Northville Commissioners cave on street closure after sign campaign
Apr. 6, 2023 PLYMOUTH VOICE.
Plymouth Michigan News
Northville’s City Council has had it with signs.
Once again frustrated and creative Northville residents have sought to bring about change by peppering the town with lawn signs.
This time it’s about how the temporary downtown streets closure that evolved during the pandemic grew into a permanent nightmare for traffic and nearby homeowners. Clever Northville resident Mary Elwart-Keys took credit for investing in the bright pink signage stating, “It’s time…Let’s Open Northville.”
Apparently, Elwart-Keys effort stimulated several hundred friends and neighbors to show up at city hall for this week’s City Council Meeting and convince vacillating officials to again change their mind about making Northville’s street closure into a year-round pedestrian-only zone, banning autos.
“We are a voice for the voiceless, the disenfranchised by the very people we elected,”
The up-until-now full-time permanent closure expanded the social district to extend west along Main Street to the Garage Grill and Fuel Bar, south of Main on the east side of Wing Street to Cady, east on Cady to Center, and north from Cady to Main-essentially enclosing the block in the once quaint downtown that contains Northville Square and Main Centre.
After much debate and a five-hour meeting, council members caved in and agreed to compromise. Considering more than 500 people signed an online petition to reopen downtown streets and they had just spent big bucks to commission a consulting firm from Plymouth to study the town’s traffic patterns for pedestrians- they voted (unanimously) to re-open the streets to vehicle traffic in November each year and close again in May.
“Signs aren’t why we’re today…We do not need to be governing based on signage,” said Councilman John Carter.
In August 2020, after years of complaints and protests about the monstrous new big-foot houses going up in the Cabbage Town area, upset Northville residents concerned about the so called “McMansions” that were changing the character of the community launched a lawn sign campaign. The signs spread throughout the city read, “It has gone FAR enough…Support .36 F.A.R. FAR .36 or Floor Area Ratio, refers to the size of the building compared to the size of the lot.
Soon thereafter two F.A.R. ordinances for single-family dwellings were adopted by a unanimous vote during the Aug. 3, 2022 meeting of the members of the city council.