Reference Desk


Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes - April 14, 2010



April 14, 2010

On April 14, 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

Janice Uglis, Township board liaison

Gerald Blake

Thomas Yaschen

Absent: Nancy Orewyler, Secretary, excused

Paula Frame, Planning Commission liaison, excused


Chairman Stepnak explained the procedures to the audience.

4. ZBA PETITION #2010-04: Christopher M. Purrett for Kroger Store #724 located at

35000 23 Mile Road, Chesterfield, MI 48047. Requesting variance for a temporary use for the purpose of selling outdoor floral and patio furniture. This is an annual event for this store, but they wish to relocate display area away from the sidewalk and entrance way into the store to the Southeast corner of their parking lot area. Event proposed to start May 1, 2010 thru July 5, 2010. Location is address stated above on the Southwest corner of 23 & Altman.

Christopher M. Purrett for Kroger Store #724 located at 35000 23 Mile Road, Chesterfield, MI addressed the board.

Petitioner stated that he represented the Kroger store on 23 Mile and Altman. He was requesting to have a tent put up in the parking lot for the sale of outdoor floral items, patio furniture and mulch products for customer sales. They would like to utilize an area to try to clean up the front of the store and maintain a specific area for these types of products to better serve the customers in Chesterfield Township. They would like to put up the tent for the duration of May 1st thru July 5th. He stated that actually the tent would go up a few days before May 1st which is when the actual selling event would begin. He continued that after the Fourth of July weekend they would have the tent removed. There is a specific company, A-1 Rental that is installing the tents for all of the Kroger stores in the State of Michigan. It would be a 20’ x 40’ tent which roughly takes up about 10 to 12 parking spaces and that does include the mulch that would line the tent. He added that a picture of the layout of the tent was included in the information presented. So the board has a visual of the proposed tent with the compost and mulch. He commented that the mulch and compost comes in pallets that are wrapped in plastic so that the debris is contained. The tent has flaps around it that can be removed for selling throughout the day. The tent is flame retardant and has a certification that will be posted in the tent for the Fire Marshall and it will be opened up to the public in a manner so that people could enter the tent from three sides with only one of the four sides closed for storage of the mulch. The tent would be open from 8 AM to 8 PM during the duration of May 1st thru July 5th.

Mr. Blake asked if the flowers that are currently at the front of the store would be displayed in the tent area?

Petitioner answered yes.

Mr. Blake asked if the sidewalk area would then be all cleared off?

Petitioner answered correct.

Mr. Blake asked if the tent would definitely be removed by July 5th?

Petitioner stated that the company indicated that the tent would be removed the week of

July 5th.

Mr. Blake reiterated if the tent would be removed on the 5th?

Petitioner answered that he would tell the Kroger Corporation that the tent must be removed by July 5th.

Ms. Uglis stated that she shopped at Kroger’s. She asked that if someone happened to park in the space that would back up to the tent, she pointed out the place she was referring to, would that person have enough clearance to get out of the parking space?

Petitioner answered that the tent would be in the parameters of the current parking spaces. The tent would not expound past the current parking spaces that are marked in that diagram.

The tent would just be in an area where other cars would park and the normal isle ways would remain open.

Ms. Uglis stated that her concern would be if someone could back up into the tent and injure someone. She asked if the petitioner had stated there would be something along the sides of the tent?

Petitioner explained that the tents have flaps that come down and they would actually roll them up all the way around. So when looking at the tent only the poles would be visible and a person would be able to see into the tent. The only area that would be closed would be the canopy on top.

Ms. Uglis asked if there would be poles on the sides?

Petitioner answered yes.

Ms. Uglis asked if there would be something along that edge in case someone in a car would back up into the tent?

Petitioner answered yes.

Ms. Uglis stated that her biggest concern would be if someone would be in the tent shopping and be hit by a vehicle.

Petitioner explained that was the reason the tent would not go beyond the parking spaces and they stay within those parameters. He stated that the product is kept in the tent so that it would be out of the walkway.

Mr. Yaschen stated that he assumed the Kroger’s building insurance would cover all liability in case there was an accident with the tent?

Petitioner answered yes the Kroger Company would assume the responsibility.

Mr. Klonowski asked how high up the product would be stacked in the tent? He asked if it would be on the ground or on tables?

Petitioner explained that some of the items would be stored on A-frames so they would be about 5 ½’ to 6’ high. Then the material on pallets is usually about 5’ high and the mulch will be wrapped in plastic and are left that way. He stated that after they sell some of the material, they would just peel back the plastic like a banana to keep what is there maintained so that is does not fall over. He added that some of the flowers are displayed on tiered steps and go up about waist high. Therefore, there are some different height variations depending on the item. He stated that the hanging baskets would be stored on an A-frame at about shoulder height.

Mr. Klonowski commented that his concern would be material blocking the view for vehicles and traffic especially on the corner space.

Petitioner stated that the actual tent would be about two spaces in from the drive at the front of the store. Furthermore, there would be lower profile flower displays in the front and the taller displays at the back of the tent.

Mr. Klonowski asked if there would be any stop signs coming up because there is a stop sign at the front of the store for people to cross?

Petitioner answered that there was already a second stop sign at the front of the building in that area?

Ms. Uglis concurred with the petitioner that a stop sign was already in that area.

Mr. Klonowski commented that he thought that stop sign was down a little way from the proposed location of the tent.

Petitioner stated that the tent would be pretty close to that particular location at the east side entrance.

Mr. Klonowski asked how many spaces the tent would take up?

Petitioner answered that it would take from 10 to 12 parking spaces total and the tent would not encompass that entire space.

Mr. KIonowski thought the submission indicated it would take up about 20 spaces.

Petitioner reiterated that according to the Corporation the tent would only take 10 to 12 parking spaces. He stated that the tent would be 20’ x 40’ in diameter, but would only take from 10 to 12 parking spots.

Mr. Blake asked if there would be electricity or water in the tent?

Petitioner answered no, they would be using a water boy or a hose from a spigot on the side of the building to water the plants. The watering would be done early in the morning, because if they do it later in the day, it would be too late. He stated that they would not be using any electricity out there. The register that would be out in the tent runs on a battery.

Mr. Blake stated that it should be light during the hours of operation.

Petitioner agreed. He commented that he would also check on the location of the stop sign because he believes there is a stop sign at both entrances.

Mr. Klonowski agreed that there was a stop sign at both entrances. However, he stated that the tent would be just a little further down from the stop sign.

Petitioner asked if the board would like him to reposition the tent because it would be placed on a cement base that could be moved.

Mr. Klonowski stated that the petitioner should either reposition the tent or put up another stop sign.

Petitioner stated that he could check on that.

Ms. Uglis stated that she thought the proposed tent would be at the location of the crosswalk.

Petitioner stated that he thought the cross walk was located right between the area designated for the tent and the handicapped spots closest to Altman Road.

Chairman Stepnak commented that the petitioner was requesting to utilize the tent from

May 1st thru July 5th, however it was mentioned that they would need some time for set up and removal of the tent. He asked if the petitioner planned to go by those exact days or would those days be when items would be sold from the tent?

Petitioner answered that they would be removing all the floral products and patio sets on the Fourth of July. He commented that they do have some of the floral items now, but sales out of the tent would not start until May 1st. The corporation that is taking care of the tents are contracted to put up 33 tents throughout the State. He stated that he has been told that their tent would be put up on the April 27th.

Chairman Stepnak stated so the petitioner would need some set up and removal time?

Petitioner answered that he would need a few days.

Chairman Stepnak asked the petitioner if five days for set up and removal would be adequate?

Petitioner answered yes.

Chairman Stepnak asked Mr. Shortt if they would have to post a bond, since Kroger is an established business in the community?

Mr. Shortt responded that normally the petitioner does post a bond. They would pay a $65 fee with a $300 bond.

Chairman Stepnak asked if that would be part of licensing and be over and above the ZBA?

Mr. Shortt stated that the regulations were in the Township ordinances. He explained that Kroger would need an inspection by the Fire Department and by the Building Department prior to selling the products.

Petitioner verified that they would need an inspection by the Fire and Building Departments.

Chairman Stepnak stated that the board may grant a variance, however, petitioners still would need to comply with the regulations of the Fire Department, Police Department, and the Building Department.

Mr. Shortt stated that it was not necessary to contact the Police Department, just the Fire and Building Departments. He added that the petitioner would not be able to put electrical out there because that would involve special cords. He reiterated that the petitioner must pay a $65 fee and post a $300 bond. He stated after July 5th when the tent is removed and everything is cleaned up, the bond would be returned to the petitioners.

Petitioner asked when he should contact the Building Department?

Mr. Shortt responded that the petitioner should contact the Building Department after the installation of the tent is completed and preferably after the product is set up, so both Departments would be able to do a proper inspection of the area.

Chairman Stepnak stated that Mr. Shortt was at the Township Offices from 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday thru Friday.

Mr. Shortt corrected him and explained that he worked from 8 AM to 4:30 PM.

There were no public comments.

Motion by Chairman Stepnak to approve ZBA Petition #2010-04 for Kroger Store #724 located at 35000 23 Mile Road, Chesterfield, MI 48047on a variance for a temporary tent in the parking lot starting May 1, 2010 thru July 5, 2010. The board would allow a five day grace period at the beginning and end of these dates for set-up and tear down. The petitioner must contact the Building Department and the Fire Department to make sure both entities are satisfied with their requirements.

Supported by Mr. Blake

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

5. ZBA PETITION # 2010-05: Brandon MacKenzie, 47120 Land Drive, Chesterfield, MI 48047.

Request’s a variance for a wood deck in the front yard. Property is located on Lake St. Clair and lakefront is considered their front yard. Location is address stated above.

Brandon MacKenzie, 47120 Land Drive, Chesterfield, MI 48047 addressed the board.

Petitioner stated that he was requesting to build a deck on the lake side of his property. He added that apparently the ordinance would not allow the deck to be built on the lake side of his property because that would be considered his front yard. Essentially he would like to build a deck because he has two small children and the deck would provide a barrier and he would also like to beautify and improve his property. He would also like to put a deck because it would be on the corner of the lake side sea wall and they have a cut-in boat well.

There is about a two foot step into the boat well and with the deck it would be a lot safer to get into the boat, so they would not have to step over the top of the boat well.

Mr. Yashen stated that he had no questions.

Ms. Uglis stated that she did not have a problem with the variance.

Mr. Klonowski had no problem with it. He asked Mr. Shortt if the petitioner had to get a variance because of the front-yard situation?

Mr. Shortt stated yes

Mr. Klonowski stated that the variance made no sense and he thought the ordinance should be modified. He stated that he had talked to Mr. Meagher and the ordinance makes no sense.

Mr. Shortt stated that the lake and the Salt River side of the property would be considered the front yard for any house on waterfront property. Furthermore, the ordinance states that no decks can be built in the front yard.

Chairman Stepnak commented that the ordinance has always stated that the lake side is considered the front yard. It has been like that as long as he can remember.

Mr. Blake mentioned that looking at the deck, he noticed one part of the deck is over the seawall a little bit.

Petitioner agreed and stated that they cantilevered it a little bit. Actually they could have cantilevered it up to three feet and they went just under that.

Mr. Blake asked if the petitioner planned to put a good strong railing on the deck?

Petitioner answered yes, his wife would insist on that.

Mr. Blake asked where the stairs would be?

Petitioner looked at the drawing and stated it would be right where Mr. Blake’s fingers were pointing. They would be parallel to the house.

Mr. Blake mentioned that he noticed that there was a tear in the seawall.

Petitioner commented that the sea wall was like that when he purchased the home.

Mr. Shortt stated that Mr. Blake mentioned that the petitioner was cantilevered

over the seawall.

Petitioner stated it actually goes right to it. He mentioned that it was kind of obscure because they almost soldered a splash guard to the top of the sea wall which angles. So he tried to get it as close as he could to the top of that.

Mr. Shortt explained that if there was a storm coming in that will tear that deck right off when waves come in. He stated that the petitioner may want to put in a splash guard at an angle coming down so that the waves don’t catch that deck. Otherwise, he stated that the petitioner may find the deck in the back yard if the water comes up again. He commented that he did not have a problem with the variance.

Chuck Mirisciotti, 47060 Land, Chesterfield, MI addressed the board.

Mr. Mirisciotti stated that the petitioner has done a beautiful job at keeping up his property. He made favorable comments for the granting of the variance.

Ms. Uglis asked if some of the wood was already on there or is the deck just boxed in right now?

Petitioner stated that the deck was not completed and the trim had to be added on yet.

Motion by Mr. Klonowski to approve Petition # 2010-05 for a wood deck along the seawall in the front yard at 47120 Land Drive, Chesterfield, MI.

Supported by Chairman Stepnak

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted


There was no old business.


Chairman Stepnak reminded the board that the April 28, 2010 had been cancelled.


Motion by Mr. Blake to approve the minutes from the February 10, 2010 ZBA meeting.

Supported by Mr. Yaschen

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted


Mr. Shortt brought up a possible petition from a man who wants to put up a privacy fence to cover the blight in the next door neighbor’s yard.

Chairman Stepnak stated that legally the board would not entertain or discuss the matter. He did mention however, that the board has traditionally looked favorably on situations like that. He commented that the gentleman should bring pictures and the board is usually sympathetic concerning these types of issues


Motion by Mr. Blake to adjourn at 7:33 PM.

Supported by Chairman Stepnak,

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

Nancy Orewyler, Secretary

Grace Mastronardi, Recording Secretary


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