November 2023 Berkley Updates

November 2023 Berkley Updates

Updates from around the city including leaf collection, the recent election, the apartments at Columbia, and a Holiday Decorations Map.

Leaf Collection

There's been some confusion on leaf collection this fall. The only difference is there will be fewer passes this year. Here are the highlights.

  • You can rake leaves (and only leaves) into the street until November 24.
  • Starting November 24, everyone in the city will get one more street leaf pickup.
  • It may take them several weeks to finish after November 24.

  • You can put leaves, sticks, and other yard debris in bags up to the week of December 11.
  • Bags will be picked up on your normal trash day.
  • Bags do not require a yard waste tag.
  • Your tags do not expire, even if they say they do. 

You can get the full details and follow along with where in the city they are collecting on the city's website

Consider Mulching Your Leaves

Rather than bagging or raking your leaves to the curb, consider mulching them in with your lawnmower. 

Although this won't work for everyone, each year I simply spread the leaves out on my lawn and cut them into tiny pieces with the lawnmower. They quickly degrade and help fertilize your lawn. 

Also consider leaving them in your garden beds until the spring. They act as a protective habitat for beneficial insects to overwinter in. 

You can read more about this from MSU Extension.

What about Christmas Trees?

The City will not pick up trees this year. However, the city is looking into the best options for residents to discard them and will provide an update soon.

Holiday Decorations Map

Is it too early to be thinking about Christmas decorations? Yes, it is, but since my wife is already watching Christmas Hallmark Movies around the clock, I figured I'd give in. 

I've created a map of Holiday Decorations for the city. Feel free to add yourself to the map. New this year is the ability to add photos!

Council Election

Congratulations to Ross Gavin, Greg Patterson, and Clarence Black on their election to the 40th Berkley City Council. They will be sworn in at our November 20th meeting. 

Thank you to Mike Dooley for his service on Council this past year. 

Bridget Dean ran unopposed and so remains Mayor.

3,350 people voted, a turnout of 25.38%.

1,204 voted in person on election day, 2,146 residents voted via absentee ballot, and 12 voted via the County’s early voting center in Oak Park.

Columbia Apartments

The next stop for the "The Columbia" PUD (Planned Unit Development) is City Council. The Planning Commission recommended approval. Once the developer files the necessary paperwork, it will go to City Council for consideration. They missed the deadline to make the November 20th meeting.

The development proposes 57 one-bedroom units on the east side of Coolidge from Cambridge to the mid-block between Columbia and Princeton. 

Some of the common questions I've seen:

  • What's with the bridge? The developer is proposing that the second and third floor spans over Columbia Rd. City staff are getting an appraisal of the air rights so that if Council decides to allow this the city can be properly compensated.
  • Will there be enough parking? As part of my role on the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite Steering Committee, I have been visiting several of the existing apartments in the city to see what our current, real-world parking situation is like. Based on the data I have collected, 1.5 parking spaces per one-bedroom unit is more than sufficient for the apartments we already have today. The developer is proposing 1.49 parking spots per unit. I do not believe parking will be a problem. 
  • Will this make traffic worse? Many thousands of people already travel Coolidge daily. Adding 57 units, when people will come and go at all different times, should not make a noticeable impact. A retail business would likely cause more traffic than apartments. However, a traffic study is being conducted to confirm this.
  • Can the utilities handle this? At its peak, Berkley had nearly 24,000 residents. Now we only have about 15,000. Our utilities already have the capacity to be able to handle 57 new units.
  • Will this make flooding worse? Part of the project requires the installation of a stormwater system to handle 100-year storms and slowly release the water into the sewers. This will be an improvement over the current situation in that area. 
  • What will separate the apartments from the neighborhood? A masonry wall will be installed, and landscaping will be an option for the immediate neighbors if they wish to have it.

If you live on the first block of Cambridge or Columbia and have any concerns I'd love to hear from you. Please reach out to me.

Talk with Dennis

My next Talk with Dennis event is Saturday, November 18 from 1 to 3pm at the library. Stop by with any questions or concerns you may have.

Email Updates

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