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Tag Archive | "ordinance"

Parking ordinance put on hold


Under a parking ordinance in the city of Cedar Springs, only guests, and not residents are allowed to park in the areas between the yard and the roadway. The ordinance has been put on hold pending further review by the planning commission.

By Judy Reed

 

The Cedar Springs City Council voted Thursday night, May 10, to send a controversial parking ordinance back to the planning commission for review, and ordered a halt to its enforcement.

The ordinance came under scrutiny last month, when resident Beth Karafa complained that she was not allowed to park in the gravel area between her yard and the road, in the city’s right of way, although she had been doing it for 16 years. Officer Nick Barbour, the city’s code enforcer, has paid her several visits and ticketed her on at least two occasions.

Guests are supposed to be allowed to park in front of a home, whether in the roadway or on the grass. However, Becky Powell, of S. Linda Street, told City Council Thursday night that she had received a warning from Barbour when her daughter-in-law visited. Powell said her daughter-in-law had all four wheels in the yard because she had to get her grandchildren in and out of the car. “He said two tires had to be on the road and two in the yard, and that he would be watching me, and if I continued, I would get fined,” explained Powell.

She said he then went across the street to talk to a sickly neighbor, whose husband had just died, about the need to mow her ditch. “I just think he needs to have a little sensitivity, kindness,” said Powell. “He was a little cocky, I guess.”

Police Chief Roger Parent made it clear that when Officer Barbour is working on Wednesdays enforcing codes, Barbour reports directly to City Manager Christine Burns. But Parent did say that all streets are wide enough for two-way traffic, and that temporary guests should be able to pull off into the grass. He also said that you do have to park with the flow of traffic, however, and not facing the wrong direction. “It’s a matter of are you impeding traffic?” said Parent.

Another resident asked about whether she, as a homeowner, could park on her own lawn.

Mayor Charlie Watson told council members, during their workshop before the meeting, that he was going to suggest sending the ordinance back to the planning commission. He said that he has had phone calls from people about it, even before the latest complaints.

He told the public during the council meeting that he has always had difficulty with the ordinance. “I think at the time it was the best ordinance that we were able to come up with. However, in hindsight, I think there may possibly be some changes we need to make to the ordinance,” he said. “I’d like to ask the City Manager to put a hold on any enforcement action while this ordinance is sent back for review.”

The council passed the motion, which related to only a specific section of the parking ordinance, then later rescinded the action and voted to send the entire parking ordinance back to the planning commission for review.

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City passes medical marijuana ordinance


The City of Cedar passed an ordinance at their regular City Council meeting last Thursday, August 11, regulating the dispensation of medical marijuana as a home occupation.
“We are on our third moratorium and our legal counsel recommended we not adopt another moratorium,” explained City Manager Christine Burns. “They recommended we look at some tried and true ordinances, such as ones in Greenville and Grand Rapids. Our planning commission also recommended we adopt this.”
Under the ordinance, home occupations must be approved by the Zoning Administrator, who will issue a permit upon receipt of an application and the payment of a processing fee. Inspections of dwelling units will be conducted by the City’s Building Inspector.
All medical marijuana must be contained within the main building (no outbuildings) in an area that is locked and inaccessible on all sides to everyone except the primary caregiver or qualifying patient. This will be reviewed and approved by the building inspector and police department. It will only be allowed in single-family homes.
All registered primary caregivers must be located outside of a 1,000-foot radius from school property or library.
The ordinance prohibits marijuana dispensaries, collectives and cooperatives. Only one registered primary caregiver is allowed per dwelling. The marijuana cannot be dispensed at the caregiver’s location, but must be delivered to the patient or other location.
Solon Township and the Village of Sand Lake still have a moratorium on medical marijuana, and Nelson Township is currently working on an ordinance.
Supporters of medical marijuana say it helps ease nausea and vomiting, stimulates hunger in chemotherapy and AIDS patients, and decreases eye pressure in glaucoma patients. Patients must have a doctor’s prescription to use it.
Although some states (including Michigan) have approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes, the federal government outlaws its use, even for a medical condition. Since Michigan voted to approve it, municipalities have struggled with writing ordinances regulating the issue.

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City designates overnight parking lots


The city of Cedar Springs adopted an ordinance last week that will allow city residents to park overnight in specific public lots from November 1 to April 1.
The council discussed whether to allow parking in one, two or three lots. The initial discussion centered on the old community building parking lot at the corner of Ash and Second Street. Councilor Raymond Huckleberry said he’d like to see a public lot on each side of Main Street, possibly the lot behind the Kent, across from the Post Office.
Councilor Neil Gomez suggested opening one on each side of Main Street instead of opening three. Mayor Charlie Watson said he felt the taxpayers own the lots and didn’t see why it would hurt to open all three.
Mayor Pro Tem Christine Fahl mentioned that there would be extra cost in signage and work for the DPW with a third lot.
The council voted to open the lots at Ash and Second and at Cherry and First (across from US Post office) for overnight parking, and possibly add a third lot later if needed.
Parking signs in the lots would specify which side or spaces cars would need to park in to comply with rules on snow removal, and drivers would be ticketed if they did not comply. “I’m 100 percent behind enforcement of tickets for people who don’t follow the rules,” said Watson.

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