Help Kentwood plan through community engagement series

KENTWOOD, Mich. -- The City of Kentwood is updating its long-range vision for growth, land use, development and open space conservation, known as the Master Plan, and is seeking public input on proposed changes through “Plan Kentwood,” a community engagement series.

The four community engagement opportunities are as follows:

  • Concerts and Conceptual Planning: June 27, 6:30-8 p.m. Kentwood City Hall (Breton Ave. SE)
  • Ice Pops and Planning: July 17, 5-7 p.m. Northeast Park (1900 Middleground Drive SE)
  • City Planning on the Mall: Aug. 6, 3-5 p.m. Woodland Mall (3195 28th St. SE)
  • Designing Division: Sept. 12, 4-6 p.m. Brann’s Steakhouse Parking Lot (4157 S. Division Ave.)

The Master Plan is an official public document adopted by the Kentwood Planning and City Commissions. The forward-looking development plan considers residents’ and property owners’ long-range goals and desires, as well as local, regional and market trends.

It consists of goals, policies and recommended actions to guide land use decision-making for Planning Commissioners and City Commissioners during the next 20 years. The Plan is reviewed at least every five years but is modified and updated as deemed necessary by the City Commission. The most recent update was completed in 2012.

“We look forward to engaging with residents, businesses and property owners for community feedback as we plan for Kentwood’s future development,” said Community Development Director Terry Schweitzer. “The Planning Commission has been reviewing our current plan and identifying leading issues, trends and changes that have affected the community in the past seven years.

“The Master Plan update process is an important step in ensuring thoughtful consideration of our future growth.”

Hosted at City Hall, the first event will be held during the free summer concert featuring Blue Soul Express and include complimentary ice cream for participants. Discussions will focus on a 480-acre area referred to as Section 34, which is located between 52nd and 60th streets, the Princeton Estates Plat and Wing Avenue.

Planning Commissioners and City staff will be in a community booth at the concert from 6:30 to 8 p.m. to facilitate conversations and answer questions about development that has occurred in Section 34 since the last Master Plan update, as well as development that is currently in process and potential opportunities.

The second opportunity for public input, dubbed “Ice Pops and Planning,” will be offered from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17 at Northeast Park. Discussions will surround Section 13, which consists of 263 acres of open land between 28th and 36th streets, Patterson Avenue and East Paris Avenue. Residents will have the opportunity to help guide the future uses for the site.

Staff will be inside Woodland Mall at a table during National Night Out festivities from 3 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 6 to gather input on the future planning of the 28th and 29th Street commercial corridor. The corridor consists of a wide range of development – from high-end boutiques, major regional malls and local retailers, to many national dining, service and product franchises. Public input gathered will focus on how to improve its effectiveness as a transportation corridor, and as a business and employment center.

The final event, “Designing Division,” will be hosted at Brann’s Steakhouse and Grille from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12. Community members are encouraged to join for an evening of ice cream and discussions on the future of the Division Avenue corridor with the City of Kentwood, the City of Wyoming and the Division Avenue Business Association. Division Avenue is a key gateway corridor to both the cities of Kentwood and Wyoming, requiring cooperation between the two communities.

The objective of the update process is to plan for new population growth and redevelopment while protecting key environmental features, creating sustainable economic opportunities and providing public services.

“The Master Plan is not a law or ordinance, but rather a guide for decisions to support how growth and conservation will take place in the City,” Schweitzer said. “We welcome all community members to be a part of the conversation.”

More information about the Master Plan update is available atwww.kentwood.us/PlanKentwood.

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