Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Revitalization of the Detroit Entertainment District | Site Analysis

By Michael Young


I am going to keep informing you about my thesis project. In this weeks blog I will talking about the site and its zoning codes. The success of the Detroit Red Wings hockey team over the past decades has increased the popularity of the sport throughout all of Michigan. The city of Detroit is often referred to as Hockeytown because the passion and heart of its fan base. The Joe Louis Arena is the current home to the Detroit Red Wings, and it’s the fourth oldest facility in the National Hockey League. The goal of this project is to design a state-of-the-art facility that will set the standard in sustainable stadium design for years to come. This redevelopment will also include a master plan of urban infill around the 3 stadiums creating new residential buildings, multiple retail stores and restaurants, as well as hotels and office buildings.
The new home for the Detroit Red Wings will be located at the north end of downtown Detroit.  The proposed site is on the west side of Woodward Avenue and just north of I-75. Comerica Park, where the Detroit Tigers play, and Ford Field, home to the Detroit Lions are in close proximity to the new location. Upon completion this would create one of the tightest professional sports districts of any other US city. The approximate lot size is 820,000,000 square feet. The city sits 600 feet above sea level. Site information came from city-data.com (figures 2-9).
Figure 1 | Ariel view of the proposed site and surrounding area in Detroit, Michigan
Zoning:
A stadium or arena is classified under the Business district in Detroit for zoning codes. The type of occupancy is B4.

Section 61-13-31. Lot size requirements:
Lot width shall be measured at the front line of the zoning lot, except for residential uses where lot width shall be measured at a distance of twenty (20) feet from the front zoning lot line.

Section 61-13-32. Setback requirements; lot area and lot width requirements:
(a) Where a dwelling unit is erected, located, or placed above another type of use in a B2 or B4 District, no setbacks shall be required for the dwelling unit, except a rear setback which may begin at the lowest floor occupied for dwelling purposes.
(b) The setback requirements for “All other residential and public, civic and institutional uses” in the B1, B2, B3, and B4 Districts do not apply to lofts;
(c) The setback requirements for “All other residential uses and public, civic, and institutional uses” do not apply to “residential uses combined in structures with permitted commercial uses” on land zoned B2, B3, or B4 in designated Traditional Main Street overlay areas, as provided in Sec. 61-11-312 of this Code.
(d) The setback requirements, the lot area requirements, and the lot width requirements for residential uses and public, civic, and institutional uses do not apply where such a use is established in an existing building; however, any expansion of such a use shall comply with applicable setback requirements.

Section 61-13-33. B3 and B4 District height limitations:
The following provisions shall apply to B3 and B4 Districts:

(1) The maximum height for each principal use in the B3 and B4 Districts shall not exceed thirty-five (35) feet;
(2) Where the zoning lot fronts on a street which is eighty (80) feet or more in width, and is designated by the Master Plan as a major or secondary thoroughfare, and where the outermost point of the proposed building on said zoning lot is forty (40) feet or more from the nearest point of the lot line of all R1, R2, and R3 Districts, the maximum height may be increased, as a matter or right, one (1) foot for each one (1) foot of street width greater than eighty (80) feet. However, in no case shall the building exceed eighty (80) feet in height;
(3) Where the zoning lot fronts on a street which is eighty (80) feet or more in width, and is designated by the Master Plan as a major or secondary thoroughfare, and where the zoning lot abuts, is adjacent to, or across an alley from any zoning district other than an R1, R2, R3 or residential PD District, the maximum height may be increased, by right, one (1) foot for each one (1) foot of street width
greater than eighty (80) feet, regardless of the location of the proposed structure. However, in no case shall the building exceed eighty (80) feet in height; and
(4) The provisions of this section shall also apply to signs; ground or free- standing advertising signs shall not exceed thirty-five (35) feet, except as provided for in Sec. 61-6-74 of this Code.

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