Reference Desk


Planning Commission Minutes - August 24, 2010



AUGUST 24, 2010

A Regular meeting of the Charter Township of Chesterfield Planning Commission was held on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at the Township Hall Located at 47275 Sugarbush, Chesterfield, MI 48047.


Chairman Priest called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.


Present: Jim Priest Excused: George Deeby

Robert Kohler

Paula Frame

Joe Stabile

Ray Saelens

Paul Miller

Carl Leonard

Michele Ficht

Others: Patrick Meagher, Township Planner


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

All Ayes Motion Carried

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



A. PROPOSED ADDITION TO EXISTING GASOLINE STATION-CONVENIENCE STORE – SITE PLAN #2010-05: Brian Lance of L&R Construction Services, P.O. Box #7 Davisburg, MI 48350. Proposed addition to existing Speedway Gas Station at 26115 21 Mile Road on the northwest corner of Brandenburg & 21 Mile Road.

Ms. Frame stated that she made a few suggestions to the applicants on their site plan regarding sidewalks and pedestrian safety when she met with them this evening. The applicants will come back with a revised site plan.

Motion by Ms. Frame, supported by Mr. Kohler to table Site Plan #2010-05 for up to 6 meetings, with the deadline being November 23, 2010.

All Ayes Motion Carried

B. PROPOSED MICHIGAN SCHOOLS & GOVERNMENT CREDIT UNION – SLU #2010-06: Steve Brewer, CFO of MS&GCU 40400 Garfield, Clinton Twp., MI 48038. Proposed new Michigan Schools & Government Credit Union to be located in an Out Lot in the Chesterfield Commons Shopping Center, immediately west of our current branch location of 34826 23 Mile Road. Set Public Hearing for 9-28-2010.

Motion by Ms. Frame, supported by Mr. Miller to set the Public Hearing on SLU #2010-06 for September 28, 2010.

Mr. Priest advised the applicants on the Public Hearing process. He verified that they have received the planner’s and engineer’s comments.

The applicants indicated that they had received the comments.

Vote On The Motion:

All Ayes Motion Carried

C. LAKEVIEW SHOPPING CENTER PROPOSED REVISION TO NEW PYLON SIGN #2010-26: BML Signs, Inc., 28414 Harper, St. Clair Shores, MI 48081. Proposed new Pylon sign located at 51052 thru 51136 23 Mile Road, on the north east corner on 23 Mile and D.W. Seaton. Tabled 6-15-2010.

Joe Rogowski stated that he just got involved with this. It is his understanding that there was a sign fire, and there was an application made to repair the sign. They were told that they needed to take down the sign and comply with the current ordinance. He has looked at the ordinance and feels that they are entitled to fix the sign because the repair costs are going to be less than 50% of the cost of the replacement sign. He also understands the township’s goal with respect to signs. They have presented an application for a 150 square foot sign for the ten unit commercial center. The current sign is around 400 square feet. He thinks that during some preliminary discussions there was some talk about two 100 foot signs in different locations on the property. They are proposing one 150 square foot sign, which is doing the best that they can to compromise with the township while trying to maintain their obligations to their tenants. They are hoping that this can be a resolution to this conflict or disagreement.

Mr. Priest clarified that when Mr. Rogowski read the ordinance he realizes that the ordinance provides for 64 square feet.

Mr. Rogowski responded that he did.

Mr. Priest commented that we are willing to compromise in situations, but there are limits to everything.

Mr. Stabile asked if they are aware that in a few years, even if they did repair the sign that is there, if it was allowed, they would have to take it down anyway in a few years.

Mr. Rogowski responded that he had been told that. He will have to do some research. His understanding is that we would not be able to force property owners to do that. He does not have a case to tell us why he believes that, but he will go back and review that. He really does not think that the 150 square feet is outside of the realm. If you had a single user building the 64 square foot sign is more than adequate; however, they have the potential for ten users. The signage for these people is very important to them so that consumers know where they are at. That is why they made the suggestion of 150 square feet. They are trying to meet the needs of everyone along with the township.

Mr. Saelens commented that when we looked at the 100 square feet in relation to the 64 square feet we agreed that might be tight for a multi-tenant building, but that is our ordinance. We are charged to follow our ordinances and give variances against our ordinances. When we looked at the proposed sign at 150 square feet our suggestion was 100 square feet.

Bill (Linz?) stated that it was originally suggested that he meet with the planner, so the owner and he met with Mr. Meagher. After everything was gone over Mr. Meagher suggested two 100 square foot signs; one on D.W. Seaton, as well as one on 23 Mile Road. They mulled it over and that is where the owner and he came up with the compromise of rather than two 100 square foot signs, that they have one 150 square foot sign.

Mr. Meagher asked for clarification from Mr. (Linz?) as to what the planner said when they said they were going to propose one sign at 150 square feet.

Mr. (Linz?) responded that it probably would not fly.

Mr. Meagher informed Mr. Rogowski that East Lansing and the Supreme Court is the case that upheld the amortization of signs.

Mr. Saelens commented that in looking at the suggested sign and the proposed sign we felt that if they did the layout like the proposed sign with the suggested 100 square feet, we could live with that.

Mr. (Linz?) stated that what comes into effect then is the clearance and height. By using the existing pole they have added a setback now up to 100 feet from the middle of 23 Mile Road. That is why he suggested the 150 square feet so they could use the clearance for more tenant panels.

Mr. Saelens commented that he has a problem with the 150 square feet, but the 100, considering the amount of tenants they have there, is more palatable.

Mr. (Linz?) reiterated that it was suggested that they have two 100 square foot signs, so he thought about the compromise of one at 150 square feet.

Ms. Frame commented that when you lose clearance from the ground, you lose your bottom signs because they are blocked by the view of cars anyway.

Mr. (Linz?) stated that the last 18 inches on the drawing is a brick monument type thing, and he noticed in the ordinance that we require addresses; so he thought that would be a good area to have the address.

Mr. Leonard asked if the 150 square feet includes the monument with the address.

Mr. (Linz?) responded no that is where the height came in (15 feet).

Mr. Saelens commented that 150 is well over double our ordinance. When we give variances to anyone it sets a precedent down the road. There lies the problem.

Mr. Stabile commented that this is not the first time sizing has come up. We have been doing them for the last five years since the new ordinance.

Mr. Priest commented that since Mr. Rogowski would like to review the court case, he would suggest that we table this item.

Motion by Ms. Frame, supported by Ms. Ficht to table SGN #2010-26 for up to 6 meetings, with the deadline being November 23, 2010.

All Ayes Motion Carried


Motion by Ms. Frame, supported by Mr. Saelens to approve the minutes from the August 10, 2010 meeting as sent.

All Ayes Motion Carried



Set Public for September 28, 2010 for ordinance on Medical Marijuana.

Motion by Mr. Priest, supported by Mr. Saelens to set the Public Hearing on the Ordinance on Medical Marijuana for September 28, 2010.

All Ayes Motion Carried



Mr. Meagher briefly explained the Medical Marijuana Ordinance. He touched on the state and federal laws with regard to medical marijuana.

There was brief discussion among the commissioners.


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

Ms. Ficht and Mr. Saelens agreed to attend.

Mr. Stabile asked about sign resurfacing on SGN #2010-26.

Mr. Meagher commented that the commission has already given an interpretation that this is not a resurface because they are not just replacing panels.

There was discussion with regard to formulas used to calculate sign sizes.

Mr. Priest reminded everyone that the September 14, 2010 meeting has been cancelled.



Motion by Mr. Priest, supported by Ms. Frame to adjourn the meeting at 7:42 p.m.

All Ayes Motion Carried

Paula Frame, Secretary
Christine A. Hunyady, Recording Secretary

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