Monday's open house was organized to get people’s input on what they would like Brighton to look like in the future in the way of housing, recreation, and other factors. Brighton City Manager Nate Geinzer says about 50 residents attended the open house. Communities in Michigan are required by the state to review their master plans every five years. However, Brighton is not merely revising its master plan but developing an entirely new one.

Rod Arroyo of Giffels Webster, the planning agency developing the new comprehensive master plan, says it has three distinct components: a street plan, a downtown plan, and a recreational plan.

The master plan process actually began several months ago with a joint meeting of the Planning Commission, Downtown Development Authority and City Council. At that meeting, members of those boards were asked to write down what they’d like to see in their community – and even write down what they don't like – and place them on the appropriate board posted on council chambers’ walls.

The format at Monday’s open house was similar, and yet different, since the planners had accumulated much data in the intervening time, which was reflected in the poster boards. Arroyo says the information on the various poster boards is not the kind that would be considered generic for a community of similar size but is unique to Brighton.

Some of the public’s ideas included making Brighton more walkable, having more housing geared toward young people, also more senior housing near the downtown and having more art and cultural amenities. Other suggestions involve having more recreational opportunities and devoting more attention to the environment and environmental issues.

The public will be given other chances to weigh in on the pending comprehensive master plan. One way will be a procedure whereby people can take a picture with their smart phone, go to a special link on the city’s website, upload the photo, pinpoint their area of concern on a map and state what they would like to see or what could be improved.

Arroyo says in the coming weeks they will review and summarize the information they have received and meet again with the Planning Commission and DDA. He expects the draft master plan to be completed by next April, to be followed by a public hearing and final adoption by City Council sometime next summer. (TT)