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Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes - September 22, 2010

THE CHARTER TOWNSHIP OF CHESTERFIELD

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

September 22, 2010

On September 22, 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

Thomas Yaschen, Secretary

Janice Uglis, Township Board liaison Gerald Alexie

Absent: James Klonowski, Vice-Chairman, 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 #2010-26: Glenn Zampaglione, 25850 Twenty Two Mile Road, Chesterfield, MI 48051. Requesting a variance for a second accessory building

over the 1200 square foot allowance at the above address.

Glenn Zampaglione, 25850 Twenty Two Mile Road, Chesterfield, MI addressed the board.

Petitioner stated that he wanted to build a pole barn on his property to store his classic cars.

Mr. Alexie asked if the petitioner planned to build a pole barn or a garage?

Petitioner stated that he would prefer to put a pole barn on the property, but if not, he would build a garage.

Mr. Alexie asked the size of the proposed structure?

Petitioner stated 30’ x 40’.

Mr. Alexie asked if the structure was being built to store classic cars?

Petitioner answered yes and there a few other things he planned to store in the structure.

Mr. Yaschen stated that when he went out to visit the property he noticed that the petitioner also had a shed on the property.

Petitioner answered yes.

Mr. Yaschen stated that according to the plans that barn is 504 square feet; however, it looks as though it has been added on to. He asked if it was still 504’?

Petitioner stated that just the barn itself he imagined was 504 square feet; the rest of it is going to be torn down.

Mr. Yaschen verified that the pole barn that the petitioner is requesting would be 1,200 square feet; therefore the petitioner was requesting a variance for at least 504 square feet, besides the shed. He asked Mr. Shortt if the square footage of the shed would be a separate issue?

Mr. Shortt stated that he thought the petitioner was supposed to tear the shed down.

Mr. Yaschen asked the petitioner if he planned to tear the shed down?

Petitioner answered yes.

Mr. Yaschen asked where the classic cars were being stored at the present time?

Petitioner explained that the one car was under the canopy, one was in the trailer, one was on the side of the trailer and one was in the barn.

Ms. Uglis asked if the petitioner just planned to have one garage door on there?

Petitioner answered that he planned to have a big entry door and a 36’ side door on the barn.

Ms. Uglis stated that the petitioner had no neighbors on the right except for the railroad tracks. She asked what the petitioner was mainly storing in the barn at the present time?

Petitioner answered that he had one vehicle in there and a bunch of odds and ends.

Ms. Uglis verified so the pole barn would be housing the vehicles. She asked how many vehicles the petitioner planned to put in the structure?

Petitioner answered that he planned to put up to 6 vehicles in there.

Chairman Stepnak stated that the petition states one accessory structure over the 1200 square foot allowance. He asked the approximate size of the structure the petitioner planned to put up?

Petitioner reiterated that the structure would be 30’ x 40’.

Mr. Yaschen read two letters in favor of the board granting the variance for the petitioner. The first from Mr. Rick Pardon, at 25954 Twenty-Two Mile Road and the second from

Mr. Richard Kling, at 25935 Twenty-two Mile Road. Both of the letters were retained for the ZBA records.

There were no public comments.

Chairman Stepnak stated that the petitioner’s property is in an area where across the railroad tracks there is light industry and there will probably never be a subdivision in that area. He stated that the area seems kind of rural and with the location near the railroad tracks, he does not really have a problem with it.

Mr. Shortt explained that on the right side of the pole barn there is a ditch that drains to the front ditch, so the petitioner would have to tap into that with the gutters. He stated that the Building Department does not really have a problem with it.

Chairman Stepnak explained to the petitioner that he would have to comply with all the engineering specs, building specs and follow the rules and regulations of the Building Department. He asked the petitioner if he agreed with that?

Petitioner answered yes.

Mr. Alexie asked if the storage trailer would remain on the property?

Petitioner stated that he would be getting rid of the trailer once the pole barn is completed.

Mr. Alexie stated so the petitioner would not be storing vehicles in there any longer?

Petitioner answered no.

Motion by Mr. Yaschen to approve Petition # 2010-26 for a second accessory building which would be over the 1200 square foot allowance. The petitioner must remove the old shed as instructed and must follow the building criteria of the Building Department. The approval does not discredit the ordinance and the petitioner has not been given any special privileges for that zoning district.

Supported by Ms. Uglis.

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

5. ZBA PETITION #2010-27: John Vitale, 27172 Woodward Avenue, Royal Oak, MI 48067. Requesting a 27 parking space variance on the property located at 50555 Gratiot Avenue.

Blake Hatternan, 2010 Roseland Avenue, Royal Oak, MI addressed the board.

Petitioner stated that he was requesting a 27 space parking variance for the Chesterfield Crossing Shopping Center located at 50555 Gratiot Avenue.

Chairman Stepnak commented that he wished there was someone present from the Planning Department concerning this matter.

Ms. Uglis asked if the front portion on the Pub is that going to go and wrap around?

Petitioner answered yes.

Ms. Uglis asked if it would go kitty-corner and then wrap around or would it be the whole thing?

Petitioner stated that there would be a small entry vestibule addition on the front of the building and then on the side of the building, approximately 30’, would be two banquet rooms that would extend the existing pub into the existing landscaped area that also had an existing outdoor patio. The outdoor enclosed fenced in patio is also part of that.

Ms. Uglis asked how far the carport was coming out over the patio?

Petitioner stated that it would cover the entire patio.

Ms. Uglis asked so there will not be a patio as it exists now?

Petitioner answered not in that location; it will be placed at the front of the new addition.

He stated that a portion of the outdoor patio will be on the side of the building and a portion will be in the front of the new addition.

Mr. Yaschen asked if the petitioner had something that would give the board a better idea of what was being proposed? He stated that it was hard to visualize it with the paperwork that had been presented to the board.

Petitioner presented the board with the more detailed drawings.

Petitioner stated that he planned to do an entire facelift on the building with two minor additions.

Mr. Yaschen asked with the addition how many more people would be accommodated inside the Pub?

Petitioner stated that he believed that the design calculation for the addition was 100 persons total; 50 in each room.

Mr. Yaschen asked if the petitioner anticipated that even when the theatre gets a full house, the lot would still accommodate the cars between the two.

Petitioner stated that part of the renovation was to address the location of the entry drive which will alleviate some of the circulation problems on that portion of the site in terms of traffic to adjacent properties. That also allowed the petitioners to add seven more parking spaces. The petitioner believes that the load for the Pub and the retail stores would be off set and there should be enough parking at the front of the center to accommodate the uses without affecting the adjoining properties.

Mr. Alexie asked if the petitioner would be building on any of the existing parking spots?

Petitioner answered no; in fact they would be adding seven new parking spaces and they would just be adjusting the location of the new drive.

There were no public comments.

Mr. Shortt stated that in front of Hamlin Pub where the petitioner has the outdoor patio; they would need to landscape that and put in a handicapped ramp. He explained that as long as there was enough room to get a wheelchair onto the sidewalk through there.

Petitioner stated that there would be plenty of space for a wheelchair to maneuver around. He believes that the total width of the sidewalk would be 60".

Mr. Shortt stated that he did not realize that there was that much room from the parking to the bar itself. He stated that the Building Department does not have a problem with the concept.

Chairman Stepnak stated that he remembered when MJR came in and got a variance for parking spaces. He mentioned that he was all in favor of expanding businesses in the community; however, at this time there were a lot of vacant sites in the Township. He believes that the petitioner is trying to squeeze more onto the property. He explained that there are reasons for limiting parking spaces. He stated that people keep chipping away and chipping away at the ordinances and the Township has spent money to professionals who recommend how many parking spaces should be required on a site. He has a serious problem with decreasing that many parking spaces on the site.

Mr. Yaschen asked the petitioner if he would be adding seven parking spaces?

Petitioner answered that was correct.

Mr. Yaschen asked Mr. Shortt if the site would still be short 27 spaces?

Mr. Shortt answered yes.

Ms. Uglis has seen when Hamlin Pub has been busy down there and most of the time it has been when the stores are closed. She stated that there is a heck of a lot of parking over there when the retail stores are closed and in addition there is still parking behind the building. She explained that the Township was really pushing the businesses to get going and she does not really have a problem with this.

The owner of Chesterfield Crossing addressed the board. (He did not sign in at the podium.)

The owner stated that there is so much parking in the front of the center and he was trying to accommodate Hamlin Pub because they are getting so many requests from people in the community for banquets. He stated that Hamlin Pub does not have the room to offer this to the community because they do not have a large enough facility.

Ms. Uglis asked the gentleman if he owns the whole complex?

The owner answered yes.

Ms. Uglis asked the gentleman if he is refacing the whole thing?

The owner answered yes. He explained that he met with Mike Pollack from MJR and they looked at the parking when both facilities were busy and there was so much parking that was still empty; they did not feel it was really an issue. He explained that as a landlord, he does not want to hurt his other tenants as well.

Ms. Uglis stated that she is over in that area quite a bit and there is a lot of parking out there. She asked how long has Hamlin Pub been at that location?

Petitioner answered that the Pub has been there about four years.

Motion to approve Petition #2010-27 for the requested 27 parking space variance.

Supported by Mr. Alexie

Ayes: Uglis, Alexie and Yaschen

Nays: Stepnak Motion Failed

Motion by Chairman Stepnak to deny Petition # 2010-27. He stated that the petitioner did not prove a practical difficulty to deviate from current ordinances for parking spaces that the Township has in place. He added that there was no practical difficulty to allow the decrease of 27 parking spaces.

There was no support of the Motion.

Motion Failed

Motion by Chairman Stepnak to Table Petition # 2010-27 to the next regular scheduled meeting which would be October 13th.

Supported by Mr. Yaschen

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

6. ZBA PETITION #2010-28: Joseph Sengstock, 13344 Canal Road, Sterling Heights, MI 48313. Requesting a variance for a side yard setback, a privacy fence, sidewalk waiver and variance/interpretation on allowable garage square footage. Variances request are for a new home at 46560 Jefferson.

Mr. Gary Gendernalik, Laurel Oak, Chesterfield, MI addressed the board.

Mr. Gendernalik stated that he was representing Joseph and Linda Sengstock. He stated that they were requesting variances in order to build a house on the corner of Farwell and Jefferson. He stated that they submitted a drawing that shows the petitioners own a large lot over 12,000 square feet. However, it has a strange configuration because at that corner the angle of the road makes their property very difficult to build on. He explained that there is an existing garage which already encroaches into the 30’ setback. He stated that they have a building envelope for the house and obviously, they need a 30’ setback on Farwell. He explained that they would meet the side yard setback, but they need a variance for the frontage on Jefferson. He stated that the home will be 1,352 square feet and the building envelope would be 26’ x 52’. The ordinance requires at least a 960 square foot house so they felt the house was a decent size, but it wasn’t overbuilding for the lot. He mentioned that he discussed the matter of placement of the home with Joe and the engineer and it was decided that they would place the home so it faces Farwell and the driveway would come in off of Farwell. He stated that on the drawing there is an existing shed, which will come down. He explained that there was already water and sewer to that shed; that would be discontinued and would be the hook up for the house. He explained that he discussed the matter with Mr. Joe Gayeski at the Water Department and he was told that the water and sewer is available along Jefferson and along Farwell to service this particular lot. In conjunction, he stated they were requesting a variance to waive the sidewalk requirement along Jefferson and Farwell. He stated that the Zoning Ordinances of the Township require sidewalks along all road frontages. However, there are no sidewalks on Farwell and there are no sidewalks on Jefferson. He brought up the fact that there were some illustrations about updating in that area. He presented copies of an article in last Thursdays Macomb Daily in which there was an article stating that the County was trying to renew the extension of the bike path in Chesterfield. He explained that the bike path now ends at the Salt River on the land side of Jefferson; it ends at the bridge. He stated in the article it states that the County intends to complete the bike path along Jefferson. Supposedly, it would be continued to Selfridge. Presumably it would continue on the land side of Jefferson so there would be no practical sense in putting in a sidewalk when it services no one and goes no where.

Furthermore, Mr. Gendernalik continued, there is not a significant amount of pedestrian traffic in this section of the neighborhood. He stated that the petition also requested a variance for a privacy fence on Jefferson and Farwell because they are located at a major intersection. He continued explaining that the petitioners would like a variance to build a small berm there (indicating an area on the plans) and put up a four foot high privacy fence. He stated that the petitioners have already fixed the sea wall and have done some landscaping to improve the property. He explained that the garage would stay in the request there is a variance as to the size and height of the garage. The garage has been there a good number of years. He emphasized that the Ordinance states that the structure must be 16’ at the peak. He claimed that at one time it was measured at the midline and at that time it probably would have met the height requirement. However, at this point it measures 19’ 6"; therefore he stated they would need a 3’ 6" height variance for the garage. He presented aerial photographs and pointed out different aspects of the property.

Mr. Gendernalik stated that the berm and the fence would be there to give the petitioners some privacy because a good part of their home would be adjacent to the highway. There are basically four variances that they were requesting.

Chairman Stepnak asked if the project was predicated on the approval of all four variances?

Mr. Gendernalik answered that was their basic goal.

Mr. Gendernalik brought up the point that in this particular situation, there is no drainage problem because there is a canal as shown in this depiction and there are already drains in place along the property line and there are catch basins over there. He stated that when the vacant property gets built, the owners would be able to do the same thing. He reiterated that the petitioner had no drainage problems because the drainage was already in place.

Mr. Yaschen stated that he it looked as thought the petitioner was actually requesting six variances.

Mr. Gendernalik stated that there are four variances that are listed, however two are in combinations. So he agreed that Mr. Yaschen was correct.

Mr. Yaschen had no further questions.

Ms. Uglis had no questions.

Mr. Alexie asked where the berm would be located?

Mr. Gendernalik answered that the berm would go in this area on Jefferson and over here on Farwell while indicating the location on the plans.

Mr. Alexie stated that he did not see it on the drawings.

Mr. Gendernalik agreed that Mr. Alexie was correct and it was not on the drawings.

Mr. Alexie asked if the home would have a garage?

Mr. Gendernalik answered that the petitioner’s garage would be the existing garage on the property.

Mr. Alexie verified that the driveway would not be going into a garage?

Mr. Gendernalik answered that was correct. He added that the existing garage has electricity, but it has no water or sewer.

Mr. Alexie asked if there would be any attachment between the house and the garage?

Mr. Gendernalik answered no. He stated that there was a shed there now and that would be removed because it is in the building envelope.

Mr. Alexie stated that he saw no use for a sidewalk because he drove the area and did not see any sidewalks anywhere.

Chairman Stepnak stated that he did not have a problem with the fence because the neighbors do have fences and they would not be deviating from the way the community has developed. He stated that he would like to see sidewalks, but there aren’t any sidewalks on Jefferson and Farwell and most of those homes have been in place for many years and he does not see the area redeveloping. He stated that he did not have a problem with the side yard setback and the height is preexisting and he does not have a problem with that.

There were no public comments.

Mr. Shortt stated that the Building Department was glad to have this thing cleaned up. His only concern would be the privacy fence on the corner. He asked Mr. Gendernalik if it would be a solid privacy fence?

Mr. Gendernalik answered yes; however, it would only be four feet high as opposed to most privacy fences which are six.

Mr. Shortt stated that the fence would be on a two foot berm. He asked if the berm would be inside the property line?

Mr. Gendernalik answered yes.

Mr. Shortt asked about coming off the corner at Farwell and the apex at the corner; if the fence would come in 15’ and 15’ for the clear vision triangle?

Mr. Gendernalik answered yes and pointed to the area on the plans.

Mr. Shortt stated that yes he thought is would be great. He reiterated that the Building Department was glad to have that property cleaned up and he does not have a problem with it.

Joseph Sengstock, 13344 Canal Road, Sterling Heights, MI 48313 addressed the board.

Petitioner made some comments that were inaudible.

Mr. Gendernalik stated that when he talked to the engineer and to Mr. Shortt because the home would be in the flood plain; they already had the engineer on board who stated he could give them the elevation if they can accommodate the drainage because the canal is there. He explained that when they fixed the sea wall the drainage along that area for the road was improved. He added that the Road Commission was a part of that.

Motion by Chairman Stepnak to approve Petition # 2001-28 due to the letter received on August 19, 2010 from Gary Gendernalik’s office. He stated that concerning 1.) the side yard setback along Jefferson the board believes the property has a different shape and therefore, there is a practical difficulty on the side yard variance. 2.) He stated on the height due to the preexisting condition they would not have a problem going in and cleaning up the property.

3.) He stated that concerning the privacy fence, there are privacy fences in the area therefore, they do not feel it will conflict with the community. He added that the petitioner has agreed that there would be clear vision so there would not be a problem at the intersection of Jefferson and Farwell with people pulling in and out. 4.) He stated that concerning the sidewalk waiver, there are very few sidewalks on Jefferson or Farwell in that area and the petitioner has proved a practical difficulty to warrant the sidewalk variance to be waived.

Supported by Mr. Yaschen

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

7. ZBA PETITION #2010-29: James Petschke, 51541 Fairchild, Chesterfield, MI 48051. Requesting variance to live in existing home while their new residence is being built on the same property at the above address.

James Petschke, 51541 Fairchild, Chesterfield, MI 48051 addressed the board.

Petitioner stated that he was requesting a variance to live in his existing home while building his new residence on the same property.

Chairman Stepnak asked Mr. Shortt for his comments.

Mr. Shortt stated that the plans had been submitted and they are beautiful. He stated that the Building Department has no problem with the petitioner building this new house at this location. He stated that the petitioner’s practical difficulty in this matter would be that he needs a place to live while he is building his new home.

Chairman Stepnak stated that he thought this was something that had been done before.

Mr. Shortt answered absolutely.

Petitioner mentioned that he had discussed this matter with Mr. Shortt and Supervisor Lovelock and for the $10,000 bond; they stated he would have only 20 days. He asked if that could be extended to 30 days? He mentioned that he had a newer furnace and air conditioner in the old home and he would like to donate these items to an organization like maybe Habitat for Humanity.

Chairman Stepnak asked if the petitioner had already paid the bond?

Petitioner answered yes.

Chairman Stepnak stated that he did not understand about the 20 days.

Mr. Alexie asked if the petitioner was referring to having only 20 days for demolition?

Petitioner answered yes and he would like to extend that time period to 30 days.

Chairman Stepnak asked Mr. Shortt about the process?

Mr. Shortt stated that he would work with the petitioner on it. The petitioner has a contractor and had to get a permit for it.

Chairman Stepnak stated that if approved the petitioner had so many days to get a permit.

Mr. Shortt mentioned that after the petitioner gets the permit; the permit was good for six months.

Chairman Stepnak explained that for anything approved that evening, the petitioner would have 30 days to get the permit and another six months. Therefore, he stated there were no time limits on what the board was considering that evening.

Petitioner explained that he would like to demolish the old home as soon as possible.

Chairman Stepnak stated that before the petitioner demolished the old home, Mr. Shortt would make sure that the new home was in place and that the petitioner would be able to do a decent job.

Mr. Shortt joked that as much as the Building Department would like the petitioner’s $10,000; he will work with the petitioner on the project.

Mr. Yaschen had no questions.

Mr. Alexie had no questions.

Ms. Uglis commented that the petitioner’s older home was built in 1929 and still looks to be in good shape. She stated that the home was kept up very well, but the new one looks awesome.

Motion by Mr. Yaschen to approve Petition #2010-29 based on the practical difficulty and hardship. He stated that approving the variance would not be contrary to the spirit of the ordinance.

Supported by Mr. Alexie

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion

8. OLD BUSINESS:

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

Chairman Stepnak referred a letter from Christine Anderson, the Township attorney regarding a variance that was scheduled for October 13, 2010. He asked if the only thing the board was going to be getting from legal counsel would be a letter or would the board like to have the attorney present.

Motion by Chairman Stepnak that legal counsel be present for the next ZBA meeting on October 13th due to the sensitivity of this petition referred to as Ralph Daley vs. Chesterfield Township.

Supported by Mr. Yaschen

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

9. NEW BUSINESS:

There was no new business.

10. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PRIOR MEETING:

Motion by Ms. Uglis to approve the minutes from the September 8, 2010 meeting.

Supported by Mr. Yaschen.

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

11. COMMENTS FROM THE FLOOR:

Chairman Stepnak stated that there were two missing board members and that there needs to be four positive votes. He mentioned that he did not know if they had commitment from the Planning Commission. He stated that the Planning Commission should send someone to the ZBA for every meeting. He commented that he did not know if there was a system in place to notify the Planning Commission of that fact.

Ms. Uglis agreed that the Planning Commission should be notified.

Chairman Stepnak mentioned that he wanted that information to be part of the meeting minutes.

Mr. Shortt commented that especially since Mr. Saelens and Mr. Leonard were former members of the Zoning Board. He claimed that missing board members and not having enough people for a quorum was the reason the Township was in that whole Ralph Daley mess in the first place.

Chairman Stepnak stated that the Zoning Board can always use the input from the Planning Commission.

12. ADJOURNMENT:

Motion by Chairman Stepnak to adjourn at 8:08 PM.

Supported by Ms. Uglis

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

Thomas Yaschen, Secretary

Grace Mastronardi, Recording Secretary

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