Boardman River Valley Master Plan

Grand Traverse County, Michigan

Development pressure from neighboring Traverse City jeopardizes the character and natural resources of the Boardman River Valley. Finding a balance between resource conservation and development is essential to the long-term sustainability of this pristine river valley. In order to find this balance, the Johnson Hill Land Ethics Studio worked with the communities of Union Township, East Bay Township, and Paradise Township to develop a framework to guide future development. The plan also identified sensitive natural areas and prioritized preservation areas within a three-township region.

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The Boardman River Valley is a diverse ecological system that includes extensive rural and natural landscapes with a broad range of wildlife habitats and recreational opportunities. The JHLE Studio facilitated a series of public workshops to gather detailed public input, identify key issues, and determine priorities of the residents. The project team also incorporated on-site investigation and extensive use of GIS data on ownership, land use, transportation, and natural resources, which allowed a careful analysis of the existing conditions. The Master Plan includes recommendations intended to guide future development and minimize the impact of development on the rural landscape. These include zoning and land management strategies, initiatives for conservation, recreation, and transportation systems.