Construction site ordinance holds first reading
Posted on 07/22/2021
City Hall Proposed ordinance amendment/construction site operations – The first reading was held of proposed amendments to the Code of Ordinances, Chapters 14 and 90, regarding construction site operations in the city of Northville. The ordinance will be paired with a set of standards that include aspects such as tree protection, temporary fencing, sidewalk access and maintenance. The standards would make a violation a municipal civil infraction with a fine of up to $500, plus the costs of prosecution, rather than the current misdemeanor. The second reading and possible adoption of the ordinance is scheduled for August 2. Standards will be referenced in the ordinance but adopted separately following approval of the ordinance, giving Council the flexibility to update the standards as needed.

Police to get backup support from a social service agency
– Police Chief Al Maciag gained council approval to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Hegira Health, of Livonia, that would make available a licensed social worker to become a second responder in police calls dealing with issues such as substance abuse, individuals who are suicidal, and people suffering from a mental health crisis. Hegira’s “Mobile Crisis Team” would be called by the officer at the scene, at his or her discretion, to assist with such cases. The cost for the services would be $275 if the crisis team is called out at the time of the incident or $200 for follow-up stabilization services. Funds to cover the service will come from the police department operating budget and could be reduced by any insurance reimbursement recovered by the agency.

Hunter-Pasteur has an option to purchase a city-owned parking lot, south of Cady, east of Center, that expires on July 23. City Manager Pat Sullivan has asked for a 30-day extension after receiving an appraisal last week. City Council granted the extension.

A special meeting was set for Wednesday, Aug. 4, at 4 p.m. to consult about the parking lot option to purchase. It will be open only to the mayor, City Council members, the city manager, and the city attorney.

Council Member Andrew Krenz requested permission of fellow members to meet with Jeff Snyder, owner of the former McDonald Ford site, as chair of the Farmers’ Market Task Force, to discuss information pertinent to the farmers market. All council members concurred.

There were several public comments.

Jon Kaloustian, owner of the duplex at 250-280 First St., said he is concerned that an oak tree could damage his property and wanted the city inspector to use discretion when evaluating a tree, considering that it could be a hazard to a home. His comments were in reference to updates being made to the tree ordinance.

Luci Klinkhammer, 430 Lake St., suggested that City Council offer hybrid meetings once in-person meetings resume to allow people better access to open meetings and participation.

Public comments made concerning the construction ordinance

Jim Porterfield, 46950 Timberlane, Northville Township, (an arborist) said he was concerned about protecting the critical root zone of trees in construction areas. He noted the damage might not be visible right away, but if the tree’s root zone was impaired, it could be dead within a few years. He also recommended that tree standards in a construction zone be adopted from professional arborist agencies, and mentioned that the Village of Franklin and city of Southfield both have good tree protection ordinances.

Lenore Lewandowski, 119 Randolph, would like to see stormwater run-off addressed in the construction standards as well as garbage that blows from a construction site.

Dave Gutman, 903 Spring Dr., chair of the Sustainability Committee, asked whether a civil infraction is enough of a deterrent if someone violates construction standards. He suggested delineating the difference between an ordinance and standards for the lay audience. He also wanted to see the tree component of the draft standards strengthened so builders don’t resort to removing a tree because it’s too hard to comply.

Beautification Commission – Six members signed up for another three-year term that expires June 30, 2024. They are Chair Diane Pittaway, Douglas Bingham, Gary Haas, Suemarie Klimek, Liliana Miyahara, and Callista Milroy.

Council communications

Mayor Brian Turnbull mentioned the weekend celebration of Tom Holm’s 103 birthday, where he gave a proclamation and thanked everyone who came out to make it a special event for Tom, a highly decorated World War II veteran.

Council Member Barbara Moroski Browne thanked members of the Beautification Commission for renewing their terms as commissioners and said they are “unsung heroes.”

View video here.