Sunday, 17 November, 2019


Public Engagement Opportunity

The public is invited to attend an open house meeting to discuss the Grand Rapids Comprehensive Plan.

Where: Grand Rapids Area Library (140 NE 2nd Street)
When:  Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Time:    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The City of Grand Rapids is in the process of updating its Comprehensive Plan which sets a long-range vision for the future of the community. The plan will identify goals, objectives and implementation actions that the City will work towards to reach its vision for 2040. These items are developed based on your input. At this open house, the City is looking for your feedback on the 2040 goals and prioritization of implementation actions. 

The public meeting will be an open house format allowing for informal discussion, questions, and answers regarding the Comprehensive Plan. Informational boards and engagement activities will be set-up to allow attendees the opportunity to provide input and participate in discussions specific to each plan element. There will be a formal presentation at 6:15 p.m. Members of the project team will be on hand to answer questions and discuss the project.The City of Grand Rapids has begun the process of updating its Comprehensive Plan that was adopted in 2011.  The Comprehensive Plan is used to guide decisions within the community related to growth and development. The Plan will include an updated vision, goals, and objectives to guide those future decisions.  The topics of land use, natural resources, economic development and transportation will be discussed within the Plan, and will build upon existing planning documents.

Community engagement is a key component of the Comprehensive Plan update. The goals and recommendations developed within the Plan will be derived from the input received by residents throughout the process.  The City staff, the project Steering Committee and the consultant team are currently preparing a Community Survey to gather feedback to inform the plan. Check back for updates!

Steering Committee  Meeting Agenda's:

What is a Comprehensive Plan?
Minnesota law enables cities to adopt a “comprehensive” plan to guide economic development, transportation, and land use actions.  The comprehensive plan is a policy document rather than an ordinance or law, but provides the legal foundation for the city’s ordinances, programs, and capital investment plans.     
A Comprehensive Plan identifies a community’s desired future, looking out 20 years, or in this case, the Grand Rapids of 2040.  The desired future is described with a future land use map and supporting written goals and policies.  Plans typically have three important parts –background information to define the “what is,” maps and goals to define the “desired future condition,” and a set of implementation actions to bridge between the “what is” and the “desired future.”

The Existing Comprehensive Plan

In July of 2011, the City of Grand Rapids adopted an updated Comprehensive Plan, after a yearlong process of background studies, engaging residents and businesses, and detailed discussion.  Since adoption, many 2011 Plan goals have been achieved, including public investment in new street connections, new economic development projects and initiatives, and additional planning efforts such as the Arts and Culture Roadmap and an updated Parks and Trails Master Plan.  
Changing situations, however, diminish the importance of some Plan goals, and new challenges and opportunities, not envisioned during the creation of the 2011 Plan, are arising.  Has there been a change in the community’s vision of an ideal future or the core community values that drive that vision. Should the current and desired future socioeconomic environment change the City’s long-term priorities?  What actions should be taken to achieve the vision and is the City situated to sustain its resources - community, economy, and natural – over the long term?

What happens, and how can I be involved?
The Comprehensive Plan update will take place over 9-10 months.  The City will hold two public meetings, to present draft maps, policies and other work for public input, as well as a final comment meeting.  In addition to public meetings, the City intends to conduct a public survey, and conduct a series of community engagement discussions to get detailed input on issue identification and community vision, values, and redevelopment/growth area preferences.

The City Council has appointed a Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee to serve as advisors to the Planning Commission and the City Council and to be the decision-making body for creating a draft Plan.
The structure of the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee is intended to ensure a wide representation of interests.  The Steering Committee represents the following interests:

•    Business- Manufacturing Representative (1)
•    Business- Downtown Retail/Service Representative (1)
•    Business- Non-downtown Retail/Service Representative (1)
•    Builder/Developer Representative (1)
•    Tourism/Hospitality Industry Representative (1)
•    Social Services Representative (1)
•    Housing Representative (1)
•    Health Care Industry Representative (1)
•    Education Representative (1)
•    Residential Representatives (4- residents/one from each quadrant of town)

In addition to these volunteer appointments, the Steering Committee will have two representatives from the Planning Commission and two City Council representatives. The Grand Rapids EDA will provide oversite and guidance in the development of the economic development element of the plan.

For more information on the project, contact Rob Mattei, Director of Community Development, City of Grand Rapids, 218-326-7601.