2008-05-31 / Top News

Freestanding Signs Get OK; Goodman Feted by Council

By Diane Ivey

Businesses like Mission Point, Jack's Livery Stable, and Village Inn won't have to uproot their freestanding signs, as the Mackinac Island City Council approved an amendment to their Sign and Display of Merchandise Ordinance Wednesday, May 21. The council decided to adopt the amendment based on an Ordinance Committee's recommendation from its May 14 meeting. According to city attorney Tom Evashevski, many businesses had signs that violated the ordinance's "five foot" rule.

The Island's original ordinance states that no free-standing sign may be affixed to green space, such as a lawn or even the pavement in front of a building, unless it is more than five feet back from the sidewalk.

"There were unintended consequences," Mr. Evashevski said. "Many existing signs violate this rule, but they are a hair's breadth from the five-foot mark. We wanted to create an amendment to include them."

The large stone sign marking the entrance to Mission Point, for example, was in violation of the ordinance by only a few inches. The committee agreed it was necessary to change the rule based on the fact that all businesses in violation were so close to meeting the ordinance's standard in the first place.

Mayor Margaret Doud agreed, and added that the committee would run into problems in the future if the amendment was not taken to the council.

"We want to clean up the unintended result of this rule," she said.

George D. Goodman was feted by the city council with a resolution commending him for his community service and public involvement. The former executive director of the Michigan Municipal League and a part-time resident of Mackinac Island was recently named a Starr Commonwealth Trustee Emeritus (Town Crier, May 17). He and his wife, Judith, were in attendance at the council meeting to accept the resolution.

Council placed on file a letter from Jim Pettit urging businesses to comply with the city's trash ordinance by not leaving their cardboard out for prolonged periods of time before the drays come to pick it up. Mayor Doud said she will make sure the ordinance is enforced.

Drays pick up recyclable cardboard twice daily, at 9 a.m. and at 4 p.m., and Mr. Pettit noted that some businesses leave their cardboard out all day, which detracts from the of the downtown area. The city requires that cardboard not picked up at 9 a.m. must be removed from public view and put out again just before the 4 p.m. pick-up.

Enforcement probably will come in the form of a verbal warning from police, according to city officials.

Mayor Doud called for a meeting between the city council at representatives of the three ferry companies to discuss fuel prices and the reduction in trips to the mainland. Council members concurred and agreed to schedule a time to meet.

Council also approved two 2008 off-Island business licenses, Mackinac Breeze Charters and Vic Daily Carpentry. The Mustang Lounge was granted its new business license, as well.

Council waived the Community Hall rental fee for the Tourism Bureau's health fair on September 6, and the Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals' annual board meeting September 19 and 20.

Two race permits were approved for the Lilac Festival's annual race from Windermere Point to the school and for the annual Kiwanis race around the Island. The Kiwanis race also required a temporary motor vehicle permit for the delivery of portable toilets to the race location.

Four trailer permits were approved, three to Boy Scout troops for transportation of their equipment to the Scout Barracks behind Fort Mackinac and one to the Tourism Bureau for delivery of a dunk tent to Great Turtle Park for the Recreation Department Festival July 4 to 7.

Council approved a temporary liquor license for Mission Point Resort's outdoor weddings, yacht races, and other special events. The licenses are issued by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, but local input usually is sought.

A hearing for Bob Gale's variance request for parking lot access to McGulpin Street from the Butterfly House was scheduled for Wednesday, June 18 at 5 p.m. A truth and taxation hearing was scheduled for June 18, at 5:30 p.m.

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