Goodrich committee looks to update ordinances for first time since ‘57

GOODRICH — In the coming months, a committee of the Goodrich Village Council will pore over hundreds of pages of ordinances in a quest to update the rules and regulations governing the southern Genesee County hamlet.

Village Manager Sheri Wilkerson said she’s not sure how many ordinances are on the books, but they’ve never been reviewed since the village was incorporated in 1957.

All of the ordinances are available online, divided into 36 chapters, each containing multiple articles, and each article containing multiple sections addressing all sorts of matters such as amusements, animals, buildings, parks, sidewalks, solicitors, traffic and more.

In a paper format, the ordinance book is about two inches thick, Wilkerson said.

“The ordinances need to be reviewed because some are outdated, some aren’t germane anymore, and some need to be expanded upon,” she said.

Wilkerson said she couldn’t think of any strange or amusing rules that likely would be repealed.

Residents’ complaints about certain issues are expected to drive some of the changes, she said.

One of those changes could address a problem with unsecured animals.

“We have a leash law, and the State of Michigan has a leash law,” Wilkerson said. “But that (addresses) when dogs are off their property and being walked.”

The leash laws don’t speak to animals who are untethered on their owners’ properties, which may not seem like a problem, until the animal chases after a child on a bicycle or a jogger.

“That’s potentially dangerous and frightening,” Wilkerson said. “We are trying to see if we can get a handle on keeping dogs a little more secure. We’ve had some complaints in a couple neighborhoods.”

Unlicensed vehicles are another concern.

“Normally, they have to be in a garage area to for people to work on them,” Wilkerson said. “We don’t have anything addressing that currently, other than they can’t be in the front yard. But we have people here with more lots on each side and we’ve had some complaints about junk cars.”

Two council members and the code enforcement officer comprise the committee. They will go through every ordinance, a task that will take a few months to complete.

Where changes are probable, they will look at similar ordinances in neighboring communities for guidance.

“If they feel any of ours need to be tweaked, amended, eradicated or adopted, they will bring them to council for their consideration,” Wilkerson said.