Ann Arbor Observer cover
Indigo Blue Bunting Says Hello in Style
Ann Arbor Weather:
Friday May 24, 2019
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
>> >> City Guide >> Government >> Ann Arbor City Code

City Guide

Ann Arbor City Code

Bookmark and Share

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 (click on "Democracy," then choose "Codes & Ordinances").


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.

Related Topics:

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.

Related Topics:


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.


No one "shall consume liquor on the public streets, in a public parking lot" or in any business not licensed for on-premise liquor consumption. Approved events with outdoor liquor sales are exempt.


Under the City Charter, possession of small amounts of marijuana is a civil infraction carrying a penalty of $25 for the first offense, $50 for second offense, and $100 for third offense. Additional court costs and fees may be added. The City recognizes the use of small amounts of marijuana for medical purposes as a reasonable defense, which may result in penalties being dropped. In practice, the city court usually chooses between enforcing its own law or the state law on the basis of the amount of marijuana found. State law makes possession of the drug (except for medical purposes) a criminal offense, possibly punishable by jail time of up to one year and a fine of up to $2,000. The Michigan Medical Marijuana law, passed in November 2008, protects medical marijuana patients from prosecution under state law, but federal law still classifies marijuana as a narcotic, and federal agents continue to arrest and prosecute those who cultivate or sell it. The U-M police force and county sheriff's deputies follow the state law.

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."

Related Topics:

You might also like:

Wild Ride
Ann Arbor's automotive journalists chase the mobility revolution.
Jan Schlain
Body, Mind, & Spirit
Louise Brooks Returns To Ann Arbor, by Thomas Gladysz
Gold Fever
In 1849, Ann Arborites flocked to the California gold fields. More died than got rich.
Dave McCormick
Community Services - Senior Services
Nightspots: Sweetwaters Plymouth Green
Restaurants with prices Under $10
A clickable zoomable map
Photo: Carrot tops
Neighborhoods - Northside
Subscribe to the Ann Arbor Observer