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Ann Arbor City Code


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A quick look at some of the more unusual city ordinances. To read the complete city code, visit the city clerk's office, or look online at a2gov.org (click on "Democracy," then choose "Codes & Ordinances").

Crosswalks


At designated crosswalks, drivers must stop for pedestrians stopped at the curb, at the curb ramp, or within a crosswalk. Pedestrians crossing a roadway at any point other than a designated crosswalk shall yield right-of-way to all vehicles.


Domestic Violence


Ann Arbor's domestic violence law requires police to arrest a person "when the officer has reasonable cause to believe that person has, within the previous 24 hours, assaulted a spouse, former spouse, or other person residing or having resided in the same household, if the victim has visible signs of injury from the assault or if the assailant used or threatened to use a dangerous weapon." An arrest can be made even without the victim wanting to prosecute.

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Landlords & Tenants


By law, landlords must give their tenants the city-produced booklet Rights and Duties of Tenants or face fines of up to $500. The booklet is available at the city clerk's office. One booklet per rental unit is available free of charge to landlords and tenants.

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Landscaping


The owner of every parcel of land is responsible for "grading, planting, mowing, and raking the extension or city street right-of-way so that it is covered with turf grass with an average height not in excess of 12 inches or other ground cover vegetation with an average height not more than 36 inches above the adjacent road surface"-unless the vegetation presents a view hazard based on the criteria of AASHTO, (American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials). On private property no turf grass taller than 12 inches is permitted.


Liquor


Except in those areas where consumption of alcoholic liquor is permitted, no person shall possess alcoholic liquor in an open, uncapped, or unsealed container on a public street.


Marijuana


Ann Arbor was the talk of the nation in 1974, after voters enshrined a $5 fine for marijuana possession in the city charter. The fine was raised to $25 in 1990 and rendered obsolete in 2018, when Michigan voters legalized recreational use statewide. A city ordinance limit the number of "provisioning centers" to twenty-eight. Residents can grow and use marijuana in private, but cannot sell it. Landlords may still prohibit its use on their premises, and universities may still maintain drug-free dormitories.


Non-motorized Transportation


No roller skates, sleds, coasting wagons, toy vehicles, or similar devices are allowed on streets, except on a crosswalk. No person riding on such a device is allowed to attach the device or their self to any vehicle on the street or highway. Bikes on the roads between a half-hour after sunset and an hour before sunrise must use headlights and have rear reflectors, and "every bicycle shall be equipped with at least one effective brake."

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