Plans, Reports, and Policies
Garfield Township adopted its Master Plan in September 2018. The planning process helps to give the Township a better understanding of residents' needs and desires for the future growth of the Township. The Master Plan helps guide land use and zoning policy including the Garfield Township Zoning Ordinance. The Michigan Zoning Enabling Act (MZEA) requires zoning to be based on a plan, so if a community wishes to adopt a zoning ordinance, it must also prepare and adopt a master plan to serve as the basis for the various zoning districts in the jurisdiction. Thus, communities must also follow the Michigan Planning Enabling Act (MPEA) for engaging in land use planning and preparing a master plan.
At the beginning of each year, the Planning Commission reviews progress on implementing the Master Plan and determines priority projects for the upcoming year. The Master Plan Implementation Matrix shows which items have been completed, which are ongoing, and which are scheduled to be done in the future. This Matrix guides the Planning Commission in choosing their priorities and may include additional planning projects, zoning ordinance review, and other activities.
Barlow Garfield Neighborhood Plan
The Barlow Garfield Neighborhood Plan is Garfield Township's plan to help guide future land use and development for a portion of the east side of the township. The plan incorporates research about the neighborhood including demographics, history, and current trends impacting the area. This research and public input were used to create a draft strategic plan and development guidelines for the neighborhood.
From June to August 2019, the Township Board underwent a strategic planning process. The Board identified several strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing the Township. These were used to form the vision statement, mission statement, and goals to guide the work of the Township Board, its appointed boards and commissions, and staff.
Framework For Our Future
The Framework for Our Future: A Regional Prosperity Plan for Northwest Michigan is a regional resource for communities working to meet local goals. The Framework was developed, with participation from a broad range of community leaders, stakeholders, and the public, as part of Michigan's Regional Prosperity Initiative.
Michigan State University Urban Planning Practicum Project
In 2022, a team of students from the Michigan State University urban planning program completed a project on sidewalks and trails in Garfield Township. This included analyzing neighborhoods of the Township to target sidewalk and trail investments and developing a methodology for determining future priorities. The information learned from this project will help guide the Township during the Master Plan update process.
Planning Commission Annual Reports
Every year, the Planning Commission prepares an annual report to the Township Board in accordance with the Michigan Planning Enabling Act (MPEA). The annual report describes the Planning Commission's "operations and the status of planning activities, including recommendations regarding actions by the legislative body related to planning and development."
Public Participation Strategy
In 2021, the Township adopted a Public Participation Strategy. This is an important tool for identifying key stakeholders of the Township, determining the most effective ways to communicate with stakeholders, and tracking and conveying the outcomes of community engagement efforts. The Public Participation Strategy will help guide public engagement efforts for projects including the Master Plan and Parks and Recreation Master Plan.
In 2013, the Township Board adopted a "Complete Streets" resolution. The concept of "Complete Streets" means roadways that are planned, designed, and constructed to provide appropriate access to all legal users in a manner that promotes safe and efficient, multi-modal movement across the community.