top of page
  • :

City master plan draft heads to commission

By Grace Lovins

The Birmingham Planning Board voted to recommend approval of the city’s 2040 Master Plan to the commission at their meeting on Wednesday, March 8, moving the roughly four-year process one step closer to being complete.

City staff began the process in the fall of 2018, said planning director Nick Dupuis. Minor changes discussed at the last meeting after comments and suggestions were submitted by board members. Many of the changes were geared towards clarifying language and the categorization of land parcels in the plan’s land-use maps. Dupuis noted that the changes were implemented with the help of the consultants working on the plan.

During the board’s discussion, planning board member Daniel Share brought attention to three changes that were missed: advocating for slower speeds instead of including a specific speed limit; contemplating cooperation with various private organizations to strengthen the watershed instead of specifically mentioning a ‘Friends of the Rouge’ organization; and encouraging advancing sustainability through green building standards as opposed to requiring it.

The board concurred that they had agreed upon those changes and Dupuis said they will be included before the draft heads to the commission.

As was the case with the last meeting, numerous comments from the public were made opposing the categorization of the northeast corner of Lincoln and Eton streets as a commercial destination. Dupuis stated that the city had received around 40 comments after the meeting agenda was posted – with a majority regarding the northeast corner of Lincoln and Eton.

The corner is currently an open green space which, residents have explained, is used frequently by the families with children in the neighborhood. The draft of the master plan includes a land-use map which calls for the space to potentially be used as a commercial destination in the future. Many stated at the meeting on Wednesday night that they oppose any commercial destination on that property as there are several vacant properties in the rail district, and felt the board was not properly considering the public’s feedback.

Others noted that, if the space were to have a commercial use in the future, there is already a problem with parking in the area and the intersection is reportedly a nightmare when it comes to vehicles speeding and running through stop signs. One commenter noted that, while nothing is being rezoned, there is a prospect of getting rid of this park in the future when the plan states that park space is already limited.

“We don’t want to come back and fight this battle. It’s on a corner, lots of businesses would want that property … and we don’t want to go on for years trying to keep that a park,” she said.

Chairperson Scott Clein and board member Bryan Williams noted that the decision to keep the categorization of the corner was not unanimous, and that will be reflected in the minutes for the city commission to see before they make their decision.

“It is kind of hard after four years, when you sit in 40-some odd meetings with the public, to hear that the public was not involved, the residents weren’t involved, when, frankly, there are nine residents on this board who were involved in all 45 meetings,” Clein said.

“We’re not some outside consultants, we’re residents,” Clein continued. “The thing that I’d like to suggest, and that’s all it is, is there’s a very big difference between being ignored and being disagreed with, and I think that’s what we have here. When we are being tasked as people appointed by the city commission for our expertise … we’re here and tasked with providing our recommendations of what we feel is in the best interested of the entire city based on those principles.”

Following the board’s comments, Williams motioned to recommend approval to the city commission with the three minor changes highlighted by Share and the comments made by board members regarding the corner of Lincoln and Eton. Board members voted 7-0, with Jason Emerine and Nasseem Ramin voting in place of Robin Boyle and Stuart Jeffares who were absent. Several members of the public commented on their disapproval of the motion.


PayPal ButtonPayPal Button

DOWNTOWN: Unrivaled journalism worthy of reader support

A decade ago we assembled a small but experienced and passionate group of publishing professionals all committed to producing an independent newsmagazine befitting the Birmingham/Bloomfield area that, as we like to say, has long defined the best of Oakland County. 


We provide a quality monthly news product unrivaled in this part of Oakland. For most in the local communities, we have arrived at your doorstep at no charge and we would like to keep it that way, so your support is important.


Check out our publisher’s letter to the community here.

Sign Up
Register for Downtown's newsletters to receive updates on the latest news and much more!

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page