Livability Solutions

A New Development Vision for the Potawatomi Community: Crandon, WI

June 2015

   Host: 

Forest County Potawatomi Community

Source: 

Challenge

The Forest County Potawatomi Community (FCPC), is a federally recognized Indian Tribe located primarily in Northern Wisconsin. Its lands cover 13 thousand acres in 4 counties, forming a patchwork; development is clustered around the communities of Carter, Blackwell and Stone Lake -- the latter of which is the location of the Tribal Government Campus and the focus of the technical assistance. 

FCPC recently hired a Sustainability Coordinator and is in the process of finalizing a Comprehensive Land Use Plan which will serve the Tribe's vision for healthy, holistic and sustainable development. FCPC is also interested in building capacity for its planning and economic development functions. 

FCPC, in collaboration with Project for Public Spaces and Livability Solutions' designated technical assistance providers (Local Government Commission and National Charrette Institute), developed a program of technical assistance that would address the following objectives: 

  1. Working with FCPC Executive Council, staff and membership to create recommendations for a sustainable development action plan which builds on the values and priorities expressed in the FCPC's comprehensive plan. 
  2. Identifying design principles, with member and stakeholder input, to inform future planned development on the Stone Lake campus. 
  3. Aligning the priorities of the Executive Council with processes and policies for development. 

Recommendations from the technical assistance will be used to inform and influence the final draft of FCPC's comprehensive plan.

Process

On the first day of on-site technical assistance, the team, composed of FCPC planning staff and personnel from Local Government Commission (LGC) and the National Charrette Institute (NCI), toured the Stone Lake campus to familiarize themselves with the context. In the afternoon, the team met with representatives of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to explore issues of safety and mobility related to the way Highway 8 bisects the Stone Lake area. The remainder of the day was devoted to a community workshop, which included a walking audit of the Stone Lake campus, and a visioning session which asked participants to, using a map of the campus, sketch their recommendations for land use, urban design and street design. There were 36 participants in the day's meetings including several members of FCPC government.

During the morning of the second day, the team toured Stone Lake's neighborhoods and facilities located along Potawatomi Trail. That afternoon a focus group discussion with FCPC administrative staff was used to test design ideas for the study area and get clarification on issues surfaced during the community forum. The day concluded with the team drafting recommendations and illustrative drawings.

On the final day of on-site assistance the team delivered a work-in-progress presentation to the FCPC Executive Council and staff to obtain feedback. That afternoon the team presented the revised conceptual plan for Stone Lake to community members and staff.

The biggest challenge during the three-day visit was the limited participation at the public meetings despite both incentives for participation and energetic outreach to the FCPC community.

Outcomes

The Tribe adopted its comprehensive plan in October 2016.

The Tribe is developing a form-based code that would apply to new development.

The Tribe has developed a network of pathways and high visibility crosswalks. The Tribe has applied for an NEA Our Town grant to install wayfinding signage for the trails network. Work is underway on a community trails plan.

The community's newest roadway was constructed using complete streets principles.

The Tribe is working with the Wisconsin DOT to improve intersections and pedestrian crossing on Highway 8.