The Lansing City Council Thursday seemed to agree in a work session that a request for proposals for a new comprehensive plan was ready to be sent to bidders.
The new plan will be the first for the city since the current one was adopted 12 years ago. According to John Jacobson, the city's community development superintendent, a lot has changed since then. Discussions of housing in the former plan focused on single-family residences, though Jacobson said since then the city has seen more and more multi-family housing with duplexes and apartments, as well as more senior and assisted living facilities. The city has to decide with this new plan, he said, how to handle those types of developments and where they should be located in terms of zoning, among other factors.
“There's a number of items like that that have to be addressed in a long-term plan,” he said. “For example, you'll see economic development on this, which was not in the last comprehensive plan.”
The new document, according to the request for proposals that will be sent to potential consultants, will be written with the endpoint of 2030 in mind.
And as the council and others have noted in the past, the city will be looking for help from community members to complete the plan - there are seven different committees that will be looking at different aspects of the long-term vision for the city, like transportation, land use and public facilities. He said the city will be looking for volunteers both from among residents and business stakeholders to serve on those committees and provide input.
Councilman Tony McNeill asked if the Lansing School District was going to be involved. Jacobson said the plan was certainly to solicit input from the schools, especially with the current growth in the district, exemplified by the current plans for a new high school.
“The school will impact this comprehensive plan considerably,” Jacobson said.
The RFP does cap the cost of the plan at $150,000, though Jacobson said including that amount in the solicitation was to provide a “no more than” cost.
The city's Planning Commission has already reviewed, discussed and signed off on the RFP, Jacobson said.