Ortonville, Michigan Zoning Ordinance

An historic village of 1,500 located in northern Oakland County, Ortonville struggled for years with a suburban-style zoning ordinance ill-suited to its traditional character. After completing a new master plan, community leaders began the process of updating the zoning ordinance to implement the recommendations of the master plan.

McKenna Associates led the community in preparing the new ordinance, incorporating a form-based approach to development regulation. As most of the Village was already developed, future activities would be infill and redevelopment rather than new construction. The form-based zoning standards provided clear direction and established unequivocal expectations for the physical form of proposed projects, while also providing a greater opportunity for mixed uses that would generate a more vital street life.

A notable addition to the zoning ordinance was the establishment of two zoning districts along the major gateway corridors into the downtown core of the Village. The form-based standards allowed for more flexibility in use for the historic buildings that line the gateway streets, while also establishing design standards to ensure that new construction and redevelopment activities alike would respect the historic character.

The new zoning ordinance provided structure to ensure that future development in the Village would respect and be in character with the existing built environment of the community.