Earth Day signs won’t go in right-of-way.

April 13, 2015

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — Ludington City Council denied a request of a local organization to place signs in the city’s right-of-way in order to promote an Earth Day event during its regular meeting Monday night.

A Few Friends for the Environment of the World (AFFEW) will hold an Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 18 at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts, 105 N. Harrison St., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The group had made a request to place 10 signs in the right-of-way in the vicinity of the arts center promoting the event from Tuesday, April 14 to Saturday, April 18.

During public comment property owner Tom Tyron, of 305 E. Ludington Ave., expressed his opposition to placing signs in the right-of-way in front of his house.

“I don’t know how many of you get tired of people pounding signs in front of your property,” Tyron said, adding that placing signs seems to happen more frequently. He added that he believed AFFEW had a political agenda and he did not want to appear to be endorsing it.

City Councilor Les Johnson made a motion to allow for the signs to be placed in the right-of-way but the motion did not receive support from any other councilor, therefore it did continue for a vote.

“I’ve been against signs for years and I am going to take it to the planning commission,” said Councilor Kaye Ferguson-Holman, adding that they shouldn’t be able to put it in the right-of-way. “It’s tacky,” she said.

Councilor Gary Castonia said during comments that he regretted not supporting the motion so the council could discuss the topic. Castonia said until the issue gets resolved he will vote against any requests for temporary signs in the right-of-way.

Ferguson-Holman said the city’s current ordinance does not allow the council to limit how many signs can be placed in the right-of-way.

Mayor Ryan Cox asked if the council could perhaps amend the ordinance to allow the homeowner a say in the sign placement. The right-of-way belongs to the city but the homeowner is responsible for its upkeep.

Councilor Kathy Winczewski said she would have abstained from the vote because she is on the AFFEW board. She did say, however, that the group is not a political group. Councilor Nick Tykoski told MCP he too had planned to abstain because his company was involved with the printing of the signs.

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