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Posted on Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 11:56 a.m.

Ypsilanti master plan, zoning ordinance update to target land use, transportation and sustainability

By Katrease Stafford

The city of Ypsilanti has started its master plan revision process, “Shape Ypsilanti,” to create guiding values for land use, housing, transportation, equity and sustainability.


The city of Ypsilanti has begun its master plan update process. file photo

The master plan is an official document that oulines long-range goals for the city, as well as policies for reaching those goals.

The plan serves as the basis for the zoning ordinance, and guides the planning commission and other entities. The current master plan was created in 1998 and several minor revisions have been made since that time.

Shape Ypsilanti is a community-driven process that will involve various members of the community as well as officials, by using multi-day, interactive workshops. The process started in January and will take 18 months to complete. Most of the work will be done at three community events that will take place this year.

The master plan will address some of following elements:

  • Accessibility
  • Conservation and celebration of natural resources
  • Commitment to provision of transportation options
  • Availability of quality housing of various types dispersed throughout the city;
  • Integration of transit-oriented development principles into area plans for Depot Town and Washtenaw Avenue Corridor
  • A housing typology study to explore options to integrate affordable housing throughout the community.
  • Specific conservation and access recommendations for Huron River.

Officials have said the ideal master plan will create an opportunity to make a hybrid policy and land-use plan. In a request for proposals sent out to planning consulting firms, the city said it is important that the master plan be "grounded in real challenges" and opportunities facing the city.

The city also is seeking to create more businesses where potentially low-skilled individuals can earn higher incomes to help provide opportunity to existing residents for employment and creation of wealth. The city has selected ENP & Associates as a consultant for the city.

The zoning ordinance revisions will focus on flexibility within business districts for a variety of uses, consideration of living and work spaces, creative consideration and location for small-scale and large-scale production in older industrial areas and adaptive reuse of existing building stock.

The city will also focus on dense downtown areas and address ways to make sure the first floor uses of buildings along Michigan Avenue and Cross Street are active.

On Jan. 16, the planning commission appointed the Shape Ypsilanti steering committee, which will be responsible for overseeing the planning department staff and consultants as the new master plan and zoning ordinance is developed. The first meeting is Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. at SPARK East, 215 W. Michigan Ave.

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.



Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 4:46 p.m.

This is what Ypsi needed a Vision of the future but start by cleaning up the trash all around the city, take that anyway you want and cleaning up the butts laying around. I am excited, go Ypsi.


Thu, Jan 24, 2013 : 1:54 p.m.

"The city also is seeking to create more businesses where potentially low-skilled individuals can earn higher incomes to help provide opportunity to existing residents for employment and creation of wealth." Those kind of jobs don't exist anymore.


Fri, Jan 25, 2013 : 3:09 a.m.

Yeah they do. Fast food, like the Burger King they shooed away from Water St.


Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 9:37 p.m.

Finally! "•Conservation and celebration of natural resources Does this mean the city of Ypsi will (finally) embrace the Huron River instead of hiding it? This is the greatest natural resource in the area and its barely seen in Ypsi, hidden by trees and development This needs to be addressed -- and then the township can follow suit and embrace the River and Ford Lake - also barely viewable from the road that circumnavigates it

dading dont delete me bro

Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 5:26 p.m.

don't forget this includes a family dollar downtown, water street.

Katrease Stafford

Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 5:40 p.m.

Dading, I do believe Water Street will play an intricate part in all of this. As the meetings begin to take place and develop, hopefully a more complete picture will become available. I think it will be interesting to see if "the vision" for Water Street is further developed by all of the community input they're hoping to receive in this.