City expected to start master plan update soon

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published August 2, 2021

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GROSSE POINTE CITY — Grosse Pointe City officials are gearing up for a review and update to their master plan.

“This won’t be reinventing the entire plan from scratch,” City Planner John Jackson, of McKenna Associates, told the City Council during an in-person meeting June 21.The City’s most recent master plan overhaul was in 2012, although it has been reviewed since then to make sure it was still applicable. As City Manager Pete Dame noted, the Michigan Planning Act recommends that communities update or redo their master plan every five years.

“One of the most important parts of this project will be public engagement,” Jackson said.

Through that engagement, he said, they hope to learn what the hopes and aspirations are for the community going forward, as those will be used to formulate the plan’s goals and objectives.

“Those goals and objectives will be the foundation on which the master plan is based,” Jackson said.

The process will include incorporating the newest data, undertaking public engagement and community outreach, adding projects completed since the last master plan, updating land use policies, coordinating the master plan with the City’s zoning codes and creating a “complete streets” policy, among other steps.

The council didn’t vote, but did informally agree on the process at the meeting.

“You have council consensus on the scope of the project,” Mayor Sheila Tomkowiak told Jackson.

City officials said their planners have told them the master plan update won’t cost more than $20,000, plus another $2,000 for reimbursables, or $22,000 total. The City has $25,000 set aside in the fiscal year 2021-22 budget for this expense.

At press time, no special meetings to gather public input had been set yet. The City is applying to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program in the hopes of securing a grant that Dame said would cover 75% of the master plan update cost.

“Because we’ve already made a lot of progress on the Redevelopment Ready Communities program … we have a good idea they’re going to approve (its funding),” Dame said.

He said the City would start working on the master plan update once it hears back from the MEDC.

Jackson said the whole process is expected to take about 12 months.

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