‘Imagine Flint’ Comprehensive Plan update is underway

By Kate Stockrahm

With one month down in a roughly 18-month engagement timeline, an update to the City of Flint’s “Imagine Flint” Comprehensive Plan is now underway.

The plan, which acts as a guideline for Flint’s land use and future development, was originally adopted in October 2013 following a visioning process that spanned nearly two years and included over 200 community meetings across Flint’s nine wards.

And now, a little over 11 years later, the city’s Planning Commission and Business and Community Services Department says it’s time to take another look.

“So… what is the purpose of a [comprehensive] plan?” Emily Doerr, director of Business and Community Services, asked her 7th Ward audience at a plan update kickoff meeting on June 11, 2024. “I can kind of cheekily say, like, ‘Well, it’s because state law requires it.’ That’s true.”

The Planning and Enabling Act does require the update, she continued with a smile, but beyond that, an updated comprehensive plan also helps Flint residents fully realize the vision their plan outlines.

“It helps us write grants at the city to fund things that you guys want to see happen,” she explained.

Doerr went on a month-long tour in June to reintroduce the plan and its update process to residents and stakeholders in each of Flint’s nine wards, with the idea that her team and other appropriate city departments will then follow up by hosting feedback sessions on specific portions of the plan, like economic development or public health, in July and August.

Those sessions will all be held at the Gloria Coles Flint Public Library at 2 p.m., and so far the established dates and topics include:

  • July 11 – Economic Development
  • July 18 – Environment/Open Space
  • July 25 – Infrastructure/Transportation
  • Aug. 1 – Public Health and Safety
  • Aug. 8 – Housing
  • Aug 15 – Land Use

Doerr noted that she is also working on putting together an education-focused session and that all of the topics will be repeated during meetings in September. Those dates are still to be determined. 

As for an overall timeline for the update, Doerr said her department will be working to complete at least 50 community meetings from September 2024 – September 2025 in partnership with the Crim Fitness Foundation’s Department of Neighborhood Impact. 

Assuming that happens on time, she said she hopes to see an updated comprehensive plan adopted by December 2025.

However, Doerr added, if that’s not doable based on what she and her team hear during these feedback sessions, they won’t rush it.

“If it doesn’t happen by December of ‘25, we’re not going to get in trouble,” she said. “It’s actually a good thing because that means we have even more people who want to give feedback.”

To offer feedback, which is not limited to outlined session topics but can include anything in the current plan, residents can:

  • Drop off written feedback at dropboxes set up at Hasselbring Senior Center (1002 W. Home Ave.), the Latinx Technology & Community Center (2101 Lewis St.), or the Mott Park Clubhouse (2401 Nolen Drive);
  • Mail written feedback to City Hall (1101 S. Saginaw St.) with “Attn: Zoning Coordinator” in the address line;
  • Submit typed input online at cityofflint.com/department/bcs, where a form will soon be made available;
  • Or attend one of the upcoming community meetings through the next year.

Flint’s current comprehensive plan can be viewed at imagineflint.com.

This article also appears in East Village Magazine’s July 2024 issue.

Author: East Village Magazine

A Non-profit, Community News Magazine Since 1976

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