Detroit to place moratorium on scrap yard, auto salvage permits
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Detroit to place moratorium on scrap yard, auto salvage permits

The city hopes to reduce crime by reviewing and adjusting its ordinances for scrap yard permits.


Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan signed an executive order that bans the opening of “used tire storage and sales, used auto sales, scrap iron and metal processors, junk dealers, auto dismantling and wrecking and major and minor auto repair” facilities. The executive order runs from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020. 

According to the executive order, Detroit has seen an increase in the establishment and expansion of scrap tire processing and recycling facilities, scrap tire storage facilities, motor vehicle repair facilities and used car sales lots. The order notes that such businesses have “been a challenge for the city of Detroit due to an over-concentration of such uses and lack of compliance with zoning, property maintenance and licensing standards, in addition to evidence of criminal activity furthered or condoned by some of these operations.” 

The order adds that some businesses are operating without permits, certificates of compliance or business licenses. The order states that some of these businesses “present deleterious effects on neighboring residential districts, resulting in excessive blight, traffic, noise, crime and environmental concerns requiring excessive enforcement resources due to more frequent neighborhood complaints.”

According to the executive order, the city plans to spend this next year reviewing and updating its existing ordinances for starting and expanding scrap yards and auto dismantling facilities in order to reduce crime that comes as a result of these businesses and to limit the number of these businesses in the city.

“Many businesses are currently operating without the benefit of a permit, a certificate of compliance or a business license,” Duggan writes in the ordinance. “Once permitted, some of these uses have illegally intensified the services offered, such as presenting more used cars for sale than allowed or providing more intense vehicle repair activities than allowed.” 

The order states that it will not prohibit the renewal of existing business licenses or certificates of compliance required by the city code.