Barton Hills Village, Michigan

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April 16, 2007




April 16, 2007

Trustee Boddie was chosen by motion (Lindstrom/Al-Awar/P) to serve in the absence of the President and President Pro Tem and called the meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) to order at 6:05 PM at the Village Hall.

ROLL CALL Present: Trustees Al-Awar, Boddie, Bogat, Boyle, Butterwick, Lindstrom and MacKrell. Absent: Trustees Laporte and Wilkes.

Others attending: Atty. Reading, ZPA Perry, Asst. Treas. Redies, Supt. Esch, BHMC President Bultman, BHMC Atty. Lloyd, resident Hermine Klingler with her attorney Sandra Sorini Elser and architects William Meier and Jeremy Walker, and resident Peter Scott.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES Mr. Al-Awar moved that the minutes of the February 19, 2007 Board of Zoning Appeals meeting be approved as printed. Mr. Lindstrom seconded; the motion carried.

Atty. Reading stated that the two scheduled public hearings would be held separately, but that the record would apply to both since they are so closely related.

PUBLIC HEARING Application for Variance 261 Corrie Road(Hensinger)

The Public Hearing regarding the application for variance to build in the set back at 261 Corrie Road was convened at 6:06 PM. Mrs. MacKrell arrived

BHMC President Bultman made three requests of the BZA as they consider the application:

1) that any references to interpretation of the restrictive covenants (Deed Restrictions) be removed as outside the scope of authority of the BHV Board of Trustees/BZA;

2) that the BZA table the application because the parcel proposed for the Klingler project has not been clearly identified as a viable lot based on the Deed Restrictions. This needs to be determined by the BHMC Board and is a fairly complicated issue;

3) that if a motion(s) is made at the BZA meeting, other than tabling the proposal, it will be subject to a second reading before final approval so BHMC and the public in general will have adequate time and opportunity for informed comment.

There being no further public comment, the public hearing was closed at 6:09 PM.

PUBLIC HEARINGApplication for Variance 225 Corrie Road(Klingler)

The Public Hearing regarding the application for variance and/or interpretation of principal use relevant to the proposal for 225 Corrie Road was convened at 6:09 PM.

Attorney Sandra Sorini Elser displayed a drawing of the parcels in question, stating that Lot 6 had been divided between the owners of Lots 5 and 7 in 1948, and that Lot 7 and the part of Lot 6 owned by Ms. Klingler had further been divided in 1957. Ms. Klingler proposes to purchase a portion of Lot6 from the Hensingers and combine it with her portion to create a 1.3 acre lot that conforms to the requirements of the BHV Zoning Ordinance for a buildable lot. Their request before the BZA is assurance that the addition proposed by the Hensingers would not be considered a house on Lot6 because it encroaches 6 feet over the original platted lot line and would therefore prevent the Klingler proposal under the Zoning Ordinance.

There being no further public comment, the public hearing was closed at 6:14 PM.


ZPA Perry explained that he had initially been contacted by the Hensingers concerning this question and since the BHV Zoning Ordinance does not define “lot” clearly enough to answer decisively he recommended the variance request as a way to bring the issue before the BZA. There are at least two interpretations of “lot”--as a legal parcel as platted and/or created by legal land division, or only as an originally platted lot. If the BZA interprets “lot” to be a parcel created by legal land divisions that meets the requirements of the BHV Zoning Ordinance, the Hensingers do not require a variance for their addition and that addition would not prevent the Klingler proposal. Mr. Perry added that he echoed Mr. Bultman’s statement that the BZA is not being asked to determine whether there is more than one house on Lot6 under the Deed Restrictions. The BZA is also not being asked to determine the legality of previous lot splits, but only what is the definition of “lot” with respect to the Zoning Ordinance.

Mr. Perry stated that both the 1975 map adopted with the Zoning Ordinance and the 1987 (current) map that replaced it have indications of lot divisions. It is not clear what process was used in the divisions noted from 1948 and 1957 but they have apparently not been challenged by BHV. Mr. Bultman commented that there are written references to both splits and at least one indication that the 1957 split may be illegal, but that BHMC has not fully investigated this yet. There is current discussion about what process would be legally necessary to create the lot proposed by Ms. Klingler; however that issue is also not before the BZA. Mr. Perry displayed the 1975 zoning map, adding that he had reviewed the history somewhat with the Deputy Clerk, noting the various other lot divisions that are shown on the map. It appears to be precedent to interpret those divisions as legal, at least in respect to the zoning map. When asked why the 1975 map was replaced in 1987, Mrs. Esch responded that the BHV Zoning Ordinance was amended in 1987 to add some stated uses to the various zoning districts and that the map was included in the amendment, but there is no language that addresses the map in particular or explains the differences in the two maps, other than the fact that they were prepared by different people.

In response to a question from the BZA about what stops someone from splitting a large lot in BHV, Mr. Perry and Mr. Reading replied that the Zoning Ordinance speaks only to what is a conforming lot (i.e. at least one acre in size, with at least 150 feet of frontage). The Deed Restrictions add another layer of definitions about splitting lots that also apply.

Mr. Perry also noted that Ms. Klingler would need to return to BHV with a specific proposal, so the BZA is not making a decision on her project as such at this time, but only this aspect (definition of lot) of the project. Mr. Reading responded to a question from the BZA that he wasn’t sure how the Land Division Act and the concept of a boundary adjustment under the Act would apply to this case. It was suggested that other lots have been divided in more recent history; also that previous splits may have been in error and it would not be wise to continue the precedent. It was again observed that there are several issues involved, and the only question currently before the BZA concerns definition of “lot” in regard to the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Perry added as related information that Jim Shields, 230 Corrie Road (directly across the street from the proposed construction) does not support the Klingler proposal; also that five votes are necessary to vote on a motion before the BZA (a majority of the nine members, not just the number of members present). It was suggested that more information is needed before the BZA could make a decision. Mr. Reading was asked to investigate what is necessary and sufficient for a lot to be considered a “legally subdivided lot.”

Motion Mrs. MacKrell moved that the applications for variance submitted by the owners at 261 Corrie Road (Hensinger) and 225 Corrie Road(Klingler) be tabled to the May 22, 2007 meeting of the Barton Hills Village Board of Zoning Appeals. Mr. Butterwick seconded; the motion carried.


The meeting was adjourned at 6:59 PM

Jan Esch, Deputy Clerk

Approved 5/22/07