What Should Ypsilanti Value?

The Master Plan will have a list of values to guide officials’ decisions in the future. What do you think should be on the list? Limit of 10 words or less!

The Planning Team will give your input as inspiration for the formation of the values of the Master Plan.

11 Responses to What Should Ypsilanti Value?

  1. Lisa B says:

    #1 Value:

    City SUSTAINABILITY* is the priority in economic, energy, transportation and other matters.

    “Sustainability” is defined as actions able to be maintained at a certain rate or level indefinitely (esp. of development, exploitation, or agriculture); Conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources — City buses running on biodiesel would be a sustainable example. Energy co-ops would be another example.

    Sustainability is NOT the ability to carry out endless growth & development.

  2. Erica says:

    Agree wholeheartedly with Lisa’s prioritization of sustainability but would like to explore further definitions. It’s a tough one to define as many use to include more than biological resilience.
    Would like to suggest the valuing of accessibility, and the prioritization of facilitating citizen engagement – hopefully via an implementation coalition and eventually with physical community space/resource/info center.
    Strategy as sum of parts, and focusing on creating avenues for transparency of collaboration with related and allied groups (orgs, businesses, people, etc).

  3. “Innovation / creativity” (depending on audience). Willingness to seek / hear / evaluate new ideas.

  4. Tyler Weston says:

    Ypsilanti should value its people and seek to serve them (ten words boom)

  5. Ed Phelps says:

    Separate parking for business customers and downtown residents and workers!!

  6. Marie Toft says:

    I believe a thriving community might have these values:

    Adopts best practices
    Open Minded
    Supportive of small businesses
    Well organized

  7. Barry LaRue says:

    Respect for our built environment. Our past is our future.

  8. The City of Ypsilanti should value:

    1. Business owners (which, to be clear, does include landlords)

    2. Homeowners

    3. The University (as a focal point, generator of economic activity, and source of current and future residents and business owners – not as a cash cow)

    4. Proximity and accessibility (to just about anything anyone might want to do/see/experience in Metro Detroit)

    5. Prudent frugality (in future budgeting, spending, and capital improvements).

  9. Liz Dahl MacGregor says:

    I would join in what Lisa & Erica said, and add an emphasis on supporting resilience. This includes our support of gardening and growing food, our support of urban gardening, hoophouses and the like.

  10. JO says:

    Celebrate our diverse population, make usable historical properties (Thompson Block)…

  11. Michael P says:


    Wide streets, high speed limits, excessive surface parking, and large setbacks of commercial properties make walking to and from locations difficult or impossible. Of particular distress are the strip malls along Washtenaw–there are many shops and restaurants I love in this corridor, but I hate having to drive in order to go a distance of less than a mile solely because I don’t feel safe or happy when walking in this area. Main roads like Washtenaw should serve primarily as a transportation corridor not a commercial corridor; they should connect cities, not be primary destinations.


    Even though the city is struggling financially with debt obligations, such as the Water Street property, the character of the city needs to be a priority when choosing whether and how to develop a space. While locally owned book stores and boutique food shops are popping up in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti is considering allocating prime waterfront real estate to a dollar store? Is this really the type of establishment we want characterizing our downtown core? This is not the type of development that will build community, adds significantly to the tax base, nor will attract new residents.


    Relax zoning restrictions in some areas to allow for more local-access shops closer to (or within) residential areas. There is a vacant liquor store near Congress and Summit. I’ve heard some talk of turning this space into an extension of the Ypsi Food Co-Op. Having walkable access to fresh produce and basic groceries is exactly the type of development that will strengthen neighborhood communities and increase foot traffic.

    In places like the Water Street property, try to attract developers who will construct attractive commercial space with residential apartments above them. This will provide patronage for those stores, promote foot traffic in the area, and increase safety after business hours by having residents in the area to keep an eye on things. Higher density is commercial areas is a good thing!