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DETROIT-The City of Detroit’s Planning and Development Department recently received the Outstanding Planning Project Award from the Michigan Society of Planning, the state’s chapter of the American Planning Association.The award recognizes the P&DD for producing a Development Manual that carefully guides users through the City Of Detroit’s planning and development process.

The manual details a variety of development and land use review procedures and provides a clear, concise road map to City departments and personnel who are involved at every stage.

One section is devoted to answering questions commonly asked about the process in general. In subsequent sections, each procedure is posed as a question, followed by the answer,illustrations, contact names and telephone numbers and other vital information.

Also helpful to developers is a time line, which stipulates the minimum amount of time that developers should allow for each phase. A range of topics (from adhering to City ordinances to securing public funding) is presented to assist individuals and organizations with implementing a development project successfully.

A glossary of industry terms also is included. The Development manual is one of several process improvements P&DD is enacting to make the Department’s system more user-friendly. The manual can function as a detailed development tool for developers undertakingmajor or complex developments (such as utilizing multiple funding sources and incentives) or, as a guide to performing an individual task.

The Development Manual reflects a cooperative effort by P&DD, other City departments, non-profit groups and developers to clearly present the development process to citizens, property owners, the development community, design professionals and other city staff members.

The manual was developed by the City of DP&P and Birchler Arroyo Associates, a community planning consulting firm. Windham Realty Group provided input andassistance.

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