Legislative Outlook for Economic Development

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

On Tuesday, I attended the Michigan Economic Developers Association’s (MEDA) Capitol Day in Lansing.  I look forward to this event each year.

Senator Arlan Meekhof talks about Michigan's economic development strategy

Senator Arlan Meekhof talks about Michigan’s economic development strategy

This event is a chance for economic developers to hear from elected officials on what they are working on for the next legislative session.  It is also a great opportunity for economic development professionals to have face-to-face interactions with legislators to talk about the tools we use in Michigan for attraction and retention projects.   We talked about infrastructure challenges, out-of-state competition and other issues impacting our ability to attract new investment.

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The day ended with a wonderful reception that allowed us to continue our conversations with elected officials about the great things happening in our communities.

Do-It-Yourself Driveways? Not Allowed

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

Responding to what was seen as unsightly, damaged lawns, the Auburn Hills City Council adopted a new ordinance on September 12, 2016.  Ordinance Number 16-880 prohibits driving or operating vehicles on lawns.

Example of the blight and nuisance this ordinance is intended to address

Example of the blight and nuisance this ordinance is intended to address

It states, in part: “A vehicle shall not be driven or operated on the lawn of a side yard, rear yard or front yard, if said driving or operating…causes damage to the lawn of the…yard.”  The ordinance goes on to cite the intent of eliminating “blighting, nuisance and damage factors.”  Driving/operating on lawns can also cause “…loss of groundcover and erosion, and provides potential environmental hazards.”

This ordinance will not be used for a resident who once in a while drives across the lawn to avoid another vehicle in the driveway or for loading and unloading large or heavy articles from a porch or entrance.  It was adopted to address the unusual occurrence of ruts and damage to vegetation caused by repeatedly driving across a lawn.  Some residents have done this to make a homemade, dirt driveway.

This is a violation

This is a violation

If you wish to install a driveway on your property, please contact the Community Development Department at 248-364-6900 for more information.  We would be happy to go over the City’s standards for installation.

Do it right, not do-it-yourself.

Merging Great Technologies

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

Auburn Hills’ staff had the good fortune of attending a wonderful celebration with two great Auburn Hills Companies.  Recently, Teijin acquired Continental Structural Plastics.  Both of these companies have been in Auburn Hills since 2012 and both locations will continue to operate going forward.

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Both companies have a rich history in the automotive world and a desire to be the best.  Now, the combined companies stand ready to provide solutions for their customers.  All it takes is a vision, a great business climate and outstanding leadership to make something like this come to life.

Through their combined capabilities and expertise, there is no doubt that Teijin will continue to be a leader in the automotive industry.

Congratulations from the Auburn Hills City Council and Staff!  We wish you all the best as you continue to grow and expand in Auburn Hills.

The Big Green Monster On Walton Blvd.

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Community Development Executive Assistant

Construction on the First & Main senior living community is going gangbusters.  What we now affectionately call “The Big Green Monster” at 3051 E. Walton (photo says it all) is ahead of schedule and the plan is to keep it that way.

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Construction of the roof is progressing and should wrap up by the end of next week along with the installation of many exterior windows.  Mechanical, electrical and plumbing is already set on the first floor and 90% complete on the second.  Drywall installation begins the last week of February.

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Exterior brick work will commence in early March and the “green” will be gone.  Check back to see this attractive development continue to take shape.

A Few Quotes On Valentine’s Day

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Community Development Executive Assistant

“All you need is love.  But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – Charles M. Schulz

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“Forever thine, forever mine, forever ours.” Immortal Beloved – Ludwig van Beethoven

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“Today is Valentine’s Day.  Or, as men like to call it, Extortion Day.” – Jay Leno

“If you were a Transformer, you’d be Optimus FINE.” – Unknown

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow internet service to see who they really are.” – Will Ferrell

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“Never go to bed mad – stay up and fight.” – Phillis Diller

“True love stories never have endings.” – Richard Bach

“Love thy neighbor – and if he happens to be tall, debonair and devastating, it will be that much easier.” – Mae West

“Maybe you don’t need the whole world to love you, you know.  Maybe you just need one person.” – Kermit the Frog

“That’s why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they’d call them something else.” – Sixteen Candles

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“The truth is everyone is going to hurt you.  You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” – Bob Marley

“You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.” – Oscar Wilde

“There are only 3 things women need in life: food, water and compliments.” – Chris Rock

“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” – When Harry Met Sally

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“Women love a self-confident bald man.” – Larry David

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Celebrate your love in Auburn Hills.

Go Out Or Stay In? Super Bowl Planning Begins

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Community Development Executive Assistant

This is it!  The big game is Sunday.  Whether you plan to watch the Super Bowl couch commando-style or get into the game at a local hot spot, Auburn Hills has what you need for a great party.

If you’re heading out, check out The HUB Stadium – the Home of Urban Bowling.  Enjoy a game of your own (football included) while you watch the Super Bowl and partake in snacks, sharables, handhelds and Bomb Burgers.

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Or…visit Great Lakes Crossing Outlets for a taste of MEX – a new, modern, playful restaurant rooted in authentic Mexican flavors.  It’s located in District 6 just a couple doors down from long-time favorite, Bar Louie.  Flat-screens abound in both locations so you won’t miss any of the football action.

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Sprinkled throughout the city are favorite bar/restaurants like Red Ox, Hoops Sports & Spirits, Duffy’s Pub and Friday’s.

If you do decide to stay home, at least have someone do the cooking for you.  Buddy’s Pizza, Jimmy Johns, Qdoba, Alfoccinos, Jo’Angela’s Pizza & Deli Co are just a few of the catering options available.

Cheers to a fun and safe game day for all!

Breaking Down Barriers

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Could someone with a physical limitation visit your home today?  Do you think that you will be able to continue living in your home as you grow older?  The answer to both questions is most likely “no.”

The City of Auburn Hills is working to address this issue and raise awareness with home builders that certain design elements and features can be seamlessly integrated into the construction of a new home so that it is functionally accessible for people of all ages and abilities.  Encouraging “universal design” was a key policy recommendation that resulted from discussions with the community during the Age Friendly Auburn Hills initiative.

Overview of Universal Design Features. Diagram used with permission from Heartland Builders, LLC.

Overview of Universal Design Features. Diagram used with permission from Heartland Builders, LLC.

The strategy behind the universal design movement is to make a home usable for everyone, especially those with short or long-term disabilities (living within or visiting), by discretely removing physical barriers – without making the home look institutional or aesthetically unappealing.

To incentivize builders to incorporate these design features into their new home proposals, the City intends to offer streamlined permitting and eligibility for zoning flexibility.

Those interested in learning more about this initiative and proposed ordinance are encouraged to attend the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday, February 15th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.  A final decision on the ordinance is anticipated to be made by the City Council on Monday, February 27th.