From: Elmwood Charter Township Supervisor Jack Kelly
To: Elmwood Township Marina Seasonal Slip and Mooring Buoy Holders
Subject: Parking Policies at Elmwood Township Marina and the Marina Suggestion Box
Date: October 28, 2013
Everyone realizes that parking at the Elmwood Township Marina is extremely limited. There are several reasons for this. One is the fact that the Elmwood Township Zoning Ordinance requires private and public marinas to provide only 1 parking space for every 2 seasonal slip or mooring buoy holders. This, for 200 seasonal slips and moorings at the marina, we only have 100 parking spaces available. This zoning ordinance requirement, enacted some time ago, relied on the assumption that all seasonal users are seldom at the marina at the same time. However, on many summer or holiday weekends, or when the weather is fantastic, or if the Blue Angels are in town, everyone and then some are down at the marina! When that happens, you do the math-there's simply not enough parking to go around. Boaters get frustrated and mad, marina staff tries to accommodate everyone as best they can, and tempers sometimes flare. Thus, a little patience, cooperation, and understanding by all parties concerned can go a long way.
Also, Elmwood has excellent boat launching facilities, which the State of Michigan helped pay to install. In return, the state requires us to provide a large amount of car/trailer parking on-site. Furthermore, boats in recent years have increased in size, making on-site marina parking even less available. And during busy holiday weekends in the past, we were sometimes allowed to park cars, and cars with trailers, along the marina fence on the east side of M-22; however, we have reason to believe this option may no longer be available to us, per MDOT, in the future.
To help address these parking issues, Elmwood Township will continue allowing cars without parking passes to park at the marina on a space-available basis PROVIDED that drivers first request and receive a temporary parking pass from marina staff. Additionally, Elmwood Township will continue to utilize the former Brewery Creek Center property located behind Subway on the west side of M-22 for marina and park overflow parking again in 2014.
Slip and buoy holders are only entitled to 1 seasonal parking pass. While that obviously means there's no additional parking passes available for you or your guests, limited bayside parking is a situation certainly not unique to Elmwood Township. In the past, some boaters and guests have dealt with this situation by parking over at Greilickville Harbor Park (sometimes even overnight) and walking across the bridge to the marina, but this can result in fewer parking spaces being available for Greilickville Harbor Park patrons. Also, although existing marina signage clearly states that vehicles without parking permits will be towed, I trust such action will never be necessary.
Because the township marina and park are extremely popular, Elmwood Township will continue to have bayside parking issues, despite having purchased the former Brewery Creek property and allowing additional guest parking at the marina on a space available basis. We also continue to have discussions with MDOT and Leelanau County about someday getting a signal at the entrance to the Brewery Creek Center property. If successful, that would help immensely in terms of providing a safe way for boaters to make left hand turns out of the marina and onto M-22.
In closing, Elmwood Township remains committed to making your 2014 boating season as enjoyable as possible. Our goal remains to provide you and your guests with first-class customer service. Also, since Elmwood Township will be celebrating its sesquicentennial in 2014, an in-water and out-of water boat show planned for early May 2014, and further details will be forthcoming towards the end of winter. Lastly, as before, if you have a suggestion, a complaint, or an atta-boy you'd like to share during the 2014 boating season, please place same in the Suggestion Box across from the Harbormaster's office. I have the only key - it's my way of keeping staff on their toes and keeping tabs on how things are going. If your suggestion is reasonable and cost-economical, we'll do what we can to make it happen.