Suburb dwellers in Detroit may need to welcome in a new city ordinance, one that could seriously change the way many of them hangout. Since so many residents living in the ‘burbs, especially those of Arab-American backgrounds, are choosing to use their garages in less traditional ways, the city is cracking down on garage usage: No cooking, no smoking, no drinking, and absolutely no “hanging out.” The purpose of garages is solely for storing vehicles, right?
The Problem – Officials of Dearborn, Michigan argue that garage spaces are not zoned or built to be used as casual living spaces and that using them as so is not safe. On the other hand, some residents argue that while current ordinances say that you have to able to park your car in your garage, who does that anymore? Garages nowadays are being used as man caves, workshops, and storage units. So, why can’t they be used as hangout spots, too? They have a point: If people were still using their garages for the sole purpose of storing their vehicles, there wouldn’t be such a need for portable garage carports. While the Arab-Americans more frequently use their garages as hangout zones for friends and neighbors, city officials say the ordinance is not a racial or cultural attack; if passed, it will be enforced on all residents.
Is the city of Dearborn taking things a bit too far? We think they might be. People have been living in their garages or turning them into office space for years, and it has never hurt anyone. Even still, the city will push the ordinance in order to keep residents from living in inhospitable areas of their homes. One suburb dweller who would be affected by the change thinks that the city is a bit rule happy: “This town has a law for everything and anything – it needs to loosen up a little bit.”