Reference Desk


Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes - August 11, 2010



August 11, 2010

On August 11, 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

Thomas Yaschen, Secretary

Janice Uglis, Township Board liaison

Paula Frame, Planning Commission liaison

Gerald Alexie

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


Chairman Stepnak explained the procedures to the audience.

4. ZBA PETITION #2010-19: Dan Mazur who resides at 48787 Salt River Drive, Chesterfield, MI 48047. Variance requests are for a second garage to house three cars attached to their residence, to be 669.5 over the allowable square footage and to allow a 5’ side yard setback from new garage to property line to the west where the proposed 24’ x 34’ additional garage is to be located. There is already an existing side yard (west) of 3.4 created by previous owner. Address for the multiple request is the address stated above.

Dan Mazur, 48787 Salt River Drive, Chesterfield, MI addressed the board.

Petitioner stated that he was requesting a variance for an attached garage.

Mr. Klonowski asked what was the square footage of the petitioner’s house?

Petitioner answered that his home is approximately 1,730 square feet.

Mr. Klonowski stated that with the proposed addition the total accessory buildings would be 1,589 square feet.

Petitioner answered yes that was correct.

Mr. Klonowski commented that was a lot of accessory building for that size house.

Petitioner stated that the reason he was requesting the space was that he had no basement for storage and he wanted to keep the existing garage for that reason.

Ms. Frame had no questions at that time.

Ms. Uglis had no questions.

Mr. Yaschen verified that the petitioner’s present garage had two doors to the front.

Petitioner answered correct.

Mr. Yaschen stated that the present garage also had a door at the back; therefore the garage already holds three cars. He asked the petitioner if that was correct?

Petitioner stated that he could not put three cars in the structure. He explained that he could put two cars in the garage from the street side, but the door at the rear on the river side is not used as a garage. He has a workshop at the back and he could possibly put a lawnmower in there and an ATV, but he could not fit three cars in that garage.

Mr. Yaschen asked if that garage was the original structure built with the home.

Petitioner answered yes.

Mr. Alexie commented that the petitioner does have a three-car garage and it could be converted back to a three-car garage.

Petitioner stated that the only way he could get three cars into the structure would be to move all three doors to the side. He mentioned that he was thinking of keeping it just for storage because he does not have a basement.

Mr. Shortt had no comments from the Building Department.

Mr. Yaschen read a letter from Joseph and Frances Rumenapp at 48779 Salt River Drive that was in support of the board granting the variance.

Mr. Yaschen read a letter from Patrick and Jeannie Dolan who live across the street from the petitioner that was in favor of the board granting the variance.

Mr. Yaschen read another letter from Cary D. Turner, 48795 Salt River Drive, Chesterfield, MI 48047, that approved of the petitioner’s plans.

All three of the letters were retained for the Zoning Board of Appeal’s records.

Mr. Klonowski stated that the petitioner’s residence is 1,730 square feet and with the addition there would be 1,589 square feet of accessory buildings. He stated that was really out of proportion and a lot of accessory structure.

Petitioner stated that if he did put in the attached garage he would also have a 12’ x 12’ mud room which would add on to the square footage of his home.

Mr. Klonowski explained that if the board approved the variance the petitioner would have a three-car garage with another accessory building that is 773 square feet which would also be considered a three-car garage even though he may not be using it for that purpose. He stated that with this addition, the petitioner would have storage for six cars.

Chairman Stepnak stated that the petitioner has the responsibility to prove a practical difficulty and a hardship to the board explaining why the board should allow the petitioner to break the rules of the community. He commented that according to the calculations the petitioner is requesting a large amount of accessory storage space over and above what the board would normally consider. He explained that in most scenarios the home is always quite a bit larger than the garage space unless the petitioner would be a farmer or something like that. He stated that the board has in the past looked favorably at homes with larger lots where the petitioner’s would need to store a large amount of lawn equipment or tractors to maintain the property. The board does not want to see a business ran out of a structure. He explained that there was not really justification in the ordinance for this much additional storage space. He asked the petitioner why he felt he needed this much storage space?

Petitioner answered that his garage is 100’ from his home and he has slipped and fallen on the ice making his way to his home. He stated that luckily so far he has not really hurt himself, but it was only a matter of time. Obviously, with the inclement weather in Michigan, when bringing in groceries or packages in the house from the car it can be dangerous. He would like to have some type of garage attached to his home for safety and convenience.

Chairman Stepnak stated so basically the practical difficulty would be where the current garage structure is sitting and that an attached garage would improve the quality of the petitioner’s life.

Petitioner answered correct.

Mr. Alexie asked if the petitioner’s addition had to be a three-car garage?

Petitioner stated that he just started out with a plan for a three-car garage, but it does not have to be that large. He stated that he lives by marinas and there are large garages in that area, however, he would consider down-sizing the structure. He would still like to have at least a two-car garage.

Mr. Yaschen asked if the three-car attached garage to the petitioner’s home is so important to him, would he be willing to tear down the existing garage?

Petitioner stated that he considered that however, if there was any way he would like to keep his present garage and just downsize the attached garage. He stated that it was a usable building and since he is putting a new roof on his home, he was planning to clean up that garage and color coordinate it gray and white to match his home. He stated that he would be using the garage for storage and he would not run any business out of the structure.

Chairman Stepnak stated that the petitioner has offered to downsize to an attached two-car garage and maintain and clean-up the existing garage to match the home.

Petitioner answered correct.

Mr. Klonowski asked what size two-car garage?

Petitioner stated that originally he requested to build a 24’ x 34’ structure, so he was proposing to instead build a 24’ x 24’ attached garage.

There was a short discussion among the board.

Ms. Frame stated that the total accessory square footage proposed would now be 1,233.

Chairman Stepnak reminded the board that they received three letters of support from the petitioner’s neighbors and that the petitioner has been willing to work with the board and downsized the original request.

Petitioner stated that the letters from his neighbors came from both of his next door neighbors and the house directly across the street.

Chairman Stepnak stated that a notice was sent out to the petitioner’s neighbors and there was a notice published in the local paper so anyone concerned about it was fully aware of the petition.

Ms. Frame asked Mr. Shortt if their calculations were correct?

Mr. Shortt stated that with the attached garage at 24’ x 24’, the accessory structure would be 429 square feet over the ordinance.

Ms. Frame asked Mr. Shortt if 24’ x 24’ was an extra large two-car garage?

Mr. Shortt answered that is was good size.

Petitioner stated that he owns a full size truck and it would be hard for him to fit it in a smaller garage.

Mr. Shortt stated that he agreed with the petitioner because he also has a full size pick-up truck.

Motion by Ms. Frame to approve Petition #2010-19 at 48787 Salt River Drive, Chesterfield for Dan Mazur. The approval would be for a 24’ x 24’ attached garage, not the garage size presented in the petition. She stated that the practical difficulty would be that the older garage is more than 100’ from the petitioner’s residence and the existing garage will be cleaned up and changed to match the new garage and the residence.

Supported by Ms. Uglis

Chairman Stepnak added that the petitioner did offer to reduce the size of the proposed garage to 24’ x 24’.

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted


Chairman Stepnak stated that a name plate had been ordered for Mr. Alexie. He also mentioned that Gerald Blake had resigned from the board and submitted the letter to

Mr. Lovelock. He stated hopefully the board would have a new member by the next meeting.

Ms. Uglis mentioned that Gerry Oldani’s wife just passed away.


Ms. Frame mentioned that anyone interested in getting picture ID cards for the ZBA

contact Lt. Dave Marker of the Chesterfield Police. She mentioned that at times she

feels uncomfortable looking around people’s property and thought it was a good idea

for everyone to have a card with their picture on it to identify them as a member of the

Zoning Board.


Motion by Mr. Yaschen to approve the minutes from the July 28, 2010 meeting.

Supported by Mr. Klonowski

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted


There were no comments from the floor.


Motion by Chairman Stepnak to adjourn at 7:24 PM.

Supported by Ms. Frame

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

Thomas Yaschen, Secretary
Grace Mastronardi, Recording Secretary

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