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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does “naturalization” mean letting our parks “grow wild”?

No. Naturalization means replacing turf grass, which demands routine mowing, with controlled landscaping such as ferns in a wooded area. This would require less maintenance over time and improve park appearance. Naturalization would only occur within certain areas of parks based upon a park plan developed with park’s users, neighbors, and volunteer groups.

Cities all over the country have embraced naturalization to improve the health and appearance of parks and to create unique places for children to learn and explore.

2. On the Land Use Map, is red the only color used to show “investment” and “jobs”?

No. We anticipate investment throughout Flint tailored to unique needs of each neighborhood. Other map colors such as purple, yellow, and dark green reflect the potential for future job growth and investment. For example, light purple stands for “commerce and employment centers,” and dark purple for “production centers,” both areas where we plan to have the highest concentration of jobs.

3. Will the City “shut off parts of Flint” and “force residents to move from homes”?

No. Everyone who wants to stay where they live is welcome to do so and we commit to working together to provide a good quality of life to every resident. There is no language in the draft plan that speaks to relocating residents.

4. If I live in a “green neighborhood,” will I continue to receive services?

Yes. Green neighborhoods are residential areas with current levels of high vacancy. Moving forward, demolition of abandoned homes in these areas will decrease the neighborhood’s density and lead to increased open space, which could be used for larger lot sizes resembling suburban living. While not as dense as traditional neighborhoods, green neighborhoods will continue to receive all city services.

5. Is the plan focused only on housing demolition and not the construction of new quality housing?

No. While demolition of vacant homes is a top priority, Flint must also diversify its housing stock to meet changing market needs. Currently, 78% of Flint residences are single-family homes. This does not match well with the growing demand for apartments, townhomes, and mixed-use options among young professionals, families, and the elderly.

6. What is “green innovation”? Will vacant land be turned into farms?

It depends. Green innovation is about economic development and the re-use of large areas of vacant lots for green commerce and employment. While urban agriculture is one use, it could also include alternative energy production, organic food processing, or other uses with a reliance on natural resources. Many green innovation areas are located in areas to buffer between heavy industrial uses and neighborhoods.

7. What happens if where I currently live/work has a proposed Land Use Place-type that is different from its use today (e.g. “I live in a neighborhood that is designated as “green innovation”)?

All current land uses are grandfathered in, meaning that if they are in operation before the new zoning takes effect, they will not be required to change.

8. Is this plan being written “behind closed doors” by influential people?

No. Per State Law, the City of Flint Planning Commission - with representation from every ward - is responsible for developing the Master Plan. However, the Planning Commission has insisted upon widespread community involvement during this process. Thus far, we have engaged 5,000+ people in more than 300 events. All hearings and events are open to the public. The document is widely available online, at City Hall, and across the city in satellite locations. Organizations such as businesses, foundations, and non-profits are required to provide comments in the same way as everyone else – by attending public meetings and submitting written comments.

9. The City has so few resources – how can this plan be implemented?

Successful implementation will require residents, organizations, and government working together to make it happen. While this is a 20-year plan and not all parts of it will be implemented at once, it will help us guide the resources we do have in a coordinated, productive direction. It will also ensure that we are ready to seize funding opportunities that we might have missed before because we did not have a clear plan.

10. Why is the City spending money on the master plan? Shouldn’t we use that money for more police officers or tearing down vacant buildings?

The City of Flint is not spending local tax dollars on the planning process. The resources for this effort come from restricted federal and local grant dollars. They cannot be used for any other purpose. By developing a Master Plan, the City is in a better position to compete for limited grant dollars. In fact, data from the master planning process was used to secure approximately $23 million in grant funds for demolition.