City Commission Worksession Minutes 11-09-2015

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                                         City of Muskegon
                                   City Commission Worksession
                                         November 9, 2015
                                    City Commission Chambers
                                              5:30 PM

Present: Commissioners German, Hood, Gawron, Johnson, Turnquist, and Spataro.
Absent: Commissioner Rinsema-Sybenga (arrived at 6:03 p.m.)

Lew Bender – Facilitator.
Lew Bender, Facilitator, asked Commissioners their impressions of Pere Marquette Park and
Kruse Park.

Commissioners responded with their thoughts of Pere Marquette beach at this present time:

not filled with commercial items
not cluttered

Commissioners then shared their thoughts of what the beach needs in the future. Some of their
ideas included:

more commercial development
summer rental
playground equipment at the beach
Harris expansion at The Deck
more parking
more Lakeside retail
very family oriented
traffic control measures
small condos/seasonal rentals in the ovals
spread out rental area, not all in one area
could add angle parking where parallel parking south of water filtration plant.
new bathhouse with more than one vendor in it
boardwalk maintenance by the water filtration plant
The following information about the beaches was also discussed:

Approximately 30% of the visitors to the beach this summer were residents.

Most do not make purchases at the beach when they visit.

The Muskegon tax accommodations surpassed the $1 million mark this past summer for the first

What are the ages of those using the beach? Believe it's younger people and families.

Staff indicated it cost about $200,000 to maintain the beach on an annual basis.

Cost of a home on the beach – the smallest home is about $229,000 on Beach Street.

Vice Mayor Spataro suggested a traffic circle at Beach & the water filtration location.

Commissioner Johnson believes there is potential for development on the actual beach at the end
by the water filtration plant. He indicated it would be a good location for small cottages.

Commissioner German believes there should be a large development at the water filtration end of
the beach.

Straightening out the street by the water filtration plant would leave space in the triangle for

Send out a request for proposals and see what ideas developers have.

Many Commissioners believe there is a possibility for some type of development at the ovals.

Items that Commissioners indicated they are not interested in at this time:

No development that blocks significant view. Interested in different options of housing, but not
permanent housing.

Most Commissioners are not interested in paid parking at this time but overflow paid premium
parking may be a possibility.

Kruse Park

Possibilities for Kruse Park include:

Development at south side of Bronson park including rentals.

On the north side with dog beach – something on top at the overlook – possibly a restaurant.

Dedicated parking for the dog beach.

Final thoughts:

Commissioner German - opportunity is there for potential development.
Commissioner Rinsema-Sybenga – top of the oval – there is a market out there we can test.
What's offered and how much does it cost? Commercial development is helpful too.

Vice Mayor Spataro – enhance experience at the park. Keep it accessible and free. Keep the
good things and expand what the parks do for the community. Build consensus.

Commissioner Hood – like the idea of rentals in the ovals and at Kruse Park. Stay open and free.
Likes the idea of premium, paid parking. Bring more retail.

Commisioner Turnquist – prioritize where immediate potential is. Development at ovals and
rentals at Bronson park.

Commissioner Johnson – need mix use of commercial and rental. Integrate Lakeside district and
downtown. What happens at Sappi will impact this plan. Open to potential paid parking.

Mayor Gawron – enhancement will drive revenue. Request for Proposals will go out to
professionals out there that will come back with something that is sustainable and doable. We
will gather the public's input.

Motion by Commissioner Hood, seconded by Commissioner Johnson to adjourn at 8:15

                                                                          MOTION PASSES

                                                            Ann Marie Meisch, MMC
                                                                    City Clerk

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