By David Fleet
Atlas Twp. — From an aging population to losing younger residents to growing M-15 corridor, over the last decade Atlas Township has changed.
It’s time to update the Master Plan.
Last October, the township board of trustees voted 5-0 to approve, at a cost of $20,500, to update the Master Plan. In addition, the township approved at a cost of $4,250, a new five-year Parks and Recreation Plan that will dovetail into the Master Plan. The new plan is necessary to apply for several DNR grants.
Adam Young of Flint-based Wade Trim attended the township meeting. The current Master Plan was adopted in November of 2009, said Young. Over the past 13 years several trends and considerations have prompted an update to the Master Plan. The township has reviewed the Master Plan every five-years.
“We want to rethink what the community wants,” said Mike Rembor, township planning commission chairperson. “What we thought and needed in 2009 is not the same today. The new plan looks out 30-40 years.”
Rembor said a survey for residents to provide input will be available online in early June. Public hearings regarding the Master Plan will also be announced in the near future.
The Master Plan Update Advisory Committee is composed of 11 volunteers who live or work in Atlas Township.
“The purpose of the committee is to help guide the township and consultant team in the preparation of the Master Plan and Recreation Plan,” he said.
The committee will meet approximately four to six times during the planning process in 2023.
The committee will work to strategize and help spread the word about the project; identify needs, share ideas about the future of the community and review and provide feedback on draft reports that will ultimately be presented to the Township Planning Commission, who has final authority for adoption after holding a public hearing.
The current Master Plan was prepared when a nation-wide economic recession was occurring; the data used was based on the 2000 U.S. Census; the area population is aging; home sizes have changed; housing affordability is a big issue now; more residents are working at home and the township along with other nearby communities have invested in miles of walking trails.
Consider too, the population of the township has jumped 4.5 percent since 2010, one of the largest increases among Genesee County communities.
By David Fleet