Rochester Hills adopts master plan to guide city into the future

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published April 10, 2019

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ROCHESTER HILLS — There’s a new vision for the city of Rochester Hills.

After a year of collaborative research, study and community engagement, the city recently adopted its 2018 master plan.

“The city of Rochester Hills and its predecessor, Avon Township, have engaged in land use planning and policymaking for over 50 years, and this is the latest iteration,” Mayor Bryan Barnett said in a statement.

A lot has changed in Rochester Hills since the last time the city updated its master plan, according to Sara Roediger, the city’s planning and economic development director.

“It’s been 10 years since we really sat down and did a deep dive into it, so we wanted to really look at it because a lot has changed in the last 10 years,” she explained.

The city’s last full master plan was completed in 2007, and it was updated in 2013. The long-range document will help guide policy- and decision-making about how land is used for housing, transportation, commerce and recreation over the next 10 to 20 years.

“It really sets a vision for how we physically want to develop in the future,” said Roediger.

The city formally embarked on updating its master plan again in 2017, when officials awarded a contract to Giffels Webster, the city’s planning consulting firm, for the work. Input for the plan also came from community visioning sessions, focus groups, an online survey, a youth art contest and two public open houses.

The feedback helped the team develop four key themes for the plan: improve community health, create an age-friendly community, improve community sustainability and improve transportation choices.

The city is already hard at work bringing the updates for the new master plan to life.

“In order to start implementation of some of these recommendations, we’re already working on a number of ordinance updates that would change zoning, which changes the law on what you can and can’t do on different properties,” Roediger said.

Officials are working on a new residential zoning district to encourage the development of smaller-lot housing, amendments to promote mixed-use redevelopment in the city’s Brooklands area, and an update to the city’s tree preservation ordinance, which was originally created in the 1980s.

“We’re really pleased with the outcome (of the plan), and we’re looking forward to getting to the implementation to make these policies a reality,” said Roediger.

State law requires a municipality to review its master plan every five years.

The public can review the updated master plan at www.RochesterHills.org/MasterPlan. Hard copies are available at City Hall.

For more information, contact Sara Roediger at roedigers@rochesterhills.org.

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