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                  ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

                        February 3, 2003

MEMBERS PRESENT:            John Lowe, Linda Manson-Dempsey, Dan Lowe, Dan Rossbach,

                                                       Larry Fillinger

  MEMBERS ABSENT:            None

  OTHER PRESENT:               Bob Hanvey, Township Supervisor

                                                    Annette McNamara, Zoning Administrator




John Lowe called the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.


  Dan Lowe motioned to approve the agenda as presented.  Larry Fillinger seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


  Larry Fillinger motioned to approve the minutes of the January 13, 2003 Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) meeting

 as presented.  Linda Manson-Dempsey seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


  ZBA Case #18-02—Ward

  John Lowe presented a letter from Mr. and Mrs. Ward’s attorney, James Barley.  They request to be removed from 

the agenda this month to give them the opportunity to address the issues in the township’s consultants review letters.

They will advise when/if they would like to come before the ZBA.  Mr. and Mrs. Ward will address these issues with

 the Marion Township Planning Commission.  Hopefully, these issues can be addressed with the Planning

 Commission and not require a ZBA hearing. Larry Fillinger motioned to table ZBA Case #18-02 until the 

applicant requests to be placed on the agenda, not to exceed six months.  Dan Rossbach seconded. 

 Roll call vote:  Dan Rossbach, Larry Fillinger, Linda Manson-Dempsey, John Lowe, Dan Lowe—all yes. 

 Motion carried 5-0.

  Jim Barnwell of Desine, Inc. asked that formal notification be done when this case is again placed on the agenda. 

  Diane Bockhausen, 1618 W. Coon Lake Road, asked for copies of the letters submitted by the township’s 

consultants. John Lowe advised her that copies would be available at the township hall during regular business hours.

  ZBA Case #1-03—Cesarz

  John Lowe stated the township received a request from Mr. Cesarz’s attorney, Paul Burns, that this case be tabled

 until March. Linda Manson-Dempsey asked what cases are on the agenda for March. Annette McNamara said that 

Mr. Castle and possibly Mr. and Mrs. Hill.  John Lowe explained to meeting attendees that if they wish to speak 

regarding this case, and are unable to attend the March meeting, a call to the public would be made for this issue.

  Call to Public

  Jim Barnwell, 701 Pleasant Lake Road:  Mr. Barnwell was present as a member of the Log Cabin Park Association.

  He presented a color-coded map showing the layout of the lots and ownership.  Most people own a combination 

of lots.  This is a private road, there is no organization to maintain the road, it’s substandard, and there are currently

 25 lots on the road.  In 1994, recognition was made that this type of situation existed and an ERS district was 

created.  It allowed for 18,000 square foot lots with 50 foot minimum frontage in existing platted subdivisions.  

This went so far as to say that if there is a combination of lots, they would be considered as one. The intent was to 

recognize this situation.  Mr. Cesarz’s lots were under single ownership at the time the ordinance was created. 

Together, Mr. Cesarz’s lots meet the ordinance and therefore conform to the requirements for the ERS district.

 Mr. Cesarz wants to take a conforming lot and make two non-conforming lots.  Mr. Barnwell is concerned about the 

precedent that would be set if this variance is granted.

  Mr. Barnwell stated the following potential ordinance violations if this request is granted:

  Section 8.04 E 1 a—Minimum Lot Area:  requires 18,000 square feet and Mr. Cesarz is requesting approximately 

10,000 square feet.

Section 19.02—Nonconforming Lots:  granting this variance would not be in keeping with the intent

Section 6.19—Access Control and Section 6.19 C—Clear Vision Zone:  the proposed driveway would

 not  meet criteria.

Section 6.21 A 2 e—Shorelines/Setbacks:  this requirement can’t be met if a house is built on Lot #10.

Other issues:  ¾ mile of substandard private road with no maintenance agreement and no organization; the

 potential of creating 20 to 30 more lakeside lots. Mr. Barnwell pointed out that this applies to many lots in the

 township.  The lots on Coon Lake and Cedar Lake are also combinations of two and three lots. The purpose of

 this zoning ordinance is to maintain the integrity of the lots that existed at the time the ordinance was passed. 

There are currently 25 lots on this private road, which is typically the maximum allowed on a private road. 

 Based on how the ordinance is written, there could be approximately 40 homes. Granting this variance could 

create the potential for approximately 70 homes. 

John Lowe asked Mr. Barnwell if he could provide copies of his handouts.

  Roger Pashik, 825 Hurley:  Mr. Pashik concurs that the ordinance was in effect before Mr. Cesarz bought his

 property and he sees no reason to grant the variance and make the situation worse by putting houses on 

two 49-foot lots.  He sees no reason other than economic gain for this variance. 

  Dan Strong, 771 Hurley:  Mr. Strong purchased two lots on the water. He came to township hall to discuss his 

options.  He feels this variance request is a waste of time and money.  Mr. Strong asked if Mr. Cesarz is granted 

this variance, will he also be able to build on his two lots?

  Doug Grossman, 857 Hurley:  His question is what is the process if he is denied?  Does it stop at the township 

level?  John Lowe responded that if it is denied, the next level would be circuit court. 

 Question asked:  Has there been any attorney comments on this subject? John Lowe explained the attorney was 

going to be present, but because both cases were postponed, it wasn’t necessary for him to attend. The township

 will provide the attorney with information from tonight’s meeting.  What is the township’s relationship to the Health

 Department on setbacks, septic requirements, etc?  John Lowe said a letter needs to be submitted stating that 

all requirements of the Livingston County Health Department are met.  Did the Health Department give approval 

for the existing land use permit?  Annette McNamara stated that originally, the Health Department didn’t review

 it as a platted sub, and he was only allowed one septic field on each side of the road. Once the Health 

Department realized this was a platted sub, he was allowed four.  Did he supply a drawing showing where the

 septic field is and whose responsibility is it to assure it’s accurate?  Ms. McNamara said that Amy Adami from 

the Livingston County Health Department verifies the information.

  Tom Klebba, 1615 Triangle Lake Road:  Mr. Klebba lives on Triangle Lake in a subdivision very similar to 

Mr. Cesarz’s and he owns three lakefront lots.  He intends someday to build a house on one of those three lots.

 He has a house on one, a garage on one, and his intention is to build a house on the third someday.  Several 

people from Coon Lake have expressed interest in doing the same thing.  When sewers become available, every 

one of the lakefront lots will be built on.  When Mr. Cesarz originally came in, he was instructed to go to the Health 

Department for approval first.  We didn’t think he would get approval.  He had a land use permit approved for 

remodeling the existing house because he did have Health Department approval.  He then asked to rearrange

his lots so there were separate lots on the lake and two lots joined in the rear with Health Department approval for 

two in the rear, so there was a land use issued for that.  Then he came in for the third land use permit for the other

 front lot, with Health Department approval, and we consulted with the township planner.  The planner advised us

 that this was a pre-existing platted subdivision lot and if Health Department approval could be obtained, we had 

to issue the land use permit.  Immediately after the land use permit was approved, additional information was 

presented (Section 19.02).  The planner felt this was “splitting hairs”, but advised us to rescind the land use permit,

 which we did.  If Mr. Cesarz were to sell that lot, it could be built on. 

  Question asked:  I believe there is an attorney letter that states he concurs with 19.02.  Isn’t that true?  Didn’t the

 township attorney already say something about this?  Dan said something about Mr. Ambrose also concurring

 with the attorney.  Is that not true?  I believe there are letters from the township attorney and Mr. Ambrose.

  John Lowe stated that all of the information submitted at this meeting will be given to the township attorney for 

review and he will be at the March meeting. 

  Tom Klebba, 1615 Triangle Lake Road:  If you grant this variance to Mr. Cesarz, you’re not setting a precedent. 

 A variance would still be required if someone with two lots wanted to do this.  Every case would be considered

 on its own merits.  If you take this away from Mr. Cesarz, that’s the whole reason for the variance procedure—

to allow him to use his property.  I couldn’t do this today because I couldn’t get septic approval. But we’re going to

 get sewers in there, and if this is denied just on the basis of continuous frontage, I could sell to my daughter today 

and she could build on it. 

  Dan Strong, 771 Hurley:  When you read the book, it says what you’re looking at for a variance. Generally, what

 you need is a hardship.  The request for variance spells out the reasons.  If Mr. Cesarz was living there, where is 

the hardship?  I don’t think he meets any of the requirements for a variance.

  John Lowe said that’s the purpose of the meeting, to decide whether he does meet the requirements.

  Jim Barnwell, 701 Pleasant Lake Road:  This Board isn’t here to enforce Health Department rules and regulations. 

 By the same token, they don’t tell you what you have to approve or not approve.  You enforce the ordinance before 

you. The Health Department has 12,000 square foot minimum lot size.  I can go to the township and get six tax 

code IDs and six lots of record, but that doesn’t entitle me to six building sites because it doesn’t meet your 

ordinance.  This Board should not throw jurisdictional obligations and duties away because the Health Department

 says it’s okay.  That’s not the purpose of the ordinance. 

  Dan Lowe asked if there was anything in the packet that addresses the eight criteria. Annette McNamara pointed

 out that Mr. Cesarz’s letter does address the issues, but they aren’t numbered. 

  (Close the Call to the Public)

  Larry Fillinger motioned to table ZBA Case #1-03 until the March meeting.  Linda Manson-Dempsey seconded. 

Motion carried 5-0.




  Larry Fillinger motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 p.m.  Linda Manson-Dempsey seconded. 

 Motion carried 5-0.