Thursday, September 10, 2020

Survey details residents’ expansion opinions

City of Northville residents are in favor of new development in the community, as long as it preserves the small town character of the city while managing traffic and enhancing pedestrian options, according to a recent planning commission survey.

During a recent virtual meeting of the Northville Planning Commission, City Planner Sally Elmiger presented the results of the Master Plan Update survey which was developed to learn more about residents' impressions of  Cady Street, Northville Downs racetrack and South Center Street.

Among the findings, the majority of respondents want to daylight the river that lies underneath a section of the Northville Downs property, expand the footprint of downtown, and add more public parks. In the commercial section, respondents said  they want to see more restaurants, retail businesses, bars, brew pubs and entertainment venues. Among positive infrastructure improvements, respondents are in favor of streetscapes that have trees, lighting and attractive landscaping. They want traffic to be well managed with an infrastructure plan that can accommodate higher volumes while remaining safe for residents, pedestrians and bicyclists, according to Elmiger's presentation.

The majority of respondents said they want new development to blend seamlessly with the surrounding areas, maintain or enhance walkability, develop a street/sidewalk system that works well for both vehicles and pedestrians, and have public spaces for use by all citizens. 

Most respondents want to see Cady Street feature commercial and mixed-use buildings, and arts and entertainment venues. They would like to see parks and public spaces along with detached single-family residential and arts and entertainment venues in the racetrack section. The majority of those who responded want to see residential development - single-family (attached and detached) and multi-family in the Cady Street area.

The study was conducted during a nine-week period, beginning in mid-June. In total, 1,000 people responded. Respondents were asked if they were from the city (city residents, business owners, property owners, or employees of city businesses), or from outside Northville in an effort to aggregate any difference in opinions between the two groups. Fifty-seven percent of respondents were city residents, 6 percent city business owners, and 8 percent employees of city businesses. Thirty-four percent were from outside the city.  

A comparison between the two groups indicated that there was no significant difference (5 percent or more) for most questions. Based on that comparison test, planning commissioners expressed confidence that the voices of city residents and business owners who responded were accurately reflected in the overall survey results. 

The Planning Commission members are hosting virtual open house sessions, via Zoom, on redevelopment of the Master Plan sub-areas for Cady Street, the racetrack, and South Center Street  Participants will work in small groups to design sub-area plans. 

Participants will receive a confirmation e-mail after registering.  Register for 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22, at:  for 7 until 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23 at : or 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26 at 10 a.m. until noon at :