Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Wednesday

April 23, 2014

Peninsula officials look to 'formalize' rules for large events

TRAVERSE CITY — Those who hope to take advantage of Old Mission Peninsula’s vistas by holding sprawling events may have to plan well in advance.

Peninsula Township officials are considering an events ordinance that would require people planning an outdoor, public event of 250 people or more to get approval and a permit from the township board.

The ordinance would apply to events such as races, said Michelle Reardon, the township’s director of planning and zoning.

“We’ve been meeting for years with Bayshore Marathon and the Traverse City Triathelon, talking about what impacts the races might have and how best to help them have a successful race,” Reardon said. “This is a formal set of rules to follow to make sure we’re managing it properly.”

People planning an event would need to apply for a permit at least 120 days in advance and notify neighbors. The township would hold a public hearing on the event and could charge an unspecified amount.

Members of the township Planning Commission met Monday and recommended the township board consider the ordinance and whether it would apply to events hosted by schools, churches and other similar organizations. Reardon expects the ordinance to change before it heads to a public hearing.

Planning Commission Chair Keith Leak said the ordinance was created in response to township residents’ concerns.

“There have been some complaints about functions that have taken place that have been somewhat disruptive to neighbors and homeowners out there,” Leak said. “Hopefully, we took care of that.”

The ordinance also would apply to any events that are open to the public and held in public and residential areas, such as a large wedding in a public park.

The ordinance would not affect existing wineries, which operate under their own zoning rules that take precedence over the proposed ordinance.

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