A call for Planning’s Best & Brightest to participate in a Design Competition creating a new "Green Zone"
While planning is an exciting and rewarding profession, creating an atmosphere for sustainable development while retaining the rural character of an area is a continuing challenge. Williamstown Township, Michigan is taking a unique approach to this challenge with the development of a new 21st Century zoning ordinance. In creating this new zoning ordinance the Board of Trustees and Planning Commission of Williamstown Township with support from an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the State of Michigan is reaching out to planning students and professionals by hosting an innovative competition designed to see how this new zoning ordinance language may be interpreted by those in the field of planning and development by asking their help in offering preliminary development plans for research and technology services, residential and mixed use based on the proposed "Green Zone" ordinance being developed by the community.
Called the Grand River Green Zone, this proposed innovative zoning classification seeks to incorporate many of the elements of sustainable planning ordinance by addressing the environmental, economic and social dimensions of communities.
Located in the heart of Michigan, Williamstown Township (population approximately 4800) lies along the M-43 (Michigan's historic Grand River Trail) between the capital, Lansing; and Detroit. Located approximately 20 miles east of the State Capital the community is predominately farming and rural homesteads, subdivisions and Planned Unit Developments' with a different vision for its future. Recognizing the pressures of traditional suburban sprawl on an outer ring rural community on a major state highway corridor, Williamstown Township is seeking to protect its rural atmosphere while protecting the rights of land owners along the M-43 corridor and promote a more sustainable and just community.
To accomplish this tasks the Williamstown Township Board of Trustees and Planning Commission are reaching out to the best and brightest planning students and professionals through out Michigan and the nation, to help develop a workable/enforceable zoning ordinance that incorporates concepts and practices in sustainable development, new urbanism, smart growth, green building and site design through this competition.
The Township is excited to offer this opportunity to the planning community. For more information and details of the competition including awards, visit www.grgreenzone.org
Posted September 7, 2010
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