Troy city officials are reaching out to various constituents as it begins updating its master plan, specifically regarding the economic opportunities and challenges associated with north Troy as well as Big Beaver, Maple, and Rochester roads.
“In 2008, we adopted a completely new master plan for the city, which was the first comprehensive rewrite since the mid-’60s,” says Mark Miller, Troy’s director of economic and community development. “What we’re working on now is a five-year update. We’re trying to tweak the areas where we can improve.”
Miller says the update should address the number of office vacancies throughout north Troy and along Big Beaver, the allowed height of new buildings on Rochester Road (currently four stories), and how to repurpose industrial buildings where ceilings are low and parking is limited.
He says Maple Road presents its own difficulties alongside an evolving business landscape. In addition to offices, industrial properties, and the Troy Motor Mall, a collection of automotive dealerships and service centers, the heavily traveled thoroughfare will soon be home to MJR Digital Cinema, a 16-screen theater set to open in June.
“That starts to change things for that corridor,” says Glenn Lapin, the city’s economic development specialist. “So how do we respond to that in terms of the future?”
Miller says the city is looking for recommendations that are “creative but also feasible” and will build upon the 2008 plan, which created a new direction for the city.
“(The plan) actually influenced our zoning ordinance,” Miller says. “In 2011, we adopted a comprehensive rewrite using many of the recommendations from the master plan. We revised the ordinance to encourage mixed uses in industrial area (and also) created the Big Beaver Zoning District, which encouraged redevelopment of the underutilized parking lots for the office buildings.”
Once the city receives initial input from local stakeholders, followed by feedback from a panel of experts, city officials will craft recommendations to be presented during a public forum, likely in the summer, Miller says. He says the goal is to have a first draft ready for review by fall.
“The way we designed the process is to maximize the public input from various sectors of the community — the business community, the real estate community, and (other) key stakeholders,” Lapin says. “We think it’s critical to get that public input.”