The League, MAP, and MEDC are proud that Michigan is serving as the proving ground for the Project for Code Reform, CNU’s national initiative to support cities and towns as they reform outdated zoning codes to promote walkable places. CNU worked with its Michigan partners to create the new guide, focusing on downtowns and main streets in small and medium-sized towns and cities in Michigan. The cities of Albion, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Saginaw, and Traverse City served as test markets. But the lessons learned are easily translated to towns and cities in other parts of the state and the country. The guide was made possible by financial support from partner organizations and technical support from nationally acclaimed code experts from DPZ CoDESIGN, Ferrell Madden, and PlaceMakers, LLC.
The guide-which is linked to MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program focuses on the “how” of the process of code reform rather than the “what.” It gives communities wide latitude to create solutions that are unique to their needs and circumstances. The emphasis is on incremental change to enable a community to adapt and digest an update in a single neighborhood or district before moving on to other reforms. This helps governments test approaches, build political will, and gain community support as they go.