The Edison Neighborhood Plan 2019 was approved for amendment to the Master Plan by the Planning Commission on January 3, 2019 and the Kalamazoo City Commission on February 4, 2019.
The Edison Neighborhood Plan is a review and confirmation of priorities that have been set in previous plans that were never addressed. After an extensive review of past plans and Imagine Kalamazoo engagement, Edison Neighborhood Association was able to present the neighborhood with nine key projects that have continued to be priorities for residents. These priorities include an improved and thriving commercial corridor, supporting homeownership and housing rehabilitation, and providing services to the community such as affordable daycare and healthcare access.
To address the goals set forth in the Edison Neighborhood Plan, the plan leverages partnerships with existing service providers such as Kalamazoo Neighborhood Housing Services, the Family Health Center, and SCORE. This approach helps to ensure that the goals set forth are achievable and that projects can be achieved more quickly. Some of the actions in the plan include improving Portage Street to be accessible and comfortable for all users, promoting programs to increase homeownership, and supporting development in Washington Square through programs such as façade grants.
Community engagement started with a survey. The survey asked residents to prioritize goals from past plans from most important to least important. The Edison Neighborhood Association distributed this survey to residents, businesses, and other stakeholders in the neighborhood. Surveys were also collected at community events including a spring Art Hop and during Flower Day, a yearly event where the Edison Neighborhood Association provides free flowers to residents. This year, residents had to take the survey before picking up flowers. The survey was also translated into Spanish. There were over 500 responses to the survey.
The Edison Neighborhood Association presented the survey results at National Night Out. Throughout the year, the plan was presented and talked about at board meetings which are open to the public, with the schedule available on the Association’s website.
On December 7, 2018, the neighborhood hosted a Holidays in Washington Square event to celebrate exciting projects that happened in Washington Square. At this event, drafts of the plan were handed out as well as flyers with links to the plan online. Events were advertised through the neighborhood’s newsletter and online using Imagine Kalamazoo, Edison Neighborhood Association, and partner’s Facebook pages.
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