During a meeting Monday, July 21, City Council set a public hearing on the revised Downtown Development Authority plan for August 4 at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers. The plan outlines the authority's goals and objectives, and the hearing gives community members an opportunity to make comment prior to its approval.
A copy of the proposed DDA Plan is available for public review in the City Clerk's Office of City Hall from weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The draft DDA plan can also be viewed on the City's website: www.cityofharborsprings.com
Council also approved a new ordinance to "close the door" on door-to-door soliciting, city manager Tom Richards said. The ordinance (which can be read in its entirety in a public notice on page 7 of this issue) makes it illegal to sell or promote businesses door-to-door. It also makes going door-to-door seeking donations illegal.
"There was a lot of discussion on the donations aspect," Richards said, "And it was determined that while this ordinance does make it unlawful, City Council can review requests on a case by case basis."
This means the traditional groups-- from sports boosters to Girl Scouts to the chamber of commerce-- will need to appear before Council in order to go door-to-door. The ordinance does not cover phone call or email requests, Richards said.
An amendment to the city's waterfront rules was approved, allowing boaters who rent a slip or mooring ball from the city to be excused from the current 29-day vacancy rule if they have sold a boat and are searching for a new vessel, or have other extenuating circumstances. The existing rule stated that if a slip or mooring ball was empty for more than 29-days, the renter would forfeit their rights to said space.
The on-going food truck discussion also played a role in Monday night's meeting, as Rachel Smolinski, executive director of HARBOR Inc., presented survey results of the community's initial take on the idea of allowing portable food vendors (which include carts, etc) in Harbor Springs. Several pages of results can be summed up with the final question, which asked if people were "cautious, generally favorable, generally opposed." 22.46-percent of respondents (31 people) were cautious, 44.2-percent (61 people) were generally favorable, and 33.33-percent (46 people) were generally opposed.
Portable food vendors are currently allowed on a case-by-case basis for special events on a six month trial period.
Council approved two food vendor requests during the meeting: Etta's Kitchen will be present at the car show in Zorn Park on August 14. The New York Restaurant will also be at the car show, as well as the farmer's market, Street Musique nights and Tuesday night Movies in the Park.