Skip To Content

Novi Studio VI
Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn  Nixle  Instagram

Grand River Avenue Geographical Area Planning

 Grand River Avenue Geographic Area Plan (6.7 MB)

Vision and Goals

Visioning Session

On May 10, 2001, the City of Novi hosted a meeting, at which approximately eleven individuals representing various interests, organizations, and businesses in the community discussed the future of the Grand River Avenue study area. The participants completed a brief survey regarding the vehicular traffic, design character, commercial development, and pedestrian focus of the Grand River Avenue study area. Participants were also divided into three groups and asked to organize their discussion and come to a consensus about the following three topics / questions:

  • Forty-two percent of the land area within the Grand River Avenue study area between Taft Road and Beck Road is currently vacant. The Novi Expo Center is looking to relocate on the north side of Grand River west of Taft Road. What development & land use pattern would be the most desirable? Should the north side and south side of Grand River be considered separately?
  • The intersection of Grand River Avenue and Beck Road is a highly visible focal point in the City. What improvements should be made to enhance the appearance of this intersection?
  • What improvements to the entire Grand River Avenue corridor should be made to enhance the appearance, function, and overall quality of the corridor?

Results of both the survey and the group discussions indicated support of the following:

  • Grand River Geographical Study Report CoverThe north and the south side of the segment of Grand River Avenue between Beck Road and Taft Road should not be considered independently. Both sides of the corridor should be planned simultaneously. Land uses should be similar.
  • Development and redevelopment of the Grand River Avenue study area should include office, commercial, entertainment and industrial uses.
  • The appearance of the study area needs to be enhanced through the installation of features such as distinctive lighting, landscaping, wayfinding signs and amenities.
  • Special treatment of the Beck Road intersection should be developed to incorporate distinctive design elements such as signage, lighting, and landscaping in order to identify this key focal point within the corridor.
  • The overall appearance and character of the study area could be improved with greenbelt landscaping, the installation of distinctive lighting with banners, and the elimination of overhead utilities at the intersections.
  • The proposed widening of the road for improved traffic flow is critical to the future of the Grand River corridor.

Goals and Objectives

Long-range land use planning requires a policy basis from which decisions can be made. Through the information gathered in the Visioning Session, changes have been identified to improve the overall quality of this segment of the Grand River Avenue corridor. These sought after changes take the form of the following goals and objectives statements, which become the foundation of the planning process.

Develop a new land use plan for this segment of the Grand River Avenue corridor.


  • Reduce the influence of heavy industrial and outdoor storage within the study area.
  • Encourage office, with limited commercial and entertainment uses that would support the Expo Center facility.
  • Encourage a uniform land use pattern for both sides of the corridor.

Improve vehicular traffic flow and circulation through the Grand River Avenue corridor.


  • Implement an access management plan that ensures safe and efficient access to all properties along Grand River Avenue corridor.
  • Continue the planned widening of Grand River Avenue to improve the flow of vehicular traffic.
  • Implement intersection improvements and wayfinding signage throughout the corridor.

Enhance the overall appearance and character of the Grand River Avenue corridor.


  • Develop distinctive landscaping treatments and design elements throughout the entire corridor.
  • Explore alternatives to the existing overhead utilities. Bury lines or increase height to permit more options for landscaping treatments.
  • Coordinate study area enhancement plans with road widening.
  • Provide distinctive lighting along corridor. Permit banners on streetlights from Beck Road to Expo property frontage to announce special events.
  • Lighting for properties east of the planned Expo facility property should be consistent with the theme of the corridor. Eliminate banners and increase spacing between lights for this segment of the roadway.

Area Recommendations

 Planning Recommendations Map


Planning recommendations for land use, traffic and circulation, open space and architectural design have been developed for the study area in order to achieve the goals and objectives identified during the planning process for this area. The Planning Recommendations Map provides a visual summary of all of these recommendations and maps specific to each recommendation component are also included.

 Recommended Land Use Plan Map

Land Use

A main goal of the area plan is to develop a new land use plan for the study area. The Recommended Land Use Plan Map illustrates the proposed new land use arrangement. The general consensus was that the influence of heavy industrial uses should be minimized and office type uses should be expanded in the study area. Although there was support for minimal commercial and entertainment uses to support the planned Expo facility, it was affirmed that commercial development in this segment of the corridor should be limited. The following changes to the City’s Master Plan for Land Use are recommended:

  • The existing office land use designation at the southeast corner of Beck Road should be extended east along the south side of Grand River to encourage a uniform land use pattern for both sides of the study area and reduce the influence of light industrial land uses in the corridor.
  • The office land use designation should be extended to northwest corner of Taft and Grand River to provide a unified plan for the north side of Grand River Avenue.
  • Uses appropriate in the office designated areas would include general and professional office developments, limited retail designed to meet the convenience needs of the office users, limited retail, restaurants and transient housing that would also support both the office and Expo facility users.
  • Uses should complement the anticipated Expo development but not compete with the primary retail centers existing and planned east on Grand River.
  • Light industrial land uses along the southeast section of the corridor should remain.
  • Existing woodlands along the south side of the study area should be maintained as a natural buffer to residential properties adjacent to the corridor.
  • The addition of the Expo Overlay to the existing office designation on the north side of Grand River should provide for limited commercial and entertainment uses to support the planned Expo facility.

Traffic and Circulation

Another goal of the area plan is to improve traffic flow and circulation through the study area. A well-designed and maintained road network is needed to provide access to businesses and allow traffic to efficiently travel through the corridor. The pattern of land use and number and type of access points onto Grand River Avenue impacts its ability to function as an arterial. The following improvements are recommended:

  • Encourage the consolidation of driveways with the planned widening of Grand River.
  • Encourage shared driveways for new developments along the corridor.
  • Consistently apply driveway spacing standards within the Design & Construction Standards Ordinance.
  • Develop an Overlay District for the entire Grand River corridor with access management standards.
  • Maintain the perception of a narrow entryway along Taft Road at Grand River Avenue to preserve the residential character along Taft Road.
  • Minimize the turning radii from Grand River Avenue to southbound Taft Road to discourage traffic and high speeds and preserve the residential character of properties along Taft Road.
  • Utilize traffic calming techniques such as vertical plantings along the right of way to calm traffic along the corridor.
  • Emphasize formal intersection treatment for Beck and Grand River.
  • Concentrate wayfinding signage along Grand River Avenue to minimize use of Taft Road and Beck Road south of Grand River for Expo facility events.
 Enhancement Plan

Open Space and Landscaping

Another goal that resulted from the visioning program was the enhancement of the overall appearance and character of the Grand River study area. The Enhancement Plan provides specific recommendations for primary and secondary intersection treatments, and street tree/street lighting designs.

 Architectural Recommendations Map

Architectural Recommendations

The Architectural Recommendations Map provides examples of building materials and designs that are encouraged within the study area. The examples focus on the recommended character and required materials for Façade Region 1 because of the development potential of properties designated as Façade Region 1 throughout the area.

Wetland Recommendations

A variety of land use management and maintenance practices are currently employed by the City of Novi. Catch basin cleaning and erosion and sedimentation control are two examples of such programs currently implemented. We recommend that any future design incorporate any of the following appropriate practices:

  • Swale and filter strip use to protect water quality using vegetation and rip-rap, where appropriate.
  • Pavement deicing program.
  • Reestablishment of buffer via plantings such as native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous material.
  • Sedimentation basins / vaults to aid in the removal of suspended particles of soil in the water.
  • Streambank protection of riparian vegetation using bioengineering and gradual slopes.
  • Boardwalks over highly sensitive areas to minimize environmental impacts.
  • Oil / gas separators.
  • Utilization of regional detention storm water basins.
  • Maintaining hydrological regimes within wetlands that mimic the pre-improvement conditions.
 Infrastructure Improvements


The Infrastructure Improvements section details the future developed conditions of public utilities and storm water management within the area. In addition, this section illustrates the proposed improvements to Grand River Avenue.