After 40 years, the ordinances are riddled with revisions and overlapping and contradictory provisions. Unclear ordinance definitions are often controversial and are subject to interpretation by the Planning Commission, Council, or the public. Departmental “policy” may substitute for clear and enforceable standards. Recent site plan projects, for example, included major battles over the definition of “building height”, the definition of a multifamily unit, and the requirements for open space versus usable open space.
“ZORO” began with the consolidation of four area master plans into one.
The second phase is to:
- make each chapter comprehensive and not rely on references to other chapters
- provide clear, consistent standards, and definitions and formats
- make chapters usable by laymen and professionals
- make requirements enforceable and legally defensible
- provide a structure that is easy to amend in the future
Major revisions so far:
- Chapter 55, Zoning, and Chapter 59, Off-Street Parking: these were revised in January 2011 when revised Area, Height and Placement Amendments were adopted. Approved Area Height and Placement Revisions
- Chapter 62, Landscaping and Screening: draft revisions are currently under review. Primary amendments impact conflicting land use buffer requirements and interior parking lot landscape design and function. Draft Landscape Revisions
Ann Arbor developers hope these crucial revisions will foster a better understanding of the business and community benefits of their proposed real estate development projects.
To find out more about how new Ann Arbor ordinances can help your development project, please contact Earl Ophoff, Associate and Senior Project Manager at Midwestern Consulting, Ann Arbor, Michigan (734.995.0200).