Placemaking, Attraction + Retention

Action #1

Designate and create a central community green or gathering space with the understanding that human innovation and collaboration is encouraged by happenstance interactions and places worth caring about.

76% of survey respondents indicated that creating a “village green” or similar community gathering space is a “very important,” “important,” or “somewhat important” Township priority.

Adopt and construct the 2016 Cascade Gathering Space Plan. 

Action #2

Redevelop Cascade Village to be a walkable and authentic community destination as a placemaking, talent attraction, and retention strategy.

Survey respondents frequently commented in the open ended “other” option about redevelopment and improvements to Cascade Village when asked about Township priorities.

Amend the Zoning Ordinance to permit the type of development which is reflected in the Cascade Village Master Plan vision and future land use designation description.

Action #3

Create an anti-discrimination policy protecting vulnerable populations as a tool to address talent attraction and retention.

Participants at the Community Design Day and respondents of the online survey indicated that an anti-discrimination policy protecting vulnerable populations should be adopted by the Township.

Utilize best practices and local advocacy groups to establish an anti-discrimination policy which addresses vulnerable populations.

Development + Redevelopment

Action #1

Leverage the cluster of tech companies locating near the Four Corners area and work with the airport to promote land available for development.

Amazon, Switch, and other technology related companies have located near the Four Corners area (Cascade Twp, Caledonia Twp, Gaines Twp, and the City of Kentwood). The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is putting airport property up for sale or lease.

Amend the Zoning Ordinance to reflect the changes to the future land use map that impact airport properties and work with regional economic development organizations to help locate sites for potential employers.

Action #2

Reduce parking minimums to encourage infill development in underutilized surface parking lots.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) best practices expects flexible parking standards and a reduction of required parking.

Amend the Zoning Ordinance to allow for additional flexibility in minimum parking requirements.

Action #3

Establish a mixed-use node near the Four Corners area to house workers and create a walkable, connected community.

Participants at the Community Design Day indicated a desire to place apartments and townhomes near the airport.

Amend the Zoning Ordinance to allow for and encourage more compact, walkable, mixed use development in a transitional context with density bonuses for attractive mixed use buildings.

Action #4

Acquire underutilized property along the Thornapple River to encourage redevelopment.

More respondents of the community survey than not indicated a desire for acquiring property. 47% of survey respondents “strongly agree” or “agree” with the following statement: “The Township should strategically acquire riverfront property in the Cascade Village area when available to facilitate private re-development18% had “no opinion.”

Approach the existing owners about an option agreement to purchase the property should the existing owner consider selling; assist the existing owner or lessee in relocating their business.

Action #5

Expand utilities to areas planned and/or zoned for high intensity development where gaps or pinch points exist.

High intensity development such as industrial uses and attached residential requires public utilities to be viable.

Work with DTE, Consumers Energy, the City of Grand Rapids, and other utility providers in identifying areas where service improvements are required for expansion or increases in density.

Action #6

Receive and maintain status as a Redevelopment Ready Community (RRC).

RRC certification signals that a community has clear development policies and procedures, a community-supported vision, a predictable review process, and compelling sites for developers. 

Follow the best practices for the RRC program and maintain a list of prioritized redevelopment sites.