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Boards and Commissions - Planning Commission - Purpose of Commission
Purpose of Commission | Agendas | Agenda Archives | Minutes | Minutes Archives

(A) Administrative powers and duties.

  1. To exercise general supervision of and make regulations for the administration of the affairs of the commission.
  2. To prescribe uniform rules pertaining to investigations and hearings.
  3. Supervise fiscal affairs and responsibilities of the commission.
  4. Prescribe the qualifications of appointment and remove and fix the compensation of the employees of the commission, the compensation to be in conformity to and in compliance with salaries and compensations theretofore fixed by the city. Delegate to employees authority to perform ministerial acts in all cases except where action of the commission is necessary.
  5. Keep an accurate and complete record of all departmental proceedings. Record and file all bonds and contracts and assume responsibility for the custody and preservation of all papers and documents of the commission.
  6. Make recommendations and an annual report to the mayor and council concerning the operation of the commission and the status of planning within its jurisdiction.
  7. Prepare, publish, and distribute reports, ordinances, and other material relating to the activities authorized under this chapter.
  8. Adopt a seal and certify to all official acts.
  9. Sue and be sued collectively by its legal name styled according to the city, "Michigan City City Plan Commission," service of process being had on the president of the commission. No cost shall be taxed against the commission or any of its members in any action.
  10. Invoke any legal, equitable, or special remedy for the enforcement of the provisions of the chapter or its action taken thereunder.
  11. Prepare and submit an annual budget in the same manner as other departments of the city government and shall be limited in all expenditures to the provisions made therefore by the common council.
  12. If deemed advisable, establish an advisory committee or committees.
(B) Policy covering plan commission activities.
  1. So as to assure the promotion of public health, safety, morals, convenience, order, or the general welfare and for the sake of efficiency and economy [in] the process of development, the plan commission shall prepare a master plan which can contain the following.
    (a) Careful and comprehensive surveys and studies of existing conditions and probable factor growth of the city and its environs.
    (b) Maps, plats, charts, and descriptive material presenting basic information, locations, extent, and character of any of the following:
    1. History, populations, and physical site conditions, including soil survey reports;
    2. Land use including the height, area, bulk, location, and use of private and public structures and premises;
    3. Population densities;
    4. Community centers and neighborhood units;
    5. Blight and slum areas;
    6. Streets and highways including bridges, viaducts, subways, parkways, alleys, and other public ways and places;
    7. Sewers, sanitation, and drainage including handling, treatment and disposal of excess drainage water, sewage drainage, refuse, and other wastes;
    8. Stream pollution;
    9. Flood control and prevention;
    10. Public and private utilities including water, light, heat, communications, and other services;
    11. Transportation including land, bus, truck, air, and water transportation and for terminal facilities;
    12. Local mass transit including motor and trolley bus, street elevated and underground railways, and taxicabs;
    13. Parks and recreation including parks, playgrounds, reservations, forest, wildlife, refuges, and other public grounds, spaces, and facilities of a recreational nature;
    14. Public buildings and institutions including governmental administration services, buildings, hospitals, infirmaries, clinics, penal and correctional institutions, and other civic and social service buildings;
    15. Education, including location and extent of schools, colleges, and universities;
    16. Land utilization including agricultural, forest and other uses;
    17. Conservation of water, soil, agricultural, and mineral resources;
    18. Any other factors which are a part of the physical, economic, and social situation within the city.
    (c) Reports, maps, charts, and recommendations setting forth plans for the development, redevelopment, improvement, extension, and revision of the subjects and physical situation of the city, set out in [subsection] (B)(1)(b) of this section so as to substantially accomplish the object of the legislation.
    (d) A long range development program of public works projects based on the recommended plans of the commission for the purpose of eliminating unplanned, unsightly, untimely, and extravagant projects and with a view to stabilizing industry and employment and the keeping of the program up to date by yearly revision.
    (e) A long range financial program of governmental expenditures in order that the development program may be carried out and the keeping of the program up to date for all separate taxing units within the city for the purpose of assuring efficient and economic use of public funds.

  2. The plan commission may also formulate policies for:
    (a) The development of public ways, public places, public structures, [and] public and private utilities.
    (b) The issuance of improvement location permits for platted and unplatted land.
    (c) Laying out and development of public ways and services to platted and unplatted lands.
    (d) If the master plan includes a major street or highway plan, the commission may determine the lines for new, extended, widened, or narrowed streets or highways in any portion of the city and certify to the city council the amended or additional plan.
    (e) The plan commission shall hold a hearing on all proposed amendments to the master plan.
    (f) The plan commission shall have authority to expend under regular city procedure and [as] provided by law all sums appropriated to it for purposes and activities authorized.
    (g) The city may accept gifts and donations for plan commission purposes. Any money so accepted shall be deposited with the city in a special nonreverting plan commission fund to be available for expenditures by the plan commission for the purpose designated by the donor.