Council nixes permit plan

BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
City Council rejected a proposal by City Manager Carol Eberhardt to extend special-event permit requirements to private property.
“I think it’s too much,” said Mayor Joe Luginski at the April 11 meeting. “I host a Christmas party at my house every year for the historical society. Would I need a permit for that every year?”
The proposal would have required residents to obtain a permit from the city for special events on private as well as public property. Current regulations require permits for events on city or other public property, such as roads and parks.
The council voted 4-3 against a motion to refer the proposal to the city Ordinance Committee, which includes Luginski and Council member Michael Sabol.
Eberhardt said the revision was intended to make sure an event, even though not on city property, follows all the rules regarding liability to the city.
“What we are finding is sometimes the city does not know there are events in the city,” she said. “It’s simply to ensure liability to the city is minimized.”
An example is the Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce’s Food Truck Rally on May 20 in the Clarkston Mills Mall parking lot, 20 W. Washington Street, Eberhardt said.
The proposal defines “special event” as “any organized assemblage of persons in any public or private location which is to gather for a common purpose,” Sabol pointed out.
“I can’t have a party at my house – that is exactly what that’s saying, unless I come though you,” he said.
“To me, this seems way overreaching,” said Council member Al Avery.
“I think what Carol meant to say was this is just designated for the Clarkston Mills property,” said Bob Roth, one of the property owners.
Council member David Marsh asked how the city could be liable for activities on private property.
“If something spills over, it could implicate the city – maybe it won’t,” said city attorney Tom Ryan.
Catallo made a motion to refer it to the Ordinance Committee. Luginski, Avery, Marsh, and Council member Jason Kneisc voted against the motion. Catallo, Haven, and Sabol voted “yes.” Sabol made a motion to refer a copy to himself for review. This was also defeated, 4-3. Avery, Kneisc, Luginski, Marsh, voted “no.”