people + policy = place



(231) 942-4537


425 Boardman ave, St C Traverse City, MI 49684


About Elise Crafts, Founder

Hi, I'm Elise!

I moved to Traverse City in 2013 from Kalamazoo, Michigan and fell in love with the warm people, sandy soils, long winters, small towns, and thick trail network of this region. I founded Statecraft in 2018 with the intention to merge my enthusiasm for land use policy, community development, and people. I'm fortunate to work alongside dedicated leaders and engaged citizens who make time in their busy lives to care for their community. I most enjoy listening, learning, and implementing alongside these amazing folks. 

Prior to founding Statecraft, I worked as a community planner, development consultant, and zoning administrator. Growing up, I thought I would be an interior designer, but ultimately found my career path after graduating with a bachelor's in writing, sociology, and geography and master's in community development. 


Services Offered

Community Engagement

Humans are well-versed at engaging with their colleagues, friends, and families to build consensus and make decisions (where to go for lunch? what movie to see?). This process gets more complicated within larger communities because these townships, villages, and cities are built and cared for by lots of people with unique experiences, perspectives, and motivations. An unbiased, clearly-defined, and action-oriented facilitation will help. 

Statecraft offers facilitation services for communities who are looking to understand, honor, and incorporate their unique stakeholders' opinions into visioning, planning, prioritization, and development processes.  

Land Planning and Zoning

Your community is probably experienced with master planning. These documents are required to be updated every 5 years and envision future land use form and location. But a master plan is just that - a vision - if your community's zoning ordinance is neutral towards advancing your plan (or, at worst, actively working against advancing your plan). 

Statecraft combines our experience with planning and zoning administration to develop plans that provide realistic and achievable land use direction and then update zoning ordinances accordingly. 

Statecraft offers community planning, zoning development, and zoning administration services. 

Community Development

Has your community recently wrapped up a visioning or planning process resulting in a lot of important, but demanding, development priorities and you're not clear where to start? You have the vision - now you need the capacity to take steps forward. 

Whether its connecting potential partners/investors to your community, organizing and facilitating meetings, or providing ongoing technical assistance - Statecraft offers community development services. We particularly enjoy partnering with rural people/places and believe that the most impactful community development initiatives are born from strong relationships and small, but bold, steps forward. 

Project Highlights

Strategy Coordinator, Community Resource Development

The Community Resource Development (CRD) is a community development non-profit located in Mancelona, MI. The CRD is a collaborative and grassroots effort with representation from local government, education, business, and residents.  Strategic priority areas include communications, economic development, food & farming, and recreation. 

Zoning Administrator, Joyfield Township 

Joyfield Township is a rural community located in Benzie County, just south of Benzonia and a few miles East of the Lake Michigan coastline. The Township recently enacted their first zoning ordinance to implement master plan goals, including to protect and retain rural and scenic character, encourage agricultural operations, and support job growth. The Planning Commission has taken the proactive stance of regularly reviewing and updating the zoning ordinance to ensure its success in achieving community goals. 

public engagement, East-west corridor transportation study 

The East-West Corridor Transportation Study is a project of the Grand Traverse County Road Commission. The purpose of this project is to assess technical transportation aspects, listen to people in the Grand Traverse region, and identify a range of short-term and long-term solutions to address local transportation needs. 

Planning Technical Assistance, Fife Lake Joint Planning Commission

The Village of Fife Lake and Fife Lake Township are forming a joint planning commission to further strengthen the strong relationship between both municipalities, pool resources and capacity to more effectively serve residents and business owners, and ensure cohesive land use planning, development, and protection in the greater Fife Lake area. The Planning Commission will maintain updated plans and zoning ordinances, review planning applications, and support community development initiatives. 


Interested in meeting to discuss community development, zoning, dogs, gardening tips, and/or hiking trails? I can't wait! Email me directly at or fill out the form below. 

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