Watercraft rental businesses would be required to obtain a license from the township and meet certain requirements in order to operate, and the licensing ordinance could tie the number of parking spaces required to the number of watercraft the business has. A licensing ordinance, on the other hand, would give the township a new tool to impose control over parking at Holland Water Sports. Owner Jeff Ward said he encourages customers to carpool and bike and walk from Holland State Park to his business. A notice is posted on Holland Water Sports’ website warning that parking is limited and customers may not park on any neighboring properties.
Holland Water Sports’ parking lot is too small to accommodate the number of customers it has on summer weekends. Marina management has put up signs warning cars they are parking on private property and will be towed, but said Thursday the problem had not subsided.
Though the township can require a certain number of parking spaces through its zoning code, Holland Water Sports would be “grandfathered in” to any changes the township would make to require more parking of boat rental businesses. The board’s action came after the pleas of management and members at Anchorage Marina and Yacht Club, who have complained of persistent problems with the customers of Holland Water Sports, 1810 Ottawa Beach Road, parking on their property.
“The more regulation, the higher my prices are going to be,” Ward said. “I’ve already proven to the township that I know how to run a business for 32 years, so I don’t see how their extra management would be able to help me run my business better.” Chris Swanberg, who owns a slip at Anchorage Marina, said he was encouraged and “hopeful” about the licensing ordinance after board’s vote, which was met with applause from those who attended the board meeting. He said there is no way for him to add parking spaces, so if the township regulations tie the number of spaces to the number of boats he can rent, he would have to cut down on rentals — and possibly go out of business.
“I want them to be fair and start regulating every business down here,” Ward said. Ward said it would be unfair of the township to target his business’s parking problems and not other Ottawa Beach Road locales that suffer from the same lack of space.
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