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Ludington City Council to vote on boutique hotel change

Noah HausmannMay 18, 2019

The Ludington City Council on Monday will vote on approving an amendment to the city’s boutique hotel ordinance, which if passed would allow more short-term rentals downtown.

The proposed amendment would eliminate the city’s current requirement that a building applying for a special land use to become a boutique hotel must have a minimum of four rental units. The maximum limit of 10 rental units for a boutique hotel would remain unchanged.

Boutique hotels are one of the few types of establishments that can offer short-term rental stays of less than 28 days within city limits.

Approving the amendment would allow more dwellings to register as boutique hotels, but only in zoning districts where they are permitted as a special land use granted by the planning commission: the central business and maritime commercial districts — which include the downtown sections of West Ludington Avenue and South James Street — and the old town business district, which includes a few parcels near South Washington Avenue in the Fourth Ward.

SIDEWALKS

The council will also vote on adopting amendments to the city’s sidewalk replacement ordinance that would let the council choose focus areas for sidewalk improvements.

Also in the proposed amendment, more property owners could be granted exemptions from paying for sidewalk improvements if their property is outside of the designated focus areas or if the property isn’t connected to existing sidewalks.

The city’s existing ordinance applies to all owners of property abutting public streets, and requires them to pay half the cost of replacing their damaged sidewalks or installing new sidewalks — with the city matching the other half of the cost — when they receive a letter from the city requesting the improvements or prior to selling or otherwise transferring ownership of their property.

Exemptions are currently granted only where geographic limitations make it too difficult for installation.

The largest proposed priority area for the sidewalk replacements and new installations would be a rectangular zone bordered by Tinkham Avenue in the north, Lakeshore Drive in the west, Dowland Street in the south and Staffon Street in the east. Another priority area would be the blocks between Washington Avenue and Madison Street, and between First and Sixth streets.

OTHER BUSINESS

Also on the agenda, the council will hear the city’s 2018 audit presentation and vote on accepting the results.

The council will vote on adopting a code of conduct policy for city councilors.

The council will hear a presentation from members of Ludington High School about the deer herd in city limits.

The council will vote on approving changes to the city’s contract with Consumers Energy for LED street lighting.

Another item on the agenda to approve changes to the city’s Freedom of Information Act request procedures to require requestors to submit their complete name, mailing address and a valid telephone number or email address.

The council will also consider approving:

Mason County Central Schools’ request to hold its summer food service lunch program for kids at Waterfront Park July 17 — Aug. 2;

•the Ludington Daily News’ request to host its West Michigan Boat and RV Show Sept. 5-8;

•the Ludington Area Jaycees’ Fourth of July fireworks display permit and Freedom Festival events;

•scheduling a Committee of the Whole meeting of the council for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 30, in the council chambers.

•accepting the resignation of Nick Krieger from the planning commission and the library board, since he has been appointed a Mason County commissioner.

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