Downtown Zoning Amendments

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Alexis DiLeo, City Planner

[email protected]

734-794-6000 x 42610

​Coming Up

Planning Commission Public Hearing October 5, 2016 - The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing and make a recommendation on the proposed amendments to the premium options and related provisions in the Zoning Ordinance and Off-Street Parking Ordinance.  Review the final 9-27-2016 draft or the comparison draft.  The current code language is available here.  A staff report will be available on Friday, September 30.  Sign up to receive updates by email, including a link to the staff report when ready, by clicking on the envelope at right. 


What is the Downtown Zoning Premium Evaluation? 

Planning consultants ENP & Associates are again working with the Planning Commission and staff, now evaluating the Downtown Zoning Premiums.  This work is a continuation of the 2013 Downtown Zoning Evaluation.  

The Downtown Zoning Premium Evaluation is an effort to determine if the current premium options offered in the Zoning Ordinance - additional building square footage than the normal maximum allowed if certain uses or features are provided - are in keeping with today's needs and goals for downtown Ann Arbor, especially with regard to housing affordability, energy efficiency and quality design.  

Engaging citizens and downtown stakeholders is critical to the Evaluation.  Several opportunities were offered for everyone interested in learning about and participating in the Evaluation, including an online survey on A2 Open City Hall, four community coffee hours, a happy hour, and a public meeting. 

About the Downtown Zoning Premiums Evaluation

The Zoning Ordinance currently offers premium floor area, or additional square footage beyond the normal maximum allowed for each zoning district, when certain uses or features are provided.  Residential use, affordable housing, green building, historic preservation, pedestrian amenity, and public parking premiums are currently offered. 

Premiums are used by many communities including Ann Arbor as an incentive to encourage uses and features that the real estate market is not generally providing. Since both the real estate market and a community's goals and priorities change over time, it is appropriate to periodically review the premium options.  Sometimes demand for a use (example, residential units) becomes strong enough that incentives are no longer needed.  Other times, a community decides its priorities have changed so new features should be encouraged (example, quality design).  

The Downtown Zoning Premium Evaluation seeks to determine whether the residential use and affordable housing premiums are achieving their intended purposes, and whether other types of premiums should be offered.  Increasing the pre-requisites for using any premium option, revising the residential use, affordable housing and green building premiums, and adding a quality design premium option will all be considered.  At the conclusion of the Evaluation, recommendations will be made to the Planning Commission and City Council based in part on what was learned from the public engagement efforts. 


For more information, please contact Alexis DiLeo by calling 734-794-6000 x 42610 or emailing [email protected]