Dexter Joint Meeting: Form-based code is a major shift in how planning has been done in the past

By Aimee Bingham Osinski

The Dexter Planning Commission, City Council and Zoning Board of Appeals held a joint meeting on Monday that was organized to review and understand form-based zoning.

The Dexter City master plan was updated and now the zoning ordinance needs to be updated. The final draft will not be in place until 2022. Citizens interested in educating themselves are encouraged to read through the packet HERE

Followed by a presentation, there was a pop quiz to see if attendees understood the maps.  The next part of the meeting was a hands-on activity.  The people in attendance broke up into teams and needed to answer questions based on sites in Dexter and fill out the worksheets.

The groups had to identify what type of street, type of use, set back, and explain what the group would put there according to the district.

Then the groups presented what they came up with for the specific property they were researching.  Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and address any confusion.  The attendees of the meeting were also able to offer input and potential changes they’d like to see made.  The lot size was discussed as well as the size of blocks. Because this is not a final draft, there are still unresolved issues needing to be addressed. Members of the groups expressed how favorable they were of moving toward form-based and what they needed to vote favorably.

Form-based code makes an area a vibrant walkable downtown and is community building and form making. There is more work to be completed.

If anyone would like a say of the future of Dexter, its look and feel, residents should study the potential changes to the code and provide feedback as the opportunity arises. Part of the process will include public hearings and the opportunity to express an opinion. Form-based code seems to be the direction of city planning, it’s a major shift in how planning has been done in the past.





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