Commission delays Bijou sign vote amidst questions

Marquee proposal is raising flags among commissioners and community members.

The Bijou By The Bay theatre in Clinch Park is looking to put up a new sign.

A temporary sign was put up at the theatre for the film festival, but they need a permanent one.

At the Traverse City commission meeting Monday night, a lot of people came out to learn more.

Going into the meeting, a vote was expected to take place, but city commissioners had a lot of questions regarding the signage. The conversation went back and forth for nearly an hour and a half.

Initially, the film festival was asking for approval of a sign with flashing lights which went outside zoning restrictions. They got a lot of feedback from community members who said they did not want flashing lights to be put in place.

Film festival leaders came to the meeting to go over the revised plan.

â??This marquee will be a free standing marquee,â?? explained Deb Lake, Film Festival Executive Director. â??It'll stand in front of the theater. The Con Foster Museum engraving that is there won't be harmed or touched in any way.â??

Some people voiced concerns about modifying the Con Foster Museum, despite the festivalâ??s claims of maintaining its historic value.

â??My greatest concern is that this Con Foster Museum is going to lose its identity,â?? said Grant Parsons, who opposes the sign proposal. â??It's going to be added onto by about 150 feet of signage and maybe some other things to come. The city's going to forget who really owns it.â??

Another issue was brought up regarding the fact that the Bijou is on city park land, and any modifications would require a city vote. Because of that, the commissioners withdrew the motion to vote on the sign tonight, until the city attorney can take a look at the legal matters.

Commissioners hope to take up the vote again within the next two weeks.