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Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes - September 8, 2010

THE CHARTER TOWNSHIP OF CHESTERFIELD

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

September 8, 2010

On September 8, 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 7:07 p.m.

2. ROLL CALL: Present: Marvin Stepnak, Chairman

James Klonowski, Vice-Chairman

Janice Uglis, Township Board liaison Gerald Alexie

Absent: Thomas Yaschen, Secretary, excused

Paula Frame, Planning Commission liaison, excused

Mr. Shawn Shortt attended the meeting as the representative from the Building Department.

3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:

Chairman Stepnak explained the procedures to the audience.

4. ZBA PETITION #2010-24: Terrence Moore, Jr., 51900 Laurel Oak, Chesterfield, MI 48047. Variance request is to allow existing shed to remain in present location while it stands in good condition, shed is located in the side yard. Request is located at the above address.

Terrence Moore, Jr., 51900 Laurel Oak, Chesterfield, MI 48047 addressed the board.

Petitioner stated that he was requesting a variance on a shed that was already standing since 1992. He explained that the shed was in good condition and that it just needed to be painted because it has been there so long. He stated that he would like to keep the shed because he stores his gas cans, lawn mower and snow blower in the structure which are things he would rather not store in his attached garage.

Petitioner presented pictures of the shed to the members of the board.

Mr. Klonowski asked how long the petitioner had owned the home?

Petitioner answered that he purchased the home in August of this year.

Ms. Uglis stated that she went out to see the property that day and saw the outside of the shed. She asked Mr. Shortt, out of curiosity, how the shed was allowed to be built there in the first place?

Mr. Shortt stated that it was a foreclosed home and the shed was discovered at the time of inspection. The inspectors realized the shed was non-conforming and there were no permits issued on the shed so they wrote it up.

Ms. Uglis commented that she wondered because the shed had been there since 1992.

Mr. Shortt stated that it was put up on the fly and it they just ran into it now because it was at a foreclosed home. He explained that the Building Department has been discovering finished basements with no permits and fences with no permits and they are writing them up.

Ms. Uglis commented that she realizes that our enforcement officers cannot get out to every home in the community.

Petitioner stated that he had spoken to his neighbors and no one seems to have a problem with the shed.

Chairman Stepnak asked if the petitioner had any written statements from his neighbors about the shed.

Petitioner answered yes and presented letters from his neighbors to the board.

Mr. Alexie stated that he had been by the property and saw the shed. He mentioned that he noticed that the house next door had just been sold so the petitioner will be getting new neighbors. He asked if the petitioner if he got a letter from them regarding the shed?

Petitioner answered no.

Mr. Alexie asked the petitioner about the Direct TV satellite on top of the shed?

Petitioner stated that he would be removing that from the shed. He did not want to touch anything until he got approval from the board. He promised that the shed would look very nice when completed.

Mr. Alexie asked if the Building Department would go back out and check the concrete?

Mr. Shortt stated that the Building Department would have to drill a test hole to make sure there is a 24" deep rat wall. He stated if there wasn’t a rat wall the petitioner would have to jack the shed up and put one in.

Petitioner asked if the rat wall had to be 24" from the surface?

Mr. Shortt explained that the rat wall had to be 24" deep from the grade.

Chairman Stepnak stated that if the board would move to grant the variance there would be stipulations. One would be that the petitioner would have to acquire permits and adhere to the rules and regulations of the Building Department. He explained that the board would probably include a stipulation that the petitioner would have to paint the shed and remove the satellite dish from the roof.

Chairman Stepnak read a letter from Richard and Patricia Couture, 51828 Laurel Oaks Lane that was in favor of the board granting the variance for the petitioner.

Chairman Stepnak read another favorable letter from Gregory and Marie Randazzo at 51875 Laurel Oaks Lane.

The letters were retained by the board for the ZBA records.

Mr. Shortt explained that if the shed was approved the petitioner would have to have a verification that there is a rat wall and it would have to be anchored to the slab. He stated that he would probably have the petitioner drywall and tape the entire the shed to satisfy the fire safety codes because the shed is only 4 ½ feet from the home and less than 3 feet from the property line.

There were no public comments.

Chairman Stepnak stated that if the board moved favorably on the variance, the petitioner had so many days to get a permit. He mentioned that if the petitioner did not fulfill the obligations of the Building Department then the motion would be null and void. He asked if the petitioner was fully aware of what had to be done?

Petitioner stated that he understood and he would just like some specifics.

Chairman Stepnak stated that Mr. Shortt would be available during the day and let the petitioner know exactly what has to be done.

Mr. Shortt verified that he would provide the petitioner with all the information and specifics.

Mr. Alexie asked if the petitioner had power in the shed?

Petitioner answered no.

Motion by Mr. Klonowski to approve Petition # 2010-24 for the existing shed to remain in the present location at 51900 Laurel Oak, Chesterfield, MI 48047. The petitioner must abide by the rules and regulations of the Building Department, drywall the structure, paint the shed and follow all the building codes.

Supported by Chairman Stepnak. He added that there was a practical difficulty and the petitioner was using the structure for storage. He stated that the shed had been there for a long time and it was not varying far from the original intent of the Township ordinances.

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

5. ZBA PETITION #2010-25: Romain Jeskey, 53200 Baker, Chesterfield, MI 48047. Variance is for a 2’ height variance, second structure and to be 104’ over the allowable square footage of 920’. Location of variance is stated above.

Romain Jeskey, 53200 Baker, Chesterfield, MI 48047 addressed the board.

Petitioner stated that she would like to put an accessory building on her property. She explained that after submitting the plans and talking it over with her neighbors, she discovered that they were not happy with the proposed location of the structure. Therefore, she mentioned that out of respect for her neighbors, she would like to change the location of the structure and put it in another corner of her lot which her neighbors all agreed was fine with them. She brought the plans up to the board and explained the change in location. She stated that she did not want to have her neighbors sitting on their decks being angry with her.

Chairman Stepnak verified that the petitioner just planned to move the structure to the other side of the property?

Petitioner answered yes and she did not plan to put in a driveway back to the shed.

Mr. Alexie asked if the petitioner was still requesting a large door for the shed?

Petitioner stated that she was requesting a 6’ tall roll up door for the shed.

Mr. Alexie asked which direction the door would be facing?

Petitioner answered that it would be facing south.

Mr. Alexie stated that he noticed that the petitioner was requesting that the structure be 18’ tall.

Petitioner commented that the structure would go at the back corner of her lot near a lot of tall trees and would not really be visible in that area.

Ms. Uglis asked if there was a reason the petitioner wanted the structure to be so tall?

Petitioner answered that she paints and she would like to eventually have her kilns out in a loft upstairs so she could fire porcelain up there.

Mr. Alexie asked if the petitioner planned to put power in the structure?

Petitioner answered yes eventually.

Mr. Klonowski stated that he was concerned about the height. He mentioned that the petitioner had a terrace there or a step down garden.

Petitioner explained that her yard was basically a sink hole and it goes down from all around the edge.

Mr. Klonowski asked if the terracing was to prevent erosion?

Petitioner answered no that was her garden.

Mr. Klonowski asked if that was going to remain?

Petitioner answered yes she has quite a large garden and that really helps with the erosion.

There was a discussion about that area and flooding on the petitioner’s property.

Petitioner mentioned that she goes out and keeps the drain that runs under Baker open and that was why she has built up higher by the other side of the fence. She commented that hopefully that will work and sand bags.

Ms. Uglis stated that she noticed the garden. She agreed that it was a better choice to move the shed to the other side of the property.

Petitioner stated that the shed would have been fine in the original location for her, but she moved the location for her neighbors.

Mr. Alexie asked if the petitioner had any letters from her neighbors?

Petitioner answered no.

Chairman Stepnak stated that the board has entertained height variances in the past. He asked Mr. Shortt if that height was necessary for that size of a building for pitch?

Mr. Shortt stated that the gambrel or barn shaped roof has a lot of head room in there, but where it would be located the structure would really be blocked in by the trees and nobody would really see it.

Chairman Stepnak asked Mr. Shortt if the board suggested a lower height would it really affect the pitches of the roof and what not?

Mr. Shortt stated that the petitioner would probably want a 6’ 4" headroom from the floor to the collar tie on the second story he would imagine. He asked if the petitioner would be the only one up there?

Petitioner answered yes.

Mr. Shortt stated that the top peak on the gambrel could come down to almost a 2/12. So they could probably cheat it down and still get a decent head room.

Petitioner stated that she was not steadfast on the height. She explained that she wants it done right for the neighborhood and the property. She stated that she was flexible.

Mr. Klonowski read a letter from Mr. Kurt KIanner, 34351 Jared Court, Chesterfield that was against the granting of the variance because of the location and the height. The letter was retained for the ZBA’s records.

Chairman Stepnak explained that the petitioner basically has to prove a practical difficulty as to why the petitioner needs a larger shed. He stated that looking at the dimensions of the home and the large garage, he believes that the petitioner already has a lot of storage space. He verified that the petitioner mentioned that she was an avid gardener and a painter.

Petitioner stated that she was a painter, a gardener and she also owns motorcycles.

Chairman Stepnak reiterated that the petitioner must prove a practical difficulty to allow this large of a shed. He commented that the shed seemed to just be an additional out building that deviates from the Township ordinances. He agreed that the shed would be far back on the lot and there are a lot of trees there; so that would also be something the board might consider.

There were no public comments.

Chairman Stepnak stated that the board would be looking at a 16’ x 24’ shed with a height of 18’.

Petitioner stated that she would be willing to down size the shed to 14’ x 20’ and she would be more than happy with a height of 16’.

Chairman Stepnak stated that the petitioner has offered to down size the shed, lower the height by 2’ and to relocate the shed to the other side of her property.

Ms. Uglis asked if the petitioner had a two-car garage?

Petitioner answered that she has a three-car garage.

Ms. Uglis asked what was currently stored in her garage?

Petitioner explained that she uses her garage to store her three motorcycles and one has a side car. She stated that she also parks her car in the garage. She mentioned that she also has a shop area with power tools in her garage and also uses the structure to stores her riding lawnmower and gardening equipment. She explained that she uses her garage like a man uses the garage and she spends a lot of time out there.

Mr. Shortt stated that he had no problems with it.

Motion by Mr. Alexie to approve Petition #2010-25 for a 14’ x 20’ x 16’ structure separate from the primary building. He stated that the petitioner would be required to obtain all necessary permits from the Building Department, comply with all building requirements, move the structure to the Northeast corner of the property and turn it 90 degrees.

Supported by Ms. Uglis

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

6. OLD BUSINESS:

There was no old business.

7. NEW BUSINESS:

There was a discussion concerning a petition that was coming up at the next ZBA meeting.

8. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PRIOR MEETING:

Motion by Chairman Stepnak to approve the minutes from the August 25, 2010 meeting.

Supported by Mr. Klonowski

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

9. COMMENTS FROM THE FLOOR:

There were no comments from the floor.

10. ADJOURNMENT:

Motion by Ms. Uglis to adjourn at 7:55 PM.

Supported by Mr. Klonowski

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

Thomas Yaschen, Secretary

Grace Mastronardi, Recording Secretary

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