City to allow internal approval for some business signs

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published August 29, 2013

GROSSE POINTE CITY — City officials are hoping to allow businesses to get sign approvals more quickly and simply.
At a City Council meeting Aug. 19, Mayor Dale Scrace proposed allowing administrators to issue sign permits immediately to businesses whose signs didn’t require any variances. He suggested that City Manager Pete Dame and City Planner John Jackson, of McKenna Associates, could review such situations internally.

“If it’s in compliance (with city regulations for signs), it’s got a pretty good chance of passing (at the council level),” Scrace said.

Several fellow council members voiced support for the concept.

“I agree,” City Council member John Stempfle said. “It seems an unnecessary bureaucratic step” to bring it before the council.

City Council member Andrew Turnbull made the motion that signs meeting all of the City’s requirements and regulations would no longer need to come before the council for approval, which passed by a vote of 6-1.

City Council member Christopher Walsh — who cast the sole vote against the change — said he was in favor of accommodating businesses, but he was concerned because the council had to place conditions on two of the signs they approved at the Aug. 19 meeting alone.

“It’s kind of odd timing tonight,” Walsh said of the motion.

But City Council member Christopher Boettcher said the signs for which the council gave conditional approval would have required variances anyway, so under the change they’d still need the council’s blessing.

The decision came during a meeting when the council faced five sign approval requests from businesses in the Village.

City administrators said they could take on this task internally.

“We can start immediately,” Dame said.

The City’s sign ordinance, along with other ordinances, can be found online at under the Code of Ordinances tab.