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   Bocce Ball

   Boat Launch Stickers

   City Council

   Dock Space Holders

   E-mail Campaign

   Guest Ramp Pass

   Mail Boxes

   Master Plan

   Park and Sports Tags

   Park Registration Fee
   Planning Commission
   RV Storage


   Water Use

   Clinton River Trail Website

   School Election

   Spring Leaf Clean-up

   Yard Waste Program

   Rubbish Collection

   West Bloomfield Library

Community Events

   Home and Garden Tour

   Sylvan Shuffle

   Garage Sale

   Memorial Day Parade

   Plant Exchange

Special Thanks/Kudos

Project Updates

   Water Meters
Community Programs

   Add-hoc Committee
   Clubs and Organizations

   Community Safety/Police

   Fur-e-tails Newsletter

   Parks and Recreation

   Stormwater Management

Community Service Directory

Classified Advertising

Contact Us




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 Contact Sylvan Lake


City Hall Address

1820 Inverness

Sylvan Lake, MI 48320


City Hall Phone:



Email City Hall
Click here to email City Hall

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Forward this E-Newsletter to your friends!




We do want and need your input.  It is very important to help keep our newsletter different and exciting each month.


Would you like to let your neighbors know more about what your committee is up to?  Or maybe you have news and information you would like to share, such as family announcements, recipes, decorating ideas, or crafts.  We invite you to submit content that you think your neighbors will want to know about.   We will include information as space allows.  All submissions must follow the Newsletter Guidelines for Outside Submissions at the end of this newsletter.  


Please encourage neighbors who have not signed up for this newsletter to do so.  While those not on our email list will receive a print version of the newsletter, it will be in black and white, only contain basic information, and they will not receive our reminders and updates.


And don't forget to visit the Sylvan lake Website.


-- John Martin, City Manager



Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.  There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day.


Traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years as many Americans have forgotten its real meaning and traditions.  The graves of the fallen at many cemeteries are increasingly ignored and neglected.  Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day.  While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades.  Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, not just those fallen in service to our country.  To read more about the history of Memorial Day, click here. (David Merchant, Memorial Day History)

*The History Channel has much information about the history timeline of American wars, battle maps and other facts.  Interested?  Click here.


*This link has not only photos and facts, but music and speeches written and spoken long ago that you can take a look at.


*A large aspect of remembering those who fought for our freedom is understanding the tradition at the Tomb of the Unknown.  Click here to find out the history of the tomb of the unknown and view several photos.

To celebrate Memorial Day in Sylvan Lake, please see the information below.




 Planning Commission
Planning Commission will be held on Tuesday, May 2nd, at 7:30 p.m. at the Sylvan Lake Lutheran Church. 


On the regular Planning Commission meeting agenda, they will continue to discuss the Master Plan and the Orchard Lake Road Corridor overlay.  They will also return to the discussion of the installation of City entrance signs.


Master Plan 

Please respond via Email or letter on this topic if you have any suggestions or concerns.  We have received a couple of Emails so far and we appreciate it.


Anyone interested in the future of the City should come to the Planning Commission meetings to discuss the Master Plan.  The Planning Commission needs a real view of the population and how you feel.  Some topics that are being discussed are keeping the small town atmosphere and how tall commercial buildings should be in order to create a downtown atmosphere.  They also discussed closing one or two street entrances to Orchard Lake Road (Lakeland and Woodland).  We encourage everyone to come to Planning Commission meetings while they are discussing the Master Plan.  Ask your friends and neighbors to come as well.


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Master Plan and the Orchard Lake Road Corridor

Master Plan


This is a very interesting topic and one that all Sylvan Lake residents should be aware of.  The Master Plan is a document that Planning Commission, City Council and City Administration use as a guide to Sylvan Lake's future. 


That means that when there is an ordinance amendment, variance request, or a request to rezone property, the City's Master Plan is reviewed to make sure the intent and spirit of the Master Plan is being followed.


All comments and ideas are welcome and encouraged.  If you cannot attend, please send a letter or e-mail to City Hall.

Orchard Lake Road Corridor


What is being discussed about the Corridor?  The Planning Commission is deciding what our corridor will look like in 5, 10, or even 20 years.  Do we want to encourage mixed- use development that may include 2, 3 or maybe 4-story buildings?  As an example, these buildings might have a retail use on the lower level with office above and residential above that.  No decisions have been made.  This is all in the beginning stages of discussion.  There is also discussion about possibly allowing a developer to purchase a residential lot behind the existing commercial property to allow larger developments.  

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Budget Public Hearing/ZBA Hearing/City Council
The budget public hearing will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10th, at the Sylvan Lutheran Church to receive public input regarding the proposed 2006/2007 budget.  Copies will be available for the proposed millage rates and budget, showing revenues and expenditures.


The Zoning Board of Appeals hearing will follow the budget public hearing and will begin at 7:15 p.m.  There will be two petitioners seeking variances:


1426 Glenwood is seeking approval to construct a new patio.  The zoning ordinance limits total lot coverage to 25% of the lot.  The proposal is to cover 28% of the lot, requiring a variance of 3% (approximately 250 sq. feet).


1420 Glenwood is seeking approval to construct a new handicap-accessible, ranch-style home.  The zoning ordinance limits total lot coverage to 25% of the lot.  The proposal is to cover up to 35% of the lot, requiring a variance of 10% (approximately 809 sq. feet).  What is a variance?


The regular City Council meeting will immediately follow the ZBA hearings.  Tentatively on the agenda will be discussion of the anti-blight ordinance, Right-Of-Way (ROW) policy, fence installation, community center air test results, community center construction fact finding reports,* and approval of the 2006/2007 budget and millage rates.

* Two independent contractors surveyed the building to come up with the least cost to re-open it and make it ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.

Payment of outstanding taxes must now be made at the Oakland County Treasurer's office.  They cannot be accepted at City Hall.

Water/Sewer Bills 
Sewer Rate Reduction!

At the April City Council meeting, City Council voted to approve the City Manager's recommendation to lower the sewer rates.  The base fee was lowered from $49 per quarter to $35 per quarter and the user fee from $5.15 to $4.85 per 1,000 gallons used. All of the water that enters our sewer system is treated by the City of Pontiac at a cost per gallon charge to us.  So we have done a lot of work on the sewer mains and manholes to keep clean water out of our system.  When we began this project a few years ago, we promised to review the rates after the work was done with the intent to lower the sewer rates.  This is the second reductuion in sewer rates since we began this project.  Our work has paid off!   


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The Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC) is a non-profit organization to help protect and improve the health of the Clinton River.  The CRWC also wants to assure that the river's natural, economical, and recreational attributes enhance the quality of life for those who are directly affected by it.  The CRWC is made up of four full-time and two part-time staff along with a 15-member board of directors.  They provide programs in areas of watershed management, such as Stream Leaders, Adopt-A-Stream, River Day, and Clinton Clean-Up Programs.  The Clinton River, as some may know, runs through Sylvan Lake.  Click here to learn how the CRWC has such an impact on Sylvan Lake.  Watch next month's newsletter for information on Sylvan Lake's Phase II Stormwater Management Plan!


School Election

Remeber to vote tomorrow Tuesday, May 2nd to elect candidates for the West Bloomfield and Pontiac school boards on.  Voting takes place at the DPW building behind City Hall.  The polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. 

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Park Registration Fee
City Council has recently approved an increase for the park registration fee, which is now $30.  This fee is a once-per-year fee when any resident purchases a park tag, ramp key, etc.  This fee offsets the cost of property taxes that the City pays to keep our parks private.

Recreational Vehicle Storage

City Council also approved a fee increase for storage in the City's RV storage area.  This new fee is $250 annually, beginning October 1st, 2006. 
   *For those who are unaware, the City of Sylvan Lake owns a recreational vehicle storage lot behind City Hall.  It has approximately 65 storage spaces.  However, like the dock spaces, there is a waiting list.  Contact City Hall for more details.


Dock Space Holders

A boat ramp key is $20 and allows you to use the City boat ramp located on Ferndale, next to the Oakland County Boat Club.  Original boat registration and proof of Sylvan Lake residency must be provided to purchase a key.  One boat launch sticker will be provided with the ramp key.  They are now available at City Hall.  There will be no replacement keys sold if you lose yours.


Park and Sports Tags

Tags to use the park and recreation areas are now on sale.  Only one of each tag will be sold per household.  Along with the purchase of any tags, the resident must pay a one-time park registration fee of $30.  This fee helps pay the property taxes to keep our parks private.


The park tag is $20 ($15 for seniors) and will allow your family and eight (8) guests to use our park facilities.  You must have your park tag with you at all times.  The park ranger will be checking to make sure residents have a tag.


The sports tag is $10 and will allow you and three (3) guests to use the tennis, bocce, and volleyball courts.  All guests must be accompanied by the resident.  Please abide by the rules that are posted at each court.  If you have more than three guests, you must borrow a sports tag from a Sylvan Lake resident to make sure you have one tag for every three guests.  Once again, the park ranger will periodically check to make sure this rule is enforced.


Boat Launch Stickers

These stickers are required on all watercraft launched with the exception of the guest ramp pass.  If you have a second boat, you must purchase an additional sticker in order to launch your watercraft.  They are available at City Hall for a cost of $10.  You must be a resident and show your original boat registration showing the resident owns the watercraft in order to purchase a sticker.


Guest Ramp Pass

A guest ramp pass will be issued to a resident (only) for the purpose of allowing a specific guest to use the boat ramp.  The cost of the guest pass is $25 for one day, for one watercraft.  If a guest leaves his or her watercraft in the water for more than one day, then another guest pass will be required to use the ramp when the watercraft is removed.  The charge is based only on how many days the boat ramp is used.  To obtain a guest pass, a resident must fill out a very short form indicating the type of watercraft along with the MC number that will be using the boat ramp.  Guest ramp passes are available at City Hall during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.


Spring Leaf Clean-up

To remind the Sylvan Lake residents, there will be no more Spring leaf collection.  Your leaves must be bagged for yard waste collection.

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Yard Waste Program

Yard waste will be picked up by a yard waste truck on the same day as garbage collection (Wednesday).  So make sure your yard waste is separated from your garbage.  Yard waste includes: cut grass, leaves, shrub trimmings, sod, twigs, small branches, etc.  Please follow the guidelines below: 

  • Yard waste will only be accepted in either brown paper yard waste bags or trash cans clearly marked COMPOST or YARD WASTE.  Yard waste stickers are available at City Hall with no charge.
  • Small branches, three inches in diameter or smaller, will be accepted if they are securely tied in manageable bundles no more than four feet in length.
  • Yard waste in any type of plastic bag will not be accepted!!
  • Yard waste may not be placed at the side of the road any earlier than 7:00 p.m. the night before collection day.

Rubbish Collection

Allied Waste is asking you to bag your garbage.  This will help prevent the collectors from missing any garbage not in a bag.  If there are any building materials you wish to dispose of, either call Allied Waste at 1-800-858-0089 or take the materials to the dump.  The City's trash contractor will pick up large items at the curb every week.  Concrete, however, will not be picked up by the contractors.  Call State Crushing Facility at 332-6210 (2260 Auburn Road) for more information on the disposing of concrete.

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Bocce Ball

There is a lot of interest to have another night for additional league play.  We are asking if there is anyone who is able to organize a second night of the week.  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday are available for additional league play.  Mike Grasser will help you get the organization process started.  If you have any questions, contact MIke at 248-681-9022 or 248-505-4744.



 Email Campaign regarding School Districts

Shelley Taub is requesting that Sylvan Lake residents Email the members of the House Education Committee and voice their support for House Bill 4085.  If this bill passes, it gives Sylvan Lake the opportunity to transfer out of the Pontiac School District.  Please visit the Sylvan Lake chat room: groups.msn.com/sylvanlake for Email addresses and for a sample letter.


 Mail Boxes at City Hall

You may have noticed there are now two mail boxes in the driveway at City Hall.  The mail box on the left is for your Comcast payments only, and the other is for City Hall.  Please continue to use the mail slot next to the front door for your after-hours City business.


 The cost of water!!

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  • Check appliances and faucets for leaks - A simple pinhole leak wastes up to 170 gallons every day (15,000 gallons every water billing period).
  • Showers - To help save water, install a low-flow shower head and keep showers under five minutes.  Turn off the water to soap up. (I know, it's cold)
  • Toilets - Flush only when necessary! Avoid using the toilet for a wastebasket.  Every flush eliminated can save between four and seven gallons of water.  Install a water-efficient toilet.
  • Test your toilet - Add several drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If it is leaking, the coloring will appear in the toilet without flushing.
  • Reduce water usage - If you do not have a low-flow toilet, use plastic bottles filled with water and pebbles to displace water in the tank.  Make sure you do not obstruct the float, and using bricks is not recommended.
  •  Avoid waste - A household faucet runs at a rate of three to five gallons every minute. So make sure your faucets are turned off firmly.



SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, believes that pollutants during the warm days of spring and summer most effectively creates ground-level ozone.  Many of these pollutants are caused by everyday activities, such as driving, refueling, painting, barbecuing, etc.  Here are some tips to help decrease pollutants during the warm days that are knocking at our door!

1.       Refuel in the evening and avoid spilling gasoline and topping while topping off the tank.

2.       Limit long periods of idling.  Turn off the engine when a long wait is expected.

3.       Keep tires properly aligned and inflated.

4.       Receive regular tune-ups to increase engine efficiency and follow the maintenance schedule in the owner's manual of the vehicle.

5.       Avoid using oil-based paint and household solvents.

6.       Consider natural gas, propane, or electric grills for barbecuing.

7.       Try transit or carpooling to work.

If you would like to be added to SEMCOG's notification list, please send an email to ozoneaction@semcog.org.


For more information, please visit http://www.semcog.org/.


Clinton River Trail Website

The old railroad that is now a trail that goes through Sylvan Lake is part of the Clinton River Trail system.  For all of you trail users and enthusiasts, the Clinton River Trail's website is full of news and updated features.  It is updated by the Friends of Clinton River Trail.  Thanks to John Hensler, and FCRT member, the website is getting better and better.  For any words of appreciation or any suggestions, please contact John at john@sunkenanchor.com


West Bloomfield Library

This library has been ranked one of the top 100 public libraries in the United States.  The main branch is located at 4600 Walnut Lake Road.  Another branch is Westacres located at 7321 Commerce Road.  Feel free to look at their online programs and services, computer terminals, audio books, and videos.  There is no charge for this service.  Just provide you driver's license or state I.D. number.


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Community Events 


 Sylvan Shuffle
The 3rd annual Sylvan Shuffle will be held THIS SATURDAY, May 6th, 2006.  This race will take you through Michigan's most beautiful City and promises to provide something, either for fitness or recreation, for the whole family!  The money raised for this event will be given to the Sylvan Lake Parks.



We are still looking for sponsors for this event.  If you know of anyone who is willing to provide sponsorship, please contact Michelle or Dan Allread.

Oakland County Boat Club (2330 Ferndale) in Sylvan Lake (off Orchard Lake Road between Cass Lake and Telegraph).

Trophies are given to the top three men and women and the top three boys and girls in specific age groups for both the 5k run and the 1k fun run.  All children receive a ribbon.

$18 before May 1st
$20 on race day

9:00 a.m. 5k run - serious enthusiasts.
9:01 a.m. 5k walk - enjoy the Sylvan Lake scenery!
9:45 a.m. 1k fun run - children 12 years and under.

Between 8:00 and 8:45 on race day.  You will also pick up your T-shirts and numbers at that point.  Make your checks out to City of Sylvan Lake Parks.

Michelle or Dan Allread
1786 Woodland
Sylvan Lake, MI, 48320

*To see further information and for online registration, go to www.sylvanshuffle.com.



Third Annual City-Wide Garage Sale

The garage sale will take place on May 19th and May 20th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Pick up your permit at Sylvan Lake City Hall.  Permits are $10 to benefit the community center.  Please make checks payable to City of Sylvan Lake.  There will be signs and advertising provided in the local newspaper.  If anyone is interested in helping or has any good ideas, please contact Molly Rozycki at 248-681-7630.


Annual Sylvan Lake Home and Garden Tour

"A March in Time. Sylvan Lake-Where Real People Live" is the slogan for this years Home and Garden Tour.  Sylvan Lake has some of the most exquisite and unique homes in all of Oakland County.  Differences vary from early 1900's style to the most contemporary and sophisticated most people have ever seen.  Some examples of what to expect on the tour are as follows:

  • The Owl House - This home is distinguished with both the hand-carved owl in the front and its European chalet design.  It is considered to be a wood lover's dream with custom carpentry and woodwork encompassing most of the layout.  Also to be seen is a two-million year old petrified Arizona hardwood coffee table and a one-million year old petrified hemlock end table.  Many more characteristics add to the charm of this home.
  • 1900's Kit Home - This classic design has been preserved with all its original integrity.  Featured are the original hardwoodfloors and bathtub.  It was the Miracle design by the Sterling Company of Bay City, MI.
  • Grandmother's House - There is no warmer feeling like that of Grandmother's house. It is filled with country art and antiques and looks to be the picture one would find on a postcard.

The Event

The Tour will take place on Saturday, June 17th, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Tickets are available at Sylvan Lake City Hall, La Rosa Market, Blossoms of Birmingham, and Detroit Garden Works.  Ticket sales are:

1.       10 dollars - groups of 10 or more

2.       12 dollars - prior to day of Tour

3.       15 dollars - day of Tour

*If you would like to be a docent (greeter), please call 248-738-1192.

If you have any questions, please call Debby Leh at 248-681-8624 or Judy Schwanitz at 248-681-2750, or check out the new website, Sylvantour.com


Plant Exchange

The Sylvan Lake Garden Club is hosting a citywide plant exchange once again at Memorial Park from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 10th, with a rain date scheduled for Sunday, June 11th.  anyone who brings a plant that has not been exchanged may plant them at the park.  As you prepare for your garden this year, save your surplus perennials and trade them with your neighbors.  There will be no charge for this event unless you come without a plant to exchange and want to purchase someone else's perennial.  The proceeds will be donated to Memorial Park.  If you have any questions, please contact Helen McAllister at 248-682-1082.


Celebrate Memorial Day! 

Attend the annual Area Lakes Memorial Day Parade

The annual Memorial Day Parade will be held Monday, May 29th.  The parade will be begin in Keego Harbor at their Memorial Rock (Orchard Lake Road and Cass Lake Road).  It will come down Orchard Lake Road to Inverness and end at our Memorial Park (Garland and Pontiac Drive).  There will be a brief ceremony at the Memorial Park.  Partriotic music will be presented by the Martin Brass.


We are looking for groups and organizations such as girl scouts, boy scouts, cub scouts, etc. that are interested in marching in the parade.  Please contact Jim Bull at 681-3053 and we will have a spot for you and your group.  Also, we are looking for two volunteers to dress as Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty.  We will supply the costumes.  And we can always use help with traffic, judging, etc.  Also, we need people to man barricades along the parade route.  If you are interested in helping, please contact Jim Bull.


Several Streets and intersections throughout the City will be closed during the parade.  Closed roads are:

  • Orchard Lake Road (between Cass Lake Road and Middlebelt)
  • Inverness (there will be no access to Inverness)

Access to Orchard Lake Road will be closed at:

  • Beverly
  • Warwick
  • Woodland
  • Lakeland
  • Sherwood
  • Inverness

If you need to get to Cass Lake Road, use Knowlson from Beverly. 


In order to get to Orchard Lake Road, use Pontiac Drive.


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 Special Thanks/Kudos

Paul Evans, Jim Cowper, and Sherwin Williams for donating the painting materials for the Ferndale Beach bathroom.


Jo Ondik for sending in her recipe of her award-winning chili from the Optimist Club.  Click here for recipe.

 Project Updates

 Water Meters
Make sure you set up an appointment to have your new water meter installed.  This process is short and simple, and the City's meter project is drawing closer and closer to an end, but we need your help to finish the job.  Sign up today!

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Community Programs 

 Parks and Recreation

The restroom will be ready soon!  New pictures will be in next months newsletter.  Now City Council and the City Administration are working on the best way to secure the building and have it available for use to the residents.

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 Community Safety/Police
From the Police Chief - Bicyclists

As the warmer weather approaches, the bicycle activity on our City streets will begin to increase.  I would like to remind all bicyclists that while you are riding your bicycle on the roadway, you must obey all traffic laws that pertain to motor vehicles (MVC 257.657 and 257.660).  This includes stop signs, yield signs, and other applicable laws.  You should travel in the same direction as the traffic and as far to the right hand side as possible.  The Police Department has received many complaints regarding this matter.  If officers observe any violations, citations will be issued.  Safety for all roadways will increase if the compliance by residents increases.

*Thank you residents for being more concientious to obey traffic laws while driving.

No open burning

We have had a few people question this law.  No, they are not allowed.

These are not allowed!!

According to the City's ordinance and the fire code, there is no open
burning allowed.  This includes above-ground fire pits and "chimineas."  Only barbecue grills are allowed outdoors.  If you are caught using anything else, you can be ticketed.



No vehicles on the grass!!

DO NOT drive your vehicles into any of the parks for any reason, including installing or removing boat lifts or docks.  This ruins the grass and creates ruts, and it has been a continuous problem.  Failure to comply will result in being charged for park property repair and a citation.


No dogs allowed in parks

This is a reminder to all residents that no dogs are allowed in the parks.  This is for the safety of children playing in the parks throughout the day.  There is an ordinance which requires dogs to be on a leash at all times and the leash cannot exceed 6 feet in length.

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Stormwater Management

April was Pet Awareness Month: Clean up after your pet!!


We ask that you pick up after your pet for a couple of reasons.  First, as you all know, it is an act of courtesy and helps keep our City clean.  More importantly, however, harmful bacteria from waste left on sidewalks or lawns can be transported into our storm drains and into our lakes and streams.  So make sure you dispose of the waste promptly and properly.  To see more information about protecting our lakes from pet waste, click here.

 Fur-e-tails Newsletter

A new electronic newsletter for pet lovers, fur-e-tails, has been launched by Sylvan Lake resident Linda Wasche.  Every monthly issue contains information and news covering all topics ranging from pet care and nutrition to the latest in pet products and pet lover events.  For your FREE subscription contact editor-fur-e-tails@oaklandpetfund.org.  All proceeds from fur-e-tails advertising will go to benefit Oakland pet fund, bringing the No-More-Homeless Pets movement to Oakland County.


 Clubs and Organizations

Sylvan Lake and Keego Harbor Walking Club

If there is anyone interested in participating in the Walking Club, please call Lisa Brownlee (681-3875) or Dr. Ashok Gupta (681-6577).  This walk takes place at the Summit Place Mall during the winter and outdoors during spring, summer, and fall.  Meet by Ruby Tuesday's on Friday and/or Saturday mornings at 9:30 a.m. and Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m.

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 Community Service Directory

In the future, this will be used for local businesses to list their name, description of service, website, email address, etc.

Listings in the Community Service Directory will be renewed annually.



Classified Advertising

Residents in the future will be able to advertise items for sale, rentals, services, etc.

Listings for the Classified Advertising will change monthly.


Jo's Italian Chili


         1-1/2 lb. Ground Beef

         1/2 lb. Ground Italian Sausage (mild or hot as you prefer)

         1 cup Chopped Onion

         1 cup Chopped Green Pepper

         1 cup Chopped Celery

         2 (15-1/2 oz.) Red Kidney Beans

         1 (28 oz.) can Crushed Tomatoes

         1 (6 oz.) can Tomato Paste

         2 cloves Garlic (minced)

         2 teaspoons Salt

         2 teaspoons Chili Powder (slightly more if you prefer)

1.       In large deep fry pan or Dutch oven, cook beef, sausage, and onion until meats are brown.

2.       Drain off excess fat.

3.       Transfer to large pot.

4.       Add kidney beans, green peppers, celery, tomatoes, tomato paste, minced garlic, salt, and chili powder.

5.       Cover and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Makes 12 servings.




The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) has the power to grant variances upon appeal, from the strict application of the zoning ordinance.  An appeal may be filed when there is a practical difficulty or hardship preventing the property owner from conforming to the strict letter of the ordinance.  The ZBA will consider the request for a variance and determine whether it may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without substantially impairing the intent and purpose of the ordinance.


The authority of the ZBA is designed to provide relief to a property owner from an ordinance that is uniquely affecting him/her.  The problem the property owner faces must be created by circumstances unique to the property and not shared by surrounding parcels and the problem cannot be self-created.  Typically, the following situations must exist:

1.       The alleged practical difficulty is exceptional and peculiar to the property and generally does not exist throughout the City.  An irregular shaped lot or odd natural characteristics of the land are possible examples of this.

2.       The alleged practical difficulty must be more than a mere inconvenience or need for financial gain or financial savings.

3.       The practical difficulty was not created by an action of the applicant and either existed at the time of the adoption of the requirement from qhich the variance is requested, or is necessary as the result of governmental action such as road widening.  A self-created hardship is typically not a valid basis for a variance.

4.       The variance is the minimum necessary to permit reasonable use of the land and building for activities permitted in the zoning ordinance.

5.       Justice considering: Public benefits specifically defined by zoning rules, AND individual hardship suffered by not granting variance, AND the rights of affected property owners.

The appellant presents information usually showing that the requested variance:

         Will not be contrary with the intent and purpose of the zoning ordinance,

         Will not cause a substantially adverse affect upon adjacent properties,

         Will relate only to the property under control of the appellant,

         Will not essentially alter the character of the surrounding area,

         Will not increase the hazard of fire, flood, or other similar dangers; and

         Will not increase traffic congestion.




Newsletter Guidelines for Outside Submissions


The City of Sylvan Lake welcomes articles, news and updates from members of the community. Such information should be relevant to Sylvan Lake, to its residents and to living in the community.  The editor reserves the right to accept or reject any such information.  All such information will also be edited for style and space. 


In submitting information, please follow the guidelines below. 

 Submit your information, preferably in electronic form, to:


          Newsletter Editor




1.  Articles and updates

Limit articles, updates and other information to no more than 200 words. Such items must be written from the perspective of an outside objective third party.  We do NOT accept editorials or opinion pieces.  Let readers know where they can go for more information, where appropriate, by including a phone number, email address or website.  Also, be sure to include your contact information in case we have questions.


2.  News releases

We welcome news releases on upcoming events and programs, but cannot run releases in their entirety due to space limitations.  Be sure to include contact information.


3.  Photos

Color photos are welcome IF THEY ACCOMPANY ABOVE DESCRIBED NEWS OR   INFORMATION.   All photos MUST be in ELECTRONIC format as a .gif or .jpg.  If       photos include human subjects, be sure you have their permission to submit the photo.  Be sure to include a caption explaining what is in the photo as well as a name and contact information for the person submitting the photo.  If a photo was taken by someone other the person submitting it, you will need his or her written permission to        allow us to use the photo. 


4.  Deadlines

Information for the newsletter is due as follows:

The 12th of the month preceding the issue (For example, information for the December issue would be due November 12th and so on.)

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Sylvan Lake Spotlight

Sylvan Lake Spotlight is published by the City of Sylvan Lake, 1820 Inverness, Sylvan Lake, MI 48320. Resident news and information are welcome, but must follow newsletter editorial guidelines. To request a copy of the Editorial Guidelines, contact City Manager John Martin at martinsylvanlk@comcast.net.


In the future, Advertising may be accepted from residents and local businesses. Please watch future newsletters to obtain advertising rate information, or to place an ad in the Community Service Directory or Classified Advertising section..


LEGAL NOTICE:  This email may be considered an advertising or promotional message.  If you no longer wish to receive this email, please unsubscribe using the link found at the top of this newsletter.  Views expressed or implied herein are not necessarily those of the City of Sylvan Lake, City Council or its affiliates.