Planning & Policy
Planning is central theme to the activities of the NWMCOG’s Regional Planning and Community Development Department. NWMCOG staff firmly believes and practices “planning” as a means for local units of governments and their residents to realize their unique community goals. The NWMCOG’s Regional Planning Department believes that the planning process begins and ends with local input and decision-making. With regards to policy work, staff will assist local units of government in developing and offering recommendations, resolutions, and position papers for policy action. Further, the NWMCOG’s Regional Planning Department will partner with other stakeholders as necessary to educate, inform, or gather input from local communities about policy or legislative issues.
The majority of the NWMCOG’s Planning & Policy Work is divided into the following issue areas:
Land Use: Land use policy and planning is the designation of land for a future use as determined by a local jurisdiction. The NWMCOG often serves as a technical assistance provider to local governments for the purposes of land use planning. Most often, these services are in the form of master plans and/or recreation plans.
Energy: Energy policy and planning includes activities around production, efficiency, and transmission.
Environment: The environment plays a central role to determining quality of life in northern lower Michigan. Environmental policy and planning work may include, but is not limited to activities surrounding water quality, air pollutants, deforestation, wildlife corridors, etc. Historically, the NWMCOG has provided assistance to a variety of local, state, and federal agencies with regards to identifying and protecting the region’s natural assets.
Housing: Providing housing choices to all residents in the regions continues to be a priority for much of the NWMCOG’s service area. The NWMCOG’s Regional Planning & Development Department works with local partners, both in the private and public sector, to ensure that the region’s workforce has access to safe, economical, and desirable housing. An example of the NWMCOG’s housing work includes:
The Grand Vision Housing Solutions Network: In support of The Grand Vision, the NWMCOG provides staffing support to the Grand Vision Housing Solutions Network. More information can be found on the Housing Solutions Network (a page on The Grand Vision website).
Other: Staff will work with local groups and the regional planning agencies in the state to promote policies of greater than regional interest. Staff will attend meetings and conferences at the state level including (but not limited to) those hosted by Michigan Association of Planning (MAP), Michigan Association of Regions (MAR), Michigan Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), Michigan State University (MSU), Michigan Solid Waste Advisory Committee (MSWAC), and National Association of Development Organizations (NADO).