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Planning and Economic Development

Model Environmental Ordinances

Natural Areas within Macomb County

Like many areas of southeastern Michigan, communities in Macomb County are trying to balance the demands of growth with environmental preservation. Many new methods of encouraging sustainable development have emerged over the past decade, allowing growth without sacrificing the character or natural features of an area. This creates a win-win situation -- development professionals can produce a successful product, and the community is left with environmental features that continue to perform important functions. Functions such as maintaining water quality and quantity, floodwater retention, air cleaning properties, wildlife habitat and travel corridors, sources of genetic diversity and recreation. Functions that sustain the quality of life in a community.

Sustainable development methods also provide design approaches that use preserved features to the economic benefit of the developer. So, rather than believing preservation efforts are an infringement on property rights, preserved environmental features actually increase the value of developed properties and the return to the developer.


What the Documents Provide

Seeking development patterns that work within the framework of the county's environmental resources is important to maintaining and improving the quality of life for Macomb County residents. The information in these documents provide community staff and public officials with a comprehensive set of methods to incorporate environmental protection into community documents that will preserve and enhance your community's long-term environmental and economic health. These ordinances can be used individually, or developed to work together for a more thorough protection program. When implemented countywide, the ordinances will provide greater consistency between communities in their environmental preservation and development efforts, as well as help to meet the overall county's goals of natural area protection.

The documents are organized into chapters, by environmental topic. Topics include storm water management, floodplains, wetlands, open space, native landscaping and woodland/tree protection. Each chapter includes a general discussion about the topic, and then provides example ordinance language. Sidebars within the ordinances discuss important components of each regulation and issues to consider. An important point to remember is that these ordinances were written to include a wide range of provisions -- some of which may or may not be appropriate for your community. Individual communities need to decide which provisions work best in the context of their overall development regulations. Therefore, the model language needs to be adapted to fit your community's specific needs and conditions.

Model Ordinances

Brief Summary of Ordinance