Get Outside And Explore Hawk Woods

Posted by – Stephanie Carroll, Manger of Business Development & Community Relations

I absolutely love to be outdoors!  It does not matter what season it is, doing outdoor activities is something that I truly enjoy.

I’ll be the first to say that working in Auburn Hills has many perks.  We have beautiful parks and the trail system is top notch!  Being able to take advantage of these amenities during lunch is an added bonus.  Sometimes I run in the trails behind our Community Center or I’ll take a nice hilly walk along Squirrel Road.  Yesterday, my colleague Karen Adcock and I decided to head over to Hawk Woods Nature Center and walk through the trails on our lunch.

photo 2

If you haven’t been to Hawk Woods, you need to experience this hidden gem in Auburn Hills.  The trails and marsh area are great for walking and if that’s not enough, there are even cabins that you can rent for overnight stays!

photo1

Whether you want to get out of the office and enjoy the summer sunshine or if you are looking for a fun family getaway, you definitely need to check out Hawk Woods Nature Center!

Mopar’s Teen Defensive Driving Program A Huge Hit

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

Any parent who has turned over their car keys to their teenager knows the feeling; a mixture of trust and hope with a dash of worry that their young driver will be able to safely navigate all conditions and roads and that lay before them.

Mopar, with support from Dodge and FCA North America, is hosting a program called Mopar Road Ready Powered by Dodge.  The course is designed to teach safe and defensive driving techniques to teens between the ages of 15 and 19 with a learner’s permit or driver’s license and at least 30 hours of driving experience.

kids

The program incorporates classroom education and hands-on training for the teen and a companion experience for a parent or adult guardian who will also actively take part.  Sessions provide a brief classroom review of core driving topics and behind-the-wheel training with on-track course sessions including accident avoidance (slalom), distraction, panic stop, wheel drop and wet skid pad.

logo

The next confirmed event will be held September 12th and 13th at Mopar Headquarters in Center Line, Michigan with additional event dates and locations to be announced in the near future.  Classes are free of charge to registered teens and their parents or guardians but require a processing fee and a $99 refundable registration deposit which will be returned after the session.  Parents can register at Mopar.com/Road-Ready/Detroit.

Preparing new drivers with the skills they need help keep everyone safe – no matter what city they’re driving in.

Grass “R” Us

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

The June 2015 grass statistics have been compiled and they are both very similar and very different from last year’s stats.  Last month showed 58 violations of the grass ordinance with 28 properties complying and 30 having to be abated by the City’s contractor.  This included 12 residential cuts and 18 large vacant parcel cuts.

Before cut

Before cut

June of last year had 20 properties cut, with 14 residential properties but only six vacant parcels.  The major difference was the fact that there were 75 violations with 55 properties complying.

After cut

After cut

So even though violations are down (probably due to a huge drop in vacant properties) the cuts are up a third from last year.  This is mostly due to cutting at and around various on-going construction sites, such as Forester Square, Shimmons-Woodgrove and Thornhill Estates.

Stats and reasons change from year to year, but the grass keeps growing.  Thanks to all the Auburn Hills residents and businesses who continue to keep the City green, not overgrown.

Her Clients Are In Good Hands

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

The City of Auburn Hills is widely known for its world headquarters, international companies, and major entertainment attractions, but we have found that the mix of both large and small companies are what make our City’s business community truly unique.  Small business owners bring tremendous value to our town, on both a professional and personal level.

Mrs. Donna Quince-Cobb is a perfect example.  Donna and her Allstate Insurance business have been fixtures in Downtown for 25 years.  In 1990, she leased her office at 3312 Auburn Road with an option to buy and surprised the building owner with an offer to purchase just six months later.  Donna still occupies that space today where she and her husband, Howard Cobb, work together.

Donna Quince-Cobb and Howard Cobb

Donna Quince-Cobb and Howard Cobb

With her friendly and welcoming demeanor, Donna describes Downtown Auburn Hills as “quaint.”  She appreciates the accessibility and connectivity of our community. “Everyone knows everyone” she explained. “Businesses, customers and government. You can always get someone on the phone.”  She is passionate about her work and taking care of her clients.

Donna has also been very active in the community.  She has generously donated her time to serve as a Board Member of the Matilda R. Wilson Boys and Girls Club.  Donna is a founding member of both the Auburn Hills Noon Optimist Club and the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce and was recently appointed to the Auburn Hills Public Library Board of Trustees.  During her busy career, she also found time to mentor students in her Downtown office through the Avondale High School Co-Op Program.

Her efforts have not gone unnoticed.  Donna was recently honored by Senator Gary C. Peters for her commitment to supporting entrepreneurship in the Pontiac community.  Donna’s professional and personal involvement in our City and surrounding areas serve as an example of the excellent and meaningful work our small businesses do every day.

Allstate Insurance at 3312 Auburn Road in Downtown Auburn Hills

Allstate Insurance at 3312 Auburn Road in Downtown Auburn Hills

The City of Auburn Hills wishes Donna much continued success and thank her for being such a valued part of our community.

Hey, What’s The Deal With Those Pillars?

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Are you wondering what’s up with the new pillars being constructed along both sides of University Drive between I-75 and Squirrel Road?  Well, it’s a great story.

These nondescript block structures will soon become attractive decorative stone pillars

These nondescript block structures will soon become attractive decorative stone pillars

An enhanced streetscape is being constructed along University Drive that will provide a unified gateway to both the City of Auburn Hills and Oakland University from I-75.  The $543,530 project is a cooperative effort between both entities and its funding is being shared 50/50.  The City’s portion of the expense has been provided by the Tax Increment Financing Authority (TIFA), which is tasked with improving the infrastructure throughout the area.  The design is intended to brand and promote the fact that Oakland University is located in the City of Auburn Hills and will help act as a prominent entry to the campus.

Yellow highlighted area shows the scope of the project

Yellow highlighted area shows the scope of the project

The project began in 2013 with the painting of the existing street light poles along University Drive black and the purchase and installation of new University and City banners.  The remaining improvements will include three monuments in the center boulevard with accent planting beds, decorative stone columns along both sides of the road, street tree installation, and ornamental plantings.

Below are some computer renderings of what the streetscape will look like when complete:

New branding monuments will be placed in the center boulevard with accent planting beds

New branding monuments will be placed in the center boulevard with accent planting beds

Decorative stone columns will be added along both sides of the road accented by shrubs and trees

Decorative stone columns will be added along both sides of the road accented by shrubs and trees

The completion of the streetscape project is intended to correspond with the opening of the new University Drive bridge and diverging diamond interchange later this year.

It’s a great example of how Oakland University and the City of Auburn Hills are working together to build a stronger and more attractive community.

 

Containing An Issue

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

We have found that it’s almost impossible for a community to write laws to protect against every obscure scenario.  However, sometimes the City has to take action to make its collective standards crystal clear.

On July 27th, the City Council is set to review an amendment to Zoning Ordinance that states the position of the City of Auburn Hills that it’s not appropriate to locate metal shipping containers or other similar prefabricated items (i.e., bus bodies and railroad cars) on residential properties due to their large size and unsightly appearance.

Metal containers should not be permanately located on residential property

Metal containers should not be permanently located on residential property

Why?  The genesis of this amendment was a code enforcement case that involved a property owner utilizing a large metal container, typically placed on a tractor trailer or cargo ship, as a shed in his rear yard.  The City was recently successful in legal proceedings to have the container removed.

Protecting our neighborhoods from blight is paramount.  This new law will affirm the City’s goals and prohibit items that have an industrial appearance from residential areas.  This should clear up and contain the issue.

A Schutzenfest?  Was ist das?

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

A German festival, that’s what.  And the German American Marksmanship Club (or the Deutsch-Amerikanischer Schutzenverein, if you prefer) is going to be hosting the 76th Annual Schuntzenfest on Saturday July 25th starting at 1:00 pm at their clubhouse at 2650 Auburn Road.

dancing

The marksmanship club was founded in 1939 to allow metro Detroiters of German heritage to  maintain and learn about German customs, foods and traditions.  Obviously the Schutzenfest is quite a tradition, having been celebrated over 75 years.

guests

This year’s festival will include authentic German foods, local and German beer, wine and liquor, a kids moonwalk and other children’s entertainment.  In keeping with one of the club’s founding tenets, there will be prize shooting as well.  Patrons will also enjoy continuous traditional German music by “die Rhinelanders” and “Tommy Schober and Sorgenbrecher.”  All this for a mere $3.00 donation at the entrance.  For more information call Mary Hundich at 586-979-9128.

party bldg

So put on your lederhosen and let’s “roll out the barrel” at the Schutzenfest.  Prozit!