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Are Downtown Security Gates Cause for Alarm?

The Royal Oak City Commission takes a look at the use of security fences and rolling gates in downtown Royal Oak.

Royal Oak City Commissioners want some new rules controlling the use of security fences and rolling gates in downtown Royal Oak.

At issue are the rolling gates installed at Infinity Jewelers and Franklin Deli & Cafe on Main Street. Bill Harrison addressed the security measures during public comment at Monday night's meeting.

"We appreciate your efforts to control the use of security curtains so Royal Oak's reputation of being a safe place to visit and do business is not damaged by the implication that it is not," Harrison said.

Commissioner Jim Rasor said he was unhappy to learn that the city actually signed off on the security gate at Franklin Deli & Cafe, which is located at 511 S. Main Street.

"Make them take it down," Rasor said. "There is no way that we should have that type of outdoor security curtain in our downtown. It is absolutely unnecessary."

Rasor asked that security gates be regulated so they don't make Royal Oak "look like a high crime district."

"It sends out the wrong signal," said Commissioner Dave Poulton. "People just passing through may not want to come back."

Harrison, who is a member of the Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority, offered commissioners the following recommendations:

  • Limit security curtains to the chain link type used in shopping malls that can be seen through.
  • Preclude the use of solid curtains or scissor gates.
  • Require security curtains to be located inside the window, the same distance from the window as supplementary window signs.  Harrison referenced the former Dobie Jewelry at 500 S. Washington as an example. 

Commissioner Kyle DuBuc said he hoped any new rules will be about aesthetics only and not about telling an owner how to protect their business as they see fit.

By a 7-0 vote, City Attorney Dave Gillam was directed to draft an ordinance.

What do you think of security gates? Do they send the wrong message?

Mr. Smith N. Wesson November 28, 2012 at 04:46 PM
What's next? Barbed wire trimming? Some of you argue for it, but the 7 elected officials have already made up their minds, and it looks like these ugly and unnecessary shutters will be prohibited. Your opinions are meaningless! Now go bark at the moon!
Provoking Thoughts and Numbers November 28, 2012 at 08:42 PM
False. They will be up every morning. This is not an early bird type of place. So when people go to get breakfast, or walk downtown to get their morning paper and coffee (like I do) they will see this vision from escape from LA. BTW I also go out at night in Royal Oak. There are a lot of people who spend a lot of time downtown. It is frankly unnecessary, and as residents we have a right to think it is an eye sore and not want to see it in the city we pay taxes in, and complain to initiate change. That’s exactly what is happening. Also, this type of scene will make people think that it is an OK place for crime. The same way they do when they see broken windows or bars on doors. One of the main tools Mayor Giuliani used in cleaning up New York was to fix broken windows and make the city look safe and presentable. This flies in the face of that logic, and will deter peaceful passer by and retain the type of folks who are somewhat comfortable with crime and vandalism. People not seeing that, is myopic.
Mr. Smith N. Wesson November 28, 2012 at 11:29 PM
LOL...there is no insurance discount for having these rolldown shutters Are you just making things up?
Mr. Smith N. Wesson November 28, 2012 at 11:36 PM
The more I think about these comments the more ridiculous they seem. An insurance company offers a discount for an alarm system or a sprinkler/supression system. They don't for rolldown doors. As someone who has several investment propoerties inside the city of Detroit, I know an insurance company will NOT insure a home with security bars in the windows. They won't because the home becomes an inescapable trap if it catches on fire. I wonder what the fire department thinks of them, and how it impacts fighting a fire in a building that has these covering the windows?
Fran November 29, 2012 at 03:19 PM
I do not like that "look" at all in my town here! Invest in some attractive protection if you feel you need it. How about bullet-proof glass or a large mean dog looking out the window! Seriously, get rid of those tin things! They look gross!

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