Economic and Community Development Division
Building Department · Planning Department · Recreation Department
The Economic and Community Development Division’s mission is to improve the business environment and the quality of life in the City using sound, cost-effective planning and implementation methods. The Division is made up of three primary Departments including the Building Department, Planning Department, and Recreation Department. To accomplish its mission, the Division applies a team approach to projects capitalizing on each member’s area or areas of specialization and expertise, which include economic and community development, land use planning, historic preservation, housing, cultural resource management, incentives, project financing and grant writing and administration. The Division leads the City’s economic development and revitalization initiatives together with support from a number of public and private sector partners. The Division also maintains close operational relationships with the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) and the Port of Monroe. Other key partners include the county-wide organizations like the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Tourism Bureau, and Business Development Corporation.
The Planning Department’s primary role is reviewing and approving new development projects in the City. The City has reorganized the traditional land use planning functions through the creation of the Economic and Community Development Division with the goal of removing hurdles and streamlining development and redevelopment applications. Our measure of success is how well we provide knowledgeable and efficient service to our “customers.” Long-term planning through regular updates of the City’s Comprehensive Plan is another critical activity of the Planning Department that helps the City prepare for what’s coming next and become more redevelopment ready. On the preservation side, the Department is actively involved in protecting Monroe’s historic resources, promoting its heritage, and developing plans for future management and interpretation of selected sites. The Planning Department currently employs the Director, and two full-time Planners. Planning staff are responsible for providing professional support to the Citizens Planning Commission, Historic District Commission, Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA), and the Economic Development Review Committee along with performing routine and specialized planning and community development assignments. Planning staff also apply for and administer the City’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) entitlement and other grant and special funding initiatives. Producing the annual update of the City’s comprehensive five-year Capital Improvement Plan is just one more of the various coordinating roles the Planning staff manages between the City Departments.
The Planning Department coordinates economic development incentives that provide financing and tax relief for capital investments and new job creation in the City. The City is a recognized leader in Brownfield redevelopment making the redevelopment of obsolete or contaminated sites cost effective and competitive with greenfield development. The City staff has experience in applying multiple financing and property tax incentives including Industrial Facilities Tax (IFT) Abatements, Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act (OPRA), Michigan Business Development Program (MBDP), Community Assistance Team (CAT ), and Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) Tax Credit and Tax Increment Financing (TIF). Recent economic development initiatives in the City include the following major projects and announcements.
The City is also a partner in the County-wide effort to minimize potential bureaucratic hurdles in getting the requisite project approvals. The “Developers Streamlining Guide” is an on-line and written tool kit that provides contact information and tips on how to get your project approved in the minimum amount of time.
Important Economic and Community Development Links:
Downtown Development Authority (DDA)
Port of Monroe
Monroe County Chamber of Commerce
Monroe County Business Development Corporation
Monroe County Convention and Tourism Bureau
Monroe Economic Development Corporation
Resilient Monroe! is an all-new, land-use planning and community design project sponsored by the City of Monroe and Monroe Charter Township. This project will result in new or updated Muncipal Master Plans for each of the participating local governments and provide guidance for successful community development in the years to come.
COMMUNITY PLANNING SURVEY
As a part of the Resilient Monroe Community Planning project, we surveyed residents of Frenchtown Charter Township, Monroe Charter Township, and City of Monroe to better understand opinions on community assets, challenges, and opportunities. The ‘official’ survey was mailed out to 11,000 people randomly selected from the community’s voter registration lists.
Community Planning Survey Results