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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

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, November 1, 2011

David Ghannam, Chairman
Mav Sanghvi
Rickie Ibe
Linda Krieger
Donna Skelcy
Jeffrey Gedeon
James Gerblick

Beth Kudla, City Attorney
Michael Boulard, Building Official

Angela Pawlowski, Recording Secretary

Jennifer L. Wall, Certified Shorthand Reporter

1 Novi, Michigan.

2 Tuesday, November 1, 2011

3 7:00 p.m.

4 ** ** **

5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Good evening

6 everyone. Welcome to the November 1st, 2011

7 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting. I'm going

8 to call this meeting to order. If we can all

9 please stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

10 (The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.)


12 Ms. Pawlowski, can you please call the roll.

13 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?

14 MR. GEDEON: Here.

15 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gerblick?

16 MR. GERBLICK: Here.

17 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?


19 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Ibe?

20 MR. IBE: Present.

21 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?

22 MS. KRIEGER: Here.

23 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?

24 MR. SANGHVI: Present.

25 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?





1 MS. SKELCY: Here.


3 Next is our public hearing format and rules

4 of conduct.

5 We do have rules in the back for you to

6 look at. But I will go over a few of them

7 right now. If you have any cellphones or

8 pagers, please turn them off or to silent.

9 When your case is called, the applicant

10 will be asked to come forth, state their name

11 and present their matter.

12 You will be allowed five minutes to

13 address the Board and any extensions allowed

14 by the Chair.

15 There will be a request from the

16 audience, if anybody wants to make a comment

17 on a particular case, they will be called and

18 be recognized.

19 Next is our approval of the agenda. Are

20 there any modifications or corrections to our

21 agenda for tonight?


23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Seeing none, I

24 will entertain a motion to approve the

25 agenda.





1 MS. SKELCY: So moved.

2 MR. SANGHVI: Second.


4 motion and a second, all in favor say aye.


6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any opposed?

7 Seeing none, the agenda is approved.

8 We will move to our approval of the

9 minutes.

10 Are there any comments or corrections or

11 additions to our minutes of the meeting for

12 our last meeting?

13 MS. KRIEGER: I didn't get

14 minutes.

15 THE REPORTER: They were

16 delivered yesterday.


18 turned in yesterday, so should we move that

19 to the next agenda -- or to the next meeting?



22 skip the approval of the minutes of the last

23 meeting.

24 Do we need to vote on that by the way,

25 Ms. Kudla?





1 MS. KUDLA: No.


3 public remarks section. Is there anybody in

4 the public who would like to make a comment,

5 not on a pending case before us today?

6 Seeing none, we will close that section

7 and go to our first case.

8 Item No. 1, Case 11-034 for Grace

9 Immanuel Bible Church. Is the applicant

10 here? You can step forward.

11 Will you both be speaking tonight?

12 MR. SEXTON: No.

13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please state

14 your name and address, sir.

15 MR. SEXTON: Charles Sexton,

16 21900 Meadowbrook Road, Novi.


18 attorney, sir?

19 MR. SEXTON: No, I'm the pastor.

20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You have to

21 raise your hand and be sworn by our

22 secretary.

23 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or

24 affirm to tell the truth?

25 MS. SEXTON: I do.






2 proceed.

3 MS. SEXTON: We're petitioning to

4 put an open porch on our front door, our main

5 entrance door. And seeking a variance

6 because it will project basically 10 feet

7 into the setback. It's on -- you have

8 received sketches that will explain -- they

9 should be like sheets like this (indicating).

10 It's basically a nine-by-nine porch, open on

11 the ends, basically just protection of

12 weather.

13 We have about a one-third of our

14 congregation are senior citizens, so it's

15 just basically to -- and for all of us, to

16 keep snow and ice off right at the front

17 entrance and give them protection when it's

18 raining and so forth, so they can stand there

19 be picked up right there. So basically it's,

20 you know, for their protection, for the

21 congregation's protection.

22 So you can see by the drawings, it's a

23 nice addition as far as the appearance, it's

24 not obtrusive in any way, so we are just

25 petitioning for the variance.





1 Any questions?

2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: We will get to

3 that in a second, sir.

4 Is there anybody in the public who would

5 like to make a comment on this particular

6 case? Please raise your hand and be

7 recognized.

8 Ma'am, can you please step forward.

9 If you can state your name and address,

10 please.

11 MS. KETTLER: My name is

12 Nancy Kettler. I live at 41372 Marks Drive

13 in Novi.

14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please raise

15 your hand and be sworn by our secretary.

16 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or

17 affirm to tell the truth?

18 MS. KETTLER: I do.


20 MS. KETTLER: Our property backs

21 up to the property of the church. We live in

22 a subdivision just south of the church. Our

23 backyard is part that backs up to the

24 driveway.

25 They have done a very good job of their





1 new addition to the church, and I have no

2 quarrel with that.

3 My quarrel is with asking for another

4 variance for the church. They have asked for

5 a variance before, and it was denied for the

6 parking spots, that they didn't want to put

7 in. And I just feel that it's just been

8 denied before by the Council, because of when

9 the preschool was there, and I don't think it

10 should be allowed this time either. I just

11 feel like if we keep giving variances to

12 people, then they will ask for more of them,

13 and being right there in the neighborhood, I

14 just don't care to see more changes made in

15 our neighborhood.


17 ma'am. I just have a quick question actually

18 for you. Will it affect your property in any

19 way?

20 MS. KETTLER: No, it will not.


22 Anybody else in the public like to be

23 recognized and speak on this particular case?

24 Seeing none, I will close the public

25 remarks section and ask our secretary to read





1 any correspondence.

2 MS. SKELCY: Fifty-one notices

3 were mailed. One was returned by the post

4 office and there was one objection.

5 From Al and Linda Lacentra located at

6 41330 Marks Drive, Novi, Michigan 48375.

7 It reads, "Our property abuts the church

8 property to the south. We would urge the

9 Zoning Board of Appeals to deny the requested

10 side yard setback variance. Multiple

11 variances already granted for this property,

12 allow the existing structure to infringe on

13 the south side yard clearances and

14 landscaping abutting property owners could

15 have reasonably expected to be put in place

16 when the building was originally placed on

17 the property. Having recently been before

18 the ZBA for the addition they are currently

19 building, the church should be well aware of

20 the existing variances and ordinances. If

21 they desired a covered entryway, plans for

22 that entry should have been incorporated into

23 the addition currently under construction.

24 Looking at those plans, some changes to the

25 interior traffic patterns in the existing





1 building would have made a covered entry on

2 the east side possible without a request for

3 a variance. There is adequate room on this

4 property to the north and east to add a

5 covered entrance without requiring a

6 variance. We believe there is no hardship

7 requiring a need to expand further into the

8 south side yard setbacks. Furthermore, in

9 July 1997, Pathways to Learning Daycare, the

10 former owners of the church building,

11 requested a seven to eight feet south side

12 yard variance to cover the walkway. That

13 request was denied by the Zoning Board of

14 Appeals due to lack of hardship and the fact

15 that there was adequate property to add a

16 covered entrance without requiring a

17 variance. We believe that the situation has

18 not changed and that the variance should be

19 denied for the same reason. Minutes of the

20 July 19, 1997 is ZBA meeting are attached for

21 your reference".

22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any comments

23 by the City?

24 MR. BOULARD: Nothing to add.

25 MS. KUDLA: No.






2 will open it up to the Board for any

3 questions for the applicant. Any questions?

4 Member Ibe.

5 MR. IBE: Sir, can you tell me,

6 what is the prodigal difficulty that would

7 allow us to grant what you're asking us to

8 do?

9 MS. SEXTON: Let me just clarify

10 something. The existing concrete entrance

11 that's there, is basically eight feet from

12 the edge of the building to the outside

13 towards the parking lot.

14 Basically what we're saying is we are

15 going to make room for a post and cover it

16 from there on back. So in some respects,

17 we're -- have been granted that already for

18 the concrete entrance. Putting it on the

19 east side, that particular entrance from the

20 new entrance has been created with the

21 handicap ramp and so forth, opens directly

22 into the sanctuary and that would allow -- in

23 the wintertime allow cold air to come in and

24 have to be reheated and so forth and so on.

25 In the front and the south side, it





1 opens up into a vestibule, which is a much

2 smaller area and wouldn't have -- you know,

3 cold air come rushing into the sanctuary.

4 So that's basically why we are using

5 that area, that's also the main entrance for

6 the building.

7 Basically our thing is for a safety

8 issue, for our people, and that we really

9 didn't consider it at first, when we were --

10 all the other things we were trying to get

11 for the Board and on drawings and so forth.

12 Mr. Geiner (phonetic) came up with that idea

13 later said, what about if we did that. I

14 said, you know, that, I'm sorry we didn't

15 think about it ahead of time because that

16 would have been something good to put in the

17 original plan.

18 So that was -- you have pardon us for

19 that because that's something we tried to

20 rectify, and if would have thought about it

21 sooner, we would have put it in the original

22 plans.

23 But we were busy trying to concentrate

24 on the new addition and the sanctuary and so

25 forth, we really just didn't think about it





1 at that time.

2 MR. IBE: Thank you.

3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Skelcy.

4 MS. SKELCY: Now, from what I'm

5 looking at the plans, and what I have read in

6 the application, it appears that the overhang

7 is going to be nine feet long going from the

8 front of the building to the sidewalk?

9 MS. SEXTON: Nine foot in each

10 direction.

11 MS. SKELCY: Could it be made

12 smaller and did you consider making it

13 smaller at all?

14 MS. SEXTON: Well, it pretty much

15 needs to be nine foot coming -- going south

16 so we can -- for the posts to be attached, it

17 be sunk in the concrete and so forth.

18 The existing walkway and porch is eight

19 feet. So what we are going to do is we're

20 going to drop the post right at the edge of

21 the -- structurally-wise that's the best way

22 to do it and makes it strongest.

23 If you just put cleats and so forth on

24 the edge of the eight feet anyway, and

25 they're not as structurally sound as dropping





1 it into the ground cementing the posts in

2 place.

3 So basically we are just talking the

4 width of the posts and a little bit of an

5 overhang. We have had problems with ice

6 building up and so forth at the front

7 entrance, so this was a way to alleviate this

8 problem and to be a greater protection.

9 MS. SKELCY: Do you plan to put

10 like plastic rolls down the side, or

11 curtains? You understand what I'm asking?

12 MR. SEXTON: You know, like a

13 temporary type thing?

14 MS. SKELCY: Yes.

15 MR. SEXTON: Hadn't considered

16 that, and at this point, no, we hadn't

17 considered that. I think basically the main

18 problem is sleet and stuff like that would

19 come down, it would freeze and freezing and

20 thawing and so forth.

21 So that porch would pretty much

22 alleviate that problem or considerably

23 alleviate that problem. You might have some

24 blowing snow and so forth, but that's easier

25 to handle than trying to handle the ice.





1 MS. SKELCY: Thank you.


3 questions? Member Krieger.

4 MS. KRIEGER: To the south, are

5 there parking spaces there already?

6 MR. SEXTON: Yes, there are.

7 MS. KRIEGER: And are there also

8 shrubbery or a fence?

9 MR. SEXTON: We have a fence to

10 the south, six foot fence, vinyl fence. We

11 have two rows of pine trees that go the

12 whole -- it's like a drainage area for the

13 parking lot. And so it's all been mulched

14 and so forth like that.

15 So -- and then there is a planting area

16 right at the edge of the -- for annuals right

17 at the edge of the porch between the -- there

18 is about a 16-inch flowerbed there. So

19 it's -- you know, well planted, so forth like

20 that.

21 MS. KRIEGER: Then for the ramp,

22 the porch that you're proposing that -- does

23 that abut up to the drive entrance, into

24 where the nine-by-nine that you came up

25 with --





1 MR. SEXTON: There is a set of

2 steps that are right there at the west end of

3 the porch. And that's basically what's -- is

4 there to not cover the steps, but

5 everything -- you know, like I said, the

6 porch itself is eight feet from the entrance,

7 the width of it is eight feet.

8 MS. KRIEGER: You can accommodate

9 three or four seniors in wheelchairs on a

10 porch nine-by-nine?

11 MS. SEXTON: One may have to wait

12 inside, but --

13 MS. KRIEGER: That's okay.

14 Inside is okay. You're just looking -- we

15 are here for the roofing for this porch area

16 essentially?

17 MR. SEXTON: Yes. It's just --

18 you can see on this particular drawing, it

19 does not extend down the rest of the way.

20 It's just for -- right by the step area

21 itself. This is nine foot wide and it comes

22 out nine feet.

23 MS. KRIEGER: For this -- for the

24 applicant for this, I have no problem with

25 the variance, with the evidence that has been





1 presented now.


3 questions? Member Gerblick.

4 MR. GERBLICK: Is it just the two

5 entrances to the existing and, I guess,

6 addition to the structure?

7 MR. SEXTON: There is a new one

8 to the existing -- on the -- there is three

9 entrances. There is two on the east, but the

10 new -- when it goes into the new portion of

11 the sanctuary, that is a handicap ramp. The

12 other one is three steps up. So like I said,

13 this front entrance is really -- is the main

14 entrance for the church and it would be the

15 most suitable to be covered.

16 MR. GERBLICK: Thank you.

17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I just have a

18 couple questions, Pastor. It looks like from

19 one of the drawings there is no pitch to the

20 roof, it's a flat roof that you're proposing.

21 Or is that inaccurate?

22 MR. SEXTON: No. If you look at

23 the elevation, it basically -- it's the same

24 slope of the -- of this elevation, it's an

25 extension of the roof. And it is -- in this





1 it's peaked again.


3 looked flat, but I can see that is supposed

4 to be at an angle, with the pitch of your

5 existing roof?

6 MR. SEXTON: It will match the

7 pitch.

8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Your intent is

9 to cover the area for basically drop-off and

10 pickup?

11 MR. SEXTON: Yes.

12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: From inclement

13 weather?

14 MR. SEXTON: Yes, exactly. To

15 make it more (inaudible) for our

16 congregation.

17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I understand.

18 I agree. I think based on what you have

19 presented, it seems reasonable. I mean, it

20 is a church and, you know, inclement weather

21 which Michigan has, it seems logical. It

22 doesn't appear to affect the neighbors in

23 terms of their enjoyment of their properties.

24 So I generally don't have a problem with it

25 either.





1 Member Sanghvi?

2 MR. SANGHVI: Thank you. Couple

3 of questions. Your primary parking area is

4 on the east side?

5 MS. SEXTON: Yes.

6 MR. SANGHVI: Handicapped parking

7 is also on the east side?

8 MS. SEXTON: No, it's on the

9 south. There is -- the south side of the

10 building, there is a -- trees and so forth,

11 the fence we talked about. There is a whole

12 row of parking there and our handicapped

13 accessible parking spaces are right at the

14 end of this ramp basically. You have site

15 plan, you can see that. I was looking to see

16 if anyone had a site plan.

17 MR. SANGHVI: If you use your

18 door on the east side, will you need any

19 variance?

20 MR. SEXTON: Say that again,

21 please.

22 MR. SANGHVI: If you use your

23 door on the east side -- you have doors on

24 the east side also, right?

25 MR. SEXTON: Yes.





1 MR. SANGHVI: If you use them, or

2 whatever use you want to make, would you need

3 any variance at all?

4 MS. SEXTON: Well, we would

5 have -- we would have to relocate the

6 handicap spaces, but no, we wouldn't need any

7 variance, no.

8 MR. SANGHVI: Either way, you can

9 use this thing without needing any variance

10 at all?

11 MS. SEXTON: Again, it would

12 be -- it would be actually coming into a side

13 entrance, that goes right into the sanctuary.

14 Although the main entrance is, in fact, on

15 that south elevation. That's where the

16 vestibule is and the main entrance for the

17 church, the way that it best flows into the

18 sanctuary.

19 MR. SANGHVI: Thank you.


21 questions for the applicant? If not, I will

22 entertain a motion.

23 Member Gedeon.

24 MR. GEDEON: I will offer a

25 motion in favor of this. I move to request





1 the variance as granted. There are unique

2 circumstances or physical conditions of the

3 property, specifically existing orientation

4 of the building. The existing porch, the

5 existing main entrance and ramp to that

6 entrance.

7 The need is not self-created. This was

8 an existing building that the applicant

9 purchased sometime ago. They didn't design

10 the building in this arrangement. Strict

11 compliance with the regulations governing the

12 area setback, frontage, height, bulk, density

13 and other dimensional requirements will

14 unreasonably prevent the property owner from

15 using the property for a permitted purpose,

16 and will render conformity of those

17 regulations unnecessary and burdensome.

18 And additionally, strict compliance of

19 the zoning ordinance could endanger the

20 safety of the parishioners, given the

21 possibility of snow and ice accumulating on

22 the ramp or porch.

23 The requested variance is the minimum

24 variance necessary to do substantial justice

25 to the applicant as well as the other





1 property owners in the district.

2 Specifically, they're only asking for a

3 slight extension to the porch to accommodate

4 the posts for the roof of the porch.

5 The requested variance will not cause an

6 adverse impact on surrounding properties,

7 property values or the use or enjoyment of

8 the property in the neighborhood or zoning

9 district.

10 Again, because this is an existing

11 entrance, they're not adding a new entrance.

12 MR. SANGHVI: Second.


14 motion and a second, Ms. Pawlowski, can you

15 please call the roll.

16 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?

17 MR. GEDEON: Yes.

18 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gerblick?


20 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?


22 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Ibe?

23 MR. IBE: Yes.

24 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?

25 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.





1 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?


3 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?

4 MS. SKELCY: Yes.

5 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes six

6 to one.


8 Congratulations, Pastor.

9 MR. SEXTON: Thank you very much.

10 Appreciate that.

11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Next on the

12 agenda is Item No. 2, Case No. 11-035 for

13 Island Lakes of Novi. If the applicant is

14 here, please come forward.

15 Sir, please state your name and address.

16 MR. MINNOCK: Jason Minnock, 5075

17 Overdale Drive.

18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please raise

19 your right hand and be sworn.

20 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or

21 affirm to tell the truth.

22 MR. MINNOCK: I do.

23 MS. SKELCY: Thank you.


25 proceed.





1 MR. MINNOCK: I am here asking

2 for a variance. I have been before this

3 Board a couple of times. There has actually

4 been one change. I sold -- I'm asking for

5 actually four variances.

6 Number six on the little map there that

7 you have, we sold this past weekend, so we

8 can actually take that sign down and put up a

9 small sign. So I'm actually asking for four

10 variances.

11 The reason being is that Island Lake is

12 a unique size development in Novi, has

13 multiple entrances. The homes that are left

14 tend to be more in the middle of the

15 community, and we have directional signs

16 getting people to them.

17 The other thing is since the last time I

18 was here, I had 12 variances now I'm asking

19 for four. We are -- and two times ago I

20 think I was at 18 or 19. So we have

21 definitely been -- as we sell out different

22 areas, we have been reducing the signage as

23 we go.

24 And so, you know, I think that the site

25 is a little bit unique, at least in terms of





1 the size, geographically in Novi. And I

2 think all the signs are in very good shape.

3 I don't know how many people have been out

4 there, but they look nice, they don't tend to

5 be intrusive, I don't believe.

6 So I'm just asking for that variance.


8 sir. Is there anybody in the public who

9 would like to make a comment on this

10 particular case?

11 Seeing none, I will close the public

12 remarks section and ask our secretary to read

13 and correspondence.

14 MS. SKELCY: 300 notices were

15 mailed, 31 were returned and there were no

16 responses.


18 comments or questions from the City?

19 MR. BOULARD: Nothing to add.

20 MS. KUDLA: No.

21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I will open it

22 up then to the Board for questions.

23 Member Sanghvi, please.

24 MR. SANGHVI: Thank you. This

25 particular development, you can get lost in





1 it during the day, let alone at night, and we

2 can do with all the directional signs they

3 can have so people don't get lost. This time

4 they need one less number of signs, you see

5 than they had requested in the previous

6 variance. I have no difficulty supporting

7 this request. Thank you.


9 else? No other questions? Any motions, if

10 there is no other questions?

11 MS. SKELCY: All right. In the

12 Case of 11-035 Island Lake of Novi, I move

13 that we grant the four variances requested by

14 the applicant, number one. Number two, for

15 the Boathouse Drakes Bay Drive. Number 22

16 for Chesapeake Drive. Number 11 for the

17 Executive Model near for 50406 Drakes Bay

18 Drive. And Number 14 model homes near 49950

19 Drakes Bay Drive.

20 The request is based on circumstances or

21 features that are exceptional and unique to

22 the property, being that the development is

23 extremely large and the roads are rather

24 confusing to get around, and do not result

25 from conditions that exist generally in the





1 city or that are self-created.

2 The failure to grant the relief will

3 unreasonably prevent or limit the use of the

4 property and will result in substantially not

5 more than mere inconvenience or inability to

6 attain a higher economic or financial return.

7 The grant of relief will not result in a

8 use of a structure that is incompatible with

9 or unreasonably interferes with adjacent or

10 surrounding properties.

11 I note that this development is totally

12 enclosed, so the residents of Novi would not

13 be hindered by seeing these signs because you

14 have to actually be in the development to

15 observe them.

16 And the granting of the variance will

17 result in substantial justice being done to

18 both the applicant and adjacent or

19 surrounding properties and is not

20 inconsistent with the spirit of the

21 ordinance.

22 MR. IBE: Second.


24 motion and a second, Ms. Pawlowski, will you

25 please call the roll.





1 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?

2 MR. GEDEON: Yes.

3 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gerblick?

4 MR. GERBLICK: Yes. yes.

5 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?


7 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Ibe?

8 MR. IBE: Yes.

9 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?

10 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.

11 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?

12 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.

13 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?

14 MS. SKELCY: Yes.

15 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes

16 seven to zero.


18 sir.

19 Next on the agenda is Item No. 3, Case

20 No. 11-036 for 44911 Lindbergh Lane. Is the

21 applicant here? Please step forward, sir.

22 State your name and address.

23 MR. GOURNEAU: Frank Gourneau,

24 44911 Lindbergh.

25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please raise





1 your right hand and be sworn.

2 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or

3 affirm to tell the truth?

4 MR. GOURNEAU: Yes, I do.

5 MS. SKELCY: Thank you.


7 proceed.

8 MR. GOURNEAU: You should have an

9 application that was submitted on behalf of

10 my wife and I for our residence. We are --

11 we would like to move our current deck and

12 replace it with a three-seasons porch. The

13 project has been bid by a licensed

14 contractor. It has been through the

15 appropriate building compliances with the

16 Novi city. When we went through that

17 process, we were advised the footprint for

18 the three-seasons porch, which is contained

19 within the current footprint of the deck,

20 being it has a structure, or real structure

21 and some glass walls and windows, was

22 encroaching into the setback, I think it's

23 2,400 ordinance, 35 feet from back of the

24 property line.

25 That would be in the last page of





1 your -- last page of the file that we had,

2 the site map. And we needed a five foot

3 variance to allow that structure to go in, as

4 we encroached into the strcuture.

5 I would also like to add that since I

6 submitted the application, I do also have the

7 official (inaudible) from the homeowners

8 association. I did bring 13 copies of that,

9 if the Board is -- so wishes to have this for

10 their file. We do have that -- well, it has

11 been approved by the homeowners association.

12 We do believe that the project is what

13 we need to do to help our family continue to

14 grow and develop into the residence we

15 currently own. We did not build the home.

16 We purchased to from a previous owner, so we

17 were not aware of some of the setbacks with

18 unique backyard and property lines.

19 Additionally, we do think that what we

20 are proposing is esthetically pleasing with

21 the homeowners association and bylaws. We do

22 think it will add tax value to the home and

23 we hopefully anticipate it will support

24 resale as well.






1 sir. Is there anybody in the public who that

2 like to make a comment on this particular

3 case?

4 Seeing none, I will close the public

5 remarks section and ask our secretary to read

6 the correspondence.

7 MS. SKELCY: Fifty notices were

8 mailed. Two were returned and there was one

9 approval. And it's from Stacy, S-t-a-c-y,

10 Sheena, S-h-e-e-n-a. She writes, "Number

11 one, how does this effect my property since

12 it's a neighbor across the street. If there

13 is no effect, I am okay with it."

14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any comments

15 from the City?

16 MR. BOULARD: Nothing to add.

17 MS. KUDLA: No.


19 open it up to the Board for discussion.

20 Member Sangvhi.

21 MR. SANGHVI: Thank you. I had

22 the privilege of seeing your beautiful home

23 the other day. I know you don't know about

24 it, but I was there. It is a beautiful home

25 Your backyard overlooks a very peculiar angle





1 in the lake shoreline itself, right?

2 MR. GOURNEAU: Yes, sir, it does.

3 MR. SANGHVI: The shape of the --

4 not only the shape of the lot, but the grade

5 is also very peculiar out in that area.

6 MR. GOURNEAU: Yes, it is.

7 MR. SANGHVI: Doing this, I don't

8 think we are going to be looking into

9 anyone's bedroom from there.

10 MR. GOURNEAU: No, sir.

11 MR. SANGHVI: So I have no

12 supporting your request.


14 Member Gedeon?

15 MR. GEDEON: Just to clarify,

16 your backyard backs up to West Lake Drive,

17 not -- so there is no immediate neighbor

18 behind you, there is a street separating?

19 MR. GOURNEAU: That is correct,

20 yes. It backs up to West Lake Drive.

21 Actually that section behind is like -- I

22 think it's got sewer clearance and there is

23 an easement in there. So we are well within

24 that. We didn't realize there was a setback.

25 MR. GEDEON: I don't have a





1 problem with this.


3 clarify. This does fit on the footprint of

4 your existing porch?

5 MR. GOURNEAU: Yes, it does. In

6 fact, that was some of the area we didn't

7 realize, the actual stairs -- the footprint

8 actually is much further, but because it was

9 structure, the city planner said it was --

10 fall under the dwelling, that setback

11 variance.


13 have no problem either. I think it's in good

14 taste, and certainly pleasing to you

15 neighbors, so I have no problem with it.

16 Anybody else have any comments or

17 motions?

18 Member Ibe.

19 MR. IBE: Mr. Chair, in Case No.

20 11-036, 44911 Lindbergh Lane. I move that we

21 grant the applicant's request as requested,

22 for the following reasons. One, that there

23 are unique circumstances with the physical

24 makeup of the property itself. As the

25 applicant has clearly articulated the





1 topography of the land itself, the way it is

2 shaped, and the fact that the backyard backs

3 into West Lake and does not really encroach

4 upon other lands or other properties, makes

5 it quite unique. That this property should

6 be -- the applicant should be given the

7 opportunity to put in this improvement.

8 However, the need is not self-created because

9 this applicant purchased the property as is

10 (inaudible).

11 Of course, I didn't quite understand

12 what needed to be done, but now that the need

13 arises to improve upon the property, it is

14 while -- the variance should be granted.

15 In total, that the straight compliance

16 with the regulations are governing the area

17 setback. If in force will unreasonably

18 prevent the property owners from using the

19 property as should be permitted.

20 The requested variance is necessary to

21 do substantial justice to the applicant as

22 well as other property owners in the

23 district. The requested variance will not

24 adversely impact on the surrounding

25 properties. In fact, I think it will enhance





1 the property values of the properties around

2 the subdivision as well as that of the

3 applicant.

4 Based on this, and what has been stated

5 by the applicant as well as the discussions

6 carried on by the members, I would move that

7 we grant the request.

8 MS. KRIEGER: Second.


10 motion and a second, Ms. Pawlowski, can you

11 please call the roll.

12 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?

13 MR. GEDEON: Yes.

14 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gerblick?


16 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?


18 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Ibe?

19 MR. IBE: Yes.

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: Yes.





1 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes

2 seven to zero.


4 Congratulations, sir.

5 MR. GOURNEAU: Thank you very

6 much for your consideration. Thank you.


8 agenda is Item No. 4, Case No. 11-037 for

9 Lenox Park. Please step forward. Please

10 state your name and address.

11 MR. MADORSKY: Sam Madorsky,

12 31550 Northwestern Highway, Suite 220,

13 Farmington Hills.


15 attorney, sir?


17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Can you please

18 raise your right hand and be sworn.

19 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or

20 affirm to tell the truth?



23 proceed.

24 MR. MADORSKY: I am the

25 authorized representative of PT Commerce,





1 LLC, the developer of Lenox Park.

2 Lenox Park is 188 unit duplex

3 condominium development located on the west

4 side of the M5, north of Thirteen Mile Road.

5 I am here before you to request the extension

6 of an existing approved variance to allow for

7 a marketing sign along the M5.

8 The existing development is

9 approximately 80 percent sold. We are in the

10 last leg of sales with 42 units remaining of

11 the total of 188 that remain for sale.

12 We market this property, along with our

13 building partner MJC Homes, through various

14 avenues, including print ad, newspaper,

15 mailers, flyers, a website, and through our

16 sign here on the M5.

17 In reviewing the weekly traffic reports

18 that are provided, approximately 50 to

19 60 percent of all traffic to the site is

20 provided via drive-by traffic from the sign

21 that is located on the M5.

22 This site does have unique

23 characteristics in that it does not have any

24 frontage on its entrance road, Thirteen Mile

25 Road. Access to the site is provided via an





1 easement over at the Brightmoor Christian

2 Church property.

3 The property does have approximately

4 one-third of a mile of frontage along the M5.

5 The majority of the frontage is screened with

6 natural vegetation. Therefore, drive-by

7 traffic would be unaware that the development

8 exists without this temporary sign, and we

9 are requesting a two-year extension of the

10 variance, being that we have approximately 42

11 units remaining, and over the last two years,

12 we have averaged an absorption of 20 per

13 year.


15 sir. Is there anybody in the public who

16 would like to make a comment on this

17 particular case?

18 Seeing none, I will close the public

19 remarks section and ask our secretary to

20 please read any correspondence.

21 MS. SKELCY: 195 notices were

22 sent, 53 were returned and there were no

23 responses.


25 comments from the City on this one?





1 MR. BOULARD: Just one question,

2 if I might. On the -- in the packet that you

3 provided, Exhibit B, is a photograph of the

4 sign. Exhibit C is the drawing of the design

5 of the sign.

6 I seem to recall the last request for

7 variance, one of the things that happened is

8 panels added to the sign over time to the

9 point that it got bigger. And it appears

10 that that's underway again. I assume that

11 that could be rectified?

12 MR. MADORSKY: Absolutely. I'm

13 guessing that was an overzealous sales

14 associates who was adding the directional

15 arrow signs. We'll have that fixed placed

16 within the square footage of the sign that is

17 approved.

18 MR. BOULARD: Thank you. Nothing

19 else.


21 I'll open it up to the Board for discussion

22 then. Any questions or comments?

23 Member Sanghvi.

24 MR. SANGHVI: Thank you. You

25 seen that sign lately?





1 MR. MADORSKY: I drove by

2 yesterday.

3 MR. SANGHVI: It's barely even

4 visible because of the overgrown bushes and

5 trees around it.

6 So (inaudible) the sign is not easy to

7 find the sign itself. Maybe you want to make

8 sure it is visible.

9 MR. MADORSKY: Absolutely. We'll

10 look into it by adjusting the landscaping

11 that's around it.

12 MR. SANGHVI: And how about all

13 the additions? What size of sign do you got

14 now?

15 MR. MADORSKY: I believe the sign

16 is approved for 12 and a half feet in height.

17 The -- as I stated, the additions to the

18 signs were, I believe, a burst that stated

19 the amount that was sold to perspective

20 purchasers that were driving by can see that

21 the development has been sold. That should

22 have been placed within the sign as to

23 opposed on the side of the sign. And the

24 additional part was an arrow pointing to

25 Thirteen Mile Road, to right on Thirteen Mile





1 Road. This also will be placed within the

2 square footage of the sign.

3 MR. SANGHVI: There were some

4 additions on this sign. You can part the --

5 (inaudible).

6 MR. MADORSKY: The additional

7 size or additional graphics?

8 MR. SANGHVI: (Inaudible). These

9 are illegal additions, you know, that --

10 MR. MADORSKY: They will be

11 removed.

12 MR. SANGHVI: Thank you.

13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Skelcy.

14 MS. SKELCY: How can we be sure

15 that this won't happen again, where they will

16 get expanded by another overzealous sales

17 associate?

18 MR. MADORSKY: I can assure you

19 that it will not occur again because I do not

20 want to be before you again with the same

21 thing occurring. I will provide photographs

22 after the sign is rectified, and then a memo

23 will be sent out to sale associates to ensure

24 that that does not occur again.

25 MS. SKELCY: All right, thank





1 you.


3 questions or comments?

4 If there are none, I would like to

5 entertain a motion. Member Skelcy.

6 MS. SKELCY: In the Case of

7 11-037, Lenox Park located at 40812 Thirteen

8 Mile Road, I move that we grant the variance

9 that has been requested, which would allow

10 for a 57 square foot sign, 12 and a half feet

11 high, real estate marketing sign, which was

12 previously approved under ZBA 09-035, and ZBA

13 07-030. With the condition that the extra

14 signage which violates the size regulation be

15 removed, and not be reinstalled.

16 The request is based upon circumstances

17 or features that are exceptional and unique

18 to the property, in that it is shielded from

19 M5 and some people can believe that it is

20 part of Fox Run. And do not result from

21 conditions that exist generally in the city

22 or that are self-created.

23 Also the failure to grant the relief

24 requested will unreasonably prevent or limit

25 the use of the property and will result in





1 substantially more than mere inconvenience or

2 inability to attain a higher economic or

3 financial return.

4 Finally, the grant of relief will not

5 result in the use of a structure that is

6 incompatible with or unreasonably interferes

7 with adjacent or surrounding properties. I

8 note that it is on a busy road and it will

9 not be seen by residents in other

10 subdivisions. And it will result in

11 substantial justice being done to both the

12 applicant and adjacent or surrounding

13 properties and is not inconsistent with the

14 spirit of the ordinance.

15 MS. KRIEGER: Second.

16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Is there any

17 further comment?

18 MR. SANGHVI: I just wanted to

19 suggest that we maybe we should add that the

20 sign shall be as shown in Exhibit C.

21 MR. GEDEON: I guess I would

22 comment that I think the issue is the

23 additions that are currently there, go beyond

24 the 57 square feet that the variance is for.

25 And I think that's the issue rather than the





1 particular, you know, words on the sign or

2 symbols on the sign.

3 So I would not support amending the

4 motion in that regard because I don't want to

5 unduly limit the applicant, so long as

6 they're within the 57 square feet that the

7 variance is for.

8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I would tend

9 to agree with that also. The wording we

10 don't necessarily want to regulate, but it is

11 sign and if there is any extensions of that

12 sign that are not within the variance,

13 obviously the City would have to deal with

14 that.

15 Member Krieger.

16 MS. KRIEGER: Then the petitioner

17 had asked for two years for the variance?

18 MS. SKELCY: That's right. I

19 would like to amend my motion to include a

20 two-year limitation.


22 accepted by the seconder. Any further

23 comment?

24 Seeing none, Ms. Pawlowski, can you

25 please call the roll.





1 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?

2 MR. GEDEON: Yes.

3 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gerblick?


5 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?


7 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Ibe?

8 MR. IBE: Yes.

9 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?

10 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.

11 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?

12 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.

13 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?

14 MS. SKELCY: Yes.

15 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes

16 seven to zero.


18 sir.

19 Next on the agenda is Item No. 5, Case

20 No. 11-038 for Mercedes Benz of Novi.

21 Can you please state your name and

22 address.

23 MR. MADDEN: Matthew Madden of

24 19215 Lexington.






1 attorney, sir?



4 the only one speaking for the applicant?

5 MR. MADDEN: Yes, unless the

6 owner has some other insight.


8 right hand and be sworn.

9 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or

10 affirm to tell the truth?

11 MR. MADDEN: I do.

12 As you probably have noticed, we

13 recently completed the renovations called the

14 Auto Hubs renovations with the property

15 Mercedes Benz of Novi. At which point the

16 current signage on the building, it was

17 almost reduced in half from the previous

18 signage.

19 As part of an ongoing business expansion

20 development, the owner wishes to expand his

21 business to include commercial vans offered

22 by Mercedes Benz this winter.

23 This would required from a corporate

24 standpoint, an addition of approximately 15

25 square feet to the existing wall mounted star





1 on the east.


3 back from the microphone, you're creating a

4 lot of noise. Thank you.

5 MR. MADDEN: Should I repeat

6 anything?

7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: If you'd like.

8 We heard most of it, but --

9 MR. MADDEN: As part of the

10 business expansion, part of the ongoing

11 development that Mercedes Benz of Novi, we

12 are going to include a new product line, a

13 van. The existing star on the east elevation

14 would require a 15 square foot sign in

15 addition to the star that would say

16 commercial vans. That is the variance we

17 were looking for.


19 you, sir. Is there anybody in the public who

20 would like to make a comment on this

21 particular case?

22 Seeing none, I will close the public

23 remarks section and ask the secretary to read

24 any correspondence.

25 MS. SKELCY: It does not indicate





1 how many were mailed, but one was returned,

2 so we know at least one was mailed. And

3 there was one approval from Allie Fayz,

4 A-l-l-i-e, F-a-y-z. "I have no objection to

5 No. 11-038 Mercedes Benz of Novi, however, we

6 feel that Pheasant Run Plaza request years

7 ago should be reconsidered since we are

8 facing economic hardship as well".

9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any comments

10 or questions by the City?

11 MR. BOULARD: Just a little bit

12 of background. There was a previous

13 variance, this was mentioned, in 1997. The

14 sign as proposed, both the existing and the

15 new fit within that size, there was 42 square

16 feet approved previously, the total now will

17 be 39 square feet. The reason that the

18 petitioner is here is the variance in 1997

19 was specific, that it was this symbol, the

20 Mercedes symbol, in fact, it actually

21 referenced on a sheet that was attached back

22 then.

23 So my suggestion would be, I would

24 support the modification of this previous

25 variance to allow this, and would suggest at





1 the same time, if the Board is so inclined

2 they could use this opportunity to free up

3 whatever text or symbols or whatnot on the

4 sign, so they're not back here in the future

5 for the same thing.

6 Also I want to point out that in the

7 notice, the section is listed as the sign is

8 from the variance in 1997, to the best of my

9 knowledge. And the appropriate section in

10 the current version of the ordinance --

11 excuse me -- is 28-5-1D1. I'd be happy to

12 answer any questions.

13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: If I'm getting

14 this right, they had a variance for a 42

15 square foot sign, but it was limited to the

16 symbol?

17 MR. BOULARD: Yes, it was

18 specific. In '97 the paperwork limited, it

19 actually said, sign, you know, 1322, there is

20 a sheet with all the available signs on it,

21 that one was referenced.

22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Now they're

23 requesting a 49 -- I'm sorry, 39 square foot

24 one, which is less --

25 MR. BOULARD: Right, the sign





1 that is installed is less than it had been

2 allowed under the previous variance. And

3 they're adding to that, but even with the

4 addition, it's still smaller than the

5 previous variance.


7 will open it up to the Board then for

8 discussion. Member Sanghvi. Before you

9 raise your hand, I will call on you.

10 MR. SANGHVI: I have no problem

11 with approving this. My only comment is when

12 a prestigious automobile, why do they want to

13 try to sell vans, I mean, you put what you

14 like. I have no problem with it. I just

15 wondered, it is strange that you want to

16 advertise --

17 MR. MADDEN: It's an additional

18 line of vehicles that is offered by Mercedes

19 Benz, new in the US as of a year ago.

20 They're asking certain dealers in the country

21 to represent that product line, and they have

22 chosen us to do so. It is the Mercedes of

23 vans.

24 MR. SANGHVI: Thank you.






1 questions or comments?

2 While they're thinking, I also have no

3 problem with this in terms of reducing the,

4 number one, the size of the sign, but also

5 freeing up any advertisement you want to put

6 on it. I have no problem with that either.

7 Anybody else? Member Krieger.

8 MS. KRIEGER: I guess I'd

9 reiterate the comment that the emblem and

10 size that underneath the commercial vans is

11 good now. It's just Bagger Dave's on Novi

12 Road, they had asked for now serving

13 breakfast, and now it says, Michigan Draft

14 Beer. So in the future, if you chose

15 something else, that would be up to you.


17 comments? I'll entertain a motion, if not.

18 Member Krieger.

19 MS. KRIEGER: In Case No. 11-038,

20 Mercedes Benz of Novi, on 39500 Grand River

21 Avenue. I move to approve the request of the

22 petitioner for the granting of the

23 modification of the previous variance 97-057

24 from 28-5D of the sign ordinance to allow

25 additional lettering to be installed on the





1 existing to 20 by 60 -- 56 -- I'm sorry,

2 20-5D1. Thank you.

3 And that the applicant has -- this

4 request is based upon circumstances and

5 features that are exceptional and unique to

6 the property, and do not result from

7 conditions that exist generally in the city

8 or that are self-created.

9 The failure to grant relief will

10 unreasonably prevent or limit the use of the

11 property and will result in substantially

12 more than mere inconvenience or inability to

13 attain a higher economic or financial return.

14 And the grant of the relief will not

15 result in a use of structure that is

16 incompatible with or unreasonably interferes

17 with adjacent or surrounding properties and

18 will do substantial justice to the applicant

19 and adjacent properties and is not

20 inconsistent with the spirit of the

21 ordinance.

22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Who is going

23 to second? Member Sanghvi?

24 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.






1 motion and a second -- Mr. Boulard, you have

2 a comment?

3 MR. BOULARD: Could I confirm

4 that parallel with the conversation that the

5 face of the sign can be whatever the owner

6 chooses?



9 further discussion? Seeing none,

10 Ms. Pawlowski, can you please call the roll.

11 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?

12 MR. GEDEON: Yes.

13 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gerblick?


15 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?


17 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Ibe?

18 MR. IBE: 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





1 seven to zero.


3 Congratulations, sir.

4 Next on the agenda is Item No. 6, Case

5 No. 11-039, Highline Club Apartments. Please

6 step forward.

7 Would you please state your name, sir,

8 for the record.

9 MR. BARBAS: My name is

10 Andrew Barbas.


12 attorney?

13 MR. BARBAS: That's not why I'm

14 here, but yes.


16 attorney, you don't need to be sworn, that's

17 all.

18 You can go ahead and proceed.

19 MR. BARBAS: Sometimes I think

20 maybe the attorneys are the ones who you

21 really should have. Never mind.


23 speaking tonight, sir?

24 MR. ROBERTS: Yes, maybe.

25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please raise





1 your right hand and be sworn.

2 MS. SKELCY: State your name.

3 MR. ROBERTS: Gary Roberts.

4 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or

5 affirm to tell the truth?

6 MR. ROBERTS: I do.


8 proceed.

9 MR. BARBAS: As you just heard,

10 my name is Andrew Barbas. I am here, I am a

11 managing member of the Heights of Novi and

12 the property name has been changed. It is

13 the Heights of Novi. The property is not

14 what you have it was the Highline Club. And

15 so I will be referring to it as the Heights.

16 The application that was the way the

17 application was filed.

18 But in any event, as we set forth in our

19 application, we're requesting a variance for

20 the installation of a sign within, not the

21 right-of-way, but within the proposed

22 right-of-way, fronting the property, as well

23 as a variance in size and design and

24 structure. For background purposes, we

25 recently acquired the Heights of Novi





1 Apartments.

2 During our acquisition purposes, we had

3 a number of representative from mortgage

4 lenders, engineers, consultants, et cetera,

5 to visit community. And many of the

6 consultants had a lot of difficulty finding

7 the community. Even Gary Roberts couldn't

8 find it twice.

9 It is -- and the reason is that because

10 it was constructed, the topography, I will

11 show you in a quick minute. The sign and

12 everything is far enough back, and there are

13 other signs blocking it. Anything you put

14 under there is up there.

15 And I have had trouble finding the

16 community and have had to slow down to see

17 the sign. My partner, who is my 91 year-old

18 father, when he first visited the community,

19 he left with one of our assistants, and his

20 first comment was, you have got to move that

21 sign up, and I don't care, just don't it. He

22 doesn't know the ZBAs. I do.

23 But what I would like to do very quickly

24 is go through the posters that we have.

25 MR. ROBERTS: It is hard to see





1 in here and we are not going to be able to

2 put up some of the photographs. You all have

3 a packet, I believe, and have seen the site.

4 MR. BARBAS: This is -- just very

5 quickly. This is a survey of the entire

6 site. I don't know that we are going to need

7 it very much. Other than to note that the

8 entrance, is -- as --

9 MR. ROBERTS: As you're traveling

10 down Nine Mile Road heading west, there is

11 the law building next to it. There is the

12 berm, and the sign right now is in back of

13 the small island. The island is somewhat

14 smaller than a normal island might be, and

15 there is double right-of-way. There is the

16 existing right-of-way, which we did adhere to

17 when we proposed moving the sign forward.

18 There is the proposed right-of-way, which is

19 pushing the sign all the way back to the far

20 corner, and a safety hazard as seen from the

21 back, as you're driving through, what you can

22 see is, the same location.

23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Sir, do me a

24 favor, if you're going to speak, just try to

25 get close to the microphone so everybody can





1 hear you.

2 MR. ROBERTS: I'm sorry. You can

3 see right now, the location of the existing

4 sign is where the ordinance would require

5 that is, we are suggesting we move it forward

6 into the island, so that you can it as you're

7 traveling down both ways on Nine Mile Road.

8 MR. BARBAS: We are not

9 reconstructing. There is not going to be any

10 reconstruction of the island itself. We are

11 just talking about moving the sign from the

12 back of the traffic island to the front.

13 MR. ROBERTS: Really from a

14 safety standpoint right now, if somebody were

15 to hit that, it is right at the end.

16 What we are proposing is within the

17 10 feet back from the existing right-of-way,

18 which would normally be the case, and except

19 that it is in a proposed right-of-way, and it

20 would be much more visible heading down Nine

21 Mile Road.

22 Right now you can't even see the sign in

23 some of these pictures. The landscaping, we

24 have started to redo it already, to open it

25 up and enhance the site, but the sign is all





1 the way back in the island where it is very

2 difficult to see.

3 MS. SKELCY: Can you bring those

4 pictures closer.

5 MR. ROBERTS: Sure.

6 MR. BARBAS: You know, frankly,

7 the reasons for our request are really safety

8 reasons. We seriously have had problems with

9 people having to slow down in front of the

10 site. We have had problems with people

11 seeing the site. We have, you know -- to us

12 it was obvious when we looked at it, but,

13 from other people who had visited the site,

14 we are getting that as a comment, which is --

15 they were just going right by it.

16 And if Nine Mile Road was expanded, and

17 has been expanded, then everything would be

18 fine. Because it would be -- you know, if

19 the real -- if the proposed right-of-way was

20 the real right-of-way, in terms of there

21 being a widened road, then the sign would be

22 in a fine location.

23 Right now, it is not visible at all,

24 which is why we are asking for, one, it to be

25 moved forward, two, it to be made slightly





1 larger. And the third thing is -- and

2 slightly higher, and the last thing is your

3 ordinance requires posts under -- or

4 prohibits posts under the sign, and because

5 of the width of the boulevard, and Gary can

6 speak to it better than I, but we wanted --

7 we want to be able to -- it will have much

8 better irritation. And it's going to be

9 covered by plants. In other words, you will

10 not see any posts. It will look like it's on

11 the, you know, on the ground.

12 We feel that, you know, it's -- in terms

13 of the requirements, you know, it is a -- we

14 feel the circumstances are unique to this

15 location. And that it is for a safety issue,

16 and it certainly is something that's more

17 than an inconvenience. We are not really

18 doing this for economic purposes. I should

19 also add we are putting a substantial amount

20 of money into the community because of a lot

21 of deferred maintenance that exists in the

22 community.

23 And we don't think it's going to

24 interfere with any other property in the

25 area. Actually a large number of the other





1 properties have signs that are closer because

2 they were constructed and built before the

3 requirement that they not be within the

4 proposed right-of-way.

5 So that with, most everything is in the

6 application. I'd rather not get redundant.


8 sir.

9 Is there anybody in the public who would

10 like to make a comment on this particular

11 case?

12 Seeing none, I will close the public

13 remarks section and ask our secretary to read

14 the correspondence.

15 MS. SKELCY: 289 notices were

16 mailed, ten were returned by the post office

17 and there are three objections.

18 One from Lawrence Dew, D-e-w, at 40174

19 Sand Point in Novi. He writes, "I see no

20 reason to have a larger sign. I have lived

21 here 28 years and passed the apartment

22 complex many times. It seems old sign size

23 was up to code and was quite visible".

24 Next, we have E period, M period,

25 Kaiser, K-a-i-s-e-r, who lives at 22252 South





1 Edgewater in Novi. EM writes, "There is no

2 reason their sign needs to be significantly

3 larger than the maximum size established in

4 the existing zoning laws. If it's larger, I

5 think it will be an eyesore and detract from

6 the nice looking stretch of Nine Mile between

7 Haggerty and Meadowbrook. I adamantly object

8 to the approval of a larger sign. The 24

9 square foot sign maximum is perfectly

10 reasonable. There is no reason it needs to

11 be larger. Thank you".

12 From G. Karen Provenzano,

13 P-r-o-v-e-n-z-a-n-o, who lives at 22284

14 Edgewater in Novi. She writes, speed limit

15 is only 35 miles per hour in this area. Slow

16 enough to find that apartment complex.

17 Please don't litter this section of Novi with

18 unnecessary signage. One reason I bought my

19 condo on Nine Mile was because of the

20 well-kept rural residential look.

21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any comment

22 from the City?

23 MR. BOULARD: The only comment

24 that I would have is, I did have an

25 opportunity to talk with the applicant this





1 afternoon and mention that one of my

2 concerns, particularly with if the Board were

3 to allow the sign to be put in the proposed

4 driveway, is if that right-of-way is ever

5 developed by the Road Commission or the City

6 or whoever, that it would be the expense and

7 liability of relocating that sign back out of

8 right-of-way, so that was a concern. That

9 was something that we discussed, the

10 petitioner thought that if that was a

11 sticking point that he might have some

12 suggestions for --

13 MR. BARBAS: If there is a

14 concern -- not that it's a huge cost, but if

15 there is a concern on the cost of moving the

16 sign, if the road is expanded, we are happy

17 to, you know, waive any rights to have

18 compensation for the cost of moving the sign.

19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anything else

20 from the City?

21 MS. KUDLA: I would make that a

22 condition of the motion.


24 approved, okay.

25 Actually I had one question. They are





1 entitled to a sign, by right, correct?

2 MR. BOULARD: Yes, they are

3 entitled to the sign that's there, by right.

4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: The question

5 becomes location, area and the height, those

6 are the three variances?

7 MR. BOULARD: Height, location,

8 area, and the fact that it's raised up six

9 inches without a base on it.

10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I will open it

11 up to the Board then for discussion.

12 Member Krieger.

13 MS. KRIEGER: Question. The

14 slope of the entrance and the sign -- the

15 brick work around it, can you explain. I

16 guess, as you go up the slope, it would be --

17 I don't know what the word to use.

18 MR. ROBERTS: It is relatively

19 flat, but the top will be level, so some of

20 this won't go higher than the maximum, you

21 know, we have drawn. But if it slopes -- if

22 it the slopes up, then the wall will be

23 buried, okay? Does that answer your

24 question?

25 MS. KRIEGER: Yes, my first one.






2 going to talk, sir, you have to talk into the

3 microphone.

4 MS. KRIEGER: Then you will be

5 using brick landscape around the bottom, at

6 the base, so it will change the curb that's

7 there to --

8 MR. ROBERTS: No it is recessed

9 in.

10 MR. BARBAS: We have plantings on

11 both sides of it, in the planter and outside

12 of the planter.

13 MS. KRIEGER: So we can't see it

14 from this angle, from the picture of your

15 sign that you have got there, but if you look

16 from above, there is an area you're going to

17 have dirt in the inside, that you will put in

18 landscaping and flowers so those pedestals

19 will not be visible?

20 MR. ROBERTS: Exactly. That was

21 the point. A lot of times signs are put in,

22 by the time any vegetation goes along, you

23 have seen it 100 times, the plants grow and

24 you can't see the sign at all. So all we

25 have done is raised it up six inches, you're





1 really not going to see it. It saturates one

2 bed with irrigation that way. The foliage

3 will cover it up.

4 We have other methods of making it

5 solid, but it would bulk up the sign and it

6 really becomes very, very unnecessary. So

7 all we are trying to do is get that six

8 inches with very low shrubs to be underneath

9 it.

10 MS. KRIEGER: It would be

11 maintained?

12 MR. ROBERTS: Oh, yes.

13 MS. KRIEGER: I have driven by it

14 a million times, and I have never remembered

15 the name of this sign because it has been

16 more entranceways. So I'm not too

17 disinclined to accept this. I'd like to hear

18 from my other --


20 Member Skelcy.

21 MS. SKELCY: Yeah. I have a

22 question. I went blank there for a minute.

23 I have a problem with it being in the

24 right-of-way. Here is my question for you.

25 Have you considered putting it on the





1 sign site, in that photograph it says, now

2 leasing. Why not move it there so that you

3 don't have to request --

4 MR. BARBAS: Actually it's

5 farther back than where that sign says now

6 leasing.

7 MS. SKELCY: No, replace -- move

8 the Heights of Novi to where it says, now

9 leasing. What about placing the -- this

10 requested sign in the area, in the

11 photographs --

12 MR. BARBAS: Oh. That now

13 leasing sign is left over sign --

14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You need to

15 speak into the microphone.

16 MR. ROBERTS: You're referring to

17 the photographs we have showed you?

18 MS. SKELCY: Yes.

19 MR. BARBAS: I'm sorry. I'm not

20 sure --

21 MS. SKELCY: It's a red sign.

22 It's in two of the photos.

23 MR. ROBERTS: That's way into the

24 right-of-way.

25 MR. BARBAS: That one is gone.





1 That one was somehow not noticed, yeah, that

2 was previous owners. That is way into the

3 right-of-way.

4 We are not talking about putting

5 anything in the right-of-way. We are -- it's

6 behind the right-of-way, it's in what is in

7 the proposed right-of-way.

8 MS. SKELCY: Oh, okay, it's in

9 the proposed.

10 MR. BARBAS: We are not asking

11 for anything inside the right-of-way itself.

12 In other words, if there was not a plan

13 to expand Nine Mile Road, so the -- so what

14 you were looking at is what the current

15 right-of-way is, we would not be in front of

16 you in terms of the location.

17 We are just asking to move it up. If

18 they expand Nine Mile Road, great, it can go

19 back.

20 But right now it's because it's only two

21 lanes, and because the proposed right-of-way

22 it's really looking at a four-lane road being

23 there, it's back two lanes, or whatever the

24 distance is.

25 MS. SKELCY: Ms. Kudla, is it





1 possible that we can restrain their future

2 rights under eminent domain if that there is

3 a taking in order to expand the road?

4 MS. KUDLA: It sounds like

5 they're going to agree to, and what we would

6 put on the condition, if in the event that

7 the road is expanded, we will would not have

8 to pay compensation, and they will move the

9 sign at their cost. It won't be considered

10 condemnation to move the sign.

11 It will just be moved back at the City's

12 request or the County's request.

13 MR. BARBAS: At our expense. I

14 hope you understand, we are not talking about

15 the current right-of-way.

16 MS. SKELCY: Yes, I understand.

17 Thank you.


19 have a few questions for you.

20 Why is it necessary that you have it

21 raised, what is it, several -- or several

22 inches?

23 MR. BARBAS: The reason that it

24 is necessary. Are you talking six inches or

25 the --






2 inches.

3 MR. ROBERTS: It's really

4 mainly -- like I said, as a designer and a

5 landscape architect, I have seen so many

6 signs that are put right down into the

7 ground, and as soon as you put any vegetation

8 around it whatsoever, it gets hidden.

9 So all we are doing it raising it up six

10 inches and using posts that you won't see.

11 Otherwise, anything we put in there, even the

12 shortest plants would cover it up right away.


14 landscape engineer, but can't you put some

15 kind of skirting that will hide that? The

16 reason why is because this may be

17 considered -- I don't know if it's considered

18 a pole sign under our ordinances?

19 MR. BARBAS: The concern we have

20 one, is, as Gary mentioned before, it is a

21 very narrow boulevard and the area -- so we

22 can't do any -- you know, having the ground

23 come up like this, that it really has to be

24 flat because it's not that wide.

25 And if we can't raise the sign, all we





1 are going to be able to do is basically put

2 like wood chips or something that is really

3 not nearly as attractive as plants down there

4 because otherwise you're going to start

5 cutting off the bottom of the sign.

6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I appreciate

7 that answer. Then the question becomes, what

8 about the height. If you're allowed five

9 feet, why do you need that extra foot?

10 I mean, let me ask it this way.

11 Assuming the Board approved the move of the

12 location of the sign, why do you need an

13 extra foot? I mean, how do explain that?

14 MR. BARBAS: Because as you come

15 from Haggerty going west, there is a fence

16 there from the property next to it. There

17 are County or State, I don't know what they

18 are, traffic signs in the road there. There

19 is a utility pole in the road there. And

20 then there are bushes and trees on the

21 adjacent property.

22 And what we tried to do is get it high

23 enough that it is visible. We are not trying

24 to make it higher for any other reason.

25 Frankly, I like low signs, I think they





1 look more, whatever the right word is, nicer.

2 But in this case, we are concerned that, you

3 know, you would be able to see the sign. And

4 it's difficult to see the sign where it is

5 lower.

6 And I went out there when the mock up

7 was out there, and confirmed that, you know,

8 I'm glad we asked for it.


10 sir. Any other questions?

11 Member Sanghvi.

12 MR. SANGHVI: I have a question.

13 First, I have been living in that area for 36

14 years. And I know Nine Mile Road since the

15 day it was a dirt road. It has never been a

16 45-mile road and safety (inaudible). It's a

17 beautiful fiction, but it has nothing to do

18 with reality.

19 MR. BARBAS: I can tell you that

20 a number of people have said they had to slow

21 down --

22 MR. SANGHVI: It is a 45 mile

23 road, you are writing here. It has never

24 been. It is a 35 mile road.

25 MR. BARBAS: Did we say -- I'm





1 sorry?

2 MR. SANGHVI: It has always been

3 a 35 mile road, even when it was a dirt road.

4 MR. BARBAS: I'm just telling

5 you --

6 MR. SANGHVI: I know you are

7 telling me --

8 MR. BARBAS: If I put 45 --

9 MR. SANGHVI: You have got it in

10 two places 45 miles. Not in one.

11 MR. BARBAS: I apologize for him

12 putting 45 down .

13 MR. SANGHVI: The sign is right

14 there in front of your property.

15 MR. BARBAS: I will plead the

16 fifth for him on that. Whether it is 35 or

17 it is 45, I can tell you --

18 MR. SANGHVI: Number two, have

19 you looked at the sign recently (inaudible)

20 on your property? Have you looked at it

21 lately? You can't even read the name.

22 MR. BARBAS: We are replacing all

23 of the signage in the property.

24 MR. SANGHVI: People can't find

25 it because they can't read the sign.





1 MR. BARBAS: We are replacing

2 just about every single sign in the

3 community. All the signs -- you are

4 absolutely correct. We need variances on

5 them.

6 MR. SANGHVI: You can't read it.

7 I know where it is. I go by there, I have

8 been going there for very many, many years.

9 Like anybody else, if you can't read the name

10 of the street or the sign there, how are they

11 going to find it. I think that's what you

12 need is a bigger sign there, rather than

13 moving -- you already bring the masonry wall

14 there for the sign, haven't you?

15 MR. BARBAS: I'm sorry?

16 MR. SANGHVI: You already bring

17 the wall there to put the new sign in?

18 MR. BARBAS: No. There is a mock

19 up up there.

20 MR. SANGHVI: I know what is

21 there. I know what I have seen.

22 MR. BARBAS: The only thing we

23 did is since we changed the name, we put a

24 very temporary -- what did they make that out

25 of canvas or whatever, sign --





1 MR. SANGHVI: I know what you are

2 putting --

3 MR. BARBAS: That's going.

4 MR. SANGHVI: You haven't put the

5 masonry base --


7 MR. SANGHVI: Are you sure?

8 MR. BARBAS: Yes. I would have

9 gotten a bill.

10 MR. SANGHVI: Maybe you want to

11 go look at the island again. It is already

12 there.

13 MR. BARBAS: I was going by at

14 45 miles an hour.

15 MR. SANGHVI: I'm glad nobody has

16 caught you because that is a speed trap in

17 Novi. You know that. Thank you.

18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Skelcy.

19 MS. SKELCY: I had a question

20 about what you're going to put underneath the

21 sign. Because if you put flowers, in the

22 winter, we'll see the sticks. But if you use

23 some type of evergreen bush, I mean, what is

24 your plan to plant there?

25 MR. ROBERTS: Part of it was





1 going to be ground cover and evergreen ground

2 cover and then flowers on the outside of the

3 that. Evergreen ground cover then you won't

4 see the --

5 MS. SKELCY: There will be an

6 evergreen ground cover, then we won't see the

7 poles?

8 MR. ROBERTS: No, because that

9 evergreen ground cover is tall enough to

10 cover up the poles, and then there is flowers

11 in front of it. So there is something there

12 in the winter, even from an esthetic

13 standpoint of the plantings. What we

14 normally find, this island is extremely

15 narrow compared to most islands. It's

16 difficult to get things to grow. There is

17 salt damage, there is, you know, salt spray

18 and things like. So on the outside of this

19 wall, we have got day lillies, which will

20 grow in almost any condition. The variety we

21 use will bloom all summer long.

22 On top of the planter, we wanted to add

23 a little bit of color, which would be annuals

24 draping over, potato vines, so that it's

25 pretty and lush. And then towards the





1 center, we've got perennial evergreen ground

2 cover, either a myrtle or an ivy, that's just

3 going to cover that up.

4 Essentially, it is basically putting a

5 skirt on it. But we are raising all this, so

6 that the soil can be good, the plants will

7 thrive, and, you know, we can get water

8 conditions to work better on it.

9 MS. SKELCY: Thank you.

10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Gedeon.

11 MR. GEDEON: To the Chair, I

12 apologize, if I missed this part of the case,

13 but was the audience granted an option to

14 the -- option to --

15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I believe so.

16 MR. GEDEON: I apologize if I

17 missed that.

18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: That's okay.

19 MR. GEDEON: In general, I don't

20 have a problem with this. The sign looks

21 like it's a nicely updated sign compared to

22 the existing sign there. And I think that

23 they are taking care to obscure the view of

24 the poles with natural landscaping.

25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any other --





1 Member Krieger.

2 MS. KRIEGER: Question to

3 Mr. Boulard, so because the sign is going to

4 be in the -- that raised curb area in the

5 middle, that's why it's in a right-of-way?

6 MR. BOULARD: No. Nine Mile Road

7 has a right-of-way in which the road is

8 constructed, the public right-of-way.

9 Typically, when there is possible future

10 expansion contemplated, areas to the --

11 additional area on each side or one side or

12 the other will be designated as proposed

13 right-of-way. And generally, at that point,

14 we look at it and say, well, we are going to

15 set the setbacks from that since it's going

16 to be right-of-way in the future.

17 And this sign is in that area that's

18 contemplated for future use of right-of-way.

19 MR. BARBAS: If I can approach

20 and show you a survey that will show the two

21 lines, right-of-way --


23 survey you have already given us? Because we

24 do have a copy of the survey.

25 MR. BARBAS: Yes. If you look on





1 that survey, it shows the right-of-way and

2 the proposed right-of-way. And it shows the

3 existing boulevard, which we are not changing

4 at all. We are not changing. We are not

5 expanding the boulevard or anything like

6 that.

7 MS. KRIEGER: You're moving the

8 sign within the boulevard.

9 MR. BARBAS: Moving the sign

10 within the boulevard, but it would be within

11 the proposed right-of-way. The boulevard is

12 already part of the proposed right-of-way.

13 MS. KRIEGER: Nothing else.

14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anything else?

15 Member Gerblick.

16 MR. GERBLICK: What is the

17 current height of the sign that's in place

18 right now that's being blocked as you're

19 saying?

20 MR. ROBERTS: You know what,

21 right now, I was trying to ascertain that.

22 If you look at the photograph, I believe it's

23 taller than we are proposing right now. You

24 know, right now they have got a large brick

25 column that's right at the end of the island





1 that could be hit. We have got lights

2 underneath it, and the sign is raised up at

3 least the same height, if not higher. But I

4 really didn't take a measurement of it. I

5 cannot tell you the exact height.

6 If you looked at the pictures, you would

7 see, just scale-wise it is taller.

8 MR. BARBAS: I think it is taller

9 than what the new sign, total height is going

10 to be. Especially because there is enough --

11 it slopes down, so, you know, the boulevard

12 slopes down a little, so the sign is going to

13 be lower, even if it's the same height off

14 the ground.

15 MR. GERBLICK: Additionally,

16 being that it's 35 miles an hour on that

17 road, can you kind of expand or elaborate on

18 why you need the sign area to be larger than

19 the ordinance allows?

20 MR. BARBAS: It's the same

21 reason. People were not seeing the sign.

22 And we didn't think it was a great expansion.

23 You know, the difference between 24 and

24 32 feet is really three by eight versus four

25 by eight. So we are making the sign





1 basically a foot taller.

2 MR. GERBLICK: Is there any way

3 to reduce the area of the sign, that you

4 could limit the space used on either sides.

5 Looks like --

6 MR. BARBAS: No. We wouldn't be

7 reducing it on the sides. If we were doing a

8 24 foot sign, it would be still be eight

9 feet, we would have to make it three feet

10 rather than four feet. And if you were going

11 to do that, then I would ask if there is some

12 way we can ask for the variance be 18 inches

13 instead of six inches on the posts, and we'd

14 they have to figure out a landscape around

15 that because we are going to get some height

16 to the sign.

17 That's really -- I mean, the reason we

18 are asking for the 32 versus the 24 is to get

19 some height into the whole mass.

20 MR. GERBLICK: Okay.


22 questions or comments for the applicant?

23 Personally, just expanding on my

24 previous questions. I think you have

25 answered everything, you know, to my





1 satisfaction.

2 My inclination would be to grant it as

3 proposed with the conditions that you would

4 waive any compensation or claims if the

5 right-of-way --

6 MR. BARBAS: For the cost of

7 moving the sign?

8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Yes, if there

9 was some expansion of the road and the

10 right-of-way actually taken. And that you

11 would have to cover through all seasons the

12 posts that stick up with some kind of

13 permanent like an evergreen type vegetation.

14 But as to the other ones, I would agree

15 to.

16 Anybody else? If not, entertain a

17 motion, we can take them all together or take

18 them separately.

19 Member Ibe.

20 MR. IBE: Mr. Chair, in Case No.

21 11-039, what is now called the Heights

22 formerly called Highland Club apartments.

23 MR. BARBAS: Yes, it's the

24 Heights of Novi Apartments.

25 MR. IBE: I move that we grant





1 the request as petitioned here by the

2 applicant to allow the current sign that is

3 there to be moved into the proposed

4 right-of-way. And also to allow the height

5 as requested in the application for the

6 following reasons. That the features for

7 getting this property are unique, in the

8 sense that the current sign where it is

9 located, it's not visible clearly from

10 Nine Mile Road because it's covered with some

11 vegetation, and it is set back inside the

12 entrance, and though this makes it a bit

13 difficult for parties who are seeking to find

14 this particular location to see the sign.

15 And this property owner is actually a

16 new owner, I believe, they were not the

17 original owner. That the problem here is not

18 self-created. It's something that was

19 inherited by the new owner, who also is the

20 petitioner in this case.

21 Secondly, we should grant this because

22 failure to grant will unreasonably prevent or

23 limit the use of the property and will result

24 in substantial mere inconvenience, or limit

25 the applicant from using this property the





1 way it should be done.

2 Now, the applicant clearly has stated

3 that this is not an economic or financial

4 issue, but more of to allow parties who will

5 seek to come to this particular property to

6 find it easily.

7 Finally, the grant of relief will not

8 result in the use of structure that is

9 incompatible or interferes with adjacent or

10 surrounding properties.

11 This is a huge apartment complex

12 obviously. There are other complexes around

13 the area. And based on what we have here so

14 far, we have not seen anything that will

15 suggest that surrounding properties are going

16 to be effected simply by moving this sign up

17 front. And the applicant has agreed that the

18 granting of this variance will be subject to

19 the following two conditions. One, the

20 applicant will waive cost compensation in the

21 future, assuming that the Nine Mile Road is

22 expanded. And secondly, that the applicant

23 will also be in the total cost of moving

24 the --

25 MR. BARBAS: The sign.





1 MR. IBE: Moving the sign back to

2 the line where it should be.

3 Based on this, I ask that the

4 applicant's request should be granted.

5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Before we get

6 a second, Member Skelcy.

7 MS. SKELCY: I wanted to amend

8 the motion to include the fact that the posts

9 of the sign would be covered through all

10 seasons.

11 MR. IBE: I agree to that.


13 second, did we cover all aspects of the

14 petition?

15 MS. KUDLA: I wanted to clarify

16 whether it's all four variances that are

17 being granted as requested?

18 MR. IBE: Yes.

19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Now that we

20 got that. Any other comments before we get a

21 second? Any seconds now?

22 MS. KRIEGER: Second.


24 motion and a second, any further discussion

25 on this particular motion?





1 Seeing none, Ms. Pawlowski, will you

2 will please call the roll.

3 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?

4 MR. GEDEON: Yes.

5 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gerblick?


7 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?


9 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Ibe?

10 MR. IBE: Yes.

11 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?

12 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.

13 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?


15 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?

16 MS. SKELCY: Yes.

17 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes

18 five to two.


20 sir.

21 MR. BARBAS: Thank you. My

22 father also ask that I add at the end that

23 Mr. Roberts has done a number of projects,

24 when we have acquired other developments.

25 All of them have won awards for the





1 landscaping, so he wants this to get thrown

2 in for another nomination.


4 Congratulations.

5 MR. ROBERTS: We appreciate you

6 all.


8 Next on the agenda is Item No. 7. Case No.

9 11-040. Diamond Jim Bradys.

10 Are you both going to be speaking?

11 Please both raise your right hands and be

12 sworn.

13 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or

14 affirm to tell the truth?

15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Will you state

16 your name and addresses, please.

17 MS. BRADY: Mary Brady, 2775

18 Shagbark Lane.


20 Bonislawski, 275 East Frank Street,

21 Birmingham, Michigan.


23 proceed.

24 MR. BONISLAWSKI: We originally

25 submitted and are appearing in front of you





1 for two variances.

2 One is a signage variance for the

3 addition of a third sign. And the second is

4 for the extended use of an outdoor cafe area.

5 Having been sworn, I will say that it's

6 (inaudible) we were hoping to convince the

7 landlord to support our request for the third

8 sign of the property. And as unique as the

9 condition is, and as much as the three-sided

10 building, and it goes three different

11 directions, requires that third sign for

12 visibility. He refuses to support us on that

13 motion.

14 So in fact, I will be speaking you

15 specifically with regard to the extended use

16 of the outdoor patio.

17 We are dealing with Diamond Jim Bradys.

18 Mary Brady is here with us this evening.

19 Having been a restaurant here in the city

20 successfully for 20 years, they were subject

21 to a unique circumstance, and that was having

22 to be relocated within the center, due to the

23 center's reconfiguration based on plans that

24 the landlord is pursuing.

25 We were presented with a great





1 opportunity being relocated within the same

2 property, and to what we believe is a better

3 location because as long time residents of

4 Novi, you would know where Diamond Jim Bradys

5 was previously recoated. And now we have a

6 much better orientation. Thought we are

7 still complaining about visibility with

8 regard to this signage, but that's a separate

9 issue that we are not discussing tonight.

10 If your remember Diamond Jim Bradys, it

11 was a 110 seat restaurant with a 20 seat

12 cafe. The opportunity that presented itself

13 was to take over a space from a food tenancy

14 that was moving out that actually had a

15 rather substantial kitchen facility

16 associated with it, as such, the opportunity

17 for Mary to take over the space, making

18 really very minor modifications to the very

19 expensive infrastructure was a terrific

20 opportunity.

21 Of course, it came with a downside that

22 this facility only has 60 seats on the

23 interior, and with every opportunity, with

24 every problem that we find an opportunity,

25 the landlord had previously renovated this





1 end of the center, and actually built in

2 architecture that defined the space on the

3 exterior of the shell of the building, that

4 presents itself as the perfect opportunity

5 for an outdoor cafe.

6 If you have had opportunity to see what

7 Mary has had the opportunity to do with the

8 restaurant itself, you would never know that

9 it was a Baja Fresh before. And we are

10 proposing to treat the outdoor cafe component

11 as tastefully, with the added benefit of

12 utilizing its configuration in such a way

13 that we are able to use isinglass panels that

14 would surround this specific outdoor cafe

15 area, which includes the opportunity for 24

16 seats, with the extended use exterior

17 heaters, in a way that we can minimize the

18 amount of difficulty that this owner wanting

19 to stay in Novi would be presented with

20 maintains the same level of business, same

21 quality of food, maintaining the staff and

22 dealing with the reduced seating capacity.

23 As such, this was not a self-created

24 condition. In fact, we have been subject to

25 numerous levels of having things effect us





1 with regard to attempting to maintain a

2 profitable and viable business here.

3 That we are complying with all the other

4 components of the zoning ordinance, with

5 regard to setback requirements, height,

6 materials.

7 We have convinced the landlord to

8 approve us on supporting our proposed use of

9 this facility for an extended period.

10 We believe that it actually enhances

11 that entire area on a year-round basis. And

12 it's really the minimum that we could

13 possibly ask for in terms of not pushing our

14 luck or going outside of the boundaries of

15 space that's clearly defined by the

16 architecture that was built by the landlord

17 there. So we request that you support our

18 request.

19 And Mary is here to speak with any

20 specific items from the business standpoint,

21 if you so desire.


23 sir.

24 Is there anybody in the public who would

25 like to make a comment on this specific case?





1 Seeing none, I will close the public

2 remarks section and ask our secretary to read

3 any correspondence.

4 MS. SKELCY: There were 146

5 notices mailed, 38 were returned. There is

6 one objection and one approval.

7 Now, the objection pertains to the third

8 sign -- well, no, it pertains to both. It's

9 from James Claire, who is the property

10 manager of -- general manager of the Novi

11 Town Center. He states, "Novi Town Center

12 management approves the request for extended

13 time period relating to the operation of the

14 outdoor seating area". He goes onto comment

15 about the sign, but that's not before the

16 Board at this time, so I will not read it.

17 Also the Violet Tuck, T-u-c-k, of Novi

18 Auto Parts located at 43131 Grand River in

19 Novi, approves. She states, "I have no

20 problem with either the sign variance or the

21 outdoor seating. Good luck. The business

22 people in Novi need all the help they can

23 get".

24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any comments

25 or questions by the City?





1 MR. BOULARD: Just a comment or

2 question. Does -- the zoning ordinance is

3 specific. It talks about the time period for

4 outdoor seating. Where there is a unique

5 situation, in this case, there is going to be

6 these panels that provide some protection as

7 well as outdoor heaters that have already

8 been installed in the area, in the outdoor

9 seating area to extend that time of season.

10 I think that that's -- this is exactly the

11 venue for that. And we have got something

12 that out of the ordinary. This is the

13 appropriate and we support that.

14 I did have one request, whatever the

15 Board decides to do, Roman, would you be so

16 kind as to sign the application before you

17 leave?


19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: On the sign

20 request, he's saying that the landlord did

21 not approve that, but does he need the

22 specific approval for that, for the third

23 sign?

24 MS. KUDLA: Yes.

25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: So we have the





1 one request for the outdoor seating?

2 MS. KUDLA: Yes.


4 Any other questions comments by the

5 City?

6 Seeing none, I will open it up to the

7 Board for discussion.

8 Member Sanghvi.

9 MR. SANGHVI: Question for

10 Mr. Boulard. When I was going through these

11 papers, I didn't see any signature from the

12 applicant nor any approval from the Town

13 Center authority.

14 MR. BOULARD: I mentioned the

15 applicant's signature.


17 MR. BOULARD: I mentioned the

18 applicant's signature. The manager,

19 Mr. Claire came in and signed the application

20 for the extension of the time period for the

21 property, not for the sign. So we have that

22 in place on the original.

23 MR. SANGHVI: I don't see it on

24 the application.

25 MR. BOULARD: It is not there.





1 You are correct, sir.

2 MR. SANGHVI: I have no problems

3 with the request the applicant is making, and

4 (inaudible). Good luck to them. I have no

5 problem. Thank you.

6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Skelcy.

7 MS. SKELCY: Would the outdoor

8 cafe area run year-round?


10 periods where physically the isinglass and

11 the heaters, you know, there are days in

12 February, if you have a week of 20 below

13 temperatures, you're not going to be able to

14 use that. The whole purpose of it is to

15 attempt to extend the useable period by

16 another 50 to 100 days. So they'll still be

17 a month's worth of the year that you can't

18 use it, simply because the weather will not

19 permit it.

20 MS. SKELCY: But are you asking

21 for year-round use?

22 MR. BONISLAWSKI: Yes, we are.

23 Because you can't tell when -- we have had

24 wonderful days in December where we have

25 other restaurants where we open up full





1 operable walls because the weather permits

2 it.

3 MS. SKELCY: I just wanted to

4 understand what time period you wanted.

5 Thank you.

6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Gedeon.

7 MR. GEDEON: Just to clarify.

8 The outdoor cafe seating is separate from the

9 patio seating, is that correct?

10 MR. BONISLAWSKI: That's correct.

11 We have two outdoor cafe components around

12 the exterior of the building.

13 We are really referring to the end of

14 the building facing Novi Road that is

15 surrounded by the big architectural bulkhead

16 that was built by the landlord himself.

17 That's the area that's going under the fabric

18 canopy, and that's the area that's being

19 proposed to be enclosed by the isinglass

20 panels.

21 The other portion of outdoor patio it

22 doesn't have any other means of protection

23 being proposed around it. It's really truly

24 a seasonal component.

25 MR. GEDEON: Thank you.






2 probably amend that, just from the standpoint

3 if there was a wonderful day in December

4 again, you have 60 degrees, and we have

5 stacking chairs in the back storage room,

6 it's always something that I would hate to

7 prevent Mary from being able to capitalize on

8 the potential of 84 seats plus out there when

9 she's coming from a facility that had a 130

10 seats the best times of operation.


12 questions or comments by the Board?

13 Seeing none, anybody want to try a

14 motion? Member Skelcy.

15 MS. SKELCY: In the Case of

16 11-040, Diamond Jim Bradys, located at 43271

17 Crescent Boulevard in Novi, I move that we

18 grant the variance request asking for a

19 waiver of the ordinance which limits use of

20 the outdoor seating dining to a period of

21 April 15th to November 30th of each year.

22 And ask that we move -- and move that we

23 permit them to have year-round usage of the

24 outdoor seating dining area, cafe, on a

25 year-round basis.





1 That the request is based on

2 circumstances or features that are

3 exceptional and unique to the property, with

4 the way that it's designed and the size of

5 the interior of the building, and do not

6 result from conditions that exist generally

7 in the City or that are self-created.

8 The failure to grant relief will

9 unreasonably prevent or limit the use of this

10 property and will result in substantially

11 more than mere inconvenience or inability to

12 attain a higher economic or financial return.

13 Finally, the grant of relief will not

14 result in a use of structure that is

15 incompatible with or unreasonably interferes

16 with adjacent or surrounding properties,

17 especially since all the surrounding

18 properties are business properties and then

19 the busy Novi Road.

20 And it will result in substantial

21 justice being done to both the applicant and

22 adjacent or surrounding properties and is not

23 inconsistent with the spirit of the

24 ordinance.

25 MR. IBE: Second.






2 motion and a second, any further discussion?

3 Member Gerblick.

4 MR. GERBLICK: I just want to

5 make sure that we are limiting it to one area

6 which will have the glass panels and the

7 heaters and not both outdoor seating areas?


9 intent of the motion, right?

10 MS. SKELCY: Yes, because that's

11 what was requested in the application.

12 MR. GERBLICK: Okay.


14 further discussion, Ms. Pawlowski, will you

15 please call the roll.

16 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?

17 MR. GEDEON: Yes.

18 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gerblick?


20 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?


22 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Ibe?

23 MR. IBE: Yes.

24 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?

25 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.





1 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?


3 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?

4 MS. SKELCY: Yes.

5 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes

6 seven to zero.


8 Congratulations, sir, and ma'am.

9 MS. BRADY: Thank you. We are

10 open, if anybody wants to come in.

11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Next on the

12 agenda is other matters. It's one, approval

13 of the 2012 Zoning Board of Appeals calendar.

14 We have all been given a calendar.

15 Any questions or comments about the

16 suggested calendar?

17 Anything from the City? Any other

18 further comments, suggestions?

19 Anybody else have any -- if not, I will

20 entertain a motion to approve the proposed

21 ZBA calendar dates for 2010.

22 MR. IBE: So moved.

23 MR. SANGHVI: Second.

24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any further

25 discussion? Seeing none, all in favor say





1 aye.


3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any opposed?

4 Seeing none, the 2012 calendar dates are

5 approved as proposed.

6 Any other matters before we close? I

7 don't think there is.

8 Seeing zone, I will entertain a motion

9 to adjourn.

10 MR. SANGHVI: I just wanted to

11 congratulate our counsel.

12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Our counsel

13 has been married, congratulations Ms. Kudla.

14 Any motion to adjourn?

15 MR. SANGHVI: So moved.

16 MR. GERBLICK: Second.

17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: All in favor

18 say aye.

19 THE BOARD: Aye.

20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any opposed?

21 Seeing none, we are adjourned. Thank you.

22 (The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.)

23 ** ** **








2 ) ss.


4 I, Jennifer L. Wall, Notary Public within and for

5 the County of Oakland, State of Michigan, do hereby certify

6 that the hearing was taken before me in the above entitled

7 matter was by me duly sworn at the aforementioned time and

8 place; that the proceedings were stenographically recorded.

9 I further certify that I am not connected by blood

10 or marriage with any of the parties or their attorneys, and

11 that I am not an employee of either of them, nor financially

12 interested in the action.

13 IN WITNESS THEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand at

14 the City of Walled Lake, County of Oakland, State of

15 Michigan.



18 ________________ _________________________

Date Jennifer L. Wall CSR-4183

19 Oakland County, Michigan

My Commission Expires 11/12/15