Dearborn's changing garage rules worry Arabic community

City ordinance aims to limit sleeping, cooking in garages

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DEARBORN, Mich. - A Detroit suburb is working on revising an ordinance related to residential garages, and it has some people within its large Arab community concerned.

Dearborn city officials say their efforts are aimed at keeping cars off streets and making sure the structures are being safely and properly used. They want to limit "living" activities, such as sleeping and cooking in the garage.

Some Arab residents have complained that their garages are used for social activities, but they aren't bedrooms or kitchens. It's a longstanding tradition for them to gather with many family members and friends for coffee or tea, and smoke cigarettes or share a hookah.

A city attorney is working on revisions to the ordinance, and it's expected to be ready for consideration by the Planning Commission July 8.

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