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Tuesday, May 8, 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, May 8, 2012

Rickie Ibe, Chairman
Mav Sanghvi
Linda Krieger
David Ghannam
Jeffrey Gedeon

Charles Boulard, Building Official
Thomas Schultz, City Attorney
Coordinator: Angela Pawlowski, Recording Secretary

Jennifer L. Wall, Certified Shorthand Reporter

1 Novi, Michigan.

2 Tuesday, May 8, 2012

3 7:00 p.m.

4 ** ** **

5 CHAIRMAN IBE: Good evening.

6 Welcome to the May 8th, 2012 Zoning Board of

7 Appeals meeting for the City of Novi.

8 Can we please all rise and say the

9 Pledge of Allegiance. Member Krieger, please lead

10 us.

11 (Pledge of Allegiance recited.)

12 CHAIRMAN IBE: Ms. Pawlowski, will

13 you please call the roll.

14 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?

15 MR. GEDEON: Here.

16 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gerblick,

17 absent, excused.

18 Member Ghannam?

19 MR. GHANNAM: Here.

20 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ibe?

21 CHAIRMAN IBE: Present.

22 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?

23 MS. KRIEGER: Here.

24 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?

25 MR. SANGHVI: Here.



1 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Skelcy,

2 absent, excused.

3 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. We're

4 now going to go over the public hearing

5 rules. First let me ask that everyone who

6 has a cellphone or electronic device, please

7 turn it off at this time. Thank you.

8 The public hearing -- the Novi Zoning

9 Board of Appeals is empowered to have hearings

10 under the Charter, and for those who seek

11 variances under the Novi Zoning Ordinance.

12 It takes a vote of at least four members

13 to approve an application. Today we do not have a

14 full board, but we do have a quorum to carry on

15 with the meeting.

16 Now, all decisions that will be made

17 today will be final, so if at some point those who

18 have a case before this Board feel that you need

19 to have a full board, in order to hear your case,

20 please let us know when you come up, so that if

21 you wish to continue or table your case, that way

22 we can entertain it at that time.

23 Are there any changes to the agenda?

24 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Yes. Case No. 3,

25 which is known as is ZBA 12-016, has asked to



1 be tabled until the June 12th meeting.

2 CHAIRMAN IBE: Very well. To the

3 City, do you think we should have this during

4 the beginning or when the case is called?

5 MR. SCHULTZ: Now when you approve

6 the agenda, just approve it without Case No.

7 3.

8 CHAIRMAN IBE: Very well. Thank

9 you so much.

10 Is there any other changes to the agenda

11 other than what has been raised by Ms. Pawlowski?

12 MR. BOULARD: No, sir.

13 MR. GHANNAM: I'll go ahead and

14 move to approve the agenda minus a Item No.

15 3.

16 CHAIRMAN IBE: Very well. Can I

17 get a second?

18 MR. SANGHVI: Second.

19 CHAIRMAN IBE: All those in favor

20 of approving the agenda say aye.

21 THE BOARD: Aye.

22 CHAIRMAN IBE: All those against?

23 Seeing none, the agenda is approved.

24 And what about the minutes from the

25 April 10 meeting? Are there any changes to the



1 minutes?

2 MR. BOULARD: No changes.

3 MS. KRIEGER: I move to approve the

4 minutes.

5 CHAIRMAN IBE: One minute, please.

6 Sorry. On page four, line 22, the word

7 second should be seeking, s-e-e-k-i-n-g.

8 Are there any additional changes?

9 Seeing none, can I get a motion?

10 MR. SANGHVI: Make a motion to

11 approve the minutes as amended.

12 MS. KRIEGER: Second.

13 CHAIRMAN IBE: Can we please take a

14 voice vote. All those in favor say aye.

15 THE BOARD: Aye.

16 CHAIRMAN IBE: All those against?

17 Seeing none, the minutes is hereby approved.

18 We are going to move to the public

19 remarks section of the meeting at this time.

20 Other than those who have cases here

21 present before this board today, is there anyone

22 in the audience who would like to make a public

23 remark at this time?

24 Seeing none, I will close the public

25 remarks section and move to the first case before



1 the Board today.

2 And the first case is case No. 12-014,

3 2012 West Lake Drive. Will the applicant please

4 come to the podium.

5 When you do come to the podium, please

6 kindly spell your name for the reporter. And if

7 you're not an attorney, please raise your right

8 hand and be sworn in by our secretary.

9 MR. ATTO: Before I state my name

10 or after?

11 CHAIRMAN IBE: State your name

12 first.

13 MR. ATTO: My name is Richard Atto

14 and that is spelled A-t-t-o.

15 MS. KRIEGER: In Case No. 12-014,

16 2012 West Lake Drive, do you swear to tell

17 the truth in this case?

18 MR. ATTO: Yes, I do.

19 CHAIRMAN IBE: Go ahead, sir.

20 MR. ATTO: I have made an

21 application for a variance for a side yard

22 setback variance, also for a front yard

23 setback variance and also for a percentage of

24 lot coverage.

25 What we have here is we have these -- a



1 series of very extremely narrow lots, which makes

2 it not only difficult, but almost impossible to

3 construct a legal single family residence, which

4 the properties are zoned for, and without

5 obtaining a variance because the lots are so

6 narrow and it would not leave enough building

7 envelope to be able to move on.

8 So we have requested -- we laid out,

9 first of all, although the lot is under contract,

10 and -- with myself as general contractor, and I'm

11 the applicant, I'm actually -- I have a client,

12 the Skemanskis (ph) Mr. and Mrs. Skemanski, Dr.

13 and Mrs. Skemanski that are going to live here.

14 So it's not a speculative type variance,

15 it's a specific variance for a family that has

16 other family members that live on the lake

17 currently, and there is a possibility that in the

18 future, you know, the parents may live here, and

19 there is a first floor bedroom.

20 And the reason I bring these points up

21 is because, you know, there is certain minimum

22 standards that you need, so we try to compress the

23 building envelope as much as possible and minimize

24 the amount of the variance that we are requesting,

25 but again, because the lot is so narrow, getting



1 done within five feet of each property line and

2 then as a result of that, it increases the lot

3 coverage.

4 So what we're requesting is these

5 variances that I stated, you know, it's a very

6 modest two-story house with a minimum size depth

7 in the garage, absolute minimum width for the

8 rooms, and there is an existing structure that's a

9 higher degree of non-conformance that we are

10 planning to remove in its entirety and start over

11 again.

12 We also have a letter here, I'm not sure

13 if the Board has seen, from a couple of the

14 neighbors on each side, saying that there is no

15 objections.

16 And if anybody has any specific

17 questions, I will try to answer them, if I can.

18 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you very much,

19 sir.

20 MR. ATTO: Thank you.

21 CHAIRMAN IBE: Is there anybody in

22 the public who would like to make a comment

23 on this particular case, please raise your

24 hand.

25 Please come to the podium and state your



1 name, and if are not an attorney, please raise

2 your right and be sworn in. Also please remember

3 to spell your name for the reporter.

4 MS. AMES: Hello. My name is Carol

5 Ames, A-m-e-s.

6 CHAIRMAN IBE: Can we also get your

7 address, please.

8 MS. AMES: 2011 West Lake, Novi.

9 MS. KRIEGER: In Case No. 12-014,

10 2012 West Lake Drive, do you swear to tell

11 the truth in this case?

12 MS. AMES: Yes.

13 CHAIRMAN IBE: Please go ahead.

14 MS. AMES: So I live just north of

15 where this intended building is to be

16 constructed, the home, and I have no

17 objections to it. I just wanted to voice

18 that.

19 CHAIRMAN IBE: Well, thank you. Do

20 we have any other comments from anyone in the

21 public?

22 Well, seeing none, I will ask the

23 secretary to please read any correspondence that

24 we have.

25 MS. KRIEGER: In ZBA 12-014, 45



1 were mailed, two were returned, no responses

2 for this application.

3 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. Now I'm

4 going to turn to the City. Do you have any

5 comments regarding this case?

6 MR. BOULARD: Nothing to add.

7 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. I'm

8 going to open this up to the Board now for

9 discussion.

10 Member Gedeon?

11 MR. GEDEON: I'm just going to go

12 out and say this looks fine to me. We see

13 these lake lots a lot, they are very skinny,

14 and the fact that the neighbors are not

15 objecting, I think says a lot, so I'm fine

16 with this.

17 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you, Member

18 Gedeon.

19 Yes, Member Sanghvi?

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

21 I went and looked at the property, and

22 considering the circumstances and the size of

23 the lot and the shape and the location, I

24 have no problem approving his request. Thank

25 you.



1 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. Yes,

2 Member Krieger?

3 MS. KRIEGER: I agree with the

4 previous members, and then if the applicant

5 has the letters, if he wanted to give that to

6 our -- Mr. Boulard afterwards, that would be

7 fine.

8 MR. ATTO: Okay.

9 MR. GHANNAM: I will just make a

10 comment, too. I also have no problem. I

11 appreciate the attempts at minimizing your

12 proposed variances, given the nature of the

13 building, and the size of the lot, so that's

14 your job. I think you have accomplished it

15 in this case. I have no problem supporting

16 it either.

17 MR. ATTO: Thank you.

18 CHAIRMAN IBE: Very well. It

19 appears that the Board seems to be in

20 agreement. Can we get a motion?

21 MR. GHANNAM: I'll go ahead and

22 make a motion.

23 In Case No. 12-014, to approve the

24 variances as requested. There are unique

25 circumstances and physical conditions of the



1 property, not due to the applicant's personal or

2 economic difficult. The need is not self-created

3 given the nature of the lot. Strict compliance

4 with regulations governing the area setbacks and

5 so forth will unreasonably prevent the property

6 owner from using the property for permitted

7 purpose.

8 The requested variance is the minimum

9 variance necessary to do substantial justice to

10 the applicant, as well as the other property

11 owners in the district, and the requested variance

12 will not cause any adverse impact on surrounding

13 property, property values or use or enjoyment of

14 the properties in the neighborhood or zoning

15 district.

16 MS. KRIEGER: Second.

17 CHAIRMAN IBE: All right.

18 Ms. Pawlowski, could you please call the

19 roll.

20 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?

21 MR. GEDEON: Yes.

22 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Ghannam?

23 MR. GHANNAM: Yes.

24 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ibe?




1 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?


3 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?


5 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes five

6 to zero.

7 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you.

8 MR. ATTO: Thank you very much.

9 CHAIRMAN IBE: Congratulations.

10 We will go to the next case on our

11 agenda. That's Case No. 12-015, 45605 Nine Mile.

12 Will the applicant please come to the

13 podium. Sir, please state your name as well as

14 your address and spell your name for the reporter.

15 If you're not an attorney, please raise your right

16 hand to be sworn.

17 MR. CIZMGA: My name is Defrim

18 D-e-f-r-i-m.

19 MS. KRIEGER: In Case No. 12-015,

20 at 45605 Nine Mile Road, do you swear to tell

21 the truth in this case?

22 MR. CIZMGA: Yes.

23 CHAIRMAN IBE: Proceed.

24 MR. CIZMGA: I'm a new resident in

25 Novi. I just live by Nine Mile Road, if



1 anybody see the house, it's still under

2 construction.

3 I own a trucking company and, you know,

4 the economy everything is being, we tried to use

5 the house for an office.

6 By being a trucking company, must have

7 some requests by UCSBP, Custom, US Custom Border

8 Protection, and CBSA, Canadian Border Service

9 Agency.

10 In our house we keep all the computers,

11 seals, everything got to do with the high tech

12 because we cross the bridge all the time. We just

13 go from Mexico to Canada, and we keep all the

14 stuff, all the bills, everything.

15 But this request, I am trying to

16 build -- I want to -- I need to build a fence in

17 the front of the house. There is no fence, with a

18 steel, more security fence.

19 If you drive all around the front, is

20 limestone, there is no concrete. Everybody know

21 about the concrete during the time, decorate. The

22 gate is a (inaudible). It is a nice one. I think

23 the wall on the front is no more than four feet,

24 and the gate it's not going to be more than six

25 feet in the front.



1 I know we got some complaint about the

2 city because you got to have more than two acres

3 to build a fence in the front of the house. I'm

4 going to try to build as nice as they look. That

5 is why I am here.

6 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. Do we

7 have anyone in the public who would like to

8 make a comment regarding this particular

9 case?

10 Well, seeing none, I will direct my

11 attention to the City. Does the City have any

12 comment regarding this particular case?

13 MR. BOULARD: Nothing additional.

14 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you, very

15 much, sir. I will go now open it up to our

16 secretary, please read into the record any

17 correspondence.

18 MS. KRIEGER: In Case No. 12-015,

19 28 were mailed, returned one, zero approvals,

20 one objection.

21 MR. CIZMGA: Excuse me --


23 MS. KRIEGER: I'm just reading the

24 correspondence.

25 This is Carl and Lina Ladish. They



1 are -- my wife and I are the owner of 22359 Anna

2 Maria Court, which is located adjacent to 45605

3 Nine Mile Road. We have reviewed the requested

4 variance and current photographs of the property.

5 We object to the MC Carrier Ink plant to --

6 surrounding the house at 45605 Nine Mile Road with

7 a high masonry wall, which is capitalized, and

8 further install a capitalized seven foot gate and

9 a wall in front of the property.

10 We don't believe a masonry wall

11 qualifies as a fence or that fences should even be

12 allowed in the front yards.

13 Therefore, we believe that Novi should

14 strictly enforce the rules associated with the

15 appearance of residential property and not grant

16 the variance requested. We have owned our home in

17 Novi for more than ten years now. We appreciate

18 the openness of the areas surrounding the houses

19 in Novi. The large lots and lack of fences has a

20 very nice appearance. I especially appreciate

21 that Novi protects the wetland areas and requires

22 them to be left natural. We occasionally see deer

23 and other animals in the wetland between our house

24 and the house at 45605 Nine Mile Road. Keeping

25 the area natural gives a pleasant impression of



1 the neighborhoods, and we don't believe that Novi

2 should allow this to be change. We don't believe

3 Novi should allow any houses to have fences in the

4 front yard. We further don't believe that Novi

5 should allow any of the houses to be surrounded by

6 a masonry wall, especially next to a natural

7 wetland area which exists next to 45605 Nine Mile

8 Road. We wouldn't object to a real fence in the

9 backyard.

10 In accordance with the ordinances, we

11 don't understand why the owner needs a masonry

12 wall around the house or even a fence in front of

13 the house. We hope that Novi will reject the

14 requested variance and enforce the appropriate

15 ordinances. We are currently out of the country

16 and will not return until June 9th, however, we do

17 have a Novi telephone number that rings in our

18 residence in Indonesia. That number should anyone

19 desire to contact us is -- should I read the

20 number?


22 MS. KRIEGER: There is currently an

23 11 hour time difference. Any mail can be

24 sent to their Morgate Street Novi address and

25 it will be forwarded to them. Sincerely,



1 Carl Ladish. That's it.

2 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you, Madam

3 Secretary. I'd just now like to open it up

4 the conversation with the Board, please.

5 MR. GHANNAM: Sir, in all honesty,

6 I have reviewed your application, and I

7 cannot support it. I will tell you why.

8 First of all, one of the basis of -- one

9 of the things you have to illustrate to the Board

10 is that, you know, if you don't get this type

11 variance, it may prevent you from using this

12 property for a permitted purpose, which is a home.

13 Novi has its ordinances regarding fences

14 and so forth. To me, I have been up and down that

15 road many, many times. This a very nice area of

16 Novi. I don't think it's characteristic to the

17 neighborhood.

18 I understand the writer's comments and

19 frustrations, but even without regard to that -- I

20 understand you're trying to do a business. I

21 don't know whether you can do it in your house or

22 not, or based out of your house or not. I don't

23 know those details, but I would be opposed just

24 because I don't think it's characteristic for the

25 neighborhood.



1 I think certainly you would be able to

2 use it as a house, even if you didn't get this

3 variance.

4 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. Do I

5 have other any other comments? Yes, Member

6 Sanghvi?

7 MR. SANGHVI: Has anybody ever

8 driven through your yard before?

9 MR. CIZMGA: Yes. I got people

10 coming. If anybody gets in the house, nobody

11 knows it's my car, it's your car, somebody

12 else's car. They do whatever, we know

13 everyone.

14 If I going to have the fence in the

15 front, if somebody park in front of the fence,

16 everybody know because nobody park their cars in

17 front of the fence. That's the reason why.

18 I mean, we living in the city, we got to

19 play by the rules.

20 I mean, I think the city is about 200

21 people, this one doesn't make any difference,

22 but -- maybe I'm trying to make it as nice as we

23 can, so we can be nice for the city, putting those

24 comments -- this cost a lot of money. No one

25 going to spend money to put something in a house.



1 MR. SANGHVI: You have already

2 started work on the fence? I visited your

3 place. Have you started the work on the

4 fence already?

5 MR. CIZMGA: On the back.

6 MR. SANGHVI: On your property,

7 have you started work on the fence already?

8 MR. CIZMGA: On the front of the

9 house or on the back of the house?

10 MR. SANGHVI: When I came around to

11 see your property, I thought they had already

12 started working.

13 MR. CIZMGA: No, no. The only

14 thing, I'm just working on the back. The one

15 I got is just (inaudible). Is the city going

16 to agree to do that, I'm going to do it, if

17 not, I'm going to leave it the way it is.

18 I'm not going to do anything else.

19 Because the house is more up. It's a

20 ranch house, no matter what, they got to do some

21 more in the front, because the dirt doesn't go all

22 the way down. The one I'm working is the back

23 one, I'm not doing anything on the front.

24 MR. SANGHVI: I cannot support the

25 application. Thank you.



1 CHAIRMAN IBE: Do we have any

2 additional comments? Member Krieger?

3 MS. KRIEGER: Can you explain again

4 the reason why you prefer a masonry fence

5 versus a regular decorative fence? Why so

6 high?

7 MR. CIZMGA: I don't think so, it's

8 so high in the front. It's only four feet.

9 You can see on the front, it's only four

10 feet. It's just columns. It's limestone.

11 It's limestone on the bottom, limestone on

12 the top. It's just four feet, four feet --

13 (inaudible).

14 The reason why I just like a nice fence,

15 it because nobody can drive the car and stop the

16 car. Nobody knows it's my car, your car, somebody

17 else car. If somebody stop in front of the gate,

18 this means not my car, because nobody stop in

19 front of car, that's the reason why.

20 And the gate is about $17,000, no one

21 going to spend $17,000 just to put something nice

22 on the house. It's just go around, you going to

23 cost me at least one 150,000. I don't think so,

24 only $150,000, it's just to make the house nice.

25 That's the reason why -- $75, just one



1 column, $200, $300,000 -- I mean, a column. It's

2 just kind of expensive, not because I want to do

3 it, I just want to find something, I want to make

4 something nice that everybody cross that side

5 makes city more valuable. That's the reason why.

6 I don't think somebody going to spend $200,000 for

7 the wall in front of the house. It's just the

8 foot is about 42, everything is comply.

9 But if you guys not going to approve it,

10 I mean, nothing I can do about it, but I'm trying

11 to make it as nice as I can.

12 Here's the reason why, it's a lot of

13 money, I don't want to spend it, but getting

14 this -- this is the reason why. It's not concrete

15 or whatever.

16 MS. KRIEGER: To the city,

17 question. On the other homes that are on

18 Nine Mile, are there any other fences of that

19 nature?

20 And the homes that are on Nine Mile,

21 have there been any reports of -- for the

22 destruction of property?

23 MR. BOULARD: I'm not aware of any

24 reports for destruction of property.

25 MR. CIZMGA: On the back of my



1 house --


3 MR. BOULARD: Like I said, I'm not

4 aware, but I would not necessarily see those

5 reports if they came in. I could certainly

6 check with the police, but I don't have that

7 information.

8 With regard to the other fences on Nine

9 Mile, there may be one property on the south side

10 of Nine Mile which is larger two acres, the farm

11 house, I believe that may have a fence in the

12 front yard. That's the one that I can think of

13 off the top of my head.

14 MS. KRIEGER: But this house, I

15 have seen it requesting for buried masonry,

16 is concrete as well, so that it wouldn't

17 impact the drainage of rainwater and --

18 MR. BOULARD: What's installed now

19 is the fence where it's allowed is partially

20 installed around the rear of the property and

21 up to the -- basically up to the house.

22 In the case of front yard what is there

23 now is -- the petitioner has installed basically a

24 landscape wall, which could form the base for the

25 fence, if it's approved, that the drainage and so



1 on has been dealt with through a land improvement

2 permit, and so that issue has been reviewed by our

3 engineers and he's made -- he's taken measures to

4 deal with the drainage, whether the fence is built

5 on top of that load wall or not.

6 So that issue is going to be there

7 either way, and it's been resolved.

8 MS. KRIEGER: Thank you. Those are

9 my questions right now.

10 CHAIRMAN IBE: Sir, I have a few

11 comments and questions for you as well.

12 It's your property, is this property in

13 a subdivision or is it stand alone?

14 MR. CIZMGA: There is no

15 subdivision. It is right on Nine Mile.

16 CHAIRMAN IBE: I'm sure based on

17 what you hear from the members, you see that

18 if we cast a vote right now, you may not get

19 your wish today.

20 Now, I'm not saying that you should go

21 by what I'm telling you, but I'm only trying to

22 make a suggestion to you.

23 If you want, we can table this for when

24 we have a full board, or if you desire, we can go

25 ahead and have the vote today, you know, based on



1 what you would like, sir.

2 MR. CIZMGA: I mean, if I -- I

3 spent a lot of money for that house and

4 doesn't matter if full members you guys here.

5 If you don't agree, it's fine. I live in

6 Novi, you live in Novi, if not, I leave it at

7 that.

8 I agree what with whatever you guys

9 going to make it. It's not going make a

10 difference on me. I'm going to go back to the

11 State or government say, hey, I cannot do this

12 because City of Novi doesn't let me do that.

13 Truly doesn't matter. Whatever you guys decide, I

14 agree about.

15 CHAIRMAN IBE: Sir, let me ask you

16 a question. In your packet, you try to

17 address the prodigal difficulty of your --

18 about your case.

19 You stated that you run your business

20 from home, and it appears, when I read your

21 concern going that someone is going to come and

22 steal something, your information technology, is

23 that what you're afraid of?

24 MR. CIZMGA: We hold seal, the high

25 tech seal. Every time you cross border, you



1 got to put high tech seal on the front of

2 truck. I cannot leave it somewhere else.

3 Now, those high tech seals, you got the

4 computer system, if somebody steal a computer

5 system, we can take the truck from here, send it

6 back to Canada, who's (inaudible) or somebody

7 going to take to Mexico across the border to

8 Canada. Who is going to deal with that.

9 Now, on my house, I got cameras, high

10 tech security, I got all this because I got the

11 compliance. I spend about $200,000 on the cameras

12 and high tech security.

13 Now, I'm trying to build a fence. The

14 reason why I try to build the fence as high as I

15 can, I'm spending a lot of money, everybody wants

16 it, no one want to spend $200,000 on a fence, just

17 to comply with CBPA or USCBP, they going to come

18 check it, hey, we got a computer here, cameras,

19 everything, everything I said. You got the gates,

20 whatever you guys want, this is either way.

21 You guys -- if you're not going to

22 approve it, I'm going to go back to the

23 government, get the paperwork, the City of Novi,

24 they don't agree. Just like I don't want spend --

25 no one wants to spend $200,000. I don't want to



1 do it.

2 CHAIRMAN IBE: Sir, let me ask you

3 this. Let's assume you don't run your

4 business from your house, that you had an

5 office, will you be required to fence your

6 office up?

7 MR. CIZMGA: Yes. You got the

8 request, for every parts of the truck,

9 whatever you do with this, they call it

10 custom partnership against the CPBA. You got

11 to do all fences, all cameras, everything,

12 it's a government thing.

13 CHAIRMAN IBE: Does the government

14 know you run a business from your house?

15 MR. CIZMGA: Yes. This is located

16 on -- my address is the business, my house.

17 CHAIRMAN IBE: The government

18 insists that you fence up your house because

19 of the sensitivity of your business?

20 MR. CIZMGA: I mean, they not going

21 to push me to do something, spend $200,000 on

22 this, but if something going to happen, who

23 is going to be responsible. My name is going

24 to be on there. They're going to come here,

25 say, you know what, you didn't do that, do



1 that, they going to count all the points,

2 one, two, three, four, five six. They going

3 to end up, hey -- you know, somebody have to

4 be blamed for whatever happened.

5 CHAIRMAN IBE: Sir, my position is

6 in line with the other members. I will tell

7 you for two reasons.

8 One, I don't believe you have met your

9 prodigal difficulty, that is not a good reason.

10 Second, this is self-created. It's not

11 something that you have to really do because you

12 have an option, sir. Since you can get an office

13 and fence it up, and I think that works better

14 than your home because the home doesn't comply

15 with the ordinance that we have in the city, so I

16 will be voting against it, if a vote is cast as

17 well today. Okay.

18 Do we have any additional comments? Can

19 we please -- if there is no other comments,

20 entertain a motion.

21 MR. GEDEON: I will propose a

22 motion to deny.

23 In Case No. 12-015, 45605 Nine Mile

24 Road, I move to deny the motion as requested

25 because there are no unique circumstances or



1 physical conditions to the property that would

2 necessitate the variance, and the request is based

3 only on the applicant's personal and business

4 needs. Strict compliance with the government

5 regulations, area setback, frontage, height, bulk

6 density and other dimensional requirements will

7 not unreasonably prevent the property owner from

8 using the property for a permitted purpose,

9 specifically, use as a single family home.

10 The requested variance is greater than

11 the variance necessary to do substantial justice

12 to the applicant. And the requested variance will

13 cause an adverse impact on surrounding properties.

14 MR. GHANNAM: I'll second that.

15 CHAIRMAN IBE: Seeing that a motion

16 has been made and seconded, do we have any

17 further discussion?

18 Seeing none, Ms. Pawlowski, please call

19 the roll.

20 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?

21 MR. GEDEON: Yes.

22 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Ghannam?

23 MR. GHANNAM: Yes.

24 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ibe?




1 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?


3 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?


5 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes five

6 to zero.

7 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you, sir.

8 Your application has been denied.

9 MR. CIZMGA: Thank you.

10 CHAIRMAN IBE: We will move onto

11 the next item on the agenda, which is Case

12 No., 12-017, 1953 West Lake Drive.

13 Will the applicant please come to the

14 podium, state your name, your address, and also

15 please spell your name for the reporter.

16 MR. ROBERTSON: Darrell Robertson,

17 D-a-r-r-e-l-l, R-o-b-e-r-t-s-o-n.

18 MS. KRIEGER: In Case No. 12-017,

19 1953 West Lake Drive, do you swear to tell

20 the truth in this case?


22 CHAIRMAN IBE: Please go ahead,

23 sir.

24 MR. ROBERTSON: Good evening. So

25 I, too, own -- just purchased a lakefront



1 home with a narrow lot, 31 feet wide.

2 I have many of the same concerns that

3 the first gentleman did. So I'm seeking a

4 variance of seven feet wide on the -- seven feet

5 on the north side and 12 feet variance on the

6 south side, an additional lot coverage of

7 17.5 percent.

8 The challenge with the property on those

9 lakefront homes is they're very narrow. What I'm

10 seeking to build is an additional two-car garage

11 on the front of the home.

12 The existing home was -- had a single

13 car garage, that is in very delapidated state and

14 I would like to remove that structure, and then

15 forward a new structure on top of -- the back of

16 the home.

17 One of the first things I would like to

18 identify is the survey identified in 1913,

19 indicated the property was 30.4 feet wide and

20 124 feet deep. The property is actually 30.4 feet

21 wide and 187 deep. And we saw that through

22 property changes, I guess in 1945.

23 So it makes an impact to the overall lot

24 coverage variance of 17.5, calculated on the legal

25 description of the lot to actually 5 percent of



1 the actual lot size as it is today. But the math

2 was calculated on the legal description.

3 So the current requirements, or the

4 setback, what I'm looking for, will maintain more

5 than the 30 feet minimum from the drive of the

6 road allowance, it will be 40 feet from the road

7 allowance to the front of the garage, just over 40

8 feet.

9 And homes -- many homes in the same

10 street are looking -- or have the same type of

11 variances, approximately three feet on either

12 side, three to five feet on the either side, and

13 many of them are actually closer to the front and

14 this structure that I purchased, I will say it is

15 one of the less well-kept in the neighborhood, and

16 I would like to bring it up to at least a standard

17 that is greater than the norm in the neighborhood

18 and to improve the property values and take away

19 some of the eyesore that was currently that single

20 car structure at the front of the home.

21 I don't know if this will show up under

22 here or not. If you wish, I made 13 copies, if

23 anybody wishes to see some pictures of this, the

24 house that I purchased and the neighboring houses

25 to show similar homes with similar variances, nice



1 facades on the front and similar structures that

2 I'm looking for.

3 I don't know if anybody would wish to

4 see that.

5 Before I -- even before I closed on the

6 house, my immediate neighbor to the left as you're

7 looking at the house, asked me what my plans were

8 for the single car garage up front, which is

9 leaking and delapidated, as he was actually going

10 to paint the structure himself, if it wasn't --

11 the house was not sold. So it kind of gives you

12 an idea how the place looks currently, the single

13 car garage.

14 The other thing is, the new structure

15 will actually allow homes across the street to

16 have more visible view of the lakefront, reducing

17 the tall single car garage to a lower elevation

18 and setting it back to the house will actually

19 provide a better viewpoint.

20 Other than adding property value, or

21 positive impact to property value, I think that's

22 what I have to add.

23 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you, sir. Is

24 there anyone in the public who would like to

25 make a comment on this particular case?



1 Well, seeing none, I will ask our

2 secretary to please read into the record any

3 correspondence.

4 MS. KRIEGER: In Case No. 12-017,

5 38 were mailed, two returns, zero responses.

6 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. I will

7 now turn to the city. Any comments in this

8 particular case?

9 MR. BOULARD: Nothing to add. I

10 will stand by for questions.

11 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. I will

12 now open it up for discussion for the Board.

13 Who would like to --

14 MR. GHANNAM: I just have a couple

15 of questions, sir. On the large sheet, looks

16 like 11 by 17, where -- a layout of the

17 building structure, there is an area where

18 there is a three foot distance between your

19 house and the adjacent property line.

20 Why is that bowed out so much at that

21 point, it says new entrance, but why is that bowed

22 out so much?

23 MR. ROBERTSON: Many of the homes

24 in the area, I will just call them square,

25 rectangular shaped homes. They don't have



1 any esthetic value, they don't -- to my

2 opinion, don't look well from the front

3 drive.

4 I would like to be able to build a

5 walkway up to a front entrance door that just out

6 a little bit, so that you can see, rather than a

7 69 foot long rectangular box at 22 feet wide. So

8 there is a modified front entrance.

9 MR. GHANNAM: Your current plans

10 are to tear down the existing garage and then

11 build the bonus room and new garage, correct?

12 MR. ROBERTSON: Yes, the existing

13 garage is at the street front, and that will

14 be removed, and then build this adjacent or

15 attached.

16 MR. GHANNAM: All right. I

17 understand the need for a garage, we have had

18 other cases over the years come with garages.

19 We are in Michigan, you have inclement

20 weather in the winters. I have no problem as

21 far as the bonus room, as long as no issues

22 with the city in terms of structure and

23 compliance.

24 One of the things I was -- you know, we

25 had asked about before would be access by fire



1 department so forth, I don't think what those

2 rules are and how this particular structure would

3 affect access to the back, or the rear of the

4 home, anything like that, do you have any


6 MR. BOULARD: The request is not

7 atypical in terms of the requests that you

8 have seen.

9 The one that would happen here is once

10 you get within a certain proximity to the property

11 lines, there is additional requirements in terms

12 of fire rating, limitations on openings so that

13 houses are protected from their immediate adjacent

14 neighbors and so forth.

15 So those requirements would come into

16 play and those would be reviewed at the time that

17 the building permits were reviewed.

18 MR. GHANNAM: That's just in use of

19 the materials, correct?

20 MR. BOULARD: Correct. Use of

21 materials and also having -- reducing the

22 chance that one building is going to set the

23 adjacent building on fire.

24 MR. GHANNAM: But there is no issue

25 with access to the rear, fire department,



1 anything like that?


3 MR. GHANNAM: Okay. With that in

4 mind, I understand the need for your -- you

5 know, your variances, and again, given the

6 unique circumstances of lake lots, such as

7 this one, I have no problem. Thank you, sir.

8 MR. ROBERTSON: One other comment.

9 Two lots down is a double wide vacant lot, so

10 access would be available.

11 MR. GHANNAM: Yeah, but it may not

12 always be vacant, so --

13 MR. ROBERTSON: It's a city owned

14 lot.

15 MR. GHANNAM: I understand you

16 point. Thank you.

17 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. Do we

18 have any -- yes, Member Sanghvi?

19 MR. SANGHVI: It looks like in 99

20 years you have gained about 62 feet.

21 MR. ROBERTSON: Yes, I got little

22 lucky.

23 MR. SANGHVI: The water has receded

24 that much?

25 MR. ROBERTSON: I think the



1 original --

2 MR. SANGHVI: I can see how it can

3 happen, such a huge difference --

4 MR. ROBERTSON: I think the

5 original subdivision, we went back in the

6 city's logs here, and before 1945 and after

7 1936, that property got bigger. I'm not

8 sure -- I think the house was build in '45.

9 MR. SANGHVI: You have nothing to

10 lose in that.

11 MR. ROBERTSON: I did okay.

12 MR. SANGHVI: I came and saw your

13 place the other day. I have no problem

14 supporting your application. Thank you.

15 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. Do we

16 have any other comments or discussion?

17 Well, seeing none, I will entertain a

18 motion.

19 MS. KRIEGER: In Case No. 12-017,

20 1953 West Lake Drive, I move to approve their

21 requested variances. That there are unique

22 circumstances and physical conditions of the

23 property that is particularly narrow and

24 shallow in shape and topography, and where

25 the water is at on Walled Lake. And that the



1 need for variance is not due to the

2 applicant's personal or economic difficulty.

3 It is not self-created. The strict

4 compliance with regulation governing setback,

5 frontage, height, bulk, density or other

6 dimensional requirements will unreasonably

7 prevent the property owner from using the

8 property for a permitted purpose, or will

9 render conformity with those regulations

10 unnecessarily burdensome.

11 That the requested variance is the

12 minimum variance necessary to do substantial

13 justice to the applicant, as to other property

14 owners in the district by removal of the garage

15 and the plan is esthetically pleasing for the

16 home.

17 The requested variance will not cause an

18 adverse impact on surrounding properties, will

19 increase the value of the surrounding property,

20 property values and the use and enjoyment of the

21 property in the neighborhood and zoning district.

22 MR. SANGHVI: Second.

23 CHAIRMAN IBE: Seeing a motion and

24 a second, do we have any further discussion?

25 Seeing none, Ms. Pawlowski, please call



1 the roll.

2 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?

3 MR. GEDEON: Yes.

4 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Ghannam?


6 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ibe?


8 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?


10 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?

11 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.

12 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes five

13 to zero.

14 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you and

15 congratulations.

16 MR. ROBERTSON: Thank you.

17 CHAIRMAN IBE: That will bring us

18 to our next case, Case No. 12-018, parcel

19 5022-17-326-005.

20 Will the applicant please come to the

21 podium.

22 When you come to the podium, please

23 state your name and address, also please spell

24 your name for the reporter. Thank you.

25 MR. PILIGIAN: Chris Piligian,



1 P-i-l-i-g-i-a-n.

2 CHAIRMAN IBE: If you are not an

3 attorney, please raise right hand and be

4 sworn in.


6 MS. KRIEGER: In Case No., 12-018,

7 parcel 5022-17-226-005, do you swear or

8 affirm to tell the truth in this case?

9 MR. PILIGIAN: Absolutely. Do you

10 want to swear him?

11 CHAIRMAN IBE: Yes, if he's going

12 to testify.


14 CHAIRMAN IBE: Go ahead.

15 MR. KAMMANN: My name is Ed

16 Kammann, last name is spelled K-a-m-m-a-n-n.

17 And I lease the property at 47760 Grand River

18 Avenue in the West Market Square development.

19 MS. KRIEGER: Are you an attorney?


21 MS. KRIEGER: Do you also swear or

22 affirm to tell the truth in this case?

23 MR. KAMMANN: Yes.

24 MS. KRIEGER: Thank you.

25 CHAIRMAN IBE: Gentlemen, please



1 proceed.

2 MR. PILIGIAN: Thanks for hearing

3 us. What we are here for today is to get a

4 variance for a sign that we -- that I

5 installed without a variance. I apologize

6 for that.

7 I wasn't aware that I needed a variance

8 to put this sign here. The reason -- couple

9 reasons for the sign. We have had this shopping

10 center here now for close to ten years, and I

11 had -- I am -- we are the landlord and manage the

12 property for our other partners.

13 Over the last ten years I have heard

14 complaints about -- that's why the tenant is here,

15 too, they can't see -- once people get into the

16 property, they have a difficult time finding their

17 particular space, or lease space, due to the

18 unique shapeness of the building because it's an L

19 shape and kind of jets back, you can't quite see

20 the tenants in the back.

21 So after listening to tenants complain

22 over the years, I thought it would be nice to put

23 up a sign in the landscape part of the property.

24 It serves as two-fold reason also.

25 That's the main thoroughfare as you come down the



1 driveway. And it also serves as a stop sign.

2 People -- even though there is a stop sign there,

3 not everybody always stops, so when they get to

4 this particular sign, they tend to slow down,

5 stop, read the sign, and, you know, meander their

6 way through at a more cautious speed, if you will.

7 So, you know -- but tenants could use

8 the sign. I don't think they -- no one really

9 benefits anything financially from the sign. It's

10 there for helping them, directing them into the

11 property.

12 You can't see it from the road. You got

13 to all the way into -- all the way into the

14 property.

15 For me it serves as a safety, it slows

16 people down.

17 I don't have much more to offer. Do you

18 have anything to offer?

19 MR. KAMMANN: I own the Wild Birds

20 Unlimited franchise located at 47760

21 Grand River. We have been open since August

22 of 2010. And, you know, we are just looking

23 for any way to communicate to -- particularly

24 people that come into the complex to be able

25 to help locate our building, our location.



1 Frequently we have customers calling, wanting

2 to know where we are located. I can describe

3 that fairly well from saying we are between

4 Home Depot and Kroger, but if even once you

5 get up there, it's kind of weird, kind of set

6 back in the corner. It's really hard to

7 find, so that sign helps, in my mind anyways,

8 helps direct people towards our business.

9 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. Is there

10 anyone in the public who would like to make

11 any comments regarding this particular case?

12 Well, seeing none, I will ask the

13 secretary to please read into the record any

14 correspondence.

15 MS. KRIEGER: In Case No. 12-018,

16 25 were mailed, three returned, three

17 approvals, zero objections.

18 The first one is, of course, the sign is

19 okay, it's not even on city property. There

20 should be a large monument sign on Grand River for

21 the businesses. Customers cannot see stores that

22 are set back. Why is the City of Novi so

23 anti-retail business. Their sign ordinances are

24 ridiculous. You should be more like the beautiful

25 City of Brighton. Their signage is great for



1 their stores. That is from Tom Welch on

2 Grand River.

3 The next one is from Wild Birds

4 Unlimited. Wild Birds Unlimited fully supports

5 the newly installed sign that lists the tenants

6 located at the West Market Square development.

7 There is not any signage on Grand River Avenue or

8 Beck Road that identifies West Market Square as a

9 retail development with tenants, other than the

10 big box stores whose signs are visible from a

11 great distance.

12 Our store is set too far back from

13 Grand River Avenue for potential customers to see

14 our store sign. People visiting Kroger are not

15 able to see our sign from the Kroger parking area.

16 Customers using the Home Depot parking area are at

17 least 100 yards from our store sign and may see

18 our sign only by chance. The new tenant roster

19 sign that has been placed at the end of the main

20 entrance from Grand River Avenue at least gives

21 the people entering the development a chance to

22 know about the small retailers located there.

23 Many visitors to Wild Birds Unlimited are

24 surprised when told that we have been open almost

25 three years. Many of these people are regular



1 shoppers at Kroger and had no idea that our store

2 was in the development. Our regular customers

3 frequently ask how our business is doing, they

4 want us to be successful. We tell them that the

5 biggest challenge is getting people into the store

6 for the first time. We believe the tenant roster

7 sign will be a help in letting potential customers

8 know that we are open for business.

9 And the third one is from Lee B. Yu

10 China King. We are tenants and we receive many

11 customers, phone calls asking us about location

12 because they didn't know the north side or west

13 side. Shopping center is big. They are very hard

14 to find without the sign. We are very happy to

15 have the sign. We really need that. We hope we

16 can keep the sign in the shopping center.

17 And that's the last one. Thank you.

18 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. I will

19 now turn to the city for any comments?

20 MR. BOULARD: Nothing to add, sir.

21 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. Well, we

22 will now open this up for discussion for the

23 Board. Yes, Member Gedeon?

24 MR. GEDEON: I don't have a problem

25 with the sign. I think it makes a lot of



1 sense given the shape of the shopping center,

2 and the fact that it's -- I mean, it really

3 only serves -- you know, only noticed by

4 people that are already in the shopping

5 center. It's not obtrusive from the road.

6 You know, I think that it makes a lot of

7 sense.

8 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you, Member

9 Gedeon. Yes, Member Sanghvi?

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

11 I have no problem with the sign, but I'm not

12 so sure about whether it is the correct

13 location for it.

14 I don't want to tell you how to do your

15 business, but it is very hard until you come right

16 inside, you can't know what is where.

17 But I think it would be better off near

18 the traffic light and the main entranceway to the

19 parking lot, further along the Grand River sign,

20 relocate the sign somewhere else.

21 But as it is, I have no problem with the

22 sign itself. Thank you.

23 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you, Member

24 Sanghvi.

25 Yes, Member Krieger?



1 MS. KRIEGER: I agree that that

2 corner with all the other smaller businesses

3 besides the big box companies need attention

4 to their area. And I would agree to them

5 having their sign. I would just -- when I go

6 in there, the only thing is, if they could

7 make a three-way stop because people coming

8 and looking at the sign, I can imagine them

9 honking their horns. Then they are going

10 through there.

11 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. Yes,

12 Member Ghannam?

13 MR. GHANNAM: I have a question for

14 the city. If a variance is granted, does

15 that mean that they can theoretically place

16 it on any part of the premises?

17 MR. SCHULTZ: For this location,

18 where it --

19 MR. GHANNAM: It's only for this

20 location shown.

21 MR. SCHULTZ: At this point unless

22 the Board or the applicant wants to talk

23 about it some more. Probably would require a

24 different application.

25 MR. GHANNAM: Sir, I'm --



1 gentlemen, I should say, I'm very hesitant

2 about this one. Not that I'm offended by it

3 by any means, but just first of all, I don't

4 think it really adds to this particular

5 center. I can see Wild Birds even from the

6 angle that you gave us, as well as China

7 King, the two supporters that you have.

8 I understand the difficulty of shopping

9 centers having multiple tenants, especially in --

10 you know, bookmarked by two major retailers, such

11 as Kroger and Home Depot.

12 So again, I'm -- I was very borderline,

13 but in the end, you know, given the size, given

14 the nature, given the location, I will support it.

15 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you, Member

16 Ghannam.

17 Do we have any additional comments or

18 questions regarding this case?

19 Seeing none, I will entertain a motion

20 at this time. Yes, Member Gedeon.

21 MR. GEDEON: In Case 12-018, parcel

22 5022-17-226-005, I move to accept the request

23 as the -- accept the variance as requested.

24 The request is based on circumstances or

25 features that are exceptional and unique to



1 the property and do not result in conditions

2 that exist generally in the city or that are

3 self-created, specifically the shape of the

4 building, prevents visibility of some of the

5 businesses from the primary driveway to the

6 shopping center.

7 Failure to grant relief will

8 unreasonably prevent or limit the use of the

9 property and will result in substantially more

10 than a mere inconvenience or inability to attain a

11 higher economic or financial return.

12 The grant of relief will not result in a

13 use of structure that is incompatible with or

14 unreasonably interferes with adjacent or

15 surrounding properties or will result in

16 substantial justice being done to both the

17 applicant and the adjacent surrounding properties

18 and it is not inconsistent with the spirit of the

19 ordinance.

20 MR. SANGHVI: Second.

21 CHAIRMAN IBE: Given that the

22 motion has been made and seconded, we have

23 any further discussion?

24 MS. KRIEGER: Just A comment, that

25 for the West Market Square, that the sign --



1 if the businesses come and go that they

2 can -- what's on this sign in this area, will

3 they be able to change?

4 MR. GEDEON: I would accept that

5 amendment. And I will further clarify that

6 the variance is specifically for the sign

7 that's currently in existence in the location

8 where it currently exists.

9 MR. SANGHVI: I agree.

10 CHAIRMAN IBE: Great. Seeing a

11 motion has been made and seconded, will you

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

13 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Gedeon?

14 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.

15 CHAIRMAN IBE: Member Ghannam?

16 MR. GHANNAM: Yes.

17 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Chairman Ibe?


19 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Krieger?

20 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.

21 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Member Sanghvi?

22 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.

23 MS. PAWLOWSKI: Motion passes five

24 to zero.

25 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you.



1 Congratulations.

2 MR. KAMMANN: Thank you very much.

3 I'd like to invite you all over our store,

4 Wild Birds Unlimited.

5 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you, sir.

6 Do we have any additional --

7 MR. BOULARD: If I made might add,

8 I just want to mention if you would be so

9 kind as to flip the packets for the third

10 request in your folders, we can use them for

11 next time. Thank you.

12 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. Do we

13 have any other matters to discuss other

14 than -- well, seeing none, do we have a

15 motion to --

16 MR. SANGHVI: May I make motion to

17 adjourn, Mr. Chair.

18 MR. GHANNAM: Second.

19 CHAIRMAN IBE: A motion has been

20 made and seconded. All those in favor say

21 aye.

22 THE BOARD: Aye.

23 CHAIRMAN IBE: All those against?

24 Motion carries and the meeting is adjourned.

25 (The meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.)




2 ) ss.


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

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

6 hearing above, that the statements given by said individuals was

7 stenographically recorded in the presence of myself and others,

8 afterward transcribed by computer under my personal supervision,

9 and that the said statements are a full, true and correct

10 transcript of the statements given by the individuals.

11 I further certify that I am not connected by blood or

12 marriage with any of the parties or their attorneys, and that I

13 am not an employee of any of them, nor financially interested in

14 the action.

15 IN WITNESS THEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand at the

16 City of Walled Lake, County of Oakland, State of Michigan.



19 ________________ _________________________

Date Jennifer L. Wall CSR-4183

20 Oakland County, Michigan

My Commission Expires 11/12/15