Enjoying the amenities of Downtown Fenton in the present time is one thing; however, envisioning what Downtown Fenton should become and enable it to reach its greatest potential over the next 10 years and beyond is the responsibility of a City of Fenton Downtown Master Plan and Design Guidelines.
The Downtown Plan Process
A team comprised of DDA members, the chairs of the Parks and Recreation Board and the Planning Commission, the mayor, and the city manager was the driving force behind the recruitment and selection process of a firm to create a Downtown Plan that includes Design Guidelines. Nine bids were received on the project and this team narrowed it down to 4 firms prior to conducting interviews. This team spent a great deal of time and energy during this selection process and recommended that the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Board retain John Dziurman Architects to create a Downtown Plan. Furthermore, the Fenton City Council, at their regular scheduled meeting on Monday, March 7, 2005, voted unanimously to award the bid to the John Dziurman Architects.
Master Plan Committee
Once the John Dziurman Team accepted the Award the City Manager Michael Senyko established a Master Plan Committee to drive the process. This Committee consisted of the following members:
- City Council Representation: Mayor Sue Osborn and Michael Senyko
- DDA Representation: Jeri Stiles and Richard Bagnall
- Planning Commission: Michael Csapo
- Recently added are Mike Morey and Scott Grossmeyer from the Planning Commission
- Brad Hissong and Carmine Avantini
About the Downtown Plan
The Downtown Plan created by John Dziurman Architects is a comprehensive overview of the downtown area and a block-by-block plan for future development. Upon completion, the plan will include recommended building locations, parking, streetscape improvements, signage, open spaces, and pedestrian and parking facilities based on future needs. Moreover, a detailed set of design guidelines will be produced for each unique block area addressing the location of buildings, parking and signage.
The plan will focus on 6 primary districts located in Downtown Fenton. These include the North Fenton District, Rail District, Downtown District, River Overlay District, Government District and the Historic Dibbleville District. It is the intent of John Dziurman Architects to present a plan that will not only visually link these areas together but provide the City of Fenton with a tool to create a unique downtown that would offer residents and visitors options for entertainment, shopping, and services, all in one package.
Public Open House
On Wednesday, May 3, 2006, the City of Fenton held a public open house at the Fenton Community Center from 5 to 8 pm. The purpose of the open house was to present preliminary ideas and recommendations regarding the Downtown Master Plan. The public reaction was extremely positive, with over 200 attending within the first 75 minutes of the 3-hour open house. The input at this open house was extremely valuable and utilized to further the development of the Downtown Master Plan and Design Guidelines.
Beyond Completion & Toward Plan Implementation
On Wednesday, November 8, 2006, a joint meeting was held at the Fenton City Council Chambers at 6 pm, where a draft of the Downtown Master Plan and Design Guidelines was presented to the Fenton City Council, Planning Commission and Downtown Development Authority.
The Fenton City Council at their regular scheduled meeting on Monday, March 12, 2007, voted unanimously to adopt the Downtown Master Plan and Design Guidelines.
Implementing the plan that was adopted involves, not reinventing the wheel, but moving the wheel forward and creating synergy with the City Council, DDA Board, Planning Commission, developers and the public to continue on our track record of successful projects within the DDA District at an approximate cost of over 7 million dollars of capital improvements and 1.8 million in land acquisition.
The success of revitalizing Downtown Fenton lies in the hands of our greatest resources: people like you who have stepped forward to make Fenton a better downtown of the future. Furthermore, it takes consensus within a community to develop and implement a Downtown Plan that creates a Downtown Fenton that will preserve the past, promote the present, and facilitate future development.