Mayor O’Dwyer Discusses Berkley Parking Dispute and More

Mayor O’Dwyer Discusses Berkley Parking Dispute and MoreHowesLocation

(Compiled, Aug. 1, 2014)


Berkley Mayor Phil O’Dwyer sent out remarks to residents and businesses through the Berkley email newsletter, that included sentiments about the recent media coverage of the Vinsetta rezoning request to accommodate new parking lots, Woodward Dream Cruise and more. Here’s what he had to say:

“Our city made important and noticeable headlines in July. The key media outlets in the metro area covered the deliberations of both the Planning Commission and City Council as they sought to resolve a seed05_jen_kat_latoschvexing parking dilemma in the Woodward Ave. area between Eaton and Oxford.

To some casual observers, the matter comes down to this: the neighbors in the area were unhappy that too many cars were being parked on their streets and they complained; the business owner offered to build a parking lot, and they objected to that too. “Really, can they have it both ways,” some in the TV audience wondered? If it were that simple, such an argument might have some traction, but as always the devil is in the details.

A positive degree of cooperation between the business owners in the area would remove the need to demolish four family homes to make way for a parking lot. At the hours when parking is most needed by one business, as many as 248 nearby parking spots lay vacant. Sometimes the facts of a case are overtaken by the emotions attached to entrenched positions on all sides.dda_ad_04

Those who studied the options in the context of what is best for Berkley as a whole, voted unanimously to deny the rezoning of the four homes and encouraged continued conversation to forge parking agreements that would benefit all. This was not singularly in favor of residents nor against business – this was a careful deliberation of the facts from an objective perspective on behalf of the City.

Berkley is a progressive, vibrant, and thriving community. Our neighborhoods are appealing and our business community is expanding. The harmonious coexistence of the two generally occurs because a cooperative spirit exists that, like a rising tide, lifts all ships. Such neighborliness seldom captures media Jim Shaffer KELLER ad blackattention but a notable failure of cooperation resulted in a media invasion!

This issue is greater than parking. It is a reflection of the potential that homeowners and businesses see in our great city and we are encouraged by their passion and energy. To further the vision of Berkley, we must consider the needs not just of today but the future – including rapid transit along the corridor which will attract even more businesses and families to our city.

This is an opportunity for city leaders, residents, and businesses to work together to develop creative solutions that will ensure a competitive edge for our city. As Mayor of this City, I accept this challenge and opportunity, and I look forward to a significant and meaningful resolution.

Woodward Ave will continue to capture the headlines with the annual Dream Cruise taking place on Saturday, August 16th. Those who value a closer look at these muscle cars will come to Berkley for the Street-Eatzz-AdCruiseFest parade on Friday evening, August 15th. Twelve Mile Rd from Woodward to Greenfield comes alive with the sounds, magic, and memories of these stunning automobiles. This year we expect about 400 cars for the event. Following the parade, there will be the usual wonderful concert and activities at 12 Mile and Robina.

Our gratitude is extended to Mr. Mark Coon and his dedicated committee for their detailed production of the event. When cars and crowds mix, public safety is a major concern. We are also very grateful to all the regional police as well as our own public safety officers for ensuring a safe and enjoyable event. Their only recompenserobert wittenberg election 2014 ad is a free dinner provided at our Fire Station donated by Berkley businesses. It is amazing what cooperation can accomplish.

At City Hall, Annette Boucher, the former assistant City Clerk, had been promoted to the key role of City Clerk. She has wide experience in all aspects of her new position. Lisa Vecchio has joined the staff as Assistant City Clerk and also brings significant experience to the team. We congratulate both of these energetic and capable employees.

Whether you enjoy the Cruisefest or seek to skip town to avoid the activity it generates, enjoy the month of August. Summer seems to be speeding past us at an unusually fast pace this year. Be safe and be well.”


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