Reference Desk


Planning Commission Minutes - February 9, 2010

FEBRUARY 9, 2010

A Regular meeting of the Charter Township of Chesterfield Planning Commission was held on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at the Township Hall Located at 47275 Sugarbush, Chesterfield, MI 48047.


Mr. Stabile called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.


Present: Joe Stabile Excused: Jim Priest
Paula Frame
Robert Kohler
George Deeby
Ray Saelens
Paul Miller
Carl Leonard
Michele Ficht

Others: Patrick Meagher, Township Planner


Motion by Ms. Ficht, supported by Mr. Saelens to approve the agenda as presented.

All Ayes Motion Carried

4. SUBCOMMITTEE REPORT: (Committee will report items under Reviews)



A. BAYSIDE MALL PROPOSED NEW PYLON SIGN – SGN #2009-29: Sign Fabricators, 43984 Groesbeck Clinton Twp., MI 48036. Proposed new pylon sign located at 33195 23 Mile Road. TABLED 1-12-2010.

Ms. Frame stated that we would like to give the applicant six meetings; they have not submitted anything new; they are still in discussions trying to resolve the sign size.

Motion by Ms. Frame, supported by Mr. Saelens to table SGN #2009-29 for up to 6 meetings, with the deadline being May 11, 2010.

All Ayes Motion Carried

B. BLACK, BLACK & BLACK LAW OFFICES PROPOSED NEW GROUND SIGN – SGN #2009-46: David Black 34021 23 Mile Road, Chesterfield, MI 48047. Proposed new ground sign located at the above address. TABLED 1-12-2010.

Ms. Frame stated that we are still trying to decide if this Board would like to see a full site plan from this establishment. They are currently an illegal usage situation because they have gone from a residential zoning to an office structure without any type of site plan. We would like to table the sign application for up to six meetings until this Board makes a decision on the site plan. She suggested that we have a discussion and then tie everything together.

Mr. Stabile commented that when he was preparing for this meeting he wanted to take a look at this facility; he turned into the driveway and was not able to get back out because it was about 4:15 p.m. and the traffic was either going very fast and he could not pull out backwards, or if the light changed by the firehouse, two or three cars stacked up and he could not back out. He ended up having to pull up on a ramp by the front porch in order to turn the car around. There is no way to turn around in there. Just from that particular situation alone, he thinks it needs to have a site plan because there obviously are some movement problems there.

Mr. Saelens asked if it is zoned correctly.

Mr. Meagher responded that at this point in time the zoning is correct. It was previously a residence and the ordinance is pretty clear that a change of use requires a site plan. His attitude would be that this is a significant change of use and he is not sure if there is too much latitude here with regard to if there should be or should not be a site plan. He read Section 76-253 A-4 with regard to a site plan being approved when there is a change of use.

Mr. Deeby concurred that this is a major change.

Ms. Frame asked Mr. Meagher if a sign has to have a timeframe.

Mr. Meagher responded no it does not.

Motion by Ms. Frame, supported by Mr. Saelens to table SGN #2009-46 for up to six months subject to a full site plan review.

All Ayes Motion Carried

C. MOBIL GAS STATION – ZORA, INC. PROPOSED DIRECTIONAL-INFORMATIONAL SIGNS - SGN #2010-01: Proposed 34”x34” sign “Now Excepting Bridge Cards” located at each pump located at 47191 Jefferson.

Ms. Frame stated that this sign does not meet the ordinance.

Motion by Ms. Frame, supported by Mr. Leonard to deny SGN #2010-01.

Mr. Saelens asked if this is for one sign.

Ms. Frame responded that the applicant wanted to put up a sign on each pole at each pump.

Vote On The Motion:
All Ayes Motion Carried

D. SPEEDWAY/SUPER AMERICA PROPOSED NEW WALL/CANOPY SIGN - SGN#2010-02: National Illumination, 6525 Angola Road, Holland, OH. 43528. Proposed new wall-canopy name change w/ lighted channel letters. Located at 26115 21 Mile Road.

Motion by Ms. Frame, supported by Mr. Kohler to approve SGN #2010-02.

All Ayes Motion Carried

E. SPEEDWAY-SUPER AMERICA PROPOSED NEW PYLON SIGN – SGN#2010-03: National Illumination, 6525 Angola Road, Holland, OH. 43528. Proposed new pylon change from vinyl insert of price board to LED located at 26115 21 Mile Road.

Motion by Ms. Frame, supported by Mr. Deeby to approve SGN #2010-03.

All Ayes Motion Carried

F. ANGLERS POINT PROPOSED NEW WALL SIGN WITH LED – SGN#2010-04: Bright Star Sign, 13300 Foley Street, Detroit, MI 48277. Proposed new wall sign located at 28955 Wm.Rosso Hwy.

Motion by Ms. Frame, supported by Mr. Saelens to approve SGN #2010-04.

All Ayes Motion Carried

G. ANGLERS POINT PROPOSED NEW GROUND SIGN – SGN #2010-05: Bright Star Sign, 13300 Foley St. Detroit, MI 48227. Proposed new ground/pylon sign located at 28955 Wm. Rosso Hwy.

Ms. Frame stated that she did inform the applicant that this sign does not meet the ordinance due to the application stating that the sign was three inches from the road and there were no dimensions on the sign.

Gerard Ferguson indicated that he has given the commission a form of a site plan. He explained that the first page with the red circle is the location of where they had the existing sign and where they would like to keep the new sign. The second page is the dimensions of what the new sign would be. The third page is a photo of what the original sign was, which was a raised sign. They are now looking to lower the sign. They lost the old sign in the wind; that is why they are replacing it. They were informed that the sign had to be ten feet back from the road. Ten feet would put the sign almost to the last telephone pole.

Mr. Stabile corrected that the sign should be ten feet from the right-of-way not from the road.

Mr. Ferguson asked if it is from the center.

Ms. Frame informed him that it is probably where the fence is.

Mr. Ferguson commented that would put him behind the fence basically. There is a garage right there, so there would be basically no view of the sign what so ever. He is at a dead end road. He is the last driveway on the left. He really has no traffic per say.

Mr. Saelens commented that he has the public access point there so there is a lot of traffic.

Mr. Ferguson responded correct, their driveways are directly across, but at that point they turn into the access; it is not like he is on a main road where there is traffic coming and going each way.

Mr. Stabile commented about the pole being three inches off the road.

Mr. Ferguson responded that it is more like four feet actually.

Mr. Stabile commented that he went there yesterday, and it is not four feet off the road.

Mr. Ferguson responded that it is not three inches; he knows that. He is pleading hardship here; if he goes back ten feet, he has no visibility of a sign.

Mr. Stabile commented that they might have to give up space where the boat is.

Mr. Saelens commented that on the photo you can see a trail of oil or other fluid from the boats that come in, and that trail is right around where the sign is. He suggested that maybe a solution would be a monopole. It is too close to the road.

Mr. Leonard asked if they are replacing the post or just the signage.

Mr. Ferguson responded that the posts are still there.

Mr. Leonard asked for clarification that the new sign is going to go on the existing posts.

Mr. Ferguson responded correct, but instead of leaving the sign at that height, he was going to lower it down more like a monument sign. He originally did not put the sign up, it was existing on the property when he purchased it.

Ms. Frame commented that it does not mean that it is a legal sign.

Mr. Saelens commented that this is an opportunity for us to correct the problem.

Mr. Stabile stated that this Board has the option of giving a variance to the existing ordinance, which states ten feet from the right-of-way. Mr. Meagher says that the pole is at the right-of-way, so that would mean that it would have to be ten feet further in on the property. He could see that we could give some type of variance so it would not have to go that far in, but he cannot see how they could end up with a sign out there next to the roadway.

Ms. Frame suggested that if we were to grant a variance it would have to be somewhere behind the telephone pole.

Mr. Stabile stated that Mr. Meagher pointed out that right now that is not Mr. Ferguson’s property.

Ms. Frame commented that it is an easement.

Mr. Meagher informed Mr. Ferguson that he might want to research that. If in fact a right-of-way was never granted, and the Road Commission has no objection to the access, then perhaps the commission could look at it. If it is in the right-of-way, and we allow him to put a sign back up, we would basically be telling him that it is okay to construct a sign on the county’s property.

Mr. Ferguson responded that he understands. He will get in touch with the county.

Mr. Stabile informed Mr. Ferguson that we will work with him to get something reasonable.

Motion by Ms. Frame, supported by Ms. Ficht to table SGN 2010-05 for up to 6 meetings, with the deadline being May 11, 2010 until the applicant can find out regarding the right-of-way for the current sign and contact Community Planning & Management, P.C. on working to resolve the issue of sign placement.

All Ayes Motion Carried

H. HYDRO PROS PROPOSED NEW WALL SIGN – SGN #2010-06: Highland Sign, 8070 Rene Dr., White Lake, MI 48386. Proposed new wall sign located at 30504 23 Mile Road. In the
Michael’s Plaza Shopping Center.

Motion by Ms. Frame, supported by Mr. Leonard to approve SGN #2010-06.

All Ayes Motion Carried


Motion by Ms. Frame, supported by Mr. Deeby to approve the minutes from the January 12, 2010 meeting as sent.

All Ayes Motion Carried




11. PLANNERS REPORT: (1) Discussion on Township Sign Ordinance, (2.) Administrative Request from Ralph Daley, 48762 Salt River Dr., Chesterfield, MI 48047. Regarding Laundromat located at 31643 23 Mile Road.

(1) Discussion on Township Sign Ordinance

Mr. Meagher stated that Mr. Priest wanted to talk to the commission regarding the Township Sign Ordinance. Mr. Meagher suggested that we hold this until the next meeting if no one had objections.

The members agreed.

(2.) Administrative Request from Ralph Daley, 48762 Salt River Dr., Chesterfield, MI 48047. Regarding Laundromat located at 31643 23 Mile Road.

Mr. Meagher stated that this is the shopping mall that had some type of sub shop right on the corner, and the next door building is a B & B party store. The Building Department had looked at this and did not see a big issue with it. They were going to let them in, but because of some change of usage issues, they wanted to make sure if the commission wanted a site plan on this or if we wanted to see an administrative approval. The engineer did send us a letter with some concerns asking that approval be withheld until they address some issue with regard to water and sewer permits, and additional sanitary sewer and water privilege fees to be required and separate water and sewer services being extended to this user. This is a significant change of use. He would ask if parking would be adequate for this type of use. There is not enough information right now on the administrative request to give us an answer to that question. He suggested that no action be taken this evening. The question is would we want a full site plan or would an administrative approval be adequate.

Mr. Stabile commented that at times we have had administrative requests with layouts, but this one has nothing.

Ms. Frame commented that we will need a layout for sure.

Mr. Meagher stated that for the time being we will entertain it administratively, but we want more detail.

Mr. Saelens added that we want AEW’s issues resolved.

Mr. Meagher responded correct.

Mr. Stabile stated that if we were to ask for a site plan we would take care of all of the parking problems.

Mr. Meagher stated that we kind of open up the whole site if we require a site plan. The access drives are a little confusing because there are actually two access drives that look like one with a median in it. No one quite knows if they should use one as an in/out, or they are supposed to use each of them separately. We would be opening that all up to scrutiny if we were to ask for a site plan.

Mr. Stabile asked if Mr. Meagher is suggesting an interior site plan on these two units.

Mr. Meagher stated that we would need to know how many machines are going to be located inside the building, and we would need a full parking count with some dimensions to make sure that the parking shown is actually feasible in the parking lot.

Sanford Green stated that their understanding of the B-3 Zoning District is that a Laundromat is allowed in B-3, and per the ordinance they need one parking space for every two machines. The plans that are with the Building Department show 20 machines; therefore, they need 10 parking spaces. The site has 50 parking spaces. They represent ¼ of the space at the shopping center; so if you simply did it on a share of space, they would have 12 ½, per the ordinance they need 10. He does not think that parking would be an issue here.

Mr. Stabile commented that it might not be an issue, but they have to give it to us in writing.

Mr. Meagher commented as well as the other uses within the center so that the parking can be calculated.

Ralph Daley stated that we were supplied with a site plan. He does not know why we don’t have one. He gave Ms. Giese five copies.

Ms. Frame presented them with a copy of a plan and asked if that was what Mr. Daley was referring to.

Mr. Daley responded yes.

Ms. Frame informed him that we are asking them for more information. There is nothing telling us that there are 20 machines going in.

Mr. Daley commented that there are 50 parking spaces.

Ms. Frame responded that there are only 34 shown on the diagram.

Mr. Daley pointed out where there is additional parking in the back.

Ms. Frame informed him that the site plan is incomplete. We need more information regarding the machines and the parking spaces.

Mr. Daley reiterated that he gave Ms. Giese 5 copies with that information.

Mr. Stabile informed him that this is what we have, and asked when he submitted the plans to Ms. Giese.

Mr. Daley stated that the Building Department has had them for almost a month.

Mr. Green stated that issue #1 on the AEW letter has already been resolved with Joe in the Building Department. There is a set schedule of extra fees that a Laundromat has to meet. It is $27,000.00. They have already agreed to pay it per the existing schedule. They are surprised and baffled with item #2. There is a two inch water line serving the building. There are two ¾ inch lines that specifically serve the two suites that they have combined to create the 2,000 square feet. They have been partners for 20 some years on 20 Laundromats; most of them significantly larger than this one. They have never had an issue where they needed a dedicated water line. Typically they need a one inch with a four inch sewer line universally. This is the first time that it has ever come up. They are a little taken aback by this requirement.

Mr. Saelens informed him that they would need to speak with our engineer.

Mr. Green stated that he understands. He is just pointing out that that one is coming out of left field for them. He asked for clarification on what the commission is requiring of them.

Mr. Meagher stated that we will probably not require anything. What the commission will look for is the fact that they worked out the issues with AEW; we will look for the next letter from AEW to say that the applicants have agreed to A and B, and it will be a condition upon approval; it will not be a site plan issue.

Mr. Green stated that he is just trying to identify what they have to do before the next meeting to get this taken care of.

Mr. Meagher stated that evidently they have turned in a fairly complete plan to the Building Department, that they did not turn in for Planning Commission review. In order for the Planning Commission to determine that the use meets the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance, they need to have this information; the number of machines in the building, number of parking spaces on the site, what are the other tenants in there and how many spaces do they require.

Mr. Green asked if we want this on a set of plans.

Mr. Meagher informed him that we are going to accept this administratively, so if they can clean up the plan they have here, put the spaces on there, and show the general layout of the building showing what they are going to do with the washing and drying units, that should take care of it.

Ms. Frame commented that she just wanted to make sure they are clear on what we need. We need all of the parking spots designated because they are not clearly specified on the plan that we have, the other units in the plaza need to be specified, and the amount of parking spots that they require need to be on the plan.

Mr. Green interjected with a question, asking if there is a code specifying the number of parking spaces.

Mr. Meagher informed him that the Zoning Ordinance has a parking section, which is on-line. He directed Mr. Green to see Article 6 of 76-40, Off Street Parking and Loading, where there is a chart that lists uses and number of parking spaces required. He instructed Mr. Green that if they have any questions to give him a call.

Ms. Frame stated that the last thing we are requesting is the amount of machines inside of the two units, along with the layout of those machines.

Mr. Stabile asked if that is part of what they gave to the Building Department.

Mr. Green responded yes, absolutely. They will just make sure that it gets transferred from the Building Department to the Planning Commission.

Ms. Frame added that we need the okay from AEW also.

Mr. Meagher asked for a motion to table this item.

Motion by Mr. Stabile, supported by Ms. Frame to table the Administrative Request from Ralph Daley regarding Laundromat located at 31643 23 Mile Road for up to 6 meetings, with the deadline being May 11, 2010.

All Ayes Motion Carried

Mr. Daley presented a copy of a plan that he submitted to the Building Department and asked if that plan is sufficient for the Planning Commission.

Ms. Frame asked if they have parking on this plan as well.

Mr. Daley responded that he does not think so. It is the interior plan for the building.

Mr. Meagher instructed him that the top sheet is adequate, and also to make the corrections to the site plan.

Mr. Daley stated that the site plan that the commission has seems faded out. The plans that he gave to Ms. Giese showed all of the parking spaces. He submitted five copies.

Ms. Frame instructed him to submit 16 copies total of the complete plan for everything that we discussed.


Mr. Stabile informed the commission members that in order to be excused from a meeting they must call either Mr. Priest or the township office at extension 1167. Also, the township will start to uphold the number of unexcused absences. Mr. Priest had some ideas with regard to the cancellation of meetings. He would like one meeting a month definitely scheduled so as to end any confusion for applicants.

There was discussion with regard to holding up sign applications if there is nothing else scheduled for a meeting.

Mr. Meagher suggested that everyone give some thought to this item and we will discuss it at our next meeting.

Mr. Stabile commented on the revised phone/address list.

Mr. Leonard requested the addition of some area codes on the revised phone/address list.

There was discussion regarding windmills.

Gary Gendernalik spoke regarding an article on solar and wind power in Warren. He suggested contacting Warren for some information.

There was additional discussion regarding windmills.

Mr. Deeby commented on removing the vagueness from the ordinance with regard to the change of usage in the same zoning district and requiring a site plan versus administrative approval.

Mr. Meagher suggested bringing back that section of the ordinance for clarification in order to make it clearer for the staff.

Ms. Frame asked for volunteers for the next pre-planning meeting.

Mr. Saelens and Ms. Ficht agreed to attend.

Mr. Leonard asked about having Planning Commission identification cards.

Ms. Frame left the room at 8:12 p.m. She reentered at 8:14 p.m.



Motion by Mr. Stabile, supported by Mr. Saelens to adjourn the meeting at 8:14 p.m.

All Ayes Motion Carried

Paula Frame, Secretary

Christine A. Hunyady, Recording Secretary 


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