December Around Town E-Newsletter

Welcome to the Around Town e-Newsletter from the City of Birmingham. Please forward this newsletter along to friends and family.

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City Meetings Update
Upcoming regularly scheduled City meetings will be conducted virtually (online and/or by phone) due to health concerns surrounding COVID-19 and Public Act 228 of 2020. Learn how to participate in these meetings at and download virtual meeting Zoom instructions here. Visit to view all December meetings.
Birmingham Reopens COVID-19 Hotline

The City of Birmingham has reopened the COVID-19 hotline to address non-emergency questions about current conditions related to COVID-19. Residents are encouraged to call the hotline at 248-530-1805 on regular business days (excluding holidays) from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The community may use the hotline for information about City and County COVID-19 resources. To assist the elderly, quarantined and immunocompromised individuals, we encourage you to use the hotline for services such as bringing refuse containers to and from the curb, or delivery of batteries, first-aid items, diapers, formula, etc. 

With Michigan's new COVID-19 regulations in place for three weeks - Wednesday, November 18 through Tuesday, December 8, the City is reminding residents that City offices continue to service the public, however the Municipal Building and Department of Public Services remain closed. Forms and payments may be submitted 24/7 via the drop box located behind City Hall. As part of the City's operational relief efforts, most City forms, applications and payment submissions are also available at Residents are encouraged to contact any department requiring assistance via phone or email. Visit to view a list of departmental contact numbers for services needed.  

Visit for the latest updates from the City and information about COVID-19 from Federal, State and Local agencies. The City thanks residents and visitors for working together to keep our community safe.
Holiday Tree Lighting - The Holiday Tree Lighting and Birmingham Winter Markt events are canceled due to safety concerns surrounding COVID-19. However, please view our special kick-off to the holiday season below and enjoy!

Appointments with Santa
On weekends throughout the holiday season, children are invited to make an appointment for a socially distanced visit with Santa at the Santa House in picturesque Shain Park. Live reindeer will be in the park on December 6th and 19th. Click here to schedule an appointment. (All Santa House appointments are currently full but check the link as new times may be added.) Visit for more information.
Scavenger Hunt
On weekends throughout the season, families are invited to participate in a scavenger hunt throughout downtown Birmingham. Participants will use their mobile device to independently complete and compete in the scavenger hunt. A winning participant from each Saturday and Sunday, November 28th through December 20th will be eligible to win a $500 gift card from the Birmingham Shopping District to be used at participating retailers and restaurants. Visit for information and to register.
The Great Decorate
Now until December 24, the Birmingham Shopping District is hosting The Great Decorate, a holiday tree decorating contest in which restaurants and retailers have partnered with local artists to create spectacular holiday trees and compete for a small business grant - all while raising awareness and funds for location foster teens. Each decorated tree represents one local foster teen in partnership with the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE). You can show your support to local small businesses and foster teens by
visiting to vote by donating to your favorite tree.
Complimentary Outdoor Refreshments
On select dates throughout the season, visit the corner of Maple and Old Woodward to enjoy delicious complimentary outdoor refreshments! Roasted chestnuts, kettle corn and hot chocolate will warm and delight shoppers as they stroll downtown this holiday season in search of the perfect holiday gifts. Visit for dates and times.

Free Parking in Structures Plus Five-Minute "Buy & Fly" Reserved Parking Spaces
Enjoy free parking in all of our structures through December 31, 2020. Take advantage of hand sanitizer stations throughout the City’s parking structures (also throughout the downtown area and in city parks). Free and convenient Five-Minute "Buy & Fly" reserved parking spaces are located throughout the City for quick curbside and in-store pick ups.
Take Photos in Shain Park this Holiday Season
Bring your family to Shain Park for a truly picturesque holiday photo opportunity. Trees throughout the park are aglow with white lights, and the 41-foot holiday tree features more than 45,000 lights! Head to Birmingham to shop, pick up carry out from your favorite restaurant, and walk through Birmingham’s beautiful downtown with tree-lined streets illuminated for the holidays. 
Safety Reminders
All activities are in accordance with the City of Birmingham and Oakland County COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. Below are a few reminders to help us all stay safe and healthy this holiday season.

  • Wear a mask in indoor public spaces.
  • Wear a mask in outdoor crowded spaces where you cannot maintain social distancing. 
  • Wash your hands often and take advantage of hand sanitizer stations in place throughout the downtown area, City parks and parking structures.
  • Keep six feet of distance between yourself and others.

Let's all do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 
City Services
City offices continue to service the public, however the Municipal Building and Department of Public Services remain closed. Forms and payments may be submitted 24/7 via the drop box located behind City Hall. Documents such as building permit applications and plans can be dropped off or picked up at the Police Department entrance on the east side of the Municipal Building on Pierce Street. As part of the City's operational relief efforts, most City forms, applications and payment submissions are also available at Residents are encouraged to contact any department requiring assistance via phone or email. Visit to view a list of departmental contact numbers for services needed. 

Birmingham Ice Arena - The Birmingham Ice Arena is closed per COVID-19 safety regulations. Visit for updates.
Meet the Staff
Erika Bassett, Public Relations Specialist
Birmingham Fire Dept. Collects Toys for Tots

The City of Birmingham Fire Department is collecting new, unwrapped toys for its annual Toys for Tots toy drive through December 18. The mission of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is to assist the U.S. Marine Corps in providing a tangible sign of hope to economically disadvantaged children during the holidays. The Birmingham Fire Department and its firefighters have partnered with Toy for Tots in this effort for more than 15 years and the annual holiday toy drive has become a long standing tradition at the Firehouse. The Fire Department will be accepting contactless donations at both firehouses, Station 1 and Station 2. Station 1 is located at 572 S Adams, between Hazel St and Bowers St, and Station 2 is located at 1600 W Maple, between Fairfax St and Chesterfield St. For more information, call Station 1 at 248-530-1906.
Exchange Internet Purchases in Police Lot

With the holiday season upon us, the Birmingham Police Department reminds residents to use the Internet Purchase Exchange Location for buyers and sellers utilizing websites like Craigslist. The internet exchange location is in the parking lot on the south side of City Hall at 151 Martin Street.

Residents are encouraged to make exchanges during daytime hours, however the lot is well-lit if meeting after dark is necessary. The lot is under video surveillance at all times. While this area may not work for every online sales transaction because of the size of the item(s) being exchanged, it is open to the general public and encouraged for use when possible.

The purpose of the Internet Purchase Exchange Location is to cut down on potential fraud and robberies that can be associated with these types of transactions. The area is intended for completing exchanges; police personnel will not participate or act as official witnesses in the transactions nor are they available for legal advice or pricing disputes between parties involved in transactions occurring at this location.

For more information, contact the Birmingham Police Department at 248-530-1870.
Apply Now for Open Boards & Committees
Would you like to get more involved and make a difference in your community? There's no better time than now to get involved in a wide range of available boards and committees in Birmingham. You may be interested in the museum, art, or transportation - wherever you look, we've got a place where you can make a difference.
The following is a list of just some of the Board or Committee openings: 
Advisory Parking Committee (1 regular opening, 1 alternate opening),
Cablecasting Board (2 regular openings, 1 alternate opening),
Historic District Commission (1 alternate opening),
Historic District Study Committee (1 regular opening),
Multi-Modal Transportation Board (2 regular openings),
Museum Board (1 regular opening, 1 alternate opening),
Public Arts Board (2 alternate opening),
Storm Water Utility Appeals Board (1 regular, 2 alternate openings),
Triangle District Corridor Improvement Authority (4 regular openings).
For a complete list and to find out more about the requirements for each board please visit the City's website 
It's easy to apply. Download the  online application  today, and email, fax, mail or submit it to the drop box outside of City Hall. For more information, you may also contact the Clerk's Office at (248) 530-1880.
Birmingham Welcomes New Businesses
PAINT Nail Bar, 229 North Old Woodward. Pamper yourself with a luxurious manicure and pedicure at PAINT Nail Bar, where they emphasize cleanliness, health and customer service. Check their website and Facebook page for grand opening information.

Mayweather Boxing + Fitness, 34000 Woodward Ave. Offering an authentic experience for those who want to learn from Floyd Mayweather's techniques and training regimens, Mayweather Boxing + Fitness provides a high intensity setting to help clients reach their fitness goals. Visit their website for training options and grand opening information.
Sign Up to Receive Nixle Emergency Alerts from the PD
Join the Nixle alert system, which allows the Police Department to create and publish emergency messages to be delivered to subscribed members instantly, via cell phone text message and/or email. Notifications can also be accessed online at This is a free service to all community members. Register at or by simply sending a text message with the zip code "48009" to "888777".
SAVE THE DATE: Discuss Proposed Neighborhood Plans at January and February Planning Board Meetings

Join the Planning Board on January 13 and February 10 at 7:30 p.m. as they review public feedback regarding proposed neighborhood plans. The Planning Board will consider this feedback as they work with the planning team to develop the second draft of the Citywide Master Plan for 2040.

The Neighborhood Packets, which convey the 1st draft Master Plan’s proposals relating to Birmingham’s neighborhoods, are available to view at Visit the site to access the full neighborhood plan packet, plus a version with just the relevant maps in a “full spread” format. The community was encouraged to submit comments regarding the packets from late-September through Nov. 20th. The Board will also welcome public comments regarding Neighborhood Packets during their January 13 and February 10 meetings.

Throughout the entire process to develop the Citywide Master Plan for 2040, extensive ongoing public engagement has included community surveys, round-table discussions, a drop-in clinic, expert speakers, and charrettes. Recently, in a COVID-19 environment, the community has been encouraged to participate in virtual meetings and submit feedback on the project webpage. Residents may easily submit their feedback on the first draft of the Master Plan at Learn how to participate in upcoming meetings at
Update From the City Clerk's Office

The Clerk’s office would like to thank all of the voters for their participation in the November General election. We had a 79.42% turn out, which means 15,067 Birmingham residents voted in the General election. That is a great turn out and we could not have done it without the help of all of our Election inspectors! The City of Birmingham will have an election on November 2, 2021 and the Clerk’s Office will keep you updated on any other upcoming elections and deadlines.

While City Hall remains closed, we encourage residents to utilize our online forms and payment options on the website. All of our applications for licenses and permits are available at Residents may use our drop box located in the back of City Hall in the parking lot to turn in any forms. During this time, we will not be processing passport applications and recommend visiting to find open passport facilities.
Still Time for Leaf Collection
The City of Birmingham would like to remind residents who live on curbed streets that Nov. 30 through Dec. 4 is the last week for leaf collection. Please do not rake leaves into the street after your final scheduled collection date. All residents may place leaves in approved containers curbside by 7 a.m. on your trash day through December 18. For more information, visit
Understanding the Snow Ordinance
Take measures to ensure you don't find yourself in violation of the ordinance regarding snow removal and snow parking bans. Here are the two most important requirements:

1) You are required to clear snow and ice on sidewalks that abut your property. If the snow stops falling during the day, your sidewalks must be cleared by no more than 12 hours later. If the snow stops falling during the night, all sidewalks must be cleared by 6 p.m. the following day. Sidewalks that are not cleared of snow and ice will be shoveled by the city and the property owner will be fined.

 2) When a Snow Emergency is declared, residents must remove their cars from city streets so the snow plows can get through. Cars in violation of this ordinance will be ticketed.
View more information about snow removal on the city's website.
Birmingham Green
Historical preservation is a popular topic in the Birmingham Green newsletter cycle both for its inherent relationship to sustainability and the environment as well as its important neighborhood form and character retention implications. The City is continuously looking for ways to diversify and innovate its historical preservation strategies and to improve the environment for preservation in Birmingham.

One major tool that has been missing since 2011 is the Michigan Historic Tax Credit program. This popular program and economic development engine offered a credit of up to 25 percent of rehabilitation expenses against state income tax liability for eligible historic preservation activities. Michigan is now one of only 13 states in the country that does not have a historic tax credit program, putting our state at a serious competitive disadvantage. Legislation to reinstate the Michigan Historic Tax Credit is currently being reviewed by the state legislature. Visit to learn more.
December News from The Birmingham Museum
City Clerk Designee Alex Bingham’s Surprise Connection to Birmingham History…and famous Americans too (Watch it on YouTube.)

While conducting research about Birmingham founding families, museum staff Donna Casaceli wondered whether the family who founded Bingham Farms could be related to the City’s Clerk Designee, Alex Bingham. To everyone’s surprise, a network of amazing family ancestry pointed not just to Birmingham, but to other famous Americans as well! The museum created a one-hour video interview that explores the amazing connections between Alex and Birmingham’s founding families. (Spoiler alert—Alex is descended from some very, very, famous American founders associated with Thanksgiving!) The free video illustrates the value of family research as a way to highlight local history, demonstrating our museum’s stance that history is always happening! (Pictured above: Lorenzo and Stella Daniels Bingham)

The Birmingham Museum is currently closed to the public, but staff are here to help with your questions. Contact us at 248-530-1928 or Check us out on Facebook, Instagram , Twitter  as well as Youtube!
December News from The Baldwin Library
Learn Connect Discover December Issue: Now Available
Read the December issue of Baldwin’s newsletter online.

Author Miles Harvey will give a virtual talk based on his book about Jesse James Strang, “The King of Confidence: a Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch.” Registration required.  

The Baldwin Public Library is located at 300 W. Merrill Street in Birmingham. Visit to view current information on the Library's hours and services. 

The Baldwin Public Library is located at 300 W. Merrill Street in Birmingham. For more information visit or call (248) 647-1700. Visit to view current information on the Library's hours and services.
December News from Next
Classes and More
Please join us for social and enrichment opportunities at Next throughout the month of December: speakers, films, craft classes and more will be offered in person and through Zoom. Unfortunately, per state orders, group fitness classes are temporarily suspended. 
Support Services
In addition to monthly programming, Next also offers 50-plus residents critical resources through our Support Service Department. If you or anyone you know could benefit from additional assistance, please call our office at (248)203-5270.

Please visit our website for the most up to date information at
Next is located at 2121 Midvale, Birmingham, MI 48009. Phone: (248) 203-5270.
Thank you for reading Around Town, a monthly e-newsletter from the City of Birmingham. We hope you find the information timely and useful. Please feel free to forward this e-mail to friends and neighbors who may be interested in Birmingham.
151 Martin St. P.O. Box 3001 Birmingham, MI 48012
Office Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tel: (248) 530-1800