Week of 2.20.17

Welcome to the home of Social Lights. New online reports with photos appear each week on the website and in the monthly print editions for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area and the Rochester-Rochester Hills area at the start of each month. If you want e-mail notification of when new Social Lights columns are posted to this site each Monday, sign up in the Newsletter Sign Up box at the lower right side of this home page.

Bates Street Society Dinner

The Community House Board of Directors welcomed 200 to the second annual dinner ($200, $250 tickets) honoring significant donors ($25,000 plus). It also saluted community Pillars of Vibrancy who were toasted at a preliminary champagne reception. The 2017 Pillars are: Culture - architect Victor Saroki and publisher of Downtown Publications David Hohendorf; Wellness - Richard Astrein and Beaumont Hospital President Rosanna Morris; Philanthropy - Lois Shaevsky and George Miller; Education - Margaret Matthes. They were eulogized by house CEO/President Bill Seklar and received tribute pins from past pillars before joining the dinner crowd.
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This weeks social light photos…

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oakland confidential

March 2017

MARCIA, MARCIA, MARCIA: Oakland County Commissioner Marcia Gershenson (D-Bloomfield Township, West Bloomfield) may have picked a fight with the wrong person in power when she called out county board chair Mike Gingell and vice chair Mike Spiz , both Republicans, during board swearing-in ceremonies on January 11. "She seemed determined to create dissension," said a fellow commissioner. "She ...more»
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Parking rules relaxed at some restaurants


02/17/2017 - Restaurants in Rochester that serve alcohol but don't have a dedicated bar area for serving or displaying alcohol will have more relaxed parking requirements under an ordinance amendment approved by city council on Monday, February 13.

The ordinance amendment was adopted Monday by unanimous vote, following a first reading of the ordinance on December 12.

Prior to the amendment, the city's code required restaurants that serve alcohol to provide one off-street parking space per 100 square feet of overall floor area, while restaurants that don't serve alcohol must provide one off-street parking space per 150 square feet of area. Under the proposed ordinance, restaurants that only provide alcohol by way of table service, without a bar area, would be required to provide one off-street parking space for every 145 square feet of floor area.
 Rochester City Manager Blaine Wing said the issue was first discussed at the city's planning commission, after a representative from a local business asked commissioners to re-evaluate the ordinance.
 "The idea is that if you have alcohol, customers will be sitting there longer, and the business will need more parking spots," Wing said.
 Restaurants may pay the city in-lieu of a parking spot for use of the city's parking structure, if the restaurant is unable to provide adequate off-street parking on its own property or through an agreement with a nearby property owner. Wing said the current price per in-lieu-of spot by the city is about $12,000.
 Only one current restaurant, Rochester Brunch House, at 301 Walnut Boulevard, would be impacted by the proposed ordinance, reducing the number of spots required from three to one. However, the ordinance amendment is likely to impact new or expanding businesses in the future.

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