Farmington, MI. (March 15, 2016).  The Farmington DDA has commenced the process to update the city’s Downtown Master Plan.  It recently retained planning consultants from Livonia-based OHM Advisors to shepherd the work.  The Michigan Planning Act requires a review every five years following the adoption of a Master Plan.  The DDA last completed a comprehensive revisioning of the Downtown Master Plan in 2004.  It was adopted in 2005 and incorporated into the City’s Master Plan in 2009.

“The 2004 Master Plan was the catalyst for change in Downtown Farmington,” stated Annette Knowles, Assistant to the City Manager/DDA Executive Director.  “The plan created a vision for a different type of downtown, with more density and pedestrian-friendly features.  We are hoping to build on its successes with this update.”

Led by a Steering Team, whose members are: Greg Cowley, City Council Member; Kenneth Crutcher, Member, Planning Commission; Brandi Ellis, Downtown Business Owner; Brian Golden, Design Committee Member; David Gronbach, Design Committee & Planning Commission Member; Les Key, DDA Board Member and Design Committee Chair; Joseph LaRussa, Design Committee Member; JoAnne McShane, Design Committee Member; Jennifer Miller, Resident; Laura Myers, Historical Commission Chair; Thomas Pascaris, Downtown Property Owner; Patrick Rooney, Representative, Downtown Property Owner; Matthew Schiffmann, Resident; Steven Schneemann, City Council and Design Committee Member; and Carol Sinzheimer, Representative, Downtown Business Owner, the project is expected to conclude with an updated plan that will be presented to the Planning Commission for adoption toward the end of summer into early fall.

OHM Advisors has a long-standing relationship with the City of Farmington, primarily in a  civic engineering capacity.  The firm was involved in the 2013 Vision Plan and the 2015 Downtown Area Plan.  Project Manager Aaron Domini expressed excitement in continuing to work toward positive development in the downtown area, “The OHM team is pleased to continue to work with the City of Farmington to plan for the future of the downtown. This project comes at an opportune time as the City considers how to adapt and plan for the downtown in the New Economy, and also helps advance the goals of the recently completed Farmington Vision Plan and Downtown Area Plan.”

The DDA expects to solicit community ideas and feedback in this planning process.  A project web site has been created at http://farmingtonplan2016.weebly.com.  A community summit or design charette is planned during the summer as well as an online community survey.  Interested persons can follow progress on the Downtown Farmington page on Facebook as well.

“The process to complete the downtown plan will involve both stakeholder and general public input, creating a plan that is intuitively informed by the values and aspirations of the community,” reiterated Domini.

The cost of the project, to be split equally between the DDA and the City of Farmington, is $38,500 per the proposal from OHM Advisors.  The Steering Team will meet monthly on the second Thursday at 8a.m. through July, 2016.