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 Master Plans 


General Information

The City Master Plan serves as a guide for public and private decision-makers regarding the future physical development of the City.  The master plan is composed of eight documents, or “elements,” that cover the City’s major geographical areas and its essential citywide facilities.  These plans provide a framework for preserving the City’s unique character, ensuring its diversity, supporting investment and promoting desired change. 

The City of Ann Arbor is separated into geographic planning areas: Central (which includes the Downtown Development Authority district), West, Northeast and South. 

City Planning Areas Map

These planning areas include land currently in the jurisdiction of the adjoining townships that will be annexed to the City in the future, based on earlier boundary agreements

Master Plan Elements

The Planning Commission adopts an annual resolution naming the elements of the City Master Plan.  These elements are:

Citywide Plans 

  • Transportation Plan Update, including the Fuller/Geddes/Conrail Corridor Study
  • Non Motorized Plan
  • Parks and Recreation Open Space Plan  

Geographic Area Plans

South Area Plan

including the Briarwood Subarea Plan

The South Area contains the Briarwood, Arborland, and Cranbrook commercial areas, the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport, the City Solid Waste Facility, and a number of research and industrial parks as well as several residential neighborhoods. The Briarwood Subarea Plan was adopted in November 1995 as an amendment to the South Area Plan.

South Area Plan (7.02 MB pdf) 

Central Area Plan

The Central Area is approximately 1,995 acres (3.12 square miles) in size and contains the downtown commercial districts; the University of Michigan Central, Medical and South Campuses; and the surrounding established residential neighborhoods. There are four distinct business districts in the Central Area: Main Street, State Street, South University, and Kerrytown. The plan focuses on actions that preserve the quality of older residential neighborhoods.

Central Area Plan (7.45 MB pdf)

Ann Arbor Downtown Plan

The Downtown Plan's primary focus is Ann Arbor's 66-block Downtown Development Authority district. It is also concerned with relationships between downtown and the adjacent Central Area. The plan addresses a broad range of issues concerning downtown's future -- from land use priorities and parking management objectives to more detailed design guidelines for enhancing downtown's pedestrian orientation and identity as a place.

Downtown Plan (13.4 MB pdf)

Northeast Area Plan

The Northeast Area contains the Plymouth Road Commercial/Research Corridor, the Huron River Corridor, the Washtenaw Commercial Corridor, the University of Michigan North Campus, the "Lower Town" area, a number of single family neighborhoods, several multiple family complexes, and a substantial amount of City and County park land. 

Northeast Area Plan

West Area Plan

including the Miller/Maple/Newport Traffic and Circulation Study

The West Area is generally located east of the Huron River and Seventh Street and extends to the western city limits. It contains the North Main Street/Huron River Corridor and the West Stadium Boulevard Commercial Corridor as well as several of Ann Arbor's oldest residential neighborhoods. The West Area Plan makes 41 site specific land use recommendations beyond the general land use plan. The Miller/Maple/Newport Traffic and Circulation Study was adopted in November 1995 as an amendment to the West Area Plan. The West Area Plan focuses on providing guidance for undeveloped land and transportation improvements.

West Area Plan (16.6 MB pdf)

Resource Documents

 In addition to the recommendations provided in the City Master Plan, the Planning Commission relies on several resource documents that provide additional detail for interpretation and implementation of the recommendations.  These documents are:



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