By Mike Kruzman /

South Lyon City Council is considering an ordinance that could help resident frustrations with unsolicited written materials being delivered to their property.

With multiple Council members citing complaints from residents and several pictures as examples, the City is seeking to have staff and legal counsel draw up what an unsolicited written materials ordinance might look like. As examples, City Council was provided with related ordinances from Wixom and Huntington Woods that their legal team’s office had drafted. South Lyon City Manager Paul Zelenak also referred to recent litigation in Orion Township that went to federal court due to its relation to first amendment rights for freedom of speech and press. That case ended up being settled out of court.

Zelenak said the federal court looked at the definition of littering and determined that delivering a newspaper is not that. He said they compared it to discarding hamburger wrapper, and that a newspaper is something that is meant to be read.

One area the majority of Council was interested in pursuing is if they can better determine specific places at a residence that unsolicited materials could be placed. Examples used were the front porch, a front door, and the flag on a mailbox. The idea is get them off the streets or driveways where they could be ignored, and/or suffer weather damage and become a bigger nuisance.

Council member Maggie Kurtzweil was in strong opposition of an ordinance, feeling it was an infringement on first amendment rights to disseminate information. She said she didn’t want the government interfering with her ability to look at something, read something, and maybe get a point of view she didn’t have before.

Council members Steven Kennedy and Lisa Dilg felt it was still worth it to see a framework for an ordinance from which they can then tweak to fit their needs, if they decide to pursue it further.

City Council voted 7-1 in favor of having staff and legal begin the work.