Sign-Up Now for Free Gardening Seminar

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Water Resources Coordinator

Backyard gardens are becoming very popular.  Growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs is an easy and economical way to simplify a hectic lifestyle.  Since most vegetables and herbs can be grown in small areas and containers, you do not need to own a large plot of land in order to grow your own produce.

Would you like to learn how to start your own garden?

Well, the City of Auburn Hills is celebrating National Garden month by offering a free Healthy Garden Workshop on Thursday, April 5th at the Auburn Hills Community Center.  The featured speaker for the event is Heather Glenday, General Manager of Bordine’s Nursery in Rochester Hills.  Topics will include vegetable and herb gardening in small spaces, various types of vegetables and herbs to grow, soil prep, fertilizing, watering, pest control, and disease control.

The workshop will run from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.   If you wish to attend, feel free to call 248-364-6926 or e-mail skeenan@auburnhills.org to register.

Hope to see you there!

Sign-Up Now for Free Gardening Seminar

Construction Progressing at Henniges Automotive HQ’s

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Work is getting close to completion at the new world headquarters for Henniges Automotive on High Meadow Circle in the Oakland Technology Park, near I-75 and University Drive.  The developer anticipates the $10 million facility will be ready for occupancy in early June.

The building will house the auto supplier’s corporate offices, product development and engineering center, and sales offices.  Approximately 140 people will be employed at the site.

Henniges Automotive World Headquarters – Under Construction

Henniges Automotive is a leading global provider of highly-engineered sealing and anti-vibration systems for automotive applications.  The company employs 4,800 people world-wide.  In a nutshell, they design, manufacture, and sell systems which seal interior compartments of the vehicle from water, dust, and air leakage.  Their sealing systems also reduce noise and vibration.

A unique feature of the project is that it is anticipated to obtain LEED Certification as a “Green Building” from the U.S. Green Building Council.

We look forward to their Grand Opening!

Construction Progressing at Henniges Automotive HQ’s

The Critter Code

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

Pets are a big part of people’s lives.  I have had a dog for most of my life, but I never thought I’d have two.  But now my golden retriever, Emma, and my bizarre shepherd mix, Bailey, have not only become close to me but act like an old married couple.  I wouldn’t part with them or split them up for anything.

Bailey and Emma

Well, pets can also have impact on a neighborhood.  This is why the Auburn Hills City Council enacted an ordinance several years ago determining what types and amounts of pets citizens may have at their residence.  Exotic and wild animals are not allowed and there is a lengthy list included in Ordinance 14-2.  Prohibited animals were selected on the basis of common sense.  I mean, who wants to live next to an ocelot, a bear, a raccoon, or a poisonous snake?

The City Council did allow for the most popular of pets: dogs and cats.  In Auburn Hills, residents are allowed both five dogs and five cats.  Naturally, regulations as to cleanliness, noise, securing of animals, and other owner responsibilities are also included in the City Code.  Again, most of these are common sense such as using a leash, placing dogs only in the rear yard, and cleaning up after your pet.

The City of Auburn Hills sells dog licenses for Oakland County Animal Control from December 1st thru May 31st.   Please bring a valid rabies certificate with you.  You can get more information on licensing at www.oakgov.com/petadoption.   Although it’s not required by law, they encourage you to have your pet spayed or neutered.  That way every pet will have a chance for a happy home.

So, that is a quick primer on the City’s Critter Code.

The Critter Code

The “Good Shark” Swims Here

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

If you ever watch the reality TV show Shark Tank on ABC, you may wonder if the concept actually works in the real world.  I am here to tell you that it does in Auburn Hills.

As a little background, the TV show features a panel of five wealthy investors called “Sharks” who consider offers from entrepreneurs seeking someone to invest in their business or product.  The entrepreneurs who enter the “Shark Tank” must try to convince these tycoons to give them the funding they need to jumpstart their business idea.  However, the Sharks are not benefactors; they want a return on their investment.  In exchange for the investment, the entrepreneurs must give up a percentage of their company’s equity to the Shark.  When a Shark hooks up with an entrepreneur on the show, you actually watch a successful business being born right before your eyes.

Tom LaSorda

Well, there is a “Good Shark” swimming in the business waters of the City of Auburn Hills.  I call him that because he is an incredibly nice and down to earth guy.  His name is Tom LaSorda.

Mr. LaSorda is the former CEO of Chrysler and now the CEO of Fisker Automotive Group in Anaheim, California.  He is spending millions of dollars to convert the vacant Food Town grocery store building at 3900 Joslyn Road into a business incubator to support the future entrepreneurs he selects and decides to invest in.

In addition to his professional mentoring, Mr. LaSorda will offer office services and R&D space to help keep initial costs down for these start-up businesses.  If a business takes off and becomes profitable, he gets a piece of the action for his risk and investment in the idea.  Mr. LaSorda plans to shepherd businesses which specialize in the new emerging economic sectors such as clean technology, transportation, IT, alternative energy, and healthcare.

So, if you have the next great business idea that will change the world, but need help launching it.  I know just the right guy to call … the “Good Shark.”

Vacant Food Town to Become Business Incubator
The “Good Shark” Swims Here

Darting Ahead: New Chrysler Mural Debuts Soon

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Next week, don’t be alarmed if you drive down I-75 and see a bunch of people working on the face of Chrysler Group’s 15-story headquarters building.  No worries.  They are just adding a new temporary sign.

Photo Mock-Up of the Proposed Wall Mural

The City of Auburn Hills has issued a permit to allow professional contractors to install a new wall mural sign on the building to promote the 2013 Dodge Dart.

Over the past decade, a number of prominent businesses in Auburn Hills have installed what we call Large Format Temporary Wall Murals.

The City’s Zoning Ordinance allows these signs to be up for 120 days.  A business may erect up to four of them per calendar year, but the maximum time allowed for all the signs installed is 240 days.  It is important to note that these signs are not “billboards” in that the message must pertain to that business, such as a service provided or product produced.

We believe this will be the 10th temporary wall mural installed on the Chrysler Group skyscraper.  These special signs have also been placed on other buildings in Auburn Hills such as Continental Automotive, RGIS, The Palace of Auburn Hills, and Volkswagen.

We really enjoy these signs from Chrysler Group.   It is great to see them doing so well.  They are definitely back!

Darting Ahead: New Chrysler Mural Debuts Soon

Having a Yard Sale?

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Yard sales are a great way to clean house and make a little extra cash.  Hey, one person’s trash is another’s treasure!

The City of Auburn Hills understands that yard sales are an American Tradition and does not wish to quash the fun.  Therefore, you do not have to jump through hoops, pay fees, or pull a permit to have one.

However, please be aware that the City Council has set the following very reasonable rules to make sure that these sales do not pose any problems or inconveniences for your neighbors.

  1. Conduct no more than four yard sales per calendar year on your premises.
  2. Each yard sale shall not exceed four consecutive days.
  3. The yard sale is limited to the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
  4. Do not sell or display any goods in any public right-of-way, sidewalk, alley, or street.
  5. One yard sale sign is permitted on your premises.  The sign must be removed at the conclusion of the sale.

Most importantly, do not place or post your yard sale sign in the public right-of-way or on public property (e.g., telephone poles, street signs, trees, etc.)  Signs illegally posted will be promptly removed by City staff when found.

So, now that you know the rules.  Have fun!

Having a Yard Sale?

Representative Government in Action

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Mark your calendars!

On Tuesday, March 27th at 7:00 p.m., the Planning Commission will review the proposed Master Plan for the Auburn Road West Neighborhood with all those who are interested. The neighborhood generally consists of all the properties located on both sides of Auburn Road between I-75 and the Clinton River Bridge.

The plan has been the result of input received at two previous public meetings.  Folks have provided the Planning Commmission with great input into what is shaping up to be an excellent vision for the future.

The meeting will be held at Fire Station No. 1 in the Downtown.  All are welcome to attend.   You do not need to live in the area to participate.  Most importantly, please feel free to bring your children to the meeting as it is a great opportunity to introduce them to the world of city planning.

Picture taken at the March 1, 2012 Planning Commission Meeting with the Neighborhood
Representative Government in Action