Andrew Trzaska | January 10, 2012
Vintage, antique and thrift-type stores will be allowed in more areas of the City of Muskegon, as the City Commission voted Tuesday to loosen some restrictive ordinances.
In a series of two votes, commission members voted unanimously to no longer require a special use permit to open secondhand stores and instead allowing them to be built in the city’s B-2 zoned areas.
Special use permits earn their descriptive name, as businesses that require them are harder to open within the City of Muskegon.
“Currently you have to go through a very bureaucratic process to open something like an antique shop,” said Ward 3 Commissioner Larry Spataro. “We thought this would let businesses get up and running without the need for a special permit.”
B-2 zoning is described in Section 1101 of Article XI of the city’s zoning ordinance as “Convenience and Comparison Business Districts.”
The city tightened up restrictions on opening secondhand stores about a decade ago, when there appeared a rush of action to open numerous pawnshops in the city.
“When the limitation was made… there was a concern then, and there’s less of a concern now [over pawn shops],” said Spataro. “With less now there is this openness and we don’t see it having a negative impact.”
Ward 4 commissioner Byron Turnquist, who sat on the city’s Planning Commission at the time of a 15-1 vote on the matter, ended up voting yes on the rezoning at Tuesday’s meeting.
Commissioner Spataro and Mayor Steve Warmington both emphasized hopes that this zoning change may spur more businesses to consider opening in different areas of the city.