Tri-County Regional Planning Commission look to residents and professionals for brainstorming sessions

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By Missy Sebring
Ingham County Chronicle staff writer

The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission asked members of nearby communities and professionals from across the country to put their heads together on ways to improve the Michigan Avenue and Grand River Avenue corridor with a charrette. A charrette is a planning and design session for problem solving.

While these changes won’t happen overnight, they will give the planning commission direction on what the community wants for the future. Open houses and design sessions were held in Lansing and Okemos from Oct. 22-30.

Rick Brown, a member of Tri-County Bike Association, went to the final work-in-progress presentation on Oct. 30 in East Lansing. He said that a major discussion item was the CATA bus rapid transit system and where the endpoint should be.

“They discussed what spaces would be for that terminus end station,” said Brown. “The Best Buy site, the mall site or the Meijer site.”

The planning commission has not made any final decisions, it is just hoping for feedback from the community. It also discussed ways to increase density in areas so that there would be businesses on the main floor and housing above, especially in the Frandor area. The recycling and energy coordinator for Meridian Township, LeRoy Harvey, said that energy use is tied to global change.

“How do we develop and include things like the environment, economy and social well-being as we grow and evolve as a community and as a region?” said Harvey. “If we can save energy, we can address economic and environmental issues.”

Harvey also said it is important that places are created where people want to be.
“Places that are interesting, attractive, fun, full of cultural amenities, and places where you want to hang out,” said Harvey. “Places that are accessible and convenient and rich in the arts.”

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