New city wide ordinances go in effect May 20

HANCOCK — There are several new ordinances in the books in the city of Hancock. ABC 10’s Rick Allen has the details.

The City of Hancock is making some changes to certain ordinances and adding some new ones. Most notably, many local violations will now be treated as civil infractions.

To handle this new duty, the city is creating a Municipal Ordinance Violations Bureau at the city hall…where fines for violations can be paid.

Hancock City Manager Glenn Anderson said, “We’re certainly one of the last communities in Michigan to convert to a civil infraction bureau. Right now, any violation of our ordinances would be considered a misdemeanor, in which, of course, would be a criminal misdemeanor offense if convicted; and most communities have gone to civil infraction where, if you plead guilty, you’d just pay a civil fine—there’s no criminal record, there’s no misdemeanor record.”

The residents of Hancock have been calling for stepped up enforcement of local ordinances and these changes make it easier for the city to do, without criminalizing every offense.

Other ordinances include adopting an updated building maintenance code, banning indoor furniture from being placed outdoors and defining what is considered a pet.

Anderson said, “When we were going through our ordinances, we noticed that, technically, indoor pets other than dogs and cats were illegal, so we changed that to make sure that any indoor pet that a person wishes to keep in Hancock is legal, as long as it’s kept completely indoors.”

The ordinances are available for the public to read on the City of Hancock website. They go into effect on May 20th.