Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes - May 25, 2011
THE CHARTER TOWNSHIP OF CHESTERFIELD
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
MAY 25, 2011
A regular meeting of the Chesterfield Township Zoning Board of Appeals was
held on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. 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
Others: Shawn Shortt
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:
4. ZBA PETITION #2011-06: VINCE DE ANGELO, 52901 BAKER RD., CHESTERFIELD,
MI 48047. REQUESTING VARIANCE TO ALLOW A 12’ X 16’ SHED IN LIEU OF THE
10’ X 12’ TOWNSHIP ORDINANCE ALLOWS, LOCATED AT THE ABOVE ADDRESS.
Vince De Angelo stated that he misinterpreted the code. His shed is 72 square
feet over the allotted size. The reason that he built it is because he is
getting a little older and he cannot cut his grass so he would like to get a
riding mower and he needs a place to put it. That is the main reason. He also
wants to store some summer furniture and stuff during the winter.
Mr. Stepnak noted that the shed is up and this board does have the authority
to deny and the applicant would have to remove or make alterations to the shed.
Because the shed is up it does not constitute a hardship.
Mr. Klonowski asked if the property behind Mr. De Angelo’s is all floodplain.
Mr. De Angelo replied that the property behind his has to be at least five
acres. There is nothing behind him. The property to the north is a vacant lot.
There are two people who can see the shed other than himself; there are two
neighbors directly to the south of his property. He and his wife went around the
other day to neighbors that were on the township’s mailing list to collect
signatures. He provided a copy of the petition along with a photo of the shed to
Mr. Stepnak for the file. The only time anyone can see the shed is in the winter
when all the foliage comes off. Even if you drive by on Baker Road you can only
see the top gable part of the shed.
Mr. Alexie asked Mr. De Angelo if he had pulled a permit before he
constructed the shed and if it is on concrete.
Mr. De Angelo responded that he is doing this out of sequence. It does have a
concrete foundation. He applied for a permit and that is when this all started.
Mr. Shortt stated that Mr. De Angelo was caught without a permit. Mr. Shortt
went out to the site and thought that it might be in the floodplain or floodway.
He pulled the house file and it shows on the plot plan the contour of the
floodplain. He went out there with a 1,500 foot tape and Mr. De Angelo is out of
the floodplain. It is a nice and beautiful shed. He indicated that it is
Mr. Leonard asked if the attached garage is a two or three car garage.
Mr. De Angelo replied that it is a three car garage. It has one eight foot
door and one sixteen foot door. The portion of the garage that is one car he
cannot get anything else into that portion because it is full of stored items.
Mr. Leonard asked for clarification that the 3 car garage is only 651 square
Mr. De Angelo replied yes, he went out and measured it.
Mr. Leonard asked what the dimensions are.
Mr. De Angelo replied that he does not have the dimensions with him. He
measured the length and multiplied it by the width and that is what he came up
with, unless he did the math wrong.
Mr. Leonard commented that he is surprised that a 3 car garage would be only
651 square feet. He asked Mr. Shortt if when he went out there the garage seemed
Mr. Shortt noted that he did not check the size.
Mr. Leonard commented that with the existing garage and the shed, even with
the shed being over the allotted size, it is still under the allowed 920 square
feet. However, it is not on the site plan and we have no way to verify that at
Mr. De Angelo stated that if he made a mistake it was not on purpose, but he
thinks it would still be pretty close to that.
Mr. Stepnak noted that it is not relevant at this time.
Ms. Ficht asked if the shed has a rat wall.
Mr. De Angelo responded that the ground slopes down in a way; it has a
concrete foundation. He has six piers and the shed is bolted and strapped to
that. It is not going anywhere.
Ms. Ficht asked if he has a basement.
Mr. De Angelo replied yes.
Mr. Yaschen read the list of names from the petition that Mr. De Angelo had
submitted for the file. Twelve neighbors had no objection to Mr. De Angelo’s
Mr. De Angelo stated that the township sent notices to 18 residents. The ones
on the petition are within 300 feet of his home.
Mr. Stepnak asked how big Mr. De Angelo’s property is.
Mr. De Angelo replied it is almost a half acre. He thinks it is 100 x 200.
Ms. Ficht commented that it is 206 on one side and 199 on the other.
Mr. Stepnak clarified that Mr. De Angelo maintains the property himself.
Mr. De Angelo responded yes. He added that they had lost a lot of beautiful
trees because of the ash borer, so they have been in the process or removing
many trees. They don’t have woods anymore and he is trying to maintain that
No one from the public spoke on this agenda item.
Mr. Shortt noted that if this item is approved, Mr. De Angelo needs to pull a
permit from the Building Department.
Mr. De Angelo replied that he would do that tomorrow.
Mr. Alexie asked for clarification on the rat wall.
Mr. Shortt explained that he has concrete piers supporting the shed. There
should still be a rat wall, but he had a meeting with a floodplain engineer who
suggested to another resident that they cut some siding off so that the flood
water has a place to go. That is his intent with this shed also. This shed is
elevated, so he thinks he will waive the rat wall requirement so that if the
river ever does plug up the water has a place to go. A rat wall would do more
harm than good.
Mr. De Angelo noted that the foundation is 48 inches into the ground. It is
not going anywhere.
Mr. Shortt commented that Mr. De Angelo did do a nice job building it. It is
Mr. Stepnak noted that a rat wall is a building code. It is an engineering
concern not a zoning concern.
Mr. Leonard commented that the shed is about 200 feet of the road. There is
no one behind Mr. De Angelo’s property. He has no problem with this.
Mr. Shortt noted that the property north of Mr. De Angelo’s is all easement;
it is a dead unbuildable lot.
Mr. De Angelo apologized for not following the proper procedures with the
Motion by Mr. Leonard, supported by Mr. Yaschen to approve petition #2011-06
for a 12 x 16 shed. It is a large lot. There is no way to build behind it; there
is no way to build on the north side. It is not overly excessive; this size fits
the lot okay. There is no concern with regards to the neighbors.
Mr. Leonard asked if there is electricity out there.
Mr. De Angelo replied no.
Mr. Leonard asked if he is going to run electricity there.
Mr. De Angelo replied maybe in the future.
Mr. Leonard amended his motion to include that electricity be the only
utility to be added in the future.
Mr. Yaschen continued his support.
All Ayes Motion Carried
5. OLD BUSINESS:
6. NEW BUSINESS:
Mr. Shortt informed the board members on an upcoming agenda item at the next
meeting. The applicant wants to continue working on it, which Mr. Shortt will
let him continue. He has instructed the applicant that it is up to this board as
to whether or not he will be allowed to convert this to a townhouse, which is
what it has been in the past. The property is zoned single family residential.
The applicant has lost his non-conformance because it has been sitting for so
long. The unit was vacant and he purchased it as a foreclosure. The unit is
approximately 700 square feet. Mr. Shortt will issue the applicant a permit just
to clean it up. He is putting a new porch on it, which is exactly the same size.
He is not increasing the non-conforming of it. If any board members see him
working on it that is the reason.
7. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PRIOR MEETINGS:
Motion by Ms. Ficht, supported by Mr. Stepnak to approve the minutes from the
All Ayes Motion Carried
8. COMMENTS FROM THE FLOOR:
Motion by Ms. Ficht, supported by Mr. Alexie to adjourn the meeting at 7:25
All Ayes Motion Carried
Tom Yaschen, Secretary
Christine A. Hunyady, Recording Secretary