The Lake County Planning Commission (LCPC), formed in March, 2011, pursuant to the Lake County Planning Commission Ordinance No. 25, will deliver the draft Master Plan for Lake County to the Board of County Commissioners in January 2012 for their inputs. After all inputs are incorporated into the plan and the Commissioners give their approval, Lake County’s Master Plan will be published. You are probably asking yourself what is a master plan, and why do we need one? A Master Plan creates the policy that will guide the County’s decision making for future land use and infrastructure development. It identifies key planning issues for the County, describes the character of the community, outlines goals and policies, describes current and future land uses and makes recommendations as to how to execute and realize those goals and policies. When applying for grant monies for various projects, a Master Plan is essential to putting Lake County on an even footing with the competition. The competition for grant money is tough and will only get tougher in these poor economic times. Preserving and maintaining the current infrastructure and expansion of that infrastructure requires advance planning. That is why master plans generally stretch 20 years into the future and lay out long and short term strategies. Master plans for counties are now required by the State of Michigan.
Another very popular question asked the LCPC is “You’re not doing zoning, are you?” NO. The LCPC has no regulatory powers. All zoning powers reside with the townships. The LCPC will serve as a coordinating body to ensure that all planning and zoning enacted at the township level is compatible with the general guidelines and recommendations of the Master Plan.