The Livingston County Planning Commission has officially approved a non-traditional and new master plan.

The master plan is the document that communities use to guide development and describe how they wish their community to look in the future. Livingston County had been working off of 2003’s plan until Wednesday night, when a new master plan was approved. The plan is built for online viewing and draws inspiration from a pair of sources. One is the pictorial aspect of Grand Traverse County’s 2013 master plan; the other are best practice documents popularized locally by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. The new master plan identifies trends and then follows up with best practice examples from similar local, state, and national communities. Leaders can then follow a link on the plan to view or even replicate what others have done.

Missing from the new master plan is a future land use map for the county. The planning department felt that the local governments all had the best first-hand knowledge of what their own maps should look like. Instead the planning commission included an “opportunities and constraints map.” On it, the “opportunities” are identified areas where neighboring communities can benefit from each other, while “constraints” show areas that may need to be addressed, like border disputes.

The new master plan is also entirely online, with quality-of-life improvements made to the navigation of it. Residents will find easy to use table of contents tabs and embedded web links throughout. The links will be checked annually to ensure they always work. With 5 year periodic updates, the planning commission expects this new master plan to be good for 10 to 15 years. Those wishing to see the new master plan can find it at (MK)