What a Zoning Code Does and Does Not Do:

What is a Zoning Code? 

A Zoning Code regulates the activity of land. The code explains in detail what areas of the city you can develop and build on and the regulations that exist on that land.  The Zoning Code will specifically designate each parcel of the City into 1 of 18 unique zoning districts. 

Why update the code?              

Prior to the Master Plan, the City's last Zoning Code was updated in 1974, It is very outdated and not business friendly. In accordance with the Master Plan grant, the City is required to draft and submit a zoning code for approval that aligns with the Imagine Flint Master Plan.

What is its purpose?

The primary purpose is to protect health, safety and welfare of residents. It is meant to create stability within the districts, so that each district allows for a predictable range of uses and building types. 

Does it force me to move my business or home?

No, if the business is lawfully built under the previous code and has the necessary permits, it will be grandfathered in as a non-conforming use. Details on this process can be found in Article 11.

Does the zoning code address blight directly? 

No, if you would like to learn more about efforts to combat blight, you can view the Beyond Blight: Blight Elimination Framework.

Does it address building code or permits?

The proposed code describes the lot standards (setbacks and parcel size) but does not address specifics for the interior of a building. If you have specific questions regarding building and permitting, please contact the City of Flint, Department of Building & Safety.

Does it address rental units?

To an extent, the code address densities throughout the City, which may impact rental units. Further regulation of rental properties within the City, such as registration and inspection is handled by the Department of Building & Safety. 

Does it address parking?

Yes, in Article 12.

Does the zoning code enforce or restrict signage?

Article 15 of the code addresses the physical structure of a sign but regulations on content of the sign are limited due to free speech.

Does it change or restrict the current use of parks?

No. Through the proposed zoning district 'Open Space', the parks are given additional protection.

How are liquor stores regulated?

Liquor stores are regulated at the state level and are classified as an 'Additionally Regulated Use' within the draft Zoning Code. Details on this can be found in Article 9:Use Regulations. 

How are group homes regulated?

Group homes are regulated at the state and federal level and are protected by law to prevent discrimination. Zoning district densities may apply. 

What is my role?

Even though the code has been adopted by the Flint Planning Commission, YOU can still be involved. The Flint City Council will be discussing the draft code over the coming months and will ultimately hold at least 2 public hearings. Dates and times for these meetings will be provided on this website and on our Facebook page.   

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