 MR. SEXTON: At this location,
19 three years.
20 MEMBER GHANNAM: Has your
21 congregation grown?
22 MR. SEXTON: Yes. That's -- we
23 have recently grown by two or three
24 families, and that makes it pretty
1 crowded in there now.
2 MEMBER GHANNAM: I understand
3 that's probably one of the reasons why
4 you need more space.
5 MR. SEXTON: Yes, exactly.
6 MEMBER GHANNAM: Part of the
7 problem in my opinion when you grant
8 variances like this, it's not just for
9 you, it's for those who may follow after
10 your congregation may leave. I don't
11 know how long you will be there. If we
12 grant the variance, it's good for -- the
13 variance runs with the land, which means
14 it's there forever. The question becomes
15 -- today, your congregation doesn't need
16 the parking spaces now, but what about
17 future occupants and so forth?
18 My problem is that, you know,
19 you asked for ten spaces variance.
20 Clearly, there is space there to do that.
21 I understand the cost, and that's always
22 a factor, but that's not something we
23 should consider. The question is, what
24 is your difficulty for not putting these
1 spaces in when it's required by
3 MR. SEXTON: Well, the six
4 extra ones we are really objecting to is
5 one, they are not necessary, because we
6 are -- we plan to stay there. We were in
7 Detroit for 61 years, and we moved out
8 to Novi. It's a beautiful sight; we have
9 no plans on going anywhere. We are not a
10 transient church, shall we say, or
11 fly-by-night church; we have been around
12 for a while.
13 And, so, my father was the
14 original pastor in Detroit. I followed
15 in his footsteps and, so, we have for the
16 foreseeable future, or far into the
17 future, I can't see any scenario where we
18 would leave.
19 MEMBER GHANNAM: I appreciate
20 that, and I understand that, and I don't
21 certainly doubt you. My problem is maybe
22 your congregation will grow. Or even in
23 the event you do move and there is other
24 occupants, they are there without these
1 required parking spots. To me, that
2 becomes the problem.
3 I don't want to sit there and
4 say, arbitrarily, I would agree to six
5 and not the other four, or something to
6 that effect, or vice versa. So that's
7 the problem I'm having with your
8 particular proposal.
9 MR. SEXTON: Let me say it this
10 way: If someone -- we had to go through
11 a change of use permits and variances and
12 so forth when we first came there. If it
13 went to some other sort of use, they
14 would have to appear before you in the
15 planning commission and so forth, for
16 change of uses and so forth and stuff
17 like that. And if, at that time, I think
18 if you had any objection, you would be
19 able to raise that then.
20 And, so, but as far as our
21 uses, the four extra spaces would be more
22 than adequate for what we need.
23 MEMBER GHANNAM: I don't know
24 about then. You are expanding now and
1 need the variance now, so this is all I'm
2 considering now.
3 MR. SEXTON: Okay. I
4 appreciate that.
5 MEMBER GHANNAM: I don't have
6 any other questions.
7 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Thank you.
8 Member Sanghvi.
9 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
10 Thank you very much for being here and
11 talking to us about your church.
12 MR. SEXTON: My privilege.
13 MEMBER SANGVHI: I have known
14 that property for many years. I was
15 there, I went there and looked around.
16 You have beautiful nice green ground and
17 lovely trees, and I would hate for you to
18 cut those trees down and put cement or
19 asphalt there for the benefit of ten
20 spaces, because you might use once or
21 twice a year. And I don't see why, if
22 you are willing to do it, put those extra
23 cars, if necessary, on the grass for a
24 temporary situation.
1 And as far as the future
2 occupant of the property is concerned, I
3 have a question for the counselor.
4 Ms. Kudla, can we put a provision if we
5 pass this to only apply to the current
6 occupant of the property?
7 MS. KUDLA: Well, that could be
8 a little problematic if another church is
9 just going to move in and it's going to
10 be the same use. You could restrict it
11 to this current church, but that would be
12 a hard thing to track for the city in the
14 MEMBER SANGHVI: That would be
15 a problem of another board.
16 MS. KUDLA: That would be for
18 MEMBER SANGHVI: And maybe the
19 ordinance will change and wouldn't be so
20 strict on the parking spaces. I would
21 rather have Novi greener than the color
22 of asphalt. That's why I'm asking you if
23 we can have that.
24 MS. KUDLA: You can have it; it
1 relates to the property and it relates to
2 the request, but it's not a preferred
3 recommendation because of the, I guess,
4 difficulty in tracking it for the future.
5 But, technically, you could limit it to
6 this applicant, this church business.
7 MEMBER SANGHVI: Under other
8 circumstances in different situations, we
9 have given variances restricted to the
10 current occupants of the business.
11 MS. KUDLA: Correct, yes.
12 MEMBER SANGHVI: I was just
13 wondering if we could.
14 MS. KUDLA: You could.
15 MEMBER SANGVHI: Thank you.
16 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Member Ibe.
17 MEMBER IBE: Good evening,
19 MR. SEXTON: Good evening.
20 MEMBER IBE: As much as I would
21 like to approve this, I have concern of
22 the previous speaker prior to Mr. Sanghvi
23 in terms of what may happen in the
1 As you understand, Pastor, that
2 congregations, you pray that your
3 congregation grows; I'm sure that's what
4 everybody wants. You certainly don't
5 want to stay the same 10 years from now.
6 That would not amount to progress; would
7 you agree with me?
8 MR. SEXTON: Yes. And we, as
9 the Lord blesses us and we do grow, we do
10 plan on, you know -- we have the room to
11 build on the existing in front of the
12 house and so forth; we have the room
13 there. And that would necessitate us
14 putting a lot of blacktop on green grass.
15 But that would -- that's down the road,
16 and we don't know when that will be. But
17 that's, yeah, that's our hope at some
19 MEMBER IBE: So your hope is
20 for growth. So do you understand why the
21 ordinance is set up in a way to
22 accommodate what may happen in the
23 future? Because, right now, you are not
24 concerned about the future. But the
1 ordinance is structured to look beyond
2 just today.
3 And the ordinance requires that
4 if you are going to have this number of
5 improvements, which means you are
6 probably going to have more people -- you
7 may or may not. But, see, we are not in
8 the business of saying, "Well, if it
9 happens, then we'll deal with it."
10 Because, it is a way to ensure, if you do
11 grow, which I hope and pray you do grow,
12 that you would not have the problem of
13 having to deal with this issue.
14 It is important that you
15 establish that you cannot create these 10
16 additional spaces; you have not
17 demonstrated that so far. It is your
18 burden, not anyone on this board, to show
19 your burden. You, so far, Pastor, have
20 not shown me any reasons to believe you
21 don't have any practical difficulty that
22 prevents you from doing that.
23 This issue is probably
24 self-created; you are basically asking to
1 expand. And if you are going to expand,
2 the ordinance says, well, you have to
3 have additional parking. So, based on
4 that, unless you can convince me
5 otherwise, I may not be in favor -- as
6 much as I would love to go for it, I may
7 not, sir, be in favor of it.
8 Thank you, Mr. Chair.
9 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Thank you.
10 MR. SEXTON: May I comment on
12 CHAIRMAN WROBEL:
13 Ms. Krieger.
14 MEMBER KRIEGER: Your comment?
15 MR. SEXTON: Currently, we have
16 about 60 people. And if we make the
17 auditorium or the sanctuary hold up to
18 100, so that is -- that's the growth that
19 we think we can accommodate. And that's
20 why we are saying we could concede doing
21 the four spaces. But the other six, that
22 would meet the 121 people occupancy, and
23 that to us is not reasonable, because you
24 couldn't put 121 people in that
1 sanctuary, is what really my argument is,
2 in that size.
3 MEMBER KRIEGER: Are you the
4 pastor that came before with the first
6 MR. SEXTON: Yes, I am.
7 MEMBER KRIEGER: Your size
8 of -- you said you liked this site, if I
9 remember right, because you weren't
10 intending on -- it's hard for a pastor to
11 keep up with -- the bigger the church
12 goes with all the number of people, if
13 you have a thousand members, how is one
14 pastor going to keep up with all the
16 MR. SEXTON: Right.
17 MEMBER KRIEGER: So the intent
18 of size, because I'm, as well, I can't
19 stand the idea of let's put up more
20 pavement in Novi when you got an
21 opportunity for green. So I'm trying to
22 find, as well, what's the practical
24 You are growing the church,
1 which growth is good. But then the
2 ordinance, as well, if the next person
3 that comes in wants it, then I would
4 agree with our previous member that I
5 would restrict it to this current owner,
6 yourselves, and find another means. So
7 your intent of size was my question.
8 MR. SEXTON: Like I said, this
9 will do a hundred. Our wildest dreams or
10 our basically thrust is if we expand
11 (inaudible) that the size of the
12 auditorium would be such that would hold
13 about 200, 225 people. After that
14 amount, it's my philosophy, or in the
15 ministry, is we would start a satellite
16 church someplace else, because our people
17 come from all over. One of our worship
18 leaders comes from Fenton, and we have
19 other worship teams that come from
20 Woodhaven. So we are just kind of all
21 over the area people.
22 And so we would have
23 opportunity -- we would start another
24 satellite church, and to meet the needs.
1 Because my basic philosophy is that you
2 can't pastor more than 150, 200 people
3 effectively. And so that's where my
4 heart is.
5 And I'm very much a pastor that
6 wants to be able to know the children's
7 names and, you know, the parents, the
8 children, know what's going on in their
9 lives. And the fact so that I can
10 effectively minister to them.
11 MEMBER KRIEGER: So, 100
12 people, which this site could attain 121.
13 After about 100, you would go to a second
15 MR. SEXTON: If we get to 100
16 people in that one, then that's when
17 we'll start considering expanding on the
18 existing site. And which would require
19 more -- we would have to -- at that
20 point, we would probably have to raise
21 the house and do a parking lot and so
23 MEMBER KRIEGER: I'm sorry.
24 It's not -- what's relevant is for this
1 case, so --
2 MR. SEXTON: But --
3 MEMBER KRIEGER: I'm sorry,
4 going past that, that the 100 people that
5 the parking could be accommodating with
6 what you have, even if you have this
7 addition, that the number of people that
8 could come in, that there wouldn't be,
9 you know, I would hate to put somebody on
10 the grass, but I wouldn't want to --
11 MEMBER SANGHVI: On the road.
12 MEMBER KRIEGER: I wouldn't
13 want to put anybody on the road. That's
14 all I have for now.
15 MR. SEXTON: We could park some
16 people on the grass near the berm, you
17 know, for a temporary type of thing. Two
18 of the spaces show going into the berm
20 MEMBER KRIEGER: All right.
21 MR. SEXTON: We could do a
22 temporary thing that way.
23 MEMBER KRIEGER: We have to
24 work with what's in front of us.
1 MR. SEXTON: I understand.
2 MEMBER KRIEGER: Thank you.
3 MS. KUDLA: Two issues.
4 Parking on non-paved parking would be
5 another ordinance violation, parking on
6 the lawn.
7 Another thing I just wanted to
8 bring up, the practicality of making this
9 a condition that would be restricted
10 personally to this applicant, what would
11 end up happening is if the applicant
12 changed -- the building is already there.
13 So the choice for the new owner would be
14 to tear down the new building or pay to
15 put in parking. And that would be very
16 hard to enforce from the city's
17 perspective to get a new owner to put in
18 parking, or take the option to tear down
19 the building to bring it back into
20 compliance with the ordinance.
21 So I just wanted to -- I'm not
22 trying to influence your decision, but
23 just to mention the practical difficulty
24 of limiting this request to this
2 With a sign, it's different.
3 It's easy to take down an additional sign
4 for a new applicant. With putting in
5 parking, it's going to be harder for us
6 to compel someone to put parking in.
7 MEMBER SANGHVI: Just one
8 question. Can you stipulate that this
9 variance will be only for two years,
10 depending on the growth of the church?
11 And they can come back and talk to us?
12 MS. KUDLA: That could be done.
13 That could be a temporary variance. But,
14 again, then you are dealing with, if you
15 don't extend it, they are either going to
16 have to tear down their building or put
17 in parking at that point. And it would
18 be a hard thing to get them and a court
19 to agree to tear down a building at that
21 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Anyone else?
22 Member Gedeon.
23 MEMBER GEDEON: Just a quick
24 question for the city. You said parking
1 on grass would be an ordinance violation.
2 If they had a known event where they were
3 going to have, you know, a large group of
4 people coming in, a large number of cars,
5 could they get a temporary one-time
6 permit for such an event?
7 MS. KUDLA: I'm not sure how
8 the ordinance reads on that. I would
9 have to investigate what kind of
10 temporary permit use that would be. I'm
11 not sure if Charles has more information.
12 MR. BOULAND: I've never -- I
13 never had that question exactly. I know
14 that there have been events where folks
15 out of necessity have had, you know, they
16 are re-paving their parking lot and
17 things like that. But the difference
18 here is basically we got an ordinance
19 requirement for X number of parking
20 spaces for a use of this size. And we
21 are basically building in -- essentially,
22 kind of building in a need to use that.
23 We can't really consider that as parking.
24 It's going to look terrible, people get
1 stuck, and the ordinance says the parking
2 lots are supposed to be paved, so it
3 becomes a slippery slope.
4 CHAIRMAN WROBEL:
5 Member Sanghvi.
6 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes. I would
7 like to make a comment. So it's our
8 primary responsibility to uphold the
9 ordinance. I would like to help you in
10 any way we could to accommodate. Because
11 I like to consider a house of worship a
12 little differently than an ordinary
13 business. And we have tried to find
14 different ways to see if we can find a
15 way, but, unfortunately, the legal
16 situation ties our hands. Thank you.
17 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Thank you.
18 Any other comments? If not, I will look
19 for a motion. Member Skelcy.
20 MEMBER SKELCY: I move we deny
21 the variance sought in Case No. 10-049,
22 Grace Immanuel Bible Church, for 21900
23 Meadowbrook Road, because the petitioner
24 has not established a practical
2 The petitioner has shown no
3 unique circumstance or physical condition
4 of the property, because the petitioner
5 can easily comply with the ordinance by
6 adding the required parking spots. There
7 is adequate land available to do that.
8 The difficulty described by the
9 petitioner is a personal or economical
10 difficulty only. And the petitioner
11 stated they would have increased costs
12 for adding the parking spaces.
13 The need for the variance is
14 self-created, because the petitioner has
15 not shown it cannot comply with the
16 variance based on the property size and
18 Conformance to the ordinance
19 would not be unnecessarily burdensome
20 because there is adequate room to add the
21 parking. The proposed variance would
22 have an adverse impact on surrounding
23 property, because it could create parking
24 issues in the neighboring streets.
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: Second.
2 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: We have a
3 motion made by Member Skelcy and
4 seconded by Member Ghannam. Any further
6 Ms. Martin, please call the
8 MS. MARTIN: Member Sanghvi?
9 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
10 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
11 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
12 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
13 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
14 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Wrobel?
15 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Yes.
16 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
17 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
18 MS. MARTIN: Member Skelcy?
19 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
20 MS. MARTIN: Member Gedeon?
21 MEMBER GEDEON: Yes.
22 MS. MARTIN: Motion passes,
23 seven to zero, to deny.
24 MR. SEXTON: Thank you very
2 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Next on the
3 agenda is Case No. 10-050, 1517
5 The petitioner is requesting
6 variances of 3.5 feet from the minimum
7 required aggregate side yard dimension to
8 allow construction of an addition to an
9 existing non-conforming residence. The
10 property is zoned R-4 and is located
11 north of Thirteen Mile Road and east of
12 East Lake Drive.
13 The petitioner is here. Please
14 state your name and address for the
16 MR. BLUM: Arlin Blum, 1517
17 Paramount, Novi.
18 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: If you are
19 not an attorney, please be sworn in.
20 MEMBER IBE: Raise your right
21 hand, sir. In Case No. 10-050, 1517
22 Paramount, do you swear or affirm to tell
23 the truth?
24 MR. BLUM: Yeah.
1 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Please
2 proceed with your presentation.
3 MR. BLUM: Here's my appeal. I
4 guess I need a variance for like three
5 feet. My house burned in May, and this
6 has been kind of a stumbling block to
7 getting it put back together.
8 On one hand, the rear of the
9 house has to come off the house because
10 of it was burned so bad, and it presented
11 an opportunity at that time to add 13
12 feet to the back of the house. To make
13 the down -- the upstairs area 13 feet
14 longer, because it was a little small in
15 the living room to begin with.
16 So, you know, basically, so
17 what I understand now, is that, you know,
18 the house was built in the seventies, and
19 there is only so much feet on each side
20 of the house. My assumption is, if I'm
21 not going out the side of the house, then
22 going out the back should be fine. And I
23 guess you are not allowed to add to an
24 existing house that's in non-compliance.
1 And, you know, one of reasons,
2 like I said, is because I think it would
3 be a great opportunity -- I have been in
4 the house 12 years, and I think it would
5 be a good opportunity to make that living
6 room and kitchen area a little bigger.
7 And B, another reason is
8 because the house is kind of odd. It's a
9 tri-level, and I don't really know
10 anything about who built it or anything
11 like that, but it's got an irregular
12 shape in the back of the house, where
13 it's -- I think you see a blueprint there
14 or picture of how it is now. And all I'm
15 really trying to do is add a little
16 symmetry to the back of the house.
17 Kind of from an aesthetic
18 point, when you look in the back yard, it
19 just, you know, goes in/out, in/out,
20 (indicating). In other words, this 13
21 square feet would square off the back.
22 And another odd thing about the
23 house is, you know, it's a tri-level,
24 but, again, I don't really know anything
1 about who built it, but it only has two
2 bedrooms. And it's -- it does have a
3 little addition, or I heard it was a
4 garage at one time. Someone turned it
5 into living space; it's like a
6 mother-in-law apartment, and it's totally
7 separate from the house. You need to go
8 through the door to get to it. And
9 that's where the third bedroom is. So,
10 we don't even go back there. You have to
11 go all the way through the whole house to
12 get to it. But the addition would also
13 give us an opportunity to have a possible
14 third bedroom in the house.
15 And I don't think I'm really
16 asking for anything like, you know, it's
17 the back yard of a house. It's not -- no
18 one sees it, and I know my neighbors are
19 fine with it. And I think the building
20 department pretty much said that my
21 blueprints look good. And I can't wait
22 to get started.
23 I think that's my presentation.
24 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Okay. Thank
1 you. Is there anyone in the audience who
2 wishes to address the board regarding
3 this case?
4 Seeing none, Secretary, please
5 read any correspondence into the record.
6 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Chair, 52
7 notice were mailed, zero responses, three
8 mail returned.
9 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Thank you.
10 Building department or city attorney, do
11 you have any comments to make?
12 MS. KUDLA: No.
13 MR. BOULAND: The advertised
14 distance for the variances was up from
15 three foot one inch that was on the
16 original request. Because, as you will
17 notice, the side of the house that's
18 towards the bottom of the drawing,
19 actually tapers in comparison to the
20 property line, too. So we wanted to
21 cover the bases.
22 Basically, the addition is just
23 filling in this area here. This area of
24 the house where the addition would be
1 does not meet the aggregate setback of 25
2 feet, as the request for variance for
3 three-and-a-half feet for the setback.
4 Obviously, the rest of the house doesn't
5 meet it either, but we are indeed
6 increasing the non-conformity; hence, the
7 request for variance.
8 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Thank you.
9 At this time, I will refer this matter to
10 the board for discussion.
11 Member Sanghvi.
12 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. I
13 was there at that property just a couple
14 of days ago to see what it's all about.
15 The one thing that strikes me, it's a
16 pie-shaped lot. There are so many of
17 them in that part of old Walled Lake
19 MR. BLUM: Excuse me, it was a
20 what? I didn't hear what you said. It
21 was a what?
22 MEMBER SANGHVI: I said that a
23 lot of lots which are very small in that
24 part of Walled Lake.
1 MR. BLUM: Okay.
2 MEMBER SANGHVI: And, really, I
3 mean, to make a long story short, I have
4 no problem with this variance. Thank
6 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Thank you.
7 Member Ghannam.
8 MEMBER GHANNAM: Thank you.
9 Also, sir, I have no problem with it.
10 These are the types of things we look at.
11 You have an unusual lot, smaller lot;
12 it's now non-conforming because of new
13 ordinances. If you look at some of the
14 things we have to use, some of the
15 requirements we have to look at, you seem
16 to meet those requirements, so I have no
17 problem either.
18 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Okay.
19 Anybody else? Okay, I will entertain a
20 motion. Member Ghannam.
21 MEMBER GHANNAM: Thank you.
22 I'm going move to approve the request for
23 variances as requested in Case No.
24 10-050, 1517 Paramount.
1 It appears there are unique
2 circumstances of the property. And the
3 need for the variance is not due to the
4 applicant's personal or economic
5 difficulty. The need is not
7 Strict compliance with
8 regulations governing the area will
9 unreasonably prevent the property owner
10 from using the property for a permitted
11 purpose or will render the conformity
12 with those regulations unnecessarily
14 The requested variance is the
15 minimum variance necessary to do
16 substantial justice to the applicant as
17 well as the other property owners in the
18 district. And the requested variance
19 will not cause any adverse impact on
20 surrounding property values or the use
21 and enjoyment of the property in the
22 neighborhood or zoning district.
23 MEMBER SANGHVI: Second.
24 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Okay. We
1 have a motion made by Member Ghannam and
2 seconded by Member Sanghvi. Is there any
3 further discussion?
4 Ms. Martin, please call the
6 MS. MARTIN: Member Sanghvi?
7 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
8 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
9 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
10 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
11 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
12 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Wrobel?
13 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Yes.
14 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
15 MEMBER GHANNAM: Yes.
16 MS. MARTIN: Member Skelcy?
17 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
18 MS. MARTIN: Member Gedeon?
19 MEMBER GEDEON: Yes.
20 MS. MARTIN: Motion passes,
21 seven to zero.
22 MR. BLUM: Thank you very much.
23 MEMBER SANGHVI: I hope
24 everything goes well.
1 MR. BLUM: I hope it goes well,
3 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Okay. Final
4 case on the agenda is Case No. 10-051,
5 26650 Taft Road, Hayes Trucking.
6 The petitioner is requesting a
7 use variance to allow an extension of an
8 expired temporary use permit beyond the
9 time frames allowed in the zoning
10 ordinance for outdoor storage for a
11 concrete crushing operation. Property is
12 zoned I-1 and is located north of Grand
13 River and east of Taft road.
14 The petitioner is here; please
15 come forward. State your name and
16 address for the record. And if you are
17 not an attorney, please be sworn in.
18 MR. MEIHN: Good afternoon.
19 I'm Greg Meihn. I am the attorney for
20 Mr. Hayes. I apologize for the state of
21 my dress; it does not mean any disrespect
22 to you. I have been in the hospital
23 since two this morning, a family birth,
24 so my wife's there. So, I know it's
1 being photographed, so she sees this, I'm
2 in trouble. Nonetheless, I did not --
3 not knowing where we were on the
4 schedule, if I had time to get back and
5 get changed.
6 If you recall, we were here in
7 September asking for a use variance; we
8 withdrew that request. You may all be
9 aware that we had two prior temporary use
10 permits issued in the case. The
11 situation that brought us before you last
12 time was the fact that the timing of
13 completing a project had not been able to
14 have been met, primarily because of two
16 One you pointed out that you
17 weren't happy about, and that is the
18 proprietor using the storage and
19 recycling of concrete for a project other
20 than the one project that we were working
22 And the second was the project
23 that primarily started this whole use
24 permit process had been delayed and was
1 going to carry out a little bit longer.
2 One of the other questions that
3 we talked about last time was how much
4 longer would we need to be able to
5 complete the project. I don't know if
6 Mr. Boulard had an opportunity to go by
7 the property recently, but I think you
8 will find that over 90 percent or more of
9 the recycled concrete has been recycled
10 into piles.
11 We are firm in that by no later
12 than December 15th, but much earlier than
13 that, we believe all of those piles
14 including -- will be removed. The
15 property will be at that point in
16 conformity with the present zoning
18 The basis for the request is
19 the same basis that was presented for the
20 two other issuances of the permit. And
21 that is, is that, you know, they were set
22 forth -- I won't repeat that; I know we
23 did this in September.
24 I would indicate to the board
1 here that by allowing the continuation to
2 the December 15th time frame, it will
3 avoid those penalties that we talked
4 about the last time we were here, in
5 terms of not being able to complete the
6 project and having to store the material
7 at a different unit. Which, financially,
8 as you know, Mr. Hayes has been involved
9 in this community since the seventies and
10 has been operating this property in a
11 different form than it presently is now.
12 But, the economics, as we discussed at
13 length, again, I won't repeat, have
14 necessitated where we are at. And, like
15 always, we are still looking for
16 alternative uses of the property after
17 December 15th.
18 Thank you. I have no more to
19 add at this point.
20 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Okay. Thank
21 you. Is there anyone in the audience who
22 wishes to address the board regarding
23 this case?
24 Please come forward. State
1 your name and address. And, sir, you are
2 an attorney, so you don't need to be
3 sworn in.
4 MR. CAPELLO: Good evening, Kim
5 Capello. 26444 Taft Road. A few quick
7 This isn't the long-term
8 resident, citizen, business owner,
9 Mr. Hayes. This is Mid Michigan
10 Concrete. This is a company that had not
11 done business in Novi prior to this time.
12 Came into Novi, set up a temporary
13 operation, and now has violated our
15 If you recall, they are asking
16 just until December 15th, but they had a
17 12-month permit. They already have got a
18 12-month extension for that permit.
19 They are taking concrete from
20 not only I-96 but taking it from, I
21 believe, Telegraph, Orchard Road. They
22 are in the business; they know how long
23 it takes to move that concrete.
24 What have they done since they
1 were here last time? They made no effort
2 to get that concrete out at the end of
3 their 12-month extension. They waited
4 until the city contacted them and
5 threatened to issue a ticket before they
6 came back in front of you.
7 What they have done in the
8 meantime is not moved the concrete off of
9 the property. They manufactured it; they
10 continued the non-conforming use. And
11 they manufactured the concrete into sand
12 and gravel and just re-piled it. Now
13 they want until the 15th.
14 Here's what I suggest you do:
15 Deny the request. Let the city attorney
16 issue a ticket. Let them get in front of
17 a district court judge. Let them handle
18 it at that level. There will be more
19 pressure put on them to get out on time.
20 Don't give them another pass to continue
21 what they are doing wrong with no hammer
22 over their head, other than the threat of
23 starting legal action.
24 Start it now. You know, as
1 well as I do, you get into the pre-trial
2 process, the court gives them time to get
3 cleaned up. Let the court handle it.
4 Thank you.
5 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Anyone else
6 wish to address the board? State your
7 name and address, and if you are not an
8 attorney, please be sworn in.
9 MEMBER IBE: Sir, in Case No.
10 10-051, filed by Lewis Hayes, 26650 Taft
11 Road, do you swear or affirm to tell the
13 MR. LEDBETTER: Yes, I do.
14 MEMBER IBE: Thank you.
15 MR. LEDBETTER: Robert James
16 Ledbetter, 26510 Taft Road.
17 Just a quick statement. I'm
18 one of the neighbors closest to Lew
19 Hayes. I'm actually the third house
20 across the street on Taft Road. Never
21 had an issue really with the noise,
22 debris in the road, or even the visual
23 sight of the house or the building.
24 My other two neighbors, you
1 know, we are there out in the back yard
2 Sunday, Saturday, after work, 6:00, and
3 can't really say we hear a lot of
4 commotion or anything like that. So we
5 really don't -- I, myself, don't have a
6 complaint of him being there.
7 One thing I bring up, there is
8 the Hindu Temple down the street; really
9 don't have a problem with that being
10 there. We got a letter from the
11 construction people that said they would
12 have the pipes in our front yard done two
13 weeks after Labor Day, and it still
14 hasn't been done. We got stakes in the
15 front yard.
16 And, also, there is a piece of
17 cement that's been in front of my house
18 for three weeks, and it's not from Hayes;
19 it's from Hindu Temple.
20 So, I'm saying, that Grand
21 River is pretty clean in his area. You
22 know, there is some trucks from the
23 Hindu Temple that lose their load. And
24 my girlfriend said to pick it up, but I
1 kind of want them to. You know, that's
2 kind of their job.
3 So, you know, there is projects
4 in the area, and they run over a week or
5 two. I don't think he's asking for a ton
6 of time. So, I appreciate your time.
7 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Thank you.
8 Any issues you have regarding the other
9 issues, you can contact the city. I'm
10 sure someone will help you.
11 MR. LEDBETTER: It's not -- we
12 welcome the temple and everything. It's
13 not an issue if there is -- I'm just
14 trying to do a point that debris from
15 Hayes, I really haven't seen it on Grand
16 River. And that road is pretty much made
17 for big trucks. Taft is more of a
18 residential road. And there is, you
19 know, not a ton of debris, but just a
20 little. Thank you.
21 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Anybody else?
22 MS. COPELAND: Rose Copeland.
23 (Inaudible) I'm not an attorney.
24 MEMBER IBE: Could you raise
1 your right hand. In Case No. 10-051,
2 filed by Lewis Hayes, 26650 Taft Road, do
3 you swear or affirm to tell the truth?
4 MS. COPELAND: I do.
5 MEMBER IBE: Thank you.
6 MS. COPELAND: I just want to
7 bring up one additional issue that
8 Mr. Capello didn't bring up.
9 They mentioned penalties. I
10 guess what I'd like to know, penalties --
11 and I do respect Mr. Hayes and how long
12 he's been in the community, and we have,
13 also; I understand that.
14 The penalties, if there is any,
15 I'm not sure what the penalties would be
16 on a project like that. There is a
17 delay, I assume it would be the project
18 delaying it; it wouldn't be a fault of
19 the supplier. I guess one of my
20 questions would be who is the penalty
21 addressed? Is it addressed to Mr. Hayes
22 or is it addressed to Mid Michigan
23 Crushing, who actually would be the
24 contractor with Dan's Excavating for 96?
1 So, okay, thank you.
2 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Thank you.
3 Anybody else?
4 MR. COPELAND: Howard Copeland,
5 Copeland Paving.
6 MEMBER IBE: Sir, in Case
7 10-051, filed by Lewis Hayes, 26650 Taft
8 Road, do you swear or affirm to tell the
10 MR. COPELAND: I do.
11 MEMBER IBE: Thank you, sir.
12 MR. COPELAND: I have been from
13 Copeland Paving, Novi Crushed Concrete.
14 My family and I have been part of Novi
15 for 45 years. We have done everything,
16 you know.
17 We respect Hayes Sand and
18 Gravel. They have been in business like
19 ourselves in Novi forever. They were a
20 top-notch company that bought material
21 from us for years, and they were a
22 top-notch company.
23 But I don't really feel that I
24 wouldn't be up here if it was Hayes Sand
1 and Gravel. This is Mid Michigan -- Mid
2 Michigan's project. I don't think they
3 made any attempt to follow the rules or
4 be out on time.
5 I know for a fact that we got a
6 call in mid August to take material that
7 they could no longer accept. And they
8 have been accepting it right up until,
9 you know, a week, week and a half from
10 their September deadline. That yard was
11 packed; there is no way they could.
12 Again, that's why they need until
13 December 15th. They knew that you can't
14 take material up to a week, week and a
15 half from your deadline and expect it --
16 and they didn't expect to.
17 This isn't the first time that
18 they have done this. You know, they have
19 been around. They didn't just come to
20 Novi on a whim. They found Dan's
21 Excavating, or whoever, in the past and
22 have set up. They know how the game is
23 played, and I think they played it, and
24 played it very well, evidently.
1 Again, you know, this -- I know
2 it was mentioned last -- I wasn't here,
3 about competition. I got no problem with
4 competition. I have been in competition
5 all my life. But this wasn't competition
6 for us.
7 And, you know, I have heard,
8 you know, we are worried about Mr. Hayes.
9 Well, I will tell you what, we are going
10 to sink Mr. Copeland if this goes on a
11 lot longer. This hurt us deeply. I sold
12 a lot of material to Dan's Excavating
13 last year. In this economic time, it
14 helped immensely.
15 This year, if I was crushing
16 solely and didn't have an asphalt paving
17 company, I would be out of business.
18 Dan's Excavating didn't buy material from
19 somebody else and not from us because we
20 couldn't supply it. We supplied them
21 with every time they needed. At the end
22 of the season last year, they were ahead
23 of schedule. The bridge maybe put them
24 behind schedule, but not the stone for
1 the roads. And, again, that can be
2 checked on. They were ahead of schedule.
3 We were in contract with Dan's
4 Excavating to sell them material for last
5 year and this year. And I forget the
6 tonnage that was -- that the job called
7 for at the start, but I know at the end
8 of the season last year, they had more
9 than three-quarters of the material in.
10 And it was -- it was pretty well known to
11 us that there was very little needed.
12 Just the approach to Novi Road
13 that they just -- well, it was still
14 closed. That was the stone that they
15 needed for that. I know they needed
16 stone for the expressway and material we
17 didn't supply at the time.
18 But, anyway, again, this is not
19 competition. And this isn't, as far as
20 I'm concerned, about Lew Hayes. I think
21 Mid Michigan has pushed the pencil as far
22 as it can be pushed, and they are still
24 I can't see -- again, I
1 wouldn't want to put anybody in a
2 hardship of having to move that kind of
3 material, and it will be costly. But
4 they have known what's been going on for
5 a long time. And they -- again, I will
6 end it there. I don't want to drag this
7 on, but it's not right, as far as I'm
8 concerned, and I know it's hurt me.
9 Thank you.
10 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Thank you.
11 Anybody else?
12 Seeing none, Mr. Secretary,
13 will you read any correspondence into the
15 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Chair, 27
16 notices were mailed, zero responses, zero
17 mail returned.
18 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Thank you.
19 City attorney or building department, any
21 MS. KUDLA: The building
22 department will start, and if there is
23 anything, I will add to it.
24 MR. BOULAND: Make sure I do it
2 Just a couple things. In the
3 write-up you will notice it mentions
4 references of use variance. Unlike the
5 use variances requested at the previous
6 meeting, this is not -- that's there just
7 to reference the fact there is a
8 temporary use permit, as the petitioner
9 indicated and a number of the speakers.
10 It was there for 12 months with a
11 12-month renewal.
12 So the variance that's being
13 requested is a variance from the
14 timeline, the limits of the 12 months
15 with the 12-month renewal that are in the
16 ordinance. This would not be a permanent
17 variance, unlike the variance that was
18 requested at the last meeting.
19 I did want to ask, the
20 completion date was listed as December
21 15. But, obviously, that was the date
22 that was indicated on September 15th when
23 the application was made, and now it's a
24 month later because of the advertising
2 My question is, is the request
3 still for all that time? I notice a lot
4 of the material has been crushed. There
5 is -- as far as I can tell, there has
6 been material -- new material has not
7 been brought onto the site. Obviously,
8 there is a lot of crushed material there.
9 I wondered if the December 15th date is
10 still the date that you would be
11 requesting to get everything?
12 MR. MEIHN: Mr. Boulard, it is.
13 And as you recall, prior to the permit
14 expiring, when you and I had spoken, and
15 prior to the September permit expiring
16 when Mr. Hayes had filed for the use
17 permit last time we were here, again, if
18 you remember, prior to those expirations,
19 I committed to you that we were going to
20 get that date. And I believe we'll be
21 well before December 15th.
22 But, I wanted to avoid an
23 issue, and that issue being that this
24 property, from a grandfather perspective,
1 what it used to be used as, had some sand
2 material on it throughout its entire
3 existence. We intend to have that
4 removed so we don't have any of those
5 issues at all of a prior grandfather use,
6 and how much was on the property and how
7 much was grandfathered in. I thought
8 that that was simply unfair to you,
9 unfair to the process.
10 So, the 15th is the day that I
11 selected that I could be assured that not
12 only with the concrete material being
13 removed, but any material in a hill type
14 of form would be removed. Even though I
15 don't believe we would be required to do
16 that, given the prior use. But I thought
17 it's better to it get it done and clean
18 and move forward in that perspective, so,
20 MR. BOULAND: Then just a point
21 of clarification. A ticket was issued
22 for this; I don't believe we have a court
24 MR. MEIHN: We do have a court
2 MR. BOULAND: You do have a
3 court date now?
4 MR. MEIHN: Yes.
5 MR. BOULAND: That's fairly
6 recent. So a court date has been issued
7 for the violation?
8 MR. MEIHN: Yeah. There is a
9 number of things you heard in the
10 presentation after mine that weren't
11 true. Yes, a ticket had been issued. We
12 did contact you prior to the expiration
13 of the permits. It's not as though we
14 sat there and didn't do anything.
15 I don't deny that there
16 are some things that they did do that
17 they shouldn't have done during the
18 process, but we went over that process.
19 And Mr. Hayes has learned, and
20 is attempting to try to find a venture or
21 joint business to get involved with.
22 Obviously, given the master plan that you
23 all had informed us of last week that you
24 don't want to deviate, is basically going
1 to take Mr. Hayes down to a different
3 MR. BOULAND: I just want to
4 clarify that my comment was with regard
5 to -- with regard to the issue of the
7 MR. MEIHN: Yeah.
8 MR. BOULAND: That was the
9 point of clarification.
10 MR. MEIHN: I believe the
11 hearing is next week, the initial
13 MS. KUDLA: I just want to
14 point out that, just so you notice in
15 your motion guidelines, there is
16 different standards. Because we are
17 doing this as an exception to the special
18 approval, since it's not going to be a
19 permanent variance request. So there are
20 a little bit of different standards, so I
21 want you to take note.
22 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Okay. Thank
23 you. At this time, I will turn it over
24 to the board. Member Sanghvi.
1 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. I
2 have a question for you. In the
3 ordinance, considering the two different
4 issues about developed and non-developed
5 lots (inaudible) what category does this
6 kind of property fall?
7 MS. KUDLA: I'm sorry, what
8 kind of --
9 MR. BOULAND: Can I give this a
10 try? If I may, the ordinance specifies
11 that temporary use permits can be issued
12 for non-developed lots for up to two
14 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
15 MR. BOULAND: Whereas, I think
16 the idea is if you got a developed lot
17 with ongoing concern, people on and off
18 the lot, the idea is to shorten that time
19 frame so it's re-visited at least once
20 within that two-year period.
21 MEMBER SANGVHI: I understood
22 that. My question was which category
23 does this particular property fall into?
24 MR. BOULAND: This was -- the
1 original temporary use was listed for 12
2 months, because it's a developed lot;
3 there is a business on the lot.
4 MEMBER SANGHVI: This is
5 considered a developed lot?
6 MR. BOULAND: Right. So we had
7 the 12 months, we had an extension, and
8 that extension is up.
9 MEMBER SANGHVI: Second
10 question I had, is it within our scope to
11 kind of forbid further assignments for
12 them to take?
13 MS. KUDLA: To limit it to this
14 project? Is that what you are asking?
15 You can make it conditional under this
16 section of the ordinance, that's correct.
17 You can put conditions on any approval.
18 MEMBER SANGHVI: We can put
19 that condition if we approve this
20 temporary use?
21 MS. KUDLA: Yes, you can make
22 it conditional.
23 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
24 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Member
2 MEMBER GEDEON: One question
3 for the city and perhaps counsel. If the
4 variance is granted, would that
5 essentially vacate the ticket that's been
7 MS. KUDLA: What's the ticket
8 that was issued? I would have to have
9 more clarity on what the issue was.
10 MR. BOULAND: The citation
11 was -- I don't have it in front of me. I
12 believe it was for unauthorized zoning or
13 use of property that's inconsistent with
14 the zoning.
15 MR. MEIHN: That is correct,
16 Mr. Boulard.
17 MS. KUDLA: If we expanded the
18 permit, it might nullify the ticket.
19 MR. BOULAND: Yeah, I'm not an
21 MS. KUDLA: I would have to see
22 how it's written. I would have to see
23 the ticket, but it sounds if we basically
24 expanded the time frame of the permit,
1 brought them back within the scope of the
2 ordinance, that that violation, zoning
3 violation, would no longer be a zoning
4 violation. I would have to see what
5 section this was written under as a
7 MR. BOULAND: You would see it
8 as an administrative remedy up until the
9 15th of December, if it were approved in
10 that fashion?
11 MS. KUDLA: Yeah. It would be
12 sort of an extension of an authorized
13 use, so it would no longer be
14 unauthorized in the zoning ordinance.
15 MEMBER GEDEON: I guess my
16 question is are we going to have to
17 balance the city's legal fees versus the
18 harm to other property owners in the
19 city? And if it's going to eliminate the
20 ticket and reduce legal fees, it might be
22 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Okay. Thank
23 you. Member Skelcy.
24 MEMBER SKELCY: Mr. Meihn, is
1 what Mr. Copeland said true, that after
2 the temporary permit expired, that Mid
3 Michigan continued to bring in loads?
4 MR. MEIHN: Absolutely not. In
5 fact, if you remember when we were here
6 in September, that was one of your major
7 issues. And, no, we stopped bringing
8 material in a week to two weeks prior to
9 the expiration of the permit, primarily
10 based upon my communications with
11 Mr. Boulard as to the process that the
12 client would need to make to get an
13 extension of the special use permit. And
14 I followed the directive that I was given
15 by Mr. Boulard in terms of cutting off
16 that process and being prepared to come
17 before you.
18 If you may recall, that was one
19 of your major concerns, that there were
20 material coming onto the property that
21 was separate and distinct from this
22 project, and that happened.
23 MEMBER SKELCY: That did
1 MR. MEIHN: Yes, it did.
2 MEMBER SKELCY: I'm asking if
3 anything came in after the expiration of
4 the temporary permit?
5 MR. MEIHN: Absolutely --
6 absolutely not. In fact, two weeks prior
7 to the expiration of the temporary
8 permit, all deliveries stopped.
9 MEMBER SKELCY: Okay. My
10 second question is how come there is no
11 one here from Michigan Crushing and
12 Recycling to tell us how long it will
13 take them to complete the project?
14 MR. MEIHN: Well, because you
15 have Lew Hayes here, contrary to the
16 people who have spoken who have no idea
17 what the relationship is between
18 Mr. Hayes and Mid Michigan, and who have
19 talked about a contract for which they
20 are not a party to, nor have the terms.
21 They have it wrong.
22 Yes, Mid Michigan is, in fact,
23 the one doing the work. Yes, Mr. Hayes
24 and Mid Michigan have gotten together,
1 because this was Mr. Hayes' view of how
2 he could go about from both a temporary
3 and hopefully a permanent way to try to
4 save what he considers to be the only way
5 he will be able to pay the mortgage on
6 his property going forward.
7 We have since understood since
8 the last time we were here, and I spent
9 some time looking at the master plan,
10 that a permanent change of that master
11 plan to allow the continued use that
12 Mr. Hayes was hoping to be able to do,
13 does not seem to be part of the future.
14 MEMBER SKELCY: No, my question
15 is, why isn't anyone here from Mid
16 Michigan Crushing to tell us how long it
17 will actually take them to get the
18 materials completely off the property?
19 MR. MEIHN: Because you have
20 Mr. Hayes who is in charge of that job
21 along with Mr. Smith. And to have
22 Mr. Hayes and Mr. Smith stand up and say
23 the same thing, I thought it would be
1 It's Mr. Hayes' business; it's
2 Mr. Hayes' property. It's Mr. Hayes who
3 has gone into this venture with Mid
4 Michigan that is going to end. He's the
5 one that is carrying the ball here,
6 because he's the one that's making sure
7 these things get done.
8 MEMBER SKELCY: And could it be
9 done sooner than December 15th?
10 MR. MEIHN: It could. I can't
11 guarantee, which I'm trying to do, that
12 we are not going to be back arguing over
13 the second portion of it. Yes, I believe
14 it will be done before the 15th, but I
15 was asked last time we were here to make
16 sure that I came back with a firm date.
17 And as I considered the ethics that we
18 all have in this process, it's one thing
19 to have the concrete crushed, pulverized
20 and moved; it's another thing then to
21 argue over whether or not - and
22 Mr. Boulard and I had a small
23 conversation about this - whether or not
24 the prior use of the property, which
1 would be grandfathered in, allowed a
2 certain amount of materials.
3 And I just felt -- and if I'm
4 wrong, then I will take that. I just
5 felt that it wasn't worth to even get
6 into that battle. I wanted to work
7 through the process of being able to say
8 to you, that that won't be the issue
9 either on this property. And that's why
10 I wanted the time frame that I needed to
11 ensure that it would get removed.
12 MEMBER SKELCY: Okay. Thank
14 CHAIRMAN WROBEL:
15 Member Ghannam.
16 MEMBER GHANNAM: I just have a
17 few questions, sir.
18 MR. MEIHN: Yes, sir.
19 MEMBER GHANNAM: On her point
20 about why is Mr. Hayes here and not
21 Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith is the applicant
22 for this particular request, is he not?
23 MR. MEIHN: No, he's not;
24 Mr. Hayes is.
1 MEMBER GHANNAM: Why does it
2 say the applicant's name is Vaughn Smith
3 of Mid Michigan Crushing & Recycling?
4 MR. MEIHN: Well, I did not get
5 a chance to look at the application. The
6 thing, it does say Vaughn Smith; you are
7 correct. I stand corrected.
8 MEMBER GHANNAM: It just simply
9 lists LHTRLC, as the property owner, and
10 Mr. Smith being the sole member.
11 MR. MEIHN: Right.
12 MEMBER GHANNAM: So, I
13 understand the property owner. But going
14 back to her question, why isn't Mr. Smith
15 here to explain this when this --
16 MR. MEIHN: It's the straight
17 old argument: Mr. Hayes' rear end is on
18 fire. Mr. Hayes' property is at risk,
19 and Mr. Hayes has agreed to be in a
20 business with Mr. Smith and Mid Michigan.
21 And Mr. Hayes is in charge of running
22 that portion of the business on his
23 property. And he's the one that has got
24 the problem that has to be resolved. And
1 he's the one that if that material was
2 not moved and Mid Michigan takes off, you
3 are coming after the property owner.
4 And, so, I wanted the guy that
5 was signing the checks, that had the
6 ultimate liability, and the guy that was
7 directing the process. That's the
9 MEMBER GHANNAM: Okay. Do you
10 represent Mid Michigan Crushing?
11 MR. MEIHN: I do not, sir.
12 MEMBER GHANNAM: One of the --
13 or a couple of the gentlemen who came up
14 here indicated that the crushing from the
15 I-96 project is not the only type of
16 crushing that's going on; there may be
17 others. Do you know if that's accurate
18 or not?
19 MR. MEIHN: I don't quite
20 understand your question. Let me restate
21 it. The material that's on the property
22 now, as indicated before, contained
23 property from two, possibly even three
24 other projects, during the time frame
1 that this two-year period of time was
2 going on, with the first 12 months and
3 the second 12 months. Absolutely.
4 MEMBER GHANNAM: It's not just
6 MR. MEIHN: That's correct.
7 MEMBER GHANNAM: The reason I
8 ask that, and why those comments may be
9 relevant, because the basis upon which
10 you are asking for this extension is
11 because the current project on I-96 and
12 Novi Road has been delayed.
13 MR. MEIHN: And all the
14 material that's on there is going to the
15 I-96 project.
16 MEMBER GHANNAM: I understand
17 that; I'm not debating that. That's why
18 I wonder what other projects are being
20 MR. MEIHN: I'm sorry. I
21 misunderstood. There are no other
22 projects that are being handled; it's
23 just concrete from other projects were
24 being brought onto the property to be
1 crushed and put into its fine material
2 and then to be used for the 96. I'm
3 sorry, I misunderstood your question,
5 That was one of the complaints
6 of Donna -- I hate to call you by your
7 first name. I can only see with one eye
8 because my contact is out.
9 MEMBER SKELCY: Skelcy.
10 MR. MEIHN: Ms. Skelcy
11 indicated before, one of the main
12 concerns she had last time and today is
13 the fact that concrete from other
14 projects were being brought onto this
15 site and being pulverized for that. So,
16 I apologize for the confusion.
17 MEMBER GHANNAM: That's all
18 right. I don't have any other questions.
19 Thank you.
20 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Member Ibe.
21 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Chair, I
22 think, Counsel, I must say, the last time
23 you were here you were in the hot seat
24 and you had just taken over this case, I
2 MR. MEIHN: That's correct.
3 MEMBER IBE: I felt a little
4 empathy for you because you had to deal
5 with a lay person who filed an
6 application that you took over. And I
7 admire the fact that you and your client
8 have gone back to do your homework.
9 And I know the last time you
10 were here, we had suggested that we are
11 not going to give you a pass to the end
12 of this year until December.
13 MR. MEIHN: That's correct.
14 MEMBER IBE: And on the issue
15 that had been raised by some of the
16 members, and which I think you answered
17 very well regarding Mid Michigan and
18 Mr. Hayes, Mr. Hayes is the sole owner of
19 the property.
20 Now, the contract between
21 Mr. Hayes and Mid Michigan is not before
22 this board, and it's irrelevant, really.
23 Because the parties who own the property
24 is the one who we are going to hold
1 liable, would be Mr. Hayes.
2 Mid Michigan can do whatever
3 they want with the contract regarding
4 Mr. Hayes. If Mr. Hayes is in violation
5 of that contract, that's their personal
6 problem; doesn't have to do with the City
7 of Novi. I think it would be redundant
8 to have Mid Michigan come up here and say
9 the same thing Mr. Hayes is going to say.
10 Frankly, I think it begs the
11 question, when are you going to complete
12 this project? I think December 15th
13 seems reasonable to me, if you would ask
14 me, because it's just 63 or 64 days away.
15 And you have given good reasons why it
16 should go to December 15th. Meaning,
17 that you can't complete the crushing
18 prior to that time, but there are other
19 issues that may come before this board
20 again that you want to avoid. Is that
22 MR. MEIHN: That's correct.
23 MEMBER IBE: Really, I think
24 that we have used quite a great amount of
1 time in arguing whether or not we should
2 go to district court or not go to
3 district court. But, frankly, who is
4 going to pay for that? I think we can
5 eliminate that issue if we just simply
6 grant this exception for the time
8 And, obviously, it's the burden
9 of the applicant to comply. And if he
10 fails to comply in that period of time,
11 there are legal actions that can be taken
12 by the city attorney's office along in
13 conjunction with Mr. Boulard.
14 I would vote and would ask the
15 members to vote for this application so
16 that this issue can at least come to a
17 close. Thank you.
18 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Anybody else?
19 Okay. I'm looking for a motion then.
20 Member Ibe.
21 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Chair, I will
22 ask that we grant the request as made by
23 the applicant to extend.
24 MEMBER SANGHVI: Applicant is
1 Smith; we are talking about Hayes. If
2 you look at the application, the
3 application had been made by Smith.
4 MS. KUDLA: Smith made the
5 application, so he would still be the
6 party. I mean, that's the applicant.
7 The property owner is here in support of
8 the application.
9 MEMBER IBE: Okay. May I
10 continue? I will move that we grant the
11 request as made by the applicant and as
12 brought forward by the property owner;
13 that being Mr. Hayes. And that we should
14 grant them an exception up to December
15 15th, 2010, to complete the project and
16 the cleaning of the property.
17 And the basis for granting this
18 extension is that the applicant obviously
19 has had two years to do some work, but
20 there appears to have been additional
21 work that had to be completed in order to
22 bring the property into compliance.
23 The granting of the extension
24 until December 15th, 2010, will not
1 impair an adequate supply of light or air
2 to the properties. It will not
3 unreasonably increase congestion in
4 public streets. It will not impair
5 established property values within the
6 surrounding area. And as well spoken by
7 one of the parties who was here before us
8 who is not an applicant, he obviously
9 claimed that the applicant has not made a
10 mess of the area, but a party who is not
11 before this board right now, is the party
12 to whom they had a complaint about.
13 And granting this will also be
14 in the welfare of the City of Novi, in
15 the sense that it will save us costs in
16 litigating this matter. Thank you.
17 MEMBER SANGHVI: Support.
18 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: We have a
19 motion made by Member Ibe and supported
20 by Member Sanghvi. Any further
22 Ms. Martin, please call the
24 MS. MARTIN: Member Sanghvi?
1 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
2 MS. MARTIN: Member Krieger?
3 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
4 MS. MARTIN: Member Ibe?
5 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
6 MS. MARTIN: Chairman Wrobel?
7 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Yes.
8 MS. MARTIN: Member Ghannam?
9 MEMBER GHANNAM: No.
10 MS. MARTIN: Member Skelcy?
11 MEMBER SKELCY: No.
12 MS. MARTIN: Member Gedeon?
13 MEMBER GEDEON: Yes.
14 MS. MARTIN: Motion passes,
15 five to two.
16 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Okay.
17 Hopefully this is all resolved by the
18 15th of December.
19 That brings us to the other
20 matter section of the agenda.
21 Does the city staff or city
22 attorney have any matters to discuss?
23 Mr. Boulard.
24 MR. BOULAND: I have one quick
1 reminder. Previously, as the end of the
2 year rolls around, board members and
3 commissions are given invitations for an
4 appreciation dinner, and so on, and
5 appreciation. I wanted to let you know
6 in the interest of cost savings, being
7 green, and all matters of other
8 appropriate things, the city will be
9 doing those invitations electronically
10 this year.
11 So, please, be on the look-out
12 for them, and just wanted to give you a
13 head's up in case, if you are like me,
14 that your mail is always occupied by
15 somebody else. Thank you.
16 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: City
17 attorney, do you have any comments?
18 MS. KUDLA: No.
19 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Okay. Thank
20 you. Any board members have any other
21 issues to discuss this evening?
22 MEMBER SANGHVI: May I make a
23 motion to adjourn?
24 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: You may make
1 a motion, and I will take a second for
2 that motion.
3 MEMBER GHANNAM: Second.
4 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: We have a
5 motion and second. All in favor of
6 adjourning, say aye.
7 THE BOARD: Aye.
8 CHAIRMAN WROBEL: Thank you.
9 The meeting is adjourned at 8:46.
3 C E R T I F I C A T E
5 I, Sherri L. Ruff, do hereby certify
6 that I have recorded stenographically the
7 proceedings had and testimony taken in
8 the above-entitled matter at the time and
9 place hereinbefore set forth, and I do
10 further certify that the foregoing
11 transcript, consisting of (84)
12 typewritten pages, is a true and correct
13 transcript of my said stenographic notes.
16 __________ ________________________
Date Sherri L. Ruff, CSR-3568
17 Certified Shorthand Reporter