Home Communities Port Austin Draft Goals & Objectives Draft Goals & Objectives for Port Austin Please review the Goals & Objectives below and provide your comments for each. Download a printable version of this to complete offline. Thank you!Goal 1: Port Austin will be a community of year-round activity, with attractions, events and a built environment that cater to residents and tourists during all four seasons. Market Port Austin’s natural and cultural assets to a widespread audience of potential visitors Increase the number of ways through which the Tip of the Thumb Water Trail and Turnip Rock are advertised throughout the region. Implement Port Austin’s branding strategy, which emphasizes the “small coastal town” aesthetic. Attract businesses and design features that support this local identity. Partner with neighboring municipalities and the Huron County Economic Development Corporation to identify winter marketing opportunities for the region. Provide additional amenities to encourage winter tourism visitation such as small cabins, designated hiking and ski trails and walkable connections to attractions. Recognize the community’s residents and businesses that help contribute to Port Austin’s sense of place. Attract, retain and enhance local businesses that contribute to New Economy principles. Encourage business owners with orchards and farms to provide tours, education and experience-driven services in addition to their normal operations. Provide tours, programming and events at Port Austin’s three art barns. Attract additional restaurants to Port Austin by highlighting the area’s access to fresh foods and by offering incentives for start-ups. Improve the community’s walkability by mixing retail, restaurants and residential land uses in a compact manner. Adopt a “conscious capitalism” model for attracting and retaining businesses wherein business leaders are encouraged to invest resources into Port Austin and to coordinate with other business leaders to support projects that contribute to the community’s quality of life. Connect residents with healthy food choices that are easy to access, abundant and affordably priced. Engage the public to assess the feasibility of developing a community kitchen. Revise the zoning ordinance to encourage the development of community gardens in Port Austin’s neighborhoods Create a Farm to School Initiative and/or a Community Supported Agriculture Initiative to connect the agricultural industry’s products to local schools, restaurants and food stores. Be responsive to the needs of small business owners in Port Austin and work with the business community to identify opportunities for expansion. Convene business owners in Port Austin on a regular basis to encourage collaboration and to listen to needs. Facilitate meetings with local business owners, especially those in the recreation and hospitality industries, to develop package deals meant to attract tourism, especially during winter months. Update the municipal website to clearly outline the processes that potential business owners would want to know prior to locating in Port Austin, such as how to acquire a business license, properties available to lease or purchase and regulations or incentives affecting local business operations. Use public spaces for recreation and programming throughout all four seasons. Engage community members to determine interest in seasonal activities that Port Austin could host throughout each season. (These events may relate to the local history such as having a Broom Ball tournament weekend). Identify underutilized spaces that could be developed to host regular recreation and entertainment activity. Create a community calendar listing events occurring in Huron County. Encourage event planners in the county to reduce the number of overlapping events. Assign responsibility for implementing the concepts described in the Village’s Recreation/Parks Plan. Goal 1 Comments:Goal 2: Non-motorized transportation options in Port Austin will provide multiple ways for people to connect to points of interest. Connect Port Austin’s points of interest with safe and scenic bike routes. Use markings and signage to designate roads with adequate shoulder widths as shared-use. Provide residents and visitors with a map of the designated routes. Identify natural areas and culturally significant places within the Village and Township that would benefit from a non-motorized connection. Assess the feasibility of acquiring easements to develop paved recreational trails throughout the community. Construct amenities such as wayfinding signs, wide sidewalks, well-marked crosswalks, public restrooms, drinking fountains and benches to connect trail users to local attractions. Design streetscapes to balance the needs of motor vehicles with pedestrian comfort, safety and enjoyment. Create a vibrant pedestrian experience by strategically placing amenities such as art, greenery, seating and wayfinding throughout the community. Update the zoning ordinance to encourage retail and restaurants to include common placemaking elements such as outdoor dining, ground floor transparency requirements, open store fronts and streetscape elements (the Village’s ordinance only has build-to lines). Clearly mark crosswalks and ensure that sidewalks are compliant with American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. Adopt streetscape elements with a consistent theme throughout the Port Austin community. This may include uniform signage, similar design elements or the use of related materials. Landscape pedestrian paths with native vegetation to reduce the heat island effect, improve flood mitigation and beautify the area. Develop and implement a Complete Streets ordinance for the Downtown area Goal 2 Comments:Goal 3: Port Austin’s residents will have safe and efficient connections to local amenities as well as to major urban centers in the region. Link Port Austin to the various parks, non-motorized trails and natural areas throughout Huron County and beyond. Partner with neighboring communities to develop a regional trails plan. Continue to work with Thumb Area Transit and residents to identify ways to improve public transportation use in Port Austin. Partner with regional, state and national transportation entities to increase the number of connections between Huron County and larger urban centers such as Detroit, Ann Arbor, Bay City and Chicago. Create opportunities for residents and visitors to navigate Port Austin and Huron County without needing a personal vehicle. Assess the feasibility of introducing a seasonal trolley route. Evaluate the community’s ability to support transit sharing services such as ride-sharing applications, scooter rentals or bike share. Promote compact development patterns that appropriately mix residential and commercial land uses. Partner with Thumb Area Transit, nearby jurisdictions, Huron County and local hotels to establish arranged transportation to events county-wide. Anticipate future transportation needs for Port Austin as behaviors and technology change. Partner with Huron County and the Michigan Department of Transportation to conduct a Traffic Demand Analysis to assess whether existing infrastructure is appropriate for current and future traffic needs. Work with the business community and property owners near areas with a high volume of activity to address parking concerns during the summer months. Study where car charging stations can be strategically placed to ensure efficient parking patterns and easy access for users. Goal 3 Comments:Goal 4: Port Austin will be able to attract and retain a talented workforce representing a diverse range of industry types. Develop community features that promote Port Austin as an ideal place for talented professionals to live, work and play. Create designated work spaces for people who are employed remotely. Many people who work outside of an office setting choose where they want to live based on the availability of functional work spaces, amongst other factors such as living costs, location and entertainment. Increase the amount of studio space available for artists. Offer these spaces at a reduced rate in exchange for public art installations, art classes open to the public or other contributions to the local arts culture. Encourage artisans to locate in the community by conditionally allowing light industrial land uses in commercial zones. Provide Port Austin’s residents with education and job training resources to contribute to the area’s local economic needs. Partner with a local higher education institution to assess the feasibility of siting a satellite educational facility in Port Austin. Partner with the local business community to create a tuition reimbursement program to attract and retain workers at small businesses or those in industries that would diversify Port Austin’s economic base such as retail, education, health, entertainment, finance and technology. The Village/Township should seek partnerships with private and public sector entities to fund this initiative. Work with the agricultural industry in Huron County to create college student internship opportunities at farms, orchards and gardens. Assess the need for job training in Port Austin and Huron County for professionals wanting to change careers. Partner with private sector entities to develop training programs to address these needs. Collaborate with the Huron County Economic Development Corporation and North Huron Schools to create a Young Entrepreneurs Program. Goal 4 Comments:Goal 5: Port Austin will present residents and visitors with a network of public spaces suitable for community events, recreation activities and spontaneous social interactions. Target development and programming efforts towards projects that meet the community’s most sought after qualities for improving livability. Engage Port Austin youth to address potential gaps in recreation infrastructure, equipment and spaces within the community. Create a community center where residents and visitors can gather for events, meet-ups or passive recreation. Collaborate with Huron County and nearby municipalities to increase the amount of programming for community events, classes and recreation leagues in public spaces. Develop public open spaces at public easements, especially those that provide access to the Lake Huron shoreline. Improve existing community amenities to facilitate more pedestrian traffic and year-round visitation. Implement the community’s plan to improve Bird Creek Park and connect the park to the Village’s downtown with a pedestrian bridge. Promote safe access to the waterfront, including safety features, handicap ramps and ADA-accessible launches. Renovate the Port Austin Gym so that it is suited to host community events, recreation programming and various other public uses. Evaluate parks, pedestrian infrastructure and public spaces to ensure that they are designed to accommodate all ages and abilities. Goal 5 Comments:Goal 6: Port Austin will preserve its qualities that create a sense of place and beautify highly visible areas to promote an aesthetically pleasing community. Reduce the presence of blight and other code violations on residential and commercial properties. Review code violation remediation procedures to ensure they are clear in their intent and are widely understandable. Include these procedures on the municipal website, at the municipal office and in code violation notices that are sent to property owners. Work with property owners to identify a rehabilitation plan to address code violations, especially those that contribute a blighted appearance to Port Austin. Identify underutilized, obsolete or vacant commercial structures that the Village/Township could acquire, rehabilitate and sell. Create a program to maintain façade appearances in commercial areas. Consider the creation of a revolving loan fund, grant opportunities or other incentives to assist business owners with façade upkeep. Target underutilized, obsolete or vacant buildings or spaces for redevelopment. Create a redevelopment plan by engaging the community on a better use for specific sites. Promote built environment features that support Port Austin as an interesting and scenic place to live, work and play. Start a beautification initiative targeting improvements around points of interest, community gateways and commercial areas. Partner with local entities and volunteers to add landscaping and greenery in targeted areas. Consider burying electrical wires to help accentuate Port Austin’s natural scenery. Place murals and temporary art pieces throughout the community that contribute to Port Austin’s history and unique characteristics. Implement design standards for new developments and redevelopments that match the local character. Consider amending the zoning ordinance to include form-based zoning. Protect views of Lake Huron by discouraging multiple-story developments along the shoreline. Create redevelopment plans for locations in Port Austin that are vacant, underutilized or obsolete in their current use. Inventory the community’s historic structures, places and objects and work with the State Historic Preservation Office to register these local assets as historically significant. Consider implementing a historic preservation overlay district. Emphasize Port Austin’s History Center by providing tours, improving non-motorized connections and marketing the site’s features. Goal 6 Comments:Goal 7: Port Austin will be prepared for the short and long-term risks related to the Lake Huron shoreline. The community will have initiatives and plans in places that support mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery for potential natural disasters. Use the Village/Township’s zoning ordinance and site plan review process as a tool to support development patterns that promote sustainable practices. Consider developing a coastal overlay district to require additional standards such as landscaping and larger lot sizes to promote shoreline preservation. Update the zoning ordinance to prohibit shoreline hardening. Increase the setback requirements for developments on parcels adjacent to the shoreline to create a 50’ buffer from flood-prone areas. Study flood risk maps and data to determine areas where new development should be avoided. Incentivize or regulate site plans to preserve open space, add as little impervious surface as possible and maintain native vegetation. Prepare the community’s infrastructure, emergency response systems and risk mitigation planning to account for the increased frequency of major storm and flood events. Update the Village/Township sewer system to account for increased storm activity and flood risks. Create a Hazard Mitigation Plan, an Emergency Preparedness Plan or a plan similar in nature for Port Austin. Coordinate with police, fire and ambulatory services to plan for natural hazard scenario responses. Add to the community’s tree canopy to reduce the risks of runoff, flooding and the urban heat island effect. Update the zoning ordinance to regulate or incentivize rain gardens, bioswales and other low-impact development techniques; green roofs; pervious pavement; native, non-invasive landscaping; and the preservation of existing trees. Goal 7 Comments:Goal 8: Port Austin will continue to preserve the natural features of the community to be enjoyed now and by future generations. Natural areas will be protected with the understanding that these features contribute to ecological stability, they provide aesthetic value and opportunities for passive recreation and they support Port Austin’s tourism-driven economy. Reduce Port Austin’s resource consumption through ongoing public education, policy initiatives and infrastructure improvements. Educate homeowners and business owners on best practices to reduce energy consumption. Incentivize or regulate new developments and redevelopments to become certified as energy efficient (i.e. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Identify the community’s ability to support renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. Educate Port Austin residents on how to recycle and the importance of diverting waste from landfills. Improve Port Austin’s ability to manage stormwater and runoff. Work with business owners, especially those in the agricultural industry, to reduce the amount of runoff entering natural systems. Monitor water quality at the local level to ensure public safety at the community’s public beaches and access sites. Improve the community’s overall ratio of hardscape to softscape through additional tree canopy, landscaping requirements and maximum parking requirements. Incorporate best practices into the built environment that are designed to sustain the quality of the community’s natural resources. Revisit the Township’s protected farmlands on an annual basis to evaluate whether these protected designations should be expanded, reduced or kept the same. Site new developments near existing infrastructure to reduce public expenditures needed to provide services to these developments. Promote infill development as an alternative to development in greenfields. Improve “dark sky” conditions in Port Austin by regulating ambient light and light sources. Incentivize or regulate developments to include green features such as open space preservation, green roofs, rain gardens or native vegetation protections. Protect ecological diversity by managing invasive, endangered and overpopulated species. Collect data on animal species to address overpopulation or endangered populations. Create an action plan that specifies steps to ensure a stable ecosystem. Coordinate with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and regional environmental groups to establish an invasive species management strategy. Goal 8 Comments:Goal 9: Port Austin’s housing options will accommodate residents of various economic statuses, household types, age ranges and living preferences. Accommodate the changing housing needs for aging residents to support “Aging in Place”. Consider amending the zoning ordinance to allow accessory dwelling units in certain districts. Guide development closer to community amenities to support walkability and easier access to needs such as groceries and medical facilities. Conduct a housing study to assess the need for more senior housing options. These housing units should include accessibility features. Support housing developments that would diversify Port Austin’s existing housing stock. Allow for and encourage mixed-use developments with retail on the first floor and residential units above. Amend the Village/Township zoning ordinance to allow for micro-housing or “tiny homes” in certain areas. Continue to meet the demand for single-family detached housing units while introducing “missing middle” housing options that are compatible in scale with existing housing and promote walkability. Goal 9 Comments:Goal 10: Port Austin will seek representative civic participation by actively engaging the public through a variety of outreach methods and equitable practices. Update/create the/a public participation strategy to include a description of different public engagement methods and when it is appropriate to use each one. Work with community members to conduct an assessment of Port Austin’s current civic participation levels. Identify gaps and barriers to participation including but not limited to the hours of public meetings, personal vehicle use, socioeconomic impediments and the clarity of public notices. Ensure that, when working with third party consultants, they are required to follow the public participation strategy. Use a wide range of community engagement techniques to gather public sentiment for local projects and initiatives. Post information regarding public meetings in multiple public spaces and through a variety of mediums. Use a combination of in-person engagement and remote participation to accommodate more groups to have a voice in the community’s decision making processes. Benchmark public participation to annually review what engagement techniques are working and which of these could be improved. Goal 10 Comments:The Village of Port Austin will gain accreditation in the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) program. To accomplish this: Develop a Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) that details a minimum of six years of projects and improvements Review the CIP annually Develop a Downtown Development Plan Identify underutilized or vacant sites that may act as redevelopments Amend the zoning ordinance to include Form-Based code elements Village allows the following housing types – stacked flats, live/work, attached single-family units, residential units above non-residential uses; could also allow for co-housing, corporate temporary housing, cluster housing, accessory dwelling units, micro units Review the site plan review process annually to address successes and challenges regarding the process itself as well as approval procedures Make development policies, procedures and steps to obtain approvals available online This may include the following: Relevant contact information Relevant meeting schedules Easy-to-follow step-by-step flowcharts of development processes, including timelines Conceptual meeting procedures Relevant ordinances to review prior to site plan submission Site plan review requirements and application Clear explanation for site plans that can be approve administratively Rezoning request process and application Variance request process and application Special land use request process and application Fee schedule Special meeting procedures Financial assistance tools Design guidelines and related processes Building permit requirements and applications Allocate budgeting for annual training for elected and appointed officials and staff RRC Goal Comments:Any other comments about these Goals & Objectives or this process?