Master Plan Lake County - Lake County, Michigan

Master Plan Lake County - Lake County, Michigan

Endless Nature, Timeless Rhythms, Boundless Adventure Lake County Master Plan Prepared by the Lake County Planning Commission 2012 With assistance...

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Endless Nature, Timeless Rhythms, Boundless Adventure

Lake County Master Plan

Prepared by the

Lake County Planning Commission 2012

With assistance from: USDA Rural Development Agency Michigan State University Extension

Lake County

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TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................. 3 PLAN PURPOSE .............................................................................................................................................................. 4 OVERVIEW OF PLANNING PROCESS .............................................................................................................................. 5 VISION-BASED PLAN ...................................................................................................................................................... 5 LEGAL BASIS ................................................................................................................................................................... 6 HOW TO USE THE PLAN ................................................................................................................................................. 6 INCLUSION OF OTHER PLANS ........................................................................................................................................ 7 CHAPTER 2: COMMUNITY OVERVIEW ................................................................................................................... 8 DEMOGRAPHICS ............................................................................................................................................................ 8 Population Trends & Projections ................................................................................................................................ 8 Age Distribution .......................................................................................................................................................... 9 Racial Distribution & Trends ....................................................................................................................................... 9 Household Distribution ............................................................................................................................................. 10 Socio-Economic Levels .............................................................................................................................................. 10 Employment .............................................................................................................................................................. 11 Housing Units ............................................................................................................................................................ 12 EDUCATION ................................................................................................................................................................. 12 HISTORIC SITES & MUSEUMS ...................................................................................................................................... 14 ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES .................................................................................................................... 15 Location..................................................................................................................................................................... 15 Climate ...................................................................................................................................................................... 15 Soils ........................................................................................................................................................................... 16 Geology ..................................................................................................................................................................... 17 Topography ............................................................................................................................................................... 18 Land Use.................................................................................................................................................................... 18 Water Features ......................................................................................................................................................... 19 Sites of Environmental Contamination ..................................................................................................................... 20 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ......................................................................................................................................... 22 RECREATION & TOURISM ............................................................................................................................................ 22 CHAPTER 3: GOALS & OBJECTIVES....................................................................................................................... 25 DEMOGRAPHICS - HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES INTERESTS ....................................................................................... 25 HOUSING ..................................................................................................................................................................... 26 EDUCATION ................................................................................................................................................................. 27 HISTORICAL SITES & MUSEUMS .................................................................................................................................. 28 ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES .................................................................................................................... 29 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ......................................................................................................................................... 30 RECREATION & TOURISM ............................................................................................................................................ 31 GOVERNMENT ............................................................................................................................................................. 32 CHAPTER 4: FUTURE LAND USE ........................................................................................................................... 33 APPENDIX A: MAP SUITE ..................................................................................................................................... 35 APPENDIX B: WMSRDC EMPLOYMENT PROJECTIONS ......................................................................................... 51 APPENDIX C: LOCAL BUSINESSES, RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES & HUMAN SERVICES ....................................... 53 APPENDIX D: COMMUNITY ASSESSMENTS & SURVEYS ....................................................................................... 56

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Generally, the purpose of this Master Plan is to provide policy that guides decision making for future land and infrastructure development within Lake County. Specifically, key planning issues are identified; community character is described; goals and policies are outlined; existing and future land uses are described and mapped; and specific implementation measures are recommended. Specific Objectives of the Plan include: 

Prepare a plan that is authorized under and consistent with the Michigan Planning Enabling Act, Public Act 33 of 2008.



Provide the framework for the Lake County Planning Commission to serve in a proactive, coordinating capacity for all planning committees and commissions within the county.



Prepare a plan that is technically sound, internally consistent, and that focuses on current issues and future needs.



Provide a means for residents to participate in determining the future of their community.



Provide a single-source document for all planning and development within the county, with updates made to this plan as changes occur throughout the county.



Provide a broad framework for the county's decision-makers to assist them in both longterm and day-to-day matters.



Search for innovative, creative, and sound ways in which to improve life in Lake County consistent with community goals.

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Minimize land use conflicts and inappropriate uses of land.



Designate areas of land for uses in keeping with the natural soil properties, vegetation, terrain and availability of public sewer and water in anticipation of future development.



Insure public use of land for recreational, civic, educational, and religious needs.



Provide for an improved system of public services according to current and projected needs.

PLAN PURPOSE This Plan is recommended by the Lake County Planning Commission and adopted by the Lake County Board of Commissioners to promote public health, safety, and welfare through planning for the appropriate use of land and water resources and the provision of adequate public facilities and services. Although this Plan states specific land use and development policy and proposes specific land use arrangements, it has no regulatory power. It will be implemented by county and local decisions, public facility and infrastructure improvements and the actions of private property owners acting consistently with the Plan. The Planning Commission adopts this Plan pursuant to authority in the Michigan Planning Enabling Act, Public Act 33 of 2008. The Lake County Master Plan will be used most frequently to guide decisions by the Lake County Planning Commission and County Board of Commissioners in review of proposed land use requests by landowners; and on incorporating approved local plans and land use approvals submitted for review under the appropriate planning enabling act. The Plan will also guide recommendations made by the County Planning Commission to county and state authorities on roads, parks, county buildings and other infrastructure. The land area covered by this Plan includes the entire area of Lake County and all 17 units of local government in the county. It is intended to promote sensible and sustainable land use planning. It is hoped that this Plan will guide the formation of Township and Village plans consistent with it and that subsequent local infrastructure decisions will also be made consistent with it. All proposed future land use arrangements and policies presented in this Plan were developed based on a blending of: 

The natural capability of the land to sustain certain types of development and the important natural functions played by unique land and water resources in the area.

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The relative future need for residential, commercial, and industrial land uses; as well as the existing land use distribution.



The relationship of agricultural and undeveloped lands to existing community character and the economic base of the county.



The capabilities of the transportation network to sustain different types of development in different areas of the county.



The desires of local residents and public officials as expressed through their participation in community assessment exercises, the phone survey and public Planning Commission meetings.

This Plan has a time orientation of twenty years into the future. It is heavily influenced by the Community Development concept, that a community should incorporate the ideas and needs of the public and encourage participation in work groups to implement goals developed in the plan.

OVERVIEW OF PLANNING PROCESS This Plan is an update of the Land Use Plan of 1998. An automated telephone survey was conducted in 2011. Community Assessment Exercises (CAEs) were conducted at township government meetings and at civic organization meetings throughout the county. The planning process used in developing the Lake County Master Plan also included monthly meetings of the Lake County Planning Commission and input on issues from local government representatives. Copies of the draft master plan were made available at county offices and online for the public’s review and comment, and a public hearing was held as well to gather input.

VISION-BASED PLAN This plan is vision-based, with strategies intended to guide future county actions and decisions. It is not intended to establish precise boundaries of land use areas or exact locations of future types of developments, even though the Future Land Use Map has districts with distinct edges. These maps should be considered as general guides, and the Plan’s function is to guide growth toward long-range, broad-based goals, and only generally indicate its location. A primary challenge of a vision-based Master Plan is to combine the needs and desires of the citizenry with the land's suitability and capability for sustaining those needs and desires, as matched by the ability of a municipality to provide public services throughout its jurisdiction.

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Such planning will minimize the potential for land use conflicts and inappropriate uses of land for the long term benefit to all residents.

LEGAL BASIS The State of Michigan authorizes counties to develop community planning through the Michigan Planning Enabling Act, Public Act 33 of 2008 (formally authorized under the County Planning Act 282 of 1945). Under this act, counties have the responsibility to develop and adopt a plan for the future development of their community. The Lake County Planning Commission followed the directives of this act in the preparation of this Master Plan.

HOW TO USE THE PLAN There are five critical components to using this Master Plan as a decision-making guide: 1) Background information that provides basic information and trends in demographics, the economy, land use, natural resources, the tax base, transportation and public facilities of the county. 2) Vision, goals, objectives and strategies based on public input and that reflect where citizens want their county to be over the next 20 years. 3) Future Land Use Plan, Future Land Use Map and associated policies. 4) Infrastructure discussion describing future improvements in roads, sewer and water to accommodate new development over the next 20 years. 5) Implementation strategies and coordination steps that outline the steps the county, townships and villages need to take in carrying out the recommendations of this Plan. This Plan is a statement by the Lake County Planning Commission regarding the present and desired future character of the county and strategies to assure that character. As a formal and tangible document, this Plan is intended to instill a sense of stability and direction for county, village and township officials, and for Lake County citizens and businesses.

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Every effort has been made to present factually correct, up to date and complete information in this Plan. Information was obtained from local, state and federal sources. Ultimately though, this Plan is a general document, and any site-specific decisions should be thoroughly investigated with original research materials before proceeding.

INCLUSION OF OTHER PLANS It is the express, deliberate and explicit intent of the Lake County Planning Commission to include, as part of this Master Plan, the following plans:        

All township and village master plans All township and village recreation plans Lake County Recreation Plan Idlewild Strategic Plan Hazard Mitigation Plan Community Wildfire Protection Plan Solid Waste Plan All officially published maps of Lake County

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CHAPTER 2 COMMUNITY OVERVIEW DEMOGRAPHICS Demographic data is based on the 2010 Census, unless otherwise noted. Population Trends & Projections From 2000 to 2010, Lake County’s population Median Age by Sex increased from 11,333 to 11,539 a 1.8% increase; whereas Michigan’s overall population decreased Population Median Age % by .6%. During the same time period, the population of the United States increased by Total 11,539 50.1 9.7%. Lake County’s population is expected to Male 5,898 50.0 51.1 increase by approximately 1.3% per year and reach 12,700 by 2025. In the previous decade, Female 5,641 50.3 48.9 the Michigan Department of Management and Budget had predicted a 1.8% growth rate with the population reaching 12,700 by 2020. The growth rate has been slower than projected, and the 2010 census predicts that it will take the county five years longer (2025) to reach the 12,700 figure. The median age in the county rose from 43.1 years in 2000 to 50.1 years in 2010, a 16.5% increase in ten years. While Lake County’s permanent population is 11,539, it increases on a seasonal basis with the tourist seasons and opportunities for various recreational pursuits. Lake County’s largest population increase takes place in the summer months when part-time residents return and weekend visitors visit the area. The population can increase 3 to 4 times the normal population during this period.

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Age Distribution

Number of People

Lake County is fast becoming a Population Distribution by Age & Sex senior county with 50% of the 1200 1000 population over 50. The median 800 age is expected to rise to 60 by 600 2025. Whereas in the previous 400 Males decade there were slightly more 200 Females men than women overall, the 0 2010 census shows there are about 1.2% more males than females in Lake County. In the Age (in years) under age 5 to 9 years of age category, there are more females than males. For age categories of 10 to 49 years of age, there are more males than females, but in the 50 to 59 age group, their numbers are equal at 1,012 each. From age 60 to 79 there are more males than females, but starting in the 80 plus years category, females outnumber the males. The bar chart above gives an overall view of the malefemale population for 2010. The pie chart below shows the population by age and sex in specific age groups and their percentage of the total population. Racial Distribution & Trends Lake County by Race While Lake County’s White (non-Hispanic) population has increased 85.8% over the past 10 years, the Black or African racial makeup of most of the American county has remained the Persons of Hispanic or same. However, there has Latino origin 9.0% been a 4.2% decrease in the Other 2.1% 3.1% black population. In 1998 they were 13.2% of the population, and they now represent 9% of the population. Part of this decrease is due to a change in racial categories on the U.S. Census for 2010. The category “persons reporting two or more races” was added. The white population has decreased by .1%, the Hispanic population has increased by 2%, and the American Indian/Alaska native population has increased by .1%.

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Household Distribution The average household in Lake County (47%) consists of a husband and wife. The next largest group is one person households which make up 32.9% of households. All housing figures represent 2010 U.S. Census figures unless otherwise noted.

Description of Households Total

Socio-Economic Levels

%

Total Households

5,158

Average Persons per Household

2.16

1-Person Household

1,697

32.9

Husband and Wife Household*

2,473

47.9

Lake County is either the poorest or second Male Household, No Wife* 237 4.6 poorest county in the state of Michigan, Female Household, No Husband* 476 9.2 depending on how the figures add up every Non-Family Household* 275 5.3 year. Approximately 24% of the population lives below the Federally-defined poverty * multi-person household level as of the 2010 census, and the per capita income in 2009 was $15,971. Compare these numbers to the state of Michigan as a whole where 16% of the population is living below the poverty line and the state’s 2009 per capita income was $25,172. The median income for households in 2010 was $30,629 which means that 50% of Lake County households had less than $30,629 income and 50% had more. The unemployment rate for the county as of July 2011 was 12.3% which is 3.8% above the national average and 2% above Michigan’s overall unemployment rate of 10.3%. Household Income Levels Household

Family

Married-Couple Family

Non-Family Household

Total

3,936

2,516

2,094

1,420

Less than $10,000 $10,000 - $14,999 $15,000 - $24,999 $25,000 - $34,999 $35,000 - $49,999 $50,000 - $74,999 $75,000 - $99,999 $100,000 - $149,999 $150,000 - $199,999 $200,000 or more

13.3% 9.0% 16.9% 18.0% 16.1% 14.1% 7.2% 4.2% 0.8% 0.5%

4.7% 5.2% 15.3% 18.7% 19.2% 19.5% 9.6% 5.9% 1.2% 0.6%

2.7% 4.0% 14.5% 17.6% 20.7% 20.2% 11.6% 6.6% 1.4% 0.7%

29.6% 15.8% 19.6% 16.5% 11.8% 4.4% 0.7% 1.3% 0.0% 0.3%

$30,629

$39,417

$42,917

$16,693

Median Income

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Employment Lake County’s available labor force (population of 16 years of age and over) represents 45% of the population or 4,134 out of 11,535 persons. Of those working, 72% are private wage and salary workers and 18% are government workers. The self-employed represent 9.3% of the labor force. As of September 2011, the unemployment rate of the county was 13.5%. In 2009, 19.2% of the residents of Lake County had income levels below the poverty level. The “unrelated individuals 15 years and over” category of the American Community Survey represents 36.6% of those with incomes below the poverty level. The next largest group living in poverty is children under 18 years of age. Out of the 3,936 households in Lake County, 51% have Social Security income and 29.4% have some other retirement income. Some 30% of households have income from Supplemental Security Income, cash public assistance and/or Food Stamp/SNAP benefits. A household is defined as a related family of two or more individuals. Please refer to the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission’s (WMSRDC) employment projections for Lake County (see Appendix B). They are estimating a .35% growth in employment for the county. The County’s employment picture is not expected to improve very much in the next 5 years.

Civilian Employed Population by Industry Estimates for 2005-2009 Civilian employed population 16 years and over

3,552 Total Total

%

Manufacturing

666

18.8%

Educational services, and health care and social assistance

637

17.9%

Retail trade

631

17.8%

Public administration

330

9.3%

Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services

293

8.2%

Construction

266

7.5%

Transportation and warehousing, and utilities

211

5.9%

Other services, except public administration

117

3.3%

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining

116

3.3%

Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services

103

2.9%

Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing

100

2.8%

Information

53

1.5%

Wholesale trade

29

0.8%

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Housing Units Housing Units Lake County has a total of 14,666 housing units with a vacancy rate of 65.5%. The 34.5% 65.5% 89.5% high vacancy rate is due to occasional use or seasonal housing. This category 10.5% represents 89.5% of the Occupied Seasonal/ Occasional Use vacancy rate. Occasional use Vacant Other Use refers to part-time residents 14,666 Total Housing Units who are mainly resident during the summer months. It also refers to hunters, fishermen and many other seasonal users for recreation. Occupied housing units make up 34.5% of the total units available and 81.6% of those units are owner occupied with a median value of $94,100. Rentals represent 18.4% of the occupied housing stock. According to the 2010 census, only 85 units were available for rent in 2010. Lake County does not have enough quality rental housing available to the public.

EDUCATION Lake County has several school districts within its borders. The largest of these is the Baldwin Community School (BCS) district, which also encompasses the northern portion of Newaygo County (Bitely area). Outlying sections of the county are split among four other districts. The northeast portion of Lake County, around the Luther area, has an elementary school, with its students then matriculating to the Pine River Schools. The northwest section sends its students to the Kaleva/Manistee Schools. The southeast portion of Lake County, near Chase, has its students matriculating to the Reed City Schools. The extreme southwestern section is in the Mason County Central district (Scottville, Michigan). A map of Lake County’s school districts is included in Appendix A. In addition, the advent of “Schools of Choice” allows parents to choose their school district, as openings within the district allow. In the past, parents from Lake County chose one of the other school districts mentioned above, even if their children were in the BCS district due to past concerns about the quality of education the Baldwin school system has had. Many others have chosen Mason County Eastern, which is in Custer, Michigan. A concerted effort has been initiated in recent years to change both the reality and the perception of the quality of the BCS system. The Baldwin Promise is one visible component,

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with enhanced supplemental programs, like during-school and after-school tutoring and expanded services, another. Many changes have occurred recently in school districts throughout the state, none more exciting or challenging as those facing the BCS system. As part of the 2010-2011 academic testing year, the BCS was part of the 21% of the Michigan schools not meeting the academic goals of the federal “No Child Left Behind” legislation. These standards are expected to toughen, not only at the federal level, but at the state level as well. Grades were given to the individual schools, based on the state’s accreditation system and the reported test scores, which are vigorously being addressed for improvement. For the 2010-2011 academic year, proficiency targets increased by about 8 percentage points in reading and 8-12 percentage points in math, making it difficult for many schools to meet the adequate yearly progress (AYP) demanded on the tests. 78% of students had to be proficient in reading and 75% in math. Schools needed to test 95% of their students, have an attendance rate of 90%, and a graduation rate of 80%. Identified schools must take corrective action, and make definitive plans to restructure and improve the supplemental services.

BCS, thanks to the generosity of many area donors and high school graduates, now offers the Baldwin Promise to everyone who graduates from BCS. This fund pays up to $5,000 a year for four years for tuition and fees to accredited institutions of higher learning, after PELL and TIP monies have been applied. The program made its first awards with the graduating class of 2010, and the students are now realizing the value of this financial support, and more are choosing to attend college. The plan can be seen on the BCS web site. In 2011-2012, the Promise initiative, “College-Going Culture”, began. Students from elementary school through the high school visited colleges, pennants were hung showing the college from which each teacher graduated, and college attire was encouraged to be worn. Inspirational speakers were brought in to tell the value of a higher education, and charts illustrating the financial difference a college education makes in one’s earning potential were posted. The three closest institutions of higher education, Ferris State University in Big Rapids, West Shore Community College (WSCC) in Scottville and Baker College in Cadillac, are cooperating more and more to offer incentives, counseling, and a sense of partnership to the BCS students. Additionally, Baldwin High School students are offered the opportunity to take classes at WSCC

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daily, with bus transportation provided. Courses are available to students to prepare them for jobs in the healthcare field and other vocations as well as courses that can be applied toward college credits.

HISTORIC SITES & MUSEUMS Lake County has two sites registered on the National Register of Historic Sites and four on the State Register of Historic Sites. On the National Register: 



Marlborough Historic District Located on James Road in Pleasant Plains Township; was listed on the State Register in 1971 and the National Register in 1972. Idlewild Historic District Was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, with a boundary increase in 2010.

On the State Register:   

Lake County Courthouse Shrine of the Pines Pere Marquette River, the first location to have Brown Trout planted in the United States (1884), placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

Museums and Historical Societies:       

Lake County Historical Society Elk Township Historical Society Camp Martin Johnson Heritage Museum (Irons) Chase Library Museum Idlewild Museum Luther Museum Shrine of the Pines Museum

In addition, in 2011, a Museum Committee was formed to erect a Lake County Museum, which would feature the entire county’s history.

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ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES To plan for Lake County's future needs, it is necessary to understand the area's physical features. Many of the area's physical features do not change a great deal from year to year and include such natural features as soils, water features, topography, weather patterns, vegetation, wildlife and fish resources. Physical features also include the built environment which includes such evolving features as land use, transportation and historical sites. Location Lake County is in the western portion of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. Manistee and Wexford Counties lie to the north; Osceola County is to the east; Newaygo County is to the south; and Mason County is to the west of Lake County. Lake County is 25 miles east of Lake Michigan, 60 miles north of Grand Rapids, 40 miles west of Clare and 40 miles south of Traverse City. Climate Generally, January is the coldest month of the year with an average temperature of 20.1°F and July is the warmest with an average temperature of 68.9°F. January has the highest snowfall, averaging 25.0 inches. Six months of the year average over three inches of precipitation, with August averaging 3.62 inches. February has the least precipitation averaging 1.68 inches. Prevailing winds are west-southwest with an annual average wind speed of 10.0 miles per hour.

Temperature (F)

Average Temperatures 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

Average daily maximum temperature Average daily temperature Average daily minimum temperature

Annual average high: 56.5°F

Annual average temperature: 44.5°F

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Annual average low: 32.5°F

Soils The Soils map in Appendix A shows broad areas that have distinctive patterns of soils, relief, and drainage. Each map unit on the soil map is a unique natural landscape. Typically, a map unit consists of one or more major soils and some minor soils. It is named for the major soils. The soils making up one unit can occur in other units but in a different pattern. The Soils map can be used to compare the suitability of large areas for general land uses. Areas of suitable soils can be identified on the map. Likewise, areas where the soils are not suitable can be identified. Because of its small scale, the map is not suitable for planning the management of a farm or field or for selecting a site for a road or building or other structure. The soils in any one map unit differ from place to place in slope, depth, drainage, and other characteristics that affect management. The following soil descriptions were taken from the Soil Survey of Lake and Wexford Counties, Michigan. Rubicon-Montcalm-Graycalm - Nearly level to steep, somewhat excessively drained and well drained sandy soils on moraines, till plains, and outwash plains. The map unit is on nearly level and undulating plains and on rolling to steep ridges and hills. In most places the Rubicon, Montcalm, and Graycalm soils are in positions on the landscape that are similar. In many areas they are adjacent on the same slope. Rubicon and Graycalm soils are somewhat excessively drained. Montcalm soils are well drained. Grayling-Graycalm - Nearly level to moderately steep, excessively drained and somewhat excessively drained sandy soils on outwash plains, till plains and low moraines. The map unit is on nearly level plains and low, rolling hills and occasional short, steep slopes. In most places the Grayling and Graycalm soils are in similar positions on the landscape and are adjacent on the same slope. Grayling soils are excessively drained and Graycalm soils are somewhat excessively drained. Kalkaska - Nearly level to steep, somewhat excessively drained and well drained sandy soils on outwash plains, till plains and moraines. The Kalkaska soils are on nearly level and undulating plains and on rolling knolls to steep hills. They are somewhat excessively drained or well drained. Tawas-Croswell-Lupton - Nearly level and undulating, very poorly drained and moderately well drained mucky and sandy soils in bogs, depressions, and drainage ways and on low flats and beaches. In most places the Tawas and Lupton soils are in bogs, drainage ways,

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and depressions. The Croswell soils are on the higher positions of flats and benches. All of these soils have a seasonal high water table. Tawas soils are very poorly drained. The nearly level and gently undulating Croswell soils are moderately well drained. The nearly level Lupton soils are very poorly drained. Emmet-Montcalm - Nearly level to steep, well drained loamy and sandy soils on till plains and moraines. This map unit is on nearly level and undulating plains and on rolling knolls to steep hills. In most places Emmet and Montcalm soils are in positions on the landscape that are similar. Commonly they are adjacent on the same slope. Emmet and Montcalm soils are well drained. Nester-Kawkawlin-Manistee - Nearly level to steep, well drained and somewhat poorly drained loamy and sandy soils on till plains and moraines. The Nester and Manistee soils are on nearly level and undulating plains and rolling knolls to steep hills. In most places they are in positions on the landscape that are similar. In many areas they are adjacent on the same slope. The Manistee soils, however, are less sloping. Kawkawlin soils are on low flats and in depressions. Nester and Manistee soils are well drained and Kawkawlin soils are somewhat poorly drained. Geology Bedrock geology in Lake County consists of Mississippian and Pennsylvanian sedimentary deposits which dip to the southeast at a low angle. The sedimentary rocks consist of shales, sandstone and evaporates. Minor Jurassic Red Beds of sandstone are located in the lower southeastern portion of the county. A small portion of the northwest corner of the county contains Coldwater Shale. The remainder of the county has deposits of the Marshall Sandstone, the Michigan Formation and the Saginaw Sandstone, in that order from northwest to southeast. Red rock topography ranges from a high of greater than 550 feet in the southeast corner of the county to lows of below 350 feet in the north central and southwest portions of the county. The bed rock of Lake County is overlain with a thick glacial deposit of unconsolidated material. The glacial deposits range in thickness from greater than 800 feet in the northeast comer of the county to greater than 200 feet in the portion of the western and southern county. Surficial glacial deposits consist of moraines, outwash plains and small areas of ground moraines.

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Topography Lake County can be generalized as being highest in the extreme northeast corner of the county (Dover Township) and sloping gently southward and more dramatically sloping westward. The elevations of the four corners of the county are:    

Northeast corner: 1280 feet +/Southeast corner: 1150 feet +/Southwest corner: 830 feet +/Northwest corner: 725 feet +/-

There is a shelf which runs north to south through the approximate center of the county and translates high, rolling land to the east into swamp (Luther- Baldwin swamp) to the west. The area directly east and south of Wolf Lake is again high and rolling, and there is another hilly region known as Ward Hills in western Sauble Township, which projects roughly 200 feet above the surrounding terrain. The lowest area in the county is along the western side of Sweetwater Township, where the Pere Marquette River leaves the County, at an elevation of 667 feet +/-. Land Use Lake County is a rural area with small areas of residential development and scattered recreational usage. The main areas of residential development are centered around the villages of Baldwin, Idlewild, Chase, Luther, and Irons, and also around the lakes, namely Wolf Lake, Big Star Lake, Big Bass Lake, Harper Lake, Idlewild Lake, Rainbow Lake, Orchard Lake, Cecelia Lake, Nugent Lake, Loon Lakes, Sauble Lakes, Paradise Lake, Putman Lake, Government Lake, and Mench Lake. There are a few areas with large amounts of cleared land that is currently used or was used for farming at one time. These areas are the southeastern portion of Chase Township, the northwestern portion of Lake Township, and the southwestern portion of Elk Township, and directly around the Village of Luther.

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Water Features Lake County has a large number of lakes, ponds and streams located throughout the county. The following is a listing of the major water features for the Townships in Lake County: Dover Township - Lake Olga, the Pine River and Silver Creek. Newkirk Township - Baylor Swamp, Conant Marsh, the Pine River, the Little Manistee River and the north and south branches of Twin Creek. Eden Township - Little Manistee River and Stronach Creek Elk Township - Bass Lake, Bluegill Lake, Little Bass Lake, Harper Lake, Elbow Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Pickerel Lakes, Cool Lake, the Little Manistee River and Muckwa Creek. Sauble Township - Loon Lake, Sauble Lakes, Noud Lake, Twin Lakes, the Big Sauble River and Twin Lakes Creek. Peacock Township - Wolf Lake, Syers Lake, the Little Manistee River and Syers Creek. Ellsworth Township - Pine River, Little Manistee River, Big Springs Lake, Rockwell Lake and Howe Lake. Pinora Township - Sanborn Creek, Cole Creek and Deer Lake. Cherry Valley Township - Baldwin River and Sanborn Creek. Webber Township - Baldwin River, North Merch Lake, Cashion lake, Government Lake, Whalen Lake, Big and Little Leverentz Lakes, Bray Lake, Hamlin lake and Wingleton Lake. Sweetwater Township - Pere Marquette River, Tank Creek, Kinne Creek and Nugent Lake.

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Lake Township - Big Star Lake, Cecilia Lake, Gifford Lake, Hill Lake, Rainbow Lake, Reed Lake, Orchard Lake, Oxbow Lake, the Pere Marquette River and Gillen Springs. Pleasant Plains Township - Pere Marquette River, Little South Branch River, South Harnlin Lake, Spruce Lake, Watermill Lake, Twin Lakes, North Lake. Yates Township - Idlewild Lake, Paradise Lake, Switzer Lake, Lake Connarnara, the Middle Branch Creek, Little South Branch River and Blood Creek. Chase Township – Guard Lake and Middle Branch Creek.

Sites of Environmental Contamination The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality maintains a list of sites of environmental contamination. The Act 307 list is broken down into the following seven categories under three major headings. Placement of sites into these categories was based on information available to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources as of January 20, 1995. Inactive I.

No Actions Taken: Sites where a remedial action plan has not been approved by the Department and where evaluation, interim response activity, remedial actions, and/or operation and maintenance have not been undertaken.

Cleanup Actions Taken or in Process II. Evaluation/Interim Response - Fund: Sites where a remedial action plan has not been approved by the Department and where interim response activity or evaluation has been provided or is being provided for by State funds.

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III.

Evaluation/Interim Response – Potentially Responsible Party (PRP)/Other: Sites where a remedial action plan has not been approved by the Department and where interim response activity or evaluation has been or is being provided for by potentially responsible parties or other sources.

IV.

Final Cleanup - Fund: Sites where a remedial action plan has been approved by the Department and where remedial action has been or is being provided for by State funds.

V.

Final Cleanup - Potentially Responsible Party (PRP)/Other: Sites where a remedial action plan has been approved by the Department and where remedial action has been or is being provided for by potentially responsible parties or other sources.

Cleanup Complete/Long-Term Maintenance VI. Operations & Maintenance (O & M) - Fund: Sites where operation and maintenance has been or is being provided for by State funds. VII.

Potentially Responsible Party (PRP)/Other: Sites where operation and maintenance has been or is being provided for by potentially responsible parties or other sources.

Within Lake County there are three Category 1 sites, one Category 2 site, nine Category 3 sites, no Category 4 sites, one Category 5 site, one Category 6 site, and no Category 7 sites. In addition to the sites of environmental contamination, 15 leaking underground storage tank sites have been reported and are in various stages of cleanup. Information about any of the contamination sites in Lake County can be further researched by visiting Department of Environmental Quality website at the following web address: www.deq.state.mi.us/part201/ In addition to Sites of Environmental Contamination, there are 11 Leaking Underground Storage Tank Sites (LUSTS). Cleanup actions have been taken, or are in progress, at 10 of the sites and one site is inactive. Lake County has an established Brownfield Authority actively working to address these sites.

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT The local area economy provides for the basic service and shopping needs of Lake County residents and tourists. Agriculture and crop production is not a significant economic source in Lake County. Timber harvest remains strong in Lake County. The economy increases on a seasonal basis with tourist and recreational seasons bringing opportunities for business owners as parttime residents return and weekend visitors visit the area. Residents consider tourism and recreation to be the most desirable venue to fuel the economic development in their county. Economically the benefits of increasing tourism in Lake County would bring more money into the area, improve the local economy, and provide additional income for business. The drawbacks to increased tourism would be congestion on roads and overcrowding in some places. The county needs to develop more local historical sites, major events and cultural attractions. Lake County needs to encourage more variety in shopping opportunities and restaurant venues.

RECREATION & TOURISM Lake County is an outdoor recreation paradise located in the northwestern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and home to 200,000 acres of public-owned land. Lake County has several blue ribbon trout rivers known for their salmon and trout fishing including quality “flies only” sections. The Pere Marquette, the Pine, and the Little Manistee rivers are the most popular, but there are many great brook trout (brookie) feeder streams as well. The Pere Marquette and the Pine are two of the 16 National Wild and Scenic Rivers in Michigan and the Pere Marquette draws fishermen from all over the world because of its reputation as one of the finest trout rivers in the nation. The first planting of the German brown trout in the U.S. occurred here in 1884 in the Baldwin River, a tributary of the Pere Marquette. These rivers and their many tributaries provide wonderful scenic canoeing and some whitewater kayaking, rafting, and tubing. The Pine River, considered by many as the premier canoeing river in Michigan, has a 16-mile stretch which is classified as a class I-II section by American Whitewater. Both rivers flow through the scenic Manistee National Forest. Public and private campgrounds and several boat liveries along the rivers and close by support 22

all of the possible recreational opportunities to be had by visitors. Many visitors also come to Lake County to fish for pike, bass, and pan fish. The county offers over 100 lakes of all shapes and sizes with Big Star Lake and Wolf Lake being the largest. Lake County leads all Michigan counties with over 300 miles of maintained and groomed snowmobile trails. Dog sledding activities are also very popular in Lake County. The 24-mile Sweetwater Challenge Trail race in the Manistee National Forest, sponsored by the Michigan Dog Drivers Association (MIDD), takes place each winter. Cross country skiing, snow shoeing and old fashioned hill sledding are other great winter activities in Lake County. Lake County also leads all Michigan counties with over 311 miles of ATV/ORV trails and has opened all but two Townships (Sweetwater and Yates) to allow operation of ORV’s on the far right of the maintained portion of County roads. The trails are comprised of 88 miles of “motorcycle only” trails for dirt bikes and 223 miles for ORV’s. There are the four trail systems within Lake County, complete with trailhead parking and staging areas. Each year thousands of ORV & Motocross participants enjoy our many trail systems and discover the beauty of our forests. The Manistee National Forest and the Pere Marquette State Forest cover over 48% of Lake County and offer limitless hiking, hunting, birding, cross country skiing, geocaching and wildlife viewing opportunities. Combined with wooded private lands, the county is home to a wide variety of small and large game including deer, turkey, bear, squirrel, snowshoe hare, cottontail rabbit, grouse and woodcock. Duck hunting (mallard, teal, and wood duck) is also very popular in the county. The Manistee National Forest Field Office and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Field Office are located in Lake County. Information, permits and licenses can be obtained at these two offices as well as at many local stores and service stations. The North Country National Scenic Trail threads itself through beautiful Lake County from the Hardy/Croton Dam area in the south to the Hodenpyl Dam area in the north. The trail, often referred to as the North Country Trail (NTC), begins in New York and ends in North Dakota. Each year, the North Country Trail lures adventurers from around the world and within the United States. Sections of the NCT offer excellent mountain biking for all skill levels and are easily accessible at trailheads throughout the county. Lake County has a wide variety of lodging, shops, galleries, and restaurants to offer in the towns of Baldwin, Branch, Chase, Idlewild, Irons, and Luther, as well as many lodges with dining located around the lakes. In addition, Lake County is well known for its many annual events

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including Baldwin’s “Original” Blessing of the Bikes in May, the Irons Flea Roast and Ox Market and West Michigan’s Longest Yard Sale in June, Trout-a-rama, Luther Days, and Idlewild Music Fest in July, and the Salmon Run (5K & 10K) in October.

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CHAPTER 3 GOALS & OBJECTIVES DEMOGRAPHICS - HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES INTERESTS Goals: A. Preserve and improve the condition of the county’s natural resources and existing infrastructure. B. Preserve and improve the rural lifestyle of the residents and improve and expand community services and the existing rural infrastructure. Objectives to Achieve Goals: 1) In matters of planning at county and township levels, seek to preserve large tracts of land to preserve the current (and any proposed) recreational opportunities and revenue base for tourism and recreation. Timeline: Ongoing. 2) Monitor the environmental quality of lakes and streams and drinking water. Timeline: Annual inspection to be conducted and published by the appropriate authority. 3) Begin assessing clusters of population on lakes and rivers for small sewage systems. Timeline: 18 months. 4) Partner with utility providers to improve services, especially high-speed internet access for residents. Timeline: 3 to 5 years. 5) Improve communication to residents about the existing services for county residents. Timeline: 1 year.

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HOUSING Goals: A. Provide safe and affordable housing for the residents of Lake County. B. Assist community residents in transitioning into healthy, safe and protective living environments. Objectives to Achieve Goals: 1) Identify necessary housing project(s) to meet resident needs. Timeline: Done. 2) Identify funding resources for housing and other projects. Timeline: 1 year (with monthly updates). 3) Work with local governments to identify locations for housing. Timeline: 1 year. 4) Identify blight areas in the community. Timeline: 1 year. 5) Identify linkages to community resources to assist with the blight project. Timeline: 1 year. 6) Increase the quality, safety and availability of low income and rental housing units. Timeline: Ongoing.

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EDUCATION Goals: A. Ensure that all students be challenged with subjects and classes meeting the most current Michigan Core Curriculum standards. B. Ensure that all students and their families are fully informed about the Michigan Core Curriculum standards, how the school is meeting them, and encourage community input as to potential changes. C. Ensure that all students receive an opportunity to further their education by attending college. D. Partner with area organizations to make education everyone’s priority. Objectives to Achieve Goals: 1) Have handouts prepared to explain these standards to the families/parents. Timeline: 1 year. 2) Continue Baldwin Promise support for four years at an accredited Michigan college, using these dollars for tuition and fees after Pell and TIP are utilized, per the State of Michigan. Timeline: 4 years. 3) Expand and emphasize a college-going culture throughout the county. Timeline: Ongoing. 4) Partner with the Baldwin Rotary Club, Luther Lions Club, various veterans’ groups and other groups and organizations. Timeline: Ongoing.

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HISTORICAL SITES & MUSEUMS Goals: A. Establish a county museum and welcome center. B. Communicate the history of the area to all interested citizens. Objectives to Achieve Goals: 1. Do community outreach on the proposed establishment of a county museum and welcome center, and form a working group for the project. Timeline: Ongoing 2. Create a county-wide museum/historical site brochure available to the public. Timeline: 2 to 5 years. 3. Establish museum and local tours for school children of Lake County and teach them about and show them Lake County’s rich history. Timeline: 2 to 5 years. 4. Promote and encourage attendance at Lake County Historical Society programs. Timeline: Annually and ongoing.

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ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES Goals: A. Create forum for concerned citizens to voice opinions regarding our forests and other natural resources. B. Provide reliable trash pickup / recycling opportunities for Lake County residents. Objectives to Achieve Goals: 1) Establish a working group of interested citizens and local representatives of the U.S. Forest Service and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that will meet at regular intervals to discuss handling of Lake County’s publicly held lands. Timeline: 1 year. 2) Gather data to gauge the public’s interest in goals A and B above. Timeline: 1 year. 3) Seek funding resources for county-wide recycling program. Timeline: 1 year. 4) The working group will put together a recycling program information packet on potential service providers and funding for County Commissioners. Timeline: 1 year.

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Goals: A. Provide for the commercial and light industrial development in suitable areas. B. Encourage continued success and growth in Lake County’s year-round tourism industry. Objectives to Achieve Goals: 1) Promote high-quality commercial and light industrial development through local site plan review. Timeline: Ongoing. 2) Coordinate with existing area industrial parks in Lake County to help promote their growth and to increase employment opportunities to area residents. Timeline: Ongoing. 3) Focus on infrastructure improvement projects that promote Lake County’s commercial, light industrial and tourism industries. Timeline: Ongoing. 4) Coordinate with state and federal authorities on all projects that will help preserve and expand the county’s recreation and tourism infrastructure. Timeline: Ongoing.

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RECREATION AND TOURISM Goals: A. Enhance the accessibility and availability of our recreational resources for current and future users. B. Promote local events and businesses and work to create and sponsor new events to draw additional tourists to the area. Objectives to Achieve Goals: 1) Create a forum comprised of local stakeholders to address issues affecting local recreation and tourism. Timeline: 9 months. 2) Form a working group of interested parties to promote existing local events and create additional events that will bring more people to Lake County. Timeline: 9 months. 3) Work on creating a positive image and a positive public perception of Lake County as a desirable destination for tourism and recreation. Timeline: Ongoing. 4) Encourage businesses to network and participate in the above activities to solve problems common to local businesses and to maintain high professional standards. Timeline: Ongoing.

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GOVERNMENT Goals: A. Support local and regional planning efforts and engage the county in economic development efforts. B. Encourage community and government participation in local and regional planning projects. Objectives to Achieve Goals: 1) Develop a strategic growth plan in collaboration and cooperation with surrounding counties. Timeline: Ongoing. 2) Increase the quality and efficiency of governmental services to Lake County citizens. Timeline: Ongoing. 3) Encourage collaboration and cooperation among townships and neighboring counties on projects large and small that enhance infrastructure. Timeline: Ongoing.

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CHAPTER 4 FUTURE LAND USE Lake County is a rural county with a population of less than 12,000 people. The majority of housing in Lake County is low density, and this is expected to remain the same. Approximately 50% of Lake County is public land which is owned, managed, maintained, and regulated by the Federal Government and the State of Michigan. This percentage will not change very much over time. These public lands realize no property tax revenue for the county or state. Should existing public lands become available for private use, the County should encourage townships to place limitations on the number and size of land divisions to protect the rural character and environmental quality of these areas. Lands along lake and river corridors and their tributaries should have limitations to protect water quality, shorelines, high bank areas, natural corridors, floodplains, and wetlands consistent with requirements of the Natural Rivers Act and any state and federal wetland restrictions that may apply. Commercial and industrial areas and high density residential housing is projected to continue expansion and development in the same areas along the US-10, M-37 and old M-63 highway corridors (Baldwin, Luther, Irons, Webber, Idlewild, and Chase). Institutional and higher density development will be directed toward the Baldwin area where there is a sewage and water treatment plant for that community. Expansion of these types of areas may be considered if additional communal sewer and water services can be provided by various partnerships with government entities and developers. Future and current zoning resides with the Townships of Lake County. Please refer to the Future Land Use Map on Page 34.

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APPENDIX A MAP SUITE

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MAPS County Commissioner Districts ............................................................................................................................ 37 Base Map ............................................................................................................................................................. 38 Aerial Image (composite) ..................................................................................................................................... 39 Intermediate School Districts ............................................................................................................................... 40 School Districts .................................................................................................................................................... 41 Land Cover circa 1800 .......................................................................................................................................... 42 Current Land Cover .............................................................................................................................................. 43 Soils – General Categories .................................................................................................................................... 44 Soils ..................................................................................................................................................................... 45 Wetlands ............................................................................................................................................................. 46 Designated Trout Streams ................................................................................................................................... 47 Public Lands ......................................................................................................................................................... 48 Well Locations ..................................................................................................................................................... 49 Digital Elevation Model........................................................................................................................................ 50

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

46

47

48

49

50

APPENDIX B WMSRDC EMPLOYMENT PROJECTIONS

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APPENDIX C LOCAL BUSINESSES, RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES & HUMAN SERVICES

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LOCAL BUSINESS AND RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES Please visit the following web sites for a look at some of Lake County’s many small businesses and information on the Lake County area. Lake County Chamber of Commerce: www.lakecountymichigan.com Pure Michigan: www.michigan.org Lake County Michigan Yellow Pages Online: www.dexknows.com

HUMAN SERVICES American Red Cross .................................................................................................. (231) 745-4712 Baldwin Dialysis Clinic ............................................................................................... (231) 745-2020 Baldwin Family Health Care Counseling Center ....................................................... (231) 745-2000 Baldwin Health Care Center ...................................................................................... (231) 745-8223 Baldwin Housing Commission ................................................................................... (231) 745-7441 Baldwin Teen Health ................................................................................................. (231) 745-3920 Child/Adult Abuse/Neglect-Protective Services ....................................................... (231) 745-4636 Community Service Center ....................................................................................... (231) 266-8359 Department of Human Services ................................................................................ (231) 745-8159 District 10 Health Department.................................................................................. (231) 745-4663 Five-Cap..................................................................................................................... (231) 745-4617 Grand Oaks Nursing Center ...................................................................................... (231) 745-4648 Habitat for Humanity ................................................................................................ (231) 745-2688 Henrietta Senior Center ............................................................................................ (231) 745-4011 Hollister Senior Citizen Center .................................................................................. (231) 745-3843 Hollister Senior Housing............................................................................................ (231) 745-7441 Idlewild Gardens ....................................................................................................... (231) 745-2262 Kahill Housing............................................................................................................ (231) 745-7691 Lake County Council on Aging................................................................................... (231) 745-3843 Lake County Crime Victim's Rights............................................................................ (231) 745-7383 Lake County Family Court ......................................................................................... (231) 745-2705 Lake County Meal Program - Baldwin site ................................................................ (231) 745-7201 Lake County Meal Program - Luther site .................................................................. (231) 797-5401 54

Lake County Meal Program - Peacock site................................................................ (231) 266-5785 Luther Senior Citizen Building ................................................................................... (231) 797-5401 Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) ..................................... (800) 327-9158 Northwest Lake County Senior Citizens, Inc. ............................................................ (231) 266-5785 Oakwood Manor ....................................................................................................... (231) 745-2582 Poison Center ............................................................................................................ (800) 222-1222 Region 4 Assault Crisis Center................................................................................... (800) 950-5808 Runaway Assistance Service ..................................................................................... (800) 292-4517 St. Ann's Lake County Senior Services ...................................................................... (231) 745-7201 Staircase Youth Services ........................................................................................... (231) 843-3200 West Central Rehab .................................................................................................. (231) 745-2155 West MI Community Mental Health System ............................................................ (231) 745-4659 Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) ........................................................................ (231) 745-4831 Yates Dial-A-Ride ....................................................................................................... (231) 745-7311

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APPENDIX D COMMUNITY ASSESSMENTS & SURVEYS

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INTRODUCTION In 2011 the Lake County Planning Commission (LCPC) commissioners conducted Community Assessment Exercises with township governments and community organizations and groups to gather input for the Master Plan. We asked all of these groups the same four questions:    

What are Lake County’s strengths? What are Lake County’s weaknesses? What opportunities do you see for the county? What threats to the county do you see?

This appendix contains a summary of all of the responses to these exercises, as well as a Top 10 List of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for Lake County. To see each exercise in its entirety, please visit: www.lakecounty-michigan.com Lake County also conducted a Robo Call survey designed by the LCPC. This appendix also contains the results of this survey.

COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT EXERCISES Planning Commissioners from the Lake County Planning Commission along with Susan Dennis, Area Specialist in Rural Development from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been collecting data from the community that will help the County update its Master Plan. The Master Plan will help the County set its goals and priorities in the near term as well as the future. The content of the Master Plan is driven and defined by the residents of Lake County. To find out what the residents thought, a number of community outreach meetings were scheduled and community assessment exercises were conducted. We started with the townships at their regular meetings and moved on to other community groups. This remains an ongoing process. The overall Summary of Community Assessment Exercises compiles all of the responses in each category. The number in parentheses before each item denotes the total number of times it was mentioned overall. The Top 10 List of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats represents the 10 most popular items in each category. To view the results of each Community Assessment Exercise conducted, please go to www.lakecounty-michigan.com and select the Planning Commission link.

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OVERALL SUMMARY OF COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT EXERCISES Strengths: (17) Natural Resources (beauty of woods, clean water & air, national forests/parks, lakes & streams) (12) Outdoor recreational activities (11) Rural/low population/no traffic/small community closeness ( 9) Good emergency services/government helpful ( 8) Good people/residents ( 7) Good senior services/senior centers ( 6) Transportation system (Dial-A-Ride) ( 6) Baldwin Promise Scholarship program ( 5) Good schools ( 5) Local events ( 4) Strong, helpful organizations and churches ( 4) Diversity of population/racial integration ( 4) Many restaurants, free music arenas ( 3) Libraries ( 3) Active service clubs/churches/non-profits/volunteers ( 3) Great weather ( 2) Having local voice in decisions ( 2 )Family health care ( 2) Active veterans’ organizations ( 2) Second homeowners/recreational homeowners The following items were mentioned once: Luther Elementary School Proximity of higher education (Ferris State University, West Shore Community College, Baker College) Prison expansion Lower taxes than nearby counties Intelligent & educated populace Lots of public land Airport Good poverty services Open community to new residents Many collaborative efforts Lots of opportunities Small business community and its diversity 58

Hardy business owners (99 years in county) Business support for school activities Skate park/Baldwin Curb appeal of downtown Historic area/Idlewild Slowly expanding shopping options (Save-A-Lot, Family Dollar) Weaknesses: (18) Lack of stores/businesses/industry/jobs ( 7) Lack of high-speed internet ( 7) Lack of or poor communication ( 7) Lack of recreation for children/youth ( 7) Lack of places to shop (mall, pharmacies, big box stores) ( 6) Blight/slum landlords/substandard housing ( 4) Lack of pavement or blacktop/lack of funding for road improvements ( 3) Lack of animal control, care and rescue ( 3) Lack of quality education for youth in job training ( 3) Lack of good, affordable housing ( 3) Lack of adult education classes ( 3) Lack of restaurants (little variety) ( 3) Lack of jobs paying a living wage ( 3) Lack of adequate cell phone coverage ( 3) Lack of recreation center with pool for recreation and/or physical therapy, and gym ( 2) High property taxes/higher prices for gas & groceries ( 2) Lack of county-wide organized economic planning (need staff person) ( 2) Overzealous police presence, especially with snowmobilers ( 2) No cooperation between county and outlying communities ( 2) Lack of local business support ( 2) Failure to protect river and lake property from pollution, over-building, limited regulations ( 2) No street lights ( 2) Lack of daycare facilities ( 2) Lack of public interest ( 2) Possible closure of local post office The following items were mentioned once: Not enough activities or places to go regardless of age Lack of options in school curriculum and local activities for youth School lunches need improvement Need new playground equipment

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Lack of laptop computers and books at school County leadership is not forward looking/no plan or vision for county Small town-everybody knows your business Lack of larger year round population Poor news venue (local paper) Too much crime, corruption Negative reputation of county Weak economy Aging population Lack of county-wide zoning ordinance to take offenders to court (cost of demolition/disposal) No Lake County Chamber of Commerce support Lack of medical care Lack of community center Lack of law enforcement Limits on land use permits Lack of recycling center Lack of affordable trash service No mechanism to enforce trash removal on private property No structured programs for seniors in need No pizza delivery Need more first responders No movie theater No movie rental Lack of pedestrian paths along roads Pathfinder library is limited Small number of senior programs Employers don’t hire locally Lack of basic transportation, infrastructure Opportunities: (9) More industry or businesses, preferably “green” to save the natural resources (8) Community Center/teen center with youth activities (7) More shopping opportunities and competition in businesses (clothing, pharmacy, groceries) (6) Career/tech center for job retraining and/or adult education (5) Movie theater, arcade & gamepark, skating rink, shooting range (4) Recreation center with gym and pool (4) Blight removal program (county-wide funding so townships can enforce zoning ordinances) (4) Medical offices for seniors and general population, 24-hour clinic (4) More high-tech jobs and local jobs to create careers for graduating high school seniors

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(3) Market natural resources, camping, lakes, rivers (3) Internet for county – high speed and affordable (3) Cell phone service for county (3) Medical facility closer to northern Lake County (hospital) (2) More businesses and services for seniors (another nursing home, retirement complex (2) Stop lights (2) Stronger government leadership (2) More festivals/events (2) Expansion of social organizations The following items were mentioned once: Reforestation Library with computer lab More natural resource activities Have more businesses related to natural resources Casino Land use plan to attract new residents More daycare centers Do feasibility study to see what type of businesses are needed and would be supported Youth leadership development program SCORE Chapter: retired persons provide assistance/guidance to youth & entrepreneurs for business growth Conference center/Hotel Timber/wood products-based business Designated horse trails Lower speed limits in commercial districts Establish Renaissance Zone to encourage development Building projects Advertise Baldwin Promise program Institute county-wide recycling Expand adopt-a-road program to secondary roads Begin a mobile library or exchange Expand mass transportation Incentive program to hire locally Another lending institution Expand veterans groups Market Lake County as a place to retire Market outdoor recreation More school sports

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More school electives (high tech and vocational) Promote Lake County as a place to have a second home or recreational home Threats: (12) Misuse of environment Failure of septic systems by water (lakes/rivers)/pollution Illegal dumping and soil contamination Over-fishing Lack of zoning to protect our natural resources Exploitation of natural resources by outside interests ORV trails (noisy, dusty, environmental degradation) Not caring for natural resources (deforestation and water pollution) Industrial pollution Forestry mismanagement ( 5) U.S./Michigan economy ( 5) Lack of job opportunities and poverty ( 3) Closure of camping areas with access to lakes and rivers ( 3) Funding cuts to law enforcement, changing timeliness of response ( 3) Prison closure ( 3 )Unfunded mandates from the state of Michigan ( 3) Difficulties in starting new business/loss of existing businesses ( 3) Crime ( 3) High school graduates leaving county ( 2) Not enough year round population to support developing opportunities ( 2) Drug and alcohol abuse ( 2) Politicians not representing their constituents ( 2 )Government intervention ( 2) Apathy ( 2) Overdevelopment threatening rural character of county ( 2) Image of county as retirement community rather than as a place for young families The following items were mentioned once: Lack of county-wide solid waste and recycling programs County going broke Fewer people migrating into Lake County Lack of boat safety education Adult entertainment and adult stores Oak wilt Consolidation of public funding for education

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No county-wide internet available Lack of future volunteers Forest Service/DNR not assigning families to Lake County area Lack of consolidated zoning Run down dilapidated housing Lack of school choice and high school drop rate Lack of educating residents to the value of the environment and recreational opportunities Increase in welfare recipients No shopping mall or big box stores Loss of long standing events

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TOP 10 LIST OF STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES, AND THREATS (Compiled from the summary of Community Assessment Exercises.) Top 10 Strengths of Lake County 1)

Natural resources

2)

Outdoor recreational activities

3)

Rural/low population/no traffic/small community closeness

4)

Good emergency services/government helpful

5)

Good people/residents

6)

Good senior services/senior centers

7)

Transportation system (Dial-A-Ride)

8)

Baldwin Promise Scholarship program

9)

Good schools

10)

Local events

Top 10 Weaknesses of Lake County 1)

Lack of stores/businesses/industry/jobs

2)

Lack of high-speed internet

3)

Lack of or poor communication

4)

Lack of recreation for children/youth

5)

Lack of places to shop (mall, pharmacies, big box stores)

6)

Blight/slum landlords/substandard housing

7)

Lack of pavement or blacktop/lack of funding for road improvements

8)

Lack of animal control, care and rescue

9)

Lack of quality education for youth in job training and adult education

10)

Lack of good, affordable housing

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Top 10 Opportunities for Lake County 1) More industry/businesses, preferably “green” to save natural resources 2) Community center/teen center with youth activities 3) More shopping opportunities and competition in businesses 4) Career/tech center for job training and retraining and/or adult education 5) Movie theater, arcade & game park, skating rink, shooting range 6) Recreation center with gym and pool 7) Blight removal program (county-wide funding so townships can enforce it) 8) Medical offices for seniors and general population, 24-hour clinic 9) More high tech jobs and jobs to create careers for graduating high school seniors 10) Market natural resources, camping, lakes, rivers

Top 10 Threats to Lake County 1) Misuse of environment 2) U.S./Michigan economy 3) Lack of job opportunities and poverty 4) Closure of camping areas with access to lakes and rivers 5) Funding cuts to law enforcement 6) Prison closure 7) Unfunded mandates from the State of Michigan 8) Difficulties in starting new businesses/loss of existing businesses 9) Crime 10) High school graduates leaving county

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ROBO CALL RESULTS The calls made cover the time period from 13 July through 18 July 2011. The tallies of the responses are a sum of all the calls made during that period of time. 1)

Are you a full time resident of Lake County? Yes 487 No 56

2)

Do you do most of your shopping in Lake County? Yes 209 No 333

3)

Do you think the schools in Lake County are good? Yes 295 No 230

4)

Are there enough youth activities in Lake County? Yes 106 No 411

5)

Is there enough support for families in Lake County? Yes 234 No 277

6)

Is there enough support for seniors in Lake County? Yes 239 No 270

7)

Would you like to see more manufacturing jobs in Lake County? Yes 457 No 52

8)

Would you like to see more small businesses in Lake County? Yes 477 No 31

9)

Is there enough public transportation in Lake County? Yes 326 No 178

10)

Would you invite other people to visit Lake County? Yes 437 No 65

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