City offers survey to gain input on master plan

The City of Midland Planning Commission is asking Midland residents what they would like to see done during the next 25-plus years and in what order the work should be completed. To help accomplish this they have made available a set of surveys online, with a midnight March 1 completion deadline.

The surveys are part of a coordinated effort to update the city master plan - called City Modern - that first was adopted in 2007 . According to just released information, City staff have created  two surveys - long and short - to address “previous public feedback and work by the City Planning Commission.

“We've developed a list of goals and objectives that are being considered to include in the City's Midland City Modern Master Plan. Topics cover many different elements of City operations and community needs, including housing, utilities, waste management, energy, natural resources, zoning, community engagement, and more. Now, it's time to prioritize what's most important as we plan for the future,” the release states.

The city has created two survey options that residents can use to share their input:
  • A short, less-detailed survey that takes less than 10 minutes to complete
  • A longer, more in-depth survey that takes 20-30 minutes to complete
Each survey can be accessed by visiting  E-CityHall and select your survey

City officials wrote when the City Modern plan was launched, “The city has a rich history of mid-twentieth-century modernism in architecture, culture, and design. While mid-twentieth century modernism provided this name, this new comprehensive master planning process provides an opportunity for the community to determine what the modern vision will be for the middle part of the current century.”
Jacob Kain is the City of Midland's Planning and Community Development director.
The master planning, with input from its “Meeting in a Box” concept and Pop-Up Studios have and will continue to take place, says Jacob Kain, who became director of City Planning and Development eight months ago. The meetings, which will take place “where people are, on neutral ground, where the best conversations occur” to discuss transportation, neighborhoods and sustainability and all the disciplines that overlap the three main areas. A listing of events can be found at

In addition, there are numerous reports on land values, housing, transportation plans, mobility plans for recreational users and disability services alike on the web site for what Kain refers to as “shallow divers and deep divers” alike.

Kain says surveys can be chosen based on interest level  and desired level of time commitment. Both surveys will help the Midland Planning Commission and City staff prioritize the goals and objectives to be included in the new Master Plan

Kain says this plan will look at integrated systems, and how best this living planning can serve residents of the mid-21st century, “using what we are learning today to produce a city that is as vibrant and vital as the Midland we know today,”

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Read more articles by Ralph E. Wirtz.

Ralph E. Wirtz is a native Midlander who retired from the Midland Daily News as a managing editor in 2015. He has been freelancing since then in between traveling and volunteering. He has four adult children, all who graduated from Bullock Creek High School as he did. He is an eight-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and a Central Michigan University grad. He can be reached at