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Character-Based Code

The City of Mt. Pleasant is excited to present the updated draft character-based code. This document reflects input gathered from hundreds of community members throughout an extensive process that began in early 2016 and which recently concluded with a public review period of the initial draft ordinance and map. The new ordinance provides a regulatory framework that will help the City to achieve several key objectives prioritized by the community, including preserving family neighborhoods, enhancing Downtown Mt. Pleasant, and transforming our commercial corridors including Mission Street.

code map


Printed copies of the draft code and draft zoning map are available for inspection at City Hall and Veterans Memorial Library – 301 S. University during normal business hours.

The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the proposed zoning ordinance and map on October 19th. Following the public hearing, they recommended that the City Commission adopt the proposed zoning ordinance and map but seriously reconsider whether all the parcels east of Main Street, south of High Street, and west of Fancher Street that are currently zoned M-2 should be zoned CD-4 with student organizations and rooming dwellings permitted.

The City Commission held a public hearing on the proposed zoning ordinance and map at their November 13, 2017 meeting. The City Commission also held a work session to discuss the proposed zoning ordinance and map on November 28, 2017. Staff prepared amendments to the text related to two-family dwellings (duplexes), parking, and non-conformities that were introduced at the City Commission meeting on December 11, 2017. Those amendments have now been included in the draft document. It is expected that the City Commission will consider adoption of the proposed zoning ordinance and map at their January 22, 2018 regular meeting. You can access that meeting packet by clicking here.

Questions about the project may be directed to Jacob Kain, City Planner, at (989) 779-5346 or

The goal of this planning effort is to create a new city-wide zoning ordinance known as a character-based code.  This type of code places a strong emphasis on form and function in order to create and maintain livable and desirable neighborhoods.  The new ordinance will provide updated standards for development and redevelopment throughout the community with a variety of goals including promoting a strong sense of place, supporting walking and bicycling, and enhancing the community’s urban fabric.

The process to create and adopt the new character-based code is expected to be completed in 2017.

In September 2016, the consultant team visited Mt. Pleasant to familiarize themselves with the current zoning ordinance as well as hear from stakeholders on the current zoning regulations and the development patterns that have occurred in the City as a result. A kickoff event was held where an overview of the project was provided and community input was provided.

In November 2016, the City hosted its first ever Planapalooza, a four-day event that included a hands-on workshop, several topic-specific roundtable discussions, and presentations. The City Commission Chamber was transformed into a design studio with community members invited in to share their ideas throughout the weekend and the doors open for 36 hours over a three day period. More than 300 community members participated in Planapalooza.

Town Planning and Urban Design Collaborative, LLC (TPUDC) is a national planning, design, and coding firm that specializes in the advancement of walkable, compact, diverse, mixed-use, pedestrian friendly environments and memorable places that withstand the test of time. TPUDC works exclusively on complex projects where there is an interest in informed and directed development and in generating a vision shaped by many hands. They have extensive experience balancing business interests, quality of life for residents, changing demographics, transportation decisions, and all the other forces that work to shape a community. TPUDC is based out of Franklin, TN. You can learn more about TPUDC at


City staff is available to discuss the character-based code and what it means for you and our community any time. You can visit the Planning & Community Development Department at City Hall, 2nd floor, or contact City Planner Jacob Kain by email at or phone at (989) 779-5346.

City staff can also come to you; contact us if your workplace, neighborhood, or community organization would like to arrange for a project presentation and Q&A session.

Watch video recordings of each character-based code presentation on the City's YouTube channel.