Out of the ashes of the coordinated planning act sprang HB 6134, a bill to create joint planning commissions. Representative Chris Kolb (D-Ann Arbor) sponsored the legislation, which has been scheduled for a hearing in the House Land Use and Environment Committee on Thursday, November 7th at 10:30 a.m. MEC, PIRGIM, the Michigan Townships Association and the Michigan Municipal League prompted the bill’s creation. The introduced version of the bill is attached.
Although comparatively simple, HB 6134 plants the seeds of true regional governance concerning land use decision-making. Efforts to coordinate planning among multiple governmental units underway in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Manchester, Milan and many other Michigan communities would benefit from the new ability in this bill to combine planning commission activities under one body, using one set of rules.
Currently, townships, municipalities and counties all have different rules governing planning decisions. This bill allows them to adopt one set of those rules to guide planning across a broad jurisdiction. The bill deliberately does not impede local control over land use decisions. All joint planning commission decisions/recommendations are still subject to approval by governing boards of the participating local units. A joint planning commission is established by mutually adopted ordinances delineating composition, jurisdiction, procedures for joining or withdrawing, and the planning act under which the new commission will operate.
We need support for this bill! If you read it and like it, let me know. We need people who can come to Lansing on Thursday to testify; we need letter of support from individuals and organizations; we need stories about efforts to coordinate planning and at least a few heartfelt tales about why changing the decision-making process to be more collaborative is so very important. Please share this with anyone you think would be interested.
Land Programs Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI 48912
P.S. please excuse any cross postings . . . cms