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March 19, 2019 1:15 pm

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Updating Douglas' Comprehensive Master Plan May Take A Year To Complete

        “This is an important contract for us,” Douglas City Manager Bill LeFevere told his council at Monday’s meeting about the hiring of the private planning firm Williams & Works of Grand Rapids to update the city’s comprehensive master plan.
        The Douglas City Council unanimously approved the contract worth $42,245.
        “This is not a cheap undertaking. This will take us about a year to complete,” said LeFevere.
        He said the process promises to make use of “cutting edge” tools and involve an extensive outreach campaign to allow for public input, taking into consideration full-time residents, part-time residents and visitors.
        The last time the city completed a land-use master plan was back in 1986; it is definitely time for an update, LeFevere asserted.
        “This will compliment what we are doing with the harbor authority and the City of Saugatuck,” said LeFevere, referring to a key component of the master plan.
        “The city is poised for substantial new growth and re-development as well as the necessity to encourage and direct the (development and improvement) of the waterfront and harbor areas of the community, it (sic) an (sic) way that maximizes the goals of the community for the future,..” states, in part, the resolution council approved on Monday.
        The long, multiple-page document will show the community as it is and speak to “what makes sense as to how the community wants to grow,” said LeFevere.
        It will serve as the principal document on which to base the upgrading of the zoning ordinances and on which to base decisions about planning and land use.
        It will take into account the city’s transportation corridors, community facilities, parks and open space, neighborhoods and housing, and economic development.
        Along with waterfront property, another key component of the master plan will address the long-term planning of the Blue Star Corridor and the properties of the former Haworth Manufacturing site, the former Miro Golf Course as well as the 16.4-acre property just west of that the city purchased last year.
        As noted by LeFevere, the city’s relationship with Williams & Works has been extensive.
        The engineer has assisted the city on various planning projects throughout the years and is currently serving as the city’s planning and zoning consultant under contract.
        Earlier this year, Ryan Kilpatrick, who served as the city’s zoning administrator and economic development director, left that post.

Updating Douglas’ Comprehensive Master Plan May Take A Year To Complete

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