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Don't Zone Charity Out of Midtown

This petition had 271 supporters

Detroit City Council's Planning and Economic Development Committee is considering a rezoning proposal - the second-largest in the city's history - for a large portion of Detroit's Cass Corridor/ Midtown area. (Read more at this link.)

Among other things, the rezoning would severely restrict emergency shelters for homeless people in the area, while making it easier to open commercial kennels for dogs.

Many aspects of the proposal - like reducing unnecessary parking requirements - are positive. But the rezoning, as written, would also place severe restrictions on a variety of charitable social service institutions, including nursing homes, emergency shelters, and other group living facilities - at the same time as it eased restrictions on various commercial uses, such as brewpubs and pet shops.

For example, under the rezoning, commercial kennels would become a "conditional use" throughout the area - that is, allowed, subject to approval - whereas emergency shelters and adult foster care facilities would be prohibited entirely. In other words, the rezoning would bar the opening of shelter facilities for humans, while making it easier to open shelter facilities for dogs.

Existing social services in the area would be "grandfathered in" in the rezoning, so they would not be forced to move, but their ability to expand would be limited. Moreover, barring these social services from the heart of Detroit would set a troubling precedent for the rest of the city, as it is likely that the same rezoning changes could later be pursued elsewhere.

Detroit's redevelopment need not create two cities, separate and unequal. We urge City Council to amend the rezoning proposal to remove new restrictions on social services, and affirm that Detroit is a city for everyone, a city that cares for the neediest among us instead of kicking them to the wayside.

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