The current laws of the city are in the Ann Arbor City Code.
An online zoning map of Ann Arbor. You must zoom in to see the zoning.
Title 5 of the Ann Arbor code of ordinances is Zoning and Planning.
Here is a description of Zoning Basics from a planning journal. The wikipedia page for zoning also has good information.
The state law which allows local governments like Ann Arbor to zone is the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act.
The Supreme Court of the United States decided that Zoning was constitutional in 1926 in the case Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co. The opinion is on the right side of the summary.
Party Documents and Resolutions
The Core Platform has the unchangeable goals of the party, and each candidate running for office must agree to uphold it.
The Constitution explains the party’s structure and the rules for its meetings.
The general platform is changeable, and revisions are voted on at party meetings. Candidates must take a public stance on each resolution, but they are not binding.
Resolution to amend noise ordinance (approved 3/31/13 and revised 5/26/2013, 6/29/2013, 8/25/2013 )
Resolution to Amend Rules for Keeping Chickens (approved 3/31/13)
Almost all the non-conforming co-ops you mention are in historic districts, particularly the Old Fourth Ward. Many have been altered in the last decade with the co-ops working with the city Historic District Commission. The historic district rules trump zoning rules I believe. Additions and changes are allowed within the city’s ordinance. I think all sides have been very positive about the changes. Some of the co-ops have won awards for outstanding rehabilitation.
Another issue you might investigate: how many landlords operate without current COs (Certificate of Occupancy). In the case of two recent fires, neither of the properties had valid COs. This is disturbing. As a resident of the Old Fourth Ward and an owner of rental property, I feel that not having valid COs endangers occupants and should be checked into.
Good point about the Certificate of Occupancy issue.
Co-ops are subject to both the zoning code and the historical district rules. Both allow for repairs, but the zoning code forbids reconstruction of destroyed or inactive non-conforming uses. The line between “repaired” and “structurally altered so as to prolong the life of the building” is unclear, but a non-conforming co-op that is destroyed or out of use for a year cannot be rebuilt or re-occupied. This happened when AK Stevens House burned down in 2004. The relevant sections of the city code are Chapter 55 5:86 Use Non-Conformance and Chapter 103 Historical Preservation.
Black Elk, Lester, Debs, and Robert Owen are not in a historical district.
Inside and outside historical districts, new co-ops are forbidden in zones below R2B, and in houses smaller than 5000 square feet, along with the other restrictions listed in the post.
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