Commission says no to writing Prop 3 into zoning code

Feb 13, 2018

Downtown Traverse City.
Credit Google Maps

Traverse City will not write Proposal 3 into its zoning laws. Prop 3 was passed by voters in 2016; it forces a public vote on any building over 60 feet tall. The law became part of the city charter but not part of its zoning code.

Mayor Jim Carruthers said at a meeting last Monday night that writing the law into both places would clear up confusion. But most city commissioners – including Richard Lewis – disagreed.

“I don’t know where the confusion is," said Lewis. "In fact, in my humble opinion, the charter provision is stronger than the ordinance, at this point, because it is a charter provision. This body can’t do a thing about it.”

Commissioner Michele Howard agreed.

“I feel like our process is a pretty clean process as it’s set out in the charter amendment," said Howard. "My worry is that this complicates it and opens us up to more litigation.”

Lawyers for the advocacy group “Save Our Downtown” helped Carruthers write the change. They accuse the city of “passively resisting” Prop 3.