After some controversy over an in a subdivision last winter and requests for permission for rinks this winter, the Fenton City Council could approve a temporary ban.
City Manager Lynn Markland asked council for direction at Monday's work session. If council wants to pass an ordinance, a moratorium on residential ice skating rinks would deny the use of large structures that aren't in people's back yards.
A moratorium, or temporary ban, would take the pressure off city administrators, said Councilman Les Bland.
Some have already asked city administrators about rinks this winter, Markland said. Mayor Sue Osborn said council hopes to have an ordinance in place by the time ice skating season begins.
Many families use their back yards for ice rinks, Councilwoman Pat Lockwood said and city officials don't want to discourage this.
"We are trying to promote as many outdoor activities as possible in the winter," Lockwood said.
Officials have even discussed having outdoor skating downtown, she added.
Mayor Pro Tem Cheryl King said it's like the council has been discussing. It's based on the size of residents' property, and it should be in the back yard and not a side yard, she said. If an ice rink fits, it fits, and if a neighbor's property is bigger, that's where the kids will play.
Zoning Administrator Brad Hissong said some ice rinks have been in residents' front and side yards. One person is very unhappy about it and has been to Fenton City Hall and city council.
had boards and lights, said city attorney Stephen Schultz.
"It was a structure," he said.
Fenton has no prohibiting it, Schultz added.
City planning consultant Carmine Avantini said, in another community, people built a full-size ice rink with boards, glass and lights on a vacant lot in their neighborhood.
Fenton could decide that bigger rinks in locations other than back yards are special land uses, Avantini said.