Muskegon-area business owners ask township to relax sign ordinance

Some Muskegon Township business owners are meeting with township leaders tonight to discuss the township's non-permanent sign ordnance.

MUSKEGON TOWNSHIP, MICH. - Some business owners in Muskegon Township would like the township to relax the ordinance that bans non-permanent signs.  

Business owners often use non-permanent signs to advertise daily sales and to attract customers to their property. Roger Scanlon is the owner of Apple-Mill Motors. He says he loves his high-traffic location on Apple Avenue. 

For years he's used flags, air-socks and balloons to attract customers.

Muskegon Township recently informed Scanlon those items aren't allowed. The colorful displays are prohibited under the township's existing temporary sign ordinance.   

"Just seemed crazy that you would want to hinder business," Scanlon said. 

Township Supervisor David Kieft Jr. says the ordinance has been in place for years. 

The township now has two code enforcers who enforce the ordinance and others in the township.   

"They are looking for people with junk and debris in their yard they are looking for tall grass," Kieft said.

Some business owners are learning their long-term habits have been in violation of the ordinance. Kieft says the temporary sign ban is meant to keep the line of sight along the road clear for drivers.

"We do not want it to look like a circus, we do not want it to look like a parade," Kieft said.

Scanlon says since he taken down almost all of his sale signs, flags, and balloons business has gone down, adding he thinks business just outside of Muskegon Township have a competitive edge.

"A little more than a block down the road is Egelston Township, and they do not have this, so they can have the stuff up and they ride right by me," Scanlon said.

The township's planning commission is reviewing the non-permanent sign ordinance and might soon make recommendations to the township board. 

Business owners who violate the temporary sign ordinance first get citations. Those can turn into expensive tickets if the banned items aren't removed.

The Muskegon Charter Township's Planning Commission is meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12 at the township hall on Apple Avenue.

(© 2016 WZZM)


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