Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.


ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor Pro Tem Crawford, Council Members DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid








7:30 Frank Brennan Zoning Board of Appeals


Mayor ProTem Crawford understands the ZBA spends 50% of their time with cases regarding sign variances and asked if he believes they should rewrite the sign ordinance?

Mr. Brennan believes the ordinance is acceptable, but suggested that they review the fees and costs charged to come before the ZBA. He noted that Mr.Saven has revised the fee schedule and the Board agreed with his recommendations. Mr. Brennan believes higher fees reflecting city costs would probably lower the number of appeal cases.


Councilwoman Lorenzo asked if the changes proposed to the sign ordinance have merit and further asked whether they should incorporate it into the TC-1 zoning district or the sign ordinance. Mr. Brennan is comfortable with the current sign ordinance.


Councilman Kramer asked Mr. Brennan to describe his chief strengths. Mr. Brennan described himself as someone with compassion, adaptable and fair.


Councilman Kramer asked if he had any ordinance recommendations to offer to Council. Mr. Brennan believes the Home Occupation section needs additional work. Further he would like the Board to have more communication from the cityís attorney.


Councilman Schmid asked if the ZBA ever held a study session with the cityís attorney or has the city attorney ever addressed the board about responsibilities. Mr. Brennan replied no to both questions.


Councilman Schmid asked what Mr. Brennan believes the responsibilities and duties of the ZBA are. Mr. Brennan replied the Board enforces the cityís ordinances unless an applicant can demonstrate hardship at which time the Board acts with compassion.




8:00 James Harrington III Zoning Board of Appeals


Mayor McLallen asked why he would like to be reappointed to the ZBA. Mr. Harrington replied he believes he is giving something back to the city.


Councilwoman Mutch asked what is the most difficult role of the ZBA. Mr. Harrington believes addressing the volume of paper is the most difficult role because they would like to achieve similar results from similar circumstances.


Councilwoman Mutch asked if Mr. Harrington could make any recommendations to improve that situation. Mr. Harrington suggested that the Boardís similar decisions on similar cases be reduced to a data base or that they hire an intern.


Councilman DeRoche asked what positive changes would Mr. Harrington like to bring to the Board. Mr. Harrington would like more communication about ordinances such as the portable toilet ordinance currently under consideration. He explained the ZBA could be asked to grant a variance on the number of portable toilets or number of guests permitted. He added they could also use more proactive involvement for training.


Councilman Schmid asked what Mr. Harrington believes his duties are on the Board. Mr. Harrington believes they not only hear hardship cases, but they also hear cases concerning health, safety and welfare. He explained the Boardís responsibility is to maintain the quality of life in Novi.


Councilman Schmid asked what variance was given for the Best Buy sign and added he believes it is unattractive. Mr. Harrington replied Best Buy received a square footage deviation and agreed it is unattractive. Because of that experience, Mr. Harrington would never approve a sign without a mock up.


Councilman Schmid asked whether Mr. Harrington believes the sign ordinance is appropriate. Mr. Harrington supports the current sign ordinance.



8:25 Ernest Aruffo Zoning Board of Appeals/Board of Review


Councilman Schmid asked Mr. Aruffo to describe the skills and experience he would bring to the ZBA. Mr. Aruffo replied he has served on the Planning Commission, has studied drawings and is familiar with the zoning ordinance.


Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if he believes they should change the ordinance so fewer cases would come before the ZBA. Mr. Aruffo believes the ordinance should remain as it is.



Councilman Schmid asked what he believes to be the responsibility of the ZBA. Mr. Aruffo replied attendance and knowledge of the packetís contents is very important.


Councilman DeRoche asked what types of change would he like to see on the ZBA. Mr. Aruffo believes the ZBA functions well as it is currently structured.



8:55 Siddharth Sanghvi Zoning Board of Appeals


Mayor McLallen asked what experience would Mr. Sanghvi bring to the ZBA. Mr. Sanghvi replied he has an analytical mind and common sense. He added he believes the ZBA should make decisions based upon a very good reason to deviate and that members should have courage about their convictions. He believes he would bring a different perspective to the ZBA.



Diane Selleck (absent) Board of Review


9:10 William Wenzel Board of Review/EDC/HCD Advisory


Mayor McLallen noted Mr. Wenzel has applied for three boards and asked which one would he prefer. Mr. Wenzel replied his first choice is to serve on the EDC.


Councilwoman Mutch asked what kinds of things could the EDC be doing based upon what Mr. Wenzel has seen in other communities. Mr. Wenzel replied he believes they need to be proactive.


Councilman Kramer stated the EDC has an evolving leadership and therefore they have a need to redefine themselves, and asked what would Mr. Wenzel do to accomplish this.

Mr. Wenzel replied he currently works for CSX and he advised they have focus groups. He explained they define their goal, and then determine what needs to be done to achieve that goal and who will do it.


Councilman Kramer asked if believes they need a partnership with the Chamber. Mr. Wenzel believes to succeed, there is a need for partnering and developing with the Chamber or any other interested group.








There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 9:55 p.m.





Mayor City Clerk


Transcribed by Barbara Holmes


Date Approved: December 1, 1997