ALERT -Zoning Ordinance Amendments -Public Hearing before City Commission in March

The Grand Rapids City Commission will likely be setting a Public Hearing for the proposed Zoning Text Amendments. The public hearing will be on March 27, 2018. Following is the letter that HHA sent to City Commissioners. 


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The Planning Commission approved and expanded the zoning code text changes that you received via e-alert in the past 2 weeks. The Heritage Hill Association and most every neighborhood in Grand Rapids opposed the recommendations. There were public presentations, 49 letters of opposition and 3 letters of support presented to the Planning Commission. (Thank you).

The recommendations now move to the City Commission for adoption. A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for March 27.

These “by-right” text changes remove neighbors’ input in development/conversions in their neighborhood. The stated goal is to provide more affordable housing. There was no data provided to support this.

·         #3 Incentives for Small Scale Development –This allows by-right 2 unit conversion/development on every corner property and 2 to 4 unit conversion/construction on parcels within 500’ of commercial districts (500’ = one to one and half City blocks).

·         #8 Accessory Dwelling Units – allows adding 2nd unit to any owner-occupied dwelling by-right.

·         #9 Non-Condo Zero Lot Line Units – Allows attached 8-unit townhouses by-right within 500’ of commercial districts.

In Heritage Hill, no demolition of houses would be allowed but in neighborhoods without historic preservation protection, houses can be demolished for new construction.

We will provide updates as they become available. The blue area is where development of 2 to 4 units would be allowed by right. The map on the home page is a smaller version of below – HH and surrounding areas. 

HHEastHillzoning– This is the area effected in Heritage Hill and EastHills.


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The Heritage Hill Association Board of Directors has reviewed and is opposing 2 of the 4 proposed zoning text changes that are before the GR Planning Commission. There are serious concerns regarding the proposed Small Scale Developments (#3) and the Accessory Dwelling Unit (#8). Both these changes would allow developments to be allowed by right. That means neighbors would not have any say in the development.
The #3 Small Scale Development  recommendation will allow 2-family units on corner properties in the City and allow 2 to 4 units on properties within 100 feet of a commercial corridor. Lot size of the properties would need to be in the size of neighboring properties and parking requirements would need to be met. Many corner properties in Heritage Hill would meet these requirements.   
The #8 recommendation will allow by right Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU). This would allow adding an apartment to an owner-occupied home. The ADU could be inside the existing structure and/or adding on to the house or garage. Both of these proposals would take away public comment. Neighbors’ views would no longer be a part of the conversation and decision making process. 
Here is the Association’s position AffordblezoningtextHHAposition
For the full text of the recommendations go to:
(Recommendations 3, 6, 8, and 9)
A public hearing by the Planning Commission is scheduled for
Thursday, January 25, 2018 at 1:00 pm at 1120 Monroe NW, 2nd floor. 
Please email your opinions to the GR Planning Commission at Please copy HHA too