Introduction

This page serves as an initial plan of action for the Township; implementing the goals, projects, actions, and future land use categories outlined during the process. Each implementation step is categorized into the plan themes as well as the Cascade Village sub area plan.

Responsibility & Partners

Primary responsibility for implementing this plan rests with the Township Board, the Planning Commission, and Township staff. Many entities and organizations will need to cooperate in order to fully implement policies, recommendations, and vision.

Neighborhoods & Partnerships

Parks + Greenspace

Action #1

Provide permeable edges to parks and natural areas by increasing the number of access points.

Strategy
Amend applicable park master plans to include non-motorized connections and identify areas along park boundaries which are ideal for easements other forms of access.

Responsibility & Partners
Cascade Township Parks and Recreation Committee, Township staff, Planning Commission, Township Board.

Success Indicator
Park master plan(s) are amended; edges of parks are made more permeable by the installation and construction of non-motorized pathway connections.

Timeframe:

Short – 1-3 years

Organizations + Relationships

Action #1

Encourage the collaboration between the Kent District Library, Forest Hills Public Schools, and the Cascade Township Parks and Recreation Committee regarding the interconnectivity and collaboration between neighborhoods and neighborhood assets and services.

Strategy
Establish a schedule of annual recurring meetings where each organization updates the others on goals and objectives for the year; work with each organization to share resources on common goals and initiatives where they overlap.

Responsibility & Partners
Kent District Library, Forest Hills Public Schools, Cascade Township Parks and Recreation Committee, Township staff, Planning Commission, Township Board.

Success Indicator
A schedule of annual recurring meetings is established; the listed entities meet at least once a year to update each other regarding goals and initiatives; collaboration is maintained.

Timeframe:

Short – 1-3 years

Action #2

Identify local philanthropists or benefactors who are interested in partnering, sponsoring, or investing in the Township’s vision.

Strategy
Work with stakeholders from the master plan process on identifying local benefactors and approach them regarding the vision that was created for Cascade Village and the Township.

Responsibility & Partners
Master plan stakeholders, Township staff, Planning Commission, Township Board.

Success Indicator
Local philanthropists and/or benefactors are identified; projects from the vision are sponsored or invested in.

Timeframe:

Short – 1-3 years

Action #3

Increase transparency by recording Township Board, Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and other meetings and/or hosting them in locations throughout the Township.

Strategy
Install a permanent audio visual system in the Township Hall to record public meetings live to Facebook, the Township website, and other platforms; create a rotating schedule to host the meetings at locations throughout the Township.

Responsibility & Partners
Township staff, Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, Township Board.

Success Indicator
All public meetings at the township are live streamed and recorded; the Township Board rotates around the Township hosting meetings in new locations.

Timeframe:

Long – 5-10 years

Action #4

Actively engage property owners in Cascade Village to familiarize them with the Village Plan, promote shared parking, and discuss implementation ideas.

Strategy
Work with the Downtown Development Authority to reach out to property owners in Cascade Village.

Responsibility & Partners
Downtown Development Authority, Township Staff, Township Board.

Timeframe:

Short – 1-3 years

Housing + Affordability

Action #1

Permit attached residential infill, including retirement housing, near transit stops, services, along existing or planned pathways, and within walking distance of Cascade Village.

Strategy
Work with the Downtown Development Authority to reach out to property owners in Cascade Village.

Responsibility & Partners
Township staff, Planning Commission, Township Board.

Success Indicator
Zoning Ordinance contains standards which allow for residential infill and retirement housing near transit stops, services, along pathways, and within walking distance of Cascade Village.

Timeframe:

Medium – 3-5 years

Action #2

Study the feasibility of permitting accessory dwelling units in zoning districts that permit single-family dwellings.

Strategy
Study best practices and policies of neighboring communities, conduct a survey addressing accessory dwelling units specifically to gather public input on the topic.

Responsibility & Partners
Township staff, Planning Commission, Township Board.

Success Indicator
Best practices and examples are studied; survey is conducted regarding accessory dwellings.

Timeframe:

Medium – 3-5 years

Form + Design

Action #1

Require a grid pattern of development where allowable by topography and natural features to enhance connectivity, walkability, and pedestrian safety in neighborhoods.

Strategy
Amend the Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Control Ordinance, and other applicable documents and policies to require or incentivize a grid pattern of development.

Responsibility & Partners
Township staff, Planning Commission, Township Board.

Success Indicator
Zoning Ordinance contains standards which require or incentivize a grid pattern of development.

Timeframe:

Long – 5-10 years

Action #2

Install pedestrian-scale lighting where neighborhoods connect to services, transportation corridors, and parks to promote safety and eyes on the street.

Strategy
Utilize Michigan Traffic Crash Facts to identify where pedestrian, bicycle, and motor vehicle incidents are high and work with neighborhoods to identify important connectors to Cascade Village and parks; work with the Kent County Road Commission, Michigan Department of Transportation, and Consumers Energy to install pedestrian-scale lights.

Responsibility & Partners
Township staff, Planning Commission, Township Board.

Success Indicator
Pedestrian-scale lights will be installed where pedestrian and motor vehicle incidents are high, reducing pedestrian fatalities; pedestrian-scale lights will also be installed near important connectors with amenities and services.

Timeframe:

Medium – 3-5 years

Action #3

Work with the Kent County Road Commission to minimize pavement widths of streets in neighborhoods to slow traffic and encourage walkability.

Strategy
Continue the conversation with the Kent County Road Commission regarding reducing the standard for street widths; encourage residents to contact the Road Commission regarding their concerns; incorporate as a city to take over control of the street network.

Responsibility & Partners
Kent County Road Commission, Township staff, Planning Commission, Township Board.

Success Indicator
Pavement street widths will be reduced, subsequently slowing vehicles down and making neighborhood streets safer and more walkable.

Timeframe:

Short – 1-3 years

Action #4

Amend the DPA, TIFA, and Parks and Recreation Plan to include the Village Plan recommendations.

Strategy
Work with each respective board, committee, and authority to update the planning documents.

Responsibility & Partners
Downtown Development Authority, Planning Commission, Cascade Township Parks and Recreation Committee.

Success Indicator
Each plan will reflect the recommendations from the Cascade Village Master Plan.

Timeframe:
Short – 1-3 years

Lead + Transform

Action #1

Incorporate as a city.

Strategy
To incorporate as a City, the Township must first identify the proposed city boundaries; then circulate the petition for signature by those residents of the territory to be affected by the incorporation.

Responsibility & Partners
Voters of the Township, Township Attorney, Township staff, Township Board.

Success Indicator
Cascade Charter Township will be incorporated into the City of Cascade.

Timeframe:

Long – 5-10 years

Action #2

Change zip code name (preferred last line) to Cascade from Grand Rapids by working with the U.S. Postal Service.

Strategy
Follow USPS procedures and policies regarding a request for a preferred last line change.

Responsibility & Partners
Township Attorney, Township staff, Township Board.

Success Indicator
The preferred last line for mail going to certain Cascade Charter Township zip codes will be “Cascade, Michigan”.

Timeframe:

Medium – 3-5 years

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