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Downtown, Old Village Get Special Attention in Plymouth’s Updated Master Plan

The Plymouth City Commission adopted new guidelines for planning and development at a Monday meeting.

Downtown and Old Village will get special attention in coming years, according to Plymouth's newly updated master plan.

A master plan provides a clear vision for a community’s future and sets goals and guidelines for planning and development.

Plymouth’s master plan update was unanimously approved Monday at a City Commission meeting. According to the document, downtown, Old Village, South Mill Street and South and North Main Street all have parcels that are vacant or transitional—or shifting from one land use to another—and provide development opportunities. These areas include:

  • (587 W. Ann Arbor Trail)
  • parcel (884 Penniman Ave.)
  • Metro Mart parcel (885 Penniman Ave.)
  • Forest Street parcels (various)
  • Main Streets parcels (various)
  • Wilcox property (676 W. Ann Arbor Trail)
  • Vacant lots near railroad in Old Village
  • (800 Junction)
  • School bus parking area (1042 S. Mill St.)
  • Bathey Manufacturing Co. (100 S. Mill St.)

The master plan sets guidelines for developing in some of these areas.

The document cites Old Village as being an area that should “be a compatible mix of residential, office, commercial and light industrial uses.” The document encourages a mix of land uses to “allow higher residential density in order to promote the Old Village vitality and pedestrian ambiance.” 

According to the document, upper-level residences above business are encouraged, and Liberty Street between Starkweather and Mill streets will maintain its historic architecture and continue to house restaurants, taverns and shops, as it currently does.

In the downtown area, efforts will be made to increase its pedestrian-friendly layout. Future improvements, according to the document, could include wider sidewalks and bicycle lanes. Along North and South Main Street, commercial outlets such as drive-thru restaurants, gas stations and big-box retail outlets will continue to be prohibited, and the street will serve as a gateway to the city.

The city also is placing emphasis on acquiring additional parking at “strategic locations,” according to the document. Its long-term goal is to integrate a reconstructed downtown municipal parking structure, which would eventually replace downtown Plymouth's existing parking deck near Harvey and Fleet streets, into existing retail buildings.

City Commissioner Gerald Sabatini praised the master plan and applauded the “emphasis on Old Village improvements” and further improving the downtown streetscape along South Main Street.

“Overall it’s a great package,” he said.

Mayor Dan Dwyer said the document was “the product of a lot of hard work” by the Planning Commission, which developed the plan.

Planning Commissioner Meg Dooley, who was seated in the audience, said the document was “a labor of love for a lot of us.”

Nancy McDonald October 04, 2011 at 04:41 PM
How about another parking structure in the empty lot behind the Wilcox House. Lack of parking is a major problem for all the festivities in Downtown Plymouth. By the way, are there any plans for the Wilcox House? It is getting to be a local joke.
John McKay (Editor) October 04, 2011 at 05:59 PM
Nancy, I know the preservation network here is engaged in helping to save the Wilcox House. It appears that is one of the areas the city flagged as getting special attention. As far as another parking structure is concerned, and this is just my opinion, but with no way to monetize the parking, I can't see another structure being built downtown besides the eventual renovation of the existing structure (which is still in pretty good shape). However, if you look at the sketches in the master plan document (which we posted with the article), an incorporated structure would probably provide more spaces and be taller, possibly allowing a third deck.

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