FAQ

Don’t we need the zoning code’s density controls to protect us from fire hazards?

No. The State of Michigan has fire and building codes that are separate from zoning. We will replace the zoning code, but not the fire and building codes. Construction Codes

Are there places that already have mixed-use zoning?

Yes. Most other countries do not have single-use zoning. In the United States, older cities including Ann Arbor have mixed use areas. Houston does not have a zoning code at all, although it still has minimum lot sizes and parking requirements. Zoning in Europe Houston’s land use controls

Does the zoning plan affect the Historical Districts?

No. The historical districts in Ann Arbor are regulated separately from zoning, and our zoning platform would not affect them. There have not been any proposals at our meetings to change the historical districts. Historical preservation regulations

Is the mixed use zoning platform like SmartCode?

No. SmartCode has off-street parking minimums, exclusionary density limits, and use restrictions unrelated to specific harms. SmartCode uses new names and labels, but it has the same controls as standard American zoning ordinances. SmartCode

What If I don’t want my neighborhood to change?

Property owners who want to keep small houses and stores out of their neighborhood can form restrictive covenants and homeowners associations. The city does not have the legal authority to interfere with these private controls. We will only stop the city from forcing people to live in areas without stores and small houses.

Is the current light-industrial district compatible with other uses?

Yes. The light-industrial district only allows businesses that “emit a minimum of noise, vibration, smoke, dust, dirt, toxic or offensive odors or gases, glare, electromagnetic or atomic radiation.” It does not allow “production of sound discernible at the lot lines in excess of the average intensity of street and traffic noise at the lines, nor any production of heat or glare discernible at the same point.” Residential zones already touch light-industrial zones. If there are harmful industrial uses that violate these rules, they can be rezoned as heavy industrial, or prohibited entirely. Current rules for the light industrial zone

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