GRAND BLANC TWP. — Grand Blanc Township residents will get a chance to weigh in on updates to the township’s Master Plan prior to final approval in December.
The plan acts as a pattern for guiding development and future land use.
The most recent updates direct more attention to the northern gateway area at “the point,” generally identified as Dort Highway and Saginaw Street between Maple and Hill roads.
Additionally, greater emphasis is placed on expanding walkability, including the non-motorized trail system, throughout the township.
The northern gateway provides commercial amenities to residents of nearby neighborhoods, as well as travelers making their way to destinations in the township, City of Grand Blanc and points beyond from the City of Flint.
However, as first impressions go, it doesn’t represent the community very well, with strip malls and standalone businesses with large parking lots, lack of notable landscaping or pedestrian amenities and “several poorly maintained and/or vacant commercial buildings, empty parking lots and overgrown fields along these corridors,” as the Master Plan states.
The document lists those challenges as “especially notable” since they do “little to attract new and highquality businesses to the area.”
The plan calls for a variety of investments including some aesthetically-pleasing welcome signs, decorative lighting, bus shelters, pedestrian amenities and “a treelined corridor.”
“The corridor is an important gateway into the community, and its visual appeal is a priority,” the plan states.
Making reference to the recent community survey, the planners report that area residents want “something new.” Residents showed a preference for more traditional, downtown-style development – multi-story buildings with short setbacks and large display windows – rather than typical suburban-style strip malls fronted with large parking lots.
The survey also indicated considerable interest in more “activity opportunities,” as well as safety.
In short, 96 percent of the people who responded to the survey said they want some change, and they want retail, entertainment and recreation, convenience and greenspaces in a safe, attractive setting.
In other areas of the township, the plan calls for extending pedestrian pathways, landscaping and signage in the Holly Road area. In addition, it addresses accommodating more trailways, as well as outdoor seating at restaurants, in the Fenton and Hill roads corridor.
The complete, 140- page Master Plan is available online at www.twp.grand-blanc.mi.us/departments/planning_and_zoning/master_plan.php.
The Planning Commission will solicit public input prior to adoption. A public hearing is set for Dec. 3.