Code Enforcement - Setting the Right Priorities

Collapsed excavation

Berkley is a densely packed community with very close lots. That is one reason why it's important that the city does a better job enforcing and prioritizing safe building practices.

(More pictures at the bottom...)

Over the past year, I have seen numerous instances where the city allowed unsafe basement digs to go uncorrected. We get some rain, and then inevitably the soil gives way. Too frequently this results in the destruction of the neighbor’s property and prevents them from using their driveway for several weeks.

This is unacceptable, especially since it is preventable and enforceable. Information on safe digging practices is readily available. I, along with others, have shared this with city hall and city council, but none of them have worked to stop the problems before they occur.

We need to make sure our leaders set the correct priorities for the city. Many of us were pleased when council began to talk about enforcing our current ordinances, especially as it relates to building practices, but became disheartened when those conversations stopped and the focus shifted towards an ordinance allowing backyard chickens that benefitted a small group of mostly non-resident advocates.

As a city councilor, I will work to make sure we have the structure and training so that our building department can succeed. When necessary, I will introduce new legislation to make sure our current residents are protected. Finally, I will work to make sure the city is working toward goals that will benefit the most residents.

 Other Excavation Collapses in the Last Year

MIOSHA fined the excavation company that caused this collapse $8,000 for serious and repeat violations. The city took no action.