Mayor Duggan declares moratorium on new auto yards, salvage yards effective April 1st
In response to the rapid expansion of used auto and scrap related facilities in Detroit, city officials announced today plans to implement a one-year moratorium on accepting applications to establish or expand these types of business. The moratorium will go into effect on April 1, 2019 and expire March 31, 2020.
Today, Mayor Mike Duggan issued Executive Order 2019-1 to establish the moratorium, which does not affect the ability of existing legally established businesses in these categories to renew their business licenses or obtain Certificates of Compliance, which is a city requirement. The Buildings, Safety Engineering, & Environmental Department (BSEED) will send letters to all of the following known establishments already operating in the city advising them of the moratorium:
The City’s Law Department, BSEED, City Planning Commission and Department of Neighborhoods plan to use the one-year moratorium period to review the regulatory framework already in place for these establishments and to make or recommend to City Council changes that might be necessary. Specifically, the City’s review is designed to determine appropriate measures to limit overconcentration, increase compliance with property maintenance and zoning standards, decrease crime, and curtail illegal business operations.
"In light of the expansion of these types of businesses, we need to make sure we can effectively regulate them so they do not negatively impact our neighborhoods,” said Bell. “We are giving the operators of all existing businesses of these types 90 days to come into compliance before the moratorium begins. Existing businesses that are operating legally but may be out of compliance will have the opportunity to enter into a consent agreement with the City to establish a firm timeline for getting into compliance.”
Bell added that any establishments that fail to obtain all necessary city approvals allowing them to legally operate by April 1st will have to close and wait until after the moratorium is lifted and the City’s new regulations are in effect to re-apply.
Below is the text of the Executive Order, a signed copy of which can be found here
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 2019-1
TO: ALL BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENT DIRECTORS, AGENCY HEADS, CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS, AND THE CITY CLERK
SUBJECT: MORATORIUM ON APPLICATIONS FOR PERMITS AND/OR LICENSES FOR NEW OR EXPANDED JUNKYARDS, SCRAP TIRE PROCESSING AND RECYCLING FACILITIES, SCRAP TIRE STORAGE FACILITIES, MAJOR AND MINOR MOTOR VEHICLE REPAIR, AND USED CAR SALES LOTS
DATE: JANUARY 2, 2019
In recent years, the City of Detroit has seen an increase in the establishment and/or expansion of junkyards, scrap tire processing and recycling facilities, scrap tire storage facilities, minor and major motor vehicle repair and used car sales lots. Under Chapter 61 of the 1984 Detroit City Code, ‘Zoning,’ the term “junkyard” includes junk dealers, scrap iron and metal processors, and automobile dismantling and wrecking yards. Regulation and enforcement of these businesses has been a challenge for the City of Detroit due to an overconcentration of such uses and lack of compliance with zoning, property maintenance, and licensing standards, in addition to evidence of criminal activity furthered or condoned by some of these operations. Many businesses are currently operating without benefit of a permit, a certificate of compliance, or a business license. Once permitted, some of these uses have illegally intensified the services offered such as presenting more used cars for sale than allowed, or providing more intense vehicle repair activities than allowed. At the same time, such uses that have been abandoned can leave vacant, blighted buildings and contaminated land on commercial corridors. Finally, these uses can present deleterious effects on neighboring residential districts, resulting in excessive blight, traffic, noise, crime and environmental concerns requiring excessive enforcement resources, due to more frequent neighborhood complaints and aesthetic issues.
The City has determined that an examination of the applicable provisions in the City Code, Detroit Zoning Ordinance and the Detroit Master Plan of Policies is required to evaluate the current regulatory scheme pertaining to junkyards, scrap tire processing and recycling facilities, scrap tire storage facilities, major and minor motor vehicle repair, and used car sales lots. The review will identify appropriate measures and potential new regulations to limit overconcentration, increase compliance with property maintenance, zoning, and licensing standards, decrease crime, and curtail illegal business operations.
Therefore, it is ordered that as of April 1, 2019 no City department may accept any application for a permit or license to establish or expand a junkyard, scrap tire processing and recycling facility, scrap tire storage facility, minor or major motor vehicle repair, or used car sales lot for a period of twelve (12) months−to give the City the opportunity to review its City Code, Zoning Ordinance and Master Plan of Policies, to implement a compliance strategy, and to develop consistent, cohesive and sensible regulation of such land uses in the City. This Order shall not be construed to prohibit the annual renewal of existing business licenses or certificates of compliance required by the City Code for applicable uses included herein, which shall continue.
Pursuant to the powers vested in me by the 1963 Michigan Constitution and by the 2012 Detroit City Charter, I, Michael E. Duggan, Mayor of the City of Detroit, issue this Executive Order. This Executive Order is effective on April 1, 2019.
Michael E. Duggan