This page contains extended discussion on regional issues of interest to SWWCOG member communities. A summary discussion is provided, along with links to documents or external web sites with further information.

Current Topics

This page currently contains seven topics, in the following order:

  • Manchester Community Joint Planning Commission
  • Wireless Washtenaw
  • Traffic Study - Right of Way Master Plan and Map Update
  • 2003 SWWCOG Regional Plan
  • Washtenaw Area Transportation Study
  • Regional Recycling
  • The 1Washtenaw Program

    Preservation of agricultural resources is one objective of SWWCOG studies.


The Manchester Community Joint Planning Commission (MCJPC) is a current major focus of the SWWCOG. The MCJPC was formed to develop a regional plan for the Manchester community, as an update to the 2003 SWWCOG Regional Plan. Currently, Freedom and Manchester Townships, and the Village of Manchester, participate in the MCJPC. The Sharon Township Board of Trustees voted not to participate in the MCJPC, and Bridgewater Township withdrew after initially participating.

A dedicated MCJPC web page is maintained, where meeting summaries and reports are published.

Wireless Washtenaw is a county-sponsored initiative for the Washtenaw community.  The goal for this project is to provide a high-speed wireless network for the urban, suburban and rural settings. Objectives include providing citizens and visitors a pleasant, seamless wireless Internet experience; supporting economic development and improving the quality of life in Washtenaw County; serving as a model for other communities to observe, learn from and use the knowledge gained to promote similar services in their own communities; and providing a model of cooperation and collaboration between government, business and education. The project team includes local universities, the local IT Zone, the City of Ann Arbor, the Washtenaw Development Council, local units of government, and the State of Michigan, under the supervision and direction of Washtenaw County's IT Department.

Wireless Washtenaw plans to blanket the county with high-speed, wireless Internet service, to serve both fixed and mobile residential, commercial and industrial applications. This initiative is particularly relevant to the rural areas of the county where Internet access is currently only available as a dial-up, modem service operating at 28K or 56K bps. The initiative is also targeted at greatly improving the response capability of public service and emergency operations in the field.

SWWCOG and its members support the Wireless Washtenaw initiative. Manchester was chosen as host for a rural pilot installation. The system has been operating since December 2007, and serves a radius of approximately three miles around the Manchester water tower where the transmitting equipment is located. Ray Berg, Freedom Township, is currently representing SWWCOG’s interests in meetings of the Wireless Washtenaw teams as the program moves forward. Please contact him at rayberg@att.net with any question.

The project has not developed beyond pilot installations in Manchester, Saline and Ann Arbor due to the current economic conditions and the financial credit crunch.

For a complete overview of the program, please visit the Wireless Washtenaw web site. You can also visit the web site of the selected contractor, 20/20 Communications, for further information.


Washtenaw County is seeking to update the county’s Right of Way Master Plan and map, which are used to indicate existing/desired road right-of-way widths, classifications of roads, and future road needs. The current approved map is dated 1973. The County has been working with several of the county’s municipal entities, including SWWCOG and its members, to solicit input from the Planning Commissions and Boards. The intent in our area is to maintain rural character while achieving an efficient transportation system.

Draft conceptual ROW maps have been issued for the four townships and the village. Public meetings for further comments and input are planned by the County prior to final publication. These maps may be viewed by clicking on the appropriate link below. All maps are in jpeg format, and are each about 400k in size.

Bridgewater Township ROW Map

Freedom Township ROW Map

Manchester Township ROW Map

Manchester Village ROW Map

Sharon Township ROW Map

This effort is being led by the Washtenaw County Road Commission. Jeff Wallace (jwallace@vil-manchester.org) and Ken Rogge have been representing SWWCOG during the planning and input stages.


The communities of southwestern Washtenaw County have been working cooperatively for over 50 years. Though consisting of five separate municipalities and a school district, southwest Washtenaw has for many years been characterized as a shared community. They have worked cooperatively on such projects as the annual Manchester Chicken Broil, which raises funds for community improvements. A co-op multi-jurisdictional refuse transfer system operated for a number of years. Several of the jurisdictions participated in the Western Washtenaw Recycling Authority.

Among the most successful collaborations to date has been the shared Mineral Extraction Ordinances. Originally created by Bridgewater Township in the early 1990s, the other townships worked to perfect the Ordinance and all have since adopted it. The Ordinance continues to hold up to challenges in Court in part because of its regional significance and support.

Members recognized the region was beginning to change more rapidly. Thus, the communities of Manchester Village, Bridgewater, Freedom, Manchester and Sharon Townships, and the Manchester School District formed the Southwest Washtenaw Council of Governments (SWWCOG).

In 1999, SWWCOG invited Washtenaw County to talk about regional planning efforts and what opportunities there may be in southwest Washtenaw. The County had worked with the nearby Chelsea Area Planning Team (CAPT), comprised of the Village of Chelsea and surrounding townships, to create a regional plan for that area, which was also experiencing tremendous growth pressure.

Since then, SWWCOG and the County worked cooperatively to create a regional plan that addresses such major issues as land use planning, agriculture and rural character, housing and transportation. This plan is dated May 2003.

To view a Text Summary of the plan, click here.

The Regional Plan Map may be viewed by clicking here. (Note: map file in jpg format, about 1.3 MB in size).

The full plan is quite lengthy (7.5 MB) due to the extensive graphics and maps in the plan, but may be downloaded by clicking here. Be very patient if on dial-up modem!


The Washtenaw Area Transportation Study (WATS) is a multi-jurisdictional agency responsible for transportation planning in Washtenaw County. The agency is mandated by Federal law to provide a continuing, cooperative and comprehensive transportation planning process, which guides the expenditure of state and federal transportation funds in Washtenaw County. WATS annually establishes project priorities for consideration by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) when programming transportation funds. In addition, WATS continually monitors the current condition of the county's transportation system, including roads, bicycle and pedestrian paths, bridges, and public transit.

The activities and plans under WATS direction can be viewed at their web site.

A key product of the WATS is the 2030 Draft Transportation Plan, which can be viewed by clicking here.

A WATS brochure is also available by clicking here.

Bridgewater, Freedom and Manchester Townships, and the Village of Manchester, currently participate in the Washtenaw Area Transportation Study. Jeff Wallace serves as the delegate from SWWCOG with Ron Mann as alternate.


Washtenaw County's extensive Regional Recycling Program may be viewed by clicking on this link. Periodic recycling days are conducted locally in the SWWCOG townships.
For more information contact Jeff Krcmarik of the Washtenaw County Solid Waste Program at (734) 222-6865.


1Washtenaw is a county-wide initiative to assist communication and collaboration among the 29 local units of government, including Washtenaw County government. With fast-changing technologies and the growing importance of economic efficiencies, cooperation among local municipalities is now at a premium.

Full information is available at their web site.

This site will connect you with information on Geographic Information Systems, participating websites, web hosting and content management, professional development, the Zope training calendar, e-mail services, and periodic meetings.

Historic churches are located throughout the SWWCOG region.