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Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes - July 28, 2010

THE CHARTER TOWNSHIP OF CHESTERFIELD

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

July 28, 2010

On July 28, 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

James Klonowski, Vice-Chairman

Paula Frame, Planning Commission liaison

Gerald Alexie

Gerald Blake

Thomas Yaschen

Absent: Janice Uglis, Township Board liaison, excused

3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:

Chairman Stepnak explained the procedures to the audience.

4. ZBA PETITION #2010-17: Miller Garage Building Co., 13042 E. Eight Mile Road, Detroit, MI 48205 acting on behalf of homeowners who reside at 48155 Forbes, Chesterfield, MI 48047. Request is for a 20’ x 30’ second garage. Petitioner was approved for a 22’ x 22’ garage at the June 23, 2010 meeting but would like to revise his request and remove an existing and ask for the larger second garage. Location is stated above.

Tom Biljan, 48155 Forbes, Chesterfield, MI 48047 addressed the board.

Petitioner stated that he had been in front of the board last month to request a 22’ x 22’ garage. However, at the time it was decided that he would have to tear down his existing shed and the board then suggested that he build a bigger garage. So in order to make up

the difference, he was now requesting to amend his original request to a 22’ x 30’ structure.

Chairman Stepnak explained that this was not an amended request it was a new petition at this point. He verified that the petitioner was going to remove the existing shed, but was requesting to build a larger garage.

Petitioner answered exactly.

Mr. Klonowski stated that he had no problem with the variance.

Mr. Yaschen stated that he had no problems and no questions.

Ms. Frame agreed that she also had no problems and no questions.

Mr. Blake stated that he had no problems and no questions.

Mr. Alexie had no comments.

Mr. Shortt stated that if the variance was approved, the petitioner would need a demolition permit for his shed when applying for the permit for the new garage.

Petitioner asked about the demolition permit?

Mr. Shortt explained that the petitioner would have to get a permit to demo the shed and stated that the petitioner would have to remove the ratwall and cement slab, if there was one.

Petitioner stated that the last time he was in front of the board; he was told that he did not have to remove the foundation and slab. He mentioned that he specifically asked about that and was told by the board that he could leave it there.

Mr. Shortt asked the shed?

Petitioner answered no, the cement.

Ms. Frame stated that the petitioner was told that he could remove the shed and leave the cement pad and maybe use it as a patio.

Chairman Stepnak stated that it could be put in the motion that the petitioner would be allowed to leave the cement. He commented that he believed the board had told the petitioner that he could build a larger garage and remove the existing shed because the board believed it would be more eye-pleasing to see a larger single building as opposed to two smaller structures. He agreed that the petitioner was also told he had to remove the physical structure but the foundation and cement could remain in place. He asked Mr. Shortt if that would affect any building codes per se?

Mr. Shortt stated that was fine. He stated that normally the Building Department would have the petitioner remove everything.

Chairman Stepnak stated that leaving the ratwall and cement would not really affect anything. He mentioned that the board was able to grant variances, but they could not approve anything when there are building concerns.

Mr. Shortt explained that most of the time the ratwall and cement should be removed in case the petitioner would put a few inches of topsoil down and put sod on top; there could be a problem for the next homeowner. A person not familiar with the situation could attempt to put an addition on to the home and when digging could ruin a machine when they hit the concrete.

Petitioner explained that if he sold the home he would fill out a disclosure statement that the cement is at that spot. However, he stated that he did not plan to cover the cement pad.

Mr. Shortt stated that he did not have a problem with leaving the cement if it was part of the board’s motion.

Mr. Calcaterra representative of Miller Garage Building Company, 13042 E. 8 Mile Road, Detroit, MI 48205 addressed the board.

Mr. Calcaterra stated that his company would be building the new structure and doing the demo on the old shed. He asked if the shed could be removed after the new garage was completed, so the petitioner could leave his things in the shed until the new structure is built?

Mr. Shortt stated that would be fine, they understood that the shed is probably full of the petitioner’s tools and garden equipment. They would not want to cause a hardship for the petitioner.

Chairman Stepnak stated that it was a common practice when a new building is put up, to build the new structure before demolishing the old one.

Motion by Mr. Yaschen to approve Petition # 2010-17 for a 20’ x 30’ garage at

48155 Forbes, Chesterfield based on the past approval and the suggestion by the board that the petitioner build a larger garage. He stated that the existing shed would have to be torn down; however, the foundation and cement pad could remain. The approval would in no way jeopardize the intent of the ordinance.

Supported by Mr. Blake

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

5. ZBA PETITION #2010-18: Karen D. Hearn, 47730 Harbor Drive, Chesterfield, MI 48047. Requesting variance to allow a 15’ x 30’ above ground swimming pool to be located in the front yard due to lakefront residence. Address is stated above.

Karen D. Hearn, 47730 Harbor Drive, Chesterfield, MI 48047 addressed the board.

Petitioner stated that she was requesting a variance to allow a 15’ x 30’ above ground pool in her front yard which would be the lake side part of her property.

Mr. Yaschen stated that one of his main concerns was the fencing around the pool. However, after a discussion with Mr. Shortt he was informed that pools less than 48" in

height did not need the fencing. He mentioned that other than that he had no questions.

Mr. Blake stated that he had no problems with it at all.

Mr. Alexie had no comments.

Mr. Klonowski asked Mr. Shortt if the only variance requested was for the front yard due to the lakefront property?

Mr. Shortt answered yes. He then mentioned that the only time a person was allowed to put a fence on the lakeside would be for a pool.

Mr. Klonowski stated that there would be some future discussion on the front yard/rear yard lakefront situation.

Ms. Frame mentioned that she had visited the property and had no problem with the variance.

There were no public comments.

Chairman Stepnak read a letter from the petitioner’s next door neighbors Dianna King and Lillian Costanza recommending approval of the variance.

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

Motion by Mr. Klonowski to approve Petition # 2010-18 at 47730 Harbor Drive, Chesterfield, MI 48047 for a variance to allow a 15’ x 30’ above ground swimming pool to be located in the front yard due to lakefront residence.

Supported by Ms. Frame

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

6. OLD BUSINESS:

Chairman Stepnak informed the board that Ms. Nancy Orewyler resigned from her position on the ZBA because of personal issues. He stated that it was just too much for her to do at this time. He mentioned that he told Nancy he would miss her because she was one of his favorite Democratic friends.

Ms. Frame stated that Chairman Stepnak always had her.

Chairman Stepnak stated that Ms. Orewyler would be missed by everyone on the board.

7. NEW BUSINESS:

Chairman Stepnak stated that Mr. Gerald Alexie was appointed by the Township Board as the newest member of the ZBA and he welcomed Mr. Alexie to the board.

Chairman Stepnak stated that Ms. Orewyler had been the ZBA Secretary. He mentioned that it was the Secretary’s responsibility to read to read the correspondence submitted for the petitions. He had a discussion with Mr. Yaschen regarding his appointment as the Board Secretary. He asked Mr. Yaschen if he was willing to accept the position?

Mr. Yaschen indicated that he would be willing to serve as the new ZBA Secretary.

Motion by Chairman Stepnak to appoint Mr. Tom Yaschen as the new Secretary of the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Supported by Mr. Klonowski

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

Mr. Klonowski mentioned that a while back there was a petition concerning a back yard deck which was considered to be in the front yard because it was lakefront property. He stated that to him it did not seem right to make people come in for petitions for no obvious variance besides being on lakefront property. So he called Mr. Meagher and discussed the matter with him. He explained that Mr. Meagher was surprised that the petitions were being brought forward for just the back yard being considered the front yard without some type of setback issues. He stated that Mr. Meagher told him that he would have to look at the ordinance.

Mr. Klonowski stated that now there was the issue of the pool and it does not seem right that the petitioner would need to come in for a variance. He commented that Mr. Meagher thought there was a misinterpretation of the ordinance in these cases and possibly Planning should take a look at that at their next meeting. Mr. Klonowski stated that it was not fair that petitioners had to come in and pay $200 just because of basically verbiage in the ordinance.

It was mentioned that possibly the ordinance exists because some of the requested structures may interfere with waterfront resident’s view of the lake.

Chairman Stepnak stated that very often even a large pool could be an obstruction to someone’s view of the lake. He explained that the board has discussed waterfront property before and there are a couple of schools of thought. One being that whatever a person can see is their area. However the other being that a person living on the water should be able to have a more panoramic view.

There was a discussion among the board concerning this matter.

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

8. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PRIOR MEETING:

Motion by Mr. Yaschen to approve the minutes from the July 14, 2010 meeting.

Supported by Chairman Stepnak

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

9. COMMENTS FROM THE FLOOR:

There were no comments from the floor.

10. ADJOURNMENT:

Motion by Chairman Stepnak to adjourn at 7:29 PM.

Supported by Mr. Blake

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

Thomas Yaschen, Secretary

Grace Mastronardi, Recording Secretary

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