THE CITY OF WALKER SEEKS INPUT ON THE FUTURE OF NORTHWEST WALKER
September 18 will be the final of four Walker open house events.
The northwest corner of Walker covers roughly 10 square miles, stretching from Bristol Avenue and Pannell Street on the east end to Kenowa Avenue / Ottawa County on the west end, and from Four Mile Road on the north end to Leonard Street on the south end.
One focus area within this Northwest Walker “neighborhood cluster” extends southeast-to-northwest along and adjacent to Remembrance Road, following the path of the interurban rail line (the original “Laker Line”) that once connected Grand Rapids to Muskegon and ceased operation in 1928. The points where Remembrance Road intersects with Leonard Street and Wilson Avenue function as gateways into the broader Walker community. Along Remembrance Road, small shops and manufacturers maintain a presence alongside longstanding neighborhoods. These neighborhood tie into a broader fabric of Walker’s residential character. 94 (nearly half) of Walker’s residential subdivisions and condominium developments - and counting - are in the Northwest Walker neighborhood cluster.
These residential neighborhoods interact increasingly with a different side of Northwest Walker - that which extends east-to-west along I-96 and 3 Mile Road. Most of this area is marked by existing manufacturing and planned industrial growth.
The planning process will be a forum for addressing the growth of, and relationship between, these areas. One challenge will be to address the friction between what have historically been viewed as incompatible land uses, such as home sites and manufacturing areas. Other challenges will be transportation-related: Continuing to develop an interconnected street network, removing points of traffic conflict on major roads including M-11 / Wilson Avenue, building transportation safety improvements, dispersing traffic effectively throughout the area, connections to The Rapid, and fostering usage of the area’s cycling network, including the Fred Meijer Pioneer Trail and the Fred Meijer Pioneer Trail.
Planners will invite the Walker community to share their thoughts on these and other opportunities and challenges in the Northwest Walker neighborhood at their open house on September 18th.
The Northwest Walker Open House will be held on Wednesday, September 18, from 5 pm to 7 pm, in the Walker City Hall Commission Chambers - 4243 Remembrance Road N.W., Walker, MI 49534. Community members are invited to participate for as much of the meeting as they would like. The open house will involve several activities that attendees can participate in at their own pace.
The Walker Planning Commission will hold their regularly scheduled meeting at 7:00 pm that night. The Planning Commission will hold formal site plan reviews for two development projects.
This open house will conclude the series of four open houses held as part of a broader public input process for the Walker 2040 Master Plan, which is an update of the City’s 1998 plan. The 1998 plan, which has been updated with neighborhood-level planning efforts, has guided development for over 20 years.
McKenna Associates is managing the Walker 2040 master plan out of its office in Downtown Grand Rapids, which opened in September of 2018.