View Agenda for this Meeting




TUESDAY, JULY 11, 2000


The Meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m., with Chairman Harrington presiding.


Present Members Bauer, Harrington, Reinke, Fannon, Brennan and Sanghvi

Also Present Don Saven Ė Building Official

Sarah Marchioni Ė Community Planning Assistant


The Zoning Board of Appeals is a hearing board empowered by the City Charter to hear appeals seeking variances from the application of the Novi Zoning Ordinance. It takes a vote of at least four members to approve a variance request and a vote of the majority of the members present to deny a variance. A full Board consists of six members. Since there are six members it is a full Board and any decisions made will be final.


Chairman Harrington indicated that there are fifteen (15) cases on the agenda. Are there any changes to the agenda? Hearing none, all in favor to approve the agenda, please say aye. All ayes. Agenda approved subject to the Kozlowski modification.


Chairman Harrington indicated that there are no minutes.


Henry Kozlowski was present and duly sworn in.

Henry Kozlowski: I applied in December for a variance I received it but then other complications came in and I did not realize the time ran out so fast.

Chairman Harrington: What kind of complications? What prevented you from doing what you had to do?

Henry Kozlowski: I had medical surgery. I had problem getting plans drawn up.

Chairman Harrington: Now you are back on your feet and able to get things going?

Henry Kozlowski: I hope so. I have the plans at the City already, so I just need the time to start on the project.

Chairman Harrington: Don, administratively, what are we doing?

Don Saven: We need to get a permit for this person. Letís give him thirty (30) days if that is possible. Thirty (30) days because of the Plan Review Process.

Member Reinke: I think the situation was out of his control. I do not see any problem.


Moved by Brennan,

Seconded by Bauer,


Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) Motion Carried


Henry Kozlowskiís: When could I get the permit?

Don Saven: To get the permit, if we could do that because there is also no other time and just a reality of the construction phase that we have to deal with. So obtaining the permit is the first primary goal.

Member Brennan: We are granting him an extension to the variance request that we previously gave him.

Henry Kozlowski: When can I apply for the permit, tomorrow?

Don Saven: Depending on what the Boards says.

Case No. 00-037 filed by Cary Simon Construction

Cary Simon of Cary Simon Construction representing Alan J. DeZell is requesting two (2) side yard variances for the construction of a new home at 1217 East Lake Drive. This case was on the previous agenda in June but was tabled to the next regularly scheduled meeting, July 11.

Matt Quinn: I am appearing on behalf of the petitioner, Alan DeZell, his fiancťe and builder are here again this evening. Mr. Chairman, you were correct, we were here a month ago and you seemed inclined to favorable consider the variances. However, you gave us some direction to check out some claims which Mr. Kernan, one of neighbors brought up, concerning this particular lot. We have gone to the Title Company and have submitted to you the documentation that this is a clean piece of property. There are not any recorded easements that would interfere with the property. You also have received a letter from the Oakland County Department of Public Services stating that there is an abandoned sewer line that the City of Novi put in 1968 or 1969 that was never used. Neither the City nor the County has any interest in that line what so ever. My client and the builder have considered that and know how they are going to handle that during the construction process, and it will not cause them any great concerns. So, they are ready to proceed. Once again, we remind you we are seeking to side yard variances of five (5) feet. The ordinance requires ten (10) feet on each side, and we are seeking five (5) feet on each side. The reason is that this is an elongated parcel. The home that Mr. DeZell has decided to build on this parcel is a very nice house approximately twenty five hundred (2500) square feet. It will be an addition to the East Side of the Lake. It will assist not only the City and its tax base but also the property values of the surrounding property owners. We are here to answer any further questions that you have this evening. In conclusion, we would ask for approval of this variance.

Chairman Harrington: Thank you Mr. Quinn. I would note for the record that apparently you received two (2) additional objections. There are three in the file and it has been changed from two (2) objections to four (4) objections, so I assume these are new ones. One from Mr. Bolton at 1197 East Lake and the other from Mr. and Mrs. Kernan at 1209 East Lake who object to these variances requests. Any comments on this continuation of the prior case from the audience?



Randy Kernan: My name is Randy Kernan. I live at 1209 East Lake Drive.

Chairman Harrington: Randy, did you speak to us last month?

Randy Kernan: Yes, I did.

Chairman Harrington: Are you going to give us some new information?

Randy Kernan: Yes, I will. I have a couple of points here. I went through your file today with this piece of property. Reading through it, there were some statements made, that I hope you donít believe everything you read. His reason for a variance is hardship, because of the eighteen (18) foot easement that I was allowed from Lot 57. Because it is aesthetically not able to be built with the ten (10) foot side variances. He has one hundred sixty feet (160) by fifty (50) foot just beyond the easement to the east that he can build without any variances at all. He knew these easements and he knew the setbacks when he purchased the property and now he is before you asking for relief. I just wonder why we are here.


Don Saven: I was just recalling something from the last meeting in regard to the obstruction of the view. If I could recall from the neighbor that the building was not going to be set back any closer to the road.

Matt Quinn: At approximately ten (10) feet ahead of where the rear of the house to the south is located is what the current plan was showing.

Don Saven: Ten (10) foot behind or ahead?

Matt Quinn: Ten (10) foot toward East Lake Drive.

Don Saven: Okay.

Matt Quinn: That will depend upon the Final actual building site. It is sixty-six point one (66.1) foot from East Lake Drive to where the front of the house will begin. So we are more than set back plenty for that.

Member Brennan: As I recall, last month our biggest concern was the sewer line running down the middle of the property, and what was the situation with that. That had been resolved. I think there was also some discussion about the school behind the property and where they had access right to cut through that property.

Matt.Quinn: Right and actually this fifty (50) foot wide strip was never a dedicated road at all. It just happens to be fifty (50) feet and in that location. Again the title work comes up clean.

Member Brennan: I think the petitioner has come back with everything we have asked him to. We raised some concerns and I think they have done their homework. The proposed dwelling is thirty-nine (39) feet wide if he gets the two variances. I donít know whether you can build a house thirty-five (35) foot wide, I assume you can. What is the impact on the neighbors with a house thirty-nine (39) foot is the question. I am satisfied they have answered the questions we has raised last month.

Chairman Harrington: Our files do reflect, and we receive direct communication which are put in the city files. We donít always review all the communications we receive, but we specifically received a letter from the Oakland County Drain Commissioner, Mr. Hansen. It dealt with the sanitary sewer issue which was of significant concern to me. He has indicated that the sewer had been basically abandoned, and the City of Novi and Oakland County have no interest in the lot. Which resolves that issue as far as I am concerned, there could theoretically be a problem in the future, but it is pretty remote at this point in my view, and I think this is the security I was looking for with the sewer issue.

Member Fannon: Matt, in the easement agreement under D three (3), it say the granteur, assuming the granture is the persons who are going to build a home.

Matt Quinn: Right.

Member Fannon: They incrue the driveway if they wish, and if they do, they make sure the current granters, who are the Kernanís can get in and out.

Matt Quinn: That is correct.

Member Fannon: But, it seems to me that they could leave it graveled. I was on that driveway the other day. Is your client agreeable to, if we gave this variance, to paving that drive instead of leaving it in the condition of gravel?

Cary Simon: My name is Cary Simon builder of record who filed for the ZBA meeting. It is my understanding the client currently wants to asphalt at least nine (9) or ten (10) feet and potentially the eighteen (18) feet of driveway. Obviously part of the length of the driveway will be done at eighteen (18) feet as you see by the drawings we are showing you for access to the garage. We are worried at this point about the aesthetics and we donít want to make it look like it is an entire driveway type parcel. So we are going to determine what is our best course of action to make it look nice for the house.

Member Fannon: So if we went down to the bottom of East Lake Drive, are you saying that the client would be agreeable to paving at least nine (9) foot wide of that whole easement?

Cary Simon: Correct.

Member Fannon: I had some concerns about the sewer pipes, but I also thought the easement allows them to keep that gravel. I am not an attorney, but the way I read it, you donít really have to improve it if you donít want to but it seems to me that if you are going to build a home that it should be improved.

Don Saven: Our City ordinance may state differently in terms of do we have asphalt at the road way of East Lake Drive. They may have to put in asphalt.

Member Fannon: Chairman Harrington has the board granted a variance and conditioned it upon something like that that the drive would be improved or paved a minimum of nine (9) feet to obtain the variance?

Chairman Harrington: We have attached conditions to variances where they are directly related to the practical difficulty or the impact on the laboring community, but to simply attach a construction condition which is not relevant to the particular matter, I think is beyond our jurisdiction. Then if we were to consider that and if the petitioner is not willing to do that, how do we defend the fact that we made him improve something which legally he does not have to do.

Cary Simon: I think just knowing the client, they definitely will have it asphalted and the only determination we have is it going to look aesthetically as nice having an eighteen (18) foot garage going all the way to the road because of the width of the parcel etcÖ or is better to start off at a nine (9), ten (10), or twelve (12) foot wide drive and widen it as it get closer to the house. This is an aesthetic question as opposed to an economical question. I think we are going to go with what looks best in terms of the property. There is no question in my mind that we are going to asphalt. It is just how wide we are going to, if we are going to go all the way to the road or not.

Member Reinke: I really donít think the driveway improvements should be part of this variance request. That is part of the aesthetics of the owners direction that he would want to go.

Moved by Reinke,

Seconded by Bauer,


Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) Motion Carried


Chairman Harrington: I am going to approve the motion, and I recognize, because of what I heard at the last meeting and what I have heard this evening, is that unfortunately it appears there is a lot energy involved in this dispute, and it is a dispute. It appears to the chairman to be arising out of difficulties with neighbors. Those always make decisions for the board harder when things canít be worked out. I am sure if there were an amicable relationship between the petitioner and the neighbors, they petitioner might very well consider do something regarding the driveway which would run to the benefit of everyone. But the petitioner, does not have to. I think it is unfortunate that we get neighborhood disputes but we call them as we see them. I am going to support this motion even though there is some controversy involved with this situation.

Chairman Harrington: Mr. Quinn, the variance request has been approved unanimously please see the City offices for the necessary permits.

Case No. 00-031 filed by Nudell Architects, representing West Market Square

James Jewett of Nudell Architects, representing West Market Square is requesting a four (4) feet wide continuous greenspace variance on all four sides of the retail east outlot building. West Market Square is located on the northwest corner of Grand River and Beck Road.

Jim Jewett was present and duly sworn in.

Jim Jewett: Good evening gentlemen. My name is Jim Jewett, I am an architect with Nudell Architects in Farmington Hills. I represent the interests of White Hall Real Estate developments Gary Jona. I am here tonight with Eugena Hoag of Albert Kahn, and she is the landscape architect on this project. We are requesting a variance on this four (4) foot wide greenspace. The grounds for this variance are simply put with the type of building this is. It is a multi use tenant. It is impractical and somewhat burdensome to the petitioner to continue a four (4) foot greenspace where there are a number of entrance ways, doorways, for the individual tenants. What we are proposing in place of that are here in the drawings, is a combination of landscaping and colored patterned concrete in front of the store front and indeed all the way around the building to compensate for the loss of the perhaps some of the greenspace that might otherwise be against the building. I might add that the similar variance request was granted by this board for another portion of the retail end of Kroger under similar circumstances, given the fact we had a retail establishment with many different entrances.

Chairman Harrington: The reason you want this variance is what?

Jim Jewett: Because it is burdensome to the petitioner to have continuous greenspace in front of the multiple doors and storefront.

Chairman Harrington: Why is that burdensome?

Jim Jewett: It adversely affects or hinders the flexibility and accessibility of those individual store fronts to present themselves to the people from the parking lot.

Chairman Harrington: When you say adversely affects their ability to present themselves, are you talking about advertising? What is the burden here?

Jim Jewett: I am talking about the fact that we have store front window in the front and we have access to the service entrances in the back. There are multiple doors along the front. As with the nature of retail, the tenants change, there is the possibility the store fronts will change, and to have a greenspace in there, that is just an added burden to have to readjust a continuous greenspace.

Member Brennan: Would you put up an outline of the corner, would you show the site, and where the ordinance requires this four (4) foot greenspace and would you show us what you plan on doing?

Jim Jewett: Just to give you an indication of where the building is, this is the outlot retail record that we are talking about. This is the Kroger, the Home Depot and retail north of West Market Square. We are about twelve hundred (1200) feet away from the main thoroughfare of Grand River. This is the blow up plan of the outlot parcel that we are talking about. Along this entire front and along this side, we have got store front glass and multiple doors. Along the back we have multiple service entrances. We have provided greenspace where it was most practical between the store front doors, and put pattern concrete, which is the darker area, all the way around. The ordinance would require a continuous band of four (4) foot greenspace all the way around. There is a break with the doors as we have demonstrated along here. We also have landscape buffers away from the building which provide a nice screening from the main thorough clears, gives the sense of a lot of trees around the parcel itself.

Chairman Harrington: What would the ordinance require in the service area in the back?

Jim Jewett: The ordinance strictly requires solid four (4) foot greenspace all the way around the building.

Chairman Harrington: No, it does not require that if you have doors where people have to have ingress and egress correct? It does not require it in the service area or in the traffic thoroughfares, nor does it tell you how high the egress has to be, true?

Jim Jewett: True.

Chairman Harrington: You could have plants and shrubs there which would not interfere with any of the windows, true?

Jim Jewett: True. We also proposed patterned textured concrete along the sides and some of the store front aprons or access routes, and continuous greenspace along these edges along the back as well. To give the appearance and to maintain the continuity of the landscape all the way around. This was something that was done along the other portions of the retail. This is the building elevations. Unfortunately, these do not show the planting, these were done before the landscape art was produce.

Chairman Harrington: Who are your tenants?

Jim Jewett: Weíve got currently signed up, Blockbuster Video, a Caribo Coffee at the other end, and a Sprint retail store is going to go in there as well. There are some other tenants we did not confirm yet.

Don Saven: I would ask that the petitioner once again go over the placement of the greenspace which is going to be provided so that the board is aware of that location.

Jim Jewett: The greenspace that we are providing with a combination with the pattern concrete to get some texture and accent to the surroundings. We have located it here, and have planters on each side of the tower element. We have some planters here and trees here. A large grouping of trees in the front, low shrub in the back as well, and along this whole side. Continuing with landscaping buffers and trees all the way around the building. These are not shown because these were part of the previous submittal. We have plantings all the way around the building.

Member Brennan: Once again, tell me where is the variance request? What are we giving up, and what are you giving us? What are you providing in lieu of what the ordinance says, because we have gone through this twice, and I still donít understand.

Don Saven: What the ordinance basically indicates, in the term continuous area around the building, is the four (4) foot section between the building and directly outside the building. Because we are going to get involved in high intensity project as these, it becomes a maintenance nightmare. Based upon the location, if we could talk about the sidewalk, the sidewalk being adjacent to this, and sometimes there are maintenance issues. What they are doing is coming up with an alternative plan right now for this particular situation.

Chairman Harrington: Why did Council pass this silly ordinance? Every time we get a major retail establishment in here, the first two things they come in here and ask for is a berm waiver and a greenbelt waiver. I donít understand. I want to hear what the hardship is, not that we have to trim the flowers. I presume that Council had in mind you are going to trim the flowers and the bushes if you are going to spend thirty-eight (38) billion dollars on a retail development, that is part of the cost. I was satisfied in the Home Depot and Builder Square, that the burden in those case, which is the same facility but the other side, smaller development, I felt that that burden was met. I am just not convinced and persuaded by what I am hearing so far.


Member Brennan: There is no greenspace other than three (3) trees and thatís all pavement in there, is that correct?

Jim Jewett: There is pavement, greenspace, and plantings along this edge. This acts as a sidewalk access path against the building.

Member Reinke: If am correct in understanding, what you have in dark brown there is what you are looking at and what the city would require as a greenbelt. Am I correct in that?

Jim Jewett: Yes. Not quite this much on this side.

Member Reinke: Right, but if you went around the whole thing the way the top and bottom and looking at the drawing on the right hand side it would be.

Chairman Harrington: Is what is really going on here, is that because of the four (4) foot requirement, you might have to shrink the size of the retail establishment?

Jim Jewett: No, that is not true.

Chairman Harrington: You could still have your sidewalk all the way around on the outside of the four (4) foot greenbelt right?

Jim Jewett: Part of the hardship is when you deal with multiple tenant differences, the accessibility and visibility of the building, there is the possibility that when tenants come and go in the future, we will be maneuvering store fronts and changing those. We would have to interfere with the landscape to do that.

Member Reinke: I understand what they want to do, but I have not heard enough to alleviate from what the ordinance requires. It sounds to me like the hardship is to maintain it. It is there, it is a requirement and has to be maintained. I see no hardship at this point.

Member Fannon: Is any of the four (4) feet under any cover or is it in the open?

Jim Jewett: It is all open, there is no canopy.

Member Fannon: I think there was a canopy in the other case or an overhang that made it kind of difficult to grow anything underneath it. Therefore I am having trouble with this one too.

Eugena Hoag: I am Eugena Hoag from Albert Kahn, I am the landscape architect of the project. Linda Lemkeís comments are that the only thing that does not meet the ordinance is the south faÁade.

Chairman Harrington: Are you drawing our attention to the area that has been circled or the paragraph above that? Lindaís comment is apparently based on the May 22nd letter. Her pertinent comment simply is that a minimum of four (4) foot green space immediately adjacent to the building on all four (4) sides has not been provided. There is a combination of colored concrete and plantings along the south faÁade which is what we hear tonight, which does not meet the requirements of the ordinance and will require a variance. The remaining facades of the south faÁade, meet the ordinance and/or seeding and loading areas. The extent of the variance this evening would only be on the south faÁade according to Ms. Lemke. Is that accurate Don?

Don Saven: That is correct.

Eugena Hoag: We are adding the color concrete which we donít have to do to replace some of the greenspace that we would have there. Which would also fit in with the Phase I development.

Member Fannon: So the variance is not for all four (4) sides, it is for one (1) side, and it is the side you just pointed to. Please explain one more time. You do have some landscaping on the south side, I donít know how wide it is, a foot ?

Jim Jewett: It is four (4) feet wide, and it follows a pattern if you look at the faÁade elevations, this is the south view. It follows the pattern and allows for entrance aprons into each tenant space.

Member Fannon: How wide is the area?

Jim Jewett: It is fifteen (15) feet wide.

Member Fannon: The variance you are asking for is not all the way along the south portion, it is just the little spots that do not have any green in them?

Member Reinke: The Variance Request says that he is seeking relief from the four (4) foot continuous greenspace on all four (4) sides of the building. What are we dealing with? Now we are stating that we are only dealing with the south side.

Member Fannon: We are dealing with just a portion of the south side. I would suggest, Mr. Chairman if you would entertain Tabling this, to find out what the petitioner is asking us to do. Just bring in if it is just the south side, bring in the south side, and if the south side is five (500) hundred foot long, and we only need a hundred (100) foot of variance, this is what we need to know. We need to know what we are voting on. Obviously it is getting really confusing.

Eugena Hoga: I have this elevation which shows the shaded areas where there is landscaping. Here are some accent lands so that it is really only these spaces around the doorway that donít have the continuous landscape.

Chairman Harrington: I think Mr. Fannon made a very intelligent suggestion, which is that you come back next month after you have done your homework on this. Then tell us exactly how many feet of green would be required under the ordinance. We are speaking of lineal feet, we all understand the four (4) feet. Also how many feet will be shortened or given away by the board if this variance is approved, so that we could compare and contrast. That is the very first question you received this evening. Which is what are we giving up, because Mr. Brennan didnít understand it, and no one on the Board understands it so far, what are you giving and what are you getting? In order for us to make an intelligent decision here, that is information that we need to have. It was not in our packet, it is not in Linda Lemkeís report, we have not heard it yet. Simply looking at something that would be like a rendering, doesnít move us any farther along. In fact it is wasting our time. Board Members I would move to Table this to next month meeting and give the petitioners and opportunity to submit further information. If the petitioner chooses not to pursue the variance, they donít have to come next month. If they want the variance, the Board will want to know what it is that you are asking for, how many feet is involved. You may want to redo your drawings to refocus on that south side, and get it to us by the time the packets are submitted two (2) weeks in advance of the next meeting. We will look at it then, or we can vote this evening.

Moved by Harrington,

Seconded by Reinke,


Case No. 00-034 filed by Haggerty Corporate Office Centre II

Brian Hughes representing Haggerty Corporate Office Centre II requesting three entranceway signs for Haggerty Road, 12 Mile Road and 13 Mile Road. Haggerty Corporate Office Centre II is located on Lewis Drive and Twelve Mile Road.

Brian Hughes was present and duly sworn in.

Brian Hughes: The Agenda states it is for Haggerty Corporate Office Centre II, this is for the Haggerty Corridor Corporate Park. We are the developers of the Park, and this is in reference to Phase I. It is located between Twelve and Thirteen Mile and M-5 and Haggerty Road. Phase I is apprised of approximately a hundred and sixty (160) acres. It is zoned Office Service Technology, which is the OST designation. The park when fully developed has the potential of having over thirty-six (36) buildings, with square footage in excess of two (2) million. Currently we have over two hundred and sixty thousand (260,000) square feet under development. For the Sign Ordinance, if we were a platted sub division or a condominium project we would be allowed to put up a twenty-four (24) square foot sign, which would identify the park. As we are currently developing the property we are using a Land Division Act which allows us to do lot splits. But the Sign Ordinance does not allow for permanent signage. What we are asking for a variance. Three locations, one that will be at Twelve and Haggerty entranceway, that is Cabot Drive and Twelve Mile Road. This one would be on Lewis and Haggerty Road. The third one is at Thirteen Mile Road and Cabot Drive. So the twenty-four (24) square feet is what is currently offered for either a platted sub division or a condominium project. This is for a business park. It is part of the Ordinance, but because we are not developing under either of those scenarios, then technically we do not qualify for any signage.

Chairman Harrington: Why do you need these signs?

Brian Hughes: We would like to advertise our park.


There was no audience participation.


Chairman Harrington: Five notices were sent out there were no approvals, no objections. Be one sent to Michigan Developments America Inc., was returned. Don comments?

Don Saven: Because of the Land Division, the way of doing things has become a problem, we had a couple cases before, that we presented to the Ordinance Review Committee. In your packet there is a signed Ordinance Review. The went to the first reading if I am not mistaken, just recently. On it, it address those issues such as this, because of the Land Division. It is not a condominium or is it a sub division. We had to address it somehow. It has all the characteristics and similarities of the same thing, so we did address this. I think it was at the request of this Board if I am not mistaken.

Chairman Harrington: So if that Ordinance Revision is approved it could render this mood?

Don Saven: That is correct, he would probably not be here.

Member Fannon: Per how many square feet?

Don Saven: Depends on the set back requirements from where it sat from the center line of the road going back. It had the five (5) foot height requirement which was part of the ground sign requirement and the set backs for that district.

Member Brennan: My first reaction when I looked at this is, this is a huge parcel. You have three (3) entrances. One on Thirteen, one on Haggerty, and one on Twelve. I did not have any problem with identification signs. I do have a problem with your math, because you have shown here a sign that it eight (8) foot wide by five (5) foot tall, which I equate to forty (40) square feet. Yet your petition is twenty-four (24). Which are we dealing with?

Brian Hughes: The twenty-four (24) feet. Probably the copy Mr. Brennan does not show, but it is actually the frame. It is our understanding the that the Ordinance pertains to the actual sign part. And that this actually hangs in the sign itself, but that is just the frame around it. So there is a relief, thatís actually the twenty-four (24) square feet is the part that basically says Haggerty Corridor Corporate Park Northern Equities Group Development.

Member Brennan: This is the forty (40) square foot, or the twenty-four (24) square foot?

Don Saven: What this is, is twenty-four (24) square foot, and it is measured by the sign area. It is from the top limits of the sign to the bottom limits of the signage. Now the height requirement is based upon it being a crowned pole sign and can not be any higher than that particular issue.

Member Brennan: Okay, well that addressed my question. I think your variance request is within reason as a huge parcel. Thereís only three entrances you want a small sign on each one. I have no problem.

Chairman Harrington: Do you have renderings on these signs up?

Brian Hughes: Yes?

Chairman Harrington: Okay, are you satisfied that those signs are going to do it for you in terms of a sign package. This is not a phase one of a sign assault on the Board where any more sign later on, other than perhaps directional signs of the project. Board members, what was your reaction to the size of the signs?

Member Reinke: Well, I think the size is more than adequate because they stand out quite easily for identification.

Member Fannon: I donít know if there is some way that we regulate that, because where they are at now it works. But if they moved it any closer, it could be a real serious problem. So I donít know how you regulate that.

Don Saven: It goes back to the line of vision which is that twenty-five(25) foot requirement at each corner section.

Member Fannon: If it meets that, I think they are fine. If they were any closer, it would be a problem. I think it did a good job of identifying the property.

Moved by Reinke,

Seconded by Brennan,


Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) Motion Carried

Case No. 00-038 filed by Cornell Sign Company, Inc., representing Novi Town Center

Mark Johnson of Cornell Sign Company, Inc., representing Novi Town Center is requesting a variance to allow seven directional signs.

Matt Quinn was present and duly sworn in.

Matt Quinn: Good evening, I will be speaking on behalf of the applicant, Cornell Sign Company, and the owner of the Center. Which is the Linder Company, agent for Etna insurance. We are here this evening to request this honorable body for a variance to grant the Linder Company the right to put seven (7) signs on the premises. Now the sign that you see here is the sign that has been up for the last two (2) weeks at the entrance of Crow Drive, off of Novi Road. This sign coincidentally is almost identically of that which this body granted to Twelve Oaks Mall for their directional signs. As I am looking at what Mr. Johnson from Cornell Sign Company gave you this evening, at least on the application, he copied almost verbatim the application that Twelve Oaks Mall gave to you a few years ago. Now I say that not for anything other than to state that both Twelve Oaks Mall and the Town Center are circular developments. It is impossible for a car entering from one of the many entrances to the Novi Town Center Mall to know what is in the mall. The purpose of these signage is just that. A, for traffic safety, as you approach this sign from Crow Drive off of Novi Road, if you did not see this sign in front of you and were not familiar with the mall, there is no way you would know where Ballyís is, where the Movie Theater or Mervyns. This becomes even more important when the people from out of our area, since this is a regional mall, people out of our area will call some of the smaller stores and the smaller store will identify their location within the mall by saying we are two (2) doors down from Mervyns. We are two (2) doors down from Comp USA, or we are two (2) doors down from the movie theatre. Now when you have that person coming from out of town, and they enter the mall at one of the seven (7) areas, what they will see is this sign, which contains the largest tenants. I think all of the tenants listed on this sign have a minimum of twenty (20) thousand square feet. So we are not showing any smaller entities than that. This sign is very simplistic, and yet serves many purposes. Actually the color of the sign and the sign of the letters was studied to determine the best visibility from cars that would be stopped at various stop signs, going back two (2) and three (3) and four (4) lanes. Also the height of this sign is also determined based upon cars parked back two (2) and three (3) and four (4) lanes from the stop sign. So, this sign serves a very real purpose, but the primary purpose is that of traffic flow. Now I would like to show you where the seven (7) locations are.

Chairman Harrington: Mr. Quinn, it would have been nice to see the seven (7) renderings today. I was rather frustrated to have to back again before this meeting and learn that OS 4 was the only one that you had up for us to get a site line on. That was very significant to me.

Matt Quinn: One of the reasons for putting up one sign is that that is a real sign. They are in excess of two (2) thousand dollars per sign. We wanted you to see the real sign so that you could get a real idea as to how visible the letters are from different sites. Mr. Harrington, that is why I brought you this diagram to look at, because it is identical to the sign that is out there. The seven (7) areas are Crow Drive, that most of you have seen is off of Novi Road, then the one direct off of Sony Drive, we are calling that off Grand River. Another one off of Town Center Drive coming off of Grand River. Another one on the corner of Town Center and Crescent, another one on the corner of Crescent and this service area into the main mall. Another one on this corner across from Bavarian Village, another one on the opposite side. Now, each of those serve a distinct purpose, and that is as you come off of Crow, that is obvious. You almost come into a dead end area, and you do not have any idea of what direction to go to get to the stores. If you come in off of Sony Drive, same thing, you have no idea without direction how you would get over here to Borders or Comp USA. That is what this sign at the opposite side of the mall is going to direct you to. Again here on Eleven Mile and Town Center Drive that will give you directions down to Mervyns also give you directions over to Borders. The same with the other signs on Crescent. The each serve a distinct and specific purpose, and that is to keep traffic moving. We all know especially around Christmas time, Thanksgiving on, that all the malls in Novi the idea is to keep people moving. As soon as someone is confused they stop, they try to find something, they back up, they just do something stupid and an accident occurs. This will assist in solving those types of problems. As I have said, this sign here is similar to what was provided in Twelve Oaks. Twelve Oaks again did it on a traffic safety basis, and we equate the same to them. Just as comparison purposes, not as any prescient. If there are any technical questions on the signs, Mark Johnson of Cornell Sign is here to answer any of those, but I think given the information, the diagram you have in your packets, showing all seven signs, and the sign locations, that the purpose of this variance is obvious, and that is safety first and business location second. We would request a favorable motion on this particular variance.


There was no audience participation.


Chairman Harrington: Our final are forty-four (44) sent, no approvals, no objections.

Don Saven: No comment.

Member Brennan: I have no problem for the request with for signs. There are a lot of stores in that complex. I do believe though that you have way too many signs. If I buy your statement, that there are a number of ways to get into this mall, which I believe, then we only need to provide signage at those areas. Which renders sign S-2, we donít need S-2. We have a duplication of S-3 and S-4. Given you can only get into the S-1 location by entering S-7, it renders S-1. I think you have three (3) too many signs.

Matt Quinn: Which locations were you talking about rendering?

Member Brennan: Starting with S-1, I donít believe this sign is necessary. The only way you can get to that location is by coming in from the Grand River entrance.

Matt Quinn: That side is really intended for future use by Crescent Blvd and get extended around. So I guess you want us to come back at that time for that particular sign.

Member Brennan: As we enter from Novi Road, we do have a Crow Drive entrance that someone could slip down, so I could see that. But I think we have redundancy in signs S-2, 3 and 4. I think we can accomplish all the signage requirements with one sign at the fountain area or somewhere in that area. You have three (3) signs within two (2) hundred yards.

Matt Quinn: Of course you know this particular fountain area is picturesque and has always been upheld by Novi as one of the beautiful landmarks in the area. The park area here has always been acknowledged as one of the most beautiful areas in a mall, in the City of Novi. They get the awards every year, partially because of this particularly. The reason they kept the sign out of that is because of that. It is tough to put a sign directly in front of the most beautiful part of the park, the water fountain. So, the only thing Frank, the reason they did that is because people turn right, and the one on the right will give directions, and as people turn left, the one on the left will give people direction. That is the logic between the two. I see your point, they are close together, but they will never be seen by the same vehicle. I also must state all of these signs are not visible by the exterior of the mall at all. Only once you get into the interior of the mall would you ever see these signs.

Member Brennan: Did you already give up on S-2?

Matt Quinn: Yes.

Member Brennan: So we have two signs out, S-1 and S-2 are out.

Matt Quinn: I made a mistake. Which one?

Member Brennan: The upper left corner, and the one due south.

Matt Quinn: That one I did not hear before.

Member Brennan: My point was the only way you could get there is if you come in off of Novi Road. You already have two (2) signs that is identifying what is there.

Matt Quinn: No, some of the people that will come from the east will come down Town Center Drive, turn on Crescent Blvd to try to access something in here. This sign will be directed toward the people coming from east to west bound Crescent Blvd. That is that purpose.

Member Brennan: Your point and your presentation was that you wanted signage at the areas where people get into the complex. S-2 which is the one south of S-1, the one we are discussing, is not an entrance to the mall.

Matt Quinn: The other place where this becomes important is as restaurant row is on the freeway side. This is the cross over from restaurant row. So as people coming from the Olive Garden and those places after they leave dinner, if they are wanting to go to the movie theatre. Letís say they came in off of Novi Road, they saw this sign, went to dinner for a couple of hours, and now they are turning here. This sign will tell them to either turn left and go back around, or if they are looking for TJ Max to go straight ahead.

Chairman Harrington: I am not going to approve any sign tonight if there is more than one. If your client wants seven (7) signs, I want seven (7) renderings. They do not have to spend two (2) thousand dollars, but you know what the policy of this Board is. We want to see it, we want to see it in place. We want the size and if you can have the lettering that is fine. We have never required anyone to spend two (2) thousand dollars for a rendering. I got the package late last week came down from Northern Michigan today, driving around looking for these seven (7) signs. I came back to the office, I went back again, and there was only one (1) sign. The reason I want to see all seven (7) signs, is they bear a relationship to each other. Where you can see a sign from another sign makes a big difference. Clearly the one down in Crescent Blvd over where Kochís used to be, that to me would be a pretty important sign, but I want to see it there, because there is also an electric power transformer or something surrounded by a brown wooden fence. I donít know where that sign is going to fit in relation to that, and I want to see all seven (7) if you are serious about all seven (7). My vote will be to deny any variance this evening because I havenít seen all seven (7). Second, a seven (7) foot sign on two (2) poles is ugly. It is contrary to the spirit of the Ordinance. We want to see monument signs, I see no reason why something closer to a monument situation canít be put in. Those two (2) poles with that sign sticking up, I will never approve. Third, how many tenants are there that are on the Twelve Oaks signs? My memory is that there are four (4).

Matt Quinn: They only have four (4) anchors in that mall. This mall has more acres of twenty (20) thousand square feet and more.

Chairman Harrington: There is a difference between having four (4) directional anchors on a conservative sign, then eight (8) without any limitation in your proposal as to if this is the finite number you will have on these signs. There is nothing to state it will be limited to eight (8), there is nothing to prevent squeezing the lettering smaller and getting ten (10) twelve (12) etcÖ so that is a problem for me. The poles are a problem, the number of signs is a problem.

Member Bauer: What happened to the directional signs inside there, all the way around?

Matt Quinn: Those are the pedestrian signs for walking people that are in certain few circumstances. But those are purely for pedestrian, people walking, not for the major traffic coming in.

Chairman Harrington: Presumably, they are not walking there, and are driving there, is the proposal to remove the pedestrian signs because now they have the signs to tell them where all the stores are?

Matt Quinn: No, that is different. Donít forget thereís cut throughs here. You can park in the back along here on Town Center, and there is a walkway. Right here in this vicinity, is a more specific pedestrian. So those pedestrian directional areas are for a different reason then the ones for the vehicular traffic.

Member Brennan: Which is why we granted a number of dual signs in that complex for that particular reason. Because you could access from either the north or the south, east or the west. Many of the businesses in there have more than one sign. This complex I am afraid with this proposal is going to look like Orchard Lake Road at Twelve (12) Mile. I do not support this as it is presented tonight, and I am not at all pleased with this. The Sign Ordinance is something that we work hard at trying to keep in place. I think that this is really a stretch. I am not at all comfortable with the number of signs, with the size of the signs. How could you read all of this as you are running around. I think you really need to rethink this. I do not like this at all. Sorry.

Member Reinke: I agree with the height, I have a problem with the height. I think it is not aesthetically pleasing sign. The numbers need to be creatively and aesthetically put in the right place and position to the job.

Member Fannon: I drove fifteen (15) miles to the meeting, and still donít like the signs myself. I had written down when I had gone to see them at the mock up, I didnít know it was a two (2) thousand dollar sign. It is too high. I thought I was in Traverse City when I saw the TC. I know that is their logo. I support the idea of having some signage within the Town Center that tells you where to go, because I go to the movie theatre and stores. It is confusing. But, I think that you have to tell the people that you are in the Town Center. So, saying that you are in the TC does not identify when you are on the phone making all the call saying weíre in the Town Center located in such and such two (2) doors down from the movie theatre. The would never know they are in the Town Center when they see the TC, they will never put it together. Number one (1) you need to have the sign say that you are in the Town Center. Number two (2) it needs to be redesigned, because it is too tall, and it looks cheap. Even though it may cost two (2) thousand, and nothing against the sign company, it just didnít, to me, a monument type sign, lower, classier is what it needs. I would support the signage, I donít know about seven (7) either. So, I think you are getting there, it is too bad that you put up the real sign. Actually I went up and looked at it, it has the plastic letters on it. I am assuming so that when one tenant you can just rip it off and just put the new one on. I donít even know how that withstands weather. Plastic letters, and I donít know, it just didnít seem to be what the Town Center is all about.

Matt Quinn: I think what I am gathering, we would ask that the matter be Tabled for a month and let us look at a different similar sign, and consider the location once again.

Member Reinke: Are you going to be able to do that in the short time that we have to get the information to get back together?

Matt Quinn: We would then request a tabling until the September meeting.

Moved by Fannon,

Seconded by Bauer,


Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) Motion Carried

Case No. 00-039 filed by Donald Taylor of 24029 Ripple Creek

Donald Taylor of 24029 Ripple Creek is wishing to construct an addition to his home in the required side yard and is in need of a variance for one (1) foot.

Donald Taylor was present and duly sworn in

Donald Taylor: My home presently faces the east, and I am proposing to add a garage and a storage room addition to the south. One foot is the dimensional end result. At the present time we have a single car garage that the floor is in disrepair. Rather than break the floor up and replace it, I decided to pour over the top, level it with the residence level, and continue the rest with the balance of the garage. The balance leaves me with just enough for a two car garage. I am planning to use the existing garage space at the floor level for storage and closet space, which we are lacking in the house right now. The end result being the nine (9) foot clearance to the property line, as opposed to the ordinance ten (10). I am trying to utilize the existing foundations that are already there. The existing foundation provides me with the baring area for the storage floor slab and the balance being whatever is left over for the garage. That gave me the minimal space.


There was no audience participation


Chairman Harrington: Our files reflect thirty-three (33) notices sent, no approvals, no objections.

Don Saven: Did we get anything from the Homeowner Association Approval?

Donald Taylor: Yes.

Member Reinke: A one (1) foot intrusion into a side yard is minimal with the lot size, and everything that is there. I really donít have a problem, and I could support the difference.

Member Brennan: I guess if the neighbor to the south werenít he would be here tonight.

Chairman Harrington: Don, I have one (1) question. I am looking at the document dated June 23, and it says a right a way permit might be required, contact the Department of Public Services for confirmation. Is that our variance that is required, or is that something else?

Don Saven: No, This is a City Ordinance. Anytime you do work in a right a way, whether it is improving a driveway, closing a ditch, it is in the right a way, and does require a right a way permit. It is a matter of notifying that there is something out there that is required by the ordinance.

Moved by Brennan,

Seconded by Fannon,


Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) Motion Carried

Case No. 00-040 filed by Adorno Piccinini representing ADCO Office Park

Adorno Piccinini representing ADCO Office Park is requesting permission to continue the use of a construction identification sign that has expired. ADCO Office Park is located on Novi Road between Eight and Nine Mile Roads.

Clair Roberts was present and duly sworn in.

Clair Roberts: I am Clair Roberts, I am a broker with Signature Associates, we are the listing agent for the building. Mr. Piccinini at this point, we have two (2) buildings there. The front building is ten (10) thousand seven (7) hundred thirty-three (33) square feet. In that building, we have three suites that are completed. One of which is a temporary space for the owner himself. We are marketing that space. That is two (2) thousand two (2) hundred and thirty (30) square feet. We do have another suite under construction, so that building will have one vacancy. The rear building which is fifteen (15) thousand seven (7) hundred and twenty-six (26) square feet, we have two suites under construction. We have an additional seventy-six (76) hundred square feet available for lease that is in raw form. So he has requested to continue the sign as is at this point until we can get the secured for the balance of the space. Which would basically would be four (4) more tenants. We would request for six (6) months but would agree to take the sign down as soon as we have the spaces leased.


Member Brennan: You answered my question which was the duration, I am pleased to hear six (6) months and also please to hear if it is all leased out you wonít need to take it down. I support the petitioners request.

Member Fannon: Were there any notices sent?

Chairman Harrington: Twenty-six (26) notices sent no approvals no objections.

Member Fannon: My only comment was, I am looking at the sign that was approved and it looks like there was an addition put down at the bottom that was not approved by the board. Do you know what I am speaking to? There is a sign that was approved by the board, and then someone added another sign at the bottom that was to me not approved.

Clair Roberts: We could have it removed.

Member Fannon: I have no problem supporting it for six (6) months or until its lease as long as it complies with the original approval of the board.

Moved by Brennan,

Seconded by Reinke,


Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) Motion Carried

Case No. 00-041 filed by Norman-Charles Rhodes representing Brownstones at the Vistas

Norman-Charles Rhodes representing Brownstones at the Vistas is requesting an off-premise sign located at 13 Mile and Novi Road for a temporary directional sign.

Norman Rhodes was present and duly sworn in.

Norman Rhodes: Representing brownstones at the Vista they are looking to put up a temporary directional sign on the corner lot to direct traffic down to the new development down the street on 13 Mile.

Chairman Harrington: How come, why do you need it? What is the reason for the variance request?

Norman Rhodes: The reason is the directions that will be given to the people and traffic of those looking for the development in its preliminary phases, there will be no visible signage as they are coming off the expressway of Novi Road to 13 Mile Road. They need a direction sign to expedite and show the people where the development is until it has gotten to a point of development that it is recognizable.


There was no audience participation.

Chairman Harrington: Nine notices were sent out, there were no approval and no objections.


Member Reinke: Looking at the mock up that they have up there really doesnít jump out and be obtrusive. I think something like that could help the development move along and get rolling. I really donít have a problem.

Member Fannon: How long do you think you need that sign.

Norman Rhodes: I really did not get that direction from the owner. I would request one (1) year or whatever is the pleasure of the board. I know they are just getting into the development there, and I have no idea what their intentions are.

Member Fannon: They have started construction though?

Norman Rhodes: Yes they have.

Member Fannon: Did you do the sign, and it is actually there and that it is wrapped completely. That the sign is actually built and ready to go and it is wrapped. So the mock up is really the sign.

Norman Rhodes: Yes, it is. I believe you have a drawing with the package.

Moved by Reinke,

Seconded by Bauer,


Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) Motion Carried

Case No. 00-042 filed by Sharon Alexander of 1733 East Lake Drive

Sharon Alexander of 1733 East Lake Drive is wishing to construct a wood deck and is in need of a variance for the rear and side yard.

Robert Alexander was present and duly sworn in.

Robert Alexander: Basically we would like to put a deck in our yard between our back door and our garage to be able to put table and chairs. I think it would help access the garage and the back door.

Chairman Harrington: It appears the variances that you are requesting are fifteen (15) feet the maximum projection allowable is thirty-five (35) feet. It looks like you need a thirty-three (33) foot variance here. Don is this right?

Don Saven: What takes place in this circumstance is a deck can project at some total of eighteen (18) feet on a required rear yard which is basically seventeen (17) foot left over in this particular area. If you take a look at the drawing and the location where the deck is going the rear of the property is very close to the property line. So you are only looking at two (2) foot to the property line, so he is looking at a variance of approximately thirty-three (33) feet.

Chairman Harrington: Don, does he need what the notice says which is fifteen (15) feet and for expansion to an non conforming structure?

Don Saven: That is correct. This is an expansion of a nonconforming structure. It is actually a two fold purpose, one for the deck and one for the expansion of nonconformity. We are covering this as best as possible.

Chairman Harrington: And the other variance is a seven (7) inch projection?

Don Saven: That is correct. You are allowed to project into a side yard two (2) inches for every required foot, side yard set back, and in this case he does have that much.

Chairman Harrington: Thirty-one (31) notices were sent three (3) approvals, no objections. An approval from Don Garrison at 1729 East Lake, Bret Garrison at 1729 East Lake, and Mark Adams at 1737 East Lake.

Member Brennan: I have no problems with the deck, but where will it be when it is done in comparison to the swing set?

Robert Alexander: I believe it will be, but I believe the swing set will be coming down shortly. The kids are getting older.

Member Brennan: My only concern is swinging into the deck. It is almost dangerous, like the deck is coming right out to the swings. Are you saying it would be removed. That would be my only concern for the safety of those jumping off of the swing and onto the deck and vice versa. Given that there are not a band of residents here, and it is an improvement to the property, I have no problem with it.

Member Sanghvi: I have seen the place and there is nothing else that they can do except the way it is.

Moved by Brennan,

Seconded by Bauer,


Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) Motion Carried

Case No. 00-043 filed by Cornell Sign Company, Inc., representing Pheasant Run Plaza

Cornell Sign Company, Inc., representing Pheasant Run Plaza is requesting permission to install an off-premise sign located at the northwest corner of the property and or intersection of Grand River Avenue and Karim Boulevard.

Mark Johnson was present and duly sworn in.

Mark Johnson: The owner of the Pheasant Run Plaza is Mr. Holly Phase. He also owns the property in which the daycare is built directly to the south of that. He has a third parcel behind that for planned medical and office building. The cases to place a off premises sign for directional down Karim Blvd especially with the additional development of the Grand Oak Office Center directly to the west of the Karim Blvd Grand River intersection. The sign was patterned after the sign that was recently replaced for Pheasant Run Plaza in itself. There has been some comments to make to the daycare that it is difficult to find in cases of emergency, such as picking up of a sick child etc. So the main request if for the safety issue. Also the request allow for the top panel for the actual office building which is yet to be developed. We felt it was better to come in and do both, and opposed to doing one at later date, but if the board would prefer it to be done that way, there would be no problem with cutting the sign in half.


There was no audience participation.

Chairman Harrington: Our files reflect five (5) notices sent, no approvals no objections.


Member Brennan: I would like to discuss the whole option of top half of the sign being there or not being there the way it is being presented. Would that be a blank top half?

Mark Johnson: Correct.

Member Brennan: It would be ready for who ever leases that back half?

Mark Johnson: Exactly.

Member Brennan: Do you have any idea of the timing of when the back parcel expects any?

Mark Johnson: I know they have not started the process, but they have someone very interested in it. That is why originally when we were going to present it to the board, we had only the bottom portion, in fact that is why item four (4) became number (9) because it looked like it was going to come through. They have someone very interested in, but it would probably be next year.

Member Brennan: Can we approve a sign without any of the verbiage today? We can approve a sign that is partially blank?

Don Saven: It is part of the design of the sign based on the fact that there are two (2) tenants there now, and leave the last part of it blank.

Member Fannon: When I saw the sign, I thought it was too high. I thought it should be ground mounted further down to the bottom. It should only be one sided, not two (2) sided because you canít even see the rear side unless you start removing landscaping. It should be slanted toward Grand River.

Mark Johnson: I conveyed that to the property owner. Unfortunately he is out of the country and unable to attend this evening. He really wanted to pattern it after the Pheasant Run sign that we actually just recently done for him. I quite frankly agree with a lot of your points.

Chairman Harrington: So do i. I agree with Mr. Fanning completely, it is too tall. It should be a monumentive style sign. I do not agree that it is directional sign, it is every bit as much as a marketing sign as any other sign up and down Grand River. I have some reservations about given the placement of that facility, that is a street right? I have a problem with the whole concept of an offsite sign at the head of a street telling you that a business is back there. I think many businesses in Novi have the same problem and would like to have off site "directional signs". This hardship about an emergency with a child, how long has that facility been up and running?

Mark Johnson: About two (2) years.

Chairman Harrington: We did a variance then when it opened. Have there actually been any emergencies which have occurred where someone canít find that facility? You tell them to go to "X" street in Novi and tell them to head south.

Member Fannon: Maybe we should go over again what the hardship is of why you need the sign.

Mark Johnson: What was conveyed to me through the owner of the property was that there has been difficulty in people finding the daycare when they are picking up a child. Like a grandparent picking up a child in case of an emergency, in that nature, and that has been relayed back to the business owner. This is why they felt the need to do something.

Member Fannon: But there is nobody here from Crayola Campus to say that. When will the owner be back?

Mark Johnson: Four (4) months.

Member Reinke: I donít see the hardship. It is a business that is located on an identified street. I agree with Mr. Harringtonís comments that we start doing this and pretty soon everyone on will want a sign. I donít think our sign ordinance gives us the latitude to start looking at these types of situations and granting variance requests for that reason.

Moved Reinke,

Seconded Bauer,


Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) Motion Carried

Case No 00-044 filed by David Sherman of 21935 Worcester Drive

David Sherman of 21935 Worcester Drive is wishing to construct a two-and-half (2 Ĺ) car garage addition and is in need of a variance for the required side yard.

Connie Sherman was present and duly sworn in.

Connie Sherman: We desire to build a garage addition in order to have more garage space and combine our storage space. We currently have a storage shed at the end of the drive way. In order to do that, we looked at bumping the front out, but we thought aesthetically it would not look good. Cost wise, it would be expensive. To widen the garage, it would cut into our living space. We also need to make a taller garage, because we have a conversions van that canít fit into our garage. In order to heighten our garage door, it would cut into our bedroom above the garage. We looked at converting the existing garage into a mud room with a study and adding a two-and-half (2Ĺ) car garage on the side that would be longer than a normal garage so that we would have additional storage garage space.


There was no audience participation.

Chairman Harrington: There were twenty-three (23) notices sent, two (2) approvals and one (1) objection. Mr. Carbone objects, he thinks that with a hundred twenty-five (125) feet of frontage you should not need a variance. He also comments that you have not received approval from the Subdivision Architectural Review Board. Have you received an okay?

Connie Sherman: I do have an approval, I thought I submitted it last week, but I talked to Sarah today, and she said she didnít have it on file. I brought a copy today, do you want me to submit it to you?

Chairman Harrington: Please. Thank you and we will accept this document and make it part of the record. You also have an approval and it appears to be Mr. or Mrs. Geeboard on Roxberry Drive and Jane and Maryann Komerinski on Worcester.

Connie Sherman: Just to address the other objection, he said that with a hundred and twenty-five (125) feet of runnage we should not need a variance. Our issue is to make it a garage that would fit within the variance would make it a nineteen (19) or twenty (20) foot garage. We felt with the houses it would not look very nice, because it would be a very narrow garage. The homeowner association president did build a garage, and it looks goofy.

Chairman Harrington: The document that I have been handed is an approval apparently from the president Keith Arons the president of the association.

Member Brennan: Do you know what the neighbors to the north?

Connie Sherman: The neighbors to the north to me are not very social. I have tried to approach them, but the wife does not speak very good English. When I talked to the homeowners association, they said that he has not paid his dues in two years. I have asked people on the homeowners board how to reach him, and no body knows how to reach him.


Member Brennan: Thanks. I think the petitioner has done her homework. I was always concerned about adjoining homeowners and apparently they are not available to give their opinion. The variance request is minimal. Twenty-one (21) nineteen and a half (19 Ĺ ) twenty (20) foot garage starts to limit the ability to put two (2) cars side by side. I think that this is probably reachable.

Member Sanghvi: Are you going to be removing the shed?

Connie Sherman: We will be removing the shed and getting the cars out of the driveway will make me happy.

Moved by Brennan,

Seconded by Sanghvi,


Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) Motion Carried

Case No. 00-045 filed by Dan Frantz of 134 Penhill

Dan Frantz of 134 Penhill is wishing to construct a garage addition and is in need of a variance for the required front and side yard.

Dan Frantz was present and duly sworn in.

Dan Frantz: I would like to add a twenty (20) foot garage on. Other neighbors have done it in the last couple of years. There is a well in my backyard, so it would be hard to put it way in the back.

Chairman Harrington: This is one of the reasons that you need this set back variance correct?


There was no audience participation.

Chairman Harrington: Twenty-eight (28) notices sent five (5) approvals. Mr. Silverthorn and Mr. Simms, Mr. Koffin, Mr. Carlos and Mark Peltiee. No objections.

Don Saven: I think as a minimum garage size that he is looking at is not projecting out from the house or beyond what is existing right now, I really donít have a problem with it.


Member Brennan: It sounds like your neighbors want you to get your car off the street and into a garage. I think that we should let him do that.

Motioned by Brennan,

Seconded by Sanghvi,


Roll call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) Motion Carried

Case No. 00-046 filed by Richard Tanielian of 1280 East Lake Drive

Richard Tanielian of 1280 East Lake Drive is wishing to combine two (2) separate parcels, remove all existing structures and rebuild a new single family home. He is in need of several variances.

Richard Tanielian was present and duly sworn in.

Richard Tanielian: I am the present owner, there is a purchase agreement on the property by Louie Boulgie. His architect is here and could speak on that.

John Barker: I am John Barker Obs and Black Associates and Architects. What we propose to do is take the existing three (3) structures on Lot 7 and Lot 8 remove them and construct a new residence that would occupy both of the sites. The site is approximately seventy (70) feet wide and what we would like to do is to develop a residence that is approximately fifty (50) foot wide. Have the story home with a walk out, not very complicated. We want to use the larger residence.

Chairman Harrington: The house is going to be fifty (50) feet wide or sixty (60) feet?

John Barker: It would be sixty (60) foot wide. We are proposing sixty (60) foot wide.

Chairman Harrington: What is the variance associated with thirty-five (35) feet from the high water mark? What is it that you need?

John Barker: The question is that one feel the high water mark is taken from, if you say that it is at the seawall the residence is thirty-five (35) feet from the high water mark. There seems to have been some question as to where high water will get.

Chairman Harrington: How come the Lot Coverage, you need a six point five (6.5) percent on lot coverage, meaning the house is bigger than the ordinance would permit?

John Barker: Correct.

Chairman Harrington: Why do you need that six point five (6.5) percent?

John Barker: This is the bookprint as we have established it with the proposed owner and the math works out.


Bob Andrews: My name is Bob Andrews my residence is 1262 East Lake Drive which is Lot 6, I am to the south. I do oppose the five (5) foot variance that he is asking between lot 6 and lot 7. I believe it is too close. Combining two (2) lots is seventy (70) foot wide and I believe that is plenty of room to construct a beautiful home. Also the notice that was sent out to the residence did not specify anything about worth from the water they were talking about. It was very vague on a water variance. I was not prepared to speak about that at this time. But, the water is where it is and the ordinance is what it is and if you have to be thirty-five (35) feet from the water no matter where it is.

Chairman Harrington: Twenty-nine notices were sent, no objections returned by mail. An approval from Asa Smith at 1294 East Lake, who thinks this is a great project to get rid of old stuff and put in a nice new home.

Don Saven: Basically we have a difficult time determining what a high water table mark is based upon where the sea wall is at. The dimension that is where the sea wall is at, at the closest proximity is actually going to be a high table watermark. As you come into the inlet, it is difficult to determine what the dimension is. I think that is what was trying to be addressed in terms of that set back. You will note from the closest corner of lot 7 of where the building is at to the sea wall at that particular area is I believe thirty-five (35) feet, meets the requirements of the ordinance. But as you come into the rear of the building where the inset is, it is less than that thirty-five (35) feet, which is hard to determine when you ask what the dimension is.

John Barker: Thatís at thirty (30) feet eight (8) inches from the center line of that inlet circle line of the second point, and it is thirty (30) foot eight (8) to the back of the house at that point.


Member Brennan: I do not think that we need to even talk about that. They are proposing to rid out everything off of two (2) lots. We have brand new construction. I see no reason why we need to talk about side yards and set backs when he has two (2) lots seventy (70) feet across. I think that this proposed building is over built, it is too big. It is nice, but I donít see why we should be considering all the variances when we have brand new construction.

Member Fannon: How many square foot is this?

John Barker: The home that we proposed is approximately a five (5) thousand foot residence.

Member Fannon: So if the home was fifty (50) foot wide, you would not need the side yard variance?

John Barker: Correct.

Member Fannon: It would probably take care of the lot coverage I would assume. It is hard to figure out why we need all the variances to build a five (5) thousand square foot home.

Member Brennan: I heard no testimony about hardship.

Member Fannon: Let me ask you this. Do you know what size home could fit on the lot and not require any variances?

John Barker: We have not filled the entire site front to back. It is the configuration trying to have as much possible, you could build the house deep front to back.

Member Brennan: Request here indicates here that conformance to the ordinance may be unnecessarily burdensome. I would like to have some discussion on that because again, I will say that it appears to be very overbuilt. A five (5) thousand square foot residence on this lot is think is accessible. I have heard no hardship raised yet of why they need a lot that size.

Member Fannon: Is there a hardship?

John Barker: I know economics are a justification, but for the value of the two (2) sites, the ability to have a residence at sixty (60 foot wide with that kind of view is important.

Chairman Harrington: The problem the board has just to explain to your client, is that the ordinance precludes what you are trying to do. We have the power to grant and acceptation in cases of significant practical difficulty, hardship. We have to look to whether there is a condition present in the land or in contrast if it is being self created. We have to look to the impact of neighbors alike. But here it sounds like we want to make the highest and best use of the property which includes the requirement of three (3) variances, without any particular hardship other than this is the way we can get the best return on our investment. Be it residential or otherwise, that is a problem. That is not grounds for us to grant a variance. The waterfront variance we have not heard any reason why it couldnít be moved further back into the property to eliminate that as an issue. We have not heard a fifty (50) foot wide house can not be constructed, we have not heard why the house needs to be larger lot size wise than ordinance permits.

Member Bauer: No hardship.

Member Reinke: With the two (2) lots together, he has a lot of latitude and space to work with. If there was some minimal thing needed on some front yard, one side or rear yard. But with having as many requests that are listed here I really have a problem.

Moved by Brennan,

Seconded by Bauer,


Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) Motion Carried

13) Case No. 00-047 filed by Phillips Sign & Lighting representing Kroger

Phillips Sign & Lighting representing Kroger is requesting additional square footage on the Kroger sign facing Grand River. A variance is also needed for three (3) additional signs of "Food" and "Pharmacy" that will be facing Grand River and "Kroger" that will be facing Twelve Mile Road

Ed Phillips was present and duly sworn in.

Ed Phillips: I have brought Steve Laser from the Kroger Company with me tonight. Our hardship is lack of adequate signage and the following items. We have a variety of challenges with this particular site setback. We are setback four hundred twenty five (425) feet from Grand River and seven hundred twenty five (725) feet from I-96. The configuration of the building on the property is another problem. Working with the overall shape of the property has positioned our store on an awkward angle to Grand River. If you have driven by the site you will notice that the building is not square to the road. Vision to the store is a real handicap. The next would be future development. Future development would totally obscure our Beck Road elevation eventually. If you look at the site plan that we provided you will note that there will be additional buildings built on that end of the Kroger store. Dual business talks about the pharmacy and the reason for the second sign. Not all Kroger stores have pharmacies and the new Novi store will include one. Our experience has shown that without proper identification they are very rarely successful since this is a very specialized business and requires its own inventory and staff. It is like a business within a business and clearly it is not covered under the food section. Virtually all of our products are delivered by truck. Our vendor list includes regulars and also new vendors. The I-696 signage is both a convenience and a safety issue for both trucks and store patrons. A lot of the deliveries will be coming in off of I-696. The store is difficult at best to find and that is the biggest reason for wanting a sign back there.

Ed Phillips: Mr. Laser and I met with Mr. Saven and we have decided to drop the request for the word "Food." The usual Kroger program is Kroger, Food and Pharmacy. We realize that while trying to work within the spirit of the Ordinance that might seem a bit redundant. It was Mr. Savenís advice to drop "Food" and we have agreed. We are excited about our new Novi location and expect to become a valued member of the community. The approval tonight will certainly help us achieve our goals.

Don Saven: I did meet with these gentlemen and we went over all of the requirements before coming before this Board. One of the issues out there was certainly "Food." Kroger is definitely noted as a food retail type of establishment so there was no need for it. The building does sit back at a substantial distance and is at an angle. They will probably build to the east for future development adjacent to Kroger so they wouldnít be able to have any signage in that area. Basically, everything is coming off of that building.

Chairman Harrington indicated that there were eleven (11) notices sent to neighbors and there were no approvals or dissaprovals.


There was no audience participation.


Member Brennan: I am very pleased to have Kroger in this community and I would like to work with them. One, I would like to get real clear on the signs because I am a little confused. There is one sign that says "Kroger" on the front of the building and that sign is two hundred ten (210) square feet.

Ed Phillips: The Kroger logo is somewhat of a handicap. There is a great big monstrous center here and a descender. The routine in Novi is to box off the area and that is why we have submitted two hundred ten (210) square feet. There is thirty six (36), twenty one (21) and eighteen (18) square feet of air space. Some cities have allowed to exclude these areas. When we do that we get to a total of one hundred thirty five (135) square feet and we are allowed one hundred forty one (141) square feet. If the Board could see the ascender problem that we have with this logo it might help a little bit in understanding.

Member Brennan: I just wanted to be clear on what sign was which. The second sign, designated as sign D is also a Kroger sign and that is the one that will be facing Beck, correct?

Ed Phillips: That is correct, it is on the rear of the building.

Member Brennan: The "Food" sign has been dropped so the discussion is on the "Pharmacy." I guess by initial reaction is that there is not any history that without that sign there will be a problem. I would prefer to deal with the "Pharmacy" sign later when it is demonstrated that the lack of the sign is a problem. I have no problem with the request for the sign on the front or the sign on the back. I would like to hold back on the "Pharmacy" issue until I am convinced that there is a problem.

Member Fannon: Is the rear sign lit?

Ed Phillips: Yes.

Member Fannon: So if you would have done your Kís and Gís right than you wouldnít even be here?

Ed Phillips: Yes.

Member Fannon: I wrote down the exact same notes that Member Brennan just said. I said no to "Food," no to "Pharmacy," and yes to both Kroger signs to start with. If there is a problem than I felt the same way. I think that the sign looks great from the street and is going to be neat.

Member Reinke: I agree with Mr. Fannonís comments. The two Kroger signs I can agree with but the "Pharmacy" sign must be proven to me first.

Ed Phillips: The Board would be willing at a later date to hear that?

Member Brennan: This is new construction and new operation so we are hesitant to give a lot of signage to something where a hardship is not demonstrated. I understand the case that not all Kroger stores have a pharmacy. If you came in six months after the fact and said that every other Kroger store that we have a pharmacy sign than our revenues are forty (40) percent better. Than maybe you have a case.

Ed Phillips: Could this portion be tabled?

Member Brennan: I would recommend that we drop it at this point and if it is a problem than come back. You will have to have some evidence and facts.

Chairperson Harrington: You face a problem with a nearly identical case with Home Depot. They were unsuccessful with their additional sign request for building materials and garden. Anyone that comes to this Kroger store will know what you sell and we have a problem with descriptive signs. We are delighted to have you here but you will have a heavy burden to get that pharmacy sign unless you have some compelling evidence.

Ed Phillips: All Home Depotís have garden centers and building materials but not all Krogerís have pharmacies.

Chairperson Harrington: Well, that is a marketing issue. I was struck when you drove by on Grand River because you could not even see the food sign from the road and I could barely read the pharmacy sign.

Moved by Reinke,

Seconded by Bauer,


Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) Motion Carried


Case No. 00-048 filed by Amor Sign Studios representing Art Van Furniture

Amor Sign Studios representing Art Van Furniture is requesting a variance for an awing sign.

David Nowicki was present and duly sworn in.

David Nowicki: What we are asking for is we would like to construct an awning over our customer pick up area. That area encompasses two (2) roll up doors. We want the awning to read customer pick up, and just help our customers find that area. There are fifteen (15) dock doors on the rear side of that building.


There was no audience participation.

Chairman Harrington: We had seventeen (17) notices sent, no approvals, no objections.


Member Brennan: I have been back there, and have picked up stuff back there, it does make sense. I think the identification would be handy, it does not advertise. I do not have a problem.

Chairman Harrington: I donít have a problem with the concept. But the sign is huge. It is bigger than some of the tenant signs for the retail spaces for across the way. So I think it is a great idea, I just think if the rendering is going to be anything close to the size of what is going to go in in its final form, it is too big. I think what you really need is some sort of modest directional thing out there in the main driveway that has an arrow pointing to the customer pick up and then a smaller sign.

David Nowicki: The awning itself would be thirty-five (35) feet.

Chairman Harrington: I was talking about the lettering. I think the lettering is twice the size of that it has to be.

David Nowicki: It is about two (2) feet tall.

Member Brennan: Does he need a variance to put a sign on the awning?

Don Saven: Correct.

David Nowicki: The awning would be constructed of a vinyl material, and the color would be from the sign for the copy. Behind that would be florescent lighting to illuminate that in the evening hours.

Member Brennan: We understand the need for the awning, the issue is do you need fourteen (14) feet.

Member Reinke: I agree with Mr. Harrington. I think that a twelve (12) inch high letter is more than adequate and not have something so intrusive as eighteen (18) inches high. I think a twelve (12) inch high letter would be sufficient. My idea and suggestion would be that the verbiage is there, but the maximum of the letters be twelve (12) inches high.

Member Brennan: Do you have the authority to move on the size of this thing?

David Nowicki: Yes, we would be happy to reduce it to the one (1) foot size.

Member Reinke: I think it will be governed by the size of the letters, it will be less than fourteen (14) feet. I do not have a problem with trying to define that if we define it down to the letters being no more than twelve (12) inches.

Member Brennan: Can you make a quick calculation on if the letters are twelve (12) inches high and with all that verbiage, how long would the sign be?

David Nowicki: I wish I could do that, but I do not work in the design department. My first guess would be between ten (10) and twelve (12) feet.

Member Reinke: I would think that it would sufficiently fit that in. So you are going down to twelve (12) square feet, which I think is sufficient and in my opinion could work with.

Moved by Reinke,

Seconded by Bauer,


Roll Call: Yeas (6) Nays (0) Motioned Carried

Stone City

Show Cause Hearing regarding previously approved variances 98-096 and 99-046 for landscaping and signage.

Roger Suleair: I represent Stone City.

Don Saven: There were two (2) issues that we are taking a look at. One (1) is the completion of the sign, which was approved by this Board which never did take place, and we are requiring it basically be a monument type of sign, which never did become completed. The other issue is the outdoor storage, which was supposed to be defined within the area and what was directed by the Board upon the approval process for this particular project. The storage now consists basically of a elevated brick paved deck, with a landscape type of blocking arrangement plus displays which are on this deck. It was my understanding that everything from the storage standpoint of view within the confines of the fenced area. That is basically what we looked at with the trees being planted in the area so that we wouldnít have the visual from the expressway. As it exists right now, the same conditions still exist that I just talked to Mr. Suleair about.

Chairman Harrington: Sir this is your opportunity to respond to the show cost. The Board has the power if it so chooses to revoke either or both variances that were granted, or take other relief if they think it is appropriate.

Roger Suleair: The first comment would be the sign. We would put the wall around there. We had other management there. We are based out of Utica and we have the satellite office, and in the mean time this was all supposed to be taken of. It is a monument sign, they requested a little decorative wall around the bottom to bring the earth a little higher, some plantings. This should not be a problem at all. I have taken over Beck just to get this taken care of. So we will put the decorative wall, which is a planter I believe that was how the plan was.

Chairman Harrington: How long?

Roger Suleair: A week.

Chairman Harrington: Why has it taken a year?

Roger Suleair: I have not watched it totally. It slipped through what I had going. It was partly that the notices were to the satellite office instead of me. So we terminated the management position, I am running it as an owner. So the wall can be up there in a week. It is the first issue at hand that could be completed.

Chairman Harrington: What about the storage?

Roger Suleair: It is a brick area where the customer come to look at, it is not really a storage item I do not have pallets of brick out there. I do not have any material that is storage out there. A lot of customers in the Novi area like to come on Saturday and Sunday to look at the different types of paving stones and the different ideas on how to do it. The samples are for them to take with them as they go. It is not there to get more exposure, it is a hidden spot. We were trying to accommodate the customers so that they could look at the decorative pavers instead of weeds growing out front. There are shrubs to give greenery adding greenbelt to it. It is set back from the roads and hidden behind the house out front. So I was not under the impression that is was violating this.

Don Saven: To give a better perception of what I was talking about, here is a picture on that file. That is what is located outside the fence line which was at the entrance to your business. What he had done, the raised that is where the displays are located on, where the stone is located in the panel so that customers can take a look at it.

Chairman Harrington: Is the Cityís position that these materials should be moved into an enclosed area?

Don Saven: Absolutely. This was the variance we gave them for the outdoor storage when we first came in here. How many more years do you have there?

Roger Suleair: Another year.

Don Saven: This was for a temporary allowance for them to be in there until they could find another place. We located the outdoor storage in an area within the confines of the fence area. What has taken place is with this, the added item outside the fence. Well this is outside the fence line.

Chairman Harrington: We did not give them a variance to put it outside the fence line correct?

Don Saven: No we did not. We were specific about the location of where we would place all of these materials.

Roger Suleair: Does the patio itself violate anything?

Don Saven: The patio is a structure.

Member Reinke: It is basically a temporary use. Correct? I think we tried to work with the applicant and give him some relief, and it has expanded out to more than what it is. I think he needs to comply with the variance as granted. If he is not in compliance, we need to rescind the variance.

Roger Suleair: Would it be allowable to move the panels and adjust the patio itís a non-cemented in a dry lake a viewing item that adds to the look of it. It is not a storage. We added expense to beautify the look. I was here at the board and there was a big issue about more landscape, and the greenbelt, make the place look better. That is what I was trying to do. I could see if I was putting empty pallets, storage material, gravel or stuff like that. The last thing I would want to do would be to degrade the look of the front of the building. Again I am not here to snug what was given to me, I was very appreciative. The look was to enhance a little bit more for the convenience of customers, not for my use. It was homeowners such as yourself who are working a lot during the day, and would like to grab some samples. I canít have them jump the fence, I can not leave the fence open. I could move the panels, the a frames out and put them back behind the fence and tell them to only come during that time. The intent was not to sell something else, or to abuse what was already given to me.

Member Brennan: Given the facts of this case, we have got ownership change. I do not think this gentleman has been devious. I think perhaps his suggestion is a fair compromise given that they are only there another year. But, if he were to move these vertically placed panels inside on the other side of the fence, leave the patio brick as it is. It is not visually negative to me. I think that might be a reasonable compromise on this issue.

Chairman Harrington: I think we have two (2) separate issues here. One (1) is the apparent refusal to make a temporary sign permanent. That is different in my view from the situation that we have from the outdoor storage. There is nothing to conceivably to relate to the outdoor storage as Don has described as being within the spirit of anything we did. I think it is a separate enforcement issue. I think he is in violation. He is not here on a variance request tonight. Don has indicated that he is in violation, and I think a reasonable period of time of fifteen (15) days to remove it or else let Mr. Watson and the City Attorneys and the Ordinance officers deal with it. But that is not even close to anything that we have jurisdiction to do procedurally. I donít think we can give you a temporary storage for that stuff. We do not have property owners have an opportunity to comment, and it is outside the scope of what is before the board. We need a full hearing. That is separate from the signage issue. I donít like that sign. I did not like it when it was approved it is an off premise sign. It is a lot like the one that we turned down tonight in the childcare facility. I remember the arguments on that sign about truck needing to locating Stone City, etc.. I do not think Stone City is that hard to see off of Grand River. I think there has been opportunity to move forward and get a permanent sign. It has not been important enough for somebody to install a permanent sign. I think the temporary sign should come down. You have know about this for more than a week. You could have written a letter and stated that you were now doing it. Or can you put it over to next month. Now we are hereafter ten oíclock at night having to deal with this temporary sign which should have been fixed a year ago. My vote will be to get rid of the temporary sign period.

Member Reinke: I agree with your comment on that. But, as far as the other part. I think they need to live within the variance that was granted. To extend it out further than what they knew what was defined, that was negligence on their part.

Member Fannon: I have the same feelings as Mr. Harrington. I think I voted against the sign. I think it is one of the ugliest signs in the City of Novi, so I would say that it should be removed. Expanding the outdoor storage is a problem for everybody. If we allow things to happen, we donít set precedence all the time, but that would be one. We would need to deal with they are either in violation or not. If they are what are we going to do? Get out of violation, or ask for a variance to keep that the way it is.

Member Brennan: Jim, what will we do next?

Moved by Harrington,

Seconded by Reinke,





Roll Call: Yeas (5) Nays (0) Motion Carried


Chairman Harrington: Sir, the motion has been approved five (5) zero (0) you are to remove the sign within fifteen (15) days. My recommendation to you is that the outdoor storage as describe here and is shown in the picture be discontinued because the issue is not in front of us, but it will be in an enforcement action relative to citations and tickets.

Roger Suleair: Could the recommendation be made that I bring it back in the variance as far as just for the patio? I will remove any of the samples. Could I bring that up as far as the patio and the landscaping.

Chairman Harrington: There has not been a formal determination made that patio as such is a structure is in violation of anything. But it sounds like it is, and you need to take appropriate action, and you are free to file whatever variance request you want. That is the way you get around the strict enforcement of the ordinances to get a variance and get permission. Normally before you do it. Not afterward, and certainly not after a show cause.

Other Matters

Flaming Shish

Don Saven: The owner had ordered special tables and chairs that had not arrived when I went to inspect the facilities. There is not much that I can do at this time and I hope that he gets them before the end of the season.

Fountain Walk

Don Saven: We had an additional meeting with our city attorney based upon some reviews of the sign ordinance. The facing of the stores is to the interior so there are no signs that you can read from the exterior of the building. This was one of the main issues with this project. At first it was looked upon as whether or not they would not need a variance because you couldnít see it from the road. It would be like a covered mall type of operations, where everything is on the inside and you donít see it so therefore a sign permit would not be required. Until recently, it had just been interpreted that they would need variances for those specific issues. This project is a very huge project and will be a very long meeting. I was wondering if the Board would like to hold a special meeting for this issue?

Chairperson Harrington: What time frame are we looking at?

Don Saven: Sometime before September.

Chairperson Harrington: If those buildings are not up than there will be a problem. We can set a meeting if we want but we must know what the perimeters of what is being proposed to us and what the adequacy of the underlying documentation is going to be. It can be a seven billion dollar project but I will have a real problem with approving a comprehensive sign package when there are still bulldozers out there and no walls up.

Don Saven: I understand what you are saying but there are other issues that are part of this such as directional signs. This is very complex and this is like nothing I have ever seen before. The other issue is that we canít see any of the mock-ups and that is something that they would have to address. They are looking at some type of direction to take. Mr. Arroyo will be presenting all of the items that we are looking at for these variances and what he interprets should be done with this sign package. I do not want the Board going into this blind.

Chairperson Harrington: How far is this project from opening?

Don Saven: It will open all at once within a two month time frame.

Chairperson Harrington: When?

Don Saven: September 2001.

Chairperson Harrington: Why do we need to deal with signs fourteen (14) months in advance?

Don Saven: I think that there are issues with their leasing programs.

Member Reinke: I understand that they want to be assured that they will have proper identification because this is a unique new type of development. Until we can see halfway what we are going to have and what we are going to be working with I have a problem. Renderings are expensive and that is why we ask for "mock-ups." I am wondering if they can put together a basic information identification package for us to initially review rather than committing to a special meeting to try and pin things down. We can educate ourselves and be a little more up to speed. This would allow us to look at it earlier but I agree totally with the Chairman that fourteen months ahead of time is a problem.

Don Saven: The whole project is a variance and every one of the signs is a variance.

Chairman Harrington: I would request that a copy of this discussion go to whomever Mr. Saven is dealing with so that there are no surprises when they come in front of us. Also, so that they are not disappointed if the Board has determined that we can make any decisions until 1) we see the whole project and 2) until we see the concept of what they are trying to do. They may be in front of the wrong Board and over the next fourteen (14) months they should be going in front of City Council. They can pass an Ordinance dealing with signs for a project of this nature. It is not the ZBAís job to dish out three hundred (300) variances. We are spot zoning the entire project and that is inappropriate, that is not what this Board should be doing. If every one of those signs is a variance off the get go then everyone should be denied unless there is a hardship. If it is just advertising and marketing and does not bare some compelling relationship to the criteria that we use than they will get turned down. Maybe they want to know that they will get turned down before they sign the leases. Why canít they be similar in nature to Twelve Oaks Mall? It is a nice mall and their parking lot is full. Town Center, Main Street and Twelve Oaks have all had to fit in with what City Council has done with the sign Ordinance over the years. Why are we going back to square one and even considering scads of variances? Their remedy should be City Council and they should get a special sign package for this. We are not in the sign design business and is not the role for this Board.

Member Brennan: I agree completely. The developer should know that unless the new Council has a completely different perspective of the sign Ordinance they should take a close look at it. We are not going to give them three hundred (300) variances and unless the Council has changed they are not going to be receptive to all kinds of variances. Perhaps they need to understand the seriousness that this community takes with respect to the sign ordinance. I am sure that we have a reputation throughout the state but I think that it is a good reputation. If Council is going to consider a car blanche change of heart than I guess that is their option but I hope that it is not.

Chairperson Harrington: They have the access to expert witnesses, planners and people that can compare and contrast the various projects. If this area project needs some special consideration by way of an Ordinance than that is where it should come from but not us. We will do our job and make the calls but they should be looking very hard at it. There may be other developments in this community in the future which that can be used as a pattern for. Maybe someone can use the Main Street package as a foot print. Not the same or identical, it needs its own unique identity but why is that not a starting point for this new shopping center project?

Member Bauer: If my mind hasnít failed me, this Board did not set the signs for Twelve Oaks Mall. I believe that the Council set everything for that project.

Chairperson Harrington: We will meet anytime, anyplace that we have to to get our job done. We will have a special meeting if we have to but we donít have any business wasting peopleís time. I think that it is premature to set a special meeting but if we get materials we will look at them and determine if we think it is appropriate. Meanwhile, I think that Council should be aware of this problem that we see. Maybe there should be a joint Council/Planning task force or subcommittee should be aware of this situation. We donít want to create a problem for the city and its new businesses. We would like to fix these problems and that is why we are here. In addition to this portion of the minutes going to the developers I believe that members from Council and Mayor Clark should receive a copy of this discussion indicating that we think that it is appropriate that they have this feedback and direct input from us. Historically, we used to have a meeting once a year with Council where they would ask us how they could help. We are asking for help right now and I think that is the direction that it needs to come from.

Don Saven: There is some activity of people getting together to look at this sign package like it was done for Main Street. It still does not address the issue that the signs will need a variance. If you are looking at the direction it will be from this committee to come forward with the recommendation.

Chairperson Harrington: There is a difference between seven hundred (700) variances, seventy (70) and seven (7). The difference is zeros and I would like to see the zeros shrink.

Don Saven: For example, this issue of signs not being able to be seen from a public street. That would wipe out a lot of concerns based on the fact that you cannot see the sign.

Chairperson Harrington: The ZBA has no facilities, no budget and it is like pulling teeth to have someone come in to give guidance on technical issues. These are architectural, marketing and advertising issues. We are not talking about a single problem, which is unique, we are talking about a huge development. We will make the call but we will follow the statutory guidelines that we have. We will look at hardship and practical difficulty. We should properly disregard marketing and advertising. That is the criteria that we have to follow, it is state law. It is not a unique isolated situation affecting a particular business owner presumably. This is the entire development scheme concept that is out there.

Don Saven: I just wish that when we start looking at projects like this, that all of these issues are addressed way ahead of time. We see this beautiful project in front of us but the bottom line is that there are some real major issues that are out there.

Chairperson Harrington: The great thing is that we have fourteen (14) months. It sounds like this development has special needs that need to be addressed as a matter of ordinance. If they get permission from Council to do these things than they wonít even have to waste time with us for special meetings. If they donít get permission from Council then that makes it pretty easy for us. We canít even give intelligent feedback until we start seeing something in front of us.

Don Saven: I will be with them and other people on July 28. This is basically off of the feedback that we have received from our city attorney.

The Meeting was adjourned at 10:35 p.m.



Date Approved: September 12, 2000


Sarah Marchioni

Community Planning Assistant