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Marine City tables approval of blight ordinance – By Barb Pert Templeton

Photo courtesy of CTV Community Television City Clerk Shannon Adams explained that several consultants with the city suggested the changes so as not to conflict with the current ordinance. Adams is pictured here on the far left alongside City Manager Holly Tatman and City Attorney Robert Davis.

Commissioner Hendrick points out errors in paperwork

By Barb Pert Templeton

A second reading and public hearing related to Ordinance #22-002 for Blight Prevention in Marine City was tabled instead of being adopted as expected at a June 16 meeting. Officials held a public hearing prior to their discussion, as planned.

During the public hearing, resident Philip Oleksiak said he noted that the new ordinance would offer exceptions for businesses who may not be complying but he wondered how that would be done. He hoped the commission would discuss the specifics before adopting an ordinance. 

“I’d like some clarity on what those are and how they would work,” Oleksiak said. “And I’d like a better understanding of what those exceptions are so we can also be treating our businesses fairly as well.”

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During the commission discussion, Commissioner Lisa Hendricks said the new ordinance is supposed to repeal and replace Chapter 158 Section 145 which is the current Blight Prevention Ordinance. She said the problem though is that many things were left out in the rewriting of the ordinance – such as fire wood, junk cars and additional items that were in the original ordinance and the new one also conflicts with the city’s dangerous building ordinance.

Photo courtesy of CTV Community Television
Marine City Commissioner Lisa Hendrick pointed out some problems with a proposed new Blight Prevention Ordinance and both the city manager and city attorney stated that she was right.

City Clerk Shannon Adams said the changes were made after consulting with Wade Trim and American Legal Publishing, it was their recommendation to repeal and replace the current one instead of conflicting with it. Since the first reading of the ordinance in May to this second reading, the consultants stated the intention should be to repeal and replace items.

“But now we have no control over all that other stuff though, so I don’t know why they would do that because this limits us strictly to vacant and abandoned buildings – building materials, junk firewood and junk automobiles – all this stuff is now gone,” Hendricks said.

City Manager Holly Tatman and City Attorney Robert Davis said Henricks was “100 percent right.”

“That was not what the intent of this was, the intent when we were at the Planning Commission was to leave the remainder of that in,” Tatman said. “The last section numbers that were referenced, the vacant buildings, was the only thing that was supposed to be repealed out, the rest was supposed to stand so this is not correct.”

Davis said they could clarify those items but Hendricks said it was more than just those items and she’d rather see the item tabled. Davis agreed.

Hendrick added that she thought the ordinance was still going to conflict with the dangerous buildings ordinance too so that also needed to be looked into too.

Davis said that was possible and Hendrick made the motion to table the issue. She also said the commission should host another public hearing because the information before them at this meeting wasn’t correct. Davis said that wasn’t a problem.

Tatman said they have already sent letters to property owners in the city who might be affected by a new ordinance and stated there would be a November 1 start date for any new ordinance.

Commissioner Ross then made a motion to set aside the second reading of the ordinance to review it and make sure it doesn’t conflict with existing ordinances and that a public hearing would be held at the July meeting of the city commission. The commissioners was unanimous in their approval of the motion.

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