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Michigan City May Lift Used-Car Lot Ban

July 01, 2008

WARREN, Mich. — The city council in Metro Detroit's largest suburb is considering ending its year-long moratorium on allowing more used-car lots to open in the city, but not without strict regulations designed to prevent 'clustering,' according to the Macomb Daily newspaper.

The ban was enacted last year in an attempt to contain the blight that closely-packed lots can produce, according to city officials.

"Typically they would go in and pack (vehicles) in like sardines," said Ron Wuerth, the city's assistant planning director.

The ordinance against used-car lots is set to be revisited on July 8. Rules proposed by city planners include:

• A minimum lot area of 40,000 square feet, no closer than 750 feet from another used-car lot

• Cleaning of vehicles only within an enclosed building

• No flashing lights or temporary signs

• Storage/display space of at least 8 feet-by-17 feet for each vehicle for sale

• No display of vehicles in the public right-of-way

• An 8-foot landscaped greenbelt or 6-foot concrete wall along any property lines shared with residential property

"I think they're fair," Warren planning director Ed Bayer said. "The intent of the regulations is to be pretty strict (but) we can't just zone it out of existence."

The full text of the Macomb Daily article can be read here.

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