Why We Are Here
Very few communities have an updated master plan. Michigan law requires that communities review their adopted master plans every 5 years. Ideally, your community should adopt a new plan at least every 10 years. If a master plan isn’t current then a court may not uphold local planning decisions if the municipality faces a lawsuit. Communities almost never follow required master plan timelines because they just don’t have the internal resources or again can’t justify high price tags to being in a consultant.
Very few communities like their zoning ordinances. Zoning ordinances are confusing, obsolete, and tedious to amend. Almost all communities have a running list of needed amendments. Building Officials and Zoning Administrators hate explaining ambiguous rules over and over again. Lastly, smaller municipalities just can’t justify a price tag of $40,000+ to re-write their zoning code.
The 5-year recreation plan MDNR requires for grant applications is intimidating. Most communities want new parks or to improve the ones they have, yet the Michigan Department of Natural Resources requires a plan that covers specific considerations and is adopted on a rigid timeline. Many municipalities need assistance to complete a plan but can’t afford to hire a landscape architecture firm to put together a plan and then be able to pay the matching funds for a modest project.