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NOVEMBER 26, 2005 10:25 PM

Sometime last year I was e-mailed by one of the Senior Planners at the Grand Valley Metro Council [GVMC], asking if I would be interested in helping them survey ideal locations in Grand Rapids. These measurements would then be used in their Form Based Code Study.

Last week, while riding the number 6 bus, a familar face got on - Jay Hoekstra, Senior Planner for GVMC and also the father of Ben Hoesktra aka Anaphase. He informed me that the Form Based Code Study was finished, and that I was actually acknowledged on the front of study. .

The study was created as set of guidlines to create more walkable communities in West Michigan. Jay tried to explain to me on the bus exactly how these new zoning laws would be enacted. Apparently, it is up to individual neighborhoods or districts [i.e. Eastown, SECA, etc] to use the guidelines - which do away with conventional zoning methods [i.e. the Family Dollar on the corner of Wealthy and Fuller, why is there such a huge parking lot in front when the rest of buildings are only 9 ft. from the street].

You can read more about the study by going to http://gvmc.org/landuse/formbasedcode.shtml.

What, exactly, is the GVMC? What do they do?

Anthony | November 28, 2005 9:42 AM

the Grand Valley Metro Council, they are in charge of the regional master plan, and regional planning for W. Michigan.

ben | November 28, 2005 10:47 AM

Meanwhile, I'm taking a class taught by the Mayor of "progressive" Ann Arbor and there's no political will to do anything remotely major about our 1960s-era suburb-mandating zoning. Instead developers need to go through a PUD process to get almost anything remotely urban built and the masses of NIMBY neighbors come out every time, draggging the process on and costs up for months and making increases in density paltry. Well done, Grand Rapids. P.S. Ann Arbor is a glorified upscale suburb... but I (sort of) love it anyway(?)

Brandon | December 2, 2005 1:23 AM


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