The Village of Lake Orion 2020 Master Plan Amendment survey is available online at http://lakeorion2020masterplan.konveio.com/welcome
The Review will keep the link available on our website until the end of the survey time frame on Oct. 12.
Hardcopies of the survey are available at Lake Orion Village Hall, 21 E. Church St., and the DDA office, 118 N. Broadway St.
Lake Orion residents can fill out the survey from Sept. 18 through Oct. 12.
By Jim Newell
What is the Village of Lake Orion missing?
Middle housing for starters. Not apartment buildings, necessarily, but housing like duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes and townhouses or condos.
How should village land be zoned and developed in the future?
Village officials and their planners hope to get feedback on these questions, and more, with a new survey going live on Friday.
The village will then use the feedback to help update and amend its Master Plan, which helps guide land use and development in the village.
Laura Haw, senior principal planner with McKenna, a community planning, design and architecture firm contracted by the village, presented the survey overview to the village council during its meeting on Monday.
“The 2020 Master Plan Amendment is the Village of Lake Orion’s plan for community-wide policy and decisions involving land use, transportation, neighborhoods, infrastructure and open space, among other topics. This project is not a complete re-write of the Master Plan, rather it is an amendment that reflects the village’s strategies for addressing redevelopment and opportunity areas and the Future Land Use Map,” Haw said.
The survey is interactive, so in addition to clicking question answers and leaving comments, there will be Future Land Use Maps that people can click on.
Village Manager Joe Young said officials hope that residents of the village and stakeholders, such as business owners, respond to the survey.
“But we’re open to any good ideas,” he said.
Council President Ken Van Portfliet pointed out that the survey should include questions about development along the M-24 corridor, or sites like the Orion Marine. What would residents like, or not like, to see in those areas?
He also stressed getting feedback on the walkability of the community and bicycling in the village.
“We’ve got a number of game-changers coming at us that could pop up at any time,” Van Portfliet said.
Councilmember Jerry Narsh brought up that the survey might be a good time to get public opinion on a parking structure. Should one be built? In what style? How many levels should a structure have?
In a housing units comparison from 2018, the village has ample village single family residential and lake single family residential homes. It also has a number of apartment buildings. But in the 1-unit attached through 9-unit range, the village falls short, especially in the 2 units category.
The survey will also present redevelopment scenarios and give a background on the property and then ask residents what they would like to see in terms of development.
For instance, the Ehman Center property on Lapeer and Elizabeth streets: to what use should that property be zoned and developed?
Or the DPW yard. If the buildings were relocated, what would be an appropriate use of that space? A park? Housing? Something else?
“There will be a variety of visual preference surveys, polls, redevelopment scenarios and mapping activities that residents, business owners and other stakeholders can participate in, these can be thought of ‘virtual exercises’.
“A major benefit to this website platform is that comments are visible to everyone, so that other members of the public can collaborate and interact with others. There is also an educational component to the website, which is a best practice in any community engagement process. Participants can respond to as many or as few exercises as they are interested in.
“The purpose of the Master Plan Amendment is to determine the sites within the Village that are ripe for redevelopment, known as Character Change Areas. This Plan will articulate Village preferred redevelopment scenarios for these areas, and to define a path forward to improvements that will benefit the property owners, existing residents and the business community, and the general public by creating a more vibrant, walkable and economically healthy Lake Orion,” Haw said.
Those who fill out the survey will have to leave their name and email. The survey will basic background questions like Where do you live? How long have you lived in Lake Orion? Age, property owner/renter, etc.
Lake Orion’s current Master Plan was adopted in 2002 and updated in 2008. The 2002 plan is online at www.lakeorion.org/index.php/departments/planning-zoning-building. A hard copies are available at Village Hall.