County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Citizens Get Peek at Proposed Plan

Changes to Include Easing of Some Small Lot Restrictions



Cleaver Staff Writer

HARRISON – A public Master Plan Implementation Workshop on the proposed updated Harrison Master Plan was held May 14 at Harrison City Hall. It was a chance for city residents to view and offer feedback on new districts mapping and gain more detailed information on the changes proposed by the steering committee and put into visual form by Wade Trim.

Arthur Mullen, AICP, from Wade Trim, gave a brief introduction to attendees, and explained how they could put a pin on the maps indicating areas of interest?  Mullen remained throughout to field questions and put into perspective what the changes will enable, and what they can mean for residents in the future.

At the start of the two-hour event, Mullen offered some remarks to help clarify the City’s intended direction.

“In the Master Plan we do an analysis component that looks at the demographics,” Mullen said. “The first part looks at essential data. Twenty years ago, Michigan was planning for growth, and a lot of our master plans we’re updating now, were looking toward continued growth. Now we’re looking at decline in a good portion of the state. There are only about three regions in the state that are projected to grow, but they don’t have a crystal ball either. They’re looking at birth rates, death rates, and in-migration or out-migration to do those analyses.”

Citing the unexpected growth experienced in the Grand Rapids area over the past 20 years, Mullen said there are things that can change to adjust a community’s trajectory. He further noted his belief that the state’s main export is young people, and the changes to the Master Plan are hoped to give reasons to want to stay, live here, and make this area their home.

Mullen said the goal was to preserve Harrison’s up north and small town character; addressing blight; trying to deal with housing choice; and the small lots.

It was estimated that about 40-plus people dropped by City Hall to take a look and learn about the new master plan.

Justin Cavanaugh, city manager/clerk, explained that what was being asked was for attendees to state what they would like the City to focus on first for ordinance updating.


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