Rochester Hills wins award for Master Planning process

Approximately six months since adopting their new Master Plan, the City of Rochester Hills is being acknowledged for its planning process.

The Michigan Association of Planning has recognized the city with its Public Outreach Planning Excellence Award. Cited among the reasons for the award was the city’s approach to community engagement, aided by consulting firm Giffels Webster.

City officials and outside consultants held a series of visioning workshops, soliciting input from residents but also city council, the administration, youth council, and planning commission.

In addition to the visioning workshops were adult and youth surveys, open houses, and story maps. The new Picture This! program allowed residents the ability to upload their own photos of things they like about Rochester Hills.

"Throughout the process, residents expressed their satisfaction with the ease and ability to communicate their thoughts," says Planning and Economic Development Director Sara Roediger.

"This validation and participation gave the city, its residents and business owners the confidence to continue moving the community forward through thoughtful planning."

Rochester Hills adopted its Master Plan in February 2019 following a year of research, public input and community engagement. The plan is meant to guide public policy and land use decisions over the course of the next decade or two.

There were several key takeaways from the community engagement sessions. Among them include:

  • Take nature into account when considering future developments
  • Reduce stormwater runoff
  • Enhance non-motorized transportation
  • Support the future of connected mobility
  • Create an age-friendly community

"Engaging our community in our future plans is an essential piece of planning," says Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan K. Barnett.

"It’s rewarding to see elements of the plan already coming to life in our community and to be recognized state-wide."

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Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

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