Presentation on theme: "Basic Training February 4, 2015 for Elected Officials, Planning Commissioners & Zoning Boards of Appeals Presented by: Carlisle/Wortman & Associates Hamburg."— Presentation transcript:
Basic Training February 4, 2015 for Elected Officials, Planning Commissioners & Zoning Boards of Appeals Presented by: Carlisle/Wortman & Associates Hamburg Township
Program Basic Planning & Zoning Overview of Roles/Responsibilities The Master Plan The Zoning Ordinance Zoning Approvals Other Development Regulations
Statutory Authorities Planning Township Planning Act, 168 of 1959 Municipal Planning Act, 285 of 1931 County Planning Act, 282 of 1945 Planning Enabling Act, Public Act 33 of 2008 Regional Planning Act, 281 of 1994 Zoning Zoning Enabling Act, Public Act 110 of 2006
Roles and Responsibilities Planning Commission Master Plan Zoning Ordinance Subdivision Zoning Reviews Legislative Body Appointments Ordinance Adoption Zoning Reviews Budgets Master Plan (Optional) Board of Appeals Variances Appeals Interpretations Other Duties Administrative and/or Support Staff
. Putting together the pieces of the puzzle. The Master Plan
Anticipate change Create predictability Use physical, natural, social and fiscal resources wisely Create a vision for the future Protect the environment and quality of life Why Do We Plan?
The Plan is based on… the resources, assets and limitations of the community the character of the community the needs and desires of its residents What is a Master Plan? A statement of policy, written and adopted by the planning commission**, describing the desired physical development of the community. ** Unless the legislative body has opted to require its adoption of the plan.
Getting Started… Notification to begin planning process Planning commission creates draft plan
The Planning Process The Three “Whats” What? What is important to our community? So what? Why are these issues important? Now what? What do we need to do?
Getting the Public Involved Public hearings (required) Workshops/focus groups Design charrettes/visioning Civic group presentations Media Surveys Personal interviews Websites
Setting Goals and Creating Policies Be broad enough to establish tone Be realistic and achievable Clearly depict a desired future as envisioned by the community Goals are intended to lead to actions Example: Accommodate future reinvestment in the City while maintaining the nineteenth-century character of our existing built environment.
Plan needs to consider… Community character/need Natural suitability of land Available public utilities and services Existing land use pattern Capability of road network
Adoption by Planning Commission Planning commission completes plan draft Plan submitted to legislative body Plan approved for distribution Plan submitted to reviewing governments/ agencies. A new plan = 63 day review period. An amendment to an existing plan = 40 day review period Planning commission public hearing Planning commission adoption or submission to legislative body
Adoption by Legislative Body Legislative body must pass resolution Planning commission recommends plan for adoption Legislative body review or statement of objections Planning commission revisions (as needed) Legislative body adoption Copy of adopted plan sent to reviewing governments/agencies
Master Plan Zoning Decisions Capital/Infrastructure Improvement Plans Cooperative Planning (both public and private) Using the Plan
Plan Review/Revisions Required review every 5 years by Planning Commission. Planning Commission shall determine whether revision, new plan, or no change is necessary. Document in meeting minutes. Make recommendation to the legislative body. No formal notifications required.
Typical Organization Definitions General Provisions Zoning Districts Schedule of Regulations Development Requirements Site Plan Review Special Land Uses Amendments Nonconforming Regulations Administration and Enforcement Zoning Board of Appeals
Text Amendments Initiated by individual request, legislative body or Planning Commission Once requested, begin with the Commission Amendments cover the following: Implement master plan Clarify existing language Add new language
Rezonings (Map Amendments) Initiated by individual request, legislative body or Planning Commission Once requested, begin with the Commission Factors to consider Is the existing zoning reasonable? Is the request consistent with the master plan? Can the site accommodate the requested uses? Is the requested rezoning compatible with the surrounding area?
Conditional Rezoning Voluntary offer by applicant – cannot be required as part of rezoning “Offers” typically restrict use/development Time period to satisfy conditions or property “reverts” to previous zoning, subject to due process
Special Land Uses A use that may be otherwise compatible with the district, based on review of location and compliance with both general and specific standards found in the Ordinance.
Special Land Uses Two categories of review standards that must be in the Ordinance General/Discretionary – applies to all requests “The project will be designed, constructed, operated, and maintained so as to be harmonious and appropriate in appearance with the intended character of the general vicinity.” Specific/Nondiscretionary – applies to specific uses “The use shall be located on property with direct access to a major arterial street, as designated in the master plan.” If all standards are met: Approval MUST be given!
Site Plan Review Review standards must be in the Ordinance Uses/activities requiring site plan approval Standards for decisions Application and review process State the approving body or official
Site Plan Review Zoning Ordinance Requirements Site design/building arrangement Drainage Natural areas Buffering Emergency access Services/utilities Vehicle/pedestrian access
Site Plan Review Decision Guidelines Are all review standards and ordinance requirements met? Does plan represent reasonable/workable site arrangement? The approval may lapse. Extensions may be granted. If all standards are met: Approval MUST be given!
Planned Unit Development (PUD) A form of development typically characterized by a unified site design. As important, a PUD is a process where approval is based upon a specific plan. While most commonly associated with housing, PUD’s can be used to accommodate any use including a mixture of uses.
PUD Approval Methods Zoning District Separate district/regulations/uses Rezoning process followed Special Land Use Part of existing zoning district SLU process followed
Zoning Board of Appeals Zoning Board of Appeals Duties and Powers Appeals Interpretations Variances Other duties as presented by Ordinance
Zoning Board of Appeals Appeals Administrative Appeals From PC decision on site plan review From ZA on administrative decisions Decisions on SLU and PUD may be appealed only if specifically permitted by the zoning ordinance Decision Guidelines ZBA must determine if decision was reached following proper procedures and facts If so – decision must be upheld. If not – ZBA becomes decision maker
Zoning Board of Appeals Interpretations Zoning Ordinance Text Text interpretations narrow and practical Review history of language use, give weight to past use Zoning Map Location of zoning lines based on ordinance rules ZBA cannot rezone property by moving zoning lines
Zoning Board of Appeals Variances Dimensional (Non-Use Variance) Vary the requirements of the ordinance. Requires evidence of Practical Difficulty related to the property. Use Variance Allow use not otherwise listed in district. Requires evidence of Unnecessary Hardship related to the property.
Use Variances Unnecessary Hardship Property cannot be put to reasonable use Hardship is due to circumstances unique to property Variance will not alter the essential character of the area Variance is minimum necessary Hardship is not self-created
Use Variances Paragon v. City of Novi Rezonings denied by the legislative body cannot be litigated until all administrative remedies are exhausted. The administrative remedy for a rezoning denial is an application for a USE VARIANCE to the ZBA.
Dimensional (Non-Use Variances) Practical Difficulty Unique circumstances applying to the property Will not adversely affect adjacent properties Need for the variance was not self-created Variance is the minimum necessary Not general or recurrent in nature
Types 1. Nonconforming Uses 2. Nonconforming Buildings 3. Nonconforming Lots Nonconformities Definition: A building, use, or lot that met the requirements of the zoning ordinance when established, but no longer complies with the ordinance.
Membership and Voting Requirements Appeals -Simple majority of membership Nonuse variance – Simple majority of membership Use variance – 2/3 vote Voting Requirement: Except for administrative actions (approval of minutes, etc.), votes are based on total board membership, not just those who are present
Decision Principles What is the function of the ZBA? The job of the ZBA is to uphold the requirements of the zoning ordinance, except in unusual circumstances related to the condition of the property. It is NOT the job of the board of appeals to help applicants find a way around the requirements of the ordinance because compliance is inconvenient, or because of the personal circumstances of the property owner.
Decision Principles Variances not intended to allow property owners to circumvent the zoning ordinance. Variance process provided to recognize that not all properties have the same physical character. Variances granted with little or no justification may encourage others to avoid compliance. Granting of unwarranted variances has the long term effect of shifting zoning policy making to the ZBA and away from elected officials.
Methods of Dividing Land Subdivisions Land Divisions Site Condominiums
Subdivisions Subdivision Process of dividing land into smaller buildable sites Governed by and must comply with Land Division Act: 288 of 1967, as amended Must also comply with municipal subdivision ordinance, if one exists
Subdivisions Typical Subdivision Ordinance Lot layout Roadway circulation Pedestrian circulation Drainage Utilities Street lighting Landscaping Natural features protection Review and approval process
Land Division A land division is the partitioning or splitting of a parcel. The Land Division Act, PA 288 of 1967 as amended, regulates the number of parcels that may be taken from a parent parcel before sub- dividing must occur.
Width = 1 Depth = 4 Land Division Land Division Ordinance Lots must have proper access Lot size/width must comply with local zoning Easements for public utilities must be provided Width-to-depth ratio (1:4) Is the lot buildable? Adequate easements for utilities Division recorded with County
Methods of Dividing Land Which is a site condo and which is a subdivision?
Site Condominium General Commons Area Limited Commons Area Building Area Limited Commons Area Or a Public Street Public/Private Street Rear Lot Line Front Lot Line Side Lot Line Subdivision Building Area Side Lot Line Rear Yard Front Yard Side Yard Methods of Dividing Land
Provide complete information Be prepared Deliberate properly Document decisions Elements of Effective Decisions
Information Initial Contact Inform applicant of forms, filling dates, fees, and meetings Never answer questions from memory Note all contacts Application Process Application forms Accept only complete applications Application deadlines
Preparation: Public Notices Required elements (Zoning Enabling Act): A description of the request, A listing of all addresses The time, date, location of hearing When and where the information can be viewed or copies obtained Notice period – given not less than 15 days before the application will be considered Word simply; use street address Notify adjacent communities Keep an affidavit of mailing Generally required for every approval except site plan review
Preparation: Site Visits Permission to enter site Avoid “ex parte” contacts What to look for… Review Materials Planner and other professional reports Application and plans Ordinance requirements
Deliberation Rules for Speakers Degree of formality Comments through the Chair Limit speaking time Limit number of times speaking Spokesperson Rules for Decision Makers Comments through the Chair Deliberate in the open Express opinions Use ordinance standards for decisions
Documentation Motions must contain: Maker/Seconder Request Action Conditions (as applicable) Statement of reasons related to review standards (Can include previous discussions) Motions must be: Clear to all and in proper form Finding of Fact Additional, formal documentation
Documentation Post-Decision Documentation: Signed site plans Copy of minutes and approval/denial letters to applicant Record Keeping Minutes Staff notes Application/materials Site plan Correspondence Affidavits of mailing/publication
Risk Management You CAN’T avoid litigation You CAN manage risk & liability exposure by: Using consistent rules and procedures Treating everyone fairly and consistently Avoiding conflicts of interest Keeping accurate and complete records
Risk Management: Conflict of Interest Identification You are the applicant Relative Business associate Close ties If you have to ask... Procedure Call in alternate (ZBA only) State nature of conflict Abstain from discussion and voting Leave the room Minutes should reflect abstention and reason
Risk Management Zoning must provide a reasonable use The use need NOT be the most profitable Support your decisions (based on review standards) Follow proper procedures Case law: In state and federal courts is still emerging