For its efforts in establishing a solid foundation to attract private investment and further renew municipal assets, on August 21, 2019 the city of Hillsdale, Michigan was awarded the Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) certification by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).
“The RRC program is a great resource for small communities that would like to be more attractive to developers,” said Hillsdale Zoning Administrator Alan Beeker. “The program opens doors to future development and economic growth that otherwise would remain locked to communities like Hillsdale.”
Hillsdale joins 33 other Michigan communities that have qualified as “thoroughly prepared” when it comes to planning and zoning to remove traditional barriers and promote revitalization-related opportunities for prospective investors.
“Our mission at MEDC is to empower communities so they can proactively shape their future; a future built on a solid foundation of retaining and attracting business investment and talent,” said MEDC Senior Vice President Katharine Czarnecki. “Hillsdale’s commitment to continuous improvement and community-focused development will pay dividends for many years to come. With several new projects underway, they are a prime example of what is possible when a community invests in itself to prepare for the future.”
As an RRC participant, the city of Hillsdale received a comprehensive assessment that measured current community and economic development practices compared to RRC best practice standards. The program evaluates and certifies communities which integrate transparency, predictability and efficiency into economic development practices.
Certification status is a compelling indicator that a community has removed redevelopment barriers, and has streamlined its processes to be more competitive and attractive to investors.
“The city of Hillsdale prides itself on being a great place for investment and an exciting place for families to grow,” said Hillsdale’s City Manager David Mackie.
“To receive this designation as a Redevelopment Ready Community is truly an honor and speaks volumes to the commitment of our city staff and council members. We understand the value of this certification and believe that the designation as a Redevelopment Ready Community will help further establish Hillsdale as a regional destination for businesses and talent to thrive,” he added.
To reach certification, the city of Hillsdale:
- Amended the zoning ordinance to ensure downtown redevelopment is consistent with the community’s vision;
- Created the Hillsdale Development Guide which provides flowcharts for each of the city’s development review processes and other pertinent information for prospective applicants; and,
- Adopted the City of Hillsdale Citizen Participation Plan, which identifies key stakeholders and describes how these stakeholders will be informed, consulted and involved in city planning and redevelopment efforts.
“The city of Hillsdale, its residents and leadership team value tradition and history and we’re dedicated to developing the future by investing in the past,” said Hillsdale Mayor Adam Stockford.
Photo of the Hillsdale County Fair is courtesy of the Hillsdale County Chamber of Commerce.