Rowing club’s proposed boathouse running into problems

The Upper Peninsula Community Rowing Club is in the midst of an approval process to have a new facility constructed near Founders Landing in Marquette.

But, the club is running into a few problems along the way.

The proposed facility is set to be constructed about 200 yards from the club’s current complex and would be used to house boats.  The boathouse would be built into a hill along the shores of Lake Superior a similar fashion to its current facility.

Residents opposed to the project claim it does not comply with the city’s zoning ordinance.

“It’s going to be, I guess up to city staff to make that determination of how this fits in with their standards,” UPCRC president Kelly Drake Woodward said.  “This recreational facility, that is a water-based recreational facility, actually fits in with the stated intent of the zoning district for what can be allowed in that area and it fits in with all the guiding principals that are also stated in the plan.  It’s also consistent with the city’s master plan that was adopted in 2004 or 2005 and with the parks and recreation master plan as well.”

There is a perception that the club is a private group, and therefore should not be allowed to build on the city’s property since it does not benefit the whole community.

“I would say if people are concerned that we’re a private, exclusive club you really need to come down and get to know us a bit better, because it’s not like that at all,” Drake Woodward said.  “It’s a group of people who come down (and row), we all pay our dues annually, and really all you have to do (to join) is you pay your dues, you have to have a life jacket, and then you have to pass some safety requirements.”

The rowing club is in negotiations with Marquette’s attorney for a license to build, which would come to the city commission again for approval.

The UPCRC has three open houses scheduled in May for anyone interested in learning about the club or if anyone has concerns about the proposed boathouse:

  • Wednesday, May 14 5-7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 21 5-7 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 31 12-2 p.m.

People with questions or concerns about the boathouse can also email the UPCRC at