View Agenda for this meeting



TUESDAY, September 12, 2000


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


PRESENT: Members Bauer, Brennan, Harrington, Kocan, Reinke and Sanghvi

ABSENT: Member Fannon (excused)

ALSO PRESENT: Don Saven – Building Official

Sarah Marchioni – 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.

(Tape difficulties until Case No. 00-059)


Chairman Harrington indicated that there are fifteen (15) cases on the agenda. Are there any changes to the agenda? Case No. 00-062 requests a parking setback of 20’ instead of 15’. All in favor to approve the agenda, please say aye. All ayes.


Chairman Harrington indicated that there are minutes from the June 6, 2000 and July 11, 2000. Are there any changes or corrections to the minutes? Hearing none, all in favor say aye. All Ayes. Minutes approved as written.



  1. Case No. 00-044 filed by Connie Sherman
  2. Connie Sherman is requesting an extension of a previously granted variance.

    Connie Sherman was present and duly sworn in.

    Connie Sherman explained that her builder would not be able to anything until winter so she is requesting an extension of her previously granted variance.


    There was no audience participation.

    Moved by Brennan,

    Seconded by Bauer,


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

  3. 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 six directional signs.

Matt Quinn was present and duly sworn in.

Matt Quinn stated that there were a number of changes made to the signage proposed for Novi Town Center. Some of the changes were: the number of signs reduced; the size of the signs reduced; reduced number of businesses on the sign; and reduced number of arrows on the sign. They had discussed how important the TC symbol was for the sign.

The board felt the signage presented was overwhelming and confusing. The board suggested tabling the matter until the November meeting to come up with new designs.


There was no audience participation.


3) Case No. 00-059 filed by Lee Mamola, representing Clements Industrial Building

Lee Mamola, representing Clements Industrial Park is requesting that the property on Roethel Drive (lots 8,9,10) be allowed to be developed as if it did not abut residential zoned property to allow for the construction of two buildings. If this is not the case the following variances are requested: 1) Building "A" a 90’ rear yard setback variance, Building "B" a 52’ rear yard setback variance; 2) a 90’ parking lot setback variance; 3) a waiver of the berm requirement; 4) a waiver of a sound engineer analysis. Please note; Requests 1-4 were previously approved in Case No. 98-078; 5) a variance of sixteen (16) parking spaces (Estimate).

1) Building "A" Required rear yard setback: 110’

Proposed: 20’

Variance needed: 90’


Building "B" Required: 110’

Proposed: 10’

Variance needed: 52’

2) Required setback from residential district: 100’

Proposed: 10’

Variance needed: 90’

3) Required: 10’-15’ high berm

Proposed: Off-site landscaping on adjacent Rotary Park site subject to City’s approval

Variance needed: Waiver to the berm requirement


4) Required: Certified Sound Engineer Noise analysis

Variance needed: Waiver of the Sound Engineer Noise analysis

5) Parking spaces required: 88

Proposed: 76

Variance needed: 16 (spaces) – (Estimate)

Lee Mamola was present and duly sworn in.

Lee Mamola: (tape begins) …large bay industrial spaces that will not have a large number of employees in them. They intend it to be primarily wholesale and warehouse. There is a lot of volume needed for the goods to be stored. They don’t tend to collect a lot of people.

Chairman Harrington indicated that there were seven (7) notices sent to neighbors and there was no approval and no disapprovals.


There was no audience participation.


Rod Arroyo: The applicant is correct, there was a change in the ordinance. There can be a fairly wide variation parking for industrial uses. One of the reasons we put in the square footage standard was because of the fact that sometimes you have speculative industrial and may not know the number of employees. In this particular instance, I think they did get caught between the ordinance change. In the past, often Council had included in their motion to include an ordinance change that projects that were already in, that were grandfathered. They didn’t do that this time; they could have, but did not. This is an unusual case.

Chairman Harrington: Rod, do you see, from a planning perspective, any conceivable safety issue arising out of the shortage of sixteen (16) spaces for parking?

Rod Arroyo: No, particularly if the applicant is careful in their leasing operation to make sure that the users that are coming in are those that are not intensive in terms of the number of employees. As long as they are willing to do that and be careful in the way that they operate the business, I don’t see there would be a significant problem.

Chairman Harrington: With respect to the four (4) variances which we approved earlier, there has been a change in terms of the development, square footage and the light. Do you see any substantial impact on that square footage and the building proposal on the variances that we approved previously?

Rod Arroyo: No.

Member Bauer: Lee, you said that you are proposing seventy-two (72), we have here seventy-six (76).

Lee Mamola: I thought I counted seventy-two (72)

Rod Arroyo: It is seventy-two (72) because if you subtract eighty-eight (88) from seventy-two (72) you get the sixteen (16).

Member Brennan: Can you reiterate the comments you made about the improvements to the park? I remember that being something in consideration when we voted last. You are saying, Council did not want a public entity to make improvements to the park?

Lee Mamola: They did not want the private developer coming along and making improvements to that part of the park.

Member Brennan: I would say that if you had the opportunity to make that offer, given you have a new Council…

Lee Mamola: Mr. Clements, who is in the audience, is proposing to do so. The diagram before you shows the development of a softball field or play fields. That was not part of our proposal. We were going to level it, grade it, seed it, plant trees and look for a small detention on the property so that parks and recreation could do what they needed. There was a need for volleyball and soccer fields in the neighborhood. We also took it to the Rotary Club and received the support of the club. They thought this development was a good idea prior to going to City Council.

Mr. Clements: I think one of the reasons was City Council did not want the detention or they did not want to be involved with me. I was willing to put the whole parking in for them. I didn’t think they wanted to be involved because of the retention pond was going to be on the edge of the property and as a result of it, I think that is what they were against. I think they voiced the fact that they wanted their property to be their property and my property to be on my side of the line. But I had made the offer to do whatever I could.

Member Brennan: That having been said I support your petition.

Member Kocan: Mr. Mamola, this is light industrial abutting residential correct? I worked really hard in getting the berm into the light industrial abutting residential. I know that there are no homes there, but I think about the factory that was across the street from the Northville Cider Mill, that was constantly making noise. It is a park across the street from a factory, and they just do not mix. So I am very big on having a berm which mitigates noise. Which also enhances the park like setting. If you have an industrial next to a park, it should have a berm in my estimation. I may not be a stickler on the ten (10) to fifteen (15), but I am looking for some kind of berm between two (2) properties. The noise analysis that was waived two (2) years ago, was this because this was a speculative building and we do not know what uses are going in at this time?

Lee Mamola: No, it was primarily because of recognizing the fact there were no residents ever to be living adjacent to this development. It would forever be a park. What we have done is taken the approach from the design stand point that the site plan and the development was designed per the light industrial standards as if it did not abut residential property. The winding drive is Ashbury and all the yellow is Rotary Park. The dash lines and the yellow at one time was zoned light industrial. It was city property. When the Parks and Recreation comes in to do their Site Plan approval for the development of the park, they were at a quandary, they did not want split zoning on their development for their Site Plan approval. They could have rezoned the area to the south to be industrial and we would not be here with all of the variances tonight. In order for that to happen, the City would have to build berms per the requirements stated, build walls and get a special land use variance. This path did not seem logical. We made our comment and concerns noted that we would now be abutting residential with the City’s rezoning. They said that it is better that a private sector come in and seek the variances and than the City seek the variances against its own ordinances. This is the history of how we became abutting so much residential.

Member Kocan: If I heard Dan Davis correctly at the last meeting, they are looking to place soccer fields or some other kind of park land in that particular location just south of the proposed.

Lee Mamola: There is continued development for Rotary Park, but no continued developments for that area of the park between Mr. Clements property and Ashbury Drive. As of several weeks ago, the Parks and Recreation did not have anything confirmed in terms of long term planning for that area.

Chairman Harrington: Lee, would a berm requirement prevent you from building as proposed?

Lee Mamola: Yes. By the time you take the heights of the berm and you take it out over the depths of the parcel, which are about three hundred (300) feet deep, you take away all practical development possibilities for that site. There is roughly sixty (60) feet from our property line going north and a forty (40) foot front yard setback and we are left with minimal development possibilities. Again the other issues I stated on the letter, infra structure to this site was long before the current I-1 ordinance came into effect. This infrastructure was put in the early 80’s and the I-1 ordinance came into effect in the mid 80’s. It was set up, designed and platted for entirely different kind of industrial development.

Chairman Harrington: I think berms are important. I think the Board’s attitude toward berm requirements and sound waivers has evolved. How about a six (6) foot berm, or what could we do in mitigation in this situation?

Lee Mamola: I agree that berms are important as planning tools. In this case I do not see any value of this berm except to diminish or erase any possibilities of this development of this particular site, which does not have any body living next to it. Berms do not effect sound at the level that people believe that they do. I think it would be reasonable for this board if they chose to require a sound analysis for the tenant when the plan comes in. I don’t see any problem with that, but at the approval process, it would be very difficult.

Mr. Clements: Also you might be interested to know that in light industrial, there is not any type of machinery involved where there is heavy stampings. The majority of those building along there are generally warehouse service type things, with very little movement or action other than warehousing in and out. I do not plan on having any body in there with machinery of any kind.

Rod Arroyo: I think it is important that there be some type of screening between residential and light industrial. I asked ask Ms. Lemke what level of landscape screening they have proposed Light Industrial and residential. She indicated to me that this is a row of Evergreen trees however, the detail have not been worked out as they are not in the final landscape plan development at this stage. I do think it is important that there be screening between the two and I think you may want to ask Ms. Lemke to provide for dense vegetation to provide for an appropriated screening transition between the two (2) uses and how this side is able to handle that.

Linda Lemke: Unfortunately the area is only ten (10) foot in width so you could get a three (3) foot slightly higher that would help somewhat. But that is what the setback is along that south property line. It also limits the type of Evergreen trees you would put in there. You could put in some Colorado Spruce, that would be narrower, or an Arborvitae. They have not worked out the details yet, it is typically a Final Site Plan Submission. They are showing a continuous row of Evergreens across the southern property line.

Member Kocan: The ten (10) feet, Linda, is that because they are setting back only ten (10) feet from the property line as opposed to a hundred (100) feet?

Linda Lemke: Yes, from the property line to the parking is ten (10) feet.

Member Kocan: Looking back at previous blueprints, at one time your buildings were considerably smaller than what they are on the top blueprint. The one on top is thirty-eight thousand (38,000) square feet and back in 1998 it was twenty-five thousand (25,000) square feet. The other building is almost twenty-four thousand (24,000) and it was twenty three thousand (23,000) in 1998. Is this why we are encroaching more toward the residential property and the need for more parking spaces, or does that have no bearing on this?

Lee Mamola: No. When you add the totals of both buildings, the previous plan and this plan, I think there is a different of approximately one thousand (1000) square feet. One proposal is approximately sixty thousand (60,000) and the other proposal is a little over (60,000) square feet as well. Some of the square foot numbers are indicating the shop square footage and office areas and there are other numbers indicating total square footage. Both proposals total about the same square footage.

Member Kocan: The businesses that are moving in, you do not know what they are right now, correct?

Lee Mamola: Correct.

Member Kocan: So when they do come in, it will have to go to the Planning Commission for Special Land Use approval, correct?

Lee Mamola: Correct.

Member Kocan: At that time, that is when the noise analysis would be required, so you are asking to waive the noise analysis because it is a speculative building and we do not know what is going in?

Lee Mamola: Correct.

Chairman Harrington: On the noise analysis issue, you do not need that waiver tonight do you? You would like to have it so that you do not have to come back here?

Lee Mamola: That is correct. We have every intention of the tenant complying with the noise standards of the Ordinance and prior to issuing the building permit that has to be documented. My understand of this is it basically shifts it from a planning overview to a building department overview.

Member Kocan: I do not believe that is correct. Anytime a Special Land Use comes in, they are speculative buildings, and as soon as you get a tenant, it will come before the Planning Commission for a Public Hearing so that all of the Special Land Use issue can be met.

Lee Mamola: I understand, I do not disagree. I am talking about the study has to be submitted.

Moved by Brennan,

Seconded by Reinke,



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



Member Kocan: I am not understanding what we are doing with item No. 3.

Member Brennan: It is going to be a landscaping barrier.

Member Kocan: No berm at all? No two (2) foot and no three (3)?

Member Brennan: No berm at all.

Member Kocan: Left up to Linda Lemke to determine?

Chairman Harrington: Frank, I would support your motion for 1,2,3 and 5 provided that we maintain continuing jurisdiction over the parking issue. I do have residual concern especially because we do not know what type of tenants will be in there. I think this board should have the opportunity to take a look at that parking variance in future in the event there is a problem of people parking on the street.

Member Brennan: If there was a problem with parking on the street, they would be sited by the building department. The building is already up for the variances for they want. Mr. Harrington’s additions are so included in my motion.

Chairman Harrington: This motion does not include the waiver of the noise analysis. Otherwise, Member Brennan has moved for approval for variance 1,2,3 and 5 as contained on our agenda, continuing jurisdiction over the parking.

Don Saven: Rod, in terms of the Preliminary Site Plan approval, the request for the sound analysis, is that conditioned that Special Land Use adjacent to a residential section. Does that have to be approved tonight or can we have continuing jurisdiction on this matter?

Rod Arroyo: There are two (2) ways this is being handled. Essentially, we are in the Planning Commission asking that a sound analysis be provided when the application first comes in for a Special Land Use because the ordinance requires it. We also it has been discussed here at the table they City Attorney has ruled that if you have a speculative development that when the individual tenant comes to the city for approval they must come before the Planning Commission for Special Land Use approval and submit a sound analysis. Unless they can show their impacts are the same as the previous sound analysis that was done. This does need to be acted upon now in my opinion to be consistent with the previous applications of Special Land Use the way the ordinance is written. Or you can do it in a separate motion.

Member Kocan: Is the chain link fence still included? I am willing to give on the setback. You are asking for ninety (90) feet. You are asking for no berm. I would like to see a nice rod iron fence along there with the trees. I do not know if that is within our jurisdiction to do that, but I would like to see that detention pond…

Chairman Harrington: Member Brennan, I understood your motion to simply be that you had moved to approve 1,2,3 and 5 consistent with our prior approval except for the parking. Part of your motion is not what should be put there in place of the berm, whether it is a chain link fence or a three (3) foot berm or a what kind of trees. That is going to go back to the Planning Commission and it is within their jurisdiction not up to us to show them how to mitigate the berm requirement. Is that your motion?

Member Brennan: That is correct. I am convinced that the requirement for the ten (10) to fifteen (15) foot berm is not a requirement. For the purpose of isolating this or giving some type of barrier between the park and the Light Industrial use, I am convinced Ms. Lemke will come up with a landscaping plan that will satisfy that requirement.

Chairman Harrington: Rod, do I understand that they need to get an approval on the waiver and later when they have a tenant, our ordinance requires them to address the noise analysis issue? And if they want a waiver at that time they will have to come back and see us then?

Rod Arroyo: Yes, they have to deal with it at two (2) levels. When they first come forward with the project, because they are proposing buildings with loading areas in specific locations, and they have to show in concept that they could meet the sound analysis and the noise standards of the ordinance. At that time they may have speculative tenants in mind. When the individual tenants come in for approval, they are subject to special land use approval and they must also show that they are meeting the sound and noise standards of the city. It may mean they may have to do an additional noise analysis to prove that. That is the way this has been implemented in the City.

Chairman Harrington: They are coming to us with for an approval for a variance on a waiver on a speculative basis and they may be back again?

Rod Arroyo: I think if I understand the application, they were asking that no sound analysis be done. They were asking a waiver of all sound analysis for the site because it is adjacent to a park, and not adjacent to a residential. I think that was the original request.

Chairman Harrington: What are they doing now?

Lee Mamola: Mr. Chairman, that was basis, but we would have no problem at whatever appropriate stage of the application that the potential tenant be subject to the sound analysis. I am more than confident that almost every tenant that will come into the facility will be able to comply with the sound acoustic portions of the ordinance, and could justify that with a sound study. I simply ask whatever it way it does that it would be shifted to the tenant application procedure.

Member Brennan: I remember specifically this case, and I remember waiving this requirement two (2) years ago, because the operation was a warehouse next to a park. The park was considered a residential property. I have no problem making a motion that would give them that same waiver tonight followed up by verbiage with once the tenants are identified, coming back to planning for the noise analysis.

Chairman Harrington: I have changed my position on the waiver since the initial vote on that. Unless there is compelling hardship other than financial to grant any waivers on noise engineering analysis anymore. If there is to be a change in the ordinance, it should go to Council. But based on the assurance that the tenant is going to have to address the issue, he needs a waiver he is going to come back and see us, I am going to approve the motion so that we could get this project going forward.

Moved by Brennan,

Seconded by Bauer,


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

  1. Case No. 00-054 filed by Gary Kade of 43484 Scenic
  2. Gary Kade is requesting a rear yard variance of nine (9) feet for the construction of a sunroom located at 43484 Scenic Lane.

    Required: 35 feet

    Proposed: 29 feet

    Variance needed: 6 feet

    Gary Kade was present and duly sworn in.

    Gary Kade: As you recall, we were here presented the case and some neighbors had some concerns, we spoke with the neighbors and resolved the issues with the neighbors that were present. In fact we changed our request from nine (9) foot to six (6) foot. The neighbor to the east of the O’Brien’s was not here and have since returned from vacation and given an approval letter. The neighbor down the street gave a letter of approval as well.

    Chairman Harrington: The board has received and will receive a letter from Rick and Pauline Topas at 43475 Scenic Lane who approve. Also Pat and Diane Galiger at 43476 Scenic Lane. Were these person here at the last meeting?

    Gary Kade: No, those were the two (2) that were not here. One being the neighbor to the east and the other at lot 40, had written a letter mainly prompted by Mr. Cotton, who was here. We diligently have worked on this. We do have one neighbor Mr. Kuzino who is in lot 12, Mr. O’Brien and I have spoken with Mr. Kuzino, who likes things the way they are.

    Chairman Harrington indicated that there are no additional correspondences sent out or received other than the three (3) approvals and three (3) disapprovals from the last time the case was heard.


    There was no audience participation.


    Member Brennan: I was not here last month. However, whenever we have a conflict in neighborhoods we encourage the petitioner’s to work things out with the neighbors. It appears that you have done that, even with the gentleman that did not agree. You have my support.

    Member Bauer: I have no problem with it.

    Moved by Reinke,

    Seconded by Bauer,


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


    Don Saven: Chairman Harrington, please clarify what the variance is going to be.

    Chairman Harrington: It is my understanding you are asking for a six (6) foot variance?

    Gary Kade: That is correct.

    5) Case No. 00-017 filed by Allied Signs, representing Kohl’s Department Store

    Allied Signs, representing Kohl’s Department Store is requesting a variance to allow the relocation of a second wall sign approved by ZBA case 1693 "B" from the south elevation to the front or east elevation. The original variance allowed the second sign based on the additional entrance on the south side of the building. Kohl’s Department Store is located in West Oaks II on Novi Road.

    Jackie Rosiak was present and duly sworn in.

    Jackie Rosiak: I am here today to request a variance for our second sign at our store in Novi. Currently we do have two (2) signs existing at this location. It is correct that we have remodeled. We did have an entrance on the east location as well as the one on the south. We have had signs on both elevations as well, banks and cash registers at both entrances. Since the remodeling has started, we anticipate that to be done in mid November, we only have one elevation map. We have increased to have four hundred (400) lineal feet on the east elevation. Part of what we moved into used to be a court yard between us and Jo Ann. Now that is where our new entrance is. We also still have registers at both entrances. We are requesting to be able to use both of the signs that we already have. I know that you have all visited our site and I hope that you are pleased with our progress so far. We do have the signs, we put them back up on the building. Primarily we need the signs because we feel that they architecturally balance our building. With the new entrance, it becomes the new focal point. We are hoping to disperse traffic in the parking lot and within the store. We also believe we are in a unique situation, we have two (2) building signs already, we have remodeled to have eighty-seven thousand (87,000) square feet of floor space and now have two entrances on the same elevation, both of which we feel need to be signed. We request that we may be allowed to maintain our current signage which is a four (4) foot six (6) over the main entrance and the two (2) foot over the older entrance. We believe the two (2) foot sign is unobtrusive, the setback from the road is about thirteen hundred (1300) feet, so it is not blaring at you and yet it still identifies that entrance as being an entrance to Kohl’s. People that have shopped there before know that Kohl’s is still in that part of the building as well, reduces the unnecessary traffic build ups in the parking lot and the stores.

    Chairman Harrington indicated that there were three (3) notices sent to neighbors and there was no approval and no disapprovals.


    There was no audience participation.


    Don Saven: The second sign, that is about thirty (30) square foot, is that correct? That was part of the variance that was granted under the original variance of the project.

    Chairman Harrington: When you say the second sign, this would be the that would be on the left if facing from the road and that would be the larger of the two (2) signs?

    Jackie Rosiak: No the smaller.

    Don Saven: This was for the secondary entrance which was facing south at that time.

    Jackie Rosiak: I know that both signs together are less than two hundred (200) square feet. If I read the code correctly, we are allowed up to two hundred fifty (250) square feet so we fall within that.

    Member Brennan: I was struck by the distance between the two (2) entrance ways. I didn’t believe they were on top of each other. I think it makes sense if there was only one identified entrance way, it would make sense it would be cluttered in front of the one end of the building. I think it has value for both identification and parking distribution. These are two (2) signs as she pointed out that are under the allowable square footage. I do not see anything wrong with the request.

    Chairman Harrington: I could not see anything to support it. I know of no case in the history of the City where we have approved two (2) signs on the same façade under any circumstances, much less than you need one to find an entrance. I drove around to fourteen (14) sites, and did not see any twins of signs. There are a lot of merchants who end run what we do by putting signs up behind the glass and we can not control this. I can not conceive of any justification for two (2) signs on that door, not one.

    Member Kocan: I thought it was necessary because there are two (2) entrances into the store.

    Chairman Harrington: Look at all of the grocery stores. There is not a Kroger over each entrance. I think similar cases should produce similar results. It is different when you have a ninety (90) degree façade or a front and back scenario, but here in the same shopping center. The issue may be to take the two (2) signs and combining them with something else.

    Member Reinke: The only reason I have somewhat of an idea of supporting is that separating the doors.

    Chairman Harrington: You may have difficulty getting the majority of the board tonight, you would like to rethink this matter and come back next month. If they knew they were going to only get one (1), the current location of either sign may not be the best for them. They may want to do something different in terms of the placement location and square footage. We can Table it until November or we could vote on it tonight.

    Jackie Rosiak: If I decide to have you vote and I do not get both of the signs then we would have to keep the sign over the new entrance. Would we not be allowed to move it to find a better place or would we have to come back here to do so?

    Chairman Harrington: We do not have a motion at this point.

    Jackie Rosiak: I am trying to find if that is why I should table it.

    Member Brennan: You could go back to Kohl’s and tell them you think you will not get the two (2) signs, but you could take advantage of the full two hundred fifty (250) square foot one sign. They may want to consider that instead of what is before us tonight.

    Member Reinke: The other thing is they may want to reposition or re-layout the sign more in the center section over both of the entrances.

    Jackie Rosiak: It can not go in the center because we designed it on two (2) different plains. Even where it was, it would be disproportionate to where it could be. We could not have it over the entrance, because it is lower and smaller.

    Member Brennan: If you only had one (1) sign that was less than two hundred fifty (250) square feet, you would not have to come back and see us.

    Jackie Rosiak: If I table it we could change it and go for the bigger?

    Member Reinke: I am not promoting a bigger sign. I think she is being led down that path.

    Member Brennan: No, she has pointed out already that they are under the allowable square footage for the combined signage they have right now. If you add the two (2) signs up, it is under the two hundred fifty (250) square feet. My point to her is that she could go back to Kohl’s and propose a sign that is slightly bigger than the combination of these two (2).

    Chairman Harrington: Don, is that correct?

    Don Saven: That I am not sure of. This was a ZBA case and we were looking at a hundred fifty (150) square foot sign.

    Member Reinke: I am saying the size of the sign if what the variance is for. I do not think it is a combination of the two (2). I think it is two (2) individual signs.

    Member Brennan: If you decide to have one (1) sign, you would need to do it within the current ordinance or come back to us for a variance request.

    Jackie Rosiak: I was looking at what I thought was the current ordinance, where it said for a wall sign for single businesses " …a wall sign displayed in building occupy by one (1) business shall not exceed one (1) square foot of signage for each three (3) feet of setback from the center line which is approximately thirteen hundred (1300) square feet…."

    Chairman Harrington: Stop. Member Reinke is saying that you have to comply with the ordinance, and we are willing to work with you. We are willing to Table this until the November meeting to give you a chance to work out the Architectural issues or we could give you a ruling and you would have to re-file.

    Jackie Rosiak: I was trying to get clarification on the square footage.

    Chairman Harrington: We can not tell you that tonight, it is not our department what you can do on the ordinance, sometimes we can calculate, but this time we can not.

    Jackie Rosiak: I would just like to clarify if I say yes, let’s vote, and it is denied, if they decide they would like to scrap this and go for a larger sign, as long as we fall within the code we would not have to come back here?

    Don Saven: First of all, this is not a single business. These are a group of contiguous stores. A single business, one (1) store on a parcel of land. You have received a previous variance at a hundred and fifty (150) square foot and a second sign because it was facing south. The hundred fifty (150) square foot was an approved signage at that time. When only the ordinance would have allowed thirty (30) foot at that time. Now, it is only forty (40) foot. You have an approval at one hundred fifty (150) square foot. Because of the distance it was back you have multiple frontages. That is where the one hundred fifty (150) is from. The two hundred fifty (250) is for a single business.

    Jackie Rosiak: Not within a shopping center?

    Don Saven: That is correct.

    Member Bauer: Tabling it would not do any good. They are already at the maximum for the big sign.

    Jackie Rosiak: Please vote.

    Moved by Reinke,

    Seconded by Sanghvi,


    Roll Call: Yeas (5) Nays (1) Motion Carried

  3. Case No. 00-057 filed by Richard Tanielian of 1280 East Lake Road

Richard Tanielian of 1280 East Lake Road is requesting tow (2) side yard setbacks for the construction of a new home.

Richard Tanielian was present and duly sworn in.

Richard Tanielian: I need a variance for five (5) feet on both sides of my home. My property is only thirty-five (35) foot wide. The way the ordinance is now, I would only be able to build a fifteen (15) foot wide home. I am requesting to build a twenty-five (25) foot wide home.


Bob Andrews: My name is Bob Andrews I live at 1262 East Lake Drive on lot 6. I built my home approximately five (5) years ago. I requested a four (4) foot variance. On the south side of my house, which would be the north side of his proposed house, I have an entrance to my house. Right now, I am six (6) feet, he is requesting to be five (5) feet. I would like it to be another foot to six (6) which would be a total of twelve (12) feet between houses. Mainly for the reason that I have an entrance there. Also, Mr. Tanielian owns lot 8 which is a nonconforming lot with two (2) homes on it which are rental properties. Right now lot 7 is used to park all of the vehicles for the tenants in those structures. I am wondering where these people are going to park if that lot is taken up by a new home. Is there adequate parking available? The house at the lakeside is three (3) units, the house in back is one (1) unit. That is a total of four (4) units. Most people have two (2) or more cars needing quite a bit of room. Weekends everyone on the lake parties and invites over their friends, and I would like to know where they are going to park.

Don Saven: I would like to point out to the board there is a garage in the front that is to be removed. A positive feature is there was going to be an attached garage, that would keep the people from parking a portion of their car in the middle of the road. The issue of the parking may be something with the additional lot 8 concern.

Chairman Harrington indicated that there were twenty-nine (29) notices sent to neighbors and there was no approvals and no disapprovals.


Member Brennan: Should we consider lot 8 in this discussion? Because if this gentleman would not have been here tonight, we would have moved on with the petitioner’s request for two (2) variances. In line with what we have done in the past with that part of town, at first glance it appears to be a reasonable request. Now we have more information presented and ask the petitioner for answers, is that clear to do that?

Member Reinke: I agree. I don’t know how lot 8 can be brought in.

Member Brennan: Maybe we could ask the petitioner what his plans are.

Richard Tanielian: What would you do if I sold the lot to somebody else? They would only own lot 7 and not 8. If they came in here for a variance…

Chairman Harrington: The point is if you are in control of both lots you are in position to control your own hardship. You are in a position to not need a variance at all, you could knock both houses down, and build one large one. So the questions bear asking because the reality is you control both lots, correct?

Richard Tanielian: At this point in time.

Chairman Harrington: I do not think we have the power to tell you that you have to knock a house down and make one big house, but on the other hand that is a factual consideration. I think the board could consider who owns it next door.

Member Brennan: This point that your neighbor has raised is worth discussion.

Member Bauer: What does the fire department usually like between the houses?

Don Saven: I do not know about the Fire Department, but the building department has a minimum of a five (5) foot requirement for fire separation on each side.

Member Bauer: Here if we gave the five (5) we are not at the ten (10).

Don Saven: Right.

Member Brennan: I think the neighbor has raised a legitimate point. Even though the petitioner owns both lots, I would like to hear a response to the adjoining neighbors concerns. You have four (4) on lot 8 and you are taking the garage down, where do all the people park?

Richard Tanielian: There is a similar situation on lot 5. There is a home with a little home behind it, and they park in between the two (2) homes.

Member Bauer: So you are saying the people that live on lot 8 park on lot 8, correct?

Richard Tanielian: No, at this point in time they park on lot 7. The little home on the road parks on the road.

Member Brennan: How many cars can you get between the two (2) houses?

Richard Tanielian: I think we figured out six (6)

Bob Andrews: My other question would be right now all of the cars that enter the property, enter in through lot 7. There is no drive way on either property for lot 8. If that is taken away, how will the vehicles get into lot 8. I do not know if there is enough room on the south side of lot 8 to put another driveway, and if there is right now there is a big tree there.

Chairman Harrington: You came before this board for a variance a number of years ago? Did you get your variance?

Bob Andrews: Yes I did.

Chairman Harrington: Is the granting of this variance going to create a traffic hazard or safety issue?

Richard Tanielian: I do not see how it would.

Chairman Harrington: How are the cars going to get back there to park?

Richard Tanielian: I have two (2) options. I could give them an easement on lot 7 or I create a driveway on lot 8 and take the trees out, which I am prepared to do.

Chairman Harrington: Is it fair that right now if you don’t get the variance or something along the lines of five (5) feet on each side, you can not build a fifteen (15) foot house there? Is that true?

Richard Tanielian: I do not want to build a fifteen (15) foot house there, it would be too skinny. It would have no resale value.

Chairman Harrington: Do you reside in one of the residences?

Richard Tanielian: I used to.

Chairman Harrington: Are they all rental?

Richard Tanielian: yes.

Chairman Harrington: Is the new house going to be a rental?

Richard Tanielian: No.

Member Sanghvi: If you shifted this house and keep six (6) feet on this side and the other two (2) properties are rezoned.

Richard Tanielian: Are you talking about shifting it over the lot lines?

Member Sanghvi: No, not over the lot line. You have five (5) feet, and you need four (4) feet as it shows now.

Chairman Harrington: I think we have a unique opportunity to do something for the north end. The petitioner who seeks relief is in a position to not need any relief. He is in control of both houses. There is no hardship that he can not fix himself. It may be an economic motive or justification, but the fact is he is asking for a variance because of a hardship associated with one lot , but he owns both. I am not inclined to support this variance. I think a message will be sent out that if you own two (2) lots, and unless you have extreme circumstances don’t come to the board when you can fix it by building one (1) house, which will require minimal or no variances. We have consistently supported improvements in real estate values, but given the rental and parking situation, I am not comfortable approving the variance.

Member Reinke: I agree and disagree. Any time we put lots together it is fine, but these existing lots with homes I would like to see something improved. I think getting the garage off the road and in a new home is an improvement. Any other part I think will address itself in time.

Member Kocan: If I was driving in the correct direction, it was pretty tough with the traffic out there. I believe it is lot 10 and lot 11 with brand new homes and it looked like they were on the thirty-five (35) foot lot and looked close to the property line. I know that I saw at least two (2) homes within two (2) or three (3) lots abutting lot 7.

Richard Tanielian: It was a thirty-five (35) or forty (40) maybe.

Member Brennan: I am always concerned adjoining residents. His biggest concern was parking. I think we would satisfy both tenants to get rid of the garage on the road. The petitioner said on record that he would either give easement on his property for parking or put a driveway in on lot 8. That satisfies hopefully the neighbor and allows this gentleman to build a nice home in the area.

Moved by Brennan,

Seconded by Kocan,


Roll Call: Yeas (5) Nays (1) Motion Carried

7) Case No. 00-066 filed by Greg Adair of 23770 Argyle

Greg Adair, homeowner of 23770 Arglye is requesting a rear yard variance to allow construction of a screened porch on the back of their home.

Greg Adair was present and duly sworn in.

Greg Adair: I have just closed on a new home in Brightmoor Park and learned that I was not able to build a screen porch. We are backing up against a protected woodlands. The addition of a screened in porch would not effect any neighbors behind us. I have spoken to my only neighbor and he has no objections. He is planning on doing the same because there is not way that we can survive outside with the insects there on the property. With allergies and severe reactions to insect bites, if I do not have the ability to put in a screened in porch, I will not be able to use the property which I paid a substantial upgrade for. I am requesting that you allow the variance so that we can enjoy the home that we have been dreaming for.

Chairman Harrington: We are very concerned that we keep the wetlands as is, if we make allowances for one (1) exception, where do we stop. It seems they are concerned about the amount of trees that have been removed in Novi over the years and we need to maintain our zoning. Do I understand that your proposed construction will not involve the removal of any trees?

Greg Adair: It will not effect any trees.

Chairman Harrington indicated that there were twenty-one (21) notices sent to neighbors and there were no approvals and one (1) disapproval.


There was no audience participation.


Don Saven: Only for the fact that this is being placed upon the deck. Normally decks can project out up to eighteen (18) foot from the principle building. Based on the fact that it is open and uncovered, but because this is covered is why he is here now.

Member Brennan: That was part of my question if the deck was part of the whole construction. I recall over the last six (6) or seven (7) years we have had a number of cases with the same issues backing up to wetlands. Given that there are not any significant issues with respect to neighbors or the association I do support the petitioner’s request.

Member Bauer: It is not only backing up to the wetlands, it has a thirty-five (35) foot rear yard, so whatever they do they need a variance.

Chairman Harrington: Sir, you only have the one (1) neighbor to your west, and the neighbor to your east has not been built? Do you know who they are?

Greg Adair: No, it is not built. I do not believe it has been sold, I think it is a spec home.

Chairman Harrington: If your variance is approved do you plan to commence construction immediately? So, whoever buys the lot will see whatever it is they are buying into?

Greg Adair: Yes. Further, there will be greenery put on both sides of the home so that there will be a legal barrier.

Don Saven: I would also like point out that there is a park directly behind you correct?

Greg Adair: Yes, that is correct.

Chairman Harrington: Are you telling me in your petition that your family is allergic to mosquitoes?

Greg Adair: Insects, like bees.

Moved by Brennan,

Seconded by Bauer,


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


8) Case No. 00-060 filed by Burt Kassab representing Best Western

Burt Kassab representing Best Western Hotel is requesting variances to allow; off-street parking within the front yard, off-street parking within the side and rear yards, loading space within a side yard and relief from the provision of a berm along Town Center Drive.

1) a) The parking area serves a development of at least two (2) acres in size.

Required: 2 acres

Development size: 1.87 acres

Variance needed: .13 acre

  1. The parking area does not extend into the minimum required front yard setback.
  2. Required front yard setback: 35 feet

    Proposed parking area setback: 27.71 feet

    Variance needed: 7.29 feet

  3. The parking area does not occupy more that fifty percent (50%) of the area between the minimum front yard setback line and building façade setback line.
  4. Required: 50%

    Proposed parking area (front yard): 72.75%

    Variance needed: 22.75%

  5. There parking is screened from all public right-of-way by an ornamental, brick on brick wall or landscaped berm that is 2 ½ feet in height.

Proposed parking area: 3-4 feet below grand of the ROW

Variance needed: The relief for the provisions of the berm along Town Center Drive

2) Side yard Required: 20 feet

Proposed: 0 feet

Variance needed: 20 feet


Rear yard Required: 20 feet

Proposed: 0 feet

Variance needed: 20 feet

  1. Proposed loading space is located within the side yard. (Ordinance requires loading space to be provided in the rear yard.)

4) NOVI CODE OF ORDINANCES, SECTION 2509 (7) C, states: There shall be provided adjacent to the abutting ROW or private road a minimum of a twenty (20) foot wide buffer area. Where adjacent to parking and vehicular use areas the buffer shall include a berm with a minimum height of thirty-six (36) inches.

Mike Kahm and Tad Kreer was present and duly sworn in.

Mike Kahm: We own the overall property. We were before you back in December of 1997 for the two (2) Marriott hotels which both had similar constraints. So we are before you this evening to request your consideration for the overall campus plan and how it fits with the overall Town Center area.

Tad Kreer: I am Land Planner and Landscape Architect with Land Design Studio. I have been actively involved with this project for about a year now. I was also the Planner and Landscape Architect with the two (2) Marriotts. We have had some constraints and practical hardships that have resulted from looking this entire site as a campus plan. In doing that Marriott was looking at developing what is now the Best Western property. We have a property line down the middle of a drive isle creating a twenty (20) foot setback requirement from that particular property area. (looking at the overhead) This parking is already in place for the Marriott product. We had set it up as a campus plan so that we could add parking to the other side of it. The ordinance requires a twenty (20) foot setback from the property line. Those are the kinds of practical difficulties that we have from developing the site. Another one is the grade change from Town Center Drive toward the Marriott site. We are having difficulty creating the berms required along Town Center. As we started developing the campus, we worked closely with Rod Arroyo. The location of the private drive, was looked at a number of different ways. Some of the earlier concepts, we have parking off of the drive lane which was able to free up some areas for additional buffering. It was to give us the allowable two (2) acre requirement for front yard parking within the zoning district. Through the process of where the road was located, it squeezed our property down to 013 acres under the provisions for allowing parking in the front yard. This has created difficulties for us as well. Our whole intent throughout this whole design process is to keep the development in character with the surrounding uses. We have the aerial photo to showing the characteristics of the parking specifically in the front yard along Town Center Drive. As you can see all of the parking is pretty much in the front yard of Town Center Drive. It sort of establishes visual character as you go up and down that corridor. So we are proposing nothing different than what is already in place. In addition to that we were able to provide the twenty (20) foot landscape buffer areas that are required for the particular buffering from the parking along the road. We developed a cross section to show you some of the hardships that we are working with. The ordinance requires, whether you are looking at the parking or the landscape ordinance is a little different, but is between thirty (30) and thirty-six (36) inch berm along this road corridor. We have a variation of about 3.3’ and 4.3’ along the road frontage. We believe we have met the intent of the ordinance and we are proposing to meet with Linda Lemke in doing some supplemental buffer planting along the corridor to provide some additional screening. We do see that the first four (4) ordinances are relative to this front yard parking and the hardships we have created with the acreage concept being under the two (2) acres. The porte chochere and the loading is simply for loading donuts, bagels and small trucks. This is in a side yard and not in the rear yard as required. This is a limited service hotel, so it is not significant in terms of what is going in there. This is the same kind of loading that was approved for the Marriott hotel next door.

Chairman Harrington: If you were in the rear yard of the Best Western would you be in the front yard of the Marriott?

Ted Kreer: Yes.

Chairman Harrington indicated that there were ten (10) notices sent to neighbors and there was no approvals and no disapprovals.


There was no audience participation.


Chairman Harrington: Rod, in your view are these variances reasonable and essential to the project?

Rod Arroyo: I believe there are some practical difficulties associated with meeting the ordinance requirements due to the characteristics of the site. Particularly the drive access that currently exists is the southern boundary of this property. There has been as the applicant mentioned a number of discussions about how that might be constructed. We do believe the way it was constructed is a benefit in that there is not parking directly off of it. They were also looking at meandering it to the south to make the property larger, but we felt it had some negative traffic safety implications. If you tried to bow out the roadway to make the site larger, it also constrains the size of the site. Also the fact that there is the existing parking situation to the rear where the court yard is located. The parking abuts the property line as it currently exists. The grade differential is something that is unique. I also look at the history of the way this particular property has been treated. They have been before you for the court yard and the town place who asked for some consideration for front yard parking. I believe this board saw that it was appropriate given the type of campus atmosphere that was being developed. I think you have talked tonight about consistency given the fact you thought that was appropriate then there may be some consideration given at this point as well.

Chairman Harrington: Linda do you think with the type of bushes being proposed with the assistance of planning we could get the equivalent of berming up there?

Linda Lemke: Yes. I the intent of that section of the ordinance is to screen the parking. The parking will be below the road area, and with the supplemental plantings it will screen the parking and fit into what is already existing out there.

Member Bauer: Linda you are having smaller shrubs right there, plus your trees?

Linda Lemke: Right, they are proposing a hedge along there, so they will get the screening of the parking there. The parking will be recessed down and the hedge will be up and the trees will be above that. They will be getting the same effect, they have the same distance, but they won’t have an actual berm that does this.

Chairman Harrington: This appears to be one of those projects which is coming to us before it is finished with the planning process and in contracts of the "old days" we did not see any projects until it was virtually at the end, so we had the power to condition certain things on variances being granted. In this case if we were to grant a waiver of the berm do you have the power in planting or at that end to ensure that it is an adequate substitute or do we need to condition our waiver of the berm. If we were to do so do we need to condition that upon acceptable substitute by planting? How does this work? How do we ensure to waive the berm that at the planting end an equivalent substitute is put in place?

Linda Lemke: It still has to come in for Final Site Plan Approval and I would be looking at that to make sure the screening would be accomplished.

Member Reinke: We could also condition this as part of our motion that there be an acceptable screening. I think this has been looked at in a lot of different ways and I think they have done best they can with what they have to work with. I think it is at a point where all avenues have been addressed and looked at. For what minimum variance requests they are asking for, I support the petitioner’s motion.

Member Kocan: I found the issue of the berming, the roadway being higher than the parking lot and the plan to be consistent with what is in the area. I do not have a problem with this plan.

Moved by Reinke,

Seconded by Bauer,


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


9) Case No. 00-061 filed by Matt Quinn, representing Novaplex

Matt Quinn representing the Beztak Companies is requesting four (4) Ordinance variance for the Novaplex development located on Haggerty Road, south of Thirteen Mile Road: two (2) variances for buffer areas, and off-street stacking space variance and a height variance.

  1. NOVI CODE OF ORDINANCES, SECTION 2509, para (c) states:… There shall be provided adjacent to the abutting right-of-way or private road a minimum of a twenty (20) foot wide buffer area. Where adjacent to parking and vehicular use areas the buffer shall include a berm with a minimum height of thirty six (36) inches, a 3:1 slope, a crest of two (2) foot width and which is landscaped with clusters or groupings of shrubs.
  2. NOVI CODE OF ORDINANCES, SECTION 2509, para 7 (c) states: Where adjacent to non-parking and non-vehicular use areas the buffer area shall include a berm with a minimum height of thirty (30) inches, a 3:1 slope, a crest of two (2) foot width and which is landscaped with clusters or groupings of shrubs.
  3. Required (for financial institutions): Six (6) vehicles inclusive of the

vehicle at the window

Proposed: Only five (5) stacking spaces for the third window.


4) Required: (With roof top appurtenances): 51’

Proposed height: 53’10"

Variance needed: 2’10"


Matt Quinn was present and duly sworn in.

Matt Quinn: I am speaking on behalf of Beztak the developers of Novaplex. We are here tonight requesting four (4) variances. The first two (2) deal with landscaping issues. The area of "this" (pointing to diagram) detention basin. The ordinance requires that there be a thirty (30) inch berm on a three (3) to one (1) slope. On the right-of-way portion of Haggerty Road that there be a thirty-six (36) inch berm on a 3:1 slope each with a two (2) foot crown. This matter comes as a result of a woodlands permit that was appealed to the Novi City Council from the Planning Commission and resolved at the Novi City Council level. It was agreed at the Novi City Council level to retain, out of ten (10) acres of woodlands, they would retain slightly under five (5) acres of woodlands on the west end of the project. In exchange for saving the woodlands, the entire project was pushed forward to Haggerty Road. The motion made by the City Council to accomplish this resolution of the woodlands permit was the recommendation to the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals to look favorably on requests for variances that were directly related to saving trees. These two (2) variances are related because these buildings and the detention basin are pushed as far toward Haggerty Road as possible. Therefore there is not the room necessary to put a thirty (30) inch berm on this section between the parking, nor is there room with the 3:1 slope. Both of the areas will be landscaped. The thought and process design behind the detention basin, since that is at the entry way of this project, will be that the detention basin will be a focal point for landscaping. There will be the possibility of water fountain or two (2) there will be plantings along the berm. This is a very steep inside slope that has the possibility of planting. The developer is very interested in making a beautiful area. Both of the supposed berm areas will be heavily landscaped to provide buffing and beautification.

The next variance deals with the stacking lanes on Building "B" which is a bank. The circulation of Building "B" coming in from Haggerty Road cars would go around and come through the three (3) outside drive-in windows. The ordinance requires that there be six (6) stacking spaces for each drive-in window. The first two (2) lanes have the required six (6), the third lane can only fit in five ((5) vehicles. We are asking for a one (1) vehicle stacking variance. If the site was larger, we would have more room to be able to position the stacking a little better. Also the parking around each of the buildings, because it is so condensed to save the woodlands, we can not give up the spaces that are to the rear of the stacking area in order to fit in the one (1) extra space. The traffic engineers want those spaces to stop at the entrance to the driveway so that vehicles are not sitting out and could be struck. Once the vehicles exit, they come out the driveway and on to Haggerty Road.

The third variance deals with the height of the building. The actual building height is within the requirements of the OST, which requires no more than a maximum of a fifty-one (51) foot building. With the screening for the HVAC and the other rooftop appurtenances, we are over by 2’10". We have computer versions to show the dimension of the buildings to show what the HVAC and other units on the roof look like. From the top, you can see how far they are in from each side and that they cover the inside length of both Buildings "A" and "B". From the northerly edge of our property looking back in, you can barely see the rooftop appurtenances. From the main entrance driveway from the center of Haggerty Road looking in, they are again barely visible. From the south boundary looking back northwest through the property, again, barely visible. We are requesting a variance of 2’10" from the required height maximum of the buildings. In my letter I explained these are Class A office buildings designed by Yamasaki and Associates.

A world class office conventional, with a nine (9) foot ceiling verses an eight (8) foot ceiling. Since these are three (3) story buildings it adds three (3) extra feet. The Novi ordinance for rooftop appurtenances allows five (5) feet and we have nine (9) feet, we are 2’10" short. There is the distinct possibility that as we market the height, and the various designs of the rooftop appurtenances, that they may come in less than that, but they would never be more than that. It is always the goal of Beztak to see what is available. We could never say that we could live without the variance, because you have no idea what is available in the market at any given time the project is being developed. We believe the intrusion of the 2’10" height variance falls within the purview of the ZBA and to accomplish a world class office building it requires this minimal variance. Very similar to the variance granted on the Minasian building on Meadowbrook south of Twelve Mile Road and also the one directly across the street from the Minasian building. Very small variances for height but they are all related to an architectural significant building. We are requesting a favorable approval this evening.

Chairman Harrington indicated that there were seven (7) notices sent to neighbors and there was no approvals and no disapprovals.


There was no audience participation.


Linda Lemke: I am supporting this because of the efforts to support the preserve the woodlands. I also think that we could accomplish the screening of the parking by planting some plant materials, shrubs or ornamental grasses, I would like to see on the northerly edge of the sedimentation basin. I think that we could accomplish the same goal as what the ordinance is asking for with plantings.

Member Bauer: Is it a three (3) story?

Matt Quinn: Yes.

Chairman Harrington: Are there any safety issues associated with the retention pond area?

Matt Quinn: No, that has already been looked at.

Chairman Harrington: We are getting rid of some berming and it seems like there would be easier access.

Matt Quinn: It is set back from the right-of-way far enough. The hedgerow between the parking and the detention will act as the buffer and there will also be an elevation difference there.

Chairman Harrington: Is that an actual pond that will maintain water all of the time?

Matt Quinn: There is a small amount of water at the bottom, enough to maintain a floating fountain.

Chairman Harrington: I assume engineering wise, it is like a gradual slope it doesn’t get deeper does it?

Matt Quinn: It is more like a five (5) on one (1) but it is engineered to be a safe. The designers will ensure that this is a safe area.

Member Brennan: Would meeting the ordinance eliminate parking spots to create another variance for parking?

Matt Quinn: Yes for Building "B", right now we have the exact number of parking spots needed. We have five (5) more than necessary. These two (2) buildings, that is the city’s requirement. They actually need more parking than the city’s requirement. It does create a problem. We do have a parking land bank area in the back. But we want to save the trees as much as the City.

Member Brennan: I would rather give up one spot in the back than five (5) or six (6) parking spots.

Chairman Harrington: Who is the bank?

Matt Quinn: We don’t know yet.

Member Kocan: I kept reading "pushing forward the property" and you are squeezing the building together, did the developer ever downsize the plan so that it wouldn’t need as many variances?

Matt Quinn: Everything was looked at. When we went to the appeal to the City Council, Mr. Helwig directed negotiations session on this. Buildings were shifted sizes, shifted around the site as much as possible. Yes, buildings were changed, moved, shrunk and everything.

Member Kocan: The reason I hesitate is because the same question was asked at the Planning Commission and I thought your answer to Andrew Mutch was that no you did not change the size of the building and just pushed everything forward.

Matt Quinn: No, from the very beginning, the buildings in the back have shrunk a little. The front buildings have not changed in size.

Member Kocan: When we talk about pieces of property, and are there hardships or are there just certain pieces of property that pose limitations, and at what point do we look at something as a limitation and don’t allow one to overbuild the property. I read something from a July hearing that says that we could get the best return on our investments so it is not grounds to grant a variance if you are trying to max out a building site. I look at this piece of property and know that portion that has woodlands or wetlands is not developable. We all take risks when we make an investment. I am looking for feedback from this board on how I as a ZBA member should be looking at some of these plans.

Chairman Harrington: Case by case, practical difficulty and was the issue self created. Is the property unique? Are there factors that really conclude its being developed in a different manner? How have similar cases been treated in the past? All of which fits into the mix. If there were a situation where it were clear that there was dramatic overbuilding, such as Mr. Quinn wanted to put two (2) more stories on top, then that is different. I think the variance requests are minimal and to some degree I receive the assurance I need from other bodies with respect to the berming issue. I am satisfy that you prospect the other areas, I am satisfied that they are minimal variances. I am comfortable with this package as it is presented, I could support a motion in it.

Member Brennan: As residents we have also been concerned and interested in saving woodland and saving wetlands. We have also been interested in saving historical buildings. We have as an interested resident that comes with our decision as well.

Moved by Brennan,

Seconded by Bauer,


Roll Call: Yeas (5) Nays (1) Motion Carried


10) Case No. 00-062 filed by J. Bennett Donaldson representing North Novi Medical

J. Bennett Donaldson representing North Novi Medical is requesting two (2) variances: a rear yard setback variance of fourteen (14) feet and a parking lot variance of fifteen (15) feet and ten (10) feet respectively.

1) Required rear yard setback: 50 feet

Proposed: 36 feet

Variance needed: 14 feet

2) Required front parking setback: 20 feet

Proposed: 5 feet

Variance needed: 15 feet


Required side parking setback: 20 feet

Proposed: 10 feet

Variance needed: 10 feet

Mike Fellows was present and duly sworn in.

Mike Fellows: The two (2) parcels are involved in a lot split and combination request in order to build the medical office building. The variances are needed because of what we feel are practical difficulties with this piece of property. The parcel configuration is a bow tie shape. Without the split and combination, the southern parcel is extremely narrow in the middle section. Currently the rectangle shaped property belongs to the property that the bank sits on.

Chairman Harrington: Does this property have an L-shaped wrap around the gas station at Fourteen and Haggerty?

Mike Fellows: Yes. There are parcel difficulties due to the wetlands along the western and southern border. it is an extremely narrow piece of property in the middle which is why we are trying to combine some of our property with some of the bank’s property in order to build this project. In addition to the configuration, there is severe topography. There is a twenty-four (24) feet of grade change. We have lost some useable property due to the widening and the increase in height of Fourteen Mile Road. There was an extra twenty-five (25) feet of right-of-way that we lost. The property was the subject of rezoning. When the City of Novi rezoned parcel in this area to OST the building setbacks went from twenty (20) feet to fifty (50) feet causing a considerable redesign. We had a larger building approved on this property several years ago, but it obviously would not fit. As it stands now the twenty-seven thousand (27,000) feet that is requested here is considerable less than the total four and one half (4 ½) parcel could support. Then we run into bigger issues with more parking. The wetlands are another practical difficulty with the property. Our sidewalk is proposed to be behind the parking lot.

This would be a new property line created on the front yard line with the sidewalk proposed to be right behind the property line and would be no parking set back at that point. We are trying to maintain a ten (10) foot wide strip of landscape area in which we could save Evergreens in the back of the bank’s property. This variance requests from twenty (20) feet to ten (10) feet is in keeping with the existing property the existing pavement that the bank has now. Currently there is only a ten (10) foot green area in between the curb and the property line. We are just asking to continue that.

Chairman Harrington: The same footprint?

Mike Fellows: Yes.

Chairman Harrington indicated that there were nine (9) notices sent to neighbors and there was no approvals and no disapprovals.


There was no audience participation.


Don Saven: This is an unusual piece of property, the topography is unbelievable. It is a difficult site.

Chairman Harrington: Rod or Linda, is this the best that they can do with this property?

Member Reinke: We should review the other one and then come back and review them both.

Moved by Reinke,

Seconded by Bauer,

That in Case No. 00-062 to grant the variance request due to lot configuration, the woodlands and the elevations of the lot with the condition of the City of Novi’s landscape consultant’s approval of the buffer area between the two (2) sites.

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

11) Case No. 00-065 filed by Peter Fotieo, representing National City Bank

Peter Fotieo, representing National City Bank is requesting a variance to the rear parking setback requirement. National City Bank is an existing structure adjacent to the proposed North Novi Medical building site.

Required rear parking setback: 20 feet

Proposed: 10 feet

Variance needed: 10 feet

Mike Fellows was present and duly sworn in.

Mike Fellows: The only variance the Bank is requesting is for the parking. If the property split and combination is granted, then their existing parking lot would then be ten (10) feet away from the new property line.

Chairman Harrington: And that is necessary because? Why do you need that?

Mike Fellows: We have redesigned this probably thirty (30) times. Given the detention needed, the wetland, considerable loss of property, the parking required for the building is already smaller. We have created as big of a green area in that spot as we could.

Chairman Harrington indicated that there were nine notices sent to neighbors and there was no approvals and no disapprovals.


There was no audience participation.


Member Kocan: Is there existing parking there now?

Mike Fellow: Yes there is existing parking on the south side that the bank uses.

Member Sanghvi: It is not on the south side, it is on the west side.

Mike Fellows: There is both. The drive through lanes are on the east side of the building and there is a parking lot on the south side as well. I think it is only a one sided parking lot. There is a drive where you can park closer up to the building.

Member Kocan: Because you would extend the parking lot taking out the Evergreen trees in the southeast corner, do you see that as hindering the traffic lanes or the stacking lanes for the bank. Is that one way?

Mike Fellows: Bank entrances are one way. The issue did come up when we were talking with the bank. We asked the same answer to the bank and they said it was okay.

Moved by Reinke,

Seconded by Bauer,

That in Case No. 00-065 to grant the variance request due to the combination of supporting the development of the previous case (00-062) with a condition if the City of Novi’s landscape consultant’s approval of the buffer area between the two (2) sites.

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

12) Case No. 00-063 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 Meadowbrook Road for a temporary directional sign.

Norman Charles was present and duly sworn in.

Norman Charles: The Brownstone at the Vistas is a development on Thirteen Mile between Novi and Meadowbrook. It is currently under construction. There are four (4) or five (5) different development going up in that area right now. We are looking to put a directional sign at Thirteen and Meadowbrook to direct traffic down to the Brownstones development. Currently the ordinance does not allow an offsite sign, which this is. The property that we are requesting the sign go on is property owned by the developer, but a different development. This board did grant us an offsite sign on the corner of Novi and Thirteen previously for the same development. It is our request now that a variance be granted for a sign on the Meadowbrook and Thirteen corner to help direct traffic to the development area due to all of the different developments going on there now.

Chairman Harrington: That would be two (2) off premise signs for the same development?

Norman Charles: Yes.

Chairman Harrington: One year from today.

Chairman Harrington indicated that there were ten (10) notices sent to neighbors and there was no approvals and no disapprovals.


There was no audience participation.


Don Saven: One year from today, their projects move along quite well. It might be something to consider.

Member Bauer: Is the other sign ten (10) feet high?

Norman Charles: It is a little bit taller, but it is the same sign. This one is shorter and is eight (8).

Member Brennan: Do you recall how much time is left on the other sign?

Norman Charles: Ten (10) months, it was two (2) board meetings ago, appeal meetings ago.

Member Brennan: That is at Thirteen and Novi correct?

Norman Charles: Yes. At Thirteen and Novi I had it up originally the sign sooner than two (2) weeks prior to the board meeting and I was cautioned by the ordinance officer. I wrapped it.

Chairman Harrington: The sign up at Thirteen and Novi road is that for the same project that the proposing sign is?

Norman Charles: Yes.

Chairman Harrington: What do you need two (2) signs within a mile of each other for?

Norman Charles: Due to all of the construction, and we would like to direct the traffic that is coming west on Thirteen Mile from M-5 and Meadowbrook.

Member Sanghvi: I think it is hard to visualize without that sign there, because there are other signs there as well.

Norman Charles: There is another offsite sign on that corner currently for another development that is south of Fourteen.

Member Kocan: Have you talked to the people regarding Tollgate? Because I thought the one (1) was easy to see, but I thought the new proposed location of the new sign was angled…

Norman Charles: The angle that it is at is so that it is catching northbound Meadowbrook traffic and westbound Thirteen traffic. The Tollgate is situated to point down toward their development south. Yes, the two (2) signs will be perpendicular to one another.

Member Kocan: The proposed sign sits much closer to the road than the Tollgate sign does. So I was wondering if those people are pleased with the location of that sign, because I know that I would not be if I was Tollgate. When I was coming north on Meadowbrook Road, it was very obtrusive and blocked out the other sign completely.

Norman Charles: If it was moved to the north side of the Tollgate sign, it would block the view from Thirteen Mile. It was my decision that that would be the best location based on the direction of Traffic coming up Meadowbrook, because they would still be able to see Tollgate. The visual area that our sign would cut off would be minimal as far as I was concerned.

Member Kocan: We have not heard anything negative from Tollgate.

Member Brennan: There is another development that is potential for that same corner which could conceivably ask for an offsite sign. With this approval this would already be two (2).

Don Saven: There are several developments in that area, Tollgate is broke up into two (2) phases Tollgate Woods and Tollgate Ravines plus you have Meadowbrook Townhouses and the Brownstones. There are several developments in the area who may all come before you wanting that location because of the visibility.

Member Reinke: How many units are in this development?

Norman Charles: I have no idea, I am just the sign guy.

Chairman Harrington: I think it is time we said not to offsite real estate signs. Until I realized what we are actually deliberately attempting to do is funnel in M-5 traffic south from Thirteen Mile in front of the new school, which is a 25 mph to 30 mph speed limit. I have heard nothing about hardship. Why we approved the other one, I do not know. We need to really think about what we are doing with offsite real estate signs. We are not at a situation where it is at an entrance way. It is at a convenient mile road pointing in the direction of the complex. When people want to buy houses in Novi, they have no problem finding, that is the least of their worries. I think this board needs to take a hard look at what we are doing here. If there is a strong community feeling that we need to be approving these things then maybe that is for ordinance review too. I do not hear any hardship here.

Member Reinke: I agree with you. I would like to know more about what the plans are other than just giving you a sign for a year.

Member Brennan: We have approved the occasional offsite sign but this is the second sign for the same complex.

Moved by Brennan,

Seconded by Bauer,

That in Case No. 00-063 to deny the petitioner’s request due to lack of hardship.

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

13) Case No. 00-064 filed by Paul Rizzardi representing Churchill Crossings

Paul Rizzardi of Singh Development Co., Ltd. is requesting a ten (10) foot variance for the front yard setback on all the lots for the Churchill Crossing subdivision (208) lots.

Required front yard setback: 30 feet

Proposed: 20 feet

Variance needed: 10 feet

Paul Rizzardi was present and duly sworn in.

Paul Rizzardi: The request before you tonight is unique within the City of Novi and especially the ZBA. We are coming in asking for a blanket variance for the entire subdivision. We are requesting a variance to reduce the front yard by ten (10) feet. Our design concept was to create a nicer form of housing within the R-4 district. With the Eighty (80) by one (1) twenty-five (25) lots it is difficult to accommodate a three (3) car garage as a side entry situation. So these house plans are looking to move the garages to the back side of the house by the side entrance. As you drive up and down the street you can not see any garages. It would promote the planning concept as new traditional creating a pedestrian friendly or street friendly concept. Rather than having eighty (80) foot wide lots with half the house taken up by garage doors. Our approach was to take the design of the entire sub as well as the lot layouts to make sure they would all accommodate the rear quadrant garages. We looked at lowering the streets and raising the home to create a unique feel in R-4 zoning district. The lots have been laid out so that it could work for any R-4 type of development, but we are trying to go for a unique concept. In conversations with the Planning Commission was favorable and I believe they did give a recommendation to the ZBA to consider this as well as our conversations with City Council for this. When we laid out the plat we did consider the twenty (20) foot yard set back and we specifically put it on the preliminary plat at this point to make sure all of the other lot requirements work. The home will not be any bigger with the ten (10) foot variance. There is a maximum of a twenty-five percent (25%) lot coverage. Even though the homes move forward there are other areas within the legal building envelope that can not be build upon. Therefore there is a trade off in pushing the buildings closer to roads in order to create the street space. As a part of the request, the ZBA can require these home to be build. Going through the traditional platting process. We come and show the general layout and road layout, plat approval, come back and make sure all of the design standards would work. There is no guarantee through the city through the review process to say that Singh development has to make sure these homes get built. Since the PUD ordinance has been rescinded that was the only mechanism in the past. We are currently the builders within Tollgate. We are the builders and developers. Those homes are designed with a similar manner. They are on sixty (60) and seventy (70) foot wide lots. If you drive past there you can not see the garages. The building department was given the ability to withhold issuance of the building permit unless building plans came in to be consistent with what was presented within the consent judgement. We are offering, we have prepared a booklet with the conceptual house plans similar with what we did with the Tollgate project. The ZBA say if we grant this variance, the building department only has to issue a building permit which is consistent with the homes here. So, in essence, we are going to improve the development character of this project. I do have other members of Singh Development here Mike Kahm, and our engineer George Melbrook to go over more specific questions. We did prepare a detailed booklet and I believe you all had the opportunity to review that. I prefer to answer questions unless you would like to know more information about process of what we are proposing to do.


Chairman Harrington indicated that there were a hundred (100) notices sent to neighbors and there was one (1) approval and one (1) disapproval.

Todd and Crystal Hall on Settlers Creek like it. Grant and Elizabeth Grekhou on Christina Lane are against granting the variance.


There was no audience participation.


Chairman Harrington: Homes this size look and fit much better with a thirty (30) foot set back. All homes in Cedar Springs have a thirty (30) foot setback. So why should this be any different?

Don Saven: Paul, are you still going to maintain the thirty-five (35) foot rear yard setback?

Paul Rizzardi: The rear yard setback will be maintained in its entirety. In some cases when there is a twenty-five (25%) percent maximum lot coverage, we actually providing other areas additional setback within the back quad of the building.

Don Saven: Are you also going to maintain a twenty-five (25) foot setback requirement perpendicular from the garage door to the side property line? Based on the sided entrance garage?

Paul Rizzardi: That is correct. George can verify that. We did look at all of the footprints from lot to lot.

Don Saven: The twenty (20) foot setback that you are looking at, is this from the sidewalk as defined as a property line area, and are there going to be sidewalks there?

Paul Rizzardi: Yes.

Chairman Harrington: I assume without this setback, you can not build this project, am I correct?

Paul Rizzardi: We can not build these homes as designed.

Chairman Harrington: However there are several different kinds of projects that you could build which would fit within ordinance, correct?

Paul Rizzardi: Yes there is.

Chairman Harrington: So, you are creating your own need for this blanket variance of two hundred eight (208) houses based on your own study of the marketability, the pricing and profit you will make from this building, correct?

Paul Rizzardi: We looked at this in terms of what the market could handle and what the market demands are in terms of market size, amenities as compared to other subdivisions.

Chairman Harrington: Before we get lost in a lot of detail or diverted, I will express my initial opinion. I think this request for a blanket variance is a fact of rezoning. I think that is what the impact of this is. When I have these concerns regarding a legal issue, I refer to our City Attorney. This is an issue that I would like addressed whether or not granting this blanket variance for two hundred and eight (208) houses effecting every house in the subdivision whether that is rezoning, which is beyond our powers. There is nothing particular about this parcel that I have heard of. There are no topographical issues involved or wetland issues involved that require the ten (10) foot setback. So it is problematic as to whether or not we have the authority to do this. Because rezoning is not within our powers. That is City Council. My suggestion to the board would be that we refer this matter to our City Attorneys in the November meeting, and have some legal input as to our powers under these circumstances.

Member Bauer: I agree with you.

Member Brennan: I have the same conclusion but I have a different reason. I looked at this as I read the Planning Commission as a new subdivision concept the Planning Commission liked. They thought it was attractive, they thought it was different and unique. I was finding the hardship was that the Planning Commission wants. The hardship is not anything that they initiated other than the design. So what is the hardship? The design makes it self created, and we will not give a variance to a self created hardship. I do not know if this board is the right place to be.

Chairman Harrington: It is because they asked for the variance. We need to answer it.

Member Brennan: Well, anyone could ask for a variance.

Member Reinke: It looks great, but it is over building a lot. There is enough property there, and there is no hardship. But it is in what there design and what their layout is creating. To my estimation you can put the same type of home in a configuration that it meets all of the ordinances or a lesser number of homes. If anybody wants to build two (2) sets of steps, they will be back here for a variance, because they can not build anything any direction anyplace. I am against the set up like this, because it is over building the property.

Member Kocan: That was my concern, as to the lot size. I have to question Mr. Saven, does the R-4 necessitate an eighty (80) by one twenty (120) lot, or could they have gone eighty (80) by one thirty-five (135) in order to get this design and set the house back minimum twenty-five (25) feet, thirty (30) feet. I like the idea of the driveway. I drove through Vista Hills and they are twenty (20) from the road. They are on top of the road. Unfortunately the garages are in front, and that is all you see is cars. I know the reason is to get the cars out of in front of the houses and get them behind the houses. My concern is you are putting this in the middle of an area where it is not compatible with the property to the west, and it is not compatible to the property to the north. Even though the driveways do not go through, to the north is Clark Street and that is the oldest subdivision in the City of Novi. This is gorgeous, but I would like to see it set back, and people have more room in their back yards. I agree that it is a rezoning.

Chairman Harrington: Hearing the Board members discussion, I think unless there is sediment for approval, then we will not need to get to the issue if we have legal authority to approve. The threshold burden has not been met which is demonstrating sufficient hardship or practical difficulty, or unique characteristics associated with the reality of the development. We not at that level that we a City Attorney opinion in order to deny that that is the sense. I retract my recommendation to get a legal opinion because that would go to whether we should approve it. But, if the burden has not been met, then that is a different issue.

Member Brennan: I couldn’t see where the hardship was either. This is self imposed. I like it, but to give a blanket variance for two hundred five (205) home…

Member Sanghvi: Am I correct in understanding that this is beyond the scope of our reference?

Chairman Harrington: It may not be necessary for us to get there. We do not have to answer that question if we are not thinking about approving it. That is an interesting theoretical issue.

Member Brennan: Suppose we all thought this was wonderful and he demonstrated hardship, and there is a compelling reason to do so. I think at that level, I would still want to feel comforted by the City Council that we do have the power to do this and that we are not just rezoning it. It is not our job to do that. That is statutory, we are prohibited of doing that. We can look at unique situations, but the unique situation that is effecting everyone in the subdivision is not unique.

Paul Rizzardi: When I think of rezoning, I think of changing to a Zoning District which better applies to the product we are looking for. In looking at the zoning scheme for the City of Novi, R-4 is the smallest and has the smallest setbacks for zoning. There is not a zoning available that will allow this product. Previously a product like this would have been done under a PUD Ordinance and Rezoning. This has been eliminated because of the problems with the changes of density and other issues. We are not looking for anymore density which can be done under a R-4 situation. Regarding overbuilding a lot. We are currently the builders and developers of Willowbrook Farms Phase II. The homes are the same size. Actually, those model homes just modified with the garage moved around. They are the same size lots and the same size houses. So, I do not think it is overbuilt compared to other R-4 subs. The market is pushing the R-4 potential development to where it is and we are trying to accommodate a better within the setbacks on the lot.

Chairman Harrington: Is Willowbrook the sub east of Meadowbrook between Grand River and Ten?

Paul Rizzardi: Yes.

Chairman Harrington: Didn’t you come before us, and you had two (2) or three (3) unique parcels there in the whole sub that you needed help because of the land configuration and flag lot? This is the perfect example of what falls within our purview. A unique situation effecting a small number or a single parcel, not an entire subdivision, that is rezoning. When the city code setback is the law, an ordinance. We are looking to rezone and entire subdivision in respect to that ten (10) foot. Those home are gorgeous, but that is not the issue. The issue is can anything else be done. There has been no testimony and no evidence before the board to suggest hardship. You said there are a lot of other things that we could do, but this is what we want to do and this is our marketing scheme, planning thinks it great, I think it is great.

Paul Rizzardi: Regarding compatibility with adjacent subs. In most cases a larger portion of the rear part of the buildings now, if you look at the Willowbrook Farms, being moved away from Christina lanes, there are not connections within the sub in vehicular from this sub to Christina or to Clark Street. You would not even notice the difference in setback, because you could not go from Church Hill Crossing into those adjacent subs as a requirement of City Council. Compatibility would not be an issue because there is no way to go from one to the other. Those are some quick responses to some of the concerns that I heard. I do not think that I could add anything to change your decision at this point.

Chairman Harrington: For me the fundamental problem is there are a lot of ways to do it where you would not need a variance, whatever they may be. It is unfortunate that you can not do it that way. But when you are asking for two hundred eight (208) variances to do it that way, I am not comfortable with that when it could be done without that.

Member Brennan: For example, unit B and unit D, both designs would require variances for any additions to the back of the house off of the family room, which are the most likely additions. So if you have two hundred and eight (208) homes in there. If fifty (50%) percent represent this, we are looking at one hundred and four (104) potential variances down the road due to the location of the family road with respect to the rear yard setback. We have to look at how this would impact us in the future.

Moved by Reinke,

Seconded by Bauer,

That in Case No. 00-064 to deny the petitioner’s request due to insufficient hardship that was self-created.

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

14) Case No. 00-067 filed by Guernsey

Martin McGuire, representing Guernsey Farms Dairy is requesting two (2) variances: a variance to the loading/unloading space in the rear yard and a variance to the interior landscape parking islands located on the north parking lot.

1) NOVI CODE OF ORDINANCES, SECTION 2507, para (2) states: "Loading and unloading space shall be provided in the rear yard."

Proposed plan indicated loading/unloading space within the side yard.

2) NOVI CODE OF ORDINANCES, SECTION 2509, para (8) (b) (1) requires one (1) square foot of interior landscape island for each ten (10) square feet of parking space.

Applicant requests relief for the landscape islands.

Leroy Stevens Architect of Guernsey Dairy was present and duly sworn in.

Leroy Stevens: I am sure that you are all familiar with Guernsey Dairy. We plan to construct a freezer addition to the side of the building and to the end of the building. It was our only open space on the property that we could build. All to the rear of the building there is a flood plain issue. In constructing this ice cream freezer to the end of the building, we would like to load directly from that area into the delivery trucks. They load the milk in the rear of the building now, but that is a distance from the freezer, so it is very beneficial to be able to load the ice cream directly from the freezer to the trucks. This is why we are requesting the side yard loading, because we have no room in the rear of the building. Right now the property is landscaped heavily around the exterior of the whole section of the site. In fact the whole site is landscaped nicely. With the side yard loading, we would like to maintain our parking area, the asphalt is pretty open and not install these couple of trees, due to the truck traffic in that area. The restaurant is to the other end of the building and where the ice cream parlor is, so our customers are at that side of the building. This side is our manufacturing and storage area. The trucks and the customers traffic is already divide nicely on the site. The property has a flood plain going through it, and has created some problems in building anything to the rear. We are requesting for the sideline yard loading out of the freezer which would be our own trucks.


There was no audience participation.

Chairman Harrington indicated that there were twenty (20) notices sent to neighbors and there was no approval and one (1) disapproval from Dorris Craig on Galway stating presently there are semi trucks and trailers parked on the north side within site of her property. She stated many times large milk trucks are parked half in and out of the doorway facing Novi Road. She would like to see an improvement in landscaping in the northwest corner of the property and the large gap of landscaping on the corner just where it is most needed.


Linda Lemke: After the Planning Commission meeting I did go out and look at the existing landscaping in regard to the loading and unloading. I did send a memo on August 25, 2000 to Mr. McGuire asking him to put in additional plantings in the southwest corner along the northern property line and along on Novi Road. This would be part of my request for Final Approval. Since that time, they have requesting to remove these two (2) islands. I would not be in support of that or removal of plant material. I did suggest they put in Columnar Trees in those islands to eliminate any possibility of conflict with their truck that would go through there.

Chairman Harrington: I was in favor of this until I drove out there this afternoon. It looks to me as if there is a drive through right through the middle of the building that trucks can go through. They can actually be loading in the interior. You could go all the way through, is that correct?

Leroy Stevens: You can not go all the way through. From Novi Road, you can back into the building, and there is a door on the back side of the building, but it is not connected. There is a freezer in between there. They unload the raw milk from the Novi side, this is a requirement to have raw milk unloaded inside. The trucks on Novi Road back in. This truck only comes here once a day. The double door on the back side is a garage where we keep two (2) of the trucks at night.

Chairman Harrington: What kind of freezer of this?

Leroy Stevens: An ice cream freezer.

Chairman Harrington: Could it be moved? Wouldn’t it solve your problem if you could move it? I assume you are going to spend a lot of money on this addition, and you prefer to do the unloading actually in an interior basis? You do not have three (3) or four (4) trucks there at a time do you?

Leroy Stevens: Yes we are spending a lot of money. When you back into the milk unloading, it backs down. The door on the front of the building you could not load ice cream because it has some wheel drops, the floor is not level.

Chairman Harrington: I do not know the business, I have not actually walked the floor. It seemed to me to be a logical situation if you can move the freezer over, you would not have to worry about this side unloading, you just move the truck through, stop half way in the middle of the building, unload your stuff, come out the back and you don’t have to park there.

Leroy Stevens: Yes, sliding our freezer over a little so that we could drive through there. That would be a nice solution. We would have to expand the building more. If we move our freezer out twelve (12) feet down, we could drive through there.

Member Reinke: If you move it down the same width of what you are showing for a truck now. (in the drawing)

Leroy Stevens: Yes. If we were allowed to move the building down some then we could drive through. We can not use "this" door to load ice cream because the floor dips down, and there is a milk tank. It is set up just to unload raw milk. In "this" portion of the building is the existing freezer, and another garage door where they park their two (2) small trucks. We could move the building down which would allow us to drive through there. I would have to look at that. Our ice cream production is in "this" area of the building. The idea was that we would have a conveyor that would drum our production and it would come right over to our freezer, and then our freezer load out. If we put a drive through here, we would not be able to run our conveyor here.

Member Brennan: Maybe you would like to take this back to the McGuire plan and look at alternatives. Even with the revision, you may have a different variance and I am thinking of front loading dock doors are not allowable.

Chairman Harrington: They have them anyway.

Leroy Stevens: If we enclosed our side yard loading, we could enclose it "here" as well. Then our truck would drive into a closed area, but we would still have the door on the front. It is the same thing but it makes our flow work better. We could enclose that, in fact we would like to enclose it.

Chairman Harrington: If there is a simple practical which does not double the cost and it works. I like the idea, and I think our board likes the idea that we do not have all these trucks backing in and out of here. You are in an enclosed area, you don’t have people on Galway Drive looking at all of the stuff being hauled out of the trucks and it is done in an interior base. Whether it is an existing drive through and the freezer or moved over a little bit, and the traffic flow works so that you don’t have trucks backed up and parked out here. You still need some kind of variance for that but not as obtrusive, I think the board would be responsive to that. We want to work with you. The landscape issues is another item. I think you need to talk to the owners and figure out what the cost perimeters are going to be and whether it would work or not. If it can’t work and you have a hardship.

Leroy Stevens: Are you saying that you would rather see it enclosed?

Chairman Harrington: Absolutely.

Leroy Stevens: If it is enclosed we would not need to come back because we would not have side yard loading?

Member Brennan: You may have an issue with a loading dock door facing Novi Road. I think we have an ordinance. But that is less of an issue for us.

Chairman Harrington: They have a loading dock area in the back where they could back do a half U-turn and have another small door that they could unload all of their stuff. It may not be proximate to the ice cream things you may want to do, it may be at the wrong end of the building for you.

Leroy Stevens: If we put a door on the back and drive through here and come out the front.

Member Brennan: Basically there may be a alternate plan that maybe you would not have to come back.

Chairman Harrington: How does November sound? Because the cut off date for October is tomorrow.

Leroy Stevens: Yes. If I talk to him tomorrow, and we want to do this, could we come back in October?

Chairman Harrington: Yes, we could Table you until October if you get to the Building Department by 3:00 p.m. tomorrow.

Leroy Stevens: Yes, let’s Table it until October. They would like to build by this fall.

Chairman Harrington: We would need a package fourteen (14) days in advance, it is not just saying that you just want to be Tabled.

Leroy Stevens: Yes, but we may want to do the same thing.

Member Kocan: You are taking out employee parking, but there is still enough employee parking?

Leroy Stevens: No, we have a lot of excess parking to the side, so it does not change that at all.

Lynn Kocan: Mr. Saven, is the existing exit directly across from Galway?

Member Reinke: I think what she is talking about is the screening. When the truck lights come around there, it shines down there.

Lynn Kocan: Did she take into consideration the distance of the addition and it would shift it over a couple of feet.

Member Reinke: I think Galway is a little bit north.

Leroy Stevens: In the corner, there is an area where there is not landscaping. At one time they were talking about connecting the parking lots but they have never done that. We could fill that in.

Case tabled until November 8, 2000 meeting.

15) Case No. 00-068 filed by Novi Medical Dental

Joseph Hammond, representing Novi Medical Dental at 42430 Twelve Mile Road is requesting two (2) variances; a rear yard parking setback variance and relief from the requirements for an obscuring earth berm.

Required setback: 100 feet

Proposed: 18 feet

Variance needed: 82 feet


Applicant is requesting relief from the requirements for an obscuring earth berm.

Joe Hammond was present and duly sworn in.

Joe Hammond: We have a requirement for a hundred (100) foot parking setback at the rear from the R-4 zoning. In addition to that we have a requirement for a berm abutting a residential district. The adjacent property to the west has exactly the same zoning as us, a little less grade conditions. They have parked directly up the edge of the cemetery. Due to the retaining wall that we are constructing for the purpose of building the building, we have a retaining wall starting at the north edge of the site at nine (9) feet high and extends to this corner at sixteen (16) feet high. We have drawn a cross section through the berm. The property line at the north is eighteen (18) feet away from the edge of our parking lot. "This" wall is indicated as twelve (12) feet high with heavy screened plantings that we are indicating across the top. We put in the screen plantings to act as a buffer instead of a berm. We feel it obstructs the view of the parking area from the residential zoning. We feel the height of the wall and the other conditions are offering the protection that the ordinance was originally created for. With this, we are hoping you would give us some relief.

Chairman Harrington: Where are you in relation to the Amcorp building?

Joe Hammond: Directly to the east of it. That is the site that is shown adjacent to us on the same drawing.

Chairman Harrington indicated that there were five (5) notices sent to neighbors and there was no approval and no disapproval.


There was no audience participation.


Don Saven: Difficult site. It is adjacent to a cemetery. The topography of the site is very difficult.

Linda Lemke: He more than meets the requirement in the intent of this section of the ordinance with what they have there and what they are proposing.

Member Bauer: I think the gentleman has done a good job in what he has put together in the aspects of the lot topography. I don’t think he is going to get any complaints from the residential.

Moved by Reinke,

Seconded by Sanghvi,

That in Case No. 00-068 to grant the variance request due to lot shape and configuration.

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


  1. Fountain Walk (signage)
  2. Don Saven: I would like to indicate there will be an Ordinance Review Committee Meeting the 21st of this month. It will be addressing some of the issues regarding the Fountain Walk signage. It was requested at the last Ordinance Review Committee Meeting pursuant to Chairman Harrington’s letter. He wrote a letter to the City Council to review this matter. They will be before the Ordinance Review Committee expressing their concerns and the reasons why, and how come they are looking at all of these sign variance.

  3. Ordinance Review Committee (berms)
  4. Don Saven: The other issue that is under the Ordinance Review Committee is the packet was delivered to them at the last meeting regarding the berming issues and landscape issues. We had the general discussion about this because it was felt that if these matters keep coming before us maybe there is something that we better take a look at. Also, for purposes of negotiation or mitigation that it would be better handles during the planning phases, because all parties were there to review it. So that there are concerns regard grading and drainage, regard to trees and type of trees that could be planted and things of this nature that could be better handled in that particular area. This was presented, they asked for more information. The last meeting we did research of three (3) years of all the cases that we did have was presented to them for the why(s), wherefore(s), what the variance was about, the conditions of the variance, the motion that was granted and all that information was presented to them. Hopefully we will be back on the agenda for the 21st. So we will probably hear something at the October meeting as to what has taken place.


  5. Alternative Night for November

Member Brennan: Due to the election, we will have an alternative night in November, sometime between the 1st and the 8th.

The Meeting was adjourned at 11:15 p.m.


Sarah Marchioni

Community Planning Assistant

Transcribed by: Christine Otsuji

October 2, 2000

Date Approved: November 8, 2000