Rochester Michigan rules against local REALTOR

Real Estate Broker/Owner with BROOKVIEW REALTY

Rochester Michigan rules against Realtor

Display of local listings for sale not allowed

The City of Rochester Michigan, Zoning Board of Appeals, has ruled to in favor of their own administration and ordered Brookview Realty to remove photos of Rochester area real estate from the brokers display windows.

On Thursday April 27, 2016 the board met and issued the ruling over objections of broker owner David Elya. The ZBA interpreted and defined the new display technology was a “sign” and thus was not allowed in the busy Main Street real estate office display windows. Elya had invested in backlit led display boards to professionally showcase his Rochester real estate listings to pedestrians walking by his storefront.

Elya had presented examples of over 50 sign violators in town, only to be heard on deaf ears. The Board ruling discriminates against Realtors and sends a message that real estate offices are not welcome to sell property in this small affluent Oakland County Michigan city. The technology in use is NOT defined in the outdated sign ordinance. Elya had requested that the city review and update the law before the board took action. The only way to display his wares was with photos, physically placing a house in a window is not possible. Only real estate brokers have been ticketed thus far.Brookview Realty

This was clearly a case of selective enforcement, arbitrary and capricious. Elya asked the city manager Blaine Wing, for a list of other sign violators under the Freedom of Information Act to drum up more merchants at the meeting. The city manager replied he couldn’t provide the list because it didn’t exist. Instead, the city manager replied via email, that he would attend the meeting to support Elya’s position. When the meeting began, he was introduced by the assistant City Manager, Nic Banda and then he promptly left the meeting? This allowed Banda to plead his weak case to the ZBA board.

This marks a moment in Rochester city history where the city has prohibited a local taxpaying merchant from displaying their merchandise in their display windows like other merchants are allowed to do.

A ticket and court date is likely.


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Susan Laxson CRS
Palm Properties International - Naples, FL
Local Knowledge & Global Network

David, this will be interesting to follow and see how many other municipalities follow suit and make it harder for us to do our jobs and serve our clients' needs. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Apr 27, 2016 10:07 PM #1
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

Wow David Elya - this is surprising!  Now "following" you to see how this turns out - please keep us up to date as things develop further!

Apr 27, 2016 10:12 PM #2
Beth Bromund
Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel - Rochester, MI
REALTOR (248) 651-3500

I'm sorry that's happening to you.  I live in Rochester and was so happy to see your brokerage move in next to Lipuma's!  Is the issue that they're actually on the window?  What if you created a display that's not physically on the windows, but still visible to pedestrians?  I wish you well!

Jan 13, 2017 11:38 PM #3
Beth Bromund
Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel - Rochester, MI
REALTOR (248) 651-3500

David, keep up the good fight!  I love the Big, Bright Light Show, and I love seeing what's for sale in Rochester, too!

Jan 14, 2017 07:03 AM #4
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David Elya

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