Week of 7.17.17

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.

ChildSafe Michigan Legends Gala

Legends were the story at the ChildSafe gala. But not the celebrity type. Rather at-risk  children and their dreams for becoming Legends of Tomorrow  –  a doctor, a ballerina, a teacher. To make those dreams come true, 310 supporters ($300) flocked to the Townsend Hotel for the annual benefit. Event co-chairs SuSu Sosnick and Christine & David Colman and board chair Keith Pomeroy greeted the 125 VIPs ($500) who arrived early for a reception in the Clancy Room before dinner, a salute to honoree Sandy Pierce  and a live auction conducted by Christopher Aslanian.
This weeks social light photos…


oakland confidential

July 2017

GET WELL SOON: We know others will join us in wishing Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson a speedy recovery after back surgery on June 1 in the green mountain state of North Carolina. Word is he had a pretty aggressive surgery to help him get out of the wheelchair he was finding himself bound to more and more, and one Republican said that he is already feeling better. Patterson was seriously ...more»
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Rochester's historic ordinance approved

07/14/2017 - An amendment removing the designation of "landmark" properties from Rochester's historic preservation ordinance and the ability for property owners to opt into a historic district was approved on Monday, July 10, by the Rochester City Council.

The amendment, which was introduced on Monday, June 26, removes all caveats from the city's ordinance that differ from the state's Historic Districts Act.

The amendment stems from a March 27 vote by council to exclude a residential home from the city's landmark property list at the request of the property owner.
 Under state law, local historic district ordinances do not permit objections from property owners from placing a property in a local historic district. An historic district is a an area hat contains one or a groups of structures that are related by history, architecture, archeology, engineering or culture. The ordinance allows the city to stop property owners in a district from certain actions that would significantly alter the historical value of a district.
 While the state's historic preservation law and the city's previous ordinance allow property owners to object to being included in a historic district, those objections are to be made on the grounds of the property's historical value. However, the Rochester City Council in March voted 5-2 to exclude a residential property at 1311 N. Main Street from its landmark property list based solely on objections from property owners and some members of the public who said designation usurped the owner's rights and could create a potential hardship.
 In excluding the property, councilman Jeffrey Cuthbertson said in March that the council diverted from the city's own ordinance and, as a result, could open the municipality up to litigation from other property owners whose objections were previously denied by council. An attorney for one such property owner suggested in a letter to council that such litigation may prevail because the city's ordinance doesn't mirror the state's act.
 "The question is, does this matter enough to this community to say that there is a time and place for a historic district ordinance," Cuthbertson said at a June 12 city council meeting, "and the city ought to have one that is closest in keeping with the (state's) local historic districts act because we have seen arguments from clever attorneys that have said, 'this portion of your ordinance doesn't mirror the act,' and we are going to get that on future challenges if we leave this."
 Kragt presented council members on June 26 with a revised ordinance that removed sections of the city's existing ordinance in order to mirror the state law. The amendment would remove the reference to landmark properties, which are those that the city's historic district committee deemed to have great historical value to the city. Monday's approval means the new ordinance dissolves the list of existing landmark properties.
 Council members on July 10 approved the amendment without further discussion about the ordinance. Council voted 6-0 to finalize the ordinance amendment, with councilman Ben Giovanelli absent during the vote.

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