REGULAR MEETING - ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
Proceedings had and Testimony taken in the matters of the ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS, at City of Novi, 45175 West Ten Mile Road, Novi, Michigan, on Tuesday, April 12, 2011.
1 Novi, Michigan
2 Tuesday, April 12, 2011
3 7:00 p.m.
4 - - -
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Good
6 evening, everybody. I want to call the
7 Zoning Board meeting of April 12, 2011,
8 to order.
9 First thing we'll do is say
10 the Pledge of Allegiance. If Member
11 Ibe can start us off.
12 (The Pledge of
13 Allegiance was
15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: First,
16 Ms. Marchioni, if you can call the
17 role, please.
18 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Ibe?
19 MEMBER IBE: Present.
20 MS. MARCHIONI: Member
21 Cassis? Excused. Member Krieger?
22 MEMBER KRIEGER: Present.
23 MS. MARCHIONI:
24 Member Sanghvi?
25 MEMBER SANGHVI: Here.
1 MS. MARCHIONI: Member
3 MEMBER SKELCY: Here.
4 MS. MARCHIONI: Chairman
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Here.
7 MS. MARCHIONI: Member
9 MEMBER GEDEON: Here.
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Next is
11 our public hearing format and rules.
12 If anybody needs a copy of our rules
13 and format of this particular meeting,
14 you can get them in the back.
15 Just to remind people, please
16 turn off your pagers and cell phones or
17 put them on vibrate so they do not
18 interrupt the meeting.
19 Applicants or their
20 representatives will be allowed five
21 minutes to address the board and
22 present their case. Extensions may be
23 granted at the discretion of the chair.
24 Anybody in the audience who
25 wishes to address the board regarding
1 the current case will be asked to raise
2 their hands and be recognized at that
4 Next is the approval of the
5 agenda. Is there any issues with the
6 agenda or additions or modifications?
7 Nothing from the city? Anybody else
8 have any issues with the agenda?
9 Seeing none, I will entertain a motion
10 to approve the agenda.
11 MEMBER SANGHVI: So move.
12 MEMBER SKELCY: Second.
13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: It's been
14 moved and second. All in favor, say
16 THE BOARD: Aye.
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any
18 opposed? Seeing none, the agenda is
20 Next is the approval of the
21 minutes from March 8, 2011. Are there
22 any issues or corrections to make?
23 Member Sanghvi. Member Skelcy.
24 MEMBER SKELCY: Yeah. On
25 page 29, line 17, it should say, "He
1 did" -- "Basically all he did was list"
2 l-i-s-t "it?" List it.
3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other
4 comments or corrections or
5 modifications? Seeing none -- I'm
6 sorry, Member Sanghvi.
7 MEMBER SANGHVI: It should be
8 noted that she misspelled my name once
9 and, hence, created two different items
10 under my name. It should be corrected
11 and should be just one.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: If there
13 are no other corrections, I will
14 entertain a motion to approve the
15 minutes of the meeting from March 8,
16 2011, as amended.
17 MEMBER SANGHVI: So move.
18 MEMBER IBE: Second.
19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Seeing a
20 motion and second, all in favor, say
22 THE BOARD: Aye.
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any
24 opposed? Seeing none, the minutes of
25 the March 8, 2011, meeting are
2 Next is the public remarks
3 section. Is there anybody in the
4 audience who wishes to address the
5 board not on a case that's going to be
6 called in front of the board this
7 evening? If there are, please raise
8 your hand, and I will recognize you.
9 Seeing none, I will close the public
10 remarks section and call our first
12 Item No. 1 is Case No.
13 10-061, 41107 Jo Drive. Will the
14 applicant please come forward.
15 MR. QUINN: Yes. Good
16 evening, ladies and gentlemen. My name
17 is Matthew Quinn. I'm the attorney for
18 the owners of this property. With me
19 is the general manager of the Cadillac
20 dealership, Ed Pobur, and he should be
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Could you
23 raise your right hand, sir, and be
24 sworn by our secretary.
25 MEMBER SKELCY: Do you swear
1 or affirm to tell the truth?
2 MR. POBUR: Yes.
3 MEMBER SKELCY: Thank you.
4 MR. QUINN: Good evening, to
5 you, once again. I'm Matt Quinn, and
6 we are here today to ask for a parking
7 variance on a piece of property that's
8 on Jo Drive. The request for the
9 variance is related specifically,
10 however, to the Cadillac dealership.
11 And I'm putting up -- here we go. For
12 your reference -- I guess I will turn
13 it around this way. I will show you
14 how it's referenced.
15 Area A on this map is Grand
16 River and Meadowbrook, and that's now
17 the Cadillac dealership. Area B is
18 the property on Jo Drive. And you will
19 see the street through the yellow line,
20 the close proximity to these.
21 Now, remember back in 2004,
22 the dealership opened up as a Hummer
23 dealership. The Hummer was a very
24 large vehicle, and the sales of the
25 Hummers allowed all of the necessary
1 vehicles to be stored on site at Ten
2 Mile -- at Grand River and Meadowbrook.
3 Now, with Hummer going out of
4 business and the Cadillac dealer coming
5 in, I must say that both my client and
6 Novi was very fortunate that General
7 Motors awarded the Cadillac dealership
8 to this particular site. But with
9 General Motors' dealerships comes
10 certain requirements. And that's a
11 requirement of vehicles being available
12 for sale, to be viewed, to be
14 Now, unfortunately, at the
15 Cadillac dealership, what happened
16 initially with the site plan is there
17 is an area that was dedicated as a
18 conservation easement. So the -- and I
19 will show you on the map. It's this
20 entire east side of the site is
21 dedicated as a conservation easement
22 and also part of the back. So, that
23 takes away from the parking that's
24 really available at the Cadillac
1 So, what did they do? They
2 looked around to see what was the
3 closest building available that would
4 suit the ability to process vehicles.
5 And what they found on Jo Drive,
6 which is B, was a vacant building that
7 they said, "Well, let's buy this
8 building. Let's make it productive
9 again, and we'll be able to use it."
10 What they do inside of the building is
11 they got a special land use to do
12 vehicle prep and to do minor vehicle
13 repair at this site.
14 Now, on the outside of the
15 building, they have excess space that
16 isn't used for anything at this point
17 in time. That is why we are proposing
18 to use this excess space at the Jo
19 Drive facility for the outside storage
20 of new car vehicles.
21 Now, we say -- we look around
22 and say, "Well, what impact does this
23 request for variance have on the
24 surrounding properties?" Let me show
25 you what the surrounding properties
2 Here's our site, once again,
3 right at the end of Jo Drive. Jo Drive
4 stops right here. Immediately to the
5 east, as you can see, are two, four,
6 six, seven large fuel storage tanks.
7 Well, let me go in numerical order,
8 since I actually numbered these.
9 Item Area A, and we'll look
10 at a closer view, is outside storage of
11 a number of trucks, truck beds, what
12 have you. Area 2, again, along this
13 property line is the outside storage of
14 a number of vehicles used by these
15 businesses. Three, is the business
16 area for the fuel storage depot. Five
17 is the tanks, we mentioned. Four is
18 the U-Haul dealer. And if you could
19 see this picture closer, this entire
20 back area is used for the outside
21 storage of vehicles for U-Haul.
22 Now, if we looked at that a
23 little closer, that Area 1 and 2,
24 again, you can see all the vehicles
25 that are stored outside here, all the
1 vehicles that are stored here. Here's
2 the end of our site, once again.
3 And what we are asking is
4 within the existing site plan -- this
5 comes into a little focus a little
6 better. This is the site plan for the
7 building. What I've highlighted in
8 yellow are all existing parking spots,
9 all right, all the way through here.
10 And, actually, there is some more over
11 here. Some of these are for employees.
12 But all of the yellow tag and the
13 yellow ones are 60 in total, are
14 completely excess to them.
15 Now, so far what you have
16 seen is the site is isolated. And I
17 took some pictures from different
18 parts. Let me do it like this, focus
19 this in a little bit, if they will.
20 This is right from the front of the
21 building. Sorry for that bright spot
22 there; maybe that's not going to go
23 away. I just wanted to show you that
24 from this main street, looking at the
25 building, you can't see any of the rear
1 area where these vehicles are to be
2 parked. From their rear parking lot,
3 right away from the rear of the
4 building is where these are taken. You
5 have the storage facilities at their
6 property line to the south. The
7 picture just shows again at their
8 property line.
9 Other industrial buildings,
10 to the east is another industrial
11 building. And, again, to the
12 southeast, just shows their fence line
13 and the other industrial buildings.
14 Once again, the point of that
15 is, is to demonstrate that this is a
16 completely isolated piece of land.
17 Everything around it is already being
18 used for what we are asking a variance
20 Now, I didn't check to see if
21 all those uses are legal or not. But
22 they exist, and they are all there in
23 that capacity. Now, this is nothing
24 that my client asked for. They didn't
25 ask to buy another building. They
1 didn't ask to have to come here to you
2 today. They are a victim of the
3 economy. With the Hummer going out,
4 the Cadillac coming in, they need the
5 additional space for these vehicles.
6 They want to be as visibly business
7 friendly to Novi as we are asking Novi
8 to be business friendly to the Cadillac
9 dealership. They will be able to
10 succeed with this outdoor storage of
11 vehicles being allowed.
12 If you think about this
13 outdoor storage, this could -- if this
14 was a factory, all of those parking
15 places could be filled by employees,
16 all day long. And even if it was a
17 24-hour factory, you could have
18 vehicles there 24 hours a day.
19 Yes, they would be employee-related;
20 they would come and go. All we are
21 asking is to allow vehicles to be
22 parked there. These are, yes,
23 unlicensed vehicles. They are
24 Cadillacs that are waiting to go into
25 the building to be prepped, so that
1 they can then take them to the
2 dealership to be put on display to be
4 I also want to inform you
5 that the Cadillac dealership is going
6 in front of the planning commission
7 next month for site plan revisions,
8 putting a new facade on portions of the
9 building, extending the parking lot a
10 little bit where it used to have the
11 test track in back - IF you ever saw
12 the Hummer test track back there - but
13 it still doesn't provide enough parking
14 as necessary. They are going to expand
15 the shoulder a little bit. So this is
16 all part of a big overall expansion of
17 Cadillac that will allow this
18 dealership to be successful.
19 So far, I can tell you that
20 it has been so successful, that when
21 they started using this storage area, I
22 went out there, I was shown by the
23 owner, and I said, "My goodness."
24 There was a hundred vehicles inside the
25 building working on prep. There were
1 60 buildings -- 60 vehicles outside
2 here. I went back a week later to take
3 pictures; they had sold all those
4 vehicles already. They sold the 60
5 outside; they sold the hundred inside.
6 This is a successful
7 dealership. They need this location.
8 There is no other -- the only place in
9 Novi that allows outside storage is
10 I-2. There is no available I-2 within
11 a reasonable area around here.
12 This is I-1. It's isolated,
13 and this is the -- I think the best
14 they can do. And without this, it's
15 going to be very difficult, if not
16 impossible, to operate what's now
17 becoming, after only, let's see, this
18 opened in February, so last year. It's
19 only been open for a little over a year
20 now as a Cadillac dealership. And
21 because of the Novi location, even
22 though it's hard to find and they spent
23 a lot of time advertising how to use
24 your GPS to find the dealership at
25 Meadowbrook and Grand River, they are
1 doing a great job. Ed is doing an
2 outstanding job.
3 So we are asking your
4 assistance. I will finish up our
5 little ordinance review, that the
6 strict application of the regulations
7 would result in a peculiar and
8 exceptional practical difficulty to the
9 Cadillac dealership and its owners.
10 And that would be an exceptional undue
11 hardship without this relief. They
12 could actually lose the Cadillac
13 dealership if they don't meet the
14 Cadillac GM requirements. Therefore,
15 their request can be granted without
16 substantial detriment to the public
17 good, and it will not substantially
18 impair the intent or purpose of the
20 This variance request will
21 not impair the adequate supply of light
22 or air to adjacent properties, and it
23 will not unreasonably increase the
24 congestion on public streets. Let
25 me -- public streets brings me back to
1 a good point. All of the vehicle
2 carriers will be unloading at the Jo
3 Drive site instead of busying up
4 Meadowbrook and Grand River. So it
5 kind of moves that over to there. And
6 it will not increase the danger of fire
7 or endanger the safety of the public.
8 And it will not impair the established
9 property values within the surrounding
10 areas as you saw. And, in my mind,
11 it's just the right thing to do, and
12 that's what we are asking you to do.
13 We are here to answer any
14 questions that you might have, and we
15 look forward to that. Thank you.
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you,
17 Mr. Quinn. Is there anybody in the
18 audience who would like to make a
19 comment on this case only? If so,
20 please raise your hand, and I will
21 recognize you. Seeing none, I will
22 close the public remarks section and
23 ask our secretary if there is any
24 correspondence in terms of objections
25 or approval.
1 MEMBER SKELCY: There was one
2 objection from Rob Rochey. He
3 states, "We are lease holders in the
4 building next to 41107 Jo Drive. Cars
5 have been stored in a fenced-in area in
6 that location for the past couple
7 months. In addition, there is constant
8 traffic of these cars being moved in
9 and out of the location. The drivers
10 are very aggressive and reckless, and
11 it affects the safety of my employees
12 when they are entering or leaving our
13 parking lot. Therefore, we are opposed
14 to the requested variance."
15 That is dated 1/26/11. There
16 are no approvals, and we had no
17 returned mail.
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. Any
19 comments from the city on this
20 particular case?
21 MR. BOULARD: Nothing to
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Then I
24 will open it up to the board for
1 MS. KUDLA: I just want to
2 remind everybody it's a use variance,
3 and we have the undue hardship
4 standards rather than practical
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thanks.
7 Anybody from the board have any
8 questions for the applicant?
9 Member Sanghvi.
10 MEMBER SANGHVI: I have no
11 questions; I have a comment.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Sure.
13 MEMBER SANGHVI: I went to
14 the site and looked around, and I
15 personally have no difficulty in
16 supporting this application. I don't
17 think it's going to change much or
18 impact the area or interfere with
19 anything else that goes on there
20 already. Thank you.
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anybody
22 else? Ms. Skelcy.
23 MEMBER SKELCY: Did he
24 purchase the property or is it being
1 MR. POBUR: They purchased
2 the property.
3 MEMBER SKELCY: What was the
4 purchase date?
5 MR. POBUR: Like May, 2010.
6 MR. QUINN: He's referencing
7 May of 2010, May or June.
8 MEMBER SKELCY: Will there be
9 a body shop there, or is it going to be
10 strictly prep?
11 MR. POBUR: No, not at this
13 MEMBER SKELCY: Okay. Do you
14 have plans in the future?
15 MR. POBUR: There is
16 probably -- there is probably not
17 enough room in the building to do that
18 right now.
19 MEMBER SKELCY: Okay.
20 MR. POBUR: We'll probably
21 have to find another building if we are
22 going to do that.
23 MEMBER SKELCY: Okay. Do you
24 do body shop work?
25 MR. POBUR: We do; we have a
1 body shop in Southfield.
2 MEMBER SKELCY: Okay.
3 MR. POBUR: Between Eight and
4 Nine Mile on Telegraph.
5 MEMBER SKELCY: All right.
6 Thank you. No further questions.
7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member
9 MEMBER GEDEON: Just as a
10 follow-up to that comment. I point out
11 the Planning Commission motion, Item
12 B, states that, "There will be no
13 vehicle undercoating, body repair and
14 collision work, painting, tire
15 recapping or auto dismantling."
16 And, in general, I mean, I
17 understand that this is the undue
18 hardship burden. But, I mean, this
19 applicant seems to have a lot of
20 compelling reasons to use the site in
21 this manner.
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM:
23 Member Krieger.
24 MEMBER KRIEGER: If you want
25 to comment toward the letter, the
1 objection letter that was read into the
2 minutes, if you want to comment.
3 MR. POBUR: I can comment on
4 that for sure. We have -- we did get a
5 complaint around that time, and we have
6 addressed it for sure, as far as the
7 drivers and so forth that go over that
9 MEMBER KRIEGER: Okay. Then
10 I agree with the previous speakers.
11 Thank you.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I just
13 have one question. You put one of the
14 pictures on the board that showed
15 yellow, you said about 60 spaces where
16 you intend on parking vehicles.
17 MR. QUINN: Yes.
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Do you
19 intend on parking anywhere other than
20 those for the overnight vehicles?
21 MR. QUINN: No. They will
22 only be parked in existing parking
24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I'm also
25 in agreement with this, because I have
1 no problem with this. I think, first
2 of all, you made a very good case in
3 terms of the necessity of this under
4 the circumstances, given that you are
5 trying to retrofit this dealership from
6 a former dealership, so I have no
8 Any other comments or
9 questions for the board? Seeing none,
10 I will entertain a motion on this one.
11 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Chair, in
12 Case 10-061, 41107 Jo Drive, I move
13 that we grant the request of the
14 applicant, as requested, for the
15 following reasons: That the property
16 cannot be reasonably used for any of
17 the uses permitted by right or by
18 special land use permit in the zoning
19 district in which it is located. The
20 need for the requested variance is due
21 to unique circumstances or physical
22 conditions of the property involved,
23 such as narrowness, the shallowness and
24 the topographic or similar physical
25 conditions, and is not due to the
1 applicants's personal or economic
2 hardship. That the proposed land use
3 will not alter the essential character
4 of the neighborhood. And as was stated
5 by the attorney for the applicant, the
6 area itself is pretty isolated. And,
7 really, I think this fits very well
8 with the character of the neighborhood.
9 That the need of the
10 requested variance is not the result of
11 actions of the proposed owner of the
12 property, being that it is not
13 self-created. And it is a Cadillac
14 dealership, and General Motors requires
15 certain consistency with each
16 dealership. And, obviously, the owners
17 of this dealership have gone to great
18 efforts to ensure that it complies with
19 what is required to maintain a
20 dealership. Therefore, based on the
21 foregoing reasons, I move that we grant
22 the request as stated by the applicant.
23 MEMBER KRIEGER: Second.
24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Seeing a
25 motion and a second, Ms. Marchioni, can
1 you please call the role.
2 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Ibe?
3 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
4 MS. MARCHIONI: Member
6 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
7 MS. MARCHIONI:
8 Member Sanghvi?
9 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
10 MS. MARCHIONI:
11 Member Ghannam?
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes.
13 MS. MARCHIONI: Member
15 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
16 MS. MARCHIONI: Member
18 MEMBER GEDEON: Yes.
19 MS. MARCHIONI: Motion
20 passes, six to zero.
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM:
23 MR. QUINN: Thank you very
24 much. Come on down for your new
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you
2 very much.
3 MR. QUINN: I don't mean it
4 that way.
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Next on
6 the agenda is Item No. 2, Case No.
7 11-006, for 30275 Hudson Drive.
8 Is the petitioner here?
9 Please come down, sir. It indicates
10 the petitioner is requesting a variance
11 to the required number of off-street
12 parking spaces. Petitioner is
13 proposing 110 parking spaces in lieu of
14 128 required by zoning ordinances.
15 Can you please state your
16 name and address.
17 MR. AMCHESLAVSKY: Hi, Oleg
18 Amcheslavsky, 26090 Lannys, Novi,
19 Michigan, 48375.
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: If you are
21 not an attorney, please raise your hand
22 and be sworn by our secretary. Right
24 MR. AMCHESLAVSKY: Sorry.
25 MEMBER SKELCY: Do you swear
1 or affirm to tell the truth?
2 MR. AMCHESLAVSKY: Yes, I do.
3 MEMBER SKELCY: Thank you.
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Go ahead,
6 MR. AMCHESLAVSKY: I go
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You may
10 MR. AMCHESLAVSKY: Well,
11 basically, if you go to the Beck North
12 and Beck West, and I'm going to go as
13 far and say Novi Road campus, you have
14 a tremendous amount of building with a
15 tremendous amount of parking lot and a
16 tremendous amount of empty spaces.
17 These buildings almost look like they
18 are not rented, although they are.
19 And, you know, it's kind of a waste of
20 everybody's energy. The tenants are
21 getting upset. More and more I'm
22 hearing that, you know, they don't need
23 X amount of spaces. And it's starting
24 to make their businesses look like they
25 are empty, and we are trying to deal
1 with that.
2 In this particular case, this
3 is MAC/Apple Computers tenant. They
4 are more of a technology tenant. And
5 as we all know with technology
6 advances, we don't need as many people
7 in the building for communication.
8 I believe, I have my record
9 on me, but I think it says they have
10 about 65 employees -- 45 employees and
11 20 visitors on site for brief periods
12 of time, and 128 spaces is just way
13 over the amount that's needed,
14 especially for this tenant with their
15 communication capabilities.
16 If you look at the floor plan
17 that was proposed and that is being
18 developed, as we speak, it's mostly
19 open office, minimal one-person
20 offices, mostly conference rooms.
21 I don't know what else I can
22 say, except for it's a lot of parking
23 spaces for this use. I'd like to keep
24 the land available for people who need
25 the parking spaces and not waste them.
1 And the hardship is the tenant doesn't
2 want to see the building look empty.
3 I'm hearing more and more from all my
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anything
6 else, sir?
7 MR. AMCHESLAVSKY: That's
8 about it.
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you.
10 At this time I will open it up to the
11 public for anybody who has any comment
12 on this particular case. Please step
13 forward or raise your hand. Seeing
14 none, I will close the public remarks
15 section and ask our secretary to read
16 any correspondence.
17 MEMBER SKELCY: There were
18 five notices mailed with no responses,
19 and one mail returned.
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. I
21 will turn it over to the city for any
23 MS. KUDLA: I have none.
24 MR. BOULARD: Nothing to add.
25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. I
1 will open it up to the board for
2 discussion. Member Sanghvi.
3 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you,
4 Mr. Chairman. I did visit the site
5 yesterday and walked around there.
6 It's a beautiful area, which has
7 become -- it's going to be a very
8 prominent area before long. It's in a
9 very nice facility, very well laid out,
10 and I don't think these 18 spaces, or
11 whatever they are looking, is going to
12 make any substantial difference in
13 their site or their kind of business.
14 So, I have no difficulty in supporting
15 their application. Thank you.
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you.
17 Anybody else? Comments or questions?
18 Member Krieger.
19 MEMBER KRIEGER: Question.
20 You are on Lannys Drive, so you own
21 both or you are moving them to that
23 MR. AMCHESLAVSKY: No, no,
24 Lannys is my office, and I use it as my
25 building address and my home address.
1 MEMBER KRIEGER: Okay.
2 MR. AMCHESLAVSKY: This is
3 not Hudson; this is Beck North
4 Industrial Park.
5 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yeah, two
6 separate sites.
7 MR. AMCHESLAVSKY: Yeah, my
8 building is on Lannys. Whenever
9 somebody asks me where I live, I always
10 say Lannys. Technically, I live in
11 Commerce, but I really live in Novi.
12 MEMBER KRIEGER: No, I meant
13 the business is on Lannys, so I was --
14 MR. AMCHESLAVSKY: My
15 business or my tenants?
16 MEMBER KRIEGER: I'm sorry,
17 the Nadlan that was on the application
18 is Novi and Grand River.
19 MR. AMCHESLAVSKY: Correct.
20 MEMBER KRIEGER: In addition
21 to -- this is in addition to that?
22 MR. AMCHESLAVSKY: No, no,
23 this has nothing to do with Nadlan.
24 Nadlan is the developer that built the
25 building for Apple Computers.
1 MEMBER KRIEGER: Okay.
3 MR. AMCHESLAVSKY: No
4 problem. I'm just trying to clarify.
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member
7 MEMBER SKELCY: What is land
8 banked parking? It says here,
9 "Twenty-six of the proposed parking
10 spaces will be in the form of land
11 banked parking."
12 MR. BOULARD: If I can jump
13 in. The zoning ordinance allows in
14 certain cases up to a given percentage
15 of parking spaces not to be built, and
16 the land is set aside. The plan
17 includes those spaces and makes sure
18 the orientation is there and the space
19 for them if they are needed for the
20 future. They don't need to be
21 constructed up front.
22 What's happening here is they
23 have a tenant that appears to require
24 less parking than would typically be
25 required, so there is reduced -- they
1 requested to reduce the parking spaces.
2 In addition, some of those parking
3 spaces may not be constructed
4 immediately, but they are included in
5 the site plan and could be available
6 later on that property if there is a
7 need. So they are not paved at this
8 point, but they are essentially already
10 MEMBER SKELCY: So 26 of the
11 110 are not built?
12 MR. BOULARD: Correct.
13 MEMBER SKELCY: Okay. Thank
15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Along
16 those lines, I've got a couple
17 questions. First of all, sir, with
18 this new tenant, will that complete the
19 occupancy of this building?
20 MR. AMCHESLAVSKY: Yeah, it's
21 a single tenant.
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: It's a
23 single tenant?
24 MR. AMCHESLAVSKY:
25 Approximately 40,000 square feet.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Is it a
2 requirement that you receive this
3 variance in order for the tenant to
4 move in?
5 MR. AMCHESLAVSKY: No, it's
6 not a requirement, it's just that it
7 was a major request, and kind of a
8 promise made to them they wouldn't be
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: And, for
11 the city, can this be limited to this
12 particular tenant, this variance?
13 MS. KUDLA: Yes.
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: In other
15 words, if this tenant moved out later
16 and they got a new tenant, that may
17 require -- they would have to address
18 it at that time?
19 MS. KUDLA: Correct.
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay, I
21 understand. In this case, I would tend
22 to agree, but I would just recommend a
23 limitation with this particular tenant.
24 If the tenancy changes in the future,
25 it will have to be revisited at that
2 MR. AMCHESLASKY: I hope it
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other
5 questions or comments? Seeing none,
6 anybody want to make a motion?
7 Member Krieger, please.
8 MEMBER KRIEGER: In Case No.
9 11-006, on 30275 Hudson Drive,
10 MacProfessionals, I move to approve the
11 variance request for the number of
12 off-street parking spaces, that the
13 petitioner is proposing 110 in lieu of
14 the 128. And this will be for this
15 particular tenant and need to be
16 revisited in the future if a new tenant
17 was to move in; hopefully not. And
18 that the parking structure, so that
19 they would have for the office space as
20 requested, the 11,750 square feet for
21 office, moved to 23,378 for office.
22 And then the warehouse, they move from
23 21,416 to 15,991 for 6,203 square foot
25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any
2 MEMBER SANGHVI: Second.
3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any
4 further discussion? Seeing none,
5 Ms. Marchioni, can you call the role,
7 MS. MARCHIONI:
8 Member Krieger?
9 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
10 MS. MARCHIONI:
11 Member Sanghvi?
12 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
13 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Ibe?
14 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
15 MS. MARCHIONI: Chairman
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes.
18 MS. MARCHIONI:
19 Member Skelcy?
20 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
21 MS. MARCHIONI: Member
23 MEMBER GEDEON: Yes.
24 MS. MARCHIONI: Motion
25 passes, six to zero.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM:
3 MR. AMCHESLAVSKY: Thank you
4 very much. Thank you for your support.
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Next on
6 the agenda is Item No. 3, Case 11-007,
7 24255 Novi Road. The petitioner is
8 requesting a variance to install a 30
9 square foot multi-tenant business
10 center sign to include four business
11 names at the Pine Ridge Center, which
12 is located at 24255 Novi Road.
13 Property is zoned B-3 and located north
14 of Ten Mile on the west side of
15 Novi Road.
16 Are both of you going to be
17 speaking tonight?
18 MR. FREER: I will be
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Just raise
21 your right hand and be sworn.
22 MEMBER SKELCY: This is my
23 first night being the secretary. Do
24 you swear or affirm to tell the truth?
25 MR. FREER: Yes.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Go ahead
2 and state your name and address, and
3 then you can proceed.
4 MR. FREER: My name is Marty
5 Freer, representing Inter City Neon
6 Signs. My Address is 10 Winnington
7 (ph) in Troy, Michigan.
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Go ahead,
10 MR. FREER: We are requesting
11 a variance for the Pine Ridge Center
12 for new signage for four tenant panels.
13 The site itself on Novi Road is built
14 out into a depression, and it's
15 obscured from the street by trees. And
16 we believe that putting some signage
17 out near the road would allow people to
18 actually realize the tenants which are
19 within the center. And possibly also
20 help to stop any safety issues out
21 there with people trying to (inaudible)
22 into the center.
23 It's also built on an
24 L-shape, and as you come southbound on
25 Novi Road, you actually almost pass the
1 entire center before you actually know
2 it's even there. So, is there anything
3 you would like to add?
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Nothing
5 else, sir?
6 MR. FREER: No. There is
7 other people that I do believe would
8 like to speak.
9 MS. BARNES: I would.
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: If there
11 is nothing else, I will open it up to
12 the public for any comments on this
13 particular case. Please come forward.
14 Sir, if you could just step
15 aside and let her speak.
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Ma'am,
17 please state your name and address.
18 MS. BARNES: I'm Anne Marie
19 Barnes. I'm one of the owners of Pine
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. If
22 you can raise your right hand and be
24 MEMBER SKELCY: Do you swear
25 or affirm to tell the truth?
1 MS. BARNES: Yes, I do.
2 MEMBER SKELCY: Thank you.
3 MS. BARNES: Our partners
4 haven't received a penny for three
5 years now because of the economy. The
6 tenants there are complaining that
7 there is no signage for them, that they
8 are losing a lot of business, and now
9 they are going to do this tremendous
10 road construction. And, I mean, we are
11 just holding on. And I feel -- we
12 would like to make improvements and
13 make the shopping center look better,
14 but we are just making it.
15 Like I said, the partners
16 haven't received a penny in three
17 years. And I just think that we really
18 need to have the sign changed. And not
19 only just four panels, but for all the
20 people that are there, all the tenants
21 that are in there.
22 We have one that's gone in
23 there, we have a five-year lease with
24 them, and they are complaining bitterly
25 that they are not making enough money,
1 that they need the advertisement. And
2 I think that, as they stated, I think
3 it was in the Free Press about the road
4 being re-built and, you know, made
5 wider to suit the things that are going
6 on in the city. I think the city needs
7 to change the sign -- I mean, the times
8 have changed. It's not just a little
9 place. And it's been a great shopping
10 center, but we have to do something to
11 make it better, to make it so that the
12 tenants are going to want to stay
13 there, so that we can get new tenants.
14 We lost tenants.
15 And I think that it's, you
16 know, the city needs to change. I
17 mean, we are supporting the city; the
18 city needs to support us now.
19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you,
21 Sir, are you going to speak?
22 MR. MARTIN: May I?
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You can.
24 Just give your name and address and
25 raise your right hand and be sworn.
1 MR. MARTIN: I'm Paul Martin,
2 I live at 18010 Meridian, Grosse Ile,
4 MEMBER SKELCY: Do you swear
5 or affirm to tell the truth?
6 MR. MARTIN: Yes.
7 MEMBER SKELCY: Thank you.
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Go ahead,
9 sir. If you can speak closer to the
11 MR. MARTIN: We have had such
12 tenants at the center as Honey Baked
13 Ham, which you are all familiar with,
14 Play It Again Sports, and they both
15 moved out because they didn't have
16 enough viewage from the street. If you
17 drive by, you actually have to really
18 look over there, and it is more of a
20 Coming in here today, it's
21 the first time I have been here, I
22 notice that you have a sign out front
23 that's lit, that says what's going on
24 at the center. If it's good enough for
25 the city, I was wondering why wouldn't
1 it be good enough for taxpaying
2 citizens? That's my comment.
3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay.
4 Thank you. Anybody else from the
5 public that would like to make a
6 comment on this case, please step
7 forward. Sir, come on up. Go ahead
8 and state your name and address.
9 MR. WOLFORD: Peter Wolford.
10 I'm one of the tenants of the strip
11 mall that we are discussing.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Raise your
13 right hand, sir, and be sworn.
14 MEMBER SKELCY: Do you swear
15 or affirm to tell the truth?
16 MR. WOLFORD: I do.
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Go ahead,
18 sir. Speak toward the microphone,
20 MR. WOLFORD: One of the
21 concerns that I had when I saw the
22 notification that was going out is that
23 it's limited to four signs of tenants
24 in there. There are 20 spaces in the
25 strip mall. I would like to get some
1 feeling as to how it's going to be
2 determined who the select four are.
3 You know, I have very mixed
4 opinions about the existing sign that
5 we have up there. You know, I think it
6 needs a bit of a paint job and things
7 like that to make it look a little more
8 sort of user friendly.
9 The present sign is, as you
10 probably know, is just like, Pine Ridge
11 Center sign, which has been up there.
12 We have been a tenant at the strip mall
13 for I think about 16 years, 14, 16
14 years, something like that, and we have
15 always had just the Pine Ridge Center
16 sign up. And I think to use it as a
17 point of reference, it's been
18 important, because the buildings do sit
19 back from the road. But, you know, I
20 think that to remove the Pine Ridge
21 Center sign would also be harmful,
22 because I think through all these
23 years, the tenants who are there, we
24 have used it as a reference point. I'd
25 like to see the sign stay there and
1 maybe have it be modified. Just the
2 names up there really doesn't help that
3 matter. It's -- most people, you know,
4 will relate to the Pine Ridge Center,
5 if you explain exactly where it is.
6 Other than that, I don't have any other
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: All right.
9 Thank you, sir. Anybody else from the
10 public who would like to make a comment
11 on this particular case?
12 MS. BARNES: I do have a
13 letter I'd like you to read. And,
14 actually, the other partners and some
15 of the other people, but I left them; I
16 didn't mail them in.
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: In terms
18 of the support for this particular
20 MS. BARNES: Yes.
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Do we have
22 to read these into the record?
23 MS. BARNES: It's not very
25 MS. KUDLA: If it's not
1 submitted into the record, it should be
2 read into the record. She should
3 probably submit it if she has an extra
5 MS. BARNES: I do have an
6 extra copy.
7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: This is
8 from one of the tenants, ma'am?
9 MS. BARNES: This is from one
10 of the owners.
11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: If
12 addition to yourself?
13 MS. BARNES: Yes.
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I see what
15 you are talking about. Why don't you
16 go ahead and bring it forward, ma'am.
17 Our secretary will read this into the
18 record, please.
19 MEMBER SKELCY: The letter is
20 from Delores Miller, dated March 12,
22 "To whom it may concern. I
23 am a partner in the above-referenced
24 shopping center. This is a formal
25 request that we be permitted to replace
1 the pylon sign located on this
3 "The center needs a sign that
4 will afford better advertisement for
5 the shops located in the center. It is
6 urgent that this issue be addressed
7 immediately. The impending
8 construction on Novi Road and its
9 closure to traffic will result in a
10 significant economic impact and
11 financial hardships to the tenants
12 located in Pine Ridge. Our concern is
13 that not only will the tenants and
14 their shops be affected, but so will
15 the viability of this center.
16 "Our center and our tenants
17 provide a necessary niche in this
18 community, and we believe that
19 modernizing the sign will reduce the
20 burden. I am requesting that the
21 hearing to discuss this issue be
22 scheduled at your next board meeting.
23 Thank you for your consideration."
24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. Any
25 other public comments on this
1 particular case? Seeing none, I will
2 close the public remarks section and
3 ask our secretary to read any other
5 MEMBER SKELCY: There were a
6 total of five objections, and it was
7 joined together. It includes Sang Doe,
8 S-a-n-g, D-o-e, Novi Pizza Company, The
9 Frame Peddler, Yoko's Hair Salon and
10 Fumi Restaurant. This is a two-page
11 objection with regard to the fact that
12 only four tenants will be listed on the
13 sign, and as to what criteria was used
14 when selecting the four tenants.
15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you.
16 Any other correspondence?
17 MEMBER SKELCY: There were no
18 approvals, and five mail returned, and
19 no other objections.
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. Any
21 comments from the city?
22 MS. KUDLA: No.
23 MR. BOULARD: Just a couple
24 questions, if I could, for the
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Sure.
2 MR. BOULARD: I just want to
3 clarify. I believe I had -- when I was
4 putting together the information for
5 the board, I wanted to confirm that the
6 existing sign is intended to be
8 MR. FREER: Yes, it is.
9 MR. BOULARD: If this
10 variance is granted?
11 MR. FREER: Yes, it is.
12 MR. BOULARD: The other
13 question, and perhaps it was my
14 misunderstanding. I understood there
15 had been some conversation or some
16 information had gone to the other
17 tenants of the space. I guess my
18 question is in terms of all the tenants
19 in the mall, what -- if you could tell
20 us, what's going to keep all the other
21 tenants from coming and saying, "Well,
22 these four people got a sign, why
23 shouldn't we have one"?
24 MR. FREER: Well, when we
25 first proposed to add tenant signage,
1 we thought that four was a bit of a
2 reach, due to the fact that zero is
3 allowed in the district. So, four was
4 a bit of a reach. I mean, we could
5 have gone for 12, 16, but we thought
6 that would have been denied.
7 MR. BOULARD: And I guess my
8 question would be, once you give it to
9 four, why shouldn't the others have it?
10 MR. FREER: Well, there is
11 the opportunity to change faces. The
12 city does allow face changes within the
13 sign, and it's nothing more than an
14 application or permit that's granted,
15 and faces can be changed. So, possibly
16 an accommodation could be made for the
17 other tenants through a face change.
18 MR. BOULARD: Thank you.
19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: As I open
20 it up to the board, I have a couple
21 questions for the city. We are just
22 simply granting their request for a
23 30-foot, multi-tenant sign with the
24 existing taken out, correct?
25 MS. KUDLA: Correct.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Are they
2 limited to the four tenants as opposed
3 to more or less as part of this
4 request, or we are just approving the
5 30 square foot or disapproving?
6 MR. BOULARD: The ordinance
7 does not allow any tenant names at all.
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: That I
10 MR. BOULARD: The request is
11 for a new sign with four tenants.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: If we
13 approve it or disapprove, it's based on
14 30 square feet and the number of
15 tenants that can be advertised on that
17 MS. KUDLA: Correct.
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: So it's
19 either that be approved or that be
21 MS. KUDLA: Yes.
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: With that
23 in mind, sir, you had other tenants,
24 and their concerns, whether you or the
25 owner, they want to comment on that
1 particular issue? I know as part of
2 your request you put four names there,
3 but I assume that's not the four names
4 that are going to be printed on the
6 MR. FREER: No. Actually, we
7 had to change one of them because he's
8 no longer there.
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: So my
10 question, I guess if you are saying
11 your difficulty is the location setback
12 and so forth.
13 MR. FREER: Yes.
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: And I
15 understand that. I have been by that
16 center a million times; I live in that
17 area. I understand, because I don't
18 know all the tenants, you don't see
19 them, because they are not prominent.
20 If one is approved, who is to decide
21 which four tenants are going to be on
22 that sign?
23 MR. FREER: I can't answer
24 that for you, being just the sign
25 person. Possibly the owner. I'm not
1 sure exactly how they want to handle
2 it. I only heard about the issues with
3 other tenants this previous week.
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: That's a
5 logical question.
6 MR. FREER: No, no, I
7 understand, 100 percent. Believe me,
8 if I thought we could get 12 tenant
9 panels, we would have come in front of
10 you for that. I did not believe we
11 would have possibly even four.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Ma'am, can
13 you comment on that?
14 MS. BARNES: He's absolutely
15 right. We probably could keep the sign
16 the same size, maybe make the lettering
17 smaller, and in one space put two names
18 or rotate them. Or the other -- the
19 other thing we were thinking is we were
20 thinking of a digital sign.
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: That's not
22 up before us tonight, ma'am.
23 MS. BARNES: No.
24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You have
25 one, 30 foot square --
1 MR. FREER: That's right.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: One 30
3 foot sign with four tenant spaces.
4 MS. BARNES: Yes.
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: My
6 question is, how do you address the
7 other tenants and the city as to who
8 goes on it?
9 MS. BARNES: Well, we put
10 them in strips. We could cut the
11 strips in half; that would give us
12 eight. Or we could rotate it, put
13 different names in there.
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: But isn't
15 that improper?
16 MS. KUDLA: The request was
17 for four tenants, so if you are
18 requesting more, you would have to
19 modify your request and come back for
20 an increase variance to get more
21 tenants on the sign.
22 UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Do
24 MR. MARTIN: If I could
25 address. I don't know if I can at this
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Let me let
3 the board ask some questions; maybe
4 that will answer some questions.
5 Member Skelcy.
6 MEMBER SKELCY: I have a
7 question for the building owner. I
8 have some questions.
9 MS. BARNES: Okay.
10 MEMBER SKELCY: You are the
11 one that's making the application for
12 the sign, correct?
13 MS. BARNES: Yes.
14 MEMBER SKELCY: And yet you
15 have tenants who are calling you up and
16 saying, "I'm upset because my name is
17 not going to appear on the sign," is
18 that correct?
19 MS. BARNES: Yes.
20 MEMBER SKELCY: So, I cannot
21 support this application when, you
22 know, you are not certain what names
23 are going to be up there or how many
24 can be up there. And if you've got
25 internal problems with your tenants,
1 who even sent objections to us about
2 this particular request.
3 MS. BARNES: Well, the thing
4 is that you -- the city says zero is to
5 be up there. So we are just asking for
6 four, so that we can at least get a
7 start. So that we can -- the fact that
8 the four would be up there would be
9 beneficial to the others that are
10 there. Because if somebody comes in to
11 see Once Upon A Child, they are going
12 to come into the shopping center, and
13 they are going to see the other tenants
15 I can't answer that. And
16 many of the other shopping centers, I
17 mean, they may have 12 or 20 tenants in
18 there, but they only have four to six
19 names on the sign. And that's what we
20 based it on. We figured if we could
21 just get something. And then if there
22 is a problem or something, we can come
23 back and say, "Okay, can we get a
24 couple more names on there?" Or, "You
25 know, how can we handle this so that we
1 can rotate the names?" Leaving the
2 sign the same height and everything.
3 We need something.
4 MEMBER SKELCY: I can
5 understand you need something, but I
6 would suggest that you get your house
7 in order with regard to how many names
8 are going to be on the sign after all,
9 and what size of sign you actually
11 MS. BARNES: Well, we based
12 it on the tenants that we feel that we
13 put there, they have been there a long
14 time. They pay their rent; they have
15 signed new leases. I mean, the tenants
16 that -- some of the tenants that are
17 debating this, they won't give us a
18 lease. They don't pay the rent. And
19 we are -- you know, the people that are
20 out there are the people who is paying
21 their rent. They are the people who
22 give the ten-year lease or five-year
23 lease. These others, we have no lease,
24 and they don't pay the rent. And
25 that's what we based it on.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other
3 MEMBER SKELCY: No, thank
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. I
6 think Member Krieger was next; she had
7 her hand up. Do you have any
9 MEMBER KRIEGER: I agree with
10 the previous speaker, and that if I was
11 the owner or partner of an ownership of
12 a building, and I had 20 tenants, I
13 would want the input of my 20 tenants
14 so I didn't lose them all, and have a
15 meeting with them before I came to the
16 city with any request. So I also
17 cannot support this at this time.
18 Thank you.
19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member
21 MEMBER IBE: Ma'am, I
22 completely understand your previous
23 comments to why you want the sign. And
24 you understand that, of course, we live
25 in a different time economically wise,
1 and everybody wants more exposure.
2 However, perhaps I think you have
3 jumped the gun. Perhaps maybe more
4 of (inaudible) you got 20 tenants, you
5 are concerned of everybody getting
6 exposure. Chances are, the way you are
7 going about this, you may end up losing
8 more tenants, which means you will end
9 up with more vacancies in that spot.
10 It appears, based upon what
11 I'm getting the feedback from the
12 members here --
13 MS. BARNES: Okay --
14 MEMBER IBE: Excuse me. One
15 moment, please. If we were to take a
16 vote tonight, chances are that your
17 proposal may not pass. Even though you
18 mean well, it may not pass.
19 May I suggest, and it's just
20 a suggestion for you and the other
21 parties who are in support of this,
22 perhaps you go back and work things out
23 with the people, the owners as well as
24 the tenants, talk about this. Now, you
25 have ways to get four people in there.
1 It's called a contract, in your lease,
2 you can specify things like that. So
3 that perhaps this will be an incentive
4 to get people to sign a new lease or
5 the same one, maybe. So I would
6 suggest you go back and re-visit this
7 issue and table this so that it will
8 give you a better opportunity to be
9 prepared when you come back to us.
10 Because if we vote today, ma'am,
11 chances are you may not get what you
12 want, and that wouldn't be good for
14 MS. BARNES: Except we only
15 have seven tenants right now.
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: But there
17 is 20 spaces.
18 MS. BARNES: Not necessarily.
19 Depends on how much -- if somebody came
20 in there and how much space they would
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Next,
23 Member Sanghvi.
24 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
25 I have another question for the
1 attorney. Is it within the terms of
2 the reference of Zoning Board of
3 Appeals to go in and figure whose name
4 they should put and why they should put
6 MS. KUDLA: Only from the
7 perspective of whether or not they plan
8 on coming back and asking for an
9 increase in signage, because they
10 haven't really determined how many
11 people are on there and whether this is
12 the actual request or not. At this
13 time, it seems like maybe there is some
14 question about what the request is. If
15 they are certain that the request is
16 for four-tenant signage, you can make
17 that determination today based on what
18 you heard. If you feel that you need
19 more information on whether or not it
20 actually is for a four-tenant sign, you
21 can table it and ask for more
22 information on that aspect. But how it
23 gets assigned really is not within the
24 parameters of your decision. You just
25 need to know what action is the request
1 that's being made today.
2 MS. BARNES: Okay. We would
3 like to table it, if we could.
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I
5 appreciate that. Let me just make sure
6 everybody has their questions in and
7 you have a clear idea of what you want
8 to do.
9 Do you have any other
10 questions, Member Sanghvi?
11 MEMBER SANGHVI: No, just I
12 want to give them an opportunity to
13 come back and fix things.
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member
16 MEMBER GEDEON: I guess I'm
17 not in total agreement with the other
18 board members here. I think we are
19 making this way too complicated. They
20 made a request for four-sign slots on
21 this sign. And as the city pointed
22 out, it's a net reduction of the pole
23 sign is coming down. So, I mean, this
24 seems to make a lot of sense to me.
25 And I would also make
1 reference to our meeting, I believe it
2 was in January or December, when it was
3 obviously a different zoning ordinance
4 section, when we approved the monument
5 sign for the Town Center, which had
6 four tenant spaces on it. So I think
7 this is somewhat comparable, even if
8 it's zoned sort of differently. So I
9 would not have problems supporting this
10 as applied right now.
11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other
12 comments? I actually understand his
13 point, as a basis, and I can appreciate
14 it. The problem is, you mentioned,
15 "Well, we'll change the signs, we'll
16 come back and get bigger signs." Your
17 job is to minimize the request that you
18 are making. It is a variance. The
19 city ordinance says you can't have it,
20 you are right. You are asking for an
21 exception to the rule, which you are
22 entitled to request. Your job is to
23 come and minimize your request and
24 really only do it once. I don't think
25 it would be a good idea to come back
1 every other month, every time you want
2 to change the sign or enlarge it or
3 things like that. So, if you do want
4 to table it, we can certainly vote on
5 that today, if that's your request.
6 MS. BARNES: Yes, we would
7 like to table it.
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: With that
9 in mind, is there anybody that is
10 willing to make a motion to table this?
11 Would you want it for one
12 month, ma'am? Or how many months do
13 you want? As we are talking, when is
14 our next meeting, May what?
15 MS. MARCHIONI: May 10th.
16 MR. BOULARD: If I might,
17 there is a couple things. If the
18 request is going to be other than for
19 this size sign with the four names on
20 it, we would need to re-advertise.
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Right.
22 MR. BOULARD: I would suggest
23 then perhaps we delay for -- to a date
24 certain two months out, so that there
25 is enough time to get everything on
1 paper and respond.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You
3 understand that, ma'am?
4 MS. BARNES: Yes.
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: If there
6 is -- if you are going to keep the same
7 request, a month shouldn't be a
8 problem. If you are going to change
9 the request and add to your request, it
10 would need to be re-advertised. So
11 would you like the June meeting?
12 MS. BARNES: Okay, we'll do
13 the June meeting.
14 MS. KUDLA: June 14th.
15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: June 14th.
16 Would there be anybody willing to make
17 a motion to adjourn this to the June
18 14th meeting?
19 MEMBER SKELCY: I move that
20 we table Case No. 11-007, for
21 24255 Novi Road, Pine Ridge Center, and
22 that we table it until June 16th, 2011.
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: June
25 MEMBER SKELCY: Oh, 14th,
2 MEMBER KRIEGER: Second.
3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any
4 further discussion? With that in mind,
5 Ms. Marchioni, will you please call the
7 MS. MARCHIONI: Member
9 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
10 MS. MARCHIONI:
11 Member Krieger?
12 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
13 MS. MARCHIONI:
14 Member Sanghvi?
15 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
16 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Ibe?
17 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
18 MS. MARCHIONI: Chairman
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes.
21 MS. MARCHIONI:
22 Member Gedeon?
23 MEMBER GEDEON: Yes.
24 MS. MARCHIONI: Motion
25 passes, six to zero.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Your
2 matter is tabled to June 14, 2011.
3 MS. BARNES: Thank you.
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you.
5 Next on the agenda is Item No. 4,
6 Case No. 11-008, for 26444 Taft Road.
7 The petitioner is requesting four
8 variances for the proposed use of an
9 existing non-conforming structure for a
10 professional office located at 26444
11 Taft Road.
12 MR. CAPELLO: Good evening.
13 I'm Kim Capello; I'm the petitioner.
14 I'm here today to ask for a variance,
15 four variances, as you have stated,
16 26444 Taft Road. It's a small 24-by-24
17 foot home. The setback line goes
18 almost right through the middle of the
19 home, 13 feet into the home from the
20 front, which leaves me basically with
21 an 11-foot-by-24-foot work area in back
22 of the house.
23 Originally, when I was here
24 three-and-a-half, four years ago, the
25 intent was we were going to tear the
1 house down, build on the north end of
2 the property. The lower level was
3 going to be used and occupied by a
4 restaurant manufacturer preparing
5 foods. And then I was going to occupy
6 the top floor for office purposes.
7 Given the economy, the
8 restaurateur has found brand spanking
9 new retail space much cheaper than he
10 can build space, so he has decided to
11 build out in Plymouth, and he's
12 occupying space there. As a result, we
13 changed plans, decided to move the new
14 structure to the south. We are going
15 to retain the existing house as part of
16 the structure.
17 As part of that site plan
18 approval, I was told I would still have
19 to come back in front of you. Problem
20 again, is you hear from anybody who
21 comes here, the economy. I can't get
22 any financing to build the addition at
23 this stage because of the cost of
24 construction wouldn't support the rents
25 that I could get in Novi today. People
1 are paying $10 gross square foot for
2 pretty reasonable office space here in
3 Novi, and that certainly wouldn't
4 support a mortgage payment on a new
6 So, what I'm intending to do
7 for the time being, is to keep the
8 existing space, occupy it as a law
9 office, and at some point in the
10 future, hopefully not too distant
11 future, then head on. I got the plans
12 and over $30,000 in engineering and
13 construction, construction drawings.
14 Plans are ready to go, but I need the
15 economy's boost in order to help me get
16 the financing for it.
17 I know it looks bad. I'm
18 asking for four variances, and I really
19 don't want four, but I need to ask for
20 four. The setback is obvious, because
21 the house as existing was existing when
22 the zoning ordinance changed. I would
23 love to pave the parking lot and put
24 asphalt down. I would love to do some
25 landscaping in front. However, when I
1 get to the point of asking for the
2 paving of the landscaping, I think I'm
3 getting into the stages where I need to
4 submit site plan approval for the
5 existing house. That's an additional
6 cost, and I did not want to have to go
7 through that process.
8 I'm not trying to cheat on
9 every aspect. I still will try to
10 figure out some way to come in and put
11 some -- I'm going to re-do the facade
12 of the home. I'm sure there is some
13 level of landscaping I can put in
14 without having to go through site plan
15 approval, and I intend to do that. And
16 I am going to continue to pursue to see
17 if there is some type of pavement I can
18 do other than gravel.
19 Now, Novi has -- we have a
20 problem. And I say we, I'm not
21 pointing at you as a city, because I
22 have been there, and I tried to work
23 through this. Remember, it's still
24 there at Ten Mile, the Kroger shopping
25 center, that needed a facelift.
1 Unfortunately, we haven't been so lucky
2 that all the development coming in is
3 new. So we don't have a mechanism
4 where an existing building or existing
5 center can improve itself without
6 having to bring the center up to a
7 hundred percent of the current
8 standards. And, in most cases, that is
9 not cost effective. And that's the
10 problem that I have now; that's the
11 problem at Ten Mile and Meadowbrook.
12 But, if this is granted, I'm
13 still going to work with the building
14 department to see what I can do to
15 continue to improve that site. I just
16 got water at the front; we would be
17 looking at the water. And occupying,
18 my wife and I, as a law office.
19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you.
20 Any comments from the public on this
21 matter at this time? Seeing none, I
22 will close the public remarks section
23 and ask the secretary to read any
25 MEMBER SKELCY: Nineteen
1 notices were mailed. There was one
2 approval and one objection.
3 The approval is from Robert
4 Ledbetter. "I live in the house next
5 to Kim Capello. He has been a good
6 neighbor and has always maintained his
7 property. I have no objection to his
8 future office plans with his property."
9 The objection comes from
10 Larry Santos, dated April 7, 2011. It
11 reads as follows: "I believe that city
12 records show that in 2007 Mr. Capello
13 was given a non-conforming use variance
14 for 18 months, in which time he was to
15 submit a plan for a structure adhering
16 to zoning requirements. Mr. Capello
17 promised to do so at that time. He did
18 not do so.
19 "Now, after non-conforming
20 for an additional four years, he now
21 requests the same non-conforming use
22 for a vague amount of time until a new
23 conforming structure can be built.
24 Same promise. Can he be trusted to
25 honor his word, now that he has failed
1 to do so in the past, and has flaunted
2 city ordinance requirements? I don't
3 think so.
4 "I have for the past four to
5 five years asked him in writing, both
6 from my lawyer and myself, to stop
7 mowing on my land, and especially in
8 the wetland area of my land. He has
9 ignored my many requests, and to this
10 day continues to mow on my land and in
11 the wetlands. I hired a surveyor to
12 put survey stakes on the lot line.
13 They were gone in less than a day.
14 "In addition, several years
15 ago I desired to build a recording
16 studio on my land just south of the
17 non-conforming use building in
18 question. I came before the zoning
19 board asking for essentially the same
20 kind of variances Mr. Capello is
21 currently requesting. I was turned
22 down on all counts. That fact is
23 public record. If the board allows
24 Capello the variances he asks for, will
25 they then allow me the similar
1 variances I asked for and thereby allow
2 me to build a recording studio now?
3 "In conclusion, I strongly
4 urge the zoning board to disallow the
5 variances Mr. Capello again requests
6 after four years of flaunting
8 There were two mail returns,
9 as well.
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any
11 comments from the city?
12 MS. KUDLA: I have none.
13 MR. BOULARD: Nothing to add.
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. I
15 will open it up to the board for
17 MEMBER SANGHVI: Question.
18 This came before the ZBA about four
19 years ago and a variance was granted
20 for 18 months. What happened in
21 between? What did the city do about
22 the lapse of the variance time?
23 MR. BOULARD: About the time
24 shortly after the variance - and
25 Mr. Capello could speak to this, also -
1 shortly after the time that the
2 variance expired, there was a fair
3 amount of communication back and forth
4 about different -- there were some
5 different things that were -- different
6 ideas for the property and directions
7 to go forward that the board discussed.
8 And, finally, at this juncture we are
9 back here to try to resolve this.
10 MEMBER SANGHVI: Because if
11 my memory serves me right, when
12 Mr. Capello came the previous time,
13 with the very clear understanding that
14 this was a temporary grant of variance
15 and not a permanent one. And I don't
16 think I can support a permanent
17 variance. Thank you.
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other
19 questions or comments by the board?
20 MEMBER SKELCY: Can you -- I
21 have a question.
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes,
23 Member Skelcy.
24 MEMBER SKELCY: Mr. Capello,
25 can you speak to the length of time
1 that's taken place between the 18
2 months and now?
3 MR. CAPELLO: Yes. Charles
4 is right. We have continually had
5 communications. The building was
6 moved, the idea with the 18 months, I
7 was going to come back and tell you
8 where we stood in regard to planning
9 and development of the property. When
10 my partners decided to go in another
11 direction, the building was moved, so I
12 had the plans re-designed and re-done,
13 and hoping that the next set of plans
14 was going to lead to construction of
15 the building and to site plan approval.
16 With the economy, I didn't get there.
17 It is my fault that it took
18 me this long to get here. I had
19 nothing to report because I didn't know
20 what I was going to do. At this stage,
21 all that I know that I'm going to do is
22 that I can't afford to build right now.
23 So, to stop the discussions, to put
24 administration on the spot, I have come
25 back in front of you and said, "I need
1 this variance to keep the house as it
2 is until something is going to happen."
3 And, eventually, something will happen;
4 I just can't tell you when. That's
5 been the reason for my delay, because I
6 didn't have anything specific to tell
8 MEMBER SKELCY: So you have
9 no timeline at all with regard to when
10 you want to build the enhanced
12 MR. CAPELLO: It's entirely
13 dictated by the economy. I can't build
14 until I'm able to get tenants in there
15 to pay the rents. And a tenant -- it's
16 going to be a small building, to pay
17 the rent to support the mortgage. The
18 way that the rental rates now in
19 existing office buildings in Novi are,
20 it's not going to support a mortgage.
21 As I said, you can get space for 10,
22 $12 gross a square foot, which is
23 phenomenally cheap. It's not going to
24 support a mortgage. Those rates have
25 to go up before I can get a tenant to
1 pay the rents that building. I don't
2 know when that's going to happen.
3 MEMBER SKELCY: Once you do
4 the proposed building, will you remain
5 in it as well?
6 MR. CAPELLO: Oh, yeah.
7 We're bursting. It's just my wife and
8 I, but 24 square feet, we are bursting
9 at the seams right now; we need more
10 room. I just can't afford it right
11 now. I even looked -- I even looked
12 before I came here, looked at phasing
13 the construction and building 1,200
14 square feet now on the back and 1,200
15 square feet later. Again, financially,
16 that wasn't going to make sense to
17 break up the construction.
18 MEMBER SKELCY: Thank you. I
19 have no other questions.
20 MR. CAPELLO: And I apologize
21 for the delay. You are right, it's my
22 fault. But, if you recall, if you were
23 here, the only reason you gave me 18
24 months is because we anticipated in
25 asking -- we anticipated by 18 months
1 we would have plans in place. That
2 just didn't happen. It wasn't really
3 something you dictated to me; it was an
4 idea of when I thought I would be able
5 to give you something more concrete.
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other
7 questions or comments? Member
9 MEMBER KRIEGER: If you could
10 do like a tentative in two years, if we
11 asked you to come back and say, "I'm
12 continuing my non-conforming because of
13 the zoning change," that because of the
14 economy, you can't tell right now. Say
15 we ask you to come back in two years to
16 see where you are at.
17 MR. CAPELLO: I'm just trying
18 to put an end to this so that the
19 administration and I aren't back and
20 forth, even though I don't mind talking
21 to administration, but so we are not
22 back and forth and constantly putting
23 them on the spot that I'm beyond my
24 time period, what do we do again? I
25 can come back and tell you whenever and
1 whatever you want to hear.
2 I've got $30,000 invested in
3 engineering, architectural and
4 construction drawings. So, you know,
5 I'm ready to go as soon as the money is
6 available to do the construction, but I
7 have no idea when. And I will be
8 honest, I would be very surprised if
9 the economy in that market is going to
10 pick up in the next two years. The
11 only thing that's somewhat stable out
12 there is retail, but office is real
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I just
15 have a question for the city. Why did
16 this particular building become
17 non-comforming originally?
18 MR. BOULARD: This building
19 was a residence. It was used in the
20 past apparently in a non-conforming
21 manner. Basically, it was as a former
22 home of a business, so it was not
23 conforming. It was not conforming as a
24 business when Mr. Capello purchased it.
25 Hence, the original request and why we
1 are back again.
2 If I may, one of the things
3 that was discussed, because the
4 decisions are market driven, one of the
5 suggestions that we -- one of the
6 things we talked about was coming and
7 getting a site plan approval. The
8 issue with that was the site plan
9 approval might certainly expire,
10 depending on the market. So, that was
11 the reason that I couldn't support the
12 overall variance as a permanent
13 measure. But if the board is inclined
14 to grant a variance, to do it for
15 another specific time and address the
16 wetland question separately.
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: All right.
18 MR. CAPELLO: May I respond?
19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Go ahead,
21 MR. CAPELLO: It was
22 originally zoned residential, and the
23 setback was fine. When the city
24 initiated a re-zoning to light
25 industrial, that's what triggered the
1 non-conformance of the setback of the
2 house. It was the city-initiated
3 rezoning that triggered the
5 Charles was right, though,
6 there was a pool company that was in
7 there that wanted to do the same thing
8 that I intended to do, is to tear down
9 and build a building. However, the
10 building they needed wasn't going to
11 fit sufficiently on that lot, because
12 they needed to have a drive-through
13 access with two curbs cuts, which
14 wasn't provided or allowed for by our
15 ordinance. So it was the
16 city-initiated rezoning that created
17 the non-conformance.
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: What I'm
19 thinking is and what the city is
20 saying, if we grant the variances, you
21 are by-passing the site plan approval
22 process, which is the purview of that
23 particular section of the city, as well
24 as maybe city council approval. If we
25 grant these variances, basically you
1 get to exist as you currently are,
2 correct? And that's what you want, is
3 that accurate?
4 MR. CAPELLO: It's not what I
5 want; that's what I'm asking for.
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I
8 MR. CAPELLO: I'm asking --
9 and as I said, I can't -- if I come for
10 site plan approval, I mean, what do I
11 have, a three-year window? I'm not
12 going to be able -- I'm sure I'm not
13 going to be able to begin construction
14 in three years. So that's very
15 problematic for me to come and get the
16 approval. It expires, and then I
17 wasted additional money.
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I
19 certainly can't make it a condition
20 when rents go up in Novi.
21 MR. CAPELLO: I understand.
22 It's problematic, and I apologize for
23 putting you again on the spot, but the
24 city is telling me to do something. I
25 don't want that building to sit there
1 vacant, so this is the only thing that
2 I can think of, to come in front of you
3 and ask for.
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Out of
5 curiosity, if this is denied, what's
6 the result after this? What would the
7 petitioner have to do to come into
9 MR. BOULARD: Well, there
10 is -- and I apologize for the
11 confusion. There is a couple of
12 conformance issues. One is the use and
13 one is the setback.
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay.
15 MR. BOULARD: And so if this
16 is denied, the response would be that
17 the building cannot be used for
18 commercial purposes. So, if the use is
19 going to continue as it has in the
20 past, in other words, a previous
21 variance, another variance would need
22 to be granted for at least a portion of
24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: And
25 what's -- okay, so one is the use --
1 the actual use of the building being
2 commercial as opposed to something
3 else, correct?
4 MR. BOULARD: I'm sorry?
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: One of the
6 variances is for the use, for the law
7 offices, as opposed to residential,
8 correct? Am I getting that straight,
9 or no?
10 MR. BOULARD: Yes.
11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: The second
12 one is for the gravel parking as
13 opposed to paving. And I understood
14 the third one to be the landscaping.
15 MR. BOULARD: There are
16 several variances. The first one
17 essentially would be renewal of the
18 previous variance to allow the parking
19 to stay unpaved and so on. And then
20 the other is the wetland issue.
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other
22 questions or comments?
23 MEMBER GEDEON: Yeah. Just
24 following up on your questions. So, is
25 the use as a commercial property, you
1 know, not industrial property and not a
2 residential property, is that
3 grandfathered in?
4 MR. BOULARD: The building
5 was originally a residential structure.
6 In order to be used for commercial
7 under the typical, in the typical
8 fashion, a site plan would be required.
9 That was not -- that process didn't
10 happen, so the building remains a
11 non-conforming use.
12 The previous variance -- if
13 the property went through the site plan
14 process and a new building was built
15 with the appropriate approvals and so
16 on, it would then become a conforming
17 use with the site for commercial use.
18 At this point, the building is occupied
19 for commercial use and in a
20 non-conforming manner, and that's the
21 question that's before you. I'm not
22 sure if that answers your question.
23 MEMBER GEDEON: Not really.
24 So we don't actually have to grant a
25 motion for use of an I-1 property for a
1 non-I-1 purpose?
2 MR. BOULARD: It's an
3 existing non-conforming use. In that
4 sense, you are correct.
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any
6 another questions or comments by the
8 MEMBER IBE: Just one.
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member
11 MEMBER IBE: Good evening,
12 Mr. Capello.
13 MR. CAPELLO: Hi, how are
15 MEMBER IBE: Very well. So,
16 if I hear you correctly, are you saying
17 you would not be amenable to extension
18 of this temporary variance, because you
19 cannot predict the future, is that
21 MR. CAPELLO: No. I didn't
22 say I would not be amenable. I said
23 putting a time period on it, not
24 knowing what that time period is
25 going -- when that time period is going
1 to run, just results in me coming back
2 again and letters back and forth with
3 the administration again. No, I didn't
4 say I wasn't amenable. I will take
5 whatever you give me. I just want to
6 get the city off my back and be in
8 MEMBER IBE: I assume that if
9 we grant you a temporary use for now,
10 that would be fine with you, and then
11 you can see -- hopefully, things might
12 improve. You never know.
13 MR. CAPELLO: Yes, that would
14 be fine. Just give me some time for
15 things to happen, if you would.
16 MEMBER IBE: Very well.
17 MR. CAPELLO: It puts us all
18 on the spot when I'm out of
20 MEMBER IBE: Thank you.
21 MR. CAPELLO: Thank you.
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member
24 MEMBER SKELCY: Mr. Boulard,
25 are you suggesting that -- I'm trying
1 to understand about the variance
2 regarding the mowing of the
3 watercourse/wetland buffer. Are you
4 suggesting that we not address that
5 tonight and address that at another
6 time? I may have misunderstood what
7 you are saying.
8 MR. BOULARD: My suggestion
9 was that perhaps that be dealt with in
10 a separate motion.
11 MEMBER SKELCY: Okay.
12 MR. BOULARD: That's all.
13 MR. CAPELLO: Can I address
14 that issue?
15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Sure. Go
17 MR. CAPELLO: There is a
18 watercourse that runs through there
19 from across the street from the
20 wetlands. It's natural, and it goes to
21 the nature wetland retention area. For
22 years, at least 12 years that I can
23 figure from viewing it myself and many
24 more years by getting all the aerials
25 from Oakland County, I think I got them
1 back from 1960, the grass has been
2 grass, and it's been mowed up to the
3 edge of the creek without infringing
4 upon the creek at all. There is a
5 small area of wetland vegetation, but
6 mostly it's mowed, and it's always been
8 Now, the Santos next door, he
9 has a little slice of that lawn, and he
10 refuses to maintain it and wants it to
11 grow up weeds like the rest of his
12 property. And the guy that cuts my
13 lawn, I just have him mow it, and he
14 mows right up to the edge. That allows
15 me to get in there with a rake. I pull
16 out the plastic bags, I pull out the
17 milk cartons, the other floaties that
18 are in there, beer bottles. And I can
19 at least get up to it and clean it out
20 a little bit. It's not impacting the
21 wetland at all. The only reason this
22 is brought up is because Santos, for
23 some reason, well, I know why, doesn't
24 get along with me and has brought this
25 to the city's attention. Otherwise, I
1 don't think anybody would have ever
2 written a letter on it. That's the
3 only reason I'm here.
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anything
5 else? If we grant -- question for the
6 city. If we granted a temporary
7 extension, whether it be a year, two
8 years, whatever it may be, we can grant
9 them for all the requested potential
11 MS. KUDLA: You can.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. Is
13 there any problems with that, issues
14 with that?
15 MS. KUDLA: No. Other than
16 the fact that the -- I mean, I guess
17 the wetland, I guess you would have to
18 determine whether you think the wetland
19 has to go along with that request or
20 whether it needs to be done separately.
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: And the
22 wetland issue is whether or not they
23 can mow the grass up to the wetland?
24 MS. KUDLA: That's correct.
25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: What is
1 the current requirement that -- or what
2 they are supposed to do or allowed to
3 do with regard to the wetland and
5 MR. BOULARD: Right now the
6 ordinance calls for 25-foot wetland
7 buffer at the edge of the wetland, and
8 that's supposed to be not mowed and so
9 on to protect the wetland and keep it
10 from intrusion.
11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: So
12 whatever grows there, grows there for
13 25 feet?
14 MR. BOULARD: More or less.
15 When there is new construction and
16 someone goes into that buffer of the
17 wetland, it's required to make sure
18 it's restored.
19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other
20 questions or comments? Member Krieger.
21 MEMBER KRIEGER: I can relate
22 to the wetland, and that creek runs
23 through my back yard. And I also cut
24 the grass up to it and take care of it.
25 And so I can understand the
1 petitioner's request to continue doing
2 so to actually clean out the creek. If
3 that's what he's doing, I would not be
4 in opposition to him continuing to do
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: We can
7 take them separately.
8 MEMBER KRIEGER: Right.
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Whoever
10 wants to make -- you can make a motion
11 on three, and then the wetland issue
13 Personally, I understand the
14 city's position in terms of trying to
15 require the site plan approval process
16 and so forth. I think through the
17 planning commission, whatever the
18 requirements are, I understand that
19 point. To request variances here for
20 all of them are very difficult for a
21 permanent basis. I understand that.
22 My suggestion would be, at least on the
23 three, but it doesn't include the
24 wetland, giving the extension of some
25 kind of whatever that may be, a year,
1 two years. And then for the wetland
2 issue, then make a separate decision on
3 that. And I don't have a problem
4 extending that for the same amount of
5 time until everything is pretty much
6 resolved with your site plan issues. I
7 think that has to be resolved at one
8 point, and I think that's difficult to
9 get that permanency in zoning, Zoning
10 Board of Appeals.
11 Anybody want to take a stab
12 at it?
13 Member Skelcy.
14 MEMBER SKELCY: I move in the
15 matter of Case No. 11-008 at the
16 address of 26444 Taft Road in Novi, at
17 the location south of Grand River and
18 east of Taft Road, that the following
19 variances, which have been requested,
20 be granted for a time period of two
21 years only. And those variances
22 include a one-yard -- one front yard
23 setback variance of 13 feet; one
24 parking service variance to allow for
25 gravel, and one variance from the
1 required standards for landscaping the
2 right-of-way landscape buffer
4 I make this motion because
5 there are unique circumstances and
6 physical conditions of the property,
7 such as its shape and other physical
8 conditions. And then the need for the
9 variance is not due to the applicant's
10 personal or economic difficulty. The
11 need is not self-created. Strict
12 compliance with regulations governing
13 area, setback, frontage, height,
14 density, bulk and other dimensional
15 requirements will unreasonably prevent
16 the property owner for using the
17 property for a permitted purpose, which
18 he indicates is commercial in nature,
19 and will render conformity with those
20 regulations unnecessarily burdensome.
21 The requested variance is the
22 minimum variance necessary to do
23 substantial justice to the applicant,
24 as well as to other property owners in
25 the district. The requested variance
1 will not cause an adverse impact on the
2 surrounding property, property values
3 or the use and enjoyment of the
4 property in the neighborhood or zoning
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any
8 MEMBER GEDEON: I will second
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. I
11 just have one comment. Did you mean to
12 include the three variances or all four
13 for two years? Because there is a
14 fourth one for the wetlands.
15 MEMBER SKELCY: I thought we
16 are going to deal with the wetlands --
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: We can.
18 MEMBER SKELCY: Yeah, for the
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. So
21 with the motion and second, is there
22 any further discussion?
23 MEMBER KRIEGER: Question.
24 For two years, then the petitioner
25 needs to go to the city for site plans
1 to go into conformity, is that correct?
2 MR. BOULARD: Yes. The
3 options would be to come back to the
4 board to cease the use or to -- or
5 probably superseded hopefully by a new
6 site plan and new building.
7 MEMBER KRIEGER: Since the
8 petitioner requested that two would
9 probably be too short, would the
10 motioner be amenable to three years?
11 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
12 MEMBER GEDEON: Sure, I will
13 re-second that.
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: For the
15 amendment, so the amendment will be for
16 a three-year extension. Any further
17 discussion? Seeing none,
18 Ms. Marchioni, can you please call the
20 MS. MARCHIONI:
21 Member Skelcy?
22 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
23 MS. MARCHIONI:
24 Member Gedeon?
25 MEMBER GEDEON: Yes.
1 MS. MARCHIONI:
2 Member Sanghvi?
3 MEMBER SANGHVI: No.
4 MS. MARCHIONI:
5 Member Krieger?
6 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
7 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Ibe?
8 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
9 MS. MARCHIONI: Chairman
11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes.
12 MS. MARCHIONI: Motion
13 passes, five to one.
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: And with
15 regard to the wetlands, Ms. Skelcy,
16 would you like to take a stab at that?
17 MEMBER SKELCY: In the matter
18 of Case No. 11-008, 26444 Taft Road,
19 south of Grand River and east of Taft
20 Road, I move that we allow a three-year
21 variance to permit the petitioner to
22 mow within the watercourse/wetland
24 MEMBER KRIEGER: Second.
25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay.
1 Mr. Boulard.
2 MR. BOULARD: Might I suggest
3 that there is the caveat that for the
4 sake of Mr. Capello and the city, that
5 whatever work does take place is in
6 line with the DEQ requirements and so
8 MEMBER SKELCY: Do you
9 understand what the DEQ requirements
11 MR. CAPELLO: As I understand
12 it, the DEQ does not control that, and
13 that's the only variance that I need is
14 to come in front of you. That's my
16 MEMBER SKELCY: Okay. I
17 would like to amend my original motion
18 to include the additional information
19 put forth by Mr. Boulard.
20 MEMBER KRIEGER: Second.
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. Any
22 further discussion? Seeing none,
23 Ms. Marchioni, can you call the role?
24 MS. MARCHIONI:
25 Member Skelcy?
1 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
2 MS. MARCHIONI:
3 Member Krieger?
4 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
5 MS. MARCHIONI:
6 Member Sanghvi?
7 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
8 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Ibe?
9 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
10 MS. MARCHIONI: Chairman
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes.
13 MS. MARCHIONI: And Member
15 MEMBER GEDEON: No.
16 MS. MARCHIONI: Motion
17 passes, five to one.
18 MR. CAPELLO: Thank you very
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM:
22 Next on the agenda is Item
23 No. 5, Case 11-009, 25000 Joseph Drive.
24 The petitioner is requesting a variance
25 to install an additional wall sign on
1 the north elevation of the building
2 located at 25000 Joseph Drive, for
3 Oakland Oral Surgery. Property is
4 zoned NCC and located south of Grand
5 River and east of Meadowbrook Road.
6 Can you state your name, sir,
7 and address.
8 MR. ROYAL: I'm Edward Royal.
9 MR. CHAMES: Robert Chames.
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Will both
11 of you be speaking?
12 MR. CHAMES: Ed will be
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Can you
15 give us your address?
16 MR. ROYAL: 25000 Joseph
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You are
19 not an attorney, correct?
20 MR. ROYAL: Correct.
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Are you a
23 MR. ROYAL: I am.
24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You have
25 to be sworn as a doctor.
1 MR. ROYAL: Actually, I'm a
3 MEMBER SKELCY: Do you swear
4 or affirm to tell the truth?
5 MR. ROYAL: I do.
6 MEMBER SKELCY: Thank you.
7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Go ahead,
9 MR. ROYAL: Okay. First of
10 all, I want to thank you for hearing us
11 tonight. And we are representing
12 Oakland Oral Surgery. I have three
13 other partners who own the business
14 with the two of us.
15 And first we want to
16 apologize for not appropriately
17 understanding the regulations regarding
18 the signage on our building. But I do
19 want to stress that the reason the sign
20 is on there is not for advertising
21 purposes, but it's for identification
22 purposes. And we have been in business
23 in Novi for over 30 years, since I
24 think 1978 was when my original partner
25 opened our operation.
1 In the current location on
2 Joseph Drive, we have been for a year
3 and a half. We were at Ten Mile just
4 west of Haggerty, and now we are in
5 this location that's on the corner of
6 Joseph Drive and Grand River. And our
7 address is on Joseph Drive, which
8 presents somewhat of a problem for our
9 patients, because everybody knows where
10 Grand River is; nobody knows where
11 Joseph Drive is. And they are always
12 looking for 25000 Grand River, because
13 they see our map and they see we are on
14 Grand River. So, there is some
15 confusion, based on a small residential
16 side street that we have a commercial
17 business on that's not called Grand
19 And the biggest problem we
20 are having, which is a hardship for our
21 patients and for our practice, is that
22 the monument sign that we currently
23 have is small and close to the ground.
24 And it's a difficult sign to identify.
25 And traffic comes down Grand River at a
1 fairly good rate of speed. You know,
2 if people are obeying the speed limit,
3 it's still a pretty reasonable rate of
4 speed. And then people have to make a
5 turn onto Joseph Drive to get into our
6 parking lot. On a regular basis, we
7 hear a screech of tires, of people
8 trying to slow down quickly to make the
9 turn, because that's when they can see
10 our sign.
11 The sign is not only small
12 but there is a building behind us
13 that's also on the monument that
14 doesn't have frontage on Grand River,
15 and their sign gets the top bill and we
16 are on the bottom bill. So we have a
17 small sign that's closer to the grass
18 and even more difficult to read for our
20 And our patients are coming
21 to us by referral. It's not a repeat
22 patient population. We are not in
23 primary care; we are in referral
24 business. So literally every patient
25 that comes to our office is a new
1 patient, unless they are coming from
2 their final check-up. Most people come
3 one or two visits, and they are gone.
4 There are more new patients coming,
5 none of whom have been to our office
6 before. So they are not used to where
7 we are, and that further complicates
8 the low identification profile that we
10 We also have many elderly
11 patients. We do oral and maxillofacial
12 surgery, and the population is not just
13 kids. We have a lot of elderly
14 patients, and for them it's even a
15 greater hardship with visual problems
16 and some intimidation on being on the
17 roads already. They have complained to
18 us. And we got many, many complaints
19 from our patients, not just the
20 elderly, but especially the elderly,
21 who come in and say, "I couldn't see
22 your sign. I missed the turn, and I
23 had to go around the block. And then I
24 was looking for 25000, but the
25 commercial facility just before your
1 building is nowhere near 25000."
2 Because it's a Grand River address, and
3 we are a Joseph Drive address. And
4 then they complain they have to make a
5 short stop or quick turn when they
6 finally do see the sign.
7 So, they said to us, "Why
8 don't you put a sign up like all those
9 buildings across the street?" Which is
10 a strip mall, and everybody has a large
11 sign. Granted, there is no monument
12 sign. And I have subsequently come to
13 learn that you are only allowed to have
14 two signs. Before I learned that,
15 though, we succumbed to the request of
16 our patient population, and we put a
17 wall sign on the north facing of our
18 building, which is bigger, done in good
19 taste, no lighting. It's not
20 advertising; it's for identification
21 purposes. But, easily read from both
22 directions on Grand River.
23 And since we put the sign up
24 in November, our complaints have
25 dropped off dramatically. You don't
1 hear the screeching tires as much from
2 people trying to stop quickly to make
3 the turn. And for all these reasons,
4 it becomes a traffic hazard and a
5 safety issue for the citizenry of Novi
6 and our patient population. And also
7 for identification purposes, for our
8 patients to easily find the building.
9 So it's definitely an ID situation and
10 not an advertising situation. And for
11 the safety of all concerned, we are,
12 you know, respectfully requesting that
13 we be allowed to be able to have this
14 larger sign on the wall of our
15 building. And I think it serves
16 everyone well.
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you,
18 sir. Is there anybody in the public
19 that would like to speak on this
20 particular case, please raise your
21 hand. Seeing none, I will close the
22 public remark section and ask our
23 secretary to read any correspondence.
24 MEMBER SKELCY: Thirty-six
25 notices were mailed out with zero
1 responses and three mail returned.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. Any
3 comments from the city?
4 MS. KUDLA: No.
5 MR. BOULARD: Nothing to
7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay.
8 Then I will open it up to the board for
9 discussion. Member Skelcy.
10 MEMBER SKELCY: So you put
11 the sign up before you got permission
13 MR. ROYAL: Yes.
14 MEMBER SKELCY: Got a ticket?
15 MR. ROYAL: I'm not a lawyer,
16 and we didn't know that we couldn't do
17 that. We knew we couldn't have another
18 sign on the monument, but we thought on
19 our building, which is our property and
20 not the city's property, that we could
21 have a sign. And I do apologize for
22 that. We shortly, after the sign was
23 up in February, maybe four months
24 later, I received notification from
25 Jeanie Niland telling me that we had
1 violated the rules. And I immediately
2 entered into conversations with her.
3 And she said we had ten days to get the
4 sign down, and I asked for an extension
5 for more than ten days, because it
6 would take us longer than that to get
7 the sign down. "And, by the way, what
8 else can we do?" And I presented my
9 case to her, and she said you can
10 appeal to the zoning board, and that
11 why we are here today.
12 I have to say, she was very
13 nice and helpful, and I didn't feel any
14 kind of obstructive conversation going
16 MEMBER SKELCY: Are they
17 considered a corner property owner?
18 MR. BOULARD: In the NCC
19 district, they would be allowed to one
20 sign by right. The monument sign or a
21 building sign, but not both.
22 MEMBER SKELCY: Okay.
23 MR. BOULARD: There is
24 actually two buildings on the site.
25 The site is a little bit unique; there
1 are two buildings on the site. It's
2 long and narrow, and the other building
3 is actually behind your building.
4 MR. ROYAL: Correct.
5 MR. BOULARD: And you occupy
6 the entire first building. As I
7 understand, the second building is not
8 currently occupied, but is also going
9 to be occupied by a single tenant?
10 MR. ROYAL: We don't -- we do
11 not own -- it's a condominium set-up.
12 We own our building and rent to
13 ourselves, only one occupant. The back
14 building has currently been leased.
15 It's undergoing leasehold improvements
16 now, and I don't know who the tenant is
17 going to be. And I don't know if they
18 are taking the full square footage or
19 just a segment of it. But they don't
20 have frontage on Grand River. They
21 need the monument sign I think.
22 MEMBER SKELCY: Who owns the
23 monument sign?
24 MR. ROYAL: The condominium
25 association owns it.
1 MEMBER SKELCY: Okay.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I
3 personally -- I have looked at it. I
4 have been by there certainly, and I
5 understand Grand River is a very fast
6 road despite the speed limit. And I
7 understand the need, especially because
8 of the way this is situated and the --
9 at least the size of the monument sign.
10 So, ordinarily, obviously, you are not
11 entitled to it under the ordinance, but
12 in terms of your request, I see that
13 there is a need. Personally, I have no
15 Any other comments or
16 questions? Member Sanghvi.
17 MEMBER SANGHVI: I have no
18 problem with the sign. Do you know
19 what is the size of your sign?
20 MR. ROYAL: We had the
21 dimensions mailed in. It's fairly
22 large; it's not obnoxious. It's maybe
23 eight or nine feet wide and five feet
24 tall maybe.
25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: What was
1 the request for, how many square feet?
2 MR. BOULARD: Approximately
3 31 square feet. I believe the
4 information as presented is 39.5, but
5 the ordinance requires that we measure
6 it to the boundaries. So the request
7 was for approximately 31 square feet.
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: The
9 request was for 31 square feet?
10 MR. BOULARD: Yes. That's
11 what we --
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: The
13 proposed sign is how large?
14 MR. BOULARD: That size.
15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: That size?
16 MR. BOULARD: Yes.
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. Any
18 other questions or comments by the
19 board? Member Ibe.
20 MEMBER IBE: I also say that
21 I think based on the unique
22 circumstances, especially considering
23 the fact that you have another building
24 right behind your building, you know, I
25 think it makes sense that the back
1 building gets the monument and you get
2 the sign that works for you. So I
3 would have no problem as well
4 supporting this.
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM:
6 Ordinarily, if you had both, I would
7 say why not take one as opposed to the
8 other. But, again, it is unique, it is
9 a hazard; that always makes sense.
10 Anybody else? I will
11 entertain the motion. Member Ibe will
12 take it.
13 MEMBER IBE: Mr. Chair, in
14 Case No. 11-009, 25000 Joseph Drive,
15 Oakland Oral Surgery, I move that we
16 grant the request as stated by the
17 applicant for the variance. The
18 request should be granted based on
19 circumstances or features that are
20 exceptional and unique to the property,
21 and do not result from the conditions
22 that exist generally in the city or
23 that is self-created. And as well
24 stated by the applicant, as well as
25 some of the comments by the members,
1 there are two building in this
2 particular parcel. Yours is in the
3 front, meaning the applicant, and there
4 is another building in the back. There
5 is one sign that can serve the back
6 tenant, and what you are requesting
7 will serve the front tenant, that being
8 you. So that is what is unique about
9 this particular property.
10 Second, the failure to grant
11 relief will unreasonably prevent or
12 limit the use of the property and will
13 result in substantially more than mere
14 inconvenience for you to achieve a high
15 economic financial return on your
16 investments. And, two, the grant of
17 relief will not -- will not be
18 incompatible or reasonably interfere
19 with adjacent property owners. And I
20 believe that this is consistent with
21 the spirit of the zoning ordinance.
22 Therefore, based on the
23 foregoing reasons, I move that we grant
24 your request as made by the
1 MEMBER KRIEGER: Second.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay.
3 There being a motion and a second, any
4 other discussion? Seeing none,
5 Ms. Marchioni, can you please call the
7 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Ibe?
8 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
9 MS. MARCHIONI: Member
11 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
12 MS. MARCHIONI: Member
14 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
15 MS. MARCHIONI: Chairman
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes.
18 MS. MARCHIONI:
19 Member Skelcy?
20 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
21 MS. MARCHIONI: Member
23 MEMBER GEDEON: Yes.
24 MS. MARCHIONI: Motion
25 passes, six to zero.
1 MR. ROYAL: Thank you very
2 much. We are happy to treat any and
3 all of you. You can easily find our
4 building on the corner of Joseph and
5 Grand River. Thank you.
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you.
7 Next is Item No. 6, Case No. 11-010,
8 for 25100 Novi Road. The petitioner is
9 requesting variances to address
10 non-conformities that will result from
11 acquisition of the additional highway
12 easement for the new railroad bridge on
13 Novi Road, including front yard
14 setbacks, waiver of corner clearance,
15 waiver of right of way/parking lot
16 buffer/ screening, et cetera. The
17 petitioner is here.
18 MR. ROLLINGER: Good evening.
19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Good
20 evening, sir. State your my name and
21 address, please.
22 MR. ROLLINGER: Certainly. My
23 name is Robert Rollinger. I'm an
24 attorney; I'm here on behalf of the
25 applicant, Board of County Road
1 Commissioners of Oakland County.
2 As indicated in the agenda,
3 we are seeking a series of zoning
4 variances related to the Novi Road Mid
5 Section project and its impact on this
6 parcel, 25100 Novi Road. It's
7 currently operated by Gagliano
8 Enterprises and Collex Collision site.
9 We are requesting a variance
10 for the front yard setback, west side
11 setback, to allow 7.80 feet and provide
12 for a variance of 92.20 feet. We are
13 also seeking a variance to request a
14 parking lot setback and require 40
15 foot front yard setback on Novi Road.
16 This will reflect the new alignment for
17 Novi Road right-of-way being moved ten
18 feet to the east from where it is
20 Because of the new
21 right-of-way alignment on Novi Road,
22 this variance request is for 32.2 feet
23 front yard setback variance to allow
24 7.80 feet, being provided for the front
25 yard perpendicular parallel parking
1 area that does front on Novi Road.
2 Also, a required clear --
3 corner clearance clear zone variance is
4 also being requested along the north
5 side of the relocated driveway, due to
6 the location of a newly installed
7 retaining wall as part of the project.
8 The variance request will allow a
9 waiver of the required corner clearance
10 for the relocated north driveway.
11 The Road Commission rules and
12 regulations for commercial driveways
13 recognizes there shouldn't be any
14 visual obstruction at the measured
15 level of a motor vehicle operator's
16 line of vision, which is measured from
17 the established street grade. The zone
18 is typically measured 25 feet along the
19 right-of-way line, and is to remain
20 clear of all objects which exceed two
21 feet in height.
22 There is also a variance
23 request for the 25 foot landscape area
24 contiguous and adjacent to the
25 Novi Road frontage. This variance is
1 requested from the required landscape
2 width of 25 feet, as once the project
3 is built, the new wall is put in, there
4 will be 7.8 feet being provided. A
5 variance of 17.2 feet is being
6 requested due to the location of the
7 new Novi Road right-of-way line, again,
8 being moved ten feet to the east.
9 There is a variance request
10 for the required right-of-way trees
11 along Novi Road. This is a request
12 from the required canopy trees, as
13 seven are required; three can be
14 provided. And the sub-canopy tree
15 requirement of 11 trees, as three can
16 be provided. This variance from the
17 four required canopy trees and eight
18 required sub-canopy trees is based upon
19 the fact that a retaining wall is going
20 to be located in close proximity to the
21 property line. The existing trees,
22 obviously, they are there and intend to
23 remain; however, there is a reasonable
24 likelihood that the remaining trees
25 also may not be able to survive and
1 have adequate sun light.
2 There is a variance request
3 being requested from the required
4 outdoor storage yard screening, which
5 would be required under the zoning
6 ordinance required for parking lot
7 screening walls or landscaped berm
8 requirement or any alternative chain
9 link fence along Novi Road, with heavy
10 screen plantings to screen the existing
11 outdoor storage area. This variance
12 request is being made to allow instead
13 of maintenance of existing landscaping
14 along the Novi Road frontage, and to
15 allow for the removal of a masonry
16 screen wall that currently exists. It
17 is proposed that this be allowed to be
18 removed due to the proximity of its
19 location to the proposed bridge
20 retaining wall.
21 The applicants understand
22 under this section, screening of
23 outdoor storage yards may by
24 accomplished through any of the
25 following: Masonry wall, landscaped
1 earth berm, a chain link fence with
2 heavy screen plantings or a
3 combination. Because of the proximity
4 of the location of the bridge retaining
5 wall, there wouldn't be any further
6 need to retain the existing masonry
7 screen wall because of the height and
8 the dimension of the newly constructed
9 proposed bridge retaining wall, which
10 would obviate the need to continue the
11 masonry screen wall at this location.
12 A variance is also being
13 requested for the three-foot high berm,
14 when adjacent to a parking area for a
15 landscape berm to be located within the
16 green belt, inasmuch as there will be
17 7.8 feet of green belt available, and a
18 three-foot high berm would require a
19 minimum of 21 feet to be sustainable.
20 A variance is being requested then to
21 eliminate the earth berm requirement.
22 There is a variance also to
23 allow the existing sign, which
24 currently identifies the location as
25 being Collex Collision, to be elevated
1 to a height of sufficient elevation to
2 be visible to passing motorists
3 traveling on and along Novi Road in
4 both a southerly direction as well as a
5 northerly direction along Novi Road.
6 The sign currently measures 34 square
7 feet in area, and it is requested to be
8 either place the sign at a height and
9 elevation perpendicular to Novi Road by
10 being elevated or being placed in a
11 position on the existing Collex
12 building at a sufficient height so it
13 will be visible to passing motorists to
14 observe the location of the identity of
15 the operator, and to be able to
16 maneuver safely for ingress and egress,
17 getting into and out of the site.
18 Again, finally, there will be
19 a variance request to allow a temporary
20 ten-foot high sign for a term of
21 approximately 18 months to 24 months.
22 Again, during the phase of actually
23 building of the Mid Section project, to
24 again assist the customers of the
25 business to identify the ingress/egress
1 into the location, into and out of
2 Novi Road. Thank you.
3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anything
4 else, sir?
5 MR. ROLLINGER: I would just
6 indicate basically that we are here --
7 the Uniform Condemnation Procedures Act
8 does authorize the condemning agency,
9 when you are in a situation where there
10 is a partial taking, to seek zoning
11 variances from the local zoning board
12 of appeals, and that's why we are here.
13 We were trying to mitigate the effects
14 of the taking so that the property
15 owner will be in as good a position as
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you,
18 sir. At this point, I will open it up
19 for public remarks. If there is
20 anybody from the public that would like
21 to speak, please come forward.
22 MS. WEEKLEY: Yes,
23 Mr. Chairman. My name is Rebecca
24 Weekley, I'm general counsel for
25 Gagliano Enterprises.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay.
2 MS. WEEKLEY: Firstly, I want
3 to just take care of a few
4 housecleaning matters. Personally, I
5 am not involved in any litigation that
6 is currently pending with Oakland
8 Secondly, the application as
9 been submitted by the Road Commission
10 implies that my client, Gagliano
11 Enterprises, may be behind or in
12 support of these variances, and I am
13 here to categorically deny any support
14 of the variances as requested tonight.
15 I'm going to echo the
16 sentiments that you made earlier,
17 Mr. Chairman, in saying that these are
18 exceptions to the rule they are
19 seeking. And they are -- you should be
20 looking to minimize the request.
21 As we have seen tonight,
22 there is no minimization here. I
23 believe there are nine variances
24 requested and, you know, our opposition
25 to all the variances is steadfast. Our
1 main concern is that the variances
2 don't comply and, in fact,
3 substantially impair the spirit of the
5 And, secondly, and most
6 importantly, is that they are unsafe.
7 Let me say that again. These variances
8 will endanger absolutely the safety of
9 the public. There is issues with the
10 grading, issues with sight distance.
11 And Mr. Cliff Seiber is here, and he is
12 going to go over all those in greater
13 technical detail.
14 Further, I also have with me
15 tonight a representative of our tenant,
16 Collex Collision Experts. As I said,
17 Collex Collision is our tenant. If the
18 property cannot be operated in a safe
19 manner for both employees or our
20 tenant, vendors of the tenant, visitors
21 of the site, we are going to lose the
22 tenant. Simple as that. That can not
23 occur. Safety has to be paramount
25 Finally, we also have Stan
1 Rivard (ph) from Rivard Construction.
2 Gagliano Enterprises has a secondary
3 plan, which is a much safer option,
4 which we also submitted to the board
5 for the review. Obviously, this is for
6 informational purposes; it's not been
7 submitted for site plan approval yet.
8 This is merely informational so that
9 you know there is another option that
10 provides a safe alternative to the
11 variances that are requested here
13 Without further ado, I'm
14 going to turn this over to Mr. Cliff
15 Seiber, and he's going to address the
16 safety issues for the public hearing in
17 this matter.
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay.
19 MR. SEIBER: Good evening.
20 My name is Cliff Seiber,
21 representing Gagliano Enterprises.
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Just give
23 your address and raise your hand and be
25 MR. SEIBER: 8145 Benny Lane,
1 White Lake Township.
2 MEMBER SKELCY: Do you swear
3 or affirm to tell the truth?
4 MR. SEIBER: I do.
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Go ahead,
7 MR. SEIBER: I'd like to go
8 over -- actually, I did submit a letter
9 for you for the packets or for the
10 board member's consideration. Just to
11 hit a few of those highlights and to
12 give you an idea of what's going on
14 The proposed Collex driveway
15 is being raised in elevation about nine
16 feet from where it is today. So based
17 on that, you can see there is going to
18 be a significant grade or slope into
19 that driveway as it approaches
20 Novi Road. This plan shows the
21 driveway at this location. This is
22 Novi Road here. And there is a sight
23 distance or a clear vision triangle
24 that is proposed for part of your
1 If you extend that triangle,
2 it intersects this proposed retaining
3 wall at that point. And at that point,
4 that wall measures about 12 feet in
5 height, so there is certainly a
6 problem. There is actually zero clear
7 visionary within that triangle.
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I don't
9 mean to interrupt, but do you have a
10 smaller version of that you can put on
11 our overhead, or no?
12 MR. SEIBER: No, that's the
13 only version I have.
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay,
15 good. It helps our viewers at home who
16 are watching this on TV, if you have
17 one. If you don't, that's fine.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. SEIBER: No, that's the
20 only one I have.
21 So, primarily, the clear
22 vision triangle is the issue, the
23 safety issue, that we are very
24 concerned about. As you know, that the
25 driveway is proposed at six percent,
1 which means for every 100 feet of
2 driveway, it rises six feet. So, since
3 this is zoned for heavy industrial, any
4 tractor-trailer or trucks pulling out
5 of the site will have to negotiate that
6 six percent climb up the driveway and
7 then not have benefit of the clear
8 vision triangle.
9 And then when it's pulling
10 out, especially if it's making a left
11 turn onto Novi Road, traffic coming
12 over the bridge and coming downhill at
13 a fairly good rate of speed, will be
14 presented with a truck trying to
15 negotiate a pull-out from that driveway
16 in front of that traffic. So,
17 certainly, this clear vision triangle
18 is a great concern to us.
19 The other issue, which is not
20 so much a zoning board of appeals, I
21 think it's a construction board of
22 appeals issue. But it's the relocation
23 of Genmar Drive of this location. The
24 city standards requires a separation of
25 200 feet between driveways in order to
1 avoid left-turn conflicts. In this
2 case, we have only 64 feet being
4 Next issue, as was mentioned,
5 there was a ten-foot high
6 obstructing visual wall, screening
7 wall, that was constructed to screen
8 outside storage. Because of the
9 location of this new proposed retaining
10 wall, it was so close to that that it
11 was suggested that be removed. And we
12 certainly encouraged the removal of
13 that wall. However, in order to
14 continue the screening of that outside
15 storage, we would prefer to see a new
16 wall constructed rather than it just
17 being waived, because then all the
18 outside storage that takes place at the
19 rear of property would not be screened.
20 It may be screened to some extent from
21 the bridge, but the rest of the
22 property where you can have a view into
23 the property would not be screened.
24 Finally, as indicated, we are
25 concerned about the clear vision, the
1 safety aspect of this entrance and exit
2 into the property. We are concerned,
3 of course, about the left-turn
4 conflicts and the fact that this
5 proposed retaining wall is proposed
6 just five feet off the edge of the
7 proposed driveway. Being so close to
8 the edge of the driveway, we just don't
9 see that as being a safe design.
10 And, finally, if these
11 variances are granted, we ask that they
12 be granted so they run in perpetuity
13 and run with the land. With that, I
14 would be glad to answer any questions.
15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you,
16 sir. Anybody else from the public that
17 would like to speak on this particular
18 case? Sir, please state your name and
20 MR. LE CLAIR: David Le
21 Clair, 3300 Old US 23, Brighton,
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Are you an
25 MR. LE CLAIR: No, I'm with
1 Livingston Engineering.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Raise your
3 right hand and be sworn, sir.
4 MEMBER SKELCY: Do you swear
5 or affirm to tell the truth?
6 MR. LE CLAIR: I do.
7 MEMBER SKELCY: Thank you.
8 MR. LE CLAIR: Again, my name
9 is David Le Clair with Livingston
10 Engineering. Our firm prepared the
11 conceptual plan that I think you all
12 have in your packet. And when we were
13 asked to take a look at this site to
14 get a fresh look, one of the first
15 things we noticed on the site is
16 currently the Collex Collision building
17 has good visibility from the
18 site-finished floors. There is about
19 equal elevation with Novi Road. Safe
20 access getting in and out of there,
21 good visibility in both directions for
22 the building, traveling both north and
23 south on the site.
24 The plans for Novi Road, one
25 of the first things that I noticed is
1 the elevation for the new Novi Road is
2 going to be raised about four feet at
3 the south drive in this location right
4 here. You go further north, and at the
5 new proposed drive it's raised about
6 seven-and-a-half feet. When you go
7 even further north, you only have to go
8 about 250 feet, and the elevation of
9 Novi Road is raised about
10 14-and-a-half feet. So this puts the
11 eye level of a passenger about 18 feet
12 above finished floor. So, essentially,
13 a car driving south on Novi Road
14 approaching is going to be looking
15 right over the top of the building.
16 And, in addition, it sets this building
17 pretty much down in a hole. So I feel
18 that if there was ever a need for a
19 front yard setback, this is probably a
20 good site for it.
21 On the site plan that we
22 proposed, what we suggested is moving
23 the building back. And with our site,
24 we move it back about 120 feet. This
25 allows us to raise the elevation of the
1 building about two feet. And what that
2 does, it gives you much better sight
3 lines to the building, because
4 Novi Road is going up at such a quick
5 grade. And it also allows us to
6 flatten these slopes of the drive
7 coming into the building. Right now
8 there is about a six percent grade
9 coming downhill in the parking lot.
10 Under this new concept plan, we would
11 have a grade that's about four percent,
12 and a good flat spot out at Novi Road,
13 with an ample approach into the site.
14 So we feel that's a much more safer
15 aspect of the site, also.
16 And those are pretty much the
17 main differences. The other portions
18 of the site plan are mere ordinance
19 requirements. And, again, I would be
20 happy to answer any questions on this
21 site plan.
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you,
23 sir. Anybody else from the public that
24 would like to make a comment on this
25 particular case? Sir, state your name
1 and address.
2 MR. GAGLIANO: Robert
3 Gagliano, 48390 Harper Drive.
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. Get
5 sworn in.
6 MEMBER SKELCY: Do you swear
7 or affirm to tell the truth?
8 MR. GAGLIANO: I do.
9 MEMBER SKELCY: Thank you.
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Go ahead,
12 MR. GAGLIANO: I'm the
13 tenant. I represent the tenant, Collex
14 Collision. We acquired this site or
15 moved into this site in 2004. We were
16 down the road a little ways. We ended
17 up in this site because it's one of the
18 few pieces of property in Novi that has
19 the zoning that we need for our
20 purpose. So, when we went into this
21 site, I spent considerable amount of
22 money, considerable amount of time,
23 $30,000 in architectural/engineering
24 fees to bring this building, that was a
25 pretty old, dilapidated building. You
1 may recall it was the old Cummings
2 Building that was vacant for about
3 eight or ten years, I believe, before
4 we moved into it.
5 So, we went in, spent
6 considerable amount of money, worked
7 with the city, drew up site plans. I
8 was required to upgrade all the
9 landscaping. If you have driven by my
10 site there, you will see that we have
11 nice trees all over the place. We had
12 to comply with all the rules and
13 upgrade the building. Do all these
14 things to bring the site up to snuff.
15 At that time, we met with the
16 Road Commission, and we asked them,
17 "What's going on with this road? What
18 can we expect? What are we in store
19 for?" At that time there was no design
20 on that road. They had no idea what
21 was going to happen with that road.
22 And we created driveways in the
23 property based on where we were at at
24 that time.
25 I'm at the heart of where
1 this road construction is. You heard
2 from the other applicants tonight; the
3 economy has been tough. It's been
4 tough on us, also. This road has got
5 us scared to death. We don't know what
6 we are going to be in store for through
7 this construction project.
8 With what they are proposing,
9 I get 10 to 20 delivery trucks in and
10 out of our driveway a day. The thought
11 of a truck pulling up a hill trying to
12 get out with zero visibility to the
13 right, just -- Novi Road, as you
14 already know, the reason why the city
15 is expanding that road with the Road
16 County, because it's a busy road, and
17 we need to get more traffic through
18 there. I understand the road needs to
19 get widened. However, what they are
20 proposing is just a disaster. It's
21 going to leave us in a ravaged
22 situation. I have had virtually zero
23 communication from the Road Commission
24 through this project about when things
25 were starting, who is doing what. So I
1 have been already ravaged tremendously
2 through this project. And we haven't
3 even started tearing up the road yet.
4 Now they want to propose this site plan
5 that's going to give me a driveway
6 that's going to be eight feet above the
7 current one, going on a slope.
8 Handicap parking spaces that
9 are literally right adjacent to an
10 overhead door that we drive cars in and
11 out of our shop. And to drive them 50
12 feet further, there is going to be a
13 hill there going over to where the cars
14 are parked. They want to remove a
15 screening wall that is part of our
16 security for the cars that we have on
17 the property.
18 We could go on and on here.
19 But, you know, we are petrified of what
20 we are going to get in store for going
21 through this construction project. Are
22 people going to be able to get to me?
23 I'm right at the heart of it. I'm
24 right at the railroad tracks. I'm not
25 a Walmart that people come window
1 shopping. I'm a business; people come
2 for a specific need. And if they can't
3 get to me, they will just as soon go
4 somewhere else.
5 So, we are already in a tough
6 spot with the economy. The last thing
7 I need is some help like this to make
8 it even worse. So we were asking that
9 the board decline the variances
10 requested by the Road Commission, that
11 we look at the alternative site plan
12 that's been proposed. And consider
13 that the Road Commission is doing this.
14 I understand with the variance
15 requirement cannot be looked is a
16 financial situation. Well, this is a
17 financial situation they are looking
18 for these variances, because the right
19 situation with this road is to do what
20 we are proposing.
21 So, if you have any
22 questions, I will be more than glad to
23 answer them.
24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you,
25 sir. Anybody else from the public
1 would like to make a public comment on
2 this particular case?
3 MR. ACKERMAN: May I?
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You may,
5 Mr. Ackerman.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Since you
8 are an attorney, you don't have to be
10 MR. ACKERMAN: My name is
11 Alan Ackerman. Sorry I was dressed
12 like this; I was told to come tonight.
13 I just shot a seven on a par-three
14 hole, and I just decided I better
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You are
17 more than welcome.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
19 Now, the reality is that I'm the
20 condemnation lawyer, which is usually
21 the devil. As I look at this, if you
22 want to approve this, the statute
23 requires you to find that this -- all
24 the variances you grant will be in
25 perpetuity for this property for us and
1 for all future users, and won't be
2 considered as violating the statute.
3 We are -- the court ordered
4 us to present the best plan we could
5 produce. We told them this plan was
6 devastating for us in two fashions.
7 One is our personal security and
8 safety, without having any real
9 protection of vehicles. And of greater
10 importance to us, we are concerned
11 about the security of our customers
12 coming in. Putting that handicap
13 parking right next to the building with
14 the gradation variations that they
15 have, we felt was devastating. I know
16 this came forward and the court ordered
17 us to present something to you.
18 Just so you understand, they
19 took I think it's 8,000 feet at $10 a
20 foot; I think it's $80,000. They paid
21 the people 550,000 already, fully
22 knowing they were pretty well
23 destroying that building. And yet they
24 are coming here and trying to stick
25 them with the struggle of the building.
1 The money is not the issue.
2 The thing is, these people
3 want to survive in the business. And
4 it's a lot of problems, and when we
5 come back and see you after, but
6 hopefully our signs will be something
7 you will accept in the future. Right
8 now I think you are going to be giving
9 us a 26 foot sign or something like
10 that, 28 foot sign.
11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you.
12 Before you sit down, I just have a
13 question for the city, if I could. I
14 know part of the request was to make
15 some kind of statement that it runs in
16 perpetuity. That goes without saying,
17 does it not?
18 MS. KUDLA: Unless -- it
19 does, unless you limit it like we have
20 seen on some of the --
21 MR. ACKERMAN: It's not to be
22 considered in any future variance
23 applications. What it is, it's a
24 waiver and it's a variance that's
25 treated as something under the
1 variance, under the statute, so it's
2 not to be considered as a variance for
3 the future.
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: What do
5 you mean by that?
6 MR. ACKERMAN: The fact is,
7 you are giving us a permanent variance
8 as to this use. But if we come back
9 and want to do something else and seek
10 a variance at some future date, you
11 aren't going to be in a position of
12 saying, "Well, these other variances
13 exist; you have to disregard them under
14 the statute."
15 MS. KUDLA: That's
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Our
18 preference, of course, is that you
19 don't approve this, because I don't
20 think we can survive even if you do.
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Wouldn't
22 not approving them hurt you even
23 further, your client? You are saying
24 granting these variances would hurt,
25 but wouldn't disapproving them hurt
1 you, also?
2 MR. ACKERMAN: The reality
3 is, even if you approve them, I don't
4 think we can survive with that
5 building. The biggest single problem
6 in my view is the handicap. The
7 handicap ramps -- we can get lot of
8 variances. We can't get the variances
9 on the handicap ramps that we now have.
10 We are not safely parking people with
11 their handicap parking. After the
12 fact, where you put the handicap
13 parking will be one of the bays, so
14 close to the bay that it won't be safe.
15 I just can't imagine we are going to
16 survive with this. And that's -- I
17 think they knew that when they paid
18 $550,000 for the taking of 8,000 feet
19 of vacant land.
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you,
21 sir. Anybody else from the public like
22 to make a public remark in this case?
23 Seeing no others, I will close the
24 public remark section and ask the
25 secretary to read any correspondence.
1 MEMBER SKELCY: Nine notices
2 mailed. There were zero responses, and
3 one mail returned. And then we also
4 have the letter dated April 8, 2011,
5 from Gagliano Enterprises, which is
6 part of the record. It's two pages,
7 and it's signed by John Gagliano, the
8 president of Gagliano Enterprises, LLC.
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. Any
10 comments further from the city?
11 MS. KUDLA: I will let
12 Charles, Mr. Boulard, initiate the
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay.
15 MR. BOULARD: I will go
16 first. I wanted to make sure that
17 everybody knows, as you mentioned in
18 the letter and the information that was
19 provided by the Gagliano -- by
20 Mr. Gagliano and Cliff Seiber's letter
21 was included in the packet. It came in
22 late; I apologize not getting it out to
23 you, but it is included at your packet.
24 I also wondered if I could be
25 so bold as to I think Mr. -- one of the
1 questions is the issue of the corner
2 clearance. And there is -- my
3 understanding there is -- the Road
4 Commission has a requirement and the
5 city has a similar or parallel but
6 somewhat similar requirement that's
7 measured from the property line and so
8 on. And I wondered if it would be
9 worthwhile -- I believe Mr. Rollinger
10 has brought a gentleman from the Road
11 Commission that might be able to speak
12 on that. I thought that would be
13 helpful, if I could request that.
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Sure.
15 Come on forward, sir.
16 MR. ROLLINGER: If it please
17 the board, yes, I brought with me Jeff
18 O'Brien, who is the design engineer for
19 the Road Commission and is intimately
20 familiar with all the terms and
21 requirements for clear vision sight
22 distance for the Road Commission
23 projects, and he's here to speak to
24 those issues.
25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. If
1 you could step forward, sir. Raise
2 your right hand and be sworn.
3 MEMBER SKELCY: Do you swear
4 or affirm to tell the truth?
5 MR. O'BRIEN: I do.
6 MEMBER SKELCY: Thank you.
7 MR. O'BRIEN: My name is Jeff
8 O'Brien, design engineer for Road
9 Commission of Oakland County. If you
10 excuse me, I have a cold, so I'm trying
11 to storm through it.
12 With regards to corner sight
13 clearance, the Novi ordinance itself is
14 measured along the actual right-of-way
15 line itself, which is generally offset
16 from the travel way portion of the
17 road. From the Road Commission's stand
18 and perspective, from the corner sight
19 distance, that is measured from the
20 edge of traveled way. Both distances
21 are similar. However, when you measure
22 from the corner sight distance on the
23 Road Commission, as part of our
24 standards, to observe for corner sight
25 clearance and to be sure there is no
1 obstructions within that sight triangle
2 for a vehicle exiting the driveway, it
3 meets Road Commission standards, the
4 driveway does.
5 So, with that, it meets our
6 requirements also for slope of the
7 driveway with regards to our current
8 requirements, which would provide
9 ingress and egress to the particular
10 site in question.
11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: What about
12 Mr. Ackerman's comments about the
13 handicap issue?
14 MR. O'BRIEN: The handicap
15 regulations are stated somewhat loosely
16 where they say the handicap spots
17 should be located as close as possible
18 to the entrance to the building. With
19 regards to this particular site and
20 where the handicap spots are proposed,
21 it is adjacent to the building. It is
22 the closest proximate spot for those
23 spots to be located. And in all the
24 ADA requirements and our safe ingress
25 and egress into the building are proper
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You don't
3 see any safety issues with what you
5 MR. O'BRIEN: No, I do not.
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anybody
7 have any questions? Member Skelcy.
8 MEMBER SKELCY: Can you
9 address the slope indications? You
10 said one of the driveways would be a
11 six-foot slope. The next would be I
12 think --
13 MR. O'BRIEN: The main
14 entrance -- they have two approaches.
15 Sorry, I didn't mean to cut you off.
16 They have two approaches to the site.
17 One is what appears to be a secondary
18 rear-type access that is, I believe,
19 currently gated. And I think it's
20 primarily closed most of the time.
21 The other is the primary
22 entrance, which is on the north side of
23 the building, which is their primary
24 ingress and egress. That particular
25 driveway would be at a six percent
1 grade, which, as Mr. Seiber indicated,
2 it's a fall of -- I'm approximately six
3 feet tall. So if you could visualize
4 100 feet away from me at a zero ground
5 elevation, that would be the slope of
6 the particular driveway.
7 The standard cross slope, to
8 give you some other, I guess,
9 references, if you will. The standard
10 cross slope of any particular road is
11 approximately two percent. So it would
12 be three times greater than a cross
13 slope of a particular road.
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member
16 MEMBER GEDEON: One of the
17 concerns of the property owner had to
18 do with truck delivery and truck
19 traffic onto the property. Do the --
20 are the Road Commission requirements
21 based on average vehicle traffic, or is
22 it based on the particular traffic that
23 could be expected at that property?
24 MR. O'BRIEN: The six percent
25 maximum grade is based on commercial
1 drive access, which would anticipate
2 commercial vehicles.
3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Mr.
4 Boulard, did you have any questions?
5 MR. BOULARD: I was just
6 going to suggest that the map behind
7 that one or the drawing that might be
8 used to describe it for the folks at
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anybody
11 else have any questions for this
12 particular witness? Okay. Thank you,
13 sir. Any other comments or --
14 actually, any other comments from the
16 MS. KUDLA: I just wanted to
17 remind the board that the proposal
18 that's put together by the property
19 owner, Mr. Gagliano, and on behalf of
20 Collex by Mr. Seiber is not before the
21 board for consideration today. It has
22 not been submitted for site plan
23 approval, so that that is not a plan
24 that's being considered. You are
25 looking at the variances as being
1 presented only by the Road Commission.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay.
3 MS. KUDLA: And based on the
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I will
6 open it up to the board for any further
7 discussion. Member Sanghvi.
8 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes. I
9 think one of the main issues raised
10 about the safety and visibility, what
11 is the normal height for visibility
12 purposes for say a tractor-trailer
13 truck or commercial vehicle going
14 through that slope? And a (inaudible)
15 on one side, how does it interfere with
16 the visibility of the height of that?
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Can you
18 answer that, sir?
19 MR. O'BRIEN: Sorry. With
20 regards to the height of an actual
21 driver, the standard height is
22 three-and-a-half feet is the height of
23 the eye. That's what we call it,
24 essentially eye height of the driver.
25 That's for a passenger vehicle.
1 Off the top of my head, I
2 don't know what it is for a commercial
3 driver or commercial vehicle, but it's
4 substantially higher than that
5 generally. If I had to put a number to
6 it, probably in the order of five, six
7 feet, depending on the type of
8 commercial vehicle.
9 With regards to the height of
10 the wall, the wall does come within
11 close proximity to the particular
12 driveway in question. However, with
13 that it was stated that the wall is 12
14 feet high. Well, the driveway is also
15 coming up approximately eight to nine
16 feet as well. So the difference in
17 height between the top of the wall and
18 the grade of the driveway is
19 approximately three feet. So, from a
20 passenger -- and from a passenger
21 vehicle perspective, they are out
22 within the corner sight clearance from
23 the Road Commission standards and can
24 see in both directions. The wall is
25 actually outside of that corner sight
2 If it's a commercial vehicle,
3 they are actually sitting higher, then
4 they have an increased sight distance
5 because they are sitting up higher.
6 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you.
7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other
8 questions? Member Skelcy, you have a
9 question for this witness?
10 MEMBER SKELCY: What about
11 when people come up over the hill of
12 the bridge and travel downward, is
13 there going to be a nearby stoplight
14 that's going to kind of regulate some
15 traffic so there will be gaps for
16 people to turn left onto Novi Road?
17 MR. O'BRIEN: The gaps will
18 be regulated. The closest one to the
19 north is Main Street.
20 MEMBER SKELCY: Right.
21 MR. O'BRIEN: The other one
22 to the south would be the post office.
23 And, so, with those, and with it being
24 five lanes and increased capacity,
25 there will be sufficient gaps that
1 folks can pull in and out, whether
2 turning left into the property or
3 turning left out of the property.
4 MEMBER SKELCY: Thank you.
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM:
6 Member Krieger.
7 MEMBER KRIEGER: Just a
8 comment right now. If I was driving a
9 truck, and with my experience going up
10 and down Grand River over the train
11 track, you never see the cop on one
12 side of the hill or the other. So if
13 you are flying, you are in trouble.
14 So, I think the same thing is going to
15 happen here. Instead of -- of course,
16 instead of getting hit by a train, with
17 your experience with CVS trucks, people
18 don't look on the other side of street
19 letting trucks in and out, that with an
20 increased speed, I know if I was
21 driving a big semi, I know I would kill
22 somebody. So I'm -- with the slopes
23 and everything, I guess that's where
24 I'm at right now.
25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay.
1 Just a couple comments. Number one, I
2 understand the county's position is
3 they want to help the landowner. The
4 landowner does not want your help. I
5 understand there is ongoing litigation,
6 which really has nothing to do with us.
7 I think that's very important. Our
8 question is in this unusual
9 circumstance, given this condemnation
10 of partial land, what's the best
11 alternative for, you know, this
12 particular property in terms of
13 variances? We have one proposal before
14 us. It seems reasonable. Certainly,
15 we have testimony that conflicts about
16 safety issues and everything, but, the
17 object is, given the scenario that's
18 not caused by the landowner, it's
19 caused by the condemnation of certain
20 lands. And I don't think there is any
21 dispute that the County Road Commission
22 can petition on the landowner's behalf.
23 The question becomes, do
24 these meet our standards? It appears
25 to me, based on from what I have seen
1 and what I've read that's been
2 submitted, it seems that it is helping
3 the landowner have use. To what
4 extent, you know, I understand
5 Mr. Ackerman says that they may not
6 have use either way. We can't predict
7 that; that's beyond our purview. But
8 it seems that some relief is requested
9 and certainly required under the
10 circumstances. At least I view the
11 petition as being reasonable under the
13 Any other comments or
14 questions from the board?
15 MR. SEIBER: Mr. Chairman,
16 may I make one comment in response?
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: In
18 response, I will go ahead and allow you
19 that, sir.
20 MR. SEIBER: Just as a point
21 of clarification, Mr. O'Brien indicated
22 the height of the wall right at the --
23 adjacent to the driveway would be three
24 feet or so. The 12 feet that I
25 suggested is the extension of that
1 clear vision triangle to where it
2 intersects that wall. At that point,
3 that wall is about 12 feet in height.
4 I measured that off the construction
5 drawings. So, within the clear vision
6 triangle area or the extension of that,
7 we are looking at a 12-foot high
8 retaining wall that certainly helps
9 obstruct that vision.
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. Any
11 other comments, questions or motion by
12 the board? Ms. Skelcy, you want to
13 make a motion? Please go ahead.
14 MEMBER SKELCY: I move in the
15 case of 11-010, the address of 25100
16 Novi Road, Collex Gagliano, or Galiano,
17 Enterprises, Inc., located east of
18 Novi Road and south of Grand River
19 Road, that the requested variance for
20 the front yard setback of 92 feet, two
21 inches, be granted; that the requested
22 corner clearing area variance of 25
23 feet be granted; that the right-of-way
24 landscaping between parking lot and
25 Novi Road variance of 17 feet -- 17
1 feet, two inches, be granted; that the
2 requested waiver of four required
3 canopy and eight required sub-canopy
4 trees be granted; that the requested
5 variance for waiver of the screen wall
6 or landscape berm requirement be
7 granted; that the temporary sign
8 request be granted; that the required
9 minimum parking front yard setback of
10 32 feet, two inches, be granted; and
11 that the proposed waiver of the berm be
12 granted. And that temporary signs may
13 be erected in accordance with the use,
14 area, height and placement regulations
15 of Section 28-6.
16 This is based on the fact
17 that the request is based upon
18 circumstances of features that are
19 exceptional and unique to the property,
20 given the fact that the road is under
21 construction and will include a new
22 bridge, and do not result from
23 conditions that exist generally in the
24 city or that are self-created. This is
25 also based on the fact that the failure
1 to grant the relief will unreasonably
2 prevent or limit the use of the
3 property, based on the new construction
4 and installation of the bridge. And
5 will result in substantially more than
6 mere inconvenience or inability to
7 obtain a higher economic or financial
8 return for the property owner.
9 And, finally, that the grant
10 of relief will not result in a use of a
11 structure that is incompatible with or
12 unreasonably interferes with adjacent
13 or surrounding properties, or will
14 result in -- and will result in
15 substantial justice being done for both
16 the applicant and adjacent and
17 surrounding properties, and is not
18 inconsistent with the spirit of the
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. Do
21 I hear a second?
22 MEMBER SANGHVI: Second.
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any
24 further discussion?
25 MEMBER IBE: Perhaps you want
1 to touch on some of the factors of the
2 variance because that was mentioned,
3 all the dimensions. I think you might
4 want to include that as part of your
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: If you
7 want to include it, you can add an
9 MEMBER IBE: If you don't
10 mind. That the petitioner has met the
11 standards required for granting the
12 dimensional variances here in that the
13 problem here is not self-created. And
14 that there are adequate lights and air
15 for the property owners; it is not
16 impaired in any way. There is no
17 increase of fire or danger to public
18 safety based on what we heard from the
19 engineer for the Road Commission. And
20 although there is some conflicting
21 reports (inaudible) to it, but based on
22 what we heard so far, it definitely
23 meets the standard required. And,
24 also, that the properly values in the
25 area will not be diminished by the
1 construction that has been proposed
2 here. In fact, I think the opposite
3 will happen; it might actually enhance
4 property values in the area.
5 Considering the fact that as it is
6 right now, that place is not conducive
7 enough to attract more businesses. But
8 with the new construction, it might
9 actually enhance and, in fact, it will
10 enhance our property values and not
11 diminish it.
12 And that, finally, the spirit
13 of the zoning ordinance will be
14 observed by granting these variances.
15 Thank you.
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Is that
17 accepted by the motioner?
18 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: And the
21 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any
23 further discussion? Okay,
24 Ms. Marchioni, can you please call the
1 MS. MARCHIONI:
2 Member Skelcy?
3 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
4 MS. MARCHIONI:
5 Member Sanghvi?
6 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
7 MS. MARCHIONI:
8 Member Krieger?
9 MEMBER KRIEGER: No.
10 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Ibe?
11 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
12 MS. MARCHIONI: Chairman
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes.
15 MS. MARCHIONI: Member
17 MEMBER GEDEON: Yes.
18 MS. MARCHIONI: Motion
19 passes, five to one.
20 MR. SEIBER: Mr. Chairman, I
21 didn't catch that, did the motion
22 include any action on the signs?
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: It
24 approved all the variances as requested
25 basically to summarize.
1 MR. BOULARD: I believe that
2 it did not include the pole sign.
3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay.
4 MR. BOULARD: It did not
5 include the pole sign.
6 MR. SEIBER: Temporary sign
7 and permanent sign.
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: We will do
9 a separate -- we will do a separate
10 motion on the sign.
11 MR. BOULARD: I believe it
12 included the temporary sign, according
13 to the ordinance restrictions.
14 MR. GAGLIANO: There needs to
15 be a pole for the sign, the pole sign
16 needs to be changed. There is a
17 request for a variance with a pole
19 MEMBER SKELCY: I did mention
20 it in the motion, but I didn't
21 specifically state that it was a
22 proposed pole sign.
23 MR. BOULARD: Mr. Rollinger,
24 I believe one of the things based on
25 the hearings we have had in some of the
1 other cases, your original written
2 request was for a pole sign. And we
3 had several discussions about putting
4 the sign on the building. Would you
5 care to -- the way that it was
6 published, I believe it was without
7 that, without the pole sign.
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: But we did
9 cover all the variances as requested,
10 is that accurate? That's what I
11 thought I heard in your motion.
12 MR. BOULARD: There was
13 not -- there was not a specific motion
14 on the pole sign. So, if you would
15 like to do that.
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: We have to
17 address that, obviously, one way or the
19 MR. BOULARD: That would
20 probably be best.
21 MS. KUDLA: You can address
22 it as a separate motion.
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You want
24 to make a separate motion on the sign?
25 MEMBER SKELCY: In the case
1 of 11-010 for the address of 25100 Novi
2 Road, Collex/Galiano Enterprises,
3 Incorporated, located east of Novi Road
4 and south of Grand River Avenue, I
5 motion that we grant the requested
6 variance regarding signs permitted
7 according to the district, and that
8 would include the installation of a
9 pole sign.
10 MEMBER KRIEGER: Second.
11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Hold on.
12 MR. BOULARD: Pole signs are
13 not allowed.
14 MEMBER SKELCY: I believe
15 that's what was being requested, I
17 MR. BOULARD: That was what
18 was requested, but the business sign --
19 the allowed sign would be a ground
20 sign, wall sign or canopy sign. The
21 pole sign was proposed.
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Do we
23 grant -- so do we --
24 MR. BOULARD: So the pole
25 sign would be a variance.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Right.
2 MR. BOULARD: But it wouldn't
3 be -- it wouldn't be in accordance with
4 the requirements of the district.
5 MEMBER SKELCY: I understand.
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Either you
7 are moving to approve a pole sign or
8 disapprove a pole sign.
9 MR. BOULARD: Yes.
10 MEMBER SKELCY: You know, I
11 don't feel that we have had adequate
12 discussion on the pole sign, because I
13 know that was an issue with Strickland
15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I have no
16 problem with it as they proposed it,
17 you know, in their petitions. I don't
18 know if anybody else has any comments.
19 MEMBER SANGHVI: You don't
20 need any dimensions on the signs, the
21 pole sign?
22 MR. BOULARD: I think it
23 would be -- if you were inclined to
24 grant a variance for the pole sign, I
25 think it would be appropriate to have
1 dimensions on that.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Was there
3 a specific -- wasn't there a specific
4 proposal for the size and locations and
5 so forth? What item was that?
6 MR. BOULARD: It's the second
7 from last in the application. The
8 proposal, as I understood it, was for
9 the existing sign. Original proposal
10 was for the existing sign to be placed
11 on a pole that would be visible. I
12 don't know what height that would be.
13 I don't believe there was a height.
14 MEMBER KRIEGER: Thirty-four
15 square feet.
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Well,
17 that's the size of the sign before
18 that's proposed.
19 MR. BOULARD: Yes, 34 square
20 feet, which I believe is the size of
21 the existing sign, is that correct?
22 MR. SEIBER: That matches
23 (inaudible) that is correct.
24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: And it
25 says to be located, minimum of 35 feet
1 east of the right of way; is that the
3 MR. ROLLINGER: A minimum,
4 yes, to allow that to be the new
5 location, but allow it to be elevated
6 at that location of height, so that it
7 can be visible northbound and
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: But you
10 didn't have a specific elevation
12 MR. ROLLINGER: I did not.
13 What I ended up, I did provide to the
14 board were copies of the letter
15 visibility chart for signage, because I
16 do not personally know the sign
17 lettering height. It has different
18 heights depending on the height of the
19 letters, anywhere from four inches up to
20 57 inches in height. And I truly can't
21 tell you what the current height is of
22 the letters on the Collex sign.
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I
24 appreciate that. Given the notice that
25 was given out, what would be the
1 maximum we can grant? Given the
2 advertisement, what's the maximum we
3 can grant? What are the parameters?
4 MR. BOULARD: There wasn't a
5 limitation on that.
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. You
7 are saying, sir, the maximum that would
8 be necessary under the circumstance is
9 what? The height, in terms of the
11 MR. ROLLINGER: Yeah, that's
12 why I was going to refer to the letter
13 visibility chart that I included with
14 our applications, because that does
15 provide the sight distance in terms of
16 feet based on the lettering height.
17 And I was going -- as I say, I do not
18 personally know what the height is of
19 the Collex sign in terms of the actual
20 lettering. But based on the visibility
21 chart, it gives the board measurements
22 for sight distance based on the height
23 of the letters.
24 MR. SEIBER: Because of the
25 obstructive view of the bridge, the
1 owner is asking for a height of 30
3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Is that
5 MR. ROLLINGER: No.
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Is that an
7 issue with the city, do you think, a
8 maximum of 30 feet?
9 MR. BOULARD: Is that to the
10 bottom of the sign or the top?
11 MR. SEIBER: That's the top
12 of the sign.
13 MR. BOULARD: What's it
14 measured from, the existing grade?
15 MR. SEIBER: Existing grade.
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You don't
17 see any issue with that?
18 MR. BOULARD: No.
19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: And that's
20 if it's granted. And then the sign is
21 still for 34 square feet; you have no
22 problem with that?
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Could you
24 place it as above -- three feet above
25 the bridge?
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Speak in
2 front of the microphone, if you don't
4 MR. ACKERMAN: The rational
5 way to do would be so it's three feet
6 above the height of the bridge's fence
7 line. Because the fence line is
8 blocked. What you want to do is have
9 it three feet above that. I think
10 that's 27 feet. What we would want to
11 have is the bottom start at three feet
12 above. Because that's really what you
13 can have.
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You are
15 saying the bottom you want 30 feet?
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Bottom to be
17 30 feet. As I understand it, assuming
18 the top of the bridge is five feet
19 above the bridge floor, which is 22
20 feet above the ground. The problem is
21 going to be, is there will be a grade
22 change. If the road is built up, it
23 may end up being four feet more or six
24 feet more than it is now.
25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Can we
1 condition it upon the line that he's
2 talking about? In other words, have
3 the bottom of the sign start a certain
4 number of feet above?
5 MR. BOULARD: I guess it
6 depends on where the sign is compared
7 to the crest of the bridge. I'm sure
8 Mr. O'Brien could give us a dimension
9 at the top or an elevation at the top
10 of the bridge.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Crest of the
12 bridge is fast.
13 MR. BOULARD: The railroad
14 tracks are actually lower than the site
15 of this building.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: They are
17 building the road up. See, because the
18 way that no one realizes, there's two
19 hills. There is a hill that goes up
20 and then down before you get to the
21 bridge. So what they are doing is they
22 are trying to make it so it's a more
23 even grade and straightening out at Ten
24 Mile. They were all built as a hill.
25 This area had some slope to it. What
1 they do is because of the speed, they
2 go about 45 miles an hour, they
3 straightened out the road so it only
4 goes up and down. I think it's
5 two-and-a-half percent or maximum of
6 three percent. It's supposed to be
7 five percent commercial. They are
8 pushing us to six percent in this case.
9 And that's the reality of what you have
10 here is a situation in which -- because
11 they are moving the road itself, there
12 may be a need for us to have three or
13 four more feet than even 30 feet. And
14 that's why I would like you to place it
15 about three feet above the peak of the
16 bridge cover, which is the side
17 fencing, which would probably be
18 enclosed. And it's not like you will
19 be able to see out in the road. Make
20 sense to you, sir? I'm sorry.
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Do you
22 want to comment on that from the
24 MR. O'BRIEN: From the
25 county's perspective --
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Speak in
2 front of the microphone.
3 MR. O'BRIEN: From the
4 county's perspective, the crest -- I
5 will give you proximity, if you will.
6 The crest of the bridge is
7 approximately 900 feet north of the
8 center of the Collex's building, which
9 would be approximately where the sign
10 location is at. I want to say that's a
11 45 mile an hour posted speed out there.
12 Stopping sight distance for that is
13 roughly about 450-ish, 500 feet,
14 something like that. So, visibility,
15 you have to realize from a visibility
16 perspective, that if the fellow was
17 sitting on top of the bridge, he's
18 looking down on the property. As the
19 grade comes down, he's looking down on
20 the whole top of the property. The
21 sign should be visible with what's
22 being requested.
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Which is
24 according to what Mr. Ackerman just
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Whatever the
2 visible height is, three feet above
3 that would be the bottom point.
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: How would
5 we phrase that? You want the bottom of
6 the sign to be three feet above what?
7 MR. ACKERMAN: The bottom
8 point of the highest point of the
10 MEMBER SANGHVI: Maximum
11 height of the bridge.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Does that
13 make sense to you?
14 MR. O'BRIEN: I'm sorry, I
15 missed that.
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Go ahead
17 and explain it, Mr. Ackerman.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Three feet --
19 the bottom of the sign would be three
20 feet above the bottom point or the
21 highest point of the bridge, including
22 the cover, the side fence. Because the
23 fence is going to be enclosed at some
24 point, if not immediately.
25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Does that
1 make sense to you?
2 MR. O'BRIEN: Yes, it does.
3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member
4 Sanghvi, you have a comment?
5 MEMBER SANGHVI: I will just
6 say, they can have a limit of maximum
7 five foot above the highest point of
8 the bridge.
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay.
10 That's true, we would have to
11 consider -- that's what you want, the
12 bottom to start, but what about the
14 MEMBER SANGHVI: It depends
15 on the dimension.
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM:
17 Thirty-four square feet, what are the
19 MR. ACKERMAN: It's a
20 four-foot high sign. Four feet by --
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: How about
22 if we put -- if we can phrase it -- I'm
23 sorry, Ms. Kudla.
24 MS. KUDLA: What we are going
25 to request I think of the Road
1 Commission, the applicant, to do here
2 is to provide us some specificity on
3 this and sever off this variance
4 request, if they would, and come back
5 with this pole sign request as a
6 separate variance, separate from the
7 ones that have already been listed in
8 the motion. We were asking the
9 applicant if that would be acceptable
10 to them.
11 MR. ROLLINGER: If we came
12 back with more --
13 MS. KUDLA: Specificity of
14 the actual height of the pole and what
15 it would need to be, a specific number
16 that we can publish so we are not just
17 making up a number here today.
18 MR. ROLLINGER: Well, I did
19 attempt to provide a visibility chart,
20 which would, again, based on the
21 measured height of the existing letters
22 on that sign would give you a sight
23 distance measurement. I just do not
24 know what the height of the existing
25 letters on that sign is. The measured
1 size of the sign is already fixed; it's
2 34 square feet.
3 MS. KUDLA: Is that
4 something -- information that would be
5 available, though, so that we can make
6 that calculation?
7 MR. ROLLINGER: This was
8 already part of the application.
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: If we made
10 a proposal to put the top of the sign
11 at seven feet above the highest part of
12 the bridge, that would make sense to
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, sure.
15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You want
16 the three plus the four?
17 MR. ACKERMAN: That would
18 make sense.
19 MR. BOULARD: I guess I -- my
20 thoughts are this: The center of the
21 sign, assuming that the sign is
22 centered more or less on the building,
23 the sign is roughly 900 feet from the
24 crest of the bridge. The height of the
25 bridge is not -- and the bridge rail is
1 not 27 feet or 30 feet at the point the
2 sign is. I don't believe that -- I
3 personally -- the ordinance does not
4 support pole signs. I think there is
5 other ways to do the signage for the
6 building. And I understand there is
7 difference of opinion on that.
8 I'm particularly concerned
9 about making an assumption or making
10 the stretch without having some kind
11 of -- that a sign is 900 feet from
12 about a fifth of a mile, somewhere in
13 that neighborhood, fifth and -- little
14 less than a fifth of a mile, maybe
15 sixth of a mile, from the crest of the
16 bridge, needs to be above the rail at
17 the crest of the bridge. By the time
18 the road gets to the sign, a lot of
19 that road will be gone. And I would
20 hazard to say that depending on where
21 it is on the site, there may not
22 actually be rail at all adjacent to the
23 sign. I guess that's just my
25 MR. ACKERMAN: I would sense
1 that you may be right, except for the
2 fact that assuming people are only
3 going 45, the 900 feet is 16 seconds to
4 make a pretty sharp left turn into this
5 location off the bottom of a bridge.
6 In other words, anybody goes there the
7 first time is probably going to pass by
8 the first time and come back. That's
9 why we were concerned, to continue to
10 be concerned about the safety.
11 But if you have it further
12 down, I sense that you won't have the
13 visibility. We are trying to make it
14 so it's sensible so there is some sense
15 of safety for people. And the farther
16 apart the sign is, the safer it is.
17 That's why we suggested it that way.
18 If you want us to go back and have some
19 cuts for you, you know, this will have
20 to be done. You make your decision on
21 how you want us to do it, and we will
22 use the talent of people (inaudible)
23 can get done here or somewhere else I
24 suppose. So, with that in mind, what
25 is your choice, sir?
1 MR. BOULARD: It's up to the
3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I
4 understand it's up to the board, but
5 what are your comments from the city?
6 MR. BOULARD: My thoughts are
7 if the board is inclined to consider a
8 pole sign, that it would probably be
9 helpful to have some cuts across the
10 road at the location of the sign, and
11 then perhaps used down the road that
12 would accurately -- if the board was
13 inclined to grant the sign, it could be
14 high enough to serve the purposes that
15 you desire without being any higher
16 than necessary.
17 MR. GAGLIANO:
18 Mr. Chairperson, with the variances you
19 granted them, you effectively put us in
20 a hole with no visibility. So, if you
21 are going to grant these other
22 variances, the pole sign is the only
23 way that people are going to find us.
24 Coming over a bridge, a retaining wall
25 to your left-hand side, you are coming
1 southbound, a wall sign is not going to
2 do it. We are going to need to have --
3 we have a ground sign currently; we
4 have great visibility. We purchased
5 property that has Novi Road frontage.
6 I no longer have Novi Road frontage.
7 The board must understand I don't have
8 Novi Road frontage anymore. Now I've
9 got a driveway. I don't have my whole
10 frontage. Now you are giving me, you
11 know -- we need to have a pole sign.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Sir, it's
13 understood, I think, and that's the
14 unusual nature of this particular case,
15 and this is complex, and that's why we
16 are allowing more time for the
17 discussion. I guess the question
18 becomes, the height of the sign, the
19 distance away from the top portion and
20 doing that analysis, I guess what you
21 are recommending, is to simply table
22 this for a future date until we can get
23 those analyses.
24 MS. KUDLA: That's what we
25 would be recommending, severing that
1 one, come back with specifics on where
2 the sign would be located and the
4 MR. ACKERMAN: At that time,
5 we would like to have ample opportunity
6 to come back.
7 MS. KUDLA: That's --
8 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't think
9 we are done. If we are stuck with
10 being in a building we are in, I think
11 we will be asking for a number of other
12 walls you are going to have to put up.
13 We have to have our users on the site.
14 The berm is not going to be secure
15 enough for us. So we are going to come
16 back and hope you provide us the other
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I guess
19 you can do a couple things. You can
20 ask us to either table this for a
21 future date or you can simply forego
22 this particular one and bring back
23 whatever request.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: I would
25 suggest, given clearly there has been a
1 lengthy discussion about this before we
2 showed up today. I wish I hadn't made
3 the effort, because it was already
4 decided. I would suggest to you if
5 this is really what you want to do, in
6 your city, that we have -- we are going
7 to have -- if we decide we want to stay
8 there, which I'm not going to guarantee
9 we will do it at all. And if we do try
10 to stay there, I think we have to put
11 up our own security fencing to figure
12 out to what to do with our own
13 property. And we have to figure out --
14 and we are going to want approvals,
15 because we are going to remodel that
16 building, and it's going to cost more
17 than a new building because of what you
18 have done here. We don't mind. We
19 want to get it approved. We don't want
20 to just get paid compensation and be
21 out of business. Because that would
22 be much more expensive anyway.
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: So what's
24 your pleasure as to the sign?
25 MR. ACKERMAN: I think it
1 would be best if you table this and
2 have it done in an organized fashion.
3 MS. KUDLA: It's the Road
4 Commission's application.
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I
6 understand, but I'm still asking their
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Of course,
9 it's their application, but I'm not
10 even sure they are really asking for
11 the pole sign variance. That's the way
12 that it's understood where the pole
13 sign was going to be, so there is
14 ambiguity in the application, I
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: That's why
17 we are getting that discussion. Can we
18 table without a date, or no?
19 MS. KUDLA: June 14th.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't think
21 we will be prepared by June 14, to be
22 honest. We have to sit down, now that
23 this plan has been accepted, which we
24 are in a state of shock about today. I
25 think we have our own stuff to provide.
1 I think you have to look at the two
2 left turns. I think you were
3 misrepresented today, but that's fine.
4 MR. ROLLINGER: I would ask
5 the board can we come back on that date
6 strictly for the sign?
7 MS. KUDLA: That's correct.
8 That would be the request.
9 MR. ROLLINGER: Certainly, if
10 the owner wishes to make other variance
11 requests, that's -- they are certainly
12 free to do so. We would like to get
13 that process going for you.
14 MS. KUDLA: That's correct.
15 If there is additional variances
16 requested by a separate applicant, that
17 request would have to be made by a
18 separate applicant and separate
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: We haven't
22 finished yet. Any other discussion?
23 Member Gedeon.
24 MEMBER GEDEON: Just
25 procedurally, there is a motion on the
1 table that was never seconded.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: We will
3 deal with that. We are just trying to
4 finalize this discussion, and we can
5 decide how to proceed. Any further
7 MEMBER SANGHVI: No.
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: No. Do
9 you want to amend your motion? Do you
10 want to continue the motion or amend it
11 to adjourn?
12 MEMBER SKELCY: I'd like to
13 withdraw the motion at this time.
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. So,
15 no motion on the table as it pertains
16 to the pole sign currently. Does
17 anybody want to make a motion to table
18 to the June 14th?
19 MEMBER SANGHVI: I make a
20 motion we --
21 MS. KUDLA: Was there a vote
22 on the initial motion without the pole
24 MS. MARCHIONI: Yes.
25 MEMBER GEDEON: Do we need to
1 make a motion to table? We approved
2 the request that's granted. They did
3 not specifically request a pole sign.
4 MEMBER SANGHVI:
5 Mr. Chairman.
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Hold on,
7 is that inaccurate or accurate? I
8 believe that's inaccurate from what we
9 previously discussed.
10 MS. KUDLA: The 28.51C
11 variance, it says, "Pole sign
12 proposed." Is that the variance we are
14 MR. BOULARD: Yes.
15 MS. KUDLA: Was that part of
16 the current motion that was passed?
17 MR. BOULARD: My recollection
18 is that that motion included the
19 language regarding the -- as was listed
20 here in that the business sign, ground
21 sign, wall sign or canopy sign. I
22 don't seem to recall that the pole sign
23 was mentioned. I don't believe that
24 was the case.
25 MS. KUDLA: Okay.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member
3 MEMBER SANGHVI: My
4 suggestion was to delete the pole sign
5 segment from the earlier motions and
6 make another motion to table for a
7 future date. Only the pole sign is the
8 main issue; we can table it to another
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Was it as
11 part of the original motion? Because I
12 thought she mentioned all the different
13 aspects, including a sign. That could
14 still be a pole sign.
15 MS. KUDLA: Okay, so it's a
16 separate variance for the sign. The
17 pole sign was not discussed, so you
18 don't need to abandon that first
19 motion. You need to decide if the pole
20 sign is part of this request, it needs
21 to be tabled and to a date certain.
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Right.
23 She started to make another motion, but
24 she withdrew it. So now the question
25 is do we want to table it or take some
1 action on it, correct?
2 MS. KUDLA: Correct.
3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Do you
4 want to make a motion to table?
5 MEMBER SKELCY: Yeah. In the
6 matter of Case No. 11-010, address of
7 25100 Novi Road, Collex/Galiano
8 Enterprises, Inc., I move that the
9 requested variance under Section
10 28-5(1)(C) regarding signs permitted in
11 this particular district, and the
12 request for the pole sign be adjourned
13 to June 14th, 2011, and heard at that
15 MEMBER SANGHVI: Second.
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any
17 further discussion? Seeing none,
18 Ms. Marchioni, can you please call the
20 MS. MARCHIONI: Member
22 MEMBER SKELCY: Yes.
23 MS. MARCHIONI:
24 Member Sanghvi?
25 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
1 MS. MARCHIONI:
2 Member Krieger?
3 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
4 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Ibe?
5 MEMBER IBE: Yes.
6 MS. MARCHIONI: Chairman
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes.
9 MS. MARCHIONI: Member
11 MEMBER GEDEON: Yes.
12 MS. MARCHIONI: Motion
13 passes, six to zero.
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: And if you
15 can, at that time, please have
16 specifics to have us make a decision as
17 to height, location, things like that,
18 that would be greatly appreciated.
19 Thank you.
20 Being the end, are there any
21 other matters to be discussed on the
22 record today? Seeing none, I will
23 entertain a motion to adjourn.
24 MEMBER SANGHVI: So move.
25 MEMBER IBE: Second.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any
2 further discussion? All in favor, say
4 THE BOARD: Aye.
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: All
6 opposed, no. Seeing none, we are
8 (The hearing was
9 adjourned at
10 9:50 p.m.)
11 - - -
1 C E R T I F I C A T E
3 I, Sherri L. Ruff, do hereby
4 certify that I have recorded
5 stenographically the proceedings had
6 and testimony taken in the
7 above-entitled matter at the time and
8 place hereinbefore set forth, and I do
9 further certify that the foregoing
10 transcript, consisting of (134)
11 typewritten pages, is a true and
12 correct transcript of my said
13 stenographic notes.
16 ________ ________________________
Date Sherri L. Ruff, CSR-3568
17 Certified Shorthand Reporter