Battle Creek’s zoning laws are over three decades old, and now there’s an effort to overhaul them.

In a letter, the City of Battle Creek’s Planning Manager Christine Zuzga says that the current zoning ordinance is “inflexible” and “not user friendly”, as it lacks things like graphics, charts, drawings, and examples to help people understand the code. As a result, the city sought out proposals for a consultant to help with the development of a new, significant update to the zoning ordinance and map.

Three proposals were given, and the Planning Committee chose McKenna Associates, Inc.

The Battle Creek City Commission will now be voting at their meeting Tuesday, to enter into a contract with McKenna for $76,000 for a Zoning Ordinance Rewrite. $25,000 of that contract will be covered by a grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The goal of this project is to develop a “hybrid” zoning ordinance which would update conventional zoning standards to support “walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods” and include key concepts like compact building design and preservation of open spaces.

The timeline for when this ordinance update could be finished is unclear.

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