CITY OF MUSKEGON
HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
DATE OF MEETING: Tuesday, September 11, 2018
TIME OF MEETING: 4:00 p.m.
PLACE OF MEETING: Room 203, City Hall
I. Call to Order
II. Approval of Minutes of the regular meeting of August 7, 2018
III. New Business
Case 2018-30 – 406 Houston – Residing
Case 2018-31 – 1762 Jefferson – Garage Doors
Case 2018-32 – 550 W. Western – Accent Lighting
IV. Old Business
Case 2018-25 – 458 W. Webster – Garage Rehabilitation
Case 2018-29 – 1100 3rd – Sign
V. Other Business
“We admire that which is old not because it is old, but because it is beautiful.” Winston Churchill
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CITY OF MUSKEGON
HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
August 7, 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, S. Radtke, D. Warren, S. Kroes
MEMBERS ABSENT: K. Panozzo, excused
STAFF PRESENT: J. Pesch, D. Renkenberger
OTHERS PRESENT: C. Kotchka, City of Muskegon Community & Neighborhood Services
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion to approve the regular meeting minutes of July 11, 2018 was made by J. Hilt, supported
by S. Radtke and unanimously approved.
Case 2018-23 – 1179 4th Street (Vinyl siding). Applicant: City of Muskegon CNS Department.
District: Houston. Current Function: Residential. The applicant is seeking approval to install vinyl
siding on the house. C. Kotchka stated that the City’s CNS Department was assisting the homeown-
er with purchasing and installing the vinyl siding through a HUD grant; assistance with painting was
not available through that program. She had requested SHPO approval for the work, as she did with
all requests. SHPO approved the work, stating that the house was not included or eligible for inclu-
sion in the National Register. J. Pesch stated that he thought this was one of the last houses on this
block to have wood siding. S. Radtke noted that the house appeared to have multiple layers of sid-
ing, meaning the windows would probably be recessed once another layer was added. A. Riegler
asked about the new-looking section of wood siding on the house. C. Kotchka stated that a chimney
had been removed and the holes were repaired with the new wood siding in that spot. A. Riegler
stated that, considering that no assistance with painting was available and all other houses on the
block had vinyl siding, she would consider approving the request.
A motion that the HDC approve the request to install vinyl siding on the house as long as the neces-
sary permits are obtained, was made by S. Radtke, supported by J. Hilt and unanimously approved,
with J. Hilt, L. Wood, A. Riegler, S. Radtke, and D. Warren voting aye.
S. Radtke suggested HUD be contacted to ask about the possibility of providing painting assistance
in addition to vinyl siding, and asked who would do that. J. Pesch stated that he would talk to the
Director of the CNS Department about it. The HUD grants were awarded based on income. The
board discussed how to handle vinyl siding requests, considering that so many had been approved in
the past. Board members concurred that they preferred to see wood siding retained rather than con-
tinue to approve its replacement.
Case 2018-25 – 458 W. Webster Avenue (Garage Rehabilitation). Applicant: Jonathan and Katelyn
Gress. District: National Register. Current Function: Residential. J. Pesch presented the staff re-
port. The applicant is seeking approval to do extensive rehab work to the garage, including 1) com-
pletely removing and rebuilding the rear garage wall facing the alley with reinforced CMU block
finished with a stucco cement product to match the rest of the structure. 2) installing new windows
of a similar size, configuration, and mullion design to replace the deteriorated or missing windows,
3) installing new carriage house-style garage doors to replace existing deteriorating and non-
functioning doors, 4) adding an entry door to allow for better egress as well as an additional upstairs
window, and 5) adding new veneer stone lintels over windows. The existing wall is constructed of
unreinforced clay masonry block covered with a stucco cement finish, and it sustained extensive
damage from falling snow and subsequent freeze/thaw cycles last winter. The awning that had been
attached above the garage doors was ripped off, damaging several courses of the block it was at-
tached to; full wall replacement was determined to be safer than shoring and replacing individual
Staff and board members discussed the historic importance of this home. S. Radtke stated that he
would like to see more information on what was under the ivy covering much of the building, as it
wasn’t possible to see the window configurations or spacing. Board members concurred that more
information was needed.
A motion that the HDC table this request until more information was obtained including the materi-
als to be used, and a drawing of the current configuration of the garage windows and other openings
was provided, was made by J. Hilt, supported by S. Radtke and unanimously approved, with J. Hilt,
L. Wood, A. Riegler, S. Radtke, and D. Warren voting aye.
Case 2018-26 – 477 W. Western Avenue (Sign). Applicant: Bernie Wade (Advanced Signs). Dis-
trict: National Register. Current Function: Residential. J. Pesch presented the staff report. The ap-
plicant 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, and will be attached 15 feet
above grade. It will be internally illuminated and have exposed red neon letters. He provided ren-
derings of the sign to the board showing the sign detail and where it was to be placed on the build-
D. Warren asked how the sign would be affixed to the building. The specs showed a bracket and
bolts. J. Pesch stated that, although the standards stated that no neon was allowed, it seemed appro-
priate, and was used in this area. A. Riegler stated that she didn’t see a problem with it, considering
the board was working on updating the standards anyway. J. Pesch stated that the Secretary of the
Interior standards had no rules for signs.
A motion that the HDC approve 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, was made by A. Riegler, supported by L. Wood and unanimously ap-
proved, with J. Hilt, L. Wood, A. Riegler, S. Radtke, and D. Warren voting aye.
Three walk-on cases were also heard:
Case 2018-27 (Walk-on) – 1116 Terrace Street (Fence). Applicant: Louse Herman. District:
McLaughlin. Current Function: Residential. The applicant is seeking approval to replace the exist-
ing, deteriorating picket fence with a new style picket fence. The work had already been completed.
J. Hilt suggested that the applicant be notified by letter that any future work done without first ob-
taining HDC approval would have to be dismantled. Board members discussed the appearance of
the new fence and the standards, and concurred that the fence should be painted.
A motion that the HDC approve the request to replace the existing picket fence with the new style
picket fence with the conditions that the new wood fence must be painted within one year of instal-
lation, 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, S.
Radtke, and D. Warren voting aye.
Case 2018-28 (Walk-on) – 1197 Terrace Street (Fence). Applicant: Ty Ross. District: McLaugh-
lin. Current Function: Residential. The applicant is requesting approval to build a 6-foot tall wood
privacy fence as an extension of the existing fence on the property. The work has already been com-
J. Pesch provided a picture of the fence, which extended between the house and the south property
line. A motion that the HDC approve the request to extend the 6’ tall privacy fence to the south
property line as long as the work meets all zoning requirements and the necessary permits are ob-
tained, and with the condition that the new wood fence must be painted within one year of installa-
tion, was made by A. Riegler, supported by D. Warren and unanimously approved, with J. Hilt, L.
Wood, A. Riegler, S. Radtke, and D. Warren voting aye.
S. Kroes arrived at 4:40 PM.
Case 2018-29 (Walk-on) – 1100 3rd Street (Sign). Applicant: Phyllis Watson-Loudermill. District:
Houston. Current function: Commercial. The applicant is requesting approval to install one (1)
refurbished, non-lit aluminum ground sign at the property. The sign would be located along the 3rd
Street frontage. Staff and board members discussed the renderings of the sign that were provided by
J. Pesch and concurred that the sign was too large and was not compatible with the scale of the
building. J. Pesch also stated that the sign did not comply with zoning regulations.
A motion that the HDC deny the request to install a refurbished, non-lit aluminum sign as presented
in the application, was made by D. Warren, supported by L. Wood and unanimously approved, with
J. Hilt, L. Wood, A. Riegler, S. Radtke, D. Warren, and S. Kroes voting aye.
Case 2018-24 – 185 Strong – Demolition (Shed) – The shed at this property had a fire on July 17,
2018. Staff met with the owner and determined that the shed was added to the property recently, and
was not historically or architecturally significant. As staff cannot approve demolitions, approval was
granted by HDC Chairperson, Jackie Hilt.
HDC Local Standards Review – Signage. A. Riegler asked that staff provide a copy of the full HDC
signage policy to all board members so they could review them and note any changes they’d like to
see. D. Warren suggested that language be included to notify applicants that the board’s decisions
would be based on the updated standards and that they would not necessarily have to consider work
that had been approved prior to the new standards being enacted. Board members decided to sched-
ule a work session to discuss and review the signage policy a half-hour prior to the September HDC
Walk-on HDC applications. The board discussed whether to continue allowing walk-on applica-
tions, since there had been a number of them recently. A. Riegler suggested that the board no longer
accept walk-on applications until such time that the standards were updated. Board members con-
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:15 PM.
III. NEW BUSINESS
Case 2018-30 – 406 Houston – Residing
Applicant: Louise Knight
Current Function: Residential
The applicant is seeking approval to install 1) 3” vinyl siding on the house, 2) custom-formed alu-
minum trim on doors and fascia boards on all gables and gable brackets, 3) color matched J-blocks
for all exterior lights, exhaust vents, hose spigots, and electrical outlets, and 4) wire mesh around the
gable brackets to stop birds from nesting.
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-
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 2018-31 – 1762 Jefferson – Garage Doors
Applicant: William Krick
Current Function: Residential
The applicant is seeking approval to replace two damaged wood garage doors with two new, insu-
lated garage doors of the same style and dimensions.
Garage visible at rear of property
Proposed glass panel insert design
Proposed steel panel design
These guidelines pertain only to proposed changes to the structure and do not affect existing con-
These guidelines are primarily directed toward the front and side elevations of the structure. Greater
variances and more leniency may be extended toward proposed changes to the rear elevation of the
building by the Commission. All desired or proposed changes should be referred to the Historic Dis-
trict Commission for consideration. Extenuating circumstances, the effect upon the architecture of
the particular structure together with the general effect upon the surrounding structures, variables in
architectural design, or the effect upon usage and viability of the structure could dictate a variance
from these guidelines.
No exterior doors, windows, or exterior woodwork shall be altered, removed, relocated, or added
without Historic District Commission approval.
Existing exterior window or door casings, sills, and caps shall not be altered from the original design
or appearance. Damaged or deteriorated wood shall be repaired as a first course of action. When re-
pair is not possible, elements shall be replaced with matching wood members. Damaged or deterio-
rated wood elements may be replaced or covered with formed aluminum or vinyl, subject to Com-
mission approval and provided that the original profile of the woodwork is not altered or changed.
Every effort should be made to preserve or repair the original doors where damage has occurred.
When repair is not possible, the first choice shall be a similar salvaged door from a structure of the
approximate age and style. A new wood door may be used when a salvaged door is not available.
Such new door shall match the original in detail and finish.
The Commission may approve new wood doors that may slightly differ from the original in cases
where replicating the original may not be feasible, as long as such doors generally conform to the
ones illustrated on the attached sheet. Under certain circumstances, the Commission may approve
doors made of material other than wood provided they conform to the same design requirements.
I move that the HDC (approve/deny) the request to remove the damaged wood garage doors and in-
stall two new insulated garage doors of the same style and dimensions as long as the work meets all
zoning requirements and the necessary permits are obtained.
Case 2018-33 – 550 W. Western – Accent Lighting
Applicant: Nathan Wobma (Voss Lighting)
Current Function: Residential
The applicant is seeking approval to install exterior accent lighting around the top of the building.
Twenty-four (24) fixtures would be installed with lights shining downward against the building.
Red arrows indicate where lights would be installed
Light model: eW Blast Powercore gen4 with 6 degree lens
Building attachment section
Building attachment plan
Dimensions of light fixture
From the HDC Staff Approval Policy: “Staff may approve replacement of exterior lighting where
there is no change in design, materials, or general appearance, provided the fixtures are not historic.
Staff may also approve landscape style lighting, lighting that illuminates the building from the
ground (generally lighting that is not attached to the resource and can be easily removed).”
While this lighting is of a similar nature to that described in the Staff Approval Policy, it is attached
to the building and is visibly affecting the exterior appearance of the structure.
I move that the HDC (approve/deny) the request to install twenty-four (24) exterior accent light fix-
tures around the top of the building with lights directed downward against the building as long as
the work meets all zoning requirements and the necessary permits are obtained.
IV. OLD BUSINESS
Case 2018-25 – 458 W. Webster – Garage Rehabilitation
Applicant: Jonathan and Katelyn Gress
District: National Register
Current Function: Residential
This case was tabled at the August meeting as more information was requested regarding the materi-
als to be used and a drawing of the current configuration of the garage windows, doors, and other
openings. 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
Proposed West Elevation
Existing window mullion pattern
Proposed Jeld Wen W-2500 window
Proposed new garage door design
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) reconfigure the door and window
openings to add an entry door 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 2018-29 – 1100 3rd – Sign
Applicant: Phyllis Watson-Loudermill
Current Function: Commerical
This case was denied at the August meeting, but the applicant has revised their proposed design. The
applicant is requesting approval to install one (1) refurbished, non-lit aluminum ground sign at the
property. The sign would be located along the 3rd Street frontage. The proposed sign is approximate-
ly 4’ tall x 8’ wide.
Revised sign design
Location of sign on property (previous sign design shown)
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 one (1) 4’ tall by 8’ wide refurbished,
non-lit aluminum ground sign along the property’s 3rd Street frontage as long as the work meets all
zoning requirements and the necessary permits are obtained.
V. OTHER BUSINESS