Huntington Woods considers changes to fines, marijuana ordinances

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published April 10, 2018

 One of the ordinances read by the Huntington Woods City Commission would update traffic fines in the city.

One of the ordinances read by the Huntington Woods City Commission would update traffic fines in the city.

Photo by Mike Koury

HUNTINGTON WOODS — The Huntington Woods City Commission held the first reading of two ordinance amendments that deal with traffic fines and marijuana.

At its March 27 meeting, the commission held a reading first on an ordinance to update the traffic fine amounts, which the city estimates haven’t been updated since 1988, according to city documents.

“We are recommending that the handicap violation be changed from a $35 fine to a $150 fine, and that the abandoned car violation and no parking between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. remain the same, and that all other parking violations — that would be things like parking in front of a fire hydrant — increase from $10 to $25,” City Manager Amy Sullivan said.

An abandoned car violation is a $50 fine, and a parking violation between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. is $10.

Commissioner Joe Rozell said the fines came to the city’s attention from the local police union.

“They felt that the fees were inconsistent with other communities,” he said. “They’ve worked with us very cooperatively on a number of issues in contract negotiations, and so it made sense, I think, to look at these fines, especially for things like handicap parking, etc., and so I had no issue bringing this forward and asking our city manager and chief to study it.”

Commissioner Jules Olsman asked why the 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. fine was treated differently than other parking violations and was only $10 instead of $25.

Rozell said the city looked at other communities to see what they were charging and his guess was that it was consistent with what other communities were charging.

Sullivan said the 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. fine was a reminder for residents “not to park on the street. We don’t want to be overly punitive about it, I think, was the tack the Public Safety Department wanted to take. So we were comfortable with the $10 fine.”

The other ordinance deals with medical marijuana provisions that states, according to the ordinance, “Medical marihuana activities shall not be conducted in accessory structures, including but not limited to detached garages,” and “Medical marihuana activities conducted by a primary caregiver shall only be permitted to occur in the primary residence of the primary caregiver.”

Both of these sections were deleted from the ordinance.

“The change is a result of a case in the Court of Appeals ruling on whether or not medical marijuana can be cultivated or stored outside of the primary residence,” Sullivan said. “Currently, we had said that medical marijuana activities shall not be conducted in accessory structures and they had to be confined to the primary residence of the primary caregiver, and that has been struck down as being inconsistent with (specific provisions) of the Medical Marihuana Act.”

Since only first readings were held on the amendments, the commission will vote to pass them at its next meeting.