Roseville first city in state named ‘redevelopment ready’

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published September 10, 2014

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ROSEVILLE — The work Roseville officials and employees have put forth to streamline commercial development has paid off with some statewide recognition.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation representative Jennifer Rigterink announced during the City Council meeting Aug. 26 that as of September, Roseville would be the first “redevelopment ready” community in the state.

According to City Manager Scott Adkins, this means that the city fulfilled a series of requirements that make it easier for developers to get their businesses opened within the city, which in turn should make it more appealing for commercial enterprises.

“It opens the door for a vast amount of redevelopment in the city,” Adkins said. “A lot of these things going on now are happening under the framework of redevelopment-ready. Even though we are now certified, we already were using the best practices for work at Macomb Mall and LA Fitness, because what it does is streamline the process for these things to occur.”

Adkins said the requirements for new businesses and developments are still the same as they were before the changes were made to city ordinances and policies, but they now can be finished a lot more quickly.

For example, permitting forms can now be downloaded, filled out, and sent back online rather than a developer finding time to visit the city offices multiple times. The city has also put in a more stringent timetable for the Zoning Board to approve or deny site plans, Adkins said.

Adkins said the city initially was selected as a participating community last year and given an initial evaluation showing where it needed to improve. He said the various areas the MEDC focused on were rated as green, yellow or red; green ratings were categories where the city was set, yellow ratings were areas that needed some work and red ratings were areas where the city needed to develop a system or process.

In the intervening period, he said the city hit “green” status on every category the MEDC measured, leading to the announcement. Adkins believes this will be helpful in selling the city across the state and even the country.

“It opens the door for the city for marketing purposes,” he said. “It becomes very desirable in the marketing realm.”

Rigterink said the MEDC would be helping the city by marketing it — as well as its proposed downtown in the Utica Junction — within the state and nationally. She added that as a city without a traditional downtown, Roseville is a rare exception to the typical restriction on funding for marketing from the MEDC.

Rigterink said the title would be good for three years, at which point the city would have to see about renewing it. It would also be subject to biannual status reports.

“You have to stay current and have something in the next few years that you have to accomplish,” Rigterink said. “It has to be something the city already wanted to do but didn’t have time or money to do it.”

This could include a fiber optic Internet line for the city, greater energy efficiency or greater usage of renewable energy within the city, or even changes to the city zoning, she said.

MEDC staff would be available as of Oct. 1 to help the city maintain its status, and there are existing assessment programs focused on things like “green community” or being senior-friendly that can help, too, Rigterink said.

The city officially will be presented with its certification Sept. 17.

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