EDITORIAL: Why Is Westland Closing Haunted Houses instead of Helping Small Business?


The Panic Haunted Experience is now unfortunately closed in Westland.

This entire situation is all over a permit issue. They were granted a two-year Special Land Use Permit in 2016. Being 2018, they felt they were still fully within their rights to host the attraction for the youth of our community. If they aren’t, they want to follow the process to be compliant.

The Stop Work Order says that this lacks City Council Approval, as if this is at their door… well no, Council has final approval. This is apparently because Bruce Thompson is making the owners have to “FOIA the permit and all information surrounding it in order to do business in the City of Westland.” The FOIA was put in last Friday, so the City cannot act like PANIC Haunted Experience are not trying to make sure they are 100% compliant.

This was supposed to be revisited after the two years, but instead, the quote that I was given is that “they get the impression if they were to open, they would be closed down by force by Mayor Wild.” Bill, why aren’t you helping them to do business instead of threatening to close them down?

Why are we trying to prevent people from bringing fun things to the kids of this community? If it’s a paperwork issue, HELP THEM FIX IT. Do the inspection, and let us get these folks get back to providing safe entertainment for our children — not threaten to essentially close them down for the year. I thought you were a problem solver, a “24-hour Mayor.” Don’t tell me you’re too busy, Mr. Mayor — if you can run for Congress, surely you can solve the issues of one small attraction for our children?

Can they do it tonight? No… but they could certainly get an inspection done Monday afternoon and get this on to the City Council Agenda for Monday. It’s all a question of “want-to” ladies and gentlemen… do we want to have nice things here for our kids, or do we want to swim in red tape and garbage?

This is yet one more embarrassment for this city, and takes away yet another HEALTHY, SAFE, AND POSITIVE PLACE TO INTERACT FOR OUR KIDS.

The owner of the attraction says she just wants to pay her people and would donate a large remaining portion of the profits to a Westland Charity. We’ve got people with a lot of money tied up here in Westland that could possibly lose it due to nothing more than bureaucratic red tape.

This is wrong. Do your job, Administration. Tell your Building Department to stop making business owners and citizens FOIA every damned thing because you don’t want to do your jobs.

Go ahead… tell us why we can’t make this happen for the kids of our community, and for small business owners as well. The proprietor of this attraction assures the community that this is a SAFE attraction. They have worked with the City to solve problems before, so why does the City refuse to help them this time?

Let’s fix this. Stop taking away things from the kids.

Original Approval by City Council in 2016:


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