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Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes - May 12, 2010

THE CHARTER TOWNSHIP OF CHESTERFIELD

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

May 12, 2010

On May 12, 2010, a regular meeting of the Chesterfield Township Zoning Board of Appeals was held at the Township Hall located at 47275 Sugarbush, Chesterfield Twp., MI 48047.

1. CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Stepnak called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

2. ROLL CALL: Present: Marvin Stepnak, Chairman

Nancy Orewyler, Secretary Janice Uglis, Township board liaison

Paula Frame, Planning Commission liaison

Gerald Blake

James Klonowski

Thomas Yaschen

3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:

Chairman Stepnak explained the procedures to the audience.

Chairman Stepnak stated that the board was presented with an additional item, Petition #2009-08 for which the variance has expired that was not on he agenda. He asked the board for a motion to put the Petition on the agenda as the seventh item.

Motion by Ms. Orewyler to put Petition # 2009-08 as the seventh item on the agenda.

Supported by Mr. Yashen

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

4. ZBA PETITION #2010-06: Kevin Hill who resides at 46669 Rose Lane, Chesterfield, MI

48047. Variance request is to allow a privacy fence outside the building envelope. Request

is located at the address stated above.

Kevin Hill, 46669 Rose Lane, Chesterfield, MI 48047 addressed the board.

Petitioner stated that he was requesting to build a privacy fence around the outside of his building envelope to replace an existing fence that had deteriorated.

Ms. Orewyler asked why the fences were all different heights? She stated that the petitioner wanted 4’ in the back and 6’ along the side and front.

Petitioner stated that the 6’ around the front and the sides to be uniform with what is in the neighborhood. He stated that he was requesting 4’ around a pool area because he wanted to make sure that he did not have an obstructed view from his home to the pool area in the event he had to get to the pool quickly. Therefore, he would like the fence around the pool to be shorter in order to monitor the activities in the pool.

Ms. Orewyler asked Mr. Shortt the required height for a fence around a pool?

Mr. Shortt stated that that the minimum fence around a pool must be 4’ high.

Ms. Orewyler asked if the petitioner had already put up the fences?

Petitioner answered that he was in the middle of putting up the new fences. He stated that he was just replacing the existing chain link fence that had deteriorated. He just decided to replace it with a wood fence because it is esthetically pleasing and was consistent with what is already around the neighborhood.

Mr. Klonowski asked if the petitioner planned to put wood all around?

Petitioner answered yes.

Ms. Uglis stated that the fences were already up with the exception of the back by the canal, over to the side by the house, and part of the front with the gate. She asked if that was correct?

Petitioner answered yes.

Ms. Uglis commented that she under stood why the petitioner would want the different height for the fence so that he would be able to see his children in the pool. She mentioned that it was a nice looking fence.

Mr. Yaschen asked if there would be a 6’ wooden gate in the front?

Petitioner answered yes.

Mr. Blake had no questions.

Ms. Frame had no comments.

Mr. Shortt stated that the previous owners had obtained a variance for the pool because it is in the side yard. He stated that the Building Department did not have a problem with the fences. However, he mentioned that the petitioner must have self closing and self latching gates that swing away from the pool. He stated that any gate around the pool has to meet all of the enclosure requirements.

Petitoner agreed.

Chairman Stepnak mentioned that even if the board would approve the fences, the petitioner would still have to comply with the building codes and obtain the necessary permits from the Building Department.

Petitioner answered yes.

There were no public comments.

Motion by Ms. Orewyler to approve Petition # 2010-06 for 46669 Rose Lane, Chesterfield, MI 48047 for a variance to allow a privacy fence outside the building envelope. The variance would be subject to all building codes and the petitioner must obtain all necessary permits.

Supported by Mr. Blake

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

5. ZBA PETITION # 2010-07: Erik Heiderer, Polyarch, Inc., 44045 Gratiot, Clinton Twp., MI 48036. Request is for a covered boathouse on existing piles. Location of existing structure is 45640 Edgewater Drive.

Erik Heiderer, Polyarch, Inc., 44045 Gratiot, Clinton Twp., MI 48036 addressed the board.

Petitioner stated that he was representing the owner of the home. He stated that there was an existing boathouse on the canal and the owner decided to remove the old dilapidated structure and rebuild the roof structure for the existing boathouse. The steel pylons and beams were still there and the owner decided he would just like to put a new roof on the structure. The boathouse would remain open as it is at the present time.

Ms. Frame had no questions.

Mr. Blake stated that he went out the site and commented that the petitioner put up a real nice looking boathouse and he had no problem with it.

Mr. Yashen stated that the petitioner had a nice piece of property, well-kept home and the boathouse looks great. He has no problem with it.

Ms. Orewyler asked if the petitioner owned both lots?

Petitoner answered that was correct. The two lots were combined into one large lot.

Mr. Klonowski asked if the old structure was replaced?

Petitioner answered that the interior structure was already there with the existing steel pylons, only the exterior was removed.

Mr. Klonowski asked if there was a roof before?

Petitioner answered yes it was a covered boathouse.

Mr. Klonowski asked how long it had been on the property?

Petitoner answered that the old boathouse had been on the property maybe 20 or 30 years.

Ms. Uglis stated that she had no questions.

Mr. Shortt had no problems with the structure.

There were no public comments.

Chairman Stepnak stated that he had no problems with it.

Motion by Ms. Orewyler to approve Petition #2010-07 at 45640 Edgewater Drive. The structure would be replacing an existing boathouse that had deteriorated

Supported by Mr. Blake

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

6. ZBA PETITION # 2010-08: Harry Graczyk, 49116 Fuller, Chesterfield, MI 48051. Requesting variance for (2) 6’ high by 8’ wide privacy fence panels, to extend 2’ into the required front yard. Location of request is address listed above.

Harry Graczyk, 49116 Fuller, Chesterfield, MI 48051 addressed the board.

Petitoner stated that he was requesting a privacy fence with two panels in the front yard of his home.

Mr. Blake stated that he visited the home and he understands what the petitioner is after.

He commented that there was a junkyard next door and he did not understand why the neighbors had not been fined and mess cleaned up. He would agree to go along with the petitioner putting up the fence.

Ms. Orewyler stated that she understood the petitioner’s plight. She was not against putting up the fence because she does not see any other option for the petitioner.

Chairman Stepnak reminded the board to refrain from any personal or opinion attacks.

Mr. Yaschen had no questions.

Mr. Klonowski had no problems with the variance.

Ms. Frame had no comments.

Ms. Uglis stated that she does not have any problems with the variance. She stated that this was definitely blight. She commented that she understood why the petitioner needs the fence.

Chairman Stepnak asked the board if they had all seen the photographs presented by petitioner? He mentioned that the board also had a letter from John St. Germaine, the Township Enforcement Officer concerning this matter.

Mr. Shortt stated that the Building Department had no problems with the variance.

Margaret Anderson, 49100 Fuller, Chesterfield, MI 48051 addressed the board.

Ms. Anderson stated that she was the owner of the so called junk yard, which it is not. There is only one vehicle there. She explained that she had been to court several times on this matter and has been harassed for five years. She mentioned that she had told the neighbor to put up a fence a long time ago and her only issue she has is that she has already obtained permits and is already putting up a privacy fence on that side because of the harassment. She mentioned that she had been in personal arguments with the petitioner…

Chairman Stepnak stated that he had already mentioned everyone should refrain from personal attacks.

Ms. Anderson was concerned that the petitioner’s fence would be14" within the other side of the property line which would be part of her driveway. She would like to know exactly where the fence would be.

Mr. Shortt stated that he is not a surveyor and the petitioner would have to sign a form stating that he would be responsible for the location of the fence. He stated whichever party has a survey showing the dimensions of the properties that would be what the Building Department would go by. He stated that if the petitioner can locate the pins that would be what they will go by. He explained that he thought the petitioner was putting a privacy fence 6" on his own property.

Petitioner stated that was correct. The privacy fence would be 6" to 1’ on his property.

Mr. Shortt asked if Ms. Anderson had a problem with that?

Ms. Anderson answered no. She also asked how far forward the fence would be going?

Mr. Shortt stated that the fence would be going up two panels which he thought was still behind Ms. Anderson’s home.

There was a short discussion between Mr. Shortt, the petitioner and Ms. Anderson as to the actual location of the fence.

Petitioner reiterated that the fence would be going up two panels or 16’ in front of his home and that would bring the fence right up to the guide wire.

Chairman Stepnak verified that the petitioner would just be going up to the guide wire.

Petitioner stated that he was not sure it was either right to the guide wire or a little past it.

Chairman Stepnak stated that the decision should be made as to where the fence would be placed.

Petitioner stated that he believed the fence would just go to the guide wire.

Chairman Stepnak explained that could be something specified in the motion that the fence would go to the guide wire.

Petitioner stated that ideally he would like to put the fence just in front of the guide wire.

Chairman Stepnak asked about a foot?

Petitioner stated that would be great.

There was another short discussion between Mr. Shortt and the petitioner as to the location of the fence.

Chairman Stepnak stated that basically the fence would be constructed on the petitioner’s property.

Petitoner stated that the fence would be constructed 6’ to 8’ from the property line on his property.

Motion by Mr. Klonowski to approve Petition to approve Petition # 2010-08 at 49116 Fuller for (2) 6’ high by 8’ wide privacy fence panels to extend 2’ in the required front yard. The variance would be granted because strict enforcement of the provisions of this ordinance would cause practical difficulty for an unnecessary hardship. Conditions are unique to the property which are not similarly or applicable to other properties in the same zoning district. Conditions and circumstances unique to the property were not created by the petitioner. The fence will be on the owner’s property and will be one foot past the guide wire. Petitioner must obtain all necessary permits from the Building Department.

Supported by Mr. Yaschen

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

7. ZBA PETTITION # 2009-08: Paul and Kathleen Cook, 47241 Sugarbush Road, Chesterfield, MI 48047. Requesting an extension for a variance on an addition to their garage that expired in November 2009.

Paul Cook, 47241 Sugarbush, Chesterfield, MI addressed the board.

Petitioner stated that because of the cost of the project they were not sure about going through with the project. He added that he also had to have the plans drawn up by an architect. He explained that the first time he approached the board he did not have the completed plans for the project. They have been saving up money to have the addition built, they do not plan to move and at this time they would like to go through with the project.

Chairman Stepnak asked what time frame the petitioner was looking at?

Petitioner stated that he would like to have the garage completed by the end of the summer.

Chairman Stepnak stated that there are different tickers on these projects. The board could allow the petitioner another 4 to 6 months to get the permits and then another ticker goes off and there is so much time again to complete the project. The point is that the board does not want to go too far in the future on these projects.

Petitioner stated that he already has the plans and he now needs to get some estimates on the project. He would like to have the project completed by the end of the summer.

Ms. Orewyler stated that she remembered the petition and she had no questions.

Mr. Yaschen asked what the maximum the board would allow on an extension?

Chairman Stepnak stated that generally the board could give the petitioner a six month extension.

Mr. Blake stated that he was concerned because the board has not been presented with any sketches on the project.

Chairman Stepnak stated that the board looked at the project in 2009 and the petitioner was given that prior approval. He stated that if the board does not approve the extension, the variance is done and the petitioner would need to start over again.

Mr. Shortt had no problem with it.

Ms. Frame stated that this is a pretty common practice for the Planning Commission as far as buildings and developments go. She commented that she did not see any reason not to just go ahead and extend the variance.

Motion by Ms. Frame to approve a six month extension for Paul and Kathleen Cook, 47241 Sugarbush,ZBA Petition # 2009-08. The hardship of economic times and preparation of getting the site ready.

Ms. Uglis asked to be familiarized because she was not on the board at the time.

Ms. Orewyler stated that the petitioner would be adding on to the back of his garage. The addition would not be seen by anyone and would not be visible from the street. The stipulations that no business would be run out of the structure and the only utility allowed in the garage would be electricity. All of these items were discussed and worked out during the original approval.

Ms. Uglis asked where the home was located?

Petitioner stated that his home was right across the street from Green Elementary School, next to the Babich residence.

Ms. Uglis stated that she had no other questions.

Supported by Mr. Yaschen

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

8. OLD BUSINESS:

There was no old business.

9. NEW BUSINESS:

Ms. Orewyler stated that she did receive the amended rules for the ZBA. She believed that the only change was that petitioners did not have to submit an exact site Plan.

Paula stated that it had to do with the 20 to 1 scale. She stated that there was also something about a shortened time for the appeal process.

Chairman Stepnak stated that the amendment had to do with not requiring the petitioners to present 20 to 1 scale ratio.

10. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PRIOR MEETING:

Motion by Mr. Blake to approve the minutes from the April 14, 2010 ZBA meeting.

Supported by Mr. Yaschen

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

11. COMMENTS FROM THE FLOOR:

Chairman Stepnak thanked Mr. Shortt from the Building Department for attending the meeting.

12. ADJOURNMENT:

Motion by Chairman Stepnak to adjourn at 7:42 PM.

Supported by Ms. Frame

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

Nancy Orewyler, Secretary
Grace Mastronardi, Recording Secretary

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