While each municipality is vested with the responsibility for planning and zoning, the Jackson County Planning Commission (JCPC) is responsible for reviewing and providing independent recommendations regarding proposed amendments to township zoning ordinances and all municipal master plan updates. Those recommendations are based upon its understanding of municipal plans and ordinances. Given that decisions made in one municipality often affect neighboring local units of government, JCPC recommendations are also made from a countywide perspective with input from a professional planner. A purpose of the Jackson County Master Plan is to establish goals, actions, and plans that will aid in making those recommendations.
The Jackson County Master Plan is also meant to provide a rough template that local governments may use as they develop their municipal master plans, thereby lessening the costs associated with those local planning efforts and providing more consistency across township, village and city boundaries. Chapter 2 of the proposed Jackson County Master Plan, and its associated appendices, contains surveys of the following: