Ludington city council considers outdoor dining

March 5, 2013

By Alan Neushwander

MCP Correspondent.

LUDINGTON – Several residents spoke during the public comment portion of Monday’s Ludington City Council meeting about a proposed plan to allow restaurants to offer outdoor dining in the downtown district. Speaking in favor of the outdoor dining proposal were Randy Cunic owner of the Blue Moon Bistro on South James Street and Planning Commission Chairman Mike Nekola. Resident Tom Rotta spoke in opposition to the proposal, voicing concerns about outdoor dining interfering with pedestrian traffic.

“The city is working with MDOT (Michigan Department of Transportation) to add bumpouts in front of businesses to allow foot traffic to flow without obstructions from the outdoor eateries,” said Mayor John Henderson. A proponent of the outdoor dining proposal, Henderson said, “We are trying to build the City of Ludington as a place where people will gather. Where they will go to eat and have fun.

“This is a win-win for the public, business owners and visitors.”

The council heard the first reading of the outdoor dining ordinance on Monday. The second reading of the ordinance, and possible adoption, will take place at the March 18 meeting. In anticipation of the ordinance being adopted, city council set guidelines for businesses regarding the fencing, tables, flower pots, signage and decorations that businesses may within outdoor dining areas.

“We want to make it look pleasant and be a good fit for downtown,” said Mayor Henderson. “

Henderson said the city has already been approached by four downtown restaurants that would like to offer outdoor dining this summer.

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