Southfield’s master plan 2.0 will hold ideas from the original master plan established in 2016, but will be focused on a more holistic approach for the coming years.
SOUTHFIELD — After the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench in the 2016 version of the Southfield master plan, the city’s planning department has established a new idea set to take aim in the coming years.
While zoning and land use remain a primary target for the Southfield master plan 2.0, Southfield Director of Planning Terry Croad said they are focusing on a new approach as well.
“It’s our job to forecast the next five to 20 years how all of these changes and trends may impact Southfield and living day to day; I think this plan is more a holistic approach to all those plans and changes,” Croad said. “We’ve adapted some new zoning innovation and techniques to continue to provide flexibility, and we’re laying the basis for establishing a sustainability and climate action plan.”
The plan will hit multiple points, including housing developments, accessibility within the city, sustainability, new restaurant infrastructures and an overall more inclusive ideology for the city.
In regard to zoning, Croad said there’s one area that will be a significant point of emphasis.
“This time, we have what we’re calling the Mixed Use Corridor District; these are the mile roads that run east to west that have shallow depth lots,” Croad said. “We’re trying to provide innovative zoning to allow for higher mixed-use zoning development, especially in our Orthodox Jewish community.”
A vital part of the new plan will also focus on attracting young homeowners and families to the area.
“What I’ve often said is we need to continually develop different housing options to attract and retain young professionals to then move into the family-forming ages who may then buy our single-family homes, send their kids to our school district, and move into our community,” Croad said.
In part to establish a younger demographic, Southfield Mayor Kenson Siver said a key goal is for Southfield to become a more accessible city for pedestrians and bikers.
Additions have included benches and bike repair stations, dog rest stations, and public art pieces.
“We’re working on new housing — little concerned because interest rates have gone up and materials have gone up — but part of it is housing, and part of it is things to do,” Siver said. “That’s why we added, and we’re adding more as we speak, more pathways that are walkable, bikeable, and roller blades on our pathways to encourage people to walk their dogs.”
The new plan will serve as the city’s planned identity for 2022-2027, and any interested residents can view the proposed master plan document at www.cityofsouthfield.com.
“I think one of the things that really excited me is the city’s major growth years were in the 1950s and ’60s, and for many years was Michigan’s fastest growing city,” Siver said. “The city was designed around the automobile, for the civil engineers of 50-60 years ago were designed to move traffic as fast as possible. Today, we’re looking to make the city more pedestrian friendly.”