Light Up The Bluff

St. Joseph is carefully nestled on the southern tip of what has been termed "The Riviera of the Midwest." This deepwater port town is a growing resort community - part of a "small town" chain stretching from the state line in a spectacular arc along Lake Michigan. The lakeshore is peppered with remarkable sand dune formations and lined further inland with a lush countryside that produces some of the nation's finest orchards and vineyards. It is the largest non-citrus fruit growing region in the nation.

A “short-term rental” is the rental of a residential property for less than one month and in some cases is one night. This includes but is not limited to uses such as weekly vacation rentals, or rentals found on AirBnB, HomeAway or VRBO to name a few. In the City of St. Joseph short-term rentals are considered a commercial use. The zoning ordinance now allows short-term rentals in two districts when certain conditions are met. Within most residential neighborhoods, new short-term rentals are not allowed. Some of the existing short-term rentals were operating when the regulations were adopted and can remain with the proper certificate.

New legislation being considered by the state would, if approved, eliminate the ability of municipalities to regulate short-term rentals through zoning. This legislation would require that short-term rentals be allowed in all residential districts in all communities in the state of Michigan.

 
 
 
 

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) reports more than $160 million in loans for funding municipal water and sewer projects to improve water quality and public health.

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Imagine gazing across our beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline and not seeing the iconic North Pier lighthouses. The inner light, emblazoned with red and white, has kept watch and adorned family and artistic photos for generations. She is part of our city; part of who we are, but she may not last without your support.

You can help preserve the City of St. Joseph’s historic lighthouses forever. The federal government recently donated the lighthouses to the City of St. Joseph for public, educational and historic preservation uses. To ensure everyone can continue to enjoy the lighthouses, the City started the Lighthouse Forever Fund to raise $2.1 million to restore the lights and catwalk, with plans to continue to fund for ongoing maintenance costs through General Fund tax revenues.

Learn more about the lighthouses and catwalk, listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2005, through interpretive tours, displays and artifacts at the Heritage Museum and Cultural Center.

Donations to the Lighthouse Forever Fund may be made directly to the City of St. Joseph or through the Berrien Community Foundation, as follows:

Lighthouse Forever Fund
City of St. Joseph
700 Broad Street
St. Joseph, MI 49085

-OR-

Lighthouse Forever Fund
Berrien Community Foundation
2900 South State Street, Suite 2 East
St. Joseph, MI 49085

Mobile users can make a donation through PayPal. 

Joshua Nowicki is a resident of Saint Joseph, Michigan and is a photographer and member of the board of directors of the New Territory Arts Association in Benton Harbor, Michigan. You can see more of Joshua's photography at https://www.facebook.com/JoshuaNowickiPhotography.

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