City OKs first Trails Master Plan

MARQUETTE — Perspectives clashed at a recent city commission meeting over how off-road vehicles should play into the city’s new Trails Master Plan ahead of a public survey.

The Marquette City Commission approved the plan 4-3 Monday after Commissioner Mike Conley amended some of the plan’s language on motorized trail development.

Mayor Dave Campana cast the final tie-breaking vote in support of Conley’s six-part amendment, with Commissioners Mike Plourde and Pete Frazier also supporting.

A frequent user of the non-motorized trail network in south Marquette, Conley said his changes would still allow for consideration of motorized trail use in the city, but would require further planning and approval.

“If you don’t want nuts in your cookies, you don’t include it in the dough and bake it in to take out later,” Conley said. “You just don’t put it in the batter.”

The plan — compiled and written by North of 45 consultant Pat Coleman, an expert in northern city planning issues who leads the Winter Cities Institute — had input from more than 25 local stakeholders, ranging from recreation groups and government agencies, to Northern Michigan University and local sports retail businesses.

Marquette’s first Trails Master Plan is