A project to clarify and reorganize the Zoning Ordinance and ten other development-related Ordinances
Unified Development Code (Chapter 55, Ann Arbor City
City Council Adopted the Unified Development Code (UDC) on
July 16, 2018. The Unified Development Code will be effective on July 29, 2018. Unified Development Code (PDF)
Adoption of UDC Ordinance 18-08 (PDF)
Fraternity and Sorority Amendment Ordinance 18-06 (PDF)
Review and Adoption Schedule
City Council passed the first reading of the proposed Unified Development Code on April 16, 2018. The second reading and public hearing was opened on June 4, 2018 and continues on July 16, 2018. If adopted on July 16, the UDC will go into effect on July 26, 2018.
The Planning Commission held public hearings on December 19, 2017 and January 18, 2018, and recommended approval of the draft on February 6, 2018.
Specific questions and feedback can always be sent to the project team, see sidebar for contact information.
A previous press release about the offered opportunities and forums to learn and provide feedback here.
The City's land use and development ordinances and regulations are scattered among 11 10 different chapters of the City Code. Each chapter was prepared and adopted independently and results today in a sometimes confusing, hard to follow format with inadvertent repetition and slight inconsistencies. The most-referenced chapter, the Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 55), was drafted 45 years ago and has been sporadically, incrementally updated since.
The complete problem statement, project goals, scope of work, leadership team and project schedule are found in the ZORO Project Plan (pdf). The Diagnosis and Annotated Outline (pdf) describes concerns of the current city codes related to land use and development and proposes a detailed outline of a single new, clarified, reorganized, consolidated chapter.
The Rough Draft (pdf) of the Unified Development Code offered the first look at how the codes were assembled. The Review Draft (pdf) was discussed by the ZORO Technical Workign Group in preparation Planning Commission and City Council consideration.
The draft recommended for approval by the Planning Commission, February 2, 2018, is here. The draft for first reading by City Council, April 16, 2018, is here - it includes amendments requested by Planning Commission and grammatical/formatting corrections.
Document and Draft Library
- Unified Development Code (Adopted July 16, 2018) (PDF)
- Unified Development Code Second Reading Draft (July 16, 2018) (PDF)
- Council Memo on Unified Development Code (April 13, 2018) (PDF)
- Transmittal Memo of Ordinance to City Council (April 16, 2018) (PDF)
- UDC Adoption Draft for First Reading (April 16, 2018) (PDF)
- February 6, 2018 Staff Report to Planning Commission (PDF)
- January 17, 2018 Staff Report to Planning Commission (PDF)
- December 19, 2017 Staff Report to Planning Commission (PDF)
- UDC Adoption Draft (Feb. 2, 2018) (PDF)
- UDC Adoption Draft (Jan. 17, 2018) (PDF)
- UDC Adoption Draft (Nov. 20, 2017) (PDF)
- UDC Review Draft (Dec. 9, 2016) (PDF)
- UDC Rough Draft (July 31, 2016) (PDF)
- Diagnosis and Annotated Outline (PDF)
- ZORO Project Plan (PDF)
Work Program and Involvement
The early milestones of the project were: project kick-off, preparation of a diagnosis and annotated outline of the revised ordinances, draft of a comprehensive use table, and completion of a draft unified development code. A complete rough draft was published in December 2016 and the adoption draft was published on November 20, 2017.
Several communication and participation tools were and will be used to ensure the community is aware and involved in this project:
- Public Meetings and Information Sessions - held at key milestones when new materials and drafts are available
- Public Hearings - the Planning Commission and City Council will each hold public hearings prior to their action on the final draft
- Office Hours - the project managers will hold drop-in office hours to answer questions and hear comments individually or in small groups
The goal of the ZORO Project
is to present the existing contents of the 11
10 development-related chapters of the City Code in a more coherent, consistent, concise, and user-friendly manner. These chapters should be comprehensive, clear, usable by seasoned professionals and the general public, enforceable and legally defensible, and adaptable.
The 11 10 development-related chapters of the City Code are:
- Chapter 47 (Streets and Curb Cuts)
- Chapter 55 (Zoning)
- Chapter 56 (Prohibited Land Uses)
- Chapter 57 (Subdivision and Land Use Regulations, and the attached Land Development Regulations)
- Chapter 59 (Off-Street Parking)
- Chapter 60 (Wetlands Preservation)
- Chapter 61 (Signs and Outdoor Advertising)
- Chapter 62 (Landscaping and Screening)
- Chapter 63 (Soil Erosion, Sedimentation Control and Storm Water Management)
- Chapter 104 (Fences)
- Chapter 26 (Solid Waste)
The ZORO Project is the second step of a multi-step City initiative to consolidate and update land use plans and codes.
In Step 1, the four area master plans (Central Area, Northeast Area, South Area and West Area) were consolidated into a single document. The Master Plan: Land Use Element was adopted by the City Planning Commission on May 5, 2009 and by the City Council on November 4, 2009.
In Step 2, the development-related chapters of the City Code will be reviewed and revised to improve navigation, address minor inconsistencies, and enhance user-friendliness: the ZORO Project.
In Step 3, the Master Plan: Land Use Element may be reviewed for relevancy and appropriateness of its land use recommendations and planning principles. Updating the Plan and broadly applying its recommendations and principles will be much easier because of the consolidation that occurred in Step 1.
In Step 4, the development-related chapters of the City Code, as revised, may be reviewed for changes that reflect and implement the changes to the Master Plan that were identified and made in Step 3. The work done as part of the ZORO Project in Step 2 will make this task significantly easier and more effective.
Questions, Comments and Getting Involved
Seasoned code users and the general public are encouraged to follow along and get involved in this important project.
Comments can also be emailed to ZORO@a2gov.org
or written comments can be dropped off during regular business hours at the Planning and Development Services offices on the 6th floor of City Hall, 100 N. Fifth Avenue.