Continuing Projects and Initiatives
Updated November 22, 2022
Zoning Ordinance Rewrite
As the East Bay Township Planning Commission wraps up the master plan update, the next step will be updating the zoning ordinance to ensure consistency with the master plan. The Township has contracted with the planning firm Giffels Webster to facilitate the zoning ordinance rewrite. This process officially kicked off in late September 2022 with a presentation to the Planning Commission. A subcommittee of board representatives, Township staff, and legal counsel will be meeting bimonthly with the consultant team over the next 10 months on the ordinance update. These meetings will be held on Wednesday mornings at 8:30 AM and will be posted online and open to the public. Input is welcome and encouraged throughout this process.
Three Mile Trail
The conceptual plan for the Three Mile Trail Extension was launched in the summer of 2020 by TART Trails, East Bay Township, the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, and Norte Youth Cycling. Project partners have engaged the public through outdoor and online input opportunities during the fall of 2020, winter, and spring of 2021. In August 2021, the East Bay Township Board of Trustees approved a conceptual alignment for the future trail expansion. OHM Advisors kick-offed design engineering for the Three Mile Trail extension in September 2022. The new Three Mile Trail will extend from its current terminus at Three Mile and South Airport Road, cross through the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy’s Mitchell Creek Meadows Nature Preserve and connect users to the planned safe routes pathway on Hammond Road. Adjacent property owners have been actively engaged and in a number of cases are donating trail easements. This 12-month process will include multiple opportunities for public input throughout the design process. Learn more here.
Safe Routes to School
As part of the Safe Routes to School initiative, East Bay Township is seeking to improve pedestrian access to area schools in the vicinity of the 3 Mile Road and Hammond intersection, while also furthering the enhancement of regional trail connectivity. The Township has received conditional commitment from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) for $1.2 million worth of walking and biking infrastructure improvements, as well as programming to support the investment at each of the local schools. Prein & Newhof is kicking off the first phase of engineering design for the Safe Routes to School sidewalks and pathways, which will connect four Township schools with safe walking and biking infrastructure – Cherry Knoll Elementary, Grand Traverse Academy, East Middle School, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle School. This project is supported by our partner at TART, the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, and Norte.
The stretch of US-31 in East Bay Township between 3 Mile Road and Holiday Road, historically known as the “Miracle Mile,” is one of the defining features of East Bay Township. The Planning & Zoning Department is currently in a visioning phase of revitalizing the corridor under the working name of the “Beach District.” In partnership with property and business owners, the Planning & Zoning Department will facilitate an updated vision for the district that will be more welcoming for residents and visitors, and encouraging for economic growth.
The East-West Corridor Transportation Study, authorized by the Grand Traverse County Road Commission, analyzed and provided recommendations for the current transportation network connecting the Grand Traverse region. Included in the study’s recommendations were improvements for select high-traffic intersections within East Bay Township. East Bay Township worked closely with partners at the Road Commission to develop a new roundabout at 4 Mile and Hammond Road with the inclusion of community-focused infrastructure, including elements such as safe pedestrian crossings, pedestrian scale street slighting, landscaping, and other placemaking additions. Moving forward, the Township will continue to engage with Garfield Charter Township and the Road Commission to develop corridor improvements that support multimodal transportation options, placemaking, and support implementation of the Township's future land use vision.
Holiday Woodlands Natural Area
In December 2019, East Bay Township was awarded a grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to acquire and expand the Holiday Woodlands Preserve as a public natural area, to be known as the Holiday Woodlands Natural Area. In July 2022, the Township officially closed on the property. The Holiday Woodlands Natural Area incorporates the 80-acre preserve with an additional 65 acres adjacent to Mt. Holiday. East Bay Township is proud to partner with the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, which has dedicated matching funds, and Mt. Holiday, which has agreed to handle maintenance duties of the new natural area. The next steps for the project will be to form subcommittees and gather public feedback to establish the community’s vision and goals.