BENTON HARBOR — Benton Harbor planning commissioners Tuesday approved for the third time asking for companies to submit proposals to redo the city’s master plan.

The first time, two bids were submitted, with planners choosing one to recommend for approval. But the recommendation was nixed by city commissioners, with some saying they preferred the other company.

The second time, no bids were submitted.

The city’s attorney, Richard Racht, said the planning commissioners are responsible by state law for creating an entirely new master plan or updating the existing one, which they then submit to city commissioners for approval. But city commissioners must approve any contract the planning commissioners want to enter into.

“There’s got to be some give and take,” he said. “The state requires that (the master plan) comes through the planning commission.”

He said another option would be for the planning commissioners to update the master plan themselves. The last master plan was done in 2011.

Planning commissioners discussed various options for more than 30 minutes before deciding to send out a third request for companies to bid on revamping the master plan.

In other business, planning commissioners voted to give nine companies a 10-day notice that their temporary licenses to do business will be revoked if they don’t respond on how they plan to take care of various violations. 

Building Official Chris Nearpass said some of the businesses have been operating for three years without fixing the violations, which include paving parking lots and improving drainage to property. 

Contact:, 932-0361, Twitter: @HPWrege