Clinton Township Zoning Code
The Planning Department and the consulting group MKSK worked on updates to the existing Zoning Code to modernize it and make it more user-friendly. Below is a final draft of the code. Please feel free to contact the Planning Department with any questions, comments, or concerns.
Summary of Revisions
January 26, 2023
Purpose of the Zoning Code Update
MKSK was hired by the Township to help refine and modernize the Zoning Code to create better alignment with the Clinton Township Master Plan. A more user-friendly document will be beneficial to the community, developers/applicants, and reviewers of the Zoning Code. This process integrated best practices and incorporated feedback from Township Officials, Staff, the Board of Zoning Appeals, and the Planning Commission.
Background on the Zoning Code Update Process
The update of the Zoning Code included a thorough review of the Master Plan, Strategic Vision Plan, and the M-97/Groesbeck Highway Corridor Plan and Design Guidelines to ensure that the update aligns with recommendations from those plans. Additionally, one of the critical initial steps of the Clinton Township Zoning Code Update process involved Staff and stakeholder engagement to identify the primary challenges of the Code as well as determine potential areas for improvement and new standards that meet best practices. After MKSK engaged with Staff and stakeholders, we prepared a Zoning Audit summarizing all the issues of the current Code and providing an overview of recommendations and best practices that should be incorporated into the updated Code.
Summary of Zoning Code Revisions
Based on our review of Township plans and documents, our expertise and knowledge of best practices, and our engagement with Staff and stakeholders, the following section details a summary of the changes to the Zoning Code. While this does not include every change made to the Zoning Code, this section emphasizes the most critical and top-priority revisions. Below is a summary of those revisions:
- The Zoning Code was streamlined to be more user-friendly for reviewers and applicants, including reorganizing the document and consolidating some of the sections in the Code as well as creating some new chapters. A Use Standards Chapter was created where standards were copied over from all of the zoning districts, including for special use standards, to make it easier to find standards for each use rather than by zoning district. We also added a General Site Development Regulations Chapter, which included parking, bike parking, EV parking, lighting, etc. standards. The Development and Approval Procedures Chapter contains a site plan review and a Special Land Use review.
- Definitions were revised, added to, and clarified where necessary, or in some cases, we removed irrelevant definitions that no longer apply.
- Updates were made to the Administration, Enforcement, and Penalty sections of the Zoning Code to include an overview of and clarification of the responsibilities of the Planning and Building Departments.
- Each Zoning District now has all uses permitted that apply to ensure that you don’t have to cross-reference a previous zoning district. The conditional standards were also placed into the Use Standards Chapter.
- A dimensional chart for each zoning district (where applicable) was created to make it easier to reference dimensional standards within each district. The charts are accompanied by sketches that demonstrate and visualize the standards.
- The recently adopted PUD and mini-storage warehouse regulations were incorporated into the update.
- The Groesbeck Highway Overlay District has been added. This overlay district applies to properties that front Groesbeck Highway in the Township and the standards in this section were taken from the Design Guidelines created for the corridor. The standards here (i.e., landscaping, screening, building materials, etc.) focus on creating a more cohesive and unified corridor.
- A new and separate landscaping chapter was created in the Zoning Code. Prior, this chapter didn’t exist, and landscaping and screening standards were buried and split into different sections in the Code. This chapter emphasizes consistent standards across all districts.
- One of the top priorities of the Zoning Code Update was to provide a clearer site plan review submittal and approval process. A chart was added that indicates which approval body has the final decision – this makes it easier for reviewers and applicants to understand the process. Additionally, site plan requirements were added, so applicants have a list available of what is required as part of a site plan submittal package.
- Minimum parking requirements were adjusted to be more aligned with best practices which typically emphasize decreasing parking minimums in order to create more walkable spaces, decrease development costs, and help prevent stormwater runoff. Along those same lines, drive-thru stacking requirements were added, as well as bike parking requirements for multiple-family residential, commercial, and office properties.
- Throughout discussions with Staff and stakeholders, it is apparent that sustainable best practices should be incorporated into the Zoning Code Update. The following details specific categories that were added:
- Electric Vehicle Parking standards were added to the General Site Development Regulations Chapter. They included regulations to help incentivize these, as well as specifying the design, size, and maintenance of the electric vehicle parking spaces.
- Another sustainable best practice cited by the Township included solar panels. Definitions were added, as well as standards that regulate roof-mounted and ground-mounted solar energy systems, including the height, area, and location.
4219 Woodward Ave., Detroit, Michigan 48201