Source: Sherman Publications

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Letter to the Editor
A call for more city help for businesses

April 25, 2012

Dear Editor,

I wholeheartedly support the Clarkston Retailers Group in their attempts to gain permission to use sidewalk signs and open signs as a tool to draw more customers. To my knowledge, Clarkston is the only jurisdiction in Oakland County that outlaws such signs. For example, Rochester and Birmingham allow sidewalk signs. The visual effect is pleasing and the downtown districts thrive.

As a resident of the village, I feel that a vibrant downtown district is the glue that holds our community together and enhances property values.

The City government needs to help businesses, not stand in their way. Clarkston has a history of uneven, and erratic, enforcement of its Ordinances. There is confusion over the proper roles of the City Council, Zoning Board (ZBA), Planning Commission, and Historical District Committee. As a result there continues to be contradictory rulings that apply to some, but not others.

The seasonal sidewalk displays at Rudy's Market are pleasing, and add to the ambiance of the downtown Clarkston experience. However, a double standard allows these displays while not allowing sidewalk signs.

How can the City allow sidewalk displays, while telling others they cannot have sidewalk signs?

Steve Wylie