Posted by – VeRonica Mitchell, Auburn Hills Planning Commissioner
Late last week, I had the excellent opportunity to spend a few days with hundreds of community planners, engineers, and Planning Commissioners from all across the State. I participated in the Annual Conference of the Michigan Association of Planning (MAP) in Traverse City.
Each day was filled with informative sessions highlighting changes in legislation and accomplishments from fellow Michigan communities who have successfully implemented a new practice or process.
I heard sessions on farmers markets, environmental practices that support local economies, transportation, walkable communities, and many other topics. As I was absorbing this new information I had one continual thought … Could this be adopted in Auburn Hills? How might this benefit me or my neighbors?
The City of Auburn Hills was even highlighted for its ground breaking efforts completed by the adoption of an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Ordinance; as well as for its progressive partnering with businesses to install charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles around the City. Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development, along with our partners at OHM and the Clean Energy Coalition, presented to their peers in an excellent session on the topic this past Friday.
It’s great to have been given an opportunity to learn new things, but more than that it’s a true blessing to be a part of a community that’s willing to invest in the education of its staff and local officials.
The leaders of Auburn Hills recognize that the more educated its representatives are the more likely they are to identify opportunities for improvement. Also, the more we are informed the less likely we are to engage in missteps or mistakes that could negatively impact our residents, or damage relations with our developers and business partners.
We have successfully created an atmosphere of growth, cooperation, and continuous improvement within our community. I am thankful there’s a determined commitment, even in these challenging financial times, to continue this important investment.
Note: VeRonica Mitchell is a member of the award-winning Auburn Hills Planning Commission. The Planning Commission is a nine member panel of residents appointed by the Mayor (and confirmed by the City Council), which is charged with guiding the City’s land use and development. The Community Development Department provides expertise to the Board.