Thousands of Resources, Ready to help.
The Redevelopment Ready Communities program is committed to providing ongoing support and technical assistance to all communities as they seek to build strong planning and development processes that are efficient, predictable and transparent. RRC has compiled a number of guides to provide step-by-step guidance for addressing many of the best practice deliverables ranging from plan reviews to packaging your priority redevelopment sites. The team has also created a handful of templates which can be customized to fit your community.
Please note that while RRC makes every attempt to maintain valid examples, the RRC Best Practices do evolve over time and it's possible an example on here may not be 100% aligned with updated best practices. Please be sure to always refer to the most current handbook and communicate with your planner before adopting any final documents based on these examples.
Questions on any particular document should be directed to your community's RRC Planner. If you don't find what you're looking for here, we encourage you to contact your planner to talk further about your needs.
Please report any broken links to email@example.com.
RRC has compiled a number of guides to provide step-by-step guidance for addressing many of the best practice deliverables ranging from plan reviews to packaging your priority redevelopment sites. The team has also created a handful of templates which can be customized to fit your community.
PATTERN BOOK HOMES FOR 21ST CENTURY MICHIGAN
This resource offers home builders free construction plans for multi-family housing using designs modeled after popular kit homes built during the state’s housing boom in the early part of the 20th century. The Pattern Book includes a toolkit to help communities modernize their zoning codes to allow for more multi-family construction that can fit seamlessly into the existing neighborhoods across the state. The Pattern Book Homes plan will help speed up the development of more housing units without expanding into open green space while also reducing construction costs and was made possible by a partnership between the Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. This book also includes two nearly complete construction plan sets that may be freely reproduced:
Green Infrastructure Guide
This Green Infrastructure Guide is a resource for Michigan municipalities planning to incorporate green infrastructure elements into local zoning practices to advance sustainability goals and achieve Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) Certification. The following Guide outlines the purpose and benefits of deploying green infrastructure, describes different types of green infrastructure that can be incorporated into local zoning and planning policies, and provides example ordinances that can be used as a model. This document was prepared in partnership between the Michigan Municipal League and Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Zoning Reform Toolkit: 15 TOOLS TO EXPAND HOUSING CHOICE + SUPPLY
The seemingly benign zoning ordinance has, for many, eroded housing choice, washed away access to better schools and jobs, and drowned out opportunities to increase housing supply. Planners are now stepping back to evaluate how zoning must be modernized to reflect today's realities. This Toolkit is a first step to understanding what Michigan communities can do to stem the tide.
Best Practice 1 (Plans & Engagement) evaluates community planning and how a community’s redevelopment vision is embedded in the master plan, capital improvements plan, and downtown plan or corridor plan(s). It also assesses how a community identifies its stakeholders and engages them, not only during planning processes, but on a continual basis.
The governing body has adopted a master plan in the past five years.
Master plans establish a community vision through public engagement and identify how to implement that vision. The plan is an essential document that guides future development throughout the community, adding predictability and community buy-in to the development process.
Just as no two communities are the same, no two master plans are the same. But ultimately all master plans must address all the required information from the Michigan Planning Enabling Act. RRC communities also include additional information such as redevelopment focus areas and an action-focused implementation section.
Nearly all RRC communities have a master plan in place when they engage in the process. So a good first step is to review the existing plan using the RRC Guide on Master Plan Updates to identify the scope of any needed updates.
Below is a selection of master plans from communities of all shapes and sizes to help the creative juices get flowing.
When working on any master plan, there are numerous directions it can go based on the community's needs. Below is a selection quick sheets regarding things to consider during a master plan update:
Unique to the RRC Certified level is an expectation that the community assess progress on implementing the master plan goals and actions. This should be done at least annually. There are numerous ways to address this expectation such as:
The governing body has adopted a downtown or corridor plan.
Note: For essential level, this best practice only applies in instances where the community has an active DDA or CIA TIF.
Downtowns and major corridors are economic engines for communities. Having a plan for these particular areas add predictability for future development and can support local efforts to support businesses and create a community gathering space.
RRC Best Practice expectations for this criterion are heavily based on existing tax increment financing (TIF) development plans requirements in PA 57 of 2018. However, a barebones TIF and Development plan typically won't quite get a community to full alignment. Combining a TIF with another downtown plan which addressed mixed-use or a downtown chapter in the master plan is how most communities meet the intent of this criterion. However, some TIF (and non-TIF) plans are able to meet this in a single document. Check out some examples below.
For communities without a traditional downtown, a corridor plan can also meet this. Corridor Improvement Authority (CIA) TIF and Development Plans can also be used to meet this criterion.
The governing body has adopted a capital improvements plan.
Turning plans into action often requires capital investments. These plans, established under Michigan law, help outline and coordinate those investments including infrastructure, parks, technology and more.
Capital Improvement Plans can be a significant undertaking to initally build but once a framework is in place, they are often much easier to update each year as part of the budget process. RRC has created a Guide for Capital Improvement Plans. If your community is new to building a CIP, the Michigan Association of Planning offers a CIP training that may be helpful.
Check out this quick sheet, prepared in partnership between Michigan Association of Planning & RRC, for more reasons on why having a CIP is important.
The Michigan Infrastructure Council has created an Asset Management Readiness Scale to help communities prioritize investments. Learn more here.
Examples of existing CIPs include:
To fully meet the intent, it is essential that the CIP be readily accessible on the community's website and not buried deep in a budget document.
The community has a public participation plan for engaging a diverse set of community stakeholders.
Public participation plans help communities establish clear expectations for public engagement, ensuring all groups are represented in decision making processes.
Each community's public participation plan will look different based on available tools, resident expectations, upcoming projects, etc. RRC encourages communities to check out examples from other communities but to truly customize their local public participation plan. Check out the RRC Guide on Creating Public Participation Plan for how to go about building your local plan.
For the RRC Certified designation, best practices also include an expectation that the community provides an annual report on community engagement activity. This can be done as part of other annual reports (such as the Planning Commission annual report), an annual joint meeting, or as a standalone item. This is a new expectation for 2021 so as communities work to implement this, RRC will upload examples. When compiling this anunal summary, consider the following questions:
Throughout 2021, RRC has started to see some examples come in from communities. Check them out below:
In addition to examples from other communities, RRC is in the process of compiling more general resources on public engagement:
Best Practice 2 (Zoning) evaluates a community’s zoning ordinance and how it meets community goals, enables the form and type of development the community is seeking and includes modern approaches to zoning. Zoning is a key tool for plan implementation and obsolete zoning regulations can discourage development and investment. Outdated regulations can force developers to pursue rezoning or variance requests thus extending project timelines, increasing costs, and creating uncertainty. Communities should look to streamline requirements and regulate for the kind of development that is truly desired. Zoning should be used to shape inviting, walkable, vibrant communities, rather than inhibit them.
Each section under this best practice dives into a specific criterion, but users may be interested in the following general resources on this best practice:
The governing body has adopted a zoning ordinance that aligns with the goals of the current master plan.
Under Michigan law, zoning oridnances must be based on an adopted master plan. Ensuring such coordination reduces uncertainty and risk for development.
The zoning ordinance is accessible and user-friendly.
Adding user friendly components to the zoning ordinance can make it easier to understand, thus removing an initial barrier that disproportionally impacts local, small-scale, and first-time applicants.
Zoning Ordinance: Roscommon (Certified)
The zoning ordinance provides for areas of concentrated development in appropriate locations and encourages the type and form of development desired.
Allowing for areas of context-sensitive concentrated development provides myriad benefits including enabling pedestrian mobility, providing a sense of place, generating fiscal stability for communities, and leveraging existing infrastructure.
Best Practice 2.3 - Concentrated Development in Key Areas
Quick Sheet: Mixed-Use Development
Quick Sheet: Density & Efficiency
Quick Sheet: How Development Impacts Municipal Budgets
Quick Sheet: Pedestrian Scaled Design
Quick Sheet: Third Place
Quick Sheet: Town Centers & Open Space
The zoning ordinance allows for a variety of housing options.
Having an ordinance which clearly allows for diverse housing types creates unique neighborhoods, provides lifestyle options for residents of all ages and income levels, helps attract talent, and provides flexibility for meeting market demand.
The zoning ordinance includes flexible parking requirements.
The cost and space consumed by parking can make or break a project financially. Providing flexible options for parking allows for creative and context-sensitive solutions in communities of all sizes and reduces the negative impacts excessive parking can have on a communty's sense of place.
Parking Planning Paradigm Shift
Parking Is Sexy Now. Thank Donald Shoup
Parking Reform Will Save the City
People Over Parking (APA)
Parking Minimums: From 101 to Action (Strong Towns)
How Buffalo Moved Away from Parking Minimums (USA Streetblog)
The zoning ordinance includes standards for green infrastructure.
Integrating green infrastructure can reduce infrastructure and maintenance costs, provide opportunities for recreation and physical activity, reduce exposure to harmful substances, advance placemaking goals, improves safety, promotes community identity and a sense of well-being, and provide economic benefits
Best Practice 3 (Development Review) evaluates the community’s development review policies and procedures to ensure they integrate predictability throughout. Unnecessary steps or unclear instructions increase time and expenses associated with development. Community leaders should look to simplify and clarify policies and increase efficiency to create an inviting development climate that is vital to attracting investment. To do this, sound internal procedures need to be in place and followed. Making information on the development review process and resources readily available assists developers of all sizes and experience levels in understanding what they’ll need to know as they invest in the community.
Each section under this best practice dives into a specific criterion, but users may be interested in the following general resources on this best practice:
The zoning ordinance includes clear steps for major development review processes.
Clearly defined development review processes provide predictability for investments big and small.
In most cases, communities are able to align with this best practice by including major steps of the processes and clearly identifying approval authority in each individual process section of the ordinance. See examples:
In some ordinances, communities include an administrative section which specifically outlines responsibilities by role:
The community has clearly identified a point of contact for development review activities.
Having a clearly identified point of contact helps communities offer positive and personalized service which builds a foundation for a predictable development review experience.
The key to aligning with this best practice criterion is to ensure the community's planning and zoning contact (typically the Zoning Administrator or Code Enforcement Officer) is clearly designated on the website in whatever spot a potential applicant is most likely to look at when researching what is needed for a permit. See some examples from other RRC communities:
The community defines and offers conceptual review meetings for applicants.
Conceptual review meetings offer a chance for early, informal review of proposed projects. This helps avoid costly mistakes or delays later in the process.
Conceptual review meetings are sometimes also called pre-application meetings. They can also sometimes be wrapped up into the idea of a prelimary site plan review though RRC advises communities that the intent of this best practice is to hold conceptual review meetings with staff, not a public board. Holding them with staff allows for more casual conversation and also a chance to focus more on process and support, versus an actual site plan.
Advertising conceptual review meetings can be done in many ways:
Communities pursuing RRC certification also set clear expectations for such meetings (what to bring, what will be covered, etc.) and have a checklist to use. See examples:
Some additional tips:
The community has a clearly documented internal staff review policy.
Clearly documenting the internal review process provides predictability and consistency in the development review process. It also ensures that processes can continue in the event of staff turnover. Think of them as standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Internal review process documents can take many forms, depending on the complexity of a community's development review processes and systems. The key is that they are written in a way that someone new could come in and guide an application through the process on day 1.
In addition to having a documented process, certified communities also have an identified joint review team. The makeup of this team will vary from community to community, but should include all necessary officials to sufficiently review a project against the community's approval standards outlined in the zoning ordinance. This team should be identified in the internal review process document.
The community streamlines the approval process by using administrative and Planning Commission approval authority.
Approving at least permitted uses at the Planning Commission or staff level allows faster approval and respects the administrative nature of development review.
Approval authority is granted within the zoning ordinance, typically the site plan review process section. If your community needs to amend your ordinance to align with this best practice, please work with your local attorney or planning/zoning consultant.
Examples of communities who have expanded administrative approvals include:
RRC understands that making changes to a community's approval chain can be a complex discusison. Check out this memo written by the City of Midland's Community Development Director as a great example of how to communicate with officials and the public on this issue.
In addition to granting approval at the staff or planning commission level, certified communities do not require public hearings for permitted uses. While input on site plans can always be provided via public comment or other engagement opportunities, removing the formal public hearing reduces costs and time. It also sets accurate expecations about the administrative nature of site plan review which is intended by law to be an objective decision driven by data.
"The community maintains a fee schedule."
Having a fee schedule allows an applicant to clearly understand their their likely costs upfront, reducing surprises further in the process.
No two communities have the same needs when it comes to a fee schedule, but RRC has gathered several examples below to show the variety of ways these fees are set and advertised:
Fee Schedule: Meridan Township (Certified)
Fee Schedule: Port Huron
Fee Schedule: Novi (Certified)
Fee Schedule: East Lansing
Fee Schedule: Rochester Hills (Certified)
Fee Schedule: Saline
It is essential that the fee schedule be readily available on the website, not buried deep in a budget document or as a resolution from a council packet.
For certified communities, the fee schedule should not only be available online but also reviewed anunally (updated may not always be needed though). Many communities do this during the anunal budget process, but others may do it prior to that in preparation for the process or an entirely different time completely. To demonstrate this has been done, the fee schedule should include an "effective date" or some other indication of a review within the past year.
"The community ofters clear methods of payment."
Clearly identifying methods of payment reduces uncertainty. Communities that accept credit cards offer a highly sought after, modern option that adds flexibility.
Identifying methods of payment can achieved via the website. Some examples from current RRC communities include:
Additionally, Certified communities proactively offer an expanded set of options which include credit cards. While many communities accept credit cards for ulitity payments or taxes, development fees tend to lag behind. RRC has compiled a list of potential resources and providers, many of which have government-focused services. RRC can also connect your community with other simliar communities who have implemented credit cards; reach out to your RRC planner to learn more.
The community makes development review information and forms readily available online.
Having key information and forms available online (or as a full guide) reduces the number of questions the point of contact will need to address and increases the likelihood of a successful development review experience from the beginning.
This best practice criteria takes one of two paths: a series of links online (Essentials) or a fully built out Guide to Development with helpful narrative, charts and more (Certified).
Examples of websites complete with links include:
Examples from certified communities who have built a comprehensive guide include:
Some communities have historically used a website as a guide to development. While this is possible, it is especially important that if the community chooses that route, it includes the helpful narrative so that a new user can understand what they need (so that they can then find it). A great example of this is Schoolcraft County's "Guide to Starting a Business" page which can be modified to fit local development steps.
Finally, RRC has compiled a guide to the Guide to Development to help communities build a their own.
The community has a method to track development projects.
Having a consistent tracking system keeps staff and applicants informed of a project's development review status. It also ensures continuity in the event of staff turnover or absences.
Project tracking can be done in many ways, ranging from a simple tracking sheet attached to the application to excel spreadsheets and up to dedicated software such as BS&A. What matters with this best practice criteria is that the community has some type of system in place so that an applicant can know where their application is at in the process at any time with a simple phone call or email.
RRC applies this best practice for any stage of the internal development review process where a community is in direct control. For many, this may only be through the zoning permit since building is handled by another entity. While for others who have a building department, tracking should go through the certificate of occupancy. If an application has additional possible avenues such as a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) from a Historic District Commission, that should be tracked as well.
Some communitites have extended tracking into a more public realm, such as Ferndale which maintains a development project map. Grand Rapids does as well. This is not needed for certification, but is a good tool to consider for communities facing significant development pressure.
Best Practice 4 (Boards & Commissions) assesses the tools a community has put in place to strengthen their boards and commissions. Diversity on boards and commissions can ensure a wide range of perspectives are considered when making decisions on development and financial incentives. Being intentional when a community conducts recruitment and orientation for newly appointed or elected officials and board members creates a solid foundation for the community to build upon. Additionally, communities that prioritize training and collaboration provides officials and staff with an opportunity to expand their knowledge and ultimately make more informed decisions about land use and redevelopment issues.
Each section under this best practice dives into a specific criterion, but users may be interested in the following general resources on this best practice:
The community has a clear recruitment and appointment process.
Having clear and accessible recruitment and appointment procedures reduces barriers to attracting candidates for boards and commissions.
This criteria includes two expectations: the community has a boards and commissions application available online and that the community clearly documents its recruitment and appointment process.
Applications can take many forms, ranging from a single page to more of an application packet. Some communities have a separate application for each board, but most have a universal application. With a new focus in online services, some have moved to a fully online submission but RRC best practice intent is met as long as the application is online in any form. Examples include:
In addition to having an application online, Certified communities also provide clear information on the recruitment process so applicants understand who will be reviewing their application, the timeline for appointment and any orientation expectations. Like applications, some are highly standardized recruitment timelines and processes while others are on an as-needed basis but are still clear and consistent.
This information should be more detailed than what's in the ordinance and available outside of it. It is commonly found either directly on an application or on the community's website on the same page where the application is. Examples:
The community sets expectations for board and commission positions.
Providing clear expectations on what being a board member entails (and helpful background to have) helps candidates understand which board may best fit their background and capacity.
Think of expectations much like the responsibilities and working conditions sections of a job posting. These are the things that are expected of a member no matter their background. Things like:
Check out these guidelines on Escanaba's boards & commission section for a great example of tackling expectations.
On the other hand, qualifications or helpful background focus on just that: what type of background or interest an applicant brings to the table. For example, it is helpful (but not required) for DDA members to have a background in business, event planning, etc. Planning Commissioners can benefit from backgrounds in design, finace planning, etc.
Often you won't find the perfect match in this regard but even then, defining these has two additional benefits:
RRC partnered with the Michigan Association of Planning to create a quick reference sheet on the importance of identifying expectations and qualifications for officials.
Essentials communities only need to address expectations while Certified communities must address both. Communities can provide information on these in a number of ways including on the website, directly on the application, as a separate attachment like a position description, or something else entirely. Examples include:
As Position Descriptions
As Supplemental Information with an Application
As Supplemental Information on the Website
As a Board & Commission Handbook
The community provides orientation material to all appointed and elected members of development related boards and commissions.
Ensuring recently elected or appointed officials have the information they need to perform their new duties makes the development review process more predictable.
Orientation can take many forms, ranging from in-person orientation to formal packets or a collection of links to resources. To align with the RRC Best Practices, the packets should include both information on board procedures/background and also resources to help new members learn about the field(s) the board works in (planning/zoning/development/downtowns/etc.)
RRC partnered with the Michigan Association of Planning to create a quick reference sheet on the importance of orientation.
Check out the examples below for inspiration for your community:
The community has bylaws forappointed development related boards and commissions.
Bylaws provide predictability for board proceedings and, therefore, the development review experience.
RRC has compiled a collection of existing bylaws (sometimes refered to as or combined with Rules of Procedure) throughout the state which are intended as examples only, not templates. Communities should be sure to work with their local attorney when drafting legally binding documents such as these.
Bylaws are different than authorizing charter or ordinance information* and provide significantly more detail on the operations of a board or commission such as setting meetings, agendas, attendance policies, public comment procedures, training requirements, etc. In order to fully align with the intent of this criterion, local bylaws should address these topics and others as deemed locally necessary. While many communities use Roberts Rules of Order for their parlamentary proceedings, those alone do not constitute Rules of Procedures or bylaws.
MSU Extension provides a great article outlining why all boards should have bylaws: https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/planning_commissions_and_zoning_board_of_appeals_are_required_to_have_bylaw.
For the purposes of RRC Essentials or Certification, a community should have bylaws/Rules of Procedures available online for all appointed development-related boards. This commonly includes the Planning Commission, DDA, and ZBA at a minimum. It may also include other boards such as Historic District Commmissions, local Brownfield Authorities, etc.
*It is rare that a council charter would have sufficient detail to constitute rules of procedure though if a community feels their does, RRC will review it at their request.
Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA)
Downtown Development Authority (DDA)
Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA)
Historic District Commission (HDC)
The community issues a Planning Commission annual report.
All Planning Commissions in Michigan must issue an annual report as outlined in the MPEA. This is also a great opportunity to assess past activity and communicate with other boards.
The Planning Commission Annual Report can range in complexity depending on how a community chooses to approach it. Some issue a one-page memo while others take it as an opportunity to compile a more comprehensive Community Development or Building Annual Report.
Communities in the RRC process can also use the report as chance to address several of the annual items such as the master plan progress review, economic development strategy review, reviewing training activity, and more. Be sure to talk to your RRC planner about all the possible items which could be included.
Examples and Templates:
Examples from Communities
Nonprofits and corporations provide some great ideas for using a required report to tell a story. Check out some of these resources:
Community has a documented training plan.
Developing a training planidentifies opportunities, expectations, and goals that are aligned with the community’s plans, needs, and capacity. This working document addresses training needs and desires of current board and commission members.
Training is an essential activity to keep staff and officials current on emerging trends, mitigate risk to communities, and help communities achieve the goals outlined in their plans. However, training can be costly, time consuming or geographically out of reach for many. One way to address this is by creating a training plan outlining priority topics. To meet the RRC Best Practices, a training plan must address the following:
1. Identify training goals & expectations
2. Identify established & potential funding sources
3. Outline how to consistently encourage training
4. Outline how to encourage training report outs
5. Outline how the community will review and update the strategy
Like most other criteria in best practice four, this training plan should cover all the community's development-related boards and commissions.
For an overview of available resources and how to develop a training plan, check out this RRC Guide. RRC also has some capacity to help communities directly with creating a training plan. Contact an RRC planner for more details.
Examples of comprehensive training plans from other RRC communities include:
Seeing as this is a recently revamped best practice, many RRC communities will be working on it in the near future. Many will start from a strong foundation with existing pieces of a comprehensive training plan already in place. These include:
Finally, RRC encourages communities think outside-the-box when it comes to training. If cost, time, and geography are constraints, then shifting to more at-meeting training, sharing of articles, podcasts, etc. could help bridge that gap. Training is about more than going to a conference or listening to an expert. It can be done right in your community using your existing time and resources!
The community holds joint meetings with boards and commissions.
Joint meetings offer opportunity for direct collaboration between officials to ensure the community's board are rowing in the same direction.
This best practice can be met a myriad of ways depending on local needs and capcity. Common approaches include:
For documentation purposes, the community should provide an agenda, minutes or some other document showing such an event occured and who was invited/attended.
Some examples of materials for joint meetings include:
Best practice 5 (Economic Development & Marketing) assess the community’s plans to strengthen its overall economic health and market itself to create community pride and increase investor confidence. Today, economic development means more than business attraction and retention. While business development is a core value, a community needs to include community development and talent in the overall equation for economic success. The goal of the economic development strategy is to provide initiatives and methods that will encourage diversity of the region’s economic base, tap into opportunities for economic expansion and help to create a sustainable, vibrant community. Additionally, this best practice helps communities understand and deploy local economic development tools and incentives.
The ability to tell a community’s story is an essential part of any economic development effort. In order to do this, communities must understand their existing assets, know their audience, and have consistent messaging. To coordinate these efforts internally and externally, RRC communities create formal marketing plans which help implement the community vision, values and goals.
The community has approved an economic development strategy.
Note: Best Practice only applies to certified level.
More than ever, communities and their partners must understand how to leverage their strengths and address their challenges in a competitive market for talent and investment. A local economic development strategy guides those efforts.
Check out the RRC Guide for Creating an Economic Development Strategy.
Economic development strategies are commonly done in two ways: a standalone document or as part of the community's master plan via a dedicated chapter and goals for economic development efforts. Below are some examples of standalone strategies. The biggest benefit to this approach is that it can be more nimble than a master plan since it is not subject to the strict update process that master plans are. However, doing one alone also means another plan the community will need to maintain so if capacity is a concern, the 2nd option may make more sense for your community.
Examples from RRC Communities
Examples of communities who include economic development right in their master plan benefit from having a single plan and also integrating economic development right into all their other community goals. A downside to this approach is that economic development needs tend to change much faster than a master plan can. However, for communities with limited capacity, this is a good way to begin building a stronger economic development focus.
Finally, like other RRC-aligned plans, any strategy should include a process for assessing progress at least annually. This can be done via a report, joint meeting, monthly updates, or some other method.
The community has identified local economic development tools.
Note: Best Practice only applies to certified level.
Clearly identifying locally available economic development tools ensures the most efficient use of local resources to encourage development that the community desires. Having process documentation and application materials available assists potential applicants in understanding how to leverage local tools.
No two communities offer exactly the same incentive options or view them in exactly the same way. But almost all communities have some tools in their toolbox to support projects that fit their local vision. Commonly used local incentives include:
RRC communities aren't expected to have all of these tools, but the ones they choose to use should have clearly defined information available online. Having parameters which tie funding to community goals, priority redevelopement areas, and more can help a community best utilize limited resources. A community can often combine several tools into a single policy, especially with tax abatements.
New to economic development incentives? Check out this RRC Guide on Economic Development incentives as a starting point.
Check out some examples from RRC communities below:
General Incentive Information
Tax Abatements - Multiple Types
Commercial Rehabiliation Districts (CRDs)
Neighborhood Enterprise Zones (NEZs)
Facade Programs (coming soon)
The community has a documented marketing plan.
Note: Best Practice only applies to certified level.
Marketing and branding are an essential tool for promoting a community’s assets and unique attributes. A marketing plan establishes goals and strategies for how a community should partner locally to build a consistent brand, tell their unique story, and attract new residents, visitors, businesses, and development.
Check out the RRC Guide for Creating a Marketing Plan.
Thanks to the uniqueness of Michigan communites, no two communities have a simliar marketing strategy. Some communities may be carrying most of the workload and the plan will need to reflect that while other plans may be mostly cooridinating with local partners like Chambers, CVBs, Region EDOs, etc. Check out some examples below for inspiration; however, RRC strongly encourages communities to build their own plan using the guide to ensure it accounts for local factors.
Marketing is an ever evolving topic, especially community and economic development marketing. RRC will add external articles and other resources as they are identified.
Best Practice 6 (Redevelopment Ready Sites) assesses how a community identifies, envisions, and markets their priority redevelopment sites. Instead of waiting for developers to propose projects, Redevelopment Ready Communities identify priority sites and prepare information to assist developers in finding opportunities that match the community’s vision. Communities must think strategically about the redevelopment of properties and targeting investments in areas that can catalyze further development. For instance, identifying and marketing priority sites in obsolete, vacant and underutilized properties can assist a community in stimulating the real estate market. Additionally, engaging the public and understanding desired outcomes for priority sites create a predictable environment for development projects and reduce the risk of rejected development proposals.
Post certification, the Redevelopment Services Team will be available to assist communities in identifying, packaging, and marking sites that can help the community implement their vision.
This section of the library includes general resources and examples for site packaging but RRC encourages communities intending to reach the Certified level to wait for assistance from the Redevelopment Services Team prior to completing this best practice.
Property Information Package: Bessemer
Bessemer has developed a full property information package for its top priority site along US-2. The city is seeking to attract sernior housing or a grocery store - two priorities identified in their master plan. The packet includes all the needed infromation on the site and city including potential incentives and tools. The package is also visually appealing and aligns with the city's brand.
Population: 1,921 | Region 1 | RRC Certified
Property Information Package: Hudsonville
Hudsonville provides a webpage decidcated just for priority redvelopment sites. The packages are very well formatted, easy to read and provides all the required information.
Population: 7,335 | Region 4 | RRC Certified
Property Information Package: Mount Pleasant
The city of Mount Pleasant's Economic Development Commission (EDC) has prepared an RFP for a prime site anchoring downtown. A full package of information is on its website including basic information, studies, proposal guidelines, and maps. The city also created smaller information packets for six other sites in early 2018.
Population: 26,134 | Region 5
Property Information Package: Novi
This Property Information Package (PIP) for Adell Towers helps concisely describe the property, the possibilities that can be achieved within the zoning district, demographics and more.
Population: 57,577 | Region 10
Property Information Package: Oak Park
The city of Oak Park has completed a full property information packet to attract a brewery to one of the city's priority redevelopment sites. This effort closely matched with the city's goals in the master plan and economic development strategy as well. In addition to this packet the city advertizes properties on OppSites and has available sites on the city website.
Population: 29,751 | Region 10 | RRC-Certified
Property Information Package: Saginaw
Saginaw's Property Information Package for 505 Millard St. features essentail information about the city and the site. It includes a vision for development, potential incentives, and great photos on the inside of the property.
Population: 49,366 | Region 5 | RRC Certified
Sometimes helpful resources don't fit nicely into a particular best practice. As the RRC team identifies such resources, you'll find them listed in this section.
Consolidation Plan (2014): Saline
The Saline Consolidation Plan oulines ways the city can partner with neighboring jurisdictions to coordinate services, such as: parking areas for police officers, road maintenance, staff positions, various inspections and technology equipment. The plan includes projected and realized savings and barriers experienced when implementing each proposal.
Population: 9,020 | Region 9
Land Disposition of City-Owned Real Property (Policy): Laingsburg
The City of Laingsburg has developed a detailed policy governing the options available to the city when disposing of real property. The policy covers assessing value, RFQs, RFPs, public engagement, negotiation, purchase options and leasing. The city owns a number of parcels in the downtown area which are governed by this policy, including all three top priority sites.
Population: 1,216 | Region 6
Redevelopment Ready Communities has partnered with the Michigan Department of Treasury and MSU Extension to create the Fiscally Ready Communities program. This program was created to provide training and assistance to Michigan communities who are dedicated to ensuring their fiscal health through strong financial policies and protections. As a result of this training, officials and employees will be better equipped for long-term fiscal health and develop relationships with the Department of Treasury and MSU Extension.
Check out the Fiscally Ready Communities best practices guide.
To browse upcoming trainings, click here.
The RRC Webinar Series is an online learning opportunity available to any RRC community. These sessions focus on helping communities understand a particular RRC Best Practice and connects them with information/resources/examples of how to complete it. Webinars happen monthly. To see upcoming webinars, click here.
April 2019 - Public Engagement Strategies & Plans: Slide Deck
May 2019 - Technology in Local Government: Slide Deck
June 2019 - Training Strategies & Plans: Slide Deck
July 2019 - Creating a Guide to Development: Slide Deck
August 2019 - RRC, DDAs and Main Street Collaboration: Slide Deck