Two more communities transform their zoning ordinances
Texas Charter Township
Texas Charter Township in Kalamazoo County, Michigan has transformed its zoning ordinance into a user-friendly, online document by partnering with Michigan-based Clearzoning®. The Township's Zoning Ordinance now has additional color graphics, navigation tabs, hyperlinks, and a new format that makes it easier to use and understand. Terms are word-searchable, and the entire document can be downloaded from the Township's web site (http://www.texastownship.org/OrdinancesZoning.aspx).
The Township's Planning Commission conducted significant research on approaches for improving its Zoning Ordinance. After concluding research into better ways to zone, the Township hired Clearzoning® to assist them in the transformation process.
This Zoning Ordinance update is seen as both an economic development tool and enhancement in customer service. It makes it easier for developers, business owners, and design professionals to understand the zoning code, and it is available around the clock and around the world via the Township's web site. It also makes it easier for residents to access and understand zoning regulations. It is clearly a better approach to sharing zoning regulations with the public.
Texas Charter Township, located near Kalamazoo, Michigan, in the southwest portion of Kalamazoo County. The Township has approximately 36 square miles of land and has a population of approximately 13,000 people.
City of Lathrup Village
There has also been a fresh zoning change for the City of Lathrup Village, Michigan. The City transformed its existing zoning ordinance into user-friendly, easy-to-understand, hyperlinked ordinance that is available on the internet (http://www.lathrupvillage.org/ - Look under Quick Links).
This effort is seen as an economic development tool. It makes it easier for developers, business owners, and design professionals to understand the zoning code, and it is available around the clock and around the world via the City's web site. It also makes it easier for residents to access and understand zoning regulations.
The City of Lathrup Village, a suburb of Detroit, is in an ideal location for redevelopment. Seeking to enhance its main commercial corridor, Southfield Road, the City embarked on a master plan process that led to the vision of a downtown, right in the heart of the corridor. Lathrup Village took the opportunity to implement several Master Plan recommendations by consolidating zoning districts and creating new zoning districts that more appropriately address the needs of the community. The new Clearzoning® code includes a form-based, Village Center District, which provides more direction for the physical design of the new downtown area.
In times of slow growth, communities can take a wait-and-see attitude or they can take positive steps to open the door to new economic development. A user-friendly zoning ordinance can be one of the strategies that sets a community apart from others that are competing to attract new jobs and an expanding tax base.
At the same time, a clearer zoning code will help make municipal government more efficient and transparent. If a zoning ordinance is clear and online, many questions can be answered without contacted the local staff. This frees up staff time to do other important municipal functions.
Clearzoning® maintains the regulatory effect of a zoning ordinance, zoning bylaw or zoning resolution. It transforms the code into an easy-to-read, better organized, digital document that will revolutionize the way the code functions. Plain text and black and white graphics are reborn as colorful illustrations. Words and phrases become searchable online, sections of the code are hyperlinked, and regulations are easier to understand. For more information, visit www.clearzoning.com or follow www.twitter.com/clearzoning.
Clearzoning®, the term "clear and connected" and the Clearzoning logo are registered trademarks of Birchler Arroyo Associates, Inc. Clearzoning® ordinances are copyrighted, and the format, organization, graphics, outline, and other unique features are protected by U.S. copyright laws.
Posted February 24, 2011