Former Mayor Pat Little was tapped to chair a new Saline task force launched to review city codes and ordinances and recommend changes to city council.
Mayor Brian Marl announced the formation of the Saline Code and Ordinance Task Force during his State of the City Message. Council unanimously approved the nine-member task force at Monday's meeting.
Marl said the task force is charged with identifying codes and ordinances no longer necessary.
“The goal here is to ensure that city government can work more effectively without onerous or overly restrictive policies,” Marl said. “All residents will have an opportunity to weigh in, and I’m counting on our business community to be vocal so that the changes make sense.”
Marl's memo to city council expanded upon the charge of the task force, which is to recommend changes to city council when provisions are:
No longer necessary or relevant.
Invalidated or superseded by or contrary to state or federal law.
Constitutionally suspect due to vagueness, over-breadth, infringement on constitutionally protected rights or other avenues of challenge.
Unnecessarily onerous on residents or on the business community.
Insufficient in scope or language to accomplish their purpose.
Unduly complicated, hard to understand, or to difficult to apply or enforce given their purpose.
Inappropriately penalized – whether as a misdemeanor or civil infraction, and whether the fine is too high or too low.
City Council has been discussing city code and ordinance issues all year. Two major issues have come to the forefront. Unhappy with the upkeep at some apartment complexes in town, city council has explored beefing up the property maintenance code, or hiring a zoning ordinance officer to enforce codes already on the books. Some council members were leery of creating more regulations to deal with a couple bad apples. Finding the money for an ordinance officer also presents a challenge.
On the other end, council is being asked by business interests to relax ordinances governing signage.
Saline City Councilor Dean Girbach, who brought the property maintenance issue to the council table, said he approved of the task force, but wanted to be sure the task force would seek public input.
Marl said he planned to sit down with Pat Little and city staff to hammer out the nuts and bolts of the task force's process, but he said public input will be crucial to the process.
Little will be joined on the task force by city councilors David Rhoads and Linda TerHaar, planning commissioner Bill Beardsley, Rhoades, Doehrer and Associates co-owner Kim Rhoades, Bank of Ann Arbor loan officer Bill Smith, city attorney Scott Smith, city manager Todd Campbell and city engineer Gary Roubal.