Farmington turns to residents for input on latest master plan update

Not even the added calories of Paczki Day can slow down the City of Farmington’s Master Plan.

As city officials, residents, and stakeholders departed the Master Plan Open House event at City Offices this past Tuesday, March 5, for a planned afterglow at Browndog Barlor & Restaurant, they were greeted by a full house of Fat Tuesday revelers. They were fortunate then that downtown Farmington has so many options, redirecting the event to John Cowley and Sons Irish Pub.

Earlier that evening at City Offices, approximately 20 guests attended the city’s Master Plan Open House. There they viewed presentation boards and engaged with city leaders, the master plan steering committee, and representatives with the city’s planning consultant on the project, OHM Advisors.

It was the second such event.

"One of the most important aspects of the master plan is community engagement, to open up the opportunities for anybody to participate in the process," says Kevin Christiansen, Farmington’s Economic and Community Development Director.

"Open houses are an opportunity for people to respond to the plan, engage with city leaders, and become owners of the plan."

According to a state statute, local governments must review and update their master plan once every five years. Christiansen likens the plan to the city’s road map, an inventory of existing conditions and strategies for maintaining and improving the quality of life in Farmington.

Officials are currently tweaking the plan in response to comments gathered at the open house. A draft plan will be available on the city’s website within one to two weeks.

The master plan then goes through a multi-level vetting process and could eventually end up in front of city council for approval as early as July.

"This establishes our goals and priorities in moving Farmington forward," Christiansen says.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.