The City of Chelsea is a vibrant community regionally known for the quality of housing, recreation, education, and employment opportunities provided to nearby communities in Washtenaw County. Seeking to update its 2010 Zoning Ordinance, the City of Chelsea aspired to: streamline planning and development procedures, increase the diversity of housing types permitted in the City, consolidate the City’s zoning districts, introduce form-based development standards for its historic downtown and key growth areas, and make the ordinance more user-friendly. 

McKenna was tasked with conducting a technical assessment of the existing ordinance and completing a comprehensive update of the City’s Zoning Ordinance and Map. Through our extensive experience modernizing zoning ordinances, we understand the importance of delivering regulatory excellence centered on the public’s needs. As such, comprehensive public engagement during this planning process was critical to ensure the Zoning Ordinance aligned with the community’s vision, particularly around hot-button issues like housing affordability, growth management, and community character.  Together, McKenna and the City of Chelsea were able to formulate a new Zoning Ordinance and Map that will ensure the City continues to grow intentionally and with respect to its existing community assets. Key updates included a set of form-based development standards, modernization of parking standards, and introduction of new missing middle housing types in residential districts. 

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