City Council Meeting Minutes
March 11, 2019 | City Council Minutes
CITY OF GROSSE POINTE FARMS
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
A regularly scheduled meeting of the City Council for the City of Grosse Pointe Farms was called to order at 7:05 p.m. on Monday, March 11, 2019, by Mayor Louis Theros, at 350 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan.
Present: Mayor Louis Theros, Mayor Pro Tem James C. Farquhar, Councilmembers John J. Gillooly, Joe Ricci, Peter Waldmeir and Lev Wood.
Absent: Sierra Leone Donaven.
Also Present: Messrs.: Shane Reeside, City Manager; Derrick Kozicki, City Clerk/Assistant City Manager; Daniel Jensen, Director of Public Safety; John Hutchins, Deputy Director of Public Safety; Matthew Baka, Director of Public Service; Grosse Pointe Farms Municipal Judge Matthew Rumora; William T. Burgess, City Attorney; and Mlle. Debra Peck-Lichtenberg, City Controller/Treasurer.
Mayor Theros led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Gillooly motioned, Farquhar seconded to excuse the absence of Donaven. Motion carried.
Council considered the Minutes of the Regular City Council Meeting held on February 11, 2019.
Mayor Theros motioned to approve the Minutes of the Regular City Council Meeting held on February 11, 2019. Motion carried.
Council received a presentation from Public Safety Director, Daniel Jensen regarding the 2018 Public Safety Department Merit Awards.
Farquhar motioned, Gillooly seconded to temporarily adjourn Regular Session and reconvene as the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). Motion carried.
The Zoning Board of Appeals held a Public Hearing to consider a request for a use variance for 381 Kercheval (Jerry’s Party Store).
The following documents were provided to the Zoning Board of Appeals: 1) Memorandum from Public Service Director, Matthew Baka entitled, “381 Kercheval, Use Variance Request” dated March 4, 2019; and 2) Letter from Jerry and Suzanne Stocking, Owners of Jerry’s Party Store entitled, “Request Conditional Use and Approval for Jerry’s Club Party Store at 381 Kercheval” dated February 18, 2019.
Jerome Stocking, the applicant and owner of Jerry’s Party Store, and his builder Robert Ertzbischoff of Grosse Pointe Construction gave a brief presentation of the request for a use variance for 381 Kercheval Avenue.
Waldmeir asked the applicant asked if the applicant had a drawing.
The applicant stated that he had one copy of the drawing and that it only featured the Kercheval Avenue façade.
Waldmeir asked the applicant how many years the building has had its current use.
The applicant stated that the building has been used as a liquor store for approximately thirty-one years.
Waldmeir asked if the new location would have a sign promoting the lottery in the window.
The applicant stated that his understanding was the sign ordinance would not allow it and therefore it would not be placed in the window of the business.
Chairman Theros asked the applicant if the façade would feature a glass door, bead board, same size awning and have similar landscaping. Additionally he asked if the new location would require additional parking and have the same footprint as the current location.
The applicant stated the façade will feature a glass door, bead board, two awnings and a similar style of landscaping. The new location will not require additional parking and will have the same footprint.
Chairman Theros requested that the Public Service Director, Matt Baka give a brief explanation of why the use variance may be appropriate in this situation.
Director Baka explained that Jerry’s Party Store is a legal non-conforming use and the situation is a unique problem that is not self-created. He added that granting the use variance would not alter the character of the neighborhood.
Theros asked when the legal non-conforming use would expire at the current location of Jerry’s Party Store location.
Director Baka stated the legal non-conforming use would expire if not reestablished within six months at which point a variance would be required for non-residential use.
Wood asked the applicant if the loading zones would change with the new location.
The applicant stated that the loading zones would not change at the new location for deliveries.
Ricci asked what would happen to the current location’s use after Jerry’s Party Store leaves.
Director Baka stated that any new business would have to be retail service or obtain a variance.
Waldmeir asked the applicant if the three quadrants above the two big panes of glass would also be glass.
The applicant stated yes, the three quadrants above the two big panes of glass would be glass.
Farquhar stated that he supports approval of the use variance.
Chairman Theros opened the Public Hearing at 7:45 p.m.
No verbal or written comments were received from the public.
Chairman Theros closed the Public Hearing at 7:46 p.m.
Waldmeir motioned, Ricci seconded that that the Board of Zoning Appeals grant a use variance in order to permit the relocation of Jerry’s Club Party Store to 381 Kercheval Avenue. There are two conditions to my motion to approve, and I’ll explain those conditions at the end of my motion.
As a preliminary matter, I note that the property in question is located in the R-1 single family residential district, but has not been used as a residence for an extended number of years. Rather, the property has been occupied by commercial or community service uses for an extended period. It is significant that the retail party store, which is to be relocated from 383 Kercheval Avenue next door to 381 Kercheval Avenue, has been in use for approximately 60 years, established well before the current Zoning Ordinance was enacted in 1973.
My motion is based upon the following findings:
First, strict application of the Zoning Ordinance will result in practical difficulties for the user of the property. In support of this finding, as noted a moment ago, the retail establishment at 383 Kercheval Avenue has been in use for approximately 60 years, it has been a legal non-conforming use since before the current zoning ordinance was enacted and continuously thereafter, it has become a neighborhood institution serving nearby residents, it would be impractical to continue to serve these residents from any remote location, and permitting the relocation next door to 381 Kercheval removes practical impediments to upgrading the appearance and functionality of the retail store.
Second, the variance is in harmony with and serves the intent and purpose of the Zoning Ordinance. In particular, the extent of the use variance is identical to the nature of the prior use of the property and the remainder of the structure in question, there will be no change in population density, there will be no change in the need for governmental services or the extent of governmental services, there will be no change in the dimensions of the structure itself, and in fact the only changes will be upgrades in appearance and functionality.
Third, the variance will result in substantial justice being done, by permitting this long-standing retail use to continue to serve nearby residents, and recognizing that this continued use cannot happen unless a variance is granted.
Fourth, the variance will not substantially interfere with or injure the rights of persons whose property is affected by the variance, because the non-residential use of the property has been in place for an extended number of years and the variance simply permits this to continue.
Fifth, pursuant to Article Twenty-Five (XXV) of the Zoning Ordinance, the proposed use of the property is consistent with and will promote the intent and purpose of the ordinance; the proposed retail use will be compatible with adjacent land uses, natural resources, and public service capacities (given that the proposed use is exactly the same as has been in existence next door for approximately 60 years); the character of the residential neighborhood will be maintained, and the retail use of 381 Kercheval Avenue will be socially and economically desirable; and, lastly, the proposed retail use is consistent with the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of Grosse Pointe Farms.
There are three (3) conditions to my motion to approve: the first condition is that the applicant will install a plate glass window along the entire width of the front of the property bordering on Kercheval Avenue, the second condition is that the same frontage will be improved with an awning, which may include signage that is consistent with the City’s sign ordinance, and the third condition is that that the frontage will be in full compliance with the City’s sign ordinance, specifically that there will not be any signs promoting the Michigan lottery.
That concludes my motion, which is offered without precedence or prejudice to the determination in the future of any similar appeals to the Board of Zoning Appeals. YES: Chairman Theros, Farquhar, Gillooly, Ricci, Waldmeir and Wood; NO: None; Absent: Donaven. Motion carried.
Farquhar motioned, Gillooly seconded to adjourn Zoning Board of Appeals and reconvene as City Council. Motion carried.
Council considered a resolution on the deteriorating seawall under Wayne County jurisdiction located along Lake Shore Road.
City Manager Reeside gave a brief presentation regarding the purpose of the proposed resolution.
Mayor Theros stated that Wayne County needs to make temporary repairs immediately while planning long term repairs.
Farquhar motioned, Waldmeir seconded to approve the resolution on the deteriorating seawall under Wayne County jurisdiction located along Lake Shore Road. Motion carried.
Council considered a request from Administration to approve a contract regarding Kerby Field Parking Lot Improvements.
City Manager Reeside gave a brief presentation about the project including the cost and construction schedule.
Gillooly recognized the generosity of the Cotton Family, Atanas Ilitch and the Grosse Pointe Farms Foundation who made significant donations to help pay for the cost of the project.
Mayor Theros opened public comment on the agenda item at 8:10 p.m.
Andy Dervan, 306 Fisher Road asked about the location of the driveways on the site plan.
City Manager Reeside explained where the drive ways would be located in contrast to where they are located presently.
Mayor Theros closed public comment at 8:11 p.m.
Wood motioned, Ricci seconded to authorize the City Manager to execute contracts with T&M Asphalt Paving in the amount of $496,226.00 and Backer Landscaping in the amount of $464,837.70, with the allocation of project costs indicated in the City Manager’s memorandum dated February 28, 2019. Motion carried.
Council approved the following item on the Consent Agenda.
a. Consideration of a request from the Finance Director to approve February 2019 invoices.
Gillooly motioned, Farquhar seconded to approve the Consent Agenda. Motion carried.
Council received the February 2019 Public Safety Report.
City Manager Reeside asked that Council consider a request to approve a charity event entitled, “Run, Walk ‘n’ Roll” to be held on Sunday, May 5, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.
Wood motioned, Farquhar seconded to approve the “Run, Walk ‘n’ Roll” charity event for C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital to be held on Sunday, May 5, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. contingent upon providing proof of insurance and meeting any requirements of the Public Safety Department. Motion carried.
Council considered a resolution to establish a request for funding, designate an agent, attest to the existence of funds and commit to implementing a maintenance program for the resurfacing of Fisher Road funded by the Transportation Economic Development Fund Category B Program.
Gillooly motioned, Waldmeir seconded to approve the resolution to establish a request for funding, designate an agent, attest to the existence of funds and commit to implementing a maintenance program for the resurfacing of Fisher Road funded by the Transportation Economic Development Fund Category B Program. Motion carried.
Councilman Ricci informed Council about a recent Grosse Pointe Public School System Board meeting he attended.
Council heard general public comment from the audience.
Theros motioned, Gillooly seconded for Council to go into Closed Session with the intent not to return to open session to consult with the City Attorney regarding pending litigation and to discuss the purchase or lease of real property. YES: Chairman Theros, Farquhar, Gillooly, Ricci, Waldmeir and Wood; NO: None; Absent: Donaven. Motion carried.
Mayor Theros adjourned the regular meeting at 8:45 p.m.
Derrick Kozicki, City Clerk Louis Theros, Mayor