CITY OF MUSKEGON
HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
DATE OF MEETING: Tuesday, August 7, 2018
TIME OF MEETING: 4:00 p.m.
PLACE OF MEETING: Conference Room 203, City Hall
I. Call to Order
II. Approval of Minutes of the regular meeting of July 11, 2018
III. New Business
Case 2018-23 – 1179 4th – Residing
Case 2018-25 – 458 W. Webster – Garage Rehabilitation
Case 2018-26 – 477 W. Western – Sign
IV. Old Business
V. Other Business
Case 2018-24 – 185 Strong – Demolition (Shed)
HDC Local Standards Review – Signage
“We admire that which is old not because it is old, but because it is beautiful.” Winston Churchill
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CITY COMMISSION AND ANY OF ITS COMMITTEES OR SUBCOMMITTEES
The City of Muskegon will provide necessary reasonable auxiliary aids and services, such as signers for the hearing impaired
and audio tapes of printed materials being considered at the meeting, to individuals with disabilities who want to attend the
meeting, upon twenty-four hour notice to the City of Muskegon. Individuals with disabilities requiring auxiliary aids or services
should contact the City of Muskegon by writing or calling the following: Ann Marie Cummings, City Clerk at 933 Terrace
Street, Muskegon, MI 49440 or by calling (231) 724-6705 or TTY/TDD: Dial 7-1-1 and request that representative dial 231-
CITY OF MUSKEGON
HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
July 11, 2018
Chairperson J. Hilt called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. and roll was taken.
MEMBERS PRESENT: J. Hilt, L. Wood, A. Riegler, K. Panozzo, S. Radtke, D. Warren
MEMBERS ABSENT: S. Kroes, excused
STAFF PRESENT: J. Pesch, D. Renkenberger
OTHERS PRESENT: K. Vander Kodde, 550 W Western Ave; W. Kendrick, 314 Monroe
Ave.; M. Ferriby, 339 Houston Ave.; M. Cherney, 1643 Peck St.; I.
Collins, 320 Monroe Ave.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion to approve the regular meeting minutes of June 5, 2018 was made by J. Hilt, supported by
K. Panozzo and unanimously approved.
Case 2018-17 – 550 W. Western Avenue. Exterior vents, AC units, and awnings. Applicant: Tril-
lium Amazon Owners. District: Clay-Western. Current Function: Residential. J. Pesch presented
the staff report. The applicant is seeking approval to 1) install five low-profile furnace vents painted
to match the brick on the exterior of the building, 2) install five, 4-inch hooded vents painted to
match the brick on the exterior of the building, 3) install five AC condensers screened behind the
retaining wall at the NE corner of the building, and 4) remove the red awnings from the building
K. Vander Kodde discussed the work being done at the Amazon building. They had discovered the
venting issues while performing interior renovations. A. Riegler asked why they wanted to remove
the awning. K. Vander Kodde stated that they weren’t sure yet if the awnings would be removed
permanently, but they wanted to obtain approval in advance in case they did decide to leave them
off. They also asked that, if the HDC approved the removal of the awnings, would they be able to
put them back up without further HDC action? A. Riegler stated that they would be allowed to re-
hang the awnings if they were the same awnings that were removed. K. Vander Kodde asked about
color and was advised that the HDC did not regulate colors. J. Pesch stated that replacement of the
awnings could be left to staff to approve.
A motion that the HDC approve the request to 1) install five low-profile furnace vents painted to
match the brick on the exterior of the building, 2) install five, 4-inch hooded vents painted to match
the brick on the exterior of the building, 3) install five AC condensers screened behind the retaining
wall at the NE corner of the building, and 4) remove the red awnings from the building façade and
allowing staff to approve reinstallation of the same or similar awnings if requested, as long as the
work meets all zoning requirements and the necessary permits are obtained, was made by S. Radtke,
supported by A. Riegler and unanimously approved, with J. Hilt, L. Wood, A. Riegler, K. Panozzo,
S. Radtke, and D. Warren voting aye.
Case 2018-18 – 314 Monroe Avenue. Deck and Fence. Applicant: William D. and Judy Kendrick.
District: Houston. Current Function: Residential. J. Pesch presented the staff report. The applicant
is seeking approval to build a 300 square-foot deck with railings. They are also proposing to install a
6-foot tall, white vinyl fence around the back yard. This house is located in the new Midtown
Square development, and the board has previously heard similar requests from other residents on
W. Kendrick showed board members a picture of the proposed fence, which matched the style and
color of their neighbor’s fence. The deck would be constructed of treated wood with rails, and
painted aluminum spindles. A. Riegler asked if the deck would be visible from the road. W.
Kendrick stated that it would not; it would be in the fenced-in back yard.
A motion that the HDC approve the proposed 300 square-foot deck with railings and painted alumi-
num spindles, and the 6-foot tall white vinyl fence around the back yard, as long as the work meets
all zoning requirements and the necessary permits are obtained, was made by L. Wood, supported
by K. Panozzo and unanimously approved, with J. Hilt, L. Wood, A. Riegler, K. Panozzo, S. Radt-
ke, and D. Warren voting aye.
Case 2018-19 – 320 Monroe Avenue. Fence and Deck. Applicant: Iesha Collins. District: Houston
Current Function: Residential. J. Pesch presented the staff report. The applicant is seeking approval
to build a 6-foot tall, white vinyl fence enclosing the back yard, as well as a 10’x10’ deck adjacent
to the attached garage. This property was also in the new Midtown Square development and neigh-
boring the property discussed in the previous case.
A motion that the HDC approve the proposed 6-foot tall, white vinyl fence enclosing the back yard,
and a 10’x10’ deck to be installed adjacent to the attached garage, as long as the work meets all zon-
ing requirements and the necessary permits are obtained, was made by A. Riegler, supported by J.
Hilt and unanimously approved, with J. Hilt, L. Wood, A. Riegler, K. Panozzo, S. Radtke, and D.
Warren voting aye.
Three walk-on cases were also heard by the board.
Case 2018-20 – 339 Houston Avenue. Deck. Applicant: Martha Ferriby. District: Houston. Cur-
rent Function: Residential. This property was also located in the Midtown Square development.
The applicant requested to install a 16-foot x 26-foot wooden deck on the back of the house, which
would cover the concrete patio that was already there.
A. Riegler asked if the back yard would be fenced. M. Ferriby stated that all her adjoining neigh-
bors had fenced back yards, so hers was essentially fenced in by those.
A motion that the HDC approve the request to install a 16-foot x 26-foot wooden deck over the patio
at the back of the house as long as the work meets all zoning requirements and the necessary permits
are obtained, was made by S. Radtke, supported by L. Wood and unanimously approved, with J.
Hilt, L. Wood, A. Riegler, K. Panozzo, S. Radtke, and D. Warren voting aye.
Case 2018-21 – 1641 Jefferson Street. Hand Rail. Applicant: Karen Panozzo. District: Jefferson.
Current Function: Residential. The applicant is seeking approval to install a single 6-foot long,
black wrought iron handrail centered on the existing concrete front steps.
J. Hilt lived nearby and stated that she remembered a handrail being there in the past. K. Panozzo
stated that the rail would be anchored into the concrete.
A motion that the HDC approve the request to install a single 6-foot long, black wrought iron hand-
rail centered on the existing concrete front steps as long as the necessary permits are obtained was
made by S. Radtke, supported by L. Wood and unanimously approved, with J. Hilt, L. Wood, A.
Riegler, S. Radtke, and D. Warren voting aye, and K. Panozzo abstaining.
Case 2018-22 – 1643 Peck Street. Fence. Applicant: Mark Cherney. District: Clinton-Peck. Cur-
rent Function: Residential. The applicant is requesting to install a 6-foot tall wood privacy fence
around the back yard. The fence would include a sliding gate at the existing driveway.
M. Cherney stated that his house used to be a doctor’s office. Most of his small back yard was
paved, as it was formerly used for parking. He wanted to put up a stockade-type fence to provide
some privacy in his back yard.
D. Warren arrived at 4:20 PM.
L. Wood asked if there were other fences in the immediate area. M. Cherney stated that the neigh-
bor had an old wooden fence but it was falling apart so he planned to put his new fence in front of it.
A motion that the HDC approve the proposed 6-foot tall wood privacy fence around the back yard
and the sliding gate at the existing driveway as long as the work meets all zoning requirements and
the necessary permits are obtained, was made by L. Wood, supported by J. Hilt and unanimously
approved, with J. Hilt, L. Wood, A. Riegler, K. Panozzo, S. Radtke, and D. Warren voting aye.
Hackley Library doors – D. Warren asked about the status of the Hackley Library doors that had
been replaced without HDC approval. J. Pesch stated that he had spoken to the State Historic
Preservation Office and determined that it was unlikely the HDC could take enforcement action in
this case, since the documentation was too vague. It was unfortunate, but at least the library was put
on notice that the HDC was paying attention to these things, and that it is vital that they follow the
HDC processes and regulations.
HDC Standards Update - J. Pesch discussed updates to the HDC standards. He stated that he would
e-mail the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines to the board members, and that dif-
ferent sections of the local standards could be reviewed each month. Proposed changes could be dis-
cussed at the following meeting. There was also discussion on what the HDC’s authority was, when
their recommendations or approvals were not followed, or when work was done without HDC ap-
proval. This is something that will need to be investigated further.
Amazon Building’s new sign – J. Pesch pointed out that the Amazon Building’s new lighted sign
changes colors. This was not specified when the new design was presented and approved by the
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:51 PM.
III. NEW BUSINESS
Case 2018-23 – 1179 4th – Residing
Applicant: City of Muskegon CNS Department
Current Function: Residential
The applicant is seeking approval to install vinyl siding on the house.
House during chimney repairs
House after chimney removal and repairs to siding
The Muskegon Historic District Commission does not endorse the residing of structures within the
Historic districts. It is the policy of this Commission that the original fabric of the building should
be repaired or replaced where necessary with the original building material.
In cases where the repair or replacement with like materials is impractical or where it can be demon-
strated that the original materials will no longer hold paint or that the original materials are so badly
deteriorated that they can no longer be reasonably repaired, the residing standards below shall strict-
ly be adhered to.
For the purpose of this statement, the terms “residing materials” and “trim cladding” shall be under-
stood to encompass the use of any residing materials such as aluminum, vinyl, steel, hardboard,
wood, masonry, or molded urethane which is designed to replace or cover all, or any part, of an ex-
terior wall, trim work or other building element or a structure within a designated historic district.
The Commission shall review all applications for Certificates of Appropriateness proposing the in-
stallation of residing materials or trim cladding as individual cases. Each application shall be decid-
ed on its own merit. No person should interpret any Commission approval for residing or trim clad-
ding as being precedent setting. Unrestricted use of residing materials or trim cladding will not be
In any case where residing materials or trim cladding are proposed for use by a property owner or
siding contractor, the property owner shall be required to submit a signed letter stating in detail the
intent and scope of the proposed residing or trim cladding installation. Such a letter is to also include
the identification of any deterioration or problems occurring relative to the existing siding or exteri-
or building fabric. If known, the cause and extent of this deterioration must be clearly stated.
The following conditions of installation shall be met by all proposals for residing or trim cladding:
1. All existing deterioration shall be made structurally sound and its causes, insofar as possible,
shall be corrected prior to the installation of residing materials or trim cladding.
2. Any installation of residing materials shall simulate the appearance of the original building ma-
terial that it is intended to cover. This simulation shall take into account the size, shape or pro-
file, texture, and linear direction of the original building material.
a. The residing material shall be similar in appearance and dimension to the original sid-
ing. The exposure to the weather of the new siding shall range within one inch of the
nominal dimension of the original siding. The Historic District Commission shall have
the authority to waive this requirement in the event that they believe a different design
or dimension siding would be more appropriate to the architectural character of the His-
b. A proposed color shall be appropriate as determined by the Commission.
c. Generally, wood grain textures are not approved by the Commission. However, the ap-
propriateness of a specific siding texture shall be determined on an individual case basis.
3. Any installation of trim cladding shall adhere to the following guidelines for the treatment for
architectural trim elements.
a. Existing cornice or building trim elements shall not be covered or replaced without Commis-
sion approval. Commission approval will depend upon how closely the trim cladding or new
trim elements duplicate the appearance of the existing building trim elements.
b. The wall siding material shall not extend over the existing trim members such as window
and door trim, sills, facias, soffits, frieze members and boards, brackets, aprons, corner
boards, trim boards, skirt boards, or any other characteristic moldings or architectural fea-
tures (see attached illustration).
c. If the above mentioned trim members are to be clad, they shall be covered with custom
formed cladding which shall closely approximate the shapes and contours of the existing
moldings or trim. Distinctive or unusual trim or architectural elements shall not be clad
without prior consideration and Commission approval.
d. No building trim elements or architectural features are to be removed or altered to facilitate
the installation of the new siding or trim cladding without approval of the Historic District
e. In most cases the soffit cladding material shall run parallel and not perpendicular to the plane
of the wall.
I move that the HDC (approve/deny) the request to install vinyl siding on the house as long as the
necessary permits are obtained.
Case 2018-25 – 458 W. Webster – Garage Rehabilitation
Applicant: Jonathan and Katelyn Gress
District: National Register
Current Function: Residential
The applicant is seeking approval to 1) completely remove and rebuild the rear garage wall (facing
alley) with reinforced CMU block finished with a stucco cement product to match the rest of the
structure. The proposed work will also include 2) new windows of a similar size, configuration, and
mullion design to replace the deteriorated or missing windows, 3) new “carriage house style” garage
doors to replace existing deteriorating and non-functioning doors, 4) addition of an entry door to
allow for better egress as well as an additional upstairs window, and 5) new veneer stone lintels over
windows. The existing wall is constructed of unreinforced clay masrony block covered with a stucco
cement finish, and sustained extensive damage from falling snow and subsequent freeze/thaw last
winter. The awning that had been attached above the garage doors was ripped off, damaging several
courses of the block it was attached to; full wall replacement was determined to be safer than
shoring and replacing individual blocks.
Arial view of garage and surroundings
Current condition of rear wall, exposed clay masonry blocks where former awning attached
The Historic District Commission strives to protect the historical fabric of Muskegon. The major
objectives of the Commission are to safeguard the heritage of the City by preserving historic dis-
tricts which reflect elements of its cultural, social, economic, political, and architectural history; to
stabilize and improve property values in such districts; to foster civic beauty; to strengthen the local
economy; and to promote the use of historic districts for the education, pleasure, and welfare of the
Although a significant amount of the Commission's work is centered on historic structures, the con-
struction of new structures on vacant lots within historic districts is permitted and encouraged.
However, those professionals designing new structures should strive for excellence in design wheth-
er small individual infill construction within the existing historic district blocks, or larger inde-
pendently sited projects. New structures should be in keeping with the existing historical character
of the neighborhood or district with a design that is compatible with the size, scale, material, and
color of the surrounding buildings and landscaping. Good design which responds positively to its
surroundings can be done in several different ways; therefore, it is impossible to develop specific
interpretations which will apply in all cases. Every site has its own design opportunities.
The following design recommendations shall be used by the Historic District Commission in evalu-
ating requests for new construction within the districts. These basic criteria should be a part of any
proposed design brought before the Commission for approval.
Recommended Not Recommended
Height - Relating the overall height of new Height - Introducing new construction that
construction to that of adjacent structures. varies greatly in height (too high or too low)
As a general rule, construct new buildings to from older buildings in the vicinity. Ex-
a height roughly equal to the average height treme differences in building heights will
of existing buildings from the historic period have a detrimental visual effects on the ap-
on and across the street. pearance of surrounding property.
Scale - Relating the size and proportions of Scale - Creating buildings that in height,
new structures to the scale of adjacent build- width, or massing violate the existing scale
ings. Although a building may be much of the area. The new building should not
larger than its neighbors in terms of square disrupt the scale and rhythm of the
footage, it should maintain the same scale streetscape, although it might be appropriate
and rhythm as the existing buildings. in a different location.
Massing - Breaking up uninteresting box- Massing - Introducing single, monolithic
like forms into smaller, varied masses such forms that are not relieved by variations in
as are common on most buildings from the massing. Box-like facades and forms are
historic period. Variety of form and intrusive when placed in a streetscape of
massing are elements essential to the charac- older buildings that have varied massing and
ter of the streetscape in historic districts. facade articulation.
For example, if an infill site is large, the
mass of the facade can be broken into a
number of small bays.
Directional Expression - Relating the verti- Directional Expression - Creating strongly
cal, horizontal, or non-directional facade horizontal or vertical facade expressions un-
character of new buildings to the predomi- less compatible with the character of struc-
nant directional expression of nearby build- tures in the immediate area. A new building
ings. Horizontal buildings can be made to that does not relate well to its neighbors or
relate to the more vertical adjacent structures to the rhythm of the streetscape because of
by breaking the facade into smaller masses an unbroken horizontal facade should be
that conform to the primary expression of avoided.
Setback - Maintaining the historic facade Setback - Violating the existing setback pat-
lines of streetscape by locating front walls of tern by placing a new building in front of or
new buildings in the same plane as the fa- behind the historic facade line. Placing
cades of adjacent buildings. If exceptions buildings at odd angles to the street, unless
are made, buildings should be set back into in an area where diverse siting already ex-
the lot rather than closer to the street. If ex- ists, even if property setback is maintained,
isting setbacks vary, new buildings should should be avoided.
conform to historic siting patterns.
Sense of Entry - Articulating the main en- Sense of Entry - Introducing facades with no
trances to the building with covered porches, strong sense of entry. Side entries or entries
porticos, and other pronounced architectural not defined by a porch or similar transitional
forms. Entries were historically raised a few element result in an incompatible "flat" first-
steps above the grade of the property and floor facade.
were a prominent visual feature of the street
elevation of the building.
Roof Shapes - Relating the roof forms of the Roof Shapes - Introducing roof shapes,
new buildings to those found in the area. pitches, or materials not traditionally used in
Although not entirely necessary, duplication the area.
of the existing or traditional roof shapes,
pitches, and materials on new construction is
one way of making new structures more vis-
Rhythm of Openings - Respecting the recur- Rhythm of Openings - Introducing incom-
rent alteration of wall areas with door and patible facade patterns that upset the rhythm
window elements in the facade. Also con- of openings established in surrounding
sidering the width-to-height ratio of bays in structures. For example, glass walls and
the facade. The placement of openings with window and door shapes and locations
respect to the facade's overall composition, which are disrespectful to the adjoining
symmetry or balanced symmetry should be buildings.
Design Expression - Composing the materi- Design Expression - Violating the existing
als, textures and colors of the new building character of the district by introducing non-
facade to compliment adjacent facades and compatible materials, textures, colors, de-
relating details and decorations of the new tails, and decoration on new buildings.
building to those of existing surrounding
Imitations - Accurate restoration of or visu- Imitations - Replicating or imitating the
ally compatible additions to existing build- styles, motif, or details of older periods.
ings and former construction, contemporary Such attempts detract from the character of
architecture that well represents our own the district by compromising what is truly
time yet, enhances the nature and character historic.
of the historic district.
I move that the HDC (approve/deny) the request to 1) completely remove and rebuild the rear gar-
age wall (facing alley) with reinforced CMU block finished with a stucco cement product to match
the rest of the structure, 2) install new windows of a similar size, configuration, and mullion design
to replace the deteriorated or missing windows, 3) install new “carriage house style” garage doors to
replace existing deteriorating and non-functioning doors, 4) add an entry door to allow for better
egress as well as an additional upstairs window, and 5) install new veneer stone lintels over
windows as long as the work meets all zoning requirements and the necessary permits are obtained.
Case 2018-26 – 477 W. Western – Sign
Applicant: Bernie Wade (Advanced Signs)
District: National Register
Current Function: Residential
The applicant is seeking approval to install a custom fabricated, double-sided projecting sign on the
corner of the building. The proposed sign is approximately 48” tall x 46” wide, attached 15 feet
above grade, and will be internally illuminated and have exposed red neon letters.
A. General Conditions
1. Only on-premise business identification signs are permitted for use within a historic
2. All signs shall comply with the regulations for erection and construction of structures
as contained within the City’s Building Code of Ordinances and shall comply with
existing zoning requirements as established within the City’s Code of Zoning Ordi-
The following Standards and Design Criteria shall be used in whole or part by the Historic
District Commission in its determination of appropriateness of a particular type of sign for a
specific property, including size, design features, fabrication and methods, intended position-
ing and on-site location, the historic district in which it will be located, and all other ele-
ments affecting a sign’s physical appearance:
1. Style. Uniform lettering style shall be used throughout the sign to avoid incoherence
and otherwise incompatible letter form combinations which may be determined as
inappropriate by the Historic District Commission. The use of serifed (footed) letter
styles is preferred for certain historical buildings; however, Gothic letter forms (those
without serifs) and script letter forms may be acceptable to the Historic District
Commission dependent upon the style and period of architecture represented by the
2. Size. “Letters should be subordinate to the background area”. The maximum allowa-
ble height of capital letter forms shall not exceed two-thirds the height of the back-
ground area on which it appears (the background area is, in turn governed by the sign
size and location restrictions which follow) or shall be reduced to the size declared
appropriate by the Historic District Commission, dependent upon the actual signable
wall area or sign size, location and viewing distance.
B. Fabrication Materials
The following materials, when properly used to compliment the architectural features and
character of a historic building, are considered compatible for use in whole or part within the
historic districts, provided the conditions as described are adhered to:
1. Wood - Any wood utilized shall be painted, stained, varnished or lacquered, carved
or routed, or be negative cutout (letter forms described by voids in continuous back-
ground) or positive cutouts (individual dimensional letters).
2. Metal - Any metal shall be painted or varnished engraved mechanically or chemically
etched. Bright chromium effect is not acceptable. Individually cast or cutout letters
applied to building surface or separate background of wood would be acceptable.
3. Glass - Glass may be stained, leaded, painted, silk screen printed, etched, gold leafed,
or any combination of the foregoing. Neon signs are not appropriate for use on his-
toric buildings and, therefore, are considered unacceptable by the Historic District
4. Masonry - Masonry shall be carved stone or brick, molded concrete or terra cotta,
provided such material would appear to be an authentic architectural addition to the
facade of the building, as determined by the Historic District Commission.
5. Plastic or Fiberglass - The use of custom thin-gauge, die-cut vinyl letters which give
the effect of a painted or silk screen imprinted letter is permitted. Any other use of
plastic or fiberglass or the use of molded surface plastics or corrugated fiberglass
sheeting is prohibited except in those cases where the surface finish closely dupli-
cates the effect of a painted surface, as determined by the Historic District Commis-
6. Fabric - The use of bright, glossy, or leatherette finished vinyls is prohibited. All
banner fabric must be durable and designed for outdoor use and maintained to pre-
vent fraying, disintegration, and other unsightly appearances. Paper signs for window
displays are prohibited for permanent use.
C. Color: Sign colors selected shall be earth tones and/or others that are present on the building
facade or in the surrounding historic district properties. The number of colors per sign shall
be limited to three (3), plus black, white, or accent guilding. At times, the Historic District
Commission may make variations to the above and require that a certain number of colors or
color arrangements be used which shall be more appropriate to the period of the building and
other surroundings. Fluorescent colors are prohibited.
D. Texture: The texture of a sign must be compatible with the texture of the facade of the build-
ing to which it is meant for, as determined by the Historic District Commission.
E. Illumination: Certain lighted signs are permitted for use with the historic districts, provided
that they shall be illuminated by a reflected light from an exterior source which may be in-
candescent or fluorescent and that the light source is non-exposed and shielded from view.
1. Intensity of light. All lighting devices shall employ lights of constant intensity. No
sign shall be illuminated by flashing, intermittent, rotating or moving lights or lights
creating the illusion of movement or in such a manner as to affect adversely the use
and enjoyment of the neighboring historic district properties – as determined by the
Historic District Commission.
F. Sign Message - Content: All signs shall display only the formal name of the business or op-
eration conducted on the premises. A brief secondary identification describing the nature of
the business/operation and street numbers is also permitted. Where buildings are occupied by
professional offices, the listing of occupants is permitted, provided the sign complies with all
provisions established within this policy.
There shall be no labeling, graphics or commercial advertising on any part of any sign that
the Historic District Commission determines to be inappropriate, whereas it will adversely
affect the use and enjoyment of neighboring historic district properties.
G. Number of Signs: The maximum allowable number of business identification signs per street
frontage per establishment shall be limited to one (1). Whereas additional directory or direc-
tional signs which point out parking lots and other specific services are requested, the Histor-
ic District Commission shall determine the appropriateness and building/site compatibility of
H. Shape and Form: The physical form of a sign shall be proportioned in massiveness and scale
to the building for which it is meant. All shapes shall be simple (square, rectangle…) and re-
late directly to the architectural features of the immediate and surrounding historic structures.
I. Location and Size: Sign use, sign type and location may be dictated by established district
zoning ordinances. Whether those ordinance requirements are established or nonexistent, the
following standards shall apply and prevail for all signs used within the City’s designated
a. No sign may be erected upon or within any dedicated public easement or
right-of-way without the expressed permission of the Muskegon City Com-
b. No sign shall be placed so as to conceal, disfigure, or otherwise vio-
late any architectural features of a building.
c. Sign size shall be visually compatible with the scale of the building for which
it is meant. No sign shall be located in such a manner or position as to affect
adversely the use and enjoyment of neighboring historic district properties.
2. Flat wall signs. No flat wall sign shall exceed twenty (20) percent of the signable
wall area to which it will be attached, and shall not exceed twenty four (24) square
feet in sign face area. No flat wall sign shall exist above a point fifteen (15) feet from
the sidewalk level or one (1) inch below the second story window sill, whichever is
3. Dimensional surface signs. No such sign shall exceed the above limits of a flat wall
sign or extend above the building roof line, and shall not protrude from the primary
building façade surface more than eight (8) inches.
4. Free standing signs. When used as business identification, these shall not exceed
twenty (20) square feet per sign face. Such signs shall not exceed fifteen (15) feet in
height from ground level or exist above the roof line of the building for which it is
meant. The Historic District Commission may require a size and height less than
these limits, including a specific location, in order to ensure consistency with the ob-
jectives and standards as established within this policy.
Directional signs, when permitted by the Historic District Commission, shall not ex-
ceed four (4) square feet in sign face area and shall not be higher than four (4) feet
from ground level.
5. Ground signs. These shall not exceed twenty (20) square feet per sign face. No such
sign shall exceed four (4) feet in height from ground level. To maintain consistency
with the objectives and standards of this Policy, the Historic District Commission
may require a smaller sign face and specific location.
For directional sign size and height limitations, use the same as above under No. 4.
6. Projecting or pole signs. These shall not exceed nine (9) square feet in area per sign
face nor shall they extend below a point eight (8) feet from the sidewalk surface or
out from the building facade surface more than four (4) feet. The top edge of such
sign may not exist higher than a point fifteen (15) feet above the sidewalk surface or
one (1) inch below the second-story window sill, whichever is lower.
7. Window signs. These may be applied directly to the glass and shall exist as message
lettering only. Such a window sign message may not obscure more than twenty (20)
percent of the area of the window surface to which it is applied.
8. Awning & canopy signs. These must comply with all provisions established within
this Policy. The size, location, and height of awning and canopy structures are prede-
termined by existing City Ordinance.
9. Banners shall not exceed twenty-four (24) square feet in area or extend below a point
eight (8) feet from the sidewalk surface or out from the facade surface more than four
(4) feet. The top edge of such banner may not exist higher than a point fifteen (15)
feet above the sidewalk surface or one (1) inch below the second-story window sill,
whichever is lower.
Banners, when permitted, are on an interim basis only and shall be annually review
by the Historic District Commission to ensure their sightly appearance.
I move that the HDC (approve/deny) the request to install the proposed 48” x 46” custom fabricated,
double-sided projecting sign, with internally illuminated/exposed red neon letters 15 feet above
grade on the corner of the building as long as the work meets all zoning requirements and the neces-
sary permits are obtained.
IV. OLD BUSINESS
V. OTHER BUSINESS
Case 2018-24 – 185 Strong – Demolition (Shed) – The shed at this property had a fire on July 17th,
2018. Staff met with the owner and determined that the shed was added to the property more recent-
ly, and was not historically or architecturally significant. As Staff cannot approve demolitions, ap-
proval was granted by HDC Chairperson, Jackie Hilt.
HDC Local Standards Review – Signage – At the July 11th HDC meeting, the Commissioners
agreed to individually review the Signage Policy section of our local standards in preparation for
this meeting. Staff will assemble comments and produce a draft of the updated Signage Policy sec-
tion for the upcoming meeting.