Commercial Vehicle Parking In Residential Areas

Posted by – Darren Darge, Code Enforcement Officer

As Code Enforcement staff patrols the City, commercial vehicles parked in residential areas are monitored closely.  The effort to enforce our commercial vehicle ordinance in residential areas is not intended to inconvenience residents, but rather to protect and maintain neighborhood integrity.

The ordinance below provides a clear outline of what is allowed and what is not in residential districts.

SECTION 1813. – 1. Commercial Vehicles and Equipment:

A person may park a commercial vehicle in a residential zoned district as an accessory use, subject to the following conditions:

  •  The vehicle is used as the principal means of transportation of a resident of the dwelling which is necessarily used in their employment, business or profession or as the resident’s sole means of motor vehicle transportation.
  • The vehicle is not a dump truck, stake truck, flatbed truck, wrecker, semi-tractor, tank truck or any type of contracting equipment or trailer.

stake truck

  • The vehicle does not exceed nine (9) feet in overall height measured from the ground or exceed twenty-one (21) feet in length.
  • The vehicle has no outside brackets, holders or open racks which provide the main cargo-carrying capacity, such as lumber, tools, pipes, glass or any type of extending materials, including, but not limited to, ladders. The existence of a utility box on a vehicle will not cause such a vehicle to fall within the prohibition of this subsection.

Cube Van w ladder racks

  • The vehicle has a single rear axle.

Of course, violation of the ordinance may occur due to extenuating circumstances which can be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but blatant violation of the ordinance will be enforced to the allowable legal guidelines.

Please contact Code Enforcement staff at 248-364-6900 for clarification of this ordinance or to report a violation in your neighborhood.


Protect Your Investment With A Permit

Posted by – Rick Oberlin, Building Inspector

Do I need a Building Permit?  This is a question we’re asked almost every day and a question we welcome.   It is at this point that we can help homeowners start off on the right foot.  One of the hardest parts of an inspector’s job is when a project begins without a thorough plan review, permit and the required inspections.  Errors can be caught during the plan review process which is completed before a permit is ever issued, saving the homeowner time and ultimately money.

Save time and money by doing it right.

Save time and money by doing it right.

Below I have listed some of the most important reasons why you should apply for required permits.

  • Permits are the best way to make sure your contractor is completing your project to the building code minimum standards and that no corners are being cut.
  • As a do-it-yourself homeowner we can help guide you through the project, starting with a plan review to make sure it complies with the code.
  • Insurance companies may not pay a claim if someone is injured on or by something that was completed without the proper permits and inspections.
  • Permits can help when you are selling your home.  In some cases when selling your home, you are required to sign a Property Disclosure Statement in which you have to reveal any problems with the home.  Having the proper permits and inspections can only help with this process.
  • When your contractor submits the permit application, we make sure their state license is up-to-date.
  • If you have hired a licensed contractor, make sure the permit is posted on your property before the work begins.

If you are not sure a permit is required, contact us.  Like I said at the beginning, we welcome that call.  (248) 364-6900.

PECO Has The Solution For Our Dirty Cars

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

This cold winter weather has been really rough.  It takes a toll, especially on our cars.  Experts say the excess dirt and salt on the roads can lead to damage and corrosion if left sitting on the surface of vehicles.  So, we should get them washed often this time of the year.

Hey, next time you venture out to the car wash, check and see if you can find the name “PECO” on the equipment.  I know it sounds a little nerdy … but look for it.  There’s a good chance the inside components of your local car wash were designed and built right here in the City of Auburn Hills.

The acronym PECO is short for their former name "Pacesetter Equipment Company"

The acronym PECO is short for their former name “Pacesetter Equipment Company”

Since 1998, the world headquarters for PECO Car Wash Systems has been located at 244 Rex Boulevard.  PECO has been designing and manufacturing conveyorized car wash equipment for more than 40 years.  Coupled with a unique product line, PECO utilizes a hybrid method for vehicle cleaning.  Their hybrid wash system cleans with the combination of soft cloth and high pressure providing an overall effectiveness not obtainable with any other car wash system.

So, it’s fitting that Auburn Hills – the epicenter of automotive R&D – hosts the people who design and manufacture solutions that keep our vehicles clean.  That’s pretty cool.

Freaky Fast Doesn’t Only Pertain To Their Deliveries

Posted by – Howard Wager, Building Inspector

Jimmy John’s remodeled their store like they deliver sandwiches…Freaky Fast!  From start to finish, the store located at 2791 University Drive was closed only two weeks.

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Stop in and check out their new look with new tables and new booths.  They also enlarged their cooking and prep areas to speed up the process of getting fresh food to their customers.

update 2-10-15 040

So, if you haven’t tried a “Tasty” sub lately, swing by and grab yourself a Jimmy John’s and enjoy!

update 2-10-15 046

There’s No Man Like A Snowman

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

As we all know, winter has arrived with a vengeance.  To paraphrase Mark Twain, everyone complains about the snow but nobody does anything about it.  Well, some intrepid Auburn Hills residents have done just that.  They have created a small cadre of snow people to grace the lawns of the city.

This gentleman can be found on Alpena.

This gentleman can be found on Alpena.

These two guys are across from each other on Alberta.

These two guys are across from each other on Alberta.

This smiling fellow (and his raccoon friend) are on Sterling.

This smiling fellow (and his raccoon friend) are on Stirling.


This is my favorite: a whole snow family on Nichols.

So, let it snow.  Just do like lemons and lemonade – when life gives you snow, make a snowman!








Picture Perfect: New Photographic Studio Planned in West Downtown

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

Plans have been submitted to the Community Development Department to develop part of a 3.9 acre parcel of land on the south side of Auburn Road, between I-75 and Squirrel Road.  The parcel is located just west of the Sunoco gas station.  Residents most familiar with the history of the area may recall the site as being the home of a putt-putt golf course back in the 70’s.

Well, the property once known for its putting greens and flag poles will now be the new home of Stanley Photographic, Inc.  Owner, Brad Stanley proposes a 4,100 square foot modern style building designed to be nestled nicely on the wooded site adjacent to the Clinton River.  This new professional photographic studio’s focus is on creating inspiring photos that capture the true spirit of cars, trucks, people and landscapes.

Artist rendering of the proposed building

Artist rendering of the proposed building

The proposal is scheduled to be reviewed by the Planning Commission on Tuesday, February 17th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber.  A final decision on the project is anticipated to be made by the City Council on Monday, February 23rd.

We’re excited to welcome Brad Stanley and his talents to Auburn Hills and to the West Downtown neighborhood.  To view his website and his artistry click here.

Colorful Kate – Just In Time For Spring

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

If the mid-winter blahs have set in, think spring and set your sights on color.  Kate Spade New York, a women’s clothing and accessory company, is opening an outlet store in our very own Great Lakes Crossing Outlets this March.

Kate Spade

Known for crisp color, graphic prints and playful sophistication, Kate Spade New York offers everything from handbags and clothing to jewelry, fashion accessories, fragrance, eyewear, shoes, swimwear, home decor, desk accessories, stationery, and gifts.

Mall Map - Kate Spade 2

Construction is underway on the 2,200 square foot space located at the north end of the mall in District 2, between TJ Maxx and Off Fifth.

A little retail therapy will help chase the winter blues away.  Watch for opening details in early March!