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The Draft Natural Features Protection Ordinance is now available for review and input. The draft and ultimately the Ordinance is created using four guiding principles:

  1. City-Wide Ordinance

  2. Standards included protect the Natural Feature

  3. Standards included can be managed and enforced by City Staff

  4. Not about no development, but about more thoughtful development in areas with Natural Features

Draft Natural Features Protection Ordinance

Natural Features Protection Overlay District Map

The draft needs to be reviewed and discussed by the wider community so that it can be refined over the next 6 weeks. Share your input below or email your input to either Jamie McCarthy, Development Project Coordinator, mccarthyja@kalamazoocity.org or Christina Anderson, City Planner, andersonc@kalamazoocity.org

City Staff will also be holding four focus groups and a community wide meeting to present, discuss, and revise the draft ordinance with the community. Find your focus group and learn more about the community wide meeting here.

OVERVIEW

We will be posting updates to help keep residents informed and up to date on the process.

The Natural Features Protection Ordinance and Development Standards would put in place a guide for the development of land on or near areas identified as Natural Features in order to achieve the long-term protection of these areas. The IK 2025 Master Plan defines Natural Features as “an area with existing natural features, including creeks, floodplains, stands of large trees, and slope that should be protected through such methods as conservation easements or land acquisition”. The Master Plan also maps Natural Features as an overlay on the Future Land Development Map.

The action items in the 2025 Master Plan require that the City work with property owners, key stakeholders, and conservation-minded organizations to achieve the long-term protection of these areas for such ends as public enjoyment and environmental health. Development that occurs near these designations will need to complete a thorough analysis of the natural features and the proposed project in order to mitigate potential negative impacts. The specifics of this analysis require review checklists, data, and standards that do not currently exist in the Zoning Ordinances or Site Plan Review Process.

In 2018, a technical steering committee was formed to assist with recommendations, policy development, and further mapping of Natural Features, setting the groundwork for the NFP ordinance and standards. The technical steering committee will continue to meet into 2019 to guide and support City efforts on Natural Features Protection.  Further outreach is necessary with the wider community prior to finalizing the policy. This outreach will follow the Public Participation Plan developed during Imagine Kalamazoo to ensure the community’s ability to review and provide input.


PROJECT MANAGER:

Jamie McCarthy, Development Project Coordinator, mccarthyja@kalamazoocity.org

Christina Anderson, City Planner, andersonc@kalamazoocity.org


OBJECTIVES:

  • Work with the community, technical experts, and developers to create and adopt a Natural Features Protection Ordinance and Sustainable Development Standards

  • Ensure natural features within the city are protected long term for the enjoyment of the public and health of the environment – with special focus on properties being developed or redeveloped

  • Collaborate with neighborhood associations and residents to develop a strategy that encourages best management practices on private property and incorporate natural features protection into neighborhood plans.


SCHEDULE:

  • Early 2018 – Technical Steering Committee formation & meeting

  • December 2018 City Commission Adoption of six month Natural Features Protection Moratorium Resolution; Public Participation Plan

  • January 2019 – April 2019 – Technical Committee Meetings

  • February 2019 & March 2019 – Focus Group Meetings

    • City Staff will be holding four focus groups to present, discuss, and revise the draft ordinance with the community. The four focus group meetings are dedicated to different stakeholder groups in the community. The first focus group is for environmental and conservation organizations, the second and third focus groups are for Kalamazoo residents. (Residents can attend either of these two neighborhood meetings.) The fourth focus group is for the developer and construction community.  

      • Environmental & Conservation Organizations

        • 2/20/2019

        • 4:30 PM (part of regular Environmental Concerns Committee meeting)

        • Community Room (2nd Floor City Hall), 241 West South St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007

      • Neighborhoods Meeting, West Side

        • 2/20/2019

        • 7:00 PM (part of regular ODWNA monthly meeting)

        • Winchell Elementary Cafeteria, 2316 Winchell Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49008

      • Neighborhoods Meeting, East Side

        • 2/27/2019

        • 6:00 PM

        • Kalamazoo Eastside Neighborhood Association Building, 1301 E. Main St., Kalamazoo MI 49048

      • Developer & Construction Community

        • 2/28/2019

        • 9:00 AM

        • Community Room (2nd Floor City Hall), 241 West South St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007

  • March 2019 – Community Wide Meeting

    • City Staff will also be holding a community wide meeting to present, discuss, and revise the draft ordinance with the community.A community wide meeting is scheduled for March 21st at 7pm in the VanDusen Room of the Kalamazoo Public Library Downtown Branch. More information to come!

  • April 2019 – May 2019 – Planning Commission

  • May 2019 – City Commission

  • June 2019 – November 2019 – NFP Map Review

  • August 2019 & Beyond – NFP Property Stewardship


PARTNERSHIPS:

Full list coming soon


STAFFING:

Community Planning and Economic Development


OUTSIDE CONTRACTORS:

None


CONSISTENT WITH PLANS:

Strategic Vision, 2025 Master Plan


VISION:

The vision of the Natural Features Protection Ordinance is to achieve the long term protection of Natural Feature areas for such ends as public enjoyment and environmental health.


STRATEGIC VISION GOALS: 

Environmental Responsibility.


METRICS:

  • A set of metrics based on unique natural features will be developed by the technical steering committee.

  • Area of habitat/forest protected

  • Feet of stream buffer implemented

  • Number of trees protected

  • Number of site plans policy is applied to


BUDGET:

Staff Time


FUNDING SOURCES:

N/A