Residents and employees provide insight at Mount Pleasant 2050 kickoff

"Mount Pleasant 2050" is officially underway.

Residents and city employees gathered April 8 in City Hall to discuss a new master plan that will guide the city’s development for the next 30 years.

At the event, attendees stood around a large map and placed sticky notes to comment on areas of Mount Pleasant needing to be preserved or enhanced. Attendees were provided other activities to give further input.

Stacie Tewari, a city engineer, said she wanted to give input on the community in which her daughter lives and goes to school.

Jim and Virginia Kidler, longtime residents of Mount Pleasant, said they attended the event simply because they care for the city.

"A lot of our friends are retiring and moving away, but we have no intention of leaving," Virginia said, who lives just off of Central Michigan University's campus. "We enjoy living in an area with a variety in ages of people and interacting with students from (CMU)."

The couple said they would like to see a more walkable community. This is one thing the city and McKenna Associates are working to improve.

McKenna Associates provides development, planning and building services to cities while engaging with the community. It is the business working with Mount Pleasant to complete their aspirations for the future.

Mike Campbell, and urban designer and architect for the company, said the city may be dissected into 11 proposed pedestrian-oriented city centers, making for more livable and walkable neighborhoods. By mixing business, residential and industrial buildings, Campbell said residents and students would have little need for a vehicle.

"Students could leave their apartment and walk to the bar and not get a DUI or to a coffee shop to study with their earbuds in," Campbell said.

McKenna Associates Consultant Adam Cook said as a student he would spend every other weekend visiting his friends at Central Michigan University. His first question in Mount Pleasant was "Where is downtown?" 

Cook said making downtown a destination for Mount Pleasant residents and visitors will be a priority moving forward. Principal Planner Chris Khorey said the park system is another feature of Mount Pleasant in need of recognition.

"Mount Pleasant has a true gem of a park system, but it is not commonly known how robust the park system is," Khorey said.

Mayor Will Joseph encouraged residents and students to attend upcoming "Mount PLeasANt" 2050 events, which can be found on the Mount PLeasANt 2050 website and include: 

April 9  

5 – 7 p.m. Open Charrette Studio Hours at Mount Pleasant City Hall, 320 W. Broadway St. 

7 – 9 p.m. Downtown Pub Crawl at the Bird Bar & Grill, 223 S. Main St. 

April 10  

1 – 5 p.m. Open Charrette Studio Hours at Mount Pleasant City Hall, 320 W. Broadway St. 

5 – 7 p.m. Charrette Open House and Work-In-Progress Presentation at Mount Pleasant City Hall, 320 W. Broadway St. 

April 11  

1 – 4 p.m. Open Charrette Studio Hours at Mount Pleasant City Hall, 320 W. Broadway St. 

7 – 9 p.m. Charrette Final Presentation Event at Mount Pleasant City Hall, 320 W. Broadway St.