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 passes language to regulate filming


Permit application process approved on first reading

By Dan DuChene
Sep. 2, 2009    ·    1:29 p.m.

Ypsilanti City Council unanimously passed an ordinance on first reading Tuesday night that would help to regulate the film industry in Ypsilanti.

If adopted by Council on its second reading, the ordinance would require people wishing to film within the city to obtain a permit from City Hall.

Excluding film production for news gathering, private family use and for school projects, the ordinance covers most other filming in the city. A permit is needed for film, television, commercial production and educational production.

City Manager Ed Koryzno is charged with creating a fee structure for when an applicant needs city services for when a street is closed, or the police department is used. It was discussed that when no city services are needed, there would be no fee.

Ypsilanti has seen film crews from several motion pictures, starting with Drew Barrymore’s “Whip It” last summer, which is set for release in a month. This summer, Ypsilanti saw crews from “Stone,” starring Edward Norton and Robert De Niro and “Betty Anne Waters,” starring Hillary Swank, Minnie Driver and Sam Rockwell.

Previously, the city had been using the special events permit application project to collect revenue when such projects come to town and use city services. However, the city has not been able to capture fees for administrative labor used to handle logistics and planning.

City Councilmember Michael Bodary, D-Ward 2, pointed out this is application creates a new process to apply to film in the city, it doesn’t add a new layer of paper work.

City Councilmember Brian Robb, D-Ward 3, asked Assistant City Attorney Karl Barr several questions on different scenarios that would or would not require a permit from the city to film. He started with a local restaurant filming a training video.

Barr said if it was a local company, no. However, if it were a large chain of restaurants, yes.

If someone were filming an event in the city, he said they wouldn’t need a permit if they were doing it to report news. However, he said they would if they were using the video for “You Tube, or something.”

Robb also asked about filming for Jumbotrons, if used at Eastern Michigan University basketball games. Barr said if the filming were being used to simultaneously cast images on the screen for the event, there would be no need for a permit. However, if the film were used for a promotional production, than a permit would be required.

Barr said the purposed for the ordinance is to capture revenue from the “top end” of the industry “without creating loopholes.”

He said the ordinance is also designed to prevent film production companies from getting out of paying fees so the city can recoup the cost of providing services for the endeavor.

Several other councilmembers complained that the ordinance may be too broad and cover activities in the city they don’t mean to regulate. Mayor Paul Schreiber suggested adding a clause that a permit only be required for filming that requires city services.

Barr said such a clause would create too big a loop hole, where a film company could later say they didn’t use city services.

“If you need street closures or police, that will all come out,” said Councilmember Lois Richardson, D-Ward 1.

Robb said, “Unless they contact us, they won’t know if they’re going to be using city services.

“I think we’re getting into minutia,” he said.

Barr said this is for those film production companies that need to alert they city they are coming, due to the impact it may have on the city. He said there won’t be a team of ordinance officers pulling permits from people video taping throughout the city.

City Council will need to pass this ordinance on a second reading to adopt the legislation. No audience members spoke on the first reading.

Mayor Pro Tem Trudy Swanson, D-Ward 1, was absent from the meeting.

Related articles:
Sidetrack featured in Hillary Swank movie
'Betty Anne Waters' filming on Michigan Avenue
More filming in Ypsilanti


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