Over the last couple years, the city’s Planning and Development Department has been pushing the redevelopment of commercial corridors across Detroit’s neighborhoods. Most recently, it announced $125 million in funding towards a variety of projects, like a shared street design in Mexicantown.
While many of these improvements have the potential to enliven these corridors and bring more amenities to locals, they would also bring a separate, unwanted consequence: cars. Many of these diners and shoppers end up parking on nearby residential streets, preventing residents from using the space outside their own home. Locals in Corktown near Michigan Avenue, for example, have experienced this as the corridor developed.
In response, two members of Detroit City Council have proposed an ordinance that would help residents reclaim their blocks. Co-sponsored by Councilmember Raquel Castañeda-López and Council President Pro-Tem Mary Sheffield, the ordinance allows for the creation of residential parking permit zones.
“While I celebrate the vibrancy and economic impact development brings to the city of Detroit, it cannot be at the expense of the quality of life of Detroiters,” Sheffield said. “The Residential Parking Ordinance will serve as an enforcement tool mitigating the negative impacts the increased activity associated with new development has on communities.”
According to the councilmembers, the process was initiated by community feedback.
In the ordinance, 60 percent of residences must sign a petition to start the process. Then, if 50 percent apply for a permit, the zone goes into effect. Each address will have access to three permits and 30 guest passes per year.
Senior citizens and those receiving a poverty tax exemption will be able to get permits at a discounted rate.
Other Michigan cities with active commercial corridors, like Ferndale and Ann Arbor, already have similar ordinances in place.