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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Proceedings had and Testimony taken in the matter of the ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS, at City of Novi, 45175 West Ten Mile Road, Novi, Michigan, on Tuesday, January 10, 2012

David Ghannam, Chairman
Mav Sanghvi
Linda Krieger
Donna Skelcy
Jeffrey Gedeon

Michael Boulard, Building Official
Beth Kudla, City Attorney
Coordinator: Angela Pawlowski, Recording Secretary

REPORTED BY: Jennifer L. Wall, Certified Shorthand Reporter

1 Novi, Michigan.

2 Tuesday, January 10, 2012

3 7:00 p.m.

4 ** ** **

5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Welcome to the

6 January 10, 2012 Zoning Board of Appeals

7 meeting. First thing we're going to do is

8 the Pledge of Allegiance. Member Gedeon, can

9 you start us off, please.

10 (The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.)

11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you. Ms.

12 Pawlowski, if you can please call the roll.

13 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?

14 MR. GEDEON: Here.

15 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gerblick?

16 Absent, excused.

17 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 do have a quorum, and before we get into some

4 of the rules and procedures, we do have six

5 of the members tonight. We are missing a

6 member. If for some reason there is someone

7 who wants to have the meeting adjourned, or

8 their case adjourned for a different day, you

9 can present that now.

10 You can always present that now,

11 otherwise, you will need a quorum, four out

12 of six to pass anything.

13 MS. KUDLA: We also have a member

14 who has an expired term, so we are not going

15 to have that member vote tonight.

16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Who is that?

17 MS. ROBERTS: Mr. Gedeon.

18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Oh, okay. Sorry

19 about that. So we have to have five

20 members -- just so everybody understands, you

21 need four to pass any motion, whether it be

22 to approve or deny any particular subject.

23 I know on one of the cases, Case

24 No. 11-044, one of the members will be

25 excused because they're an effected piece of





1 property. So you will have four. That means

2 you have to have all four votes to approve or

3 deny any particular motion on your case.

4 So if there is anybody who wishes

5 or desires to have their particular issue

6 adjourned, please raise your hand and you can

7 be recognized.

8 If you change your mind later, you

9 can always let us know at that time. But

10 seeing none, I will move on.

11 In terms of the public hearing

12 format, and rules of conduct, we do have

13 informational sheets in the back, please read

14 them. I would ask that anybody here who has

15 a telephone or pager, please turn them off or

16 on vibrate so we don't hear them.

17 Applicants will be called to come

18 forth, state their name and address and be

19 sworn by our secretary. You will then have

20 five minutes to address the board and present

21 your case. At the discretion of the Chair,

22 you can be extended in terms of time to

23 present your case. The public will be asked

24 to comment on the particular cases as they're

25 called.





1 The next issue or item on our

2 agenda is the approval of the agenda. Are

3 there any modifications or additions at this

4 time?

5 MR. SANGHVI: So moved.

6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Well, first of

7 all, any there any modifications or

8 additions?


10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Seeing none --

11 MR. SANGHVI: May I make a motion

12 to approve the agenda?

13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any seconds?

14 MS. KRIEGER: Second.

15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Seeing a motion

16 and second, all in favor say aye.

17 THE BOARD: Aye.

18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any opposed?

19 Seeing none, our agenda is approved.

20 I will move to the public remarks

21 section. Now, I will be able to take any

22 public remarks on any matter that's not going

23 to be pending before the board tonight

24 because you will be given an opportunity to

25 do so. Is there anybody in the public who





1 would like to address the board?

2 Seeing none, I will close the

3 public remarks section and move to our first

4 case.

5 Case No. 11-043 for 1251 West Lake

6 Drive. Will they please come forward.

7 Are you an attorney, sir?

8 MR. KOSIAN: No, I am not.

9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Can you please

10 state your name and address.

11 MR. KOSIAN: My name is Brian

12 Kosian, 1523 West Lake Drive.

13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please raise

14 your hand and be sworn by our secretary.

15 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or affirm

16 to tell the truth?

17 MR. KOSIAN: Yes, I do.

18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please go ahead,

19 sir.

20 MR. KOSIAN: I have brought some

21 additional information and I've got six

22 copies. Would it be okay to distribute those

23 to the members?


25 MR. KOSIAN: Good evening. My name





1 is Brian Kosian. And I have with me today,

2 my wife Becky, and Mr. Gary Kwapis

3 (phonetic). Mr. Kwapis is the architect who

4 designed this home for us.

5 We currently live at 1523 West Lake

6 Drive, which is 15 houses south of 1251, the

7 lot that we purchased to build a new home.

8 We built our current home in 1998, and with

9 the addition of twins to our family, we have

10 simply found ourselves in need of additional

11 living space, additional garage space,

12 storage space, and an outdoor play area for

13 our children.

14 We are no strangers to this small

15 lakefront area of Novi. In the past 12

16 years, we have made several contributions to

17 the area.

18 In 1997, we purchased a rotten,

19 delapidated log home. We demolished the

20 home, stood in front of this board, were

21 granted variances and built our current

22 lakefront home, which we live in today.

23 In 2001, we purchased a small

24 cottage at 150 North Haven, just nine doors

25 west from our new lot. We cleaned up the





1 home and lot, and it's turned out to be a

2 cute little home that we still own also

3 today.

4 In 2004, myself, with the help of

5 two neighbors, went door-to-door to start and

6 successfully initiate SAD 168 and SAD 169,

7 which brought a water main down West Lake

8 Drive and also paved the road that we all

9 drive in on.

10 We have spent a lot of time

11 planning our new home. Our primary goal was

12 to have a home with good curb appeal and to

13 build a home behind the neighboring site

14 lines without the need of any variances at

15 all.

16 As we worked through the design, it

17 became evident that our plan would require

18 two minor variances. One for lot coverage

19 and one for front yard setback on the

20 roadside, closest to West Lake Drive.

21 The need for these two minor

22 variances have been created for several

23 reasons. The first reason is groundwater.

24 We struck groundwater at two foot seven below

25 grade, which will not allow us to put a





1 basement in. Had we been able to put a

2 basement under the home, as it is designed

3 today, we would have gained 1,932 feet. We

4 are now forced to find spaces for two HVAC

5 units, a boiler, electrical panels, water

6 tank, washer and dryer, and most importantly

7 storage. These all have to find a space

8 above grade, robbing us of value living

9 space.

10 The second reason is we have a

11 first floor requirement. Both Becky and I

12 have elderly parents that will have a

13 difficult time negotiating stairs. And our

14 current plan has designed a guest suite on

15 the first floor.

16 The three-car garage. The

17 three-car garage will allow for indoor

18 storage of boats and related equipment

19 keeping our lot free of clutter. Although

20 our garage will intrude into the front yard

21 setback, it will still be further from the

22 road than the two garages to the south, thus

23 keeping consistent with our neighbors.

24 Again, I would like to repeat. Our garage

25 will be further from the road than the two





1 neighbors to the south.

2 The fourth issue is the design of

3 our home. Our home is designed similar to

4 east coast homes that have outdoor living

5 areas which are covered porches. While they

6 don't impede into any of the setbacks, they

7 are unfortunately included in the

8 calculations for lot coverage, therefore,

9 putting us over.

10 We have met with our immediate

11 neighbors and shown them our plans. We have

12 earned their support and they have given us

13 written approval, which I submitted to you

14 along with a map showing exactly where they

15 live relative to our site.

16 We hope that you will agree that

17 this home, as designed, will add to the

18 improvements that have taken place through

19 the years on West Lake Drive.

20 Please feel free to direct any

21 questions to either myself or Mr. Kwapis.

22 Thank you for your consideration.

23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you, sir.

24 If someone can shut the backdoor, I would

25 appreciate it. We are getting a lot of





1 background noise. Thank you, sir.

2 Is there anybody in the public who

3 would like to make a comment on this

4 particular case, please raise your hand.

5 Seeing none, I will close the

6 public remarks section and ask our secretary

7 to read any correspondence.

8 MS. SKELCY: There were 26 notices

9 mailed, one was returned by the post office.

10 There were five approvals and two objections.

11 Tom Marquardt, M-a-r-q-u-a-r-d-t,

12 of 121 North Haven Street approves.

13 Bruce and Julie Simon, S-i-m-o-n,

14 state my wife and I approve the requested

15 variance.

16 James Jones, Jr. of 70510 Old

17 Haggerty in Canton says, enjoy your new home.

18 David and Maria Dismondy, thank you

19 for sharing your plans with us. We look

20 forward to having you as a neighbor. They

21 live at 1181 West Lake Road.

22 Geri Dismondy at 1185 West Lake

23 Road, writes, welcome to the neighborhood.

24 Lori, L-o-r-i McLean, M-c-l-e-a-n,

25 of 1307 West Lake Drive, Novi writes, on lake





1 lots which are shallow to begin with,

2 setbacks should be compiled with. Failure to

3 do so can be prohibited to neighbor's rights.

4 For instances, views.

5 David Boyer of 1191 West Lake

6 Drive, states, lot is large enough, keep

7 house back as required, use any variance

8 towards back of lot near West Lake Drive. Do

9 not want more viewing lakeside restrictions.

10 That is it.

11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you. Is

12 there any comments or any questions by the

13 city?

14 MR. BOULARD: Nothing to add.

15 MS. KUDLA: No.

16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Then I will open

17 it up to the board for discussion. Member

18 Sanghvi?

19 MR. SANGHVI: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

20 I saw your lot yesterday, and I like your

21 design. I would commend you for your lot and

22 everything. I only have one question. How

23 far are you from the fire hydrant when you

24 come in the front? You know, there is a fire

25 hydrant?





1 MR. KOSIAN: There is one on the

2 lot, yes.

3 MR. SANGHVI: I just want to know

4 how far your building is going to be from

5 there?

6 MR. KOSIAN: We are going to be

7 24.6 feet from the front property line.

8 MR. SANGHVI: Okay. You answered

9 my question. Thank you.

10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Krieger?

11 MS. KRIEGER: I also like it a lot.

12 My question would be, since it's two lots,

13 and the house is going to be over both, like

14 in a previous case, does that have any regard

15 into this or is this one lot?

16 MR. SANGHVI: This is one lot.

17 MR. BOULARD: For purposes of the

18 zoning ordinance, the lots are considered to

19 be one parcel.

20 MS. KRIEGER: Okay. The garage

21 door, the main entrance, you have to come in

22 from the side, so the garage doors don't face

23 the street?

24 MR. KOSIAN: Correct. They are not

25 shown on this.





1 MS. KRIEGER: Okay.

2 MR. KOSIAN: It's a side entrance

3 garage.

4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anybody else? I

5 personally, sir, have no problem with it

6 either. I have reviewed this, and, you know,

7 it seems that you have tried to minimize your

8 variance as requested, and you know, the

9 unusual things about these types of lots that

10 are on the lake, they are smaller, they're

11 not like the larger lots that are being

12 developed in the city, or most other cities.

13 And it is -- we have seen a number of cases

14 of homes coming on -- from lake lots that

15 need small variances, to try update their

16 homes. Again, this seems to be consistent

17 with those. So I have no problem with it.

18 If there is no other comments, I

19 will entertain a motion at this point.

20 Member Ibe?

21 MR. IBE: Thank you, Mr. Chair. In

22 Case No. 11-043, 1251 West Lake Drive, I move

23 that we grant the applicant's request as

24 requested, for the following reasons. One,

25 that there are unique circumstances or





1 physical conditions of the property such as

2 the narrowness, the water, the physical

3 condition that will obviously, if not

4 granted, will make it impossible for the

5 applicant to meet the goal that he wishes to

6 reach here. And specifically the applicants

7 talks about groundwater, that makes -- that

8 prevents them from having a basement which

9 will create more additional space. So that

10 by itself is sufficient, unique circumstance

11 to allow this applicant's proposal to go

12 through.

13 Secondly, the need is not

14 self-created. The applicant obviously wanted

15 to build a home that complies with all the

16 necessary requirements. Unfortunately

17 because of the physical conditions, that

18 makes it impossible to meet the goal, so it

19 is not self-created.

20 The strict compliance with

21 regulations governing the area setback,

22 frontage, height, bulk, density or other

23 dimensional requirements will unreasonably

24 prevent the property owner from using the

25 property for the permitted purpose or will





1 render conformity with these regulations

2 unnecessarily burdensome.

3 The requested variance is the

4 minimum necessary to do substantial justice

5 to the applicant as well as other surrounding

6 property owners.

7 And finally, the requested variance

8 will not cause an adverse impact on

9 surrounding property.

10 I think it might actually enhance

11 the look of the neighborhood, and also uplift

12 he values, property values of the neighbors.

13 Although we do have some objections to what

14 the applicant is intending to do, there are

15 quite enough people who also approve for

16 applicants.

17 Based on this, I move that we grant

18 the requested application.

19 MS. KRIEGER: Second.

20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Seeing a motion

21 and a second, Ms. Pawlowski, can you -- first

22 of all, is there any further discussion by

23 the Board?

24 Seeing none, Ms. Pawlowski, can you

25 please call the roll.





1 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?


3 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Ibe?

4 MR. IBE: Yes.

5 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?


7 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?


9 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?

10 MS. SKELCY: Yes.

11 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes five

12 to zero.

13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Congratulations,

14 sir.

15 MR. KOSIAN: Thank you very much.

16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Next on the

17 agenda is Item No. 2, for Case No. 11-044,

18 317 Duana. Is the applicant here? Please

19 step forward, ma'am. Please state your name

20 and address.

21 MS. SITTERLET: Joanne Sitterlet,

22 317 Duana.

23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Can you pull the

24 microphone by your mouth, so that everybody

25 can hear you.





1 Raise your hand and be sworn by our

2 secretary.

3 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or affirm

4 to tell the truth?


6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please proceed,

7 ma'am.

8 MS. SITTERLET: My name is Joanne

9 Setteler. I'm here regarding a variance for

10 my home at 317 Duana. I am on Shaywood Lake

11 and have a beautiful view of Walled Lake

12 across the street. My home had no garage or

13 driveway when I purchased it. It also had no

14 way to get to the backyard for parking or a

15 garage. I am 63 years old in May. I have a

16 great deal of difficulty with my balance and

17 medical issues with my back. Walking across

18 the street to get to my home wasn't something

19 I could do.

20 I also thought heavily about my

21 brother who's blind, and my mom and others

22 coming to visit my home. Because of these

23 issues, before I purchased, I asked if I

24 could put a very small garage where the

25 bedroom, bath and laundry were. I was very





1 happy when I was told I could, as long as I

2 stayed in the footprint. I have done this

3 and it worked out beautifully.

4 I now also have a small driveway

5 that is easy to walk on for everyone. My

6 home was an eyesore to the neighbors and in

7 horrible condition inside also, but had such

8 potential. It was just waiting to become a

9 beautiful home.

10 I am proud to say we have been told

11 by the inspector for the garage, neighbors,

12 several officers and passersby that this was

13 a great idea and the house is already vastly

14 improved.

15 I had no idea my home was built on

16 a variance. However, after I was informed, I

17 had built the garage in the existing

18 footprint, I didn't think I would have a

19 problem with going up in the same footprint.

20 Currently, and without this

21 variance, my bedroom is in the family room

22 and the laundry in dining room, building

23 within the old footprint would be extremely

24 difficult because the addition would be a

25 skinny nine-foot strip down the center, and





1 would be almost impossible to place bedroom

2 furniture back in the laundry room. It would

3 also be peculiar and unattractive to me, the

4 neighbors and the city, that's probably why

5 the variance was made for the home

6 originally. This brings me here today. I

7 want to go up from the size of my home that

8 exists now, going back 26 feet of my 60-foot

9 home. I would not be going out of my

10 existing footprint or taking up any

11 additional ground space.

12 I have no homes behind me and don't

13 see this addition blocking anyone's beautiful

14 view of the lakes. I will continue with the

15 new vertical siding and high end windows

16 across the front.

17 My contractor is ready to start

18 immediately after approval, so my home will

19 not be in construction state for more than a

20 couple of weeks. This will not be an ongoing

21 project that the city and neighbors would

22 have to wait on for completion, become an

23 eyesore or detract from the neighborhood in

24 any way.

25 I like simple lines and intend to





1 make my home crisp, clean and contemporary.

2 I intend to do everything I can to make this

3 a beautiful addition to the neighborhood and

4 the city. I fell in love with the views I am

5 sandwiched between and am looking forward to

6 moving into my home by the end of this month.

7 I have never been more excited

8 about a new home. This is a very special

9 home to me. I am sincerely asking for your

10 help, hoping you will appreciate my situation

11 and the difficulty I face and allow me to

12 have this variance. And I thank you for this

13 opportunity.


15 ma'am.

16 Is there anybody in the public who

17 would like to make a comment about this

18 particular case? Ma'am, please come forward.

19 Can you step aside and let this lady talk.

20 State your name and address, ma'am.

21 MS. ROBERTS: I am Lynn Roberts,

22 and I live in Farmington Hills, but I am the

23 president of Summer Resolves (ph), LLC and

24 owner of 315 Duana, which is right next-door

25 to the subject property.





1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please raise

2 your hand and be sworn by our secretary.

3 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or affirm

4 to tell the truth?

5 MS. ROBERTS: I do.


7 Please proceed.

8 MS. ROBERTS: Thank you. I am here

9 today to express my opposition to the

10 requested addition to this house as proposed.

11 Let me clarify. I am not opposed to an

12 addition, just the plans that are laid out.

13 I could see some improvement to them.

14 First of all, to explain my

15 opposition. I'd like to draw attention to

16 the front elevation of the house. This is

17 the plan that was submitted by my neighbor.

18 As you can see, it's a full two-story plain

19 front facade, okay. This is going all the

20 way up, there is only three feet of property

21 on each side of this house. So this massive

22 facade will fill the entire front of this

23 lot.

24 And I'm concerned about it because

25 I think that's basically unattractive and I





1 also think it's out of scale with the

2 surrounding neighborhood. My home is a

3 single story ranch. The house on the other

4 side of this is a single story ranch. The

5 house on the other side of me does have a

6 second story, but it's more of a half story,

7 with a dormer window in the front. So there

8 is nothing that's this big and massive in

9 that area.

10 I'd also like to point out, I

11 suggest that there is another way to do this

12 addition, just pushing that second story

13 back, you know, six or eight feet or maybe

14 even more.

15 When you look at the plans, the

16 addition is planned to be 26 feet deep. The

17 existing house there is 60 feet deep. So

18 there is lots of opportunity to reposition

19 that second story addition. It doesn't have

20 to line up with the front wall of that be --

21 point forward all the way to front of that

22 house.

23 So what I would like to see is, you

24 know, some flexibility in the plans to maybe

25 push that second story back a little so it's





1 less obtrusive, so we can break up the facade

2 and maybe do something rather than just have

3 such a plain facade.

4 I would suggest maybe something

5 like a balcony on the front of it, maybe a

6 partial balcony. You know, this lot has a

7 beautiful lake view in the front, and, you

8 know, I think my neighbor could capitalize on

9 that lake view by doing something like that.

10 Also provide a facade that is a

11 little bit more attractive and fits in better

12 with the general character of the

13 neighborhood. Thank you.


15 clear, you're the owner of a company that

16 owns an adjacent lot?

17 MS. ROBERTS: Yes. Our LLC is just

18 owned by my husband and I.

19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I understand.

20 Is that a rental home for you?

21 MS. ROBERTS: No, it is not. Right

22 now we are renovating the home. We are

23 putting a lot of money into it, so we are

24 working on it.

25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: The intent is to





1 live there, I presume?

2 MS. ROBERTS: The intent is to rent

3 it for awhile, and maybe use it as a summer

4 home.

5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Does this --

6 your opinion is that this proposed

7 modification or renovation would affect your

8 lake view?

9 MS. ROBERTS: No, not my lake view.

10 Because the houses are kind of parallel and

11 have the same views from the back. I think

12 it's just kind of a massive approach to

13 putting a second story on. I don't see why

14 it has to be pulled all the way to the front

15 of the house like that.

16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I understand.

17 Any other questions for this particular

18 witness?

19 MS. SKELCY: None.

20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Ibe, any

21 questions?

22 MR. IBE: Maybe just one question.

23 May I call you Lynn?

24 MS. ROBERTS: Yes, please.

25 MR. IBE: Now, does the proposal





1 made by the applicant, will it in any way

2 affect the use or enjoyment of your property

3 as it is right now?

4 MS. ROBERTS: As it is right now,

5 no, not from the inside of the house. I

6 mean, looking at it, it affects the curb

7 appeal.

8 MR. IBE: Just the curb appeal is

9 all you're concerned about?

10 MS. ROBERTS: Yes.

11 MR. IBE: But not as to the use and

12 enjoyment of your property, no obstructions

13 at all, you will be able to enjoy the lake

14 view, regardless of whether she makes the

15 modifications or not, is that correct?

16 MS. ROBERTS: That is correct, yes.

17 MR. IBE: Very well. Thank you.


19 ma'am. Is there anybody else in the public

20 who would like to make a comment about this

21 particular case?

22 Seeing none, I will close the

23 public remarks section and ask our secretary

24 to read any correspondence.

25 MS. SKELCY: There were 38 notices





1 mailed, five were returned by the post office

2 on no approvals or objections.

3 Jean Pembroke of 312 Elm Court in

4 Novi states, I have a question on whether or

5 not you really can put a second floor on a

6 manufactured home that is bolted together.

7 And there is not enough room between the

8 house against to existing houses and the one

9 to the right. That's it.

10 I have to state for the record,

11 that I live at 307 Duana, and cannot

12 participate in this vote because I received a

13 notification about this case, and it does

14 affect my property.


16 motion?

17 MS. KUDLA: Yes.

18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: If someone can

19 move to --

20 MR. IBE: I make a motion to

21 exclude her.

22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any second?

23 MS. KRIEGER: Second.


25 voice --





1 MS. KUDLA: Yes.

2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: All in favor of

3 excusing Member Skelcy say aye.


5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any opposed?

6 Seeing none, you are excused, Member Skelcy,

7 until we are finished up, you have to step in

8 the back.

9 (Whereupon Ms. Skelcy left the hearing room.)

10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any comments or

11 issues with the city?

12 MS. KUDLA: We have none.

13 MR. BOULARD: Just a comment, if I

14 could regarding the issues with the

15 structural integrity. We will be doing full

16 permit reviews, building inspections on this

17 as we have done on the work that has taken

18 place so far.

19 And the building code also

20 addresses openings adjacent to property

21 lines, that will be something that will be

22 reviewed when plans are reviewed, if this is

23 approved.

24 With regard to location and

25 approximately the property lines for fire





1 protection.


3 manufactured home?

4 MR. BOULARD: I don't know if it's

5 a manufactured home or a modular home.

6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I will ask the

7 applicant. Anything else from the city?

8 MS. KUDLA: No.

9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Then I will open

10 it up to the board for discussion.

11 Ma'am, I just have a couple

12 questions for you, if you could step forward.

13 Is this a manufactured home?

14 MS. SITTERLET: I really don't

15 know.

16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Do you know how

17 old the home is?

18 MS. SITTERLET: Well, I was told

19 that it was built in 1957, but that it was

20 totally demolished and rebuilt in like the

21 '80s, late '80s, and then burned a couple

22 years ago. They got a big settlement because

23 of lot of the stuff in there was still all

24 charred.

25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: How long have





1 you owned the home?

2 MS. SITTERLET: Since October 31st.

3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You mentioned

4 you're ready to build, you know, as soon as

5 you get this approval. Did you have an

6 architect or engineer draft these plans for

7 the --

8 MS. SITTERLET: I have a builder.

9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Have you had

10 them -- you haven't had them reviewed with

11 the City, I presume?

12 MS. SITTERLET: I guess this was

13 the first step. It's a simple dormer. It's

14 nothing in -- it's in a contemporary manner,

15 that's why I wanted it straight up, but the

16 windows will add a lot, and there will be

17 beautiful chandeliers showing through it. I

18 don't think it will be very plain.

19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. I don't

20 have any other questions, ma'am. Thank you.

21 Anybody else? Member Krieger?

22 MS. KRIEGER: Have you thought of

23 balconies to the front or the back since you

24 will have that space on the second floor?

25 MS. SITTERLET: It would be a





1 wonderful thing, but cost is -- you know, I

2 have put over $100,000 into it, just to

3 getting it where I am at now in this last

4 couple of months. It was totally gutted. It

5 was just a mess in there. So, you know, I

6 would love to have a deck in front, but I

7 couldn't afford to do that. I just, you

8 know --

9 MS. KRIEGER: Thank you.

10 MS. SITTERLET: I already got it

11 all planned and crunched my numbers for the

12 way it is now.


14 MR. IBE: Ma'am, did you have any

15 conversations with some of your neighbors

16 regarding the plans to build this addition?


18 MR. IBE: Yes, have you.

19 MS. SITTERLET: No. When I get off

20 work and get there, I don't see anybody. But

21 I have had my builders and my contractors

22 tell me that people stopped on the road and

23 were complimenting them. Three officers have

24 stopped and told me, you know, how great it's

25 looking.





1 The inspector told him that it was

2 a great idea and it's looking so nice. I

3 have had nothing but compliments.

4 MR. IBE: Did you considering maybe

5 writing them a letter, your neighbors? Did

6 you consider that at all maybe as an option,

7 you know, since your work schedule doesn't

8 permit you --

9 MS. SITTERLET: No, I haven't.

10 MR. IBE: Maybe I mean, we have

11 seen some objections here regarding the

12 house. You know, your plan. While this

13 Lynn, from Farmington Hills, the neighbor, I

14 believe it is at 315, she believes that

15 property will not affect the use and

16 enjoyment of her own property, but she is

17 just concerned about he way it looks, the

18 curb appeal of the property.

19 MS. SITTERLET: There are several

20 homes in the area that go straight up right

21 down the street, a huge home, and this is

22 only 25 feet wide. I didn't put it there

23 that way. They allowed it originally for the

24 home, so that it could be there. I wanted to

25 go up from there to replace the bedroom and





1 laundry that I had to take out for the

2 garage.

3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Your 63-year old

4 mother, does she live with you or does she

5 come visit?

6 MS. SITTERLET: I am 63.

7 MR. IBE: You're 63. You're the

8 one with the medical conditions?

9 MS. SITTERLET: Correct. I have a

10 brother who is multiply handicapped, he's

11 dwarfed and he's blind and my mother is 83.

12 It's very difficult to walk across

13 when you park because it's bumpy and the

14 driveway is nice and smooth and it's very

15 easy to walk on. I couldn't have done it

16 without it and I was very pleased that they

17 allowed me to that.

18 And I thought going straight up, I

19 didn't realize was going outside of the

20 footprint.

21 MR. IBE: Thank you very much.

22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Sanghvi?

23 MR. SANGHVI: I just had one

24 question for the building department. These

25 variances are the same as they exist now,





1 because the footprint is the same, right?

2 MR. BOULARD: Yes. The addition

3 is -- as I understand, the addition is

4 proposed to not extend beyond the existing

5 exterior walls of the building. It will go

6 up only.


8 MR. SANGHVI: Basically these

9 variances are already existing?

10 MR. BOULARD: For the lower floor,

11 yes.

12 MR. SANGHVI: Thank you.

13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I just have a

14 couple more comments. I understand our

15 speaker's sentiments about this.

16 Personally when I'm reviewing in

17 these types of case, I don't like to

18 micromanage, whether you put a porch or

19 whether you do something else. I understand

20 you meant it as you desire and as you can

21 afford. I understand that. Even though this

22 is not necessarily a lake lot, these are

23 still near the lake, they did have smaller

24 lots, have much more restrictions than our

25 newer subdivisions, so under the





1 circumstances, I don't have a problem, ma'am,

2 with your particular request and I would

3 support it.

4 Anybody else have any comments or

5 questions? If not, we can entertain a

6 motion.

7 Member Krieger?

8 MS. KRIEGER: In Case No. 11-044,

9 317 Duana, west of South Lake Drive and Old

10 Novi Road old, I move to approve the request

11 as stated, the proposed three feet variance

12 requested, seven feet proposed six feet

13 variance requested 19 feet, which is for the

14 second floor, which goes with the first floor

15 footprint of the previous variance requests

16 to be no addition, just a second floor.

17 That the applicant -- there are

18 unique circumstances and physical conditions

19 of the property such as narrowness,

20 shallowness, shape, between Shaywood Lake and

21 Walled Lake, the topography and physical

22 conditions make it difficult for this

23 petitioner to create an addition, and the

24 need for the variance is not due to the

25 applicant's personal or economic difficulty.





1 The strict compliance with

2 regulations governing the area setback

3 frontage, height, the petitioner is

4 requesting that I believe it was 26 feet for

5 the second floor towards the back, which is

6 not the full length of the first floor. The

7 frontage, the height, the bulk, the density

8 and dimensional requirements will not

9 unreasonably prevent the property owner from

10 using the property for its permitted use,

11 will render the conformity with regulations

12 unnecessarily burdensome.

13 It is not self-created because the

14 house was put on a footprint that previously

15 needed variance.

16 The requested variance is the

17 minimum variance necessary to do substantial

18 justice to the applicant as well as other

19 property owners in the district. And the

20 variance -- there are other houses on that

21 street with similar attributes. The

22 requested variance will not cause an adverse

23 impact on the surrounding properties or

24 values, will probably increase the values and

25 enjoyment of the property.





1 It doesn't cause obstruction of

2 views for neighbors to the lakes in the

3 neighborhood and zoning district.

4 MR. BOULARD: If I might suggest,

5 clarification that the addition is on the

6 road, on the roadside of the home, where the

7 address -- towards the road where the address

8 is. And also if you would care to include

9 the variance for an addition to a

10 non-conforming building.

11 MS. KRIEGER: So moved.


13 MR. SANGHVI: Second.

14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Seeing a motion

15 and a second, any further discussion? Seeing

16 none -- are you satisfied, Ms. Kudla?

17 MS. KUDLA: Yes.

18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Seeing no other

19 discussion, Ms. Pawlowski, can you please the

20 call the roll.

21 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?


23 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Ibe?

24 MR. IBE: Yes.

25 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?






2 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?


4 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes four

5 to zero.

6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Congratulations,

7 ma'am.

8 MS. SITTERLET: Thank you very

9 much. I just love my new home and the city

10 and the lake. Thank you so much.

11 (Whereupon Member Skelcy returned to the

12 hearing room.)

13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Next on the

14 agenda is Item No. 3 for Case No. 11-045 for

15 23995 Novi Road.

16 Ma'am, can you please state your

17 name and address.

18 MS. SIMPSON: I'm Terry Simpson

19 with Sign Techs, 20333 Indoplex, Farmington

20 Hills.

21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please raise

22 your hand and be sworn.

23 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or affirm

24 to tell the truth?

25 MS. SIMPSON: I do.





1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please proceed.

2 MS. SIMPSON: Again, I'm Terry

3 Simpson with Sign Techs. I am here to

4 represent Novi Energy, who is currently

5 located at 23955 Novi Road.

6 We are requesting a variance to

7 Section 28-8 to erect an off-site premises

8 sign for Novi Energy, due to the location of

9 the building or business in relationship to

10 the Novi Road address.

11 The building or business is not

12 visible for traffic on Novi Road to get to

13 the business. There is an easement or a

14 drive that runs perpendicular to Novi Road

15 that leads you back to the building.

16 Novi Energy is currently the only

17 business that's using that drive, other than

18 Sherwood office building, which doesn't have

19 to go to the end of the drive, they are

20 visible from Novi Road and they have a 32

21 square foot ground sign. So signage for the

22 other property that's currently on the drive

23 has already been taken care of.

24 Novi Energy and their affiliates

25 own the vacant property that's behind the





1 existing building, and at this time, have no

2 plans for future use. The sign that we

3 proposed will be within the restrictions of

4 an entranceway sign which is allowed at this

5 location, that would be 24 square feet with a

6 height of five feet.

7 What we're requesting is a business

8 sign, so a sign just to state the company

9 name for Novi Energy versus the entranceway

10 sign that would name a community or a

11 condominium or an association.

12 Should the additional property

13 behind the current building be developed, it

14 is understood that that business sign may at

15 that time, be converted to an entranceway

16 sign. So if Novi Energy builds another

17 building or somebody does something else back

18 there, they understand that they may have to

19 change their business sign to an entryway

20 sign.

21 The only other signage that they're

22 proposing for the building currently is an

23 address marker on the face of that building.

24 So again, it would just be this

25 single sign out at the road for Novi Energy.





1 I have the mockup of the proposed address,

2 which would be the only additional sign that

3 they would possibly do at this time.


5 addition to what you have already provided?

6 MS. SIMPSON: It is.

7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Why don't you

8 pass it out and then you can go back and

9 speak at the podium.

10 MS. SIMPSON: There was some

11 comments on the notes that I saw on the ZBA

12 agenda today that somebody was concerned are

13 we going to ask for a business sign on the

14 property in addition to the off-site sign.

15 And my point is, the answer to that

16 is no, not at this time. The only thing we

17 are going to try to do is identify the main

18 entrance to that building using an address.

19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anything else,

20 ma'am?

21 MS. SIMPSON: I think that the new

22 sign will make it easier for the customers

23 and the visitors to locate the building and

24 at the same time allow Novi Energy to develop

25 a brand identity identify within the City of





1 Novi.

2 It's consistent with the

3 surrounding signs as far as type and size,

4 and I don't think it will be an obstruction

5 in any way.

6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. Thank you

7 very much. Is there anybody from the public

8 who would like to make a comment on this

9 particular case?

10 Seeing none, I will close the

11 public remarks section and ask our secretary

12 to read any correspondence.

13 MS. SKELCY: Eighteen notices were

14 mailed, six were returned and there were no

15 responses.

16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any comments or

17 questions by the city?

18 MS. KUDLA: No.

19 MR. BOULARD: Nothing to add. If

20 there is any questions, I'd be happy to

21 assist.

22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I'm going to

23 open it up to the board for discussion.

24 Member Skelcy?

25 MS. SKELCY: What does Novi Energy





1 do?

2 MS. SIMPSON: Do you want to

3 speak -- Anand is with Novi Energy. He would

4 probably be better suited to answer that than

5 myself.


7 briefly state your name and then raise your

8 hand and be sworn.


10 Gangadharan.

11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please raise

12 your hand and be sworn.

13 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or affirm

14 to tell the truth.


16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please spell

17 your name for our court reporter.

18 MR. GANGADHARAN: A-n-a-n-d,

19 G-a-n-g-a-d-h-a-r-a-n.

20 We are a developer of power plants,

21 alternative energy power plants. We are also

22 energy consultants. This is our world

23 headquarters building. And we just acquired

24 this building. It was a bank owned property,

25 and we have cleaned it up the facility and





1 moved in -- build out the facility and just

2 moved in the last few weeks.

3 MS. SKELCY: What kinds of people

4 would be trying to find this location then

5 or --


7 customers who come, who want to build a power

8 plant or want to build energy facilities or

9 improve the energy efficiency of their

10 buildings, or those kind of things.

11 MS. SKELCY: All right. Now, I

12 went out there today and looked at it, there

13 was a sign on the building that said Novi

14 Energy. I think that may be the concern

15 that's being had with regard to address

16 versus another sign.

17 MS. SIMPSON: I think what you are

18 speaking of right now is about a 12-foot by

19 24-inch vinyl banner that was put up during

20 the construction process so when a contractor

21 came, there was no question that they were in

22 the right place. And I believe it might be

23 flapping on two nails. So it's going to come

24 down and it can come down any time at this

25 point.





1 It's not a permanent sign. It's --

2 like I said, it's a banner.

3 MS. SKELCY: Thank you. Then for

4 Mr. Boulard, she mentioned that they may have

5 change the sign, if another tenant goes in

6 there, or another building is built? Can you

7 expand on that at all?

8 MR. BOULARD: That would be, I

9 believe, their choice, if they wanted to

10 allow -- the sign that is allowed by right

11 would be the business center, Sherwood office

12 park, whatever the name of the center is, the

13 approved name.

14 If I understood correctly, the

15 intent would be, if more businesses moved in,

16 more buildings were constructed, which there

17 is a lot of space for that, in fact, there is

18 an additional foundation already in the

19 printout. At that time, as opposed to the

20 other businesses asking for yet another sign,

21 that this sign would be converted to a

22 business center sign. Did I understand you

23 correctly?

24 MS. SIMPSON: Correct. At no point

25 are we going to come back and ask for another





1 32 square foot sign next to this for the next

2 building that goes up.

3 What Anand is saying is he

4 understands that if something changes with

5 that vacant property back there, that we may

6 have to address that.

7 And the sign that we propose is

8 within the allowance for the -- I believe,

9 it's called an entranceway sign, correct me

10 if I'm wrong, but a sign for a park or an

11 industrial park or what have you.

12 And so we have proposed this, at

13 the sign that's already allowed for that type

14 of sign. So what we would intend to do is

15 leave the structure and just change the faces

16 out. Again, there is no plans for that right

17 now, but if somebody had concern about

18 future, we do understand that that might have

19 to change.

20 MS. SKELCY: All right. There is a

21 lot of signs in that area. It is like sign

22 pollution over there, but I have no problem

23 with the sign as proposed and would support

24 it. Thank you.

25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Sanghvi.





1 MR. SANGHVI: I have a question for

2 you, Mr. Boulard. Why aren't you naming this

3 side street and give it a name, then he won't

4 have to do all these things?

5 MR. BOULARD: That side street, to

6 the best of my knowledge, is a drive within

7 the complex. It's actually a shared drive

8 that's owned by the condominium unit owners.

9 So it's a private drive.

10 MR. SANGHVI: If they name the side

11 street, would the address be Novi Road and

12 all these things would be very -- you won't

13 need all these signs (inaudible).

14 MR. BOULARD: Well, I guess that's

15 certainly an option. I would -- if the name

16 of the company were to change, or they were

17 to move to a bigger headquarters, then at

18 some point in the future, then we would have

19 the name still there, so --

20 MR. SANGHVI: There are more

21 tenants going to come in this very building,

22 we are talking about. It's not only them

23 going to be there.

24 MS. SIMPSON: I believe this is

25 intended to be the only tenant at that





1 address. Novi Energy occupies that entire

2 building.

3 MR. SANGHVI: Entire building?

4 MS. SIMPSON: Entire building,

5 correct.

6 MR. SANGHVI: Thank you.

7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Krieger?

8 MS. KRIEGER: Just to clarify

9 because those buildings have been there

10 forever. There is the three buildings. The

11 one that's Sherwood -- the Sherwood sign

12 belongs to the one building, so in the

13 street, there is an entrance to one private

14 area, it's to three separate privately owned

15 areas, so that other building is still vacant

16 could ask for a sign as well, so there could

17 possibly be another sign?

18 MR. BOULARD: If I could refer you

19 to the map, where the drive comes in, the

20 building to the south is actually a separate

21 parcel, separate development. The building

22 out by the -- by the road, north of the drive

23 is building one. That's the one that was

24 occupied previously.

25 The building behind that with the





1 red box around it, that's the current Novi

2 Energy building and that's building two. The

3 entire area to the west of the -- kind of

4 square with the corners cut off, the L shaped

5 portion that wraps around it, in fact, the

6 area to the south, south of the building in

7 the red box is all part of the same

8 development.

9 MS. KRIEGER: So it's buildable?

10 MR. BOULARD: There are some

11 challenges. There is a lot of wetlands and

12 flood planes, but for example, directly south

13 of the building that's in the red box, you

14 will see what looks like some foundations.

15 There is actually foundations where a

16 building was started there.

17 And there is various site plans for

18 additional building to the west of the red

19 box, where it says, Hampton Woods condo.

20 MS. KRIEGER: So that Sherwood

21 address sign is not for all the buildings,

22 just for the one building up front?

23 MS. SIMPSON: I believe Sherwood

24 has its own physical address numbers, so the

25 32 square foot sign that runs parallel with





1 Novi Road belongs to that building that runs

2 parallel with Novi, it's a totally separate

3 address.

4 MS. KRIEGER: I guess I'm in

5 agreement with Member Sanghvi that if that

6 road had a name, then it would make it

7 easier, but it makes it understandable that

8 now that if Novi Energy has this building to

9 the back, and somebody is looking for it on

10 Novi Road, that they would need -- so I agree

11 with Member Skelcy. Thank you.


13 MR. GEDEON: Just a question.

14 These units, these buildings are part of --

15 on the map it's shown as a condo. At least

16 residentially, if there is a condo, there is

17 a condominium association. I don't know if

18 that's the same situation for business

19 properties or not. But is there an

20 association, and if so, is there any sign

21 rights allotted in that association?

22 MR. GANGADHARAN: There is a

23 condominium agreement in place. I don't

24 think that's (inaudible). I'm not

25 particularly knowledgable about it. I'm not





1 sure that I know much to speak about any sign

2 rights.

3 MR. GEDEON: It just seems unusual

4 that there are four parcels, and four units

5 in the condominium association, that only one

6 of the buildings would be entitled to a sign.

7 MR. GANGADHARAN: I'm the owner of

8 all the buildings, the entire condominium.

9 MS. SIMPSON: So if you want to

10 talk as four separate parcels, Anand owns all

11 four pieces.

12 MR. GEDEON: Is there a reason why

13 you want two separate signs and not just one?

14 MR. GANGADHARAN: Primarily this is

15 our headquarters building. We want some

16 identity. We have been Novi Energy for the

17 last ten years. This is our tenth

18 anniversary. And essentially like the Novi

19 Energy address, Novi Road, Novi, Michigan,

20 great, and we have an identity on the street.

21 It was the intention, when we found that, we

22 found the property last year, we said that

23 made sense, we are growing, we expanded. We

24 have come in and built the building out. And

25 wanted a presence on Novi Road. Essentially





1 that was the strategy behind coming out,

2 getting that building. It had its own

3 address, the 23955 Novi Road, and hence we

4 took it.

5 MR. GEDEON: Thank you for that

6 clarification.


8 MS. KUDLA: I was just going to add

9 that I believe the owner of the condominium

10 is this applicant and he's in control of the

11 association.

12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Actually I have

13 a question for the city. If this was

14 technically an on-site sign, how many square

15 foot would he be entitled to?

16 MS. SIMPSON: I believe it's 30.

17 MR. BOULARD: It may take me a

18 minute to come up with that. What would that

19 to -- the sign that would be in front of the

20 building, so back on the parcel.


22 MS. SIMPSON: I have an email here

23 from Jeannie Niland, that indicates a

24 business sign can be 30 square feet and six

25 feet in height.






2 ground sign for a business?

3 MS. SIMPSON: Those were the

4 details that she gave me for a business sign,

5 30 square feet, six feet in height. What we

6 are asking for is 24 square feet with five

7 feet in height. Which meets the allowance

8 for an entranceway sign that's actually

9 allowed at that type of location.

10 MR. BOULARD: That's correct.


12 understand the need, given the circumstances

13 that you have presented it today. So I do

14 not have any problems with this either.

15 Anybody else have any questions or


17 Seeing none, does anybody want to

18 make a motion? Member Ibe?

19 MR. IBE: Thank you, Mr. Chair. In

20 Case No. 11-045, 23955 Novi Road, Novi

21 Energy, I move that we grant the request of

22 the applicant as requested for the following

23 reasons.

24 One, the request is based upon

25 circumstances and features that are





1 exceptional and unique to the property, and

2 do not result from conditions that exist

3 generally in the city or that are

4 self-created.

5 Now, this property is located in a

6 very unique position. It has no visibilty

7 and no road frontage from Novi Road where

8 it's located. So that obviously raises a lot

9 of questions as to how do you find this

10 particular business, and the only way

11 obviously that you can accomplish this, is by

12 meeting the requirements or the requirements

13 as proposed the applicant.

14 Secondly, failure to grant relief

15 will unreasonably prevent or limit the use of

16 the property and will result in the inability

17 to attain the kind of returns that this

18 applicant desires for this business.

19 Obviously Novi Energy is supposed

20 to represent what the business does, that's

21 the name of the business, it is an identity

22 with which people will relate to this

23 particular business, so the sign is

24 necessary.

25 Finally, the grant of relief will





1 not result in the use of structure that is

2 incompatible with or unreasonably interferes

3 with adjacent properties surrounding this

4 particular building. And it is not

5 inconsistent with the spirit of the zoning

6 ordinance.

7 Let me also state that the

8 applicant owns all four parcels, if I'm

9 correct, on this particular piece of

10 property. And also the applicant did state

11 that they did not intend to have a sign on

12 the building itself, with a building number.

13 And based upon this, I move that we grant the

14 applicant's request.

15 MS. KRIEGER: Second.

16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Seeing a motion

17 and second, any further discussion by the

18 Board?

19 Seeing none, Ms. Pawlowski, can you

20 please call the roll.

21 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?


23 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Ibe?

24 MR. IBE: Yes.

25 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?






2 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?


4 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?

5 MS. SKELCY: Yes.

6 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes fives

7 to zero.

8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Congratulations.

9 MS. SIMPSON: Thank you. We have

10 one other request while we are here. We went

11 ahead and put up the full size mockup ten

12 days prior to the meeting, and understand

13 that it's to come down five days from now.

14 Due to the construction nature of

15 that sign, we have to dig a footing and pour

16 a foundation and build a sign, we'd like to

17 know if we can leave that up for any period

18 of time?

19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You would have

20 to work with the city on that, ma'am, we

21 don't grant those types of requests. You

22 would have to talk to someone from the city.

23 MS. KUDLA: It is within your

24 discretion.

25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Oh, is it. So





1 what is the specific request, to keep the

2 mockup up there?

3 MS. SIMPSON: We would like to keep

4 the mockup until the permanent sign is done,

5 again, so that people that are going into the

6 Novi Energy don't have issue locating the

7 business.

8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: We have to make

9 a separate motion on that?

10 MS. KUDLA: You should make a

11 separate motion, set a specific time period.

12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Personally, I

13 don't have a problem with it. Is there any

14 questions for the applicant, or someone want

15 to make a motion?

16 MS. SKELCY: I just want to know

17 when can you start getting the footings put

18 in?

19 MS. SIMPSON: I think the

20 construction drawings are done. Once we get

21 through this process, I'd say we would

22 probably be four to six weeks to completion.

23 So we would start immediately.

24 MS. SKELCY: The end of February be

25 okay?





1 MS. SIMPSON: That should be fine.

2 Sure.


4 MS. SIMPSON: Mid March?

5 MS. SKELCY: Okay.

6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Someone want to

7 make a motion?

8 MS. SKELCY: I move that we grant

9 the applicant in Case No. 11-045 Novi Energy

10 located at 23955 Novi Road that we grant them

11 their request for an extension to exhibit the

12 temporary sign until March 15th of 2012.

13 MR. IBE: Second.

14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Seeing a motion

15 and second, do we need a separate vote or --

16 MS. KUDLA: No.

17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: All in favor say

18 aye.

19 THE BOARD: Aye.

20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any opposed?

21 Seeing none, that is passed then, too, ma'am.

22 MS. SIMPSON: Thank you.

23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Next on the

24 agenda is Item No. 4, Case No. 11-046 for

25 43015 Grand River Avenue, for Banks Vacuum.





1 Will the applicant step forward. State your

2 name and address, sir.

3 MR. JOHNSON: Mark R. Johnson from

4 MRJ Sign Company, 256 Narrin Street,

5 Ortonville, Michigan.

6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Raise your hand

7 and be sworn by our secretary.

8 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or affirm

9 to tell the truth?

10 MR. JOHNSON: I do.

11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Go ahead and

12 proceed.

13 MR. JOHNSON: I am here this

14 evening representing Banks Vacuum, a long

15 time business citizen in the City of Novi.

16 In fact, they were originally located on

17 Grand River Avenue about three locations to

18 the west from the subject property. They

19 then relocated to the Novi Town Center, and

20 are now locating back to Grand River Avenue

21 and actually purchasing the building, redoing

22 the interior of the building, and in essence,

23 making it one of their keystone locations in

24 the fact, the interior and everything of that

25 nature in what they offer there.





1 Banks Vacuum is a chain of nine

2 stores throughout southeastern Michigan and

3 is the largest vacuum seller in the midwest.

4 Part of his concern when they

5 purchased the property was the fact of that

6 the building was set much further away from

7 Grand River than most of the other buildings

8 between him and Novi Road. He specializes

9 and handles over 12 different brands of

10 vacuums, so he gets and draws people from

11 quite a distance at times, and was concerned

12 that as people came down Grand River, that

13 they wouldn't be able to see him.

14 The previous owner of the property

15 had a variance for both a wall sign and a

16 monument sign, which we have replaced the

17 monument sign with the same size of sign that

18 was there previously for a retailer of home

19 entertainment systems.

20 The issue becomes the fact that

21 since the building is set so far back and has

22 no many varying site lines from, for

23 instance, the intersection there at the

24 service drive off of Novi Town Center, that

25 the freestanding sign out in front needs to





1 be quickly associated with the building

2 itself.

3 His plan was to relocate the

4 existing sign that he has at Novi Town

5 Center, which is individual channel letters.

6 The concern was that his faces there are red

7 and when placed against the dark brown of the

8 building, would blend during the day and not

9 provide him sufficient contrast for it to be

10 legible. Therefore, the white backer that

11 you see in the print is just there for during

12 the day, will not be visible at night. And

13 while the sign is 42 and a half square feet,

14 because of that backer to create a contrast,

15 it will only be 24 square feet when actually

16 illuminated. I believe that the previous

17 sign there, which had a slightly different

18 corporate logo and smaller, was approximately

19 18 square feet.

20 In reading staff's comments, if the

21 concern is the additional square footage for

22 the backer itself, we can make -- take the

23 steps of changing the face color in order to

24 create that contrast during the day, which

25 will then place the sign back to 24 square





1 feet, which is in, essence, the typical sign,

2 wall sign for 20 foot wide space within the

3 city.

4 But at the same time, keep in mind

5 that if the walls for the monument sign

6 wasn't there, even though it's been approved

7 by a previous variance that went with the

8 property, he would be allowed a much larger

9 wall sign than what he's even asking for. He

10 would be allowed the maximum for that zoning,

11 which I believe is 65 square feet.

12 I'm here to answer any questions

13 you may have.

14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you. Is

15 there anybody in the public who would like to

16 comment on this particular case?

17 Seeing none, I will close the

18 public remarks section and ask our secretary

19 to read any correspondence.

20 MS. SKELCY: Thirty-three notices

21 were mailed, two were returned. There were

22 no responses. Any comments from the city?

23 MS. KUDLA: No.

24 MR. BOULARD: I just want to take

25 the opportunity, if I could, to clarify the





1 applicant's remarks. The sign that would be

2 allowed on the wall of the building by right

3 would be -- would be in place of the ground

4 sign that's already there.

5 MR. JOHNSON: Correct, for a single

6 sign, right.

7 MR. BOULARD: So the sign -- that

8 the existing additional sign that is there is

9 17.8 square feet approximately, and that in

10 the previous variance was specific to a

11 particular tenant. Any other questions,

12 please let me know. Thank you.

13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Open it up to

14 the board for discussion. Member Sanghvi.

15 MR. SANGHVI: Question for

16 Mr. Boulard. The sign of the current

17 requested variance, the size of the sign is

18 not an issue?

19 MR. BOULARD: I'm not sure I

20 understand completely.

21 MR. SANGHVI: I'm just asking you.

22 The previous sign was much smaller than what

23 used to be on the wall?

24 MR. BOULARD: Yes, that sign was

25 allowed -- that second sign was 17.8 square





1 feet was allowed under a previous variance.

2 MR. SANGHVI: My question is, which

3 size of wall sign would be allowed if there

4 was no ground sign?

5 MR. BOULARD: 65 square feet.

6 MR. SANGHVI: So that is not beyond

7 what he's asking for now?

8 MR. BOULARD: No. Except that he's

9 asking for two signs.

10 MR. SANGHVI: I know he's asking

11 for an additional sign. So the variance is

12 okay for the additional sign, and not for the

13 size of the wall sign?

14 MR. BOULARD: Yes.

15 MR. SANGHVI: Thank you. You have

16 a very beautiful sign on the ground and it

17 seems to be the only business in that

18 particular segment of the building. Why do

19 you need a second sign? You can very easily

20 see that sign.

21 MR. JOHNSON: Because of the

22 distance between the sign and the building,

23 then also the fact that there is multiple

24 site lines, meaning that you not only want to

25 draw traffic off of Grand River itself, but





1 for instance, the traffic coming out of Main

2 Street development going across and things of

3 that nature, and he's very concerned when he

4 bought the building that because of how far

5 back it was set, that his existing customer

6 base wouldn't necessarily follow him across

7 the street.

8 Unfortunately, he is leaving Novi

9 Town Center in order to go out on his own,

10 and I don't know if there was bad blood or

11 whatever the case may be, but they're not

12 going to allow him to say that he was

13 relocated to where he has. So he's trying to

14 make sure that he doesn't lose any of his

15 existing customer base, of course, grows on

16 it.

17 Like I said, though, at the same

18 time, the existing request is primarily

19 background, or at least a good portion of it

20 is. I have a print, if you would like me to

21 share it with you, kindly, kind of doing a

22 comparison of what the sign would like look

23 with a white face, which would then take down

24 the square footage considerably. So let

25 me -- may I?





1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You can put it

2 on the overhead, so everybody can see.

3 MR. JOHNSON: I do have a copy for

4 everyone.

5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: That's okay.

6 MR. JOHNSON: Basically, the facia

7 of Novi Town Center is a light beige. So of

8 course, a white letter there, where he's

9 presently located, would blend in. He

10 prefers the red, that's what he's done with

11 all of his buildings, but in -- when I

12 contacted Jeannie Niland with the city, the

13 square footage calculation is actually based

14 on just the white area, even though that area

15 will not illuminate. But we can instead

16 change the faces, which takes it down to a 24

17 square foot sign, allows him to reuse his

18 existing sign from across the street, and

19 keep his logo intact. And then we'll have a

20 white face against the dark brown chocolate

21 of the building and be able to have enough

22 contrast during the day.

23 The issue also is the fact that he

24 was looking at even possibly changing the

25 building color, but my understanding is that





1 there is a process that he would have to go

2 through for that as well, and quite frankly,

3 given the brick color, to go to something

4 light would, you know, look kind of awkward.

5 I mean, it really wouldn't blend well with

6 the brick of the building and things of that

7 nature, with the fire department next to it

8 and the colors that they utilize, kind of

9 stick out like a sore thumb, so he was

10 looking at doing changes to the sign instead.

11 MR. SANGHVI: Thank you.

12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Skelcy?

13 MS. SKELCY: You know, I drove by

14 today and the monument sign, which is red

15 white, is very visible. I'm not so certain

16 that the second sign is needed. And I would

17 not be in favor of approving a 42.5 square

18 foot wall sign. I would consider a 17.8

19 square foot wall sign which is what was there

20 previously. Thank you.

21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anybody else

22 have any questions? Member Krieger?

23 MS. KRIEGER: I also drove by and

24 given that this building, and it's unique

25 because it's set back, and the speed of Grand





1 River, that the ground sign was good that it

2 helped, but I would be willing to accept a

3 wall sign. Thanks.

4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any comment on

5 the size of the particular wall sign?

6 MS. KRIEGER: It seems proportional

7 to the size of the wall itself, and then he's

8 already asked for the red and white. I don't

9 know if we have to readvertise it, if we

10 changed it.

11 MR. BOULARD: I believe that the

12 board should use -- should you so choose

13 could approve a lesser variance, just not a

14 greater variance.

15 MS. KUDLA: That's correct.

16 MR. BOULARD: The one thing that I

17 don't know is we obviously haven't had a

18 chance to look at the option of the white

19 letters at this point, so I think it be

20 should inserted in there somewhere, if you

21 draw a box around those, which is how we

22 measured those, somewhere in neighborhood of

23 24 square feet, but I can't confirm that.

24 That's what that drawing would be.

25 MR. JOHNSON: It's 18 inches by





1 16 feet that includes all the dead space

2 beneath the Banks' copy and, you know,

3 because it has a slight curve, which is his

4 logo.

5 MS. KRIEGER: I'm sorry, I do have

6 a separate question that's not really

7 related. But would the Banks Vacuum be

8 putting in a sidewalk in front, too, when

9 looking at this picture? I don't know if

10 that's related.

11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Do you know,

12 sir?

13 MR. JOHNSON: I'm sorry?

14 MS. KRIEGER: A sidewalk in the

15 front of the Banks Vacuum would be connecting

16 from the fire department to the neighboring

17 building, a sidewalk?

18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: She's asking if

19 you know.

20 MR. JOHNSON: No, I don't know.


22 comments or questions? Member Ibe?

23 MR. IBE: Let me understand this.

24 The ground sign that is currently there, does

25 it say Banks Vacuum?





1 MR. JOHNSON: Yes, it does.

2 MR. IBE: Now, based on what I hear

3 from the members, will you or client be able

4 to reduce the size of the sign to fit it with

5 what the previous tenant had, is that

6 something that your client would be willing

7 to consider?

8 MR. JOHNSON: I'm sure it's

9 something he would be willing to consider,

10 for financial reasons, I'm sure he would like

11 to relocate his existing sign from across the

12 street, that's he's already purchased and had

13 up, and like I said, what we would be just

14 doing is just changing the face color.

15 But I think also given the fact

16 that the sign at 24 square feet is

17 proportional to the overall building, which

18 in this print, not even all of that is shown,

19 I don't think it's going to be out of

20 keeping, but if he had to go to an 18 square

21 feet sign, I guess he would, you know, be

22 forced to do so, I'd try to figure out

23 another location. But this one, quite

24 frankly, I don't know if that's available or

25 not to him.





1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Can you give us

2 an idea of how much the existing sign would

3 cost, the one he wants the transfer?

4 MR. JOHNSON: Oh, to do a new sign?

5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: No. The one he

6 has on the current building you said he

7 wanted to transfer to this building. What is

8 the cost involved?

9 MR. JOHNSON: In doing the

10 transfer?

11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: No, just the

12 cost of the sign.

13 MR. JOHNSON: About 5,000 plus

14 whatever the permits are for whatever

15 municipality --

16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: But the cost of

17 the sign as it sits on the building is

18 currently 5,000?

19 MR. JOHNSON: Yes.


21 question, I forgot when I was looking at

22 this. Is this the only tenant in this

23 particular building?

24 MR. JOHNSON: Yes.

25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: There is no room





1 for no other tenant?


3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: He occupies the

4 entire building?

5 MR. JOHNSON: Correct.

6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Okay. I was on

7 the fence when reviewing this because of

8 the -- you know, the ground sign, and it's

9 not like it's a multi-tenant building,

10 where -- I understand the situation in terms

11 of how it's situated on Grand River, and how

12 far it is back, I understand those concerns.

13 But I was still on the fence as I'm reviewing

14 this, depending on size, if a second --

15 MR. JOHNSON: I don't know the

16 distance from Grand River, it's the fact that

17 he's been in Novi Town Center for quite a few

18 years, and he wants those customers, when

19 they come back, you know, and I understand

20 that is the problem with moving.

21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I understand all

22 of that. Everybody wants bigger and better.

23 I don't necessarily blame him, but the

24 question is, is it necessary under these

25 circumstances, given our rules and so forth.





1 Anybody else have any comments or

2 questions? Does anybody want to take a stab

3 at a motion? Member Ibe?

4 MR. IBE: Not a motion, but just a

5 quick comment. Just so you know where I

6 stand, because obviously we do have a board

7 that is somewhat may be split right now.

8 I can tell you, sir, I am not in

9 favor of multiple signs, absolutely not in

10 favor of it.

11 But because of the past presence,

12 previous tenant, the only way I will be in

13 favor of this is if it meets the same size of

14 what was there before. That's probably what

15 I will go for.

16 Now, one thing I'm going to have is

17 a proliferation of signs everywhere, multiple

18 signs. I mean, once we start going down this

19 road, I can think more people rushing in here

20 everybody is going to have triple signs

21 before we know it. Yes, we understand

22 everybody wants to be seen. Visibility is an

23 issue. But that is definitely not a reason

24 to have multiple signs.

25 Just like Member Skelcy, as well as





1 Mr. Chair, I am on the fence as well because

2 of the size, and if your client is willing to

3 amend its request to make what was previously

4 there, then I will be willing to go along

5 with it.

6 But right now, as it is,

7 unfortunately, you may not be able to get my

8 support. Thank you.

9 MR. JOHNSON: Just if I may, just

10 to be clear, I mean, at this point, I am

11 revising my request from the 42 and a half

12 square feet to the 24 square feet that showed

13 on print. And if the board is so entertained

14 to approve the same square footage that was

15 there previously, I would obviously go back

16 to my client and, you know, take that

17 approval back to him and redesign the sign to

18 meet that square footage. I mean, he just

19 feels he needs something on the building so

20 that it's -- the ground sign is associated

21 and so that people, you know, realize where

22 he is relocated to.

23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: If the 24 square

24 foot second sign was approved, the wall sign,

25 could you use your existing sign on --






2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You just have to

3 change the colors?

4 MR. JOHNSON: Correct, just have to

5 change the face.

6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I know that's

7 not his preference, but you are saying --

8 MR. JOHNSON: Correct, you're

9 talking a few hundred dollars versus 5,000.


11 perspective, if he kept the sign, as is,

12 current colors, everything simply moved it,

13 you would need 42 and a half square feet?

14 MR. JOHNSON: The reason being is

15 because you need to have a contrast, you

16 know, the red letters against the white

17 background. You know, if not, we -- the red

18 letter, it's a dark cardinal red, it's not

19 like a bright poppy red or anything, a dark

20 cardinal red, against the dark chocolate

21 brown during the day, most people wouldn't

22 quite frankly, even notice it. There

23 wouldn't be enough contrast between the

24 colors.

25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Under those





1 circumstances, because I am cognizant of the

2 cost and expense, you know, 18 feet versus 24

3 feet, versus 42 and a half. Personally, if

4 you think your client would be willing to

5 accept the 24 square foot wall sign, I think

6 that's probably the way I would go in terms

7 of your request as presented. That's where I

8 would stand on this.

9 Member Gedeon?

10 MR. GEDEON: One final question.

11 Since there has been some discussion here

12 about the previous tenant's 17.8 square foot

13 wall sign, do you have -- without getting any

14 detailed, measuring out, do you have a gut

15 sense or whether or not that Banks Vacuum

16 text would be, you know, how visible it would

17 be in that square footage?

18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You mean within

19 the 17.8?

20 MR. GEDEON: Right.

21 MR. JOHNSON: You would taking it

22 down from considerably. The one issue is

23 that he, even though the existing ground sign

24 utilizes his corporate type in the Banks

25 curve, unfortunately, with the upper and





1 lower case on the Banks, and it being in a

2 slight arch, if you will, it eats up a lot of

3 square footage. You would be probably taking

4 that sign down -- although it's only -- from

5 24 to 18 is only 25 percent an area. You

6 would be taking it down at least a third in

7 letter height because it, you know, it --

8 square footage has a way of when you are

9 calculating including the dead space of it

10 not being much more larger in actual letter

11 height, but it adds expedientially to the

12 square footage factor.

13 So to answer your question in a

14 one-line sentence, yeah, to take it down to

15 18 square feet, would be making it

16 considerably less readable than what it now.

17 MR. GEDEON: Thank you.


19 questions or comments?

20 MR. SANGHVI: The only comment I

21 would make, if he can't make the decision

22 himself, maybe we can table it, he can come

23 back next month.

24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Certainly up to

25 the petitioner if you want to move or table





1 it.

2 MR. JOHNSON: Well, it matters if

3 the board is willing -- I would request that

4 the board consider the 24 square feet, if

5 there isn't sufficient support for that, then

6 quite frankly, I have no choice but to agree

7 with the tabling of it just not knowing

8 exactly what my client's wishes are. I

9 expect that he would prefer to, you know,

10 save himself $5,000. I would, too. You

11 know, me as the owner of my company, I have

12 no problem building him a new one, of course,

13 but it's hard for me to say. I did talk to

14 him beforehand about the revision that I have

15 shown you here, and he was fine with doing

16 so.

17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Skelcy?

18 MS. SKELCY: I just wanted to

19 understand, on the white Banks Vacuum, is

20 that the 24 square foot sign?

21 MR. JOHNSON: Correct. It's the

22 exact same letters as the option above it,

23 the only difference is the option above it

24 has a white aluminum backer behind the

25 letters, so that you have contrast during the





1 day. So it's kind of deceiving when looking

2 at the prints that were submitted because it

3 almost looks like a box sign, when in fact,

4 really it isn't. It's an individual

5 illuminated letter sign. We just need

6 something so that the red will stand off

7 against the dark brown.

8 MS. SKELCY: I think the white

9 looks better based on the size. I mean, I

10 would be favor of the 24 square foot size

11 based on the lettering shown in white against

12 the brown. I don't care what color you pick.

13 I'm just saying the size.

14 MR. JOHNSON: Right.


16 comments? I think as a suggestion, if we

17 think we can get support for the 24 square

18 foot sign, maybe we can try that in a motion.

19 If it fails for some reason, we can always

20 move to table it and reconsider this at a

21 different time. Member Ibe?

22 MR. IBE: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

23 Now, sir, if I understood correctly, your

24 client will agree to the 24 square foot sign?

25 MR. JOHNSON: Yes.





1 MR. IBE: And you have authority to

2 make --

3 MR. JOHNSON: Correct.

4 MR. IBE: Thank you.

5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Krieger,

6 you want to make a motion, please go ahead.

7 MS. KRIEGER: Case No. 11-046 on

8 43015 Grand River Avenue for Banks Vacuum. I

9 move to approve the request for an additional

10 wall sign at 24 square feet. That the

11 request is based upon circumstances or

12 features that are exceptional and unique to

13 the property. It is set back more from Grand

14 River than the rest of -- a lot of the other

15 buildings in that area, and does not result

16 from the conditions that exist generally in

17 the city, and are not self-created, that the

18 building was previously there.

19 The failure to grant relief will

20 unreasonably prevent or limit the use of the

21 property and will result substantially more

22 than a mere inconvenience or inability to

23 attain the higher economic return.

24 The grant of relief will not result

25 in the use of structure that's incompatible





1 with or interferes with adjacent and

2 surrounding properties. Also the speed on

3 Grand River, with traffic coming going up and

4 down you would be able to -- the different

5 views from the entranceway towards the

6 building is at, that with an -- unreasonably

7 interferes with adjacent or surrounding

8 properties and will result in substantial

9 justice being done to the applicant and

10 adjacent and surrounding properties and is

11 not inconsistent with the spirit of the

12 ordinance.

13 MR. SANGHVI: Second.

14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Seeing a motion

15 and a second, any further discussion?

16 Seeing none, Ms, Pawlowski, can you

17 please call the roll.

18 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?


20 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Ibe?

21 MR. IBE: Yes.

22 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?

23 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.

24 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?

25 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.





1 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?

2 MS. SKELCY: Yes.

3 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes five

4 to zero.

5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you, sir.

6 Next item on the agenda is Item No.

7 5, Case No. 11-047, 43155 Main Street for

8 Mixx Sports Bar.

9 Sir, go ahead and state your name

10 again. again.

11 MR. JOHNSON: Mark Johnson, MRJ

12 Sign Company, 256 Narrin Street, Ortonville,

13 Michigan.

14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: For the sake of

15 argument, please raise your right hand and be

16 sworn again by our secretary.

17 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or affirm

18 to tell the truth?

19 MR. JOHNSON: I do.

20 This case is for the Mixx Sports

21 Bar in the Main Street development.

22 A little bit of background. This

23 is the previous space of Mixx Lounge, which

24 my understanding was more of a martini bar

25 type of situation.





1 New owners came in and actually

2 bought the Mixx Lounge, when it was on the

3 virge of bankruptcy, in fact, they barely had

4 time to get the deal closed before bankruptcy

5 occurred for the Mixx Lounge.

6 And they have rebranded the bar as

7 a sports bar with wide screen TVs for your,

8 you know, different sporting events,

9 football, basketball, baseball, things, so

10 forth.

11 Part of the issue is, of course,

12 that it is in the Main Street development,

13 which has a sign requirement that lends

14 itself as the intent of the development was

15 for a downtown type of setting.

16 Unfortunately, because of the

17 economics of the past decade, that

18 development never really came to its full

19 fruition, with the additional buildings being

20 built between this space location and Novi

21 Road, and things of that nature. Where the

22 wall sign is allowed for the tenant, of about

23 44 square feet, a projecting sign is allowed

24 in addition to the wall sign of only three

25 square feet. The reasoning being that I





1 believe the intent of that projecting sign is

2 to be a double-sided sign that allows a

3 pedestrian on the sidewalk to actually see

4 that that's the door for this business.

5 Unfortunately, because of the

6 vacancies in the development, between the

7 Mixx Sports Bar down to the east, towards The

8 Post and the intersection that leads, I

9 believe to a residential community over the

10 bridge and things of that nature, in essence,

11 the Mixx Sports Bar is kind of like, you

12 know, the last business in a small town

13 before you hit the sticks. It's kind of out

14 there all by itself for the most part.

15 In so doing, the draw on the site

16 line becomes that you need to be able to draw

17 people not only from Novi Road, or attempt to

18 draw them from Novi Road, in that as they're

19 going by seeing that's there is something

20 down there to go and investigate, but also

21 the fact that you're trying to draw people

22 from the intersection there by the bridge

23 next to The Post Bar. Because the traffic

24 that was anticipated in front of this

25 business, quite frankly, isn't there and





1 hence that is why, the previous Mixx Lounge

2 was on the virge of closing and there are so

3 many vacant spaces between them and the

4 end -- or the center of the development, so

5 to speak.

6 We patterned our request off of a

7 previous ZBA case from approximately

8 almost -- well, ten years now ago, for the

9 Mongolian BBQ. The sign that we propose, and

10 the mockup sign that we have put up, is of

11 the same square footage, same overall height

12 off of grade, little bit different only in

13 its projection, by just a few inches, away

14 from the building, as is the Mongolian BBQ

15 sign.

16 The Post Bar sign was subsequent to

17 the Mongolian BBQ and that was even

18 additional square footage. But obviously

19 that's an anchor tenant, if you will, for the

20 development and has more square footage and

21 tenant space and things, but obviously that

22 sign is meant to draw all the way off of

23 Grand River, as is the Mongolian BBQ sign

24 meant to draw from the intersection to the

25 south off of Grand River.





1 So the way the variance was

2 written, which I understand the reasoning

3 behind that is that because there are a lot

4 of projecting signs, the variances need to be

5 in relation to, if they allow the projecting

6 sign, what are they requesting, and what are

7 they allowed. But at the same time, in

8 essence, this is not to replace the

9 projecting sign that they're allowed, this is

10 to replace the wall sign. The wall sign is

11 allowed to be 44 square feet approximately,

12 they're allowed three square feet of

13 projecting sign, or the total of 47 square

14 feet to be placed on the building without

15 variance. The problem being is that the wall

16 sign would have to be parallel, of course,

17 mounted to the wall, which at this point

18 gives them exposure only to the street

19 directly in front of them, which has very

20 little traffic. In so doing, it doesn't give

21 them the exposure that they need to be --

22 quite frankly, be successful and full and be

23 part of the actual development as a whole.

24 Now, I know that previous owners

25 came in back when there was more tenants in





1 the building, went before the board. I mean

2 by the previous owners, the previous owners

3 of the Mixx Lounge, were actually allowed the

4 20 square foot sign on the rear of the

5 building, but were, in essence, told to, you

6 know, keep their existing sign on the front

7 of the building.

8 What we are looking at in trying to

9 find this building is, do we go with a single

10 projecting sign that on paper looks like we

11 are asking for the moon, or do we go with two

12 wall signs and come in for a variance request

13 on a second wall sign for on the side of the

14 building, to get exposure at least in one

15 direction. It seems esthetically it was

16 better to go for a single projecting sign,

17 and cost wasn't an issue, because the cost

18 was about the same, in essence, we're

19 building two single wall signs and putting

20 them back-to-back and extending them away

21 from the building on the structure.

22 We decided that a projecting sign

23 would be more in keeping with the development

24 as a whole because of the existence of both

25 the BD Mongolian BBQ and The Post Bar.





1 And that while it is a considerable

2 request from what is allowed because it's

3 being compared to a small, in essence, if you

4 will, directional sign, versus being compared

5 to the primary advertising and wall sign that

6 is allowed, that in the end this would give

7 them not only better exposure, but

8 esthetically it would be more in keeping with

9 the overall development as it now exists.

10 Of course, I'm here to answer any

11 questions you may have.

12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you, sir.

13 Is there anybody in the public who like to

14 make a comment on this particular case?

15 Seeing none, I will close the

16 public remarks section and ask our secretary

17 to read any correspondence.

18 MS. SKELCY: Eighteen notices were

19 mailed, there were two returned by the post

20 office and no responses.

21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any comments

22 from the City?


24 MR. BOULARD: Just a couple

25 clarifications. I was unaware of some of the





1 things that the petitioner mentioned in terms

2 of signs on the other side of the building.

3 I don't believe that those were applied --

4 that there was an application made for those.

5 The one thing I would like to

6 clarify. To the best of my knowledge, the

7 signs for Mongolian and for Gus O'Connors

8 were put up in 1999 prior to the ordinance

9 changing. The best of my knowledge, there

10 are variances for those, the sizes of the

11 signs, that the ordinance originally responds

12 to that.

13 I'm happy to answer any questions.

14 The one thing I also wanted to point out was

15 that there is this design review manual

16 that's tied to this property, based on the

17 specific development and a lot of those are

18 where the goose neck style pictures instead

19 of illumination and stuff like that, the type

20 of the sign.

21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Just a quick

22 question. Back then, when Mongolian BBQ got

23 their sign, that was allowed at that time

24 apparently?

25 MR. BOULARD: That's my





1 understanding.

2 MR. JOHNSON: No. I have a copy

3 of -- first of all --


5 second, sir. You will get your chance.

6 MR. JOHNSON: No problem.

7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: How many other

8 businesses in this particular district have

9 these types of signs, do you know?

10 MR. BOULARD: To the best of my

11 knowledge, there is two that have the larger

12 size sign.

13 MS. SKELCY: Does that include The

14 Post Bar?

15 MR. BOULARD: Yes, and Gus

16 O'Connors. I believe the ones we described

17 are the ones that Jeannie Niland had

18 indicated to me were from '99 before the

19 ordinance was changed.

20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I will open it

21 up to the board for discussion. Thank you.

22 Member Skelcy?

23 MS. SKELCY: Mr. Boulard, is there

24 a variance for The Post Bar sign, because

25 that sticks out in a similar fashion.





1 Although it doesn't look like it -- I don't

2 know if it sticks out as far as -- but that

3 thing is huge.

4 MR. BOULARD: That's where -- my

5 understanding, I stand to be corrected, my

6 understanding is that that was approved prior

7 to the ordinance changing, that was one of

8 the reasons they changed the ordinance, was

9 because those signs were large. That's one

10 of those loopholes there.

11 MS. SKELCY: You indicate that this

12 sign is meant to pull traffic off Novi Road,

13 but there is no way you can see this sign

14 from Novi Road.

15 MR. JOHNSON: It is to draw

16 attention off of Novi Road. The intent to --

17 MS. SKELCY: You're coming down off

18 Novi Road. I mean, it's not that big that

19 you can see it by the end of the street, but

20 it's really big, except that it is hidden by

21 that tree. Are you going to keep it in the

22 same spot that the temporary sign is at?

23 MR. JOHNSON: Yes. That was the

24 intent and that was the request of the

25 landlord.





1 MS. SKELCY: Is this sign going to

2 be illuminated?

3 MR. JOHNSON: Yes, it will be

4 illuminated just as the Mongolian BBQ sign

5 is, and Mongolian BBQ's sign variance was

6 approved in 2002. I have copies of that

7 minutes from that meeting.

8 MS. SKELCY: Those are all the

9 questions I have at this time. Thank you.

10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Krieger?

11 MS. KRIEGER: They changed the

12 ordinance because of the Mongolian and the

13 sports bar, but then they don't let -- those

14 two companies don't have to alter theirs,

15 unless someone comes in the future can't

16 duplicate it?

17 MR. BOULARD: I don't have the

18 benefit of what the gentleman has in front of

19 him, but typically when an ordinance is

20 changed things that are in existence prior to

21 the change of the ordinance would be allowed

22 to remain.

23 MR. JOHNSON: I do have a copy for

24 everybody, if you would like them.

25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Just tell us





1 once again which one do you believe was given

2 a variance as opposed to existing prior to

3 the ordinance change? Which business was it?

4 MR. JOHNSON: Both Post Bar and

5 Mongolian BBQ received variances from

6 Jeannie Niland.

7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Do you know when

8 the ordinance changed?

9 MR. BOULARD: I believe it was '99.

10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: '99. So they

11 changed it in '02?

12 MR. JOHNSON: Like I said, this was

13 from the August 13th, 2002 meeting that

14 Mongolian BBQ was given their variance for

15 the exact size sign, same height, same style,

16 same method of fabrication throughout. And

17 then The Post Bar, I believe, I did want a

18 copy of that one, and Jeannie emailed it to

19 me today. But I believe since it referenced

20 in the minutes the Mongolian BBQ projecting

21 sign, I believe that was after 2002.

22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: What is the

23 square footage of the Mixx bar?

24 MR. JOHNSON: The existing sign?

25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: No, the square





1 footage of the business approximately.

2 MR. JOHNSON: Probably 4,000.

3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Do you know the

4 square footage of the Mongolian BBQ and The

5 Post Bar?

6 MR. JOHNSON: I believe The Post

7 Bar is considerably larger. I would think

8 that the Mongolian BBQ would be comparable.

9 I think those stand-alone buildings are

10 usually anywhere from four to 5,000 square

11 feet.

12 And I do believe that the one

13 reason why The Post Bar looks even large than

14 it is, from what I was sent by Jeannie, I

15 believe it is 70 square foot signs, is

16 because they only actually calculated the

17 letters, they run vertically.

18 In so doing, the structure goes

19 back, which is why it wouldn't be very

20 attractive, it's substantial and very

21 noticeable, that wasn't calculated in the

22 sign area. There is no possible way because

23 if it were, it would be well in excess of 100

24 square feet. I mean, that is a substantial

25 piece of signage.





1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Sanghvi?

2 MR. SANGHVI: Question. Is it the

3 only business -- identifying sign on your

4 business?

5 MR. JOHNSON: Correct.

6 MR. SANGHVI: Instead of having two

7 signs, you're just having one sign?

8 MR. JOHNSON: Correct.

9 MR. SANGHVI: Number two, I agree

10 with Ms. Skelcy, no way are you going to see

11 this from Novi Road the way it is designed

12 now, but -- I'm not done. I have no problem

13 with the sign. It's a very decent looking

14 sign.

15 How much different is it going to

16 be from the real -- the mockup is different

17 from the real thing?

18 MR. JOHNSON: Not very much at all,

19 other than the fact that we're going to go

20 from, you know --

21 MR. SANGHVI: Is the real sign

22 already (inaudible).

23 MR. JOHNSON: No, no. If it

24 were -- no. The actual sign will be all

25 aluminum construction with LED lighting,





1 energy efficient lighting. In fact, that

2 entire sign will pull about the same amount

3 of power as a 240 watt light bulb.

4 MR. SANGHVI: Thank you. I have no

5 problem making it a colorful place.

6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I understand

7 that point, but I mean, if that's the case,

8 you may have an argument with every single

9 tenant in all those buildings, and that may

10 be become part of the problem.

11 Anyway, any other questions or

12 comments from the applicant? Member Skelcy?

13 MS. SKELCY: I would kind of like

14 to know about the prior variances. I know we

15 are going to go to prior variances, but --

16 MS. KUDLA: Mr. Boulard went back

17 to see if he could find the information of

18 whether they were actually variances or

19 whether they were grandfathered before the

20 ordinance changed.

21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Do you have

22 extra copies, sir?

23 MR. JOHNSON: Of the one I do for

24 Mongolian BBQ.

25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Why don't you





1 pass that out while we are waiting. The

2 reporter has requested a short break.

3 (Short recess taken.)


5 have you had a chance to look at this thing

6 the petitioner gave us?

7 MR. BOULARD: I was not able to

8 locate the sign variance for The Post. There

9 probably was -- I stand corrected, there was

10 a variance for Mongolian BBQ. I don't know

11 what was previously -- according to this, I

12 will just read this. Mongolian BBQ located

13 at 43155 Main Street is requesting two

14 variances to our projecting approval for the

15 sign. Mongolian BBQ had previously been

16 granted a variance to erect two wall signs,

17 but would be removing the signs if the

18 variance for the projecting sign is granted.

19 So there were variances prior to that.

20 Unfortunately, I don't have what led to that.


22 MS. KUDLA: I just wanted to point

23 out, in looking at that section that he

24 provided us with, an action summary, it's a

25 variance from 28-62 of the ordinance that was





1 in effect in 2002. As I look at the current

2 sign code, 28.6 was amended in 2006, so this

3 may well have been before what -- the way the

4 current sign ordinance read.

5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: The current sign

6 ordinance --

7 MS. KUDLA: Was amended in '06.

8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I see this on

9 our sheet is says 285 (2) --

10 MS. KUDLA: Right, so this is -- we

11 are looking at the same section, as to what

12 he is looking at.

13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: So is that the

14 new section that prohibited these types of

15 projection signs?

16 MS. KUDLA: We have projection

17 signs in part of the ordinance.

18 MR. BOULARD: Yes, it is --

19 MS. KUDLA: So it looks like it

20 used to be 28.6. So I'm thinking the

21 ordinance code was amended. It's not the

22 same. I don't have the -- I have 2002, but

23 it's a different citation for projection

24 signs.

25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I don't know if





1 you're going to know this, but do they

2 measure them different? Because under the

3 current request, it says that the sign area

4 proposed is 49. It says only three square

5 feet are allowed, as to where the other one

6 says the permitted is 40.

7 MS. KUDLA: That's what drew my

8 attention to the number because the variance

9 was different. The size is different.


11 explain, how is the projection, does it add

12 to the square footage of the particular

13 request or how does that effect this

14 particular request? The fact that it extends

15 out from the building?

16 MR. BOULARD: The ordinance as

17 written, that there is an area that's allowed

18 based on the frontage of the suite, along the

19 street. Of that, a portion can be designated

20 for under the ordinance. The current

21 ordinance is, there is a portion of that that

22 can be designated and applied to a projecting

23 sign. That's a limited size. That's what

24 limited in the ordinance. That does not

25 preclude the rest of that -- you mentioned 44





1 square feet?


3 MR. BOULARD: So potentially under

4 the ordinance, assuming that's the case,

5 three square feet could be the projecting

6 sign remaining only one square feet could be

7 afforded in the ordinance.

8 MR. JOHNSON: I believe the

9 ordinance says in addition to any other

10 signage allowed. So I think the three square

11 feet is above and beyond what the wall sign

12 allowance is. I could be mistaken.

13 MR. BOULARD: Well, I would --

14 provided in the other permitted sign should

15 be reduced by the area of the projecting

16 sign. That was what was I basing it on.

17 MR. JOHNSON: I do have a design

18 showing, just so you see it in comparison, of

19 what -- just like I said, Mongolian BBQ

20 previous to this variance, that variance that

21 allowed them two wall signs. They had a wall

22 sign facing the north, you know, south and

23 they had a wall sign facing Grand River.

24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I'm familiar

25 with that. I know that is a corner building,





1 too, Mongolian BBQ. I'm just trying to get

2 in my mind, when you come to us, it looks

3 like you're requesting the moon because all

4 the variances, and the nature of the practice

5 and so forth, illumination --

6 MR. JOHNSON: I think the reason

7 being is that the Mongolian BBQ was compared

8 to an upper level projecting sign, whereas

9 this variance request is based on a lower

10 level projecting sign. Because the lower

11 level projecting sign was meant for

12 pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk. That

13 could have been one of the changes in 2006.

14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Is there any way

15 that you can modify the request to reduce the

16 number of variances you're requesting?

17 MR. JOHNSON: Obviously we could do

18 an ornamental bracket. We do believe that

19 this style of sign lends itself to interior

20 illumination versus a halo illumination

21 because it's a projecting sign. To do like a

22 gooseneck on this logo would be pretty

23 difficult, quite frankly, you would need

24 multiple of them, and it would look pretty

25 gangly, so to speak. Versus a three square





1 foot lower level projecting sign that is more

2 or less usually a name plate type thing, you

3 know, one by three.

4 But we could obviously do, you

5 know, some ornamental brackets and we could

6 also look at reducing the square footage, in

7 the fact that taking the wall sign that's

8 allowed, square footage, and utilizing that

9 so that the wall sign allowance would be the

10 same size as the projecting sign, which would

11 take it down a few square feet as well. And

12 put it, if you will, just taking the single

13 face wall sign, making it perpendicular.


15 position. I mean, in general you're supposed

16 to -- when you come for a request, you're

17 supposed to minimize, come with the best plan

18 to minimize the number of variances you need.

19 Obviously, we don't write the

20 ordinances, City Council does, and they have

21 their own position as to why they have these

22 rules. Of course, there are exceptions to

23 the rule. You have five, six or so

24 variances, you're violating -- you know, I

25 don't know if every single rule they have got





1 exceeds your proposed sign, you're certainly

2 violating a lot them.

3 I guess the question becomes, is it

4 unreasonable understand the circumstances, or

5 I mean, you're still entitled to your wall

6 sign. The question is, can you kind of

7 project in a manner you want, and can it

8 be -- I guess, that's the difficulty I'm

9 having with it.

10 MR. JOHNSON: I guess the question

11 would be is it possible to repost the

12 variance and do it in comparison to an upper

13 level projecting sign for a single first

14 floor business, because if that was my

15 original application, and if that were the

16 case, I think you would find that the

17 gooseneck lighting and the height and some of

18 the things wouldn't apply. That would

19 actually lessen the variance number

20 considerably.

21 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Personally, I

22 don't know offhand, but I know in my

23 experience, traveling through this Main

24 Street area, people are aware of Main Street

25 or thereabouts, you're driving around looking





1 for -- you're not looking for projecting

2 signs, but you're looking for wall signs. I

3 understand the difference between the two

4 that you have cited, but I don't know if it

5 would make that much of a difference in, you

6 know --

7 MR. JOHNSON: I think it would take

8 out the -- probably take out the height and

9 the brackets and I think it would take out

10 three out of the five. I'm not sure.

11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: As you have it

12 now, you know, the position you want, these

13 are all the variances you need.

14 MR. JOHNSON: As I said, that is

15 the way I submitted to it -- for the permit,

16 that was sent back to me, that this is what I

17 needed versus -- I assumed that I needed

18 lesser variances, and that's what I basically

19 base my original request off of, off of what

20 Mongolian BBQ was approved for.

21 So like I said, I don't know if we

22 need clarification, make sure that we are

23 comparing it to what is allowed at the proper

24 ratio.

25 MS. SKELCY: Mongolian got a





1 variance under an old rule. What we are

2 looking at today is what the rules are today.

3 You were probably sent this back with all the

4 different variances because this is a first

5 floor location, and first floor location

6 signage applies. So that's, I'm guessing, is

7 why we have all these variances.

8 I am not fan of that sign. When I

9 drove by, I thought it was awfully big for

10 the area, all the other tenants on that side

11 have signs against the wall. I think that,

12 you know, if you find that you have wall

13 signs, but this really sticks out quite far.

14 I am not if favor of it. I am not in favor

15 of what I see on The Post Bar building either

16 though, so I would not be voting in favor of

17 this based on the fact that it not the least

18 intrusive, that you are seeking a 49 square

19 foot sign, which I think is extremely large

20 for this particular frontage on the building,

21 and the fact that it sticks out.

22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Sanghvi?

23 MR. SANGHVI: My comment was, these

24 two signs are comparing apples and oranges.

25 It's nothing to do -- the same as the





1 Mongolian BBQ. He has a tenant sitting on

2 top of him. A dentist.

3 MR. JOHNSON: Right, who has a wall

4 sign.

5 MR. SANGHVI: You can't compare.

6 Mongolian BBQ, they don't have that problem.

7 You only have one level that is ground level.

8 MR. JOHNSON: This sign is mounted

9 at the same level that Mongolian BBQ's sign

10 is mounted at.

11 MR. SANGHVI: They don't have any

12 other tenant on top of them, just one single

13 thing. You have got two of them, two there

14 on your side of the building.


16 comments or questions for the applicant?

17 As you know, sir, we have five

18 members here. You need four of the five to

19 pass or reject anything. If you want, you

20 can ask the board to table it, like I

21 suggested before, if you want a particular

22 motion, you can certainly request that. It's

23 up to you.

24 MR. JOHNSON: I guess my question

25 would be when will you have a full seven





1 member board?

2 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You know, sir,

3 it does depend month-by-month. Sometimes we

4 can expect a full board and sometimes we

5 don't. It depends on a particular day. So

6 it's up -- I mean, we can't certainly promise

7 anything. It's your choice whether you want

8 to proceed, which we have no problem with,

9 you are entitled to it, or you can request

10 that we table it. It's your choice.

11 MR. JOHNSON: I think I would

12 prefer to table it because, quite frankly,

13 what I would like to do is see how it

14 compares to the upper level projecting sign

15 that's actually allowed, granted for upper

16 level businesses, but I think that, in

17 essence, once again, if you take and go under

18 those standards, your requested variances are

19 considerably less. And I don't know if

20 that's even possible for it to be written in

21 that fashion or not. I don't know if

22 Mr. Boulard --


24 requesting that, I mean, certainly -- is

25 anybody interested in making a motion to





1 table it?

2 MS. KUDLA: Consider a date

3 certainly as well.

4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Did you want a

5 one month or more?

6 MR. JOHNSON: One month is fine.

7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: When is the next

8 day?

9 MS. PAWLOWSKI: March 6th would be

10 the next available.

11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: March 6th? No,

12 it would be February.

13 MS. PAWLOWSKI: It's too late for

14 February.

15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Oh, is it too

16 late for February?

17 MS. PAWLOWSKI: I mean, I guess

18 February 14th we could table it to.

19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: So February 14th

20 would be the next day that would be allowed

21 to advertise and so forth? Would you like --

22 MR. BOULARD: The February 14th

23 would not allow for advertising, but the

24 advertising would be the expansion, we would

25 have to send out letters again. We could do





1 March. I know you've got a time frame we are

2 trying to deal with.

3 MR. JOHNSON: March would be fine.

4 I mean, if you're saying -- especially if

5 we're -- if I understand you correctly, if we

6 do a comparison to an upper level projecting

7 sign, we're at that point, having to

8 readvertise it and also redo the letters,

9 that will require a two-month?

10 MR. BOULARD: I guess I'm -- I

11 don't want to belabor the point, but the fact

12 of the matter is, the first course will be,

13 there is a variance, there is ordinance

14 requirements that apply to first floor

15 suites. This is not a second floor suite. I

16 don't see how -- I don't see how a first

17 floor suite has the sign compared to a second

18 floor suite. So I guess, I don't understand

19 how it would be even possible to readvertise

20 in that fashion.

21 MS. KUDLA: That's correct. There

22 is two separate sections of the ordinance.

23 The upper level and the lower level. Because

24 of the fact that this is the lower level, we

25 wouldn't be able to compare it to -- at





1 least, compare it to the upper level.

2 MR. JOHNSON: I understand. In

3 that case then, there is really no reason to

4 table it because the way the -- you know, by

5 going off the pattern previously set, granted

6 under the old rules, we were doing it in

7 comparison to that, you know, to an upper

8 level sign.

9 MR. BOULARD: I guess one option

10 would be to request, to table, take a look at

11 if there is things that you could do to make

12 the sign closer to the -- possibly the

13 ordinance requirements, present that. You

14 could get that turnaround quickly, but just

15 present that under the existing posting for

16 the February meeting, the board could also

17 approve a lesser variance, just not more.

18 MR. JOHNSON: That would be

19 preferable.

20 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Your request

21 would be for the tabling until February 14th?

22 MR. JOHNSON: Correct.


24 anticipating asking for more?

25 MR. JOHNSON: Right.






2 MR. SANGHVI: I make a motion that

3 we table this case until the February 14

4 meeting.


6 MS. KRIEGER: Second.


8 discussion on that particular motion? We

9 need to call roll on that? To table?

10 MS. KUDLA: To table it, yes.


12 Ms. Pawlowski, can you please call the call

13 roll.

14 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?


16 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Ibe?

17 MR. IBE: Yes.

18 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?

19 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.

20 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?

21 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.

22 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?

23 MS. SKELCY: Yes.

24 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes five

25 to zero.






2 anything additional to present at the time,

3 you can do so.

4 MR. JOHNSON: Thank you.


6 agenda is Item No. 6, Case No. 11-048 for

7 41014 Scarborough.

8 Can you please state your name and

9 address.

10 MR. CLARK: My name is Robert

11 Clark. I live at 6055 Jackson Road,

12 Ann Arbor, Michigan.

13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Please raise

14 your right hand and be sworn.

15 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or affirm

16 to tell the truth?

17 MR. CLARK: I do.

18 MS. SKELCY: Thank you.

19 MR. CLARK: We are here today, as

20 we are -- the home itself is built to its

21 setback. There is -- when begin began with

22 the project, financially, we don't normally

23 build -- well, I shouldn't say normally. We

24 do build 12 by 12 rooms, okay. Of course,

25 but the customer, when it first started out,





1 to say we were thinking more of a 14 by 20 or

2 14 by 18, and with the constrictions, or the

3 variance, you know, we went back to

4 modifying, and trying to figure out what

5 would possibly fit in the neighborhood.

6 I do want to bring out that the

7 homeowner -- there is a lot of choices with

8 our product. I mean, we could build what you

9 would refer to as a shed style unit, and from

10 a cost standpoint, it is a lot less.

11 But their interest really came to

12 fitting with the home, fitting with the

13 surrounding homes, and naturally trying to

14 make sure that the neighbors saw to it and

15 approved for what we were doing.

16 We did make up a letter that they

17 walked around to their immediate neighbors,

18 and we have -- there was four that it was --

19 five that were presented to. One voiced his

20 positive opinion to us, but did not want to

21 sign anything. We do have three that I can

22 leave with you guys. I did not make enough

23 copies that I can leave it. If you want to

24 add it to the file of approvals for the

25 immediate neighbors east and west and one to





1 the south.

2 I do have just a photo, and the

3 homeowner -- I guess we should -- this is the

4 style of room that they have chosen. They do

5 have a two-story home. So I think if we use

6 our imagination to a shed style unit is what

7 we call a single span unit would be to start

8 out high and just come down one straight

9 angle, more of an angled unit. Where they

10 have showed the gateway unit. This is the

11 size, the proper size of the room that we're

12 asking for, which is 12.5 by 12.5.

13 When dealing with the glass

14 solarium, there is a lot of standards

15 involved. And all of this space is within

16 the standard unit rather than going to

17 custom. I have a second photo, though you're

18 seeing a full foundation on this particular

19 photo, we are, due to economics and the days

20 and times, deck installations are a lot less

21 expensive, not just a little, but a lot less

22 expensive.

23 Now, what the homeowner has asked

24 for, unlike you see in this photo, this shows

25 just lattice at the bottom. We are going to





1 build a full composite deck adjacent to the

2 unit. And that composite decking would then

3 follow through, where you're seeing lattice,

4 it will be a closed skirt out of composite

5 material, which will help blend a lot better

6 in color, you know, it's a little color, than

7 the wallonized (ph) lattice that you're

8 seeing in this photo.

9 You're familiar with Four Seasons,

10 we build a very quality product. Though it

11 is going to be a three-season room, even

12 though the name, four-season product.

13 They're looking to stay away from the

14 mosquitoes and the bugs. I think if somebody

15 experienced what we had last season, it looks

16 very good for me, with the amount of

17 mosquitoes that were around.

18 What I don't know, and forgive me,

19 I think that the question I would have is

20 what is the setback requirements for an open

21 deck? I didn't ask that of the building

22 department. Does anybody know that?

23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: We will get to

24 that.

25 MR. CLARK: The reason I ask, there





1 was one neighbor, and we're not afraid to

2 mention it, behind them, that was concerned

3 about the projection of the unit and saying,

4 you know, it's close to his house, and you

5 know, privacy issues, so on and so forth. I

6 guess my point to that particular homeowner,

7 whether they're here to speak about it or

8 not, I did speak with them once, and he never

9 really gave me that full objection. But if

10 it's an open deck, let's say 20 feet or

11 25 feet, naturally they have to build their

12 deck much further than what we are asking

13 for. We are asking for a 10.5 setback. I

14 think it's actually listed as -- the room

15 projects 12 foot 6 and 7/8ths. You have a

16 copy of the floor plan. Just the way I

17 understand it, that you have a two-foot

18 projection on the house, which will be the

19 living room section of the house comes out

20 two feet past the mounting point of my room.

21 That two foot is at 35 feet. So that tells

22 me that I'm asking for a 10 foot six inch

23 variance.

24 And I'm pretty sure that's how it

25 was listed. It was listed as 11-foot, so I





1 mean, I'm not trying to split hairs, 6 and

2 7/8ths, rather than 11-foot.

3 They seemed to have came up with,

4 what I would call reasonable size. We know

5 about our bedrooms, the homes of today,

6 they're a lot bigger than 12 feet. If you

7 had a ranch home in the past, you have a 12

8 by 12 bedroom, trying to build something with

9 an eight foot model. With an eight foot, you

10 can move the house, and make an eight foot

11 extension off the dining area, then eight

12 foot really works well, but when you're

13 trying to close off, that's required by

14 energy code, 12-foot kind of gives them the

15 space to be able to place furniture and move

16 around. I'm here for any questions that you

17 might have.

18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you, sir.

19 Is there anybody in the public who would like

20 to make a comment on this particular case?

21 Seeing none, I would close the

22 public remarks section.

23 MR. CLARK: They have one.


25 didn't see your, hand. State your name and





1 address.

2 MR. HUANG: Chris Huang. I live at

3 41154 Clermont Avenue, and I'm neighbor on

4 the south side.

5 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: To the rear of

6 the property?

7 MR. HUANG: Yes.

8 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Raise your right

9 hand and be sworn.

10 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or affirm

11 to tell the truth?

12 MR. HUANG: Yes.


14 State your case.

15 MR. HUANG: We discussed it with

16 our neighbors, and we are good friends,

17 neighbors. And basically, we are the direct

18 opposite on the south side, both these houses

19 as mentioned, was built on lots that were

20 very fit. Actually when we were building our

21 own house at that time, there was

22 restrictions wherein, we actually were --

23 supposed to be a three-car garage, and the

24 lot was not big enough for making the garage

25 come up in the front, and so the builder





1 ended up, you know, making a two and a half

2 car garage because it wouldn't fit.

3 Similar to that, I mean, just to

4 show that how these lots are, they just made

5 to fit. The houses, the two lots are unique

6 in the sense. They are kind of -- when you

7 see from the rear, they look pretty close to

8 each other, despite looking as it is right

9 now.

10 I have no problem with the sunroom

11 building and stuff like that, it's just the

12 question of, you know, down the road if I

13 have to sell the house, again, resale, it

14 might be a minus point, you know, again, as

15 you know, sometimes, when I look out, I see

16 another house, which is kind of closer. That

17 was my main concern.

18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Do you oppose

19 this structure?

20 MR. HUANG: On conditional

21 approval. You want to go ahead with this, my

22 only request was, for privacy sake, if we can

23 put some trees to cover it up, couple of them

24 decent size, and that would help at least in

25 the privacy part, not to make it very





1 obvious, because this is a full glass

2 structure, as you can see. It is living

3 space inside as opposed to a deck, you know,

4 you use it, but you're not living there, so

5 to speak. That was my only hope to discuss

6 this.

7 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Do they seem

8 that they would want to put some shrubbery or

9 some --

10 MR. HUANG: Yes, some spruce trees

11 or something like that.


13 MR. HUANG: I extend the comment to

14 approve that also.

15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: We will get to

16 that. Any other comments you have?

17 MR. HUANG: No, that is it.

18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you, sir.

19 Is there anybody else from the public with a

20 particular comment on this case, please raise

21 your hand.

22 Seeing none, I will close the

23 public remarks section and ask our secretary

24 to read any correspondence.

25 MS. SKELCY: There is an email from





1 Wayne Wrobel, ZBA members, this email serves

2 as notice to the ZBA that the applicant

3 requesting a setback variance in ZBA 11-048

4 has not yet submitted plans or received

5 approval from the Willowbrook Farm homeowners

6 association to build a sunroom at 41014

7 Scarborough. The homeowner will not be

8 allowed to build a deck or sunroom at this

9 address until permission is received from the

10 Willowbrook homeowners association, as is

11 stipulated in the association covenant and

12 bylaws. Signed Wayne Wrobel, president of

13 the Willowbrook homeowners association. This

14 is dated Monday, January, 9th, 2012.

15 In addition, there were 35 notices

16 mailed, none were returned, two approvals,

17 two objections.

18 The other objection is from Jacob

19 Lee, L-e-e, or 41033 Scarborough Lane. He

20 states, I am strongly against the request.

21 Thirty-five feet setback is minimum distance

22 we need. It will encroach on our privacy if

23 approved.

24 From Chris and Anu, A-n-u, Huang,

25 H-u-a-n-g, states my house is adjacent and





1 completely shares the rear yard boundary with

2 Vaishnav's house. Hence, are directly

3 impacted. Both of these houses were built on

4 lots that could barely fit, by the builder.

5 Hence the houses are close to each other

6 already. Building a sunroom would make it

7 even closer, compromising our privacy and

8 hence resale. Being good friends and

9 neighbors of the Vaishnavs, we have verbally

10 discussed and agreed to approve the following

11 stipulations. A, at least two trees be

12 planted in their yard in a position desirable

13 to me for privacy and such that they obstruct

14 the view of the sunroom as seen from my patio

15 door wall and kitchen window. B, the trees

16 should be blue spruce evergreen at least

17 9 feet tall. C, these should be planted

18 within a month of project completion or as

19 soon possible weather permitting. D, these

20 trees should be maintained in good health and

21 replaced when necessary to provide continued

22 privacy.

23 I have no written objections though

24 in here.

25 MS. PAWLOWSKI: I considered the





1 first one sort of an objection.

2 MR. SANGHVI: Thank you.

3 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any comment from

4 the city on this one?

5 MR. BOULARD: Just for -- the

6 question came up, and if you don't mind,

7 Section 2907 of the zoning ordinance, where

8 it talks about porches and decks, in part

9 reads as follows. An opened, unenclosed and

10 uncovered wooden deck may project in the

11 required rear setback for a distance not

12 exceeding 18 feet. But this shall not be

13 interpreted to include or permit a fixed

14 canopy.

15 So also, with regard to the

16 11 feet, I think that the application, it's

17 my fault it's 11, the original application

18 was 10 feet. When I started doing the math,

19 I got more than 10 feet, we were doing

20 telephone tag, I put 11 feet in the

21 advertisement, to make sure we were covered.

22 MR. CLARK: Thank you.

23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anything else

24 from the city?

25 MS. KUDLA: No.





1 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I will open it

2 up to the board for discussion. Member

3 Skelcy?

4 MR. SANGHVI: Ms. Kudla, we can't

5 do a motion that includes all these requested

6 situations pertaining to the property and

7 plantation of trees, can we?

8 MS. KUDLA: If you think that the

9 conditions are related to the variance and

10 that it would reduce the impact of the

11 variance and it is directly related, you

12 could put some conditions on it.

13 MS. SKELCY: Okay. What have you

14 done to get approval from the homeowners?

15 MR. CLARK: We would never

16 proceed -- when I came to the building

17 department, they told us we had to get a

18 variance. The city would never allow us to

19 proceed without the association approval. I

20 think what I'm trying to say, they have to

21 have association approval to proceed.

22 Without your approval, then the association

23 approval means nothing.

24 MS. SKELCY: Actually, typically in

25 the past we have requested that the homeowner





1 obtain the association approval first.

2 MR. CLARK: I would have done that,

3 if I thought it was necessary. I apologize.

4 It wasn't done intentionally. I will not

5 proceed with any movement without an

6 association approval.

7 MS. SKELCY: You know, I wouldn't

8 able to agree with this without the

9 association approval. We may want to table

10 this to another month. Those are my

11 thoughts. Thank you.

12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Sanghvi.

13 MR. SANGHVI: I just want to --

14 MS. KUDLA: If you want to do it

15 conditioned on the association approval, have

16 it being presented to the building official,

17 that could work, too. But it is up to you

18 whether you want to see it personally first.

19 MS. SKELCY: Thank you.

20 MR. SANGHVI: Just one comment. If

21 I am correct, understanding the ordinance, it

22 is preferable to have the approval, but it is

23 not obligated?

24 MS. KUDLA: Correct.

25 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: So you're saying





1 technically they don't even need --

2 MS. KUDLA: What would happen is

3 they have their private cause of action under

4 their covenants and restrictions. That's

5 nothing that we as the city are able to

6 enforce their private covenants.


8 Member Gedeon?

9 MR. GEDEON: In regard to the

10 homeowners association, I think from a public

11 image perspective, I don't think it's a good

12 idea for the Zoning Board to be coming in

13 first, it may give the wrong impression that

14 we are ignoring the will of the homeowners

15 association. That's just my opinion.

16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anybody else?

17 Actually, I am in agreement with my

18 colleagues. In general, again, you don't

19 have to come in with pre-approval. To me, it

20 doesn't -- because they have restrictive

21 rights and covenants, and I presume

22 Mr. Wrobel is correct, you have to have the

23 permission. I think you're pulling the cart

24 before the horse. So my thinking is, if you

25 have approval, that's something we should





1 consider, then find out, do you really come

2 within the confines of our law, then we can

3 make the decision.

4 MR. CLARK: I don't have any

5 problem with that.

6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I don't know how

7 long it will take.

8 MR. CLARK: It won't take long.

9 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: We can table

10 this for February or March.

11 MR. CLARK: February would be

12 preferred. I will make sure that -- I can do

13 it all through email. I send my blueprints

14 to them. I will let them know I was with you

15 and that you requested I come to them.

16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Skelcy?

17 MS. SKELCY: I would also like you

18 to discuss with your client their feelings

19 about these stipulations that the neighbors

20 requested.

21 MR. CLARK: We spoke about it

22 already. I mean, as much as they don't

23 really want to put trees in their backyard, I

24 mean, that's not the -- what they would

25 prefer to do, but if that's something that





1 has to be done, we certainly will discuss it

2 before we come back.

3 MS. SKELCY: Please do.

4 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Member Sanghvi?

5 MR. SANGHVI: Your client is

6 present here, right?

7 MR. CLARK: Yes.

8 MR. SANGHVI: If he wants to make

9 any comment, he should come forward, do it

10 now.

11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Can you state

12 your name and address.

13 MR. VAISHANAV: Heresh Vaishanav

14 41014 Scarborough Lane.

15 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Spell your name

16 for our court reporter.

17 MR. VAISHANAV: H-e-r-e-s-h, last

18 name V-a-i-s-h-a-n-a-v.

19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Raise your right

20 hand and be sworn.

21 MS. SKELCY: Do you swear or affirm

22 to tell the truth?

23 MR. VAISHANAV: Yes. Just couple

24 of comments. I think there was a comment

25 from the lady that if you ground -- it would





1 be conditional to the approval of the

2 homeowners association, that we don't lose

3 this time in coming up again in front of you

4 and wait for a month. We would like to start

5 as soon as possible, even in the winter

6 months and get that going.

7 Will it be possible to grant

8 conditional approval on the conditions that

9 the association approves?

10 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Of course it is

11 possible, but it's at the discretion of the

12 board. I mean, the board could make the

13 conditional motion to approve, it could make

14 a motion to deny, it could a motion to table.

15 MR. VAISHANAV: Would it be

16 possible to do that now or --

17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: I understand

18 that would be your request, correct.

19 MR. VAISHANAV: So may I request

20 that we -- I don't know the word properly,

21 request that we grant on the conditions that

22 we have to get the approval of the homeowners

23 association.

24 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: That's something

25 we can consider. Do you have any other





1 comments, sir?

2 MR. VAISHANAV: Yes. In terms of

3 the objections that we have received, we

4 really don't want to offend people. I mean,

5 we have no intention of looking in other

6 peoples house. I mean, all I want to do is

7 have a nice sitting room. We do not have

8 enough space in our house to live. But this

9 is something when the sun is out, and our

10 house is facing the sunny south, we get

11 plenty of sun, so that's why we decided to

12 get a sunroom. And we just want to kind of

13 once in a while, when the sun is out in the

14 evening or the weekend and just sit there and

15 do some reading or enjoy a glass of wine or

16 something. So that's the only reason. We

17 have no intention of looking in other

18 people's house, that's not our intention.

19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Thank you, sir.

20 Anything else?


22 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anybody have any

23 comments or questions, especially with regard

24 to their request to have the condition of the

25 homeowners approval. Member Ibe?





1 MR. IBE: Sir, with all due

2 respect, I do understand your position and

3 your desire to obviously have a porch. But

4 this is just my suggestion, you don't have to

5 go with it. But I think it's probably a wise

6 idea, if I were you, to get approval first.

7 Because if you were ask me to vote today,

8 while we have the discretion to grant you

9 conditional approval, I will not do that. I

10 would prefer obviously getting it from the

11 homeowners first before we make a decision.

12 If you go ahead today, then your request will

13 be probably be denied.

14 It might be a wise idea, if I were

15 you, I would probably listen to the man who

16 you hired to work for you. Thank you.

17 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anybody else

18 have any comments or questions?

19 Okay. Anybody want to make a

20 motion whether it be approved, denied?

21 Member Krieger?

22 MS. KRIEGER: I move in Case No.

23 41014 Scarborough that we table the meeting

24 until February 14th, the next ZBA meeting.

25 MS. SKELCY: Second.






2 suggestion on that particular motion? Member

3 Sanghvi?

4 MR. SANGHVI: I just want to make a

5 comment, and suggest to the homeowner. You

6 should talk to your neighbors and get this

7 sorted out before you come back. So that we

8 don't have to worry about the approval,

9 disapproval, the locations. That makes life

10 a lot easier and lot a better for the

11 neighborhood and the people around you.

12 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: We are done with

13 you, sir. I just have one question for you.

14 You're going to be constructing it, correct?

15 MR. CLARK: Yes.

16 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: How long does it

17 take to construct this?

18 MR. CLARK: About six weeks.

19 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Even if he came

20 in February, he'd still get three full

21 seasons?

22 MR. CLARK: Sure.

23 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any further

24 discussion on this? Seeing none,

25 Ms. Pawlowski, can you call the roll.





1 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ghannam?


3 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Ibe?

4 MR. IBE: Yes.

5 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?


7 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?


9 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy?

10 MS. SKELCY: Yes.

11 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes five

12 to zero.

13 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: You're adjourned

14 until February. We would suggest that you

15 come back with those types of things.

16 MR. CLARK: Okay.

17 MR. SANGHVI: Thank you.

18 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Next item on the

19 agenda is other matters. Is there any other

20 matters before we adjourn?


22 MR. BOULARD: If you would be so

23 kind as to -- the cases that we tabling, if

24 you want to put those in your folder, we can

25 be green about those.





1 If it's the -- not sure what would

2 be the best way to handle it, but if it's

3 your contention, that in every case you would

4 prefer to have the homeowners association

5 approval prior to hearing a case, we will put

6 that recommendation on the application.


8 would suggest.

9 MS. KUDLA: If you want, you could

10 even put a recommendation in your rules of

11 procedure to that. It's not in there right

12 now. If it's something, a fact that would

13 help you make a decision.

14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: For me it's just

15 a different personal preference.

16 MS. KUDLA: You could always table

17 it in a case where they don't have it, but

18 right now, I don't know that there is

19 anything written in direct relation to that.

20 MR. BOULARD: Are you recommending

21 that we change the rule right now?

22 MS. KUDLA: Not necessarily. We

23 can take a look at it. If we want to discuss

24 it, that seems to be a preference, we could

25 rule on the procedure.





1 MS. SKELCY: In the meantime, we

2 could just have the city advise them or give

3 them like a little note.

4 MS. KUDLA: We could put a note on

5 the application.

6 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Anything else?

7 Any other matters? If not, entertain a

8 motion to adjourn.

9 MR. SANGHVI: So moved.

10 MR. IBE: Second.

11 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: All in favor say

12 aye.

13 THE BOARD: Aye.

14 CHAIRMAN GHANNAM: Any opposed? We

15 are adjourned.

16 (The meeting was adjourned at 9:25 p.m.)

17 ** ** **














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 above, that the statements given by said

7 individuals was stenographically recorded in the presence of

8 myself and other, afterward transcribed by computer under my

9 personal supervision, and that the said statements are a

10 full, true and correct transcript of the statements given by

11 the individuals.

12 I further certify that I am not connected by blood

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

14 that I am not an employee of any of them, nor financially

15 interested in the action.

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

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

18 Michigan.



21 ________________ _________________________

Date Jennifer L. Wall CSR-4183

22 Oakland County, Michigan

My Commission Expires 11/12/15