Ypsilanti Citizen News ]]>

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 urban bees

Ypsilanti resident and local hobbyist bee-keeper Lisa Bashert addresses City Council Tuesday during their deliberation on keeping bees in the city. The ordinance was passed unanimously on first reading. Photo by Dan DuChene

Ypsilanti resident and local hobbyist bee-keeper Lisa Bashert addresses City Council Tuesday during their deliberation on keeping bees in the city. The ordinance was passed unanimously on first reading.

Ordinance passed on first reading to allow beekeeping permits

By Dan DuChene
Nov. 18, 2009    ·    12:39 p.m.

City Council unanimously passed an ordinance on first reading Tuesday allowing Ypsilanti residents to keep bees.

The ordinance had been considered by City Council last month, but decided a permit process should be included with the original language and postponed the matter before a vote was taken.

If approved on a second reading the ordinance would give residents the opportunity to apply for a permit to keep no more than two bee hives on a parcel of land.

It also requires the resident to maintain a 6-foot-tall fence, wall or vegetation growth around a property that has a hive within 25 feet of a property line. The hive must bee 10 feet away from the wall or fence.

The vertical requirement of the wall or fence establishes a “flyway” and forces bees leaving the property to do so on an upward trajectory. It was brought up that the height requirement of the fences could restrict bee-keeping in historic districts due to limitations on fence height.

The ordinance also requires residents keeping bees to maintain a water source for the insects, so the bees don’t look to neighboring pools or bird baths for their water.

Finally, if a hive becomes more aggressive and stings without provocation, then the resident is required to provide the hive with a new queen. The new queen must be a domesticated European honey bee and “bred for gentleness and non-swarming characteristics.”

Lois Richardson, D-Ward 1, was the only councilmember to share reservations with the ordinance. During the meeting Tuesday, she reiterated statements she had made when Council first discussed the matter in October, where members of the audience had stated honey bees are docile and rarely sting people.

At the meeting last month, it was suggested she may be confusing honey bees with wasps or yellow jackets.

“I do know the difference,” Richardson said Tuesday.

As proof, Richardson offered the usual protective clothing worn by professional beekeepers. She said those who keep bees wouldn’t need the head-to-toe protection if bees did not sting.

“The stings do hurt, and some people are allergic to them,” Richardson said Tuesday.

Regardless of her reservations, Richardson voted in favor of the ordinance.

During the public hearing on the ordinance, 11 members of the audience spoke out in favor of passing the ordinance. No one spoke against it.

One resident who spoke in favor of the ordinance, Brian McEwen, said he is a biologist with a strong interest in the study of insects. He restated the stance many of those in favor of the ordinance have upheld, that honey bees rarely sting people. He said it is actually possible to pet a bee as it feeds on a flower.

“Honey bees are focused on the flower,” McEwen said. “If it’s bothering you, it’s probably not a honey bee.”

An amendment was also passed on the resolution. Suggested by City Attorney John Barr and passed by Council unanimously, the amendment struck language that would have not allowed bees to be kept on a property if a neighborhood association disallowed the practice in its bylaws.

Barr said the language in the ordinance would have allowed neighborhood associations in the city to supersede the wishes of City Council. He said the language already takes deed restrictions into account, and the change would not require the ordinance’s language to be republished.

Related Article:
Honey bee decision postponed

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