City continues work on updating ordinances

By: April Lehmbeck | Advertiser Times | Published September 25, 2012

HARPER WOODS — Members of the Ordinance Committee have rolled up their sleeves and are hard at work trying to make sure the city’s ordinances are working for the community.


After hosting a productive meeting in July in which they discussed several ordinances, including the rubbish ordinance, they gathered again last week to continue their work.


“We had a very productive meeting,” Mayor Pro Tem and ordinance committee member Cheryl Costantino said.


During last week’s meeting, the committee discussed the rental ordinance.


“That’s not ready to come forth quite yet,” she said.


“We are working on coming up with a very comprehensive rental ordinance,” Assistant City Manager Randolph Skotarczyk said.


They also continued discussion on the rubbish ordinance. For instance, they are requesting that all trash bags be placed in a container and that they are kept out of sight.


“That way, if you drive down the street, you won’t see someone’s trash on the front porch,” Costantino said.


They also discussed changes to the littering ordinance like making it a misdemeanor, which would allow them to increase fines and make other changes that will benefit the city.


One bit of good news Costantino wanted to share concerning ordinance enforcement was the hiring of a new part-time building/housing inspector. The city had a vacancy in that post.


They hired Lyn Giera, who is a former inspector for Belleville and Inkster, as well as a retired Detroit firefighter, all of which is positive for the city.


“We are very lucky to have someone with that type of experience,” Costantino said, mentioning Giera’s fire experience as a bonus in that he could even provide fire inspecting for the city. “We’re going to have our own fire inspector now. It’s pretty exciting.


“He’s got ideas also for some other codes that exist in other communities that we can use here,” Costantino said.


Skotarczyk also commented on Giera’s experience saying that he has already proven a good asset to the city.


Skotarczyk said another big issue coming up is a rewrite to the zoning ordinance, which he plans to bring in front of City Council soon.


After he took over in the city manager’s office, Skotarczyk said he found a draft of an updated zoning ordinance from 2008.


“I found it on a shelf,” he said. “No one seems to know why it was never put forward. Our current zoning ordinance is very old and really needed to be reworked.”


The ordinance committee plans to meet again at 6 p.m. Oct. 15.