Dexter’s Community Development Manager Receives Prestigious State Planning Award


Dexter City Offices at 3515 Broad St. Photo by Doug Marrin.

From the City of Dexter

Michelle Aniol, Community Development Manager for the City of Dexter has been awarded the Planning Champion Award—by the Michigan Association of Planning (MAP/APA Michigan).

“Michelle’s values and work ethic have significantly advanced the City’s planning efforts,” said City Manager, Justin Breyer.

Dexter Community Development Manager Michelle Aniol. Courtesy of Michelle Aniol.

Ms. Aniol has been a professional planner and economic development specialist for over 20 years. After graduating from Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in urban and regional planning in 2000, Ms. Aniol professional career was launched at the Washtenaw Development Council. From there, here career path has included work in both the private sector and public sectors. First, as a planning consultant, where she provided both planning and economic development services to dozens of communities across southeast Michigan, and then as an Economic Development Coordinator for one of the largest Downtown Development Districts in Oakland County. In 2014, she was hired by the City of Dexter as the Community Development Manager, where her planning and economic development skills have been brought together to preserve the character and economic vibrancy of this small city, after intense growth in the early 2000’s.

“Michelle recently led our Planning Commission and City Council through a significant update to our zoning ordinance and subdivision ordinance,” explained Mayor Shawn Keough. “Her calm approach and patience helped answer questions from the public, from the PC and from our Council. She listens and provides guidance on how input from others can be incorporated into the planning updates. As someone who often challenges the planning principles and asks a lot of questions, I appreciate that trait very much.”

In addition, Ms. Aniol also serves as an appointed official for the City of Northville. She is on the Board of Zoning Appeals, the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, the Downtown Development Authority’s Economic Development Committee, and the Rouge River Restoration (Riverwalk) Task Force.

“Ms. Aniol’s service to the City of Northville has helped improve our City’s governance, operations, and quality of life through her dedication and contributions in the areas of planning, zoning, and economic development,” stated Mayor Pro-tem, Barbara Moroski-Browne. “As a resident volunteer for many years, she has consistently demonstrated leadership, tenacity and professionalism.”

A jury of APA Michigan Chapter professionals shared their observation. “Her influence has led to the strong success of public and private projects built on solid planning principles and best practices.”

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