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   draft minutes       


                          MARION TOWNSHIP 

   Zoning Board of Appeals - October 6, 2003       


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

MEMBERS ABSENT:            None

OTHERS PRESENT:             Robert Hanvey, Township Supervisor

                                                Annette McNamara, Zoning Administrator



John Lowe called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.


Linda Manson-Dempsey made a motion to approve the agenda.  Larry Fillinger seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


 Larry Fillinger made a motion to table the minutes from September 8, 2003.  Linda Manson-Dempsey seconded. 

Motion carried 5-0.


Case #05-03 – Fraternal Order of Eagles

Stewart Christian, Attorney, appeared on behalf of Fraternal Order of Eagles regarding signage and proposing to add 

a base to the sign. The sign is located on an easement that was granted to Benny’s and is solely for the Eagles.

Mr. Munsell from the Eagles stated they are asking for a sign 11’ x 15’ with a possible fieldstone base. Annette 

McNamara stated the base of the sign was three feet off the road right of way and it needs to be ten feet. Jack Lowe 

stated the Eagles need to provide exact dimensions.

Keith Pratt, on behalf of the owners of the adjacent property and future owners of property stated the agreement has to 

be mutual. They also have plans to bring a site plan before the Board that does not ask for a variance. Jack Lowe 

referenced page two, middle of paragraph, of the court settlement agreement and read into the record:

“Vietnam Veterans of America, State of Michigan Council, Incorporated (“VVA-MSC”) agrees to grant and convey to

 Richard H. Benson, individually and doing business as Benny’s Bar & Grill (“Benson”), its successors and assigns, a 

perpetual easement over, under and across a portion of VVA-MSC’s real property for the installation and maintenance 

of a sign at the location of “sign remnants” as set forth in the Boss Engineering Survey attached hereto as Exhibit “C”, 

with a written easement grant to be more fully and legally described by a survey to be provided by Benson; said use not

 to exceed the historical use.”

Mr. Pratt has concerns that according to code only one freestanding sign can be put there and if it is allowed, then 

another variance would be needed. He also questioned if this would pose a safety hazard to traffic and would it interfere

with parking and asked how far they have to be from the road.  Jack Lowe read from the agreement:

Linda Manson-Dempsey pointed out on page two, item two, of Settlement Agreement, reads as follows:  “Said sign 

Easement shall be mutual, permitting the VVA- MSC as grantor or its successor the right to also place a sign, as may be

 permitted by Marion Township, upon the same supports.

Mr. Munsell commented that they have a historical right to the use of existing sign.  It was suggested that they stay with 

20 feet and go with historical use and use a two foot base. As far as around the base of the sign, they would probably 

put in a lawn. Jack Lowe stated he would like a new drawing submitted for review and approval by the Township 

Attorney. Mr. Munsell will submit a new drawing with the dimensions of 20’ x 15’ x 2’.Larry Fillinger made a motion to

table Zoning Board of Appeals Case #05-03, Fraternal Order of Eagles, until the next ZBA meeting, which will be, 

Monday, November 3, 2003.  Linda Manson-Dempsey seconded.


Case #06-03 – Lynch

Shannon Lynch presented request to build an indoor horse riding arena that would be strictly for personal use. They are

proposing a 70’ x 120’ building with entrances on east, west and north and nothing on the south side. Jack Lowe stated 

it should be 15 feet off the lot line which would only be 185 feet off the road. Linda Manson-Dempsey explained that in 

order to house animals they would have to be 200 feet off the lot line. In answer to Linda Manson-Dempsey’s question 

regarding how many horses they planned on having, the Lynches stated they would have five. The barn will be 

constructed of 26 gauge metal and Lynches stated they have no plans to include stalls and did not plan to board horses.

The Zoning Board of Appeals members expressed concern over the height of the barn. It was verified that surrounding

neighbors were notified and no one has spoken out against the building of the barn.  Mr. and Mrs. Blanc, 2298 Pingree, 

neighbors of the Lynches spoke favorably of them building the barn.

Dan Rossbach made a motion to approve Zoning Board of Appeals Case #06-03 for Shannon Lynch, relaxing session 

607-1. This would allow an accessory building to exceed 3 to 1 ratio and it meets numbers 1, 3 and 6 of Section 505 C. 

-    One, being the variance does deprive the owners to enjoy the property;

-    Three, that the circumstances are unique to the property seeing how the house was an old    farmhouse, and;

-    Six, is not solely economic provided there is a 20 foot south side set back and provided there are six to eight evenly

       planted spruce trees; varying from six to eight feet in height.  The reason for the trees would cushion the impact 

       for the viewing of the neighbors.  Finished floor elevation should be approximately at existing west end of the  

        finished floor elevation of the building.  Linda Manson-Dempsey seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.




Linda Manson-Dempsey made a motion to adjourn. Dan Rossbach seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.