Chapter 8

6.801 Initiation of Amendment.

The City Council may, from time to time, on recommendation from the City Planning Commission or on its own motion or on petition, amend, supplement, modify or change this ordinance in accordance with the authority of Public Act No. 110 of 2006 (as amended).

6.802 Amendment Review Procedure.

The amendment, be it a text or a map amendment, and application materials shall be prepared in accordance with the provisions of this Section, and shall be reviewed in accordance with the following procedure. Amendments or application materials that do not meet the stipulated requirements shall be considered incomplete and shall not be eligible for consideration by the Planning Commission:

A.    Technical Review. Prior to Planning Commission consideration, the proposed amendment and application materials shall be distributed to appropriate City officials and staff for review and comment. The proposed amendment and application materials may also be distributed to applicable outside agencies and designated City consultants for review.

B.    Public Hearing. A public hearing shall be held for all proposed amendments in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, PA 110 of 2006 (as amended) as summarized in Article 6, Chapter 90, Public Hearing Procedures.

C.    Planning Commission Recommendation. Subsequent to the hearing, the Planning Commission shall review the proposed amendment, together with any reports and recommendations from staff, consultants, other reviewing agencies and any public comments. The Planning Commission shall identify and evaluate all factors relevant to the petition, including the appropriate criteria listed in this chapter and shall report its findings and recommendation to the City Council.

D.    City Council Decision. Upon receipt of the report and recommendation from the Planning Commission, the City Council may approve or deny the proposed amendment. If determined to be necessary, the City Council may refer the amendment back to the Planning Commission for further consideration. In the case of an amendment to the official Zoning Map, the City Council shall approve or deny the amendment, based upon its consideration of the criteria contained herein this Section.

6.803 Submittal Requirements.

All applications for amendments to this ordinance, without limiting the right to file additional material, shall contain at least the following:

A.    The petitioner’s name, address and interest in the petition, as well as the name, address and interest of every person having a legal or an equitable interest in the land covered by the petition.

B.    The nature and effect of the proposed amendment.

C.    If the proposed amendment would require a change in the zoning map, a fully dimensioned map showing:

1.    The land which would be affected by the proposed amendment;

2.    A legal description of such land;

3.    The present zoning classification of the land;

4.    The zoning classification of all abutting districts; and,

5.    All public and private rights-of-way and easements bounding and intersection the land under consideration.

D.    If the proposed amendment would require a change in the zoning map, the names and addresses of the owners of all land within the area to be changed by the proposed amendment.

E.    The alleged error in this ordinance, if any, which would be corrected by the proposed amendment together with a detailed explanation of such error in the ordinance, which is alleged, and detailed reasons as to how the proposed amendment will correct the same.

F.    The changed or changing conditions, if any, in the area or in the municipality generally, which make the proposed amendment reasonably necessary.

G.    All other circumstances, factors and reasons which applicant offers in support of the proposed amendment.

6.804 Criteria for Amendment of the Official Zoning Map.

In considering any petition for an amendment to the official zoning map, including the designation of street type (A, B, and C) and designation of small front setback lots, the Planning Commission and City Council shall consider any of the following criteria that apply to the application in making findings, recommendations, and a decision. The Planning Commission and City Council may also take into account other factors or considerations that are applicable to the application but are not listed below.

A.    Consistency with the goals, policies and objectives of the Master Plan and any sub-area plans. If conditions have changed since the Master Plan was adopted, consistency with recent development trends in the area shall be considered.

B.    Compatibility of the site’s physical, geological, hydrological and other environmental features with the uses permitted in the proposed zoning district.

C.    Evidence the applicant cannot receive a reasonable return on investment through developing the property with one (1) or more of the uses permitted under the current zoning.

D.    Compatibility of all the potential uses allowed in the proposed zoning district with surrounding uses and zoning in terms of land suitability, impacts on the environment, density, nature of use, traffic impacts, aesthetics, infrastructure and potential influence on property values.

E.    The capacity of the City’s utilities and services sufficient to accommodate the uses permitted in the requested district without compromising the health, safety and welfare of the City.

F.    The capability of the street system to safely and efficiently accommodate the expected traffic generated by uses permitted in the requested zoning district.

G.    The boundaries of the requested rezoning district are reasonable in relationship to surroundings and construction on the site will be able to meet the dimensional regulations for the requested zoning district.

H.    If a rezoning is appropriate, the requested zoning district is considered to be more appropriate from the City’s perspective than another zoning district.

I.    If the request is for a specific use, rezoning the land is considered to be more appropriate than amending the list of permitted or special land uses in the current zoning district to allow the use.

J.    The requested rezoning will not create an isolated or incompatible zone in the neighborhood.

6.805 Re-application.

Whenever an application for an amendment to this Ordinance has been denied by the City Council, a new application for the same amendment shall not be accepted by the Planning Commission for consideration for a period of 180 days, unless the Planning Commission determines that one or more of the following conditions has been met:

A.    There is a substantial change in circumstances relevant to the issues or facts considered during review of the application that might reasonably affect the decision-making body’s application of the relevant review standards to the development proposed in the application.

B.    New or additional information is available that was not available at the time of the review that might reasonably affect the decision-making body’s application of the relevant review standards to the development proposed.

C.    The new application is materially different from the prior application.

6.806 Protest Petition.

An amendment under this Chapter is subject to a protest petition in accordance with Section 403 of the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, PA 110 of 2006 (as amended), summarized as follows:

A.    Petition Submittal Requirements. The protest petition shall be presented to the city clerk and forwarded to the city council before final legislative action on the amendment, and shall be signed by one or more of the following:

1.    The owners of at least 20% of the area of land included in the proposed change. Publicly owned land shall be excluded in calculating the 20% land area.

2.    The owners of at least 20% of the area of land included within an area extending outward 100 feet from any point on the boundary of the land included in the proposed change. Publicly owned land shall be excluded in calculating the 20% land area.

B.    Vote. If a protest petition is filed, approval of the amendment to this Ordinance shall require a 2/3 vote of the City Council.

6.807 Rezoning With Conditions.

Pursuant to MCL 125.3405, the City Council, following a public hearing and recommendation by the Planning Commission, may approve a petition for a rezoning with conditions requested by a property owner. The standards of this section shall grant a property owner the option of proposing conditions for the development and use of property in conjunction with an application for rezoning. Such conditions may be proposed at the time the application for rezoning is filed, or at a subsequent point in the process of review of the proposed rezoning.

A.    Conditional Rezoning Agreement. The conditions attached to the rezoning shall be set forth by submitting a conditional rezoning agreement listing the proposed conditions. A conditional rezoning agreement shall contain the following information:

1.    A statement acknowledging that the rezoning with conditions was proposed by the applicant to induce the City to grant the rezoning, and that the City relied upon such proposal and would not have granted the rezoning but for the terms spelled out in the conditional rezoning agreement; and, further agreement and acknowledgment that the conditions and conditional rezoning agreement are authorized by all applicable state and federal law and constitution, and that the Agreement is valid and was entered into on a voluntary basis, and represents a permissible exercise of authority by the City.

2.    Agreement and understanding that the property in question shall not be developed or used in a manner inconsistent with the conditional rezoning agreement.

3.    Agreement and understanding that the approval and conditional rezoning agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the property owner and City, and their respective heirs, successors, assigns, and transferees.

4.    The date upon which the rezoning with conditions becomes void, as specified in Section C, below. If an extension of approval is granted by the City Council, a new conditional rezoning agreement with the new expiration date shall be recorded.

5.    Agreement and understanding that, if a rezoning with conditions becomes void in the manner provided in Section C, below, no development shall be undertaken or permits for development issued until a new zoning district classification of the property has been established.

6.    Agreement and understanding that each of the requirements and conditions in the conditional rezoning agreement represents a necessary and reasonable measure which, when considered with all other conditions and requirements, is roughly proportional to the increased impact created by the use represented in the approved rezoning with conditions, taking into consideration the changed zoning district classification and the specific use authorization granted.

7.    A legal description of the property affected by the rezoning with conditions.

8.    Development regulations affected by the conditions of rezoning, including but not limited to density, setbacks, height, site coverage, signs, parking, architecture, lighting, landscaping etc.

9.    Revocation of approval provisions returning the property to its original zoning designation if the developer violates the terms of the agreement.

10.    A conditional rezoning agreement may contain a conditional rezoning plan as an attachment, with such detail and inclusions proposed by the applicant and approved by the City Council in accordance with this Section, following recommendation by the Planning Commission. Inclusion of a conditional rezoning plan as an attachment to a conditional rezoning agreement shall not replace the requirement for preliminary and final Site Plan, subdivision, condominium, or special land use review and approval, as the case may be.

B.    Amendment. A proposed amendment to a conditional rezoning agreement shall be reviewed and approved in the same manner as a new rezoning with conditions.

C.    Period of Approval. Unless extended by the City Council for good cause, the rezoning with conditions shall expire following a period of two (2) years from the effective date of the rezoning unless bona fide development of the property pursuant to approved building and other permits required by the City commences within the two (2) year period and proceeds diligently and in good faith as required by ordinance to completion.

1.    Expiration. In the event bona fide development has not commenced within two (2) years from the effective date of the rezoning, the rezoning with conditions and the conditional rezoning agreement shall be void and of no effect. The landowner may apply for a one (1) year extension one (1) time. The request must be submitted to the City Clerk before the two (2) year time limit expires. The landowner must show good cause as to why the extension should be granted.

2.    Effect of Expiration. If the rezoning with conditions becomes void in the manner provided in this section, either or both of the following actions may be taken:

a.    The property owner may seek a new rezoning of the property; and/or

b.    Pursuant to MCL 125.3405, the land shall revert to its former zoning classification following the process for approval of a rezoning with conditions.

D.    Zoning Map. If approved, the zoning district classification of the rezoned property shall consist of the district to which the property has been rezoned accompanied by a reference to “CR Conditional Rezoning.” The Zoning map shall specify the new zoning district plus a reference to CR. By way of example, the zoning classification of the property may be “C-2 Downtown Mixed Use District with CR Conditional Rezoning,” with a Zoning Map designation of “C-1 CR.”

E.    Review and Approval Process. An application for a rezoning with conditions shall be reviewed following the same process and procedures applicable to a rezoning set forth in Section 6.802, with the exception that the conditional rezoning agreement shall be executed between the applicant and the City Council at the time of City Council approval of a rezoning with conditions.

F.    Recordation of a Conditional Rezoning Agreement. A rezoning with conditions shall become effective following publication in the manner provided by law, and after the conditional rezoning agreement is recorded with the County Register of Deeds.

G.    Violation of Conditional Rezoning Agreement. If development and/or actions are undertaken on or with respect to the property in violation of the conditional rezoning agreement, such development and/or actions shall constitute a nuisance per se. In such case, the City may issue a stop work order relative to the property and seek any other lawful remedies. Until curative action is taken to bring the property into compliance with the conditional rezoning agreement, the City may withhold, or, following notice and an opportunity to be heard, revoke permits and certificates in addition to or in lieu of such other lawful action to achieve compliance.