The City of Lathrup Village has been recognized for its proactive approach to planning & zoning at the annual conference of the American Planning Association. The award was presented at the Small Town & Rural Planning (STaR) Division’s annual business dinner in Los Angeles in April 2012.
Each year, the STaR Division recognizes excellence in the planning efforts that help make the future of small communities brighter. This year’s John Keller Award for Outstanding Planning Initiative was presented to Lathrup Village for its new zoning ordinance, which has transformed its previous code into a concise, user-friendly and highly-illustrated digital ordinance. This is one of many tools the City uses to attract and facilitate new development and redevelopment.
The new zoning ordinance, developed by the metro Detroit firm Clearzoning®, allows the public to view the Lathrup Village zoning code at any time, from anywhere. By simply clicking on one page of an online ordinance, a business owner can, for example, determine where a new office building could be built. Then, with one more click, the setback, area and height regulations for that district are displayed in both text and graphic form. The ordinance is fully hyper-linked to make it more user-friendly.
The implementation of the new zoning ordinance is one of several steps the City of Lathrup Village has taken recently to attract businesses to the Southfield Road Corridor and to support those businesses already located in the community. The new zoning ordinance implements the master plan’s vision of reestablishing the Village Center concepts, and provides regulations and incentives for a mixed use, pedestrian-friendly district that would function as the heart of the City.
Lathrup Village is in a highly desirable location in southern Oakland County, Michigan. Conveniently located off I-696, the City is within easy reach of the region’s major cities and destinations. It has a population of over 4,000 people and covers 1 1/2 square miles. The majority of its commercial uses are located on Southfield Road, which links to the City of Detroit to the south and to the City of Birmingham to the north. Jeff Mueller is the City Administrator (248-557-2600×225).
The zoning ordinance and other planning work was prepared with the assistance of Clearzoning and its parent company, Birchler Arroyo Associates, Inc., a planning and transportation consulting firm established in 1989. The mission of Clearzoning is to transform municipal codes into visually appealing, digital documents that better communicate ordinance regulations. Rodney L. Arroyo, AICP serves as President of Clearzoning (866-271-9663).
The Small Town & Rural Planning Division of the American Planning Association is a collaborative group of rural and small town planners, citizen planners, and allied professionals dedicated to the physical, social, and economic diversity of North America’s non-metropolitan areas. The division keeps an eye on issues that challenge the ever changing face of “Small Town America” and shares ideas and success stories from the rural heartland of the United States and abroad.