Downtown Party Scene

The MLIve story on Council work session is now up. Thanks to both Mike and Lauren for reporting, despite being exam week (Lauren is still at MSU, freelancing for MLive), because otherwise we would not know what happens during work sessions, which is often important and revealing.

MLive Article

"When businesses are considering opening up in the greater Lansing region and pass East Lansing over, the 50/50 ordinance often is one of the reasons they choose a different location...Triplett said. (I censored the title "Mayor pro-rem," because I find it obnoxious.)

Has it ever occurred to Triplett that some of us might think, given the downtown party scene, deterring establishments that prefer selling spirits to food is a good thing?

Should the reporting requirement be lifted, a subcommittee of members of the Downtown Development Authority and the East Lansing Planning Commission would review the 50/50 process and make recommendations to the commission and council next year, Community and Economic Development Administrator Lori Mullins said.

Not even close to good enough. This is an issue that affects the citizens of East Lansing. I dismiss the Planning Department as incompetent and biased in favor of developers and bar owners, and the DDA does not represent a cross-section of the community. What affects downtown affects all of us, if for no other reason than we subsidize policing of the party scene.

"If we think it’s ineffective, let’s get rid of it," Loomis said. "I don't think 50/50 is a detriment...if a business is doing monthly operating statements, extracting that data is no big deal.

"The requirement we have now is effective at nothing. If we really want to have some chance of guiding development...we need a better toolbox," [Triplett said}.

Exactly what evidence does Triplett, who I have never seen resort to facts and figures, have the "50-50" rule is ineffective, other than his barkeep patrons don't like it. Businessman Loomis does not think the accounting is a real issue. And, let us remember, the "50-50" rule was a solution arrived at after considerable deliberation. If city government wants to go through another deliberation, with ample citizen input, this time with the planning department actually listing to citizens and making changes based on what we say, instead of going through to motions and lying about it, then when another solution is found is the time to change the rules. Another year of reporting on "50-50" is not going to harm legitimate businesses.

I do agree with Triplett on one point: we need a new toolbox for guiding development, and by that I don't just mean development as regards to seeing how many new bars can be put downtown on the pretext of fine-dining.

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