Legal action impacts seasonal plan
Posted on 05/16/2024
People dining in the street in previous years. Photo by DDA.

The city of Northville is providing the following update, May 16, 2024, on the planned seasonal street closure of Main and Center Street to vehicular traffic.

During the spring of 2023, the Northville City Council approved a seasonal street closure from the end of April to the beginning of November. The goal of the closure is to create a pedestrian-friendly area for outdoor dining, events and placemaking. Last fall, Let’s Open Northville, a non-profit entity, filed a lawsuit in order to stop the seasonal closure. On April 11, 2024, Let’s Open Northville was granted an injunction against the city, temporarily stopping the city from implementing that plan.

“The city has filed a motion for the judge to reconsider the preliminary injunction, which is expected to be reviewed soon. If the judge’s decision isn’t favorable to the city, we will file an appeal with the Court of Appeals,” said City Manager George Lahanas.

In the meantime, the city continues to look at various options for closing the streets to traffic that work within the injunction parameters and give the community dedicated pedestrian areas when they visit Downtown Northville this summer.

The city and a number of downtown businesses had already begun preparations for the street closure, including the approval of outdoor dining permits that allow on-street parking spaces to be used for tables and chairs.

The goal is to support Council’s action and also uphold the important principle that the city has the authority to manage its public right-of-way. Cities in Michigan have broad authority to manage streets based on the Michigan Constitution and Home Rule Cities Act.