Shelby planners were busy in 2016

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published March 22, 2017

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — During a March 7 Board of Trustees meeting, Shelby Township Planning and Zoning Department Director Glenn Wynn summarized his department’s annual planning report.

The report, mandated by the Michigan Planning Enabling Act, identified the amount of development in the township, as well as other accomplishments in 2016.

“The bulk of our time is spent processing applications for redevelopment, site plans, subdivisions, signs, Board of Appeals applications, tree permits,” Wynn said. “We averaged just under 400 for the past three years.”

The department processed 372 applications in 2016, a number that has increased in recent years.

Wynn said the township had 44 site plans last year, which involved more than 600,000 square feet of new industrial activity.

“I think that’s a very good barometer of the vitality of this community and the attractiveness of this community,” he said. 

The Planning and Zoning Department facilitates an annual business reception at Cherry Creek Banquet Center with the Economic Development Advisory Committee in order to raise Shelby Township’s profile in southeast Michigan. This year will be the third year. Last year, Wynn said, it drew 100 participants.

The department also initiated a blight task force, which was one of Shelby Township’s top 10 priorities in 2016 and 2017, with the Building Department. Of the blighted buildings in the township, Wynn said, several have been demolished or are set to be razed, and new development is planned for at least one location.

The Planning and Zoning Department also administered federal Community Development Block Grant funds to Shelby Township projects and public service agencies that benefit township residents.

“All of our 2015 projects were completed, and we have one project from 2016 — that’s a sidewalk project — ready to go out to bid. We’ll have that done this calendar year,” he said. He added that the department is working on its CDBG applications for 2017.

With the Financial Management Department, the Planning and Zoning Department prepares the township’s annual seven-year capital improvement budget for large expenses. Wynn said the township has begun the process for this year.

The department also helps establish the township’s top 10 priorities, which requires compiling input from department heads, the board and the public.

In January, the department also assisted with the Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department’s five-year recreation plan, which the Michigan Department of Natural Resources requires the township to have on file. The plan is a prerequisite to apply for state grants.

By not contracting out the service, Wynn said, the township saved $15,000-$20,000.

“We are on the threshold of announcing our new master plan for the public,” he said. “It will be at the next meeting (March 21, after press time).”

The master plan is a five-year blueprint for the township’s infrastructure.

“The uptick in economic activity in our township is encouraging, and we have to make sure as stewards of the community that we use the extra funds that are being generated so we can weather any future storm and pay down any future liabilities that we may have,” Treasurer Michael Flynn said.

For more information, call the Shelby Township Planning and Zoning Department at (586) 726-7243, email planning@shelbytwp.org or visit www.shelbytwp.org.