CITY OF MUSKEGON
CITY COMMISSION WORKSESSION
Monday, August 10, 2020
City Commission Chambers
Present: Mayor Gawron, Vice Mayor Hood, Commissioners Rinsema-Sybenga, Emory,
Johnson, Ramsey, and German.
Bid Renewal Recommendation
Chair of the BID Board, Bob Tarrant, spoke about the recommendation to renew the BID for the
next three years. There are two main services they want to continue which is snow removal and
extra landscaping. This is the last time the BID board plans to ask for an extension of the BID
and hopes the expenses will be covered a different way moving forward.
The recommendation includes no change to the rate which is an annual 8 cents per square foot
of land capped at $4,000 per property with industrial type uses at 4 cents capped at $2,000 per
Swan Alpha - Development Agreement
City staff has been working with Swan Alpha Development on a proposal to reuse the former
Farmers Market site as a residential development. The development would add 53 new units to
the site over two project phases.
We are proposing a development agreement that follows much of the framework of the West
Urban Properties Development Agreement. This project is very similar in that the developer
intends to build a combination of detached and attached single-family homes that will be made
available for rent. These properties will function more like a single multi-family development on
one or two adjacent parcels. One key difference between this agreement and the West Urban
Agreement is that this agreement does not ask the City to subsidize any rents. The only
proposed use of the “Swan Alpha Development Fund” would be in the event that the city’s tax
assessor sets the property assessment for the 53 units above the anticipated amount. Note that
this amount is similar to the benefit that would be expected with a Neighborhood Enterprise
Zone certificate. The development agreement does contemplate that the City of Muskegon
would make certain investments in the infrastructure necessary for the second phase. These
improvements (underground utilities, alleys, greenspace, trails, etc.) are reimbursable expenses
in the scattered site brownfield plan. $777,000 is contemplated for reimbursement here. Note
that 287 East Muskegon and 227 Eastern are included in the Brownfield, but not the purchase
agreement - these areas are being held for park/greenspace improvements.
Mike Kalis, with Swan Alpha Development, explained the homes will be two, three, and four
bedroom homes along with duplexes for rent. Currently there are no plans to list the homes for
Groundwater Ordinance Amendment
The City has received a petition from Consumers Energy to designate the Veterans Memorial
Park parcel under the water supplies ordinance. The ordinance prohibits the use of groundwater
wells and secondary water supplies under certain circumstances and in certain locations, to
prevent exposure to contaminated groundwater, as well as to prevent wells from influencing the
movement of contaminated water.
Muskegon Social District Plan
The City of Muskegon seeks to take advantage of Michigan Public Act 124 of 2020 signed into
law on July 1, 2020. This is enabling legislation that would allow Michigan municipalities to
establish Social Districts that would allow for “common areas” where two or more contiguous
licensed establishments (bars, distilleries, breweries, restaurants and tasting rooms) could sell
alcoholic beverages in special cups to be taken into the area for consumption. Muskegon city
administration through a collaboration of all City Hall departments is designing a Muskegon
Social District and the policies parameters and management of this new community
development tool. This Muskegon Social District Plan is being shared with potential license
holder users for refinement of the plan, a final draft will be presented to the Muskegon City
Commission for approval and sent on to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission for state
Public Comments – Public Comments were received.
The Worksession Meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
Ann Marie Meisch, MMC – City Clerk