Longtime West Michigan Swim School May Not Have to Shut Down After All
UPDATE: According to Wood TV 8, officials from the City of Grandville say they are willing to work with the homeowner to keep Miss Rita's Swim School operational, as long as she makes the necessary changes to follow a City ordinance.
After more than three decades in operation, Miss Rita’s Swim School in Grandville may have to close for good or face legal action.
Wood TV 8 reports homeowner Rita Shalhoup has been running in her backyard for the past 33 years. It wasn't until last year though, that the City of Grandville got involved, saying they'd received complaints from neighbors.
According to Wood TV 8, Grandville Assistant City Attorney Seth Arthur stated in a letter to Shalhoup,
There has been excess litter, noise and traffic in your neighborhood — creating a nuisance and increasing parking congestion on your street as well as on neighboring street — a direct violation of … City ordinance.
Now Shalhoup has about two weeks to comply with Grandville's "Home Occupation" Zoning Ordinance or face legal repercussions.
Earlier this year, Shalhoup got a ticket for being in violation of the ordinance and was hit with a $150 fine, which she paid.
Grandville Assistant City Manager Matt Butts told Wood TV 8,
We want compliance. It’s not swim lessons, it’s drown-proofing kids. So, there’s a lot of screaming involved, and we’ve had complaints from neighbors about that.
Butts says that even thought Shalhoup paid the fine, she continued to give swimming lessons, and that's when the City sought legal help.
Shalhoup tells Wood TV 8 that she's tried to come up with solutions like cutting back on evening classes and asking parents to park on a different street. Unwilling to fight it out in court, Shalhoup says she has no option but to shut down.