Village of Empire Master Plan Project History
The Empire Village Master Plan was developed by the Empire Village Planning Commission in 2012. In 2017, the Planning Commission with approval of the Empire Village Council, began the process of the updating the Plan. Networks Northwest, through a grant opportunity, assisted the Village in this planning process. A Master Plan Committee was formed consisting of Planning Commissioners and Village residents. Public input for the 2018 update was obtained through a written survey and public forums held in August 2017 and March of 2018. Plan goals, objectives, strategies, and future land use recommendations were developed based on public input obtained throughout the process, analysis of existing conditions, and previous or related plans and studies. The Plan was prepared in accordance with provisions of the Michigan Planning Enabling Act (Public Act 33 of 2008) to enhance and protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens.
The Master Plan Committee completed an initial draft in August of 2018. The Planning Commission, with some minor requests for changes, referred it to Village Council for consideration on September 4, 2018. At the December 13, 2018 meeting of the Village Council, the Council approved the distribution of the proposed plan to the County and surrounding municipalities and utilities. The Michigan Planning Enabling Act requires the Village to allow a minimum of 63 days for the receipt of public comments, before holding a public hearing on the adoption of the revised Master Plan. The proposed plan was released to the County, surrounding municipalities and utilities on January 8, 2019 starting the clock on the 63-day review period. The County, surrounding municipalities and utility companies must provide their comments no later than March 12, 2019 at 4:30 p.m.
By March 12, 2019, the Master Plan Committee and the Networks Northwest turned to the Planning Commission to finish the Master Plan process. During the May 7, 2019 Planning Commission meeting, Planning Commissioners reviewed, and incorporated comments made by the Leelanau County Planning Commission and the Michigan Department of Transportation. Upon the completion of that meeting, it became clear that the Network Northwest draft was produced using software not available in the Village Office. While it was possible to obtain a Microsoft Word version of the document, photo’s, captions, tables, etc. did not transfer over well and the visual presentation. In the end, the Planning Commission was able to edit the document using Word and then transfer changes to the Publisher software for completion.
The Planning Commission held a public hearing on August 21, 2019 for the Master Plan. Following the public hearing, the Planning Commission unanimously approved the Master Plan to be sent to the Village Council for final approval. On September 4, 2019, Village Council approved the final plan for publication.
In September of 2020, an addendum related to Coastal Resilience Management was added to the Plan, approved by the Planning Commission, and sent to the Village Council.
The documents below are self-explanatory.