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Macomb Township

March 19, 2013

Township officials lay out master plan ideas

By Robert Guttersohn
C & G Staff Writer

» click to enlarge «
As residents listen, township Clerk Michael Koehs uses a laser pointer to illustrate the future construction of Broughton Road to 23 Mile Road. The display was one of many during the March 11 master plan special meeting.

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — From utilizing the North Branch of the Clinton River for canoeing to turning a portion of land into the township’s own historical village, township officials presented their concepts for Macomb’s future during the March 11 master plan special meeting.

The meeting was the first step in the process of finalizing updates to the township’s master plan before the end of the year: something that the state requires all municipalities do every five years.

It was a joint session of the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Planning Commission and the Board of Trustees, and it included input from the public. Besides showcasing sidewalk and road-project priorities for the next five years, it allowed officials to expand on their more ambitious ideas.

One part of the 2013 update would be the preservation of Macomb’s history, a pet project of Township Supervisor Janet Dunn. “I’ve wanted this for a long time,” Dunn said. “Too many of our buildings are being destroyed and people are dying off and their stories are gone. It’s just too bad.”

She had on a display a design drawing of proposed Macomb Township Historical Park, which would be located between Suburban Ice and the recreation center. It would, in essence, be a historical hub incorporating the township’s old buildings. The focal point would be the LFA Hall, which is currently located along 25 Mile Road, where Garfield Road turns into Romeo Plank Road. Dunn has been in talks with companies about how to move the structure from its current location to its proposed location.

“I’m getting in touch with a mover to see what I have to do to get this thing moved,” she said.

Other than that building, she is still looking for other historical structures to be donated to the site.

“I need buildings,” Dunn said. “I’m not really looking for a barn because they’re too big.”

The township is also looking to convert its waterways into recreational opportunities for its residents.

The township would turn the large pond near Broughton Road into a walking path, creating a half-mile route around it, lined with benches.

The township also wants to use the Clinton River’s branches that run throughout Macomb for swimming and boating. The plan would connect existing waterways in Ray Township near Wolcott Mills Metropark to the north and waterways being developed in Clinton Township to the south.

It would be part of a county plan to turn the river’s branches into one long outdoor activity for the entire county to enjoy, said Jerry Schmeiser, a planning consultant for the township.

“Right now, that’s the hope,” he said. “We’re in the middle of the county, and in order to tie the south half of the county with the north half of the county, it’s got to come through Macomb Township.”

He said the county wants to help the township with mapping and testing the width and depth of its waterways.

A large portion of the meeting was designated to the building of more condensed commercial and residential areas. Officials said the township is looking to move away from strip malls and build more condensed pedestrian-friendly areas.

“In order to make communities that are sustainable in the future, we have to get in and condense not only commercial but residential, as well,” said Township Clerk Michael Koehs. “That’s what we’re leaning toward.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Robert Guttersohn at rguttersohn@candgnews.com or at (586)218-5006.