Village of Bellaire Announces Community Survey Results
BELLAIRE, MI— The Village of Bellaire received over 200 responses in its recent community-wide survey. The “Believe in Bellaire” survey provided the opportunity for residents, business owners, and others to weigh in on issues facing the Village. The survey results are being used by the Village’s Master Plan Committee to craft goals and objectives for the Village’s new Master Plan. High-priority issues identified by respondents include the following:
- High quality, well-maintained parks, and protected natural resources remain the top characteristics in creating a desirable future for Bellaire. Year-round tourism, small-town character and easy access to recreation are also important characteristics.
- Most respondents would like Bellaire to be a friendly small town community with a variety of shops and recreational opportunities and be a destination for visitors.
- Improving the economy is important by having good-paying, specialty jobs that meet local needs and interests, year-round tourism opportunities, and more housing choices for families and/or the workforce.
- Preferred development pattern is a mix of residential and commercial (retail stores, offices) uses.
- A downtown community and events center and events/festivals would help to enhance community engagement.
- More amenities are needed for parks and public spaces, including restrooms, picnic tables, trails, etc.
- Developing affordable, workforce housing is a very important priority.
The Committee also conducted several focus discussions with local stakeholders on key issues, including intergovernmental coordination, economic development, natural areas, and youth interests. The conversations were highly informative and will also help in drafting Master Plan goals and objectives. A few highlighted thoughts include the following:
- Increase communication between units of government by focusing on issues of common interest, including land use development and training.
- Coordinate efforts to protect the natural areas and improve access for recreation, including trails.
- Strengthen efforts to retain existing businesses and attract new businesses, particularly helping start-up businesses.
- Build up Bellaire as a destination for outdoor adventure activities for residents, youth, and visitors.
The survey results and a summary of the focus group discussions can be found at bellairemichigan.com.
Assistance in conducting the survey and reports was provided by Networks Northwest. For questions and comments about the results, please contact John Sych, Community Planner at Networks Northwest, at 231-929-5038 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
# # #
Our Township greatly benefits from Network Northwest's experience, depth of knowledge and understanding. Because they work with so many diverse communities in our ten-county region they understand the local land-use issues and are already working on solutions by the time we realize we need some help.Susan Odom, Chair, Suttons Bay Township Planning Commission