This Land Policy Institute (LPI) program conducts research and outreach designed to increase coordination between governmental bodies, as well as create an information/data clearinghouse and decision support system to enhance local, regional, and state planning efforts.
Planning and Zoning Center (PZC) at MSU
Key to LPI's mission of enhancing planning and coordination in land use decision making was bringing the Planning & Zoning Center (PZC) to LPI.
PZC at MSU is headed by community planner Mark Wyckoff, FAICP, who founded the original PZC in September 1982 as an instrument for education, training, and consulting in the arena of community planning and land use issues.
PZC at MSU today is a multi-disciplinary team of professionals devoted to research, education, and consultation in appropriate community planning and controlled development. A priority project of PZC at MSU has been the development of a Smart Growth Readiness Assessment Tool (SGRAT) for Michigan Communities.
Working jointly with LPI and the Citizen Planner program, PZC at MSU has helped build a tool that will assist Michigan's local leaders in assessing their communities' development patterns to determine how smart they are growing, and to provide a set of targeted self-help resources and Michigan case studies to help improve local Smart Growth efforts and quality of life.
Another major project undertaken by PZC at MSU in 2006 was a series of training programs held at 15 locations throughout the state on the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act that went into effect in July 2006.
Nearly 2,000 local planning, zoning, and elected officials attended the training programs and were introduced to the context for the statutory changes, an overview of the changes, the new Michigan Zoning Guidebook, and other proposed and pending legislation that could affect the practice of local planning and zoning. PZC at MSU works closely with the Citizen Planner program in the delivery of common services.
High Priority Topics (Ongoing*)
LPI has given the highest priority to research and outreach on the following topics within the area of Enhanced Planning:
- The democratization (conveying scientific findings to citizens) of information.*
- Decision support and integration tools.*
- Promote implementation of planning principles in Chapter 3 of the Michigan Land Use Leadership Council's recommendations (LPI goals and objectives).*
- Public website for land use that acts as a data clearinghouse and has decision support tools (with natural resource databases).
- Policy analysis to formulate recommendations for improving multi-jurisdictional planning in the state.*
- Case studies of coordinated planning efforts in the state, including what works and what doesn't work.*
- Negotiation and conflict resolution methods and processes.
- Incentives to encourage cooperative multi-jurisdictional planning models for joint planning commissions.
- Capacity building throughout the state (i.e., Citizen Planner program).
- Incentives to foster multi-jurisdictional updating and developing of comprehensive plans.
- Strategic plan and models for joint planning commissions with analysis of successful regional planning commissions and best management practice transfer program.
- Options for improved coordination of planning.
Enhanced Planning Initiatives
Projects funded by or spurred by the Land Policy Institute in the area of Enhanced Planning include:
- Development of a New Class, "Geospatial Technologies for Recreational Open Space Planning and Management." Sarah Nicholls, CARRS and Geography, MSU.
- Resolving Land Use Issues When Siting Wind Turbine Towers in Michigan. Michael Klepinger, Fisheries and Wildlife, MSU.
- Assisting Michigan Counties and Local Governments in Conservation Planning. Patrick Brown, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, MSUE.
- Montcalm County Build-Out Analysis Study. Patricia Machemer, Landscape Architecture,
- Assessing the Relationship between Local Officials' Knowledge and Local Planning Outcomes in Coastal Michigan Communities. Richard Norton, Urban and Regional Planning,
U of M.
- Regional Conservation Lands Needs Assessment for Genesee, Lapeer, and Shiawassee Counties. Christine Vogt, CARRS, MSU.
- Coordinating Community and Economic Development: Weighing competing claims shaping the northern Michigan Landscape.
Susan Applegate Krouse, Anthropology, MSU.
- Grand Walk Sustainable Community Plan.
Rick Chapla, Urban Redevelopment, The Right Place, Inc.
- Integration of Natural Resource Data in Local Land Use Planning. Ger Schultink and Jennifer Olson, CARRS, MSU.
- The Fiscal Impacts of Alternative Single Family Housing Densities Infrastructure Costs. Land Policy Institute.
- Options and Tools for Combining Local Government. Eric Scorsone and Melissa Gibson, Land Policy Institute and MSU State and Local Government Program.
- Refinement and Synthesis of Sewer Infrastructure Cost Analysis for the City of Grand Rapids. Mohamed Najafi, Center for Underground Infrastructure Research and Education, MSU.
- Creating Cool Cities by Building Great Neighborhoods: Publishing a Manual on Neighborhood Planning and Distributing to Urban Core Cities in Michigan/United Growth Expansion Manual. Carol Townsend, Urban Collaborators, MSUE.
- Michigan's Golden Spike: Linking Transit & Prosperity - Ann Arbor-Detroit Corridor. Conan Smith, Michigan Suburbs Alliance.
- Otsego County Growth Management Initiative Implementation. Jeff Ratcliffe, Otsego County Economic Alliance.
- New Designs for Growth - DevelopMentor Program. Donna Wilson, Traverse Area
Chamber of Commerce.
- Making Multi-Jurisdictional Partnerships Work.
Joe VanderMeulen, Land Information Access Association, and Eric Scorsone, MSU.
- Building Leadership to Link Smart Growth and Prosperity in the Grand Traverse Region. Jim Lively, Michigan Land Use Institute, and Eric Scorsone, MSU.
- Macomb County Vision 2020. Daniel Wiiki,
Habitat for Humanity.
- Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership. Lindsay Eister, Shiawassee County Prosperity Team.
Select Community Impacts
- Nearly 2,000 local planning, zoning, and elected officials received training on Michigan's new consolidated zoning enabling act.
- One pilot community, Fremont, has already pilot tested the Smart Growth Readiness Assessment Tool and is identifying next steps for incorporating Smart Growth principles in future planning efforts.
- Research on the fiscal impacts of providing sewer infrastructure to different housing densities in Grand Rapids helped inform city officials about the benefits of compact development.
- John Koches, Grand Valley State University faculty member, developed a sustainability strategy for the City of Muskegon and its Urban Area.
- Sarah Nicholls, an MSU faculty member within the Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies, provided Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department with information on how to make access to Grand Rapids parks more equitable.
- MSU Extension faculty provided a sustainable development guidebook for developing suburban and rural communities to Livingston County.
- MSU Extension faculty gave a series of lectures on the status and future of land in Hillsdale County.
- United Growth Replication manual is now available as an Extension e-bulletin. Carol Townsend and Kendra Wills, United Growth of