Master Plan, Zoning, and Land Use

CDAD is leading advocacy around updating the Master Plan of Policies for the City of Detroit

CDAD is leading advocacy around updating the Master Plan of Policies for the City of Detroit. The last update to the Master Plan was in 2008, prior to the Great Recession and property tax foreclosure crisis. In June 2022, we sent a survey to our members to better understand their priorities around the Master Plan update. CDAD members identified priorities around the following:

  • Community Engagement
  • Economic Development in Neighborhoods
  • Climate Change Resiliency
  • Plan for Underutilized Land
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Modern Planning Principles & Practices
  • Equitable Development & Zoning

Along with the survey, we invited the Michigan Association of Planning (MAP) to educate our members on what a master plan is and its components, effective community engagement for equity, and the state laws around planning. We also invited the City of Grand Rapids to present at our 6th annual Community Development Week to learn about their community master plan update process to inform our advocacy. CDAD is currently in the process of organizing a workgroup that will serve to influence and engage our members and Detroit residents in the update process.

In addition to our master plan advocacy, CDAD advocates for zoning policy that results in equitable development and equal access for all Detroit residents to live in safe, accessible, and thriving neighborhoods. Detroit’s landscape and built environment has changed dramatically in recent years with increased development downtown and in targeted neighborhoods. CDAD advocates for zoning and land use policies and practices that protect the property and interests of long-time Detroit residents and contribute to an improved quality of life. In 2018, the Detroit City Planning Commission (CPC) began the project ZoneDetroit, to modernize the existing Zoning Ordinance. To assist and help guide the project and resident engagement the CPC established the Zoning Advisory Group (ZAG) in which CDAD is a member. ZAG is a public group made up of a variety of community interests and includes: building and design professionals; developers; representatives from local business, arts, and urban agriculture communities; community development organizations and foundations; and engaged citizens and community leaders who represent the interests of Detroit residents.

CDAD has provided training to help our members understand zoning and its implications including a session with the Urban Institute that looked at zoning through a racial equity lens. We’ve hosted a number of meetings with the City Planning Commission to inform our members about the ZoneDetroit project and how they can get involved. Furthermore, we hosted a dinner with our members to get their input and feedback on the Zoning Analytic Report which was submitted to the City Planning Commission.