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, June 14, 2011
1 Novi, Michigan.
2 Tuesday, June 14, 2011.
3 7:00 p.m.
4 ** ** **
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I'd like to call the June
6 14th, 2001 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting to order.
7 First thing we'd like to do is the Pledge of
8 Allegiance. If Member Cassis could start us off,
10 (The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.)
11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you. Next
12 Ms. Pawlowski, can you please call the roll.
13 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Yes. Member Cassis?
14 MR. CASSIS: Here.
15 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?
16 MR. GEDEON: Yes.
17 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Here.
19 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Ibe, absent, excused.
20 Member Krieger?
21 MS. KRIEGER: Present.
22 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?
23 MR. SANGHVI: Here.
24 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?
25 MS. SKELCY: Here.
1 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Thank you.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: First, I'd like to go over
3 a few of the rules that we have. The applicants, when
4 called, will be asked to come forth and state their
5 name and addresses and be sworn by our secretary, if
6 they're not attorneys.
7 They will be allowed five minutes to present
8 their case, with additional extensions granted at the
9 discretion of the Chair. If anybody in the public
10 wishes to address the board regarding the case, they
11 can raise their hands to be recognized at that time.
12 Next, would be the approval of the agenda.
13 Are there any additions or modifications to the agenda?
14 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Yes, there are. ZBA Case
15 11-007 for Pine Ridge, they have requested to be
17 And also ZBA Case 11-017 for Fox Run, they
18 have asked to be postponed until July.
19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. Anything else?
20 Nothing else. I'll entertain a motion to approve the
21 agenda as amended.
22 MR. SANGHVI: So moved.
23 MS. KRIEGER: Second.
24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: All in favor, say aye.
25 THE BOARD: Aye.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any opposed? Seeing none,
2 the agenda is approved.
3 And we will move to the approval of the
4 minutes from May 10th, 2011. Any additions or
5 modifications to that?
6 MS. PAWLOWSKI: No.
7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Nothing? Seeing none, I
8 will entertain a motion to approve the minutes of the
9 May 10th meeting.
10 MR. SANGHVI: So moved, Mr. Chair.
11 MS. KRIEGER: Second.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Seeing a motion and a
13 second, all in favor say aye.
14 THE BOARD: Aye.
15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any opposed? Seeing none,
16 the May 10th minutes are approved.
17 Next is the public remarks section. If there
18 is anybody in the audience who would like to be heard
19 at this time, you can raise your hand. It's not any
20 particular case that is pending because you will have a
21 chance at that time to make a statement.
22 So if there is anybody who would like to make
23 a statement right now, please raise your hand to be
25 Seeing none, I will close the public remarks
1 section and move directly to it would Case No. 2 --
2 Item No. 2, Case 11-012 for 21061 Haggerty Road, Dick's
3 Sporting Goods.
4 Is the applicant here?
5 MS. KOZLOWSKI: I am representing Bob Scott.
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Bob Scott?
7 MS. KOZLOWSKI: Yes. I'm one of the managers
8 that --
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: This is for Dick's
10 Sporting Goods.
11 MS. KOZLOWSKI: It is, yes.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please stand at the
13 podium. Go ahead and state your name and address.
14 MS. KOZLOWSKI: It's Ellen Kozlowski. The
15 address is 21061 Northville Place Drive -- I'm sorry,
16 42517, personal address, Northville Place Drive,
17 Apartment 415, that's Northville, Michigan 48167.
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Can you please raise your
19 right hand to be sworn by our secretary.
20 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or affirm to tell
21 the truth?
22 MS. KOZLOWSKI: I do.
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. Please state your
24 case, ma'am.
25 MS. KOZLOWSKI: Sir, I'm here representing
1 Dick's Sporting Goods in regards to the container
2 situation we have out back. I was just brought into
3 this today because Bob Scott is on vacation.
4 I have been speaking with our corporate
5 office. This is the status, where we stand today.
6 As we speak, our attorney is revising, from
7 the landlord that he just received on the 7th of this
8 month, the letter of intent with revisions for those
10 He had to make some small corrections, like
11 the name of our company was Dick's Clothing and
12 Sporting Goods. The address was wrong. He was on
13 vacation. He didn't get it until the 7th.
14 We're asking for a 48 hour stay, at the
15 maximum, because he's presently doing those revisions,
16 to have a final draft in your hand from the owner of
17 the property.
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Forty-eight hour stay.
19 You are either on this agenda or you're on next month
21 MS. KOZLOWSKI: You wanted a letter from the
22 property owner today -- or actually, June 1st, is what
23 I agree, and because of our landlord not getting it to
24 our corporate office until the 7th, and then our
25 attorney being on vacation, and just now working on it,
1 we could have it to you as early as tomorrow.
2 MR. BOULARD: If I may, if the Board is
3 inclined to consider it -- excuse me, one option would
4 be to hear the case, make any approval, if an approval
5 is forthcoming, make that approval contingent upon
6 permission from the landlord, as opposed to moving to a
7 later meeting, just a thought.
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I understand. Would you
9 like to state anything else in support of your claim,
11 MS. KOZLOWSKI: No, I think that's it, unless
12 you have a specific question for me. To my
13 understanding, that is -- was the delay. That we
14 apologize for.
15 Unfortunately, two people were on vacation.
16 The letter didn't get to our corporate office until the
17 7th, and our attorney received it in a PDF file,
18 couldn't make corrections, such as address, name of the
19 company and such. He is working on it right now.
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you. At this point,
21 is there anybody in the public who would like to make a
22 comment on this particular case, raise your hand.
23 Seeing none, I will close the public remarks
24 section, ask our secretary to read any correspondence.
25 MS. SKELCY: Thirty notices were mailed, zero
1 approvals, one objection. We are concerned about the
2 visibilty of these containers by the surrounding
3 businesses. This is from Scott Kay, K-A-Y, VP of
4 finance. Doesn't say which company it came from.
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. Any comments from
6 the City?
7 MR. BOULARD: In recognition of the lengthy
8 agenda, I'll limit our remarks and offer to answer any
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I'll open it to the Board
11 for discussion.
12 Member Sanghvi?
13 MR. SANGHVI: I don't have no objection with
14 them continuing with the variance. Thank you.
15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Skelcy?
16 MS. SKELCY: Are these containers out there
17 now, because when I move drove by, I didn't see
19 MS. KOZLOWSKI: They are. They are behind --
20 on the west side of the alley behind the building.
21 There are three containers presently there.
22 MS. SKELCY: I drove behind the building, I
23 didn't see it, so I guess it's not that bad.
24 MS. KOZLOWSKI: They are tucked away quite
1 MS. SKELCY: All right. Thank you.
2 MS. KOZLOWSKI: You're welcome.
3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other discussion by
4 the Board?
5 Would anybody like to entertain a motion
6 subject to the approval -- you're waiting for the
7 approval from the landlord, correct?
8 MS. KOZLOWSKI: Correct.
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Krieger?
10 MS. KRIEGER: In Case No. 11-012 21061
11 Haggerty Road, for Dick's Sporting Goods, I move to
12 approve the request for the variance for -- to allow
13 the use of the property with the placement of the
14 portable storage containers outside the west elevation
15 of the building contingent upon receiving the letter of
16 permission from the landlord as stated by the
17 petitioner, tomorrow, June 15th, 2011. And this
18 container area is well concealed. It's -- the property
19 cannot be reasonably used for the permitted use, or
20 special land use permit, that the need for the request
21 of the variance is due to unique circumstances to
22 Dick's Sporting Goods for physical location of this
23 property. And the narrowness and shallowness of the
24 location, and the proposed use will not alter the
25 essential character of the neighborhood, and the need
1 for the requested variance is not the result of actions
2 of the property owner.
3 MR. SANGHVI: Second.
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Mr. Boulard?
5 MR. BOULARD: Was your motion limited to
6 receiving that letter tomorrow as --
7 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.
8 MR. BOULARD: -- opposed to later in the
9 week --
10 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.
11 MR. SANGHVI: It is already part of the
13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I guess the question
14 becomes, what if they can't get it tomorrow, would it
15 be denied? I guess that would the question.
16 MR. SANGHVI: Mr. Chair, I will give them a
17 full month. Lawyers take a long time to do anything.
18 MS. KRIEGER: June 30th?
19 MR. SANGHVI: With my apologies to the City
20 lawyers in this room.
21 MS. KRIEGER: June 30th, is that acceptable?
22 MR. SANGHVI: That's my amendment, will we
23 accept it?
24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: She is asking for June
1 MS. KRIEGER: For June 30th.
2 MR. SANGHVI: Yeah, okay, that's fine. I
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: The movement wishes to
5 amend to June 30, do you second that, Member Sanghvi?
6 MR. SANGHVI: Second.
7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any further discussion?
8 MS. SKELCY: Yes. How does the Board feel
9 about making it specific to this particular tenant as
10 opposed to future tenants?
11 MS. KRIEGER: Yes, I agree.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Would the seconder agree
13 to that amendment also?
14 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.
15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I have no problem with
17 Anybody else? Any further discussion?
18 Then, Ms. Pawlowski, can you please take the
20 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Cassis?
21 MR. CASSIS: Yes.
22 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?
23 MR. GEDEON: Yes.
24 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?
25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes.
1 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?
2 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.
3 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?
4 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.
5 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?
6 MS. SKELCY: Yes.
7 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes, six to zero.
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Congratulations, ma'am.
9 MS. KOZLOWSKI: Thank you very much.
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Just get that approval to
11 the City, you should be all set.
12 MS. KOZLOWSKI: I don't need to take any
13 documents with me now?
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: No.
15 MS. KOZLOWSKI: Appreciate your help.
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Next item on the agenda is
17 Item No. 3 which is Case No., 11-013 USA 2 Go, 47300
19 Is the applicant here? If you can please
20 state your full name and address.
21 MR. BOWMAN: Certainly. My name is Blair
22 Bowman, 46100 Grand River, Novi, representing Novi
23 Mile, LLC.
24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Are you an attorney, sir?
25 MR. BOWMAN: I am educated as one, but I
1 don't have a P number, so I can still tell the jokes.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Will you raise your right
3 hand. Will you swear him in.
4 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or affirm to tell
5 the truth?
6 MR. BOWMAN: I do.
7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Go ahead.
8 MR. BOWMAN: We are here before you tonight,
9 with the request for -- and terminology-wise, I think
10 it would be an overall project, site project sign.
11 The particular site and placement of --
12 actually, there is two locations that -- I'm hoping I
13 can put this up on -- the one proposed monument sign
14 would be located at the -- I think this is working,
15 so --
16 The first location would be where the USA 2
17 Go site is currently under construction at the
18 intersection of the roadway at Beck Road, just south of
19 96 and on the east side of Beck Road.
20 The second location would be along
21 Grand River at the proposed location of the entry point
22 of the collector road.
23 This request is based upon a couple of
24 different points. This is a part of a PRO development.
25 The USA 2 Go site, which was the first in the series of
1 developments to be provided for under the PRO, had its
2 own signage approved, and the discussions were held,
3 that we would have to then, for the overall PRO, and
4 the remainder of the project, have to come in for
5 future signage.
6 As we worked with the operators and owners
7 now of the USA 2 Go site, it quickly dawned us that
8 instead of having two potential signs, then one is the
9 project sign for the internal users and future users as
10 well as then one for the USA 2 Go site, maybe it would
11 be best, and we would argue, respectfully, that it
12 would be best to do a coordinated sign for the entire
13 site. And that's one of the main and primary reasons.
14 The secondary reason would be that as this
15 roadway, per the PRO, is installed, and to fulfill its
16 purpose, which will be a collector road system that
17 will provide and have traffic flow in and around the
18 main intersection of Beck Road and Grand River, carry
19 freeway traffic in an organized fashion, it is going to
20 be very important to clearly and safely identify those
21 tenants and users that the motoring traffic and public,
22 many of which in the freeway style service district,
23 are going to be from elsewhere, and not necessarily
24 familiar with the exact -- community and exact
1 I do have also a couple of examples that I
2 would like to show this -- although not inside -- it's
3 not within the borders of Novi, but it's just outside.
4 This is on Haggerty Road, just south of Eight
5 Mile and Livonia. And is again, for a complex of
6 multiple businesses and identifying in a single sign,
7 in a monument style sign, for all of those businesses.
8 There is, on Grand River, just to the east of
9 the subject site, a project sign where, multiple,
10 again, businesses are located in the Harmon office
12 So these would be a couple of examples of
13 similar, but not exactly, like the one that's being
15 I will take the opportunity now to at least
16 put up the rendering of the sign. This is the sign as
17 we are proposing it for the location at the USA 2 Go
18 corner. It provides basically within the confines of
19 the established -- or the approved sign for the station
20 and the square footage requirements sufficient and
21 primary signage for the gas convenience center.
22 It also has -- again, I should point out,
23 that these are not specific names yet, the Gateway
24 Crossing, and those types of things are just used for
25 examples. Where the Sunoco and the USA 2 Go are
1 established, and will be the names and the occupants of
2 the sign.
3 The balance of these spots would be reserved
4 for any future development, and in accordance with the
5 PRO, the road -- any additional development that we
6 would further, any shovel that goes in the ground from
7 our efforts, then we would be required to put in the
8 balance of the road.
9 And with that, it's going to be very, again,
10 important to have the ability for the motoring public
11 to identify who is within the confines, particularly
12 the interior sites, which are difficult to see, and any
13 on-site signage would be very limited, as far as its
14 use of directing safely and efficiently the traffic
16 So with that, I will be happy to answer any
17 questions, and would respectfully request that you act
18 favorably on the variance request.
19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you, sir. Is there
20 anybody in the public who would like to make a comment
21 on this particular case, please raise your hand.
22 Seeing none, I will close the public remarks
23 section and ask our secretary to read any
25 MS. SKELCY: Thirty-six notices were mailed.
1 There were 12 returned and one objection. The one
2 objection reads, the request for the sign variance is
3 way over the ordinance limit, and therefore, should be
4 denied. That was signed by Joanne Ward of 47460 Eleven
5 Mile Road.
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you. Any comments
7 from the City?
8 MS. KUDLA: No.
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Nothing. I will open it
10 up to the Board for discussion. Member Sanghvi?
11 MR. SANGHVI: Mr. Bowman, how many of these
12 buildings are going to be near the -- visible from the
13 main road?
14 MR. BOWMAN: You know, it is the function, as
15 with any future development, that flexibility has to
16 be -- there are at least two sites along Grand River
17 that would have visibilty from Grand River. But the
18 balance of the interior sites, probably somewhere in
19 the nature the 14 plus or minus acres, would have --
20 would be all in the interior.
21 And we have been working with, for example,
22 an office user that would take about a six acre portion
23 of it, but they would be on the interior, right at the
24 cross point of the road.
25 MR. SANGHVI: So you need these signs for
1 business and identification purposes?
2 MR. BOWMAN: Yes. And again, to -- also from
3 the standpoint of having this road fulfill it's
4 purpose, which is to have, you know, circulation aided
5 for the Beck Road and Grand River intersection, being
6 in such proximity to the expressway.
7 MR. SANGHVI: And both these roads are
8 bordering on your property?
9 MR. BOWMAN: Correct. That is again, a part
10 of the PRO agreement, is that the first stage of
11 development, USA 2 Go, conducted with an improvement of
12 the roadway to the back of the site, then any second
13 development that's proposed by our efforts, on our
14 property, would trigger a mechanism where we are
15 required to put in the road.
16 MR. SANGHVI: Thank you.
17 MR. BOWMAN: You're welcome.
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Skelcy.
19 MS. SKELCY: I have concern about the heighth
20 of the sign. I know at the Haggerty connector and
21 Fourteen Mile, there is also a USA 2 Go, and they have
22 a monument sign similar to what we see in Novi. And to
23 the left of the 2 Go sign is a Wendy's sign. So they
24 don't have the same heighth.
25 I'm wondering, the USA 2 Go people aren't
1 requiring the sign this high, is that correct?
2 MR. BOWMAN: I can answer that by saying, I
3 think that they're looking for prominent signage
4 relating to this sign, okay. We've provided that to
5 them, we have promised that, they're also required
6 under our agreement to cooperate with us for overall
7 project signage.
8 So versus staggering a number of signs, two
9 or more, relating to the balance of the development, we
10 felt that it would be more attracting, in keeping with
11 a larger site, as we are, and again, with respect to
12 the case you're speaking of, it is a small individual
13 development piece, with multiple occupants, and
14 understand the need for signage and recognition in that
15 case, for those individual tenants.
16 Our case, we are dealing with a 24 acre, you
17 know, site, and overall project, so I'm respectfully
18 contending that it warrants and deserves a larger
19 project style sign. Particularly, in the case now
20 where there is going to be the need for somebody that's
21 traveling to, for example, a future office development,
22 or an internal freeway service user, and needing to
23 know where they're going and find out reasonably and
24 safely that -- where they're located, where to turn and
25 where to go.
1 MS. SKELCY: I'm wondering, do you plan on
2 having a total of five tenants assigned from the USA 2
3 Go? Because you're requesting like the names of five
5 MR. BOWMAN: We're saying up to five. It may
6 not be a total of five. It could be less. There
7 frankly, could be more. But I think what our point is,
8 is that we would request to do this, build it as we
9 have proposed, particularly the sign, at the corner of
10 Beck and the service drive, and be limited then, if you
11 would, to this number of signages available for the
12 internal users.
13 It is possible that it could be more than
14 five, but it's probably our intent, I would say it's
15 very likely to our intent, that it would be five or
17 MS. SKELCY: But you don't know how many at
18 this point?
19 MR. BOWMAN: No.
20 MS. SKELCY: What about the idea of having a
21 shorter sign, since you're not certain of the number of
22 tenants you're going to have? I mean, because it's
23 eight -- it's a total of 11 feet six inches tall, which
24 is pretty big.
25 MR. BOWMAN: Correct. Well, and I think
1 from -- you know, again, there is a number of people
2 involved with this development, I will say that.
3 In my opinion, representing them here
4 tonight, the group, I think that there is some
5 flexibility in the heighth of the sign. And I think
6 that we could probably accomplish it with one less
7 tenant panel.
8 So I think we might be able to come some
9 significant way to reducing the overall heighth of the
11 MS. SKELCY: Thank you very much.
12 MR. BOWMAN: Thank you.
13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Gedeon?
14 MR. GEDEON: I guess the question is to the
15 City, or to the applicant, whoever wants to answer.
16 Has this PRO -- this is normally something
17 that would have to go in front of the Planning
18 Commission, right?
19 MR. BOULARD: The agreement has gone through
20 with the Planning Commission, with the City Council,
21 and it has been approved.
22 The agreement that's now in place, I believe,
23 has the right-of-way -- the right-of-way for future
24 dedications is in escrow, and as Mr. Bowman pointed
25 out, the initial development is the USA 2 Go, the road
1 coming in from Beck Road goes to the -- from Beck Road
2 to the east side of the USA 2 Go project, or will
3 shortly. It's under construction now.
4 However, the next project that goes in, is
5 the trigger for the construction of the rest of the
7 MR. GEDEON: Did the PRO include discussion
8 of the signage? I think in past times, hasn't the
9 Planning Commission approved it contingent to getting
10 the zoning variance?
11 MR. BOULARD: My understanding is that in
12 this case, the PRO did include signage for the
13 business, but not for the center as a whole.
14 MR. BOWMAN: I think it did reference that
15 point though, if I'm recalling correctly, that it
16 talked in terms of any future signage, that we would
17 have to proceed and obtain future approval for.
18 And that's, I think, the step, at least that
19 we are, you know, looking to logically take now. And
20 instead of having to either construct an adjacent
21 structure, or reconstruct the one that would be
22 initially established for the USA 2 Go, is to put --
23 you know, put forth a very high quality, well-planned,
24 and organized single project sign that would have
25 prominently displayed the USA 2 Go information and
1 signage, but would also provide in a coordinated
2 fashion for the balance of the project.
3 MR. BOULARD: But this is, to answer your
4 question, if I understand correctly, this is not a
5 situation where the Planning Commission, City Council
6 said, yes, we will approve this signage contingent upon
7 ZBA approval. This is a separate application
9 MR. BOWMAN: Correct. Oh, absolutely.
10 MR. GEDEON: One further question then.
11 Was -- is there going to be -- is this going to be the
12 only sign for the gas station? The rendering that you
13 have for the Beck Road entrance, is that going to be
14 the only sign for the gas station, which has the actual
15 Beck Road frontage?
16 MR. BOWMAN: I think -- if the other
17 rendering of the Grand River sign did not show, it
18 would be our intention to have one of the small panels
19 reference, and frankly, that's going to be important
20 again, for way-finding traffic to know that they can
21 enter in off of that road, on Grand River, to get to
22 the gas station.
23 MR. GEDEON: Similarly, for the parcel ID
24 ending in, 017, would you envision that having a
25 separate monument sign on Grand River?
1 MR. BOWMAN: I think that that could
2 definitely have its own signage on -- you know, facing
3 Grand River, both 26 and 017.
4 MR. GEDEON: To the City, if we approve the
5 variance --
6 MS. KUDLA: We just noticed that the
7 application -- is it clear that you're requesting two
8 signs of this nature, one for two separate entrances?
9 MR. BOWMAN: You know, I just asked
10 Mr. Jeff Hines, who is one of the partners of the
11 project, and also, you know, a signage expert in this
12 community, and we did apply for both signs?
13 MR. HINES: I believe so, yes.
14 MR. BOWMAN: And he's indicating that he
15 believes that it should be for both signs.
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Here's the question I
17 have. I mean, I'm listening to him. On the
18 application, it seems like you're requesting one
20 MS. KUDLA: That's correct.
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: It says to exceed
22 allowable area and heighth .the problem is, according
23 to the statements, according to the renderings, they
24 want two signs that both exceed the heighth and the
25 square footage.
1 MS. KUDLA: Right. I think we are going to
2 have to renotice it because we only got notice for one
3 sign. So the proposal right now is only noticed for
4 one sign. And there is actually two requested.
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Plus one of the requests
6 is for off-site, correct? I mean, one of them is on
7 the premises, and one of them is off-site.
8 MS. KUDLA: Is one of them off the premises?
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes, one of them is
10 Grand River, or does that make sense?
11 MR. BOULARD: Does the reason -- because the
12 sign that's on the USA 2 Go property would advertise
13 businesses that are not on that site, that's why the
14 offsite was included for that.
15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Right, but that's not
16 being applied for, is it? He didn't apply for offsite.
17 MR. BOULARD: That was not listed as an item
18 in the application, however, it was -- that was part of
19 the notice.
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay.
21 MR. BOULARD: I guess there is only two
22 options, one would be to renotice and if -- or -- if
23 the sign on -- the Beck Road sign was the critical one,
24 to look at that sign and do a separate application for
25 the other sign.
1 MR. BOWMAN: If that's necessary, that would
2 be our preference, to seek the approval for the Beck
3 Road sign at this time, and then I understand, the
4 intent would be for us to proceed forth with the Grand
5 River based one. So that's going to be certainly, as
6 critical, or as important from the standpoint for
7 everybody in the community, too, that that road system
8 function as a collector.
9 MR. BOULARD: If I understand, you wouldn't
10 install the Grand River sign until the road goes
12 MR. BOWMAN: That is correct.
13 MR. BOULARD: That I should have made more
14 clear, is that this is not something we are going to go
15 and immediately and install both. We would -- we just
16 want to, again, from a reasonable, logical standpoint,
17 maintain the approval, or get the approval, if it's
18 able to be obtained, and build the Beck Road sign, in
19 accordance with what then would be a planned and
20 organized fashion, similar to what would be installed
21 at Grand River.
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: So I got a question. So
23 can we consider the three requested variances on the
24 one side of Beck Road only today, is the safest thing
25 to do?
1 MS. KUDLA: That's correct. Then we'd have
2 to do a separate hearing for the --
3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: For the Grand River?
4 MS. KUDLA: Right.
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: So we can consider, all
6 three requests for the -- well, actually it would be
7 just two -- it would just be the size and the heighth?
8 Does that make sense?
9 MR. BOULARD: I think because the sign is
10 proposed to advertised businesses, future businesses
11 would not be on that lot. It would be appropriate --
12 it's going to be an off-premise sign for these other
13 future businesses.
14 MS. KUDLA: Yes.
15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: It was advertised as
16 for --
17 MS. KUDLA: It's advertised that way,
19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Your preference would be,
20 if that is the case, come back with the second request?
21 MR. BOWMAN: Yes.
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Given that's the case, so
23 we will consider the one on Beck. Any other questions
24 regarding that?
25 MS. SKELCY: I have a question. I think it's
1 probably for the City. Mr. Boulard, on the
2 application, there is two parcels listed, and -- am I
3 to understand, that the second sign that they will be
4 coming back for, is for parcel No. 26?
5 MR. BOULARD: Yes.
6 MS. SKELCY: So they are not entitled to
7 still another sign at some point in the future?
8 MR. BOULARD: Another sign for parcel 26?
9 MS. SKELCY: Yes.
10 MR. BOULARD: As mentioned in the staff
11 report, at this point, the application is for
12 additional signs.
13 There is not -- there is not a commitment on
14 the part of future owners of those other businesses to
15 not put the signs that they're allowed by right.
16 MS. SKELCY: Okay.
17 MR. BOULARD: Is that correct, Mr. Bowman?
18 MR. BOWMAN: Yes, this would be again, for a
19 project orientated sign, would not want to limit, and
20 hopefully reasonably so, an independent user's frontage
21 right on Grand River to do a ground-based or a
22 building-based sign within the ordinance.
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Couple questions. Now,
24 this particular building, each tenant would be allowed
25 a sign on the building, is that correct? Or no? As a
2 I'm just trying to find out, is this building
3 already entitled to signage by --
4 MR. BOULARD: The USA 2 Go building, yes, is
5 entitled to signage on the building. This is in
6 addition to that.
7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Is it one per unit, per
9 MR. BOULARD: I believe that's -- I believe
10 that is the case.
11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Just in terms of my own
12 comments, sir. I understand the new project. I
13 understand, I mean, considering the one on Beck only
14 today, I understand the need for it, the problem is,
15 each of requests are basically more than double what
16 you're required by ordinance. Which is why you're here
18 And the question becomes your burden to
19 establish why you need a 12 -- almost a 12-foot high
20 sign, more than about 76 square feet, so I have a
21 problem with the size and the height, to be honest with
23 I will listen to suggestions regarding that,
24 but that's my issue with this. Member Cassis?
25 MR. CASSIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
1 Mr. Bowman, did you say in answer to my colleague that
2 you believe you are willing to scale down?
3 MR. BOWMAN: I think, clearly, that if we
4 took out one of the panels that says future tenant,
5 that would reduce the height and the square footage and
6 still provide, in the case of the Grand River sign --
7 well, we are dealing with the Beck Road sign only then.
8 MR. CASSIS: That would give us a couple
10 MR. BOWMAN: Yeah.
11 MR. CASSIS: Mr. Chairman, for the Beck Road
12 area, I would go along with it, for many reasons. One
13 of them is this. Beck Road is a very highly, fast
14 traveled road. I have been on it thousands of times.
15 And it is isolated from residential, it's by a freeway.
16 I believe that a sign with so many multiple
17 tenants representing 24 acres of future use, I believe
18 putting it in one single sign like this, is better than
19 the applicant coming back to us, maybe I won't be here,
20 to this room, and starting to request other signs.
21 We've been there. We have been there, where the
22 user -- and I have been here, where on Twelve Mile
23 Road, the rug guy came back with what was it, eight, 10
24 signs that one time. Remember that? Because he said,
25 the road was fast, and speed is fast, and so on, he
1 couldn't be seen from the other side, from that Twelve
2 Oaks Mall.
3 So, I'm thinking, I travel around Novi now,
4 and we have been forthcoming, let's face it, with other
5 tenants, with other people coming before us, this sign
6 is going to be right by a freeway, on a fast traveled
7 road, and if Mr. Bowman is willing to scale it down a
8 couple feet, I don't think, Mr. Chairman, that this is
9 really an extraordinary, huge sign for these many
10 multiple tenants by a freeway, that we really need to
11 scale it back anymore.
12 This would be any idea. Thank you very much.
13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any further discussion?
14 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.
15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Krieger?
16 MS. KRIEGER: Question. How many tenants
17 would be in this location total?
18 MR. BOWMAN: Well, that is -- in answer to
19 that, I don't know. We see that there is clearly the
20 potential for four or five internal users, and that's
21 very likely. And that's why we proposed the number
22 that we did. Could it be more, yes. Is it possible
23 even that more a sizeable user could come, and we would
24 love that to happen, and it would be less.
25 But very likely, you will see three to five
1 internal users along with the external signs.
2 MS. KRIEGER: I'm confused because I was
3 looking at both signs, so it could be potential of 12?
4 Because on one sign --
5 MR. BOWMAN: No. I don't mean to interrupt
6 you. I'm sorry.
7 No, this would be for the purpose of
8 identifying the same tenants, and I can certainly say
9 that with (inaudible).
10 MS. KRIEGER: Tim Horton's may be one of them
11 as well?
12 MR. BOWMAN: Tim Horton's I think -- I hate
13 to say this it in this way, but I must say this, maybe
14 the representatives from the City might know more than
15 me, they were originally part of the gas convenience
16 center, they were going to be an occupant of that.
17 They -- as conditions in the marketplace deteriorated,
18 they removed their interest in the end stages with us.
19 The new operator and owner, I believe, has
20 reengaged conversations with them. I don't know if
21 they are proposed to be a part of that or not.
22 MS. KRIEGER: Then Sunoco part, that would be
23 a changeable sign, so they could post the regular and
24 premium --
25 MR. BOWMAN: There is the digital pricing,
1 per the ordinance, that's sized and appropriate.
2 MS. KRIEGER: Then I also would be concerned
3 that for future tenants, that that whole space would be
4 empty until you would have tenants or could advertise,
5 I suppose, in that area, so also, to be in
6 consideration that you said you would be willing to
7 remove one of the future tenants, I would find that
9 MR. BOWMAN: Thank you.
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any further discussion?
11 MR. BOULARD: No.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Entertain a motion?
13 Member Sanghvi?
14 MR. SANGHVI: Thank you. Mr. Chair, I'd like
15 to make a motion, this is only regarding the Beck Road
16 sign. Because we are not discussing the other sign, I
17 want to make that quite clear here.
18 The request -- one of the request of the
19 applicant, the sign, reducing the size of the sign by
20 20 square feet, and because I don't think the request,
21 it might not--
22 MR. BOWMAN: It would be 16.
23 MR. SANGHVI: Sixteen.
24 MR. BOWMAN: Two by eight.
25 MR. CASSIS: Sixteen.
1 MR. SANGHVI: Sixteen square feet. I am
2 making this motion, realizing that the request is based
3 upon circumstances and features that are exceptional
4 and unique to the property, and do not result from the
5 conditions that exist generally in the City, and are
6 not self-created.
7 The failure to grant relief will unreasonably
8 prevent or limit the use of the property and will
9 result in substantially more than mere inconvenience or
10 inability to attain higher economic gains.
11 The grant of relief will not result in the
12 use of the structure that is incompatible with or
13 unreasonably interfered with adjacent or the
14 surrounding properties, and will result in substantial
15 justice being done to both the applicant and the
16 adjacent and the surrounding properties, and is not
17 inconsistent with the spirit of the ordinance. Thank
19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I have got a question for
20 you before it is seconded. But you didn't make mention
21 of heighth. You made mention of reduction in square
22 footage. What the about heighth of the sign?
23 MR. SANGHVI: I will amend it. Thank you.
24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any seconds?
25 MS. KRIEGER: I will second, and to make a
1 possible board amendment.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Are you seconding his
4 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Now that we have a motion
6 and a second, any further discussion?
7 MS. KRIEGER: To remind that in Case No.
8 11-013 USA 2 Go, that the two feet would be the
9 reduction in height. If it's 16 square feet, then it's
10 eight by two?
11 MR. SANGHVI: Okay, fine.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. That's acceptable
13 to the movement, so any further discussion?
14 Seeing none, Ms. Pawlowski, will you please
15 call the roll.
16 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Cassis?
17 MR. CASSIS: Yes.
18 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?
19 MR. GEDEON: Yes.
20 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: No.
22 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?
23 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.
24 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?
25 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.
1 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?
2 MS. SKELCY: Yes.
3 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes, five to one.
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you, sir.
5 MR. BOWMAN: Appreciate it. Thank you.
6 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam, for
7 clarification, are we going to be renotifying the other
8 side for --
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: They are going to have to
10 be -- they have to reapply for that particular sign.
11 MR. BOULARD: I can talk to you -- the issue,
12 I think, is that we have got one application for two
13 different parcels, so we can talk about that.
14 MR. BOWMAN: We will do whatever we need to
15 do to reapply, or renotify, whatever, whatever the
16 process requires. Very much appreciated. Thank you.
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you.
18 Next is Item No. 4, Case No. 11-014 MacKenzie
19 Drive. Is the applicant here?
20 I don't see any applicant. Has anybody been
21 notified that they're showing or not showing?
22 MS. PAWLOWSKI: No.
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Nothing. How about we
24 pass that. We pass that until the end.
25 I will call item No. 5, Case No. 11-015,
1 43215 Grand River Avenue, Verizon Wireless.
2 Will you please step forward.
3 Sir, please state your name and address.
4 MR. KASHA: David Kasha. Want the business
5 address or --
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Either way.
7 MR. KASHA: 43215 Grand River, Novi, Michigan
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please raise your right
10 hand to be sworn by our secretary.
11 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or affirm to tell
12 the truth?
13 MR. KASHA: I do.
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please proceed.
15 MR. KASHA: Good evening, Board. I am here
16 as the franchisee owner of the Verizon Wireless
17 Wireless Zone, looking for a variance for the
18 installation of a sign.
19 Basically it's a retail business, which is
20 the -- number one, visibility is very -- is the number
21 one factor or retail businesses, signage, forward
22 visibility and so on. Being there is no ground
23 signage, which is a very big factor in retail, we are
24 looking to put a little bit larger sign to help with
25 the visibility of the shopping center. Franchise
1 stores with this size sign tend to do better, and
2 that's why my franchisor requested this size of sign to
3 be put in.
4 The Fed Ex next door, with a smaller sign,
5 would dominate the shopping center, reduce my exposure
6 to the road, as they're going to dominate the whole
7 shopping center.
8 From an adequate distance, you can see the
9 Fed Ex sign, and our sign currently approved is a lot
11 Complying with the requirements, for the
12 large square footage of the sign, will result in a very
13 small sign at the time, in comparison with the rest of
14 the shopping center.
15 They have 500 stores right now, with Wireless
16 Zone. This is the standard size sign that they do use,
17 being they qualify most saying, this is the average
18 sign, they don't go above or below, which is their
19 standard size, that's they requested this size of sign
20 be put in.
21 It's my first business, it will be a brand
22 new -- obviously, a lot of exposure, will let me
23 succeed in the City of Novi. I'll represent the City,
24 as a business endeavor for me. I can also help out
25 with the community, if I do tend to do good in my
1 business. I'm looking to contribute to the City, the
2 police station, the schools and stuff like that.
3 Also another thing is, it is in the Town
4 Center, which is a commercial area, a larger sign would
5 not be a distraction as being a sign in a residential
7 I'm not asking for any additional signs, on
8 the size, or on the front, on the ground sign, just a
9 normal size, with a bit larger for the new business to
11 I do have a picture of what it would look
12 like. That's the size we're requesting. It would be a
13 43 and a half square foot sign.
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anything else, sir?
15 MR. KASHA: No. Thank you.
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you. Is there
17 anybody in the public who would like to make a comment
18 on this particular case, please raise your hand.
19 Seeing none, I will close the public remarks
20 section and ask our secretary to read any
22 MS. SKELCY: Twenty-five notices were mailed,
23 there were no responses and there were no return mails.
24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any comments from the
1 MR. BOULARD: If I could, ask the petitioner
2 a question. If this sign, if approved, would replace
3 the sign that's the current sign that's permitted,
5 MR. KASHA: Correct. I don't have a sign up
6 there right now.
7 MR. BOULARD: But the permit has been pulled?
8 MR. KASHA: Correct.
9 MR. BOULARD: This would replace that, if
10 it's approved?
11 MR. KASHA: Correct.
12 MR. BOULARD: Thank you.
13 MR. KASHA: You're welcome.
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: So they're allowed a sign,
15 but just not this size?
16 MR. BOULARD: When we did the write-up, the
17 sign there, has been a sign already issued for the
18 smaller sign, already, I just want to make sure we're
19 clear, if approved, would replace that.
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I understand. My question
21 is, they are entitled to a sign by right?
22 MR. BOULARD: Yes, it's about half the size.
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anything else from the
25 MS. KUDLA: We have nothing, no.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. Any discussion from
2 the board? Member Krieger?
3 MS. KRIEGER: I have a question to the City.
4 The Verizon that's in Twelve Oaks area, do they have
5 the emblem on it, as well, Mr. Boulard?
6 MR. BOULARD: I'm sorry?
7 MS. KRIEGER: In the Twelve Oaks Verizon
8 building, do they have the checkmark, or what
9 they're --
10 MR. BOULARD: I can't confirm that.
11 MS. KRIEGER: Is that -- to the petitioner,
12 that checkmark that you have on there, is that
13 something new that Verizon is asking? Because it takes
14 up a lot of space on your sign.
15 MR. KASHA: It's a franchise. The one at
16 Twelve and Novi, I believe, you're asking about is a
17 corporate store. I don't know how their signage works.
18 It's a little bit different.
19 We have to represent as the premium retailer,
20 which represents us, instead of being a corporate
22 MS. KRIEGER: So they're requiring you to
23 have this sign?
24 MR. KASHA: Correct. That's per Verizon
25 regulations, correct.
1 MS. KRIEGER: Thank you.
2 MR. KASHA: You're welcome.
3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Gedeon?
4 MR. GEDEON: I guess I would just point out
5 that the checkmark, you know, to me, it doesn't even
6 really factor in visually. And I mean, so I would be
7 inclined to allow this just because the actual, you
8 know, the meaningful part of the sign is not as large
9 as the overall square footage would make it sound like
10 it is.
11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Actually I tend to agree.
12 I mean, ordinarily, if you took that checkmark out, you
13 would have much a smaller sign. I don't know about
14 half the size, but more within the realm of that City
15 ordinance, that checkmark, even though it is included
16 in the square footage, it really doesn't, you know,
17 make it that much more obnoxious or anything. I don't
18 have any problem with it either.
19 Any other comments or questions or motions
20 from the Board?
21 MR. SANGHVI: I just wanted to make a comment
22 that I'd like to see a uniformity of the size of the
23 signs in the street which would be esthetically more
24 (inaudible), than one small and one big and all that.
25 I think this size of sign fits into the whole strip
1 mall better. Thank you.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you. Member Cassis?
3 MR. CASSIS: Yeah, I was going to ask the
4 gentleman, you know, really, if I drove by, that
5 checkmark wouldn't really bring me into the Verizon
6 store. I was thinking maybe we can reduce the size of
7 it of, but it sounds like my colleagues here are going
8 along with it.
9 I'm not going to be the one to suggest
10 anything else.
11 MR. SANGHVI: Thank you.
12 MR. KASHA: Thank you.
13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other comments or
14 questions from the Board?
15 Entertain motion, please. Member Krieger.
16 MS. KRIEGER: In Case No. 11-015 at 43215
17 Grand River Avenue, Suite B, Verizon Wireless, I move
18 to approve the petitioner's request for the signage of
19 the 43.5 square foot, because the checkmark does not
20 take as much occupancy of the area (inaudible), and the
21 request is based upon circumstances unique to this
22 property, and it's compatible with the other signs in
23 the strip mall. And the conditions are not
24 self-created. And it's required by the petitioner to
25 have the checkmark as part of his signage.
1 A failure to grant relief will not
2 unreasonably prevent him or limit him from using the
3 property, and the grant of the relief will not result
4 in the use of structure that is incompatible with or
5 unreasonably interfere with the adjacent or surrounding
6 properties, and I would make the signage request for
7 this business.
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Sanghvi, do you --
9 MR. SANGHVI: Second.
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: That last comment was
11 restricted to this tenant?
12 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.
13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anything -- seeing a
14 motion and a second, any further discussion?
15 MR. GEDEON: One question. Since the amount
16 of white space on the sign, you know, was a factor,
17 should we limit this variance specifically to the
18 layout that's been presented to us?
19 I mean, it came back and changed the sign a
20 year later, you know, taking up same amount of square
21 footage, but you know, was large block letters, I'm not
22 sure if we would come to the same conclusion.
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Do you have a problem with
24 that, sir? In other words, what he's suggesting is
25 that we amend this motion, or approval to the format
1 that you proposed to us? That's what --
2 MR. KASHA: You mean outline just in case it
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Well, we want to approve
5 it as you have presented it? You have a problem with
7 MR. KASHA: I do not, no.
8 MS. KRIEGER: I second.
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: It's been accepted. Any
10 further discussion?
11 Seeing none, Ms. Pawlowski, will you please
12 call the roll.
13 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Cassis?
14 MR. CASSIS: Yes.
15 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?
16 MR. GEDEON: Yes.
17 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes.
19 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?
20 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.
21 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?
22 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.
23 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?
24 MS. SKELCY: Yes.
25 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes six to zero.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Congratulations, sir.
2 MR. KASHA: Thank you, Board.
3 MR. CASSIS: Good luck.
4 MR. KASHA: Thank you.
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Next on the agenda is item
6 No. 6, Case No. 11-016 for 44125 Twelve Mile Road, the
7 Powerhouse Gym. Is the applicant here?
8 Can you step forward, sir. Please state your
9 name and address.
10 MR. FITZGERALD: Dan Fitzgerald, 19235 Smock,
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please raise your right
13 hand to be sworn by our secretary.
14 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or affirm to tell
15 the truth?
16 MR. FITZGERALD: Yes.
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Go ahead, sir.
18 MR. FITZGERALD: I was just asked to come
19 here just a little while ago, I guess the
20 representative couldn't make it, so I don't have a
21 package for the overhead, if I need one. Do I need
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You do not. Would you
24 like to say anything on behalf of the petition?
25 MR. FITZGERALD: Well, they're requesting the
1 variance for a larger sign on this particular building.
2 It's about 400 feet in frontage, and I'd say about 50
3 feet tall. Currently he has a 30-inch square foot sign
4 up there now, 30 inches tall.
5 I think a hardship of that is coming off Novi
6 Road, pulling into the complex, you can't see him,
7 until a good quarter mile into the complex. So he's
8 losing people, they're calling saying they can't find
10 This being a gym before this Powerhouse went
11 in there, failed to make it, and I think that,
12 personally, he needs a larger sign in front of the
13 building. It looks like a postage stamp on the
15 I noticed, when I got here, though, I was
16 reading, it's also requiring another sign on the side.
17 That's already -- has a variance for it, from the other
18 tenants that were there, that building department,
19 zoning lady called me and told me that that would not
20 be need to brought up here. That was a month ago. So,
21 I see that is still on here. But that's not part of
22 it. They're asking for a larger sign in the front of
23 the building.
24 In this case, they will take whatever larger
25 square footage they can get. I proportionally drew
1 this out for them at 47 inches tall, which seems to
2 look a little better on the 400 foot building.
3 The 30-inch just doesn't look right. It was
4 a quick thing he did before Christmas, and even when I
5 put it up there, I was just like, this doesn't look
6 right. So, he's asked for a variance.
7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you, sir.
8 Is there anybody in the public who would like
9 to make a comment on this particular sign?
10 Seeing none, I will close the public remarks
11 section and ask our secretary to read any
13 MS. SKELCY: Ninety-four notices were mailed,
14 and 43 of them were returned to us. No objections.
15 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Any comments from the City?
16 MR. BOULARD: Just a point of clarification,
17 if I could, the sign on the north side of the building
18 is what was deemed in past to be interior to the
19 outdoor mall, before part of it brought down, but
20 that's why that does not require the variance. That
21 sign is not regulated because it's interior to the
23 So, that said, the previous variance was for
24 114.7 square feet, as you recall, that was -- the
25 discussion centered -- when that was granted, on the
1 fact that there was, I think Fusion, then there was a
2 figure with a globe or something, and the box was drawn
3 around that. This request is for reduced amount, it's
4 for 90 square feet, only 65 feet would be allowed by
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I will open it up to the
7 Board for discussion.
8 Member Skelcy?
9 MS. SKELCY: The sign that is on the --
10 facing east, that's not a temporary sign?
11 MR. FITZGERALD: No.
12 MS. SKELCY: You know, when I drove by, and I
13 went down that road, I thought that sign size was
14 appropriate. I mean, it's really big. And as soon as
15 you get to the intersection, where the light is, I
16 mean, it just like screams out at you, and they want
17 something even bigger than that now?
18 MR. FITZGERALD: I don't know which road
19 you're talking about driving on.
20 MS. SKELCY: The one that has ABC Warehouse
21 on it, on the right and Best Buy on the left, as you're
22 coming off of Novi Road.
23 MS. KRIEGER: Is that Cabot Drive?
24 MR. FITZGERALD: There was some shots taken
25 from that particular area, that was submitted, and you
1 can't see that sign at all. That was his problem.
2 People were calling saying, we're in the place, we
3 can't find you. We see Gander Mountain, whatever that
4 place is, but we can't find you.
5 This is a photo taken once you pull inside
6 the place, and as you can see, it's not the best photo,
7 but you can't see it at all, the sign on the building.
8 It's like a half a mile away from Novi Road. I
9 calculated it out on the car for him, and that's when I
10 went to Will and said, well, you might have a hardship,
11 I mean, they might listen to you, because if people are
12 driving around in there aimlessly -- just to make
13 another note for them, since I didn't have any time, I
14 didn't know I was coming here.
15 He takes up a large portion of square footage
16 there, and it's a tough market right now out here.
17 Especially in a fitness center. I mean, I just -- I
18 think anything to help retail out these days would be
19 better than an empty building. I mean, I don't know --
20 like I told him, whatever they will give you, you need
21 to take, Will.
22 I just hate to see another gym go out of
23 there and be a vacant place, over square footage of a
24 sign, in such a large complex. I mean, it's 50 feet
25 tall this building, close to it.
1 When we hung that sign, the bucket truck was
2 maxed out to the heighth, to the bottom of that sign
3 that's up there now.
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Cassis?
5 MR. CASSIS: Just an inquiry. I forgot to
6 look and see whether -- the shopping center has a big
7 sign, don't they?
8 MS. KRIEGER: On Novi Road --
9 MR. BOULARD: If I may, this is -- this
10 establishment is not in West Oaks. It's in Fountain
11 Walk, so it's on the other side of Donaldson Drive. So
12 the drive that you look down in the picture is through
13 the other development.
14 MS. SKELCY: Right, but it seems to me you're
15 suggesting that people should be able to see the sign
16 from Novi Road.
17 MR. FITZGERALD: So I'm saying that they were
18 having complaints that people couldn't see them once
19 they pulled in the place. They were turning right and
20 turning left.
21 I mean, once you pull into the complex, you
22 should be able to identify the sign, such as Sears or
23 J.C. Penney, or whatever it may be.
24 I mean, to me, that sign seemed a little too
25 small for that large of a building, that's got 400-foot
1 frontage on it. I mean, that's just my personal
2 opinion. I mean, I have been doing signs --
3 MR. CASSIS: Does he advertise in the blue
4 pages -- Yellow Pages or any other --
5 MR. FITZGERALD: I don't know that, sir.
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other questions?
7 MS. SKELCY: I have no other questions.
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Sanghvi?
9 MR. SANGHVI: I think you want to recognize
10 the fact that this is not part of Twelve Oaks II, and
11 this is part of Fountain Walk. And the way their
12 service drive there to be constructed, it's a little
13 bad, it's very hard to see anything from Novi Road
14 about the front of this particular property we are
15 talking about.
16 But, yeah, it is a large property, yes, and
17 it requires a little larger sign than what normally
18 people would have for that side of the building.
19 So I have no problem with the larger sign,
20 but I don't think you are ever going to be able to see
21 it (inaudible) from Novi Road, whatever you sign a put
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any further discussion?
24 Member Skelcy?
25 MS. SKELCY: I think my point is that, since
1 you can't see it, why does it need to be bigger.
2 Because once you get at the end, I think it's Donaldson
3 Road, the sign is very clear. The building is straight
4 ahead, it's right through the driveway into the
5 Fountain Walk. It's very large, so that's my point,
6 that it's already a pretty big sign. It can be seen
7 right at the intersection.
8 MR. SANGHVI: I think if you put a much
9 smaller on the big building to me, doesn't like
10 esthetically acceptable. It looks very tiny on a huge
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I tend to agree with
13 Member Sanghvi. It is such a large space, but if you
14 have a -- it doesn't mean you have a sign commensurate
15 with the space, but it does seem it would make a
16 difference. Realistically, you're requesting 25 extra
17 square feet. I mean, he is allowed 65 square feet, is
18 that correct?
19 MR. BOULARD: That's correct.
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: He is asking for 30 by
21 three, which is 90, so it seems it's not -- to me, it
22 seems it's not unreasonable for the circumstances.
23 Any other discussion by the Board?
24 MR. GEDEON: I was -- I mean, this was -- I
25 pointed out earlier, but just to clarify that. The
1 other sign, the sign that is coming down, was even
2 larger, 114.7, even if it wasn't -- even if it did have
3 white space on there. I don't have a problem with
4 what's requested.
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Then, if there is no
6 further discussion, I will entertain a motion by the
7 board. Member Krieger?
8 MS. KRIEGER: In Case No. 11-016, Powerhouse
9 Gym, west of Novi Road, south of Twelve Mile Road, I
10 move to approve the request for the applicant of
11 Powerhouse Gym to give them a 90 square foot sign that
12 this -- the road that goes to -- from West Oaks to
13 Fountain Walk is curved, it makes it difficult for
14 travelers to find this fitness workout area.
15 That the request is based upon circumstances
16 or features that are exceptional and unique to this
17 property, is proportionally correct for this building.
18 The failure to grant relief will unreasonably
19 prevent or limit the use of the property and the
20 grant -- the relief will not result in use of structure
21 that is incompatible with or unreasonably interferes
22 with adjacent or surrounding properties. And I would
23 make this sign request for this tenant.
24 MR. SANGHVI: Second.
25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Seeing a motion and a
1 second, any further discussion?
2 Seeing none, Mr. Pawlowski, will you please
3 call the roll.
4 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Cassis?
5 MR. CASSIS: Yes.
6 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?
7 MR. GEDEON: Yes.
8 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes.
10 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?
11 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.
12 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?
13 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.
14 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?
15 MS. SKELCY: No.
16 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes five to one.
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you, sir. It's been
19 MR. FITZGERALD: Thanks for being reasonable.
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Next is item is No. 7,
21 which was requested to be adjourned to July, correct?
22 MS. PAWLOWSKI: That is correct.
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Do we need a quick motion
24 on that, just to adjourn it to July?
25 MS. KUDLA: Yes.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: It's July what? What is
2 the specific date?
3 MS. PAWLOWSKI: July 12th.
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I will entertain a motion
5 to adjourn Item No. 7 for Case No. 11-017 to the July
6 12th, 2011 meeting.
7 MR. SANGHVI: So moved.
8 MS. KRIEGER: Second.
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: All in favor say aye.
10 THE BOARD: Aye.
11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any opposed? Seeing none,
12 it passes. That is adjourned to July.
13 Next is Item No. 8, Case No. 11-018 for 1181
14 West Lake Drive. Is the applicant here?
15 MR. DISMONDY: Yes.
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please state your name and
18 MR. DISMONDY: My name is David Dismondy,
19 1181 West Lake Drive, Novi.
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please raise your right
21 hand to be sworn.
22 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or affirm to tell
23 the truth?
24 MR. DISMONDY: Good evening. I have been
25 here a couple of different times for a few different
1 projects on this property.
2 I'm going to put an aerial up here, so you
3 guys can remember kind of how unique this peninsula
4 property is on Walled Lake. Does it zoom in.
5 These two properties -- these two are my
6 families homes here. And this is an easement right
7 here, that runs through the middle of the property to
8 service this end home.
9 And in the past, there is an empty lot right
10 here, this is the lot we are talking about. In the
11 past, when I built the new house right here
12 (indicating), I had a garage approved to be built on
13 this lot. What we thought was, it was approved to be
14 built in the middle of the lot, and the lot could be
15 used, it would feel more open, if there was a few more
16 alternatives that we thought of. So I was in front of
17 you folks back in October, I believe, to remove this
18 garage, and put one garage in here, so it was more
19 open. It would be a three-car garage instead of two
20 separate two-car garages.
21 Unfortunately, it requires a use easement
22 between the two homes, and it was denied. So the
23 suggestion at that meeting was, well, Dave, why don't
24 you just come back and get a variance, put a new garage
25 on this empty lot, as close as you can to the property
1 line, to be somewhat of a compromise, I suppose.
2 So, that's why I'm here. The lot is so
3 small, that any time we built on this property, it's
4 going to have some issues with variances.
5 In your package, you will also have the plans
6 of the architecture. What we had him do was, again, to
7 maintain somewhat of an open feel, remember there is a
8 regular two-car garage just to the adjacent lot. We
9 are going to make this new garage, this right side
10 would be open, like a carport, so you can see out to
11 the lake, kind of maximize your light that is generated
12 because it's looking west, there is a lot of light that
13 comes, and a breeze. So, that's where we are at with
15 So essentially, the three variances that I'm
16 here to request, which are in your package, are --
17 since this is a peninsula, is weird, you guys --
18 legally, I guess, it's considered a detached garage in
19 the front, in the front of the house. It's just
20 because of the way the lot is designed, so that's one
21 of the variances. You recall that from before? So
22 that's one of the of variances I'm asking for. It's
23 called a detached accessory building in the front yard.
24 Next one is, any time I am less than six feet
25 from an interior lot line, a variance is required. We
1 are going to be two feet from the line, so the variance
2 would be four that I'm requesting.
3 And also when you put this garage here, which
4 is 24-foot wide, it's creating the minimum side yard
5 setback cumulative of 10 feet, so -- I'm sorry,
6 cumulative of 25 feet.
7 So when your lot is only 45 foot wide, and
8 you have a 24-foot garage, you're going to have a
9 four-foot variance again.
10 So that's the reason I'm here. If you have
11 any questions, I'm happy to answer them.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you, sir. Is there
13 anybody in the public who would like to address this
14 particular request?
15 Seeing none, I will close the public remarks
16 section, have ask the secretary to read any
18 MS. SKELCY: Seventy-nine notes were mailed,
19 four were returned, and there is two objections.
20 There is an objection from David Boyer at
21 1191 West Lake Drive, Novi, Michigan.
22 I object for the following reasons. Firstly,
23 we live on a small peninsula with six homes sharing it.
24 We have a 10-foot easement running through the center
25 of the peninsula for ingress/egress which we all share.
1 Dismondy's plan to construct a two-story 19
2 foot tall garage within a couple feet of that easement,
3 according to the plans he gave us, which in my opinion,
4 is an unsafe placement.
5 This garage is an additional structure on the
6 this very tight peninsula almost as large as the homes
7 there. His entrance/exit to this garage is right onto
8 the easement, thus, backing onto the road more than
9 half your vehicle would be in the easement before you
10 could see any cars, or pedestrians traveling through.
11 This placement of the garage structure also,
12 and just as important to me, is the loss of my views,
13 which we as lake front owners cherish. The all around
14 views which one reason I bought on this peninsula.
15 Views from my second floor as well as my patio area
16 would be blocked.
17 I live adjacent to the 1185 West Lake Drive
18 property known as the green house. And I understand
19 the importance of improvements to our properties, but
20 it should not block our views.
21 The solution to the problem would be to move
22 the location of the garage along the north borderline
23 of 1181 West Lake Drive, facing to the south, along the
24 privacy fence.
25 This would be the only location that would
1 resolve the issues I mentioned, improve the safe
2 navigation onto the easement and least obstruction to
3 the neighbors.
4 Lastly, when adding a structure in a very
5 tight peninsula area, the homeowner should be looking
6 for the least obstructions, and the best fit for all of
7 us. To place this where he is asking will look more
8 like row of homes on both sides of the easements, and
9 as I have heard, said by others, like an alley-way.
10 The other objection comes from Tom and Patty
11 Harvey of 1195 West Lake Drive.
12 There are three concerns about this request
13 for variances for a garage structure. One, the
14 existing drawing shows a structure which is too high
15 for the property, thus blocking the lake view for our
16 neighbor. The structure has a larger second floor than
17 actual garage area. This appears to be a very large
18 structure for such a small piece of property.
19 Two, by building this structure so close to
20 the existing private drive, backing out of the garage
21 may create a safety issue. Perhaps, rotating the
22 garage 90 degrees and moving it so it lines up with an
23 existing neighbor's garage to the north would be a
24 better choice.
25 Three, we support the need for a garage for
1 the Dismondy family, but we also support Mr. Boyer's
2 concerns. Perhaps, a two-car garage of appropriate
3 size would serve the purpose better.
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you. Any comments
5 from the City?
6 MR. BOULARD: If I could ask the petitioner a
7 question. Just to verify, the intent -- intended use
8 of the upper portion, or the attic portion under that
9 roof is not for the living space?
10 MR. DISMONDY: It's unfinished attic space,
11 because we don't have garages, so that would be just
13 MR. BOULARD: That's the intended use of
15 MR. DISMONDY: Correct.
16 MR. BOULARD: Thank you.
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I will open it up to the
18 board for discussion. Member Sanghvi.
19 MR. SANGHVI: Thank you, Mr. Chair. I think
20 the gentleman was before us, I astutely remember him.
21 And I also went and saw the property and all that. I
22 don't think there have very many options, where they
23 can put their cars in the garage. I have no
24 difficulties supporting his application. Thank you.
25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other questions or
1 comments? Member Krieger?
2 MS. KRIEGER: Question. Does your mom still
3 live in the house next-door?
4 MR. DISMONDY: Yes.
5 MS. KRIEGER: I guess, I think this idea is
6 really cool. The previous idea I had was that if the
7 old house that your mom was in, was an older model, to
8 put a garage there, and then have like all open space
9 across from you. But you know what's best for you.
10 MR. DISMONDY: I can appreciate that. We had
11 a lot of different options on the table, but since
12 there is two homes, we couldn't come up with a one
13 garage idea that made sense value-wise, and to conform
14 within, I don't know, the rules of zoning, type of
15 rules. So, you know, since we have to keep these --
16 this lot as two separate -- we have to use two -- one
17 household is going to have to be without a garage,
19 MS. KRIEGER: So I agree with the previous
20 speaker, that the garage would be necessary for the
21 house and that this petition is acceptable. Thank you.
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Skelcy?
23 MS. SKELCY: I just have a question for the
24 City. Mr. Boulard, in your experience, is the 19 feet
25 unusually high, or is it pretty standard height for
2 MR. BOULARD: I was just going -- I
3 apologize -- the numbers are very fairly small. I
4 believe the 19 feet is to the ridge, and the zoning
5 ordinary allows accessory buildings to be a maximum of
6 14 feet, but that's measured to the mid point f the
7 rise, half way between the eave and the ridge. So the
8 roof is steeper than some garages, but it's not
9 abnormally steep.
10 MS. SKELCY: Thank you. I would have no
11 problem supporting this. Thank you.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I just have a few
13 comments. Number one, you live in Michigan, I don't
14 have any problem with the garage, I know we have had a
15 number of houses on the lake that wanted garages.
16 That's not even an issue for me.
17 And with the way these lots were drawn up
18 years ago, you know, they don't necessarily conform to
19 our current codes, which would be impossible to
20 retrofit this. So certainly it's not, you know, of
21 your doing, so I don't have problem. I mean, it's your
22 house. I can't -- I don't sit and micromanage how to
23 shift this, all of that. I mean, that's really beyond
24 my expertise also, I don't really have a problem with
25 the way you have proposed this either.
1 MR. DISMONDY: Thank you.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other questions,
3 comments or discussion? If not, I will entertain a
4 motion. Member Skelcy?
5 MS. SKELCY: I move that in the case of
6 11-018, 1181 West Lake Drive, that the requested
7 variance of an accessory building be permitted to be
8 erected in a front yard, that the requested variance to
9 have the -- to have the detached accessory building
10 located closer than six feet to the interior side, or
11 rear lot, and that the maximum side yard setback of
12 10 feet and accumulative 25 feet, in this R4 zoning
13 district, be waived and that the variance be granted.
14 This is based on the fact that a practical
15 difficulty exists, due to the fact that there are
16 unique circumstances or any physical conditions of the
17 property, such as narrowness, shallowness, shape,
18 water, topography or similar physical conditions, and
19 the need for the variance is not due to the applicant's
20 personal and economic difficulty.
21 In particular, the peninsula area is very
22 oddly shaped, and this is one of the reasons that it is
23 a unique circumstance.
24 The need is not self-created by the owner.
25 There is strict compliance with regulations governing
1 area, setback, frontage, bulk, heighth, density and
2 other dimensional requirements will unreasonably
3 prevent the property owner from using the property, for
4 permitted purpose, or will render conformity with those
5 regulations unnecessarily burdensome.
6 The requested variance is the minimum
7 variance necessary to do substantial justice to the
8 applicant, as well as to other property owners in this
9 particular area, where the easement is located in the
11 The requested variance will not cause an
12 adverse impact on surrounding property, property values
13 or the use and enjoyment of the property in the
14 neighborhood or zoning district. And may, in fact,
15 create a positive impact on the surrounding area by
16 improving it with the garage.
17 MS. KRIEGER: Second.
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Seeing a motion and a
19 second, any further discussion?
20 Seeing none, Mr. Pawlowski, will you please
21 call the roll.
22 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Cassis?
23 MR. CASSIS: Yes.
24 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?
25 MR. GEDEON: Yes.
1 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes.
3 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?
4 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.
5 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?
6 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.
7 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?
8 MS. SKELCY: Yes.
9 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes six to zero.
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Congratulations.
11 MR. DISMONDY: Appreciate it.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Next on the agenda is Item
13 No. 9. Case No. 11-019 for 43200 Crescent Boulevard,
14 TGI Fridays.
15 MS. YOUNGER: Good evening.
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Good evening. Please
17 state your name and address.
18 MS. YOUNGER: My name is Susan Younger, and I
19 live at 12621 Lally, that is in Lowell, Michigan 49331.
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Are you an attorney,
22 MS. YOUNGER: I am not. I am the owner of
23 the Fridays.
24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: That's fine. If you could
25 please raise your right hand to be sworn in.
1 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or affirm to tell
2 the truth?
3 MS. YOUNGER: I do.
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Go ahead.
5 MS. YOUNGER: We are here to petition to get
6 another sign on our Novi TGI Fridays on the tower.
7 Currently, what we have there, is a big,
8 empty black rectangle. So when you drive east on
9 Crescent Boulevard, coming towards us, you pass by
10 three other restaurants before you get to us, and we
11 are a much lower elevation, and all you see is a big,
12 empty black rectangle. We actually had a guest comment
13 that it looked like it's a closed building, that it's
15 We have a lot of large trees, mature trees.
16 We have been there for about 16 years now, so the trees
17 that we have planted are very big, and you really have
18 a difficult time seeing the building.
19 So I wanted to put a sign on that big, black
20 rectangle. I have a picture of what it would look
21 like. You can imagine without the sign on, there,
22 that's our -- what we call, stop sign logo sign for TGI
23 Fridays, that you see at most TGI Fridays. But right
24 now see you that big, black rectangle.
25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Is that it?
1 MS. YOUNGER: That's it.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you. Is there
3 anybody in the public who would like to make a comment
4 on this particular case, raise your hand.
5 Seeing none, I will close the public remarks
6 section and ask our secretary to read the
8 MS. SKELCY: Fifteen notices were mailed, and
9 there was one return mail, and no other responses.
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any comments from the
11 City, please?
12 MR. BOULARD: No.
13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Then I will open up to the
14 Board for discussion. Member Sanghvi.
15 MR. SANGHVI: Thank you, Mr. Chair. I went
16 and saw the site. Yes, there is a blank hole there,
17 and we have quite a pleasing sign. I am not sure how
18 much of that will be visible because of the way those
19 trees maturing. I think it's still going to block, in
20 some way the, sign. But if they think that that will
21 help their business, I have no problem.
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other comments or
23 questions? Member Skelcy?
24 MS. SKELCY: I have a question. Do you feel
25 that you still need the sign on -- facing south on the
1 building? Because when I drove by, they're like --
2 it's so close together.
3 MS. YOUNGER: But when you come from the
4 other direction, when you're coming from -- would that
5 be south or from the east, you really -- you don't even
6 see that sign. I mean, it's -- you have to get right
7 up to the door before you see that one.
8 But I still think, that front sign, where it
9 says TGI Fridays, I mean, that's a beautiful travertine
10 tile, but I think blank, it would almost look like
11 unfinished plywood.
12 I mean, it's not -- you know, it's just a
13 big, blank wall. It wouldn't be attractive for the
14 area, I don't think.
15 MS. SKELCY: Okay, thank you very much.
16 MS. YOUNGER: Thank you.
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Cassis?
18 MR. CASSIS: Sounds like esthetic
20 MS. YOUNGER: It's esthetic, but like I said,
21 we have had lots of guests comment that it looks like
22 we are closed, like we took the sign down, that it's a
23 vacant building with that big blank over there.
24 MR. CASSIS: I frequent your place. I have
25 no problem knowing it's a TGI Fridays, believe me.
1 You know, I'm not going to go along this,
2 because they're so close. The building is identified
3 as a TGI Fridays. I mean, I have seen them all over.
4 I don't see -- I'm sorry, but I don't see that it
5 really increases the traffic into that place. I mean,
6 most people are coming -- traverse from Novi Road,
7 going east, and this would face the south, which is the
8 shopping center, I guess.
9 MS. YOUNGER: This faces the west, I believe.
10 MR. CASSIS: Okay.
11 MS. YOUNGER: So if you're going across the
12 Novi Road bridge, and you look over, all you see is a
13 big black square, so if you're new shopping in the
14 area, you definitely wouldn't see it's a TGI Fridays.
15 MR. CASSIS: My other worry is, how many
16 others on that -- you know, there are other
17 restaurants. When we start getting others that say,
18 well, wait a minute, can we put another sign.
19 And I remember that they came before us for
20 the original sign. I still remember that. We had
21 quite a discussion.
22 Those are my opinions. I'm not really
23 against it that much, but I don't see that it enhances
24 her visibility as a TGI Fridays. Thank you,
25 Mr. Chairman.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you. Member Gedeon?
2 MR. GEDEON: My question in regards to the
3 orientation of the building with respect to the road.
4 Does the wall that currently has the -- just the
5 letters, the TGI Fridays letter sign, is that wall
6 parallel to the road?
7 MS. YOUNGER: Yes.
8 MR. GEDEON: Or is the building kind of
9 offset, such as the corner points to the road?
10 MS. YOUNGER: No, it's parallel with the
12 MR. GEDEON: So people coming, going
13 westbound on the road, would not see the new sign at
15 MS. YOUNGER: Correct.
16 MR. GEDEON: So it's only for people who are
17 going eastbound. Okay. Thank you.
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Krieger?
19 MS. KRIEGER: Is there a sign on the north
20 side that says TGI Fridays?
21 MS. YOUNGER: There is a sign on the north
22 side facing the highway.
23 MS. KRIEGER: It's lit in the morning or at
25 MS. YOUNGER: At night. It is the red
1 letters on the red brick.
2 MS. KRIEGER: That actually would be a third
4 MS. YOUNGER: It would.
5 MS. KRIEGER: I agree that it's esthetically
6 pleasing, but I find that it would be hard thing to
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anything else? Just in
9 terms of my putting my two cents in, I tend to agree
10 with Member Krieger. You do have two signs. The
11 objective is not to give you a sign in every single
12 direction of traffic that may come. The question is,
13 what is the practical difficulty, how could you not use
14 your building, it would only be the sign. I mean,
15 certainly -- you have been there for how many years
17 MS. YOUNGER: We have been there for 16
19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yeah. Understanding that,
20 certainly there will be new patrons in the area, but if
21 you're coming east or west, you're going to see the
22 sign that's facing the south. And I understand that
23 will be more signage for eastbound traffic, but to me,
24 it does seem to be overkill.
25 I don't know that there is any consistency in
1 the neighborhood for three signs, so I would not be in
3 Any other questions or comments?
4 MR. CASSIS: By the way, Mr. Chairman, I this
5 tower is an addition. It is not 16 years old. The
6 tower, that's why I remember --
7 MS. YOUNGER: Yes, we spent about $600,000 to
8 remodel in 2006. We've been good citizens of Novi.
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anything else? I will
10 entertain a motion, if there is no other comments. Any
11 motions, comments?
12 MR. GEDEON: I will make a motion.
13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Gedeon?
14 MR. GEDEON: In Case No. 11-019, TGI Fridays,
15 I motion to deny -- I move to deny the request as --
16 the request for the reasons that the difficulties faced
17 by the applicant are not unique to themselves, they're
18 same issues faced by the other property owners in the
19 area. Also, that if we were to grant the request, we
20 may have to face further requests from additional --
21 from competing businesses, and that the use of the
22 business is 16 -- in 16 years, this has not been a
23 problem for the business, and it should be not a
24 problem to continue as is.
25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any seconds?
1 MS. KRIEGER: Second.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any further discussion?
3 Seeing none, Ms. Pawlowski, will you please
4 call the roll.
5 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Cassis?
6 MR. CASSIS: Yes.
7 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?
8 MR. GEDEON: Yes.
9 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes.
11 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?
12 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.
13 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?
14 MR. SANGHVI: No.
15 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?
16 MS. SKELCY: Yes.
17 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes five to one.
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Sorry, ma'am. Your
19 request has been denied.
20 Next on the agenda is Item No. 10. Case No.
21 11-020 for 27754 Novi Road, Thomasville Furniture.
22 Please approach.
23 Please state your name and address.
24 MR. SCHAEFER: Lawrence Schaefer, 23920
25 Amberg, Warren, Michigan.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Can you please raise your
2 right hand right to be sworn by our secretary.
3 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or affirm to tell
4 the truth?
5 MR. SCHAEFER: Yes.
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please proceed.
7 MR. SCHAEFER: This is the Thomasville
8 building. Previously it was La-Z-Boy. La-Z-Boy had
9 the one main sign over the entrance, and they had one
10 facing Novi Road, this one over here (indicating).
11 We would like to replace those two, and then
12 also have one facing the expressway. So this parcel is
13 down, the building is low. When you're coming off the
14 expressway, you can barely see it, and we have -- we
15 put a banner up there to show what the signs would look
16 like, and that it was needed.
17 Also, when you're on Novi Road, there is no
18 visibility there. So, you know, no sign there, so we
19 need that one.
20 When you come into the complex, it's very
21 difficult to know where this building is. If you make
22 a turn at the wrong street, then you got to come in
23 from the back way, and everything, and it's very
25 So what we're requesting is actually one sign
1 additionally more than what La-Z-Boy had. And
2 basically, that's about it.
3 I mean, we're going to the sign over the
4 front wall, which is permitted, then we are requesting
5 two other signs that are not permitted, or not in the
7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. Thank you, sir. Is
8 there anybody in the public who would like to make a
9 comment on this case, raise your hand.
10 MS. ALEXANDER: I'm here representing
11 representative of Thomasville retail, so --
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Go ahead. You want make
13 to a statement as part of the case?
14 MS. ALEXANDER: I just wanted -- he's pretty
15 much stated it, but our position --
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Before you proceed, just
17 state your name and address.
18 MS. ALEXANDER: Natasha Alexander. My
19 personal address is 2480 Holland Court, Aurora,
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: If you could raise your
22 right hand to be sworn.
23 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or affirm to tell
24 the truth?
25 MS. ALEXANDER: I do.
1 MS. SKELCY: Thank you.
2 MS. ALEXANDER: In addition to what he
3 stated, my position is representing the company itself.
4 And we felt that it's imperative to the success of our
5 retail establishment, to have the additional signage,
6 so that consumers can see us, for the visibility of
7 knowing where the store is located. That is our
8 concern. The previous owner that was there, is no
9 longer there, they did fail. And we want to make sure
10 that there is visibility, so that we have the
11 opportunity to be successful in the Novi area.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you, ma'am. Now I
13 will open it up to the public for any public comments
14 on this particular case.
15 Seeing none, I will close the public remarks
16 section and ask our secretary to read any
18 MS. SKELCY: Fourteen notices were mailed,
19 and two were returned by the post office.
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Open it up to the City for
22 MR. BOULARD: Just a couple points of
23 clarification. There is one sign permitted by right.
24 Included in the three signs there in the application
25 are the existing -- my mistake, the existing pylon sign
1 that was specific to La-Z-Boy only. You would like to
2 have that sign say --
3 MR. SCHAEFER: Yes.
4 MR. BOULARD: Say Thomasville. So in
5 addition to those, you're requesting the third sign,
6 that is the two -- the other 66 square feet, is that
8 MR. SCHAEFER: Correct.
9 MR. BOULARD: So the three signs are --
10 basically the one that's existing, is allowed by right.
11 The revised space on the previously approved sign, then
12 another wall sign, is that correct?
13 MR. SCHAEFER: We're requesting -- well, we
14 are requesting three wall signs and the continued use
15 of the small directional pylon sign, which is very
16 small, which was approved before. So actually, we're
17 allowed one wall sign. We're requesting that wall
18 sign, plus two others, two additional, and then the one
19 that was a ground sign.
20 MR. BOULARD: Because the request is for
21 three signs total. When the pylon -- the ground sign
22 was approved previously, it specifically had to be
24 MR. SCHAEFER: Had to be what?
25 MR. BOULARD: La-Z-Boy.
1 MR. SCHAEFER: So we need to have that in
2 our --
3 MR. BOULARD: So that may be a separate
4 issue. So beyond the sign that was approved
5 previously, you're requesting three wall signs total,
6 is that correct?
7 MR. SCHAEFER: Correct.
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Just to clarify. You said
9 one is allowed by right. So two wall signs and one --
10 the change of the face of the ground sign, does that
11 make sense?
12 MR. BOULARD: Right, the ground sign was
13 not -- if the -- based on the fact, that there was an
14 application for three signs, the ground sign would not
15 be -- would not have been -- was not included, so we'll
16 have to deal with it separately, have to do it in a
17 separate application. Because that was La-Z-Boy.
18 But I just wanted to clarify, three signs
19 that you're asking for then, are the three wall signs,
20 one of which is allowed by right?
21 MR. SCHAEFER: Correct. Three wall signs. I
22 mean, then is this ground sign approved? I mean, okay
23 to use?
24 MR. BOULARD: It was approved previously. It
25 was approved previously for La-Z-Boy only. So it can
1 only say La-Z-Boy on it without a variance. That's
2 what the letter that you got from Ms. Nyland had.
3 MR. SCHAEFER: Yes. But the way that was
4 stated, I thought it meant that, you know, since it was
5 already approved, then it would be okay now.
6 MR. BOULARD: It says, however, that variance
7 was specific to the previous tenant.
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: That was not advertised
9 today, the change of the face of the ground sign.
10 MR. BOULARD: No. So I just wanted to
11 confirm that the application is for the three signs,
12 all wall signs?
13 MR. SCHAEFER: Yes. We would have to come
14 back then for the ground sign?
15 MR. BOULARD: Yes.
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: So given that, I will open
17 it up to the Board for discussion.
18 By the way, is there anything else from the
19 City, any other comments?
20 MS. KUDLA: No.
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Skelcy.
22 MS. SKELCY: Okay. So when I drove through
23 there, and I drove on the side facing south, I don't
24 know that the expressway people coming up the service
25 drive can even see that sign. And the one off of Novi
1 is -- I think, you know, I could be okay with that,
2 because it really does show where you're located.
3 But, you know, I'm not going to tell you how
4 to spend your money, but do you really want a sign up
5 there that people can't see?
6 MR. SCHAEFER: When I came off of the
7 expressway, to go to Novi Road, I looked to the right
8 and I seen the sign. You know, the banner that we put
9 up for where the location of the sign would be, I could
10 see it very clearly.
11 MS. SKELCY: Okay.
12 MR. SCHAEFER: We put a banner up there, and
13 we put a banner up on Twelve Mile -- excuse me, Novi
14 Road also.
15 MS. SKELCY: Thank you.
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Gedeon?
17 MR. GEDEON: Question for the City. Why is
18 this not considered a freeway parcel that would be
19 entitled to another sign on the freeway? If it's just
20 a matter of different zoning, I mean, that's fine. You
21 don't have to site the specific case. I just want to
22 make sure that it wasn't overlooked.
23 MR. BOULARD: I believe that's the case.
24 MR. GEDEON: And to the rest of the Board, I
25 would just -- I find this case very comparable to the
1 redesign of the Hotel Baronette, which was also on the
2 mall road, which requested signs, I think, on all three
3 sides, which I believe we approved.
4 So I'd be inclined to approve this, if
5 nothing else for the sake for consistency.
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other comments?
7 Member Cassis?
8 MR. CASSIS: It looks like we are considering
9 four signs here. There would be one more sign coming
10 in the future. And Thomasville is a great name. It's
11 a great name. I think they used to have one on
12 Grand River, if I'm not mistaken. In fact, I shopped
13 in there. And the book restaurant, Library.
14 You know, I'm with my colleagues, I don't
15 want to tell you how to spend your money, but, you
16 know, four signs is a lot of signs for one building.
17 It's a lot of signs.
18 This structure is part of Twelve Oaks mall.
19 Thomasville advertises, if I'm not mistaken, in the
20 Yellow Pages, so on.
21 It's not like a restaurant that, oh, there is
22 Denny's, let's go there. Thomasville comes because
23 people say, we're shopping for furniture, Art Van,
24 Thomasville, Baker, Henredon, whatever. It seems to
25 me, the proliferation for signs for Thomasville is not
1 really, really essential to bring business.
2 MR. SCHAEFER: The biggest problem is trying
3 to find the building.
4 MR. CASSIS: Let me finish.
5 MR. SCHAEFER: Excuse me.
6 MR. CASSIS: You know, I'm struggling with my
7 age, and how long I have been in this community. Ten
8 years ago, I would have let him have more than one
9 sign. I mean, we have been -- I don't mean to prolong
10 this, but we have been very, very liberal on this Board
11 in giving all kind of signs. And Thomasville hasn't
12 even come into the picture yet. You haven't -- how
13 long have you been operating there?
14 MR. SCHAEFER: They're not open yet, no.
15 MR. CASSIS: Well, how do you know that your
16 destination is going to lack customers? You're not
17 going to get customers because you don't have four
18 signs. I don't understand this.
19 MR. SCHAEFER: Yeah, but if they can't find
20 the building --
21 MR. CASSIS: How do you know they won't find
23 MR. SCHAEFER: Well, the way it's positioned,
24 on that lot, and it's down low, and if you can see it
25 coming off the expressway, then you already know, then
1 you have an idea where you're going to start looking to
2 find it.
3 And I was just looking at the application
4 here, it says, the applicant is requesting a variance
5 to allow alterations of the face of the monument sign.
6 So we are asking for a variance on the
7 monument sign.
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You're suggesting that's
10 MR. SCHAEFER: Pardon?
11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Where is that stated?
12 MR. SCHAEFER: Right on the request for the
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I see that. Is it in your
15 application, sir? Because I don't see it in your
17 MR. SCHAEFER: I don't know. It says the
18 applicant is requesting a variance to allow the
19 alterations, and we presented the sign and everything.
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Hold on one second.
21 MS. SKELCY: The public message --
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I just want to ask them --
23 get through this one issue, if you don't mind.
24 The applicant is suggesting that as part of
25 the write-up that they did request to change the face
1 of the monument sign, and that should be voted on
2 tonight. Is that accurate?
3 MR. BOULARD: Yes, and it was advertised.
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: It was advertised.
5 MR. BOULARD: I stand corrected. The total
6 is four signs, one allowed by right. Two additional
7 wall signs for a total of three wall signs, but the two
8 additional 66 square foot wall signs, and the change in
9 face to allow for a tenant or whatnot.
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: So your all issues are
11 before the Board, yes, sir.
12 MR. SCHAEFER: The monument sign, in reality,
13 is more of a directional sign. It's only two foot,
14 three, by three-foot six, so it's a very, very small
15 monument sign.
16 It's just, once you're coming around, you see
17 it there, then you know where the driveway is to enter.
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Skelcy, do you have
19 any --
20 MS. SKELCY: No.
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other questions by the
22 Board? Member Krieger?
23 MS. KRIEGER: For the monument sign, I would
24 agree, for directional purposes, that it is important
25 to have that. And I would be agreeable to the two wall
1 signs. Then it would be up the petitioner what side
2 you want it on.
3 Coming up the expressway, usually, if I'm
4 driving up, I'm interested in the light and turning
5 which way I'm going to go. I don't know what other
6 drivers would be doing it, if they're going to a
7 destination, or depending on what the nature of the
8 business is, if I'm going out to eat at a restaurant at
9 night, then I'm shopping around, okay, here is this,
10 I'm going to go there, versus I'm shopping for
11 furniture, I should do my homework first, then be
12 interested in, okay, where is the business at, here it
13 is, then get there, Mapquest, et cetera.
14 That's where I'm at right now.
15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I'll make a couple
16 comments. You know, one of the things that we look at
17 in the situation of the property in relation to other
18 properties, in this case, the highway also.
19 It is an unusual piece of property.
20 Personally, I don't have a problem with changing the
21 face of a monument sign, it's already there. It makes
22 sense to change it for this particular tenancy, only.
23 That's number one. You're entitled to one wall sign.
24 The other two, although it's a closed
25 question, I tend to agree with Member Cassis. But it
1 is a little bit unusual. I would be inclined to
2 approve the additional wall signs. Because again,
3 you're facing the main road, you're facing the side
4 road, you're facing Novi Road. You have got the
5 freeway. It's little bit unusual, it is, I have to
7 So any other questions or comments by the
9 MS. SKELCY: Are you saying that you would
10 approve all of them?
11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes, I would be inclined
12 to approve all of them.
13 MS. SKELCY: Thank you.
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Sanghvi?
15 MR. SANGHVI: I agree with your comments,
16 Mr. Chair.
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other comments or
18 questions? If not, I will entertain a motion.
19 MR. GEDEON: I will, Mr. Chairman. In Case
20 11-020, Thomasville, I move to grant the variances as
22 The requests are based on circumstances and
23 features that are exceptional and unique to the
24 property, specifically, the frontage on multiple roads,
25 including the mall ring road and the freeway exit ramp.
1 The failure to grant relief will unreasonably
2 prevent the use or -- grant or limit the use of the
4 And the grant of relief will not result in a
5 use of a structure that is incompatible with or
6 unreasonably interferes with adjacent or surroundings.
7 Additionally, granting the variances would be
8 consistent with our previous variances, granted in
9 neighboring properties in the same mall development.
10 MR. SANGHVI: Second.
11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Seeing a motion and a
12 second. Any further discussion?
13 The only thing I would like to add is that we
14 allowed the change in the face of the monument sign for
15 this particular tenant, if that's acceptable?
16 MR. GEDEON: I don't see any reason to limit
17 it to a particular tenant. I think that would just --
18 I mean, the monument sign is going to be there for, you
19 know, a while, and the tenants could change, I don't
20 see a reason to do that. I mean, if the Board wants
21 that, you know, I will amend the motion.
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Is there any discussion on
23 that particular issue?
24 MR. SANGHVI: Well, as far as I'm concerned,
25 the monument sign is already there, except for changing
1 the name on it from La-Z-Boy, to whatever this business
2 is going to be, and if even the business changes, I
3 think once we have approved that, even though it was
4 only approved for a particular tenant in the past, I
5 think we need to just recognize the fact that it is a
6 necessity. Thank you.
7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I will withdraw this
9 Any further discussion?
10 Seeing none, Mr. Pawlowski, can you please
11 call the roll.
12 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Cassis?
13 MR. CASSIS: No.
14 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?
15 MR. GEDEON: Yes.
16 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes.
18 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?
19 MS. KRIEGER: No.
20 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?
21 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.
22 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?
23 MS. SKELCY: Yes.
24 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes four to two.
25 MR. SCHAEFER: Thank you very much.
1 Appreciate it.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: We will take a quick
3 five-minute break.
4 (Recess taken from 8:55 to 9:00 p.m.)
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Continuing with the
6 meeting. Next item on the agenda, I'll call Item No.
7 11-010 25100 Novi Road.
8 Will the applicant please come forward. Sir,
9 please state your name and address.
10 MR. ROLLINGER: Certainly. My name is Robert
11 Rollinger. I represent the Road Commission for Oakland
12 county. We're here the applicant on this agenda item.
13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please proceed.
14 MR. ROLLINGER: This pertains to the property
15 of 25100 Novi Road, owned by Galliano Enterprises.
16 They operate a Collex Collision shop. We are here to
17 ask the board for two different things.
18 First of all, we have requested an either/or
19 proposition. Either a -- hearings to allow a sign
20 eight feet in height to account for a two-foot tall
21 pedestal-mount sign, utilizing the Collex Collision
22 sign. This would be using the existing sign, which is
23 about 32 square feet. We have included drawings, which
24 I have copies of here.
25 That is the existing sign. Again,
1 approximately 32 square feet, four feet in height,
2 eight feet long. The sign would be placed
3 approximately three feet from the new right-of-way
4 line, again, Novi Road being widened by 10 feet.
5 Placed on a two-foot tall pedestal.
6 The height of the sign, we have attempted to
7 measure it, based on the mid-point of the sign being
8 approximately seven and a half feet in height.
9 Variance is required for this height, to allow for some
10 flexibility in actual physical location of the sign.
11 And given the embankment coming easterly from Novi
12 Road, we are asking it to be allowed to be eight and a
13 half feet tall, to account for a two-foot tall
15 The other request being made, if the Board
16 would consider is an alternative, and we were made
17 aware that the Board's feeling about pole signs, but
18 the owner has indicated a concern, and has asked us to
19 as well, submit to the Board, the request for the Board
20 to consider as an alternative, a pole sign.
21 We think, again, based on the embankment the
22 height of the sign and size of the sign would probably
23 have to be approximately 10 feet in height, for the
24 pole itself, with the sign again, being four feet in
25 height. So it would be approximately 14 feet in
1 height, if a pole sign were to be allowed.
2 The owner is also here, and they do have
3 further information on that alternative that they did
4 want to share with the Board.
5 The other request that is being made by the
6 Road Commission is for the Board to allow a secondary
7 sign, which would be a sign that would be placed on the
8 Collex building itself, on the north face of
9 approximately 30 square feet.
10 We have, as well, a drawing which should have
11 been submitted for the Board's consideration.
12 Again, it's similar in terms of the use of
13 the lettering, the size of the lettering itself, what
14 we did is we used visibility measurements based on
15 750 feet of visibility as one travels even northbound
16 or southbound, given the bridge embankment and size to
17 be able to see these signs for the visible distance of
18 750 feet. The lettering would be 18 inches in height.
19 And I'm going to step aside so that
20 Mr. Galliano can make a further presentation, too, at
21 this time.
22 MR. GALLIANO: Good evening. Rob Galliano
23 with Collex Collision and Galliano Enterprises.
24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Raise your right hand to
25 be sworn.
1 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or affirm to tell
2 the truth?
3 MR. GALLIANO: I do. Just due to the unique
4 circumstances here, with this road construction and the
5 positioning of our building, our preference would be to
6 go with the pole sign. Now, I know Novi doesn't have a
7 fondness for pole signs, however, we can assure you
8 that we won't take a piece of telephone pole and nail a
9 piece of plywood to it and call it good. We would
10 provide for a nice, marquis style pole sign out there,
11 that would allow us to be seen, because essentially,
12 with the variances that were granted, the construction
13 of the road, and the height of the road, we are going
14 to be stuck in a hole down there.
15 So, what we are asking for is what you folks
16 did for the Harold Frame's Shop on Grand River, who is
17 in a similar situation, who has a pole sign similar to
18 what we are requesting. Actually theirs is much larger
19 than what we're proposing here, but there is a pole
20 sign, and it was granted to Harold's Frame Shop on
21 Grand River there, north side of Grand River as you're
22 coming down the -- coming down the hill there, that
23 goes over the railroad tracks. So we are asking for
24 the same consideration. And I would ask that you
25 approve that, versus the alternative.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay.
2 MS. WEEKLEY: Rebecca Weekley, General
3 Counsel for Collex Collision. I'm mostly going to go
4 put on the overhead here. A picture of the pole sign
5 that was granted for Harold's Frame Shop. Obviously,
6 as Mr. Galliano stated, our sign is not going to be
7 anywhere near the heighth of this sign. However, the
8 width -- the marquis would be larger, than what Harold
10 Again, I represent the tenant. Of paramount
11 importance in this, is being able to be seen. I know
12 that that sounds crazy, but we are going to be in a
13 hole. There is a huge hill and a bridge abutment, an
14 embankment, and, you know, our frontage on Novi Road is
15 essentially gone now.
16 So our main concern is to be able to actually
17 be seen from the road. I know that that's been issued,
18 you know, this evening and for other businesses, where,
19 in this case, it is an actual issue for our business
20 because we are going to be in a hole.
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Just before you leave, I
22 know we are going to get questions later, what's the
23 size or the heighth of the sign that you're requesting?
24 MS. WEEKLEY: Do we have our heighth?
25 MR. GALLIANO: Fourteen.
1 MR. ROLLINGER: For which one?
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: The pole sign.
3 MR. ROLLINGER: The pole sign, it would be 14
5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anybody else going to
6 speak on behalf of the petitioner?
7 MR. ROLLINGER: The only other thing, I did
8 want to do, and I may ask Mr. O'Brien if he could step
9 forward, because I had smaller drawings, part of the
10 packet of information that we provided to the Board,
11 were two drawings.
12 One of which is the plan sheet, which again,
13 I have the smaller version, Mr. O'Brien has the larger
14 version. Again, it's just an attempt to depict for the
15 Board, what the physical locations would be for both
16 the building sign, and if the board was more inclined
17 to want the pedestal sign, where we see that, then we
18 can also point out, where if the Board was favorably
19 inclined to have the pole sign, where we foresee that
20 to be located.
21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: If you could just state
22 your name.
23 MR. O'BRIEN: Jeff O'Brien. I'm with the
24 Road Commission for Oakland County.
25 What you're looking at here, essentially, is
1 this is Collex Collision's building, in this location
2 along the north face of the wall right now, we would
3 be -- this would be where a proposed ground mount sign
4 and/or the pedestal sign would be located.
5 They would be located in the same location,
6 so depending on which essentially with -- is approved,
7 they would be in the location. With regards to -- if a
8 pedestal mount type sign is -- moves forward, then the
9 sign on the north face would be on the north corner of
10 the actual building itself, from a location
12 MR. ROLLINGER: I just thought that would be
14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I'm sorry?
15 MR. ROLLINGER: I thought that would be
16 helpful, so the Board could see what we have in mind.
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anybody else want to speak
18 on behalf of the petitioner or owner or the tenant?
19 I'll open it for public for any public
20 remarks. If anybody from the public would like to
21 speak on this particular case, please raise your hand.
22 Seeing none, I will close the public remarks
23 section. Turn it over to our secretary to read any
25 MS. SKELCY: There were nine notices mailed,
1 no responses and no returns mailed.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any additional comments by
3 the City?
4 MR. BOULARD: One of the things that I think
5 you're aware of, is that the next case, or the next two
6 cases, are actually to add additional language to the
7 portions of this variance for this property, and for
8 another property that were requested by the court, in
9 this case, some additional language.
10 And so that would also -- that request would
11 also apply to this request, assuming that there is a
12 motion to move forward.
13 Just as a point of clarification, the 14 feet
14 for the sign, the proposed pole sign would be to the
15 top of the sign, is that correct? I know that when we
16 met last time, there was a lot of discussion about how
17 high above rails, and so on. What would that 14 feet
18 be measured from? Is that from the road surface, from
19 the grade, average grade or what? Can you --
20 MR. ROLLINGER: I believe it would be -- pole
21 height would have to be -- where would it be measured
23 MR. BOULARD: Right. It would be from the
24 road surface at that point, or would it be from the
25 ground? The reason I ask is, there is going to be
1 significant grade there, correct?
2 MR. O'BRIEN: Off the back of the sidewalk,
3 if I can point here, the sidewalk runs through here,
4 this is the right-of-way line, and from the sidewalk
5 down to the existing ground, there is a slope of about
6 a one on four slope.
7 The 14 feet would be measured essentially
8 from the back curb grade, which would -- if you were to
9 measure the top of the sign from the existing grade,
10 where the foundation of the pole is, it would be
11 approximately -- perhaps three feet taller than
12 14 feet, so ultimately be measured from the existing
13 ground, where you put the pole sign, physically place
14 it, it would be about 17 feet to the top of the sign.
15 MR. BOULARD: But the top of the sign will be
16 a maximum -- proposed would be a maximum 14 feet from
17 the back of the adjacent curb, correct?
18 MR. ROLLINGER: Correct.
19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other comments from
20 the City? Seeing none, I will open it up to the Board
21 for discussion. Member Sanghvi?
22 MR. SANGHVI: (Inaudible).
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Skelcy.
24 MS. SKELCY: I am having trouble
25 understanding how high it's going to be, so on this
1 diagram where we see the monument sign placed on the
2 diagram, how much -- how many feet high above the
3 ground will the road be, and will -- and the second
4 part of the question is, does the hill over the track,
5 is that right next to it, or is it already graded out
6 flat? Do you understand my question?
7 MR. O'BRIEN: I think so. Okay. Let me take
8 a stab at it. If I don't answer it, then, you can
9 follow it up.
10 On the second sheet here, this hopefully will
11 help out. This one here was a rendition of the actual
12 ground mount sign itself in the location that I pointed
13 out on the plan sheet, so essentially along the north
15 What you're looking at here, is a
16 cross-section of the road. So if you were to go look
17 in the center of Novi Road and dig a hole, dead center
18 of Novi Road, and look towards the north, this is kind
19 of what you would see. See the pavement, see the
20 curbs, you would see the slopes going down, existing
21 ground, okay.
22 As you see here, this is the walk, this would
23 be back of the curb, and the pole sign would be located
24 essentially here (indicating). Sorry, my freehand, is
25 not all that good.
1 So from the back of the curb, to the top of
2 the sign, plus or minus 14 feet, then from the existing
3 grade, because the actual grade falls away now from the
4 heighth of the walk, it's approximately 17 feet tall.
5 Does that help out?
6 MS. SKELCY: Yes.
7 MR. O'BRIEN: From a heighth perspective?
8 MS. SKELCY: Yes. I guess I want to know how
9 high above the road it would be.
10 MR. O'BRIEN: Fourteen feet.
11 MS. SKELCY: Thank you.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anymore questions? Member
14 MR. SANGHVI: I had a very similar question.
15 Because I don't know what it's going -- the visibility
16 of the monument sign and visibility of a pole sign. I
17 don't think -- one of which sign will be visible to the
18 people who are driving over the overpass. For this
19 business identification, that is what they are asking
20 for, to be visible. Then the pole sign is only way it
21 is going to be visible.
22 In doing that, I know it doesn't allow in the
23 ordinance and everywhere else, but these are very
24 special circumstances, and there is a very special case
25 here. Because it's not their fault that they are
1 building an overpass. And I would rather err on the
2 side of the property owner, in this respect, than any
3 other way. Thank you.
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Mr. Boulard?
5 MR. BOULARD: The original application from
6 the Road Commission was for the -- part of that was for
7 the pole sign, to replace that. One of the things that
8 we discussed following the previous meeting, and so on,
9 was in other cases, the Board is reticent to approve a
10 pole sign because the ordinance has a prohibition
11 against those.
12 That was the reason that we asked the Road
13 Commission to come up with an alternative. That
14 alternative would be, instead of the pole sign, to have
15 the monument sign, that's shown -- that was shown on
16 this drawing, which would provide visibility, I
17 believe, from the south and once you get over the crest
18 of the hill.
19 Mr. O'Brien also looked at the -- coming over
20 the crest of the hill, and that was why there was also
21 the suggestion of having the wall sign on the north
22 side of the building. So then as you came up over that
23 crest, that you could see that.
24 So that's why -- what's left from the
25 original variance request is the pole sign, and then
1 there is this alternative that was presented, that
2 included the sign located on the pylon -- excuse me, on
3 the ground sign essentially, on a base, in addition to
4 a wall sign on the north side, to get that additional
5 visibility. So I'm not sure if that helps much.
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Is the wall sign going to
7 be there? I mean, they're entitled to the wall sign?
8 MR. BOULARD: No, the wall sign would be --
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Part of the variance?
10 MR. BOULARD: It was suggested as an
11 alternative to the pole sign. It could be a variance
12 to allow the embankment, the little bit of buildup for
13 the ground sign because the ground slopes, and also the
14 inclusion of that wall sign.
15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other questions,
16 comments? Member Gedeon?
17 MR. GEDEON: Going back to visibility. Is
18 the purpose of the pole sign to be able to see the sign
19 before you even -- if you're going southbound, and is
20 the purpose of the pole sign to be able to see the sign
21 before you even start up -- before you have reached the
22 top of the hill?
23 MR. O'BRIEN: No. That's not the purpose.
24 The purpose is to be able to see -- right now they have
25 18-inch high lettering on the sign. So that
1 extrapolates out to a 750 foot visibility. So what we
2 did was, the heighth of the pole sign is commensurate
3 to be able to see 750 feet from the location of the
4 pole sign from the road.
5 It wasn't, you know, to be to able see the
6 sign from the opposite side of the crest of the bridge,
7 just 750 feet from the placement of the actual sign.
8 From this drawing, I can't get it all on the
9 sheet -- 750 feet from that location. So from the,
10 essentially, face of the building, and that's in line
11 with the ground mount or pole sign, 750 feet is
12 essentially located here (indicating). That's the
13 point at which -- that's what we measured from to
14 determine the heighth of the pole sign. And is to see
15 from that side, from that distance, based upon the size
16 of lettering of the existing sign.
17 MR. GEDEON: Now, obviously we don't have --
18 because the construction has already started, it's hard
19 to verify this, but, you know, previously there was a
20 dip at the railroad tracks. I know theoretically
21 you're saying that you should be able to see the sign
22 for 750 feet, but given the topography, do you think
23 that that is accurate? That it was actually visible
24 from the dip in the railroad tracks?
25 MR. O'BRIEN: The dip itself occurred, if I
1 remember correctly, just north of the tracks, right
2 about where the Rouge River crosses there. That
3 located on this plan here, is about in this location,
4 so it's just beyond the 750 feet.
5 So as you come through that dip, and you're
6 looking southbound, you're looking up the slope, and
7 providing there wasn't any vegetation in the way of
8 that sign, you know, you could start to identify it.
9 So that's what we took, kind of similar type cases.
10 MR. GEDEON: One last point. In comparison
11 to the first proposal for the ground mounted sign, is
12 it your suggestion that there would not be 750 feet
13 visibility for that ground mounted sign?
14 MR. O'BRIEN: For the ground mounted sign by
15 itself, no, there would not be.
16 MR. GEDEON: What do you mean by itself? I'm
17 saying as proposed, with the extra height added to it.
18 MR. O'BRIEN: Just so that I'm clear, there
19 is -- with a pole sign, with the sign, you know,
20 elevated, you would be able to see it. With strictly
21 the ground mount sign, the ground mount sign itself
22 would not be visible at 750 feet, that would be because
23 of the barrier wall that's associated with the
24 retaining wall as you get closer to the railroad
25 tracks. So that precludes that particular site, with
1 the -- I guess, with the second proposal, that's the
2 reason for the request for the second sign for the
3 building. Does that answer your question?
4 MR. GEDEON: So the second -- the wall sign
5 on the building is to make up for that difference of
6 the --
7 MR. ROLLINGER: Correct.
8 MR. GEDEON: Theoretically, you should be
9 able to see the building sign from that 750 distance?
10 MR. O'BRIEN: Theoretically, yes.
11 MR. ROLLINGER: Yes.
12 MR. GEDEON: Thank you.
13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Just a couple questions.
14 Does it matter one way or the other to the Road
15 Commission which proposal we would adopt? Whether it
16 be a pole sign or the other proposal?
17 MR. ROLLINGER: No, it's at the discretion of
18 the Board. We offered both because of our
19 understanding or your preference for something other
20 than a pole sign, so to take into account visibility,
21 and site distance, that's why we were looking at having
22 the monument sign and the pedestal with the secondary
23 sign on the building.
24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other questions or
25 comments? Member Krieger?
1 MS. KRIEGER: Petitioner's request was for
2 the pole sign, is that correct?
3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You mean the owner --
4 MS. WEEKLEY: The tenant and the landlord,
5 both would like the pole sign, yes.
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: And not the wall or
7 monument sign, correct?
8 MS. WEEKLEY: That's correct. We would like
9 the pole sign, yes.
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Skelcy?
11 MS. SKELCY: Based on what was said by
12 Mr. Boulard, I would be in favor of the wall sign and
13 the monument sign combined, and would encourage the
14 Board to avoid a pole sign, if possible, because I
15 think we're going to achieve the same type of distance,
16 a view that we would with the monument and building
17 versus a pole sign. Thank you.
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Cassis?
19 MR. CASSIS: Mr. Boulard, Stricker Paint,
20 what did we give them? I remember we gave them a pole
21 sign, didn't we?
22 MR. BOULARD: I don't believe we gave them
23 the pole sign. I believe there was an off-premise sign
24 down where the relocated Gen-Mar comes out. I would be
25 happy to go pull that case out, if you would like. But
1 that's my recollection.
2 MR. ROLLINGER: Yes, on behalf of the
3 applicant, Mr. Cassis, I can tell you, Mr. Boulard is
4 correct, you did not allow the pole sign. You made it
5 real clear you didn't want a pole sign.
6 But you did allow an off-premise sign and
7 then a secondary sign similar to what we're trying to
9 MR. CASSIS: That's all. I was just asking
10 the question.
11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other questions or
12 comments about by the Board, or discussion?
13 MR. GALLIANO: Just a rebuttal, kind of
14 clarification. The pole sign -- I'm sorry, the
15 monument sign and the building sign, keep in mind, the
16 building sign is further back, than where the sign is.
17 So it's not apples and apples, it's apples and oranges.
18 So the pole sign is up near the street, wall
19 sign is going to be back on the building on the corner
20 set back, with a retaining wall and things like that.
21 So it's not going to achieve the same thing for us that
22 we would have with the pole sign.
23 MS. SKELCY: Thank you.
24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Krieger?
25 MS. KRIEGER: In consideration of the unique
1 circumstances, I would agree to the pole sign.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anybody else? Any other
3 questions, comments or motions? Anybody offer a
4 motion? Member Krieger?
5 MS. KRIEGER: In Case No. 11-010, 25100 Novi
6 Road, for Collex, Galliano, Zoning District I-2,
7 general industrial districts, that I move that we grant
8 the request from the Road Commission for Oakland County
9 for the request for a 14-foot pole sign, in
10 consideration with grade, that it would be at 17 feet
11 at the location where it will be placed.
12 And that these are unique circumstances with
13 the bridge and the visibility and the depression of the
14 location of the building on the property, and that it
15 does -- the unique circumstances that are exceptional
16 and unique to this property, and does not result from
17 conditions that exist generally in the city, and they
18 are not self-created.
19 And failure to grant relief will unreasonably
20 prevent and limit the use of the property, and will
21 result in substantially more than mere inconvenience or
22 inability to attain a higher economic or financial
24 A grant of relief will not result in a use of
25 structure that is incompatible with or unreasonably
1 interferes with adjacent or surrounding properties, and
2 will result in substantial justice being done to both
3 the applicant and adjacent or surrounding properties
4 and is not inconsistent with the spirit of the
5 ordinance, and would be to this particular tenant for
6 Collex for this pole sign. Thank you.
7 MR. BOULARD: If you wouldn't mind, would you
8 clarify that the -- if it's your desire, that the face
9 of the pole sign is equal to or matching the existing
10 sign that was removed in terms of the size.
11 MS. KRIEGER: Yes, I would agree to that.
12 MR. BOULARD: Also, would you mind including
13 the language that's above the standards on the -- there
14 is variance granted to the Road Commission under MCL
15 213. Go to the next page, top of the next page.
16 MS. KRIEGER: The variances are granted to
17 the RCOC under MCL213.54(2) and are subject to the
18 requirements of MCL324.54(2) including as follows: The
19 property shall be considered by the governmental entity
20 to be in conformity with the zoning ordinance for all
21 future uses with respect to the non-conformity for
22 which that variance was granted. However, if the
23 property was also nonconforming for other reasons, the
24 grant of that variance has no effect on the status of
25 those other preexisting nonconformities. An owner
1 shall not increase the nonconformity for which a
2 variance is granted under this section without the
3 consent of the governmental entity.
4 An agency has the same right to appeal action
5 on a zoning variance as would a property owner seeking
6 a zoning variance. This section does not deprive a
7 governmental entity of its discretion to grant or deny
8 a variance.
9 MR. SANGHVI: Second.
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Seeing a motion and a
11 second, any further discussions?
12 Seeing none, Ms. Pawlowski, will you please
13 call the roll.
14 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Cassis?
15 MR. CASSIS: Yes.
16 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?
17 MR. GEDEON: No.
18 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?
19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: No.
20 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?
21 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.
22 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?
23 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.
24 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?
25 MS. SKELCY: No.
1 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion fails. Three to
2 four -- three to three.
3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Since we do not have an
4 odd number, a motion to deny this would also be equal,
5 correct? I mean, presuming that's the case?
6 What sort of action do we need to take, if
8 MS. KUDLA: Still do a motion to deny.
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay.
10 MS. SKELCY: Can we do a motion for the wall
11 sign and the monument sign in lieu of the denial?
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: No, of course. You can do
13 any motion. Would you like to make a motion?
14 MS. SKELCY: Yes. In the case of 11-010, at
15 the address of 25100 Novi Road, Collex, Galliano
16 Enterprises, Inc., I move that we grant a variance for
17 a ground mounted reinstallation of the existing sign on
18 the monument, and an additional wall sign of up to 30
19 square feet on the north building elevation.
20 The variance would be required for the
21 proposed eight-foot height of the ground sign to
22 accommodate the new road embankment and to allow the
23 additional wall sign of 30 square feet maximum.
24 The variance is requested because of the
25 circumstances -- based upon circumstances and features
1 that are exceptional and unique to the property with
2 the installation of the overpass over the railroad
3 tracks. It does not result from conditions that exist
4 generally in the city, and they are not self-created.
5 The failure of -- the failure to grant relief
6 will unreasonably prevent or limit the use of the
7 property and will result in substantially more than
8 mere inconvenience or inability to attain a higher
9 economic or financial return.
10 The grant of relief will not -- will not
11 result in a use of structure that is incompatible with
12 or unreasonably interferes with adjacent or surrounding
13 properties, will result in substantial justice being
14 done to both the applicant and the adjacent or
15 surrounding properties, and is not inconsistent with
16 the spirit of the ordinance.
17 These variances are granted to the RCOC under
18 MCL213.54(2) and are subject to the requirements of
19 MCL213.54(2), including as follows: The property shall
20 be considered by the government entity to be in
21 conformity with the zoning ordinance for all future
22 uses with respect to the non-conformity for which that
23 variance was granted.
24 However, if the property was also
25 nonconforming for other reasons, the grant of that
1 variance has no effect on the status of those other
2 preexisting nonconformities.
3 An owner shall not increase the nonconformity
4 for which a variance is granted under this section
5 without the consent of the governmental entity.
6 An agency has the same right to appeal action
7 on a zoning variance as would a property owner seeking
8 a zoning variance. This section does not deprive a
9 governmental entity of its discretion to grant or deny
10 a variance.
11 MR. GEDEON: I will second.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Seeing a motion and
13 second, any further discussion? Member Sanghvi?
14 MR. SANGHVI: I would like to make my own
15 personal opinion. We live in the United States of
16 America. We don't live under a dictatorship.
17 I know the Michigan state law allows them to
18 take over property and build this bridge and everything
20 But I think property owners have some rights
21 also. And if it is their wish to dig, this is they
22 want to solve the problem, I think it behooves all of
23 who believes in a democracy and the republic form of
24 government we have, to respect the wishes of the
25 property owners also. Thank you.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. Any other
2 discussion? Member Cassis?
3 MR. CASSIS: Not the same argument, although,
4 I also sympathize with his stand.
5 You know, I witnessed this Board giving four
6 signs just a few minutes ago. We have on Grand River,
7 a pole sign that has the same kind of operators as
8 these people are. You know, I pass by that sign on
9 Grand River all the time, it doesn't present much of a
10 obstructional view, or that image of Novi. Here we
11 are, we're building a bridge, which is going to
12 suffocate that building, and we can't give them a pole
13 sign? We give them two signs, but not the pole sign.
14 I don't understand the logic.
15 I mean, we have a similar sign on Grand
16 River, for these other people. And I think better
17 visibility for these people would be a pole sign, since
18 you have that high bridge coming up like that.
19 This is not something that they asked for.
20 It's going to be good for Novi, to have it safe and so
22 I guess everybody has their own taste. I
23 would rather have that pole sign for these people.
24 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Krieger?
1 MS. KRIEGER: If you have a three, three vote
2 again, then what happens?
3 MS. KUDLA: If someone wants to reconsider
4 either vote, it would have to be someone who voted
5 against either motion, moving to reconsider the vote.
6 If there is no motion to reconsider, both
7 fail, all the variance requests are denied. You know,
8 at that point, you would have to do motion a deny.
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Or simply table until we
10 have an odd number of members here. I mean, I know
11 that may present a problem.
12 MS. KUDLA: I mean, I guess you could do
13 that. I mean, technically you could do that. If
14 that's what the applicant would want to do at this
16 MR. BOULARD: There is a motion right now.
17 MS. KUDLA: There is a motion on the table
18 right now.
19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Does the motioning member
20 want to reconsider?
21 MS. SKELCY: No. I'd just like to add a
22 comment that, in an attempt to try to convince my
23 colleagues, we did not give a pole sign to Stricker.
24 Stricker is a lot closer to the bump in the road, the
25 hill in the road than is Collex.
1 So, I don't think that we should give Collex
2 something extra when they already have the advantage of
3 not being by the hill portion, which Stricker is.
4 So I just throw there out as food for thought
5 for my peers. Thank you.
6 MS. KRIEGER: Stricker would be under --
7 right at the peak of the -- also, just to consider that
8 Stricker Paint would be at the peak of the bridge,
9 versus the businesses on Grand River, the businesses on
10 Novi Road, are going to at the bottom slope of the --
11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yeah, the theory would be
12 they would have more of a need further pole sign, if
13 anything, than in this particular business because I
14 think, if I recall, they had a little service drive
15 just to get back to them, that's how difficult it was
16 for them. But it is a difficult issue.
17 MS. KRIEGER: One other thing. Stricker
18 Paint, I understand, was trying to get out of the
19 business. I don't know what their current intent is.
20 But this petitioner, for the Collex business, is here
21 again, and I give them a lot of credit for coming back.
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Gedeon?
23 MR. GEDEON: Just to respond to the
24 discussions about the other business on Grand River.
25 We didn't have the facts in front of us, to make a
1 direct comparison. I know we don't know exactly where
2 it was in relation to the slope of the road, and the
3 peak of the of the train bridge on Grand River. So I'm
4 not comfortable with making a direct comparison without
5 having those factors in front of us.
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any further discussion?
7 Ms. Pawlowski, can you please call the roll.
8 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Cassis?
9 MR. CASSIS: No.
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Gedeon?
11 MR. GEDEON: Yes.
12 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?
13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes.
14 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?
15 MS. KRIEGER: No.
16 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?
17 MR. SANGHVI: No.
18 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?
19 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.
20 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion fails three to three.
21 MR. CASSIS: Hatfields and the McCoys.
22 Unless you postpone until I'm not here.
23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Well, I don't know what
24 the status of the litigation is. I know you all are
25 supposed to come back and forth. Can you address that,
1 the necessity of the decision on when and so forth.
2 MR. ROLLINGER: On the sign issue?
3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yeah, the reason we have
4 six here, we don't have a full board. You have to have
5 a majority to pass anything. And we do not have a
6 majority either way.
7 MR. ROLLINGER: I would ask the Board, that
8 rather than have a rejection of what we are asking for,
9 to -- if the Board would consider tabling the matter,
10 so that we could try to find some middle ground. I
11 would prefer to see that, than to see it --
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Well, we can't approve or
13 deny anything tonight, because we have no majority
15 MS. WEEKLEY: To answer your first question,
16 the judge set status conference for Monday morning at
17 8:30. I guess she knew that we would be voting
18 tonight. I don't know. At this point, there is no
19 point to go on up Monday.
20 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Any comments or suggestions
21 by our City Counsel?
22 MS. KUDLA: I mean, if this is back on the
23 July meeting, either motion could be reconsidered,
24 depending on how many, so it could be handled that way
25 as well, as long as it's on the next meeting.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I know that doesn't
2 necessarily help you all with your impending court
4 MS. KRIEGER: Question to Beth, would the
5 judge then -- can they -- is it circuit court, they
6 could override ZBA, or does that go back to the --
7 MS. KUDLA: No, they would have to go through
8 the normal appeal process, if they wanted to appeal
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: We are at a stalemate, so
11 do we have any other choice other than to adjourn until
13 MS. KUDLA: I mean, the other only choice is
14 we consider it a denial. I mean, both motions failed.
15 But, I mean, at this point, you could reconsider either
16 motion at the next meeting.
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I think it's clear, at
18 least from the group, one or the other is going to be
19 approved, we just can't get a consensus. I understand,
20 but they do have pending court dates. One or the other
21 is going to be approved, we just don't have a majority
22 of either.
23 MS. KUDLA: Right.
24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I don't know that in July
25 we will have a full board either.
1 MS. KUDLA: Right. There is no guarantee.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: There is no guarantee we
3 will have a full board either.
4 MS. WEEKLEY: What is the July date?
5 MS. SKELCY: The 12th.
6 MS. WEEKLEY: A Monday?
7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Second Tuesday of the
8 month. Is that okay, under the circumstances?
9 MR. ROLLINGER: On behalf of the applicant, I
10 prefer, if possible, to have the matter tabled.
11 MS. WEEKLEY: I'm not the applicant, I
12 represent the tenant.
13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I'm just giving you
14 opportunity to say anything, if you would like.
15 MS. WEEKLEY: I can't think of anything nice
16 to say right now.
17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Would anybody like to make
18 a motion to table this to the July meeting?
19 MS. KRIEGER: I move to table this case --
20 Collex, No. 011-010 to the July 12th meeting --
21 July 12th, 2011 meeting.
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Second?
23 MR. SANGHVI: Second.
24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any further discussion?
25 Seeing none. All in favor say aye.
1 THE BOARD: Aye.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any opposed? Seeing none,
3 this particular issue has been adjourned to the July 12
4 meeting. Thank you.
5 We have two others. The next is Item 12,
6 Case No. 11-010, 25100 Novi Road, regarding the
7 applicant's request to approve, to amend or confirm
8 variances previously granted to the Road Commission on
9 April 12th, 2011.
10 Go ahead, and please state your position,
12 MR. ROLLINGER: Certainly. Again, Robert
13 Rollinger appearing on behalf of the Road Commission
14 for Oakland County, we're the applicant in this matter.
15 As we have indicated in our application,
16 based upon the language in the Zoning Enabling Act, in
17 conjunction with the language in the Uniform
18 Condemnation Procedures Act, MCL213.54(2), the Road
19 Commission is requesting that the board amend, if you
20 will, its previous granted variances, for 25100 Novi
21 Road, to include the language, which is part of the
22 Uniform Condemnation Procedures Act, which allows an
23 applicant, such as the Road Commission, to appear where
24 there is partial taking and ask the Board to grant site
25 specific variances that arise from a road improvement
2 And the language is, as the language was
3 included as part of the two Board resolutions earlier,
4 either in favor of the pole sign, or in favor of the
5 ground mounted sign, and it's the language that comes
6 from MCL213.54(2).
7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anybody from the public
8 like to make a comment on this particular request?
9 Seeing none, I will close the public remarks
11 Ask our secretary, is there any additional or
12 different correspondence as part of this request, or is
13 that part of the same file?
14 MR. BOULARD: You have a separate packet,
15 that has requests -- the request for additional
16 language for both of the cases, but the backup is the
17 same, so --
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anything from the
20 MS. SKELCY: Forty-three notices mailed, no
21 responses, no returns.
22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any further comment from
23 the City on this?
24 MS. KUDLA: No. It's basically, you're
25 considering whether you're going to confirm the last
1 variance request and add the additional language
2 requested by the court.
3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any discussion by the
4 Board? None. Entertain a motion?
5 MS. KUDLA: The proposed motion language is
6 right on the first page of the packet.
7 MS. SKELCY: I move that we amend the
8 motion -- I move that we motion to amend or confirm --
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Approve the motion.
11 MS. SKELCY: To approve the motion previously
12 granted to the Road Commission on April 12, 2011, for
13 property located at 25100 Novi Road, commonly referred
14 to as Collex Collision.
15 To clarify that the variances were granted to
16 the RCOC under MCL213.54(2) and are subject to
17 requirement of MCL213.54(2) including as follows: The
18 property shall be considered by the governmental entity
19 to be in conformity with the zoning ordinance for all
20 future uses with respect to the non-conformity for
21 which that variance was granted.
22 However, if the property was also
23 nonconforming for other reasons, the grant of that
24 variance has no effect on the status of those other
25 preexisting nonconformities.
1 An owner shall not increase the nonconformity
2 for which a variance is granted under this section,
3 without the consent of the governmental entity. An
4 agency has the same right to appeal action on a zoning
5 variance as would a property owner seeking a zoning
6 variance. This section does not deprive a governmental
7 entity of its discretion to grant or deny a variance.
8 MR. SANGHVI: Second.
9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Ms. Kudla?
10 MS. KUDLA: I just want to confirm that at
11 the beginning was a motion to amend or confirm
12 variances. I didn't hear amend or confirm.
13 MS. SKELCY: Yes, please incorporate that in
14 my motion.
15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: As well as the second?
16 Member Sanghvi?
17 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Ms. Pawlowski, can you
19 please call the roll.
20 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Cassis?
21 MR. CASSIS: Yes.
22 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?
23 MR. GEDEON: Yes.
24 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?
25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes.
1 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?
2 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.
3 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?
4 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.
5 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?
6 MS. SKELCY: Yes.
7 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes six to zero.
8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Next is Item 13, Case No.
9 10-039, for 24460 Novi Road. Same petitioner, correct?
10 MR. ROLLINGER: That is correct,
11 Mr. Chairperson. This Board did grant site specific
12 variances at the September 14th, 2010 meeting for the
13 Michigan Caterpillar, Michigan CAT property. We are
14 simply asking the Board to adopt the same language with
15 respect to the variances, that they already granted for
16 that property.
17 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Any comments from the public,
18 please raise your hand to be recognized.
19 Seeing none, I will close the public remarks
21 Any correspondence from the secretary?
22 MS. SKELCY: Correction to the -- what I read
23 before that pertains to Michigan Tractor, what I read
24 before for Michigan Tractor, 43 notices mailed, zero
25 responses, eight return mail.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other comment by the
2 City on this?
3 MS. KUDLA: No.
4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any discussion by the
5 Board or a motion? Motion.
6 MS. SKELCY: I would like to move to amend or
7 confirm variances previously granted to the Road
8 Commission for Oakland County on Case No. 10-039, for
9 24460 Novi Road, that was granted on September 14th of
10 2010, for property located at 24460 Novi Road, commonly
11 referred to as Michigan Tractor slash CAT.
12 To clarify, the variances were granted to
13 RCOC under MCL213.54(2). The property is zoned I-2
14 general industrial, and is located on the east side of
15 Novi Road, and south of Grand River Avenue.
16 MS. KUDLA: And --
17 MS. SKELCY: Yes?
18 MS. KUDLA: There was additional language in
19 this one, for variances approved on prior dates, too.
20 MR. BOULARD: After September 14 and on prior
21 dates because there was multiple variances.
22 MS. SKELCY: I'd like to amend my motion to
23 indicate that it's for prior dates as well.
24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any second to the motion?
25 MR. SANGHVI: Second.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Seeing a motion and a
2 second. Any further discussion?
3 Seeing none, Ms. Pawlowski, please call the
5 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Cassis?
6 MR. CASSIS: Yes.
7 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?
8 MR. GEDEON: Yes.
9 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?
10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes.
11 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?
12 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.
13 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?
14 MS. SKELCY: Yes.
15 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?
16 MS. SKELCY: Yes.
17 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes six to zero.
18 MR. ROLLINGER: Thank you very much.
19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: We have passed over Item
20 No. 4, Case No. 11-014, for 39500 MacKenzie Drive. Is
21 the petitioner here?
22 Seeing no petitioner here, or no one raising
23 their hands, I guess, probably the -- this is the first
24 time they're up, this particular case?
25 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Yes.
1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Then I would suggest a
2 motion to adjourn to the July meeting to give them an
4 MR. SANGHVI: We can table that for the next
6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: That's my suggestion, yes.
7 Anybody like to table this to the July meeting? I will
8 hear a motion.
9 MS. KRIEGER: I move to table Case No.
10 11-014, 39500 MacKenzie Drive, for MacKenzie North
11 Technology Center to the July 12, 2011 meeting.
12 MS. SKELCY: Second.
13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Seeing that motion,
14 second, all in favor say aye.
15 THE BOARD: Aye.
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any opposed? Seeing none,
17 the motion is passed.
18 The next is other matters, I believe. Are
19 there any other matters that need to be addressed to
20 the Board at this point? Member Cassis?
21 MR. CASSIS: Since this is going to be my
22 last meeting with you, I did not choose to reapply to
23 the Planning Commission. And it is my distinct
24 privilege and high honor to have served on this Board
25 and with these wonderful colleagues of this Board, and
1 the staff, who has always been so committed and
2 respectful. And we all here are serving fellow
3 residents, our community, and do submit our honor and
4 ethics as we hold them to be impartial. And I believe
5 I have been, to the best of my knowledge.
6 And also I have always recognized that this
7 Board is really the Board of appeals, which is the last
8 destination that any petitioner can have in the City.
9 So it's like a supreme court.
10 And to serve on the supreme court, whether it
11 be the City, or United States, it's a high honor for
12 me. I have always wanted to serve my community, having
13 been here so long, and having to have been really
14 honored with so many things that the City has given me,
15 including a beautiful wife.
16 So I appreciate your listening to this
17 rendition. I have always been talking too much, too
18 long. I appreciate. Thank very much. Thank you for
19 the privilege.
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Sanghvi.
21 MR. SANGHVI: Mr. Chairman, I would like to
22 propose a word of thanks Mr. Cassis for his service to
23 the community for many years. He has worked diligently
24 and contentiously for many years to help the people in
25 the community. I would like to say we are very
1 grateful for his services.
2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I do thank you,
3 Mr. Cassis, both you and actually your wife for serving
4 this community and the State. Wonderful job, very
5 enthusiastic and certainly a credit to our community,
6 so thank you and congratulations.
7 Any other matters to be heard by the Board?
8 MS. SKELCY: I'm going to miss all your funny
10 MR. CASSIS: Thank you all so much. I will
11 still be around. I'm not going anywhere.
12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Don't threaten us.
13 If there is no other matters, I will hear a
14 motion to adjourn.
15 MR. SANGHVI: So moved.
16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any second?
17 MS. SKELCY: Second.
18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: All in favor say aye.
19 THE BOARD: Aye.
20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any opposed? Seeing none,
21 we're adjourned.
22 (The hearing was adjourned at 9:55 p.m.)
23 ** ** **
1 STATE OF MICHIGAN )
COUNTY OF OAKLAND )
2 CERTIFICATE OF NOTARY PUBLIC AND COURT REPORTER
3 I, JENNIFER L. WALL, Notary Public in and
4 for the County of Oakland, State of Michigan, do hereby
5 certify that the hearing above was taken before me on
6 Tuesday, June 14, 2011. The foregoing statements were duly
7 recorded by me stenographically and electronically, and were
8 reduced to typewritten form by computer-aided transcription
9 under my direction; and that this is, to the best of my
10 knowledge and belief, a true and accurate transcript of
11 said proceeding.
12 I further certify that I am not related to
13 any party or counsel, nor interested in the outcome of
14 this cause.
Jennifer L. Wall, CSR-4183
19 Notary Public, Oakland County, MI
My Commission Expires: 11-12-15