Fenton Could Temporarily Ban Some Ice Rinks in Residential Areas

It would provide time to develop an ordinance after complaints surfaced last winter about a large rink in a side yard, officials say.

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.

Julie August 08, 2012 at 04:34 PM
It's a shame we can't do something for the neighborhood children without someone complaining and ruining it for everyone. The ice rink drawing all of the attention was well maintained and supervised. Maybe the disgruntled/obnoxious neighbors could admit their issue is really not the rink at all, and just be thankful they live in a neighborhood where an ice rink is the biggest problem they have to deal with. Flint has many houses for sale!
stephanie pytlowanyj August 08, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Seems odd the council is creating an ordinance for one complaining citizen.
Julie August 09, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Just read the headline that the Fenton City Council may allow chickens. Maybe there is hope for the icerink after all! Watch out disgruntled neighbor, because if I lived across from you and you whined and complained until you got rid of my icerink, I would start raising chickens year round in place of it!
EclecticCitizen August 09, 2012 at 07:25 AM
I agree with you, Stephanie! I can't believe how HORRIBLE the water is here (even though it is better than it was before they installed the supposed new fancy water system). AND not to mention the high price we all have to pay for that horrible water! And yes, the city's focus on the minor ordinances is ridiculous. I would rather have kids playing in a corner or neighborhood ice rink than having them out committing crimes.
EclecticCitizen August 09, 2012 at 07:27 AM
Yes, Julie, I would rather have an ice rink than stinky coops and constant clucking chickens in my neighborhood.


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