The Milford Township Zoning Board of Appeals at its Wednesday, Sept. 12 meeting granted a variance to the owners of the Serenity Hills Farm to rebuild the barn that burnt down there in an April fire.
“We granted a variance to go over the square foot limitations of the barn, which I believe is for 1,600 square feet,” Zoning Board Chairman Richard Chowaniec said. “The other term (of the variance) was for the front yard setback because you’re not allowed to have an accessory building there, but we granted a variance for that.
“The fire was under suspect of being an arson, so it was through no fault of (the owner’s) own, plus the barn was pre-existing so there really is no change. It may just be a little smaller than what he originally thought.”
The Milford Fire Department responded to the barn fire at Serenity Hills on Labadie Road during the evening hours of April 7.
The fire didn’t result in any direct harm or fatalities to the dozens of horses in the barn.
The call for the fire came in at 10:23 p.m. It was a fully-involved fire by the time firefighters arrived on the scene, according to Milford Fire Chief Larry Waligora.
He added that all the horses in the barn were evacuated before Milford fire crews arrived, and that his department received mutual aid from Lyon Township, the city of Wixom, Commerce Township, and Highland Township firefighters.
The owners of Serenity Hills, Todd and Erin Griebe, could not be reached for comment before press time, but did send a mass e-mail expressing their gratitude.
“This was not the outcome we expected, but apparently God has us here for a reason and we will happily continue on the path He has laid,” they wrote. “We are thankful to the Milford Zoning Board of Appeals as well. They were not faced with an easy decision. They were very thoughtful and thorough in making their decision and we are grateful they made this decision in our favor.”