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 Residents place comments on a board Dec. 4 at an open house on Lathrup Village’s parks and recreation master plan update inside City Hall.

Residents place comments on a board Dec. 4 at an open house on Lathrup Village’s parks and recreation master plan update inside City Hall.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Lathrup Village hosts public input session for parks and recreation plan

New classes among top responses

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published December 11, 2019

 Jill Bahm, a partner at Giffels Webster, discusses the master plan update.

Jill Bahm, a partner at Giffels Webster, discusses the master plan update.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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LATHRUP VILLAGE — Residents were invited to an open house recently to speak their mind on what they would like to see in the future of Lathrup Village’s parks and recreation offerings.

The city hosted the open house Dec. 4 in the lobby of City Hall.

City Administrator Sheryl Mitchell said in a previous report that the city is currently in the process of updating its comprehensive plan, which includes multiple master plans from several entities in the city.

Jill Bahm, a partner at Giffels Webster, discussed the stages of updating the plan and where the city currently stands.

Giffels Webster is an engineering and community planning firm selected by the city to aid in the process.

“The city is in the process of developing its five-year recreation plan,” Bahm said. “It’s a comprehensive planning process that will look at the city’s master plan, along with the recreation plan.”

Bahm said that, in order to qualify for state funding, cities must update their plan every five years and host public input sessions.

Residents were asked to provide their input on various parks facilities and programming at the session by writing on whiteboards and placing dots on aerial maps. They also filled out blank comment cards, Bahm said.

Throughout the process, Bahm said, she has seen a lot of requests for classes — both active and artistic.

“We asked what other kinds of recreation programming would you support, and people said lots of different classes,” Bahm said. “Yoga, zumba, some different things like cooking classes, gardening classes. A couple people said running clubs.”

Parks and Recreation Coordinator Chris Clough said that turning resident input into programs is a no-brainer, considering the city’s size.

“When I have a group of residents who are interested in something, I can be very responsive to that. I can make something happen usually as quick as the next season, whereas in large communities, you don’t have that kind of responsiveness and you need a much bigger group to be able to do something. But if there are 15-20 residents interested in something, that’s a program,” he said. “Everyone’s voice is so important here because you can make a huge impact in a small community. You come out and tell me what you want to do, and we try to make that happen.”

After joining the Lathrup team in the spring, Clough said, his focus has been programming. In 2020, he said, the focus will be on classes.

Lathrup Village DDA Director and Manager of Community Economic Development Susie Stec said she is interested to see how the plan from 2014 will evolve.

“I’m excited to see the input for each of the different elements and how that’s going to further refine the plan,” she said.

Bahm said the next step in the plan-updating process is to take the results to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, where they will put together a five-year plan. The plan will then be brought before the City Council, Bahm said.

The goal is to apply for grant funding by March 1 to fund programs starting in April.

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