Cash Registers Can Ring Up Business Outside Storefronts In Saugatuck, Say City Officials
As long as it is associated with a city-sponsored event (i.e., art fairs, sidewalk sales, the farmers’ market, Venetian Festival, etc.), business cash transactions done outside of a principal physical structure are now legal in the City of Saugatuck.
Not that outside cash registers were illegal before per se, but at Monday night’s meeting the Saugatuck City Council approved a city-attorney recommendation to amend regulations to incorporate language that would make the practice clearly legitimate vis-à-vis city regulations.
Or, as stated by Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier when he told council, “It’s fine the way it has been going, (but) we just needed to check the language to make it consistent with the actions already taking place (and that have been approved by the city).”
The regulation before Monday allowed outside cash boxes and similar devices for only city-approved sidewalks sales, but the ordinance did not address any other outside events, a feature which makes Saugatuck a destination for visitors.
The new ordinance is a lot more inclusive, identifying any “(city) approved community event, sidewalk sale or other similar function as determined by the city council.”
Where does this leave such business activities as outside dining? That question was posed by Saugatuck City Council Member Mark Bekken.
“As long as the council is aware of the activity and it is an approved activity, it is fine,” explained Harrier.
“We are not so much concerned about private property as much as we are concerned about what is extending on to city property,” he added, referring to those events involving outside cash boxes on public right-of-ways.
In other city business, the Saugatuck City Council also approved other amendments to the city ordinances on Monday, namely what officials said were a number of “housekeeping” items that needed some clarification and were meant to bring specific districts’ into land-use conformance taking into consideration the Tri-Community Plan.
For example, in order to bring the zoning district designated as Peninsula West into compliance, the front and rear setbacks were reduced from 50 feet to 25 feet.
And although promoted by some Saugatuck Planning Commission members so as to maintain the view of the waterfront, the amendments did not include the reduction of the city’s existing height regulations of 28 feet to a proposed 22 feet.
Nor did amendments include provisions for restaurant seating within the public right-of-way, although the city does currently have a moratorium suspending such regulation pending further discussion by city officials.