Charter Township of Orion
Oakland County, Michigan


Zoning Board of Appeals

Minutes, Regular Meeting, Monday, August 23, 2010


The Charter Township of Orion Zoning Board of Appeals held a regular meeting on Monday, August 23, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at the Orion Township Hall, 2525 Joslyn Road, Lake Orion, Michigan 48360.

ZBA MEMBERS PRESENT: Loren Yaros, Chairman; Mark Crane; Joe Geraci; Tony Cook, Alternate for Don Walker; Dan Durham, Alternate for Sandra Dyl

ZBA MEMBERS ABSENT: Don Walker, Vice-Chairman; Sandra Dyl

CONSULTANT PRESENT: Tom Berger, Township Building Official

OTHERS PRESENT: Sam Haddad, John Tucker, Eugene McNabb, Phoebe Schutz

1. OPEN MEETING: Chairman Yaros called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

2. ROLL CALL: Board members Dyl and Walker were absent.

3. MINUTES: Moved by Board Member Crane, supported by Board Member Cook to approve the August 9, 2010, regular meeting minutes as presented.  Motion carried 7-0.

4. AGENDA REVIEW AND APPROVAL: No changes were made to the agenda.

5. ZBA BUSINESS

A. AB-2010-18, John and Lisa Tucker, 4115 Rohr Road: Chairman Yaros noted that the Petitioner is requesting two variances from Zoning Ordinance No. 78, Section 27.02, A, 8, Lot Size Over 2.5 acres, to add to an existing detached accessory building: 1)Maximum Floor Area of Detached Accessory Buildings – seeking a 96-square foot variance over the 1,400 square feet allowed; and, 2)Total Maximum Floor Area of All Accessory Buildings – seeking a 300-square foot variance over the 1,900 square feet allowed.

Mr. John Tucker, of 4115 Rohr Road, was present.  He noted that their hardship is that they have a fifth-wheel trailer, a boat, and another trailer that they want to keep in out of the weather.

Board Member Geraci noted that the hardship needs to be about the property itself and not about things since the variance would run forever with the land.  He then inquired about all the pick-up trucks, mowers, trailers, backhoes, and other equipment at the rear of the property. 

Mr. Tucker noted, I have three farm trailers, one that I haul hay on, one that I haul my farm equipment on, and I have a dump trailer that I haul horse manure with.  The two backhoes you saw are both farm tractors that I use.  The commercial lawnmower I have, because I have a lot of land to mow.  I mow over ten acres of land a week, but I am not a landscaper.  I work for Chrysler. 

Board Member Geraci inquired, so the equipment that you store on these 2˝ acres is to farm some ten acres somewhere else?

Mr. Tucker stated, no, I take care of my Mother's place, who lives on Waldon Road on the dirt part.  I mow her four acres and I mow my 2˝ acres and then I have some other that I mow along with that.  The trailers are used for a farm up in Hadley that has horses on it and we haul hay with it and the other trailer is a dump trailer for manure.  The trucks that you saw are that I have two boys with trucks and I have a daughter with a truck and they're all teenagers, so that might have been the trucks that you saw.

Board Member Geraci commented that he still doesn't see a hardship.

Chairman Yaros stated, for myself, I would be fairly satisfied if you'd get rid of the 96-foot and go with what was allowed for detached and then I wouldn't have any problem with the total once the what was allowed detached was met and the total floor area, that's just how much room you got in your garage, so I don't really have a problem with that.

Mr. Tucker stated, you keep talking about hardship.  I don't understand what you mean by that, what's a hardship here?

Chairman Yaros stated, it's something that is out of your control, but this is within your control on how big you make it.

Mr. Tucker offered to knock off 12.5-feet by 24 feet of the back of the lean-to.

Mr. Tom Berger, Township Building Official, stated, if he would do that, that would eliminate his need for a variance.

Moved by Board Member Geraci, supported by Board Member Crane regarding case AB-2010-18, John and Lisa Tucker, of 4115 Rohr Road, that the request for a non-use variance of Zoning Ordinance No. 78, Section 27.02, A, 8, zoned Suburban Farm (SF), Lot Size Over 2.5 acres, for two variances to add a 24' x 50' carport to an existing pole barn.  The first variance is a 96-square foot variance over the 1,400-square foot allowed for detached accessory building.  The second is a 300-square foot variance over the 1,900 square feet allowed for the total maximum floor area of all accessory buildings, be denied.  The Petitioner has not established that practical difficulties exist.  The Petitioner has not established that compliance with the strict letter of the ordinance would unreasonably prevent the Petitioner from using the property for a permitted purpose or would render conformity with the ordinance unnecessarily burdensome and can comply with the ordinance by utilizing the existing pole barn that required a variance in 1991.  The Petitioner has not established that the proposed variance would not be a detriment to the public safety and welfare, nor unreasonably impair or diminish the Petitioner or the other property owners in the district and gives no evidence to the contrary.  The Petitioner has not established unique circumstances regarding the subject property variance relates to the user and not to the land in question about having too much equipment or vehicles is not a hardship.  The Petitioner has not established that the need for the variance was not self-created, because a hardship has not been proven.  The Petitioner has not established that even with the granting of the variance, the spirit of the ordinance will be observed, the public safety secured, and substantial justice done.  Roll call vote was as follows: Geraci, yes; Crane, yes; Durham, yes; Cook, no; Yaros, yes.  Motion carried 4-1.

B. AB-2010-19, Crittenton Medical Equipment Sign, 1176 S. Lapeer Road: Chairman Yaros noted that the Petitioner is requesting a variance from Sign Ordinance No. 138, Section 8, B, Restricted Business-2 (RB-2) zoning district, to install a 40-square foot 2nd wall sign.

Mr. Sam Haddad, of Beacon Sign Company, 19460 Mt. Elliott, Detroit, Michigan, 48284, noted that he is here on behalf of Crittenton Medical Equipment.  The hardship is that the existing sign is on the south side of that building, which is perpendicular to Lapeer Road, so you can't see the sign, nor the address, whether you're traveling north or south.  What they would like, being that they are an end unit, they would like to put a 40-square foot sign there.  It's not overpowering.  The letters are ten inches in height.  Typically in that strip, most of the lettering is about 18+inches for most of the other tenants.  At this time, they are not visible from Lapeer Road.

Chairman Yaros agreed that it's not visible from across the street either.

Also, Mr. Haddad and members discussed the fact that the Petitioner had written twice on the third page of the application, the words "Joslyn Road" when it should have been written "Lapeer Road".

Chairman Yaros noted that it needs to be corrected on the application.

Mr. Haddad noted that he would correct the application.

Board Member Geraci also noted that Item 8 on the third page of the application was also filled out incorrectly.  It referenced the POH sign located at 1240 S. Lapeer Road, which has absolutely nothing to do with this application and should not be written on this application.

Moved by Board Member Geraci, supported by Chairman Yaros regarding case AB-2010-19, Crittenton Medical Equipment Sign, located at 1176 S. Lapeer Road, that the Petitioner's request of a variance from Sign Ordinance No. 138, Section 8, B, Restricted Business-2 (RB-2) zoning district, to install a 40-square foot 2nd wall sign be granted, because the Petitioner has demonstrated that difficulties exist.  The Petitioner has established that compliance with the strict letter of the ordinance would unreasonably prevent the Petitioner from using the property for a permitted purpose or would render compliance with the ordinance unnecessarily burdensome.  This is a common request from a business that is located on the end cap or corner of a shopping center.  This sign would be facing Lapeer Road and giving more exposure to the current businesses as well as Crittenton Medical Equipment.  The Petitioner has established that granting the variance requested will not be a detriment to public safety or welfare and would do substantial justice to the Petitioner as well as the other property owners in the district.  Because it will locate the store for the southbound traffic and keeping customers from becoming a hazard on Lapeer Road as they are trying to locate the business.  Roll call vote was as follows: Crane, yes; Durham, yes; Cook, yes; Geraci, yes; Yaros, yes.  Motion carried 5-0.

6. PUBLIC COMMENTS: Mr. Eugene McNabb, of 2981 Judah Road, commented regarding the trespassing that is currently occurring in the local gravel pits.

7. COMMUNICATIONS: None.

8. COMMITTEE REPORTS: None.

9. MEMBERS’ COMMENTS: None further.

10. ADJOURNMENT: Moved by Board Member Crane, supported by Board Member Cook to adjourn at 7:50 p.m.  Motion carried unanimously.

* On file