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Monday, March 18,2013

Kids in the Hall

How much did the city spend on snow and ice removal?

by Andy Balaskovitz
Thursday, June 2 — The Lansing City Council was notified today that the city spent $21,337.48 on removing snow and ice from properties as part of its snow removal ordinance that was adopted in September.

It is unclear how much of those costs the city will recover.

Under the new ordinance, residents are responsible for clearing snow and ice from sidewalks in front of their properties. If it is not cleared within 24 hours of a “snow event,” the city mails out notices that residents must clear the snow within 24 hours after being notified and the city will do it and add the bill to the resident’s tax roll.

The resolution before the Council sets a public hearing for June 13 to discuss the assessment. The $21,337.38 was incurred between Oct. 1 and April 1. Randy Hannan, deputy chief of staff for Mayor Virg Bernero, told the Council he would provide detailed information on how many bills were sent out.

In other business, the Council unanimously approved rezoning a south Lansing property from residential to commercial so it can be used as a video production studio and arts and crafts store. Lisa and Russell Davis, who own the property at 655 Ridgewood Ave. near the Cedar Street and Cavanaugh Road intersection, want to open Ridgewood Studio for short films and music video production as well as a jewelry store.

At-Large Councilman Brian Jeffries said some neighbors shared concerns during recent Development and Planning Committee meetings about potential increased traffic and that a rezoning could lead to unwanted uses in the future.

To address those concerns, a list of prohibited activities accompany the rezoning, Jeffries said, including no drive-through businesses, banks, bars or medical marijuana dispensaries.

The structure at 655 Ridgewood was built in 1942 and was once used as an upholstery business, a Quality Dairy and a meat market. Historically, the property was zoned commercial, but because it has been vacant since 2009 due to a fire, the zoning reverted back to residential to conform with surrounding properties, Jeffries said.

In other business, the Council approved six reappointments to various boards and commissions. The reappointments are:


  • Phillip Mondro to the Historic District Commission for a term to expire June 30, 2014;

  • Emly Horne and Brian McGrain to the Board of Zoning Appeals for a term to expire June 30, 2014;

  • Nathan Mercer to the Board of Review for a term to expire June 30, 2014;

  • Calvin Jones to the Lansing Economic Development Corp., Tax Increment Finance Authority and Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority Board of Directors for terms to expire Feb. 28, 2017; and

  • Kathy Tobe to the Planning Board for a term to expire June 30, 2015.

The Council also introduced two ordinances and set public hearings for June 13 to discuss changes in the state mechanical code and uniform traffic code. At-Large Councilwoman Carol Wood said the Council can’t make changes to the Michigan Mechanical Code, which includes various statewide construction regulations, but it can tailor the Uniform Traffic Code to the needs of the city. The traffic code regulates various aspects of transportation in the city, such as when garbage can be picked up, when large trucks can operate on certain city streets and parking.

The Council, which normally meets on Mondays, met today because of the Memorial Day holiday.
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