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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

Council approves film regulation


Permit process to help recoup costs for city services

By Dan DuChene
Oct. 7, 2009    ·    12:15 a.m.

Ypsilanti City Council unanimously passed an ordinance on second reading to regulate filming in the city Tuesday night.

The ordinance establishes a permit process run by the Ypsilanti Area Jaycees, with a fee schedule based on city services used for the production.

The discussion started Sept. 1, when City Council unanimously passed the ordinance on first reading. The ordinance was brought up for a second reading later that month, but was tabled after a proposed amendment from Councilmember Brian Robb, D-Ward 3.

Council wanted to review the detailed amendment Robb had prepared and voted to postpone the vote.

Robb’s amendment came out of discussion from the Sept. 1 meeting, which focused on what type of filming the city would require a permit. Several councilmembers thought that the reach of the ordinance was too broad, forcing regulation beyond the ordinance’s target—major motion picture filming in the city that requires city services.

The only exemptions in the original ordinance were for news gathering, private family use and school projects. The ordinance was not changed when City Council debated it a second time Sept. 22, when Robb proposed his amendment.

Tuesday’s ordinance included other exemptions. Filming conducted by public bodies, during live sporting events for public display, inside commercial studios and for non-commercial Internet broadcasting were added as exemptions in the ordinance Tuesday night.

“This is not Councilmember Robb’s amendment verbatim,” Assistant City Attorney Karl Barr said at the meeting.

However, the changed resolution was enough for Robb to withdraw his original amendment. He did propose an amendment to the new ordinance, which removed the non-commercial aspect from the last exemption.

Robb asked Barr if the film contest run by emYOU! The Magazine would require a permit. The contest asks residents to create a film promoting the city and post it on YouTube. The contest offers a cash prize.

“The safe answer is, go apply for one,” Barr said. “If you get one, and it’s good for a year, you’ve got your permit and you never have to worry about it.

“If you’re running it as a business, I would say you must get a permit,” Barr said.

Councilmember Lois Richardson, D-Ward 1, again brought up concerns that the ordinance had become too broad.

“When this ordinance was first mentioned to me, I had the understanding that was really going to be aimed at Hollywood,” Richardson said. “I think we’ve carried it so far away that we’ve lost its focus point.”

The motion on the newly worded amendment was seconded by Richardson and approved unanimously by City Council.

The fee schedule was also approved unanimously by City Council Tuesday. There is a permit application fee of $250 for filming on public property and $100 for filming on private property.

If city services are required for filming, a $3,000 deposit is required. There is a fee schedule based on labor, equipment use, street closure and clean-up that varies depending on cost.

It had been discussed at the two meetings in September that if no city services were required, then there would be no cost.

Applications must be submitted five days prior to the beginning of production. A film schedule is also required in the application.

Previously, the city had been using the existing special event permit process to recoup city services for the filming of major motion pictures in the city. However, the city has not been able to capture fees for administrative labor used to handle logistics and planning.

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