Master Plan

Grand Traverse County and the region have long maintained a tradition of planning balanced between the conservation of natural resources and the recognition of growth and development.  While the Grand Vision defined citizen desire on a regional scale, there remains a gap between those desires and the master plans and zoning ordinances developed by local planning commissions.  It will take a collaboration of local planning commissions to advance land use decision-making so that it is more inclusive, more cooperative and more informed.  In order to match the principles of the Grand Vision with the goals and objectives of local master plans, a need emerged for a new way of working together so that all planning commissions could accomplish their goals in light of the broader regional discussion.  A new master plan for Grand Traverse County was seen as the vehicle to make this happen.

Many conventional elements and the comprehensiveness of a master plan are not in place here.  Rather, this plan is based on communication and collaboration among ALL of the planning commissions in the county. It identifies values and the strategies to enhance those values and places them at the forefront of land use decisions by continually reviewing trends, maintaining regular discussions and adjusting policy more frequently.  In place of the typical list of goals and objectives, the values and strategies in this plan reflect the common principles of all the planning commissions.  There is also a newly purposed role for the Grand Traverse County Planning Commission and its staff to act as conveners in this ongoing process; a process that functions more like a work plan focused first on the highest priorities but has the ability to address other land use issues as they become a priority.  This ongoing approach will result in partnerships that build trust, maximize resources and create strategies with improved results.

A Master Plan for Grand Traverse County

Development of the Master Plan was supported, in part, by a HUD Community Challenge Planning Grant program through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities