Welcome New Code Enforcement Officer Chris Myers

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

We’re happy to announce that Christopher Myers has joined our team.

Chris started this past Monday as our new Code Enforcement Officer.  He has big shoes to fill as he replaces veteran Officer Dale Mathes who retired last September after serving just under 12 years in the position with the City.  Chris joins Officer Jack Skinner as our new dynamic duo.

Code Enforcement Officers Jack Skinner (left) and Chris Myers (right)

Chris has a Bachelor Degree in Communications from Oakland University and most recently worked at Oakland County Children’s Village.  He brings a myriad of construction and supervisory experience to his new role.  Chris will focus on the enforcement of the City’s codes and ordinances related to tall grass abatement and general property maintenance of private land throughout the community.

Welcome Chris!

Clearing Sidewalks Of Snow Makes A Safer Community For All

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

The weather forecasters say that a big winter storm is coming today, so we wanted to provide a friendly reminder of the City’s published rules for snow and ice removal.

If your property has a sidewalk, Sections 62-77 and 62-78 of the Auburn Hills Code of Ordinances outline the general requirements for timely removal of snow and ice.  Specifically, the occupant of a property (or if unoccupied, the owner) is responsible for clearing his/her sidewalks:  1) within 12 hours – if the snow or ice falls during daylight hours; or 2) by 6:00 p.m. the following day – if the snow or ice falls during the night.

If you have physical limitations and need help, you may qualify for a City assistance program.  Contact our Community Center at 248-370-9353 for more information.

Timely snow removal is important as it makes life easier and safer for the elderly, kids walking to the bus stop or school, emergency personnel, and delivery people.  Thank you for being a good neighbor and doing your part to help to make Auburn Hills safer for people of all ages and abilities.

Halloween 2017

Posted by – Jack Skinner, Code Enforcement Officer

Serving as a Code Enforcement Officer, I make rounds though the city every day.  One of the best holidays for decorations – hands-down – is Halloween.

Auburn Hills’ residents really get into the spirit, so every year we try to bring you some of the most creative and creepy displays we see out there.

 

Enjoy trick-or-treat tonight in Auburn Hills between 6 pm and 7 pm.  Have a safe and happy Halloween.

Happy Retirement Dale!

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Yesterday, the City of Auburn Hills celebrated and honored Code Enforcement Officer Dale Mathes.  Dale will be retiring next week as he concludes just under 12 years of service in the Community Development Department.

Dale Mathes (left) being congratulated by City Manager Tom Tanghe (right)

Dale will truly be missed by our Department.  I’m sure that if you were to look in Webster’s Dictionary for the definition of a “really good guy” you would find a photo and description of Brother Dale (as we affectionately call him).  He would be wearing a Detroit Red Wings jersey.

This will be Dale’s second retirement.  He came to Auburn Hills in 2005 after retiring from the City of Detroit Police Department.  Dale has been extremely valuable to our team as he has brought a wealth of knowledge, a ton of real life experience, patience, and pure common sense.  Simply said, he made us better – which is an outstanding legacy to leave.

Best wishes Brother Dale.  Enjoy your much deserved retirement.  Thank you again for your service to the City of Auburn Hills.

Congrats Dale!

Honor Our Flag This Memorial Day

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

As Americans we will observe Memorial Day this coming Monday, a national holiday to honor the members of the armed services who died in defense of our lives and liberties.  Many of the observances will involve displaying of “The Stars and Stripes,” “Old Glory,” “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the flag of the United States of America.

The following are some rules of flag etiquette that can help in handling and displaying our flag with honor and respect.

  1. On Memorial Day itself, the flag is to be lowered to half-staff before noon and then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.  Raising the flag is to be done briskly while lowering it should be done slowly and with all present saluting.  A standard military salute is performed by all in uniform while those in civilian dress should place their right hand over their heart.  Those wearing hats should remove them and hold them in their right hand as the hand is over the heart.
  2. Display of the flag has its own set of rules. The flag must be raised to the very top of the pole (except when at half-staff).  No other flag must be above it.  Flags should be flown from dawn to dusk.  If flown at night, it must be illuminated.  If displayed indoors, on a wall (either vertically or horizontally) the stars should be to the left of the observer.
  3. If a flag becomes worn, it can be sewn and repaired.  However, if it becomes tattered and unrepairable, it should be replaced and the worn flag should be burned in a dignified manner.  The American Legion, along with Boy and Girl Scout troops, often will hold flag burning ceremonies on June 12th, Flag Day.

As Americans, it is our proud heritage to honor our fallen heroes this coming Monday.  We should also make sure that we revere and respect our country’s unique symbol in their memory.

Working To Address The Nuisance Of Tall Grass

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

Due to this year’s wet Spring, the lawns throughout Auburn Hills are growing, pardon the expression, like weeds.  It’s also the time – May 1st through October 15th to be exact – that the City’s Weed Abatement Program is in effect.

Ordinance 78-28 declares grass on residential lawns longer than eight inches to be a nuisance and gives the City the authority to trim it.  The process used is to affix a green grass violation sticker on the door of the residence in question advising the occupant that the grass must be cut within 72 hours.  For vacant lots, a notice is mailed giving 10 days to comply.  This is due to the delivery time of snail mail.  These notices are only issued once a year at a particular location.

Generally, the residents or owners cut the grass within the time allotted.  Last year the compliance rate was about 75%.  However, if the grass doesn’t get cut, the location is placed on a list and given to our City contractor for cutting.

Most of the violations are observed by Code Enforcement Officers during their daily rounds through the neighborhoods.  However, many come from complaints by citizens.  If you see an unkempt lawn over eight inches in length, please feel free to call Code Enforcement at 248-364-6934 and let us know.

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.