Zoning for Community Transformation in Flint, Michigan

Zoning Practice — May 2016

By John Houseal, FAICP, Brandon Nolin, AICP


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This article discusses the innovative zoning techniques Flint, Michigan, is using to implement the place-based vision for community transformation outlined in the city's comprehensive plan.


Page Count
Date Published
May 1, 2016
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American Planning Association

About the Authors

John Houseal, FAICP
John is Principal and Co-founder of Houseal Lavigne, an innovation-based planning and design firm headquartered in Chicago. John has directed a wide variety of planning, design, development, zoning, and outreach related projects across the country for communities ranging from small farming towns to the nation's largest cities and metropolitan areas. John's work is widely recognized throughout the planning profession, having received numerous awards at the regional, state, and national levels for innovation, comprehensive planning, outreach, strategic planning, special area planning, implementation, and overall planning and design excellence. John has been a featured speaker on issues relating to urban planning, innovation, zoning, transportation, context sensitive design, graphic communication, and the environment. John has served as an AICP certification instructor at the national and state level for more than 20 years. John is also a Faculty Associate at University of Illinois Chicago where he teaches a graduate level course in spatial planning methods. John has also served on the Board of Directors for the OPRF Community Foundation, Co-Chair of CommunityWorks Advisory Board, is Co-founder/creator of Entrepreneur Leaders in Philanthropy, and is the current Course Mentor and Facilitator of Leadership Lab, a community issues-based leadership development program.

Brandon Nolin, AICP
<p>Brandon is a Senior Project Manager at Houseal Lavigne Associates with 14 years of planning, urban design, and market analysis experience. Brandon specializes in comprehensive planning and economic development and uses his background in archaeology, statistics, and market research to develop data-driven plans that are both physically achievable and economically viable. Brandon has worked in communities of all shapes and sizes. He has created award-winning plans to reposition disinvested communities like Flint, MI and North Lawndale on Chicago&rsquo;s west side; leverage key redevelopment opportunities in growing downtowns; revitalize aging commercial corridors in inner ring suburbs; and strengthen small rural towns and emerging suburban communities. Brandon is also actively involved in furthering the planning profession. He co-founded a young planners organization and serves on the board of the American Planning Association&rsquo;s Chicago Metro Section. Brandon has a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology from Michigan State University and two graduate degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago: a Master&rsquo;s in Urban Planning and Policy and a Master&rsquo;s in Urban and Environmental Geography.</p>