The new Ann Arbor area, height and placement regulations include a new zoning district, R4E/multifamily, that targets parcels that front on “significant transit corridors” as identified in the Master Plan. These corridors, identified on the map above in blue, (the DDA boundary is shown in red) are:
- Plymouth Road from US-23 to the DDA boundary
- Jackson/Huron Road from I-94 to the DDA boundary
- State Street from I-94 to the DDA boundary
- Washtenaw Boulevard from US-23 to the DDA boundary
The new R4E zoning regulations include:
- Minimum 580 square feet per unit; maximum 75 dwelling units per acre
- No height limit
- Minimum 14,000 square foot lot area
- Minimum 120 foot lot width
- Minimum 40 percent “usable open space”*
- Minimum 15 foot front yard setback/ maximum 40 feet
- Minimum 10 foot side yard setback**
- Minimum 30 foot rear yard setback***
The intent is to provide higher density residential along major transportation corridors. The challenge is to achieve 75 dwelling units per acre while providing parking usable open space.
There is no established parking requirement at this point. The Ann Arbor Planning Department has this on their “to do” list and for now defers to the old R4C/D requirement of 1 ½ spaces per unit.
The challenge for an off-campus student housing project is even greater since each unit may have up to six unrelated adults living in it and parking demand could be much higher. Some form of structured parking is likely to be required.
* There is no definition for “Usable open space” so the Planning Department defers to the definition for “Open space”: “The portion of a lot which is devoted to outdoor recreation space, greenery, and space for household activities. Open space area may include, but shall not be limited to, lawns, landscaping and gardens, wooded areas, sidewalks and walkways, active and passive recreational areas, unenclosed accessory structures used for recreational purposes, permanent or seasonal water surfaces and protected natural areas. It shall not include area covered by parking lots, driveways, refuse facilities, or enclosed accessory structures.”
**plus 1 foot additional setback for each foot of building height over 30 feet when abutting residentially zoned land; and 3 inches per foot over 35 feet height and 1 ½ inches per foot over 50 feet width
**plus 1 foot additional setback for each foot of building height over 30 feet when abutting residentially zoned land
Earl Ophoff is a senior project manager and a registered landscape architect at Midwestern Consulting, LLC in Ann Arbor. Contact Earl at 734.995.0200.