Zoning is a valuable tool used to bring about orderly development of communities. It is public regulation of the use of land. Its name derives from the division of land within the community into zones (also called zoning districts or districts), each of which permits certain uses of land according to specific standards. Objectives to be achieved through zoning include:
- Conserving and protecting property values by preventing incompatible land uses from locating in a given area;
- Facilitating adequate and economical provision of public improvements;
- Providing for orderly community development;
- Ensuring the needs of the state’s citizens for food, fiber, energy and other natural resources;
- Limiting overcrowding of land and congestion of population, transportation systems and other public facilities;
- When necessary, developing special programs to achieve specific land management objectives and avert or solve specific land use problems; and
- Promoting the public health, safety and general welfare.
These objectives are advanced by controlling land uses, density, building height and bulk, lot sizes, yards and open spaces, setbacks, accessory uses, parking, loading, signs and landscaping. In addition, there are often standards that apply to individual uses to prevent or minimize nuisance-like impacts.”
(Source: Planning & Zoning Center at MSU, Michigan Zoning Guidebook, Michigan State University Extension, 2nd Ed, 2008)
Zoning Board of Appeals
The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) was created to provide relief from zoning requirements when there are unique circumstances preventing a property from conforming to the strict letter of Dearborn’s Zoning Ordinance.
The ZBA has been empowered to:
Interpret the Zoning Districts Map where the street layout shown on the map varies from actual conditions.
Interpret the exact location of a boundary line between zoning districts shown on the map.
Grant variances from off-street parking or loading space requirements, upon finding that such variances will not result in a parking or loading space deficiency or otherwise be inconsistent with the intent of such requirements.
Grant variances from yard and bulk regulations, including height, lot area, yard setback, floor area, and lot width regulations, where there are unique circumstances on the lot such that the lot cannot reasonably be put to a conforming use. In deciding upon such variances, the ZBA shall first determine that sufficient area exists for an adequate storm water drainage, water supply, and septic system, if necessary.
Grant variances from the site plan review requirements where the ZBA finds that the requirements would cause practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship due to the unique conditions on the site.
Grant variances made necessary by the advances of technology being put to use in new developments, but not anticipated by the provisions of this ordinance.
Zoning Board of Appeals Public Hearings
Regular meetings of the Zoning Board of Appeals are typically scheduled on the third or fourth Thursday of each month (except December) and are conducted in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.
ZBA Public Hearing Notices
Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes