Michigan Land Use Institute

MLUI / Articles from 1995 to 2012 / Grand Traverse County Commission Candidates Respond to Michigan Land Use Institute Survey

Grand Traverse County Commission Candidates Respond to Michigan Land Use Institute Survey

July 18, 2008 | By Jim Lively
Great Lakes Bulletin News Service

On August 5, 2008, voters in Grand Traverse County will vote in a primary election to narrow the slate of candidates for a new board of county commissioners. With rapid population growth and aggressive residential and commercial development occurring in the county, it is crucial that voters clearly understand the positions of the candidates on land use issues.

All of the candidates for the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners were given the opportunity to answer the exact same five questions on important land use issues facing the county. Candidates were asked to limit their responses to 100 words. We have reprinted the responses of all candidates who returned completed surveys.

Commission candidates were asked the following questions:

  1. The Grand Traverse County Master Plan recommends directing future growth to villages and settled areas of the county. As a county commissioner, what practical steps, if any, would you support the county taking to direct new development to areas of higher density? Specifically, would you support county financing of the necessary sewer and water infrastructure to allow for more people in these areas?
  2. Many of the townships and villages and cities in Grand Traverse County have limited resources for planning and zoning, while the county has professional planning staff but limited land use authority. What specific services should the county planning department provide to townships and villages to help them with their planning and zoning responsibilities? Do see you opportunities for the county to offer more leadership and support on land use issues?
  3. Many working families in Grand Traverse County live far from their jobs, schools and commercial centers. As gas prices continue to increase, transportation costs are placing a heavy burden on county residents. What specific policies and programs can Grand Traverse County undertake to help residents with housing affordability and transportation costs?
  4. Several years ago, the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners helped launch a citizen-led land use and transportation study to help select a future growth strategy. Recently five other counties joined in support of the regional Grand Vision planning process. What opportunities do you believe the Grand Vision will create for Grand Traverse County? As a commissioner, how will you ensure that the final recommendations from this citizen-led process are put into action?
  5. Last year, the Grand Traverse County Commission voted to help the county save money by working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The first step in the process is a countywide greenhouse gas inventory, a projection of what future emissions will be in the county, and a proposed target for GHG reduction and preliminary strategy for hitting the target. Will you continue to promote the recommendations of this project? How will you work to engage citizens to continue to be a part of reducing the carbon footprint of the county as a result of this project?
Click here To Find Your District
Last Name District Party
(This candidate did not answer)
1 R
(This candidate did not answer)
2 R
Friend 3 R
Maloney 3 R
Lemcool 4 R
Stepka 4 R
(This candidate did not answer)
5 R
Richardson 5 D
(This candidate did not answer)
6 R
(This candidate did not answer)
7 R
(This candidate did not answer)
8 R
Scott 8 D
Wheelock Jr.
(This candidate did not answer)
9 R
Dierkes 9 D
Michigan Land Use Institute

148 E. Front Street, Suite 301
Traverse City, MI 49684-5725
p (231) 941-6584 
e comments@mlui.org