Joint planning projects across the state earn kudos
Several local projects have achievements to report, and the lessons learned from each can be enlightening for leaders and advocates hoping to get more out of their local planning processes. Projects highlighted in the recent Land Information Access Association report include:
Fremont Community (City of Fremont and Dayton, Sheridan, Charter & Sherman Townships). Beginning with a community asset mapping and documentation project called “Building a Sense of Place,” local leaders and government officials “took a huge step forward in forming the state’s first Joint Municipal Planning Commission to involve a city.”
West Branch Community (City of West Branch, Ogemaw Township and West Branch Township). City and township officials “put aside past disputes to undertake a joint planning project to guide community development while preserving the historical and natural resources that make the West Branch Community an important destination.” Leaders have worked together to obtain a grant for a corridor market study in the hopes of ultimately creating an I-75 Business Loop Corridor Plan.
Newaygo Community (City of Newaygo, Brooks Township, Everett Township and Garfield Township). Partners are working on a cooperative plan for “improving public access to recreation and natural resources” and created the Newaygo Community Recreation Authority to “manage the development of new recreation facilities, trails, and key resource access points.”
Eight Mile Corridor (Cities of Detroit, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Ferndale, Harper Woods, Hazel Park, Livonia, Oak Park, Southfield and Warren; and Charter townships of Redford and Royal Oak). Through the Eight Mile Boulevard Association, leaders undertook cooperative planning and community development processes to support 13 municipalities who created the “Eight Mile Corridor Keeper Program.”
Marquette Region (Iron Ore Heritage Area Cities of Marquette, Ishpeming, and Negaunee; and Negaunee, Champion, Humboldt, Ely, Republic, Marquette Townships). LIAA helped three cities and six townships find a basis for agreement on the formation and management of a proposed Iron Ore Heritage Area. The participating local governments “recently joined in creating a Recreation Authority to develop and manage the Iron Ore Heritage Area Trail.”Otsego Community (Otsego County, City of Gaylord, Village of Vanderbilt, and Bagley, Charlton, Chester, Corwith, Dover, Elmira, Hayes, Livingston, and Otsego Townships). The project started with helping find an agreeable strategy for addressing urban growth management in the Gaylord community through the creation of the “Inter-municipality Committee for Cooperative Land Use Planning,” thought by LIAA to be the only such committee in the state. This has been followed by a process to revise Otsego County’s comprehensive plan.