The City of Holland is a historic and beautiful community with waterfront, neighborhood business districts, legacy industrial areas, and one of Michigan’s most successful downtowns.

But the City’s zoning ordinance was originally written in 1943 and amended—but never fully rewritten—dozens of times since then. The City engaged McKenna to engage in a comprehensive rewrite. The ordinance even got a new name – the Unified Development Ordinance, indicating the inclusion of zoning regulations, subdivision ordinances, and other development-related regulations.

McKenna and City staff engaged in a comprehensive public outreach program, including a week-long charrette, neighborhood meetings, online surveys, stakeholder engagement, and a series of public hearings held around the City.

The ordinance included many innovative elements, including:

  • A Form-Based Code for the downtown and select corridors and neighborhood business districts.
  • A “Greenfield” mixed use district to ensure that undeveloped sites on the city’s edge would be built out in an urban format.
  • A “Redevelopment” mixed use district for legacy industrial areas in the core of the City.
  • An airport overlay, consistent with MDOT and FAA regulations, to ensure development near the airport would not be incompatible with aviation.
  • A progressive landscaping section rooted in sustainability.
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