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Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes - August 25, 2010

THE CHARTER TOWNSHIP OF CHESTERFIELD

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

August 25, 2010

On August 25, 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.

3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:

Chairman Stepnak explained the procedures to the audience.

4. ZBA PETITION #2010-20: William Matthes, 46841 Roselane, Chesterfield, MI 49047. Requesting variance to allow a second 12’ x 20’ (attached) garage and the total for both structures will not exceed the 920’ total for parcels under an acre. Location is stated above.

William Matthes, 46841 Roselane, Chesterfield, MI 49047 addressed the board.

Petitioner stated that he has been a resident of Chesterfield Township for twenty years and through the years he has accumulated a lot of stuff. He does not have a basement or a shed to use for storage. At the present time most of his things are stored in his garage or in the back yard. At the present time he is having a harder and harder time fitting his car into his garage. He would like to build an attach garage on to his home for storage, lawnmowers, snow blower, power washer and tools.

Ms. Frame had no questions.

Mr. Alexie asked if the garage door would be located at the front or on the side?

Petitioner answered that the garage door would be located at the side with a sliding door at the back and a window in the front.

Mr. Alexie stated that he did not think the petitioner would be able to get a car in with the side garage door.

Petitioner agreed that he would not be able to put a car in there.

Ms. Uglis asked if the trailer at the side of his home belonged to the petitioner?

Petitioner answered yes.

Ms. Uglis asked if the petitioner would be able to put that trailer in the garage?

Petitioner answered that he planned to put the trailer at the side of the garage because even with the addition he would like to store his boat in the garage, but he still would not have enough room in the garage for the trailer.

Ms. Uglis verified that the petitioner planned to put a door at the side of the garage. She asked if there was enough room to do that?

Petitioner stated yes, he had 20’ on the side and had plenty of room.

Mr. Yaschen asked Mr. Shortt if he had any problems with the petitioner’s plans?

Mr. Shortt stated that he was concerned about the drainage on the property. He mentioned that the petitioner had a concrete drive and there were no ditches in the front. He stated that the petitioner would have to put in a drain tile in the back and hook it into the seawall.

Petitioner stated that he had already done that.

Mr. Shortt mentioned that the petitioner was in a flood zone and the petitioner would need to have flood vents and the garage and would have to use flood-proof construction. That would be something that would be worked out if the petition was approved.

Mr. Klonowski asked why the paperwork indicated the codes on the petition would be for yards and special rules?

Chairman Stepnak stated that the petitioner was in front of the board because he is located on the canal and the front yard would be considered the back yard. He mentioned that the board would still be looking at the 10’ and there would be a question if emergency vehicles could get back there. He stated that the board did not have an artist rendering or plans submitted with the petition. He mentioned that it would be nice to see the plans and see how the addition would look with the window.

Petitioner brought up the plans for the addition and presented them to the board.

Mr. Alexie asked if there would be a door from the house to the garage?

Petitioner answered no.

Chairman Stepnak mentioned that the petitioner would have to put a firewall between the home and the garage because there are flammable items sometimes stored in garages.

He stated that the petitioner seems to be taking the right steps a window at the front of the home putting the garage door at the side, the sliding door at the rear. The petitioner also mentioned he would address any concerns the Building Department had with drainage.

There were no public comments.

Mr. Shortt stated that his concern would be the flood zone. He asked if the petitioner paid flood insurance on his home?

Petitioner answered no that his house was paid for.

Mr. Shortt stated that the Building Department could make it work and that the petitioner would have to build the garage with flood vents and make sure there is proper drainage.

Motion by Mr. Yaschen to approve Petition # 2010-20 for a variance to allow a second 12’ x 20’ attached garage and the total for both structures will not exceed the 920’ total for parcels under an acre. The petitioner would have to meet all the flood zone requirements and specifications of the Building Department. The petitioner would not be given any special privileges not given to other properties in the zoning district.

Supported by Mr. Klonowski

Chairman Stepnak added that the petitioner does have a narrow lot, there is no basement or shed on the property and there would be a hardship because the petitioner does have limited storage space.

Mr. Yaschen agreed to add the comments to his motion.

Mr. Klonowski continued support.

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

5. ZBA PETITION #2010-21: Ken Schmidt, 29325 Harper, St. Clair Shores, MI 48081. Requesting variance to allow a covered porch in the front yard setback located at 26111 Fairwood, Chesterfield, MI.

Dave Kopke, owner of Kopke Remodeling and Design, 29325 Harper, St. Clair Shores, MI 48081 addressed the board.

Mr. Kopke stated that he was requesting a variance to build a roof covering on the petitioner’s current porch and make the porch larger that it is now.

Mr. Klonowski stated that he had no problem with it.

Ms. Uglis stated that she did not have a problem with it either. She was out at the property yesterday and understood the problem that the petitioner is having as far as safety.

Ken Schmidt, 26111 Fairwood, Chesterfield, MI addressed the board.

Petitioner stated that the current porch is leaning several inches and angles away from the house. He stated that it was very treacherous especially in the winter.

Mr. Alexie stated he did not have any questions and that he thought it would look nice.

Mr. Yaschen asked if the old porch would be removed or just reset?

Mr. Kopke stated that they would be completely removing the old porch and putting in a new covered porch with new footings six feet down.

Ms. Frame had no comments.

There were no public comments.

Mr. Shortt stated that a 12" x 42" footing would be required on the porch.

Mr. Kopke stated that they planned to go down six feet with the footing because the porch has been moving around so much and there is a lot of backfill there. So they are going down six feet deep like the basement and plan to attach it.

Mr. Shortt stated that they would also have to pin the trench to the spread footing with a couple of rods all the way through. He commented that it would look nice.

Chairman Stepnak stated that the porch slopes quite a bit. The petitioner lives in a great neighborhood and he thought it was great that the petitioner was putting the time and effort into improving his property.

Motion by Mr. Klonowski to approve Petition #2010-21 to allow a covered porch in the front yard setback located at 26111 Fairwood, Chesterfield, MI.

Supported by Mr. Alexie

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

6. ZBA PETITION #2010-22: Variance request is from Liquid Elements located at 51921 Gratiot, Chesterfield, MI 48051 to install an in-ground swimming pool in the side yard for a residence at 49370 Bay Lane.

Christine Schenk, 49370 Bay Lane, Chesterfield, MI addressed the board.

Petitioner stated that she was requesting a variance to install an in-ground pool on the southeast side of her property. She explained that they purchased the lot next door to them and tore the home down. Therefore, technically they are requesting to put the pool on the side of their home. Unfortunately, they cannot put the pool at the rear of their home because their lot is narrow and their driveway is back there because they live on the water.

Ms. Uglis stated that she knew where the petitioner’s were putting the pool and she knew it was 10’ from the house on the southeast side, but she cannot quite visualize it being 18’.

Petitioner stated the pool would be 18’ wide and it would be 10’ from the house and 12’ from her neighbor’s home. She mentioned that if Ms. Uglis had gone out there, she would have seen it because it is all marked off.

Ms. Uglis stated that she did not get out of her car. She complimented the petitioner on the beautiful plants and a lot of space out there.

Petitioner mentioned that all the green space was her putting green and that she is a golfer.

Ms. Uglis stated that she did not see anything wrong with it and that it would look great.

Mr. Klonowski asked if the petitioner’s owned a double lot?

Petitioner stated that the two lots were combined into just one large lot. All the paperwork has been filed with the Township and the County and the property is considered to be one lot.

Mr. Yaschen asked how high the fence around the pool would be?

Petitioner answered that it would be 4’ high.

Mr. Shortt mentioned that the fence had to be 4’ high with a self-locking, self-latching gate.

Mr. Yaschen stated that it was a beautiful area and a nice lot.

Mr. Alexie asked if the petitioner had any correspondence from any neighbors about the pool?

Petitioner answered that she had brought two letters from her neighbors and presented them to the board.

Mr. Yaschen read a positive letter from Don and Jeff Stankevich, 49360 Bay Lane, Chesterfield. They stated that they did not oppose the petitioner’s plans for the pool.

Mr. Yaschen read another letter from Lewis and Katherine Paquette, 49380 Bay Lane, Chesterfield stated that they were in favor of the board’s approval of the variance. They also commented that the petitioner’s had greatly improved the property since they purchased their home and the lot.

The letters were retained for the ZBA records.

Ms. Frame stated that she thought the pool would be beautiful and she had no problems with it.

Chairman Stepnak stated that he got a visual by seeing the rocks were the pool would be located. He was concerned about the neighbors; however, they do not seem to have a problem with the placement of the pool. He mentioned that the petitioners have a very beautiful home.

Petitioner stated that the neighbors were very pleased when they tore the house down on the lot next door.

There were no public comments.

Mr. Shortt stated his only problem would be putting the pool in a flood zone. He asked if the petitioner’s paid flood insurance.

Petitioner answered no. She was told that her home was not in a flood zone by her mortgage company.

Mr. Shortt stated that according to the maps, the petitioner’s property is in a flood zone.

He explained that the petitioner’s would need to get an elevation certificate and the property has to be out of the flood zone before they can put an in-ground pool on it.

She stated that there is a big culvert on that property with a big pipe that goes out to the front and they have gutters.

Mr. Shortt explained that he was talking about the ground elevation and it would have to be 580 or above.

Lynne Potoroka, Liquid Elements, Inc., 51921 Gratiot Ave., Chesterfield, MI 48051 addressed the board.

Ms. Potoroka stated that she would check into the matter and that her company would get it done.

Chairman Stepnak stated that the board could move on the variance that evening but that any construction or engineering issues must be addressed by the petitioner.

Mr. Shortt stated that he goes by what he sees on the maps. He explained that the petitioner could get an elevation certificate from somebody for a few hundred bucks. A surveyor would have to shoot it and verify where the pool would be located in relation to the flood zone.

Chairman Stepnak stated that it should not be an issue for someone in the business.

Ms. Potoroka stated that the petitioner’s are not digging a deep pool. She explained that the pool was only going to be five feet deep. They are only digging 60’ and are coming up on the elevation a little bit.

Mr. Shortt stated that there would not be any problems with an above ground pool, but if there are any hydrostatic problems; it could pop the pool right out of the ground. It would have to be engineered out; it can be done because there are pools in flood zones. He stated that he would not have a problem with it as long as they comply with all the buildings codes.

Ms. Uglis asked if the petitioner would be putting in an aluminum fence?

Ms. Potoroka answered that it would be a pool code fence.

Motion by Ms. Uglis to approve Petition #2010-22 on the variance request to install an in-ground swimming pool on the southeast side of the residence at 49370 Bay Lane, Chesterfield subject to all building codes and requirements.

Supported by Mr. Alexie

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

7. ZBA PETITION #2010-23: Joe Peters, 23865 Audrey, Warren, MI 48091. Requesting variance for a temporary use located at 33190 23 Mile Road for a Halloween Haunted Hayride.

Joe Peters, 23865 Audrey, Warren, MI 48091 addressed the board.

Petitioner stated that last year they came to the ZBA for a variance to operate a Halloween Haunted Hayride at the Riverbend Golf Range which is located at 33190 23 Mile Road and the variance was granted. They have followed up with the Police Department and Fire Departments and there were never any complaints. They decided to come back this year to operate it again with a few changes. Instead of doing everything outside, this year they planned to use the club house. He talked to Officer Brian McNair of the Chesterfield Police and discussed having an separate entrance and an exit and putting the parking in the area marked # 4 at the North side and the South side on 23 Mile Road West of the clubhouse which would be 86’ and that would be enough room for 60 parking spots. Last year they used only 50 spots even on their busiest days. Last year the concession was in the area marked # 5 and this year they planned to use the club house for the concessions, restrooms and as a warming center. He explained that they also thought it would be much safer for people to park in a better well lit area. It would be an easy entrance from 23 Mile Road and a separate exit on 23 Mile Road. Basically everything else is the same and they would just like to do it for a second season.

Petitioner stated that he provided the board with a sheet explaining all the specifics. The set up dates would be from August 26, 2010 to September 23, 2010 because they did not really allow enough time for set up last year and they were really scrambling at the last minute. It takes a lot to set this all up. He promised that there would not be any noise. He explained that their opening date would be September 24, 2010 and it would run until the day before Halloween on October 30, 2010. The take down dates would be from October 31, 2010 to November 7, 2010. The Halloween Hayride would only be open to the General Public on Friday and Saturday nights from 7 PM to 11 PM. He explained that this year they have a lot of interest from schools and churches in the area. He added that the Haunted Hayride would then be open for schools, churches and various organizations from Sunday thru Thursday from 6 PM to 10 PM.

Petitioner explained that the concession stand, inside the club house would be selling candy, chips, canned pop, water, hot chocolate, cider, coffee and donuts and there would not be any cooking going on at the site. He reiterated that the rest rooms would be located in the club house. He also mentioned that he would be using some signs, banners, directional and informational signs. He stated that he discussed the bon fire with Rick Schroeder at the Fire Department last week and Brian McNair of the Police Department yesterday.

Ms. Frame stated that that the Halloween Hayride went well last year and there were no problems at the site. She does not have a problem with it.

Mr. Alexie stated that he had no questions at that time.

Ms. Uglis had no questions.

Mr. Yaschen asked if they would be using a tractor with an open bed trailer? He also asked if the vehicle had been safety inspected?

Petitioner answered yes. He mentioned that he has signed documents insuring that the Township and Mr. Mancini would be held harmless. He mentioned that he was fully insured with a policy which will be effective with his phone call. He stated that the board could have a copy of his insurance policy.

Mr. Shortt asked if the facility was equipped with handicapped bathrooms.

Mr. Mancini, 33190 23 Mile Road, Chesterfield, MI addressed the board.

Mr. Mancini answered yes.

Mr. Shortt asked if the ZBA was planning to set a bond on the site?

Chairman Stepnak stated that the only reason the board would set a bond would be if the Township had any issues with the clean up last year.

Petitioner mentioned that the property was cleaned up last year and there were no complaints. He explained that there was no bond last year. He stated that the only bond assessed last year was for the sign.

Chairman Stepnak felt that Mr. Mancini would make sure that his property was returned to its original state.

Petitioner stated that the property would be a lot cleaner because of the use of the club house for the concession area and the bathroom facilities.

Chairman Stepnak stated that he liked that all the information was spelled out on the sheet prepared by the petitioner. He would like to make sure that the petitioner would adhere to what was agreed upon and that would be great documentation. He explained that he would sign off on the paper and he would have the petitioner sign off on the document which will be retained for the permanent record. That way, he explained, if it was approved the petitioner would have to adhere to the stipulations and could not for instance stay open until 12. He stated that less is better, but the paper would indicate the maximum allowed and the petitioners would not be allowed to go beyond those parameters.

Petitioner stated that the last ride would be 20 minutes before 11 PM. They get tired at night and want to go home.

Mr. Alexie asked if the petitioner hired security for the event?

Petitioner stated that last year he hired about 20 people to provide security and police the parking lot.

Mr. Alexie asked how the petitioner would stop kids from bringing alcohol onto the premises?

Petitioner stated with the security they really did not have problems last year probably because and the Haunted Hayride is geared to smaller children.

Mr. Shortt commented that it is still light at 7 PM.

Chairman Stepnak stated that the Police Department and Fire Department were both contacted and a notice was put in the newspaper and the petition went through the same process where the nearby property owners were all notified and no one seems to have an issue.

Mr. Klonowski asked if this type of approval could be extended for multiple years?

Chairman Stepnak explained that the petitioner may want something different at the site the next year and if the board approves it for multiple years; the Township would no longer have control over what goes on at the site. They have approved items like the Christmas trailer for Texas Road House for multiple years because the trailer is primarily used for charity and has been put up for many years. He would not feel comfortable doing the same thing in this case because things could change.

Ms. Frame agreed that the Halloween Hayride was subject to change year after year.

Petitioner also agreed with Chairman Stepnak.

There were no public comments.

Chairman Stepnak asked the petitioner to come in front of the board and sign the variance list that he provided with the agreed terms.

Motion by Ms. Frame to approve Petition #2010-23 on the variance for Joe Peters and Kathy Peters, to open the Halloween Haunted Hayride located at 33190 23 Mile Road, Chesterfield, MI following all the rules presented and signed off on with the board.

Supported by Mr. Klonowski

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

Chairman Stepnak stated that he hoped he would see the petitioner back next year.

8. OLD BUSINESS:

There was no old business

9. NEW BUSINESS:

Chairman Stepnak stated that it was nice to see four items on the agenda for the change. He speculated that maybe Mr. Alexie brought good luck to the board.

10. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PRIOR MEETING:

Motion by Mr. Yaschen to approve the minutes from the August 11, 2010 meeting.

Supported by Mr. Klonowski

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

12. COMMENTS FROM THE FLOOR:

There were no comments from the floor.

13. ADJOURNMENT:

Motion by Chairman Stepnak to adjourn at 7:50 PM.

Supported by Ms. Uglis

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Granted

Thomas Yaschen, Secretary
Grace Mastronardi, Recording Secretary

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