Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

michaelskis

Proactive or Reactive?

Proactive or Reactive?   32 members have voted

  1. 1. How proactive/reactive is Grand Rapids

    • Very Proactive
      1
    • Mostly Proactive
      0
    • Somewhat Proactive
      4
    • Both
      0
    • Somewhat Reactive
      5
    • Mostly Reactive
      13
    • Very Reactive
      9

Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

12 posts in this topic

Some cities are proactive when it comes to brining in new development, directing its growth, and preserving its history, other cities are reactive and only respond to what developers bring to the table. With all of the new development I am wondering if it is because it was City guided or if they are just the lucky winner.

Would you say that Grand Rapids is reactive or proactive when it comes to planning and development?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Some cities are proactive when it comes to brining in new development, directing its growth, and preserving its history, other cities are reactive and only respond to what developers bring to the. With all of the new development I am wondering if it is because it was City guided or if they are just the lucky winner.

Would you say that Grand Rapids is reactive or proactive when it comes to planning and development?

I think they are very reactive. Every time a plan is submited it seems like the developers are asking for variances that do not make area/projects pedestrian friendly or inviting. I think a proactive approach would be to say "sure you can have your variance but in return you need to make these improvements." I still don't know why we have a city ordiance when all you have to do is ask and ye shall receive a variance. The city isn't directing how things are designed but instead they are reacting to what is proposed and allowing pretty much everything. You want a parking lot on your first floor and no retail? No problem, is there anything else we can give you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think they are very reactive. Every time a plan is submited it seems like the developers are asking for variances that do not make area/projects pedestrian friendly or inviting. I think a proactive approach would be to say "sure you can have your variance but in return you need to make these improvements." I still don't know why we have a city ordiance when all you have to do is ask and ye shall receive a variance. The city isn't directing how things are designed but instead they are reacting to what is proposed and allowing pretty much everything. You want a parking lot on your first floor and no retail? No problem, is there anything else we can give you?

I think that you are on the right track with asking some great questions. Why do they grant these variances? Typically in most communities, an applicant would have to show some hardship that is not self induced or financial in nature, and is not characteristic of other properties in the area, and that without the variance the property can not be adequately used as defined in the comprehensive master plan and zoning ordinance.

Do you think that the City would suffer if they were proactive? Would a lot of these development pick up and leave? How do you think that we can encourage the city to be more proactive?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that you are on the right track with asking some great questions. Why do they grant these variances? Typically in most communities, an applicant would have to show some hardship that is not self induced or financial in nature, and is not characteristic of other properties in the area, and that without the variance the property can not be adequately used as defined in the comprehensive master plan and zoning ordinance.

Do you think that the City would suffer if they were proactive? Would a lot of these development pick up and leave? How do you think that we can encourage the city to be more proactive?

I believe they grant them because they fear the project will not be built without the variances. The problem is the ordinance is not being used as a guide but a hurdle. Every developer knows if they ask for something they have a darn good chance of getting it. Why not improve the bottom line by making your building less people friendly?

In order for the city to be more proactive they need to come up with the goal for the end product and stick too it. If they want first floor retail, require it. If they want buildings built without a setback, require it. If they did this a few times the developers would come to understand the restrictions and realize they can't expect to get everything they ask for. Maybe then they would read the ordiance before designing as opposed to designing and then determining what they need a variance for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe they grant them because they fear the project will not be built without the variances. The problem is the ordinance is not being used as a guide but a hurdle. Every developer knows if they ask for something they have a darn good chance of getting it. Why not improve the bottom line by making your building less people friendly?

In order for the city to be more proactive they need to come up with the goal for the end product and stick too it. If they want first floor retail, require it. If they want buildings built without a setback, require it. If they did this a few times the developers would come to understand the restrictions and realize they can't expect to get everything they ask for. Maybe then they would read the ordiance before designing as opposed to designing and then determining what they need a variance for.

sad but true. i haven't seen enough developers put their money where their mouth is on creating livable neighborhoods in this town.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes we call the planning commission the "reacting commission".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, I can't vote in this poll because there is no "radioactive" option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Abysmal. Arrogant. Asleep...and those are just the "A" words.

The City has lost hundreds of jobs to the burbs or further away, has no proactive plan beyond attempting to dictate "best use" to the open market and spins its wheels with pointless community comittees and task forces.

When Steelcase announced it was moving its last city employees out, the mayor's reaction was one of surprise as he indicated he had only heard the news 24 hours earlier. We are a city out of touch with business.

Unless something changes dramatically we will be lucky if it's just Walker and Cascade that continue to draw out downtown employers and not South Bend or Chicago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Has anyone in here contacted the city with their concerns regarding the lack of direction and the city being reactionary?

What about taking other action?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone in here contacted the city with their concerns regarding the lack of direction and the city being reactionary?

What about taking other action?

Many have. The response isn't pretty.

And what "other action" would you propose?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many have. The response isn't pretty.

And what "other action" would you propose?

Organizing neighbors getting yourself elected to a City Council position, and having like minded people to the same in other districts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Organizing neighbors getting yourself elected to a City Council position, and having like minded people to the same in other districts.

I'll be running for mayor sometime in the future. I will appoint cronies. I will also create positions not relevant to city government, such as the Official City Clown which pays 80,000 dollars a year. Look for my banners. They will be red, blue with some white lettering. Instead of putting a jack ass or a pink elephant on my campaign material, I'd put a clover leaf with a nice little message.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.