2022 Master Plan - Forward Together

Envision the Future!

A Master Plan – sometimes called a Comprehensive Plan – is a policy document outlining a community’s vision for the future.  It should be the basis for and the influence of the community’s future as it relates to the quality of life, land use, economic development, zoning, and other regulatory ordinances. 

The Michigan Planning Enabling Act 33 of 2008, requires local governments in Michigan to assess their existing master plan every five years to determine if the plan requires updating.  The City of Portage Master Plan was last updated in 2014 and is again in need of updating.  The Master Plan will include an updated future land use plan, among other planning elements, all intended to respond to the current and future needs of the city.

On March 8, 2022, the Portage City Council approved a contract with Houseal Lavigne, experts in community planning, urban design, and economic development, to guide the City of Portage through a Master Plan update.

Your Participation Is Key

The city invites you to be involved in Master Plan activities throughout the 18-month planning process.  A variety of ways to participate will be available – from online surveys to interactive mapping tools, visioning sessions, and providing input to the community goals and objectives for the plan.  

The Forward Together Master Plan website is available 24/7 for public input and outreach throughout the planning process.  All project news and events will be posted on the website.  Learn more about the Master Plan update and take the online community survey.  

At a special meeting on June 28, the Planning Commission reviewed an outline of a vision statement and key recommendations for the city’s Master Plan update that is currently underway.  The Master Plan is an important document for municipalities in Michigan as it serves as a guide for future infrastructure, public space and park investments, and land uses.  

The City of Portage Master Plan update is about halfway through the planning process.   At each stage of development of the updated plan, the city will post information on the project webpage and actively encourage continued input from Portage residents, businesses owners, property owners, community organizations, and all stakeholder with an interest in the future of the city.   The presentation as well as the memorandum providing the draft outline for the Master Plan is available online for review and comment at this LINK.  

Work will continue over the next several months on detailed subareas plans for the Crossroads Subarea as well as the City Centre Subarea.  These are sections of the city receiving special attention during this Master Plan update.   More detailed chapters of a draft Master Plan will also be crafted for future review.  These chapters will be based on the sections contained in the outline previously reviewed on June 28 by the Planning Commission.  In addition to the city accepting public comments throughout the process, there is an extended 63-day period for public review of the final draft document.  After the mandatory review period, a formal public hearing must be held, and comments considered before adoption of the plan.   The City of Portage hopes to complete this process in the spring of 2024.  The Master Plan was last updated in 2014. 

Master Plan Website 2022-11-11

Questions about the Master Plan update can be directed to the Department of Community Development at 329-4477.