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Hancock rezoning could go until December

The last time Hancock passed a zoning ordinance was the 1970’s, and as you can imagine, it is outdated in places. The city teamed up with OHM Advisors thanks to a grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Hancock is responsible for funding 25 percent of the effort.

A revamped zoning ordinance is a requirement to participate in the MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Community program. Senior Planner Chris Germain is a key cog in administering that. He helped the City of Houghton attain the accreditation, and is playing a role in aiding Hancock, says Manager Mary Babcock.

He’s at our meetings, and bringing what we need for that certification to the forefront to get this through.

Babcock says that certain areas of the zoning ordinance need more work than others.

We are dealing with our parking ordinance, we needed to update that. We’re also dealing with the sign ordinance. We really looked at our different zoning districts themselves, and set new guidelines towards those. We need to have more mixed use areas in the city as part of the RRC [Redevelopment Read Community] process.

The Hancock Planning Commission is currently offering feedback on a recent presentation. Once those issues are resolved, it is up for a vote to advance it to a public hearing. The same has to happen at the council level as well. Mid-November or even December is looking likely for a finishing time frame.

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