City to host series of open houses for public to review proposed master plan

The draft of the Mt. Pleasant 2050 Master Plan is complete. A series of open houses have been scheduled for March and April for the public to review the plan before it becomes official.

And if the open houses are anything like the other public input sessions, then participation levels will be pretty high. Hundreds of residents participated in moderated presentations, open charette studio hours, and an online survey throughout 2019.

City officials and consultants have digested said input and applied it to the plan.

"I’m excited because the draft does represent a lot of the input and the consensus we found through the process," says Jacob Kain, city planner for Mt. Pleasant.

"The folks that participated in the charettes will see that their input is reflected back in the plan. The draft reflects the community wishes that are out there."

A master plan informs and guides public policy reflective of the community’s needs and desires. In the 1965 Master Plan, residents expressed a wish to connect Mosher Street to downtown. In the 1987 Master Plan, residents asked for higher quality drinking water.

Following each planning process, Mosher Street was extended and the city built its water treatment plant.

This iteration of the master plan emphasizes parks and public places, a stronger downtown, and a more walkable, economically vibrant Mission Street, among its topics of interest.

"A question I often get is how likely is this plan to come to fruition. People can be skeptical and rightly so. How often are plans made that don’t happen," Kain says.

"But if you look at past master plans, some major Mt. Pleasant projects came out of those plans, plans that changed lives in major ways. There’s a tradition in Mt. Pleasant to achieve big things.

"I’m excited to set ambitious goals to solve some longstanding problems and hopeful that the community will join in the process."

The master plan open houses are scheduled for Wednesday, March 25, at 11 a.m. in the Rotunda of the University Center on the campus of Central Michigan University; and on Thursday, April 23, at 11 a.m. at the Cops and Donuts – Central Precinct location and at 5 p.m. at Mt. Pleasant City Hall.

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