Redevelopment Ready Communities
The City of Portage is actively pursuing Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) certification from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The RRC is a state-wide certification program that measures each community based on best practices developed by experts in the public and private sector, then certifies communities that integrate transparency, predictability, and efficiency into their development review practices. The goal is to create a community-supported redevelopment vision that invites investment and in turn, creates thriving places where people want to live, work and enjoy quality leisure-time activities.
Although for many years the City of Portage has been utilizing innovative strategies and efficient processes in its approach to encourage and stimulate development and redevelopment activities within the community, participation in the MEDC RRC Program provides an additional opportunity to evaluate and implement different successful strategies and processes utilized by other Michigan communities. The RRC program allows the city to partner with the MEDC and market key properties within the City of Portage for redevelopment.
There are three primary steps in the MEDC certification process:
- Step 1, Engagement, kicked off the certification process with the city’s submission of self-evaluation to the MEDC.
- Step 2, Evaluation, was completed in April 2019 when the MEDC completed its City of Portage RRC Baseline Report, which indicated the city is already engaged in 68 percent of the RRC best practices. Recommended actions in the Baseline Report include minor revisions to plan implementation practices and the development of a public participation plan. The city has prepared a detailed Public Participation Plan to encourage citizen input in community-wide planning efforts, as well as during the review and approval process for new development and redevelopment projects. The Public Participation Plan identifies key stakeholders and the various methods to be used to inform the public and obtain feedback based on the type of planning process and/or development review.
- Step 3, Certification, will be obtained after the development of:
- Criteria for identifying and promoting redevelopment ready sites within the community
- An updated economic development strategy
- An overarching marketing strategy to promote redevelopment ready sites and economic development in general.
It is anticipated these final best practices will be completed and presented to the Portage Planning Commission in late September 2019.
The City of Portage Baseline Report and Public Participation Plan are shown in the panel to the right. For additional information, please call the Department of Community Development at (269) 329-4477.