Auburn Hills Receives Planning Excellence Award

Humility is an important factor when employed in the public sector.  Our employees know that it is an honor to serve the citizens and businesses of the community in which we work.  So at the risk of sounding like I’m bragging, I’m going to tell you that the award we just won comes as no surprise.  This week, Auburn Hills received the 2016 Planning Excellence Award for Best Practice from the Michigan Association of Planning.  Leading our Community Development Department is our Director and City Planner, Steve Cohen.  Let’s just say that Steve is the best of the best.  But it is equally important to have a Planning Commission that is fully engaged in all aspects of their role in the community, which is to thoroughly review all development and to make it as harmonious as possible across the entire City.  Our Planning Commission and Staff understand that everything they review is considered in the context of the impact on the entire City, not just site-specific.  The Planning Commission Chairman, Mr. Greg Ouellette, has held that role for a number of years  and is a great example of a dedicated citizen volunteer.  An appointment to the Planning Commission is a rather large time commitment, so the people who do it have to be in it for all the right reasons.  Our Community Development Department and Planning Commission are like a well-oiled machine, while still providing a system of checks and balances.  Our Industrial Planning Study for which we received the award, is a shining example of the quality of work that comes from our Community Development department.  That publication has become a driving force in forecasting the City’s development and finances and has been an important reference tool for guiding policy changes such as the recently amended Tax Abatement Policy. 

My personal congratulations go out to Director Cohen and his staff and Chairman Ouellette and all the members of the Planning Commission on the receipt of this award.  It’s great to be recognized for hard work and a job well done!

Tom Tanghe, City Manager

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