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View Action Summary for this meeting

Tuesday, September 11, 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, August 14, 2012

Ricky Ibe, Chairman
Mav Sanghvi
Linda Krieger
Jeffrey Gedeon
Brent Ferrell
James Gerblick
Donna Skelcy

Charles Boulard, Building Official
Beth Saarela, City Attorney
Coordinator: Sarah Marchioni, Recording Secretary

 REPORTED BY: Jennifer L. Wall, Certified Shorthand Reporter

1 Novi, Michigan.

2 Tuesday, September 11, 2012

3 7:00 p.m.

4 ** ** **

5 CHAIRMAN IBE: Good evening.

6 Welcome to the September 11, 2012 Zoning

7 Board of Appeals for the City of Novi.

8 Can we all please rise and say

9 the Pledge of Allegiance.

10 (Pledge of Allegiance recited.)

11 CHAIRMAN IBE: Can we all please

12 remain standing just for a brief moment. As

13 we all know, today is September 11th. Let us

14 take this moment to observe a moment of

15 silence for those who lost their lives on

16 that day.

17 (Moment of silence recognized.)

18 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. Please

19 be seated.

20 Can we please have the roll

21 call.

22 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gedeon?

23 MR. GEDEON: Here.

24 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gerblick?

25 MR. GERBLICK: Here.



1 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Ghannam is

2 absent, excused.

3 Chairman Ibe?

4 CHAIRMAN IBE: Present.

5 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Krieger?

6 MS. KRIEGER: Here.

7 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?

8 MR. SANGHVI: Here.

9 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Skelcy?

10 MS. SKELCY: Here.

11 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Ferrell?

12 MR. FERRELL: Here.

13 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you very much.

14 I will just take a brief

15 moment to explain to you the rules of this

16 meeting.

17 The agendas can be located in

18 the back of the room for those of who need to

19 have a copy.

20 And please remember to turn

21 off all cellphones and pagers during the

22 course of this meeting.

23 When you are called, when your

24 case is called, please approach to the podium

25 to my right, and when you come to the podium,



1 please state your name, as well as spell your

2 name for the record.

3 And if you're not an attorney,

4 will you raise your right hand and be sworn

5 in by our secretary.

6 And when you come to the

7 podium, you will have five minutes to present

8 your case and you will have an extension at a

9 discretion of the Chair.

10 Can we get an approval of the

11 agenda for today's meeting. Do we have any

12 changes or modifications?

13 (No changes were made.)

14 MS. KRIEGER: Move to approve the

15 agenda.

16 MS. SKELCY: Second.

17 CHAIRMAN IBE: Seeing a motion as

18 been made and seconded, all in favor say aye.

19 THE BOARD: Aye.

20 CHAIRMAN IBE: All opposed?

21 (None opposed.)

22 CHAIRMAN IBE: Seeing none, the

23 agenda is hereby approved.

24 We will now move to the public

25 remarks section of this meeting.



1 Now, this is a section where

2 you are allowed to make a comment, not to a

3 particular case before the board, but any

4 comments that you may have.

5 Do I see anyone in the

6 audience who would like to make a comment at

7 this time?

8 (No comments were made.)

9 CHAIRMAN IBE: Seeing none, we will

10 move to our -- oh, strike that.

11 Do we have any changes to the

12 minutes for our August 14th meeting?

13 (No changes made.)

14 CHAIRMAN IBE: Can I get a motion?

15 MR. SANGHVI: So moved.

16 MS. SKELCY: Second.

17 CHAIRMAN IBE: Seeing a motion and

18 a second, all in favor say aye.

19 THE BOARD: Aye.

20 CHAIRMAN IBE: All opposed.

21 (None opposed.)

22 CHAIRMAN IBE: The aye carries, the

23 minutes for the August 14th, 2012 meeting is

24 hereby approved.

25 Now, we will move onto our



1 first case for today. That is Case No.

2 12-031, 43700 Expo Center Drive.

3 Will the applicant please come

4 to the podium, state your name and spell your

5 name for the record.

6 MR. ADELL: My name is Kevin Adell,

7 A-d-e-l-l, and I'm the property owner at

8 43700 Expo Center Drive.

9 MR. LAMETI: My name is

10 Ralph Lameti. And I am the trustee of the

11 Adell Brothers (inaudible) and Trust.

12 MR. DAVIS: My name is

13 Howard Davis, D-a-v-i-s, and I'm a designer

14 working with Kevin Adell.

15 MS. KRIEGER: Are any of you

16 attorneys?

17 MR. LAMETI: I am.

18 MR. DAVIS: Not practicing.

19 MS. KRIEGER: For Case No. 12-031,

20 on 43700 Expo Center Drive, do you swear to

21 tell the truth in this case?

22 MR. DAVIS: Yes, I do.

23 MR. LAMETI: Yes, I do.

24 MR. ADELL: Yes, I do.

25 MR. DAVIS: Also Mr. Lameti is not



1 a practicing attorney, but he's just an

2 attorney.

3 MR. ADELL: First of all, I'd like

4 to thank the community to present my case

5 here.

6 I'm requesting a sign variance

7 for the Adell water tower, and there is two

8 aspects. One is the physical aspect of the

9 water tower for approval on the sign.

10 I know being a water tower,

11 it's 120 feet, and the letters are six feet

12 in length on the water tower. And it's

13 proportioned for the freeway.

14 Also it's a hardship, I'm

15 trying to redevelop the property for a new

16 use as to the city's master plan, and with

17 redeveloping it, I'm trying to get as much

18 exposure on the property.

19 Since a month ago, I have

20 taken the building down and we have a vacant

21 piece of property, and now I'm going forward

22 on conceptual drawings trying to put up two

23 office buildings.

24 I'm here today to request a

25 sign variance, so I can get enough exposure



1 on the property. Since the property was

2 zoned for many years as industrial, and there

3 is still industrial and retail around there,

4 as much exposure on the property as possible.

5 I'm the one that's the owner of the property

6 that's going forward trying to redevelop it

7 for the city's master plan.

8 MR. LAMETI: The other aspect with

9 respect to the request for a zoning --

10 request for the variance on the sign

11 ordinance is the fact that there is a

12 requirement that there be a business on the

13 property.

14 In our view, there is a

15 business being conducted there and that we're

16 trying to redevelop the property to a

17 commercial use in accordance with the city's

18 master plan. A lot of investment has already

19 been made in conceptual drawings, which we

20 are not here to approve the conceptual

21 drawings, but to show you that the activity

22 is progressing.

23 We are working with the

24 medical mainstream, with Oakland County to

25 attract, you know, hospitals or medical



1 facilities as part of the -- as a part the

2 tenancy in the building.

3 We are also working with the

4 deputy county executives to spearhead any

5 type of people that want to come here, like a

6 McLaren or a Beaumont or other types of

7 medical suppliers, medical insurance

8 companies, doctors, to build the building

9 space.

10 If we get a master plan, an

11 anchor tenant, then we can explore other

12 suppliers, pharmaceutical, research and

13 development, but, you know, it is an ongoing

14 activity right now.

15 There is a lot of investment

16 that's been made by Mr. Adell and on behalf

17 of the trust, and if there is going to

18 continue to be more investment made in order

19 to get this property developed in accordance

20 with the city's master plan, and we do want

21 to work with the city and develop this

22 property in accordance with the master plan.

23 Other people, somebody else,

24 like a real estate broker, might try and find

25 a quick use, short-term plan, you know, or



1 something like that, that's not desired by

2 the city, but we are not here to do that, we

3 are here to do a long-term redevelopment,

4 which is difficult to do because it's been

5 industrial for so many years and it's

6 surrounded by industrial property, so it's

7 going to take sometime to get the use that

8 the city would like to have there as a

9 gateway to Novi, so we can -- we need that

10 sign ordinance or the sign to be there to

11 show the exposure to the property, that there

12 is investment in the property, that there is

13 somebody responsible for the property, and we

14 will work to partner up and get a

15 redevelopment going. We have to be able to

16 show that.

17 We have, as you might be aware

18 of, we have traffic cameras on the top of the

19 water tower now, basically to get exposure to

20 bring in tenants, to bring in just identity

21 with the property. It's not done for a

22 profitable reason, it's done to bring

23 exposure to the property. That's what we are

24 trying to do, to get that redevelopment in

25 accordance with the city's master plan.



1 Thank you.

2 MR. ADELL: We can show you a

3 couple of the conceptual drawings, if you

4 would like to see what the property is going

5 to look like.

6 You can see the master plan

7 calls for two office buildings. The water

8 tower on the corner, parking in front, then

9 you can see the -- this is what the

10 conceptual drawings would look like of the

11 two office buildings, facing the freeway.

12 So my plan is not to sell the

13 acreage. There is 25 acres. My plan is to

14 redevelop it. The property is free and

15 clear. The taxes are up-to-date. And so I

16 want to find a tenant, large tenant, to be a

17 catalyst to get other tenants.

18 I'm not going to go towards

19 automotive, I think it's too cyclical. I'm

20 going to go towards medical, which I think

21 there is obviously a huge growth with the

22 aging baby-boomers, it's not going to slow

23 down. Sadly to say, I'm one of the

24 baby-boomers though.

25 If you have any questions I'll



1 be able to answer them.

2 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. Are you

3 done with your presentation?

4 MR. ADELL: Yes.

5 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you very much.

6 Is there anybody in the audience who would

7 like to make a comment regarding this

8 particular case?

9 (No audible responses.)

10 CHAIRMAN IBE: Seeing none, I will

11 ask our secretary to read into the record any

12 correspondence received.

13 MS. KRIEGER: For ZBA Case No.

14 12-031, 18 were mailed, four returned, zero

15 approvals, zero denials.

16 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you, Madam

17 Secretary. I will now turn to the city and

18 ask if there is any comments regarding this

19 case?

20 MR. BOULARD: I just wanted to ask

21 the petitioner, if I could.

22 Could you tell us a little bit

23 about the -- show signs or photographs that

24 show the name on the water tower in the past?

25 Can you tell us a little bit



1 about the history of that.

2 MR. ADELL: Sure. My father bought

3 the property in 1966, he invented the door

4 guard, and he bought 25 acres on the corner

5 of Novi Road and I-96. He had a company

6 called Adell industries. And he used to

7 manufacture other parts for General Motors as

8 well as Ford and Chrysler. And the building

9 was originally a 300,000 square foot building

10 and then the name Adell, our last name, was

11 put on the water tower. It was originally

12 Adell for many years.

13 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you,

14 Mr. Boulard. Anything from the city

15 attorney's office?

16 MS. SAARELA: Just wanted to point

17 out that there is city staff comments in your

18 report that can be taken in consideration,

19 considered factors to be facts, on page two,

20 standards regarding the sign variance.

21 Some of the things that you

22 might consider in that are the historical

23 nature of the tower, the fact that it has

24 been -- the words Adell have been

25 historically put on the tower in the past.



1 There are other water towers in the city,

2 such as the one at the Twelve Oaks Mall that

3 have names on it. So it is consistent with

4 the surrounding property.

5 The city is in favor of the

6 property being redeveloped consistent with

7 the master plan, so in considering that, the

8 fact that the city has put the policy in

9 place, that may be favorable for a tax

10 abatement for the property, and the city is

11 trying to work with the property owner and

12 sees this signage as potentially favorable

13 for redevelopment of the property.

14 These are some unique aspects

15 of the property itself that can be considered

16 when you're looking at the factors for the

17 sign variance.

18 The circumstances and features

19 that are exceptional and unique to the

20 property.

21 When you're looking at the

22 third factor, the grant of relief that will

23 not result in the use of a structure that is

24 incompatible or unreasonably interferes with

25 adjacent or surrounding properties that's



1 where you make take into consideration that

2 this tower has historically been used for

3 this purpose and that -- or the Twelve Oaks

4 Mall has also a similar use being made in the

5 surrounding area.

6 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you very much.

7 At this time, I would like to open up this

8 case for discussion with the Board.

9 Yes, Member Sanghvi.

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

11 First of all, I want to congratulate you

12 gentlemen for a great preparation of the

13 application, and especially the supplement

14 telling us what you're going to do with this

15 property.

16 MR. ADELL: Thank you.

17 MR. SANGHVI: And for some of my

18 colleagues, who may not be aware, I came to

19 Novi in 1975. And at that time, this

20 property was a bottling plant for Mohawk

21 liquor, if I remember right?

22 MR. ADELL: Yes, you are right.

23 MR. SANGHVI: Many things have

24 changed since the Expo Center came, Expo

25 Center moved out, and this has been a prime



1 property on the gate -- I call the western

2 gateway of Novi, has been lying vacant.

3 Looking at this, I feel as if

4 from the (inaudible) you are writing, two

5 towers in a beautiful location, and also a

6 beautiful development you are planning to do.

7 To be quite honest, I am very

8 happy. I think it's a win-win situation for

9 you as well as this city and it will be a

10 great asset to the city when your towers go

11 up. Hopefully I am around to see it happen.

12 MR. ADELL: Thank you.

13 MR. SANGHVI: The other thing I

14 want to point out, this is just a preview of

15 things to come. And I am very happy that

16 this development is taking place after all

17 these years, and to be quite honest, that

18 tower has been around for a long time. I

19 don't know if you mentioned, it's been around

20 for a very, very long time. And to be quite

21 honest, this particular sign is just the

22 beginning of things that's going to change

23 everything around here.

24 And I have no problem

25 whatsoever in supporting this application.



1 Thank you.

2 MR. ADELL: Thank you.

3 CHAIRMAN IBE: Yes, Member Skelcy.

4 MS. SKELCY: I wanted to know when

5 was Adell painted on the water tower?

6 MR. ADELL: The current or --

7 MS. SKELCY: The current.

8 MR. ADELL: Two months ago.

9 MS. SKELCY: Okay, so I wasn't

10 losing my mind when I drove by and all of a

11 sudden I saw it there.

12 MR. ADELL: Yes, two months ago.

13 MS. SKELCY: Did you guys know that

14 you had to apply for a variance for that

15 before you painted it?

16 MR. ADELL: That's part of the

17 permit process, that you have to put up a

18 sign to show what it looks like. I couldn't

19 put a temporary sign because on a water

20 tower, you can't put temporary letters, with

21 wind, you're up 120 feet, which is like eight

22 or nine stories.

23 So as part of the requirement,

24 the guidelines say that you have to paint the

25 actual sign. So I was following the



1 guidelines by painting the actual sign.

2 MS. SKELCY: All right. Thank you.

3 Those are all the questions I have.

4 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you,

5 Member Skelcy. Yes, Member Gedeon?

6 MR. GEDEON: Just to clarify. Did

7 you state earlier that in the past the

8 same -- Adell was printed on the water tower

9 prior to two months ago?

10 MR. ADELL: It was 1966 when my

11 father bought the property, he painted on

12 there, and it was Adell from 1966 I think

13 until 1992. That's the picture that's on the

14 left. The picture on the left is black and

15 white.

16 MR. DAVIS: That's the historic

17 photo.

18 MR. GEDEON: To the city, does that

19 not, you know, grandfather them as having a

20 past sign on the property?

21 MS. SAARELA: Well, because the

22 words have been off for quite sometime, it

23 wouldn't be technically grandfathered as a

24 use, so you would have to consider it as a

25 new variance under the sign ordinance.



1 MR. GEDEON: Is there a typical --

2 is there an established time period?

3 MS. SAARELA: There is an

4 established time period in the ordinance. I

5 believe it's six months.

6 MR. GEDEON: Thank you.

7 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you,

8 Member Gedeon. Do we have any other comments

9 or questions?

10 (No audible responses.)

11 CHAIRMAN IBE: I'm just going to

12 recall what has been said by Member Sanghvi.

13 I think that this is an added welcome to the

14 city. I think what we have now, this is what

15 is to come, is night and day. And I think

16 that it will be a pleasant growth for the

17 city as well as for the cities around Novi.

18 Because when you drive by I-96 and you get on

19 Novi Road, with the mall there, and this and

20 that, that looks very magnificent. So I

21 applaud you for what you're doing. I'm also

22 in favor of the variance you're seeking.

23 If we have any additional

24 comments -- if there is none, I will

25 entertain a motion regarding this particular



1 variance. Yes.

2 MR. GERBLICK: I move that in --

3 that we grant the variance in Case No.

4 12-031, 43700 Expo Center Drive as requested

5 based on the fact that the request is based

6 on circumstances that are unique and

7 exceptional to the property, such as the area

8 is a key area of development in the city as

9 well as the location of the property, against

10 I-96.

11 The need is not self-created

12 as the water tower has been standing for many

13 years and the property is being redeveloped.

14 Failure to grant relief will

15 unreasonably prevent or limit the use of the

16 property and will result in substantially

17 more than a mere inconvenience, and the grant

18 of the relief will not result in the use of

19 the structure that is incompatible or

20 unreasonable -- or unreasonably interferes

21 with adjacent or surrounding properties,

22 Twelve Oaks Mall has a water tower similar

23 with similar signage on it.

24 MR. GEDEON: Second.

25 CHAIRMAN IBE: Seeing a motion has



1 been made and seconded, do we have any

2 further discussion regarding the motion?

3 (No audible responses.)

4 CHAIRMAN IBE: Seeing none, I will

5 ask our recording secretary to please call

6 the roll.

7 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gerblick?


9 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gedeon?

10 MR. GEDEON: Yes.

11 MS. MARCHIONI: Chairman Ibe?

12 MR. IBE: Yes.

13 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Krieger?

14 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.

15 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?

16 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.

17 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Skelcy?

18 MS. SKELCY: Yes.

19 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Ferrell?

20 MS. SKELCY: Yes.

21 MS. MARCHIONI: Motion passes

22 seven, zero.

23 MR. ADELL: Thank you very much.

24 Honor being here.

25 CHAIRMAN IBE: That brings us to



1 our second case for today, Case No. 12-034,

2 121 Austin Drive.

3 Will the applicant please come

4 to the podium, and please when you come to

5 the podium, remember to state your name as

6 well as spell your name for the record.

7 MS. KRIEGER: Were they sworn in

8 last time?


10 MS. KRIEGER: So I wouldn't have to

11 swear them in again.

12 MS. SAARELA: Swear them in again.

13 CHAIRMAN IBE: Please state your

14 name, go ahead.

15 MR. RUTHERFORD: My name is

16 Robert Rutherford, R-u-t-h-e-r-f-o-r-d.

17 MS. RUTHERFORD: Kelly Rutherford,

18 R-u-t-h-e-r-f-o-r-d.

19 MS. KRIEGER: In Case No. 12-034,

20 for 121 Austin Drive, do you swear to tell

21 the truth in this case?



24 MR. RUTHERFORD: We are here today

25 to ask for two variances on a non-conforming



1 house and a non-conforming lot.

2 As you know, most of the lots

3 on Shawood Lake were built a long time ago,

4 years ago, and they didn't have the kind of

5 regulations that we do now, most of them are

6 non-conforming.

7 We want to fix the house up

8 and to do that, I need to put a roof on it,

9 and I have to have a building permit. So the

10 only way I can get the building permit, I

11 guess that's my hardship is because I have to

12 have the variances.

13 I need on the front yard -- on

14 the side yard is currently two foot ten

15 inches, so we need a seven foot, two inch

16 variance.

17 The side of the house is next

18 to a garage, which is a non-occupied

19 dwelling, is 22 and a half feet away from the

20 house.

21 The second variance is for the

22 front yard, currently has ten foot, so we

23 need a 20-foot variance. As I said, most of

24 the houses on Shawood Lake are that close to

25 the road.



1 Talked to all the neighbors,

2 everyone is very happy to see the house get

3 fixed up. It's been let go for a long time

4 because the elderly lady that lived there, by

5 no fault of her own, she couldn't work on it

6 or afford to fix it up. So we just want to

7 fix up the house and make it another nice

8 house on our street. I guess that's about

9 it.

10 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. Do we

11 have anyone in the audience who would like to

12 make a comment regarding this particular

13 case?

14 (No audible responses.)

15 CHAIRMAN IBE: Seeing no one, I

16 will ask our secretary to read into the

17 record any correspondence.

18 MS. KRIEGER: In Case No. 12-034,

19 44 were mailed, three returned, nine

20 approvals, zero denials.

21 The first one is from

22 Mark Robin on Austin and it's approval,

23 address 2293 on Austin.

24 Also on 2295 Austin,

25 Mark Robin approval.



1 Approval from Glenn Dennison

2 and Kim Dennison on Old Novi Road.

3 Approval: "We are glad to see

4 this house go. Anything they can do will be

5 a big improvement for Austin Drive. We are

6 all for the setbacks. Bob and Kelly will do

7 a fine job, look at their house". Terri and

8 Michael Davis.

9 The next one is "Bob showed me

10 the structure and described the changes to

11 the house. It will substantially improve the

12 building and I fully support this endeavor."

13 From Rod Schlessman (ph).

14 Approval from Travis Thurman.

15 Approval from Robert and Kelly Rutherford.

16 Approval: "I have been in this

17 old subdivision for almost 20 years, due to

18 the fact that the setback requirements on

19 most of these old cabins must have been

20 different than today's standards, and it is

21 sometimes necessary to allow for variances,

22 and these requirements to turn eyesores into

23 decent and livable homes. I should know. I

24 have needed and have had two variances

25 approved myself over the years. I have



1 reviewed the plans with Robert and Kelly, and

2 I agree with changes that are needed. These

3 changes will improve and beautify our

4 subdivision community and city." From

5 Todd Keen.

6 Approval from David Crumb, "I

7 think this would be a step forward for our

8 neighborhood".

9 That's it.

10 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. Do we

11 have any comments from the city regarding

12 this case?


14 MR. BOULARD: If I may, I just

15 would like to point out that I think this is

16 a situation that is exactly intended for the

17 variance process to apply. We have got an

18 existing structure that was built many, many

19 years ago. There is no variances on file.

20 The current standards would

21 require variances if it was to be built now.

22 There is a portion of the zoning ordinance

23 that allows repair of existing non-conforming

24 structures. We really looked at this

25 carefully to see if there was any way that



1 that would apply, but the work that they're

2 doing, to their credit, is beyond what we

3 would recall repair, they're making upgrades.

4 So I think this is what the

5 variance process should apply to. I would

6 support this wholeheartedly.

7 But I think it's something

8 that needs to be done, moving forward in the

9 future, they have got their variances in

10 place and so the house then becomes

11 conforming into its own right, in that sense.

12 I will be happy to answer any

13 questions. Thank you.

14 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you,

15 Mr. Boulard.

16 I will now open up this case for discussion.

17 Yes, Member Skelcy.

18 MS. SKELCY: Do you live in the log

19 cabin house?

20 MR. RUTHERFORD: Yes. We built

21 that.

22 MS. SKELCY: I live over on Duana.

23 Now I know who owns that beautiful home.

24 MR. RUTHERFORD: If you remember

25 what the one looked like beforehand.




2 MR. RUTHERFORD: It was basically a

3 double wide modular sitting on a full

4 basement.

5 MS. SKELCY: You have done a nice

6 job. I would support the requested variance.

7 MR. RUTHERFORD: Thank you. That's

8 kind of the new landmark for that

9 neighborhood over there. Everyone always

10 tells me, well, when I tell somebody how to

11 find my house, I just tell them the log

12 house. Can't miss it.

13 MS. SKELCY: I would support the

14 variance. Thank you.

15 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you,

16 Member Skelcy. Do we have any other

17 comments? Yes, Member Sanghvi.

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

19 We all know this neighborhood has all kinds

20 of very small postage stamp houses. The lots

21 are all different and awkward shape. I think

22 what they are trying to do is really upgrade,

23 not only their own house, but the whole

24 neighborhood.




1 neighborhood is coming back. People are

2 fixing their houses.

3 MR. SANGHVI: I am very happy you

4 are doing it and I have no problem with the

5 variances you want.

6 MR. RUTHERFORD: Thank you.

7 CHAIRMAN IBE: Very well,

8 Member Sanghvi. Any additional comments?

9 (No audible responses.)

10 CHAIRMAN IBE: Well, seeing none, I

11 will entertain a motion. Yes, Member Skelcy.

12 MS. SKELCY: In the Case of 12-034,

13 for the address of 121 Austin Drive, I move

14 that we grant the two variances requested by

15 the applicant.

16 I believe that there are

17 unique circumstances and physical conditions

18 of the property, the narrowness, the

19 shallowness and shape of the particular

20 property, and there are other similar

21 physical conditions.

22 The need for the variance is

23 not due to the applicant's personal or

24 economic difficulty.

25 The need is not self-created.



1 Strict compliance with regulations governing

2 areas setback, frontage, height, bulk,

3 density and other dimensional requirements

4 will unreasonable prevent the property owner

5 from using the property for a permitted

6 purpose, and will render conformity with

7 those regulations unduly burdensome in that

8 they could not obtain the permit required to

9 make the repairs to the home.

10 The requested variance is the

11 minimum variance necessary to do substantial

12 justice to the applicant as well as to other

13 property owners in the district.

14 Finally, the requested

15 variance will not cause an adverse impact on

16 surrounding properties and property values or

17 the use and enjoyment of the property in the

18 neighborhood or zoning district. In fact,

19 the neighbors wholeheartedly approve of the

20 request for the variance.

21 MS. KRIEGER: Second.

22 CHAIRMAN IBE: Seeing that a motion

23 has made and seconded, do we have a need for

24 further discussion?

25 (No audible responses.)



1 CHAIRMAN IBE: Seeing none,

2 Madam Recording Secretary, please call the

3 roll.

4 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Skelcy?

5 MS. SKELCY: Yes.

6 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Krieger?

7 MR. GEDEON: Yes.

8 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gedeon?

9 MR. GEDEON: Yes.

10 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gerblick?


12 MS. MARCHIONI: Chairman Ibe?


14 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?

15 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.

16 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Ferrell?

17 MS. SKELCY: Yes.

18 MS. MARCHIONI: Motion passes seven

19 to zero.

20 MR. RUTHERFORD: Thank you.

21 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you.

22 Congratulations.

23 Our third case for today is

24 Case No. 12-038, 43205 Crescent Boulevard.

25 Will the applicant please come



1 to the podium, state your name and please

2 spell your last name for the record. Thank

3 you.

4 MR. STIEBER: Patrick Stieber,

5 S-t-i-e-b, as in boy, e-r.

6 MS. KRIEGER: In Case No. 12-038,

7 for 43205 Crescent Boulevard, do you swear to

8 tell truth in this case?

9 MR. STIEBER: I do.

10 MS. KRIEGER: Thank you.

11 MR. STIEBER: Well, we are here

12 tonight to request a proposal of some new

13 signage for a new store that's going into the

14 development here on Crescent Boulevard. I'm

15 sure you guys are very familiar with this

16 development and what's been going on there.

17 What we are asking for is an

18 additional square footage and signage of 18

19 additional square feet from the 65 square

20 feet that is allowed for a maximum of what we

21 are proposing here of 83 square feet.

22 We feel that there is a lack

23 of identification, due to setbacks of these

24 out buildings, due to the traffic flows

25 throughout the strip center. And mainly also



1 the fact that this certain section of strip

2 center of these spaces right here is angled.

3 There is a definite lack of identification

4 from viewing this property to the south from

5 the Wal-mart area. There is just so many

6 different areas, navigate through to

7 actually, you know, get to these spaces, we

8 feel that the additional signage is needed.

9 We do feel that there is a

10 lack of identification. So we are here

11 tonight to ask, you know, for approval for

12 this, get your feedback on what you think

13 about what we are proposing and maybe come to

14 an agreement on possibly something.

15 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. Do we

16 have anyone in the audience who would like to

17 make a comment regarding this particular

18 case?

19 (No audible responses.)

20 CHAIRMAN IBE: Seeing none, I will

21 ask our secretary to please read in the

22 record any correspondence.

23 MS. KRIEGER: For Case No. 12-038,

24 133 were mailed, 29 returned mailed, zero

25 approvals, zero denials.



1 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you,

2 Madam Secretary. I will now turn to the city

3 and ask for any comment regarding this case.

4 MS. SAARELA: I have none.

5 MR. BOULARD: Nothing to add. I

6 will be happy to stand by for questions.

7 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you,

8 Mr. Boulard. I will now open this up for

9 discussion. Yes, Member Gedeon.

10 MR. GEDEON: To the applicant, on

11 your rendering, is the size of the sign with

12 respect to the building and the windows

13 proportionally accurate?

14 MR. STIEBER: Yes.

15 MR. GEDEON: Well, I would comment

16 to -- I'm going to be in support of this, I

17 would comment to the fellow board members

18 that the size of the sign, you know, seemed

19 to fit nicely within that space provided.

20 And the applicant is not a hardship of the

21 face of the building being angled with

22 respect to the road.

23 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you,

24 Member Gedeon. Yes, Member Krieger.

25 MS. KRIEGER: The sign that was put



1 on the building, is that what you're

2 proposing to put up?

3 MR. STIEBER: Well, it's just a

4 mock-up. I mean, obviously it's just a

5 banner and what we are proposing to put are

6 channel letters that will say Maurices.

7 MS. KRIEGER: It seems to me in the

8 rendering, and what we have here, compared to

9 what's up on the building is different.

10 MR. STIEBER: I think maybe what's

11 different is just the way that the banner is

12 installed, the layout of it, the white space

13 around the lettering. But it's definitely

14 the lettering.

15 MS. KRIEGER: When it's finished it

16 won't be overlapping the overhang that's --

17 MR. STIEBER: No, because the

18 banner material is actually larger than the

19 actual letter copy, is that what you're

20 referring to?

21 MS. KRIEGER: Seems to me just a

22 little bit proportionately big compared to

23 the others.

24 See, I'm not sure that when

25 you just have the letters what it will be



1 like.

2 MR. STIEBER: Well, when the

3 letters are just up there, without that

4 excess space for the actual banner material,

5 I think that does kind of throw it off. You

6 are right about that. It's how it looks on

7 the building and where it's placed because it

8 overlaps where the banner material is

9 attached to the wall above the letters. It's

10 above this little sign band area.

11 MS. KRIEGER: Okay. I will listen

12 to the board members. Thank you.

13 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you, Member

14 Krieger. Yes, Member Skelcy.

15 MS. SKELCY: What Member Krieger is

16 getting at is are letters on the banner the

17 same size of the letters that will be

18 actually --

19 MR. STIEBER: Yes, the letters are

20 the correct height and length, yep.

21 MS. SKELCY: I don't really feel

22 you have made a case for letters that large.

23 You know, my concern is that we are going to

24 have all the retailers in that building

25 asking for huge signs, because they all face



1 the same way that your store front faces.

2 And I really don't think that

3 you have presented any type of hardship to

4 justify having letters that large. I think

5 65 square feet is just as good as 85 square

6 feet, so I would not be in favor of it.

7 Thank you.


9 MR. FERRELL: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

10 I agree with the member as well. I noticed

11 that the sign -- I'm not sure of the banner

12 on there as well, but the number did go into

13 the top part of that building, the white part

14 of it, I guess, or the cement part of the

15 brick.

16 So you're saying that the

17 letters wouldn't impede onto the white part

18 of the --

19 MR. STIEBER: Correct.

20 MR. FERRELL: Also I looked at the

21 other stores by there, Bed, Bath, Beyond --

22 not Bed, Bath, Beyond -- Bath and Body Works,

23 Dress Barn. Dress Barn, actually their

24 square foot of their store is actually larger

25 than yours, and their sign is a bit smaller



1 than yours. And theirs is actually hidden

2 behind the other building that's in front of

3 them, as well. So I guess I would agree with

4 the members as well, not in support of -- I

5 don't feel you have a hardship for the size

6 of the sign that you're requesting. Thank

7 you.

8 CHAIRMAN IBE: I just have one

9 quick question for you, maybe you can help me

10 understand this.

11 For those of us -- or for

12 those members who are undecided, other than

13 the fact that the setback of the where your

14 store is located, what is exceptional, what

15 circumstances are exceptional about your

16 store that should make the members consider

17 your application?

18 MR. STIEBER: We feel that the

19 angle -- you know, we are the last space

20 before Wal-mart, and it angles in right

21 there, and we feel that there is a lack of

22 identification due to the angle of that

23 setback, and being the first tenant there,

24 you know, getting the height of these letters

25 up to 36 inches, which is not excessive,



1 there are plenty of other signs out there

2 that have letters that are that height, you

3 know, we are at a disadvantage to the length

4 of how the logo of their copy goes out, which

5 makes the sign go over the square footage.

6 You know, that's why we feel

7 that there is a definite hardship compared to

8 the other straight stores, because they are

9 on that slight angle.

10 The setback obviously, you

11 know, other stores have that issue as well,

12 but they do have this other hinderance of

13 view from the south due to the angle.

14 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you, sir.

15 Yes, Member Sanghvi.

16 MR. SANGHVI: Couple of questions.

17 What kind of store is this going to be?

18 MR. STIEBER: It's retail clothing.

19 MR. SANGHVI: You're going to put

20 these letters in blue?

21 MR. STIEBER: Yes.

22 MR. SANGHVI: That should be eye

23 catching in itself compared to everything

24 else around there.

25 MR. STIEBER: You know --



1 MR. SANGHVI: Direct everybody's

2 eyes to see it is quite visible.

3 So I agree with the rest of

4 the board members. I don't think the size is

5 going to make a lot of difference. Thank

6 you.

7 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you,

8 Member Sanghvi.

9 Do we have any additional

10 comments, questions? Member Krieger.

11 MS. KRIEGER: When you first were

12 talking about that 83 square feet, what would

13 you willing to decrease to?

14 MR. STIEBER: Well, I mean,

15 obviously, we would like to get as much as we

16 can. You know, whatever, the board -- if the

17 board isn't willing to approve a sign that

18 large, you know, could we split the

19 difference maybe? You know, I mean --

20 MS. KRIEGER: So an additional nine

21 square feet?

22 MR. STIEBER: Split it? We'd be

23 happy to leave with something rather than

24 nothing. I mean, that's --

25 MS. KRIEGER: Would we have to



1 readvertise?

2 MS. SAARELA: Not to reduce it, no.

3 CHAIRMAN IBE: Obviously that's

4 (inaudible) the board members who right now

5 are considering -- if they will be in favor

6 of that, or if they are going to stay with

7 the letter of the ordinance itself, which is

8 65 square foot, so I'm not sure if that

9 changes the mind of any of the board members,

10 if anyone wishes to make any comments, we

11 would be more than happy to entertain that as

12 well.

13 Member Sanghvi.

14 MR. SANGHVI: I think 65 foot is

15 large enough for the store. Thank you.

16 CHAIRMAN IBE: Very well.

17 Member Skelcy?

18 MS. SKELCY: I have a question if

19 we were to grant a variance for this, would

20 it be as to the store or as to that

21 particular spot in the building?

22 MS. SAARELA: It would depend how

23 you want to. You could do it for a

24 particular tenant. If you wanted to, that's

25 done sometimes. But it's not a favored way



1 to do, but it is done sometimes. Otherwise

2 it's going to be with the store.

3 MS. SKELCY: Forever.

4 MS. SAARELA: If you don't specify

5 that.

6 MS. SKELCY: I have to say that

7 that -- even though we do for the tenant, I'm

8 still not in favor of it. I think that 65

9 feet is more than enough. That's big. So

10 those are the only comments I have. Thank

11 you.

12 CHAIRMAN IBE: Very well.

13 MR. FERRELL: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

14 Actually I have a question for the city.

15 Do you know the size of the

16 other stores? What size are their signs, the

17 ones that are next to it?

18 MR. BOULARD: I don't recall

19 variances for those, but I don't know if they

20 hit the maximum 65 square feet. I could find

21 that out, but I don't have that immediately.

22 MR. FERRELL: Thank you.

23 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you very much.

24 Yes, Member Gedeon.

25 MR. GEDEON: In regard to that



1 question, I would also remind the board

2 members, it's my recollection, correct me if

3 I'm wrong, that we did approve significantly

4 oversized signs for the Wal-mart location

5 just a few months ago.

6 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you,

7 Member Gedeon.

8 Well, if we -- at this time,

9 if we don't have any other questions or

10 comments, do I have a motion either for or

11 against?

12 While the members are still

13 deliberating, as to what we should do, sir,

14 just so you understand right now I'm sure you

15 can do the math yourself, we do have -- it

16 appears to be split, and so a vote can go

17 either for or against.

18 Is it your choice, sir, to

19 have this vote take place today?

20 MR. STIEBER: Well, I think that

21 we'd, you know, like to -- if we have heard

22 the comments of the board, I mean, is

23 there -- do you think there is any benefit to

24 Maurices to coming back with any additional

25 information to the board? Is there anything



1 specific more that you might want to help

2 make a decision? You know, if that's not the

3 case, I guess, we need to make a vote and we

4 are willing to, you know, reduce our variance

5 request, if that helps the board at all. I

6 just do feel that there is a hardship here.

7 I know some of the board doesn't see that,

8 but the height of the letters is our issue

9 with readability, and due to the fact that

10 they're -- you know, when they lay out the

11 height of that letters, they're all capital,

12 you box it out, which is for readability

13 reasons, the letters should be 36 inches

14 tall.

15 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you very much,

16 sir. I will entertain a motion, please.

17 Anyone willing to make a motion?

18 Member Gedeon.

19 MR. GEDEON: I'll go ahead, I don't

20 know if I'm wasting my time here.

21 In Case No. 12-038, 43205

22 Crescent Boulevard, I move to approve the

23 variance as requested. This request is based

24 upon the circumstances or features that are

25 exceptional and unique to the property and do



1 not result from conditions that exist

2 generally in the city or that are

3 self-created.

4 Specifically the applicant

5 indicated that the building face is angled

6 with respect to the surrounding roadways and

7 the applicant also indicated that their

8 property is the -- their store front is the

9 first store front next to the very large

10 Wal-mart store front, and it is slightly

11 offset. The facades do not directly match

12 up.

13 The failure to grant relief

14 will unreasonably prevent or limit the use of

15 the property or will result in substantially

16 more than a mere inconvenience or inability

17 to attain a higher economic or financial

18 return.

19 The grant of relief will not

20 result in a use of structure that is

21 incompatible with or unreasonably interferes

22 with adjacent or surrounding properties, will

23 result in substantial justice being done to

24 both the applicant and adjacent or

25 surrounding properties and is not



1 inconsistent with the spirit of the

2 ordinance.

3 I would also add that the

4 granting of this variance will be consistent

5 with the variance that that was granted for

6 the adjacent Wal-mart property.

7 CHAIRMAN IBE: Motion has been

8 made. Do we get a second?

9 MR. GERBLICK: Second.

10 CHAIRMAN IBE: Motion has made and

11 seconded. Do we have any need for further

12 discussion?

13 (No audible responses.)

14 CHAIRMAN IBE: Seeing none, Madam

15 Recording Secretary, please call the roll.

16 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gedeon?

17 MR. GEDEON: Yes.

18 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gerblick?


20 MS. MARCHIONI: Chairman Ibe?


22 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Krieger?


24 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?




1 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Skelcy?


3 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Ferrell?


5 MS. MARCHIONI: Motion fails, two

6 to five.

7 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. Sorry.

8 MS. SAARELA: When there is a

9 motion that fails, we would request that you

10 do a formal motion to deny the request.

11 CHAIRMAN IBE: Very well. Can I

12 get someone to make a formal motion to deny.

13 Yes, Member Skelcy.

14 MS. SKELCY: I move that in the

15 Case of 12-038 located at 43205 Crescent

16 Boulevard, that the request for the variance

17 of 83 square feet sign be denied because the

18 request is based on circumstances that aren't

19 exceptional or unique to the property.

20 The failure to grant the

21 relief will not unreasonably prevent or limit

22 the use of the property, and will not result

23 in substantially more than mere -- and will

24 substantially -- and will result

25 substantially more than mere inconvenience



1 and inability to attain a higher economic or

2 financial return.

3 Finally, the grant of relief

4 will not result in a use of a structure that

5 is incompatible with or unreasonably

6 interferes with adjacent or surrounding

7 properties. And will not result in

8 substantial justice being done to both the

9 applicant and adjacent or surrounding

10 properties. And the denial is consistent

11 with the spirit of ordinance.

12 MR. SANGHVI: Second.

13 MS. SKELCY: Wait, wait. The

14 attorney says I made a mistake.

15 MS. SAARELA: I would just suggest

16 adding some of the particulars that you

17 mentioned to the motion, including that you

18 feel the direction of the store is similar to

19 the surrounding stores, so it doesn't have

20 anything unique from surrounding stores, and

21 that there are signs -- that there are

22 signs -- it would interfere with surrounding

23 property because their signage would be

24 smaller.

25 MS. SKELCY: Yes, I incorporate



1 those comments. In addition, I don't feel

2 that the applicant has made a case for a

3 uniqueness such that the sign is required.

4 MR. SANGHVI: Second.

5 CHAIRMAN IBE: Seeing that a motion

6 has been made and seconded, can we please get

7 a roll call.

8 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Skelcy?

9 MS. SKELCY: Yes.

10 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?

11 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.

12 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gedeon?

13 MR. GEDEON: No.

14 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gerblick?


16 MS. MARCHIONI: Chairman Ibe?


18 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Krieger?

19 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.

20 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Ferrell?

21 MR. FERRELL: Yes.

22 MS. MARCHIONI: Motion passes five

23 to two.

24 MR. STIEBER: Thank you for your

25 time tonight.



1 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you very much.

2 We can now go into the next

3 case. Case No. 12-040, 45605 Nine Mile.

4 Will the applicant please

5 state your spell the last name for the

6 record.

7 MR. LEIB: Thank you. Good

8 evening, Mr. Chairman, Members of the Board.

9 It's my pleasure. My name is Jeffrey Leib,

10 L-e-i-b. I'm an attorney in

11 Farmington Hills, Michigan. I'm here

12 representing Defrim and Ellie Cizmja.

13 They are the owners of a

14 beautiful home at 45605 Nine Mile Road, here

15 in the City of Novi.

16 In addition to residing in the

17 home as their residence, they operate their

18 business, and the business is called

19 MC Carrier. They specialize in the

20 expediting of auto products and common

21 carrier trucks throughout the 48 contiguous

22 United States as well as Canada and next

23 Mexico.

24 While Defrim runs all the

25 business at the yard, Ellie runs all the



1 office work at their home, and I have a copy

2 of the partnership agreement that they're

3 part of, a customs trade partnership against

4 terrorism. And they have very specific

5 requirements for the security of the systems

6 of getting trucks across borders. It's not

7 so big -- it's not such a big deal moving a

8 truck from Michigan to Ohio, or Indiana, or

9 Texas, but when they go into Canada and back

10 and forth, they have to have significant

11 security for the supply chain conveyances.

12 And so they adhere to all of

13 the requirements. They have sophisticated

14 computers in their home, which is a home

15 office that enables them to print out and

16 create bar codes and special seals for

17 security at border crossings and information

18 on the loads being transported. And all this

19 dispatching is done from the home.

20 So it's very important for

21 them to have security for their business in

22 their home.

23 In addition they live on one

24 acre and lots of times Defrim isn't there and

25 because the home is set back, a lot of



1 trespassing and soliciting going on, and

2 people driving in and out when he's not home,

3 it frightens Ellie and the young child that

4 they have.

5 In addition, the home, as I

6 indicated, is located on Nine Mile Road and

7 is an acre in size, but it's directly

8 opposite from Nine Mile, from a wetland

9 unbuildable common area. It's also separated

10 from the property to the east, Anna Maria

11 Court, by very dense vegetation.

12 As a matter of fact, they have

13 received letters of support from two of their

14 neighbors, Dr. Mohammad R. Sawahla, who lives

15 on West Nine Mile Road also. And

16 Gene Bonadeo who lives on Anna Maria Court,

17 also signed a letter of approval.

18 The application that I

19 prepared, I supplemented with a letter on my

20 letterhead. A couple of paragraphs I just

21 want to state into the record, change it a

22 little bit.

23 But the applicant's business,

24 which is operated from his home, involves

25 expedited dispatching and transportation of



1 domestic automotive parts across the 48

2 contiguous states, Canada and Mexico.

3 He possesses computers in his

4 home that can duplicate bar codes, special

5 seals for security at the border crossings

6 and information on loads being transported.

7 Thus, the applicants are both

8 US citizens, and his business possesses the

9 highest security clearances in the industry,

10 thereby making the security of his office and

11 computers a major consideration.

12 In addition to the requested

13 gated and fenced security, the applicant's

14 home has other electronic surveillance

15 equipment that is very sensitive.

16 The security of America's

17 borders cannot be overstated, and therefore,

18 the security associated with this case and

19 the ease by which applicant can navigate his

20 tractors and trailers across the borders is

21 an important concern that ought to be

22 appreciated by Members of the Zoning Board of

23 Appeals.

24 In addition, the plans were

25 given to me after I actually prepared this



1 letter. I looked at a plan that had

2 previously been considered by you, which was

3 changed.

4 I knew there was some changes

5 made, for instance, the spikes in the gate

6 have been removed from the previous plan.

7 But also in my letter, I

8 indicated the same dimensions of the fencing

9 that are in your notice that went out. But

10 in fact, if you look at the plan that was

11 submitted, and we submitted 13 copies, I

12 submitted it at the same time that I

13 submitted the letter.

14 The plan very clearly shows

15 that instead of being advertised as five feet

16 seven and a half inches in height, it's only

17 four foot three in height.

18 The fence along Nine Mile Road

19 is much smaller than what probably was

20 advertised. Similarly, whereas the letter

21 indicated and the notices indicated that the

22 gate is going to be six foot five inches in

23 height, and yes, it is decorative aluminum,

24 but it's not six foot five inches, it's only

25 five foot seven and a half. So it's under



1 six feet at the very top of the gate.

2 Again, the spikes have been

3 removed. I know that front yard fencing is

4 not normally permitted in the City of Novi.

5 And having sat on the Zoning Board of Appeals

6 myself, I know that each piece of property

7 has to stand on its own, but my clients did

8 take some pictures of other residences within

9 the city that have had gates and fences.

10 I'd just like to show you, let

11 you look at them. I know that each matter

12 stands on its own, but for the purposes of

13 presentation, I'd like you to at least

14 consider the fact there are other examples of

15 fencing, and perhaps not for the same

16 reasons, as I tried to illustrate here.

17 And finally, the fencing will

18 start and the gate will be -- certainly not

19 within the road right-of-way, and it is not

20 going to be masonry, but it's all going to be

21 limestone. There may be a course or two of

22 brick on the bottom. And so it's going to be

23 different than what is there around the back

24 of the property.

25 But as far as the front is



1 concerned, we are only proposing limestone

2 balusters and limestone base and a limestone

3 cap. So that -- and that will be for not

4 only the gating itself, but -- the fencing

5 itself but, also the peers (ph). So it will

6 be much more decorative than just masonry

7 fence.

8 Anyway, my clients are here,

9 be happy to answer any questions. Thank you.

10 Thanks for the attention.

11 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. Do we

12 have anyone in the audience who would like to

13 make a comment regarding this particular

14 case?

15 (No audible responses.)

16 Well, seeing none I will ask

17 Madam Secretary to please read the

18 correspondence.

19 MS. KRIEGER: In Case No. 12-040,

20 19 were mailed, zero returns, two approvals.

21 Zero denials.

22 First approval, "I am the

23 immediate neighbor to south and east, west to

24 this property. I have no objections to the

25 appeals request". Dr. Mohammad, and I'm



1 sorry I can't read the last name or spell it.

2 But that was his statement.

3 The next one approval,

4 Gene Bonadeo on -- and he just circled

5 approval. Thank you.

6 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you,

7 Madam Secretary. Do we have any comments

8 from the city, city attorney's office?


10 CHAIRMAN IBE: Yes, Mr. Boulard?

11 MR. BOULARD: I just wanted to lend

12 a little clarity, if I could, to the

13 dimensions and where those came from.

14 My intent is always to

15 advertise for the worst case so there is

16 never any question of -- I looked at -- just

17 for reference, the height of the gate, I

18 looked at the gate elevation drawing, the far

19 dimension on the left, if you will look

20 from -- with the ground to the top of the

21 gate is six foot four, and I think an eighth,

22 and maybe six foot five, so if there is any

23 variation, it was covered.

24 I agree absolutely that the

25 majority of the fence is lower than the six



1 foot five -- or five foot eight. If you look

2 at the gate pure detail, which is the end of

3 the fence on each side of the gate, the top

4 of that, the dimensions shows five foot seven

5 and a half, that's why I put in the five foot

6 eight to cover any variance.

7 So I would -- I just wanted to

8 clarify that. The intent, not to exaggerate,

9 but to cover all the pieces of that, so thank

10 you.

11 MR. LEIB: Thank you.

12 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you,

13 Mr. Boulard. I will now open this up for

14 discussion. Yes, Member Krieger.

15 MS. KRIEGER: Two questions. How

16 is this not self-created? And if I have a

17 fence in the front yard, if somebody was that

18 determined, how would they let a fence stop

19 them from entering?

20 MR. LEIB: I can't say that it's

21 not self-created, but I suppose every sign is

22 self-created, every fence is self-created and

23 to that extent, we are trying to show that

24 there is a practical difficulty with regard

25 to the property. It's a substantial piece of



1 property.

2 The home is already up and

3 occupied and the nature of the business

4 inside is very sensitive and very -- there is

5 a great need for substantial security.

6 So to that extent, and coupled

7 with the fact that it's segregated from --

8 you know, it's not in the middle of a

9 subdivision, it's on Nine Mile Road and it's

10 pretty well buffered on its own. So to that

11 extent, it's unique and that's our request.

12 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. Member

13 Skelcy.

14 MS. SKELCY: Along those lines of

15 Member Krieger, it looks to me like the -- I

16 don't know what those things are called, the

17 pillars that are inside, the balusters are

18 only four feet three inches tall.

19 MR. LEIB: Correct.

20 MS. SKELCY: So I mean, it wouldn't

21 take much for somebody to leap over that it

22 seems to me, you know, with a little step

23 stool probably. I know I couldn't, but I

24 think a bad guy --

25 MR. LEIB: I think you could.



1 MS. SKELCY: I think a bad guy

2 could.

3 MR. LEIB: I suppose that's true of

4 every fence. They wanted to make something

5 that's decorative that is going to be a

6 deterrent. You know, I watched 60 minutes

7 the other day, on that navy seal on how that

8 operation took place in getting Osama

9 Bin Laden, and they had 15-foot walls to

10 traverse, so obviously, there is nothing

11 that's that secure.

12 But to the extent that it's a

13 deterrent and attractive to have in the

14 neighborhood, this is what we are proposing.

15 Again, I'm not saying that

16 somebody who is a pedestrian would be able to

17 leap the fence, or scale it in some way or

18 another, but certainly it's -- this is not

19 going to be traversable by an automotive

20 vehicle. And so that's the reason for the

21 gate and the fence.

22 I think that if somebody

23 wanted to take a bulldozer and go through,

24 they could do that, too, but that would call

25 a lot of attention.



1 MS. SKELCY: No trucks are going in

2 and out?

3 MR. LEIB: No, his yard is at a

4 different locale and this is strictly their

5 office and home.

6 MS. SKELCY: And I wanted to ask

7 the city, how is this any different from like

8 a gated community that we have in the city in

9 terms of having a gate in front? How does a

10 gated community get around that?

11 MS. SAARELA: Gated communities

12 often go to the planning commission. There

13 are certain standards that they have to meet

14 in order to become a gated community, which

15 is generally maintain private roads and

16 maintain the roads themselves, so there is

17 standards that the planning commission

18 generally requires for a gated community.

19 MS. SKELCY: Okay, thank you.

20 Those are all the questions I have right now.

21 Thank you.

22 CHAIRMAN IBE: Yes, Member Gedeon.

23 MR. GEDEON: Following up on Member

24 Skelcy's comments on other fences in the

25 community. It's my recollection when we



1 talked about this a few months ago, that some

2 of the other properties on Nine Mile are

3 zoned differently, they're acreage properties

4 or something to that effect. I don't

5 remember the exact term. I think they're

6 much larger pieces of property, if the city

7 could clarify that maybe.

8 MR. BOULARD: Yes, there is a

9 threshold over which fences are allowed in

10 the front setback, to take into account

11 agricultural parcels. This current property

12 does not meet that threshold at this point,

13 so --

14 MR. GEDEON: Also to the applicant,

15 a major part of your client's argument is

16 that the fence is needed for security office

17 purposes for the business activities.

18 But nothing that I'm aware of

19 requires your client to be conducting

20 business in the residential property, is that

21 correct?

22 MR. LEIB: Correct.

23 MR. GEDEON: So I think that's, you

24 know, a simple answer right there.

25 MR. LEIB: But he's permitted to



1 conduct his business out of his home.

2 MR. GEDEON: I understand that.

3 MR. LEIB: That's his office

4 address and that's where all their computers,

5 all their dispatching is done from the home,

6 so --

7 MR. GEDEON: Even if under the city

8 rules and requirements he's allowed to

9 conduct his business there, he's entered

10 into, you know, contractual business

11 arrangements that require him to have a

12 higher level of security than he can have at

13 his home. So even if he's, you know, legally

14 allowed to conduct business there, it's not

15 clear that he can meet his business

16 requirements.

17 MR. LEIB: I think that the

18 requirements that he's agreed to are met.

19 This is added security for the computers. I

20 mean, everything, all the codes, those are

21 all under lock and key. But this is a

22 protection for the bigger picture, and so to

23 tell you that he needs to have this just for

24 the business, I think that that would be an

25 exaggeration. Because where the yard where



1 he had -- has, this set of guidelines by this

2 trade association requirement, and this

3 partnership, I mean, it's so intense, the

4 security is so intense, the inspections of

5 all these trucks have to be done by the

6 driver at every stop they make, every time

7 they get out of the truck and go back in the

8 truck, they have to recheck all of these.

9 They have a checklist, make sure that there

10 is nothing added to it. That's not something

11 that's going to apply to the house.

12 The house is strictly where

13 the business operation is, the dispatching is

14 taking place, and all the computer codes, all

15 of the access information for border

16 crossings are done at the home, so this is

17 just -- this would just be extra security.

18 MR. GEDEON: Thank you.

19 CHAIRMAN IBE: While we're waiting

20 for someone else to make a comment, I'm going

21 to have some questions for you. I have some

22 comments. I think we -- I was here the last

23 time this gentleman was before the board. I

24 think it's the same individual, I believe.

25 And I tried -- I'm sure I know



1 who you are, and I'm sure you are a very kind

2 person and a man of candor, but I think with

3 all due respect, you have over-exaggerated

4 the situation concerns.

5 Personally I deal with the

6 Federal Government on contracts all the time

7 and draw up contracts all the time. I have a

8 computer in my home, obviously, I could use

9 some security as well. I have clients who

10 represent the Federal Government who live in

11 the City of Novi, I'm sure they could use an

12 extra fence in security as well.

13 What your client has done here

14 is a choice. It's a question of choice. The

15 last time he was here, I told him, this is

16 similar to what I'm going tell him right now,

17 that is, he chose to have his business in his

18 home. No one forced him to do that. You

19 know, he can obviously have his business

20 anywhere else where he lives. So this makes

21 it a self-created problem. There is nothing

22 unique about what he's doing. You know,

23 there is nothing unique, there is nothing

24 different from him, per se, myself here, who

25 obviously I would like some extra security



1 for my computers, or say my clients, whom I

2 represent, who all live in the City of Novi,

3 and does, I mean, extensive work with the

4 Department of Defense. So they don't have

5 fences around their homes, and yet, they have

6 offices outside of their home because of the

7 sensitive nature of their work.

8 In fact, I think this

9 gentleman is -- for all intents and purposes,

10 is placing whatever he does in much danger by

11 bringing it home. If anyone is going to come

12 to his house, I don't think it's going to be

13 for the computer regarding the government,

14 it's probably going to be to vandalize or

15 steal. His choice is just what is creating

16 this problem.

17 The same vote I had the last

18 time is what I'm going to have this time

19 again. That is because it is self-created,

20 there is nothing unique about this case,

21 itself, and strict compliance is what we need

22 here.

23 If we allow this gentleman to

24 move forward with what he has called for, it

25 will open up a flood gate of people obviously



1 out there, who needs extra security. And it

2 is ironic that on September 11th, 2012 is the

3 day we are talking about security. I don't

4 believe this is what we have in mind when we

5 are talking about security. So I

6 respectfully disagree with you, and I'm not

7 going to be in favor of this. Thank you.

8 MR. LIEB: Thank you.

9 CHAIRMAN IBE: Very well. Do you

10 have any other comments?

11 MR. SANGHVI: I think you made my

12 comments very eloquently, and I don't need to

13 repeat them, but things haven't changed much

14 from the previous application. At that time,

15 I wasn't in favor it and nothing has been

16 done to change my mind this time also. Thank

17 you.

18 CHAIRMAN IBE: Very well. Thank

19 you. Do we have additional questions or


21 MS. SKELCY: I'm curious as to why

22 you're coming back in front of the board when

23 it's already been denied on one prior

24 occasion?

25 MR. LEIB: Change the plan, reduced



1 the spikes -- or eliminated the spikes on the

2 gate. I have had experience with these

3 fences in other areas and I know that some

4 communities where there are a lot of deer and

5 there are a lot of deer out in this area.

6 Sometimes they have been impaled, so I talked

7 to Cizmjas, and they agreed to remove the

8 spikes so that that wouldn't be an issue.

9 And also the height is reduced.

10 So this is somewhat a

11 different plan.

12 MS. SKELCY: Thank you very much.

13 I have nothing further.

14 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you,

15 Member Skelcy. Seeing no further discussion,

16 will anybody have a motion for or against.

17 Yes, Member Skelcy.

18 MS. SKELCY: I move in the case of

19 12-040 at the address of 45605 Nine Mile

20 Road, that the requested variance to install

21 a five foot eight inch tall peer and baluster

22 perimeter fence and a high decorative

23 aluminum gate in the front yard of the

24 residence be denied.

25 I recommended the denial is



1 based on the standards for granting a

2 dimensional variance.

3 In this particular

4 circumstance, there are no unique

5 circumstances or physical conditions of the

6 property, and the need for the variance is

7 not due to the applicant's personal or

8 economic difficulty. This need appears to be

9 self-created, strict compliance with the

10 regulation governing this area setback,

11 frontage, height, bulk, density or other

12 dimensional requirements will not

13 unreasonably prevent the property owner from

14 using the property for a permitted purpose.

15 The requested variance is not

16 the minimum variance necessary to do

17 substantial justice to the applicant. The

18 requested variance would cause an adverse

19 impact on surrounding property and the use

20 and enjoyment of the property in the

21 neighborhood or zoning district.

22 In particular, it appears that

23 the need is self-created and that the

24 homeowner is doing work from home that

25 requires a high security, and does not have



1 to be done at the home.

2 In addition, it appears that

3 the enjoyment of the property for the

4 neighborhood and the zoning district would be

5 impacted by the fact that there would be

6 quite a large fence in this area where no

7 other fences are located.

8 MR. SANGHVI: Second.

9 CHAIRMAN IBE: Seeing that a motion

10 has been made and seconded, do we have any

11 need for further discussion?

12 (No audible responses.

13 CHAIRMAN IBE: Seeing none, will

14 the Recording Secretary please call the roll.

15 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Skelcy?

16 MS. SKELCY: Yes.

17 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?

18 MR. SANGHVI: Yes.

19 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gedeon?

20 MR. GEDEON: Yes.

21 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gerblick?


23 MS. MARCHIONI: Chairman Ibe?


25 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Krieger?




2 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Ferrell?


4 MS. MARCHIONI: Motion passes seven

5 to zero.

6 MR. LEIB: Thanks for your

7 attention.

8 CHAIRMAN IBE: That brings us to

9 our final case, Case No. 12-042, 1929

10 West Lake Drive. Please remember to state

11 your name and spell your last name for the

12 record.

13 MR. HULL: My name is Robert Hull.

14 MR. KAZIMIERCZUK: My name is Vince

15 Kazimierczuk, K-a-z-i-m-i-e-r-c-z-u-k.

16 MS. KRIEGER: Are either of you

17 attorneys?

18 MR. HULL: No.


20 MS. KRIEGER: In Case No. 12-042,

21 for 1929 West Lake Drive, do you swear to

22 tell the truth in this case?


24 MR. HULL: Yes, I do.

25 My wife and I purchased a home



1 on Walled Lake earlier this year, with the

2 hope and intent to remodel the structure to

3 bring it up to current day standards and

4 amenities. The remodel is intended to use

5 the existing structure and location of the

6 structure and basic layout that currently

7 exists in home with an addition to enable a

8 more modern kitchen, great room and master

9 suite. We also intend to add a fireplace to

10 the house, and given the current layout and

11 structure, the south side is about the only

12 appropriate place in order to put this

13 fireplace.

14 The house is in a neighborhood

15 where many of the houses are on small lots.

16 Almost all of them are 30 or 45-foot lots,

17 and our place is very close to the house

18 lines and very close to each other.

19 We think our plan is very

20 consistent with what is in our neighborhood.

21 We are not adding any -- much width to it.

22 We do have a 60 foot lot, so in reality our

23 home is going to be much more proportionate

24 to our lot size than our neighbors, and some

25 of the larger homes in the area.



1 We don't believe that the

2 remodel will have any negative on any of our

3 neighbors. Our closest neighbor is to the

4 south and our addition wouldn't impede their

5 view to the lake or be a detriment to them in

6 any way. We have talked to them and shared

7 our plans with them and they had no issues or

8 concerns with that. I think that's all I

9 have to say.

10 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. Do we

11 have anyone in the audience who would like to

12 make a comment regarding this particular

13 case?

14 (No audible responses.)

15 CHAIRMAN IBE: Well, seeing none, I

16 will ask our secretary to please read any

17 correspondence.

18 MS. KRIEGER: From Case No. 12-042,

19 27 were mailed, zero returned, zero approval,

20 zero denials.

21 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you,

22 Madam Secretary. Do we have any comments

23 from the city or city attorney's office?


25 MR. BOULARD: Stand by answer to



1 any questions.

2 CHAIRMAN IBE: Very well. Thank

3 you, Mr. Boulard.

4 I would now open up this to

5 case for discussion with the board. Yes,

6 Member Sanghvi.

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

8 I came and looked at your property yesterday

9 actually, and I realize that you need to do

10 something to the property. And I think it

11 will be beneficial to not only to you, but

12 the entire neighborhood, and I noticed it's a

13 very small lot. And I have no problem

14 supporting your application. Thank you.

15 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you Member

16 Sanghvi. Yes, Member Krieger.

17 MS. KRIEGER: Is the chimney going

18 to be a gas chimney or a wood burning?

19 MR. HULL: Wood burning is the

20 intent, yes.

21 MS. KRIEGER: Because of the

22 closeness of the chimney, I don't know about

23 the specifics for fire protection.

24 MR. BOULARD: The existing building

25 is very close to the property line, and it



1 would be allowed to exist. The addition,

2 including the fireplace would be required to

3 have certain rated construction based on the

4 distance back from the property line.

5 Typically in this case it would be a minimum

6 of one hour separation, and the openings

7 would be limited depending on that distance

8 also.

9 So in the staff report, my

10 concern was -- being that the existing house

11 is already located very close to the property

12 line, my concern was primarily with the

13 chimney just because basically it goes down

14 to six inches and the practical matter of --

15 the practical question of whether it could be

16 possibly pushed into the -- slid into the

17 building some, was the reason that I

18 mentioned that in the staff report.

19 MS. KRIEGER: Have you thought of

20 putting the chimney in a different location?

21 MR. HULL: Based on the structure

22 of the house, the existing structure where

23 the staircase goes, where -- the view of the

24 lake, that was probably the best spot for it.

25 We don't want to add too many windows on that



1 side, and put the chimney in front to look --

2 to view the lake, it wouldn't work. The

3 other side of that family room would be where

4 the staircase is, and then the side sunroom

5 based on our plan.

6 MS. KRIEGER: Thank you.

7 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you,

8 Member Krieger.

9 Do we have any additional

10 comments or questions for this applicant?

11 Yes.

12 MR. FERRELL: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

13 I got a question. Which house is it that

14 yours, is it the one --

15 MR. HULL: The one on the right.

16 MR. FERRELL: So the chimney is

17 going to go on the side of it?

18 MR. HULL: Yes.

19 MR. FERRELL: So it's going to be

20 really close to the chain link fence?

21 MR. HULL: Yes.

22 MR. FERRELL: That's all. Thank

23 you.

24 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you. Well, in

25 the absence of any further discussion, I can



1 entertain a motion. Very well, please.

2 Thank you.

3 MR. GERBLICK: I move that we grant

4 the variance in Case No. 12-042, 1929

5 West Lake Drive. The fact that the variance

6 has unique -- the property has unique

7 circumstance or physical conditions, such as

8 where the house is situated on the property

9 and the narrownesses of the lot.

10 This need is not self-created

11 as the property in the existing unit is

12 already in that place. Strict compliance

13 with regulations governing the area setback

14 frontage, height, bulk, density and other

15 dimensional requirements will unreasonably

16 prevent the property owner from using the

17 property for its permitted purpose.

18 The requested variance is the

19 minimum variance necessary to do substantial

20 justice to the applicant as well as other

21 property owners in the district. And the

22 requested variance will not cause an adverse

23 impact on surrounding property or property

24 values, in fact, the enhancement of the

25 property may actually improve those property



1 values.

2 MS. SKELCY: Second.

3 CHAIRMAN IBE: Seeing that a motion

4 has been made and seconded, do we have a need

5 for further discussion?

6 (No audible responses.)

7 CHAIRMAN IBE: Seeing none, I will

8 ask Recording Secretary to please call the

9 roll.

10 MR. BOULARD: If I might,

11 Mr. Chairman, I just want to clarify that the

12 motion was approval as requested.

13 MR. GERBLICK: Approval as

14 requested.

15 MR. BOULARD: Thank you.

16 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gerblick?


18 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Skelcy?

19 MS. SKELCY: Yes.

20 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Gedeon?

21 MR. GEDEON: Yes.

22 MS. MARCHIONI: Chairman Ibe?


24 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Krieger?

25 MS. KRIEGER: Yes.



1 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Sanghvi?


3 MS. MARCHIONI: Member Ferrell?


5 MS. MARCHIONI: Motion passes seven

6 to zero.

7 MR. HULL: Thank you very much.

8 CHAIRMAN IBE: Congratulations.

9 That brings us to the conclusion to the cases

10 before the board. Do we have any other

11 business to attend to at this time?

12 (No audible responses.)

13 CHAIRMAN IBE: Seeing none, can I

14 get a motion?

15 MR. SANGHVI: Before I make a

16 motion, I would like to wish you a very

17 speedy recovery.

18 CHAIRMAN IBE: Thank you very much.

19 MR. SANGHVI: I make a motion to

20 adjourn.

21 MR. GERBLICK: Second.

22 CHAIRMAN IBE: All in favor say

23 aye.

24 THE BOARD: Aye.

25 CHAIRMAN IBE: All opposed?



1 (No audible responses.)

2 CHAIRMAN IBE: The ayes carry. The

3 meeting is hereby adjourned.

4 (The meeting was adjourned at 8:20

5 P.m.)

6 ** ** **























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