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Harbor District Water and Land Use Plan

Harbor DistrictLaunched in the fall of 2015, the City of Milwaukee, Harbor District Inc., and other partners are in the process of developing a Water and Land Use Plan to craft a vision for the city’s Harbor District. Engaging in a strategic redevelopment of the Harbor District that maximizes brownfield remediation and environmental reclamation was identified in the City of Milwaukee’s sustainability plan, ReFresh Milwaukee as a “catalytic project.” The creation of a Water and Land Use Plan for the Harbor District will build momentum and marshal resources to implement that vision. Community input and participation will play a large role in the planning process. The Harbor District has been at the center of our region’s prosperity for hundreds of years – first as a rice marsh with plentiful fish and game, then as an economic hub that served industries throughout the state. Now, much of its land sits abandoned or in disrepair and its waterways are polluted – but its potential is immense. The Harbor District Initiative brings together local, state, and federal government efforts, private sector interests, and community enthusiasm to achieve a world-class revitalization of this area for the benefit of the City and the Region. Our goal is to reinforce existing businesses and neighborhoods and set a new standard for how waterfronts “work” environmentally, economically, and socially. The City of Milwaukee is partnering with a new non-profit, Harbor District, Inc. (HDI), to lead the process to reimagine – and then rebuild – this area.

Please visit the Harbor District Inc. website to learn more about the initiative and to sign up to receive future updates and meeting invitations.

Fond du Lac and North Area Plan Update 

The City of Milwaukee Department of City Development along with Alderman Russell Stamper, II and our community partners at the Dominican Center, Metcalfe Park Community Bridges, and Walnut Way are in the process of developing a new comprehensive plan for the neighborhoods surrounding Fond du Lac and North Avenues. 

Completed in 2004, the Fond du Lac and North Area Plan is the oldest of the City’s 14 area plans, which are part of the City’s overall comprehensive plan. Area plans provide guidance for zoning and land use decisions and set priorities for public and private investment. The 2004 Fond du Lac and North Area Plan identified land use policies and strategies for neighborhoods and corridors within the plan area and identified catalytic projects to focus redevelopment efforts. Since its adoption, several successful redevelopment projects have been completed and a significant amount of community led neighborhood planning has occurred. 

Now, nearly 15 years after the adoption of the Fond du Lac and North Area Plan, there is a need for a new plan to outline the community’s goals for development and to serve as a guiding document for the next 10 to 15 years. While some recommendations from the existing plan are still relevant today, new challenges and new opportunities will lead to a new list of priorities and an updated vision for the area. The plan will include recommendations for infrastructure, public space, redevelopment and other topics affecting the physical environment. Upon adoption of the plan, the various City departments will be directed to work towards its implementation, and any land use or zoning decision must be consistent with the plan. 

The planning process kicked off in the fall of 2019 with a series of community workshops. The plan is expected to be completed in early 2021.To find out how to get involved with the Fond du Lac and North Area Plan Update and to stay informed of the various opportunities to participate in the planning process signup for e-notify and select the Fond du Lac and North Neighborhood Plan category. You can also visit the Fond du Lac and North Area Plan website.

Bay View Neighborhood Plan 2040

The City of Milwaukee’s Department of City Development (DCD) is hosting a fourth and final community meeting. Since Summer of 2021, DCD has been collaborating with Bay View residents, business owners, and stakeholders on land use, development, and public investment in the neighborhood. Once approved, the new Plan will guide land use and development for the next 10-20 years.

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Connec+ing MKE: Downtown Plan 2040

The Department of City Development and its partner Milwaukee Downtown (BID #21) are pleased to announce the release of the Draft Downtown Area Plan today – Connec+ing MKE: Downtown Plan 2040. This nearly two-year long planning process represents an inclusive vision of Downtown as a place for every resident, in every neighborhood, to feel welcome and connected to Milwaukee’s city center.


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