by ANDREW NEAL
Tuesday’s Shelby Township Board of Trustees meeting included the adoption of a new Master Plan, among several other agenda items.
Township Planner Glenn Wynn presented the request for the board’s approval of the new Master Plan. “We’re required by State law to evaluate and revise plans at five-year intervals. We’ve been working on this plan for a little more than two years,” Wynn said, going on to call it the “most unique and creative plan” he’s ever been associate with.
The plan is divided into four primary sections, which include initiatives to sustain natural community resources, diversify housing, strengthen and transform retail corridors, and link transportation and land use.
The Master Plan offers policy recommendations and suggestions for implementation for each of the four main sections.
“This is meant to be a more user-friendly plan to guide policies,” Wynn said.
Over the two years of working on this plan, Wynn noted that they have hosted community engagement open houses as well as stakeholder interviews in order to draft an inclusive plan that reflects the needs of residents and township officials. He added that a state-required public hearing in July resulted in substantial changes to the plan as well.
“I’m very satisfied with the plan,” Wynn said. “It’s very creative, very substantive.”
Supervisor Stathakis asked Wynn to address an audience member’s question as to the need to review and modify the Master Plan. Wynn explained, “It’s kind of taking a look into the future. Not only land use, but other physical features in your community and provide some guidance. And while people think we’re almost all built out, we’re also redeveloping. So I think the plan now is kind of more complex than the past when we were a developing community.”
Trustee Wozniak asked Wynn how he would compare the Master Plan with the zoning ordinance. Wynn acknowledged that the two are frequently confused. “The Master Plan provides general policy guidance. The zoning regulation is the law,” Wynn clarified.
Clerk Grot asked for a benchmark comparison to previous master plans, specifically how many “upgrades” or “downgrades” the new plan included.
“It’s more generalized. I remember back about 20 years ago, we adopted a new plan and then we went and made about 90 changes to the zoning map and that was really a hard process. I don’t want to do that again,” Wynn said. “We’ll be more selective this time in how we do it, how many changes we make, and how we do it. I don’t think that many changes will be necessary.”
Trustee Viviano made a motion to adopt the 2017 Master Plan, it was supported by Wozniak, and it was approved unanimously.