Staff presented the results of the first phase of the Midland City Modern Master Plan process to the Planning Commission in October 2021. These results were then shared with the City Council in November 2021. This first phase, ‘Imagine It,’ asked Midlanders to provide feedback on general priorities that would shape the goals, objectives, and strategies of the plan. Significant public engagement during Phase 1 included 23 stakeholder meetings, six public input surveys, five Midland Moves events, and the launching of a project website and newsletter.
The following focus areas were identified during Phase 1:
Neighborhoods + Livability
- District/corridor development
- Equitable development
- Economic development, business & talent attraction, and small business development
- Park improvements
- Activities/social opportunities
- Quality of life
- Added mixture of uses in neighborhoods
- Preserving neighborhood character
Transportation + Mobility
- Infrastructure maintenance and long-term sustainability challenges
- Lop-sided or unequal development across the city
- Improved connectivity/access
- Equitable or complete streets
- Improved multi-modal access
- Electric and autonomous vehicles
Sustainability + Resiliency
- Long-term sustainability of infrastructure
- Flood mitigation and resiliency
- Sewer improvements
- Improved environmental/green efforts
- Maintaining parks and open spaces
With the conclusion of Phase 1, staff has developed an action plan to facilitate the completion of the planning process, culminating with final adoption of the City Modern plan.
The proposed work plan is premised on four key objectives:
Ensuring ongoing, authentic collaboration with the community and key stakeholders through a visible, accessible, and engaging process.
The plan utilizes a mix of traditional and non-traditional methods to reach a broad cross-section of the community with an emphasis on typically under-represented populations. These methods include:
Pop-Up Planning Studios (12)
Staff will take the planning process “on the road” to conduct informal outreach at various locations around the City each month until plan adoption. Locations will be selected to reach Midlanders of all ages, races, incomes, and abilities.
E-City Hall surveys (4)
This collaborative, online tool will be utilized to solicit input on draft goals, objectives, and strategies; zoning; the future land use and transportation maps; and the draft plan. Surveys will be designed to provide input opportunities for both casual and active participants.
Open Houses (3)
A traditional engagement format which will provide Midlanders the ability to drop in, learn about the plan, and provide input.
A variety of methods will be utilized to keep Midlanders informed about the process, encourage their participation, report out results, and make information accessible to all.
- Traditional Media
Television, Radio, and Print
- Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- Audio and Video
MCTV productions, podcasts, City Modern website, and City of Midland website
2. Building on current and past planning initiatives and public engagement, including:
City Master Plan (2006, last updated 2018)
Midland County Housing Analysis (2018)
Center City Redevelopment Plan (2019)
Congress for the New Urbanism Project for Code Reform Report (2019)
Downtown Development Authority Strategic Plan (2019-2022)
Parks and Recreation Master Plan (2021-2025)
Urban3 land productivity analysis (2022)
Riverfront Master Plan (underway)
Ashman & Rodd Corridor Study (underway)
Fire Department Study (underway)
3. Leveraging outside resources to provide greater depth and breadth to the plan, including:
EV Smart Communities Program
The City was recently selected to engage in this program, supported by the Michigan Municipal League, which is designed to create local readiness for electric vehicles.
Redevelopment Ready Communities Program
The City of Midland remains engaged in this program with the goal of obtaining certification as a Redevelopment Ready Community. The City was recently selected to participate in a Resilient Communities Pilot Program, sponsored by RRC, designed to assist communities to better prepare for and recover from future disasters.
4. Creating momentum for plan implementation.
The action plan is intended to not only facilitate participation in the planning process but to create advocates for plan implementation. The action plan also integrates more intensive analysis such as a Zoning Audit and Stress Test designed to accelerate the ability of City policymakers to make tangible progress on implementation immediately following plan adoption.
The work plan assumes final plan adoption in September, 2023.