Ypsilanti Citizen News Sidetrack

City Council approves all mayor's re-appointments
By Dan DuChene
Jun. 16, 2010   ·   3:42 a.m.

Jone Coleman, president of downtown business LookInTheAttic, shares his thoughts with City Council about the discussion and procedure taken to pass mayoral re-appointments, which he was being considered for the Downtown Development Authority.

After much procedure, Ypsilanti City Council approved six mayoral re-appointments to city boards and committees Tuesday, including the two postponed from earlier...read more

Council postpones two reappointments
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   4:57 p.m.

Two of Ypsilanti's volunteer board members were not reappointed on schedule Tuesday night, owing to a 4-2 vote by City Council to delay the appointments until...read more

Downtown properties to be rehabilitated
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   10:40 a.m.

The three properties located at 120, 122 and 124 West Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti will soon be rebuilt into commercial and office space and loft apartments, thanks to a planned $1.7 million investment by developers.

Three recently-vacated properties in downtown Ypsilanti, two of them condemned, will soon be renovated owing to recent purchase by a local development company and...read more

Ypsilanti Township authorizes litigation against Liberty Square
By Mark Tower
May. 28, 2010   ·   6:53 p.m.

Many of the homes in the Liberty Square complex on Grove Street in Ypsilanti Township are already boarded and ready for foreclosure sale. All 151 units, some of which are still occupied, will be condemned Tuesday, Ypsilanti Township has resolved.

Residents living in the Liberty Square complex of townhouses will see a sticker appear on their homes Tuesday, when the Ypsilanti Township Building Department places...read more

Ford plant granted tax exemption by township
By Mark Tower
May. 24, 2010   ·   5:44 p.m.

Ford Motor Company's Rawsonville Plan, located at the intersection of Textile and Bridge Roads in Ypsilanti Township, will soon be the new home for production of Ford's Electric Focus batteries, formerly produced in Mexico.

New machines and equipment will soon be wheeled into Ford's Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti Township as it begins manufacturing a line of batteries for the new global...read more

Bee supporters speak out

Council directed city officials to look into changing the city's ordinance to allow bees at last night's meeting. Photo by James Cavanaugh

Council directed city officials to look into changing the city's ordinance to allow bees at last night's meeting.

City to look at changing ordinance

By Jim Cavanaugh
Aug. 19, 2009    ·    8:57 a.m.

Proponents of beekeeping were as busy as bees during Tuesday night’s city council meeting. 

More than a dozen citizens came to the council meeting, to speak in favor of beekeeping in Ypsilanti.   

Many of the residents were neighbors of Lisa Bashert, a local urban farmer who keeps beehives at her property on Grant Street. She was cited July 28 for keeping bees in the city.
Chapter 14, section 7 of the Ypsilanti City Code states that “no owner shall keep or possess any apiary containing stands or hives of bees.” 

“I’ve been keeping bees for five years,” Bashert said. “I knew it was in violation of the ordinance.” 

She added she’d like to see the law overturned and said she figured at some point, there would be some discussion of changing the code to allow bees. 

The beekeeping charge comes on the heels of council’s recent decision to permit chickens in the city.

Last month, council unanimously voted to allow homeowners to house up to four chickens on private property in the city. 

Bashert’s daughter, Sian Miller, came out to support changing the ordinance. She said honey bees, unlike wasps, are not aggressive and added there are several feral bee colonies in the city, including one in the chapel at Highland Cemetery. 

Tom Roach, a high school biology teacher who lives on Pearl Street behind Bashert, said he’s never had a problem with the bees. 

“Their hives are probably about 30 feet from my backyard,” Roach said. “They’re totally non-threatening and unaggressive.” 

Amy Anderson, who lives in Normal Park, told council her garden has done well since Bashert started keeping bees.   

“We have squash that are bigger that our shrubs and tomato plants that are taller than me,” Anderson joked. 

But not everyone was pleased with the prospect of legal beekeeping in the city. Denene Pollock, a neighbor of Bashert’s, expressed frustration regarding the possibility of lifting the restrictions on bees.

She told council it would impact her ability to sell her home, as she would have to disclose that there were bees in the neighborhood. 

“Beekeeping is not a harmless hobby,” Pollock said. “My property is likely to sell for less and be on the market longer.” 

She later went on to say she was allergic to bee stings and that she found the prospect of having thousands of bees a few doors down from her “disturbing.”

“Why should my health and safety be compromised because somebody wants to have a hobby?” Pollock asked.
At the end of Monday’s meeting, Council Member Mike Bodary, D—Ward 2, asked City Attorney Karl Barr look into the possibility of changing the ordinance to allow beekeeping.  

“I know we need to get the word out more before we have public comment on it,” Bodary said. 

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