By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — The City Council could be approving a new ordinance that will allow for a fine or improvement suggestions to a business if deemed a nuisance by residents.
Under the proposed amendment any business operating within the can can be deemed a nuisance after multiple complaints about drugs, alcohol, criminal or customer issues.
“This amendment would address nuisance bars and other nuisance businesses where negative patron conduct is adversely impacting the community,” Council President Susan Dabaja said.
During the Oct. 4 council meeting, Dabaja also mentioned it was a localized version of a similar ordinance used in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“The proposed amendment would declare any business in or upon which the unlawful sale of any regulated drug, narcotic or other controlled substance prosecution quarreling drunkenness, fighting, discharge of weapons or other breaches of peace occurs to be a prosecutable nuisance and classified as a misdemeanor,” the ordinance states.
This amendment was suggested by Councilman Michael Sareini following the recent string of issues in the city at Nar Bar, Liv Lounge and Post Bar, all in downtown west Dearborn.
On Sept. 17, an incident where two men shot into a crowd of people occurred at Nar Bar, 21918 Michigan Ave.
At Post Bar, 22065 Michigan Ave., a transgender Dearborn resident was stabbed as part of an alleged hate crime July 28.
In April, Liv Lounge, 21961 Michigan Ave., closed its doors after multiple issues with crime, fights and other citations. Its liquor license was in the process of being revoked by the City Council after a February shooting trigged complaints.
The ordinance would address more than just bars, which was a request from the council to the Legal Department.
“Things like this are important and this one has a wider net as far as not just bars,” Sareini said. “I’m glad it’s here today.”
Councilman Thomas Tafelski also agreed with the addition of other businesses.
“As we get more establishments coming into the downtown areas and business corridors, whether it be a bar, restaurant or coffee shop, we want to make sure that they bring business, commerce, people come and go but they detract from the neighborhoods, residents and other surrounding businesses,” Tafelski said.
At the same meeting, a second ordinance to create a nuisance abatement board was read where the council will determine if a business has nuisance issues.
The council will serve as the board. After issues are brought to the city the board will conduct a public hearing and if it determines a business to be a nuisance it can impose conditions on the business.
Examples of requirements include increased security or installation of cameras.
“The decision of the board would be appealable to the circuit court,” Dabaja said. “The board can also review the certificate of occupancy for a business if we have determined the business is creating a nuisance.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)