Detroit, MI - Zoning Ordinance and Compliance
As stated in previous research articles, zoning laws and ordinances are constantly changing and vary by location. Local, municipal and county departments change and amend zoning ordinances in response to citizen, business or community needs and in response to particular events (natural or manmade). A change in land use and zoning ordinances may trigger a zoning compliant property to become non-compliant. Within this article, we examine Detroit, Michigan zoning ordinance which is very detailed. This is taken from Detroit Zoning Ordinance (April First, 2010).
Detroit Zoning Ordinance – Purpose and Intent
The regulations are specifically intended to:
- Classify all land in such manner as to reflect its peculiar suitability for particular uses;
- Regulate the location, construction, reconstruction, alteration, and use of buildings, structures and land;
- Ensure adequate light, air, privacy, safety, and convenience of access to buildings, structures and land;
- Conserve or enhance property values;
- Protect all areas of the City from harmful encroachment by incompatible uses;
- Prevent the overcrowding of land with buildings;
- Avoid undue congestion of population;
- Establish reasonable standards to which buildings, structures, and uses shall conform;
- Lessen congestion in the public streets by providing for off-street parking of motor vehicles and for off-street loading and unloading of commercial vehicles;
- Facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water, sewage disposal, education, recreation, and other public requirements;
- Provide for the elimination of nonconforming buildings and structures and for the elimination of nonconforming uses of land;
- Promote a desirable visual environment through creative development techniques and good civic design and arrangement;
- Protect natural resources and environmentally sensitive areas and ensure that development is consistent with applicable environmental laws and regulations;
- Define the powers and duties of the administrative officers and bodies;
- Provide penalties for violations of the provisions of this Zoning Ordinance or any subsequent amendment thereto; and
- Provide for a Board of Zoning Appeals and its powers and duties.
The zoning classifications are broken down into districts for residential, commercial, and industrial uses. For example, an industrial use is not permitted to locate in the middle of a residential area because the zoning for the residential area prohibits it. The City of Detroit, MI clearly specifies that for land use, building use, new construction or renovation zoning compliance must be established.
The Detroit Zoning Ordinance (4/01/2010) is a 800 page document and trying to understand the zoning ordinance framework, processes, rules, regulations and compliance can be a very time consuming process to someone who is new to zoning. Now if you are a real estate attorney or broker or lender managing a complex multi-site transaction, it would be best if zoning compliance and due diligence would be left to the zoning specialists at the Planning and Zoning Resource Corporation (PZR®
). As a Zoning Expert and Advisory firm, we help our commercial clients navigate through the complex zoning laws to ensure the project may move forward in a timely manners and the property use will be in accordance zoning laws.