What constitutes a minor deviation to an Urban Renewal Development Plan?

Asked March 23, 2014, 7:53 PM EDT

What constitutes a minor deviation to an Urban Renewal Development Plan? Does the local Citizen's District Council need to be notified of the Planning Department's considering/deeming a proposed use as a minor deviation to the plan, thus allowing the Zoning Board of Appeals the opportunity to grant a use variance? When a proposed land use is referred to the Zoning Board of Appeals, does that body evaluate if the proposed use is in fact a minor deviation to the Urban Renewal Plan? What if at the time of the ZBA hearing there is testimony from the author of the Development Plan (a former Planning Department staff person) that contests the validity of the proposed use as being a minor deviation to the plan he authored, and additional testimony revealed that the CDC had not been consulted prior to the determination of minor deviation made by the Planning Department nor sent a notification of the ZBA hearing? Is the ZBA required to validate the minor deviation status predetermined by the Planning Department? Should the ZBA, upon discovery of discrepancy in evaluation and/or the fact that the CDC was not consulted by the Planning Department before the department making its call be grounds for the ZBA to send the proposal back to the Planning Department for discussion with the CDC and the author of the development plan?

Wayne County Michigan

1 Response

Minor deviation language is usually found in zoning codes in the site plan review process. CDCs are regulated by federal guidelines. However, the ZBA can do zoning interpretations of the zoning code. The standards for a variance are practical difficulty or undue hardship. You may want to google the zoning enabling act of 2006. This act defines what ZBAs are allowed to do locally.