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AHP Zoning

Council passed the Area Height and Placement (AHP) zoning ordinance amendments on Monday January 3, 2010. We will post a link to the Chronicle coverage when that article appears.
From the old site:

Chapter 55 Area Height and Placement Project

The City is losing population and the entire county has seen a loss of jobs. The City's response is to encourage huge development projects. We've seen the loss of the lowertown Kroger, the Georgetown Kroger and the failure of the development at Washtenaw and Platt (across from Whole Foods). The condominium tower at Huron and Ashley may default and has plenty of vacant first level retail space. Yet, we continue to foist a "vision" of increased density in a shrinking community. Part of the vision of urban density is the pending Area Height and Placement revisions to the zoning code.

The City Planning staff has proposed wide-ranging changes to multi-unit residential and commercial zoning districts. The staff provided a summary of the changes when it presented the proposal to City Council during a working session in September 2008. That summary can be accessed  by clicking this link.

The City Planning department's AHP web page can be found here:

That page has a video of the slide show that was presented at each Ward Meeting. The page has the full zoning change proposal, a good summary of the before and after height, setback and F.A.R. regulations for each zoning district.

Public Participation

As you may recall, the Planning staff has prepared a revision of Chapter 55 zoning that impacts most non-single family zoning districts outside of the downtown area. The plan was formulated with the help of over 200 "stakeholders". Unfortunately, none of the "stakeholders" were regular, residential citizens or neighborhood advocates. When the proposed amendments were presented to the City Council at a working session on September 15, 2008, the Council sent the proposal back to the planning staff with instructions to make presentations to the neighborhoods. Subsequently, the Council appointed a citizens' committee to represent various interested groups.

Citizen's Committee for the Chapter 55 Area, Height and Placement Proposal

The Council appointed an advisory committee to handle the dissemination of information about the proposed zoning changes.

The Council appoint the following individuals to the AHP Advisory Committee:
       City Council Representative (1): Marcia Higgins
       Planning Commission Representative (1): Wendy Woods
       Technical Advisory Committee member (1): Kyle Mazurek, VP Govt. Affairs A2 Chamber of Commerce
       Representatives from each Ward of the City (1 representative per ward)
       1st Ward Representative: Michael Hammer
       2nd Ward Representative: Jan Newman
       3rd Ward Representative: Eric Meaves
       4th Ward Representative: Diane Giannola
       5th Ward Representative: Mark Reuter
       Commercial Association Representatives (3)
              Bill Martel
              Bill Milliken
              Tommy York

The proposed purpose of the advisory committee is described in a file posted on the Council's web page. Or click here to see that file as uploaded to this site.

Neighborhood Meetings

When the Planning staff presented the AHP proposal to the City Council, Council members asked the staff to hold neighborhood meetings to explain the proposed changes. The Planning Staff announced the following schedule of neighborhood meetings. The public is welcome to attend any or all of the meetings listed below:
  • Wednesday, May 27 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Community-wide Meeting at CTN Studios, 2805 S. Industrial
  • Thursday, June 4 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Ward 1 Meeting at Traverwood Branch Library Program Room, 3333 Traverwood Dr.
  • Wednesday, June 17 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Ward 2 Meeting at Traverwood Branch Library Program Room, 3333 Traverwood Dr.
  • Wednesday, July 1 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Ward 3 Meeting at Cobblestone Farm, 2781 Packard Rd.
  • Thursday, July 23 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Ward 4 Meeting at Cobblestone Farm, 2781 Packard Rd.
  • Thursday, July 30 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Ward 5 Meeting at Forsythe Middle School Media Center, 1655 Newport Rd.
  • Planning Staff has announced that it will schedule a final community-wide meeting after all of the "neighborhood meetings have been held. We will post the time and place for that meeting when the information becomes available.

NOTE: Meeting end times were changed after the original announcement was made. Meetings ended at 8 p.m. rather than 9 p.m. The schedule change resulted in ending meetings while citizens still had questions about the AHP proposals. Finally, during the last neighborhood meeting, the staff extended the meeting time to take more questions. Those who attended the first four ward meetings were not given that courtesy.

For more information or to provide feedback, please contact Jeff Kahan, City Planner at the City’s Planning and Development Services Unit. Call 734.794.6265 ext 42614 or e-mail 

We posted a video of the Council Working Session discussion where they directed the planning staff to conduct neighborhood meetings. If you are interested in the Council's concerns, you can view the video of the working session discussion (but not the staff presentation) at this site:

A2D2 Zoning Changes

A few months before approving the AHP amendments to the zoning code, City Council approved broad changes to the zoning applicable to the downtown area and the area east of campus: