Special meeting scheduled
A special meeting of the Village Planning Commission will be scheduled for next Tuesday, 7 p.m. at Government Center – about the application by 45th Parallel Furniture Company to do business in Elk Rapids. Today I spoke with Steve Ravezzani, Village Zoning Administrator, and Andy Hayes from the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance, who both have been instrumental in the scheduling of the meeting.
The Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA), out of Boyne City, promotes regional economic development in our area and has been working with 45th Parallel Furniture for quite some time. It helps entrepreneurs like furniture manufacturer Dennis Valkanoff fine tune a business plan and find funding, among many other things.
The NLEA wrote to the Village of Elk Rapids, on behalf of 45th Parallel Furniture, requesting a special meeting of the Planning Commission. Both Andy Hayes and Steve Ravezzani explained that the timing of the meeting is critical, because of the unique requirements of the furniture business. Spring is king in furniture, when all of the buying decisions are made for the entire year. So 45th Parallel does not want to miss the built-in spring deadline.
Ravezzani also explained that what will occur next week is the normal, albeit accelerated, special-use-permit application meeting, which will lead to a public hearing in April. In the Village, all manufacturing applications require a special use permit, by Village Ordinance. So the only thing actually special about the meeting is the timing.
As an aside, Andy Hayes stated that the Village has been particularly entrepreneurial friendly with this and other applications. Good to know.
Would be good for area residents to attend this meeting and offer support for a possible Super Tool building solution.