Spotlight on outdoor dining ordinance
Posted on 02/29/2024
City Hall City Council recap of Feb. 22 meeting

Agenda change –
Four items pertaining to the Downs (ARPA implementation agreement, Barr Engineering contract to daylight the river, Grissim Metz Andriese contract to landscape the river park, and the demolition contract with Renascent Inc.) were taken off the agenda and will be discussed as agenda items at a special Council meeting to be held on Feb. 26 at 5:30 p.m.

New officers –
Police Chief Alan Maciag introduced two new police officers to Council: Keenan Sugg and Patrick Lindberg, the new school safety administrator. Council members greeted each officer with a handshake and a warm welcome.

Ford Field Accessible Gateway project –
OHM Advisors presented updated renderings of the final concept plan shown to Council on Dec. 18, 2023 for the gateway plaza at Ford Field (near the Hutton crosswalk near Dunlap) and the ADA-compliant entrance located north of the plaza. Claire Martin, of OHM, detailed the costs so Council could better select options to keep or remove from the plan. Council commented extensively on the plan. Overall, they were in favor of repairing the stairs near the gateway, using less brick in the plaza, keeping the chain-link fence for now, eliminating the bump-out overlooks into the park and evaluating alternative materials for the fencing and brick walls. The consultant and Office of Strategic Planning and Special Projects will revise the plan to incorporate feedback from Council. Currently, as amended, the plan cost is $1.364 million with engineering. The city has a Michigan Enhancement grant for $910,000 to apply toward the project.

Comments on this topic were made by:
Roxanne Casterline, 122 W. Dunlap
John Roby, 511 W. Dunlap

Mayoral proclamation –
Mayor Brian Turnbull read the proclamation that proclaims April 28 as World Peace Day in the city of Northville. (Listen to the full proclamation, without preamble at 1:05:33)

Public comment
The following people spoke about the conflict in Gaza and related issues. The mayor cut off public comment after the last speaker listed on Zoom due to inappropriate comments. Under state law, public comments must be heard if they are presented in person but don’t need to be taken electronically.

Tim Hasse: 966 Springfield Ct.
Afreena Akhtar: 50525 Hunters Trail
Naznin Mahmood: 17379 Parkshore Dr
Farzana Ferdous: 48479 Wicker Creel Dr
Jabeen Siddiqui: 49199 Parkshore Ct
Farah Khan: 38714 W Eight Mile
Nayyer Siddiqi: 49697 S Glacier
Aisha Chaudry: 48668 Freestone
Jim Koster: 204 St. Lawrence
Joshua Feinstein 16818 Saint Paul St., Grosse Pointe

Via Zoom
Bill Shaner 17041 Algonquin Dr. (sic)
Hilary Sargeant: 114 Hason Ct. (sic)
Jim Conley: No address provided (sic)

First reading, Outdoor Dining ordinance -
The first reading was held on proposed amendments to the Code of Ordinances, regarding streets, sidewalks, and other public places, as well as sidewalk cafes and outdoor seating. The ordinance is being renamed “Outdoor Dining.” The ordinance was revised by City Clerk Mike Smith, Police Chief Alan Maciag and DDA Director Lori Ward. Each of them addressed Council about the changes and/or answered questions about the proposed amendments. The ordinance, as revised, would permit additional lighting at outdoor dining areas, disallow dining platforms, and add regulations for propane heaters and acceptable noise levels, among other items. There was prolonged discussion about whether to keep in the requirement that patrons must be seated in outdoor dining to be served alcohol. Chief Maciag will check on the rules with the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC). Council Member Laura Genitti said that six months is a long time for restaurants to keep things vibrant in outdoor dining, and recommended that Council talk to restaurant owners.

Comments on this topic were made by:
Mary Elwart-Keys, 502 W. Main
Roxanne Casterline, 122 W. Dunlap
Steve Pichan, 611 Ashley Ct.
Dr. William Demray, Preservation Dental, corner of Main and Griswold

For the roll call vote,
Mayor Turnbull, Council Members Krenz, Morowski-Browne and Carter voted yes; Council Member Laura Genitti voted no. The second reading is scheduled for the March 18 City Council meeting.

Council Communication

Mayor Brian Turnbull
said the bollards will be used for Saturday’s Chilin the Ville event and also mentioned the “Day of the Dude” is coming next month as an event downtown. He said today’s meeting covered a lot of ground. He later added that he’s at the Early Bird most mornings for public meetings and reminded people that he also conducts Mayoral Town Halls.

Council Member Andrew Krenz
made an impassioned appeal for civility, humility and grace. He said he saw the “best of humanity and those who tear us apart” during public comments made at the meeting. He said there’s an organized group of online agitators who don’t live here and he is glad they were shut down. He advised people to have empathy for those who serve on Council. He wants to see people in real life rather than get an email from someone he doesn’t know and can’t gauge their character when considering their comments.

Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Moroski-Browne
apologized to Northville residents who texted her that they had planned to comment on Zoom about city matters (but couldn’t because of the Zoom shut-down following disparaging comments).

Council Member John Carter
had earlier expressed empathy to those who spoke on the conflict in Gaza. He said he is looking forward to weekend events in Northville: Chilin in the Ville and the Northville Folk playing at the Marquee Theatre.

Council Member Laura Genitti
said “My heart breaks.” (referring to those who came to speak on the conflict in Gaza.) She thanked the audience for attending the meeting.

View the meeting video here.