Overdevelopment. It’s a buzzword thrown around often when it comes to planning and development in cities, and Novi is no stranger to its use. But when you take a deeper dive into the City’s current and future land use, and how development is managed, is “overdevelopment” real or truly just a buzzword?
The most recent land use study shows that 27% of Novi is made up of single-family homes, followed by 14% for recreation and conservation and 13% for road rights of away. The business sector of commercial/office and industrial makes up just 12% combined, or equal to the amount of vacant land that remains. According to the National Recreation and Park Association, Novi has 23.1 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents, while the national median is just 11.6. Novi also manages 24 trail miles, compared to the national median of 12 miles.
It is often thought that when it comes to development, anything goes. That couldn’t be further from the truth. By Michigan law, the City has to have a Master Plan in place to serve as the community’s long-range guide for the future. The City’s current Master Plan's five-year cycle is just about complete and a review process is expected to start early next year.
The Master Plan is like a business plan, in which a business identifies its resources and strategies for success, without mandating rigid procedures that may prove to be unrealistic or outdated when faced with internal and external changes. Community master plans illustrate the vision for the future and contain guiding principals that help a community create land development policies that inform and guide land use decisions.
Ultimately, property owners have a right to develop their property so long as they comply with all the rules and meet all the ordinance requirements. If the City denies such a request, it opens itself up to potential litigation.
The Master Plan review is vital because it allows us to check in on our progress and ensure our vision and guiding principles are still relevant. A good Master Plan is one that comes together with the input of the community and stakeholders, allowing them to provide input on how existing conditions and future forecasts impact their lives and businesses. It works hand in hand with the Zoning Ordinance to guide development in our City.
Development isn’t a popularity contest and there are several steps one must go through to get any particular plan approved. Also, everything is an open book. Residents are welcome to come look at proposed plans, ask questions, and encouraged to speak at public hearings. There is a wealth of information to view on the City's website related to development projects, including plans and maps, zoning ordinance and other codes, and meeting minutes when projects are brought forward and discussed.
The City of Novi has been growing, as evidence by our recent U.S. Census numbers - a 20% population increase in just the last 10 years - and the Master Plan helps us see if we have too much of one type of land use or zoning, or not enough of another type.
In Michigan, cities are reliant on property tax revenue and Novi’s diverse tax base has helped navigate some of the recent financial downturns better than some other communities. It’s good to have a balance of residential, commercial, and industrial land uses because you want people who live here to work here and to shop here. Balanced development also helps smooth out some of the long-term financial challenges cities face as conditions change.
As we embark on the Master Plan Review process in 2022, we encourage residents to be active in the process. We will be conducting surveys, hosting public meetings, and sharing information on cityofnovi.org.
Help us create a unified vision for the future of Novi by engaging with us. Everyone has a part in shaping the future of Novi.
For more information about the City of Novi Master Plan visit cityofnovi.org
or call our Community Development
Department at 248.347.0475.