By Mike Kruzman /

Howell Township Planning Commissioners are taking a look at the Master Plan and evaluating what changes, if any, need to be made.

The Master Plan is a document that guides a municipality’s future development goals. Michigan law requires that every 5 years cities and townships look at their plan. Whether they overhaul it, make minor amendments, or simply judge that it still represents their vision for the community as-is, will fill that legal requirement.

In Howell Township, residents recently were asked to take part in a Master plan survey. At their latest meeting, planning commissioners discussed how they had 200 more responses to the survey than they had 5 years ago. Township Planner Paul Montagno said the responses were generally similar to those they received when they last updated the plan, in 2016. He said the survey revealed that people live in Howell Township because they like the community, the open space, and the rural nature of the community. Montagno told WHMI, “One of the things I was struck by- when people answered the question for ‘why they moved here,’ it was because of friends and family. It speaks to the character of the community, I think.”

Trustee and Planning Commission liaison Matthew Counts added that they have gotten a lot of feedback from people asking the township to stop building. He noted how they are pretty dense near the City of Howell, but the further you drive out, the less there is. He suggested a direction that leaves the rural spaces rural and allows them to flourish within that.

Montagno said the Planning Commission will continue to look and see if there are needed changes before continuing forward in the planning improvement process. If amendments are to be made, the plan will go to neighboring entities for a 45 day comment period, before coming back to the Planning Commission for a public hearing and final action.