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File #: 23-0597    Version: 1 Name: 4/17/23 - Interface Studios Comp Plan Contract
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 4/17/2023 In control: City Council
On agenda: 4/17/2023 Final action: 4/17/2023
Enactment date: 4/17/2023 Enactment #: R-23-131
Title: Resolution to Authorize a Professional Services Agreement with Interface Studio LLC for Comprehensive Plan Services (RFP #22-73) ($699,110.00)
Attachments: 1. PROPOSAL_Interface.pdf, 2. RFP_22-73_Document.pdf, 3. 2023 4-7 Interface Studios Comprehensive Plan Contract.pdf


Resolution to Authorize a Professional Services Agreement with Interface Studio LLC for Comprehensive Plan Services (RFP #22-73) ($699,110.00)


Attached for your review and consideration is a resolution authorizing a Professional Services Agreement with Interface Studio, LLC (“INTERFACE”), for $699,110.00 for Comprehensive Plan services. 


As specified in the Michigan Planning Act, the purpose of a comprehensive plan is to guide development in a manner that: is coordinated, harmonious, efficient, and economical; considers character and suitability for uses, judged in trends in land and population development; and will promote public health, safety, morals, order, convenience, prosperity, and general welfare.


The Planning Commission has recommended the development of a new comprehensive plan based in part on the following:


                     The consolidated Land Use Element of the City Master Plan was adopted over a decade ago.  While this Plan has been reviewed in an ongoing fashion, it has not evolved since adoption.  The Land Use Element adoption relied primarily on recommendations made from the 1990 South Area Plan, the 1992 Central Area Plan, the 1995 West Area Plan, and the 2006 Northeast Area Plan.  Today, the City’s land use policies are based in analysis and community goals specified nearly 30+ years ago in some instances.

                     The City has established new carbon neutrality goals via the A2 Zero Living Carbon Neutrality Plan, and the City’s comprehensive plan should consider the appropriate incorporation of related land use policies.

                     Over time, the City has adopted eight (8) current and active documents and 18 “resource documents.”  The combined volume of these plans make it difficult for residents, property owners, and boards and commissions to maintain a comprehensive understanding of City goals in the context of legislative recommendations and decisions.

                     Affordability continues to become a more acute challenge for the City in supporting a diverse population, a robust workforce, and sustainability goals.  Continuing a robust conversation on the challenges and pitfalls that face the City as it becomes less accessible by low and moderate income households, should be primary in City master plan development.

                     While the City’s population has been relatively stable over the past decades, the estimated 2021 population of 121,536 is the highest in the City’s history, coinciding with a time where the majority of vacant land within the City has been developed.


Based on these same factors, staff issued RFP #22-73 (RFP) to solicit proposals for the development of a new Comprehensive Plan.  The City received seven (7) proposals in response to this RFP.  Upon review of written proposals, two project teams were invited to interview with an evaluation committee comprised of City staff from numerous departments and two (2) Planning Commissioners. At the conclusion of the evaluation process, Interface Studios scored the highest and is being recommended to support this City in this work.  The attached resolution would approve the contract to commence this work, as well as identify some initial direction to staff, Interface Studios, and the Planning Commission to undertake this work in response to City Council goals and priorities.


Budget/Fiscal Impact:  Funding for this project was allocated in FY23 Planning Services approved budget in the amount of $700,000.00 to support this project. 


Attachments:                     RFP #22-73

                     Interface Studio - Original Written Proposal

                     Professional Services Contract


Prepared By:                     Brett Lenart, Planning Manager

Reviewed By:                     Derek Delacourt, Community Services Administrator

Approved By:                     Milton Dohoney Jr., City Administrator


Whereas, The City adopts policies and ordinances to guide the physical development of the City;


Whereas, The City’s land use development ordinances are based upon the policies and goals set forth in the City’s Comprehensive Plan;


Whereas, Based on community, regional, and larger trends it is an appropriate time to undertake a comprehensive review and update of the City’s Comprehensive Plan;


Whereas, In response to RFP #22-73 the City received seven proposals and undertook an evaluation process to select a qualified consultant team led by Interface Studio, LLC;


Whereas, Council previously included funding in an amount of $700,000 in the FY23  Planning Services budget to support this work; and


Whereas, Interface Studio, LLC is in compliance with the requirements of the City’s Non-Discrimination and Living Wage Ordinances;


RESOLVED, That in carrying out the work identified in the Scope of Services, City staff, Interface Studios, and the Planning Commission work to develop and deliver a Comprehensive Plan to the City Council at the conclusion of this work that:

1.                     Carefully considers and implements those portions of the A2Zero Living Carbon Neutrality Plan applicable to land use and development activity in the City;

2.                     In the context of largely developed City, make recommendations of adding new homes and densification in single-family zoned areas, and other areas and zoning districts;

3.                     Develop recommendations and policies that promote fewer zoning districts or categories, that contain more flexibility for re-use and adaptability over time;

4.                     A proposed land use framework that seeks to emphasize values over specified land use limitations where possible;

5.                     Recommendations and policies that undue and/or seek to repair past land use policies and regulations that resulted in exclusion of people based on race, income or other characteristics and other inequities.


RESOLVED, That the City Council approve the Professional Services Agreement with Interface Studio LLC in the amount of $699,110 for development of a new Comprehensive Plan;


RESOLVED, That the funds be available for the life of the project without regard to fiscal year until the Professional Services Agreement ends;


RESOLVED, That the Mayor and City Clerk be authorized and directed to execute said agreements after approval as to form by the City Attorney and approval as to substance by the City Administrator; and


RESOLVED, That the City Administrator be authorized to take the necessary administrative actions to implement this resolution.