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The original item was published from 8/7/2015 1:54:48 PM to 8/6/2016 12:05:05 AM.

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Posted on: August 7, 2015

[ARCHIVED] Sterling Heights kicks off update to Master Land Use and Parks & Recreation Plans

The City of Sterling Heights announced Tuesday it has begun work with Detroit-based consulting firm Wade Trim to update its Master Land Use and Parks & Recreation Plan and create the city’s first-ever non-motorized transportation plan. With Sterling Heights’ limited area for new growth, the city seeks to create a sustainable future through land use and parks and recreation development. All planning services will be completed by spring of 2016.

Nicholas Lomako, Senior Vice President of Wade Trim, presented to Sterling Heights City Council on Tuesday night the proposed outline and scope of the work his firm will provide under the Master Planning umbrella. Wade Trim, in association with partners livingLAB, Colliers International and ArchiveDS, will deliver a Master Land Use Plan, identifying priority redevelopment areas and recommending placemaking initiatives as well as a Parks & Recreation Master Plan that includes an action plan and operational analysis. Wade Trim will also prepare a Non-Motorized Master Plan using trails and bike lanes to connect city parks and assets throughout the community.

Building on Sterling Heights’ strengths, the city is turning its planning attention to in-fill development proposals and redevelopment opportunities, while simultaneously protecting and preserving established neighborhoods. Wade Trim will also aid the city in exploring placemaking strategies to attract the next wave of residents, including identifying key opportunities to expand the park system. According to Wade Trim, the plans will be market-driven, based on a deeper understanding of the market preferences for housing, desired leisure activities and the discretionary spending habits of residents.

Lomako said public input is a crucial component of building the plans for Sterling Heights. Extensive public engagement will be used throughout the planning program including an interactive project website, a community-wide Vision Fair, two community forum events, quarterly broadcasts on the city’s cable television station, and multiple study meetings with the city’s Planning Commission.

The need to update the Master Plan falls in line with the city’s 2030 Visioning Plan. The City of Sterling Heights shared the plan’s vision statement, “a vibrant, inclusive community for residents and businesses that is safe, active, progressive and distinctive,” with Wade Trim in an effort to align both planning projects’ ideals.

“By being proactive now, we are placing the City of Sterling Heights in the best possible position for the future,” Mayor Michael C. Taylor said. “The goal is to continue to maintain our city’s current high quality of life as well as attract new residents and businesses. We want to continue to establish Sterling Heights as one of the premier communities in the Metro Detroit area.”
“This process is important because it provides not only a vision and framework for our future physical needs, but it can also guide the development of the character and identity of the community,” said City Development Director Denice Gerstenberg. “This kind of long-range planning is critical as we strive to provide an exceptional quality of life for the residents of Sterling Heights.”

Michigan’s Planning Enabling Act requires that a municipality adopt a Master Land Use Plan. In accordance with these state-law mandated timelines, the City last adopted a new Master Land Use Plan in July 2005 and reviewed it in 2007 and 2012. Minor amendments were adopted in the course of the 2007 review and no amendments resulted from the review conducted in 2012.
Wade Trim, chosen by Sterling Heights of the four firms that submitted RFPs for the project, is a multi-discipline, national consulting firm headquartered in Detroit specializing in urban and strategic planning, civil and traffic engineering, landscape architectures and urban design, GIS services, environmental services and more.

Media with questions can contact Community Relations Director Bridget Doyle at (586) 446-2471 or email

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