The current master plan for Hazel Park is outdated, featuring guidance on the development of a racetrack that no longer exists. Updating it will reflect the current landscape of the city.

The current master plan for Hazel Park is outdated, featuring guidance on the development of a racetrack that no longer exists. Updating it will reflect the current landscape of the city.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


Community feedback needed for updating Hazel Park’s master plan

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published February 8, 2019

 Pictured is a view of Hazel Park City Hall at 111 E. Nine Mile Road. The city has posted an online survey collecting feedback on what residents want for the future of Hazel Park. There will also be a community forum Feb. 19.

Pictured is a view of Hazel Park City Hall at 111 E. Nine Mile Road. The city has posted an online survey collecting feedback on what residents want for the future of Hazel Park. There will also be a community forum Feb. 19.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

HAZEL PARK — Similar to its neighbor Madison Heights, the city of Hazel Park is beginning the process of updating its master plan, the document that spells out the overall vision for the town’s development in the years to come. And it’s a process that will involve feedback from the residents.

The Parks and Recreation Department will host a meeting on updating the master plan at 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Hazel Park Community Center, located at 620 W. Woodward Heights Blvd. All are invited to attend. 

In the meantime, residents can also fill out a short survey about development in Hazel Park, which can be found at surveymonkey.com/r/VJVTC2F.  

After the meeting Feb. 19, there will be a series of additional meetings in March to collect more detailed public feedback. 

“The master plan is vital because it serves as a guide to how the city of Hazel Park would like to see itself evolving over the next five to 10 years. It will also help promote economic development in the city of Hazel Park,” said Jeff Campbell, the city’s planning and community development director. “A master plan is a marketing tool to attract new residents and businesses to Hazel Park. A master plan is also necessary in writing grants and receiving certain funds Hazel Park may be eligible for going forward.” 

The master plan was last updated in the year 2000, and it shows. For example, the plan features guidance on developing Hazel Park Raceway into an entertainment venue, but fast-forward to today, and the track is closed as of last spring. The site is now being redeveloped into a sprawling business complex, something the new plan will take into account. 

The 2000 plan also focused on code enforcement and recreational amenities to improve the aging housing stock, and directed that the downtown at John R and Nine Mile roads be developed with walkability in mind. 

The Hazel Park of 2019 has other things to consider, with the raceway being redeveloped, Scout Park being revamped, property values up, crime rates down, a business renaissance in the John R corridor, and a renewed focus on art initiatives across the city.

Amy Aubry, the mayor pro tem of Hazel Park, said that the Hazel Park Nature Initiative will be another element to consider in the new plan. The initiative is a city program that seeks to educate residents on alternative lawns that are beneficial to local wildlife, while also examining local ordinances to support that approach. 

“Incorporating the Hazel Park Nature Initiative into the master plan helps memorialize our vision and goal of creating a more environmentally conscious community,” Aubry said.  

Mike McFall, a member of the Hazel Park Downtown Development Authority, has some suggestions for the updated master plan.

“I’d like to see a focus on making Hazel Park a more pedestrian-friendly city, with a walkable downtown and protected bike lanes,” McFall said. “With the increase in housing prices, I’d also like to see ways to include affordable housing.

“Community input is vital to this process,” he added. “This is a great opportunity for citizens to help guide the direction they’d like to see the city head.” 

Aubry added: “I’ve been excited for an opportunity to update the master plan for a long time. The plan process engages the community and gives them a voice for what types of changes and environment they see for their future. It may result in changes in codes and zoning, and set forth our goals and vision. And it also gives us an opportunity to address major changes we’ve experienced, such as the closing of Hazel Park Raceway. This will help guide decision makers for years to come.”

Call Staff Writer Andy Kozlowski at (586) 279-1104.