APA sets principles for federal infrastructure investments

road06-800pxEverybody’s talking about infrastructure. The Michigan Association of Planning has made it a focus of their policy planning for the past two years. Governor Rick Snyder’s 21st Century Infrastructure Commission said the state needs to spend $4 billion a year more than it currently does just to reach the national average of infrastructure spending.

The American Planning Association has reacted to President Trump’s desire to improve the country’s infrastructure by establishing nine principles to guide the efforts of Congress and the administration. A new federal infrastructure program should:

  • Serve multiple modes and types of infrastructure
  • Be driven by local visions and strong regional planning
  • Address long-term funding sustainability
  • Harness private sector investment and creativity to advance and protect the public interest
  • Consider key factors of location and leverage
  • Promote access
  • Advance opportunity for all
  • Embrace and support innovation
  • Make communities safer and more resilient

Planners and public safety officials unite to fight Phragmites

By R. Donald Wortman, AICP, PLA, PCP

This article was originally published in the Michigan Association of Planning’s magazine. This is the type of timely information you receive when you become a member of MAP.

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Kevin Walters, MI DEQ

Over the years, Michigan has been beset with the management of invasive species. We have witnessed the intrusion of unwanted guests such as purple loosestrife, zebra mussels and emerald ash borer. Now a new invasive is intruding on our natural resources and ecosystems with far reaching impacts that goes beyond the natural environment but also impacts local municipalities and community planning. This culprit is Phragmites (Phragmites australis).

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Leaders’ shared vision inspires Center Line development plan

Center Line DDA

Photo by David Lewinski

The city of Center Line has revived its downtown development authority and refocused its tax increment financing (TIF) in a placemaking initiative to attract businesses that serve nearby workers and young people to its tidy blocks of affordable houses.

“The first challenge is getting the willpower and getting a champion,” said CWA’s Dave Scurto in this January 21 Metromode article. “Center Line has overcome this fantastically. Everybody’s working together with the same vision and message. The mayor and the council understand the business community.”

The article features the Center Line city manager/DDA director and the mayor and their plans for a façade improvement program, gateway signage, enhanced wayfinding, streetscape maintenance and online marketing.

Dave compared the initiative to the city of Riverview’s successful plan to acquire a faded shopping center and redevelop it into a medical complex.

Township adds solar energy zoning

By Laura Kreps

solar-zoning-webAugusta Township in Washtenaw County recently adopted a comprehensive large solar energy ordinance to accommodate the Sugar Creek Solar Farm.  The proposed solar farm is located on approximately 644 acres of land that has recently been rezoned to light industrial for large solar energy facility development.  The township board adopted text and map amendments and the planning commission approved a special land use permit. The township expects the applicant to file an application for site plan review later this year.

Solar energy representatives have contacted other CWA clients in southeast Michigan to explore possible sites. Contact us for more information on formulating a solar energy ordinance.

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Bicycle facilities

bicycle-facilities

A public health crisis resulted in a pioneering GIS project

By Charlotte Wilson

Water (blue) & sewer (red) lines in Sylvan Township. Click to enlarge.

Water (blue) & sewer (red) lines in Sylvan Township. (Draft. Subject to change) Click to enlarge.

After an outbreak of hepatitis caused by a sudden sewage pipe burst in 1984, Kenton County, KY came to the unpleasant realization that their infrastructure had not been mapped. Over 30 years the county blazed a trail and is now a respected model of best practices in geographic information systems (GIS).

Many of today’s communities face Kenton County’s dilemma. When the Flint water crises hit, other Michigan cities woke to the potential problem and couldn’t find out if their own pipes contained lead. While you may never have a crisis like Kenton County, mapping your infrastructure provides important support for planning, public health, safety, maintenance, and replacement. It can give you visual tools to explain your community’s infrastructure needs and gain public support for your repair and replacement plans.

The attached maps display the sanitary sewer and water maps from our client Sylvan Township. As an addition to their master plan, the township now has an additional resource to aid in planning future developments. (These maps are drafts and are subject to change in the final master plan.)

(Contact Charlotte for information about Carlisle/Wortman Associates’ GIS services.)