Welcome to another update to HRWC’s Change Makers.

Millage Toolkit Available

HRWC’s  Funding Land Protection from Millages Toolkit offers a step-by-step gu idefor creating a millage campaign to protect land in your community. Contact me (Kris) at HRWC if you think this would be good program for your community.

Top Zoning Changes for a Smarter Community

As Change Makers have learned, there are dozens of improvements we can urge local governments to make to their zoning ordinances. Check out this webinar to find out the top three that could have the biggest impact in creating sustainable, walkable, river-friendly neighborhoods and communities. Here is a description of the webinar:

Cities and towns across America are running into obstacles to their placemaking and revitalization strategies. Often a municipality’s zoning codes and ordinances make it illegal to create the type of vibrant communities that support jobs, foster economic development and are attractive places for people to live, work and play.

Every unit of local government could benefit from changes to their code, if only these were scaled and adaptable to their resources and capacity.

The Congress for the New Urbanism’s project seeks to streamline the code reform process by providing local governments with place-specific incremental coding changes that address the most problematic barriers first, build political will, and ultimately create more walkable, prosperous, and equitable places.

The Ann Arbor Greenbelt Commission Launches Strategic Planning Process

As the Ann Arbor Greenbelt celebrates 15 years, and the halfway mark of the 30-year Open Space and Parkland Preservation Program millage, the Greenbelt Advisory Commission (GAC) has announced it will undertake a review of its strategic plan.

To encourage public participation in the review process, the GAC will be holding public meetings. These meetings will allow stakeholders and the public to meet and review the strategic plan.

  • Thursday, Sept. 5, 4:30–7 p.m. — Larcom City Hall, second floor City Council chambers, 301 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor.
  • **Tuesday, Sept. 245:30–7:30 p.m. — Ann Arbor District Library, Westgate Branch, 2503 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor.
  • *Monday, Sept. 30, 5:30–7:30 p.m. — Ann Arbor District Library, Westgate Branch, 2503 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor.
  • *Thursday, Oct. 3​​​, 4:30–7 p.m. — Larcom City Hall, second floor City Council chambers, 301 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor.​

For those unable to attend a public meeting, the current G​reenbelt strategic plan (PDF) is available (also on the program’s website, www.a2gov.org/greenbelt), and comments or suggestions can be submitted to greenbelt@a2gov.org before the final meeting on Oct. 3.

Congratulations to Livingston County for Master Plan Award

Livingston County has received an award from the Michigan Association of Planning for their new master plan.

The Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan is for a comprehensive or general plan that advances the science and art of planning. The award honors America’s most famous planner, Daniel Burnham, for his contributions to the planning profession and to a greater awareness of the benefits of good planning. The nomination for this award focused on the following project criteria: originality and innovation; quality in presentation and methodology; stakeholder engagement; implementation and effectiveness; and promotion of planning.

The Best Practice award is for a specific planning tool, practice, program, project, or process. This category emphasizes results and demonstrates how innovative and state-of-the-art planning methods and practices help to create communities of lasting value. The nomination for this award focused on the following project criteria: originality and innovation; implementation and transferability; stakeholder engagement; and effectiveness and results.

EGLE Offers Local Leaders Webinar Series

Check out these webinars, which discuss local government issues as they relate to State regulations.  The latest one was quite relevant to water quality:  What Local Leaders should know about Water Resource Protection – wetlands, docks, seawalls, and more! It was on August 29, but you can listen to the recordings of every webinar and sign up for upcoming ones here:

Raise Your Voice to Give Feedback on Master Plans in These Areas

You can give your feedback on the draft master plans for the City of Dexter and Hamburg and Ypsilanti townships.

The City of Wixom has published their 2018 Master Plan. HRWC’s comments will be coming soon in Resources on our Change Makers page.

Please let us know when you submit feedback on any of these issues to your local government.  We want to know how it went!

Thank you!

Kris and Jason

Monthly update imageChange Makers are residents who have chosen to become a voice for the Huron River and its watershed by becoming involved in their local governments to encourage wate