By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Staff Writer
Existing Oxford businesses negatively impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have a new option that may provide some relief.
During their regular meeting on Wednesday, September 9, the Oxford Township Board of Trustees approved a temporary emergency ordinance allowing for temporary uses, including, per Township Communications and Grants Manager C.J. Carnacchio, outdoor dining service, mobile food vending units, outdoor retail, and outdoor recreation (drive-in theaters, drive-in concerts, farmer’s markets, the sale of apples and apple cider, hayrides, etc.) in private spaces, such as off-street parking areas, sidewalks, and yards.
This ordinance becomes effective with the publication of this language today (Wednesday).
Businesses seeking to utilize this ordinance must submit a signed and completed application form to the Board of Trustees, along with “sketch plans” containing a description of the proposed activity, a plan outlining how said activity will comply with Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Orders relating to mask-wearing, social distancing, and crowd size, and the names and contact information of all individuals with an interest in the property at issue.
Granted permits are effective for 90 days and, upon request, can be extended once for an additional 90 days, which “need not be consecutive.”
To qualify for the application process, existing businesses are required to not be in violation of any Township Ordinance and cannot owe the Township any fees or property taxes.
This ordinance passed by a 5-2 vote, with Trustees Jack Curtis and Margie Payne, Supervisor Bill Dunn, Treasurer Joseph Ferrari, and Clerk Curtis Wright voting in favor of passage, and Trustees Patti Durr and Jonathan Nold dissenting.
Officially titled the Temporary Emergency Ordinance to Address the Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Local Businesses (Ordinance No. 134), a copy of the full ten-page document is available on the homepage of the Township’s website, oxfordtownship.org, and can also be accessed through a link from a July 10 post on the Charter Township of Oxford’s Facebook page.
Business and/or property owners interested in applying for a temporary use permit are encouraged to contact Township Planner Zach Michels at 734-726-0095 with any questions.
By Teddy Rydquist