Master Plan

Comprehensive Plan

The Master Plan & How it's Used


A Master Plan is required by the Michigan Planning Enabling Act and is reviewed for updates every five years to project land use planning 20 years into the future. The City’s Master Plan update will be referred to as the Bigger Picture to reflect the evolution of the 2006 Big Picture Plan.

Latest Update (1/18/18)


On November 15, 2017 the East Lansing Planning Commission voted to move the Draft Master Plan (PDF) on to the East Lansing City Council for their review and comments. Council reviewed the draft plan at its Tuesday, December 19, 2017 meeting and approved sending it on to surrounding communities, the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, railroad companies, utility companies, the Ingham County Road Commission and state transportation entities for a 63-day review and comment process. In addition, four public input open house meetings will be held in February 2018 (schedule posted below).

Following the 63-day review process and public input meetings, the Planning Commission will hold a work session to determine whether changes will be made before a public hearing is held to adopt the document. Once the Planning Commission has made any necessary amendments to the draft, a public hearing will be held to adopt the Master Plan.

Public Input Open House Meetings


Four open houses will be held in February 2018 to allow residents the opportunity to review the Draft Master Plan (PDF), ask questions and provide input for consideration by the Planning Commission. The open house format will allow residents to drop in anytime during the three-hour period and spend as much or as little time as needed. Each meeting will provide the same information, so it is not necessary to attend all four meetings, but anyone is welcome to do so: 

  • Monday, February 5, 2018
    4:30-7:30 p.m.
    MacDonald Middle School Cafeteria, 1601 Burcham Drive

  • Wednesday, February 7, 2018
    4:30-7:30 p.m. 
    Pinecrest Elementary School Library, 1811 Pinecrest Drive

  • Monday, February 12, 2018
    4:30-7:30 p.m.
    Islamic Center of East Lansing, 920 S. Harrison Road

  • Monday, February 26, 2018
    4:30-7:30 p.m.
    East Lansing Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road 

Adopting the Plan


The Michigan Planning Enabling Act requires the Planning Commission to be responsible for developing and approving the Master Plan, however, the City Council may, by resolution, assert their right to approve or reject the plan. Historically, the City Council has not asserted their right to approve the plan and final approval was made by the Planning Commission.

The Steering Committees


Steering committee members are primarily volunteer members of the community, who have a vested interest in the community and/or have participated in other local or regional planning efforts. View Steering Committees.

Watch The Bigger Picture Plan & Design Kickoff Presentation


A recording of Michigan Future, Inc. Founder and President Lou Glazer's keynote address and Urban Designer and Architect Mark Miller's introduction on urban form is available to watch online. The event was part of The Bigger Picture Plan & Design Week kickoff on October 14, 2013.
Human Dignity
Human Dignity, Community Education & Civic Participation Steering Committee
This committee focuses on policies that advance and achieve social equity and healthy lifestyles among residents of all ages, income and cultures and policies which improve access to information and knowledge about issues affecting the community. Learn more.
Economic Stability
Economic Sustainability Steering Committee
This committee focuses on policies that protect and improve the economic conditions of the city by encouraging community growth in a way that can be sustained for many years into the future. Learn more.
Steering Committee
Housing Steering Committee
This committee focuses on policies that ensure safe and affordable housing opportunities for persons of all ages, incomes and cultures, and policies which identify the appropriate housing densities where redevelopment opportunities border existing housing stock and commercial structures. Learn more.
Transportation
Transportation, Infrastructure & Environmental Sustainability Steering Committee
This committee focuses on policies that recognize the communities motorized and non-motorized transportation needs relative to land use patterns, the physical structures that are needed for the city to function, and the long term effects of development on the environment. Learn more.
Urban Form Steering Committee
Urban Form Steering Committee
This committee focuses on policies that consider the physical shape and structure of the city as it is formed by buildings, streets, land uses, art and aesthetic choices made by past and present residents to formulate how the urban fabric is configured in the future. Learn more.