Workers at HUB Sports Bistro in Macomb Township work last year on the rear area of the business to increase seating. Last month, the township approved extending the temporary outdoor business application.

Workers at HUB Sports Bistro in Macomb Township work last year on the rear area of the business to increase seating. Last month, the township approved extending the temporary outdoor business application.

File photo by Deb Jacques


Temporary application expanded for businesses

Parks and recreation secretary hired

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published April 7, 2021

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb Township businesses now have more time to apply for increasing their outdoor space.

At the March 24 Board of Trustees meeting, a request to extend the temporary outdoor business application unanimously passed.

The timeline is until Oct. 31, or until COVID-19 restrictions are completely removed and allow 100% in-person activities.

The request was to continue to allow internal reviews and approval of such items to expedite the process and alleviate local business of the rigorous requirements due to the pandemic that are becoming financially burdensome.

Planning Director Josh Bocks said, though restrictions are easing, life is still not back to normal.

Last year, the township began the practice of allowing permits for expanded outdoor seating areas at eateries in the age of COVID-19.

“To help our local businesses stay open, we’re asking to extend the process,” Bocks said.

He added that this permit differs from typical special event applications in that, normally, the application would be good for a week or so and that a full site plan revision is required for outdoor seating.

Treasurer Leon Drolet asked if there have been any consequences to outdoor activities.

“I’ve dealt with a handful of these businesses, and by and large compared to other communities, we don’t have that many taking advantage of this,” Supervisor Frank Viviano said. “They continued to struggle throughout the winter. I can’t think of any real negative experiences with any of them. We were able to work out any issues.”

In the future, Bocks indicated that the township has been preparing ordinance changes that would allow for more flexibility for businesses.

“We’re looking at developing a seasonal outdoor business operating application that would allow businesses to apply on an annual basis,” he said.

Additionally at the meeting, the board agreed to hire Erika Brohl as Parks and Recreation Department secretary. The human resources department received 186 applications for the position.

Candidates were vetted, and the applicants that had related experience in the public sector or within a parks and recreation department were invited to interview with the selection committee last month. Township Human Resources Director Jeff Tabaka said six individuals interviewed for the position.

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