Grosse Pointe City formally starts master plan update process

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 5, 2021


GROSSE POINTE CITY — Grosse Pointe City’s master plan update is officially underway.

City Planner John Jackson, of McKenna Associates, announced the kickoff to the process during a Sept. 20 Grosse Pointe City Council meeting. Jackson said the effort would take roughly a year.

“Over that time, we anticipate a tremendous amount of public participation,” Jackson said.

He said officials hope to conduct forums in person and remotely with residents and stakeholders to provide more options for people to weigh in via whatever format makes them feel the most comfortable.

City Councilman Terence Thomas showed support for offering virtual options, saying that the City “can get more folks engaged” that way.

“The public involvement is going to be robust,” Jackson vowed. “We’re going to give them every opportunity to participate.”

He proposed offering online engagement throughout the master plan update, as well as two stakeholder meetings.

“We’re going to reach out to the community in a number of ways,” Jackson said.

Jackson said they need to look at all available data “so that these decisions that we make are not made in a vacuum.” That includes the 2020 census figures, which he said show a 4.7% increase in residents and a 2.5% increase in households in the City — suggesting that more families with children are moving in.

The plan will include looking at land use, infrastructure, complete streets and other areas, Jackson said.

“It’s a way to articulate the future and where the City’s going,” Jackson said.

One of the benefits of updating the master plan is that it puts the City “in a proactive position and not a defensive position,” Jackson said.

“It guides development in a coordinated and harmonious way,” Jackson continued.

With regard to zoning, Jackson said the City has “been very proactive in making changes” as needed.

At press time, Jackson said the City was looking at setting up community engagement opportunities in November and December, although those dates and meeting formats hadn’t been set yet.

City Councilman Daniel Williams said the master plan update “is going to be a tough process that we go through,” but it will ultimately be beneficial.

“I’m looking forward to the master plan (update),” City Councilman Donald Parthum Jr. said. “It’s quite the endeavor.”

At its Aug. 16 meeting, the City Council learned that the City had received a $20,000 grant toward the master plan update from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. As a municipality seeking Redevelopment Ready Community certification and in accordance with the Michigan Planning Act, the City needs to periodically review and update its master plan.