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September 25, 2013

City Council approves Farmington Vision Plan

By Sherri Kolade
C & G Staff Writer

FARMINGTON — The Farmington Vision Plan is moving full steam ahead after the City Council unanimously approved the plan at a Sept. 16 meeting, following the Planning Commission’s approval of it Sept. 9.

City Councilwoman JoAnne M. McShane was absent.

The Farmington Vision Plan, which was last completed in 1998, is a plan to re-invest in the community of Farmington for the next 20 years, according to officials.

“It is absolutely the critical element of continuing to move Farmington forward, with respect to the vision for community and overall goals for continuing future development of the city,” said Kevin Christiansen, the city’s economic and community development director.

The vision plan, which was also accepted as part of the city’s master plan, will create a focus for growth and development in the community.

The Farmington Vision Plan is the product of a six-month resident-based initiative to answer what is needed for the city to reach its full potential, officials said.

A diverse group of community members collaborated to create a common future that reflects the community’s shared values, according to a city document.

More than 300 participants shared input via public engagement.

Some key aspects participants noted was that they are proud of the local image and community assets, but also embrace moderate growth and development that will add to the community’s character and economic viability, according to a city document. They view downtown Farmington as a unique asset within the region and feel it should be a focal point for future economic, social and entertainment uses and developments. The participants also support the consolidation and sharing of services with Farmington Hills that maintain or improve quality of life in the community, but are not interested in a full merger. They also believe multi-modal transportation options should be part of future plans and policies.

The vision plan contains 47 actions, with 18 priority actions.

Some actions are programs, policies or projects that support one or more of the vision initiatives.

The actions are organized according to six initiative areas: staying connected, getting active, and being community oriented, economically competitive, fiscally balanced, and accessible and diverse.

Within all initiatives, the actions are organized into two tiers of importance: priority actions and supporting actions.

A priority action included under the stay-connected initiative is to enhance city gateways with a priority at the Rouge River Bridge to help create a distinctive entry sequence into the city.

Under the get-active initiative, a priority action includes the creation of bikeways and a trail master plan.

A community-oriented initiative is to enhance Riley and Shiawassee parks to create new spaces for community gathering and entertainment.

City Manager Vincent Pastue was directed during the meeting to prepare work plans for the 18 priority action items. He was unable to comment by press time.

“As time goes along, City Council will give additional direction to put together work plans to move forward in the process,” Christiansen said. 

City Councilman Steven G. Schneemann said during the meeting that the vision plan is on its way.

“(It is) a working document we are using as a guide,” he said.

For more information on the city of Farmington or on the vision plan, go to www.ci.farmington.mi.us.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Sherri Kolade at skolade@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1046.