Residential Standards Handbook


INTRODUCTION

Mission of the Standards Committee: To establish, identify and document, best practices for a set of residential standards for the University District Community Association.

Role & Responsibility of Committee members: Inform UD residents and property owners of the City of Detroit Codes, ordinances and relevant agency rules that are the basis of the Residential Standards. To receive and confirm violation reports from residents. Issue violation notices to residents when warranted. Refer violations to authorities having jurisdiction when necessary.

UDCA Mission: the University District Community Association strives to maintain and support the integrity of the neighborhood, provide communication of events and issues to its residents, promote a quality education in our local school while maintaining health, safety and happiness in a family-friendly, diverse community.

Our Location: The University District is located east of Livernois Avenue and west of and including Parkside St, between Seven Mile and McNichols.

Non-Discrimination Policy: It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Subdivisions that all property therein will be available without regard to race, sexual orientation, gender identity, creed, color, sex or national origin.

Drug-free Zone: The University District Community has zero tolerance for drug trafficking. As a community we can assure all who traffic in drugs that they will be sought out and reported to the authorities. Drug trafficking places all residents, living in the mist of drug dealing, at risk.

Residents who observe drug traffic are asked to call police at 313-234-4000 andour radio patrol at 313-447-0003 to report such activity (anonymously if you wish). It will take this entire community to maintain a safe living environment for all of our residents

Standards Enforcement: The University District Community Association, and its successors, strives to administer and enforce the architectural integrity, safe, social and desirable community living atmosphere and ensure the real property value of the homes in this community through the collective efforts of each property owner by supporting and enforcing the standards as set forth in this document.


GENERAL STANDARDS

  1. APPLICABILITY AND DESCRIPTIONS
  2. PERMITS
  3. CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY
  4. NATURE AND COST OF NEW CONSTRUCTION
  5. USE OF PROPERTY
  6. APPROVAL OF CONSTRUCTION
  7. CONSTRUCTION
  8. GRADE RESTRICTIONS
  9. TEMPORARY STRUCTURES
  10. GARAGES
  11. STORAGE OF VEHICLES
  12. VEHICLE PARKING
  13. INOPERABLE VEHICLES
  14. FENCES
  15. FIRE HYDRANTS
  16. ADDRESS NUMBERS ON HOMES

1. APPLICABILITY AND DESCRIPTIONS  

These restrictions shall be applicable to all lots in the University District Community, in the City of Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan.

2. PERMITS

Building, electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits are required for most remodeling and new projects, such as: additions, decks, sheds, garages, fencing, pools, furnaces, air conditioning units, hot tubs, water heaters, etc. Permit fees vary depending on the project and are issued by the Department of Public Service located at City Hall.

3. CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY

A current Certificate of Occupancy is required when selling or renting a home in the UDCA community.

4. NATURE AND COST OF NEW CONSTRUCTION

No residence other than a single private dwelling house which shall cost not less than $100,000 shall be erected on any lot in the Subdivisions (other than lots fronting on Livernois and Parkside). Lots fronting on Parkside may be used for two (2) family residences or other uses permitted by law, the cost of construction of which is not less than $150,000. Lots fronting on Livernois Avenue may be used for stores or other uses permitted by law, the cost of construction of which are not less than $150,000. The foregoing dollar figures shall be increased in January of each year by a percentage equal to the percentage rise in the previous twelve (12) months of the housing component of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index (1967=100) for All Urban Consumers for the City of Detroit, or the equivalent of such index then in existence. All residences and business structures shall be of pressed, glazed, or wire cut brick, stone or concrete over tile or metal lath for exterior construction with full basement. Residences shall be at least two full stories and not more than 2 1/2 stories in height, containing a minimum of 2,200 square feet of enclosed area, with at least 18 feet of studding. No residence building with a flat roof shall be erected on any of said lots.

5. USE OF PROPERTY 

The property and buildings in the Subdivision (excepting lots fronting on Livernois Avenue which may be used for purposes for which they are properly zoned) shall be used and occupied only by single or two families. They shall not be used for any trade, business or occupation or employment (or uses incident thereto) or for apartment, multiple residential or boarding house use unless a variance, exemption, or special circumstance has been formerly granted.

No advertising sign, billboard, or other advertising device shall be permitted, erected, placed or maintained at any time upon said premises other than the normal and usual “For Sale” sign incident to the sale of property. The term “family” as used herein shall be as such term is defined in the Zoning Ordinances of the City of Detroit in effect on the initial effective date of these restrictions. No property in the Subdivisions shall be used or occupied in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, for any noxious or unlawful purpose or for any activity which constitutes a nuisance under applicable law

6. APPROVAL OF CONSTRUCTION

A property owner shall submit to the City of Detroit Planning and Development Department for its prior approval, detailed plans and specifications for the construction and location of any residence or garage or any material addition to or alteration of same which requires a permit from the City of Detroit. All such plans must be in conformity with all applicable building codes, rules and regulations, and these restrictions and otherwise provide for construction in harmony with the existing structure of which it is a part and correspond in architecture to the immediate area of the subdivision involved. Any substantial changes in plans shall require the same approval and zoning as the original plans.

7. CONSTRUCTION

The erection of any new building or repair of any building damaged by fire or otherwise shall be completed as rapidly as possible. Should the owner or contractor leave such building in an incomplete condition for a period of more than six (6) months, then the Association or its authorized representative, at its discretion is authorized and empowered (but not required) to tear down and clear from the property the uncompleted portion of such structure, or to complete the same at its discretion, and in either event, the expense incurred in so doing shall be charged to the owner’s interest therein.

8. GRADE RESTRICTIONS 

All dwellings shall be erected on a grade of at least 20 inches above the inner sidewalk grade line or 15 inches if building line is 30 feet and according to profile plans of the engineers of the property. The natural grade of the land shall not be raised more than 2 feet above the sidewalk without the written consent of the adjoining property owners.

9. TEMPORARY STRUCTURES

No tents, shacks, barns, vehicles (including, but not limited to trailers, recreational vehicles and vans) or any temporary building or structure of any design whatsoever, shall be used for living or residence purposes. No temporary occupancy, residence or domicile shall be permitted in unfinished, incomplete or materially damaged residences or structures, provided that this restriction shall not prevent the erection of a temporary storage building for materials and supplies used solely for, and in, the construction of a dwelling, provided that such storage building is removed from the premises upon completion of the residence.

10. GARAGES 

A garage may be erected on any of said lots except on lots fronting on Livernois Avenue, but only for the private use of the owner of the lot on which said garage is located. Living apartments may be provided in any 2-story garage for the occupancy of persons, provided that such persons (a) are in the employ of the property owner, and (b) all of such persons perform continuous and substantial services for the owner or occupants of the principal dwelling, and (c) receive therefore monies and/or consideration substantially in excess of, and in addition to, or the reasonable value of, use and occupancy of the said living apartment. Each garage (or any out-building) shall correspond in architecture and shall be of the same material and construction as the residence to which it is appurtenant. A single storage building or garden and such other tools and equipment shall be permitted on each lot provided that it (a) is placed at the rear of the property, and (b) is harmonious in color and design to the contiguous property, and (c) does not exceed six (6) feet by ten (10) feet in length and width, and six (6) feet in height.

11. STORAGE OF VEHICLES

Vehicles can be stored in residential districts if they are unoccupied and parked in a fully enclosed garage. Recreational vehicles are permitted unhoused for temporary periods not to exceed 48 hours for the purpose of loading and unloading.

12. VEHICLE PARKING  

Parking of commercial vehicles and equipment on University District streets is prohibited. Exceptions include taxicabs; temporary parking of motor homes, pickup campers, and coupled trailer coaches; the expeditious loading or unloading, delivery, or pick-up of goods, wares, merchandise, or passengers at an address within the block where the vehicle is parked; the performance of business or commercial service by a licensed contractor or service establishment at an address within the block where the vehicle is parked for the time needed to complete the service., provided, that, while parked, the vehicle shall prominently display a written notice of the location where the service is being performed.

This article shall not apply to private passenger vehicles that have commercial license plates; trailers no longer than eight (8) feet in length that are coupled to a permitted vehicle; or pickup trucks or vans that have commercial license plates.

Motor homes, pickup campers, and coupled trailer coaches may be parked on any University District street, for up to twenty-four (24) hours, only during the loading or unloading of such vehicle for the purpose of trip preparation or trip completion.

A vehicle shall be considered abandoned when it has remained on a public street, highway, alley or public place for a period of forty-eight (48) continuous hours or more and from its condition and the surrounding circumstances, shall reasonably appear to be unclaimed, discarded, deserted or abandoned.

A truck, not to exceed 10,000 pounds, may be parked in the District only if it is kept in a fully enclosed building.

13. INOPERABLE VEHICLES

Abandoned, unlicensed and/or inoperable vehicles shall not be left on the street, including any motor vehicle which is in a state of major disassembly, disrepair, or in the process of being stripped or dismantled. An individual may perform mechanical work on one (1) motor vehicle on the premises or property as long as such work is performed inside a garage or other enclosed structure. An in-operable vehicle is any vehicle that is not equipped with all parts that are required to operate legally and safely on public streets and/or that is not drivable under its own power. Unlicensed and/or inoperable vehicles not moved within 24 hours will be tagged for 48 hours and then towed. Fine: Court

Inoperable vehicles stored on premises must be raised off the ground (e.g. on a trailer) and must be covered (e.g. with a tarp). Fine: Court

14. FENCES 

Fences or walls shall be erected and maintained in the UDCA as follows: Fences and walls that do not exceed four feet in height can be located anywhere on one’s property provided that fences and walls located in the front yard shall be set back at least two feet from the sidewalk or property line and shall be located so as not to restrict proper visual observation of vehicles or persons using the public right-of-way. Fences along a driveway shall not obstruct ingress or egress of vehicles or of passengers from vehicles parked in the driveway. If the homeowner wishes to erect a fence adjoining a public right-of-way that will exceed four feet in height, he or she must notify surrounding property owners. Fences and walls exceeding four feet in height, but not exceeding six feet in height, may be placed in back of the front building line with the written consent of the owner(s) of the adjoining property, filed with the City. In all instances where a fence is erected, a permit must first be obtained from the City. It also is illegal to use barbed wire, exposed spikes or any other dangerous devices or materials on or in connection with any fence, barrier or enclosure in the community.

15. FIRE HYDRANTS

No person shall open any fire hydrant or use any water from the same without first obtaining a permit from the board of fire commissioners. No person shall in any manner obstruct the use of any fire hydrant in the city or have, place or allow to be placed any material or thing in front thereof or connect or tie thereto any object, animal or thing. Any material found as an obstruction, as aforesaid, may be removed by the officers and employees of the board of fire commissioners or the water and sewerage department, at the risk, cost and expense of the owner or claimants.

16.  ADDRESS NUMBERS ON HOMES

The numbers on residential buildings shall be displayed on, at or near the front door, readily visible to passersby, at least three inches in height. If the numbers are hidden by an awning or other appurtenance, the owner shall provide supplementary numbers in such a manner as to comply with this article.


PROPERTY MAINTENANCE STANDARDS

  1. AIR CONDITIONERS/ HEAT PUMPS/ GENERATORS
  2. ANIMALS AND PETS
  3. ANIMAL CONTROL
  4. CARPETING
  5. CURBSIDE RECYCLING
  6. SOLID WASTE HANDLING (AND FINES)
  7. FENCING DISPOSAL
  8. HAZARDOUS WASTE DISPOSAL
  9. LITTER
  10. REFUSE AND RUBBISH
  11. RUBBISH ACCUMULATED WHEN RESIDENT MOVES
  12. RODENT HARBORAGE
  13. PLAYING GAMES IN STREETS
  14. SATELLITE DISH
  15. SWIMMING POOLS
  16. SIDEWALKS (REPAIR & SNOW REMOVAL)
  17. TREE STUMPS, LIMBS AND CUTTINGS
  18. VACANT PROPERTY
  19. HOME MAINTENANCE RELATED FINES
  20. NOISE RELATED FINES

Property Maintenance Standards

1. AIR CONDITIONERS/ HEAT PUMPS/ GENERATORS 

This standard/ordinance requires air conditioners, heat pumps and generators to be placed in the rear yard, not less than three feet from the side of the residence. Locations in the side yard must have the written approval of the adjoining property owner(s) and must be screened by landscaping or hidden by a fence. Locations in the front yard require a hearing before the Association, involving submission of a plan to scale showing relevant dimensions, proposed landscaping and a statement of the need to locate such equipment in the front yard. The concern with these units is the possible nuisance aspect to those in adjoining residences and the detrimental appearance from the street. Generally, therefore, if the Association does permit location in the front yard, landscaping of the unit is required to screen it from public view.

2. ANIMALS AND PETS

Cats, dogs and other household pets shall not be kept, bred or raised for any pecuniary gain, and their owner shall comply with all laws and ordinances pertaining to the ownership and keeping of such animals. No animals, livestock or poultry or any kind, except cats, dogs or other household pets, may be raised, bred or kept within the community and which may present a hazard or liability to other neighbors within the community (i.e., exotic animals, reptiles, spiders, etc.)

3. ANIMAL CONTROL & DOG LICENSE REQUIREMENTS

The City will collect dead animals if reported. Place dead animals at the curbside for collection. Do not place dead animals in the Courville container. Violations of the animal control ordinances are subject to a $500 fine and/or 90-day imprisonment for failure to comply. Ordinances address:

  • Failure to vaccinate dogs against rabies
  • More than four (4) dogs or cats over the age of four (4) months at residence
  • Failure to obtain license for a dog over the age of four (4) months
  • Failure to have a collar or harness with license tag attached on dog or cat

4. CARPETING 

Removed carpeting should be cut into 4-foot rolls, not to exceed 50 pounds. PLACE BETWEEN SIDEWALK AND CURB for pickup on bulk pick-up date ONLY.

5. CURBSIDE RECYCLING

  • DETROIT RECYCLES is a single-stream program – all recyclable materials go together in your container. Pick up is every other Thursday.
  • Make sure items are clean and dry.
  • Rinse food residue.
  • DO NOT put recyclables in plastic bags—place items directly in your container!
  • DO NOT put food or garbage in your container.
  • Be sure plastics have chasing arrow symbol.
  • Break down boxes to save space in your container.

6. SOLID WASTE HANDLING (& FINES)

  • Trash pickup is every Thursday. Bulk waste pick up is every other Friday. Yard waste pick up is every other Friday. Yard waste pick up is seasonal. (Winter suspension of pick up is per published Advanced Disposal schedule)
  • Place trash in the trash container. Trash containers should be put to the curb no earlier than 6:00 pm on the day before collection and be removed no later than 9:00 pm on collection day. Fine: $100
  • Place yard waste in biodegradable paper bags. Do not use plastic bags. Fine: $200+
  • Breakdown boxes, crates and place in refuse container, not alongside the container. Fine: $200
  • Brush and shrubbery should not exceed eight (8) feet in length or eight (8) inches in diameter.
  • Bulk trash for pickup must not exceed one (1) cubic yard, six (6) feet in length or one thousand (1,000) pounds in weight. Fine: $200
  • Trash containers should be set out six (6) feet away from yard waste on collection day. Fine: Container not collected.
  • Trash containers cannot be stored at the curb, in the front yard or on the front porch between collections. Fine: $100
  • Animal waste deposited on private property must be removed within twenty-four (24) hours. Animal waste deposited on public property or rights-of way must be removed immediately. Fine: $200
  • Pet waste must be bagged before placing in approved trash container. Improperly disposed of pet waste creates a health hazard for sanitation workers. Fine: $1500
  • Burning solid waste in open fires. Fine: $1500
  • Failing to secure City or private solid waste collection containers and services. Fine: $200
  • Dumping or depositing solid waste from a motor vehicle. Fine: $1000
  • Storing or depositing solid waste on private or public property. Fine: $200
  • Littering. Fine: $200
  • Construction related and similar materials (tires, wood paneling, bricks, concrete, dirt, sod, etc.) are not accepted by land fill operators. Thus, these are not considered bulk waste and will not be collected by Advanced Disposal on bulk day. Place these in trash containers for Thursday pick up.

7. FENCING DISPOSAL

  • CHAIN-LINK AND WOVEN-WIRE. Metal top rails must not exceed 8 feet in length. Metal fencing must be rolled into bundles and tied. Concrete footings must be removed from posts. Any wood must be separated from metal fencing material for collection.
  • STOCKADE OR RUSTIC FENCING. Fencing must be disassembled to facilitate handling. Collection is limited to three 8-foot long sections per week. Concrete footings must be removed from wooden posts. PLACE BETWEEN SIDEWALK AND CURB for pickup on bulk pick-up date ONLY

8. HAZARDOUS WASTES DISPOSAL

Never pour poisons, solvents, heavy metals, and other toxic products down a drain or thrown into the trash. Instead, use up toxic products completely according to the label. These items will only be accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Receiving Facility at 2000 E. Ferry Street (near the I-75 and I-94 freeways). Individuals can call (313) 923-2240 to schedule a time to bring household hazardous materials (HHW) to the facility, which is open year round Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This facility is open to Detroit residents ONLY! There is no charge!

Residents can take these items to the HHW facility:

  • Household Batteries
  • Home Office Equipment
  • Electronics Car Equipment (Batteries, brake fluid, fuel, kerosene, motor oil, filters, etc.)
  • HOME TOXINS:
    • Cleansers & Polishes
    • Fertilizers, Pesticides and Weed Killers
    • Home Repair Products (glues & caulk)
    • Mercury Thermometers
    • Paint Thinners, Solvents & Varnishes
    • Wood Preservatives
    • Fluorescent Light Bulbs

The facility will not accept:

  • Unknown or Unlabeled Wastes
  • Commercially Generated Wastes
  • Smoke Detectors
  • Radioactive Materials
  • Explosives
  • Shock-sensitive Materials
  • Old Paint And Solvent Cans – These must be set aside from regular rubbish or brought to the Public Works Yard during working hours (7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.). DO NOT PLACE IN RUBBISH OR TRASH CONTAINERS.

9. LITTER 

It is the duty of the owners or occupants of any property, vacant or occupied, to keep their premises, the adjoining sidewalks and public property, including streets and alleys, free of litter at all times.

10. REFUSE AND RUBBISH 

No person shall permit any refuse, rubbish or waste to accumulate on property which he or she owns or occupies in such manner as to interfere with the safety, health or comfort of the public. This also applies to “junk” motor vehicles that are not housed within a fully enclosed building. All exterior of buildings, premises, and structures shall be maintained free from any accumulation of solid waste and be maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition. The occupant of the building, premises or structure shall keep that portion of the exterior area that is under the occupant’s control in a clean, sale, and sanitary condition. Solid waste shall be separated and stored in approved containers.

11. RUBBISH ACCUMULATED WHEN RESIDENT MOVES

If a special pickup is required for debris and rubbish after a move, a private contractor must be engaged. MATERIAL MUST BE PLACED BETWEEN THE SIDEWALK AND CURB.

12. RODENT HARBORAGE

All buildings, structures and exterior property in the University District, including all vacant or unimproved property, shall be rat proofed and maintained in a rat proof condition and be kept free from rodent harborage and infestation. Where rodents are found, they shall be promptly exterminated by approved processes which will not be injurious to human health. After extermination, proper precautions shall be taken to eliminate rodent harborage and prevent infestation.

13. PLAYING GAMES IN STREETS

No person shall play any game of nine (9) or ten (10) pins, ball, wicket or other games in any street, alley or other public space.

14. SATELLITE DISH 

In residential districts, satellite dish antennas are permitted upon approval of the site plan by the City Council. Such antennas must be located on the ground in rear yards and must be adequately landscaped or fenced to screen them from view from the public right-of-way and from the first-floor level of nearby residential properties. Such antennas, together with all other structures in the rear yard, may not occupy more than 35% of the required rear open space. 30″ or Less in Diameter – City zoning ordinance, satellite dish-type antennas or receivers not exceeding 24″ in diameter require a permit. For a permit to be granted, they must be screened from the public right-of-way and consent must be obtained from the owner(s) of adjoining properties having a direct sight line to the proposed location of the dish. If a permit is not granted by the city administration, an appeal may be made to the City Council.

15. SWIMMING POOLS 

Swimming pools shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition. Pools shall be entirely enclosed by at least a four (4) foot wire mesh fence or other type fence which prevents direct access to the pool. Pools shall have a self-latching gate maintained in good repair.

Swimming pools shall be equipped with a properly maintained water filtration device and shall be installed in a manner consistent with the Michigan Construction Codes, enacted pursuant to Section 4 of the Derossett-Hale Single State Construction Code Act. being MCL 125.1504. In grade swimming pools shall be equipped and maintained with adequate underwater lighting to render visible all areas of the pool floor and walls. Swimming pools that are not in use shall be completely drained of all standing water, and either barricaded against trespass or completely filled in with Grade A fill soil or sand.

16. SIDEWALKS (Repair & Snow Removal)

When any sidewalk becomes out of repair, the homeowner is responsible to repair or replace it. If the City is notified of such a situation and finds it to be a hazard, the City will give the owner or occupant notice to repair the sidewalk within 30 days or the City will perform the work and charge the expense, plus administrative costs, to the homeowner. A larger, area-wide sidewalk program is conducted on a regularly scheduled basis.

Snow or ice that has fallen or formed on any sidewalk in the front, rear, or on the sides of any house, shall be removed within twenty-four (24) hours after the snow or ice has fallen or formed, or a quantity of salt, sand, ashes or other approved materials applied to the snow or ice sufficient to render the sidewalk safe for persons to walk upon. However, snow or ice shall not be plowed, shoveled, brushed or piled, onto the street. Nor placed in any manner so as to interfere with public travel.

17. TREE STUMPS, LIMBS AND CUTTINGS 

All unused building materials and temporary construction shall be removed from the property and Subdivisions within sixty (60) days after substantial completion of construction. The portion of the surface of the earth which is disturbed by excavation and other construction work shall be finish-graded and seeded or covered with such other landscaping as soon as the construction work and weather permit. Stumps and trees are not to be removed to adjoining or other sites in the Subdivision. All tree stumps in front yards shall be removed.

Limbs, cuttings, shrubbery, brush, tree branches, etc.: The pile should not exceed 8 feet in length. Logs must not exceed 6 inches in diameter and 4 feet in length. Brush must be tied in bundles that can be lifted by one person. Should be placed BETWEEN THE CURB AND SIDEWALK for pickup.

18. VACANT PROPERTY 

The owners of any vacant or unoccupied building or structure shall take reasonable steps to secure said building against trespassers and other hazards and otherwise keep and maintain said buildings and property in accordance with these restrictions. The securing of buildings shall be accomplished by the use of wire mesh unless such is not feasible. See: “University District Community Association Standards for Vacant Residential Property”

19. HOME MAINTENANCE RELATED FINES

  • Failure to obtain a Certificate of Compliance. Occupants of a dwelling unit are responsible for keeping that part of the dwelling unit or premises, which they occupy and control, in a clean, habitable, sanitary, and safe condition. This includes falling gutters, broken windows etc. The city may inspect an owner-occupied structure and issue a correction order for multiple violations. The occupant must make repairs in order to receive a certificate of compliance. Fine: $250
  • Failure to Comply with Emergency Order. Emergency conditions: sewage in basement, no heat or electric, falling porches Fine: $500
  • Grass & Weeds in Excess of 8 Inches. Grass and weeds should be maintained to a height less than eight (8) inches by the owner or occupant of that property. This does not include exterior areas where flowers and gardens are maintained and cultivated. Noxious weeds (e.g., Canada thistle, poison ivy and sumac, ragweed, milkweed, and any other plant that endangers property or the health or safety of the public) are not permitted. Fine: $50
  • Failure to Remove Snow and Ice. All occupants or owners of property must clear ice, snow and filth or other obstructions from sidewalks. Snow may not obstruct street or right-of-way. Fine: $50
  • Creating a Rodent Harborage. Property should be cleared of debris, garbage, litter and rubbish that would provide a habitat for rodents. Fine: $100

20. NOISE RELATED FINES

  • Operate or maintain a radio or other noise making or amplifying device which disturbs the peace and good order of the neighborhood. Fine: Court
  • Sound device audible greater than 10 feet from motor vehicle. Fine: Court
  • Disturbing the peace in public or private area. Fine: Court
  • Three (3) false alarms within any three (3) month period. Fine: Court
  • Allowing burglary alarm to emit for more than one (1) hour. Fine: Court
  • Habitually barking dog(s). Fine: Court