Agenda and Draft Minutes
July 11, 2005
TO THE PUBLIC: Agenda
Items Only Ė 3 minute limit
July 11, 2005
OF MINUTES FOR: May
ZBA Case # 04-05 Ė Michael &
ZBA Case # 05-05 Ė James P. &
Suzanne L. Radick
PRESENT: John Lowe,
Larry Fillinger, Dan Lowe, Linda Manson-Dempsey,
, Township Attorney
CALL TO ORDER
John Lowe called the meeting to order
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Zoning Board of Appeals,
May 2, 2005
Fillinger motioned to approve the minutes as presented.
Linda Manson-Dempsey seconded.
Case #04-05óMichael & Donna Chapman
Thomas Halm, attorney for the
Chapmans, summarized the variance request.
Mr. Halm provided photos for the
ZBA members to review.
The porch is five feet, seven inches beyond the building envelope.
purchased the existing home in 2004;
this is a matter the Chapmansí inherited and was discovered as a result of
The building was approved and issued a final compliance by the
township seven years ago.
Call to the Public
Lowe opened the call to the public.
5799 Carter Court
: Mr. Hutchings is vice
president of the homeownerís association.
indicated the association supports the variance request by the Chapmans.
to the public closed.
Dan Rossbach motioned to grant a
variance for ZBA Case #04-05, allowing five feet, seven inch front yard
reduction from the required 70 feet,
relaxing Section 8.01 F 3 a of the zoning ordinance, and addressed the
the strict enforcement of the provisions of the townshipís zoning
ordinance would cause an
hardship and deprive the owner of rights enjoyed by all other property
within the same zoning district.
conditions and circumstances unique to the property, which are not
similarly applicable to
properties in the same zoning district.
conditions and circumstances unique to the property were not
the requested variance would not confer special privileges that are
denied other properties
situated in the same zoning district.
the requested variance would not be contrary to the spirit and intent of
this zoning ordinance.
difficulties shall not be deemed solely economic.
Lowe said not granting the variance would be a detriment to the
neighborhood, and the township
approved the permit for the porch in May 1997.
Larry Fillinger seconded. Roll
Rossbach, Larry Fillinger, Linda Manson-Dempsey, John Lowe, Dan Loweóall
ZBA Case #05-05óJames P. & Suzanne L. Radick
Suzanne Radick stated she has a
recreational hobby kennel with sled dogs at the corner of Dutcher Road and
, and she is requesting a variance on the number of dogs allowed.
Mrs. Radick said her family has
15 dogs instead of 10.
Many of the dogs are older and retired from racing.
Lowe asked the ZBA members if they had any questions.
Dan Rossbach asked how many dogs
Radick trains. She said 8-10
dogs. Mrs. Radick said 8 of the
dogs are between 9-13.
uses the older dogs to help train the younger dogs.
Larry Fillinger asked what the average life
is. Mrs. Radick said 14-15
Manson-Dempsey asked Mrs. Radick if she
all of the dogs. Mrs. Radick
said yes. John Lowe asked how
many dogs Mrs. Radick owns.
said a total of
sled dogs and a German Shepard. Mr.
Fillinger asked when the Radicks
over the 10-dog limit. Mrs.
Radick said the previous fall. Mr.
Fillinger asked what prompted the
request. Mrs. Radick said a
noise complaint. Mrs. Radick
told the ZBA that she plans to
12 of the dogs debarked to resolve the noise issue.
Mr. Rossbach asked how that would affect
dogs. Mrs. Radick said itís
not an uncommon practice.
Call to the Public
Lowe opened the call to the public. Mr.
Lowe wanted to clarify that the ZBA members are aware t
the Radicks take excellent care of their dogs and thatís not a point of
issue. Mr. Lowe said the
received 27 letters in support of the Radicks, which will be part of the
5757 Lange Road
: Mrs. Bauer read a letter she
wrote to the ZBA (copy attached).
Schonberger, 6090 Munsell: Ms.
Schonberger said she has shown purebred dogs for 30 years.
dogs are debarked and itís quite a common practice.
: Mr. Collier said he owns a
debarked dog and itís not a problem. He
are trying hard. They have one
of the smallest kennels that races. They
have borrowed dogs
Mr. Collier so they donít have to get more dogs.
Reizen, 3210 Dutcher Road: Mr.
Reizen said heís one of the neighbors, he doesnít live in
said the dogs were barking on July 9 and July 10.
It wasnít for 53 seconds; it was over 22 minutes
time. Mr. Reizen said heís
appalled the Radicks would even consider debarking the dogs.
itís unusual, itís illegal in
and in the surrounding states. Mr.
Reizen said a variance
be granted when a party had prior knowledge of the ordinance and they
There is no benefit to the community.
Itís already been determined that there is a nuisance.
ZBA has no authority to grant the variance, they canít meet any of the
criteria, and he urges the
to not grant the variance.
5945 W. Coon Lake Road
: Mr. Soerries said heís never
heard the dogs howl for
minutes. He has heard them howl
a couple of times. The Radicks
are very responsible with their
Mr. Soerries said heís lived there 3 years and he can count on one
hand the number of times
heard the dogs howling.
5956 W. Coon Lake Road
: Mr. Dickenson said heís one
of the Radicks closest
Thereís more noise from cars and gravel haulers and loud radios.
He rarely hears the
howl or bark.
Fritz, 2882 Fisk: Mr. Fritz said
he lives next to a former hobby kennel.
He doesnít believe the
should grant a variance to allow more dogs.
5920 W. Coon Lake Road
: Mr. Goers said he still hears
the dogs barking, although itís
as bad as it was.
Lynch, 3300 Dutcher Road: Mr.
Lynch read a statement to the ZBA. He
feels the Radicks have
a total lack of cooperation. The
Board of Trustees has found that there is a nuisance, which
been abated. Mr. Lynch asks the
ZBA to deny the variance request.
6040 W. Coon Lake Road
: Mr. Whiting said thereís
been many times that heís been in
house with the doors and windows closed and the television on, and he can
still hear the dogs.
resident: Mr. Scott said he has
a neighbor with
sled dogs on 200-foot lots. Mr.
Scott asked if the debarking works. Mr.
Collier said if the
is done by a competent vet, and done on both sides, the dogs would only make
John Lowe added that his experience
with a neighborís dog that was debarked is that it made a substantial
Ms. Manson-Dempsey pointed out that a hobby kennel could be done on
about 3 acres and the
Radicks have approximately 13 acres.
Bill Szobonya, attorney representing
the Radicks, asked to address some of the issues.
Mr. Szobonya said the tape
that was done regarding the noise may
never make it to court because it canít be authenticated.
If it is admissible in
court, all of the tapes the Radicks
made would most likely be admissible, which would be substantially less
what is alleged in the tape by
Mr. Lynch. There are allegations
of noise, but there has been no determination that
the alleged nuisance is actually in
existence. The Radicks are going
to great extremes and great cost to have the dogs
Regarding some of the issues Mr. Reizen has mentioned, this is the
same person whoís complaint stated
that the noise from the dogs had to
exceed 55 decibels. That canít
be known without a test being done. Second,
also alleges in his complaint
that there were other violations against the Radicks about their animals.
said there are no other violations.
It is not illegal in
to have a dog debarked. Mr.
Reizen has made
statements on other occasions that
arenít really legally sound. The
issue of the barking is over; that will be satisfied
at the Board meeting.
The dogs arenít going to be debarked until the fall, so the
neighbors can complain all they
want for the next 2-3 months.
The Radicks arenít going to do it because it canít be done in the
summer. As far as
the number of dogs, these are older
dogs that will probably die within the next year or two.
Why is this not a benefit
for the township?
This is a great hobby. The
whole idea of a variance is to allow an exception.
Mark Reizen, 3210 Dutcher Road:
Mr. Reizen said that kind of attack is unwarranted and itís
offensive, but what
Mr. Szobonya just told the ZBA is
screw the neighbors, they can listen to the howling throughout the summer.
alone should be reason enough to deny
David Lynch, 3300 Dutcher Road:
Mr. Lynch said he also has a fairly noisy hobby that doesnít keep
people up at
and he doesnít do it at his home. Itís
done in a controlled environment where it has been approved.
Mr. Lynch said he likes dogs, but
when the issue came up, it had to come to a written complaint because the
Radicks would not admit there was an
issue and do something about it.
Mr. Radick said this hobby is a benefit to the community.
Theyíve taken cub scouts to the house for a
demonstration, they take the dogs to
the elementary school, theyíve had 4-H groups out, and they do share the
hobby with the community.
Kim Chappel, 2406 Clivedon:
Ms. Chappel is a friend of the Radicksí daughter.
She said the dogs are wonderful
and she doesnít see why five dogs
would make a difference.
John Lowe closed the call to the
Larry Fillinger asked if by chance
the township requested that the dogs be brought back to the 10-dog limit,
those dogs were not debarked,
what can the township ask them to do to eliminate the noise.
recommendation to the township board
would be to either start from scratch with the zoning violation process or
simply go back to the previous
findings that have been made by the township board depending on the time
He would probably recommend that the
township take another look at the ordinance violation process.
John Lowe said he doesnít see a way
around the self-created aspectóit obviously was.
The Radicks have made a
substantial improvement toward the
welfare of the neighbors through the potential elimination of the noise.
Mr. Lowe said he doesnít believe
itís acceptable to wait two months. Mr.
Lowe suggested that with the dogs
being debarked and a list of the
current dogs, there is an agreement set up that no new dogs are taken in
Radicks are below the limit of 10
dogs. Those dogs would be
allowed to remain until they die.
heard conflicting statements from two different attorneys and is concerned
ZBA taking action on the debarking issue.
He requested the opportunity to check on the legality of
Fillinger motioned to table ZBA Case #5-05 until a special meeting is held
on Tuesday, July 19
, to allow the township attorney to collect additional information and allow
time for the
to obtain instruments to quiet the dogs.
Linda Manson-Dempsey seconded. Motion
CALL TO THE PUBLIC
Rossbach motioned to adjourn the meeting at
Linda Manson-Dempsey seconded.