By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS — The City Council approved a moratorium Dec. 10 ending June 30, 2020 on used car lots along Van Born Road.
A discussion by the Steering Committee between the cities of Taylor and Dearborn Heights took place Dec. 2 to address the issue, according to a letter from Mayor Daniel Paletko to the city council. The city of Taylor, which also had been receiving similar requests, instituted a moratorium on used car lots and suggested Dearborn Heights do something similar.
“What the two communities are going to do is come up and have a joint planning and zoning requirements along Van Born that will match both Taylor and Dearborn Heights,” Paletko said at the meeting. “They want to have all that instituted by the end of June, included in there will be restrictions on used car lots.”
The moratorium was made effective Dec. 10 and impacts new used car lot plans and requests submitted to the city. At a Dec. 12 Planning Commission meeting, a zoning variance request was approved to convert an existing building at 23220 Van Born Road into a used car lot.
When Councilman Tom Wencel asked if the moratorium would affect license renewals, Paletko said it wouldn’t. Paletko also said he is willing to host a study session to answer further questions the council wanted to ask.
Councilman Bill Bazzi was the only vote against the moratorium, saying he was not comfortable supporting it because he considered it “very vague.”
“It doesn’t say pro or con dealers on Van Born and from few meetings back we had numerous residents that actually came in here and voiced concerns about this particular topic, so before I vote yes on this, I’d like to find out more about the moratorium,” Bazzi said.
Councilman Dave Abdallah said that as discussed before, “in a perfect world there would be a beautiful mall, a beautiful hospital or maybe Ford engineering” on Van Born Road.
“The reality is the demand has not been there because the street does not look as nice as it should look and some of the businesses have been making as much money as they would like,” he said. “Therefore we have been attracting maybe not as preferred businesses as we’d like. As soon as that’s done I think it’s going to help revitalize that particular area.”
Paletko said Taylor and Dearborn Heights have reached out to Wayne County to get a devotion of resources since Van Born is a county road.
“We’re looking at spending $1.8 million per mile along those roads,” he said.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])